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Saturday, June 28, 2014

I am turning into Mama Boucher

When my first son Parker was born I vividly remember wishing for time to pass. I felt that his next step would make me feel less paranoid.  I thought, when he rolls over, then I won't worry so much that he will die of suffocation.  Then when he could roll over I thought, when he sits up we won't have to worry if his head is going to be flat.  The list goes on and on with each milestone.
I was stupid.

I haven't stopped worrying.  My brother who is in his 40's recently broke his finger golfing.  I don't understand it either. In fact, I even made fun of him making reference to Lucy Li.  Anyway, he has to have surgery next week.  My mom is physically sick about it.  It's his left hand for God's sake.

 But,  I have to say I kind of understand how she feels.

 I kind of wish I would have spent more time in each step than skipping to the next one.

Now that Parker is 11, I have discovered something about myself that I could have never anticipated.  He is extremely social.  Given the fact that both Don and I are very social, that isn't the surprising part.    He would rather spend time with his friends than with his family… well, mostly me.  The surprising part is how this makes me feel.

I feel sad, rejected, lonely.  Like he is choosing his friends over me.  And honestly, he really is.  I feel that a part of our set is gone.  The Beatles couldn't have sung Yellow Submarine without Ringo, it would have sucked.   I look forward to when he will walk in the door. Our  family harmony is restored.   I think it is more about not being needed.  Granted I have 3 additional boys who need me desperately, but he is the one who used to fight to sit next to me at the table.  Now he doesn't care where he sits as long as he eats enough.

Wasn't this the step I was looking forward to? After all, we have tried to raise him to be self sufficient.  To problem solve. To confidently walk out the door and know his way home.  I should be proud of him, but I'm reluctant to say I'm a little hurt.

When you rush up the stairs, sometimes you skip steps and trip and fall on your face. The point of running up the stairs fast was pointless because you are on your face and now it has taken you longer than if you would have just taken one step at a time.

 And this is one of those times for me. I'm already envisioning him going off to college, meeting someone and never coming back.

Writing that was hard because even I know how morainic and psycho and somewhat mommy-dearest that sounds. I'm worried that I will find myself like Kathy Bates in Misery, except I won't smash his ankles, I will just spoil him to death in an effort to keep him home. Or worse, Kathy Bates in Waterboy,

"You don't have what they call "the social skills." That's why you never have any friends, 'cept fo' yo' mama."

Ok I'm starting to sound even more f'ed up than I thought, but I write to figure things out. So lucky for you, you get a front row seat in the Crazy Show.

The most important thing I can do is not let him know any of this.  I have found myself saying no to him when he wants to go outside to play with friends. When he asks me why, I have absolutely no reason.  He has done his chores, he has cleaned up his mess, there is nothing left to say.  I have given him lame excuses like, you have to wake up early tomorrow.  To which he responds "But Mom, its only 5:15."

These feelings are shocking to me because I always thought my mom was happy when I left to spend the night at a friends.  Maybe she was, or maybe she just kept her thoughts to herself. I prefer the latter.

My husband is out of town for the summer.  Parker has stepped it up a notch.  He mows the lawn, he herds his brothers when we are in public, he runs through the house turning off lights.   He is 11 after all, but it's difficult for me to consider that "old" when half of my wardrobe was purchased in 2001, 2 years before his birth.

He is just growing up. Now I just need to step out of the way and let him. One step at a time.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Not On My Watch

We just returned from an epic vacation. If your idea of epic is taking four boys through security in an airport and flying with them in a packed airplane on a flight that leaves at 6:30 a.m.  Or if holding your 4 year old's penis in a water bottle you just had to chug because the flight attendant wouldn't let you get up from your seat because it was during take off, even if it is a potty emergency. Or if a series of amusement parks and standing in line for hours in the Florida summer heat to watch your child dangling from a roller coaster propelling through the air is your idea of adventure. All while seeing black spots from dehydration because you refuse to pay $4.00 for a toddler size bottle of water. If that is your idea of epic, then yes, we had an epic vacation.    I'm not an amusement park girl, mainly because roller coasters scare the crap out of me. I get motion sick while standing still in the ocean. I'm afraid of heights, I get nervous on a step ladder.  But all fun aside, an incident happened that left me frozen in fear.

We had just arrived to my brother-in-laws house in Orlando.  They graciously open their home to us for an entire week.  They have two boys. That makes six boys total, four adults…not enough. No amount of adults is ever enough for six boys.  All of us were sitting at the pool. The boys were all jumping in, playing, burning off energy.  Finally, after a day of traveling we were able to sit back and relax.
Before we left both of us made a point to reconnect to the here and now.  We (okay, I) am attached to my phone. I know its a bad habit, that is why I made the effort to not let it be a distraction.

We were laughing, having a good time catching up, all while all four of us faced the pool.  After a few minutes it occurred to me that Oscar  was in the same spot in the center of the pool.  He had floaties on, and his cousin who is the same age splashed around in his floaties.  I called his name to see if he was okay.  He didn't respond.  But he was looking at me.  My tone got a little panicked and all the adults recognized it.  He was literally 8 feet away from me.  I just kept calling his name, thinking he was just zoning out.  Before I knew what was happening Don jumped in the pool fully clothed to grab him.

I froze.   My son was starting to drown and four adults were right there clueless to it.  I am writing this to educate anyone who reads it.  They say drowning is silent.  It is.  He had floaties on, but one had a slow leak. He is not a great swimmer.  Hence the floaties.  Although his nose and eyes were above the water, his mouth wasn't. He is four.  He didn't think to breath. He just stopped and he too, froze.

After Don got him out he began to cough and cry. The poor little guy was just as scared as we were.  The thing that haunts me, is that he was looking right at me unable to communicate he was in trouble, and I was sitting there laughing and having fun.

Trusting any floatation devise to keep your child from drowning is like trusting your arm instead of  a seatbelt to keep your child in the passenger seat as you slam on the brakes. You may know this already. I thought I did.

We were all shaken.  Even four adults supervising, was not enough.  It literally takes two seconds. I would research it for you, but you can do it yourself. I can't bear to see just how close we actually were just yet.   I wasn't even looking at my phone.  I may not have noticed if I had been.  Hell, I may have been taking a picture. Viewing my children through a lens instead of my own eyes.

On a day to day basis I am constantly trying to capture the moment and missing it all at the same time.

Oscar was fine.  It could have been a lot worse. A lot.  I immediately went to Target and purchased a better flotation device. Not that I will rely on it, but at least it will be functioning.  On the way there I had a complete breakdown.  That scared me more than any roller coaster ever could.   Just like when a coaster ride is over and you still feel like you are on it, the after shocks were vibrating through my body at such a strong intensity that the only way to release it was to cry. My mind knew everything was fine, but my body was taking awhile to catch up.

My point is this. Please think of me when you are at a pool with your child.  A phrase I say often in regards to harm done to my children or accidents,which Don teases me about is "Not on my watch".  Now I just need to live up to it, and really watch.  In this case it may have saved his life.

Friday, June 6, 2014

To Vajazzle or Not to Vajazzle

I may be late to this trend. I have been pretty busy, you know working, raising kids, grocery shopping, keeping up on world news and gun violence in our nation that I missed the latest craze (of 2011) Vajazzeling. 

In case anyone missed it, vajazzeling is when a woman, (or man I guess) gets jewels glued to their FUPA.  I can't think of a better use of my time, than going to a salon and getting my entire lady parts waxed, and if that wasn't fun enough, getting jewels glued to the freshly ripe skin. 

Depending on your location, you can get vajazzled for as little as $20.  But because I live in the Midwest the only place to get vajazzled is at Hobby Lobby.  Well, not exactly, but you can purchase the jewels (except on Sunday) to vajazzle yourself. I wonder if Hobby Lobby realizes that they are vajazzle accomplices? 

The point of this trend baffles me.  I cannot understand the need for reflective materials in my crotch.  Men don't need any guidance in finding a woman's vagina.   Men are just seaman and a vagina is a Lighthouse in the night. They don't need to add crystals to make it even more detectable.  The motion of the ocean will guide them there instinctively.

So who is this for? I can't remember the last time I went out to the club, and flashed my vajazzled self to a crowd. Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I actually went to a club, let alone went to a club and flashed my Un-vajazzeled self to a crowd.  If it is for yourself,  I suppose you could stand in front of the bathroom mirror admiring your private parts. Maybe if I vajazzled, I would. But I highly doubt it.

So let's say you got it for your partner.  I can confidently say, that my husband would not notice.  Except maybe when he scraped himself on the rigid edges of the jewels.  For single ladies, if you tell a guy on your first date that you are vajazzled I don't think the first thing that will come to his mind is class. But he may see dollars. Particular singles. 

Even though it is just $20 I would rather spend that $20 on something that makes me happy, like anything but putting jewels on my vagina.  Sorry kids, I can't buy you hot lunch because I'm making a hot lunch of myself.  

Maybe it is my age. Maybe it is my level of sophistication. Or maybe its the thought that plastic is needed to make something that is already beautiful, more appealing by adding stupid cheap jewels to it that were probably produced in China and will be recalled in a month because they caused chemical burns. 

Save the jewels for your tiara on your head if you must. At least it will be directing people to your most important asset, your mind.