My normally scheduled post will not occur today as I will be flying up to my 25th high school reunion alone and I need time to categorize and pack my anxieties. And also to prepare the house to not go up in flames while I’m gone. This is a long and involved process, requiring all of my concentration and stomach meds. I’m sure you understand.

I will return on Monday…unless my plane goes down in flames, or the kitchen at the brewery explodes and I’m killed by a flying pint glass, which, come to think of it, isn’t a bad way to go…the pint glass, not the plane crash…but only if the pint glass hits me in the back of the head so that it doesn’t ruin my make up. I want to look decent for the paramedics and then for Hubs when he has to identify me. That’s important.

Please make sure that Hubs remarries someone who is kind but completely unattractive. Someone the kids will love, but never as much as they love me.

Thank you.

Excused Absence

Safe Travels

I woke up at 3:00am yesterday filled with anxiety. A friend’s father has been struggling with a long-term health issue and at 3:00am my mind decided that the issue required my immediate attention, so there I lie at that ungodly hour, fraught with foreboding and a full bladder.

At 6:00am I found my daughter sitting in the hall, mortified that she had uncharacteristically wet the bed with her best friend sleeping next to her. She was so exhausted that she just didn’t wake up. That happens when you party like a rock star at a gazillion back to back sleepovers. Then my son woke up and realized that he’d done the same thing. Everyone passed out and just peed where they lie. It smelled like the Rolling Stones tour bus.

“Our tour bus smells much better now that we all wear diapers.”

When I looked in the bathroom mirror I discovered the ice cream that I had used to comfort myself the day before made me break out, which was cool, since I’d been planning to take the promo picture needed for an upcoming show. I was going for a hip and semi-youthful vibe and nothing says “youthful” more effectively than pimples. Even Loreal Excellence Creme in light auburn can’t compete with that.

I thought to myself, Aha! Those feelings of anxiety were about giant chin pimples and loads of laundry, and breathed a sigh of relief, which wasn’t easy because the pimple on my chin was blocking my oxygen supply.

An aerial view of my chin. (image via wikipedia)

And then I got a call about my friend’s father, who had a health crisis from which he wasn’t expected to recover and I realized that laundry and epic breakouts were the least of my worries. Periodic weeping commenced and continued all day. If you’ve ever seen a red-chinned woman sob while folding piles of laundry you know it wasn’t pretty. Definitely not the day to take a promo picture.

Ever met someone’s family and liked them immediately–even wished fervently in an obsessive but completely uncreepy way that they were your family? My friend Sabra’s family is like that. Everyone loves them. They remind me of my own family minus the baggage–the family of my imagination, with all of the love and humor and none of the addiction.  Her mom, Lynn works in hospice care and health research. Her dad, Al was a professor and researcher at a University. They were in the Peace Corps in Africa when my friend was born and then they trekked across the continent with their newborn. One of their Peace Corps friends read an African prayer at my friend’s wedding. How cool is that?

My dad stepped on my dress repeatedly as he walked me to the altar and then turned me down for the father/daughter dance, which is awesome in its own way (because it makes for a good story), but it’s no African prayer.

I look maniacal and Dad looks confused. That’s about right.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I sat next to Al at a dinner party to celebrate his and Lynn’s visit. Across from us sat a woman who had some extremely negative views on prenatal medicine. She had never been pregnant but she had a friend who was and had accompanied that friend on a doctor’s visit, which clearly made her an expert.

I wish I didn’t have to work so hard for my expertise. Shoot, I wish I had some expertise.

Anyway, she took the opportunity to demonize, at length, the medical and scientific community to which Al had dedicated his working life in the most arrogant of ways, while instructing me on how I should proceed with my pregnancy. Al smiled and was good-natured about the whole exchange, though his medical knowledge dwarfed hers and she was being rude. I mostly kept my mouth shut because I was busy imagining my water glass hurtling toward her head. Sabra told me later that Al had remarked that I’d handled the exchange very well.

In actuality he was the one who handled the exchange, but he gave me the credit. That epitomizes the kind of man he was: kind and engaging, intellectual without being arrogant, unassuming and generous. And when someone of that caliber likes you in return, you feel validated. Or at least I do, because sometimes I see myself in the reflection of the eyes of those I really respect. If those eyes are myopic and mistake me for being more bitchin’ than I actually am, it’s Christmas for my self-esteem.

Now this incredible person has come to the end of this leg of his adventure, his family is suffering and all I can do is tearfully write a blog post, awkwardly extolling his virtues. Well I never said our association was mutually rewarding.

Thank you, Al, for the privilege of your acquaintance. My life is richer having known you. Safe travels. Wherever you go, they will be lucky to have you.


The Law Of Attraction To Charlie Sheen

Warning: You can’t process this blog post with a normal brain.

I’ve been trying to follow the law of attraction lately. You know, the whole “like attracts like” theory, which states that the thoughts you put out there ultimately attract positive or negative things to you depending on if you are a mental ray of sunshine or possess more of an Andy Dick on a bender attitude…

I might not be explaining this very well.

“No you are not. Has any ever told you that your head is enormous?” (image via starpulse)

Anyway, I’m a fairly positive person but I do spend a lot of time going over worst case scenarios in my head and I decided one day after reading about the law of attraction on someone’s blog (isn’t that where everyone gets their pertinent information?) that I didn’t necessarily want to attract some of the things I’d been thinking about. Maybe I should spend less time thinking about homicidal maniacs breaking into my house and more time thinking about unicorns and rainbows and Ryan Reynolds’s abs.

You’re welcome.

I decided to test this theory by focusing my thoughts on something I really wanted.

Specifically a house. More specifically the HGTV Green Home. And how I was going to win it.

Oh look, there I am in the window with a glass of organic wine. (image via

Then I thought, who knows more about winning than Charlie Sheen? (Granted, someone might know more about this subject, but they don’t talk about it in the media and so I haven’t heard about them and therefore they don’t count as totally bitchin’ rock stars from Mars in my book.) And since I’m pretty sure that I also possess tiger’s blood and possibly Adonis DNA (although I’m less sure about the latter) I decided to take a page out of the book of Charlie.

Now I should be specific here. I don’t want to actually be on the drug called Charlie Sheen, because I don’t want my children to weep over my exploded body and I don’t particularly want my face to melt off either, but certainly his winning attitude would be handy. Who doesn’t want to be a battle-tested bayonet?

Even Charlie Sheen wants to be Charlie Sheen, because he’s winning. It says so on his wrist. (image via starpulse)

I focused my mind, evicted the psychological fools and trolls, who are really hard to evict even for Charlie Sheen, and concentrated my energy on imagining myself winning that house: being notified, packing up our stuff, moving across the country, acclimating to our new neighborhood and living a blissfully green existence in our new, eco-friendly home practically just down the street from Nana and Grandpa. Winning!

Okay, it is true that I had to occasionally redirect my worst case scenario thoughts when I started to think about lightning strikes and necrotizing fascitis and depressed daughters who have been separated from their BFFs and then start hanging out with the wrong people and doing drugs and flunking out of school and eventually running off to become one of Charlie Sheen’s goddesses. (I’m sorry, Charlie, you are an inspiration, but that thought is still horrifying.)

Still, I was pretty diligent about my positive thinking. Anthony Robbins even put me on speed dial for an inspirational Charlie quote pick-me-up.

I was all like, “Anthony, you’ve got to stop pretending that your life isn’t perfect and bitchin’ and just winning every second. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got poetry in my fingertips and I need to put it in a blog post.”

(That conversation didn’t actually happen. But only because he doesn’t have my phone number. Or any idea who the heck I am.)

“Are you my housekeeper, Magdelena?” (image via wikipedia)

However, as it turned out, some random woman in Texas was an even bigger winner than I was and attracted the house instead. She might have been an actual goddess. I was understandably disappointed and seriously considered challenging her to enter my octagon to meet with my fire-breathing fists, but decided that that could be construed as counterproductive and possibly illegal…and really the sort of invitation that should only be extended to CBS and the creator of Two and a Half Men.

Then I noticed that I had attracted a crap-load of other positive things to myself. Apparently my positive thoughts weren’t limited to green homes. I’d list them here, but I don’t want to gloat or demonstrate how low my standards are, because according to the Sheen, you have the right to kill me, but you do not have the right to judge me.

So my point is…dang it, what was my point again? Oh yes, think positively! Think like a winner! You might not get the thing you were shooting for, but it’s highly likely that God’s great dane will squat in your front yard and deposit the mother-load of blessings on your lawn. And you don’t even have to bag that shiznit because it is. Pure. Gold.

Would you look at that? I’ve tapped into my inner Charlie Sheen and am now making my own inappropriate inspirational quotes.



Disclaimer: I do not advocate living like or even with Charlie Sheen. In fact, I maintain hope that Charlie Sheen will stop living like Charlie Sheen and go on to live a long, sober life of quote generating.

What To Do On A Thursday Night In Nebraska

Every once in a while as I’m reading the news I stumble across a story that really grabs me. I identify with the subject–sort of a “there but for the grace of God go I” type of thing. Take, for instance, this man, Jason Dornhoff, out of Kearney Nebraska.

Mr. Dornhoff was smoking methamphetamine one recent Thursday night when, according to court documents and the Huffington post, he decided that he needed to acquire a job and fulfill some sexual fantasies. (We’ve all been there, am I right?) He then drove over to a local restaurant and filled out an application, but, perhaps fearing that he wouldn’t stand out in this job market, decided to write a little note on the back of his application.


According to the Kearney Hub, he wrote: “I have no money, a huge bomb in my truck, and a syringe of bleach that will kill you instantly. If you be quiet and help me, you won’t die.”

Now if that doesn’t put you at the top of the application pile, I don’t know what will.

The article didn’t mention exactly which restaurant Dornhoff had used to commit this crime, but I immediately pictured a TGI Friday’s, because I’ve worked at a couple of TGI Friday’s and he matches the description of some of my former customers. Maybe his sexual fantasies involved a waitress covered in fajita grease and “flair.” All of those buttons make a girl look mad sexy.

Admit it, you’re picturing me in those buttons right now. (image via flickr & Ray Yu)

He was probably hoping to run into a waitress with a hostage fantasy, which is not unreasonable. Toward the end of my shifts I often wished to be dragged out of the restaurant and stuck with a syringe full of bleach. Bleach is, after all, one of the few things that will remove the smell of fajitas from your hair while simultaneously whitening your teeth and giving you highlights.

I identify with this man on so many different levels. First of all, what is there to do on a Thursday night? I was just asking myself that very question. I was all like, “should I smoke some meth and then go down to Applebee’s with a bomb threat or should I just watch season four of True Blood?” The truth is that they both seem kind of pointless, so I might just fold some laundry.

And what about all of your pent up sexual energy? Where does a lonely horndog go for satisfaction? PeeWee Herman and Fred Willard could tell you that an adult theater is not the way to go. Lord knows a park bathroom is also a bad choice. Thank you, George Michael. The options start to dwindle until finally you find yourself at the local watering hole with a job application and a misunderstood, grammatically incorrect love note.

To be fair, crystal meth messes with your grammar. And your teeth. So let’s not be judgmental.

Also, have you been to central Nebraska? My dad was raised there and I bet if he were alive today he would tell us that he might have done the exact same thing…if it wasn’t the Depression and he hadn’t been living in a tent and the local restaurant wasn’t simply a soup line. I drove through Nebraska a couple of years back and if I hadn’t been trying to outrun what I thought was a funnel cloud, I might have made a similar choice.

Nothing saves you from a bad choice like a natural disaster. (image via flickr & Thomas-birdpics)

I think we all have a purpose in life. Maybe this guy was simply fulfilling his destiny. Just this morning I was having a discussion with my daughter about the perils of drug use (because nothing goes better with oatmeal than cautionary tales) and I told her that if she did drugs she could find herself down at Chuck E Cheeses telling them that she’d detonate the bomb on her scooter if they didn’t give her a job or some game tokens. Maybe his life purpose was to scare my daughter straight. I wonder if he can get her to go to college.

(Okay maybe that conversation didn’t actually happen, but if could have…if Hubs read the story. He loves “teaching moments” that confuse and horrify the children. It’s one of his more endearing qualities and why we make such a good team.)

At the very least, people like Jason Dornhoff give Hubs job security and me a smile. And for that I am grateful. Thank you, Jason Dornhoff. Your next order of fajitas is on me.

Separation Anxiety

I’m a bit maudlin today. Earlier this morning I stealth cried into my daughter’s hair while listening to a Kimbra CD (the emotional equivalent of crying at a Disneyland).

You see, I’m having a hard time handling Riley’s maturation.

I know what you’re thinking. “You, Kelly? But you handle everything with such ease, hardly a ruffle in your outer veneer of total competence.”

I know. I too am baffled. I actually expected to enjoy this part of parenting quite a bit. My mother seemed to enjoy it. And during those sleepless nights when my babies only wanted me to hold them I thought wistfully of their future independence. Both of my children were very attached to me.

True, Conor would sprint toward traffic if given a moment’s chance. But that was only because he knew how much I enjoyed the heart attack and subsequent chase, while toting a diaper bag and insensible shoes. He’s a thoughtful boy, that one.

Riley, however, would hardly leave my side to play at the park. You could always count on her to stay close in stores or any other public forum. She craved my closeness. I appreciated her attachment, but at the same time I wanted some confidence for her, some sense that all would be okay if she wasn’t holding my hand.

So here it is.

This weekend Riley slept over at her best friend’s house two nights in a row. She prefers to sleep at their house. They have a pool. Totally understandable. Riley now prefers the company of her best friend to mine and then spends whatever time she and I have together talking about her best friend and what they did together. I get that. I remember how that was. I am happy that she found some assurance in the world outside of my arms.

Well maybe happy is too simple a word. If you took happiness, added misery and heartbreak and then mixed it up into a muddy swirl of ambivalence you would be closer to how I feel about my daughter’s mounting independence. My little girl is separating from me. It reminds me of the time my mom had to rip off the rest of my big toe nail after a gruesome toe-stubbing. Only this is bloodier and deeper and hasn’t been followed by a trip to The King’s Table buffet restaurant.

And I know that further separation is inevitable and the thought of it eviscerates my tender mommy emotions. Dang it! I hate being a needy pile of mush. Please tell me that I’m not going to spend day after day staring out my bedroom window while singing George Michael’s Careless Whisper badly and full of feeling.

I am, aren’t I?

I can’t say I wasn’t warned, hadn’t watched other women go through this or listened to them talk about it. But I honestly didn’t think it would apply to me. I swear to God, I thought I would handle this transition sh!t smoothly. In no way did I anticipate that I would miss her so badly while she was still living in my home. Nor did I see myself mooning over her baby pictures, longing to smell her baby breath once more.

Ah, baby breath. It smells like love dipped in sweet cream. And there is absolutely no way to save it for posterity. I have Riley’s first shoes in a box, but what I really want is her baby breath in a bottle and the smell of her baby head on my pillow at night.

I am psychotic.

I’m not the only one who’s suffering here. Conor is also struggling with the changes in his sister. He’s baffled that the girl who used to dote on him, suddenly doesn’t want him around, doesn’t want to include him when she’s playing with her friend, doesn’t think anything he says is cute or funny. When she spends the night elsewhere, Conor asks where she is. Hourly. His heartbreak is second only to mine.

Maybe we can sing a duet of Careless Whisper. I should teach him the words.

Regional Distress

I make no secret of the fact that I desperately want to leave southern California.

I’m fairly certain that it’s killing me, Southern California that is. I don’t know what will get to me first, abject poverty (we can’t afford landscapers OR a housekeeper), cancer (I’ve lived by a lot of freeways and I heard it from someone’s friend whose doctor read it on the internet that that is pretty much a death sentence) or vanity (the pressure to look like an over developed ten-year old is dangerous), but I feel my mortality knocking at the front door and though the flier it left advertised a new pizza joint, I read between the lines and between the lines was a lot of white space and white space is what you see right before you get to the pearly gates, at least that’s the way it was in the movie Oh God, which starred George Burns, who was old enough to actually know what heaven looks like and would never have lied to me.

“The cigar I smoke now has angel wings.” (image via wikipedia)

I want to live!

And I want to do it surrounded by people who are not impossibly beautiful. I don’t begrudge regular beautiful people. Just the impossibly beautiful ones who’ve had so many expensive treatments and procedures done and then cleverly lied about it, so that 70 is the new 40 and silent screen movie stars look younger than I do. I can’t afford these treatments and procedures but I feel the pressure and it’s only a matter of time before I end up desperate in some alley behind a restaurant with Danny Bonaduce injecting discarded pork fat into my cheeks right before he runs back to Celebrity Rehab or into traffic…I mean he could go anywhere because he’s Danny Bonaduce and notoriously unstable, much like a face full of discarded pork fat.

Try Danny Bonaduce’s Back Alley Pork Fat Beauty Treatments and you too could look forever young like a troubled child star! (image via

I want to live somewhere where people look their age, but still have all of their teeth. And know what an organic vegetable is. And don’t think that Budweiser is the only acceptable beer to drink. And say please and thank you. And know their neighbors. And don’t talk on the phone through dinner.

I’ve long thought that that somewhere lay in the South East. I’ve made no secret of this either. But lately there have been some headlines out of that region which are troubling my inner hypochondriac.

First, there has been an epidemic of Necrotizing Fascitis. I’ve read of three cases in and around Georgia. THREE. And that is three more than there should be. So it is obviously out of control. Nobody knows how these people contracted this terrible disease, which leaves me no way to obsessively avoid it. However, here’s what I do know: one of the victims was a mother, two of the victims were women and all three were human. I’m a mother, a woman and a human. Clearly I’m in a high risk group.

Then I read an article about tiny ticks in the area that are infecting people with Mammalian Meat Allergies. Now unsuspecting people in the South East are getting hives and even anaphylaxis after innocently eating a mammal, like a cow or a manatee. I’ve often eaten to the point of discomfort, but I’ve never stopped breathing and I’d like to keep it that way. And since, last I heard, they are still making burgers out of mammals and I have been known to periodically have a small but passionate love affair with a juicy burger, especially after a long day hiking in tick country, I am once again vulnerable.

(Note: I’m not advocating the eating of manatees. I personally think it’s a bad idea. However, a female manatee is referred to as a cow and so I can see how the mistake could be made. Don’t shoot the messenger, people.)

Manatees should be cherished, not eaten. I call this one, Maynard. (image via wikipedia)

Am I supposed to move someplace where my limbs will rot, so that I can’t even pick up the burger, which will bring me ecstasy and then make me stop breathing? Does anyone else see the inherent problems here? Where’s a run of the mill paranoid hypochondriac supposed to live anymore?

Award Season

I’m going to apologize up front for the length of this post. It’s going to be a bit wordy, but I’ve got to handle some bid’ness this morning. It seems that not one, but two fellow bloggers were delusional enough to nominate me for awards. These women are fabulous, intelligent and funny. And possibly unstable. But I love them for it.

To get in the mood for these festivities, I’m going to put on my wedding dress. I didn’t have it cleaned before I jammed it into a Space bag ten years ago and I haven’t showered today, so I look and smell a little like Courtney Love. Fabulous!

Now let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? There is a proper etiquette for accepting a nomination. First I need to tell you a bit about my nominators.

Lazyhippiemama nominated me for a Tell Me About Yourself Award.

Now given her blog title, you might expect to find a bunch of blog posts about how much she’d really like to eat a bag of Cheetos if only she could raise herself up off the couch, but that’s not the case. I’m not saying she doesn’t like Cheetos, because, well, who doesn’t like Cheetos? What I’m saying is that her blog is part inspirational peace/love, part environmental and part motherhood with a dash of theology and humor. I like it enough to subscribe to it. And I’m not alone. Check it out!

And Kathy over at Don’t Forget To Feed The Baby nominated me for the Sunshine Award.

Pretty, huh?

There are bloggers with whom you become friendly because you like what they have to say and you also like them. Kathy is one of those bloggers for me. I read her blog because I think she’s funny and I’ve interacted with her enough to add her to my list of bloggers I intend to stalk if I ever find myself in their neck of the woods. I mean stalk in a good way–not a boil your rabbit sort of way. I hope she doesn’t move away under the cover of night. Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out her blog.

Now I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself.

  1. I can read minds. But only in my car and only about driving related intentions. I can feel when someone next to me wants to change lanes or someone is going to sit through a light. I cannot however tell you what they ate for dinner or if they are cheating on their spouse. Unless they throw a cheap blond and a McDonald’s bag out the window.
  2. I’m deeply offended by cheap Chinese food and bad pizza. I’d rather go hungry. I apologize for my snobbishness. It’s inexplicable given my humble, prepared-food beginnings.
  3. I’m a very good parallel parker when no one else is in the car with me. It’s my secret. I think Hubs saw my superior skills once when I forgot he was in the car, but most of the time I lose my ability when another adult is present and do a serviceable impression of a ninety year old cataract patient. Then we have to take a shuttle to the curb.
  4. I’m a terrible painter. My secret? Lack of patience and proper prep work.
  5. My family is destroying the rain forest one roll of toilet paper at a time. Seriously, I’ve never met a group of people (who weren’t also drunk and in a nightclub) who use so much toilet paper. I think they shut the bathroom door and mummify themselves.
  6. I laughed and groaned my way through Titanic but I bawled through The Time Traveler’s Wife (so hard, in fact, that Hubs thought I needed medical attention.) Romances are a mixed bag for me. It takes a subtle approach to get past my cynical humor. However, you kill off one animal in a movie and I will cry. Every. Single. Time.
  7. I’ve always believed that I have super powers. When I was little I thought I could levitate and move objects with my mind. Now I think I can move like one of those kids on So You Think You Can Dance. None of these abilities have ever been proven. However my driving telepathy…now that sh!t is real. Don’t trip.

But wait, there’s more. I’ve got to answer these ten questions about myself.

The questions:

  • What is your favorite bad habit? Smoking crack in a back alley. It’s old school.
  • How old are you? That’s a carefully guarded secret. 43. Crap, I guess the guards were on break. Don’t tell anyone.
  • What is your favorite time of day? I like the morning. I’m most organized, productive and loving in the morning… unless it’s one of those mornings after nobody slept very well, in which case cancel all of the above.
  • What is your favorite time of year? Autumn–school clothes shopping, Halloween, Thanksgiving, comfort foods and pretty leaves.
  • Who is your favorite dead celebrity? Charlie Sheen. Wait, he’s not dead? That’s amazing!
  • What is your favorite Christmas movie? Christmas Vacation is awesome but I always end up watching A Christmas Story while I’m wrapping presents.
  • Who is your favorite philosopher? Again, Charlie Sheen…or the Dalai Lama. They both have a lot of interesting things to say.
  • What was your favorite vacation? College. 
  • What is your favorite physical activity? It’s a tie between eating and…well the other one always gets me pregnant, so I’m going to go with eating.
  • What is your favorite thing? Probably something having to do with my kids, because they’re awesome and they were ripped from my womb. Eating and laughing with good friends is also pretty good.

Now I need to pay this kindness forward. If you’re looking for some enjoyable blogs to read try these:

White Elephant In The Room

Fish Out Of Water

Shut Up Dad



The Gigli Of Mothers

I received my second negative parental review from one of my daughter’s friends. This one was delivered indirectly, second-hand from my daughter.  Apparently one of her friends, who we’ll call Spazmonkey here in order to protect her identity, thinks that I “could be better”. Interesting. Riley followed up her report by adding, “But I think you already are better,” which, though meant to soften the blow, was less than effective.

Could be better. Already is better. Better than what? A crack ‘ho? Or mother of the year? Because it does make a difference.

Better than Britney driving with a baby in her lap? (image via BBC News)

Or better than Angelina and her multi-ethnic child convoy? (image via celebritydiagnosis)

But the good news is that Riley thinks I am better, which suggests that I’m getting over my parental faults like a cold. I might still have a little post nasal drip but all in all I’m a better parent already.

I told Riley that we shouldn’t speak ill of other people’s parents, that nobody is perfect because we’re all human and trying to be better people, etc. At no point did I refer to Spazmonkey as a poo poo head or question her intelligence. I felt I was very adult about the whole thing. But as soon as Riley left the room I had to admit to myself that I was secretly crushed.

Eight year old girls are diabolical. Sure they look all cute in their Target outfits and speak politely to your face, but then they cut you down behind your back like little Pokemon-loving Judases. I’m going to have to start emotionally frisking these girls before they enter my home. They’re dangerous.

Granted, I shouldn’t give this too much stock. The source is a girl with whom Riley has already been having issues. However this puts me in an awkward position, because I see this girl regularly at Riley’s school and it’s going to look bad when I throw her into a headlock and give her a noogie, yelling “Who could be better? You could be better!”

I’m going to end up looking like the bad guy when in actuality I’m totally justified.

Can’t a woman give a child a noogie anymore without being castigated?

So why am I crushed over this mild insult from an eight year old girl with a questionable nickname? Well I suppose part of it is because it’s totally unexpected. I think in my heart of hearts I always expected my kids’ friends to love me. I’m the cool mom. I’m funny. I have many faults but kids aren’t supposed to notice them, because…I’m cool and funny.

Did I mention that I’m cool and funny?

Yeah well, cool and funny go a long way.  They make up for a lot of other deficiencies.

My main concern however is not my own feelings, but those of my daughter. Do you remember the first time someone said something less than flattering about your mom or dad? I do. I was in middle school and it was not the best day ever. How devastating is it to learn that your parent’s are not perfect in the world’s view? Riley shouldn’t have to face that yet. She should come to that conclusion on her own in a puberty-spurred epiphany, the way God intended.

I didn’t expect the few years I have left of unconditional love from my children to be undermined by my daughter’s peers. Nor did I expect to have to use a high-powered pellet gun on eight year old girls.

I’m just kidding about that last part. I would not use a high-powered pellet gun to shoot young girls in the butt no matter how much they subconsciously begged me. Because it is wrong! And if you hear any stories about that sort of thing happening to an eight year old girl, it wasn’t me, I have an air tight alibi and we never talked about this.

A Banner Day In A Public Loo

Yesterday was a banner day here in the Fathead household. My son, who until now has steadfastly held to his vow to only pee sitting down on his very own potty seat in his very own home, peed on a foreign potty. Not only that but he did it standing up. And without any coercion or anti-anxiety drugs.

There we were at a park we’ve never frequented in a questionable part of town when Conor decided that he needed to use the bathroom. Now I brought along a pull up for just this possibility because we have loads of experience with potty meltdowns–refusals to use a potty or bush, cries to go home, a full on meltdown followed by the inevitable wet pants, but Conor decided that he wanted to see the bathroom there at the park.

Each toilet was contained in a separate tiny, dark room, ostensibly to minimize sexual attacks and maximize germ distribution. The ambience reminded me of the first Saw movie and upon stepping inside my life immediately flashed before my eyes, but Conor stepped right up to that nasty, unflushed metal toilet, dropped his pants, leaned against the germ-infested surface and peed right inside. He had to wait a minute for the biological magic to happen and for a moment I thought that he had contaminated himself and would still end up with wet pants, but he did it. Then I let him flush with his foot because I’m pretty sure that his hand would have instantly dropped off from fast-acting necrotizing fascitis had he touched the button with his fingers and we were instantly encased in a microscopic mist of germs and fecal matter while I desperately tried to free us from our toilet tomb and find the nearest bucket of bleach. Yay, Conor! You did it!

Excuse me, sir, could you hurry up and saw off your foot? My son has to pee. (image via haro-online)

Did I mention that I have a teeny tiny hang up about children in dirty public bathrooms? Just a little one. Hardly worth mentioning, really. But I might go a little bit Howard Hughes when confronted with a questionable loo.

However, this was momentous and let’s be frank here, I’m desperate. Desperate to run errands or visit friends without a pull up. Desperate not to have to worry that said pull up might not last the whole visit. Desperate to avoid more phone calls from grandparents and the like asking what to do about Conor’s mental breakdown and refusal to go potty anywhere but home. Desperate to find an incentive that works, so that he can go on to the next year of preschool and eventually college without an adult diaper. Desperate enough to let him go pee anywhere this side of a genocidal body dump. D-E-S-P-E-R-A-T-E.

So you best believe I muttered words of encouragement through my gritted teeth and tried my best to go to my happy place (a place where everyone is potty trained and surfaces are well cleaned, by the way) while Conor and I stood in that nuclear waste dump of a bathroom. I didn’t throw up in my mouth or do the heebie jeebie dance when we exited either. We calmly washed our hands. Twice. And then we went and got the big boy a Happy Meal.

A proud boy with his happy meal

I will swab him down with disinfectant and burn his clothes later after my bleach bath.

Not a bleach bath!

Oh and did I mention that he also let a little girl go ahead of him on the slide, saying “Ladies before genamen?”  Hubs and I couldn’t be prouder of Conor if he speed assembled an M16. Well I guess I should only speak for myself there. The speed assembly would probably bring Hubs to tears. My standards are lower and less sanitary.

The Hormonal Headlock

I don’t mean to brag, but I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle. I don’t smoke unless my hair is on fire. I exercise, except when I’m in an internet-induced stupor. I eat obnoxiously healthy 95% of the time. And I try to manage my stress with loving, hippie, New Age-Christian thoughts. Considering that in my twenties I was a promiscuous ball of toxic thoughts, working my way from one microwave cake to another, it is pretty darn amazing.

Promiscuous ball of toxic thoughts goes dancing. I’m the ball on the right.

My healthy lifestyle didn’t stop my hormones from going bat-sh!t crazy when I hit forty, though, much to my dismay. My ob/gyn, who I deeply respect for her love of bacon and Otis Redding in the O.R., suggested I go on the pill. However, I’m oddly resistant to medication of all kinds. I support the idea of medication, I just don’t like the idea of it being mine and having to take it every day. It’s a commitment issue.

I’m better at cutting things out than adding things in. One of the benefits of being raised on guilt is that I’m scary-good at self deprivation. It’s one of my super powers. So instead of adding in birth control, I decided to cut out sugar and caffeine. And joy.

Yay me! Step back, synthetic hormones!  I got this!

So imagine my surprise this month when the PMS fairy kicked down my door and made me her beyotch? I tried to explain that she was visiting the wrong house because I am living a life of righteous deprivation like a Tibetan Monk, but she threw me in a hormonal headlock anyway. She is not a nice fairy. You’ll never see her being celebrated in Wiccan circles.

Never trust a fairy who carries wire and a cinder block. (image via dreamstime)

Suddenly I am tired, irritable and ready to cut someone for a burger and milkshake. And not a paper cut either. A real cut that might even require stitches. And a band-aid.

Then my son starts spontaneously crying for ice cream. Not “I want ice cream,” “No you can’t have ice cream,” and then tears, but tears first, then “why are you crying,” “Because I want ice cream.” That kind of emotion over dessert foods can only be brought on by one thing and it rhymes with pormones.

I infected my son with my ladiness like the Swine Flu. Dang it! I should have worn a surgical mask and hermetically sealed underwear. Now two out of four members of this household are a mess-trogen.

Man down!

I can’t layer hormonal craziness on top of my usual craziness like some sort of Dagwood Insanity Sandwich. I don’t know whether I need to wave some burning sage over my uterus or contact a priest for a full on estrocism, but something must be done about this. I have to get a handle on this before our whole house is infected with the evil spirit of Estrogen and there are casualties.