So, I’m feelin’ pretty good lately. Like I’m owning shit. Well, not shit, more like, ME.
I like to have philosophical conversations with my 6 year old.
You know why?
Because kids minds are so untainted and optimistic, they tend to take things at a very “face value” level. Using what they know (which is not much) they sometimes come to funny and suprisingly palpable conclusions, and have no qualms about rejecting logical things adamantly.
The other is because they’re soo fucking easy to whoop in checkers. King me.
She is officially delighted and becomes even more so when she makes the connection.
Why the fuck did I just say destined?? Now I’m gonna have to go ahead and…
ell that was just a funny coincidence.”
Hmmm, let’s see how ‘stupid’ she thinks that idea is.
“Well, some people believe that everything that happens is because of every little decision you make. Like the fact that we decided to walk on the sunny side of the street caused us to find the quarter. If we had just crossed over, we would’ve missed it altogether.”
She is pensive now and for once, not talking.
“I’m gonna blow her fucking mind right about now..” I think.
“And not just that, but some people believe that that it’s not just every little decision YOU make but any little change that happens around you or even far away can change your future…”
I think I’ve said too much now. Which may not be bad. I’m about to say more.
“So, there’s this thing called the Butterfly Effect…”
I start explaining how a butterfly flapping his wings somewhere can start off a chain of events which could have possibly made this side of the street sunny enough for us to find the quarter.
“Coooool” she says “but, if we can’t see the butterfly… and we don’t know where he is, but he still makes the street sunny… then it’s like HE’S the one writing OUR story and we’re just the people acting it out….? I think the butterfly made us find that quarter, and it’s been waiting for us all along.”
OOOooooo. She’s got me. Which is good. The brain is churning, wheels spinning and she’s even got me pondering shit for a minute.
I’m about to correct her again about who found the quarter, but on second thought, I just shut up and enjoy the thoughtful silence.
Although there are many different kinds of itches there is typically
one thing that unites them all:
They are all for the most part, beyond your control.
So, Where do they come from? Why do they happen?
And more importantly, what is the best way to scratch ’em? Well, I think I kinda have it figured out, and here it is:
1.The Sneeze Foreplay Itch — You know the one. The nose tickle that lasts forever. The one where you look like an idiot for 30+ seconds before you actually sneeze. Mouth all open, nose in the air. People are already ‘God Blessing’ your ass in anticipation. And usually, the dumber your face looks, the bigger the sneeze(s).
What it means — It can mean a couple of things, usually though, it signifies the onset of either a cold or allergy season and so therefore carries with it notions of fear and disdain.
What you can do — Well I can’t tell you what to do about your allergies, but I CAN give you a suggested way to eradicate The Sneeze Foreplay Itch. It sounds and looks very cliche but putting your finger under your nose actually works! Must be some kind of physics thing involving air, gravity and boogers. Of course you look like an even bigger dummy but in the long run, your co-workers will thank you for not spraying them with snot, spit and germs.
2. The Sneak Attack Smack In the Middle of Your Back Itch — I’m not a religious person, but I am absolutely convinced that this is God’s way of being a turd. (I see you laughing up there...) I mean why else would that shit just come out of nowhere? And it’s never a little tiny itch either, it’s always mega intense. Did I mention it’s physically impossible to reach as well? Seriously, it’s like licking your elbow, or seeing your ears… I mean unless you’re in Cirque Du Soleil and can bend your ass in half, your fucked.
What it means — As I said earlier, it’s a cruel joke of some higher power, and if not a ‘joke’ it’s gotta be like a mini-karma thing. Nothing big like what would happen to you if you killed a puppy. More like not telling someone their skirt’s stuck in their panty hose.
What you can do — Well, the best scenario to be in if this should happen to you is with a close friend or family member. Y’know, someone you don’t mind asking to do the deed for you. Asking a stranger can make you look a bit like a primadonna though, so try and avoid. The second best thing would be to have some kind of arm extender. It doesn’t have to be a back-scratcher per say, it can be something as simple as a pen or even a chopstick should you coincidentally be in a Chinese restaurant. If you’re alone though, I’m sorry to say, you have no other choice then to use the Grizzly Technique of rubbing your back vigorously on a tree, building or other rough surface. You will find your mother-in-law’s 5 o’clock shadow works nicely for this.
3. The Bottom of the Boot Foot Itch — This one is very closely related to the previously mentioned Middle of Your Back Itch in that it strikes you mysteriously and is extremely annoying. It is always in the middle of your instep right on the sole of your foot, and to make matters worse, it almost always occurs when you’re wearing a boot or other lace-up complicated footwear. It is not quite as bad as the Back Itch though, because you can actually reach it by yourself …. it just takes a little maneuvering.
What it means — Well, it can either be a karma/God joke thing, or it can simply be something not so esoteric, like say, a little piece of crud that got caught in your sock and is now, after walking around a bit, becoming a big pain in your ass. The fact that it usually occurs whilst wearing inconvenient footwear however, suggests the former. (Yo! I said I see you laughing up there!!)
What you can do — Well, unfortunately, there’s no getting around this one. You actually have to stop what your doing and take of your goddamn shoe. Sticking anything down the boot risks running your stockings, and besides, you can never make that 90 degree turn to get to the sole of your foot. So just bite the bullet, find a discreet place, and hope you wearing a presentable sock. And if you’re not, fuck it. Nothing beats that feeling of relief you get from getting in a thorough scratch session.
4. The Vicarious Cootie Itch A.K.A. The Mind Fuck Itch — Now THIS itch is quite evil. I say this because well, it’s not even a real itch. Meaning it cannot be squelched by a simple scratch. This is the itch that happens when you get a letter from your kids school informing you that someone has LICE. This is the itch that happens when you see a BED BUG commercial. THIS is the itch that happens when you’re watching the shower scene in ARACHNOPHOBIA. Let me expound. In the case of the lice letter, you’re affected immediately in your head, for the others, it can be an entire body experience. It’s precursor is usually that “YEEeeEEeee” chill, you know, when your teeth clench and you get the shudder thing. Then you feel one little itch, and another, and before you know it, you have psychosomatically given yourself whatever it was you were thinking in your mind. It’s totally contagious too. All you have to do is mention the said creepy crawly to a friend and… BAM!! now they have the Vicarious Cootie Itch too …. dang, I think I’m getting a case of it just by writing this…
What it means — It means that you have had some kind of personal cootie run-in or some kind of creepy crawly phobia… or both. Don’t be ashamed though, it’s more common then you may think… in fact, I have yet to encounter a person who has never experienced this particular kind of itch…. and if they say they haven’t, they’re lying.
What you can do — Because, as I said earlier, this is a Mind Fuck Itch, you have to get your mind the fuck out of it. In other words, distract, distract, DISTRACT! Now, since we’re all parents here this should be easy. I mean, we’re all practiced in the art of distraction otherwise how else would we get toddlers to do what we want? You’re gonna get a fight if you say “NO, you can’t” to a toddler but if you’re smart, you’ll go with the old “Look at the birdie!! Look at the birdie!!” trick in order to lure them where you want them. It’s like the carrot and the stubborn mule — he won’t go if you pull him but if you have a good enough di
straction, he’ll follow your lead. So if your brain is caught with images of bed bugs sucking your blood as you sleep, just push in pictures of puppies and chocolate and in no time, you’ll be cured!
5. The Time For Another One Itch — This one’s a fucking DOOZY. Now, did you think I wasn’t going to have a MOMMY reference in this whole list??? C’mon, this IS PaRANThood after all isn’t it??? So, let’s talk about this one. This One More Baby Itch is the most dangerous itch of them all. It usually happens when your youngest child is about 2 1/2 – 3 years old. It’s a very complex and convoluted itch because it is very real in your mind AND body, and yet, it is completely ILLOGICAL. It can be particularly provoked by being in the company of infants. On rare occasions, it can even be husband influenced. While it’s happening though, it can have very profound physical effects such as spontaneous lactation, and yet it has a creeper quality, allowing itself to periodically withdraw following good self-rationalizing session. But not unlike that weird creeper dude in that photo at your friends birthday, it’s always there, waiting, whether you see it at the time or not. And if you succumb… it’s effects last your entire fucking life.
What it means — Well, it means unfortunately, that you’re a pretty normal chick. Us moms are the ultimate dichotomy. The first half being, that since you’re a mother once already, you are familiar with all of the lovely aspects that accompany the act of nurturing. The tender moments you’ve experienced now draw you back, like a drug. The satisfaction and contentment of a newborn babe asleep in your arms is unmatchable. The smell, the feel, the warmth… it’s all completely enticing, and has somehow slipped away with the toddler you once cradled who is now a mouthy jerk. You yearn for that same closeness. You so enjoyed wrapping a tiny child almost completely inside yourself that you have almost forgotten that. other. part….. That other half of the dichotomy. That suck ass part that after considering and rehashing, has many times kept The Itch at bey and is somehow STILL so much a part of us. I don’t know just how they derived the word MOM from the word MOTHER, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t. I believe the word MOM is an acronym for Master Of Masochism. There’s this kind of worrier pride thing that goes along with being a mom isn’t there? It’s like we’re on Survivor. We go through the harshness that is pregnancy, allowing our bodies to take a beating, then birth (have some more!) then all the shit that happens after…in fact, sometimes I even think we have a secret need for this part too…. (I STILL see you laughing up there by the way… NOW CUT IT OUT!!)
What you can do — Believe it or not, the answer is simple. Well, maybe straight forward is a better term… There are three ways to go in this situation. a) You can succumb to the Itch and have another child. I have done this once, and at times have wanted to fucking kill myself, but overall, I regret nothing. b) You can override the itch using some strong will power and eventually when your child gets older and you become an actual real person again you just might be grateful you made that decision… but beware, there is no guarantee it will not rear it’s head again….
or 3) Get a fucking DOG. After the second time that Itch crept up on my ass, I got a dog. He’s about as tall as my two year old and very cute. He completely fulfills my need to nurture and cuddle, just without the stretchmarks or the sitters. I still gotta deal with a little piss and poo, but at this point, that’s a cake walk.
Well I hope that was not only enjoyable but informative, and now, here are some “Itches” that didn’t make the list but definitely deserve an honorable mention…
The Seven Year Itch
The Teenage I Knew I Shouldn’t Have Slept With That Guy Crotch Itch
The I Wanna Go Out, Get Drunk And Dance Itch
The This Cast Fucking Sucks Itch
I’m having an “I Hate My Life” moment. Ok, let me re-phrase that so I can breathe without screaming… I’m having an “I Hate My Life Right Now” moment.
The kids, the husband, the messy house, they’re all closing in on me. Every “Mommy!!” feels like a piranha bite. The mess in each room is morphing in to quicksand, pulling me deeper in to piles of play food and Duplo blocks. The stroller is a giant tower, piled high with coats not hung up because the closet itself has become a dangerous avalanche zone. The husband is questioning me about dinner and the defrosted chicken that’s sitting warm on the counter.
“How long has it been out?” “Are you sure it’s still good?” “Did you forget to put it in the fridge?”
The cat has just knocked down the plant spraying soil all over the floor — I think what a good fur stole he would make as I sit on my hands and knees picking up pieces of pearlite.
“Sign my homework!” “Give me juicebox!” “Are you making broccoli?!” “MOMMY!!!” “Meeooooww!!” AARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
I feel like running away, maybe under the cloak of night… Yeah, that’s IT!! I’ll steal away quietly while the monsters are sleeping. Tip-toeing over toys I will slowly open the front door. A thin stripe of light from the buildings hallway will slice through the dark living room. My final vision as I back silently out of the house will be of the cat lazily opening one eye just in time to be the sole witness of my departure….
I’ll flip him the bird.
With just some money and a small bag of clothes, I’ll catch a yellow checker cab. The driver will have a newsboy cap, some serious 5 o’clock shadow, and will be chewing what’s left of a cigar nub in the corner of his mouth.
“Where ya headed Miss?” he’ll ask over his shoulder in a thick Brooklyn accent.
“The airport.” I’ll respond without even a pause. It’ll be raining lightly.
I can see myself at the counter now. Like in the movies when someone goes to the airport and just picks some far away destination blindly from the departure board — It’ll be a place I can’t pronounce.
The lady at the desk will ask me “Round trip Ma’am?” and I’ll just look at her all snarky…
“One way.” I’ll say, with a determined look and slap down the money. I’ll wear a kerchief on my head and some big black sunglasses even if it IS night… maybe some red lipstick. I’ll seem nervous — like I’m running from the law.
Maybe I’ll find a small bar in the terminal and sip a dry martini while a mysterious and handsome traveler eyes me. He should have a hat …. a fedora.
He’ll ask me where I’m headed but before I can answer…
“Flight 753 is now boarding… Flight 753 is now boarding” the monotone voice will echo throughout the terminals.
“I’ll let you know when I get there..” will be my response. With a last gulp I’ll finish the martini, push a twenty across the bar and grab my little suitcase.
“Keep the change.”
I can feel the mysterious traveler’s eyes on my back as I make my way to the gate. I’ll give my boarding pass to the attendant and start the long walk down the ramp towards the plane’s open hatch. There will be a moment where I’ll glance over my shoulder as if having second thoughts…. is that a tear..? No, just some dust. The slim male attendant greets me at the hatch.
“Hello ma’am, let’s see.. ahh yes, that’s 11B straight down on your left.”
I’ll find my seat and as I push my suitcase in to the overhead compartment a strong hand comes up over my shoulder from what seems out of nowhere, giving my bag the last shove it needs to shimmy in to the cramped space.
Swirling around I come face to face with the mysterious handsome traveler….
“You never did tell me where you were headed….”
Then BAM something hits me in the head!! I’m seeing stars… no, not stars, I’m seeing, rainbows….. no, just one rainbow…… a rainbow of crayons as the box of Crayolas fall from my 6 year old’s top bunk crashing down on my head….
Shit. Oh well, who was I kidding? At least I got away for a minute, even if it was only in my mind.
Gimme the phone, we’re having pizza tonight….
So, you see, my daughter has become:
I assume that just like all annoying things children do, it’s a stage that will pass at some point and I KNOW that this past weekend has taught her a lesson… at least for now…
It’s Saturday morning and Daddy has already left for work. It’s errand time and this morning’s errands involve the supermarket, and the pet store.
“You know how I have this cough??”
“Yes, the same cough you get every year around this time?”
“Yea, well sometimes it hurts when I put my head this way..” She says pointing her chin at her toes..
“Oh yeah? Well, does it hurt a lot or does it feel like maybe you slept funny…?”
“Not a lot. Oh, and my foot has been hurting too..”
I’m getting skeptical now.
“Well, sometimes this one, but sometimes the other one hurts too…”
Okay, I’m pretty positive that at this point, she’s full of shit.
“Oh, and one more thing..”
“My ear feels funny.”
“Well you have a little cough and cold so maybe you just have a some pressure from being congested…?”
“Yeah, probably mommy..”
The rest of the walk home is pretty quiet which is a bit unusual, but enjoyable nonetheless, so I speak no more of the neck, cough, foot, or ear and just relish in the silence.
Again — *YES/NO/MINE/NO!!!*
“Excuse ME!” I say marching back in, now more pissed.
“Nyeah NYEAH NYEAH!“ this child says to me, millimeters away from having her tongue stuck out!!!!!
No more then 20 minutes in to my decompression movie, and I start hearing it.
“Where was this cough earlier??” I’m thinking.
“What is the problem?!” I ask down the hallway…
Out comes a sobby disheveled little girl, lip blubbering…
Oh boy, here we fucking go….
I feel her head, no fever. I look in her ear, a little bit of wax. I give her Tylenol.
*cough cough cough*
From the other room… “OUCH, my ear……”
At this point, I’m at a loss. She has no fever, she’s been fine all morning. So fine, in fact, that she’s up to sass me and fight with her sister!!“Miss OUCHIE” herself is now suddenly crying in pain the moment she is forced to take on a punishment. She seems to be in the same amount of “pain” despite the Tylenol …
Now, I don’t say this so often, but, thank God Daddy’s home.
He barely gets his foot in the door when I practically accost him with the annoying details leading up to his arrival.
“Really?” he says, “You know how she is….”
“EXACTLY. So please, just take her so she gets busted… PLEASE.”
Reluctantly he puts her coat on, glaring at me all the while.
About forty minutes later, in walks the both of them. My husband hands me a diagnosis:
Baby’s first step, first hair cut, first words, first tooth. These are all moments that we as parents relish. We WAIT for these moments and even commemorate them in brag books, scrap books, and video diaries. They are signifiers of time, milestones in our childrens growth and development both physical and psychological. “Experts” even have gone as far as to pinpoint at what ages you can expect to see such firsts….. just another example of a bunch of bullshit to make moms feel bad or as though they’re child is abnormal. You know normal mommy injustices.
So, yes, these firsts are quite darling and make for a really cute picture… but if you know me, you know I’m all about commiseration of shit.
So, let’s talk about all the other FIRSTS. The ones that happen to EVERYONE but rarely have a cute accompanying picture in a brag book or nary a mention in all of those “How To Parent” bullshit books….. you can run but you can’t hide from…
1.The First Time Your Baby Chooses DADDY Over YOU
You can’t believe it. The same child you sacrificed your whole body for. The same child, for many of us, whose mouth has been stuck to your tit since birth. The same child YOU got up with in the middle of the night a BILLION times to rock and hush and hold in order to lull back to sleep… you feel betrayed and hurt… you can’t really understand it….who the hell is this miniature TRAITOR!?
Don’t feel bad, your baby is just now old enough now to think beyond survival. She wants what’s new, whats novel and right now, it’s Dad. Be proud! You have made her feel safe and secure for so long, she finally feels okay getting the fuck away from you!! Don’t be a dummy, GET OUT BY YOURSELF! As a matter of fact, RUN. Go get a mani/pedi for fuck’s sake. And don’t worry, as soon as she feels tired/sick/bad she’ll be right back up your ass and you be wishing for another Daddy moment.
Looks cute now but at the time, you kinda wanna punch ’em both in the face…
2.Your child’s first BLOODY Injury
You don’t really realize just how this moment is going to effect you until it happens. There ARE a couple of words that pop in to my mind though, like TERROR, PANIC and SEVERE DURESS. Of course you suspected at some point this would happen, but to see your child bloody in any way for the first time can throw you for quite a doozy. It usually happens one of two ways. You got your classic:
The ME Book by Jean Tymms
Look familiar? Not the elephant part… just the knee part.. although…….
3. First Stomach Bug
Now, if your kid is over one and you still haven’t dealt with this, consider yourself DAMN LUCKY.
You know, there are people you may have known, or have seen on TV that have been around a dead body. Well, I myself haven’t but I have heard the same thing come out of several people’s
I ALWAYS SAY, I’ll take a three day fever over a one day stomach bug no doubt about it. At least with a regular fever, they just want to lay around and be pampered, that I can handle…. oh, and did I mention, in about 12 hours, you’ll have it too?
Yup, this’ll be you! Only difference? No one will give a rat’s ass.
4.Baby’s First Shoplift
So there you are, once again with the stroller in the baby supply store (it seems the only place you go to nowadays) and you’re browsing around. Your kid is fussing and being snarky so you hand them some kind of knick-knack to keep him quiet. You pick up a couple of pairs of socks, maybe some bibs and some kind of feeding contraption that looks really fucking cool but turns out to be yet another useless piece of shit that you feel guilty about chucking. (Why did I do that again???) You pay for your stuff get half way home only to realize you kid has sill got that $5.00-$10.00 knick-knack in his slimy little drooly hands… SHIT! What do you do?? Do you go back? He already drooled all over it and now they’ll just make you buy it…
Don’t worry, he’s not destined for a life of crime, besides, it only takes ONE time of him setting off the store alarm before he learns his lesson of “You can’t just take thing from the store!” and your lesson of checking the damn stroller before you leave!!
Can he work on the chain gang if he can’t walk yet?
5. Baby’s First Playground Pummel
This is my final first. Not because I don’t have a MILLION more, but because nap time’s almost over.
So you’re in the playground AGAIN watching as your kids crawls, wobbles or stomps through every dirty puddle she can find, completely disregarding any and all equipment specifically designed to engage her. Finally choosing the nastiest puddle, she stops. Up comes another cute little girl around the same age equally drawn to the same disgusting puddle. You turn to see her mother approach and smile.
o sorry,” you say.
So, remember, you may not want to remember them, but it’s these shitty firsts that help us keep it all in perspective!
TWEEN sounds just like TEEN, and since they practically ARE I have a great fucking idea! Let’s tell all little girls who are between 10-12 that they have moved up from the rank of “kid” to “tween”!
This way they can go ahead and get a jump start on only giving a shit about boys, clothes and make-up! (You know, all that good stuff that’s marketed to girls in the teen sect).
So what if they don’t have boobs, I’m sure we can shove their little immature bodies in to some kind of training bra and that way also give them a jump start on being sexual! Two birds, one stone…it’s ingenious. So what’s the smallest size string bikini briefs come in these days? Oh, and furthermore, can we get them with printed little sayings on them?? Like, I dunno, AWESOME, or I LOVE TEXTING, or, no, wait, I got it! DIVA! I’m on a roll here, not only can we sexualize them at 11 but incorporate an ignorant and uppity attitude at the same time! There I go again, killing two birds with one pair of inappropriate underwear.
Let’s seeeee, what else what else… I’m sooo totally not done yet like, fer sure! AHA! Let’s set up a bunch of really awesome role models for them to look up to. I vote for anyone blonde! I mean, they may be stupid but they’re certainly prettier then brunettes. Besides, who ever said girls have to be smart? As long as they can be as sarcastic as possible and get the boy, they’re good. I know this because all the Tween shows on Disney and Nick Jr. tell me!
Speaking of Disney… thank GOD for them right? I mean who else has been there for our daughters since day one? Teaching the importance of being beautiful and always waiting for a man to come save you?? I mean have you ever witnessed the lesson of low-self esteem taught so effortlessly? So naturally? It’s like you almost don’t even realize it, it’s so fluid! Which princess was your daughter for Halloween? Mine was Belle, which of course means Beautiful!! Who the fuck wants to be Mulan anyway?
Where was I? Oh yeah, TWEEN, a double digit age is a double digit age right? Fuck it, 10 year olds are basically Divas in training, so let’s make sure they know it.
Soooooo, 7,8,9 is almost 10… how about SWEEN? Like soon to be TWEEN?? I’m thinkin kitten heels……..
Listen, we can perpetuate this shit or not, we just gotta know it’s THERE.
Ok, here’s the scenario,