Wanted: New Fairy, Wings A Plus. No Smokers.

It’s been a while.

The last tooth I lost was a failed root canal in an upper molar. The tooth came out in pieces and I would have been far too embarrassed to offer it up for coinage. Plus, the nitrous oxide impaired my sequencing ability and more likely I would have mailed the tooth to the insurance company and put the the new policy notice under my pillow.

But other than that, my teeth are pretty well staying put. ::find wood. knock aggressively::

I miss the Tooth Fairy. I miss that magical exchange of useless stuff for a quarter. (Yes, that was when a quarter actually bought a snickers bar. And there were dinosaurs. Shut up.)

But since the Tooth Fairy has no need to visit me at the moment I’ve decided that she’ll forgive me if I search for someone new to sprinkle the dust around for a while.

So here are some of the candidates:

1. The Cat Hair Fairy – comes in the night and replaces the cat hair with tickets to touring broadway shows. I would gladly give a pound of Nimbus fur in exchange for prime seating at a showing of “Spamalot.”

2. The Wayward Sock Fairy – when the family is otherwise occupied eating dinner, the Wayward Sock Fairy sneaks into the laundry room and replaces the socks without mates with retro tea towels.

3. The Lidless Tupperware Fairy – this saucy minx sneaks into the home while the family is out taking the car for its once-a-decade oil change and whisks away all mateless plastic containers and replaces them with classic hub caps.

4. The Lifeless Houseplant Fairy – This handy sprite takes away the dead husk of the maidenhair fern and swaps it for collectable Elvis plates. Dead ficus trees are exchanged for paintings of the King on black velvet.

5. The Abandoned Jar of Mystery Condiment Fairy – when you and your family are watching the dvd that was due yesterday, this fairy silently steals into the refrigerator and replaces nearly empty jars of relish, salad dressing, calamata olives and that weird glass jar with the lid that’s permacrudded on with fresh bottles of maraschino cherries and/or pearl onions.

So I think a Craigslist ad is in order, don’t you?

Do you think I should ask for references?

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Mothers Unite!

AP Washington DC – They say that an oppressed group who organizes is a dangerous thing. Don’t ask us who “they” are. Surely somebody sometime said something like that. And today a portion of the population that has never taken to the streets, took to the streets.

Moms.

Exhausted by their long hours, frustrated with a world that tells them they’re doing it wrong no matter what they do, tired of the blame foisted on them for basically whatever choice they’ve made no matter what the circumstance, moms have finally had enough.

Sylvia J. from Cleveland, Ohio had this to say. “When I heard about the march, I knew I had to be here. If I have to watch one more talk show that tells me that I sh0uld be working when I’m staying home, or staying home when I’m working, I’m gonna take a match to the Fisher Price farm and those helmet-haired armless mutants are gonna burn.”

Organizers say that this is both a pressure release valve and a way to express feelings that often go unheard in the media at large. Caught between June Cleaver, Claire Huxtable and that chick from that gritty drama that everyone said they watched but never really did, moms are fed up with unrealistic role-models and limited wardrobe choices.

There were signs everywhere: being carried, strapped to strollers, taped to the family dog or the family teenager, wedged into swanky baby-carriers, or occasionally duct-taped to an unsuspecting Hare Krishna.

The sentiments were both deep and powerful.

 

It was a day of solidarity and self-expression. Mothers of every walk of life got together to tell the world what they’re really thinking and feeling.

One mother shouted through a bullhorn to encourage a group of moms linking arms to fight forced detention in turquoise minivans: “Give us your tired (because they’re not allowed to sleep), your poor (because the teenagers took your last twenty), your huddled masses yearning to be free (from watching one more goddamned episode of Dora the Explorer)!”

It was a show of strength seldom seen in Washington these days.

But what else would you expect from moms?

 

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Finally!

People who know me, in addition to giving me chocolate to prevent me from turning on them like a crazed wildabeest, know that I like to have tools. I like instructions. I like how-to’s. If there’s something that tells me how to insert tab A into slot B and end up with a six piece dining set, I’m a happy camper.

But parenting how-to’s…

They’re just not for me.

Having read through attachment parenting, free range parenting, helicopter parenting, oil and vinegar parenting, which-credit-card-hasn’t-been-cancelled-yet parenting and I-TOLD-you-you-could-get-pregnant-that-way parenting, I’ve finally decided to stop looking outside for what I need and just do it myself.

So In Pursuit of Martha Points is proud to present:

Finally! The all-in-one go-to guide for EVERYTHING that you need to make sure that your child ends up in the emergency room less than they end up in the principal’s office. Your source for red flags to warn you if the cheese-experiment in the fridge has gone toxic, and your reference for everything you need to know about decreasing the likelihood that anyone will think that little kitchen fire was bad enough to notify CPS.

It is the guide you’ve been looking for.

Here’s what we have for you:

Chapter 1: Babies!  More than the Hot New Accessory.
Chapter 2: The Toddler – It’s Ok, Don’t Call the Priest.
Chapter 3:  Your Pre-Maternity Body. Yes it’s gone for good, get over it.
Chapter 4: Potty Training – The Group Sport.
Chapter 5: Kids, Pets and Other Non-Flammables.
Chapter 6: School Daze, or, 8 Treatments for Nose Bleeds
Chapter 7: Vodka, why wait for noon?
Chapter 8: Your Handy Self, or How to Build the Parthenon out of Marshmallows and Hair Gel in 9 Minutes.
Chapter 9:  Teens. See Chapter 7.
Chapter 10: Creative Discipline – Groundings, Head-Shavings and Musical Theater
Chapter 11:  10 Words to Avoid When Talking to Law Enforcement
Chapter 12:  College. Or, Abject Poverty Can Be Fun!

Is that not all the most imperative information all in one place?

BUT WAIT! THERE’S  MORE!

Order your copy of Chaos Parenting now and we’ll send you our über-chic first aid kit! Complete with the newest in I-Can-Set-That-Bone-Myself Technology and designer bandages with matching sutures! Don’t duct-tape that baby into the stroller without it!

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Off With His Head

Off with his head!

Off with her head!

I am totally gender neutral on the issue of beheading.

It is entirely possible that the recent weeks of writing, posting, crafting, networking, foruming (that is SO a word, goddamnit!) (AND GODDAMNIT IS ALSO SO A WORD!!) (OFF WITH WORDPRESS’ HEAD!) and other worky-family-cat-shedding-stuff I am a wee bit edgy. And as a result of being a wee bit edgy it is a possibility that I am a bit more prone to snappishness than is typical.

Cause typically I am so not snappish and I can endure pretty much anything anyone throws at me while offering them pastel colored macaroons and tea in bone china cups.

(Shut UP you people who have known me for more than eight seconds! There could be NEW people here! I HAVE AN AXE YOU KNOW!)

But lately people have just been working so damned hard to work me up and I’m tired of it and I’ve got that big spinny rock thing going and I am sharpening up this battleaxe. And I DON’T mean my mother-in-law. (Hee! Hi R.!)

To whit:

1. People, who shall remain NAMELESS but who are PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN THIS HOUSE WHO CANNOT YET DRINK, thinking that dried toothpaste is a new non-porous finish on sink basins offered from Home Depot.

2. People who don’t understand that I don’t have a bloody chip in my head that transmits email information instantaneously. GIVE ME A FEW MINUTES, CRAZY CRAIGS LIST GUY!

3. People, who I swear to heaven have nothing between their ears but Cheeto crumbs, who think when I say, “Close the door so the cats don’t get out,” that I am really saying, “Whatever you do, make sure the door stays wide open so our cats can hit that target accurately at 55 miles an hour because it’s been AGES since I crawled through my neighbor’s hydrangea!”

And finally…

4. People who design women’s clothes who think that body proportions should modeled after Androgyny Pat and/or Jabba the Hutt and/or a fire hydrant.

I need all of you people to line up here so I can walk back and forth in front of you menacingly with this boomstick o’ slicing and dicing here in my hand.

I’m not kidding here.

I’m a woman functioning on little sleep, a jumbo mocha and a few recently banned preservatives.

I could swing for no reason.

Try me.

Mention baconnaise.

Ok, that’s totally a reason.

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So, ok, this motherhood thing…

So about this motherhood thing.

Do you realize that we do not get the tools we need?

No one prepares us.

No one gives us a manual.

No one considers our  coping strategies or how that will contribute to our longevity.

This is a crappy return-on-investment protocol. There are husbands and/or pool boys that expect to get YEARS of wear out of us.

We start out like this:

Then in a few short years we are this:

No. This won’t do at all. I don’t care for myself in this state. I need something better.

I need a plan.

I need a…philosophy.

So I did some philosophy shopping.

Or, philososhopping, if you will.

I rejected a few. Sheenism was too manic. Pradaism too expensive, as was the Church of Choo and Blahnik. I briefly considered Gleeing, but I don’t have the wardrobe nor the falsetto. So I settled on a classic:

Yes. This will work. This is what I need.

Grounding.

Centering.

Letting the stresses of the day glide off me like spring rain.

Yep. Check that out.

Spring rain, baby. Spring rain.

Ok, yes well, even the gentlest spring rain can pelt you on occasion. I may feel those drops just a little.

But only a little.

Ohhhhmmmmmm.

So, ok, showers can turn into squalls occasionally.

I’ll just breathe through it.

Yes. Breathe. Rain. Breathe. Rain.

I will spring the crap out of this rain.

SPRING, GODDAMNIT.

ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME YOU $%@&ING RAIN????

Aaaaaannnnd….we’re back to square one.

It’s ok.

I’m nothing if not flexible.

If that didn’t work, we’ll just try something new.

I’ve found just the thing.

Aaahhhh….perfect.

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More Sequins!

In my head, my life is a musical.

Something a few notches south of  Gentleman Prefer Blondes.

Lots of dance.

Lots of heels.

There is a kick ass horn section.

SO much of my life is more interesting if I imagine it choreographed and costumed.

For instance, mopping my offensively annoying dark-stained hardwood floor is much more interesting if I also happen to be in a spotlight singing “La Vie Boheme” from Rent.

Plus, I can stand on one of the tables!

Scrubbing the shower tile feels much less pedestrian if I imagine myself on stage doing the “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago.

Added bonus: I can contemplate murder at the same time! It’s totally built into the song, although no one actually kills a family member for soap scum.

And to avoid boredom when I’m cooking, in my head I’m singing that saucy little title number from Cabaret.

There are simply not enough excuses in this world to wear false eyelashes you could snare a guinea fowl in.

And fishnet stockings, either.

So the next time the drudgery of the mundane is getting you down, put yourself in a beaded strapless and imagine a 12 piece orchestra backing you up. And don’t limit yourself to around-the-house tedium. Nothing spices up a marketing meeting like fan kicks and a Vegas headdress.

Umm…in your head I mean. Don’t do it for reals.

It confuses the salespeople.

Don’t ask.

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In Word and Deed

So I’m a writer now?

When did it happen?

When I started the blog?

The first time I got paid?

Was it buying the laptop for the express purpose of being able to write wherever and whenever I needed to?

Was it when I put the “writing services” tab on my business website?

Was it the first time I got a swell of reaction for the words I’d sequenced and tended. Birthing prose that held within it the power to evoke and emote.

It’s hard to know.

I’ve been writing my whole life, but somewhere in the last year being someone who writes turn into being a writer and it was such a subtle transition that I missed it when it happened.

In becoming a writer I discovered a community – a shared need to take formless internal compulsions and match then with their soulmated word then escort them to a party in their honor.

But with being a writer also comes that deeply embedded but painfully sharp worry over the day when words are necessary but elusive. Anxiety over that time when you have commit your words to someone and they don’t come when you call them.

It will happen. Has happened at times already but with little consequence.

But when I say that writing is what I do, when I have broadcast my ability and my intent, there comes with it the fear that a day may come when I don’t know how deliver what I’ve promised.

When that day comes, I hope that I will face it the same way I’ve faced other commitments that I’ve needed to meet if I happened to be in a state of inspirationless fatigue. Deep breath, dig in…and just do.

Because if you are a writer you write. Just like when you are a mom you parent. Or when you are a speech therapist you treat. If it is what I am then it is what I do.

And there, my friends, is joy.

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More Things I do Wrong

I run.

And by “I run” I mean, a couple times a week I drag my lard-butt to a treadmill where I coerce myself into increasing the speed of the belt until I  have no choice but to move my feet quickly for a half an hour and then spend the next nine days whining.

I should make t-shirts about my awesome process.

The year I did my first triathlon, a friend of mine invited me to a running clinic. This was a mistake. This put me and the aforementioned lard-butt in a room full of lean, muscled, sinewy people who had on the performance running gear they’d sold a parent for.

Fish. Water. Out of.

One of the fun activities at this running clinic was a run pattern analysis. A lean, muscled,  sinewy physical therapist who’d clearly drunk the endorphin kool-aid applied black strips of tape to the backs of my shoes and then put me on a treadmill with a special video camera behind me.

Running. On a treadmill. With a video camera pointed at my ass.

This is the sort of thing I  have night terrors about where I wake in a cold sweat then scurry to the kitchen to comfort myself with stale Chips-Ahoy and cooking sherry.

So I start to run on the treadmill while the scrawny PT assures me that he is videotaping my FEET not my rear.

This man liiieeeeeed. He so lied. I saw the tape. My ass was in it. There was no way it COULDN’T be in it seeing as how it gets its own weather systems. But that’s actually beside the point.

As we watched the tape, he made some interesting observations.

Here is a typical runner’s gait:

Those arrows represent a smooth, even, forward swing of the lower leg to plant the foot for the next step. This graceful movement is honed through tens of thousands of years of evolutionary biology designed to ensure that we are not some fangy-toothed carnivore’s amuse bouche.

Here is how I run:

What the #&$% is my right leg doing?

Or, as the tactful 98-pound PT put it: “You have some irregularities in the advancement of your right foot.”

Irregularities?? For god’s sake, Dan Brown novels are more straightforward than how that foot moves.

So it’s official then: Had I been alive in caveman times I would NOT have died at 27 from a ruptured appendix, as I would have long since been on a saber-toothed tiger’s hors d’oeuvres platter.

And today, as I played mind games with myself to maintain a better than 5-mile-an-hour pace on the treadmill, I noticed the reflection of my legs on the shiny display panel.

Truthfully, I don’t know how the hell I just don’t keep falling down.

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Completely Unrelated

This does not in ANYWAY prove Cheryl’s point.

This should NOT be construed as a concession of any kind.

But for any of you who noticed the pretty tulip pictures from Saturday?

This is what they look like now.

That is not decay.

It is not gravity.

A small, localized tulip shredding tornado did not sweep through the house.

Havoc, Thy Name is Topaz.

She has a serious problem.

She’s a tulip tweaker.

She can’t help herself.

It’s that or she’s obsessively compulsively playing that petal-picking game. You know “I’ll bite his ear off, I’ll puncture an eyeball. I’ll bite his ear off, I’ll puncture an eyeball.”

Topaz doesn’t like Nimbus, remember.

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Like Cats and Dogs

In today’s installment of the “Keeping Lori from Losing her Ever-loving Mind” series, I am thrilled to host my very dear friend Cheryl from Mommy Pants. Cheryl and I shared an intimate coat moment when she came up this way for Napa In January, and trust me when I say I wouldn’t have worn just anyone’s coat naked.

Lori is away doing important things, like helping kids like mine learn how to talk.

And I want to thank her. Because what she’s doing will help change the lives of children and their families.

So she’s asked me over here today to, you know, fill this space. Thing is, I’m not all that funny and also I don’t know how to draw pictures and even if I did I could never approach her level of awesomeness.

However.

Since she DID leave me in charge, I’m going to take this opportunity confess something.

She has a major flaw. The kind we all refer to as a deal-breaker.

You know what I’m talking about, right? I mean, the kind when you really, really like someone, but it takes super-human effort to overlook

And so I have tried to be a bigger person. I have. To see past this issue and rise above.

But, since she’s left me alone over here, I’m finally going to do admit it.

The truth is, I hate cats. Bless their hearts.

I do.

They make my eyes swell, water and itch.

They make my nose swell, water and itch.

Also, they’re not needy. I NEED needy.

I want to be greeted with enthusiasm when I walk in the door. Or stand up. Or breathe.

I want the big bark when someone comes to the door. I want my kids to dress them up or lie on them or hug them.

Do cats do that? No they don’t. They sit wherever they want and stare at you. They hide under beds when a human enters the room. They poop in a box in your house.

Perhaps you remember Lori’s, um, issue with her neighbor who decorated her house for Halloween by lining her roofline with cute little pumpkins?

I suggested she catapult her cats over there and knock them off the roof.

She probably thought I was trying to help. And I was – I was trying to help her get rid of those cats! In the most subtle way possible, of course.

So I thought of another idea. Maybe I could get Nimbus and Topaz to hang with my dogs. You know, so they can learn how to be cool. And when I say cool, I mean my dogs can teach Topaz and Nimbus a few things that could make those cats a little less…awful.

Otherwise?

Halloween will come around again. And I have power tools.

Just sayin’.

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