Sleep Over

27 Dec

Thank you momMy mom drives me crazy. She stresses me out. She is such a martyr. I see so many posts/memes about how wonderful someone’s mom is, how you should click like and share if your mom is your best friend, how you should bless every day your mother is here to share your life, but I can’t relate to them.

my mother meme

These make me feel guilty. My kids (10 & 13) don’t like my mom. My husband doesn’t like my mom. This is not a new response to her. Fifteen years ago, the best man at our wedding told my mom to fuck off.

We pretend to be sick so we don’t have to go see her. I lied and said there was a terrible wreck on 85 so that it took us 4 hours (instead of 2-1/2) to get to her place in north GA. That way we could leave later and spend less time there. I haven’t seen her in months. Months. I can’t even remember when I last drove out there. Maybe Mother’s Day? I think I’ve been back since then. I think. I’ve probably blocked it out. I stalled so long about going out on the Sunday after Thanksgiving that when I finally called to say I was on my way, she told me not to come because I wouldn’t get there until almost 2:00, and 3 hours was not long enough for a visit. Fine by me. I came back home.

I was supposed to go out there this morning, but it was finally NOT RAINING! I didn’t want to load my kids in the car for a 2-1/2 hour drive there, a miserable indoor entrapment of 4-5 hours including lunch at a restaurant that will serve food “not quite good enough for my mom,” and then 2-1/2 hours in a car driving back home on the first day in 82 years that it hasn’t rained! Okay, not quite 82 years of rain, but you understand. Especially since it’s supposed to start raining again. So, I told her we would come tomorrow. I was going to force myself and the kids to leave by 9am so we could get there by 11:30. We would stay until 5pm. That would be a nice long visit. Then she asked if my husband would be coming. No, he’s not. He hates her, but I just say he can’t because he went hunting. I don’t say that he refuses to be around her; that he will not allow our children around her unsupervised. I say the kids & I will leave by 9am and we can stay all day!

Well, now that’s not good enough. She wants us to stay the night. I can’t stay the night Sunday night. I have to work Monday morning. No, I’m not taking vacation days this coming week. I took a bunch in November to go with my daughter’s fifth grade class to the Barrier Islands, and I am taking a bunch for my kids’ Spring Break. I don’t tell her about Spring Break. God forbid she finds out I’m not working during their Spring Break.

She’s mad. She says the weather is going to be dangerous tomorrow, plus traffic will be really heavy. Don’t you know that the Sunday after Christmas is the busiest traffic day of the year? Personally, I didn’t know that. I also didn’t think the rain was supposed to be that bad, but I figured I’d rather be trapped in a car or trapped indoors while it rained instead of while it was beautiful outside. I didn’t realize she had thought we would be staying the night if I had come today, Saturday, instead of tomorrow. That was never mentioned in our conversation Christmas morning. When did she suddenly decide that a 6-hour visit isn’t enough?

She tells me other people’s kids and grandkids come stay for days at a time! They have brunches together and go places together, for example- bounce-houses. They cook huge meals together and sit around and visit. Ok, so with whom are we supposed to visit? I’m an only child. There are no aunts or uncles or cousins. Her own brother doesn’t like her enough to come visit her, and even if he did, my cousins are grown men and wouldn’t be interested in playing with my children. My mother is in a retiree apartment complex, so there aren’t other kids or a playground. It’s only my very sick mom (really sick: COPD and gall bladder issues), my 2 kids, and me. She can’t go out much because she can’t walk and she can’t breathe. There’s nothing for the kids to do, and I can assure you my almost-14-year-old son does NOT want to jump in a bounce-house. Also, she doesn’t like it when my kids bring their electronic devices and stare at videos mindlessly while around her. She only has one TV, and it’s in her bedroom. She won’t let the kids in her bedroom without her being in it, and she can’t talk to me with the TV playing because we won’t be able to hear each other. So, I’m not sure what else they are supposed to do unless I haul loads of toys and games for them to play with while we’re there. She doesn’t like my cooking, and she isn’t physically well enough to cook, and Heaven help us if I even suggest letting the kids take over the kitchen to make one of those huge meals her friends talk about.

Anyway- none of that matters now. I’ve been uninvited for tomorrow. The weather will be really bad, traffic will be really heavy, and a visit lasting from 11:00am until 5:00pm just isn’t long enough for her. Whatever. Fine. I won’t come tomorrow.

She knows I’m off for New Year’s Day, so she wants me to come next Friday morning and stay until Sunday afternoon. Nope. Not happening. Not a chance. I have something to do Friday about lunchtime and something to do Sunday afternoon. Neither one is negotiable because they involve obligations to other people. And even if I didn’t actually have real obligations, I would not give up my last 3-day weekend until Memorial Day. Of course, I don’t tell her I don’t want to be around her. That would be cruel. Instead, I tell her that Friday at noon, my husband and I are doing a 5K walk together because he wants to start getting back into shape and being healthy, and Sunday I have to hand out Girl Scout Cookie Materials to other Troop Leaders. Believe it or not, both of those are actually TRUE events. Though, Friday’s 5K might not actually be a full 3.1 miles, and it involves drinking beer every mile or so at the “rest stops,” but I don’t feel like explaining what a Hash Run is to my mom. She would be mortified. (If YOU want to know what a Hash Run is, check out this LINK) The cookie materials seriously are my obligation. I volunteered to be the cookie manager for the 34 Girl Scout Troops in our Service Unit. I know, I probably should have my head examined, but I’ve been doing it for 4 years, so why stop now.

You may be thinking, “Who cares what you are doing on Friday or Sunday, just get on with your rant.” Well, I’ll tell you why I threw that info out there. Considering that both my Friday and Sunday plans are legitimate and worthy appointments, my mother’s reactions seem all the more callus. Her response to being told that on Friday my husband and I are doing a 5K as a start to him getting healthier in the new year was: “He’s waited this long to do something about it. Why start now? Why can’t he wait one more week to decide to get in shape?” Yeah. Seriously. Instead of being supportive of a man trying to improve himself, she thinks he should put it off another week or so because he’s waited this long, what’s a few more days?

Since I can’t stay all New Year’s weekend, she tells me to come the following weekend. No can do. I have a Girl Scout lock-in that Friday night and our Cookie Rally on Saturday. At this point she quite frankly tells me I need to let other people take over this Girl Scout shit because my daughter is too old for it, and it takes up too much of my time doing stupid shit for other people’s kids instead of spending time with my family. Just let that sink in a minute. My 10-year-old daughter is too old for Girl Scouts? Girl Scouts is stupid and shitty? Where does she get that nonsense?

She tries to get me to admit that I don’t have plans for the weekend after the weekend after next, but I don’t even bother to respond when she asks if the kids are out of school for MLK Day. Instead, I reiterate that I can come next Saturday. Not good enough. I have to come EARLY Saturday and STAY THE NIGHT. Why? Why on God’s green Earth do we need to stay the freakin night? The last time we stayed the night was over a year ago. That time my mom went to bed about 7:30pm. She got mad that I made plans to meet a friend at 8:00 for dessert and coffee, even though I was back before 10pm. She made the kids go to bed when I left. No TV, no iPad or iPod or books. They had to just lay there in the dark until I got back. She has already told me that this time I am NOT to make plans with other people because I am coming there to just visit HER. She will probably still go to bed about 7:30 or 8:00, but the kids and I are not allowed to do anything else except go to bed at the same time because we will be tired after the long drive. I’m 42 years old, dammit! If I’m going to drive 220 miles to the town where I lived as a teenager, I should be old enough to meet a few of my old friends for dessert and coffee if I want to! Alas, no. She says she will not tolerate that. I am to come visit her, and since that is my sole purpose in going out there, she will brook no further discussion of other plans.

I feel I should throw in a factoid here: my mother-in-law lives near my mom with my brother-in-law and his family. I can’t go see them, though, because my mom will not allow me to carve away any time from her visit to permit the kids and me to drive across town to visit their other relatives. She acts affronted by the very idea that my kids might want to see their other relatives. She likes to emphasize that these people are my husband’s step-family, not blood relatives. The fact that his mom died when he was very young, his father passed away nearly 20 years ago, and this woman and her children have been part of my husband’s life for 40 years doesn’t matter to my mother. She calls herself The Grandma. As in, the only real, blood-relative grandmother my children have. This makes the mere suggestion of going to see step-in-laws unacceptable as potential plans. Bizarre, isn’t it?

I don’t win the, “Why do we have to stay the night?” argument. Apparently staying over is a magical event that will somehow change the course of her life. Keep in mind, there isn’t a spare bedroom. She’s in a studio-like apartment, so I have to haul blow up mattresses, pillows, sleeping bags, etc. as well as entertainment for my kids and other sleepover-required items. The 2 kids and I will be in the living room floor, which isn’t that big of a deal except that she will wake us up at 6:00 am because that’s as late as anyone should sleep. It’s wasting the day if you lounge around until 8:00, or, worse, 9:00! Plus, she can’t get to her kitchen to make coffee and start her daily regiment of medications and breathing treatments with us blocking up the living room/kitchen area with our air mattresses. Logically though, if she is forcing us to go to bed at 8:00pm, getting up at 6:00am is not going to be hard to do.

She makes me miserable. I could narrate for you our entire circular 2-day conversation, and none of it will contain one positive comment. I’ve put on 10 lbs since she last saw me. My daughter has lost 20 lbs, grown 2 more inches, and looks like a twig. We haven’t put my son in braces yet. My husband still travels all the time. I’m still “just a secretary.” My dog still has cancer. Her lawyer is still stealing all of her money.

I wish I had the warm, caring, nurturing friendship with my mom they way other people do. Just now I tried to picture her being that way, and I snorted. I don’t want to feel guilty about avoiding her. I don’t want to feel guilty for having no desire whatsoever about spending my weekend with her. But I do. I know she is ridiculous. Friends say, “Tell her that you will not listen to anything negative, and when she says something hateful, just pack up and leave!” People advise me all the time to just refuse to go. But how do you do that to a lonely old woman? Even one who is mean and spiteful and miserable and filled with anger and festering hate for every single person or living thing that has ever negatively impacted her life? I just can’t add to her unhappiness; though I wish I could and not be eat up with guilt.

guilt trip


Miracle Mom

10 Nov

Today I hate being a parent. It sucks, and I am not very good at it. Today my daughter has pushed very nearly every button I have, and it’s still 30 minutes away from her bedtime. Today I am struggling with the very awful thought that I want her to fail at something. I want her to trip and drop that stupid notebook computer so it can break. Though, that might make her current tantrum boil into an all-out meltdown. Still, it would serve her right.

I call this my Miracle Mom syndrome. When I was in my twenties, the religious catch-phrase was that “God lets you fall down so He can lift you up.” I also heard a lot of, “God allows bad things to happen so you will recognize the miracles.” And there was also the “Life has to suck a lot so you’ll know when it’s not quite as bad.” Or something like that.

This is the origin of Miracle Mom. After my children fail utterly, I somehow work a miracle that snatches them back from the depths of unending peril, and then they will have to recognize my almighty power and love. I don’t prevent them from failing (every good parent knows you have to let your child fail so he can learn valuable lessons). I happen to magically appear after the crisis, just as they have given up hope. I offer a solution, if only they will heed my words and follow the right path. Which, of course, they most definitely do. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

I don’t mean I think I could put the broken computer back together. Hell, I don’t really like the thought that something expensive might get broken. However, I do like the fantasy where my daughter’s tantrum slams to an end and hot tears fill her now very sorrowful, very regretful eyes. Then she throws her arms open and runs to me sobbing. I get to draw her in, to hug her, to comfort her. I tell her a story about when I broke something that was valuable to me. She smiles a little. I tell her a story about something that I thought was fun to do, and she suggests that we try it. Oh! Yes! We will build with Legos; we will make cookies; we will go on a walk around the neighborhood. We might even, finally, use all those old t-shirts to make the quilt I have talked about for the past 15 years. We laugh. We cuddle. We love being around each other! Years later she tells her children about the time she broke her little computer because she was running around a soccer field with it on top of her head trying to get the WiFi signal to come in stronger while screaming at her beloved mother, “You should have just left me at home! This is torture!”

Yeah. Miracle Mom could do that.

Me? I roll down the car window and scream, “You just keep that up! Keep running! At least that’s exercise!” The other parents parked around the field for our sons’ soccer practice kindly pretend not to notice how crazy we are.


Conversations With My Hair

5 Jan

So, I’m getting dressed for work on Monday, and I’ve done all the normal things: shampoo, rinse, conditioner, rinse, towel dry, add a various assortment of shit that I’m convinced is going to help me grown long, luxurious hair, and style. Only the style part isn’t happening.

Varied assortment of crap that is supposed to make my hair beautiful

This is the varied assortment of crap that is supposed to make my hair beautiful. Just ask the guy at Great Clips.

Nothing is different from any other day, yet I’m struggling to get my hair to look like it’s even been combed. I’ve got about 3 cow licks in various places, including my bangs and the swirl at the top-back of my head, and one twig of the hair by my left cheek is twisting up and poking me in the chin. I keep trying to brush it flat, to add hairspray and use a roller-brush to curl it backwards in effort to tame it, and I even broke out the flat iron to tackle my bangs. All to no avail.

As I’m glaring at my reflection in growing annoyance, I hear a quiet voice whisper, “Remember how good I looked on Sunday when your aunt & uncle came to visit?”

This scares the hell out of me, and I look all around brandishing a formidable-looking can of Extreme Hold Suave Hairspray as my weapon of defense.
—-> side-note: Suave Hairspray is the bomb! That shit is the hairspray equivalent of Duct Tape.

There’s no one, not even my husband, who relishes the days when my hair frustrates me beyond control. I think he likes watching me cry and cuss and burn myself with the curling iron- a sure sign that I’ve lost all control. I mean, who uses a curling iron these days? I continue with my ministrations: coat unruly sections with gel and hairspray, grip them with flat iron at root and slowly pull straight.

That same small voice says, “This isn’t going to work today.”

Figuring I’m delusional (what else is new), I whisper back, “What isn’t?”

“This whole drowning me with alcohol-infused beauty products then burning the piss out of me with that fucking flat iron. It ain’t gonna cut it today.”

I look at the flat iron. I look at the products sprawled on the counter. I look at my reflection.

“My hair?” I say.

“Yes!” The voice hisses.

“You’re my hair?” I repeat.



There is a long silence while I check the ingredients of my numerous bottles to verify that indeed, they all have alcohol listed as a main component of destruction.

“So.” My hair quietly continues. “You remember how good I looked yesterday?”

“Yep.” And I do. My hair was glorious on Sunday! It had taken very little effort to make it have volume and a ruffled-style that withstood the fairly constant wind that blew all around as we took a tour of our little town and shops and the bridges over the river. Even as I cuddled on the sofa that night, my hair had looked good.

This was AFTER having walked in the wind all around the downtown area for over an hour, maybe two.

This was AFTER having walked in the wind all around the downtown area for over an hour, maybe two.

There is a little note of glee, of sadistic happiness, as my hair continues. “Well, treasure those memories because I’m going to look like shit for the next 3 or 4 days!”

And it did.

The Silent Treatment

15 Jan

"The Great Brain" Book 1

When I was in 6th & 7th grades, one of my favorite books series to read was The Great Brain by JD Fitzgerald. As funny as these books were, they were also intriguing and informative. Oddly enough, I also carried away one idea about discipline- THE SILENT TREATMENT.

In the books, the 3 boys don’t receive spankings. Instead, after the parents have had time to discuss the disobedience with the ill-behaved son, they impose The Silent Treatment, which consists of them pretending like said child does not exist for X amount of days. The conversation revolves around him, but does not include him. It is up to the other boys to pass messages and pass food for that matter (!) to the left out child. This imparts on the boys how it will feel to be isolated from society if the misdeeds continue into adulthood and he were to wind up in jail.

What really, really stuck with me was the fact that all 3 boys admitted  that they would have rather been spanked and gotten it over with.

So, this past Saturday morning, after being awake all night at the Girl Scout Cookie Rally Mall Lock-In, driving 2 girls to their houses before picking my son up from a friend’s  where he had stayed the night, I arrived home around 7:30 am, exhausted and ready for a long morning nap.

My directions to Dalton were simple: You may do whatever you want except for leaving the house or having friends over. I even gave him permission to fix a simple breakfast, as long as he was careful. I asked him to keep the dog quiet. I then drew the drapes closed in my room, and Celtsie & I collapsed into my bed.

Within an hour, Morelli’s barks woke me up. They did not stop. He was literally crying and yipping. Well, who wouldn’t cry and yip if they were locked outside in a wind chill of 16*? I staggered from bed thinking Dalton must be in the bathroom (that boy can poop for half an hour at a time), or why else would he ignore the pitifully LOUD cries of our pet?

But, no. Dalton was parked in front of the living room TV, iPad in hand (lap?), completely oblivious of the dog’s noise. I chastised him. I let the dog in and made Dalton feel how cold Morelli’s fur was, I explained how tired I was. I insisted that he keep the dog quiet. His defense, “Morelli keeps tearing things up!”

Morelli (AKA Mud; Mudweiser)

Another hour passed, and again the dog was barking. Howling this time. I thought for SURE Dalton would take care of it. Alas, no. The cacophony went unanswered. I figured Dalton had gone downstairs to watch TV, play the Wii, or build with Legos, so I wobbled  into the kitchen and let the dog inside again. As I did this, Dalton pipes up from the living room, sitting snugly on the couch where he was wrapped in a blanket, saying, “Don’t let him in! He keeps bothering me!” I pointed out that Morelli was bothering Dalton because he wanted Dalton to play with him. I pointed out that the poor dog had been locked in his cage from 6pm the evening before, when we left to go to our QT FAMILY ORIENTED After-Christmas Party, until 7:30 this morning, when I arrived home  from a Girl Scout event. I pointed out that most of these activities had revolved around HIM and CELTSIE. I  demanded that he keep the dog quiet, and I staggered back to bed.

Another hour, and this time it’s the doorbell ringing that sends the dog into spasms. Instinct drives me from the bed to pull on some pants knowing that Dalton will not be able to resist answering the ring even though I have told him to NEVER open the door if he is home alone or his parents are asleep (did I really just split an infinitive?). And, indeed, I hear voices squealing and shouting; Dalton is yelling, “Come, Morelli! Come here! Get inside! Morelli, NOOOO!” And I barrel from bedroom in a sleep-deprived craze.

Dalton and 2 of his friends are standing inside our foyer trying to get ahold of Morelli. Dalton wants to go play with them. I see this as an opportunity to shut Morelli in the bedroom with Celtsie & me, and to get Dalton outside for a while, so I tell him, “Okay, if you take your phone.” I then have to help him find it, but he is out of the house and maybe I can snag some sleep.

Fifteen minutes later, the phone rings. It’s Dalton. He wants to know if I’m up yet. I pissily tell him that if calls me again to wake me up to ask such a dumbass question that he will have to come home and go to his room. Fifteen minutes later the front door bangs closed, Morelli barks, I hear voices in the house; footsteps stomping downstairs.

Granted this is Celtsie's room, but the rest of the house isn't much better

Now, let me just say that our house is a complete and utter disaster at this time. And it is NOT getting any cleaner while I sit here and type these blogs. Downstairs, upstairs, in the carport, on the back deck. If it can contain a pile of junk and shit and garbage, then you can count on it to be spilling onto every surface. Suffice it to say, I do NOT NOT NOT want Dalton’s friends in the house.

I call Dalton to my bedroom and tell him this. He says they just went downstairs to get the balls and bats and gloves, and they were going out through the downstairs door.

This is acceptable.

I start to go back to bed, but Mud (our nickname for the dog) won’t stop growling and whining. Then I realize I might as well get up and have some coffee, as it’s 10:30-ish, so I shuffle into the kitchen, bra-less and pantless to make up a stout pot.

I hear voices. They are soft, whispery, but there are definitely people downstairs.I grab a dish-towel from the kitchen drawer to cover my panties and move towards the stairs to make sure it isn’t just the TV. I hear Dalton’s harsh not-quite-a-whisper say, “Shhhhh! It’s my mom! Be quiet!”

“Dalton!” I call

He blurts, “Quick, quick! Get out!”

The down-stairs door squeals open and slams closed.

Again, I bellow for Dalton, who comes up the stairs at a run. I do not try to play the, “I know something you don’t know, and I’m going to make you confess everything while I wait to  catch you up in something I didn’t know” game. Nope. I flat out tell him, “I heard your friends downstairs. You told me y’all were going outside. You did not go outside. Y’all were downstairs.”

Dalton: Age 3. Is this really the face of a LIAR?

He blinks. He puts his hands in his pockets. And then he LIES. “No, we weren’t.”

That little shit.

I have read that it is psychologically damaging to trick your child into telling you something in hope that he will tell more than you knew to begin with. That’s the kind of thing used in torturing spies for information. You’re not supposed to say things like, “Would you like to tell me something?” Or “Do you know why I’m missing $30 from my wallet?” It invites them to lie; apparently lying is innate behavior as a survival instinct. I swear I will drive this out of my children.

I say, “You told me y’all were going outside. Y’all were inside. You lied. I just now heard you with your friends. You tried to deceive me by getting them outside before I could see them, and then you lied to me again when I caught you. You are now grounded. Go tell your friends that you may not play with them for the rest of the weekend.”

See, I did not invite any room for argument nor give him the dis-opportunity to lie again. I am Super-Parenting-Skills-Woman! He trudges downstairs and opens the backdoor. Voices. Questions. Then Dalton says, “My stupid mom says I’m grounded. She’s so frickin’ MEAN!” General agreement. Door closing.


Did my son just call me stupid?

I. Am. Pissed.

I send him to his room with the promise of a spanking after I’ve had time to calm down.

Stupid? I’ll show him.

Celtsie & I fix eggs and toast while I stew over the meanest form of discipline I can come up with.

I have always felt that the punishment should fit the crime. I take this literally. I honestly think rapists should be sent naked into prison with their hands shackled behind their backs. But, I digress.

How to make the punishment for lying fit the crime of lying? I can’t just go around lying to my son. Hmm. So, lying is false communication. What Dalton needs to learn is the value of honest communication. The value of communication between people. What if I were to take communication away from him?

Full circle to THE SILENT TREATMENT (*insert dramatic music beats here* Dum Dum Duuuum!).

I have a heart-to-heart with Dalton. I explain the significance of lying, how it is hurtful, how it takes away trust. How as an adult all he has is the trust of other people to help him be successful in the world. I tell him that people can lie with actions, like his attempt to get his friends out of the back door in order to deceive me. I explain that actions can be hurtful. I get him to admit to being mean to Celtsie and disrespectful to me.

I remind him of taking him skating, giving him $20 to spend both there and at the hockey game just the night before, both being actions of LOVE.

At the hockey game for the QT Party

Skating Rink Fun

I’m sure he ignores most of my 20 minute lecture.

Finally, I explain that over the remainder of the weekend, extending through Monday due to the holiday, I am going to give him The Silent Treatment. I say that he had better listen closely to any directions I give Celtsie because it will apply to him too; he needs to make sure he listens to what Celtsie tells him. He is grounded from leaving our property or having friends over, but not from playing outside nor from the TV, given our general rules of after dinner/after dark. I do take away his iPad as that’s what he & his friends were playing with downstairs.

I do not spank him after all.

The last thing I say to my little boy before initiating The Silent Treatment is, “I love you with all my heart.” Then I close his bedroom door.

He pouts in his room for about half an hour before emerging to fix himself a late breakfast. Celstie and I are cleaning up our earlier mess. She and I move to the sofa to watch The Princess and the Frog. Dalton joins us on the sofa and tries to snuggle with me. I won’t let him. I gently move his arms from my neck. He cries, “I only want a hug!” I do not respond. By the end of the movie all of us are asleep on the couch. When we untangle from the long afternoon nap about 5pm, Dalton has forgotten that I’m not speaking to him, and he tears up as I continue to ignore him.

Celtsie and I fix tacos. I leave his sitting on the counter while she & I eat in the living room (a rare treat) and watch Tangled. When he asks if there is enough left for seconds, I don’t respond. He fixes it himself.

I don’t tuck him in bed; I leave it to Celtsie to tell him that she & I are going to bed. I don’t invite him to snuggle with us while his Daddy is out-of-town hunting. This morning I found him asleep on the sofa.

Celtsie is a good little biscuit maker

I fixed biscuits with Celtsie today. Dalton wanted pancakes; I left him to his own devices. He has tried to hug me several times, but I just step away and unwrap his arms from me. This is difficult for me.

He keeps trying to do things to force me to respond to him. He yanked my iPhone out of my hands, and when I took it away he shouted, “Yay! I do exist!” He built some vehicles with his Legos and shoved them in front of my face as I was working on the computer. I pushed them away, and elicited a comment from him that was something like, “Well, if you moved them away I know you saw them.”

I don’t want my son to grow up to be a liar, though I know it’s part of growing up that children go through. And I don’t want to go around spanking him all the time, mostly because I think that sometimes there are more effective means of getting a child’s attention.

I am full of hope that this is making a lasting impression on him because it is certainly making an impression on me.

I wish I had just spanked him and gotten it over with.


31 Dec

Disclaimer- my husband says this isn’t funny; it’s stupid. I couldn’t care less either way.

Hypothetically speaking:

Imagine you go to your neighbor’s house, perhaps you’ve lived next door to each other for years or maybe you just noticed him- who cares- you go over because there are a shit load of other people there and they look like they are having fun.

Who wouldn't want to join in?

So you’re hanging out, enjoying yourself, maybe you meet some people and you start chatting. Y’all have a lot in common, the conversation’s going great, you’re fitting right in will all these guys!  Suddenly the neighbor stomps over to you and says, “Why are you here? I don’t want you here!” And he physically picks you up and tosses you out of the house.

It hurts.

Perhaps not a whole lot, but it definitely makes you rub the sore spot.

A few days later, you look over at your neighbor’s house and all those fun people are back. Your favorite tunes are blaring, food is grilling out on the patio, and everyone is laughing and having a great time. Without you. That’s right. No invitation for you.

Here’s the question- would you go back over?

Maybe the neighbor had you confused with someone else. Maybe he’d had too much to drink. Maybe you forgot to introduce yourself. Maybe the guy that threw you out wasn’t even the real owner of the house! Maybe YOU were the one who’d had too much to drink and were confused.

YEAH! That MUST be it!

You head back over to the party scene vowing not to drink as much, and soon the same people you met last time are shaking your hand, laughing  at your amazingly funny jokes, and you are basically like everyone else at this party.

Except- when that damn neighbor sees you again, he shouts, “What the Hell!?” And he grabs you painfully by the arm and throws you out of his house again. Leaving you rubbing your ass on his front lawn.

You trudge home for the day telling yourself, “Next time I’ll introduce myself. Next time I’ll ring the doorbell and tell him who I am.”

Now, many of you are actually thinking- I just wouldn’t go back over there, but since we’re talking hypothetically here, you’ve got to give it one more chance.

So, the next weekend, sure enough, the party is on at the neighbor’s house. You get dressed up,  get some kind of snack food to take with you, maybe grab a case of beer while you’re at it, and you plant yourself firmly on his doorstep and ring that bell.

“Jesus Christ!” He says when he opens the door.

“No,” You catch yourself saying, “I’m JimBob, your neighbor!” It’s supposed to be a joke.

He doesn’t laugh. What he does is to call back to a friend and say, “Hey! Yong Duk Twong! Can you get rid of this guy for me?” And, believe it or not, Duk Twong forcibly removes you from the doorstep. Chex Mix and beer cans flying out all around.

The reality here is that it doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter that you look your best. It doesn’t matter that you are just like everyone else at the party, only your house is apparently one home down from where everyone else lives. Food. Beer. Nothing. It doesn’t matter. YOU are NOT invited.

Hypothetically speaking: Would you go back the next weekend?

If you answered, “Hell no!” I’m with you. In fact I wouldn’t have gone back the 2nd time. I probably wouldn’t have gone the first time, seeing how I didn’t get an invitation. And that would be the end of this blog.

HOWEVER, if you answered, “Hell yes I would go back!” Then please comment below and explain what on God’s Green Earth compells you to behave that way because I’m trying to understand my fucking eyebrows.

That’s right. Eyebrows. (This is where Brian decided I had gone off the deep end, bypassing funny and detouring into stupidity).

I can NOT for the life of me understand why my eyebrows keeping growing back after I pluck them and pluck them. It’s a hostile environment for eyebrows growing outside the acceptable arch boundary, but still those little shits insist on coming back week after week.

Doesn’t matter if I pay the lady at the salon to apply scorching wax treatments and rip them out, or if I just use tweezers to yank them painfully away one by one. Within a few days, they are back. And they are getting worse. I swear the older I get, the more random and expansive the hairs are in growing beyond acceptable eyebrow limits. Evolution seems to suggest that they would stop growing where they aren’t wanted, but apparently my eyebrows are more of the Creationist type, pushing themselves into new spaces while re-taking the areas from which they’ve already been repeatedly expelled. Kinda reminds me of the medieval crusades.

And it doesn’t stop with  my eyebrows. Hell no. my armpits and bikini area have been taking Genesis 1:28 to the serious extreme for years. (for those of you who are Biblically illiterate, I offer this excerpt: 28a  And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…”). My body hair sees the entirety of my epidermis as “earth” and it is dutifully trying to fill it and subdue it.

I went to a professional waxer for about 6 months. I wanted to get the bikini wax just like everyone else was getting. Turned out I was behind the times, as everyone else had moved on to the Brazilian while I contemplated the pain involved with the basic process. Yang Lyn conversationally asked me about my ethnic heritage. Um. American? No, she meant real ethnicity. Ok. So, I’m thinking my Nana is Irish and my Daddy’s side is Native American. Yang Lyn is surprised. “I would have thought you might be from Persian decent. Or Italian.”

Y’all reckon I sound Italian?
Me neither.

As she works tirelessly to bring me into the modern world of bikini waxing, Yang Lyn comments that next time I might want to trim up before coming in. Turns out my bikini line it more like bikini territory, with the lines of demarcation in wild dispute. “It’s not so much of a bush as it is shrubbery.” She tries to smile like this is a kind way to put my predicament. “Got to keep those hedges neat and tidy!”


I try this 3 or 4 more times before deciding it’s both too time consuming and too expensive for the short while it actually lasts. Yang Lyn says most women only need this once every 4-6 weeks. I’m on the 2-3 week plan. No good. She suggests laser hair removal. For real.

I only fuck up and try waxing my underarms once. You try it. You’ll stick with once also.


After the profession treatments, I try the at-home-kit.

You MIGHT feel a slight pinch

My daughter thinks this is the highest form of entertainment. She sits on the rug in my bathroom snacking on chips and sweet tea, watching while I grunt and whine while plastering scalding wax on my tender parts and torturously peel the shit back off. She likes to examine the “fur” embedded in the layer of cold wax when I finish. (Yes, she’s in therapy now)

She asks if there is another way to do what I’m doing. I tell her I could just shave it, but that doesn’t last very long. She asks how long this will last. I tell her, “Not long.” She seems confused. I feel equally frustrated. She then wants to know WHY I do it. I tell her, “So your daddy will think I’m pretty.” She wants to know why Daddy looks at my TuTu in the first place. I don’t want to answer that one, so I say, “I meant so I will look pretty in a bathing suit.” She points out that it’s winter time.

I can’t win.

There is a for-real-no-lie factory outlet store where you can buy these. Click on the picture if you don't believe me

Thing is, I’ve got to figure other people have great success with the hair removal options that are out there. Look at the evolvement of the Epilady of the 80’s.

They are still selling those things! And the general consensus is that it’s “Not as painful as you might think” (See this link for the full review).  It’s not that I can’t handle the pain because I can. I have a rather high pain tolerance actually. I like to brag about it. I’ll work up another blog about my endurance levels later. But the thing is, I don’t see the point in the torture. For me the ripping out of each individual hair by its root only lasts about 2 days. Maybe 3. And the time and effort involved is not equaled by the ease of shaving (minus the cuts involved when I get in a hurry) and lack of husbandly interest.

Thing is, the advertisements say that by using their product, “Over time, the hair follicle ceases production and the hair doesn’t come back!” And I just want to say, that’s bullshit. My mother started ripping out my eyebrows when I was 11. In 2 weeks I’ll be 38, and those mofo’s are still growning back.

Not me, but damn close to my eyebrow issues

WWWP5k-Greenville, SC

10 Apr

So, it’s 8:02 in the morning and I’ve been stalling for almost half an hour.

First I had to gather up all the accoutrements that I need for a successful run- 2 bras, long-sleeve undershirt, over shirt, special socks, running shoes, warmer running pants- it’s too chilly for shorts this morning.

Where ARE my running pants? More stalling while I track them down; they are in the dryer.

Why 2 bras? You ask. Well, lemme tell you. Because it works. I wear a heavily padded bra under a sports bra. #1) No one can tell if I’m cold, #2) I don’t get black eyes while running, and #3) My chest doesn’t hurt when I finish. Try it. You’ll like it.

So, fully dressed, I grab my running pack.

Don't call it a fanny pack- it's a running pack!

Now the real search begins. The pink earbuds I use with my iPhone while I run are not hanging up with my running pack. Dammit. I used to have 2 pairs. A blue pair and a pink pair, and I always kept the pink pair with my running pack. Then I lost the blue pair. So now I have this frantic hunt for my earbuds every time I want to listen to an audiobook or iTunes.

I check all the usual places, stopping to take pictures so I can justify this protracted stalling as I psyche myself up to run-and-blog.

Dang! My house is a wreck! I should skip the run and clean up.

Finally I resign myself to the fact I will have to use the crappy white pair that I keep in my running pack just for days like this when I can’t find my comfy earbuds and can’t keep putting exercise off any longer.

Fine. Fine. This sucks. I hate those ear plugs. Shit. Whatever. I’ll pee and hit the road. This ought to be a really happy blog. Freakin pain in the ass ear plugs.

Oh! Hey! Look what’s in the bathroom! I thought I checked there! That’s not even a staged photo. That’s exactly where they were.

There they are!

OK, I’ve got it all. Going outside. Gonna do this. Gonna like it. Gonna blog about it. This is gonna be good. OK.

Even now I’m stretching a little longer than usual to add these few lines of text.

I wouldn’t run at all today, being that I raced yesterday, but how could I turn down a chance to post all the randomness I think as I stagger through a 5k?

I started exercising 2 years ago on Easter weekend, yet it still takes every ounce of self-encouragement and will-power to get my butt out the front door or onto the treadmill. I have friends that are exercise fanatics. They love it. They love the way they feel when they exercise. They are excited to get going, to feel the burn! You wanna know when I feel good about exercising? When I’m DONE! After the race, after the run, after my DVD of Glee or Dr. Who goes off and I hit STOP on the treadmill. THAT‘s when I love exercise. That’s when I love the way I feel.

So, here’s what I look like as I start out on this endeavor:

Look, I'm smiling!

Last shot before I hit the road, and I’m ready to take on the challenge of the morning.

The pond is full of flower blossoms- pink azaleas and purple wisteria. Click on the picture to see it close up. It

My neighbor’s yard is gorgeous. I like to pretend I own their property. I tell people, just past our pond on the right is the driveway. It makes me feel better.

I needed a picture of this why?

I’ve gotten about 50 feet when I have to stop to retie my shoes. No lie. I know I’m still stalling because I’ve paused to photograph the momentous event of shoe-tying and even to add a few lines of text on my mobile version of WordPress. This is where I tell myself I can just walk. I can walk this if I need to. It’s ok. I ran yesterday. My best 5k time ever! I even ran Friday. Did I really run Friday? I think so. Maybe so. I’m going with yes. Yes, I ran Friday. So, if I walk today, that’s alright. I’m blogging while I’m walking which is an extra challenge.

As I’m pecking this out letter by letter on my iPhone app, this beefy, buff, good-looking guy comes running down my street, waves at me with a smirk, then hooks a left on the road I just strode past. I feel like a dumbass. This is just the motivation I need to force me to kick it into a higher gear and make my mind up to run the 5k as much as I can. Plus I’m nearing the top of my neighborhood, and it’s where I either decide to run it and turn left or decide to walk it and turn right.

The uphill makes for a good warm up

And I'm off!

With the inspiration of Studly Man, I’m going to turn on LOG YOUR RUN, cram this iPhone into my running pack, and see how well I can pull off this blog-and-run. Left turn ahead.

I hate exercise. Hate it. I try to make sure the hardest part of my run is right at the start because I know I’ll keep going if there is something easier up ahead. I’ve made it about 2/10ths of a mile when I come up with the idea that I should really take a picture of how damn green this guy’s grass is and to add a few lines to this blog.

That's my motivation to get going again!

I’m just setting up the shot when I’m passed by a cantalouper. A cantalouper? You know, a bicyclist? Those helmets they wear remind me of cantaloupes. I used to not like the way bicyclists rode in the road; it makes me nervous to pass them in my car. Now, though, I see them as fellow tortured-souls. We’re in this exercise plan together. Plus I like the way they wave at me when I’m running and they’re riding. I like to pretend I’m working harder than they are. They’re passing me thinking, “Man! I wish I had the guts to get off this bike and run! That takes some real effort right there!” That’s what I like to think anyway.

It IS pretty darn green, right?

But when this cantalouper doesn’t give me either a wave or a quick nod of the head I am forced to accept that standing on the side of a fairly busy road taking pictures of grass is a dumb excuse to stop running. I’m putting in the frickin picture of the grass, though. And the cantalouper.

I’ve made it to the corner, and I know I’m gonna walk this next bit. I mean, look at it:

The altitude climb here is from 1092 to 1293ft.

I’m trying to make the best out of walking this bit by blogging and taking shots of interesting things.

Bright boat, glistening arachnids, mansion mountain view. What more could you want?

The best I got is a bright-ass orange boat, some spider webs elegantly glistening in the dewy morning (until I stomped on them! Ok, Ok, just kidding, I didn’t stomp them), and a damn big house. I used to want a big house. Then I got one. Do you know how hard it is to clean a huge house? Shit. When we moved from Texas last year I told my husband, “I want a small house, and I want it to have grass and landscaping already done.” But that house sure is pretty. Hope they can also afford a maid. Or maybe two.

Do you see that foggy bit right there? That means downhill, baby! So, I’ma put away this iPhone again and ruuuuuun!

Wheeeee! I am sooooo faaaaast!

My speed racer momentum has been cut short. There is a rooster in the middle of the road. No shit.

Rooster. Seriously.

He was feeling very cocky and let me take his picture before shaking his plume and crowing me to get away.

This has amused me to no end, and I’m thinking it will be the highlight of my run this morning. Though as I round the corner and turn once again towards civilization, I back up to snag this little treasure.


Now, this is just not something I usually put into a combination, but I guess if they can still sell their playground equipment, more power to ’em. In fact, it might enable them to sell more safety equipment to go along with the playgrounds.

I’ve made it over a mile, which is when I finally don’t feel like I’m about to fall down or pass out or give up. I’m in stride. I can nail out this 5k! I’m a driver! I’m a winner!

This doesn’t last long. I heard the beep in my ear for the second mile 2 songs ago, and while I love Girlfriend by Avril Lavigne, I’m struggling to overcome the urge to pull out the iPhone and check my distance.

All the pretty sights

Oh! Look! There’s a pretty flower! I have got to add it to my collection of photos this morning. Thus begins a compelling urge to photograph the things that are pretty while I run this loop and push myself to make it home without calling my husband to come pick me up at the Starbucks just up the road- down from our house.

Why do I run, anyway? Yes, I want to be healthy and live longer. But the reality is I want to look good in a bikini. 2 years ago I lost close to 50 lbs, and it’s a struggle to keep it off. I do this insane running thing to help with that weight maintenance. Some people can eat what they want, never exercise, stay up late, and giggle about how tiny they are. “I just have a fast metabolism, I guess!” Whatever. I work hard at it, and that’s no lie. I like having a challenge to push myself. This WWWP5k was just what I needed to get out the door and exercise another day. I can do this. I can do this without dying. I can do this and blog about it. I will feel so great when I hear that 3-mile beep and I know I’m almost there. Just a bit further. Probably just at the start of the next song. Just about now….now…ok…now…ok…damn. Where’s the beep? You know what would help me?

Another piece of gum. I love gum.

Cramming a new piece of gum in my mouth was just what I needed! I chanced a glance at my LogYourRun distance and I’m at 2.96. Ha! I will make it! At the 3-mile beep I keep the iPhone in my hand and wait for it to role over and announce my run is complete.

5k at last!

Please ignore that excruciating time. I assure you I cranked out a 5k in 29:17 yesterday. It was all the stopping and photographing and blogging I did along the way. Why am I writing that? I got my ass up, ran a 5k, took some great pictures, got to hear a rooster crow after he scared me half-to-death, and listened to some of my favorite tunes. This was a good morning! I feel great! Still have over a mile walk home though. That’s a result of me starting the 5k timer at my driveway rather than the top of the hill where I photographed that big house. You know what? That’s not really such a bad time. And I DO feel great. I’d bet I can run the next mile home too.


This becomes a contest of sheer will power as I streak past Starbucks, coffee smells wafting by me and begging me to stop in; Golden Coral and the sweet scent of cinnamon rolls in the air; even Burger King with their buttery Croissants. I wonder if they’d trade me? I don’t have any money, but I’ve got a wedding ring, a high school ring, a nice watch- it’s a Seiko even! Notice I don’t even think about pawning off my iPhone for a chance at a mocha latte tall with whip cream and a cream cheese danish. This thought occurs to me as I’m snapping a photo of these temptations, checking my time and distance, then watching an ambulance as it wails down the road and out of sight.

Yesterday it was a fire truck that screamed past me as I made the final turn towards home.

This last bit sobers me. I wonder if that person is all right? I wonder if a family is sitting in grief or panic or calm acceptance this morning waiting on that ambulance to arrive. There’s so much we plan for each day. Little things like what’s for dinner, long term projects like the garden the kids and I started last weekend, and easy entertainment like this blog. Like my running. There are families in pain this morning. Children have lost a parent, a grandparent, a friend. Cancer has claimed another victim. I know down on Stone Avenue there will be a line as the Triune Mercy Center Mission serves meals to the homeless and poor.

That's my driveway on the right, past my pond!

Yet I’m passing the 4-mile mark, a beep in my ear and the prospect of a downhill trot to ease my way home, separating myself from the things I cannot fathom how to change and a determination to make the best of what I do have. I like to say I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got, and some days that’s more than others.

This is what I look like at the end of my run!

Today I have a lot. I have a good pair of running shoes, an iPhone blaring my favorite songs, a lap top waiting to download photos and upload a blog. I have 2 children parked on the old sofa watching inane cartoons, and a husband probably still snoring in our bed. There’s coffee left in the pot, and I can have eggs scrambled in no time. The Zac Brown Band says it all as my street comes into view, “Life is good today; life is good today.”

C'mon, y'all! Please let me blog!


The wino knocked out 2 ho’s

12 Jan

My daughter has a speech impediment.

And it’s funny.

She doesn’t want to be funny, doesn’t like to be funny, and gets fairly pissed off when we laugh at some of the things she says. But we laugh none-the-less, even when we try not to.

At the moment she’s just in kindergarten- one of the youngest students to be enrolled in speech. And hats off to her teacher for pushing the paperwork through so quickly that we were able to get Celtsie in speech before 2nd grade.

But honestly, I’m gonna miss some of the things she says. More correctly, I’m gonna miss some of the things she can’t say.

Like SH.

She can’t say “Shhhhh”

To compensate, she changes the vowel sounds within the word. Then she tacks on -y at the end. I think she’s trying to get her lips to form the right movements, but it comes out like this:


She loves to get a big PUSH on the swing more than anything

Brian can keep a straight face much better than I can.

The thing that got her qualified for speech so quickly is the fact that she can hear the difference when we mispronounce the word back to her.

That and the fact she is now focused on finding replacement words for all the words she can’t pronounce correctly.

But my all time favorite comments come from when she’s playing with her toys. One morning, after having spent most of the previous day designing a “house” from the Styrofoam pieces that came out of a printer box, Celtsie flung the covers off her bed and began cavorting wildly about the house bellowing at the top of her lungs, “Momma! Look out! The wino knocked out 2 ho’s! He’s on a wam-page!” And sure enough, there were 2 Rhino-sized holes gouged into the Styrofoam house, about where Rhino’s bedroom was supposedly located. I’m not too sure if Rhino is to blame, though, as I noticed a pencil and many conspicuous bits of Styrofoam poosied under her desk chair.

“Stick to the pwan, Momma! The pwan!” She demanded.

I didn’t even know we had a plan in place for wam-paging winos hell-bent for revenge on ho’s.

The situation was getting desperate as Rhino attempted to pull out bits of fluff from the tear in our sofa cushion (my own mother has suggested I repair this with Duck Tape, which doesn’t say much for how she sees my belongings, but I’m too classy for Duck Tape).

“Waf-foose!” Celtsie shrieked, forcibly restraining Rhino from any further destructive action. “And head-bows! It cahms him down!”

So, while I’m quickly gathering the hair-bows and waffles I contemplate the fact that this brilliant little girl with all this creative imagination who has developed a broad enough vocabulary to maneuver around the words that give her the most difficulty, will soon be taught the correct mouth positioning for all these sounds that trouble her, and I wonder, as smart as she is, how quickly it will impact her speech.

I will miss winos and ho’s, fwettin and poosies, but I will stick to the plan because I want her to grow up confident and unashamed. But, damn! Play time just won’t be the same!

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