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2006 May

And Now For Something Completely Different

May 30, 2006

I have a post up over at dot-moms today:

I have kids now who want more freedom than I am sometimes willing to give. Items to keep them safe aren’t readily available in the aisles of Target anymore. Unless they are selling micro chips that I can implant in their brains to force them to make good decisions, override their dangerous ones, and track their whereabouts at all times.

What do you all think? Especially you experienced moms of older children. I thought as my children got older it would get easier. I have found that while it has become less physically exhausting, it hasn’t become easier. The issues have become more complex, the answers less clear. My hand wringing and mental flagellation have increased. As have my grey hair and need for an occasional alcoholic beverage.

I wrote that I don’t allow my children to used the public restrooms alone. There is no discussion about it, though my older sons wish I would relent. I either bring them into the women’s bathroom, or depending on the location, open up the bathroom to the men’s room and send one of my sons inside to see if it is empty. If the bathroom is completely empty they may use it. But I hold the outside door open with my foot and don’t let anyone in. Usually no one wants to go in anyway.

Rob always thought I was being over protective until someone he knows personally had a 12 yr old approached by a man in a women’s restroom. Not only did the girl not tell her parents, who were with her at the store, until weeks later, the way that she interacted with the man proved my point that at 12 years old, children just do not have the maturity to always make good decisions.

So, go on over there and read and then let me know what you think. And while you are there read some of the other essays by some other fabulous mothers.

Posted by Chris @ 2:34 pm | 63 Comments  

The longer version

Rob was finishing up the trim work on our window seats in the kitchen. I was outside on our sunporch watching the little kids who were playing in the back yard.

Suddenly Rob came running out screaming that he had to go to the ER right then. I started screaming back, “Shut-UP! I know you are joking.” And even though he was holding up a bloody stump and blood was pouring down his arm, I kept yelling at him to stop the joking around. After a couple of times of going back and forth I came to my senses and told him to get in the car.

Before we left I wrapped the base of his thumb in duct tape, what’s not to love about this tape, to stop the bleeding. It also pretty effectively cut off the circulation to his thumb so it wasn’t hurting as much as it could, and would once we arrived at the er and they cut the duct tape off.

We did find out that chopping of most of your thumb does not give you a free pass out of the waiting room. Also, that only men come to the emergency clutching bloody rags to their bodies, having cut, chopped, or blown off parts of their bodies. And with every man, sits a woman shaking her head.

Basically he cut off the back half of his thumb. Almost as if you scooped out the entire area, including the bone, behind your fingernail, yet left the fingernail pretty much intact.

Since it was a holiday weekend, Rob had to wait until today, Tuesday, to see the hand surgeon, who will repair the damage. He will have to have the tip of his finger cut off and a skin graft from his hip.

To say that he is bummed out, would be an understatement. He is also disappointed in the level of pain relief afforded by his Percocet prescription.

Not that it stopped him from finishing the building of the window seats or coaching baseball practice. He’s tough like that, or crazy.

Posted by Chris @ 7:12 am | 33 Comments  

In Which I Can’t Complain About The Gum Surgery I Had Yesterday, even though it really really hurt

May 28, 2006

This house has taken blood, sweat and tears in it’s restoration.

And now it has taken a thumb.

In The ER

Rob in the Emergency Room, after the morphine IV.

I discovered three things about myself from this experience, because yes, it is all about me:
1) I am not the person you want around in an emergency
2) It is a good thing I decided long ago not to be a doctor
3) I am lots of fun to have around in the emergency room after the initial crisis.

Oh and a fourth thing,
I need to remember to bring my camera with me everywhere, even when someone is holding a bloody stump of a finger in my face.

Posted by Chris @ 9:50 am | 36 Comments  

Are You There God? It’s Me Chris

May 25, 2006

I told myself that once the boy stopped nursing and the boobs resumed their normal permanent state that I would buy some new bras. But you probably already know that God, since you are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. And, as an aside, my children want to know if you and Santa are friends? Anyway, wearing baggy stretched out nursing bras does nothing for the self esteem.

So I began looking for some new bras. Online, of course, because what little is left of my self esteem can not take trying on bras in a brightly fluorescent lit dressing room.

I actually broke out the tape measure and measured. Then I read the directions again.

Then I remeasured, because surely I was doing it wrong.

Then I read the directions again, out loud this time, just in case I had suddenly been struck by some sort of reading comprehension problem.

And then I remeasured again, with both lungs filled to capacity with air.

And I got the same result.

I feel so deflated, literally.

The website laughed at me and sent me to the children’s department to buy undershirts with a tiny pink rose in the center. Which will inevitably make it look like I have three nipples.

A friend of mine told me recently that she noticed her daughter had stuffed her bra with cotton balls. I can relate.

And God, while I am on this rant. Why can’t clothing manufacturers agree on sizing? Remember when I went to Old Navy a few weeks ago? Well I bought two pair of capri pants for myself, in the same size. One fits perfectly. One not at all. In fact, I am not sure who the second pair is made to fit. Someone who has hips three inches bigger than mine, yet thighs that are a few inches smaller. Maybe they are made for ten year old boys. Who don’t wear underwear. I don’t know.

Also God. Bathing suits. I don’t think I need to say anymore on this topic. I am afraid that should I wear one people who turn to look at me will be turned to pillars of salt, so great would be the horror.

Well, God that is it for now. I must go take my children to their class. Where I will see that woman who will totally insult me because she is perfect. And I will quietly seethe. And say curse words inside my head.

You might think I am taking your name in vain, but God, I am not. I want you to damn her. Smite her. If I wear a bathing suit under my clothes and flash her, could you turn her into a pillar of salt? or a burning bush? That would be cool. I’ll bring marshmallows.

Thank you,

Posted by Chris @ 8:18 am | 50 Comments  

Things that defy explanation

May 24, 2006

Alternate title, Things I’ll be muttering about when they lock me up in the asylum.
I don’t know why I bother asking questions.
Do I like to hear myself talk? I don’t think so, at least not at the decibel and frequency that these sorts of questions require.
Yet, I can’t help it. I long for answers, where there are none to be given.

Here are the top five ridiculous questions (that I can remember) that I have asked my children this week and their answers. Identity of children is not being disclosed to protect their innocence, future ability to find dates identity

Scene I:

Me: “Why did you think it was okay to poke your brother in the back with your fork because he was breathing near you?”
Child: “Because.”
Me: “You are breathing near me and I’m not stabbing you with my fork.”
Child: “Well, I bet you want to.”
Me: “But the point is that I’m not”

Scene II:

Me: “Why is this shirt on the bathroom floor? What’s that on it? Oh no…. no…. is that poop? Is that poop all over the tshirt? Why would someone do that? WHY?”
Child: “Maybe there was no toilet paper.”
Me:”I think I have animals for children.”

Scene III:

Me: “What do you mean you didn’t want the hamburger anymore? Did it not occur to you that the garbage can would be a more appropriate place for it than under the couch cushion?”
Child: “Well, I might change my mind and still want it.”
Me: “Oh puh-lease, were you really thinking you would eat it later?”

Scene IV:

Me: “Why did you just trip him?”
Child: “I didn’t think that would happen!”
Me: “Well, how about you clear this up for me. Just what did you think would happen when you stuck your foot out as you brother ran by?”

Scene V:

Me: “Why would you think it would be okay to dry your wet body by rolling all over my bed? Wouldn’t it have been easier to walk to the linen closet and get a towel?”
Child: “What’s a linen closet?”

Bonus Scene inside my head:

Me: Why did you wax your own eyebrows?
Myself: It seemed like a good idea.
Me: But you have trouble handling the tweezers.
Myself: Yes, I remember that now.

Yet Another Bonus scene that occurred as I was typing this:

Rob: Why did you take a stick and beat all the plants and flowers that were just planted in front of the house?
Child: I don’t know why.
Rob: What were you thinking?
Child: I don’t know.
Rob: Were you angry? Is that why? You obviously did it on purpose. What were you thinking?
Child: No. I just thought of doing it and did.

Finally, one that isn’t related to my children.
Why am I the number two result in this google search: how to bring shape in big hanging boobs in India. Why, I am shouting at you internet.

Posted by Chris @ 6:59 am | 57 Comments  

What Every Girl Needs

May 23, 2006

What every girl needs...

a tattoo… of Cinderella.

Posted by Chris @ 8:42 am | 39 Comments  

Way Back Weekend

May 20, 2006

Modern Technology

Posted by Chris @ 7:59 am | 18 Comments  

I’ll be making a raft out of the empty bottles while I wait

May 19, 2006

telegram RAIN

Posted by Chris @ 9:54 am | 17 Comments  

I’m Pacing Myself

May 17, 2006

One of the recurrent “discussions” that Rob and I have is my lack of attention to detail. Don’t you love when someone points out your flaws under the pretense of helping you? I know I LOVE it. Especially when you don’t consider said attribute to be a flaw at all.

One of the ways that this “discussion” takes shape is the way I serve dinner from the pots on the stove. I think why bother dirtying more dishes just to put the food out on the table. Why make more work for myself?

My husband says that if you tell yourself it is work, of course it will feel like work. Just tell yourself this is how it should be done. I will go on record here saying that I hate this sort of mind over matter crap advice. Let me just pull myself up by my bootstraps and turn my frown upside down. (Which reminds me I have been wanting to write a review of Kathryn Sansone’s book, Woman First, family always)

However, it has been brought to my attention, repeatedly, that the stove top is not a serving station and that when he makes dinner he always sets the table properly. The atmosphere is part of the enjoyment of the meal. This all begs the question of exactly how often he makes dinner? or eats dinner with us? And does he really think the words atmosphere, enjoy, and seven children go together with meal? Me thinks he has been inhaling too many fumes from the polish he uses on his office furniture every day.

I think, let’s not prolong this affair any longer than necessary and lets try not to make any additional work for me. If I could get the kids on board with eating directly out of the pots with their hands I’d totally consider it. Oh heck, I lie, I’d be all over it. I consider dinner a success when no one falls to floor writhing in mental anguish over the dinner I have just prepared.

But when he makes dinner he washes all the pots and cooking crap before anyone sits down to dinner. The table is set with napkins…NAPKINS folded into shapes, not torn paper towels, chargers and actual glasses, not water bottles. You think I’m kidding? No wonder I feel inferior.

I usually tell people that my husband would be a much better wife than I am. And I mean it. But the fact of the matter is that it is easy to be perfect when you are only doing it a few hours a week.

When I go out alone I come home to a list of “helpful” hints on how I could run the household more smoothly. I LOVE that. Most of the suggestions involve me cleaning way more, following the children around the house demanding they put their toys away whether or not they are still playing with them, following a detailed minute by minute schedule, and basically not sitting down or relaxing ever. It’s just so not going to happen.

In return, I like to make nonsensical suggestions to him about how he should do his job. I give him my advice about dealing with the IRS and taxes and stuff, though my expertise begins and ends with filling in the bubbles on the 1040EZ form. But, like him, it doesn’t stop me from freely handing out my advice outside my realm of expertise.

So I give advice like:

“Make sure you color in the entire bubble. Just to be sure.”

“What? There are no bubbles to color in.”

“Well, Rob, just keep it in mind for future reference. M’kay?”

Or like this:

“You should sharpen all your number 2 pencils in advance and put them into one of those cuppy things on your desk.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” he’ll ask.

“Just giving you my advice. You know those cuppy things I am talking about…what are they called…” I’ll continue.

“A pencil holder?”

“YES! That’s what you need. You should get a cute, yet manly one, for your desk. You know, to create the proper work atmosphere.”

At this point he will usually laugh. He knows his “helpful” advice drives me crazy, yet he is unable to stop doing it. I guess much like I can not stop driving over the front lawn and hysterically laughing while I deny it and try blaming it on the oil man.

I have come to realize that if I only had to play housewife a few hours on a weekend day, I’d be able to do a kickass job also. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury. I have to pace myself like a marathon runner.

And not one of those freakishly fast marathon runners, no more like one of those slightly overweight older housewives who probably have their own forty before forty list, and have trained for a year to do this once in a life time thing and feel like they are about to drop dead half way through but realize that there is no way to turn around so they have to keep plugging away… maybe even crying while they run?

Yeah, that’s the kind of marathon runner I’m talking about.

I’d totally love to ponder this some more, but I have laundry to do, a diaper to change, breakfast to serve, and meals to plan. Somehow I haven’t been able to convince myself that they aren’t work. My suggestion of naked fasting week was not met with the sort of enthusiasm I had hoped.

Posted by Chris @ 9:54 am | 83 Comments  

Can’t Get Enough

May 16, 2006

I am the featured mommy over at mommybloggers today.

And to everyone who said such nice things about me, I take it that the bribes arrived to you safely? No? They’ll be there soon. Soon being relative of course considering I can’t seem to make my way to the post office but once a week. Seeing as it requires I leave my house and go a whole half mile away and all.

Thank you for all your kind words. I wish I had something better up today than my floor.

I can give you this little snippet of previously edited out conversation that occurred while I was on my hands and knees cleaning up all the excess grout off the floor:

“You should totally be thankful that you have a wife who does these kind of home improvement projects”

“I am very thankful, though buying this old fixer-upper house was your idea, remember? Now, if you would tile the floor wearing nothing but a thong, that would make me very very thankful.”

“You know, there are some things that are better left to fantasy. Having given birth to seven children, my naked thong wearing body in the glowing fluorescent light that is our kitchen, is one of those things.”

Posted by Chris @ 12:49 pm | 15 Comments