Aug 122009
 

This morning, stuck home alone with my children, I had the following epiphanies:

-My husband hates me and our kids. When he called yesterday to say good night to us from his “layover in Atlanta”, he was actually sipping his fifth margarita at a resort in the Keys, where husbands really go when they say they’re on business trips.

-My house is filthy, and too small to exist in. Too small to breathe in with all of these high pitched voices and dolls and teeny shoes. I am not a home-owner, I am a half-home owner. I accidentally purchased half a home, which is perfect since it’s worth half of what I paid for it. Where is the other half of my house?

-My son will be in therapy soon for co-dependence. He keeps nervously telling me I am “the best mommy in the world,” which is his effort to keep us all on this side of social services when he rightly senses I’m teetering on the edge.

-Tish will join him in therapy to deal with her neglect issues. This morning when she fell down and cried for the fourth time in an hour, I left her there crying, without even turning my head. I’m sorry, but somebody’s got to start sucking it up around here.

-My parents definitely like my sister more. Which is understandable, but still. Rude.

-My hair is horrible. And I am fat, and short, and ugly, like a gnome. And on the day I die the undertaker will have to use concealer on my wrinkly 80 year old chin because I still will not have grown out of my acne.

-I have far too many children. Every time one of them says “Mom,” I bristle like it’s an act of aggression. One or two will have to go. In an effort to avoid playing favorites, I will get rid of the next two who ask for water.I am done getting water. Forever.

UGH. And one more gloomy, lifeless, miserable UGH for good measure. actually, I’m too blah for capital letters today. so… ugh, instead.

At one point this morning, as I stared at the wall and wondered how I hadn’t noticed before that my life was spiraling into this black hole of despair and drudgery, I was brought back to my surroundings by a sharp cramp in my side.Then another, and then finally the big epiphany…OH. OOOOOOOOOOOOOH.

I got my period for the first time when I was 12, which means that it caught me completely off guard for the 250th time this morning. Why don’t I ever see it coming? Why aren’t I ever prepared for the viciousness of it?

After breakfast when the kids and I were playing Chutes and Ladders …the game that makes me grateful we don’t have guns in the house, for fear that I might use one on myself if I land on that long freaking slide one more time…I heard an interesting news report on the radio.

Apparently, a woman walked into the Louvre today and threw a mug of coffee at the Mona Lisa. She was immediately arrested and the commentator described it as an “unforgivable” act by a woman who was clearly “not well.” But I immediately understood this woman, and I smiled for the first time all day. In fact, I had half a mind to walk out my half a house and put some bail money in the mailbox.

Maybe the poor woman just woke up on the wrong side of the month this morning. Maybe she walked into the Louvre and saw that smug Mona Lisa hanging there with that composed, unruffled, amused smirk that she wears everyday regardless of the time of the month, and the woman had her own epiphany: Mona Lisa’s going down.

I, for one, stand in solidarity with this woman. As a matter of fact, when the kids go down for their naps, I will go outside and spit my Diet Coke in Mona Lisa’s general direction. Take THAT, Mona Lisa.

ugh.

Aug 152009
 

amma fighter

This is Amanda- our youngest.

When Amma was born, she flew through the birth canal at such breakneck speed that she was a little…rough upon arrival. Actually, she was dark purple and quite swollen from head to toe. All the nurses looked down at her and cooed and pretended to notice that she looked like me, or Craig…but it was painfully obvious that the only human she came close to resembling yet was Rocky Balboa.

Besides the little appearance glitch, I assumed that all was well until Amma returned from her first bath with a sign on her bassinet that said, in huge block letters:

“I HAVE A BRUISED FACE.”

When I asked the nurse why mine was the only baby with her shortcomings advertised, she told me that since Amma was so purple, they were afraid that a nurse might panic and start to perform CPR on her. I was distraught. Every time I looked at that sign I felt like Amma was being forced to wear a baby dunce cap. I imagined all the other babies pointing at her and giggling in the nursery, scootching their bassinets away from hers so as not to be associated with the “bruised-face chick.” Stupid Snotty Jerk Babies. When the nurse suggested that I might be over-reacting, I asked her why Amma would be crying so much if not for the fact that she was terribly embarrassed.

Clearly, the Percocet hadn’t kicked in yet.

But Craig was smart enough not to suggest more drugs when I talked to him about it. He had a more creative approach to the problem. The next morning when I woke up, I noticed that another sign had been added to Amma’s bassinet. Now above her teeny purple face it said:

“I HAVE A BRUISED FACE”

“BUT YOU SHOULD SEE THE OTHER BABY.”

And since Amma was named after the most relentless and graceful fighter we’ve ever known- this was a fitting start to her little life. More on her namesake later..when I can find the words.

Aug 172009
 

We’ve been members of lots of churches on our faith journey.

Right after Chase was born, we started going to a cozy little Methodist church. The congregation was old, wise, and gentle. The elegant minister peppered her simple sermons with “God is good,” to which the whole church replied musically…“All the time.” I think this may have just been her way of keeping those closest to heaven (the kids and elderly) awake, but I loved the steady reminder. I also loved the part during the service when people would stand up and ask for prayer about whatever was on their hearts…a granddaughter’s piano recital, a daughter in-laws breast cancer, a lonely friend. We were doted on like grandchildren there, and we felt valued and adored, like everyone should feel at church.

There were too few children to teach a separate Sunday school class, so the minister would call the kids to the altar and use a parrot puppet to teach them a simplified version of the day’s message. After the parrot lesson, the children scurried back to their parents in the pews and the minister delivered the adult message.

One Sunday, during the grown up sermon, I looked down at Craig’s hand in mine and his fancy church shoes and my mind started wandering.I marveled at how handsome he was and how fantastically mature we were to be in church, together, by choice. Like I always do, I felt like I was just playing grown up, complete with my costume of lipstick and heels .My day dreaming caused me to lose track of the sermon, and when I tuned back in, I was lost.

I leaned toward Craig’s ear and whispered. “I’m lost. What is she talking about?”

After a long pause, Craig whispered out of the corner of his mouth:

“I have no idea. I only listen to the parrot part.”