Monthly Archives: March 2019

A time to laugh, a time to weep (but mostly weeping)

They say to every thing there is a season. Which is why I suspect we have winter. Misery, depression and blanket fort binge-drinking need a season too.

But, and I think I speak for most of us when I say this, it is high time to turn, turn, turn onto a new season. Before I burn, burn, burn Mother Nature TO THE GROUND.

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It’s the same thing every year. Winter overstays its welcome until I get so frustrated that I physically start trying to punch the arctic wind as it hits me in the face. Thus making ME look like the crazy one. But I’m not crazy. Winter is crazy. I’m not crazy. HahAhaAhhaA! It’s winter’s fault I’m karate chopping the air and scaring small children who pass by.

I JUST WANT TO FEEL MY FINGERTIPS AGAIN.

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And that’s when it happened. Right when I was on the brink (or perhaps just a little past it), it came. Did you guys smell it? Taste it? In the air? As soon as I opened my eyes that morning, I knew. Everything was the same and yet, subtly different. It wasn’t even that much warmer. Ten degrees, tops. But it was a DIFFERENT kind of warm. The kind of warmth that makes you remember that you used to be more than just a bag of freezing flesh stuffed into flannel pajamas and wrapped in a Snuggie burrito.

The first spring-like day had finally arrived. The first day where the sun wasn’t just a distant ornament hanging in the sky, but an actual star producing light and heat. The first day where everyone poured out of their houses, blinking in bewilderment at their neighbors, like “Hey, I vaguely remember you!” The first day of the rest of our lives because we were all, at long last, free from the icy grip of that monster, Father Winter.

And yes, I hear you. Okay? I hear you. “Um, well, you know, technically spring doesn’t start until the equinox on Mar…”

SHUT UP. Let me have this. I have been walking my kids to school through a winter wasteland for four and a half months. I don’t remember what it’s like to not have thermal leggings on underneath my regular mom leggings. I need to believe winter is over.

NEED.  

“Sure, but I mean, don’t get your hopes up. It’ll definitely snow at least one more time.”

OH, WHAT’S THAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF FLOWERS SPROUTING AND BIRDS CHIRPING. AND NOT THAT SAD WINTER CHIRPING EITHER. HAPPY FREAKING WARM SPRING CHIRPING.

“But you realize that spring is an extremely volatile season, right? We are in for months of sleet and mud and generally unpleasantness.”

Oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening again. Too busy admiring these brand new flip-flops I just bought.

“The forecast for tomorrow is calling for hail and a high of 43.”

Oh, burn in hell.

At least it’s warm there.

Shoot, I might join you.

Look, you can throw facts and forecasts and freezing rain down on my delusional parade all you want. But I’m staying firm in my belief that winter is now over. I got a taste of what life used to be like a million years ago where a quick trip somewhere didn’t involve 20 minutes of shoving squirmy toddler limbs into elaborate outerwear. And it tasted delicious.

It tasted like hope.

Hope of a new world. A brighter, greener world. A world where my pale face turns slightly less pale and people stop asking me if I’m sick.

And I am eating it up until I vomit.

Then going back for seconds.

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Potty Training II: The Sequel (Even Squishier)

Humans are good at many things. I mean, just look at all the things we have learned to ferment in only a few short millennia.

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But perhaps one of the things we are best at is avoiding doing things we don’t want to do. We have mastered this skill. Utterly mastered it. Individually and as a group. Our avoidance skills will be the number one thing aliens from outer space write in their field notes while studying us.

Observations on the Human Species by Dr. Blekblorrrg

Made contact today for the first time. Although the biped I ran into, who calls itself a people, immediately tried to erase the memory by consuming large quantities of fermented berries straight from a bottle. (Interesting side note: They also appear to worship cats and cheese).

You think we got to the top of the food chain because of opposable thumbs and tools? Nah, son. It’s because woolly mammoths had no idea how to avoid extinction and we’ve managed to put it off until at least 2100.

But it’s not just on an epically global scale where we practice these skills. Take, for instance, the lengths I have gone just to avoid having to potty train my youngest child. Sure, she’s only two, but when she asked me last week, point-blank, “Momma, can I go pee in the potty?” I responded “Absolutely, honey. We can definitely do that. Next week.”

Look, I know I should. I really should. Just rip off the metaphorical diaper and let the river of urine and frustration flow freely. But I have a very good, very valid, reason for putting this entire thing off.

I don’t want to do it.

I mean, I’ve already been through this with her big brother. And before him, it was training the dog. And before him, it was training the husband.

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At this point, I’m over it. When did I get promoted to PeePee Police? It’s a giant bowl, for crying out loud. All the peeps and poops go in it. Then flush, bang, boom, you’re done. Can’t you just, like, train yourself, sweetie? Like how you taught yourself all those curse words I definitely had nothing to do with?

There’s just so much work involved. So much patience involved. So much ruined furniture involved.

Unfortunately, my daughter is giving me little choice at this point. Trying to get a diaper on or off her little tushie these days is a saga of epic portions. As soon as she even thinks I might be thinking of changing her diaper, she runs. She hides. She wrestles. She kicks. She escapes. She’s recaptured. She bites. She stands in the corner. She cries. She finally accepts her fate. Ha! Just kidding! She runs off again, her little cheeks flapping freely in the wind.

So, it’s time. That’s the thing when you have kids. You can’t put things off forever. It’s not like avoiding doing your taxes, where you probably have a good ten years before anyone catches on. People will definitely notice a 12-year-old wearing diapers.

But all this does bring up the important issue of why are there no programs where I can just drop my kid off for a week and she comes back completely potty trained? I mean, I can get Taco Bell delivered to my door at 4 a.m. seven days a week but I still have to potty train my own children?

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Come on, fellow humans. We’re better than this. Once we can no longer avoid doing something, at the very least we should then be able to pass the responsibility on to some strangers we pay to deal with it.

Let’s not let down Dr. Blekblorrrg and his research team.

 

Snow Day But Today

It begins with a whisper. A mere whisper of a rumor. Riding on the coattails of a rising and moaning wind. But it’s enough. Just enough to light a tiny spark of hope against the unrelenting bleakness of a never-ending winter.  

However, since nothing is in writing yet, it’s business as usual for the moment. You head up to your room, almost giddy. You haven’t felt this kind of anticipation since Christmas Eve, which feels like an entire lifetime ago. You told yourself you weren’t going to do this but the urge is just too delicious to resist. So as your head hits the pillow, you allow yourself one small maybe. Not likely, no. Slim chance and all that. But…maybe.

Then the what-ifs come quickly galloping in. What if, though? What if it actually happens? All that time, that unstructured time, stretched out before you.

…what if…

Before you know it, your eyes snap open. A brief moment of confusion in the dark and then you remember. You scramble out of the intricate tangle of blankets. You run to the window and allow yourself one furtive glance outside. A lacy wall of beautiful white battling the dark sky greets your eyes. You give your thumping heart permission for one small leap.

Maybe indeed.

It’s the only time the news is actually relevant to your life. Boring people saying boring things. But underneath them are the slow and sacred scrolling words that could change everything.

Please, PLEASE, you quietly breathe to yourself in the blackness of pre-dawn. Most days you can’t bother to wake up before the sun. But not today. The stakes are too high. You can’t risk missing a moment of this potentially epic day.

You just need a break. From the daily grind. From the expectations. From, let’s face it, life.

Sure, you’re only 8-years-old, but are you not human too?

They’re only up to the B’s. Who knew there were this many places in the world that started with the letter B? You know it will be many, many long minutes before they get to the specific words you are oh-so-desperate to see. Still, you barely allow yourself to blink.

After what feels like a lifetime, and maybe it is (you are only 8 afterall), there they are. Those beautiful, beautiful letters floating past, practically smiling at you.

YOUR SCHOOL: CANCELLED.

A scream escapes your lips and you run around the living room, arms raised above your head, releasing all that pent-up anticipation in a series of feral whoops.

A snow day. SNOW DAY! An entire day off. Just for you. An unexpected holiday gifted to you from the very weather gods themselves.

And to thank them, you promise not to waste a second of this beautiful gift.

Cut to 30 years later. You are now a parent yourself. While making dinner (that, let’s face it, no one is going to eat), you hear it again. It’s been a long time since you’ve heard it, but you could never forget the sound of that whisper. Ten inches predicted overnight. Maybe…

What if…

You need this. You need an unexpected day off to remember what’s important. To remember that life is not just one long and mindless march forward, going to the places you are supposed to go and doing the things you are supposed to do. That it isn’t just putting pants on tiny, squirming, resistant legs and hollering at them for the seventh time to brush their teeth because you are going to be LATE FOR SCHOOL. AGAIN.

You allow yourself to look out the window. Nothing yet. You sigh and stir the spaghetti.

Just one day off, you plead to the air. One day off where you aren’t required to do anything. Where you don’t have to get anyone anywhere at any certain time. Where you don’t have to try to stuff wild humans into domesticated clothes and then stuff them into a coat and hat and gloves and then stuff the entire package into the car. Please.

Suddenly your phone dings. Then pings. Then vibrates. An email. Followed by a text. Followed by a voicemail.

YOUR KID’S SCHOOL: CANCELLED.

A bit anticlimactic, sure. Not like the old days. But still, that old feeling of pure joy manages to comes through.

Thank you, weather gods. I promise not to waste a moment of this beautiful gift.

Starting with not bothering to put pants on anyone.