That sucks

Tornado A and I were grocery shopping, and we were at our final store.  We were at the organic food store because I was picking up stuff to make miso soup.  Mmmm.  Miso soup.  I figured it would be a great snack for me.  And the store had tofu on sale.  Score.

When we got to the refrigerated section, the tofu on sale was gone.  All of it.  Every kind.  Gone.  All that was left was the stuff not on sale.  Three times more expensive.  Ah damn.  I bent over and looked down the shelf to be sure.  Hoping.  And-

Me: That sucks.  Oh that sucks.

I stood up and shook my head.

Me: Man, that sucks so bad.  Just sucks.

I was so disappointed.

Tornado A: Sucks!


Tornado A: Sucks!


Tornado A: Sucks!

Me: No, Tornado A.  Stinks.

Tornado A: Sucks!

Me: Stinks!

Tornado A: (laughing) Sucks!

Oh, no.  I’m in so much trouble.

Tornado A: (laughing) Sucks!  Sucks!  Sucks!

So much trouble.


Me: (singing softly with the store music) Who’s trippin’ down the streets of the city?  Smiling at ev-

Tornado A: SUCKS!

By now, we’re were nearing the cash register.

Me: Tornado A!  Wanna go to the bread store?

Tornado A: WAY!!!

Me: Ok!  Let’s buy these real quick and go get bread!

Tornado A: WAY!!!

Shoo.  God, I’m such a bad mother.

The one word you can’t say in front of my dad

My parents are vastly different in their anger.  My mother is a tornado.  You can hear it coming, but she is very precise on where she lays down her path of destruction.  If you battened down the hatches, listened for the warnings, you’ll survive; if you decided to ignore the warnings, you’re a dead man.  My father is a volcano.  It builds and builds until he erupts taking out everything in his path.  I shiver from my mother’s screamings; I sob under my father’s quiet “I’m disappointed in you.”  But they agreed on punishing for language, and that punishment was the good, old fashion soap.

I was home for my first winter break from college.  I was helping decorate the living room for Christmas because with my parents working and I not being there, my brothers had done little but put up their favorite ornaments on the tree.  All ten of them.  As I was picking up a glass ornament older than my mom, I dropped it, shattering it.

Me: Goddamnit!

My dad was in the room.  He looked up.

Dad: Fae.  In the bathroom.  Now.

Me: What?

He got up slowly with purpose, much like a jaguar stalking prey.

Dad: You heard me, Fae.  In the bathroom.  Now.

Of course, this jaguar was as big as a grizzly and walked like a cop and talked like my dad.

Me: Dad.  You got to be kidding.  I’m eighteen.  I’m in college.  I don’t even live here.

Dad: You’re my daughter.  You technically do live here.  I’m not asking again.  Get into the bathroom.

Son of a.  I marched into the bathroom, believing this was all a joke.  I was eighteen, an adult.

Dad: Sit on the hamper.

Yup, just like when I was eleven and stupid enough to say “shit.”  Smart, Fae, smart.

My dad shut the bathroom door, a small mercy to shield my punishment from my brothers who will hear about it soon enough.

Dad: Liquid or bar?

I always felt this was a trick question.  I was so sure the bar was better because the liquid could run down your throat, but maybe that’s what he wanted you to think.

Me: Bar.

Ok, I’m not brave enough for the liquid.  I can’t believe he’s making me do this.  I’m an adult.  I voted.

Dad: Open your mouth.  Stick out your tongue.

Fine.  We’ll see how far you can take a joke.  Ahhhhh.

He rubbed the bar on my tongue in two circles, then scrapped it along the back of my upper front teeth.

Dad: You won’t be using that kind of language in my house, young lady.  Rinse it out any time.

He left the room.  The rinsing out is the worst part.  It turns the solid soap sitting on your tongue to liquid, filling your mouth with that oh-so-wonderful soapy taste.

That was the day I learned I could say “God” and “Damn,” but I could never EVER put the two together.

The day after the F word incident, The Husband and I were having yet another money talk.  We had a lot of those in December because I play CFO to The Husband’s CEO in money issues.  He tells me the money he can give me and questions where the rest went, and I supply him with all the answers and tell him I need more.  Like most CEOs, The Husband has no idea how much money it takes to run things.  Like most CFOs, my solution is get me more money (and cut out those CEO lunches).  If I was a real CFO, you know who liked numbers and money, I would have an ongoing spreadsheet showing every single purchase, but I’m not and would rather eat soap then be that crazy organize.  (Crap that almost sounded like intuition. Ahhhhh!)  You can imagine how heated these conversations can get.

The boys were playing toys in the floor between us as I like to get as far away from the breathing fire as possible (though The Husband does calm down after a few minutes of rational thinking; he’s just quick on the fire breathing).  I finished submitting my report.

The Husband: GODDAMNIT, Fae!

I launched back with more detail logic to his fiery ourtburst.  I hate being broke too.  I hate spending this much on bills.  But that’s how life is, and I cut all I could.

Meanwhile.  There was Tornado S in the background of my monologue.

Tornado S: Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.

Me: (finishing up my speech) Oh, and thanks for teaching our two year old that lovely new word.

Tornado S: Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.

The Husband: You’re welcome.  Oh. Cr-

Me: Don’t say it.

The Husband: Right.  Ok.  Um.  Ok.  I can do this.  I just can’t get over how much we spend.

Me: Trust me.  We’re cheaper than we used to be.

Tornado S:  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.  Goddamnit.

The Husband: Sorry about that.  Should we talk to him?

Me: No.  Hopefully he’ll forget it in a moment.  Hey, Tornado S.  Do you want some popcorn and juice?

Tornado S: Juice!  Corn!  Juice.  Juice.  Juice.  Juice.

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The New Vocabulary

I was doing dished.  I know, in the day!  Weird.  Cleaning up after breakfast.  I know, before lunch!  Weird.  When I watched Tornado E walk into the family room and accidentally drop his toy.

Tornado E: F-it.

Me: (In the Voice) What?

Tornado E looked around, feigning confusion.  I walked into the family room, kneeled on one knee, and looked him in his eye.

Me: What.  Did you say?

Tornado E: (in a meek voice) F-it.

Me: Why. Did you say that?

Tornado E: Because Daddy does.

I arched one eyebrow, stood up, took Tornado E in one hand, and marched to the closed office door.  I knocked.

The Husband: (muffled and distracted) Yes?

Me: You better come out here and join me in a talk with Tornado E.  He just used the F word and said it came from you.

I might have still been using the voice because I heard The Husband drop his earphone set and roll the chair as soon as I finished talking.  He unlocked and opened the door, staring at us.  His eyes read “I don’t know when he heard me say it.”  But he wisely didn’t say the words because I just glared at him.  Because I knew Tornado E got it from The Husband.

The Husband: Let’s talk.

I sat Tornado E down on the floor and joined him.  The Husband followed suit, trying on his best I’m-an-angry-dad-don’t-push-my-buttons look.

Me: Tornado E.  Do you know what that word means?

Tornado E: No.

Me: If you don’t know what it means, why would you say it?

Tornado E: I don’t know.

Me:  There are some words out there that aren’t good to use.  They don’t work well.  Often they make the person saying them look stupid.  The word you used is one of those.  You’re not allowed to say it.

Tornado E: But Daddy does!

The Husband opened his mouth to say something.

Me: I don’t care if Daddy says it.  I’m not talking about Daddy.  I’m talking about Tornado E.  I only care if Tornado E says it.  If you say it again, you’ll be going to time out.

The Husband: If you hear Daddy say it, you can put me into time out.

Me: Do you understand me?

Tornado E: Yes, Mommy.

Me: Now I want an apology and a kiss and a hug.

Tornado E: I’m sorry, Mommy.

He stood up to give me a kiss and a hug.  He ran off to play with Tornado S.

Me: Do you think it’s time you watched your language?

The Husband: I haven’t said that in a while.  I don’t even watch football games here just in case.

Me: You used it yesterday when you were yelling at one of the employees over the phone.

The Husband: You can hear that?

Me: Babe, back when we lived in the condo I could here you yelling all the way down the stairs, out the garage, and across the street at the trash bin.  You only have a hollow door between you and us.

The Husband: So, I guess it’s time for me to watch my language.

Me: Yes.
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God’s Story



Said my husband when he noticed the stain on the white shirt he was ironing so he could wear it for work.  It was said in front of the boys, and I held my breath because if Evan remembered that phrase, I was getting my mouth washed out with soap this Christmas . . . again.  My father (as he is not my dad when he disciplines) hates that phrase, and the last time I said it in front of him, at eighteen, fresh from my first semester away at college,  I was astonished as I was marched into the bathroom and told to open my mouth.  Now I know for sure my father would not hesitate to wash out my mouth again.  If it had happened three months ago, my father would be right to do so but not when I’ve been so good.


But God was merciful.


Evan: Daddy!  God means church!  God means we’re going to church!  God wants us to be quiet in church!  If we’re quiet in church, we go out to eat breakfast!  Then we go home!  The end!  That was a good story, Daddy!


I think we better go to church this Sunday to thank God.

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The museum and “Goddamn”

Ah, a week day off for my husband.  So what should we do?  Save money and go somewhere that we already have an annul pass. So Evan, where do you want to go?  The zoo or the museum?  As Evan did a pile drive into his father, who was trying to sleep in (ha!), Evan shouted “I want to see the dinosaurs!”  Well, that settled that question.  So it was time to chase down kids to get them dressed.  Evan chose a dinosaur shirt for the occasion, which shocked me.  After growing up with brothers (one who is metro-sexual and one who just wants a clean shirt that’ll match his eyes {they both like impressing the opposite sex}), it surprised me to hear a boy put an actual thought into a theme for the day.  But what the hell?

As I pushed everyone out the door so that we could get the most time in, I turn to my husband to remind him if had bought the parking pass with the annual pass we wouldn’t have to bring change.  His response was that we would never go then.  And we can always park across the street at the mall and walk over.  Right, carrying a 16 month old who weighs the amount of an 18 month old and a diaper bag?  Right.  I don’t think so.  We’ll just pay the three bucks.

Of course as soon as we got there, Sean was asleep and was dead weight to carry.  As soon as I could, I transfered his weight to my husband and took Evan into the wind tunnel to show support of the weather reporters braving Gustav.  Then we stared at the water vortex for a while because Evan is obsessed with it.  I don’t know if it’s because it’s neat to watch or because the word is neat to say. 

Then it was a whirlwind of activity through the museum as Tornado Evan and Sean went looking for excitement in completely opposite directions.  While Sean stubbornly had to go down the tiny slide head first no matter how I turned him, Evan learned about gravity by rolling a ball down the funnel until a dozen tries later my husband got Evan to roll the ball around the funnel.  (As you noticed, I have no idea what the experiment is called because I’m usually trying to keep the boys from throwing hard little balls at people.)  Evan built a wall, and Sean pushed buttons on the Buzz Aldrin exhibit.  I did learn Buzz Aldrin got his name from his little sis who said “buzzer” instead of “brother.”  As I was ready to sit down after following Sean around the building four times, I mentioned dinosaurs to Evan as we passed by.

To the bottom floor and outside, refusing the story time because we have better things to do, we explored the inside of a brachiosaurus, learning all about it’s digestive system.  In other words, Evan wanted to see the dinosaur poop.  Yup, the most important thing in that museum is a plastic pile of dinosaur dung that is perfectly under the dinosaur who has a tube coming out its rectum with black balls falling into the pile, which is cleverly shaped like a bench.  Lovely!  At least, the boys worked together to do the giant dinosaur bone puzzle before climbing over the dung.  Evan kept yelling for his parents to sit on the poop.  “Mommy, mommy.  Over here!  Sit on the dinosaur poop, Mommy!”  Sean was content to put the puzzle pieces back into the box with a clatter.

Then there’s the cave.  Inside the cave is a projection of a t-rex or a raptor (I don’t know which), who roars and walks by.  It’s great fun to watch people walk in for the first time because they always jump a foot off the ground at that first roar.  Evan has a love-hate relationship with the cave.  He has to go in there, but he is more frighten every time.  Watching Sean brave the cave first, Evan went and stayed behind his baby brother.  When the dinosaur roared, I roared back, and Sean laughed as Evan backed away to the edge of the cave.  As a new family came in to investigate, Evan hung right behind the parents, staying just behind them.  It was hilarious as my husband tried to get Evan to come out of the cave.

Yesterday marked the first time Evan peed in a public potty.  He tinkled, but I was excited.  I showed him I could pee too, and Evan insisted on holding my leg so I didn’t fall in.  So we left, only to find Evan still had to go pee and choose to do it in his car seat.  Great.  Now I have to wach the damn thing.

As we pulled into a parking lot of a nice strip mall, Evan suggested we “go over there because they serve pizza.  Do you like pizza, Daddy?  Evan does!”  We were actually going to the pizza parlor.  “After the pizza store, we can go to the party store.  After the party store, we can go to the book store.”  My husband looked at me, and I smiled.  “I think we’ll do just the pizza today,” my husband said. 

Another quick note: Evan said “goddamn! that was really funny!” the other day while we had company over.  It was clear as a bell.  We all just sat quiet and watched him.  He wasn’t even talking to us; he was talking to his fork as the grownups discussed McCain and Palin.  So I igrnored it, praying he won’t say it again.  Or at least until I can wash his mouth out with soap and have him understand what THAT punishment meant.  And if God is good, Evan will forget the phrase before my parents come because they will know I said it.  But God has a sense of humor, so I’m sure Evan’ll say it some time.  Probably in front of one of MY grandmas.  Then I’m really in trouble.