I’ll Drink To That.

It’s Friday night again — how did that happen already?! — and time for what I will henceforth refer to as Virtual Happy Hour. This is when I crash in my jammies, drink wine, and pretend that I’m hanging out with my best girlfriends.

There is no primping. No squeezing myself into real pants. There is no scene to been seen in. The scene is me, gripping a bottle of wine, hiding in a quiet room … because Daddy is getting up with the kids in the morning, and it’s been one helluva week.

Tonight I am in a celebratory mood. Who’s up for shots?!!

Nobody?!

COME ON.

This week, I was minding my own business in Target when a reader approached me … which was a first. I mean, I run into people periodically, but she recognized me from my blog and made a point to speak to me. I, of course, turned around to see who she was talking to. When I realized she was talking to ME, I started laughing and couldn’t stop, because I am not socially awkward or weird in the least.

Let’s all take a moment and be grateful that I’m a writer and not a person who, say, talks on the radio or sits in front of a camera, because wow. I will now take another shot, because just thinking about that stresses me out.

I potty-trained a human this week. And all the mothers everywhere said, “I’LL DRINK TO THAT.”

Modern Mommy Madness was included in this list on Today.com and I am so amazed and elated and also feel like maybe there was a mistake somewhere because how did that even happen?! My kids need to recognize. From now on, my discipline plan will be yelling “HEY! I was on the 11 Funniest Facebook Posts From Parents This Week list, so stop your whining and eat your dinner!” (Sidenote: that doesn’t work. At all.)

Robbie has a sugar ant colony in his car. They’ve been there for 8 months, since he gained ownership of the vehicle. I took it to the grocery store this week and totally freaked when I discovered that the ANTS are STILL IN THERE BECAUSE HE HAS NOT ADDRESSED The ISSUE, and this is the face I made.

20150208_163652I love that man. I really, really do. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and we have no plans and no gifts and my expectations are very low which works for us right now … but … he has an ant colony in his car. That’s really tripping me up. I’ll have to find a way to move past it.

That’s true love, bitch.

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Virtual Happy Hour.

It’s Friday night, and if I had the wherewithal to put some real pants on and meet a girlfriend for a drink, I WOULD. Unfortunately, I’ve had the same toothpaste on my zits since this morning and the mere thought of brushing my hair makes me exhausted.

It’s been that kinda week.

If we were to meet for drinks, I’d have a lot to say. First of all, this week of motherhood sucked. If you were silly enough to ask, “How come?” I wouldn’t even feel like rehashing it all. I would just silently pour myself another glass of wine. I would then mention the fact that there is only one of me and there needs to be like, three.

I’m potty-training my middle child again. Hopefully it will stick for real this time, cross your fingers, girlfriend. NOW. Cross them.

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The reason my pants are tight.

The potty trainee gets M&M’s every time he uses the toilet, which is working out well except for the fact that I hand him one or two, and then immediately eat a fistful because potty-training is hell and I loathe it with every fiber of my being.

Then there is the matter of my writing. Excuse me while I pour myself another glass.

This week I hit a low point and found myself wondering if writing is a stupid waste of time. I could spend my time doing a million other, more constructive, things that would better my family … like cooking organically, clipping coupons, or remembering to pay the water bill. I don’t know. Shit like that.

If I didn’t write, I would actually have time to be a decent Room Mom, instead of a total slacker who throws random baked goods and hastily-written checks at the school and swears to herself she will do better next time.

I’m not even making any real money.

I already have so much on my plate.

My extended family is mortified by some of the things that I write. My use of profanity embarrasses them.

I AM AN EMBARRASSMENT TO MY FAMILY.

That’s a hard thing to know. I never set out to be an embarrassment. If I didn’t have this compulsive need to write words and share them with people, maybe everything would be easier. No one would know that I do things like eat my kid’s candy and then lie about it, or drink and swear on occasion. They wouldn’t know how much I struggle to parent my children.

No one would know anything about me at all.

But the problem is, my life would be impossible for me to live healthfully if I couldn’t write about it. I’m not writing for my family. I’m writing for me.

For my sanity.

So I can breathe.

As scary as it can be to put myself out there, I continue to show up and write words because I don’t want to cut my own ear off or whatever happens when a creative person isn’t allowed to create. And honestly, I feel it is my duty to announce to women everywhere that sometimes being a wife and a mother is so hard and insanely frustrating that you just want to take the damn hand mixer and throw it through a window.

You aren’t a failure for feeling that way. You’re normal. That’s my message.

And then two nights ago, as I was dumping the third basket of clean clothes on my bed to fold while I waited for Robbie to come home from work and rescue me from our terrible children, my phone beeped.

I had an e-mail.

I’m going to be in another book.

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I’M GOING TO BE IN A REAL BOOK WITH PAGES!!!!!!!!

A friend shared this in a writing group I’m in today, and I love it. “A blessed unrest.” That is what it’s like to constantly want to write and share your thoughts, profane as they may be.

There is a vitality,
a life force,
a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

And If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine
how good it is
nor how valuable it is
nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly
to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU.

Keep the channel open…
No artist is pleased…

There is no satisfaction whatever at anytime
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes “us” MORE alive than the others.

Martha Graham
( – a letter to Agnes De Mille-)

No Go.

I was gone for the weekend and it was absolutely glorious.

When my dear friend — who is due to deliver her first child next month — spotted me at the airport, she ducked underneath the railing that you’re supposed to stand behind when you’re waiting for arrivals, and we embraced in front of a rather enormous audience. There was a vague awareness of people saying AWWWWW, but we were in our own little world, off to vegan restaurants and IKEA.

I guess I have a lot of friends, but that is because I’m an extrovert and I have this weird need to connect that doesn’t make sense to the introverts in my life. Particularly since becoming a mother, I NEED TO CONNECT.

People mistakenly assume extroverts are never lonely and always feel understood, but that isn’t true for me. At all. I think it’s because I am always looking for my kindred spirits because they “get” me and I can understand them on a deeper level. I have a small number of people in my life who truly know me, know who I am, all the way down to my soul, and love me because of it or in spite of it or maybe both. Kate is one of those people, and I was so, so happy to see her.

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I loved every quiet moment of my weekend away. I sat down a lot, laughed a lot, and cried a lot of happy tears. I was happy to get home last night, but I really wasn’t ready to leave my friend.

Here we are before her baby shower. Isn’t she awfully cute for a 34-weeks-pregnant person?

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I felt self-conscious because I was supposed to be wearing a pair of black skinny jeans. I bought a brown pair which were identical in design and size, and they fit fine, so I never bothered to try the black pair on.

Always try the black pair on.

I couldn’t get them on my body. I ended up going with the brown leggings which are basically tights, and my “dress” or “shirt” or whatever the hell it was is pretty short. I was not comfortable with any of it, but I told myself that Kate was much more uncomfortable than I was because she is kangaroo-pouching an unborn child the size of a small pot roast … so, I kept my complaints to myself.

I returned home to this. Among other things.

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When I went into Pepper’s room to get her out of her crib this morning, she was so happy to see me and I swear she said “I wuv wu.”

AND THEN, as I told her I loved her too, and I am so happy to be home but I had SO MUCH FUN while I was gone, she said “Mommy.”

I stopped talking and listened.

And that is when I heard my daughter say her first real, intelligible sentence: “Mommy no go bye-bye.”

I guess when you have three kids, you no longer feel guilty for taking time for yourself because it is a NEED THAT MUST BE HAD. If I didn’t leave sometimes, my family would get the very worst version of me, and no one wants that. No one.

When Pepper said what she said, I hugged her warm, roly-poly body close against mine and said, I’m not going anywhere.

Not today, anyway.