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ABOUT ME

About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, 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?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When Christmas decorations go bad


I love the look of white "candles" in the windows at Christmastime, don't you? Unfortunately, even though I taped the candles to the windowsills, they'd inevitably fall off and the bulb would break on the floor. (And by inevitably I mean that the children would race head-first into the couch, slamming it against the wall and knocking the damn candles to the floor. Lather, rinse, repeat.)

Enter my mother, who was very excited to tell me about the bulb pictured above. It's made of rubber and has a lovely bendable flame. It's practically unbreakable and emits a lot of light.

"Do you want some?" she asked. "You need some. I'll bring you some."

And so, there was light.

And for many days, my candles took a beating and still worked. All was well in Mulletville Lite. Come dusk, the house was awash with the warm glow of rubber whiteness.

Contented sigh.

Then, one morning, I heard the kids giggling as Junior waited at the window for the bus.

"You try, Everett. It goes up all the way."

I went into the living room where I caught them perched on the couch, each with a candle bulb up their nose.

"It tickles!" Junior announced happily when he saw me—as if I too would delight in the newfound purpose for my Christmas decor.

"Junior," I said calmly, "would you please take the candle out of your nose?"

Even as I spoke the words I knew it was too late: My children had started a new Christmas tradition. A new hysterically-funny-to-them, gross tradition. Because that's what children do. They take something seemingly benign and assign it a new purpose: coveted coffee mugs catch slimy bugs, crazy straws collect bodily fluids, and so on. For the rest of that object's life you'll look at it and think, Ew.

I accept that. If I didn't, I'd never survive as a parent.

There is a saving grace, at least for the candles. During Christmas vacation there's no need to perch at the window and kill time catching boogers because the bus won't be coming.

See? It always works out.

Merry Christmas! Health, wealth and boogers to all in 2015!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I like my enchiladas with extra bitch, please. Part deux

My cousin Lauren is pregnant for the first time. If you're new here, she's the one who met me and Junior (then 18 months old) for dinner, then went home and told her mother (my aunt) that, thanks to the experience, she wanted to have her tubes tied.

And now, well, she gets to experience the magic of dining out with a toddler for herself. Life is so delicious.

She's been on Facebook a lot, posting about her pregnancy. You know, morning sickness and mood swings, questions about whether or not she can take Mucinex. That sort of thing. (Did you know a post about Mucinex could inspire 56 comments?) Then there was the dreaded ultrasound picture (I don't know about you but I always find that a little creepy). I almost skipped right over it but then I read her comment: "I wonder who you are in there. If you look like me. What you're thinking right now. Just who you are."

It stopped me dead in my tracks. It's stopping me right now, in fact. I've been such a tornado this pregnancy, between working and watching the two boys, tending to Chuck's kidney stones and broken ankle, doing the damn housework, opening the restaurant, daydreaming about vodka....I really haven't stopped to wonder. I'm eight months pregnant and I don't really think it's hit me that I'm, well, pregnant.

And I suddenly understand that third child guilt everyone talks about. That "Oh, yah, we thought we put Billy in the car, too, at the Grand Canyon but ooops." This kid isn't even born yet and I'm already sorry. I'm sorry I keep forgetting why I have this enormous bump on my body. I'm sorry we haven't even thought about a nursery or what clothes you'll wear.

But mostly, I'm sorry I haven't wondered--with that beautiful first-time mom anticipation--about who you are and who you will be. I really am, because I can't wait to meet you...

...And chase you around restaurants so someone else, someone who's never dined with a child before, can look over at us and long for sterilization.

They don't know what they're missing.