Why do bikinis, tankinis, or swimsuits of any kind have belts?
I confess, I’m biased against accessories. I figure with 4 kids and 2 pets and a natural clumsiness, it’s asking too much of me to also wear and keep up with earrings, bracelets, belts, scarves, etc. Just not interested. (But they look real cute on you.)
So I REALLY don’t understand this one. Do they look cute? The belted swimwear look? I always see it and think, “what…? is there PURPOSE in that somehow that I am missing…?” But that’s probably just the anti-accessory part of me. There’s no real purpose in most of them, I guess.
I think the belt on the bikini bottom is as ridiculous as a toe ring. If you are a huge fan of either or both of those, then by all means, explain it to me. I will listen and be enlightened.
(YES, I’ve been swimwear shopping and this is the detail I choose to dwell on, rather than the whole, UGH, gross really? we’re looking like THAT…? part that is inevitable with swimwear shopping. I think it’s a preferable alternative to focus on superfluous belts.)
Today is Thursday. One day after Wednesday, the day of a Serious Mothering Overload Incident on My Unsuspecting But Not Entirely Innocent 3 Boy Children. And it’s TWO days after Tuesday, which was a shock to my system – an unfortunate and sad-feeling turning point in the relationship with my 1 girl child.
I suppose all that is just another way of saying that on Tuesday I had a bad day. And the next day I over-mothered my other kids, partly out of reaction. I suppose.
And today is Thursday. I was standing in my closet this morning deciding what to wear when my mother called and told me that Willie Nelson had cut his hair. She was not expecting the, “Well GREAT. That is JUST WHAT THIS DAY NEEDS. Just. GREAT,” response. But she got it anyway.
Really Willie? Did you hafta? TODAY? I don’t have the emotional reserves for dealing with your hair issues. I will just say I get overly attached to things I have no right to, and it TOTALLY crossed my mind in an irrational way that Willie, you CUT OFF SOME OF THE SAME OLD HAIR – the longest part probably- that my sweet GRANDMOTHER probably liked too. And now it’s gone. That same hair that she liked was STILL THERE ON YOUR HEAD and now it is not and it’s gone and it just irritates me. And that’s just the kind of mood I’m in. But my grandmother died a long time ago, and we shared YOUR hair, Willie, ANYWAY, and nevermind. Just. Nevermind.
So that is my irrational rant for today. Thursday. But let’s catch up. It’ll be good for me, and possibly scary for you, but you’re brave people.
Tuesday was so odd and unexpected and heartbreaking I cannot even go there yet. I have no rant. I just have this sad little desire to be accepted as the mom I’m sure I’m supposed to be, by someone not interested in the slightest. Usually I can say, “Fine. I’m not good enough for you… but that’s your choice and not a reflection on if I really am a good enough mother.” And I can usually believe it. Not after Tuesday. Not Wednesday. Not yet.
Wednesday Seth-4yr went out to play with his brothers in the backyard. He had spare change in his pockets, and he was enjoying the sound of the coins jingling. After awhile I went to check on them, and was HORRIFIED at what I saw.
Three boys on the basketball court, hurling handfuls of money. Coins bounced everywhere. They were laughing. Then, not yet aware of my presence (and seemingly not noticing the serious Chill In The Air, thanks to my icy maternal disapproving stare), they kept doing it.
I have a creepy sounding, super calm voice that i use whenever something big has happened. It’s not voluntary. It’s just that I open my mouth and think I’m going to scream – and I fully INTEND to scream – and a calm Mr. Rogers’ voice comes out instead. Also, my eyes get huge. I know, because I feel it happen. My eyes dry out.
I asked for them to pick up all the money and bring it to me. Some had bounced off and forever been lost under the fence to the neighbors’ Snake Area, don’t ask. Some had bounced off into our yard and been lost there.
This entire scene offended me. Greatly.
Now I can see that they were 3 little boys loving the idea of raining money, and delighted with the concept and the sounds of money bouncing on concrete. And it did sound cool.
However. Surely this sight must mean I am a horrible mother. RIGHT? I mean, that is the ONLY correct conclusion here that matters. How could I have raised three boys to THROW MONEY? They must have no respect for worth. For possessions. For blessing. For God. For the Holy Trinity. And for hard work. And for everything. This is proof that Mike went out of town for a few days and I have managed to TOTALLY SCREW UP THE REMAINING 3 CHILDREN IN MY CUSTODY. OH DEAR GOD THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING, I AM A FAILURE. That is where I went.
I made them round up the coins. It was easily $8-$10 in change. And that’s just WHAT WAS LEFT. I marched them inside. I wrote their names on giant plastic baggies, told them all to go get all their money out of their rooms and bring it out and put it in their baggies. Then – still with the creepy voice – I sat them down on the couch and told them they were NOT GETTING IT BACK anytime soon without earning it and I’m thinking HARD MANUAL LABOR because clearly they do not have the proper respect for blah… blah… blah…. and BOY did I go off.
There were Bible stories to beat them over the head with. So, of COURSE I did that. There were discussions of hard work, and blessing, and respect and gratitude and oh my gosh. It was endless, this lecture. Caden-6yr hid half his face behind a pillow and every thirty seconds said, “yes ma’am,” in the same monotone regardless of where I was in a sentence. He was bored. Or scared. Or trying to shut me up. I have no idea, but I can hardly blame him, and it was noble to try because SOMEONE needed to shut me up and clearly I was not up to that task.
Then we needed to go feed my mom’s cat. So they sat in Totally Silent Time Out the WHOLE WAY there and then – I was going to take them to dinner before all this but, as I told them, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that and spend MONEY on them right at that second and so I didn’t. It would have to be pb&js for them. But I did hit a drive thru for a diet coke and pasta for ME, not to be snotty but because any crisis of any kind makes me desperate for a diet coke. And it served me right when later I ate a bite of chicken and couldn’t stop gagging but I forgot the pasta had chicken in it and I don’t eat meat and it was chewy in a gross way.
I never act all over the top like this. They were stunned into compliance and I quite enjoyed that when I wasn’t gagging or despairing over how I’d clearly ruined every last one of them and it was such a shame because they were really cute and otherwise wonderful the day before their Total Ruination.
We got back to the house and I told them that while they were waiting for dinner, they could go fill up bags with extra possessions from their rooms and we would give it away because CLEARLY IF YOU’RE THROWING MONEY, YOU HAVE TOO MANY THINGS. And that made total sense to me, and not to them, but they didn’t say so. They just filled the bags. Silently, and with big eyes.
By bedtime, we had a mostly silent but not quite so uncomfortable sort of understanding. I was being affectionate, as usual, and trying to make my voice sound normal, and they were clearly scared to pieces of me anyway and went to bed quickly and they all stayed there. Which never happens.
I talked to Mike, who was at an airport somewhere. “You need to come home and totally, you know, reinforce a message. I mean. This is BAD. And you need to come up with your own consequences and talk to them and help me FIX THIS…” and then I told him ALL of the things I’d done and said and enforced and taken away and he said, “I think maybe you already got this one handled.” In a tone that said, “I can’t do anything MORE because you already did it all and went all crazy and overreacted like you’d found them on the basketball court, naked, smoking crack.”
And that was a justified sentiment.
It’s just that they’re just really wonderful and I don’t want to screw them up and have them all grow up a little and then look at me and one day say, “You are not good enough to be my mom. I see that now. Kim-16yr was right. And I, too, am just not interested.”
And that’s not realistic. I know that. But it’s still a very real fear that is in there, somewhere deep inside where the creepy voice lives.
Tomorrow is Friday. And… I don’t know.
Willie, stay out of the news, please. I don’t know what else you could do, but I don’t want to find out, either.
I’m one of those legalistic, irritating people who would prefer that ALL people on board EVERY SINGLE FLIGHT stop what they’re doing and listen to the flight attendant’s required safety talk. Every single time.
Sure. We all know it already. But still. Everyone should just listen and pay attention every single time because that is the right thing to do. In the event of disaster, wouldn’t we all be a lot more confident in our fellow passengers if we’d known everyone had, you know, cared about the safety procedures or at least pretended to care?
I refuse to give details on this, and am intentionally going for REAL VAGUE and you are WELCOME for that. My vagueness is a special little gift from me to you.
There is one other time – not on an aircraft – that EVERY SINGLE TIME you should read all the written materials no matter how much you think you know and you couldn’t possibly forget THAT little ohmygoshsocrucialand important detail and pshaaw! Don’t be silly I know what to do and where all the emergency exits are and what to do with the dangling yellow oxygen mask…?
And that time – the time where you legalistically read every single phrase on the printed materials ANYWAY?
That is any time you might find yourself with some piping hot wax. Preferably, BEFORE the wax is hot.
Failure to heed this warning could easily lead to screaming chaotically for a dangling yellow oxygen mask and wishing in vain that you were seated in an emergency exit row, and oh yeah, THERE IS NONE.
Or, if you’re like me, you’ll hold your breath until you almost pass out and then laugh uncontrollably at your own stupidity.
Because that works, too, and by this point there really aren’t any other more attractive options.
Not only did Seth-4yr request something that I COOK…. but… did y’all miss this…? Big Deal. BIG deal. Michele requested my recipe for cous cous.
Y’all. That sort of thing does not happen! I mean, to ME. To y’all, yes of course.
Toasted Pine Nut Cous Cous*:
saute extra pine nuts in olive oil. remove them. (Don’t burn them like I do because pine nuts are expensive and I prefer to burn only cheap ingredients whenever possible.)
It’s $2. And LOVELY. Do whatever the directions say, but use chicken or veggie broth instead of water. And is ‘couscous’ one word, like on the box? I had no idea. I thought it was 2. Clearly. Anyway. It’s better with extra pine nuts, sauteed asparagus (yum), diced roma tomatoes and onions. Because I never met an onion I didn’t like. Seth-4yr just likes it plain, but that’s fine. More asparagus for me.
And yes, I know it’s RIDICULOUS to say, “hey someone asked for a recipe,” and then show a photo of a box. But in case you haven’t noticed, I kinda AM ridiculous, and it’s not like I have “From the Kitchen of Kelsey Kilgore” cards stashed around here anyway. But I suppose it’s like someone saying, “hey – love that beefy pasta thing you do,” and then me saying, “why thanks! here’s the recipe:”
Except no one would ever say “Hey, love that beefy pasta thing you do,” because I can ruin Hamburger Helper with the GREATEST of ease. Oh yes I can. I think I usually do something that makes a frothy white nastiness that might be curdled something or other. Yum, huh? Yeah. My kids don’t ask for that one.
But the couscous is really good.
In other recipe news, Geekwif gave me her black bean lasagna recipe and I made it for Mother’s Day and it was SOOOO good. (And if you ask her, I bet she won’t email you a photo of a box.)
*there’s gluten in this, Michele, since it’s wheat.
Seth-4yr, in all seriousness: “Why you never make me cous cous anymore?”
This can be interpreted as the first direct request – by anyone – for me to cook anything in…. years, possibly. So I made the kid toasted pine nut cous cous for lunch.
And he liked it.
And we are both very happy.
When I met Mike, he had a darling brown eyed little girl. (He still does.) And he suggested the three of us go to McDonald’s. And since we’d married right after we said, “hello, my name is so and so” we were probably already married by this point and he couldn’t do much about it when I turned up my nose at the idea of McDonald’s and said, “I’d rather not sit on plastic seats.”
Oh yes, I really did. Because I am a recovering SNOT. (And I’m also cold natured and I don’t want to make lame excuses, but that is a factor with plastic seats.)
Four kids and 14 years changes a lot. I’m still a recovering snot — it doesn’t change that. But today Seth-4yr and I went to McDonald’s. Because he wanted to. And we sat on plastic booth seats and it was totally worth it. We flicked a wadded up straw wrapper back and forth across the table and Seth-4yr came up with an intricate point system that I couldn’t keep straight. (If it hits the empty chocolate milk bottle BEFORE it goes past the napkin then you do or do NOT, i can’t remember, get a point for that. And on and on.)
Seth-4yr was experimenting with the phrase, “by the way.” He told me about the details of preschool, about what was happening in the play area to his right, about whatever came to mind, and it was all prefaced with a “by the way.” Somewhere after the tenth “by the way,” two moms and two toddler girls came and sat in the booth behind me. The mothers were fairly stylish, with long, glossy straight hair that I will never have even on a good day. (And that’s okay.) They had that look on their faces that said they were desperate for adult conversation. It’s a look I know well.
One little brown eyed girl threw a fit that is still echoing through my head. It was a good one. Her mom pretty much ignored it and then the little girl stopped crying, leaned over the top of the booth and started running her little cold hands through my hair. I turned and smiled at her and she smiled back.
She looked like Kim-16yr had at that age. And because things haven’t gone well with my own cute little brown eyed girl, and because I’m an emotional sap, it just got to me. I don’t normally sign up for the random pawing, even by cute kids.
She was probably used to her mom’s silky straight hair and so her hands kept getting stuck in my tangled thick tumbleweed hair. And she’d laugh and pull them free, not always gently, and start over. Or take a french fry break. And then the cold baby hands would return, but with a little more salt and grease than before. If her mom noticed, she never let on. She was probably thrilled her child was quiet and she could talk to her friend.
Seth-4yr watched all of this while we played Straw Wrapper Soccer and finally decided he wasn’t okay with sharing. “By the way, I’m cold. Will you hold me?”
“I’d love to. It’s the seats. They make me cold, too.”
He came over and finished his lunch in my lap, eyeing my little stylist from time to time. And when the girl’s mom told her she could go play, Seth-4yr turned to me, smiled in the way that he does that makes all his dimples show at once – and he said, “by the way, I really really love you.”
It was a sweet, sappy, unexpected, and by the way, wonderful little lunch date. On plastic seats.
Life is good.
So I was stressed. I think that picture may have been painted a little too clearly and er, sorry. Wasn’t that fun to read? The awful part is that AFTER i wrote all that? It all got worse. I mean, WAY.
Kim-16yr was here, and we really (optimistically, crazily, whatever) expected it all to go well. But it pretty much didn’t. I won’t get into it all. Still sorting it out. She’s found me to be extremely lacking in perceived mothering abilities, once again, and simply saying, “eh. Too bad. I’m actually a better mom than you’re giving me credit for, and I’m WILLING AND WANTING TO BE YOURS ” is not enough. As usual.
So. Kim-16yr and Mike left today and I went about the very serious business of breathing. De-stressing. Living. Relaxing.
This involved killing it at the gym. The free weights and machines and big inflatable balls and treadmills all cheered when I left. I had exhausted them, and they were glad to see me leave. (And I really, really hurt but it was worth it).
Then? Plucking eyebrows. I like the productive little pricks of pain, I admit it.
Then I cleaned. Even though the housekeeper came yesterday and did a great job, but still. When you need to clean, you need to clean. And the cat is still mad over the whole Nuh-UH, Larry is NOT MY BABY thing and he takes it out on the laundry room wall a couple of times a day. Which I clean. A couple of times a day. But today? Today I cleaned and then scrubbed the wall and floor with an unpeeled orange in each hand. Cats are not supposed to like oranges and this should make him stay away. Of course, I do not like oranges either, which is why we don’t have orange scented cleaners which probably would have been a whole lot easier.
So I’m on the floor, scrubbing with oranges and the cat has the nerve to come watch me. So we had a chat. Eye to eye. Since I was there. On the floor.The cat might have gotten what was left of my parenting energy/angst that I didn’t use up on Kim-16yr. But he had it coming, what with the Misbehavior With the Wall, a la Yellow. Because. Gross. Really. We discussed the rules of the house. I calmly told him there were only 3, that every member of the house has to adhere to them, and even if he was the cat, he was violating at least 2 of them and that was unacceptable.
After this mothering of the cat/cleaning of the wall, I had a lingering, close encounter with antibacterial soap and I drank a lukewarm diet coke and sat outside with Seth-4yr and his bubble blowing machine.
Doesn’t it sound like a relaxing haven over here..?! What 16 yr old girl wouldn’t love to live here? With a mom who relaxes like this, life has to be sweet, right?!
My sister and I do this thing where, when we’re physically hurt, we hold our breath. Not just kinda hurt, but REALLY in pain…? Then there’s the silent breath holding. With eye-bulging action, usually. When we were growing up, if there was a loud sound and then yelling, it was all good and someone was just being dramatic. But if there was a loud sound and then silence? Run and assist. It is needed.
Ethan-10yr is the same way. As a baby he’d do this, and I would snap him out of it by taking a huge breath and blowing it all out right in his face really fast. And it would startle him into breathing. And glaring at me. Because nobody likes that. One time in the last year or so he was in pain and holding his breath and I did it – the Giant Therapeutic Exhale In The Face – and he sputtered and dried his eyes and glared and then laughed and was so shocked he didn’t know how to react.
But he started to breathe and that’s all that mattered.
I have a similar thing I do when I’m stressed. I wish I didn’t. It’s as bad as not breathing and can go on much longer. When I get really stressed, my jaw freaks out and TMJ gets all sore and then I can’t chew so eating gets difficult. And then my back gets really tense until it hurts to breathe. Even though, yaknow, I AM breathing and that’s good. And then? With the lack of food I’ll lose a few pounds (miserable way to lose weight, don’t try this at home) and get kinda cranky from all the HERE, BODY, LET’S JUST GIVE YOU ALL THE STRESS AND THAT WAY I CAN KEEP GOING WITH THE LITTLE FAKE SMILE UNDISTURBED BECAUSE THAT IS REAL IMPORTANT FOR SOME REASON THAT I HAVE NOW FORGOTTEN business.
Do y’all do this, too? Sometimes I think God is saying, “HELLO? Would you QUIT that already?” And then blow a giant puff of air in my face to shock me out of it but I won’t let go anyway. Am stubborn like that.
I’m almost done. I’m almost ready to breathe. Air will be good. Tension melting away from my back muscles and my jaw will both be good. Food. Again, good.
(And… happy Monday, y’all. Geez.)
I dreamed I got a large-ish tattoo on right butt area. As if I’d ever tattoo my butt. Hello? Subconscious? What were you thinking? But it gets worse.
It was the word “janitor” in lower case letters (in an elementary school kid handwriting style font) – and the outline of a big fish, twisting its body as if it were jumping in the air. or gasping, after having been caught. The whole thing was the size of my hand.
i’m not trying to make sense of this. i refuse.
Today there’s church, three baseball games, and a trip to the airport with my mother. so of course i’m in bed writing about oversized tattoos that i thankfully do not have, now that I’m awake. “janitor” was written in the same kind of print my grandmother’s bible had – not the font – the size. Large Print Text for the vision-impaired. Like a butt needs that. Ah! It was probably a reaction to the fine-print tattoo on this guy (one I ended up plastered against in a Petsmart in a much too personal way.) Well thanks for getting right on that issue, subconscious. That was 2 1/2 yrs ago.
Am good with time management like that. Moving along.
The other day Caden-6yr told me he had made a mistake at school. He didn’t use those words. But his face indicated he knew he had made a mistake at school. He said, “I told my class why you don’t let me get ice cream from the ice cream truck. And they LAUGHED.”
I was driving and banged my nose on the steering wheel. Because I laughed at him, too. And I have a depth perception issue. “Ooooh. Sorry. But I bet some of your friends’ moms won’t let them get ice cream either, because the driver could be a bad guy and scoop you into the ice cream truck and be gone real fast and they don’t want that to happen and they’re all overprotective mommies, too, right?”
“No. I asked. No one else’s mother is like that.”
“Oh. Well. Don’t tell them that thing I do with the hair dryer either. That’s not normal.”
“It is for me, not for them.”
(I’m chronically cold and a few times a day I spend quality time with the hair dryer and dry already dry hair – follicle damage – I know! – and stick it up my shirt and whatever, it works for a little while.)
“So would it embarrass you if I told them?” Caden-6yr had a little half smile going on.
“Gosh, no. It would embarrass YOU. That’s why I’m telling you.”
“OH. YES. THANK YOU. Why didn’t you tell me that you’re the only mom who won’t let me get ice cream from the ice cream truck because THAT embarrassed me.”
“I did not poll the other mommies and know that I was the only mean, overprotective mommy who is suspicious of ice cream trucks.”
There was a long pause from the backseat.
And then he said, “Well. We shoulda known.”
I need to plan the summer. Usually, it’s already done. Kidlets are signed up and enrolled and I have my calendar full and color coded with various activities.
It’s not done. It’s hot, it’s shorts and bikini weather here in Texas, and still… the summer is not yet planned.
Worse? I don’t even know when school is out. I was way clear on this all important date, and then the school changed their minds about that date and the new date… well, I haven’t met it, much less shaken its hand and gotten to know it and written it on the calendar on the laundry room wall. My stuff can go on the calendar in my phone – but all the Kidlet Stuff goes on the Calendar on the Laundry Room Wall. And that way whenever someone asks me something I do not know the answer to, I can shrug and say, “go check the calendar.” It’s a beautiful thing.
Unless the calendar has been neglected. As mine has. And then I CAN shrug and say, “go check the calendar,” but it’s more mean than helpful. So I try not to.
And I am definitely a summer planner. If there are consecutive endless weeks without structure, I go nuts. If it’s me, the endless laundry, and “can we pleeeease watch Thomas and Jerry?” (yes, it’s Thomas, not Tom around here. don’t ask me why) and “how about Phineas and Ferve? Dad lets us!” (yes, it’s Ferve around here, don’t ask me why, my kids talk funny and i like it) then oh my gosh we need to get out of the house.
Usually there’s art classes. And swimming lessons. And sports of some sort. But last year swimming was horrendous and Ethan-10yr almost died by jumping off the high dive straight to the edge of the pool and came WAY TOO CLOSE and I had a very calm-voiced, crazy-eyed glare talk with the People Who Should Have Been More Responsible Than That With My BABY. And then I used the same voice on Ethan-10yr as soon as I hugged him and cried all over him. And then we never went back. I had told the Swim People that would be the case, in my eerie, creepy, confrontational super-calm voice. And I think they were way relieved.
So. Need new pool. One without a high dive, because I can’t handle it yet. Need to check the gym. No idea if there’s a high dive there, have never looked. In all the years we’ve been members, I have tried not to get familiar or comfortable with the gym pool because if I do, the kids will expect me to take them. And ugh. I’d rather be selfish and not. (Am awesome mom, huh?) Or that’s BEEN the case. Am ready to get over that now, and not sure why. This could be the year we go – and go a lot if I really can’t stand the obnoxious Phineas and Ferve. My kids could get real excited about this if I ever actually tell them, follow through, and actually GO.
Mike is so great that whenever the kids bring home birthday invitations and I go all, “ACK! Social situation, pleeeeease don’t make me go!” he always takes the kid if at all possible. Isn’t that great? So. The kids have gone to lots of parties at this pool. This pool I have never even had to see thanks, Mike.
So. I think the point of this was to own up to not planning a summer so I would guilt myself into planning a summer and acquiring art, sports, swimming schedules from appropriate sources and then write it all on the calendar like I usually do. And if that was the point of this, then I am even more boring than I thought. (And I generally write about stalking cats that are not mine, extra butts, and discussing lip gloss addictions with God, so I’m REAL clear on not being that exciting already. But hello to the new low.)
Okay. I was going to end it there, but you know what? The real deal with not yet planning this summer I haven’t even mentioned and you probably don’t possibly care about this at all and if you did, you were over it way on up the page before this, so this is just for me. Feel no obligation. The thought of this summer WIGS ME OUT. I don’t know if it’ll be 3 active boys or if it’ll be 3 active boys and 1 VERY unpredictable Kim-16yr, home for the first time to stay in more than 4 years. And if so, what would that look like? And how do you plan for that? And will a few scheduled activities help or worsen, like, everything? And how long is summer? Who knows, without knowing the end and start dates for school next year? Can I even do this? Maybe not. It’s probably time to try it whether we think it’ll work out or not, and just SEE, but just how many weeks are in summer and do I hafta and are we really sure I’m the mom here, now, THIS summer? I’d like a plan B. Just to have.
Yeah. Well, okay then. That’s what all that was really about.