Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mom Purse

I've got it...I've got it real bad. 

Mom Purse.

'Mom Purse' is a chronic condition that once acquired lasts for approximately 15 years or until child can feed/entertain itself reliably or is too cool and/or embarrassed to talk to you. 

Which ever comes first.

Our moms had it, their moms had it.  Now we too will have it. 

Circa 2005 my purse contained:

1.  A wallet (real, actual money rarely, if ever, was housed in the wallet.  Mostly, it was stuffed with various bar ATM receipts.)

2.  Hairbrush and bottle of dry shampoo. (Preferably in miniature sizes...because they're just cuter.)  A girl can't be caught with greasy roots.

3.  Deodorant. (Also preferably in a cute miniature size.) 

If you haven't already gathered, I have a...thing...about personal hygiene.

4.  Make-up kit. (Including, but not limited to:  lip stick, lip gloss, pressed powder, oil blotting sheets, lip gloss, hair ties, bobby pins, lip gloss and...more lip gloss.)

5.  Gum and/or breath mints.

6.  Cell phone.

7.  Sunglasses.

Tuesday May 17th, 2011 my purse contains:

1.  A wallet.  (Stuffed with Babies r Us receipts.)

2.  Cell phone.  (With ringer on HIGH, in case babysitter needs to contact me in an emergency.)

My once cute, bedazzled case is cracked and gone, having fallen onto the driveway from my clenched jaws while I was trying to carry Henry and 6 bags of groceries in from the car.  Now it is extremely scratched and Henry drool has seeped into the mechanism, blurring part of the screen and making the caps lock button stick...SO I AM ALWAYS YELLING AT PEOPLE IN TEXT MESSAGES.

3. Spare pacifiers.

4.  Paci wipes. 

I am ashamed to admit that I have never actually used these and Henry has probably swallowed a few pieces of dirt and gravel from having the paci replaced after it fell on the ground in the Target parking lot.  Just having them makes me feel like I'm a good mom though. 

Which is important.

He is currently still alive.  So, no worries.

5.  Toys. 

I pull these out at key moments.  When I start to see Henry sprouting fangs or the tell-tale horns.  Sometimes his head spins around, but I usually know when the moment is right.  The toy will usually buy me a little time to get the hell outta where ever we are, and reach a secure location.

Safe from the Henricane.

6.  A diaper and mini wipe packet (never fear, motherhood hasn't stolen my love for all things miniature.)

I spit in the face of tradition and quit carrying a diaper bag for errands about a month ago.

Risky, I know...

I can be a real bad ass.

I am not saddened by this new phase, I'm actually strangely proud of it.

Like stretch marks, saggy boobs, fat thighs or sweat pant weeks...it's a motherhood right of passage.  I feel like if I was still in Girl Scouts I would have earned my "Mom Purse Badge."

I am just picturing the day in the future when I, like my mom, will be able to produce just the right thing, at just the right moment.

Henry and I will be running errands.  God forbid, I may have made him come to the mall with me; 

He will be frustrated, hungry, on the verge of collapse...no doubt whining.

At the crucial moment, like manna from the Heavens, I will unearth some sort of delicious, yet nutritious snack and diversionary activity.   

Balance will be restored to the universe and all will be well.  Henry will view me as some kind of fantastic magician. 

All thanks to my mom purse.

I can't wait.

On a semi-related note; I am almost entirely sure that the cure for cancer will be found in the lint-fur stuck to a half unwrapped piece of hard candy....

In the bottom of a mom purse.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Griswolds

Going on "vacation"...

With an infant. 

1.  Gone, are the days of whisking off to an exotic locale on a lover's whim. 

Enter, the age of the car topper:

Your husband may begin to resemble Clark Griswold.

2.  Gone, are the days of a few t-shirts and bathing suits. 

Here, are the days of endless packing lists:

Baby will need:

3.  Infants do not appreciate being relocated.  Upon relocation, the infant will lose all previous sleeping abilities.

4.  #3 will turn average wife/mother into raving bitch-lunatic.  As one might imagine, vacations are hard to enjoy with a raving bitch-lunatic.

5.  If you are lucky enough to have a fair-skinned, red-haired infant you will have to guard the infant from the sun.  Think of the baby as a tiny vampire that will start to smoke and/or spontaneously combust if one errant ray of sunlight hits its porcelain skin. 

This is an enormous task...especially if you have chosen a beach destination.

6.  Going to the beach will require a caravan of heavily muscled people, and possibly a few camels. 

You will need:

a.  A sun tent.
b.  Cooler with drinks. (Not the fun kind.  Mostly water for the vampire baby, and protein-packed foods to fuel up for the trek back from the beach.) 
c.  Toys.  (May give you a few peaceful moments.  A precious few.)
d.  Towels. (Many, many towels)
e.  Beach chairs.
f.  Diaper bag. (Packed for every eventuality.  In a bizarre chain of events, that will undoubtedly unfold, you will have need for:  a lighter, 2 ounces of prune juice, a pair of socks, one pair of infant sunglasses and a small Pakistani man.)

7.  Once all items have been transported to beach and assembled, you will have exactly one to one and one-half hours before infant will need to have a nap and/or exorcism.  Set your stopwatch.

8.  Infant will eat sand. 

9.  "Swim Diapers" are purely decorative and serve no actual functional purpose.

10.  Unless you like the surprise warm sensations that will result, put infant in real diaper.  See #9.

11.  Around you, people on real vacation will cavort and drink cocktails merrily.  This will result in feelings of anger/jealously/frustration. 

12.  Prepare yourself for these feelings.  Adjust expectations of the meaning of "vacation" now that you have an infant.

13.  Wife/mother will require several 'attitude adjustments' throughout week. 

14.  Average loving husband/father may file for divorce. 

15.  The baby will not remember this "vacation"...

 But you always will. 

16.  You will remember that you got to show him dolphins and watch the sunset over the ocean together.

17.  You will remember that you took him (when he was awake in the early morning hours...see #3) and got to watch the sunrise on the beach. 

18.  You will remember dipping his toes in the ocean.

19.  You will remember helping him back-float in the swimming pool, and teaching him to kick his legs in the water.

20.  You will remember your first real "Family Vacation."

You are not a bad parent if this adjustment is hard for you, and several times you consider trading the infant for a large rum-runner at a nearby beach tiki bar. 

You're only a bad parent if you do it. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Glad Ware

Henry has so many toys.  He has a whole room full of toys.  

He wants the blue Gladware lid.  He loves the lid.

We take it to the grocery store, we take it when we run errands, we take it when we go on walks.  The lid is a hit.

He holds it in his chubby little hands and feels the bumps and ridges, and waves it around.  He passes it from one hand to the other and inspects it like a scientist.  This lid is like a rock from one of Saturn's moons.

The coolest thing.  Ever.

At home he waves his lid with such joy.  Grinning all over the place, babbling like crazy and looking at me.  Obviously trying to convey what is so wondrous about the lid. 

Unfortunately, when we run errands with the lid everything changes.

He still clutches the beloved lid, but gone are the grins and mad waving babbles that the lid evokes at home. 

Oh no. 

In public, he takes on a look like a puppy that has just been kicked.  Very sad.  With a sad Gladware lid in place of a real toy.

So, as we cruise around the grocery store, with Henry looking like I just farted in his pudding...grasping his little lid...I am judged.

Moms judge other moms.


I can only imagine what they think when they see my poor, sad, pathetic faced little Henry with his lid...

"God, she couldn't even get the poor boy a real toy...what a disgrace to the word 'mother'..."

"I bet she doesn't even have him on a schedule..."

"I wonder if I should call Child Protective Services..."

I'm sure of it.  If I were another mom, I would judge me too...Henry is a terrific actor.  (One of his many talents, I assure you.)

I am willing to stand up to the mental ridicule I can feel radiating from fellow mothers.  I am willing to stand up to the withering stares and stink eyes. 

Because I love Henry. 

And I know as soon as we get in the car he will grin like a fool and wave his lid in my face as I try and strap him in his car seat throne. (Which is like wrangling an octopus in heat.)

So Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, willing to do anything for their kids.

You are amazing.  And you are loved.

Waking up extra refreshed from a nap...with the lid.

Life is more fun with a lid.

Before you turn me in to CPS...please note that Henry does sleep in a sleep sack.  No chance of blanket suffocation.

That has to count for something.