A Nose Picker and a Full Moon – Will this day ever end?!


So in the past few months, I have had to make a couple of trips out-of-state, which is unusual. My husband is the traveler – not me! I honestly don’t know how he does it because, these days, flying on commercial airlines is not only horribly aggravating and uncomfortable but, it’s also just plain disgusting! You really have the opportunity to see society at its worst! On a recent trip, I watched a grown man eat his own boogers and then I had to wade through old-man pee on the airplane bathroom floor.  To end my day, I was forced to eat my meal staring into a strangers gleaming white butt crack!

So, my first trip was out to Northern California, to visit some of my husband’s family and friends. It was a horrible start to our flight: full strip and pat down in the security line, delayed plane, irritable people waiting for a delayed flight at 5:45 in the morning because the passengers managed to make it to the airport at the crack of dawn, but for some reason the pilot was running late – really!  So we finally make our delayed flight (which was a 48 minute flight), only to barely make our connection – I mean we were running and in a full sweat trying to make it to the next leg of the flight (the 5 1/2 hour portion of the flight). We are the last to get on the plane but, miraculously, we made it!

At this point, we are well into the flight. My husband had been sleeping for about an hour and I was passing time by reading my book and watching the weirdo who was sitting diagonal to us. The man was pudgy, pasty white, and wearing a t-shirt trying to convince people that he had run in (but more likely he had worked in a covered booth at) a marathon for serious runners. This guy could not have made the run through the airport, that my husband and I just made, without being doubled over or having an asthma attack! He was also watching a very strange movie on his tablet. It was in a stand so I could actually watch all of the young women, in the movie, running around and screaming; it was extraordinarily strange!  From very early on in the flight, this guy was ranking high on my creepy meter!

So, the flight attendant is now taking lunch orders. She gets to the chunky marathoner, and gives him the horrible lunch choices (a nasty chicken salad or a nasty creamy pasta) and takes his drink order. He asks if there is a vegetarian option. I find this interesting! This man is not in good shape! He is fairly young but, he looks unhealthy and his coloring is strange; this is not a man who is interested in taking care of himself! The flight attendant says she can remove the chicken from a salad. He says, “That will be OK. I just don’t eat meat for personal reasons”. We are next, so I wake my husband and ask what he wants to eat. She then takes my order, checks with the row behind us, and then returns to start making the drinks.

I look again at the pudgy, vegetarian, marathoner and I watch him as he raises a single finger and just holds it near his chest. Then, he slowly moves his pointer finger toward his nose. Finally, he gets to his right nostril and sticks that finger directly up his nose. He pulls out what I presume to be a booger, holds it on his finger for a moment, and then inserts it in his mouth! I watch his jaw move, and I realize my mouth is hanging open, as I am in disbelief. I was still horrified by what I had just witnessed, when the man then takes the same pointer finger and inserts it into his left nostril (which is in my full vision) and digs around in his nose. He then pulls something out and, again, holds it on his finger until the moment that he decided to shove it into his mouth! He has now inserted two big boogers into his mouth and I am feeling sick.

I was looking around and wondering if anyone else had witnesses this horror show. Was no one else aware of the vegetarian booger eater on the plane? Then, I found myself wondering if boogers were vegetarian? I wondered if he was going to use them as croutons on his salad or, were they replacing the chicken? Has any research been done into whether or not boogers are considered to be vegetarian? Are boogers protein? Do they contain nutrients?  Was the man so desperate for a little protein, that he was willing to eat his own dirty boogers? This would require me to take a long hard look at my decision to be a vegetarian!

When my food came, I was too grossed out to eat it and, I was actually quite hungry. I had eaten a granola bar around 5:30 am, while waiting in the airport, but had been much more focused on my venti latte. Our morning flight was late and we had no time between our connection so, since very early this morning, we’ve had no time to eat or go to the bathroom. Now, I actually needed to pee. I waited until the flight attendant removed my tray and I headed to the airplane restroom.

I opened the door and had to take a step back from the terrible smell; I decided to try to hold my breath. I looked at the floor and there was pee everywhere; this restroom was a disaster! As a tiny woman, there is nothing worse than having to squat over one of these airplane toilets because, in an attempt to keep from touching the urine-soaked toilet seat, you must really stick your butt back and lean your head forward until your head almost touches the door – the filthy, germ-covered, never been cleaned, stinky, airplane bathroom door! So, I pee as quickly as possible while looking at the sticky, wet, floor and wonder what animals have been using this bathroom!

I open the bathroom door, fill my lungs with the urine-free air, and look at the two rows of men sitting in front of us. I stand there for a moment (pretending to stretch) as I slowly check out the old, balding, white guys chugging cheap Chardonnay like it was water. No wonder the bathroom floor was such a mess! These old men were drunk from the unlimited airplane wine, and could not figure out how to get their pee into the actual toilet bowl; imagine if they had to squat over the bowl like a woman – there would be a flood! I get back to my seat and watch as the booger-eater stands to go to the bathroom. He leaves his ear buds in and takes his, very large, tablet with him to the bathroom. I was just in there! There was no safe place to sit his tablet. And why is he taking it in there anyway? I was getting a bad feeling!

Eventually, we landed and I felt exhilarated walking off of that plane! We were off to pick up our rental car. We could sit in an area that did not smell like a horse stall, and I would not have to watch strange people eat crusty stink particles right out of their noses. We still had about a 1 and 1/2 hour drive to Napa Valley. It was raining outside but, I enjoyed the quiet drive! We were already a day late meeting his family (they were already at a wine tour and luncheon), so we decided to stop at one of our favorite restaurants for a late lunch. We did not have a reservation and this is a very well-known and recognized restaurant in Napa Valley so, we had to wait! Honestly, we were very lucky that it was raining so hard because, it was causing people to cancel. At a restaurant that books several months in advance, we were going to have about an hour wait.

I filled my time people watching; it was an interesting crowd. There were locals, and couples vacationing, and groups of friends talking. One group of girls was standing right beside us at the bar and, they stood out from the locals. They all wore tight jeans with t-shirts, vests, scarves, and fedora hats in contrasting colors and prints – it was a lot to take in! They were pushy and rude, while they drank their wine, and gossiped about some poor girl who didn’t make the trip with them from San Francisco. After 45 minutes of waiting the girls were seated and, 10 minutes later my husband and I were too.

By this point, it had been a very long day! We had gotten up at 3:45 am to get showered and drive to the airport for our early flight, which was delayed. It was now 3:30 pm California time, which meant it was 6:30 pm to us. We were excited to sit down to a delicious meal, and not the freeze-dried chicken that they serve on the plane. Just as I was telling my husband about why I lost my appetite on the plane, and how excited I was to have great food and beautiful scenery, I almost choked on my salad! I put down my fork, picked up my wine glass, and motioned to my husband. I muttered “Look”, and nonchalantly pointed my fork at the group of “San Francisco” girls that had been pushing me around at the bar.

My husbands eyes got huge and he started to choke on his bread. As he proceeded to beat on his chest, and try to stop laughing, I was shaking my head and saying, “This is just not my day!”. We were now trying to look away from the strangers fully exposed butt, that was staring me right in the face. This girl was wearing very tight and low-cut jeans, with a short shirt, vest and scarf. When she sat down, her full butt crack was exposed! But, when she leaned forward, to reach for the shared food in the middle of their table, her ENTIRE butt was showing. I even said to my husband, “She has got to be commando! There is no way she is wearing panties! Can an entire pair of panties just disappear up someone’s butt crack? You can literally see her entire butt and into the top of her jeans”, which were on the seat of the chair. My husband shuddered at the thought of this girl’s butt crack eating her panties.

We were having a fantastic meal but, with every bite, I tried not to look at the “full moon” which was blazing just before me!  As our dessert came, I heard a gasp come from the table right beside me. I looked over and saw the round table erupt with laughter, mixed with expressions of horror. I looked over at the local woman, who I could feel looking at me. I nodded, sighed, and said, “I know! It’s extremely hard to look away!” At this point the woman’s husband said, “I can’t believe you just noticed that; that is not like you!  I saw that ages ago!” The wife replied, “Why didn’t you tell me?” The husband then said, “I didn’t think you would want to see that!”. What a gentleman!

I was aware of the local couple because our tables were very close together and I noticed the man’s southern drawl; it was very similar to mine. At their table, a southern man had married a California woman. We were the opposite; my husband is from California and I was born in the South. I’d heard the man talking about their homes (and plane) in the area, and his wife was covered in diamonds bigger than the local grapes – the couple definitely caught my attention! So anyway, the local couple called the hostess over and said, “Sara, Look!” The hostess, Sara, covered her mouth and then said, “EUWWW, GROSS! I am so sorry that you have to see that!” The young woman’s gleaming-white butt was becoming a spectacle but the San Franciscans’ , who were absorbed in their gossip, seemed to be completely oblivious. I would think that the cold draft of air wafting across her fully exposed buttocks would have been a clue, but no!

As my husband and I left, and we walked past our neighboring table, they looked to us and said,” We hope you enjoyed your lunch. It is unusual for pork butt to be on the menu!” Yikes!  I would have felt sorry for the girl if she had not proceeded to elbow me, bump me, and slam her purse into me repeatedly, with ample room at the bar – she was just being nasty! I decided she may be experiencing a little dose of Karma! My husband and I walked out of the restaurant, got in the car, and discussed whether we should go to the house and unpack, or just go find his brother and start drinking immediately! It had been a very long day and we decided we were ready for a little less excitement, a little more red wine, and some scenery that will not make you want to scratch your eyes out – to the vineyard it is!!!

Did That Thing Just Pee on Me?

My daughter recently had a field trip with her kindergarten class.  The school asked for parents to drive and to help keep track of the kids. They were going to a museum, which is huge.  You could spend the entire day inside the museum, but to see everything outside would take another full day.  Outside the museum there are miles of outdoor activities, live animals, a train, boats, and even dinosaur trails.  I volunteered to go, not really thinking about how hard it was going to be having my three year old with me.  The week before the field trip, I had re-injured my ankle and was now back in my “boot”.  I left that museum with a swollen foot and throbbing leg.  I was also covered in sweat, pollen, dirt and I what I am fairly sure was squirrel pee!  
My daughter really wanted to go on this field trip and, in order to help drive, I was going to have to keep my son home from school and take him with us.  The museum was too far away from his preschool and I could not make it back to pick him up at 11:45 (when he gets out).  But, I was actually looking forward to taking him on the field trip; I knew he would have a great time and he loves doing things with his big sister.  We got to the museum to meet her class and they were both very excited.  There is a big rocket at the front of the museum and my son was fascinated!  He could not stop talking about the rocket and I felt like I made the right decision to bring him on the fun, but  still educational, field trip.
When the rest of my daughter’s class arrived, she informed me that she was NOT staying with me. My daughter told me that she would be staying with her teacher, and a select group of friends, and I was to take her little brother and avoid her until the end of the day.  Her teacher (who loves her) agreed to keep her, so “little miss independent” walked away with her cool, mommy-free, group.  I drove 45 minutes (to that museum) for my daughter, and she decides that she wants to be with her friends, not her family!   Honestly I was a little sad, but it was still an opportunity to spend quality time with my son.   
My son and I went the opposite direction of my daughter.  We spent a lot of time looking at the space exhibits and the satellite.  We studied the live owls, alligators, and birds and had just finished learning about clouds, when my son decided he wanted to go find the dinosaur trail.  We headed outside and followed the signs.  It was a pretty morning in mid-April and things were starting to bloom, but it was also starting to get hot.  It was a long walk over multiple terrains.  As I hobbled over the concrete, gravel, and mulch paths, I could already feel my re-fractured foot and leg throbbing but, my son was excited.  We finally arrived at the dinosaurs and I was relieved to find that it was one of the shadiest places outside the museum.  The trail was just cut into the very tall trees and, in a few places, the trees arched and provided complete cover from the sun.  
We walked the dinosaur trail 3 times.  I was exhausted, but he loved seeing the life-sized dinosaurs set out in the trees.  He wanted me to read him every detail about the dinosaurs.  He listened, asked questions, and talked up a storm.  He was happy as a lark, but I was hot and in pain!  He wanted to take the trail again (for the 4th time) but I talked him into going to get some lunch.  I really wanted to get off of my foot and rest it for a minute.  He reluctantly agreed, after I promised to find him french fries, and we turned and headed back toward the entrance. 
We were now retracing our footsteps and heading back down the long wooded trail toward the  cafe.  This part of the trail narrows and is surrounded by nothing but very tall, arching trees.  I was enjoying the cool shade, when I was startled by the feeling of something wet hitting my head.  I jumped forward and then turned around because I heard a loud “splat” on the concrete path behind me.   I then quickly looked up because I heard something in the tops of the trees.  The sound was a branch cracking/moving above us.  I stood there, shocked and confused, as I tried to determine what this weird gush of fluid was that fell from the trees.  
My first thought was that a bird had pooped on me.  I was looking at the wet splatter pattern and trying to determine what it could have come from.  It was hard to say how much liquid had actually fallen. It had made a pretty loud “splat”, but I don’t think it was actually all that much liquid.  It was more likely that it made such a loud noise and such a wide splatter because it was falling from such a height – it had to be falling very far and very fast!  It still seemed like too much liquid to have come from a bird, and I also heard the sound of a cracking, bending branch above me.  Something was moving on, or jumping from, one of those narrow branches 50 feet above me.  It had to be a squirrel, I thought.  On a daily basis, I see them walk up, and on, the most unbelievably high and narrow branches.  I have watched them spidey-man up the side of our house; they are unbelievable climbers!  
I was positive that only a bird or squirrel could have been up that high, and there was no wing-flapping, chirping, or squawking going on.  It was not a bird, and it was not the rain, so it had to be a squirrel.  But, I still had to determine what that furry little menace (the squirrel) had actually dropped from the tree.  Either he was up there having a drink, and spilled his little dixie cup, or he peed on me!  OK, I was now fairly confident that a stupid, furry little rodent had just peed on me (on the dinosaur trail) at the museum!   To make matters worse, I had just put my favorite sunglasses up on my head (when we hit the shade).  That squirrel had the nerve to pee on my favorite sunglasses!  Seriously!  I cant put those back on my eyes!
We went to eat and I caught a glance of my hair in a mirror in the cafe.  Nothing noticeable jumped out; it was not super obvious that an animal had just peed in my head, so I decided to put it behind me and not let it ruin the day.  I was relieved to find that, beside the forks, the cafe had set a huge bottle of sanitizer out.  I rubbed that sanitizer on my hands and tried to forget that an animal had just taken a wiz on my head.  After eating, my son felt much better but, I could not say the same.  We headed down the road and ran into my daughter looking at the stinky farm animals.  Between the smell of the animals and the heat, I started feeling nauseous.  Even though she protested, we decided to follow my daughter’s group, to the play fort.  
My son was determined to do everything his big sister was doing and she was determined to stay far away from him.  She climbed up in this tall wooden fort, but my son could not reach the steps.  She just left him hanging there – stuck!   I had to squeeze through mobs of children as I tried to rescue my dangling son.  My huge “boot” kept getting stuck between wooden slabs and impatient, stinky, older kids elbowed and kicked me as they fought to push past me and my trapped little boy.  It was a nightmare!  I got my son down and then chased him over bridges, through concrete tunnels, and down wooden ramps, all with a broken ankle.  I was covered in sweat, dirt, green pollen (which was falling from the newly budding trees), and what I am pretty sure was squirrel pee!  I felt disgusting!  
It was finally time for all of the kids to go and I was so relieved!  We got into the air-conditioned car and there was a moment of silence.  We were all tired and the 45 minute drive home was fairly quiet.  We walked in the door and I told the kids to wash their hands and gave them some fruit.  I turned on the TV and told them that I was going to take a quick shower because I was pretty sure that a furry rodent had urinated on my head.  
After I removed the sweat, pollen, and animal urine, I felt like a new person.  I came out and sat with my kids and thought about the number of people at the museum today.  There were hundreds of people there.  I wondered if anyone else had an animal confuse them with a toilet!  I was still questioning if anything else could have fallen from such a height.  I thought again about hearing the distinct sound of the branches cracking, and then watching them rustling overhead; it was as if an animal was jumping from one branch to another.  Just then, I looked out the second story window.  I saw one of the long branches shake and watched as a squirrel tightrope-walked down the thin limb.  The squirrel just sat, with unbelievable balance, on the very edge of the limb as he ate it’s red berries.  I reached up and touched my newly washed hair and found myself sneering.  
It was now official;  I am now (and forever) completely over squirrels!  They are no longer cute, agile, determined little creatures; they are troublemakers!  I thought about how they filled our gutters with dirt, rocks, and mud (to make nests) which basically turned into cement.  Those squirrels cemented out gutters, and down spouts, costing us a lot of aggravation and money.  Now, they have the nerve to go and pee on me!  I am an animal lover, but these animals truly are a total pain in my rear (and a mess in my hair).  I I don’t ever want to see one of those bushy-tailed rats again.  
Well, so much for my fun-filled, educational trip to the museum.  I hope my children learned something educational today,  because I sure didn’t.  Well, maybe that is not true. I did learn the importance of investing in a parasol, a slicker, or even a waterproof wide-brimmed hat, if you are going to be walking under trees or forest creatures!   So, I guess I did learn something today; maybe the day wasn’t a total loss after all!  
Not cool Mr. Squirrel!  That was seriously not cool!

No, This Is Not A Costume!

This has been one of those days when I have not felt good about myself. Have you ever had one of those days when you just did not feel like yourself or, worse, when you did not even look like yourself. Well, thinking that you look terrible is depressing enough but, it’s even worse when your own little personal peanut gallery confirms those fears through comments of their own.

So, I don’t know if it was hormones or what but, I just felt off this morning. It had been a long week and I hoped that this morning (Saturday), I would wake up feeling like a new person. Well, I woke up feeling like a new person, but not in a good way. Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and cried? This morning, I wanted to cry. I stood in front of the mirror and took a good, long look at myself and had to sit down; my reflection was depressing.

True, it had been a tough few months. My son was home sick nearly nearly an entire month with chronic croup (and they now fear he also has asthma). At night he honestly struggled to breathe. Many nights I had to sleep in his room so, I had not slept well in weeks. My husband had been traveling and was basically been gone for the last two months. He gets home and the doctors are afraid that he has a blood clot. Now they are calling him in for x-rays and MRI’s. We finally found out that everything is OK.  It was a false alarm – Thanks Doc! So my husband is just fine, the daughter is fine, and my son is getting better. Now I should be feeling better, right? I had to wonder, could the stress of the past few weeks, well months, really make me look this bad?

I was trying to analyze myself in the mirror, but it wasn’t especially easy to do through my swollen eyes. I was quick to notice how puffy and swollen my face looked, but was surprised to discover that (even though my face was puffy) I woke up with new wrinkles that were not there yesterday. I mean these lines in my face were NOT there on Friday! Now, to make matters worse, my jeans do not seem to fit right this morning. Is it actually possible to gain weight while you sleep? I put on the rest of my clothes and then took a better look at the jeans I was wearing; I honestly did not remember them being this ugly when I bought them.

I tried to dry my hair, but it just seemed to be shellacked to the top of my head. I rubbed the top of my head and wondered if my hair become excessively oily overnight? I also found it confusing that my hair could be flat on the top, then stick out so wildly from my ears down!  Half way down my head, my hair was full of static, it looked like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet. Luckily, I decided this was not a permanent condition because, I soon realized that I just forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair. I took one more look at myself and sighed – I was a serious mess!

My kids were now both awake so went to make breakfast. At this point, my daughter eluded to the fact that a monkey could make better scrambled eggs than the ones that I provided this morning. I tried to overlook her comment about the food. My child has very low blood sugar in the morning and can be a tad cranky! I knew that she was just hungry, but the thoughts were still running through my head – Is it possible (that while sleeping), I really may have gained weight, produced wrinkles, lost my fashion sense, and my ability to cook?

I was pretty sure that I could not feel any worse when my little boy asked me, “Are you a zebra today?” I asked him if I looked like a zebra and he said, “Yes! I really like your zebra shirt!” I looked down at my long sleeve black t-shirt with very thin white pinstripes. It did not scream “zebra” to me, but I also did not remember my jeans being this weird pale blue color either. I had already questioned my choice of jeans this morning, but not my shirt!

I then went to sit beside my son on the sofa, when he touched the top of my head. He looked at me and asked, “Mommy, why does your hair look like that today? Do you think a haircut could fix it? It is really sticking up behind the top!” I then said, “So you think my hair looks bad today?” He replied with, “Yes! It really does mom!” My daughter then said, “It is funny the way it is flat on the top, but sticks out on the sides! It is kind of like clown hair, or wings!” My son laughed as he flapped his arms, pointed at me, and yelled “Wings! Wings!”

Well, that is that. I was afraid that I looked bad today and now those fears have been confirmed. I wonder if I can be around other people and not offend them with my new wrinkles, water weight, ugly clothes, and static-filled hair. Do I hide in my house and hope that tomorrow brings a new day, new look, and new attitude? Or, do I go out and face the day? I figure that I could actually help to make women feel better about themselves. My guess is that many people will find comfort in the fact that they can look at me and say “Hey, at least I am having a better day than that poor lady! She looks awful!” So friends, I hope that I can raise your spirits today because (it has been confirmed that) I really do look terrible!

By the way, if you want to see how bad I look today, we will be at the neighborhood grocery store around 2:00 today. I will be there person who is dressed like a zebra – with wings on her head; it might be worth the trip!

Excuse Me, Sir!

I was in a children’s store yesterday and saw something that I have never seen before.  I was sitting there just watching it all go down.  I was amazed that no other person saw what happened.   Seven women were standing within a few feet of me and the little boy.  Perhaps they were lucky that they missed it, because what I saw was not a pretty sight!

So, I was in a children’s store looking for clothes for my children.  My daughter needed a dress to wear in a holiday program at school.  I decided to buy my son something cute as well and just use the picture for our Holiday card.  There was only one woman working the front of the store.  I could hear the other women in the back talking and the line was moving very slowly.   I have a broken ankle.  It is big, bulky, and was starting to hurt, so I sat down on a bench while she checked-out a few other women.  I needed to ask her about getting another size, so I just sat down and looked around.  This store has a large play area for kids and the bench is right at the edge of the children’s play area.  I turned and watched a little boy playing at the train table.  The boy was at least 2 years old and he was having a great time; he was talking to himself and the to trains, but would suddenly stop and make some very strange faces.  I was pretty sure that he needed to go to the bathroom. I looked in the line but none of the women kept looking over at him, as mom’s usually do when their children are playing by themselves.

I sat for a few more minutes and finally the one man in the store walked over to the kid and said, “Hey Bud! Try this jacket on!”  The boy stood and grabbed his crotch.  His dad said, “Do you need to pee?”  Then the little boy grabbed his bottom and his dad said, “Oh!  It’s that kind of party!”  The boy startled to waddle toward his dad and his dad picked him up.  I looked at the floor, where the boy had been squatting, and saw (there on the blue rug) what looked like the brown, rounded ends of a dog bone or biscuit.  I was looking at it and thought, “Huh, that was not there before!  What is that?”  And then it hit me!

I stayed very quiet but kept looking down at the brown wad, and then up at the dad. Eventually he looked at the floor and realized what had just taken place.   The dad finally realized that his son had just taken a poop on the floor of the children’s boutique.   He reached in his pocket and pulled out a bag of candy.  The dad loudly said, “Hey Bud, do you want a piece of candy?” and then he ripped off a piece of the bag and picked up the poop.  The dad sat the jacket on the counter and told the women that he had to step out, but would be right back.  The woman said, “We have a changing room in the back of the store.”  But the man replied, “All of my stuff is in the car.  I will be right back.”  He walked out of the store with son on his left hip and a wad of poop cupped in his right hand.

I thought about him pulling off those poop covered pants in the back of his car and cringed.  I hoped they had a diaper to put on that kid, because he did not seem quite ready for “big boy” underwear.  I wondered if the dad would actually come back in the store.  I am pretty sure that if my kid pooped on that floor, I would never show my face in there again.  I was in the store for about 10 more minutes, before finally checking out.  As I exited the store, I almost ran smack into the dad and his son.  The dad looked at me and then looked away.  He was probably wondering if I had blabbed about the “work of art” his son had left beside the chalk board wall. But, I’m no tattletale and I wasn’t looking for trouble!  Besides, whose kid has not embarrassed them in public before?  But this was a truly horrific first for me!

I decided that has to be a major difference between men and women.  I think most women would have called it a day; I think they would have decided that the shopping could wait.  But this dad was acting like it never happened, or like it was no big deal.   Maybe it was not the first time that he picked up poop balls off of the floor.  I wondered if he would have even picked it up if I had not been sitting there.  He was dressed like a “cool” dad.  He was definitely trying to look a little hip, and a little rock ‘n’ roll.  He had on very skinny jeans.   They were so tight, he could barely squat down to pick up the poop balls.  He also wore a long sleeve striped shirt, a blue puffer vest, a little wool cap and big black cargo boots.  It was 69 degrees outside.  Just looking at him in the boots, the down puffer vest, and little wool beanie made me sweat.    I wondered if he had been waiting to pull out his little wool hat and vest.  It was almost 70 degrees outside and sunny.  This outfit would have given my thin-skinned, 90 year old grandmother a hot flash.  Maybe he just wanted to look young, hip, and cool.  Hey, maybe he was.  Maybe he really was one of those rock ‘n’ roll guys and finding a little poop on the floor was like just another day at work.

This got me thinking that a lot of guys, especially those who really “experienced” college, have probably seen much worse.  My husband told me many stories from high school and college.  He grew up in Los Angeles, then went to school at Berkley, all while playing water polo, and eventually joining a fraternity with a lot of those guys. After hearing his stories, I imagine that none of those guys would even flinch at the sight of someone relieving themselves in the middle of a floor.  So, maybe this really is the difference between men and women.  Women have to clean up most of the messes because it’s GROSS and they don’t like the idea of having poop-covered kids or poop-smeared floors; also because nobody else will do it!!   Men DON”T clean up messes because a little poop on the floor doesn’t bother them; it probably just reminds them of the good old days!

The only question I will never know is how really “cool” that dad was.  I will never know if (when he walked back in to buy that jacket) he made his son stand at the counter, or if he let him go crawl around in the play area.  The train was still in the same place the little boy left it, right beside the poop smear (that was still visible) on the rug.  So do you think the dad let his little boy go crawl around in his poop a little longer?  Unfortunately, I will never know!   But what I do know is that this has forever changed the way I will look at children’s play areas and anonymous stains on floors!  Look out friends!  You never know what your kids are playing with, or in!  Rock ‘n’ Roll!




Just Rest, Well Maybe Not!

I find it interesting, the times that my children decide to actually listen to me.  Yesterday, I asked my son to “sit back and rest”.  He did just what I asked, but he made a huge scene in the process!

So, we were sitting in the waiting room at my son’s Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.  We have to go to that office, every week, for his speech therapy session.  His appointment time is at 1:45 and the office is usually very quiet.  The doctors and staff must take lunches around 1:00 because the place is always pretty empty.  Today there was one other couple sitting in the waiting area.  The couple looked to be in their late 60’s.  The man had his mouth hanging open and was sound asleep, while his wife was reading magazines. I told the kids to go sit down while I waited for someone to show up behind the desk and check us in.

The kids ran over to a little sofa, which was exactly across from the couple.  They kept getting up and switching seats and giggling.  When I finished paying at the desk, I walked over and told the kids to calm down and not bother the other people in the waiting room.  “Keep it quiet guys!” I said, but they just kept standing up and sitting back down.  A few minutes later I said, “Come sit beside me!  You must be tired from school! Just sit back and REST!”

My son jumps up beside me and starts to get comfy; he is actually starting to relax until he hears the man, who is sitting directly across from him, make a loud gasping snore.  My son pops up and looks at the man and (on my sons face) I see an expression of sheer intrigue.  My son leaned toward him, raised his eyebrows, and studied him in great detail.  My little guy then gets in the exact same position as the older man.  My child leans over on the arm of the sofa, puts his head back, crosses his ankles, opens his mouth and pretends to be sleeping.  The sleeping man’s wife, looks over and sees my son open his eye when the man, once again, snores.  My son then looked down and realigned himself so that he was in the correct position.  My son was now the snoring man’s mirror image; his little sleeping double.  The wife realizes what my son is doing.  She looked back and forth, between her husband and my “sleeping” son, and she started to smirk.  She looked slightly amused but went back right back to reading her article.

The room was very quiet.  The only noise you heard was the man snoring, but then it would get quiet again.  Moments later, the man snored, but instead of silence I heard “CAAAWW SHHHHHH, CAAAWW SHHHHHH”.  I looked over at my son and he was now fake snoring.  My son often does this and it sounds amazingly realistic.  I guess from all the years of hearing his father snore, my boy has it down!  He also does this in the car, when I tell him to close his eyes and rest.  He lays his head back, closes his eyes, and starts the fake snore.  I have heard him make this sound repeatedly, but I still have to look at him to verify that the incredibly loud, and eerily realistic, snore is coming out of my tiny little man.  I have heard his “snore” multiple times, but it is still funny every time he does it!

Anyway, I tap my son’s leg and tell him to “Stop it”, but he will not budge.  My daughter then grabs her stomach, saying, “Mommy it is so funny!  He is snoring!  Look at him!  I can’t breathe!”  I could feel the man’s wife looking at us.  When I finally looked at her, she just looked surprised as she listened to my toddler’s very nasal, very growly, and very realistic snore.  She then looked over at her sleeping, grumbling husband.  Her husband had been letting out some strange nasally gasping snores, but you could tell that she was so used to it, that she no longer even noticed.  Now my son was bringing it to her attention; well, to everybody’s attention.  I watched the woman behind the desk stand and look for the other snoring culprit.  She then left the desk and brought back a few other women.

It just kept getting worse!   Now, my daughter was howling, the ladies at the check-in desk were laughing and waving for other women to come look, and I was closing my eyes trying not to laugh.  My son’s snore was just getting louder and more similar to the old guy’s snore. My son would occasionally crack open an eye to make sure he was still copying the man’s position, determined to perfect his “sleeping man” imitation.  Now, why he decided the needed to imitate this man is something that only a toddler could understand. So, the wife had just been sitting there and taking all of this in, when all of a sudden she burst out laughing.  I mean tears were running down her face and she was rocking in her seat.  She slapped her husband (to wake him up) and pointed to my child who was “sleeping” and snoring up a storm.  Luckily, they had a good sense of humor about the whole thing because the entire office was now looking through the check-in window.  The entire building was in awe of the snoring competition that was taking place in the lobby.

Our speech therapist opened the door (while laughing) and called us back.  My son finally stopped his fake sleeping and said, “Mommy, I was tired, so I rested!”  When we headed back for his appointment, we had to walk past the couple.  The woman was still laughing and smiling when we left the lobby and it occurred to me that they were probably in the office to see if the gentleman had sleep apnea.  I had a feeling that we just added “fuel to the fire”.  I imagined his wife was saying, I told you your snoring was bad!

So, my son turned a fairly quiet office upside down but, those women obviously needed a good laugh. I am very relieved that the couple took it so well because, my son was just doing what I told him to do – I told him to sit back and rest!  My son did as requested; he just put that toddler spin on it!  This was one more time that my children made a scene!  Who would have thought that the suggestion to “REST” could have backfired?   Be careful what you ask for, huh!


Mom, Are Boys Gross?

My daughter walked into my room and said, “Mom, are boys gross?”  I replied, “A little bit honey.  Why are you asking?”  Because daddy just asked me to pull his finger again and then yelled “Did you hear that barking spider?”   “You usually say that is gross and stinky.  Jay seems stinky too.  Are all boys gross?”  I looked at my little girl and said, “Honey, boys tend to be a little grosser and stinkier than girls.  They like to poot and burp and make weird sounds.  They are just a little different than us, but it is OK.  They are free entertainment.”

I thought about how often I tell my husband that he is gross.  I didn’t think that I said it that much!  Well, maybe I do!  My husband is one of those guys who is only gross around close friends and family.  He is Mister Manners at most times; his manners are actually quite amazing and people find him very charming.  Then he comes home with gas, quacking like a duck, and cussing like a sailor.  I find him slightly gross, but extremely amusing.  He does know how to behave in public but, unfortunately for me, he leaves little to the imagination.

Recently he asked me to buy him some Metamucil.  I bought it, and a few weeks later he brought in the container and sat it on the kitchen island.   He then asked me to buy him more.  I asked, “Is that already empty?  Did you use it all?”  He said, “I did.  I’ve used it every day and now I’m pooping like a goose!”  I said, “That is so gross!”  He said “No!  That is great!  I am using less toilet paper and my boxers are much cleaner!  What was happening before was gross!  Why do you think I switched to all black boxers?  Because, all the other ones were getting a grayish-brown tinge!”  I shuddered and said, “You seriously have to get your own hamper!  And I think you should have to carry your own underwear to the laundry room.  Actually, just wash your underwear in the washing machine in the garage.  Our indoor washer is not for completely disgusting articles of clothing!  Poop stained pants go in the garage only! You know the rules!”

He laughed and said, “Oh honey, it is no longer a problem, thanks to the Metamucil my boxers are skid-free and safe to handle.  I said “You really are gross!”  He said, “Getting old is not easy.  Come look at my ear hairs!  I can’t believe how long they have gotten; my nose hairs too! I pulled one out last week that must have been connected to my brain!”  I just shook my head and sighed; I mean, what else could I say.  He leaves for work and I took the kids to school.

Two hours later I am pulling the clothes out of the dryer and carrying them into my bedroom.  I lay the clothes out and there are his dreaded black boxers.  Even though they were clean, I still held them like they were toxic waste.  I used a delicate pincher grasp, trying only to touch the waist band and avoid the crotch.  I was stacking up his black boxers and I realized that my clothes were completely stuck to them.  I don’t usually need fabric softener sheets on anything except fuzzy blankets, but for some reason his boxers had serious static cling.  This did not used to be a problem!  His underwear did not used to cling, for dear life, to all of our clothes!  “Why now?” I wondered; this was seriously bothering me.  Maybe it is all of that “pooping like a goose!”  Maybe the sheer amount of times that he is pulling those boxers up and down is causing too much friction in his underwear!

Going through his boxers, I was just getting more grossed out by the minute and then, I got seriously bummed out.  My delicate little panties were favorite t-shirts were static-clinged to the crotch of his black boxers.  Of all the things to get stuck to the crotch of his underwear; he could not have planned it better himself!  I pulled my “dainties” off of his boxers and apologized profusely to my clothes for having to experience that level of trauma. I then promised my lovely clothes that they would never again have to be washed with those vulgar boxers!

OK, so maybe (on occasion) I do tell my husband that he is gross.   And maybe, my children hear this but, honestly, they think that their dad is hilarious.  My daughter screams that “dad is so gross”, but she is laughing so hard that she almost wets her pants.  This is the kind of reaction that just eggs him on; my husband loves to get a rise out of both momma and “mini momma” (as he sometimes calls our daughter).  I only hope that we have not completely screwed up our children yet.  I will try to watch how often I call my husband “gross” in front of the children.  At least, I also say a lot of great things about him!  My husband is smart, strong, determined, caring, and “poops like a goose!”   It’s just like I tell my daughter – “Hey, nobody is perfect!”  But some are grosser than others!


Not A Fairy Tale!

I was in the grocery store this morning and noticed a woman staring at me from the next check-out line. I think she was trying to place me, but I recognized her immediately. Our daughters attended the same school. These people were new to the area and their daughter had joined the class only three months before the end of school. She also had a small baby, so she was always in a hurry. I never really had a chance to get to know her. Our daughters played a lot and, by the time school ended, they had become fast friends. My daughter kept asking to have her new friend over to play, but I could never catch the mom to ask. It was not until the end of school that I actually met the girl’s mom, and I am not sure that I made the best impression. This is what happened.

It was now the last day of school and all of the parents were invited for a little ceremony and class parties. I was in front of the school when I saw the new mom, smiled, and waved. It was the first week of June and the temperature was 95 degrees. It was obscenely hot and I commented on the weather. She walked toward me and her husband, who I had never before seen, followed. I then said that my daughter has loved having their child in the class and we would love to have a play date this summer. She looks at me and then back at her husband and tells him, “This is Gia’s new friend; the one that I told you about.” She then looks back at me and says, “I finally got to meet your daughter this morning”. That was all she said, and then she looked down like she was trying to think of something to say. The lady was not smiling; she just stared at the ground.

I was concerned that my child had been rude to the woman, because her behavior was a little odd. I tried to throw in an excuse just in case my child had done or said something inappropriate. I then said, “I have wanted to introduce myself, but we keep missing you in the mornings. Very often, we are the first ones here. Like today, my daughter woke up at 4:45 am, to use the bathroom. She never went back to sleep, so we got here bright and early. She usually wakes around 6:00, which is early enough, but she has woken around 5:00am every day this week. She does not seem to sleep well after busy family visits. ” The story was true. My daughter was seriously sleep deprived and I hoped it would explain any bad behavior.

At this point, the schools’ director came out and called for us to move inside for the start the ceremony. I did not feel like this woman was interested in making a new friend or even speaking to me further, so I said, “I better go find a seat. See you later!” and walked away. I found a seat across the room from the couple and sat there wondering what my daughter said or did to cause this reaction. My child is pretty shy, and is not known for being rude to people, so I did not think that she would say anything to offend the woman. I then wondered, was it what my daughter was wearing? My child was in a weird headband phase at the time. She insisted on wearing two or three headbands at once; none of which matched each other, or her outfits. But, their school was full of gardens, creeks, pools of colored water, and mud piles which got the children absolutely filthy. The children could not wear nice clothes because they came home stained with food coloring, paint, dirt, sand and mud. The clothes that she wore to school were a complete loss, so I never cared what she put on or whether it matched. But, all of the children wore stained play clothes so I doubted that my child’s festive headbands (although they did bring her much attention) would be enough to cause such a negative reaction.

I then wondered if it was me. I was a little different from many of the women at the school. I wore trendier clothes and did not wear, or own, Birkenstocks, crocs, or velcro sandals. I am sure they are comfortable and I think they are great for other people, but they are just not for me. I also knew that many of the people at the school were vegetarians, and made sure to compost leftover food. I ate some meat, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love and support animals. I recycled and tried to respect mother earth. Is this why my daughter was being judged? Was it because we didn’t seem “hippie” enough? I looked around the room, at the other women, and wondered how many of them judged me. I often saw them gathering outside the school talking about their jobs and “educational outings” with their kids. They would just look at me, and although they did not smile, I always smiled and said “Hello”. I was starting to feel more like I was being judged and disliked. I started to feel like the women probably didn’t like me (even though they knew nothing about me), and my daughter was suffering because of it.

The program ends and we go to her class, where many of the families bring food for everyone to share. I always bring a lot of food because my daughter will not eat anything that the other mom’s bring. So, we are late getting in to the class and the only open seats are at the table with Gia and her parents. I am friends with one mom at the school and she is at the next table over. My daughter and I were talking quietly, when Gia’s mom says, “So you mentioned that your daughter was visiting with family.” I smiled and nodded. I did not want to say too much, so I replied with, “Yes, last weekend”. We ate for a while, and watched as the class gradually emptied. Things were now very quiet.

Suddenly, Gia’s mom says, “So, this morning when I was talking to your daughter, I asked her how she was doing and she said, “Well I am OK. I am just really tired from all of the work that woman makes me do!” Gia’s mom then says that she asked my child what work she had been doing and my daughter replies, “I had to vacuum, mop, dust, and scrub everything! That stepmother of mine is so mean! She makes me clean and scrub, and I am not ever allowed to play! It is very hard for a little girl!” My daughter hung her head for a minute, and then said, “Come on Gia, let’s go play!” and they ran off together.

I looked at the woman and said, “My child does not have a stepmother. Her father and I are still married. I do not know what she is talking about!” My friend from the other table walks over and sits down beside me, and our little girls walk across the room together. I looked at my friend and repeated what Gia’s mom just said to me. I said to the table, “It’s true that no one ever see’s my husband, but we are happily married, and there is no stepmother! Nor are there any child labor laws being broken in my home!”

I then looked at my friend and it hit me! I said, “OH, NO. My mom brought Sissy her first Disney movie this weekend; they sat upstairs and watched it together. The movie was Cinderella! That is where she got the mean stepmother, and all the scrubbing the floors stuff! Little miss imagination!” My friend leaned back and started laughing very hard and said, “That is priceless! Only your child!” I started laughing too, but Gia’s mom still looked horrified! I don’t know if she did not believe me about the movie, which was TOTALLY true. Or maybe she just still did not think we were her kind of people, but the playdate never happened! I also did not think this was going to help my image with the other women at the school. My family, once again was making a good impression!

Oh Well! My life may be a little different from some of the other women’s lives, but it is my life and it works for me! After all, nobody ever said that my life would be a fairy tale! But if I could relate to any fairy tale princess, it would  be Cinderella (in her pre-Prince Charming days only). Many days it feels like I am up to my elbows in cranky people, dirty dishes, and dirty diapers; I often feel like I can’t keep everyone happy and the work is never done! I also think it is funny how all of the fairy tales end, before the children are born. The stories end before the sleepless nights, the colic, and the weird poopy diapers! Yep! My Life is not exactly a fairy tale, but more like a badly written comedy.  I guess it is a good thing that love to laugh!