We’ll just say this:
If summertime fun is measured in how many stitches two little boys can get…
Then the Summer of 2013 is freaking awesome.
We had our first summer 2011 get-away weekend recently. We went to the deep south. And as anyone who is from the general Chicagoland area knows, everything south of I-80 is the deep south.
So we headed to the land of rednecks and poo-holes known to us northerners as St. Louis. There are a few important things to know about St. Louis.
Okay, maybe I am over-generalizing. It was Cubs-Cards weekend, and the Cardinals officially handed the Cubs their asses on a stick. I’m just saying — Jackie — you’d think that would be enough. I’m just letting you know — Kyle — your “How many rebuilding years can the Cubs have” t-shirts are stupid. That’s all I’m saying.
But I digress.
The trip to St. Louis had us worried, as it seemed this was going to LITERALLY be the crappiest weekend ever. And I don’t believe in using the word “literally” unless I mean it. Because one minute it was all this:
“WOO HOO WE’RE TAKING A TRIP!!”
And the next thing we knew, little George there got a look of complete and utter fear on his face. Followed by the runs. And when five-year-olds get a case of the runs, they don’t squeeze their butt cheeks together real tight and hold on until the next stop. They wait until you are two milliseconds past the point when you could reasonably take the exit without flipping the Kia Sportage, chit their pants, try to lie about it as if we cannot smell that nonsense, and suddenly there’s a good ten miles between the next stop and where you sit now in your stinky, nasty car.
Finally. We make it. Lincoln, Illinois.
We would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the people of Lincoln who entered the bathroom at the Wendy’s and had to smell that. Score for Jim for biting the bullet on taking care of this.
Wipe. Clean. Throw away underpants and put on fresh ones. Back in the car.
30. Minutes. Later….. Bomb #2.
We would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the people of Williamsville, Illinois who entered the bathroom at the McDonald’s and had to smell that. Score TWO for Jim for biting the bullet and taking care of this. I took this opportunity to go to the convenience store, where I picked up a bottle of Pepto, read the label, clearly saw it said not to give it to children under six, and gave it to my five-year-old anyway.
Wipe. Clean. Throw away underpants and put on fresh ones. Back in the car.
I kid you not… 30. Minutes. Later….. Bomb #3.
I wish I had taken a photo of Jim’s face. He pulls off into Middle of Nowhere, Illinois, into a lovely gas station that was slightly nicer than what I assume hell looks like, put the car in park, and stared straight ahead. Clearly it was my turn. I retrieved the LAST pair of underwear from George’s suitcase, helped him waddle into a bathroom that even Britney Spears would find gross, and proceeded to used every disinfecting wipe I had to clean various surfaces (to no avail). Wipe. Wipe. WIPE. Holy balls, people, it was wrapped around his balls! It’s bad enough changing the diaper of a two-year-old. A five-year-old with the runs might as well be YOU with the runs. I swear to God, the child does not have enough lower intestine to produce that much crap, but out it catapulted from his ass.
We would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the people of Wherever-the-hell-that-was-south-of-Springfield, Illinois who entered the bathroom at the gas station closest to the highway and had to smell that. Especially the three terrified looking women who were standing there when I opened the door after ten minutes and my child still had a little dookie stuck to the back of his leg. I had to clean it with a sunscreen wipe. But, in my defense, minus the smell, I think I left that bathroom cleaner than I found it.
More Pepto and a quick prayer — we are out of underwear.
30. Minutes. Later.
Okay, this time their was no rear-end explosion. But the child does suddenly say, “I have to pee!”
Come on, now! Again, barely a foot past a safe place to turn off the highway.
Jim takes the next exit. We probably should have noticed that the sign said, “Exit to Terror Land, HERE!” At this exit there were two things — a gas station/liquor store complete with a woman smacking her child and a man picking his teeth with a knife… and a Venture. You know what does a fast U-turn? A 37-year-old man driving a Kia Sportage.
At this time, Jim distracts George by telling him he can see the arch. Nevermind the kid had no idea what the arch was up until that point. It’s RIGHT THERE! (we can’t see it yet). LOOK THERE IT IS! (still can’t see it). THE ARCH!! (finally!)
Over the river, into town, toward the ballpark, suddenly turn into tourists (LOOK! *point* THE STADIUM *point-point* TALL BUILDINGS! pointy-point-point* THAT WAS OUR TURN BACK THERE *backwards point*).
Parking. Hotel. Check-in. Poops seem to have passed, so hell, let’s get in the pool. It’s dark. No one will notice if George takes another un-toileted shat (he didn’t).
Back to a quick rant of the Cardinals here — This was Friday. The game ended shortly after we got to the hotel, 6-1 Cards. And I found myself alone in the elevator with several drunk, overly cologned 20-somethings, letting me know, “THE CUBS WERE RAPED TONIGHT. UN-CON-SENSUAL RAPE!!!” Then there were some bro-hugs and bro-fives. Honestly Jackie. This excuses your choice of a DE-troit fan, because two Cardinal fans would be unacceptable at Mr. E’s place in Wisconsin. I’m just sayin’.
Anyway, with the backseat blowouts safely behind us, we got to the business of enjoying the rest of the weekend, which frankly, was awesome.
Foot of the arch!
Totally artsy picture of Hank.
View from our seats!
View from the
completely unnecessary tower of terror arch.
Feeding the fish at Union Station.
Complete and utter exhaustion.
Cruel and unusual punishment.
Seriously. That bigger one there — three separate trips to the hospital, eighty-bizzilion hours of labor before a c-section, single parenting. I went WITHOUT health insurance so I could afford it for him. And the little one — ten months of refusing to be held at feeding time by anyone but me and my right boob. Poor righty was all full and sore and nasty because he wouldn’t take lefty. Not to mention the ABOVE DESCRIBED POOP TRIP 2011. And this is the thanks I get.
Little monster children.
Just let it be known, if you two EVER yell in an elevator that the Cardinals have just raped the Cubs, I will seriously have you removed from the will.
The following is an actual conversation from this morning:
Me, spotting a little black spider lowering itself by the stairs: “Oh. Icky. A spider.”
Him: “Just swipe it away.”
Me: “Eeewwwweeeeeee…. Get me a tissue.”
Him, handing me TWO squares of toilet paper: “Here.”
Me: “That’s NOT ENOUGH.”
Him, eyes rolling: “Yes it is.”
Me: “No, I’ll be able to touch it!”
Him, brushing past me and snatching up the toilet paper: “Sheesh.”
Me: “FLUSH IT DOWN THE TOILET!”
Him, flushing the defenseless and squished spider down the loo: “You women…”
And for clarity:
Me = 37-year-old Marney
Him = 9-year-old Hank
Real conversation with an 8-year-old boy:
Hank: “Mom, I think I know why we have wieners and butts. ‘Cause when you drink, the drink takes bad chemicals and it makes it go out (makes pee gesture). And when you eat, it carries on and it takes bad chunks and it carries it out of your butt (makes pooping gesture).”
Me: “What made you think of this?”
Hank: “Our teacher. It’s about what we’re learning about water, like how it goes up in the air and how it goes back down. I already knew the whole thing.”
As usual, thanks public school!
As I may or may not have mentioned before, I am a total fatty.
Big fat fatty.
Okay, maybe it’s possible that while I am not anywhere close to slim, I’m also not anywhere close to the ginormous beast that I think I am. I’m overweight, but not obese (technically). I am also terribly fit. I lift and “jog” on the treadmill and haven’t done much Zumba since those dirty bastards at LA Fitness dropped the class, but do have Zumba for Wii. Which, by the way, is quite fun but not the same as super cute Stacey the Zumba instructor and her step-tap routines to songs like “Single Ladies” and “Solo” and my personal favorite, “Sexy Chick.” I mean seriously, I have “Danza Kudro” on my MP3 player, and I don’t even know what language that is, let alone what it means. I think it’s Spanish, but I’m not even sure about that. It doesn’t help that he sings “Oy oy oy,” prompting me to think it could be Hebrew. Totally awesome Zumba dancing Hebrew! See, Zumba at home is not quite the same. But, I do work out quite a bit and I’m well aware that I need to better control my eating if I really want to drop the weight.
But those work outs come with a serious down side. And it’s the locker room.
For real, naked locker room wenches of the world, WHAT THE HELL?
This is my biggest issue with locker room nakedness: For whatever reason, women (and presumably, men) are under the impression that when they are in the locker room (or the more fashionably named “dressing room”) they are somehow magically transported to their own bedrooms. Walking around whilst naked nude, hands-up while blow drying hair swaying, stretch-marked boobies in the sauna, shower curtain ajar while pits are throughly cleaned, showing off that disastrous tattoo, bending over without proper undergarments — GROSS.
Here’s the thing: locker rooms are PUBLIC. Sure, they are segregated by gender. Sure, they are private in the sense that they are sectioned off from the rest of the gym. But they are still PUBLIC. Just like public bathrooms are public. Look, it even has he name PUBLIC in it. Perhaps it’s the closeness of the word public to pubic that distracts people. But when you remove your over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder and let those girls fly, here’s the thing: I CAN SEE YOUR BOOBS. And you know what? I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR BOOBS.
You know what I don’t want to see even more than I don’t want to see your boobs? Your pubic hair. Or your butt crack . Or any body part that might prompt grammar check to ask if you meant “Libya” or “Volvo.” I don’t want to see your junk!
What is up with this? What prompts these women to decide that heck, there’s no men around, so I might as well get naked? I mean, I understand being in your underwear. That’s pretty understandable as far as locker room standards. After all, you have to change your clothes sometimes and it’s clearly a bit more comfortable that if you have to show people yourself in your bra, those people are also women. But someone has GOT to explain to me the naked part. I mean, if the local grocery store had a “ladies only” day, would women suddenly start shopping all nude like? Is there no dress code at Curves or Women’s Workout World because they are women-only establishments, hence it’s boobs out 24/7? Was I doing something wrong all those years when I had female roommates and we WORE CLOTHES. I mean, like, every day, totally dressed, no matter how often the neighborhood teenagers told us we were fat lesbian whores (we were NOT fat, by the way).
Look, ladies, here’s the thing. If you toss your goods out, I’m going to stare at them. No because I’m one of the gays. But because they are RIGHT THERE. If you are shaking your little butt out in the open, I’m going to glance while thinking, “man, where does she SIT? She has no padding!” And if you are going to walk around showing off the patch of fur that God gave you (although he apparently forgot to give you the ability to use a razor), then you better believe I am going to glance at the goodies, if for no other reason than to hope you see me look at your vajayjay in horror and think to COVER IT UP.
Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. I mean, when I was 19, I decided to get a butterfly tattoo on my awesomely flat rock hard abs. And two pregnancies and 50 pounds later, that butterfly is a nearly indistinguishable moth. And let’s not forget, I’ve had two c-sections. Maybe I should be the one to start walking around with my kitty uncovered.
That will teach them.
Today’s story is brought to you by Tamiflu. Tamiflu: breaking the wallets of sick people since 1999.
So George was all sick and barfy and not right over the weekend. And I was thinking, eh, he seems a little worse than a regular flu, but not too bad. Then Sunday he starts tugging at his ear, so I’m like, A-HA! Ear infection. So off to the doc we go yesterday.
Nope. No ear infection. H1N1. Aka, influenza A. Aka, Swine flu.
Ok, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The media always gets the swine flu thing wrong. Liberals. Because really, only swine get swine flu. H1N1/Influenza A is just more severe than your average seasonal flu, and lasts a little longer. George has already been through the worst of it. The doctor said complications usually come at the END of the cycle, which should be the end of this week. But his fever is already gone.
Speaking of which, the doc was a little shocked that I hadn’t taken his temperature. I said, he had a fever, and she was like, how much, and I was like….. uh……. hot on my hand? She gave me that one eyebrow up in the air look. Is it no longer acceptable to touch your kid and KNOW they have a fever? If so, um, looks like I need a new thermometer for Christmas. I don’t even know where mine is at. Or which end it goes in.
Lucky for me, Hank stayed home from school yesterday, he had a dentist appointment. And when he came out, his eye was blazing red. So I had the doc look at him too…. and he has a raging case of pink eye. Probably related to the flu, the doc says, but he is not symptomatic of the flu. Lovely that I might have spread it all over the dentist office, hmm? Which is a whole ‘nother story, jeeze louise.
Anyway, George’s doctor says, oh, by the way, the entire FAMILY has to be treated for H1N1. With a medicine that costs $50 each. EACH I TELL YOU! You should have seen my eyes bug out of my face when the pharmacist said that — and that is WITH insurance. And Jim’s got the good stuff, too! Guess who is super happy that Jim talked her into stopping at two kids right about now? Of course, it makes sense though since we’ve all been exposed. I mean, on Saturday, when he barfed all over me and the pillow I threw out, the first thing I did after ripping his clothes off was give him hugs and kisses, then I cleaned it up. And it’s not like I put on rubber gloves to do it.
So I have to hold down George twice a day to pump this stuff in his mouth. Hank only gets it once a day, but I also have to sit on his head and pry his little eyeballs open to put the eye drops in. And Jim is the biggest baby of them all. He has pretty much doused himself with hand sanitizer and last night he freaked out a little when he grabbed the pantry door right after Hank had touched it. Although, I think Jim is more afraid of the pink eye then the flu. Big baby.
Anyway, the house has been throughly Lysoled. Bah.
However, just so everyone knows, even though you have been assured by the doctor that things are okay and your kids seem fine and they’ve started treatment, when your 4-year-old gets diagnosed with H1N1, you wake up every 30 minutes or so to make sure he is breathing. I am sure it will be a fun week for me.
Meanwhile, Hank — who is 8 years old — needs not one, not two, but THREE root canals. THREE ROOT CANALS. And I didn’t really want him sedated, and the dentist thought that was funny. His treatments start in January. Seeing as I have had one cavity ever in my life, let’s blame his other biological contributor for this one.
December is here, and despite my curled lip and huffy anger at all that is winter, even I like Christmas. So, it’s time to start that decorating.
Recently, my mother has been able to slowly but surely unload a few of her boxes of
total crap Christmas treasures on me. Not a lot, I warn you. I promise, my father is still buried in endless ornaments, figurines and knick-nackery, all of which looks identical. But somehow I managed to get an entire box that I didn’t even pack. Something my mother must have just handed over.
I’ll admit, as I was emptying it, I was enjoying it. My mother has, for the past 200 years or so, collected small Christmas trees. Wood. Glass. Plastic. Sprinkled with more sparkly sprinkles than will ever completely wash off your hands. And I like them. So I got some joy pulling them out one by one and taking a good look.
Then it happened.
When I reached the bottom of the box, I found a pen. On it was stamped a business name, as you will commonly find on pens. Only this on reads:
Verdant Fields Nudist Camp
Get in touch with your OUTER self!
Enjoy ping pong, volleyball & our famous bottomless buffet.
NO SHIT PEOPLE.
Yeah, that’s right. I displayed my mother’s shame on a dirty pot holder and put it on the world wide web.
Thanks for the visual Mom. And for God’s sake, do NOT try to explain it. God forbid we have to have an experience where the cure is worse than the disease.
Merry Naked Christmas.
UPDATE: My friend Alicia informed me that this is a “joke” pen. That you can buy them with all sorts of disgusting and/or awesome fake places and hand them over to unsuspecting people like me and terrorize them. Of course, now the problem isn’t that my mother has been to a nudist camp. It’s that this is my mother’s sense of humor. I will miss her while she is in hell.