Category Archives: Parenting

My Mom Can’t Sing and Other Facts

My Mom Can’t Sing and Other Facts

“An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest”
– Spanish proverb

With Mother’s Day here, I feel compelled to write about the most influential person in my life – my mother. Her name is Viola and she just turned 89. She is in the final stages of dementia but continues to smile through it all like a champ.

If you think about it, dementia has its benefits. You can see the same movie or read the same book over and over and enjoy it just as much the first time as the tenth. And my stupid jokes and stories are always hilarious and fascinating no matter how many times I repeat them. So, in short, an 89-year-old with dementia is my perfect audience.

Here are some Viola-isms and Viola-facts:

“Always leave a bathroom cleaner than you found it or you’ll never be invited back.” To my knowledge, there are much bigger reasons to not invite me back to your home than this.

She has a terrible singing voice. She sounds just like Alfalfa from Little Rascals. It’s really quite disturbing.

Uncannily, she knew the moment I lost my virginity because I abruptly stopped talking about and asking questions about sex.

“Even the strongest man on earth cannot properly squeeze the water out of a sponge with one hand.” I have no idea how to prove or disprove this theory. But, she stated it with such conviction, I have to believe she has somehow witnessed this.

She taught me that to judge people was a waste of time. You wouldn’t judge a kindergartener for not acting like an MBA student so think about what “spiritual grade” a person might be in. (I am clearly in some sort of Special Education department.)

My mom always reminded me of Edith Bunker. Seemingly a bit ditzy on the outside but solid and smarter than everyone else in the room on the inside.

She graduated with a degree in Psychology with a minor in Latin Studies the same year I graduated from high school. She could psychoanalyze you in Spanish, thereby making you feel decidedly paranoid.

She regaled me and my friends at Mom’s Weekend in college about how terrific sex is after 50. The truth of this remains to be seen.

“I’ve taught my kids to be able to eat dinner with a king.” This skill has never been tested.

So, on Mother’s Day, I thank you, Vi, for being my biggest fan, my most honest critic, and my guide through the numerous missteps of my life with unwavering love and loyalty. I will always remember these things, even if you can’t anymore.

Bartender, Make That A Double

Bartender, Make That A Double

Before you freak out, the answer it NO, I do not intend this to be a Mommy and Me, recipe-sharing, mother-on-anti-anxiety meds site. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…it’s just not how I roll. Except for maybe the meds.

But, in honor of my kids’ birthdays and the approach of Mother’s Day, I just figured I’d leave something behind that I could pull out to humiliate them when they are 16, something that I look forward to with an inordinate and unhealthy amount of glee.

I was late to the table on the whole kid thing. You see, my uterus was becoming a relic but emotionally I was still 25. I’ve always done everything around 5 years after everyone else does so am the definition of a late-bloomer. We needed to make the proverbial “shit or get off the pot” decision. So, we…shat.

We got pregnant startlingly fast, leaving us a bit breathless. Most people who know me, especially ex-boyfriends, would never put money on the fact that my uterus was actually a friendly, welcoming environment rather than desolate and somewhat rude.

So, after the initial shock over the reality of our decision, we started to settle into the idea. We should be comfortable with it any day now….

Who could have possibly guessed exactly how hospitable my uterus really was – my uterus turned out to be the Studio 54 of the reproductive world. Turns out I was popping eggs out like a radioactive chicken. And TWO of them took.

Out the window went my vision of backpacking through Thailand with one, small, low-maintenance kid and in came every horror flick I’ve ever seen about creepy twins.

Here are some interesting and horrible facts about the whole thing.

  • You can’t drink booze – or at least you’re not supposed to. And believe me, there are few times in life when you need a stiff drink more. Evidently, crack and meth are out too. Buzz kill.
  • It’s actually sort of amazing to see your body change and grow exactly in the manner it was intended to. It’s startling to watch and makes you believe in a grand design.
  • It’s intensely scary to go into labor and it is amazingly painful. Who could really help you understand this type of sensation? What could I compare it to so you’d have some line of reference? Have you ever been stabbed in the gut? Jabbed a fork into your eye? Not likely unless you are a very careless and scarred person.
  • You poop in the delivery room. I always thought it was an urban legend. I wouldn’t have apologized so intensely for my utter lack of manners had I known this. So, you poop – let it go – literally and emotionally.
  • It is awe-inspiring how much they cry those first three months or so and what sleep deprivation can do to an otherwise rational adult. It was like being in ‘Nam – I still want to dive under a table whenever I hear the slightest noise at 1:00am.
  • Don’t feel bad if you want to sell your sweet little bundle of joy on eBay. Anything to get the constant loop of crying baby out of your ears and the embedded smell of weird baby-crap and barf out of your nose cavity. Life simply becomes very uncivilized.
  • It’s kind of cool the first time they actually focus on your face or the first time they smile. Yes, it could be gas. Or, it could be they are glad to see you. I guess we don’t really know, but after thinking of selling them on eBay, you want to believe they are glad to see you. It helps their cause a bit.
  • I didn’t expect to like my kids this much. That probably sounds stupid, but it’s true.

So I now live in this bi-polar world of wanting to scream every time they ignore every word out of my mouth as if I were speaking in clicks and grunts but then I think how very weird and cool they are when they choose to dress as Gandhi for Halloween or how they can sing every word of a Cake song and this emotional ping pong is all within 30 seconds of each other and I know this is the worst run-on sentence in the history of run-on sentences.

I need a nap.