Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Timely Invite

Yesterday I received an e-vite reminder for a neighborhood "Moms' Night Out." This month it's being held at "Witchcraft Tavern and Provision." This is probably an appropriate venue, because everyone knows that mothers are just witches in disguise.

I never go to the neighborhood MNOs, because I'm the only one in the coven who doesn't partake of that unholy potion ye mortals call alcohol. Although if there were a week I needed to drink away some of my witchy mother angst, it would be this week.

Graham is driving me crazy. Yesterday at play group he was most definitely "that kid"--you know the one who makes you forget that kids aren't capable of sin until age eight. Maybe he's realized that he gets a free pass until then so he's getting all his rascallity out before then. See what I did there? If you use the word "rascal" instead of "brat" it doesn't sound so bad.

Also, this week he pooped in the Chik-fil-A playplace and they had to quarantine the area while some poor lady cleaned it up. Meanwhile, another poor lady cleaned Graham up in the bathroom while her other child screamed bloody murder from her car seat in the corner of the stall. If anyone says "first world problems" to me about this ("At least you have a Chik-fil-A for your child to poop in!!"), I will Avada Kedavra you and then put your corpse, chunk by chunk, down my garbage disposal.

Today at toddler book club (yes, that's a thing, and it is awesome), during outdoor playtime, Graham dropped his pants and peed into a gravel-filled planter, as all the other moms watched. I was mortified. MORTIFIED. In late Middle English, "mortify" means "to put to death." This was true, in a social sense. I am socially dead to those mothers, I know it. Death by public toddler urination. Put that on my angel-shaped gravestone and try to mow around it without cursing.

Last night I was so frustrated by motherhood I had no choice but to end my sugar fast a week early (I lasted 20 days, though!) and self-medicate with two bowls of Rockslide Brownie ice cream, eaten as I watched Pacific Rim, a fun movie that required an insane suspension of disbelief. Why should we utilize our already-developed nuclear missiles against monsters from a different dimension when we can build massive, yet surprisingly fragile robots to karate chop them instead? Just wondering ... Then I was up all night with a sugar-induced headache that lasted until well into toddler book club this morning.

Then tonight I told him I was going to a Relief Society activity, and he cried and said he wanted to come with me, and that warmed my heart, even as I expressed disbelief that he wanted to hang out with me after I'd been such a witchy mom to him all day/week. But Graham did stay home with Dad, and was happy to eat pizza that ended up in the garbage after he refused to eat it for lunch but was then saved from the garbage after he freaked out about it being thrown away ... don't worry, it was on top of something completely innocuous, on top of the garbage can ... story of my life right now. I went to the RS activity, a women's health night, where I learned all about the horrors of menopause and remembered how awesome it is that women can create bodies and have children. Then I remembered that I really do love Graham, and in that warm fuzzy moment, I could still remember all the bodily fluids he spewed forth this week, in vivid detail. And I came home to a house of sleeping babies, and was glad I went to Relief Society, instead of to a neighborhood drinking party, so I could appreciate the quiet with all my mental faculties.

Accio, Rockslide Brownie.


Dear Graham, I'm glad you haven't bitten me with those cute little teeth in a while.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Zombie Preparedness for Mothers

I was on a run last week, when I started thinking, "Oh my heck ... whhhhhhy am I doing this? I hate being in shape. I just want to be fat and full of waffle fries and perfectly happy. I'm not required to run three miles in my everyday life, so why am I pushing myself to be in shape to a level that I don't really need? As long as I can carry my baby and my groceries, run after my toddler, and walk up seven flights of stairs when I get lost trying to find a friend's apartment, I should be good, right? Why maintain a level of fitness that is completely unnecessary to my lifestyle?"

Then it occurred to me: zombies.

Goo.

One good reason to pursue a level of physical fitness beyond the needs of my everyday lifestyle is to prepare for the unknown--and that unknown could include the apocalypse/epidemic that leads to the earth becoming overrun by the undead, and I should be prepared to adapt to my new role as "prey." I've gotta be fast if I want to outrun an "I am Legend"-style zombie. And strong if I plan on carrying my cherubim while I run.

This got me thinking about all the things I should be doing as a mother to prepare myself and my children for the apocalypse.

1. Physical fitness (already described above). Get in shape, or be zombie bait!

2. Breastfeeding. If all the public service ads haven't convinced you yet that the breast is best ... let me. If our civilization crumbles, you know what will be hard to have constant access to? Clean water, and therefore clean formula. Even if you did have clean water, imagine securing and transporting any meaningful supply of those heavy tins. Nursing your baby means that as long as you scavenge enough food for yourself, you'll always have sterile food for your baby. And it will be warm, which will be a nice luxury for your baby in the midst of the horror that is the end of the world. So all you short-sighted formula-feeding moms out there, don't come crying to me when the zombies come knocking on your waterline. The end is near.

Zombie proof.

3. The Quiet Game. If you are dealing with zombies that become frenzied by sound (i.e. World War Z-style), then being quiet is a skill that you must teach your children. We use "the Quiet Game," where the last one to make any noise wins. In the real world, the last one to make any noise would avoid death long enough to make it to the survivor's colony.

Ruby understands she needs to take extra precautions to prevent dangerous, if adorable, cooing.

4. Obedience. As if well-behaved children wasn't incentive enough, let's add "survival" to the list of benefits to teaching your children when to shut up and do what they're told. I say "shut up" because when you're looting the RadioShack at the mall and there's a pack of zombies in the Forever 21 next door, you want kids who won't whine when you tell them what kind of batteries to cram into their backpack. Sometimes kids have great reasons to question the instructions they're given, but they need to learn to respect your serious face and obey immediately when the time comes ... and it's coming.

5. Flexible palate (i.e. not picky). The child who will only eat granola bars (she exists; I've met her) will be one of the first to die when the zombies take power, whereas the child with a less narrow dietary schema will survive, content to munch the mildewed carrot his mother found in the clenched fist of the half-eaten Kroger produce manager. You can discourage finickiness in many ways, but I've found hunger to be one of the best teachers. Graham eats what I've prepared or he doesn't eat at all. He'll thank me when his peers are collapsing around him for want of goldfish crackers, and the distraction provided by their demise allows him to outrun the zombies.

This is the face he makes when he likes something.

Be a good parent: start preparing for the inevitable. Because you don't want this:

Zombie Graham!