ABOUT ME

About me: My husband Chuck, our six-year-old Junior, our three-year-old Everette and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I suddenly understand my fear of discos and showgirls

I did a lot of thinking over the weekend. And lots of rocking in the fetal position. But I think I'm ready to eat Nabisco cookies again.

It all started Friday morning, when Junior woke up and said, “I want to go to school! I want to go to school!” When he saw me getting ready for work, he said it again, so Chuck and I decided to let him try the pre-preschool thing for a full day. If I found myself crying about the zombies again, that would be it.

Amazingly, a new teacher greeted me—a friendly teacher. I took a big gulp, said good-bye to Junior, walked across the parking lot and went to work.

Of the three times I stopped in, Junior was happily playing each time. He even took a nap. When I picked him up at four, he cried because he didn’t want to leave.

Now, I’m pretty sure you don’t want play-by-play accounts of my two-and-a-half-year-old’s foray into daycare/pre-preschool/whatever the hell you want to call it, but some important things hit me on Friday's drive home, and I'd feel better if I documented them for future reference:

1) People who seem like zombies might actually just be adjusting to a brand new childcare facility and learning the ropes themselves

2) If it's the wrong time of the month, the realization that your child doesn't need you to be happy 24-7 can turn you into a sniveling disaster

3) I'm not a cute crier

4) My 10-minute drive to and from work is the only time I have entirely to myself

Another thing I realized—remembered, actually—was that when I was three my mother sent me to a babysitter who listened to Copacabana by Barry Manilow nonstop on her record player. The woman sat for other children, some older than I.

Every time I went there, my mother sent me with a box of assorted Nabisco cookies. After she left, the older kids would lock me in the basement and push the cookies they didn’t want under the door. Imagine sitting on a basement step in the dark and watching Lorna Doones pile up. All to Copacabana.

(My mother pulled me from the place soon after.)

After I told Chuck this, I suddenly understood my Mount Everest-sized anxiety about leaving Junior in someone else’s care. Yes, the teachers were a bit detached, but it wasn’t the horror scene I’d made it out to be. And when I reread my last post, I was a little embarrassed by my automatic rifle reaction. I shot up most of Mulletville with my mental bullets.

Kapow, zombie!

Tomorrow is a new day. Am I ready for Barry? Never. But can I lick the creamy center with reckless abandon?



No, no I can't. But only because someone told me it's made of lard.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I guess you could call frostbite and shrub lacerations dramatic



A pre-preschool and preschool opened up right next door to my office building. For a year I’ve watched it being constructed. Every time I imagined it completed, it had a golden hue and was blanketed by sparkly clouds and rainbows.

How ideal it would be to have a place for Junior to go a few days a week when Chuck gets a job, so we’re not relying solely on my mother. Or back-up if Chuck selfishly gets sick. Junior could make friends, sing songs and experience the toddler rite of passage: learning how to share.

So last week, Chuck and I went to the open house. The Director, Karen, dropped words I had never heard before. Words like “creative curriculum” and “dramatic play.” The center even imported a local grandma. “Without a mullet!” she promised.

By the time we were done, Chuck and I were so stuffed with fluffy kinder-speak I felt the need to stick my finger down my throat. Still, the sparkly clouds. Friends for Junior. Chuck and I agreed we would try a few hours each day this week to see how Junior acclimated.

Well, I’ve been to the land of the sparkly clouds, and I have one thing to say: zombies. The 20-year-old “teachers” are the biggest collection of apathetic, bored, disengaged zombies I’ve ever met. The first day, I thought Hmmm, maybe it’s just me. The third day, I tried rousing them with loud speech, like “I’M JUNIOR’S MOTHER! IT’S NICE TO SEE YOU ALL AGAIN! HELL-THE FUCK-O?”

By today, co-worker Judy was tired of listening to my incessant questions: Were my expectations too high? Was I overreacting because I’m a Junior zealot? Why isn’t parenting easier?

Judy suggested a stealth mission, to see if the teachers were more engaged when the parents weren’t around (because that’s so typical). When no one was looking, we escaped from work, snuck across the parking lot (again), climbed a shrub and looked in the window—in a snowstorm, I might add.

The teachers were sitting in the hallway, staring at the walls. The kids were roaming aimlessly. Even the imported grandma was zombied out! Granny, no! Junior was having a great time entertaining himself, but I was livid. Having someone neglect your child shouldn’t cost you money.

I went back to my office and called Karen the Director. She listened politely then explained that I must have observed “creative play” every time, which is uninterrupted, free play. She suggested I go back at a different time to observe “dramatic play” of dress-up and pretend.

“Would you like me to let them know when you’ll stop by?” she asked.

“Hah! And let you foil my plan to unsleuth your zombie workers? Never!”

Chuck had already picked up Junior, but Judy and I went back at three anyway. This time we managed the shrub better. We peeked in. The kids were staring vacantly at a boom box. I don’t expect anyone’s head to be up a child’s butt for seven hours a day but eye contact would be nice. Or that thing people do with their lips called smiling.

A few years ago, I might have let this go. But this place is brand new and next to my office. I can walk over and have lunch with Junior. He can ride to work with me. Plus, despite the zombie teachers, he loves it.

I want this to work for me, and I don’t give a shit if that means I have to write Joyce a letter a day.



I’m going to stop in every chance I get. I’m going to keep a written log. I'm going to be “that mom”—the one who’s like a burr in their asses. I’m not going to let a couple of bubble-brains—who clearly don’t enjoy children—ruin this just because the other parents are willing to accept mediocrity.

I am going to be someone who gets the hype she was promised. Vivacious granny and all! One for the people! Hip, hip, hooray!

(Oh God, please don’t check in next week when I write about how Junior’s back at home full-time with Chuck and there’s a restraining order again the “crazy shrub lady.” Ok?)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Put your pants in the godamn basket

Why, Chuck, why? The laundry basket is right there. It's purpose for being is so glaringly obvious. What crucial piece of this puzzle still eludes you?



(And no, he can't blame this on being sick. He's better.)

Aaagggh!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Gloating lesson #2: One should not brag that he is impervious to the germs of his wife and child



As I stood in the bathroom doorway tonight watching Chuck puke his brains out, the poet William Carlos Williams suddenly appeared to me. He said, "Mrs. Mullet, screw the wheelbarrow. It's time for a rewrite."

I give you:

The White Toilet

so much depends
upon

a vomiting
husband

glazed with clammy
sweat

who was supposed to
take out the garbage.

Dammit! I hate taking out the garbage.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

He actually had the nerve to gloat about how many comments he got

Here I was, innocently having a weekend, when I sign into my blog and see my husband’s whiney blogpost. The nerve. This is my blog. It’s not Testicular Confessions in My Formula. It’s Frogs, dammit.

Though, thinking back, Chuck’s blog hijack doesn’t surprise me. He and Junior were out of sorts all day Friday—in that late-January, clawing the walls, cabin fevered kind of way. He actually brought Junior to my office at 4 p.m. to visit, just to get out of the house.

I went out to the parking lot to meet them, but it was clear Junior was still sick. His ears and cheeks were bright red. Snot ran down his lip. The only way he was leaving the car was in a bubble.

When Junior heard me tell Chuck he should probably just take him home, Junior flipped.

He started screaming, “I WANT TO GO INSIDE! I WANT TO GO INSIDE! I WANT TO GO INSIDE!” It wasn’t the typical toddler scream. It was bloodcurdling and ear shattering. He was hysterical.

It was awful.

“He’s still sick,” I told Chuck as we stood outside the car looking in at Junior.

“He’s just tired,” Chuck said.

“I WANT TO GO INSIDE! TAKE ME OUT! I WANT TO GO INSIDE!”

“He’s in no condition to see people.”

“He’s fine,” Chuck said.

“I WANT TO GO INSIDE! TAKE ME OUT! I HATE LIVING IN CONNECTICUT! THERE'S NOTHING TO DO IN WINTER! GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER AND MOVE ALREADY!* I WANT TO GO INSIDE!”

The parking lot security guard looked over.

“He needs to go home and rest,” I said.

“He’s just having a moment,” Chuck said.

“I WANT TO GO INSIDE! I WANT TO GO INSIDE! I WANT TO GO INSIDE!”

"If you don't do something soon, I'm going to have a moment," I said.

"Oh no, you don't get to have a moment before I have a moment."

The security guard walked over. “Everything all right here?” she asked, looking at Junior.

I said yes, of course. I was just beating my toddler at my place of work. Was that all right?

I told Chuck he had to see if Junior’s pediatrician would see him again. Junior’s been sick since before Christmas. I couldn’t take any more.

Besides, it was a Friday. Everyone knows what happens with sick children on Fridays: They always get worse over the weekend. It’s an unspoken law. The universe gets off on listening to parents’ frightened calls to the on-call doctor, because the on-call doctor is always the meanest, grumpiest son of a bitch in town. The conversation always goes like this: “So his fever is only 107 and the spots on his tongue are only erupting every two minutes? Grumble, grumble. You’re an idiot for calling. Click.”

So Chuck called the pediatrician, who agreed to see him. But when Junior saw that I wasn’t coming, he started wailing again. So Chuck grabbed me by the waist and threw me in the car.

What fun! An office break at 4:15. No purse. No jacket. No explanation to my boss as to why I’m nowhere to be found.

I won’t bore you with the details of Junior’s visit, except to say that I was right to say we should bring him in. I was right, I was right, I was right.

One shot of antibiotic later, we were all on our way merrily back to my office. (Did I mention I was right?) By then it was almost five o’clock. My co-workers were walking out to leave. I didn’t want to get caught getting dropped off, so Chuck pulled behind a snow mound in the back parking lot. I jumped out of the car, furrowed a hole through the mound and slid across the lot.



I felt like Swamp Thing. I was cold. My bra kept unfastening on me. I had to dive under cars to avoid being seen. I just wanted to go home and take care of Junior.

But. No one noticed I was gone. Not one person. Do you know what this means?

It means I can escape again.

*I may have taken some creative license with Junior's comments. I can do that because this is my blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A stay-at-home dad's worst nightmare

No, honey, you're wrong. A parent's worst nightmare is a cabin
fevered, ear achy-ed, "I want MY MOMMY not you!", toddler who throws a fit because his ice cube is floating IN his water and not ON TOP of his water. Hurry home.

Signed,
Chuck

P.S. Next time, you might want to sign out of your account before
heading into work.

A parent's worst nightmare

Junior and I were coloring and I offered to draw Thomas.



I'm no Picasso but I thought I'd done an okay job. Junior didn't think so. Junior said Thomas's tender was too small and that he wasn't on tracks.

Looks like I'm raising a know-it-all. Is there anything worse?

(And what the heck? Thomas is clearly better than my horse!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I know times are tough but...

Would you really drink soda that had not only been spilled on the floor but squeegeed through the hairy strips of a mop?



I'd rather lick a light socket.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yes, God bless mothers

An elderly woman walked by my office today. She looked sweet and smushy, in that pilled sweater, grandma kind of way.

"Are you lost?" I asked her.

“Eating lunch at your desk?” she asked, looking at my salad.

I nodded yes.

“That’s nutritious,” she said. “But where’s your protein?”

“I have walnuts.”

“You shouldn’t eat at your desk.”

“Do I know you?” I asked.

“I’m Gary’s great aunt,” she said. She shook her head and walked away.

I was about to call co-worker Gary and ask him why I hadn't gotten the memo on "Bring your nosy, cranky ass relatives to work day" when Chuck called with some bad news. Junior’s ear infection isn’t responding to the antibiotics. The underwear-loving pediatrician wants to try a new one. If that doesn’t work, it’s ear tube time. I inhaled the rest of my salad and drove to the Mulletville CVS to pick up the prescription...



...only to be told CVS doesn’t carry that brand. But if I wanted to drive across town to Walgreens, I could get it there.

“Noooooooo!” I cried. “Anywhere but there!”

The CVS pharmacist shook her head sympathetically. The Mulletville Walgreens is a frightening place—perhaps the most dilapidated, blackest hole in town (besides the bar on Main Street that boasts live Jell-O wrestling contests). It kind of looks like this:



It’s the saddest collection of Mulletville residents you’ve ever seen. There are obese women with hairy chins, men with black eyes and brass knuckles, teenagers whose hair is so greasy and stringy that it hangs in clumpy strands. Sometimes children with rat tails spit at you. The last time I went there, I vowed never to return.

But Junior. I could not let overgrown or unwashed hair stand in the way of my child’s health. In I went. I patiently waited. And waited. And waited. Then I heard someone shouting “Hey, lady! Lady in the coat!”

I turned around to find a man holding two boxes of diapers. “Yes, you!" he cried. "Which one would be better for my kid?”

What the hell, right? First my nuts aren't good enough. Now I'm the Mulletville diaper expert?

I pointed to the Huggies. “Those?”

“Yes!" he shouted. “God bless mothers! God bless mothers!”

The Walgreens cashier beamed at me, like I'd saved the day. I looked around to see who else was basking in my diaper wisdom.

"You're next," someone said, nudging me forward.

"Don't have all day," came another voice.

I turned around again. Gary's great aunt. Thisclose.

"I got out for lunch after all," I said sweetly.

"Aren't we lucky," she said. "You're NEXT!"

Brrrrng brrrng. "Hi, Gary? It's Mrs. Mullet...something terrible happened to your great aunt. I was backing up in the Walgreens parking lot and felt a horrible thunk..."

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's so sweet you almost don't need sugar in your coffee

I have today off from work. While Junior naps, I’m trying to work on my lame presentation.

But oops, here I am blogging instead.

I’ve chosen “Staying on top” as my personal mission. It’s the perfect theme, really. I do want to stay on top—of my workload and projects and co-worker gossip. On the personal side, I want to stay on top of getting in shape, shredding my mail and catching leftovers in the fridge before they grow three layers of mold and fungi and slither up the stairs to eat me in my sleep.

I haven’t chosen my graphic element yet. When I Googled “on top” I was inundated with ideas. Nothing work-related, mind you.

Nothing.

Chuck’s on another job interview. It’s hard to believe he’s been laid off for a year. I don’t come home to as many fortresses these days. As much as Chuck has enjoyed his quality time with Junior, he’s almost ready to trade his sippy cups for travel mugs.

It’s funny how many stay-at-home dads are out there. When Chuck takes Junior to the indoor playground, he sees just as many dads as moms. It’s almost a pickle party, he said. That’s fine with me. I’d rather not think about Chuck chatting up moms and exchanging numbers for playdates while I’m plugging away, giving presentations on, um, you know, staying on top. One of us has to keep our head out of the gutter.

Know what else is funny? Chuck took my brother to the indoor playground last week so Ted could scope out the crowd, now that he’s single. When my brother asked Chuck for a buck for coffee, a woman smiled at them and said, “You two make a nice couple.”

Oh, poetic justice. You can be so very sweet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Quite possibly the corniest post I've ever written. I exercised today so I'll blame it on endorphins

For some reason, my company is suddenly taking an interest in its employees. Rightfully so, I’m skeptical and scared. Corporate America wants nothing more than to see its workers suffer. It’s called Management. Ask anyone.

On Wednesday, it was the falalala “What are your personal goals?” bologna. Now, they’re offering free fitness classes in the cafeteria. My guess is that they are hoping some of the older, out-of-shape people will go into cardiac arrest, therefore removing the need to fire or lay off people.

Initially, I had decided I wasn’t going to take the free class. I have the coordination of a 13-year-old boy at a school dance, so I prefer to exercise in private. Besides, who wants to see their hairy co-workers sweating in their white t-shirts? Not I. But public marriage Judy guilted me into it, so I sucked it up.

I jumped and stretched and hopped and then...then I had a flashback—to the last time I took an exercise class. It was 2006. It was called Bootcamp Aerobics. A retired Army guy was teaching it in downtown Mulletville. I’d signed up on a whim. And even though I was in the middle of having a miscarriage, I went anyway.

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but the Army guy had checked on me so many times during the class, I had thought he liked me. He asked me how I was doing. I said FINE. He told me to do fewer reps if I needed to. I said NO. What he didn’t tell me was that Chuck had gone up to him before the class and told him about my predicament. He must have thought I was crazy. Or maybe he admired my masochistic tendencies?

Chuck had thought I was crazy, that’s for sure. He couldn’t understand why I—someone whose idea of exercising is bringing groceries in from the car—would chose to do bootcamp aerobics during a miscarriage. But as I kicked my way through the free class this afternoon, I suddenly understood why. At the time, I had been so overcome with grief that I had needed the outlet of physical pain. Or maybe I needed to add pain to the pain I was experiencing. You know, bring myself to the brink? Since I don’t smash windows with my fists, push-ups on my knuckles sufficed.

I had thought that I had put the miscarriage behind me. But there I was today, thinking about it. I thought about how I’d known from the beginning that something was wrong with the pregnancy. How the doctor who had done the ultrasound was the husband of someone with whom I work. I thought about how he tried to make me laugh with corny jokes. How he handed me a box of tissues when he told me there was no heartbeat and told me to cry if I needed to. How he was surprised that I didn’t.

(Unfortunately, all I could imagine was him going home to tell his wife: “I met Mrs. Mullet today. Don’t say anything but...”)

The thing is, I didn’t just think about all of that today; I allowed myself to feel the grief, to acknowledge the loss.

Then I thought about Junior and how I wouldn’t have him if I’d had that first baby. And then I thought about how Chuck and I have been talking about having another baby and how, without my permission, the thoughts of miscarriage have crept into my thoughts. Is it possible to miss a baby you never knew? Is it the possibilities I miss? The opportunity to parent, knowing how sincere my intentions and how big my heart?

Lorrie Moore, in her novel Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? wrote one of my all-time favorite lines (and I’m not just saying that because her novel has the word “frog” in the title). She wrote, “It is unacceptable, all the stunned and anxious missing a person is asked to endure in life. It is not to be endured, not really.”

Life certainly doles out its hardships along with its blessings. No matter where you are, I hope you take a minute, right now, like I did today, to acknowledge your strength to persevere. You’re doing a great job.

I fucking promise.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's just one of those weeks. All I want to do is stick it to people

While I was out sick my co-workers were busy developing presentations, as per the Marketing Head's command. The task? Decide what theme and graphic represent you and the mission of the company for 2010.

My presentation is on January 20. As miserable as this is, I’d still choose it over puking and being puked on. In fact, that’s going to be my new barometer for 2010: Would I rather be puked on?

I spent a lot of the morning ruminating but I was having trouble shatting out a work motto. Should I go for something that's full-on kiss-ass corny? Or should I just copy something from someone else? I decided to copy. Co-worker Bill was up first. I’d let him set the bar. So I sat down at our first "theme" meeting this morning with my pen, paper, corporate zeal and waited.

Oh. My.

Bill’s theme was “pushing through” and he chose this as his graphic element:



And this:



and this:



In total, there were 22 Powerpoint slides of enormous, phallic submarines. Oh, Bill.

Bill’s presentation and choice of action verbs (“thrust forward”, “penetrate” and—my personal favorite—“straddle,” as in “we must straddle missions to reduce workloads”) elicited snickers, guffaws and...

...RAGE.

I think I’ve mentioned that I work mostly with women? They were not amused by Bill’s presentation. George (aka Orgy George) elected himself Official Calmer Downer but his suggestion that one woman shut her “pie hole” didn’t go over so well.

I have to admit, I wasn’t offended by the submarines. I honestly don’t think Bill understood what the problem was. And I didn’t see anywhere in the employee handbook that stated “Though shall not pair submarine graphics with verbs ripe with sexual innuendo.” It wasn't there—I checked.

After giving the matter a lot of thought, I’ve decided that I am going to copy Bill after all. His presentation did hold my attention and generate discussion, which is what the Marketing Head wanted. So I’ve chosen “Open for business” as my theme. My graphic is this:



Because marketing is a team effort. Because submarines need flowers.

Because this is what they asked of me.


Are you having that kind of week, too? Is it some kind of celestial event? Or maybe I'm just feeling better...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: The sea is calling again

randomtuesday

Yesterday was my first day back at work after being out sick for more than a week. I must have reeked of germs because no one would come into my office. Instead people stood outside my glass door and mouthed their questions or gestured. I now know exactly what a fish in a fish tank feels like.

Sometimes I pretended I didn’t understand what someone was trying to tell me. It’s amazing how many different ways a patient person will try to mouth and/or gesture “print 50 more brochures?” I learned a lot about the temperaments of my co-workers. Sandy from downstairs? Not so patient. After I made my I-don’t-know-what-you’re-asking-me face for the fifth time, she was on the verge of giving me a different kind of hand gesture.

I’m always disappointed when people named Sandy aren’t super cheery. Sandys and Louies. Actually no, scratch that. I went to school with a kid named Louie. He had cauliflower ear. That’s a good reason to not be cheery.

Last week at this time Junior was puking on me and I was lamenting my transition to 35. I can proudly say that I have never been happier to have aged a week. Our house is vomit-free, and my hot glue gun is working wonders on my wrinkles.

Chuck told me once that the memory of a goldfish lasts two seconds. That made me feel better about goldfish being trapped in bowls until Chuck said, “What if the goldfish’s recurrent thought is, ‘Shit, this sucks’?”

That’s kind of how I felt at work. Without the crusty castle to hide in.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

If you come to my home do not—I repeat DO NOT—mention the damn sea captain

How could Chuck do it?

Just the night before, his friend had stopped by and casually mentioned that she’s clairvoyant. She told me that the original owner of our 1920s home was a sea caption who couldn’t afford to keep coal in the coal bin and that that is why we have cold pockets throughout our home. She told me that his favorite room was the dining room. She said his name had a D in it and that he liked to drink.

I easily would have dismissed (ok, mocked) her observations if one of Chuck’s friend’s wives—who also claims to be clairvoyant—hadn’t said the same exact thing the day we moved into the house (there’s absolutely no way the two women know each other).

Chills. I got the damn chills. Then I looked at our New Year’s Eve pictures and saw this, from the dining room.



Do you see it? Look:



There’s a glass hovering in the window! It’s him! It’s the poor drunken sea caption raising his glass for a toast!

Even though Chuck knew that I was obsessing about a 110-year-old spirit sitting in my dining room and how overactive my imagination is when it comes to his ghostbusting—it runs in the family—he still drove to Assachusetts to do an overnight investigation, this time for a different TV show (Chuck’s first ghostbusting show, an episode of Mystery Quest, aired on the History channel in December—yes, the show he filmed in June).

So awake I lay, all the while thinking, nice sea caption. Like this:



Not like this:



Somehow I managed to fall asleep. Then at 3 a.m. I heard a noise.

Thumping, from downstairs. The thumping grew louder. Because our house has been broken into, I grabbed my cell phone, set it to 911 and crept downstairs. Even more thumping. The fat cats were sleeping on the sofa; it wasn’t them.

I went to the foyer and turned on the light. I checked the security system. I checked some of the windows then—gasp! Shudder!

I heard what sounded like ice clinking in a glass. Coming from the dining room. Holy shit, the captain was enjoying a beverage and he was trying to let me know. There it was again! I screamed and called Chuck.

“He’s here he’s drinking in our dining room I heard him please come home I’m going to pee myself.”

More clinking.

"Come home right now! Why can't you invite people over who can't see into the past? Please come home!"

Chuck did come home. The next morning. I'd been up all night listening to thump, clink clink, thump, clink clink. I was bug eyed and freaked out. I was ready to call a realtor—or an exorcist.

"Investigate this!" I hissed when he walked through the door. I shoved him into the dining room.

Two seconds later we were standing in front of the furnace. Thump, clink clink, thump, clink clink.

"Here's your sea captain," he said. All smug and shit.

Well, you know what, Chuck? Smuggy smug Chuck? I'm signing you up for a bowling league. A nice, normal bowling league where people talk about strikes and pins, not spooks and poltergeists.

(Please tell me they still have bowling leagues?)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sometimes, when no one's looking, the conductor feeds me grapes and calls me "Babe"

To my beloved, cherished adult friends:

Words cannot express my deep, deep, deeeeeeeeeep (like the recesses of the ocean, where all those creepy eye-less fish live) desire to dine with you. Maybe here?



Maybe in a withered cardboard box on my sidewalk. It really doesn't matter. What matters is that I will not have to employ methods like timing you or racing you to get you to sit in your chair. Nor will I have to sit stuffed animals in the chair next to you and move their arms enthusiastically to prove that sitting at a table is fun.



It's fun, dammit!

I long to turn to you, mid-meal, and not have you sneeze or cough your dinner on me. I also eagerly anticipate your ability to discreetly remove unsavory food from your mouth instead of letting it avalanche down your lips and clothing and onto to the floor.

I love how you keep your utensils out of your nostrils, how you don’t need me to coerce food into your mouth by whistling, singing strange songs or by making a loud knocking sound that signals that the train conductor would like to be let into the station.



Mainly, I love that you'll just shut up and eat your vegetables.

Your ability to choose beverages—instead of screaming “nooooooooooooooo” because I mistakenly believed you wanted orange, not apple, juice—makes my heart flutter. (Or maybe that’s my leg hair fluttering? It has been a while since I’ve had more than 10 minutes to myself in the fricken shower.)

When we someday meet for dinner—next week? Tomorrow? Shall I come right now?— I hope you will look away as I cry into my plate. They are tears of joy. Tears free of strife, slimy germs and undesirable carrot chunks. Pure, unfettered tears.

I heart you and your meal prowess. Your ass looks fantastic in a chair that you don't need to be strapped into. Please don’t develop any freaky food issues from now until we can get together. That would kind of be the steak in the coffin.

Get it? Steak? Not stake?

Omigod I’m falling apart,
Mrs. Mullet

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Wearing my child

randomtuesday

Before this week, I’d thought co-sleeping sounded kind of quaint. (I said co-sleeping, not co-puking.) But after having a sick Junior in our bed for the last three nights, all I have to say is this: never, ever again. Junior wanted to sleep on me—on my neck!—like a human scarf. And Chuck put up some kind of heat force field with his body hair that repelled me and Junior to the far corners of the bed. Add two obese cats and about 30 stray socks that have pooled at the bottom of the bed and you’ve got yourself a sit-com.

A really awful sit-com that could probably be used to torture people.

Junior threw up on me seven times over the last four days. Just once on my birthday. I thought that was awfully nice of him.

When we took Junior to his doctor, the doctor put his hand to my forehead and said, “You don’t look good, Mrs. Mullet.” Then he listened to my lungs, looked in my ears and prescribed me an antibiotic. He even gave me a lollipop. If he didn’t wear pilled gym socks and smell like oatmeal, I’d probably have a crush on him.

I haven't been to work since last Thursday. I am going to have serious re-entry issues.

I found out Chuck had planned a surprise 35th birthday party for me on Sunday night. Seeing how I was puked on instead, I’m going to try not to think about that.

I manhandled the Christmas tree as I dismantled it. I don't want to talk about it.

Toddlers emit a low wail right before they upchuck. It reminds me of an animal’s mating call. I’m no zoologist, so I couldn’t tell you what animal, per se, but I do know that if I hear it once more—and if any more snow falls—life is going to play out like a scene from the Shining.

My father stopped by this morning with a birthday bouquet. After listening to Junior wail “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommeeeeeeee” for 10 minutes, he said he had to get going. As he stood at the door he said, “You’d better be careful. You’re going to have to have that kid surgically removed from your side if he gets any more attached.”

See now, if he watched my sit-com, he’d know it’s my neck. It’s my neck, Dad. My kid’s stuck to my neck.

The Un-Mom wants to hear all your Random Thoughts. She told Mrs. Bear so.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Dedicated to my mother, who called at 7:48 a.m. and told me to have a sense of humor about the situation

Happy birthday to meeee...

Happy birthday to meeee...

I started the daa-aay...

with a suppository*.

* For Junior. It was one of those Feverall suppositories. Next year at this time I am so going to be in Vegas.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Three days into 2010 and I already need a comeback song

I'm still sick. I don't know if it's the flu or what but the hairs on my head hurt. Junior's sick too. I now know what a fever looks like as it moves into a toddler. In a matter of 30 minutes, he went from a normal Junior to a 103-degree lethargic Junior. It was like a mini storm front. Then he puked on me.

Why doesn't he ever puke on Chuck?

I think it's because he knows I'm a fellow puker. Thanks to my ability to acquire every stomach bug known to man, I puked my way through elementary, middle and high school. We kept a sleeping bag in the bathroom, just for me. I have a thing for cold floor tile. I'm not kidding: When you've dry heaved for 12 hours straight, cold floor tile against your cheek can be a beautiful thing.

The diamond imprint is an added bonus.

I had hoped to top last year's birthday bonanza with something fitting for number 35, but it looks like it's lozenges, Robitussin, Kleenex, Vapor Rub, chicken soup and vitamin C for me.

And I'm corn-ully okay with that because at least I'll be celebrating with the people who matter most: the cast from Freaks and Geeks (Chuck bought me the set for Christmas. It's hilarious).

P.S. Have you ever puked while holding someone who is also puking? I feel oddly connected to Junior, in that Siamese twin kind of way.