Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I'm starring in the new Stephen King book!

After Chuck and I had been dating for a few years but before we had kids, family excursions consisted of me, Chuck, my younger brother and my father. This worked out well for my father. Chuck is a fellow history buff so when we'd do our guided tours of dusty, historic homes/plantations/mills/settlements, Chuck and my father would listen intently to the tour guide and try to drink in as much knowledge as they could.

My brother and I, on the other hand, would usually mock the tour guide—discreetly, of course—make lewd comments about our fellow tourees—again, discreetly—and/or escape the guided tour via an open window so we could make a run for it.

Like I said, my father was in heaven when Chuck came along. Until he'd had a comrade, he'd literally pass out from the exertion of trying to listen intently to the tour guide while simultaneously expressing his disgust at our juvenile behavior. Our trips usually ended with him throwing his hands up in the air and swearing at us under his breath.

Things changed as my brother got older. Chuck seemed cooler to him, I guess, so our family excursions began to feel more like "sausage and cheese" trips, with me starring as the cheese who stands alone (I'd certainly rethink that trip to France).

Then Junior came along—and there was more testosterone.

Then Everett came along—Ibid.

Then I found out I was having another boy. And I kid you not, when I turned 40 this winter and they all stood there singing me happy birthday—Chuck, my brother, my father, Junior and Everett—and I rubbed my 8 month pregnant belly—which contained another sausage—I felt like I was in some crazy Stephen King book in which every woman on the planet, save myself, had been eaten and I was the lone survivor of Womankind.

I wish this blog wasn't anonymous because I took a picture of all of them standing there and it's a lot of dudes.

Late at night, when the house is quiet, I think about why it is that I'm surrounded by men. Is my astrological star aligned not just with Orion but with his 25 brothers? Was I a tragic wannabe football player in a former life and so the universe is making amends by giving me my own team, so to speak? Or am I part of a psychological study conducted by Thomas the Train, in which researchers try to gauge the exact moment a mother's brain will explode after a decade of exposure to Percy, Edward and Gordon?

Of course, there is no real answer. I love all the men in my life and that's the only thing that matters. And I'd worry that our future family trips (with me, Chuck and our sons) are going to feel like "sausage and cheese" trips part deux, but hell, why start worrying now? Cam is only four months. By the time our boys are tweens and interested in spending weeks playing Laser Tag or camping, I'll be ready—to fly myself to a swim-up bar with some girlfriends.

Until then, I just need to remember to keep my hand out of my pants. Must...not...assimilate...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Just a day. Alternate title: We need a new diaper bag

"Two p.m. deadline?" I ask my boss. "No problem."

It's 7:45 a.m. Two p.m. feels like next week.

I pack lunches for Junior and Everett. I drop Junior off at day camp, then schlep Everett and Cam to Everett's preschool for a 9:30 drop-off. (Side note: I still dislike the pre-school teacher who, after eight months of greeting my child with a somber "Heeeeeey buuuuuddy' seems to be a better fit for a convalescent home.)

I say good-bye to Everett then schlep Cam to a 10:15 a.m. doctor's appointment because he's been waking up the last two nights screaming and has now developed pink eye. Am I cutting it close to my deadline? Yes, but I can do this. I can.

We finish up at the doctor's. It's an ear infection. I get back out to the car and rifle through my bag for the keys. I don't see them. Nooooooo. I put Cam's car carrier down and empty the contents of the diaper bag onto the trunk. Empty wrappers. Diapers (clean, thanks). Matchbox cars. Old crayons. Chapstick. A maxi pad. Squished granola bars. DSW coupons.

No keys.

I bring Cam back inside and ask if I left my keys in the office. Nope. Cam is getting fussy. He's not going to make it much longer without eating. I ask if I can feed him in one of the rooms.


While I feel Cam, I tear apart the car carrier, hoping the key slipped behind a cushion. Nope.

I call my brother. Can he grab a spare house key from my neighbor and meet me at the doctors with the spare car key? Yes. But no one answers at the neighbor's. I call Chuck. He offers to drive the hour home and bring me the spare key. I tell him that's crazy. I call AAA and schedule assistance. They tell me it'll be an hour.

I finish feeding Cam. It's 11:45. I empty the diaper bag one last time. No key.

I take Cam outside to wait for AAA by the car. I search my pockets. I scan the passenger seat for something glinting in the sun. Nothing. I decide to empty the bag one real, real last time. I feel something square shaped way down in the lining, way over on the side. Holy shit. It's a set of keys I thought I lost two years ago. I shove my hand deeper, pushing my way past crumbs and broken crayons and there, I find the car key.

Thank you, I say aloud, even though it's now 12:15. 

I call AAA and cancel the call.

"It will still count as one of your service calls," the woman tells me.

Bite me, I think.

I call Chuck and tell him the good news.

"I always hated that diaper bag," he says.

"We got it when Junior was born," I remind him. "Seven years is a long time to hate something."

"It's trimmed in pink. Can we get one that's cooler? More...manly?" he asks.

"With, like, boobs on it or something?"

"Sure," he says.

I drive home. I haven't eaten anything all day, so I shove an old granola bar from the diaper bag into my mouth. Cam misses his nap. I miss my deadline. I'm almost late to pick up Junior. But I'm giddy about a diaper bag with breasts on it, if only for its functionality: Nipples would make damn good key ring holders.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Yoga is for sissies

I forgot about this thing. Everett was four when we had Cam this February; the most taxing thing about getting him around was stopping mid-grocery shop to get him to the bathroom.

I've been carrying this thing around for three months now. My back hurts. My neck hurts. These damn carriers are heavy and there's no easy way to carry them when you're walking. You can't exactly throw it over your shoulder like a handbag. If you lean to one side, you pull all your glueteus sideus muscles. If you lean forward you chance kicking the carrier with your knees as you walk.

They're such a part of your baby's life though, you can't get around it.

I'm wondering, why the fuck don't more hospitals incorporate these into their Intro to Birthing workshops? No, really. Instead of wasting your time breathing and writing birthing plans, why aren't women (and men) wrapping up watermelons, placing them into the carriers and then doing sprints around the hospital parking lot? Mastering that is a tangible skill.

Yes, that would be the first class: Intro to Your Aching Back. Class II, Intermediate Pains: Your Back and Your Thighs, would focus on getting an even larger watermelon and bouncing the damn thing in the carrier on your knee for 20 minutes (yes, you can use doorwells for support).

That's all. I just wanted to vomit my ire at the dreaded &*^#%^#&*%@ carrier. Happy Friday!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Having three children is kind of kicking my ass

Which is why I haven't posted since, um, winter.

It's not the kids themselves who are giving me a good ole ass whoopin' (they've actually been dolls), it's all the stuff that goes along with them: the lack of sleep, packing lunches, the laundry, the mud pies, the LEGOs, the baths, reminding them not to wipe boogers on each other...you get the drift.

Never mind the dog that needs walking, the cat that needs petting (all 25 pounds of her) and the husband that's looking at me like Hey, remember when we used to use our bed for things other than storing clean laundry?.

On top of it all, Chuck was away for work in April when I came down with a sinus infection, upper respiratory infection and double ear infection. At night, when I fed Cam, I'd shove tissues into my nostrils to stop my runny nose and I'd let the tissue drape down over my mouth so I didn't cough on him. Genius, ey? I was doing pretty well with that until I got pink eye and had to watch him eat with the one eye that wasn't glued shut.

I believe my exact words to my mother the next morning were PLEASE COME HELP ME.

But that's behind us now. Now, three months after Cam's birth, I finally feel like I'm getting my sea legs. I'm back to work (from home), I interviewed some sitters (love you, Care.com), the sun is shining—well, it was this weekend—and instead of making myself miserable all summer by wearing maternity clothes, I treated myself to some forgiving tops that I can hide under until I lose that last 10 pounds (thank you, billowy Bohemian look, for being in style right now).

Ok, it's 15. I forgot how much I hate the lumpy post-baby body.

The only thing that's kind of terrifying me right now is the end of school. Yup, just me, the kids, the pets and the garden hose.

And vodka. Lots of vodka.

In defense of adoration—even in the deli line

The toddler was all over his mother. Cam and I were in line at the deli at Mulletville Lite's town grocery store, watching the lov...