Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Soup! Made of PEOPLE!!!

We survived Thanksgiving, and we’re still married, in case you were wondering after my last post. 

As you know, My Beloved called from work last Monday to “suggest” that we leave later that same evening so we could get a head start on our Thanksgiving Festivities.  Unfortunately, Hubby has very little patience for travel, especially with the offspring.  Never mind that I flew from New York City to Seattle with a 2-year-old and a 16-month-old BY MYSELF.  But that’s neither here nor there.  (Except that I am awesome for doing so.)

On Tuesday and Wednesday we took the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge.  This proved to be a good idea because they were able to burn lots of boy energy before being cooped up in the house at Granny and Papa’s.  Unfortunately, I allowed my husband to check in while I stayed in the Swagger Wagon with two (and a half) boys who were unbuckled and poised at the doors in anticipation of water park enjoyment.  He came out after having purchased an extra package o’ fun for the boys.  There was so much fun involved, we almost didn’t get to complete the fun-having in our allotted two days.  The fun was SO fun, at one point Large asked if we could save some fun for next time, and also “can’t we just get in bed and watch tv?” 

Water parks, in general, do not bring out the best in me.  I only look cute when I’m dry and lounging, save for the fact that I am a 37-year-old woman who wears two ponytails to the pool.  I am not destined for bathing suit greatness, and water parks force me to acknowledge and embrace this fact.  I have a variety of sassy little cover-ups for the pool.  You will never see me struttin’ my stuff in a standard-issue towel because, in general, they don’t fit all the way around my voluptuousness.  Water parks preclude the use of cover-ups, however, because you’re going to get wet, which means I have to stand in line in nothing but my swimsuit.  This does not make me happy. 
"Man, that lady sure LOVES her kids!"

Ever wonder why I LOVE my children so much at a water park?  It’s because if I’m hugging them and holding their little bodies close to me, I can cover up this-area-right-here.  (The areas to which I am referring are my gut, which makes me look like I’m wearing a fanny pack underneath my clothing, and my flat a$$, which is pretty much an extension of my back straight down into my legs.) 

Furthermore, there is NO graceful way to mount a giant inner tube.  Do I spread my legs wider than God intended and then sit?  Do I position the tube and then flop backwards while praying that the tube has not shifted thereby causing me to fall a$$ forward into the water in front of all those nice people waiting their turns?  Do I sit with my a$$ suctioned into the opening and my boobs literally resting on my knees?  Do I step into the tube and then try to maneuver one leg out at a time, causing potential swimsuit slippage and inadvertent flashing of lady parts? 

And then there’s this - I know I’m being a snob, but here goes:  I have a strict flip-flop policy.  People with ugly feet and/or unkempt toes should not be flashing those puppies around in sandals.  There are a lot of ugly feet at a water park.  In fact, water parks are rife with yellow toenails, ill-placed tattoos, and unsightly skin conditions.  Please, for the love o’ pete, take care of that.  The thought of lounging in the hot tub with some of the worst offenders makes me cringe . . . ALMOST as much as the fact that I actually had to explain to one of my children why we don’t drink the water from the hot tub:  “Think of ALL the people whose bodies have been in this water.  It’s like People Soup.”
a steaming bowl o' People Soup

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Note to Negative Nelly

An open letter to my husband, heretofore known as Negative Nelly. 

  1. First and foremost, I know you had a bad day at work.  It sucks.  It sucks that all the responsibility for our fiscal security falls on you.  But seriously, you need to leave ya baggage at the do’.   You’re in your safe place now.
  1. I am an anxious woman.  We have been together for 16 *blissful* years.  I suggest you embrace my anxiety as part of my charm and strive to NOT be a contributor to said anxiety.  Step one would be recognizing that when I’m carting our offspring to My Mecca Target in my Swagger Wagon for our annual eye appointments and you call to tell me you’re on your way home and how about I get all that laundry finished up and get packed so we can drive to the in-laws’ TONIGHT, you are making my armpits all persweaty again.
  1. It is unwise to harp on me about all the things I forgot to pack when I just packed clothes and bathing suits and baby food and bottle and toys and toothbrushes and shoes and friends and jackets and snacks and ETCETERA for all of our children and myself while you packed a little bag with clean underwear, socks, and necessary toiletries for yourself only. 
"Wha?  There's TRAFFIC?  On 95 South?
At 6 pm?  I did NOT see this coming!"
  1. News flash: I do not control the traffic on Interstate 95.  However, I am pretty sure that all of the other drivers are not involved in a vast conspiracy to piss you off.

  1. The baby does not enjoy being confined in his car seat for hours at a time, and sometimes he gets fussy regardless of the volume of music, the volume of his brothers, or the fact that I turned the overhead light on so you could put mustard on my burger.    

6.  I apologize for not embracing your theory that nuggets would have been a better choice than a cheeseburger because it would have prevented you from expending the effort it took for mustard  application.

7.  I apologize for liking mustard.

8.  If you used it last, don’t get all pissy when I don’t know where it is.  BTW, I totally know where it is, but I’m not telling you because I’m all mature like that.

That is all.

I adore you.  You are my True Companion.  But if you keep it up, I WILL smother you with a pillow as you slumber.

Your First Wife

Monday, November 22, 2010

It Sure is a Good Thing I Have a College Degree!

Reinforcements have arrived!

The voices in my head are singing strains of the Hallelujah Chorus.

Hubby got home Friday evening.  Since then, I have slept, showered, and run errands by myself – it has been a little slice o’ heaven.  I thoroughly enjoyed driving the car that does not have car seats while listening to inappropriate music.  A big shout out to my husband, who spent the weekend “bonding” with our offspring so I could regain my sanity.

A glimpse at last week:

Saturday:  Rock Star Birthday Party.  I felt it necessary to shop for and purchase “rock star” attire, including saucy bandannas, kick a$$ t-shirts, and iron ons, and then to transform each of my children into bada$$es.

Sunday: Church (partly because the boys went to Sunday School and Small went to the nursery, so I got to sit in relative peace and quiet for an hour. Don’t ask me what the sermon was about though.)

Monday:  Doctor’s Appointment.  I have decided to seek out a new doctor.  I tried to be open-minded . . . I really did.  I made an appointment with what I thought was a female doctor I found on our insurance website.  When I showed up for my appointment, however, the doctor was male.  Turns out it was one of those androgynous names, like Shannon.  Since I give my doctors politically incorrect nicknames, (the OB who delivered Medium was The Gaysian,) I have no choice but to refer to him as Dr. Turban.  I realize our cultural differences may be minimal, but I just can’t bring myself to discuss any topics that may or may not require discussion of s.e.x.  He is very pleasant and very professional.  I am not professional; I am immature and, apparently, a bit of a prude.

Monday afternoon: Guarding the Money Pit.  I had to wait for and consult with the sprinkler guy, and later in the week, the HVAC guy, which of course, required me to stick close to home between the hours of 12-6.  Because I'm such an expert at all things sprinkler and HVAC.  I could have used this time wisely and completed any of the following:
Full of Spaghetti Makers and Coffee Mugs.

Laundry Purgatory - a necessary pit stop on the
journey from dryer to folded & sorted.
(Don't worry.  The dog was added afterwards.)

The List.  Items left incomplete magically
appear on next week's list.  Perhaps I
need stricter deadlines.

Seriously, it's still Monday: Trip to School #1.   I took the wee ones to watch Large’s class’s “theatre” production.  Cute, but he's not gonna win any Oscars.  Going to his class meant strapping Small into the Bjorn, swatting the hand of the classmate who cannot seem to keep his hands off my baby, and giving Medium the stink-eye every time he made a peep during the performance, most of which I missed because I was, well,  too busy giving Medium the stink-eye.

Tuesday: Trip to School #2.  This time to work on the PTA bulletin boards.  I get a buzz out of using the Ellison die-cut machine.  I love cutting out the paper and punching out the letters; it makes my heart all aflutter.  I love the giant roll of paper.  And the staples.  And the googly eyes.  And the glue.  Something is wrong with me.

later Tuesday:  Trip to School #3.  Back to school to pick Large up from his after-school sign language class.  Chances are, he's learning how to say "you're not the bossa me!" in sign language.

Wednesday: Weekly playdate.  This week was my turn to host a playdate for Medium, which was actually nice because his friend digs my macaroni-and-cheese makin’ skillz.

Bork, bork, bork da noodleys.
later Wednesday: Cooking - a term I use loosely.  We made dinner for a mommy in our neighborhood who is sick.  The moms in the ‘hood have organized a schedule so that this family doesn’t have to worry about meals.  I don’t cook though, so they got quite the epicurean masterpiece:  Spaghetti, a jar of Ragu, and brownies.  Nevertheless, they were gracious and complimentary.  Why does bad stuff have to happen to people like that? 

Thursday: Weight Watchers.  Time to weigh in so I'll know how many lbs. I put on at Thanksgiving.  I'm looking forward to breaking out my buffet pants at the Thanksgiving table.  In fact, I may just cut out the middle man and saddle up in my pajamas.  This year I am thankful for elastic.

later Thursday: School, again. This time for Medium’s Thanksgiving festivities.  He was a turkey.  Surprise.

Thursday afternoon: Playdate for Large.  Large and his friend played together beautifully, but guess what, Jack Tripper?  TWO’s company.  Three’s a recipe for jealousy and he’s-had-more-playdates-than-me score-keeping. 

And finally, on Friday, my beloved came home.  We are right on schedule to be annoying each other as usual within a few days . . . and all will be right with the world.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Worst. Mommy. Ever.

I am in the midst of one of those Worst Mommy Ever months.  Hubby has been busy with late meetings and travel, so it’s just been me and the boys.  I feel like a Military Wife, and lord knows I was NOT cut out for that.  The Military Wife is a special breed.  I am a Husband Comes Home Every Night kind of wife.  Even though he works late a lot and I end up doing the dinner/homework/bath/bedtime fight (known as the Witching Hour) by myself most nights, it’s nice to know he’s coming home.

For the past three weeks, I have been doing the Single Parent thing.  There are some advantages – I can eat cereal for dinner, there’s 1/5 less laundry to do, and I don’t have to watch any sports.  But that’s about it.  It’s tough to go through the day knowing that reinforcements are not coming.  I feel like I’ve been left behind in the battlefield, bleeding and clinging to life.  Except instead of blood there’s just a lot of bodily secretions, and instead of shrapnel I keep finding soggy cheerios stuck to my shirt.

The worst of it was last Friday.  The boys are generally pretty tired by the time Friday arrives, which means that behavior gets worse and the mood around the house can best be described as tempestuous.  I, however, look forward to Happy Hour with my neighbor, a working mom who calls me on her way home so I can get the mommy juice chilled so we can go to our happy place.  The kids burn some energy outside while we sip a glass of wine on the front step.  The weather was nice and many neighborhood kids were out, so we made our way down the street to socialize. 

Except Medium had other ideas.  All the kids were playing together nicely, and then WE stumbled onto the scene and made our presence known.  Medium is zero to 60, and sometimes if things don’t go his way, he goes straight into tantrum mode with little to no warning.  He lost it.  There was kicking.  There was screaming.  There was talking back.  And somehow I have bruises on my legs from a certain Razor Scooter.  This all happened in front of the neighbors; I was mor-ti-fied

When I see other mommies trying to deal with a challenging child, I always think to myself that I know how she feels because girlfriend, I have been there!  But when it happens to me, I feel like I am the worst mommy ever.  I can’t “control” my child and every Judgy McJudgerson is looking down her nose at me.  I realize this probably isn’t the case, but that’s how it FEELS. 

I feel like I mention Medium a lot in my blog because when it comes to discipline and behavior, he is my most challenging child.  I worry that I have created this situation because he is the middle child.  I try so hard not to compare him to Large because they are two very different children and they have very different strengths.  I CAN'T treat them the same way.  I can tell Large something once, and for the most part, he listens.  Medium needs to look me in the eye and repeat back what I’ve asked him to do or else I know it hasn’t registered. 

"Here kids, watch the Electronic Babysitter
while Mommy "cleans the oven."
The funny thing is, after I wrote the blog where I mentioned Alpha Mom, one of my sisters-in-law said that she considers ME to be an Alpha Mom.  It would appear that I, myself, am a Judgy McJudgerson.  My personal feeling is that when one has a child who has peed in the trashcan NEXT to the toilet, presumably for target practice, one is automatically precluded from being an Alpha Mom, but I suppose it’s all about perception.  I think that I am guilty of perpetuating the idea that I have it all together.  (or perhaps NOT.) 

The truth is, EVERY day is a struggle.  I feel like a failure more often than not because my children are not perfect.  They misbehave and throw temper tantrums (on the way to the bus stop at 7 in the morning) and don’t always use their manners.  It is MY responsibility to teach them how to navigate through life and when they aren’t perfect I feel like it’s a reflection of me and my failure as a parent.  Intellectually I know I am not alone in feeling this way, and yet it’s very isolating on an emotional level. 

Being a mother is such a precarious job because so much of it is dependent on how your charges behave.  Exhibit A: On Friday, we already had plans to go to Bingo at school.  Ideally, I could have stayed home with Jack as a consequence of his tantrum and Hubby could have taken Large to Bingo.  With Hubby out of town, I had to decide whether or not I wanted to stay home and punish Large by not taking him to Bingo, even though he hadn’t done anything wrong, or risk "rewarding" Medium's behavior.  I actually overheard Large coaching Medium, who was refusing to go to his room, “Mommy’s really mad.  Now go tell her you’re sorry and go to your room so we can go to Bingo!”  After everyone had calmed down, we had a little chat about Mommy’s expectations.  It should be noted that Medium had a tantrum last year when he didn’t win Bingo because at 4-years-old, he didn’t understand his odds.  Which is why we don’t take him to Vegas. 

So we went to Bingo after I explained that if ANYone had a tantrum, we were sooooo leaving.  My expectations for an evening of family fun were a tad too high, however.  Even though I had prepaid for our Bingo extravaganza, I had forgotten to pay in advance for dinner. I only had $6, and Visa was NOT everywhere I wanted it to be because the PTA does not take credit cards. I could only afford 2 slices of pizza and 2 drinks, which meant that I didn’t get to eat, and that makes for a cranky, hungry Mommy.  The cafeteria was crowded and loud, so it was hard to hear what numbers were being called, and Small was fussy so I had to hold him.  I had hoped that he would sit quietly in his stroller and entertain himself by watching all the people.  (Totally overestimated how fascinating my fellow parents would be to an 8-month-old.)  I was holding the baby while trying to play Bingo and prevent my children from painting themselves with the Bingo daubers, all the while listening to Medium repeat, “do I have it?  Did they call my number?  Mom?  Mom? Mom!  Do I have it?  Mom!” 

There is not enough wine in the world to calm my nerves and stop my armpits from being all persweaty that night.  I hope Hubby forgives me for telling him “I’m hating you right now” when he called home from outside a bar later that night.  When he gets home on Friday, I might just have to escape for a while.  Don’t be surprised if you see me in the Sheetz parking lot, just sitting in my Swagger Wagon enjoying a schnacky-schnack and a Diet Coke . . . and a little peace and quiet.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Random Thoughts That Look Fancy Because I Used Roman Numerals.


What IS this?

Don’t get me wrong – I let my kids do the little tattoos that you put on with water, but an entire tattoo writer, complete with super-fun tattoo gun?  When WE were little we played school.  (I was the teacher, OF COURSE, and I once tried to convince my “students” that the correct spelling of a particular southern state is Mrs. Ippy.)  We also played restaurant, but I got grounded when I used kitty litter to make my brother a lemonade.  A very special lemonade.  Now the kids get to fight over which one will be Kat Von D when they play My First Tattoo Parlor.  What’s next, Barbie’s Brothel?  G.I. Jonesin' for a Fix?


During a recent foray into refined culture and fine literature, I noticed this in my People Magazine:
"No thanks.  I had a Nerd for lunch and I don't want
to have to put on my buffet-eatin' pants."

I loves me some Dylan’s Candy Bar, mostly because it was an excellent bribe incentive for getting the boys to eat a good dinner at Patsy’s across the street.  Dylan's used to have a giant bathtub filled with gumballs that they don’t want children to touch.  Don’t ask me how I know this.  I also washed one of my children in the sink there after a particularly messy diaper blowout, the magnitude of which forced me to sheepishly tell a store employee, “you’re gonna need more paper towels.”  

But seriously, would you ever eat HALF a Tootsie Roll Midget? 

“Would you like 10 large jelly beans?  Or perhaps 16 carefully counted pieces of candy corn?”

“Whew!  No thanks!  I was gonna eat five Tootsie Roll Midgets, but I had to stop after that last half!”

In order to eat a half a Midget, one would have to hold it with two hands and gnaw on it like a chipmunk does.  I am more likely to stuff four-and-a-half Midgets in my mouth at one time than I would be to eat them in half-bite servings.  In fact, I may have done this once or twice in my lifetime.


Medium’s homework was to write a sentence, using correct capitalization and punctuation, about his mom.  How sweet, I thought!  Surely he’ll talk about how much he adores his mama.  Or maybe he’ll mention how much I love him.  Or that I take him to fun places, or that I make a mean racetrack, or that I sing crazy songs, or that I read cool books.  

But no:

Originally it was “My mom is tired every day,” but I made him amend it so his teacher won’t have visions of me hiding under the covers and refusing to get out of bed while mumbling something about how I barely have the will to live, let alone get up and make PopTarts.  Not that that would be far from the truth, but still . . .    

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm, like, a comedian.

See?  Look how cute I look!
But guess what?  CAN'T hit
a golf ball. . . . 

A new gym is opening near our house, so I went to the pre-registration office yesterday to see what kind of deal I could get on a membership.  My sister-in-law, BooBoo, called as I was driving, (but worry not, Oprah; it was hands-free,) so I had to endure her don’t-do-it taunts and the jabs about me not being able to find a workout cardigan, which was followed by a conversation about how she should take up tennis because she looks really cute in those little tennis skirts, and I should take up golf because I can totally rock a little golf skort and a cardigan.  Because I own 18 cardigans.  Yes, I counted.  Don’t judge me. 

As you know, I don’t like to sweat, so even getting to the sales office was an accomplishment.  (It was 60 degrees yesterday and I was wearing the sexiest of  mommy uniforms - a sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes, so I was SWEATING already.  That constitutes a workout, yes?)  I walked in and was greeted by Sean, your run-of-the mill beefcake sales representative.  I noticed a red leather tote next to his desk, so naturally I asked him, “is that your bag?  I like it!  It’s SASSY!”  Turns out he shares a desk with a female employee.  Or so he says

I sat down and rifled through my own bag for something with which to entertain Medium.  What I found:

  • Diapers/wipes/butt cream
  • three pacifiers
  • coupons for Starbucks/Kohls/Wegmans/Lands’ End/Children’s Place/the Jesus Bookstore
  • my wallet
  • the Hooter Hider
  • a quarter
  • crayons (seven of which are yellow) 
  • sunglasses
  • a BOB book
  • Mommy’s Medicine Pack (Epi-Pen, inhaler, Benadryl, Burts Bees, Dramamine, Neosporin, Band-Aids, two barrettes, and a ponytail holder)
  • two watches
  • three plastic blocks
  • a teether
  • a wool hat
  • gas medicine (for the BABY, not me) 
  • wet naps
  • two smooshed chocolate chip cookies
  • a mini-version of the Guinness Book of World Records 
  • 16 silly bands (the magnum opus of the devil, I swear.)
  • last week’s list
  • last month’s Costco coupons
  • a lipstick case with no lipstick (in fact, it's NEVER held lipstick.  I just carry it around.)
  • and a plastic dinosaur 

[Private message: Pipe down, O’Neal, I know what you’re thinking.]

Medium settled on my iphone.  I had to steer him away from the Chris Farley app.  The boys like to listen to Chris Farley say, a la Tommy Boy, “Brothers don’t shake hands!  Brothers gotta hug!”  

While hilarious, it’s not entirely appropriate for Jack to be repeatedly pressing the link that says, “No offense, but if I sent a picture of your mom to some of my buddies at school, she’d definitely be Boner of the Month.”  So instead I let him play Angry Birds so he can catapult our feathered friends at body-less pigs.  And here.  Hold this plastic dinosaur.

Sean-the-Beefcake says, “so tell me what your experience is.  What do you like to do?  What do you not like to do?”

“Well,” I reply, “I don't like to work out.  I like to eat.”  Hehe.

“You’re funny!  Are you, like, a comedian?”  Oh, Sean.  You flatter me.

“No, but I DO have my own blog!”  Wink, click-click, and shooting pistol finger.

Aaaaaannnnnd . . . . scene!

Thank you.  Thank you very much!  I'll be here all week!  Don't forget to tip your waitresses.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A FINE Parenting Moment

I want to share with you the trauma I caused my 5-year-old.

Medium gets off the bus at 11:15. Perhaps I’ve mentioned this before - the fact that Kindergarten is only half-day, which means I barely have time to shower and he’s home. Seriously, I drop them off at the bus, have a cup of coffee and try to watch the Today Show, (just in case someone tries to have an intelligent conversation with me and I want to be up-to-date with my news, not spouting off dated facts about that skank Monica Lewinsky that I gleaned from the last time I actually read a newspaper,) put the baby down for a morning nap so I can shower, and poof! It’s time to get Medium from the bus.

At about 11:10 last Friday, I literally had one shoe on when my doorbell rang. I hobbled to the door to greet my girlfriend. We’ll call her Laura, which is not her real name. Or maybe it is and I’m just trying to throw you off her scent. I’m all crafty like that. Her two-year-old is obsessed with babies, so she was all over Small, I was trying to get my shoe on and fasten the baby into the Bjorn, and Laura was fetching her laundry out of my washer. (It’s a long story, but I find it kinda pathetic that the ONE item I own that my girlfriends covet is my friggin’ washing machine.) I’m on my way out the door, yelling at Laura to just hang on a second and I’ll be right back, when the dog takes off.  I just can't seem to get out of the house!

"Where my mama at?"
The bus driver will not allow a Kindergarten student to get off the bus if no one is there to greet him. I was trying to run up to the bus stop as fast as I could, but I was wearing Small in the Bjorn, and because I’m such a loving, patient, gentle mother, I was trying not to give him Shaken Baby Syndrome via Bjorn Bouncing. That’s when I saw the flash of yellow through the trees – the bus was moving on, and I had missed it. (Well, as “flashy” as a giant motor vehicle that can only reach speeds of 35 mph can be.)


I pictured Medium, sad and weepy on the bus because his mama doesn’t care enough to actually be at the bus stop on time. And I have no idea what the protocol is in this situation, but I was also envisioning that judgmental phone call coming from school: “yes, Mrs. BoyMommy, we have a Medium here in the office. Could you please come retrieve your child, if it’s not too much to ask? Would you mind? We’re not judging you, but seriously, how hard is it for you to walk to the bus stop? What the hell else do you have to do?” I’m gonna owe my soul to the PTA just so I can alleviate the guilt and try to dispel the nasty rumor that I can't get my sh*t together.

By this time, Laura had packed up her kids and gotten my dog back into the house, and she was driving up my street. We came up with a game plan. She took off in her SUV: Grocery Getter Edition to try to head off the bus and rescue my son, but we had no idea if the bus driver would allow him to get off the bus with someone who is not his parent. Meanwhile, I ran home. (Okay, I walked at a brisk pace, since I still had Small Bjorned.)  I got him buckled into his car seat and grabbed my cell phone and my wallet, just in case I need ID when Child Protective Services tracks me down. I was on my way out the garage door and planning to drive the opposite way so that Laura and I could trap the bus in our neighborhood, all stealth-like, when in pulls Laura, and she had Medium!  She's my hero.

He was more mad than sad, and I was laying on the apologies pretty thick. One of my finer parenting moments, ladies and gentlemen.

Naturally, since I already had Small buckled in and my car keys in hand, I decided we should go to my Mecca, the glorious mommy magnet known as Target. While feeding Medium a nutritious lunch at Target’s snack bar, I noticed my friend K walk in. In lieu of screaming her name like a lunatic because I am THAT desperate for adult interaction, I contemplate calling her cell phone and telling her "I know where you are and I’m watching you right now."  But I decided that that’s too stalkerish.  Maybe.  A little bit.  Plus, I was afraid she’d look at her phone, see my number, roll her eyes, and put it back in her pocket, and I just can’t take that kind of rejection. After lunch, I was on my quest for coffee creamer and milk, as I had to put Nesquik chocolate milk in my coffee that morning because we were out of both. I spotted K huffing the room deoderizers in aisle 8, and I thought to myself, “this poor woman. She’s more like me than she knows.” I relayed Medium’s bus stop story, all nervous laughter and “silly me!” Except Medium didn’t think it was funny. His future therapist is gonna hear about this, I’m sure.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gayle? Are you out there?

I’ve recently stated that I need a Gay Husband because I could use some help around the house, some decorating advice, and a date to concerts my husband doesn’t want to see. Following this logic, his dearth of parental responsibilities would enable him to avail himself to my every whim. I wanna get my toes done at 6 pm on a Tuesday because Hubby just happened to get home early? Guess who’s coming along!

Turns out, I need a Gay Wife too.

I was ironing shirts last night and watching Oprah and Gayle on their recent camping trip. (Side note: I was ironing two brand new shirts for my husband. I purchased them last night and came straight home to iron them so he’d have one for today and one for tomorrow – because I dropped the ball with the dry cleaning and didn’t get it dropped off in time and now it won’t be back when he needs it. My punishment? Shopping for men’s dress shirts and then ironing them.) So Oprah and Gayle were road-tripping, singing along to Kenny Rogers - Hello?! Why was I not invited on this trip? – and spending a few days bonding.

“I need a new best friend,” I told Hubby, who was lying in bed watching me iron. I’m sure there’s some sort of sexual fetish going on there, but trust me, watching Oprah in my worn-out pj’s while ironing was not an intentional man-gettin’ activity. I guess it was just my natural sexual prowess. Hehe. “Besides you, of course.”

“Why? You HAD a best friend, but you f***ed it up,” he replied sarcastically.

See, I recently broke up with my BFF. We have known each other since we were 15. I was her child’s godmother. We were in each other’s weddings. The simplest reason I can offer for the demise of our friendship is that she felt I couldn’t offer her the support she needed, and I felt too many conditions were being placed on my friendship. I couldn’t be her Yes Man and still maintain my integrity, and since we’re no longer in high school and we couldn’t seem to agree to disagree, the friendship is effectively over. It makes me sad.

“I need someone I can go on road trips with. Someone to laugh with and have inside jokes with,” I explained.

“But Oprah and Gayle have a lesbian thing going on,” which may or may not be true. Even they alluded to it, jokingly, during their road trip.

“I don’t even have anyone I could be lesbians with!” I cried. “You have a best friend, someone you’ve known since middle school, and a shared history. I don’t have that.”

The truth is, I don’t have a BFF. I have plenty of friends and I have some of the BEST friends a girl could ever need, but I don’t have a BFF. I need a Partner in Crime - that one woman who is honest and hilarious and not afraid to call me on all my sh*t, my soul mate in friend form, like Thelma and Louise or Laverne and Shirley. My mother’s best friend feels like a second mom to me.  I have fond memories of them just being together, and I want that kind of natural friendship. It’s hard to lose your best friend when you’re a little kid, and honestly, it’s hard at 37.

I know things change and people grow apart. I think about some of the really fun friendships I’ve had, and I don’t know why I have never had that ONE long-lasting friendship that you read about in chick-lit. I realize the common denominator here is me. What’s the lesson I’m supposed to be learning?

So now I need a Gay Husband and a Gay Wife.

"Smiling's my favorite!"
The candidates, in no particular order, are:
1. Sassy Gay Friend – because I luuuuurrve him.
2. Bethenny - because b*tch is the new b*tch, B*tch.  And besides that, if Girlfriend has a way for me to get skinny by drinking margaritas, we NEED to be friends.
3. Kate & Lydia from Rants from Mommyland – although they already have each other.
4. Karen and/or Jack from Will & Grace
5. Cam from Modern Family
6. Jen Lancaster, because I love a Preppy B*tch (and her website is called Jennsylvania. WHY didn’t I think of that?)
7. someone who owns a beach house and wants to invite me there often.
8. Buddy the Elf.

This is an amendment to my previous list of people with whom I want to be friends.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boys! Glorious Boys!

Being the mother of boys has its benefits, but the constant potty talk is not one of them.  I am so tired of the alphabet song stopping at “P,” followed by hysterical laughter.  I’m tired of the attention paid to “nuts.”  And, for the love o’ pete, please help me get through the “weiner” stage.  I appreciate that my boys will never have body image issues, what with their propensity for getting naked and calling attention to their body parts, but I could do without the bathroom vernacular.  And I’m afraid eventually we’re going to have to add soap as a food group – because if you have a dirty mouth, Mommy’s gonna clean it.

"Why do you need a hairbrush?
You don't have any hair!"
While I'm at home explaining the virtues of polite conversation, Hubby gets to go to work and talk to grown-ups all day.  His schedule has been crazy lately and we barely see each other, so we often catch up by phone during the day.  I know he works hard and he is stressed out, but I’d sell my grandmother in order to be able to drive a car that doesn’t play a constant loop of children’s songs.  (And why does it take me so long, on the few occasions when I am in the Swagger Wagon all by  myself, to realize that kids’ songs are on the radio and I’m singing right along to "Where is My Hairbrush.")  My multi-tasking tonight, for instance, was me trying to pee, talk on the phone, and answer my son’s incessant knocking at the door, at the same time.  While dinner was cooking.  And the baby was crying.  I realize I’ve just let all you non-mommies out there in on a little secret: Mommies pee and chat at the same time.  I’ve even been known to lock myself in the bathroom so I can send an email.

Halloween.  Sigh.  I have single-handedly had to deal with children whose sugar-consumption would send a normal person into a diabetic coma, but instead just gives them more energy. I don’t care what “the studies” say, sugar makes them crazy – like 50 lb. Tasmanian devils on Speed.  My strategy is to let them eat as much candy as they want until it makes them sick.  Remember how you overindulged on beer in college and swore you’d never drink again?  (until next weekend.)  That’s my theory regarding Halloween candy.  To top it off, I woke up the other morning to three piles of orange dog vomit.  It seems Farley got into the Fun Dip.  Of course, the previous owners of our home had white carpet.  In the classic words of my mother, “that thing picks up everything but men and money.” Only parents of girls would install white carpet.  It never had a chance with my family and I am actively seeking its replacement.

I was recently talking to a girl-mommy friend of mine.  We were discussing how our children enjoy doing art projects, and in particular, stamping.  I have self-inking stampers that I allow my little artiste to use.  My girlfriend lets her daughter use regular stamps, with an ink pad!  I asked her where she found a ink pad for her daughter to use, because I naturally assumed she had found a kid-friendly, washable one.  She said she bought one at the craft store.  Incredulous, I asked “does it come out?” 

“What do you mean,” she asked.

“Does it come out?  Of stuff,” I replied.

“What kind of stuff?” She was confused.

“Stuff!  Like the walls or the hardwood floors.” 

“Oh, see that’s why I was confused.  My daughter would never stamp on anything but the paper.”

This, I find laughable.  Medium likes to take the ink pad and treat it as if it’s a stamp.  Luckily I caught him in time and I was able to wash it out, but I was this close to having a permanent purple rectangle on my hardwood floor.

I love my boys and I love being a parent to boys.  I don’t think I was cut out to be a girl mommy.  But sometimes it blows my mind that I actually have to explain WHY we don’t  do certain things like lick the yoga mat at the gym, urinate in the trashcan, or chew gum we found on the underside of a restaurant table.  These are things I imagine (perhaps wrongfully,) that girl mommies don’t have to deal with.  Yes, I’m generalizing, and I certainly know many girls who do NOT fit this stereotype, but I think of girls as being clean, quiet, observers who will sit and color within the lines.  My little guys are running around with toenails that look like bat claws, and they tend to put superheroes in my refrigerator.  They are dirty little sand-eaters, but I love them. 

I can name more Monster Jam trucks and Nascar drivers than Disney princesses.  And I am okay with that.  After all, Medium told me the other day that there are five princesses:  
  1. Mommy
  2. Snow White
  3. Sleeping Beauty
  4. Princess & the Frog Princess
  5. Ariel
He’s right, of course. I remind them periodically that this house is only big enough for ONE princess.  And that would be me.

I must admit, however, that I draw the line at the Ultimate Fighting Championship.  While visiting friends recently, we got sucked into one of those wrestling shows.  I made a snide comment (surprise!) about how smart a particular wrestler looked, clad in shiny boy shorts, tattoos, and SOME teeth.  I was judging a book by its cover, because, as my college roommate used to say, I was put on this earth to criticize others. I am quite sure, however, that said wrestler and I would never have an intelligent conversation about literature and cinema and such.  I can do Monster Jam and Nascar, but I just can’t do the wrestling. I think I would even rather watch that Tinkerbell movie than watch Wrestling.  Maybe.  Well, it's a close call.

Guess where this toy was a few minutes ago!

Finally, am I the only one who feels a great sense of accomplishment when using the bulb syringe?  I love that thing.  Luuuuurrve it.  I love squeezing it, sticking it in little baby nostrils, releasing it when I hear that glorious slurping of snot, and finally squeezing its contents onto a tissue so I can look at the spoils of my excavation.  It’s common knowledge that new mommies take the baby blanket from the hospital – you know, the one with the turquoise and pink stripes.  And we take the teeny-tiny diapers and the petroleum jelly.  But man, that bulb syringe kicks *ss.  If I could use it on myself and never have to blow my nose again, I sooooo would.  (Before you ask, yes I’ve tried it.)  I guess what I’m saying is that this princess is happy to have a healthy balance of sass and snot in her life.