Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Droppin' a Deuce

Julian is getting bigger, and quite independent. Now he has arrived at the point where he no longer needs me to help him with, getting candy from the tallest shelf in the kitchen, or to pre chew his food. His capabilities grow everyday.
Now Jules is compelled to go the the loo on his own. I’d imagine his voice is reminiscent of the angels song when he softly screams, “get out I gotta poop!” Heavenly. I almost began to miss the sessions when he first started with the potty emancipation. Sitting with him face to face, my smiling face watching him strain; his Yoda to my Luke Skywalker. The gentle reminders to breathe as his flexed face goes purple with beads of sweat and determination rolling off his chin.

No, that little poo face is gone. I’m not privileged enough to help wipe his toucas. He’s a man now and that’s all there is to it. I’m not complaining though, as I’m not really missing much. And the verbal skill of three year olds can be rather entertaining.
Now, the public bathroom trips are more like sports center.

Yesterday, we made the routine monthly trip to Wal of thy Marts. A dreadful place, but seeing as they don’t have food at Bloomingdales, I’m pinned (they still have Bloomingdale’s, right? ) between a wall and a mart- or was that a rock and a dumb place?

Jules, Yaya and I successfully made it to the restroom in time. Unfortunately, I didnt’ make it to Julian’s stall until it was too late. He engaged the lock. But we worked through it.
Jules: Mom, don’t worry, I’m going peepee inuminnit (in a minute).
Me: Okay sweetie, you do your thing.
Jules: I’m taking my pants down. Now, I’m pulling my underwear down.
Me: okay, be careful.
Jules: I’m getting on the- cold seat! cold seat! Eeew.
Me: You okay?
Jules: Uhhuh. Now I’m going pee.
Me: great job, fella.
Jules: And now, I”m ....p..poo....dropping a deuce.

I might lament my choice of vocabulary, but the kind of word usage this one has is priceless. His play by play of the events behind the stall door would entertain the masses, I thought to myself. Others didn’t think it was that adorable.

A woman walked into the restroom with a confused look on her face. There was a child singing a “poopy”song (Jules often sings in the bathroom) and a woman peeking through the stall ( I was trying to coach the effort). It’s understandable that she should be a concerned. I smiled politely and explained “I’ve got a big boy going to the bathroom!” The woman looked nervous and fled to an adjacent stall.

Realizing that Jules was experiencing a new found emancipation, I stopped hovering next to the door and waited. “You done, sport?”

The next words terrified me.

“It’s so messy!”
I’m not one to beg, but after those three disturbing words I stuck my nose into the crack of the stall and began. “Okay, it’s time you let me in.”
“I got it mom.” Came the man-child’s voice.
“Please, please, please?” I pressed.
“Go away!” He persisted.
“You want to get a treat?”

I am not opposed to bribery under certain circumstances.

As the cleaning (and we will just leave it at that- you’re welcome) ended, I came to the conclusion that children should not be left to their own devices until they are 18 as to avoid such catastrophes such as this one.

It’s not that I want to hover or stifle my children’s independence, I would just like to maintain a bit of cleanliness whilst in public. And someday, he’s going to be able to make the trip to the loo solo. I know. In five years. But they journey that children take from suckling to standing alone is not theirs alone. It’s a journey for their parents as well. We have to give more and more each day to our children as far as space and allowance. And it’s just as hard for us as it is for them. I’m a proud mama. I’m just not sure I’m ready to be a proud parent of an emancipated three year old.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Crappy Gift Survival Tips: With Video!

It’s that time again, folks! Are you ready? That glorious time in the year when people wake up at three o’clock in the morning so that they can save a little cash on gifts! For you! And not just any gifts, gifts given with love and joy and peace in this season of giving. Aunt Gladys hands you the gift for you- the first one she wrapped her sausage-like appendages around while fighting better trained soccer moms in the Macy’s aisle. He eye still droops from the elbow she took to defend your present from the covetous grasp of said soccer tramp. With gracious hands, you take the gift. For a little bit of show, you shake the box. She chuckles (but then again, she always chuckles) and leans in to watch you unwrap your joy and peace in a box.
You tear the paper. She holds her breath. You unfold the tissue paper.

Right now is when you need to have a reaction. Poor Aunt Gladys is still holding her breath, not for the opening of the gift, but for the reaction. Do it now. She’s getting blue. In the few seconds it takes to register what you need to do, a few different thoughts might pass through your brain. For example:

*What the hell am I going to do with a purple fish toilet seat cover?
*Who the hell thought is was acceptable to not only purchase, but proliferate the passing on of useless crap like this? Which one of my friends can I pass this crap onto tomorrow?
*Is Aunt Gladys still looking?

Here is the critical point in your evening. If you don’t speak or react soon, 9-1-1 will have to be called for poor old Aunt Gladys, ending the night feeling even more guilty. Reaction time is everything when dealt a lousy gift.

If it’s taken you too long you just slump your shoulders, cock your head to one side and say, “awww, you are just too much, thank you! I love it!” feigning awe in the blessings bestowed.

A quicker reaction might have you jumping up and saying, “Oh, my goodness! This is perfect for the office!” Affection for the giver usually usurps the overwhelming desire to ask for the receipt right there, and tact is your best ally when it comes to false niceties.

I’d suggest getting that face ready for disappointment right now. You might want to take a few “silent scream, tiny face” to adjust the muscles ahead of time.

Or, you could just laugh your face supple watching this.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

When Murder Hits Home: UWF Manhunt

When I heard the sirens in early July, I didn't think much of it. Just some trouble makers out on another steamy night in Northwest Florida. The next day, I read in the papers there was a double homicide three miles from my house. The Billings murders gave me a glimpse of the cruel mortality brought on good people for money. I couldn't believe it. There were two weeks in the summer where there were a total of two consistent headlines: Michael Jackson's death and the Billings murders in Beulah, a small community on the Flora-Bama border where I live. News vans scooted about the streets looking for a willing interviewee, suckling on the southern charm of the area.

After a few weeks had passed, the trickle of the media frenzy dissipated and our lives began to move on far from the media's eye. I did not take the murders to heart too much, I'm sorry to say. The Billings lived in a more affluent area and our social circles never crossed.

Today our little area was hit once again with fear. After deciding not to stay after class in the library, I left the UWF campus just north of Pensacola only to receive a text message from the school while en route home:Bruce Day- at large "Police are pursuing a murder suspect in woods near campus: W/M 42yo DK GRN shirt jeans5-8 160. If seen call 9-1-1.

Unfortunately, this news wasn't all too shocking. Being on a border town, convicts cross the state lines to Alabama and we have experienced escape prisoner alerts four times in the last year. My daughter is well aware of proper procedure on what to do should a lock down at school occur; she has been through two.

About an hour later, I received a second text message from the school: "Suspect seen in woods on campus property. Stay inside buildings, lock doors. Night classes are canceled. "

Then came the solemn hush. I started getting messages from friends saying they were off campus and all right. Even though my close friends were all right, it was unsettling going into stores. I heard a young man talking to a friend on his phone, "Please pray for her, yeah. She's in the library and being moved into an internal room and locked in with the rest of the kids. I can't even a text from her."

A mother in Blockbuster wanted to know if I had anymore information because her son was stuck in a building as well. I told her what I could, wishing I knew more.

At 5:21 the last message was issued: "Lock down is lifted. Campus community is free to leave. Classes canceled tonight." They have yet to apprehend the suspect, but are allowing commuting students and teachers to leave, keeping those who live in campus housing to remain on lock down for the time being.

Alerts like these make me wonder about safety, real safety. I have to admit, I'm going to be double checking the locks on my doors. This is coming all too close to home.

And yet I feel lucky. If this is all of the problems we are facing, it's not that bad. Situations like these give me a better perspective on the atrocities that are going on around the world in places where people truly feel the anxiety of mortality everyday. It provides an empathy for others in harder situations and places where murderers don't hide in the woods on a college campus, but walk around daily slinging weapons over their arms, ready to kill at the mere glimmer of a threat. In that respect we are fortunate. Even though these situations have occurred recently, it is rare and will hopefully become less frequent. I only hope the police get him off of my campus safely, and soon.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mental Tchotchkes: The Malaprop of the Day

I'm adding a new page! My mother and father have both flipped me enough shit about my improper word usage to finally do something about it. So in their honor, I have started a new addition to the riotmama family. Please feel free to bash my words, use my words (both in print and conversation) but know that unless you have the time to offer an explanation folks will think you are either esoteric, or just plain nuts.
So without further adieu; The Malaprop of the Day.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Oh GOD! (faking it at preschool) Part 1

Recently Jules has been a victim of poor judgment, my own proclivities towards atheism and plain old desperation. The morning after we arrived home from our trip up to Washington state, I was struck down by epiphany: I have got to graduate college. I felt a great sense of determination welling up inside. The only problem was that the fall semester was starting in less than a week and a half.
No problem. I had already been accepted and financial aid was all lined up. But over the last few years, college seemed to be , as Langston Hughes said, "the dream deferred" for so long I had dismissed the idea due to small obstacles for yet another semester. But that morning, I thought,"To hell obstacles, I'm going to do it!"
Daily trips were made to the campus, but not before making brief stops to random daycares en route. Quite a few were filthy, some were just too big and the kids seemed like zombies. By the time First day came around, I was strapped for time and needed a place stat. Finally I fell on a little school and it seemed to be right.It wasn't religious and had a big playground. I thought it would work perfectly. Oh how I was wrong.
The first week went fine, no problems were to be had. I was in school, the kids were in school, everything was great! On Friday, the owner of the school came up to me and said that Julian had poked a kid when in line for recess but didn't think it would be a problem. I didn't think much of it and we talked a bit that night.
"Mom, I don't like my teacher. Can you kill her?" Jules said casually.
Walter tango foxtrot?
"Honey, we don't kill people! We love people and are nice to them always. What's going on?" I asked.
"Oh nothing." He said. I really didn't know what to think of his little remark. Panic wasn't the answer. Maybe turning off Family Guy when he walks in might help. More sleep, better food and less sugar were all options I considered.
When Monday rolled around, I went to drop him off like usual. But instead of him grudgingly letting go, he screamed and cried when I left. His teacher said it was "just a show for mama" and not to worry about it. Less that ten minutes later, I received a call from the owner. "Rose, you need to come pick your child up. He is kicking and screaming and being completely non responsive. I don't know what to do."
Needless to say, I made a 180 and went to pick him up. When I got to the school he was still crying and the teacher told me that my little angel had hit her and scratched her. I couldn't believe it! They told me that I needed to take him home and punish him and if he changed his attitude, he could come back for the remainder of the day. From what they had told me, Jules was unruly and completely evil and needed a better home structure. I wanted to grab the owner by her jowls and send her flying through the door. But I was desperate. So I took my beastly little angel home to work it out. We talked-well I talked. He was wild and not listening to a word I was saying. He was angry. He was kicking. He was not my child.
Finally I calmed him down and took him back to the school just in time to catch my class. His teacher didn't like him already and wouldn't allow him into her class until he apologized and told her how wrong he was. I swallowed hard and took it. Oh Jules, I though, what's wrong with you?
I went to my class, within the depths of a building in no cell phone land. 75 minutes later, I checked my phone to see that I had received three phone calls from the owner of the school. "Rose, we can't have your son here, he is unruly and violent."
Arriving at the school, I found Jules in a storage room screaming and crying. I held him, feeling so sorry for his little psyche. I held his little weak body in my arms while I talked to the owner and her eventually went to sleep. "Your son is unresponsive and a liability in our classrooms. He hit me! He scratched! He hissed!I think that this is a direct product of a dysfunctional home life. He scratched me! Like this!" The owner, with a six month old baby tucked under one arm reached out and began to hiss and scratch me.I was mortified by this attack. Her arm skin jiggled with each vicious swipe. This is one messed up old broad, I thought. Not that it was really hurting, but holy shit! I was being scratched by a lady with an infant in her arms! Seeing this side of this woman made my wonder if her own children had ever been on Jerry Springer.
Did I have a bad home? Was I going to tell and corrupting my children? I called my husband in hysterics (I'm not too proud to tell the truth) telling him the horrible ordeal and I didn't know what the hell to do. I had to figure out what was going on, find a different daycare or a shrink for my little manimal. The little obstacles that prevented me from getting into college before were nothing like this.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A dirty mind is wasted on the youth. (or Caveat Emptor)

*****Warning! The views in this blog may be anti-religious! Pro-choice! Pro-gay marriage! Leftist! Sexual in nature! Making drug references! Buckets of swear words!*****

- Okay, there isn't very much of that going on today, but I would like to make it perfectly clear that if you are a child, you need to go tell your parents that you are doing something you shouldn't. Go to your room. Read no further. -

Today was a joyous occasion.The sheets were scratchier, the coffee burned a little more, the jeans were tighter, the cycles came quicker, and the inevitable first cold of the season hit my sinuses like a Mack truck. And this was all before 5:30 am. I managed to screw up a quiz about a book I have read four times over the last two weeks. I missed the gym and then canceled the shrink appt. till after payday. I wanted my mommy. There was a lyrical thought dancing through my head how this water bottle, made out of aluminum and plastic, was the symbol of my mother and every time I took a sip from it I was receiving a big hug.I took my water bottle and turned on the computer. I nuzzled up to my social teat,to nurse upon some mental sustenance; I love my virtual cocoon. Then it happened.

Okay. Allow me, if you will have it so, to set the stage for the fertilizer that is this stink cabbage:

A friend of mine had wondered what I had done in the past ten or so years. I must admit she was making me feel like Jesus or something; having a great childhood, only to disappear until I was- umm, near thirty. So I gave her a brief fill in, that went a little something like this,
"went to college for performing arts. Took time off and did some drugs. Took Some time off that to make a baby (though I doubt a comeback tour is in the near future, the drugs I mean).Went back to school for pre-med. I gagged a lot. Went to architecture school. Took time off to move to Alaska and make a mountain man (somewhere in there, I got married). Now I'm an English student. The end.

It was a truthful observation of what my history had been. Now, back to mid-nuzzle.
I received a notice from a family member that they had commented on my status. Elated to be getting some kind of 'huloo' from them, I quickly logged onto FB and horror...

"Wow....your cousin [omitted] is 13 years old, she is a 'facebook friend' of yours, and she gets to see you write about your drug use. And after having a child that you are totally responsible for, you write that you *doubt* the drug comeback tour is soon??? How about ruling out ever using drugs while you are a parent raising a child?

Rose, I know you are responding to other adults here in Facebook, but you have to know that you have accepted as friends family members who are minors, and it is wrong to put out the message that drug use is OK. My children have a natural propensity to look up to older family members. Please don't disappoint them.

In the future, please keep your drug references to private messages between you and your friends."

This really turned the day around. I have now found bottom. The 13 y.o. is not, in fact a FB friend for that reason. Never has been (at least I don't think).It is disheartening to know that my candid truth about my past can disappoint people, especially those who take my humor and candor out of context.

What hurt even more is the fact that (I hate to say it, I really do) social networking is my only link to friends and family. I am much too far away to have coffee, and most are much too busy to call. That is not to say that I don't have support. My husband calls when he can and comes home from work for weeks to help with the kids and be my rock.

I guess what I'm saying is that my shores have been breached and FB is no longer a sacred place of candor. And by accepting children's request's for friendship online,I should first consult their parent's as to what is appropriate for me to express on my open forum. So goodbye Facebook, you will hear not a guffaw or gigglesnort for quite a while. I lament the loss of it. As Kurt Vonnegut says,"so it goes."
If you want to see what I have been up to, you know where to find me. Just don't be surprised with what you read. Caveat emptor; buyer beware.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Seven Year Old And The Cycle

I know! Two posts in one week! Let alone one day! What's this crazy Mama doing?

You know the least when you know nothing at all

School has started once more! It's a time of silent rejoice for the stay at home mom. But whats this? Rose has moved on? She is no longer a SAHM?
Okay, I'm still living la vida mama. My rock star/deep sea diver husband is still on another long Gulf of Mexico 'tour' but something has changed. I'm in college! Remember that place where you graduated from long ago? Or that place that gave you those skills for that job you quit long ago? Or that place that I dropped out of three times before, still long ago? Yup. There. Though I had to travel thousands of miles and wait through residency hooey (oh God, I just said hooey, I really am turning into a mom, eh?)finally I am there. I have survived the humiliation of a hellish first class of a superfluous class, I'm still in school.
I did, however drop that class. I know I'm a yeller-bellied, chicken-livered excuse for a ballsy writer, but I'm trying to be gentle on myself and resist the temptation to take unnecessary classes and putting myself through emotional torture. I'll leave the thumbscrews for the folk's that want them. Excessive emotional trauma in the classroom is only good for writers without children. They have yet to experience the sympathy pain of a child stung by a bee, or one that lost a friend because of her own strong beliefs. Writers without kids don't know the short-lived victory over the mopping, only to find a child has played the 'wedding game' by throwing rice all over the living room.
On the other hand, they'll never know the feeling of birthing a baby for 19 hours only to realize that you'll never want to sleep again so you can bask in the love of your baby forever.
With that love, I have gained a new sense of purpose. I'm not just going to school for me, I'm in it for the kiddos! I have to learn to write (which day by day I'm feeling like I'm knowing less and less) so that I can finish that mystery novel that Magnolia has been hounding me for.
So, as a warning, my posts might be less and less frequent for a while and they might be dreck such as this. I'll tell you a story soon!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Color me humiliated.

So I went to my first day of class and within the first class I had managed to completely and utterly humiliate myself. During free write, our creative writing professor wanted to focus on non-fiction and the prompt was, "what are you doing here?" Where everyone wrote about how much they wanted to be there to begin to write and told a little bit about themselves, I wrote a fiction free write. And then I read it aloud and everyone was completely freaked out. NON-FICTION!!! I just wrote what came to me, I didn't even consider the parameters, I just wrote. Everyone stared, wide-eyed in disbelief. I could hear people blushing for me. Was I in fact married to a Tupperware salesman with sclerosis of the liver? Were we a broke family trying to keep it together?
Only after coming home did I realize why people were acting so awkward. If it were a true story, it would have been really uncomfortable, which is what they believed. I doubt that I'll ever read aloud in class again. Right now, I just want to drop the class.
Isn't a free write a 'free' write? Why can't we write whatever pops into our little heads? I know what I did was wrong,(given that free write is only as free as the boundaries set upon it) and only now do I realize it. I am counting down the minutes until my 5 o'clock glass of wine.
I know that I'm being a bit histrionic. Okay, really histrionic. But there I was making a first impression to my peers and they think I'm an absolute nut.
So, while I'm writing this I'm needing a bit of advice. What do I do? Do I run away from the embarrassment? Or like Scarlett O'Hara, dance with Rhett in the low cut antithesis-of-a-mourning dress of shame across the floor, trying to maintain the scraps of dignity I have left with grace and poise?
Or maybe I'll just dye my hair, or sit uni-bomber style in the back row.
Suggestions? Help a mama out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Adventures in Shopping: Jean Angst

Shopping can be a very volatile experience. It can go really well, and then BANG! A little muffin top here, a little pooch here can turn your day of shopping into a nightmare. Today was no different. I needed jeans. For the last few weeks my legs have been drowning in a sea of denim. Renegade pant legs have taken hold of my feet rendering them useless mid stride and landing me on my face on the carpet. Countless wedgies have been bestowed upon me. My intimates are no longer intimate, but a shining beacon for all to see. It is the time when sexy hip huggers find themselves turning into desperate ass grabbers. It is the time to reward myself with a new wardrobe, albeit a wardrobe on a budget. So there I was grabbing15 pairs of jeans off the Goodwill racks, one hand remaining in a belt loop of my own pants as not to experience the humiliation of premature separation.

Jeans that look like they fit go to into the cart. Only until you get into the dressing room do you actually look at the sizes. . My time in the dressing room was blissful. Twelve’s were way too big, the eights were working. Then I got to the ninth pair. SIZE 4! Are you kidding? Serious? Did I actually think that they would fit? They don't look too far off the mark. Were the guts there to dare try them on? What the hell? Yes. I slid those bad boys up (okay there might have been one or ten hops) I took a deep breath and successfully buttoned them on. Yes! Then I went for the zipper. All of a sudden I was back in the eighties, watching my aunt supine on her bed while two friends wrestled her zipper up with pliers. What I would have given for a pair of both. I said a little prayer and gave a yank. And then it happened. The zipper went up, but not before breaking every tooth along the way.

Dejected, I unbuttoned the deceptive pants, only to find out the horrible truth. Did I say all of the teeth had broken? I was terribly wrong. The cheaply made rags maintained their vice-like grip with the top two steel teeth. Groaning in anguish, the muffin top grew exponentially. I tried to relieve myself of the devil jeans as torrents of panic rolled in. What could I do? What kind of explanation could I muster while stuck in size 4's? What would I say to the EMT's should they arrive? Or should I just take the price tag and suffer the walk of shame to the cash register and out to the car until I could surgically remove them within the confines of my house? Oh hell no. A mouse could ski moguls down my thighs.
So I did what any other normal (or desperate) woman would do. I birthed the suckers. Squeezing, pushing, pulling and screaming they finally came off. After scraping the last of the cruel pants off of my calves, I came to the conclusion that, being it was the Goodwill, the zipper was probably already broken, slipped them back on the hanger, wiped the tears and slithered out of the dressing room. Whistling, I checked to make sure the coast was clear and nonchalantly slipped the size 4’s back on the rack. The eights will do nicely, thank you very much.
When I got home, my lovely husband was in shock and awe with my new jeans. The Six inch heels didn't hurt either. "wow honey!" he said, assessing his matrimonial property. "don't take this the wrong way, but you look so skinny when you are in heels! gorgeous!" My husband is a catch, what can I say?
Now, instead of dieting my way to size 4 bliss, I'm taking another approach. I'm not going to lose anymore weight, I'm going to gain inches. From now on, when you see me in the grocery store, you will no longer see the mother of two at a mere 5' 8", but a svelte 6'2" goddess, wincing in pain while I strut down the aisles wearing dirty sweatpants and stripper heels.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

When we remember what's really important

Hulooo! I'm back! I have emerged from the pull and wrench of theatre costuming and the rigors of an amazing yet all too entirely stressful trip up to Washington. Whew! I must admit I have been drained. In preparation for the trip, I had started to wonder what I was going to write about next (now that I have hands that aren't fighting gold lamee and stuffed fish). Before getting on the plane, I knew what I was going to do; Toddler's in Transit. But I think I should save that for later, because at every moment, Magnolia was dropping her gems of genius into my ears. Even before we left the confines of our own city, she was giving me gold.

Before our long flight up, we had to stop at Walgreen's for some traveling items.(Note: If your children are really driving you crazy and whining on a plane, internally rationalize that they are just having a stomach ache from the motion and give them half a dose of children's Dramamine. You will have a quiet trip thereafter.)When I returned back to the car filled with my children, doting husband and the kitchen sink neatly folded in with everything else in matching cheap luggage, my daughter asked, "Did you get tampons?"
"Magnolia!" My husband yelped, horrified by feminine chatter from his pre-pubescent girl.
"What,Dad? It's a natural thing! Ya' know, for women and their, ya' know, Egyptian things." She defended.
"What are women's Egyptian things?" I asked.
"Ya' know. Their pyramids"

I would like to think that had she been born twenty or so years earlier, she would have been a favorite of Bill Cosby's on "Children Say the Darndest Things" but she might not have made it past the censors back then. Might I say she is a little too controversial and "on the edge"?

Last year at a restaurant a man asked Magnolia what she was going to be for Halloween. She nonchalantly replied,"I'm going to be Typhoid Mary! OOOoooooohh. I'm a carrier of communicable disease! Oooooohh! Have you washed your hands lately?"
And sure enough, that is exactly what she was. While other children were dressed in their $49.99 WalMart special Hannah Montana or Angel costumes, mine was rocking a totally homemade getup from bits and pieces of our toy room. She was is and will always be original, no matter what.

I'd like to think that her originality is of my doing, but I could never in a million years think of the wacky things that come out of her mouth. And though this might appear to be just a venue to show off how awesome my kids are, I'm going to do it with vigor and zest for the moment.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Haggard Mommy's guide to going out

"Much like the vampire, the haggard mommy goes out at night. Only then can her bloodshot eyes be taken for tequila touched."
- The infamous words of the Gonzo Mama, Christina-Marie. Yes we like to go out. It offers us a moment to calibrate our pulses to someone other than the naked Energizer bunny jumping on the couch after a Hershey's kiss. Yes, we go out late. When else could we ease into a crowd? As Dane Cook said it,"Children are just like really small, hammered people".So why not go to a bar? It's what we know...Just a larger version.

There is a time in most mommy's lives ( I think it's around the time their children turn three) that they realize the cocoon of monosyllabic conversations cannot sustain us in the way that it used to. This would be about the same time that wearing sweatpants on a daily basis just doesn't do it anymore. So you say,"I'm going out! My husband will watch the little ones and I have the itch!"

But now that we are mothers and over the last few years, our circumstances have changed. I know for myself that I can't just binge on booze and a pharmacopoeia all night long, save the five minute "booze snooze"( as the dear Gonzo Mama puts it so eloquently) and press on for a full day of work in the same bra. Hell, now I can't even bare to look at the same shoes for at least a month afterward.
For those of my particular species, there is a more sensible approach: preparation. Breasts need to be plastered into place with duct tape and any other helpful adhesive. What was once just a pinch of makeup is now a pound, shellacking my face into an upright and wrinkle-free position that would put Joan Rivers to shame. Not to mention the contours of the rest that require a bit more...contouring. After having survived a few of these wild night recently, I can now offer a few simple suggestions that might shed some light on the rare opportunities, lest my pain vanish in vain.
For twenty year olds, they hear there is a party, and they are there in five minutes. For the ol' gals, if you don't tell us days in advance, we just won't go.So well will start there.
One day prior.
1) The heel check- figure out what shoes you are going to wear on the town. This will always be step one, even before the babysitter has been called, this is the first move. The outfit will come together later. Remember; you can't build a house starting at the top. Start with the footing. Once you have found your heels (and I say heels, because anything else, like flip-flops or Converse require no prep) slip them on to do a few things around the house in the morning. Comfy? No? Deal with it, I'll fix it tomorrow.
2) Drink water- don't get all cankly ( where the ankles and calves join in retention bliss) by not drinking water, and no- Diet Pepsi and coffee don't count.
3)Facial- appreciate yourself, and it will make you going out that much more special!
4) Get some freaking sleep, lord knows you'll need it.

The morning of.
1)Take a bath. I know, you might have to clean the Go! Diego Go! toys out and wash the ring off the tub, but it's totally worth it. I think the last bath I had was on my wedding day. I had ten missed calls and was almost late for it, but I really needed it. And shave for heavens sake! You might be from head-to-toe in denim (tsk-tsk for shame) but at least you will feel soft and feminine.
2) Pick your outfit out and the backup purse. Once you get the outfit, get the purse. The purse should only be used in emergencies. If you wield cash and only have your ID then there is no need for a purse, unless you don't have an anchor woman, of which I will get to soon.

The evening of.
1) Stick 'em up- Adhere anything that it sagging or drooping enough to make you feel uncomfortable. When bartending, I relied on a bit of duct tape every night to keep me from any 'quad-boob' incidents.
2) Pre-heel prep- Remember those shoes that were threatening to bite your feet yesterday? The one's that make you feel like a goddess? An attractive, pained Goddess? You see the little red marks they left from just a measly half-an hour? Good. Now get some clear fingernail polish and paint the hell out of them. This isn't a Picasso, this is a rental wall, so give it a few coats and move on.
3)Tone- once, way back in the day, before the introduction of men, we had muscles, and they were rippling. Now we have rippling, it's just elsewhere. So if you do a few crunches and push ups, at least the muscle tension you created will have you standing up a little straighter. I read a Pilates flyer once that said, "Lose ten pounds off your image in 20 minutes!" there trick; stand up straight. Duh. I could have charged you ten dollars for that lil' nugget.

Before you walk out that door.
1) Eat something! You are probably going to be drinking and if you have any kind of tolerance like me, you'll be sleeping by 11:00. So eat, maybe have a cup of coffee, or you could just have a glass of wine.
2) Prep the purse. Now I say this in case of no anchor woman. An anchorwoman is the one with the purse that has everyone's favorite shade of lip gloss, tampons and cell phones and sits quietly flirting while everyone else is cutting a rug or up on stage singing, "Come On, Eileen". If you do not have the luxury of these lovely lassies pack light, but with a few odd items. Dental floss/gum, cab number (if it's not in your phone already) and my favorite,"The Lighthouse" or other equivalent brochures with a fake phone number already written on it. I made the mistake of telling someone my real phone number by mistake once and still haven't lived it down. But back to "The Lighthouse". Any uber-religious print will work. It comes in quite useful when you have to pull the "I'm trying to be nice,having fun flirting, but it's SO not going to happen" card. Once you start proselytizing, most men usually run in horror. But if you smile and give them the word of god in the form of a hot-pink mini-book, I've found it's much more entertaining.
3) Plan for the unknown- think of the wildest thing ever. I mean EVER! What would you do? For me, I don't wear mascara, because if I'm going to jump off a bridge naked, I don't want to look like a freshly-crowned beauty queen when I get out of the water. And oddly enough, in certain company, I damned near go skinny dipping every time! Nothing like mental prep. You could have just skipped this whole story and just gone with mentally prepping yourself. But you didn't. So I thank you.

Now if you choose to use my words of wisdom, I hope they work. If not, oh well, at least the heart was in the right place. If you're just trolling for a piece of ass, as long as you're not picky, it shouldn't be impossible, but I got nothin' for you. Sorry. For those other gals, or guys in heels, good luck! So now, the preparation has been done, have fun! Enjoy your free night!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Riots Meet the Neighbors

When people meet my family, only the small few survive the experience, let alone ask for another. We are loud and wild and we make the whole world a playground. I’d like to think that I possess the tact and grace to maintain my spawn, but unfortunately, I am as much a part of the chaos as anyone else. But thinking back on the encounter, I dare say we are not a forgettable crowd.
I recently had the opportunity to meet my neighbors. Now, I am not the overbearing kind of person to bring folks brownies (because they are half-eaten before they even get baked, and then the other half manages to be consumed in 2.3 minutes, the couch receiving the blunt edge of the chocolate carnage)or inviting people over for bar-b-q's (which requires chisels and mallets to break of the lovely carcinogenic cocoon). With my trusty sidekick of a husband out at work , “Hey ! Let’s go meet some fresh faces!” just doesn’t get done as much as it should. But I have been known walk over and introduce myself to relieve them of my Houdini-esque dog on occasion, which usually includes the children as well. Without the runaway dog, I have to resort to the kiddos. I find that they are a fabulous ice-breaker. Who can start a conversation about a pine cone? I ask you!
Linda and Harry are wonderful. They are at the cusp of retirement, married for thirty years with no children. Linda still says she is not from the area, that she moved here to get married but was originally from three hours south. Harry has lived in the same five mile radius his entire life, save the time he spend serving in the military.
Linda is a soft warm ocean breeze of a woman. Soft sandy hair and a soothing tone to her voice that can only be compared with Tupelo honey. Her other half, Harry is the polar opposite. Gruff, large with a commanding presence and giant voice. Both dripping with southern hospitality. We talked for two wonderful minutes. I stayed for twenty five more, but it was dealing with the children.
The first two minutes, lil Freckles stands obediently slightly swaying and Manimal JR. eying the cat, potted plants, and objects that look delicious(or at the very least passable through a GI tract).
The challenge of multi-tasking a polite chat with new acquaintances while shuffling children away from award winning Himalayan Cats as well as fine china is not just a challenge, but a feat of strength, stamina and patience. And it also requires a great bit of poise and selective hearing.
As the time edges towards five minutes, Freckles' sway evolves into a large swing, using her school backpack as a weight, narrowly missing delicate glass heirlooms and Manimal Jr. starts cornering animals and licking the plants.
They were delightful people, and I do hope to see them again....
By the end of our delightful time, the little manimal was playing a riotous game of 'gotchyourboob'. This is a game where he tells the world, or whom ever is closest, about his favorite toys; mom's boobs. And then he begins to show his undying love by singing the 'booby' song, peeking down my shirt and blowing strawberries on my shoulder. Nothing like the sound of farts to make a short stay even shorter.
By minute twenty of Harry's story of the area, tears were cresting the levy of conversation. The little man had just about had it with the china shop and the little lady was wanting to go home and plug into a website and log off from reality. With every ounce of my tact, I apologized and we exchanged emergency numbers and were off.
Such lovely people.....
Since our first introduction, I have heard not a peep from our dear neighbors. But I'm sure that there is a perfectly logical explanation. Maybe, like us, the little scrap of paper was placed conveniently over the recycling bin in their home, only to be swept into the abyss by a light breeze like ours did. Maybe they have been too busy seeking therapy for their traumatized cat, who fell victim to the overbearing love of the sticky fingered little man. Whatever the case may be, I'm sure we will be invited over for tea sometime soon.
What a delightful couple....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

If I didn't write about my kids, I'd be drinking because of them.

Ah, my children. They are so good, so sweet. My oldest daughter reads quietly, my son hums to himself and the dogs find rest in the lazy afternoon. Everything is peaceful as I sit down to write my heart out…

...and then life happens. In a single moment, there is something wet on my foot, a fleck of something lands on my face and I hear an odd humming sound that isn't in my son's tone. I survey the situation; the dog has just developed a rather volatile intolerance to toilet bowl water and threw up on the floor, Magnolia (my oldest) is reading, but picking and flicking boogers across the room as well and Julian (my lil’ manimal) has found other parts of his anatomy to clean using MY vibrating toothbrush. As if on cue, my rock star/ deep sea diver husband calls to tell me he’ll be working a little late; two more months. This is just a slice of my life as a pseudo-single mother. I'd go completely insane if I didn't get my art on.
Creative expression is just as good as therapy. Sometimes even better. It's one of the best coping mechanisms ever. Some quilt, write music, or swing on a trapeze clad in nothing but dirty intentions. Regardless of your choice, it's all good medicine for the soul. And sometimes in our given circumstances, it’s all we have.

Yesterday, Julian decided to clean the kitchen. "Don't worry, Mom, I'm on it." When those words are uttered, we just appreciate them, and avoid asking questions. Jules is two. And in retrospect, I should have known better, but for an instant I was reveling in the moment. But when he came into the living room dripping with mystery goo, I had to check it out. Thanks god for small favors, right? Small favors, my ass. The little manimal had deftly gone into the refrigerator, and individually cracked eighteen eggs into the sink. The majority of mothers out there would have said, “That's alright, my darling, I bought three dozen more at Costco yesterday!” They would have wiped the eggshell off their sweet child's face and rocked them to sleep whispering all the time, "my darling, I love you."

Not this woman. She threw her head back in horror, howling at the fates. Then I cleaned up the floor with my sock, rinsed the rest of the egg down the drain with soap (and cold water mind you, a hint for those unfortunate mommies that go through this as well) and went to write about how hilariously awful and wonderful my children are.

The truth is, my kids keep me creative. As mothers we are forced to improvise our existence to meet the chaos of life. A creative mother sings the scrapes and bruises away, makes sushi pizza as requested and takes their babes on fantastic voyages just before bedtime. They give us vitality and press our imaginations beyond the limits of reality. They help us find art in every breath. Through our own children, we get to become wide-eyed once more, but our age has given us the knowledge of different forms of medium and we can express our children’s sorrow and joy within our own artistry.

There are times when I’m driven to the brink of insanity by the calamitous tendencies of those kiddos. But right before I start pulling my hair out and reaching for the bottle of whiskey, a sense of perspective shakes me, I laugh and grab a camera and go to write about it, and begin to appreciate the gifts my children give me everyday; endless fodder.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guest blog for Gonzo mama!

Life has been a little crazy for the last few weeks, at least considerably more than usual. And in this time, my birthday slipped in and then was gone. I lamented the loss of this passing. And then the dear Gonzo Mama asked me to write a guest blog for her and I was given the opportunity to vent it all out. You can read about it here.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Twelve Steps to Overcoming New Friend Addiction.

So, it's been a long two weeks. School got out and Magnolia is now working on the play 12 hours a week which also means that I am working on costumes at home and downtown about 35 hrs a week. Things have been a little rough. I went to a shrink for the first time. I had friends, but in the last couple days, it just seems that they have been fewer and strings have been strained. I was de-friended on Myspace and Facebook by one of them. I'm trying to accept this as a sign that I should worry less about socializing and more about the kiddos. It's amazing when you ride the wave on the friend train.
I am a new friend addict.New friendships are a wild and crazy trip. First it's so fun! Friends are wonderful! We have so much in common! Dear amazing friends that help with coping with an otherwise secluded existence in a place that still remains foreign to me. Then it becomes like an addiction. I can't get enough and I become totally involved in their lives. I need it like a drug! I spend less time loving on my children and more time texting (a topic that I will soon expand on) until two a clock in the morning. The garden gets neglected. The dogs are begging to play. The kids are watching more TV and reading to each other less. And then friends get busy which is an understandable situation. They have lives as well, totally normal lives. Don't get me wrong, they are wonderful people, but I just end up getting consumed by the thought of companionship and running them off. Then my own life is abandoned. The house is becoming more of a cesspool. One of my dogs ran away yesterday.The kids are filthy. I think I've finally hit the bottom of the friend barrel.
It happens to the best of us (at least I'm hoping, but I also accept that I might be a rare friend-o-phile). But then the loneliness that was tolerable beforehand is damn near painful. All you can think of is your still-have-that-new-friend-smell-friend. Then that new smell rubs off and, well, they are gone. It's inevitable. The rush is over and it takes time to move on from the disappointment.
I'm thinking about joining a group; Friends Anonymous. People leaning on each other, nervous about what people think about them, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and texting people,"wht r u doing?", "r u ok?" or "r u going to txt me?" with jittery anxiousness.
I bet at FA, there would be a woman, a kind and sweet, yet oddly cold woman. She's been there before. And not a s a leader. People would say hello and then we would go through the steps:
Admitting we can't help but be totally obsessive with friends.
Recognizing that the big friend in the sky can help.
Examining why you are that crazy friend that won't leave people alone.
Making amends.
Learning to live without going into a panic attack without gossip or juicy news.
Helping others overcome their need for other people's drama.

Well, maybe that would happen. Maybe it's just the addiction to other people's drama, and how exhilarating it is. Having an essentially even-keeled life, maybe I'm looking for a little spice. Or maybe it's just the thrill of watching a real life soap opera (not that my friends have a soap opera like drama in their lives, but it's not my life,so it's much more interesting than mine). Or being involved and feeling helpful. Whatever the case may be, it doesn't really help anyone by getting over involved.

So I am going to try to stop humping the friend leg like an undersexed dog. Most of them are completely sane and wonderful people, and a joy to be around to boot! Nevertheless, it's not healthy to suffocate them. And for some odd reason I always end up suffocating them. Hopefully, I'll start getting a little more emotionally independent. Baby step, that's all we can hope for.

I'm awfully sorry, that there aren't any chuckles or guffaws. I haven't wanted to write at all lately, so just hopping on this blog has been a challenge. Baby steps. I'll get funny sometime soon, I promise.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Adventures in Dietland Part 1 : The Sit and Spin

I used to be a large woman. It was only after I stepped on a scale, however, that I realized just how much I had gained. I was 85 pounds overweight. But I swear it wasn't my fault! During both of my pregnancies, my body just had to get up to 262 pounds. And I was just assuming that I was having a sixty pound baby followed by a forty pound placenta. That's the way it works, right?
My babies came out happy and healthy, but one was a mere 8.5 pounds and the other 9.5 (these were not at the same time, mind you). Needless to say, there was a lot of explaining to do after the birth. And the weight that I thought would just evaporate into love annoyingly stuck around and multiplied yet again. SO I took it upon myself to lose it all. Twice.
Working out became my solace, my one place where I had my time and I loved it. After sixth months the majority of the baby flab came off. Not effortlessly, but I managed. And then there was the last 15 pounds. That damned elusive 15 pounds. I still battle it to this day.
After moving a few times, I found a gym in the area with childcare and started working out with a new friend Laura who had a baby six months prior and was in the same boat that I had been in ( What? Where's my 60 pound baby?) So in our efforts we decided to start taking random classes together.We ran, we lifted weights and then moved on to bigger and better things.
When Laura and I first walked into the spinning class, it was like walking into a club. Bass unsettling the mirrored windows and dimly lit, save the disco ball dangling over the instructors head. Laura and I both shared a glance, but before we could nonchalantly edge our way to the door, the perky instructor Elisabeth Dawn caught us in her gaze. "Hi y'all! Fixin' to come spin with us? Let's get you ladies some bikes!"
I'm not sure how perky one needs to be, but somehow she managed to exceed all perky expectations of a spinning instructor. She leaped off of her bike, and helped us on to our own, bouncing and swaying the whole time. (She would undoubtedly be one of those people that not only bounced when teaching but I'm sure bounced while cooking dinner, brushing teeth, driving etc.,etc.) Laura and I were stuck and from the look of it, it was going to be a long hour.
The one thing I noticed first off when I sat down on the spinning bike, is how, um, angular the seat is. "That's less entertaining than I thought it would be." I Told Laura. She silently grimaced, and loudly cursed my name.
The biking was fine for the first few minutes. Dare I say, it was easy. But after about ten minutes in a closet like room with 15 huffing athletes, the room started to grow it's own jungle-like atmosphere. A sweaty haze hover just over the tops of our heads, and the humidity and heat coated the window, leaving beads of precipitation to meander down them.
I was determined to survive the class, but I did not know if I could survive that seat. But there we sat. When I felt the nerve endings in my ass start to die, Elizabeth the emphatic instructor yelled, "Great job y'all! Let's all stand and run!" My ass had just received it's redemption.
Up and down we went, over imaginary hills, past flat roads that stretched for miles, and finished passing our neighbor in a dead-out sprint at the end. The cool down was damned near intolerable, sitting way back on the seat leaning all of my body weight to one side and then the other. Releif finally came with the words spoken by Elizabeth the emphatic instructor, "See y'all on Wednesday!"
I went to get off of my seat, when I looked over at Laura who was sitting there, winced in pain, and whispered to me, "I think my ass ate the seat."
After quite a bit of coaxing, we finally got her down.
I called Laura the next day;

Laura: I don't know what the hell you were thinking, Rose. That was evil.

Me: Hey! What happened to trying new things?

Laura: New things! I feel like Jenna Jamison!

Me: Oh, come on now, it wasn't that bad. Want to go again on Wednesday?

Laura: The only thing I'll be sitting on for the next week is this frozen turkey, thank you very much. So you can take your spinning class and-"

Laura is a sweet lady, but she just really hasn't been the same since. I have to admit I'm still in recovery mode. Perhaps I'll try it again, after all it's a great workout...
The things we do to our bodies baffles me from time to time. Paying to be told to work out on a stationary bike, forced to marinate in a sauce of sweat and tears. We pay for a gym membership and the diet accessories. We squeeze into ridiculous workout gear and pray for the scale to drop. And then we go to the Chinese buffet and order a Diet Coke. The search for perspective continues on....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Clashin' fashion

"Wow, your little boy's Mohawk sticks up so well. What a little fashion plate!WHat do you use?" A woman at the gym asked me. I kind of think she was trying to be 'outside of the box', and dropping her standards of conversation to those whom don't wear designer workout clothing.
"Ummm, family secret. Generations of Mohawk wearing prohibits me from divulging the ingredients." I groan. It's not my intention to lie to someone that I have just met, but it's better than telling her the truth. And sometimes fashion products come from very different places.

Julian had been quiet for a few minutes when the panic set in. I rushed to the kitchen and found him on the counter, sticky forehead and a fistful of fruit gummies. Ew. I transferred him to the table where his tepid Top Ramen sat patiently, congealing. Magnolia had finished her sub-par snack and went to change for play rehearsal. In her attempts to be a Bohemian hipster, she emerged from her room, drenched in three shades of tie-dye. A loud shriek rang through my brain, converting itself into a deep sigh just before it crested my lips.
What do I do? Yes I want her to be original and creative, but when I have to watch orange and green wrap around each other at the same time brown speckles pink a visual induced nausea creeps in. I have to take a stand for fashion sense here."Magnolia, do you think that it's a little too much tie-dye?"
"But Mom, I look like a teenager. I'm cool!" And there you have it. How can one possibly dissuade another's ideas of fashion? Hip is in the eyes of the wearer.

And as Magnolia strides into the car looking like she had just been bludgeoned by a rainbow, I take another quick glance at Julian. He is still sticky and has something something on his forehead....
"Jules where did you get sticky?" I asked, not really ready to stomach the answer.
"Up there, on the counter on the sticky thing" He chimed as he led me to the culprit.
Waving in the air conditioning, there it was, the fly strip. Stifling yet another shriek, I plucked the dead fly bindi off his forehead and ran Jules into the bathroom to clean him up before we left for rehearsal and a gym class.
Fly paper has a strange consistency. Similar to burnt Teriyaki sauce. And the only way to get it off of hair is to treat the slime like you would bubble gum. Mayonnaise. That's the trick. We gave his hair a half-arsed scrub down and went on our way, his Mohawk unwavering in the wind.
These kids have a odd sense of style about them and for a minute, I thought that I should take it upon myself to give them some much needed fashion lessons....
...Until I looked in the mirror at the gym. Standing there, in all of my glory. A very stained white tank top with bits of sports bra sticking out around the edges, unshaven legs that were squeezed in to a pair of tighter-than-visually-palatable biking spandex and to top it off, a birds nest of three day uncleaned hair. EW! I think that I'll think twice about casting the first fashion stone at my children now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jules, Death and the Rock/Frog

Jules, death and the rock/frog
Saturdays are garden days. Just one of the perks from the deep south. My parents are watching the snow fall in rural Alaska, and I'm here in the sun. Last Saturday was no exception. With the boom box blaring, Magnolia my 7 yo. and Jules, the uncorrigible toddler, we set out to create our own sanctuary. Well, I set out for the sanctum quest, the kids just played 'Lord of the Flies'. I had been grunting around the garden for about an hour when I looked up and saw that the kids were happliy playing on the swingset. Jules was gnawing on his favorite snack; a rock. I continued. A few minutes later I heard a tiny voice from the play area,"hop. hop. hop." Kids are cute, I thought to myself. A few minutes later, while I stopped mid grunt to the screams of Jules,"HOP!HOP!HOP!" He was obviously frustrated. I went over to inspect and Jules was two inches away from 'the rock' demanding that it hop. To my horror, I walked towards the yelling, only to find that his rock wasn't a rock at all, but a mummified frog. It's not exactly clear how long ago this lil' guy had croaked, but it had been long enough to completely solidify, lose it's eyes and cave in the middle. Stifling my disgust, I pulled Jules away. Dramatically, he ran back to the frog, saying, "It's okay, fghwoggy.It's okay, you don't need to hop." My god, he thought it was still alive, and his friend. On Sesame Street 20+ years ago, I watched a girl, who because she was allergic, wasn't allowed any pets. So she had a pet rock. The girl sat there petting her rock and said," When he takes his bath, he get's real frisky." Frisky? At the time, I thought she was a big kid. Inretrospect, she was only about 9. But very articulate. She loved that rock. She made it a bed out of an old cardboard shoebox and and odd bits of early 80's fabric. I cringe to think of Jules keeping his rock/frog in a box. Taking care of it. Having stirring nights of 'hop hop'. I'd imagine that superglue could not repair broken limbs in the event of roughhousing or games of 'frog on the train tracks'.And though his exterior would have been the envy of all Egyptian Mummifiers, I didn't want to see if he got 'frisky' in the bath. I had the painful task of telling my little baby that his friend was dead. "Honey, the froggy is dead." I told him."Dead? What dat?" He asked. "It means he's not going to jump again, and he won't get up and play.He's not alive like you or Magnolia.""Fwghoggy sleeping?""Yep,baby, I'm so sorry." I said."So let's go but him away."So I chose not to put the rock/frog on the mantle and in my better judgement took him to his final resting place. With shovel in hand, we took the solemn walk to the back half(acre)for a proper burial. Jules was pitifully holding his friend. He pulled rock/frog to his lips. I thought he was going in to gnaw a little more, but he gave the leathery back a little kiss. I wanted to gag. Then he started gnawing. I took the lil reptile out of my toddlers mouth, "Friends are not for chewing, baby." I gently reminded him. "But Momm! You ate a frog leg at the bu-""Shut it Magoo""Sorry Mom"Magnolia has a way of debating points at all the wrong times. We dug a hole then it was time for the frog to rest. Jules chucked rock/frog into the hole. Hard. I might very well have a shortstop on my hands. We piled dirt over our newly discovered and well decayed friend. We needed a marker. Or a gravestone, or something.Then it occurred to me, we didn't even know the frogs denomination!I couldn't, in good faith, place a cross over him, where a star of David might be more appropriate. I have always thought of religion as the cereal aisle in the grocery store. All the different brands. The pricey ones. The cheap knockoffs. Now to think of a frog hopping down that aisle was just absurd. I were a frog , would I eat cereal? And which one? Jew Loops? Krishna Krispis, now with 25% more enlightenment? Catholic Crunch? It cuts the roof of your mouth, but that's your own damned fault. Quaker Oats? Mormon Fl-"Mom!"Ripped out of my mental supermarket, I went to finish the task at hand. A stick. Good enough. Jules thought rock/frog was a boy, a fallice will suffice.Jules sat by the the mound and stick. "Bye fwghoggy." He mumbled beneath his sadness.magnolia swooped low to console her brother. "Don't worry Julian, we're recyclable!"Recyclable? I was intrigued. Magnolia continued,"Yeah! Your froggy can become a new froggy now."Jules moped, "No! No new fwghoggy.""Or he can become something better!" Magoo said. "What do you think he'll become?" He thought a minute. "Ummmmm dinosaur?""Yeah! He'll become a big happy dinosaur! Isn't that cool?" She replied."Ummm wanna fwghing" At that moment the sad, mopey Julian was reincarnated to a fully happy, energetic toddler. And it was all thanks to the endless 'exhistential hours' full of questions Magnolia would ask to stave off bedtime. As we sat on the swing set, conversation lulled and Jules looked at his sister. "I lub you,Yaya."Kids. They have a way of reminding us that no matter if your just a frog, your important. I have taught my children about love and compassion and they are using it. The lessons that I learned from my Mother. And she learned love from her grandmothers,now long past.But, their lessons are still used today. Death is nondiscriminatory. Death doesn't care how rich or poor you are, how many accolades you have recieved or titles you have earned. You're still going to turn into a rock/frog eventually. It all comes down to the love you have give and stimulated others to share. Your love and compassion make you immortal. And only by starting it now can it proliferate in the future. It's a good time to start, before we all turn into rock/frogs.