Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don't Go To Bed Mad. Stay Up and Take it Out on Your Blog.

Dear BassMaster,

You ticked me off tonight.

And I returned the favor.

I wish someone could chart the course of this "thing" we're in and show us where we're headed. I want someone to point out the crappy parts and warn us when they're going to happen. Sort of like marital Doppler radar. If someone circled today's date in red marker and said, "Mmm. Yeah. That's going to suck," then we could have prepared. I mean, we could have at least made a liquor run.

I'll never be the kind of girl who keeps quiet when torn up on the inside. I'm Irish. We don't do that. I think we punch people in the face instead.

I won't do that, either. But this, this same fight we keep having over the same issue...this tears me up inside. You can say you don't understand why....and you do say that....often...*headslam*, but that doesn't make it hurt less.

Anyway, while I maintain that I had (very, very) good reason to be upset, I'm sorry I yelled at you like a red-headed stepchild. I had some stellar lines in tonight's fight, lines that may or may not have included the word "jackass" and "f*ck off." You have to admit that sometimes it just feels good to drop the F-bomb.

In fact, you're probably doing it right now. But, uh, feels good, right?

So, I'm coming up to bed now. It'd be nice if you could leave me some covers, maybe not kick me in the shins and then claim you did it in your sleep. Like I said, I come from a long line of face-punchers and I do not wish for things to get violent.

M'kay? M'kay.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pleased to Announce That We've Relocated Our Swimming Pool, Which We Do Not Have.

I know the world is positively reeling from Ricky Martin's self-outing (HA.), but in other news, it's raining here in the Northeast. Like, a lot:

How was your day?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Because Bits of Asphalt Make Any Birthday Cake Taste Better

In honor of my 30th birthday, the BassMaster recently came home with a shiny me-sized motorcycle strapped in the back of his truck. I can now officially ride off into the sunset of my mid-life crisis.

It's red. It's shiny. It has death written all over it.

Okay, that's not exactly true. More accurately stated, the situation has death written all over it. The situation is that I have never driven a standard-transmission-anything. I can barely even peddle a Schwinn. I tend to overthink things until my hair follicles bleed. Also, I am not an auditory learner at all. If you need to teach me something, you're better off sending in a platypus to do it in sign language than you are teaching it to me out loud.

So, put me on a two-wheeled standard vehicle and give me 28 things to think about just to drive the thing forward a few yards and, well, yeah. Certainty of death.

Or maybe just embarrassment.

To his credit, the BassMaster is a very good teacher. He spent a good five minutes giving me clear, specific directions on something that takes four seconds. Start and stop. Ease off the clutch, give it a little gas, walk it forward, then STOP.

Any monkey could do that, right? I, however, am not your average monkey.

"Ready?" he asked.

"Yes. I am ready."

Five seconds later, I threw the throttle wide open when I meant to grab the brake, dumped the bike and got myself pinned under it with the rear wheel spinning at full tilt while the BassMaster sprinted behind me screaming, "JESUS, LET GO! LET GO OF THE THROTTLE!"

Really, who needs marital counseling?

The good news is that I'm fine, aside from a few bruises and the fact that the fragile shards of my ego now lie embedded in the pavement. But hey, the Death Machine and I eventually called a truce, and I skittered around the parking lot a couple of times without looking like an asshole.

Incidentally, we are teaching the Munchkin to ride a real bike, and she knows the inside scoop. She has advised me to "hold onto the handlebars, Mommy."

Now there's a good way to break it down into the basics. This kid, she totally gets me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Grab the Tostitos, Mommy's Going to Shake the Flabby Remnants of Her Booty

Author's Note: I recently wrote up a list of things I want to do in life before senility takes over, and for some reason "Learn to salsa dance" came out of my brain and onto the page. And I figured, well, sh*t, why not? Carpe salsa-em.

Dance Studio Receptionist: Okay, I have you all set up for your lesson next Thursday.

Me: Thanks. What should I wear, by the way? Workout clothes, I assume?

DSR: Actually we dress in business casual, so I recommend dress pants or a skirt.

Me: (beat) Business...casual?

DSR: Yes. You know, like dressy work clothes.

Me: Work. You mean that fabled place where you don't have to wipe any else's ass if you don't want to, right?

DSR: Excuse me?

Me: Uh, nothing. So, does that mean no jeans?

DSR: We recommend dress pants or a skirt.

Me: Skirt. That's the thing with no leg holes, right? So when my kids try to climb me, they'll be clawing at my bare skin?

DSR: Sorry?

Me: Nothing.

DSR: (beat) Uh, okay, is there anything else we need to know about you before you come in?

Me: I took ballet when I was a teenager.

DSR: And how old are you now?

Me: Turning 30 this week. Oh, and if I do manage to find a skirt, is it okay if it has a bit of dried snot on it? Maybe some crusty Goldfish cracker remnants?

DSR: How old did you say your kids are?

Me: Three and one.

DSR: (beat) We really need to get you in here, huh?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Long and Winding Road Is Also Full of Cow Pies.

I've been relying on a friend to watch the girls while the BassMaster and I attend our agreed-upon counseling sessions, and while I know it's a necessity, the act of having to ask for favors on a weekly basis makes me feel like a mooch.

Plus, it reminds me that my marriage is messed up. I wouldn't have to ask if my marriage would just un-clusterf*ck itself and function properly. Sigh.

I only feel better about it when I offer to return the favor, to take her kids for a day, a night, a midday quickie, whatever. But since I'm so desperate to not feel like The Needy Friend Who Needs Things Always, I think I might be coming on a little too strong.

"Seriously," I say to her when I pick up the kids, "Go out. I'll take yours, anytime. We have lots of toys. We have all the stuff. How about now, you want to go now?? GIVE UP YOUR LITTLE PEOPLE, DANGIT!"

Then she stands there blinking with a tight smile on her face, and I realize I need to reel in the crazed enthusiasum, maybe take a deep breath or six, before she starts to worry I'm going to rappel into the kids' bedroom Mission: Impossible-style and make off with them in the night.

This past week, I had to ask her to babysit for the second time in two weeks. I didn't want her to think the BassMaster and I were out stealing road signs and flashing policemen. So, without going into any detail (a major feat for me), I told her that he and I were doing some marriage counseling.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that," she said sympathetically. She nodded. I nodded.

Then, after a few seconds of silence, she goes, "Frank and I have had our rough times. But divorce, that's just not an option. I would rather DIE."

I choked on my latte.

She is deeply religious, and I know she was not kidding. But let's cut her some slack. She loves being a mom, and she is a hell of a babysitter. She has been known to strap my 34-lb preschooler into a baby carrier just so that they can play "Kangaroo." And yes, that game involves a lot of jumping.

But what I wanted to say to her was, well...ARE YOU KIDDING?

I'm not divorced, but I can see the jumping-off point from where I'm sitting. It certainly does suck to have to sit back and say yes, our marriage is failing. Or, yes, our marriage has failed, and it's our fault. No one likes to accept defeat.

But I have to say that personally, I believe it's possible to discover that the best, healthiest thing you can do as a couple is to part ways amicably. I believe that doing "what's best for you" might mean not staying together.

It's a sly, counterintuitive nugget of wisdom that I have only recently come to accept. As for the BassMaster and I, the jury's still out on exactly what's best for us, which path we will take. Some days, things are good. Some days, things are confusing. And some days we both just f**king step in it. We're doing the best we can.

In any case, neither one of us is going to DIE. Lighten up, fer crying out loud, dear babysitting friend. Have a glass of Pinot. We're going to live.

And we're going to be happy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lucky For Me, This Means I Get to Keep My Kidneys

I'll tell you one thing, folks. It's not easy to find a suitable preschool in a city populated mainly by rednecks and homeless mental patients.

I should totally work for the tourism board.

So when I heard about an open house for the local Montessori School, I figured it was worth checking out, even though I had a seizure when I saw the $7000 price tag on the tuition. But hey, don't my kids deserve the best? So what if I have sell a couple of organs to make the payments?

I smelled trouble when I arrived and realized I was only the third car in the parking lot. After five minutes of fussing around on my cell phone (any new messages? Nope. How Nope.) and glancing around every five seconds to see if my accomplice the FrogMama had arrived (we actually know each other. Like, in real life. Don't be scared, it happens sometimes.) I crunched across the dirt parking lot to the front door.

Inside, a group of women sat in chairs set up in a semi-circle. When I came in, they ALL turned to look at me at the SAME time. I expected them to say something like, "We've been waiting for you" or "We don't get many visitors." Geezus. Why don't you just kill me, stuff me and mount me on the wall now, before refreshments are served?

The director opened with a crack about menopause. Because nothing warms the crowd like a round of uncomfortable laughter.

Anyway, we spent the next two hours getting a crash course in all things Montessori. Here's what I learned:

1) Montessori philosophy maintains that children of different ages can teach and learn from each other. It encourages children to learn at their own pace.

2) This approach was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori.

3) She been dead for 50 years, so please do not call the school and ask to speak to her.

Based on the propaganda distributed at this event, the only question we needed to ask ourselves was this: did we want our children to be ingenious, academically-untouchable jewels in the Montessori crown, or did we want our children to be knuckle-dragging, paste-eating morons?

I mean no disrespect to those who support the Montessori environment. I can certainly see the value in it. You should have seen all the activities available in the classrooms. I think my kid could walk out of there at age 6 and be ready for college. Hell, I spent all of ten minutes in the classroom and was all, HOLY CRAP I FEEL SMARTER JUST STANDING HERE.

However, the whole thing feels a little too alternative for me. I don't think Maria and I are going to have a second date. I think we should see other people. Or, other wallet-friendly schooling options where the cool job of the day involves going outside to clap the chalk off the erasers.

Sorry, Munchkin. Now here, eat your paste.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Second Star to the Right and Straight Into the Brothel

Of course now that we're all moved into our house and ready to Go Places and Do Things, it's been raining for two days straight. With half our rainy-day supplies still packed in boxes, we offered the grandparents a frantic plea to come save us from the whining a cordial invitation to spend the day with us.

My mother-in-law brought a book of 137 Tinkerbell stickers to entertain the Munchkin, which was genius. Kid gets her fairy fix, Grandma gets her kid fix, everyone wins.

Or so I thought, until I took a good look at the finished product:

First of all, if you're thinking this is the biggest sticker you've ever seen, you are correct.

Second of all, it just me, or is Tink showing a little leg? Maybe a little thigh? And a little - wait, what the - ?? SOMEONE GET THIS FAIRY A BURKA, STAT.

And what's with the freakishly long eyelashes and the coy downward gaze, anyway? It's a bit too hey-big-boy-want-to-see-if-my-thong-matches-my-fairy-dress for the preschool set, if you ask me.

Although it does offer the dads in the house one hell of a happy thought. And up, up, up they go....

Friday, March 05, 2010

Back-to-Back Episodes of Dora Have Given Me a Twitch, But I Am Otherwise Fine

When we moved to Virginia two and a half years ago, the idea of driving with a baby for twelve hours made me want to hyperventilate.

In fact, it freaked me out so much that I refused to do it. I stuck the Munchkin in the BassMaster's truck for the entire ride and drove in my own separate car.

I can't understand why I didn't win Mom of the Year.

This time, en route from Virginia to our temporary home in Massachusetts, I made the drive by myself with two children, one of whom eats constantly and the other whom has learned to keep the Sibling Fairness Meter in check by screaming bloody murder when she sees her big sister getting a snack.

Thank you, Jesus, for inventing Goldfish crackers.

And portable DVD players.

Anyway, we're back in New England. It's cold. People are jerks. And while out shopping this morning an annoucement over the store PA system concluded with, "Thank you fuh shoppin' at ya nay-bah-hood Tah-get."

It's wicked nice to be back, guy.