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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Come on, let’s go for a run. Yes, right now.

Good morning. It’s a lovely day out there. Perfect for a run. Now, I’m not the gal who loves her runs, I’m the gal who loves when they’re over. So chop, chop. The faster we start. The faster we end.

First check the sneakers. I am what some might call a ‘loose tier’ which means, I have a tendency to not give my all to the laces, leaving them apt to untangle. Trust me, I don’t need any more help tripping.

running sneak

Just some unnecessary information, my husband is a ‘tight tier’ which as you might imagine is the opposite of what I am. He’s actually quite condescending about it, constantly berating me and my children for our slack. When he ties a knot, Boy Scouts beware. You will be sleeping with your sneakers on forever. But enough of that. Off we go.

photo (55)

So this is my neighborhood. I admit to loving it. The trees, the people waving as I pass. The kids on bikes. The woman speeding down the street! Hey Bitch, that wasn’t even close to a complete stop! Are you kidding me?!

running stop sign

So we’re going to turn here and make our way down to the water. Isn’t this nice? Take a moment in your own heads to continue cursing out the lady who has no respect for stop signs.

Great. Now relax. Isn’t the water peaceful?

photo (53)

Oops people ahead. Beep beep. Nope. No one moves aside even a little. They are too busy chatting and enjoying the beautiful day. That’s okay, I’m feeling zen from the water. I’m not even going to push them in. 

running water

Look baby geese! So cute!!

running 1

Look out! Geese poop! So not cute!

running poop

Okay team, we’re past the half way mark, let’s head on up to the main road. This is the tough part where you need to keep your mind occupied because there’s not much to look at.

I’ll tell you a joke my 5 year-old told me the other day to keep you distracted.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because he didn’t have a car.

Yup. He made that up out of his cute 5 year-old brain. Let’s ponder his fabulousness for a moment.

So now, we’re up at the main road. Pretty typical looking. Lots of cars. Hope I don’t see anyone I know because, well, I’m not going to show you a picture of my outfit because I’d like to maintain the image of me running in matching, flattering workout gear.

Yup, that's me. I'm such a mess.  photo credit - www.victoriasecret.com

Fine, that’s me. I’m such a mess.
photo credit – http://www.victoriasecret.com

So tell me about yourself? Do you typically run? What do you think about when you do? Right now I’m thinking I’d like to stop at the ice cream store and get a cone of rocky road.

can you make out B&R?

can you make out B&R?

Really, I’m really so glad you’re here. Usually by this point I’ve deteriorated to mentally judging everyone one I pass, but you’re giving me positive energy. I didn’t even mention that teenager in short shorts trying to show off her vagina. I might be trying to impress you.

photo (54)

Guess what? We’re almost done. I think it’s gone so fast because I’m really entertaining. Maybe? Come on, I bet you don’t even feel like you worked out? One last hill and we’re back on my block. Let’s sprint this last stretch, shall we? You can do it. I’m right behind you. Ha. You fell for that?

Woo! Home Sweet Home. We did about four miles. Great job! Race you back to the ice cream store?

I’m so winning.

car smile

 

daily post

Yeah, I’m Confronting Confrontation. What are you gonna do about it!??

As I dialed the number, I felt a pit in my stomach.

I hated this.

It  was like the call I made the other day to my father’s doctor because they left him sitting in the waiting room for over two hours, and then the doctor had to make an unexplained departure before seeing him. I was angry but totally uncomfortable, and overcompensated by being too polite and eager to accept their apologies. I may even have apologized for calling. I know. I know. But just the idea of a heated discourse gives me palpitations. I have a long history of allowing people to wipe their feet on my back.

The phone rang on the other end.

I wanted to hang up. But I didn’t because this call was for my 8 year-old son.

He had complained on and off all year about a boy who seemed prone to trash talk and shoving in the school yard. I listened and kept a pink flag at half-mast. It’s hard to know what exactly is going on with 8 year-old boys when they’re not with you, and I don’t like to jump to conclusions. Until Friday.

Friday, Michael came home and said that the boy had cursed at him and punched him in the face. He told a teacher, and there had been a meeting with the boy where they supposedly hashed everything out and he apologized.

Good, but not good enough. I needed to call his parents.

Dread.

I’m back in seventh grade, unable to defend myself against Debbie who just shoved me in the halls. Or, Julie who ‘accidently’ blew saw dust in my face in Home Ec, again.

Ringg.

Dum dum DUMMMM

Dum dum DUMMMM

The last time I made a call like this a few years back for my older son, it didn’t go very well. The parents got extremely defensive.

Ringg.

Maybe they’re not home. It didn’t feel right to be relieved. But I was relieved.

“Hello?”

Gulp. Swallow. Breathe. Man up.

With my heart skipping and galloping outside of my body, I heard my own controlled nervousness as I explained what happened. I almost winced, waiting for her tone to sharpen and turn hostile, but instead, we had a conversation. A good, productive conversation.

Reliefffffff.

Later, my son asked, “Did you talk to his mommy?”

“I did.” I said. “And she’s going to speak with him. You did the right thing telling the teacher and me.”

He nodded and accepted that. “I think he was sorry.”

I nodded back. “I’m sure he is. And I don’t think this will happen again. But… if he ever hits you again, baby, it’s okay for you to hit him right back.”

“Okay,” he agreed tentatively, wide-eyed. “But, I didn’t want to.”

“That’s okay too. You did exactly the right thing.”

He seemed appeased, but then looked thoughtful again. “What is it, honey?”

“Can I buy a new game on my iTouch because I did such a good job?”

I smiled. My boy is a master negotiator and manipulator, definitely more apt to use his words.

Still, I don’t want my kids to run  from confrontation. I want them to stand up for themselves.

That way, I won’t have to do it for them.

 

Daily Prompt fight or flight  

Writing Wrongs

For my whole life, writing  has been part of who I am.

I wrote poetry in my youth; yearning, emotional verses mostly about boys, but also about my feelings. Genius like,

Why
only troubled souls become writers.
Laughter.
Those who can’t deal with the real.
Deep, despondent hermits
Why didn’t my mother like me
Why didn’t my father listen
Laughter.
One face
two face
my kidney on my face
my heart in my fingers
Laughter.
All the world’s a stage
so put on a happy face.

Yep, I wrote that, decades ago. I know you’re amazed by my depth, right? Can’t you just feel the kidney on your face? Bahaha!

Sadly for the world of poetry, I moved on to  sexy, fun novels with a bit a danger and mystery. Think Sydney Sheldon mixed with Danielle Steele. In one, the main character was stunning and incredibly smart with a striking, yet highly glorified, resemblance to the person who wrote her. I took those rejections quite personally.

For my short, undistinguished yet entertaining career, I worked as an advertising copywriter selling glamorous commodities like moisturizer and headache medicine. But the children took me away from all that, and now I work for me, my name is Ice Scream Mama.*

Sorry, Charlie. Got carried away there. (Extra scoops if you picked up the reference.)

Anyway, after having lost all ambition related to something other than a solid night’s sleep and a making it out of the house without pancake in my hair, I finally rediscovered myself with this blog. Blog. What does blog stand for anyway? Big Love Or Go? Bring Lots Of Goodies?  Beings Letting Out Garbage? Ideas, anyone?

Now what was I talking about? Hmm. Give me a minute. Right. The blog. I love it. There’s pressure, there’s feedback, there’s structure and networking. There’s satisfaction, and it feels good.

I still have a brain! Hallelujah!!

So when two (Double yay!) of my essays were chosen for the most recent Life Well Blogged book, rainbow sprinkles filled my sky. I could barely control my excitement when I pulled it up on my Kindle.

There it was! An essay by me!

Wait, that’s not me. Crap. My name is spelled wrong. Wrong! I’m finally in print and it’s not me!!

yep, not my name

yep, not my name

I tried to have it fixed, of course, but was told that it probably couldn’t be corrected on Kindle. Still, they assured me that it was correct in the print version.

By the time my copy arrived, I was foaming at the mouth and practically ripped the envelope open with my teeth. Ohhh. It looked nice. I pet the cover lovingly.

life well blogged

Quickly, I flipped around and found one of my essays, “If you stop trying to touch my books, I’ll give you a cookie.” One of my favorite essay titles. Wait!

BOOBS!! BOOBS!!

BOOBS!! BOOBS!!

Books? What?!

It’s supposed to be BOOBS!!

Crap again!!

I quickly flipped to my other essay, “Daddy, what’s a boner?” This was the one on Kindle that had my name spelled incorrectly. Here it was fine.  So, we were one for one going into the ‘About the Authors’ section.  And my name is… correct! I start to read. “Alisa is a SAHM to three boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man.” Yes! “When not burning cupcakes or schlepping kids, she can be found hiding in her closet with a tub of ice cream.” Yes!“I promise you’ll be back for seconds.” Wait… I think something was missing there. “She is a married mother of one.” No! NO! NO!

life well blogged booboo

Where did that come from? That doesn’t even make sense.  Sigh.

The puff of publication pride  sufficiently deflated, all I can say is, it’s still better than having a kidney on my face.

Tragic, really.

Tragic, really.

*Reference from the opening of Charlie’s Angels, of course.

Why I’d Never Home School.

Reading with my 5 year-old is kind of like playing password.

credit: stevelundeberg.mvourtown.com

credit: stevelundeberg.mvourtown.com

The sentence is… “Mac can tag Mag.”

“Okay,” I encourage. “Let’s sound it out. What’s the first letter?”

“M” He shouts with confidence.

“That’s right, and how does M sound?”

“Mmmmmm” He says, making a funny face.

“Great! Now what’s the next letter?”

“Mmmmm” he continues, totally amused with himself and the sound.

“Yes, yes.” I say semi-patiently. “But what’s the next letter?”

“A!”

“Right again!” My boy grins like he just bought a vowel and got four. But that’s a different game.

“And the last letter?”

“C. Cacacacacaca” He automatically sounds out.

“So we have Mmmm, aaa and cacacaca.”

He listens to me intently and repeats, “Mmmmmmm aaaaa ccccc.”

“That’s right!!” I say, bouncing a little in my seat with excitement. “Now put it together.”

“Mmmmaaaaccccc. Cat!” He says triumphantly.

“Cat?” I ask, incredulous. “Cat? Where the..” But I have to stop myself and regain my mommy composure. “Uh, no. What does cat start with?”

“C!” He says.

“Right! And what’s the first letter here?”

“M.”

“Right. And how does M go?”

“Mmmm” He says and starts with the silly face.

“Right again.” I say, ignoring the fact that he’s still mmmm-ing. “So let’s sound it out again. Mmmmmm aaaaaa ccccccc.. Say it with me.”

Together we say, “mmmm aaaaa ccccc”  pulling it closer and closer together until we get…

“MAT!” He cries with happiness.

My face twists up in agony. “So close!” I say, gritting my teeth, “But the last letter is a C, remember? Not T. So it’s Maaaaaaaa…”   I feed him the sounds and stare at him bug-eyed, nodding freakishly. He looks at me and then looks at the word, and then to me and back to the word.

Finally, with uncertainly he says, “Mac?”

It mocks me

It mocks me

“Yes!” I jump up and kiss his face. He smiles warily. I think he’s afraid of me.

I lean back in my chair and puff out in relief like we’ve just finished Homer’s Odyssey. Wow. We worked our way through it and got it!

Oh wait. I come down off my reader’s high, look at the book and sigh. There are still three more words on the page.

Gathering my strength, I return my attention to completing the sentence.

Mac can tag Mag.

“Okay. So we’ve got the first word.” I look at my son expectantly and point to it. He looks at me expectantly, eyes wide.

Please don’t say it. Please don’t say it. My brain whispers.

“Cat!”

Oh my God. Pass!

Push me!

“Push me!” Julius yells and with a weary sigh, like he’s asking me to work heavy machinery, I lift my ass off the bench and make my way over to the swings.

He waits patiently while I trudge my 30 pound bag that I shouldn’t even have brought out of the car, but for some unconscious reason always feel compelled to keep with me, even though the car is parked 20 feet away. I always think, but what if I have a moment and can read my book? Or what if we need a water bottle or a snack? Or what if I get a brilliant thought and need my pad and a pen? And wipes – you always need wipes. Okay, the back-up Kindle, the 10 pounds of change and the bag of coupons and receipts might not be necessary, but I can’t go organizing right now, can I?

My arm sighs as I drop the bulky bag in the wood chips, ensuring I will find a few of them later ensnared in my hair ties and tissues. “You don’t need me to push you. You know how to push yourself.” I say, and give his little butt a shove.

“I know I don’t need you to push me.” He says, exasperated. He’s only five and already I’m the mom who doesn’t get it. “l want you to!”

My child is a genius, I think, and absent-mindedly propel him to the sky. He knows what he wants.

Which started me thinking – always dangerous – what do I want?

What do I want? Such a simple question, and yet so difficult for me to answer.

To redo my kitchen? Yes, but I misplaced the plans that we had made up, and without them seemed to have lost the incentive as well.

To lose 5lbs? Sure, but not if it means giving up ice cream, or wine, or sushi lunches or any of the little extras that I absolutely deserve.

To get a book deal, an agent, or to be paid for the essays that I so lovingly write? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. But what am I really doing to accomplish any of those things? Not much. And, by not much, I mean nothing.

When am I going to start going after what I want, instead of waiting for it to just fall into my hands? When I am going to find the motivation within me to accomplish the things I want? When am I going to stop taking the easy way out and work harder? When am I going to want it enough to go and get it?

“Higher!”  Julius orders, and I send him flying to the stars.

He might want the push, but it turns out, I’m the one who needs one.

swing mom

 

Mother’s Day? More like Other’s Day.

Yesterday had all the makings of a typical Monday only I was more… cranky. Yes, even more than usual.

It started right from my jeans feeling tight to we are out of frozen pancakes. So, in between the lunch making, the backpack checking and the children out of bed dragging, I whipped up a batch so that my boy who doesn’t sleep and barely eats didn’t blow away on his field trip. Since, I am no longer the mom who is whipping up fresh anything on a school morning, I expected a little woo-hoo from the crowd. Instead I heard, “Do we have Mini Wheats?”

And my ‘fajita wraps’ at dinner? One child suggested, we “wrap them up and give them away.”

Smart ass.

All in all, the day was typical. There were the usual Monday chores to get through, but I did them just a little frazzled. The nice checkout girl at the supermarket had no idea what was wrong with me when I snapped after she asked me if I if I have a discount card. “Are you kidding? I live here. Yeah, I have a card.”

Doing the laundry, I was extra aggravated and instead of searching for the missing socks, I just threw them all into the garbage in frustration. It was my most satisfying moment of the day.

Right now, my son is whistling on his computer next to me and it’s driving me insane.

whistling jack

I was trying to figure out why I was extra sensitive, but then it hit me like a box of crappy chocolate. It was Mother’s Day backlash.

“How was your Mother’s Day?” was the general question all day. These were some of the laments, I mean, answers, I heard…

Woman at the gym: “Was it Mother’s Day? I spent the day doing the same crap I always do, only I had to host my entire family as well.

Woman at the school: “I’d call it more Grandmother’s Day.”

Women everywhere: “Fine.”

Not that yesterday wasn’t nice. Oh the sweet cards from the kids shoved in my face at 6:30am. Oh, the fabulous family gathering. Yeah, yeah, it was all great, but… it certainly wasn’t ‘my day’.

All hail the mother who was smart enough to get a massage, hook up with some friends, and get away from her family. That’s what I’m talking about. But what does my yesterday have to do with today? Mother’s day has come and gone and here I am, back at the sink washing the dishes, schlepping the laundry, fulfilling all the ‘mommy can you get me’s” and doing all the stuff that needs to be done. Nothing has changed. Not that I expected anything to change. I’m just as unappreciated today as I pretty much was yesterday, and now I guess I’ve got to wait another year for Hallmark to sanction some more appreciation! I mean come on! Let’s just call it what it is. Mother’s day is not about Mothers. It’s about my children. It’s about getting gifts for my mother and mother-in-law. It’s about us all hanging out together, one big mosh pit of screaming kids and laughing, drinking, arguing, eating adults! My son is still whistling!! OH MY GOD!

I think we need a secret Mother’s Day after Mother’s Day; when all the expectation and the hoopla have gone and we can relax and do a little something nice for ourselves. That’s it. I feel much better now.

Next year, I’m so in. Call me. Please.

Save me, after Mother's Day Day, save me.

Save me,  Mother’s Day after Mother’s Day, save me.

All Hail Mama’s Boys

Before my son even opens his eyes in the morning, his arms are reaching for a hug. I happily embrace his warm body, and his sleepy smile could wake the sun. “Come on, baby.” I coo. “It’s time.”

He purrs like a kitten instead of a 10 year-old boy, and when I detach myself, he pouts, “Nooo.”

“Nope. No more hugs. Get on up.” I shake him till he giggles, then play time is over and I turn to business. “Your clothes are on the floor. Brush your teeth and get downstairs.” I leave him and hope I don’t have to make a trip back up to wake him again.

My five and eight year-olds are already dressed and downstairs, finished with their breakfasts and playing a computer game in their time before school, when my oldest sleepwalks into the kitchen and immediately attaches himself to my side. “Mama.”

I love it, like the sick, needy mother I am, and take a moment to lean my head against his before ushering him into his morning routine.

Occasionally, some person has the nerve to say to me, “Oh you have three boys? You know boys, they leave.”  I always respond with a smug smile and say, “Not if you do it right.”

And although I believe that, it still touches a nerve, because to some extent, of course, it’s true. Boys love their mommies, until they get a wife. Boys are so affectionate when they are young, but somewhere along the way, they seem to detach. No. That will not do at all.  That’s why I have worked hard to make my boys ‘mama’s boys,’ and they have pretty much towed the line, but the results vary.

My youngest is a wild child, full of love and energy. Even if he really isn’t one anymore, he’s the baby and he still acts like one, cuddling and preferring mommy’s company to any other. Score! My middle son has got the most spunk and fight in him, but he’s also a clingy little monkey around his mommy’s neck. Score!

But my oldest, has by far, exceeded my mama boy expectations. A sentimentalist at heart, wistful at five for who he was at four, he is openly expressive in his emotions and affections and really, really, really loves his mommy. Homerun!

I worry a little that I’m ruining my boys for all the girls, but, only a little. Because, we all know that the best men are the ones who love and respect their mothers. Eventually, poo poo poo (sorry it’s the future Jewish grandma in me), my boys will grow up and leave to have their own lives and children. While I sort of dread the day when my reign comes to an end, I will quietly – although it will be hard to muffle all of my sobbing – step back and do my best to win over their significant others. Really, what else can I do?

Often, at the end the day, my oldest son gets off the bus from school and runs straight to me, wrapping his arms around me, and says, “It’s been six hours since I hugged my mommy.”

My other boys, their competitive natures stirred, jump in for the hug.

These boys are going to break my heart.

IMG_1739

Hope everyday is Mother’s Day!