From the Mouth of Babe

"Shelby, you're crackin' me up!" I laughed, as we gardened in the front yard.
She put on her best smile and leaned back for a belly laugh.
"No mommy," she giggled, "you're crappin' ME up!"


The Conservationist

"Mommmmyyyy" Shelby screamed from the shower, "I'm dooooonnnnnnee!" Okay, you caught me, I left my toddler in the shower alone. I was madly racing around the house picking up the tornado before guests arrived. "Okkaaayyy! I'm coming," I lied as I jogged to the laundry room to change loads. When I returned, her tone had escalated, as had her pitch, "MMOMMMMMMYYY! I'm all done! AND I'M WASTING WATER!!!!!!!!"
She actually does listen to me!


The Infirmary

It was 12:13 p.m. and my cel phone was ringing with Shelby's preschool number. I had just returned from a stroller free run and was sitting down to lunch in the backyard with John (still home from surgery). She doesn't get out until 2:30-something's wrong.
"Hi, this is Teacher Kim at the preschool, how are you?---Uh, huh, yes, I'm fine, thank you. Yes well, Shelby is fine, we're here with her now.
(Okay, cut the crap and get to the point already!)
She just fell down on the playground and bumped her head and there's a cut. Well, actually it's pretty big..."
OH SH&@$!
She's bleeding???? They had to change her clothes??? She doesn't need stitches????
I jumped in the car before I had hung up the phone. Why do these things always happen when I have something interesting going on at home? I never get a call from school the day I have a gynecology apppointment! Last time they called, Shelby had puked all over the rug at circle time and I was out to lunch with an old friend who was passing through town. CUT SCENE!
I pulled into the parking lot and caught a glimpse of Shelby on the bench outside with the teacher. Okay, she's breathing, she's clean (What is she wearing??? There was no doubt a fashion accident, stripes and floral print? Who dressed her, Ray Charles?), she's walking toward the gates. Phew, she's okay. We gathered her things after a long, and much needed, mommy hug and loaded up in the car to head home. She's fine, I told myself, she's just a little dramatic. No harm, no foul, it's probably a little scratch. Head wounds always bleed profusely.
Not until we got out of the car and I followed her towards the front door did I notice the locks of blood crusted hair. I saw blood drips down the back of her skirt. I felt nausious at the thought of my baby in pain. I forced myself to inspect her head further and saw the half inch gash across the back of her head. We arrived home to John resting on the sofa and found a comfy spot for Shelby to join him. I donned my best nurse attire, pinned on my stiff white cap and picked up a tray of medication. My name is Mommy. I'll be your nurse this evening.


A New Daddy

I recounted my morning conversation when we arrived home today to John. We had spent the day jockeying between the park and the hospital while John had outpatient ear surgery that took three times longer than expected. He lounged on the sofa while I explained how we toured the hospital after he checked in, discussing wheelie beds, the yummy juice they put in your veins (I.V.), and why hop skipping through the hallways with our clip clop heels is unacceptable. Then I told Shelby how we were leaving daddy here at the hospital until we could pick him up later.
"But are we going to get a new daddy?" she had inquired.
"No, we're not getting a new daddy, just an improved one."
Seated on the sofa at home, John was groggy and sore and and trying hard to make sense of things from his Vicodin cloud. The living room teemed with hyperactivity, the 4 o'clock stretch had begun. Shelby was in schizophrenic mode, wildly switching from chatty playful self to Queen Evil Screamer. Ana was mildly entertained while venting frustration at a moderate rolling boil.
John opened with, "Hey, Shel, did you want a new daddy from the hospital today?"
(Oh yeah, set yourself up, why doncha?)
She laid her arm across his chest and sweetly replied, "Yeeaahh."
"Why do you want a new daddy?"
"Well, you just don't have much hair...(sensing his disappointment) BUT, I could just have two daddies!"
(Spoken like my true offspring: Open mouth, insert foot.)

Poly Dollies

I drive to the local college campus every week to pick up our Organic Veggies. I've begun to dread the visit. Not because the kids love the campus chicken coop or driving past the Rodeo Arena. Because every time I drive onto that campus I'm dragged farther down memory lane. I'm safely cruising through campus with two kids in the minivan when all of a sudden I notice a carefree, tight bunned 19 year old bopping down the lane rocking the latest trend. She's obviously focused on plans for tonight's keg party, what she'll snag at the health food store for lunch, and when she should call that guy back about the formal. I glimpse the remnants of my hot sun tanned boyfriend (now my stressed hubby) in the young surfer waiting for her on the next block. Where did the last ten years go? Wasn't that girl me? And where the hell did these kids come from??? Oh my god, I have got to stop driving around college campuses.


Queen For The Day

What is it about Mother's Day that spurs my repugnance for all things motherly? I opt out of diaper duty. I refuse to cook. I decline bathroom assistance to my toddler. I leave the house alone and return late and unapologetic.
For all you hot mommas out there, I encourage you to shirk your mommy responsibilities and spend the day celebrating you. Here's to pedicures, mid morning champagne, french pastries, and Thai food take-out. And thank your hubby for stepping in as mommy for the day (Thanks, John).
P.S. Here are the gifts I received for Mother's Day:
Flowers from...my sister, of course.

Ana's first tooth! A family tradition on Mother's Day.
Happy feet!