Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Motherhood. Sometimes You Just Have to Wing it, You Know?

Taking the kids out to dinner is always an adventure (especially if a trip to the washroom is involved. especially if that trip to the washroom is with Aidan, who doesn’t understand that the people in the stalls can hear his running commentary on how loud their pee is), but sometimes it’s fun. And lately, it’s been going pretty smoothly, so last night we decided to go to Montana’s. I’m thinking it all would have been okay if Liam had been in a better mood.
Hmmm…where to begin?

Nah, let’s just sum up. It’s quicker.

Aidan: quietly did a puzzle. YAY, Aidan! And also? That kid is amazing with puzzles. His brain works good.

Caleb: loud. Hyper. Loud and hyper. Loudandhyperandloud. OhmyGODdoesthischildevercalmdown? Killmenow.

Liam: Liam is 19 months old. Liam wants to do everything himself. Liam gets bored in the time it takes to squash a bug. Not that I would squash a bug. I’m just saying. So yeah. Liam did these things:

-threw pieces of salmon on the floor
-threw pieces of chicken on the floor
-threw pieces of everything (including my brain, which, at some point during the dinner, fell out of my head) on the floor
-yelled loudly
-refused to eat
-tried to climb out of his chair
-REPEATEDLY (read: IN A CONSTANT MANNER) tried to climb out of his chair
-threw crayons at people. Not just family members either, folks
-grabbed my fork and, in a fantastically graceful display of chaos, swept it across his plate, thereby causing his rice to rain down on neighbouring guests

Dudes, I was tired. I was not enjoying my salmon. I was not enjoying my life. THEN! It happened.

What I neglected to mention in my list of stuff up there is that Liam also cried the whole meal because he wanted to drink his milk by himself. With nobody else holding it. But see, they give the kid this big plastic cup with a flimsy plastic lid (barely) stuck on top. This means IMPENDING DOOM, as anyone with kids knows. So I held the damn cup while he tried to take it from me. Sometimes he drank some milk. Most times he pushed it away with such ferocity that only my cat-like reflexes saved the day. During one such episode (he points at the milk and screams, I hold the straw up to his mouth, he screams some more…), he got a brilliant idea. He decided to slam his hands into the back of the cup, thrusting it toward him, and thusly gaining control over the cup.

Except that the violent action ALSO included the dislodgement of the flimsy plastic lid and the consequential sloshing of milk ALL. OVER. LIAM.

Being the mother of three boys, I am an expert in these types of situations. I calmly put the cup on the table, and grabbed my napkin to sop up the mess. I waited to feel anger that I would also expertly suppress. It didn’t come.

I glanced at my boy, who was miserable and crying, milk dripping from his hair and eyelashes, snot dripping from his nose, his shirt soaked. Then I glanced at Jim.

And I lost it.

I laughed so hard I thought I’d pee.

People at the other tables must’ve thought I was crazy…and maybe I was. But it was funny. It was funny because the kid DESERVED IT.

I am a horrible mother.

But dammit, that was a good laugh.

And he didn’t try to grab the cup anymore after that…not that there was much milk left…

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'm Not Sure If Any Of This Makes Sense

Do you ever look around yourself – at your house, your family, the trees, the sky – and think, where AM I? It’s an odd feeling being in the place you’ve known all your life and feeling like you don’t belong.
I don’t know if it’s loneliness, but it feels like loneliness. Like something – or someone – is missing. What is it in this life that makes us so alone, no matter how surrounded we are by others? Is it that nobody can possibly understand us fully, or is it that we don’t fully understand ourselves?
Or is it just me?
I’ve felt like this since I was a kid. I’ve been searching for a place to belong…forever. Just when it seems I’ve found it, it becomes clear that I was wrong. That that wasn’t my place after all.
I’ve had moments. Four years old on the hardwood floor, reading a book and sitting in a pool of sunlight, I felt it. That sense of belonging…that reassurance that, yes, this is where I’m supposed to be right now. There was nothing special about the time except for a peace that came over me, while I sat there in the sun, alone. A comfort. Fleeting, but unmistakable.
Walking through the woods on a late summer afternoon…navigating the fallen branches and avoiding the trickling brook on one side…it came often there. In the quiet of the day, in the solitude. That peace. I was alone but so not.
In University when so much in my life was changing, I would panic in class. It would hit me hard and for no reason. I did exceptionally well in school…went to all my classes…but the panic would hit me there. I’d be sitting, surrounded by friends, in the middle of a discussion, and it would hit me…that flash of heat…that pounding heartbeat…the urge to run, run, run…
One day in class I felt it coming on, and decided to give myself a break. I usually sat it out and got through it, staying in my seat, biting the cap of my pen and drawing on my papers to distract myself. That day, I was tired from a long shift at the restaurant the night before, and just sick of fighting panic while everyone around me sat quietly bored. So, I got up and walked out. It was just natural to gravitate toward the bathroom, where I’d be able to sit and close my eyes for a second. Halfway there, I heard my name. I heard a voice in my right ear…so strongly present I could feel the energy of it all around me.
I stopped and turned in a slow circle, knowing I’d see nobody, but needing to react somehow. That was another one of those moments of clarity…it’s like, in that moment, something in this world opens up, and we’re able to see anything we want to see. I just get that reassuring feeling…yes, you’re supposed to be here. Right here, right now. It’s all FOR something.
Don’t worry.
It’s okay.
I don’t know very much. I don’t. I don’t understand why I’m here. The whole meaning of life thing, you know? I don’t know if I make a difference. But I do know that this isn’t it. There’s more. And maybe how we live our lives matters in that…more.
While I’m here, I’m very busy trying to figure out how to live my life. Trying to please everyone and be the person I’m expected to be.
Guess what?
I’ve discovered that there is no “right” way to live…and that sometimes, going against conventional thought is better. It’s brave. And the difference it makes can mean so much. It’s scary to discover this, but liberating, too.
I’m giving myself a break. Instead of trying so hard to be right, I’m going to enjoy this life. I’m going to make a space for me here…strike a balance…and live. I’ll belong because…it’ll be mine. I’m going to stop worrying so much about what other people think. I’m going to say what’s on my mind. I’m going to reach for what I want.
How’s that for a New Year’s resolution? Better late than never…

Monday, January 22, 2007

Caleb's Eye Hurts

This morning, Caleb complained his eye was hurting. When I offered to take it out and wash it, Aidan became concerned that the removal of Caleb's eye would cause his immediate demise. Specifically, "BUT THEN HE WOULD DIE, MOM!"
I carefully explained that, in order to live, the body must have a functioning heart, which pumps the blood, lungs, which take care of the air end of the deal, blood, which travels around the body delivering good things, and the brain, which orchestrates it all. I went on to say that the removal of Caleb's eye would most likely not damage any of that, and certainly wouldn't cause enough blood loss to kill him.
Aidan looked thoughtful, and then that boy...that beautiful, four year-old boy said:
"Mom, when someone you love very much goes away...isn't there anymore...your heart gets broken."
Tears sprang to my eyes and the goofiness of the situation faded like dust motes moving out of a beam of sunlight.
I asked him to say it again. He did, and I promptly melted into a puddle on the dining room floor. How I love that I love all my boys. How can I ever be the mother they deserve? How did I deserve the opportunity? How do I live up to it? Can I?
I so want to.
I guess that's what's important.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

During Dinner

As a follow-up to our conversation about the Beastie Boys:

Tree: I find it interesting that your friend thinks it's so hilarious that you called me a whore.

Jim: I didn't call you a whore!

Tree: You called me a ho.

Jim: That's just another way to're my lady!

So, so lame, Jim.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Bowels are Irritable so I Torture Jim

This morning, I sat the couch in pain, waiting to see if the worst of it had passed. Jim waited with me for a while, and I asked him to sing Paul Revere to me (the Beastie Boys are like magical medicine for IBS attacks…what? you didn’t know?). Jim said he didn’t know the words, so I helped him out with exaggerated arm motions:

Tree: Well, I had a little horsey named…(I just looked at him like he was an idiot to help him)
Jim: um…Paul Revere?
Tree: Just me and my horsey and a quart of…(I mimed drinking)
Jim: uh…brew?
Tree: BEER! BREW DOESN’T RHYME WITH REVERE! (I get a little bitchy when I’m in pain. What can I say?)
Jim: Beer, then.
Tree: Ugh. Ridin’ ‘cross the…(I couldn’t think of anything to mime for “land” so I did the “you’re an idiot if you don’t know this” face again)
Tree: Okay you know this part! One lonely beastie I be! All by myself without nobody! The sun is beatin’ down on my…(I point to my head)
Tree: Yeah! The air is gettin’…(I fan myself)
Jim: Uuuuuhhhhh
Tree: HOT! The beer is gettin’…(I make flattening motions)
Jim: Mmmmmm…?
Tree: FLAT! Lookin’ for a…(I point to myself)
Tree: Ho? I point to myself and you say HO?
Jim: Well…I dunno…
Tree: It’s GIRL! Lookin’ for a GIRL, ran into a…(I point to him)
Jim: GUY!
Tree: Oh NOW you know the words.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Some Days...

There are good days, there are bad days...and then there are these kinds of days:


That's Liam's temperature. Poor kid just finished a round of antibiotics for a throat infection.
And there's a show about puking on tv.
It all must be because I finally gave in and cut his bangs. I knew it was wrong! I knew it! But noone would listen! See? See what happens when you cut the gossamer locks? He's crying over there!
I gotta go.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I Got Skillz

You know you've made a true friend when she'll take part in making Baby Got Back eloquent:

Good gracious, Becky, observe her behind!
It appears to be unusually large. She resembles one of those rap artist’s significant others.
However, it goes without saying that those rap artists are difficult to understand.
I would venture to say that they only engage her in conversation because her manner of dress and her flamboyant personality portray her (either accurately or not) as a lady of the evening, if you understand what I am saying.

I would like to restate that her behind is extremely large.
I am in a state of disbelief over the sheer roundness of it. It is, for a lack of a better way to say it, very much present. I exclaim loudly in disgust! Observe!

I tell you, people. It's a good way to break up the day. You can do it, too! Let's try this part together:

I'm tired of magazines
Sayin' flat butts are the thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back

Okay! Let's do it!

I grow weary of popular media
Expounding the virtues of less than ample behinds
I would surmise that the average man of colour would, if he were asked, conclude that
A woman is blessed if her behind is excessively rotund

See? Easy! Now you try!


Edited to add:

Ooooh. Jessica has issued a challenge. This time, it's My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas:

They say I'm really sexy,
The boys they wanna sex me.
They always standing next to me,
Always dancing next to me,
Tryin' a feel my hump, hump.
Lookin' at my lump, lump.
You can look but you can't touch it,
If you touch it I'ma start some drama


Others often remark on my sensuality
Those of the male persuasion have the desire to engage in physical contact with me
They are continuously standing next to me
Consistently dancing next to be
Endeavouring to engage my intimate physical being,
Gazing longingly at my sensual curves
Your gaze is welcome but actual physical contact would result in my initiating entertaining, soap-opera worthy hysterics

Friday, January 05, 2007

In Which I Embarrass Myself

All my life, I've done this thing. I have interviews with myself. Well, I often invent the interviewers, but that's not the important part. The important part is my part as the interviewee.

I don't know why I do it. I can't recall when it started, though I remember doing it as early as I remember talking.

I do know that I continue to do it. Sometimes it's fun. Often, it's comforting. Many times, it's to stave off boredom, which seems to plague me far too easily.

The topics vary. Truly, it depends on the location and circumstances during which the interview takes place. When I'm *ahem* on the toilet, I often interview myself about shampoo or styling techniques for excessively frizzy hair. Sometimes, if the interview is in the bathroom (they often are), I give classes on hygiene skills or tell about my personal experiences with constipation. If the interview is in bed, I'll talk about dreams. Or goals. Or about how hard it is to keep up with the laundry.

When I was in the hospital, pregnant with Aidan and in premature labour, scared out of my mind (literally! haha!), I did interviews about the dangers of premature birth. I did personal documentaries on my experiences with difficult pregnancies. I interviewed about mental health, about anxiety and panic...about fate, and about God.

I am an expert in every interview I give. It's a benefit of being both the interviewer and the interviewee. I'm telling you, I've often wished that there is some universal scribe that is recording all of these interviews of mine, because this is some good shit. Useful! Entertaining!

Now. Somebody please tell me I'm not the only one who does this. Tell me. And yes, you may tell me you think I'm crazy.

That's okay, too.