shout it out, baby

I need a snorkel
these cotton blends come in waves
much like nausea

I’d have a sparkling and witty post for you today, but I’ve been buried by an avalanche of laundry. It’s a good thing I have really long Elastigirl fingers so that I can type this while I search for air pockets amongst the stinky and seemingly reproducing shorts and shirts and underpants and other sundry filthy apparel.

When I’m rich I’m going to hire someone. This someone will come to my house, cart away my dirty piles and piles and piles of laundry, then return them, clean and folded. I will pay this person generously and buy him or her a nice Christmas present, not just a Simon Malls gift card or a bag of cookies. I will laud this person. I will lavish him or her with praise and riches.

Until then, I need a snorkel. The waves of clothes keep knocking me down. Underpants cling at my heels like seaweed. Blueberry stained Onesies mock me with evil, tittering laughter. I’m like the Little Mermaid and my dirty jeans are Ursula. They hold me hostage, refusing to give me what I want (a smokin’, yet cleanly clad, ass). But they tempt me. They whisper coyly, "wash me on Hot and see what happens." I fall for it everytime.

Curse you, Ursula jeans!

And curse you, too, laundry!

Top Five

twisting turning pain
time to invest in some BRAT
never trust the bus

The Top Five Reasons Why I Had Diarrhea Yesterday

5. I had to get all bitchy with the school bus people. Why does the bus never show up? The wee one shows up. I stand there with him. It’s dark and early and he’s all chattery about how fun the bus will be. But the bus never arrives. Maybe it’s invisible. Maybe it’s cloaked in moonbeams. I don’t know. What I do know is that IT DOESN’T SHOW UP AND NO ONE IS HELPING ME FIGURE OUT WHY.

4. Vitamin water and pasta for lunch. I knew that was a bad idea.

3. Finding out that my babysitter didn’t add us to her fall schedule. She can squeeze us in for some weird times, but those times really won’t work, because I have to pick the wee one up from school everyday. Oh that bus is a pain in my ass.

2. The wee one’s teacher called me, in the middle of the day. Instantaneous fears of illness, kidnapping, and misbehavior flooded my aching belly. She just wanted to know if he was to ride the bus home. I said No, if the bus can’t find the stop in the morning, I imagine it won’t show up in the afternoon either, and the wee one will be whisked away to a land of moonbeams and invisible orange behemoths which he might love, but I would not. So no, please keep the wee one off the bus. Stupid effing bus.

1. While I managed to write 13 pages (!), the wee-er one managed to eat almost an entire treasure chest full of tiny plastic coins (!!!). This is why I need a babysitter. After following the nurses directions (when I called in a panic) to feed the wee-er one some bread to cushion the plastic coins, the wee-er one yarfed up the bread. As I frantically searched for paper towels, the DOG ATE THE YARF and so who knows if any coins came up. I took the wee-er to the doc – amidst rush hour traffic – to be told she most likely puked because she choked on the bread and that plastic is invisible to x-rays (make a note for future superhero ideas). Then, after visiting the doctor, I had to pull off the highway and find the closest bathroom to be sick in, because I was coming down off the adrenalin from "oh my god, I’m killing my baby by trying to write during her waking hours." Sorry, fancy neighborhood’s library bathroom.

I blame the school bus for everything. No bus = no babysitter. No babysitter = wee-er one gorging on plastic. So by the transitive property of PAIN IN MY ASS, No bus = $100 spent at the doctor having a pissed off belly palpated.

The good news? Someone in this family finally has money coming out the wazoo. She can break wind AND a five, if you’re interested.

And that’s why I’m eating toast and applesauce today.

The end.

Things learned on the first day of Kindergarten

my politician
who knows where the genes come from
so cute, so bizarre

We went to pick up the wee one from school yesterday, and the excitement around that place was electric. Even the teachers were flushed and breathless. Though that probably had something to do with the fact that it was 49,000 degrees outside.

I asked the wee one what he learned on his first day of school and here’s what he told me:

1) If you bring a toy, it goes to the mayor’s office where it must stay until a mommy or daddy comes to pick it up

2) It is not fun to have milk spilled on you, especially when other kids laugh

3) School is great, but it feels like you are there for ten hours

4) Everyone wants to be friends

5) If you hold your hand to your face and close your eyes, it’s like your mommy kissing you

6) Teachers like to eat chocolate

I think it was a successful day. His teacher commended him on his politeness (!) and when he got home he was excited about going back. Also, he fell asleep at 4:20. Ha. I had to wake him up to eat dinner.

This morning, though, he bounded out of bed at 6:10, put on his clothes and was ready to go before I could barely crack an eyelid open. We made an attempt to catch the bus today, but after a twenty minute wait I deduced we had either missed it, or it wasn’t coming, so I drove him. He was not happy at all. I don’t know why the school bus is such a draw, but he is bound and determined to ride it and love it. 

I talked to the school’s principal (or "mayor" as the wee one calls him) and I made a call to the bus people so I think we’ll be all set for tomorrow. Though I admit, I kind of like driving him. It’s fun to see all the little shorties and their giant backpacks.

Maybe once my muddled mind clears up a little I’ll write more about our first day adventures. For now, though, I’m going to drink some tea and send psychic brainwaves to the wee-er one, pleading for her to sleep. Mama needs a nap.

this is unexpected

today it begins
such a momentous morning
in such subtle ways

The morning started off like they all do, just earlier. We ate oatmeal, chatted about the day to come, got dressed and ran out the door. There was some picture taking, and we happily didn’t have to search for clean underwear and socks, but otherwise, it was just a morning like all the rest.

Except that it wasn’t.

And now I’m home and I did not expect to stand in my living room not knowing what to do. The wee one is at school. I met with some friends for breakfast, came home, put the wee-er one down for a nap, and now… what?

My husband is off today so maybe we’ll go shopping. The sitter whom I thought was coming is, in fact, not, so we won’t be going to a movie. That’s OK, though. I don’t know that I could sit still for a movie today.

I feel… weird. Exhausted, excited, muddled. If you’ve read The Golden Compass, I feel like my daemon has been pulled away from me; the creature who shows the world my emotions, who’s so tightly woven into my soul that my heart aches when we’re not together – he’s not here. And I don’t know what to do with myself.

The wee-er one will keep me busy, sure enough. And I have plenty of writing to get done. Over the weeks, we’ll go to storytimes and maybe catch a music class or something. Find a new sitter. Get into a routine. But it still feels weird.

I always thought I’d immediately get down to work as soon as the wee one was in school, not pace the living room. But there you go. I guess I’m kind of bogged down with opportunity as weird as that sounds. The wee-er one and I can do anything. Go to the park, watch a show, write a story, read a book. No one is commandeering our afternoon. And yet, it’s so quiet. I haven’t had to answer a question in three and half hours.

I don’t know what to do with myself.

Maybe I should grab the vacuum and put this pacing to work.

conversing

A conversation I just had with the wee one:

"Mommy, where are we going?"

"To Office Depot."

"Why?"

"We have to find you a clipboard for school."

"Do you need a mommy and a daddy to make a baby?"

"Yes."

"Can we get a milkshake after we get a clipboard?"

"Maybe."

"I have to go potty!"

meet the teacher!

wheelbarrow is full
supplies in tow, we venture
into the future

This afternoon we take our four bursting Target bags of school supplies up to the wee one’s new school and meet his teacher.

[insert image of me, as Homer, hopping from foot to foot, hands up by my shoulders flopping nervously back and forth, with a concerned grimace on my face]

Something about school brings back memories of being judged. And I loved school! But I still can’t shake the "am I doing it right?" "did I answer that correctly?" "does everybody like me?" decidedly in-the-box-with-a-fear-of-stepping-out-of-it attitude that was instilled in me during my elementary and middle school years.

Feeling this way irritates me, because I’m happy to be uncoventional and strange and all that. I feel better when I’m antagonizing the status quo. And yet, as a kid I was Hermione Granger. I guess I still am to some extent. So just smelling the inside of an elementary school brings back some kind of muscle memory that makes me shrink down to three and half feet tall.

I am intimidated, I think. Which is ridiculous. I am the mommy. I rule the world. And yet I know that for the better part of everyday, another grown woman will rule the wee one’s world. I don’t want to defer my power to her, but I know I’m going to have to trust her. Wielding Grown Up Power over my child is not something I trust to those of a weak constitution or tendency to holler. I plan to scrutinize this teacher, as I’m sure she’s used to from mommies throughout the years. I have a page of questions to ask. I am going to try and not feel bad for being annoying. I’m also working very hard to banish all feelings of intimidation and inferiority before I step foot in that school this afternoon.

I will not be a push over. And on the other side of the spectrum, I will not be a hovering heliparent. I will relax. I will relax. I will relax.

The wee one, by the way, is incredibly, out of this world excited. And I’m excited that he’s excited.

"We get to meet my teacher today!" he squealed upon waking up. "I’m going to wear this!" And he promptly offered up the skeleton hoodie I bought him a couple of days ago. It’s black and has glow-in-the-dark bones painted on it in the shape of ribs and arms. 

"It’s a hundred and seventy nine thousand degrees outside, wee one," I said. "It’s going to be too hot to wear a jacket."

His cheerful grin turned into a glower. He stared at me as if I had just happily offered him a plate of green beans for breakfast.

"Mommy," he said in his ‘don’t be an idiot’ tone that makes my ears twitch. "I’m not going to wear a shirt under it."

Ah, yes. That will make it incredibly cooler.

So think of us at about 3pm today. The wee one will be doing his best Martin-Lawrence- jogging-in-a-sweat-suit-and-slowly-sweating-to-death impersonation and I will be tamping down decades of strange leftover "a test! it’s a test!" feelings. The wee-er one will be standing in her stroller and my husband will be walking behind us pretending he doesn’t know who we are.

Yee haw, three days until It All Starts.

barking mad

driving mostly sucks
too many people do it
and get in my way

I was driving home from puppy class last night and I realized that I exhibit old dog behavior everyday. The puppy class is a six week socialization "course" for Tucker. He learns how to be around things like other dogs and skateboards and fireworks without totally losing his mind. It’s a cool class. And now that I’ve realized it’s helping me socialize myself, too, I really feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.

In class last night, a big 14-year-old dog was brought in to help correct the puppies as they played with each other. The pups would chase each other around and if their play got out of control, the big dog would run over to them and give a gruff growl as he separated them. Sometimes he would engage in play and when the pup got too rough he’d bark or show his teeth and the pup would run off all, "sorry, dude. see you later!"

It was amazing to watch. After about 20 minutes of play time, some of the more excitable pups had learned to control themselves not just around the grouchy old dog, but around the other puppies, too. Not only that, the puppies, including mine, were mimicking his behavior. When Tucker had had enough of one dog coming after him, Tuck showed his teeth, gave a bark, and the other dog trotted off.

"Look at that!" the teacher exclaimed proudly. "Tucker is correcting the other dogs now!" It was really cool.

So I was thinking about all of this as I drove home. This teenage-driven Mustang came right up on my ass even though I was already speeding more than I should have been. There was no way I could get over to let the Mustang pass, because traffic was pretty heavy. But the Mustang was insistent, coming closer and closer, then barely slowing, then coming closer again – classic aggressive asshole behavior.

Without even thinking, I slammed on my brakes, just totally stopped short. The Mustang had to swerve into the emergency lane to keep from hitting me. Then I calmly got into the next lane. As the Mustang recovered, it ultimately passed me, but the driver was not going 50 mph over the speed limit like he’d wanted to.

My limited, naive mind would like to think I corrected him, just like the grouchy old dog. But I realize what I did was stupid, could have resulted in an accident, and bordered dangerously close to road rage. And yet… there’s a glimmer of hope that my "correction" rather than just pissing off an asshole, might have shown him to pay more attention while driving.

I know I shouldn’t apply puppy class to driving, but I’m a grouchy old dog and I can’t help it.