Monday, September 27, 2010

The part of the story where I dye my hair pink and get a nose ring. Alternate title: Does anyone have $100 they can loan me?

We spent a lot of time at my father’s house—which is soon to be our house—in Mulletville Lite this weekend. Our friends, Don and Matty, drove down to help us paint. On the way, they dropped off their two kids with their grandparents. I had to ask them, “Are you sure you want to spend a free night without your kids painting?”

Without hesitating they said yes.

Chuck whispered, “Do you see what’s ahead with two kids? Our idea of fun is going to be so watered down we’ll paint just to escape.”

I looked down at my big ass bump.

“It’s a little late for forebodings, dipshit,” I whispered back. We watched them pick their brushes. “Look. They don’t even know they’re not doing something fun. They don’t know it can be better. We’ll forget, too.”

That made him feel a lot better.

While they painted, Junior and I played with matchbox cars my father had saved from when my brother, Ted, was little. My father’s 90% done moving out, but he’s left plenty of "treasures" behind. Like boxes of school papers and old dressers full of clothes and toys.

God I need a drink.

After the smash ’em crash ’em car game, Junior and I looked out the window and watched the neighbor’s daughter, Rebecca, wash her car.

“Mommy used to take the school bus with Becky,” I told Junior. “And right there is where the school bus used to pick us up. In a few years, that’s where you might get the school bus.”

At dinnertime we ordered a pizza. While the happy painters and Chuck took a break, I went to pick it up.

“Mrs. Mullet?” the cashier said.


“Omigawd your face hasn’t changed!”

Omigawd, it was Cheryl Blahblahblah. I’d gone to elementary school with Cheryl 30 years ago. Her face was still shaped like the moon. At my tenth birthday party she’d told our friends that she saw my father pick his nose. I’d hated her for that. Now there she was, in a plaid smock, selling me a pepperoni pizza.

After I left, I sat in my car for a few minutes.

Life suddenly felt like Sweet Home Alabama, minus a hot Southern fiance who wanted to butter my muffin.

Mulletville Lite is rampant with memories. I’m racking my brain trying to decide if that’s a good or a bad thing. I don’t know why I have to decide. I just do. I quiz myself: Would it be better to live somewhere totally new? Or is it preferable to go back to something I know? Does that make me small-minded? Will moving to Mulletville Lite mean my life is a record stuck on the same track of “remembers whens”?

What about adventure? Exploration? The unknown?

“There is none,” Chuck said later that night. We were back home in Mulletville. Everyone was in bed, including Don and Matty, who were spending the night.

“We’re going to have two kids,” Chuck continued. “It’s all about school systems and safe neighborhoods. Reliable cars and snow tires.”

“Snow tires?” I cried. “And you’re down on people who enjoy painting?!”

“It’s just the way it is.”

I refused to believe it. I told him as much. “Life can still be exciting with kids. I bet you one hundred dollars that Don and Matty are boinking their brains out in your man room right now. I bet they’re as wild and crazy as ever!”

“Ew,” Chuck said. “Impossible.”

“One hundred dollars.”

We crept out of bed and snuck down the hallway and then—I know, gross—we put our ears to the door.

Total silence.

Well, except for Chuck snickering his way back to the bedroom.


Jessica Warrick said...

Life can be just as fun after kids as it was before them. You just have different meanings of fun. OMG did yall really check to see if they were doing it.. lol you all are to crazy..

Frogs in my formula said...

We did...not my proudest moment but dammit, there was money at stake.

judemiller1 said...

It is wonderful that you are moving back home. I don't think you will ever regret it.

VandyJ said...

I bet they herd you coming, if nothing else, two kids sharpens your hearing for interruptions.

Lindy said...

My husband and I's last date night included a trip to the grocery store and in nine o'clock. It was the best date night ever. :)

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

Life is still exciting. Well, it can be. I think it has more to do with your pre-child self than with how many kids you have. If you were a dork before Junior, then there isn't much hope for you. If you were a smokin hot party animal, then there's just no stopping you.

THAT SAID, realize that you'll need to put the shpa on a shelf for a couple of years while your little ones need a calm non-party-animal mommy. But once they're off the bewb & sleeping through the night, I say find the pleather pants and go clubbing!!!

The Momma/Nanny said...

Love the 'Sweet Home Alabama' reference. That's how I feel when I visit my family in the upper penisula of Michigan. Except they don't even have a pizza place within 30 miles. Seriously.

Cookie Monster in Therapy said...

Our last night alone with no kids, we got takeaway Indian food, watched a rental and fell asleep on the couch. But it took us four kids to get to that point, you'll be fine with two.

Maggie said...

I dunno, we've got two kids and we still have fun. Not enough fun for you to come and put your ear to our door, mind you ;-)

The Mother said...

Parenthood catches up with everybody.

But so does hard physical labor, like painting. Perhaps you just caught them on a bad day.

Mama Badger said...

Don't give up the ghost. Life exists with 2 kids. Just don't think about it the first year. Then it gets better. I promise.

Brandy@YDK said...

um - i'm still waiting for my life to be fun after 1 kid. My husband, on the other hand, never broke stride.

Pricilla said...

The fun time comes after they move out. Or so I've been told. That being said my mother in law - who is 97 - still has one at home. He NEVER left.


He NEVER left.
Learn something from that.

SLColman said...

Sometimes you can go home again. I hope that it isn't too weird :)

SmartBear said...

Seriously...I LOVE that you went to listen. I so would have done the same thing! LOL! We are still trying to get back to life as we knew it 3 years after 1. I'm starting to think it's all about just jumping in the deep end and making a go of whatever it is you want to do. It's hard here in the midwest, where you are judged if your life doesn't revolve around kids and you want to actually have a life outside of being a parent. I think it's a constant struggle to strike that balance.

Tarheel Rambler said...

In 1977, I moved my young family back to the town where I had graduated from high school seven years earlier. We lived there for 10 years, and then moved eight miles east.

I'll just say that I hope it works out better for you in your hometown.

FoN said...

You get super good and doing it silently because otherwise some kid will bust in on you wanting something. I have three - I know what I'm talking about here.

Sparkling said...

Go home, go home! I live where I grew up and have since I graduated from college. I teach kids whose parents I went to school with. And now a classmate of mine is a grandmother and she isn't even 40 yet. I don't think it's closed minded to go home. If you've been away, you can appreciate what's good and bad about going home. I think there's far more good than bad. And sometimes it's beneficial to be recognized. Not always, but most of the time. I still congratulate you on going home.

Frogs in my formula said...

But of course I was a smokin hot party animal pre-Junior! Of course!

From night lights to Fortnite: I need like 10,000 more tissues please

I swear, watching your kids grow up is so fucking hard. I thought it would be easier because Chuck and I are cool and hip, despite the...