Tag Archives: Family

Christmas Is Over, Now Get the Hell Out

Christmas has just barely passed.

There is still wrapping paper bagged up on my back porch, waiting for garbage day.  The crumbs of Santa’s cookies still cling to the cookie jar.  The scent of eggnog still hangs heavy in the air.

New Year’s Day, and its preceding Eve, have yet to pass.

But I’m done.

I have had enough eating till I bloat, enough stores and restaurants open only on wacky schedules, enough of ceding precious living room space to a tree.

And enough of people to whom I am related.

I had a vague feeling of unrest today, the last day of my in-law’s stay at my house, this festive season.

I was starting to want my house back, to not have to ask if anyone wants tea, to be able to take up a whole couch and not feel one bit bad about it.

And then came the crystallizing moment.

I’d had to pee for quite a while.  But stuff kept coming up, kids with questions, phones kept ringing, and it all conspired to keep me away from the bathroom.

Finally, it couldn’t wait.  I’d left it too long, and as my Kegel muscles were starting to cry “Foul!”, I dashed up the stairs, undoing my pants as I went.

As I reached the bathroom door, my jeans were already around my ankles.  My vision tunneled, and I focused on the toilet, already reveling in the relief.

But then, in my periphery…

was my father-in-law.  Making a cell phone call in the only place in the house a person could find privacy – my bathroom.

And he tried to act like it didn’t happen, like he’d seen nothing.

But he did.

He saw it.


Whatever you call it, he saw it.

The festive season is over.  And now I have to avoid eye contact till the next one.

Sandy’s Boy, Revisited

You might remember Sandy’s Boy.


I’ve thought about him.  A lot.


Today, someone mentioned him.


They’d been to see him.  Sandy couldn’t make it to town to pick up a prescription, asked one of the neighbors to bring it to her.


The neighbor was greeted by “No Smoking – Oxygen on Premises” signs.  And the house didn’t smell like smoke.  It didn’t smell like someone was trying to mask the smell of smoke, either.


The house wasn’t spotless.  But it wasn’t filthy.  It was someone’s Home.


The baby was clean, and alert, and smiling.  He’s only on oxygen for a bit each night.  Developmentally, he’s right where he should be, adjusted for his prematurity.


Sandy’s eyes were clear.  She’s tired.  But she seems to have her shit together.  She’s being monitored by social services.  There are weekly mandatory drug tests.


Her boy was taken away after the calls were made.  But she got him back.


And it seems like, for now, she’s determined to keep him.


(Image is Mother and Baby at Kew by david newbegin)

Pop Quiz, Heredity Edition

“Why didn’t anyone in our family go to war?”


My 5-year old asks this, apropos of nothing, as we’re cleaning his room yesterday.


“Um, actually, your great-grandparents served in World War II.  You remember Great-Grandma?  She was a cook.  And that’s where she met Great-Grandpa.”


“Do I know this Great-Grandpa?”


“Nope.  He passed away when your dad was a baby.”


“So, does that make him my an-brother?”


“Do you mean ancestor?”


“Yeah.  Hey, do we have any incestors on your side of the family?”


Did I:


A)  Try to unravel the brother/sister/ancestor/pervert knot we’ve begun?


B)  Respond with, “Well, son, you  come from a long line of fine incestors, such as your Uncle, Cousin Jake.  Remember when you were supposed to draw your family tree for school, and it came out more like a low-lying shrub?”

C)  Yell, “OOOOWEN!!!  Your son has some QUESTIONS!  GUY stuff!”?




(Image is Lonely shrub (Revegetation) by Shutterhack)

Good Mother


I really hate the term “good mother”.


It gets thrown around, casually.  It gets used by people with children, people without children, people with no interest in children. 


It bothers me, because it implies that there is a set of known standards for the job.


There aren’t.


I wish like hell there were.  If you fulfill requirements A, B, and C, you will get result X, and will thereby be considered a Good Mother.  A success.


Instead, we get to guess.  And second guess.  And guess 200 times over, into the wee hours of the morning.


You can’t even, really, base it on results.  If a kid turns out to be a productive member of society, or if he’s a drug-dealing piece of crap, it may have jack shit to do with his mother.  Could be he was a bit of a dud, right out of the gate.  Inherently flawed.  Or not.


Who gets to decide if you’re a good mother? 


The mother is usually too hard on herself.  Or too easy.  Other parents bring their own biases to the table.  Strangers don’t have all the information.  And kids haven’t been around long enough, they lack perspective.


Are good intentions enough?  How about trying to find a balance?  For a lot of people, the terms “good mother” and “martyr” are interchangeable.  (I disagree with that one.  Vehemently.  Teaching my son to expect servitude from any woman makes me ill.  Teaching my daughter to sublimate her own wishes, needs, desires makes me equally nauseous.)


I really hate the term.  People are using it to praise, and using it to pass judgement.


The problem?


I can’t come up with a better term.

Not Bad, How Was Yours?

Oh, did I ever have a post ready.


A “woe is me”, “my life is so hard”, “give me all your pity and no one gets hurt” kind of post.


You see, I spent the weekend barfing.  This was the capper to a week when my daughter spent 6 straight days expelling the contents of her stomach on a bi-daily basis.  And my husband spent an entire day on the couch, semi-conscious and delirious.


When it was my turn to be sick, there was no one to help me.  The husband’s day on the couch put him 2 days behind at work.  He’s self employed.  I like to pay my mortgage.  So he HAD to work.


I was really sick.  The low-point came when I had to drag a chair up to the stove, so I could puke into a bucket while cooking lunch for the kids.  (Charming, I know.)


Last night, I went to sleep, and had feverish dreams.


I had one that was so clear and so realistic.


In the dream, one of my kids had cancer.




My weekend wasn’t that bad.