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Paintball, Mommy style

Playing Paintball as an adult should involve alcohol.  Just sayin.

So, my nephew was turning 15 and my sister-in-law planned a day of playing Paintball.  And she invited us adults to come along.  And then she made us play.  I have never played before, and it had been a good 20 years since my husband played, so I thought “hey, fun!  scary, but fun, yes, let’s.”  I mean, playing laser tag freaks me out.

So, we dropped the kids off at my mother-in-law’s house, and headed to my sister-in-law’s house to get ready and meet the group of 15 year old kids that were going to shoot me with paint.  15 year old boys have no mercy for moms who beg them to be nice at the Paintball field.  I felt like a total tool asking them to be kind.  I think one of them rolled their eyes at me.  So I donned the layers: socks, shoes, leggings, maternity jeans (while I’d like to say it was because I don’t care if they get ruined because, I don’t plan on needing them anymore, the reality is that they’re comfy and I don’t fit in normal jeans, even normal Mom Jeans…maybe those pajama jeans my kids are always talking about when they watch My Little Pony?  darn those commercials on the Hub channel…), um, what else, and 2 long sleeve shirts.  I grabbed one of my nephews’ chest protectors that they wear off-roading and threw it in the car.  I also brought a very large puffy jacket that my sister-in-law picked up at a thrift store for me.  She assured me that it’s bulkiness would protect me from the paintballs.  She’s, um, a liar.

Needless to say, I looked stunning.  My husband dressed like a pro, like he does this every day and twice on Sundays.  So we jumped in our cars and drove an hour or so out to some fields off of some random road way outside of any town.  Let’s just say that should one find themselves out there past dark, you might as well just stop where you are and have a seat cuz, lady, there ain’t no way you’re gonna find your way out of there unless you can read the stars.

Paintball Park in the middle of nowhere…NO WHERE. However, at 1 point, I noticed a pizza delivery service bringing 20 pizzas to the Park, so, if you find yourself there after dark, you could call Dominoes and they’d probably bring you a pizza.

So, we get there and split up into teams: Kids under 17 vs Adults.  Which was awesome because that meant we got my 17 year old nephew on our team, and 17 year olds are full of energy and sort of reckless (they are!) and I knew he’d have no problem shooting the 15 year olds.  I was having a SLIGHT problem with the idea, until I was thrown into the game, wearing my mask and hauling my gun, and then I would have shot my own foot I was so freaked out.  But before I get ahead of myself…

We check in with the Paintball Staff to get our gear and sign some legal documents (not important), and after the clerk asked me if I was over 18 (wha?), I was handed my Paintball canisters, my mask, and my gun.  I carried my gear over to the picnic tables where we had set up camp, and with the sounds of the professional Paintball team playing 30 feet away, we got organized.  Our “Ref” ambled over to give us some instructions and after making us promise to not EVER remove our masks on the field (we got a serious “you’ll shoot your eye out” warning), he brought out the boxes of paintballs and we started to load up our guns and canisters.

“Is the paint color coordinated?  So we know who shot us?”  Silence.  And some snickering.  Probably from the 15 year olds but I couldn’t tell.  The “Ref” remarked, not sure to whom, that only women ask that question.  Ha Ha.  But I thought it was a valid question.  What about friendly fire?  I’d want to know if one of my teammates shot me!  Meh.  So, we were all loaded up (with paint), my marshmallow jacket was on, my mask was on, and we marched to our first field.  After some simple repeating of the rules, (never take your mask off, if you get shot and the ball bursts and “paints” you you’re out, if you get shot and the ball doesn’t burst you are still in), each team was led to either side of the playing field, the “Ref” counted down from 3 (3?!? Really?  Give a lady at least 10 seconds to talk herself out of peeing her pants and running for the hills!) and the game began!

I ran.  I ran and hid.  This is freakin combat.  The field was littered with hollow forts and old rusted cars.  I hid in a fort.  It had huge windows.  I ducked.  And then I started to hate my mask.  It reminded me of playing catcher in softball and why I hated that position.  It was hard to breathe and it was hot and sweaty.  I raised my gun and decided to try it out.  I shot out into the air, aimed for the middle of the middle of nowhere.  Shot a few rounds for fun.  And then the “Ref” yelled, “That’s game!”  Huh?  I stood up.  I think 30 seconds had passed.  I was clean!  Not a hit!  I guess it’s hard to get hit when you spend the whole time hiding.  The other moms and dads and adults on my team had shot all the 15 year olds without me.  So we gathered up and switched sides.  Now it was getting fun.  Ha!  “We” beat the 15 year olds!  Yippee!  And then WHAM-WHIP-SPLAT-BLEH-OUCH right in my boob.  I was shot in the chest.  I had run and hid in a fort, got a little too ballsy and peeked around to shoot someone, anyone.  And of course I got shot.  And it stung a little.  Doh!  My chest plate!  I had forgotten to put it on.  It was still in the car.  Well darn.  So I raised my gun in the air like I was told, held up my arms, and moped to the sidelines to watch the rest of the game.  One by one, the rest of the players wandered to the sidelines, mostly hit on the arms and some on their backs (hello, friendly fire??  would have been nice to have separate paint colors!).  The second game took a little longer and this time the kids won.  By the third game, I found some more courage, and as a result, got hit RIGHT in the gut.  That’s my only bruise I am sporting, 4 days later.  Thanks, jacket.

Throughout the day, we experienced 3 different playing fields, and it was actually fun.  We ran, we squatted, we hid, we sprinted, we yelled “cover me!” like we were in some Arnold movie while we ran to the next hiding spot, and we had a lot of fun.  The 15 year olds proved themselves worthy adversaries and, if we were keeping score, they probably won.  At one point during the day, since I was such a good hider, I discovered that I was the last person standing on my team.  I could hear the other team coming at me so I stood up and surrendered.  A close range shot of paint was not on my bucket list.

The last game of the day was in the middle of a field, with only shrubbery to hide behind, and that was the hardest field to play.  We couldn’t see our opponents, but we could hear them as we crouch-walked through the bushes.  In the end of those games, I was shot in the mask and got a spattering of orange paint in my mouth.  Game over for me.

All in all, it was a great workout and great family fun.  I even suggested to the “Ref” that they should have a scale so people could weigh in before and after playing.  I mean, we played ALL DAY from 11am to 4:00pm!  But of course, any calories burned were easily replaced with ice cream birthday-cake back at my sister-in-law’s house.

Maybe I’ll put together a Mom’s Day Out to play Paintball?  Any takers?  If all Mom’s are like me, I’m not sure we’d finish any games…might be hard to play each other if we spend the whole time hiding from one another.


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Soda? No, duh!

Soda and children.  Let’s just get right to it.  I have a soda probably once a month or so.  I don’t buy it for the home, but if I am out and about and perhaps eating at the nearest Subway, I’ll order a root beer and love every second of it.  As my daughter would say: “ssssllllpppp! yum!”  (though she hates root beer because, “it’s too tickly”, whatever that means).  Anyway, I prefer water or milk (BORING! I know.  I am boring in this way and this way only.  Ok, maybe in a few more ways.  I didn’t drink alcohol until AFTER graduating high school.  And only wine coolers at that, which is not quite boring, but rather, cheesy?  I’ll take cheesy.  Today, a wine cooler would put me under the table.)  How did I get to alcohol.  Back to soda.

Do you call it Pop?  Soft Drink?  Soda?  Coke?  Cola?  Crack?

Anyhoo…so, I don’t drink it on a regular basis.  If it was in my house, I’d probably drink a little more of it.  My husband takes to soda like he does food:  if it’s in the fridge, he’ll consume it.  Lucky for me, I do the grocery shopping.  Unlucky for him, I don’t buy beer all that often.  I try to buy it when I have all 3 kids with me, and only when they are especially rowdy and I’ve had to scold them (loudly) at least five times while in the grocery store, so that when my little circus arrives at the check out lane, all the men in line nod at me approvingly as I sling the case of beer onto the conveyor belt, because, hey, “this lady needs a beer!”, and because I also love the disapproving looks from the mostly older women who shake their heads with a tsk tsk “that mom shouldn’t be drinking, no wonder her kids are misbehaving!”, cuz other people’s opinions are funny to me.  I am back to alcohol.  What is happening.

Ok, so this one time, my darling son, at the tender age of 3 or so, was out with some very fabulous people that I love very much.  I must have this disclaimer.  If you are reading this, and you know who you are, I love you, very much!  🙂  So, he was out and about, enjoying his evening with fabulous people.  They brought him home around 6pm, close to bed time.  I went out to greet them in the drive way, and he climbed out of their car, clutching to, and sucking the life out of, a large cup.  “What’s in the cup?”  I asked.  Silence.

“What’s in the cup.”  No longer a question.  A demand.  The answer: “Oh, uh, it’s a soda.  We asked him if you let him have soda, and he said Yes, so…”  I flinched.  I grabbed the cup away.  Empty.  All the care I took feeding this child milk and watered down apple juice for heaven’s sake, down the drain with 1 soda, super sized.  Well, that’s what a I thought, anyway.  Give me a break, it’s my first child.  My 11 month old has, for sure, had apple juice, straight up.  No water added.  Third kid.  You know.  Anyway, so, the soda and my first kid.  “Please tell me it’s Sprite.”  That seemed the safest to me…sugar bugs, yes, but no caffeine.  “No, it’s Mountain Dew.”  Remember, I love these people a lot.  I wanted to slap someone.  I threw a bit of a hissy fit.  And probably embarrassed myself.  They didn’t mean harm, I mean, he TOLD them I let him have soda.  Maybe instead of worrying about pure apple juice, I should have taught him not to lie.  So after threatening to send my hyper caffeinated child home with them (“well maybe YOU should stay up till 3am with him!”), we said our goodbyes and in the end, he was only up till midnight.  And of course up by 6am.  And I got a call the next morning, from the people we love, making sure he wasn’t up too late and apologizing, and all was forgotten.  At least so I thought.

As my son grew older, I loosened my leash on fizzy drinks.  When we took him to Disneyland for his 4th birthday, after getting up at 6 and having such an exciting morning, at lunch he started to fade.  Like fall into his plate and take a snoozer.  Ahh!  We had spent too much money for him to nap through any parts of it, so I gave him a few sips of my Coke to wake him up.  It was Disneyland.  Forgive me.  Thanks.

Anyway, mom’s that throw hissy fits are sort of unforgettable.  About a year later, I got a lovely bag of hand me downs from another loved one, left on my doorstep.  A bag full of awesome boy clothes.  And the shirt on top?  So when I opened it, I knew all wasn’t forgotten and people were still laughing at me?  (Lovingly, of course.)  A bright green Mountain Dew shirt.  Size 6.  Ha Ha.

And then, last weekend, this happened:

Did some backyard camping with the fam. Looked up from my plate of food to see my son attempting to squeeze his juice pouch into a can of Mountain Dew. He apparently thought it was funny. Juice and soda all in one day? Try one hour. What is camping for if not for throwing all mom’s rules into the campfire? Oh geez.

I need a beer.


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Baby Blues and all that Jazz

Oh, the Baby Blues.  Sometimes more seriously known as Postpartum Depression.  I always thought to myself, “it will never happen to me, I will keep it together, all it takes is some fresh air and sunshine and I’ll be fine, those crying moms are crazy.”  And then I had my baby.  And all semblance of a normal hormonal balance went straight out the window.  Along with my skinny jeans.  Nobody tells you that the simple little thing called the Baby Blues is nothing less than constant crying.  Like all the time.  Like hiding-in-the-shower-crying-into-the-tiled-walls-and-you-don’t-know-why crying.  It’s a powerless feeling of constantly being on the verge of tears.  It’s really no fun.

After I delivered our first baby, the constant crying (mine) had good reason.  Silly baby boy swallowed some of my blood before he was delivered.  It could have happened while I thoughtfully stood in the living room wondering if that gushing feeling was my imagination, or my water having broken.  I chose imagination.  Pure denial.  24 hours later, he arrived, and unfortunately earned a spot in the NICU for 6 brutally long days.  I cried in the hospital, I cried when I was released, I cried in my dinner, I cried in my sleep, I cried at the breast pump store, I cried before and after visiting him in the NICU, and eventually I cried when we brought him home because WHAT DO WE DO NOW crossed my mind 500 times.  I was a nightmarish mess and I am sure I was scaring my poor husband.  WHAT THE HELL probably crossed his mind 500 times.

But I physically could not stop the tears.  I cried at my 6 week OB check up and she tried to snap me out of it with a “you have a healthy baby!  he’s home!  you’re fine!”  and yes, that all made perfect logical sense, but I couldn’t squelch that knot that was lingering all day in my throat, my eyes threatening every five minutes to spill over.  In an effort to cheer me up, my husband sent me out to the store (a trip!) to get halloween candy for the Trick or Treaters.  Our baby was almost 10 days old and had been home for just 4.  He handed me a $100 bill and shooed me out the door.  I found myself in front of the candy aisle, depressed that just 10 days ago, people were smiling at me, my pregnancy obvious.  And here I was, 10 days post delivery, and not a soul in the store could tell what I had just been through.  To them I was probably just a chubby lady on the verge of tears, staring at some candy.  So I loaded up my cart, LOADED UP my cart, with every piece of giant candy bars I could grab.  I blanched when the check out lady declared “oh!  you must be having a Halloween party!”  When I got home, I carried in 2 of my 6 grocery bags of candy.  I stood in the doorway and my “let’s put on a happy face” husband came over to check out my purchases.  I walked back to the car for 2 more bags.  And then another 2 bags.  He looked up at me.  “Is there any change?”  I sobbed.  I think Oprah calls it the “Ugly cry.”  I had spent OVER $100 on Halloween candy for what would be only 14 Trick or Treaters.  Baby Blues.

When I became pregnant with baby #2, I figured, oh, I GOT this, I had discovered that some yummy food and fresh air and sunshine had eventually started to ease the hormonal horror show after baby #1.  I DECIDED I was not going to go through the Baby Blues again, I was an old pro at mommy hood, and nothing was going to get me down.  But then my husband had to leave the hospital to tend to our 2 year old at home.  And here I was, alone, with a little baby I barely knew, and she liked to cry, so I cried too.  The poor nurse came in to bring me water and I was mid-bawl.  I stupidly tried to hide it.  She asked me what was wrong.  “Nuh-thing, eh, eh eh, nuh-thing, Oh!  I can’t make it stop” and I lost it again.  She assured me it too would pass, that I’d feel better soon.  When my husband brought our 2 year old to visit mommy and baby sister, he had to talk me down off my crying ledge from his cell phone in the parking lot, worried I’d freak out our son.  I put on a brave face, but seeing our son pushed me over the edge and I lost it when they left.  When I was finally released and settling in at home, I thought I had the hormonal horror show beat, I was home, with my kids, and I knew what I was doing this time.  But then someone stopped by, brought our daughter a gift, and my 2 year old son dutifully kicked it across the room.  So I cried.  “I’m cheating on my son!  He hates me!” I wailed.  I was a mess.

You’d think I’d had enough.  But we decided to try for number 3.  This time, I told myself, would be different.  This baby was not a surprise, our 2 other children were old enough to be excited for a new brother, we were prepared, we had stuff, it was a good pregnancy, we were good.  I even laughed, “ha ha ha!  the hormones aren’t gonna find me this time!”  I am super funny.  And ignorant to the lack of control I have over the crying I do so well.  Baby #3 arrived with no issues in the wee early morning hours.  I held it together for quite a while.  A parade of friends and family made its way through my hospital room, and I was feeling good.  And then just like that, I was alone.  My kids were having fun at their grandparents’, my husband had to check things at work, and I found myself alone.  The nurse found me trying to change his diaper, I say “trying” because I could barely see what I was doing, my eyes were swimming I was bawling so badly.  “What’s wrong?”  she asked me.  “I don’t know!  I really don’t.  I swore I wouldn’t cry this time.  But I can’t stop!”  And that went on for most of the night.  I called my husband, hysterical, and declared it was time to get me out of the hospital and bring my hormones home.

My eyes were puffy for a good week after getting baby #3 home.  I was depressed, I was tired, and I was super duper sentimental.  I stared at baby pictures of my older children and wailed “ahhh!  they are growing up too fast!  I missed their childhoods! wah wah wah” and my poor husband tried to reason with me.  (I am a stay at home mom.  I really didn’t miss anything.)  But there is no reasoning with the hormonal horror show.

My sweet baby #3 was born at the end of June.  On July 1st, I cried.  “June is OVER!  wahhhhhhhhhhh!  We waited and waited and waited for June.  It’s his birth month and it’s over!  They grow up too quickly…”  I fully embraced the woe-is-me.  And then my 5 year old looked at me.  “Mommy, you’re crying again?  You don’t want us to grow up?”  He looked really freaked.  Yet he was very matter of fact.  And so I made a mental note to stop with the water works.  At least in front of the kids.


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We Be Swimmin’

We have a pool.  It’s awesome.  And it’s annoying.  And it’s cold mostly.  When I first laid eyes on our pool, it was night time and my fiance and I had just broken into the backyard of the house we were about to make an offer on.  It was your typical suburban 1950s shaped concrete pool, and we were excited to have found a house that fit our criteria and had a pool.  I had never lived in a house with a pool and I was excited.  Oh the parties we were going to have!  I was going to swim every weekend!  All weekend!  I was going to live in the pool.

And yes, in the beginning we had POOL PARTIES.  Lots of them.  And we swam a little bit, but mostly we just barbequed and drank margaritas and marveled at our pool.  And we’d say to our guests, “did you bring your suit?”  and they’d nod and say, “we’ll go in in a bit” and then we’d drink some more and eat even more, and we’d go as far as to put our feet in the pool, but no more than that.  Hot summer days would arrive, and my husband and I would sit in our house, with the AC blasting, and smile at our pretty pool through the windows.  “We’ll swim tomorrow,” we’d say.

After we had our first child, we reconfigured the backyard and installed an updated and secure pool fence.  “I hate the pool!”  I’d declare.  It took up real estate in our backyard, and it cost money to operate and clean and fix.  But then summer came around, and when my baby would take regular naps, I’d glance out the window in the midst of the laundry I was folding, and the shimmering pool would call to me.  I hesitated at first, but after a few hot days I figured out how to rig the baby monitor so I could hear the baby while swimming and I’d find myself lounging in the middle of the pool on a raft at least a couple days a week while the baby napped.  Ahhhh…luxury.  And then as my baby got older, my Mom friends would come over and we’d start the “let’s go swimming” preparations.  We’d get the babies in their swim diapers, put on their bathing suits, slather on the sunscreen, adorn their hats, blow up the toys, blow up the floaties, fill up the water bottles, put on swim worthy clothes (bathing suit months after having a baby?  no thanks), slather on our own sunscreen, gather the towels, and then FINALLY, we’d get our babies in the pool and let them splash and play and we’d semi-chat while fiercely gripping onto our children lest they get brave and try to actually swim.  10 minutes later, we were all out of the pool, exhausted from the ordeal, the kids wiped out and ready for naps.

And then I had another baby.  At that point my older kid was 2, and wouldn’t you know, he LOVED the pool by then.  But the logistics of a baby and a toddler in the pool was just not happening, at all at all at all.  However, I had learned the first time around how to rig the baby monitor at nap time, so when the baby fell asleep, my 2 year old and I would scramble through our swim preparations and we’d swim until his sister woke up, which was fine with him.  As the kids got older, I found that my luxury-swim-alone time was drastically disappearing, along with their naps.  Eventually I got brave enough to take both kids into the pool, when they were about 2 and 4 years old, and they’d take turns swimming with me.  One would play on the steps in their life jacket, while the other would play with me in the shallow end, practicing swimming to and from the steps, and working on their “monkey” crawls along the edge of the pool.  Once in a while our sweet golden retriever would ramble into the pool and do a lap or two, much to the delight of the kids, and then ramble on out and take a nap.  But I missed my luxury-swim-alone time.  So I got a little selfish and after a good hour in the pool, taking turns with the kids, I’d gather them up into their towels, sit them down in the sun to dry off, hand them some popsicles, and quickly jump back in the pool and do a few laps.  Sometimes they didn’t care, but other times they’d jump up and bang on the pool fence or just sit and wail.  “mommy!  come back!  we wanna swim too!  mommy!” and my luxury time would be over.

And now I have 3 kids.  Luxury swim time?  Just a myth.

So here’s how swim time goes right now.  Try hard to hide your jealousy, y’all.

It’s after school.  It’s hot.  My 4 and 6 year old kiddos want to swim.  My 10 month old has just started walking and wants to practice his skills.  Can’t blame the kid.  Afternoon nap is not happening.  So the older kids run and get their suits on.  I spray them down with sunscreen.  I grab 2 bath towels because the pool towels we used last week are still outside and are in rare form due to the crazy rain storm we had at the end of the week.  I grab some toys for the baby.  I grab the baby and we all go outside.  Our new dog sees we are about to open the pool gate and starts to wiggle and crash into the kids.  They scream.  I open the pool gate and usher the kids in.  The dog slips in and crash-splashes onto the front steps of the pool.  The kids scream again.  The baby is wiggling and wants to get down to get to steppin’.  I put the baby down and block him from the pool with chairs.  He is unaware of the fun in the pool and just practices walking between the chairs.  I stand guard, ready at a moment’s notice to simultaneously jump into the pool if need be or dive onto the cement to prevent walking-baby from falling.  All the while the dog is trying to save the kids from the pool by pulling on their suits.  They scream some more.  It’s kind of hot and I start to sweat.  The splashes from the pool annoy more than they refresh.  The wet dog shakes all over those of us not in the pool.  The baby is now soaking wet and a little muddy.  My 6 year old gets on a raft and drifts too far out for my comfort and I call to him (ie yell) to come back, which sets the dog on a running frenzy and she takes about 5 laps at lightning speed around the pool.  The kids scream some more.  I am on edge, but the kids are having lots of fun and expending fabulous amounts of energy, so I allow the chaos to ensue.  I make a mental note to apologize to my neighbors later for the racket.  I continue to straddle the world of the pool and the walking baby for a good 40 minutes until I can take no more, and really, the dog can take no more, that I call it off and gather up my kiddos and herd them back into the house for another activity, wondering how many hundreds of calories I burned just from stress.

Luxury swim time?  With a margarita?  And a raft?  Pretty sure that never really happened.


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Mommy Tantrum

I threw a tantrum, and it wasn’t the first time.  I mean, I threw a tantrum last week.  And I am not proud.  The tantrum and I are old pals.  I have been throwing it around for a good 35 years.  Just like how you throw a party.

In the 6th grade, my family went to Disneyland.  On a Wednesday.  It was back in the days when your parents could take you out of school for a trip to the Magic Kingdom without the threat of someone calling Child Protective Services.  So, during this trip, I got a souvenir: a fabulous white shirt with Minnie Mouse on the front dressed in pink with a black hat.  I love love loved it, and I couldn’t wait to wear it to school the next day because I had show and tell and I was going to show off my new shirt.  A little bit of a brat?  A little bit.  So we get home and of course I HAD to put my shirt on and then of course got it dirty and so into the laundry it went.  The next morning I head to the dryer to put on my shirt and ta-da!  SHRUNK.  Like 2 sizes.  I LOST it completely.  I screamed, I ranted, I fell to the floor clutching my favorite shirt and wailed like a baby.  I blamed my mom.  She tried to console me, but there is only so much you can do for an 11 year old throwing a tantrum.  Warn them they have 30 minutes until it’s time to leave for school and walk away to go pack some lunches.  I can still remember roaming up and down the hallway, finally throwing myself on the floor in my parents’ bedroom, pulling like a mad woman on the neck of the shirt, willing it to go back to it’s previous size.  I was pissed.  Really pissed.  I can still recall the rage.  I finally calmed down and put the shirt on.  The final result was a too small shirt with a too large neck that hung and drooped.  It was a mess and I never wore it again.  This is sort of embarrassing, and age 11 sounds too old for a Tantrum.  Ha!  That’s funny.

My sister ate my most favorite piece of Halloween Candy one year, right out of my bag.  We have that tantrum on video.  My mother had just redone my sister’s room and was “interviewing” my little sister about the new wallpaper and throw pillows.  About 3/4 of that video is me whining and carrying on in the background about my missing candy.

I’ve had other mild temper tantrums, like the time my husband and I were packing for our honeymoon, a few hours before our rehearsal dinner.  I had just gotten my nails done like 15 minutes beforehand (right here, procrastinator, raising my hand) and I was attempting to zip up my suitcase with my teeth, then my palms, afraid I was going to mess up my French Manicure.  I pouted and rudely asked my husband to zip it up for me, to which he asked “why can’t you?” as he stood in the closet, having not yet packed a thing.  “Because I just got my nails done.”  He looked at me.  “Why?” as he walked over to close my suitcase.  “BECAUSE WE’RE GETTING MARRIED TOMORROW!” I threw up my hands as proof.  He laughed, but I was fuming.  Wedding planning is super fun and stressful.  🙂

So as I have extensive experience with the Tantrum, I expected my kids to throw their fair share of Tantrum parties.  And they have, and they’re pretty good, but they haven’t been quite the caliber of their mom’s, yet.  I am totally jinxing myself here.  But what I didn’t expect, was that I still had more tantrums in me.  Mommy Tantrums.

So, last week, I finally had enough of my daughter’s messy room.  She has so many things and these things were everywhere.  So I grabbed the baby, took him to his sister’s messy room, and sat down with him in my lap, and attempted to help my daughter straighten up.  At first she was super duper excited about Mommy helping.  Things were being put away, clothes were being folded, dirty clothes went in the hamper and then 1 minute later, she started hanging upside down on the bunk bed.  I got her to refocus and she started putting her clothes back in the drawers.  And then, at the coaxing of her older brother, started to run out to the living room to see what Clifford the big ole red dog was up to.  I reigned her back in and warned her brother.  And then she’d put a shirt away, hop into the hallway, do a dance, hop back into her room, count her My Little Ponies, put another shirt away because I asked, hop back into the hallway, do another dance, run to Clifford, and then come back.  So I got serious.  And I sat her down and said “We are cleaning this room, and we are not leaving until we are done.  No more running out the door, no more fooling around.”  She nodded with a smile, stood up, did a dance, and knocked a box off of a stool onto her baby brother who had since crawled away from me and was chewing on a crayon.  And then I lost it.  I took away TV time I am sure, took away her ponies, took away her car when she turns 16, until THIS ROOM IS CLEANED UP!  Mommy Tantrum.  And she snapped out of the sillies and we got the darn thing cleaned up.  Oh, and baby brother was unfazed by the box that fell on top of him.  He’s fine.  Third kid.

Satisfied, I walked out of her room, and found my oldest son waiting for me.  He had been strangely quiet since my Mommy Tantrum.  I wondered if he was trying to avoid cleaning up his mess too.  But then he handed me this:

My 6 year old son, very concerned that I’d forget all of the restrictions I had imposed on his sister, made sure he wrote down all of the things I had taken away until she finished cleaning her room.  He had written it on the back of a sheet of stickers.  I guess he just grabbed the nearest thing to write on so as not to miss the gems spewing from his Mother’s mouth: No more gymnastics, yes I remember saying that.  No more candy.  That’s a definite.  All of the above apparently are restricted until his sister proved she could be good.  Ok, I remember that.

No more anything!  ??  I don’t remember that one.  Can we say, Mommy Tantrum?


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We’re Immune

My children get immunized.  They get their shots according to the schedule that their pediatrician sets.  In my opinion, based off of my own research, this is what is best for my family.  But that’s not to say it is the best for ALL families, and I would never ever never tell another parent that they should get this shot or that shot for their kids.  And so I expect the same respect from those parents who choose not to immunize their kids.  Don’t go all immunization-scare-politics on me and tell me that immunizations are horrid, that the Chicken-Pox disease is a Rite of Passage, that Rubella is part of a conspiracy and doesn’t really exist.  Because this sort of anti-immunization warfare has happened to me.  Twice.  And both times I was topless, lying face down on a table.

Long gone are the days when my mom would get a phone call and after a few mumbled words of sympathy followed by muffled excitement, hang up the phone, grab her purse and announce: “Jennifer and her little sister BOTH came down with Chicken Pox yesterday!  We’re going over to their house for lunch.”  Because what was worse than getting Chicken Pox in the 3rd grade?  NOT getting Chicken Pox, that’s what.  (Because Chicken Pox as an adult could potentially be even worse?  But what about the fact that if you have Chicken Pox as a child you also have the opportunity to get Shingles as an adult?  And from what I hear, that sucker SUCKS.)  So off we’d go to our friend’s house to gather up some germs.  And sure enough, my siblings and I caught the Pox and we missed 2 weeks of school.  And it was an itchy horrible yucky thing.  And if by Rite of Passage they mean having the pleasure of saying things like, “Oh this?  It’s a Chicken Pox scar.  Yeah, totally cool huh.” then I guess I’ve made my passage.

Would it be the absolute worse thing in the world if my kids came down with Chicken Pox?  No, not really, but they have a shot for that now, so why put them through it?  But again, this is MY opinion, based on MY research, yada yada schmada.

When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I made appointments to meet with pediatricians.  We wanted to “interview” them in the hopes of picking the perfect doctor for our child.  We only met with two because I am a procrastinator and by week 36 of my pregnancy my OB was threatening to pick one for me, so I figured we’d meet her two favorites.  So I was in my office at work, preparing my Pulitzer Prize winning list of questions for the doctors (What are your hours?  Where did you go to college?  Were you in a sorority?  Can I email you more questions later after I’ve come up with better ones?) when my boss came in and asked what I was doing.  She suggested I ask the doctors what their view was on immunizations.  What?  It didn’t dawn on me that I had a choice in the matter.  I added that to my list, but somehow I never got around to asking.  I might have been a bit intimidated by the degrees on the wall, but I was confident that the doctor we picked knew what she was doing.

At the end of my pregnancy I came down with Sciatica which is super fun pain that shot down my leg all day.  (Sign me up for that immunization when they come up with it.)  My OB set me up with a Chiropractor that specialized in Pregnant Women, so I sashayed with my Sciatica down to her office for a consult.  I was guided to a room and instructed to undress and put on the patient robe thing.  The Chiropractor came in and she was super bubbly and promised that my sciatica would go away after 20 adjustments, so I got up on a table that had a large opening for my preggo belly and laid down.  As my face became accustomed to being smushed into the little face pillow, she placed warm towels on my back that put me, almost, right to sleep.  I was in heaven.  And then she began to adjust me.  And then these words: “Do you know about the side effects of immunizations on babies?  You’re not going to get your child immunized, right?  It is not good for babies.  If you MUST get your child immunized, then I will agree that Polio is a good one to go with, but that’s all you need to worry about.”  I couldn’t talk.  My face was smushed in a pillow.  I was held hostage.  But my back felt soooo good.  And the pain was disappearing.  And I found myself listening to her because, well, she was a professional, she was a mom, she had obviously done her research, and she was making my pain go away.  And when the session was over, I sat up and nodded as she continued her little lesson on shot-free living.  But when I got to my car and buckled in, I started to get angry.  I certainly hadn’t asked her about immunizations, and she didn’t ask if I wanted to know.  She already had my attention and she knew I couldn’t go anywhere.  Yet I still went back as often as I could stand it (she healed the pain!), and each time she had another bit of anti-immunization speech for me.

After our son was born and was a few months old, we took a much needed trip to a hotel with spa amenities.  I signed up for a massage right away and was looking forward to my quiet time alone on the massage table.  I didn’t get the quiet and I didn’t get the alone.  The masseuse was a very nice woman who also asked me to disrobe and get on the table, face down.  My face again smushed in the pillow, as I started to fall asleep, I was jolted awake by another prepared anti-immunization speech.  “Again?” I thought.  I tried to block her out, but by the time the massage was over, I was exhausted from pretending to listen.  I was way too nice because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, and I was afraid if I attempted to voice my own opinion on the whole immunization thing, that she would stop the massage, which, really, besides the incessant talking at me, was very soothing.  At the end she gave me what I thought was her business card.  It was a piece of paper with the name of an author and their book about how horrible immunizations are.

While I didn’t even say the word “immunize” to either of these professionals, I certainly got an earful. I heard what they said (I didn’t really have a choice, now did I) and I followed up with my own research and I came to my own conclusions.  And I am appreciative of my own mom, who had to deal with 3 kids with the Chicken Pox.  I bet there’s a story there!


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The Eyes Have It

Ailments.  Afflictions.  Infirmity.  Illnesses.  I have had  my share, and they have all been, for the most part, normal cold-like, flu-like, allergy-like, sicknesses.  But then there are the alien type, what-in-the-world-did-you-do-to-yourself-wait-here-while-i-get-the-other-doctors-so-we-can-talk-about-you-after-you-leave illnesses.  And I’ve had a few of those.  And I find myself wondering if my kiddos will inherit my knack for the wacky health.

In 4th grade, what was I, 10? 11?, I came down with a strange eye affliction.  They thought it was pink eye and treated it as such, but the daylight and the class lights hurt my eyes and I was soon the strange kid who wore sunglasses in class.  I recall many visits to the eye doctor who’s waiting room sported a TV in the corner that only showed EYE SURGERIES.  Imagine being a little kid, with a sore eye, at the eye doctor’s office, and the only distraction in the room is a TV that shows surgeries on eye balls.  Bleh.  After a mis-diagnosis of eye herpes (OMG), they decided I had something even stranger, prescribed an assortment of remedies, and after a month or so of wearing sunglasses to class, I was finally healed and left with mild scarring on my cornea that only an eye doctor could see with his telescoping whatever.  Mild scarring on my cornea.  Yep, just another day in the life of me.

We’ll skip over walking-pneumonia in the 6th grade that had me quarantined at home for a good month or so, and the fact that my body forgot to make me a permanent eye tooth, and I had to suffer through a removable fake tooth on my retainer so that when I took my retainer out to eat, heaven forbid, so would I be taking out my tooth.  The girl with dentures in 7th grade.  We’ll go right to college where my afflictions became more entertaining.  They say college life runs you down, which must be true, because during winter quarter one year, I found myself suffering from bronchitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, and conjunctivitis all at the same time.  And then I got a weird eye thing again.

On the bus, on the way back to school from Spring Break in Mexico (wheeeeeeeeeeeee!), a dear pal of mine accidentally stuck her finger in my eye.  Thank God it was on the way HOME from MEXICO and not on the way there.  I’d probably only have 1 working eye right now.  My friends and I tried to laugh it off, and I tried to ignore the feeling that there was a large rock in my eye.  A painful rock.  With jagged sharp edges.  So my pals took me to the ER.  And the doctor put a green dye in my eye.  And it made my eye glow in the dark.  And my friends came in to see.  And they laughed and tried not to pee.  And the doctor said “what-in-the-world-did-you-do-to-yourself-wait-here-while-i-get-the-other-doctors-so-we-can-talk-about-you-after-you-leave” and he brought in more doctors and said “look!” and they looked and gasped and in the end I had 6 layers of my cornea flapping in the wind.  Sigh.  So the doctor sent me home with Vicodin and and eye patch that I was to wear for 1 week.

This is me in college after the eye "incident". There are other pictures. Of me thinking I could swim in my bed, thanks to the lovely Vicodin. You won't see those here. This is embarrassing enough.

You try being an English major wearing an eye patch the whole first week of Spring Quarter.  Professors expected me to read an entire book that week and my only good eye could barely read the instructions on my medication.  My good eye, sick of doing the whole “seeing” job alone, would give out on me in the middle of campus and I’d be standing there, pirate-like, with my other eye closed, trying to feel my way to a bench.  And I was expected to get through half of my Norton Anthology.  Right.

My adult post-college years weren’t any better; I spent a week at my first job suffering through a skinned up knee that would seep puss through my one pair of professional black pants (I was running in flip flops, and then flipped and flopped on the sidewalk).  My knee grossed my boss out so much he sent me to the ER, with a stack of envelopes to stuff, because, well, I had work to do.  I figured when I became a Mom, I would grow out of these random accidents and bodily afflictions.

I figured wrong.  The problem with illnesses as a Mom, is, you don’t really have the luxury to go to the doctor whenever your body plays a joke on you.  Bronchitis?  Eh, I’ll get over it.  Fever?  Stick a cold washcloth on my forehead and let’s go to the park!  Stomach Flu?  “Hold on honey, I’ll get make you breakfast after mommy throws up real quick.”

And then my body decided another eye affliction was due.  My eyes hurt and they looked gross, but I was in denial until a family member said “um, yo, your eye, is um, YO.”  And then my Mom came over to watch the kids and MADE me go to the doctor.  A pure luxury.  The doctor scowled and said “how long have you had this?” and antibiotics were prescribed along with instructions to give my eyes hot compresses for 5 minutes five times a day.  Ha.  I have three kids under the age of 6 and you want me to have my eyes CLOSED for FIVE minutes at a time, FIVE times a day?  Yeah that’s not gonna happen.  And in the end I had to have one of my eye styes removed.  Yes, one of them.  I have a few.  I say it’s from little dirty feet stepping on my pillow while they look out the window in my bedroom, or from the eye makeup that I wear 3 times a year.  But the doctor says it is probably from bacteria that resulted from elevated hormone levels which resulted from having kids.  Thanks kids.  So this happened:

Whaddya know, same eye.

So there we are.  At least my kids thought I was cool when I came home from the doctor.  “Mom!  You are a Pirate!  Like on Jake and the Never Land Pirates!  But put your sunglasses back on, then you’re not so scary looking.”


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Leave Your Germs at the Door

These things just happen to me.  I can’t explain it.

When I had my first baby, and I became a Stay at Homer, I found myself home all alone quite a bit, feeling really blue.  My mom gently pushed me to join the local Mom’s Club chapter.  “Ugh,” I whined, “I don’t need new friends,” and I threw myself on the couch, still in my jammies, cuz that’s how I rolled.  It was probably 2pm.  But, yes, I DID need new friends: mommy friends.  Because as much as I wanted to pretend I was still up for gallivanting around with my college girlfriends, staying out past 9pm with them (gasp!) was not so easy when I knew I had a date with a baby at 3am.  My girlfriends weren’t home all day, up to their elbows in poop stained onesies, and for some reason they didn’t want to talk about poop (strange?) so finding some gals who lived near me AND were Moms AND were also home all day changing diapers sounded like the sane thing to do.

I emailed the local chapter, got an email back, (too quickly if you ask me, because, really, I wasn’t positive that I REALLY wanted to join), but I went to a meeting and met some fabulous women, with kids, who lived in my neighborhood.  Yay.  Mom was right.  We’d have play dates and official meetings (sure I’ll be the Secretary!) and park days and make-baby-food days, and walking days, and gossiping days (we NEED our gossip, need it darn it).

Jump to a couple of years later, and I now have a 2 year old and an 8 month old.  We are having fun with our Mom’s Club friends, and it was a Friday: Play date day!  Now, we had had a few incidences during play dates with kids flooding bathrooms and smearing poop, and while we forgave, we’d never really forget, so I swore my kids would NEVER make unnecessary messes at other people’s houses.  My kids would NEVER.  never.  So, the play date was in my neighborhood, far enough that it would take 3 minutes to drive, not including the time needed to load and unload the kids into the car seats, but close enough that I could walk it in 10 minutes or so.  My calculations are most likely off, but whatever, you get the gist.  It was a beautiful day so I loaded up the jogging stroller with 2 kids and all of our gear and our snack (every play date is a potluck!), and feeling super successful, strolled out.

We arrived at our destination incident free.  I unloaded the stroller, my 2 year old ran into our friend’s house, I picked up my 8 month old, and she threw up on me.  Just a little bit though, so I thought maybe the walk was too bumpy for her, no big deal, I figured it was just glorified spit-up.  I walked into the house, laughed it off with my mommy friends, and wiped off my shirt.  But my shirt still smelled.  Smelled bad.  And my 8 month old was clingy and warm.  Not good signs.  But I pretended everything was FINE.  just fine.  I was not going to be the mom who brought the sick kid to the play date.  (This denial would come into play again at her 1st birthday party, and I am still apologizing for the stomach flu that went home with the goody bags.  AND taking credit for the weight everyone lost.  You’re welcome.)

So I am sitting in my friend’s cozy living room, in her comfy leather arm chair.  Leather.  Oops, I better move.  So I walk into the kitchen, holding my 8 month old, standing over the tile, not quite sure what to do or who to tell.  As I get distracted and start to join in on the latest gossip (her neighbor did what?!?  that lady is crazy!), my baby girl vomits uncontrollably all over my shirt, my hair, my pants, the tile.  The other Moms kicked into action and grabbed paper towels and helped me as best as they could, while trying to stay cootie free and ushering all the other kids out of the kitchen.  And all I could think about was getting my kids out of there and going home.  But I didn’t have my car.  Oh geez, I only had the stroller.  Walking home with a puking kid?  Yay.  And while I had 4 changes of clothes for the kids in the diaper bag, I had nothing for me.  This was going to be an awkward smelly walk home.  But my friends had another idea, and while one Mom friend held my daughter (saint!) I suddenly found myself in my friend’s shower, in my clothes, trying to wash puke down the drain.  Yuck.  Look who’s making the mess now.  I was so mortified.  And then it got a little worse.

As I turned the shower off, standing there in my soaking wet clothes, wondering if this was one of my better decision making moments, my friend kindly tossed some clean clothes of her own into the bathroom.  Bless her heart, but she’s about 6 sizes smaller than me.  Walk home in wet clothes?  Or walk home in what should be sweats and a T-shirt but on ME will be booty pants and a clubbing top?  I shivered.  And my shirt still smelled.  So I went with the dry booty clothes.  My face probably totally red, I walked fast out of the bathroom, grabbed my kids and tried to get the heck out of dodge.  But another friend had a different idea.  She offered to drive me home to get my car.  I took the offer and we drove the few minutes to my house to get my car.  I ran in my house, peeling the gifted outfit off of me as fast as I could, threw on some pajama like outfit, got into my car and went back to get my kids, hoping that my daughter hadn’t puked again.  In the end, she was fine, but by the time I got my little circus home, I wanted to cry and sleep and eat a box of cookies all at the same time.

I never walked to a play date again.



Nap Time in Our House

Nap time.  Yes, I get a nap.  My naps are between 5:30am and 6:15am.  The baby wakes at 5:15am, I feed him, put him back to bed, and then I get another 45ish minutes of sort-of-sleep.  Still jealous?  Moving on.


When you have your first baby, after you get over the shock of having a baby and the crazy need to stare at them when they are sleeping, napping for the parents is so easy.  The baby is sleeping?  Well then so will I!  And you have the opportunity for a 2, maybe 3, hour nap.  There are no older kids who need you to help them with the potty, no older kids who forget their inside voices, no older kids who think jumping off of the couch won’t create the loudest noise on earth.  But don’t forget to turn off your phones, turn on the noise machine, tell the dog to be quiet, leave a note on the front door that says “if you even think about knocking i will call the police”, and make sure no one within a 5 house radius is mowing their lawn.  I once went outside and yelled at my next door neighbors for talking in their driveway.  It was nap time.

When my first baby was a few weeks old, we got into the routine of baby up at 7am, eat, watch The OC on Netflix, baby eat again at 9am, and then he’d fall asleep.  And we’d be on the couch, all snuggly, and most importantly, the remote would be within my grasp to turn down the volume on The OC. (I watched the entire series during the first few months of his life.  But for some reason, the theme song does nothing for him now.  You can do that.  Watch the shows YOU want to watch when you have 1 baby.)  So I’d weigh my options: put the baby in his crib and risk waking him by tripping on my walk down the hall or stepping on a noisy toy, OR just stay where we are and I can sleep too.  So the lazy mom in me would pick option #2 and I’d bunker down on the couch, TV off.  But wouldn’t you know it the phone would ring or a family member would knock on the door or that fork that was precariously balancing on the edge of the sink would fall and clatter and MAKE NOISE.  And nap time was over.  And I’d swear to myself “next time, I am putting baby IN his crib with the noise machine ON, and everything else OFF.”

When our second baby arrived, we also had a 2 year old.  I learned my lesson with my first baby, so when it was nap time for baby #2, she went right into her crib, noise machine on, door shut, phones off, note on door, dog muzzled.  And my 2 year old and I would snuggle on the couch, turn on Sesame Street, and we’d have quiet time.  Sometimes my 2 year old would fall asleep and then so would I and the whole house would be napping and it was fabulous.  And then came baby #3.

When our third baby arrived, we had a 5 year old and a 3 year old.   There is not a noise machine loud enough to block the noises this family makes now.  During the baby’s precious nap yesterday, an entire plastic box of 40 markers crashed to the floor from the kitchen table.  And I managed to crash into and knock down a folding table.   That nap lasted about 10 minutes.

Not counting the naps the baby takes in the car, because we are ALWAYS in the car, his best naps obviously occur when both kids are at school.  So here’s my routine with baby #3:  Up at 6:15am, feed him, put him in the living room in front of 154 toys, wake up other kids, make lunches, make them get out of bed or else, feed them, remind them to get dressed, brush (their) teeth, baby in car seat, off to school, go to the other school, home at some point where I feed the baby again, and he usually falls asleep.  Noise machine on, everything else off, baby in crib, close his door.

And then I sit still, very still.  I read a book, I read on the computer, I DON’T turn on the TV because that makes noise.  I don’t dare talk on the phone or go to the bathroom.  I might eat, but hidden in the farthest corner of the kitchen and I can’t open the fridge.  If I obey all these rules, he might sleep for 25 minutes.  And the SECOND he wakes up?  Before I rescue him from the crib?  I go into “get-er-done” gear:  In about three minutes I empty the dryer, put laundry on my bed, go to the bathroom, feed the cat, feed the dog, load the dishwasher, empty the trash, put breakfast away, listen to my messages, put the clean linens in the closet in the hallway…everything that I couldn’t do while he was sleeping.  Because a sneezing fly can wake baby #3.

And that’s how we nap in our house.



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A Dork is a Dork, of course of course

I am a dork.  Certified.  I thought I’d grow out of it, but, yeah, that hasn’t quite happened.  A quick look in the dictionary will tell you a “dork” is someone who tends to look odd or behave ridiculously around others.  I am really good at that.

In second grade, when asked as a class to declare out loud what 1+2 equals, I yelled out “thRRRRReee!” with a rolled R sound.  The teacher stopped class and asked “who said that!” and while everyone around me pointed at ME (ack!), I pointed at the boy who always got into trouble and quite effectively saved myself.  In third grade I bit a girl for not “pitching” the kickball to me the way I wanted her to.  In Jr. High, riding home in my friend’s dad’s very clean car after a Girl Scout camping trip, I dumped a hand full of crumbs into my hair to prevent making a mess in the car.  In college, on the very first day of my very first internship, I managed to park in the PRESIDENT’S parking spot all day long.  It was right next to the elevator and said it was reserved for the company I was interning for.  I thought it was my lucky day.  “I’m the INTERN!” I later declared to the ticket wielding parking attendant.  Dork.  Dorky Dorky Dork Dork.

Lately, I’ve been backing into vehicles for sport.  Still a dork.  Even as an adult.  More so as a Mom.

So, back in September, on the, oh, I don’t know, second day of Preschool for my daughter, I had a cringe worthy dork moment.  The elementary school didn’t start classes until the next week, so I had to take all 3 of my kiddos to the second day of Preschool.  As I was getting my daughter settled in her classroom, my 3 month old declared it was time to eat (ie started screaming).  And when an infant wants to eat, there is no “hold on sweetheart” or “just a minute” or “you’ll eat when we get home”…there is only “you’re hungry?” and then you immediately feed them.  I wasn’t so super keen on nursing the baby in the preschool room, so I asked the teacher if I could leave my oldest child with his sister in her class while I ran to the car to feed the baby “real quick”.

Twenty seconds later I am standing in front of my car, with a screaming baby on my hip, trying to decide where to sit in the car so that I cannot be easily seen.  I decide on the middle row in my minivan, where the windows are tinted, and I climbed in and got situated.  It was sort of warm, so I rolled the windows down a smidgen.  And locked the doors.  You never know.  About two minutes later, the very large SUV parked right next to me beeps, like someone is disarming the car alarm.  Two women and an energetic kid approach the SUV.  They are talking and laughing and cannot see me in my car, feeding my baby, at all.  At all at all.  I am hidden for sure.  But I can see them and hear them – they are a mere foot or two away from me.  All of a sudden, the little kid THROWS open the passenger door of the SUV, which in turn slams into my car, which shudders.  A small earthquake.  Two things come to mind, 1) that left a mark for sure and 2) do they really not know I am in here?  The mom lets out a yelp which turns to a chuckle (I swear), tells the kid to “be careful!” and looks around to make sure no one saw.  She glances at my driver seat, which is empty, so she must have assumed my car was empty too.  Only it wasn’t.  I was in there.  As she buckles her kid in the SUV, I start to freak out that this woman is about to leave the scene and I will never find her again to pay for the damages!  (Though I should have figured I’d see her on a regular basis since her kid goes to the same school as my kid.)  So, I introduce her to the Dork.

I stop feeding my baby, who doth protest very loudly.  I engage the sliding door to open, forgetting that I had locked the car.  So my car alarm goes off.    I pop out of the middle of my car with a screaming baby and a blaring alarm, shouting “you hit my car!” all while feverishly pushing all of the buttons on the alarm thingy on my key chain.  Enter, Dork.

She jumped back.  She gasped with her hand over her mouth.  Yep, she had no idea I was lurking in my car.  She looked at me like I was ca-razy, gave her friend a “can you believe this lady?” look, and as I examined my car, she flatly told me that her door didn’t even hit my car.  Really.  “Yeah it did. It was like a small earthquake!” I said.  But she probably didn’t hear me, what with the screaming baby and car alarm.  I couldn’t see any marks on my car, so all I could do was give her my dorkiest look.  And she returned my look with something I am all too familiar with.  That look that says “you are so weird.”  And she got in her car and drove away.

I stopped the alarm, laughed at myself, climbed back into my car, closed the door, and didn’t bother to lock it.  I see her every time I go to my daughter’s preschool, and I avoid her lest she recall my dork-mom-moment and give me that look again.  Oh, and I try not to park next to her.


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