Are your thighs oddly attracted to each other and trying desperately to fill the space between them? Do you try to put on your go to jeans and they don’t fit, but your post pregnancy/period jeans do?
Figuring out that your parents knew as little about raising children as you do is a mind altering experience.
I spend much of my time in disbelief that I am the mom of two amazing kids, because I often feel like a kid myself. How did this happen? When did this happen? Just yesterday I was getting my license, graduating college, moving to my first apartment… and somehow I am an adult with a home and children. Children that come to me in the middle of the night with growing pains, and nightmares — looking to be comforted. I’m mothering by the seat of my pants.
How is it that I am winging it and my mother seemed to know everything? I walk around sputtering a slew of medical advice I got from this woman who was so thoroughly competent and mature at 35, they may have even let her practice medicine in some states, like West Virginia.
Was Dr. Mom wrong? Was she all knowing or just a teenager, stuck in a “mommy” body, spouting the information imparted by her mother before her? If your tongue has a green tint, do you not need to make a BM? If you get stung by a bee does toothpaste not soothe the sting? It all made perfect sense when I was 8.
I took these practices as gospel, logging the protocol in my “future motherhood file,” for safekeeping. I filled my arsenal with pertinent and sometimes even magical remedies, only to find myself at 35 in a CPR and safety class being jeered by the instructor, the “movie star” hot instructor.
Because I am mentally no more than 21, I was secretly praying he was a stripper, hoping his snug manly fireman’s uniform would Velcro straight off to the sound of some cheesy disco accompaniment.Don’t think I didn’t whisper, “bow chicka bow wow,” to get the ball rolling.
I attempted to impress him with the vast medical knowledge I had learned from the omnipotent Dr. Mom.
“Butter for burns?” He laughed. “Coke Syrup? for a belly ache?“
“Who taught you this stuff?” He prodded and not in a flirty teasing way.
Apparently, my medical knowledge was archaic. Not only did it make me seem old, it made me seem Amish.
I was about as sexy to this strapping buck as the Snapple Lady. There it is, that four letter word that is so hideous so heinous… L-A-D-Y. To this stud I was just some “lady.” My mom was just like me… some kid who was a “lady” to everyone else.Some of those brilliant treatments she made up on the fly and the others she just relayed as I did, hoping to sound as if she knew what she was talking about.She believed what she was told as a child, because her mom, another “Lady,” of maybe 25, told her it was so.
My entire foundation crumbled in 3 hours and a snack break. Realizing your mother was no more prepared or mature than you are is a shocking and mind altering epiphany. It’s like trying to figure out what was here before the world. If you think about it too much your head may spontaneously combust.
My mind was swimming. I tuned out the sexy EMT, well muted him, to think this through. Have I found the key to motherhood? Is it not in the actual knowledge but in the belief? My ultimate goal as a parent is for my children to be safe and secure. Is that not what my mother, the witch doctor, did for me? Having trust and faith in her knowledge was a necessary part of making me feel safe and secure.
Maybe we don’t need to know everything or be ultra mature to be good parents. Maybe the answers we have are enough.
My epiphany was making me hyperventilate .I considered throwing myself to the ground, grabbing my throat and kicking resuscitation Annie out of the way. Look, sometimes you take it any way you can get it.
Today, I was leaving a birthday lunch for my friend Tracey. I pulled out of the parking lot with her pulling out behind me. I got to the light waiting for her to pull next to me. Spontaneously, my face contorted into some stupid face, because I’m 5 like that. While looking straight ahead, I gave her the finger as her car inched to my side. Keeping my head toward the traffic light, I shoved said finger up my nose, way up my nose…because I’m 5 like that. I made some weird bucky beaver face while snorting and slowly turned to look at Tracey, HOLY SHIT THAT’S NOT TRACEY. The elderly woman staring me dead in the eye with a look of total and utter disgust is someone I have never seen before.
She turned quickly as if caught eaves dropping, but not before an eye roll. I stopped snorting, removed my finger from my nose, and gave her a meek smile. This is why I should not be allowed out of the house.
I considered not posting this because so many people witnessed it happening. I wasn’t sure if there was anyone left to read about it. Because there is some pertinent information, I decided it was worth sharing. I have discovered the quickest way to make people despise and hiss at you. If this is something you may be interested in… read on.
Bring a cranky child with less than five hours sleep under her belt, to the grocery store. It’s a brilliant plan for anyone with too many friends or any kind of social interaction disorder.
She began our trip like a giddy drunk: a little unstable, but cheerful and capricious. I may have even gotten an, “I love you man… I mean Mom,” accompanied by a hearty chest bump. Well, her chest, my knee. But, like most drunks, the second you shove them in to the seat of the shopping cart they get belligerent.
Cindy our favorite check out girl made the tragic mistake of saying, “Hello my sweet Ryan,” When we arrived. Her “Sweet Ryan” responded with bared teeth and an ominous growl.
“How could you Cindy?” I snarled. I should have done a 180 then and there, but I selfishly decided that it was more important that my family have their precious food than maintain any good will towards neighbors.
By the meat counter Ryan lost it when I pulled the number out of the number machine. When I felt her eyes bore a chasm through my forehead, I succumbed and allowed her to pull out 10 more numbers…much to the dismay of the deli staff.
By the time we hit produce she had spiraled out of control. I said something so horrifying, it left her no choice but to unleash an Earth shattering scream of disapproval. The grapes looked old, but I now realize, I should have kept that scary tidbit to myself.
I also affronted her by pushing the cart too slowly. When I sped up she hit her back on the cart which was adding insult to injury, actually injury to insult. Semantics aside, it was unforgivable and ohhh, did I feel her justifiable fury.
As I waited for her head to stop spinning, I decided to spare the customers the migraines they were acquiring and spare myself the gossip that was developing. I grabbed a few essentials and made a beeline for the checkout line. Cindy’s line was the shortest. I reluctantly got in it and shot her a scowl, letting her know I had not forgotten the cruel injustice she showed my child when we arrived. Ryan continued to sulk, which triggered the woman in front of me to say, “Aww, Poor thing. She’s so cute.”
I took one look at her blood shot eyes as she was rolling them at me for some unknown wrongdoing and simply said, “She can be cuter.”
As I approached the end of the belt, Cindy looked at me with the sad pouty face adults make when imitating crying children.
“Hello Jenny,” she said in a not your day, kind of way
“Don’t even go there Cindy, you chipper woman or I will knock that annoying pout clean off your face,” I barked in a stint of misplaced frustration. Okay, I didn’t say that, but I did give her the, “talk to the hand” gesture. No, I didn’t do that either. I said, “hello Cindy,” but I said it in an Indian accent, so she would be oddly confused.
Next time I choose feeding my family over my daughter’s surly mood, I will remind myself that, there is a reason Mc Donald’s is making the youth of America fat. Then I will head to the nearest drive-thru.
This story is like a bad episode of Three’s Company… not that there ever was one, I love you Jack!
I went into the vitamin store today where a lovely couple owns the shop. They know me, my concerns, my usual products, etc… My biggest issue is that I cannot swallow pills. I have forced myself to swallow some pretty disgusting stuff (I know, that’s what she said.) in avoidance of those monster vitamins they make. I’m sure the purveyors of vitamins have dealt with this issue before. It seems I have mentioned this once or twice, as the owners always consider it before helping me find a new pill.
Today, it was just the husband in the store with his brother. I think I said something like, “I need to look at the size to see if I can get it down.” Bob eyed his brother and the brother walked away. I had no idea why, and I walked over to look at a sample. Then I said something like, “Come on Bob, you know I can’t swallow.” Still completely oblivious, I turned around and the two of them were in absolute hysterics. What did I just say? Then it hit me. Oh…that was bad. I had to start with the familiar, “Come on Bob,” no less?
“You know what I mean.” I said flushed with embarrassment.
“Yes I know, you always remind me.” snicker snicker.
Then I realized, this was not a one time accidental sexual innuendo. How many times had I said things like, “I have trouble swallowing,” or “That will make me gag, it’s so big?” I could tell by the way the laughter came out like a floodgate exploding, that this was an ongoing joke, an ongoing joke that I was the ongoing butt of.
That kills me for so many reasons, as I am usually the first to get the double entendre, the pun, the sarcasm, the “that’s what she said,” moment. I can imagine him and his wife calling each other every time I walk out the door.
“Oh Lisa, Jenny said she, ‘can’t swallow’ like 5 times today. I think that’s a record.”
“Noooo Bob, that’s not the record. Don’t you remember when she was looking for calcium supplements?”
“Of course, Lisa. She said she had tried the liquid, but it was soooo thick and chalky she spat it all over the sink.”
In Unison: “That day will go down in infamy. I think we closed early.”
I know you’re thinking they wouldn’t really say that in unison, but it was either that or to write the song I imagined they spontaneously broke into.
“I cannot swallow.”
“Your throats not hollow?”
“That’s too immense”
“You are so dense.”
See not a great song.
I am no stranger to laziness, but this is extreme, even for me. I went to get refill blades for the Gillette Fusion, Mach 91, turbo, hydraulics razors that Mark and I use, but they were out. So I got the Mach 90 version instead. Being that the blades were a number off, our razor handles did not fit, but luckily, Mark had one from the last time Gillette came out with the “most powerful razor on the planet.”
We only had one handle between the two of us and since Mark shaves 5 times more often me, (I did the math) Mark got dibs. Therefore, I had to remember to take his handle into the shower and put in my blade that waited on the shelf, anytime I needed to shave.
Today. It wasn’t until I got in the shower that I realized how badly I needed to shave. Rather then open the shower door, walk all the way to his sink, and get the floor wet along the way, I decided the smarter call would be to hold the blade gently allowing it to pivot in my finger tips. Well , another brilliant idea borne by laziness. I mean look at Benjamin Franklin; sure, kite flying isn’t lazy, but it certainly isn’t a grand endeavor.
I had finished one leg, when shampoo dripped perilously into my eye. Rather than stop, turn around, and grab the towel hanging two inches from my face, I trudged on. I mean, what could be the harm in pivoting a razor in my finger-tips, while precariously balancing, with only one eye?
Actually, I got a fabulous shave minus one nick and what I might have to term a divot. I am often amazed by the things I will do to avoid doing other things.
PS The kicker is that my wireless mouse just ran out of batteries, and I had to empty yet another remote to fill it All, so that I could write this particular post about laziness… Oh, the irony.
I’d love to know if anyone has done other comparably lazy things.
Being a new column to Think Weston, I would like to take this opportunity to make an introduction. Column…People, People…Column. Now that the formalities are out of the way, I’ll tell you a bit about life in the Suburban Jungle.
I am a neurotic mother of two amazing, wonderful, brilliant, perfect children which is saying a lot because I am a harsh critic and an uncompromising disciplinarian. You know, the kids have to sing for their supper kinda stuff… well, they at least have to ask… well, a grunt would be nice. Actually, they just sit and I make multiple meals until one is worthy of their sophisticated taste buds and doesn’t exacerbate their fear of burnt spots, crust, pizza bubbles, or food that touches other food. It is my job to keep them protected from the Florida sun, prehistoric Weston insects, and plasticware with the number 3, 6, or 7 on the bottom. I have to expose them to just enough germs to build their immune system, while using little enough sanitizer to keep them healthy. I also have to remember to feed and water them daily.
Most likely you’ll find that you and I are a lot alike. We live in the same pristine suburb of Weston, which is not unlike the Truman Show. For instance, the Starbucks Dog Walking Crew passes the intersection of Glades and Indian Trace at precisely 7:42, 12:37, and 5:15. You can set your watch by them. I’ve also noticed that no matter how hot it gets, the members of the Biker Brigade never break a sweat, a feat I’m sure they’re getting paid double for.
Like you, I find time each day to take the mandatory trip…or 2…or 3 to Publix, which is more than I can say about my likelihood of showering. I can’t say I haven’t tried to get into the wrong SUV, and I may even curse at Starbuck’s when my “usual” is not waiting for me. Damn the new barista!
Like you, my children are signed up for 102 after school activities, have marathon playdates, and attend enough birthday parties to ensure I will not have a free Sunday for the rest of their young lives. Like you, I attend the school’s holiday boutiques which celebrate everything from Shavuot to Secretary’s Day. Yes, I too find myself obligated to buy frivolous wares, like stickers with my kids names and likeness on them, home tie-dyed clothes, and embellished flip-flops.
Like you, I have crazy friends and acquaintances that are teetering on divorce, having affairs, start pourin’ the Mommy Juice at noon, or all of the above. Like you, I have cellulite begging me to stop wearing short shorts, laugh lines screaming for Restylane, crow’s feet crying for Botox, and spend far too much money trying to look dewy. You and I have a Cinderella Complex, Penis Envy, and Buyer’s Remorse. G-d we have a lot of problems don’t we? Let’s just take a break to call our therapists.
Since we’ve clearly bonded over our commonalities, plus the need for serious therapy and a stiff one (I am talking about liquor), I must come clean on the one Weston trend that I’m not down with. This would be the fashion statement I call “sweans.” Are they sweats? Are they jeans? No one will ever know, but apparently they’re comfortable enough to jog in and dressy enough to belt. Pheww, now I feel like I can tell you anything… and I’ve got a lot to discuss. I’ll see you in the Jungle.
I did not lie in yesterdays post. Notice the trashcan has fallen down. I was going to pick it up for the picture, but I was scared he would come out cacti a-blazin’ and outline my body with “do not cross” tape and reflectors.
FYI in this neighborhood they will cite you for not promptly bringing in your trashcan from the edge of your driveway, but apparently it’s okay if you throw it in a hole and tie it to your tree.
Everyone says their neighbors are insane…well so are mine. Each one of them a whack-job, and G-d only knows what they have to say about me. At the very least I’m the inappropriate exhibitionist who walks her kids to carpool in her underwear every morning, pulling down her t-shirt hoping to cover the cheeks protruding from her On Gossamer thong.
As you are probably aware, I live in Florida. You know, palm trees, severe humidity, hurricanes, prehistoric insects, the whole bit. Bearing this in mind, one of my supremely crazy neighbors is cultivating a pretty intricate desert-esque cactus farm, each one jury rigged to the other with a series of ropes, boating lines, and phone wires. Like a house of cards, or some other profound metaphor, even a slight gust (which as everyone knows never happens in Florida) would disrupt this fabulous display of “anti-tropics”. Last summer he planted a single leaf and then proceeded to encircle it with 8 stakes and do not cross tape attached. My neighbors and I eagerly waited to see what this leaf would become. He watered it, patted it, talked to it, got it high, and now it is a small bush. Fascinating, I know.
Today I drove by and found that he is digging a hole to China on the actual town property beyond his sidewalk. I’m told it’s called a swale, but don’t hold me to it. For the past couple days there has been police tape between a tree and a chair tilted back ever so carefully on a 37degree angle (I used a protractor), next to a kitchen trashcan with 3 long reflectors sticking out of it. I thought it was out for bulk trash pick-up, but now it appears he has “McGuivered” some kind of pulley system and is digging a trench around it. I am not sure if he as at war with the people across the street, but I feel maybe I should warn them as I think he may start shooting his cacti out of a cannon.
The man two doors down from me is running a crack den that offers a free car detail with every rock sold. I am sure of this as he has maybe 8 kids all of different descent, clearly the product of his crack ho disciples. There is a slew of hopped up Bentleys, Benz’s, and Hummers getting detailed outside of his house on the weekends. I was going to turn him into the association for running this drug ring, but I really liked the job his detail guys were doing and decided to hire them instead.
My next door neighbor is straight out of “Arlington Road”, you know the movie where the neighbors were terrorists and set up Jeff Bridges to look like the unabomber. First of all they spend a fortune every year on a 4th of July fireworks display that would make the Grucci family jealous. This extravagant celebration of our countries independence is very shady, as they are British. They are also anti-Semitic. I know this because they fought with me about our property lines. Oh, and also because they had a 4ft replica of a WWII German plane with a huge Swastika on it, which they fixed in the driveway of our predominantly Jewish neighborhood for like 3 weeks. I don’t talk to them much.
Two doors to the other side I have a woman who asked my carpool and the 5 other elementary school carpools on our street not honk in the morning as it wakes her middle school children. I said that might be a problem and suggested earplugs, a sound machine, or to just deal with it like every other person not living in Century Village. Now her husband gets a sadistic joy out of driving by my house around 9pm when my kids are asleep and beeping all the way to his house, passing 3 carpool houses along the way. Today I made a lovely introduction between them and the “Arlington Road” people, I’m sure they’ll become fast friends. Now if I can just get the cactus guy to attack their house all will be right with the world… or at least my block.