Tag Archives: Family

Why 312 Months is a Difficult Age

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Why 312 Months is a Difficult Age

Parenting is a challenge. Just about the time you realize what your 12-month-old means by geya, (read a book) your 312-month-old moves out of the house.

I know what you’re thinking, “Did you count to three? Because the book says counting three will nip unwanted behavior in the bud”. I did and it didn’t.

I threatened to ground him, but he openly defied me as he packed about 500 of the 1200 t-shirts he owns, along with some guitar picks and was out the door with everything he would need to be a guy in the world.

I wasn’t too worried at first. You know what they say, he’ll get to the end of the block and change his mind and they were right, except about the changing his mind. Apparently, he got to the end of the block, went onto the next block, eventually got on the expressway and forgot the saying entirely, which is not as cute as my friend’s son’s story. He ran away from home on a tricycle dressed only in his mother’s filmy pink nightgown. This would be less cute and more creepy if the son in question was 312 months old, but, luckily, this youngster was a mere lad and therefore only raised a few eyebrows and instead of the suspicion of the neighborhood watch.

It’s going on two months since my son became room mates with two women and had to pretend to be gay so as not to raise the suspicion of their conservative and clueless landlord and that, of course, was Three’s Company. My son has become room mates with two women and two men, none of which pretend to be gay, except maybe their cat, who is suspiciously drawn to Broadway musicals.

Still this doesn’t mean hijinks and shenanigans don’t occur on a regular basis. It just means there’s no laugh track and none of the girls are dingbats or future spokespeople for the thighmaster.

The entire situation has thrown me through a loop, but I’ve always been pretty clumsy. On one hand, I want my son to live in the basement of my house and be at my beck and call when it comes to going out for breakfast or watching cat videos on youtube or just so I can mock him in person, but on the other hand…to be honest, there is no other hand. I just want him to live in my basement.

I suppose if he actually considered this his best option, I would doubt my fitness as a mother all the while we were going out to breakfast and I would, most certainly, be making fun of him for his lameness as it pertains to basements. Still, there would be the youtube sharing, but I guess that’s not enough to make life decisions by unless you want to make your mother happy and guilty at the same time, and who doesn’t?

His departure has made me question a number of things in my life. I wonder if I should have had a second child, a girl, maybe, with a sweet manner and the desire to make me happy at all costs. Then I look at the ghosts of their former selves, which are my friend with daughters, and realize that sugar and spice and everything nice business is crap, at least till the daughters move out of your house.

Still, as my friends with daughters sip their crack cocaine in the morning to prepare themselves for the eye rolling and lip curling which is female adolescence, I kind of envy them and wonder if it’s better to wish your child would hit the tricycle trail then to wish they would sit on your lap beyond the time it’s physically, psychologically, and socially a terrible idea for them to do so.

Other vital questions: Now that I’m no longer the mother of a child, does that mean I should stop signing him up for tee-ball in the spring? How many times can I tell the story of him saying “a little bite of Jesus” rather than “a taste of heaven” before the cashier at Jewel quits her job to become an inner city cop? Should I buy groceries for him to stave off scabies or let him eat globs of grease until he learns that Crisco is not a food group?

All in all, it’s part of the evolution of parenting from holding your breath in hopes that he’ll fall asleep so you can finally catch up on the four months of sleep you’ve missed since the introduction of baby monitors in your life, to holding your breath in hopes that he’s happy and safe and, to tell the truth, I still like the breath holding better than not having someone in the world that you made from scratch who may or may not cure cancer or write the next million selling record or introduce you to Chris Martin when that happens, so it’s all good, except for the fact that someone in that apartment is bound to write an wacky sitcom about his or her time living with these room mates and I’ll probably be played by Roseanne Barr as the overbearing, manipulative, nosey mother of the Jesse character, let’s call him Jorge Ponyboy, who barges into the apartment at the most inopportune times and hollers, “Don’t worry about me, I’m just a mother!” each time I arrive.

(The preceding run on sentence was brought to you by Nike.)

In real life, I have tried to control my urge to rent an apartment in the area where my son lives, mostly prompted by the order of protection he took out and I only considered calling my son Jorge Ponyboy for a brief time when he was about ten and discontinued the idea when I found out the amount of paperwork it takes to rename your 120 month old son.

Most of the time, I find better things to do than listen to this song and weep into my chocolate, and when I miss him too much, I drive the 45 minutes to his apartment and take him out to breakfast at Beatles and Bianca, (that’s an inside joke) because I’m glad he’s moving forward and enjoying his freedom and I hereby promise, if Jesse let’s me get away with this one last ode to missing him, I’ll find something else to talk about on my next blog. Maybe something new and surprising like how Chris Martin’s mom must have felt when he moved out.

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What I Forgot to Tell My Son

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What I Forgot to Tell My Son

Whilst checking out at Target, I inexplicably shared with the woman ringing me up, that my son was moving out that very day. She peered at me like a small hen who had just rang up all of the ingredients for my world famous fried chicken minus the chicken and then asked if I left my son with anything.

I thought she might have meant torn towels and cracked dishes,license-plate

but she soon clarified she meant advice on how I expect him to behave.

What I should have said was I expect him to behave like he always behaves,

like an enormous galoot that trails coins, socks and guitar picks wherever he goes, but instead I told her, my son is 25 and if he hasn’t figured out what my life lessons were, it’s a little late to start now, although I still call him baby and occasionally try to pick him up, which is beside the point, but absolutely relevant when I visit the chiropractor.

She went on to discuss why teenagers can be assholes, advancing a theory which was neither relevant to our conversation or more than 10% true, but I thanked her because that’s how you get people to stop telling you things, and rolled my cart out of hearing. For all I know, she is still discussing the topic with confused replacements of me, but who can replace me, so never mind.

While driving home, I wondered what he’d say if asked about what I taught him over the time it was my chance to espouse philosophies and demand compliance. One thing’s for sure, it would be quite different than what I think I told him, so I thought I’d try to advise him one last time (kidding! I’ll never let up on him. Poor kid is an only child).

After a great deal of deep thought, here’s what I came up with.

There are seven deadly sins; sloth, envy, gluttony, anger, Curly, Larry and Doc. Try them out, pick which one you like and stick with it. My favorite is sloth, but you’ll need to figure this out for yourself.

Try not to be swarmy or smarmy.

Don’t wear white after Labor Day…or ever. I’m the one who did your laundry so, trust me on this.

Do not befriend or fall in love with anyone who can’t name The Beatles by their first and last names. Only marry someone who can tell you Paul’s first name and Ringo’s given name. The Ringo point is less important, naturally.

Try to be kind. Yes, even to the guy who argues that Yeti’s are eating his potato chips while he sleeps. There’s no need to jeer him unless your friends do and then, of course, join in.

Watch out for women who ask; Notice anything different?

Do your damn homework. Even if it’s irrelevant, like Algebra or Physics.

Even though you will always love me best, you probably shouldn’t tell women this on the first date…or the thirtieth. Maybe just keep that our little secret.

No one is better than you and you are not better than anyone else. Except for people who leave clothes on the floor is store dressing rooms and people who leave their shopping carts in handicapped parking spaces. These people are stupid and evil. Avoid them.

This is not 100% true, but people who use mustache wax are clinically insane 90% of the time. Approach them with caution.

When deciding whether or not to participate in an activity; ask yourself, will this make a hilarious story to tell my mother? If the answer is yes, do it and try to take videos. If the answer is no, move on to the next ridiculous activity you are inclined to participate in.

Never end a sentence with a preposition. (Do as I say, not as I do. Doobie doobbie doo.) Make of that what you will.

If anyone wants to fight you, seem to happy about it and they’ll wander off.

Finally, become a rock star so I can meet Paul McCartney and Chris Martin. I’m sorry but you just don’t meet enough people I want to meet as a Forensic Psychologist. (I know. I just can’t remember the title you’re aiming for.)

Wait. Don’t forget to tell me you miss me with a fiery passion, even if you haven’t given me a second thought in days.

Oh, one more. Lie.

Why My Son Uses Frowned Upon Language

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Why My Son Uses Frowned Upon Language

 

When my son was about two, he sat in my Pastor’s house, happily building with blocks in the middle of the living room floor. My husband and I were friends with the pastor and his wife Lori, because she said we had to be.

It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, it was just, growing up Catholic, it never occurred to me that you could be friends with your minister, let alone his wife, which would be a whole other kettle of fish. Turned out, the Pastor’s wife was, and is my kind of gal, but that’s not why you called.

Anyway, there was my cherubic son, wearing his OshKosh B’Gosh overalls and looking for all the world like the sweetest human being God ever put on the planet. OK, that’s probably just me, but I’m right.

As he built whatever he thought he was building, (he was darling but architecture wasn’t his strong point,” it all tumbled to the floor.

That's right, baby, D is for @#$%^!

That’s right, baby, D is for @#$%^!

He let loose with a dammit preceded by the name of the deity who should do so and then went back to his work. Silence ensued.

 

When I managed to raise my eyes to the pastor, he cocked an eyebrow. “Cable TV?” I offered feebly, knowing full well who was responsible; my husband and his potty mouth.

OK. That’s not quite true. Actually, of we’re going to be technical, it’s an out right lie. It was Lori.

Actually, as I’m sure anyone who knows me or any idiot off of the street, (I’m choosing not make a joke at the expense of those who know me and, those of you who do, know what a strain that is for me,) will assume without making an ass of either one of us, that my son’s unfortunate slip was simply an echo of what he’d heard while, as is the case with most mothers and children,
we were making cookies together using cookie cutters which would not release the dough.

I instantly regretted my words and vowed to watch my language. I didn’t, but I made that vow so that should count for something.

After another out-of-character tirade (for a two-year-old and not so much for a seasoned sailor,) spewed from the back seat of my car, aimed at a slow driving person in front of us, I realized I had to clean up my language and this time it stuck, unless I became unglued. (See what I did there?)

One exception is notable however and this isn’t really my fault. When my son was about seven, I was trying, unsuccessfully to change to bulbs in our ceiling fan/light fixture. Time after time, I attempted to screw the bulb in, which was nearly out of my reach, but not so much so that I easily gave up.

Finally, I thought I’d done it and, as I was crawling off of the official tool for screwing in light bulbs, my kitchen chair, the bulb and the surrounding fixture fell to the floor with an impressive crash.

I said something along the order of @#$%^&&^%$#$%^&*(*&^%$#$%^&*! And your mother too! You *&^%$%^&!

Almost immediately I remembered my son, quietly watching shows with little, to no profanity, in the next room and I went in to apologize. He was sitting on the edge of the recliner, his large eyes nearly double in size, causing him look a bit like animé and not in a particularly bad way, depending on your level of dorkiness.

I profusely apologized and explained it was very wrong for me to wish the maker of my ceiling fan a painful experience in his private regions.

“That’s ok, Mommy,” he said. “I didn’t even know those words could go together.”

So we both learned a valuable lesson that day.

Some time later, I was rewarded with a feeling of maternal progress when my son approached me and announced, “I know what the F word is!”

I sighed and explained that knowing it is ok, but saying it was not nice. He nodded and promised not to say it, but I could tell he was desperate to say it and who wouldn’t be? So, I gave him permission to tell me, just this once.

He could hardly contain his pride as he announced the word. “Shut up,” he said.

“That’s right!” I said, relief and amusement washing over me.

Later that week, while on the phone with a casual friend I recounted the story and, because amusement goeth before a fall, I gave the phone to my son and told him to tell my friend what the F word is.

He took the phone in his hands and said, “Fuck.”

My friend was very angry and didn’t see what was so funny about encouraging my young son to use filthy language. She is no longer my friend, not precisely because of that, but because when I told my real friends, including the soon to be ex-wife of my former pastor they belly laughed and that’s what you want in a friend.

Eventually, I reverted to my less than pristine language mostly because I believe words are words and some of them shouldn’t be set aside because someone (probably someone’s mother whilst burning her hand as she lit the castle’s candles) said they were bad.

My son is now 25 and I’d like to say he has learned to control his use of the F word, (which by the way, in case anyone is  still wondering, does not mean shut up), but this is not the case. In fact he sometimes uses that very phrase I used while destroying my ceiling fan and, rather unkindly points out that I have no one to blame but myself, which is true , but still not the kind of thing a mother wants to see written across her Mother’s Day cake.

Because I’m a time-and-place kind of potty mouth there are times I regret my behavior and, as an old person, I feel compelled to give advice to the young, not so much so they won’t traverse the same rocky road as I, but because, after I give them this unwanted advice and they head off into the sunset using the very road I warned them against, I can say, I told you so.

So, always remember, (here’s where young people hear the sound of the adults in the Peanuts cartoons so I could say just about anything, but still…) Do not watch cable TV (this was a type of entertainment which existed before satellites and the Internet) with your impressionable children and, what ever you do, don’t change light bulbs until they’re asleep.

Oh, and take your pastor’s wife out to lunch and ask her if she knows what the F word is.

Why a Lack of Vulgarity Can Be Amusing. (Rated PG-13) (R For My Mother)

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Because my mother was uncomfortable with the human body and its functions as I grew up, she came up with unusual names for urination and defecation, (and everything else). The urination euphemism wasn’t as bad as the defecation word, and really didn’t stick with me, otherwise the following question might have inadvertently offended me: Is it wet where you’re sitting?ifwt-grandma-surprised

That’s right, my mother called urination wetting. Therefore the above question would insinuate that I don’t have control of my bladder, which I usually do; less so since my son trounced around on the poor organ before his birth, but still, “Hey!”, might have been my answer, but I speak Normal Person now.

The bigger problem for me has been her name for a bowel movement: Something Special. Yes, you read right. My mother would ask me, upon exiting the bathroom; Did you do something special or wet?

Needless to say, but I will anyway, Delta Airline’s former slogan, spoken majestically by Oprah Winfrey at the end of every show as a thank you to the airline which transported her guests to Chicago, never failed to amuse me: “Delta Airlines, Something special in the air.”

I’m a little embarrassed to say, this still makes me laugh. Even as I typed, alone on my couch, I giggled. This isn’t a rare event, as anyone who has lived with me for any amount of time will tell you.

I amuse myself. My son recently pointed out that I am probably my best friend. I responded in the same way that I would if someone would tell me that they brought me something special, but he’s right. I silently entertain myself and laugh out loud. That’s neither here nor there, but as a trait, it really is something special. (Take that as you will.)

I have evolved or deteriorated linguistically, depending on your outlook, from my mother, who was horrified when I told her that she had been mispronouncing the word Volvo, a car company, after hearing my sister-in-law, an immigrant from China, mispronouncing the word as the anatomical name for a part of a woman’s nether regions.

“Look!” She’d announce, as we drove along. “There goes a vulva! Sue has one of those!’

That was a real head swinger the first time I heard it. She saw this where? On the expressway?

Once, I understood, of course, I laughed until I wet. See, how that sounds more lady-like?

Being perceived as lady-like is a number one priority for my mother. For me, not so much.

When she still held the reigns of my life, she sent me to charm school, hoping a magical transformation would result and I would exit, wearing lovely frocks and using euphemisms for private parts, or at least stop me from flopping down the street like David Cassidy, (her words) The experience didn’t suck as hard as it sounds.

I’m sorry. It was not as uncomfortable as I had previously anticipated.

My friend and I attended together and, as a result I learned that “shitting bricks” referred to a person’s level of unhappiness and had nothing to do with something special.

At 12 this elicited a shocked response which I muffled so as not to be detected as young and naïve. Soon after, however, I mimicked this phrase as it applied, even slightly, to every situation and that’s what I learned in Charm School. That and the fact that girls who seemed lady-like were often less so when it came to inter-personal social situations.

I’ve moved on to words that would cause my mother to have the vapors at least, if she understood what I was saying or gesturing.

For years, my mother thought giving someone the finger had an entirely different meaning from what it means on the freeways where all the vulvas are.

Once, as I was visiting her in her current home of Georgia, we were driving along and my mother marveled at how many people from her native Pennsylvania lived in the south.

I asked how she recognized Pennsylvanians and-I kid you not- she gave me the finger. I wondered what I had said to elicit this vulgarity from my mother.

Turns out, flipping people the bird was some sort of Pennsylvania thing in my mother’s mind and meant, “Hello and how do you do, Fellow Pennsylvanian!” when, as we all know, it’s more of an invitation.

All of this information may make the casual reader consider my mother’s sanity as something less than attainable for her and they would be right to an extent, but mostly my mother’s behavior stems from a complete naïvete which arose from living her first 19 years in a town which was apparently run by the Disney Corporation and her expectation that the rest of the world complied with Uncle Walt’s rules for behavior (pre-1970s or so.)

Luckily, she considers me less of a vulgar excuse for a lady and more of a curiosity, so if anyone tells her about this blog, I’d be less than pleased…if she understood the meaning of the word blogs, or online or Internet or DVR or !@#$%^!

Just let her live, happily saluting her fellow Pennsylvanians, who, seemed less likely to signal their Pennsylvania roots while I lived among them briefly, than my fellow Chicagoans, who must make up the largest population of former Quaker Staters in all of the 50 states, including Pennsylvania.

She lives in a nicer place and she’s happy there.

Why Mothers Should Worry

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Explaining motherhood to the uninitiated can be difficult, especially when it comes to the love factor, because the type of love required to attach you to a person who comes into the world by forever altering your body for the worse is a 2,000 on a ten point love scale.

Whoever came up with integrating mother love into a female did a much better job than they did with say, gnats. Really, what’s the point with gnats? They simply live a life to irritate normal people who are just trying to enjoy the summer, much like family BBQs.

I remember telling a terrified acquaintance,who feared she wouldn’t love her infant, that she would feel overwhelming love for her own baby after introductions were made, even though there wasn’t a chance in the world that her baby would be as adorable as mine. After all, my son broke off my tail bone as a how-do-you-do and it only took three or four months to forgive him and treat him like a member of my family. (It took my dogs forever. They were really pissed about the tailbone thing, but it’s quite possible that they misunderstood what happened, as they often had a tendency to do when they were distracted by the word “bone.”)

I’m kidding about my reaction to the tailbone incident of 1988, of course; it wasn’t my son’s fault he had a head like a basketball; that lies with me. I can’t even try hats on in public because they sit on top of my skull like a thimble, thus making other shoppers think they are in a clown hat store and shop owners less than happy to see me.

Anyway, mothers-to-be tend to worry, and not just about the fact that her upcoming baby won’t hold a candle to mine. (and don’t let your baby hold a candle; that’s the number one rule.) Yet, unless your baby is a trouble maker, and most of them aren’t, as there is little trouble to be caused while lying in bed drooling, you don’t have to worry about baby generated nonsense, that’s for grown men.

At this point I’m going to pause and say, no first time mother has, or ever will believe this to be true. I guess you have to have more than one child to understand this from the get go. Because I have no back-up children, it took me a few years to truly understand this and you can ask the 24-year-old version of my Angel Bunny, who is, as we speak, yelling at Congress in my basement.

So, here’s a list of what you should worry about: is your baby, warm, fed, clean and not likely to hold candles? Yes? Now you can stop worrying unless spots appear and you don’t own a firstborn armed with a marker.

Worries can be as varied as the mothers who lie awake at night. (Trick point. All mothers like awake, their babies don’t let them sleep. A friend of a friend once worried that if God gave her an ugly baby, she wouldn’t know about it as she thought of all of her children as the most beautiful ever born. She was wrong, of course as we have already covered, but I’m sure her baby was pretty good.

Most mothers worry about situations that will never happen no matter how many times other mothers insist that they will. A favorite, in my situation, was that my mellow, loving baby with a head full of hair would, at most milestones, become bald and likely to pull a gun out of his diaper.

This never happened; not at nine months, not at two years, not at seven. My son didn’t become cranky until he learned about politics, and who can blame him? At that point, it was a Pandora’s box sort of thing, without the sexual connotation. Luckily, he rarely displays anger towards me unless I sing London Calling like Robert Goulet , so I didn’t become involved when he sent a hornet’s nest to a former member of his band because UPS wouldn’t deliver my box of exploding itching powder and something needed to be done.

Here’s the thing: for as long as you live, what makes your child angry, makes you angry, what makes your child sad, makes you sad, what gives your child joy…you get the idea. And that’s something to worry about.

How to have a Perfect Marriage in Six Easy Steps

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As a person of advanced years, one might think I have valuable advice to offer on any number of topics. One would be wrong. There are few subjects of which I feel I have the expertise to offer up with certainty and a whiff of condescension, but, as a rule, since no one listens, I just wake up in the middle of the night and go over the details while begging myself to go back to sleep.

Don’t get me wrong, with little to no encouragement, I will offer my opinion, but I’ve grown to know that, although my opinions are almost always correct, they are seldom recognized as the rule of law; it has been a hard truth to accept, but we all have all cross to bear.

There is one area, however, by virtue of my thirty-four years in the trenches, that I feel I can offer a few words of wisdom, keeping in mind that, because it’s aimed at people younger than me, it will be completely ignored.

The following is my six point guide to a perfect marriage. Follow it to the letter and every day with your significant other will be better than the last, especially if you spent yesterday with your in-laws. (Just kidding in-laws.)

Rule One: Don’t get married.

Marriage is a lot of things, many of them not awful, but marriage is not a magical wand and it will never make a relationship improve. If your fiance is surly, squirrely or a goat herder by trade, he will, most likely, remain so after the wedding you’ve planned all your life and fear will never take place if you don’t settle for sharing your kitchen wt a herd of goats or maybe sheep, either way, it’s just not sanitary. Remember, it’s better to be alone than to wish you were or so I’ve been told by people who aren’t alone.

Rule Two: Always go to bed angry.

 So you’ve been fighting, or not speaking, whichever annoys your partner the most for hours and now you’re tired and long for sleep. Your mother told you to avoid going to bed angry and you’ve heeded this advice so I have no sympathy for you. Now listen to your Aunt Jamie; go to bed, sleep, live to fight another day. What is worse than being just this side of coming up with an alibi for the last night your spouse was seen alive and then growing delusional with lack of sleep? Sleepy anger is the cause of more near misses than any other phenomenon. (It’s hard to precise while aiming a deadly object, bleary-eyed with exhaustion.)

Rule Three: Your Spouse is as annoyed as you are.

 This is related to rule two and should be considered a cautionary tale. Say your birthday has arrived and your spouse either completely forgot or presented a gift which illuminates his preference for watching football when reputable stores are open. Now further suppose he goes out the next day, to a store, while football is on and returns with a super deluxe wood chipper for himself.

You’re angry and then you’re hurt and you cry and then you’re angry once more and you lie awake at night wondering if anyone would think he accidentally fell into said chipper and thereby relieve the inevitable suspicion the officers of the law might have when pieces of your beloved are found in your garden mulch.

I promise you, your significant other has spent as many nights plotting your demise for some slight you innocently and without malice perpetrated. Every marriage is going to run the gamut from devoted love to murderous rage; if you’re lucky it ebbs and flows through out the years on both shores. If the ebbs outnumber the flows consider not killing your spouse. There are a number of other options, including holding a grudge.

 Rule Four: Never do anything because your parents did it.

Marriage is personal. If you and your spouse agree that party hats should be worn during love making or that neither of you mind buying new dishes every week rather then washing them by hand, do that. I don’t care what they do on TV and I don’t care if your neighbor who watches you from between the slats of the blinds thinks you’re weird (and who’s he to talk?) make your own rules and get better curtains.

Rule Five: Do not have children with your spouse or anyone else unless, two decades from now, you are prepared to come face to face with a person who looks, thinks, talks and walks exactly like the person with whom you decided to throw caution and articles of clothing to the wind on a random night when there was nothing on TV.

Ask yourself, do I like this person well enough to accept his DNA to create a mini-him which I will be required to love with all of my heart and soul despite the sneer of my darling child’s face that screams “Perhaps I should have built a baby with the goat herder?” If not, don’t procreate. You’ll thank me years later unless your lack of children develops into a lack of grandchildren which we all know is fatal.

Rule Six: Don’t take advice from anyone unless you agree with them somewhere inside of you. When I was engaged I was taken aside by members of my church warning that my future husband would not let me go to church. My dad told me Italian guys go bald and get fat and beat their wives. My mom told my husband to make sure he cooked chicken thoroughly. My mom was right, (who’d have thought.)

I think that pretty much covers things. I have some advice on child rearing which you can also ignore if the mood strikes you, but for now; go to bed.

 

Why Childbirth is Impressive to Aliens.

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Nearly a quarter century ago, I concocted my son from materials I found around the house. Even though I was completely aware of the recipe needed to create a new human being, I was still amazed at my ability to do so.

Sure, becoming pregnant and developing a baby from a couple of rogue molecules and then sustaining this zygote with a tube hooked up to the inside of your body which siphons off your food supply, making it necessary to eat double or triple the amount of food you would normally eat and finally squeezing a brand new individual, the size of a decent melon, from a place that doesn’t seem equipped to handle large produce may seem easy-peasy. (Take that grammar checker. That sentence not only ran on, I do believe it may have taken flight.) However, the practice would be considered a feat of epic proportions if you were new to the idea.

Imagine, you’ve come across a being from another planet and you’re having a drink, maybe two or three and you begin bragging about your species superiority.

“I can teleport,” says the smug, skin-free being from say…Valdar. “And travel in time.”

“I have thumbs,” you retort, as you watch his third Heineken slip to the floor.

“I came from a planet millions of light years away in a matter of your human minutes,” let’s-call- him Bob, responds as he slips to the floor to become one with his beer.

“I can make another human being, from scratch, inside my body; nurture it so that it flourishes to the degree that removing it from said vessel would seem insurmountable as far as survival is concerned, deliver this fully formed human into the world and not only live to tell the tale, but continue to nurture the being from food I dispense from a spigot in my chest.”

“Bull @#$%!” says the Alien, who is obviously assimilating too rapidly

“It’s true,” you answer as you pop some filth infested peanuts into your mouth.

Bob re-forms into a solid and peers around the bar at what are not the best representative’s of the human species. “You made these?”

“Do I look like I gave birth to 50 drunks?” You ask before you decide his answer could double the amount of therapy you currently squeak by on. “Never mind,” you conclude.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your outlook, guys like Bob only appear on bar stools next to those who’ve been over-served or women who just want to be left alone, so the process of procreating is doomed to remain commonplace, except to those in labor. (Never ask a woman in active labor if the experience seems mundane. Trust me. Also, don’t ask if you can take a nap while she dilates.)

There are women, however, who are so certain that their birth experience was a complete anomaly and therefore, must serve as a cautionary tale to those women who are currently pregnant with children they are joyfully awaiting. This practice is mostly to wipe the smile off of a first mother’s unsuspecting face and replace it with a credible copy of the classic painting, The Scream. These people who insist on terrifying younger and less experienced mothers-to-be are called mothers.

I refrain from sharing my story because my birth experience caused me to cling to the hospital’s ceiling by my finger and toe nails for a number of hours after the baby had been forcibly expelled from my body. I didn’t like it.

On his way to meet me, my son knocked off the end of my tailbone with his oversized head, a greeting I would discourage in all other social situations. Can you imagine, being introduced to your husband’s second cousin, Frank Jr., who reaches over and breaks off the tip of your thumb? Would you want to continue this relationship? I sincerely doubt it.

Yet, I not only continued my relationship with my son, I grew to believe he is the most darling person that ever walked the face of the earth. This is less a belief than a truism, but I pretend it isn’t for the sake of those parents who did not give birth to my particular baby.

He liked me too, despite my limited patience with being his main food source. In fact, he seemed to think I was the most talented and benevolent being in the world, and for good reason. Once, he asked me to reposition the sun as it was in his eyes as we traveled in my car. I did so, (by turning the corner) and he thanked me with such sincerity, I almost told him the truth.

I introduced him to the concept of trick-or-treat and clued him in on which day it arrived. Ice cream, that was my idea, just for him. I watched Pete’s Dragon, a movie which should never be watched, even once, at least 30 times. I wrote songs for him, like “We All Live in a Yellow Submarine” and “Get Off of my Cloud,” a personal favorite of his.

Sadly, I loved him more as time went on, which is only sad because he refuses to let me pick out his clothes any more. (Osh Kosh comes in adult sizes, too! Just FYI.)

For his part, he claims that he still “loves” me and that I’m his “favorite” mom while simultaneously makes plans to leave the country. I don’t think it has anything to do with Osh Kosh B’Gosh, but still, I feel the need to blame them. And Carter’s. Remember the sob-enducing commercial, “If they could just stay little till their Carter’s wear out?” The ad agent that paired that phrase with footage of babies in footed sleepers and onesies should be forced to expel watermelon from an orifice unsuited to the experience. Just recalling the ad is going to mean an evening of “What’s wrong?” queries from my unsuspecting family.

Although the process of introducing my handiwork (son) to the world was something for which I hold no nostalgia, I loved having a portable person in my life. I miss the days when I used to think, “If only I could get a few minutes alone.” I’d like to go back in time so I can smack myself for that, but since time travel is only possible for people like Bob, I have to stay here. I don’t like it.