Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stretched Out

Sometimes I'm not the best mom.

Sometimes I'm running late for this thing or that, sometimes I have to bring work home night after night, weekend after weekend, and sometimes I have to deal with jerks. All of these things collectively build until the relentless barrage of a five-year-old's questions can irritate me.

In this case I usually close my eyes, take a deep breath, and say:

"Cracky, can you give me a minute? I'm a little stressed out."

Which usually leads to him asking me:

"Mom, why are you stretched out?"

So then I tell him, and then he asks me if it will help if he gives me a hug when we get home.


If only all relationships could be this easy. I know it's an oversimplification to suggest that the relationship skills you use on your child and your child employs on you could be applied to other adults, but damn. If only we could do that.

Instead of snapping at each other, it would probably help if we thought about other adults just as we do five-year-olds. We know we can't snap at a five-year-old because they won't understand why we're yelling at them. They'll think they did something wrong.

That's why I explain to the kid that Mama's stressed out. He asks why, I explain the root cause of my stress, and then he hugs me.

I think this could totally work with other adults. Hell, if I snap at a grown-up, I'm sure they wonder what the hell they did to piss me off. Either that or they think I'm a bitch.


Who would ever think that?


Anyway, if only I could picture adults like over-sized kids. I'm sure I'd communicate much better with them. I certainly don't expect my little boy to be a mind-reader, why should I expect anyone to do so regardless of age?

I also think Cracky's misunderstanding of the word "stressed out" for "stretched out" is pretty apt too. I know when I'm stressed, I do feel as though I were stretched thin, like a bow ready to snap.

* * *

Please check out Megan's blog for a little stress-relief. She's hosting a Pay-It-Forward blog. It's your chance to win an act of kindness by commenting on her blog. I really want the scarf. I mean, I really want to do something nice for someone else. Check it out.


  1. Stressed Out by Q-Tip. Download it.

    *making westside hand gesture*


  2. One difference is that many oversized kids aren't cute, though. Cuteness factor makes it easier for the wee ones.

    Stretched out...I love that, and I'm stealing it. Does the Crackster charge royalty fees?

  3. My sister says the reason our young are so cute is so we don't kill them.

  4. the problem with treating us all like we're oversized kids is that not all of us are understanding like the Crackster....too many of us still want all of our toys and yours too.

  5. I really never thought of it that way. Huh.

    I'm going to guess that step one is finding a way to be as cute and endearing as Cracky... This could be an issue. But it's worth a shot, by Undies!

  6. True. But I say we all give each other the benefit of the doubt until we prove each other wrong.

    And get your mitts off my Malibu Ken, Char.

  7. Stretched out is very apt.
    Your Cracky has a way with words.

  8. Maybe if we all channeled our inner-5 year old, things would be much easier?

  9. I'm sorry you feel stressed but am glad you have such a stress reliever at home ;)

  10. Very good point! I'm SO going to test this at the mall today:D

    (nothing is more stressful than my local mall. It's pretty much The Devil's Butthole.)

  11. We don't have to hug the adult-sized children though, do we? Because it would just kind of give me the willies.

  12. Or we could just bite everyone really hard and then giggle and smile with a twinkle in our eyes like my 8 month old...


  13. He's a sweet kid.

    I'm not entirely certain we can't all treat each other like five year olds. Or that we don't all act like them. The problem is, not all five year olds are sweet, and not all parents are patient.

  14. Our kids teach us forgiveness.

    Mandy, you cant do it wrong with your litle guy. EVER.

    True unconditional love. There is no other.

  15. Just take the hug ~ thankgod for 5 yr olds

  16. Stretched out! *giggles*

    The problem with the adults in MY world would be that I don't want to hug them. Or have them rub my feet.

  17. I can lose patience and do sometimes end up yelling. And then I ask my children's forgiveness and apologize for my bad.

    I love to hug everyone. And kiss them too. Not in that way. In the same way that I kiss my children.

  18. Ahh, it's super easy to just get a little communication to and fro. With kids I mean....

    I know I suck at communicating, because I spend too much time inside my own head, and I forget what went where.

  19. I always tell my guys that I wish I could have a do over and raise them all over again. As much as I loved my sons, I just wasn't as zen as you are. My lessons were taught by an OCD Heavy Mom with issues and my ex who took every opportunity to let me know that I was worthless. He also made fun of me in front of them, with most dinners resulting in me in tears. No role models or support, so I was messed up and passing it on.
    I wish I'd had someone like you to emulate. My guys would have benefited from a much calmer mother. Nothing worse than being 'stretched out' around the wee ones and not knowing how to handle it.

    A billion virtual kudos for this post, for all those who'll read it and put it into practice.

    deb aka st c

  20. my sweetheart just hugs me when i'm feeling stretched out (perfect description, Cracky!)... he doesn't even have to ask anymore. but, he's kind of like having a big intuitive kid around :-)

    thanks for sending people over to my blog. that is an act of kindness in itself... you deserve a scarf.

  21. I was so working on a "stretched too thin" blog.. now I don't have to write it.. CHECK... something off my list.

  22. "Stretched out" is a PERFECT way to describe it!! He's brilliant! :)

  23. You should have hugged that chick who challenged you a few months ago ;)
    "Yo, bitch, hug it out."

  24. Aren't 5-yr-olds great? Maybe you can remind him about being "stretched out" when he's in high school. He should still accept hugs then, shouldn't he?


  25. Hi Mandy,
    Just love the way you show life and how our children are so in tune.
    Wonderful Mom = Wonderful Son

  26. So true...I'll remember that when someone is stressed out and offer him/her a hug. :)

    I need your blogs to balance me!