Am I Really Taking a Nap During my Nap?

GoneFishing1[1]

Labor Day has just come to pass. The celebration of all those who work in this great country. The government/society gives us this one day off for busting our humps the rest of the year.

The generosity is overwhelming you. I can tell.

Here are some definitions I want to share with you. LABOR: work, esp. hard physical work; to make great effort; have difficulty in doing something despite working hard; move or proceed with trouble or difficulty; till (the ground); and of course, the process of childbirth, esp. the period from the start of uterine contractions to delivery.*

Wow – this sh*t sounds hard. Guess what, a lot of times it can be.

Enter, the lazy train.

For those of you who know me, lazy is not a word used to describe me. Ever. I am the anti-lazy.

Lately, however, I just don’t give a crap. I want to whip my bra off, keep my pjs on, and hang a Gone Fishing sign on my front door. As mentioned in an earlier post, this does not bode well for me since the school year has just started and we have a million activities happening, including going back to work.

I think this yearn-to-a**-sit-and-stare-into-space has something to do with the fact that I have not taken any type of vacation for over a year. No clearing of the mind. Oh we had grand plans to get away, but then we realized we needed new plumbing in the house, so dreams of surf and sand went right down the toilet – literally.

As a society, we pack our days to gills. Who knows why. But we do it. Some days, there are literally not enough hours in the day to get everything done. School, work, sports, activities, traffic, trying the new Dorito Chalupa at Taco Bell. Yet sometimes we really need to do nothing.

Now let me preface, I do not suggest shirking responsibilities, but a little nothing every once in a while is a good thing.

Think of it this way, you use your smart phone all the time. Close your mouth, I know you do. You probably need to plug it in and charge it up at least once a day.

Guess what? You are the same way.

Our society reveres the over-doers, and looks down upon people who take life in the slow lane. Look at how we treat our elderly. We are annoyed by their slow pace and daytime napping rituals.

I actually overheard a conversation recently. It went something like this:

Person #1: “How was your weekend?”

Person #2: “It was great. We did nothing! We actually slept in.”

Person #1: “Must be nice to live the life of Riley. I had to help my daughter with her science project, I went into work, we had three soccer games, two birthday parties, mowed the lawn, and then finished painting the bathroom.”

Person #2: Silence. (Shamefully slinks away).

Okay, this conversation is not verbatim, but pretty close. The point is this – who gives a crap? Let somebody else do nothing. It is their life and maybe they need to take a break. And guess what? Magical unicorns are not going to fly down from the sky and award you with the busiest person award, give you a pat on the back and an Eskimo Pie, and then announce to all the land that you are so wonderfully awesome for doing so much.

What you do get is this – you get to be tired.

If we are constantly doing, how can we take a moment to look around us and really see what is going on? How can we create if we are always running from one activity to the next? And how can we be the best person we can be to our family, friends, and ourselves, if we are always saying “yes” to everything and never recharging our batteries?

So give yourself a break and others around you. Get your stuff done, then sit down and watch some bad TV. Read a book. Go outside. Let yourself think. You need this time.

Then you can go gas up the car because you have to drive forty-eight kids for carpool this week.

 

*From the online Google search of “definition of labor” and Wikipedia.

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Am I Really the Last Woman on Earth With an Only Child?

It sure feels like it.

A while back, I met a woman at a party who discovered I too had just one child. She scooped me up into her arms, gave me a bear hug, and exclaimed, “I thought I was the only one!”

Oh no sister, you are not alone. Word on the street is one in five families have only children.  Hmm, interesting. So why do I feel like I belong on the endangered species list because I have an only child?

Attitude.

I have run into many a mommy who has Spanish Inquisitioned me about my singular sensation:  “Is she your only one?” Yes. “Do you think you will have more?” Maybe, er, I don’t know. I’m not a soothsayer. “Did you plan to just have one?” Well no, it just kind of happened that way. (And my personal favorite) “Won’t your daughter be lonely?” We enjoy making her feel like crap.

Really?  At one point I started making up random medical reasons like, “I’m just not too sure about my uterus.”

While not ALL mommies have this mind-set (of course not!), there have been many who have given me the eyeball, slowly backed away, and then sat down with a gaggle of pregnant women so as to not catch my “small family syndrome.”

There seems to be some type of public shame for having just one child. I feel as though I should shroud my face and live on the outskirts of town. I don’t see why we can’t all get along. So I have one child and you have four, big whoop. We are both parents, I carried and birthed my child just like you. I breast fed and got up in the middle of the night to calm a sick child. I’ve been puked on and pooped on. While I can’t imagine what it is like to juggle four different children, is it really necessary to have an elitist attitude? Is there some type of “Be Like The Duggars” award that I am unaware of? Are we only-child-raisers not considered a family by U.S. standards?

I’ll be honest – third grader honest – the questions and superior attitude hurt my feelings.

And guess what? That “look how many kids I have, it’s too bad about your solitary daughter” mentality is hurting my child’s feelings too, so quit it. She’s not Orphan Annie.  She’s a little girl who has a dog instead of a sister. Geez people, haven’t you heard the bragging rights about being Numero Uno?

So I’m putting my foot down and squashing this “I’m on this side, you’re on that side” separation like a dirty bug. Let’s flip the script and talk about all the Pros about being the parent of an only child:

1)      We can all comfortably fit into a Mini Cooper.

2)      When the three of us walk down the street, we can form a perfect triangle.

3)      ONE college tuition…or tuition to Barbizon, whichever.

4)      I can easily hold my child’s hand while crossing the street and a large tote bag.

5)      I save time by calling just one child’s name to dinner, instead of going down a list.

6)      I’ve never heard a bank robber say: “I did it because I was an only child!”

7)      Famous only children: Robin Williams (Academy Award Winner), Natalie Portman (Academy Award Winner), Rudy Giuliani (Mayor of NYC), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Kick ass basketball player, and top notch actor in Airplane!), FDR (President of the United States), Cary Grant (swoon), Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Robert DiNero, just to name a few. Not too shabby.

8)      When our child has a bad dream, we have plenty of room to snuggle in bed.

9)      I can drag her around on more errands.

10)  I can sit down…fairly often.

And the list goes on and on. I’m sure you can come up with a whole bunch more.

Bottom line – it’s the type of parent you are, no matter how many children you have. While I am far (like pretty damn far) from being the perfect parent, when I look at my girl and all the light she brings into this world and the people she meets, I go ahead and give myself a pat on the back. We are doing A-Okay people.

So when you see my daughter playing in the pool while I sit back and relax while watching her, don’t hate. We’re just like you.

Just a few people less.

Am I Really Getting This Shnockered at a Catholic School Auction/Grown Up Dinner Event/Wedding?

So I am kind of like a puppy: easily excitable, a little yappy, and small.  When I hit the town, I take with me this verve.  I am so excited to be out socializing (always have been) that I need to run around the block a couple of times to burn off some energy. Back in the day, this vigor worked to my advantage. I used to go out all night, pop right out of bed the next day, and head to work. Then do it all over again the next day.

I am smidge older now and “the town” I’m hitting is more of the gown up variety – events. While my joie de vivre is of the same caliber, my tolerance is clearly not.

I’m a two drink Charlie, a cheap date if you will.  I really should not have more than two drinks – period. But something happens to me when I am out. Maybe I am thirsty from all my chatting about my daughter, dog, how all these kids were crying at the beach, or re-enacting scenes from the Rock of Ages movie (it really is awesome). Maybe Prosecco just tastes so good on a hot day. Or maybe, I forget that I am a grown-ass woman with a low tolerance.

My husband and I recently attended a fabulous surf and turf dinner on the beach with three other couples. We won this event at my daughter’s Catholic School Auction (another white wine debauchery). The dinner was put on by great people and we had a fabulous time.

Then we went to a bar.

Having already ingested copious amounts of dink, I really did not need that vodka and soda. I knew it, but it was handed to me, so that was that. If you had been there you would have seen had your eardrums busted by a tiny blonde woman in a rain-soaked and dirty sundress doing the following:

–          Making best friends with the bartender

–          Inviting said bartender to a cookout (which I did not attend)

–          Trying to freak-dance with my husband to a song by Poison

–          Husband trying to shake wife off his leg

–          Giving the bartender sh*t about his hair/shirt/the weather and most likely calling him the “p” word in the process

–          Hiccups

Then we went home (my husband drove – don’t worry – even I’m not that much of a do-do) so I could pay the babysitter and try to have a lucid conversation about her going to college. I know I told her I had a bit too much to drink by using bizarre hand gestures and facial expressions akin to a Bell’s Palsy patient.

Then I puked for ten hours the next day while my husband said things like, “Did you learn your lesson?” and the dog licked my face.

Classy, I know.

While my abs are much tauter after a day of heaving, the moral of this story is for me to keep it in check. I can still be that little puppy excited to be out socializing with all the other little puppies, but I don’t have to “get this party started” by ice luging some Woo Woo shots. “Open Bar” doesn’t mean I have to run up to it like the Mister Mouth game. I’m a lady for chrissake.

That and if you see me reaching for a third drink, slap my hand like a Biggest Loser contestant going for a Tasty Cake.

Am I Really Surprised I Married My Father?

No – don’t be gross.  I’m not talking about some bizarre-o, backwards Oedipus scenario. I’m referring to my husband turning out to be just like my father.

Indulge me.

We recently returned from a family trip.  On this vay-cay, my husband did not take a break. Instead, he constantly worked.  His cell phone was attached to his ear and he would say things like, “Everything falls apart when I’m not there.  These idiots can’t do anything right.”

This jolted me so far back in time that for a moment I almost asked my mother to roll down the window and please pass the Wheat Thins and squeeze cheese to the back seat.

When I was a kid, here is how our family vacations proceeded:

1700 Hours (we’re a military family): My dad would inform the troops (my sister, brother, and I) that we had better be ready to go by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow or sorry Charlie, you would be left behind.  This would prompt my mother to usher us into our baths and bed, only after we picked out one toy and one toy only to bring on the trip, because there’s just not enough room in the car for all that crap.

0600 Hours: We are up, fed, and dressed. My mother has placed all luggage at the back of the station wagon because she has been up since 4:30 a.m.

0700 Hours: We sit, buckled up in the station wagon waiting for my father because he is on the phone in the kitchen (pre- cell phone days) to some business co-hort.

0750 Hours: We are still in the car, my brother has to pee, mom tells him to hold it (Why? We are in front of our house.). My mother has gone into the house twice now to retrieve my father only to be placated with, “I just have to make this one last call.”

0800 Hours: We hit the road with my dad saying things like, “George is an idiot with his head up his ass.”

Lunch Stop: Eat, drink, and bathroom or forever hold your pee.

1500 Hours: I have been holding my pee for a while and really need to go. I speak up only to be berated with, “Didn’t you go when we stopped?” (Yes) “Why do you have to go again?” (Uhhhh???) DAD: “Rochelle, I told you not to give the kids so much of that juice crap.” DAD: “Next stop is fifty miles and we are making good time, you can go then.” ME: Avoiding bladder explosion by using distraction tactics such as putting mousse in my little brother’s hair.

1600 Hours: An all troupe coup occurs demanding the a/c be put on since we are driving through Arizona. DAD: “We get better mileage if we keep the a/c off.  Just take off your shoes and be quiet.” Just then my sister slides off the vinyl seats from an extraordinary amount of sweat. I keep my “Jellys” on and flip over the Dokken tape in my walkman.

And on and on it goes. When Miami Vice block phones were invented I think my mother cursed the sky and cried.  Great, more talking.  Now during family trips, we not only had to hold our pee, but also had to turn down the radio and be quiet so my dad could say things like, “Aw c’mon, that’s bullshit Frank. Tell him to get his head out of his ass.”

I am grown woman now, and other than being able to drive, my traveling experiences have not changed.  My husband is usually on the phone making “it” happen, requiring the rest of us to turn down the radio and be quiet so he can say things like, “Sorry to tell you, but that’s a dog shit territory…Just be knowledgeable about your product so you don’t look like an idiot with your head up your ass.”

While this is just one small example of the similarities between my father and my husband, they are unmistakable, and there are plenty more. And while my husband may be eighty-seven business deals, two wars, and one Purple Heart behind my dad, he’s still pretty awesome. (Plus, he’d tell you he deserves a Purple Heart for being a passenger while I drive.)

Luckily for me, I think my dad is a bad-ass, and I love him, dearly. So having a husband who is even just a smidge like my dad, I consider myself doubly lucky.

Especially since I don’t have my head up my ass.