The Tyrant picks her battles, and we both learn about karma.

The Tyrant won’t clean her room. It’s infuriating, and baffling. When I’m afraid it’s infested with something, I clean it for her, and organize everything properly, and explain to her how straightening her room for 10 minutes a day is all she needs to do. “Okay, Mom!” she’ll say happily, because she likes when her room is clean. And then, I swear, like two hours later, she’s lounging around in a crack den. Last week, under the detritus covering herRead more

Trying to calm myself amid the chaos, and Jesus not taking the wheel

I’ve lost my inner peace. It’s hiding, like maybe in my kidney or something. “You always see the glass as half empty,” says Hot Firefighter Husband. I thought about this a couple of weeks ago while I floated down the lazy river at Discovery Cove in Orlando. Discovery Cove is a magical fake tropical island where you can snorkel with sting-rays that don’t sting and swim with dolphins that act happy. It’s surrounded by a lazy river which meanders through organized tropicalRead more

My new ink. Tattoos, Part III.

My dad loved all things nautical, but he wouldn’t like my new compass tattoo. He isn’t here to judge me, though. I wish he was. “Why don’t you just get a tattoo on your forehead?” he would ask. In the months following Dad’s death, I felt lost and undefined. After I made plans to travel to Notre Dame to inter his ashes, a sense of dread settled in my bones. I worried about having to mourn him again, forgetting that the mourning neverRead more

Me and my soul sister, Laura Ingalls

Worst-kept secret: My favorite television show in all of history is Little House on the Prairie. Right this second, as I’m writing, I’m watching the episode called “Richest man in Walnut Grove,” in which Charles loses his job at the mill and has trouble making ends meet. So the whole family pitches in until the crisis passes. In the meantime, Nellie and Willie Oleson taunt Laura by saying her father smells like a horse and can’t get a decent job. Pa consolesRead more

ARE YOU HAVING A BABY? WOW! Congrats. And good luck. Or vice-versa.

People continue to get pregnant despite the overwhelming trauma of being a parent. It’s baffling. And once their adorable round bellies are poking out and they’ve developed that champagne-like glow, the rest of us are all Congratulations! How exciting! Do you know what you’re having? Do you have names picked out? Because what else can we say? If they’re still thinking of names, I always throw out Satchel. The only reason I’d consider another kid is to name it Satchel. ButRead more

CONTROL THE RAGE, MUTHA. Try to, at least.

I haven’t worked out in three weeks plus two days. My back still hurts, although I think it’s on the mend. Well, it WAS on the mend before I did a few sprints on the beach, because sometimes I’m a big stubborn dumbster. A few hours after the sprints, my back whispered, “You are an idiot, and I will continue to cause you misery, and I will tell your ab muscles to cause you misery as well, and I’m goingRead more

A Stephen King novel unfolds in my kitchen. Also, Dumbo.

We sat down to dinner late the other night, so the Diva ate a single shrimp and said, “May I be excused?” She’s maniacal about her bedtime. Have I mentioned that I adore that child? The single breathing being in the house who takes care of herself? The rest of us started up the usual dinner chaos. I peeled shrimp for the boy, but the girlie peeled them herself, which made her brother jealous, so he told her she was servingRead more

Project PB&J, concluded. Fascinating!

You may be aware of the semi-sociological experiment I’ve been monitoring in my car. To summarize: on Saturday, May 24, I made a PB&J sandwich for my daughter and wrapped in a paper towel, and gave it to her to eat on a long car ride. She never ate it, and it sat there. For days. Then weeks. I watched the sandwich carefully to see who might notice and throw it away. Hot Firefighter Husband took my car for an entire afternoon, andRead more

Slings and ARROWS of outrageous (mis)fortunes, and I’m so….fucking…..tired.

Certainly one of the symptoms of exhaustion must be Googling “symptoms of exhaustion.” Don’t people get hospitalized for exhaustion all the time? I can’t understand why nobody will put me in the hospital. In a private room. Note: if you hear that I’ve been hospitalized, please stop by and give my dogs some water. My whole body aches. The arch of my foot hurts. I have an unexplained bruise on my side. I keep swatting imaginary bugs off my chin. I’mRead more

An evening bike ride with the Tyrant

It was beautiful evening for a bike ride. I decided to pedal over to our old neighborhood to pick up the coffee delivery that Hot Firefighter Husband had sent to our old address. It’s maybe a 2-mile ride. I asked the Tyrant if she wanted to come. “SURE!” she said. With enthusiasm! Like she’d been waiting her whole life for this kind of opportunity. It might have been the longest 45 minutes in history. Here’s an approximate transcript: Are you ready, Mom? Are youRead more