Tag Archives: funny

What? Me? Jealous? No. Pffft.

Guys, I hate to be THAT wife, but I need to brag about my husband for a little bit. He just added the title of “children’s book illustrator” to his already impressive resume. A title he managed to squeeze in while working at his regular demanding journalism job and coming home to his regular demanding wife and kids who are always up in his face the second he walks through the door.

I am so proud of him. This is a guy who literally worked his way up from paperboy to now whatever his current fancy title is at the Boston Globe (a fancy title, mind you, that I definitely know but just don’t feel like typing out right now).

And he’s not just a hard worker, although he is that. He’s also genuinely talented. Which is probably why he’s succeeding both professionally and creatively. Which is great. It really is. He’s amazing and deserves everything he’s accomplished. He has really lived up to his potential, unlike some people he’s married to.

Ha! Ha!

What? No, I’m just kidding. I never had much potential in the first place. Ha! Again. Oh, we have fun here at this old blog of mine. A blog that no one reads and never goes viral. Good thing I have a successful man to stand behind.

Oh, what’s that? No, YOU sound slightly jealous.

Besides, what good would it do if I was jealous? We’re a team, me and him. Him and me. I also reap what he sows. Especially now that we have kids. Every success he has means we can pay the bills and not be homeless and get as many toppings as we want on our Friday night pizza. Including FRESH basil.

More importantly, I love him and want him to achieve all his dreams. So what if the highlight of his week is a cool book signing event and mine is working out a lose/lose situation with my youngest child where if she’ll just SIT on the potty for two minutes she still gets M&M’s even if she doesn’t actually pee or poop.

So no, I hate to disappoint you, but that feeling I’m currently stuffing way way way down deep is definitely not a twinge of jealousy. I fully understand why my own creative endeavours have to take a backseat right now while I take care of our young brood.

Although, if I’m being truly, albeit reluctantly, honest, my husband is also really conscientious about taking over the child care duties whenever possible to give me time to work on writing career.

Yeah. Yeah, I know. Wow, he really IS great.

What? No. That wasn’t sarcasm. Hey, I’m a lucky, lucky woman and I realize it.

It’s just, I mean, at some point isn’t him being so generous and fair just rubbing it in my face that I too have dreams I want to accomplish and he fully supports them? Like, where does this guy get off?

You know what he did last week? Deep cleaned the kitchen  Like, got all the stains off the stovetop that I had just accepted as a permanent part of the decor. The insensitive jerk.

Oh, that sounds a bit harsh, does it? Well, what else do you call doing all the chores around the house so I can spend the weekends working? The nerve of him. It’s like he is taking away all the plausible excuses I could use for why I still haven’t finished that first draft of my “novel” like I promised myself. Or the six children’s books I started writing and stopped because apparently plot is an important part of a story. Basically he’s leaving me no choice but to accept the fact that I’m the one responsible for whether or not I’m successful at my own career.

Total bastard, right?

Look, all I’m saying is that he works incredibly hard so that I can stay home and raise the kids, which I wanted to do and which I love doing, while also giving me time to work on my writing projects, which I also love, and thus making it almost impossible to blame him for anything. I mean, what the hell? How dare he.

AND, speaking of how dare he, how dare he also prove that hard work pays off. I’m a writer. Most writers don’t actually want to write. Writing is hard. We just want to BE writers, sitting around in coffee shops and bars and daydreaming about the day the book we never actually sat down and wrote gets magically published.

Oh, but here comes old Mr. Sit Down And Do It proving without a doubt that doing something is the only way to get anything done.

Sigh. I guess the only thing I have left is to actually work hard, now that he has cruelly taken all my excuses away.

I just hope I can forgive him some day for being such a wonderful and supportive partner.

 

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Disappointing your dentist & other fun grown-up stuff

If you were to grade me on my adulting capabilities, I’m fairly confident I’d receive a solid C average. For instance, I always pay my bills on time. But I’ve also been ignoring my leaking dishwasher for three weeks and can never seem to eat the avocados in my kitchen before they go bad. Mostly because they’re avocados and, as such, taste like avocados. I pretty much just buy them so when other adults come over to my house, they look at the avocados and think “wow, she has avocados, she must really have her life together.”

And then there’s the whole dentist thing. Rumor has it that as an adult you’re supposed to go to the dentist on a fairly regular basis. Fairly regular basis, of course, meaning “at some point.”

Oh, so when’s the last time I went to the dentist, you ask? Well, that depends. Do you want the answer I tell the dentist, the one I tell my mom, or the truth? Either way, the answer is always wrong.

I know this. I am an adult, afterall. I have the I.D. to prove it and everything. That’s another aspect of adulting I’ve mastered. I always renew my driver’s license on time. On time, of course, meaning “within six months after it expires.”

So, yeah, I’d been meaning to make a dentist appointment. It’s just life got in the way, as it so often does. There was work and then I had kids and then there was all the time and energy I had to spend on ignoring my dishwasher.

Also I was scared. Super scared. Just a Scaredy McScarepants.

Not for any good reason, mind you. Dentists don’t deserve their reputation. They are kind and hardworking people. They are highly-trained professionals. They provide an invaluable service to society. Think about the last time you had a toothache. How awful it was. Most of us would run over our own mothers just to get to a dentist to make that pain stop.

And there are plenty of people who have far more evil occupations. Serial killers, for one. Investment bankers. Those people who keep calling me from my alma mater asking me for money.

Why do we hate going to the dentist so much? Well, for one, you never leave there with good news. And if you have ever left the dentist with good news, if your dentist has ever told “wow, great job, your mouth is perfect,” then what are you doing even reading this? You clearly are a responsible, respectable member of society and are not my target audience. How about you go floss some more, nerd.

As for the rest of us, there’s a root canal or lengthy flossing tutorial or partial jaw removal in our immediate future.

Besides, I’m one of those people who just assumed that if I brushed twice a day, used mouth wash, and randomly remembered to floss every few weeks, everything would be fine. Teeth are one of those things, like cars and dishwashers and trendy vegetables, that I expect to last forever and ever until the end of time without any interference from me.

But you know what’s coming next, don’t you? Of course you do. Because no one just wakes up one day magically wiser and goes “ok, I’ll finally do that awful thing I’ve been putting off for far too long.” Oh no. No, something FORCES you to do that.

In my case, I woke up with mysteriously painful and swollen gums. So, like the C average adult that I am, I walked around and complained about the pain for a week. And then I screwed up my courage and finally made a dentist appointment.

More importantly, I actually showed up to the appointment. Where I was politely shamed about my dental history. That’s the other reason why we hate going to the dentist. They’re always disappointed in us. Don’t get me wrong. He was very pleasant and kind about it. But I knew I let him down.

Imagine how upset he’d be if I actually told the truth about the date of my last dental appointment.

But the bigger lesson here is that whatever it is you’ve been putting off, whatever it is that’s been on your undone to-to list for months or years, it’s never as bad as you imagine.

I’m kidding. It was exactly as bad as I imagined. Possibly worse.

But I survived.

And you’ll survive whatever your metaphorical dentist is too. Even if it is the actual dentist.

 

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.

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.

 

Because who doesn’t want aluminum for a gift?

Well, well, well. I never thought it’d come but here it finally is. At the end of this month, my husband and I will be celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary!

…yay…!…?

Yeah. I know. Not that exciting.

I mean, ten years, yeah, of course. That’s a huge deal. You made it an entire decade. It’s the…copper anniversary? Bronze, maybe?

Holy crap. I just looked it up. It’s the tin or aluminum anniversary. Also, I stole a glance at the ninth year gift. It’s willow or pottery. I mean…what? Who made these rules? (Because my guess is it was either an extremely practical woman or an extremely clever man).

“Thanks for putting up with my farts for ten years, honey. Here’s some tuna.”

“Aw, the dolphin-safe kind. Just what I always wanted. Thanks, darling!”

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Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes…

But nine years? Eh. At nine years your anniversary plans are likely squished in-between giving your kids lice treatment because there was another outbreak at preschool and a meeting with Todd, your semi-dodgy accountant but he’s the only one you can afford.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for marriage and am personally very happy my husband and I are still going strong. (I don’t want to brag or anything, but I am not the easiest person to live with).

It’s just that after nine years of building a life together, the building part is mostly done and now it’s just a whole lot of maintenance. Maintenance that sucks up all your time and energy and money. Especially when you throw children and careers and pets into the mix.

Take, for example, this very moment right here. I am attempting to type this sentence with a two-year-old squirming on my lap while my husband texts me about his crazy morning at work and I text back “Crap! We need band-aids and juice boxes. Can you get them after work?” And then my 2-year-old almost breaks my laptop and I yell at her and she starts crying and the dog starts barking and my husband texts me back he has a late meeting but will as soon as it is done.

That is what nine years looks like.

Nine years is spending 27 minutes trying to figure out who can take which kid to their dentist appointment.

Nine years is silently and mutually agreeing to ignore the awful noise the dishwasher makes every time it’s turned on because there is no money in the budget currently to fix it.

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Nine years is yelling at each other in strained voices about the ridiculously high vet bill and then 30 seconds later, in a perfectly calm voice, bringing up which cake you should get for your son’s birthday as though nothing had happened. Because sulking is only for couples with the luxury of free time.  

Nine years is “hey, come look at this…should I go to the doctor?”

Nine years is constantly forgetting to kiss each other goodbye but always remembering to get extra pickles for them when ordering take out.

Nine years is a horror movie and two bottles of wine on Valentine’s Day.

Nine years is mostly communicating via memes when apart.

Nine years is a truly impressive Tupperware collection.

Nine years is “I did your laundry. It’s in a giant pile on the bed.”

Nine years is a truly comfortable silence. Interrupted by a truly impressive fart.

Nine years is realizing all that sugary sweet marriage advice you got at your wedding was useless. Never go to bed angry (um, then we’d never sleep). Never keep secrets from each other (those secret stashes of fancy chocolate are the reason my family is still alive some days). Would you rather be right or married? (I’m never wrong so it’s a moot point, Aunt Carol).  

And, if you’re very lucky, nine years is wanting to do all this god-awful mundane business of living– the bills, the cleaning, the obligations, the never-ending youth soccer games, the grocery shopping, the novella-length kindergarten registration packets– with no one else but them.

I love you, Ryan. And I can’t wait to clean out the kids’ closets this weekend with you.

Which reminds me…

Get some wine at the store too.

 

Get out of my house

Pretty much at some point in my day, pretty much every day, I realize just how lucky I am. A loving husband who loves to tell me about his day. Beautiful little children who fill my heart with the sounds of laughter and the pitter-patter of little feet. I treasure each and every moment with these amazing creatures.

But I could treasure them even more with just a little bit of distance. Which is why right now I need all these people out of my house.

I don’t care if it’s far away or just down the street.

But get out.

Oh, I realize this might sound ungrateful. These people fill my life with a joy I have never known before. Moreover, they have filled it with meaning and purpose and unconditional love.

And whistles. They have filled my life with oh-so-many whistles. What idiot gave these kids whistles? Whistles that they blow right beside my ears while jumping up and down right beside me on the couch.

Which is why everyone needs to get out of my house.

Now.

I have never lived alone. I lived at home and then had a bunch of college roommates and then I moved back home and then BOOM, my stupid husband made me fall in love with him and we started our life together. And then we added two more homemade humans to the mix. Humans who have no concept of personal space and proper booger disposal techniques and appropriate voice volume.

And while I wouldn’t change a thing about my life, there are days when a room of one’s own isn’t nearly enough.

Everyone get out of my house.

Of course, it’s not like I myself never get the chance to leave my house. My husband is great about giving me time to do my own things. I go for runs. I go to coffee shops to write. When he gets home from work and I have a certain look on my face, he quickly ushers me out the door into the direction of the closest bar. But there are those times when I don’t want to put on an entire pair of pants and comb the little green army men out of my hair so that I can be “socially acceptable.” I want to eat junk food that I don’t have to share on the couch in my ratty old robe while watching TV shows featuring nudity and curse words. And I don’t want to have to pause it so that I can refill sippy cups eight times in two hours.

Get. Out. My. House.

Someday, years from now, I dream of a house filled with my husband and my grown kids and their significant others and an entire litter of grandbabies who all call me MawMaw. A day where we all gather around the table and the house is full to bursting with conversations and laughter and jokes and memories. A day where I can’t imagine that at one point I ever wanted time alone.

But today is not that day.  

EVERYBODY OUT.

And don’t come back for at least three hours.