Dignity? What Dignity?

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     Yesterday, I had the opportunity to experience what it must feel like to be in a coffin, only, I wasn’t dead, and I wasn’t buried under the ground. Rather, I was stuck in an MRI machine for a horrific forty minute adventure from hell that not only scared the shit out of me but also solidified my desire to be cremated later on down the road.  That being said, I was willing to suck it up and endure the agony of it all if it meant getting to the root of my back pain.

     When I got to the clinic, I was told by the bitchiest technician in the medical industry to strip down to my underwear and put on another God-awful-looking robe. Suzy Sunshine then led me back to the room where all the fun was gonna go down. She gave me a pair of earplugs and told me that the machine could get pretty loud.  “Hmmph, how loud could it possibly be?”, I foolishly thought.  She ordered me to lie down on the cold, hard surface and remain perfectly still, no matter what.  I was then whisked away into the tunnel of doom.

     I guess I had forgotten about my little problem with small, enclosed spaces because I immediately felt panicky.  I tried to just close my eyes and pretend that I was anywhere else on earth.  Maybe I’d even catch a little shut-eye.  But it was at this precise moment that I understood exactly why I was given the earplugs in the first place.  My ears were blasted right out of my head by the sound of what could only be described as the world’s loudest freaking jackhammer.  It then switched over to sounds of a rival crossfire between an Uzi and a machine gun.  I was convinced that I was going to look like a piece of swiss cheese when it was all said and done.  I started to get hot.  I started to get sweaty.  And I started to cough.

     Trying to contain a tickling in your throat is like trying to contain a volcano.  It was coming out whether I wanted it to or not.  It started out small but then errupted into an all-out coughing fit.  Suzy Sunshine’s voice came over the speaker inside the machine to ask me in a very annoyed voice if I was ok because she saw A LOT of movement on the computer screen.  I told her that I was sorry, but I had to cough.  When I asked if that was ok, she practically bit my head off with a VERY adamant, “NO, IT IS NOT!!!”  I then spent the remaining fifteen minutes in a showdown with another cough that was threatening to come out.  

     When I finally emerged from the torture chamber, I was pretty sure I was going to be forever deaf in my right ear, but I was so relieved to breathe in fresh air and to cough right in Suzy Sunshine’s hateful face. However, as glad as I was to have that portion of my day complete, the fun was far from over.  I then had to meet with my doctor to read the MRI and to potentially receive a spinal cortisone  injection. Since my pain appeared to be more muscular in nature, my doctor ended up recommending an injection, and I was once again placed on a cold, hard surface.  

     Although I was allowed to leave my clothes on for this particular procedure, I had to lay face down with my pants pulled down and my ass hanging out in the air.  I tried making light of the situation by apologizing for mooning the doc.  He laughed as he numbed the “area,” which just so happened to be right above the old butt crack. Now at this point in the process, all abilities to maintain my humility were literally non-existent.  I was about to have a ridiculously large needle inserted into my ridiculously exposed derriere.  Surprisingly, though, I really felt no pain, just slight pressure at the injection site. In fact, it was quite the opposite — I felt nothing.  

     And much to my amazement, the feeling of nothingness spread not only to my butt cheeks but also to my lady bits.  I felt like I’d gone to the dentist for a filling, only he missed by a mile with the Novacaine. Little by little, the bits came back to life, but the tush was pretty sore for the remainder of the night.  Today, I still have soreness in my kadunkadunk, as well as in my back, but they said it could take up to two weeks for the cortisone to take full effect.  It better be worth its while cause after all, I did have to endure coffin-simulation, bare my ass for a room full of people, and lose all feeling in my poontang.  I have no more pride, so the least I can hope for is some relief.

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Ok??!!

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     Even though I’m usually ready to scream bloody murder and pull every strand of my hair out one by freaking one at the end of the day, I really do love tucking my kids into bed at night.  Now granted, it might be in small part because I’m slap-ass happy to finally be “off duty” (notice that I’m using that term VERY lightly) for a few hours, but it’s also in large part because I get to hear my little turkeys profess their undying love for me.  Moms don’t get any overtime or paid vacations, so we rely on these sweet little moments to keep us going.  

     Typically, my kids automatically spit back an “I love you, too” as I exit their rooms and make a break for it.  I walk away feeling all warm and fuzzy and willing to stick out this job for at least one more day. But when I told my son that I loved him the other night and got a most unwanted response of “ok,” I thought that surely I must’ve heard wrong.  Maybe my exhaustion had gotten the best of me, or maybe I needed to clean the wax out of my ears.  Unfortunately, though, when I asked him to repeat himself, he admitted that he actually did say “ok.”

     Now, there is definitely other feedback that would be more acceptable for such a situation.  I’d take a “you, too” or a “me, too” or hell, even a “thank you” over an “ok” any old day.  He might as well have just knocked me right in the face with a one-two punch with that kind of line.  I personally happen to think I deserve a lot more than that.  I mean after all, I do feed him, clean him, use my sleeve for his Kleenex, read to him, wipe his ass, sing to him, catch his puke in my hands, and leap tall buildings in a single bound for him 365 days a year.  Show a girl some love, my little man!

     He has at least given me the appropriate reciprocation ever since, so hopefully, I made my point very loud and clear.  I don’t expect red carpets or sparkly crowns or anything of the royal sort.  A simple “I love you, too” goes such a long way for an extremely worn-out mama. I know that soon enough, the very sight of me will embarrass the hell out of him in front of his friends, so I’ll soak up all the motherly adulation I can muster up from him until then, thank you very kindly.

Hair Fetish

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     Call me a prude, but I happen to think six years of age is a wee bit early to get your freak on.  Shouldn’t it be all about riding scooters and playing hide and go seek at this stage of the game?  I mean, come on, we all know there’s plenty of time to act like a dirty old man later on in life. So, when my first grade daughter starts requesting that I fix her hair a certain way to please a little dude at school, I can’t help but raise an eyebrow or two. Just who does this young hustler think he is trying to mold my precious baby into his own little puppet? And why is my precious baby just eating right out of the palm of this little mastermind’s hand?  Apparently, I need to be blasting some Spice Girls up on the Ipod and have a lesson or two about girl power.

     One morning last week, my daughter announced out of the clear blue sky that she wanted to wear her hair in a ponytail.  I should preface this with the fact that she NEVER wants to wear her hair up, so I knew that something was fishy. When I asked why, she told me that “Jacob” liked it when she used to wear her hair in a ponytail and wanted to see her in one again.  I kinda laughed it off at first, although deep down I was surprised that she was even concerned about pleasing someone else, much less a BOY, with her hairstyle.  But, I played the obliging mother role and tried like hell to get her very short, bobbed hair to stay up in a ponytail.  She was as happy as a peach when I dropped her off at school that day.

     As it turned out, I ended up having to drop something off in the office, so I was able to peek down the hall towards her classroom. When what to my wandering eyes should appear but Jacob circling my daughter and nodding his head with approval at her awesomely stylish head of hair.  I kind of laughed to myself and chalked it up to a silly blip of a memory. But, no, that was most certainly not the end of Jacob’s quest for the perfect coif.  My daughter told me that next morning that he’d now asked her to wear not just one but TWO ponytails to school.

     After much debating as well as for the sake of getting her there on time, I ended up caving and slopping her hair into two friggin’ tails. She was all smiles and giggles later that afternoon when I asked if Jacob dug her ‘do.  Much to my surprise, though, she told me that he was most certainly NOT her boyfriend, which left me completely confused. Why go to all that trouble when you don’t even have the hots for someone?  I just didn’t get it.  However, I think I figured out the answer to that puzzling question later that night.

     Friday night was the big fall festival at my kids’ school.  There were games, prizes, dancing, and lots of chaos going on in the two gyms. When my daughter and I got in line for the cake walk, we just so happened to run into none other than Mr. Jacob. His face lit up like a light when he saw his little protege.  He immediately grabbed her, dipped her, and planted a huge kiss on her cheek.  It caught me so off-guard that I just stood there like a statue at first.  When I came to my senses, I pulled him off her, as did Jacob’s dad, and said that was quite enough.  And as I took a good look at my daughter who was beaming with pride, it dawned on me.  She absolutely LOVED all of this attention.  It seemed to me that it was actually my little girl who was playing Jacob.  She’d give him a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ with the hair as long as he kept falling all over himself with admiration for her.  Unbelievable.  I knew the girl was a fan of the spotlight, but good Lord.    

     If she’s already playing these little mind games at six, what the hell’s she gonna be trying to pull when she’s a teenager?!  I feel like I should tattoo a WARNING label on her forehead cause I foresee lots of broken hearts in her suitors’ future.  It seems the girl’s definitely got game and is not afraid to use it.  Just to be on the safe side though, I think I’ll let Aretha sing her to sleep tonight with a little “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”

Half-Birthday

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     Today is my half birthday.  I know — whoopty freaking do, right? Do you think I’ll be throwing a party or eating a cake or opening presents or expecting any special treatment whatsoever?  Hell to the no I won’t, because it’s a flippin’ HALF birthday!  There’s a reason why people don’t make a big deal about celebrating this very insignificant event.  However, thanks to the idiotic checkout lady at our grocery store, my daughter is now counting down the days until October 19, her half birthday.  

     Last week when I took my daughter with me to pick up a few vital items, we just so happened to choose the lane that none other than Miss Mary Motormouth was running.  I absolutely dread going through this woman’s lane because she is the queen of bullshit small talk.  I know she’s just trying to be friendly, and maybe she really does like her job, but I’ve got no time for friendly these days with my patience being ripped right away by Wrigley’s furry little mouth of razor-sharp teeth.  I’m pretty sure my face is like a flashing neon sign that says, “Don’t f@*k with me.” However, she was apparently oblivious to my scorned, worn-out facial expressions cause she immediately started in with her talk of the weather and all things stupid.  And when she noticed that I had my daughter with me, she turned up the charm factor to full speed.  

     She wanted to know how old my daughter was and somehow got on to the subject of birthdays.  She then began a whole rambling monologue about the fact that my daughter had a big half birthday coming up.  I kept trying to give her the old enlarged eyeballs/shut your damn piehole look, which, unfortunately, went straight over her completely clueless head.  She went on and on and on about how my daughter would be getting half a present, half a cake, half a birthday song, half a birthday crown, and on and freaking on.  I seriously considered opening the wine I was buying and shoving the cork in her mouth to shut her up.  She told my daughter to be sure to remind her mommy about this occasion and even sealed the promise with a high five.  I wanted to strangle this woman and claw her eyes out with every fiber of my being.  My daughter was so pumped up about the whole idea that she’s talked about it ever since.

     I hope and pray that the child doesn’t honestly expect a big to do blow-out cause it just ain’t gonna happen.  I have about as much desire to plan a party right now as I do to drive a sharp stake through my chest.  I’m actually contemplating dropping my half-birthday girl off in Lane 5 on Monday with Mary Motormouth, so she can celebrate her special day with the genius who planted this ridiculousness in her head in the first place.

Wee Wee War

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     Let’s be honest, nobody likes having to get out of their nice cozy bed and place their hot-crossed buns on a freezing cold ring of porcelain when they’re half asleep.  I hated it as a kid, and I hate it as an adult. Unfortunately, my kids, nor I, can get through an entire night without having to visit the facilities.  Every night when I drag my kids out of bed and usher them down to the toilet, I always remember a little poem my mom used to recite to me.  She’d say, “When I was just a wee, wee tot, my mom would take me from my warm, warm cot, and put me on that cold, cold pot, and make me wee-wee if I had to or not.”

     Now, to be clear, it is no more entertaining to be on the other end of the spectrum having to drag the wee, wee tot from that warm, warm cot. In fact, I despise having to do this dreaded task every friggin’ night.  After schlepping the dog outside and dealing with his nonsense all evening, the last thing I want to do is to lug two lead-footed bodies all the way down the hall and back.  I just want to crawl my overly exhausted ass into my own warm, warm cot.

     I usually start with my daughter first.  She will typically pop right out of bed for me, but she often ends up stopping in her tracks before we even get to the door of her room.  I then take both her hands in mine and guide her down the hallway while I walk backwards and pray that I don’t trip over anything and break my neck.  Since she keeps her eyes closed throughout this entire process, it is my duty to guide her every move.  She does her thing, we wobble back down the hall, and I tuck her back into bed with a kiss.  It’s then time to move on to her next door neighbor, my little drunken sailor.

     My son definitely isn’t doing any popping out of his comfy night time set-up.  His entire body stiffens when I try to awaken him from his slumber.  I have to physically move his stick straight legs off the side of his bed so that they can meet the floor. And it takes me a couple of tugs to finally pull him up to a vertical position because the kid is seriously dead weight. Just like with his sister, I clasp both of his hands in mine and try to maneuver him down the hall as he bounces off the walls.  On more than one occasion, I’ve found myself wondering if this seemingly intoxicated stupor is the result of him hitting up the wine bottle in the fridge before bedtime.  When we finally reach our destination, I lead him over to the can and point that little peeper of his in the correct downward-facing direction. (I learned this vital step from a first-hand experience where he did a little redecorating in the middle of the night with his very own piss paint.) And it never fails that each and every night he ends the show with a big old bang of a fart right in my face.  Yep, that’s the thanks I get for my efforts at keeping their beds dry.

     I look so forward to that glorious moment in time when my kids’ bladders are wise enough to speak up for themselves and start alerting their little brains that it’s time to take a whizz without Mama in the night. Only being responsible for my own bodily waste sounds almost too good to be true.  Until then, I suppose that night after night, I’ll continue to shuttle everyone back and forth to go wee-wee whether they have to or not.

Pee Cup

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     You would think that after all the appointments with the fertility doctors and all the checkups throughout my twin pregnancy that I’d be a freaking expert at peeing in a damn cup.  Sadly, I have not only never mastered that special skill but I have also become even worse at it throughout the years. Guys have it so easy cause they can just point and piss, but women have to really aim and pray for a safe landing.  I don’t know if the cups have gotten smaller or if my pisser’s gotten crazier, but it has become next to impossible for me to pee a straight stream into a little plastic trap.  It’s like trying to fill a sippy cup with an intermittent sprinkler.  

     Yesterday I had a physical scheduled with my internist and was asked to give a routine urine specimen.  I had specifically worn one of my prettier thongs after my last doctor’s appointment where I had to perform butt floss yoga moves.  I was surely prepared for anything this time!  Or, so I thought….  The nurse gave me a teensy tiny cup and told me to pee a little in the toilet and then empty the rest of my bladder into the cup.   Piece of cake, right?!  Even though I don’t necessarily have the best track record with this type of target practice, my sleep-deprived brain told me that I could no doubt handle this.

     I assumed the squat position and let a tiny bit of pee go into the toilet before I positioned the world’s smallest cup underneath the stream.  It was at this precise moment that my bladder decided to impersonate a fire hose with a knot in the middle.  I suffered through the entirety of the stop-and-go motion until I felt like I had a decent enough collection to submit to the nurse.  And even though I had a bit of pee on my hand, I felt pretty impressed with the sample I would be providing.  As I was trying to move my arm holding the pee cup out from the vicinity of my pant area, I must’ve tilted a bit because the cup somehow spilled half its contents into my pretty thong. Unfreakingbelievable.  My lovely hand-picked green and black lace thong was now soaked in piss, not to mention the floor that was sprinkled with tinkle.

     I tried my damnedest to dab my panties with paper towels, all to absolutely no avail.  They were soaked through and through.  Since there was no way on God’s green earth I was gonna be able to tuck my pee-soaked undies into my pants without looking like I’d had an accident, I made a judgment call to just suck it up and go commando. I slipped my wet drawers off my legs, wrapped them into a paper towel, and tucked them into my purse.  It wasn’t the most exciting walk of shame I’ve ever had, but I emerged from that bathroom as if nothing had ever happened and quickly made my way to my exam room to wait for my doctor.  I couldn’t help but imagine the curious looks from the nurse’s station who surely must’ve been convinced that I was taking a super-sized dump in there since I took so long.

     I know that I cannot be the only lone outta control female pisser out there.  When you’ve popped out a kid or two, things in that area are inevitably gonna change, and there needs to be a little room for error factored into the equation. So would it really be asking so much for them to provide us with a friggin’ funnel to ensure a better outcome?  I mean, seriously, there’s a reason why girls sit down to pee and guys stand up.  So I guess, when you get right down to it, we all kinda suck at aiming, don’t we?

Cancer Sucks

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     When you find out that one of your parents is sick, you can’t help but want to try to do something.  And when you live seven hours away from that parent, you can’t help but feel helpless.  The most you can do is to make phone call after phone call and to sit on pins and needles waiting for some kind of news, whether it be good or whether it be bad. Last night I finally got some news, but it was anything but good.  My dad has cancer.

     My dad has been a smoker for pretty much his entire life and not just any old smoker, either.  The man is a walking chimney.  My mom and I have begged and pleaded with him for YEARS to try to quit, but as science has proven, it is a viciously addictive habit that’s extremely difficult to break.  A couple of months ago, he developed a sore throat that not only persevered but also got worse as the weeks went on.  He was referred to an ENT doctor who scoped him and found a growth in his throat that needed to be biopsied.  Last Friday was the biopsy, and I was anxiously awaiting a call from my mom to see how it went.

     Wouldn’t you know that I finally got that phone call right at the exact time the long-awaited dog trainer showed up at my house to talk about taming the Tazmanian Devil?!  I was completely stressed, trying to hold down the fort here as a single mama with my husband traveling non-stop all over the globe for weeks, while at the same time worrying incessantly about the welfare of my pop.  Needless to say, my brain was on complete overload when I answered my mom’s phone call.  I was desperately trying to absorb all the details she was relaying, knowing full-well that the dog trainer was tapping her fingers waiting to get on with her presentation.  My dad’s procedure was much more involved than they realized, and he was in a lot of discomfort and extreme pain.  They expected to get the results of the test back on Monday, so we were gonna have to just wait it out over the weekend.  I so badly wanted to just drop everything and hop in the car to drive down and give both my parents a hug.  Instead, I had to shelf that desire and shift into mom/wild beast handler/chef/chauffeur/maid zone once again and wait for Monday to finally arrive.

     I auto-piloted my way through the day yesterday checking my cell phone every couple of minutes for messages.  When I still hadn’t heard anything by yesterday evening, I called my mom and received the news that I’d been dreading.  The growth is, in fact, cancerous, and the doctor has ordered a cat scan of his entire neck area to be sure the cancer’s not anywhere else.  He will then have to undergo radiation every day for six weeks, which will likely exhaust him and leave him in even more throat pain.  The good news, though, is that if it is limited to just that one small area, the success rate of the treatment is 85-90 percent, which is highly encouraging.  While my head was spinning with all these details, the usual three-ring circus had commenced in the background at my house, with my kids fighting and the dog chewing up everything in sight.  I didn’t have a chance to even process any of this when I hung up the phone, and I was pissed. I was pissed that my mom had to deal with this reality alone.  I was pissed that my husband was 10,000 miles away.  I was pissed that my kids wouldn’t shut the hell up to give me even a minute to think.  But mostly, I was pissed that my dad had cancer.  

     As I was tucking the kids away in bed last night and getting the hugs I so desperately needed, I was thinking about what a stubbornly tough cookie my dad really is.  I mean, the guy’s survived Vietnam and two strokes, so I have no doubt that he will kick this cancer’s ass. While I stood there lost for a split second in my own thoughts, my daughter’s sweet little innocent six-year-old mind brought me back into reality. She asked me if boogers really do have Vitamin C in them like the neighbor kid told her and if she should be eating more of them to stay healthy. Leave it to kids to take a frown and turn it upside down.