Showers as a Mom

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Today, as I was showering, I was thinking “What a luxurious experience showering is now!” I had three kids and let me tell you that if anything is going to happen it is probably going to happen while you are in the shower. It starts out when they are babies.

As a young mom to a baby I would get the baby down for a nap and think “Oh great maybe I’ll take a shower now.” I know I am supposed to sleep when the baby is sleeping but a shower is necessary at this point. “what smells like baby puke, sweat and sadness?” *sniffs my shirt, “Oh for fuck’s sake it is me!”

I climb into the shower and I know that it is a race against the clock. So I start lathering everything up. I grab the razor I shave and I hear the baby winding up to cry. I am a new mom and I don’t actually know that babies cry without being stabbed, so I rush out of the shower. OOPS! I still have soap in my hair. What do I do? I do the only logical thing I can think of and grab the baby and jump back in the shower with her. Here’s the thing…is there anything more slippery than a wet human baby? I don’t think so. I am trying to rinse my hair, keep the soap out of my and my baby’s eyes. I am also holding the child in a death grip so that she doesn’t slip. Finishing shaving is not goint to happen but hey maybe I can start a nice trend. My underarm hair looks like ZZ Top and that’s going to have to be okay!

When the child is a little older, and they have never seen the movie “Psycho” clearly. I am in the shower thinking my toddler is asleep. I have my eyes close trying to rinse my hair when I hear the shower door open. My eyes spring open thinking I am going to see a horrifying sight and yes, there it is. Naked toddler believing that this is a shower for two. I get out of the shower and look at my work. Yup, one shaved leg and zero shaved armpits. I have options now. Which leg will my husband get tonight? Who am I kidding I am giving him the prickly one because I need my sleep and he can try rocking the baby at three in the morning for a change. Yes my leg hair is a weapon! Don’t judge me. He sometimes gets the smooth one. I am not all bad.

I now have more than one child. I am in the shower and believing in my mom skills for clearly, no apparent reason. I hear breathing and look out there is my three-year old naked and trying to get her baby brother’s clothes off. UMMMM? Excuse me. I am not trying to have a showering circus right now. I don’t need two slippery kids in my shower, but I also don’t know how to put an end to it. Why? Why do y’all want to shower with me? It’s bad enough that I shower with an entire tub full of toys because I am lazy and in a hurry. Now I have to share the already too small space with the kids that belong to those toys. But “Come on in”,  because I need to get clean.

Children are older and the last thing that want to do is shower with their mother. I am in the shower and this is when the children are desperate for answers. It always starts the same. “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

“In the shower!” I say to deter the conversation from happening.

Door opens anyway “Mom!”

“What?” I say through tears and frustration.

“whispers something incoherent so that I get super annoyed with them. is it too late to take birth control for this?”

“I didn’t hear you! What?”

“inaudible words to really piss me off and to catch me off-guard to agree to something i wouldn’t normally allow!”

I stick my head out of the shower and ask again “What? What do you want?”

“Never mind I will just wait until you are out of the shower.”

Really? Now you see that it is a bad time to talk?

Three kids later….”Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, MOM!”

Door is locked because I can.

The youngest is a clever little shit and gets the key and unlocks the door.

“Mom, they are downstairs and saying bad words.”

*I’m about to say some bad words.

Husband is home. It is mother’s day. I am in the showering “Mom, Mom,”

“Can I have a lollipop?”

“Where is your father?”

“I don’t know!”

“Go find him and ask him.”

A few minutes later “He said to ask you.”

“Yes, you can have a lollipop, but tell dad he can’t!”

Showering as a mother is such a funny experience. I don’t know what it is about being in the shower that makes us so desirable or needed. But we sure are.

Moral of my story: Human babies are the slipperiest things on the planet. Mothers need to shower too, but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. You may share your shower with some slippery kids. You may have to shower in installments. You may have to settle disagreements with soap in your eyes. To be honest I think that alone qualifies us for any job on the planet. Can you settle petty disagreements about who is the fastest runner in their new sneakers with soap in your eyes? Yes! Welcome to the oval office Madam President. 🙂

Until next time.

Horror Movies

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It’s that time of year again, you know the pumpkins, the candy, the festivities and me shitting my pants anytime a horror movie commercial comes on tv. I absolutely hate this time of year. I do not like to be scared. No surprises, please! I am a big scaredy cat and have been since I was a small child.

My first ever horror movie was “The Wizard of Oz”. When that witch showed up on-screen I flew out of my seat and ran to sit with my mom and to cover my eyes with her hand. (spoiler alert….the witch shows up on a bike. This is before Oz and color and munchkin land) The bitchy neighbor lady shows up and threatens Toto and I am very distrustful of anyone who would willingly harm a dog. I mean I don’t know what Dorothy did to piss her off but you leave Toto out of it. Then the witch who was horrifying had flying fucking monkeys that could make me piss my pants even thinking about it. Those things were made in a laboratory of poor choices and bad science. Oh Goodness those flying monkeys would show up and swipe away anyone who wasn’t looking and I was certain that I was going to be next. Could you imagine one of those fuckers grabbing you and off you go to the green witch’s lair. Holy shit, Not for me! Nope, I’ll pass. I am going to do what ever that witch suggested. I am no hero!

Another Horror movie was Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. NO it isn’t about how offensive everyone is to Rudolph, in fact I didn’t pick up on that until I became a mom. It was that fucking abominable Snowman. He terrified me. I would flee from my seat into my mother’s lap and cover my eyes with her hand. Then we find out that he just needed a good dentist or something and we are all….of course…rotting teeth hurt.

Another one was Rudolph with the baby new year with the big ears. That stupid buzzard haunted my dreams, Eon I think his name was and he wanted to snuff out the poor little baby with the enormous ears. I mean what demented person came up with these specials. “You know what gets everyone in the Christmas spirit?” Apparently it is a good soiling of ones pants from sheer terror. No Christmas is complete without it.

As I got older my brothers rented the Exorcist and even though I have never actually seen it, this is the movie that haunted my days and especially my nights up until I was an adult. Again I had nightmares from simple, regular movies or specials, do you remember the Great Gazoo from the Flintstones…I had nightmares of that little fucker dancing on my pillow. ET when Elliot made friends with him? I refused to eat Reese’s pieces after that, I didn’t want to risk aliens following me. Any ghost on Scooby-doo….I know it was Mr. Wickles, but fuck me why do you gotta go around scaring everybody like that, with your glow in the dark footprints and your special effects that look so real? Hell even those two old bastards that heckled the muppets scared me. My goodness can’t y’all just watch the show and be nice?

Yes the Exorcist was truly a movie that my pure heart could not take and there were the screams and that musical score that I will never ever be able to get out of my head. The pea soup that I accidentally saw because I ran to the bathroom and I couldn’t help myself but look at the screen. Oh God, I never in my life at pea soup because of that movie. I don’t even know what it tastes like, I don’t want to risk the satanic possession that comes with it. I’ll have the pea soup but hold the demons please, I am watching my weight!

Remember Fantasy Island that came on right after Love Boat. I always watched because of the hope that it wouldn’t be too scary and then afterward I would sing the Love Boat theme song to settle my nerves. I think it is in the bible that if you are singing of love no bad thing will ever happen to you. One particular episode fucked me up real bad, it involved a murderous dummy. I used to love dolls until that. After that episode I was all like Barbie you can no longer live here. You can sleep in the basement…and then I would lock the door for good measure.

My husband loves horror movies and I am pretty certain that if we went through some dating app it would be like “Nope not him, never him…she is too innocent for his horror loving ways.” But unfortunately we met at a keg party and welp there was no swipe left there. So he took me to see “Silence of the Lambs” for one of our first dates. I made him drive home with the lights on in his truck.

Horror movies have gotten substantially worse, or at least their trailers have. I haven’t actually seen any so I don’t really know. But things like “The Purge” and “It” I mean I know that “It” was a remake but seriously killer clowns….I’m assuming because I don’t really know…that is terrifying. And a night where killing people is allowed, no thank you, please! No I will not watch any of these movies, ever, probably!

I did watch “Sixth Sense” in installments and through my husband’s fingers because he has taken over hiding my face for my mother. I have gotten through Jurassic Park, also through his fingers. I even watched nightmare on Elm Street and let me tell you that I was not sleeping great after that. I am not a horror movie lover at all. This time of year all of the trailers come on and I am sitting at home all alone and I am all NOPE, NOPE, NOPE! Oddly enough I do like to watch those ghost hunting shows. Those sooth me because mostly they are like “Oh it’s the wind and this creeky door. The attic has birds!” or “There is a small boy trying to communicate on this piece of equipment!” then I turn it off and watch something super innocent like “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs” for the dogs and cats of course. Poor little animals will get so scared from that show I was watching. LOL!

Moral of my story: I am a huge chicken and Halloween is not my favorite. I get through it every year and every year I am all, that wasn’t so bad. My friends go to the haunted Pennhurst Asylum and I honestly do not know how they get through it. I would die. Then I would probably not know that I died and accidentally haunt people. I don’t go for you! I would not want to accidentally haunt you! I’m nice like that.

Mom can you help me?

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This is a loaded question isn’t it? I mean there are several ways you can approach this question when your child asks you. When they are really little it is a small miracle that these little stubborn beings ask for help. A two and three year old is very confident in their abilities despite the many gallons of juice they have spilled on your table and floor they are still certain that “I can do!”

As a parent you can either fight with them. You can break their will or you can clean up the fucking juice off of the floor. I have been all three types of mom. It usually goes like this.

“Juice!” small child demands.

“You need some juice baby. I’ll get you some.” I walk over to the cupboard grab the sippy cup because the last thing I want to do is make more work for myself by having the open cup get knocked over. Sippy cups is to avoid spills that’s why we use them. I sniff the sippy cup, I think this is normal, right? Does this cup smell like ass? Did it get fully cleaned? I washed this by hand and took all of the mechanisms out and boiled them…. but if it smells like ass I will do it again. I take out the juice and now the very confident small child goes to grab the jug from my hands.

“I do it!”

“No! I will do it!”

“I dooooo it!” small child is so confident and clearly I am not because of the cup sniffing and all. Maybe the small child should do it.

“How about I help you?”

“IIIIII DDDDOOOOOOOOOO ITTTTT!”

oh for fucks sake stop whining. fine you do it.

I reluctantly hand over the juice bottle. It typically starts well until the juice line tilts and the bottle becomes top heavy and the entire bottle is dumping. I reach out and grab the jug and try my best to keep my composure. The small child slurps the juice off of the table and is completely pleased with their performance. That’s because they don’t have to clean it up. I tell them to run along so that I can clean it up and they always try to help….because they are very confident. Yes please smear the juice around that is very helpful.

“Go see what the dog is doing!” I say because I don’t really need nor want their help.

Now the child is in school  and it starts so innocent “Mom can you help me?”

I peer over and see that it is simple arithmetic and I’m like yes but once you hit calculus you are on your own because that fucking class made me her bitch. Calculus is female for obvious reasons.

“Okay first you add the two numbers to the right. and then you carry the one.”

“That’s not how my teacher showed us.”

I stand there looking at the kid and thinking the mathematicians have been carrying the one since they built the pyramids…. what do you mean this isn’t how the teacher showed you?

“This is how you add, child.” I go back to the problem.

“No. Mom you have to draw a lattice.”

“My math had more numbers and less drawing.” I say.

The child builds the lattice and plugs in numbers and does their eighteen steps to get the proper answer and I am trying to follow along. I get out my calculator to check the work and I am like what kind of string theorist came up with this long complicated arithmetic in the first fucking place.

I told my child “How many problems are you supposed to do tonight?” because if you keep this up we are going to finish in time for school tomorrow.

The child looks at me and says ten problems.

“I’m sorry!” I say and I walk away.

I call other parents and ask if their children are also doing art math and they said yes. I am all progressive and I believe the teachers are trying to teach the kids something so I go along with it. The school has a reason so I am all like, sure learn this way. I also bought my children math books at the grocery store that does straight up math with carry the one and I teach that in my home too. I mean what can it hurt.

“Can you come into a parent teacher conference?”

Oh this is what it’s going to hurt, me!

The teacher and I come to the agreement that as long as my child is using the math that I taught to check her math it was okay. Problem averted!

Another time when one of my children asked for help she was trying to get down from her horse and she calls out nervously, “Mom, can you help me?”

I look at my daughter and she was dangling from the side of the horse. She was caught and I have no idea how. I walk over and I see that the tiny little hole that was in her pants had gotten snagged on her stirrup and she is being held onto the poor pony.

I start laughing because its honestly hilarious to see her just dangling and completely unable to get down. The stupid pants are really caught and luckily the pony is standing there otherwise this would have been dangerous. I start laughing and because I am laughing, and because I have had three kids, I am standing crossing my legs so I don’t piss my pants. I am all jelly arms because I can either do things requiring strength or I can laugh but I obviously cannot do both. My oldest daughter looks at us and comes over with her original “stupid futtin mommy!” sentiment and she, whilst on her own pony, helps her sister down. She rolls her eyes at me and rides away like the teenager that she was.

Moral of my story: “Mom can you help me?” has been a learning experience for me as well. Sometimes the answer is “yes!” and I lack the ability. Sometimes I am there mostly for moral support. Sometimes it takes the entire family to get involved and that is the best of times. Whatever the situation I will always be there! I may not help in the original manner but I will help to what capacity I am capable of. FYI I would like to point out there have been times when I have been totally helpful but those stories are less entertaining and therefore have no reason to be shared. I wouldn’t want to bore you with my excellent helping abilities. Okay there are more stories that ended this way.

Those quiet moments

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I am an empty nester now and I have a great many moments of quiet. I sometimes fill those quiet moments up with a great many memories. If you grew up in my house or perhaps you came over for a play date, or perhaps you were a frequent flier crashing on our couch and eating dinner here. You were all my children and I welcomed you in. If you came to our home and made it ours for a brief time or maybe longer you probably know that we didn’t have many quiet moments. We would have rap battles and dance contests and we would orate great stories. That was the home I wanted to create. The kind of home that welcomed creativity and no judgement.

The quiet moments when my children were little were very precious. Those wee hours of the night feeding my little ones. Looking down upon those pink little faces nursing until they had their fill. Yes, I was exhausted! Yes, I sometimes would begrudge having to get up! Yes, sometimes I felt like my soul was being leeched through my nipples. But something happens in those quiet moments that is so vulnerable and so precious. The world is quiet and it is just you and your child. You know that this bond will never break. These moments of being so dead tired and still dragging your ass out of bed to feed your child, you learn that there is very little you wouldn’t do for your children. You give yourself very little credit for being a mother, a woman, or even a human in those quiet little moments, but you are so much more than that. You are both a soft nurturer and you are a strong defender. You are putting in the hours that your child will not, most likely, remember nor will you ever remind them. Hell, half the time we forget ourselves. We are women and we do whatever is necessary.

Sometimes those quiet moments come when your child has been throwing a tantrum and you have finally lulled them to sleep. You are exhausted and you have fought a battle that was so bizarre. As your child fights sleep they often times fight you and you are not a warrior of the fight but a warrior of peace. You do your best to remain calm in the storm and you finally have sung the right song or you have rocked at the precise tempo. Whatever magic you have created to get this child to sleep, your wizarding ways will go greatly unnoticed. But for right in that moment you will know the exact right timing to stand up and put your child down. As you sit and look for the appropriate signs, you sit content and you cherish your little fighter. You will rock or pat or sing until it is no longer needed and you will finally get the rest that you deserve. You will work for their benefit until that time has come.

Sometimes those quiet moments come when your child is sick. They have a terrible cough, or an upset stomach and you have been there right along side of them. You know that you are being exposed to germs and sure maybe before you go to bed you will spray yourself down with lysol, but there you are that nurse out on the battlefield with your little one hoping and praying that they will get the rest that they require to fight for their health. Those quiet moments that you fill with prayer and ask God to give them health and help them to heal. The love and the powerlessness you feel in those quiet moments are so overwhelming and yet they are precious moments just the same. For these are the moments where we rise to the challenge and we know that we will do it again and again until we no longer can.

Sometimes those quiet moments come after a big fight that you have had with your stubborn child. Maybe you have said some things that you truly wished that you could take back, but that child has shut you out. You sit in those quiet moments with so much love to the point of bursting. You sit with regrets and with maybe some steam coming from your ears, but mostly it is love. You fill these quiet moments with plans of how to make things right with your child. You know that you owe them an apology and that perhaps they owe you one too. You know that you are the parent and the role model so you definitely should go first. You make yourself some nice humble pie with a side of crow and your quiet moments are spent choking down your pride. Once you have stuffed your pride down enough, you know that the silence will now be filled with forgiveness.

Sometimes those quiet moments come when your child went out on their first date and you are sitting with anticipation to hear, or maybe not hear, but definitely hope tha

they share with you how it went. You watch the clock and even when you try not to watch the clock you know that it is exactly 9:23pm on the nose. You know that even if they don’t share how it goes that you will be there if they need you. You sit on the sidelines as the best benchwarmer there is. In these quiet moments you know that whatever has happened on the date you will respect them. Oh now it is exactly 9:24pm.

Sometimes those quiet moments come when they have gone to college and you are worried about them being on their own. You know that you have great kids but some how you doubt that you have taught them enough to handle every situation. You think about them in their little pajama feet and their little pigtails and you know they aren’t that small anymore but they are your babies. In these quiet moments we spend our time convincing ourselves that we have to let them go. They are all grown. 

These quiet moments are far and few between but for a mother we spend many moments in the quiet. We fill that space with undying love and a fierce protection for our children. We sit in these moments and we know that whatever happens next we will do it for the love of our children.

Moral of my story: Live in those quiet moments. Love in those precious moments. Give yourself credit for accepting the challenge of those moments. You have been a great defender, a terrific giver of life, a wonderful friend, a fierce adversary and an amazing role model. Now that there are more quiet moments allow yourself a moment to really marvel at the terrific job you have done and then let them go. Good Job Mama!

“Mom Watch Me!” and now we have to go to the Hospital.

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As you know I have three children, one oldest girl, my middle boy child and my youngest girl. They are all grown now and I will tell you sometimes I’m like “Wow! Thank goodness!” because a few times I wasn’t certain that they would all make it. I was a bit of a panicky mother, but after the panic wore off, I was the mother that sent my kids to school if they didn’t pass the mom test “Do you have a fever? Are you puking? and Can you walk on it?” This is a test that I have failed many times. But a mom has to have  boundaries and also expect border skirmishes on the regular. You may have to do the walk of assholism to go and get your puking feverish kid from school because they didn’t pass the mom test and now they do.

Okay….This story comes straight to you from My panic days as a mother. I once brought my son to the hospital because he had a blue dot on his head….when it washed off, thank you to the nurse who was sensible enough to do this,  I was relieved…that was one very expensive shampooing for my son.

We had recently moved to Pennsylvania from my hometown in Massachusetts where I had lived my entire life since I was three years old. I had a six-year-old, a four-year old and a one-year old. My husband had just started at work and he wasn’t home much. We were living in an apartment building on the bottom floor. The floors were carpeted and beneath the carpet was a cement floor. My children loved to color and read and there was always a book or four hundred on the floor at one time. My oldest daughter and my son were entertaining themselves while I was putting the baby down for her nap.

To put a one-year old down for a nap is like an act of congress. First is the lighting absolutely perfect? Is the sound level at the optimal decibel? Is the baby comfortable and sleepy? Is mom so tired that she has passed out first and woken up by the baby finger straight up the nostril and into the brain? And why is her finger fucking wet?

Finally the baby is asleep and I am going to go into the living room and clean up a bit. I am living with monsters and they are filthy little beings that insist on having everything on the floor in case they need it. I am going to go in and undo this mess for a good solid half an hour so that in the next five minutes it can look exactly the same as it does now. I walk in and start picking up the contents off of the floor so that I can feel good about myself. My son and my oldest daughter are chattering excitedly together.

“Mom, I have got to show you something!” my son begins.

“It’s so cool, Mom! Wait until you see it.” my oldest daughter states with her eyes gleaming. “Brother has a really neat trick that he can do!”

My son is standing there in his sweatpants and T-shirt limbering up for his amazing and daring  stunt he wants to show me.

I am always a willing participant in fanfare, “Oh Yeah? You got something cool to show me? I can’t wait to see it Bug!”

“Be prepared to be amazed!” my oldest smiles and she is really proud of her brother.

“Can I pick up these books first?” I ask “Should I clean up a spot for you to do your trick?”

“No, no! I have been practicing while you were sleeping!” he announces.

*Ummm excuse me, I was putting the baby down….not sleeping! WTF do this kids think I do all day? Okay I may have drifted but I definitely wasn’t sleeping.

“Okay. Where should I sit? Or should I stand?” I ask even though my feelings are a little hurt over that crack about me sleeping.

“Assistant, show the lady to her seat!” my son says to his older sister.

“Ma’am follow me!” Oldest daughter obliges.

I follow her and walk over to my grand seat on the couch. It is the front row to the act, I hardly ever can afford these seats. I am usually in the mezzanine behind the lady from sesame street wearing her fruit hat. I sit down and am ready to see this grand act. This physical feat that my clearly talented and brave son is about to perform.

My daughter walks over to the center of the living room and announces for her younger brother, “Ladies and gentlemen!” I look around because there literally is just lady and no gentlemen in the audience. “Be prepared to be amazed by the greatest trick to be done in all of the world. You will laugh. You will cry. You will ask yourself ‘how does he dooo that!’ Now are you ready for the one and the only great Brrrrooooottthhherrrrrrr!”

I clap with the pretend audience and I see the fine acrobat take the stage. He runs around the stage and bows. He thanks his lovely assistant for her kind words and he gets himself prepared to do his death-defying trick that he had  prepared a solid twenty minutes for. I mean the stamina and the shear determination of this kid. Some people spend their entire lives training for such greatness…. My son takes a running start and he jumps in the air and he twirls….yes twirls….and lands on a slippery fucking coloring book and lands directly on his chin. Oh for fuck’s sake, I should have insisted on cleaning up first. I run over to him and check to see if he is okay. My son’s face was in pure horror. He was stunned silent. His face is white as chalk and he doesn’t even cry. He stands up, tries to say something to me. He stops from the pain in his jaw. He runs to the couch and picks up a throw pillow pushes it to his jaw and announces “I’ve gotta go to bed now.” He runs to his bedroom and lies down in bed.

I am sitting on the floor in shock because what the fuck just happened here? My son never and I mean NEVER just chooses to go to bed. EVER!!!!!!!!!!! I call my husband and I don’t actual reach him of course. I leave a voicemail.

“So, um, your son did a twirl and landed on a book and then smashed his face into the fucking cement floor. I think I should take him to the emergency room.”

I go to check on my son.

“Bug, are you okay? Do you think I should bring you to have a doctor look at it?”

He shakes his head no.

“Can I see?” I ask

He shakes his head no.

“Do you need me to get you some ice or something to make it feel better?”

He shakes his head no.

He never cries. He never says anything. My son is not the silent type. He might be strong but he is not silent. His oldest sister looks shit scared because she too knows that her brother is typically going to talk about what went wrong. How he can improve his trick. He does none of this. He lays in his bed and holds a throw pillow on his jaw.

Weird! Right?

My husband walks in the door and says, “Did you call me?”

“No it was your other fucking wife!” I think but do not say. When I get nervous and scared I become a sarcastic asshole but only in my thoughts…and sometimes out of my face but also sometimes out of my mouth.

“Your son fell and I think he is really hurt. He is so hurt he didn’t even cry.”

“Then how do you know he is hurt?” my husband remembers the blue dot incident and he knows I am not a good judge of when things are desperately wrong.

“Because he just got up, grabbed a pillow and ran to bed.” I say and like a real fucking asshole I start laughing. Laughing. Laughing because my kid’s reaction was so strange, not because he is hurt. Because I am laughing my husband starts laughing. My oldest daughter looks at us both with shame and announces “He is really hurt guys, it’s not funny!”

I gestured to my daughter as if to say “See? Even the six-year-old agrees with me and she’s practically a better mother than I am!”

My husband goes in to check on his only boy and tell him to rub some dirt on it and suck it up. But my husband comes back in with my son in his arms and says “Have you seen his jaw? We have to get him to the hospital.”

I almost left my sleeping baby I was so worried. I said ALMOST! Don’t get your panties in a wad. I heard her cry as I was closing the door. I grabbed the baby and off to the hospital we go. I now do NOT want to look under my son’s throw pillow to see his jaw because I have a vivid imagination and what I conjured up in my brain was obviously the jaw needs to be amputated. Good thing I learned some sign language. *by sign language I mean the alphabet and a song about a bear. I am going to be able to communicate with my son after they remove half of his face. Oh my poor baby boy.

We get to the hospital and we have to wait for the doctor. The nurse sees my son holding his pillow firmly in place because of the severe and clearly unrepairable damage done to his jaw and probably teeth and maybe even his ear…Oh MY GOD, My poor son!

She says “Let me get a good look at it.”

I don’t want to see it! I really would prefer to not see it ever. I hope they can get us in touch with a good plastic surgeon. Fuck me, my poor child. Will he ever speak again? Will I ever get to hear that sweet raspy voice of his. So melodic was his voice. So gentle and kind and thoughtful were the words he chose to speak.

My son eventually agrees to pull the pillow from his face and there it is a big bruise and maybe some swelling.

PHEWWWWWWW!!!!! My son is going to be okay. Relieved is not even strong enough of a word I could use for what I felt. I was elated. My handsome boy just is a little banged up.

They take him in and do X-rays and announce that there was a little bit of a hairline fracture and some bruising of the bone. It was going to be painful for days and he would not really feel much like talking or eating. Soft foods and plenty of ibuprofen to bring down the swelling and to help with the pain.

We bring him home with the other two children….see I remembered them all. We let him have ice cream for dinner and we rent movies. Dad and big sister went to Blockbuster to pick it out….because that is what we did in the olden times…we got the horses saddled up and we went to a big video store to rent movies on discs. You needed to have a card or else you couldn’t rent movies. My God what a hassle it was. Remember “Be Kind Rewind” days? No? Me neither I was just checking to see if you were old, because I’m not. Okay I am so old I remember that if you got a scratch in your record it was useless. But the point isn’t how old I am, the point is my son was going to be alright.

Moral of my story: If you are going to do a twirl you need to pick up the books off of the floor. I mean what did you think you were going to learn from this? Don’t panic. Never panic! Okay, don’t panic, your kid is going to make it.

Until next time 🙂

School Fundraisers Anyone?

yellow and red cat figurine on yellow top
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

One of the parts of being a parent I was woefully unprepared for was the fundraisers! My children would come in and hand me this packet with all of the things that they want to buy in them circled. They also circle their goal gift on the back. That’s your goal, son? You want to sell fifty thousand dollars worth of wrapping paper to get a yoyo that lights up? I am pretty certain that I can just go get you one for like ten cents at the dollar store!

My children grew up without our family close by. My children would also wait til the last-minute to show me the packet. We would only have a few days left to sell this shit because it has been sitting in their bedroom being circled. Yes, I do see how they are like me with my Avon catalog *if you are new here please read “Hiding from the Avon Lady.” Hopeful little cherubs with their eye on the prize and no one to sell to. We lived in a neighborhood that was recently built, it was filled with children my children’s ages. Everyone was selling this garbage. My kids were so excited to get that prize and so I would buy some portion of what was circled. They would ask their horseback riding instructor and various other people who didn’t want any either but obligatorily purchased a candle or napkin rings.

The deadline day comes and the child only has to remember to put the envelope in their bag and bring it to school. Inevitably the envelope is left sitting on the table. Seriously this selling garbage to make money for the school is becoming a job for me. I mean, what the fuck guys? I then have to bring the envelope to the school. So I have to bundle up my baby, grab the envelope, put the baby in her car seat all while she is sticking her ass up because she doesn’t want to go. I mean how does every child know this trick? You go to put them in the carseat and they become stiff as a board. As a mother you know karate chopping them in the stomach is bad, so now what? What does the parenting books say about this? Oh that’s right it glosses over the “heavy as rocks, stiff as a board, made of jello and spaghetti arms” part of child rearing. So there you are fighting with your baby as they are stiffening up and you are thinking “karate chop is wrong….don’t do it!!! You normally like this child.” You finally have to bribe the fucking kid with donuts. “Hey do you like donuts?” and you hope that they do. “We can go get donuts after we drop this off at the school.” The child finally cooperates and you smile because you probably could use a donut after that workout you just had. You really deserve it for not harming your child in your battle of wills. American Ninja Warrior should have a portion of their show where the contestants are dealing with children who are unwilling. For this next round you have to give your child medicine that they don’t want. *If you are not a parent but have dogs it’s the same. *If you have neither then imagine wearing a bottle of sticky cough syrup and your child has yet to get a drop in them.

I get all the way to the school with the envelope and my baby in the backseat has fallen asleep. Now I have to wake up the sleeping beauty to bring her into the school. (I think the person who wrote the Fiona part of Shrek may have had a toddler. When your child is tired they are kind of ogres.) I am carrying my little ogre who is screaming and kicking and biting me to the door. I have to ring the bell and wait for them to ask me what the hell I want. Only the little siren in my ear is preventing me from actually hearing them. Finally I hear the little click of the door and I am allowed in. I walk to the desk and the office lady is always annoyed. Always annoyed ever since I was in school in the seventies and eighties. I think there is a class on being a school secretary that makes them all very fluent in resting bitch face. I am now seeing the two hundred other parents of the school all standing there with their envelopes too. Honestly, I knew this was going to happen. Why doesn’t the school have someone outside collecting these shits so that we don’t all have to come inside? Oh its the public shaming at how incompetent we all are as parents. “You didn’t remind your child to bring this in?”

“Yes, In fact I made a song about it and everything. We even practiced putting it in the backpack last night and everything. I mean what can I say I don’t actually know why I am here either. But that’s not the point….here is your check. I have got to go and wrestle this child back into her car seat now.” Like I want to be doing this at all.

I finally get the child back into the car seat and she no longer likes donuts because she is super fucking cranky. Now I don’t actually know what is going to get her into her carseat. “It’s not a karate chop! It is not a karate chop!” I tell myself. I finally ask “Do you want candy?” She does and like a charm she is sitting and buckling herself up. You would have too, don’t judge me. Candy for breakfast is only bad if you think it through. I didn’t and therefore it was not.

The day the fundraiser arrives there will be one thousand phone calls, emails, and text messages to alert you to pick up your fucking things because the school doesn’t want it either. This is always in some parking lot, like a drug deal. The text is always so cryptic….*FUNDRAISER: pick up packages at NTTGHM parking lot 5-7pm!

That is the only time too. Like if you have the fucking flu or a job too bad. And I just know that I am going to have a reenactment of the envelope drop off. I am going to see the same two hundred parents. My child is going to fall asleep on the way so she is going to be screaming. My older two are going to have to carry the boxes because my arms will be full of spaghetti arms and jello body. *seriously America Ninja Warrior just consider it, it could be the parent addition. The boxes are always deceiving large for what is inside. You open the box when you get home and realize that it was wrapping paper for  Barbies. What the fuck am I going to wrap with this? I hardly ever buy jewelry as gifts. The napkin rings look suspiciously like the kids made them in art class, they are all misshapen and different sizes.

If you are like me, you laugh and take pictures because it is hilarious. If you are reading this please send me pics of your hilarious fundraiser things. I am on Facebook and Twitter and would really love for you to share them with me. Then at the very bottom of the box is your child’s prize which is always the most disappointing thing in the box. It’s either incredibly lame or amazingly small. Your child looks at it and they realized that they have been duped. Then they say something like “All of that hard work for this?” And this is really preparing them for taxes, which is not a bad thing I suppose.

Then your child has to deliver the packages to their proper recipients and they do so with less gusto than when they were selling it because they don’t care that you bought something they only cared about the prize which they have by now either broken or lost. This lesson of theirs never lasts because in the spring they are all super pumped for this new prize that they are trying to earn. It’s the circle of fundraising.

Moral of my story: It is not about the items nor the prize, fundraising does great things for schools and we should all support them if and when we can. Some of the things last though…I, to this day, have a frozen cake that I bought when one of my children was still in middle school. My oldest is in veterinary school, my son is in graduate school and my youngest is a sophomore in culinary school….thats one old cake. I am thinking this might be the Thanksgiving I will serve it. Also I might need to clean my freezer.

Until next time 🙂

Packing for a trip

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Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Is there anything worse than packing for a trip. I always tell people who I pack like I am running away, meaning that I am likely to have no underwear nor a toothbrush. It is more like packing like running away to join a shoe circus because I am going to have more pairs of shoes than days that I am traveling. I mean I may need these heels with the rhinestones because I may suddenly be invited to a fashion show or perhaps a wedding. How many shades of lipstick will I bring? Well did I mention that I have forgotten my toothbrush…what shade makes me look like I’ve brushed my teeth? Kidding, I am obsessive about brushing my teeth, my receding gum line will tell you. I still forget it though my toothbrush though.

It usually goes like this….

Me: sudden look of confusion and also panic.

Husband: “I have packed you a toothbrush!”

Me: smiles and still unsure what he means because it is usually not a new one. So I typically will have to buy one at the hotel store.

I also pack too many clothes for all seasons because is it winter or summer where we are going? Are they in the tundra but also near the equator? I brought five separate jackets on my last trip…..three of which I did not wear, and I still had to purchase one because I thought it was warmer than it actually was and got cold out on our travels for the day and bought a jacket to warm up. So I came home with six jackets.

As much as I don’t actually like packing to take a trip, I despise unpacking when I get home from one. It’s like a laundry bin at that point. Oh just let me unpack and do laundry and fold it and put it away….it’s so much work housed  in such a tiny bag. How did so many hours of work fit into that one small suitcase anyway?

If you travel with kids, you are going to get some sort of fucking surprise when you get home.

Such as:

Oh weird, here is the hotel tv remote!

or

A small container of seashells that smells as if they are housing a dead whale carcass!

or

twenty pounds of fucking sand!

or

a little bottle of ketchup from room service!

What the fuck are my kids doing when we are on vacation anyway? What the fuck am I doing where I don’t notice these things until I get home?

If you think I am an over-packer for me? When I packed for small children I was super prepared for anything. I kid you not, that if and when I could fit it in we would travel with the child’s potty chair. My kids were terrified of using public toilets and that meant hotel toilets and also family member’s toilets. I don’t know what my children thought my brothers did for a living but it appeared that they were in the lucrative business of selling time on their toilets.

I would pack them books, toys, stuffed animals, blankies, pacifiers, bottles, cookies, juice, cereal, clothes for every season, diapers, coloring books, crayons, pictures of their pets, birth certificates, last two years tax returns and so on and so forth until I would look at everything and think “That’s probably going to hold us over until we get home!” This is all the things that I would schlep around for several days until it was time to come home and wash it all.

Have you ever forgot your child’s blankie? or comfort item? Have you survived to tell the tale? Are there any ghost moms reading my blog and wishing they had enough energy to write me and tell me about your experience? please don’t haunt me! I forgot my daughter’s blankie and it was like she had a vital organ removed by the way she had carried on….well maybe not vital because she sure had stamina…so maybe a tonsil or something.

It starts with the child getting a little tired and you look for the comfort item. First you check the suitcase. Not there, you don’t panic because your search has only just begun. You then check the diaper bag, not there, you began to feel your heart speed up. Then you ask the kids “Have you seen your sister’s blankie?” They all shake their heads no. You don’t panic because they aren’t very observant. You go out to the car and search any where a blankie could hide. You feel the lump in your throat. You search everywhere the blankie couldn’t possibly hide. The feeling that the world is about to end is slowly trying to settle into your soul. You pinch your cheeks to put some color into them because you are going to have to try to convince your baby that it’s no big deal. The blankie is misplaced, not dead and gone. You look at yourself in the car mirror and give yourself a little pep talk “Okay Becki, the blankie is not in any of the usual places. It is probably hiding under a chair or something. You can do this. If you cannot find the blankie you will simply just tell the child and it will be fine. You got this! Don’t cry. Come on! Babies can smell fear. You are going to do great. Maybe the baby won’t care any way, I mean it is only a blanket.”

Then you walk into the hotel and tear up the place because you fucking know that no one will be getting any sleep if you don’t find that fucking blankie. You have seen it before when the blankie was in the dryer and it had fifteen minutes left and your child’s tantrum lasted well into the night because even when you did give it to them all dry and clean it was too late. The child was beyond reason and over tired and the blankie smelled different and not at all like puke and stale peanut butter.

I don’t know what is going to happen when I go inside and face the tiny tyrant. All I know is that if I runaway now the shoe circus might take me. Honestly I could probably live in this car for two months with all of the snacks, water bottles and potty chair. Alas I get the nerve and go inside to face the tiny little drum that is about to spoil the night for everyone within a twenty-mile radius of our room. It has to be done. I have to admit defeat. I will one day laugh about it and write a blog about it. But today I am going to wish that I packed that fucking blankie first. Stupid Becki!

Moral of my story: Are vacations even worth it? Yes, they are so worth. Wrap your child in the blankie if you remember the child the blankie comes with it. Also unpack as soon as you get home it makes the chore easier. And if you are like me and pack too much stuff just know the stuff you buy is not going to fit in your bags when you come home so remember to pack an extra suitcase.

Until next time 🙂

Nothing a little duct tape can’t fix

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I recently went on an adventure across the country with my daugher, in my daughter’s car. I word it that way to make my life sound like it has meaning. I actually just went to California to move my daughter and her copious amount of shit home. Now you all know me, and how I am an anxiety riddled stress machine, right? So when I say to you all that two days before having to fly out to California by myself I had a panic attack the size of California, you totally get it. I could have reasoned that I was going to be safe and that the trip was going to move forward without a hitch.

Well, I DIDN’T OKAY!

I instead looked up things like “Wildfires in California!” and “Tornadoes that ripped through Kansas” and not to mention the fact that I also watched a Netflix movie about the end of days for good measure. So I was good and prepared for anything that the Good Lord can throw my direction.

I am also an avid reader so I brought with me three books to read on the airplane and in hotels rooms because I plotted my trip out to take my beautiful nineteen year old daughter out of California up to her equally beautiful sister that is twenty-five who lives in Minnesota and then stay there until the twenty-five year old was on vacation from work four days later. We then journeyed the rest of the trek home all together. It was a total of two weeks.

I made it to my first stop on my flight which was in Phoenix, Arizona. Next was the flight to Monterey California. When I got on my plane for California I had already finished one of my books and had started another. Because I am reading, and also because I am getting old, I have to wear my bifocals. I also have sensitivity to light so I have to wear sunglasses that are also bifocals. Nothing says “Young and Vibrant” quite like a pair of bifocals sunglasses. I mean to look at them you would never know….but I know. Sure they are fashionable and shit, but they are also bifocals. I mean I might as well wear those weird square things the doctors give you when they dilate your pupils. So the spring is a bit out of my step, and no it has nothing to do with the weird click in my knee…it’s the fact that I am aging.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the flight that landed in Monterey California and how ill-prepared I was to be climbing out of the plane onto the tarmac with my bifocals glasses and not the sunglasses and my eyes are super sensitive to the light. I came off that plane blinking and shielding my eyes. I am certain that I came off a bit like a poor refugee that had just been released from the dark cave she had taken shelter in. “The LIGHT! It blinds! MY EYES! They burn!”

My inner-voice is all shouting “BE COOL! ACT LIKE YOU’VE BEEN PLACES BEFORE!”

I get into the tiny airport and I walk trying to read the signs that tell me which way to get my bags. My bags that I have packed to be on the road for two weeks. I can’t read the signs because my eyes can’t focus to the lighting in the airport. I am standing in front of a sign and squinting and rubbing my eyes and trying to see if it says Baggage Claim or Bagel Clam. I mean it seems obvious, but I don’t know. I get over to where the bags come out and I am super prepared to HULK OUT when my bags come out. Because I have packed everything a woman may need for two weeks in several climates. Yes, I may have over packed, but you never know when you may need things. My bags have my initials on them so I don’t make any mistake. So they come out side by side and I handle my luggage like a God Damned pro. I walk outside and a Taxi drive sees me “Need a ride miss?”

“Yes sir!” he takes my bags from me and off we go. Like it was planned. Smooth! Thank God for being gentle to me. My child and I spend the next three days moving her out. She drives a little Toyota and it is filthy. So filthy that I cannot see out of the mirror. It didn’t rain in California the entire time she was there. What it did do was mist…and create a lovely dirt paste all over her car. I now have to find a car wash. Thank goodness I have an iPhone and internet. Imagine life in the dark ages when you had to ask people and stuff. I get her car washed and I climb back in and drive away.

I get to the hotel and valet the car until it is time to pick up my angel at work. She and I are going to eat at the posh place she had been interning at all summer. I am dressed in my nice clothes and sweating my balls off. What has happened to her nice air conditioning? I am not going to lie when I say that I am not a car genius. This is probably going to make my father cry…LOOK AWAY DAD.

I couldn’t figure out how to turn on her air-conditioning. The valet or maybe the car wash guy turned off her air-conditioning and I am all….Oh yes hit the AC button and that is how it is done. Guys……….That is not how it is fucking done apparently. I am sweating and swearing (shocking I know) I turn dials and I push more buttons. NOTHING. It is warm here in California but we are going to be driving to Vegas tomorrow. Vegas is sort of Hell light. IF you want to prepare yourself for what Hell will be like go there. I mean it is 115 degrees there. That’s why Vegas women choose to strip…they are all like, “well I am going to walk around naked anyway I might as well get paid for it.”

I am going to be driving through the desert in this car with no fucking air-conditioning?

I call my husband and try to pretend I am not having a menopausal Hot flash and a nervous fucking breakdown all at once and I say politely “Hey, so, UMMMMM? How do I turn on the air-conditioning in this car?”

The way he yells back at me leads me to believe I am not being as polite as I thought I was “I don’t know honey, I am not driving it!”

So now I am annoyed so I say “I pushed the AC button and nothing happened and so then I turn the dials and nothing happened. I feel like I may be doing it wrong. Can you help me?”

“I will make you an appointment to have it fixed first thing in the morning.” Was his response.

“Do you think it’s broken? I mean it was working just fine until I gave it to the valet.” I think “It appears to have been just turned off, I just don’t know how to turn it on again.”

“You have an appointment at 7:00 in the morning. Take it to them and have them check it out.”

“What if they need to buy parts and have them shipped?” I began to panic for real now because the expert I called is telling me that a professional is needed and I am never going to leave California. It’s like that fucking song “You can check out anytime you want but you can never leave!” Oh Fuck me, the Eagles were right. I’m stuck here.

I start to cry and tell my husband “this is not going as planned.” because I am a rock star and I am rolling with it.

My daughter comes to the car and I am in pieces. “Mom, are you okay?” she asks gingerly.

“I have some very bad news.” I take a deep breath. “Your air conditioner is broke.”

“Oh for fucks sake mom, I thought someone died.”

“Well to be honest I am not even sure your air conditioner is broke because I think it’s just turned off and I don’t actually know how to turn it back on again.”

She smiles and says “Yeah, this happened to me before. You have to turn the dial first and then hit the AC button.”

Once she did this her air conditioning turns on like a charm. Take that Menopause, I have raised a super hero.

We cancel our appointment and the next morning we take a walk before sitting in the car for our eight-hour drive to Vegas. We say goodbye to her home for the past few months and leave with the air conditioning working. I apologized to my husband profusely for being so irrational. He says it was not a problem. He totally understood and was glad that the air conditioner was working.

When we get to Vegas I have realized that we need to get rid of some of her things because there is no place for her sister to sit when we get to her place. So we decide to lug half of her things to the Fed-ex shop in the hotel and ship it home. This was so ingenious and I was so proud of myself for thinking it. It was a bit pricey but we freed up so much space in the car.

Vegas was fun and we saw a show and we laid by the pool until it got so hot that we couldn’t stand it. We went shopping. We ate some great food. We saw a premarital argument out on the street…we knew it was premarital because they were wearing their bride and bachelor sashes. We had the full Vegas experience.

Onward, next stop Utah. We drove through some really beautiful places and scenery and even some smoke because of wildfires in Utah. My daughter was the perfect navigator. We sleep in Utah, the next morning we wake up and go for a walk before we have to sit again. Our next stop was Colorado. I ask my daughter to take pictures while I drive. She then tells me “I am not as excited about dirt as you are!” I then tell her that when we get closer to Colorado it will be greener. I then tell her that I would like to take her to the “Garden of the Gods”.

“I’ll see anything as long as it is not dirt.” she smiles

I grimace because the “Garden of the Gods” is rocks. I then say “Well it’s pretty dirt though.” we didn’t go to the Garden of the Gods. What we did do was go to Target because we needed to get some duct tape. When I pulled into a gas station to gas up and go to the potty….I noticed as I was coming back to the car that some “underthings” were hanging. I call my husband again and I say “Soooo! UMMMMM? There are some underthings hanging down from the bottom of the car, are those important?”

“I don’t know! What are they?”

“The Flaps?” I look at my daughter. She nods in agreement “I think it’s the flaps and they are hanging and dragging on the ground. Is that okay?”

“What flaps?” he asks

“The under flaps.” I explain and preface this with “I think!”

“Oh and my bumper is coming off because some rich dick hit my car!” my daughter chimes in.

“Jesus Christ Becki did you get in an accident?”

“No, I have been driving well. I just noticed this. I mean I am still driving and the car seems fine its just every once in a while we hear a dragging noise. I mean it is probably fine right?”

“Let me think about this and what it could be.” my husband once had to listen to me explain whilst he was in Europe, no less, about the under clunking in my oldest’s car. He was so pissed by my explanation that he told me to just making an appointment. I told the people at the car shop that there was an underclunking and then my oldest produced a handful of clips that she had in her pocket and said “And I found these!” So yeah we are super great with these types of things. That particular day the clips my daughter found didn’t actually come from her car and they fixed the problem.

“I told you, its the under flaps.” in all seriousness.

“Cars don’t have under flaps.” he explains. “Can you just take a picture of it?”

“When I get to the hotel I will.”

“Maybe it’s the splash guards and you can just duct tape them up. I don’t know about the bumper though.”

“Yeah I think duct tape will help.” I say even though I didn’t actually get a good look at the bumper.

We get to Colorado and we take photos of the under flaps and the bumper that I was able to push back into place. My husband tells me that duct tape will work and to not worry about it.

We get the car all duct taped and head onto the next stop, Missouri. Except when I was trying to figure out where the GPS was telling me to turn I was premature and the GPS decided to be a fucking bitch and she was all like “OKAY you can take the scenic route.”

There we were driving down this country road with nothing but farm land on either side of us and we were on this road for a hundred and fifty miles. I start to get nervous, what if we need gas? Luckily my daughter is a savvy little genius and she found on the gps on her phone that there was a gas station coming up ahead. We were happy to stop and get gas and to use the restroom. We had doubts about getting food though. That was until we walked in and smelled the fried chicken cooking. There in behind the gas station was a little fried chicken shop with all of the fixens. My little girl walks up and looks at the menu.

8-piece dinner

16-piece dinner

24-piece dinner

My daughter who is a tiny little thing asks “Can I have an eight piece dinner?”

“NO!” the woman behind the counter says, “All I’ve got here is all I’ve got and it aint even lunch rush yet!”

My daughter looks at me confused because this chicken queen has over a hundred pieces of chicken in her case and we can smell more cooking.

“Well what can I have?” my daughter asks her.

“What ever you want sweetie.” the woman responds.

“Can she have the chicken strips?” I ask

“How many?”

“I guess three?” My daughter asks because she doesn’t know how many is too many.

“Okay any potatoes?” chicken lord asks

“Yes the wedges.” my daughter says.

“How many?”

“A couple?” my daughter answers and the woman drops two potato wedges into the box and then she looks at me.

“Do you want anything?”

“No thank you!” because I am not sure if we have purchased too much already. I grab some sandwich from the store portion of the gas station and then we were back on the road.

We climb into our duct taped car and carry onward to Missouri. When we get to our hotel we have a hard time finding where to park. I have been to New York city and pulled into the walkway thinking it was the valet parking before and had been yelled at by a police officer. So when I see this Parking sign I am immediately skeptical. Also as I pull forward to the parking garage it states to check in first. I park in the fire zone and run in and check in and they notice that I look flustered.

“Are you okay?” the check in girl asks.

“Yes, but I parked in a fire zone and I don’t think I was supposed to!” I say.

She smiles and says “No problem, let’s get you all checked in and I will have the valet go get your car and to help you with your bags.”

One night in this hotel and then onward to my oldest daughter’s home. We stay in a hotel because she is a vet student and she lives with many people and I didn’t want to intrude. When we finally get to see my oldest daughter we all hug and laugh and joke. We tell her about the duct tape and the under flaps. We go to dinner. She works two jobs, one frightfully early in the morning and the other starts at five and goes to the late night hours. So we go back to our hotel. That night my youngest got out of bed to use the restroom. When she came back she stopped before climbing back in and she removed her earrings. I see her there but I don’t know it is her. I just see someone standing over my daughter’s bed. So I yell in my man voice “Hey!”

My daughter screams and I stand up because I think the assailant has got her. I turn on the light and there is my poor little angel all wide-eyed and ready to take me down if need be. We laugh and I apologize.

It finally comes time to leave with both daughters in the car heading to Indiana and eventually home. My oldest is shopping through her sister’s things because we need to make more room. We tetris the shit out of our things and get enough space in the car for everyone and their belongings. The next drive was long and filled with traffic as people are moving back to Universities and what not. Finally we make it to our hotel. We decide on dinner and I have been eating such unhealthy things all I really wanted was a salad. Instead we ate at Five Guys and my stomach is on fire from the grease.

We are in a suite style room and I noticed before I went to bed that there is a door that leads to another room. There is a sign that says to lock door turn the lock this way. I try to turn it and it doesn’t budge. I shrug thinking it is locked and I go to bed. Then as I am sleeping I hear a door noise and I think “Holy fuck it is the murderer that lives behind that God damned door coming to kill my daughters and me.” So I wake up and try to see….as you now know I don’t see very well, hence the bifocals. So I am squinting into the dark abyss and I see the tiniest of a round shape and it looks like this person is watching us sleep.

I have been on the road with the youngest and I call for her first. She does not budge. I then call the oldest and she doesn’t move either. I walk over and I wake her up.

She says “Yeah?”

“I need you to help me.” I say, still sleepy and now starting to come to.

“What do you need help with?”

“I, ummm, I heard a noise. So I need you to be awake in case I get murdered.”

“Okay.” she says

“Oh and I’m going to turn on the TV.” I say as an after thought because I just woke up my daughter to witness my murder I might as well put some light on so that she can be a good witness. When the television is turned on there is my tiny headed person, it was a vase above the couch. The door that I heard was the elevator and I am glad that I am awake because I have to pee.

When I crawl back into bed, my oldest looks at me and asks “Are you done being murdered? Can I go back to sleep?” because she has been my daughter for twenty-five years and she is quite accustomed to my crazy.

When we get home the dogs are happy to see us. My husband had left on a business trip so I won’t see him for a couple of days. My daughter’s best friends were watching the dogs and waiting to see my daughter who has been in California since March. It was so lovely to see them all together again. My son and his girlfriend are coming home to stay a few days and for a few nights all of my babies will be under one roof. We played a card game that made me laugh so hard that I went to bed with a headache and a sore neck. My kids are hilarious and I am so proud of them. They all got their mother’s sense of humor and none of my ridiculous fears. My husband’s trip got cut short so he was able to come home and be with his family. It was lovely how everything turned out.

Moral of my story: Be patient with yourself and trust that everything will be alright. Also travel with duct tape. I totally loved this trip with my daughter/daughters. It was such an adventure and turns out that my imagination was worse than any of the troubles that were in front of me. The Good Lord watched over us and probably laughed along with us.

Until next time 🙂

 

I’ve still got It! (a tale of motherhood)

crescent moon and cloud wind chimes
Photo by NIKOLAY OSMACHKO on Pexels.com

When my youngest was a newborn I was a breastfeeding mother. My husband and I were planning to have family over for a cookout. The first thing to do was to go to the grocery store. My husband was asking me “What do we need at the grocery store?”

I was rattling off the list of things as his eyes were glazing over because the list he wanted was three items, the list I was giving was more like the Gettysburg address of lists. I mean when your list begins with “Four Score and Seven Years ago” there is going to be paper involved. So as his eyes begin to glaze over and the three hours of sleep that I was running on and also the possibility of me getting out of the house I naturally answered with “I will just go!” He looked relieved at the opportunity to be in the house alone. I was looking forward to going to the grocery store alone. I finish feeding the baby and I know I have a two and a half hour window to work with. I put the baby in the bassinet and I go outside and hand my husband the monitor so that he can hear when the baby is crying.

“Aren’t you taking the kids?” he asks (Are you serious? I just evacuated the last one from my body so no I don’t have to take them with me everywhere I go!)

“No! The baby is sleeping. The other two are playing nicely and you are an adult so I am able to grocery shop alone.”

“Becki,  you are just going to leave them here with me?”

I would like to think that I was all understanding and thoughtful and handled things like a good-natured human being. Instead I turned to him and I said. “Yes. Surprise and congratulations you are a father. It’s a girl and a boy and another girl!” I turned on my heels and walked all the way to the minivan and started that bad boy up like the rock star that I was.

I drove all the way to the grocery store listening to music. At first it was Ernie singing about his best friend “rubber ducky” and then I was like “Wait, I can listen to whatever the Hell I want to. It can be the most violent of all music I can find.” So naturally I blanked because what even is popular these days. I turned to some pop channel and there was Britney singing about spousal abuse or some such thing and I was all like “No Britney do not let him hit you.” I finally found Alanis and she is singing about the ironies of life. I can really get into that and so on my way I go. I don’t know the words but I sing anyway, because I AM A ROCK STAR!!!!

I get to the grocery store  and the first thing I look for is the cart with the car that the children can play in while I shop. But guess what folks I don’t need it. I can push a regular sized cart and shop in peace. I am going up  and down the isles and I start getting these guys that look at me and smile and say “HELLO!” I am impressed because did I even shower today, or this week? These men are all into me. I am floating because I am getting the “look” from all of these guys. “I still got it!” I think to myself.

*I know that I shouldn’t get my self-worth from a man or many men. I know that I am supposed to be better than that. But to be completely honest I have been feeling like such a host to a parasitic condition for so long It honestly felt good for someone to look at me not as a person that was going to feed and clothe them but as a hot piece of ass. A desired human being. My husband at this point in time looked at me as the person that was going to help him avoid parental duties. So yes I was flattered by all of these looks. 

My self-esteem was soaring by the time I get home. My sister was there when I get homw and she helps me unload the groceries. Then as I was standing in the kitchen telling her how all of these men were giving me the “LOOK”. She says “Your shirt is opened.”

“What?” I ask

“Your shirt is open!” she states again and points to my chest.

I slowly look down and low and behold there It is. My shirt was wide open.

*flashback to what I was doing prior to my shopping trip. BREASTFEEDING the baby! 

Holy fucking shit! These guys were definitely into me because there I was with my enormous milkshakes hanging out for anyone to see. The baby cries and now I realize that I may or may not just walk around with my blouse wide open because all I ever do is feed the baby. Why bother buttoning up when all I am going to be doing is unbuttoning every two and a half hours until she is old enough to say “button your shirt mom!”

Moral of my story: if you breastfeed check yourself in the mirror before you leave the house to make sure that the goods aren’t on display. Also, they still were checking me out so it counts. The irony is not lost on me that I was listening to that song on this particular shopping trip.

No! You just sing the boy parts!

night music band microphone
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

This little story is a flashback brought to you by Mama Mia and ABBA and my childhood. I recently saw the movie “Mama Mia! Here we go again”. It was great and if you have not gone to see it, I highly recommend it. If you have not seen it you are still welcome to read my flashback as it will give no spoilers to the movie. In fact the only spoiler was the dashed dreams of me singing as a girl.

I loved ABBA as a girl and so did my sister. We would dance around our living room or my brother’s room because those were the two places that had an 8-track player and we were listening to our ABBA 8-track tape. By the way I remember when the 8-track went, it was playing Elvis and Elvis’s voice got all melty and then there was smoke. Any way, enough about my nightmares, My sister and I would always sing together.

I just a few days ago purchased the ABBA greatest hits album on iTunes when I was fresh from the movie Mama Mia 2. I was so excited. I got that sucker pulled up on my iPad and lets just say I was stoked to sing along. But a really sad truth is I only knew the “Boy parts” as we used to call it. *Not to be mistaken with the other “boy parts” because that’s just gross. Why is it that I only knew the deep singing parts of the song.

*Insert flashback music and wavy scene maybe in black and white or perhaps Technicolor because it was the seventies.

My family was highly musical and everyone played an instrument. I played the spoons. I am calling that an instrument, it is in the percussion family. We had amps and microphones and guitars and a keyboard and a drum set so obviously I was given the spoons from the kitchen drawer. If you play the spoons first of all I say to you Bravo on your selection and welcome to the spoon players of America. Also (not to dash your dreams) spoons are an appeasement instrument. Much like the wand in Harry Potter, the instrument chooses you. Mine chose me with “Here stop crying and play these!”

Sometimes when we were playing “Band” it was just my sister and I. I would step up to the mic with grand dreams of being the ultimate of all lead singers. When My sister would open her mouth and sing my part. I would look at her and say “That’s my part. I want to be the girl!”

“But you’re always the boy! Besides you can sing lower than I can.” she would respond.

*children’s rules if you take the undesirable part once it will always be your part by default. That’s why I was the fucking dolphin.

We would rewind the tape and again begin, but if you listen to ABBA the boys don’t really sing much. So there I am with my sorta low chipmunk voice singing “Supapa Troopapa” and realizing that this is some bullshit. The next song would come on and I would start to sing first and this would always end with my sister reminding me that I am essentially a boy singer with the beautiful bass to go along with it.

I would then sing some sort of boy background words and the whole time I was wondering how do I become a lead singer only doing these dumb boy parts.

One day my sister was not home and the mic was Hot and waiting for me. I stepped up to that thing like the rock star that I was. I belted out Mama Mia. I belted out Dancing Queen. I was forever meant to be the lead singer. I was so happy to be alone and singing any part that I wanted. But I missed my sister because no one was there to appreciate the performance I was giving. When my sister came home I was like “Do you wanna play band?”

“Sure! Let me go change.” We always dressed in some outrageous outfit to play band, with my mom’s vest and some belt tied around our heads. We probably looked some waifs taken in off of the street that had been living in a donated clothing bin.

She comes out and damn she looked good. She steps up to the mic and she is all “Ooh You can dance        You can Jive”

I was all like “You CAN DANCE   YOU CAN JIVE”

Because I was just going to sing louder, because everyone knows that’s how you become the lead singer by aggressively singing louder and a bit off-key.

“Becki, what are you doing?”

“I’m the girl this time.”

“You are always the boy.”

It wasn’t until years later that we found out that ABBA had two girls that sang. We could have avoided many arguments by doing a little research or perhaps looking at the picture on the 8-track tape.

Thanks to my sister I have great range, I can hit both the high notes and the low notes. Also I don’t sing in public so I may not actually be hitting any of the notes. But that’s not my point is it?

Moral of my story: Some one has to be the boy! That’s a terrible thing to say. Wait, women empowerment! No one has to be the boy! That’s equally terrible. What’s my moral here? I got it! There can be two lead women singers in a band and they can both be equally awesome. Nailed it!!!!!

Until next time 🙂