I am substituting “shirt” for the other word so I won’t be wracked with guilt for being a total potty mouthed mommy.
Life is filled with “oh, shirt!” moments.
Oh, shirt… I picked the wrong major.
Oh, shirt… I forgot my best friend’s birthday.
Oh, shirt… I am getting OLD!
But, parenting is just one big, long, drawn out “oh, shirt!”
Oh, shirt… my babies have already outgrown the sitting on my lap phase. I will never again have the need for a glider.
I will never again know the bliss of a chunky baby in a milk coma on my chest.
I will never again be idly playing with chubby toes while watching something wildly inappropriate for children to view. (unless my toes end up super chubby, which is entirely possible)
Oh shirt… my kids are outgrowing the time period when they shout “mommy” with joy when I walk through the door. My daughter has officially started calling me “mom.” My son’s first words when I come home are generally, “I want cheese stick” or “I want nilk.” (he still can’t master that “m.”)
Oh shirt… my daughter is inching closer to entering real school. This is terrifying on multiple levels. Already, my toddlers are getting sent home from day care with “homework.” Homework at this stage just means work for parents.
Sorry, I don’t REALLY have the time to hunt down pictures of things that begin with the letter “J.” We don’t have magazines in our home. Who has magazines anymore? So, now I have to BUY a magazine in the hopes it contains jewelry or a jump rope, but will probably end up with Jack Daniels and maybe a celebrity Jew.
Teacher Appreciation Week is coming and some overzealous mom from my son’s class has sent us home with a sheet of things to buy for the teachers.
It’s a tour of the world!
Monday, we’re supposed to find three items inspired by Italy like pasta, olive oil etc to put in a gift basket.
Tuesday, we’re expected to move on to France and choose flowers or perfume, but non-scented because the teacher has a “sensitivity.”
The week rounds out with a request for ten dollars to give them gift cards to “enjoy dinner on us.”
Let me digress from “oh, shirt” for one moment.
First of all, I don’t actually think they should be called “teachers” when their primary responsibility still includes wiping shirt (hehe) off my kid’s ass.
Yes, they teach them. They teach them letters and numbers and how to be angry without biting.
They can have an apple.
Day care for two children costs as much as a second mortgage and now they want me to give them more money?
Yes, they are underpaid.
I will make sure my kid does a special crappy drawing of a unicorn just for them.
Oh, shirt… this is only going to get worse. The expectations for crafting and field trips and extracurricular activities and the cost and the bullying and the boyfriends and “the talks” and the FCATS and the applications to college and the…. oh shirt, I am getting ahead of myself.
Oh shirt, I have two children who are entirely my responsibility to try and shape into wonderful grownups. They are not “ideas.” They are not “something fun to think of a name for.” They are tiny little people with the potential to become psychopaths, serial killers, drug addicts, teen parents… or geniuses. (just as scary)
Oh shirt, I still think of myself as able to wear flip flops to work and eat Ramen noodles.
Was I really ready for all this?
You never are.
So, oh shirt… here we go.
Sure, not a single bird has visited and I am starting to wonder if as the weeks pass they are more likely to die from eating old moldy peanut butter, but WE DID IT!
We even did finger painting! It was a mess and a logistical nightmare to get the kids cleaned up, but WE DID IT!
Last night while my husband finished cooking ropa vieja, I took the kids outside to blow bubbles.
Sure, our front porch is now coated in sticky bubble stuff that got tipped over, but it was undeniably the best part of my entire day.
I was sick, sans makeup, exhausted and hearing my son’s ear-piercing joyful shrieks was worth every minute.
These are the moments I want to bottle, to multiply, to recreate forever.
I have an Easter hangover and it has nothing to do with alcohol.
I’ve had the revelation that far too many holidays or special occasions involve parents not sleeping.
Christmas: Buying presents without the children knowing about it is nearly impossible unless you shop online. Then you open the boxes to discover damaged goods, wrong sizes etc. but it’s too late to send it back and get the right stuff on time.
You also have to hide the wrapping paper or you will end up concocting some bullshit story about Santa having the room for a bazillion gazillion presents, but needing the hookup on wrapping paper.
You spend all night stuffing stockings, putting presents under the tree so your kids can wake you up before dawn and destroy EVERYTHING you worked so hard on.
The Tooth Fairy: It’s the ultimate test of your parenting ninja skills. You have to be sure they’re soundly asleep and then sneak like a burglar into their room and steal something under their pillow. If THAT doesn’t wake them up, then you have another shot when you place the actual money under the pillow.
Easter: Again, waiting until the kids fall asleep so you can put candy in Easter eggs and hide them all over the house.
The kids literally have chocolate for breakfast. I caught my son sneaking chocolate eggs on his own several times before 9am. He had a chocolate clown face smile.
Then, it’s off to abuela’s house where she has jelly beans and cupcakes and ice cream. The kids are eating bunny shaped lollypops and skipping naptime.
Back at home that night, it’s a complete fiasco. They’re hopped up on sugar, bouncing off the walls, refusing to eat any real food or take a bath.
My husband actually started to time it during dinner. They could only go about 5 to 10 minutes between crying jags.
By the time they finally go to bed (kicking and screaming) I am starting to get a sore throat.
This morning, I wake up sick and am so tired at work my eyes are rolling back in my head like I’m possessed by a demon.
Three cups of crappy station coffee later and I feel like I’m having a panic attack. I’m pacing back and forth in the break room like a zoo animal held captive too long. My leg has Parkinson’s. It’s doing a solo Lindy Hop.
Last night I asked my husband, “Did they have fun?”
What I am really asking is, “Did they have fun, because I’m in holiday hell right now and if they DIDN’T have fun we are officially becoming Atheists so we don’t EVER have to celebrate a holiday again!!”
The first word out of my son’s mouth this morning, “Chocolate.” He can’t even pronounce his own name properly, but says “chocolate” with impeccable diction.
From now on we will only celebrate National Lazy Day. It involves not cooking, not cleaning, not consuming sugar, remaining horizontal and periodic naps. At this moment, I despise all of you childless bastards because you can have Lazy Day WHENEVER YOU WANT.
Alma has absolutely reached the “why” stage.
She’ll ask it over and over and over until my response is to ask her “why” she’s asking, which makes her little brain nearly implode.
I realized today that I am actually still in the “why” stage myself.
My inner dialogue always includes questions.
Dumb ones, weird ones, pointless ones.
The only different between me and my 3 year old daughter is that I have GOOGLE.
Here are some of the bizarre things I contemplate in my spare seconds:
1) Why do birds repeatedly fly into glass windows? Wouldn’t the first smack on the glass impress them enough to head the other way?
2) Why do worms always show up when it rains? Why don’t they even attempt to move on when the scorching sun shines down?
3) I see alligators everywhere. I never see them eating. There can’t possibly be enough fish and birds in those tiny man-made lakes to sustain them. (Alma suggested they also eat grass)
4) So many birds. Where do they go when they die? Why aren’t there thousands of bird skeletons everywhere?
5) Why did they think it was a good idea to put tampons in plastic wrappers? Putting ladies in public restrooms on blast is NOT COOL.
6) Why in God’s name are they bringing back the unflattering high waisted shorts? They make anyone look like they have a long, flat ass and perpetual camel toe.
7) Why do people think they can get away with murder? (not hypothetical, not hyperbole… I mean, seriously. I had a nightmare recently where I was a child trying to dispose of body parts without getting caught and it was REALLY REALLY hard to do)
8) What if dogs actually know that they’re dying? I mean, I know they tend to seek out a hidden spot like under a house to pass away. So, who is to say my dog isn’t walking around thinking, “I’m so effing old. My back hurts. I can’t see out of one eye. Eating hurts. It must be dying.”
9) Why can’t Netflix start live streaming the next season of the series I love so much since the season after has already ended on the network?
10) Why oh why did she swallow the fly? (perhaps she’ll die) Why was this EVER a good idea to sing to children?
All I want to do is make a pine cone bird feeder with my kids.
I snagged two pine cones on a bike ride a week ago.
We’ve got the peanut butter.
I got bird seed at the grocery store. (It’s for parrots, but can they REALLY tell the difference?)
I got yarn to hang it with from my sister-in-law in the hopes that the birds won’t choke to death on some tougher kind of string. (blue yarn can’t be great either, but at least I’m considering their health)
Now, when will I have the time to do this?
The current state of things has allowed for a complete lazification of parenting. (yeah, I made that word up.)
We’re ALL working. We have NO TIME.
Hate making lunch for your kids? There’s Lunchables.
Want to avoid any paint or marker stains on your furniture or table tops? Invisible ink markers!
Hate spending hours shopping for bloomers for toddlers that don’t exist because suddenly it’s a.o.k. for little girls to go flaunting their My Little Pony skivvies on the playground? ONLINE SHOPPING.
Life has gotten so convenient. Too convenient.
I want to have kids that have fingerpaint trapped under their nails.
I want my kids to be like, “Dang, my mom sent me to school with carrot sticks!”
The other day as I strolled through Target with my 3-year old fashionista, I realized I absolutely love shopping with her. I LOVE it. She points out 300 things she wants and I deny all but one. This is so much better than me buying 6 things she will NEVER wear.
I’m not saying I want to be June Cleaver, but it would be nice if we could bleach sand dollars or make bracelets or just make those stupid pine cone bird feeders already.
And here comes Easter.
I adored Easter as a child. Not the whole going to a super long church service to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but dyeing Easter eggs was ahm-azing.
I can still smell the vinegar.
We had egg salad for a week.
It was way more fun hunting for hard-boiled eggs that were starting to sweat in the Florida heat than finding plastic eggs filled with sugary shit. (Seriously)
No time to put together an Easter basket for the kids? Well, they put them together for you now at the Walgreens.
Feel compelled to put a little energy and thought into it? Target has an entire section dedicated to Easter and every other seasonal holiday.
I feel like I might as well just take my kids there and say, “Go ahead. Pick your Easter out.”
Are you a terrible gift wrapper? Who wraps gifts anymore? Don’t you know EVERYBODY is now just throwing stuff in a store bought bag and shoving some colored tissue paper in there?
BAM. Best parent EVER.
Or not. You just stole the very best part of a birthday celebration. Everyone knows unwrapping a gift is the ultimate kid high.
I’m gonna get on that bird feeder. And buy wrapping paper. Dangit.
I’ve been thinking a lot about getting old. Because I am.
I’ve been thinking a lot about plastic surgery. Because I’d never do it.
I’ve always had the utmost respect for beautiful women who allow themselves to age gracefully, but it seems to be a process you don’t see very often anymore.
There’s Elizabeth Taylor who spent her final days looking like a clown and obsessing over Michael Jackson.
There’s Meg Ryan. America’s Sweetheart went from fresh-faced to freak show.
Oh, and the self-proclaimed “world’s first supermodel” Janice Dickinson whose hideous face is only rivaled by her foul demeanor.
I long for the days of old, when gorgeous Hollywood starlets embraced their wrinkles and graying hair.
We all grow old, God willing.
We all die.
So, here’s to the glamorous ladies who didn’t waste their later life waging the uphill battle to look like a teenager.
They didn’t all end up looking gorgeous, but that is the real beauty in how they lived.
My husband was gone before dawn, heading out of town for work.
It’s kind of like waking up to realize you’re on a bus with a bomb about to detonate and you have ONLY 45 MINUTES TO SAVE EVERYONE ONBOARD.
After a speed-shower, I start by trying to dress my son who spends the next ten minutes fake crying and wiggling away from me half-naked.
I move on to my daughter, ignoring my son whining in the background for “daddy.”
She immediately starts to battle me over whether she can keep on her pink knee-high socks that she slept in, then arguing that pink LEGGINGS are NOT the same as TIGHTS and she wants the TIGHTS.
I go along with it.
Downstairs they both stoop down to pet our dog Frankie, who they hate 98% of the time.
Huck starts yelling at Alma, “MY DOG, MY DOG!”
I say, “He’s your dog, my dog, Alma’s dog, EVERYBODY’S DOG!!”
No makeup, no breakfast… I pour Golden Grahams into a couple of bowls for the kids and shove them out the front door.
In the car, my daughter reaches up to touch her headband and shrieks in horror.
“This isn’t the one with the flower!! This is Hello Kitty!! I wanted the one with the flower!!!”
She is literally hysterical.
I tell her there is no time to go back inside. I have buckled them both in. I can’t unload them and drag them inside because she suddenly despises Hello Kitty.
So, I tell her to stop crying, back out of the driveway and whip off down the road to try and reach daycare the second they open the doors. (they open at 7am, my work day starts at 7:30am… for every minute past 7am traffic increases exponentially by at least 5 minutes. I hate word problems, but you get it.)
As I peel out, I hear a strange scraping noise and the sound of plastic hitting pavement.
I watch in my rear view mirror as my daughter’s plastic bowl of cereal bounces down the road.
I left it on the roof of the car.
So, then she realizes the cereal is NOT in her lap and starts screaming about that.
I scream for Huck to share with her. He meekly hands her a single Golden Graham and she shouts through sobs, “I want my own bowl!”
I get her to be quiet in time for arriving at daycare moments later.
Rush them inside, rush back out, hop in the car, speed off only to be stopped immediately by dozens of drivers turning onto the next street to take their kids to high school.
I end up behind a school bus on Hillsborough Avenue that stops to pick up kids at least 6 times. Since when are bus stops lined up alongside a major thoroughfare??
I arrive at work ridiculously late.
Gas station shooting, students stabbed at school, Reeva Steenkamp’s bloodied head being compared to a watermelon.
Before I have even written a tease, I am already getting shit for the video that it will show. It’s not written. No instructions for editors. No video chosen. Yet, someone is already complaining.
Then it’s “You wrote the cars recalled were ‘produced.’ Don’t you mean manufactured?”
(AP wires said ‘produced’)
“You say the ‘mystery man.’ If the identity is a mystery, how do you know it’s a man?”
(the MAN went to the school to drop off the wallet but did not reveal his name)
“Is Obama presiding over the memorial service at Fort Hood?”
(No, it’s going to be someone even bigger! George Carlin’s ghost!)
I think I forgot to put on deodorant this morning.
If I die in some weird car wreck today, I am wearing Wonder Woman underwear.
I better be careful today or the ME will be joking about my stinky body and humiliating underthings.
And people wonder why I find it completely reasonable to have a glass or two of wine or a couple beers after work. Harumph.
We finally watched Gravity last night!
So, now I am suffering from PTSD.
I spent the entire movie sweating and holding my breath. Sandra Bullock and I nearly passed out simultaneously.
Forget about sequestration. If NASA wanted to end their space program they could’ve just shown aspiring astronauts that movie.
After spending 91 minutes pumped up on adrenaline all I wanted to do was go to sleep.
I am reading my book, about to drift off to peaceful images of Palisades Park in the 50’s when I hear Huck screaming.
I ignore it.
His cries become more plaintive.
They get louder.
Finally, I go to his room and find him wrapped up in his blanket like a cocoon, his hair soaked in sweat.
My first guess is he just had a nightmare about being in a full nelson with a cuddly dude in a fuzzy blanket covered in choo choo trains.
I rub his back and remain half-asleep, hoping he’ll soon join me.
But, the crying won’t stop.
I offer him water.
No reaction, wailing louder.
At this point, I start trying to find the little marble he went to bed with. He uses it like a security blanket. (I’m telling you, the kid is OBSESSED with balls)
I nearly have a panic attack considering the possibility that this ball is at the bottom of his stomach instead of just stuck under the mattress.
I say this to my husband who stomps groggily into the room and says grumpily, “I’ll take care of him.”
I repeat my concern about the missing marble and and am greeted with a cranky glare.
So, I go back to bed to keep reading. It will take me another 20 minutes to fall asleep again.
As I finally feel my eyes getting dry from the tired, I hear a loud thud followed by a high-pitched whinnying cry.
Artax is not dying in the swamp of sadness in Alma’s room.
Alma has fallen off the bed again. I get her tucked back in.
Sleep eludes me for the next hour, like my brain is preparing for the possibility that I will have to rush to save my shrieking children from a burning building ANY SECOND.
My husband found our daughter sleeping on the floor of her bedroom this morning. I guess those pool noodles really aren’t effective “guard rails.”
Weakened by the horrors of my night, I spilled raw sugar all over the counter, floor and Alma while making coffee.
I spilled refried beans on my shirt.
As I scramble to get out of the door, Alma says, “I have to go poo poo.”
I kiss my son goodbye, him ducking to see Tom and Jerry around my head.
I kiss my husband who looks miserable. (or maybe it’s the mustache)
I kiss my daughter, who smiles sweetly but doesn’t even say goodbye.
Then I hit traffic on the way to work and arrive with an extra dose of PTSD to start the day.
(My apologies to anyone who actually suffers from PTSD. Clearly, I am exaggerating and it is a serious disorder which I do not suffer from)
(Warning: If you read my posts to have a chuckle or bond over the fact that little kids suck, you may want to skip this one.)
Ever find yourself trying to hide the tears streaming down your face at work because you’re overwhelmed by all of the tragedy in the world?
But, that probably has something to do with the fact that my job is reading and writing about all of the tragedy in the world.
Being a news producer, I try very hard to make stories more meaningful. When I am tasked with writing a dinky 45 second story on an art gallery and scholarship program in honor of two teens murdered 3 years ago by their own mother, I put real effort into it.
I find good pictures of the victims, check out their father’s Facebook page… and then I cry.
Because the two teenagers were once babies.
Because this is what their father wrote on their birthdays:
On your 16th birthday, I should be sharing some football and Krispy Kremes with you and laughing at your jokes until our stomachs hurt. Instead I find myself struggling to find adequate words to express the joy you continue to bring to me and to the lives of so many. I am so proud to be your Daddio. I miss you more with each passing day.
Love you forever …+1 with Beau Schenecker and Calyx Schenecker
Calyx, missing you is the hardest part. Celebrating you is the easy part. So on the eve of your 19th birthday, I join thousands who rejoice in having your presence in their lives. From your first day on this Earth, you set out to make the world a better place…Oh my, how you have greatly exceeded expectations! I love you forever + 1, Daddio with Calyx Schenecker and Beau Schenecker
Then, I move on from that story to a 20 second update on the Washington mudslides.
We’ve been updating the death toll for weeks. There’s only so many ways to talk about the search for the missing.
But, they named the latest victim.
I could leave it at that.
Or, I could go look up more information about him and find his wife’s Facebook page.
Their 4 year old son was rescued by helicopter, the mud so thick it ripped his pants off as they hoisted him to safety.
Their 2 year old daughter is still missing and presumed dead.
Their other two children are confirmed dead.
This is a woman who has lost her husband and three children and yet she still refers to the rescue of her son as a miracle.
Time to take a break and check in on my Facebook feed… where I get updates on a friend of a friend’s daughter who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
She posts pictures like this and somehow remains upbeat. Her strength blows my effing mind.
Pre-hydration went well-much better than last time! First chemo was started about an hour ago and the second will be going up soon. Chloe didn’t want to nap earlier so, of course, when the nurses started her Benadryl at 5:15 to pre-medicate her she passed out cold. It may be a very long night or very early morning!
I try to keep my posts upbeat, sarcastic and brutally honest.
Some days I can’t keep up the charade.
Some days are just heartbreaking.
The only benefit of spending my days writing and reading about such heart wrenching, soul crushing things is that I love my kids more than you do.
Kidding, of course.
But, it does put things in healthy (or unhealthy) perspective.
It is the reason why every single stupid-cute thing my kids do makes me worship the ground they walk on.
It’s why I post pictures of them obsessively and daydream about being a stay-at-home-mom.
I want to spend every second loving my children, because you never know when you could end up being the story someone is hunting for more details about to make it more “meaningful.”
Oh, and one more thing.
Damn you Viral Nova for being a perpetual buzz kill.
Maybe this was just one long excuse for why I’m not gonna workout today. Who can go to the gym after that?