Monday, August 30, 2010

At least her bowel was in her body, Dad

No one’s ever tried to fix me up with anyone. Sure, it would be awkward now that I’m married (and pregnant), but it saddens me that no one cared enough after meeting a handsome beefcake to stop and think, “Hey, Mrs. Mullet might like to jump on this.”

And they call themselves my friends.

Me, on the other hand, I am always thinking of who should be paired. Since my basis for linking people tends to be alcohol-induced and completely unreliable, I never act on my matchy-matchyness. Except when it’s my father.


My dad’s a great guy. He’s in his 60s and still has all his hair. He goes to the gym. He reads. He’s hopelessly old fashioned. He’s a catch! But lately his chick radar is honed in on his National Geographics and the History Channel instead of on the ladies, and my family, being the pushy busy bodies we are, have pounced on him.

Even his own mother—his 94-year-old mother—won’t leave him alone.

For months my grandmother told him about her nurse, Barbara. How nice she was. How attentive. How lovely her fiery red hair was. And so on. After being hammered nonstop with Barbarisms, my father finally relented and went on a date with Babs.

The date consisted of watching a movie at her house. After she hit play, Babs said she was going to slip into something more comfortable. She changed into a one piece spandex leotard. If you’re J.Lo, this is a good thing. If you’re an out-of-shape 60-year-old with spiked magenta hair and a visible, distended bowel, this is not.

He could see her bowel.

Halfway through the movie, she tried to put the moves on my father. He recoiled. Just as he was about to make an exit, someone knocked on the door. It was the FBI. They believed her son was a big-time drug dealer; they wanted his laptop.

As my father sat on the couch and Babs wept in the hallway, the FBI ransacked her son’s room. (Isn’t my dad a great guy? He actually stayed through the ransacking.)

There was no second date and obviously, my father’s a little gun-shy now when people mention the word “blind date.”


When Chuck and I listed our house with a gray-haired realtor named Cheryl who was a) in her 60s and b) not sporting a wedding ring, I couldn’t help but think of the possibilities. She was sweet and cultured and best of all she offered to help me weed my front walkway. Who does that?

I formulated the perfect plan: While Cheryl helped me weed, Chuck would call my father and beg him to bring over his belt sander.

My father, being the Tool Time fool he is, would agree.

Did it work? Well, kind of.

Twenty minutes after Chuck called my dad he did come over. Instead of his sporty little Camry, though, he was driving his buddy’s rusted van to help with his move. You know, the kind of van you envision when you hear the words “child molester.”

And instead of his typically neat attire, he was wearing an inside-out shirt with paint splatters, ripped shorts and sneakers (yep, moving). Even worse, he smelled like he had spent the better part of the morning rolling around with sweaty farm animals.

“Voila, Cheryl! Your chariot awaits.”

I was still hopeful. Even though he appeared to be a deadbeat molester-type who didn’t own clean socks or soap, love can be blind, right?

Wrong. Despite congenial conversation whilst weeding (isn’t he a great guy? He actually helped weed)

Cheryl made a mad dash for her car as soon as the last weed had been plucked. I think she was on to us. As for my dad, he told us to call Home Depot the next time we need a power tool. Then he peeled out in his smokin' van.

These 60-somethings are one pissy, ungrateful lot, I tell ya.

What about you? Do you match-make in a one piece spandex leotard or have you been match-made?

Friday, August 27, 2010

If I wasn't so addicted I could end the odoriferous cycle

Every morning I slather this on my pregnant mound:

And every morning I feel like I've taken a big whiff of these:

Cocoa butter formula my ass. They're using old toes and slippers, I tell ya! Surgical stockings and BENGAY! Bunions and oatmeal!

Tell everyone you know! Tell your neighbors and your postman!

Tell...your granny.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Did you google rhinoceros penis just to see? Didja?

There’s a reason Junior’s meltdowns at preschool are bothering me more than usual. Yes, having your kid suction himself to your leg during drop-off isn’t pleasant, but you can recover from it. You should recover from it.

Instead I’ve been lying awake at night worrying. Why? Because in a matter of a month, life has gone bananas. Big, rhinoceros's penis-sized bananas!

First, my mother Linda put her house on the market. She’s lived in this particular house with my step-father for 25 years. It’s 45 minutes from Mulletville. It’s where Chuck and I got married, and where Junior has had all his birthday parties. Lots o' history.

She’s closing on Friday.

Second, my father put his house on the market. He’s lived in this particular house since 1979. It’s the house he and my mother bought when they got married. It's the house I grew up in; it’s also the house he got in the divorce (along with me). Barrels o' history.

My father is closing on Friday.

And finally, there’s me and Chuck. There’s a reason I asked if you’d want to know the true identity of Mulletville. It’s because—duh—we are getting the hell out of here. I’m still in shock; I didn’t think this day would ever come. I thought I’d be 85 and that I’d still be blogging about Mulletville—that somehow I was fated to spend a lifetime here paying penance for a sin I’d committed in another life.

And I’m not even Catholic.

Where are we going? That’s where things get interesting. Over the next two months we’re moving...

...into my father’s house.

Even though I’ve called his town Mulletville Lite, the ratio of mullets to people is 1:5,000 instead of 1:1. It was named one of the best towns in Connecticut in which to live. We get to raise our kids in a town that doesn't have belligerent drunks loitering in front of the library. I can stop worrying about the street-talkers and the nuns. The Park and Rec Department knows how to spell.

The interesting part of this is that my mother is moving into a smaller house and is giving me a lot of her furniture. Furniture that would have a lot less mileage had it stayed where it was 30 years ago and not moved into a new house with my step-father.

Father’s walls: “You again? Didn’t you leave here? What the fuck are you doing here?”

Mother’s dining room hutch: “Hell if I know. Jesus, are you still beige?”

Chuck and I will probably host Thanksgiving and Christmas since I'll be barge-size with Kid #2 by then, which means my darling parents will again be reunited in the house that holds so many delightful memories.

At least everyone will know where we keep the extra forks. And hand towels. And bottle openers.

God, I need a drink.

But look, after I recovered from envisioning all the bizarre and surreal ramifications of what Chuck and I are about to do, I was struck by something. This move is a gift, in a million different ways. Chuck and I have a chance to make whole a house that has, for many years, symbolized a lot of pain, sorrow and emptiness. I have the chance to metaphorically repaint. (As soon as I throw a dropcloth over my mother's dining room hutch.)

Greener pastures await!

I just hope Junior sees it that way. In the next few months he's experiencing a new preschool, a new house for his grandmother, grandfather and himself, and a new sibling. Is it any wonder he’s having issues with object permanence (fine, I have the Early Childhood Education Director on speed dial) or that he wants to stay home and cling to things that are comfortable and familiar before they, um, get up and cohabitate with Granny’s stuff in Grandpa’s house?

I told you it was rhinoceros's penis-sized bananas.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's next? A reassuring call from the Mulletville mayor?



Tuesday morning’s drop-off sucked just as badly as the previous drop-off. Kicking. Screaming. Crying. I tried to implement the "dump and run" move, but the success of the maneuver is contingent upon your ability to detach your child from your body.

Simply, Junior had me in a death-grip.

The teacher finally pulled him from me, and I made it out the door.

To prolong the enjoyment of the experience, I stood in the hallway and listened to him cry. Motherhood wouldn’t be half as exciting if it didn’t include personal torment, right?

As I was standing there, Junior’s other teacher walked by. When she said hello, I started to cry. That really pissed me off because I used to make fun of mothers who cried about stupid stuff like this. (Pre-Junior, a woman who cried about her child crying at preschool was laughable. Get a grip, sap!). Yet there I was, blubbering like a damn idiot.

“Is this normal? I can’t do this! I hate this!”

She told me it was normal and to call in 20 minutes to make sure he was better.

I called. He was better. D'uh.

This morning, it was Chuck’s turn. We decided we'd both drive to the school. He’d walk Junior inside, then he’d drive to his grandmother’s funeral. (Did I mention his grandmother died unexpectedly? It’s been a great week.)

This time, though, Junior’s freakout started in the parking lot. We couldn’t pull him from the car.

“There must be something wrong,” I said. “Maybe we should take him to the doctor’s?”

“I wish I could, but..” Chuck said. Then poof! He was gone. (You know things are bad when you can't get to a funeral fast enough.)

I put Junior back in the car and drove him to the doctor’s. Turns out he has an ear infection. Aha! I thought.

“So he should stay home today?” Please say yes, please say yes.

“No, Mrs. Mullet. He’s not contagious. He’s not in pain. There’s no reason why he can’t go to school.”

"What if I throw my underwear at you?"

"Sorry. No."

Back to school we went. We relived the drama of yesterday, with extra kicking and screaming for fun. Again I stood outside the classroom and again I cried. I found myself getting mad at Junior. It’s two days a week. They glue glitter to shit and make lemonade with real lemons. They sing and read and play games. What, pray tell, is the problem? I drove to work half-swearing, half-sniveling.

When I got to work, I decided I needed expert advice. I called the Director of Early Childhood Education at a local college. She told me that Junior’s behavior is perfectly normal and that:

1. We need to establish a morning routine, like stopping for a doughnut, so he acclimates to the schedule and knows what to expect.

2. I need to schedule a playdate with a classmate.

3. I need to not talk about preschool to death—

“No more, ‘Junior! Tomorrow’s school! Are you EXCITED? Are you SO excited you could bust one of your little NUTS?! Are you, are you, are you???'?" I asked.

“Right. Cool it.”—

4. I should give it a month unless he starts showing signs of physical distress, like uncontrollable diarrhea and an inability to sleep/eat/puff.

I hung up feeling slightly better. Junior must have felt better too, because he was fine when I picked him up. As we walked out of the building, a woman said good-bye and ruffled his hair.

"He did just fine after you left," she said.

"Oh," I said. "Are you another one of his teachers?"

"No," she said, "I'm the janitor."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Cockadoodle Do Me


Junior's preschool teacher never emailed me drop-off tips. Thanks, lady. But I was able to arm myself with the wise tips from the blogosphere instead. Since I'm writing this Tuesday morning before drop-off, I have no idea how it'll go, but I have the utmost faith in the "dump and run" maneuver.

That reminds me of "pump and dump." Crap. I hated the pump. Whoever organized this photo shoot and told the woman to look longingly at the pump is on crack.

This is more accurate.

Our copier repair man has a rooster named Dump. Ask me why I know that. Go on. Because he spent a good part of yesterday morning telling me how his rooster Dump had its way with all his chickens, and how he and his son watched.

Ah, barnyard porn.

If you like roosters but not in that way, you have to check out Julia's new book, Bingo's New Adventure. The book chronicles a day in the life of Bingo the cat. Junior loves it, especially the full color pictures (Julia's got some pretty awesome pictures on her blog, too). Bingo encounters another cat, some chickens and a big ole rooster. Junior has actually taken to running around the house yelling, "I'm Bingo! The Mighty Adventurer!" The book offers a great taste of the outdoors for kids.

Exactly one year ago today I was lamenting the fact that I've had an idea for a children's book for 10 years (I was also contemplating getting naked) and have yet to commit it to paper.

Now it's 11. Damn, that's depressing.

But I have a valid excuse for procrastinating, at least for the next month. There are two For Sale signs in my life. If Chuck and I play our cards right there may be three. Are the Mullets leaving Mulletville? Are they becoming Mulletville slumlords? Where will they put the roosters? Where?

Hell if I know.

Friday, August 13, 2010

See what she just did? Myah, don't do that. Or that. Or good God, THAT

If there’s one thing Mulletville has going for it, it’s a plethora of daycares and preschools. I’m not sure why there are so many, since most of the town’s residents seem to do nothing but walk around half-dressed, drinking from wine bottles. Oh wait, I just answered my own question.

After the first daycare disaster, I’ve been diligently interviewing the staffs of other providers (remember the polygamist sect?). Chuck and I figure that having Junior attend preschool two days a week will prepare Junior for when Chuck goes back to work. We also thought that Junior, a friendly and outgoing three-year-old, might like to go to school and socialize with kids his own age.

Isn't that always a parental concern? That your kid's not gluing enough macaroni to paper?

Finally, after months of searching, I found it: the preschool of all preschools. I practically cried when the nice, non-yelling teacher ran me through a typical day: Live animals to pet, teddy bear picnics, pirate parades. No bowling. It’s close to my work. It’s safe and clean. It is an establishment that has no business being in Mulletville.

I love it.

The problem is, it’s only been two weeks and, to put it mildly, Junior isn’t too juiced about going. To make matters worse, I’m making matters worse in the way I handle it. In fact, if someone could have taped yesterday’s drop off, they could have used it as an educational video for what not to do when dropping your kid off at school.

On the drive in, Junior kept saying that he didn’t want to go. I tried to be cheery about the day’s activities—“Painting, Junior! Circle time! Toys and friends and slides! Fuck yes!”

Perhaps I oversold the experience. The kid’s too smart; I’m sure he could sense my desperation a mile away. Chuck was out of town. My mom was away. I needed Junior to go to school.

When we got to the classroom, Junior clung to my leg. Then he tried to hide under my skirt. “I want to go home!” he cried. I tried to distract him. We picked a toy. He wanted me to stay and play. I tried to get another kid to play with him. Five minutes passed. Ten minutes...

“I want to go home!”

“Junior, you can’t. It’s a school day.”

“I want to go home!”

“Let’s pick a toy you can play with.”

“I want to go home!”

The teacher inched her way over. She nodded for me to leave. I started to, but when Junior ran towards me, I caved and went back. I picked him up.

“I want to go home!”

“Junior, you can’t. It’s a school day.”

We went outside and took a little walk.

“I want to go home!”

“Your friends want to play with you.”

“No, I want to go home! I’m tired. I miss the kitty cats.”


We went back to the classroom. I asked the teacher what to do. She told me to say goodbye and leave; he’d recover. So I said goodbye and left. Then, madness. He threw himself against the glass door and screamed bloody murder. He tried the door handle. He kicked. It was very unlike Junior. Except for a few meltdowns, he’s usually pretty low-key. He’s a sweet kid. To the parents watching from the hallway, he looked like he was possessed.

I started to walk down the hallway, but I could still hear him screaming. I couldn’t do it.

I went back and got him, then I called in sick. On the drive home he said, “See, Mommy? I just wanted to go home. I’ll go next time. I'm sorry.”

I’m floundering here. At the other daycare, it was easy to blame Junior’s unhappiness on them. They were horrible. Now, there’s no reason for him not to like it.

Of course, I’m looking at it through an adult’s eyes. I have 35 years of coping skills upon which to draw. To Junior, who’s been home with me, Chuck and grandparents for the last three years, the classroom probably seems frightening and overwhelming. The state-approved ratio of student to teacher is 10-1. He has to go from being an at-home super star to one of the herd.

As my mother put it, “It’s kind of like breaking in a wild animal.”


To some of my friends whose kids have been in daycare since four months, all of this is old hat. Their kids are seasoned professionals with schedules and classroom etiquette. I never thought I’d feel this way, but I do: It’s like I put Junior at a disadvantage by not enrolling him in daycare sooner. He’s suddenly the odd man out. The kids in the classroom look at him like “What’s the problem?”

Isn't he adjusting to what all kids eventually need to adjust to?

I’m dreading next week. I don’t want to botch up the drop off. The teacher is emailing me suggestions on how to handle it. I keep asking myself, What if Junior’s just not ready? Or what if I’m the one who’s not ready? As we spent the day together yesterday I thought, This is where I want to be: Home.

You know, what my kid said.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Should it be a secret forever?

Hypothetically speaking, if, by some act of God, Chuck and I were able to leave Mulletville say, in the next few months, and I'd no longer be a Mulletville-ite, would you want to know the true identity of the town? Or would it be like when you read what you think is a picture-less book and you conjure up mental images of people and places, and you get to page 82 and there's a lame drawing that messes up all the cool stuff you had going on in your head? And you scream, "Noooooooooo! Betsy Bendover does not have a crooked nose and buck teeth, dammit!"

If you don't live in Connecticut or New England or the United States (hello, random reader in Finland!), I understand the information will be as intriguing as finding out that an ant chews on the left side of its mouth, not the right, but still...would you want to know? Cause some days the thought of exposing Mulletville is as delightful as the thought of mooning my boss.

P.S. Congrats to VandyJ, who won the Tommee Tippee 2-Pack Explora Truly Spill Proof Sippy Cups. Yeehaw!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Yo bitches, check out my daddy bling

I almost died laughing this morning when I heard the NBC Today Show announcer exclaim, “Up next: The rise of the stay-at-home husband. Is this the new status symbol for alpha women?”

Since I had to drag my alpha ass to work, I was unable to watch the segment. But I did read it online.

With great interest.

As many of you know, Chuck has been a stay-at-home dad for a year and a half. Like the article states, there was a serious adjustment phase. For awhile there, I worried I might grow a penis and facial hair. I wished Chuck would get hit by a truck. I dreamed Chuck was riding bitch.

But never, EVER did I feel that “having a househusband may, in a way, be the ultimate status symbol for the successful professional woman."

Ah yes, my husband. He’s right up there with my Gucci handbag.

In the article, Diane Sollee, director of the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education and says, “In a way, it’s almost like bragging for a woman to say she has a stay-at-home husband. Not only is she the breadwinner...but she’s also got this highly evolved male person—a feminist, father, and husband who doesn’t care what the gender roles are. It’s really an elevated life-form.” For the hard-driving careerist mother, a husband who’s willing to take up the lion’s share at home is a godsend.

Few things.

1. “Highly evolved male person”? “Elevated life-form”? Could someone pinch me, please?

Just because a man stays home with the kid(s) doesn’t mean he’s stopped farting, scratching, picking his nose, eating his fingernails, leaving laundry on the floor, telling you it “must be that time of the month” because you have strong opinions, or walking around in his slouchy underwear. In fact, chances are your child and husband will spend entire days in their underwear.

Let’s not cream ourselves too much over daddy’s metamorphosis, k?

2. “For the hard-driving careerist mother, a husband who’s willing to take up the lion’s share at home is a godsend.”

Notice the key word “willing”? I love Chuck, but it has been a struggle of monumental proportions to get him to help more around the house. I’m not alone: Working women spend about twice as much time as working men on household chores and the care of the children, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When Chuck was first laid off, there were days I worked nine-to-five, cooked dinner, threw laundry in, tidied up and put Junior to bed. Chuck helped here and there, but one night I turned to him and said, “I just can’t do it all. It isn’t fair.”

I said it a few more times. Finally it sunk in. But dang, it was an uphill battle. I learned a valuable lesson. A man who sees his wife vacuuming will say, “Why don’t you take a break?” but he won’t get off the couch. A man who hears “I need help from YOU, buttfuck, yes YOU” 10 nights in a row will—finally, hopefully—get off the couch.

I guess that’s an evolutionary milestone.

Anyway, the article made some good points, but overall it annoyed me. So men are staying home with the kids. So what? Women do it all the time and no one's calling them elevated life forms.

Here's an article I'd like to read: Men and women everywhere get over themselves.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Last night I met my lover

I’m not at that big conference this weekend. You know, the one everyone and their mother is talking about. The one that rhymes with Snogfur.

Jealous? Who, me?

I did some lite reading of posts of people who are there—I’m masochistic like that—and there seemed to be a reoccurring theme. Something along the lines of The-kids-are-home-alone-with-Dad-I’m-kind-of-freaking-out-OMG-I’m-on-my-own-in-NYC-yip-fucking-yeeeeeeee.

Something like that.

And it’s funny because there was a nagging question intermingled with my jealousy which was, When was the last time you were away all by yourself, Mrs. Mullet?

Funny because I’m sitting here right now all by myself in my house. Chuck spent last night at his mom’s with Junior so they could get some QT with Grandma (and her pool). I was supposed to head down after work.

I never made it.

See, as my work day yesterday was winding down, I started picturing my empty house. The more I thought about it, the more enticing it became. By the time five o’clock rolled around, I was worried I was going to start humping the copy machine I was so excited by the prospect of having an empty house all to myself.

Me. All by myself. I could do whatever I wanted. I could do nothing or everything. I had to seize the opportunity.

Walking in my front door was like meeting a lover.

“Are we really alone?” Giggle, giggle. "Really?"

The house was deliciously silent. I yanked off my stiff work clothes and put on a pair of Chuck’s underwear. I pulled down the shades. I drank a non-alcoholic beer and watched smutty TV.

Then, as I was sitting there amidst all the debauchery, something wonderful happened. I happened to look down at my large baby bump and I said, “Hello.” I realized it’s the first time I’ve really spoken to my bump. I’m five months pregnant now and I hadn’t slowed once to actually acknowledge the child that’s growing inside of me. I hadn't once said, "Hey, I'm happy you're here. You're a gift."

Of course, that made me cry because I suddenly understood the beautiful importance of having time to yourself, not to paint your stupid nails or drink Smoothies or read frilly magazines, but to climb down off the ride and take a minute to assess and appreciate your life.

So, wow. A whole rainbow of epiphanies on my couch, and no one was there to witness it.


Anyway, Chuck and Junior are on their way home now. There are a million things I still want to do, which means I’ll probably do nothing at all. Well, there are those two non-alcoholic beers in the fridge…

P.S. Chuck’s really excited about having another boy (yes, the Go-Go doctor was right after all). I am too.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's a damn miracle, plus a giveaway

Said the harried women to the blogosphere:

Do you see what I see?

'Hanging on the ledge, blogosphere,

Do you see what I see?

Khaki shorts, khaki shorts

Almost in the bin,

With pockets as big as a chin.

(Hey, you try finding something that rhymes with bin.)

I don't come bearing celebratory silver or gold (and I am singing out of season), but I do have sippy cups. Tommee Tippee 2-Pack Explora Truly Spill Proof Sippy Cup to be exact.

Hot damn.

I like these sipppy cups because the cups are nice and big, and the side grips make the cups easy to, well, grip. They're also BPA- and phthalate-free.

You know the drill: Leave me a comment telling me how fabulous I am, and you'll be entered to win. Giveaway ends August 6, midnight EST. Open to U.S. residents only.

(I was not paid to write this post.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Who put the cuckoo in the cookie jar? Yes, you put the cuckoo in the...

Sunday morning. Chuck, Junior and I are lying in bed.

Junior: Mommy, your butt is big.

Me: What? Chuck, is it? Is it?

Chuck: No.

I looked at him just in time to see the left side of his top lip twitch slightly. It’s Chuck’s tell. He’s a horrible liar anyway, but the lip twitch is how I know without a doubt that he’s full of shit. It’s also how I know he’d never even attempt an affair. He’d make it, like, two minutes before I busted him.

I jumped out of bed to get a better look at my backside in the mirror.

Me: Oh, God. It is bigger.

Chuck: It’s not. [Lip twitch]

Me: You’re lying.

Chuck: You’re pregnant. Everything is bigger.

Me: I don’t have a baby in my ass, Chuck. I mean, behind. I ate clam strips yesterday. I should be saying no to things like that.

Chuck: You have a right to indulge in things that make you feel good. Like food and walks.

Me: Walks? Walks? You think I need to exercise?

Chuck: [pulls pillow over head] I didn’t mean it like that.

Me: Then uncover your face!

Chuck: No!

I hate myself for what happened next: I cried. I actually shed tears over the ten (ish) extra pounds I've gained so far. I’m disgusted by myself. I’m not fat. I covered that in my damn Blubber post. I don’t even like hanging out with skinny people who think they’re fat.

People gain weight when they’re pregnant. Then, they lose it.

I don’t like all these cliched chick moments I’m experiencing. The emotional instability and hyper sensitivity are pissing me off. It’s like I walked onto the freaken set of Legally Blonde. What’s next? Tiaras and boas? Bedroom slippers with fluff balls and lilac-scented bubble bath?

It's because I’m having another boy, isn’t it? The Universe read my post about my pink leg lamps and it’s blasting me with a tsunami of sugar and spice.

Or because I’m having a girl.

Yep, my regular doctor told me on Friday that there’s no way in hell the Go-Go doctor could have known the gender at such an early stage.

I find out for sure this week. I don't know about you, but I have my money on the doctor that wasn’t dressed like someone employed to entertain crowds at a discotheque.

Make laundry fun — and punishable

I don't know why there's so much effing laundry. Yes, there are five of us, but we aren't going anywhere. Part of me feels ...