Tag Archives: motherhood

A Discussion With 35


ImageI turn 35 this weekend. I’m feeling uncomfortable with that. So I decided to have a sit down with 35 and talk it out. Yes, it’s odd, talking to an age. But, you know, it’s a humor blog, we can do that here.

Excerpts:

Me: So, 35, it’s nice to meet you. Well, sort of.

35: You too, sort of. By the way, interesting move choosing yourself to be the one in BOLD. We can analyze that later.

Looking forward to it. I’m hoping you can give me some insight into why I feel so uncomfortable with you. You’re not that old. Still, I think of myself as being much younger than you. Even though I am at this very moment using a heating pad. What’s up with how awkward I am with you?

You should really consider starting these interviews with something less insulting. But you are way ahead of the curve. Most people don’t freak out until they hit 40.

See, that’s part of the problem. I like to be impressive. 35 is not impressive. No offense. Anything I achieve in my career now won’t come off as “wow, that YOUNG woman did that.” It’s going to be, “yeah that lady over there—hey someone brought in cookies!”

What?

Or if I change careers, I’ll be that brave middle-aged woman who redefined her priorities. Ugh.

Do you have any idea how lame you sound?

Yes.

Besides, you became old at 29, when you had that kid of yours.

I am something of a prudish party pooper. But this year, all of a sudden, systems started failing. I mean, I hurt both my knees when I decided to try pilates. Not DOING pilates, just when I decided to try. What’s that about?

Not so long ago, a person your age would be pretty close to having grandkids. In a more basic human environment you’d probably be fairly near death.

Thank you, that helps a lot. You’re just like everyone else I know. Nobody has any sympathy for me. I’m now technically old enough to be president of the United States — I can’t even get the cats off the kitchen counter! I’m a failure.

Have you considered therapy?

For my failure?

For your INSANITY.

Does that happen when you get old?

Never mind. Are you using wrinkle cream?

Hey, I’m asking questions! I’m in a whole other marketing segment now. No more 25-34. There are people in their 40s in my demographic. What on earth do I have in common with them?

You arrrrrrre married to someone in his 40s.

…True. And 25-year-olds are typically baffling to me. All ramen-eating and bar-hopping.

And weirded out when you call them ‘honey’ and mean it in a maternal way.

Shut up. Maggie Gyllenhaal was born the same year as me. She’s awesome!

So was Brittany Murphy. She’s dead.

You know what, I think I’m just past all this. I’m beyond caring about my birthday.

Really? ‘Cause it seems like you care.

What should one be reading at 35? Because right now I’m reading Jane Eyre for the first time, along with 50 Shades of Grey and a manual about being a trustee for a nonprofit. And I’m preferring Jane and the trustees to Mr. Grey. Is that because of my advancing years?

That doesn’t doesn’t reflect your age. It reflects your general weirdness. At least you’re not reading parenting books anymore. Gave up on that, eh?

What, she’s 5, I got her through the “most important developmental years.” …I’m of “advanced maternal age” now, you know.

[laughs] Were you actually considering getting your insane, droopy self pregnant again?

No! I’m just saying–you know what, you are old and sarcastic and I don’t think I like you.

You’re just tired. Because of your old age.

I’m not old! I think I’m young! 25, to be exact.

Love 25. She’s hot.

I’m not supposed to get old like other people, that’s why this is so frustrating.

Ah, it’s becoming more difficult to feel superior to others. I see.

That is not what I said. … Yes.

You realize everyone who reads this is going to be pissed off, right? You’re younger than most of your mom friends–

–who are all skinnier than me–

–If any of them still read this dusty old page.

You know what, we’re done here, 35. Put in a good word for me with 40.


For St. Patty’s, Let’s Make the Kindergartners Cry!


I get too involved. It’s a fact. In the midst of everything but the kitchen sink coming at me personally and at work, I decided I should plan Sally’s kindergarten class St. Patrick’s Day activity. This was a busy week for their class, too, so I kept it simple–for them. I, however, spent three hours creating the perfect leprechaun shenanigan!

Which brings us to 1:30 p.m. in a room filled with shorty chairs. First, I very craftily showed the kids my decoy cupcake:

decoy plain cupcake

Don’t those look boring? Exactly! But I played them up: “Oh Thanks GOODNESS, the cupcakes are okay. I was checking on them ALL DAY hoping the leprechauns wouldn’t play any tricks on me. Let’s read a story and then we’ll eat.”

The kids sit in their spots on the rug, and I take the stool in the center, which I highly recommend if you ever need a power trip. Sally, as practiced, tells everyone the title of the book: Clever Tom and the Leprechaun. (It should be pointed out that I paid $23 for a used copy of this out-of-print floppy little book because it’s supposed to be the greatest leprechaun tale of all time or something. It IS cute. It also basically ruined my day.)

My first clue was the child who whimpered, “But I don’t like leper-cons.” I patted his head (Figuratively. I don’t know where those kids have been.) and assured him this story was not at all scary. I read the book, complete with terrible Irish accent that the teacher kindly pretended not to notice. Then it was time for our boring old cupcakes.

But wait! Did anyone see a Leper or a Con come in here while we were reading? Because . . . our cupcakes have turned . . . RAINBOW! I am the BEST MOM EVER! Let the elation commence!

awesome rainbow cupcakesEleven children appear amused if not ecstatic, and begin crafting their leprechaun sneakiness theories.

And two. Two burst into tears. It seems leprechauns are terrifying creatures who might destroy all of humanity with their hanky panky.  So I declare the obvious: “No, no, you don’t need to be worried, it’s FUN! THE LEPRECHAUNS TURNED OUR CUPCAKES RAINBOW FOR PETE’S SAKE!”

The Two set off several more who decide they, too, are scared. But these kids are quick to accept sugary treats that have clearly been tampered with by someone with questionable ethics. They calm down and eat. The Two, however, are still crying. I pat them on the backs (literally this time, risking lice) and reassure them that the cupcakes are harmless. When they cry harder, I give up. Empathy is not my thing. Besides, now I’m worried their parents are going to egg my house for introducing their kids to some heathen character. Maybe I’ve really done something wrong! At our house the leprechauns attack with vengeance every year, turning the milk green, messing stuff up. It never occurred to me this might be scary. Oh wait — because IT’S NOT. What is wrong with these kids?

Deflated, I cleaned up rainbow crumbs and took Sally home. “Hey Mommy, you know B, who was crying? His dad is a minister!”

Awh, crap.

What Not To Do: A back-to-school list


As the first week of kindergarten came to a close, I realized it was not just Sally learning valuable lessons from school. I, too, was being educated–mostly on how to live with a fire-breathing dragon. To help other parents who may be facing the overtired, extra-exhausted, ‘I’m adjusting to a whole new school year and cannot deal with anything else in this god-forsaken world’ child, I am providing a list of things to avoid during your sponge-brained angel’s first weeks of school:

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES:
*Ask what she did at school today.
If you do… sobbing, claiming to not remember, declaring you must not love her anymore. Oh, also, they did circle time.

*Feed her anything but mac and cheese.
If you do… sobbing, declaring you do not love her and that she will never eat anything again, and she’ll move out and get her own apartment and eat mac and cheese every day. Oh you’re making tacos? Okay.

*Explain, define, or suggest anything, even if she asks.
If you do… You will be wrong.

*Wake her up. This often happens in the morning hours because she must return to school.
If you do… Sobbing, claiming school is an awful hell hole that is only slightly better than San Quentin Prison and why can’t you quit your job and stay home with her, don’t you LOVE her?! [Note: Later today you will go to school and find her skipping rope with her new friend and she’ll tell you they made play-doh with sparkles in it! Totally like prison.]

*Suggest she sleep. You know, because all the sobbing just maybe indicates she’s tired.
If you do… sobbing, declaring she’s not tired and maybe she could sleep if you’d fed her mac and cheese but HOW can she sleep at a time like this. Just read a fourth book tonight and then maybe she’ll be able to sleep. Now you’ve upset her so you’ll need to sleep with her, because that’s super comfortable, and it would be best if she could wrap her arms around your neck so that you can only breath at about half your lung capacity.

*Stop pushing her on the swing. Even though she can swing herself.
If you do… Sobbing, loudly whining that she can’t do it, it’s impossible, just push her higher. HIGHER. HIGHER!!!!

*Say that we need to leave the park because her behavior is ridiculous.
If you do… Actually I have no idea what happens, I was too afraid to find out.

What I Did This Summer


Now that schools are starting, I’d like to give you the report every fifth grader must present: What I Did This Summer.

Sally had her first ballet performance: I was terrified she’d never get on stage. Or that she’d get on stage and then lose her breakfast all over it. Or that they’d lose her backstage in a pile of tutus. Or that somehow I’d end up needing to run up there in front of 500 parents. Instead, the only thing I didn’t prepare for happened. She was perfect and I cried a gallon of happy tears, starting the moment she came on stage. It was the most moving performance I’ve ever seen. I’m that mom.

I bought three cute pieces of wall art for my kitchen: They look like country fruit-stand signs. And I got them on quadruple clearance, which made me feel like the bargain hunter of the century even though I came across them by accident. Then they arrived and I held them up to the wall. They blended in like oatmeal does when it gets splattered on the kitchen wall. (I know. That has happened.) So I boldly announced that I would be painting the kitchen. The Mr. was not fond of the idea that my $8 wall plaques were going to now cost $50 in paint and several days of my time. He declared he would not be participating in this fiasco. That was fine. I painted the kitchen yellow! Now the wall art looked great! Oooh, but the light switch and outlet covers looked terrible. So we replaced those. [Insert cha-ching of cash register.] Yay—ooh, look how bad the cabinets look. Wow. This fall I’ll be painting those.

I got a sewing machine: This means you can expect many more craptastic crafts from me. My first project was a tea towel that went tragically wrong and became a weekend bag for Barbie. That’s the kind of thing that happens around here.

Sally finished preschool: This involved 38 end-of-year parties. I am sick of end-of-year parties. However, I am incredibly grateful that our school does not have a preschool graduation. I’m sure if they did, I’d be bawling proudly at that, too, but since they don’t, I can be a jerk and say “What is with the toddler-sized caps and gowns? Are you savoring the moment because you’re worried he might not graduate from junior high?” I don’t get it.

Our microwave pooped out: So for two weeks while we awaited our new one, we had no microwave. That went surprisingly okay. Then the new one arrived. It goes over the stove (ooh, la la). And Mr. Embee would be installing that. . . . which is TOTALLY FINE with me. Yep. So that took about a week because naturally no home the Embee family lives in has anything STANDARD about it. After sawing and drilling and essentially remodeling the kitchen, the microwave was installed! We are all very proud of Mr. Embee. And the microwave works perfectly. Unless you run it longer than a minute. Then it blows a circuit and everything in the kitchen goes out.

I kinda took a break from blogging: Yeeeah, sorry about that. Even blabbermouths like me get writers’ block sometimes.

Weinergate: Preschool Edition


As far as I know, there have been no pictures of teensy private parts Tweeted from Sally’s preschool bathroom. However, the bathroom is coed (sooooo Bay Area Elitist, I know) and we have our own little Weinergate issues going on in our household.

Sally has, on multiple occasions, chit-chatted with me about how boys go to the bathroom. They do it STANDING UP. Mind-blowing, right? I don’t think I knew that until college. But recently, Sally moved past simply marveling. She’d caught penis envy and wanted full equality:

Sally: “I’m gonna try it.” [Standing up, turning toward toilet]

Me: “What? WHAT, NO! Sit DOWN. Look, girls can do everything boys can do–and you and I know we usually do it better–but we cannot pee standing up. I’m sorry, our bodies are just different.”

Sally: “. . . . No I’m pretty sure I can do it.” [Stands up again] “Look, they go like this [pinches two fingers together like she’s saying ‘a-okay’ to her crotch] and then they pee! It’s SOOOO much better than sitting down.”

Me: “You can’t. It’ll go everywhere. Do you know how boys’ bodies are different than girls?”

Sally: “YES. They have a . . . um, it’s a penis?”

Me: “Yes.”

Sally: “And girls have . . . is it called a Velvet?”

Me: [You know, “Velvet” sounds kind of nice, actually. Better than “Down There” or when I make shooing motions while telling her to wash herself up in the bath. But I go through the parts, scientifically. Again. Damn child-rearing duties.]

Sally: “And when you are a grown up your baby comes out of THAT. Right. And we can’t pee standing up.” [plops down on stairs, resigned.] “I wish I had a penis.”

Me: “Me too sometimes.”

Mommy Terror Alerts


Image: Office of Homeland Security

This has been a busy and stressful month, and I figured rather than continue to blindly subject my loved ones to my (seemingly random) rages, I should help millions of families and develop a Mommy Terror Alert System. It’s for your own protection.

Terror Alert Threat Level 1: Mommy gets very fidgety. Foot tapping, inability to sit still (well, if she were ever allowed to sit still), etc. Mommy makes lists in this phase. Long, impossible-to-accomplish lists.

Level 2: Mommy eats. Constantly. She is actually unable to stop herself. It may be salty, it may be sweet, but if she is seen shoveling snacks into her pie hole, keep your distance.

Level 3: Mommy stops eating. While less obvious, she is far more dangerous than overeating Mommy.

Level 4: Mommy frets over world peace and missing socks simultaneously. This may also be referred to as “intense overreaction.” May manifest as Mommy stomping through the house ranting about how nobody in this place helps her clean — and before you know it she is losing her mind over how you’re going to pay for college since obviously she’s going to have to quit her job to stay home and pick up everyone’s stupid JUNK AND OH BY THE WAY I GUESS I’LL BE A SHORT-ORDER COOK WHILE I’M AT IT! THERE ARE STARVING CHILDREN, YOU KNOW! This stage is extremely dangerous, as one wrong look from a loved one can push her over into…

Level 5: Crying. While insisting everything is fine.

Use Caution: While Mommy may progress through the stages in an orderly fashion, in times of extreme crisis–like a child refusing to sleep after Mommy has just done five back-to-back loads of laundry and has two hours of work to get done and there’s no bread for sandwiches tomorrow–she may skip levels.

What you can do: Uh, how about don’t piss her off. But if you must piss her off, you can help lower the terror alert level by A) Agreeing with her no matter what she says, and B) cleaning. Seriously, people, make your beds and mommy might just avoid a mental breakdown for one more day.

We Should Bring Sally’s Music to the World


Remember when they had those CD commercials on TV where you could buy the Greatest Hits from the ’80s, or ’70s, or punk, or funk, or whatever? Sally’s songwriting has been so prolific over the past four years, I think we could put out her own record. Buy it now and you can enjoy The Best of Sally over and over! Hits including…

One Hundred

Seven

My Carrots are Growing [Sun, Water and Love]

Books

You Can Do It

Oh Yeah

The Mac and Cheese Song

The Theme to: A Prince and Princess Get Married

I Am Gonna Win

Teddy Bear

The Party is Starting

Bubbles are Great

I’m the Dragon King

I’m the Dragon King (reprise): I’m Still a Hula Dancer But I Have a Sword

Today is a Great Day to Touch Your Toes