It’s been a real Eeyore meets Daria kind of day.
It escalates in it’s wretchedness, so bear with me.
It begins with my husband waking me with his Cuban whisper, which he got from his mother. I promptly muttered an F-bomb and asked what time it was. 5:55 a.m.
That meant he was heading to Naples and it was time for me to get up so I could faux bathe, slap on a couple barrettes, slam on clothes that don’t need to be ironed and wake my miserable children from what were probably lovely dreams.
Shockingly, Alma was a delight this morning. Which is probably why her little brother was a doddering little terror.
He got apple juice all over his shirt after we were ready to go. When I went to change his shirt, he refused to give up his death grip on a cereal bar. This sent him into a hysterical crying fit.
He was still crying when we pulled into the day care parking lot. I took him out and went to set him down on the ground and he refused to stand. You know that thing toddlers do where they scrunch up their little legs in an air squat so you CAN’T put them down?
He promptly plopped his bum down in a dirty puddle.
Inside the day care, his crying escalated to ear-piercing, purple-faced shrieking.
The day care worker watched as I struggled to change his shorts and keep him from punching me repeatedly in the face. She had a look that could only be described as disdain.
Even after I said loudly, “Huxley, I’ve got to go to work now. I’m late already”… said day care worker continued to stand arms akimbo with no intention of coming to my aid.
I left him bawling and ran through puddles to my car, only to realize he had smeared juicy, drooly cereal bar gunk on my shirt and mysterious white kid goo on my pants.
Gotta keep moving.
Got to work a half an hour late. I proceeded to stack a newscast as quickly as possible, while considering that my anchor prefers me to write everything from scratch and fill an entire hour with compelling content.
Boothing the show, the sound was bleeding through someone else’s mic in the studio so I had the joy of overhearing her complain about my complete incompetence and infuriating inability to produce for the entire hour.
That was enough to crush my spirit for the day and make me weep off all the eye makeup I put on at red lights on the way to work.
During my break, I went to fill up my tank. While I was trying to get the handle to slip into that “hold it while I do other things” clip, the pump shot out of my car spraying me with gasoline from my feet to my chest.
I was soaked in the shit. All I needed was jilted lover with a lighter and I would’ve become a great lead for the 5pm show.
I rushed to Target to spend 60 bucks on an entirely new outfit for the day. When I went to try on the clothes, the woman at the dressing rooms made a stinky face, like… “What on Earth is that ungodly smell?”
I said, “You smell gasoline?” She said, “Yeah, a customer just came up and said she smelled it in another section.”
I said, “Yeah, it’s me. Bad day. That’s why I’m here.”
Bless her heart, she let me change into the clothes and take the tags off and pay for them while wearing them.
I got back to work and had to skip the afternoon meeting in order to eat my lunch. I tried to cover the stench with perfume, but ended up smelling like gas and vanilla.
The pants are cute, but I need a belt. I’ve been showing off my ass crack all day. Not hot, trust me.
People at work were surprised to see me in an entirely different outfit. When I mentioned the gas, they asked if the noon show was really that bad.
“Yeah, I totally doused myself with gasoline and considered lighting myself on fire but then decided to go on a 3-minute shopping spree that nearly ended with a call to the fire department by customer service.”
This, my “friends”, was a very bad day.
It can’t even be resuscitated with a Coke Slurpee. Unless I add Rum.
For the first time last night, I attempted to have a deep, meaningful conversation with my 3 year old daughter. She’s been acting out, refusing to go to bed at night and having meltdowns at school.
I tried to casually and calmly asking her if something has been making her upset lately. She said no.
I said her the teachers have told us she’s been having a bad time at school and I asked if something was bothering her.
She said, “Zach bit me two times. But, that’s it. He doesn’t bite me anymore.”
I said, “Well, you also seem to get very upset about what you’re going to wear for the day. Like, when we tell you that you can’t wear a certain dress… ”
She responded, “I LIKE dresses!”
Me: “Alma, we just want you to be happy and it seems like things really bother you.”
Alma: “Look at the puppet on the shelf! What’s inside this drawer?”
It’s kind of like when I asked her the other day what she wanted to be when she grows up. Her response… “A mommy… and a pumpkin.”
I asked again last night just for shits and giggles and was met with a resounding, “LADYBUG!”
I might as well ask her opinion on the privatization of social security.
Needless to say, our heart to heart did not prevent another major freakout session at bed time.
She demanded a single braid using two rubber bands so she could “look pretty like a fairy.” When I told her no and shut the door, she transformed into some kind of shrieking beast. She seriously sounded like she was screaming in tongues. I expected to open the door to find her crab-walking across the ceiling, spewing green vomit.
My sweet girl has been swallowed up by a chupacabra, one with an insatiable desire for dresses, braids and milk after brushing her teeth.
We’re at the point where we’re trying to teach her that you can’t always get what you want.
In turn, that means we can’t get what we want. (which is really just to watch Juan Pablo get chewed out by some angry Aztec-looking lawyer chick for saying, “It’s Okay” too much on “The Bachelor”. Lofty goals we have.)
Does anybody have a floral-print straight-jacket that doubles as a dress? (but with absolutely no purple… at least not today)
I used to be hot, dangit. I used to be able to struggle with which bikini looked “coolest.”
Now, I spend hours searching online for a bathing suit with full coverage. If I look all “vintagy” this summer, it’s not a style choice.
I once wore a men’s polo shirt and a casual skirt to a gas station to grab pizza and got ogled for all the right reasons. Now, if anyone is staring it’s because that kind of casual look makes me look like I might be about to ask for money or crack.
I used to be able to drink 4 beers and never once consider the calorie content.
Now, I feel guilty about a single Mich Ultra.
I understand that between having two children and… well, let’s face it, getting older… your body is going to change.
When we were facing the real possibility of not being able to conceive, I prayed to God, “Please give me a baby. Take my body! Make me fat, just give me a baby!” Now, it’s like… “Just kidding, God… can I have my body back now?”
I was once insulted by an ex who said (while we were dating), “I’m done dating hot girls.”
A guy at work said, “She’s cute, except for those eyebrows.”
Another said, “She has a nice… face.”
Those kind of comments used to destroy me. (clearly, I still remember them plain as day)
Now, I would be like “Hey, he’s just into SMART, classy, pretty chicks.” “He said I’m cute!” “I have a nice face!”
I used to fish for compliments.
Now, I fish for reassurance.
I want to shop for clothes that express my personality.
But, my personality is still a 125-pound, uber tan waif who is 22 and childless. Can’t quite pull off the cutoffs and bra-less tank tops anymore.
I know, I know… My husband loves me and I’m not exactly morbidly obese. But, can’t I go back in time and tell my former self to appreciate my hotness? And then, can’t I tell that former self to workout even harder so that someday squeezing out a couple of kids wouldn’t change my body chemistry so dramatically that I can’t even comfortably wear shorts in public?
It all happened so fast. Over the course of just a handful of years it was like bam… husband… bam… baby… bam… another baby… and then WAH WAH… what happened?
I am being dramatic and self-loathing, which is also unattractive and makes me feel even worse. Vicious cycle.
New post-baby prayer: “God, please give me time. Time to workout every day, so I don’t continue on this depressing road toward over-sized shirts, fanny packs and kankles. I promise I won’t get a full-sleeve tattoo!”
Things that make me irrationally angry:
1) The Lean Cuisine tells me to stir my food halfway through, but it’s still solid as a rock.
2) Stop the car quickly and everything on the passenger seat ends up on the floor.
3) Smile at someone you pass in the hallway, they make eye contact and don’t smile back.
4) Removing red nail polish and it stains the edges of my fingers and toes magenta.
5) Strangers using terms of endearment like “kiddo”, “honey” and “sweetie.”
6) Waiters who look at the tip you left before walking away from the table.
7) Trying to sort through tangled jewelry.
8) When the sheet ends up bunched down at the bottom of the bed.
9) When the clothes hanger snaps when you try to pull it out.
10) Cylindrical garbage cans that create suction so you can’t get the bag out without it ripping, lifting the can off the ground.
11) Automatic flushing toilets that flush when you just lean over to get toilet paper, splashing you with pee water and making anyone nearby assume you’re doing a courtesy flush.
12) Shoes that squeak when you walk so it sounds like you’re perpetually farting.
Things I do that make other people irrationally angry:
1) Make tuna or egg salad in the break room at work.
2) Late merging on the highway.
3) Leaving the cork on the wine bottle opener.
4) Leaving a six-pack in the plastic bag from the corner store when I put it in the fridge.
5) When the Coke Slurpee isn’t the right consistency, I toss it in the trash.
6) The other alternative, which is testing the consistency by just pouring some into the catch drain.
7) Forgetting to wash all of the leg hair down the drain.
8) Leaving my personal trash on the restaurant table.
9) Tossing dirty clothes on the floor next to the laundry basket when it’s full. (Hey, Saturday is laundry day)
10) Dumping a half-full cup of liquid into the trash can at work. (the cleaning staff despises me… but at least my cup is… half full)
Whenever my husband tells me he’s going out of town on business, my stomach sinks. I feel pressure under my tongue like I’m going to vomit. I expect it’s similar to how I would feel if I were to find out I was expecting a third child.
Ok, maybe not that bad… but close.
I know it means I will inevitably be late for work, arriving frazzled, in border-line meltdown mode. That’s how I feel when I am 5 to 10 minutes late, even if I work through lunch. You can imagine how I feel when I’m actually out sick. I was racked with guilt when I was in the hospital with MRSA.
I am not normal.
My life is planned down the second.
Alma demanded braids this morning. That’s all it took to ensure I was 5 minutes late. Hard to believe? I frequently have to decide whether to pee before work or arrive on time.
My “lunch breaks” are spent buying milk to store in the work fridge and canceling all of the appointments I can’t make because I can’t even use a vacation day to see a Doctor. I’m just so valuable.
So valuable that I could create a daily list of criticisms longer than my grocery list. We have two kids. It’s a long-ass list.
I see the sunrise on the way to work. I watch it set on the drive home. I know, I know… there are people who would say, “Be grateful you have a job.” Oh, I am.
It’s so awesome to be able to afford to enjoy absolutely NO time with my children or husband.
Well, I do have my weekends. This past weekend was a blast. We had a party to celebrate our son’s 2nd birthday. I ate too much, drank too much wine and had to delete all pictures where you could see my arms. (Not a fan of my arms right now. I have “drink too much” arms. Not even lugging around a 30 pound kid can cure that.)
Birthday parties are a blur. Afterward you question whether you were rude to anyone, did the food taste good and WHAT HAVE WE DONE BY GIVING OUR TODDLERS CAKE AND CHOCOLATE??
Nothing compares to post-birthday party meltdowns.
Sunday, we took the kids to a state park to enjoy the great outdoors. Nothing great about my daughter demanding I carry her for miles through snake-infested woods, sweating my ass off and constantly having to stop so she could throw sticks in the river.
My son had a blast. He’s a future hiker.
Alma… she’s a future shopper.
She spent an hour before leaving crying hysterically because we wouldn’t let her wear a white lace skirt and light pink church shoes to go hiking.
I knew we made a mistake when after just a couple of minutes of walking she started saying, “I’m sweating. My knees hurt. I’m hungry.” Her “knees” hurt?
Yeah, that’s a new thing. “I can’t walk up the stairs because my knees hurt. My feet hurt and my arms and my toes.” She’s a classic bullshitter.
The day at the park started out with us saying, “Maybe the kids will be ready soon to try out camping.”
It ended with us saying, “Let’s never leave the house again.”
We’re terrified to even go out to eat anymore.
HELP, we’re being held hostage by two very small people with astonishing strength and an inability to communicate effectively!!
You’d think all of the action of the busy weekend would wipe the kids out and they would sleep like logs.
My daughter slept like a log, if you picture a little blonde log rolling out of a bed at 2 a.m. and screaming incoherently, “I don’t want i! I don’t want it!” (I have no idea why she was saying that)
Throw in the fact that this weekend one of the dogs snatched away a piece of bread packed with the other dog’s medication and then proceeded to projectile vomit around the house for an hour and you might begin to understand why I have “drink too much” arms.
I could create a life timeline purely using memories involving fast food.
I remember the first Champ Burger I ever ate from Checkers.
The fast food chain had just arrived in St. Petersburg and my mom stopped there while we headed to one of my brother’s soccer tournaments.
It’s not that it was anything amazing, but it’s a moment I relive if I ever have a Champ Burger now.
I can feel my legs itch from the summer grass, the sweaty hair tucked behind my ears and the tingle of the start of a sunburn on my cheeks.
The Filet-o-fish sandwich from Mcdonald’s brings back memories of trips to the dentist.
My mother used to reward me with them after every single trip to get cavities filled or braces tightened.
Now when I eat one, I can feel the numbness and struggle of trying to eat them after getting Novocain.
Subway was the food of choice when my father and I started doing Sunday lunch after my parents got divorced. I would get the 6 inch Cold Cut Combo and we would sit on a bench in a public park, talking awkwardly about the happenings in my teenage life. If I got that sandwich now, it would inevitably bring back the smell of the bread people would toss to the ducks nearby, something I did with my father even longer ago.
It might not qualify as fast food, but I would be remiss not to mention Coke Slurpees. While my first serious high school boyfriend introduced me to them, my relationship with this sacred beverage was solidified with the help of my then best friend, Marisa. We had a deal. When she came to my house to run through lines for plays (we were theatre geeks) she would bring along Coke Slurpees and Reese’s Pieces. I would return the favor when we rehearsed at her house.
Eventually Coke Slurpees were paired with Cheddar Cheese Combos on trips home after the beach.
Then they became how I survived pregnancy sans alcohol.
Coke Slurpees are my crack. I don’t think I could ever give them up. I’ve tried.
If it wasn’t the worst idea EVER I would consider getting a Coke Slurpee tattoo. It’s the longest love of my life.
Also in high school, nothing compared to ditching for lunch and hitting up the Wendy’s with friends. Those ketchup containers are THE BEST.
Then, there’s my time in Miami, spent working the overnight shift in news, drinking an inordinate amount of alcohol and never sleeping.
We could call that my “Drunkin’ Donuts” period.
I once had a DD and showed up at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Biscayne all slovenly and ordered sloppily, “Can I have a ham, egg and cleeeeeese?” The employee rolled her eyes.
There is a point to all of my greasy, fattening, sugary reminiscing.
Why do we try so hard to deny our children these standout fast food memories?
Why are we so hell bent at keeping them from the joy of speedy, nasty goodness?
I know, I know… America is plagued by the morbidly obese.
We’re the embarrassing mu mu wearing midwesterners to the rest of the world.
But, they call it a “Happy Meal” for a reason. It makes… you… HAPPY. I’m referring to the old-school ones.
No kid has ever cheered for apple slices and milk.
Granted, my children are still at the age where they prefer to dismantle fast food so it starts to resemble the REAL food it was made with. Alma wants a slab of meat and a piece of cheese, not a cheeseburger.
But, whether it’s Pizza Hut after football games or Taco Bell for Friday the 13th movie marathons, just about everybody has a memory tied to fast food.
So, give your kid a cheesburger.
Give them a memory to last a lifetime.
Quotes from my 3 year old daughter:
1) She told me she wanted to play superhero and I didn’t have a mask. I put on a headband and she said I look like an “Engine Turtle.” (Ninja Turtle)
2) There’s a white spot on a canvas picture in our bathroom left by a ding during the move. Alma told me, “A bird came in and pooped on it.”
3) Alma on broccoli: “I just like the tree part. Not the stick part.”
4) Bunny’s last name is “Bun” because her name is “Bun Nee.” (tried to correct her on this one, but she was determined)
5) Grandma and grandpa live in Saint Peep. (St. Pete)
6) She refers to her new classmate as “Crammin.” It took me weeks to figure out she meant, “Cameron.”
7) She talked for days about seeing “Speros” everywhere, climbing on everything, dark “Speros.” I thought she was talking about “spirits.” Totally freaked me out. Turns out there is a new wild boy at school named “Speros.”
8) She once told my husband that she was scared because of the “no one” people looking in the window at her in her bedroom. (It was actually me, checking to see if she was asleep after working out)