Mommy Chronicles

A funny look at motherhood and the mayhem it causes.

December 31, 2001

The Thing with New Year's Resolutions

I’ve never been much for New Year’s Resolutions. Mostly, it’s because I already have enough work to do — especially once Lucy came along. Also, I am a naturally lazy person. The way I see it, making New Year’s resolutions is a chore. And keeping them is even worse.

I guess I could resolve to be less lazy about this. But on second thought, I’d think rather just make easier resolutions.

I’ll be proud of myself if, in 2002, I can stop wiping Lucy’s nose with my sleeve. This means I will have to use a tissue, which means I’ll have to go out and get some at the store. The store! Like I have time for that! Argh. It's already sounding like a lethal dose of work.

Now that I think about it, though, I can see that toilet paper will do in a pinch. And toilet paper is not that hard to come by, especially since Lucy really enjoys grabbing the end of the roll and seeing how far she can pull it. Her record to date: four yards.

OK. This is starting to sound like a good resolution. In fact, I might even add a codicil: In addition to stop wiping Lucy’s nose with my sleeve, I will also stop wiping my own nose with my sleeve. If I succeed in this, I might even have less laundry to do. As long as a shirt doesn’t have a lot of snot on it, I don’t see all that much harm in hauling it out of the laundry basket for an encore performance. Especially because the most exotic place I ever go is to the store, to buy more toilet paper.

This is what I call a good New Year’s resolution: one that will ultimately save me work. So, I guess I can squeeze in some more. Here goes:

I hereby resolve to stop using candy to get Lucy to do things. Even though we still have Halloween leftovers, and even though M&Ms get her into a car seat almost as fast as I can say M&M, I know this is going to make me sorry later, when I have to get her into the dentist’s chair. You just can’t say “If you get into the examination chair, I’ll give you a Mallomar,” to three-year-old who’s about to have ten cavities filled.

Also, I will stop using candy to get myself to do things. Although it did help me miraculously find all the weight I lost chasing Lucy up the stairs, my pants are getting too tight again. I’m all for personal growth, just not this kind.

Speaking of achievements, it’s getting to be high time for me to learn more than the first line of various songs. Lately, I’ve been singing a Moulin Rouge-style medley of nursery rhymes, and I’m not pulling it off very well. “The eensy weensy spider had a little lamb” is confusing Lucy, and it’s probably getting on Adam’s nerves.

Also for Adam’s benefit, I will stop pretending to have a stuffy nose when Lucy has an obviously dirty diaper.

Furthermore, I will stop bending over and whispering, “Go toward the light” into the ear of Adam's old, irritable and largely incontinent cat. All that bending is really hard on my back.

I also will stop laughing at Lucy when she says “sit” and “fork.” Even though it sounds as though she’s cursing, she's just learning to talk and she needs my support. On a related note, I will not snicker when I attempt to discipline her. “Draw on the paper, not on your face,” loses its oomph when it’s delivered with wild peals of laughter. To become the credible disciplinarian I need to be to reach her right from wrong, and paper from face, I will practice making stern faces in the bathroom mirror.

Ideally, I will do this after my daily shower, which this year, will happen every day. Now that Adam has grown a beard, my goal will be to keep my leg hair shorter than his beard. God help me if he shaves.

Already, this is the longest New Year’s Resolution List I’ve ever made. It’s worn me out. Let this be a lesson to me to be a little more realistic next year.

Next year, I’ll resolve to keep not doing things I already do not do. For example, I’ll resolve to not start smoking. I also will not start eating bacon-wrapped meats. And I will not start playing street hockey on the highway. Or even in the alley. These things, I know I can do. Or not do. Or something like that.

Now, though, I think I need a nap. If only Lucy would resolve to take one with me.


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