Picture a koala bear whining perpetually. Or a turtle neck sweater that cries for no reason. Or the Incredible Hulk keeping a mom in a headlock while EXCLUSIVELY wearing skirts. This is my daughter. She is going through a phase (Dear God, let it be a phase) where she is beyond clingy.
She is single-handedly bringing back the choker necklace of the 90’s by BECOMING a choker.
She repeatedly gets down from the bench during dinner to give me a hug, despite being told repeatedly to withhold affection until after we eat.
She lies on top of me, kicking me over and over and over and then when I finally break down and yell at her she says, “I just want to give you a hug!” (Or kick the shit out of me)
She wants me to carry her, she wants to cook with me, she wants me to color WITH her. Inevitably when we color together, she gets bored and starts scribbling spastically all over whatever masterpiece I’ve created.
Sometimes I feel like instead of giving birth to a child, I actually have a parasitic twin attached to my body.
The other night I told her it was time to bed after we finished reading and she started to fake cry. I told her to read a book on her own and she went ape crap.
I got annoyed and told her to pull it together.
Then she said, “I can’t read a book on my own, BECAUSE I CAN’T READ THE WORDS!”
Now I’M the dick. It has to be incredibly frustrating to be just a few letter sounds away from being able to read by yourself.
That being said, I am starting to think it’s strange that my children have ZERO ability to entertain themselves. (even together)
As I have previously posted, I suck at pretend.
I harbor a secret desire to burn her dollhouse down.
I can only find so many ways to rearrange the six pieces of furniture.
I have on more than one occasion plunked my daughter down on the couch, put on a new movie and tried to sneak in a nap in the bedroom. (Door open. I am not a HORRIBLE parent.)
Within ten minutes I will hear the heavy breathing of a small being standing next to me, staring at me, waiting for me to open my eyes.
It’s like I have my own personal serial killer, who is determined to murder me with crappy kid movies.
She won’t even sing without me. If I stop singing Frozen songs because I am doing something totally unimportant like trying to help her little brother poop on the potty, she starts to whisper-sing, looking uncomfortable like she just forgot her lines in the school play.
I probably shouldn’t talk considering that my mother could’ve nicknamed me “the tumor” until I was in high school. But, seriously, was I this annoying?
I’ve started calling her an Australian Sheperd. “The Aussie has considerable energy and drive, and usually needs a job to do.”
That’s my kid.
If you don’t give her a task, she’ll throw a shit-fit and possibly even piss on the rug. (Maybe not, but her temper tantrums ARE escalating.) She is a lovely child. Brilliant, hilarious, spirited and driven.
Now, can someone please borrow her for a couple of hours so I can have a hot date with my husband?
All Corsa vacations are preceded by a moderate disaster.
One time we had to rush our French Bulldog to the emergency vet for a costly, time-consuming overnight visit that resulted in a diagnosis of “bad gas.”
Another night before leaving on a trip, my husband’s car stopped working.
Stomach bugs, pink eye, even a massive “bomb” dropping onto the hood of my car from the monkey puzzle tree in front of our old bungalow. It never fails.
This time, I take the dogs to get their vaccines so they will be up to date for a week at “camp” and the vet notices my Boston Terrier has a hematoma on his ear that will need to be drained.
Tack on 300 more bucks to what was already a hefty bill and my last day before vacation will be spent rushing him to and from the vet. (not to mention he will be wearing the cone of shame while being humped by strange dogs. Double shame.)
That night I also get ridiculously sick. So sick I call in to work at 3am. Yet, my boss text messages me at 6 in the morning and basically begs me to come in anyway.
I am miserable.
I haven’t washed my hair.
I can’t speak.
I end up leaving early to go to an after-hours clinic for a Z-pack.
While in recovery, I somehow develop a massive swollen gum in the space where my 4th wisdom tooth would’ve been… if I had one there. (but, I don’t) Now, I am kicking off my vacation with wicked jaw pain.
We’re on Cuban time, so my husband and I race around packing and dressing the kids (no small feat) (they have small feet) but then have to sit around wasting time for hours until the rest of the clan is ready to go.
Even then, we must depart in a group.
We’re going in separate cars, but it’s the soldier’s creed. No man left behind.
Anna Maria Island is beautiful and quaint, the vacation house ideal.
There’s a lagoon-like pool with a sometimes operable waterfall and a minimal amount of beach sand collected on the bottom.
We are two blocks from the beach.
This should be a great vacation, except for my aching jaw, endless stream of snot and the sensation I have plummeted instantaneously into the 1950’s.
I end up trapped in a bedroom with two insane children hopped up on VACATION, jumping around the bed we’re all expected to share while my husband is downstairs watching the World Cup.
Maybe it was the fear that this was going to become the anticipated routine.
Maybe it was the burgeoning revelation that the entire trip was secretly orchestrated to coincide with the World Cup in order to torture me.
Maybe it was all I could do to keep myself from racing through the home with a burning bra, but I stormed downstairs and demanded the keys to the car to go for a drive.
The next morning after being pummeled all night long by bony elbows and knees, awoken by the sound of my son grinding his teeth in his sleep and the pain in my whole face… I’m still ready to tackle my pre-women’s suffrage duties and help cook breakfast for the house of 12. (My family, my in-laws, my sister-in-law and her boyfriend, her two kids, his two kids and one teenage friend of her son)
I remember that they cook their scrambled eggs with oil while I opt for butter or butter spray so they’ll probably find mine bland and inedible. I decide to go for the bacon and start to get the pan when my mother-in-law says, “You need to put it in the microwave first.”
I mentally throw my hands up and avoid cooking bacon for the rest of the trip.
The next day at the beach, Mother Nature valiantly came to my rescue.
I am obsessed with sharks. Terrified of them, adore them, secretly hope and dread for encounters with them.
The very first time I am watching my mother-in-law wade in the water with my daughter on her hip, I spot something unusual a couple of yards behind them. It looked like something pointy and dark sticking up out of the water.
Then there were two.
They were moving.
I walked toward abuela Corsa and made a hand motion for her to come toward me.
I could see clearly now there were at least two, possibly three sharks in the water.
I didn’t want to be “that guy” that shouts “SHARK!” and terrifies everyone at the beach. But, then again my mother-in-law is embracing my precious cargo and this scenario is like an unimaginable nightmare.
I remain calm even as my mother-in-law continues to demand to know why I am telling her to come to shore.
Other people see them too, so I have confirmation. These were not dolphins. I know what dolphins are. In fact, we saw some of those later in the day. Completely different swimming behavior.
The same day, we also watched a manatee lumbering along in the shallows.
Late afternoon, the summer storms roll in and I am watching them from our balcony. Billowing, fast-moving, dark clouds. Swirling, hinting at circulation. Palm trees whipping around like witches on broomsticks.
God bless you Mother Nature, you have shaken me from my stress-induced stupor.
The days that followed were filled with moments of joy, stress, hilarity and a healthy dose of awkward.
Perfect example of the latter: One of the said extraneous children along for the trip is about 9 years old.
He’s soft-spoken to the point of being irritating and even more bizarre than I was as a child.
He’s also a bit sneaky.
He and his sister appear to have some kind of arrangement that allows them to cheat and win at card games, hide each others’ crimes and possibly bury bodies in the backyard unnoticed.
At one point, my mother-in-law shouted that she saved me a piece of cheesecake.
Within a matter of seconds, I watched the boy grab the last piece and stick it inside an orange Dixie Cup so nobody would know he did it.
The night before I watched him go for some cheesecake in the freezer and when he saw me watching him, he rushed to open the freezer and put it back but his chicken-like arms were too weak to open the door.
He squeaked out a strange animalistic cry of frustration, like someone squeezed a rabbit REALLY hard.
To add insult to injury, a short while after he purloined MY piece of cheesecake, he shit it back out in the bathroom ATTACHED to our bedroom.
He is a Junior, so they call him “Tito.”
He shall henceforth be known as Cheesecake Tito to me.
Here’s another good one: In the afternoon, my husband was on the beach mercilessly teasing my sister-in-law and mother-in-law because they have decided they believe mermaids exist. Their scientific proof was viewed on a television show.
That night we’re playing Apples to Apples with the whole family with the exception of my sister-in-law’s boyfriend. He’s apparently holding some kind of grudge because he lost a game years ago to me over the definition of “The Big Bang Theory.”
So, while we’re playing we hear the sound of harmonious singing pouring from the open door to his room. It was like the bewitching melodies belted out by sirens, the ones who lure sailors to their deaths. The mermaids!
So, my husband says “He’s in there, unfurling his mermaid tail.”
I don’t know why, but this made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants.
I am a chortler. Maybe the occasional guffaw slips out. I NEVER laugh that hard.
I was crying, I was speaking in tongues, I was HAVING FUN.
Then there was the moment we were waiting for the trolley near a church and the truly Cuban members of the family decided to pose for a picture.
We ended up in Downtown Anna Maria Island, which for the record, does not exist. We were meandering down neighborhood streets looking like lost Okies drenched in sweat.
But, there were magical moments.
I watched my daughter discover the joy of being slammed by waves, overcoming her perpetual fear of the ocean.
I saw my son kick around a soccer ball with the big boys until sweat was dripping off his little melon head.
I saw sharks, I laughed until I cried and I drank more beer than seems humanly possible.
Yes, I was impaled nightly by little kid limbs. I spent much time trapped in bed watching PBS kid shows on the lousy cable while everyone else screamed about the World Cup downstairs.
I got a sun rash and gained five pounds. (my weird tooth issue resolved itself after days of gargling salt water)
But, it’s still the best vacation we’ve had with the kids since they were born. Good enough that my poor son is still grieving.
I am too.
We sat outside in the blistering heat so the kids could water paint.
We tormented a poor skink that was hanging out on the patio by chasing it back and forth to try and get a good look at it.
My children transformed into sloths during dinnertime.
They waded their way through the food on their plates like it was tar or quicksand.
Before bedtime, my son started to whip my arm with a pink rubber lizard and when I snatched it from him, the arm ripped off. The arm is now stuck on his wall.
At bedtime the kids took turns shouting “mommy” for no apparent reason for about an hour.
I took a day off from work the next day, so Huck decided it would be AWESOME to still wake up at 6 a.m.
He also burst into real tears when I left him at day care.
It didn’t take long to get over the guilt and have the MOST AMAZING DAY EVER.
I planted flowers, hit my favorite used book store, went to the beach, got a Coke Slurpee, got food from my favorite Mexican restaurant and watched Scandal.
I can safely say that if I hadn’t taken that day in-between I would’ve suffered a nervous breakdown by now.
The kids were total champs about dinner. They ate all of their ravioli and in a timely fashion. They even drank… drum roll… WATER!
I figured it was going to be an amazing night, but then bath time rolled around.
Alma is sitting on her brother in the tub, ridiculing his private parts, splashing me and then crying because she wants me to wrap her like a baby in her towel.
Then she actually starts whipping me with the towel. Not full-on locker room whipping, but she did nail me good one time in the eye. She responded with a sarcastic “SOOOORRRY.”
God bless my little hero, Huxley. He shouted, “No, Alma! Don’t be mean to mommy!!”
No such luck kiddo.
She was a nightmare to put to sleep. She wanted to color with markers and when she discovered the paper wrapper had fallen off of one of them she accused me (with attitude) of doing it on purpose.
She said condescendingly, “When the paper falls off, then you don’t give me THAT marker.”
I said, “I’m not doing anything for anyone who talks to me that way. Get this straight little girl, I’m your mom and you can’t talk to me like that.”
Lotta good that did. Little snot stayed up until 9:20 p.m. no matter what I did.
She’d rather color in the dark like some kind of f*&king vampire than go to sleep.
I still need to take a little time to unwind after the screaming and crying dies down, so I end up staying up way too late.
Then Huck wakes up at 5 a.m.
ALMA picked out her outfit the night before, but suddenly in the morning acts astonished that I would choose such hideous attire and forces me to dress her in the EXACT same outfit she wore two days before, including the sweater she demands to wear “because she’s cold” when it’s 90 degrees outside. I washed it, but still… nobody else knows that.
Huck is crying “No way mommy!” over and over because I won’t take him downstairs while I get Alma ready. (Which is because the day before, I took him downstairs and he cried because he was alone down there while I got Alma ready)
He cried, “I want daddy.”
Guess what? I want daddy too.
And when daddy comes home I am going to put a shock collar on him and if he ever tries to go out of town I’m gonna zap his ass.
SPECIAL NOTE: I want to give a special shout out to Olaf, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven (or “Spen” as my daughter pronounces it) and even Prince Hans. Without them this week would not be possible. For all of you Frozen haters, this movie is the only way I have been able to do laundry, tidy the house or even bathe. I love you, Frozen.
We have hundreds of television channels. 90% of them are showing things that are inappropriate for my children to view.
When I was a kid the raciest thing I ever saw on our six channels was Baywatch.
Now, the magic screen flickers with unpredictable images of threesomes, boobs and man butts.
Plots centered on high schoolers having abortions, real housewives beating each other up and Bachelors having sex in the ocean with one of 27 “lucky” ladies.
It makes the controversial plots of the late 80’s and early 90’s laughable.
I remember feeling nauseous and uncomfortable when Allie found a condom in Chip’s pocket on Kate and Allie.
There was the infamous episode of Diff’rent Strokes when Dana Plato’s character had bulimia.
We can thank Canada for tackling tough topics like teen drug use and divorce on Degrassi Junior High.
My kids aren’t old enough to need the “child lock” but I am starting to think they need to make one for grownups.
“Watch Mad Men without gratuitous sex scenes! See Dexter without ever having to see Dexter’s derriere!”
While our biggest current concern is making sure the kids aren’t replicating the abuse Tom and Jerry subject each other to, there’s also Victoria’s Secret ads to subtly teach my daughter the appeal of protruding hip bones and anorexia.
Thank GOD that we can now fast forward through all of the commercials, which are more graphic and offensive than anything we were forced to watch between shows as kids.
I was banned from watching Three’s Company because of their “inappropriate living arrangement.”
Now, you can watch two guys and a chick get it on in the shower on what’s supposed to be a thriller about a serial killer.
We had true drama with Mary Ingalls going blind on Little House on the Prairie.
The Cosby Show, where the most offensive thing was those Coogi sweaters.
The hot chicks on television: Becca from Life Goes On and Winnie Cooper. If you were a real perv it was Kelly Bundy.
Now Hannah Montanas transform into Miley Cyruseseses. (yeah, I couldn’t figure out the apostrophe) Britney Spears turned into… Britney Spears.
Want a chuckle? America’s Funniest Home Videos is still hilarious even though the clips are from the early 80’s.
Now, you can giggle at the guy from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia putting his dick through a hole in the wall in an attempt to have intercourse with a stranger.
How did we go from the seven castaways of Gilligan’s Island to the seven strangers picked to live in a house to the seven strangers having an orgy in a jacuzzi in Vegas? It was like ‘take one down, pass it around’ with roommates on the Real World.
I blame a cartoon for the downfall of American television. Beavis and Butthead. It’s all their fault.
I always adore when people post lists of classic stuff from the 80’s. Let’s take a trip back in time and check out some of the more obscure and underappreciated toys and shows from my childhood.
I adored mine. It was stolen by a fundamentalist Christian kid I used to hang out with. I remember her name. I will protect the identity of the thief. But, if she were ever to read this, I want it back!
The ears never got dry. It didn’t matter. I loved this moldy pup.
Clearly I have older brothers.
My mom told us to throw them all out. I hid them in my closet for years before becoming so wracked with guilt I gave them away.
Another “no-no” in our crazy Christian family.
I had an obsession with Dotty because she wore roller skates.
I was obsessed with Wordsworth because he wore roller skates. There is a theme.
When I was born, my oldest brother looked through the hospital nursery window and sang, “See in the window, it’s Hannah Banana,” to the Magilla Gorilla tune.
I wanted to be the Little Prince. Yes, Prince.
I dare you to sing the song and see if anyone is cool enough to shout “bears” at the end. I have a friend like that. (although I refer to him as a fiend not a friend)
I love Tom Hanks, but this is still the best role he ever played. Take that Forrest Gump!
I watched the CRAP out of this show.
I admit it, I had a crush on Ponch. But, then he visited my news station in Miami and was groping all of the female “talent.” Grooosss.
I don’t care if Alanis Morissette was on this show. It was awesome anyway.
That’s it. I am quitting my job and dedicating the rest of my life to creating a time machine just so I can enjoy the 80’s again.