Have you been here?

That awkward moment when you climb into your silver minivan and only realize it’s not yours because it smells WAAAY too nice.

Yeah.  That was Wednesday. Outside my eldest daughter’s acting class.  The other parents in the parking lot had the nerve to look at me like they’d never done it. I know better. Those smug looks aren’t fooling me.

I know I should let moments like that roll off me like so much honey off a bee’s bottom* – but sometimes they just GET to me. It’s been a week of so many ups and downs – none of them earth-shaking – just all unexpected. It’s hard to keep your emotional equilibrium when someone keeps shaking the ground beneath your feet.

It just strikes me as amazing how quickly things go from hunky-dory, sunshine and lollipops to disaster and destruction once there are children in your life.  One minute I’m feeling like I’ve got this whole mommy-wife-writer-volunteer-friend-advocate-strong-and-beautiful-woman thing mastered. The next, I just want to hide in my closet under a pile of blankets with some chocolate Heath bar ice cream and maybe a pitcher of margaritas.

Just 20 minutes ago, I was out in my yard with my 3 girls. Everyone rode bikes and scooters home from school and ate a snack. (Mmm, ‘Nilla Wafers!) Then we headed outside to transfer all our seedlings into the raised bed I finally erected earlier in the week.

Everyone seemed excited. It felt all wholesome and special: one of those moments you feel you’ve got mothering down to an art form. Birds began weaving ribbons in my hair, rabbits hopped up with garden implements to lend a paw…you get the idea.

My sweet and shy new neighbor came by to ask what we are planting and as soon as I turned to speak to her, my children began fighting. Throwing dirt. Yelling about whose spinach seedling is whose. I tried to save face, to explain that they were wound up from being in school all day and were letting off steam. I put on my preschool-teacher-sent-from-heaven voice and my don’t-you-dare-cross-me face and quickly convinced them to take turns and play nice.

So, I totally saved it, right? Made a good impression on the neighbor? Kept my temper, set a good example for my kids?

Sure. Send up the celebratory balloons!

And then watch them pop as my 4-year-old says “Mommy, my tummy doesn’t feel good” and proceeds to publicly empty the contents of her intestines into her cowboy boots.

You don’t come back from that.

That’s the kind of week it’s been around here.

Kids wash my car inside and out- hurray!

Car won’t start because kids left all the lights on when they washed it.

Oh, and the jumper cables are missing.

And my neighbor’s cables are gone, too.

(And even after AAA starts the car, it still smells like feet.  How can they use that much Febreeze and Windex and still leave the car smelling like feet?)

Kids and I have a ton of fun playing on scooters at the park! Yeah, happy family moment!

Mommy falls off scooter on a short but steep hill, embarrassing herself and scraping half her big toe off. Seriously?!

(Oh, and my 8-year-old got it on video.  And is threatening to put it on you tube.)

And I’m still limping.

Need I go on?

Tomorrow my kids are taking part in a Brownie bridging ceremony, a ballet recital, and 2 performances of a play – all between 12 and 7:30 pm.  It’s going to be another one of those days where we sometimes bathe in rainbows, and sometimes wallow in the mud.

It will almost certainly end with me exhausted, aggravated, and drinking a glass (or three) of red wine.

But there will also be cuddles, and pride, and joy, and laughter (and a car that smells like feet.)

And a wonderful husband by my side the whole time.

Come to think of it, that doesn’t sound all that bad.

I guess I’ve got no cause to complain.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for letting me vent!


* I have to credit my use of the ridiculous “like so much honey off a bee’s bottom” to a wacky dorm mate who lived down the hall my sophomore year of college.  When bored, he would randomly call women from the campus phone listings and do a horrible Spanish accent, claiming he was the “Latin Lover” and was willing to “work for love.” Whatever the woman’s name, he would begin his calls with “Aaah, Matilda (or Jane, or Sravya…) – such a wonderful name. It rolls off the tongue like so much honey off a bee’s bottom….”  

Strangely, it occasionally worked for him. 

And now you know about that.



10 thoughts on “Have you been here?

  1. I’ve been there. Presenting at work only to realize I had my zipper open…and my white shirt sticking out from it. Walking to the car on the way to a job interview to have a bird poo on my head…Somethings, like you say, you don’t come back from. Sigh.


  2. Yep. Sounds like just another week of parenting. Glad you keep your sense of humor and your perspective 🙂 Have fun at Brownies/ballet/play performances and enjoy your car that smells like feet… so much better than some other things it could smell like 🙂


  3. You had me cracking up at silver mini van. I drove a silvery green Odyssey for a decade. At the time, every executive board member of the PTA drove the same thing. I cleaned the inside of it by letting our beagle eat all of the food and wrappers left inside


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