He stomps his foot and glares at me.

“You don’t make me happy. You are the worst mama on earth.”

“You are right, I can’t make you happy. Only you can make you happy.”

See, that there, that’s high level stuff. Really first rate parenting. Clearly the six year old mid meltdown will integrate this wisdom and immediately re-set his mood.

“How?” he wails.

I look up from the laptop. “A bike ride?” “A great snack, a nap, reading a book?”

“NO NO NO NO.”

I’ve already proven that I don’t believe he is the one to fix it by offering these hypocritical suggestions from behind my screen.

So I leave it at that and go back to Facebook. Seriously I can’t believe the Facebook icons. What are you doing, eating, what are you eating, iconic bacon? ice cream? I imagine the database behind the scenes tracking our choices, sending the info to be studied by university grad students. 30 something women choose the ice cream icon most at 6pm.  Then the eventual headlines. Women who post in the evening more likely to be sarcastic, overweight, study shows. This is crazy, status updates despite their long for social media character limits, already reduce our communication to, well, status updates. Do we really need iconography?

Something is distracting me from my Facebook lambasting. Its not the parallel thought lines about medical records and how for the general good we should be reduced to icons so that all of our fields are universal and distant providers can actually share data. No, not that, as fascinating as it is. And this flower, sort of dying, bringing down the whole bouquet really. Not that, what? OH, RIGHT.

There he his. Small toe tapping. Still glaring. Worst. Mama. Ever.

I look at him. He is just radiating anger. It is like the pigpen dirt pile, but with black mood instead of black earth.

I weigh my options. This is a tenuous time. My next move might change the course of my entire afternoon. I crack a small smile, eyebrows raised. “I see you there, I try to say without saying it” “I love you.” I blow him a kiss. And he beams, blows me a kiss and skips away singing.

The end.

p.s. Maybe we CAN be reduced to icons?

🙁 —> 🙂

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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