Diary of a Tired Mom: New Year, New Rambles.

Musings, stories, and random observations of a tired mother don’t always promise to make sense.


Orr-Park_MG_3797_7547s

Saturday morning, as I was driving to my favorite place to run, which happens to be in the middle of Birmingham’s fanciest suburb, I saw a fully grown man,

with a salt and pepper beard,

skateboarding down the road,

in a bathrobe,

that was printed in a fine leopard print.

I took a picture of him as I drove by.

I swear he posed an especially serious face just for me. Because he KNEW I’d have to take a picture.

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For that one moment, finding him was better than finding roadkill.

You be you, sir. You. Be. You.


Later that afternoon, I was attempting to make my way quickly through the drive-thru at Starbucks. I was behind a little car with a large “I Love My Labradoodle” sticker.

The Barista asked through the loudspeaker, “Can I help you?”

“I just need a few minutes to read the menu, thanks.”

I watched as the few minutes turned into more few minutes, and pondered to myself that perhaps this was not why drive-thrus were invented. You shouldn’t have need to read the whole menu if you’re choosing to stay in your car.

Finally they drove forward, and I quickly gave my order, assuming the Barista needed some decisiveness in her life.

As it became the Labradoodle LoveMobile’s turn at the window, I watched in horror as the Barista brought all the lunch options, fanned out in her hands, and held them out the window, three at a time, to show the indecisive driver what the options were.

SHE HAD TO SEE THE ACTUAL LUNCH OPTIONS, y’all.

And then she didn’t purchase one.

If you need to see actual food before ordering, please for the love of all that is even 1% right in the world, GO INSIDE TO ORDER.


What if you substituted “pelvic floor” for “dance floor” every time you heard it in a song? I found this is a fun pasttime, until I realized that “why don’t you kiss me on the pelvic floor?” is a somewhat bizarre question, and Michael Jackson’s “Blood on the Pelvic Floor” is just a really unnecessary topic to sing about.

So instead, every time you’re watching some serious movie or the news and you hear the term IED, replace it with IUD. The Korean terrorists throwing intra-uterine devices at Jack Bauer is downright pleasurable to imagine.


I realized the other day that I’m lash privileged. I’ve always had extremely thick, long eyelashes because my body hair grows approximately an inch an hour.

But. I allow my lash privilege show when I scoff at all the outlandish things other people do to have long eyelashes.

Fake lashes? So much trouble. And you would put those on for work? How is that a worthwhile operation?

That prescription that may cause heart failure as a side effect? Really? Are lashes worth all that??

But I’m not allowed to have an opinion. Because I’m lash privileged.

However I am not, apparently, eyebrow privileged, as I have one eyebrow that has decided to go prematurely grey. Yes, sadly my left eyebrow has gone rogue and keeps growing multiple white hairs, despite the tenacious grasp of youth that my right eyebrow maintains. I find this quite upsetting.

Maybe my entire left side is weird because I also have one rogue hair on the left side of my ribs that will grow to the floor, except that I yank it out for fun and amusement twice a year. And also if I rub the inside of my left elbow, it makes the left side of my jaw tickle-itch in a horrifically annoying-yet-fascinating way.

Do all left-handers deal with such body trauma as this?


Those matching underwear ads on Facebook draw me into their made-up fantasy every time. Chris and I need matching underwear. Look how frolicsome their lives look! But what are the chances that mine and my husband’s matching underwear would be clean at the exact same time? And furthermore, that the kids wouldn’t be totally weirded out by us wearing no pants at the dinner table?

MeUndies


Has anyone named their kid hashtag yet? Because the ability to easily refer to one’s kid’s actions would be really fun. #Poop #Jerk #Mess #TimeOut #ScrewedUpAGAIN


Noah likes making up gibberish, and pairing words and phrases that he feels like sound good together.

Trouble is, he has some seriously refined taste.

He’s played with the word “Dammit” on many occasions.

(He swears he made it up.)

We had to forbid all made-up words that began with the letter f last month because they all tended to include the same four letters.

(He’s never heard that word.)

On Friday, he was repeatedly calling me, in a sing-song voice, “Hot Butt.”

(He’s never heard his father call me that.)

And on Saturday, as I was chasing him up the stairs while teasing and goading him, he screamed out, “Somebody get this Nasty Woman away from me!!”

(He’s never heard our president call an opponent that.)

I feel like he *may* have a supernatural power of word and phrase osmosis. That or he’s getting up in the middle of the night and watching television.

Noah-on-Homemade-Swing

But my bet is that the kid is a foul language savant.

Diary of A Tired Mom: Uncomfortable Truths.

Diary-of-a-Tired-Mom

This post felt like I’d taken two familiar genres and thrown them into a smoothie together: my Diary of a Tired Mom posts, and my friend Katherine’s madly fantastic Uncomfortable Truths, which has  66 volumes (and counting.) Be sure to read hers, because they’re delightfully more uncomfortable than mine.


1.

Although my elbow and shoulder (and finger) are slowly recovering, they’re still annoying. I mean, it is my left hand. And I am left-handed. But way more annoying than having three separate injuries on my dominant arm is the fact that it is also my drive-thru arm. It’s hard enough to be a professional Chick-Fil-A Speed Receiver – but try doing it with only one arm.

My game has been decimated.

(Seriously. Next time you’re at the drive-thru, try doing all transactions with your right arm. It’ll make you appreciate the left side of your body so much more richly.)

(And anyway. Who needs to actually write with a pen in this day and age anyway. The ability to accept fast food is way more crucial.)


2.

The British add a lot of unnecessary letters, right? (I get that the US of A became a nation a couple years after the United Kingdom but spelling wasn’t normalized until we were both around so I blame them for saying “yeah, let’s shove all those extra letters in.”)

There’s labour and flavour and colour and foetus.

But the most disturbing of all extra letters the British chose to keep is in a word already fraught with unnecessary characters.

Without a doubt, it goes to diarrhoea.

Somehow this unfortunate British spelling got stuck in my head and that extra o – a round circle surrounded by two cheeks of burgeoning letters – haunts me. And every time I mentally say diarrhea, (which is more often than I’d like thanks to having two children and a husband and being human and all,) I also add the o in there, mentally saying dia-ROY-a, as I imagine a countryside British farmhand would say.

“This ‘ere mare’s got tha dia-ROY-a again. Best be givin’ a ring to Doc Herriot.”


3.

I recently had the joy of possessing a rather stubborn UTI. After a couple rounds of antibiotics, I went to the doctor, where they loaded me up with drugs – both the antibiotic and the UTI kinds. As she handed me samples of the UTI drugs, she said, “Now don’t be alarmed – this WILL turn your urine a bright blue.”

Well THAT’S different. I mean, AZO is entertaining enough, with it’s orange-maroon color (which incidentally looks just like the colors of the Virginia Tech Hokies – the students should all take AZO as a show of team support before football games.)

North+Carolina+v+Virginia+Tech+WibQJQIL-G_l

But BLUE. Not everyone gets the opportunity to pee blue.

When I actually experienced this fascinating phenomenon, I realized something: I could choose to not flush and other people would think I’d just finished thoroughly cleaning my toilet bowl. Because nothing feels fresher than sitting down at a toilet full of bright blue water, right?

It was like a magic pill! That made it look like I’d done a chore! Where can I get pills to make it look like I did the dishes more than twice a week? Or perhaps a pill that hid the crumbs my kids so expertly and efficiently spread across my floors? Someone needs to be researching these possibilities right away.

(Disclaimer: I didn’t actually not flush. But it totally looked Mr. Clean up in there.)


4.

I’ve been wondering if I’ve contracted ADD. If I have, I suspect that one day they’ll discover there’s a risk of ADD contraction from being on Twitter. So many subjects. So many conversations. So many news articles. All jumbled together. Making your brain change lanes every 140 characters.

It’s a lot.

I was such a focused person in my school days, and even in my career days (which thankfully ended before the mainstream adoption of social media.) I could sit in class and take notes for HOURS and adore it. There was nothing I liked better than a perfect, neat, organized, outlined page of handwritten notes. It was a type of beauty I could appreciate.

But now, my brain is different.

I can’t take notes.

And definitely can’t sit still and listen.

However, I’ve found coping mechanisms. The downside to my coping mechanisms is that it makes me look like an unruly seven-year-old. But I swear it works. If I sit in church and take “notes” like this, I hear every single word of the sermon – and am able to process and even meditate on it.

Line Art for paying attention

But the second I quit my line art because I started feeling bashful about all of the eyes around me that could get a brief look at my notes and and say “mm, mm, mm,” while shaking their heads on the inside, I don’t hear another word. My mind wanders to the randomest of places. Like writing this blog post.

So, dear people around me in church, and Pastor if you have really good eyes, please know – if I’m coloring, I’m listening.  And maybe those coloring kids are, too.


5.

“We have a reservation. For fifteen.”

It was Father’s Day. I was in an extremely busy restaurant, trying to snag our family table before the staff was overrun with families celebrating their Dads. I was too late – I waited at the hostess station for ten minutes, and our food wait was over an hour and thirty minutes. But I say all this to go ahead and excuse myself for what I didn’t do.

Noah needed to pee. Right away. I sent him and Ali in the Ladies’ room together, instructing her to not leave without him.

Way too long went by, all while I was still standing at the hostess station.

Finally, I saw Ali open the door. And hold it open. And hold it open.

He must be taking FOREVER to wash his hands, I thought.

Then she closed the door.

I was worried. What would I do if the hostess was ready for me to follow her deep into the bowels of the restaurant and my children hadn’t made it back yet?

Ugh. WHAT is taking him so long?!

A minute later, as the hostess was gathering our fifteen menus to seat us, Ali reappeared, and Noah followed her out.

They walked up to me as I began following the hostess.

“Noah couldn’t get his stall door unlocked.”

“Ah!”

“So he had to crawl underneath the door.”

“Uh?”

“Yeah! I had to get on my hands and knees and crawl under the door to escape!”

“Um.”

“I tried to help him but I couldn’t.”

“Did you wash your hands really good?”

“Yes! I used three lumps of soap.”

And I kept walking.

So I’m sorry, Manager-Who-Had-To-Figure-Out-How-To-Get-That-Stall-Door-Unstuck later that night. I had semi-plans to crawl back under myself and undo my son’s issue. (After I ate. Because ew.)

But then I had to wait an hour and a half for my food. And by the time I was able to wrangle my kids out of your restaurant, I had totally forgotten about your jammed door. Even though Noah returned once during the meal, crawling back under the stall door, to look for his lost bible. Because what good is there in Gideoning up a bathroom stall that can’t even be accessed?

Diary of a Tired Mom: If the Shoe Fits.

Diary of a Tired Mom Week Two

Thursday night, there was a strange man with a high-beam flashlight walking around my front yard.

I never got up to check, nor did I scream for my husband, because I totally assumed that he must be one of Fred the Cat’s dozen or more common-law owners, and he was out looking for Fred to put him inside before the cold snap.

So if I get chopped to pieces by an ax murderer because I was trusting an overly friendly cat, would Alanis Morissette write that into a song about Irony?

(Because it’s not really ironic. And that’s exactly what she likes to write about.)


I inadvertently forgot about a high-ranking item on last week’s list of Things That Make a Parent Crazy, so of course they would throw themselves upon me two days later.

Light-Up Shoes.

Chris and I have a long history of having strong opinions about – differing strong opinions about – children’s shoes.

I prefer funky but understated, fun but not too crazy, and NEVER lights.

He prefers (and will buy if I let him) all manner of bling and cheesiness, lit with flood lights, search beams, strobe lights, lighthouse beams, and disco balls.

Yet, it was I who bought Ali these shoes last week.

Skechers Light-Up Shoes

Yes, they’re so bright that they illuminate an entire room with an eerie aura, and I have to cover my eyes every step she takes.

It was the lady at Nordstrom Rack’s fault.

I was returning some blue jeans and sent Ali to the shoe department (her favorite shoes had a hole in the toe and no matter how much she tried to convince me that it made them even more comfortable, I insisted they be thrown away), and she came back with these, lights dancing in her eyes (and blinding me).

My reaction was one of uncontained bemusement, naturally.

The clerk returning my jeans looked at me as only a grandmother could and said,

“Now. She will remember those shoes for THE REST OF HER LIFE. They will mean so much to her! And I’m not telling you the batteries will die because they will not. But come on, now. Make her day!”

Ali blinked her eyes innocently, but I was sure I saw her quickly pass $20 to the clerk.

They were on clearance….

And she did love them…

And that blasted clerk had to give me a Mommy Guilt Trip…

So I bought them. And she’s been frantically jumping up and down ever since.

Skechers Light Up Shoes

And guess who wants light-up shoes now?

Well yes, her brother obviously, but also her father.

“I’d totally wear light-up shoes!”

Fathers. They’re to blame for the existence of Light-Up Shoes. I’m sure of it.


I haven’t felt bloated lately. It struck me as odd how long it had been…

Until I did laundry.

(Because apparently, I was quite a bit behind.)

And then I had an EARTH-SHATTERING REALIZATION.

What if all the times us ladies think we’re bloated, it’s really just that our blue jeans recently came out of the dryer?

What if the monthly rotation of feeling “bloated” and “skinny” perfectly lines up with our respective laundry schedules, rather than other types of schedules we had previously suspected?

What if it’s not actually us at all???

EARTH-SHATTERING, I tell you.


The following is a transcription of a Pillow Talk conversation between Chris and I. I don’t know why we were talking about Tube Tops. Who knows how any Pillow Talk starts. But it went something like this, starting with Chris…

“Tube Top is a really stupid term.”

“Why? It makes sense. It’s a tube, and it’s a top.”

“I know. But it just sounds stupid.”

“There are way worse names in women’s fashion than the Tube Top.”

“Oh really? Like what?”

“Like the Maxi dress, for one. It sounds like it has an accessory up underneath…”

“Yeah, that’s true…”

“And then there’s The Bootie.”

“THE Bootie? It’s said with a THE?”

“Yup. That’s how it’s always referred to in fashion articles. THE bootie.”

“Wait. We’re not talking about baby booties?”

“No! Women’s short boots are called booties.”

“WHAAAT?? No.”

“Yes.”

“They should just be called short boots.”

“They’re not. They’re called booties.”

“So you’re saying that I could walk into a shoe department and say, ‘Excuse me, I’d like to look at a large selection of Lady’s Booties!’, and I wouldn’t get kicked out?”

“I’m most definitely saying that. The clerk probably wouldn’t blink twice, and she’d answer you with, ‘Certainly, sir. Would you like to see our black booties, our brown booties, or perhaps these beige booties with the spikes?’”

“And then I’d say, ‘No, these are all too pointy-toed. Do you happen to have any big, round booties?’”

“I’m sure she’d find you some round booties.”

“I am SO going to do this next time we go to the mall.”

”I told you Tube Tops weren’t stupid.”