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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.

Parenting Moments I now Miss that Totally Annoyed Me at the Time

Every morning, so early my eyes couldn’t focus, I would stand downstairs in the kitchen, preparing very specific lunch and snack requests for my kids for the day. On auto-pilot I would put up the water for fresh pasta (Parmesan in a Ziplock bag on the side) or Annie’s Macaroni and cheese shells. Yellow only. Don’t even think about elbows. There were other annoying necessities, such as slicing grapes, not only so that they wouldn’t be choking hazards, but also because the bruised ends which attached to the vine, offended them. The crusts on any sandwich must be banished, and hard boiled eggs must be void of any remnants of yellow. Any.

As mommy, there were so many particulars that needed tending to simply get through a day responsibly and with the least amount of tantrums. “Not the blue bowl!!! The red!”  But now that we’re a bit older, a lot of these peculiarities or young needs have faded away. And now, believe it or not, I kind of miss them. Well, some of them…

The 3am Wanderer – It wasn’t a routine thing. I was always pretty strong about keeping my bed, uh, I mean mine and my husband’s bed, off limits, but there were times, of course, when I would wake to find a child’s foot kicking me in the back, or an arm over my face. So annoying. So warm and sweet and delicious. And annoying.

The Tickle Back – For years, I couldn’t leave my middle child’s room without going through an elaborate ritual. “Tickle back, Mommy! Do it harder… softer… No, this way… You forgot arms… Sorry, you didn’t do that well. Try again!  It was an arduous test to pass every night before I was released to my own rewards of ice cream and Housewives. These days, I am literally dismissed. “You can go now, Mommy.”

The Bus Stop – The bus stop is on my corner and I am the corner house, so it’s not exactly a schlepp. Still, many a day, I stood there, sometimes freezing, sometimes corralling a younger sib or worrying because I left someone in front of the TV. I’d wait impatiently to hear those screechy breaks on the corner before ours. But now, my 5th and 2nd graders are perfectly capable and happy to walk the 10 feet to the curb themselves. I watch from the doorway, but they rarely look back.

Play! – “Mommy, let’s play Pokemon/lego/dinosaur battle!” Really? Do we have to? Apparently, we always did. So we’d sit on the floor and set up 100 figures and then “pshew pshew” shoot and fly them across the floor at each other. “What are you gonna do?!” My kid would ask desperately, as I tried to sneak a peek at the open newspaper next to us. “Uh, I’m gonna thunder punch?” I’d say, without enthusiasm. My bad attitude was never noted, as long as I came up with something. “Revolving kick!” He’d boom back energetically, clearly to make me look bad in front of my ‘men’. Not that it mattered. His figures would always spin round and round, throwing mine across the room.
These days the only thing the boys want to battle with me over is their playing time on iTouch, Computer or Wii.

The Butt Wipe – Yeah, I know. Who’d miss that, right? And while I might not actually miss the physical wiping, I definitely do miss the build-up. “Mom! I need to poop!” Followed by, “Done! Done! DONE!!” And then there are all those fascinating positions for optimal wiping. Okay, TMI, but, now my little boys just go on their own. Done. At least they still regularly forget to lift the seat and I wind up sitting on pee. Sigh. It’s the little things.

Mommy Don’t Go! – Oh the drama! Oh the tears! But boys, mommy is only going out for a little. Mommy needs wine and therapy, I mean friends. Cue clinging and snotting and hanging on legs. On occasion, a child could be physically ripped wailing from my body as I ran out the door, only to be seen as a desperate little face banging on the window. They couldn’t bear to part with me. Now they stare at the TV as I yell loudly, “BYE!” and they (sometimes) look up and bless me with a smile. Oh where have all the good times gone!!??!

All the older moms always say, you’ll miss these days when they’re gone. I look around. There are toys and crap everywhere, laundry piled high. I bitch about it constantly. Will I miss this mess? I consider my house, devoid of the clutter, neat and perfect (come on, it’s a hypothetical fantasy!), and immediately, I know I will.  Because when it’s gone, they’re gone.

I’m going to try to remember that the next time I’m dragging my kid out of bed to wake up.

*My youngest just forced me into having a Battle of the Skylander Figures. Taking #4 off the list immediately. Bleh!

The dreaded battlefield. It kills me every time.

The dreaded battlefield. It kills me every time.

Let’s All Drink to the Real Housewives of BRAVO

I wish I would drink more.

I blame BRAVO.

It may just be the rose-colored, knock-off Gucci sunglasses I’m looking through, but it seems all The Real Housewives (not to be confused with real housewives) seem to be skinny and glamorous and drinking at every occasion.

It’s lunch by the pool. Gauzy, translucent cover-ups. And wine.

Spa party? Egyptian cotton towels. And wine.

Dinner party? Cocktail dresses. And wine.

Tea party?  Long, sundresses. And wine.

Oh no. We suspect so and so has a drinking problem. Designer jeans with strong intervention blazer. And wine, for everyone but so and so, at least until the next dinner party.

Drinking seems to be their reward at the end of a good day or the beginning of a good day. Or bad day. Or any day. I get it. We all need our happy place, but when I look to treat myself, I head straight to the freezer and pull out a tub of ice cream.

Ah, my friend, through good times and bad, you are there. Unfortunately, so are the five extra pounds that accompany you. I certainly don’t see any  Housewives deep spooning a tub of Rocky Road. Most are waifs, saving their tiny bodies and huge mouths for trash talk and bottles of chardonnay.

So, I decided to take a lesson from the lovely ladies of BRAVO. Whether I like it or not, I would drink more so I can look and be more fabulous. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, or actually down, in this case.

I figured I’d start right out of the morning gate. No coffee for me. I’ll take a tall Bloody Mary, thank you. Mmm. Not bad. It made me want to actually sit down, something I never do. I even started flipping through a magazine to check out the over-the-top fashions I will soon be sporting instead of my old gym clothes. I was so into my new morning revelry that I neglected to check the clock. Crap! We just missed the bus, and I forgot to even wake the kids. Plus, now I can’t drive them to school. Damn you, BRAVO, where is my limo??!

The next time I tried my experiment was at the school social. I put on a long, pretty dress and big Kyle of RHBH earrings, and even though I was stuck doing my own hair and make-up, I decided to kick off the evening with a glass of wine to get myself in the mood. And it worked! I was sipping and singing while getting ready. So fun! Although before we left my husband did ask if I let our 5 year-old apply my makeup. Hmm. What could he mean by that? Eh, whatever, where’s my glass?

By the time we reached the party, I was two- three solid glasses in. The minute the valet opened my door to help me out, a wave of nauseous struck and left me clinging to him, quite inappropriately. “Bravo!” I slurred and gave his stunned face a pat. My husband gently put me back in the car and drove us back home. The drive of  shame.

Maybe I was going about this wrong. All the BRAVO fun and fabulous happens when the gals get together. That’s it! So I invited my neighborhood Peeps over for some “Whine and Wine”.  Come on, every good gathering needs a great theme! Shout out to the Bunco party!

We settled the kiddies in the playroom. Oh yeah, there are kids. We’re freaking real housewives! We can’t just leave them at home alone while we drink. Now that would be totally irresponsible. So I pop open a bottle. Okay, I twist off the top to get the party started.

We chat and drink and eat too many chips, but then, Jill’s kid threw a truck at Ann’s kid’s head. Stirred with a little Malbec, it had the makings of some exciting drama. I sat up Housewife straight, with my back arched, my eyes wide and my bra-enhanced chest out. I was wearing a low cut dress a la Housewives, so I wasn’t kidding about my chest being out. I was wishing I had served white so that when Jill threw a glass at Ann it wouldn’t stain my carpet, but my wishing was all in vain. Ann was fine, and the whole thing was brushed aside. Boooring.

Well, my experiment was a surgically enhanced bust. I was no BRAVO Housewife. The wine didn’t make my life more glamorous, it actually made me less glamorous. Case in point, when I looked in the mirror after we got home from the school social that I never attended, I saw I was wearing blue sparkle eye shadow and red lipstick. Uh, ew. I don’t even wear makeup! And drinking certainly didn’t make me thinner. In fact I gained three pounds, probably because I was eating more since I was drinking and didn’t care. Plus, no one wears to the floor dresses with full on cleavage and giant earrings to random events. I kind of looked like an idiot.

I think I need ice cream.

I blame BRAVO.

 

Intimidated by the police? Guilty.

Recently, we were the subjects of bank fraud. After wasting time on the phone with the bank, and then even more time at the bank, generating basically no information, our next step was to file a police report. Time to head… ‘Downtown’. Da Da Dummmm! 

It’s intimidating just pulling into a police station. The police cars in the lot. The institutional brick building. The big sign that screams Police. I walked through the heavy double doors and up to the bullet proof window like I was being called to the teacher’s desks after passing notes. There were two officers sitting there, who didn’t even look up. That is, until I accidentally banged my head on the glass. Turns out, there was no window, just a glass wall.

Ow.

I looked around and noticed the men looking at me.

“Can I help you?” one asked.

“Uh, uh…” I stammered. Oh my God! I was in the principal’s office. I didn’t do it!! “I, uh, need to file a police report.”

I watched a tall man in uniform stand up and then disappear. Where’d he go?

Suddenly, a door to the side of me opened, and an unsmiling face ordered, “Come with me.”

OMG I didn’t do it!!! 

I could only nod and obey.

The officer led me to a room, where he told me to sit and wait. Alone, I looked around. There were trophies on shelves, a flag, some commemoration plaques. In the corner, cardboard boxes were stacked in a disorderly fashion. I started tapping my fingers on the long wood table.

What was taking so long? I checked my phone. I tapped. I checked. I tapped. I checked.

I had a thought and my neck snapped around. Were there cameras? Were they…. watching me??

Just then, another officer walked in. He was younger and shorter, but with the same serious expression. Apparently, there was no smiling in law enforcement. That was probably the first thing you learn at the academy.

He sat down, pulled out a pen and paper, and got to business. “So tell me what happened.”

“Well, there were at least four accounts opened fraudulently where they transferred money out from our accounts..”

“How much money was stolen?”

“Well none technically be…”

“Wait, wait. Hold up.” He interrupted and sat back in his chair, assessing me cooly. “You said they transferred  monies.”

Uh, easy Blue. Did he think I was playing him? Was I about to take the rap?? OMG! I was going DOWN!

I collected myself and explained, slowly. “They transferred the money out of the accounts, but they were still pending when my husband alerted the bank, so I don’t believe any money was actually stolen.”

He nodded and went back to writing. Whew. He didn’t crack me, but from then on, I carefully stuck to the script, revealing only pertinent (that’s police for important) information.

He finished up the report and pushed it my way for approval. I scanned his words. “It’s good.” I said. It was over, but unfortunately my relief translated into small talk when I noticed his sign off, PO Newman.

“Po?” I asked innocently. “Is that your name?”

He came one breath short of snorting with derision. “Police officer.” He said, the idiot remained unspoken, but it was as loud as a bull horn.

I walked out and got into my car totally annoyed. Take yourself a little seriously officer? Sheesh. I was feeling rebellious when I decided to leave the parking lot without wearing my seat belt. Oh yeah, I would. You don’t intimidate me PO!

I pulled out of my spot, feeling wild and free. I put the car into drive and was heading off into the sunset, when I heard him yelling. “Hey!”

Gulp.

I looked back and there he was, standing on the steps motioning to me. Oh my GOD! He knows!! I’m so busted!!  I’m ready to come out with my hands up!  I opened the door and tentatively stuck my head out. “Uh. Yeah?”

He walked over to the car and handed me a copy of the report. “You forgot this.”

“Oh, uh, thanks.”

No return smile.

I immediately strapped myself and in and pulled away. Whew. I made out. A weight lifted as I drove down toward home, but for some reason, I kept looking in my rear view mirror for those spinning lights.

 

Anyone got a nail file?

Anyone got a nail file? (That’s icescreammama for I need a manicure.)

Congratulations! You have a girl! Nah, just kidding.

His tie was the kind you find on crazy people. Or comedians. Turns out he was both. Except he was also one of the OB/GYN’s in my practice. We were supposed to rotate through all the doctors, since technically, you never knew who would be on call when you went into labor. Somehow, I didn’t get around to meeting Dr. Biden until I was 7 months pregnant.

“Hey there.” He said, sliding his stool in between my open legs. “How’s my girl doing?”

My husband and I exchanged a glance. We had never met this doctor, and he was looking at my vagina. He couldn’t be talking to my vagina, could he? That might qualify as inappropriate.

Wait. Maybe he meant the baby? But we had decided not to find out the sex. We were big into the surprise, no matter how much it irked my grandmother.

“Excuse me,” I interrupted. “Are we having a girl? We don’t know the sex.”

He dramatically rolled his stool away from my open legs and snapped off his rubber gloves. I closed up shop, and sat up, looking at him expectantly.

“Oh, I don’t know.” He shrugged, “But that’s all I deliver.”

What was he saying? My husband and I looked at him apprehensively.

“Yep. I got two girls at home, and that’s all I deliver.”

Was I in the psych ward? I couldn’t stop staring at his Sylvester and Tweetie tie. Someone was definitely a bit Looney Tunes.

“Okay,” I braved cautiously and slowly. “So… what if I have a boy?”

“He does it.” He pointed to my husband.

“Me?” Howard asked, appalled. You couldn’t take Howard’s pulse, without him getting woozy.

“Yup, you.” He stood up to leave.  “Got any other kids?”

“One. A boy.” I answered automatically, still confused and distressed by this entire encounter.

“What’s her name?”  He asked, with half his body out the door.

“It’s a boy.” I repeated. “His name is Tyler.”

“Well, she’s going to be a big sister soon!” Wide crazy grin, and he’s out.

“What the hell was that?” I asked my husband.

“That was crazy.” Howard concurred.

“Do you think he was just covering up for accidentally telling us the sex of the baby?”

“Definitely possible.”

“I really hope he’s not on call when I deliver.”

“Copy that.”

March 22, 10:30am.

I got to the hospital already 7cm dilated. Howard ran thru 3 red lights to get us there, which is so impressive for my by the book attorney husband. If I wasn’t about to have a baby, I might just be turned on.

Through major contractions, I struggled to answer the questions required from a nurse who was as impassive as I was aflame. While I grit my teeth and writhed in pain, she apathetically repeated her unanswered question. “Allergies?”

Before I could scream my answer, a new question from a new voice interrupted.

“How’s my girl?” I heard, taking my pain to a whole new level.

My doctor had arrived.

“If you think you’re in pain,” He joked. “Try being shot three times.”

WTF? My face must have been quite the contortion of agony and horrified bewilderment.

“Oh yeah,” he continued, moving to lift his shirt, “want to see my scars?”

“No!” me, my husband and several of the nurses shouted simultaneously.

“Ignore him.” One of the nurses said to us, “He’s always messing around.”

“How bout you and I mess around?” Dr. Biden said suggestively and I think my amazement actually momentarily overrode my contraction.

It went like that for bit, one inappropriate comment after another. We were assured multiple times by the nurses that he was in fact a real doctor. And a good one. When the time came, my baby was out in three pushes.

On the last, I saw the doctor pull back from my body and motion to my husband. “Come here, now.”

My husband, already woozy from just being in the vicinity of a bleeding person, looked as if he were going to pass out. He shook his head.

“Come on, someone has to.”  Dr. Biden pulled away from my body further, and there was a beat of panic in the room.

Shakily, Howard moved in, seemingly at the last moment, and brought our baby out into this world. With the help of a nurse, he placed our newborn on my stomach.

“Congratulations! You have a girl!” Dr. Biden announced.

“We have a girl.” I thought, full of emotion and joy.

“Uh, no we don’t.” My husband’s voice interrupted my baby is out of my vagina euphoria. I snapped back to crazy, hormonal new mom.

“What the hell do I have!!!???”

“I’m looking at penis here.” Howard said and we both looked at the doctor wearing his best ‘who me’ face.

“What? I told you, I only deliver girls.”

Happy birthday, my feisty, green-eyed boy with the mischievous smile and fetching charm.  You could put the sun out of business, the way you light up a room and warm my heart. You have been the happiest surprise right from the start.

*When I went back to the office at 6 weeks, I heard Dr. Biden was out on medical leave. I’m betting on psychiatric.

DCF 1.0

Can you stand that gorgeous face?!

Can you stand that gorgeous face?!

 

You really look terrible in that shirt. And fix your hair.

Yesterday, with the sun warming my face and last night’s ice cream still cool in my belly, I decided to take my running sneakers out of hibernation and hit the streets for my first run of the new year. Although I exercise regularly, I only run outside in fair weather. With the temperature nearing 50 degrees, my brain was itching for the fresh air instead of the stale gym odors that I had been inhaling all winter.

So I layered up and set out; one foot in front of the other, trip trapping down my street. It had been while, but it felt good. I missed going on autopilot through my neighborhood, while losing myself in my head. What would I think about today? I wondered and considered my options.

Should I wallow over my father’s declining state? That could get me through miles.

Or, should I think of snappy comebacks to the friend who recently said, “Wow, it’s so great that you can just go out without doing anything to yourself. I could never do that.”

Oh, I got it! How bout….  “You’re right. You totally look better with makeup.”

Wait! No! Better… “Thanks. It’s true. You really need self-confidence to pull it off.”

Hmm.. I’ll get back to that.

There’s always the to-do list. First shower, then supermarket, dry cleaners, stop for Dunkin Donut’s coffee, pick up kid…

Wow, figuring out what I’m going to think about has gotten me through over a mile. Yay. I should probably think about what to wear to tomorrow night’s School Social. Certainly not pants like the lady who just walked past me. Really? Flesh colored leggings? I don’t know anyone who can pull that off. I almost want to follow her and let her know that unless she’s auditioning for ‘What Not To Wear’, they should never be worn again.

In my college sweatshirt, skull cap, striped gloves and yoga pants that make my thighs look too heavy, I have no business criticizing anyone, yet I have to fight the urge to share my feelings.

Maybe it’s genetic. It would be something my grandma would have done. I can still remember her walking over to poor, unsuspecting strangers and saying things like, “Honey, no one’s going to tell you, but that lipstick color looks horrible on you.”

I always died a little, totally mortified, but now, decades later, it doesn’t seem like the worst idea. I mean, yeah, it can be seen as judgmental, but maybe it’s just being helpful. Maybe, sometimes we all need someone like that; a ‘truth teller’ in the form of a well-meaning stranger.

I mean who else would tell you these things? Certainly not your friends. No way will your friends tell you how fat you look in your jeans, or that –

Wow! The lady I just passed must be bathing in perfume.

What was I thinking? I might have blacked out there a moment. Oh, right, friends. They love you and don’t want to hurt your feelings. They can’t be completely honest.

I don’t know if the sweat has seeped into my brain, but I think this is a kick ass idea. I can open a school and train people on proper approach, having good ‘street-side’ manner, and of course, how to diffuse an offended person’s wrath. My people will be like secret agents. Employers will hire us to do an office walk-thru. Friends will hire us to say things they can’t say. It’s a public service. It’s genius!

I can’t believe it. I’m almost home. That was fantastic.

Wait, I just came up with the best comeback to my friend’s comment. Ready?

“You’re right. But you know, saying things like that is the reason a lot of people don’t like you.”

Boom!

Brutal Honesty. My grandma would have loved it. But would people actually appreciate the truth whispered to them by an unknown judge?

I don’t know, but i’ll have to think about it next time. I’ve just run out of steam.

Brittney, Let's talk about that bra. I'm here to help.

Brittney, let’s talk about that bra. I’m here to help.

I Get My Ass Kicked. Again.

I Get My Ass Kicked. Again.

There’s an instructor at my gym who makes me feel like a fat rat running with a team of ferrets. Stacy. She is a hard ass, who works your ass off. She has worked her own down to a nub. Just thinking about her makes my muscles quiver.

It had been months since I took her class, but just like you forget labor after enough time passes, such is case with Stacy. Yet, the minute I walked into her 8:30 am Sculpt and Burn, I knew it was a mistake.

The girls were far too perfect. The risers on their steps too high. Their body weight too low. And the music RPM was on crack.

We began the warm-up. No simple marching here. No sir, we go right into jumping jacks with weights. Seriously? I peed my pants after the first one. I mean, come on, jumping jacks and weights? Did none of these girls have babies?

I semi-followed along, wishing I had chosen a spot closer to the door so that I could scoot out unnoticed. But no, I hid myself in the far corner and now I was stuck – stuck doing squat jumps with weights. I really am not coordinated enough to combine aerobics and weights and move to Oh Mickey. I think that for the future health of my body, nay, for the future health of the world, these things should never be mixed.

The only thing I could do was hopefully make it till the end of class without passing out or slipping on my own sweat. To distract myself, I concentrated on all the women in front of me, who looked like a bunch of fitness models. Oh look, one of them is taking off her long sleeved, hot pink over shirt. With the blasting music and the hair flip, she looks like a combination ad for Victoria Secret and Gatorade. Victorade? Hmm. Is my brain all shook up or is that a good idea??

I look at the clock. Only 20 minutes have gone by?! Ugh!

I’m panting and dripping, and I’m fascinated that everyone is just doing this class. How? Wait. There’s a girl behind me who is completely backward. We go left. She goes right. We go up. She goes down. Yay! I’m not alone. At least I’m going in the right direction. Ha ha.

We switch to some kind walking side lunge, with weights of course. Stacy doesn’t even alert us to the change. She just does. Apparently, if you can’t keep up, you don’t belong. Don’t say it.

I look at the clock again. It’s only been 4 minutes since the last time I looked?! Gaaa! When are these side lunges going to end?!

As if reading my mind, Stacy literally tosses her five pound weights across the floor, and without wasting a hyper second, she reaches for the eight pound ones and starts up the Jacks again.

Ugh! I didn’t mean it. I want the side lunges back! My boobs are about to make a guest appearance out of the top of my sports tank, as the elastic has long ago stretched beyond repair, kind of like my abs.  I do a behind me mirror check. Yup, uncoordinated girl is still…uncoordinated. Whew. My misery does love company. I’m a little embarrassed with myself.

Mid jump, a poster girl for Lululemon just stops to add a matching headband to her already pony tailed hair. A moment later, she pulls out the pony tail, shakes her long blonde locks and re-ties it. I don’t think she’s even sweating. I look in the mirror at my own pony tail. It is a messy, pineapple bun tilted sideways on top of my head, hanging on for dear life, just like its host.

No! Not burpees! My nemesis. Come on! Down, out, jump. Down again. At least, there are no weights. Okay, I think I can. I think I can! I’m doing it. Yes! I look at the mirror during my jump up, but there’s only one person jumping in sync with me. Yup, it’s uncoordinated girl. The shame.

We move on to climbing man interspersed with push-ups.

I’m puffing and huffing and praying to be put out of my misery. I suddenly remembered I used to call her SS Stacy, short for skinny, sadistic Stacy. I’m having flashes. I start dreaming about a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts. I know I look spastic or drunk, but I might be about to pass out. It must be almost over. I look at the clock.

OMG it’s only been 8 minutes since I last checked!

I’m going to die here…

ass kicked 2

Girl of the House

I’m tucking my three boys into bed. They are all naked, except for their underwear. It’s how they sleep. It’s how their father sleeps. The cool temperature of the house doesn’t seem to affect them at all. Not that it’s freezing or anything, but we sleep with the thermostat set at 67 or 68 degrees. I am in sweats, a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks. They are baby bear cubs (minus the fur) rolling all over their beds as I try to shove them into the warm cave of blankets.  We do not seem of the same species.

I often feel that way, being the only girl in my house. I’m constantly the odd, uh, man out. I want the house warmer, they want it colder. I want to bake cupcakes; they just want to eat them. I want to read them stories, they want to build a house out of the books. Sigh.

The differences don’t end there. In fact, they’re just beginning, leading me to believe that in fact, we may very well live together but exist in different worlds. Case in point…

I’m the only one at the dinner table eating greens. They just look green if I make them eat any.

I am the only one who sees things. I actually did an experiment here. Not one of my boys or husband noticed the Monopoly game dead center on the floor of our hall for days. They walked past it, stepped on it and even tripped over it, actually kicking it across the floor, but no one ever thought to move it.

I am also the only one who can find things. It’s a string of, “Honey, where are the keys? Mom, where is my basketball shirt? Where is my lego guy? I can’t find the mayonnaise. Did you see my hat?” I mean come on people, “Table, drawer, under bed, fridge, on floor by shoes.”  Duh.

I am the only one who can just roll up my sleeve and take a shot or give blood. They wrestle and beat each other to the ground, no problem. They can come home with scratches on their face, but no memory of how it actually got there. A tiny prick in the arm? Babbling, snot bubbling tears. Really?

I am the only one who can tell time. No husband, 9:30pm at night is not when we start a game. No son, 10pm is not when we remember we forgot homework. Nor is when we decide to be hungry. And kids, whether you are finished with what you’re doing or not in the morning, the bus for school does not care. 8:25am. Get your butts out there. No, you cannot have just one more minute. Just look at the clock.

There are also simple differences. They all favor vanilla. I am chocolate through and through. They love the ocean. I am land locked. They are all good at Math. I don’t even trust myself with a calculator. They beat each other up. I just beat myself up.

Is it gender inherited? Is it learned behavior? I tend to believe that they are who they are, just as I am who I am. Trust me, I tried to turn them to the dark side, of chocolate of course, but they couldn’t be swayed. I try to open their eyes, but they just can’t seem to see the same things I see, and not in the same way I see them.

It may just be that boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. Totally different, yet, most of the time, living together in harmony. So, while I may be destined to be the only person in my house who can find anything, at least I know that no one is going to be stealing my ice cream.

vanilla boys

If I had a therapist…apparently I’d babble and suck up

Recently, my friend started seeing a therapist. Gushing, she told me how wonderful it was to speak her mind, even vent a little. I was jealous. I love to speak my mind. I love to vent. It got me thinking, if I had a therapist, what would I say? How it would go? I decided to find out with my new, very well-respected, pretend therapist. So fluff up the couch pillows, I’m coming in…

Hey Doc, let me just say, right off the bat, that I know you’re not real, so please don’t put in my file that I talk to imaginary people. I just wanted to see what it felt like to open my heart to someone whose job it is to listen. Or hopefully, listen. My father, well versed in therapists, reminds me often of the one who fell asleep during his session. I always want to say to him, first, that I can totally understand this, as it takes my father a good 2 years to get to a point, and then you’re not even sure what the point was. Second, that he has, on more than a few occasions, fallen asleep mid-sentence while speaking with me. I guess because of the drugs, uh, medications, it’s not a fair comparison. Besides, that therapist was being paid money. I just pay with my life blood.

Yeah, yeah, so I’m being dramatic. Shoot me. Wait, no! I take that back. Don’t write that down. I am not suicidal. It’s just a figure of speech. I forget I have to be careful with my words around people like you.

Can I not say people like you? Is that an obnoxious stereotype? Are you offended? Do you not like me anymore? I so like being liked. Definitely to a fault. So, am I doing okay, here? I know, I know, there are no right things to say, but come on, tell me, am I doing well? Are you thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe this girl has never had therapy? She can totally communicate.” Or are you thinking, “Wow. I can’t believe this girl has never had therapy.”

I feel like I’m talking too much. Oh, right. Duh. That’s the point. I’m supposed to talk and you’re supposed to listen, but for me, that is a weird concept. I’m kind of used to being ignored. My kids practice selective hearing, which generally includes hearing only the TV and whispering about each other from another room. My husband practices distraction hearing, which allows me to filter in, in between work emails and all things sports related.

Most frustrating is my father. He has no distractions and just talks and talks and talks. I am mute, shoved against my will on his crazy, emotional ride of chronic pain and depression. It is the scariest roller coaster in existence. In fact, it’s not even a roller coaster, it’s more like a free fall. One minute we’re going up up up with all of his plansandneedsandhopesanddreams. And then when he realizes the futility, usually only minutes and 10,000 words later, it’s down down down to the depths of misery and pain.

I’ve been on this ride thousands of times over the years. I barely blink, but for him, each time is like the first. How?? How does he not get his reality? How? It’s…baffling, frustrating, heart-breaking, exhausting, irritating, overwhelming. It’s Just Too Much. Day in, day out. I…I… Well look at me. Now I’m a bit of mess. Damn. Sorry. It’s just so… endless. I need a tissue.

I guess this happens a lot, huh? Oh, I’m over my word count? Already? Well, good, I’m pooped. Did I do okay? I know, I know. Ha. I can’t help it. Next week? I’ll be there, if you will. Don’t stand me up. Ha ha. You’re definitely the best imaginary therapist around. And I’m not just saying that.

She works for Peanuts, just like my therapist.

She works for Peanuts, just like my therapist.

OMG – Feels Like Teen Spirit!

The phone rings. I immediately recognized the number of one of Tyler’s friends. Not really wanting to, I pick up.

An extremely bored but familiar voice says, “Hey.”

“Hey,” I respond back and wait, but that was all I was getting.

“Do you want to speak with Tyler?” I prompt.

“Uh, yeah.”

Uh, fabulous.

Rolling my eyes (I am years away from them getting stuck there), I yell, “Phone! Tyler!” but there is no response.

Tyler is a very focused boy and I happen to know that he is watching an extremely important episode of Sponge Bob.  “Tyleeeeer!!! PHONE!”

That did it. Something penetrated. My shaggy haired boy slides in. “What?” He asks, clueless.

“Here.” I hand him the phone. Instantly, my son becomes animated. I listen in fascination to him planning some complicated play date. Uh, I mean, hang out. At 10, it’s a hang out. My bad.

Tyler finishes his conversation which consists of a bunch of “yeahs” and “okays” then reports to me.

“Okay, I’m waiting for Jack and then I’m going to Rick’s. We’re going…” The phone interrupts and Tyler immediately answers.

“Oh hi, Luc.”

He instinctively walks into the other room for privacy, where some heavy negotiations are in play.

After a few minutes, he returns. “Okay, Jack is going to Luc’s, so I’m going…”

The phone rings again. I’m guessing there has been a breakdown in the talks.

“Hold on.” He grabs for it and then runs into the other room.

In one minute, he’s back. “Okay, this is what’s going to happen. Because Jack talked to Luc first, now we’re both going to Luc.”

This is what’s going to happen? Who is this kid?

Unbelievably, the phone rings again. I don’t even look it. “For you?” Tyler smiles sheepishly and disappears.  The negotiations resume.

When he returns, it appears there has been a settlement. “Okay, so Jack is coming here and we’re walking to Luc.  Rick’s out of the picture because Jay called him, but didn’t call Luc and they don’t want to hang out with so many people because Brian was already going there. It’s okay, because when Rick and Brian are together sometimes it gets, you know, anyway, so we’re just going to Luc’s.”

I’m speechless and exhausted, but have enough strength to raise a brow.

He gets it immediately. “Is that okay?”

“That’s fine.”

He smiles his goofy, boyish smile. I am wildly in love. He is still so much my baby and so solidly boy, and the next stage stands knocking at the door.

“Mom! Jack’s here! Can we go?”

I follow to where his friend waits. They exchange a very cool and manly, “Hey.”

I stand at the screen, watching them go. They start off walking. By the second house away, they are arm in arm, skipping for the half block to Luc’s. Then, there’s some pushing.  Tyler’s friend is on the ground. Wait. He’s up. They’re arm in arm again, a skipping to Luc’s house they go.

My heart skips with them. My first real pre-teen moment. Sigh. I was on the verge of serious sappiness, when the phone interrupts my thoughts. It has begun.

Part of the posse, just hanging around.

Part of the posse, just hanging around.