Vacation–All I Ever Wanted.

So we just got back from Maui.  Totally gorge. 

I can think of nothing, really nothing, as welcome as lazing by a pool, with the ocean next door, with nothing to do except keep an eye out on the kids.   Oh, and napping! And cocktails, too, of course.  I want to say that I am totally reinvigorated…ready to start writing, full of energy for putting pen to paper and creating.  But I’d be lying, big time.

See, strolling about in the sun really just makes me want to do more of it, more relaxing, more indulging.  Writing is hard work, as you all probably know.  I’ve got to get back to it, but for today…I’m just going to bask in the residual glow of my vacation.  Ahhhhhh.

What to write about?

I was looking at some writing prompts today, trying to get inspired.

I saw a suggestion about creating one’s own list of writing prompts by randomly, swiftly naming 10 things one may write about one day (don’t hold your breath!).  Here’s mine:

Makeup application techniques, spa days, toddler behaviors, celebrity gossip, depression, publishing without publishing contacts, sustainable passion, neighbor block parties, get-rich inventions, and the role of hospice.

So that’s my random, top-of-the-head list.  What’s yours?

Terrible twos? What about this?

Why are they called the Terrible Twos?

My eldest is three and a half–an age where he is establishing his independence and where whining has become a hard habit to break.

The tantrums have subsided…thank you thank you…but the whining! I think this particular tone of voice is unbearable. The exchanges are equally frustrating. Here’s an example:

Mommy! I neeeeed my milk cup!

Son, it’s right there (I point to the table where son is sitting)

Mommmmmmmmyy! YOU GET IT FOR ME!

Are you kidding? Pick it up. It’s RIGHT THERE!


Then the time-outs begin. Ah…the Terrific Threes.


My three year-old has come up with quite a few interesting phrases recently.  I realize, of course, that he’s parroting back to me things my husband and I say.  But there are a couple humdingers that he’s picked up from other kids.

So here I am, mid-thirties, already lecturing about having a sassy mouth.  I’ve refrained (barely) from shouting, “Don’t you sass me!” and “Don’t get fresh with me!”  But I have resorted to saying, “child, we don’t say that in our house.”

His response?

“Hey lady, re-lax!”

I’m not kidding.

Playing nice.

Observing my 3-year old son playing with his friends is like taking lessons on leading a good life.

The other day, a little girl from down the block came to play for a few hours.  The first hour or so was fine: 2 kids exploring through the toy bin and then snack time.  Easy.  But then, the struggle to share and be kind to each other began…struggles that any 3-year old must wrestle with.

The “he touched me!” and “she took it from me!” began.  I’d tell the kids to “hey, work it out; be nice!” And they would.  Most of the time.  When they couldn’t work it out, I’d intervene with a suggestion that they hug each other and say they are sorry to each other, so that they could continue playing. It was sweet.  They’d quickly hug, say “sorry!” and move on.  Beautiful.

When do we lose that? That easy ability to take things lightly, to move on in the moment, to let go of small slights.  Watching these kids, I told myself to remember this lesson–say sorry quickly, accept others apologies quickly, move on, have fun.

What do you want to be?

At my older son’s preschool today, they had a big sheet of paper on the wall with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The kids all had their answers listed on the paper.

The question stopped me for a moment, and made me wonder what I would have answered when I was a kid. Easy. I would have said “ROCK STAR!”

I distinctly remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror as a kid, holding my hairbrush like a microphone, and belting out the lyrics of the song “Gloria” by Laura Branigan. There was a pipe in the back yard that gave off the best reverb…so I’d put the hairbrush down and go sing the song again out there. After a while, I tired of “Gloria” and moved on to Kim Carnes’s “Bette Davis Eyes or “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” by Air Supply.

My other idea was to become a Solid Gold dancer.

Obviously, neither of these early ambitions became a reality.

My son’s answer to the question, by the way, was…..drumroll……

A fire truck.

Yep, he wants to be a fire truck when he grows up. Grandiose dreams evidently run in the family.

Super productive.

Today, a woman asked me what I do. I gave her baleful stare as my two sons alternately clung to me, jumped off of me, whined, and were your general, well, little boys.

I told her I stay home. “You are so lucky!” she trilled.

True, I am privileged to get to be home with the kids, but as any stay-at-home mom knows…there’s a lot about the job where the word “lucky” just doesn’t apply.

Staying at home for me means being a mom first, then topping off the day with a laundry list of chores, including the namesake laundry, dishes, errands, grocery shopping, cooking, LAUNDRY (it is never done), and about forty six other tasks. The difference about being a mom who works outside the home is that if I did not get to the laundry list, I didn’t sweat it–hey, I was at work. I didn’t feel the sense of guilt that descends now when I don’t get the work done. I feel a pressure, self-induced and societal, to be hyper productive since I’m in the home the majority of the day.

Truth is, this is the hardest work I’ve ever done. If you know me, you know I’ve had some…how do I put this delicately…challenging positions, but they pale when compared to the MOUNTAINS of laundry that face me every morning.

Did I mention, the laundry is never finished?

I love my job, I appreciate my job, and I———–

Sorry, got to run. A load needs to be moved from the washer to the dryer.

Flu bug.

Question:  Which is worse? Being sick, or taking care of others who are sick?

Answer: Me with bhroncitus AND my two kids are taking turns succumbing to the flu bug (read=throwing up all over mommy).

Yesterday was one of those days–miserable.  Let me capitalize that: MISERABLE.  Both boys were ill, and I was trying to tend to them, bring them juice and crackers, get prescriptions filled, all while scuffling about in my robe with a headache and hacking cough.  By 2:00p.m., I gave up thinking I’d get out of the robe and threw in the towel.   I threw in lots of towels–into the washing machine.  Towels, bed sheets, pillowcases, pajamas…the mountains of laundry that pile up when kids are sick.

Today was much better.  I managed to get dressed, both boys were back to their typical good health, and normalcy ensued.  I caught up on the laundry, cleaned up the multiple juice cups, put away the Pedialyte and Tylenol. 

We’ve squashed the bug for now. 


I have never known true exhaustion the way I (intimately) know it now. With two sons ages 3 years and under, I know what it is to wake up with dark circles under your eyes, your hair matted to your head, and to not have the energy or desire to do anything about it. 

To those who have had Mono, Epstein-Barr, Chronic Fatigue Syndrom…you know what I’m talking about.  Those who have small children who refuse to sleep through the night (as mine refuse to do)–you know what I’m talking about.  There is a tiredness that seeps deep into the bones and I think it takes somewhere around 24 hours of continuous, uninterrupted sleep to conquer it.

When I was younger, my parents would take my kid brother and I on weekend trips to Vegas.  We’d be tremendously excited on the car ride there–all seven hours of it.  They wouldn’t get a hotel room, though, and so my brother and I would spend the weekend alternating between the car (one parent would stay back with us), a video arcade, or sitting on the floor of a casino lobby. 

I’ve never been one to be able to sleep anywhere except for a bed, so my recollection of those weekends is that I was terribly sleepy and tired, cranky…desperately wanting to lay in a bed.  For years afterward, I’d refer to sleep-deprivation as being “LAS VEGAS TIRED”–as in “I crammed all night for my finals.  I am sooo Las Vegas tired.”  Nobody except perhaps my brother would ever be able to understand this peculiar term.

But now…all these years later…I’ve come up with a new one.  “I’m exhaused—mommy-style.”