When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Sure to Buy a Yacht and Have Some Babies.

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Nobody looks this happy when they just had twins and an appendectomy in two rolls.

 

“Mom? Do you want to get married, like RIGHT away, or later?”

“Mom? How many babies should I have?”

“Mom? Would you get a baby OR a promotion? Which?”

I don’t know kid. I’ve asked these questions so many times…

Also: “Mom, would you get a sports car, or twins?”

I’ve asked that one too. Along with:

“When the babies come, do we need to make more money?”

“I have a baby girl! Should I have more?”

And this zinger:

“I just got a mansion and a wife, so do I buy a yacht or a sports car too?”

 

My kids are obsessed with Life. The game, not the actual breathing thing. They play it for HOURS on our living room floor, and I do my walking-over-them Mom thing with my usual laundry baskets and cleaning supplies. I have even vacuumed around their game and usually the vacuum makes them all nervous and they bark at it, but no one twitched.

Ok, wait. No barking, but you know what I mean. They hate our vacuum. It’s like the one in Mr. Mom only it hasn’t eaten anybody’s Wubbee. Yet.

I guess my point here is that this game is going to save us all before school starts. Even though it generates some really weirdo questions from a seven-year-old.

“Mom, do I get a wife NOW or try sky-diving? Which one is better?”

It’s moments like these that the Snark just quivers and practically begs to be released – free to run at full tilt at my children and take them out at the knees. But no, I quelled the beast, and answered,

“Marriage is better. But only if you really love her. And I would wait until you are good and ready. So, you know, like, your late thirties. Early forties. And, make sure you find her at church and go to like fifty or sixty bible studies together first. Also, YOU CAN ONLY HOLD HANDS THAT’S IT UNTIL YOU’RE MARRIED OK?”

The ask-ee was just staring at me, blinking a lot, when I took a breath. I was fully prepared to go onto my discussion of the pros and cons of an arranged marriage with our friends’ kids, easy-peasy, when he asked,

“Um, didn’t daddy go sky-diving? Back in college? Like, 18 times?”

I took a breath. The arranged marriage discussion would have to wait.

“Yes, kid. Go ahead. Knock yourself out.”

Later, I was explaining all of this to the husband, because all we talk about are The Children.

“I don’t really think the game of Life is actually teaching our kids anything about life, you know, in reality.” I said. You see, I’m very into making sure our children are always playing Educational Games that help Prepare them for the Real World so they can become Positive Contributors to Society.

And then the husband snorted. He knew the previous paragraph was hooey. “Yea right. Like Uno is helping them become better at flip flopping. And so, politics.”

“Or Monopoly teaches them about weird real estate options. And jail.”

“Or Battleship trains them for the military. Or drowning.”

I eyed him. His snark was so weak in comparison to mine. But he was trying. It was kind of cute. Except for the last one. That’s depressing.

Bless his heart.

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The kids go back to school in a week and three days. Not that I’m counting.

I am really good at counting though. Played a lot of Yahtzee as a kid.

 

This post was brought to you by:

Not enough caffeine, a ridiculous lack of focus, and a strong love for my children but Lord have mercy if you don’t hear from me again you’ll know they’ve gone feral.

 

 

When we fall down.

So mommas, it will be real today. No funny business. Sorry.

The other day, my son and I got in an argument. A straight-up, no chaser, fight. With a seven year old.

Because fighting with a seven year old is what a forty six year old women chose to do that day. Because the seven year old didn’t really chose it – he doesn’t have the emotional synapses yet to say, “Hey. Yea. I am choosing this.” Most of his stuff is still kinda… on automatic. Like, his synapses say, “Hey. SQUIRREL.” And we’re done.

Anyhow.

What happened was, the kid acted like a sullen kid. And misbehaved. And then, I took the reins and took OFF on making sure he knew it.

There are times when my mothering goes astray. And it just kicks the sides of that old, dead horse and tries to run off with it. Which is a terrible metaphor but I was trying to go with the “reins” thing. Which kinda means I want you to visualize me riding a dead horse. Off a cliff. Of bad mothering.

Good lord I hope this will make some sort of sense.

If you are still with me, picture me on that poor dead horse, galloping off, on a road towards my cliff. And there’s a sign by the side of the road that says, “CAUTION. STOP HERE. BIG HUGE DROP OFF COMING. TURN THE HECK AROUND.”

Perhaps I should name the cliff. The Cliffs of Insanity.

Or, perhaps:

The Cliffs of I Must Be Right.

I think the Cliffs of Insanity sounds a bit more catchy, but Princess Bride got to it before me.

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Oh. My friends. His face. After all the I-Must-Be-Right-ing and lecturing and trying to make my POINT because it is so important, his little face. It just crumpled in on itself. And he told me,

“I’m just a bad kid.”

And that’s just the awfulest thing. It’s just not not the truth.

It’s just Satan. With my help. And I am so sorry. I had to tell you because I thought, you know? I am so funny and this is so NOT and you need to know. I just so screwed up.

We all screw up. We cannot help it. It’s the tangle of motherhood. We are participating in a daily battle and sometimes I get too involved in winning MY side. When, really, the winning is not the point.

The point is that I watched his shoulders sag, and he said what he did, and then I went over to him, picked him up and put him on my lap like he was my baby, because he is. And I stroked his cheek and I said,

“You are my child. I love you more than I love my life. And you are a child of God. And He doesn’t make anything bad.”

I sat and rocked him. And kissed his cheek and wiped the tears and said, “I am sorry. I love you. You got that?” He nodded. And asked me to play Yahtzee.

And we got through that mess. And probably there will be another one coming soon, because motherhood. Kids. You know.

I wanted to share because I wondered if you needed to know – we all mess up. And then we all can say sorry and go play Yahtzee and eat popcorn and hug on each other. Because, motherhood and kids.

Can I hear an amen? Thank goodness I can. It’s the only thing that keeps me afloat, y’all.

Hello. This is the Universe Calling.

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I lost my phone the other day. It was Big Lost, like airplane on a weird island with polar bears kind of Lost.

I have misplaced my phone before, mind you, but usually some muttering and tossing of couch cushions will produce it.

Or, if I’m truly desperate, I go to pleasepleasemakemyphonering.com and then the children think it’s a lovely fetch game and are off and running in search of a ringing noise coming from underneath the cat. The best part of this little game is the blessed three or four seconds of total silence I can eke out of the boys as they listen, little ears perked up, for the faraway ring. It’s even more fun if the phone is on vibrate. Maybe even more so for the cat.

Anyhow.

I had no phone. This is really frightening to some of us, especially, it seems, most of my college students. I don’t know what they would DO if they lost their phones. Probably have a conversation, for one.

I did not panic; I used the  technology that my husband keeps telling me is so great and that I usually roll my eyes about (he has six pages of apps on his phone. SIX. Most of them are apps to help him “make life easier.” If you need six pages of these things perhaps you should just give up).

I used an app he put on my ipad called, Find My Phone. And, it did. I punched in my numbers, and then, lo and behold, my little phone finder did exactly what it told me it would do. This, in our over-burdened but oh-this-will-simplify-your-life-we-promise technology land, is very rare. The app very sweetly told me that my phone was down the street. Three blocks down the street, exactly. There was even a map with an arrow pointing right at the wandering cell phone!

And lo, I put 2 and 2 together and came up with a dollar.

That’s, Dollar General, ya’ll. (I know. I am soooo funny.)

My phone was shopping at the DG. And, since I was a bit fearful it might want to purchase one of those Duck Dynasty camo covers, I hightailed it right down there.

It is, I guess, good to note that the phone was there because I was there earlier, buying a huge box of bargain cat litter and Hershey’s kisses. I buy cat litter about every three days at the DG because I have the most regular felines ever.

I am not really sure why I shared that with you.

Anyhow, I returned to the DG, all hopeful, and had this conversation:

Me: Hi! My ipad told me that my iphone is here.

Dude at counter: You left your phone?

Me: Yep. And it’s here. I have a map with a little pinpointy icon to prove it. Wanna see?

Dude: (Reaching under counter) Uh, nah, we have a phone? (This dude was what I like to refer to as an uptalker. This is a style of speech most indigenous in the below twenty set who for some reason don’t know what they are ever trying to say, so have resorted to making each statement they utter sound like a question. It hypnotizes the listener into speaking very loudly and slowly.)  And some, uh, sunglasses? (looks rather disdainfully at my huge Gucci knockoff windshield style sunglasses that I feel all cool in, and got from some guy selling them off a blanket in a piazza in Italy, so very European and chic but actually also rather ratty.)

Me: My sunglasses! My PHONE! Yea! Thank you!

Dude: Yes? You’re welcome?

Me: Thank. You. Very. Much. I’ll. Be. Going. Now.

Dude: Um, your mom called? You need to call her back?

And that’s when I spied it. With my phone and Blublockers, was a note that had my cellphone number and my maiden name scrawled on it. So my mom called while my phone was out, and the DG dudes answered and she gave them my info. All of this was just a simple way that the universe wanted to remind me to call my mom more often.

But then I thought this:

Why my maiden name? Does she have a deep-seated resentment of my marriage? Was this some sort of psychological slip? Do we need family counseling? Am I perhaps analyzing this a tad too much?

And:

 If they had my number, why didn’t they just call me?

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