Friday, May 31, 2013

You're stressing me (Sc)out

You can force a person to poop. 

It's true. If you really will it strongly enough, you can.

I'll get into that later, but first, let's talk classic cars. "Classic" is generous. Let me rephrase. Let's talk "really old cars".  I mean, I have absolutely zero interest in them, but, nevertheless, they are ruining my life. Not all of them, just the kind my husband is obsessed with. Specifically,  a car called an International Scout II, and, I know what you're thinking, and I agree- what the eff is that, right? How about a picture. 
 
 

There she is. The blue broken-looking one on the top there. Troy's Scout #4, a real beauty before her insides melted and burned holes in a bunch of probably very crucial machinery while I was following behind the old girl on the freeway in the beautiful land of freaking Barstow, California on Tuesday afternoon.

It goes without note, that a four- and two- year old who had already endured a four hour drive thanks to good ol' SoCal traffic are not the most fun road trip companions. Especially when you have to crawl-drive behind a rickety old car that could blow at any moment. And especially when my daughter is convinced she's about to shit her pants at the exact moment Troy gives me the signal to pull over while he calls a tow truck to scoop up his completely unnecessary car. In freaking Barstow. Did I mention that? Bar. Stow. 

Anyway, after about a half an hour wait, the tow truck guy comes, and we follow him to the nearest auto parts store because all the body shops are closed due to the day's lateness. Avery is sitting on her hands, holding her bottom, her little palms emulating a lid to an about-to-boil and whistle and explode-all-over-the-stove tea kettle. 

We arrive at the parts store. I frantically snap Landon out of his seat and then snatch Avery out of hers. I scurry to the store's front door, upon which the sign "No public restrooms available." has been taped. I smirk, pleased at myself, because whereas, usually, I'm annoyed at my obnoxious tendency to be an avid rule-follower, I know, right now, I'm like a rogue cowboy busting through the wooden half doors of a saloon with my guns blazing. "Let them try to stop me" I think. 

I punch the stores door open, prepare myself for intense opposition and a heated argument with whoever stands in my way, then shout in my sassiest sass voice at the first worker I see, "I've got a four-year-old who REALLY needs to use your bathroom and I read the sign but..." 

"It's straight back and to the left, ma'am." 

Dammit. I'm an asshole. Whatever. We're running and sprinting. I'm dragging her by the wrist, hoping to all things holy my son is following suit and hasn't been snatched by a wild Barstownian. At the toilet, I rip her pants down, plop her on the potty, shout a, "GO!!" at her, and she replies with a, "I don't have to go anymore." 

It's at that point, my eyes squinted, narrowed, and zeroed in on my daughter as she sat on that disgusting Barstow toilet, which may or may not have ever been used by any male less than 47 years of age in it's existence. It's in that moment that I, without restraint,  and after I completely discarded any sort of "mommy filter" that I carry with me daily,  threatened her life and everything she knew and loved if she didn't drop a deuce immediately. Because I knew, the second we left that bathroom, and only after I strapped her into her carseat and hit the potty-less freeway would she feel the need to "go" again. So, after I made my stance, she sat wide-eyed and absolutely terrified of her mother, and that's when the little girl stared at me as she absorbed my threats and then grit her teeth and pooped, what I claim, was a poop that I forced  her to poop. 

Aaand that's how you make someone do THAT. Mind over fecal matter, people.

So, anyway, an hour passes. Finally, the stuuuupid Scout is temporarily "fixed" enough to embark home, but I am still summoned to slowwwly follow the car home on the desolate I-15 freeway all the way back to Vegas. Keep in mind, the kids have been prisoner to their carseats now for six hours. Landon is so insanely tired that he has completely lost his mind about a fly that is zipping around the car. The exhaustion-induced drama pouring from my son is making me crazy. I'm rolling my eyes as he's screaming at the goddamn fly to "go away". And just before I'm about to call CPS on myself for what will surely be my most intense melt down, I glance at my review mirror while my toddler screams, "GO 'WAY BAD FWY!!!! 'WAN' GO HOME!!!!", and I notice that the dumb fly is not only near my son, but is perfectly perched upon Landon's little freaked out eyebrow, glued, while Lanman is exhausting his entire thirteen word vocabulary at the tiny, completely stationary, insect. It was sad.  

Even sadder (and way, way more satisfying) was watching Troy get blasted by simultaneous dust storms as he drove ahead of me, because his ancient vehicle doesn't have AC and it's freaking hot in the desert so his windows were down. I swear it was a gift. 

Then the sun went down. 

Then my totally fed-up kids passed out in their respective carseats. 

Then thanks to the day's stresses I became VERY sleepy. 

"I need to listen to the radio."

 I decided that NPR was the best choice in that maybe an interesting story might keep me from drifting. Little do I know, the particular story, which, after the whole potty incident was very ironically about the power of the mind, reads more like a soft, almost melodious bedtime story, and by the end of the segment, my sleeping brain and waking brain morphed and I began to hallucinate. Shadows on the freeway began to take on lifelike features, the lights on my odometer started to unnaturally flit back and forth, and Troy's Scout, which I was still tailing, began to look like a different car completely. A hallucination I was grateful to my brain for, because even if my dream-driving may have eventually led me to crash and make three-quarters of my family obsolete, at least I wouldn't be looking at that godforsaken car in my last moments. 
 
 
Thankfully we made it home safely. I'm glad to know that I have new talent out of the whole thing. I'll be happy to assist whoever with any digestive issues if you need assistance.
 
GO!!




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oh my quad.

Sometimes it feels like I don't live for much.
 
What I mean by that is, if it doesn't involve a two- or four-year-old human that once emerged from my nether region, I am likely not a part of it. Sure, I'd love to have a hobby or be a movie enthusiast or go to every new nightclub's grand opening, but, you see, stay-at-home moms have a bit of baggage. Baggage that happens to need their noses and asses wiped at all hours of the day and night. Baggage that can't be brought to movies or bars or parties. That kind of baggage.

So, when I discovered that I could partake in something for myself that came stock with childcare, I was in. I could check in, drop my precious but whiney and ever-thirsty (only for chocolate milk, never for water) baggage at the door and do something for myself and ONLY myself.

As most of you already know, I love working out. Love it. Spin class, especially, because it makes me feel like I'm fulfilling my deepest need at this point of my life, which is to go through the motions of going somewhere really, really fast and far away while actually being completely stationary because, let's be honest, I don't actually have any real desire to go anywhere at all. I'm in the heartabouttoburstwithloveandgratitude/getmethehellllllouttahere phase of my life.

Anyway, I've become quite good at spinning throughout the last year. I was just telling my mom the other day that I was fairly confident I could crack a walnut with my quads, in fact. So, I had that down. And thanks to my fresh new Lulu gear (I can call it lulu now. We're friends.) I was feeling good today. Pastel and matchy-matchy and extra perky, I swing my leg over my bike, take a look at myself in the mirror, and amongst a sea of bikes, notice the reflection of a new spin class go-er in the dark room. She's right behind me. "This is my first class", she actually admits to the instructor. So, because I'm feeling extra cocky today, I decide, in that moment, I would completely show off. I look awesome, after all, I mean, my freaking headband matches my outfit. So do my socks. And fingernails. This is my moment to get someone to think I'm cool and great, and maybe, with some persistence, I'll even push her to feel a little bad about her inability to keep up. I realize the immense assholeness of this inner declaration while it's unravelling in my mind, but I go with it anyway. Because before I know it, I think, I will be home again and scrubbing my indigestion-prone dog's vomit off the couch for the fourth time this week. This is as close to feeling noticed as its gonna get. I feel like I deserve the boost.

Off we go. I'm spinning like a maniac. I can see my nutshell-destroying thighs tense and swell and shimmer with sweat as my legs fly. The newbie behind me is struggling, sitting down and taking her time, but not at all phased by my Hulk-smash strength. She's smiling, in fact, seeming grateful just to be a part of the class as I'm pulling every trick I've got to get some attention. But, as luck would have it,  I'm being completely overlooked.

I'm kinda ticked and sweating profusely and my chest is heaving up and down. I'm killing myself for the hope of a desperate ego boost at someone else's expense. And that's when I notice it. I wipe my brow with a towel, glance at the mirror, and notice, in the reflection, the newbie's leg behind me is shimmering too. Good god, she has a freaking prosthetic leg. Holy fucking shit, I'm the biggest douche bag who has ever lived. I just spent twenty minutes insanely competing against a handicapped woman who surely could teach me a thing or two about self confidence. What a courageous lady.

It seems fitting that during the daily time that I deem my most selfishly deserved, is the exact hour I am taught a lesson that happens to really be the most important lesson I could teach my children. "You're not better than anyone, even while wearing Lululemon." Maybe a more important lesson for my daughter rather than my son, but now that I think of it, they do have a pretty impressive men's line...
 
Anyway, I'm pretty mad at myself. Needless to say, the next time I need walnuts I'm buying them already shelled. Because, god forbid, the nutcracker goes missing and my panties and bra happen to match.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lululemonday

My husband is a smart man. Very smart. His mind works quickly and sharply. He can fix just about anything, he's creative, insanely talented, and he can make me laugh in a millisecond. My god, you should have seen his gay German airline attendant impersonation yesterday... Let's just say my post-baby bladder did not react kindly.

So, when he told me, for Mother's Day, to go to Lululemon and buy myself whatever I "needed", I was temporarily blinded by his blaring stupidity. So much so that I had to make sure I had correctly heard his proposal. I checked, then re-checked, then wiggled my index finger into an ear drum to loosen what surely was blocked by a pound of earwax, then checked again. And sure enough, there I was, given a free pass to make several deposits into a very, very dangerous account.

Dangerous, I say, because I am completely ruined to regular workout clothes now. I want absolutely nothing to do with them. You should know, I had only previously coveted the over-priced gym duds from afar, standing in line for spin class and jealously scowling at all the brightly clothed women who emulated a flock of exotic birds while I impersonated a sad, dull, gray pigeon, thinking, "Someday... Someday."
 
So, when I slid the first pair of obnoxiously hot pink pants up over my calves, thighs, then rear, then watched doves appear and fly out of my fitting room as trumpets sounded, I knew I was destroyed. Blinking in disbelief, I stood there, ran my fingers over what felt like a second layer of skin, fell madly in love, and instantly knew Troy had made a HUGE mistake. I spent over four hundred dollars on five, just five, items of delicious, glorious, living, breathing clothing and have been battling the pounding urge to get in my car and head straight back since. This morning, it took everything in my power not to respond to the kind, 'hello-how-was-your-weekend's' from fellow gym-goers with a "LULULEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M A FREAKING PEACOCK!"
 
I drank the Kool-Aid and I can't fucking wait to burn off the calories in these magnificent florescent pants.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

insect-urities

I've noticed something about the flow of life as a mother.

Motherhood comes steeped in insecurities.  More than I could have ever anticipated. And it seems that those insecurities are always exposed at the most sensitive of times, or in moments when I am just beginning to feel a rare glimmer of confidence. Riiiight when I begin to feel good and comfortable is the exact time I should have braced myself for a mortifying moment to completely blindside me.
 
Like, for instance, two years ago, in an interview with Avery's preschool's owner, I requested my daughter be admitted early as a two-year-old because she had been potty trained obnoxiously early and was soOoOoo advanced. It was on that day, in that interview, Avery shit her pants for the first time ever. I politely asked if we may use their toilet, calmly walked to the bathroom, then frantically scrubbed her little panties in her school's cute li'l sink where I then shoved the soiled underwear in my pocket for the rest of the interview so her teacher wouldn't know.
 
It's all those times your toddler perfectly recites her alphabet at home, until you ask her to do it in front of people you're trying to impress, and she pretends like she's never heard the English language before. Then some asshole makes a comment about some "kids developing slower than others", and that's when you consider taking up a life of crime instead of a life of mommyhood.

Or it's when your darling two-year-old fiiiinally starts talking. You want to shout his new achievement from the rooftops. "Everyone! I told you he'd do it! He speaks!" The little guy loves trucks. Unfortunately for the proud mommy, he happens to pronounce "truck" as "cock". Clear as day. Constantly it's, "blue cock" "huuuuuuge cock" "daddy's cock" "awww wittle baby cock". We're working on it.
 
For me, this time, it was cleanliness-related. While I'm not the cleanest cleanest person on the planet, it can be noted that unmade beds and dirty dishes give me anxiety. I'm a bit obsessive about my kids' hygiene and have been known to pin down my children and wipe their faces. Sometimes they'll cry from the weight of their mother's insane body holding them down until I scoop out every last trace of a booger from their dirty little noses. It's happened. Maybe I took a razor blade to the crevices of our refrigerator last month and it was absolutely exhilarating. Let's just say, if you called me a perfectionist, I wouldn't call you a liar.  I've come a long way from my cocktailing days where I would sometimes touch up last night's leftover smudged clubbing eyeliner for work the next day. What? Don't judge me I was drunk.
 
So, what I'm trying to say is, with a lot of hard work and re-teaching on my part, we're now a relatively clean family. Cleaner than most, I'd even venture to say. My kids clothes are almost always spotless, their hair is combed and freshly done when we leave the house. I was proud of that.
 

So, when I saw the fucker scurry across my always-bathed daughter's hair while at the beginning of our family weekend in Newport Beach, I didn't believe it at first. But, lo and behold, it was me shouting a panicked, "WE HAVE LICE!!!" at my husband as he returned back from lunch with his Californian best friend. Understandably, it was at that time Brian remembered he suddenly had to immediately return home, and as soon as he left, (which was very quickly) sheer hysteria struck the Beer family. I started pacing back and forth. Avery started to cry. Landon, well, Landon just sat there and continued to be squishy. Troy immediately Googled and found a lice removal company (yes, they exist), whom he called to come ASAP and rid us of the plague that was surely going to destroy and dismember us. Upon waiting for this company to arrive, my whole body started to itch. My mind raced. Were they fire-breathing flesh-eating lice? Probably. I think they're in my eyelashes. Am I going blind? Is that a side effect? Do I have a will? I need a will. How am I going to sign the will? I can't see! I think I'd like to be cremated.

Hours that felt like days passed as we waited for this company. Then. More anxiety. Wait. A "lice removal company?!" Like... mobile? All the neighbors are going to know. Do they come in an ice cream-like truck? Does the lice-cream truck play music? Will they post a condemned note to the front door? "BEWARE: These people are super disgusting." ?! I tried not to move and fought every possible urge to saturate my scalp with kerosene and throw a match to it.

Finally FINALLY she arrives. Two hours late and in a megaphone-less, "you've got lice"-siren-less vehicle, thank god. She comes in, gives us the "lice-prefer-clean-hair-calm-down-psycho-they're-not-going-to-kill-you" shpeal, and then she asks who of us four would like to be inspected and stripped of the ungodly buggies first. And as the matriarch of the family and brave protector of my children, I frantically twitched, itched, then squealed a , "MEEE!!!! For the love of Christ do me first," then sat in the specified chair, where she began to lather my head with insecticides.

"This is it", I think. "Just a few more minutes and I'm free and clear". I'm feeling hopeful, relieved.

Not five minutes into my treatment, the woman's fingers stop massaging. She swallows hard. She whispers, "Can I please have some water? I don't feel well." I complied, and she sipped some water.

She slowly begins again. Two minutes later it's, "I don't know what's going on. I'm so dizzy. Can I use your restroom?"

My head is partially lathered, partially infested at this point. I would give her a kidney, I've decided, for her to finish the job. I show her to the bathroom, where she spends the next twenty minutes flushing the toilet and running the faucet. The woman is seriously ill. She comes out, apologizes profusely, and nauseously digs back into my scalp. Three minutes later she asks for a pretzel because her head is spinning. Two minutes after that she asks if it would be alright to sit in her car for a while. I am thisclose to accompanying her because I'm terrified she's going to leave. Fix meeeee! Another twenty minutes pass as I sit in a chair, helpless, infested, draped with a towel and doused with chemicals, trying not to claw my hair out. It's at that moment I had decided that was the most excruciating hour of my life.

Anyway, she finally, dizzily, finished ridding Avery and me (the boys, come to find out, didn't have them) of each louse and it's horrible, repulsive eggs and she left and probably immediately admitted herself into a hospital because she was clearly dying of some sort of horrible, incurable disease. She likely got rid of our lice and gave each of us smallpox or the Spanish flu.

So, since then, whenever we have been around children I creepily sift through their hair when their unsuspecting mommies aren't looking because I have NO idea how we became infected. It was bizarre. I called Avery's school to ask and the only thing her teacher could respond with was, "Ew. Gross." So, that's where I'm at with getting to the bottom of that.

Either way, we didn't tell anyone because we didn't want our friends to be repulsed by us, but there ya go. Hi, we had lice. It happened. It's over. I don't know how or from who or where but it happened.

Disgusting, maybe. But be careful about letting this post convince you of your supposed superiority to my little infected family. Before you know it, you could be feeling realllly good about yourself one day. Maybe you even have a babysitter and you're running errands. I bet you have cute heels on too. Maybe even a hat! You're feeling fancy, thinking about how cool you are, then all of a sudden, BAM! you roll your ankle or get a speeding ticket or have explosive diarrhea. Stay on your toes. And, DON'T share your hat with anyone. Just in case.