Disney Day 2 – You Can’t Be Serious!

OK, so it is day two of our trip to Disney and if we don’t see a princess today, my daughter has announced that she will be devastated!  We walk in the park and I have my map in hand.  I have a list of the princesses, where they are in the park, and what times they are there.  We get through the gates and wave to Goofy.  I show my husband the line to meet Rapunzel.  It is like 9:00 in the morning and this line is freaking ridiculous!  This is at least a two cocktail line.  It would take quite a few drinks to tolerate that nightmare and since it was still morning, and Disney did not serve margaritas, we decided to skip the Rapunzel line.  We continued on to the place where Tiana (from the Princess and the Frog) could be found.  I looked and saw her big green gown in the distance and only a few people in line.  I looked at my husband and said “That is Tiana and there is hardly anyone in line! Let’s go!”  So my husband takes off jogging with the double stroller in hand.  We are in a full jog and have Tiana in sight!  We are determined to fulfill our daughter’s dream of meeting Tiana, who had recently become one of her favorite princesses.

We get in line and there is a little girl taking pictures with the princess.  Directly in front of us, are a couple of older women; my husband and I guessed that these women were in their late 50’s, or early 60’s.  They were waiting in line to meet Tiana.  My husband and I were watching them and trying to figure out why these two older women were voluntarily in line to meet a fake princess.   My husband kept raising an eyebrow and looking at them like, I think they are seriously into this.  I thought they had to be visiting from some Disney magazine, rating “the princess experience”.  But after further examination, I realized they were just tourists. They had on t-shirts, bermuda shorts, Disney ball caps, and extra large fanny packs.  They were also wearing their Disney buttons that said “1st Visit!”

So these women get up to princess Tiana and the one sister says, “We are big fans!  We have your movies AND all of your dolls!  Will you sign our books?”  The other sister then asks “Where is Prince Naveen? Is he back at the restaurant?  Can he cook as well as you?”  They knew his name!  OMG, were they for real?!  After 5 minutes of chit chat, they take pictures with Tiana together, and then individually.  My husband was mouthing the words “Wow!” and turning his back as he tried to keep from laughing.  I was too shocked to say anything, but was trying hard not to look directly at him for fear that I would start laughing at any moment.

He was now laughing and trying to cover it up like he was coughing.  He was hitting his chest and tears were in his eyes. These women were talking to her like she was the “real” Tiana.  They were asking this actress if her fake prince was working at her fake restaurant and making her fake famous recipes.  Everything about this was strange!  They were totally serious!  Had they somehow missed all of the “behind the scenes” material on the DVD’s?  They were so excited about meeting this model/actress in her huge ball gown.  I wondered if their fanny packs were full of prescription drugs and if they had possibly missed a dose of their medication.  I then wondered if the security officers at the gates did not allow prescription drugs into Disney.  I am not positive, but if this is the case, the security people may need to reconsider this policy.

Finally my daughter looked at us and asked why dad was laughing.  He said, “Oh honey, I was watching a couple cuckoo birds and it is very hard not to laugh when you see cuckoo birds!”  She then asked, “Where are they daddy?”   As my husband and I watched the women walk away, my husband said, “Sweetie, they just flew away!  But, you’re up!  Go meet Tiana!”  My husband was still watching the women walk away while hugging their “princess autograph books” and saying “how sweet she is in person”. They rounded the corner, but then stopped and one lady yelled, “Thank you Tiana!  Meeting you was a dream come true!”   It was interesting to say the least!

So, we made it through meeting Tiana and our daughter was happier than ever! I was relieved because even if nothing else worked today, we had seen a “Princess”.  We walked further and found the line for Ariel, a.k.a. the little mermaid.  She and her prince were there and they were awesome with my daughter.  Our little girl was now over the moon, and we see that Tinker Bell is next door.  We walk in and find an endlessly long and winding line.  My husband and I both wanted to get the heck out of there, but I had to admit that I was very curious about Tinker Bell.  I wondered how tall she was going to be.  Was she 4 or 5 feet tall or maybe 6 feet tall like Tiana?  How were they going to explain that this tiny little fairy was now a 6 foot tall model wearing wings?  I wanted to get a look at Tink, but the line was just too unbearable.  After 38 minutes, we had moved about 10 feet. The kids around us were screaming, coughing, spilling sticky stuff and my husband and I decided that we were done with this line.  Surprisingly, my daughter did not complain when we left.

I turned again to my “Where to meet a Princess” map and I saw that Princess Jasmine and Prince Aladdin were not far away.  We headed over but, when we got there, they were hanging up a “be back soon” sign.  My husband decided that we should stay close so that we could get back in line soon.  I took my daughter to the bathroom then spent $28 on two waters with Mickey Mouse straws.  People were gathering under the shade of the large concession stand.   Children were screaming and crying, parents and grandparents were hot, sweaty, and losing their patience; it was not a pretty sight.  I noticed that a few people had lined up to meet Jasmine, but my daughter wanted to go ride the magic carpet ride.  My husband said that he (and little man) would get in line, while my daughter and I rode the magic carpet ride.  The ride was fun and cooled us off tremendously.

We got off the ride and went to meet our guys, who were now standing in the line.  The line was getting long, but luckily there were only four people in front of us. My husband started making that same face that he was making in the Tiana line.  He was raising an eyebrow and pointing with his head to the people in front of us.  I looked at the four people in front of us and there was a mother and young daughter in the very front, and then two teenage girls were standing behind them.  At first glance I thought they were all together, and then realized this was not the case.  The teenage girls had on white t-shirts that were tied on the side and showed a little bit of their stomach.  They also had on denim shorts, which were accented with their exposed butt cheeks.

The actors finally arrived and the mother and daughter were first up to meet Princess Jasmine and Aladdin.  My daughter started to get excited, as did all of the other little girls in line.  We watched the little girl squeal when she got up to Jasmine, but Aladdin might as well have been a bug on the wall.  This little girl had zero interest in meeting Aladdin or his stupid monkey; I almost felt sorry for him.  She eventually posed for pictures and, after a few more minutes, they walked away smiling.

A tall, pretty woman was behind me in line and her daughter was absolutely losing her mind because she wanted to meet Jasmine so badly.  I kept smiling at the mom, because I totally understood the horror that she was experiencing.  She was forced to stand outside, in the 90 degree heat, in a long boring line just trying to make her precious little girl happy – I got it.  In fact, I felt her pain.  So, as I tried to smile and look oblivious to the fact that her daughter was having a full blown tantrum, I noticed these two teenage girls walk up to meet princess Jasmine and Aladdin.  The teenagers could not have been more than 14 years old.  They had long legs, hardly any clothes on, and had long brown hair.  I don’t think they were sisters, but tried hard to look alike.  They had baby faces and very immature mannerisms.  They giggled a lot, but what came out of their mouths was hardly child-like and downright shocking!

My husband and I are now just a few feet from Jasmine and the teenagers.  We can hear the conversation that begins and we were absolutely stunned!   Most of the little girls in line were there to meet Jasmine; Aladdin was just a bonus.  But, these teenagers were there for Aladdin.  We hear them walk up and tell Aladdin their names and say, “We were the one’s yelling at you earlier.  Did you hear us yelling that we loved you?  Will you sign our shirts, or maybe just our stomachs?”  I looked at my husband and saw an expression that I don’t usually see.  My husband was shocked that these little girls were hitting on Aladdin in such a direct and obvious way.  One teenage girl then says, “So, Aladdin!  Do you want to take me on a magic carpet ride?  It would be a lot of fun!”  She then turned toward Jasmine and asked, “You are not going to hit me are you?  You are pretty and all, but I am just really into your man!  I really love Aladdin and his monkey too!  I bet it’s bigger in person!  I’ll bet he could show me a whole new world!”

At this point my husband was completely frozen and I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit.  I looked back at the actress, playing Jasmine, and she did look like she wanted to smack the girls.  It was all she could do to keep her composure, and not because she and Aladdin were a couple; seriously, they were just actors.  But these teenage girls were being disrespectful.  They were being disrespectful to the actress, to all of the little girls standing behind them, and to themselves.  The fact that they were giving this guy (probably10 years older than them) their phone numbers and telling him that they wanted to sleep with him made me sad.  This was horribly inappropriate in every possible way.  I wanted to pass Jasmine the little paper Disney map, that was folded in my hand, so she could smack the teens with it.  I was thinking, “Snap out of it! Is this how you want to be remembered?  Do you know how much trouble you could get yourselves into?  And for some guy that you don’t know, and who is wearing elf shoes and more eyeliner than Lady Gaga?  You’re better than that!”

It was obvious that these girls were still very emotionally immature.  They knew way too much about the children’s movie Aladdin.  They proved this when the one girl mentioned being shown “a whole new world” since those are the movie’s song lyrics.  Only the poor mothers of preschool “princesses” should know the lyrics to a Disney Princess song.  We are the ones who are forced to listen to the Disney Princess CD’s.  But these girls were young! Their t-shirts said something about a JV Track team.   In fact, my husband noticed some of their friends waiting for them; the friends who were waiting had on the same shirt, with the words “Freshman Class” written on the front.


So these 14 yr. old girls are in Disney World and trying to seduce a “Prince” in front of my little children.  I looked around trying to figure out if they were here with a parent, a teacher, or maybe their parole officer.  Somebody needed to come over and reel these little mischief makers in – Holy Yikes!  At first my eyes were just rolling around in my head, but soon I was standing frozen with my mouth hanging open.  The lady behind us caught me doing this and bust out laughing.  I looked at her and said, “Is this seriously happening right now, or have I just been out in this heat too long?”  She replied, “There needs to be someone up there to move this along”.  I think she could see the two young girls flirting, but I don’t think she could actually hear what they were saying to the actors. The teenagers finally gave Aladdin their phone numbers, took photos with him, hugged him, and then kissed him good bye!

When my daughter had finished meeting Jasmine and Aladdin, my husband and I walked out of there still shocked by what we had witnessed.  I looked at my husband and said, “If that is ever our daughter, can we lock her in a tower like Rapunzel, only without the long hair or escape route?”  He said, “Absolutely!  We will lock her in a tower – one without cell reception or wi-fi!”  I said, “I’m glad we are on the same page!”  We both just shook our heads while looking at our young, sweet, innocent little girl.

So, our trip to Disney world was definitely an eye-opener.  I had always heard that it was the happiest place on earth.  It turns out that the happiest people there were those who were employed by Disney, and they were mostly actors.  They did an amazingly good job considering the level of irritation and crazy that they had to deal with.  I mean snotty, screaming children, women who think they are talking to an actual “Princess/Movie Star” and seductive, trouble-making teenagers.  Seriously, kudos to the staff for keeping their cool, because it was hard for me just watching it go down.

Almost all of our friends and family have been to Disney world, most of them multiple times, and they always say it was perfect (except for the lines and slightly overpriced food).  I have never heard of any other experiences like ours – Crystal flower flip flops falling into rushing water, or delusional female fanny pack wearers.   I saw a lot in those two days, but I am now left with the unanswered question – does Disney World make people crazy, or do crazy people go to Disney World?  I am currently leaning toward “Disney world makes people crazy”, but that is not set in stone!





Disney World: The First Day

My daughter was very intrigued by the idea that real princesses lived at Disney world and had been asking us if we could go there for vacation.  My husband does not have a job that allows for much time off.  Don’t get me wrong, he has over 60 sick and/or vacation days that he has never used.  But inevitably if he tries to go somewhere, there will be a problem that only he can fix.  So, it was almost my son’s second birthday and I said that if we wanted to go to Disney, that we should go now while little man can fly free.  My husband agreed and said that he could take three days (two nights) for the trip.  I had a week and a half to plan our, last minute, trip to Disney World.

I looked online and finally chose the hotel with the safari animals that grazed right outside of your room.  I then called the Disney phone number to book the trip.  They tried hard to sell me on the food plans, but we were going to be there for two nights.  They did tell me about the princess dinner and makeover and I booked both for the second day.  Since we were booking so last minute the flights were expensive, but luckily my husband has a lot of air miles.  A week and a half later, we flew to Florida and our trip to Disney World began.

We flew in very early the first day and got to the hotel well before check-in.  They had one room available and we took it; it was smaller than the one I had booked, but it still had a good view of the animals and it was ready now.  We could go drop off our bags and head straight to the park.  After leaving the room, we went straight to Magic Kingdom.  My cousin said that they kept their daughter‘s stroller turned backward so that when they got up to the Cinderella’s famous castle, their little girl would be shocked.  I tried the same thing and my daughter said, “WOW” but then when we got up to it, she said, “Wait!  It’s too small!  Is there anything upstairs?  Where are all the rooms?  Where is the ballroom? Where do they dance? I want to see Cinderella’s bedroom!  You just walk through it!  Is this really her castle?”  I did not realize how much thought she had put into this!

We had just eaten lunch and were waiting to ride our first ride, when my daughter lost her shoe.  It was the weirdest thing ever!  We were in line for the “It’s a Small World” ride.  The ride was almost underground and lines were up above the ride.  Since you were up so high, they had pieces of aluminum between the top railing and the floor, but they left a few inches open at the bottom.  Well, my daughter’s favorite purple crystal flower flip flop came off her foot.  She scooted her foot forward (to inch her toes back in it) when suddenly it slid under the tiny opening in the wall and fell two stories below into the ride’s rushing water.  She burst into tears and I was shocked that such a freaky thing just happened.  After 35 minutes of waiting, we got on our very first Disney ride with our crying, one-shoed daughter.  My daughter looked sad during the ride, while my son looked very confused.   When the boat docked, my husband got the manager and asked if he could quickly look for the shoe.  He looked for a while, but no shoe.  We headed to the gift shop and bought her some very hard and uncomfortable princess shoes.

We then walked around and tried to find the shortest lines.  We got on the teacups very quickly, and then got in line for Dumbo.  We had finally made it to the very front, and were the next ones in line, when the ride shut down; the ride completely stopped working after we had waited for 25 minutes.    People were still sitting in the little elephants, waiting to be flown around, but the employees just could not get it working.  My husband whispered, “I bet it is a storm.  I’ll be there is a system that shuts down these outdoor rides if there is lightening.”  I said, “Wouldn’t the employees know that?”  He said “I doubt Disney can afford to leave safety decisions up to individual employees.”   He had a point.  I looked up at the sky, it was barely drizzling but, it was pitch black.  There definitely was a storm close by, so we decided to leave the ride.   The kids were devastated that they did not get to ride Dumbo, but it was probably for the best because I realized that my son had pooped his pants.  I headed for the bathroom to change his diaper and when we came out the rain had picked up.

We found another ride, which was indoors, and the line was protected from the rain. The peter pan ride was fun, but still scared my kids.  My daughter did not like that you were flying in the dark and could not see where you were going.  My son did not like Captain Hook or the alligator.   When we got off the peter pan ride it was storming.  It was not just raining, it was dumping water.   Everywhere you looked, people were scattering like bugs.  Everyone was running for cover.  I found a shop and spent $40 on ponchos, and we decided to make a run for it.  We ran back to the bus that went to our hotel.  We all looked like a family of wet rats as we walked through the hotel to our room.  My husband put the stroller out on the balcony to dry out and we put our bathing suits on and went down to the pool.  We were already wet and the worst of the storm seemed to be over.  We played in the pool for a while and then went in for dinner.

At dinner, my daughter spoke of her absolute devastation concerning the fact that she spent an entire day at Disney world and had not yet seen a princess.  We went back to our room, watched the zebras and giraffes from our balcony, took a bath and tried to get the kids to bed.  I brought an inflatable toddler bed for my little man.  I put a clean blanket on the floor and put his little bed beside me on the floor.  I lay beside my daughter, but he kids were too excited to sleep.  After two hours of them chatting, (around 10:00) they finally went to sleep.  I woke up around midnight because I heard banging on the wall, and it was my daughters head.  She had sleep apnea at the time and would thrash around in her sleep.  She had thrown herself against the wall – ouch.  I pulled her back on the bed, put my pillow against the wall and tried to go back to sleep.  No time later, I was up again because I heard mumbling.  I looked at my daughter and she was sleeping, but then looked down to check on my son.  I looked for him, but he was not in his bed.  I popped up and saw him standing at my husband’s bed.  He was talking to my husband, who was sound asleep and snoring up a storm.  My son would ask my husband a question and then my husband would give a loud snore (as a response) and for some reason my toddler found this hilarious!    I was like, “Seriously! Go back to bed!”

I got my little guy and laid him back down, but he just got up and went exploring again.  I   finally put him in the bed with me (and my daughter).  They were all over each other and kept pushing each other; it was a nightmare.  My daughter kept hitting the wall and trying to sleep sideways, while my son kept flipping upside down and almost falling off of the end of the bed.  We were all up by 5:30 because the kids were pushing and fighting over the pillows.  After about 5 hours of broken sleep, I got up and showered and while the kids watched the animals from the balcony.  I needed caffeine, and a lot of it, so we headed out for an early breakfast.  I thought about those stupid hats you see in magazines that hold cans (or drinks) on the top and have straws that come down and reach your mouth.  I wondered if I could find one and keep it filled with diet coke.  I was going to need a caffeine drip if we had to accomplish so much in one day.  I was pretty sure that margaritas were not allowed but, maybe, diet coke.  Besides, I was too tired to care about looking foolish today.  Today, we were on a mission; a mission to meet a “Real Princess” before our flight tomorrow morning.  Today I had to just put on my big girl panties and do what I had to do to make our first trip to Disney world a success – no pressure though!

Day two:  Now it gets interesting!!!!  Yikes!



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!


Got Confidence?

So, it was 6:30 in the morning and my husband was spending a few minutes with the kids before he left for a trip.  He was sitting on the sofa looking at these cardboard animals with holes punched in the edges. I could tell that he was trying to figure out what purpose these could possibly have.  I said, “They are lacing cards.  Sissy is still having trouble with lacing, and little man can’t do it at all.  We spent time on it yesterday but, they were both getting frustrated so, we stopped.”  My husband then tells my son to bring him a lace from the box and says, “Little man, do you want to see how this is done?”  My son flings the lace at him and smiles.  My husband then says, “Watch daddy son!”

My husband shows little man how to tie a knot in the end and then asks him to pick a place to start lacing.  My son picks a hole on the cow’s nose for the starting point.  My husband then asks him which hole the string should go through next, and my son points to one on the opposite end of the cow – “The tail!” my son says.  My husband responds with, “Come on !  It would be this hole right?”  I laughed because my husband was seeing what I have to deal with on a daily basis.  I think to myself, “Not so easy, is it?”   It is easy to forget how illogical a toddlers thinking can be, and how hard it can be to teach them, seemingly, simple tasks.

Well, my husband then says, “Don’t worry son.  You can do this, and I will show you how!”  My husband proceeds to lace the entire cow with surgical-like precision while talking my son through every step.  When my husband finished lacing the cow, he held it up so we could all gaze, at the cow, in shear amazement.  He then says, “And that my friends, this is how it is done!  This is how a MAN laces a cow!”  He called my son over and asked him, “Son, have ever seen such a good looking cow?  Dad just did an awesome job on this!  I worked very hard and I nailed it!  Absolutely awesome isn’t it?  If you try hard, you will be able to do it as well as me!   OK son, I love you!”   Then, my husband stood up and went to get his briefcase.

I thought about how differently my husband and I approach things with the kids; it is quite funny actually!  I thought about the pride that my husband took in lacing that cardboard cow.  He was giving it 100%, which is not a bad thing.  It also did not matter to him that he was only lacing a cardboard cutout of a cow.  He was able to look at the finished product and feel pride; he knew he did his best.  This is how he approaches everything in his life.  I wondered if this is why he has a wall of framed medals and I have a little box of blue ribbons.

I have laced that cow multiple times and have never thought to myself, “Wow, I just totally laced that cow and I did a freakin awesome job!”  Maybe I need to add a little more of my husband’s confident self-talk to my day.  Maybe I should pat myself on the back more, and take more pride in the little things that I do every day!   Although, I have no plans to take my new-found confidence to the same level as my husbands; I mean, honestly, we can only handle one of those in the house!   But, I am already psyching myself up about the awesome dinner that I will create tonight.  Guess who is going to rock that frozen broccoli tonight?  That’s right, Mom is!!   Lucky Kids!

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!


Good Friends, Bad Luck!

I have a lot of acquaintances and people that I am friendly with, but I have a small group of very special friends.  My good friends may be few, but they are unbelievably awesome.  These are the girls that I call when I am sad, and they are the ones who show up on my doorstep when things are bad.  These girls have been in my life for years (some for 15 years, some for 30).  They know all of the bizarre things that have happened to me and they never judge.   I seem to attract crazy people (stalkers for example), so I am very thankful for my relatively normal friends.  So after one of those fabulous friends left yesterday, I found myself thinking about some of our first memorable experiences.  These early experiences taught me about the value of friendship, the sheer unpredictability of life, and the importance of a good sense of humor.

Yesterday I was trying to organize the kids’ playroom.  I was up to my eyeballs in polly pockets and little die cast cars, when the phone rang.  My friend said, “I’m on my way home from the beach and my GPS says I’m pretty close to you.  I’m sick of driving.  Do you want to have dinner?”  I say “of course” and she heads to my house.   After we have loaded all of the kids in my car and have pulled out of the driveway, I ask her how the beach was.  She said, “Well, the Outer Banks were beautiful but, I am never going in the ocean again!”  I asked why and she said “It was so terrible.  I got caught in a riptide and swept out into the ocean.  I could not get back and I had to be RESCUED!” Most friends would be horrified, and I was, but I started giggling as I told her how “truly awful” it was.  I then said, “I’m so sorry that I’m laughing, but these things only happen to YOU and ME.  I mean, if I had been there, I would have been floating away with you.  I would have been screaming for help and saying how dangerous we are together.” I could just picture us both being drug up on the sand while people gathered, pointed, and whispered about the two beached women.  Only If I had been there, I would have had a bikini “malfunction” and flashed the entire beach; the whole ordeal would have made the national news and probably YouTube.  She and I have bad luck, but a good sense of humor.

I remembered the time when we were teenagers and had gone to an amusement park.  We decided to ride a new roller coaster (called The Cyclone) that went upside down and in corkscrews.  We rode it once and loved it.  When the roller coaster was coming to an end and pulled back up to the loading area, there were no brave people standing in line for our first row seats.  The man who worked there walked up to us and said “Hey, if you want to ride again it’s cool.  There’s nobody waiting.  It’s a slow day.”  We said “Great. Sitting is better than walking” and we sat back down.

Well, the ride starts and we have made it over the big hill.  We clutch the harness and close our eyes already preparing ourselves for the twists and turns ahead.  We make it through one loop and are starting the corkscrews when the roller coaster stops; the ride just completely stops in midair.  As it was grinding to a halt, we were still hanging to the side of the corkscrew.  My side was leaning toward the ground and I was forced to stare at the place where my body would go “splat” if I were to fall from the seat.  Suddenly one last chug pushes us forward and through the corkscrew.  We were now sitting more upright, but we were definitely stuck.  We were stuck on that roller coaster for about 20 minutes and we were pretty convinced that we were going to die up there.

After the panic and sheer disbelief passed, I was cracking jokes even then.  “This is not how I want to die” I told my friend.  “Not with a mass of tangled hair, smeared mascara and wet pants!”  “Did you pee your pants?” she asked.  I said “Not yet, but that was a really big frozen lemonade.  It’s no longer frozen and almost ready to come out!”  She started laughing and it lightened the mood.

Then, about two years later, we got terribly lost.  We took the wrong exit and ended up in a town where dreams, and probably other things, go to die. We needed to stop and get directions and our only options were a very scary motel, or a very sleazy pool hall.  We looked at the motel and found that there was no lobby, just a sign labeled “Office” on one of the guest room doors.  Since the motel reeked of “horror movie”, we opted for the super creepy pool hall.  The men inside had minimal teeth, but lots of hair (which was not necessarily on their heads).  A man walks over to us and we ask for directions back to the interstate.  This creep says that they will only help us if we play pool with them.  I was a fairly sheltered child, but my friend was not.  She was the youngest child and like 12 years younger than her big brother.  She adored her brother and grew up playing pool with him.  In fact, she played pool with him from the time that she could reach the table.  I would watch her play pool in her basement and she was really good, I just didn’t realize how good.

So these Neanderthals say we have to play.  My friend steps up and says “I will play you.  I’ve actually played before.”  This creepy man laughs and I am just trying not to cry.  This was around 1991 and before the days when every teenager had a cell phone.  Most cell phones were still bolted in cars or carried in big black bags.  This was also before the days of Facebook when I could have just updated my status to:  “Help!  Being held captive by Billy Ray Cyrus’s toothless twin and I want to get the “Achy Breaky” out of here!”  I was looking frantically for a pay phone but none to be found!

So my friend starts to play pool with this guy and other super scary people are gathering to watch.  I am trying to physically disappear onto a green stool that was against the wall.  My friend gets a smile on her face; she is actually going to enjoy this.  She put on her game face and whipped Bubba’s butt.  He was ticked, she was elated, and I was terrified.  My friend was only 16, I had just turned 15, and once again I was sure that we were going to die!  He accuses her of cheating and some old guy steps in and helps us.  Long story short, we got out of there with a cocktail napkin sketch of our route back to the interstate.  This was one more time that we escaped death, or at least serious emotional trauma.

We managed to get ourselves into these precarious situations every couple years.  The positive side is that, so far, we have also managed to find our way out of them (just sometimes more scathed than others).   I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if we had great luck, or terrible luck?   For many years I thought that it was just me.  I thought that they are only drug into these situations due to my sheer presence.  My friends’ story today reassured me that it is not just me. She is also a victim of crazy luck.  Maybe that is what connects us.  I mean these girls don’t even flinch when they hear my daily drama.  My friends are the best!  It is so nice to have other people who actually understand my level of crazy!  I love you girls!    P.S.  I am going to the beach next week.  Be sure to watch the news in case they have to fish me out of some tide pool.  It will be amusing, I’m sure!