My kid’s birthday is tomorrow. I told her I’ll rename her Batman.

So Munchkin’s 12th birthday is tomorrow.

I teasingly told her I’d rename her Batman for her birthday instead of getting her presents, because she’s getting older and she can handle that kind of responsibility now.

Her response?

This.

It reminds me once again that becoming a mom, especially to someone so hilarious, is one of the best things to ever happen to me.

Happy birthday, Munchkin Batman. You’re awesome.

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The bell

This is not funny. If you’re here for the funny, please feel free to check out the ridiculousness in the archives.

I have had a rough time with the Christmas season for my entire adult life. Sure, there were sometimes deployments scheduled for just after Christmas, or I had to work, or I was six months pregnant with complications and morning sickness that didn’t know it was supposed to vanish after the first trimester or a million other things, but it was always both more and less than that.

Christmas, with all the joy that is supposed to happen, is stressful. There is more cleaning, more food to prepare, more food to eat, more social obligations, more decorating, more shopping, more more more. And of course, more more more also refers to the smiling that is required through the entire thing.

By mid-December, I have usually become a fruitcake scented, festively striped powderkeg, because of how short I fall of the impossible expectations of perfection that I place on myself.

Several years ago, I was trying once again to outdo Martha Stewart, and once again, I was failing miserably. I guess Munchkin was in first grade around then, or maybe she was even a little younger. I was trying so hard to be Merry! And Festive! And Perfect! but I think it was pretty obvious that I was one burnt cookie away from a week long crying jag.

She scurried over to the tree, and pulled out a little tiny box that she had proudly gotten me from Santa Store at school, and insisted I open it.

Guys, no one in the history of any holiday ever wanted to open a present less than I did right then. There was work to do and joy to be forced. Still, she hounded me. Five year olds who insist on things are rather…..tenacious. I opened the clumsily wrapped little box.

image

In it was a little keychain, blue with a simple yellow butterfly on it. It jingled softly as I rolled it in my hand.

“It’s like Polar Express”, she said. “Only people who hear the bell can like Christmas. You hear it, right?”

I did hear it.  She beamed. She hugged me.

And things were all better.

Today, I am sick. I had a million things to accomplish before I even get started on my regular tasks.

I was walking to the market by my house to pick up a few stocking stuffers, tripped in a pothole in the road, dropped my purse and rolled my ankle. I wanted to call the whole thing off. Yes, again. Just like I do every year.

I picked up my purse from the middle of the street. Somewhere, between a grocery list and a lipgloss with dog hair stuck to the cap and a half eaten bag of Skittles, the bell on on the keychain jingled just loud enough for me to hear. 

And again, things are all better.

First date: The one where I realize that he wasn’t the awkward internet person, I was.

Johnny Rotten and I met online and he had asked me if I’d like to meet him for realsies.

He lived a couple of hundred miles away–1.6 x a couple of hundred miles if you’re a Metric Molly–and I agreed to dinner and general buddy-debauchery. Who would drive that far, into another country no less,  to go out for dinner with someone they hadn’t met? I’m not sure I’d walk to the  end of the block for that, personally, because what if it’s all ewwww-y or axe-murderer-y or worse, just plain awkward? We’re not talking about Regular People here, folks. We are talking about Internet People. You guys know.

Anyway, I believe I told him the city I lived in, and to get a hotel room because Internet People do not stay with me, even if they have driven for hours just to go out for dinner which is totally ridiculous and time-wasting, and to call me when he got into town. Then, of course, I thought nothing more about it, because I figured it was one of those situations like when you run into a friend from high school and you discuss going out for a drink, not because either of you want to but because society demands that half-assed plan-making. And then you don’t end up going out, because duh, and then you run into each other six months down the road and you do it all over again.

The appointed day and time came, and the phone rang. Holy cow, it was Johnny Rotten, and the caller id showed that he was calling from a local number, which means that he was actually in my town, which what the hell, Johnny Rotten?? This was not how it was supposed to go. Something was supposed to come up, he was supposed to back out gracefully, I was supposed to act vaguely disappointed, and life would go on.  But him being in town? That meant I should probably see him, and that I should probably change out of pj pants and maybe put a bra on. Damn it. Damn it damn it damn it.

My bluff of sure-I’ll-meet-you had been called and raised to triple dog dare status. He had driven 1.6 x a gazillion miles to come see me, so I had to go. My friends, this was the flagpole scene from A Christmas Story. I couldn’t back out.  He was on his way over to pick me up for dinner.

I placed Munchkin, who couldn’t roll over yet, in the middle of a queen sized bed, with pillows all around her to keep her wiggly little butt from going anywhere. Better safe than sorry, right? I moved about three feet away, and started to do my makeup quickly so I could trick him into thinking that I don’t actually wander around free of makeup and  in pj pants all day. Oh, the lies you tell when putting your best foot forward, huh? No, I ALWAYS look great. I totally do not get pimples. I never yell “five second rule” when my favorite cookie drops on the kitchen floor, snatch it up, dust it off and eat it anyway. Never. Because I’m classy. All lies.

The getting ready part was intense. One coat of mascara, check the baby, eyeliner on one eye– looks great!– other eye– ooh, not matchy. Half cat eye, half Tammy Faye, ew– wipe off, try again, better. Check the baby. Bra. Where the hell is my bra? Why do I have to ask myself these things? Check the baby. Put shirt on. No, not that one, it has spit up on it. Yeah, that one. Looking good! Check the baby. Check the clock. Forget what time it is after five whole seconds and check the clock again. Check the baby. Concealer. Good. Powde–

The Scream

This is an artist’s rendition of what I looked like when I realized what happened. You can tell it’s me because of the perfectly applied mascara.

And then everything was stopped by the bloodcurdlingest, most indignant shriek I had ever heard. Munchkin, who had never been able to roll over before, decided to be a child prodigy. She some how not only figured out how to roll, but also how to escape the Himalayaesque mountain range of pillows I had used. End result? Plop. Wee child fell off the bed.

Munchkin wasn’t hurt. She was, however, frightened and more pissed off that I had ever seen her before, and was letting the entire world know that she was not impressed by this situation with a pitch perfect High C held long enough to make Maria Callas green with envy.

I picked her up, and tried to soothe her as I contemplated what a Heinous Mothering Crime I had just committed. What’s a reasonable new mom to do? Burst in to tears, of course. Not in a beautiful dramatic actress way, either. I fully mean in the snotty, red faced, blotchy, gross way.  She mostly calmed down, but it took me a little longer.

I had her in one arm, and I trudged back to the bathroom to wipe my now-puddly makeup off because it was leaking into my eyes and causing a lot of pain and itching.  Mascara with fibers is great when it’s actually on your lashes– ooh, the lengthening! The thickening!– but when it actually gets into your eye, you’re kind of screwed. That shit hurts.Since it’s probably made of tar and fiberglass, this kind of makes sense.

I had gotten one eye done, and there was a knock at the door. Remember how I started this story talking about how Johnny Rotten had asked me out, then inexplicably changed over to a story about the Munchkin? Yes. This is where the stories converge. I was a snotty, red eyed mess, my kid was still semi-squalling, and my first ‘sort of, kind of date’ in years was standing on my doorstep, probably staring at the door and waiting for the vision of beauty that I had pretended to be to greet him. Excellent. Lucky this was a just-friends-date and not a date-date, right?

I quickly invented the acronym “FML”, then answered the door.

Holy Hannah. He was cute. And he smelled good. And he didn’t look like he had been crying. Because I’m shallow and because he was cute, I really wanted this to be a date-date and not a just-friends-date. The Head And Shoulders slogan ran through my head and was kind enough to remind me, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”. His first impression was neatly pressed, lightly cologned and clean shaven. My first impression was that of a big smile through snot and tears, of makeup by Courtney Love and ratty pj pants.  He wasn’t the unstable, inappropriate Internet Person; I was.

Damn it. FML.

Sunday short and shout: And that’s why I named her “Munchkin”

Munchkin asked why I chose her given name for her.

I told her it was because “Butthead” was already taken. Uh-huh. Uh-huh-huh-huh.

I’d never name her Butthead. She’s much more like Beavis’ alter-ego, Cornholio. (via Fanpop)

Honesty: it’s what brings mothers and tween daughters closer together.

I just realized there will be people scandalized by this, and they shouldn’t be. It’s not like I was going to name her ‘Butthead ‘for real. ‘Beavis’ would have been way classier. Also, My Aunt Becky would probably approve of this, because she’s a  totally rad bloggerina, one of the CoolKids, and– keep in mind I am yelling this like an emokid–“she understands me, not like YOU!”

You should go visit her over at Mommy Wants Vodka .

If reading things aren’t your style (and who can blame you? You’ve already read, like, 100 words here!) and you want to look at pretties instead, you really ought to go check out this shirt by cubik, because, well,  you should. Winnie the Pooh plus Tardis equals more win than you are ready for. Brace yourself. Winter is coming (and you’ll probably want to cover your torso, no? I hear nipple frostbite is a bitch.)

Disclaimer: I’m not paid for recommending these links to you in anything other than warm fuzzy feelings. I just think they’re both awesome.

Everyone but my dog wishes you a happy halloween.

That title? It says it all.

Everyone’s dog has some kind of weirdness. I used to, until tonight, think it was everyone’s but mine. I now stand corrected.
My husband (who isn’t named yet on this blog. Isn’t that weird? Let’s invent a good name for him, folks!) and I took the munchkin out for trick or treating tonight. Nothing weird about that. We came home, she dropped her candy off, then she decided to wrangle her long suffering, overly-patient older brother into taking her out some more. Nothing weird about that either.  Husband (jeez, this lack of nickname is really pissing me off now) and I went to the minimart to pick up a Bud with clam for me. Nothing weird there either, if you are gracious enough to ignore the fact that I quite enjoy my hoppy, malty beverages with a healthy dose of bivalve juice.

We got home. Usually, there’s a dog-stampede to the door whenever anyone opens it, because PEOPLE. This time, however, there was nothing. Not a one of the three came to greet us at all. That…. was weird.

Immediately my mind went to the worst place it possibly could on short notice: clearly, they had been brutally beaten by robbers, while protecting our home, and I needed to find them and pet them and let them know how much I adored them for their selflessness and courage.

I walked into the bedroom, yelling for the beasts who had obviously become incapacitated in Saving. My. Life. Y’all don’t even understand. I was in the house for 15 seconds, and I was already sure that the reason they werent showing up was because they were too busy being heroes.

No. No, they are not heroes.  They all helped themselves to candy and were busy ripping open the packages on the bedroom floor. The lady-dogs were bad enough, having grabbed fun sized packs of Skittles, but BoyDog really took the cake–or the candy– on this one. The munchkin had gotten one of the all coveted king-sized M&M packages while trick or treating. ONE. If you grew up halloweening, you know what I mean when I say that getting the full sized treats is rare, so the King Sized packs? Like finding the holy grail on a purple velvet cushion on the back of a three legged unicorn that’s stomping through a field of honest bipartisan effort, high on ecstasy and life.

That King Sized pack was what the dog was eating. Of ALL the treats he could have chosen, that was the one he had stolen, ripped open and was happily munching on while deluding me into thinking that he saved my life.  I thought he was saving me from bandits, but it appears he was busy being a bandit himself. BoyDog was then called BastardDog. And maybe, just maybe, a few other choice things as I tried to assess whether he was going to kill himself with the amount of chocolate he ate (he isn’t) and whether I’m going to need to get the steam cleaner to remove the chocolate-candy shell-drool ganache from the carpet (I do).

MandMs

Exhibit A: Clearly the dog executed a surgical strike on this bag.

So. I told BastardDog that he was in fact, a BastardDog. And I told him that this kind of behavior was unacceptable. And I told him that he should be very sorry about what he’s done, because MY GOD, that was a king sized bag of M&M’s, acquired while trick or treating, and clearly he did not appreciate the rarity of this situation.

He refused to meet my eyes. He slumped over and it became pretty clear to me that what I had told him had really sunk in. He was truly sorry… until he dashed off to fetch himself a bag of Skittles to munch on while I was talking. Jeez, BastardDog.

Munchkin came home a few minutes after I had endured this horrible treachery. She had a fun time with her brother. She was looking forward to taking her costume off finally. She was….. wait, where was the king sized bag of M&Ms?

I should have known better than to assume that she wouldn’t notice. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. There was nothing I could do but tell her that unless she wanted to share the spit of a creature that licks his own rear end, they were gone. I explained the situation, hoping that she’d be at least concerned for his well being. Im not ashamed to say I pushed the “but chocolate is toxic to dogs!” thing, just as a sympathy ploy.

What’d she do?

I’ll give you a minute. What would a reasonable 11 year old girl do, when confronted with the news that her dog had just eaten her prized trick-or-treatin’ treasure?

.

.

.

Did you guess “she flipped him off?” No? Then you lose, because that is exactly what happened.

Long story short? My dog stole my daughters halloween bounty, because he’s a dick. She decided to flip him off, because obviously, as a dog, he will completely understand that. God, honestly? I think he looked at her and licked her hand.  This is my life, folks. And this is why I both write and drink. Happy Halloween!

Oh, PS? I think Im going to call husband “Johnny Rotten”. So there.

And thats when my daughter learned more than French vocabulary

I am a big fan of shopping at the local thrift stores. Not only is it environmentally friendly and cheap, there are often some really unique finds when you take the time to really look at items. Ahem. Remember I said that last bit, okay?

Take, for example, this set of six mugs, at a whopping 50 cents a piece:

The thrifty mug set.

So cute, right? They are all animal themed and have French vocabulary on them, which makes hot chocolate not only delicious, but educational.

I must admit, I was completely charmed. How could I resist having whales be all happy and whaley? I couldn’t. No one can.

Baleines gonna baleine.

The whole set was like that, and believe it or not, there wasn’t a single chip or crack in the entire set. I rushed my new treasures home, all proud of myself. I got to replace some boring and chipped mugs with awesome new ones,  and the kids would learn a bit of French.  Everyone wins.

My 11 year old daughter was particularly thrilled, being the animal lover that she is.  Her favorite animal in the whole world is a rabbit, so I gave her the ‘le lapin’ mug as a special mug just for her, and settled in to wait for my prize as world’s best, most thoughtful, and most observant mom.

About a week later, I was washing the dishes, and finally took a moment to really look at the mugs. So adorable, so adorable, so adora—oh dear God.  My daughter’s mug was not what it seemed.

A special mug, given to my daughter, but more appropriate for Ron Jeremy, perhaps.

It would seem that in squealing over the fact that there was a huge cute blue bunny in the foreground, and shrieking with joy over the fact that it was not chipped or cracked, I seem to have completely missed seeing that there is a full blown rabbit orgy happening the background.

Ah well, it’s okay. The mug has been educational in more ways than one, and honestly, the hot chocolate from it still tastes delish. I guess everyone still won after all, but that “Best, Most Thoughtful, Most Observant Mom Ever” trophy? I’m pretty sure the space I made for it on the shelf will accumulate nothing but dust for a really long time. C’est la vie, folks.