Bathroom Buddies

Following their daddy like the ducklings they are, the boys tried to follow him into the bathroom.  But apparently Daddy wanted privacy for his bowel movement.

The Husband: Everyone out.

He shut the door.  The boys began to knock and bang and pound and drum on the door.

Tornado E: But Daddy, you know what-

Tornado S: Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!

Tornado E: -And then I jumped-

Tornado S: Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!

Tornado E: -I ran around-

Tornado S: Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!

Tornado E: -Isn’t that so funny?

Tornado S: Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!

The Husband burst out of the bathroom and came into the kitchen where I was doing dishes, listening to everything, chuckling under my breath.  The boys, of course, followed.

The Husband: How can any one get anything done in there with that racket?

Me: You need to concentrate on what you’re doing?

The Husband: I would like some peace and quiet and to be alone while I’m doing it.

Me: Baby, welcome to my world.  I haven’t had peace on the toilet since Tornado E was born.

Sweating the Small Stuff

I may look like I roll with the punches and am cool as a cucumber, but I’m not.  Throw a few speed bumps in my way as I rush head down the path I’ve decided to take, and I will start to cuss a blue streak and murmur curses.  Or I least I did before kids.  Now it’s silent.  Like when I road rage.  Oh, I have horrible road rage.  I just have a hard time dealing with changes in MY plans.  It’s amazing I decided to have children, instead of something more cooperative like fish.

This adorable character trait is nothing new.  It has amused many people especially when crunch time comes and I’m as serene as a statuesque saint.  Halo and all.  Amazingly The Husband forgets this little quality of mine until it rears its ugly head, especially at him.

Which leads me to my Thank Me Later Thursday. 

Sure I could talk about The Husband, who decided to go back to bed as I tried to motivate and round up the troops for a day outing that I promised we would meet my parents and in-laws early.  I could thank him for parking behind me, for forgetting to get the plates on my car done in a timely matter, for not helping with any dressing, for forgetting to give someone a Christmas present and leaving it in the trunk of his car all this time.

But no, again, I direct this Thank Me Later to me.

Dear Fae,

Sure, you’re a planner, and you have to have things go a certain way or you freak out.  I need you to chill a bit on that.  Not that it isn’t cute the way you make up new curses and all, but you’re going to have an early heart attack.  When you sweat the small stuff, you end up doing something incredibly stupid.  Like texting your BFF, “I’m going to kill my husband today.  I bloody know it.”  That in and of itself isn’t stupid.  Not checking who you sent it to is.  Because the BFF didn’t get it.  The first person with a C name got it, and she’s the second person.  The first person was hardly amused by it.  In fact, I would say he really believed it, but he should have known as a cop’s daughter you would never have put plans like that in writing so that there was a premeditated plan.  No, The Husband was not amused, and you, my dear, looked like an @ss.  My advice is to shake off more little things, even when they’re piling on like bugs on a windshield, and to double check who you send sensitive text messages too.

You may Thank Me Later.

Love, Fae

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So this is what I get?

You know what’s hard?

Checking out cute guys in kilts.

When you’re pregnant.

When you’re holding the hand of a two year old.

When you run by later trying not to pee your pants while cursing the recreation department for putting the bathrooms so far from the playground.

You know what’s hard?

Trying not to flirt with the incredible cute cashier with a British accent.

When you’re pregnant.

When you have a four year old and two year old dancing around you and trying to pull out the moving counter for wheel chair check writers.

When your husband is waiting at the end of the line for you.

Someone is mocking me.

It ain’t for wimps

The Husband thinks he can do my job.  It’s a point of contention between us, especially when he throws it out in a middle of an argument.  Obviously it’s times when he’s not thinking rationally.

Today he was working in his office while I tried to get the boys to clean the HUUUUUGE mess they made of their toys and the family room.  Tornado E was sent to time out because he didn’t listen when I told him “no” when he decided to take apart the potty training seat.  Tornado S was sent to time out because he stopped in the middle of putting toys away to fling the basket he was filling with toys around, making a giant circle of strewn toys.  After time outs were done, I noticed their nails needed clipping, so I started on Tornado E as I repeatedly told Tornado S to put the toys in the basket with The Husband’s commenting “It puts the lotion in the basket.”  Yeah, not helping.  Then it was Tornado S’s turn to get his fingernails done.  Apparently Tornado S feels that cutting his nails is the same thing as pulling them off with needle-nose pliers and loudly protests the whole thing.  After trimming ten fingernails and ten toenails, the noise fell to just crying.

The Husband: (still from the office) Wow.  That’s rough.

Me: So you still want custody of the children?

The Husband: No.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Go Forth, Little Children, and Spread the Word.

I knew when we decided to raise the boys Roman Catholic, I was looking for trouble.

The Husband and I agreed on it before we were engaged, when we were planning our future together.  So when the priest at the premarital counseling asked, we could tell him, without crossing our fingers, exactly what he wanted to hear.  The Husband and I had debated it, and I promised my sometimes atheist, sometimes agnostic (depending who he was talking/listening to) husband that we would always be willing and able to explore different spiritual paths if our children decided they weren’t going to be Catholic.

Being raised as a laid back kind of Catholic, I was fully open to the prospect there were more ways to God than one.  My father was Nazarene, and he was the person I went to for spiritual advice.  I went to my mom for moral advice.  My best friend from high school was Jewish.  In college, most of my friends were D.O.C or U.C.C. or Wiccan.  I took Bible courses so I could argue my beliefs with my Protestant friends.  But I knew I had slipped away from being fully Catholic to some hybrid that no one could understand but God and me.  So I knew I was going to have issues sending my boys to Catholic school or Sunday school.

I just figured I had a few years before I had to bite my tongue over the ridiculous of Original Sin.  (If you want to debate this, just let me know.  I personally despise St. Augustine and what he did to our beloved Christian faith.  Jerk.)

We’re sending Tornado E to a Lutheran pre-Kindergarten.  While I was a little nervous that the new director was a missionary for years and years in Mexico (Did I mention my Catholic family is so anti-converting, they don’t even convert their heretic spouses?), I assured myself that all they could teach four years olds was simple Bible stories and God loves them.

Until last week.

When Tornado E came home.

The Husband: So what did you learn about in school?

Tornado E: Jesus loves me.

The Husband: Yes, that’s right.

Tornado E: Jesus loves me and you and Tornado S-y and Mommy and everybody.  I need to tell everyone that Jesus loves them.  Can I go to all the houses and tell our neighbors that Jesus loves them?

At this point, I’m hyperventilating in the kitchen wondering if we still had to pay the rest of the tuition if I yank him out now or if I had to create a scene about teaching my four year old to apostatize.  I bet I could get their goat if I compared them to Mormons.

The Husband: Well, Tornado E, I’m pretty sure everyone knows that, so why don’t we play cars instead.

Tornado E: Oh, ok.

Me: (whispering to The Husband) What are we going to do?

The Husband: He’s four.  I’m sure he misunderstood.  We just won’t let him do it.  Though it would be funny to see him knock on doors.  Where’s his Bible?

I narrowed my eyes.  The Husband was taking this much better than I, and if I wasn’t so sure I was the Evil Genius in the household, I would bet he was enjoying this.  Atheist.

Later I mentioned it to my dad, who chuckled.  Obviously I’m the only one concerned.

Dad: Did you ever think, Fae, that they might have been talking about “Love thy Neighbor?”

Me: Of course not.  Because that would be too simple of an answer and would mean I was freaking out for nothing.

Dad: Well, anything is possible.

I’m getting a new family.

And I wonder who is the patron saint of nonconverting.

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Dark Confessions

I wanted to write this post last week because it was bad last week, but then I stumbled on some truths that I didn’t know if I wanted to share.  Once I open my mouth, it’s like an avalanche.  Ask anyone who knows me.  But I feel I have to write because it’s going to seep in, like it always does every time, like smoke seeping into clothes, furniture and walls.  It’s seeping into me.

I noticed I was loosing patience with the boys.  It wasn’t like I had a hard day or they were being especially on the throttle.  I couldn’t smile when they were being actively cute-crazy.  I just wanted to be done.

Then I noticed I was tired.  Bone wary tired.  In a time when I shouldn’t be.  Even if I napped or drank lots of water, even if I took it easy.

Then I noticed I was sad.  Not sad in that was a sad movie or the sadness that comes from watching horrible events on the news that make you feel helpless.  No, this was a sadness that went to the core of my soul.  A depression.

Crap, I’m depressed.

Since I have a history of depression, I know I have to take this seriously.  I have to mark on my calendar when I’m depressed.  I have to analyze my thoughts.  I have to do something or I slip away, slowly but surely, from everything that I love and everything I am.

I’ve made a brief nod to my teenage depression, where it got so bad that I was actually coming up with plans of killing myself.  Frightening plans of when, Monday nights because everyone would be at the Boy Scout meeting, where, my bedroom, how, cutting.  I was able to ask for help when I realized I was starting to look for the perfect dress.  Stupid and creepy.

Then I had depression in college, but my parents were able to cue in the warning signs, insisting I go to a counselor, who helped me tremendously.

So last week when I began writing, I was going to say that I never was depressed during pregnancy.  I had the two bouts before, and I had a bout of post-partum after Tornado E.  But other than that I was fine.

Then I started thinking.  When I was pregnant with Tornado E, I insisted that The Husband and I start martial counseling.  We needed it.  We weren’t able to go more than a few times because I had a horrible work schedule that was never posted until the day before the week began.  You can imagine how hard it was to set a haircut appointment, much less a counseling appointment.

Then during my pregnancy with Tornado S, The Husband and I had our worst time in our marriage.  We fought a lot.  He would yell and call me names, but the worst part was he would just leave, disappearing how ever long he wanted, never calling, leaving me to worry.  I wanted us to go back to counseling, and he refused.  I went any ways, learning more about myself and about The Husband.  It looked like all Hell was about to break loose when The Husband all of a sudden reigned in the month before Tornado S was born and for some reason I never got post-partum even though I was waiting for it, ready to battle it.

(As a side, we did end up going to counseling for a year, a year after Tornado S was born.)

Now I’m pregnant again.  Even though I knew our marriage wasn’t strong to begin with (And yes, people, I debated, prayed, meditated on this little fact before I got myself knocked up).  Now there are other issues, like The Husband having to work in California weeks at a time (which I understood and we make the most of) and money is tighter than it has ever been in our marriage (which causes stress on both The Husband and I).  And now I’m depressed.

I want to rail against it because this is not the right time.  I’m pregnant!  I have two boys that depend on me to be strong and with it, ready to play and laugh, moving at the speed of light with them.  I have a household to run.  I have other issues I have to deal with, like the real possibility I’m co-dependent.  I need to be strong.

If money wasn’t so tight, I’d march myself into a counseling office.  But that’s not really an option right now.  So I have to come up with other ways to deal with this.  Don’t worry; I plan on telling my OB/GYN this week at the appointment so she is well aware of the situation.  The Husband has been informed.  I figure I should cram in some exercise somewhere into my schedule and make it a real point to actually be out in the sun to soak in some rays, since I hear that’s suppose to help.  And I might have to use you all as a sounding board as I try to work through this because the best therapy I ever had was just to talk.  I hope I don’t come off as bitter when I do.

I’m just so upset over the whole thing.  I really didn’t need this right now.  I don’t want to cry every day.  I don’t want to feel like a shadow.  I don’t want to disconnect.  Depression is a horribly selfish disease because you can’t look beyond that stupid disease no matter how hard you try.  The twist is that you no longer take care of yourself because you are the disease and you just want it to die.

So here I stand in front of you, not knowing what to say, wondering about how lame this post is, wondering if I said too much or too little, knowing it really isn’t my best work, worrying about what you’ll think.

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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Berry Pie

Let’s go over this again.  How many pregnancies have we been through together?


So really you should know by now when I ask with a manic glint in my eyes for something specific, like a berry pie.  I mean a berry pie.  I would settle for a cobbler or a tart.  But I NEED the berries and the crust and NOTHING else.  It’s not my fault.  I’m not usually like this.  Sure, when I send you out for dessert, I expect something with chocolate, but you don’t understand that because you’re not a big chocolate guy.  I settle for what you bring.  Except when I’m pregnant.

So when you rush out to bring me my berry pie, I’m grateful.

But don’t get hurt when I look crushed, when I start to cry, when I see that you brought me a fresh fruit tart . . . with kiwi with the berries . . . with cream . . . with a crust that isn’t quite like a pie crust.  I know you tried.  I know you searched.  But I also know when I mentioned the frozen dessert section as a second resort that you waved me off saying you’ll just go to the pie section.

Don’t laugh when I start to cry in disappointment.  I’m emotional and irrational, and I cry at the drop of a hat.  I’m pregnant!  You try growing a baby, having your body morph in strange ways, be a washed in a sea of hormones.  See how normal you are.

Yes, you did the right thing bringing me a slice of tart to try since I ran away in tears, softly closing the bedroom door when I wanted to slam it (but the boys were sleeping). 

But don’t act hurt that I’m crying.  Of course, I’m going to yell at you.  I just vomited a bit because I started coughing because I was crying.  I can’t even have a good refreshing cry without that stupid cough making me more miserable.  I’m trying not to lose my dinner here with all those healthy vegetables and milk.   

Yes, I’m a big enough person to admit that I’m emotional and appreciative and that I shouldn’t have snapped at you.

But don’t act like I’m a basket case as I whip up a small berry crumble.  I would have done it before if I had the almonds I like using to make a bottom crust.  Yes, I’ll stay up late enjoying it.  Yes, the tart was fine.  You can have as much as you like.  You know what would go great with this crumble?  Vanilla ice cream.  No, we don’t have any.  But I know the stores aren’t closed yet.

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What chore would you magically have done so that you wouldn’t have to do it?