Stories from February 2010

Wardrobe Malfunction

Becca Sanders

I’m wearing mom jeans.

They don’t have pleats, they aren’t tapered, they aren’t acid-washed, but they are a little short. They have grease stains on them. They are not flattering. And I wear them outside the house. No doubt, if I ever turn up on “What Not To Wear,” the producers will get a shot of me from behind, at the grocery store, wearing my stained, floodwater pants and a grungy t-shirt while squeezing a cantaloupe.

And my friends and family (and I) will groan with embarrassment. I know this, and yet I persist.

I’ve been meaning to go clothes shopping for a few weeks now, but carving out the time to do this has been difficult. Cycles of kid sickness, and me sickness, have confounded my best plans. And shopping for pants has never been a beloved activity for me. It falls above a pap smear but just below teeth cleaning in the rubric of personal maintenance. Yes, I’d rather have my mouth spread open like that of a hooked fish, a stranger’s gloved fingers probing my incisors, than look at my backside in a three-way mirror.

But the situation is getting desperate. I once owned so many clothes (suit jackets, pants, skirts, dresses, and a ton of vintage jewelry) that I could go for half a year without wearing the same thing twice. I now own a wardrobe of fleece. (Read more…)

The Little Couch

Laura De Veau

After 12 years of marriage, our living room set had seen a better day.  That day was in 1997.

The hubby and I have talked about changing the furnishings for several months, and after much browsing, measuring and comparing of swatches, we finally decided on a lovely new burgundy sectional and occasional chair.  The sectional is made of micro-fiber which means that not only is it resistant to spills, but in the dry heat, it creates a goodly amount of static electricity that plagues Spicy Girl.  There have been several occasions where Spicy Girl is reading a book and her hair is standing on end.  Quite the visual.

Most of the old set went to a relative who had recently moved into her first apartment and was in need of something to sit on – other than milk crates.  The only piece we kept for ourselves was the love seat.  Or, as Spicy Girl calls it, “the little couch.” We decided to move it into her “play” room. The room where all of her toys resided, but where—with the exception of when we had a sitter or play date—she rarely played, opting instead to bring her things into the living room or the dining room.

The little couch fit snuggly in the room, and immediately, the room was transformed. It became a place where Spicy Girl wants to be, and where Mommy and Daddy have a place to sit.  In the living room, the little couch was worn.  In the playroom, it is cozy.  In the living room, it was the second choice of where to sit.  In the playroom, it is the top choice.  In the living room, it was in the way.  In the playroom, it is like a hug after a long day.  

One of my favorite ways to spend time now is to come home from work, pop in dinner and while things cook, I curl up on the little couch and read, while Spicy Girl reads with me, or plays at her table.   The little couch has found a new life, and we’ve found a new way to enjoy it—and each other.

Hair Crimes 2—The Husband

Kate Chretien

I really didn’t want to have to resort to drugging The Husband in order to practice my electric hair clipper skills on a still head, so I tried to convince him that it was a good idea that he should voluntarily agree to.

“I’m watching online videos right now about how to cut men’s hair with the clippers!”

You’re not making me feel good about this.

“Oh, honey! I’m so excited to cut your hair!”

That does not inspire my confidence in you. Do you ever hear a surgeon say, ‘I’m so excited to perform this operation on you! I’ve never done it before! Yay!’

“If we do it on tomorrow, you could still get your hair fixed in time for your trip!”

Do you ever hear a surgeon say, ‘Let’s do your surgery today since you could get it repaired by someone else tomorrow if you need to!’

(How tired, all of these surgeon analogies.)

“Can I cut your hair tonight?”

 Don’t you think you need daylight to see better?

Finally, I got him to agree to me cutting his hair one evening. (Read more…)

Will My Real Child Please Stand Up

Angie McCullagh

Last year, I posted a glowing review here on Momicillin for Legoland California. I stand by that review. Legoland is a great place to go with kids. Provided, of course, that one of your kids isn’t currently marching through World War Snit.

I’m speaking of my daughter, Belle, who made our trip to Legoland last week less than enjoyable. She was all four-year-old girl, foot-stomping, arm-crossing, crazy-making drama. She was in a horrible mood and she didn’t, for the first four hours of our day, let us forget it.

We tried to engage her in a water ride and she screamed when she got the slightest bit wet. We offered her food, hugs, hand-holding, validation. We lost our patience and snapped. We cajoled. We pleaded. (Read more…)

The Family That Plays Together Yells a Lot

Lisa Kerr

The sound of one’s children playing together might bring a tear of joy or a sigh of relief to some. To me, it is a warning. Like the screeching tones of the emergency broadcast network, the seemingly innocent words “Do you want to play this with me” sends me running for shelter and canned goods.

The Ladybug and the Monkey don’t play together too often, which is normal for a brother and sister four years apart. It’s a live and let live situation in our house; an invisible divide that ensures that the Pet Shop animals shall not cross into Lego Land and light sabers do not end up in the hands of American Girl Dolls. Occasionally, however, the line gets crossed and the kids play together. It almost never goes well.

This happens for any number of reasons, but mostly it’s because the Monkey likes to get the Ladybug involved in games that are too complicated for her to understand. Perhaps he is hoping to help shape her into a more mature and interesting companion, but more likely he gets a smug satisfaction in being older and smarter. This always backfires, however, as he underestimates the amount of patience it takes to actually teach and play a game with an 8 year old.

Today it was the chess game that did us in. The Ladybug was looking for someone to play with her, and the Monkey stepped up, chessboard in hand. The Hub shot me a warning glance – I wanted to yell “Noooooo – don’t do it!”, but instead I kept quiet and let it play out to its inevitable conclusion.

Monkey: If you move here, I promise I won’t kill your knight with my king.

Ladybug: Okay. HEY!

Monkey: What? I ONLY promised I wouldn’t kill your knight with my king…I didn’t say I wouldn’t kill it with my QUEEN!

Ladybug: NOT FAIR. I’m not playing.

Monkey: Fine.

Ladybug: Okay, I’m playing

Monkey: Check

Ladybug: What is check?

Monkey: It means you’re almost trapped. Checkmate means your totally toast.

Ladybug: Humph. But I don’t WANNA BE ALMOST TOAST. I’m not playing.

Monkey: Fine.

Ladybug: Okay, I’m playing.

Monkey: No, forget it, I don’t want to play with a CHEATER.


Monkey: ARE TOO!

Ladybug: AM NOT!

Monkey and Ladybug: MOM!!!!!!!!!

Checkmate. I’m toast.

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This Weeks Tip

You would think at our age that we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. But, as Kate will attest, even at *ahem* 27, untimely breakouts can (and will) happen. What to do? Apply an ice cube for 30 second. Then soak a cotton ball in eye drops and press it to the “spot” for 3 minutes. The theory is that the ice and drop combination will cause blood vessels below the surface to contract—leaving you looking, well, a little less like Rudolph.