Monday, March 31, 2008

Little Froggy

“Mama, we went outside to get the paper and we saw a
frog!!”

I was intrigued and impressed.

[Despite being sound asleep when I received this news.]

An amphibian?

In my front yard?

[Which is nowhere near a creek.]

A frog?

We’re in the middle of a drought!!

How wondrous!!

“Where was the frog, Roo?” I asked.


“Outside!!” she exclaimed.


[Oh, the vagueness of toddlers!]


She led me out to the breakfast table and K served me a plate of eggs.

[Because he is a Golden God.]

“So you guys saw a frog?” I asked with uncharacteristic morning enthusiasm.

“What?” K said, clearly confused.

“Roo said that you guys saw a frog when you went out to get the paper. Where was it?”


K looked puzzled for a second and then something clicked.


“Rooster,” K said, "it was a little FOGGY outside.”


[Ba dum bum CHA!]


Oy. Soon I'll be playing the Catskills...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Not Leaving


My body's shifting movements alerted her to my imminent departure.

"I want you," she whined.

We already read our three stories. Our three songs were sung.

"I want you," she cried, holding two of my fingers too tightly.

She wrapped her arms around my neck and said again,


"I want you."

Most nights, she goes to sleep easily and by herself but occasionally she begs me to stay close.

Because an endless list of tasks awaits me in the narrow space between her bedtime and mine, I usually don't stay.

"Mommy needs to sleep in her own bed," I offer while thinking impatiently of all the things I have to do first.

Inexplicably, I spent most of my weekend acutely aware of how everything could change at any moment.

It was completely morbid, but it made every interaction seem like a last chance,
a rare gift.

So for the last two days, every time she went to sleep I curled myself around her smallness, breathed in the smell of her hair and sang our lullaby until I recognized the steady cadence of her sleeping body.

"You're patient with her," K said on Sunday evening.

I rolled my eyes in disagreement.


"I don't know..." I said, "I think I'm just have an extra weird case of PMS."

[Oh, the HORMONES!! Am I goin' through... THE CHANGE???]

K looked at me and smiled.

"I'm reading a book called The Book Thief that your mom left here," K said. There's something in it I that made me think of you."

He opened the book to a dog eared page and showed me this:


"***A DEFINITION NOT FOUND***
IN THE DICTIONARY
Not leaving: an act of trust and love,
often deciphered by children"


"Not leaving," he said. "That's you."


Friday, March 28, 2008

Surrounded


"Open your hand, Mama."

"Why?" I say, pretending I don't know.

"Because I want to leave a kiss in your hand!"

"But why?" I ask again, playing dumb.

"So you can put my kiss in your pocket and save it for later."

Each and every one of my pockets, in every pair of pants and in every jacket, overflows with kisses that spill out every where.

The wind lifts them up and they swirl all around me like a petal storm.



Saving Stuff

Do you ever think about what you would rescue if you woke up in the middle of the night and the house was on fire?

It's morbid, I know, but I think about it sometimes.

Hmmm.... what would I save?

[This assumes The Mayor, The Rooster and K are all completely safe already, of course.]

Would it be a quilt that my Granny made?

A vanity cabinet that my grandfather built?

My Preppy Handbook diary from High School?

[Ugh! No! Come to think of it, I should burn that diary this afternoon!]

Just one thing?

Ack!

There are too many things attached to too many memories.

I try remember that it's all "just stuff" but it is hard.

Maybe I should ask my brain to go easy on me and, when it wakes me in the middle of the night, ask me something simple like,

"What wouldn't you put in your YMCA locker (which you NEVER lock) because you would be totally bummed to lose it?"

[Oh, the frivilous questions that are easily answered!!]

The Frye boots that I have always been too cheap practical to buy... but found (brand new with the tags still on!!) at a local consignment store for $30...



...and this jacket, found at the same consignment store for $10 bucks!



For some reason, both make me feel like I'm as bad @ss as Chuck Norris.

Don't cut me off in traffic when I'm wearing these (if you know what's good for you!)


***********************


This post was written as part of Catherine and Tracey’s “My Favorite Thing…” writing prompt.

My Favorite Thing - post a picture of an object or objects (we know that your children are your most valued whatevers, but we're going OBJECTS here. Books, art, photos, mementos, shoes, garden gnomes, television set, whatever) that is/are dear to your heart. What would you grab if your house were one fire? What would you fire your partner for breaking/losing/defacing/disrespecting?

Feel free to join in and publish a post on this theme. All you are asked to do is copy the list of participants and add it to the bottom of your post -- and don't forget to add yourself!

For more posts on the “My Favorite Thing…” theme, click these...

Sweetney
Her Bad Mother
Girls Gone Child
Breed Em And Weep
Oh The Joys
Mamalogues
Whoorl
Izzy Mom
Mother Bumper
Somewhere in the Suburbs
Foodmomiac
Winomom
The most hilarious photo ever
Zellmer
Mommy Mae



Thursday, March 27, 2008

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Blog Post

Come to the dark side, Luke!" K said, channeling James Earl Jones.


"Don't listen to him, Luke!" I urged.

Organizing his own entertainment for the morning commute, The Mayor assigned the role of Darth Vader to K and the role of Red Darth Vader to me.

[You haven't heard of Red Darth Vader? Me neither.]



Black Darth Vader urged Luke (a.k.a. The Mayor) to become evil while Red Darth Vader encouraged him to resist and remain true to the Jedi.

"It's much harder to be good," Red Darth Vader reminded Luke.


The Mayor weighed his options and PLAYED the two adult Vaders.

[Who were, perhaps, a little too into the game. What's that about?!!]

While K and I play-debated the virtues of good vs. evil, The Rooster quietly ate dry breakfast cereal in her car seat.

Just as we were dropping K at the commuter rail station she piped up and, in her most sweet and innocent voice, said...

"Mommy and Daddy, I am on the dark side."

Hearing my baby girl swear allegiance to the dark side sent a chill down my spine.

Note to self: Devise a plan to move The Family Joy to a remote sheep farm in New Zealand.


**************


In other news, after a long vacation at the bottom of my pants drawer, a pair of jeans that I found at the thrift store last year came out for wear yesterday.

I hadn't worn them in such a long time that I had forgotten the truth.

Some low-rise pants are too low for this mama.

I had no place to tuck the Sharpei when I sat down and had to let that wrinkly dog sleep in my lap all day.

In the afternoon, when I received a porno
-spam message in my blog e-mail offering me "fire and ice in my pants," I yelled,

"Sorry! No room!!"

Note to self: Super low rise jeans are
nothing more than extra tall knee-socks masquerading as pants.


**************


Lastly, thanks so much to everyone who left a note for my friend yesterday.

So many of the comments made me well up with tears.

I'm always touched by the way women who have crossed the bridge to motherhood turn back with such tenderness and reach out to support those just beginning the journey.

Thank you for that.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

All Women Are Supposed To Be Able


My oldest friend has had a really rough time getting pregnant, but is now in her third trimester preparing for the arrival of the small boy curled inside her belly whose name will be Jack.

She and I have been somewhat estranged since the birth of my children, but I got an e-mail from her yesterday updating me on the pregnancy and sharing her feelings about learning that she will have to have a scheduled c-section.

I asked her permission to post excerpts of her letter and she agreed.

Though I did not deliver by c-section, I imagine some of what she is feeling is normal and that many others have been through it before.

This particular friend isn't a blogger so she has never experienced the power of the mighty internet and this community of mothers.

I would be grateful if, after you read her words, you leave something encouraging for her in the comments section.

It is an enormous relief to know we're not alone.

Here is her letter.*..

6 weeks and counting!

Well, we found out today that we have to have a C-section. My many surgeries have taken too much of a toll on my poor uterus and our fantastic doctor does not want to risk either Jack's or my life chancing a rupture during labor.

We're in great hands and I'm trying to be optimistic. I've just been a little blue today, having to change gears so abruptly when I was focused on one path for so long. We'd even started our child birth classes. Which is now a total waste of our time. At least we'd only sat through one.

It's really strange. I was completely fine with a C-section on the last pregnancy, but for some reason this news has disappointed me. I told my husband that I felt broken because I can't do the basic things that all women are supposed to be able to do naturally. I couldn't conceive on my own and now I can't even deliver the baby.

I realize that this is not a true aspect of things and that the hurdles I have had to cross to get Jack into this world just make him that much more of a miracle and that I have been given a gift in spite of anything I'm feeling now.




* Excerpt

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Child Grills Heathen

"Why does Gid go to Hebrew school?" The Mayor asked as we drove to his hand therapy appointment.


"Well... uh... to learn about his faith," I said.


"Why don't I go to Hebrew school?"


"Because Gid is Jewish and you are Catholic. When The Rooster turns three we'll start going to church so you can learn about being Catholic."


"Are you Catholic, Mommy?"


"Well... no, but your Dad is and so... you are too."

[Because Dad said so.]

"What will I do at Catholic school?"

[Eat donuts!]

"You'll learn about God, I guess."

"Where does God live?"


"Up in the sky... and... all over the place, everywhere. From the highest part of the sky right down to the inside of your body.

[Who do I think I am having this conversation at all?]

"How can God be everywhere in the sky and in my body, Mommy?"

[Do I look like a
freakin' theologian?]

"Uh... he can live everywhere because God is... um... he is... uh...God is love."

[Aw, yeaaaah! Now I'm on a ROLL!]

"Mama, what is love?"

[Doh!]

"You know that happy feeling you get about Mommy and Daddy and then you say I love you?"

[Like once every eleventy billion years.]

"Uh-huh."


"That feeling is called love and if you take all your love and add it to all the other love in the world, that is God."

[Oh, how the brain sweats!]

The Mayor looked out the window and made no further inquiries of me, Mother Theologian.

[Go 'head, ask me all about faux-theology.]


How did I do for a faker?

Did I break any rules?

Blaspheme?

[I am on high alert for signs of fire and brimstone and errant thunder bolts.]

Monday, March 24, 2008

Genetics


“Let’s play that if you finish your dinner first then you win and if I finish my dinner first then I win,” The Mayor said to me.

“Okay,” I said smugly, knowing I would win.

[Look kid, I’ve been inhaling my food since the day you were born!]

I tried to eat slowly to let him win, but there is no pace as slow as a toddler eating and, as I knew I would, I finished first.

When I showed The Mayor my clean plate he instantly went from sunny to thunderstorms and yelled,

YOU CAN NEVER PLAY THIS GAME WITH ME EVER EVER AGAIN!

“You don’t like to lose do you Mayor?” I said calmly.

“NO! NO! NO!” he yelled.


K smirked and made a face that mocked me.

I don’t like to lose either. Not. At. all.

[K and I had to give up playing the game formerly known as Scrabble (now known as DIVORCE) because of this.]

I thought about how much I hate to lose as I sat with the kids while they finished dinner.

I pondered whether or not my deep aversion to failing kept me from taking important risks.

Is there some magically fulfilling career or life path that I have never pursued for fear of failure?

While nothing jumped to the fore, it seemed like a possibility.

After dinner, The Mayor, The Rooster and I got out the coloring books and I noticed that I was coloring in a completely predictable way.

Winnie the Pooh’s shirt was red, his body was golden and everything was perfectly within the lines.

Still thinking about how much I hate to lose and noticing what a rigid rule follower I was, I decided to conduct an Experiment in Chaos.

I chose a section of my coloring book picture, closed my eyes, picked a crayon at random and forced myself to color that section with the chosen color.

Following this method, Pooh’s shirt became blue and his body, orange.

I began coloring Eyore’s body a bright, sea-green blue.

“What are you doing?” The Mayor asked in accusation. “Eyore is gray and white.”

“Well Mayor, I thought I might try using different colors. I’m taking a leap of faith and hoping that something great will happen… or that nothing at all will happen. Either way, I think I’d learn something from that.”

He narrowed his eyes at me.

He shifted from foot to foot.

He looked at the garishly blue Eyore again.

“Please, please, please color the rest of him gray, Mama!”

“I don’t know, Mayor…”

“Mama, Mama, I know, let’s trade coloring books..”

It was close to bed time and I didn’t feel like fighting, so I traded.

The Mayor chose all the right colors and finished the picture staying within all the lines.

Ah, what unfortunate DNA he inherited.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Where Were You When...

In September of 1988, I spent my twenty first birthday on a flight to England.

I was on my way to study abroad for a year, leaving my family and a serious boyfriend behind.

Despite being scared, I bravely set off... for the glamor, the dream...Europe!

I was
immediately made acutely aware of my obviousness as a foreigner.

[And I mean foreigner in the "does not fit in at all" sense, not the "Wow! Isn't she exotic and exciting?!" sense.]

First, my clothes were all wrong.

[The good people of The Tea Sipping Land were blinded by the sheer brightness of my fashunz.]

Second, my accent was a liability.

When a Brit comes to the U.S. their accent makes them an instant celebrity.

“Like, OMG! Say something!” we swoon. “We just LOVE your accent!!”

It was the opposite for me.

“Oh, you’re American,” they’d say glancing around for a more promising conversation.

Third, I was way. too. loud. (and dorky).

Walking home one day, I saw my flatmate in our kitchen window.

When I arrived at our door, I kicked it open, closed my eyes, jumped in the room and, both trying to amuse her and fit in with the Yorkshire crowd, yelled, "A-UP, LUV!" at top volume.

Then I did a silly dance with booty-shakin' goodness.

I opened my eyes to see that she had her entire study group (including her professor) visiting for tea and scones.

My flatmate was mortified.

She turned to her classmates and, in a voice filled with disdain, said,

"Don't mind her, she's American."

In all honesty, I was incredibly lonely my first few months in England.

As the Christmas holiday approached, I grew increasingly homesick but I was embarrassed to ask my parents for an airline ticket home.

I worried that my parents would interpret my homesickness as a weakness.

I would never have been able to maintain my resolve to tough it out were it not for my friend Matthew and his family.

A few summers earlier I worked as a camp counselor in Maine where I met Matthew who worked at the camp on a Bunac visa.

Later that year,
on his jaunt around the U.S., Matthew took a long break in my college town and during that period we lived together as roommates and became close friends.

Matthew’s home town in England was a short train ride from my study abroad campus and, thankfully, his parents (his wonderful, gracious parents) adopted me.

They asked me to spend that lonely, English Christmas at their house.

Their invitation was the single thread that held me steady and kept me from begging my parents for a ticket home.

In the end, their hospitality was worth far more than my reputation as a strong and independent daughter.

Had I traveled home that Christmas, I would most likely have held a ticket on Pan Am flight 103, the plane that exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988.



***********************

This post was written as part of Catherine and Tracey’s “Where were you when…” writing prompt.
Our parents' generation can recall exactly what they were doing when JFK was shot - a cultural moment that defined a generation. What big cultural or historic event occurred during your childhood/youth that you recall clearly? What was its impact on you?"

Feel free to join in and write a post on this theme. All you are asked to do is copy the list of participants and add it to the bottom of your post -- and don't forget to add yourself!

For more posts on the
Where were you when…” theme...
Her Bad Mother
Sweetney
Mamalogues
Mrs. Flinger
Whoorl
Oh, The Joys
Somewhere In The Suburbs
Momily
The Bean Blog
The Super Bongo

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Doves

Severe storms delivered a sucker punch to my tornado stricken city today.

In a mass demonstration of inanimate fatalism, hundreds of skyscraper windows leapt from the safety of their casings and plummeted to the sidewalk leaving the streets covered in sparkling shards of glass.

Driving home from an afternoon meeting, I saw
people of all kinds standing in the rain holding anti-war signs on a street corner.

I stopped at a red light and looked around at my fellow commuters. Most of them seemed oblivious to the protest on the sidewalk.

I wondered if the protesters felt ignored.

A young, African American woman in a bright, orange rain coat held up a sign that said,

"No Torture."

Her message reminded me of that photo of a hooded Iraqi prisoner trying to comfort his visiting son and a post I read offering a detailed explanation of the practice of waterboarding.

I remembered both making me feel completely hopeless.

I honked my car horn and the young woman in the orange coat looked over at me.

I waved and gave her the thumb's up.

The smile that tore across her face lit up the grey afternoon.

It was contagious and spread to my face so quickly I barely knew what hit me.

We held each other's gaze for a moment grinning like idiots, connected.

The traffic light turned green and I drove towards home wearing a smile so big it made my head tingle.

It felt like hope.




Monday, March 17, 2008

Vindicated

I think it might be the first time that feeling vindicated has made me want to cry.

I knew something was wrong with The Mayor's hand and I was right.

The surgeon saw him again today (only because I made a nuisance of myself) and determined that breaking his arm also caused medial nerve damage affecting the normal use of his thumb and forefinger.

According to the surgeon, the pain in his hand probably feels "like hot sprinkles."

[Now where have I heard that before, Dr. Brainiac?]

The doctor prescribed occupational / physical therapy.

[I don't understand which one or the difference between them.]

We have to take The Mayor once or twice a week until...

The doctor couldn't say for sure.

It could be for three months. It could be for two years.

Meanwhile...

The Mayor woke up this morning with generic body-goop oozing from his right ear.

Apparently, his ear drum decided to spontaneously combust.

[Because he clearly doesn't have enough going on.]

Between the ear and the hand, The Mayor and I spent all day in doctor's offices, waiting rooms and pharmacies.

[With one fly-by visit to the dollar store for coloring books and crayons to serve as waiting room entertainment.]

We finally made it home with half an hour to spare before we were due to pick up The Rooster.

Without discussion we gravitated to the dining room table, the coloring books and the crayons.

In silence, we chose a picture and colored it together.

In it's own ironic and macabre way, the picture we colored is hilarious.




Hmmmm.... Do you think we were both a little worn out?

Maybe a bit stressed?

[What is a picture like this doing in a kid's coloring book anyway? All the other pictures are of ducks, dinosaurs and dolls.]

AAAGGGHHH!!!

good night's sleep *
good night's sleep * good night's sleep * good night's sleep

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shell of A Post for Silly Photo Display Purposes

My friend Deana and I rented a car to drive to Nashville.

The problem with making an "economy weekend special" reservation is that Enterprise gives you a flying tic tac and calls it a car.

The Flying Tic Tac



I was a bit worried when we arrived at our hotel.

In the parking lot, Angry Road Rage Man unloaded a mouthful of bile on me for no good reason.

"If you were a guy I'd be in jail right now!" he screamed.


No more coffee for YOU, Mr. Road Rage Man!

Then my hotel's elevator walls were covered in pony hide.

Is it me or does red pony hide just SCREAM super classy?




At first, I worried that my bed might vibrate, but I was immediately distracted by the dress on display in the lobby...

Crayon Dress, The Preston

Ouch! Pointy!



The dress was made entirely of pink crayons.

Where could someone most appropriately wear such a garment?

We asked the dimly lit hotel clerk to recommend a good, local bistro so we could eat before the Ani DiFranco show.

"Hmmm," she said, "local BEE-STROW?"

I knew what was coming from experience.

"Oh! I know! We have a..."

She proceeded to recite the names of every known restaurant chain... Red Lobster, Wetern Sizzlin', etc..

Thankfully, she didn't mention Olive Garden or we would have had to wrestle her to the ground and feed her things with foodie words in their names like coulis, encrusted and reduction.

In the end, we ate at Watermark (which was fantastic should you ever find yourself in Nashville with 50 million dollars to burn.)

After the concert we stumbled through Robert's Western World and then perused the local, late-night shopping scene.

Did you know that The Ghost of Elvis will tell your fortune in the back of a souvenir store?





Or that if you are in the market for Pole Dancing Barbie, Nashville's got it?





I passed up the opportunity to own this hat. Can you believe it?!!




I wanted to buy this for my redneck friend, but $3.99 was a lot to ask, no?




I wondered how, exactly, we might play with this Chihuahua con Cahones Grande.




Who buys this stuff?


I mean, for real?


(Fooped of One Swell Foop!)


Um... Please.




I don't even know what to say about this next one... except maybe...

"You know it's hard out here for The Joys."



There is one purchase I totally should have made...

I regret not buying this for K.




Ah, well.

My single night of sweet freedom was good, so good.

Nashville is one insanely fun town.

I guess it'll have to last me until July.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Do


My friend Deana flew to town yesterday.

The last time she was here was right before The Rooster was born.

"The Rooster can be a little shy sometimes," I warned her.

Deana and I drove to the daycare center to pick up the kids.

When we got there they were all playing outside.

I went in to sign them out and Deana waited on a bench in the kid's play area.

When I came back out Deana was surrounded by a cluster of little girls including Roo.

As I came closer I heard The Rooster say,

"I have monkeys on my butt. Wanna see?"

Then Rooster dropped her pants and showed her big girl undies to a complete stranger.

Clearly, she has no shame.

I can't imagine where she gets that from.

...and now Deana and I are off to Nashville to see Ani DiFranco. We're young, wild and freeeeeeeeeeee.

[At least for tonight.]


The Morning After "The Fire"

Catherine and Tracey asked me to take a photo of myself first thing in the morning and publish it here.

Ho-kay.

Here it is...




Oh, dat's right.

Firefighters are the new Park Rangers, baby!

National Park Rangers are so last year.

[Snap!]

For more of the hot wimmins in their first-thing-in-the-morning glory, clickity click here:

HBM
Sweetney
Breed 'Em & Weep
Missus Mamalogues
Mrs. Flinger
Ms. MotherBumper
Izzy
OTJ
Loralee
CamiKaos
Petroville
Redneck
The Wink
Hot Chocolate
Mamma Loves
Cheese Blog
Sarcastic Mom
Alex Year One
Liv
Melanie
Sarah
SueBob
Sleepless
Slouching Mom
Mimi
Milkbreath
Twirly
Fooped

Anyone can participate in this theme post. All you are asked to do is copy the list of participants and add it to the bottom of your post -- and don't forget to add yourself!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beady Eyed Peeps & The Bad Bunny Anthology

The ransom note came home yesterday.

"Deliver the plastic eggs filled with candy or live with the shame of your performance as a mother forever!!!"


It's time to buy the effing school egg hunt supplies again.

[Week after week, it's always something... cupcakes, valentines, craptastic plastic something or other...]

Now I have make a trip to the Whale*Mart and brave the aisle full of scary peeps.

[Is it just me or are peeps a little menacing?]




In fact, Smilin' Mighty Jeebus and his risen-ness aside, the whole holiday is a little freaky.

It's not just the peeps, the bunnies are scary too.

What? You don't agree?

"Judge, I submit my evidence..."


Ninja Bunny


Vampire Bunny


Bunzilla


Bunzilla's Cousin Earl


The Dread Pirate Rabbits


Carnivorous, Man-Eating Bunny #1


Carnivorous, Man-Eating Bunny #2


Carnivorous, Man-Eating Bunny #3



Carnivorous, Man-Eating Bunny #4



Carnivorous, Man-Eating Bunny #5


Carniverous, Man-Eating Bunny #6


Ghost Bunny



"I rest my case!"


Good dog!



[And even so, still I must brave the Whale*Mart.]


****************

Thank you so much for your reassurance about The Mayor yesterday. I have another appointment for him first thing Monday morning.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Restless

I woke up at 5:13 this morning worrying.

I realize worrying isn’t that helpful but I can’t stop.

The Mayor still won’t use his arm but it’s not really the arm that I’m worried about.

The elbow seems fine, a little stiff maybe… I haven’t seen him straighten it all the way, but it seems healed.

What worries me is that he won’t use his hand.

He won’t let anyone touch his hand nor will he let his hand touch anything.

The hand is covered in a thick layer of dead skin that makes it look like a reptile desperate to molt.

Though he usually holds it in odd and uncomfortable looking positions, when he sleeps it dances in the air above him as though responding to a snake charmer’s flute.

What is he working out in his slumber?

Does it hurt too much when he's conscious?

When The Mayor is awake he endlessly teeter totters back and forth over his own legs because of the sudden, jerky way that the hand and arm shoot out and throw him off balance.

He bites his shirt collar to still himself somewhat, but then the arm flies out once more and he loses his center again.

Something is wrong with his hand.

I just know it.

It’s making me CRAZY.

I can’t stop thinking and worrying about it.

It’s all I can do not to stare at it.

What is wrong with my son’s hand and how do I fix it?

I really, really, really want to fix it.

That platitude that says I won’t be able to fix everything that goes wrong in my child’s life?

I hate that one.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In Fact I Hang Out with My Best Friend's Husband

Okay, okay.

So I’m a hypocrite and a liar.

I said I wouldn’t / don’t / won’t hang out with your husband, right?

Well, mea culpa.

K was out of town for the weekend, so what did I do?

I went and got all WILD with some husbands.

I ran into my friend Michele's husband and their children at the park.

Aaron had given Michele the afternoon off and was at the playground with another Dad and his kids.

[Count with me now... one, two. Two dads.]

When I overheard Aaron ask the other Dad if he wanted to mojametize to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner, do you know what I said?


Was it,

“May I join you?”

Nope.

Was it,

“Would you mind if I tagged along?”

Nope.

Was it,

“I’ll go.”

Bingo.

[Shameless HUSSY!!!]

Aaron looked at me oddly.

“What? What is it?” he said.

He thought I said his son's name and scanned the playground for him.


“I'll go to the restaurant,” I repeated.

“Oh! Okay!” he said, trying to hide his surprise.

It was Sunday night, K's plane was delayed, I'd been on my own with the short and loud people for days...

What choice did I have but to
muscle my way in to their Man-Date?

Poor Dads, really...

I mean re-fried beans and The Mighty Wind?

Not so good together.

[And poor me too because Oh, The EFFING POINTS!!]

************************

As a side note – on the recommendation of commenters I did rent and watch the movie Little Children.

I think much of it was lost on me because I fixated on Jackie Earle Haley, the actor who played the guy with the psycho-s*xual disorder.

I kept thinking about his peformance as the
older, tough kid in the original, 1976 Bad News Bears movie.

While Kate Winslet and her stay at home dad friend were going porno in her attic I was remembering an elementary school crush I had on the Bad News Bear named Tanner.

Lawsy Mama!

**********

And since today is officially "I have nothing meaningful to write about Tuesday"....

Hello? Mary Campbell’s friend Allison?

Are you reading this-a-here blog?

Sister, you need to invite me over to your house so I can buy up some of those upside-down sweater skirts that you make.

Ya hear me?!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I, Hydrant

I was on my own over the weekend while K went to Colorado to visit a friend.

Something must finally be going right in my own personal World of Motherhood because four days on my own with the short and loud people wasn't bad.

We had a groove going... at least we did until Sunday afternoon.

We popped a bag of popcorn, took out the stroller and headed to the park.

Oh, how we enjoyed the salty treat!

We ate it all up.


Certain short people became thirsty.

Oh, the NOoooooooooo.

Did this mommy remember to bring drinks?

No, she did not.

There was such a loud protest that a mo' bettah mother gave The Mayor and The Rooster a drink from her infant daughter's sippy cup.

[Oh, my shame.
I am but a mere caricature of a mother.]

Despite her state of utter dehydration, The Rooster announced that she had to pee not long after our arrival at Sans-A-John Park.

"No problem!" I thought. "I know all about the outdoors! I've been with a National Park Ranger!"

I took The Rooster behind the bushes and pulled down her pants.

I picked her up in a kind of squat-ish position so that she wouldn't get any pee on her clothes.

I held her little body in the air while she peed.

AND... BULLS EYE!!!

She peed all over my shoes.

Feel my teeny, tiny pulsating joy.

Ask For What You Need (Nicely)


K asks for an apology when he needs one.

Instead of letting hurts fester until they stink, K will say,

“I really need you to apologize for [ABC] because it made me feel like [EFG].”

Early on my reaction was either surprise because I didn’t realize he was upset or shame because I knew I had been a jerk and had let it slide.

Either way, I always found it easy to fall all over myself apologizing.

I used to wonder how satisfying it could be to receive an apology that you requested as opposed to an unsolicited one, but over time I have noticed that when people are asked to apologize they generally give dramatic performances in the over-apology category.

In the end, the asking can get you what you need.

Over the years, K has has tried to teach me to ask for apologies when I need them, but I am not so seasoned.

None of these attempts worked at all…

“You are a TOTAL ass. I'd like you to apologize to me for that.”

“You cut me off at the intersection, Hairweed! Apologize for the way you drive!!”

“Please apologize for biting my nipple while you were nursing, Mr. Mayor.”


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Late Night Burst of Joy

Like everyone else, the last thing I do before going to bed is check on my sleeping children.

I make sure they are covered up against the cold.

I admire the way their eyelashes rest on their lovely, little faces.

I listen to their sleepy breathing.

I plant the day's last kiss.

The Rooster takes after me in that, though she's quite soundly asleep, she'll sometimes respond to my presence by talking.

Last night, as I nuzzled my face in her warm, sweet neck and kissed her blushed cheek, she stirred, sighed, smiled and mumbled,

"So happy."



Thursday, March 06, 2008

March Afternoon

Late this afternoon I was at work in my home office when I heard someone crying.

I lifted my ear to the sound.

It was a child crying.

It sounded like it was coming from my front lawn.

I peered out the window but the only thing I could see was my neighbor's car in the driveway next door.

I stepped out on my front porch to an unseasonably warm and beautiful day.

The child was crying hard... raging... really yelling.

"I hate... I really HATE..."

I couldn't catch whatever it was that was hated.

I noticed that my neighbor's car window was rolled down.

My neighbors have two boys -- the older one is nine and the younger one is eight.

They are both long-haired, extraordinarily good natured, skate boarder dudes.

Whenever you ask either one of them how they are doing they ALWAYS respond with an enthusiastic,

"GREAT!"

I found the nine year old sobbing in the car's back seat.

"What's the matter, bud?" I asked.

The look of surprise on his face was priceless. I had startled the heck out of him.

He sucked his sobs in as quickly as he could manage and said,

"Nothing."

"Hmmmm... that sounds like more than nothing," I said.

"Well... I'm just not happy with how some things are going right now," he told me.

"Is there anything I can do or do you just need to have a good cry?" I asked.

His face was red hot.

"I guess I just need a good cry," he said.


I nodded.

"I understand. A good cry sure does help me sometimes. I just wanted to check on you, but I'll leave you to it."

I walked back into my house, grabbed my keys and left an hour earlier than usual to pick up The Mayor and The Rooster.

We went to a park we'd never been to before and soaked in the warm sunshine.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Odd Faith (with lots of parenthesis)


I read (somewhere) about a new book coming out that suggests (something along the lines of) “embracing melancholy.”

I think I read about it in the Sunday paper, but I can’t remember…

I never read ALL the words in the newspaper (there are so many), so I can’t be totally sure, but I think the general theme of this book (if it was a book) was that we (the people) spend too much energy trying to maintain a perpetual state of happiness when instead we should be gettin’ all jiggy with the less appealing emotions.

The (alleged) article that I (may have) read (on Sunday or some other day) suggested that having an intimate relationship with melancholy…

[See what I mean about the jiggy?]

Where was I?

Apparently, (according to some rilly important author whose name I can't remember) having an intimate relationship with melancholy is precisely what enables us to experience pure joy which (kicks the ass of and) goes way beyond regular, garden-variety, happiness.

At the time (whatever time it was) I didn’t give the article much thought (clearly) but the notion has rolled around in my pea sized head (helloooooo in there….) for the past few days.

Could it be true on some level?

Is there something transformational that happens if simple sadness is allowed to have its way with you?

[Take me NOW, you swarthy sad feeling!]

Truthfully, I’ve been feeling flat for awhile -- maybe since October or maybe longer.

In the early days, the majority of my blog posts were tagged as “idiocy,”

[37% of all my posts to date are pure idiocy! Oh, the PROUD!]


Lately, my writing (on this-a here blog) has been somewhat more serious and reflective.

Something’s going on for me but I can’t put my finger on it.

[Which screws up my ability to get jiggy with it.]

But this book review (I might have read) made me realize that I possess an odd faith that if I am patient with this flatness (and if I roll, roll, roll in its hay) I will (somehow) be recreated and when I wake and fold back the covers I will be flooded with light and joy.

[And Papa Smurf will, like, totally be there too!]

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Other Kind of Broken

It was lunch time and his arm hung limp at his side.

He held it at such an odd angle that he looked like a bird with a broken wing.

He alternated between nervously chewing the collar of his shirt and then the fingertips of his good hand.

Stillness had left him completely. He shifted his weight from foot to foot unable to stop squirming.

He seemed incredibly anxious, terrified maybe, desperate to keep his fear in check.

“Who is this person?” I wondered.

He was not himself, not at all.

The couple at the table behind us stared at him, but because his back was to them he didn’t notice.


“What do you think is wrong with him?” they asked each other in whispers they thought I couldn’t hear.

An old man complimented my girlfriend and lunch companion.

“You’re doing a fine job raising your boys!” he told her without looking at me.

Earlier that morning the doctor had said,

“He’s healed perfectly, beyond my expectations! We’ll take the cast off right now.”

Strange.

I understood what I was supposed to do for this kind of broken...





I'm afraid the other kind of broken is uncharted territory.

What am I supposed to do when the bone is healed, but the kid is not?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Perfect Post Awards

The Original Perfect Post Awards 02.08

The Perfect Post Awards are up today.

I nominated this post from Mama Tulip. There's something universal and undeniably sweet about it.

AND...
(oh, the blushing joys) I was completely chuffed to see that bookmomma nominated me for this post.

[Jane - we must fight MORE!! We are WINNAHS! Heh.]

Next month make sure you recognize a perfect post with this 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 time to send in your Perfect Post pick.


See all the Perfect Posts at
Petroville or Suburban Turmoil.