Sometimes, There Is Just No Good Reason To Say “No”

**This post contains language that some may find offensive.  If the F-Bomb offends you, please exit immediately, and never, ever return.  You have been warned, fair and square. Thank you.

Last Friday, we allowed what some might deem the unallowable to happen.  We allowed Mini Me to drive my car, by himself,  to Murfreesboro, TN, to visit Middle Tennessee State University.  Not only did we give him permission to spend the night in the dorm with his good friend and bandmate, Jody, but we surprised the shit out of him and told him that if he was going to drive his ass all the way up there, he might as well stay the whole weekend.  I loved seeing his face when we gave him this unexpected news.

It’s really a long, and somewhat complicated story that I am not going to totally go into for a multitude of reasons.  This will be long enough as it is.  I must tell you, though, that on Thursday morning, after hitting the snooze button five times, I was not at all happy about finding a five page, full color presentation, complete with pictures and graphs and all sorts of information about why JC and I should allow Mini Me to drive to MTSU, alone, on Friday.  This really pissed me off.  I was not pleased about having to get out of bed at 6:15am, much less having to read some long-winded plea for us to allow a 17 year old to take my 2012 mini van basically all the way to Nashville, by himself, for a college visit, and God only knows what other shenanigans! PULEEZE! Just who the hell did Mini Me think he was? I was the QUEEN of this kind of bullshit, back in my day!  I skimmed through the presentation, which, I had to admit, was rather brilliant.  JC was still in the bed.  “Here, check this shit out, ” I said, rather callously, as I threw it at him, “but don’t get mad–there is no way in hell this kid can actually think we would let him do this!”  I started getting dressed.  When JC was finished reading it, he chuckled.  “He is pretty damn smart, isn’t he?”, he said.  I had to hand it to Mini Me.  Smart, he certainly was and is.  When I ran into him in the kitchen, I said, “Nice presentation, but don’t get your hopes up.” This brought on some stomping and slamming.  On the way to school, it was all he talked about.  I had a splitting headache before we even got to school.  I don’t think I even came to a complete stop before I opened the back door and screamed, “GOODBYE JACK! I LOVE YOU! GET OUT!”  Oh. My. God.  I drove home and began my day and did not give this ridiculousness another thought…..until the text messages started coming in around 3:00. Mini Me wanted to know if, when he got home from school, could he and I sit down and have an adult conversation and would I keep an open mind? Oh. My. God. THIS KID.  I was going to kill his ass.  I was seriously going to be on Alive at 5, because Mini Me was going to be dead before 5:00.   I texted him back that I would definitely try to keep an open mind and yes, we could have an adult conversation, though I doubted it would change anything.  He texted me back that I already sounded like my mind was closed.  I had to agree. He was right.

The thing about Mini Me is that he is extremely strong-willed.  We have gone to a couple of child psychologists over the years.  The last one we saw assured us that there was absolutely nothing wrong with him.  I can honestly tell you that all the fighting and yelling and screaming stopped when we finally started letting the fuck go.  This was not and is not easy to do.  I am sure that many people do not agree with us, and frankly, my dears, I no longer give a rats ass what anyone else thinks!  I really don’t.  The child psychologist told us to do what works for us, not what we think every other parent thinks is the right thing to do.  Letting the fuck go is what works for us in our household.  Now, that little phrase can be adjusted a little….like…. “letting the fucker go”, and, well, that happens sometimes.  I have found that it feels really good sometimes to just go ahead and admit that well, sometimes, there is just no good reason to say “no”.   Again, this is what works for us. Our children are not running naked in the streets, dancing on poles, or cooking meth in the basement or anywhere else that we know of.

Anyway, when Mini Me and the Middle Child walked through the door after school, Mini Me handed me yet another presentation.  This time, it was down to two pages–full color, with photos.  He had an answer for all of my potential problems.  I had a meeting on Friday at his school.  He was going to pay for my Uber ride home.  I read through it.  I had to hand it to him.  He had all of his bases covered.  He gets three college visit days that are excused at school.  He needed to visit MTSU, since it is on his short list.  To try to shorten this saga, we let him go. So….everything went along really well.  Mini Me checked in when he was supposed to.   I did not worry incessantly. Saturday night,  I was glad that the weekend was coming to an end and he would be coming on home the next day.  Around 4:30am Sunday morning, something woke me up.  I was dead to the world asleep.  I was not sure if I had just heard Tupac singing “California Love”, which is my alarm tone, or if the Magic Mike theme song had just gone off, which would mean somebody had actually had the nerve to call me at 4:30am, but I was pretty damn sure it was Magic Mike.  I turned on the light and checked my phone.  Yep. It was Magic Mike, alright. And the perpetrator was my mother in law! Oh MY GOD.  Somebody must be dead.  I called her right back.  She said she absolutely hated to bother us at that hour, but she was getting phone calls from Mini Me’s phone, but he was not saying anything,and when she tried to call him back, he was not answering! She was also getting calls from some other number and the guy was asking for Zack.   I told her to let us try to call him and I would call her right back.  In my mind, I hit the panic button.  In a matter of about 20 seconds, Mini Me was high on all kinds of illegal drugs and at a wild party, calling everybody he knew but me.  Then, he had been kidnapped, raped, robbed, and murdered. My car had been stolen and so had his phone.  The assailant was calling all the numbers in the phone and was going to ask for ransom.  During this full color, video presentation that was playing in my head, I tried to call Mini Me twice and it went straight to voice mail.  I was saying things like, “Call Jody’s parents!” to JC and “Call the MTSU police!” JC did neither.  I sent Mini Me a text message that said,  “call me immediately”.   And guess what? My phone rang IMMEDIATELY!  And it was MINI ME!!  “JUST WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON UP THERE!” I said.  “What?! What is the matter? Did somebody die? What is wrong?” Mini Me said, “I am asleep.  I have been asleep since like 10:30!”  I paused for just a minute.  I could hear the sleepy in his voice.  “YOU WHAT?” I said, remembering my visions of drugs and alcohol and murderers and what not.  “Mom! We are all asleep!” I explained to him that someone was calling MiMa from his phone and he said that he must be rolling over on it.  Essentially, he was butt-dialing his grandmother in his sleep.  RELIEF. OH MY GOD.  I knew he was telling the truth.  “I don’t think I can go back to sleep, Mom! You have scared me to death! I thought somebody had died!” Mini Me said to me.  ME?! I scared HIM to death? Was this kid FOR REAL? I thought about it for a minute.  “I am so sorry, Jack.  We are just glad you are okay.  Nobody is mad or anything and nobody is dead.  Go back to sleep. Let me know when you head home in the morning.  I love you very much.”  He told me he loved me too and we hung up.  I had to call my mother in law back and let her know everything was all good. The person calling for Zack was a wrong number, by the way. That guy had nothing to do with anything.  I could not get back to sleep for a little while.  My head was swimming.  I hated that I had immediately jumped to the negative, but I knew why I had. When I was his age, I was doing things that I am not proud of today, and things that I hope to God my kids do not do!  I realized that as much as I like to call Jack “Mini Me”, and as much as he is like me, he is not me, and when that child pulled into the driveway Sunday afternoon, I was happier to see him than I have been in a long time, but I am still glad we made the decision to let him go….because….I will say it yet again for those who may need to hear it twice: Sometimes, there is just no good reason to say “no”.

The Damn Pinterest Beaded Chandelier Project From Hell

This is why I do not go on Pinterest very often.  I do have an account.  People do follow me.  I am not sure why.  Well, I think I actually do know why.  My friends know that I am always working on something.  I am sure that there are some people who think I am probably on Pinterest 24/7, and therefore, I may be posting my projects there. Or something. Let me set you straight.   I am rarely on Pinterest, and when I am, it is usually accidentally.  It is usually because I have googled something, and I clicked on a picture and I ended up on Pinterest, completely unintentionally.  This is exactly how I found the DIY (Do It Yourself–yep, I actually had to look that one up not too terribly long ago) Beaded Chandelier Project From Hell.  It is, of course, not actually called that.  There are many versions of this project.  Most of them start with a wire hanging plant basket from the Dollar Store.  Many of them call for plastic mardi gras beads.  I do not work with plastic beads. Plastic beads are not a medium that I will ever stoop to working with.  So, I set out on a mission to find unpainted wooden beads at an affordable price.  I figured I would need about 500, but would buy 1000, so that I could at least make 2 of these seemingly-at-the-time, really cool things.  In fact, in my head, I had already made about 10 of them as gifts–in all different colors.  That will not be happening.   I had picked up 2 wire baskets at the local Dollar Tree.  I found a great online company and ordered 1000 1/2 inch, unpainted wooden beads for $9.99, with $9.99 shipping, from China, and it would take about 12-14 days for them to arrive.  I ordered a swag lighting kit from Amazon for $9.99.  I figured out how to make the circular frame for the top of the chandelier and spliced the swag kit to make it fit.  I happen to know a little about electrical work.  I had the frame for the thing all set up and the light part actually worked.  The only problem was that the long cord was black.  I have some great swag lights in my bedroom that I bought from World Market.  The cords are covered with jute.  I decided I would cover this cord with jute.  It was not hard to do this.  I used the hot glue gun, very carefully, and not very often, securing the jute in spots to the cord, and wrapping the jute tightly.  I had my show playing on my iPad while I did this because it took hours. And hours. After that part was finished, I really wanted to have a partay, but I was not nearly finished.  All of those damn beads needed to be painted.  I started stringing the beads because I thought that it would be easier to paint them while strung.  I figured out how many I needed on each string.  I tied each end to one of my ladder back dining room chairs and started painting them.  Yes, with a brush.  Do not even ask me why I did not spray paint them.  I am a terrible spray painter.  It would have been a total mess. The dripping. The sticking. It would have been horrendous.  The paint with a brush covered them much better.  Painting the beads while strung took two forevers.  I decided this was not working.  I got a cookie sheet and a piece of parchment paper.  I cut a bunch of toothpicks in half.  I stuck a half of a toothpick in each bead, in order to hold it in place on the cookie sheet, then I held the toothpick and painted as much of the bead as I could, without having it stick to the parchment paper.  Oh my GOD. This was the biggest pain in the ass.  WHY had I even looked for this project? It was not like we even needed this light fixture! I could not even remember what had led me to it in the first place! I must have completely lost my mind.  I kept painting.  It took days.  It took weeks.  I started stringing the beads and hanging them on the contraption.  The contraption was now hanging on a yardstick that was positioned between the two ladder back chairs.  It quickly became apparent that 500 beads was not going to do it.  I kept painting and stringing.  When I had finally finished painting all 1000 beads, it still was not enough to cover all of the open space, but there was no room at the top or the bottom to actually hang any more beads!  My solution was strips of ribbon, which was not even a solution to the problem!  I was SO over  this project. I really wanted to set the damn thing on fire, but I had spent so much time on it!  I finally got to the finishing touches part, which I actually enjoyed doing–adding the jute trim.  I was, and am, actually quite pleased with the way this damn thing turned out; however, I went down to the playroom and hung it.  I put the bulb in and turned it on. I absolutely HATE the damn thing when it is turned on!!! So….for now, it is just hanging there and we are not using it.  I am looking for another bulb that I might like better.  I am thinking maybe a black light……


Mother of the Year….

Mini Me has displayed tendencies of being a hypochodriac pretty much since day one.  I say this in my own defense.  In Mini Me’s defense; however, I should probably say that he inherited said tendencies from, well, Me.  Mothah loves to tell about how she would have just gotten us the hell out of the house, and she would be getting into her daily routine and the damn phone would ring.  This was in the days before cordless phones even existed.  She would race to wherever the nearest phone was plugged in to answer it, and it would be me on the other end. “Whatcha doin’?”, I would ask her, rather nonchalantly.  “Jennifah! What is wrong? Is something the mattah?”, she would ask.  “I don’t feel good. I want to come home”, was always my stock answer.  I really did not like going to school.  I wanted to stay at home with my mother!  She was, and is, awesome! I just liked being near her all the time.  We were not allowed to use the telephone at school any time we wanted, so I had to lie my way to the Health Room, so that I could sneak a call to my mother and hear her voice!  I knew she would say, “No, Jennifah. I am not coming up theah to that school to get you. You don’t have a fevah. Go back to youah class and have a great day. I will see you this aftahnoon when you get home.  I love you.  Bye bye.”  She said it every time, but at least I got to talk to her.  I would not understand this whole routine until I grew up and had children of my own.   Oh how wrong I had been! All of these years, I had thought that Mothah had pined away for us from the time we left for school until the time we ran back through the front door.  I was just certain that she waited for my daily call, and was disappointed if I was unable to talk my way to the Health Room!  I had this great epiphany when Mini Me was in first or second grade.  I could not have been more off my rocker.  Mothah was not sad that we were leaving for school! She could not wait to get our asses out of there! In fact, it was probably more like ‘don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you’ on the way out!  The minute that Daddy was gone to work and my brother and I were off to school, she was not crying in her coffee! It was time to partay!  I have this great mental image of Mothah, in her long, red bathrobe, with her longish Kramer hair, coffee cup in hand, dancing down the hall to the beat of Leo Sayer.  BWAHAHAHA.   That probably actually happened.  She did play bridge, but other than that, the partay of which I speak is the one that consists of doing laundry, making the beds, cleaning, ironing, etc., but without anyone constantly asking her questions or asking her to come look at something!

So, with all of that being cleared up for you now, I will start by briefly telling you about The Thumb Incident.  When Mini Me was in the third grade, I decided to go back to school.  I was teaching Art three days a week, and commuting to Athens to UGA two days a week.  On one of my commuting days, the principal of Mini Me’s school called me on my cell phone.  “Jack is here in the office, and his thumb is hurting really badly.  He says he needs for you to come get him.”  I was speechless.  “His what?”, I said.  “His thumb”, the principal said.  It was not swollen or black or blue or red.  It just hurt for some reason.  I explained that I was at school in Athens, and I could not just come back to Atlanta to pick Mini Me up because his thumb hurt if nothing was visibly wrong with it.  “Well, I know, but he wanted me to call you, ” she said.  “Put him on the phone, please”, I said.  He went back to class.  I then told the principal that this was over the top, and that she was just going to have to send Mini Me back to class unless anyone had witnessed him vomiting or having diarrhea, or unless he was bleeding profusely, or had a fever that was over 100 degrees.  That pretty much put a stop to the calls……for a while…….

Mini Me is a Senior in High School now.  He spent five glorious weeks on his own at Berklee College of Music in Boston this summer, and it was very, very hard for him to transition back to  living at home with his parents and siblings, not to mention going back to regular old high school……When the messages started coming in that he was not feeling well and needed to come home, I really thought it was a bunch of his hypochondriac B.S.  I, Dr. Psychomother, diagnosed him with a really bad case of Senioritis.  It went on and on and on.  The complaining got worse and worse. He was driving me insane.  He did not feel well….the fatigue was awful.  Yes, he actually used the word fatigue.  I was rolling my eyes and sighing.  I did not think I was going to make it through this year. It is not even the end of September! So, I made him an appointment at the pediatrician–thinking that they would send him for blood work and that would scare him into straightening up and flying right.  I am so damn mean like that.  I took him on Friday afternoon.  The doc tested him for mono, which was negative.  His hemoglobin was perfect.  Then Mini Me happened to mention that his chest had been really tight.  This was the first time he had mentioned this symptom.  The doc listened to him breathe, then whisked him off for a spirometry test.  Mini Me has had asthma since he was old enough to be diagnosed with it, and he used to have to use the nebulizer a lot, but he has not had a flare up in years.  Well, well, well……he had 72% lung capacity.  Add the fact that he takes stimulant ADD meds, and that kind of doubles the fatigue.  He was not making it all up.  I felt like the meanest old mother on the planet.  I apologized to him for not believing him, but did tell him that his description of “feeling fine at home, but not fine at school” did not help things.  He now has a new steroid inhaler and a new rescue inhaler and we have to go back in 30 days.  He is feeling much, much better.  Just go ahead and give me “Mother of the Year”……

Carless, Yet Flawless……

Carless, Yet FlawlessThis is the note  I sent to school with Mini Me and The Middle Child this morning….. Yesterday, I had to send a note that said, “Please excuse Jack and Eliza for being tardy.  They left with their Dad’s keys and he had a meeting at 8:00am in Norcross, so they had to turn around and come home.”  It has been a hell of a week, and it is only Tuesday.

The Middle Child


I must introduce you to The Middle Child.  You have met Mini Me and you have sort of met The Baby.  It’s simply not fair for me to leave her out, for that is certainly giving power to the middle child syndrome, and I try very, very hard not to feed that.  I do not see how it is exactly possible for there to be a middle child syndrome at my house, being that Mini Me is a boy, and a rockstar and all that he is.  And The Baby is a boy, and, well, he is SOOOOOOOO much younger than the other two that it’s just not like there should really be any competition! The Middle Child, or Eliza, as she prefers to be called for some reason–perhaps because it is her name–is damn near perfect in most ways, so far as I can tell.  She makes nearly perfect grades.   I am not bragging, people.  I am merely stating facts.  We find her to be beautiful.  She is compassionate and sweet to the point of sometimes making me want to puke.  I do not mean this in a mean way at all.  Anyone who knows me, knows good and well that, well, I am not that sweet.  Never have been, never will be.  Again–merely stating facts, people.  The Middle Child has this beautiful, angelic voice–again, not from me.  She sings pretty much 24/7, 365.  Full on,  natural vibrato.  Singing is her thing.  Like laundry is my thing.  In case you do not already know this, I am in surround-sound pretty much all of the time, except when the kids are at school.  When they are at home, Mini Me is usually playing the guitar and singing downstairs with a microphone and amp.  The Middle Child is upstairs, belting out Broadway show tunes at the top of her lungs.  The Baby may or may not be playing the drums alongside Mini Me.  Sometimes I am in serious need of a Xanax milkshake or perhaps, a straight jacket.   But anyway, back to The Middle Child.

First of all, The Middle Child made me crave only sweet foods the entire time I was pregnant with her.  I think that is why she is so sweet.  With Mini Me, I had to eat at Rio Bravo at least 3 times a week.  I think that is why he is such a sassy pantalones. Also, The Middle Child only made me gain 27 pounds! 27. Whereas Mini Me put a whopping 65 pounds on my butt that was damn near impossible to lose.  Hell–The Baby put 80 on me, but he had an excuse of me not having a thyroid anymore, so it wasn’t actually his fault.  Is it ever The Baby’s fault?! Hahaha.  I know, I know. None of that is anyone’s fault but my own.    I thought that The Middle Child was going to be born on September 11, 2001.  I begged her to wait, so she politely did.  Mini Me and I had gone to Madison that morning and turned around and came right back.  That day was so horrible.   The Middle Child waited until early in the morning on September 15.  It was a Saturday.  There was no drama.  No rushing around.  No Atlanta traffic.  We timed my contractions and left Alpharetta in plenty of time to meet MiMa and PaPa (JC’s parents) at Northside Hospital, so they could take Mini Me home with them.  Eliza McKenzie Boyanton made her way into this world later that morning.  Forgive me people.  It is written down in her baby book exactly what time she got here, and no, I can’t remember the exact time right now! YES, I can remember the exact time Mini Me and The Baby were born.  I don’t know WHY that is, but it just IS.  Maybe it’s because Mini Me was the first child and we had a flat tire on 285 on the way from Atlanta to Athens–that’s an entirely different story.  And with The Baby….his birth story is full of nothing but drama,  and that’s an entirely different story, so it’s not like I just forgot when The Middle Child was born because she is The Middle Child!  She came into this world without any fuss.  Literally.  She refused to cry.  They did everything to try to make her cry.  She would not.  So, they gave her an Apgar score of 9 instead of 10.  Probably the only time she will never get a perfect score.  I remember them handing her to me.  I held her and looked down into her blue, blue eyes.  She was serene and sweet and everything beautiful.  She had a head full of black, curly hair!  I wanted her to have curly hair like her Daddy.  Unfortunately, this did not last, but she did have some curls for a while.  Mini Me has always had my straight-as-a-stick hair.  Mini Me came to see her.  He was a little less than thrilled.  He had wanted a clown, not a sister.  Seriously.   We had known for a long time that she was a girl.  When we told Mini Me that he was going to have a baby sister, he got very upset and said that he had wanted a clown! WTF?! A clown? I hate clowns! I am scared of clowns! Most kids are scared of clowns! It was then that I started to be concerned that perhaps Mini Me might have some….well, some issues…..but, alas, he does not.  At least none of the psychopathic nature.  That we know of.  Yet. I don’t think he does….

We brought The Middle Child home and she was just so calm.  I was so not used to this.  She slept.  She slept in her moses basket.  Alone.  And we could swaddle her and put her in it awake and she would go to sleep with no crying! She was the baby I had read about in books! I did not think this baby actually existed!  Mini Me had been the baby from hell.  Seriously.  He refused to sleep. Ever.  And NEVER in his bed or his cradle or his car seat or his bouncy seat or any other damn thing that would hold him except MY ARMS or OUR BED.  The only problem with The Middle Child was that she wanted to sleep all of the time.  When I would nurse her, she would fall asleep and stop nursing.  I would have to undress her to try to wake her.  Mini Me would be tearing up the house, drawing on the walls, unrolling all the toilet paper–anything he could do while I was trying to feed The Middle Child.  Finally, I gave up and quit nursing.  The Middle Child would drink a whole bottle before falling asleep. Bingo.  Don’t even ask me in the comment section why I didn’t pump.  Re-read what Mini Me was doing while I was nursing and re-think before you ask that question.  The Middle Child had a mat she could lay on, with a thing that hung over her head that would light up if she batted it or kicked it.  I would put her down on the mat and turn around 5 minutes later and she would be on her side, sucking her thumb, sound asleep.  When she was a baby, sleeping was her thing.  One day, when she was in her bouncy seat, in front of the television–yes, I was that mother–Mini Me was sitting right next to her.  Like right up in her grill next to her.  I was folding laundry in the hallway.  I heard screaming.   I came flying into the den and asked Mini Me just what the hell was going on.  “Her hitted me, so I scwatched her,” he said, with absolutely no remorse whatsoever.  I looked at The Middle Child, who was still screaming like a stuck pig.  She had a big, fresh scratch right down the middle of her forehead from her hairline to her nose! She had not actually hit  Mini Me.  She was in the bouncy seat and had her arms extended and was bouncing. And, if you remember, I said he was all up in her grill.  He was sitting so closely beside her, that when she extended her arms, she popped him with one of them.  I tried to explain this to Mini Me.  Actually, I am 99.9% sure he knew it before he scwatched her.  In fact, he probably planned the entire event.  Anyway, what it got him was in trouble, of course.  Mini Me was actually very protective of The Middle Child.  He did not want any other kid to touch his baby.  Ever.

The Middle Child did not walk until she was 15 months old.  She did not have to.  She was a mess when she ate anything at all.  We could always put her in her crib and tell her “night night” and she would go to sleep with absolutely zero crying.  When she moved to a toddler bed, she would stay in it.  No chasing her around the house like we had to do with Mini Me.  No screaming and fighting night after night.  When she moved to her big girl bed, she would just disappear when she got sleepy.  We would find her, sound asleep, in her bed.  Where did this dream child come from? How did she come to me? I had no clue.  I certainly did not deserve her!  Mothah loves to tell stories about how I was the child from hell….now you know where and why Mini Me got his name.  One day I will write about Mothah and why she is Mothah and not Mother.  I may not know where this child came from, but by God, I was going to keep her! I also wanted to keep my Mini Me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved his sassy pantalones self!  I know I write a lot about Mini Me and his shenanigans.  There is a lot of material to write about!  He is a really good kid.  I am really not trying to give you the wrong impression.  He loves fiercely.  He is very passionate about his beliefs and his strong personality is what is going to take him very far in life.  I am so very proud of him that I can make myself cry if I think about him for more than 30 seconds.  And I am equally as proud of The Middle Child.  I can also make myself cry if I think about her for more than 30 seconds! And the same is true for The Baby!  They are all three so very different, yet I love them so very much and more than I ever thought was possible for me to love anybody.  I will say; however, that I am so very glad that they are different.  If I had three of Mini Me….well… might drive me to drink! Three of The Middle Child…..I might be puking from all the goodness and sweetness all the time! and three of The Baby? the constant talk of video games and redundant questions might put me in a straight jacket in a matter of hours.

Just A Normal Morning

*Contains Language My Mothah Will Deem Inappropriate*  😉

I thought I would share with you what a normal day looks like at Chez-Psychomother.  Especially since today started off so, well, normally……

The Middle Child came into our room and said, “MOM! It’s 6:52! Are you going to get up?” Well, I was planning on it, yes.  My alarm had been going off intermittently since 5:30am to the sounds of Tupac’s  “California Love”, but it just hadn’t been able to rouse me.  Maybe I need to change the song to something a little more lively. Note to self: I will try to remember how I set that song in the first place and set something else later today.  God forbid I have to ask the children for help with my phone.  Shit. Okay. I jumped out of bed and turned on the light, almost stepping on The Baby’s head.  I guess I should just go ahead and tell you that The Baby does not sleep in his own room.  He sleeps on the floor in my room.  Look people, at least he is out of our bed and on our floor.  The pediatrician is helping me with this.  I am supposed to be moving him closer and closer to the door and then out into the hallway and then into his room.  Okay okay. That was 6 months ago.  He is still right beside our bed.  I will get to it.  Eventually. Whatever.  Like I said, people, he is not in our bed. He is on the damn floor. Live with it and read on or log out.   Here comes Mini Me.  “I have to go right now. ”  (Me) “It’s not even 7:00, what’s the rush?”  I knew good and well what the rush was.  The rush was Starbuck’s.  Mini Me was driving this morning.  He has already walked into school late once, venti Starbuck’s in his hand!  I rushed downstairs, remembering that I needed to make his peanut butter sandwich.  Yes, I do realize that Mini Me is far old enough to make his own peanut butter sandwich; however, he will opt not to make it.  If I make it, he will eat it.  I think.  So I barked at The Middle Child to get the toaster out of the laundry room and I made the damn sandwich and stuck it in his lunchbox.  One would think that if Mini Me was so ready to go, he might be waiting by the door.  No.  Mini Me was downstairs in his room, with the music blaring, waiting for me to come tell him I was finished making his damn sandwich.  So I did.  Finally, or so I thought, Mini Me and The Middle Child were out the door and in the car.  I headed upstairs to wake The Baby and get him ready while JC was in the shower.  Then, I heard The Middle Child stomping up the stairs to her room.  Then I heard Mini Me stomping downstairs to his room.  Then I heard Mini Me yelling for me.  “MOM! HAVE YOU SEEN MY WALLET?”  Well, no.  Why would I have seen his wallet?  “NO! DIDN’T YOU HAVE IT LAST NIGHT?” He had gone to Kroger for me after he went to the gym at 9:00pm.  I left The Baby to wake up on his own, on the floor, and went running downstairs because nobody, and I mean NOBODY can find a damn thing around here but ME.  By this time, The Middle Child and Mini Me were both back in the car, searching for the wallet.  I opened the back door of the car and searched.  Mini Me and I both headed back in the house at the same time and back downstairs into his room.  “I am looking in here Mom.  It doesn’t do any good for you to be in here too”,  Mini Me snapped at me.  I moved into the playroom.  “DID YOU CHECK YOUR CLOSET?”, I yelled from the playroom.  Apparently he had not.  “FOUND IT!”,  he yelled when he checked the closet.  “THANKS MOM! BYE, LOVE YOU!”  Oh, that Mini Me.  He is quite a piece of work.  I am still not exactly sure what he had up his sleeve this morning.  I am pretty sure it was more than Starbuck’s.  Now that I finally had the two of them out of the house, it was back to The Baby to get him dressed and ready.  He was actually dressed and waiting for me to help him with his Converse high tops when I got back upstairs.  This is the story of The Baby’s life.  Poor thing.  He lives in the shadow of Mini Me and The Middle Child and all of their drama.  He knew that if I had to come up there, after all of the yelling and the searching for the wallet, and he was not dressed, I would be less than pleased.  He had even brushed his little teeth!  I got his shoes on him and grabbed what I thought was his water bottle and headed downstairs with him to get his protein shake.  By this time, JC was ready and waiting to take The Baby to school.   I started putting ice in the water bottle and realized that it was actually MY water bottle.  I was at the END of MY rope by now.  JC was rushing me.  “DAMMIT!” I said, “wrong bottle”.  JC yelled for The Baby to go find his water bottle. “NO!, ” I said, “I CAN GET IT FASTER! I KNOW WHERE IT IS!”, I turned around and smacked my forehead on a pot hanging on the pot rack.  “MOTHERFUCKER!” I yelled.  “WHAT is the matter with you ?! “,  JC said from the other room.  “NOTHING! I HIT MY DAMN HEAD ON A POT AND IT HURT!”  I yelled as I ran upstairs to get The Baby’s water bottle.  I ran back down and filled his bottle with ice and water and shoved it into his backpack, zipped it all up and walked JC and The Baby both to the car.  I helped The Baby buckle his seat belt.   I told them both that I love them and to have a great day.  Then I watched them drive out of the driveway and walked back into the house and locked the door, breathing a sigh of relief.   This, my friends, is an example of what a  normal  morning looks like at our house.  I could not wait to fix my caramel macchiato with the 3 inches of Redi Whip, caramel sauce, and sugar sprinkles, and sit down to write.  Perhaps you envision me sitting at my beautiful desk, typing away on my iMac with the 27 inch screen.  Let me ruin that image for you.  I am sitting at my kitchen table that I bought on Craigslist a few years ago,  typing away on my antique MacBook.  I think it is circa 2007.  When the kids’ friends come over and see our MacBook, they actually say, “What is THAT?”  A couple of years ago, the hard drive burned up and I lost all of my pictures.  They can be recovered for $77,000,000.00.   Also, the screen comes and goes.  It is starting to flicker now, so, now that I have everyone out of my hair for a few short hours, I am going to get to work on one or two of my 27 art projects that I have already started….. Happy Wednesday 😉

The Sharpie

Truman was a surprise.  A happy surprise.  I am working on the story that explains the interim between The Middle Child and Truman, but there are 6 years between The Middle Child and Truman and 10 years between Mini Me and Truman.  Truman is really and truly “The Baby” in every sense of the word baby.  Mini Me and The Middle Child were absolutely thrilled when Truman came into our lives.  They were not so thrilled when he cried and they would do whatever it took to shut him up.  When he started interacting with them, they were ecstatic.  They loved to make him smile and laugh.  Mini Me and The Middle Child hated to have to go to school and leave Truman at home.  I have never figured that one out.  He was at home with ME.  I guess they just wanted to play with him 24/7.  Truman was born on February 29, 2008.  He is our Leapling.  We moved into our new house when he was 2 months old.  I know that Facebook had been around for several years before that, but I had recently discovered it–being 37 and all.  I was old.  Hell, I had only recently gotten on MySpace and figured all of that shit out.  This was around November.  Truman was 9 months old.  He was crawling.  My daily routine was to get JC, Mini Me, and The Middle Child out of here in the morning so that Truman and I could get into our schedule of coffee, making the beds, starting the laundry, and seeing what was happening on Facebook.  I would turn on The WonderPets or The BackYardigans on TV for background noise and put some toys out on the floor, and then I would sit down on the couch with the MacBook and go straight to my Facebook.  I suppose I should backtrack a bit and tell you that JC and I had never bought a single new piece of furniture, ever, until we bought our couch and matching loveseat 2 years earlier.  Every single thing we had was handed down to us by my parents or his, or I had picked it up at a garage sale and refinished it.  Our previous couches had belonged to my dad and stepmother.   We had used them until they absolutely could not be used any more.  They had suckers stuck to them, petrified chicken nuggets lost in them, drinks spilled all over them, been pee’d on, puked on, God know’s what on… You get the picture.  We had finally just dumped the damn things and gone to Rooms to Go and bought a couch and matching love seat in red microfiber.  The selling point had been when the salesperson had poured a Coca Cola on the floor model and then just wiped it off with a cloth and there was no stain.  Signed, sealed, delivered. SOLD.   We bought them in red at my insistence because red is my favorite color and I always win those arguments.  SO…..back to the November day…..we had owned the couches about 2 years.  We had lived in our new house 7 months.  I was sitting there, lost in Facebook Land….probably trying to think up something clever to write as a status update……Truman was playing.  I had noticed earlier that he had a piece of sidewalk chalk in his hand.  I wasn’t really sure where he had picked that up, but hey–the third child, and especially the much, much younger third child can find stuff like that and the parents just don’t really worry about it.  It’s not like it’s a Sharpie!  Anyway…..back to Facebook.    Truman was on the left end of the couch, making these big, long strokes with that chalk.  I thought to myself, I will just get the vacuum out and vacuum the chalk off the couch when I am finished doing what I am doing.  Now, let me tell you.  If this had been 10 years earlier, and Mini Me had been drawing on the old pee’d on, puked on, God knows what on couches, I probably would have completely lost my shit.  Seriously.  This is one of those things that changes with age.  I went back to my status updating and my friend stalking and whatever else I was doing.  I have no idea how long I was doing it, either, but it was long enough.  Something black caught the corner of my eye.  I turned my head.  I screamed.  Truman looked up at me and grinned.  I will never forget it.  I put the MacBook on the ottoman and jumped up.  I ran to the end of the couch.  Truman did not have sidewalk chalk.  Truman had a SHARPIE! Oh. My. God. I jerked that thing out of his little fat baby hand.  Where the hell had he gotten a Sharpie?! I don’t know why I even bothered wondering that.  I kept Sharpie’s all over the house.  I used them all the time-still do.  Truman had drawn all over the left end of the couch with black Sharpie! There was no way I could vacuum that off.  In fact, there was no way I could get that off with anything that I knew of.  Shit.  WHAT was I going to tell JC?  That I was sitting around playing on Facebook and did not notice that the baby had a fucking SHARPIE and was drawing all over the couch? I think NOT!  I got the upholstery cleaner out that Rooms To Go had given us.  It did not even dull the Sharpie. I got every other cleaner out that I had under the kitchen sink.  Nothing dulled the Sharpie.  I was totally screwed.  I was mad at myself.  This was the only new furniture we had ever had, and I had just allowed the baby to ruin it–for a stupid reason.  And to make matters worse, I did not want to be honest about it, simply because I knew that I had been lazy and fell down on my job!  So…..I decided to email JC at work so that he would be prepared before he came home.  Yes! That would be much better than him just walking in to black Sharpie all over the couch.  So…..I crafted a lovely email that said something like I had been in the bathroom and somehow Truman had gotten hold of a Sharpie that I had thought I had put away, but had somehow dropped….blah blah blah……I was sure to make it sound like it really was in no way my fault.  Of course.  It was an accident.  I hit send.   He responded at some point not to worry about it-that we would deal with it.  He is the most easy going man on the planet.  There was just one little problem with all of this.  The guilt.  I felt so terribly guilty.  JC worked and still does work really hard so that I can stay at home.  The very idea that I was sitting around, playing on Facebook and allowing the baby to find a Sharpie and draw all over the couch while I wasn’t paying attention was just too much for me.  It ate at me.  I had to tell him the truth.  He forgave me.  Like I have said before, he truly is my much better half.  He doesn’t get mad about stuff like that.  He would not have gotten mad if I had said, “Hey, I was on Facebook and the baby drew all over the couch with a Sharpie”,  but there is something about that sentence that still makes me sick to my stomach….perhaps because it shows a side of me that I don’t like for others to see…..

It’s That Simple

One thing you will need to get used to is that my stories will never be written in any sort of chronological order.  I write what comes to me, whether it is from 35 years ago (or more!) or 5 minutes ago.  I think that may be part of my ADD or maybe it is normal. But who is to say what’s normal, anyway?

Truman was born when I was 37.  Mini Me was born when I was 27.  The Middle Child was born when I was a month shy of 31.  The 10 years between 27 and 37 is vast.  I am talking about as vast as if you were to walk from Atlanta to China kind of vast.  I can’t even begin to tell you the things I have learned from 27 to 37 and the growing up I have done! I cannot even describe it!  Another thing is that you may be 42 and have a 7 year old, but if your 7 year old is your oldest child, there is no way you can understand where I am coming from sometimes. It’s that simple.  Please try to remember that I will be 45 next month and my oldest child is a senior in high school.  My next oldest is going to turn 14 in a week and is in 8th grade.  My baby is 7 and in 2nd grade.  This ain’t my first rodeo, friends.  I do not claim to have done anything perfectly, ever, and one word of advice: neither should you.  Because you won’t.  No matter how hard you try.  It’s that simple.  I have made countless mistakes and I have also done countless great things.  You will too.  It’s that simple.   I just ask that you try to remember that the 10 years between 7 and 17 are long and a lot happens in those 10 years–a lot that you do not know about if you have not yet been there with your children.  So hold onto your seat–especially if you have boys–it’s a bit of a bumpy ride, but it’s worth every single second.  It’s that simple.

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