Last night Seth-5yr barged through some double doors at the end of the hall leading to the master bedroom and scared me to pieces and in that moment, I hit ‘publish’ on that post that was really not even started. And that’s how that happened. Those double doors stay open during the day, but closed at night because the loud way in which they open gives me some time to wake up and prepare somewhat for whichever child is coming my way to complain/vomit/put cold feet into my shoulderblades all night.
Last night, it was none of those. Seth-5yr came with tears in his eyes and said, “My fote hurts.” He clutched his throat so I’d understand. A tear slid down his cheek.
A hurt fote is aided tremendously by snoring peacefully next to your mother and occasionally waking up and kissing her arm and saying, “I just YUV you so much,” and going back to sleep. So this morning I was planning to cancel my appointment with a barbell and scrap my errands and take him to the doctor. But he was fine. He scooted over closer and threw a warm arm around me and kissed my cheek and whispered, “I just YUV shotguns. Dey make tings byeed.”
And then I was wide awake. I have not sheltered this baby with all that I have within me in order to wake up to THAT.
I should point out – as much for your reference as for my own need to remind myself – that Seth-5yr does not watch shows with guns. He does not play games with guns. Only this year have the boys been allowed to have Nerf guns, and that’s because when I thought I was ready for that step a few years ago? I wasn’t. And I took them all away. Because I am just that kind of overprotective and it freaked me out when they aimed and shot each other because they are my so sweet babies and I couldn’t handle it. Now the rule is they can have Nerf guns, but they can’t shoot each other. I know! Sucked the fun right on out of the whole Nerf Gun Concept, right? It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to be that neurotically overprotective, and I take my workload seriously.
I come by those views honestly, though. I hope you’ve never sat with a therapist and a fake encouraging smile on your face while trying to coax a child to tell you all the details of why and exactly how she’ll shoot you if she gets the chance. Gently nod and smile, push away the cold fear rising up within, and say it’s important for her to “get it all out” and then admire and analyze the details in the picture she draws of the incident. Already instructed by the therapist that expressing empathy is the only helpful response, that’s what you do, even though that’s not what’s within that’s really wanting to be voiced, expressed, heard, allowed out. So… that sort of thing can MESS A MOM UP in weird ways that carry over to Nerf gun policies for 3 perfectly normal, healthy kids who do not understand what’s threatening about the sight of them shooting orange foam darts at each other. And I can’t explain it. It just is.
I discussed shotguns and blood and hunting and animals and death and the food chain with Seth-5yr this morning in as normal a voice and mood as I could manage considering I’d JUST woken up and this is a subject matter I know I’m damaged about and also, I really needed to go to the bathroom. And I think I did okay. And I think the expression of love of shotguns and the remark about blood are probably not danger signs that mean I have to start watching Dr. Phil and looking for therapists. I THINK this was probably normal little boy stuff that I don’t like and don’t understand… right?
I don’t even remember what that last post title was going to say, much less what the post was. There I was in bed with my laptop, thoroughly thrilled with a criminology quiz grade, and then posting WHO KNOWS WHAT RIVETING EYEBROW DETAILS OR WHATEVER when Seth-5yr came in a scared me to pieces. And now I’m in bed with a laptop and a darling, grumpy, half asleep little five year old.
I’ll try again tomorrow.
My mom came over to watch 2 boys while I took the 3rd to baseball practice. (That is SO nice.) She’d been here about 2 minutes when she stopped, midsentence, and noticed the Eyebrows for Christ.
“I know. They’re a mere whisper of their former selves.”
“I’ve…. I’ve never seen them like that.” I’m assuming she means, even when I was born. Or maybe not. I was less than 5 1/2 pounds, and I really hope my eyebrows were smaller then than they are now. But you never know. They certainly look petite to me. “Look, Mom. On the left eyebrow, there’s this unfortunate Vanilla Ice Effect where there’s a totally bald spot. Remember how he used to have lines shaved into his left eyebrow?”
I didn’t really think she WOULD know. But she did. I should never underestimate my mother’s knowledge of such things.
“Yes,” she said looking closely. “There’s actually two of those in that eyebrow. One there, and then one over here.”
I don’t even think Vanilla Ice still has eyebrows like that. I google image searched, and the most recent looking photos show the man has wised up some and abandoned that look.
But hey, it’s fine.
Somewhere in West Texas there is a mother of four who is the unlikely candidate to singlehandedly carry on his ill-informed grooming legacy.
The perforated brow rocks on.
*JS, that Vanilla Ice pic link is JUST for you and you’re so welcome.
I just had SUCH a nice time in the comment section on the last couple of posts. Y’all are the best – and you left links to new blogs and there were old friends stopping by and it was a big time love fest. (That’s always the best part of any post -thanks!)
Baby Shower: I have enough Southern Hospitality in me to pull off one gorgeous baby shower about every 3 years. I cannot promise to behave myself in a hostessy manner if stretched beyond that. That being said, it was lovely. Lovely because my mother did the flowers and I had a caterer do the food. Except the chocolate dipped strawberries. I did those myself and they were so easy I didn’t mess them up. There were no stupid games because I hate stupid games. Not having to play stupid games is one of the perks of being a grownup. Right? I mean, when you’re a kid you have no choice. People think kids like doing stuff like that and they make you and they MEAN well, but ohmygosh. I couldn’t wait to grow up to an age where people wouldn’t make me play stupid games and sings songs with hand motions. Anyway. At 35, I’m there, so there were no stupid games.
Right before the baby shower I went to Caden-7yr’s baseball game and clapped so hard my left palm burst open and bled. Last year I did not understand baseball, even though I tried. This year, for who knows what reason, I DO understand. Which does horrible things for my intensity as a spectator and ability to clap my own flesh off. Caden-7yr can hit any ball during practice, but none in a game. It’s so frustrating for ME. Not that I matter. I think Caden-7yr is fine with this and handling it with far more maturity and calmness than I am. I just need to sit on my hands and remember to breathe and not clench my jaw.
God has called some of His people to live in many dangerous places and to spread His word under the harshest conditions. In contrast, He has only called me to live in a city without a Nordstrom, and for that I should be grateful enough never to whine.
For the last week I had a vague God-style nudge to go see someone I haven’t talked to in years. She did my eyebrows a few times a few years ago, so I called and made an appointment. Even though I usually do my own eyebrows, and really didn’t want to be terribly social. She’d forgotten about our appointment and I sat in the parking lot for 20 minutes waiting. Calling. Texting. Trying the locked door, just in case. Ignoring the workers across the street and their hey-babys.
Finally. She apologized, let me in, and I was fully blaming God for this oh-so minor inconvenience and silently swearing not to tip big even though I always do no matter what. Ten minutes later we were both in tears and she was telling me the horrors of her divorce I hadn’t known about and the unthinkably frightening acts that led up to it. We talked. We cried. We snotted. We talked about men and God and our 6 sons and all the while, she was ripping off my eyebrows and neither one of us were really giving those eyebrows even the tiniest bit of our focus. Or, if I were to talk all Holy-Roller, I would say it this way:
I have laid my eyebrows on the altar of Jesus Christ today as a sacrifice in the name of obedience to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to see a hurting friend.
This lack of eyebrows on my face, y’all? That’s not a mistake. It may look like one. Okay, it TOTALLY looks like a mistake. But it’s not. It’s MINISTRY. That’s what ministry looks like in this non-Nordstrom town, ‘kay? I wasn’t called to the mission field in China. I was called today to the Eyebrow Ripping Off Place, and so I went. Like a dumb, dumb lamb, I went.
And I emerged a better person FOR it. A better person without 80% of the pre-existing eyebrows, but hey. Let’s keep it in perspective. It’s not about ME. Apparently. Thanks, God, I GET IT. And I’m real glad that’s ALL she was waxing today. Yikes.
Endnote: I am being a BRAT. I know. But I wouldn’t take my eyebrows back in exchange for that time with this dear woman. I wouldn’t. It was a good trade. (Crying just thinking about it.) I’m really quite thankful for the brief time we had and the unlikely reconnection.
Also? God thoroughly cracks me up.
I’m taking a break from dipping strawberries in chocolate, shoving clutter in various hidden places, and stringing little pink onesies, socks, and hats across the house with tulle and pink clothespins. Cuter than it sounds.
The baby shower is tomorrow. The house is not ready. I am not ready. At least the strawberries are ready.
Caden-7yr looked around at all the pink baby things and asked, “Does Dad know about the baby shower?”
“Of course. Why?”
Mike’s been out of town.
“I just wouldn’t want him to come home and see all of this and get embarrassed.”
“Embarrassed?! Why would he be embarrassed?”
Caden-7yr gave me a look of disgust and said, “Because…? We don’t have a BABY.”
I laughed. But really… I still don’t understand. Caden-7yr is uncomfortable with all the pink baby stuff, though, and has expressed his desire for tomorrow to just be over already.
I would just like to fast forward to the part where the house looks good and my shoes are cute.
(I’d just hate to be embarrassed.)
In Real Life, if you give me some sort of compliment, I will often appear as if I didn’t hear you.
But I heard you.
It’s just that I’m busy telling myself that of course you didn’t really mean it to be complimentary, and am actually thinking hard about what you must have meant to say instead of what you really did say because it couldn’t have been what it sounded like, and I’d probably be jumping to conclusions and be terribly vain to even consider taking whatever it was at face value, and that should be avoided at all costs. Did you follow that?
It just appears as if I’m ignoring your words completely when, oddly, I’m analyzing frantically, behind the oh-so clever disguise of a blank stare.
It’s a good thing Linda did this online and spared us all of THAT. Because an online compliment can be much more easy to accept and say “thank you.” Thank you, Linda!
Linda, one of my most favorite bloggers ever from Shoes for an Imaginary Life, gave me THIS:
Isn’t it pretty?! Of course it is! This award comes with 2 significant “strings.”
1) I’m now supposed to tell you 7 random things about me now and
2) pass it on to FIFTEEN of you blogger types that are new to me.
Both of these could be problematic. Because… I thought I was being a bit more social lately on and offline, but clearly not by these standards. Also, maybe I’m not really ‘versatile.’ But that’s okay. Let’s start with the required 7 random things because gah, I can do that in my sleep. I’ll try to make it stuff I haven’t told you before, which makes it much harder and should totally get me extra credit.
seven and random…
1. I had flounder last night, and although it was good… I had an icky feeling but I couldn’t quite figure out why. And then I did. Ages ago, my sister used to listen CONSTANTLY to the Little Mermaid soundtrack. Do you see where I’m going with this yet? The little yellow and blue stripy fish was called Flounder. And I ate Ariel’s friend, Flounder. With a nutty, almond breading, to be exact. Gross. I did not sleep well. It was like having Bambi for dinner. I kept waking up and reminding myself that it was FINE. Fish is FINE to eat, do NOT slide back down the food chain over 90s era Disney, Kelsey, it is not WORTH IT. Right.
(I think this qualifies as ‘random’, no?)
2. Despite the constant gym class schedule I keep, I don’t particularly like the necessary mirrored rooms where these classes take place and will try to stand behind someone else. My laugh lines look even worse with sweat, and I’d rather not watch.
3. I don’t really believe in needing other humans too much. It puts too much pressure on flawed people to provide things they are probably incapable of offering in the first place. (God’s far more reliable.)
4. Had a minor freakout this afternoon in a parking lot when I realized there was yet another problem with asymmetry going on (the most recent other asymmetry issue being a rib). I had just wrongly ASSUMED that my ridiculous left leg would have thoroughly gotten with the program and resumed its post-injury life at the normal matching size as my right leg. I never looked and checked. I just figured. The surgery to fix the knee was a LONG time ago. Like, almost 18 months. OF COURSE the leg is recovered and not looking all stick-like and puny, right? But no. We have stick-like and puny. At Hobby Lobby today at 2 in the afternoon I was supposed to be buying baby shower supplies, and instead I was outside frantically measuring the circumference of each calf with the string from my hoodie which I did NOT first take out of my hoodie, or take my hoodie off my body, so it was terribly uncomfortable and contortionist looking, should anyone have noticed. Then I went home and did a thousand exercises just on that side until I cramped up and couldn’t walk, and then I put on my favorite baggy jeans. And realized that if I didn’t hide behind people in all those mirrored rooms, MAYBE I would have noticed this before shorts season and been able to do something about it.
But this doesn’t bother me. Really. Asymmetry is fine. Let’s make bumper stickers.
5. If you’re married and you decide not to have sex with your husband anymore, you should be sued for breach of contract. (Oh, sorry. Was that abrupt? I was going more for ‘random.’) With the exceptions necessary for any medical concerns or issues, that is ridiculously selfish behavior, and women who do this drive me nuts. I have little to no compassion for this. Whatever the issue is, it’s one worth addressing and solving. Do NOT tell me you do this, or let me overhear you say that you do this when you’re talking to your friend on your cell phone in the middle of the grocery store. I will tell you to go find your husband and get thee to bed. (Or I will give you a dirty look and leave you on the bread aisle and walk away, while praying for your neglected husband. Little to NO compassion from the judgmental Christian lady on aisle 7.)
6. The vacuum repair people are horrified at what they discovered in our vacuum. But, come on. Shouldn’t ALL vacuums be wet/dry capable? I mean, really. They’re trying to get it covered under warranty, but sternly told Mike not to let that happen again. Mike said he didn’t tell them it was me, but I don’t really believe that. I would have told them it was him. If it were. But it wasn’t. So instead, I just asked that Mike be the one to pick it up also, so I don’t actually have to get my deserved lecture face to face. All things should be industrial strength with me, and come with very long, comprehensive warranties. I’m just naturally destructive to property, but without any accompanying element of maliciousness or negativity. It’s a gift. Caden-7yr has it, too.
It’s an expensive gift.
7. I don’t actually KNOW anything about shoes, music, sports, fashion, or really much of anything else. I just know what I like, and that is more than enough for me to occasionally get very opinionated. I do know a lot about plants. I will go off on this subject and my sister will proudly say, “Aww. Look at you, gettin’ your nerd on!”
Okay – here’s my version of the 15 people to whom I’m passing on my award. Some are new to me. Some are not. Some of them may not have any idea who I am, but that’s all right. Some of them should start a blog and then claim this award in one of their first posts.
Headless Mom (my kids ate tilapia because of her and ASKED FOR MORE, no I am not kidding. And? I actually COOKED it right before that happened. Like, successfully.)
The Geekwif (We go waaaaay back, the GW and I.)
Michele (Posh Gluten Free Life)
Jan (My Mind: Lost, Strayed, or Stolen)
Heather Ivester (one of the kindest, most encouraging people you will ever find.)
Annie Joy (I love the things A.J. writes about. It makes me miss someone very much, but in a good way.)
Emily (The Sassy Lime. What else needs to be said there? The. SASSY. LIME. Awesome.)
Sarah (This Beautiful Mess. And she is. A beautiful, hilarious, wonderful mess who never gives herself enough credit for all the great things she does and is.)
AggieJenn (Reflecting Him. And she really does, of course.)
And my new category that I’m creating just because:
Those Who SHOULD Blog
Sara (because I worry about you and no, i WON’T facebook. pleeeease?)
LaLa (Sis, the blog is just sitting there, WAITING for you to write again.)
Melissa (your ministry is amazing to me, and so are you.)
Mysti (you have chickens! tell the world about your chickens, local girl!)
Chris (nursing student/mom somewhere up north, you know who you are)
Angie (yep, YOU.)
J-Mom (my mother. she really should.)
Extra category right here, exclusively for Jenn S, who is not listed above since Linda got to her first. (As she should have.)
To claim your award, write a post and include the ‘button’ at the top. Link back here so we can visit you. Tell us 7 randomish things. Pass it on to 15. Remember to tell them about it.
Remember to tell ME, as I will want to read your 7 and meet your 15!
oh gosh, SORRY. I left a rather dreary post there and forgot about it and some of you worried and really, I just got busy. (spring break, baby shower, school, etc.) If I’m ever really needing you to worry, I will spell it out. I tend to do that. Spell everything out for you whether you want to know stuff or not.
I only do that for y’all, which you may or may not appreciate very much sometimes. I do NOT necessarily tell everyone every last thing in my Real Life, and this morning is the perfect example.
This morning my housekeeper confronted me about the vacuum. My housekeeper actually has never confronted me about anything, ever, since she almost never speaks to me. Also? She’s only about 100 pounds, and it was a little bit adorable how stern she was.
“The vacuum? Eet does not work. And eet smells. Deed your boys do something bad to it?”
The vacuum had a BAD day a few weeks back, which you may remember. But it’s been working fine. It died slowly since then, but I can hardly blame it.
“Well. No, the boys did not. I did something bad to it, Maria.”
“You tell me right now what you deed to it, Mees Kelsey.”
(I love how she talks. She should really talk more.)
“Nope. I will never tell you what I did to that vacuum, Maria. It’s BAD. It was VERY bad, and I will never tell you.” But I smile, to soften the message a little.
“Well, whatever eet ees that you deed….? Eet smells terrible.” She gave me a dirty look. Which isn’t that dirty, since she’s normally so sweet.
I told her it would be fixed or replaced before she needs it again. And it will be.
And that is the difference between Real Life and Y’all. Y’all heard most of the disgusting vacuum story right away without asking and without much choice. Maria will NEVER hear the disgusting vacuum story because she’d probably quit and I’d just hate to try to replace her because I don’t think I ever could. If the house is extra messy, sometimes I leave her extra money. This makes sense, right? But, no. She just comes up with more work to do in order to try to earn the extra money, and then I feel bad that she stayed for hours longer than she normally would have. She’s a keeper, that one.
Anyway. My blogging lull, compounded with the depressing ever-present post, was poorly timed. It coincided with a delightful little undeserved award I’ll explain in the next post.
Workout Barbie came to town and invited me to lunch. I haven’t seen her or talked to her in…. 3 years? She was the first trainer I had, and the only one I ever liked. She was better as a trainer and as a friend than I ever gave her credit for back then. I didn’t realize that until lunch yesterday.
Isn’t that strange? How you can fail to see the real value in a relationship and it only becomes clearer in hindsight? And the other way around – where you see that people you thought treated you well and were good for you were actually on the toxic end?
Or maybe y’all don’t do that, because you’re better judges of such things than I am. I’ve tried to get better at this. When there’s someone really genuine and wonderful, I try to remember to say so. Too often, I haven’t, or I haven’t done it well enough.
I’ve written two posts and then hit “save draft” rather than publish them. And this one is stalling out. I have a lot in my head, and nothing is processing very well.
The natural disasters and fallout hurt to even consider. I find myself lost in thought and prayer and with tears in my eyes but I don’t want to write about it. Apart from that, it’s a busy week. I think. Kids, baseball, practices, and everything needed to pull off a baby shower next weekend. A quick visit from my dad will be nice, somewhere between now and then. School, cleaning, cooking food that strangers will eat. (that’s a much higher standard than I’m used to.) Figuring out which relationships need to change and how and if it’s even possible, and why so many are on that list all of a sudden…?
Seth-5yr is planning to marry Olivia. Well, Olivia is planning to marry him, and he does not object. I asked him if I could come to the wedding, and he said no. “It’s when we are yots older. O’Libya told me what dee wedding will be yike, and there will not be pair-wents dhere.”
“Oh. Why not?”
“Well. O’Libya told me, but… I cannot weally under’tand de way she talks.”
It made me wonder exactly how Olivia talks. And if she can understand Seth-5yr. And if she attends speech therapy classes with him and they discuss their wedding there, with the speech therapist.
Their relationship has communication issues. I suppose they all do.
*Two boys are taking naps right now. they don’t know that none of their friends on spring break have to do this. If i told them, they’d realize what a raw deal they get around here with me. But if you put a 5 and 7 yr old to nap at 1:30 and they INSTANTLY go to sleep… then they are children who NEED a nap still. Right? And how lucky is that?
*Had a s’more last night. I sorta halfheartedly bemoaned the ‘nothing sweet or chocolate-y in the house’ status and Mike jumped up and (partly due to some latent guilt issues) grabbed a BLOWTORCH and toasted the marshmallows in the kitchen.
1. i did not know we owned a blowtorch, and now I have something else to worry about as a potential threat + 3 boys = disaster scenario. It’s exhausting being this overprotective.
2. blowtorches make disgusting s’mores, fyi.
3. there’s something rather gallant about latent guilt issues that i really find convenient. gosh. this is why people guilt trip each other? not that i did that, but i totally GET WHY TO DO THAT now. watch out, i could be a monster.
*Seth-5yr had a near death experience with a small root beer from Sonic today. Seth-5yr is a tough little kid who does not like to cry. He opens his little baby mouth to talk and out comes a surprising Johnny Cash-like voice. It’s just deeper than you’d expect. Don’t let the dimples fool you, he’s TOUGH, that one. But today we discovered that if he accidentally pokes a straw through the bottom of a Sonic styrofoam cup and iced cold root beer gushes all over his lap, he will FREAK OUT. Scream, panic, CRY real tears, wail, jump up and down against the seatbelt and make thoroughly unintelligible panicked animal noises. I almost drove off the road. If someone’s going to panic in this family, let’s face it: It’s Ethan-10yr 99% of the time. The rest of us share that other 1% pretty equally.
*It shocked me to pieces to hear Seth-5yr so totally losing his grip. I threw my hoodie at him and tried not to laugh at him while I pulled into a parking lot, parked, and ran around to his side to calm him down and dry him off. He was shaking when I hugged him, and not from the ice in his shorts. Poor baby. Tough guy comes unglued over root beer, who knew?
*It’s a list. You caught me. I know, busted.
*I feel bad about saying a few posts back that I briefly thought the dog was worthless. (I can self-loathe over NOTHING, y’all.) The dog is precious and not worthless at all. He doesn’t bark, but he does get very fidgety and upset looking and he yodels if I’m way up high on a ladder. Isn’t that sweet? He’s a good dog.
*All the new interest in fish in this house has made the cat VERY happy. When we first got the cat, 10+ years ago, he adored me. He loved me so much that he didn’t want to be separated from me EVER. He’d even sit in the shower with me each morning and blink up through the drops hitting him in the eyes and get thoroughly soaked, rather than wait for me outside the shower. Pass the soap, and meow. THIS was the level of his devotion. Now he wouldn’t shower with me even if I invited a school of albacore. But he definitely appreciates me more now that I’m likely to drop bits of tilapia on the floor. Which is fine. I don’t really want to shower with a cat anyway. That was a weird time in our relationship.
*I only mention the cat because i had first mentioned the DOG, and isn’t it exhausting to constantly try not to show favoritism, and then you realize you’re guarding against favoritism not just for your kids, but for your PETS in your stupid BLOG, TOO, and then before you know it you have told the whole internet that 10 years ago you showered with your cat every morning, in the name of fairness to two animals who will never know or care anyway? Maybe favoritism is underrated.
*I better stop. There is just no telling what I’ll tell you next in the interest of pet equality, but it would probably be embarrassing.