humor, motherhood

Close Quarters

I’m not sure exactly why my family still allows me to wield a knife.

To give some context, a few weeks prior to quarantine I decided to begin a meal kit delivery service.  Lucky for us, we now have a few meals a week planned and delivered, but the dark side of this is, well, …me.

It all started innocently enough. Sure! I thought. Why not have the boys alternate nights and ‘help’ me.  Our first forays into the realm of kitchen adventure were tense.  I barked orders and became increasingly exasperated by each and every OBVIOUS question.

Case in point:

Full Speed (asking this while I have burners going and the oven already ablaze): “Where are the paper towels?”

You mean the paper towels that are two feet away from you sitting in the very spot they have sat for NEARLY TWO YEARS?  You mean those paper towels?

OR

“Full Speed, could you grab the pulled pork from the fridge?  It’s on the third shelf from the top.”

An inordinate amount of time passed, even though I am busy with twenty other things, I pause because I didn’t ask him to go to Timbuktu to get it.  Our kitchen ain’t big folks!  I look up to see him squatting down absently perusing the bottom draws of our refrigerator.

“Um, Full Speed.  Those are DRAWERS, I said SHELF.”

Thinking this solved the issue, I went back to work.  And, still, no pulled pork arrived.

With painstaking effort to not lose my cool, I glanced up AGAIN.  This time I found him looking at the inside door catchalls that hold condiments and drinks and the like but NOT THE PULLED PORK.

“Full Speed,

IT

IS

ON

THE

THIRD

SHELF

FROM

THE

TOP.”

I said this while thrusting my finger at the pulled pork like an accusation.

The whole scenario, while only lasting a minute or two, left me feeling drained.

Fortunately, for all involved, I had finished the chopping portion of our meal prep so the knife was already put away, but other times, I won’t say the danger was imminent, but there were some dangerous moments (at least in my mind).

It’s a harrowing existence as the lone emotional being in a house of super laid-back men.  I wouldn’t want it any other way, but I definitely am the most shall we say ‘expressive’ of our family.  Most of my outbursts and/or meltdowns are due to the stress of our current situation.  Contrary to popular opinion, I am falling within a normal category of cooped-up-and-about-to-lose-it behaviors.  My favorite is when Full Speed then imitates my meltdown.

“I’m Mom and I’m mad for no apparent reason.  Stop looking at me. Stop taking up space. Stop existing.  Just. Stop.”

He does this while flailing his arms about while shouting hysterically.

He’s not wrong.

I commend you if you have yet to lose it.  Please tell me how you have managed this feat.

Please.

And, if you have lost it, know you are not alone. Just dust yourself off and get on with your day.

I trust you know the difference between a drawer and a shelf so obviously you are already crushing your day.

 

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T.Puzzle vs Mad Dog in chess T.Puzzle 30 Mad Dog 1 And, there was one tie so Mad Dog has to feel great about that.
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My foray into painting with watercolor because weirdly I have tons of free time. #LetsMakeArt
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Quarantine Easter. Grateful to be together.
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Guess who loves her family in quarantine? #SorryNotSorry
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Max showing off some of his prodigious napping skills.

 

marriage, motherhood

Safety First

For some reason, Mad Dog is always in a hurry.  I’m not sure why exactly.  Is someone chasing him?  Is he carrying top secret information and must never be caught?

Date night strolls often wind up with him ten paces ahead and me jogging to keep up.  Yeah, it’s as romantic as it sounds.

Even when we are home, his pace is quick.  It is best to steer clear as his rushes through his to-do list.  In all of this heightened speed, he relies on repetition and memory to navigate the space around him.  If something is an inch or two ‘off’, he inevitably runs into it.  And not in a delicate way, but in a full-on injury-inducing way.

Does this slow him down?

Never!

Does it make him scan his surroundings before attacking his day?

Of course not!

He does enjoy deflecting the cause of his injuries.  He jokingly (and sometimes not-so-jokingly) blames me.  He wants to know why I keep moving things(!).  He ‘moves with precision’ (exact quote thank you very much) and if I move something even a tiny bit, he is bound to run into it.

Okay, okay, I’ll give you the drying rack over the laundry room door (I mean, it’s kind of awesome that he even goes in there let alone actually does laundry, so kudos for that).  It is possible someone in our house inadvertently shifted it and therefore when Mad Dog nearly punctured a lung on it, I could understand I might be to blame.  And, then there was my yoga mat.  I had moved it to the side in our bedroom, but knowing Mad Dog in the way I do, I should have moved it about three more miles out of the way to ensure his safety.

But furniture?

Really?

He claims I move furniture.  Not ottoman type things, but anchor pieces like couches, beds, and cabinets.  Yes, cabinets!  I absolutely take down cabinets and move them one inch over just to mess with him.  Honestly, I should have my own show on HGTV.

And I’m certain my three times a week of Jazzercise, I mean I use 8 lbs. weights after all, in addition to my at-home yoga practice, certainly has afforded me the necessary upper body strength to move giant pieces of furniture all by myself.  Maybe bodybuilding has been my long lost calling?

So many dreams to consider.

These will have to wait until I finish moving Mad Dog’s office desk.

Trust me, I always remember to lift with my knees and not my back.

Safety first.

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family, motherhood

For This Moment

Every year Mad Dog and I embark on our annual Buckeye Cruise for Cancer.  It is a cherished trip as it supports cutting edge research and cancer care, but also happens to be a giant party with hundreds of Ohio State Buckeye fans.  You can learn more about this awesomeness here:

Buckeye Cruise for Cancer

Through the years, my relationship to this getaway has shifted.  It still requires weeks of planning and preparation, even at this stage in the parenting game, but it is so much easier.  I trust my boys to be active and willing participants in the care of our home, our dogs and most importantly, themselves.  They did not disappoint.  They received a glowing review from our dear friend who kindly watched over them while we were away.  Full disclosure, T.Puzzle promised that they saved their worst behavior for me. Specifically me.  Not Mad Dog.  Me.

He’s not wrong.

Despite some sibling rivalry flare-ups upon our return, I felt grateful having us all together again.  My heart was happy knowing I genuinely missed them but more importantly, that I looked forward to seeing them.  I don’t take this for granted.  I don’t take anything for granted.  They are teenagers.  I have no idea what could happen next, but for right now, for this day, for this moment, when the four of us are together, it feels like magic.

Some fun-filled past memories.

 

 

dogs, humor, motherhood

Love is All Around

I love Love.

I really, really do.

I love it so much in fact (Star Wars spoiler alert), I still held out hope Kylo Ren and Rey would get married at the end of the Rise of Skywalker.

#ReyloEverAfter

Love shows up in all forms.  That’s what makes it so incredibly awesome.  Snuggling with a favorite pet, having lunch with a best friend, even sunshine breaking through the clouds on a rainy day all feel like love to me.

Whether you love Love or not, you may agree there is value in expressing how we feel to those we care about.  I make it a point, and happily so, to tell my boys how much I love them on a regular basis.  Being that they are teenagers, as you might imagine, this goes over like gangbusters.

“Full Speed, Full Speed, Full Speed!” I said.  I love to say his name several times in a row because it bothers him.  This is how I know he will pay attention to what I have to say next because, really mom … stop.  Just. Stop.

“Full Speed, Full Speed, Full Speed!  I love you so much!  I really do!  I love everything about you.”

I held my breath in anticipation for what was sure to be an articulate and wondrous response:

“Okay?”

Well, not exactly the enthusiasm I was looking for so I move on to my next target son.

“T.Puzzle!  I love you so much!  You know what I love the most about you?

(wait for it … )

Everything!”

T.Puzzle heard me, took a moment to process and, as he backed slowly out of the room said, “Well that just warms my heart.”

Yep!  That’s it.  That’s all I get.

I am so ready for Google translation to figure out dogspeak.

I know Max wouldn’t let me down.

#TrueLove

#FurEver

#IAlsoLovePuns

#MadDogIsAHottie

#HappyValentinesDay

#YouRock

#YesIMeanYOU

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humor, motherhood

Zen Training

I plopped down next to Full Speed to help him sort and fold some laundry.  Every once in awhile I like to help the boys with an occasional assigned chore.  My hope is that it teaches them to help others without being asked.

“What is your plan for me to come get you for the dentist tomorrow?” I said.

“What time is it?” said Full Speed.

This is where time seemed to slow down.  I felt myself leaving my body, hovering over the scene as anger arose from within me.

“I know you are not asking me what time your appointment is.  The one that I told you about and ask that you develop a plan for when I should come get you.  The one that I sent you a text message with the details and reminded you to figure out when I should come get you.  I am trying really hard to not sound annoyed right now, but I realize I am not doing a very good job.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait a minute! You know you have to tell me things at least four times before I actually remember them,” said Full Speed (for the record I did, probably more).

It seems I could tell each and every one of the men I live with about appointments a thousand times and it would not be enough.

Eventually, with some mindful breathing, I accepted the situation as it was.  I also calmed my mood by realizing that I won’t always have to be in charge of my boys’ appointments.  At some point, they will need to figure that stuff out on their own.  My guess is, especially in the realm their future dental care, scurvy could be a real possibility for them…

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Later that night, I was writing out an early dismissal note for Full Speed.

“What period will you be leaving?” I said.

“I’ll leave after seventh period,” Full Speed said.

As T.Puzzle sauntered in the room, he caught a snippet of the conversation.

“Why is Full Speed leaving early?” said T.Puzzle.

“For your dentist appointment,” I said.

“Wait. When is that again?” said T.Puzzle.

I would write more but for the safety of my children, I have relocated to a monastery to begin my zen training in earnest.

I have no other option.