Sex Dreams and Shit Prints

He brushes a curl out of his eye then leans down and kisses me, soft but sensual, sending electric bolts of desire through every inch of my body.  Stubble tickles my chin.  He pushes me to the bed, and I feel his weight on top of me.  We kiss again.  This time, hard and hungry. I wrap my fingers around his curly locks and pull him closer, arching my back.  Our faces are so close that our noses touch.  My eyes meet his.  Green with need, asking, begging.  I nod my consent.

He leans in a little more, takes a long, slow breath and says, “Mom.”

Wha?

“Mom,” he says again in my six year old son’s voice.

“MOM!”

No. No. No. No. No!!!!

“Mom.”  I close my eyes, envisioning him again to no avail.

“Mom.”

My blurry eyes try to make out the time.  I think it says 5:24…AM.

“What is it, baby?” I ask the dream sex interrupter.

“Have you seen the helmet that goes to my police officer?”

I want to scream, “Are you effing kidding me?  You just interrupted my sex dream with Adrian Grenier for a Lego, a tiny little centimeter sized helmet???” But he’s six, and I haven’t explained sex dreams and their importance to him, and his world revolves around Legos.

“Buddy,” I say as sweetly as my 5:24 awake self can, “It’s still night time,” because the 5 o’clock hour is still night time in this house, “Go back to bed.  Don’t turn on the lights, and don’t play with your Legos.”

“But mom..”

“No ‘but mom’.  GO!!”

I roll over, put my hand under my pillow, close my eyes, and summon the picture of my celebrity crush back to my mind.  I start to float in the softness of a sleep cloud willing the sex dream to reoccur when….BANG!  My bedroom door flies open and slams into the wall.

“Mommy.  Mommy.  Wah wah wah!!!” In nails on a chalkboard whine.

“What is it, baby?” I ask my 2 year old daughter while looking at the blurry clock again.  5:39.  Awesome.

“I’m all wet.” Oh dear God.  Please tell me this isn’t something involving a bodily function.

I reach out in the dark and pat her down.  Dry.  “You’re not wet, baby,” I say to her softly trying to keep her drama at bay.

“No, mommy, yook.  I’m all wet.  Yook.  See?”  She shoves her arm in my face.  I feel a trace of dampness on her sleeve.  Not even slightly wet.

“You’ll dry.  Come on.  Let’s get you back in bed.”  I sigh, hesitant to leave the warmth of my bed and sleepily walk up the stairs holding her hand.

We get to the top of the stairs when it hits me.

“What’s that smell,” I ask, already knowing the answer.   Then I feel it, cold and wet on the bottom of my bare foot.

I scream explicits in my head and tip toe to turn on the light avoiding getting anymore of what’s on my foot on the carpet.  The light confirms my suspicions illuminating a trail of child sized shit prints from my daughter’s room to the bathroom.

I take a deep breath, a deep cleansing breath.
I will not freak out. I will not freak out. I will not freak out.

I lift my foot into the bathroom sink and begin to scrub the shit off of it. “What happened here?” I ask my big blue eyed daughter who seems completely unhinged by the amount of shit everywhere.

“I pooped.”  Like it’s not all over the floor.

“How did it get all over the floor, baby?”  It’s not even 6:00 am.  I’m never getting back to the sex dream.

“I took my pull-up off.”  Ohmigod.  Ohmigod.  Ohmigod.  Deep breaths.  Picture a happy place.  There he is again.  He’s so so pretty, that Adrian.

I quickly assess the damage.  Said shitty pull-up sits in the middle of the floor taunting me, laughing at me, begging me to take it and toss it across the house, but I don’t have time because I still have a stream of shit prints to clean, and now with the lights on, a three year old who needs a bath.  Desperately.

I toss the child in the bathtub, filling the water with heavily scented baby wash. I run downstairs and throw on some pants, grab two towels and the carpet cleaner, and run back upstairs.  Daughter is happily singing “Let it Go” from Frozen in the bathtub.  I clean up the shit prints with a wet towel first.  Then I grab the carpet cleaner, and start to spray the prints.  “Foof,” says the empty bottle of carpet cleaner as I spray again and again.  I turn it upside down and try it that way.  “Foof,” it says again as nothing comes out.  I’m pretty sure, it’s laughing at me. I shake it.  “Foof.”

Dammit!!!!  Of all the times to run out of carpet cleaner.

By this time, the six year old is no longer pretending to be asleep in his room with the light on.  He comes out to see what’s going on, so I send him down to the laundry room to get my stain remover.  I mean, I have shit prints here, and no carpet cleaner.  I gotta do something.  He brings it to me.  I spray all of the prints, scrub the shit out of them…literally…soak the entire area in Gain scented Febreze , scrub my hands for 14 minutes, and then get my daughter out of her bath.

And we haven’t even had breakfast.

I coax my children to the kitchen, take out the Cheerios, and pour them each a bowl.  They’re happily arguing with each from across the table, so I sneak to my bathroom to brush my teeth and put on my uniform: yoga pants, sports bra, and tank top.  I make it back into the kitchen just in time to see my daughter reach up to the counter to grab the box of cereal with her slippery little hands.  Crash.  Cheerios everywhere.

Le’ sigh!

I scoop a handful from the floor and put them in her bowl. (Don’t judge.) As I’m getting the broom out to sweep up the remaining honey oats, my husband enters the room, completely oblivious to my morning struggle.  He stretches and yawns, letting out a huge groan (like he’s spent the last thirty minutes cleaning up shit prints).  Then he looks at me and says, “Can I have some coffee?”

“Get your own mother @#^&&%#@ @#^@ @#%^&* @#$$@@ ^#@#^ coffee!!!” I reply…calmly.

He looks at me like, what?  Then says, “What’s your problem?”

I answer under my breath…You’re not Adrian Grenier.

tired mom

Can I go back to bed? Please?

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Are You Smarter Than a First Grader?

First grade math…piece of cake…I got this.  Oh wait.

Please excuse me for a minute while I rant about first grade math.

As a mom/parent, my number one goal is for my kid to be better than everyone else’s.  Don’t even lie and say you don’t agree.  We aren’t allowed to say it out loud, but we want our kids to win first place.  Nobody wants to bring home the green ribbon.  What’s the green ribbon?  Exactly.

Well, as it turns out, my son hasn’t quite achieved gold medal status in math.  Not even close, and of course, being the competitive loving mother that I am, I want to help him get there.  So every day for 30 minutes after he gets home from school, we do this dance around the kitchen table called math.  And I can’t even begin to describe the amount of frustration that takes place during this dance.

Kid:  “I hate school.”

Me:  “No you don’t.  School is awesome. You love school.”

Kid: “No, I hate school.  I only like lunch and recess.”

Me:  “Don’t say ‘hate’.”

Kid:  “I really dislike school.”

And thus we dance around the table for another 20 minutes about how much he does/doesn’t hate/dislike school.  Geez!  And we still have yet to look at an actual number.

Once we finally sit down, he pretends to listen to me explain the directions.  Then I make him read the directions.  Then we look at each other like “huh?”

First grade math is not what it used to be, friends.  It’s complicated.  It involves things like ten frames, part part whole mats, number lines, number charts, etc, and all of these things are basically Greek math to me because I’ve never learned how to use any of them, and I have to sit here and try to teach my kid to learn how to use them, and it makes me want to poke my eye out with his Angry Birds pencil.  ARGH!!!

Here’s the problem.  Math has changed.  A LOT!  I learned math a completely different way than my son is learning math.  I was good at math.   It came very naturally to me.  It clicked.  I often see things in terms of numbers, and when someone needs to know what 24% of something is, I can blurt it out with limited effort.  But my son can’t, and it doesn’t click for him, and he gets really frustrated, and truthfully, I don’t really care if he is the best in math.  I just don’t want him to struggle…for anything…in anything…and all I want to do is help him.

So I went to Google.  I googled “part part whole mat” because what the eff is that?  Well, as it turns out, it’s pretty simple, and after watching 3 YouTube videos, I kind of sort of understand it.  In college, I took 12 hours of Statistics, 3 hours of Calculus, 3 hours of Trig…all upper level math classes, and I made A’s.  But I had to go to YouTube to figure out how to help my son with his first grade math. 

We worked on the whole part part mat, and I taught him how to use his number line to help him with his addition and subtraction, and when he left the table, he was smiling…a big partly toothless grin, and I felt triumphant.  I ran into my husband’s office.  We high fived.  I danced a little jig around his desk, and we all celebrated because I saw that look on my son’s face.  That “ah ha” moment.  The light bulb illuminated.

Today when he came home from school, I couldn’t wait to ask him about math and how it went, but I waited until we made it home so that my husband and I could both bask in the joy of my son’s excitement. “Hey, how was math today?”

He looked down.  No partially toothless grin like I expected.  And then he said, “My number line at school only goes to 20.”  Our number line at home goes to 30.  (the number line his teacher gave me to help him understand math). The thing that gave him the light bulb. What the @#$%^$#@!! 

 

I immediately sent my son upstairs and then began a complete temper tantrum where I used a lot of grown up language but still stomped my feet and folded my arms and said things like, “He needs a new teacher. She’s clearly trying to sabotage him.” And my husband said, “Dude,” (yes, he calls me “dude”) “you need to take it easy.” Which prompted me to storm out of his office, go to my closet, and call my best friend who is an elementary school principal and sort of my hero.

I told her the situation, adding some colorful insights/language, and she listened for a really long time, and then she said, “Are you done being an asshole for a minute?” And I said, “Yes.” And she talked me off the ledge. She told me that my son’s teacher is not a terrible teacher and that she’s only using the tools that she’s given. She then went into a 20 minute long lesson on math and the way kids learn, etc., and I listened to every word. (She reads this, so I have to say that.)

What I took away from her lesson is this: I don’t understand the way my son’s teacher teaches him, and because it’s different than the way I learned it, I’m terrified to teach him “my way”. And I don’t think I’m alone.

We don’t get text books anymore like our parents did. When I had homework that my parents didn’t understand (and they had their moments of confusion, too), my dad would take my text book into the other room for thirty minutes and then come back in completely able to help me. We are lucky in so many ways with technology, but sometimes, I don’t want to have to Google or YouTube. Because even with that, it may be wrong. I need to know how to use the tools that he is given, and I don’t think our teachers understand that we don’t know these things. I want a lesson. I want my teacher to teach me to teach my kid. We aren’t given any sort of “how to’s”, and then we send our kids to school wondering if they’re supposed to follow their teacher’s rules or ours, and we wonder why they can’t get it. I think I could benefit from a lesson in first grade math, a serious, sit down at the tiny desk with my No. 2 pencil and learn the way my kid is being taught. Because at the end of the day, the answer is, “no.” I am not smarter than a first grader. And that’s ok.

I have a conference in 30 minutes where I’m going to figure this all out. I’ll post a video on YouTube for the rest of you. Also, I’m going to get to the bottom of the discrepancy in number lines because that’s just bullsh*t.

ARCTIC BLAST!!!! WINTER STORM!!! And the Worst Road Trip of My Life

Baby, it’s cold outside, and that has everyone ’round here up in a tizzy.  I reside in Texas, y’all, and every time there’s even the slightest risk of inclement weather, the meteorologist gets what I like to call his (or her) weather hard-on, and that’s all anyone can talk about.  Do I sound annoyed?  It’s only because I’ve survived some winter storms, some bad ones, and today’s Arctic blast is completely B Team all the way compared to the hell I’ve lived through with ice. 

Walk back in time with me for a minute to the year 1996, a time in history when tweeting or facebooking your way through a trip was not even possible, when all the entertainment we had was talking to our families or playing the license plate game or “bury your horses” (that’s a real game.  I promise it doesn’t involve any actual burying of horses), when cars didn’t have DVD players with every movie ever made available in a red box outside of your local Wal-Mart, and radio reception on long road trips sounded like white noise with hillbilly talk radio hosts some where in the background.  Now, let me tell you about the longest and worst road trip of my life. 

Some necessary background:  I had this really awful car accident in November ’96, my first semester of my freshman year of college that landed me in a wheelchair for 4 months.  Yeah.  It was awesome.  I broke my hip in three different places,  inoperable places, so the only treatment was to stay off of my hip and take pills for the pain.  Ok, digest that for a minute. 

As typical for me, I had to travel for the holidays.  We, i.e. my dad, mom, and I, decided to head North to Kansas to visit one of my four brothers for Christmas, and on Christmas day, we had what our meteorologist here in Dallas would call “A Serious Arctic Blast” and by serious, I mean, that the entire state of Kansas along with Oklahoma and Northern Texas were covered in ice.  Covered, people, and the temperature had no plans to raise any time soon.  We decided to brave the roads the day after Christmas with my dad behind the wheel, and my mom in the passenger seat.  I took over the back seat with my pillow and my crutches, wheelchair secured to the roof of the car because the trunk was full of luggage and gifts.

The one good thing about my accident was the drugs.  I had a severe head injury, too, so  that coupled with pain in my hip earned me  some serious meds.  All of which, came in handy on this trip so much so that I don’t remember a single thing about the 10 hour drive to my brother’s house.  The drive home, though…I remember that…and here’s why. 

I woke suddenly from a very comfortable car sleep to my mother’s shriek.  “Oh, honey,” she yelled to my dad, but it sounded more like, “Aw huuny!” because my mother’s accent is totally country.  I love her for it.   “Oh Gawd,” she continued.   I sat up from my back seat slumber to examine the cause of her dismay to see nothing but cars and break lights ahead of us.  Brick like blocks of ice covered the highway, and traffic ceased to move.  Stopped.  Parked.  Nothing happening at all.  

My dad got out to examine the ice simply because he got bored and antsy an hour into our highway halt only to find out from a trucker parked ahead of us that traffic was stopped for miles. The cause:  the trucks could not build up enough traction to make it over the ice on the hills, so every time they would try to move forward, they would slide back. 

We had over a half a tank of gas in the car.  Did I mention that I’m in a car with my parents, and I’m eighteen years old?   Remember, this is before smart phones.  Another interesting fact, my dad was a preacher and refused to listen to secular music, so he used the time in the car to listen to sermons on tape. You read that right…sermons, as in lectures pertaining to the bible…on tape.  As I sat in hell, I listened to the word of God. 

A few hours and three sermons into our sitting still, I felt the urge to pee.  (I know.)  My mom and dad, along with all of our fellow stranded travelers found relief behind trees on the side of the road.  I, unfortunately, could not navigate the ice on my crutches, and my wheelchair was…wait for it…frozen to the roof of the car, so I just had to hold it.  I took a lot of pills, and I slept. 

Drugs are bad though, children. 

We moved twelve miles in nine hours.  TWELVE MILES IN NINE HOURS, Y’ALL.  And every time we rolled over a block of ice, pain shot through my rump, even with the meds.  Not even slightly kidding.

Finally, we drifted into a Loves gas station on fumes.  I rushed to the restroom to see what looked like a thousand women waiting for the three stalls inside, one of which, the handicapped one.  I looked around.  Clearly, I was the only handicapped person in line, but I waited and waited.  Until finally my mom, aka my hero, said in her very loud, very accented voice.  “I can’t believe this.  Don’t y’all see this child’s handicapped?”  Never in the history of my life did I expect that sentence from my mother to sound like music to my ears, but it worked.  Before long, the line of women stepped back and each ushered me with their hands to go ahead of them until I reached the heaven of the handicapped stall and  finally felt relief.  I’m pretty sure I sat there for 10 minutes.  And I sit, not a hoverer. You’re welcome.

So when I hear about “Arctic Blasts” and “Winter Storms”, I get a little perturbed  because nothing sucks worse than being a handicapped freshman in college stuck on an icy road in a car with her parents for nine hours.  NINE HOURS!!!!  And that was just the sitting still part.  The rest of the drive took twice that long. 

PS:  Should you find yourself waiting in line for a restroom, choose the one that’s specified for you, and leave the handicapped stall for the people who really need it.  Remember…there’s only one.

PPS:  If there’s no line, pee away.

Enlighten me…what were some of the worst car trips you’ve been through…with or without parents?  Have you ever been stuck in the ice?  For how long?  Did you too have to pee?