Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jack's Wild Wild West Tee-Ball Show

Jack's coach taking him off the pitching mound and returning him to 2nd base.
It was recently brought to my attention that my 4-year-old son was old enough to play tee-ball with the Jasper Youth Softball League. Wait? What? Really? They’ve got to be kidding.

He’s spent only 48 months on this earth, and he’s old enough for an organized sport? I would later learn that “organized” in regards to 4-year old tee-ball is a generous word. However, yes, for organized tee-ball Jack was, indeed, eligible, if questionably capable.

I spent a few weeks deciding whether I should sign him up. It seemed too early. By starting now, surely, he’d be worn out and washed up by 12. He’d then turn to drugs and by 16, I’d be shopping rehab facilities. Tee-ball having served as the gateway drug.

However, I was also well-aware that Jack’s athletic gene-pool was probably pretty shallow, so if he wanted to play, I better give him any head start he could get. So I drank the Kool-Aid and hopped on the the ride to nowhere.

I soon learned that there would be a tee-ball draft. Yep. This is a real situation. Coaches, actually get together and haggle for players, half of whom can’t even wipe their own butts, my son among them.

Jack was drafted to the Devil Rays, and his first practice was scheduled.

That practice. The Devil Rays looked like castaways on the island of misfit toys. And the poor well-intended coach….he handed Jack a bat - on purpose - not knowing that Jack would rather swing the bat at his teammates like a sword than try and hit the ball.

Watching a group of 4-year old boys play their first game is like watching tiny aliens arrive on planet earth. As a majority, they have no clue what’s happening or why. And if you’re Jack, you really don’t care. Here’s what Jack does care about during his tee-ball game:

1. Making a perfect dirt angel while he mans 2nd base

2. Licking the inside of his hat

3. Picking his nose

4. Picking grass out of the outfield, running it into the infield and throwing it at this teammates. The ball? Oh that probably just whizzed on by him. He’d rather lick his hat.

Jack likes to hit the ball off the tee and then hurl the bat - usually the bat goes farther than the ball. He then likes to gallop, skip, or run backwards to 1st base. Even with his theatrics, he usually makes it on base courtesy of the the absurdity and hilarity of 4 year old tee-ball.

It’s like the wild wild west out on that field. Balls flying, bats swinging. Kids running in all directions. No rules apply. If Jack decides he’d rather play pitcher - he goes and shoves the pitcher off the mound. If a player is running to 3rd base, and Jack doesn’t like the look of him, he blocks him like a linebacker. 

There are no rules in Jack’s wild wild west tee-ball show, except one: You always slide home. Running home? Slide! Going up to the plate to bat? Slide!! And why throw the ball home and make the out when you can run it in and…..Slide!

We bring Jack home looking like he got bombed with dirt. But he’s really bombed on sugar. After the game comes Jack’s favorite part of playing tee-ball - a trip to the concession stand. God bless the Jasper Youth Softball Concession Stand for feeding my family dinner (and dessert!) 4 nights a week.

Not surprisingly, the Devil Rays are 0-10. Which is horrible, except if you’re Jack.
Win? Lose? It doesn't matter to him. That’s the best part of 4 year old tee-ball.  The scoreboard, for these days, for these kids, doesn’t exist. This won’t always be true. Some day, in the near future, there will be winners, there will be losers but this summer, out on the field, all that matters is sliding home.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

It's just a tampon.

Throughout the course of my eleven-year marriage, my husband and I have become quite comfortable. 

We don’t hold back a fart or a burp. After all, we are getting older and it is quite possible that if we hold it in we could explode.

We no longer bother to close the bathroom door to pee – there’s no point.  Going to the bathroom is a family affair; I haven’t peed without an audience in years.

Oh look! Mom is going to the bathroom, I need to find out what’s for dinner, have her sign my test, ask her to find my dance bag, spot my back handspring and read me a book.

We’re comfortable. Justin scratches his balls for days and I don’t shave my legs for weeks. This is marriage. This is the real deal. Pissing with the door open, free flowing gas and itchy balls. This is the dream. This is happily ever after. This is my fairy tale, but where in world did I put that glass slipper??

However, this week, I apparently crossed the line when I asked Justin to hand me a tampon. Yep, that’s it - getting me a tampon - that is where he draws the line.

Justin screamed, "Are you serious?!?!

It was like menstruation was an entirely new concept to him. He couldn't believe it was happening. He could not believe I had my period, and he had to be the tampon boy.

I yelled at him, "Are you serious?!?! Is this shocking information to you? It’s my period. Happens every month. Right on schedule. Just hand me one from under the sink."

He relented and proceeded to walk into the bathroom with his face buried in his shirt.

"What is wrong with you?" I asked him. "You’ve seen 3 children explode out of my vagina. This is NOT a big thing."

"Ok, calm down," he replied. "Ok, Ok, Ok, I’ve found the box – now what do you need?"

You’d think he was dismantling a bomb. Then he dropped a bomb.

"Whoa! Wait a second here!" he said. "It says jumbo on the box! Is it really like that?? Do you have a jumbo vagina??

Holy shit. He was like a 5th grade boy and vaginas were brand new to him. Apparently I had to explain. 

"I do not have a jumbo vagina you idiot." I said.  "It’s a jumbo size pack! Do you think the marketing department at tampax decided to appeal to women with the word “jumbo?”

Justin thought this was great.

“Jumbo!"  he said in a sing-song voice."Mrs. Jumbo! Mrs. Jumbo! Get it, like, from the movie Dumbo?”

“You’re a dumbo," I said, "Throw me the tampon and get out of here."

Yep. This is marriage. This is happily ever after. This is my fairy tale forever. I might have misplaced my glass slipper, but I'm pretty sure that Prince Charming wouldn't fetch Cinderella's tampons.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Strep throat. Ninja Style.

Jack turned four years old on a Tuesday and on a Saturday, we hosted a birthday party - ninja style. 

We all wore Ninja Turtle Masks, beat to death a Ninja Turtle piƱata and then ate Ninja Turtle birthday cake. Jack was so excited about the birthday cake that before he blew out his candles, he licked all over it - like a rabid dog, he drooled all over the mutant green icing.

This is not surprising. Jack licks everything. He licks the grocery cart. He licks the carpet at church. He licks the van. He'll lick a stranger's pant leg. My family didn't mind the licked-over birthday cake. They'd all been licked by Jack, it's how he shows love and besides, a little four-year old slime would not keep my family off a birthday cake. Pretty sure the threat of AIDS wouldn't keep my family off a birthday cake. So we sliced into that turtle cake and ate it. It was extra gooey, just as a ninja turtle cake should be.

A few hours after the party, Jack passed out cold. I thought he had properly OD'ed and was slipping into a blood sugar coma, however his fever told me otherwise - 104 degrees hot. The next day would bring a diagnosis of strep throat. Awesome. Our family had brought Jack gifts, we gave them a bacterial infection.

A days worth of antibiotics, and Jack bounced back. You can't keep a good ninja turtle down, but a good ninja can take down his sisters. A few days later, Hadley and Cameron both spiked fevers and sore throats. Strep by birthday cake -  very clever evil ninja.

So I then had three children on antibiotics. That is 2 doses per day per child -  6 total doses a day over ten days. That's 60 tiny cups of the bubble-gum flavored elixir to administer to the world's worst medicine takers. Sorry, big drug companies but the reviews are in, and your bubble gum flavor tastes nothing of the sort. According to Cameron, it tastes like "butt."

Morning and night, I would line up the little doses on the counter for my little people and brace myself for at least 30 minutes of tough negations, bribes, bargains and threats.

You want a sucker? Sure thing.

A hamster? Not a shot in hell.

A dollar? Are you kidding me? I have no dollars left. We're going belly-up in co-pays and deductibles.

Your reward? YOUR REWARD???? Your reward is not getting strep so badly that it infects your hearts and brains. Your reward is life!!!! Is that not enough?!?! You get to live!!! Fuck no, they want a puppy. 

In the year 2014, how hard can it be to manufacture an antibiotic that doesn't taste like bubblegum that's been shoved up someone's ass? For god's sake, as a species we've managed to make decent tasting vegan meals. We can surely remove the butt flavor from antibiotics.

However, until then I'll have to convince my suicidal bunch, one dose at a time, that life is worth living for, even if it tastes like butt.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Shuffle Shuffle Jiggle It.

Selfie - after the run that almost
killed me. I didn't stop sweating for 3 days.
I've been running. Like, for exercise, and I absolutely hate it. I don't know why I do it. I guess I have some vain hope that it might make me skinny and give me long lean runner's legs. However, unless, running can somehow alter my DNA, I think I might be running in circles.

I've got short, very short, legs that look like they belong on a 70 year-old obese woman. They're dimply, veiny and thick. I hate them. I know I should be grateful that I have working limbs - I get that. But I'm vain. Who isn't? The Pope? Yeah, probably. The Pope is probably not vain and that's why he's not a runner. I can't recall any pictures of his holiness haulin' ass in his Nike sneakers. Vanity escapes only him. 

Just give me a good shrink (and a good plastic surgeon) and I'll work on that vanity. However, for now, I hate my legs and I'll hold onto the hope, or start praying to the Pope, that running might give me the legs of Cindy Crawford. 

Running is horrible, and I'm horrible at it. Though, I'm not sure you can call what I've been doing running, as I recently got passed up by an elderly couple who was walking their elderly dog. Seriously, this dog did not look good. They were dragging it down the street. Yet, they passed me right on by.

But, despite my speed, or lack thereof, it is my version of running. My style is not so much a run or a jog but more so a shuffle - a shuffle with a whole lot of jiggle. Kind of sounds like a new summer hip-hop rap hit: "Shuffle Shuffle Jiggle It." If my running career does not take off, it is quite possible I might have a hot career as a rapper. Word. Word to this mother. 

I've been drug into this dreadful exercise by two of the skinniest, fittest, fastest bitches alive. They're pretty good at sticking with me on our runs as they are patient and encouraging, yet I often feel as if  I'm the chubby girl who is holding them back. In our running pack, I am the weakest link and I often send them on their way as I lag behind. 

Have you seen us out there? It's a pretty sad sight. That is, if you're me. You might have seen two fit girls sprinting, laughing, barely breaking a sweat as they glide down the pavement. The chubby friend lagging about 50 feet behind leaving a trail of sweat and tears as she shuffles down the pavement near death - yeah, that'd be me. I'm like the caboose. Choo! Choo!

It doesn't help my efforts that I don't wear shorts. I haven't worn shorts in about 10 years. Shorts do not accentuate my best feature, which is any feature but my legs. This wardrobe handicap doesn't work well for a chubby girl running in soaring summer temperatures. Wearing black knit tight capri pants in 100 degree humid weather while trotting down the road might very well kill me. My last run felt like a death march. Dear fit skinny fast friends, please look behind you once and awhile to make sure I haven't dropped dead.

Running, however, did give birth to one of my greatest ideas ever. If I was going to to run, I was going to make it worth my while. Thus, the margarita run was born.  Recently, I gathered my friends, we ran about 3 miles to arrive at our local Mexican restaurant and then filled up with margaritas and table-side guacamole. Various husbands then picked most of us up, as we were too drunk to run it on home. Maybe I should have attempted that run, it might have been my best run ever as I know the tequila would have dulled the pain. I'm thinking of making this a monthly event and having t-shirts made. They will read "Running for Tequila."

My running hobby will eventually fizzle out. Yet, the margaritas & table-side guacamole - I'll order that up for life. I'll just get to the restaurant like a normal mom in my mini-van, which will be blaring all of my new hot hip raps. Shuffle Shuffle Jiggle It - Word.