Surgical Fun With Hobos

My son, Conor, had a little “work done” a couple of weeks ago. That’s the Hollywood term for surgery, though in Conor’s case it doesn’t refer to a cosmetic procedure. No Brazilian Butt Lift here. In fact, nothing major at all. Just a little abdominal surgery to repair a hernia. No biggie. I was totally casual about the whole thing. Totally.

On the outside.

On the inside, I was a ball of anxiety because my baby was going under general anesthesia and I worried that he would handle it as well as I do, which is to say not well at all. My body is generally against drugs, especially anything that threatens to relieve pain, and reacts like a tweaker in an imaginary snake pit. It’s charming to watch, just ask Hubs.

My daughter, Riley, was also experiencing some anxiety over Conor’s surgery, saying comforting things like, “when they cut Conor open…” and “if Conor dies…”, so I scheduled a busy day for all of us the day before the surgery to keep our minds off of the whole thing.

Riley has an overactive imagination. I don’t know where she gets it.

This picture is in no way meant to suggest that she gets it from me.

This picture is in no way meant to suggest that she gets it from me. Or that I’ve lost half my teeth.

At the end of the day Conor collapsed into bed, which is when I noticed that he was FILTHY. Evidently at school he’d decided to roll in the sand and climb through a carburetor. Since it was well past bed time and my sweet boy is not known for his sunny morning disposition or ability to retain a great attitude without sleep or food, I let my little hobo fall asleep in the midst of his filth, thinking that I’d clean him up before we left in the morning.

Good plan…

if the giant Coke I had for lunch hadn’t fed my anxiety, which in turn fueled some situational insomnia. I stared at the ceiling most of the night and slipped into a deep sleep right before the alarm went off. At least I assume it went off. I didn’t hear it. I woke up with just enough time to throw on clothes, grab Conor, plop him in the car and make it to the Children’s Hospital by his 6:00 a.m. check in, where I repeatedly apologized to every nurse within earshot for bringing in a stinky, unwashed child for surgery.

Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I was ever that embarrassed over my parental shortcomings. I mean general incompetence is fine but hygiene neglect…that’s just wrong.

"He's cute. It's a shame his mama doesn't wash him."

“Mama doesn’t wash me til the creek thaws and the hogs are slaughtered.”

Three hours of shame and two meltdowns later (Conor found the blood pressure cuff and tiger pajamas traumatizing), he was in surgery and I was staring blankly at a wall in the waiting room.

The elephant tranquilizer is just kicking in [looks like I'm not the only one hallucinating]

Don’t let the drunken joie de vivre fool you, he despises those pajamas.

According to the surgeon, the procedure went off without a hitch. The recovery nurse might have had a different take on the whole experience however, because it seems that Conor also suffers from a tiny sensitivity to general anesthesia, which came in the form of explosive diarrhea and an intense desire to roll around in it. Thank God, Hubs had arrived by that point to help our recovery nurse because I had all but shut down and could only stand there with a box of juice and a popsicle in my hands watching the carnage with mild detachment.

Standing there uselessly I had plenty of time to wonder about things such as why Hubs has absolutely no problem with gay men, but is deeply offended by Vespas, Mazda Miatas and small fluffy white dogs. And also why the nurse didn’t know what the word “defecating” meant which seemed to me like a word that a nurse should know.

The recovery nurse finally shoved Conor into an adult sized diaper and signed his discharge papers before he soiled the entire recovery wing.

At the end of the day Conor had face planted off the recliner and the couch, as well as crapped his way through two gurneys, four diapers, two pairs of pajamas and a new rug. Impressive. But we are fairly certain the hernia is gone.

conoraftersurgery2

And he got to take home a glove balloon and crap-filled adult diaper. Score!

A Brief Excursion Through The Shallows

My inlaws are in town and between entertaining family and my manic redecorating urges I just haven’t had time to write witty prose. I apologize.

If we don't abuse them they really don't feel like they've visited.

If we don’t abuse them they really don’t feel like they’ve visited.

However I thought that to tide you all over I would include a list of some of the thoughts that have graced my cerebral cortex over the past week–just a sampling of what it’s like to be inside my skull. You should be warned that some of these thoughts are inappropriate. Many are disturbing and nonsensical. Some of you might not want to know me this well.

Ready? Alrighty, here we go:

  • I’d be funnier if I was English…or black…or English and black…or is that like putting the positive sides of two batteries together?

  • When I die I won’t be able to suck in my stomach. I’m going to look bloated and saggy. I hope I don’t die naked.

  • What if I die in a public place and then everyone sees me crap myself and I’m not around to explain that I don’t normally do that?

  • How would I ever date again now that I’m so gassy? What if I found love again but the guy was offended by farting? I think Hubs will be my only husband. If he dies I’ll live alone and make pottery.

  • Is my face too old for my hair?

  • Is my face too old for my dance moves?

  • I should get derma planing. But what if they accidentally stabbed my eye and then everyone would know that I lost an eye because I was vain?

  • What if I got a boob job and died on the table and then my kids would always think that boobs were more important to me than they were?

  • Is my vagina attractive enough to do porn? What makes a vagina attractive enough to do porn? Is that a thing? Maybe anyone with a vagina can do porn.

  • What if I was decapitated and then my face looked like one of those sad Nixon rubber masks?

  • If I ever have to have chemo and lose my hair everyone will see all of the bumps on my head. I’d have to get a wig. I hate wigs. I hope I don’t get cancer in the summer.

  • Do I have too many moles to wear a backless gown to the Oscars?

  • Will the rats in the heating ducts give us all the Hanta Virus? Would Hubs get into trouble if he had to shoot one? What makes a suburban rat shooting legally justified? How do you repair bullet holes in hardwood floors?

  • What if I’m on a road trip and break down in a place where I can earn the money for my car repair by winning a pole dancing contest but I’m not wearing nice underwear? Or I’m bloated?

  • What if I’m in a car accident while on my period and I fall into a coma and then I get toxic shock because no one takes out my tampon?

  • What if my heart stops and they have to use the paddles but they forget to take out my nose ring and it burns off my nostril?

  • If I had to run for my life without any clothes on how would I contain the jiggle? I should become a self defense bad@ss so I never have to run for my life naked.

So there you have it: some of my thoughts. Yes, I worry too much about things that will probably never happen. And yes, I am at times alarmingly morbid, vain and shallow. I have occasionally endeavored to cut down on the sheer quantity of garbage that floats through my head. But then I worry that I’d be boring or, even worse, so happy and peaceful that I’d die like in Downton Abbey or that movie City of Angels. As a responsible parent I can’t let that happen. My children need me: f*cked up but alive.

I'm sensing a theme in these pictures

Torture is love.

Fugitives And Scandinavian Furniture

Did you read the story about Christopher Dorner, the man who had a beef with LAPD so he wrote a manifesto and then ultimately killed his lawyer’s daughter, her fiance and two sheriffs who had nothing at all to do with his problem, because he was trying to prove that he wasn’t a liar by becoming a killer, as if he was in some sort of Quentin Tarantino movie?  Djorner Unchained (the J is silent.)

"Do you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in Paris?"

“Do you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with cheese in Paris?” “No I don’t. McDonalds hasn’t even been invented yet.” “Oops, my bad.”

I’m not going to go into my opinions and feelings about that situation here. I have some strong ones but they aren’t especially funny. However, I will say that it made for some tense times around the Fathead household. It was almost as much fun as the time Hubs was green lit when I was pregnant with my daughter.

greenlight

Hubs’s Green Light announcement. Gangsters don’t use Evite.

Hubs insisted I wear an automatic assault rifle strapped to my thigh under my clothes when I dropped the kids off to school and everything. Let me tell you, those things chafe. And have you ever tried pulling one out of skinny jeans in a timely manner without ripping your fancy underwear and shooting the PTA president? It’s not as sexy as you might think.

Okay the part about the assault rifle wasn’t exactly true, but what I’m about to tell you did actually happen…outside of my mind…in real life.

I’m typically very calm in a crisis. However I do obsessively redecorate and reorganize to manage the stress. For instance in the past few weeks I’ve redone three rooms in our house. Hubs can’t find the remotes, the kids can’t find their toothbrushes, but they know better than to stop me.

So it really comes as no surprise that in the middle of the whole manhunt I ran into Christopher Dorner in the Returns section of my local Ikea while returning a cabinet that I’d been planning on turning into a fantastic faux-denza/media cabinet.

Okay, in retrospect it wasn’t actually Christopher Dorner — just some dude sitting with Tisha Campbell-Martin (the actress from that Damon Wayans show, My Wife and Kids) who really looked like Christopher Dorner, but considering that I had already parked next to a gray Nissan Titan, the exact same truck that Christopher Dorner had been driving, and my head had been on a swivel looking for Dorner because, as I mentioned, it isn’t uncommon for people to want to kill Hubs and I’m just narcissistic enough to think that everything revolves around me, it took me a moment before I realized that it wasn’t him. My first thought was, “Sh!t, he found me,” followed by, “Maybe he just wants to furnish his hide-out with some inexpensive Scandinavian furniture,” and finally, “Is that the chick from Martin and My Wife and Kids??? I love her!”

Doesn't she look like someone who would want to hang out with me?

Doesn’t she look like someone who would want to hang out with me?

It was a tense minute or two. I had to go deep undercover and sit right across from them on one of the pleather couches, casually humming Public Enemy’s Fight the Power as if to say, “Yeah, the Man always brings this sistah down too,” before I figured out that it was just some random dude.

Frankly I was a little disappointed when I figured out that I hadn’t single-handedly located Christopher Dorner, after I’d spent so much time meticulously planning the conversation I would have with him to make him realize the error of his ways and turn himself in. I actually spend a lot of time imagining conversations like that. Almost as much time as I spend mentally choreographing my kick-ass fight moves, which is embarrassing to admit, but I feel like we’re close and I can pretty much tell you anything.

Anyway, the dude was reading Dorner’s manifesto and Tisha leaned over, looked at Dorner’s picture, then looked at her friend and said, “Don’t smile.” See? Because the pictures of Dorner were all photos of him smiling and even a sitcom star could see that the dude was totally Dorner’s doppelgänger.

And you all thought I was overreacting. Tisha totally gets me…or she would if we hung out. Call me, Tisha.

Me and Tisha hunting fugitives and returning furniture. Don't mess with us.

Me and Tisha hunting fugitives and returning furniture. Don’t mess with us.

Then it struck me that the police had already shot two Asian ladies delivering papers (yep, that’s embarrassing), so maybe sitting across from a dude who looked waaaaay more like Christopher Dorner than any Asian lady was actually pretty dangerous. I could get caught in the middle of a messy take down. I wanted to give the dude a respectful fist bump and say, “Hey man, stay safe out there,” but Tisha’s number was called and they went up to return their shelving unit and I chickened out.

Then it started to hail as if God was saying, “you blew your chance, Sucka!”

And that is the story of how I almost cornered Christopher Dorner and became Tisha Campbell-Martin’s best friend in Ikea. I swear it is all true, including the biblical hail. In fact, I haven’t been back to Ikea since the incident because I know it will just be a let down.

Me and Tisha with our own Graphic Novel.  The possibilities are endless!

Me and Tisha with our own Graphic Novel. The possibilities are endless!

Post Note: All kidding aside, my most sincere condolences go out to the families of those who lost their lives during this senseless tragedy. You have been in my prayers. And to those police officers who continue to risk their lives to protect and serve, thank you (respectful fist bump).

**********

Photo Credits:

Sony Pictures

Hubs and the Los Angeles Association of Gangs (or LAAG)

Mylifetime.com (and some low tech photo editing)

Fathead’s Lice Removal System

Hello all! I hope your President’s Day weekend went well. We had some good times over here which is fairly remarkable considering that Friday we figured out that the neighborhood tree rats had invaded our heating ducts. Riley figured it out first because they were apparently nibbling on the vent in her room while she was trying to sleep so she was fairly freaked out about the whole thing.

I however handled it pretty darn well. I just barricaded the vents, turned off the heat and handed out parkas. It’s brisk in here. It feels like the home of a post menopausal woman, but at least we don’t live in North Dakota.

Riley is demonstrating a hypothermic coma in front of her blocked vent. I don't know where she gets her overdramatic nature.

Riley is demonstrating a hypothermic coma in front of her blocked vent. I don’t know where she gets her over-dramatic nature.

Take a moment to admire my pioneer spirit.

Thanks. Because last night at bedtime, after a full afternoon of Frisbee golf and beer, I received the news that we had been exposed to lice and the pioneer spirit left me. Nothing brings out my inner OCD like small insects in my home. Seriously, my kids apply for the Witness Protection Program every time we have an ant invasion.

However, Hubs and I came up with two separate systems for lice removal and I thought I’d take a moment to document them, so that if you have children or a fondness for Third World Country brothels (ahem, Senator Menendez), you would know what to do.

Fathead’s Lice Removal System

  • Freak the f*ck out! (This first step is important. Skipping this step will unravel the whole system.) Think about all of the things your vermin carrying children have touched. Become overwhelmed. Contemplate your life before children. Remember how happy and pest free you were. Obsessively scratch your head and cry a little.
  • Stick everyone in the shower. Stick your neighbors in the shower. Wash everyone with lice shampoo. Hand out tiny torturous combs to comb out the nits. Obsess over each piece of dandruff that the tiny comb rips from your children’s heads. Comb their hair every day for a week or until they are hairless.
  • Channel Tom Sizemore in Black Hawk Down and deliver inspirational battle speeches to your shell-shocked children while their scalps bleed. They will be especially puzzled when you tell them “everyone’s been shot!” but you will understand the reference and that’s what is important. Throw the towels down the back steps.
"In Mogadishu the lice carry RPGs and work for war lords."

“In Mogadishu the lice carry RPGs and work for war lords. Hair is for the weak!”

  • Strip the beds. Throw all bedding, stuffed animals, kids’ clothes and anything else that isn’t nailed down out the back door with the towels to be washed in hot water. Cover your naked, shivering children with a tarp.
  • Vacuum all of the carpet and upholstery in your home and car. Empty the contents of the vacuum in the outside trash bin. Dismantle your vacuum to wash all of the parts. When you’ve forgotten how to put your vacuum back together, throw it down the back steps. Tear out the carpet. Throw it down the back steps with the vacuum.
  • Change clothes after each task. Throw the clothes you were wearing down the back steps. When you’ve gone through all of your machine washable clothes, borrow your husband’s clothes. Throw those down the back steps. Finish your tasks naked.
  • Throw everything that can’t go in the washer in plastic garbage bags and seal. Leave in the airtight bags for a couple of weeks or until you and your children have forgotten what are in the bags. Throw the bags away.
  • Lose your keys. Have a tantrum about losing your keys. Tear your house apart. Realize that your keys are in the bottom of one of the airtight garbage bags. Abandon driving.
  • Eat a bucket of Red Vines.
  • Repeat this process in ten days.

Hubs’ Lice Removal System

  • Go to bed.
  • Avoid your wife for two to three days.

Note: this post was written in a sanitized area while wearing a winter jacket. I hope it has been helpful.

jacketatcomputer

 

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Photo Credits

Rocknrollghost.com

Fathead Flu Remedy

I write a humor blog over here at Fathead Follies. It’s not a health and wellness or a cooking site. However it’s flu season at the Fathead household and this past month has been particularly festive if you love misery. For some reason, this time around I’ve been the sickest of the bunch and the resulting delirium has spurred a temporary departure from my usual format. And apparently reality in general, which might explain why in the past week I’ve:

  • Earnestly planned a dinner party for myself, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Zooey Deschanel without a hint of irony.
  • Let Hubs cook a week’s worth of fiberless, vegetable-free meals for the kids without a thought about nutrition, constipation or the impressive stove splatters. Seriously our kitchen looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.
  • Gone through a giant bottle of NyQuil in a week…end. Don’t worry I staged an intervention for myself and I’m now NyQuil free, which is for the best. NyQuil isn’t organic. Nor does it contain any whole grains or fruit, despite the appetizing picture of cherries on the bottle. It should be avoided except in emergencies. Much like cheap chocolate.

By the way, it’s my contention that purgatory is gripping the sides of your commode while your four-year old stands in the bathroom doorway playing the theme song from Thomas the Tank Engine on loop like some sort of demented John Cusack in a preschool version of Say Anything.

John-Cusack-in-Say-Anythi-002

If only Peter Gabriel had written the Thomas theme song.

Anyway, I decided to make my own homeopathic cold remedy using only the healthiest ingredients. I call it…

A Mojito.

Here are my instructions:

Boil two cups of organic sugar and two cups of water from one of those crazy filtered water stores.

Sure you could use tap water but we Californians don’t feel comfortable unless we’ve paid a premium price for our water and dispensed it from a bottle. Also, I’m fairly sure the raccoons have been poisoning our water supply and the kids really enjoy riding the cart at the water store. If you’re going to spend the evening whacked out on my home remedy, the least you can do is bring them some joy with a water cart ride first.

Boil your premium filtered water and organic sugar for one minute. DO NOT walk away from the stove. Otherwise you’ll lie down, forget you’re boiling something and ruin another pan.

Remove from heat. Be careful not to spill it on yourself. Boiling sugar burns like molten lava and you don’t want to be spotted running out of your house screaming like Richard Pryor after a crack fire.

Richard_Pryor

Sugar and cocaine are remarkably similar at high temperatures.

Pour your simple syrup over the zest of two limes and 1/2 cup of mint leaves. Be sure to use organic limes and mint grown by vegans and sold in a local farmer’s market. You’ll feel better about yourself. Steep for 30 minutes. Strain your simple syrup and chill it in an energy star refrigerator.

Now eat the solids because not only does it taste like the best minty lime candy ever, you’ve just gotten a dose of fiber and prevented scurvy. And we all know that scurvy leads to a peg leg.

Now take some lime wedges and a half cup more mint and muddle them with feeling in the bottom of a pitcher. Add crushed ice, a half cup of lime juice, one cup of your lime/mint simple syrup and a half liter of rum. The rum doesn’t have to be organic because the distillation process kills pesticides…I’m pretty sure.

Note: feel free to use any color rum you like. I firmly believe that a rum should be judged by the content of its character.

Serve your remedy in a glass with more crushed ice, soda water (the extra expensive brand purchased at your local Whole Foods allegedly uses carbonation obtained from the intestinal gas of woodland fairies) and my secret ingredient: Antihistamine.

One glass of this and you’ll forget you’re feeling bad. As an added bonus, the antihistamine will prevent you from leaving a pool of snot on your floor when you face plant on the way to your bathroom.

I'm not sure which is more disturbing: that I had my 4 year old take this picture or that my linoleum looks that bad.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing: that I had my 4-year-old take this picture or that my linoleum looks that bad.

Author’s note: This was written two weeks ago. I’ve since come down with another flu virus. This cannot be attributed to the Mojitos, however, so drink up.

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Photo Credits:

The Guardian

Answers.com

Conor

Five Reasons To Have Children When You’re Young And Stupid

I was the accidental product of older parents. A bonus child, as it were. By the time I came a long Mom and Dad were as laid back about parenting as they apparently were about birth control.

It's called a condom, you silly beatniks.

It’s called a condom, you silly beatniks.

I probably would’ve taken this fact for granted but my sister, Lori (the closest in age to me with a nine year difference) told me often while making me touch the electric fence as penance.

Behold to the right, the tool of sibling torture: the electric fence!

Behold to the right, the tool of sibling torture: the electric fence.

This generously imparted knowledge left me with a Rainman-like reaction to electrical shock of any kind and the desire to wait until my thirties to have a child. I reasoned that as an older parent I would be able to avoid giving birth to a sociopathic child who enjoyed torturing younger kids and avoid stretch marks in my twenties.

Look, my Mom’s stomach was a road map of maternity and I wanted to spend my twenties in a bikini. Yes, I was shallow. Let’s not judge.

There I am living the dream--the extremely shallow dream.

There I am achieving my goal.

Well as luck would have it (and by “luck” I mean a rampant fear of commitment) I did wait until I was older to have children. Even older than my mom. I had to have special tests for elderly pregnant ladies and everything. Who says I can’t stick to a plan?

No seriously, who says that? It’s not nice to talk about other people behind their backs. I have feelings, you know.

Anyway, I’ve been very happy with my decision for the most part, but last night I was lying in bed after a particularly taxing bout of ineffective parenting and I started thinking about the down sides of my plan. Nothing is perfect. Not even Meryl Streep (but don’t say that out loud in Hollywood).

I'm an acting tour de force and a g.d. American icon, you sniveling fence toucher."

“I’m a g.d. American icon, you sniveling fence-toucher!”

  1. First of all, let’s address the stretch marks issue since it had such an impact on my decision. If you’re going to ask your skin to perform the greatest of all hat tricks and stretch over an additional human, you want to do it while you’re still producing some collagen and your skin has all of its elasticity.  Later on your skin is going to stretch out and then give up, much like my father in front of prime time television. And despite what I thought in my teens, you don’t stop caring about your looks and life in general when you hit 40.
  2. Also, grandparents are more valuable than gold. Aside from being the only people in the world who want to watch your kids without a salary attached, they will also keep your kids supplied in quality socks, underwear and the type of frilly dresses that you would never buy but little girls go ape-sh!t over. You want to get grandparents while they are still alive and young enough to care. Let’s face it, when you’ve gotten to the age where you’re deaf and in a diaper, you don’t get as excited about tiny sticky humans. My kids only have one set of grandparents left and we have a team of doctors forcing them to stay alive. It’s a lot of pressure.
  3. When you’re young you think you know everything. There’s a certain freedom in that. You don’t have to constantly second guess yourself. You are free to blissfully screw up your children with complete confidence. I agonize over screwing up every day, which ironically doesn’t make me screw up any less. It just takes the fun out of it and screwing up should be fun. Like a Van Wilder movie.
  4. Parenting is stressful and it’s hard on a marriage. If you get married and have children young you have the chance of getting through the challenging years and then rekindling your marriage while you and your spouse are still young enough to travel without breaking a hip. Or you can cash it in while you’re still young enough to take an attractive picture for a dating website.
  5. One word: resilience. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m more fragile than I was at 25 when I thought that knees magically went on working forever and at 2:00 a.m. I have a hard time caring about anything other than another four hours of uninterrupted rest. You have to have a fever, the likes of which could start a house fire and make you speak in tongues to rouse my empathy at that hour and even then you’re guaranteed terrible parenting the following day.

So there you have it. Now you can make an informed decision, justify/regret the decision you already made or just pour yourself a cocktail and ignore this post all together. Personally, I recommend the latter. I also recommend Tylenol PM, so that you don’t lie in bed crafting lists like this until all hours of the night. Trust me on this.

******

Photo Credits:

Midnightdirectives.wordpress

Santa is Loaded

I mean emotionally loaded.

I mean emotionally loaded.

Can I be frank? Christmas has a history of being an emotionally loaded holiday for me.

My mom lost her battle with cancer on December 21st, 1979. (To my knowledge the Mayans did not predict that event.) I was ten.

It immediately became clear after Mom’s death that she had been single-handedly holding the entire family together and making Christmas magical. Without Mom’s deft talent of redirection, I discovered that we were ill-suited to handle family togetherness and joy.

For one thing, my father hated the holiday. He was a social worker with Child Protective Services and, as any social worker or police officer can tell you, Christmas is a time for killing your loved ones. He spent the holiday marinated. Everyone else was just as miserable.

In front of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree Here I am in an ill-fitting thrift store dress, blissfully ignorant of the impending misery.

Here I am in front of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree in an ill-fitting thrift store dress, blissfully ignorant of the impending misery.

I tried my best to slip into Mom’s shoes and resurrect the Christmas spirit, but those shoes weren’t made for a ten-year old. I started finding ways to desert my family during the holiday. When I got older I would often spend Christmas alone watching depressing foreign films and thinking deep thoughts while wearing a beret.

Reality check: I’ve never worn a beret. They don’t fit my head. However when I picture that time period I see myself as a sad mime with a beret and white gloves, trapped in a box—not a real box that would spare the world the horror of a mime performance but a pretend box so that everyone could suffer through my melancholy along with me. Because I’m a giver.

Sad mime wants to give you a present. How sweet.

Sad mime wants to give you a present. How sweet.

Then I had kids and rediscovered the magic of the holiday. There is nothing more satisfying than hoodwinking a trusting child into believing in that magical bearded toy schlepper, Santa Claus. Against all odds Christmas came from dead last to miraculously take first place as my favorite holiday. Disney could make a movie about that sh!t…oh wait, they have.

But this was a weird Christmas. I’m 43, the age my mom was when she died and that fact took some of the sparkle out of the holiday. Perhaps due to this fact, my current family decided to do a serviceable impression of the dysfunctional family of my youth. They were probably trying to help me work through some stuff. It’s sweet really. Sweet like a bottle of Vics 44 with a rubbing alcohol chaser.

I love these people though they torture me so.

I love these people though they torture me so.

Picture Hubs watching a UFC match while we decorated the tree, complaining that we were blocking the fight, Riley ditching me at the city’s tree lighting ceremony to spend time with her friend’s family, Riley and Conor yelling at each other and slamming doors, Hubs complaining that I was trying to kill the whole family during a manic drive to look at Christmas lights (in his defense it did cross my mind). It was all so achingly nostalgic. And through it all I kept my teeth clamped together in a pained smile and trudged along, determined to make it a joyful holiday.

This child isn't related to me in any way but was kind enough to stand in for this photo depicting a joyous holiday occasion.

This child isn’t related to me in any way but was kind enough to stand in for this photo depicting a joyous holiday occasion.

And it was joyful at times. We had some good moments. Moments when I didn’t feel like Chevy Chase right after he received the certificate for the Jelly of the Month Club instead of his Christmas bonus in Christmas Vacation.

Sure most of my planned activities backfired, Hubs bought himself a midlife crisis motorcycle as if the audio book he received from me was insufficient and Riley lamented immediately that she didn’t get everything on her list which read like War and Peace (seriously, Santa would’ve had to rent a semi to deliver all of her requests). The important thing to remember is that we were all together, nobody got arrested or “voluntarily admitted” and we didn’t actually kill each other.

And one day all of the insanity will make for precious family memories. Like when I tried to explain to Riley why her friend wanted to hang out with her own family instead of us, even though Riley had no problem dropping us at a moment’s notice to spend time with them. I was trying to explain it in an upbeat I’m-too-cool-and-self-confident-to-mind kind of way with just a splash of guilt thrown in because I actually did mind when Riley responded in a stricken voice, “I didn’t realize that I didn’t like you” and then I nearly drove into oncoming traffic. We laughed about that later. Some of us more than others.

Don't patronize me.

Don’t patronize me.

See what I mean? Precious.

Anyway, I hope your holidays were also filled with precious memories or at least adequate Zoloft and I hope this new year is filled with more joy and less sensationalist tragedies.  May we all find a way to nourish our creativity and still get the laundry done.

Mazel tov!

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Photo Credits:

Dreamstime