If Traffic Had A Face I Would Punch It

When shit gets real you need to talk about it!

Massage Therapy

I am a woman who does not relax, like, ever.

Having a child has nothing to do with this personality challenge of mine. I’m quite capable of creating enough reasons on my own for me not to sit still, without the aid of my child.

Every few weeks I would book a massage with the intention of having an hour of relaxation, but naturally there isn’t a massage therapist in existence that is capable of shutting me up (I know this because I’ve tried several).

After coming to terms with the realization that I might possibly be the most unprofessional client no one would ever ask for, I decided maybe massage therapy just wasn’t for me. Here are a slew of reasons why.

1) Nudity. Yes at age 34, I still find nudity humorous. It is extremely exhausting for me to be both naked and serious at the same time. Listen, after having a kid, I have a hard time showing my very own husband my naked body most days. Knowing I have no clothes on under a sheet with a complete stranger in the room does anything but relax me. It gives me an anxious feeling, like I’m keeping a funny secret. Like I’m preparing to jump up and surprise her at any moment to go streaking up the quad and to the gymnasium. She just doesn’t know it yet. It’s funny to me because, you know…nudity. But it’s not funny because I share out loud all my “wouldn’t it be funny if” thoughts. This just makes for one solid hour of giggling. Laughter is therapy, but not the kind I paid for.

2) The massage bed. Sure this is a spa and this bed is comfortable. That is until you flip your entire body over and shove your face so far into that circular hemorrhoidal pillow, it feels like you may reenact your very own birth right in front of your therapist. As luck would have it, you are already in your birthday suit, so that really adds to the authenticity of the performance (should you decide to execute it fully).

3) Embarrassing muscle spasms. My body has this keen ability to sense when I might possibly be relaxing and give me a reason to snap out of it. I anxiously await the part where she will try to rub my feet so I can abruptly intervene with a paranoid shriek “Don’t Touch!” This causes confusion because yes, I’m paying you to touch me, but I said don’t touch me. She doesn’t understand yet, but if pressed a certain way, my feet will shrivel up like the Wicked Witch of the East  after Dorothy’s house landed on her. After spending the first 20 minutes of my visit giggling, I will spend the next 15 – 20 minutes trying to work out a toe cramp that is locked in a death grip. I paid for a full body massage not a single toe massage, so please don’t rub my feet.

4) Butt massage. I appreciate the gesture. Really I do. She at least humors me when she jabs her elbow into my gluteus maximus. Unfortunately, my gluteus is just plain maximus so she is really just massaging my ass fat. We both know this. I try to flex a little to make a more pronounced gluteus surface for her to work with but remember, my body hates me. It causes yet one more involuntary muscle twitch that bounces her elbow straight off my ass into another area code (see number 3).

5) I have no muscles. Ok well maybe that’s not entirely true. It’s more like, I only have muscles in my right arm and shoulder because that side of my body does all the heavy lifting. It used to carry an infant car seat and is typically now carrying my almost three-year old. My massage therapist has nicknamed the right side of my upper body Batman, and the left side of my upper body Robin because when naked I now look like the hunchback of Notre Dame. The right side is far more superior to the left. This became our technical terminology used when discussing my ailments. “Who are we working on today… Batman or Robin?”

6) There is no separation between massage therapy and regular therapy. I’m sure this was not what my massage therapist signed up for. She let me complain about my commute and how sore I got sitting in my car for so long each day, and how my back hurts because my daughter still won’t sleep in her own godforsaken bed, and how at home my poor husband and I need to practically speak in morse code because my daughter doesn’t allow real conversations to happen unless she is yelling over us.

I may not have been able to relax physically, but I would somehow still leave every appointment refreshed. Emotionally rejuvenated from an hour-long giggle session just like you would do with friends as kids.

I know my massage therapist was a saint for dealing with me, so I did her a solid and let her off the hook before we belly laughed her way to a pink slip for disrupting other clients who were really there to relax.

 

Dau Voire

Dau Voire

Mommy Wars - One Piece Or Two?

Mommy wars. Somehow I managed to make it almost three years without falling victim to any noticeably detectable displays of criticism towards what I do with my kid. I consider myself to be a fairly non judgmental person, and avoid most forms of conflict at all cost. Generally speaking, I don’t give a shit what other moms and dads do when it comes to their own parenting because it doesn’t concern me. But that changed today as I browsed the toddler tankini’s at the Children’s Place.

I may be naive, but I seriously had no idea that something as small and seemingly insignificant as an extra slice cut out of a fitted bathing garment, could hold a power strong enough to form the continental divide between moms.

Had a rack of tiny spandex not separated me from this sorry ass blob of walking negativity, I may have reached over and made this lady eat the swimsuit I was holding so she could choke it down along with her passive aggressive judgment.

There we stood, side by side in silence. Admiring the same selection of new summer cuteness.

It is here that we were no longer one with the clothing. We were two women divided, just like the baby bikini that would soon surface our differences.

I flipped through the rack casually, holding up one suit at a time. I’m picturing my sweet daughter in the summer sun, frolicking on the beach as toddlers do in their childish way. I am also trying to make a decision on the practicality of each suit. My decision of a one piece or a two piece bathing suit for my daughter all comes down to the cuteness and function of whatever suit I decide I like best.

My daughter has an outie belly button, it is adorable yes, but a one piece suit will keep that thing in check so it isn’t poking people’s eyes out. The world doesn’t necessarily need a constant reminder that the turkey is done. I get it, but on a practical note, two pieces are way more convenient when your kid wears a diaper or is potty training. They allow for quick easy changing instead of taking off a wet suit in its entirety.

I held in my hand an adorable tankini. That suit and I were sharing a moment of possibility when out of the peanut gallery my daydream is disrupted. I hear the troll’s friend (she was much nicer than the troll herself). She gawked at the suits and said how cute they were in passing. That was when the troll opened her mouth.

 

Troll: “No way. I would never buy a two piece for my kids.”

Friend of Troll: “Really? These are cute though, they still cover up everything.”

Troll: “God no. I don’t know why anyone would buy a two piece for their kids. It’s just wrong, so wrong. I would never.”

 

The… fuck? Excuse me Saint Teresa, was that a dig? I stood there still holding a two piece suit in my hands. I really didn’t know how to handle the sudden public display of passive aggression.

You see, today I learned that there are two sides of the road when it comes to mothering a daughter. The line was drawn in the sand right there in that clothing store. You are either a fashion forward mom who can’t wait to dress your daughter like a miniature version of yourself…or… you are not.

This mother was clearly trying to make some sort of statement about the sexualization of our youth. That’s fine, I get it.  I also opted not to buy the teeny tiny cut off booty shorts. But this is a fucking tankini, relax lady. Is your daughter swimming in scuba gear this summer? Is this the early twentieth century?

I wouldn’t be so angry about this woman’s comment had she not proceeded to crop dust the entire store with her continuously foul opinions, and her judgmental, self righteous remarks about every item.

 

Friend of Troll: (holding up a pack of headbands) “Aw, these are cute!”

Troll: Snarls “No. No. I’m not one of those momsI know my daughter is a girl, I don’t need to put a bow on her             head for others to figure it out.”

 

Lady, seriously? Why the faaaq are you even in this store? I get the whole gender equality stuff, I really do. But she is three. Have you seriously become such a feminist that your daughter isn’t allowed to wear anything that would pin her as feminine? Is that a bad thing now? Does she even have an option or are you just going to continue jamming your opinions down her throat as you seem to be doing to everyone in this store?

You must be the most perfect mom ever. I’d give you a pat on the back, but I happen to be one of those moms you just spoke of so snidely, and now I would prefer to give you a punch in the face instead.

WTF You just say?

Take a deep breath and count to ten. Seriously, don’t make me go over there lady.

Crazy Going Slowly Am I…

If Traffic Had A Face I Would Punch It


Consider yourself warned.

There is a wee bit of crazy lurking in every woman’s mind. It’s usually only dished out in moderate doses over the course of a monthly cycle, allowing it to remain somewhat undetectable by most people. I say most because you can’t hide crazy from your spouse or significant other for very long. Luckily, they love you enough to understand it, so every 28 days or so you have a hall pass for mental instability.

Upon birthing your first child there is a paradigm shift in the threshold of what is considered normal insanity, and a woman’s biological crazy ratio is no longer at a containable level.

Unbeknownst to me, the aftermath of hormones was here to stay accompanying the under eye circles, saddle bags and belly jiggle. I suppose if forced to choose, the hormones are generally a much more welcomed long-term tenant than their birthing BFF, the hemorrhoids. I’m still applauding my body for the incredible recovery progress made in that general region. They came and went like the rising of the tide, it was quite astounding. Bravo rectum, bravo!

These hormones did a crazy thing. I present you now with an in-depth look into the mind of an anxious mother in overdrive.

The switch has been flicked. There is no going back. Embrace the simple fact that from this point forward, 90 percent of your thoughts are about protecting your child during every worst case, catastrophic event that your beautiful mind is capable of fabricating.

Here is just a small sample of the types of random scenarios or things that I find have caused more anxiety for me since having a child.

1. People flicking cigarettes out of car windows
Thank you, you inconsiderate prick. What do you get when you mix gasoline and fire? An explosion, duh. I saw you do it, like a villain throwing a bomb during a high-speed pursuit. I watch in slow motion as the cigarette hits the ground just before my car drives over it. I hold my breath and wait for it…wait for it. We manage not to blow up most times. But what if the cigarette is stuck in the grill of the car, slowly making its way under the hood? I’m aware of the amount of dead leaves under there, practically begging to ignite at this point. Shit, I need to pull over and check before we get killed.

2. Feeding a child solid food
The first feeding is the worst. I hated that period of my daughters infancy. Every time one of those stupid cereal puffs would get stuck to the roof of her mouth I subsequently lost a year of my life. My daughter is almost 3 and has a full set of teeth yet I still stalk her like a crazy psychopath when she eats lollipops, grapes, string cheese or hotdogs.

3. Peanut butter
Am I the only person that had 911 on speed dial the first time we fed our daughter peanut butter? Peanut butter might as well have been poison the first time it was fed to our baby. It’s downright terrifying.

4. Letting your child walk in crowded places
I would bet money that the child harness was invented by some parents during an anxiety induced manic episode. Needless to say, I completely understand it.

5. Driving over even the smallest fallen tree branch
Alright, I’m no girl scout, but every genius knows you can rub two sticks together and start a fire with a little friction. Driving over dead tree limbs is basically dragging sticks over flint. Flint makes sparks, sparks make fire (even Bruce Springsteen knows that). So of course fire under your car guarantees an explosion, right? Not on my watch and not with my baby in the car. I’ve seen enough movies to know what I am talking about.

6. The news 
For the love of god…don’t read or watch the news unless you have a few extra hours to spend sobbing to your husband about how you need to save all the babies in the world. Your hormones have convinced you to be the martyr, and before you know it, your poor husband is off building the goddamn Neverland Ranch so he doesn’t have to listen to you cry.

7. Driving over bridges and large bodies of water
Winter increases this fear ten thousand percent. Can I reach my daughter to get her buckle undone if the car goes in? Should I leave the window open so we can escape? How long can I hold my breath? I should practice this weekend. I have seriously scoured the internet for the best tools to break car windows open in the event you are submerged in water. The fear of this happening is so intense ever since having my child, I’m 100 percent convinced this is how I must have died in a past life.

Maybe you have a maternal instinct that is capable of predicting the future? Maybe you are just cray cray? Whatever it is, you will no longer be capable of relaxation simply because your mind won’t allow it. It wants to freak you out. It’s natures way of elevating you to that higher level of awareness everyone speaks about.

I simply call it paranoia.

National Sibling Day

True story. The day our parents sat my older sister and I down to share what they considered exciting news (a baby sister), I was more concerned with why the hell I wasn’t receiving a pack of gum.

It was a resounding statement (that I am reminded of to this day) and it shat from my mouth like a bitter explosion of verbal diarrhea.

“I wanted gum”

I mean, my gosh, that was mean to say. I guess I was so caught up in my own personal state of toddler turmoil, that I have no recollection of my older sister’s reaction. She was a much wiser woman than me, about 6 years. She was probably smart enough to know that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. She’s still a classy lady to this day.

Telling a couple of toddlers you have a surprise and not following through with a piece of tangible personal property is quite disappointing. In this world that craves instant gratification, a 4-year-old will always prefer a piece of Wrigley’s over a sibling, it’s a no brainer.

I suppose in an ironic sort of way, receiving a sibling is comparable to receiving a piece of gum, but the kind you find stuck to the bottom of your shoe. You didn’t ask for it, but once it’s there you’re stuck with it.

My parents not only gave us a sister, but they pulled the ol’ double mint, and a few years later, our brother arrived. Double the younger sibling fun.

 

Younger Siblings

 

As little humans, we couldn’t comprehend the kind of gift our parents were giving us. A gift that would far outlast any piece of long-lasting Extra. A gift that can only be fully appreciated now, as an adult.

A sibling is certainly not a necessity for happiness, but they are an added bonus if you were lucky enough to have one (or in my case, three).

They are a gift.

Siblings Brother and Sisters

 

Whether you were striving to perfect your makeup application skills or your left hook, your siblings were there when you needed practice. There is a possibility they even gave you your first hair cut because they knew (at the ripe age of 6) what look would flatter your 4-year-old chipmunk cheeks best. Yes, I enjoyed an “edgy” look for a few weeks of my childhood.

 

80's Hair

80’s Hair with my big sis

They are your first best friends.

They are still the first people you go to when you need to share good news, and naturally, they were the keepers of your first secrets (Or so you thought, anyway).

Siblings are an extension of you. They are the only people who can sit in a room with you in silence, yet know exactly what you are thinking and feeling. You’ve shared the same experiences, the same joys and disappointments. You’ve coped through the same losses, fears and hardships. Though sometimes from different perspectives, ultimately you were there for each other to make each challenge more bearable.

You understand each other’s strengths and each other’s weaknesses, and you’ve watched each other grow from the embarrassing sibling who ran nude through the house in front of your friends, to the responsible young adult they are today. You know their personal journey, and what lies behind every laugh or tear, and they know yours, and that’s pretty cool.

 

Sisters

Siblings

 

Yes, in childhood sometimes knowing too much about one-another can add up to some intense fighting, but it’s all part of the character building process. Those fights taught us the fragility of relationships and how to mend and maintain them into our adult life.

We learned together, continued growing emotionally, and only allowed each other to reach just the right amount of maturity needed, in order to maintain our screwed up sense of humor.

 

Totem Pole

 

If ever we decide to give our daughter a sibling, my hope is that she would be as blessed as I was to have one she can still call her best friend when she’s in her 30’s. If I’ve learned anything in life about siblings it would be this…

If and when, the day ever comes that I must break news to my daughter that she will no longer be an only, I’ll be prepared with a pack of gum to hand her at the same time I deliver the news as collateral. Someday she’ll thank me!

Did your children have a funny reaction to the news of a sibling?

Shop-Til-You-Drop

Grocery shopping day.

A day better known in our home as the day we finally cave in to the fact that the only food left in the house is the stuff most likely to survive a nuclear holocaust. Pickles, canned tomatoes and taco seasoning packets. You might think twice about your shopping habits after you scan your cabinets and realize what useless, non-nutritious garbage you’d be left to eat should the zombie apocalypse really happen tomorrow.

If there is one thing I could possibly hate more than sitting in the worst cluster of traffic, it would be shopping for groceries. I’d seriously consider hurling myself into traffic, if it meant getting me out of the entire food shopping experience.

Only a bachelor is capable of thriving on hot dogs alone, so we know what must be done. One of us will go to the grocery store on the way home from work.

My husband always swoops in for the rescue.

“Just send me your list” he says, (and he will stop on the way home).

A list? Well aren’t you the comedian. How about I just give you a list of all the reasons why I can’t go to the grocery store.

I don’t have a list. When you head into a grocery store with no game plan or structure, it becomes a shopping moronathon. This is precisely how one ends up eating taco flavored pickles for their last supper during Armageddon. Grocery lists are just not number one on my priority list, and you guessed it, that priority list is yet one more list I do not have sorted out yet.

I will shop for our family of 3 as though we are feeding a family of 12. Family size really has a way of luring you in. Well-played marketing geniuses, well-played. After all, more is more right? The more I buy now, the less likely I will need to return to this hell any time soon. Sounds logical to me, but there is absolutely nothing logical about those obnoxiously oversized boxes of Cheerios that don’t fit inside any of the cabinets.

There will be no budget, and no standards. Our daughter is likely to be with me, therefore my goal is to get in and get the hell out. I will not have time to review price tags, do any comparative analysis on nutritional values, avoid nitrates, sugar, or buy humanely raised chicken breast. I will simply come home with whatever looks edible, at premium dollar, no less.

I will over analyze the food choices necessary to get us through the week. Is this enough milk? Do I have enough chips? Is there a good balance of salty and sweet snacks? There is nothing worse than getting home only to realize you bought zero chocolate. What if a gummy bear craving strikes? Better get some just in case. I had better put something healthy in this cart to balance out the junk to shit ratio so the cashier doesn’t judge me. This cart is one jelly bean away from developing an insulin resistance.

I think I am Giada De Laurentiis. Cooking is fun, but in my irrational state of grocery shopping madness, I will buy absurd amounts of fresh produce to prepare a five course meal each day of the week. Sadly, it will all go to waste. I am overambitious, and fresh produce just doesn’t have the shelf life of a humungous box of Cheerios. Produce doesn’t fit into my “shop once per month” cycle the way I’d envisioned it, but I never learn my lesson.

I’ll never make it to the grocery store. I’ll get so sucked into the Pinterest vortex that my innocent search for dinner recipes has turned into a full-fledged kitchen remodel.

It will take me five hours to shop. My thoughts are too disorganized. Instead of sending my husband the organized list he requested, I text him specific requests at random. Like the outbursts of a person with Tourette’s Syndrome…

“Yogurt please”

“Shit! We need cheese!”

“Wine…the kind with no arsenic!”

My husband does a pretty good job deciphering my A.D.D. list. If it were me in the store, every time I turn a corner I’d see something that triggers a memory of a meal I want to make. Thus, I’d be retracing my steps again and again. It’s really exhausting.

People don’t obey the natural flow of shopping cart traffic in the isles. This makes me want to punch them in the face. If your cart is too full of crunchy granola and rice cakes to see that it is blocking my view of the cocoa puffs I might punch you. If your cart is left blocking the middle of an isle and I can’t reach the applesauce, I am going to teach my daughter how to karate chop your salad.

I’d prefer to not end up on the evening news for all the wrong reasons, especially with my daughter present. So please, for the sake of my anger management (and the safety of everyone around me), let’s just agree not to send me to the grocery store tonight…or ever.

My husband gets the food, and no one gets hurt, unless he forgets the wine…

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