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Saturday, December 31, 2011

all that need be said

New Year's Day:  Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions.  Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.  

Mark Twain

Sunday, November 27, 2011

traveling with children (formerly known as vacation)

Traveling with smalls is never easy.  Smalls usually ask way too many times how long it's going to take to get to wherever you are going.  Smalls also have a need to use the restroom at the most inconvenient times.  Inevitably, a small's hunger is inversely proportionate to how easily food is acquired, meaning:  if a small is hungry, there usually is no food around.

And while all of the above is challenging with smalls, nothing can compare to the actual travel itself. Namely, airplanes.  Oh yeah, and the irritating people you sometimes have to sit next to.

Take my most recent flight.  It was a red-eye and I was stuck as the odd man out; the only one not sitting next to a family member.  Instead, I was sitting next to a gentleman who slept the entire flight.  His eyes closed upon taxiing for take off, and didn't open until the seat belt sign went off upon landing.

Quite incredible.

Now, this gentleman clearly was not concerned with his airplane neighbors.  He hogged the armrests, splayed his legs open, and generally took up way more space than he was allotted, without regard for his cramped flight companions.  Miserable.

Nowadays, the average seat size, width, and distance from the other seats is meant for someone the size of Tiny Tim, which may be generous, considering that the smalls seemed miserable too.  I remember looking over at my smalls mid-flight, checking to see if they were ok.  They were squirming and shifting, complaining that they had no room and that they were so uncomfortable.  Wow, if THEY were uncomfortable, clearly we adults were going to be crippled.

Airplane travel nowadays is definitely an international Abu Ghraib.

Upon landing we had to go through customs.  The smalls were tired, not understanding why we had to wait on line.  And they were whining.  Oh, how they were whining!  We had a melt down at the car rental counter, and then the drive to our destination was charming.  And while we knew the smalls were tired and could barely help themselves, we were tired too, and on our very last nerve ending.

Not a good combo.

We made it to the house where we were staying; the melted turquoise Caribbean Ocean was calling and we all went to the beach to recharge. As I watched the smalls frolic, building sand castles, squealing with joy, it felt worth it -- the hell of traveling, and the hell of traveling with smalls.


Suddenly the sibling fighting began, complaints of hunger ensued, and I realized that it was really just like at home.  It was just like home -- except with a good backdrop.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

this is it?

After many sleepless nights, endless stressing, and various "what if" scenarios, I quit my job.  Or rather, I quit my career.  I blew it up with a metaphorical hand grenade.

People thought I was nuts.  Some still do.

My son was 3.5 and my daughter was 1.  I had juggled conference calls, meetings, and deadlines since the moment they were born.  At the time, I felt so under pressure that I could barely breathe, and now that I was able to breathe, I didn't remember how.  In hindsight, I think during the transition I created pressure so that I could just get things done:  HURRY, we have to get to the market.  QUICK, in the car, I don't want to be late...  We have to clean-up your room NOW, before we get ready for dinner...

The first year was honestly like a debriefing period.  I needed time to decompress.

And then the second year, it hit me -- what the hell was I doing?  Was I just a taxi service, short order cook, referee, therapist, nurse, laundress and maid?  Well, yes.  Apparently, I am.  I struggle daily with accepting that this is how life is now.  Not forever, but for this moment.

Reconciling this ain't for sissies...

That's why I started blogging.  Not to prove anything, or to get anything, but so I didn't go crazy and start believing the most important thing I had to express was whether or not X gym class for kids was better than Y gym class, strategizing battle on the latest diaper rash, or researching whether tea tree oil really does prevent lice.

Surely there was more to my life than this.  Had I become that uninteresting? Please, someone just shoot me.

I created the blog, because I decided that I needed some external validation.  Working life gave that to me every day...  Mommy life, if you're lucky, gives it to you once every six months, and that is usually in the form of some back-handed compliment from a competitive Uber-Mom type.  Not very satisfying.

Sometimes my smalls make me crazy, and the job of being a Mom is beyond stultifying.  But, I'm raising my kids.  They are being shaped by me, the good and the bad.  I am not missing out on their proud moments or their tantrums.  I get to watch them hurt and watch them heal.  I'm discovering their virtues and their vices, and slowly I'm starting to see the fog thin and a picture of who they really are become clear.  When one of my smalls hears or sees something funny and then looks at me, their eyes smiling, sharing their humorous thought just through a glance, or when one tells me they love me, but then adds for emphasis,"so, so very much" and I know they really mean it.   I love those moments...

Hopefully when the curtain of my life begins to close, I will look back on this mundane time and see that it was, strangely, the most beautiful because it was just every day. This is my gift, to them and to myself.

So, here I am.  Writing to prevent insanity.  It's as good a reason as any, I suppose.  I know I should write more often.  I should really set time aside and make it more "regular" than I've managed to do thus far. It's just that I'm still schlepping kids to 2 different schools, the house, the dog, lunches, the list goes on and on.  And when it's over, I'm tired.  I mean really wiped.  Jesus, I could barely decide between Pampers or Huggies.

But, I figure it's good to have something to strive for, and given it's November, I'm gonna need a damn New Year's resolution anyway...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

you like me, you really like me...

Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I was a screenwriter in Hollywood.

It was a nice life.  There were ups, there were downs, but all in all, it was a good gig.  In my life prior to smalls, I rocked it.  Not all the time, but enough of the time to keep my ego satisfied.  I had an agent and a manager, a lawyer and an accountant.  I had meetings and lunches.  I knew who was who.  All the things that make one feel established, legitimate -- real.  It's only when the external validation is gone that one realizes that it was a pretty sweet perk.

Nowadays my life is perk-less.

Motherhood isn't filled with too much external validation.  No -- most of the time is spent second guessing yourself, dealing with other freaked out Moms, some of  whom are weird or competitive or the parent of a loathsome child who managed to just bite your small and punch them in the face.  See, not a lot of ego involved...  More the controlling of id.

When I made the very difficult choice to stop working I wasn't thinking about validation at all.  I was thinking about stress, and that I could barely breathe, and that if I really wanted to do the job "right" and be all that I could be, I'd have to see my children a lot less.  I might have humored that, but I wasn't seeing my children very much already, which didn't leave much wiggle room.

Basically, I was doing everything sorta fine.  Not great, not good, just "eh".  I was in damage control mode.  Kid sick?  Take 'em to the Pediatrician, stat!  Rush back to work.  Check.  Crisis at work?  Conference calls, wringing of hands, crisis averted.  Check.  Husband?  Ships that pass in the night.  Schedule date night, try and re-connect.  Check.

Week after week.  Month after month...

No one was happy with me.  As I tried to spread myself to cover all my obligations, everyone felt short-changed.  Especially my smalls.

This went on for a long time.  Through the premature birth of my first small, his hospital stay, evaluations, and therapy.  And then the birth of my other small, and through her first year.  I tried.  I really wanted to have it all.

Apparently, though, my Mother was right : You can have it all, just not all at the same time.

It took me awhile to really get that, and then, it took me even longer to own it.

One night, after a particularly grueling day, I was on the phone venting and lamenting to my Mother.  At the end of my diatribe I remember saying, "Ya know, when I'm 80, sitting on my porch thinking about my life, I'm not going to be thinking about how many screenplays I've written or how much money I've made -- I'm gonna be hoping that my kids talk to me and that they're happy, and that they're leading productive lives..."  There was a very, very long silence on the other end of the phone, and then my Mother said, "That's one of the sanest things I've heard you say in a very long time..."

I quit the next day.

****  I have more to say on this topic, but for now, I'm saying, "Put a pin in it..."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about stress.  More specifically, about my stress.  September is a tough month, all the back-to-school stuff, getting back into old routines, starting new routines, feeling tired...

After my third call in the car this afternoon, as I rushed to pick-up my 1st small from school, and then hurried to pick up my 2nd at another school, it dawned on me: progress has pretty much screwed up our lives.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are luxuries of the past century which I fully embrace; namely, air-conditioning.  I'd tolerate an outhouse easier than I could live without air-con, but that's just me.  My aversion to being hot is one of my Husband's greatest pet peeves.  Shoot me.

Anyway, as I was winding my way through traffic (which I've concluded is created by bad drivers), I started thinking about how my life, and in turn the life of my smalls, is really a giant stress-ball created by cell-phones, answering machines, chain super markets, and pedophiles.

Now before you write me off, let me convince you...

The cell phone, answering machine thing is a no-brainer.  All of us are available 24/7.  The car ride is no longer a peaceful journey, it's an opportunity for someone to ring you or for you to ring them.  Who can pass up the chance to cross off phone calls from their "to do"list?  And friends?  Forget about it.  If I can't call you from the road, in between schlepping smalls, then we ain't talking.  My life as a glorified taxi driver necessitates chatting while in the car.  Period.

Moving on.

Chain super markets.  All of them suck.  They have the most time consuming and irritating parking lots ever!  There is no such thing anymore as a quick run to the store.  There's no neighborhood butcher, baker, market.  Nothing.  If I need 30 items or 1 item, it doesn't matter; I still have to brave the parking lot, the check-out lines, and to add insult to injury, the CONSTANT moving of merchandise so that products never stay in the same place more than a week.  Infuriating!

Then there is the pedophile.  Or, more truthfully, the fear of such a person.  The "progress" of the internet and the media has made sure we all hear the awful stories of abductions and worse, so that, now, parents are either too scared to leave their kids alone or too scared that Child Protective Services will pay them a visit if they do.  Insanity.

Perhaps I'm romanticizing the past.  There were lots of downsides.  Polio, for example.  Definitely not good.  So, the "progress" of a vaccine for that awful disease is a win.  I get it.  And car seats, a wonderful safety bonus, even if putting the damn thing in is like wrestling a tiger.

But, it's the moments of silence that we're all missing.  No beeping microwave, no beeping dish washer, no buzz of the dryer.  Way back when, if you were out doing errands and someone wanted to get a hold of you, they called your house.  If you weren't home, they tried again later.  No message, no ringing in the car, or store, or street.  Kids played outside, unsupervised, with no parental guilt or fear.  The neighborhood market was just down the street, you really could pop in and get a quart of milk; no one would call you on the way there, and there wouldn't be a message reminding you of the call you missed when you got home.  Weekends must have felt more weekend-y.  Down time must have felt slower and more restful.  Kids must have been less scheduled because they played stickball or kick-the- can everyday after school with the other neighborhood children.  Pedophiles existed, but no one worried about them because they didn't hear about it all the time.


Call me a dinosaur.  But as I deliver children to and fro, from one school to another, to soccer practice and Gymnastics class, rushing home for piano lessons, making phone calls on the way, taking care of business in between errands, I can't help but wax nostalgic.  And even though I have the power to turn off my cell phone, I, apparently, bow to peer pressure and neurosis.  Maybe it's the nagging feeling that I'm missing something or that someone is trying to get me.  What if a small gets sick at school?

I fear I'm a lemming.

Damn, what I wouldn't give somedays for the return of the "busy signal".

Monday, September 12, 2011

find a penny, pick it up

Both my smalls have recently developed an obsession for picking up "found" money.  You know, lucky pennies, nickels, quarters and dimes randomly laying on the ground.

At first, I thought the "lucky penny" thing was exactly that -- lucky.  But as the days and weeks of this new monetary fascination has continued, I've realized that there is, apparently, a lot of money on the ground.   A LOT.

Like, one of my kids finds coinage EVERY time we go somewhere.  Every time! Which got me thinking...

Where the hell does it all come from?

I mean, maybe if I looked down at the ground every second like my smalls are doing nowadays, I'd have found a lot of lost money too.   How much money had I walked past in my life, oblivious to it laying on the pavement, just waiting for someone to claim it?  And if I didn't see all the money that has potentially been laying on the ground, well, then what else was I missing?

This has really troubled me.

How were my kids finding all this money?  Is the key in the actual looking?  Do they will it to appear?  Is there a fairy that sprinkles coins throughout the city, like treasure, waiting for it to be found by children such as my own?

At first I felt guilty letting my kids keep all the money they were finding, because, frankly, there was a lot of it.  It wasn't that it added up to a large amount of dough, per se, it was that it wasn't really theirs to begin with.   That money had belonged to someone else, and it felt strange collecting so much of something that was lost without having a way to find it's rightful owner...  Then there was the feeling that the kids didn't need the change as much as someone else might.  Somehow it just felt like dirty money, even though it's discovery couldn't have been more innocent.

I've been troubled by this too.

But, my smalls enthusiasm, their exuberance in finding a nickel, penny, quarter or dime has eased me into apathy.  Every errand has the prospect of a treasure.  Every schlepp leads to potential coin lotto.  Piggy Banks are filling, found money is being saved, and wish lists (a by-product of this found $$) are being thought of and compiled.  With every journey, there is an excitement in the air!

I wonder if the people who dropped their money have any idea the joy they've created?  That penny that was too much of a hassle to look for, that sneaky quarter that jumped out of your hand at the parking meter, or the rogue nickel that wouldn't stay in your pocket...

Thank you.

You have ignited curiosity, determination, and pride in a 7 and a 4 year old.  I assuage my guilt by knowing that those feelings are worth more than anything the penny, quarter, dime or nickel would have bought at, say, 7-11.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

cialis, wtf?

Ok, this is real life.  Real life in the Advertising age:

"Mom, why does someone have bathtubs outside?"  my small asked.  At the time, I had absolutely no idea what the hell he was talking about, so I think I gave him the standard answer I always give when my smalls want to know why this or that is "different"...  "Everyone has different taste, sweetheart.  That's why life is interesting".

It sounds like an answer out of a book.  Whatever.

Anyway, I had no idea what he was talking about (or at least, I think this is what he was talking about) until last night...

Cialis.  Know what that is?  Well if you're a guy, and your beard is turning gray, in addition to the hard parts getting soft, Cialis might be your friend.  Translation:  It gets parts working so that sex is possible.

Now, it seems logical that to advertise such a product would require the allusion to sex: Romantic scenarios, like two people in a jacuzzi, a romantic dinner, all the trite situations that say, "SEX".

Never, not in my wildest dreams, has it ever occurred to me that claw-feet bathtubs are sexy.  It has also never occurred to me that someone sitting alone in a claw-foot bathtub staring into space says, "Sex".  And surely, 2 individuals sitting side by side in parallel claw-feet bathtubs, staring out at the ocean, could NEVER be a euphemism for sex.


Not even holding hands across the separate bathtubs (as they try to do in the commercial) can solve that.  They're sitting in 2 separate bathtubs, people!   What you wanted to make people think of, associate, or come to mind would have happened in ONE bathtub.

Not to mention, who the hell has 2 bathtubs outside on a deck overlooking the ocean anyway?  Who?

Clearly, advertisers have lost they're minds or they've forgotten how to "do it".

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

mom, I feel sick..

There are many trying ailments that one must confront when raising a small.  Colds, flu, lice (yuck!), and the dreaded, always inconvenient when it appears, stomach flu.  There have been many nights when I have been awoken only to find myself knee deep in laundry and puke.

Not fun.

However, nothing thus far had prepared me for my most recent challenge: public puking.  Now all of us have felt the creep of nausea at one time or another.  It is an awful feeling, and unless one is pregnant, you usually can excuse yourself and attempt to hurl in private.  Or at least in an alley or a bush or something. Not smalls.

You see, the line between feeling sick to your stomach and actually puking, is, for a small, a very, very narrow one.  Kind of like drinking on an empty stomach; suddenly tipsy quickly turns the corner to drunk.  This is a similar scenario for the nauseous small.

So, let me set the stage for you: family vacation, very nice restaurant (Mom and Dad were treating themselves and dragging the smalls along), very crowded restaurant, very far away bathroom with said bathroom separated from our table by, like, 50 tables, and no easy access to the outdoors.

You see where I'm going here?

Conveniently, we had just finished dinner and my husband had just taken my son to the restroom -- he always manages to miss the drama.  Suddenly, my 4 year old daughter gets up from her chair and walks over to my side of the table and announces, "Mom, I feel sick".

Now as any Mom knows, there is something psychic about Motherhood.  A Mom can tell by their child's voice, or look in their eyes or something, that things are about to get serious.  Or, at least interesting.

We were there.

I asked my little one if she could make it outside.  She shook her head.  I asked if she thought she could make it to the bathroom.  She shook her head again.  And I could tell by the look on her face, that time was now of the essence.  I looked at the table, trying to remember if there was a bowl or a bag -- why the hell would there be a bag -- I was grasping at straws.  And then, almost reflexively, I reached for a crisp, white, cloth napkin.

And my girl, God Bless her, did what she had to do.  3 napkins full, to be exact.  And she did it with silence and grace.  Really.  I don't recall in all of my decades on this planet seeing anyone vomit as undramatically as she did.  Yes,  I am grateful for small blessings.

When she was done, she asked me why everyone was staring at her.  Thankfully, I had my back to the room and I didn't have to meet anyone's gaze.  Because, even though it was gross, and even though it was completely unappetizing, what could I do?  The human body does what it does when it has to, and no one, not even Emily Post can make it abide to any rule.  So, I told my little one that she shouldn't worry; people were staring at her because they wanted to make sure that she was alright and they wanted her to feel better.

Sometimes, all you can do is tell a white lie to protect a small.

When my husband returned with my son, he quickly figured out what had happened, which wasn't hard considering my daughter (who was now feeling fine) announced quite cheerily, "Guess what?  I threw up!" as if were just another exciting adventure on our trip.

I clued the Busboy to our "problem" and suggested that he throw away the napkins.  Whether he did, I have no idea, but I like to think so.

Later, after the kids were asleep, my Husband told me he was impressed with my quick thinking.  Napkins.  Genius.

Normally, I like to take credit for my ingenuity.  But the truth is, it was some sort of maternal instinct, honed over thousands of years; not me.  I just reacted.  And while I dazzle in a myriad of other ways, that night I followed in the footprints of all the Moms who came before me.  Moms who had to endure much more than I have ever had to.  Moms whose quick thinking may have saved their smalls life, like my own Mother had to, once upon a time.  Mom's who didn't care that everyone was staring...

Oh yeah, and I really liked the skirt I was wearing.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

the sieve of summer

The sweat of summer is upon us.  The late nights that you swear you're gonna rein in once school starts. Barbecues, ice cream, swimming.  It's all good.

Or is it?

Lately I've heard people talking about what the kids lose during summer.  And I'm not talking about teeth or a sweatshirt, which is where MY mind went.  People seem to be concerned with smalls losing academics -- their grip on school and school work.

At first, I started to worry...  What did I need to do to make sure that nothing learned academically was lost for my kids?  What could I do to prevent my smalls from backsliding?  Jesus -- what could I do to stop Summer???

Panic set in.

Then, just as I felt the ulcer starting to form in my gut, I stopped.


Count to 10.

Thankfully, sanity started to appear, like a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

See, forget the smalls.  Forget the backsliding.  Even though the days are harder to fill in Summer.  Even though the months/weeks until school starts stretch out like a marathon.  Even though I really would love to have more of the evening to myself, instead of putting kids to bed, hours after they should have already been counting sheep.  Even though I can't stand the heat.   Or the sun.  (I'm more of a Nova Scotia or London kind of person.) I'm trying to embrace the irritations -- the things about Summer that make it, well, Summer.

Yup.  You read that right.  Because in the end, you know what I realized?

I need Summer.


I need to have a time of year to NOT nudge the smalls.  To NOT worry about what's for dinner, or how late dinner is served.  A time to let things slide, or at least let them simmer.

So, if I'm the only parent who isn't stressing that my smalls might forget something they learned last year.  Well, so be it.  I have the entire school year to help them learn it again -- plus some!

And you know what?  I'm breathing easier.  I'm nicer.  If the backslide is happening,  I'm helping it.

Am I a bad Mom?  Who knows.  The only thing I do know is:

I embrace the sieve of Summer because I am embracing my sanity.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

that ain't my baby...

When did my babies grow up?  I know I was there for it, but somehow it seems like it just happened right under my nose and I was out to lunch, or something.  How can it be?  The days felt like they crawled -- with the two hour feedings, the nights of croup, watching them every second for fear they fell from whatever they were attempting to climb, and the dreaded potty training...  How do my smalls now look like real children and not stretched toddlers?  Where have I been???

It's not that I really want to go back and have a do-over.  I'm quite fine skipping some of the Abu Ghraib phases.  It's just that as much as I tried to be present, and even when I was, it still doesn't lessen the sense of the speeding freeway of time, upon which we all are traveling.  Whether we stop, rest stops, pit stops, it feels like we're all getting to where we're going faster than we thought.  This is the little secret other adults older than you have been trying to share with you for years.  The proverbial, "Don't rush, sweetheart, it goes so fast, you'll see."  Which, if you're anything like me, you met with rolling eyes.

I couldn't have believed it, because I couldn't have known.  The journey is so all absorbing, you don't realize how fast it's going, and then when you do, it's too late.

I am so liking who my smalls are becoming.  I'm so excited for all that lies in front of them that I'd be lying if I said I wanted them to stay babies forever.  But there is a melancholia, a wistfulness that is both strangely comforting and yet, uneasy.

Perhaps the comfort comes in knowing that you've been told all your life that this is how it is, so it isn't a surprise and is, apparently, exactly what one is supposed to be feeling.  But, sadness comes with the feeling which makes one a tad uneasy, because you now realize that you've become one of the old people who understands that it's true.

I watched my children this weekend.  Their legs are getting longer, they can reach things they never could reach before, and things that used to result in sulking or a tantrum are now taken in resigned stride.

Time has moved on, and so have we.  Are babies are children, soon to be teenagers, and we are becoming well ensconced in middle-age.  But no matter how big and old they get, they will always be my babies to me...

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

that ain't free

Let me share my most recent pet peeve.  It is petty, I grant you, and probably not on anyone's radar.  Let me be clear, I wouldn't have the time to obsess about it if I felt that I could do something about the other things that bother me: greed, politics, not nice people, to name a few.

But, I've resigned myself to be powerless over those grand subjects, and I guess my focus thus becomes the smaller issues, in an attempt, perhaps, to rail against something meaningless when that which is so meaningful seems out of my grasp.

So onto the peeve:  free.

Now the meaning of the word free is where the problems lies...  By definition, free means: given without consideration of a return or a reward provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.  

You with me so far?

See, when I go to the bank, and they try to sell me some new, better package, usually one of the selling points is that, for example, the checking is "free".  Last I checked, when you make money off of my money, that ain't free.  Nor is it "free" when you require me to keep a certain amount of money in my account so that then I get the bonus of "free" checking.  That.  Is.  Not.  Free.

When I go to the store, and I'm offered a "free" gift (usually something crappy, made in China) if I spend a certain amount of money, that isn't free either.  And we can just do away with the ridiculousness of "buying one and getting the next free," because in the actual sales pitch, admittedly it isn't free, because you had to buy something in order to get the thing in the first place!

When I got married, the hotel told me that they would give us a room, the night of the wedding, "free."  But wait a minute, didn't I just spend thousands of dollars at your hotel for the wedding?  That means that the room isn't free, it's just a nice gesture.

I've now gotten into the habit of correcting people when they feed me this b.s.  I know, it's a little rude, and maybe even argumentative, but I can't help myself.  I get a small satisfaction in watching the wheels turn in their heads as they try to counter me; justifying why what they are giving me is actually free.  There has yet to be a time where my logic is disproven.

I'm not comforted by this as I'd prefer to be wrong.  But, when there's a purple cow hanging from the ceiling, it's pretty hard to pretend it's not there.

So my suggestion to all you bankers, store owners, restaurants, etc.?  Just call it what it is.  It's a charge free checking account, a 2 for 1, or a gracious gesture.

Don't make me feel like a moron, like I have to be manipulated into redefining free, or that I'm too stupid to know what free means.  I know what free means, and all of you, clearly, don't.

Oh, and by the way, this rant is brought to you free, and I won't subject you to a 2 for 1 on the topic.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011


My life this week has been one long rerun.

My daughter has been sick for 4 days.  Every single day I think the next day will be the day we will finally get a new episode: health.  I'm desperate for some original programming around here.  This rerun jag we're on is getting old, old, old!

Not only does my small feel miserable (tonsillitis), but I'm not sleeping.  Small in bed + necessary ibuprofen doses = one tired Mommy.

Late last night I finally decided to call a spade a spade and accept my lack of sleep.  I headed downstairs for a little TV.

Why is it, that now, in my fourth decade on this planet, I'm just realizing that it's true -- if you wear a red shirt on Star Trek you're guaranteed to not have a re-curring role.

Middle-aged IQ test?

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Sunday, April 17, 2011


My lists have lists.  Really, I could condense my life down to a vertical list of to do's, or at least that's how it feels sometimes!

My kids have an endless desire for newer, bigger, and better toys, it seems.  Sometimes it's because the thing they want is really cooler than something they have, and other times, well, it's just cuz they like getting new stuff...

So, when one of my smalls says, "Mommy, I really want one of these...", or "Mom, this is so cool, can I get one for Christmas?" I tell my kids that I'll put it on the list --  and I have the same response to all similarly posed questions.  "No problem, sweetie, it's on the list."  "Sure, I'll remember to put it on the list." You get the drift...

Now, for the details:

This particular list isn't real -- it's an imaginary paper filled with wants from here to Timbuktu.  I just placate my children by making them think their wants and desires are actually being recorded somewhere.  Interestingly, my kids have never requested to see said list -- and I don't think it's just because they trust their Mama -- it's more like they're comforted just knowing it exists.

Perhaps, just maybe, there is something I could learn something from this.

Or,  I'll just wait until that thought passes.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

we all want a porsche

  My male small is into cars.  That's a prerequisite for the male part, right?  Anyway, he's into them, and even at the ripe old age of 6 he knows the difference between a jalopy and a "nice" car.  Apparently this is where the car-as-penis-extension thing starts with men, and we have to feel sorry for them, really.  Such an awful disease to start at such a young age...

But I digress.

On the way to school the other day, my boy was commenting on all the many cars he saw on the road.  We saw a Porsche.  Then we saw another...  Finally, after seeing the third Porsche my son asked if it was true that they were really fast.  I told him it was true; they're super speedy.  This was met with silence, as my boy contemplated.

"If they're so fast", he asked, "how come everyone doesn't drive them?"  This caught me a tiny bit off guard, as I didn't want to get into the whole $$$$ of it...  So, I talked about how they were small and that a lot of people liked to have bigger cars to fit more stuff in them.

I thought I'd made a clean getaway, until he brought up that new bigger Porsche -- the Panamera (I had to look up the name), with it's 4 doors and back seat and all...  The bastard!  I played it off with a parental, "hey look, no hands!" maneuver to change the subject.

Suddenly, we both heard approaching sirens, and, as if with perfect timing, two police cars went speeding by -- I mean really hauling ass to try to get somewhere.  I made some annoyingly clumsy comment about how fast they were going, opening the door for my son to walk through...

"Hey Mom, if Porsches are so fast, and police have to be fast to get the bad guys, how come the police don't drive Porsches?"

I was stumped.

"Well, uh, they want to, or I mean they should..."  I stumbled -- aw, screw it.  "Ya know honey, life isn't fair.  There are more people who want Porsches than there are Porsches to go around, so not everyone gets one."

"But they wish they did, right?  They like them, right?" my sweet boy asked, trying to understand...

"Yes, love, they like them.   Everybody wants a Porsche."

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

the chronological advancement of digits

Yup, the years just fly on by.

Lucky us.

Next week I celebrate my Birthday.

Lucky me.

My smalls can't wait for their Birthdays.  Like, they ask every other day through out the year -- starting the day after their respective celebrations.  The proverbial "are we there yet?"

I, on the other hand, am happy to forget the day, but then it's the damn day that makes you remember.

Sweet gestures from friends and loved ones, 10% off cards from establishments I haven't been to in eons, and no matter how I try to will by mind to forget, my body remembers.  Damn the thing!

My husband's Grandmother confided in me at the ripe old age of 95 -- and she was a tough old broad -- "You're screwed.  I might be 95, but in my head I'm still 30...  Maybe even 28.  It's a Goddamn conspiracy!"

Soon after this, she passed on, the conspiracy over for her, at least in this life.

I keep remembering what she told me, and it does seem patently unfair.  In my mind I, too, am infinitely younger than my digits demonstrate...  Infinitely cooler.  Infinitely hipper.

That is, until I encounter your average 17 year old.  That's when the harsh reality really comes crashing down:

I'm so uncool.

I'm so old.

So what is one to do but embrace the march of time?  But, I will allow myself to wear a new description: Counter Cool.

Perhaps then I can be so uncool, so retro,  that I come around again to coolness...

It's a thought.  Or a dream.

Happy Birthday to me.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

what does it stand for again?

Clearly, we all get older.  And recently, I have discovered personal indicators that remind me of it, all up close and personal.

I can no longer remember anything.

I used to have a great memory.  Friends would actually use me to remember what happened to them -- that's how good it was --  I remembered for myself and for others! Now, I have to look up my Drivers License number.

Things have come to that.

The first shot across the bow was pregnancy.  People always say that you kind of lose your mind when you are pregnant, forgetting things, etc., and my pregnancy was no exception.  I guess my frustration is that no one ever told me that my mind was never coming back!  Perhaps that would have been a good tidbit to know.

Evidence of my failing memory is everywhere:

I walk into a room to get something, and then inexplicably cannot remember what the hell I was going to retrieve.

Perhaps it's an errand, or a chore that I must remember to do.  Unless I write a note and tape it in an obvious location, say my windshield, the errand or chore floats into the ozone, completely forgotten.

I even call my children the other's name -- my daughter my son's name and vice versa. Sometimes my husband is victim of this as well.  Oy.

The other day I was told a funny acronym, that made me laugh, so I repeated it, hoping I would remember it.  AMF, YoYo.  ( = Adios Mother Fucker, you're on your own.)

Two minutes later, I have to ask what the acronym is again.  Then, again, I repeat it.  A little later, when I try to recall it, I come up blank.


I ask one more time to be reminded of what it stands for, and then I write it down.  For without paper or pen, I'd be clueless, unable to share it here or anywhere.

I now always have lists, and alarms set on my phone to help keep me up to speed with what I should recall or be doing...

Uh, at least I think I do.

Who the hell remembers?