Maybe I should wear more protection...

So I'm standing there, well, elliptical-ing there, (mostly) minding my own business at the gym...I've been on the machine long enough that I'm sort of starting to drift off into a cardiovascular haze.

Until something invades the periphery of my visual plane.

Now, I'm sort of a live-and-let-live kind of person; someone who doesn't really get worked up about what others wear or do if it's not harming anyone. But this just seems a bit over the top.

So I steal a glance to my right, being careful not to lose my balance so I'm not hurled off the Elliptical Machine into some ignominious heap. A gentleman has carefully placed his belongings next to the machine to my right, and is opening the gym bag he has brought with him. Lo and behold, what should appear from this Mary Poppins-like container but a mask. Not a Zorro mask or a gel mask for the eyes - either of these two would have been less disconcerting than what this gentleman placed on his head.

It was a full-on, bona fide, boxing mask. And not just the one where there's padding on top and on the sides. No, this included the cage-like contraption that covers the face. He looked like he was getting ready for hockey practice. Only he was climbing onto the ELLIPTICAL MACHINE. And not some special elliptical machine that throws punches while you ellipsis away. There were no hidden spikes that might emerge unannounced should you decide to anger the man in the machine by not finishing the whole program. So I wondered, in the same way I wonder about, oh, I don't know, psychopaths, whether this seemingly innocuous man was simply trying to be funny, or whether he actually and truly and honestly BELIEVED with all his heart that there was some chance of his face or orb being hideously maimed while on the elliptical machine.

So then, given my inherent insecurities about this world, I started to wonder if maybe I was the insane one. The one not properly protected from the various, lurking dangers at the gym. I mean, I don't even shower there, for fear of foot fungus.

And let's not even get into the things a microscope might find on the mat where I stretch...

It was getting ugly in my head.

I stole another glance at the now-elliptical-ing, mask-clad man.

I decided if that's what he needed to do to feel safe, then I should just shut up (the conversation in my head) and go back to (mostly) minding my own business.

We all need our security blankets. Maybe that was his.


It happened. And it was amazing. As fulfilling and life-changing as I thought it would be.

And there wasn't even much screaming involved. Just a few whispered words, some well-timed kisses...

and both boys slept IN THEIR BEDS last night!!!

And I slept in mine!!!

All alone!!!

(Well, maybe that last fact is not to be so publicly relished... but I digress...)


I'm not sure if I'm conveying the giant-ness, the enormity of it...


Am I getting my point across?

For those of you whose offspring don't know what Mom and Dad's bed feels like, I (begrudgingly) congratulate you. For those, who, like me, have had a certain amount of trouble finding any way to make the kids stick to their own mattresses, please celebrate this milestone with me...

and let's get some fucking sleep already!


If only he was real...

In my parallel fantasy world, I've found the next sucker I'd like to knock me up:

Don Draper.

Just give me a baby, baby...

Someone to carry on that brooding, sensual, dark legacy...

I'll be your concubine, your mistress, your baby mama.

Call me.

Snooze away...

So I'm sitting on the steps of BAM, waiting for my date to arrive. He's late. Shocking.

Once he arrives, we chat for a second, a dialogue that includes the following information:

LateDate: I was super-tired, so I took a nap late this afternoon.

HardAssMe: Didn't you have an alarm set?

LateDate: I hit the snooze button.

HardAssMe: (slack-jawed) You snoozed me?!?! Really?!

The conversation devolved from there; I thought I got over it pretty quickly, but apparently LateDate was nowhere near in the mood for forgiveness of my impertinence.

Talk was tense, advances rebuffed (my advances, his rebuffication). I asked a lot about his week, he acted like my life held no interest whatsoever.

Cut to drop-off:

NotSoHardAssAnymoreMe: Wanna come up? Have a drink? (This having been our usual evening trajectory, I wasn't expecting a late-game denial to go with the earlier rebuffication).

LateDate: No, I have a ton of stuff to do. Tons of emails to read and answer.

Um, I think he just told me in man-speak that he has to wash his hair.

Fine, be that way. Give up an hour of heavy-petting with hot Brasilian mom because I suggested snoozing me was a bit, uh, indicative of his (non) excitement at seeing me.

What a girl.

Three days later - day before we are supposed to have mulligan date: he thinks it's best we part ways, as he doesn't see how we would find a happy medium with one another.

Thank god.

Saves me the work of typing the words: Um, I don't really think we're a Match (wink, wink). Thanks for all the dinners. Good luck in your (probably never-ending) search for a soul-mate!

xes and ohs.


Calgon, take me away...

It's been one of those weeks - lots of weird news, lots of deep breathing, plenty of wine and beer. And now, the farm where we were to go apple-picking tomorrow is infested with poison ivy. Will the madness never end?

The good news is that as moms, we are trained from the births of our children to adjust to the changing scenery of any kid's day (I suppose dads should be included here, but there are no dads in this household, so I have no personal proof they share the chameleon-like abilities of mothers). Which means that when the babysitter falls through, and the movie is sold out, and the scheduled playdate gets canceled because of sickly children, and a trip to the park turns into a trip to the emergency room...we act all nonchalant, like nothing extraordinary is going on, and we go into MommyKnowsHowToFixThisEveryoneStayCalm mode and find a different way to make everything okay.

So we're going to a different apple-picking farm.

And I'm looking for a job.

And a weekend subscription to the NYTimes will have to do.

And Nancy's having a baby...with a Mexican druglord.

And the Halloween costumes will be homemade.

And Don Draper has nowhere to go.

And all my dates have disappeared.

Bring it on.

I'm a mom, godammit.


It's a police state

Get your fingers out of your nose!

Stop sucking on your fingers!

Hands off the peepee!

Finish your dinner or no dessert!

You better be brushing your teeth!

You're about to lose some privileges!

You better not be doing what I think you're doing!

Stop aggravating your brother!


love and logic

Me: Luca, could you please go get my phone upstairs?

Luca: I don't want to.

Me: I didn't ask if you wanted to.

Luca: But MAMAAEEE (groans and grumbling)

Me: It's not like I WANT to pick up after you all day, or like I WANT to wake up in the middle of the night to get you water.

Luca: But it's YOUR phone!!!

Me: And they are YOUR games! And YOUR underwear!


first day of school

The boys have started school - RAD school, that is. Revolutionary Artistic Development School of Brooklyn. Couldn't we have predicted my kids would end up somewhere like this? Having done my due diligence in researching the local public schools and applied (unsuccessfully) to the only private school I would send my kindergartener, I decided our little pseudo-homeschool was the best option for him and for his little brother. So they are both getting an alternative education. I say alternative only because they are the only kids in the neighborhood not reciting the alphabet on a daily basis and having flashcards flipped while their eyes and brains glaze over. They are, instead, enjoying copious outside time; learning the art of listening to friends; tending to their own plot at the Fort Greene Park Garden and eating the lettuce they grow; and ending their days in a Compliment Circle, which should be mandatory for all of us, frankly. I think there would be fewer wars in this world. Yes, I am a product of hippie parents, but the RAD school seems like the most relevant, sensible solution to my issue of how to educate my kids in this world.


So I'm sitting there with my forefingers and thumbs pressed together, trying so hard to evoke the calm, Zen, Buddha...and down the hall the baby screams as if his Pop Tart has been taken away mid-bite. Which it was, earlier that day, by an ornery older brother who decided right then was as good a time as any to take revenge for the stomped-upon block castle. But I digress, as any sleep-deprived mother is wont to do. So the baby is maybe remembering the aforementioned traumatic Tart Theft and that's why he's up at 3:15 in the morning, suffering very audibly in his crib. And I'm trying to pretend I'm a cold-fish-mommy who cares not one whit about the misery my baby is being forced to endure by sleeping in his own bed instead of hogging mine. (My older son might beg to differ about the pretending part.) Finally, in my best Mommy Dearest impression, I get up from my lotus position, that's not helping anyways, and go and close the door to my bedroom. And go lie down again. With my pillow over my head and the fan going full tilt. I think this is what's called self-preservation.


It's all about the mouse...

So 37 feels different, for some reason...and not just because I've thrown my back out and feel like some geriatric octogenarian. No, it's like being on the far side of anything; it just feels closer to...something...something ominous. Not even 40, necessarily. It's just that when I separated at 34, I was still on the near side of anything. And now, a measly three years later, when I tell people how old I am, they say, "Really? You don't look it!" As if that, somehow, is a compliment. But it's not, is it? Because what it means is, "Wow, I didn't think you were that old!" So then I'm forced to keep on insisting that I really and truly, honestly, no bullshitting, am 37, as ancient as that may seem.

And now I have a mouse in my kitchen.

It sucks being 37.


that's a deal-breaker

WTF? is it just me? are my expectations too high? where does a person find the time? and ewwww!

me: are you fucking someone else?

him: well, i have, yes, but i still really like you and wanna see you.

me: yeah, that's pretty much a deal-breaker for me. but thanks anyway!

it went almost like that, with a few hysterical laughs thrown in. i couldn't believe what an asshole i'd been; how gullible. i mean, really, how many times must i be shown how the dating world works before i really and truly believe it? it's not like i've ever considered myself a pollyanna or anything. i think i just tend to fall for the charming type.

i think it's time for a break from that world. i'm too old for this shit.


Apologize or face the consequences...

Luca's trying to construct a tower out of Mega-Bloks. Dash is thwarting him at every crucial, block-placing moment, and swatting at Luca in the process. I tell Dash to apologize - as if, since the only words he knows are mama and wow-wow (dog in baby portuguese) - to which Dash responds with one well-placed, strategically brilliant swipe at the carefully constructed Mega-Blok masterpiece. Said swipe brings the tower down...and Luca says, in a very calm and reasonable voice, bless his patient little heart, "Dash...that is NOT apologizing."