Due to Extenuating Circumstances

Adventures in Unplanned Parenthood

Archive for the month “March, 2016”

The Imes Women Get a Pedicure

Mac is away for a week doing Very Important Scholarly Things. My parents let me move in with them so I can get some very needed help with el Niño. Before I get to the good bit, a tangent:

My abdomen is disintegrating like one ply toilet paper in the Pacific. No joke, I’m running out of tricks to compensate. Real would be an accurate assessment of how the shit is getting. While mom and dad help it gives me more time and avenues to procure all of my medical records from every person who has seen me in the last 3-5 years. Applying to the Mayo Clinic is no longer done by referral. You have to choose the 50 pages that best sums up your issues, surgeries, consults, MRI, x-rays, everything.  The Clinic then decides whom to see.

I have been an actress for 21 years . I have auditioned to be:

  • a girl who holds a Campbell soup sign
  • an American girl willing to let a team of English people cover her in shaving cream
  • a home development expert that focuses on choosing the right carpet
  • and while living in London I auditioned to be the video game voice of an American Army officer, where I was told, I’m not making this up, that I had done OK but there’s a certain type of American accent for this and it was a solid effort but my accent wasn’t American enough. He did tell me he thought with a dialect coach I could get the exact hang of it–my American accent could be perfect.
  • The point is, I have auditioned for so many stupid things in so many stupid ways I RESENT auditioning for medical care.
    • end of rant tangent. Thank you.

Mom was going to help me get Baby into the carseat, we’d collapse the stroller, and go to the nail salon.

Here is what happened:

Using baby gear somebody else has bought is so, so confusing. I don’t think companies make more than one of every gate, highchair or stroller on the planet. Each piece of baby gear is lovingly crafted by hand, to be just that much different from every other on the planet.

I had to get the baby gate down. How does this gate go down? You simply lift the thing, marked with the red, but why is the black thing marked on in pen, which means, so I lift here? No. Do I push here? No. Do I lift towards the

CRASH.

Well. Excellent. My next guess was going to be the chainsaw in the garage. Get stroller, get stomach brace on, lift baby into stroller, must buckle him because we need to go down stairs into garage. But the straps are– why doesn’t this one come out? If I put that one there, then I’m left with a diagonal strap that does nothing…oh. Under his butt? Sure, I mean, I just need to get him to the car and UGH. Hurts to push. Maybe pulling is better. Pull down the AAHHRRGG– baby hanging perilously off one end of the stroller. I guess that’s what the other diagonal thingie should have prevented?

My mom comes to the car. Mom can’t lift due to a recent neck injury, I can’t put the baby away from my torso if I’m holding him, neither of us is great on buckling. Still. It’s not like we’re morons or anything.

We’re morons.

I pick him up out of the AGAHSHSAHAHHH. Oh dear God. I undo the mystery buckle. I pick him up again, without the stroller hanging off his ass. Successfully. My abs are already burning worse than that torch you carried for your junior high crush. Then I have to get him to mom, and she can twist him into the seat, so that takes a couple of tries. Now mom gets out and I get in to buckle, but…would SOMEBODY PLEASE MAKE BUCKLES YOU DON’T HAVE TO SET THE BABY ON TOP OF?? It was another five minutes of maneuvering and squishing his fat little appendages under canvas straps, loosening, buckling, tightening.

We now need to collapse the stroller. Mom doesn’t know how. She bought it secondhand and they may have shown her how to collapse it but she can’t remember at all. I figure it has a button on it that says “push” and red thingies; those must be key to the process. They are. They are key to obstructing all progress. I push, pull, turn, hit with my hands, my legs, my knees, I’m beginning to wonder if you’re supposed to offer it some lewd favor in return for cooperation…?

You could achieve world peace if weapons were labelled this way. I keep pressing, pulling, trying to bend things, feel for joints or weak spots or… anything. Anything that seems like it will alter the configuration of the stroller. And the basket down below fell off. Thanks for that, you snarky little piece of shit baby gear. I can lift you, whole, and just stick you in the back of my mother’s extended hatchba– oh, no. No, I can’t. I can hear mom saying “it won’t fit! It won’t fit!” and I’m thinking “it will if I take that chainsaw I see in the corner to it, so help me, God” but at last, painfully, I admit defeat. This stroller is like the physics question of baby gear: can we truly ever understand or alter its nature? Can your essence be manipulated for our purposes or will even the great minds of our time fall short gazing into the infinite complexities of your composition?

We gave up. We left the stroller in the garage and drove to the salon, where everybody loved him. Which is only fair, he’s quite lovable.

But mom and I have dark plans for that stroller. Down the rabbit hole, comic book villain, we WILL collapse you or die trying, ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk? types of thoughts. I want to keep that chainsaw handy.

(Another) Open Letter to Donald Trump

Mr. Trump,

I am writing to you today specifically to address one of the cornerstones of your campaign, the idea that there will be a giant wall that separates the US from Mexico. You started off by saying construction would $4,000,000,000 dollars, and from there have moved up to sixteen billion, but it won’t matter how much it costs because Mexico will pay for it.

It’s rude and racist to say you know what an entire country will do when you’re basing that on an exceedingly small sample size. So I’ll tell you this: here’s what would happen if you approached one very particular Mexican person (in this case a person who is now Mexican American because he was born here and adopted). If you told my son there needed to be a giant wall he doesn’t want but it’s his responsibility to make one anyway, this is what you’d get:

  1. He’d throw all of your construction equipment to the ground and then DEMAND you, personally, come over and pick it up. It wouldn’t matter that he has 30 other things to make a wall with right now, he wants THAT bulldozer and so you’ll need to fly over on Air Force One, pick up THAT bulldozer, and wait.
  2. Because now he knows the game works. So forget trying to negotiate with China, because your wall-building team is just going to dump bulldozers in the Rio Grande all damn day, until you pick them up, wipe them off, and put them at his disposal again. Don’t bother rehearsing your State of the Union speech, because your entire speech will be undermined by the headline
  3. Wall Builder Will Not Begin Construction Until Demands Are Met
  4. Oh, I know, Mr. Trump, you always fly your left hand over your shoulder and lean forward on the podium then say “whatever. I can handle them.” Then you go back to spewing your thinly veiled hatred of Muslims. But you don’t understand: not figuratively, LITERALLY the wall is not being worked on because you didn’t get your builder Cheerios, applesauce, and three bites of whatever mommy is eating, off her fork. You can put it in front of him and repeat “it’s the same food! It’s the same food! It’s the same food!”until you sound like a deranged parrot from the bowels of hell but it won’t matter. NO WALL FOR YOU because the three bites weren’t from Mommy’s fork.
  5. Good news, Mr. President! Your sample size of one Mexican person is in the mood to build a wall today. An esoteric, sort of postmodern wall with different plastic components, some boxes, a wrapped tampon that fell out of the closet which is super weird since nobody in the house has needed those since Oct. 2011, but whatever. It’s a barrier. To parents. This wall will be a nightmare of trying to walk over his wall without stepping on something sharp, losing your balance, and crashing onto the floor.
  6. Your sample size of one Mexican didn’t want to work on the wall today, Donald. Well, shit. Cancel that whole “I can fix ISIL” meeting. Now what do you do? You can be a normal person and pick up the wall because nobody needs this thing, it doesn’t do a damn thing, and the only people who want it are the same people who have the intellectual capacity to think an empty box from Rice Krispie cereal is an effective barrier to people not coming into your space. But the builder, also at your level of mental development, will cry because you destroyed all the hard work he put into it.
  7. And, finally, I fervently hope, someday…you’ll realize the entire wall was a stupid idea. It wasn’t a good jobs scheme, it wasn’t good diplomacy, it was racist, it was an illusion of security and not worth it…in short you’ll learn your wall was child’s play, Mr. Trump.
  8. So get yourself some Cheerios, play with a bulldozer and make some vroom sounds. Our sample size of one Mexican seemed pretty content and nobody’s mad at him. Although I am a bit peeved–I stepped on a sharp piece of a CAT front loader and it’s bleeding like a son of a bitch.
  9. Oh look! Tampon.

WMD

With the voting climate as it is right now, it seemed like a good time to bring forth some good old-fashioned flag-waving, true blue sacrifice for our country. I probably shouldn’t be telling all of you this. If I looked through the paperwork we signed I’m sure the government told me to keep this private, national security, lives at stake, something something no, we don’t get what’s up with Trump’s hair either, but seriously this is a secret. But, as a proud mama, I have to brag just a little. My son is going to be hired by our Army as a WMD: a Whippersnapper of Mass Distraction.

He’ll be put in key diplomatic strategy meetings, and then he’ll do what he does right now, 24/7. He’ll pull himself up on furniture then scream because he can’t get down. He’ll be sitting and watching the Wiggles and if one of them is wearing a costume he doesn’t like he’ll scream for hours. Doesn’t like the pants Daddy put him in? Scream. Daddy runs to the bathroom? Scream! Mommy took his empty Cheerios bowl? Double scream, because now mommy is a jerkface AND there’s no Cheerios. Mommy comes back with more Cheerios? This is a time for earth-shattering, top-level screaming because if Mommy had a clue she would have saved the inevitable heartbreak and brought the box to the bowl, not the other way around.

He gets himself turned around in his crib and screams. We put him on his back, tucked in, just like he likes but then we leave again; screaming. He rolls over and back again–Doppler effect screaming! Would you care to guess what happens when he wants yogurt but with CINNAMON, dammit, not FRUIT? Well, ordinarily fruit is delicious and he would like it. But now right now, get cinnamon because BABY ANGRY. Feel the need to SCREAM. YOU WON’T LIKE ME WHEN I’M SCREAMY. Sometimes I hear my baby but I see this:

Hulk-The-Avengers-movie-image

Hulk-The-Avengers-movie-image

I’d ask my friends if this is normal, but none of them with kids can hear anymore. I have a friend with three boys that gave up and decided to use baby sign language. Not for her kids, they talk just fine. She and her husband use it because their hearing is never coming back. Mac and I seek television programs we’ll enjoy that aren’t in English because then the subtitles roll merrily along and all we need to do is keep the “I’m mad because I’m mad” screams from escalating to “I might actually have a problem here” screams.

I reckon Baby could be deployed to lots of countries that value silence and decorum. See, in Brazil, I’d bet ten minutes of wiggling and dancing while you scream isn’t inappropriate, it’s part of the health plan to keep people sane and good-natured. But let’s pull this out at a meeting calling for high and strict levels of decorum. Your Russians, your Japanese, your Liechtensteiners (who are solemn because nobody ever remembers to spell their country correctly), imagine taking in this adorable child, who is renowned for his cuteness and lovability,  and letting him scream every time one of the diplomats wants to make a point. We can cut summits down to two hours, and half of that is drinking coffee and waiting for staff to put on The Wiggles again so the weapon can be diffused and sent to his nap with Norman the blue elephant and his favorite blankie.

I don’t even accept this is a phase anymore. He’s just going to scream, often, randomly, at unbelievable decibel levels every day until the day Mac and I have both gone on to our great reward. That reward will be sound cancelling headphones and a thanks from the US government for asking what we could do for this country, and answering President Kennedy’s call with the loudest human being ever created.

Don’t worry! You can thank us for our patriotism, too. In writing, please.

 

An ode to the airport wheelchair drivers

I’d like to take a moment to sing the praises of somebody many of you will never have met: the people who wheelchair you through airports. Or, more precisely, you may not have truly seen them. Let me explain. I have gotten to know a few of them pretty well. I even know one guy’s name, but I won’t give it here because I didn’t ask permission.

One of my close friends, let’s call her Kit, was born with a serious spinal condition. She is, in the true meaning of the word, a genius. I can’t tell you what her government job is, but when she sees the Oval Office on TV shows like Scandal she can tell you exactly how many things they got wrong. She texted me awhile back saying she felt very embarrassed to use the wheelchair drivers at the airport. If anyone should be embarrassed, it’s Charles Darwin. To put one of the most brilliant minds our country has to offer in a casing that can’t walk 100 feet was REALLY DUMB. We want this brain to be mobile. We WANT this brain able to do its thing anytime, anywhere. Having this brain in such a fragile casing is like creating an egg only instead of a yolk there’s a nuclear weapon inside. We shouldn’t have to worry one wrong move costs our nation untold misery.

But I digress. I fucking love the wheelchair people. Believe it or not, by the time I’ve ridden in the car, gone through ticketing and checked my carryon (I do NOT do luggage. Nothing. Nada. A purse is almost my limit) there’s no way I’m taking off my shoes and coat, giving up my cane, walking through the silly machine, finding my gate, using the bathroom then boarding. Sweet baby Buddha. This sequence of events would be performed without a wheelchair if you threatened to take away my lifetime’s supply of chocolate but not for anything less. So, I ask for a wheelchair.

Airlines may suck at a lot of things but let me tell you, I haven’t ever been let down by a wheelchair driver. They meets me at the airport door, stop for anything I want (bathroom? Of course. ATM? No problem. Pretzel because all other food makes me want to puke? One Auntie Anne’s coming right up). I don’t think I could take Baby alone, so when Mac has Baby, we all get to load up in the little golf cart and whiz through O’Hare or National.

My favorite guy at O’Hare is a man with an obvious intellectual disability. Doing this job right takes his full concentration and he’s very careful to do it right. Somehow there’s a weird cloak of invisibility (sorry, J.K. Rowling) that can envelop people with disabilities. In my temporary status as a person with mobility issues I see it now. I’m pretty sure the perfect murder involves looking disabled. Nobody sees you. Their eyes glide right on by.

I’m thankful for the airport wheelchair drivers of the world. Next time you see one, really see one. Trust me, for the people who need them we really, really need them.

And Kit– don’t be embarrassed. They’re putting food on the table in an honest job and you KNOW you can’t walk that far. Besides, honey…nobody sees us. You know they don’t.

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