Some days you wake up and all you want to do is be a troll who does not move. Sometimes you just want to be a non-moving, unfriendly troll who lives alone in a highly air-conditioned and dimly lit room. But motherhood says no, this cannot be, you shan’t be a non-moving troll. Not today. Because today you are a human mother.
Certain days, like the very first day of your cycle for example, are ideal opportunities to call in sick: not every cycle, of course, but maybe just one cycle a year. Or if you are a man, you might call in on that one day that you feel crummy (for whatever manly reason) and you know you could probably suck it up if you really wanted to but ultimately you decide: Nope. I don’t wanna. Maybe you do actually feel sick, but not so sick that you are grossly non-functioning. Maybe you are indeed too sick to go to work but still have just enough basic human functionality to actually enjoy a restful day in bed, with the covers pulled up and a good book.
Today I woke up in that in-between place: I felt sick, but I wasn’t too sick. Not sick enough to ask my husband to skip work. Alas, I can’t just check out on being a parent. Not even when I deeply, deeply desire to be a non-moving troll. Instead, I had to be a grown-up human mother, which means I had to get out of bed and make everyone plates of bacon and watermelon (breakfast of Southerners) and then listen to the Disney Pandora station at full volume. I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD SHINING SHIMMERING SPLENDID.
Would you like to know my tips for coping on days such as these? Well, that’s too bad because there will be no tips for you in this post because “tips” are nothing but lies, pure unadulterated lies, all of the time. Tips are lies fancied up in the form of a list. I mean, yeah, you should probably get into bed earlier, that would help. You should drink a lot more water. Or maybe a lot more wine? Or maybe you should melt a block of chocolate in the microwave and just drink that, then yell at your children with your teeth blackened by cocoa. Then they would cower in their rooms in fear for maybe fifteen minutes and you could live your sweet, wonderful non-moving troll dream, laying in your bed beneath the spinning fan blades.
I don’t regularly offer mothering tips, not even when I am feeling at the height of confidence and accomplishment as a parent. (I personally feel like an accomplished mother whenever I throw a bag of snacks at my children and let them tear it apart like animals while I silently use the lint roller in the other room to make my yoga pants look extra sleek.) Its not that I am afraid to say that I am a good mother. At the end of the day, yes, I am a swell mama and I probably do have a worthwhile trick or two up my sleeve to offer a newbie. Plus, I belong to that camp of women that believes that we ladies need to own our achievements far more often. So yes, sure: I am a good mom. But you know where I truly excel? Well, I asked Tim this question, as a kind of cruel pop test from wife to husband. He looked at me nervously and said:
“….you get low?”
I can only assume he meant on the tile floor during one of our bizarrely competitive living room dance parties. Its not hard for me to dominate in this arena given that my competition is a literal baby, a confused redneck and a 3 year old girl tripping over her accessories. ‘Tis true, I do get low on the living room dance floor. But, the secret to having a good marriage is to take the
idiotic things that your husband says and tease them out until you find a deeper meaning that is suitable to your own needs. With that in mind, what was Tim really trying to say?
Am I the very best at getting low? Absolutely not, never, ever, no. Do I have tips to offer you on the subject of getting low, gettin’ down, cutting loose? Actually yes, I would happily discuss this subject at length, especially after several drinks because I believe this is an important philosophical issue. I think getting down has very little to do with dancing and has more to do with being down, you know, as a person. I perused the highly reliable “Urban Dictionary” to concoct the fullest definition of the word down, a word regularly used by us moderns. The word has a great many grimy meanings, to be sure. But when you wash away the references to criminal activity, to be down with something usually just means being willing, open, accepting, available. If you are down for something, you are on board with it against all odds.
So yuuup, I can read as deeply as I damn well please into my husband’s offhand response and this is it, folks: what my husband was trying to say was that he thinks I excel at being down. You want to eat Talenti Double-Dark Chocolate Pops at breakfast? I’m down for that, girl, you just say when.
So what does being down have to do with being a non-moving troll? Since I don’t blog while drunk (sorry) I will keep this short (because this is definitely the boring version of this talk). In the “connected” culture we have created, we are perpetually called to improve ourselves, to better ourselves, to continue evolving. In fact, modern people are incessantly bombarded by all the ways in which we are supposed to evolve and improve: we should be craftier, meditate daily, become a triathlete, read the classics, go gluten-free. These are all fine goals. But there will always be days when we just have to be down with whoever we are, wherever we are and just let it be. And so rather than offering you a list of tips for the hard day you are having, my only advice is to just try to be down with whoever you are at that moment. If you can’t be down with yourself, call a true friend who is totally down, a friend who is willing to look right past the mess and into your eyes whilst eating that Talenti Double-Dark Chocolate Pop for no decent reason. I am sincerely sorry that we can’t be non-moving trolls together today. But we can get low, get by, be a little weird if we have to. We can get down with the person that we are, even if that person is just a bit sub-par today. We’ll make it.