It’s Poop!

I really like that my kids are now at an age where they can theoretically do stuff for themselves. It’s nice. Frees up more time for me to ponder the world and my place within it. That said, I typically try to avoid going anywhere outside of my own head to gather information and/or form opinions. If I could live in a cave in the mountains of Montana, I probably would, but sadly I’m not fond of the dark, no one will currently go with me, and I assume it’d be difficult to buy wine there, so on to bigger and more realistic problems. Like the fact that my adorable baby boy is unable to effectively wipe his own ass.

The kid is the sweetest 6 year old boy you will ever meet. Heads into the bathroom proudly declaring to the world, “Going poop Mommy. I’ll do it all by myself.” I immediately freeze in time and space and begin frantic self talk. “It’s going to be fine. There are bigger life problems. Breathe. Take a deep breath. Seriously if you don’t breathe you will literally die standing right here in your kitchen and then WHO WILL CLEAN IT UP?”

I really enjoy watching my children spread their wings and gain a sense of independence and confidence along the way. I don’t want them to live here forever. In addition, as nice as it sounds to believe my beloved offspring will always need their mother, I know my days are numbered. I typically like to poop alone too, so I get it.

Here’s the problem. He unequivocally cannot do it. Not only can he not do it, but he can unequivocally not do it. I have demonstrated, educated, reiterated, and drawn a map. “Got it Mommy!”

No he does not.

I don’t want to be the type of mom that enables her children. I want them to do things for themselves. I refuse to raise children incapable of being capable. I don’t do their homework when asked. It’s not because I don’t get it either. It’s because I don’t get it and they need to learn how to become functional members of society and not wait around for someone else to do their shit. That said, it’s poop.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt the other day. Let him do his business in private and didn’t even hover outside the door. Walked in there several minutes later only to discover a perfectly formed thumb print made out of actual poop on the top of the toilet paper roll. Let me be crystal clear. This is not a house where this sort of thing might be even remotely considered appropriate. As such, my detective brain immediately kicked in.

Is this some sort of intentional clue left behind for someone to uncover?

Are their longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates in there somewhere that will save someone’s life if examined under a black light?

I consider to investigate briefly, but then remember, it’s poop.

We are not cavemen. We do not live in a cave in the middle of Montana and even if we did, I would bring toilet paper and disinfecting wipes and 5,ooo cases of red wine because I am a planner and under no circumstances ever is literal poop left on the top of a toilet paper roll acceptable. Ever.   

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Cats are assholes

I turned 42 the other day and I could not have handled it worse. The day vacillated between driving around listening to sad country music, drinking (yes drinking) myself into a brown gravy coma, and desperately trying to somehow reason out why I hate my birthday to appease all of the inquiring minds out there that desperately need an answer. Every year this happens to me, or I should say, I happen to me. I get inside my head and sabotage the one special day out of the year I get to share with a mere 19 million other people in the world. My little brother can’t even wrap his head around it and he’s the grumpiest person I know. “Everyone likes their birthday Jill.”

Do they? Because I definitely don’t and the concept of “everyone” includes me if we’re going to get technical here, right? I feel that after four decades of life, I have earned the right to form opinions. Besides, I like other things. I like the day before my birthday (I actually really like that day a lot for some reason). I like nighttime picnics. I like most of my family and friends. I like brutal honesty sans one ounce of bullshit. I like not answering the door for solicitors and/or unexpected guests (Sorry Mom.). I like the smell of Autumn. I like non-cheap red wine (Sorry honey). I like winning (especially against said honey). I like clever sarcasm and crude language. I like screwing with people (figuratively, not literally). I like the color grey (yes, grey). I like extra gravy. I like surprising people. And I like OTHER PEOPLE’S birthdays. I just don’t like my own. The horror!

People just can’t seem to wrap their head around it. I know it doesn’t make any sense. Who doesn’t like their own birthday? What kind of sad and pathetic human being could I possibly be?

Please refrain from intervention. I promise I am not having a mid-life crisis. I know this because I asked my therapist last week and she said, albeit with a bit of an eye wander, that she definitely doesn’t think so and I believe her because she likes me. To be certain, I googled “midlife crisis” on my internet machine shortly thereafter. Based on the search results, I am also close to almost certain that I do not have it. I simply do not meet the criteria.

  • I have zero desire to reclaim my youth (Been there, done that. No thanks.).
  • I don’t want to trade my minivan in for a sports car. (I have three kids. They wouldn’t all survive in such close proximity to each other and I’ll be damned if I’m making extra trips regardless of how cool my ass looks behind the wheel of a pre-owned two door sedan with Tay Tay on full blast and the windows down.)
  • I don’t want botox (I simply prefer to be seen in the dark.).
  • I don’t want a younger hunkier bed partner (I want to sleep alone.).
  • I don’t want to reevaluate my goals. (My goals are rock solid. To be the next Tina Fey or Amy Poehler by next week and to eat less Cheetos.).
  • And so on and so forth.

Nothing traumatic or sad ever happened to me on my birthday either, so no need for speculation or pity in that regard. I decided on my own with my own brain at a very young age that birthday festivities in my honor were simply not for me. I quit having parties by third grade. It was my choice. They always made me cry. I don’t know why. No one was mean, everyone brought presents, Mom always made cake, and I got to wear a big hat. Turns out I just couldn’t be bothered with even trying to meet the expectations of being the birthday girl. Who gives a shit. Everyone just wants the cake. I get it. Keep the hat.

It’s not the getting older thing either. I could honestly care less at this point. I stopped keeping track of my age at around 34ish. Just didn’t seem pertinent anymore after kids. That’s not to say I wasn’t extremely flattered that one of my son’s first grade classmates told me last week at the “fall party” on Halloween that I looked like I was 23 years old. I gave him three overzealous fist bumps and immediately and quite loudly declared little Petey my new best friend, but that’s beside the point. The point is I will probably never be asked to volunteer at another class party again.

Maybe it’s because I can’t handle being the center of attention for a whole day? Maybe it’s because I put a lot of time and effort and enthusiasm into acknowledging everyone else’s birthday on the planet and the half-assing it on my behalf is quite frankly just not up to my standards of awesomeness because I’m that self absorbed? Maybe its because my grandma isn’t alive anymore to take me shopping and give me a disgusting lemon drop that’s stuck to the bottom of a unclean mason jar that I loved and savored every single suck of? Maybe it’s because I don’t want presents but I do but I don’t but I do? Maybe it’s because I don’t like cake (Yep! I said it!)? Maybe it’s because asking my children for one goddamn day to not be assholes to each other because it’s their mother’s birthday is apparently just too much for their tiny brains to grasp? Maybe it’s because I actually enjoy breaking into tears every year on my birthday for no reason at all because it just feels nice? Maybe it’s because I’d rather have zero expectations on any other day of the year than to forcefully smile my way through 24 hours of inevitable disappointment just because it’s my (and 19 million other people’s) birthday and I could give a fuck less? Maybe I don’t care that you care so much about why I hate my birthday? Maybe I’m grumpy like my brother? Maybe you’re judgmental?

I don’t like my birthday. And I hate Mother’s Day too. And cats. And birds.

Deal with it.

 

 

Jillybean

I’ve always tried to do my own thing and be my own person. Being true to who I am and being okay with it is not always easy in today’s world of quick to judge anything/everything, but I do the best I can with what I have to work with. Thankfully I’ve had many guiding forces in my life that have served as wonderful role models, one more notable than the rest.

There’s something about the way she would yell at her kids that was greatly inspiring. Even now as I look back as a full grown adult with kids of my own, I wonder what it would be like to have that sort of parental confidence and zero fucks to give whether or not anyone else approved. Don’t even begin to judge her either. Her kids deserved it. I know because I was usually with them when they did. Nothing but a bunch of assholes we were and she knew it. Yet somehow she found a way to tolerate our shenanigans and love us all the same. She impressed me like no one else in this world ever has/will.

I have a tendency to be drawn to unconventional personalities. People that try too hard to conform to other people’s standards of how to live life and/or attempt to tell others how to do so are not people I generally choose to be around. It’s a personal preference and she undeniably makes the cut. I have drawn from her examples of parenting and friendship and love of life over the years and tried to apply them to my own life in ways that I hope would make her proud, not that she would ever tell me. Sugar coating is not one of her strengths, nor are terms of endearment. It’s refreshing.

She used to call me Jillybean. I hated it. I would cry and storm out of her house and the moment I would walk back in she would say it again and then come over and give me a great big bear hug and say, “It’s okay Jillybean. I love you goddammit!” She had such a unique and honest way with words. I wonder why I don’t swear more in front of my kids just thinking about it. It’s clear they’ve been exposed (mostly by their own grandparents), so why bother to refrain from what seems to come so naturally. Who is really benefitting from this approach anyway? Regardless, she made an impression on me as a young child and it has carried me into adulthood. She is the type of human being I aspire to be.

The message? Be yourself. Don’t take life too seriously. Swear if you want to. Work hard and vacuum your damn house. Have fun. Have fun. Have fun, and above all, drink a lot of beer. Damn can that woman drink beer.

I used to be a bed wetter. One of my favorite and most memorable childhood memories is when I pissed the bed and I had to wake her up in the middle of the night to explain what had happened.

“EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE EXPLETIVE, go the fuck to bed Jillybean, I’m sleeping!”

I never wet the bed again.

I love you Crazy Darlene.

 

 

 

Code Brown

I have high expectations of myself. I also tend to excel in pressure situations. As such, when I was first informed of such a risk, I was completely unbothered and amused. The thought was so outside of the realm of possibility from a personal standpoint that it was simply absurd.  I control my own destiny at game time. In addition, I pride myself in having more self control and basic dignity than the average joe, so I was highly confident my ducks were in a row. Carry on with your nonsense givers of advice, I got this.

In hindsight it seems so simple and preventable. I let myself down and as a result will never be the same. There is no turning back and/or fully recovering from something like that either. I will never be able to retrieve or genuinely claim any sort of dignified identity ever again. Whereas I was once self assured and confident, I am now incredibly weak and insecure. Even the tiniest most basic of tasks has since become a mountain of uncertainty and self doubt.

It couldn’t have been more than a dime in diameter, maybe a nickel, I don’t know. The actual size is debatable yet sadly irrelevant. My husband tells me all the time that size doesn’t matter and he’s a scientist so I almost always believe him. What matters is the actual physical existence of something in time and space. The “now you see it, now you don’t” phenomenon still implies that someone actually saw it once. There’s proof!

I could feel it. I felt it, okay? I couldn’t see it but I knew it had happened. It’s been over a decade yet I close my eyes and still immediately feel the shame. Despite the fact that most feeling in that region was virtually gone, I knew it had happened. Maybe I’m a medical marvel, who knows, but explosive rocket-like projectile force out of a bodily orifice is impossible to ignore regardless of actual site specific nervous system sensation. Besides, the, “Oh dear don’t make eye contact” expression on her face immediately confirmed it. Her nonchalant and pathetic attempt to run off with the evidence without being noticed failed miserably. Does she even know who the hell I am? I’m not the type of person you pull stuff over on lady. I’m the puller, every single goddamn time! The fact that hubby dearest was cowering in a corner wishing himself into the invisible man to avoid any sort of confrontation was predictably annoying yet strangely unimportant at the time. The difference is I know stuff about him too. A tit for tat knowledge of unpleasant and humiliating personal traits and experiences feeds our relationship. She knows nothing else about me! This is it! You only get one chance to make a first impression!

I can tolerate a basic degree of bullshit from time to time, but blatant lying to my face regardless of the intent is not one of them. I asked her a direct question and she not only attempted to discredit my intelligence by answering dishonestly but went one step further and completely changed the subject.

“Meet your new baby Mrs. Veldhouse. Congratulations, she’s beautiful!”

I pooped on the table. Nothing else matters.

Dear John,

In order for a relationship to thrive or to even be classified as a relationship at all, some sort of regular reciprocal interaction must take place in which both parties acknowledge and respectfully respond to the other person’s concerted and life sucking efforts to indeed grow the relationship. I’m a trier to say the least. I’ve never been one to give up on anything. Quitting has never been an option for me in any phase and/or aspect of my life, ever. It’s a weakness at this point. You lured me in with your sick promise of contributing to my overall self worth and personal list of accomplishments. Clearly I am the sucker in this scenario and you my friend are not only not my friend but a master of disguise. I see you watching me from every angle, growing like a tumor in every hidden corner of my existence. I hear you snickering when I open a door, any door, every door, everywhere. I’m not sure why it has taken me this long to connect the dots but I have indeed finally connected them and the picture it has produced before my very eyes is one of complete abandonment of my soul. You ring your bell and I come running, over and over and over again like an overzealous handmaid under your spell, desperate for self worth and importance. I let you swoop in and take advantage of my affinity for order and I am utterly ashamed of myself. Whereas your false promises might’ve once seemed incredibly sexy and alluring, you have become nothing but a complete joke and waste of time and space. It’s difficult for me to say that to you. We’ve been simpatico for quite some time, a sick codependency entrenched in a fear of the unknown, or what else might be out there for us, or for me to be more perfectly blunt. Rest assured, there is nothing else out there for you. I give you life. You are nothing without me but a lonely pile of stench frantically seeking attention for your pathetic and constantly evolving disgust.

Make no mistake about it, we are through. I’m done. Begging for attention at this point will get you nowhere. I see now that my life without you is one of hope and promise and projects that can actually be completed. A life that offers opportunity to be proud of an actual real life accomplishment and not one that is smugly waiting for me to accomplish it again five minutes before thinking I had already accomplished it. Get my drift? I am crawling out from under your grip and I can finally breathe again. It’s glorious!

I don’t love you anymore, okay?! I don’t know if I ever did and by saying that I feel like I have lost a piece of who I thought I was as a person. Love can’t exist without a ongoing cooperative effort from both parties you absolute soul sucking egomaniac. If you had any selfless awareness at all, you would’ve tried harder. After all we’ve been through together, you should’ve tried harder. Alas, it’s too late for us. You don’t deserve me. I am better than you. I have other things to do and while I am not quite certain of what those things are, you can be sure that today is the day I release myself from the pangs of guilt and reclaim my life. I fully intend to disregard you like nothing I have ever disregarded before. I will walk over you, on top of you, under you and/or around you without a damn care in the world. I don’t consider myself a vindictive or vengeful person, but the thought of you choking on your own stagnant pool of filth while I eventually run out of clothes and prance around naked in your presence arouses me like I have never been aroused before. I am alive and I am free!

Go fuck yourself laundry pile. I quit.

Identified Weakness

I can do a lot of things.

I can shoot a basketball relatively well from a short distance away from the hoop while not being guarded. I can peel the entire surface area of an apple peeling without breakage and/or interruption. I can remember birthdays of my grade school crushes on a yearly basis without fail. I can not poop for a week and still ambulate around somewhat normally. I can touch the tip of my nose with the end of my tongue. I can lip sync Ice Ice Baby in its entirety like a boss. I can pretend to be interested when I am in fact not. I can take a nap as soon as I wake up. I can avoid elevator buttons and public door handles and still manage to function in society quite well. I can turn my husband into a 13 year old boy by simply not wearing a bra. I can tell you the difference between your and you’re in no uncertain terms 777 times and you will still fucking use it wrong. I can use sarcasm and dark humor to hide emotional pain and anguish. I can be Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy in the same night without so much as a costume change. I can also give vaginal birth to three kids and still somehow love them immediately afterwards. I’m gifted like that.

Do you know what I can’t do?

I can’t put a bun in someone else’s hair. I’ve never had long hair in my life, which is kind of weird because I’m almost 42 years old and a girl. I’ve also never been a dancer or anything that would require me to even attempt to put my hair in a perfectly formed circular roll on the top of my head. Quite honestly, I think my personality jives more with the messy bun type of situation but I’ve never had to explore my affinity for the bun in any form. It’s a skill I have never needed or even remotely wanted to acquire in my entire life as a human being on this planet.

Do you know what else I can’t do?

I can’t put a bun in someone else’s hair when they are angrily screaming at me to do so. I have limitations. Tolerating shitty behavior, forming a bun on top of a head under pressure and not losing my mind when asked to do both at the same time are definitely three of them. Not to mention the 13 bobby pins that are doing absolutely nothing to help ease my pain. All of a sudden I hate myself. More importantly, in 2.5 seconds she is going to see them poking out at every angle and shit is going to get real.

Serenity now!

Fuck picture day.

Gut check time

She wants to “walk around downtown.”  What the hell does that even mean these days?  It’s probably some middle school code language for something not good, or even bad.  How would I know, I’m 41 (i.e. not cool anymore).  I barely even remember middle school let alone the exact methods I used to snow my parents into thinking I was actually just going to “walk around downtown.”  Regardless, there was no getting away with much of anything in the town I grew up in.  It had 3 streets.  And 2 cops.  My friends and I literally had to walk past my own house at least five times during the walk just to make it not seem weird and/or suspicious to the locals that we were walking up and down one street all night long.  Not to mention the fact that my parent’s business was on the corner of main street, right by where the stop light would be if the town ever decided to put one in.  Walking around downtown during business hours meant literally waving to my Mom and Dad through the giant glass windows that faced main street as they greeted and then served their valued and loyal customer who two minutes before I walked past the window had already told my parents, “I just saw Jill walking around downtown.”  

To make matters worse, her genes sadly work against her in this department.  Her dad was a little shit when he was a kid.  Damn him.  And damn karma.

“All my friends get to do it Mom.” 

Well that’s just great.  They clearly have horrible parents, or no parents at all, or really stupid parents.  I am not stupid and this ain’t my first rodeo.  She doesn’t know what I know.  If she did, she would understand my reservation to let her do anything outside the boundaries of our home without parental supervision from now until the end of time.  I’ve been schooled before by the universe’s random acts of unkindness bullshit.  Really shitty things can happen to really undeserving people through zero fault of their own and that’s all I’m going to say about that.  I am on to the universe and it’s shenanigans.  My kids are off limits.  I got my dukes up, eyes in the back of my head, and a delusional sense of control that you can pry from my dead hands someday.  I actually dare you.

My children should be grateful to have such a caring and loving mother, not annoyed that I probably just saved their life by saying no to each and every request that may or may not pose danger.   Damn the universe and damn trustworthy and responsible children around the world that give their parents absolutely no reason to say no to an age appropriate request.

She’s going to “walk around downtown” today after school with her friends.

And I am going to spy on her.

I’m kidding…

Or not.