Speaking of overthinking…

September 12, 2007

…We went to a block party over the weekend.

Am I the only one who feels the need to keep track of all the kids I know for fear that their parents are overwhelmed and can’t do it themselves…????

Am I the only one who is overwhelmed by the ‘freedom’ that a block party entails. Running in the street without looking both ways, through the neighborhood and generally being all over the place?

Speaking of running through the street. Fa was standing on the edge of the sidewalk and playing with this one kid who was throwing little plastic balls across the street and running after them. She was throwing the balls too, itching to run and fetch them like the other boy. But she wouldn’t run in the street. I was so proud that all of my nagging (at the corners, we stop, look and listen) sunk in. I was also quite impressed that even Fa’s most favorite things in the world…balls…(just like her ma) wouldn’t entice her into the street. So I ran over to her and praised her for using her head and not running in the street. But at this particular party the street corners are blocked off and there are no cars, so we can, in fact, run into the street because it’s safe.

Well, her little eyeballs lit up like fireworks…the smile that enveloped her face was to die for. She went after those balls with a joy I have never seen. All because I told her it was safe. And she understood. But she was following my rules already set in place.

See, I have one kid. A fairly behaved one who sticks close and judges her surroundings before she darts off. She always asks permission and makes sure she can usually see me when she does finally gather to courage to dart off…She plays it safe. Like her parents. It makes me happy. Because, well, you know.

Those people with three kids. Yeah, they can’t seem to keep track of everyone. And it makes me nervous. Every time they turned around they were asking, ‘Where’s N?’ ‘Where’s M?’ They could only keep track of the baby because he can’t walk yet. I always knew where their kids were before they did. I was exhausted by the end of the party. I had to make sure all the kids were safe. I’m not knocking these people, again. I’m just confused. I need an answer.

How do you stay so calm is what I wanna know? How do you NOT know where your kid is in such a hectic environment and remain calm? How do you let them run so free and keep your cool? You are clearly overwhelmed. How do you not realize that?

I think too much. I know. But I also know my limitations and more than one kid just might send me to the looney bin. How do you not know when it’s too many? Or, better question, how do you overlook the fact that it may be too many? …And just learn to roll with it.

If I am overwhelmed with one, how are they staying so friggin’ laid back, with three?

Am I defective? Am I a total basket case who can’t grasp this motherhood thing? Is it too much for me? Did I get myself into something I can’t handle?


Fa went to the dentist this week. First time ever. She rocked that dentist’s chair. All of my concerns for her anxious personality flew out the door when she had that phenomenal check up.

She never ceases to amaze me.

I think it’s me.


Example: I’m sitting here in my jammies on the couch. It’s Tuesday night at 8:16pm and the Pro is out with friends. Fa has just been tucked in for the night without incident (a pretty normal occurance) …and I have the evening to myself.

I have choices. I have this to read. I have this to watch. And she is coming on at 9pm.

Why am I overwhelmed with the other shoe? Why am I expecting the worst to happen when all is calm and there is nothing going on other than, I’m relaxing..or trying to?

I have nothing but good surrounding me…and I’m waiting impatiently for the bad.

I am working on not making her neurotic. I am “therapizing” myself so I can give her a ‘semi-normal’ childhood without a crazy loon for a mother.

This shit is hard, man.



  1. Perhaps you should stick with one…;) No really, you may think they don’t know where the kids are, but I always know. It’s a 6th sense or something…I can’t explain it. I think it comes from the new brain cells that develop after the old one’s are killed off with each and every pregnancy.;)

  2. I wish you lived by me because then you can help me watch my kids too 😉

    I read A Thousand Splendid Suns and it was great! Not as good as Kite Runner but still an excellent read.

  3. We live in a very hilly neighborhood and people constantly let their kids – and I mean like barely walking – play in the streets. Scares the hell out of me. I can just imagine coming over a hill and not seeing them until its too late.

    So I’m with you. Neurotic? I don’t think so. Just aware. Very aware.

  4. It is hard, but this is how I describe having three kids.

    When the first born drops the pacifier you remove it to be sterilized and rip open the hermetically sealed package of one of the five spares you have and give it to your sweet angel.

    Second born drops the pacifier and you run it under the faucet and hand it back to the kid.

    Third kid drops it and you suck it clean with your own mouth and ask first born to hand it back.

    I think once you have the experience under your belt of seeing your first child survive despite your parenting, you lose some of the fear–and as Kelly said you gain a sixth sense.

    Or your life is so crazy you just give up.

  5. Great post, JJ. It IS hard.

    I have four, the oldest of whom is five. It’s tricky. But I like Kellyology’s explanation of the brain cells. hahaha. I too always know where my kids are–and I don’t let them run around like crazies. Also, in many cases my job is a lot easier because they have each other. I don’t have to do everything, or be the sole source of entertainment! But also, I don’t go to every activity or block party. I just have to know my limits and say, “nope. That’ll make me TOO FRANTIC!”

  6. No, you’re not the only one. It stresses me out when people don’t pay attention to their kids.

    I’m so impressed that Fa did well at the dentist! I went to the dentist yesterday and had to remind myself that I’m an adult and to NOT scream when they’re polishing my teeth. I hate that whirring sound inside my mouth.

  7. so your last 2 posts I feel as if you are living in my head and thoughts !!! i swear i would/will come home from something and ask my hubby why i was the only crazy, nervous freaking out mom ?? i think a large part of it is me, but i am getting better and with 2 i have no choice, i am sooo much calmer with number 2, she has done things i would have NEVER let my first do. i also happen to have 2 VERY ACTIVE kids, i see other mom’s with the kids who stay with them, mine run away, climb, hide…ahhh

    YOU ARE NORMAL is all i have to say

  8. When you have more than one you have no choice but to give up. You’re just too tired.

  9. Ok other people not watching their own kids would totally make me nervous! I hate that! I always know where Becca is, but we were in a highly populated area before and well I would hate to lose her. How would you explain that? Sorry honey I lost the kids … ?

    w00t on the Dentist. That is on our to do list too 🙂

  10. That’s a great story about Fa and the sidewalk. Good for her!!!

    You really shouldn’t worry about other people’s kids. You have enough to worry about with yours.

  11. I think having more than one allows you to become a bit more distracted.

    When I was a parent of one, for four years, I was what I call a hover mother. I was terribly anxious. I still am, I just have two to spread it around on, and I practice at the APPEARANCE of being laid back.

    hah. if they only knew the truth.

  12. My dear, you see them all first because you are a teacher and you can’t help it. It’s in our blood to care for other people’s children. You’re perfection! We had a block party this weekend too and I was amazed at the lack of supervision for some of the kids – our streets weren’t blocked off. I held or ran after my son constantly so he was never out of arms reach and watched everyone elses kids too. Exhausting!

  13. I don’t have kids and I am usually the one watching out for all other’s kiddos at any type of function.

    And JJ – I would be willing to bet a twenty that Fa is incredibly normal and well adjusted.

    And you are too…

  14. I enjoyed all those answers. I can’t remember – maybe I put leashes on them or something.

    true it is, however, that the more you get, the more calm you get about their existence.

    You have a little dread going on in your mind — when it rears its ugly head start counting your blessings. I’ve read about many of them here.

  15. be normal till they are old enough to be embarrassed by you, then be the crazy loon. Worked for me. hahahahahahahahaa

  16. Block parties are fun, but that running around scares me, too!

  17. It’s true, you relax as you have more kids. (Of course, I only have two.) With your first, you realize all the things that made you crazy and weren’t necessary. If you don’t let something go, you’ll lose your sanity.

    That being said, basic safety rules (like playing in or near the street) should never be neglected. I don’t care how many kids you have.

  18. I can certainly see where you are coming from and I have felt the same way on more than one occasion. I was a single mom for 8 yrs when my gremlins were young and I used to keep them very close to me when in a crowd. My oldest is now 15 and it has been hard to let go and give her more freedom…I am trying but like ya said “This shit is hard, man”


  19. Yay for Fa doing so well at the dentist….it’s hard even for me to do well in the dentist’s chair!

    I don’t know how people do it. I’ve had to do it, and I’m not sure how. Even now I kinda worry when my kids go off on their own if we’re at the ball park or something like that. I think worrying like that is something that you never really grow out of!

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