Saturday, September 29, 2007

No Dogs Allowed

K took Friday night off to eat out, see a movie and pretend he was young wild and free.

[Sunday is mine, MINE!!]

I needed a plan of action for entertaining the children by myself so I decided to call Kristen.

She's new in town, she doesn't know a lot of people yet and she has one of those Wii thingies.

I invited myself over and demanded that she do some advance grocery shopping so the kids could make their own pizzas and sundaes.

[Who's bossy now, huh?]

My children had a great time flinging legos and blocks around her living room and sprinkling ice cream jimmies all over the kitchen floor.

Kristen's daughter dressed my son up as a dog despite the fact that he begged and begged to wear the princess costume - which was, admittedly, pretty darn cool with that pointy pink hat and all.

The Mayor dutifully suited up in the dog costume from a Halloween long gone by and did what his host asked in the "bark like a dog" category.

While he aimlessly "ruff ruffed" around the room, Daughter Uncensored and The Rooster dragged a miniature pack-n-play designed for dolls out into the middle of the living room.

Rooster started to climb into it so I said,

"No, Rooster. That's not for kids. It's for dolls."

Mishearing us, The Mayor suddenly looked as though he'd won the lottery.

The look on his face said,

"Dogs? It's for DOGS?!! I'm a dog!!!"

He slung a leg over the side of the doll pack-n-play and started to climb in only to hear me scream,


Drat the luck!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Joy of Reading to Rooster

Rooster and I were reading a picture book called “Noises” with drawings of animals and baby faces on each page.

I said,

“What sound does a sheep make?”

Roo said,


There was a picture of a baby laughing and I asked,

“How does laughing sound, Roo?”

Rooster demonstrated laughing with a big, fake number.

Then there was a picture of a baby crying.

“How does crying sound, Roo?”

Rooster crinkled her face in disgust and with an air of utter disdain said,



In the middle of our morning routine Rooster pulled The Three Billy Goats Gruff off the shelf and handed it to K.

He started reading to her...

“Once upon a time there were three billy goats and the name of all three billy goats was…”

With a burst of literary confidence and total delight, Roo yelled,


She turned towards me nodding vigorously, so proud of herself.

K continued reading...

“Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?”

“It is I, Stanley!”


The Mayor regularly demonstrates a strong preference for K and routinely behaves more rudely towards me.

I know he's just a little guy but sometimes it hurts my feelings.

When he throws me a bone and shows me a little love it means a lot to me because these demonstrations can be few and far between.

During our family rush hour this morning he asked to sit on my lap.

We were running late (as usual) but I couldn't resist indulging him. He hardly ever seeks physical attention from me and I am always desperate for a Mayor cuddle.

He let me hold him and then shower his head with kisses over and over again -- a rare treat for me.

Afterwards we left to drop K at the commuter train and the kids at daycare.

The Mayor, The Rooster and I share goodbye kisses and hugs at the glass door of the daycare center every day before I leave.

When I go, The Mayor and The Rooster stand with their noses pressed to the window waving and blowing kisses and I do the same while walking to the car.

Rooster generally loses interest in me after a fraction of a nano second and runs off to play with her friends, but The Mayor is faithful.

As long as he can see me he stays at the window waving and, as long as I can see him waving, I wave back.

The Mayor doesn't leave the window or stop waving at me until the car disappears beneath the rise of the hill in front of the center.

Every morning he chooses to witness his last possible glimpse of me.

Though he doesn't express his feelings about me in the ways I expect him to,
I suppose he tells me just the same.

The Mayoral Glow

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't Be Intimidated By My Super Powers

Last week when The Rooster was home sick she suggested [cough] that we go to a sporting goods store to buy a new Speedo for me.

So I said,

"What a great idea, Roo! You will be well in no time thanks to the restorative, healing power that comes from crossing of things off of Mama's to do list!"

We successfully replaced the tired, nearly see through old suit with a new one.

This morning
at the pool I took the new suit on its maiden voyage.

The suit is black and sleek...

And tight!

It holds everything IN and UP.

[Praise Jeebus for the Lycra!]

Feeling like a satiny seal, I slipped into the pool and launched myself down the lane.

I couldn't help but notice how smoothly I was gliding along.

I thought,
"I'm an aquatic super power -- like a BULLET shooting through the water!"

"Okay, okay... a forty year old, sagging bullet with an aching shoulder and gas trouble."

[Who looks more like a sperm than anything else.]


Can't touch this.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bralternatives Grimm

Once upon a time there was a wee lad.

The Papa Bear gave the wee lad a bath, dried him off and sent him to find The Mama Bear.

Technically, The Mama Bear SHOULD have been standing at the ready with pajamas and parental support, but nooooo.

She was too busy screwing around on her computer.


The wee lad ran forteen consecutive nudie laps around and around the house before The Mama Bear heard him say,

"Mommy, I'm a BOOBIE Man!"

So The Mama Bear got her camera.

The wee lad had wandered into Mama and Papa Bear's bedroom...

"This way is TOO BIG," he said.

Bralternative 1

"This way is TOO SMALL. "

Bralternative 2

But THIS way is JUST RIGHT!"

Bralternative 3

Monday, September 24, 2007

On Their Knees

K finally returned to The Joy Homestead Friday night and he offered to release me from the short beasts so I could go see a movie.

What I really wanted to do was
take a shower and finish watching the BBC Bleak House miniseries on dvd.

[Oh, what a WILD THING I am.
I can't deny it.]

K willingly granted me shower time.

[The blessed man.]

I took one of those loooooonnnnng, "I am going to MILK this" showers.

When I came out of the bathroom, K and the children were on their hands and knees scrubbing the floor with rags and drying it with old towels.

On their hands and knees.

Scrubbing. The. Floor.

"Daddy got a wild hair, huh guys?" I say.

Rooster yelled, "DADDY GOT A WILD HAIR!"

The floors gleamed.

"I thought we needed to do a productive activity together," K said.

Later, after the wee ones were in bed, he turned to me to say,

"I'd like to take a day to de-clutter the house."

The man melts my butter.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm So Bloated I Could Jog

This morning I was gripped by the anal fever.

[I have to stop typing and enjoy that first sentence. Oh, my literary masterpiece!]

I'll rephrase that and say that I was COMPELLED (by certain personality traits linked to issues of control) to clean my closet this morning.

Here in the deep south that is what one must do at the first hint of cool weather.


Pack up all the sleeveless shirts, the linen frocks, the shorts...



Bring out the parkas and alpaca sweaters!

[In two weeks you will find me sweating like a pig and trudging up the attic stairs trying to find something to wear but don't even think of mocking me or I will be forced to say something nasty about you in a sweet tone of voice and follow it up with "bless your heart."]

Anyway, I unpacked my fall wardrobe and found it lacking.

Somehow I don't own any fat pants.

How can this be?

How can a woman such as myself manage without fat pants?

It can't be done.

Every so often (like... I don't know... say every TWENTY EIGHT DAYS) a woman needs some fat pants.

I need them right now.

My distended Sharpei is PRESSING against the button of my jeans.

People, Aunt Flo is on her way and I ain't got no stinkin' fat pants.

I found this picture as a header to an article on PMS.


That's EXACTLY how I'm feeling right now.

Must. Buy. Fat Pants.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Me of Little Faith

The truth is that I have been a lazy mother in denial.

The Rooster is sick.

In fact, she is really sick and all week I have been dragging her to daycare and her teachers have been indulgent.

Today she got sent home.

She was so pathetic that I felt the full weight of my neglect and denial.

I, Shitty Mom.

She has the croup, an infection of her vocal chords that involves a cough that sounds like it hurts a lot.

The Rooster gags and coughs at the same time and, when she catches her breath, sobs from the pain.

She is puny.

After her nap today, I loaded up the double jogger stroller and headed back to the daycare center to pick up The Mayor.

When we arrived all the kids from The Rooster's class were out in the play yard.

When we wheeled the stroller through the gate Rooster's classmates surrounded her.

Twelve little, toddler hands pressed gently against her chest and six small voices chanted her name.

They were six tiny faith healers at work.

Maybe she'll absorb their good energy and be well tomorrow...

More likely she'll have walking pneumonia.

Flying Solo

K is away at a conference for three days.

Yesterday The Rooster still had the croup and The Mayor woke up with a slight temperature.

I thought I should keep him home from school but it was a field trip day and the mere mention of missing school made him sob.

I decided to liquor him up with Vitamin I, send him to school and check on him at lunch time.

Apparently, he was fine.

When I picked him up we loitered in the school yard.

[Why hurry home to my PARENTAL SOLITUDE?]

The Mayor was riding a tricycle when suddenly he stood up crying and yelling about how much his belly hurt.

I asked my standard tummy ache related question:

“Is there a poopie coming?”

[All hail my incredible nursing skills!!]

He told me no and kept crying.


I carried him to the car, much to The Rooster’s consternation, and we drove home.

When we arrived, The Mayor did something I have never seen him do...

He went to his room, got in his bed and stayed there. Quietly.

Oh NO, I thought. Something must be really, really wrong with my boy!

What shall I do?

Look to the left.

Look to the right.

Scratch head.


Let's see, the pediatrician's office is already's just after 5:00.

Wait... it’s 5:00 in the afternoon?!

He can’t go to sleep.

[I did the quick math.]

I realized that If he went to sleep he’d wake up at 3:00 in the morning.


I called to him…

“Mayor, want to watch Maisy?”

Up from the bed popped The Mayor.

miraculous child healer, the fair Maisy!

There was a great watching of the verboten, evil box of television.

We all ate beef jerky and goldfish for dinner (foods known to sooth upset stomachs everywhere!)

Two children of joy went to bed on time.

Crying, begging for drinks and last minute potty visiting did not occur.

And there was peace in the land.

By the way... is it me or does Charlie have a few too many before filming?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Fantasy Viper

My mom dated Johnny Italiano* before she met my dad.

Johnny recently contacted her through and it turns out he lives in Georgia.

When he found out that my mom would be here last weekend (taking care of my children so I could get my National Park Ranger jollies) he suggested they get together so he could show off his figure so he could see how she held up so they could catch up.

He came over Saturday morning and found The Mayor and The Rooster playing on the front porch while my mom drank coffee.

That night I heard all about it from The Mayor.

"Mom, Mr. John has a really cool car and it goes 200 miles an hour!"

"How exciting, Mayor!"

"It's blue with a yellow stripe and it's called a Viper. We should get one. Can we get one? Please???"

If I ever buy a new car I'm afraid the best I'll be able to do is this:

I am old.

I have lost any and all connectivity to coolness.

I embrace my inner minivan.

*Not his real name.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In The Service of Joy

A few months ago a friend asked me what I wanted to do for my fortieth birthday.

I thought for a second and said,

"You know... what I REALLY want is for my mother to fly in for the weekend and stay with my kids so that K and I can go away together."

My words must have flown on tiny wings from my mouth to her ears because a few days later she asked me if I would like it if she did just that.

K and I made plans to go to a resort in the mountains.

Grandma Seattle arrived Friday afternoon and he and I skipped to my lou all the way to the car.

At the posh resort there were luxuries beyond my wildest imagination.

I slept and slept and slept.

I ate giant bowls of blackberries and heaps of nova for breakfast.

We took long hikes in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, went on a garden and history tour, enjoyed deep tissue massages and
creme brulée.

But that was NOTHING compared to my present.

For my present, K made it happen.

Hot Ranger K

Oh, yes he did.

In all his HOTNESS, he was a Park Ranger!

I now know
National Park Ranger's secrets of love and I can tell you...

National Park Rangers keep their hats on.


Consider me National Park Serviced.

With this kind of welcome, I'm walking right in the door of forty and making myself at home.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mid-life Crisis

Guess who is having a big birthday tomorrow?

Guess Who?

It's the big FOUR ZERO!

I'm entering a new decade, a new era...

I should go in a whole new direction!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The son, age three....

"I want to do it."

"No Mayor, not right now."


"I'm sorry, Mayor. You can't do right now."

"But if you let me do it right now I won't grumpus about it."

The daughter, age two....

"Rooster, What are you going to do in school today?"

"Play with Candler and Benjamin! They're my SWEET boys."


The husband, age thirty nine...

K and I got up out of bed to check our online library account to see when the [god forsaken, miserable] Thomas The Tank Engine Complete Collection book was due back to the library.

[Anal? Obsessive? You betcha!]

"No, don't click that, K!"

"Go back to bed. I am perfectly capable of completing this task without your supervision."

When he came back to bed, K said,

"See that? I went online all by myself."

"But you made inefficient use of your mouse and wrist thus wasting time and energy."


The marriage, age six...

K and I were in the bathroom brushing our teeth before bed.

He came up behind me and fondled my rear.

"Uh... I JUST farted, friend."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sibling Solidarity

We were already operating on the "Late and Getting Later" plan this morning when The Rooster announced that she needed to poop on the potty.

Two mornings ago she pulled this off for the first time and then managed to do it again later at daycare.

This morning K was in the bathroom shaving and The Mayor was sitting on the lid of the toilet talking to him.

In response to her request, I whisked The Rooster into the bathroom.

[Yet another hallmark moment of familial bathroom togetherness! The Joys!!]

Because we were in a hurry, I tugged The Rooster's pull up down and sat her on the little potty.

Then I saw the folly of my hubris.


The Rooster had already... uh... moved the goods.

Poo spilled out of the pull up and coated her backside and the potty seat.

K ran for cleaning supplies.

The Mayor, still perched on the lid of the big toilet, chuckled happily.

Then, in an alarmingly satisfied tone of voice, he said,

"Heh. Heh. Nice one, Rooster!"

Clearly they are united in sibling solidarity to pursue strategies to stick it to us whenever possible

I sense collaborative teen doom in our future.

President and Vice President
Short & Loud People's Union
Organizing for Chaos since 2004

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fruit of the Loom

I was already in the bed last night when K got undressed.

As usual, he took his underwear off and eyed the spinning ceiling fan.

He was going to practice
the shot, trying yet again to get his underwear to spin around on the fan blades and fly off right into the hamper.

He eyed the fan, changed position and eyed the fan again.

He balled up the underwear, hesitated and then tossed them up into the turning fan blades.

There was a fabric-y swishing noise and then... nothing.

The underwear seemed to have disappeared completely.

K turned the fan off and waited for it to slow down.

Only then did we see that the underwear had attached itself to the fan in such a way that it looked like one of the blades was wearing briefs.

K stood on the bed, untangled his underwear and then placed it gently across a single blade.

"I'll see if this works," he said, jumping down and turning the fan back on.

The blades picked up speed and my husbands dirty underwear flew off and...


...smacked me right in the face.

K though that was effing hilarious and gave himself extra points.

Oh. The. Joys.

Monday, September 10, 2007

This Crap Blows

Last weekend we went to one of those bouncy castle warehouse places for a three year old's birthday party and, at the end, each of our kids got a goody bag full of crap.

Said crap is all over the floor in it's cheap, plastic, useless way.

K and I, employing the horizontal parenting method, looked lazily at it all from our positions on the living room couches.

The Rooster handed me a small plastic fire engine.

"Hey, Rooster!" I said. "I know a special secret about this firetruck!"

I showed her that it was also a whistle.

The Mayor tried to grab it from me.

"No, Mayor. You have your own." I told him.

"Where is it?" he asked.

"Somewhere on the kitchen floor, I think."

He ran off to get it.

Within seconds, both children were blowing our ears off.

K mumbled to no one in particular,

"I think from now on Mommy should keep her special secrets to herself."

Am I the only one who hates kid's birthday party goody bags?

Surely I can't be alone.

When my child is handed one of these bags of craptastic plastic, the message I get is,
"Thank you for coming. Here is a bag of total crap."

More for my local landfill.

I hate to be so harsh, but honestly, the bag-o-junk demands that I stealthily sneak the contents, bit-by-bit, into the garbage can because of each item is a ticking time bomb.

Every "goody" can and will break at any moment which will be followed by the hysterical sobs of children who don't yet understand the difference between junk and something worth having.

I would be so much happier if goody bags had snack sized servings of goldfish, animal crackers, pretzels or raisins for the car ride home.

Stand up. Resist! Start a revolution! No more crap filled goody bags!

A mom can dream.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Big Mouthed Idiot Wins Again

I’ve been facilitating meetings for the past two days and have had to arrive early and leave late.

Everything was set up and ready yesterday morning so I was drinking coffee and reading a few blog posts.

One of the male meeting participants arrived and I offered to share my table with him.

He set his computer up and said,

“I’ll be right back. I'm going to get a cup of coffee.”

[Excellent idea, man! Go forth and worship at the pot of the sacred black drink as I and so many others have done before you.]

When he came back he insisted on chatting despite the fact that I was trying to read about the new Lead Poison Barbie.

[Did you know that Barbie used to be a man? Growing up I didn’t know that she used to be a he. It sure explains a lot, right?]


Coffee drinking man told me that he doesn’t usually drink coffee.

“Why would you NOT drink coffee?” I asked him.

[As if a good reason could exist.]

He took a sip of coffee and said,

“When caffeine combines with the Ritalin I take for my ADD it’s just too much.”

I struggled to think of anything remotely resembling an appropriate response.

“Plus there’s the whole narcolepsy thing. I have narcolepsy too.”

I grasped desperately for something to say to this early morning, hyper-caffeinated over-sharer but fumbled and said,

“You have narcolepsy? Really?!!! That's great.”

[Don't be intimidated by my overwhelming powers of compassionate understanding.]

Before I could die of shame, Coffee Man snorted in a Beavis and Butthead-ish way and said,

"Heh Heh. I know, it's awesome. Want me to drive you somewhere later?"

I think we're friends.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I sometimes wish my weekend days would stretch out in front of me completely unfettered.

I dream of leisurely drinking coffee and reading the newspaper until I decide what to do next, but those days are long gone.

Now there are sippy cups to be filled and refilled, snacks to be made, rejected and re-made, laundry to be done and the many other incessant tasks of family life to tend.

I felt the burn of it last weekend. I wanted a taste of the freedom of my twenties and felt a sort of melancholy longing for my old life.

I was in the kitchen starting dinner, feeling whistful and listening to K in the next room asking The Mayor and The Rooster to "PLEASE LISTEN!!"

[Futile endeavor, that.]

A song I like started playing on the kitchen CD player.

Spontaneously, I spread my arms out and spun around and around.

When I felt dizzy I stopped myself in the center of the kitchen floor, closed my eyes and felt my body sway in drunken circles.

I did it again and again and relished the wild, out of control sensation it created.

I felt free for a few moments and that was something.

It was, surprisingly, enough.

Spirit Brother

In the fewest of words, so much is spoken.

I am nothing but a low down lurker at sweet I salty, but I'm coming out of the closet to nominate the post Spirit Brother for an August Perfect Post Award.

Perfect Post Award for August 2007

Thank you for writing, Kate.

About the Perfect Post Awards --

To award a blogger with a Perfect Post Award, all you need to do is e-mail Mamma K -- Petroville(at)gmail(dot)com -- and ask her to put you on the Perfect Post mailing list.

She'll e-mail you every month when it's timeto send in your Perfect Post pick.

See all the Perfect Posts at
Petroville or Suburban Turmoil.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


I pulled my ATM card out of my wallet and a small, folded piece of paper slipped out and fell to the floor.

I carry this piece of paper everywhere.

When K and I backpacked around the world it was in my money belt.

It is worn at it's creases. It is smudged and soft.

I take it out and read it every now and then.

Other times, like at the market, it just falls out and I read it without having meant to do so.

I like to be reminded of my promises.

It reads...

I, Jessica, choose you, K, to be my husband,
to grow together as an equal partner in my life.

I promise to hold my love firm, from this day forward,
for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,
to be faithful to you and to love and cherish you as my life long companion.

Where you go, I will go and where you lodge, I will lodge.

Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

When you die, a part of me will also die,

And with you a part of my heart shall be buried.

This is my solemn vow.

To the community:
We vow to forever include each of you in our hearts
to join you in our common struggle
to enrich our families and communities
through service, love, sacrifice and courage.

K, I give you this ring as a symbol of my commitment, constant faith and abiding love.
Remembering the generations that have come before,
and with hope for the generations yet to be. I give you all that I am and all that I may become.

Happy Anniversary, K.