Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

What’s My Weak Spot? I am My Own Kryptonite.

It’s been a few years since I sponge-painted one of the walls in our downstairs bathroom. Tonight, I sit on the toilet to pee and notice, for the first time, that the sponge patterns have left a row of tiny faces next to the door jam. I look at them. They look back, mocking me. “I see you,” I say.

They laugh. “You’re flunking everything,” they say. “Listen to your son doing his homework upstairs with his dad. You should be there.” I flip them the bird, and reach for the toilet paper, studying their tiny features.

I snap a photo of them, but can’t find the one who said “You wait until the last minute for everything. That’s why you’ll never finish your book. Fiction? Ha. Good luck.” I flush and walk upstairs. I am my own kryptonite.

“Come on, Buddy. Spell the word ‘dress’ for Mommy,” my husband says. “D? And then ss I think,” my son says. I linger, pulled to the keyboard downstairs, having waited again until the last minute to write something for Finish the Sentence, and then sit on the steps with my little boy. “Dress,” I say. “D-R-S-S,” he says. We try a few times. He starts to become agitated. Almost angry. “Me too,” I think, but don’t say.

“Please, can you just do this,” looking at my husband. “Of course,” he said.

I walk downstairs feeling triumphant and like a failure. I am my own kryptonite.

***

“Be friends with the people you think are too good for you,” my dad says. Unthinkable.

A few years later, he says it again. This time, I listen. I am my own kryptonite. I throw my kryptonite, my weakness, far from the car window while we drive on the freeway. It runs after me, and attaches itself to my bumper. It is mine as much as I am hers. 

***

There was a woman at work who looked like a supermodel. “What’s the tall chick’s name,” they’d ask. Always the men from the other building asked about her. I started talking to her more. We ate together. Traveled to meetings on the same flights. I realized somewhere between laughter and exchanged stories and circumstances that she has her own insecurities. What we’d thought was an amazingly sexy foreign accent, she saw as a barrier. “I don’t know what ‘scootch’ means,” she said.

“Oh! It’s just slang for ‘move over,” I replied.

We became friends. We’re still friends. I treasured her then, and treasure her today. I know her now.  I am and always have been my own kryptonite. 

***

“Buddy, I just have to make one more work call, and we’ll shoot water balloons,” I said.

“Please don’t call, please please very please,” he said.

“We’ll do water balloons, I promise, but I have to be done with this first,” I said. I rubbed my head, annoyed, and then got annoyed that I was annoyed. “It’s not his fault,” the faces from the bathroom wall yelled upsairs. “I know, but f*ck,” I said.

I dialed into the conference, and thought about life, later. Saw myself sitting in a psychiatrist’s office while my son waited for her to tell me what she could. “He should have had less screen-time at six,” she says.

“I know,” I reply, and bow my head, remembering how I dialed rather than filling tiny balloons with water and launching them into the street. I am my own kryptonite.

***

Traffic, driving home. Again. “Will I ever get the timing right?” I said. “No,” the voice replied because I am my own kryptonite. In response to my sunken shoulders, she offered “But you can do water balloons today after school.”

And so we did.

***

I sit down to pee again, and look at the faces. “Mommy,” from upstairs. I look away from the faces. “Go,” they say. “And hold off on making that shrink appointment. Water balloons and post-homework hugs matter, too.”

“He’ll be fine,” they say.  “We all are, or enough, anyway,” they said.

“Thanks,” I say, knowing they’re right.. I turn off the light, and once again, they are sponge-dots on a painted bathroom wall.

I am my own kryptonite. My biggest weakness is myself.

***

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s sentence was “My kryptonite is…” 

Tonight’s hosts are moi, as always, along with this week’s awesome sentence thinker-upper, Lisa, from The Golden Spoons

I had a hard time with this one because the more I thought about it, I realize thatI am my own kryptonite. I am the one who didn’t finish my degree the first time around. I’m the one that waited to make friends with the lovely person at work, just because she looks like a supermodel. It is I who put guilt on choosing work over water balloons although most of me knows that water balloons with a six year old should always win over work. 

It is also I who chose water balloons today, after school, and picked up the tiny colored rubber pieces alone so that my son could fill up a few more before dark.

So while I get in my own way more often than anything else does and am my own kryptonite, sometimes, a face on the bathroom wall or on a little boy who says “very please” is the kryptonite that makes me stronger, and right.

***

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  • Don - Oh dear, are you losing your mind??? Lol. Those paint faces are always dickwads, so ignore them. You rock as a mom and person. ❤️❤️❤️March 10, 2016 – 10:59 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Mind? Long fucking gone. Those faces are dickwads for sure, thanks for the reminder. Loving the three hearts. You musta gotten softer after your BLL torso tats I gifted you.March 10, 2016 – 11:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Nicki - So good. Just so, so, so good! We all get in our own way, too damn much! <3March 10, 2016 – 11:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - We all get in our own way at one time or another. At least, I know I do it.
    This answer to the sentence was staring you right in the face, but I like how you wait until the “last minute” to write your FTSF post, as you keep saying, as it seems to present things in just the right way for you. This makes your posts so real.
    I felt for your son and “drss” when I red this as I am thinking back a lot to twenty years ago, this time, when I was ill and hadn’t been diagnosed with the kidney disease that was messing with my concentration, but of which was making math homework a living hell for me to have to even attempt.
    For me it was math and still is. For some kids it’s spelling. Homework. Yuck!March 11, 2016 – 12:25 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much Kerry. I sometimes wonder if I wait until the last minute because then I “have to” write if that makes sense. I’ve been thinking about this sentence for a few days and really had no idea what to talk about. Thanks for reading. I’m sorry that you relate to Tucker’s “drss” – that must’ve been so hard to try and concentrate on math when your kidneys weren’t healthy! Homework Yuck! Indeed! Hope you link up this week!March 11, 2016 – 1:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Like I told Lisa, I am so my own kryptonite, too and sadly quite often I have only myself to blame in many situations, as well. But still it is nice to know that my own girls and even my husband have a way of also making me the much stronger still.March 11, 2016 – 3:10 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Awww so sweet. But pee in front of a mirror next time. Look at yourself and see that you are a great mom!March 11, 2016 – 5:38 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Do I want to see myself peeing? Um. Probably not. But maybe better than the tiny faces.March 11, 2016 – 7:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Wow. You know you’re WAY too hard on your self, right? You are. I’ve always known that, but now that I’m working outside the home (and so many of us are:)), I believe it more firmly. P)lease, please, give your self a break. There are only so many hours in the day, blah, blah, blah. Stencil this over those dots: ““He’ll be fine,” they say. “We all are, or enough, anyway,” they said.”March 11, 2016 – 6:56 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I do know that I’m way too hard on myself, which is why I wrote it… the voices inside of us… I think I’ll make speech bubbles above their heads.March 11, 2016 – 9:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Lewis - Before I even read it, THE MOMENT I saw the title in the email I get each time you write, I grinned, because I KNEW IT! 😉March 11, 2016 – 6:57 amReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Lewis - ‘Kayso this was a bit magical – I imagined you having a tiny row of oracles sponge-painted onto your bathroom wall, who haunt you (a bit like the devil and the angel on your shoulders), telling you home truths bent at odd angles. I love how you fight back against them, though, and tell them to mind their business. You do the right things in the end, and you weave the most wonderful tales while you’re at it.

    I’m glad of you, All of you. Even the bad-Kryptonitey bits. The good-Kryptonitey bits are just awesome. And yes – you’re right 🙂March 11, 2016 – 7:08 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - I love ( and kind of hate) that we both said we are our own kryptonite! Why do we do that to ourselves??? I think you are an awesome mom and an awesome person! You know what I think this post will (should?) do for the two of us? The next time I have those thoughts, I’m going to remember that you have those thoughts and how ridiculous I think it is that you would be so hard on yourself and, hopefully, remember that it is pretty ridiculous for me to be so hard on myself, too. XOXOMarch 11, 2016 – 9:04 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Lisa,
      I love (and kinda hate) that we said we’re our own kryptonite. But we are, right? It’s ourselves who are in the way, and deal. Next time you feel like that, think about my kryptonite chasing after me in the car and I’ll think about you and yours.
      Here’s to being proud of ourselves.March 11, 2016 – 9:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Echo - You know that I completely understand this because I have always been my own worst enemy. My own kryptonite, so to speak.March 11, 2016 – 5:52 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I know. It’s why we drink whiskey from a jar and ride the lightening when we can. Link up? I’d love to read yours. No pressure. Because no pressure ever. xoMarch 11, 2016 – 9:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Yvonne - Kristi, I feel so sorry to see that you struggle with these self-doubts, but also very pleased to see you also have kryptonite to make you stronger! It’s so sad how many of us beat ourselves up, and I see a few people saying they’ve written similar posts.

    You are enough.March 11, 2016 – 6:50 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Yvonne. Here’s to embracing the kryptonite that makes us stronger and to flipping off the ones that we throw out of car windows who chase us and stick. I appreciate it. You.March 11, 2016 – 9:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Mike - Good post, Kristi! Very cool that we got to spend time in the bathroom with you *heart* 🙂 We all get frustrated and that we should do more, didn’t do enough…and beat ourselves up over that. I’m notorious for that myself. It accomplishes nothing in the end. I second what Don says about you as a mom and a person. You know I always have since I met you 🙂 Btw…Golden Retrievers are my kryptonite…March 11, 2016 – 11:53 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much Mike! SO good to see you here. It’s way too easy to beat ourselves up, isn’t it? Sigh. Here’s to not doing so. And to Golden Retrievers. <3March 12, 2016 – 8:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I hadn’t really thought about it, but after reading this (which was awesome, btw), I realized that I’m my own kryptonite too. And my own worst critic.

    The sentence about throwing your kryptonite out the window and reattaching to the car bumper…that was my favorite. Perfect imagery, Kristi.March 12, 2016 – 11:38 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Dana! Let’s try to be kinder to ourselves.
      And that sentence about throwing my kryptonite out the window is my favorite one too.March 12, 2016 – 8:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Allison Barrett Carter - This is so real and true and beautifully written. I feel like I am my own worst enemy, too, my own personal weakness. I am glad you made friends with the model and I am glad you share with us. Your weakness may seem like a kryptonite to you, but sharing it makes you a superhero.March 12, 2016 – 3:41 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw Allison! I missed you and am glad you’re back. Thank you so much – here’s to not being our own enemies. Truly.March 12, 2016 – 8:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle Grewe - I do a lot of those, “RAFA! Can you do this for me? She needs this…” and I feel like crap every time I do. Why can’t I just do it myself? Then I remember, the Clutter Diet says to delegate tasks to other people. You don’t delegate what you cannot do. You delegate what they can handle. So I was cool to do that. Everything is relative. It’s all about perspective. Right? Having kryptonite means we have a power that’s super, and the kryptonite doesn’t take away all our powers. It just makes us human.March 13, 2016 – 1:43 amReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Somehow I don’t quite see you as your own kryptonite. I totally understand the compromises that we each make — it’s called life — but I really admire what you’re doing. Raising T, being a great wife (no seriously, I think that you are!), and being an inspirational bloggess (no seriously, I think that you are!). Somehow, “being your own krypronite” just doesn’t seem to be a good fit for you. I see you as more of a summer….. 😉March 13, 2016 – 3:06 amReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - Well said, Kristi.
    Honestly, I was hoping the above from you >3

    You are your own Kryptonite thanks to the love you are surrounded with 🙂
    I too am thankful for the same.

    Could not pen down mine since my kid was home on Friday. But there’s always a next time 😉March 13, 2016 – 2:55 amReplyCancel

  • JT Walters - I get the metaphor but I see it a very different way. Superman (an alien not earthling) was weakened by Kryptonite Kryptonite did not effect humans.

    I embrace my humanity and find it to be my greatest source of strength. When I f*ck up, I learn and quick. I apologize and I pray people forgive me and understand like I forgive them and understand, because we all f*ck up. And if they can’t forgive then that is their problem.

    My love for my son is so much more important than my personal ambition. I am glad I am an earthling who is full of love for my son and friends here and now! Being an alien on earth means I have fallen from the stars. With each act of kindness, compassion and love I share with my son and friends I am building our way to the heavens and not even Kryptonite can stop us. Sorry I broke the trend that is why I waited.

    Truth be told love is what makes memories last and strengthen our souls for the really tough times Earthlings face.

    Failure is only happens when we fail to live our lives with love. If you love, you are a successful Earthling. If you make your child happy you are a super successful Earthling but never an alien.March 13, 2016 – 4:44 amReplyCancel

  • My Inner Chick - You know why I love you?
    …because we can all identify w/ you, my lovely girl.
    all. of. us.

    I’d love to have wine w/ you one day! xxMarch 13, 2016 – 2:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me - I can relate so well to this, Kristi, because…well, when you read mine, you’ll know. You probably already know because we’ve talked about it, I’m sure. I sometimes wonder if people who struggle with feeling like they’re doing it well are the ones who are really conscientious about balance, etc. Maybe that’s why we think about it? If we didn’t care so much, we’d just blow it off. I think you, my friend, are doing a bang-up job of it – all of it. So often you are one of the first two people two of three people I call when I’m wondering if I’m doing this parenting of the exceptional child thing right. I really can’t wait until we can sit and shoot the shit together in person one day.March 13, 2016 – 10:31 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Read yours and yeah, I know. It makes me both sad and seen that so many of us have the kryptonite as ourselves. I think that the people who think about it are “better” which sounds douchy but I believe that. I think that those who write it and share it are trying to change the world, and that matters to me. Huge. Also, please yes to shooting the shit together one day.March 13, 2016 – 10:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Josie Two Shoes - This was an amazingly powerful post, absolutely on point, Kristi! I loved the way you used the paint splotch “faces” to tie the facets of this piece together. Just excellent!March 15, 2016 – 10:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - It’s awlays a struggle to choose, isn’t it, and there’s always someone who’ll tell you that your choice was wrong. The trouble is when the person is ourselves. I’m glad you’re fighting back because you’re awesome!!March 17, 2016 – 3:56 amReplyCancel

  • Leanne Russell - Love the little faces on the toilet wall. I’m always imaging I see faces, profiles of faces, animals etc . We can really beat ourselves up as parents…my son has been on the computer since he came home from school at 1pm. It is now 1.50am. Now who is the bad parent?March 24, 2016 – 2:45 pmReplyCancel

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