My Gift To Me This Holiday

We’re fast approaching the 2 week holiday break from school. I’m terrified. It’s a very real fear, one that begins the week before Thanksgiving and doesn’t abate until we’ve landed safely (and alive) on the other side of the break. So this year, I’ve decided to forgo asking my husband for any gifts and give myself a gift, in the form of day camp for my boys. My friends and family don’t understand my fear and decision. This is a joyous time, one of enjoying relaxing days with no school, no homework, and fun holiday traditions. Right?

I recently experienced a single school holiday. One. Day. It reminded me of what I am in for. Let me explain…

Recently there was a school holiday. Feeling adventurous (insane), I kept all 3 boys home instead of paying for day camp. I had visions of baking bread, watching a movie and going to the trampoline house in the afternoon. They’d need to burn off some energy from the homemade cookies we made after the bread, because of course, making bread was such fun, cookies seemed the next logical step.

Since we’re all moms and probably reading this during our only free time – while on the toilet – or for the quick 3 seconds between kids’ asking for a snack/juice box/attention/potty/dire emergency that IS having a booger on your finger and no tissue, I’ll keep my story brief.

Why I’m Giving Myself the Gift of Day Camp:

  1.  7 year old invited his (girl) friend over, then proceeded to scream and cry because she didn’t want to, “Hang like a man and play pool.”
    11 and 12 year old wanted to earn money cleaning the bathroom. I heard, “Eww, this has to be your poop stain because mine are always hard. You need to clean this.”
  2. I needed to walk the dog and asked 7 year old to come. He comes downstairs with duct tape on his mouth and I’m able to get out that he wants to keep it on. He then screams bloody murder as we walk the neighborhood, with me swatting my hands at him telling him to stop. We get home and he says, “That was cool; now everyone thinks you torture me!” Yay me?
  3. I hear yelling upstairs. Then I hear 12 year old say, “No, I like you better handcuffed to the chair.”
  4. 11 and 12 year old decide to take their cleaning business pro. My neighbor hires them to clean their porch. That night I see a post in our neighborhood Google forum. She thought it funny to hear them talking while working, “We’re going to have to start charging more after this house.” Then, “Yeah, it’s like the porch of grossness. Like it should win an award for nastiest porch on the planet.” My boys have not learned the art of quiet talk.
  5. 12 year old decides I’ve had a rough day (he could tell??) so he brings me a glass of wine. I’m impressed until I take a drink and have to spit it out. His “cocktail” included my (very nice) red wine, Pepsi, and chocolate sauce.
  6. My husband had to work late (coincidence?), so I made them promise to be good while I relaxed in the bath. I was enjoying the quiet when they barged in. “Mommy, he put my pool balls in his pants and said they’re his “man balls” and won’t give them back!” His older brother sees me in the bath and runs out yelling, “Oh gross, she has bubbles all over her boobs. Haha, she has bubble boobs.”

This is ONE Day. I’m not sure I’m up for 1 week. And after last year, when the boys decided it would be fun to play Santa for the neighbor kids, I don’t know what to expect this year. The fire department has already sent an email asking my boys to remember that chimneys are not a playground and have requested I hide our ladder. Apparently, they don’t like pulling kids from chimneys on Christmas Eve.

Hot buttered rum anyone?

 

40 Makes Me Wet

I turned 40 this year. I can’t say it has been a groundbreaking year of self-inquiry and insight or even a freeing year of finally feeling comfortable in my skin as I have heard other women claim. I’m still wrestling with the elusive desire of a flat stomach and less defined laugh lines. I still worry about making a good impression with the other moms at school and I still want to have great hair days.

What I do know about 40 is, I cry a lot and I pee myself more.

The peeing used to just happen when I’d jump really high with my youngest at the trampoline house. I got to where I’d put a pad on to help keep the wet stain from being noticed (thank you kind mom for loaning me your sweatshirt to walk to my car that first visit. You’re my hero). But lately, I pee myself regularly.

What gets my panties wet (and not in THAT way):

  • Jumping. Thank you 10 lb babies.
  • Sneezing, coughing and even sometimes, hiccupping. I need panties with a permanent leak guard system – you know, something to help save the environment from landfills filling up with Depends. I think I might be on to something here…
  • Working out. Oh, the joy that has come from feeling great about the fact that I am working out, only to have it shattered by realizing my cute work out pants are now darkened with my lady-bit drips. And because I am me, they’re inside out.
  • Laughing. Which usually makes me laugh more (from mortification), which then leads to hiccupping. It’s a clusterf*ck.
  • Crying. Yes, when I get to sobbing too hard, it’s like my girl cave gets jealous and wants to cry too.

This last one leads me into the other thing that I’ve discovered since being 40; I cry at everything. I’ve always been the woman who cries during the sad scenes in movies or when the girl and guy finally get together at the end of the book. But now, I seem to cry at the most inane things.

Reasons I’ve cried just this week:

  • I peed myself. Ok, this is a regular thing as I’ve established above and given that crying also makes me pee, sometimes I feel like I should just spend my days on the toilet.
  • Adele sang Hello on the Today Show and it was beautiful.
  • I ran out of wine. I was sobbing and my husband went and bought me a bottle. That made me cry too.
  • I punched myself in the cheek trying to get the fitted sheet on the bed.
  • I happened to catch a glimpse of myself yawning in the mirror. Have you ever looked at yourself yawning?!
  • I found a forgotten tub of Chunky Monkey in the freezer when looking for chicken. So happy!
  • I ate the whole tub of Chunky Monkey.
  • My son didn’t want to spend time with me.
  • My son wouldn’t leave me alone and followed me EVERYWHERE. Even to pee, which yeah, I know could happen anywhere but this was actually a full pee stop in the bathroom.

I could go on but I am starting to get embarrassed.

I had high hopes for 40 and I still have another 6 months for things to take an upswing. I am clinging to the idea that at some point, I’ll feel so confident in myself (because life experience, right?) that I won’t care if I pee, I’ll embrace the warmth and count myself lucky to have my two beautiful (and gross) boys. What’s a little pee in my panties compared to the joy of refereeing a fart war or stopping the fight about whose name is first on Santa’s nice list? I’m hoping to finally feel comfortable in the body I have, not the body I want. I hope to hold my head high at the school carnival, as the other PTA mom’s cluster about and talk shop, even if I am the mom whose son is running around screaming, “I like pink fluffy unicorns who dance and fart rainbows!” What? Your sons DON’T like unicorns??

In the end, have hope and that is enough to get me up each morning and think, “Maybe today is the day I stay dry.” Thank you 40, for showing me what true priorities are.

I’m Failing at Pinterest

I joined Pinterest awhile ago but didn’t do much with it until today. I was looking for a cool hostess gift to make for an upcoming holiday party and started pinning away. Unlike the usual boards, I decided to be honest with what I called each of my boards:

“Crafts I’ll Probably Never Do”

“Let’s Buy These Ingredients and Forget Them In Cupboard”

“Fun Stuff for Kids Who DON’T Think Trying to Glue Each Other’s Butt Cheeks Together is a Craft”

“OMG, Is This For Real?” – This one includes a pin on “How to become a Human Table.” It’s a thing – look it up.

I decided I needed to finally get rid of the Thanksgiving leftovers tonight and so I tried out one of the amazingly simple looking ideas; Thanksgiving Stuffing Waffle.

It should have looked like this:

correct

It ended up looking like this:

IMG_0564

I believe this is called a, “Pinterest FAIL.”

Why Bother?

A lot is happening in our world these days that is frightening, sickening, divisive and evil. It’s made me question humanity, myself and my beliefs. It’s not just the terrorism, it’s how I see people treating one another every day. I see harshness, judgement and lack of empathy. People getting so caught up in how “right” they are, they’re forgetting how to be human. So enrobed in jealousy of what they don’t have, they can’t experience the happiness that can come from seeing someone else in a good place. People so angry there’s no room for anything else.

I’ve been seeing this and find myself thinking, “Why bother?”

Then this morning my little one woke. His hair was a jumble of crazy bed head, his cheeks pink from sleep. His eyes were still heavy from the night and I grabbed his face and kissed him. A shock went through me; right into my core. I saw my husband, who smiled at me and told me I looked beautiful. I kissed his cheek and felt it again, the electric shot through my body. And I knew; THIS is why I bother. It’s love.

I “bother” for love. For the feeling of touching someone and experiencing the shock of love. For hearing someone you care about tell you they love you, they’re proud of you or they miss you.

I write a lot of humorous pieces because I truly believe laughter makes everything better. I write about motherhood – the good, the bad and the ugly. I write from the heart about ADHD. I write to help make sense of it all. I write to reach out to all of those people I will never meet, who might be struggling with something today and need to know they are not alone. I write for those who just need a chuckle.

And today, I am writing to remind everyone there is a reason why we all bother. There is good out there. There are people who care, people who will fight for good. There are our children, who look to us to be the model of love, graciousness, empathy and kindness. There is love and there is hope.

 

It’s Magical This Time of Year

Tis the season, that magical time of year

When the Elf on the Shelf comes, to spread some cheer

His gangly red limbs, my boys do adore

His weird ass smile I do deplore

Each night in panic, at midnight I wake

Rushing to move him, so much at stake

My boys still believe, the magic is real

But I hate this elf, that’s just how I feel

Each night must be better than the one before

I’m out of ideas, I’ll scour the internet no more

Maybe this year Jingle comes with a letter

“I’m old these days and I’m not getting better

It’s all I can do to get here each night

So I’m staying put in the line of sight

No more flour angels, no more Lego scenes

I’m old, I’m tired, and you know what that means?

I’m retiring next year, this Christmas is it

I’m moving to Maui; no more Christmas sh*t.”

He’ll sign it with love, my boys will cry

“Why is Jingle retiring Mommy, why oh why?”

I’ll look at their faces, all sweet and sad

And tell them it’s because their fighting, made Jingle mad.

Dear New Neighbor, Please Let me Explain

Hello new neighbor and welcome to the neighborhood. I wanted to apologize for not stopping by to say a proper hello and welcome; I feel terrible for being so rude. I saw you wave this morning and I wanted you to know I was trying to wave back. Turns out, I hadn’t put the lid on my coffee mug correctly, and as I raised my hand (and coffee mug) to say hi, it spilled all over my lap. Ouch! THAT was why you only heard me drive by and exclaim, “Oh for f&ck’s sake, you’re an idiot!” That was NOT directed at you but I understand how, with my window rolled down, me making eye contact and then belting that out, you would think it was directed at you. I was late to an appointment because the dog had decided to roll around in his sh*t that morning, which I had to clean up before leaving. I was frazzled which explains why the lid was not tightly on my mug.

After this exchange, and the ones previously (blush), I thought I should write a little note to explain things, so you don’t end up quickly moving to the other side of the street when walking by, or telling your kids they cannot come play at the “weird” neighbor’s house.

Last weekend, when I was walking my dog, I did wave (yay me) and noticed you looked odd when you waved back. I couldn’t figure out why and assumed you were just a little snooty and rude. It wasn’t until I got home, that I realized I was wearing my pink rhinestone studded tiara. That might have looked a little crazy. See, my son bought me the tiara for Christmas last year and said it made him sad I never wore it. In truth, I hadn’t been able to find it and was unpacking a box from our move (over a year ago) and found it! So I put it on to make him happy, then forgot I had it on and took the dog for a walk. I am NOT that woman who wears a tiara to walk the dog. Well, I guess I AM that woman but, well, you get it. I’ll need to let the other neighbors know too. Who would have thought it would be THAT night, that I meet 5 of our new neighbors!

I also wanted to explain the conversation you heard in the backyard the other day. As you’ve seen, I have 3 boys between the ages of 7 and 12. It gets a little wild here! I was not really going to tape up my son’s butthole with duct tape if he did not stop farting on his brother’s head. I mean, I would love to (because the farts are never-ending it seems) but I would never really do that.

When I was on my deck and I yelled that if my son asked me one more time to come wipe his butt, I was going to make him start wiping mine – that was only said in frustration. I am completely capable of wiping my own butt, obviously, and of course would never make my son do that. I just get tired of telling my 12 year old to wipe his own butt. You get it right?

I also need to apologize because my oldest told me you came by the other day to borrow our ladder. I guess my son told you he couldn’t ask me because I was having Mommy’s Naked Time. See, the only way to ensure my boys don’t barge into my room looking for me, is to tell them I am naked. Then they knock. So sometimes, on a Sunday afternoon, I escape into my room to play a little Candy Crush without interruption and I tell them I am dressing and naked. I only take a half hour or so, but I guess they have now dubbed it Mommy’s Naked Time. Ha, ha, boys…You can come borrow the ladder tonight if you still need it.

Finally, I am so sorry for this afternoon when my youngest came to your house asking if you knew where I was. I know you were a bit panicked but everything was ok really. They’d been fighting all afternoon. When I went into the bathroom to yell at them to stop, they were having a “sword fight”…with their pee. I kind of lost it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get the pee off the ceiling and the dog was standing there licking the floor. I just needed to be alone. I told them to all go to their rooms and I hid in my closet. Sometimes, I hide in there, where everything smells clean and it is dark and no one can find me. I guess my youngest decided to leave his room to come looking for me and freaked when he couldn’t find me. I am sorry he frightened you enough to call the police (I don’t know where he came up with the idea that I had been kidnapped) and that you had to deal with that whole scene.

I’m really a nice woman and usually a very good neighbor. I would love to have you over for dinner, I think the kids will get along better (I’ve talked to my boys about never using the dried dog poo in the backyard as bullets in their Nerf guns, so that shouldn’t be an issue anymore if the kids play Nerf wars. I am so sorry your kids had to experience that).

Let me know if you’re free soon and we’ll plan something. I have lots of wine to choose from. Or beer. We also have rum, vodka, tequila, and well, we can find something you might like.

Sincerely,

Your New Neighbors.

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