Keep the Laugh Track Going

Message received.  I am super fun hanging out with my family of origin. I am a scowling, laughter-is-not-on-tap kind of witch when I am at home.

Well…not really.

But Techno commented to me after seeing me in hysterics this weekend “Mom, why aren’t you like this at home?”  This new information and perception did give me pause.

My family got together this past weekend to hang out, play games, eat, drink and be merry. With the exception of one brother who lives out-of-state, the rest of us showed up ready to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.

At one point my Mom could barely breathe and I was near ready to pee my pants. Laughter is THE BEST medicine and so good for the soul. You can bet this Mom of three, including one Tasmanian Devil toddler does not get large amounts of time in the day to practice this skill. Between heaps of laundry, dirty floors, homework emergencies, playground dramas, chauffeuring kids in a myriad of directions and poopy diapers, laughing just isn’t high on the priority list.

Well, it should be.

And I know it is hard to be Ice and partake in my family’s brand of shenanigans. Just as I don’t get his family’s humor or their jokes from bygone days, I know he is only mildly amused in some cases and downright ready to run for the hills in others.

Let’s just say this particular party was epic in the howling category.

It felt good. It rang true to parts of who I am somewhere down deep. Those parts don’t get to see daylight sometimes and I guess it had been too long.

However, it was a wonderful question my son asked me. Because it made me realize it’s good for my kids to see me like that. It’s good for them to know I love my siblings. Family is fun. Life is full of wonderful, silly, incredibly joyful moments. And I need to make sure that my home is a place where that is cultivated. Laundry and all.

I will start finding ways to work on that.

Keep laughing.

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My siblings and I in our obligatory “jazz hands” photo every time we are lucky enough to get together

© Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Scheidt and Titanimom with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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“Don’t Drink Your Fart Water”

Fart

In an alternate universe I would never hear this sentence. In this universe it barely raises an eyebrow. Ice was on the phone with a friend and her son was making bubbles in the tub… shall we say? And then to make sure he hit that level of grossness most boys aspire to, he was attempting to drink the water.  If you’re a Mom, this is a perfectly normal quote, right? If your friend on the other end of the line is a Dad, he totally gets it. Thus you share.

The absurdity of what is heard and deciphered by parents from their children is priceless.

When I was growing up my parents had what we all refer to as “The Book”. A red, cloth-covered journal that houses years’ worth of utterly zany quotes, quips and outbursts from me and my quick-witted siblings.

Even as adults we have sat at my Mom’s on more than one occasion and begged to read “The Book”. So when I had my son (now 11), my Dad thought it a fitting gift while still in the hospital to present me with a brown Italian leather-bound journal of my own to start our own capital B-Book.

Journal

The following are a few excerpts to brighten your day. If you’re in the mood to chuckle, read on. If not, come back later.

Twinkle Toes age 2 and a half: “Daddy where are you going?”

Ice: “I’m going to work so I can buy you things. Like when you get older you’ll need car insurance.  What else do I have to buy you?

Twinkle: “Diamonds.”

diamonds

Techno age 5: “Mom, is it still today?”

Ice talking to Techno age 5: “I’m going on a date with a hot girl.”

Techno: “Where is Mom going?”

Ice yelled at Twinkle for pulling on our ridiculously expensive window treatments: “Even when I yell at you I still love you.”

Twinkle: I know, but I cry when you love me!”

Ice to both kids explaining about the body: “A smart way to tell Mom you have to pee is to say urinate. Can you say urinate?”

Techno:”Urinate”.

Twinkle age 4: “I’m Nate.”

Etsy.com

Etsy.com

There. Now you have your bathroom humor covered for 2014. You can thank me later.

It’s a Juggling Act

It is nothing to look around and find unopened tuna packets on the floor in the living room and not bat an eye. Little Bee just discovered how to open the lazy Susan cabinet where they are kept.  And apparently it is her newest toy. Like the toy’s box or the wrapping the toy is in that is way more interesting than the actual toy itself, this is par for the course when it comes to holding her attention.

I found myself clutching (and eating) a Klondike bar one-handed the other night sitting on the floor of my laundry room changing the wash over to the dryer. My escape for mere minutes of quiet and the inevitable multi-tasking? Kinda pathetic but I am owning up to it!

Visiting the bathroom in the middle of the night I fought with the roll of bath tissue on the wall because it was recently thrown overboard into the shower, got wet and became oh-so-complicated to untangle. Good times at 3am.

Yesterday while taking a shower there was a plastic Fisher Price figurine that was hurled in behind me from the playpen. Her signature is everywhere. This one is no wallflower.

Yesterday she proudly stood (smiling of course) on top of her wheeled Minnie Mouse choo choo train on the ceramic tile.  Moments later she climbed up onto the hearth of the fireplace and while I firmly said “No!” she proceeded to shake her tushy in reply and ignore me.

Knowing these antics will end at some point and move on to other less heart-attack-inducing issues is comforting and a little bit sad. I do so enjoy a good shake of the tushy and a little dance break in my day.

Impossible Standards

You know the friend who always shows up with the home-baked batch of cookies that makes you look at your store-bought cardboard ones and sigh? Or the woman who can run circles around you when in your mind you are really an Olympian? Or the neighbor who is always put together and would never be spotted in the produce section with two-day old mascara and bed head?  How about the Mom who has got the most well-behaved, smart, good-natured and well-adjusted kids? How does she do it and how much does she charge for revealing her secrets?

I visited one of those Moms recently with my kids. We happen to be lucky enough to be related to her and her awesome offspring. Here is how part of the visit unfolded.

“Mom! She’s touching me!”

“He touched me first!”

” You lie!”

“Stop it!” Angry eyes. The Look. Clenched teeth. I Have Had It Up To Here.

And one embarrassment after another for three days…sigh.

Where did it go wrong?  How did this little person who snuggled while we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar become so sassy and defiant?

And what is my relative thinking of my stellar parenting skills and obvious lack of anger management?

At some point in the weekend I revealed the pedestal on which her rock star parenting and impeccable (almost-all-grown) children had been placed. And she was oh-so-quick to correct me and take herself down from her post up high. She proceeded to share some snip-its that revealed some cracks in her armor and some flaws in my thinking. Bless her.

Really?? Had I got it all wrong? Was there really a time when she didn’t have it all under control?  I had never seen anything of the likes she described. And having changed some of their diapers along the way, I have been around these kids for Y.E.A.R.S….and witnessed a lot of interactions between them. When did these transgressions happen?

Well, they did.

A little relief.  A little reality check. Thanks for that.

Moms, give yourselves a break.

However, this one did opt to make her fabulous cookies…Something to strive for!

Bring on the Bubble Wrap

It is coming back to me now, not in a drip or a trickle but a deluge.  Every day is a new adventure in protecting Bee from herself.

Yesterday we had a plastic part of unknown origin that neither Techno or Twinkle would claim ownership of. I did the sweep and found it in her mouth.  There were two pairs of flip flops being offered delightfully as a snack by my dear friend’s children at the softball game. She just loved munching on those! And the lilacs were so very interesting and tasty to her.

Last week the Lego piece in her mouth was cause for an immediate run downstairs to find the gate to cordon off Techno’s room from her future “digs”.

Today was the coup de gras.  While blow drying my hair she was begrudgingly situated in the play yard in the bathroom grabbing at her toys.  I looked over to see she had grabbed the cord on my curling iron, yanked it into her play area and the iron fell to rest on her arm!  I couldn’t react fast enough to snatch it off of her and find out with the greatest relief that I had not yet turned it on.

After this latest near-miss it really gave me pause.  How DO so many people make it past a year??  It is all I can do to keep her contained.  Her curiosity and clever maneuvers are not unique.  Every Mom has her tales of “can-you-believe-it’s?” and “You’ll-never-guess-what-Johnny-did’s!”.  But when you are witnessing it unfold on a daily basis it’s hard to believe there will ever be a time when you can look away for a minute, let alone an hour.

And yet, it’s been so long and Techno and Twinkle are so much bigger than Bee that I know it will come faster than I can bear. If I am smart I will polish up my disaster aversion tactics. My patience meter will be set to high. And I should really consider stock in bubble wrap.

Love Letter to Mom

Happy Bday MomThank you for letting me back in the house when I packed up my corduroy briefcase from Grandma and “ran away” from home because macaroni and cheese wasn’t on the menu that night.

How cool are you for helping me color my hair when I was 14? Except for the time we got it so wrong and you took me to the high-end salon to be sure it was fixed right.

By putting in a good word for me at your long-time employer it ultimately led me to my husband.

Passing along the special red plate tradition as a marker of an achievement or birthday made a lasting impression.

Did you know that the Irish Lullaby you used to sing to our two oldest is the Lullaby they now sing to Baby Girl?

For having the most optimistic outlook on life yet still knowing time and again how to respond to my glass half-empty rants is perfect.

When you can’t stop laughing from something being funny, I can’t seem to either.

To this day, the chicken and biscuits you made the day we brought our firstborn home from the hospital ranks among the best home-cooked meals we’ve ever had.

Despite the additional paper coming in to my house, (!) the numerous magazine and newspaper articles, coupons and deals you want to share is endearing and thoughtful.

The first person who calls me in anticipation of a good story from an event, a trip or an overall momentous occasion is you. I’m looking forward to hearing about your latest road trip.

I love that you love fashion, fun and being young.  Age is just a number and you are timeless.

O mystical radio contest winner…from the year’s supply of bubble gum in the 70’s to the Disco cruise we snorted through a few years ago, how do you do it? I can never get through!

By encouraging me to travel, try new things and be joyful about it, you have created a lifelong appreciation for what anticipation can mean. And it is priceless.

You have established yourself as the master bingo caller, VCR operator, consignment shop treasure finder, wine glass connoisseur, beef roll-up maker and rocking chair baby whisperer.

And you have always modeled what it is to be a good daughter, sister, wife and friend. And in doing so you have made it possible for my life to have more meaning.

Three Cheers for you Mom. Repeated daily.

Love, Me

Mission Accomplished

So now the trip…My Mom always said it’s fun to have something to look forward to.  I feel like I have lived my life looking forward to things.  The upcoming concert, the big party, the wedding, the birth of a child and on and on.  The trip I was looking forward to for a couple of years is now over in a blink.   And looking back, Mom is right – the anticipation was fun!

Five women leaving their spouses and kids behind for adventure, Florida sun and sand, daily transportation by trolley, side-splitting laughter and snorts, inside jokes, vodka tonics (too many!) and very little sleep – how lucky am I?

It was so fun to learn more about these women in my life as the trip unfolded.  We had everything covered from the navigator who rode shotgun to the cook who prepared the best homemade scrambled eggs in recent memory.  From the “cruise director” who planned our big excursion to the best parallel parker who shouted turn by turn instructions from the back seat (thank you).  And for each one liner that had us all in hysterics I’m sure there is a stand-up comedian somewhere who is jealous.

I loved hanging out in the company of four great friends anticipating the half marathon we would all run together, the relief we would feel when it was over and the ensuing celebration.  Having put a lot of pressure on myself to make this race count and try for a “PR” or personal record I was very focused on making that happen.  However, I was never so relaxed before a race as on this trip. It could have been the location, the company I was with, the vodka tonics or the delirious lack of sleep. But it was a new and welcome feeling!

However the highlight of the race was not conquering the course or meeting the goal.  It was witnessing a friend face the unknown, overcome many hurdles in her training, doubt herself regularly and still show up no matter what. It was watching her smile and wave at the eighth mile and seeing that same smile at the thirteenth mile. Many times throughout the course I thought of her and hoped that she wasn’t wishing I had not dragged her into this experience! And when she crossed that finish line it was such a huge victory and we savored it with her.

I do not know when I will have another opportunity to experience something like this trip again. But that is not for me to worry about.  I have these sunburned body parts, these wonderful memories, these amazing friends. Mission accomplished.