It is like the song says, “Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, here I am, Stuck in the middle with you.”
So if you have ever caught an episode of the TV show ‘The Middle’ you would get a pretty accurate depiction of my life. Now, granted my 3 kids are much younger than the Heck children, but more often than not I feel one with Frankie Heck.
If you have been following my blog for a while you know that no matter what I can never win. No matter how hard I try everything is always slightly broken or doesn’t work out quite the way I imagine it to in my mind. Now, I am not really complaining about this…it is just a fact of my life I have come to accept and quite frankly just deal with. Here are some recent examples of life being more lemons than lemonade…
Our washer machine. My sister was getting rid of hers at the same time we bought our house and needed one. She graciously offered us hers and we accepted. Now 5 years after taking on the already aging front loading beast, it is on its last legs. Actually its metaphorical last legs have long since been amputated but Chuck has been able to jerry-rig it back together a time or two. So last week Chuck tells me that the door latch is broken. Apparently it had broken before but he somehow super glued it back together. Well this time the piece that broke off went missing. So MacGyver now has a chair tilted back with a 50 pound bucket of aquarium salt on it holding the washer door shut. I think he likes the challenge of figuring things out; it is the engineer in him. Now I am in no position to complain…Chuck does the laundry 99.999% of the time. If I throw a load in once a month it is a good month. All of my bras may be tinged grey and I have to buy my sweaters a size too big because he will shrink them, but it is the price I am willing to pay to avoid doing laundry. Well, I was desperate last week and I needed to wash some stuff. I go down in the dungeon and get the load in and set up the ramshackle door locking system and go back up stairs. A while later I hear this odd sound. I ignore it thinking it must be the Lucy, the pain in the ass cat licking a plastic bag somewhere (her favorite past time, other than licking her ass…another of her go-to activities). Well Lucy strolls by bag-less and I still hear the noise. I open the door to the basement and to my horror I must not have tilted the chair/aquarium salt bucket contraption on the proper angle because the flippin washer door was wide open and with every turn it made it was spitting my clothes out onto the gross basement floor. I get the washer turned off and wring out my clothes the best I can and I notice a pool of water in it that hadn’t drained. Great…just what I need right now. So Chuck comes home and declares the washer dead!! Yay, we finally are finally going to get a new one!!!! We make plans the next day to head to Home Depot and get a good old fashioned top loader. Well leave it to Chuck to fiddle with it and breathe new life into it. SH*T!!!! No new washer. Now I was happy that we didn’t need to spend the $$ right now, but I am not going to lie I am praying for the day that that behemoth finally sh*ts the bed.
So, one of my children has decided that sleep is not for her. I am sure you are all thinking it must be the baby; nope…it is one of my elder children. Since she doesn’t want to sleep anymore why should anyone else be afforded that luxury? It is her world and we all just live in it. So Chuck and I have been beyond exhausted lately. I would love to be exhausted…this is a whole other level of being tired. I believe, but I cannot prove, I am hovering somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness the majority of the time. I was asking Chuck if he took the girls to “St. Elmo’s Fire” the other day. He had no idea what I was talking about. Clearly what I was trying to say was, “Did you take the girls to Toys R Us today?” My brain is just shutting down from lack of sleep. It is conserving all of its energy for basic life functions such as breathing. The other night, in the middle of the night, I head in to pee after trying to get my child to sleep. I sat down on the toilet and the next thing I know I am I am being tickled on the back of my head. WTF? I wasn’t being tickled; I FELL ASLEEP and my head had drifted all the way back and hit the plant on the back of the toilet!!! No word of a lie, I fell asleep on the toilet. Now I am not sure how long I was asleep, maybe a minute or two, maybe more but one thing is for certain I have avoided public bathrooms ever since....never know what my head might hit in there!
I work 3 evenings a week. On 2 of those nights Chuck gets the girl’s clothes and lunches ready for school the next day. Last week I was getting Anna ready for school. The clothes laid out for her on the TV table were zebra striped pants and a bright orange t-shirt. Now I am all about the kids wearing what they chose…one of the battles not worth the fight for me. I ask Anna if this is what she picked and she said no, daddy got it for her. I could not in good conscience let her go out in that…all I could think of was a hunter that had just killed its prey. She was cuddled up on the couch in it and it looked like she was the hunter lying on top of a friggin dead zebra. I let her wear the pants but she picked a different shirt, peach with some butterflies on it, not great, but a tiny bit better. Thank Christ I did…she came home from school and told me it was picture day. Fast forward a few weeks and we get a copy of the picture…it was…interesting! Of course I always think she looks cute but to the outside world she looks like who did it and ran! She looks at the picture and declares how pretty she looks and then says, “hey mom, I didn’t know I have black hair!”…I looked at the picture and she had this beautiful straight very, VERY dark brown hair. She is medium brown hair and typically looks like she just walked through a hurricane. It was photo shopped! Her preschool picture was photo shopped!!! I have never seen her hair that straight! Now, I am not upset they retouched the picture but seriously if you are going to take the time to straighten her hair you could at least airbrush out the dirt under her fingernails?
With the weather getting nicer I have been trying to get the girls out and about as much as possible. We went to a playground recently. I strap the baby into the jog stroller (no, of course I don’t jog…don’t be silly!!) and turn around to get something out of the Silver Bullet (my nickname for the new mini-van…it has a nice ring to it right?) well I no sooner turn around and the stroller is gone! I never engaged the lock and the stroller and Emily are rolling away…fortunately Em was fine, though I am pretty sure Sara may have suffered a mild heart attack while watching her baby sister roll away. Oh, the same day we went to the park I packed some shorts for the girls to change into. The girls decide they are warm and change in the van. Anna is having a hard time getting her shorts on. I think it is due to her laziness in not wanting to take her sneakers off. I give the shorts a good yank…lifting her off the ground as I do. She complains she can’t stretch in the shorts. No worries you must have had a growth spurt I say, I will buy you some new shorts soon. They go off to play and I chat with another mom. She asks which kids are mine. I say the one in the pink t-shirt and the other one right there in the….hot pants! It was then I notice how incredibly tight Anna’s shorts were. I swear if she got a leg wound spewing copious amounts of blood she would have been fine due to the tourniquet effect her shorts were causing. When she got home and peeled them off I notice they were size 6 MONTHS!!!! They were Emily’s shorts!!! OOOPS!! Poor Annie and her size 5-T thighs!
Soooo, Emmie is 8 months old now, can you stand it? Anyway I have had some trouble fitting back into my skinny jeans. Remember those? Now, I know I have mentioned my issues with dropping the baby weight may or may not have something to do with my complete and utter lack of trying so I decided to do something about it. I joined Weight Watchers. I have done it before and have had good luck with it. I find a local meeting that fits into my schedule and get this; I DON”T HAVE TO BRING THE TRIBE WITH ME!!!! I get one hour a week alone! So I get there early, weigh in and find a seat right up front. I hear one of the facilitators say, “the van just pulled up”…when I worked in the ER it was common for someone to say, “the bus just pulled up” when a large volume of patients came into triage at the same time. I assumed it was just a bunch of my fellow Weight Watchers all coming in together. Nope. A van literally pulled up. I had apparently signed myself up for the special needs Weight Watchers group. Now, I have no problem with that at all. I don’t care who is in my group as long as I am able to get all the tips and tricks the facilitator has to offer…I want to know how to get the most bang for my points plus buck no matter who is sitting next to me. But, here is where it gets dicey….with me being me I couldn't focus. They seemed to have all come from the same group home. Several of them were in wheel chairs and had personal care attendants with them. I was trying to figure out the logistics of this whole thing...is this something the group home offers? Or did they ask to sign up? Who pays for it? Is it part of their care plans, or do they have to come up with the cash? Do the PCA's have to sign up to attend the group? Two men where in wheel chairs and seemed to need help with basic tasks of daily living. I wouldn't imagine they would be able to feed themselves, so how does portion control work in that situation? I am not asking these questions to be funny; I honestly was trying to figure this all out and oops, guess what? The meeting was over! Wait! What? How many points can I have? Do I get extra points for nursing Emily? What was the tip of the week? Crap! I spent the whole meeting worrying about how my Weight Watchers classmates will work the program and I missed everything I was supposed to do. Oh well, there is always next meeting right?
With all the nice weather we have been having lately everyone is sporting super cute spring outfits. Not me! I am walking around like the Grim Friggin Reaper. Why you ask? Well, turns out Emily has decided I am not worthy to nurse from. She quit cold turkey. I would try to nurse her and she would bend, scream and contort her body away from me as if I were lactating acid. I would beg and plead with her, “Em, come on…I took a shower today!”…”Emmie, please just a little, help a mother out!”…nothing! Now, I went through hell and back for 2 years to have her and then a well documented sh*t show after her birth…the least she could do was wean off of nursing one feeding at a time. This child has shown no compassion. Doesn’t she know I work with babies, some who cry A LOT? Doesn’t she know she has an older sister that cries A LOT? I feel like I am ALL BOOB lately…I swear I could be a body double for Big Ang (don’t know who Big Ang is? Google her…I’ll wait….You are more than welcome for that image my friends!...Hence the reason for the wardrobe of death. I am constantly walking around in a swampy mess of boob juice. Breast pads are a joke. There were a few occasions I wore spring-like colors and with that came some nice, big, completely noticeable leaky milk stains. Fortunately one of those happened at Wal-Mart so no one batted an eye. Another time happened when I was out and about and had an appointment. It was mortifying…I had on a bright pink shirt and had to walk around with two big, wet bull’s-eyes over my boobs. Not easy keeping your arms folded and carrying a baby at the same time. Emily has since started nursing again for her bedtime feed so the agony is prolonged. Until the dairy bar is closed I will be sporting black. Black tank tops, black t-shirts, black cardigans (with all different sleeve lengths…short, ¾ length and long)…Memorial day is coming so I will wear white pants, but it is all black from the belly up!!
As you can see I have been in desperate need of a Mommy’s time out. A few weeks ago I was in the break room at work and the subject of old cell phones came up. I had them all beat I said. I pulled out my 10 year old, decrypted flip phone that is literally held together with a wire. Well, it was buzzing. Turns out I had a text message. I don’t text and I never have my cell phone with me. I actually keep it in my lunch box so it had been in the fridge for the past few hours. I fumble through and figure out how to read the text. It said, “see you ladies at 6”…huh? Turns out it was a group text, who knew there was such a thing, I scroll through and it went something like this. Someone says they will be kid free for a few hours and invites a bunch of people over via this text. My phone is so old it is just a bunch of phone numbers. No one puts their name (I am assuming that phones from this decade automatically assign a name to a number) one says she will be there, another says she will head over when Greg gets home. Greg? Who is Greg? I don’t have any friends with a significant other named Greg. I had had “a day” and really needed a break from my reality. I text back (it took a good 5 minutes for me to text…my phone is the kind where each number stands for 3 letters), “I just got this text, not sure if it is for me or not, but I will be there at 7”. I had decided I didn’t care if this was a group of serial killers gathering in Georgia…I WAS IN!!!! I was already beyond stressed…had 2 sick kids at home…I was going to take half an hour to myself to regroup. Thankfully it was not a group of serial killers, though that would have made for an interesting blog post, it was one of the other moms from town. It was the same mom who stepped up and was an incredible help during my ‘hole in my belly’ ordeal. I went, had a glass of wine and decompressed enough to go home and live another day. N.R. you saved me once again!!!
So for the past year, year and a half I have been growing my hair out to all one length. Painfully so at times. I had even resorted to holding my bangs back with bobby pins for Christ’s sake. But it was all for the greater good as I was well on my way to becoming a Super Model. I was in desperate need of a trim so I drop the girls off at school and head to get my hair done with the baby. Now since my hair dresser retired a year and a half ago I felt like I would be cheating if I were to build a relationship with another stylist so I have been jumping around. So I tell the ‘stylist’ with multiple facial piercings that I just want a trim. Mistake #2... Trusting someone who outwardly makes questionable life choices. So we are a few snips in and Emily throws the biggest fit ever!!! Totally not like her so I pick her up and she settles down. The girl takes a bunch of hair at the back of my head and is poised to snip about ¼ inch off. At the precise moment she clamps down on the scissors, Emmie grabs hold of my bangs and pulls as hard as she can, causing me to jerk my head down and to the left. There goes a 3 inch chunk of hair smack dab in the back of my head!!! Awesome! The girl was horrified when she had to show me the damage….poor things hands trembled the rest of the cut. I left there rocking a 90’s mushroom cut looking as if I walked straight out of a Color Me Bad music video…
I have figured out if I use a straightening iron and some product instead of rolling it under as I blow dry; it doesn’t look half bad. It doesn’t look half good either, but I keep telling myself it will grow back. Again, my life is always slightly broken but at the same time it is ALWAYS interesting!!!!