Monday, July 25, 2011

I Have The Cleanest Bathroom In Ohio

'Nother repost - needed to show this to a friend, so I'm posting it again:

May 2005

Current mood: crappy

And to those of you who think "OH, she's sooooo luckeeee" (because I am, you know, she said nodding solemnly) let me just tell you how it got that way.

I have a friend who is also a single mom, and two of her kids come home from school with me every day because the kids get along well with my kids and I'm free, which is in her price range. It's not a big deal, they're good kids, and having someone to play with who you aren't related to seems to work well with my kids.

Today was a short day, meaning that the kids' dad picks them up early, so I only have my five after about 4 in the afternoon. Easy afternoon. The kids get picked up, Maddie's sleeping, everything's awesome... so I work on painting the livingroom some more. Great. The planets have lined up and everything is cool.

The boys are playing outside and Max comes in to use the bathroom. "Mooooom.... the potty is spilling!" ***GASP*** "It's OVERFLOWING?!?!?!?" as I run to the bathroom grabbing towels. No, I'm informed, it's just full. Sure enough, that damn potty was full. Freak. Well, it's OK, I'll just flush it. Only -- oh, wait.... that was a bad idea. Turns out that one of the other kids had stopped up the potty and not told me.

Now I know what you're thinking, "Sure, blame it on the kids who aren't yours, because yours are per-fect." Well, I'm the last one to say my kids are perfect, because they aren't, but I know they didn't flush and overfill the potty. How do I know this? Simple. They don't flush. Like, ever. EVER. And if it were a situation where they had used too much toilet paper? They would get me. For some reason, this girl won't tell me things I genuinely need to know... like "I used too much toilet paper." UGH And she was in there for 30 out of the 45 minutes she was here. Crap.

SO, I have this bathroom.... which I will abstain from descibing, but there's a subtle clue in the last word in the above paragraph. It's OK, I'll wait right here while you look again.......

Yeah, now you know. By this time, Maddie's awake and wanting to help. I decided that the very best kind of help she could offer me right now is to watch "A Bug's Life." As I walk into the livingroom to start said movie, I just got kinda frustrated with the whole thing (admittedly, this is when I like to think being a single parent sucks, but realistically, having a husband around wouldn't have changed anything today, LOL) and said, "Fuck, fuck, fuck." You have to know, I don't use that word very often, but it just seemed.... appropriate, you know? Appropriate, that is, till my little 2 1/2 year old magpie walking behind me echoed "Fawk, fawk, fawk" in her angelic voice. GREAT. Not only am I stopped in the middle of a paint job to clean up some other kids crap off my bathroom floor, now I have just taught my daughter to cuss. Excellent. Just call me an over achiever... or a multi-tasker...

And that's the story of Missy and how she got the cleanest bathroom in Ohio. Or Missy, and how she started her diet early this weekend. Or Missy, and why she LOVES bleach. Whatever you decide to call it, now I need a Long Island Iced Tea, a good long run on the dance floor, and a babysitter. Not neccessarily in that order, for those of you taking notes. And tell that babysitter, the bathroom is FABULOUS.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maddie's Comfort

Every so often I will repost old blogs here for... no particular reason. Today's repost is from March of 2006 and is one of my all time favorites, because you're allowed to have a favorite blog. Favorite child? Notsomuch. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. : )

Current mood:nurturing

I had an epiphany this last Christmas, about singing. I love to sing, and I can carry a tune well enough... not that anyone will ever hear me. I'm what you call a shy singer, meaning no one gets the performance except the van, the shower, the large group of people singing all at once; you get the drift. I was in choir in school, took singing lessons and have even been in a church choir or two - I really, really enjoy it. With all that experience, I'm fairly well grounded in what kind of voice I have. I'm a soprano, and when necessary, can do a mean imitation of a second soprano. First and foremost, tho, I'm a soprano. Yes, even for Handel's Messiah. Missy = soprano.

So it was with a certain amount of surprise that I realized I was singing alto this winter when I sang Christmas carols. How, in all my years of singing soprano, would I slip into an alto? Then, in a flash, my epiphany. I remembered snuggling with my mother, my head on her chest, absorbing the comfort of her alto voice resonating in her chest. It became clear to me that that was where I had learned the Christmas carols, nestled in my mother's arms as a child, and I echoed her voice, rather than my own.

That echoing of our parents' voices is something that happens to all parents at one time or another, I'd imagine. Ask anyone who has a child over the age of five, and it's a good bet that the words "I sounded just like my mother (or father) just then.... I swore I'd never say that!" have been uttered at some point. It was nice to have it be such a positive memory, a connection even, to sound like my mother.

This afternoon I was comforting my Maddie. She's sick today, listless and glassy-eyed. It seems a temperature of 103 has a way of making the most energetic little three year old girl stop in her tracks, and Maddie is no exception. Also like most three year olds, she sought comfort in her mother's arms. With her head nestled against my chest, I sang to my newest musical craving, Joshua Radin's album "We Were Here." The song I just can't get enough of, "Winter" came on, and I started singing the harmony along with it. I hit the repeat button on my stereo's remote to hear it just one more time. Suddenly, I wasn't able to sing for a bit, my heart in my throat. It was at that point that I noticed a soft, sweet voice rising from the little girl in my arms... singing harmony, just like her momma.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Red Clock

Funny thing about epiphanies - they happen when you least expect them. My most recent one was here, on vacation in Chicago. We have rented an apartment for the week, and it’s amazing. The three bedroom, two and a half bathroom apartment has a fabulous view of downtown and the lake and is right next to Grant Park. We’re in walking distance to...well, everything! The decorations are minimalist and refreshing, speaking as someone who has been living in a much-too-small-home for the last couple years. By minimalist, I mean... there’s really nothing. In the master bedroom, there are two framed pieces of woven bamboo and one red clock.

The night we arrived, I noticed that the time was off on the clock in my room. I took it down, set it to the right time (3 am) and hung it back up. I figured the next morning I would know if I had fixed it or if it was just needing a new battery.

The next day Max said something about not knowing what time it was since the clock in my room said it was 3. I told him it was a dead battery and not to worry about it. Then a funny thing happened... I realized I heard the tick, tick, tick of the clock on the wall. Weird. Upon further examination, I realized it wasn’t a dead battery, it was a stuck clock.

The second hand just keeps going... and getting nowhere. Nowhere! From the sound of it, the clock is functioning just fine. Look at the clock for a moment and you think it’s in working order. A casual glance won’t really tell you that the clock is not fine. Not fine. Not in working order. Working on the surface, but a mess inside. Spinning in it’s tracks.

The red clock is stuck in time. Then, the epiphany...stuck in time... just like me. This is the place I have found myself in for the last few months. Time’s gone on, things have changed, and as the weeks and months have passed I feel like nothing.has.changed. Without getting into the personal details too much, I’ve been waiting for time to heal the pain... for the passing of time to magically take me to a place of peace and acceptance... to finally be in a place where I don’t live in the what ifs and the regrets of things said or not said - constantly wondering about what might have been. I’m a stuck clock.

Let me tell you, it hasn’t been fun at all. I haven’t been “happy.” I haven’t been “ok.” In Alison Krauss’ song “Paper Airplane” she sings a line that makes so much sense to me: “How many days should I smile with a frown?” How long do I have to hide the sadness, the discontent, the longing that’s been in my heart? How long do I have to wait...

I have spent so much of the last seven years of my life waiting. Waiting for the divorce to be final. Waiting for the court stuff to be over. Waiting for the next job. Waiting for the right guy to come in to my life. Waiting...waiting...waiting. The whole time, I’ve been wanting things - wanting to move, wanting to start my writing full-force, wanting to do what I want to do. At the end of the day, I’ve come to a place of feeling horribly, terribly, painfully... trapped. Please don’t read this and think “She’s a terrible mom - she wishes she didn’t have her kids.” That’s not the case at all, my kids are my life. That being said, I’m tired of everything in my life being dictated by the restrictions placed on me because I have kids. I’ve come to understand that part of being a good mom is showing my kids what it takes to be a happy, healthy adult. There’s a fine line between doing something selfish and doing something that’s better for everyone, whether they know it at the time or not.

I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t know what changes will be necessary to unstick my clock. What I do know, what I have to know... is it will happen. It might be a small change, it might be a big one. Whatever it is, you can rest assured I’ll be sharing it here... and if you miss the blog, just listen for the tick, tick, tick coming from my unstuck heart.