Monthly Archives: September 2013

Guilt, Squared


Last night when I walked in the door from work Cole immediately said, “Hey Mommy, do you want to watch me play this game?”  And you guys, I DIDN’T want to watch him play that game.  It is not interesting to me to sit and watch something on someone’s small phone screen, most especially a video game that I have no idea what or how it works.  So I told Cole that I needed just a little time to regroup from work, give Mommy a couple minutes to change and get a drink, and then the evening got away from us and I never did watch him play that damn game.  So of course I feel hugely guilty today; I keep thinking of his little voice so excited to show me something and pretty soon he isn’t going to want me to watch anything and I should have just dropped my purse and watched the fucking game.

Always stop and watch the game, because sooner than you want they are going to have you drop them off down the street from school, ask you to stop cheering so loudly at their sporting events, tell you you are embarassing them in front of their friends.  Tonight I will be better; tonight I will go home and watch the game for a while, and know that he wants me there beside him, and that will be enough.

Red Bird


We called her Grandma, and I think she liked it.  Even when we were at each other’s throats, I never called her anything but Grandma.  I took care of her for three years, my mother-in-law and I tag teaming it for everything you could think of to keep a human alive.  We all lived in the same apartment complex, and my MIL actually had a baby monitor in her apartment so we could keep listening for Grandma even when we weren’t there.  Her family didn’t really want to have that much to do with her, just wanted to write checks and not think about her rotting away in that apartment down the street.  We bathed, fed, dressed, medicated, and entertained Grandma.  We smoothed lotion on her face and scrubbed her hair in the shower.  Towards the end, she had a hospital bed in the living room where we did everything, sponge baths and diaper changes.  It’s amazing how close you can get to a person.  I knew her body more intimately than I know my own; every wrinkle, every age spot.  She was cantankerous, to say the least, and had her own opinions on everything from how big my pants were to how lesbians had sex.  Sometimes she would get her mind set on refusing to do anything, and would completely bulk.  No matter what we did, she would sit, unmoving, staring at us with those watery blue eyes.  It could take her up to an hour to put on a sweatshirt and a pair of pants; God she was the slowest person that I have ever met.  She would sit in her chair, completely naked, alternately dozing off and listening intently to figure out what I was making in the kitchen for her breakfast.  I kissed her good night every night and greeted her every morning.  Sometimes we would fight, she would get so infuriating, and she would take her arthritic finger and shake it in my face, giving me a piece of her mind.  She told me that she used to have red hair, and that’s what made her have such a temper.  I told her that she would never die because she was too mean, and she laughed and laughed.  When I was pregnant, I was sick every day and carried a trash can wherever I went.  I would throw up and she would stare at me, waiting until I was done, and then resume whatever it was she was doing without ever commenting on the puking.  When I had the baby I took him over to her house with me, and she loved it.  She would always tell me he was too fat, called him a “buster.”  I would let her hold him on her lap while I hovered around her, always anxious that she may drop him, but she never did.  We got her a cat to keep her company when we weren’t there, and she tormented him until he ran away.  Her favorite things were cardinals and food, so on her birthday we would get her doughnuts and put a candle in it, and then something with a picture of a cardinal on it.  I had to take care of those dumb bird feeders for her when she wasn’t able to get outside anymore; she always liked to watch the birds.  She had the worst personal hygenie of any person I’ve ever met, especially from a woman.  We had to nag her constantly to brush her hair, wash her face, wipe the crumbs off her mouth.  After dinner she would take her false teeth out and lick them.  Her glasses were always smudged with God knows what and she refused to clean them.

At the end, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Given her age, the doctor said there was no use doing anything for her and to just let her go comfortably.  We got a hospital bed for the living room and had hospice start coming to the house.  She had a tumor in her breast that actually excised itself from her body, so she ended up with a huge gaping hole in her breast that we had to pack and sterilize every day, and oh God I will never forget the smell of that rotting skin.  Hospice gave us morphine to give her, and then she stopped eating.  I went away on vacation, knowing that she probably wouldn’t be there when I got back.  And she waited; waited until my mother-in-law ran to the store, I was on vacation, and the hospice worker was in the kitchen… that’s when she took her last breath.  I never got to say good-bye, but I know that she knew how much I loved her.  At her funeral, my mother-in-law and I sat in the back and bawled, the only ones crying at the whole ceremony.  I got to keep some of her dishes and a curio cabinet that her husband made her.  My mother-in-law also got some kitchen stuff.  We gave her daughter all the cardinals.

Every once in a while I will be having a hard time and I’ll see a flash of red out of the corner of my eye, and I know, that’s Grandma saying hi.  Whenever I see a cardinal, I say hi back.

Life=1…. Me=0


I’m almost positive I’m failing at life.  At my best, I feel like I’m about sixteen, at my worst, maybe four.  I don’t do or have the things that adults are suppose to have or do.  I don’t act the way that adults are supposed to act.  I still listen to the same music I listened to when I was a teenager, at the same ear breaking decibels and singing at the top of my lungs.  I eat like a stoned child, seriously.  Who still eats Spaghetti-O’s when they are 34? 

I never have spare toilet paper.  I never have spare anything.  I don’t have a savings account, hell, I don’t even have a credit card.  I don’t drive a nice car, I’ve never owned a car newer than ten years old.  I still am not sure I’m applying make-up in the correct way.  I watch “Teen Mom” religiously.  My perfect day involves sleeping until at least noon.  I don’t bake well.  I still like things pink and sparkly.  I’ve been known to have a dance party or forty in the kitchen.  I eat raw cookie dough.  If my car breaks down, I sure as hell don’t have a way to buy another one.  I didn’t realize that C.’s underwear was two sizes too small until he kept abandoning them in random places because they were uncomfortable.  C. has peanut butter and jelly more than I will ever publicly admit to.  I never have enough groceries in the pantry and am forever running out of milk.  I JUST NOW figured out what the big deal is about Twitter (follow me! @dj01103) but I still can’t figure out how to change my name thingie (handel?). 

Most of the time I feel like I’m flailing around, trying to figure shit out.  I’m a huge dork, and that looks like it will never change.  So yeah, total life fail.  I hope I’m not the only one.



C. has taken to getting up a LOT at night.  It’s not for anything specific; fix his blankets, need more water, had a scary dream, etc.  Used to be that A* and I would tag team, taking turns.  He’s always gotten up during the night, and my amateur psychology diagnosis is that he moved around so much for the first part of his life that he wakes up now to make sure everything is still the same.  Sometimes he just wants to make sure we’re there.  But anyway, for the last couple months he refuses me as a nighttime guest in his room and will only have Daddy.  I will stumble out of bed, most likely tripping on various things on the way to his room, then negotiate my way around the Matchbox cars strewn on his floor, only to be screamed at… “Not you! Not you, I want Daddy!”  Let me tell you just how well that goes over in the middle of the night (hint: it doesn’t) and it also irrationally hurts my feelings.  Why I feel inadequate based on a five year old and how his blankets are arranged is something else that I don’t understand, but it kind of does.  A* is, understandably, mad because he is getting up tons during the night and I’m not getting up at all, because the past couple nights I haven’t even bothered.  I can’t deal with the screaming and the rejection in the wee hours of the night.  Doesn’t C. remember all those nights when I was pregnant and he woke me up at 12:30 every night to throw up and then watch reruns of “That 70’s Show”?  I was taking care of him ALL NIGHT AND DAY and he was okay, so why can’t I do it now?  Of course, if he does get over this Daddy phase, I will probably complain about how he only wants ME and I don’t want to keep getting up at night.

I did NOT, however, have hurt feelings when he woke up at 3:37 and had wet the bed, therefore causing A* to have to strip the bed and the child and change both.  That one was all Daddy, and he is welcome to it.  I can fix covers but I think that um, Mommy is not the right person for the middle of the night wet bed scenerio.  Yeah, we’ll go with that.

Some Stuff


I’ve been weird about doors lately.  Yesterday I noticed that when I am holding the door open for someone, instead of stepping aside and letting them enter first like normal people, I instead stand with my back actually touching the door, causing the other people to have to sl-i-i-ide by me and when I did it yesterday my boob grazed another boob.  It made me feel uncomfortable and I didn’t know if I should say anything… “Hey, we just touched boobs, now we’re boob sisters!” 
I told myself to stand in a different position when opening the door, but then I did it AGAIN today, this time with a man, and my boob touched his extended arm.  I really have to pay closer attention to this.

Yesterday I was trying to tell my co-workers a funny story about the bus ie:  Look at me, I am not bitter at all about taking public transportation! and I was describing the kid who gets on at the same stop as me.  This kid is a cutie, but he has some of the skinniest legs I have ever seen.  So I was telling them about this kid, and going on and on about bird legs and I don’t even know how they support his weight and blah blah blah, and I looked up and another woman was standing there… in a skirt with bare legs, legs that just so happened to be extremely, extremely skinny.  Now I’m worried that she thinks I was gossiping about HER and her legs, and I totally wasn’t.  But I can’t say anything because I’m not for sure if she was even listening to our conversation and I don’t want to bring it up if she isn’t bothered.  It reminded me of the time when my friend’s friend told her to check out the lump on her leg, and my friend jokingly said, “I think it’s a tumor!” a’la Arnold, and then it turned out it WAS a tumor.  Life is so stupid sometimes.



The Wheels on the Bus….


Wherein I reveal my complete and utter dorkiness to you.

For a reference point, let me tell you that in the city I live in, public transportation is not common.  We have a perfectly nice city bus system that is actually clean and well maintained, but no one that I know has ever used it.  Well, our car broke down a couple of weeks ago and we can’t afford to just run out and buy another one, so I’ve been taking the bus.

I have been taking the bus.

I have never taken a bus in my life.  I looked up the local bus schedule online, and they had a cute little thing called a “trip advisor” that would tell me exactly where and at what time I needed to be somewhere.  Except it didn’t, because that motherfucking website was the most confusing thing that I have ever seen.  I couldn’t make any kind of sense to it; I showed it to a co-worker, and she couldn’t make sense of it either.  I was freaking out now.  But A*, bless him, was able to decipher the schedule once I got home and I knew what bus I needed to get on.  Okay, so I had my bus fare… but wait!  I got on the bus and there was a little machine thingy that takes your money.  I had two one dollar bills, and I pushed them into the machine.  The driver stared straight ahead.  I knew that the bus cost $1.25 each way, so I kind of hovered around up at the front of the bus waiting for my change.  It never came, and eventually the driver was kind enough to inform me that they didn’t give change.  Ok, seventy five cent lesson learned, check!  I found my seat on the bus and it zoomed off.  Actually, it kind of creaked and meandered down the street. 

According to the website, the bus was supposed to drop me off a street away from where I wanted to end up and then I was to walk to my destination.  However, the stop came and went and the bus just kept going!  I didn’t know what to do and kind of panicked.  I was frantically texting A* to see what the hell, but of course he never answers me when I really need him to so I was on my own.  The bus kept going, and I watched the city go by and wondered how in the hell I was going to get to where I needed to be.  Eventually the bus pulled into a station and everyone got off.  I HATE talking to strangers, but I forced myself to ask the bus driver where I was supposed to be.  He asked me why I hadn’t pulled the stop brake.  The whaaaa???  No one else pulled anything!  Guess what you guys?  When you get to your stop, you’re supposed to PULL THE CORD and miraculously, the bus will stop at that stop and let you off.  I was able to find a bus to take me right back where I had been in the beginning, but this time I pulled the cord.  And tripped going down the steps, but the kind bus driver didn’t laugh at me.  (at least not until I had exited the bus). 

It’s like a new adventure every day.  I am a PRO at pulling that cord.  I have made it to work on time every day, and I even ventured to the library over the weekend.  I have a newfound respect for the public transportation system.  I am growing as a person….

and I really want another fucking car.