The Tale of Headless Barbie

You know when you have a list of ‘To Do’s’ tacked to your fridge, but it mostly serves as a constant reminder of all the things you have failed to do?

I know I do.

However, one rainy and miserable day led me to feeling productive.

I decided to conquer one of the ‘To Do’s’ on my list; the one I had been dreading most. I had hoped to complete said task when my darling daughter was not home, but who am I kidding? When I am finally graced with time alone, the last thing I want to be doing is anything productive.

So, there I was, ready to take on de-cluttering my five-year olds toys.

To torture myself further, I decided to include her in the process…

I should have known better. I should have known that what started out as an opportunity to teach her the importance of organization, and a lesson in giving back would indeed backfire.

While riding what became an emotional roller coaster, I came to a realization. When a four-year old is faced with the task of parting with their ‘valuables,’ they experience the five stages of loss and grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

Here is how our morning played out; how I resisted pouring myself a bottle, I mean a glass, of wine still amazes me.

Stage 1: Denial

At first, my daughter seemed ready to help me complete our task. Dare I say she was even excited? But, when the big black garbage bag made its appearance, the excitement drained from her body. Fear set in. Suddenly she realized what was going down. And, she refused to believe what was happening. She adamantly stated over and over that what we were doing was not necessary.

“Actually, Mama I DO play with headless Barbie. She’s my favourite.”

We haven’t seen headless Barbie in months.

Yup. Denial.

Stage 2: Anger

Things escalated to this stage rather quickly. Upon seeing each prized possession (I use prized loosely as some toys haven’t seen the light of day in ages) thrown into the garbage bag, mad daughter came out to play.

“Why???!!! I told you I still play with her. Why are you being so mean Mommy?”

Her calm, cool, and collected nature was nowhere to be seen. This girl was seeing red, and I was definitely enemy number one.

Anger. Check.

Stage 3: Bargaining

I must admit she comes by this naturally. I am a born negotiator. But now she is bargaining on a whole new level. She will do whatever it takes to save headless Barbie.

“Mama, instead of this Barbie, how about this car instead.”

I want to tell her the car is also going in the garbage, but I’m not sure if she can handle it.

Then, she pulls out the big guns,

“I’ll throw this out, but only if you buy me something new.”

Not quite the point to what we are doing here.

While persistent, bargaining doesn’t seem to be working for her.

Bargaining–she gets an ‘A’ for effort.

Stage 4: Depression

When all else fails, turn on the water works. With tears streaming down her sweet little face she informs me,

“This is the SADDEST day of my life!”

I have a moment of weakness, but quickly pull myself together. I know it sucks. I know she thinks I am a terrible mom, but for goodness sake…throw out headless Barbie already!

Depression complete.

Stage 5: Acceptance

The end is in sight. We made it through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, and now she is weak. She is close to admitting defeat.

I take advantage of her weakness and somehow I miraculously convince her that headless Barbie is better off in the abyss of the garbage bag.

“It’s okay Mama, I guess I have other Barbie’s to play with.”

Finally, she comes to the realization that she has ONE MILLION other Barbie’s (with heads!) to play with.

She slowly makes her way to the garbage bag, says a silent good bye to her headless companion–I don’t bother telling her that Barbie can’t hear her– and lowers her into the darkness.

Thank you acceptance.

SUCESS.

I did it. After making our way through the five stages, we both made it out unscathed.

One small victory for Momkind.

Now, back to the piles of toys we have yet to sift through.

Will Barbie’s head be found? Only time will tell. But, I have a feeling if it is, I will likely be digging her body back out of the bag to avoid facing this process with my daughter again.

Pick your battles Moms.

Pick your battles…

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I am Sad…

Yesterday I signed onto social media and was bombarded with images and stories from many different news and entertainment reporting websites. This is nothing unusual. I generally start my day scrolling through Twitter to catch up on the latest news and celebrity gossip.

However, yesterday was different.

The two stories I saw making headlines left me feeling many emotions. Perhaps it is because I am a wife, or a mother, or a decent human being, what I read has weighed heavily on my mind.

These two stories in particular left me bothered, angry, and, to be honest, sad.

Very, very sad.

The first story is in regard to Josh Duggar. Scandal has been on his heels over the last few months. Earlier this year, reports of him sexually molesting young girls as a teenager, including his own sisters, surfaced. This story made me sad. Sad for his family, his wife, his children, and those he victimized.

Now it has leaked that he was a subscriber to Ashley Madison. For those unfamiliar with this website, it is an online website devoted to helping people have affairs. Their tagline: “Life is short, have an affair.” Need I say more? No. I should stop now before the rest of my post is filled with expletives. Needless to say, I am not a fan.

Duggar released a statement admitting to having an affair for several years, while his devoted wife carried, and brought their children into the world. She also stood by his side throughout the previous scandal (while pregnant at the time). I have not followed the Duggar family closely, but I understand they are against pre-marital sex, believe in courting before marriage, and the first kiss between man and woman takes place at their wedding after being pronounced husband and wife. His actions are clearly not representative of what his family stands for. But, who condones these actions, whether your last name is Duggar or not? I know I certainly don’t. His actions are inexcusable, immature, and hypocritical.

The second story surrounds former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle. We know his face, and his infamous weight loss as it was featured in endless Subway commercials over the years.

According to CNN, Fogle is “expected to plead guilty on one count each of traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and distribution and receipt of child pornography.”

I am disgusted and angered by this story. And, again, my heart aches. I am sad for his family, his wife, his children, and for those he victimized. His actions are disgusting, unimaginable, and horrendous.

I don’t understand, and I never will.

I am sad these people chose to live their lives this way.

I am sad innocent children became victims.

I am sad they deceived, lied, and tricked those they loved, and those who loved them in return.

I am sad for their wives who now have to live with humiliation over something they had nothing to do with.

I am sad for their children who will one day fully know who their fathers are.

The wives, children, and victims of these men now have to live with the stains they have infused into the cloth of their lives. Scrub as they might, while the stains may eventually fade; they will forever linger as a constant reminder.

Because of this, and many other reasons…I am sad.

Dear Summer, You Will be Missed

In exactly three weeks from today, my little girl and I will start school.

I will pack my new, fancy school bag, put on my big girl undies and start my first day.

I will pack Miss A’s Monster High backpack, she’ll put on her new kicks and start her first day.

She is starting preschool-she just misses the cutoff for kindergarten-which to be honest, is more than fine with me. She has her entire life to be in school. I am in no hurry to rush her growing up.

With great anticipation, we are both facing a new milestone.

I am nervous and excited for her and me both.

Back to school is nerve racking no matter what your age.

No matter how old you are, the worries remain unchanged.

Will the other students like me?

Will I fit in?

Will I do well?

Will I like my teacher?

There are so many unknowns.

For Miss A, she is embarking on a completely new journey. For me, I am nearing the end of my journey. But, come September, she and I will share our first day of school together, and I will likely empty a box of Kleenex before the day is over.

Over the summer, we have had the luxury of spending a significant amount of time together. This has been incredibly memorable and important, as I know how busy my schedule becomes once September rolls around. I feel blessed to have been able to spend this time with my daughter, and my husband.

There are many things I will miss about summer, but here is my top five:

  1. No routine. This has been amazing. I mean really, we have had no obligations, no time line, no rushing and no setting of the alarm (except for Nick…sorry about that!). Other than the plans we chose to make, we were free to do as we pleased and didn’t have to worry about much else in between. With September lurking around the corner, reality is setting in. Back to routine, early mornings, and schedules. I will miss this most when I am sleepily rushing to my 8am class.
  2. Lazy Mornings. I will confess. We didn’t do much before 11am around our house. I spent many mornings sipping coffee, and writing. I mean writing what I wanted to write, which was exhilarating and rewarding. I know once school begins, my (personal) writing will likely take a backseat. However, I am determined to fit it in as much as possible. Avrey was happy to play with her Shopkins (her newest obsession), play dolls, crack out the play dough, or paint. And, lets be honest, she loves Netflix just as much as her mom does.
  3. Late nights. I am a night owl. I seem to be just getting started when everyone else is shutting down. Some nights, when everyone else was in bed, I was able to binge watch my shows and not feel an ounce of guilt. Nick and I spent our evenings together, and we made an effort to make the most out of our alone time. Avrey played hard through the day, and sleep came easy. Thank you sunshine, fresh air, spray parks, and running free outside.
  4. Sunshine. I know this one seems obvious, but it had to make the list. Summer means hours spent outside, bathing suits, flip flops, and sprinklers. There is nothing better than feeling the warm sunshine on your face and watching your pale skin darken beneath its beams. Soon, we will be bundling layer upon layer onto our once again pasty skin, which makes me shiver simply thinking about it.
  5. Family time. Nick works two jobs while I am in school. Me having the summer off means when he is home, we are able to soak up the time as a family. When I am back in school, our family time is limited and we are often like two ships passing in the night. The summer, while still busy, meant more opportunity for time together. How grateful I am for the memories we have made this summer. These memories are lasting, and will fuel me through the long days when it feels like we haven’t seen each other for days.

The good news is that there is still three weeks left until our first day. We will continue to make the most of the Summer we have left. However, if the past few months are any indication, September will arrive swiftly. The cool evenings are a gentle reminder that the end is near.

Each season brings new beginnings, challenges, and change. 

At times these can be scary and daunting, but once we are placed in them, we are filled with new life and a fresh chapter unfolds.

So, dear Summer, you will be missed when you are gone.

But, we look forward to a new season filled with possibilities, memories, and adventures. 

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My First Published Article!

I am so excited that my article, “5 Lessons My Anxiety Taught Me,” has been published on The Mid. If you are unfamiliar with this awesome site, please take some time and browse through the many wonderful stories they feature.

This article is extremely personal, and close to my heart. I wavered back and forth between whether or not I was ready to share my story. However, my anxiety is a part of who I am. If I can help one person feel less alone, than putting myself out there and sharing my story is more than worth it.

Here is the link to my article on The Mid

5 Lessons My Anxiety Taught Me

Please take a minute and read, and, if you like, share.

As always, I appreciate all of you who take the time to read the words I write.

It means the world.

~Alyce