Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heroic Motherhood

I'm really not much of an art aficionado, but every now and then a picture really grabs my attention--particularly when it tells a story. I have always loved this painting by Mary Cassatt (1884-1926), called The Bath. Cassatt is well-known for her pictures of mothers and children, but something about this picture really speaks to me. The first time I saw it, I was deeply touched by the sight of a mother gently washing her child's feet--the ultimate picture of servanthood. Surely she must be the most tender of mothers, right? Maybe she patiently washes her child's feet every day, eager to give of herself to this cherubic little being.

Or maybe not. Let's look at this picture again...

This is probably a two-year-child, and clearly some event has required that this mother strip her daughter down to nothing and scrub her feet. Potty training? A stomach virus? (You know it's bad when it makes it all the way down to their socks--admit it, we've all been there). And the background doesn't look a nursery, but more like a parlor or living room. Why would you strip a child down to her skivvies in the living room unless circumstances required it? Circumstances such as, say, tracking mud across the carpet? Or maybe paint? And while the look on this mother's face could be translated as tender selflessness, it looks as though there could be a little jaw-clenching going on. Maybe even a little muttering ("I-brought-you-into-this-world-and-so-help-me....")?

But still she washes her daughter's feet. I'm sometimes tempted to think of the truly heroic mothers as the ones who always stay calm, patient and unselfish. But sometimes the most heroic moments of motherhood come when we're at our worst--when our child has pushed us to the very edge of our own limits of patience...or confidence...or sanity, and still we just deal with it. We suck it up, swallow our pride...or irritation...or comfort, and we deal with it. THAT is heroicism, plain and simple.

So if there is a naked two year old in your living room today, or a disrepectful 13 year old, or a heartbroken seven year old, my hat is off to you. You are dealing with it, and you are a hero.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Random thoughts I had while talking to people today.....

1. Who chose that outfit for you this morning? Were you drunk? Do you have a mental deficiency?

2. What is this guys name? I can't just keep calling him "Eyebrows" in my head forever.

3. I swear if you say "Aaaaaallllrighty then" one more time, I'm going to punch you in the nads.

4. I don't care, I don't care, I don't care

5. Go away, go away, go away

6. Shut up, shut up, shhhuuuuuut uuuuuupppppp!!!!

7. This man has the largest head I've ever seen. How does his neck not snap?

8. What color is chartreuse?

9. What wrong turn did I take in my life, that I find myself here, at this moment, right now, listening to this moron drone on and on?

10. Does the fact that I have a wonky sciatic nerve mean I'm getting old?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Magnum P.I Called.....He Wants His Shorts Back

Listen, guy across the street, I am just as excited that it is summer time as you are. Hell, I am down right giddy about it. But, the thing is, man…your shorts. They are really short. I don’t fancy myself a fashion maven, nor do I wish to dictate what people wear in the privacy of their own homes, but seriously, when you are outside bending over, doing yard work in your little man shorts, it’s unpleasant. I mean, I barely know you, and yet, I already know too much…about things a neighbor just shouldn’t know about…unless we were swingers, which we are not. It’s almost hypnotic, but in a creepy awkward way. I mean, I know, sometime very soon, something really gross is going to fall out or shift out of place, and it’s like a car wreck, I can’t stop looking.

You know what, you are a fit older man. You have a great tan, what appears to be a limited amount of body hair (can we all just eww collectively?) and you seem to be really active. Good for you.

But, for the same reason I had to stop wearing my “I’m with Stupid” t-shirt, the time of geriatric short shorts has passed. No amount of Nair or really freakishly tall tube socks is going to change that.


Your yard look really good though.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Just Really Like This Quote

"Whatever sons may leave unsaid or undone, mothers should know their boys will always love them in the way sons do, in that hidden place -- down deep and solitary -- down where roots grow, through life and past death."

~Al Clark~

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10 Things Every Expecting or New Mother Should Know

When I was pregnant with my first, I soaked up all the parenting books, overflowing with their advice on how to get baby to sleep through the night or proper swaddling techniques, or burping techniques, or get-the-baby-to-stop-crying techniques.

It's all garbage.

Look, if you are pregnant right now and reading this, I am going to tell you everything you need to know right now and save you a lot of time.

1) If and when you are pregnant with your first child, do not do ANYTHING but sleep.....and sleep, and sleep, and sleep. If you get up and the clock says 10 am, fluff your pillow, roll over, and go back to sleep. May I even suggest having someone take video of you sleeping. It will be a great memory to treasure...and cry over, in the months ahead.

2) That said, sleep deprivation is torturous. If you have a kid that sleeps through the night, get down on your knees every hour and thank your lucky stars for such a blessing ---- and never complain about anything else ever again.

If you have a kid who doesn't sleep through the night, quickly disassociate yourself from any friends who have kids who sleep through the night, as they will only make you feel worse than you already do on zero sleep. (Oh yes -- it's possible to feel worse) It is perfectly OK to make yourself feel better by making predictions about those parents with the sleeping kids -- like they will have a horrible time with potty training, or their kid will be the weird one who eats dirt and boogers.

3) Realize that anything that you think is weird and swear your kids will never do, they will do. Like eat their boogers.

4) Never do anything production like clean out or reorganize cabinets full of toys. It is an exercise in futility.

5) If you ignore my advice on #4, this will happen about seven minutes after you put the last dinosaur in the newly created "Dinosaur Bin".

6) Do me a favor and look up "Dinosaur Bins" and "At the end of her rope" in a baby book right now.

7) I told you these books are garbage.

8) Set your expectations low for the day. For example, "Today I will wipe away the crusty eye booger from my eye". That way, anything else you accomplish for the day will be a bonus, and you will feel good about yourself for being so productive.

9) Throw away all your pre-pregnancy shirts now. Trust me on this. Even if you lose all the baby weight. Something weird happens once you've had a baby: all your shirts become belly baring crop tops. It's the strangest phenomena I've ever seen.

10) Ignore any and all advice given to you by other moms who are dressed to the nines, with their perfect hair, in their full perfect make up with their perfect kids lined up beside them. Do feel free, however, to take any and all advice from their nanny, housekeeper, night nurse or personal assistant.

Feel free to ask questions, complain to, or get advice from any mother who is tired, cranky, mismatched, hungry or bitter about dinosaur bins. They get it!

But don't trust anyone in a crop top. That's just wrong.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Letter To Old Navy:

Dear Old Navy;

You know I love you. With your adorable summer dresses and cute outfits for the boys, who on earth could ever resist you?

Lately? ME! Because I do not find you "adorable" in the least.

It pains me to say this.

Old Navy you are seriously freaking me out!

And here's the reason:

It's your ad campaign with your creepy and bizarre "SuperModelquins".

Look, I understand what kind of economy we are in.....and maybe paying "live" models right now is difficult, but.....


You have these rediculous commercials where the mannequins are TALKING and have personalities and NAMES?!

Is this supposed to be endearing to me? Like Barbie come to life?

It's freaking CRAZYTOWN, that's what it is!!!

And then, as if the whole thing wasn't unnerving enough, you send your supermodelquins out to party in NYC and LA like this:

It's like the movie, "Weekend at Bernie's" or something. "He may be dead.....but he's the life of the party!"

And the final straw for me was this picture advertisement that I saw recently:

Oh yeah! GENIUS!

Because nothing makes me want to go running into your store more than seeing shopping bags with severed limbs hanging off of them.

Sigh, seriously Old Navy. It's time to rethink your advertising scheme. Just a thought.

~Mayhem Momma~

Friday, July 3, 2009

Canada Day Fun

I love Canada Day. It's a great excuse to just hang out in the sun, eat a ton of food and catch up with family and friends. This year was no exception. The day started off a bit cloudy, but was perfect in time for the parade.....which was a pretty good parade by Mayberry standards.

It was so much fun catching up with cousins and friends.....and playing with all the babies and little ones.....which did nothing to ease my baby fever mind you. Ugh!! If only I could talk the hubster into one more kid. But I guess that is a blog post all it's own. Ha ha ha!!!!

Well, I don't know what else to say about such a great holiday, so I'll just let the pictures here show you what a good time was had.

Mom and I watching the parade out front of her house

Ross and Carlos chatting at Tami's place

All the boys watching the parade at grandmas

Ryker crashed out on grandmas couch after fireworks

Rand and Dagan at the town carnival

Dad and some of the boys at Tami's BBQ

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...