Friday, June 26, 2009

The Question Of Death

Smoochie, being the bright and curious 7 year old he is, has a fondness for questions that may very well be the death of me. I love my son, don't get me wrong, he is the definitive answer to the question what is right with my world. But every morning it begins, without fail, just seconds after I hear the resounding thud of two quickly growing feet hit the hardwood floor next to his bed. The sound of those bare feet hitting that hardwood floor is essentially the same as the morning tornado siren. His bedroom door pops open and it begins.

"Mom, what's for breakfast, where's Critter, is he still sleeping? Mom. Mom. Mom. What's this? Can I turn on the TV? Can I make my own toast?"

Meanwhile, as I try to fumble with my coffee filter and wish desperately for it to be made RIGHT NOW DOGGONE IT, I realize that he actually wants answers for each individual question that spewed forth from within him in the form of one long run-on question. Way to go, David. Attack the giant while she's still half asleep and morning coffee deprived. Even wide awake my mind can not register, process, and answer questions at that astonishing speed. I think I might name that boy's lips The Little Speed Racers.

*INTERMEZZO* I apologize for the interruption in the typing of this story, but as I was trying to pump a post out for my blog so the three of us could race off to our local pool , Smooch was gracious enough to burn the tar out of his toast, setting off the smoke alarm. He alerted me to his dilemma by clearing his throat and announcing louder than the alarm, "DINNER'S DONE!!!!" To be honest, the little cherishable moments like these are the gems of my day. Just please don't inquire as to why the boy MIGHT think dinner is done when the smoke alarm goes off...

At any rate, this morning, having brought forth the official one millionth question of the week, I forced my eyelids to actually open enough to include more than the coffee pot and jumped feet first into the land of total frustration.

"Please. Smooch. I do not want to answer a ton of questions right now. I haven't even had a cup of coffee yet. Back. Off."

Now, as I stated previously, Smoochie is really a very bright boy. He can take a hint. He can also see when Mom's about to snap. Off to Critter's room he went to play with the baby in all his stinky diapered glory so the grouchy morning mom monster could dip her fangs in her morning coffee.

My break lasted all of 2.75 minutes before the mind of Smooch forgot his quest not to ask his mother questions. Before I knew it he was standing directly behind me as I waited for the morning elixir of attitude adjustment, effectively turning our kitchen into the tornado alley of questions. It was ugly. There were words and letters and questions and question marks flying everywhere and my mind was quickly and efficiently being pummeled to mush.

I'd reached my last straw. Mommy monster bared her fangs, squinted her eyes with purpose, squared her shoulders, and turned to face Little Speed Racer Lips head on.

"Mommy. Has gone on strike," I growled. "I do not want to hear, seetasteorsmell, and refuse to answer, another question THIS. MORNING.

I had pulled out every ounce of sternness I could muster. I looked the boy square in his bright blue inquisitive eyes and saw a familiar glint (both boys have inherited a glint of mischief from Bonehead- the one sure way to notice when they are up to no good at all) staring right back at me.

"Mom? Would that be for the ENTIRE morning, or just a little while?"

And that, in a nutshell, has been my morning. All 1 hour and 45 minutes of it so far, streaming to you almost live from my home. If you'll excuse me, I should go provide Critter his breakfast, if only to encourage him not to sit around growling at his toys.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

10 Things I Love About The Father You Are

10. The pride in your voice when you tell the story of how you were the first person ever to feed your firstborn son, Smoochie.

9. Working hard at a job that often tries your patience and your verbal filtering capabilities in order to clothe, feed, and to provide electricity and soccer team fees for your children.

8. The way you do your nutrition research and make sure our boys eat and drink the things now that will not hurt them in the long run.

7. Your splinter removal expertise. Complete with an entire splinter removal kit and a gentle touch that apparently Mom is not capable of. (Smoochie's school playground was ginormous and made entirely of wood)

6. The way you work with me instead of against me in the discipline department in order to provide a united front to the boys.

5. The way you kiss the boys when buckling them into the car.

4. How you remember what it was like to be a young boy and clue me in on things I would otherwise never understand- like how the word 'butt' is super funny at age 3, even if the word that was actually used was the word 'but'.

3. The way you try to share yourself and your interests with our children, from taking Smoochie to hang out at the local bike shop and rides to the local comic book store to spinning your bike wheels for Critter's enjoyment as you walk your bike by him and point out the names of the different bike parts.

2. The many months of panic attacks you had before the arrival of each of our sons.

1. The way you sneak into your boys' rooms to kiss them, breathe them in, and whisper words of love and encouragement to them in their sleep.

Happy Father's Day, John. I know I razz you about things like being a giant pillow thief (because you ARE) and putting the fear of spider in me before 6am, but it's all in good fun.

You're a great Dad and your deep love for your children shows through your commitment to blend all of the best things into their childhoods: family identity, discipline when needed, health and exercise, love, creativity, spontaneity, and a generous dose of humor. I love you.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pillow Talk Revisited- The Start of War

I kissed Smoochie and Bonehead and shipped them out the door last night, sending them in the direction of St. Louis to go on a river float with one of Bonehead's best friends. The first annual float was last summer, and Smooch has been eagerly counting down the days until this trip. By now, they may very well be on the raft, floating and doing the "manly thing", and by "manly", judging from the way Smoochie's gas was clouding up the living room and making my tear ducts water yesterday, I mean gassing some fish and dropping some birds from the surrounding air currents.

I have a chronic problem any time Bonehead is not around. It started early on in our marriage when he'd be gone for months at a time out at sea, but it carries through to this day. Insomnia. I love my sleep, let me tell you. I can go to bed at 9pm, and not move until 7am the next morning- no problem. If I'm suffering a bout of depression, which has occasionally happened, 14 hours of sleep is not unheard of. However, I have not been afforded the luxury of depression sleep for quite some time now.

But when Bonehead departs the residence, all bets are off. All of the sudden I'm wide awake at 2a.m. and well aware of the early alarm of Critter's mom call. "Aah! AAH!!!!!" Even with that knowledge, I find myself unmotivated to go to bed earlier. And thus, I tried last night, and forced myself to go upstairs to bed at the early hour of 1a.m.

I walked up, and noticed right away something did not look right. I looked around, bewilderment showing on my face, because what I was seeing, I should not have been. Bonehead's side of the bed looked perfectly normal. 700 pillows piled up in his typical haphazard style, but my side?

Yep, yep, I see it. There's my body pillow, and my bottom pillow, but where the hell is my top pillow? Is it on John's half? No, no, it's not over there. Don't panic, Chas, it's on the floor. No, I don't see it there, either. OH. MY. GOSH. THE MAN TOOK MY PILLOW! I USE TWO PILLOWS AND HE HAD THE NERVE TO TAKE ONE WHEN HE'S GOT 700 OF HIS OWN MANGLED ONES SITTING RIGHT THERE!! BONEHEAD! YOU (insert not so pretty words that sound like they were learned from the sailor I married)!!! AT LEAST FOUR OF YOUR ELEVEN THOUSAND PILLOWS WILL BE BURNED IN THE FIRE PIT ON THE MORROW, I MAKE THIS SOLEMN VOW!!

I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning and sending pretty sailor adjectives in my husband's general direction. I have the biggest kink in my neck I have had in years.

I woke up this morning in a slightly better frame of mind, and thought I would razz my beloved Bonehead and send him a quick email, which I knew he'd receive on his cell phone. For the purposes of bloggertainment, I would like to share our exchange.

Me: Let me get this straight: You have 20 million gazillion pillows and you feel the need to take mine? Without asking even?

Bonehead: It was on my side. Steve's socks sure are cozy.

Upon the arrival of that email, I had a few thoughts along the lines of "oops, I forgot to pack his socks when I packed him up yesterday."

Me: You knew it was mine. You don't need socks with Tevas and water shoes. Unless you're eleventy years old.

Bonehead: And for Saturday and Sunday in my gym shoes?

Me: Nope, no, huh-uh. I'm not feeling guilty for forgetting. You're stopping at Walmart, grab some. I've got a horrible kink in my neck from using one of your hosed up lumps you've mangled into oblivion, and a panic attack knowing you're currently doing the same damn thing to mine. It will never be the same again. My virgin pillow has been absconded. You are deflowering my pillow. I have no forgotten sock guilt.

No response. I sent an email inquiring about the weather and Smoochie's current status. Still nothing. I can safely say that either Bonehead is ignoring me, or he has floated into the pages of Deliverance. Since my son is along for the float, I sincerely hope the man is simply ignoring his grouchy wife with an abnormally protective pillow attachment.

In closing, I leave you with my husbands facebook status, updated this morning: John is glad this is one of those "socks" optional vacations. They would hang me for this back in the old country.

Hey, what's the quickest kindest way to dye a gross of socks pink? Wink wink.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Quick! They've Set Me Free Long Enough to Snippet!

* With the dawn of this morning, we have officially begun our second full week of "officially summer break", whatever that may mean. Well, I can tell you what it means to me (no more alarms that I never got to hear because my youngest son always had me up 1/2 hour or so before the alarm was supposed to go off anyway) but I have a feeling it means something else entirely to my 7 year old.

* Somewhere near the last day of school for my son, I realized that I had officially been a stay at home mom for an entire year. One complete year has passed since I left my job to pursue the dream of Betty Crocker morphs with Martha Stewart. I did a mental inventory and realized that somehow the time has flown faster than I could have imagined. I looked around and also realized that one year ago I thought that my house would be exponentially more organized and clean by now than it actually is. But then again, I have yet to figure how to successfully morph Martha and Betty with ME. (If only I had the machine used by Jeff Goldblum in The Fly- but alas I don't and must settle for the slightly less scary model called Chas the hectic housewife)

* What is the very best course of action for a greatly disillusioned housewife and mother of two who's just realized that her home may very well never look like a page out of a magazine? If you guessed invite three more children to spend a week with her, you deserve a super prize! The truth is, in order to help entertain Smoochie, I invited my 3 nieces to visit and stay for a week. I actually only HAVE two of them with me (my oldest niece is 14, going into high school, and can't possibly bear to be an hour away from her friends for longer than an hour so I'm including this set of parenthesis just specifically to be the guilt trip I told her I wouldn't give her) and I actually only have them for 3 nights and 3 days. But I can honestly say that although my nieces are great girls, I am already looking forward to a day very soon when I can relax a bit and just look after my own two kiddos. It's exhausting feeling the need for 4 sets of arms and 6 sets of eyes in the back of my head for sure.

* I purchased summer pool passes for myself and the boys today. I couldn't help but feel that it was an extravagant purchase and totally not a need, but then quickly reminded myself that sanity is a delicacy to be savored when on the cusp of an entire summer during which we've vowed not to turn on the air conditioning. And at the very least, the entertainment value alone for both boys is probably worth spending every penny we'll be saving on our air conditioning bill on a pool pass for the three of us.

* I took all 4 kids to the pool today, and somehow we all survived. However, I found that I need to rethink my sunscreen application method, especially when applied to the wriggly body of my little Critter dude. He got a bit burnt, so of course I feel absolutely horrible. I'm currently working on putting together a cauldron-sunscreen-dipper or a rotisserie-sunscreen-automated BBQ sauce brush applier contraption of some sort. I'm still a long way off, but it shall be named "The Don't burn your Critter dipper doohickey." I really do feel horrid.

* It has been precisely 4 hours since I began this post. It is a really good thing I am not in the mood to create a written masterpiece years ahead of it's time today. I'd already be unforgivably behind schedule. Any masterpieces I construct will have to happen Thursday. I simply can't make room in my schedule until then.

* I'm sure Bonehead might appreciate it if I could find time to procure some clean laundry before Thursday, though. He is treating Smoochie to his second annual rafting trip to St. Louis for the boys and they are leaving Thursday. I'm not sure if I should be concerned or excited. Either way, it's a weekend where the (big) boys get to be boys without a stern look or comment from mom regarding stench, loudness, uncleanliness, or any other attack on any sudden and uncontrollable testosterone filled faults they might have.

That's about all I have for today. I do believe I am snippeted out. Now if I could only figure out where spell check is located on ScribeFire, I would be a well rested basket case at the very least.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Boy in the City

Friday, June 5, 2009


Dearest Bonehead,

As you may know after joyously celebrating enduring the past 15 years with me, you are the great love of my life frequently drive me insane.  Now don't get me wrong, I (mostly) love you, I do.  But there are moments with you that cause me to reflect upon not only our great enduring marriage, but on the meaning of life (more to the point, on how much yours, in particular, means to you).

I thought maybe I should take a moment to send you my own personal form of the Neurotic Public Service Message, in case you should choose to hear and follow through.  Because the more you learn, right?

I know in the past I have spoken freely by my fear of birds.  And then, there's also my fear of birds.  And in addition?  I have a fear of birds.

However, I have a less well known fear of spiders.  And by less well known, I mean you discovered this fear as I knocked an entire can of coke over onto the carpet of our first apartment because you'd picked one up and were chasing me with it. I just thought I'd remind you of that little tidbit in case you'd chosen to bury it beneath some obscure trivia fact like the speed of sound at sea level as opposed to the speed of sound in a vacuum. After all, that was a mere 15 years ago.

Uh-hum...  Now for the potentially life saving public service portion of my message...

In the future, at twenty minutes to 6 in the morning, before my coffee is even done brewing, you MIGHT want to refrain from pointing in my general direction and screaming at the top of your lungs stating very animatedly the word, "SPIDER!"  That tends to plant the thought that there's a tarantula running across the top of my head and gives me a nasty three day nervous shake. 

In the future the phrase, "Chas ON THE WALL BEHIND YOU there is a itty bitty teeny weeny little spider.  If you'll step to the side, I would be happy to do my chivalrous duty and squash it for you" would work much more efficiently in your quest for home existence peace.

Because, you know, in the future, I may not be able to control what I hit you upside the head with when I have my next case of the nasty three day nervous shake.

Your neurotic Loving Wife.