Does this happen to average people? Do I have unusual kids? This morning I awoke to R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People" blasting from wireless portable speakers sitting on the kitchen counter. I had been doing some cleaning and unearthed them so Jimmy set them up yesterday to see if they still worked. So this morning of course, the kids cranked them up at 7 a.m. I wish it made me feel shiny and happy but really I wanted to stay in bed a little longer. Not get up and dance to a trippy song from my middle school years.
This song was the only one they played all the way through. The speakers were connected (wireless-ly) to our computer, so I heard approximately 20 seconds of about 25 to 30 songs before I pulled myself out of bed. Meanwhile, Jimmy is snoring next to me. I don't know how he does it. But there's hope for all of you out there with zero to one child. You can be conditioned to sleep through quite a bit. And if you're like me, though you might not be able to sleep through it, you can learn to tolerate it. Even when the Johnny Cash song "Sam Hall" plays, you can let it go and not even worry your son (named Cash) will start singing it at preschool that day and ruin your reputation as an upright Christian home school mom.
So all day I'm thinking about Shiny Happy People. I looked up the lyrics. There's nothing to them. Just happy people laughing, holding hands, throwing their love around. Putting it in the ground where the flowers grow. And really, I need this pseudo-hippy approach to parenting sometimes. Throw a little love around. Hold someone's hand. "There's no time to cry...happy happy..." Yet somehow my evil mommy eyes seem to pop out of my head without my consent.
And so I thought about that. The evil mommy eyes. The face you make when you say something like, "If you touch that one more time, I'm gonna..." or the face you make without words that can say all by itself, "Don't you dare cross me right now." I decided I'm not at fault for this. Every mom I've ever known (and especially my own) can make the face of a prison warden who is nose to nose with an inmate. It comes with the job. The scary mom face. It's not shiny or happy. It is one of the few tricks in our arsenal of mommy tactics. We must use it to keep the kids in check. And I don't think we have to be holding hands and laughing all the time. I was just thinking today that I hope I have the balance between drug tripping laughy-ness and the intimidating mom face that brings the children into submission. Because when the speakers blare at 7 a.m. you have to face the music.