Tag Archives: kids

Red Pens and Condoms.

You know how your brain tries to protect you from things you can’t handle? I think mine has been doing that without my knowledge or consent.

I’ve spent the last month dusting my living room. This may not seem like a remarkable feat, but here:

I not only dusted the shit on top of the bookshelves; I dusted the bookshelves themselves AND all the books on them. Then I rearranged the books by author and favorites.

If I made a list of all the household chores that I despise (that would be all of them) dusting would be Number One.

Now, granted, I spent some of that time sick. Migraines, arms not working, back breaking in two (not really). But seriously. I had real shit to do. Shit that actually NEEDED to be done. Like get my kids ready for school, since it STARTS TODAY.

No big deal, right? Right. Except my oldest is going to college, middle is starting 8th grade, and littlest is entering 2nd grade.

So one would think, since a) I’m freaking the fuck out and b) I love school supplies more than almost anything, that I would be prepared. Backpacks. Notebooks. Lovely, lovely pens. Highlighters.  Folders. Every year since the oldest started school, I have had these things for weeks before school started. Backpacks would be packed with carefully labeled supplies. All binders would have little pencil pouches, just in case they forgot to bring a pencil to class. Paper would be stocked inside each folder, and folders would all be a different color so they would be easy to identify in a hurry.

Ha. This year, I didn’t buy shit. I mean absolutely nothing until yesterday. The day before school. So I assume my stupid asshole of a brain purposely derailed me. Likely because I CAN’T STAND THE THOUGHT OF MY OLDEST LEAVING.

Yesterday we finally went shopping. The boys didn’t give a shit about folders or non-scratchy pens, so they went out to the car. I filled my cart with my favorite things, plus bedding and other dorm shit (sob).

I was getting more and more stressed out the longer I was in the store. The last things I needed were red pens and lunchboxes. THEY WERE COMPLETELY OUT OF RED PENS. This was almost enough to push me over the edge, but I held it together and went to find lunchboxes. Of which the entire fucking store only had two.

I couldn’t take anymore. I stood there, lunchbox in each hand, waving them in the air and cursing like a sailor. An employee saw me and I had to explain (while starting to cry) that I wasn’t cussing at him, I was cussing at life. And lunchboxes. He left, looking a little scared, and I sank to the floor. The lack of choices in lunchboxes was apparently all I could take. I sat there in the middle of the store, just sobbing, with two lunchboxes clutched to my chest.

After finally getting my shit together enough to stand up and get the hell out of there, the checkout guy asked me, “How I was doing.” ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? MY HEART IS BREAKING AND SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW AND YOU ARE OUT OF RED PENS!

We got home and I sat down in the floor, surrounded by school supplies. This is my happy place. I do realize that my middle child is in 8th grade. I didn’t give a shit. I started filling binders and writing class names on the spines and making sure each one had a pouch of pencils and pens. This lasted approximately 3 minutes before he came out of his room and asked for his supply list and all his stuff.

Sure. YOU’LL REGRET THIS WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE COLOR-CODED BINDERS, EACH WITH THE CORRECT RATIO OF PENS TO PENCILS! I’m positive he didn’t sharpen all the pencils. You have no idea how much this hurts.

This morning we took the two youngest to their schools, then I went off with a fully loaded car and child who was not coming home with me. I maintained while we drove (except I got really lost). I was fine as we unloaded. Once again my breakdown happened at Walmart. I may not be allowed back there. This is what I found when I returned to the dorm, loaded with shampoo and soap and condoms. (YES, condoms. Shut up.)

Dorm shenanigans

These kids look like they’ve totally got it together enough to survive on their own. Also, the condoms were possibly a waste of money.

I finally left my baby (yes, the one who is a foot taller than I am). When I got to the parking garage, my car was lost. There were so many levels, I was so tired, I was crying again, my feet were on FIRE…I seriously considered just laying down and rolling until someone ran me over. Then they’d be obligated to give me a ride to my car. Wherever it was.

Do you think I subconsciously blocked out The Big Day? And the directions? Also where I left the car? I’m pretty sure I just pretended none of this was happening until it actually happened. Surely one of you has had a crying fit over lunchboxes? Scared a Walmart employee? I can’t be the ONLY one who has seriously considered rolling down the ramps in a parking garage. Right? 

 

 

 


No One Wants to Hear About Your Dreams

I know, I know, but the name of this blog came from a dream, so indulge me, just a little.

I’m not doing so great right now, and my dreams are like slaps in the face.

I guess if you look at them symbolically, then they have evolved from convoluted-dream-speak to STEPHANIE, QUIT BEING A FUCKING DUMBASS AND LITERALLY SMELL THE ROSES!

We took the two youngest kids on a short trip, an hour or so away to a touristy-town, just for swimming and playing and “getting away.” (Thanks to a certain Nana and Grandma for making this happen.)

Anyway, YES. I had fun. YES. I enjoyed being with my family. YES. I laughed, and ate, and swam, and sat in the hot tub, and had an entire fancy lobby all to myself with coffee already made when I woke up.

YES. I was hurting and needed SILENCE after just a short while. NO, I couldn’t carry any bags or take the stairs; shit, I had to LEAN ON A WALL just to wait for the elevator. (The only reason I didn’t sit in the floor is that my 13-year-old would’ve died from embarrassment and then who would’ve helped me up.)

YES. I freaked out a tiny bit at dinner. YES, I actually thought my server walked away while I was telling her my order. YES, I was surprised to find her still there. YES, unfortunately, I tried to explain my confusion to her and my family.

YES. It was hard, and I am paying for it now, and I’m so depressed today that I don’t even know if it was worth it. I keep thinking back…

How happy my son was in his new clothes, laughing and joking and BEING NICE TO HIS SISTER.

How happy my daughter was, laughing and joking and giddy with excitement.

How SELFLESS my husband was (and is) knowing that he would be the pool-toy, the bag carrier, the kid-chaser, the driver, and did all these things knowing he had to work the next day.

It was worth it.

That doesn’t mean I’m any less miserable today. I won’t detail my aches and pains; I will just say that as someone who basically did nothing harder than stand in an elevator as it went up and down two floors, I don’t feel like I should be in this kind of pain.

We got home late yesterday afternoon. My husband was still at work. I was SO TIRED. The 13-year-old and 7-year-old were somehow NOT tired. The 30-minute car nap that almost killed me revitalized them I guess.

So I told them I HAD to lay down and to wake me up if they needed me and I was so tired that I didn’t even go over my spiel that they usually say with me because they FREAKING KNOW, MOM!

I thought I would drowse a little, maybe just lay in bed and rest but not even sleep, or get a quick nap and be able to think again. WRONG.

The kids tried to talk to me at least 5 times in the 3 hours before their dad got home. Once (apparently) my daughter said she was hungry and I replied with, “WHAT? You want me to brush your car?” I know the kids came in my room, I know they tried to wake me up, and I know that I was NOT awake at any moment that I spoke to them.

It sounds funny when they tell me what I said, but to me it’s also terrifying. Is this some new thing that’s going to happen? Do I need to teach my daughter what to do if I won’t wake up, but spout gibberish instead?

I realize that my son is 13 and very capable of taking care of his sister for a few hours. Shit, SHE is capable of taking care of HIM for three hours.

I don’t know what that was yesterday afternoon, I don’t know why I didn’t wake up, I don’t know why I was saying weird shit, and I don’t know if it will ever happen again. I do know that I feel like a bit more of my Mom Badge was just ripped off, and that motherfucker was in tatters already.

This morning I woke up because of a combination of terrible pain and a dream. Yes, I’m going to tell you about a dream. I’m sorry. I’ll keep it short.

I saw all these HUGE, gorgeous flowers on the side of the road. So many different kinds, so many colors, growing wild even though the ground was snow covered. My arms were full of flowers and I was GLEEFUL. Then I turned to go and my heart sank because there was so much snow that my car was stuck. Back to reality.

(Y’all have NO IDEA how lucky you are that I’m not bustin’ out some Eminem right here.)

Then I had a rilllll shitty morning ending with my husband telling me “You don’t know how much that trip took out of you. Maybe your body was just so exhausted that it shut down. The kids are fine. Please take your medicine and lay down for a while.”

*He didn’t say that last sentence but I could see it on his face, so that’s what I did.*

So THEN…yes, another dream. Shut UP! The last one was super short!

This time I’m looking out my window and I see that the sun has just almost reached the perfect point where it covers the whole pool and the rock in the center where I like to lay. I am JOYFUL. I can’t wait to get down there. Then I get a text from a mom friend about our kids and I can’t reply because the buttons are weird and the letters are moving all around and then I’m frustrated and worried. Back to reality.

 I feel like my subconscious has literally “dumbed-down” my OWN DREAMS.

 

SORRY, SUBCONSCIOUS, I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

 

I can’t remember ever feeling as happy as in those two dream-moments.

 

Maybe we never feel that way in real life.

 

Or maybe that’s what joy feels like to “normal” people.

semicolon tat

Broken today, still here tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My Daughter, The Ferret.

We have a ferret. If you know anything about ferrets, you know they are notorious for stealing things and hiding them. The last time we moved our bed, when we picked up the box spring we discovered a hidey-hole. The little bastard had torn open the fabric and filled the inside with all sorts of random items. Mostly red things, because for some reason our ferret hates anything red.

My daughter is 7. It’s possible that she thinks she is a ferret. Or maybe she’s just weird. It does run in the family.

She started hiding things a few years ago. This was the first thing I found where it didn’t belong:

hiding puppy

 

You can imagine my surprise when I wanted a pot and found eyeballs instead. It was traumatizing, and not just because I jumped back and fell on my ass.

 

 

This child squirrels away the strangest things, in the oddest places.

 

She’s hidden Easter eggs under my pillow. Actually, they were Easter eggs and Silly Putty eggs, which I did not discover until the next morning when I woke up with Silly Putty everywhere. There are still suspicious-looking stains on my comforter.

 

She puts acorns in the clean laundry.

 

When anything goes missing, we know who to ask. It drives my husband crazy, because two of her favorite things to hide are his hat and the TV remote.

 

She really likes sticking things in the spice rack, and when I went to take a picture of the pinecone that was there last week, I found this instead:

20160229_072047

Please excuse my dust.

 

I recently found an unmatched pair of my dirty socks, which had been filled with dozens of My Little Ponies and stuffed under her bed.

 

This cabinet is at the end of the hallway, and is one of her favorite spots to hide things:

20160229_072442

The elusive pinecone.

There is, or there was yesterday, a nearly empty bottle of water, two fake mustaches, a notepad, Christmas candy shaped like diamonds, a pinecone, bubble wrap, a jewelry box full of pennies, a flashlight, and a strip of animal-print fabric. Just the necessities.

 

Below is her diary, carefully placed in the bottom of a drawer in my bathroom.

20160229_072659

 

There is one thing we take turns hiding. She puts it in my pillowcase, under my blanket, in my underwear drawer, in my shoe, or on my shoulder.

 

I put it in the very bottom of toy boxes, up high where (presumably) she can’t reach it, and in boxes marked “yard sale.”

20160229_072221

 

The next time I find this one, no doubt when I’m least expecting it, I’ll be hiding it in the damn trashcan.


Anatomy. Questions. Honesty. Please make it stop.

I’m not great at talking. With writing, I can backspace, delete, and edit until I get it right. My mouth unfortunately doesn’t have that feature.

When I know I’m going to have to speak to people, my mind goes through every scenario it can think of and what my responses should be. The night before any human interaction, I literally lie in bed and mentally rehearse what I should say. Then I inevitably mangle it anyway.

I think part of it is that I can’t lie. Everything I’m thinking shows clearly on my face. I can’t make my mouth form words that I don’t believe. You might be surprised at how badly blunt honesty is received. I spend a lot of time making noises and trying to look anywhere but at the person who just asked my opinion but who I know doesn’t really want it.

So it’s hard for me when I’m caught off guard. I blurt out things (true things) that I probably shouldn’t.

Lately this has been a real problem with my daughter. She just turned 7 and she’s insatiably curious. I have this intense desire to teach her to respect herself and others and to not judge and to continue to be the kind and compassionate person she already is.

But.

This fucking honesty thing. I mean, I even dodge questions about Santa.

The latest debacle involved lady parts.

Since she learned to talk, she’s referred to her vagina as her “front butt.” This has been killing me for YEARS. Every time she says it, I clamp my mouth shut. She’s our only little girl, and my husband has vehemently disagreed with my notion of providing anatomically correct names. He even told me that “a lot of people call it that.” Pfft.

I find that hard to believe.

The other night it was just the two of us, and she announced that “everybody has two butts.” I choked back laughter laced with not a little horror.

Me: No. No they don’t.

Her: YES! This one and this one! *gestures at…both butts*

I took the opportunity that presented itself, thinking “YES! FINALLY!” and calmly told her that her “front butt” was actually a vagina. She was fascinated. I was impressed with my composure.

I was not anticipating her next question.

Her: So, everybody has a…vagina and a butt?

Me: Erm. No. Boys don’t have vaginas.

Her: *wide-eyed shock* So, it’s just NOTHING? There’s just nothing there??

Me: *losing my shit* You really don’t know? Has someone told you something? You REALLY DON’T KNOW?

Her: No! Tell me! What do boys have?

Me: *wonders how pissed my husband is going to be. Can’t think of a way out of this situation.*

Me: *calm and matter-of-fact* Boys have what is called a penis.

Her: A weenis! What’s it look like?

Me: *mentally cursing myself* Uh. Well. *looking at my finger and wondering if it will suffice.*

Her: Maybe you should just draw me a picture. I’m never going to understand unless you do.

Me: I’m not drawing a picture of a penis.

Her: I’ll go get some paper.

Me: NO! Go get your father. *Before I fuck this up even more.*

Her: Yeah. He draws better than you.

Me: …

So my husband comes in, and thankfully she explained the whole conversation and all I had to do was say, “SHE ASKED!” to his raised eyebrows.

Now she’s sitting between us, with her back to me, a pad of paper in her hand, asking him to draw a picture of a “weenis.”

She can’t see me, so I hold up my index finger and waggle it around, silently asking him if we should tell her it’s like a finger. He looked at me like I was an alien. I WASN’T READY FOR THIS CONVERSATION, OKAY?

He’s all, “blah, blah, girls and boys are different, blah blah…” I already SAID all this! So we’re back to the picture. Now, because my husband is smarter than I am, he draws a boy and a girl. All I could think of was drawing a…weenis. Anyway, he explains all the differences as he’s drawing. Like, “Girls usually have narrower shoulders and a smaller waist. Boys are mostly more square shaped, like this.”

When he gets to the point, I’m behind her, frantically making hand motions and mouthing, “MAKE IT SMALL!”

This is pretty much what he drew:

 

weenis

Yes, he drew it better. Actually, the “weenis” he drew was about half that size. No, I don’t know what it means that I drew mine like this. Shut up.

 

Her: *Excited as fuck* OH! What does it do??

Me: *desperately needing this conversation to be over* IT PEES. You pee from your vagina, boys pee from their penis, and everyone poops from their butt. Which is technically called an anus. *Jesus. What is wrong with me?*

She is practically bouncing up and down, full of new knowledge. I’m telling her to NOT go announcing this at school, that these are private body parts, and some other stuff I probably shouldn’t have said.

I have no idea why I assumed that she knew boys had…different parts. I guess because when the boys were little I was a single mother, and they just knew that I was different than them. I know my middle kid found out when he came barging in the bathroom and screamed, “OH MY GOD MOM, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR WIENER?”

Unfortunately, the torment didn’t end there. Apparently that was enough for her to ponder just then, but last night she was full of new questions. I’m not willing to divulge my answers. I’m just hoping that she never does either.

 


Lost in Translation

ae78a-bunnybeepbeep

This picture makes about as much sense as the post itself.

There are some unwritten rules in the blogging/writing world. One that I continually break is not to read the comments left on sites other than my own. I can’t seem to help it. I want to know what people think.

When I Am Not That Mom was first published here, I was amazed at the response. Then Scary Mommy wanted it. Then Huffington Post. Then All4Women. I was blown away by the comments, and I read as many as I could find. Mostly they said “Thank you” or “Me too” or “Now I don’t feel so alone.” How could I just let those beautiful words languish in internet purgatory, never noticed, never acknowledged? The people that left these comments praised me, for being brave, for being vulnerable, and most often, for letting them know that they were NOT alone. But what they didn’t know was that those comments helped me, probably much more than my post helped them.

When Huffington Post shared that piece again last week, I received two emails. One in Italian (which I initially thought was French because I am Very Smart) and one in German. I had to use Google Translate to understand what was happening. I guess U.S. Huffington Post submitted the article to their Italian and German counterparts.

HOW COULD I RESIST?!

I couldn’t. When I clicked on the link, Google asked me if I wanted it translated to English. Sure. Cause I can’t fucking read Italian. Or German. Or French, for that matter.

This is where things started getting HYSTERICAL. Now, I’m no linguist, as surely you’ve realized by now, and I have no idea how accurate Google Translate is, but holy shit, my word babies were torn to pieces and put back together until I didn’t even recognize myself.

I was laughing so hard last night, I almost couldn’t breathe. I ran around the house shoving my phone in any face that would hold still and yelling, “THEY SAID I KISSED AN OX!” “OMG!” and “CHRIST ON A CRUTCH, THE WHOLE WORLD THINKS I’M A FUCKING MORON!”

Seriously, I sound like a lazy, and possibly insane, asshole.

I wonder if an Italian-speaking person read it, would it make more sense and come across the way it was meant?

Anyway. For your reading pleasure, I present to you excerpts from I Am Not That Mom, in English, Italian, and German. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

 

ME: I Am Not That Mom

ITALY: I Am Not One of Those Mothers

GERMANY: I’m Not a Mother

Wow, Germany, that’s a little harsh.

 

ME: I am well aware of my failure in this aspect of parenting.

ITALY: I am well aware that you have failed as a parent from this point of view.

Yeah, you fucked up big time. Wait, what?

 

ME: I’m just not that mom.

GERMANY: But as a mom, I am not easy.

I can’t really argue with this.

 

ME: When I first saw you, I knew that you would hold my heart forever.

ITALY: The first time I saw you, my son, I realized that I’d captured her heart forever.

I’m so confused.

 

ME: I can still feel you, so tiny, snuggled on my chest. When I see you asleep now, I still picture you curled up in footie pajamas, all wispy hair and dark lashes against perfect skin.

ITALY:  I can still hear each of you, curled up on my chest. Even today, when I look at you sleep, I imagine squatting in your swimsuit, with thinning hair, dark lashes and face immaculate.

What the…someone, please, explain this before I laugh so hard I pee my pants. Again.

Too late.

 

ME:  I was the mom who kissed boo boos.

ITALY:  I was one of those moms who kissed your ox.

Oh, Italy, you’re killing me here.

 

ME: (safety scissors, my ass.)

ITALY: (scissors with safety, a horn.)

Scissors. Useful in any language. Asses and horns, not so much.

 

ME: But most times I feel like I am also the mom who is failing.

GERMANY: But mostly I feel that I am the mom who refused.

This is hurtful, Germany. Very hurtful.

 

ME: I was that mom who rocked you all night, patting and bouncing and shh, shh, shhing when you cried.

GERMANY: I was the mom that you all night has gently rocked, patted your Po, up on the exercise ball…

I think you and I might bounce babies differently, Translator Person.

 

ME: …although there have been a few notes from the Tooth Fairy instead of cash.

ITALY: …although the Tooth Fairy, instead of giving me some money, I did deliver the message of warning.

THIS TOOTH IS NO GOOD. NEXT TIME LEAVE ONE WITH FILLINGS, OR ELSE.

XOXO,

The Tooth Fairy

 

ME: I’m also the mom who too often hurts too much to cook dinner. I’m the mom who lets you eat an unhealthy amount of macaroni and pizza rolls.

ITALY: They are also the mother who often do not want to make dinner. I am the mother who lets you eat a huge amount and unhealthy pasta and pizza.

Translation: This woman is lazy and wants you to be fat and hungry.

 

So yesterday was a good, good day, because I got to read all these wonderful comments from wonderful moms, dads, grandmas, future moms, people with no intention of having children, just so many amazingly considerate people, and then I got to laugh my ass off at this. I needed a good day.


Shit My Family Says, Kind Of.

So. I’m still feeling pretty shitty, but I’ve thought about it and I don’t want my last post of 2015 to be the angry, sad, mess that I wrote the other day.

This is going to be a “Shit My Family Says” post, but with cheating. Cheating because it’s shit I’ve already posted on my blog’s Facebook page. But maybe *gasp* you haven’t liked me on Facebook! Then, ALL THIS WILL BE BRAND NEW. Lucky, lucky you. Now go like my page.

If you have already liked my page, some of this might be new to you anyway, because Facebook has this stupid trick they call an “algorithm.” (I just gave up trying to spell that word and the red line went away. Huh.) Anyway, they want to show you what you want to see…and they guess what you want to see by what you “like” or share or comment on. So maybe THIS WILL ALL BE BRAND NEW TO YOU TOO.

And now, I present you with the Best Shit My Family Said in 2015:

And now, I change the title to the Best Shit From August to December 2015, because I am tired and I guess I post a lot.

 

The other day I was attacked by a horsefly and it bit me three times. I was seriously wounded with blood and everything. Yesterday I was looking at it to see if the swelling had gone down and my sweetly concerned son said, “Ohmygod, put that away, it’s so fat and gross!” So that’s how I found out that it is still swollen and he is a dick.”

 

I bribed my daughter when the doctor had to give her a shot.

 

6-yr-old: If you see any slime – stuff around here, don’t touch it because it’s my boogers.

She’s so considerate.

 

Husband: Sorry for being a pain in the ass.

Me: It’s okay.

Him: You always say okay. You never say, “You’re not a pain.”

Me: Yeah. Cause it’s okay.

 

6-yr-old hid a bunch of old Easter eggs in my bed. Under my pillow. Everywhere. This morning I woke up to discover that they weren’t all Easter eggs. Some of them were Silly Putty eggs. I now have silly putty all over my head. *Note: I was able to get the shit off my head, but there are still spots on my comforter that look really gross and NOT like Silly Putty if you know what I mean.

 

“I know that I have allergic reactions. I know they are sneaky. I know they can be dangerous. I know what they feel like.

But I just spent a damned HOUR absolutely CONVINCED that 6yo had brought home head lice, because my head was itching so bad.

It wasn’t until my entire body broke out with hives that I stopped giving her the side-eye.”

 

Haven't Folded laundry in so long, even my kids forgot what it was called.

 

“So, you guys know how I don’t know how to use my phone? Well. Yesterday was a Very Bad Day. I was laying in bed, just sobbing, completely losing my shit, and I hear these clicking noises. Click click click click click. I look over and find MY PHONE TAKING UNAUTHORIZED PICTURES OF ME. Unbelievable. I have like 10 pics of my red, snotty face. This thing is out to get me.”

 

6yo: Wow, that’s really melted.

Me: You have to eat ice cream cones fast.

Her: I wasn’t even eating it! I just sat it down here to save for later.

 

My Facebook ‘memory’ from a year ago today:

You know you’re raising your child right when you tell her “not right now” and she says, “Fine. I guess monsters will just eat your face.”

 

Last night we were playing this Head’s Up app where you hold your phone up to your forehead and people try to make you guess what’s on the screen. We’ve played it for hours, two nights in a row, and I just can’t stop loving it.

Then.

It was my turn, and my husband shouts a clue at me. “Our 20s! What we were doing in our 20s! Where we spent most of our 20s!”

My children looked at me expectantly while everything, EVERY SINGLE THING I did back in the day flashed before my eyes. I could NOT think of EVEN ONE THING that I wanted to say in front of the kids.

I’m not good under pressure. I did lots of good-person things in my 20s. I just can’t think of them when you put me on the spot like that, jerk.

The answer was “a bar.”

 

Original snack with name pc cropped

 

“I literally just said, “you’re not sleeping in my bed with a box on your head.”

What has happened to my life? I’ve turned into a foul-mouthed Dr. Seuss.”

 

“I am so screwed. I just made a new rule and my 6-YEAR-OLD daughter replied with, “Eh, you’ll forget about that by tomorrow.”

 

Today my husband told me a lot of things, as he does often. “You’re beautiful.” “You’re a great writer.” “Taking care of yourself is the only thing you *have* to do.”

My favorite?

“She reminds me of you. Wears a black leather jacket and boots and is an asshole to everyone.”

I love that man.

 

“Stats as of 9:45 a.m.

Inanimate objects screamed at/threatened: Approximately 34.

Times I’ve cried: Once

Tasks accomplished: Two, because I put both “scream” and “cry” on my to-do list.”

 

In case you’re wondering if my state of mind has improved, I just looked in my t-shirt drawer and yelled, “Fuck you, you sneaky bastards!”

 

I’m not used to people being at my house during the day.

I had just taken a bath, opened my bathroom door a crack, and said, “I hope no one is in here, cause I’m coming out and all I’ve got on is sneakers and a little bit of cheese.”

Either they didn’t hear me or I’ve found a very effective child repellent.

***I found the cheese in my shoe, if you were wondering.

 

Things my 13yo has said to me in the last 30 minutes:

Me: GET IT IN GEAR!

Him: *sitting in the floor, not dressed, banging a spring against his bed, looks up, with a completely straight face*  MOM. I’m in 5th gear.

Him: *screaming like a maniac.*

Me and everyone else: *running* What happened?! Are you okay?

Him: Oh, man, it was awful! I tried to put this tube top on the cat and–

And that’s when I walked away.

 

“Omg, my 6yo has like a hundred million presents under the tree.

You know what she’s crying about this morning?

She’s afraid that after Christmas I won’t let her have the bowl of pinecones on the table.

I could’ve saved so much money had I known the little shit just wanted seeds.”

 

6yo is playing with Barbies, all dressed up in their finery. I assume they are attending some ball, or maybe a wedding. I walk by and hear this:

Barbie #1: I never liked him. It was all part of my mission.

Barbie #2: We’ve got him now. Good job, agent.

 

Annnd, that’s all I’ve got in me right now, folks. Happy New Year. I love you guys. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh. Deer.

When I was born, my family lived here, in rural Arkansas. Shortly after that, my Dad joined the Army and away we went. I spent around 9-10 years on Army bases, then we moved back home when I was in the 5th grade. This is important to note, in light of what I’m about to tell you.

I’m not against hunting; I’ve just never really been interested in it. There were no “youth hunts” on Army bases.

The first post-hunted deer (I’m trying to save your sensibilities here, people) I saw was in the back of my uncle’s truck, and I was about nine. I cried. I petted its nose, and whispered prayers and apologies, and wouldn’t speak to anyone the rest of the day. (I TOLD you guys, I’ve ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS.)

I didn’t come in contact with another deer until I was about 17. This time I was running in the dark and ran INTO the carcass of the deer, which was hanging from a tree in our yard. I feel like that’s something you really ought to mention to people. “Hey, there’s a giant dead thing with horns around back.” Or something.

Anyway. So I’m not a complete moron about guns. I like to target shoot. (I am good.) (Well, I’m okay.) (I’m not terrible, jeez!) I just don’t really even think about deer season except to tell the kids to wear orange if they go in the woods.

Well. I know that my 13-year-old hunts and fishes with his dad and grandparents at their place. Long as he’s safe, have at it, right? They know what they’re doing, my son loves it, so it’s cool.

Then last weekend I got a Very Excited call from my son–he’d shot his first deer. I was really proud of him and it was awesome to hear the story of his amazing shot and how much fun he’d had. It really was. It’s always great to see him joyous and happy. Then I hear, “You better get ready for a lot of deer meat headed your way ha ha ha.”

Ha. Ha. Ha.

To me, this meant, “I hope you have room in your freezer for a few prepackaged select cuts of deer meat.”

So I said, “Ha ha ha, well, okay, but I can’t eat it and I don’t know how to cook it, so send instructions! Ha ha ha!”

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Then I get a text as they are on their way to bring Thing 2 home.

His Gram: “A lot of meat & the head coming your way. The head needs to be hung up high in a tree. I’m sorry, he wanted to bring it home!”

Me: Oh shit.

Her: “The meat needs to soak in plain water overnight & then packaged & frozen then I will find you a couple delish recipes.”

Me: OH SHIT.

Her: *laughing her ass off* SORRY! Who knew he would get one?! HAHAHAHAHAHA *laughs forever.*

Me: Oh…shit.

So, at this point, my main concern is that my husband isn’t home, it’s dark, and there is a HEAD on its way here that I am going to have to somehow, someway, get up a tree.

To prepare for this, I put on my boots and paced, thinking furiously. I came up with zero ideas. None.

20151116_201208

Maybe because I have the wrong kind of boots?

Anyway.

They got there and my son was all, “LOOK! LOOK AT THIS! DO YOU WANT TO TOUCH HIS TONGUE?”

And I was all, “That’s so awesome pleasepleasegetitawayfromme.”

Then they were like, “So, do you have any rope?” and I was like, “OH! Good idea! Yeah! Rope!” Then I ran in the house, did a few circles chanting “rope, rope, rope” and then went back outside to do the same thing out there.

Thankfully, Thing 2’s Papa is a Good, Good Man and he found something that would work AND found a tree (not the tree by where I drink my coffee, THANK YOU SO MUCH) and he and my son hung the thing up. I basically just stood there, wringing my hands and nervous talking.

THEN comes the transfer of the meat. Thing 2’s Gram was snickering at me. SNICKERING at me! It was a loving snicker, but a snicker nonetheless.

They have a big plastic tub, presumably full of meat. When I saw it, my eyes lit up. I had visions of never opening that tub. Then she said these horrible words: “I need to take this with me.”

Shit.

We trooped into the kitchen for the big reveal. My son started pulling meat out of the sack like he was some sort of, fuck, I don’t know, a hunter I guess.

Once the sink was full of meat and my son was done shoving body parts in my face and his grandma was almost done laughing, I received my instructions for the next day. How To Package The Meat.

The following morning I was dismayed to find the deer still in the sink. There are no such creatures as Deer Fairies, in case you were wondering. I prepared myself for the job ahead.

By “prepared myself” I mean “looked everywhere and found nothing in which to wrap this meat.”

I had to improvise. In my defense, I WAS NOT READY FOR A….I don’t even know what this is called. I’ve got A LOT of learning to do before the zombie apocalypse, I’ll tell you that.

Anyway. So I used three coats of plastic wrap, two of wax paper, and then wrapped it all in duct tape. Seemed legit to me.

Because he told me it was a tenderloin. I think.
Because he told me it was a tenderloin. I think.
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Big Fatty Thing.
Possibly a butt.
Possibly a butt.
Really Big Thing
Really Big Thing.

I really want my son to be happy, and if he likes to hunt and fish, that’s great.

But I’m making a rule RIGHT NOW that I am not ever, ever, EVER duct taping a deer’s ass again.

Ever.


I Am Not That Mom

I am Not that Mom

I am not that mom who sits on the floor with you playing My Little Pony for hours. I am not the mom who builds entire towns on Minecraft. I have never learned to play Pokémon and I never (ever) will. I am well aware of my failure in this aspect of parenting.

I am thankful for my husband, who excels in watching cartoons and playing video games. I smile when I see him and the kids tossing a football in the yard. (In the yard. No Throwing Balls in the House. Jesus.) I laugh when they wrestle and tickle and play, play, play.

I’m just not that mom.

I was the young soon-to-be mom, scared to death but determined, so determined, to bring you into this world and love you like no other. I was the single mother of two who worked long hours and still held dance parties with just my two boys where we sang at the top of our lungs and the laughter rang as loud as the music. Before you were even born, I was the mom eating cherry cheesecake so I could see you dance. (And because cheesecake.)

When I first saw you, I knew that you would hold my heart forever. Two more times I met my new sweet babies, and two more times my heart grew to wrap around all of you. When you were a baby, I was that mom who couldn’t sleep for looking at you. I can still feel you, so tiny, snuggled on my chest. When I see you asleep now, I still picture you curled up in footie pajamas, all wispy hair and dark lashes against perfect skin.

I was that mom who rocked you all night, patting and bouncing and shh, shh, shhing when you cried. I was the mom who panicked over every bump and bruise. I was the mom who kissed boo boos. I was the mom who spent untold hours waiting on casts for broken bones or bandages for cut fingers. (Safety scissors, my ass.) I was the mom whose leg you were firmly wrapped around the day we toured preschools. I was the mom who went to school online in order to work from home because you needed me.

I am the mom who signs notes and checks homework and packs lunches. I’m the mom who makes the doctor’s visits and dentist appointments and parent teacher conferences. I’m the mom who hasn’t worn anything but thrift store clothes for years so that you can go to school wearing clothes that are apparently hand-sewn by the famous athletes of the world.

I’m the mom who makes stupid jokes and sings off-key and acts sillier than I am just to see you smile. I’m the mom who wouldn’t trade those smiles for the entire world.

I’m the mom who loves you so much more than I could ever explain. And the mom who tries so hard to show you that.

But most times I feel like I am also the mom who is failing.

I’m the mom with chronic recurring depression. I’m the mom with generalized anxiety disorder. I’m the mom with PTSD. I’m the mom who has chronic migraines. I’m the mom with chronic pain. I’m the mom who sees more doctors than hairstylists. (Hahahahaha, I don’t even remember the last time I went to a stylist. But you have an appointment tomorrow.)

I am the mom who struggles every single day to accomplish the things that have to be done so that you can have a “normal” life. I am the mom who does your laundry even when I have to sit down to sort it. I’m the mom who makes sure the water bill gets paid so that you can shower. I’m the mom who clips your fingernails and buys you toothpaste and nags you to wear deodorant.

I’m also the mom who forgets things. Not the big stuff, like birthdays or Christmas, although there have been a few notes from the Tooth Fairy instead of cash. But I forget things that you already told me. I forget that when you were playing a video game yesterday, you scored 58 touchdowns and a free throw, and spawned…maybe a chicken? I don’t know. I forget.

But I’m also the mom who can tell in a single glance when you are upset, and who listens to you when you are sad and angry and when you are happy and excited, even if I do tend to forget your ponies’ names and LeBron’s stats and how to catch ’em all.

I’m the mom who wants to slay all your dragons and breathe fire on anyone who dares to hurt you.

I’m also the mom who too often hurts too much to cook dinner. I’m the mom who lets you eat an unhealthy amount of macaroni and pizza rolls. I’m the mom who has piles of clean laundry on the couch because my arms ache so badly I can’t fold it. I’m the mom who gets overwhelmed too easily. I’m the mom who has to hide when things get to be too much. I’m that mom who cries in the bathroom when I’ve let you down.

I’m the mom who stays awake at night worrying about you. I’m the mom who wishes she could save all your hugs and all your “I love you’s” and get them back out on the days when there are no hugs, just slamming doors.

I’m the mom who loves you SO MUCH. You are the children who save my life every day. I’m the mom who is trying to be the parent you deserve, even when I’m not the one you might want.

 

*EDITED TO ADD: I am completely overwhelmed by the response this post has gotten. I love all you guys so much,  and even though everyone keeps saying that I’ve made them feel less alone, the truth is that YOU GUYS have made me feel less alone. Thank you all SO much for every like, comment, share, and kind thought. I’ve been trying to respond to all the comments, but as I guess y’all know, I’m sick a lot. But I have read every single one of them, and each one brings a smile to my face or a tear to my eye and sometimes both. I just wanted everyone to know how much your love and compassion for each other and your “me too” and your stories have affected me.

Love,

Steph


At Least They’re All Wearing Pants. I Think.

5:30 AM: Wake up.

5:32 AM: Pour coffee. Panic about all the things. Put on running shoes because my feet are bitches.

5:35 AM: Attempt to wake kids up gently. One is already awake because he STAYED UP ALL FUCKING NIGHT. One begs for one more minute. One glares at me out of one eye. Find leopard print dress that daughter wants to wear, carry it around with me.

5:40 AM: Discover that although I spent hundreds (AND I DO MEAN HUNDREDS) of dollars on an array of Nike shorts, WHICH ARE ALL MY KID HAS WORN FOR THE LAST YEAR, he has decided today to wear a too short pair of faded black jeans with paint stains that I bought at a yardsale over a year ago. He also disdains the colorful new socks he begged for and that cost more than most prom dresses and wears instead two-year-old black socks that I’m pretty sure were left here by some random kid.

5:45 AM: Find my other son also wearing old black jeans. What. The. Fuck. NOBODY WANTED NEW JEANS. I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT FUCKING JEANS. Jesus. Whisper “fuck you” to older son because I know it will make me feel better and make him laugh. Say JK! Because he loves it when I do the Teenage Speak like the other day when I said I was totally ratchet and they said I don’t think you know what that means so then I said I was going to go ham. I also don’t know what that means.

5:50 AM: Start making lunches. Drink coffee. Add more and more things to lunches because I don’t want them to be hungry and they won’t eat breakfast. Take things out of lunches because I am going way overboard and lunch boxes won’t close. Wonder what happened to the leopard print dress.

5:55 AM: Look frantically through son’s dresser for black shorts because he JUST CAN’T wear those jeans. Not those jeans, please just not those. Wonder what happened to leopard print dress. Son asks for IPod back because he was in trouble and it was taken away but it is the first day of 7th grade so I say Yes because I am a Nice Mom.

6:00 AM: Cannot find IPod or dress anywhere. Son says IPod is in my purse. That is ridiculous. I tell him I hid it somewhere he would never think to find it. He says it seems like I hid it somewhere where I also would never think to find it. He again claims that he saw me put it in my purse. I do not have time for this. Go look for leopard print dress, beg daughter to get out of bed, plead with husband to Find The Things.

6:05 AM: Accidently forget which child I am talking to and yell, “WAKE UP!” at 6-year-old who then bursts into tears as I frantically stroke her head and apologize because I got confused and thought she was the other kid who I have to scream at to get even a blink. She gets up.

6:07 AM: Daughter gets dressed in backup leopard print shirt and khaki shorts. Accuses me of always buying her clothes that match mine. That is just ridiculous because I would NEVER and I do mean NEVER wear leopard print. Although now that I think about it, my luggage and my blanket are leopard print and also my makeup case…

6:10 AM: Son says he’s ready to go. I tell him to brush his teeth and put on deodorant. Tooth brushing takes a long time because toothpaste cannot be found, he doesn’t know that two weeks ago I replaced the head on his spin brush, the bathroom smells. Has he not brushed his fucking teeth in two weeks? I can’t think about this now. Again with the IPod in my purse. Whatever.

6:15 AM: Daughter dances around and I tell her to go pee. She says thanks for reminding her! Jesus. I tell her to brush her teeth while she’s in there. Son AGAIN with the IPod. “We took it to BestBuy, remember? And I asked for it back but you said no and you put it in your purse?” I remember that we took it to BestBuy and I put it in my purse. Yes! Pull IPod out of my purse triumphantly and give it to him.

6:32 AM: Son asks what time are they leaving and I say TWO MINUTES AGO OH MY GOD. Other son gently says some shit about that being a little early, don’t I think? NO BECAUSE THERE MIGHT BE TRAFFIC. My kids will not be late on the first day.

6:35 AM: Ask son if he brushed his teeth and put on deodorant. He says he brushed his teeth but did not need deodorant because he was wearing cologne. Husband explains that deodorant is Every Day and cologne is only if you want. I say ALWAYS WEAR DEODORANT OH MY GOD.

6:37 AM: Daughter wants sparkly rainbow hair bow that matches leopard print Not At All. Ends up wearing sparkly headband that matches leopard print Not At All.

6:40 AM: Everyone starts to leave and husband says, “At least she didn’t make you guys line up for pictures” so I say OH MY GOD GUYS and get out my phone. I try to take a picture and say, “Why is it all black? My phone is broken. Shit! Oh wait, the case is on. HOLD ON WHERE ARE YOU GOING I HAVE TO TAKE A….they are gone. I chase them to the car and take photos maniacally. I hug them all tightly and tell them to have a good day.

6:45 AM: Back in quiet house. Pour more coffee. See leopard print dress in kitchen.

7:15 AM: Husband calls to tell me that they can probably leave a little later tomorrow because they are already there and the doors don’t even open until 7:30. I say that I thought there might be traffic. He says, “Me too” just to make me feel better.


The Tooth Fairy and Santa are Two Different Burglars

My 6-year-old has approximately 15 loose teeth that she refuses to pull out. She’s my third child, so…whatever. I have more important things to worry about, like whether I should use markers or colored pencils when I’m creating masterpieces in the coloring book I stole from her.

Perhaps I should’ve paid more attention to the tiny fucker. (The tooth, not my kid.)

It was a simple trip to get ice cream. Thing 3 took two bites and declared that it was “too hard” and “was making her tooth fall out.” ICE CREAM? Ice cream is too hard? Seriously?

So I had to eat not only my own ice cream, but hers as well. Because I’m not about wasting money.

 

This is how it all started.

This is how it all started.

After that, we went to the store and like every other damn time we’re in public, she started regaling strangers with our life story. As usual, I held my breath and prayed that she wouldn’t burst into song, since she apparently thinks her life is a Disney film and my boobs are a good subject to sing about.

She started talking about her tooth so I said, “You should just pull it out so Santa Claus will come tonight.” I recovered gracefully, as always, and shouted, “NO! SHIT! I MEAN THE TOOTH FAIRY! The tooth fairy will come. Not Santa.”

Jesus. The little hustler took advantage of my confusion and added a chocolate bar to our cart.

I organized my bags just so, unaware that my cart and my sweaty butt crack were blocking an entire parking space.

I was ready to get the fuck home.

The candy bar was a gooey, melted mess by this time. Because I am a genius, I handed it to her, telling her that if she HAD to have chocolate, she’d just have to lick the wrapper. I know. I know, okay?

I’d just pulled out into traffic when I heard, “My toof!” I glanced back and decided that I wasn’t cut out to be a mom.

The tiny maniac, grinning and covered in blood, chocolate, and tears, proudly handed me her tooth. I put it in my purse, handed her napkins to bite down on, and took the liquefied chocolate from her gross little hands. Thanks to my unparalleled grocery placement skills, I knew right where the wipes were, so we were able to clean ourselves up a little.

I breathed a sigh of relief. We survived all that, while I was navigating through heavy traffic, and I handled it like a pro. Don’t tell me I’m not mother of the fucking year. Ha!

The mental high fives came to a screeching halt when we came up to an intersection with a flashing yellow arrow. We were in the middle of a left turn when flashing turned to not flashing and cars started coming at us from every direction.

What. The. Fuck. WHAT’S WITH THE YELLOW ANYWAY? In my day, yellow meant slow down. This was bullshit. Just then, my daughter stood up, leaned towards the rearview mirror, and said, “I’m going to look at myself. I can do that because you never buckled me in.” ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

With complete control over myself and the situation, I yelled, “FUCK!” Then, “Sit down. Oh my god. Sit down.” We made it out of that godforsaken intersection and I pulled over.

Seatbelts on, I was pulling carefully back onto the road when my husband called. I thought I would tell him what we had just been through, and he would laugh and not be appalled that I even had a driver’s license.

I should’ve known better.

Just as I answered the phone, the forgotten bloody chocolate disaster slid off the dash and into my lap. “SONOFA…Here. Talk to your daughter.”

Somehow we made it home in one piece, WITH the tooth, and I’m never leaving this house again.

Can you explain this yellow flashing light bullshit? What’s the grossest mess you’ve had to deal with while driving? Can my kids come stay with you for the summer?

 


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