Failures

 

(side note, this is a reedit. Changes at the end)

As a parent, you’re destined to have at least one. If you’re being honest with yourself, there’s likely a half dozen or more moments in time you can recall without any effort that make you say to yourself “WHHHHHOOOOOO does that?!”

Yep. It was, tired, overworked, underpaid highly contagious me that accidentally gave Kid #1 a dose of concentrated Tylenol in the dosage amount given for its nonconcentrated counterpart. A mistake I did not pick up on until Kid 1 (who was 6 months old at the time and had been screaming for 3 hours nonstop) just laid her head down and went to sleep. As I stared at my peaceful 6 month old sprawled out over her swing, snoring soundly, the “mom voice” in the back of my head- you know the one. She screams at you into the wee hours of the morning questioning your every move, and has the ability to keep all mothers up at night rethinking every decision we made that day, wondering if our choice to feed the spawn frozen waffles for breakfast is what caused them to write their letter “D” backwards- suddenly shook me from my peaceful fog with a simple question.

“How much did you give her?!” That was quickly answered with a resounding “Too much! Too much!”  (yes, I called poison  control. Apparently, this is a common mistake and as long as it’s the only amount you gave them, and you just don’t give them anymore for 24-36 hours, they’ll -usually- be fine.)

I’m also the parent that shouted “Put the beads and the Dolphin down!”  Upon discovering my (then) 2 and 3 year old had gotten into my Passion Parties Consultant Kit.

When they were 4 and I began swatting their cute little tushes for disciplinary reasons I would refer to the act of spankings as “a beating”. (as in “Step off that curb one more time I will beat you” or “Do you need a beating?”) Which worked great for me….Till we were in a checkout line at the grocery store and they tipped my ENTIRE cart onto the floor, then looked at me terrified, wrapped their entire bodies around my legs,and clinging tightly sobbed “PLEASE MOMMY! DON’T BEAT ME!”

Not to be outdone, one year later, when they were just the right height to head butt me in the crotch and  I got the GENIUS idea to tell them with “Once you come out of there, you can’t go back in!” Suddenly, they had a new game to play. It went like this;

*slamming their head into my crotch” I’m going back in Mommy!” *head slam. Laughter. Repeat*

So much entertainment came from this! Till the day the 3 of us were in a crowded restaurant and they lifted my full length sun dress, exposed my barely covered thong rear end and slammed their head into my crotch and shouted “I’m going back in Mommy!” as the flower print fabric draped over them. Loud enough for all to hear.

Epic Parent Failures come in all shapes and sizes. And usually sneak up on me when I least expect it.

Once, during a deployment, The Mr. convinced me there was no need to take our son (aka Kid #2) to a salon for a haircut “Why waste the money?  There’s a perfectly good pair of clippers in our bathroom. Just cut it yourself.”  He said.

After days of “You can’t get it wrong, there’s a guard on the clippers. Just cut his hair. It’ll be fine!” I decided to attempt his request. And it was fine. At  first.

In fact, everything was going great with the hair cut on my son till my electric clippers died on me. It was the kind that needed to be charged before use. (Something The Mr. did not share with me beforehand.) About half way thru Kid #2s hair cut (which was looking fantastic by the way) the clippers just stopped working.

Since we didn’t have to go anywhere for the rest of the day, my internal panic alarm did not go off. The cut was looking good, I was feeling confident. The sides were trimmed and even, and I only had the top and a small patch in the back left. So I just plugged the clippers in and told the boy we’d finish his hair cut in an hour. We went back to playing games till it was time.

When the clippers were charged, we started again. Laughing and singing as I brought the clippers to the nape of his neck. Excited about how his hair was coming along. Unfortunately, being new to the whole “use the clippers” thing, I didn’t spot the missing guard that had been on during our first session. When I put the clippers to his head this time, hair came off all the way to the scalp.

I panicked. He cried. We asked “What would Daddy do?” and decided that giving him a high and tight was the answer. With excitement, we began to cut his hair so “he would look just like daddy! YAY!”  With great finesse, I began to shave his head the way I’d seen The Mr do so many times before. Pivoting the clippers just right at the curve near the top of the skull to produce a “fade” look.

The back was done. Kid #2 had dried up his tears and I was feeling confident again.

Till we hit a spot on the side of his head, right above his ear. Just as I was beginning to “pivot” that clippers near the top, Little Man spun his head to the right, causing the clippers to mow a bald patch right through the top of his head.

“Mommmmmmmmmmyyyyy!” He wailed. “Put it back! PUT MY HAIR BACK!”

“I can’t baby.” I whispered teary eyed, with my head hanging low.” We have to shave your head.”

When I completed the task of shaving my son bald, he asked to take a bath. Which I catered to. Kid #2 sat in the tub for three long hours, just staring at the tile surrounding him, shuffling bubbles from side to side until they were no more. Sniffling in silence.

“Hey buddy.” I said to him at the 3 hour mark beginning to worry about his wrinkled skin. “You ready to get out now? The water is ice cold”

“Leave me alone Mommy. I. Had. A. Hard. Day.”

Yep. Failures. They happen in life. As a parent, mistakes happen often. And that’s ok. It’s what you do after that really matters. The key to survival is what you do next. Here are some suggestions.

First and foremost, laugh at yourself. Laugh hard. And laugh often. Parenting is a messy business. Whether you’re cleaning up feces, or fishing a action figure out of a backed up toilette, the story behind the mess is always a good one. So laugh at it.

Take time to enjoy the little things. Your child will only want to experience things with you for so long. Take advantage of that. Go star gazing. Build a fort. Sing. Dance. Make faces at each other. And when you’re done, let them know how grateful you are to have had that moment with them by saying thank you.

Realize your life isn’t your own anymore and accommodate to that. It will take an extra 20 minutes to get to the car. You will have to stop hustling through a store to tie a shoe. You will leaqve yuour house some mornings wondering if you brushed your teeth. Set your clock a few minutes ahead, and always carry gum.

Forgive yourself. Yes, in the chaos of chasing those beautiful babies around this morning you broke a coffee mug or forgot to turn the dryer on. There isn’t a mistake you can make that can’t be undone. You aren’t damaging your kids with these minor mistakes, (no matter how convinced you are that their lives are destroyed because you forgot to pack their lunch this morning) The truth of the matter is, the only one being damaged when you dwell on the bad is you. Let things go.

Grow with your children. As much as I love to tell my kids “I need a minute to figure this out, I must’ve skipped this chapter in the parenting handbook” they know just as well as I do, there is no handbook. You’re learning about life together. Make every lesson a lesson that makes you a better person.

Most importantly, make the words most often heard in your home be “I love you”

These are my suggestions for parenting. What are yours?

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Mama Raised A Serial Killer

I am a photo taking whore. If it’s happening, I am taking pictures. That’s just the way I am. While I would love to say it’s because I’m artistic, I’m not. Like not even a little bit. Taking pictures is just my way of showing the world the way I see things. And since I’m being honest here, I might as well confess, my vision of things isn’t normal.

So, when I stumbled across a “Photo A Day Challenge” on FaceBook I was all “OOOOOOOOOO at last! A purpose that isn’t just me taking pictures to take pictures!” and I started taking pictures. I’ve been doing the challenge since January. Some days are harder than others, but for the most part, it’s really, really fun.

This week one of my picture challenges was to get a picture of my favorite word. This one took me a few days longer than I expected. I really had to think about this one! I stumbled a few times trying to really find the word that represented me. A word that stuck out, made me feel good and screamed to the world “THIS IS ME!” Then I realized it wasn’t asking for the word that screamed “this is me”, it was asking what word I use the most.

I set off looking around the house for a word that I used often enough to be claimed as my favorite word. That’s when it hit me. The 2 words most often used in our house are “Love” -and not in like that stupid overly done way where you’re like “Oh my gosh I LOOOOOOVVVE this pizza”, but in the real, heartfelt way. “I love you”

“No. I love you”

“Well I love you more.”

“Nope. I love you more”

“Well I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiis much” (stretching their arms out as far as they can go) “Which is A LOT, cuz I’m this tall”

Yes. Love is a word used at least 20 times a day in our home. It just barely misses the #1 word slot for words used by me the most by like I dunno….3?  The other word used often and on a daily basis is “Fuck”- and not like “I just saw them fucking” but like “What the FUCK were you thinking?!”

That. Hardly. Seems. Appropriate to announce in front of all of my family and friends. Seriously, I’m pretty sure my Grandma would cry if I proclaimed to all of the interweb that my favorite word in the world is Fuck. (Sorry Grandma)

Besides, the word “Fuck” is not in written format on anything in my home. I checked.-even dug through some books!- It’s not there.Which is weird. But expected I suppose. ****note to self, make a piece of wall art with the word Fuck in it.****

So I announced to the interweb my favorite word, the word most often used in my home is Love.

I wasn’t lying. I just wasn’t telling the whole truth. Which got me thinking about Motherhood and all it’s glory. Why? Well, I suppose partly because Mothers Day is around the corner. But  if we’re being brutally honest, that’s all Motherhood really is. A bunch of half truths told to save face in the eyes of others because we’re all secretly pretty sure if anyone actually knew what was going on behind closed doors, they’d have us committed.

I have this theory that moms don’t admit their “dark and twisty” to anyone who isn’t indicted in the “Mom Club”. Once you get pregnant though, don’t you dare get caught in an elevator alone with an overtired mom reeling from her day. Or sit down at a table of experienced moms at a birthday party. Or go to dinner alone with your lifelong best friend who happens to also be a mom. The things that come from those conversations will leave you looking for a scrub brush for your ears.

And your brain. Who am I kidding? When the mom club shares with you the horror that is your future, you’ll want to scrub your whole body to get rid of those stories.

I’m pretty sure the reason no one hears the horror stories before they have children is because if they knew what really happens when you become a parent, people would opt not to breed. Game Over. The world would end. So instead of ending the world as we know it, women follow “Unspoken Rule # 367” in the “Woman Code Book”

That rule is “Don’t talk about poo, blood, puke or how many nights you stayed up crying because you were certain that because the reason your kid had a bad day at school is because you didn’t kiss them goodbye before they left. And now they’re going to fail 3rd grade, drop out of high school and hitchhike across the country on a killing spree unless you’re in the company of other moms.”

The only exception is pregnant women. Because, well…..It’s too late. They can’t take it back now. Might as well share the horror!-er I mean fun.

Someone out there is reading this right now and thinking “HA! That’s not true! Parenthood is the most wonderful experience a person could ever have! It’s all rainbows and butterflies and shit.”

To that person, I say…… You’re probably the one that actually WILL raise the serial killer. Way to go champ!

The truth of it all is though, that in spite of the long nights camped out in an ER covered in your childs vomit. The irreplaceable remnants of your life that were once displayed and are now missing pieces or flat out broken, or the long nights sitting beside them in a steam filled bathroom praying for their fever to break. Even when you’re missing your special date nights and moments of interacting with other adults, the whole mom thing….It’s pretty freakin amazing.

And NO ONE is doing it right.

Espirit de Corps

Today! -hang on a minute, I need to clear my throat.

*ahem*

TOdaaaay.-whew!!! So much better!!

I would like to call out every movie, every book and every tv show that has ever made loving an active duty service member look like some sort of beautiful, romantic, fairytale. And the tag chasers that fell for that silliness.

Are. You. Freaking. Kidding me?!

Loving a service member isn’t romantic. Or fun. There are no break out into song moments. -trust me, I’ve pleaded with my guy friends while they were picking songs at a karaoke bar to sing “you’ve lost that lovin feelin” at least a dozen times. It doesn’t happen. Now ask them to sing “1 bourbon, 1 scotch n 1 beer” and you’re golden. But that’s a whole nother story.- there are no moments in which a service member in uniform lifts a woman up and carries her into the sunset. -as I sit here typing that, I’m trying to recall a time I’ve ever requested it. It seems weird to me that I haven’t. Maybe my mature brain has rationalized that since I can’t hold my husbands hand while he’s in uniform, I shouldn’t ask to be carried…But I’m not the rational type so that seems silly.-anyway, where were we? ah yes.-Loving a service member. It’s not romantic love letters and phone calls filling your ear with sweet nothings.

Hell no.

It’s years of weird, awkward porno phone conversations, (Seriously. Try telling your special someone how hot and bothered you are while wiping your 2 year olds butt or baking cookies) It’s “creative” emails with secret language and fun filled pictures that change how you look at everything in your surroundings. It’s having to maintain your “bubble” personal space with everyone -down to your mother people-because you haven’t been touched by a person for so long there’s no telling what kindof response your body would have from just a simple hug.

It’s running from the table at Thanksgiving Dinner with your in laws when someone says “thank you for allowing us all to be together on such a wonderful day” to avoid screaming at the top of your lungs “WE’RE NOT ALL HERE! CAN’T YOU SEE THE HOLE?” It’s making Holiday Traditions your spouse may never know. It’s building relationships with your special someones family and friends not as you, but as them.( picture yourself spending hours picking the right birthday card for your mom in law to sign from them and only them. It’s like being Santa to EVERYONE in your family. All these amazing things happen thanks to your thought and care, but everyone thinks it’s someone else.

It’s bedtime stories that end with “Sweet dreams. Daddy loves you” to your children. Followed by long conversations about your day that only your bedroom walls will hear, because when they do finally call there’s so much to say you can’t say anything.

It’s exhausting. Sleeping with a phone in your hand and your computer in your lap with one eye open. Yeah….That’s exhausting

And it’s stinky. -No. I mean it. It smells. Bad. Seriously. Have you ever smelled a pair of socks that can stand up on their own thanks to a 20 mile hike in 110 degree weather? That shit ain’t right!

Loving a service member means that from the moment you promise forever, your life is no longer your own. You will be torn from everything you know and thrust into a life that you no longer have a say in. Where you live, how you spend your time, how you dress will be dictated all in the name of morale and leadership. It means feeling like an outcast when surrounded by people you’ve known your entire life but feeling at home with strangers simply because the strangers speak “military”

It means fighting the urge to punch some ungrateful bitch when she complains because her husband didn’t take out the garbage that morning when they left for work, and holding your friends hand as they deliver their first born son because daddy left for Afghanistan a day to early to be there for the birth. It’s being strong enough to deliver that baby by yourself because while your husband was gone, your family is 2000 miles away and any near by friends couldn’t be there that one time.

It’s realizing the most important person in the world to you has somehow, through distance and time become just words on a computer screen or ink on a piece of paper. While their words keep you moving forward, you’ve come to realize the person behind them is barely a memory.

It’s going to bed at night and praying to God, that if your person is to leave your side someday, he take them now, while they are only words on a screen or ink on a piece of paper. Because to hold them once again, and lose them forever is far worse than the idea of losing the person behind the computer screen you’re struggling to remember

Loving an Active Duty Service member is not romantic. Or fun. It’s not even cute. Certainly not something to do to yourself on purpose.

It’s painful.It’s hard. It’s lonely.

But there’s a sense of pride in it that won’t be found anywhere else. A love and loyalty that only the few that survive the pain and loneliness will ever know. And that is beautiful.

The Mr. and His Hooker

There comes a point in a marriage when the couple becomes….Comfortable. You’re not afraid to kiss each other with morning breath, the idea of him seeing you in your “period underwear” doesn’t rock your very core and he doesn’t run into another room to pass gas. -Even if you’re at the dinner table.- Once you’ve reached this point, the next stage in the relationship-the one where you will for example, extend the length of time between shaving your legs and don’t rush him at the door when he comes home from a long day of work,isn’t too far behind.

The Mr. and I have been lucky enough to push both of these stages back longer than most due to his constant deployment/training schedule the first ten years of marriage. (I kid you not, I counted it out one day and realized that of the first ten years of our marriage the days and months he was home with us added together totaled about three and a half years)  When you’re separated for long periods of time, as we were, each visit home is a new beginning. There isn’t much time to get “comfortable” when you’re relearning your spouse an upwards of three times a year.

Lucky (or not maybe?….) for us that all stopped a few years ago when he was given orders to a nondeployable, non “choppable” support unit. One of like 3 in the entire world. Now he’s home regularly. Yes, he still has trainings and schools to attend a few times a year, but 2-4 weeks away from home is nothing in comparison to 7 months gone at least once a year.

This has affected our family in many ways. For starters my kids worlds were shattered when, after asking when daddy would be leaving for his next rotation because he’d been home a month and a half were told “he’s not leaving this year”

“What do you mean he’s not leaving?! That’s his job!” they screeched. It took a good year and a half for them to stop asking when his next deployment was.

Yes. He’s had to learn school schedules. Attend conferences and go to every possible performance the kids have had since his return and he’s holding his own at each. Though there were a few bumps along the way. He’s come to realize when my monthly cycle is, how often I wake up in the middle of the night to make a bathroom run and exactly how many scoops of sugar go into my cup of coffee each morning. He’s also learned what can and can not be discussed before the pot of coffee is emptied

This comfort and understanding has been good for us. At least that’s what I thought. But then he left for a few weeks to attend yet another school somewhere in Washington State…..And some jackhole thought it would be fun to schedule his return from said training at 11pm on a Friday night. When his flight plan came in he suggested just leaving his car at the squadron so I wouldn’t have to pick him up in the middle of the night upon his return. I laughed at him. Told him he was crazy and there was no way he would get off that plane without me there to welcome him home. It just wasn’t happening.

Then he left. And somehow, the Gods (whichever one you believe in) decided it would be fun to torture me. Everyday. All day. The ENTIRE time he was gone. Military spouses have a Murpheys Law of their own. It goes like this;

“Shit will break. Kids will become sick. You will suffer a debilitating injury and the dog will run away. And this will only happen the day he leaves. ”

By the time his return from his trip came to be, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted I couldn’t stand myself.For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d taken a shower, had no clue where my razor had run off to and was pretty sure that  I’d been wearing the same shirt for 2 or 3 days.

I told him to get a cab home.

By 9pm that night I was counting the ways I loved him and our children, our life really, so I wouldn’t high tail it out of the house the second he walked through the door. I felt dirty and bitter. Anger began to fill me as I envisioned his return.  After all, how dare he leave me alone to run this zoo we call our home and think for one second I would ever want to greet him, happily and lovingly at the airport when I could be spending that time getting the much needed sleep my body was screaming I needed.

Then a friend popped up on my IM. Her Mr. had recently left as well. But he was not attending some class out of state. Or on some weekend trip with the boys. Nope. He had run away to some other country far far away and didn’t plan to return for at least 6 more months. My bitterness towards my Mr. was nothing compared to the bitterness she was feeling towards me when I told her I didn’t want to pick mine up at the airport.

“Go get your man” she typed. “At least you have a man to get”

The seriousness of our conversation didn’t last long before we were teasing each other about all the randoms we were currently dealing with in our lives.Dark humor is the only survival method of a military spouse

“Shit” I told her. “I gotta share my bed with a boooooooy. I gotta shave, and keep myself clean. Cook meals and look pretty when he comes home”  for those of you that don’t know my sense of humor, this was mostly in fun. “UGH! This whole wife thing is SOOOO much work!”

“HA!” she responded. “You’re just an overpaid hooker!”

Those words sparked an idea in me. “Oh My Gawd!” I screeched -yes out loud and on the screen- ” I should dress up like a hooker and pick him up from the airport in a cab! We can make out all the way home!”

“Best.Idea.Ever” came across my screen. Followed by “Tell him I said ‘You’re welcome’ when you’re done ;)”

With that I set off on a mission to greet The Mr at the airport clean, shaved and dressed to kill. The entire time I was getting ready I was messaging my girls for support.  Messages like “OMG do I REALLY have to shave for this?!” and “I just realized I’m really old. There are NO hooker clothes in my closet! How does that happen?!” followed by countless responses of giggles and more dark humor sent back to me as I got ready  kept me motivated so I could finish the task at hand.

I didn’t show up at the airport dressed like a hooker. I’m not kidding, there are NO hooker clothes in my closet! But I did wear a dress. I did shave. I even put on some makeup. And when the cab got to my house, I was in such a rush to get out the door I left my shoes behind. We didn’t make out in the cab like I had intended. (we both kind of thought it would be weird with some stranger in the front seat…) but we did hold each other the entire ride home.

We didn’t speak. We didn’t look to our phones for entertainment. We didn’t unlock our eyes or our grip. We just sat there quietly, the exhaustion and frustration from our separation easing it’s way from our bodies as we drove home in our comfortable, happy, memorable moment. The wear of his absence disappeared with each mile and once again all was right with the world.

Stepping Up to the Soapbox on Part time Parenting

I’m blessed to have friends from all different phases of life surrounding me all the time. From the young, newly married to the marriage lifers and single peeps and some that are divorced or single parents, to those who have never had kids.Getting them together for a fun night of gossip and gorging out on pizza is normally the highlight of my week.

Their perspectives are insightful, encouraging and well….Honest. I hang on to every word, laughing and filled with relief when I realize I am not the only one who feels or thinks “that” way. Not once have I ever walked away from a night with them angry or disappointed.

Till recently.

The gathering of the minds had begun. Those of us with children were rounding em up and placing food before them while those who were lucky enough to be away from their children or didn’t have any were in the living room laughing over beer and previews for the upcoming movies when a good friend and full time single dad swatted his 2 year olds butt after trying repeatedly to get the boy to sit in his chair so he could eat. The swat was followed with a raised voice telling him it would get worse if he didn’t listen.

Everything went silent.

The other “full time” parents continued on with their routine, instructing their kids to eat and try not to make a mess. Watching the previews, etc. But somehow this moment struck a nerve with one of the “part time” parents. (when I say “part time” I mean like she sees her kid once a month for 2 hours at a restaurant.) Who in turn, said to another “part time” parent ( this one with more experience being that he gets to see his daughter 3 hours a week and every other weekend) ” You should NEVER raise your voice or spank your 2 year old. I don’t care what they’re doing” Naturally the part time parents agreed.

To those SPECIFIC types of parents, who aren’t there for their baths every day, don’t get to read them their bed time stories, don’t have to clean up behind their kids all day everyday and will see 1/4 of the meltdowns that actually occur on a daily basis I say this.

Shut the fuck up.

I get that your heart is broken because you are missing important moments with your children. I get that you feel like half a person when your children are not around. I get that it truly does hurt for you and this pain you feel will never go away. I get all of those things and I could never imagine the loss you walk around with everyday. You get points for breathing.

But don’t you dare stand there and pull a “holier than thou card” on a person who can’t even take a shit without a baby in their lap. You’re the fun parent. The one that swoops in every couple of days and gives their child treats and takes them places the full time parent can’t afford to go, and will probably never try because when the day is over and the kids are whiny and exhausted and the full time parent is spent from chasing them, it doesn’t end for them. But the part time parent on the other hand,  gets to drop them off, go home and take a nap before going out with their friends later that night.

Yes part time parent, you will never raise your voice or spank your kids. Because when you get to celebrate school events and accomplishments with your kids you’re the one at the end of the race. The one cheering from the sidelines and taking all the credit while the full time parent sits at the kitchen table for  hours a night practicing and re-practicing the kids lines for the school play or finishing up the finishing touches on the school project they’ve been working on for  months. Despite the childs screaming fits that they don’t wanna work on the project, they wanna go play.

You’re the parent who isn’t looked down on at work because you missed 5 days last month when your child was ill. The parent with the spotless house filled with yummy treats because you don’t have to pay the dentist bill or stay up all night while they puke from eating to much candy. You’re  the parent with the nice clothes who has never had to get up 2 hours earlier on a weekday to get yourself and your child dressed so you could go to work. You don’t leave your home covered in food stains and spilled milk. Or listen to Radio Disney with screaming children in traffic jams.

You make parenting look easy. Because, for you it is.

You have no idea what parenting really is

Smile Damn It

I stumbled across this awe inspiring beauty on facebook a few weeks ago and suddenly became a mom on a mission.

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This would be mine. Oh yes, it would be mine.

With an idea in mind and two beautiful children to play “dress up” with, I was far to eager to get started. I decided that the best time for this fun day of picture taking would be during the kids Spring Break and told my oldest two my plans weeks before hand; pulling up the picture to give for reference.

“Isn’t it sooooooo pretty?!” I cooed.

In the days leading up to our photo session I mentioned the picture repeatedly, plotted out where I could take the picture in my home  and researched photo editing sites that would make it possible. Everyone knew my plan.

So when I finally had my little back drop set up and area taped off so I knew where everyone would have to stand, what time of day would have the best lighting, etc and got Kid 1 and Kid 2 on scene I was flabbergasted they didn’t share in my excitement.

No. No. My models were not excited at all. They were distant, mean and just down right a chore to be with. My fuse went up in smoke. And it went fast! So when my pictures began showing on my viewer screen with disdain and unhappiness on their faces I too began showing disdain and unhappiness. These faces were NOT on my agenda!

SANY0032

(like seriously?! WHAAAAT is that?!!So forced. So blah!)

My gentle coaxing for a fun and entertaining afternoon taking pictures together turned into that of which a bridezilla would be ashamed of.

“Turn your head to the right-NOOOOOO not that way TO THE RIGHT!” and “God bless it guys your arm should be below your chin!”or “SMILE GOD DAMN IT! We’re taking pictures to capture who you are and how much fun we’re having!!” were just a few of the hoarse commands barked over and over again. And when I discovered I couldn’t edit what I did have to fit properly into the heart shape I was going for…. OR Lord. No one should hear the words that came out of my mouth that day.

Like ever.

After taking a moment to calm my nerves and let go of my frustration I decided the best way to get the project done was to add wine. (What? It seems reasonable to me. How else does an adult solve problems?!)

2 glasses in and I still wasn’t able to make it all come together.

That’s when my 10 year old son came in the room. “Here.” I said. “Make me a heart”

And ya know what? He did.

Collages

Boobies!

One cold and snowy Sunday afternoon as I huddled under blankets, killing brain cells with mindless television, I came across an infomercial for The Chic Shaper. This awesome little contraption promised “Immediate Results that will get you noticed” with better posture, perkier breast-a-sis and cleavage. This nifty little clothing item peeked my interest.But I’m not typically a “spur of the moment” type spender. Especially when I see it on a cheesy infomercial. No. No. I’ve gotta see that infomercial at least three times before I’m all “MUST. ORDER. NOW” (standards yo. I haz em)

So that next morning when I performed an emergency run to the local Walgreens for milk- complete with my yoga pants, oversized sweatshirt (how else are you gonna run out of the house without a bra on?!)and slippers- and seen the Chic Shaper display at the check out aisle I decided it was fate.The angels had opened up the skies and shined a light down on me that grey, milkless Monday morning. They were singing,and their words were true.

“Girl yer boobies got no game, a little help ain’t no shame.Get yourself the Chic Shaper! Ahhhhhhhhh”

I got myself a Chic Shaper.

I raced home, milk and life altering girl device in tow. Ripped open the box and put that tight, boob squeezing piece of material on my chest. (remember the part above where I said I was wearing an oversized sweatshirt to hide the fact that I wasn’t wearing a bra?…..)There, before my very eyes as I snapped the little metal prongs together I watched my “handful” of mediocre flesh I call  boobs turn into limp flabs of lifeless,deflated balloons.

I burst into hysterical laughter. I didn’t know boobs could look like that! I didn’t know any part of a human body could look like that! That shit was golden. It had to be shared. It just had too.Thankfully, I had a friend in my kitchen, unknowingly eating a bowl of cereal.

“AMANDA!” I screamed running down the stairs laughing hysterically. “A.Man.Da.” I shrieked lifting up my sweatshirt.

From behind the thick fabric of maroon fleece I’d pulled to my face I heard milk release from her mouth.Spatting for air and a high pitched “WHAAAAAAT is that?!”

“My boobies!” I laughed.

“That is not ‘boobies'”

Needless to say, the chic shaper was placed into my underwear drawer, never to be heard from again.

UNTIL!!!! (ta daaaaaaa!!! *Spirit fingers!*) Yesterday.
I guess I should probably explain that last week was the 1st time in two years I’d dare put on a bikini. What can I say? Pregnancy,labor and breastfeeding , followed by a year of clothing covered in what can only be described as goo has made me fear any type of clothing that isn’t stretchy and made of cotton.
But I put on that bikini. And I took that baby into the pool. BOTH The baby AND the bikini. I even let my oldest son take a picture so I could document our now 1 year old daughters first dip.That’s when I seen what was once my boobs. It was a sad,sad, moment for me. Whatever I thought I didn’t have before, was just…..Kinda hangin there. All droopy and white from no sun exposure. All “welcome to your 30s, bet cha didn’t know your skin could sag like that did ya?!” I was forced to rethink my position on boob jobs.
Sigh….
So yesterday, when I realized I was going to a birthday dinner for a good friend, I panicked and frantically began throwing clothes around in search of something that was kind enough to cover my saggy skin but still allow me to feel sexy. -Ya know what? Sexy is the wrong word for it- Just human. Like a person that gets to have adult conversations, doesn’t leave her house in stained clothes, is current on world events and isn’t chased by a screaming 1 year old as she shuffles thru the house to make a cup of coffee, kind of human. I wanted to feel seen. Appreciated. Confident. The way I did before I decided to be a grown up, get married and have kids.When I stumbled across my Chic Shaper, I thought “ah hell. Can’t get any worse” And put it on. But this time OVER my bra.
When I walked into that restaurant, I wasn’t just Mommy, or The Mr’s wife. I was me. It was great. I even got compliments from the friends I was with. -yes boys, women can compliment each other on our boobs and not get slapped.- One newcomer to the group even asked if my boobs were real!
When I got home, I was feeling a little frisky and  tried to Skype The Mr hoping to get his attention since he’s out of town. It didn’t work out. Soooooo I sat around the house for a few more hours in my outfit, feeling like Cinderella, waiting for the clock to strike midnight.It did and I was back into my tank top and sweats and climbing into bed.
I woke up this morning and was once again Mommy. The Mr’s wife.- The diaper changing, stained clothes wearing, don’t get to go to the bathroom without company piece of furniture that everyone in the house passes by without a second thought, (unless they need something) that I was the day before.
But this time, when I put on my ripped jeans and usual tank top, I also put on the Chic Shaper. Granted, the make up is off, and I’m just folding laundry and chasing my 1 year old all day, but it still feels pretty darn good.