Superstition

We stood waiting for the brides to return from their 2nd jaunt of picture taking.

Me: I remember when I was a flower girl, and I was so hungry waiting to get pictures done and over with. When I got married, I didn’t any one to suffer like that, so the ex and I met with the photographer two days before the wedding to take as many couple wedding pictures we could.

A bridesmaid: Really? You were ok with that?

Me: Sure. The ex was worried about seeing me in the wedding dress before the wedding, but I’m not superstitious. What’s the worst that could- damnit!

Carbs and Calories

All day Tornado E had been saying “carbs and calories” to anything that was bad. Often with a shake of the head.

We sat at dinner at Panda Express eating Americanized- fast food Chinese. The boys eating their favorite offerings but mentioning they wished I would cook more at home. As we were in California for a wedding, it really wasn’t an option that night.

Tornado E: Mommy, why are grown ups afraid of carbs and calories?

For years, my boys have been exposed to their father’s dieting habits and my mother’s comments (to me, to my dad, about herself). Long ago I resolved that I would never “diet” in front of them. I would model healthy eating habits. I would not do fade diets, yo-yo diets, weird dieting concoctions, or deprive myself. I promised to be careful what I said about my body and my weight, to monitor what I said about their bodies and other people’s bodies. I would not fat shame or thin shame within my boys’ hearing. They heard enough negative body comments from others.

I don’t want my boys growing up with body or food issues. I don’t want them to stay away from food for their body images. I don’t want them to look in the mirror and have demons criticize their bodies. I want them to be happy and healthy.

Me: Well, baby, many adults don’t run around and have fun like children, so they have to worry about what they eat instead. Many adults are not happy about their bodies. Sometimes they have to worry because of their health. Sometimes they just don’t like their bodies. And that’s sad.

Tornado E: Yes, that’s sad.

Pause.

Tornado E: But not you, Mommy. You like your body. You’re not afraid of carbs and calories.

I smiled and bit into a piece of orange chicken. The demons that lurk behind my mirrors were safely locked away from my boys. Maybe one day I won’t meet them in dressing room mirrors or when I take a closer look at my outfits.

Fake it until you make it.

Vacation Recap

The weekend of the wedding began our fall break. I did a mini-vacation with the boys.

  1. Highways make the drive so much smaller. But you get to see interesting things.
  2. The Salton Sea is creepy, isolated, stinky, and creepy. I’ve got to do more research on it. Tornado E said it was something out of his nightmares.
  3. My body reminded me that I’m no longer 21 and can’t eat fast food several days in a row. Next time I’ll save more money for real restaurants.
  4. Tornado S left his toys, books, and DVD choices in Tucson. We discovered this 45 mins out of town. I decided to buy all the boys a toy and Tornado S a DVD at Walmart in California.
  5. It’s so awesome to see, hang out, and catch up with old friends. It was so sad not to have more time to hang out longer.
  6. Everyone reads every day. Those are the rules.
  7. Tornado A was thrilled to share a bed with me.
  8. I think I can do this single parent thing on vacation. I just need more money. Like a lot more. I’m not greedy, just really, really poor.
  9. When we got home, we still had several days together. So we did the zoo, worked on Cub Scout stuff, and worked on school work.
  10. Tornado S likes being dragged across the finish line of school work. He fails to realize how much he’s missing. Like movies and crafts. And ice cream.
  11. Tornado E built a fire and grilled hot dogs and bratwurst for dinner one night. For Cub Scouts. With Papi’s supervision.
  12. Tornado A has a new baby. A baby narwhale. Because it was the closet thing he could find to a unicorn at Walmart. It joins the baby unicorn, the tiny baby unicorn, the mountain lion cub, and the leopard cub. So cute.
  13. We have decided on Halloween costumes.
  14. I filled everyone’s tummy with fruits and vegetables to make up for the 5 days of fast food.
  15. After 9 days with the boys, it was hard to let their dad take them.

A Wedding

Two weekends ago, the boys and I were in the wedding of my very best friend. I’m happy for her. And thrilled for her. And I will destroy her wife if she hurts my friend.

A few things from that weekend.

  1. My boys were A-mazing. They helped when asked. They played and watched movies to stay away. They did great in the wedding.
  2. No bridesmaid loves her dress. No matter how hard the bride works at that end.
  3. Mine is not to question why. Mine is to do or die.
  4. Two brides. Two brides. Do you know what that means? Imagine a girl who has always wanted to be a bride and gets to plan her very own magical wedding. Now times it by two. I’ve never been so glad not to be a lesbian.
  5. I was never one of those girls who dreamed of a magical wedding day. I do not understand it. But I know I’m odd.
  6. Everyone’s emotions run high around weddings. Understand this. Forgive.
  7. Being in a wedding is a selfless act. Understand this. Forgive.
  8. You’re going to get hurt; you might as well see it coming. Understand this. Forgive.
  9. The kids I went to school with are really awesome.
  10. Being in a wedding party with other moms means that they get parenting and will help you out. Like cutting the nails of your screaming 8yr old, who has never been harmed in the pursuit of short nails.
  11. Brides, don’t micromanage; delegate. Be specific as you want, but delegate…. like almost everything.
  12. One of the maid of honors asked to help me with my hair. Holy crap! It was witchcraft!
  13. Is it a thing now that wedding photographers take 99% of pictures of the couple? I was asking for all sorts of pictures of other people with or without me at my wedding day. Of course, I’m odd.
  14. I had to get my shoes pre-approved. I should’ve demanded to pre-approve the bride’s shoes.
  15. I know it’s trendy. But the string of lights through the olive grove was magical. Having antique-looking furniture through the olive grove was magical. Goats? That’s just quirky.
  16. Having the kids plates be just kid-friendly food and brought out before dinner was a great idea. Also the kid goody boxes were an awesome idea.
  17. Tornado E hated his trendy hipster outfit but decided it was ok later on.
  18. Tornado S was meant to carry a cool sign that read, “Here Comes the Brides.” We forgot about it until two minutes before we walked. Damn. (Delegate.)
  19. Tornado A kept asking me to dance with him.
  20. I forgot to get a picture with my boys. Damnit.
  21. I wish my best friend and her wife the most happiest of years. I wish that they weather the storms and enjoy the smooth sailing that comes after the storms. I wish them love.

We all want ice cream

Me: Where are you going?

Tornado E stood at the door, holding the door open.

Tornado E: We should get ice cream. You owe me ice cream.

Me: For what?

Tornado E: I got a 96% on my reading test.

Tornado S struggles with spelling test. A B gets him a candy bar. An A gets him ice cream. A 100% gets him any dessert at the French bakery. Half Tornado S’s problem is writing fast and neat.

Tornado E has no such problems. He has a laziness problem.

Me: Uh-huh.

Tornado E: And a while back I got 100% on my spell pre-test. So let’s get ice cream.

At this point, Tornado A was next to him smiling.

Me: And who’s paying?

Tornado A ran out of the room and ran back with his wallet.

Tornado A: I WILL!!!

He ran out the door. I ran after him.

Me: Wait! We have to eat dinner first! It’s ready in 5 minutes!

Thank goodness I had the keys. I think he would’ve left us all.

Math?

“I can teach anything.”

My famous last words.

Literature, grammar, history, science, crafts- math?

Maybe not math.

I’m a words-person. I love stories. Math baffles me. It’s a foreign world to me.

Unless it’s in science. I can do formulas. Just not math.

My boys are numbers people. They love math. They get it from my mom and their dad.

I only felt like I master math once. In seventh grade. Not only did I get A’s, but I was confident enough to help my classmates to understand the concept. I was one of 7 kids to be ready for algebra in 8th grade.

It’s a good thing I excelled in 7th grade math because I was just offered a long term sub position teaching 7th grade math.

Time to open up the books and review.

Because I can teach anything.

Sleepless Nights

My boys, mainly Tornado E, have a hard time sleeping through the night. One, two, or three boy(s) end up in my bed sometime in the night. Before in the last house, it was just annoying. Now it’s difficult because I sleep in a double. Three kids and an adult don’t fit. When this happens, I slip out of bed and crawl into a twin bed in the boys’ room. If I’m lucky, I sleep through the night and wake to my alarm in the next room. I’m rarely that lucky. Usually a boy or two slides into bed with me. The third child is told to sleep in one of the other beds.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a good night-parent. I get grumpy when woken up in the middle of the night.  With a good reason, I become less grumpy. Trying to crawl into my bed is not a good reason to wake me up.

Last night Tornado E was already in my bed, when Tornado A started crying out to me because of a nightmare. When I cuddled with him to make sure he was fine, he asked me to stay. I slid into bed for just a minute when Tornado E entered the room.

Aha! A scheme! I would let Tornado E fall to sleep in his bed; then I would creep back into my own bed to sleep alone. What could go wrong?

An hour of whining, arguing, pleading, Tornado E begged me to return to my bed. Somewhere in the middle of this barrage of craziness at 2:30am, he threatened not to go back to sleep.

Right. That’s it. This was the hill I was dying on tonight. I will not negotiate with terrorists.

He fell asleep. Finally.

Only to wake up 30 minutes later to resume his whining, arguing, pleading, begging-0h-my-god-stop-it! He went on for an hour as I dozed off and on.

Finally Tornado S asked me if he could play video games.

Me: What time is it?

Tornado S: 5.4.5

5-4-5? Right. 5:45.

Me: No. Not until 6:00.

A moment passed.

Tornado S: Can I play video games now?

Me: No. What time is it?

Tornado S: 6.

Me: Yes.

Tornado S and E jumped out of bed.

Me: Except Tornado E. He has to stay in bed until 6:30 because he was up all night.

I left the room before he could start whining.

I really could use a nap.