Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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My daughter is wearing pigtails today. I was proud that I managed to slick in the crooked set of pigtails while Dora held her attention this morning. Now I kind of want to cry. Pigtails, chapstick, lipstick, training bra, heels, driver's license, birth control.

Here we go.

Where did my baby go? The little cherub with hair like an aging man, rubbed bald in the back, wispy bangs combed over a giant forehead. Now she's wearing pigtails, figuring out how the television works, trying to stick keys in the door knob like daddy does and showing me her belly when I ask.

Sometimes, I lumber out of the shower and she's materialized from nowhere. Staring. I remember seeing my own mom naked. First I was intrigued, later horrified. I wonder what Violet will think of me when she's old enough to give it a thought. What kind of mom will I be? What is it I'll do that will annoy her to tears?

Remember moms? Some of them tried so hard to be involved but in all the worst ways. One mom would even gossip about boys and other girls with us, a group of fourteen-year-olds gathered in her kitchen. Not just gossip, but talk trash. Like, hasn't Sarah gained a bunch of weight? That kind of thing. Eww gross, I used to think. Go do laundry or something.

Other moms, like mine, had no clue what we were up to. Ever. In fact, it was weird for my mom to be home. Another mom worked until five o'clock every night. After school we'd gather at that friend's house until we heard the garage door whir to life. Then we'd sneak out the front door as that mom's car pulled into the garage. We were afraid of her but only because we'd never met her. She never even knew we were there.

It's a tough balance to strike, isn't it? Don't want to be the mom trying so hard to fit in, gossiping with teens, reliving high school the way she wished she'd done it the first time, whatever it is that makes some moms regress to their teen years. Don't wanna be the mom who's never home, the mom who drags tiredly in the door after work and tells all the friends to go home. The mom everyone's afraid of.

Who will I be? What will Violet think of me? Will I bleach my hair just a bit too much, wear clothes twenty years too young and ask all the girls, Violet's friends, if my butt looks too big in these jeans? Maybe I'll be huge. Fat as a house, sitting in my armchair in front of my stories (Real World reruns, probably), yelling to Violet to bring me another Diet Coke from the fridge. "And here's a twenty, Violet. Run down the market and buy mama a box a them donut holes you know I like. And git me a carton a them Virginia Slims. Stand in Myrna's line and tell her I'm yer mom and she'll sell 'em to ya."

Anyway, these pigtails, they're killing me.

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  • Response
    Response: Bittersweet
    Monica, this post hit me hard. Thank you for the reassurance that i so desperately needed this week!

Reader Comments (8)

They are pretty darn cute. Sigh. Before you know it you'll be holding her while she cries over her first break up. It truly goes too fast.

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Domestic Goddess

the combo of your words and pics is a winning one, indeed.

found you through katie granju. give her a hug for me.

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjohn cave osborne

Pigtails! love em!. OK so by the looks of this photo, you are gonna be a 'crooked-part ' mother which is the BEST kind to have. She's there and she cares about your needs, always, but she's not knocking you in the head with the brush to keep still to get that perfect line. I had flying nun pigtails until the 5th grade. My mom used BOBBLES, these marble sized plastic balls attached to hair bands, and pulled them so tightly we had hair bumps which I also hated. Dear God, It was murder on the scalp. SO yeah. I fancy you an easy going but very aware and firm when it's called for. Sight unseen...A 'have a fruit' mom.

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGina

pigtails and nacklace :) so sweet, you've already had a little woman in home, I've been wondering about the same things this morning :)

August 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterana_jo

Dear Baby Jesus woman....I found you through hoops and ladders....however, I just read "about" you and I am pretty sure you had me at "fuck".....If I were gay....I would stalk the FUCK out of you. By the way? My baby girl just turned 13....and I cried...(by myself after a LOT of Nachos eating and beer swilling) I heart you with ALL of my heart.

August 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I am absolutely terrified of my daughter (currently 16 months old) growing up and thinking I'm lame/embarrassing/a pain in her ass. Terrified.

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjive turkey

They grow up too fast, don't they? My daughter is "3 and three-quarters" (as she likes to say) and it's already killing me. We have a neighbor, Sarah, who's 12 and comes over to play with my daughter three mornings a week so I can get some work done. A couple of weeks ago, I came downstairs to grab something in the kitchen - they were playing nearby in the living room - and after I fumbled around for a minute, my daughter said, "Mom, you can go back upstairs now." WTF??? She's only THREE! And already she's dismissing me. I am SO not ready for this.

The pigtails are adorable, btw...

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHanni

So cutz! Does it feel like the time is whizzing by? I looked at the other pig tail pics on Flickr and she is looking much more like her mama nowadays.

I read Serge's post about Violet looking behind the TV... the connection he made with her was incredible!! I love reading the stories from the two o' yas!

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

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