Back Pedaling

So, I have 16 people that follow my blog now. 56 visits total yesterday. In fact, I am now an international blogger. I’ve had readers in the US, Brazil, United Kingdom, Malta and a huge following (3 readers) in Germany. It’s getting real.

I was talking to my friend, Castor, yesterday about the whole blogging thing and he wanted to know where to find my blog. I told him that I wasn’t quite ready to make that public yet <cringe>. He just looked at me, and in a totally deadpan way said, “Wait, isn’t the whole point of a blog to have people read what you write? So… it’s more like an electronic diary, then?”

That’s when I pulled out my trump card, that I had 16 whole followers! We then went around and around about how in the world people were finding my blog if I wasn’t sharing it with people. Of course, since I’m completely new to this whole thing, I don’t know exactly how it works so I just made up some answer. If you say something convincingly enough people will believe you, right? Then later, we were talking about entitlement in our kids and I told him that I had just blogged about it, but it wouldn’t post for a few days because I have it in the que. I then had to explain to him that it was a lot of pressure to wake up and NEED to come up with some genius thing to blog about or you would have nothing ready to post for the day, so I had blogged for a good week before I actually went back and posted the first day’s writing. He then, pointed out that I had my blog set up for an audience- so that they always have something new to read everyday, and yet I wasn’t letting my blog have an audience.

I’m not sure what about this setup he doesn’t understand! It’s really simple, to me. There is a big difference in having a few strangers wander across your writing and decide they like what they see enough that they might stick around a minute, until you bore them, or piss them off, both of which I’m quite skilled at doing, and ASKING people to check out your blog. It’s a new thing to just put my thoughts out there for anyone to pick through, and for some reason I like the idea of strangers doing it better than people I know. I’m sure once the first stranger posts something mean, and it’s bound to happen, I’ll change my tune! Since my stories and thoughts all have to do with me and my life, many of my stories involve people that I know and love. I don’t want to say something that upsets anyone, maybe I need to get over that, but I do have experience sticking my foot in my mouth.

For example, when my son was three, my amazing, sweet mom-in-law started having “Grandma Days”, where she’d take him and go do something fun with him. It usually included buying him stuff, because it made her happy- and he wasn’t complaining about getting a new Power Ranger or Gargoyle either! One day she was going to take him and she asked me if she could get him some shoes or a coat or something and I told her that, yes, he actually needed new tennis shoes. If she HAD to buy something while they were out, get him a new pair of tennis shoes, That would save me a trip. Lesson one: Be Specific. Really Specific. Or your three year old will get to pick out his own shoes. He is with Grandma, after all!

My mom-in-law and son came home several hours later and my son had on brand new, velcro, light up, Power Ranger tennis shoes. He was thrilled, but who cares about him? GAWD. I cannot stand character tennis shoes. I don’t dig the light up shoes. I think that if a kid does not yet know how to tie their shoes, they need to be wearing shoes with laces. Yes, it is a pain in the ass to tie kids’ shoes, but what better motivation to teach them to tie their own shoes than for you to have to get down on the floor to get the job done? If they wear velcro, they’ll never learn and end up having to teach themselves and then they end up doing this weird, make-two-bunny-ears-and-then-tie-them-together thing that they get teased about for the rest of their lives. I may not have any first hand experience with tying shoes in this odd way, but I may have in fact been the teaser of someone who does, for the last 22 years of my marriage… sorry honey.

So, I do the good, Christian daughter-in-law thing and smile and say “Thank you SO much. Those are amazing shoes. Thank you for buying him shoes!” Notice, I did not actually lie? I’m that good.

Then mom-in-law leaves and I promptly lay down the ground rules. Remember, I’m an awesome mom. These are ‘play outside shoes’ not ‘going somewhere in the car shoes’ so you can wear them if you are in (the privacy of) the back yard, but if we need to go to the store or out to eat, you need to wear your other shoes. Kids are dangerously smart, plus, he loves his new light up, Power Ranger shoes that he can get on all by himself, so he asks me “Why?” Well, that is a very simple answer. And I say it. “I do not love these shoes.” No, wait. I didn’t say that! Aren’t you feeling relieved? What I actually said was much worse. “I don’t like these shoes”. Yes. I did say that. At the time, I actually considered it a very self controlled & kind version of what I really felt about the shoes. I really hated them, but I couldn’t figure out a way to explain that it’s not okay to hate a person or vegetables, but it’s completely rational to hate a pair of shoes that don’t have laces, so I had to come up with different language.

Well, remember how I said kids were smart? He was on to me and he proved it a couple of weeks later when he and I went out to lunch with my mom-in-law, just the three of us.

He’s sitting next to her in the restaurant booth and she says to him, “Are those the shoes I got you?” Now, first of all, how you can mix up a pair of cute converse, lace up shoes with a pair of light up, velcro Power Ranger shoes is a mystery. Second, Of course they are not THE shoes. Those shoes are safely back home, where no one can see them! But I kindly refrain from saying any of this. My son is three, and smart, he can handle this answer by himself, and he does, “No, these are shoes that my mom got me, and what good taste she has!” Well, he doesn’t say the good taste part. That was the voices in my head. My mom-in-law then says, “Why aren’t you wearing your shoes I got you?” Really? The voices in my head are going down the mental list of reasons why “WE” are not wearing THE shoes.

  1.  We are in public
  2.  They are velcro
  3. They have Power Rangers on them for GAWD’s sake
  4. They light up

The voices are interrupted by my son’s sweet voice, “Because my mom hates them.”

Wait. What? Did he just say that, or did I just think it? By the shocked look on my mom-in-law’s face, I deduce that the words were definitely spoken out loud. I quickly put a shocked look on my face and exclaim, “I do not hate them! I never said that!” which, by legal definitions is true and that would hold up in court. Before my mom-in-law could relax though, my son pulled out his hammer and nailed my coffin shut, “You said I can only wear them in the back yard, not in the car or anywhere else.” Well. I might have said that. Yes. I actually DID say that, and although my DNA seems to have absolutely no problem throwing me under a bus, I was not going to call him a liar, although I REALLY wished that I could.

It was too late to duct tape his mouth and throw him in the closet and it was too late to back pedal. Besides, it’s really hard to back pedal when you’ve got one foot in your mouth. I meekly tried to change the topic, and she, very kindly, let it be changed. She also never bought him another pair of tennis shoes.

All of this is to say that I have been known to say things without thinking, or things that hurt people’s feelings or things that should magic happenshave just remained thoughts, although I have tried to get better about this. But when you write down what you are thinking, it’s hard to avoid writing down your thoughts, right? This is what scares me about sharing this blog with people that I know! I know that at some point, maybe it’s already happened, I’ll say something that upsets someone. If this happens while reading my blog, you can tell me or not. Just remember, I am pretty close to certain that I have an undiagnosed mental health problem that would be helped by medication or a padded room, but is currently only being treated with bottles of red wine,  infrequent bouts of exercise, and the occasional bag of Skittles, because my health insurance does not cover mental health services, so you should consider cutting me some slack.

I’m going to go “all out” and share the link to this blog with one person that I know today, and I give you permission to do the same. If you know any Germans, I understand that they love my writing, haha!

I know I need to get out of my comfort zone, but I’m scared to jump, so help me with a little push?



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