I started this blog to talk about why parenting is hard. But there are those rare days where the stars align and you have a very good parenting day. This is the opposite of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (which incidentally is the title of one of my favorite children’s books). Sometimes these magical unicorns of a day are because things are just so exciting – like when we had 5 very good days in a row while in Disney World. But today, today was just a regular day. No barking from the dog, no smog, and mama cooked breakfast with no hog (ok, ok, I’ll stop quoting Ice Cube now. But come on, that song is SUCH A CLASSIC).
First of all, I slept until my alarm (aka my children) woke me up, instead of waking up early, which has been my MO recently due to anxiety. And for that matter, I woke up not anxious. Despite Julia coming down with a cold last night, she was in relatively good spirits this morning. The kids snuggled in bed with us and watched TV without any clobbering or whining. After breakfast and some actual relaxing, we all got ready for our respective errands without incident. Julia didn’t fight about wearing weather appropriate clothing. Luca didn’t poop four times in a row. Brian and I didn’t argue about what recipes to make for dinner this week, making the supermarket list easy peasy.
It was pouring rain when Julia and I set out for our plans but it turns out that her arms are long enough now that she could hold the umbrella over my head while in her carseat so that I could buckle her in without getting soaked. We did a few mundane tasks (dry cleaners, gas station) and then went to the mall to return some clothes. I chose the far away mall because it had all the stores we needed, and she didn’t complain about the long car trip. In turn, I didn’t get annoyed when asked to play the food game and agreed to play it all the way there (it’s a guessing game we made up where you give the first letter of a food and describe it – pretty basic stuff but gets boring after a while).
She brought her new fidget spinner in the car with her, but didn’t even try to convince me to let her bring it in the mall. She willingly carried her umbrella throughout the shopping trip which blew my mind. I can never get her to carry anything not fun with her for more than two minutes. Then of course she wanted to take off her jacket, because Julia runs extremely hot like her dad, as opposed to me, who is always cold. I said that was no problem as long as she carried it, and SHE DID. I honestly felt like I was in an alternate universe, but you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. In fact, she behaved so lovely on the entire trip that I somehow agreed to spend a ridiculous amount on a new bathing suit for her at Justice (we had planned on getting her a suit, but I was hoping for a better cost).
Can we take a break for a second to talk about Justice? I know I’m digressing here, but I LOVE that store. I think I’m not supposed to, I’ve heard other moms talk about it with disdain for being too “trendy” or not age appropriate. But this paradise of tweens had a pillow of a rainbow poop emoji wearing a crown, tank tops with sequined unicorns on them and rhinestone headbands with cat ears. It reminded me of Patricia Fields in NYC in the 90s. We got this bathing suit, which has a picture of a cat in a seashell bra and says “I’m really a Purrmaid”. It was overpriced, but to be fair, she goes swimming twice a day at camp so she does need a lot of bathing suits.
The day continued in a similar vein of simple pleasures. Julia didn’t lose her mind over what to eat for lunch (mealtime indecision on her part is a real Cucinotta household issue). Luca kept asking for high fives after he accomplished something. At one point he said “Hi mommy, I love you”, which is a new and extremely adorable addition to his vocabulary. Julia took a long nap, then we went and got manicures. She behaved like an angel at the nail salon. She told me on the way home I am her “best and only mommy” (hah). Neither of us smudged our nails. Dinner was decided on without arguing. That’s two meals in a row of smooth sailing, which might be some kind of record.
Bedtime went off without a hitch. Luca insisted on bringing everybody’s shoes upstairs. He wanted me to sing him “Happy Birthday Julia”. We read a book about different kinds of trucks and I got lots of kisses and snuggles in before putting him down. My heart swelled with love as I laid him in the crib. When I brought Julia upstairs for her bedtime, she offered to let me pick her pajamas and then actually agreed to wear the pair I picked! There were no negotiations/arguments about picking two books of the appropriate length and she didn’t interrupt me every page with questions. My heart swelled yet again with love as I kissed her goodnight.
I share all of this with you not to outright brag, or humblebrag. This day is worth sharing because Mom tip: it is a reminder that there a good days, and every one of those good days should be celebrated and put into the bank of good feelings you can draw on during a tough day.
I should note that I am writing this the night before Mother’s Day. While I historically have been an optimistic person, the last nine months of my life have been infused with quite a bit of pessimism. So my knee jerk reaction is to assume that there’s no chance I’ll have an entire weekend streak kid behavior wise and therefore my Mother’s Day might not live up today. But that’s ok. Because today I didn’t even have to use my AK, I got to say it was a good day (sorry… I promised I wouldn’t quote Ice Cube again, but god damn him that song is catchy).