Thursday, April 28, 2011

And She Snaps (and Snips)

Painting by Frans Hal 
When did I become a joke? I mean, I'm just askin'. When did I become the source of family entertainment? This mixed-blended-multi-surnamed-upside-down family's skull-juggling Yorick?

I just, and here I mean just--like, 10 minutes ago--entirely snapped (a full-fledged eye-bulging throat-vein-pumping melt down) at my entire family, including my 21-year old brother-in-law, and ever one, EVERYONE, laughed.

Now, I have to grant, they laughed quietly. Into their cups of tea and glasses of wine, for fear of pissing me off more, but laughed nonetheless.

So I'm sitting here wondering how, behind my back, or really, in front of me, while I wasn't paying attention, I've become the butt of jokes. They find me funny!!  Funny? ME?! Give over you pissants!!!! There's nothing funny here. Move along!

And upon reflection, it's occurred to me that this just might be a "laughing at me" scenario rather than a "laughing with me." In fact, maybe there's been a lot of that in my life and I've failed to notice it (something I should definitely think about, or not, which entirely depends on how difficult I find thinking tomorrow).

So what to do? How to proceed?

I feel I have two reasonable choices: take the high road and ignore the bastards, or brow-beat them all to within an inch of their lives and strike the Fear of Mom into them.

And while I feel my beneficence bubbling up (no, wait, that's just gas), I am inclined to act completely old-school-burning-bush and rain down my wrath. But, alas and alack, they'll just laugh!

So I need to concoct another plan and since I can't actually smite anyone, I'll look to good old Godfather-style retribution. To keep them complacent, I'll pretend to ignore the snickering and sniggering (at my delicate, sensitive expense). Then, while they're not looking, I'll get my own back and I'll leave them a message (and since I don't have access to any horses or newly severed horse heads,  I'll leave the next best thing: toe nail clippings. Toe nail clippings in their beds. That'll teach 'em!

Okay, maybe that's just gross. But at least I'll be laughing at them, and not with them!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Love is The Answer

You know how, when you expect something to happen, you gird your loins, and mentally and emotionally prepare for it? Like, you've applied for a job and gone for the interview. You figure it went pretty well: you were delightful, engaging, gave bright, erudite slightly self-deprecating answers, and looked like you knew how to balance in heels while carrying a brief case. You even managed to notice, and spit-wipe, the dried toothpaste stain off your blouse before the interview started.

Then you go home and pour yourself a big glass of wine and tell yourself and everyone, that while the interview went well, you probably won't get it (though secretly you think you might and you go to bed at night and whisper little prayers to the universe, "Please, just let me get the job. Just let me get the job and I'll never blog bad things again, and I'll lose 15 pounds, and I won't stay up until every one's asleep and eat all the chocolate chip cookies, and I won't drink too much at my husband's Christmas party and fall on my ass on the dance floor (again), and I'll even invite my mother over for dinner more often. Jut let me get the job. Thank you Universe. Amen.")

You think you're prepared for the news either way, but every time the phone rings or you get a new email your heart flutters and skips a beat (taking minutes off your life every damn time).

Eventually, you're able to go your way, not spending every other moment in diarrhea-inducing anxiety and life carries on. Then. Then, the phone rings. You casually pick it up while your shouting down the house for the ankle-biters to turn down the T.V. while wiping something suspicious out of the inside of your left slipper, and it's The Call.

All the days, nights, weeks, and heartbeats of steeling yourself for the news is wasted. You're a puddle, and there is nothing you can (or could have) done about it.

Well. That's what I became this week. A quivering, quavering puddle.

After months of hints and speculation, I picked up the phone, in the middle of a glass of wine, while reheating Chinese food, while entertaining my oldest daughter's boyfriend, while she ran out to pick up the nose-miners from a play-date. It was my oldest son on the other end. My 23-year old son, whom I still see as the clumsy, sweet, gentle, messy-haired, funny little man terrified of going to play school. He was calling from Asia to tell me he's engaged.

My child. My child is engaged. Engaged to be MARRIED!

I don't know whether to sit, stand, cheer, poop, celebrate, or throw up. I'm a messy, messy puddle of motherhood.

It didn't matter how many times he told me he loved this girl. Or how many times he told me she was the one. Or even, how many times I responded to these statements with class and aplomb (not many, but I do my best), I was totally unprepared.

Ten million things ran through my brain, including:

  • What!? 
  • You're too young!! 
  • That's bloody amazing!
  • I love you!
  • I love you and I'm so glad there is someone else who loves you as much as I do!
  • How did this happen?
  • Are you happy?
  • Am I happy?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why? 
  • How? 
  • Now what?
  • Wait. What?
  • How the Hell did I get old enough to have a child getting married?
  • Can you repeat that last statement? Because I thought I just heard you say you're engaged and I know you can't be engaged because last time I looked you were still too young to have pubic hair.
My son and his beautiful bride-to-be
So here I am, at last, the mother of a soon to be married young man and I'm a little scared. I'm scared about what this means for him, and frankly, I'm scared about what this means for me. Did I raise him right? Will he make a good husband? Will he respect himself, his new wife, and their relationship? Will he pick up his socks? Will he forever fry his eggs on High and burn the Teflon off of every pan? Will I have to wear an unflattering pastel coloured mother-of-the-groom dress to the wedding?

I'm a full basket load of sheer nerves. But as I calm myself and breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth (after swallowing my Scotch, of course) it occurs to me that I do know one thing. I know that all I know for sure is that my son is in love, and if love is the answer, who cares about the question. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Other Passion

So I indulged my other passion this week--my other passion besides Scotch, the Real Housewives of NYC, bi-daily naps, and writing: I spent the week designing and creating hats (if you love hats you can see some of my work at Then, I attended the Fabricated fashion show to show and sell my wares!

The week, and the show, were both a complete panic, utter mayhem, and blindingly fun.

I met some fantastic, incredibly fashionable people. Got to hang out with my oldest daughter Emma, as well as a good friend, Dale, who came to drink wine and people-watch. And I sold some hats.

There was one woman I'll never forget. She was about 60 years old, absolutely beautiful, and impeccably dressed. She approached my table with the excitement and conviction of a woman who knows who she is and what she wants (the woman I hope to be someday!).

She went like a radar-guided missile to a chocolate brown pill box with tulle and feathers. She picked it up. She tried it on. And she started to glow.

She literally beamed. She beamed at me. She beamed at her reflection. She beamed at her friend. It was a pretty special moment.

She bought the hat and wore it.

My gorgeous girls wearing my glamorous hats
I saw her, later that night, sitting across the runway from me, and she was still beaming.

I struggle with who I am and what I'm suppose to be (besides a occasionally reluctant mom and difficult wife). I make hats, I illustrate, paint, and write poems for a children's book (my own vanity project), I fiendishly style my husband and kids, and I design, redesign our house regularly (which seldom gets done owing to the fact that my husband refuses to live without a roof for 6 months), so I decorate and redecorate, and I write, and edit, and write, and edit.

I'm sure there's an artist in me somewhere, and frankly, I'm a little afraid to let her out, but Saturday night, when that beautiful woman put on the hat I'd made, and felt even more beautiful, I knew who I was--if only for a moment--and it felt good. Almost as good as a new hat.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Love a Good Reprobate

I love trouble. No. Let me rephrase: I love causing trouble.

I hate being in trouble, dealing with trouble, or sorting out kids in trouble. But, alas, as is inevitably the case, my trouble-lovin' is catching up with me.

I've just been roundly scolded, by one of my kids, for something I wrote**. Something racy, outrageous, salacious, tasteless, and highly unseemly for a person in my position (which is a person who's squeezed an even handful of individuals out of this now flabby vagina--too much information, right? Probably. If you can erase that image from your mind, you undoubtedly should.)

But in my defence, what I wrote wasn't even my line! I stole it from my Mom*. It was something I heard regularly growing up, along with, Ahhhh, go play in the traffic; the ever popular, You little twat!; and the never to be forgotten family classic, Be quiet or I'll drop kick you in the crotch!

Yet, my line or not, I've been held accountable for my glib fingers and taken firmly to task.

I am, without reservation, always sorry and occasionally devastated when I hurt someone's (anyone's) feelings. I don't ever want to intentionally cause another person pain (unless they're willing, of course!), yet I find myself back here blogging and walking that razor's edge between saying too much and saying waaayyyyyy too much.

What can I say? Simply this: I am, alas and alack, an unreformed trouble-making reprobate.

Not an easy mom to have certainly, but, well, at least I'm never boring!

* The offending sentence, makes an appearance courtesy of K.J. (my mom).
** Said offending sentence can be viewed on my twitter account at undonemom

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Great Toothless One


March 31st.

1:47 P.M.

Spring Break 2011.

My fabulous, glorious, smart, sweet, gigantic-toothed 9-year old son smacked his face on a water slide and knocked out his front tooth.

His permanent front tooth.

Poor little poop-shitz.

I cried (when he went to bed). His dad cried, his two older sisters cried, his Grannie cried, his older brother Skyped from China and kindly, warmly, and lovingly told Toothless he looked good. And his younger sister, well, she was at a play-date and became wickedly jealous that he got 2 milkshakes for supper. Life's hard when your 7 and your brother is getting all the attention.

But Himself, the ferocious toothless one had only one concern: that he not get the replacement tooth they bond to the other teeth. No. He wants the "flipper tooth," so he can pop it out and scare the little kids.

Me? I want to have a ceremony (though we have nothing to bury--the tooth itself being somewhere in the drainage system of the wave-pool). I want to host a wake to say goodbye to "the tooth." A wake where we sing laments to the tooth's courage, encourage spontaneous eulogies from tipsy cousins, and drink copious toasts to the lost money we were going to use for a holiday that's now in the hands of our dentist.

My poor, sweet little man. His poor, huge lost tooth. Life will never be the same.

But, it could have been worse, I suppose. He might have lost one of his permanent teeth--oh shit! wait. It was a permanent tooth. Alright, it couldn't have been much worse.

Poor little poop-shitz.