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.”

Diary of a Tired Mom.

Diary of a Tired Mom

Why is the most overused song lyric in the history of the world “All Night Long”? The phrase spans decades and genres, has been in more songs than the words bae, shawty, and boo combined, and IT IS A LIE.

You know what happens all night long?

Not what they’re talking about.

No.

Uh Uh.

The things that happen all night long are stomach viruses.
And raging diarrhea.
And colicky babies.
And rocking inconsolably screaming babies.
And feeding newborns.
And neighbor’s car alarms.
And backaches.
And croupy coughs.
And work, when there are impossible deadlines.
And you know what else happens all night long, sometimes, if we’re lucky?
SLEEP.

THAT’S what music should be celebrating.

Here’s a list of things that do not, in real life, happen all night long:

1. Sex,
2. Partying,
3. And getting down on the dance floor.


I want to know what superpower Dads possess that allow them to completely tune kids out while trapped in a moving vehicle.

I hear every word, every breath, every candy wrapper dropped to the floor, every silent bad attitude, and certainly every argument. If Chris is trying to talk to me and there are conversations going on in the backseat, my head nearly explodes with the inability to process both at once and greater inability to only listen to one or the other.

Yet the children can be saying, “Hey Daddy? Hey Daddy? Hey Daddy! DADDYDADDYDADDYDADDY” and I finally have to say “CHRIS. The children are trying to talk to you. PLEASE ANSWER THEM SO I DON’T JUMP OUT OF THIS CAR RIGHT NOW WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING SEVENTY MILES AN HOUR ON THE INTERSTATE.”

“Oh – sorry! I didn’t hear them.”

Whatever that special DNA twist is, I will pay anything for it.

Can I get on a transplant list?


My husband is the sensitive sort, rarely offending and almost always spoiling me in every way.

But he’s still a man.

And he doesn’t understand all things of women. So sometimes, I attempt to explain The Feminine Plight to him.

A few weeks ago, for instance.

We were driving along, and I mentioned, sadly, that I had started my period.

He thought for a second, then made a practical and completely unemotional remark about how I should feel better before such and such future plans.

I grew silent, brooding about his lack of empathy toward the currently occurring crushing of my internal organs.

That night at bedtime, I tried to teach him a new level of understanding women.

”Here’s the thing, babe. A period is always a tragedy and should be treated as such. It doesn’t matter that it happens once a month and that us women usually know it’s coming. It’s still a tragedy. Every time, no matter what. It is not an item to be practically planned around, it is an item to show mournful sympathy towards.”

I could see the cogs in his brain jerking and steaming, trying to process what exactly it was that I expected from him.

“So….I need to…mourn it…every time.”

“Exactly.”

“Is this something I should share on my Facebook, perhaps? I could have a status like, ‘It sure is sad to see this Uterine Lining go. It was like a member of the family.”

“Well, that would show a lot of respect…but probably not.”

“Or what if I named them like storms? You know, in alphabetical order each year. This month’s could be Uterine Lining Ava, and next month could be UL Belinda.”

“You might be missing the point a little bit….”

“Would referring to them by number be better? ‘UL12’?”

”You know what. Never mind.”


There is nothing more detrimental to a parent’s mere existence than that light-sensitive Melissa and Doug puzzle.

You know the one. The one with the animal sounds.

Melissa and Doug Animal Sounds Puzzle

The pieces get lost within seven minutes of obtaining ownership, leaving those shining dots just waiting to register every change in lighting in your life.

Then the kids leave the puzzle in your bedroom floor, so the rooster alerts you to daybreak. Followed immediately by the pig. And then the kitten and dog and duck, in a chorus of murderous cacophony.

Or that stupid cow moos in the middle of your One Quiet Moment Of The Day and nearly makes you wet your pajamas.

(Because you never got out of your pajamas.)

(Because you were rocking that baby. All night long.)

Here’s a list of other things that make parents consider buying a one-way ticket to Fiji:

1. Play-Doh. Because why did they have to make it so crumbly? WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY TO OVERCOME CRUMBS. Use it.

2. Balloons. Children become unnaturally attached to balloons, somewhat like Wilson the Volleyball in Castaway. And no matter how shrunken they become, how long they’ve been missing their helium, and how annoyingly they float whimsically all over your house, your children will insist on keeping them.

You know what I do? I murder balloons after bedtime. There is nothing more satisfying than taking a steak knife to a balloon and then carefully hiding the evidence.

3. Glitter and Glitter Glue. They are the Gift from Satan that never quits giving.

4. Bubble Bath. It’s the ultimate tool in a Stalling Child’s arsenal. It stretches out bath time, makes it harder to rinse their hair than finding the pieces to that blasted Melissa and Doug puzzle, and intrinsically allows them to stay up later. Don’t let them use it against you, parents of the world.

5. Toys that use up 90% of their battery the first day of use and then hobble along on the remaining 10% for the next six years, consequently singing woefully off-tune and with painfully distorted cadence. They plan them this way, you know. It’s a conspiracy theory I could believe.

6. All Children’s Music. Except for Silly Songs with Larry.

7. Paint. It’s the item that they always want to pull out at the most inopportune time, and it never goes where it’s intended. And does children’s paint ever dry? No. Because they pile it on in the thickest, goopiest, most bleed-through-the-paper way possible.

8. Capri Suns. Did you know that it is scientifically impossible to stab that stupid straw into the thinnest part of the foil pouch without causing a tiny, sticky geyser? Because it’s true.

9. Stickers. No matter how conscientious your child is, those stickers are magnetically drawn to hardwood floors.

10. ALL Sippy Cups. It’s twenty-freaking-fifteen. We can’t invent a sippy cup that doesn’t mold?


May you all get some sleep tonight. All night long.