A Top Ten

I’ve been stuck in bed all day with back spasms.  Mags is happy to hang out with me as long as I remain still and unobtrusive…or have treats to make her experience lying around even more enjoyable.  Because, really…it’s all about her.    The damned laptop is obviously a hindrance to her attempts at sitting right on top of my chest, which obviously is the BEST possible place for her to lie down.  That laptop HAS GOT TO GO.  It’s presence is almost offensive.

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Uh, hi!  Whatcha doin? Move this.  It’s in ma way. 

In the spirit of boredom and any kind of movement causing massive amounts of pain, I’ve collected a list of the Top Ten Things To Do When You Encounter Back Pain, or Held Hostage By a Fanatical Maniac Who Is About to Chop Off Your Legs.  It’s An Either Or Situation.

A long title, I realize but I have nothing else to do, and really they both are kinda the same.  They involve solitary confinement and pain, although having someone take an axe to your legs could be construed as a tad more painful.  On the other hand,  if you’ve ever had back spasms, you would WISH someone would just saw you in half.  So…

  1.  Watch a movie – I spent the morning in bed watching Practical Magic which was an old Sandra Bullock/Nicole Kidman flick. Not bad for an early morning movie and it was pretty cute.  Who knew Aiden Quinn was such a handsome hero in those days?

9. Eat all of the leftover Halloween Candy – I haven’t eaten it all…yet. But since we had so many kids last night, we had to send son to get some more and are now left with more than we thought.  I’m sending recon missions downstairs for mini Kit Kat bars…

8. Nap – never overrated and the dog joins you.

7.  Send the kids to the store for shit you don’t need – THEY LOVE THAT.  You suddenly realize you are short on pencils or don’t have enough chalk paint for that project you will never get around to.  Send the kids on the hunt for the elusive colour of salmon chalk paint ( does not exist) or number 2 pencils that you have no use for and can’t even sharpen, BECAUSE WHO STILL OWNS AN OLD FASHIONED PENCIL SHARPENER?!  It’s entertaining.  Good. Times.

6.  Write down the cooking instructions for dinner – Make them complicated like lamb chops stuffed with asparagus and goat cheese…Yeah. They will give up right after reading ‘lamb’ in a fury of WHAT THE HELL! expressions and helpless abandon and order pizza.  You get the extra slice with whatever you want on it for allowing them to give up on dinner so quickly.  They will be ever so grateful for not having to burn the house down trying to make that lamb dish a reality.   YOU. ARE. AN. AWESOME. MOM

5.  Organize your Christmas list – JUST KIDDING. Who the hell wants to do that?!  It’s a day where you can lay around watching t.v. and taking naps, and have those people you call family wait on YOU for a change.  Why spoil that with something constructive and practical?  Gawwwdddd.  WORK WITH ME HERE.

4.  Read that book you have been meaning to read – you have all kinds of time and nowhere to be. Get into that novel that’s been sitting on your shelf. A great way to pass the time.  Immersing yourself in someone else’s world is just what you need.

3.  A long soak in a hot bath – good for the muscles, good for the soul.  Make sure a glass of wine is accompanying you.  Or the bottle.  Whatever works.  You ARE in pain.

2.  The awesomeness of pain medication should not be overlooked – It can make you a little sleepy, but also a little loopy. In essence, it’s the one opportunity you can act drunk and disorderly without actually being either of those things.   Feel free to insult the kids or throw a tantrum because your coffee is not 98 degrees Fahrenheit, because dammit you earned it.  Tell those kids to keep it down and when they complain, just say “REALLY?!  I SPENT 25 HOURS IN LABOUR WITH A TEN POUND BABY COMING OUT OF MY HOO-HA, WHICH  BY THE WAY, NOW LOOKS LIKE SOMEBODY RAN OVER A PIZZA WITH A SEMI- FOR YOU TO COMPLAIN ABOUT MY PAIN?!  OK.  WHATEVER.  YOU DO YOU.”  Then weep wildly.  They’ll feel bad and get you whatever you want.

  1.  Nothing – the number one thing to do, is to do nothing. Ice, heat, rest, eat, repeat.

The pain meds are now kicking in.  Hope you enjoy a lovely fall day and get those kids to pamper you whether you have back pain or are held hostage by a maniacal fan, or not.

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Directionally Challenged And Little Panicky

Anyone who knows me, knows I have issues with driving.  Not driving in that I can’t operate a vehicle properly or have issues with traffic manoeuverings like signal lights or merging or passing.  I have issues with directions.  East, West, North and South.  How to get to one destination several different ways.  How to find my way from one point in town to the opposite without ending up out on a distant country road, or worse, Mt. Pearl.  My apologies to all of those fine folks who reside there, but I just can’t stand the constant turning lanes.  I once ended up in a left turning lane which then led to another turning lane and went in circles for a good half an hour.  By the time I got daughter to her track meet, it was over.  That was 11 years ago and I still haven’t recovered from the trauma.  Maybe it’s the signage.  Maybe it’s because I don’t want to know my way around there.  Or maybe it’s just me.  Yeah, that’s a more likely reason.

It’s not something that’s new to me.  When we first moved to St. John’s 12 years ago, I used to carry the telephone book on the passenger side of my car because it had a map of the city in it.  I would keep it open just in case I turned down a wrong street and ended up somewhere other than the intended destination.  People used to say to me the best way to discover a city or a new place is to get lost in it, but I could never do that.  I need to know where I’m going and exactly how I’m getting there.  Getting lost is out of the question.  As explained in the following tale, if I’m driving and get ‘misplaced’ God help us all, we are in for a crying-sobbing-wailing-middle-finger-pointing helluva time.  I’m not trying to sound melodramatic or in need of a case of Ativan, I just have an emotional breakdown of sorts if I’m not where I’m supposed to be.  A little over-the-top I realize, but for the past few years, having meltdowns on various ski lifts and Disney rides has become my modus operandi. Add to this complicated cocktail, driving without a sense of direction….my family has a hard time keeping up.

The other day I was supposed to pick up daughter for an appointment.  Let’s back track a bit.  The possession of the car is a three-way street.  My son, my daughter and I share one vehicle.  Two of us work full-time, one is a Uni student.  At any given day we are at mid-city and shuffle the vehicle accordingly.  Daughter had to leave work midday and since I had the car, I was to retrieve her from her work and she was to drop me back at my work and then mosey on down to her appointment.  This is how my life works.  Complicated with a twist of lemon. Easy.  Kinda.

My work is literally a five minute drive from daughter’s – that’s on a good day when there are no roads inexplicably closed for random construction or for lame reasons like bursts pipes and road improvements.  Ugh.  Like this particular day.  I was easily driving along when all of a sudden, BLAM, road closed.  Turn right, lady and find your own way.  Okay.  I can adapt, I think.  I turn then go straight, only I should have turned again.  Instead, I ended up downtown.  The epitome of driving madness, one-way streets and impatient drivers who hate people like me.  Hence, meltdown time.  I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOWNTOWN.  I was supposed to be on the opposite side.  Of the city.  DAMMIT WHERE THE FUCK AM I?  No clue.  I keep driving and end up at an intersection that only God and Einstein on a good day can figure out.  It’s going every which way, which is typical for St. John’s BUT THAT’S WHY I DON’T DRIVE DOWNTOWN.  Given I don’t know where I was going and aware the clock was ticking and having no intelligent nor rational thought whatsoever, I STARTED PUNCHING THE SCREEN ON THE DASHBOARD OF THE CAR HOPING I CAN PICK DAUGHTER’S NUMBER AT RANDOM.  The most recent calls were there as was every other person I’ve ever called in the universe.   I ended up calling Daughter number 1 who was working and whose phone was dead (thanks for that), a radio station, the car’s system stats, until finally I get Daughter number 2, all the while swearing, crying and sweating and also managing a few middle fingers at people with no patience.  HELLO, PANICKED DRIVER HERE.  CAN’T YOU SEE I’M HAVING AN EMOTIONAL TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE, RIGHT NOW??!!!   GAAAWWWWWDDDDDD!!!

Here’s how it went down:

D2: Hello?

Me: OH MY GAWD HAYLEY I’M SO SORRY I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I AM!!!!  (also panicked and crying.  My voice is so high-pitched, dogs are howling)

D2:  It’s okay, mom.  Stop panicking.  Where are you?  (she is aware of my panicked state when I don’t know where I am)

Me:  I JUST TOLD YOU I DON’T F***ING KNOW!!  SOMEWHERE DOWNTOWN.  I HATE DOWNTOWN!!

D2:  Yeah, I know.  Okay.  How did you end up THERE?

Me:  THE DAMNED ROAD WAS CLOSED.  I THOUGHT I WOULD END UP AT EMPIRE AVE ACROSS FROM THE DOMINION!!

D2:  Okay, so what do you see?

Me:  UM…OH MY GAWD CAN I TURN HERE??!!   WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT BUDDY?!   UM…I SEE A TIM’S…

D2:  Yeah, that doesn’t help me.  What else?

Me:  UH, THE POST OFFICE?? …WAIT.  FUCK IT, I’M TURNING.  EXCUSE ME, SIR.  OKAY, I THINK I’M ON DUCKWORTH NOW.

D2:  Okay….  (Hayley is very calm, by the way.  Good thing she can talk her mother down from that emotional ledge)

Me:  Yeah, I see the Newfoundland Chocolate Factory.  I’m on Duckworth.  I see the Sheridan hotel now…

D2:  Okay. So don’t hang up just keep driving and tell me where you are.

Me:  Okay.  I know where I am.  Thanks, Hayley.

D2: BY THE WAY YOU SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME!!  I THOUGHT YOU WERE LYING IN A DITCH SOMEWHERE DYING!!  DON’T EVER CALL ME CRYING AGAIN!!

Me:  DON’T YELL AT ME.  I’VE BEEN TRAUMATIZED.

D2:  SO HAVE I!!

 

In the end, I picked her up and she dropped me off and ended up stuck in construction on the highway and CALLED ME PANICKING.

The apple and the tree, folks.

panick driving

 

Nice Face! 

Hubby says I’m grouchy today. I’d like to say I’m verbally defiant. Borderline verbally abusive with a touch of snark that could be perceived as being passive aggressive if someone listened hard enough, but most people just slough it off as the weather being a bitch and mildly pay attention so I’m down with that. I’ve told more people to ‘fuck off’ under my breath today than I’ve said most of the year. Not sure the reason for my sourness. Could be the 4:30am starts to drive daughter to her job. Could be the monster pimple that has developed dead mark between my eyes making me look like I have hand drawn target for any wanton marksmen wandering around. My glasses sit right on top of it. It’s so big, they slip down my nose. Downrightmotherfuckingappallingandinsulting to have pimples at my age. Thanks, middleagedom. Could be the state of the world and neighbours to the south who have had to endure floods, fires, hurricanes and now mass shootings, mayhem and death. Could be that Tom Petty died. Could be the Ass President who never ceases with his pouting, whining and childishness. Could be my lack of patience, my overabundance of frustration and my unflinching ability to point out the obvious. Could be the lack of gas in my car and my defiance at filling it up. Could be Tuesday.  


At some point I’ll run out of gas.

And sentences.

Whatever the reason for my insulting verbiage, I wholeheartedly apologize to those who I’ve told to suck it, today.  

Even though you probably pissed me off with your talking too loudly or eating at your desk. Or having the audacity to sit there with your coffee. WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING WITH YOUR LIFE AND WHY ARE YOU NOT SHARING?!

Ugh.

I think I may have some wine left at home if somebody didn’t already drink it. AND, since I’m being so ‘grouchy’, I may have to have a glass or the entire bottle in order to sort out this wonderful mood I’m in. Whatever.

You know what? Just…never mind.

You go on with your life and never mind about me. I’m fine. My zit and I will be over here contemplating the state of the world and how we are going to move past everything without impending scars.  

Then you’ll be all “OMG what the hell happened to your face!”  

Yeah.  

 

Just NOPE

I’m a big ball of frustrations these past few days with little explanation for it. Not sure if it’s the adults who occupy my world, or if it’s just me. The weather may have some kind of influence on me. It’s a total shitball of crap. 

 The cloudy/rainy/drizzly/foggy/never-gonna-see-the-sun-again weather is getting exhausting, so I would rather be hiding under the covers in my bed with a bottle of Cab and some chocolate, than doing anything that requires my immediate and undivided attention. I don’t want to drive anyone anywhere, pick anyone up, cook anything, clean anything, buy anything or sell anything. I don’t want to order anything, pet anything, feed anyone, pick anything off of the floor, wipe the dog’s arse, clean the toilet, fill up a washing machine or have anything to do with any kind of motorized shitty moving appliance. I don’t want to sprint, run, jump, pull, push, sit up, sit down then stand up again, dance, flail, or otherwise move in an unconventional Gawd-did-not-intend-my-body-to-move-like-this kinda way. I don’t want to hear complaints, idle shitty gossip about the lady that didn’t like her husband’s car so she drove it off the ledge and into the bottom of the lake kind of story that I just made up in my head so don’t go looking for that headline in some newspaper because it doesn’t exist; I don’t want to hear a bad joke, good joke or any kind of humorous anecdote or “OMG THIS JUST HAPPENED AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE IT” because, no. Nope. I don’t want to be nice, or mean or happy or sad. I don’t want to be excited or surprised; guilty or upset; worried or anxious; gleefully joyous or blissfully ignorant…

Although, I MAY want to be that last one.

That pretty much covers it.

Have a nice day….ugh.  

Desk Trials

The untidiness of my home desk space remains the bane of my existence, however, it isn’t entirely my fault.  Since Hubby has been home more often, he has settled into daily occupations of my laptop and invades the space that was once my sacred den.  The once organized entity has now been overtaken with papers, hats, random books, notes and nasty sports memorabilia for which I care nothing for.

What the hell happened to my desk?!  I try to clean it up and organize it only for it to return to its unnatural messy state.   I try to hide away the sports caps and the random papers only to see them re-emerge following my day at work.  I tidy up the random notes for them only to be replaced with more random notes that have nothing to do with me.

I’m thinking of getting  a new desk and putting it in a secret location so that no one can find it.  That way, I can relocate my laptop and MY papers and MY books minus the sports caps and flyers and settle in to MY TIDY NEAT SPACE.  Better yet, buy an old desk and re-purpose it.  I could sand it down and paint it a pretty colour.   I could have a clean organized place for each one of my books and notebooks, I could have file containers and a holder for all of my nice pens.  I could even have a nice vase of flowers….ahhh….

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Someone has pictured my new old desk THAT I MUST HAVE…it even has a bottle of beer to drink whilst I type!  Loves…

I know, right?  Funny.  That is never going to happen simply because I have no ‘secret space’ and in fact, I have no ‘space’ at all.  There is not one room or iota of a wall available for me to occupy unless I kick a daughter or son to the curb.  And overtake their room.  And make it into a home office…..sayyy….

That is a great idea, minus the ‘kicking a daughter or son to the curb’ part, because I’M NOT AN ASSHOLE PARENT.

If I WAS AN ASSHOLE PARENT, I would have a nice shiny new desk, in a nice shiny new room with painted walls the colour I like and with organizational files and a pretty lamp and a nice comfy chair and flowers in the corner and shelves with my books…..

WHY AM I NOT AN ASSHOLE PARENT?!

Maybe we can get someone to BUILD ME A ROOM.  Somewhere.  Not in the basement though.

I’ll see if the attic is available….

In the mean time, I’ll be playing ‘search for the missing hats’ with Hubby.

I’ll be in the attic if anyone is looking for me.

Parenting Tips For Surviving The Teen Years With Grace, Dignity and A Little Less Drunkenness

Adolescence, otherwise known as the slow descent into madness, or those lost years mommy raided the liquor store in search for more wine, or when the little darlings morph into bigger versions of Teletubbies gone awry, is a trying time for everyone; parents, teens, grandparents, teachers, babies, the dog, the mail-delivery person, the librarian with the big ass mole, the nice policeman who escorted you home after being caught outside the liquor store after hours banging on the doors pleading for them to “PLEASE OPEN I NEED WINE! I HAVE TEENAGERS!!!”….

The brains of average teenagers are still developing and pushing the limits. It’s one of the many fun and interesting ways they determine their place in the family; their role in the world and their intimate social circle. It’s also annoying as hell.

Limit setting and parents sticking to them is the key element to any good survival during this emotional roller coaster. They will yell, scream, slam doors and then use the ever favourite “Jan’s mom let her do it”. “AGAIN WITH THE JAN’S MOM?! I’m not Jan’s mom! I don’t care what Jan’s mom let her do! WHO THE HELL IS JAN?! Jan’s mom can stick it!! “ Natural and understandable responses to an illogical and peer-pressure kind of tactic that only ensues argumentative combative behaviour. BAD FORM, TEEN. But that’s what they know. Knee jerk emotional responses to having their asses slammed into a room with nowhere to go but to a ‘Jan’s mom’ kind of response. Stick to your guns! Not literal guns, but your limits. Stick to your decisions. You get it. DON’T CAVE!  

I could say here that communication is the key to any good relationship and speaking in quiet tones and providing a caring and open environment for them to participate in mature dialogue will assist in curbing the emotional upheaval….but that would be utter bullshit. Seriously. Teens are a ball of emotional crap wrapped up in a brain-fugue ire that speaking at all will only escalate the already shitty attitude they possess. I tend to throw my hands in the air and say “Jesus, help me with this child! Give him the necessary good sense that he needs to see the light!” and then proceed to speak in tongues. This generally confuses the shit out of the teen and he is so freaked out he turns around and goes to his room to try to call his father saying “Mom has lost it! Come home now!” And will never ask to go to another party/borrow the car/jump off a bridge, again.  

As a mother of three teens who are now adults, I can say you will survive. Motherhood be damned, the adolescent years are the most trying times; following of course after toddlerdom when the word ‘no’ was the prompt to put more toys in the toilet; the righteous pre-teen years where buying the right shirt was a major meltdown affair and of course the roaring twenties where there’s university exams, classes and staying out all night. Actually, now that I read that statement, being a parent kind of sucks. There is no decade safe where you can really sit back with your feet up and relax and say, ‘yep. We did it. We raised our kids.’ A parent’s work is never done and even now that my kids are no longer ‘kids’, I can say I still worry. We still argue (yes, Miss H even with Son), we still have to set the limit and toe the line and all that parenting lingo you read in all of the Parenting 101 books that kinda only work when the kid is already well-adjusted, graduated with a PhD and on his way to his own wedding. All those nice parenting books you bought will surely serve better as a nightstand where you can lay your bottle of wine after an afternoon of endless pleading and begging with the mail-delivery-person to please rescue you from your torment only for him/her/neutral to pry your death grip from his/her/neutral arm and run madly up the street….damned mail-delivery persons! (being politically correct is wordy, but not expensive)

Suck it up, Mommy/Daddy you’re a lifer now!

Ahhh, think back to the day when that adorable little pink baby was first placed in your arms and you promised him the world! And now, well now, he’s still kinda adorable and you would still give him the world if he wasn’t so damned stubborn like his father and have the intelligence of a snail. Then he comes home with decent grades and you think “Yesss. Finally, he has turned a corner. He is growing up” then he dents the car, or floods the basement with the garden hose or goes bowling with a frozen turkey and throws it through the front door.  

Yup.  

A teenager. The universe’s way of reminding you that young people can be stupid. We are the force that guides these young impressionable teens into adulthood with common sense, values and a wealth of information to make solid decisions; like bowling with a frozen turkey is way better suited in the basement using the hockey net. Duh…ANYONE KNOWS THAT.  

That’s why we also have wine. For when those guidelines are a little skewed, those decisions are a little off the mark and we struggle with guilt, ire and Jesus.

Good luck, fellow parents. You are not alone during this traumatic and challenging time. Remember, they will be around FOREVER. Also, the liquor store is open daily until 11pm. Make sure to get there early.

You. Are. Welcome.

 

    

 

The Unrelenting Echoes of Summer

The ‘hood battles are raging and the summer days are stretching onwards and upwards. No one is immune to the reaching fingertips of ire and impatience emanating from cranky neighbours who refuse to admit their age is getting the better of them. If one is to listen to them, the kids are running amok flailing wildly among heathens and hoodlums destined to dethrone the king of badness. Nothing good happens past nine- thirty peeps, and children left to pillage and plunder the village into the abyss of indifference and permissive dismissal are future adults destined for the Presidency of an American nation. Alas how are we to survive the madness?!Calm down, peeps.

The children are children playing in the backyards of responsible professional adults paying their taxes, abiding the laws of society and contributing to the well-being of community and ‘hood alike.

There is no crime here, only that of youth being restless and young on summer nights that have magically become windless and warm. The days where summer seems to last forever, where any kid of any age can dream of digging for buried treasure, swim in the depths of a backyard pool and savour the taste of s’mores and burnt marshmallows on a backyard campfire. Tents, giggles, sleeping bags, practical jokes, stolen garden gnomes (oh, my poor Norman where art thou?) all a big part of childhood and growing up in a safe environment surrounded by loving parents and committed neighbours to raising a generation of well-adjusted, educated, intelligent, compassionate and community minded young people.

That’s what my idea of a neighbourhood is.

Watching out for each other against the rallies of the occasional late-night thievery, lost dogs, wayward cats, and kids out past the boundaries of the park at the end of the street. Local spring clean-ups, bottle drives for hockey trips, Mummering Christmases, barbeques and the fence raising- shed building- deck erecting- construction that brings friends and neighbours together.

We connect to support each other in times of confusion and debt reduction, lost jobs, raised taxes, sky-high grocery bills and illness and heart attacks and even the death of someone’s parent or relative. It’s what they mean when a neighbourhood becomes a small village.

We become each other’s indirect relative.

A communal leaning post.

Friends. Allies. Fellow compatriots in a world where we embrace differences and stand up for the underdog. Where we denounce bullies, raise up kindness and understanding and assist at all costs.

It’s in the DNA of every Newfoundlander to have this innate sense of community; to feel responsible for each other because, hey, don’t I know yer father? At least, that’s what I was led to believe.

Let’s see more of that. Community. Fellowship. Understanding.

AND FUN.

Hey kids! Your loudness behooves me!

The kids running around playing spotlight after dark, the fires in the backyard pits, the barbeques, the late night dog walking, the chatting…

There is no room for fear of being loud or obnoxious. The sounds of laughter and squealing from children should be a sign of a healthy happy environment fraught with joy and the unending bounds of childhood activity.

It should be lauded as the epitome of strength of home and family; not sullied as unnecessary and appalling.

As the summer progresses, let the children play in the streets and wreak havoc in the backyards. Soon enough they will be grown and gone and our yards will echo with their lost squeals of fun-fueled delight from summers past. Youth is fleeting.

Let’s not wish it away.

 What?! I can’t hear you! Whispering sucks.