Let me assure you that this is not what it seems.
The last time I did something coordinated, I tied Ruby’s shoe laces.
Whenever the house is quiet, and I mean silent quiet, it can only mean one thing: The kids have found the iPads.
You know they hand out those things to parents who fail Parent School, right?
Parents graduating at the top of Parent School have kids who take care of themselves with society-approved activities such as crafts, reading, and gentle horseplay, thereby allowing the adults time to read actual books on Eames lounge chairs while sipping tea, looking up only to observe their children quietly playing on impossibly immaculate floors.
Then, there’s my girls.
Spawn of failed parents, on the other hand, get the Evil Electronic, in order for parents to cook and take a dump. I kid you not.
And goddamnit, it was fun.
One of the perks of organizing your kid’s birthday party is that you get to boss a roomful of people into performing the Harlem Shake with you.
I rest my case.
I’m going to be 39 in a few hours Pacific Time. Not fake 39, like some who never turn 40, but a real 39, so make sure you remember I’ll be 40 next year. I guess it’s a good time as any to declare my intentions.
I am going to be more selfish this year. Screw feeding everyone else before myself. Screw ordering shit I don’t want off the menu just so the kids have something to eat. Screw all that.
I will own my physical wimpiness. I’m a wimpy mass of a weak-assed unexercising human being. So there. Don’t even try to convince me to camp this year.
I want to read a book. An actual book made of trees and stuff. Do you know how much time you have to read a book when you have kids? HAHAHAHAHA! Joke question, right?
I have no time for your shit.
I wear whatever the hell I want. Even if it is a Hello Kitty T-shirt tucked into a pair of faded jeans. Because I’ve earned the right to be as unfashionable as I want to be. By the time you’re my age, kiddo, you don’t follow trends, you are your own goddamn trend.
I swear I will continue swearing. Mother of cuss words! Forgive me, for I have cussed. I am probably too young to be ornery, but that’s just vanity talking. I really am not that young.
This is the year I take the world. I will raise my kids, go to work fulltime, maintain the household, sleep like a normal person, be well-read, be well-spoken, be funny, and just kill it in whatever I do. Maybe I’ll even plan my 40th bash.
I like birthdays. Really, I do. I enjoy being older, wiser (debatable), and wrinklier. Have a drink on me. You know I love me some beer.
This working mom thing. How do moms make it work?
Dot did these things today:
- Pulled an unwashed nightgown from under Max’s changing table and put it on her after her bath.
- Cooked about three days’ worth of dinners and put them all in the fridge, not the freezer. Microwaved leftovers be damned.
- Ignored the epic pile of washed and unwashed laundry. Peeps, you all know the folding part is just as hard!
- Yelled at kids for throwing dinner (Max), spilling juice (Ruby), not eating veggies (Ruby), not letting me change her diaper (Max), ordering me around like a servant (Ruby), jumping up and down in the bath (Max).
- Bribed kids with M and Ms so I could watch a Jimmy Fallon video in peace.
Ruby said this today:
- Mom, why don’t you leave the house and have a mom day? You are tired of taking care of us.
I am utterly ashamed. And so utterly exhausted.
I went to a funeral today. Ricky was 31.
He was going to be a father for the first time, he was the sweetest man you could have as a friend, and he wasn’t here anymore. Just like that.
Ruby and Max didn’t go to the funeral, but they were there with us when we gathered with a group of Ricky’s friends and colleagues days ago to talk about what happened.
Ruby kept asking, “What does ‘die’ mean?”
She asked if it was the same thing that happened to Pretzel.
Jay and I were not prepared for the conversation. We mumbled something about him not being here anymore.
She came home that day and started drawing fishes because she wanted to remember Pretzel.
Today, when we said we were going to see our friends again, she asked if Ricky was going to be there.
I had no answer.
It’s hard to find the right words when nothing makes sense.
Ricky once told his wife what song he wanted at his funeral. It played today. I didn’t recognize the song. I was a wreck.
First thing I got in the car, I told Jay what song I wanted.
This is it.
How much coughs can a coughing mom cough if a coughing mom can cough coughs?
The answer, my friend, is a *#ckload of coughing.
I’m not sure what happened to me in the last 10 days, but I do know one thing: We are in trouble. The germs have figured out the best way to take us out, mutating into the purest form of human suffering that combines fevers, chills, aches, congestion, pains, and coughing. Oh the coughing. The crude symphony of hacking of all tones and pitches filled my house for a week.
Every man (Jay), woman (Dot), child (Ruby and Max), and animal (Pretzel) was felled by the Superbug. Yup, Pretzel our goldfish chose to say goodbye this week. RIP in the toilet bowl, Pretzel. Missya.
On the other hand, driving on the 520 was a breeze all week. I think everyone in Seattle is home with the flu.
New Year’s Eve: The absolute last day to complete your resolutions for the year.
Me? I resolved to photograph everything I ate in 2012. But I’m backlogged uploading the stuff.
Meanwhile, in 2008, I took a photo of myself every day for a year. Here it is. So it only took me four years to finish the video.
2013 is on its inevitable way. Good luck with that.
I feel it is my duty to post this.
I don’t know many 100-year-olds. Actually, I don’t know any, except Gene, and I bet you don’t know any either.
Let me just say this again.
Gene is 100.
Gene was born in 1912. The first radio transmissions were recorded in 1908, give or take a few. The first 2G cell phones appeared in the 1990s. The first iPhone was unveiled in 2007.
I could keep throwing up factoids, but you get the idea. Gene is very, very old. I’m not sure what he ate or did different, because he still drinks every night, gets on his ham radio at midnight to chat with his buddy in Australia, and reads the Wall Street Journal like any self-respecting stock investor. He married three times. He’s never changed a diaper. He’s grandfather of five and great-grandfather of two.
This is me.
I’m not 100.
In fact, I’m almost half that and I can’t tell you anything about stocks or ham radio.
What I can tell you is that nothing ages you faster than scheduling childcare and changing the occasional midnight diaper. Just look at my face. It’s wrinkle central.
If I make it to 100, promise me you’ll be there to pry the iPhone 30 from my hands, pass me the champagne, and give me a turn on the levitation craft.