Diary Excerpts: Monkey Balls, Feces Rinse Cycles and Laundry Mountains

Dear Diary,

The world=balls right now.

Giant hairy monkey balls that make you question why anyone wants to visit the zoo.

Diary, in case you forgot what my schedule looks like this month, let me remind you.

March 28th – T-minus 28 days until we move to a new house in a new town.

March 29th- Realize that there is a trip in two days and that in addition to not packing, you have no clothes. Frantically wash diapers. Then wash diapers again because you totally sent a poop filled diaper through the wash. Resolve never to inform Tex that this happened because it would scar him and he’d purchase a new washer.

March 30th – Wonder what in the heck you’ve been doing with your time as nothing is packed and the diapers are still lying disassembled in the basement. Put on same clothes as yesterday because -why not? It’s maternity leave, they don’t smell and no one will realize that you don’t do laundry.

This plan works until you pick up the babysitter from school and realize that she saw you in the identical outfit and will probably go home and tell her mother that she hates working for dirty people who insist on washing their baby’s feces.

March 31st- Why are there only five photo albums in a suitcase? WHY? You can’t wear your vacation pictures all weekend. Also why isn’t the laundry done? What kind of cockamamie, well endowed monkey is running this place?

April 1st- Arrived at family function late last night. Remembered everything except for shoes. Which is fine, muddy rubber boots and designer dresses fit the high/low chic trend this year.

April 2nd- Speed home with screaming baby in the car for four hours to make it just in the nick of time to Tex’s concert. Which feels less like the movie “Speed” and more like one of the characters out of the movie franchise “Saw”, who is slowly being tortured to death by having each of their finger and toe nails removed.

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The hunkiness factor of traveling with a baby is zero. The wanting-to-saw-a-limb-off-to-make-it-stop factor is about three squigillion. (Photo Credit cinemablend.com)

April 3rd – Pretend that you can take the day off from packing, laundering and general preparation.

April 4th – Curse yourself and your laziness, because tomorrow, you, Tex and Mini-Tex are shooting yourselves into the wild blue yonder to attend a conference for Tex’s work. Your day now =laundry. Endless laundry.

April 5th- Repeat the whole “Saw”/”Speed” scenario on drive to the airport. Cave at the airport and put “Peppa Pig” on the iPad. Wonder if this cartoon was the inspiration for “Saw” as the narrative drills a hole into your ears and through your brain.

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The original and unlikely villlain of the “Saw” series. (Photo Credit Google Play)

April 6th- Spend fun day with another family that is also attending the conference. Perhaps life is not entirely composed of giant, hairy monkey balls?

April 7th – Poo-pocolypse Now! On public transit! Remember why you loathe both cities and traveling, as you schlep your soiled self and your toddler back to the hotel.

April 8th- Looking around the hotel room, you realize that your belongings have mated, multiplied themselves by ten fold and have staged a take over of the room. In lieu of packing, lie down on the floor and wait for death.

It would seem death isn’t coming. Set about packing up belongings for the fourth time in ten days.

April 9th – Gazing at the suitcase, carry-on, diaper bag, computer bag, toy bag and baby carrier which all need to be lugged back to the airport, you decide to lie down and wait for death however long takes this time. Your helpful husband asks if you can lie down at the bus stop instead. The bus gets to the station seconds after you do, which is just as well, there are far cleaner places to lie down and wait for death.

April 10th – Lie underneath a mountain of laundry as your baby practices his spelunking skills on dirty diaper mountain using your knees and the twenty dirty, cloth diapers. Try to muster up the energy to move. Is impossible. Throw teething cookies in baby’s direction and continue lying on the floor.

April 11th- Saved! Tex returns home and whips around finishing up laundry and making dinner.

April 12th – Have hidden the calendars because otherwise they’d say to pack for the farm to celebrate Easter which would make life more horrible than monkey balls, would be mastadon balls or some other enormous creature.

 

 

Finding Inner Peace with Children: Namest-Hey Put That Down!

Once a week, I attend a class where women stand on mats, jiggle babies and talk about Namaste. It’s called “Baby Yoga”. Because babies need to do yoga because life is hard. Or maybe because moms need yoga, to find inner peace. Regardless, here are instructions on how best to discover calm with a small child.

10:14 – Arrive for the 10:15 baby yoga class. Do a small victory dance over not being late then sprint up the stairs because still need to roll out mat, set up “nest” for Mini-Tex that he won’t use and lay out range of toys for him to ignore.

10:15-10:18 – Shuck off layers and layers and layers of clothing because only crazy people decide to walk in the frigid cold with their babies. Run on tiptoe to not disturb other women who are supposed to be focusing on their breathing but are nursing or swaddling their babies.

10:19- Lie on mat with eyes closed, pretending to focus on breathing but actually listening to Mini-Tex crawl towards a group of unsuspecting three month olds.

10:20- Cock open an eye only to see Mini-Tex playing three month old’s head like a set of bongos. Forget all intentions of inner peace and sprint to move Mini-Tex away from bewildered three month old.

10:21- Am instructed to sit Mini-Tex on lap and do sitting version of cat and cow. The three month olds sit placidly in other mother’s laps. Mini-Tex wiggles his way out of my arms and takes off. Continue doing cat and cow.

10:22 – Inhale, am cat. Exhale, release all tension associated with carrying small person everywhere. Inhale am cat again. Exhale, am cow. Inhale, cat. Exha-where is Mini-Tex? Out of corner of my eye spot him ripping toy out of smaller baby’s hands. Jump up to return stolen plaything.

10:23 – Other moms are windshield wiper-ing knees back and forth. Attempt to convince Mini-Tex to play with toys from home. Mini-Tex has seen said toys and prefers other babies’ toys.

10:24 – Mini Tex takes off, invariably to steal someone’s rattle. Lay back into butterfly pose.

10:25- Feel tension releasing from lower back. Hear noise. Is sound of Mini-Tex climbing all over woman on next mat over. Leap up to move him, feel tension returning as apologize profusely to woman.

10:26 – Carry Mini-Tex to far side of room to area with lots of toys and blankets. Lay back down on mat and lift rear end into bridge pose.

10:27 – Breathe in bridge pose. Close eyes, love bridge pose.

10:28 – Breathe in. Fill self with air. Breathe out, remember how calm feels. Realize Mini-Tex is uncharacteristically silent. Open eyes to see Mini-Tex once more using woman on next mat as jungle gym.

10:29 – Grab Mini-Tex while repeating “Sorry. So sorry” over and over while transporting him back to “nest” next to mat.

10:30- Being in tree pose gives excellent bird’s eye view of Mini-Tex pulling leaves off of nearby decorative tree. Dash to relocate Mini-Tex and save greenery.

10:31 – Lug surprisingly heavy tree into yoga studio bathroom and close door. Mini-Tex has made his way across room and is yanking lamp cord out of wall. Rush to prevent damage to lamp and store it with tree in bathroom.

10:32 – Instructor picks up Mini-Tex and carries him to demonstrate warrior one.

10:33 – Am strong warrior, focus on breathing and keeping knees over big toes.

10:34- Instructor continues to hold Mini-Tex to demonstrate warrior two. Am composed of straight, relaxed lines. Am zen.

10:35 – Mountain pose to chaturanga. Feel peaceful intention slowly returning while instructor wrangles squiggling Mini-Tex.

10:36 – Instructor lets Mini-Tex down to show class proper downward dog. Class follows along. Hear surprised yelp from instructor, look up to see Mini-Tex pulling on her bun as instructor tries to lower to child’s pose. Race to remove tiny baby fingers from instructor’s hair.

10:37 – Place Mini-Tex back in play area at far side of studio. Sit back on mat and rock foot like baby with fingers interlaced between toes.

10:38 – Switch sides to rock other foot and open up other toes. Mini-Tex crawls across room at top speed and grabs hold of curtains to closet, then yanks with all his might. Drop foot baby to catch actual baby.

10:39- 10:47 – Accept defeat and play with Mini-Tex quietly in corner while other women with docile babies in adjacent “nests” do yoga poses.

10:47 – Shavasna.

10:48 – 10:50 – Decide to attempt shavasna pose. Stretch out on mat while Mini-Tex blows raspberries on all available patches of skin.

10: 51- 11:05 – Visit with ladies and well behaved babies. Intercept Mini-Tex’s attempts at toy thievery. Apologize profusely.

11:06 – 11:10 – Layer up. Feeling surprisingly exhausted despite not having done any poses.

11:15 – Find inner peace as Mini-Tex falls asleep in carrier during walk home.

Five Things Friday- The Insults Just Keep Coming

  1. Remember when your mom would subtly leave deodorant on your night stand when you were twelve?

My husband totally did that. Only not with deodorant. He arrived home yesterday and brandished a drugstore bag at me. “Look what I bought” he proudly proclaimed, first pulling out the items he had purchased for himself before getting to the real purpose of his visit to the mall; “I bought you razors and soap.” Essentially my hubby just called me hairy and dirty. Point taken Tex, I won’t wait for an instructional tutorial on how to use both, I promise.

 

  1. My new spa routine

I thought Mini-Tex’s bum being infested by ferrets was bad until this week when he learned how to whistle. Well, not whistle exactly, but exhale using his mouth. He likes to practice this trick while we are feeding him. So not only is everything in the kitchen and living area covered with spatters of breastmilk mixed with apple from when Mini-Tex creates an impromptu catapult using his spoon, but now every time we put some food in his mouth, he reacts by creating a fine spray of baby slobber mixed with gruel. It’s making me consider bathing more than twice a week.

 

  1. The Canadian version of “A Dingo took my baby!”

Much like his parents, Mini-Tex loves the great outdoors. So every day, I haul him, his toys, his jolly jumper and his ring of neglect outside. He loves it, I love it, and the mosquitos love it too. I thought it was bad when at his six month checkup, I had to explain that Mini-Tex didn’t have chicken pox, those were bug bites.

That was nothing compared to watching a small bird half hop, half fly off with a part of my son. Initially it was a small mosquito, but after feeding on Mini-Tex’s chubby little leg while he played in his exersaucer until the tiny pest was actually full to bursting, it morphed from insect into small avian species. Honest to goodness, when I finally spotted the bloodsucker all but draining my son’s little calf, it had the mosquito version of a pot belly. It was so bloated when it tried to take off, it dipped back down to the ground. The mosquito had fed on my baby for so long that it was too fat to fly. I’m pretty sure I’m sucking at this parenting gig.

 

  1. I’m moving to a trailer park

Not really, but I might as well given that I’ve started answering the door topless and if one is going to be super classy, it’s best just to rent the mobile home too. This event caused me to question our neighbourhood as well because the mailman didn’t bat an eye. This may in part be due to the fact that I was wearing a baby and a brassiere at the time, so there was a lot to distract from the nudity.

 

  1. I’ve started an anti-Post Secret blog

That sounded way more negative than it meant to. What I meant was that instead of the world sending me their secrets, I’m sending mine to the world. Only they’re not secrets, it’s mostly nonsense or manatees with facial hair Sharpie-d on. Also the entire world isn’t receiving them. Currently I’ve contained my weirdness to North America and people I know, but I might start looking up either politicians or business executives to infuse their life with random anecdotes about whales.

Five Things Friday- The Random Slutty Baby Infestation Edition

  1. My mother once called me a skank

Ok, maybe not in quite so many words, but I swear that was the take home message. It was during university and after going out on a date with yet another older electrician that I met at the local bar, I commented to my mother that there were a lot of tradesmen who frequented the establishment. She replied “Of course they hang out there- it’s where all the horny co-eds are.” And I was all “Did you just call me a horny co-ed?”*

  1. My baby is infested with ferrets

Have you ever had the experience of meeting someone with horrific halitosis and you’re like “Sir, I don’t know you, but I’m fairly certain that something has died in your mouth. You may want to make the acquaintance of a dentist.” Or at least that’s what I think to myself in those situations. Anyways Mini-Tex started solids and the last three days he’s been “eating” apples. “Eating”  in quotations because in actuality, our entire living space is covered in apple goo and Mini-Tex imbibed three spoonfuls. He hadn’t pooped in a couple of days, apparently because he was plotting to kill me. I opened up his diaper and gagged from the scent. Whatever deceased ferret that inhabits strangers’ mouths with halitosis has taken up residence in my son’s colon. And invited its whole zombie ferret family. Hurray for solid foods.

  1. My last bathing suit decomposed on my body

This sounds less gross than it actually was. That was a lie, it was pretty disgusting. As a hater of both shopping and needless consumerism, I wore my last bathing suit until it wanted to fall off my back. I use the word “wanted” because if it had fallen off, I would have sewn it back on and kept right on swimming. Unfortunately, it decided to die on my back. And chest. And legs. Instead of putting the offensive article out to pasture like any rational person would after fifteen years of service, I continued to wear my bathing suit as the elastic which helped the suit to keep its shape, gradually disintegrated on my body each time I wore it, smearing black indelible stripes onto my pasty white skin. I’ve since bought another of this kind of quasi indestructible swimsuits, I plan on wearing it to the pool when Mini-Tex is a teenager so he has a genuine reason for not wanting to be seen with me.

  1. I’ve started wearing ass-less chaps

It’s the latest in MILF fashion. Actually, not really, but I have started wearing pants because skirts just don’t work when you’re crawling around on the floor after a baby. Also, I donated all of my skorts after my friend Charity, of the stripper name and PhD, pointed out that just because there are shorts underneath, doesn’t mean that you can sit with your legs open like a model posing for Maxim. As a result, I’ve been living in my one pair of cargo pants. However after a visit to the local play place and approximately 3,908 trips down the bouncy castle slide, I’m fairly certain the butt is see-through.

  1. Guess who’s the newest member of Hell’s Angels?

It’s probably not me, but I think I still should get points for walking by the house of a biker gang every single day when I take Mini-Tex for a walk to put him to sleep. The home might not actually belong to the Hell’s Angels, however, I always see at least four bikes parked out front that change each day. And sometimes they ride by me in a group while I’m out walking so I feel like I’m in the newest “Fast and Furious” movie. At the very least, if I go missing, the internet now knows where to find my body.

*In case you’re wondering, she did, my mother totally called me a horny co-ed. It wasn’t like the time that I made up a story about her pushing me down a hill and then yelling “Look at the fat girl! Look at the fat girl!” while I tumbled. Despite the fact that this event never occurred, my mother received much judgment at her gym for it after I spouted the fictional tale loudly in the lobby. My mother has respect for people of all shapes and sizes, except for young ladies looking to get their skank on apparently.

The Art of Parenting

I am the first of my friends to replicate myself. Being in this coveted and feces covered position has gifted me with the high task of bestowing advice and my own carefully gathered nuggets of wisdom to said people. The most commonly posed question is; what is being a Mom like? My response is that ultimately parenting is a mix of three feelings; uncertainty, guilt and a sense of inadequacy.

Uncertainty

You have never done this before, so you are filled with questions. How often should a baby eat? Which way does the diaper go on? I’m covered in derivatives of breastmilk- obviously the other way. Am I reading to him enough? When do I start reading to him? Why isn’t my baby looking at the book? Everyone talks about this being SO HARD, is it because I’m supposed to learn Sanskrit and teach it to my infant?

Guilt

When you can’t answer the questions, you are filled with guilt. This is your little person, who has half of your genes, for whom you are the entire world. They depend entirely on you and you can’t even figure out how many books to read them a day. All you know is thirteen isn’t the answer because the one day you read over a dozen books, your baby screamed for two hours after being so thoroughly overstimulated. Also all the other Moms are learning sign language not Sanskrit. Duh. How is Sanskrit supposed to help the baby communicate earlier and develop their brain so they can get into a good university and be successful at life? Your baby is failing already because of your lack of knowledge. Also the library book you took out on Sanskrit and didn’t read is two months overdue.

A Sense of Inadequacy

All of that guilt snowballs together to create a roaring sense of inadequacy which grabs hold and shakes you awake at night, leading you to conclude that you are most definitely not up to this task. You’re not sure who is up to the feeding, changing, playing, Sanskrit Sign Language teaching task but it’s certainly not you.

The Take Home Message

So parenting is soldiering on, in that face of those three basic emotions. You hug and kiss your baby knowing full well that someone else could do a far better job. Luckily they don’t let babies pick who they go home with after their born, so your small person is stuck with you.

Cowboy Quotables: The Parenting Edition

Although parenting Mini Tex is becoming easier, and for all those who I scared with my description of nursing, allow me to assure you, that element is becoming significantly more enjoyable and comfortable. However there were still a couple of weeks where it was quite painful. While my mother was visiting, my breasts became engorged and took on a pebbled, rock like appearance and feel. I approached Tex with my arms extended, expecting him to hug me, as my mother was RIGHT THERE and said “feel my boobs, they’re like stones”. Instead of wrapping me in a hug to appreciate my rocky mammaries, Tex reaches out and honks my boobs right in front of my mother.

“Tex!” I exclaimed. “You weren’t supposed to do that; you were supposed to hug me!” Luckily my mom found the whole scene amusing and dissolved into laughter. “You asked me to feel them” he responded “Was I supposed to rub my nipples against you to determine their firmness?” He then demonstrated by rubbing his chest against mine. “Yes the test is sensitive but is it specific?”

The nursing related antics didn’t stop there, of course. Throughout the first month of Mini Tex’s life, his Dad and I would trade off having the same nightmare- that Mini Tex was in the bed and encased in blankets despite the fact that Mini Tex had never slept in the bed with us. One night my breasts were particularly large and painful to the point that I couldn’t stand to have fabric against them. Tex woke up panicked and thrashing “Mini Tex is in the bed!” he yelled throwing covers this way and that, accidently brushing one of my painful boobs in the process which were so engorged that they were the size of our son’s head. “No he isn’t” I tried to calmly assure my husband. Still flailing madly trying to find his son in a sea of covers Tex brushed one of my boobs again, “I can feel his head” Tex cried now in a full scale panic. I winced as Tex grabbed my swollen mammary and tried to extricate it from the covers. “That’s my boob” I replied, trying to stay calm as my husband slowly exited his dreamy state.

Having jumped out of the bed to confirm that Mini Tex was in fact asleep in his Moses basket next to the bed, Tex was somewhat calmer but still on edge. “Why would you have your boobs in the bed like that?” The words “because the cupboard seemed like an inconvenient place” seemed mean given how frantic my husband was, so I just apologized.

Aside from the occasional nightmare, Tex is loving parenthood; he plays with Mini Tex, singing songs and saying rhymes although my funny cowboy puts his own spin on the words. “This little piggy went to the market and this little piggy stayed home. This little piggy was very long so he was an urologist.” I find Tex’s versions of nursery rhymes almost as amusing as his thoughts on breast milk.

One night while I was cooking, Tex set the table. “What would you like to drink?” he asked. “Milk” I replied mid stir. “What kind? Human or cow?” Tex asked, then after a moment he paused, “Probably cow, I think the other would be akin to eating your toenails.”

Baby Cages

It’s Sunday. When I was small this meant one thing; baby cage. This seems like an indictment of my mother’s parenting practices but it isn’t. Growing up, all of my friends spent part of their Sundays in baby cages too.

I had better explain before the Children’s Aid Society turns up my parents’ doorstep demanding information. My parents were members of the baby boomer generation, which meant that my sister and I were a part of the after boom. In the late eighties, church was still an institution that people attended, thus the boomers and their children came in droves. Consequently the nursery of my parent’s church was overrun with babies. The walls were lined with cribs, the middle of the room was divided by a row of cribs but there were still tiny screaming people spilling out everywhere; lying on carpets, defecating on couches and spitting up into toy baskets.

The room looked like this. But multiplied forty times over. (Photo Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk)

The room looked like this. But multiplied forty times over. (Photo Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

Something had to be done. Hence someone came up with the bright idea of stacking cribs one on top of the other. This plan sounded much better than the previous suggestion which had been to stack the infants on top of one another in a weekly game of Baby Jenga.

The end effect was kind of like a book shelf with only two sections. But the piece de resistance was of course the doors. They went from the top of the compartment to the bottom and had a heavy duty lock to prevent the infants from falling out if they happened to roll against the door. The bars were spaced so that only a tiny hand would fit through. This meant that when the babies woke up, they would grip the bars and pull themselves into a sitting position then proceed to wail like tiny convicts protesting their imprisonment. The caregivers would have to remove the babies’ tiny digits from the cage bars in order to extract the children because the doors opened outwards on a hinge. However unlike prison guards they did not use batons to do this.

The middle row was of course the primo spot. (Photo Credit: drmomma.org)

The middle row was of course the primo spot. (Photo Credit: drmomma.org)

I attempted to find a photo of baby cages on the internet but this was the closest image I could get. Admittedly the only search terms I used were “vertical crib” which the Googles changed to “convertible crib” and when that didn’t turn anything up I tried “stacked cribs”. I refrained from typing “baby cage” into the Googles for fear of what it would come up with.

Eventually, when forty some odd writhing, shrieking balls of human existence no longer filled the church nursery each Sunday, the baby cages fell into disuse. By the babies that is. Toddlers like me who had spent their formative years napping in the cages frequently asked to move to the nursery so they could sit in the baby cages. For whatever reason reliving our incarcerated infancy was an exciting part of being at church. Tragically after a time, attendance in the nursery fell so low that not even the cribs that lined the walls were filled and the utility of the baby cages came into question. The doors and locks were removed and the cages were converted into storage for the Sunday school, although the baby cages will forever live on in story and memory.

The South Americans Were Going To Have To Bunk In The Bathroom

Bad news. My Dad put the kibosh on “The Great Unwashed Anniversary” party. Sometime around when I asked him if the spare guest room could fit all my Armenian readers for the week, he shut the whole idea down. Also there’s a new rule at my parent’s house now; my Dad must be consulted before I invite the internet for a party at his home.

cakes

I called to cancel my order at the bakery. It was just as well, they were having difficulty with my instructions “Make it look Unwashed”. (Photo credit: bunchofpants)

Sorry to cancel on everyone. I know all my international readers had flights booked and were looking forward to tasting our country’s sweet, sweet maple syrup over pancakes the morning after the fete.

In place of a giant bash celebrating a year of writing, I’ve decided to put up the top five posts from the year, each day counting down to the anniversary. After that I’ll start a new Unwashed year with five days of new content.

I realize that informing everyone before I started this process, rather than midway through would have been ideal however occasionally life is not idyllic. Like this morning when I let the neighbour’s dog into my parent’s house and allowed it to create a muddy paw print trail through every room on their beige carpet.

Without further adieu, the third of five greatest Great Unwashed posts.

Mid-Day Stabbings

My fear of needles is making me pungent and gooey. I have a long standing history of trypanophobia- I even have a scar from it. When I was five, I was involved in a horrible playground accident that left both my mother and I covered in blood. While crawling across a set of monkey bars my elbows buckled and my teeth went through my lower lip. Then my face bled like I was dying in the way that facial wounds do. Unless of course you’ve cut a dead person in which case your biggest problem is your choice of hobbies rather than the amount of blood coming from the wound. I digress. So my mother rushed me to our family doctor who declared that I would need two stitches or it would scar.

At that point in my life the only way I would endure a needle was to have my mother lay across my legs and pin my arms to my sides to prevent the kindly medical professional from battling my five year old self mixed martial arts style while administering a vaccination.

“I don’t think I can hold her down for that long.” My mother replied. Hence it was decided that my mother liked our doctor too much to have her attempt to sew my face back together. So my mother and I went home. I have the scar to prove it.

Further cropped version of Image:Chuck Norris ...

It doesn’t matter how widely you smile now Chuck, you’re still getting those stitches.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother then started working out and developed biceps the size of my headso that the next time either my sister or I fell off playground equipment she could pin both me and Chuck Norris down to receive stitches. My Mom’s very committed to being a good parent. Or at least that’s what I tell people when they ask why my mother is lifting the neighbour’s sedan by herself.

Back to the malodorous, sticky present. Last week I had my yearly physical and because my doctor is colluding with the devil, I was sent to get blood work done. This is the only possible conclusion one can come to after being sent for bloodwork, it is never that one has an excellent GP who is concerned about anemia and blood iron levels.

This would have been fine had my doctor not recently moved offices. Previously when sent for blood work, I would have both time and space to prepare myself appropriately. First I would purchase an orange juice to ensure that I wouldn’t become “The Floor Unwashed”. Next I would drink the juice in the elevator while doing muscle poses in the mirror to pretend that I was brave and look for resemblances to my mother. For whatever reason no passengers ever joined me in this exercise, even though oftentimes they were also headed to the lab.

Lastly I would wait awkwardly outside the lab door for a small child to go in ahead of me. This was the most important step of all. No matter how terrified I was of needles, it was vital for me not to be out-couraged by a child. A favourite diversionary activity of mine is to make up words while being stabbed by total strangers.  While watching a three year old next to me stoically receive their MMR vaccine I would then pretend to be equally brave while a phlebotomist took vial after vial of my blood.

That was before the medical practice moved buildings. “The lab is just across the waiting room now!” my doctor cheerfully exclaimed while steering me out the door of her office and handing off lab request forms. As she waved to my back I trudged across the waiting area and into a tiny room.

“Where do I take a number?” I asked the woman there.

“No numbers or waiting, you just sit right down.” She patted the seat next to her. On the other side of the lab tech’s chair were a series of packaged, pointy instruments and vials.

“But. Um. I?” There was no time for juice, I hadn’t even gotten a cursory bicep curl in. And worst of all, there wasn’t another soul around as she closed the door to the room, let alone a small person who I ought to be a good model for.

It was terrifying. It was painful. I may have almost passed out. Twice. But the phlebotomist kept going.

And now I have a band-aid on my crook of my elbow that I can’t take off. Having watched the woman enthusiastically descend upon my arm I can’t help but think that if I remove the bandage, the phlebotomist will somehow know my arm is free for poking again and appear on my doorstep sharps in hand.

To avoid this problem of freeing up the desired fleshy real estate I have worn long sleeved shirts all week. However three days ago the band aid looked like it was close to falling off, having lost all of its glue, which was smeared around my elbow in a grey sticky mess. In order not to agitate it further I decided not to change shirts again. However after the heat of three September afternoons, I must admit I’m becoming a little ripe. It’s not my fault though- blasted trypanophobia.

I really should start eating more red meat. I don’t think I can do this again next year.

Illicit Sugar and Job Confusion

Once upon a time, when I thought glitter glue was a necessary addition to all objects, my father worked for a company that made chocolate bars. Technically he was a marketing manager, but at seven years of age his job title was irrelevant.

Black Chocolate in Japan

The cupboard contents of my childhood home. (Photo credit: gullevek)

The more important part to my young mind and mouth was that this job resulted in every cupboard in our house being stocked with some type of delicious treat. Everyday my father was sent home with an edible good to sample and create a detailed description about. A man can only consume so much sugar before he begins to stash it with the coffee mugs, next to canned corn and behind the stand up mixer. As far as I was concerned this was the next best thing to being fathered by Santa Claus himself.

Life was not all rainbows and unicorns in my childhood home. Although we were surrounded by chocolate, my sister and I could not technically eat all of the chocolate. We had to ask permission. Nearly always the answer was “No”. However we discovered a loophole in the parental framework; what my parents did not know about, we could secretly consume.

Diana and I later parlayed this rule into the consumption of my parent’s old alcohol. As a teenager my sister spent an inordinate amount of time searching for dusty bottles of booze in our basement to decant into inconspicuous containers. Our crime was discovered eight years later when the house was being renovated and my mother was puzzled by a box of twenty cobweb covered bottles of hootch, each with only a couple of milliliters left. God bless my near teetotaling parents’ drinking habits.

I digress. In Canada the legal age that one may stay at home alone is ten. This was an excellent year for me as I discovered a fifteen pound box of abandoned chocolate chips next to a stack of two year old flyers advertising a new candy bar. I ate nearly a third of my bootleg bounty before sharing the news with my sister.

When I was twelve, my father changed jobs and began working for a tea company. Supposedly it was a better position but from my preadolescent point of view it was a step down. In my mind our family was probably one job change away from the poor house.

In high school, my father changed careers again, no longer was he concerned with the colour of tea or chocolate packaging however I never quite figured out what he did. To this day if asked I will answer “Um…..? He’s a banker? He works for a bank? He talks to a lot of people. Stocks?”

My dad has repeatedly attempted to explain his role but he always includes unnecessary technical details which confuse the issue. Once, Phillip my sister’s giant boy friend explained what he did, and everything made sense. Unfortunately then my father tried to elaborate on the topic and my understanding was lost.

Here’s what I know

  1. My father goes to work everyday
  2. He wears a suit
  3. He talks to a lot of people.

Based on this I like to assume that what he does is very important but it’s entirely possible that he could be a well dressed ice cream man.

My father's office. (Photo Credit: www.dreammakericecreamcarts.com)

My father’s office. (Photo Credit: http://www.dreammakericecreamcarts.com)

Giant Butt Bruises

As a fledgling writer it can be difficult to accurately capture the nuance and depth of relationships. My mother has complained bitterly for the past six months that I only write funny things about her whereas the stories I tell about my father are heartfelt tributes.

Thus I took the morning to sweat over a warm, loving post which accurately described the gratitude I felt for my mother. It was hard. That post took significantly longer than most of my other works but at the end I was proud; I had created something authentic and very personal. I was excited to not only share it with my Mom but with others in my writing community.

As with any post that contains someone aside from Roscoe and me, I always obtain permission before putting it up for the internet to read. Despite months of statements and whining to the contrary when my mother heard the post she said “It’s wonderful but you can’t put it on The Great Unwashed.”

Apparently as much as my Mom wanted something heartfelt and lovely written about her she doesn’t want others to see it. So instead I’m going to tell a story about when she fell into bushes and bruised her backside.

Once upon a time when rollerblading was all the rage and frizzy hair was trendy; my family went to Disney World. Diana and I were very fortunate because we had both our maternal grandparents and our uncle with us. This meant that my mother and father had lots of time  to enjoy themselves while my Gran and Granddad took Diana and I on the magic teacups until my grandfather felt like he was going to puke. My father spent this extra time wandering around EPCOT like a normal person. By contrast, my mother chose instead to strap on her rollerblades which she had lugged all the way from Canada to go for a skate around our resort.

This was the early nineties so rollerblading was new and sexy. All the celebrities were doing it, in our home alone there were three “Rollerblade to the Oldies” VHS tapes. However it was still a new sport, especially to our family. Not surprisingly my mother had not yet mastered the finer points of the activity, like braking. Which was fine along most parts of the resort path where there were helpful ferns and innocent tourists to grab a hold of to slow oneself but then my mother got to a hill, specifically a downhill. Picking up speed as she raced along the incline, my young mother started to lose control of her rollerblades. This was how she fell butt first into the Disney landscaping.

Now this story is mortifying enough as is but it gets worse. My Mom spent the rest of the trip showing off the effects of her fall to anyone who would look at her purple and navy blue butt. The bruises were absolutely giant, covering most of her bum and upper thighs, they were the size of a two year old.

NOT my mother. Although she insisted on showing her bruises to anyone with a pair of eyes, my Mom refused to create photographic evidence thus I have no authentic depictions to share. (Photo Credit : slanchreport.com)

NOT my mother. Although she insisted on showing her bruises to anyone with a pair of eyes, my Mom refused to create photographic evidence thus I have no authentic depictions to share. (Photo Credit : slanchreport.com)

I hope everyone enjoyed that story, I had wanted to tell you about what a special person my mother is and the type of mother she is but my Mom didn’t want that. So instead you got giant butt bruises. I love you Mom, you’re welcome.