New Mom Crazy: A Diaper Tale

16 Oct

Having a baby comes with a healthy dose of new mom crazy. You’d been warned, you’re ready, So, you feel justified when three months into your new baby,  you say to yourself, out loud, “Am I fucking crazy?” (Because, if you were actually crazy, you wouldn’t ask yourself if you’re crazy, because truly crazy people don’t know that they’re crazy, they’re just… crazy.)

RIGHT?!?

So, there I was, one morning,  with my three month old son on the changing table, his little cankles held firmly in my left hand, as my right hand, gloveless mind you, picks through his poop. I looked as closely as I could with just my eyes, but apparently I needed to add another sensory perception and feel it, rub it between my finger tips, and hold it up to the light to make sure that yes, indeed, there was blood in his poop. “Whaaaat the fuuuucck?” I  whispered, utterly confused. I grabbed another hunk, smearing it onto the clean side of the diaper, staring intently, desperately trying to find a reason NOT to freak out. But there it was. Faint and slightly tinged, but there. Still breast feeding, I think quickly, “what did I eat, what did I eat, what did I eat?” I did a quick mental check list of anything red or bright or bright red that I might have eaten… peppers, tomatoes, red food coloring… negative. There was only one answer then. Internal bleeding. Oh my GOD! My baby! My baby is bleeding on the inside to the out and I caught it just in time. I saved him from the obvious intestinal rupture that was in beginning stages. I quickly cleaned him up and myself and called the doctor, then like all new mothers, waited impatiently for him to call me back, like 3 hours later… really dude? Did the message I left with “Internal bleeding and it’s coming out of his asshole” not jump to the top of the list of other moms? Surely I must have trumped all but maybe one, no? NO?!?

During the wait of a return phone call, I did the worst thing that any mom could do. Ever. I googled it. I scrolled through the possibilities, certain I had the worst one. Meanwhile, i discovered that there were different shades of red that meant different things. Was it mixed in the poop or on the outside of it? Was it light pink, dark red? Was it streaked? I jumped when the phone rang, probably because it was right next to me and on high volume, so I was sure not to miss the call. After explaining my poop journey to the doctor in one long run on sentence, I finally took a breath and said, “I broke my baby. My baby is broken”. The doctor, who I could swear was stifling laughter and eating a bagel at the same time was clearly not as concerned as I was. In fact, I had this vision, he was in some doctors only lunch room, where they put the phone in the middle of the table, on speaker and smirk at each other as they listen to the crazy rantings of moms concerned with what was probably a daily if not hourly issue for them as they pass a big bag of sun chips around the table and unwrap their delivered sandwiches.

He calmly assure me that my baby was NOT broken. That he could have a small anal fissure (tear)  from passing hard poop which is very common and that my baby was okay and unless he was crying unconsolably and/or writhing in pain, then this was totally normal.

I’m sorry. Normal? it’s normal to have blood in your poop? How is that normal? But he assured me it was and told me to call him again if I noticed more or it darkening. Then he hung up. First. Normal. Huh. Who would have thunk it? I felt relieved. A little untrusting of the casualness of his diagnosis but still, relieved. Okay then. Normal.

And it went away.

For a week.

Then I’ll be damned, muther fucker, one morning, there it was! The familiar flush of panic hit my body like a hot flash, but this time I was able to slow it down and remember what the doctor said. A fissure. Ok.. Sure.. Anal tear. Got it. I’m on it.  I’m not ashamed to say that I inspected that area. Oh, I inspected it, thoroughly, methodically, with a magnify glass on my swiss army knife. that’s right. I did it. Poor kid, I was so up in his business, I swear he started to look at me funny. But I saw nothing. nada. Zip. Just a regular ol tiny hiney hole. A perfect pink whistle. Nothing.

So, I make the call to the Doctor again and again imagine I’m lunchtime entertainment and again, he assures me that my baby, if NOT in pain, is fine. “I don’t understand!” I say and I launch into my description of the type and kind of blood again. To be honest with you, I’m not sure what I was hoping for. I mean, was I hoping that he would suddenly be like, “wait, what?! You said IN his poop?” and then I say, “Yes. Yes! IN his poop!” and he apologizes that he couldn’t hear me clearly in-between is crunching of his flax seed chips (yeah, he’s that kind of doctor) and says, “Go. Go NOW to the hospital. I will meet you there for emergency surgery”.. I mean, is that what I wanted? NO.. no way. But, I did feel like he was dismissing me too quickly. I did feel like he wasn’t truly grasping the situation and that I wasn’t describing it well enough to get his attention in the matter.

So I made an appointment. I asked him the first call around if I should bring him in and he said no, gave me some serious bloody poop guidelines to follow and if I met any of them at any time, THEN bring him in.

I hadn’t met any. My baby was happy. But I made the appointment anyway.

And this is where crazy really kicked in, pushed Jesus aside and took it’s turn at the wheel. My son slept pretty well, played happily, cried normally and all around seemed joyful to be a baby. But then I started thinking that maybe he had been in pain since day one and was just used to it… like the orphan babies in Russia that don’t even cry anymore because they know that no one will come. My heart broke and so did any sense of rationality.

The night before our doctors appointment, I inspected the poop and sure enough, there it was. I had evidence. I had proof. NOW the doctor could SEE what kind of blood it actually was. I took the poopy diaper, folded in gently like a present, placed it in a zip lock baggy and put it in the freezer. I felt good about myself. I was on top of my game man. Proactive. Mom of the year.

About an hour later, I’m in the bedroom folding laundry, my son in the bouncy seat watching me, I hear my husband in the kitchen crack open a can if ginger ale, then the freezer door open and close, the sound of ice breaking into the glass, the freezer door opening and closing again. Then opening. And silence.

He calls out, “Babe?”

“Yeah/”

“Um. Is that a diaper in the freezer?”

“yeah.”

“K.”

Pause.

“A dirty one?”

“yeah.”

I hear the freezer close and I feel him behind me.

“Why?”

I turn to him to see his bewildered yet amused look.  I’ve seen it before. It’s a common look found on a mans face when looking at a woman. The one that tells me, I’m teetering on crazy.

“Because. The doctor seems way to relaxed about the fact theres blood in our sons poop and I feel like if he just SAW it, then he could tell me what it’s from.”

“Seriously. You’re going to bring him a diaper?”

“Well, I froze it.”

“Exactly.” and he walks away..

Whatever with him. I mean, why wasn’t he as concerned as I was? His lack of concern not only irritated me, but made me doubly worried. I mean… blood. In his poop. Does no one care??!?

The next morning we headed to the Doctor’s office. I packed the diaper bag and placed the frozen bloody poopy diaper in a lunchbox with ice, certain that I was a champion for my child. We were going to get to the bottom of this (pun intended) and I was going to be praised for my preparation, my aggressive parenting in finding answers. My husband eyeballed me from across the kitchen as I packed up. A strange look on his face of slight intrigue with a knowingness, a condescension. I smirked back. He’ll see.

“what?” I said.

Pause.

“You know that’s a little crazy right?”

“What?”

“bringing the Doctor a frozen loaded diaper. I mean.. you see it right? A little off the deep end?”

I thought for a minute. From his perspective. Maybe it was a little… I don’t know… much.. maybe. Screw it.

“I want answers. he needs to SEE it”

He took a swig of coffee and resigned, “Okay.. lets’ do this”.

He seemed almost excited now. I squinted my eyes at him. He’ll see. He will soon be praising me for my parenting skills.

We sat in the room, waiting patiently for our turn. The doctor came in, maybe I was paranoid, but it seemed that he and my husband had exchange a knowing look as he proceeded to do a check up on my son, who was laying on the table in nothing but his diaper, happily playing with a pacifier and staring at the ceiling montage of baby giraffes and elephants surrounded by bubbles. Sometimes I imagine he’s high. Like, he’s SO into the painted scene above that seems ridiculously simple to me, yet he’s mesmerized and if he could talk, I feel like he would say, “Trippy dude.”

The doctor pushes on his belly, under his rib cage, his sides, presses under his belly button, I held my breath waiting for a squeal of pain to escape my boys mouth, but he giggled… Then the diaper undone, his legs over his head, the doctor did, what I think was a marginal inspection of his pink whistle, I mean C’mon, get IN there man. Then he retaped the diaper back up, listened to his chest and belly and said, “well…”, I leaned in, here it is… “he’s gassy”.

Silence. “what? you can hear… gas?” I say disbelieving, like a psychic can see dead people.

“Well, I hear grumbling and air. He could be a little constipated, which can irritate the intestines and what you may be seeing is just some of the lining. Which. he will out grow around 6 months and is totally normal.”

I stare it him. Really?

“You can try to bland your diet a bit, less spice, more grilled chicken, white rice, but mostly this is just something that babies go through”.

Hmphh. I feel my husbands eyes on the back of my head, waiting, hopefully for me to present my “gift”. I start to feel a little silly. I mean, was the blood that bad? WAS it that much? WAS it even there? Or…shit.  AM I crazy? I look over to my diaper bag, I can almost hear my husbands thoughts, “do it. do it, do it.”

I tread carefully. “So. Do you want a stool sample?”

The doctor barely looks up from the chart he’s making notes on and says easily, “Nope.” he looks up at me warmly, “Look. Weird things happen to babies. rashes, spit ups, odd color and strange, sometimes vile smelling poop. You know your baby. If he seems uncomfortable. If he is in pain, not sleeping, can’t move, isn’t playing or seems to strain consistenly, then bring him back in, but…” and he looks over to my son, who is almost in full hysterics at those damn super stony baby animals on the ceiling, “He seems more than fine to me.”

I actually relax for the first time in a week. I can physically FEEL the stress and anxiety and worry leave my body and all at the same time, I sort of realize that, I don’t know, maybe… just MAYBE, I over reacted…

“You must think I’m a crazy person.”

He smiles warmly at me and my husband (again, I swear they share a look. What the fuck?). “No. I don’t think you’re crazy.  I think you’re a new mother that loves her son.” I’m calmed. He gathers his chart and stands up, opens the door to leave and says over his shoulder in a lower tone as if he is confiding in US, “I’ve had moms actually bring me a frozen diaper to inspect. Now, THAT’s a little crazy.” and he’s gone.

Shit.

Note taken.

First Blog Award – Pretty Awesome….

2 Sep

Image

After finding myself “Freshly Pressed” which hasn’t happened since Prom ’89…

My post about letting my almost 9 year old son use the men’s room alone earned me many new followers and some new twitter “friends” and I was thrilled… Then, a lovely unknown-to-me person named Amber over at http://amberjedwards.wordpress.com nominated me for a Liebster Award… A recognition award to up and coming bloggers with under 200 followers… DONE!

So, thank you Amber! Way to pay it forward!

Word on the Liebster street is that the pre-requisite for acceptance is to answer ten questions from the Nominator… and so, here I will do so. I worry my answers will be generic, so I will fight against the black and white quickie version that always come to me first and find my happy place in that big giant deep grey area in which I’m most comfortable…

Here we go:

1. Where is your favourite place in the world?

Should I go cheesy here and say, on the couch in the early evening as the sun departs the day and one of my kids on either side of me, smelling of chlorine from the day we spent in the pool, their finger tips tinged a slight orange from the many popsicles we ate as I notice all three of our pairs of feet have the same tiny freckle above the right pinky toe as we watch some ridiculous re-run of “Good Luck Charlie”

OR… should I tell the real truth, which isn’t to imply the above is an outright lie, but just the other side of me… For my favorite place to be is a place I’ve never gone to yet, but imagine it in my head imposed by the travel book I read in college… It’s a dark wooded benched and table topped pub, deep in Dublin, with happy men and women singing songs that I’ve never heard and could never understand, no matter how many Guiness I drink. But, I’m there and I’m happy and I’m drunk and I end up making out with some irishman that smells like Old spice and Sheep fur. And it. is. awesome.

2. What is your favourite smell?

An Irishman that smells of Old Spice and Sheep Fur.

3. If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?

Jesus. So that I could feel pure love and also pain. So that when I returned to me, I would stop bitching about a stupid headache and feel love for the douchebag that cut me off and almost killed my kids on the highway.

4. Which celebrity do you wish you could make disappear?

Brandi and LeAnne or whatever their names are. They are the most petty, annoying, narcissistic, materialistic, sad people. Yet, I read about them on my RSS feed. If they were gone though, I’d be left to read the back of the toothpaste tube while on the toilet.

5. What is your biggest ambition?

Philanthropy.

6. What is your biggest regret?

That I didn’t do more sit ups and/or butt lift presses. Everything else is exactly as it should be.

7. What is your favourite room in the house?

I don’t have a house (yet), we have a two bedroom apartment. Most days it’s the living room area, where the light hits it just right, but sometimes it’s whatever room my children are NOT in… :)

8. What is your first ever memory?

I remember before I was born, watching my family play with my older sister at a park … from a tree

I don’t know if I made that shit up and just believe it now. Or I’m totes cray, cray, but I swear I was there.

9. What is your favourite song?

Sister Christian … yeah, no.. I dunno…. I am human, amazing grace, busta move, Leather and lace…? I have horrible taste in music. Horrible.

10. Tell me something really unique/strange/odd about yourself that not many people know.

I can do the Molly Ringwald lipstick feat from ‘Breakfast Club’… Which is pretty impressive cause my boobs are only A’s and that may be pushing it.

Who Knew That Letting My Son Use The Men’s Room Would Be One Of The Bigger Decisions Of My Life.

5 Aug

Never in a million, trillion, gazillion years would I have ever, EVER thought that one of the biggest decisions of my life would be when and if I should let my son use the men’s room. Without me. Alone in there. With men. It never even occurred to me that this would BE an issue. OR raise mass amounts of anxiety in me when the time came. But, it was here and he was asking and he is turning 9 in two weeks and he is starting to really, really NOT want to go into the women’s room.

The first time I allowed him to, was with resistance. I hid it well from him, as I didn’t want to give him the gamut of dangers in my head and freak him out totally… It was at Target and I told him to go in first and come back and tell me if there was anyone else in there. He did and returned and said, there was one guy, who left as we stood outside the door, so I said, “okay. I’ll wait right here.” and then I couldn’t help myself… I continued, “No one helps you in there, no one looks at your privates in there, don’t talk to anyone… do your thing, wash your hands and come right back out, yes?” and he nodded and off he went. It seemed to take forever. It was quiet. Two dudes went in there after he did and sort of stared at me oddly as I stood near the mens’ room door, but I didn’t care, I shot them the look like, “my kid’s in there, if you fuck with him in any way, I will cut you.”

Then he emerged. AS fine as when he went in. And I felt sort of silly but proud and relieved and then I cried. Not like a weird 90′s sitcom cry, but I teared up knowing that this was just the beginning of things that I was going to have to let go of a little. I’ve trained him well. He’s a good kid. A smart kid. I felt like it was some scene in a Mission Impossible Movie:

Me: Whaddaya do if someone grabs you?
My son: Scream, kick, bite, fight, NEVER get into a car.
Me: Whaddaya do if someone touches your body?
My Son: Tell them no freaking way and tell you immediately.
Me: Whaddaya you do if they threaten you and say you’ll get in trouble?
My Son: I will never be in trouble if I tell you the truth, you will always be on my side. No matter what.
Me: What happens if we get separated in a crowded area?
My Son: I sit down and stay put, you will find me.
Me: Good. Good.
My Son: Am I ready?

Then the weird blue-lit montage fades away and real life is here and my son, my boy, my first true and real love is becoming a dude and this dude wants to pee with other dudes. And I have to not only trust him and myself … I now have to trust the world a little more.

And I’m scared. 

There are times… types of restrooms (i.e. road trips/gas stations) where I’m like, Sorry man, you’re staying with me and the ladies. And he rarely fights me on it. Rarely because he knows he will lose these battles with me. He sees it in my eyes now… he’s old enough to watch me, watching our surroundings… Someone stands too close, he notices now that I will put myself between them and my children. We cross a street, he notices now that I will walk on the outside, so the traffic is closest to me. He sees these things now. He’s starting to get it.

I don’t want him to distrust the world so fast. But I do want him aware, that not everyone is looking out for him. And whether or not he agrees with me and my decisions, HIS best interest is in my heart and he’s growing to trust that.

Mom Purse

18 Jul

purse

What you see is not pretty. Do not judge me.

I am not proud, but I feel no shame.

I invite you to take a glimpse in to the ugly side of my mom’ness. The truth is brutal. Consider yourself warned. You may want to look away, what you see is from the parental depths of hell… It’s my purse. And I’m sorry.

My daughter handed me a small shiny rock she found at the park. She asked me to keep it safe. I put it in my purse. Later that day, she asked for it. I removed the usual purse items; wallet, sunglasses case, antibacterial wipes, keys, small make-up bag, etc and this is what I saw.  Stunned, I took a closer look… how did this happen? I JUST cleaned it out. But there it was; a few days of just being a mom was right there… staring at me… carrying possible disease. A few days worth of us being late, grabbing snacks on a whim, quarter machines at the grocery store,… and the fact that I’m handed trash and other various items all day long from my children… sometimes they don’t even look at me when they do this… and I don’t really ask them to… I just take it and shove it in my purse.

Look closely. Somewhere in there is my self-esteem. Possibly my virginity (Yeah. No that’s looonng gone.)

There WAS a green skittle in there, but I ate it. I know, I know… Ga. Ross. BUT, I was desperate. I had a garlic bagel for lunch and then I had a meeting and couldn’t find my gum (shocker) and the meeting was at a Coffee Bean and certainly going to involve some close talking, so I did what I had to do. I ate the skittle. I did have to pry it off the lego dude but it tasted fine, and I will forever tell myself that the grainy things were just sand and that sand is natural and from the earth. God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt… Sand from a park… Um.. probably has cat pee in it… but I can’t worry about that NOW!

One of the many lies I tell myself regularly so that I don’t totally lose it.

This madness BTW, is only second to my cars cup holders… I think one of those are growing polio. There’s been a quarter glued to the bottom of one for over a year and when I say glued, I mean stuck by some unknown substance; perhaps a slurpee, melted lollipop or bubbles… probably all of the above. I found a French fry between the seats once and it was so petrified that I used it to try and scrape off the quarter when I was desperate for change at a parking meter. It didn’t work. It snapped in half, I ripped a nail, dropped the F-Bomb and the quarter remains.

Mini Mom Fail #4 – Uh… Vagina Candy

31 May

As a mom, more often then not, I’m taken off guard. Most of the time, I rise to the challenge and handle it. But every so often, I’m totally fucking stumped. My kids seem to know now when this happens and though resistant at first,  they always end up helping me find the funny.

This is my most recent conversation with my six-year old daughter. Verbatim.

My daughter: “Mom, What are these?”

I look. She’s holding a box of tampons.

Me: “uhhhh. Vagina Candy.”

My daughter: “You feed your vagina candy? Will it get rotten?”

Me: “I hope not.”

My daughter: “I can’t wait to feed MY vagina candy.”

Me: “It’s not really candy baby.”

My daughter: “What is it then?”

Me: pause. Struggle. “A mouse.”

My daughter: “A mouse??”

Me: “No. it’s not a mouse.”

She knows for sure now that I’m messing with her..

My daughter: “MOOOOooommm. What are they??”

Me: “Look. Ok. I really don’t know how to tell you without freaking you out. You’re six. Conceptually?… It’s out of your league.”

My Daughter: “it’s not.”

Me: “It is.”

My daughter: “it’s not!”

Me: “It is.”

My daughter: “Mom. It’s not.”

Me: “Okay then. Let’s see. What if I say the word (and I say it like I’m speaking of a pretty pink cloud) ‘Blood’… what do you think?”

Look of horror, she asks slowly.

My daughter: “Blood from what?”

Me: “Your own body.”

Stunned, confused and still a little horrified.

Me: “BUT, it’s doesn’t hurt.” I say matter of factly.

My daughter: “I can take it. Tell me.”

I stifle a laugh. She is so friggin’ cute right now! All serious like – with her hand on her hip.

Me: “Okay. Well you bleed. From there.” She looks down… “For days.”

She looks back up, unsure if I’m still messing with her.

My daughter: “For days?” Like even she is like, wtf man.

Me: “But you don’t die.”

My daughter: “well that’s good news.”

I laugh a little, so does she, in relief and we look at each other, like ‘riggghhht?’…

Me: “Yes. It is.”

Silence. Then.

My daughter: “You’re joking.”

Me: “Yes” (ish I think)

My daughter: “It is candy. For your vagina.”

Me: “No. But when you’re like, God I hope at least 10, hopefully 13, we can discuss this again and perhaps, I dunno. Share a box.”

Horror is replaced with joy.

My daughter: “Can I say bad words then too?”

Me: “Nope. That’s eighteen.”

My daughter: “Man. All the good stuff happens later. Like vines.”

Me: “Vines?”

My daughter: “Yeah. Vines. That’s good stuff.” She says, convincingly.

Me: “ What are vines?”

My daughter: “What Gramma drinks.” Like, duh.

Me: “Oh! Wine! Wine.”

My daughter: “ Right. Wines.”

Me: “ Why do you think it’s such good stuff?”

My daughter: “”Cause that’s what gramma says after she takes a sip. “Oh. That’s good stuff”.”

End.

Mission: Averted.

Super Secret And Internal Thoughts. For REAL moms Only.

22 May

There are mornings, where I seriously ponder adding Kahlua to my coffee. Seriously.

Sometimes, I think it would just be better if we gave  the third one away.

Sometimes, when my husband leans in to kiss me, I have to consciously refrain from screaming, “Eeeeewwwwe.”

I secretly know that I’m a better mom than my friends are.

I smoked pot and then played Candy Land. And lost. Twice. Fucking Gingerbread Man Card.

Sometimes I’m glad when my son’s allergies act up, so that I can give him Bendaryl at night and he will fall asleep easily and early.

I like the dog better today. And HE shit on the floor. Twice.

One time, my son was being such a jerk, that when he stubbed his toe, I was glad.

I flip my kids off behind their back. A lot.

Sometimes, I’m THAT mom at Target; pushing a cart with one hand while holding a latte and on my phone catching up with a friends love life, while my kids run laps in the aisles and knock shit over. Sometimes I don’t care if I’m self centered and unaware. Sometimes, I deserve to be a total asshole.

Now that I’m out of the stroller phase, I really, really hate moms with joggers.

Sometimes, I wish I could send my kids to a homeless shelter for just one night; so they know how good they have it.

There have been many nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep over how hard this is and how no one told me how hard it is, but then I remember that they DID tell me and I thought it was just because they were a bad parent.

Twice now, it’s crossed my mind, when my daughter was having a complete meltdown that the neighbors would call social services.

Two kids are NOT easier than one and whomever said that should be punched in the vagina.

Sometimes it’s 2pm before I remember to brush my teeth.

I can get dressed under 30 seconds. Doesn’t mean I SHOULD.

Sometimes I wear my workout clothes all day and never actually work out. I just didn’t want to shower and attempt to look cute and then feel disappointed.

The fourth kid is rarely on purpose and usually gets the scraps of the gene pool.

I once flipped through the pages of a “Chico” catalogue and seriously considered an aztecian themed poncho.

I think my friends house is dirty gross.

I sometimes swear in front of my kids and I don’t care because it feels really good sometimes to yell out to no one in particular “FUCK!”

I DO have a favorite.

I think a lot of my friend’s kids are assholes.

I constantly eat Candy behind their backs and when they smell it on my breath, I tell them it’s my lipgloss.

Ten Things I DON’T Want For Mother’s Day.

11 May

Blog after blog, article after article I’ve seen lists of the things that mom’s WANT for Mother’s Day and I agree with all of them. But when asked what I want for mother’s day, it was tough for me to answer. The various material items came to mind; foot sauna, massager, mother’s ring, new shoes, etc. AND the usual mom’s day activities; Mani/Pedi, spa day, big brunch cooked FOR me, hike, movie, etc. But besides the usual almost cliche’ Mother’s day treats I could ask for, I couldn’t think of a single thing that I really and truly wanted.
However, I knew exactly what I DIDN’T want. SO, besides the crafted gifts I’ve already received from their school and the Macaroni Necklace that is as long and detailed as a Rosary and weighs 14 pounds that I already have, I’m wanting for nothing. My kids will require some specific direction for Sunday and they asked me to make a list, like I have them do, when it’s their day. Here is that list.

Ten Things That I DON’T Want For mother’s Day:

1. I do NOT want you to wake me up before the sun rises. I do NOT want you to climb on me when my eyes are still shut with your little, tiny, pointy elbows and knees while they ever so slightly damage my kidney’s each time you do. I do NOT want you two to fight over the “cozy spot” in my bed because I always end up getting punched in the face, losing a clump of hair and then eventually getting up to avoid the madness and just go to the couch. I do NOT want you to fart and then laugh together as you pull the sheets over my swollen head and yell “Dutch Oven.” My son, I do NOT want you to breath on me first thing in the morning because it seems having the smell in your mouth every morning, like you licked a dead person’s coffin floor, is just your thing no matter how well you brush your teeth the night before.

2. I do NOT want you to cook. I don’t even want you to get yourself cereal because it seems no matter how “careful” you are, it looks as though a group of squirrels came into the kitchen and just sort of kicked shit around because they can. I do NOT want you to bring me juice. Yes, I love my O.J. first thing in the morning, but it appears that the OJ container is always WAY heavier than you anticipate it to be, leaving your little noodle arm to be yanked to the floor as you pull the Gallon out, thus spilling 3/4′s of it’s contents onto the floor. When you DO this anyway, I do NOT want you to clean it with the bathroom towels OR the clean bed sheets in the linen closet and certainly NOT the Egyptian Cotton blend ones. I definitely do NOT want eggs. I appreciate the thought, I do love my morning protein, but I’m fairly certain salmonella will be left all over the place.

3. I do NOT want to get the SOS pad or the Magic eraser to clean your booger wall. I actually never want to do that, but I do and I gently remind you that there are tissues RIGHT next to your bed. And I do NOT want to nod in understanding when you remind me that you’re asleep when you do it. I know this. I’ve seen this. It’s still gross. So, let me recap. I do NOT want to remove boogers from anything or anyone today. At all. Don’t even joke about it.

4. I do NOT want you to scream in pain like you lost a limb and/or bang on the door and/or ask me for a snack, while I’m in the shower/bath/on the toilet. I know you’re really okay, I know you know not to bang on anything and I know that you could have asked for a snack BEFORE I went in and I know that you wait for that precise moment to do those things. Gig is up kids.  So, for today, you will sit on the couch, wrapped in bubble wrap and stare at the wall for approx. 22 minutes. Can you do that for mommy?

5. I do NOT want any name calling. Maddox, your sister is NOT adopted, she is NOT retarded and she does NOT look sloth-like. Addison, your brother does NOT smell putrid (sans his morning breath), he is NOT cock-eyed and he only spits when he talks excitedly. I do NOT want any “lightly” smacking, “soft” punching or “barely touched her” shoving. Be kind to one another, I do NOT want to put either of you in your room.

6. I do NOT want to wipe any mooshy poop butt. I haven’t wiped either of you in years and I do not intend the RARE times I DO help out when it’s particularly mushy, to become acceptable. I don’t care if you get it on your hands or can’t reach the grown-up wipes, deal with it. Also, if you “shart”, I’ve showed you how to fold up your underwear, wrap them in toilet paper and throw them away! If this happens, you’re on your own. I do NOT want to even know about it.

7. I do NOT want to drive anyone, anywhere. I do NOT want to listen to Gangham Style or the Minecraft Parody version of Gangham Style. I do NOT want to play Candy Land, Uno, Twister, Barbies, Lollaloopsy’s or put together a Lego Ninjago motorcycle. I do NOT want to color or paint. I do NOT want my “hair did”, my makeup done or to be whacked in the head by/or squirted with a wacky floaty noodle in the pool. I do NOT want to play kitchen or make playdough animals. I MIGHT play the Wii, but if I do, I do NOT want you to kill the other one’s dude in the game just because it’s funny and/or a good death.

8. I do NOT want to eat the remains of your lunch time PB&J. I want my own lunch. I do NOT want to meticulously pull of the white part of your orange so that you will eat it and not choke OR hold the bottom part of your banana with that stick thingy in it (which we call the “bananus“), in my hands until I get up to throw it away. If you take a bite of something that’s gross, I do NOT want you to spit it into my hand or find it in a tissue between the couch cushions. I do NOT want to eat the crust off of your bagel. It’s NOT burnt, it’s crispy. YOU fucking eat it, it’s good for you.

9.  I do NOT want to have to feign excitement and pride in your drawing. The drawing that looks JUST like all the other drawings you’ve done every day for the last YEAR. I do NOT want to have to pretend that they are phenomenal, original works of art. They are not. You don’t suck, but your “people” look like mutant alien stick figures with third legs or two tails and one leg and googly eyes. And the “flowers” in your garden, though I see the improvement and the great use of color, still look like a bunch of angry cartoon vagina’s. And the moon isn’t fucking square; nor is it pink.

10. And lastly and possibly most importantly. I do NOT want you to whine or cry. At all. About anything. Unless you’re bleeding out of the eyeballs or see a mean person kick a puppy, there’s no reason. Your life is good, OUR life is good. I do NOT want you to think of the things that you don’t have. I want you to be totally aware today of the things that you DO have; like a mother, that loves you more than anything in this world and will do everything she can to ensure that YOU live a life full of joy and warmth. And, I DO want you to know that one of you is the left side of my heart and the other, is the right and together and ONLY together, am I whole. And I DO want you to know that when things are hard and they will be, we can and will always find the funny.

Now get to it and don’t be assholes.

The Internal Ranting Of An Otherwise Normal Mother During Morning Elementary School Drop-Off.

22 Apr

Okay. Look. I get it. I’m certain that you didn’t wake to birds chirping on your windowsill and handing you a cup of coffee and an outfit. I understand that you too were probably rushed out of the house, trying not to yell at your children. I get it. We are all rushed. We are all behind.

But there is an unspoken agreement between parents at morning school drop-off, a system. A system, that works. A system that IS hard to follow, especially when you hear the bell and you’re still 10 cars from the drop off point. But never the less, a system IS in place and if one of us fails it, if ONE person goes off and does their own thing; stops short of the drop off cone to let their kids out or turns unexpectedly? Shit goes DOWN. And it goes down, Fast and hard. And suddenly, morning school drop off becomes a total cluster fuck. And it just takes one. One narcissistic parent who feels at that moment, their kids or their job is more important than the rest of ours.

This morning was no different. And it took everything I had to keep my internal dialogue… well. Internal.

Like you, you weird stay at home hippy dad. I get it. I think it’s great that you are home with the kids and working on your music or getting your band back together. I don’t doubt that you do your part. I see you every day, I know you’re there for your kids, but would it hurt you to shower every so often?

Look, I dig a good hippy vibe, don’t get me wrong and none of this bothered me until you made that nine point turn in the middle of the street during peak drop-off minutes. Then I started to twitch as I hear the bell ring and your faded brown Pinto stalls out, infuriating every parent with the visual. I almost felt sorry for you, but then you flashed the peace sign out your window at everyone like some freaky jazz hands and actually took a moment amongst the honking to push your Willy Nelson hair out of your eyes, adjust your jean jacket and finally, pull over to the curb. But THEN, I began to really not like you when your kids let themselves out of the car onto the STREET side, almost getting hit and then I have to watch you yell at them for being so clueless, when it’s your fucking fault, man. But I guess that’s what you get when you name them after bass players from the 60’s and don’t have factory installed seat belts.

That’s over, but then!

YOU! You Soccer/Baseball/Football/over scheduled mom, in your giant Escalade with the shiny gold rims. YOU didn’t even bother with the curb, you just went ahead and stopped right in the middle of the street, leaving the driver’s side door WIDE open reaching out into the other lane, so that you could run around to the other side and let your perfect children out. How do I know that they’re perfect? Because you fucking told me so. With your “my kids on the Honor Roll” bumper sticker, along side the Happy family STICK figure stickers, which thankfully includes your dog and bunny, proudly stating you’re your last name under them, which if you ask me, SHOULD say. “Family of ASSHOLES”, or “The Dicks.”

And don’t you wave at ME on your way back to your car like you actually CARE that you just pissed off half of the school. And let’s be honest here and not kid ourselves. Yoga pants? Really? You really hit a nerve with me this morning so I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess by the full makeup, you’re not going to yoga or even speed walking anywhere or your foundation will melt off. And hey, why we’re talking inside my head, your yoga pants do NOT fit (tip: camel toes, bad) So, here’s my tip to you future dance mom, take the time it took you to put on your eyes this morning (I know you’re wearing lashes) and get into your car faster, so that you being late doesn’t totally ruin everyone else’s time.

And then there’s the worried mom in front of me. I’m now one car away to freedom for 5 hours. One car and I know the mom in front of me. She’s lovely. Truly. But I can’t help but feel irritated while I watch her desperately try to shove one last bite of food into her son’s mouth AS he’s exiting the car, WHILE brushing the back of his head with a comb, frantically trying to loosen a knotted ball of sleep which was actually pretty impressive. Like a nest. Then I started to laugh a little at the ridiculousness of it all. She’s leaning so far into the backseat from the driver’s seat, that she’s almost lying down completely, grabbing at him as he swats her hands away and her car starts to roll, so she’s forced to finally leave him be.

And it’s our turn. Phew. But as my son is getting out of the car, his backpack dumps upside down, with everything landing into the wet leaves just under the curb. And then I TOO am out of the car, running to his aide, waving my hand at the people behind me, now annoyed with ME… “Sorry, sorry” I yell as I wave at them. Then I kiss my kids, tell them I love them madly and get the fuck out of there.

My Kids Are Horror Movie Creepy In The Middle Of The Night

21 Apr

Most of the time my kids stay in their own bed. Most of the times, when I kiss them goodnight and say “see you in the morning”; I see them in the morning. But every now and then, they make their way out into the night to find me, which would be fine, but why can’t my son just call out to me or speak in a normal voice?

It seems, he waits until 3 am and then, slooowwwwwlllyyy pushes my bedroom door to the wide-open position, which makes a normally not squeaky door, creek a little. And he opens it so slowly that I can hear the door gently scraping the carpet as it moves, and then it’s stopped by the all and there he is. He’s just standing there, silhouetted by the night light in the hallway, holding his stuffed piggy by its ankle and it’s dangling at his side and he just STANDS THERE! In silence.

I sort of sense him, even before the door opens, so I’m already watching it from the corner of my eye and waiting to see if it’s one of them or my active imagination and I see him there. Frozen. In his own shadow, his piggy sort of swaying back and forth and I feel petrified for a minute by just how down right spooky he is and then he speaks. But NOT in a normal voice. He speaks in some weird, cryptic, pre-killing horror movie voice that sends chills up my spine.

“Mooooooom.” I don’t answer immediately, I’m not sure why, maybe I’m hoping he will go back to bed or I’m waiting it out so that I can look for a weapon to defend myself if necessary. Then, “MoooooooohhhhhM” he says a little louder in an uber scratchy, raspy whisper. What the fuck happened to his voice? I think. Then suddenly, his piggy drops to the floor and he takes one Frankenstein-like step towards me and says again in what can only be described as a death screech, “MOOOHHHHHHMM…” Ahhhh… I cut him off finally and sit up, “What buddy? What is it?” and I sort of wait, like he’s going to say something like “RedRum” or “I don’t like the seesaw Mama.” But then it’s like the light showed through and his voice returned to normal and his sweet self spoke to me, “May I please have some water?” and I’m in love with him all over again.

But, my little girl. She’s got him beat on the creep factor. She doesn’t even have the decency to stand at the door, she just comes right on up to whichever side of the bed my head is closest to and will stand there, so close that I can feel and smell her breath before it even registers that she’s there. And she will stand there, with her arms at her sides, her head, slightly tilted to one side like a bird or when a dog is trying to understand human words and she takes one of her hands and sort of fiddles with your pillow case corner and says, … nothing. I mean in all honesty, by the time I jump to her presence, I think HOW LONG has she been there? Like a minute or it could have been hours for all I know. So, I come to and acknowledge her and sort of jump back instinctively with my fists clenched and then SHE jumps back from ME, because my big reaction frightens HER and she starts to cry, “Mom! You scared me!!!!”… And I think, Oh, I scared you??? But of course, immediately I feel awful and grab her and cuddle her and keep it to myself that she almost got a karate chop to her throat.

The scariest night was what I call the “Double Creeper”. When she was both standing at the foot of my bed staring at me while ALSO being silhouetted by the hallway nightlight AND all I could see was that she had something sticky in her hands that made a sound like she was mashing bananas in a bowl and I slowly sat up and said carefully, nervous to hear the answer, “Whatcha got there sweetie?”…While trying to look around her for her brother, or the dog.  And she says sweetly, “My fart putty was under my pillow and got in my hair”. And my body relaxed.

Ok then. Fart putty. Good. Ok.

My kids are weird little creatures sometimes. Even just after they go to bed, I’ll be finishing the dishes and turn from the sink and they’re there! Either at the doorway or like, RIGHT behind me. And I feel a mix of primal fear then anger and then annoyance that I almost tripped over them. I mean, they are Super stealth and ninja like.

Maybe I should tie a little bell to their ankles at night so I can hear them coming.

Another reason to love Motherhood. Or to fear it.

How I Royally F’d up The Birds and The Bee’s Talk With My Son.

13 Mar

My son is 8 and a half. He is chill, cerebral, goofy, sarcastic, kind and totally couldn’t care less about girls. One of his buddies has a major crush on the dark haired beauty in their class and wrote her a short letter to tell her so. He confided in my son about it and my son’s reaction was with one side of his lip curled, eyebrows narrowed while looking at his friend as though he just pooped a baby chick and said, “Dude. Why’d ya do that?”

His friend shrugged, recognizing immediately that my son was NOT going to be the one he goes to for his girl problems. My son has mentioned one girl, one. He said the other girls were too bossy, but this one “had a voice like a bird.” And then he ran away. I left it alone. Respecting his distance.

But it’s different for each kid. I had a friend in 4th grade that was ALL about the boys; I mean she would chase them, grab them and kiss them. I didn’t know what her deal was. But I knew enough at age 10 to nickname her “firecrotch”. I’m not really sure where I learned that from (I did have an older sister reading “Forever” by Judy Blume) and it wasn’t until college when the term really meant something (girl down the hall didn’t lock her door if you know what I’m sayin’.), but even in 4th grade, I knew she had more mojo than I did.

She was boy crazy. I just wanted to play kickball. And my son, he just wants to talk about Minecraft. SO, you can imagine my surprise and THRILL when from the backseat one random afternoon, I hear, “Hey mom. How are babies REAAALLLY made?”

“Yeah” my five-year-old little girl says from next to him.

I sighed. Shit. I look at him in the rearview mirror, gauging the determination of getting an answer or if I could change the subject as we drove past Game Stop. Perhaps today, he should have a new DS game, for just being quiet. But he made eye contact with me. Shit. Shit.

“Well. What do you know already?” I play it cool.

He looks right at my face, I stare at the road but I FEEL him.

“Well, I know that the story you’ve told us about a “special hug” is horse BEEP”

(Here is where you might judge me for the first time in this story… trust me, there will be a second time)

So you’ve probably guessed that I have a bit of a potty mouth. I try desperately to mask my love of the F-bomb and the “Sh” word in front of my kids and I do really well most of the time, but I’m human and I slip. But every time I slip, I turn to them immediately and say the following mantra “I’m sorry you heard those words, they’re not nice words and you’ll most definitely hear them from me again. You can say them when you’re 18. If I hear them out of YOUR mouth BEFORE you’re 18, we have problem. Understood?” and they nod. And I’ve excepted “beep” as an alternative.

Back to the story.

“Okay” I say. I wait a minute. “So, the pink and blue grocery aisle thing?

“Nope.”

“Stork?”

“Negative mom.”

BEEP! I’m only mildly prepared.

I’m extremely open with my kids, I honestly didn’t think I would have any problem with this conversation, but the thought of saying the words “penis goes into the vagina” makes me want to throw up. And also go into fits of giggles at the same time.  Being a comedian, I immediately go to the absurd and try not to take things like this too seriously, but dude. Really. There is no way around this. He wants to know. I have to tell him.

I visualize a close, matter of fact conversation happening on the couch as we play UNO and I’ve had a chance to give him some Benadryl (not really, don’t yell at me).

“MOM!”

“OKAY!”

It’s happening. Here we go.

“Yeah Mom. We wanna know,” Says his 5-year-old sister as she pulls the head off her LaLa Loopsy and then licks the nub where it was. She’s so weird.

“Maaahhhm!” Jesus. All right kid.

And this is how it goes, and, this is the second time you will judge me in this story.

I begin…

“Ok! Remember last summer at Auntie Liz’s house when we were outside at the pool and the dogs were “wrestling”?”

“Yeah and Milly was killing Monte” my son remembers.

“Well, not killing. Mounting. Ok. SO, they weren’t actually wrestling. Like play wrestling. They were what we call what dogs do when they make puppies. They were “humping”.”

“Huh?”

“Yeah. Cause remember when we went back at Thanksgiving and they had the puppies?”

“Yeahhhh…” He’s skeptical and senses my unchartered territory. He raises his eyebrow at me.

“So, Monte climbs onto Milly’s back and… puts his doggy business into Milly’s girly doggie business.”

“HER BUTT? Ewwwwww…” Screams and laughs his sister. My son looks sharply at her then back at me like, WTF?

“No, honey. Not her butt, her girly part. Monte does that and from his boy doggie part”

“Weiner” My sweet, precious little girl pipes in. I choke on my own spit.

“Sure. His doggy wiener and puts a seed into the doggy girl part, which goes into her belly and makes puppies”.

Okay, Yay! All done, I think.

Silence. My son looks out the window, his nose crinkled like he smells steamed broccoli. My daughter goes back to dismembering her doll. I bite my lip, grateful for the green lights I’m getting.

Then my son, … “But with humans… mom…”

“Hmm?” I look back at him. Crap. Really kid? We pull into our parking spot at home.

“Uh. Well.” I unbuckle my seatbelt. “With humans it’s pretty much the same. Everybody out!” And I exit the vehicle.

How’s that for screwing up your kid?

Eh, I’ll fix it later.

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