Momma has lost her mind.

Coffee Dates: A Slice of Sanity for a SAHM.

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Something I look forward to every week, is coffee with the girls. Since I became a SAHM, I have been fortunate enough to gain a strong circle of new friends. Life seemed to have handed me these ladies, at a time that I had no idea how much I would need them.

It’s a pretty incredible thing to have other women in my life that are at the same stages I am. Even though the ages range, the point in life is the same, and the emotions that go along with that are understood. Either we never knew each other before we had kids or our previous friendship drifted for awhile, leaving so much to learn about each other. I know how rare it is to connect with new friends at this point in life – for this I am so very grateful.

One of the reasons I love these girls so much is because they are not shiny-happy people. We’ve all struggled in our lives in some way shape or form. There is a layer of empathy to having a shitty day that is humbling and appreciated. We don’t always have our shit together, nor do we ever really aim to.

We’re all currently on the same page financially as well. It is incredibly difficult to manage life with one income and all of us do that on a daily basis. Our coffee dates allow us to vent that stress, without the guilt factor. There is a level of ease in talking about anything, be it our relationships, finances, kids or ourselves.

We all have the same parenting style, when it comes to raising our precious little tyrants. It’s a beautiful thing. We don’t sweat the small stuff. We don’t judge each other on how she parents. We expect that each other would address a situation if you see a kid acting like an ass, no matter who they belong to. If a child needs something, we take care of it, even if it isn’t our own. As long as the coffee is flowing, so do the mornings.

We all have a slightly jaded, fun sense of humor. We laugh at our parenting failures as much as anything. We tell our stories, we bitch, laugh, talk about deep shit, gossip, cry, whatever. It is a little slice of “ahhhh” to the life that is being a SAHM.

There’s never really a dull moment. We are women who otherwise are with children all day. We talk, a lot. And we love it. It’s like excersice for our brains.

The only problem we run in to is Mommy brain. Our conversations are constantly interrupted by demands for puffs (a.k.a. baby crack), a foul odor starting to demand attention or a little boy’s attempt to give his Mother a heart attack. No doubt, not a single one of us will be able to remember what the hell we were talking about after whatever situation is handled.

I will be going camping with a few of these ladies in less than two weeks. I can’t wait. We have our list of who’s bringing what, we’re creating the greatest play-lists ever and we are ready to go – rain or shine. The Momma hats will be left at home that weekend and it will definitely be more than just coffee flowing.

So… cheers to the other Mommas in my life! You ladies are awesome. Every week I learn something new from you all. You keep me laughing and give me something to look forward to each week. I don’t know what I would do without you!

 

Life can be serious business.

Can we really be prepared for this?

Around 7:00 pm the other night, I got an automated call from my daughter’s school. It was a message informing parents that the following day, the school would be practicing an emergency drill. I ended that call, closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

To the best of my ability, I explained to my almost 5 year old, that tomorrow she would be practicing a drill, kind-of like a fire drill. I told her it would be for a different kind of emergency, one that the police would come for, to make sure everyone was safe at the school. That’s about as much as I could offer her little brain. Quite honestly, it was about as much as I could handle.

This was a drill to help prepare my child, in the event of a school shooting. It’s almost difficult to even type those words. I don’t want that to be a reality, but it is. It’s been proven over and over, that no little town or big city is safe from this epidemic in our country.

The next day I picked up my daughter, and a friend of hers that I give a ride home, from school. The drill wasn’t even on my mind until they brought it up. As soon as I heard the girls talking about the police officers in the school, teaching them how to hide…I almost had to pull the truck over. I was literatly sick to my stomach.

The girls talked and I just listened, unable really to say much because I was so emotional. They talked about how the police officers were so nice. My daughter said, “It wasn’t hard at all Mommy.” I had to fight the urge to not let the tears welling up in my eyes, fall down my cheeks.

I was a senior in high school, when the massacre at Columbine happened. Every time I hear about these random acts of violence anywhere, but especially in schools, now that I have a school-age child, it affects me deeply. I didn’t watch the news or even go on Facebook for weeks after the tragedy (really not even a strong enough word there) happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. I didn’t have my head in the sand, my emotions are just too close to the surface and absorbing that much sadness can be dangerous for me.

I can’t look away anymore though. I don’t have a choice now because my daughter is a student. Every day I put her safety in the hands of the school – a school that matches many of the other schools, where these tragedies have occured. Hearing my daughter and her friend talk about preparing for it, was heartbreaking, a slap of reality and an overall confirmation that times have changed.

I am not a “keep my kids in a bubble to keep them safe” kind of Mom. However, I can’t help but feel like getting that automated message changed me. I know my daughter has no idea what that drill was really all about, nor do I really want her too. She was taught enough. Truth is, no matter how prepared anyone is, no one really ever is.

The nauseous feeling in my stomach, as I write this and consider the very real possibility that this could happen at the school where my children go, is overwhelming. I haven’t really stopped thinking about it since two days ago, when I picked the girls up from school.

I know all parents carry this fear now. It’s not only in the schools, it’s everywhere – movie theaters, post offices, military bases, shopping malls – there is no rhythm to where or why this continues to happen. But it does. I truly believe the wrong issues are being dealt with in processing all of this in our society, but I won’t get in to that here.

This is a post about a Mom sharing, what I now know, is truly one of her worst fears – senseless violence occurring to or around my child.

Has your child had these types of drills at his/her school? Was your community involved? How did your child (and you) handle it?

Momma has lost her mind.

A Bikini Cut And The Crack-Head Shakes.

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Early on in my first pregnancy, I would joke about how I would gladly be cut open instead of have my vagina blown out by a 7 pounder. However, the truth is, when I was told I had to have a cesarean, I cried like a baby.

It was less than a week away from my due date and I had gone for my weekly check-up. My doctor put his hand on the top of my belly and immediately led me to the ultra sound room. He then, with an annoying, nonchalant manner, requested that I come in to his office. He sat across from me and told me that my daughter was breech and that we would schedule a cesarean three days from now.

Before I said anything, I started to ugly cry. I don’t really know why, other than I just immediately felt robbed of something I was deathly afraid of to begin with. I was even more petrified now.

My unborn daughter refused to let someone else pick her birthday. I went in to labor the day before I was scheduled. My poor doctor had to cancel his golf plans. Pity.

After settling in (several painful attempts at an IV, catheter and small talk), people were somewhat scrambling to fit me in to the OR. I started to panic. It was one of those, I’m scare and I want my Mommy moments…only my Mom can’t hold my hand from heaven. Thank God for my husband, who refused to go to work the day before I was scheduled because he, “had a feeling”. This is the same man who woke me up that morning to the scent of Lysol, due to nesting like a crazed she-man.

Out of no where, nurses started pouring in to my room and I was wheeled away to the OR. My husband had to hang back until right before they cut me {cringe!}. Shortly after, the anesthesiologist came in and read me the if-you-die-it’s-not-my-fault waiver. He then had me sit up and hunch over as he completed the spinal block. A little prick my ass! That shit hurt and him telling me not to move made me want to cry harder and punch him in the jugular.

They laid me down and then this guy starts asking me “can you feel this, can you feel this, can you feel this?” I was so freaked out because I kind of could and kind of couldn’t! I just felt like I was failing his stupid test and I was going to feel the doctor slicing my skin! Finally, the doc said, “hey, do you feel this?” and I asked, “feel what?” Apparently, I was good because he was pinching my leg as hard as he could.

At this point, I am flat on my back and my arms are strapped down. It’s perhaps the most vulnerable, terrifying position ever.

I have a blue curtain hanging by my face to prevent me from seeing my body being pulled open and organs shifted around. That would be great except, if I looked straight up, I could see the reflection of what was going on, in the big light fixture that was not being used at the moment. If I looked to the right, I saw a tube that my blood was rushing through.

Again, thank God for the man sitting on my left. It was his face and his voice, that I focused on. That was the only thing that kept me calm, as I felt my body being pulled and jerked around. I couldn’t feel the pain but I felt what I knew they were doing to me. Again, just awful.

My daughter was pulled from my womb and marked her presence with a dainty little cry. They cleaned her up and brought her over so I could see her. My reaction was, “Oh my God, she is so beautiful!” I laugh when I think of this because it was actually quite a shallow reaction. I was psyched she didn’t have the cone-head, gooey, newborn look to her.

My experience wasn’t over yet though. Even though the hubs left to go be with the baby, I still had to be put back together. It was the oddest thing to hear two doctors, on opposite sides of me, discussing their summer plans, as they were literately closing up my body. Bizarre. When they were done, a nurse took the blue sheet down. I was immediately mortified. My doctor was wearing, what my memory now swears was a butcher’s apron, and it looked like he had just slaughtered a warehouse full of cows.

After spending an hour in recovery, by my self, where nurses chatted about hospital politics, while throwing around my numb body to clean me up (it was just awkward), I was finally taken back to my room. Here’s the thing though. I got, what I have dubbed, the crack-head shakes. For some reason, some people get real shaky after a spinal. I was one of those people. Someone should have warned my sister. As I am being wheeled in, she starts freaking out because her baby sister looks like she’s having a crack-attack.wiggle your toe

My crack-attack started to fade eventually and within a few hours, my legs were warm and tingly. Not in a I-just-had-great-sex kind of way, but more of a did-I-just-piss-myself kind of way. I kept trying to will my big toe to wiggle like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Shit didn’t work that way.

It all being said and done, I got to hold and breast feed my tiny, baby girl and all was right with the world.

Going in to have my second child, I thought knowing what I knew, the C-section would be easier. It wasn’t. I was scared and panicky the minute I walked in to the hospital.

Natural childbirth is painful I know, but it’s natural. There is something about being cut open to bring your baby in to the world, that makes you feel a little robbed. I think most women (most I know anyway) pray for a cesarean when they find out they are pregnant because they are petrified of jacking up their lady parts and afraid they won’t survive the pain.

There is absolutely nothing glorious about a cesarean, except the end result of course. It’s scary, it’s cold, it’s not natural and the recovery is slow and painful. I still cringe (not lying) to this day when I hear a staple gun. Yes, they used fucking staples to close me up! It isn’t as easy as a conveniently, scheduled due date that avoids wrecking havoc on your body. My feet hitting the floor the next day was a stabbing pain that made me want to bunt sweet baby Jesus.

So to the women who don’t have children yet or are currently pregnant: Do not wish for a C-section. Our lady parts are fucking awesome and can handle it. I never understood what the big deal about C-sections was, until nature demanded that I have one.

In the end, all that matters is that I had a healthy baby girl, who will be five years old in less than a month (Wow!). But truth be told, I get a bit jealous in a room full of women, hyped up on birthing stories.

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Don't take life too serious.

Is It Wrong To Swear In My Kids Journals?

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There is something about confessing in the journal I keep for my daughter, that I flipped her off as she headed upstairs for nap, that is so satisfying. I’m sure it violates a parental ethics rule in one of those “wear your baby”/ “breastfeed until they’re ten” parenting books, but it’s so gratifying.  Just hear me out.

When I find the time to write in my kid’s journals, it’s usually prompted by something they did that caused my heart to burst, cracked me up laughing or caused me to swear under my breath. It’s the things that have me swearing, that have me questioning, how honest I should be in their journals.

Even though I know their ears won’t be as small and pure by the time they’re reading it, I feel a slight tug of guilt admitting that I considered letting the lady at the grocery store take the little man home today. In my defense, five minutes prior to this, he kicked me so hard in the shin, I was hopping around like a damn fool, trying not to shout every cuss word in my head at the time. He did this merely because he didn’t want to sit in the cart.

It was the same guilt, flicking me in the ear, when I gave the four yr old the finger, as she headed up for nap. In my defense, she told me that she was hungry because, “you didn’t make a very good lunch, Momma.”  Really?  There are starving children in Africa kid, get over it!

The whole purpose of starting a journal for my daughter was to give her a way to know more about her life than what she can recall.  My side of things really.  It started out as such a love story to my baby girl. Now, though, her quirks and strengths and her strong-headed personality has come in to play.

I can’t find it in me to just write, “We made dinner together tonight”, when in reality what happened was I opened the can of biscuits and she opened up a can of crazy!  She burst in to hysterical tears (like Sammy on Days of Our Lives kind of tears) and her pretty little head just looked like it was going to pop off, she was so mad. All because she wanted to open the can. I stood there looking at her speechless.  Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Click book to hear it read by Samuel L. Jackson. Hilarious.
Click book to hear it read by Samuel L. Jackson. Hilarious.

I think my intentions in writing these journals has grown. I want them to understand that parenting is tough. I want them to see the highs and lows. I want them to laugh at themselves and their Momma. It is my hope, that when they read them, they get to know themselves and me a little better. I try to use the sadness I carry from never really knowing my own mother, to push me in writing the full truths.

It’s funny how those journals have evolved since starting each of them. They remain to be a love story to my children and I continue to document each milestone and growing inch with love. However, I feel like the struggles are worth documenting too – the black eyes, the full-on attitude, the tantrums, the tears, the desperation for a hot seconds worth of quiet, my challenges with each of them as a mother –  who is really just winging it.

 

 

 

Momma has lost her mind.

10 Ways Raising Young Children Is Like Working On A Psychiatric Ward.

 

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I can’t believe I never realized this before. My fresh-out-of-college position as a psychiatric assistant on a Mental Health Unit (MHU) schooled me on raising my young children. The resemblance of my day to day back then compared to now as a SAHM is uncanny. Let’s review.

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Gearing up for breakfast.

1. Meal Monitor

Three times a day, and for never-ending snack-time, I prepare food and watch kids eat it. I monitor breakfast and make note of any out-of-the-ordinary behaviors that clue me in to how my day is going to go. I always have an eye open for aggressive behaviors and flying food and silverware. It’s my job to make sure I handle it if someone loses her shit over spilled milk.

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2. Tend to Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

I move into assisting with ADL’s, better known in my current position as brushing teeth, getting dressed and fixing hair. This seemingly simple routine can flip you on your head and have you chasing naked butts and fighting off fits. This is just as much true when working with a paranoid schizophrenic or manic depressive as it is for dealing with my Sassy 4yo and her completely wild little brother.

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3. Safety Checks

As I walk the circle that is my kitchen/dining room/living room downstairs, I’m constantly scoping out the place for hidden dangers or safety concerns. I’m eye balling the countertops (now easily accessible to Little Man) for a knife left on the cutting board. I’m confirming the scissors were put away after crafting (term used loosely…we were cutting Easter eggs out of construction paper). I never doubt the capabilities of my Little Man to cause bodily harm to himself or others. No one truly knows what he is capable of …it’s just better to hide the pens and lock up the forks.

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4. Take Downs

It was not a part of the previous job nor of the current gig that I enjoy. However, when faced with the choice to take down the one year old, with a hatchet coming at you, or bail…well, you throw on your Momma balls and proceed with caution. Although his daddy was dumb enough forgetful in leaving his kindling-cutting-hatchet where Little Man could get it, at least the blade was in its locked case.

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5. De-escalation Techniques

This is a priceless tactic I learned while watching people ‘go off’ for three years. A four year olds emotional instability is classifiable, for sure. The panic alarm in my Momma gut has learned to recognize the signs of dramatized, and some times verbally aggressive, melt downs before they happen. The future of everyone else in the household’s happiness rides on me being able to talk her through her four year old insanity. The tricky part is, and always was, not antagonizing with an over emotional reaction a.k.a. losing my shit.

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6. Art Therapy

On the unit, it was my job to keep the patients busy and from time to time talking. My best trick for down times was coloring. Adults are no different than children when it comes to the simple motions of adding color to a page. It encourages their brain to put color to their thoughts and words to their feelings. Crafting (again, it’s really just crayons and scissors) can be a therapist’s and a parent’s best tool.

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7. Delusions, Flight of Ideas and Manipulation

When you think of spending most of the day with a preschooler, one doesn’t first imagine taking on the role of psychiatrist. I am no doctor but I spent half my days back then trying to figure out if what was being said to me was a delusion, a lie or an attempt to manipulate me. If you don’t know already, four year olds are the most imaginative creatures on the planet. They are also liars. Bold face lying little fuckers. By the end of the shift day, the constant flight of ideas streaming all. day. long. will exhaust you.

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8. Elopement

Working on the MHU, it wasn’t uncommon to hear, “Shut the doors! He’s trying to elope!”. I quickly learned that eloping was just lingo for “breaking the hell out of there”. It’s like deja vu in my house these days because at least once a day I hear, “MOM! He’s out the front door!”. Little man has learned to turn a handle…and he is psychotically quick and daring.

I swear I didn't try to steal her pet.
I swear I didn’t try to steal her pet.

9. Job Hazzards

I was spit on. I was verbally thrashed at least a few times a week. I even had my ass handed to me by a woman in her 70’s that thought I was trying to steal her cat. This morning I poured juice in a cup and put a lid on it. I paid dearly for it. My adorable son crossed over and turned in to a swinging, kicking, flopping, screaming, completely unstable little being. There was no warning or reason. His little brain is just wired to flip the fuck out if things don’t go his way these days and I, unfortunately, am at the brunt of it.

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10. Shift Report

At the change of shift, a report was given. A summarizing of information pertaining to each patient was passed along. This now occurs for me when the hubs gets home regarding his (when they’re naughty they’re “his”) kids. While I am finishing up dinner, I’m usually reporting on crazy antics, steps forward and two steps back.

By end of the shift dinner time, I could give at least six examples why I can’t possibly show up wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. But I’m Momma, that’s what I do. Like I did when I walked the halls of the MHU, I’m constantly schooled by the very people I am there to help “get better” and am a better person for it. .

 

Fiction

A Borrowed Identity.

Around the dinner table was a quietness interrupted only by the sound of chewing. This is usually a compliment to the chef.  However, tonight’s absence of noise triggered something in Alice. She gently put her napkin on the table and excused herself from the table. No one seemed to notice. She left her half eaten dinner plate and her family silently enjoying their meatloaf and potatoes. She grabbed her coat, the keys, some cash and calmly walked out the door.

Before she was out of the driveway, her eyes were open wider than they had been in years–perhaps ever. She could feel a wild and explosive lump forming in her throat as she put the keys in the ignition. It was the primal scream escaping her mouth that brought her husband to the window. Ben looked just in time to see his wife accelerate away from their home.

Ben stumbled to his phone. As soon as he heard the vibration against the counter behind him, he knew she had left her phone. He realized he had no way of knowing why she left or where she was going.

Alice decided where she was headed at every stop sign she came upon. She lacked the need or desire to sleep and just kept driving. She stopped only to feed her tank and replenish her supply of cigarettes. Her body craved the nicotine more now than when she quit four years ago.

After almost two full days of driving, Alice’s eyes were falling. She wanted to just keep going but caved and stopped for the night. Upon entering the motel room, Alice immediately turned on the TV. She needed sound to fill the space. She hummed to herself as she kicked off her shoes, peeled off her jeans, grabbed the bottle of wine she picked up at the liquor store across the street.

Alice took a long drink from the bottle then fell on to the bed. She chose to think about the amount of germs she had come in contact with since entering this room, rather than the devastation she created two thousand miles away. Within the hour, the effect of the wine collided with exhaustion and Alice’s eyes finally fell closed.

It was the sobering sun light that roused Alice’s thumping head from the deflated pillow. Before she was able to absorb the space in time she was in, she began to cry. The TV had timed off and Alice was left with nothing but her conscious echoing in her head. The echo began competing with sounds of her sobbing.

Feeling trapped in her own head, Alice decided to distract herself with a cup of coffee at a diner around the corner. She walked inside and chose a booth next to a window. She faced the unknown world around her and suddenly felt herself uncomfortably still. Visions of her children started to appear and she fought back tears. She knew the tears were confirmation that she loved them, but more an admission that because of them she couldn’t go back.

She was tracing the top of her mug with her finger, like a needle stuck in a groove on a vinyl record, when a man with greasy features approached her booth. He said he hoped she was enjoying her morning and asked if she had any friends that wanted to wait tables. With out hesitation, Alice told the man she could do it. She denied any reason as to why she couldn’t start right away. The man appeared relieved and went to fetch a uniform in the back he said was about her size.

Alice pulled her knees to her chest and balanced her mug on her knees. She knew she was capable of waking in the morning and pleasantly serving breakfast and coffee to strangers. She knew she was capable of intoxicating herself enough at night to get to sleep. What terrified her was how was she going to pull off being Alice in the quiet moments in between mornings and night.

Alice startled when the greasy man appeared back in front of her. He tossed a uniform on the table. Alice stood up and draped the old-school brown and blue, diner-style dress over the front of her. It was the perfect size.

Grease man apologized for the previous employee’s decision to stitch her name to the blue patch on the uniform. He requested she leave it be, as he had no intentions of buying a new uniform if she tore it. He continued to ramble about minimum wage, sharing tips and the hours he planned to schedule her to work. The information being spewed was irrelevant to Alice.

Brown dress, diner dress, retro dress, uniform dress, waitress dress.

That blue patch, adorned with the name Connie, was all she could see. In that moment, Alice knew she would stay true to this distorted journey. Looking at the borrowed identity built in to that uniform, Alice knew she was never going home.

**photo source

Don't take life too serious.

7 Ways To Be Kind To A Mom That Will Help You In Return.

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  • If you see a Mom disciplining her child in public, back her up by not paying attention.

Do not engage Mom or child and for the love of God please, do not gawk at the situation with disapproving eyes. If nothing else, high five Mom afterwards for not caring what you think and taking care of the situation as needed. When Moms feel less humility about disciplining her child in front of you, you will feel less aggravation with the youth of tomorrow.

  • Please try to say something other than, or at least in addition to, “You are so pretty” to our daughters.

Moms spend every day trying to instill that beauty is not just skin deep.  Enforce that.  It will work to make the next generation of women that much stronger.

  • Please engage Mom before her children.

It’s off putting for a stranger to start a conversation with a child without acknowledging the parent first. Please remember that young children are in the midst of being taught vital lessons on how to keep themselves safe and that includes not talking to strangers. Moms need to give her kids the impression that it is ok to converse with you. She can’t do that if you don’t look at her first.

  • If you are going to acknowledge one child for his adorableness, please do so for his sibling(s) as well. 

It’s understood that babies and toddlers are adorable little creatures with their puffy cheeks and mischievous smiles. However, if you only point out the younger one because, “He is just so cute”, the older child sees and feels that. Please don’t make a Mom point out that there is another child standing right next to her. The older one notices and feels that too.

  • Offer to return her shopping cart for her.

Odds are if you don’t, it’s going to get left because Momma bears won’t stray too far in order to put it back; although, she’ll feel guilty about leaving it. Your car may thank you for it later.

  • Open or hold the door for her!

This will serve your conscious well; as well as, your karma. Ignoring a Mom with kids in tow (or anyone for that matter) and letting the door close behind you because you don’t want to wait two seconds is going to piss the universe off. You’ll get yours and when you do, just remember that time you forgot to use your manners.

  • If you currently have children, or remember what it is like to raise them, give a Mom that knowing smile.

An understanding, “I totally get it” or “I’ve been there” smile is worth a thousand compliments. Confirmations from other club members are priceless.

 ** Have any you would like to add?? Please do share! **

 

So mind your manners please.
So mind your manners please.

 

 

 

Momma has lost her mind.

Kids Are Bad For Your Health.

You'll never be the same.
You’ll never be the same.

I’d dare say there is a significant amount of danger upon entering my house these days.  Those without children should probably just stay away .  Actually, four out of five doctors and therapist would probably recommend avoiding visiting my house at all.

You won't be laughing for long.
You won’t be laughing for long.

Once in a while, I actually get visitors.  I have come to realize, disclaimers are necessary before making oneself comfortable though.  Let me give you the run down on things any guest should be aware of before visiting.

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If you don’t break an ankle slipping on one of the invisible-in-plain-sight Legos or matchbox cars on the floor, you are at least certain to stub a toe on the gaps between the pergo flooring in the living room.  Prepare for it.  My kids astounding ability to overload your senses is so perfected, even the wooden floor is cracking up.

This is what my last visitor looked like when he left.
This is what my last visitor looked like when he left.

I’d recommend standing over sitting.  Apparently, adults sitting down start to resemble a jungle gym the longer they sit.  You will be pounced on without notice.  You’ve been warned.  Pouncing has led to busted lips, black eyes and knees to the gut in this house.

She thought she could handle the honesty.
She thought she could handle the honesty.

You can hang your self esteem by the door.  I have a four yr old and those crazy bastards invented the “no filter” hoopla, so it won’t do you much good here.  If something about your appearance is “off” today, she is sure to let you know about it.

You'll never see it coming.
You’ll never see it coming.

I always have extra bold roast coffee brewed.  I want all guests to be on the up and up so you don’t miss the fire poker coming at you with the force of a crazy 18mth old behind it.  I can offer you a helmet in order to help ward off concussions.  It’s not required to wear them but highly recommended.  The little guy often shows affection by pimp slapping you with whatever is in his hand at the moment.  I have junk cups for the guys.  Momma’s sweet boy stands about crotch high now and has a right hook that will leave the boys crying.

Incognito.
Incognito.

You will surely want to have your eyes peeled if you have a bite to eat while you’re here.  My dogs are sneakier than a vengeful ex-girlfriend.  If you don’t eat fast enough, it will be taken from your plate or even hand so fast you’ll question whether or not you actually ate it or not.  They are always watching you.

This is only two minutes in to the conversation.
This is only two minutes in to the conversation.

Let me be clear in saying that engaging my four year old in conversation may cause anxiety.  The rate of speed to which words and complete randomness comes out of her mouth may trigger double vision and/or a minor brain explosion.

My son would eat this kid for breakfast.
My son would eat this kid for breakfast.

I hope you don’t scare easy.  My son will make a man of steel’s heart skip a beat.  Trust me when I say, don’t worry if you see the little guy jump from 5 steps up the staircase or dance like he just dropped a tab of E on the dining room table.  Those are actually two of his safer activities.

Don't worry, this one isn't too bad.
Don’t worry, this one isn’t too bad.

I always leave some Vicks Vapor rub by the door.  Please do yourself a favor and rub some underneath your nose before you enter my home.  Recently, I’ve changed diapers that could be used to torture terrorists in to giving up their own mothers.  Ironically, when the little man eats hardly anything at all, his ass shoots the most toxic poo.  Oh and I have two dogs that firmly believe it is their right to race to the couch before you have a chance to sit down.  Their wet, snowy fur clings to the fabric which will also leave the gentle aroma of ass wafting all around you.

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I have some extra ear plugs if you need them.  For what, you ask?  Oh just wait.  When the third round of What Does The Fox Say begins just trust me and put them in as deep as they’ll go.  Repetition in this house is like crack and my kids are hard up for that damn fox.  Their mission in life seems to be figuring out what that hell he says, leaving me wanting to run directly in to the woods with a rifle to find out myself.

Sir Mix-A-Lot may be calling.
Sir Mix-A-Lot may be calling.

We can hang out in the kitchen but your doctor will probably not be happy with your presentation at your next physical.  I have a slight addiction to peanut butter and chocolate, which means you will most definitely be within arms reach of something irresistibly, sinful to eat.  Seriously, don’t look too hard or long at my Crayola Turd cookies, your ass will puff up and you will immediately fall in to a white sugar induced coma.

It's in the budget.
It’s in the budget.

Finally, I must warn you, the kitchen it quite possibly the most dangerous of all places we could be.  That’s where I keep the wine.  Just apologize to your liver now.  The amount of wine you will need to ingest to tolerate the volume level and energy my kids have to burn off will most certainly leave your head thumping in the morning. I’ve learned that if you mix it with juice, it lessens the guilt that comes with drinking wine at 10 am.

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Oh wait, what did you say?  You can’t make it over?  No, I didn’t realize I talked until your ears bled.  Maybe the ear plugs will stop the bleeding.  You’re right, I probably should get out more but the children…THEY FOLLOW ME EVERYWHERE!  I promise if we hide in the bathroom and take a couple swigs from the vodka bottle I keep hidden with the towels, we’ll have a very nice visit.

Me by lunch time.
Me by lunch time.

No, it’s ok.  I get it.  I disassociate often and the view from above makes me shudder too.  I’ll just throw on some Nick Jr. and pray they don’t eat me alive.

Life can be serious business.

Can Someone Tell My Daughter Who God Is Please.

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“Momma, who is God?”.  

My daughter asked me that question last summer. I am still trying to figure out how to answer her.

I didn’t grow up going to church. I say that with no hard or jaded feelings about the fact. I feel like I heard a lot about God, having grown up in middle Georgia. However, the conversation always felt more like “someone” that other people knew. I never met him.

Like my daughter is starting to now, I saw a lot of gray matter in the way people, especially the ones that made it a point to remind you how often they went to church, presented themselves and the way they authentically were when around like minded people.

Hypocrisy was something I couldn’t name back then but I felt it every time I heard a self proclaimed Christian person use the N word. Sort of today’s version of “No I don’t think you’re going to hell because you’re gay, but I’d be devastated if I found out my son or daughter was gay.”  I’ve known that kick to the gut feeling you get when you see or hear hate and ignorance collide since I was very young.

As a child, I think I had a cartoonish version of God in my head. He was someone that hung in the clouds. I knew other people believed he created all of us but I was never completely sold on that idea. I knew most people around me believed that he was a protector and that you turned to him in times of need. I was never firm in that belief either.

I knew there was something more to be said about God then what was being exposed in front of me; however, the older I got the more I pushed away from his existence at all. The little bits here and there that I learned about the bible just didn’t add up.

Anger was a major divider in me being able to ever associate anything other than frustration with God. That everything happens for a reason rhetoric just irritated me and it pushed me further away. It was impossible for me to believe there was a reason for having to endure the abuse and violation being done to me. And if there was this great creator and protector that loved us all, why did he forget about me? I think I always wanted to believe, just never could given the hand I was dealt.

I’m sometimes envious of those that have the spiritual camaraderie that comes from attending church. I’ve been lucky enough to find that elsewhere though. I just can’t bring myself to look for God, or whatever other name you have for him/her/it, in a church. Even the more “modern” churches that claim to accept everyone still, from what I’ve seen, finish off sentences with “but…” when discussing non attending people’s choices.

Forgive me if I sound crass but I don’t see finding God in a church, or anywhere rather, as an acceptable claim to being a “good” person. Understand that a man that raped me for 8 years of my life found God and he found that suitable enough to send me a birthday card and a $50 check on my 19th birthday. It said “sorry I didn’t raise you kids in the church.”

The $50 bought a bag of some high grade weed to numb myself and the card just solidified my belief that being religious, in any form, does not qualify you to claim you have a clear conscious or genuine heart. I get that this is an extreme example for my rather simple point, but in writing I always promised myself I would be honest about where my thoughts generate from.

It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s, which coincided with becoming a mother, that I began to question my lack of faith. Years of rebuilding myself worked towards letting the anger go. I was starting to find it more difficult to fight the idea of God’s existence than acknowledge it. I knew there was something greater than myself because I could feel it. It was something that I could identify as borne out of and moving within the forces of love. I began to open myself more to the idea of spirituality. I started to see how there could possibly be a distinction between religion and spirituality.

I was becoming more and more aware of a force around me that was powerful, magical, comforting and often ironic. I started to understand and accept that I was allowed to have faith even though I wasn’t brought up in a church or attending one now. I learned that my faith is in no way connected to a book. Especially one that is often turned to for direction on every aspect of life. I try not to turn to any one thing when looking for answers or guidance. I just know I would miss something if I lived like that.

Maybe I should look at the other side of things and say maybe if I had God more present in my life as a young child, I would have felt more protected or secure or less lost. I suppose I have come to know that side after all though. I know now he was there, just in a shape or form that didn’t fit the better known version. The praying hand nic nack, a bleeding man hanging from a cross or a pregnant virgin were not things in my view growing up, but God was present without the physical signs. I know that because I survived. And in some strange way I recognize I am a stronger person because of all of the pain.

Had I not had “someone” help hold me up and carry me through all that, the end result of all the abuse would look very different on me. God helped raise me. Just not in a church or with the help of scripture.

So, I return to the question at hand. How do I give a simple answer to my daughter when I’m still not sure I have it figured out in my own head? I refer to the greater power as “God” only because I don’t know what else to call it. I say “he” because “it” doesn’t sound fitting enough, and people get too rattled when I say “she.” How does a mom that believes in both science and a greater power answer that question in way a very inquisitive four year old will be satisfied with?

For now, my daughter knows God is love. It’s the only thing about this whole topic that I can be sure of at this point. I refuse to fill her head with scripted rhetoric because it’s the easy way out. She and I are both very much students on this topic. Students that will perhaps, along the way, teach each other.