Carrie Maldonado – Writer

Freelance writer, wordsmith, and novelist

Even though I know better, I’ve caught myself should-ing again. You know what I mean…I SHOULD enjoy spending time with my kids even when they’re acting like sociopathic mess machines, or I SHOULD look even better now than before I had my kids because I’ve had 4 years since then to work out, or I SHOULD be able to….ad infinitum. The most horrible thing about should-ing where you shouldn’t is that it creates all this tension and stress, which for me turns into irritation and anger and so I don’t even appreciate the moments that I’m working so hard to be able to enjoy in the first place!

If this sounds crazy, congratulations, you are not a should-er. If you’re nodding and saying “me, too” then you are pretty much everyone else except that one guy who thinks we’re all crazy. I had a great conversation with my coach this week where he pointed out that most of us are laboring under the impression that our to-do lists are doable, and how crazy that makes us. There are apps now (of course) to help manage the unmanageable. I’ll maybe get one someday. Due to the should-ing, and the conscious intention to stay in the moment, I have noticed that my children are embracing technology to an extent that brings Skynet to mind (If you don’t know Skynet…shame on you…google it)…and I feel bad about it…I should have seen this coming.

It started with PeeWaWa (a.k.a. Aiden/Adam)talking. Now, he’s always been a bit more verbally advanced than Ben, who knows a lot of words but can only be bothered to say the ones representing things he is truly passionate about which, at the moment, are ‘cheese’, ‘shoes’, and ‘peepee’ (I have a picture of Ben enjoying all three of these at once but I don’t think it’s fair to Ben for me to post it and go to jail and for him to grow up without a Mommy). PeeWaWa says a few more words now, like ‘Hi Mommy’, ‘Me Up Pee’ and, sigh, ‘TroTro’ and even ‘Pee Get TroTro’.  If you don’t have tiny little media-addicts, TroTro is a cartoon with less of a plot line than Caillou (if that’s possible) about a child-donkey and his child-donkey friends and his donkey mummy and daddy. Totally insipid and I don’t get the attraction other than the bright primary colors and of course the strangely mesmerizing song. “Oh TroTro, oh TroTro, what you doing today?” Gag. But my sweet boy loves him his TroTro.

In my defense I only put TroTro on to save the children from me. I start with the very best of intentions to do fun things and crafts and all, but after about 45 minutes, things usually degenerate. At one point last week I lost it and told the kids that if they kept fighting I was canceling Easter. I actually felt pretty bad about this, because Bisky believed me and has been asking all week if I’m really canceling Easter. Even though I explained that I really don’t have that kind of power and I was sorry and was just mad because they have made me crazy. She even ratted me out to Daddy. I’m glad I restrained myself from telling her I was closing her closet door ‘to keep the monsters in’….they are extremely literal thinkers at this age.

But as much as PWW loves TroTro, this fixation pales in comparison to Bisky’s new best friend. Siri. Do you know that a four-year-old can actually have a somewhat intelligent conversation with Siri? It goes like this.

G: Hi Siri, this is Gracie Maldomado. How are you? What are you doing?

S: I’m not sure what you’re asking, Carrie.

G: Hahaha I like when you call me Carrie Siri. Are you short or tall?

S: I’m sorry Carrie, I’m afraid I can’t answer that.

G: Can you call me Kelly?

S: Sure, I can call you Kelly from now on.

Me: What? Wait! No. Grace I don’t want Siri calling me Kelly. Change that back!

G: She’s not calling YOU Kelly, Mommy, she’s calling ME Kelly. Siri’s MY friend. I love her!

I actually felt kind of bad explaining to her that Siri wasn’t actually her friend, and I wondered how hard it would be for Apple to make a Siri for kids until I realized how creepy that is and before you know it, we’re all living in cages fetching batteries and copper wire for our robot masters. In the meantime, Bisky and Siri did SOMETHING that changed my email ‘nickname’ (on my business email no less) first to “Where’s Daddy” (WHAT!?!?!?!) and then to “Gracie”.

I really SHOULD have figured out a way to keep her away from my phone. But, it’s been another week and everyone survived so I’ll take that for the win!

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