Due to Extenuating Circumstances

Adventures in Unplanned Parenthood

Archive for the month “July, 2016”

Nice to meet you, Erma.

I like eating applesauce in the middle of the night.

When I need a snack at night, unsweetened applesauce in the total package: easy to find in fridge, low calorie, good for nausea, thick enough to cushion pills, and I can eat it silently in bed, perusing the internet for funny pictures of cats while next to me Mac produces an astonishing amount of body heat for someone who is neither awake nor the Human Torch.

Eat it silently.

***

fore·shad·ow

fôrˈSHadō/
verb
gerund or present participle: foreshadowing
be a warning or indication of (a future event).
***
          Two nights ago I came to the kitchen, then got my Peter Rabbit bowl, then filled it with applesauce, then grabbed my glass of water, then padded back to the bedroom, then set down the applesauce, then put the water on a coaster on my bedside table, then climbed into bed to sit up and peruse funny pictures of cats. Then jumped up with a robust squeal as my left butt cheek tipped a child’s plastic bowl filled with cold applesauce. Right now, I’d like to use this platform for some sage wisdom:
When setting things down it is of vital import to remember where one did this if one wishes to collect said item with hands, not arse.
          As you can imagine, Mac’s eyes opened PDQ when I squawked. I’m dripping applesauce onto the carpet on my side of the bed, where we keep a power strip on the floor. Two nights ago the power strip was hooked up to FIVE things, only two of them less than a hundred dollars to replace. I was frantically scooping up applesauce with my hands, trying to see how much of it got near or on the strip, and since the strip is how my bedside lamp operates I’m scared to turn the damn thing on. I replace my disgusting, squishy nightgown. Mac gives up sleep as a lost cause and heads to his bathroom, stopping to put my nightgown in the washer. I collect bowl, spoon, sodden Kleenex and such to get everything rinsed since we’ve already spent two months at the Maginot Line as far as kitchen ants are concerned.
          Mac returns, shuts off his light, and I come back in with some wet paper towels (carefully kept away from electrical sources, thankyouverymuch) and a flashlight. Satisfied our bedroom is no longer a target for Ant Lebensraum, I sit back on the bed.
          We have cream-colored sheets.
Guess what looks like a wrinkled shadow against cream-colored sheets?
I hadn’t seen the pile of applesauce puddled dead center of my butt imprint.
          Oh, yeah. Same sauce, second verse. A little bit louder, and a metric shit ton worse. There are now TWO disgusting nighties (silky fabric for optimal conduction of frigidity, TWO soggy areas of bedside floor to clean, TWO times I have woken up my husband, an essentially good man, for absolutely no reason than my own terrible choice of late night snack. But wait! There’s more.
          Our mattress pad has a heating element, like sleeping on a giant heating pad. I have no clue if the sauce got in there, and if it did, how do we clean it? I just said moisture and heat sources are mortal enemies. We can’t get clean sheets (stored in closet of Baby’s room), I’m still hungry, I haven’t taken the needed pain pill, my snack is lodged in crevices polite society doesn’t discuss plus Mac goes to work in three hours and his wife is having a breakdown over pulverized fruit.
          Mac smiled gently and told me to get a towel. I miserably put a towel over the whole damn thing and reply, “At least I’ve got a blog entry. Can’t let this be for nothing.” Then Mac tells me, as the CPAP goes back on, “Erma Bombeck would be proud.”
Well.
Fine.
All right then.

Oh, my god.

Dear Readers, for maximum enjoyment of this piece, please visit the article at the website. There are embedded videos you may not be able to see via email or on certain phones. —SIB www.duetoextenuatingcircumstances.com

***

There’s not a good way to ease into this, so let’s jump right in.

My son is a God. Now, I mean that exactly as the words are intended to convey: that the small person over which we have custody is a deity. This isn’t “Mommy’s Little Prince” or “He’s such a drama queen!”

My son is the Norse god of thunder, Thor.

What are the signs? For starters, up until now we’ve been using the standard toy assortment every little kid in America seems to own: things with wheels, things that makes noise, and things that aren’t really toys but it kept him quiet so now they’re toys. His favorites come and go. Last week that ‘take it or leave it” attitude came to a shit-screeching halt when Baby discovered The Hammer. Say it with me now:

The hammer.

I can tell you’re not even trying. The Hammer. No, you’re still not giving The Hammer its proper due. Say it with reverence now, The Hammer.

Keep working on it. In case you were wondering, this is The Hammer.

IMG_3104

Did you think you that’s what Mjolnir would really look like? Me neither, but maybe the people at Marvel have a crappy props department. If you’re doubting for a second this isn’t a Norse magical artifact, well pal, go screw yourself. I have HURT myself trying to separate my boy from this stupid hammer. This is what Mjolnir really looks like. I even went back to the movie and checked: if your entire life revolves around acting insane to the other people on earth, howling mightily and carrying on until your precious hammer is by your side…yep. You’re Thor. Full name, by the way, Thor, God of Thunder, Son of Odin, Lord of Asgard Imes Borden. And the hammer by your side is Mjolnir, all right.

Speaking of the movie though, my Thor has picked up an astonishingly annoying behavior, which is to throw food on ground because it’s good, because it’s bad, because it’s nap time, because it’s Thursday… just, watch. This is my entire life right now.

To top that off, we have now mastered the art of walking, which means the next great challenge is to smash into places mommy and daddy don’t want Thor to be. I’m sure it does look rather harsh to see a hallway of nothing but closed doors to places that couldn’t possibly be dangerous, like an unattended bathroom or the closet where we keep all of the disinfectants and OTC medication. But Baby’s answer is to test every door, because one of these days this will happen:

4241066-5258407687-thor5

Who’ll be weak and powerless against doors then, Mommy?

At this point, I’m torn between just letting him have The Hammer because in spite of imminent danger it’s easier than taking away the beloved Fisher-Price style Mjolnir…or perhaps letting young Mr. Odinson Imes Borden learn that with power comes great responsibility. I could do that by showing him a carefully edited version of the first Thor movie. A pretty good argument could be made that Chris Hemsworth Thor has educational value when watched with mommy.

Actually, if we want a really good educational question to ponder, Mr. Thor Odinson Imes Borden…why can mommy lift Your Hammer?

I should definitely look into what the movies have to say about that. After your bedtime, your highness. That’s enough door smashing for today, dear.

The HMS I Panicked

Whoo-boy, I was in exceptional form last night. As far as I know I’m still married, meaning Mac is either a patient or paperwork-averse man. I’m not looking that gift horse in the mouth.

Last night I FINALLY fully understood a lesson my mom gave me when I was 8 or so, during one of the dozens of tornado warnings that come with being a kid in Nebraska. For real, we went through a phase where we kept a blender downstairs and everybody could have fresh, homemade Orange Julius while we waited to see if anything was serious. My grandparents had been caught in the Night of the Twisters (Grand Island, Nebraska, June 1980). We weren’t flippant, just not panicking every siren. We knew about warnings vs. warnings.

A bad storm came through last night. I was awake on Baby duty, it has been 12 days since he had a cold, so he’s been due for another since four days ago. It’s relevant to mention I was on some low-middling level pain meds, because I waaaay overdid it seeing family July 5th. The next two docs I’m seeing this month essentially do this when their office reports I’m on line one:

gallery_298_17_1836

Last night, at 1:10 in the morning, I heard a horrifying sound: it was an extreme ripping against our back screen door, 12 feet from where I was sitting. We’ve had it fly open, patio furniture blow over, flowerpots break; this was none of these. It was a lot louder, and there was a break between sounds. The first part sounded like somebody trying to punch through the all-glass door, the second sounded like someone trying to rip the door wide open.

I didn’t stick around for the next sound. I ran into our bedroom, turning on the light and forcing Mac’s CPAP off of him. In a loud, clear voice (Mac is very hard of hearing without his aids and seeing your lips) I told him I thought someone was trying to get in. That I was sending him to investigate, and I was going to stand at the baby’s door. To his credit, Mac didn’t even question this. He marched out there like a gladiator in boxer briefs, turning on the floodlights and Being The Protector.

So, Mama Bear here is back in the hallway, standing in front of the baby’s room…doing what, exactly? Well, I had my phone, 3/4 of the way to calling 911. I am not ashamed to admit I have practiced what I’ll say in different scenarios in case I’m scared and the actor trick of calling “line!” isn’t gonna do much for me. But other than that…what the hell was my plan?

No idea. Lizard Brain was driving the train. The ONLY thing in reach would have been something out of the small hallway cabinet that Mac uses to store the few bottles of alcohol we own. So Braintrust over here thinks “I could hit the intruder with a bottle!” Yes, if this person has a knife or a gun, I’ll be locking the baby in and guarding his door by christening the criminal like a new ship.

For .23 of a second it occurred to me that ownership of a handgun would make me feel safer in that moment. In a more reflective moment later I rewound my scenario: a woman on medication, scared out of her wits, using her Lizard Brain to make decisions, shaking like a Jell-O shot in a paint mixer…with a gun. Forget about loading the damn thing, I probably would have bled out there on the floor trying to claw through the fucking safe to reach the gun. My cause of death would have been listed as ripping out of nails, teeth and fingers attempting to open a SAFE. Official verdict, death by irony.

In the end, it turned out the winds had rearranged our supremely heavy deck furniture for us, some things were blowing away, and something probably hit the glass door with great force. Mac, god love him, was back asleep by 1:30. My adrenaline and I were up well past 4:00. It’s 8:30 in the morning and I’ve still got a knot in my stomach. Hm. I should probably ask about bowel obstructions. But my point remains; I was scared as hell, and in that moment the thing that made the most sense in Primal Mommy Mode was to put myself between anything and my son.

So, what does this have to do with tornadoes? When we were very young, during a tornado warning we were in the downstairs bathroom, ready to go right under the stairs, a place I HATED because I once saw a mouse there. But, in my little kid mind, I could still see mice<tornadoes. I asked my mom what she’d do if we heard a twister coming, and she said that my sister Robin and I would crouch on the floor with our hands protecting the vulnerable back of our necks. Then, she would huddle over us wearing a blanket, protecting our bodies with her own. My seven-year-old mind exploded. Mom didn’t act like this was a big whoop. Just, yeah, I’ll cover you guys. With my own body.

I never forgot it because WHOA. That was a lot to take in. Seriously.

Well, it took me about 33 years, but I get it now. Thanks for your Lizard Brain, mom. The next time we have a tornado warning, do the Orange Julius thing. If I were you, I’d incorporate my new Lizard Brain tradition: pick up the big bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey. The bigger, the better.You never know when you might find it useful.

 

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