Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adolescent La La Land ...

It’s almost nine o’clock at night. I’m 16.  It’s September and it’s hot as all get out.  I’ve been outside with 180 of my closest “friends” for 3 hours working my behind off.  I’m tired, sweaty, and we’ve done this drill 50 times just tonight.  My six pound baritone feels like it weighs 100 pounds at this point.  My arms hurt, my head hurts, my legs are jello.  I’m out of breath.  We stop. Run back, and do the same 20 count move again. And again.  And again.  Finally, the guy next to me says something to me about the fact that we’ve now done this same running move a bajillion times. “MISS S … we are not done.  Drop and give me 50 for talking!” “I wasn’t talking sir” “50 more for arguing with me!” “Uh, yeah, but it wasn’t me … it was B…” “FIFTY MORE!” I drop my horn to the ground, get in position and burst in to tears as I begin my 150 push ups.  Why was I upset?  Because it wasn’t fair?  Because this would be on top of the 200+ push ups I’d already done that night?  Because I was tired and hot?  Maybe, but mostly because I hated that man.  Marching band.  High School marching band.  And that man was the one person I loved to hate.

Late back from a trip to the mall (because you’re 14, it’s a big mall in a city you don’t know and the people you’re with can’t remember what door we came in)?  March across the parking lot at perfect attention and do 40 push ups in front of the whole band.  Run into the drum captain on the field because even though you’ve pointed out at least 50 times that the drill sheets are wrong and this set doesn’t work this way, and it’s really not your fault? 40 push ups.  Fall doing a drill because the freshman behind you hasn’t learned how to do 6 to 5 yet? 40 push ups.  Some guy in your section can’t march for poo and has missed the set you got right? 40 push ups.  Messed up the “eights in eights” because we’d been doing it for over an hour and it hurts like heck to break one step down into eight parts and so you sway the slightest bit? 40 push ups.  The man was teaching me something.  At the time I was pretty sure it was just that he could say “Anaphylactic Adolescent La La Land” a million times a day and punish me.  And concert band was no different.  I was the only senior in the freshman concert band.  Something about how I “wasn’t as committed” as he’d like, and this was for me.  Degraded.  Worthless.  These are the words that summed up some days in band for me.  It was him.  The director.  He had a temper (many broken batons can attest to that), he had an attitude (I think he invented witty sarcastic innuendos), but he was genius. 

That day on the bus after the humiliation lesson at the mall, he sat down beside me, wiped my tears, hugged me, and said “you know I love you.”  Yeah.  Probably so.  He cared so much.  He never once again was nice to me, I don’t think.  Not until college when he touted me as the greatest trombone player ever to my college director (okay, psycho, who are you and what did you do with MY high school band director?)  But he taught me that I was good enough, better than I gave myself credit for.  He taught me I could rise over any adversity, no matter how great, to really shine.  He taught me that I am bigger than any problem and worthy of my own self esteem.  Perseverance, integrity, honesty, strength of character.  And music.  He taught me to love music, to love my instrument, to love a composition for all its parts.  Amazingness.  The man could play.  All of it I learned before I was 18.  It really shaped who I am today, I think.  It at least has helped me develop my own witty sarcastic innuendos. 

Yesterday, this man, this amazing force, passed away.  So many people all over the country will mourn his loss.  Goodbye, Mr. Dinkins, you’ll be missed. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why I'm not allowed to help strays anymore ...

Sarrah in the snow

I am a huge sucker for animals.  Those commercials for the ASPCA on television make me cry.  The “Friends of the Memphis Animal Shelter” facebook page makes me want to adopt a million puppies every day.  I don’t love them quite like that crazy cat lady from Youtube ™ mind you, but still, I love them.  It gets me the biggest sighs of “what the heck is wrong with you” from Clark Kent.  It has gotten me three dogs. 

Kyla, aka Bat Dog
I love my dogs.  Sarrah is our first baby.  She was ours before Peanut.  She’ll be 11 this year.  I love her.  She’s a SPCA mutt.  The best kind of dog there is!  Kyla is our “middle” dog.  She’s a rescue center mutt too.  She was terrified of people when we got her, and she’s still terrified of our water bowl.  She’s 6 years old.  She’s not the brightest crayon in the box by about 40 shades, but she’s loyal.  She loves to go get the mail and newspaper with Clark Kent.  But my little dog, he’s special.  And he comes with a great story of triumph.

His name is J.D.  He’s my shadow.  My mini-me.  My “oh for the love of God please don’t get right under my feet while I’m trying to do housework” dog.  My lay beside me in the chair dog.  My sleep under your bed because I love you dog.  He’s mine.  But only since last September. 

There I was, 4 ½ months pregnant and it was 8am and hotter than … well, it was hot.  I was walking with one of my best friends (who’s really more like a sister to me, but that’s a whole ‘nother story) after dropping Peanut and Bean off at school.  Pushing Monkey Man in a stroller.  As we cane up the hill from the school there was a little dog running around the intersection like a mad chicken.  I couldn’t let him run around like that.  He’d get run over and smushed.  So I called him (here puppy, puppy style) over to me and picked him up.  He had no tags, but a smashing John Deere collar.  I figured with a cute collar like that, and as well groomed as he was, he had to be somebody’s lap baby.  So I hauled him back to my car (it wasn’t so far, okay? And he’s little, too.  So no comments about pregnant ladies and rabid dogs and all that).  Then Monkey Man and I took the little guy over to the local vet.  Surely he was micro chipped. All dogs are these days (except mine, because I’m not quite that trendy).  Nope.  Nothing.  No tags, no chip, nothing.  Crap.  So I go home and start with the postings.  Facebook, Craigslist … and make a poster.  I called the Animal Shelter, which has the most unhelpful staff on the planet unless you want to drop some animal off there that they’ll just likely kill in a couple days because he sheds wrong anyway.  I called the Humane Society.  They said to put up posters, but only for 5 days.  After that I’d start getting strangers calling who just wanted a dog.  So posters went up.  Found: Jack Russell? Please call.  Nothing.  We called him J.D. because of his John Deere collar.  Didn’t want to give him a “real” name because he wasn’t ours.  Clark Kent, who was in London at the time, asked at least twice a day if he had gotten picked up. He is not as big of an animal lover as I am.  But I wasn't as worried.  The pup cheered me up.  He seemed to like it here well enough.

All the while I sat at home for 3 days waiting for a call.  After 5 days one lady called saying she just knew someone who would love a Jack Russell. Posters came down.  No more creepy phone calls.  Now, these dogs are known to be hyper.  Not J.D.  He just lay around the whole first day.  I figured it was because he was tired from all that running.  The second day he ran out the front door thanks to Monkey Man.  I had to chase him 4 houses away, because what if his owners called? Yeah, then I’d look stupid, hu?  But days 3, 4, and 5 he just lay around.  The kids played with him.  He stayed right with me.  No one ever called.  The kids loved him; he was house trained (for the most part) and had an amazing temperament.  He just lies around all day.  He lets Peanut and Bean put doll clothes on him.  He lets Monkey Man pull on him.  He lies with me.  He cuddles on the chair with me.  All through my pregnancy he lay by my side, cuddled next to me at night, you name it.  After Bug was born he tried, but of course nursing a baby and cuddling a dog don’t mix.  We’re finally starting to cuddle again.  He’s my snuggle puppy and he makes me smile.  He’s loyal to me.  Not to our family, mind you.  Me.  He never gets more than a couple feet away from me unless he’s sleeping.  I don’t know where he came from and I don’t know why they didn’t want him back.  He’s not a Jack Russell, he’s more a Rat Terrier, but that’s okay. His bark is insanely annoying.  He is still a bit of a puppy (though we can’t be sure, he’s about 2).  He runs and hides when he’s done something wrong.  But he snuggles.  Sometimes a random event that seems like it’s just a good deed can change your heart forever.  That’s what J.D. did.  I can’t imagine our family without him now.  I’d be snuggle buddy-less.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shameless Plug

Monkey Man and his "Countdown" poster
Betty White didn't want to do Saturday Night Live.  She was done with stand-up, she felt she was too old, whatever was her excuse, she didn't want to do it.  Then Facebook got involved.  "Get Betty White to host SNL" was the page (or something like it).  All you had to do was click the "like" button.  If enough people did, surely she'd notice.  And she did.  Or her PR guy did, which is more likely.  I mean, is Betty White on Facebook?  Pages are started all the time for things people want you to "like" in order to get attention.  It's social media at it's finest (or at least most popular).  So, I am utilizing the same thing the Betty White page did.  Popularity.  Monkey Man loves Taylor Swift.  I've mentioned that before.  Her concert is October 30th, and he has tickets.  He has all his birthday money saved up to spend.  He really wants to meet her.  Not likely you say? Well, it could happen.  We've got this Facebook page.  We figure if enough people like it, and post it to their Facebook walls, and their friends post it, etc. then someone will notice.  Probably not Taylor Swift (or her PR guy).  But maybe the local country music station or local news station.  Then they will want to help Monkey Man too.  Perhaps then she'll notice.  I'd love to see the power of social media work its magic.  So if you read this, click on the link, then like the page.  And tell your friends.  It worked for Betty White.  She noticed.

UV protected hands

Swimming in our pool, fully sunscreened

The palms of my hands are never, ever, ever, ever going to get sunburned.  Can that even happen?  I don’t know.  But if it could, mine wouldn’t.  I’ve rubbed more sunscreen into the palms of my hands than most people put on in a life time.  Four kids out into the sun equals lots of sunscreen application.  And even the spray stuff you have to rub in some parts.  It’s the way things are as a mom.  You’re sun proof, and there are parts of you that have extra sunscreen protection because, well, you put too much on your hands for that tiny face and you’re not going to waste it.  (Do you know how much that junk costs these days? I mean really, if they want us all to use it and they want to have a cancer free society, seems they could make the stuff a little cheaper.  Don’t insurance companies have a stake in this?  Probably why the stuff is so darned expensive.)

We have this ritual just about every day here.  After morning snack, my children grab their swim suits from the bin by the back door.  Monkey Man gets upset that his swim suit doesn’t look like Peanut and Bean’s swim suits.  Peanut and Bean fuss that they don’t have matching swim suits.  And they all strip down and get dressed in the living room leaving a trail of clothes that would make one believe that perhaps the rapture had happened, but God only took children who wear dirty play clothes.  On with the suits and then the sunscreen.  There are a few sunscreen rules here – 1) Mom is in charge of spray on sunscreen.  No one else needs to be spraying anything on anyone’s body. 2) Your face has to have sunscreen, even in the parts that you squench up, so just hold still so I can get it and you can go swimming. 3) If you fight about sunscreen you will get the “without sunscreen you will get skin cancer. In the olden days they didn’t use sunscreen and that’s why Mimi had to have so many spots removed from her face” lecture.  4) No sunscreen = no outside. End of discussion.  And so I lather them up and prepare for the pool.  As I go outside I notice that my hands don’t tan as well as the rest of me.  Why? Mom’s Sunscreen Rules.  But that’s okay.  They are protected.  And my palms are safe forever. 

All moms can relate.  It’s our “take one for the team” sunscreen contract we make when our children are finally old enough to get out in the sun.  Which for Bug is now.  For Peanut I think I kept her away from the sun for months.  Paranoid she’d spontaneously combust or something.  Number four doesn’t get the same consideration.  Not because I don’t love Bug, but because hey, by number four I know what works and doesn’t work.  Doc W and I have come to an accord that I’ve mostly got this thing down pat and can do it fairly well.  So don’t worry first time mommies … they won’t spontaneously combust, and they aren’t vampires (though some of you are probably genuinely sad about that since Edward is so amazing *gag*).  So, moms of the world unite your pasty pale hands and hold on tight while you can to those most precious to you as they slip into the out of doors because you lathered them up with too much sunscreen.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Poo Changer Extraordinaire

For almost 9 years now I’ve been changing diapers. Today I changed no less than 5 stinky diapers.  As I ponder this, I think of my friends who are about to have babies and can’t help but laugh.  They have no idea.  70+ diapers a week.  280 diapers a month.  Diapers and poop.  It’s a parent’s job.  And why? Because we all hope one day that when we’re in the same situation, someone will help us.  Oh yeah.  Old people diapers.  My kids better want to change my old people diapers with love.  After all the poop I’ve dealt with over the last 9 years.  4 kids worth.  That buys me some future diapering.    

Seriously though.  I have fought with Bug for the last few nights because he doesn’t want to sleep.  There are a myriad of reasons for this.  He took a late nap.  He took too long a nap.  He is hungry. He is teething. He is gassy. He doesn’t want to sleep.  It’s 3am and someone, somewhere is awake.  Crying is more fun late at night when your parents are trying to sleep. Whatever the reason, he won’t sleep.  And it makes me think of all those who have toddlers, babies, or almost-babies.  I know a lot of people with all three stages of humans.  Some of them adopted their toddlers thinking “ooh having a kid is fun” and not really thinking “ooh, having a toddler isn’t so fun sometimes” or “oh my goodness I didn’t realize this model could make such a smelly mess” or “wait a minute, kids don’t just sleep like grown ups?” or “how the heck did the kid get hold of that thing I had put way up there that wasn’t for kids but I didn’t think that through and didn’t realize all toddlers were Spiderman”.  Having a kid is fun.  Having a whiny, clingy toddler is not.  Or a fussy, over-tired baby.  Or a newborn baby when it’s your first kid and it’s 3am and you have no idea why in the world the thing is still crying and you’re ready to scream and pull your hair out and wonder, even if for the briefest second, if there’s a return policy on this thing.  Nah, you don’t.  But you do call your mom.  I did.  I’ll admit it. With Peanut I was the most scared person on the planet.  Clark Kent and I seriously brought her home and sat her car seat down on the floor and stared at her for at least 30 minutes because we didn’t know what else to do with her.  “Okay, now what?”

I have at least 3 friends who are expecting.  One “any day now”, one in August, and one December-ish.  None if them have any idea what’s about to happen to them.  I’ve been honest.  I’ve told them what no one wants to tell them.  Anyone who ever tells you that child birth “isn’t really that bad” fits into one of the following categories: 1) They had a c-section and honestly don’t remember the post-op pain 2) They are 50+ years old and had their baby under a “twilight” ether-induced coma and so no, it probably wasn’t that bad or 3) They are just flat out lying to you because the truth sucks.  Feels like you got hit by a truck sucks.  I don’t lie.  It’s a whirlwind of “what the heck is happening to me” and “did I really just make that” all at once.  Every time I look at my kids I think “holy cow, God let me make that” (further evidence that God either has a huge sense of humor or thinks way higher of me than I can ever imagine).  I laugh now, knowing that they too will have that moment when the nurse says “can you get up? We need you to go to the bathroom.” And they, too, will laugh out loud at the crazy person standing over them, fairly certain they will never use their legs again and crying at the very idea of having to do anything else regarding something exiting them.  It’s true.  Then they’ll take the baby home and stare at it.  Because that’s what you do with the first. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The rants of a tired woman ...

Early this morning, before the sun was really up, I was awoken.  Not by children, as is the norm.  But by the roaring sound of a lawn mower.  I actually ignored it.  Surely I was dreaming.  It must be my mind making sense of the shower going as Clark Kent prepared for work.  But as it continued and I heard the normal morning sounds of someone attempting to function early in the morning after very little sleep in the kitchen (everything seems to be 20x louder then, right?), I realized it was in fact someone cutting the grass.  As the sound continued to reverberate around my bedroom, I peeled my eyelids back and looked at the clock.  6:30am. Who on God’s green earth mows their grass at 6:30 in the morning?!? “Someone who’s trying to beat the heat and the rain” Clark Kent informed me.  Yeah, still no excuse.  It’s 6:30am.  Not everyone gets up and goes to work, or gets up with the sun.  Of course, my girls are still sleeping.  It didn’t bother them one bit.  Just me.  Monkey Man and Bug are up, but they are always up at 6:15am.  Every day.  No need for alarms here.  As Clark Kent walked out the door I asked him to go kindly punch the man in the face on his way to work.  I didn’t think it an odd request.  It’s before 7:30am. That’s the acceptable time to me.  By 7:30am, even late nighters should have gotten a couple hours sleep.  The sun is up, but it’s not hot.  I never let my dogs bark before 7:30am.  They know.  6:30am is not acceptable screaming time.  It’s not acceptable loud noise time. 

Couple months ago I was mowing the grass at 8:30pm.  Yeah, it was later.  The sun was going down.  But Clark Kent was traveling, and I waited until Monkey Man and Bug were sleeping.  Peanut and Bean were up watching a movie.  It wasn’t the same temperature as the surface of the sun anymore.  I didn’t have 4 kids running amuck (or sitting amuck in a bouncer, because let’s be honest, Bug doesn’t run anywhere) Out comes Mr. 6:30am to “walk” and scoff at me mowing the grass so late.  Why was it so late?  Because the other choice is 6:30am and that’s too darned early.  Mr. Scoffer Head.  But he’s not alone.  We have the Psychos who live behind us.  Mr. and Mrs. Psycho had someone come repair their roof a while back.  We’ve had lots of storm damage here in Memphis.  Just a bad season, really.  It took most of our backyard stuff.  Table, play set, slide, swings.  Thankfully not our roof.  But it damaged the Psychos roof.  And so they had someone come repair it.  At 5:15am!  On a school day.  And roof repair people are not quiet.  They have to communicate from the ground to the roof of your house.  And peel off the shingles.  And throw them to the ground.  And hammer.  There’s always so much hammering (why is there so much hammering at first?  Aren’t they removing stuff?).  I was up.  Peanut was up.  Bean and Monkey Man were up.  Bug didn’t care.  Babies don’t.  Noise is noise is noise to them, and they either choose to hear it or ignore it.  The child can sleep through roofers taking off shingles, but drop a spoon on the kitchen floor and WHAMMO the kid is wide awake ready to play. Right?  Anyhoo, we were all up early for the Psychos and their roof repair.  And before you defend them, it was March.  So no, it wasn’t going to be 500 degrees later, but the sun was still going to be up until 7:30pm or so.  So I let our dogs out.  That’s how I dealt.  Why?  We have 3 dogs, and the littlest one is a teeny dog with an incredibly annoying teeny dog bark.  And it doesn’t stop.  Ever.  He barks like a really cheap car alarm.  Incessantly.  That was punishment enough for anyone.  Booyah.  I win.

I think tomorrow, around 6:00am, my kids and I will get up and have a parade down the street toward Mr. Grass Mowing Man’s house.  I’ll give them each a pot or pan and we’ll be a band.  Singing and playing our songs in our special “Wake Up Jack!” parade.  We’ll sing great songs like “Wake up you sleepy head” and “Good morning to you!” and he’ll be okay with it.  Right?  Yeah, not so much.  And really, as much as I love the Memphis Police Department, I don’t want them visiting my house.  So probably I’ll not do that.  But I’ll think about it.  Really hard.  I’ll stand outside and think about it.  So somehow I’ll feel justified at being awake today.  When it’s 7:45am, and it’s still not hot or raining.  And it’s after the acceptable time to be awake according to the Laws of Jess.  And we all know that’s what matters.  I am important after all. So I’m bothering to tell you all this.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gadget Girls Unite!

I love my girls.  They are so so funny every day.  When they play together they pretend they are “Gadget Girls”.  They call themselves Olivia and Kelly.  Now, Peanut and Bean fight like cats all the time.  They grate each other’s nerves.  They scream and yell.  But Olivia and Kelly?  Best of friends.  Play together well, have great adventures and all that.  They are the Gadget Girls.  They are spies, pirates, gymnastics instructors, dancers with super powers.  You name it, that’s what they are.  And they love each other that Olivia and Kelly.

As soon as the game is over, and they are Peanut and Bean again, fighting commences.  They can’t stand each other.  I love Gadget Girls.  I love the way they play together.  I love how creative they are.  It’s quite an entertaining phenomenon. 

I have a little sister. I am sure I can never remember us playing that way.  We just didn’t get along; I don’t care what name we were calling each other by.  She never wanted to play school and I never wanted to play “let’s pretend we’re cats” for the millionth time.  I honestly can’t remember us every playing together with anything but Barbies.  Unless we were in the pool.  And I’m sure I was the typical bossy big sister.  Peanut is.  I see her like I was.  And it’s so funny.

In the pool my sister and I were always mermaids.  And you had to swim with your legs together.  We’d half drown trying to be authentic mermaids.  My mom would sun bathe while we played.  She’d start with her chair in one corner of the pool and slowly move it around the pool as the sun shifted in the sky.  And we swam all day long, only getting out for lunch.  If we said we were hungry, she’d throw a couple popsicles in and yell something about trash and the skimmer, and go back to sun bathing.  Occasionally we’d have watermelon, in the pool … leaning over the side to spit the seeds across the concrete.  Or the ever popular bag of cheesy poofs that got progressively soggy as the day went on because we just reached in to get some.  Eww.  Yeah, we didn’t think it was gross then.  And my dad would grill.  He’d grill whatever my mom had picked out and vacuum the pool.  My dad was always vacuuming the pool.  Perpetually.  He never got in to swim with us.  He just grilled. And vacuumed.  Until the meat was done.  Then we’d go in and have dinner and pass out from sheer exhaustion.

My kids don’t swim that much.  It’s not that they don’t want to, mind you.  It’s that we don’t have the “stay in all day” kind of pool.  We have the “it’s noon and Lawdy it’s hot out here and this is bath water” kind.  But for a few hours every day, they are in the pool.  Right now it’s a dance floor with disco lights.  The Gadget Girls are having a dance.  Together.  Olivia and Kelly.  In a few minutes it will be time to get out so I can cook dinner.  They can’t swim if I’m not outside.  That’s just good common sense.  I like having four kids, and I’d like to keep it that way to the best of my ability as God has so trusted me with them. Amen.  When I get them out, they’ll go back to being Peanut and Bean again.  And fighting again.  And “sick and tired of her” again.  The Gadget Girl phenomenon gone until tomorrow.  So for now, I’ll sit and enjoy the beauty that is Olivia and Kelly.  God bless their hearts.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Smelling sunscreen at 6am

I’ve got coconut crème creamer in my coffee.  The smell of sunscreen is permeating form the rug in my living room (thanks to daily spray-on sunscreen applications).  The sun is bright and if I close my eyes I can almost imagine I’m on the beach and that’s why I was up a 6:15am.  Because waking up at the beach for the sunrise is okay.

Waking up in Memphis at sunrise is not.  I’m a stay at home mom.  So summer is supposed to be my sleep in time.  I don’t have to get up, make lunches, find uniform pieces, locate the hot pink cowboy boots for school, put those back because today is P.E. day, chase down Monkey Man and wake the sleeping dragon a.k.a. Peanut up.  It’s summer time.  But Monkey Man and Bug do not see things that way.  All they know is the sun is up. 

And of course, Mommy, it’s time to start the day and don’t you want to be up? Don’t you want our smiling faces and loud toys and surely you want to watch Cars again.  Everyone does.  And you haven’t had coffee or even thought about what day it is, but we need a million things, and I want to color, and he wants breakfast and I need milk – with chocolate milk in it – and all while we have the inability to be even remotely quiet. 

Children have a fascinating ability to use a vocal volume level that is conversely related to the situation they are in.  If they are playing alone, during the day, when it is acceptable to be noisy, they are quiet and sneaky.  Sometimes deviously so.  But at 6:15 in the morning, when I haven’t had my coffee they are loud.  Rock concert loud. Our amps are turned up to 11 loud.  Which of course wakes everyone else up.  Which of course leaves me with two very grumpy girls.  Which of course makes for a fantabulous day.  You’re jealous!

Eleven years ago Clark Kent and I got married.  It was a very small ceremony in a church on a Sunday morning before Sunday School.  I was in a sundress and flip flops, he was in a Hawaiian print shirt and flip flops.  He hadn’t met most of my family.  We got married and drove to a family reunion (on my dad’s side) where I proceeded to introduce, for the first time, Clark Kent, who is, by the way, my husband.  Good times.  I never would have thought in that church that morning that I would be sitting here, in Memphis of all places, with four amazing children.  A gymnast, a dancer, one who starts soccer in August and one whose greatest achievement thus far is rolling off his belly.  It’s an amazing life, and an amazing 11 years.  I can’t wait for the next 11.  I can’t wait for our 50th wedding anniversary.  I promise I’ll dance the funky chicken. 

But for now, I’m just going to close my eyes real tight and listen for those waves.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How a stuffed seahorse saved me ...

I owe a great deal of my sanity to the wonderful people at Fisher Price ™.  I realized this tonight.  Four kids have survived thanks to the inventive genius at Fisher Price.  Not because it saved them.  It saved me.  The company single handedly keeps me from the looney bin.  You know what it’s like.  The screaming.  And if you don’t, then it’s because you either don’t have kids, or your brain has washed away the horrible memories.  PIRD, I call it.  Post Infant Relief Disorder.  Where your brain helps you forget those nights of screaming.  Why is the baby screaming? Oh, for lots of reasons.  Gas.  Teething.  The Grizzlies didn’t make the playoffs.  His favorite dancer got voted off the TV Show.  Rush Limbaugh didn’t move to Puerto Rico.  That’s why.  Not really.  It’s most likely gas.  But hey, in the midst of a screaming fit I like to imagine all the things that my Bug could be screaming about.  It helps. 

Tonight was one of those nights.  Screaming Bug.  Crying Bug.  What-in-the-world-is-wrong-with-him Bug.  My poor little Bug.  Nothing I did helped.  Nothing Clark Kent did helped.  But the sweet Seahorse helped.  Oh, glorious Seahorse of Wonder with your magic tinky music and soft wave and bubble sounds.  Oh how I bow to you.  You. Have. Saved. Us.  Five minutes with the Seahorse of Wonder and Bug was out.  O-U-T.  Sleeping.  Just like that.  And it’s not the only FP toy we have.  Swing, bouncer, jumpy thing, countless toys … all to save my children.  To save them because I don’t go crazy.  It’s the best side kick a mom could want.  Yay Seahorse!  Now excuse me as I go enjoy my quiet with some chocolate.  That’s what moms do.  Celebrate triumphs one piece of chocolate (or glass of wine) at a time.