Archive for September, 2016

The World's Third Coolest Mom

September 7th, 2016

The latest ratings are in, and I've apparently fallen in the rankings from World's Coolest to World's Third Coolest Mom. I'm... stunned.

It started this way: I told Olivia if she is really good for a month, she can have a bona fide slumber party with more than one girlfriend over! She got very excited.

Slumber parties were a big part of my childhood. I mostly remember having them at Steph's house in Connecticut. There'd be five or ten girls with sleeping bags strewn about the den. We'd stay up late, try to summon Bloody Mary, and talk about boys.

Steph's birthday. Rocky Hill, CT

Steph's birthday/ sleepover. Rocky Hill, CT

I think eight is a good age to start having them. The kids are old enough not to miss their mom at night and need to be driven back home. They're old enough to follow directions (mostly) about cleaning up their mess.

But I was very tired when she was eight, because I was working an early morning shift. I needed absolute silence by 7 p.m. when I was lying in bed.

Yes, even on the weekends. The body doesn't get a memo that it's Saturday, you know.

So now she's nine, and I'm off that shift and committed to normalcy for the rest of my life (speaking in terms of work schedule; let's not get too optimistic), and I can do this for her. Olivia is very motivated to earn this reward.

We sat around and planned the event. Food, dessert, activities, sleeping arrangements, guest list. Six or seven girls, I tell her.

And here's where it glitches up. "I can come and tell you ghost stories or we can paint nails together!" I gush.

We can do nails!

We can do nails!

Olivia paused. "Only if you're invited. We'll have to vote you in."

Invited? Vote? ?!?!?!

"But--? Aren't I-- the coolest-- mommy? You said so-- the other-- night?" I sputtered in pain.

"Jordan's mom teaches fourth grade now, so that's even cooler than a mom who was on TV," she shrugged. The message: delivered so matter-of-factly without any sensitivity!

That's cold, Dawg. She's like a mini Jason Bourne. She kills me.

"What if I were still working on TV? Would that make me the coolest?" I queried.

Olivia at my old job

Olivia at my old job

"No. She has a job at school. That's awesome," insisted Olivia.

OK, relief. I don't have to go get my old job back.

My old job

My old job

"I'm #2 then?" I confirm.

"Actually, you're #3. Jaycie's mom works in the cafeteria," she corrected.

Oh, my heart. I'm number three. Just like that. Fame is so fickle.

I'm going to work really hard to get back to #1. My idea is to present an ice cream bar to rival the delicious spreads over at those yogurt shops: the many flavors of yogurt, the two dozen toppings.

You shall all toast to my coolness!

You shall all toast to my coolness!

All the girls will witness my coolness when I unveil this with a flourish at the slumber party and they'll convince Olivia her mom is the coolest. This actually means I'm the one who wants to have the big sleepover now.


I! Will! Return! To! Former! Glory!


Cursive conversations

September 5th, 2016

Olivia and I continue through the summer practicing cursive. (See Part 1 at She's gone through the alphabet and we're on to whole sentences.

She's a funny one, my kiddo. Here's the transcript of the latest conversation, which, for reference, took place before breakfast:


Me: Har du spist dine vitamin piller i dag? (Have you taken your vitamin pill today?)

Her: Stop writing in Danish! Please!

Me: Bueno. En Espanol, entonces? (Fine. In Spanish, then?)

Her: Or Spanish! I can't read it!

Me: Do you understand when I say it?

Her: Most of the time - not always.

Me, testing her desire to read Spanish: Helado?

Her, with strong desire: Ice cream. Follow up question: Can I have some for breakfast?

Me, forgetting to write cursive, answering in English, Spanish, and Danish: No. No! Nej.

Her: Sorry, I only understand English cursive.

So... I guess sass translates on paper.

It crawled on me in bed

September 2nd, 2016

My worst nightmare came true. I woke up to see a large cockroach crawling on me. IN MY BED.

<insert Wilhelm scream>

I felt a tickling on my arm that was so persistent it woke me up from a deep sleep. Groggy, I brushed it off, but then it returned.

In a split second I went from REM sleep to wide awake with the horrific realization there was a cockroach on me. I don't know how I made that quick a connection from tickly thing to big bug, but I levitated a foot off the mattress as I screamed and convulsively pushed it off me.

The body felt solid when I swiped it with my hand. The roach had some heft to it.

Where else did it crawl on me?!? Did it walk on my head? My face?? How long was it there??? I feel so disgusting.

Threat level: Red

Those little Olympic gymnasts have nothing on me. I did some weird double axle in the air and landed on the floor at the foot of my bed (She sticks the landing, folks!). Then I did a half turn into my closet to get a shoe, (This is the start of her floor routine) and a reverse half turn back towards the bed to kill it. (The judges give her a 10!)

The mattress is soft, so I had to hit it several times as it ran, dropping hairy legs in a few places across my formerly beautiful bed. It was a sacred space for me before, but now all I see is the site of the vicious Battle of Cucaracha that occurred at midnight, one fateful midsummer.

The roach fell off the side of the bed, and I hit it a few more times, leaving guts in a couple places on the white carpet. (Ugh.) I thought roach guts were greenish-white, but this was dark brown. What organ did I burst?

Threat level: Orange

I screamed so loud, my kid woke up and came running. "Get Daddy!" I ordered, while I monitored the bug trying to drag itself away.

Where was Husband, you wonder? He fell asleep in the living room watching Netflix with headphones on, so he didn't hear me.

I don't know how Claus missed my shrieking because it was so loud, they heard me on Molokai. President Obama was on Midway Atoll and he asked Secret Service to check it out.

Anyway, he dutifully walked into the bedroom, picked up the roach, and patted my head because I was panicky and upset that an insect violated my personal space. My bed! MY BED! How dare one come into bed with me and walk ON me! A lot!

This hasn't happened to me in decades. I can't remember the last time I had a big roach in bed with me.

FYI, my bedroom is not dirty or crumby. The house rule is, food only in the kitchen or dining room, for this exact reason.

Olivia, upset by the commotion, inserted herself into the master bed. Claus took one look at us, shook his head, and decided to let us have our PTSD together. He dispatched himself to the guest bed.

Actually, I think his act was more self-preserving than kind. He wanted a good sleep, because he predicted the following...

Threat level: yellow

There we were, Big Panty and Little Panty, huddled together for dear life in my bed, and sleep did not come easily. Both of us were jumpy at the slightest noise for a while. I actually yelled and rolled on top of my kid because I thought I heard something on my pillow.

"Mommy, can we sleep in the living room, where it's safe?" she asked.

I made the mistake of being too honest. "Nowhere is safe," I stated, freaking her out.

Finally, at around 1 or 2 a.m., she woke me up to ask me to escort her to Daddy's bed. It's not like we live in a mansion, but when you're nine with a vivid imagination, it's a long walk down a short hall.

Don't be surprised if you go to Long's today and see the shelves cleared of roach motels. I bought them all.

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