Monday, October 14, 2013

The truth sucks

Since it's been approximately 873 kajillion days since I've written anything longer than a Facebook post or a tweet, here's a brief summary of what has happened in our world: my husband is still married to me, I'm older but not more mature, oldest kid is a senior with a car and is busy with the college search, middle kid is a sophomore and grew no less than eight inches last year, youngest kid is a 4th grader and, up until this morning, she still believed in Santa.

Yes, that's right, I prolonged that lie for as long as I could, enjoying every year of bribery, letting her sound like a fool to her non-believing friends with her "well who is eating the cookies!" argument. I convinced her that Santa had a $50 dollar spending limit and didn't go to Best Buy. And even though the last few years meant that I'd be up later and later, well after her wise to the world older brothers finally went to bed so I could stuff the stockings and hang them by the doesn't-have-a-chimney-gas fireplace with hope-the-weight-of-this-shit-doesn't-crash-to-the-ground care, I nurtured the existence of Santa.

Lately, Zoe has been asking me no fewer than three times each day if Santa is real. And while I normally have a rolling list of boring replies like "of course he's real" and "don't listen to your friends, they're all crack babies and don't know anything," there are times when I'm completely unprepared because she asks the question at the worst possible moment, like when I'm tweezing my eyebrows or trying to prepare frozen waffles. Plus, there's the fact that lately, every time I lie about it, I feel guilty, knowing that she's only going to ask the same question again tomorrow because at school "Katie said that she has proof because her mom TOLD her that SHE buys all the presents!" and I'll be thinking yeah, well, good for Katie's mom and her ability to enjoy the holiday season without having to buy special Santa wrapping paper.

A few days ago, out of nowhere but possibly because she had a loose tooth, she said "Well, I'm not completely sure about Santa but at least I know that the Tooth Fairy is real." FUCKING FUCK YOU GUYS! The Tooth Fairy?! Are you kidding me right now? I was sure that she had stopped believing in that crap at least a year ago, possibly when I said something like "Zoe, seriously, do you honestly think that some chick dressed like a fairy comes into our always-locked house in the middle of the night without making the dog bark, takes your stinky tooth, and leaves a handful of change?" 

So again, instead of coming right out and saying "your parents are liars and there isn't a tooth fairy," I tried to convince her to use logical thinking skills. The conversation went something like this:

Zoe: The cool thing is that the Tooth Fairy pays more for molars.
Me: That is false.
Zoe: What's false, the Tooth Fairy or the money?
Me: Well, the money, but also, why would someone want a bunch of teeth?
Zoe: For her collection. Lots of people have weird collections. Hers just happens to be a collection of stinky teeth.
Me: But what does she do with them?
Zoe: The same as everyone else! She just keeps them in a room. But she doesn't ever go in that room and she has to keep the door closed because it smells so bad.
Me: Really, Zoe. This makes sense to you...
Zoe: Well, yes. And I know the Tooth Fairy is real because there was that time when you and I were gone and when I got home there was money where I had left my tooth. But I'm still not sure about Santa. Is Santa real? 
Me: I think we should just keep talking about the Tooth Fairy.

Yesterday, while biting down on a ham sandwich, that loose molar jammed sideways and "was just hanging by a thread of skin" so Zoe, who is not squeamish when it comes to cash-generating molars, reached in and yanked that bloody sucker out. She promptly put it in a cup and left it on the bathroom counter, waiting for her bounty. 

This morning, when Charlie came down for breakfast, he said "hey, Tooth Fairy, don't you need to put some money in the bathroom for Zoe's tooth?" and I'm all CRAP! I FORGOT! So I handed him a few quarters and told him that he could do the sentimental ritual of chucking the tooth in the garbage. He's like "Nice! What if she looks in there and sees it?" and I'm like duh, kid, make an effort to hide the thing under some kleenex or something.

I know, I'm teaching vital parenting skills here.

While standing in the bathroom after her shower, Zoe started talking about Christmas and how she had started making a list of things she wanted, and was deciding which item-that's-under-$50 to ask Santa for, and then BAM! Oh and hey by the way is Santa real? The Dixie cup of quarters was still sitting on the bathroom counter and just like that, I wanted to stop the lies. She was old enough to deal with the truth and anyway, I kind of wanted to start getting a little more credit for all the work I put into filling those stockings with kick ass shit. So, as I thought about all the future bribery opportunities I was about to lose, I said "Well, Katie may have a very valid argument."

I stood there and watched her brain churn, trying to process the many layers of Santa, and it was then that her eyes drifted down to the cup of quarters. "Well, then, I guess it was you who put those quarters there." "Actually, no," I said. "It wasn't," and as her eyebrows went up... "it was your brother." Salt, meet wound.

She seemed to handle the death of Santa surprisingly well, but then, while I was blowdrying her hair, she started to cry. And I started to feel like shit, knowing that our house was done with Santa (and the Tooth Fairy) forever. She just stood there mumbling things like "but the cookies! and the letters! and the special wrapping paper! and the cool stuff in my stocking!" and while I was sympathetically saying "Yeah, I know, I'm sorry," while trying not to burn her hair, I was also thinking "Yeah! Tell me about it! It was soooo much work! And I got credit for NONE of it! But things are gonna change, oh yeah, you got that right!"

We ended up talking about how believing in Santa makes Christmas really fun, but obviously knowing the truth about him shouldn't make it any less fun. I mean, her brothers haven't believed in Santa since they were in 4th grade, and they still love Christmas and get a cool present "from Santa." We talked about how Christmas is about so many things other than Santa: time off from school, spending time with family, parties, amazing food, cool presents, possibly a tennis tournament, sleeping in and laughing at the freaky neighbors who hyper decorate their houses. You know, all the important things.

By the time she was ready for school, she was feeling better and didn't seem too bummed. Maybe she was relieved to know the truth, knowing that she had one less thing to argue with the kids at school about. And then, when I was dropping her off, she said with a smirk, "So, then, maybe I won't ask Santa for a movie, but will ask for a 3DS instead, since maybe now he'll spend more than $50."


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Medical History

Fortunately, I hardly ever get really sick and even when I do, I rarely go to the doctor because every time I do, I hear the same thing: "Well, we're really not sure what you have. It's probably just a virus or something. But just to be on the safe side, here are a bunch of prescriptions that will cost approximately $125, watch out for the pesky side effects, don't operate any heavy machinery, don't drink and you may not want to wander too far from a bathroom. Oh, and by the way, we'll see you in about a week or so when whatever germ you just picked up from the clinic embeds itself in your system."

And then I leave and continue to feel like shit for another week.

I do, however, manage to make a yearly appearance at a magical place called the Gyno. I know there are several women out there that skip this appointment because it's, well, icky, but ever since I had a sketchy test result a few years ago, I find that I get a little jolt of euphoria every time I get that self-addressed pink postcard in the mail, telling me that my cervix looks pretty damn healthy.

Prior to this year's appointment, my clinic sent me a health history questionnaire to fill out and send back before my actual arrival in the office. Apparently some women take 2368 minutes to answer all the damn questions, so they figured out that they should mail the form out ahead of time, hoping like hell that the sheet of paper doesn't get misplaced or lost in the mail or possibly even end up in the hands of a stranger who, after reading it, now knows that Myrtle Johansen poops her pants and also suffers from heavy flow periods that last 9 days and morph her into a raging bitch.

As I was filling out my form, I realized that some of the questions were pretty vague and the space provided to answer said questions or provide explanations was extremely insufficient. So, even though I'm mailing the original form back to my doctor, I decided that in order to be completely honest about my medical history, some of the questions deserved more than a yes or no answer.


Name: The Mean Mom
Age: 41
Address: That place where my minivan is occasionally parked when it's not on a freeway

Issues you want to discuss: Does the speculum really have to be ice cold and the paper robe have to be made of 80 grit sandpaper? And seriously, what is up with your fucking scale?

Medications: besides that thing I take at 10:30 every night that prevents me from reproducing, I'd like to take valium, maybe a Xanax, and even an occasional diuretic for when I overdue it on the onion rings.

Allergies: bullshit, clueless people, sample hoarders at Costco, slow drivers in the left lane, hyper-competitive parents, volunteer whores, the easily offended. Oh, and ragweed.

Provide most recent date of the following:
Mammogram: pretty sure you need more than .002% breast tissue to have one
Colonoscopy: ick. plus I eat lots of yogurt for a reason
Cholesterol: I eat lots of vegetables for a reason
Bone density: I'm sure I'm fine because every time I step on your damn scale and see the number, I assure myself that it's because of my big, dense, healthy bones.
Tetanus shot: I'm sorry, whu? Adults need shots? How about if I just try to avoid stepping on nails.

First day of last period: A few weeks ago, when I had something really, super duper fun planned and was totally looking for something to act as an inconvenience.
How many days does it last: Does it really matter? Because honestly, even one day is too many.
Birth control method: any time I see someone else get spit up on or tell me about their teething and ear infection woes, that is my birth control. Also, see "medications" above.

Relationship status: married, to a boy. Which I guess is quite the privilege because as we all know, I wouldn't be able to be legally married to a girl, which is BULL SHIT!

Occupation: hahahahahhahaha... oh, I mean I'm a mom.
Alcohol use: well, if you check my file, you'll see I have 3 kids so, yes... duh.
Do you think you should cut down on your drinking? um, fuck no. If anything, I should drink more.
Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking? People annoy me all the time, but about my drinking? no. Which is good, because if they did I'd have to throat punch them.
Have you felt guilty about your drinking? Again, fuck no.
Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning? Dumbass, have you never heard of a thing called a bloody mary?
Recreational drug use? Sadly, no. I find it's hard to explain all that scarring to the teenagers in my house and be all "don't do drugs!"
What do you do for exercise? Never sit down. If you need to know why, see "Occupation" above.

Do you have any of the following:
Fatigue: it depends. Did anyone have a bloody nose/bad dream/shit attack last night? Did I have time for a nap in the last month? Are my kids suddenly self-sufficient? Are we talking general tiredness or all out dragging my ass around the house and having a hard time pronouncing words? Either way, yes.
Weight loss: hahahahahhahahahha heeee haahahahaha
Weight gain:
Headache: kind of depends on the time/day of the week
Dizziness: never before I drive home on a Friday night
Sore throat: if I was at a piano bar or a sporting event in the last 24 hours
Heart palpitations: my heart is fine, except for that one time that my oldest kid was driving on the freeway. One dude was merging, another dude was in his blind spot, and the kid was brain farting. Swerving took place, screaming of obscenities ensued, the younger children saw lives flashing before their eyes. Oh and did I mention that this happened on my birthday? Heart definitely palpitated.
Shortness of breath: Only after I see someone wipe out and end up laughing really, really hard. Or when my kid almost crashes my car.
Back pain: this winter refuses to end and I have shoveled a lot of fucking snow so yes, I have back pain. But I'm sure it will be alleviated by the consumption of beers on a patio that is surrounded by green grass.
Excessive urination: kind of depends on the size of the beers, don't ya think? Otherwise, I intentionally allow myself to get mildly dehydrated during the day so that I don't have to take the time to pee.
Leaking urine? Let's just say that I wouldn't chug a giant glass of water and then immediately jump on a trampoline.
Muscle weakness? Dude, wanna arm wrestle?
Excessive thirst: constantly, but you probably don't mean that kind of thirst.
Excessive cold intolerance: again, this winter can BITE ME!
Depression: no, not depressed. Occasionally irritated, frustrated, annoyed, flabbergasted, shocked and perturbed... absolutely. But not depressed.
Irritability: Oh I don't know. Let's see... have I had to repeat myself 17 times for a simple task to be completed? Are kids able to calculate departure times and get themselves up on time? Am I the only one that knows that the "crush crush mash" technique doesn't actually empty the recycling bin? Will that fucking dog quit ringing the damn bell telling me that he wants to go outside even though he's JUST BEEN OUTSIDE?
Cry easily? I don't cry. Unless someone makes a balls out attempt to hurt my feelings. And that last scene in "Philadelphia" with the home movies? Gets me every time.
Frequent illness? No, thankfully. But I do believe in keeping my hoo-haw healthy, which is why I make my appointment and am taking the time to fill out this form.