“stop trying to do everything by yourself.”

I woke up last Friday to find that my seven year old’s cheek was the size of a golf ball. It was red, swollen and looking very very painful. I asked him if it hurt and he said, “No but it feels a little weird.” I swear to God if I’d never seen him react to a stubbed toe I would think his tolerance for pain was extraordinary.

Turns out the poor guy had an infected tooth. We got the medicine and I am happy to report that he is well on his way to healing.

The whole experience threw me for a loop. Hello, worst Mother of the year over here, what with allowing my kid’s cavity to get so bad it became infected. We have the appointment booked to get it fixed but not until early November.  Until then, I guess I just have to let this enveloping feeling of guilt peppered with a bit of failure consume me.

Uhh yes the dramatics, hop on board, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the ride.

But seriously, the anxiety as of late, is coming at me from every direction and I don’t know what else I can do to fend this bitch off.

I worry about Lars and his tooth, I worry about Sophie and this newfound teenage attitude she’s dowsing herself in. I worry about school and if I am doing enough to help them along in what is the most important endeavour of their young lives. I worry about the shop and how to bring more customers in. I worry about money. I worry about time, because there’s never enough of it. And each time I conquer a hurdle I am oh so fucking worried about another worry pops up from the shadows. It’s as though it was just waiting there, ready to pounce as soon as I let out the tiniest sigh of relief.

Yesterday I started crying, like, what else is new? I was crying because of this overwhelming quilt of stress that started asphyxiating me. I didn’t exactly know how to remedy it. So I figured after a good ole blubber sesh I’d be able to pull myself together and pretend to be a functioning adult.

Well, the plan would have worked if not for my meddling husband. He was all, “What’s wrong Hunny?” and, “How can I help you right now Lindsay?”  Which was totally sweet, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes a gal just needs to wallow for a little while to get her wits about her.

So with a wrinkled cry-face and on the verge of hyperventilating I told my husband what was wrong.

“I’m just so stressed out Jamie.” I said because I thought it may not be very clear at that point. “I feel like an awful mother. I’m always such a basket case of anxiety, I don’t think I’ve been spending enough time with the kids, I should be helping out more at the school and I just feel like I’m totally failing my family.” My words were barely comprehensible, but Jamie being the star he is, knew just what to say.

“Stop being so stupid.” Awe so sweet. “Stop trying to do everything by yourself. There are two of us you know.” He said grabbing my shoulders and looking into my soul as he does from time to time.

“But what about tomorrow?” I said, “Tomorrow I need to make a fruit platter for Sophie’s class, talk to the office about Lars’ medication, make Halloween treats for the shop, get the kids ready for the Halloween parade at school, AND OPEN THE STORE!” I’m not going to lie, I was hysterical by this time and unravelling more and more by the second.

He pulled me in close and hugged me hard, almost as though he knew that I may explode at any moment and he was merely trying to hold me together. It worked. Once again my brilliant husband held me together. Man, I love that guy.

“Lindsay, you do the things you need to do at the school tomorrow. I will open the store.” He said calmly – not to spook the monster that was retreating back into her hiding spot. “We are a team, we can do this.” He smiled at me, “I fucking love you.”

“I fucking love you too.” I said.

And with the help of my best friend I moved on to the next hurdle that needed slaying.

 

 

Yet Another Post About the Infamous Sleepy Bear

 

As mothers we stress. I think it must be something in our chemical make-up. If I told you how many times a day I find myself getting all worked up in the feels about some random thought…Well, I just wouldn’t tell you because it’s embarrassing.

Jamie is a stress-case too, which you would think would make things super awful pretty much all of the time with us both riddled with anxiety. However that’s not the case. My husband is an entirely logical man. He looks at the world through rational and balanced eyes, which is one of the hundreds of reasons why he is so good for me.  So when Jamie stresses he stresses about issues that are right there in front of him and how to fix those things that need fixing.

I stress about different stuff. The stuff that has no real value in this day to day life because if it were to happen it may probably change the course of history as we know it. I stress endlessly about zombie apocalypses and how I would save my brood from an undead army. I stress about that time I said a snappy comment to that cashier and she looked like she was about to cry. I stress about make-believe conversations I might one day have with my arch-enemy. Then I stress about the fact that I actually have an arch-enemy.

I stress about what the hell would happen if we ever lost Sleepy Bear.

This last thought hits a nerve. That bear is Sophie’s world. Literally, her entire existence revolves around one grimy disgusting bear that wears a pink and white polka doted hat.

I’ve tried to teach her that we shouldn’t rely so much on physical things to make us feel happy and content. It is our loved ones and our inner happiness that truly keeps us satisfied. Whenever I say this she just looks at me with a blank look and squeezes the bear tighter as if I am about to yank him out of her little grasp right then and there.

Last night as I was tucking her in I asked her if she was enjoying her new after school program. She said she loved it but she wanted to bring Sleepy in her backpack tomorrow.

“I don’t know if they let you play with toys from home there sweetie.” I said to her thinking that a little time away from the bear may be good for the kid.

“That’s okay I will just have him in my backpack.” She paused but then realizing that I needed further explanation continued, “Mom, I just feel better when Sleepy is with me. Even if I can’t play with her I just like knowing that she is near me. She’s like my kid.” The frankness in her voice was beautiful for a child of five years old and in that moment I had two emotions punch me in the gut.

First, pride. Pride that my little girl could so eloquently explain her love for the small stuffed bear that she holds so dearly. How amazing it is that she can open up to me and effortlessly describe her feelings when it comes to her plaything.

Secondly anxiety. Which brings me back to the stress of losing the damn thing. She referred to it as her kid for the love of God!

And so there it is, just one more random thing to get pushed into my already crammed brain when it comes to things that keep me up at night.

I think life would be a lot easier if I was a normal stress-case and worried about typical things like money and the economy and whether or not Trump is going to one day take over the world.

Whatever type of stress you have it can be a really scary thing. But I think the answer to all of it remains the same. Confront it head on, let it know you won’t be scathed and move forward with confidence.

 

Picture Day; why you do this to me?

Parenthood is a constant learning curve. With each milestone achieved comes a thousand and fifty one mind-numbing lessons on how it could have went smoother.

Once again I had stumbled blindly into the vast pit of things I still don’t understand about parenting.

It was picture day at Sophie’s school. The night before I dreamed luminously of my darling daughter in an adorable sweater dress with an adorable smile from ear to ear. Buoyant, and of course, adorable ringlets flowing down from her adorably tiny scalp. She was going to look- you guessed it- adorable.

I wasn’t worried at all about the day. I had endured picture days before with Lars and it had always gone swimmingly. I actually felt like one of those perfect champion mothers who love all things parenting…Well, when it came to picture day at least- I was a freaken Pinterest Mama.

Upon waking that morning Sophie wanted her hair done immediately. Uh uh uh but I knew better. Sophie’s school doesn’t begin until 1 in the afternoon so her hair I would start by 11 and she sure wouldn’t be putting said sweater dress on until after lunch. M’lady can be a wee bit boorish when it comes to consuming her beloved KD.

I had it all figured out.

So when 11 o’clock rolled around I whipped out the flat iron and began to curl the girl’s tresses. I was quick like The Flash speedily twirling the iron through her locks creating a plethora of beautiful curls flowing down her tiny neck. The prophesied adorableness was coming to fruition, and I could not have been more contented.

As I finished she looked up at me then into the mirror then back at me and said in the sweetest of voices, “Thank you Mama, I love it!” She then ran off to the living room to show her big bro. As she flitted away a fleeting thought about how I never had to worry about Lars` short cut hair on picture days buzzed through my mind.

I disregarded it though, because someone as awesome as me when it came to picture days shouldn`t worry about such things.

I was in the midst of creating a tweet about how picture-day-amaze-balls I am when I heard Lars let out a deafening scream.

I ran to the living room just in time to hear Lars say, “NO SOPH! MOM IS GOING TO BE SO ANGRY!!”

There was Sophie ferociously worming head first into a huge pile of cushions and blankets. It was as though I could see the static electricity snapping around her cranium as whispers of ‘all for nothing’ and ‘you suck at picture day’ zipped through the air.

“NOOOOOOO! What the hell are you doing?” I screamed so loud that I could feel the sour looks of judgement that I’m sure were coming from the passerby’s outside of my home.

Sophie popped her head out of her makeshift mountain, looked at me innocently and smiled. It was the same smile that we had been practicing earlier that morning. That very smile demolished any ounce of cockiness about picture day I had left.

I looked at the clock. We had t-minus 45 minutes until the school day began. I didn’t know whether this was a good thing or bad. More time for me to fix the hair but also more time for her to fuck it up again. We were at an impasse. A hair stalemate if you will. I knew I had to make my move despite what the consequence would be.

I re-curled. The two of us in the bathroom would have been a sight to see. Me bawling for all of my hard work put to waste and her bawling because she realized she must sit in the bathroom for another 15 minutes while I completed the task. Plus I’d like to think she was feeling even a teensy weensy bit remorseful over what had happened. The latter I`m sure was completely made up of my own delusions.

I threw her sweater dress on and out the door to school we went.

As we waited outside her classroom for the teachers to ready themselves for the day I noticed Sophie had a bit of a runny nose. Before I could even rummage through my purse to find a tissue it happened. Sophie had single-handedly taught me the most important lesson about parenting I will probably ever learn.

As Sophie Anne rubbed a huge snot booger onto her dress and somehow into her hair as well, I realized that when it came to parenting- arrogance never pays.

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Pre snot episode

Just In The Nick Of Time

As much as I love and trust my husband, there is certain lights I do not want him to see me in. I know, I know all couples get to ‘that point’ at some time or another, I am just not ready for that time to be now. Hell, maybe I’m crazy but I just don’t think the sight of me sitting on the can…Or say, picking my nose, would be something that would get his motor revving (Yes, I just used that phrase, do not judge!)

So I have just got off work, Jamie and the kids are out at my parents farm, trying to fix the van which AGAIN has something wrong with it. I am on the computer psychotically toggling between my WordPress Stats page and my brand new, Blogging Mama Facebook Page.

‘Oooh another like on the Facebook page, let’s check out if I have any action happing over at WordPress’ and I go on like this for awhile…When did I become so attention crazed? I think to myself, but the thought is quickly pushed aside by a strange jabbing feeling inside my nose.

‘Holy lord, that hurts, what the heck is that?’

But I already know what it is. A booger, and not just any snot wad, one of those buggers that are hard and compressed up against the side of your nose…And they Jab you…And it hurts.

Since beginning my new housekeeping regime I have been accosted by a continuous stuffy nose, maybe it’s the chemicals I breathe in all day, or the fact that I am constantly touching things that potentially cold infested strangers have touched, but regardless it is happening.

I decide to go in for a dig, because I already know a simple blow job will not suffice.

I locate a jutting edge of the hard poky character, I begin to pull but am awfully careful as I feel one wrong move could lead to a nose bleed…I bleed easily from the snout-al region.

As I am pulling I hear something I truly do not want to hear. The door is opening, I hear the boy child enter, then the girl…Soon to follow will be husband and I am smack dab in front of them with a huge hard booger half hanging from my beak.

I try to speed the process along, GET IT OUT OF THERE, ya know!? When I realize only the front end of the thing is hard, following it is a long pliable stringy bit….The ol’ ‘Toss and Flick’  is now totally out of the question!

“Theeeere Coooming….” is ringing in the most frontal area of my mind, and the panic is starting to kick in.

This is going to be messy.

I hear Jamie’s footsteps making their way up the walk. The kids have now gained entrance, they do not notice my plight yet…Yet. If they do see what is truly happening, they will call me on it for sure!

I frantically look around, searching for a tissue, no tissue to be found. A rag, an old sock, for the love of god; I NEED SOMETHING!

I have now removed the rock like mucus with its squishy tail and have it hidden in the palm of my hand. It feels sickening making me feel weird.

I am trapped, as I stand in the middle of our living room floor. The only way out; the 3 steps towards the kitchen, then to make my way to the bathroom where the solace of toilet paper awaits me.

My issue though is this, Jamie is now blocking my escape route as he stands in front of those glorious stairs, jibber jabbering on about his fix job on the vehicle.

“Uh huh…Oh sweet…That’s awesome hunny…” I indulge him, whilst feeling more and more uncomfortable with the gooey substance that still lies tentatively upon my hand.

As he talks, I still am looking around, and I am surprised he hasn’t mentioned the odd and eerie demeanour I wear out of pure fraught he will catch on to my repulsive ways.

Yes! I spot a pair of Sophie’s soiled pants lying in the entry way (in any other circumstance I would be mad they were there, not today; Not. Today.) Lars then too comes to my aid as he asks his father a question and as Jamie turns to speak to his son, I make a dive for the article of urine soaked clothing.

Upon turning back towards me, I coolly throw the little pink pants that smelled of urine and now house my boogery mess as well, down the flight of stairs towards our homes laundry room.

‘Jamie you really shouldn’t leave her stinky pants laying around, it’s gross.’ I think of saying, but decide not to press my luck.

It was a close call, but like always The Blogging Mama made it out…Just in the nick of time.

Thank God I’m Not The Only One!

There has been many a time, when I look upon my children and eagerly wonder what goes on in those tiny brains. What kind of thought process do they use, and where in the depths of their mind do they come up with some of the insane acts they display.

Sometimes it seems they do these crazy things, simply to assist me in growing a thicker skin. They are forever deciding to engage their disgustingness in the utmost of public places, leaving me to stumble and stutter my way out of these rickety situations.

I have become quite versed in my way of dealing with their communal oddness, and for that I am quite proud.

Unfortunately at times, disciplinary words will fail me. Whether this be out of panic because the situation crept up on me too quickly or I am at a loss for words because this new faucet of weirdness is just a little too far over the edge.

Yesterday, was one of these times.

The three of us are gliding through the produce passageway. Lars is walking beside the cart because he has all too soon realized that he is much too big to ride in a cart like a ‘Baby’.  (And there goes the days of easy grocery shopping)

Sophie thankfully hasn’t followed suit with her brother and is still happy to ride, but goes the complete opposite direction and insists on riding in one of the carts that have the infant car-seat type holder attached to it. I try to explain that this is for babies, and she should sit in the normal type of cart that big kids sit in…After some struggle I digress, because in the end it just isn’t worth it.

I do however give a fleeting thought to the woman who will come in 20 minutes later with thoughts of grandeur and groceries only to find there is no appropriate cart  to put her 2 month old in, because my 2 year old was adamant and unruly.

Oh well, not much I can do about it now I think with sanguinity.

So as we walk/run/slither along, I notice some of the Wal-Mart patrons looking at us with a funny sort of stare. I am about to pipe up and ask them if their mothers ever taught them any kind of manners, when I realize what these strangers are in fact, staring at.

It happens almost in slow-mo. I look at Sophie who is laughing her hearty belly laugh and looking down towards her brother. I follow her gaze and see Lars…My Lars, the child I am raising, the child I have taught and  trained, fervently licking the thick metal mesh of the Wal-Mart shopping cart.

My first reaction is an over exaggerated gagging motion. I then, in a loud hissing whisper say, “That is so disgusting…Stop it!”

The children both start laughing. Their cries of glee are currently drilling holes into my psyche, and I am at a loss. Maybe it is my imagination, I truly hope it is, but I can feel the other humans in the store staring at me. And I dare not look towards any of them, in fear I will have to indulge these strangers with some sort of explanation. So I say nothing more, I continue on with our shopping.

We have made it to the dairy section and I am checking  a pack of eggs, with my back turned to the babes when I hear an unfamiliar voice speaking towards my children’s general direction.

“Oh little boy…That cart has a lot of germs on it. You shouldn’t be putting your mouth on it.”

God please give me strength to deal with this situation in a polite and acceptable manner.

“Lars I told you not to do that, it is really icky poo!” I turn my attention to the older woman who has took it upon herself to discipline my child, “I don’t know why he keeps doing this…” My tone is pathetic and I am hoping she will just give me a sympathetic smile and go on her way.

No such luck.

“Well maybe he’s hungry.”

Maybe he is Hungry? What the hell kind of kid do you think I have lady? What? He realizes that is tummy rumbles and thinks it will suffice to suck out any kind of sustenance this cart will provide?!

I am appalled at this quick comeback from the 70 something year old woman and cannot hold back my next response.

“No ma’am I am sure it’s just that he is a 4 year old boy and doesn’t understand the repercussions of what he is doing. I so appreciate your concern, but I will be able to take it from here.” I peel off with Sophie squirming in her infant seat and Lars still drooling all over the fucking cart.

Now I suppose to you confrontational people this may seem like a very passive statement to say to the ol’ hag, but to me, I am reeling inside. Indignity takes me over and I have to force myself ahead, so not to run back towards the woman and apologize for my hasty response.

By the time we finish our expedition, I have told Lars to remove his mouth from the cart several more times, and Sophie to stop copying him.

I am at the end of my rope and am wondering why the concept of germs is so difficult for my son to catch on to. We wait in line at the till, and I keep a vigil on the children assuring that they do not begin their quest for nourishment via cart eating while we are in this abundant area.

This is when I look to the line beside me and see a young mother with three children. I shudder inwardly because if I thought two were difficult, I can’t even imagine three.  The one that looks as though he would be the age between the other two, is perched much the same way as Lars was on our grocery trip; holding on to the side of the cart.

The mother looks down at him and in much the same kind of hissing way as I, says; “Don’t not do it Jacob!”

That is when the kid looks up at her with a mischievous grin, and licks the cold metal of the cart with a vengeance.

And all I could do was give the woman a knowing smile and think, ‘Thank God I’m not the only one!’

Growing up sucks!

I will now take you down an utterly cliché road and tell you that when I was young, I always wanted to be a grownup. It just looked like they were all having so much fun, doing whatever they wanted and what not…always so debonair and unruffled. Grownups always seemed so darn ‘put together’.

So I always tried to act older, do older, grownup kind of things.

But once I reached my goal of adulthood I realized how much it actually blows!

Jamie and I have been through our fair share of house hold issues. I refer you to a post written months ago named ‘The dreaded household appliance’ this is just a small example of our life on a daily basis.

When it isn’t household issues going awry, it is the vehicles.

I know it isn’t just us that lives with shit-show debacles daily, but sometimes it feels that way.

The time is 10:00 pm, Jamie has just got home from work and we are talking about his day when I think, ‘hey I haven’t heard the sump pump go off lately’. So I send my beloved down to the basement to check on it.

I hear exactly what I do not want to hear echo up from the cellar.

“Fuck!”

Great!

I run downstairs and before he can even tell me what’s going on, I see it. There is about a quarter of an inch leeway until the hole in which the sump pump lies will be over flowing into our insanely cluttered basement.

We start bailing water.

Bucket after bucket after bucket. The knowledge that we need to get someone on the phone and figure this out is flagrant. The pump has completely stopped working. But how do we find the time, when we are desperately trying to keep water from accosting our basement floor!?

And the rain is coming down in funnels, this is not looking very promising.

We stay surprisingly calm, which I chalk up to simply being adapt to this type of condition, almost as though it is second nature to us, to be in precarious circumstances.

I tell Jamie to get on the blower and try and see if anyone has an extra sump pump we can borrow for the night until we can get to an open store and buy a new one.

Meanwhile I keep bailing. Good thing I got some serious muscles of steel in the ol’ bicep department.

I hear Jamie talking to various friends on the phone. No go thus far.

Things are looking pretty grim.

“Go put something on Facebook, someone is bound to respond.” Jamie says in a half frantic, half despondent sort of way.

I oblige without saying much.

I come back telling him I put up statuses on both his and my Facebook pages, while adding in wistfully, “Here’s hoping!”

We are about to call a 24 hour plumber and spend a small fortune on a sump pump when Jamie’s phone starts singing a melodic tune.

Jamie runs to answer it, but takes a second look at the number before doing so. I hear his voice become ecstatic and he runs towards the door.

“Who was that?” I ask while looking at his goofy and over eccentric smile.

“Shaun and Abigail from next door have an extra sump pump that we can borrow! They saw our Facebook post.”

I don’t even have enough time to respond because my husband is out the door before he even finishes his zealous statement.

Thank God for neighbors, thank God for social media, and thank God Jamie and I are so versed in this kind of crap that we had enough wits about us to think logically about the situation.

As Jamie has the entirety of his upper body deep within the dark depths of the sump pump hole, installing the thing, he looks up at me and says,

“Make sure you keep that flashlight on this hole, I don’t need any damn swamp monsters spooking up on me and dragging me down to their layer!”

It was completely and utterly the best thing he could have said at that moment. We were fatigued and battered from our long night and the stress of adulthood was quickly coming down upon us.

I then realized it is never too late to look on the lighter side and for a moment of relief,  just be a kid again!

Maybe Lars and Sophie will think that the adult life is the life for them, and like me try too quickly to grow up.  But I will do my best to get across to them that they should cherish their youth while they can, because in reality they will have much more years of pressured adulthood than carefree adolescence.

If I could, I would appreciate those days a lot more now in later years.

But for now, we will keep doing what we are doing, and hopefully steer clear of any swamp monsters in the near future.

The Boozy Tea Party

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The empty champagne bottles are in the bin, the decorations have been tucked away into their designated spots and I am feeling fine. If someone would have asked me how I was doing 24 hour ago, I may have likely dropped, curled up into the fetal position and began chanting nonsensical jibber-jabber until all there was left to do was cry…But now that all is said and done, I am feeling extraordinary.

The sensation of doing well has taken me over and I am so happy I was able to create this celebration in honoring motherhood, for the Mama’s in my life.

Because let’s face it, these Mothers…They are pretty damn wonderful.

The Drunken Tea Party was the name, and sweat and toil was the game. You may wonder why I decided to name it this, well for several reasons in fact… 1. I enjoy the idea of an elegant tea party. 2. I really really like champagne. 3. I thought it was rather clever to combine the two.

I had devised the idea, only a few days before the event was to take place. Jamie would be working all day and night, so I was left to my own devices to create this festival of sorts, to thank mine and his mom for everything they do for us.

I didn’t want it to be like any other family get-together, because it was not any old get-together. This is a time where we can really show our appreciation to the women who shaped us into the awesomeness we are today…And that calls for a grand occasion.

The biggest issue I faced on the day was the weather. And boy oh boy did it test me. The wind blew fierce and I with my incessant need to do things early added to my rapidly growing list of issues. I set the table about 7 hours too soon, and gusts of wind took several of my glass bowls to the ground, smashing them to smithereens.

The kids both were fighting off colds, I’m sure I have never witnessed them in such terrible spirits. When they were not crying, they were fighting, when they were not fighting, they were shitting themselves, and when they were not shitting themselves, they were telling me in not so many words that they were pissed right off because I was being such a neglectful mother to them on this day of matronly commemoration. But once the guest started arriving they magically turned their frowns upside down, and became the little angels I’ve been working so hard to raise.

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Thankfully, and I really mean THANKFULLY my sister-in-law Ashley came over to assist in the preparations and whole heartedly helped me deal with the kids, calmed me when I’d hear the sound of breaking glass and showered me with praise in the aftermath.

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Once the Mom’s arrived and got to see the décor, the food, the flowers and the blood and guts, I put into the party I calmed down a little. Although, for the rest of the evening I was getting guff from my party guests as to how ‘crazy’ I had become over this thing.

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I literally was telling people how to dish up their food, in fear they would miss a step, consequently missing out on something or another that simply could not be missed out on.

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I had officially stepped right over the edge into lunacy. And in my neurotic haste I sort of forgot the point of the day. To celebrate the Mothers.

So, rather than gifts a plenty and lovey dovey greeting cards, I have a blog and a keyboard and words to try to get across how much I appreciate these women in my life.

 

Sheila, it has been over 5 years since you welcomed me into your family.  And although my becoming part of your nearest and dearest was quick and unexpected, you still took me in with love and poise. From the first day I found out I was expecting, you supported Jamie and I in more ways than one, and for that we will always be appreciative.

I certainly could not have asked for a more wonderful mother-in-law. And you quickly become more than a mother-in-law to me Sheila, you are now simply another mom and I love you dearly.

P.S. Thank you for taking all of these wonderful pictures I used for today’s blog!

 

Gemma, although you aren’t a mother figure to me, I wanted to write about how proud I am of you. You are such an amazing Mama to baby Hannah and the job suits you perfectly. I feel like we have become so much closer since you brought that little girl into our lives. Keep doing what you’re doing, because you do it wonderfully!

 

Ashley, I just wanted to throw you in here for good measure and say thank you again for all of your help with this event, you talked me off the ledge a few times!

 

And finally to my Mom, Colleen; there are few words I can say to you that haven’t been said before. You know how grateful I am to have you in my life and I am so glad I was able to give you this celebration to show my gratitude even more.

Our relationship has had its ups and downs Mom, but we always come out of it stronger and wiser. Seldom has a day gone by without me thinking to call you for advice or just to talk, because I know that when anything is bothering me, I can dial your number and you will help me out with just saying a few truthful, simple words.

You have supported me in my many crazy endeavors, never telling me I ‘can’t’ but always letting me know of the trials I may face because of my choices. I appreciate your honesty and patience with me Mom.

I love you Mama.

 

So all in all, The Boozy Tea Party was a success! And although I may be able to credit the day to a few extra gray hairs and stress wrinkles, I think I may have to make it an annual event, because it was a damn good time!

Cheers to the Mothers!

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The Grocery Run Debacle

My kids are grocery shopping superstars! I’m not trying to brag…but really I am, because it is a rare day when I have to scold them for being disruptive or unruly in the store. They sit in the cart, look around in a mesmerized fashion at all of the wonderfulness that is the shop. And I appreciate every moment of it. But now, before you readers start to think I am becoming too brazen in the words that I write; my shameless account has quickly become a bold-faced memory.

Not 20 minutes ago did the kidlets and I get back from a grocery run, and as we made our way out of the van we all had tear stricken faces, Sophie was covered in poop and Lars was yelling insistently about how mean of a Mama I was. Here begins the story of the grocery run debacle.

Throughout Easter weekend the kids had come down with the flu bug to end all bugs. They had been housebound basically until today, when I decided that it was finally time to venture out to get some food to fill our barren fridge. I hadn’t thought much about it, because like I said, they are absolute superstars when it comes to shopping.

My first hint that this outing was going to be a disaster should have been when Sophie lost it when I attempted to put her in the car seat. She stiffens her body to an unbelievable account, then begins to scream, “I do it Mama, I do it.” Well it’s just her independent phase I think, so after 5 minutes of standing in the frigid air watching her try to click in the strap that would have taken me five seconds, I complete the process for her. And she is not happy about it. Her screaming persists until we arrive at the store, Lars is being unusually quiet though, so I feel that we may still have a chance at civility on this journey.

“Do you guys want to ride in the cart?” I scream as we pull into the parking lot, I scream because otherwise I would not be heard over my daughter.

Sophie’s screaming halts immediately because riding in the cart is one of her favorite activities. In unison they both yell, “Yaaaaa!” back towards me.

After some struggle to fit both of them into the riding harness of the cart, we are in the store and rolling along happily.  There are only a few staples I need to get so I beeline strait for the dairy section. Did I mention time is of the essence? Lars has school  and I only have 3 hours to get him there…My obsessive compulsive prematurity urges are kicking in again.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAMA!” The boy child is screaming directly in my face, and I have no idea why. “YOU PASSED THE CHEESE STRINGS!” because apparently this is a detrimental asset on this trip.

“OK you need to stop yelling!” I hiss at the kid in that kind of yell that you don’t want anyone else to hear but want to make it perfectly clear to your child that you mean business.

He apparently does not catch this nuance because he continues to bawl at the top of his lungs, which invites Sophie to begin too. They are now both projecting perplexing words in my direction aside from the random ‘cheesstring’ thrown in between syllabic sounds.

I, still feeling a little queasy from my own bout of sickness, is in no mood to argue with them so I whip the cart around grab a pack of the artificially mutilated cheese,  thrust it towards the bellowing babes and again in my hissing tones say, “There, enough you two!”

My attempt does allow for a moment of quiet, but in this moment I smell the thing I fear most when taking them out into public. Sophie has soiled herself, and by the tang of it, in the most undesirable way. Of course I did not think of the scenario when packing them up to leave, so now I am faced with the question; do I ditch the groceries and head back to the house? Or let her sit in the stuff for a bit longer and finish up the shopping? I opt to finish this shop because I can’t stand the thought of having to come back here today.

I enter into a rather busy area of the store, and am in constant fear that another human will smell the stench that now wafts off my child. I try to move quickly, darting between, in and out of other carts but realize that her stink is getting much worse. Has she continued shitting this whole time? The other people encompassing this part of the No Frills Grocery store have obviously caught on to my problem as I have started getting dirty looks and hear the sting of whispering behind my back. I have got to get out of here.

We need juice, but I don’t care at this point. Lars is yelling that Sophie ‘smells poopy’  (Thank you for that Lars, I think we have already deciphered this). So between the stench, the yelling and me closely on the verge of puking and crying I decide that a lack of juice is the least of my problems.

I move with diligence towards the tills, my escape from this current hell that I exist in.  I am avoiding closeness with others and attempting to steer clear of any familiar faces, this is no time to engage in friendly chatter.  The line to the only open cashier is long…well maybe not too long in reality, but figuratively it goes on for miles.  This sinking in my stomach is becoming more flagrant. I push on though, I’ve come too far to give up now.

So there we are, snuggled closely between an elderly lady with only a basket full of items to ring through and a solitary man behind us whom I’m sure has picked up on our aroma.

“OH MY GOD MAMA, we forgot the juice!!!” The boy is mad, and upset and nearing hysterics over juice. It is at this point my face bleeds red with mortification. Is he really getting this up in arms about juice?

“Yes Lars I know,” I have to spill the beans about it all because it is now my only choice, “Soph pooped so we have to get home, you don’t need juice, we will get some tomorrow.” He continues to cry and carry on. I urgently take a look at my surroundings, what I am looking for I don’t know. The people enveloping me give pitiable placid looks in my direction. I’m sure they are thinking, ‘oh what spoiled children’ or ‘can’t she control her kids?’ Usually I am pretty good at turning a blind eye to this type of judgment, but today it burns me up inside.

I frantically start telling the cashier and the other persons who look at me with such disdain that, “the kids have been sick all weekend, a little bit stir crazy from being housebound…” I trail off because I know that my attempt at explaining my children’s behaviour is just coming off pathetic, judging from the unsympathetic looks I am continuing to get thrown at me.

After a little more nervous laughter on my part and screaming on the kids’ I get out of the place with a little bit of my sanity still intact. It isn’t until I go to strap them into their seats that I lose it completely. When lifting Sophie out of her hold atop the grocery cart, I find a trickle of shit that has oozed its way out of her overflowing diaper and streaked onto the plastic beneath her.

I am now crying and it seems that this flu bug has not quite left me because the flagrant need to barf all over my child is now palpable. I move more swiftly than I have in a long time, get them both secured and hurl the groceries in the trunk and hop into the driver’s seat. I end up ditching the cart without retrieving my loonie from its grasp, because at this point the loonie is not worth my very precious time. This devastation could get a lot worse in the few seconds it would take to put the thing away properly.

Thank God my home is only a few minutes away from the store because I drive with the windows rolled down and the vents wide open to rid the vehicle of the fetidness that is my 2-year-old.

Which brings me back to the beginning; me, my babes and a box full of groceries, all of us a little worse for the ware from our trip. I can tell you one thing, next time I decide to venture out for a little grocery shop, I will definitely call up the babysitter beforehand.

Gratitude

The canary yellow hospital gown hung limply off her body. It  felt like hours since the doctor had last left to discuss with another professional about the ‘mass’ in question. Leaving the woman with only her thoughts. The small office she sat in was well lit, yet had an ominous looming sort of ambiance. Although she desperately tried to keep her thinking light, she continued to go back to the day she had first found it.

The woman, the wife, the mother of two, had found a lump on her chest. It was not a lump that could be disregarded with a movement of mind, or overlooked with an adjustment of hand. It was a lump. A lump that tainted her psyche from the first  time her slight fingers ran over it. In a vain attempt to discredit the thing she  chalked it up to a pimple, because in some cruel turn of fate she was at her age creating blemishes and wrinkles simultaneously.  But after several weeks of pretending it was something it wasn’t, involuntary reaching for it and feeling its girth she knew it was not something that would just disappear.

Now as the woman sat, she thought about her life. She thought about the man she had loved since she was a ripe nineteen years old. The man she went on to marry and have two beautiful children with, the man who loved her and their family more than life itself, she was so lucky to have this man. She thought about her children and how just before she had left the house her son asked why she was going to see the doctor, she had replied with a smile, “The doctor is just going to check and make sure Mama is healthy.” What would she tell her son when she arrived home today?

The girl, who was not so much feeling like a woman anymore but a frightened child, had her thoughts cut short by a knock on the rooms door, which now felt much larger than before.

“Come in.”

“Sorry that took so long,” the doctor began, “because of the precarious nature of the masses location, we do feel that it warrants further investigation. I’ve booked you in for an ultrasound and a mammography.”

“So should I be worried?” It was all she could gather herself  to say in the moment, “because if it is…you know…cancer, it is good that the lump is so small right?” ‘Grasping at straws’ was her initial thought as the words escaped her mouth.

“I’m not going to say whether anything is good or bad, for now we just need to get some more information on the mass. Don’t let yourself go straight to ‘cancer’ it could be anything.”

The doctor was right, she thought, he is a doctor after all. The idea did not give way to her spinning imagination. She quickly took the requisition form from his hand and made way for her escape vehicle. She could feel that oh so familiar feeling in her throat as it began to close up, hyperventilation was starting, but the tears would not come. It is too soon to cry, she thought, there are no facts, no  evidence to give way to fraught.  All she had was the paranoia of what could be. How could one small disfigurement cause this sort of upheaval? The woman sat in her car for some time, not wanting to go home, not knowing what to say once there.

As she walked in the front door, she was bombarded by her mother who had been watching the kids.

“So what happened?”

“They’re not sure what it is, I’m going in for an ultra sound next Wednesday to get it checked out.” Stick to the facts, do not let your emotions interfere. Do not scare the people you love, for no reason other than your own anxiety. Her thoughts were choppy and she didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Her son approached her

“Mama, the doctor said you healthy?”

The question was so simple, and yet it was all the woman could do to not grab the child and just hold him and cry out of apprehension, because she truly didn’t know the answer. She could not find a good way to respond to the boy, but knew he wouldn’t really understand an overly layered response either. She could feel her mother’s eyes on her, and knew she was interested in how her daughter would reply to such a delicate query.

“Mama, is going back to the doctors for another check.”  The answer seemed to suffice in the young boys mind and he gave the woman a hug and continued on with his train play. The woman and her mother spoke quietly for a few more minutes, and then parted their separate ways.

This morning the woman woke, with the innate urge to write down how she was feeling. She wanted to write about her fear of the future, her anxieties of this threatening upcoming appointment. She wanted to write about her children and her husband. She wanted to write about herself. Once starting to type these lines, the woman realized she could write about all of these things but one. She could not write about it as though happening to her,  because for right now it still seemed as though it could simply be a story. A tale about an imaginary  woman, who one day  found a lump.

*********

The warm gelatin lay heavily on her chest. The ultrasound technician had left her waiting with breath that was baited, to go confer with the on-site doctor about the images just captured.  The woman could not think about what would be said when the professional entered back into the small room. She waited. She counted the tiles on the roof. 35. She desperately looked around for something to distract her mind, nothing. No posters, wall hangings or anything to gaze at from her compromising position as she lay on the cold hard examination table.

The door opened suddenly, it was not the pretty girl who had been performing the procedure, but an old man who called himself the ‘Doctor So-and-so’. He asked the woman where exactly the lump was, then felt it for himself and took a few strokes with the ultrasound wand.

The woman’s mind reeled, why would the doctor have to come in? Surely this must mean devastation, it was the only place for her mind to go. Then with words so lightly spoken the man said, “From what we can see here, the mass isn’t in the breast tissue, more than likely it’s just a cyst. You will want to get it removed, but I can’t see any indication that it would be cancerous. I will contact your doctor’s office for a follow up appointment.”

With that being said the man left the room abruptly. Leaving the woman to sigh relief in private.  As she dressed her upper half back to its clothed state, she thought about how lucky she was. Walking out of this place she would get to tell her friends and family, who had been so worried, that it was only a mere cyst.

It made her think of those who do not get out so easily, those who have to be told that yes, it is Cancer.  These people have strength that this woman can’t even imagine. Although she had only got a distant image of how her life would have changed in such circumstances, she could see a bit more clearly of how strong and brave these patients really are.  In that small room with 35 roof tiles, the woman gave a silent prayer for all of the people who haven’t got off as easily as her.

On the drive home, again the woman contemplated of her life. Only this time it was gratitude that guided the her thoughts. She was thankful for her parents, who provided love and security in her young years.  Her brother who had always been an open ear and a wide shoulder when life felt lost.  She thought about the friendships which had endured over her years, and gave her strength to conquer in times of strife.   She gave thanks that she was blessed with such a loving husband, who had provided her with the two most important entities she would ever be given. Her children.

It is not often in our bustling schedules that we can take a moment to stop and think about our life. A life that is magnetic and beautiful. A life that is sometimes taken for granted.  I was recently given the allowance to do so, and as fate would have it, with little repercussions.

When I arrived home that day I thanked my mom for being with me.  I hugged my kids. I kissed my husband and I called my best friend. I spent the rest of the day with Jamie and the kids, we built train tracks and played ‘My Little Pony’. We laughed at Lars’ funny and sometimes strange outbursts and reveled in Sophie’s belly laugh.  And for these small rewards, this woman will always be grateful.