In my last post I alluded to the fact that I, too, have a field of proverbial unicorns I go to in my head when the going gets boring, tough, or crappy and I want to disappear. Only my field isn’t full of unicorns. For now, let’s just say it might be full of Ryan Goslings.
<Cue the complaining.> I am tired, Ryan. I do too much. It’s a 35 minute drive for me to get my kids to school every morning, then 35 minutes back. That’s an hour every morning, and an hour every afternoon, two hours a day, 10 hours a week just of my ass sitting in the car. It does things to your mind, Ryan. (And your ass.) All that sitting, all that listening to Talk of the Nation on NPR, the suffering through The Diane Rehm Show because her warbling voice makes me worry (do you worry about Diane, Ryan?).
All the non-stop driving, the shlepping, the military-precision barking at my children to hurry up or we’re gonna be late is taking a toll on me. I’m a human doing instead of a human being. It’s not good for any of us, Ryan, because it makes me one very grouchy mommy.
Yesterday as I was rushing Ella, as usual, and she looked up at me and said, “Patience, oh tall one.”
Isn’t that funny?
Do you think you could cast her in a movie, Ryan? On second thought, I don’t think she would be an easy-to-work-with actress since she doesn’t take direction well. When she told me she wants to get into movies, she said she wants to be in charge of them. ”I want to make movies and be a dictator,” she said.
I think what she really meant, Ryan, was ‘director’, not ‘dictator’. But still – they’re both kind of the same thing aren’t they?
I shared her “patience, oh tall one” quote on my Facebook page (will you Like me there, Ryan? Will you be my fan?) and someone replied with a nerdy Star Wars reference: “Ah, the padwan teaching the master.”
It’s my children who are watching me zoom around at high-speed, Ryan, like an angry cartoon animation; my children who are reminding me to slow down and remember to smell the roses.
I’ve gotten four speeding tickets from speed cameras in the last two months. I’m so stressed out that I’m going to forget something or mess up our schedule that I even wake up stressed out and barking orders. Fiona, my older child (who would make a wonderful actress, by the way!) has started using two words to remind me to slow it down: Good morning.
She told me the other day that in my mad rush to get out the door I’d forgotten to say Good morning to her (!). Can you picture that, Ryan? I bet you wouldn’t forget to say good morning! (Do you like chihuahuas, Ryan? I don’t have any, but I bet you do. All the people in Holllywood seem to.) So anyway, Fiona will say those two words when I’m running around like a madwoman trying to get them places, and I need to slow-the-heck-down, Ryan. She’ll say:
Good morning, Mommy.
It reminds me to stop the insanity, Ryan, to parent my children instead of just playing grumpy chauffer for them, you know? (Are you going to propose to Eva Mendes? I’m not obsessed with you or anything, but I am curious because I’m not sure that she’s right for you and isn’t she much older than you, Ryan?) October has been jam-packed, over-the-top crazy, and my husband is out of town (speaking of proposals, his was very Ryan Gosling! He proposed to me in a castle in Ireland, Ryan, an actual castle! He got down on one knee and everything! What do you think of that?!) We have so many activities going on here in suburbia that we barely have time to actually enjoy the ones we are going to (it’s not like we’re going to red carpet events, or anything – but still!). God forbid someone gets an invite to another birthday party and we have to find the time to get a gift, wrap it, write a card, and actually go to the party!
The truth is we signed up for too many activities this year. I knew it when we did it but after a lot of discussion, we chose to do it. The thing is, when your children get older (are you and Eva planning to have children, Ryan? Will you name them names like Hopper, Vanity, Uganda, or Zimbabwe? Because it seems like there’s a trend in Hollywood these days to name your kids after countries. How about New Zealand? Some stars are also naming them after cities. How about Wilmington for a boy?) You might assume that your life will become easier because they are sleeping through the night and not in diapers. They are less dependent on you, in a way, but what happens is if they start getting better at the things they are interested in – like sports, music, gymnastics, whatever – these activities start requiring more of their time, and yours. And when you have more than one child you have to multiply that time by your total number of kids because you don’t want to short-change the younger ones, right? As they get better and move up in things, they will have to go to additional recitals, events, or games after school or on weekends. What happens is they need to start juggling their schedules for the few available time slots they have, and you as a parent have to juggle all of your children’s schedules so they can show up when they’re needed, without wanting to throw yourself under a school bus from all of the stress.
(Ryan, this probably won’t apply to you and Eva if you ever have children – because you’ll have nannies, lucky nannies, and whatnot, so you won’t have to worry about this sort of thing…)
Anyhoo, this year Fi was accepted into the honors music program at her music school. This is something she has been working toward, and although it sounds really great, and it is – it’s a lot of extra time. Now in addition to her weekly piano and violin lessons, and the hour and a half of practice she does per day (oh my God!), we have to get her to Saturday morning theory class andgroup class, two different locations, (they’re not movie locations, Ryan, but still!) and everything is very far away from where we are living in the far nether-regions of suburbia – she has to prepare for extra recitals and performances, do theory homework, prepare for tests, and be on her game. We are like ants going up and down 270 in our minivan. Sometimes I think we should just put sleeping bags in it and move into it. (Do you and Eva think you’ll move to the ‘burbs once you settle down? Have you considered Maryland? There are lots of deer here, and it’s a nice place to raise kids out of yoga-obsessed Hollywood! Oh, I hope I didn’t offend you, Ryan!)
Fiona has also moved up to Prizewinner level in most of her dances in Irish dance, Ryan. So she goes to dance two nights a week for two and a half hours, with additional time for private lessons, and has to practice her steps daily. Ella also does Irish dance so we are at the studio at least three times/week. Then there are feises on weekends – sometimes hundreds of miles away. Yadayadayada. Factor into it my whole fear of Irish dance hair thing and all of the gear I have to shlep as their Sherpa mom, and you get the general idea.
It’s not easy, Ryan.
Then Ella wanted to start piano. We couldn’t say no to her because we don’t think it’s fair to short-change the little sister just because someone else got there first. (Do you have any brothers, Ryan?) So now in addition to violin, Irish dance, gymnastics, and horse riding, she’s doing piano.
And okay, I know it’s a lot. But she loves the horse riding. (-:
I got my head around all of the shlepping we would have to do, and the extra driving, but if just one thing goes wrong like someone gets sick, or my husband has to go out of town, I’m totally up a creek. We just do not have any bandwidth for error. We have no family around to help us if we need anything, no bodyguards or chauffers, and no one lives near us who we can carpool with for school. So today I was sitting on the floor having a few minutes to drink my Columbian bold before the morning rush out the door – and what do you think I was fantasizing about in those few spare moments, a field of Ryan Goslings?
I’m sorry to tell you, Ryan, it was not! I was fantasizing about a school bus coming to the house to pick up my children and whisk them off to school so I don’t have to.