The Rainbow Song

The last thing I ever wanted this to become was an “Advice On Parenting” blog…because I am so not the person to be doling out advice.

I’ve sort of been doing that though, huh?

:::::sigh:::::

I’m sorry about that.

Want to hear a good parent-foul to even things out?

You guys aren’t used to posts like this from me, mostly because I like to keep things happy and if possible, funny. Because parenting is pretty funny, maybe not at the time, but usually you’re able to look back and laugh at most things.

Sometimes though, sometimes life kicks you so hard in the vagina that you lack even the lung capacity to huff out a simple laugh. Believe me, my twisted brain tried to infuse humor into this post – but some things just aren’t funny, and some things aren’t ever meant to be.

Here’s a good kick-to-the-vag bedtime story for you…

 

You did it.

You wave the pregnancy test in your husbands face and squeal “Oh my god!! I’m pregnant!!”image

Its your second child, and just like the first – it was planned, so you feel pretty prepared. You’ve got this.

Its still just as exciting when your kicked from the inside for the first time by your second child as it was with the first. You plan, you prepare, you pick names and fall in love with the little person growing inside of you. You dream of the life your family will have. You pump up your son about being a big brother, you buy him the shirt and everything.

Its time.image

You deliver your bundle with your husband by your side and you hear “It’s a girl, mama. Congratulations!”

A girl.

Secretly you hoped it would be.

You wanted her, you wanted her so badly.

You hear her first cries and your heart aches to hold her, but you’ve had a C-section, and just because she’s born doesn’t mean its your turn to hold her yet. They have to put you back together first. That’s ok though, you’ve had a C-section before – you know the drill and it’s a pretty quick process.

They let you see her for a moment, and you can’t believe how much black hair she has. Dear god, shes perfect. The most perfect little girl you’ve ever seen. She needs to be weighed and measured though. They have to make sure your perfect baby is in fact, perfect.

You tell your husband to go. “Go, watch her…be careful, she’s so tiny. Don’t let them drop her. DON’T DROP HER!”

..Ok, you’re a little irrational too. These are professionals, they handle babies everyday, they know what they’re doing. No one is going to drop her, who drops a baby? You just want her to be ok, that’s all any mom wants, is for their child to be ok.

Finally, you’re in the recovery room and its your turn “Gimme, gimme, gimme!!”

The nurse brings her over, but something is different.

“She’s naked?”

The nurse nods with a kind smile “Yep, some people like to lay with their babies skin to skin to form a bond”

“Oh, ok…I didn’t do that with my son. Cool!”  Whatever, right? Just give her to me!

So you pull down your hospital gown, and your heart is about to burst out of your chest because you know whats about to come. You’re about to hold your daughter for the first time. She’s yours, you made her, she’s filled your heart already – and you’re about to hold her. Its intense, its amazing.

Here she comes!!

The nurse gently lowers your naked little daughter to your equally naked chest. You smile, because finally you have her. She’s safe with you. You’re about to look down at her…image

What would you do if before you even looked down at your tiny baby, your world shifted and nothing was right? Nothing was ok. What if something goes terribly wrong?

What if you looked down at your daughter and the first thing you noticed wasn’t her beautiful eyes, her perfect nose, her puckered little lips…

What if the first thing you noticed was that you didn’t notice anything. Not the feeling you got when you were handed your first child, not a pleasant feeling at all. Instead you feel pain, and confusion, and anxiety.

“She has some, um…after-birth on her cheek still I think” You mumble, because you don’t know what else to say. You aren’t disappointed, you aren’t afraid.

You’re fucking terrified.

You’re ashamed.

All of your instincts, from the moment you read the pregnancy test to the moment you met her said she was yours. Your instincts told you to protect her, to defend her.

What if your instincts are now telling you she isn’t yours?

What if you couldn’t claim the baby you just birthed because something snapped inside of you so abruptly, so violently, that you didn’t even know how to properly love your own baby?

Unfathomable, right?

Traumatizing, absolutely.

“That’s ok, we’ll clean her off a bit more in a few minutes” The nurse responds.

You shake your head “She needs a blanket”

“Oh” The nurse says and waves you off “She’s warm enough pressed against you honey. She’ll…”

“She needs a blanket right now!” You demand

Your husband and the nurse share a look, they think you’re being weird. They have no idea how weird it actually is. How bad it’s quickly becoming. Nobody knows, not even the innocent baby on your chest. Or does she? Her mommy isn’t claiming her, what kind of monster mommy doesn’t recognize her own daughter? What kind of mommy doesn’t feel her own child?

You have to keep her far away from whatever you’ve just become, so you do what you think is best for her.

“Please, you have to cover her!”

So you protect her from you.

They wrap your baby in a pink blanket with your doctors name embroidered on the corner. Those are the small details your focusing on right now, because your heart and your brain can’t handle the ugly details. Like the fact that your husband is holding your daughter now, cooing and kissing her because he’s already recognized that she’s the most amazing human being on the planet and all you can do is read the doctors name over and over again.

Photo by Peter Foster
Photo by Peter Foster

For the next few months, you take care of her, as if she were your own. You love her, really you do. You love her very much in fact. You know this because when you look at her, it hurts, a lot. Like your love for her is embedded so deeply in your chest that your heart has to physically and unnaturally lurch itself in search of it every time you look at her. Your heart wants her, aches for her, but she’s not yours to love. Not yet.

So you go through the motions. You feed her, burp her, take her to her doctors appointments and check her forehead for fevers. But when she cries, your mommy instincts don’t pull you to her, you go because you’re supposed to.

You’re doing everything right. No one knows anything is wrong, because you’re mothering her. You’re taking care of her. Inside though, the shame is overwhelming. The shame is eating away at your soul, you’re calling yourself a terrible human being, a sick mother who doesn’t deserve her child. You’re tearing yourself apart from the inside out.

When people come over to meet your new family, you’re lips lift at the corners in happiness, because they’re supposed to. You stand next to your visitors and stare at your daughter asleep in her basinet and gush over her with them, because you’re supposed to. Its expected. It frightens you to know how good you’ve become at deceiving.image

You answer their questions with appropriate answers.

“How are you sleeping?”

“Alright”

“Is she sleeping through the night?”

“She gets up a few times a night, but that’s what babies do!”

“What does your son think of her?”

“Oh, he just loves her, how could you not?”….Ouch.

You say and do everything you’re supposed to, meanwhile, you’re screaming inside. But you keep it together, you have to, what other choice do you have?

You slap on smile, after smile, after smile. You smile so much that the screaming you’ve been doing in your head turns to a silent ugly cry in the shower. Eventually you’re silent ugly cry in the shower isn’t enough and it moves you to the porch after everyone has gone to sleep, and you cry outside. You beg. You beg to a God you don’t even believe in to fix you.

You’re losing it.

You start to sing to her at night, it’s the only time you feel like her mother. Not when you sing, but in the middle of the night. When its just the two of you. Your husband has to get up for work and your son is asleep, so its just you and her. You have no choice but to face her – and the truth between you and her, the truth you’re terrified she already knows.

You don’t use this time to apologize to her, you know you don’t have the right to apologize to her. She deserves more. So you sing to her instead, the same song over and over again. A song that will grow to mean more to you and your daughter than you could have ever known at the time. A song that, almost four years later, you still sing to her every night. A song that she still asks for. A song that soothes her when she’s sick, a song that puts her to sleep, a song that tells her ‘mommy is here’.

She calls it “The Rainbow Song”

You didn’t know it then, but those nights and that song was your first moments of being a mommy.

Then morning comes and you lose her to the sun.

And the cycle starts again.

But you didn’t get a shower that day to do your silent cry, and the porch isn’t far enough away to let out the screams you need in order to function. You have no more outlets. None you’re familiar with anyway. So not only have your instincts told you that your daughter isn’t yours, but now those same instincts, the ones born and bred into you – meant to naturally protect you, have turned your own body against you.

You’re skin starts to tingle, then itch. So you scratch.

You pull at your hair.

You lose your fucking mind.

And those fake smiles you used on everyone? They worked. They believed you.

But you’re stupid. You’re so stupid.

Of course he didn’t believe them. Of course he saw right through you. Your husband is the guy who loves you more than anything in the world. Your parents might love you unconditionally, your sisters too, but no one has ever loved you like he has. While you know your family would love you through your worst, he lived through your worst.

He saw the woman he loved in the darkest moments of her life. He watched the light in her eyes burn out. He watched the mother of his children go numb. He saw her anger. He saw her resentment. He saw her lash out. He saw her cry, and he planted his feet when she pushed him away.image

You’ll ask him “Why are you still here?”

How can he still love you when you’re not even likeable? You don’t laugh, you aren’t the goofy girl he used to play pranks on. You aren’t you anymore, you’re someone else, you’re something else.image

“You want a divorce?” He’ll ask. He’s angry, he’s so angry.

“I don’t want a divorce, I just don’t know why you don’t want one. I’m not the same person you said your vows to, I know that. No one would blame you” you’ll answer. He’ll shake his head. You’ll never see him angrier, more determined than you do right now.

“You think I care about a piece of paper? Those stupid vows we took? I don’t even remember them! Divorce me Ash, I don’t care. It doesn’t change anything. The only way I’m walking out that door is if you’re with me”.

Somehow he saw her ashy, filthy heart…and chose her anyway. He chose to be the only one in her life who still remembered the girl inside. He loved that girl, more than he loved himself and far more than she loved herself.

So he protected her.

He fought for her.

He tried to make her laugh, he’d give anything for her smile. The real one. He started to push her back, challenge her to be the woman he married. He did the dishes and laundry while she slept beneath blankets. He swept the floors because she didn’t even notice they needed it. He begged her to go to therapy, but she didn’t want to go and talk to ‘some stranger about her life’. She didn’t want to talk to anyone, she wanted to be left alone, it’s what she deserved.image

It was a random day in August. Nothing was different about this day, and that in itself was a shame. The kids were just tucked into bed, but there was still enough light to sit on the porch for another hour or so. So the young wife and mother went outside and she sat.

When her husband settled in beside her, he took her hand in his and gave it a squeeze.

“You need therapy” He said quietly, but it was a plea. She opened her mouth to respond and he silenced her with just a simple shake of his head. “You need therapy” he repeated.

They remained silent on that porch for a long time. Long enough for the sun to set, but not long enough for her to see reason. What could a therapist possibly say to her that she didn’t already say to herself? Would they put her on a bunch of medication and fix her with a pill? She didn’t want to go to a therapist and confess the ugliness of herself, to have a professional confirm that she was a shitty mother and wife. She was barely hanging on as it was, did he really think she needed to be kicked while she was down?

But just as she opens her mouth to yet again turn down his idea, he’ll speak words to her that will change her life forever. They’re spoken so calmly and quietly but laced with so much conviction and honesty that had she not heard them, she would have at the very least felt them.

“I would do anything in this world for you, Ash. Anything. But I can’t help you on my own, I thought I could, but I don’t know how”

Then he’ll turn to her and say the words that she’ll forever remember as the ones that saved her life…..

“I’m not happy if you’re not happy, and you are so unhappy. I’m in this with you for the long haul. I’m not going anywhere babe, ever. But please, don’t make me live my life unhappy”

And for the first time, in a long time, she didn’t feel alone anymore. She felt hope. Because even though she gave up on herself, there was one person who decided she was worth fighting for. And who the hell was she to drag such an amazing person down with her?image image image image image image

The events of my therapy are quite personal, more personal than this post, if you can believe it. The mysteries unlocked and the problems I didn’t even know were problems were realized, and I came back to my family. I went into therapy when my daughter was 5 months old, diagnosed with post-partum depression and PTSD (from an event unmentioned in this post) on the first day.

Then one morning, after a night of singing our song, the sun came up and I didn’t lose my daughter. She was six months old. I remained in therapy once a week for 13 months until I “graduated”

I don’t know what I would have done had I not gotten help, maybe things would have resolved on their own – but when? What kind of mother would I be? Would I be claiming my daughter when she was twenty years old instead of six months? Would she had even let me?blog5

Post-partum depression can happen to anyone. It didn’t care about the kind of mom I was supposed to be, the kind I wanted to be, it just dug its claws in for no reason and pulled me under. And its hosts are like snowflakes, we’re all different – it attacks each person differently. Its not the ‘baby-blues’ and it’s not something you can just ‘get over’. Some don’t notice what it really is for weeks, some aren’t diagnosed for months – and especially in the generations above me, most are never diagnosed at all.

If I thought there was something I could do to have changed the first 6 months of my daughters life with her mother, I would say I’d love to go back and fix this wrong. But I can’t, and my job is to find the silver lining…image

So I’m a humble mom now, the kind of mom I’m not sure I was the first time around. I think that’s why I so readily lay my faults out on facebook and in my blog, because I know what poor parenting looks like, I know what it feels like – and more than anything I know what its like to feel alone in it.

I know some of you don’t believe in depression, I know this because you’ve told me so. A couple of you non-believers who voiced their opinions to me are even subscribed to this blog.

“You have a good husband, two healthy kids – what is your problem? What is there for you to be so unhappy about?” – A question I’ve been asked more than once while on this shitty little journey.

The answer: nothing, everything.

When you’re depressed there is no up or down, black or white, north or south. It just is what it is and you feel what you feel, sometimes with no explanation what-so-ever.

If you were to ask me what post-partum depression did to my family, I would tell you that it stole my children’s mother and almost destroyed my marriage. I would tell you that I was hanging on by a thread. If you were to ask my husband the same question, he would tell you I’m a better mother for it and that it saved and strengthened our marriage. He would tell you that while I felt like I was hanging on by a thread, he had both feet planted firmly on the ground with two arms wrapped around me. He’d tell you that I wasn’t going anywhere.

Some of you may not get the message I’ve intended for this post and still only see the awful lost mother I once was. That’s ok, you can judge me for that. I don’t need your acceptance, I have my husband’s, remember?

And if you are still judging me, this post wasn’t for you anyway. Its for any mom who feels like she’s the only one who can’t get her shit together.

I can genuinely say that you are not alone, that I am so far from perfect and my hope is if nothing else, I can still use this blog to continue to show you that we mama’s are in this together, that I’m in it for the long haul and to maybe, occasionally, make you smile a real smile.image

I’m no therapist, but if any of you mama’s are having a hard time finding your “rainbow song” and just need to vent – madstella04@yahoo.com 🙂

Thank-you for visiting MadStella – let’s try and make the next few posts a bit more upbeat, yeah? <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re Going to Teach Us How to What?!

Yeah that’s right, I’m here today to teach you all how to exercise.

“But Ashley, do you think you’re the best man for the job? I mean, aren’t you yourself…kind of…uh…I don’t know, roly-poly?”

First off, I’m a woman not a man (its just that I haven’t gotten my hands on a pair of tweezers in a while) and second – I prefer super-duper-curvy, but yeah, roly-poly is still a gentle description for what I’m actually sporting over here.

And I’m telling you, my research is fool proof. How do I know?

Because I read it on the internet and in celebrity magazines.

According to that famous girl on the way to the gym on the cover of that fancy magazine, here is a list of the following things you’ll need to get started.

  1. Ankle/wrist weights.
  2. Free weights
  3. Full make-up and curled hair
  4. A fancy head band
  5. Sneakers
  6. Spandex
  7. A yoga mat for downward doggie style
  8. A very tiny dog on a leash
  9. An inspirational shirt
  10. A smartphone
  11. Ear buds (most likely playing music from the 90’s)
  12. A water bottle
  13. A fit-bit
  14. …a starbucks latte?
  15. 2 bodyguards
  16. A grapefruit
  17. And a gym membership.

Ok, so – I’ll wait for you to retrieve your supplies so we can get started. . . . . . .

Ready?

Cool. Me too!

See….

  1. Ankle/ Wrist weights (Gonna have to be wrist, since I’ve found no ankle weights that can handle the circumference of my ankles)image2.  Free Weights (I only have one, the other one his duck-taped to a bottle of Southern Comfort, but that’s a post for another time…)image3. Hair and make-up…for exercise confidence?imageimage

4. A fancy headband…(Thanks for letting me borrow one, Stella!)image5 & 6. Sneakers & Spandeximage7. A yoga Mat

To Keep warm
To Keep warm
...And to stretch on
…And to stretch on

8. Tiny Dogimage9. An inspirational shirtimage10, 11 & 12. Smartphone, earbuds & water bottle. (Can we just trust that I have them without the pictures?)

13. A fit-bit

Don't worry, its legit
Don’t worry, it’s legit

14. A Starbucks latte

...or a Keurig coffee?
…or a Keurig coffee?

15. Two Bodyguards

image
If you don’t need protection, they can carry all of your shit for you.

16. A grapefruit

...uh, or an apple
…uh, or an apple

17. A Gym Membership

image
Oh, right…

Since I seem to have lost? my gym membership and the sun is shining oh-so brightly, lets run outside, shall we?image Yeah, Fuck that. To the treadmill we go….

Of course we’ve stretched, so now its time to start our warm up.

Ready?

GO!!!image   Yeah, see, we’ve got this.

Feel the burn.

Embrace the burn.

Have you embraced the burn? image

Excellent, now run your heart out!!

image   Sweet Jesusimage If you’re kids are really well behaved like mine, you should only have to stop once to help your 3 year old wipe and 42 other times to break up fights. I suggest turning up the volume on your earbuds and letting them duke it out.

 

And in about 30-45 minutes you’ll be ready for your Spread in People Magazine!!image   The moral of this tragic post is – you aren’t on the cover of a magazine, and chances are, you never will be.

You will, however, grace a few walls in big family portraits. And the people looking at those, the people IN those? Those are the ones you should be getting healthy for. Yeah, yeah – for yourself too – but my guess is that its easier for you to do something for your kids than it is for yourself. Your family needs you around, your kids need you around – for as long as you can be.

Don’t we owe it to them to splash in the water, play tag and run races with? I know my kids deserve a mom like that, and I know one day my grand-kids will too. Cool stuff we got to do when mommy pulled her head out of her ass…

image
Adventures in the woods
image
Beach Days
image
Learning how to Kayak

 

Pool Days with Cousins
Pool Days with Cousins

I might be…roly-poly, but thanks to my sneakers, a heart healthy diet, 3 sports bras (worn simultaneously for mine and the publics protection) and my doctor saying “Lose weight or die, dumbass” – I have fifty pounds less of roly to poly and I got to experienced something over the past year that I haven’t felt in over a decade…

What it felt like to run again.

And oh my god, it’s good. Amazing. Freeing.

I mean, it sucks most of the time (ok, every time) but I have never, ever done a work-out that I regret. It might suck leading up to it, during it and the next day – but the second I push ‘stop’ on the treadmill or wind around the corner into my driveway – I put my hands on my knees (wheeze and/or vomit) then I smile like the Grinch at the ground.

There is no better feeling in the world than having pushed yourself farther than you’ve ever thought you could go and live to tell the tale.

“Ok, Ash – you didn’t climb Mount Everest, you ran a few miles, chillax mama”

But running was my Everest, and I climbed it and it feels so, so good at the top!

Obviously I own some of those things from the list (pictures don’t lie) but those were things slowly acquired. Hell, I had already lost the first twenty pounds before ever buying the damn treadmill. You can work out in anything, and you don’t need fancy equipment to do it. And before today – I had never, ever ran with my hair down. I will never, ever do it again.

Anyway…

Crunches, push-ups, lunges, squats, running – its all FREE!!

“Don’t you have a 3 year old and a 5 year old? How did you find the time?”

You make the time.

Moms can do anything, anything, we’re freaking super heroes! (No seriously, at least once a day I play one of the major roles from any given Marvel movie). We are taxi drivers, maids, carpenters, butlers, chefs, nurses. We defeat viruses with nothing but a cold-pack and a bowl of soup, we attack strep throat like angry ninjas with spoonfuls of amoxi. We find binki’s in record time, dig nerf darts from beneath the refrigerater with broomstick handles and make pirate ships out of toothpicks. We are fucking amazing. Of course we can find 30 minutes in the day to keep ourselves healthy. image   One of my favorite work-outs is Tae Bo with Billy blanks. I stream his videos (for free) onto my TV from youtube and the kids do it with me! (Usually this ends with someone getting kicked in the head, but hey, I’ve warned them a hundred times to stand back when mommy is doing her ‘double time’ round-house kicks)

And healthy eating didn’t kill our budget either, once we took the pizza delivery guy off speed dial and told the Chinese place to block our calls – we had plenty of $$ left over for fruits and veggies…and wine. (There is always enough money for wine) And wine is great for you, its like…grapes and stuff. Fruit. Liquid fruit. Drink it!

And Sometimes we have set backs…

image
Oh snap – Are those McDonalds new Mozz sticks?

Ya gotta stay strongimageAnd when you fail…imageLike, really fail…

ah, shit...
ah, shit…

Let. It. Go.

Get over it. Food is good, you should eat it – all kinds of it! But don’t give up on your goals just because you drunkenly ate your weight in bar food the night before. Start over, move on…

The best advice I ever gave myself was to forget about losing weight, forget about getting a body to throw on a catwalk and definitely ditch the scale!!– because its just too damn depressing once you plateau and don’t see those numbers dropping. The best thing to do is say “I’m doing this for my heart” and the rest will come together, I promise.

Ok, good luck! And if you want to talk to a chunky mom about being less chunky – or just about being chunky – because being chunky can be fun too (we’re very cuddly), PM me on facebook or email me at – madstella04@yahoo.com and I’d be happy to chat with you!

Unhealthy Ashley
Unhealthy Ashley
Healthier Ashley
Healthier Ashley

A work in progress for sure, but aren’t we all!

No book recommendations for this post, you’ll be too busy working out to read 😉

Thanks for visiting MadStella!!!

When Good Things Go Bad

“Hey babe, I want you to read this post because I kind of need your permission to post it”

“My permission? Why?”

“Uh…just read it”

*Husband reads while I chew fingernails*

*He’s only on the second paragraph when he looks up at me*

“No, Ashley. Hell No! You can’t post this!!”

Well, that was two weeks ago – and while he still won’t let me post it here – he has given me permission to send it out via e-mail!! So – what better way to get subscribers? 🙂

Enter your e-mail address to subscribe to MadStella (you’ll get an e-mail every time I publish a new post) and as a thank-you I’ll send you the article I wrote that had my husband’s panties all in a twist! I promise you’ll laugh your ass off – or cringe – either way, it’ll be an experience!

When you’ve finished, and the nausea subsides, please feel free to leave a comment below 🙂

*Please note that I won’t know you are a “follower” until you’ve confirmed your subscription to MadStella in YOUR e-mail account*

As always, thank you for visiting MadStella <3

‘In-laws’ Isn’t a Four Lettered Word

blog26

In-laws man, they have quite the reputation don’t they?

Especially the dreaded mother-in-law – and more specifically, the relationship between the wife and mother-in-law. Of course, any time you put two women in the same room together who love the same man (albeit, in two very different ways) you’re opening up the possibility of disaster. We’ve all heard the horror stories, and who knows – maybe you’re one of the poor souls living the nightmare.

…I’m almost afraid to admit this – but I was lucky in the mama-in-law department. Of course we’ve had our differences, I’m sure more than once after a family dinner we’ve both laid in bed beside our husbands and gave them an earful. But, if she’s reading this – that never happened B, love you!

Mother/ Son dance at our wedding
Mother/ Son dance at our wedding
Halfway through their dance, she called me over and said "You should be here too"
Halfway through their dance, she called me over and said “You should be here too”

And when it comes to my father-in-law  – yeah sorry, that really worked out for me too. Mine is one of my favorite drinking buddies. We’re very much alike – it’s as if he’s the southern, middle-aged and male version of myself. We both have potential to be rage monsters, we’re equally stubborn and we both have a hard time keeping our opinions to ourselves. Sure, our similarities have caused a few rifts – but I’m charming, and he has no choice but to adore me. After all, I am his favorite (& only) daughter-in-law.

And the best part? Sometimes I think they forget that I’m an in-law, because more often than not, I’m treated like one of their kids. Which means I’m well fed, thrown under the bus from time to time and get awesome Christmas presents!

The husband and in-laws <3

And you’re over there reading this giant boast-fest of a post like – “So what’s the purpose of this article, Ash? To throw yet another thing in our faces that you do right and we do wrong? You want a cookie? Maybe you should go find your awesome ‘mama-in-law’, perhaps she’ll bake you one because we don’t care!!!”

Wow – a little aggressive but I heard the veiled compliment, so thank-you.

The whole reason I’m writing this isn’t for you, it’s for Phil and Pam.

Phil and Pam?

Who?

Ah, I’m glad you asked. Phil and Pam are MY son’s future in-laws.

(I know, I know – my son is only five years old, but roll with me, ok?)

You see, I’ve never had to welcome a girl into my life that wasn’t already family. My parents had three daughters, no sons, therefore we’ve never had to deal with hating one of his bitch girlfriends – or her hating us in return. Poor dad, though. Yeesh.

So Phil, Pam – this one’s for you.

***If I had a picture of Pam & Phil, it would have gone here***

First of all, sorry if I’ve gotten your names wrong – but you’ve probably called me so many names by now that we’re most likely even.

I’d like to start off by saying – what a lovely daughter, Kate?, you’ve raised.

Yeah, let’s call her Kate. But no – lets not start with her already ‘raised’ and grown up. Let’s start with little Kate, maybe we can nip this in the bud while she’s young.

***Sure wish I had a cute picture of little Kate right about now***

Dear Phil & Pam,

I don’t know what kind of in-laws you have, maybe you have the mother-in-law from hell. Maybe she’s all up in your business, telling you how to clean your home, telling you to party less and stay home more, maybe she thinks you’re lazy and spend too much money – maybe she thinks you aren’t raising Kate the way you should. If that’s the case, let the trickledown effect of ‘hater’ in-laws end with you.

Please, please don’t teach Kate that I am the enemy.

When I make mistakes, because I will (like…a ton), and she runs to you with anger in her veins and my face on a voodoo doll – please tell her that I’m human. That I love my son, that I love her. Please tell her that I just want to be a part of their lives, any way they’ll let me. Tell her that she can come to me, because I promise that she can, and I will try (very hard) to give unbiased advice.

If she never washes a dish, if she never does a load of laundry, if she never gives me a grandchild, if she never goes to work, if she thinks I need to cut the cord, if she thinks he’s too old for me to still lick my thumb and wipe his face, if she spends all of their money – If she never does anything but love my son, then I promise to love her too.

(And I promise to never lick my thumb and wipe his face)…(again).

And as far as I go, the dreaded mother-in-law, I promise to treat your daughter with respect – even if I’m not always shown it myself. Even if I’m never shown it ever. Even if I don’t like her. Even if her laugh sounds like nails on a chalkboard. Even if she paints their house pink and fills it with little clown figurines. I promise to acknowledge, at the very least, that she loves my son – and he loves her.

(I know, big words for someone who doesn’t have a daughter-in-law yet. You can all use my words for rope and lynch me in twenty years, until then – I have more promises to make…)

I promise to acknowledge that my son isn’t perfect, and what goes on in their home is their business. How they love each other is none of my business. Even if, for the life of me, I don’t know why he is with her – I will acknowledge that he is. And to him, she’s worth it. She’s worth everything, because he chose her. He’ll choose her over me, at least, I hope he does. A husband is supposed to choose his wife over everything else, over everyone else. I hope she chooses him too.

Being a wife myself (which isn’t always the easiest of tasks) my philosophy when it comes to in-laws is that a good husband never chooses his mother over his wife, but a great wife will never make him choose.

I don’t need to be put on a pedestal, I won’t demand respect that I don’t give, I don’t even have to be her friend (PLEASE BE MY FRIEND, KATE!!)

I just don’t want to be her horror story.

When her girlfriends are sitting in a bar and bitching about their mother-in-law’s, and her turn comes around – I hope she shrugs her shoulders and says “Sorry guys, my old man’s ma is da bomb yo” (See, I’ll even love her if she’s a little bit thug)

Pam, Phil – if you ignore my advice, if you don’t teach Kate all of these things – then I will. It will take us a bit longer to get over the in-law stigma, but we’ll get there. I’ll show her that she can trust me, that I’m rooting for her and that I want her happy – because once my son marries her – her happiness is his.

And if you’re reading this and you aren’t Pam or Phil – keep in mind that you may not love your mother-in-law, you may not like her – hell – you might even smirk at her funeral – just know that anytime you put your hubby’s mom down, you’re putting him down as well. She raised him, maybe not the way you think she should have, but he is the person he is today (the man you married) because of what she did or didn’t do.

And sometimes at the end of the day – a bitch is a bitch is a bitch – and there is no pleasing that bitch.

Smile. Bite your tongue. Go home, open a bottle of wine and tell your sister all about it.

Being a bitch is a choice you don’t have to choose. (And hey – nobody lives forever) See? Silver linings.

And to my mother-in-law – I know I haven’t always made life easy for you, I know you’ve bitten your tongue more times than I even want to know – but you have always respected me, I have always walked into your home and felt welcome and you have never, ever stood in the way of me loving your son. Thank-you, from the bottom of my heart, for not being my nightmare and for showing me the kind of mother-in-law and grandma I hope to one day be.

The little boy whose happiness I hope to never stand in the way of
The little boy whose happiness I hope to never stand in the way of.

And to my daughter’s future in-laws – HA! Good luck!!!!!!!!!

 

**My recommendation for this week is the Rebel Wheels series (starting with Rebel) by Elle Casey. The series has nothing to do with this post, its just that everything I’ve read by this author has been friggen hilarious.

Thank you for stopping by MadStella! As always, I love you for it!

 

 

 

Parenting Fouls

Ok, so if you read my last post you know how to respond to a total asshole, but are you raising one?

blog9

We all parent foul on occasion, and by occasion I mean every single day. I’ve never had a perfect parenting day. I’ve had really great days with my family that have gone far better than expected – but just as I’m about to call the day perfect, one of my little petri dishes will pick their nose, tap on the person in front of us at the grocery store and say “watch this” and pop their new found treasure into their mouth.
Now, you can’t really call that a parenting foul – I mean, I didn’t exactly tell the little darling to do that. But none-the-less I should have seen it coming, after all, it’s his new thing. He did it at the Christmas party too.

There are two types of parenting fouls. The first being the ones that aren’t such a big deal, but still – they’re fouls – usually born of convenience and annoyance.
Examples:
1. Handing them a cookie to shut them up
2. “She hit me”
    “Well…hit her back”
3. Saying “In a minute” when you know it’s the biggest and most frequent lie you’ll ever tell your children.
4. Or…the other biggest lie you tell in general – “Yeah, I don’t usually swear around my kids either” then when another mom swears around your precious gems and they apologize for it – you wave them off and the truth comes out “Its ok, they hear it all the time” or “They’ve heard worse from me”
5. Cleaning your kid’s room for them because it’s just easier that way.
6. Blaming their awful behavior at the restaurant on a ‘missed nap’
7. The “Eh…it still looks edible” rule – I mean – the 5 second rule. Yeah *clears throat* never more than 5 seconds.
8. Saying “Your dad must have eaten them all” when your kids ask where all of the peanut butter cups went from their Halloween bag (It helps your case if you’ve wiped all of the chocolate off your face first) and you don’t know what the big deal is anyway, you saved all 482 dum-dums for them…
9. That time you realized you’re a stay at home mom and a grown-up – you can do what you want, damn it! So you declared Tuesday’s your “Day Drinking” day. It didn’t last, but that was a fun day…

She's not an asshole, she's just tired.
She’s not an asshole, she’s just tired.

The worst parenting fouls are the ones you don’t realize you’re doing until it’s too late. Until things have progressed to the point of actually changing your child. And while most things can be fixed (kids are pretty resilient that way) it still sucks the big one when you realized you’ve royally fucked up. (Excuse my language, I don’t usually swear on the internet)
Examples:
1. “You just wait until your father comes home”, “Do you want me to call daddy?”, “Daddy is not going to be happy when he sees this”, “Wow, I cannot wait until your father comes home”

Maybe you’ve never done this, maybe you’re one of the smart ones, but I have and I’m not. My father in law told me a long time ago (before I ever had children) to never do this, and he was right.

And while my kids certainly don’t fear their father, I was starting to set them up for it.

Daddy coming home has always been an event in our household. He walks through the door and the kids fawn all over him, he drops to his knees before he even takes off his boots and becomes a human jungle gym. His daughter hangs from his arm while his son tries to stand on his shoulders. They squeal and laugh and their daddy tickles them until they take off running, only then does he stand up to take off his coat and boots and acknowledge me.

How dare I threaten to take that away from them…from him.

How heartbreaking for all of us if my husband came walking through the door and the kids stayed in their bedrooms, fearful that I’m about to fill him in on all of their wrong doings. Don’t make him do that, don’t make him the bad guy on arrival.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no mother-child confidentiality – daddy will hear about it – but not when he walks through the door and not until we can have a conversation in private or as a family (whatever the situation calls for) before one or both of us doles out a punishment.

So yeah, don’t do that.

2. “Mom, mom…MOM!!”
     “WHAT!?!?!?!”

It wasn’t until my husband said “Well, in his defense, he said your name about a hundred times before you answered him”

….I had been scrolling through facebook on my phone.

How many unheard times have my kids called “mommy” and I zoned them out? Sure, I heard all the times they’ve screamed in pain, and I’ve heard each time it got a little too “silent” and I went to inspect – but how many times did I block them out because I knew they were ok? How many times have they yelled first instead of spoke calmly, simply because they knew they’d get a more immediate reaction out of me? How many times have I made them feel like my phone/kindle/computer was more important to me than them?

It was like I instantly saw a slideshow of all the times I burst out with “What??! What do you need?!?!” and….yikes. I don’t remember my mom snapping at me like that. That’s not how I was raised. And no, my mom didn’t have a smartphone to scroll through when we were growing up, but still – she had books, gossip magazines and a computer – and none of those ever took precedence over me. What was I doing? What AM I doing?

My biggest fear is that I will look up from my phone one day and see grown up versions of my kids and wonder “Where did the time go?” – And I know I’ll feel this way anyway because kids grow up fast – but what if I really actually miss out on their lives because I’m too busy reading about everyone else’s?

It was a HUGE wake up call.

So I’m not telling you to put down your phone, I’m just saying – while you’re reading about everyone else’s lives, don’t forget to keep living yours.

(Says the obsessive writer)

3. “Why did you yell at daddy?”
    “Because daddy made me angry”
    “You should both say you’re sorry”

Ah. Fighting with your spouse in front of the kids. We’ve all done it, but do we know how much damage we’re actually doing?

I’d never tell you to not get into spats with your spouse in front of your little ones, it’s unrealistic. It’s going to happen, families fight. In fact, I think it’s good for kids to see their parents argue (argue – not name call, not degrade, not damage private property – argue) they need to see that good relationships take work. They need to see you make-up, too. They need to hear you both apologize and they need to see that mommy and daddy can still be a functioning unit that loves and respects one another even if they can’t see eye to eye on what they may or may not want at the time.

Fighting scares kids. It shakes the ground they walk on.

And you’re thinking “Ha, yeah sure Ash – all rainbows and unicorns at your house, huh? You and the big guy have calm respectful debates and then sit down for a family meeting to discuss positive outcomes and how every situation is a ‘learning experience’. Yes Ashley, you’re very mature. Congratulations on mastering the art of parenting. Excuse me if I don’t buy it”

Yeah, I wouldn’t either – because that’s a load of shit. I’m just saying if you’re going to fight – show your kids the love too. Snuggle with your husband on the couch, say ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ when you’re talking to each other. Show each other respect so your kids know what it looks like. Show them what an argument looks like. Then show them what forgiveness looks like. And when you say “I’m sorry, I won’t do that again” Make sure you mean it, so they know what a kept promise looks like.

And yeah, every now and then you and your spouse need to air some dirty laundry, get shit off your chests – be smart, use common sense, keep your damn voices down and make sure that no matter what – they know mommy and daddy have each other’s backs and theirs. They’re learning how to be in a relationship from you, wouldn’t it be nice to show them more “do’s” than “don’ts”?

All else fails, calmly call your sister to collect the children and once they’re in her safe and distracting arms – let each other have it. Verbally! (Keep it clean)

Then make-up. (This, however, can be as dirty as you’d like)

4. “God, I look fat in this”

You’re little girl thinks the world of you. She thinks you’re perfect. You are the one who finds the blue barbie shoe in the ‘sea of disaster’ she calls her room, the one who cuts her sandwich in fours and the one who gently lays band-aids over her boo-boos. You’re the name she calls in the middle of the night when the darkness scares her, you’re the one who has sat with her hundreds of times through all of her belly aches and fevers. You’ve sang her songs to put her to sleep, you’ve wrapped her in hugs ‘just because’ and you’ve kissed her cheeks so many times you’re surprised you haven’t left a dent – who knows, maybe that’s the reason for her adorable dimples!

You are so special and so perfect to her, someday she’ll know the truth (That you’re pretty neurotic, riddled with anxiety and have made more poor choices than good. Also, try to keep the part about you being a super-slut until you found her awesome dad a secret as long as you can) but in the meantime – don’t call her mommy fat, or ugly, or too skinny, or too boring – or whatever you’re negative hang-up is. She sees a beautiful mommy who hangs the moon and plays with her in the sun.

She doesn’t need to hear it. It will make her sad.

And worst of all, it teaches her to look at herself in a negative light. If her beautiful mommy is so fat and so ugly – what does that make her? She’ll start nit picking at herself and pinching her little love handles and asking people if she looks fat in these jeans. Don’t be the one who teaches her that. She needs you, her awesome mommy, to hear her compliment herself. She needs to hear you say “Doesn’t mommy look pretty today?” And I promise – she’ll agree with you. (Or she won’t, but kids are beautifully honest that way, aren’t they?) And when you’re rocking one of your crash diets you should say “I’m eating this salad so I can be healthy” Do NOT say “So I can lose weight” or “so I won’t get fat”

Please know that I say this to you as a humble mom. As an overweight mom. Not as some ‘love yourself’ motivational speaker wannabe or as America’s Next Top Model. I say this as a mom who struggles with her own issues from time to time and doesn’t want those issues trickled down to her children. Or yours.

We all have different things we don’t like about our bodies, and if you’re not willing/able to do something about it – at least keep your trap shut. You’re daughter (and son) need a woman in their life who is confident, one who smiles a whole lot and one who respects herself enough not to put herself down. Be that woman.

…or pretend to be and just wait until they’re in bed to cry into your chocolate cake and bag of wine like a real grown-up.

5. Children of Divorced Parents

You love your kids the same way I do, as much as I do and as unconditionally as I do. (And by divorcing your spouse/baby-making partner, you were probably doing what was best for all of you) You’ve probably made your fair share of parenting fouls, not more than I have, just different kinds (assumingly).

I’m quite opinionated on how some people co-parent their children after splitting up. And since I’ve never walked in your warrior shoes – as far as my advice and opinions go – I’ll exercise my right to shut the hell up!

Ok – so I’m not good at shutting the hell up. I think marriage is beautiful, and wonderful and horrific and exhausting. I love marriage, I love MY marriage. I think it takes a whole lot of work but you get a whole lot of rewards and I think its worth it.

But also know that I think that when you divorce the parent of your child, to me –  this means you have tried every other outlet you could. That you would have done anything to make it work and sometimes ‘anything’ just isn’t enough. Know that I think divorce is just as ugly and beautiful as marriage is. Whatever decisions you made I believe they were done with heavy hearts, lots of tears and with your little ones as your first priority. And just because you couldn’t make it work with the parent of your child – that does not make it a parent foul. Sometimes it’s a very, very good parenting decision.

Anyway, wow, got a little off coarse there I think….

There are about a hundred billion ways you can parent foul, some are more traditional than others (I myself have managed to get pretty creative over the years). The point is, they’re watching you. If you don’t want them to be an asshole – take a strong, honest look at yourself and determine if you are in fact an asshole. If you are, chances are your kid will be. If you think you’re not, adjust the mirror and check again just to be sure.

If you want them to be patient, kind and well mannered – well, act like it.

My guess is that my kids are going to grow up to be very well mannered, foul-mouthed little pranksters who will have a tendency to be a little selfish, a little temperamental, a little asshole-ish and a whole lot accepting of the differences in the people around them. I think they’ll be good people, good parents, good spouses and horrible at keeping goldfish alive. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m guessing they’ll have strong livers too.

If your kids are a reflection of you, would you be ok with that? I hope the answer is yes, if not, strap on your big girl panties and make some changes!

This entire post was inspired when I saw this meme…blog20

Today, I’m recommending the book Tangled by Emma Chase. The entire book is from the male main character’s point of view, and while he is a total asshole prick – you can’t help but adore him. Its a very funny read!

Thanks for dropping by Mad-Stella! As always, your awesome comments and support are so so appreciated. You guys are the best!

How to Respond to a Total Asshole

Not this asshole, a different one...
 Not this asshole, a different one…

As mothers, women and human beings – we tend to be pretty tough on one another. Criticism can be really good though and every now and then we could all use a strong dose of reality. However, when you’re doling out your (uninvited) criticism, be sure it doesn’t come in the form of bullying – and if you just can’t help yourself, at least try not to be a total asshole about it.

(OR – you could practice the age old right to just shut the hell up and walk away)

And finally, if you’re going to be an asshole don’t also be a coward. I can respect you if you’re a bitch and act like a bitch, I cannot respect you if you don’t own it. (Just ask my sister, I have mountains of respect for her and she’s awful).

The Awful Sister
                 The Awful Sister

So, anyway, I’ll get to the point – A year ago I got a private message from a  facebook profile using a fake name (some of you may remember this), and this woman failed at not being a total asshole.

Private FB message and my response…

Ashley,

I’m coming to you anonymously because I know some of the people in your family and respect them. You on the other hand, I do not. I follow you on facebook and find you to be cynical and disrespectful. You have been given this beautiful gift of family something many of us don’t have and I think you should be more grateful for it. I decided not to embarrass you in public and send you this list privately of only the FEW things I think are just plain horrible.

  1. You recently made a post about your poor daughter. Referring to her as a witch and that she actually has a coven that she calls to? Calling her witch is damaging to her self esteem, she is a miracle. Treat her like one.
2. You recently posted in a comment that you fight the urge to step on your childrens fingers when they slip them beneath the bathroom door and you think about making Stella shaped holes in walls. Instead of laughing, people should be calling CPS.

 

  1. You posted throughout your entire pregnancies, complaining of your discomfort instead of realizing the miracle you have. We don’t all have that.

 

  1. You call your sister’s idiots, you tear each other apart physically and emotionally. I pray for you and your children. I hope they don’t grow up to be a bully like you.

 

  1. Would you really rather be drugged out and endure a colonoscopy than stay home with your children for an afternoon?

 

  1. You claim to be an atheist yet you send your child to a Christian daycare? Are you trying to be cool or are you trying to confuse your child?

 

  1. I hate people like you. People like you don’t appreciate anything they have or the gifts you’ve been given. You’re kids were given to you by GOD and you openly admit to being a satin worshipper.

 

  1. Quite frankly, I don’t even know how your husband stands you and watches you raise his children in such a sarcastic, oblivious and pretentious way.

 

  1. Your post last night is what finally sent me over the edge…you wanted to flip off some poor child, that you don’t even know simply because she laughed at you? It makes me wonder if you actually flip off your own children, can you imagine how that makes them feel?

 

  1. Time to grow up, be a respectful human being and a role model for your children. I hope you take some of my advice.

 

YIKES….yeesh. KA-POW. Pichoo pichoo!!

I have just been cyber bully bitch slapped by yes, you guessed it –a total asshole. A passive aggressive one at that, so annoying.

Since my secret admirer took the time to make a list of my wrong doings…I chronologically responded in kind….

  1. “You recently made a post about your poor daughter. Referring to her as a witch and that she actually has a coven that she calls to? Calling her witch is damaging to her self-esteem, she is a miracle. Treat her like one”

    The original Coven
                           The original Coven

Stella is a witch. I am her coven. She thinks it’s funny when I chase her around the house cackling with her. If she wanted to be a fish I would call her a fish and be a part of her school. If she wanted to be a lion, I would call her a lion and be a part of her pride. If she wanted to be a bird, I would call her a bird and join her flock. If she wanted to be a damn plantar wart, I would call her ‘plantar wart’ and embed myself beside her in the stinkiest foot we could find. You get where I’m going with this, yeah?

2. “You recently posted in a comment that you fight the urge to step on your children’s fingers when they slip them beneath the bathroom door and you think about making Stella shaped holes in walls. Instead of laughing, people should be calling CPS”

 Feel free to call CPS. I don’t have any Stella OR Maddox shaped holes for that matter. We patch them immediately. Their fingers are safe as well, crooked…but safe.

The abused Children
                   The abused Children
  1. “You posted throughout your entire pregnancies, complaining of your discomfort instead of realizing the miracle you have. We don’t all have that”

No, not everyone gets to enjoy the miracle of pregnancy. I am truly sorry for those that don’t get to and want to. There are beautiful parts of pregnancy and some really crappy ones. Call me ungrateful….90% of the time, I hated being pregnant. If ever you have children, I hope you are easier on yourself than you are on me.

  1. “You call your sister’s idiots, you tear each other apart physically and emotionally. I pray for you and your children. I hope they don’t grow up to be a bully like you”

    Idiot 1 & Idiot 2
                              Idiot 1 & Idiot 2

My sisters ARE idiots, but they are MY idiots and you should pray for our children’s well-being as you would for any child’s well-being…if that’s what you believe in. I tear my sisters down physically because I don’t want them going out into the world with full blown foo man choos and think its acceptable. They know better. If my children become bullies, there will be more Maddox and Stella shaped holes to patch.

  1. “Would you really rather be drugged out and endure a colonoscopy than stay home with your children for an afternoon?”

Yes.

  1. “You claim to be an atheist yet you send your child to a Christian daycare? Are you trying to be cool or are you trying to confuse your child”

I had no idea that being atheist was cool, now that I know…I will make strong efforts to be extra atheist. My son goes to a Christian daycare because it’s my business where I send him to school…and much the way I support my daughter wanting to be a plantar wart, I support my son believing in any religion he chooses. My daughter may still be a two year old witch, but my son is a 4 year old gentleman. We teach him to be moral, kind and accepting…that’s what I believe in. I hope he never crosses paths with you, but if he does…he will smile at you and say hello. He’ll hold the door for you and say ‘you’re welcome’ should you decide to thank him.

My little gentleman showing me his boo boo
My little gentleman showing me his boo boo
  1. “I hate people like you. People like you don’t appreciate anything they have or the gifts you’ve been given. You’re kids were given to you by GOD and you openly admit to being a satin worshipper”
    Satin
                    Satin

    Satan
              Satan

I am not a satin worshipper…nor do I worship Satan. I’m not sure where that came from….maybe it’s because I’m part of a mother-daughter coven? But since you have so clearly stated that I am atheist…I therefore also, do not believe in Satan. I have no problem with you believing that God gave me my children….but the person I DO worship is the man I really believe gave them to me…and that’s my hubby. I know he gave them to me because I was there when the gift was given, several times over.

Gift giver, gift reciever
           Gift giver, gift receiver
  1. “Quite frankly, I don’t even know how your husband stands you and watches you raise his children in such a sarcastic, oblivious and pretentious way”

You used big words there but I’ll give it a go anyway…..I don’t know how my husband stands me either. I like to think its for my sexy hot bod but….heh-heh….the blueprints to that floor model went up in flames years ago. I’m sure you’d like to think I blame my kids for that….hell, I would blame it on them if I could…but their combined birth weights are roughly 15 pounds and I suppose its just not fair to put all of the blame on them. I’ll think of a way though, give me time.

  1. “Your post last night is what finally sent me over the edge…you wanted to flip off some poor child, that you don’t even know simply because she laughed at you? It makes me wonder if you actually flip off your own children, can you imagine how that makes them feel?”

I have never flipped my children off (to their faces). Sometimes I lay in bed next to my husband and we talk about how much we hate the kids…if that counts? Of course that convo has to come to a stop when one or both of them crawls in bed between us to snuggle up for the night.

  1. “Time to grow up, be a respectful human being and a role model for your children. I hope you take some of my advice”

Growing up sounds incredibly boring, I don’t respect faceless nameless bullies and when I am being a horrible role model…I have my idiotic bearded sisters and beer goggled husband to point me in the right direction. I tried my best to respond to your accusations against me as seriously as I could…but I got lost somewhere between my daughter being a wart and me wanting a colonoscopy.

Shame on you and best of luck 🙂

Me, adulting at Hazzys
  Me,  responsibly adulting at Hazzy’s Tavern

** Completely unrelated, I’d like to show you all this beautiful floral mug I found online at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/holyflaps

blogmug

And because I like to read and love to laugh – this week I recommend the “With me in Seattle” Series by Kristen Proby. They’re all standalones, but you’re definitely better off reading them in order.

Thanks for stopping by Mad-Stella! Your support is much appreciated!

 

Hello world!

Well, it seems like just yesterday it was 2015 and you guys were asking me to give blog life a try. Actually, some of you have been asking me to start one for the past couple of years, and I never did because I had no idea where to start. Now I have the blog and still have the same problem….I don’t know what to do with it.

Obviously the name “Mad-Stella” is a play on my kid’s names (Maddox & Stella), but I figured it was also a good fit because most of my posts…or…uh…blogs? will be about my crazy, trouble-making daughter. So in the spirit of my blog name, my first blog and the inspiration to most of my madness – here’s the first FB post I ever did about Stella that most of you seemed to enjoy….

cropped-blog3.jpg

When you put your phone on silent because you don’t want to wake your precious daughter from her nap. If she’s woken up, she’s not so precious….sure she’s adorable – she has bed head, her cheeks are rosy and she’s still in that princess dress she insisted she wear to the grocery store with you earlier that day….but the demanding, retching, screeching sounds that leave that little girls mouth are more to the likes of Raegan than Rapunzel.

But as luck has it, she wakes up on her own….and all is good. She’s awake for only a few minutes when you notice your phone is missing.

“Hey baby girl, where is mommy’s phone?” You coo as sweetly as you can. More flies with honey or some shit like that.

Your little girl smiles just as sweetly back, but you see it…that gleam in her eye, and you know she knows.

“Sweetheart, give mommy back her phone please”

You know its on silent. You know without her guidance you will never find it. When she starts to giggle…you know (that she knows) – you need her.

“Honey…I’m not kidding, give mommy back her phone, please”

**You engage in a silent stare down…that she wins**

“Now!” You demand (foot stomp and everything).

She takes off running to her room. Maybe she is changing her hiding spot, maybe she’s going to shove your phone down her diaper, maybe just maybe she is going to give it up to you. Really you know better.….but you follow her anyway, quickly.

You find her smiling like an angel sitting in her princess chair. Her throne.

“Princess” You say through gritted teeth but you’re sure to keep your smile intact and non-threatening “Give it to me, right now. I mean it…I’ll put you in time out if you dont”

Before she even lets you finish your sentence you hear her start to laugh – No! – Cackle!

Your eyes widen when you realize she isn’t a princess, she’s a witch. The louder her cackle gets, the more you’re convinced it’s a call to her coven. All of her little witches are about to descend upon you, you’re sure of it.

Just when you are about to yell at your little witch, you hear it…you hear it in her evil little laugh and you see it in that gleam in her eye.

Dear lord…she’s you.

Suddenly you’re filled with pride, she got her hair and her nose from her daddy….but that plotting, that scheming, that little bit of evilness…that’s you.

And you love it.

Instead of feeling angry about your dumbass phone that, lets face it, you aren’t getting any calls…you just wanted to creep on facebook for a while, you feel happy.

You wrap your arms around your little girl who is finding her personality and realize that her cackle….you know, the one that was summoning her coven was in fact exactly that.

You are her coven and she’s called you in.

You know you have hit the lottery with this one, you’re husband has figured you out…he knows your tricks….but there is no immunity a daddy has to his little baby girl witch…and you know the two of you, if you work together…can get anything you want out of him.

So you scheme, you plot, and you know without a shadow of a doubt… that you and your coven – you’re going shopping tonight.

Thanks for stopping by Mad-Stella!!

I’m going to post a few things I’ve written that some of you may have seen before – but there will also be some *new* goodies for you to read soon too! Thank you 🙂