Monthly Archives: June 2012

Four

Four is a really great number.  I have nothing against the number four.
It is a good number if you are, say, dividing a dollar into quarters.  That happens to work out very well.
I would also enjoy eating four cookies.  Yum!
I also have approximately four friends around whom I am not troll-like, although I am trying to raise that number.  Ok, I have more friends than that, but they have to pull me out of my troll-cave in order for me to interact, but the more I hang around people like me, the more I see that maybe that’s not so unusual.
Also, I think those people on Sesame Street did a few little songs about the number four or something.  They seemed to like it as well.
I like 4 o’clock in the afternoon, because that’s when I get to leave work.
There are many things I like about the number four.
But here’s the thing.  At no time, EVER, never-ever-not-at-any-time should there be FOUR people in my bed!  Especially when one of them is not my husband.  Seriously people, I woke up this morning, with three kids plus myself in my bed, and can you even begin to guess who had the least amount of space?  Yep, that would be me.
I was clinging precariously to the edge of the mattress by the shards of my fingernails, hoping not to plunge face-first into the carpet from my previously comfortable nest.
And damn those Sleep Number people for not bothering to tell me that there is no magic number on the face of the planet that will EVER make a mattress comfortable if there are a kazillion people lying on it.  They should have just told me, “Hey lady, if you have kids, you may as well buy the concrete slab version, because that would totally be just as comfortable.”

Wielding the Sword

I have learned that the little people in my life wield honesty much like a sword.  They swing it around wildly, and sometimes it hits its mark with the amazing ability to slice through all the b.s. and just get right down to business.  Some of the most important things I’ve been told (or reminded of) lately have come from the little folks.
Some things they say are funny, and some are brutal in their innocent honesty.
For example, last night, as I was frantically getting ready for my very first Agents’ Conference EVER.  You know, the one I have been fretting over.  The one that has been making me eat Tums for breakfast every day this week and the one that has given me a twin set of nerve-induced stomach ulcers.  Also the one where I’m convinced I will probably do something to humiliate myself…something like vomit on a prominent agent’s shoes or other things equally mortifying.  Anyway, just a case of minor nerves, but I digress.  I was getting ready for that, and as I stood staring blanking into my closet, hoping that my fairy godmother would miraculously appear and deliver the magical outfit that would be the most appropriate to pack in my suitcase, one of my 5-year-olds appeared.
I happened to be trying on a new dress.  It looked awesome online—one of those really cute maxi dresses with an empire waist.  Except when I stood 5 minutes later staring at it in the mirror, I looked like a middle-aged pregnant lady who already has five kids and who CLEARLY doesn’t know what causes that phenomenon.  At the very moment I was turning to get a side view of the dress to assess whether or not to leave it behind, the 5-year-old piped up.
“That dress looks FAT, Mama.”
Ummm, I immediately assumed he didn’t mean the ‘ph’ kind of phat, as in, ‘Mama, you are rockin’ that dress.’  Oh, no.  He was looking at the expanse of fabric in awe as if he were contemplating making a parachute with which to jump from the roof.  Well, craptactular.  Back to the drawing board.  The dress stayed behind.
Yay, honesty.
I have received other tidbits of honesty lately.
A little girl I was coaching at the gym said to me, “Coach, why do your feet look so OLD?”
After I finished sobbing into my spare pair of gym socks, I replied, “Oh, sweetie, these feet have been a lot of places.  Just you wait.”
Both of my 5-year-olds tell me daily, “Mama, you’re my BEST friend.”  That’s pretty honest.  Hearing that makes me happy beyond belief and also sad that someday they’ll grow up and I won’t get to hold that esteemed position in their little lives.  Every time they tell me that, it makes me want to spend more time with them than ever.
My 10-year-old told me not long ago, “If you’re still breathing, you keep trying.”  Um, wow.  So I guess I’m going to go to this conference, and I’m going to keep writing, and I’m going to keep trying.  Because if a 10-year-old has it figured out, then she’s got some things to teach me.
And also, I’m pretty sure I’ll hear some honesty from some adults this weekend as I meet new faces in the publishing world, and for the first time ever, I’m feeling brave enough to hear it.

There Comes a Time…

I have learned thusly this weekend.  There comes a time when little boys become curious.  And when this time comes, there are some things you need to do.  Let’s work through them here in some scenario-type examples.
Say, for example, you kindly ask your spouse (or significant other) to entertain the kiddos while you luxuriate in a simple 30-second shower whereby you attempt to soap, shampoo, and avoid slicing through your femoral artery while shaving—all before someone manages to find you in your glass fishbowl and begin to observe your activity.  This in itself is a finely choreographed piece of theater, but let’s take it one step further.
For the sake of entertainment, let’s just pretend that your spouse (or significant other) is so in tune with his assault on whatever village he might be pillaging in his latest video game that he forgets that he might have needed to remember the whereabouts of the children.  This should be no problem—except for the fact that Mommy is performing a quick rendition of scald-me-clean under the showerhead.
No problem.  BUT, let’s just say that IF a certain 5-year-old were to wander into the bathroom after a certain mommy were OUT of the shower, and a certain mommy was unaware of this little boy’s presence, the little boy might ask certain questions.  For example, when Mommy is ever-so-sneakily using Daddy’s razor to “trim the fairway,” said little boy might scare the ever-loving crap out of Mommy by asking, “Why do you need to do that, Mommy?”
“HOLY EFFING FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE, WHY IS THERE A KID IN HERE?!” might be what you might hear the mommy say.  You know, if that were to happen in real life.
But it totally didn’t.  Because that would be bad.  And you would totally have to have a legitimate reason for having Daddy’s whisker-shaver and um, you know.  So, yeah.
So, my point here is, there comes a time when boys should be banned from the private spaces where girls frequent.  And this is a general rule in our house, but you see, our house has one of those big, open bathrooms in the master bedroom, so the little people tend to wander.  So, if your house is set up like this, I’m just letting you know that there may also come a time when you need to bar the door with concrete reinforced bars and padlocks so that you do not have to explain embarrassing things to little people.
Also, I’m pretty sure it will help with future psychological expenses, both for parents and children.  Also, have I mentioned that I might need a drink?
So, yeah.  That.  Lock the doors, people.  Lock the flipping doors.  And hey, Honey, sorry about the razor.

Nagging Questions

As a parent, you may have questions about your children as they grow.  (No, this is not some new-age self-help brochure.  Stick with me for a minute.)  Here are some of the more obscure ones—the ones you may be embarrassed to ask, along with the answers you may be afraid to receive.  You are welcome.
Will my child ever get out of my room?
No.  Not ever.  Really, at least not in your lifetime.  In fact, you will find yourself waking in the middle of the night to find nearly full-grown, hairy-legged man-children curled up on your floor whispering ‘G’night, Mama’ to you in their deepening, ever-so-creepy little man voices.  They will never leave your room.  You will probably never be alone with your spouse again.  No sex ever again.  Get used to it.
Will my child ever learn to use utensils like a human?
Not if your child is a boy.  His fork will always double as a scoop shovel, a tool to get food from Point A to Point B, and if you are lucky, he will learn to drop less and less of said food as it travels from his plate to his face.  Some of us, though, are not even that lucky.  Get a good broom.
Will my child ever stop wetting the bed?
Probably not.  In fact, I have heard tales of many a grown man wetting the bed after watching particularly scary movies, so be prepared and keep plastic sheets on hand.  In all seriousness, though, no.  If you have a bed-wetter, may God have mercy on your soul.  Invest in Febreeze, towels, and lots and lots of Overnights pants.
If I am open and honest with my child, can I expect the same in return?
Absolutely not.  They will lie their little butts off if they think they have a shot in hell of staying out of trouble.  This goes for the good ones, too.  Learn to look for the signs.  They are shifty.  If they fidget or don’t make eye contact, they are lying.  If you suspect they might be lying, they are lying.  If you think they might be telling the truth, they are lying.
My teen says she thinks boys are gross.  Should I believe her?
Hell no.  If she’s telling you that boys are ‘gross’ or that she’s not ‘into’ guys, this is your first cue to get out the chastity belt—the faster the better.  She’s checking out the eye candy, and you’d best be on guard.  Set the traps.  Be on the lookout.  You don’t want to be called ‘Granny’ anytime soon.
My children roll their eyes at me.  Could this be a medical condition?
Absolutely.  It’s called IMA-BEAT-YOUR-ASS, and it is very contagious, especially among teenage populations.  Chances are, when you see one teen rolling her eyes, there will be others.  Other signs of this disease are shoulder shrugging, sighing, and foot stomping.  The only cure is to quarantine exposed teens to their rooms with no electronic access for a minimum of one week.  Also, screaming and yelling help, sort of like exorcising a demon.
Will my child turn out ok?  Will my child become a productive member of society?
Eh, probably.  Who knows?  Odds are that, no matter how many times you’ve messed up, gone batshit crazy up on their little butts, or even dropped them on their heads, they are going to turn out just fine.  So for now, sit back, sip some wine, try to shrug off some eye rolls, yell a little when you need to.  Then cross your fingers and hope like hell that you did ok.

Things That Might Make Me Kick You In the Kneecap

(Or Worse)
Adding the ‘or worse’ part is sort of like adding ‘in bed’ after reading every fortune cookie you ever get—it’s totally mandatory, and I’ve recently picked that up from a good friend.  Thanks, http://darthamethystos.wordpress.com/for the tip!  For example, when driving through a really bad neighborhood, you want to tell your friend, “Lock the doors!  You’ll end up getting killed—OR WORSE!”  Got it?  Ok, moving on.
So, I might kick you in the kneecaps (or worse) if you participate in any of the following.  (I’ve been feeling particularly violent lately.  And also, very in tune with my ever-increasing list of personal irritants.)  This list should help you with your personal safety.  Don’t do these:
  • DO NOT sit at a 4-way stop like a dolt while 12 cars proceed through the intersection.  If this many cars have gone before you, that means you have missed your turn a LOT, and you are a moron.  It is not difficult to work the 4-way-stop concept.  If you are confused, you may pick up a copy of the drivers’ manual at your nearest DMV, which is a pleasant destination indeed.
  • DO NOT clip your fingernails at work.  I might stab you with a pencil.  Or I might decide to come over into your cube, haul out the belt sander, and go to work on my foot calluses.  Because if we are getting into the gross hygiene crap, I’m going all-in.  And the day one of your stray clippings flies over the cube wall and lands in my cup of coffee, it’s all over bee-atch.
  • DO NOT scrape the plastic coating off the inside of your yogurt container.  For the love of God, when it’s gone, it’s GONE.  I will throw you a protein bar or a bag of nuts or something if you are that hungry, but stop the infernal scraping.  Or better yet, stop counting points, and grab a hunk of meat, and maybe you won’t be so damn hungry!
  • DO NOT ask/make/force me to participate in your dumb team-building activities.  They were ridiculous in elementary school, and they are more ridiculous now.  I do not care how tall my spaghetti tower is in comparison to the other teams’ towers, nor do I care to divulge my innermost personality quirks in order to allow our “team” to best utilize each member’s assets.  Gag me.  This will definitely make me kick you.  Or WAY worse.
  • DO NOT ask me NOT to hold a grudge.  I’m generally a nice person, and it generally takes a whole lot (I mean a gargantuan shit ton) for me to be mad at someone, but when I am, boy-hoo-howdy, it ain’t pretty.  I’m just sayin’.  We’re talking Hatfields & McCoys, and the grudge runs deep in this one.  But as long as we’re good, it’s all good.  Seriously, I can only think of one person I really can’t find a need to talk to ever again—well, at least until he maybe donates a kidney to a dying child in a third-world country in my honor—then maybe.  But other than that, it’s all cool.  But don’t ask me to talk to that dude.
  • Oh yeah, and DO NOT blow your nose at a restaurant table.  I might not go up to you and overtly kick you right then and there, but it’s just gross, and I’ll totally want to spit in your food.

I think that’s all for now.

Also, I bought a lovely beta fish that the people at Petco assured me would add tranquility to any space.  I’m hoping it will help with some of my anger issues.  As long as the little guy doesn’t piss me off, we should get along well.  His name is fluffy.  I think a hidden flask in my file drawer would give me more tranquility.