My six year old just handed me her cup that she had filled almost to the top with sparkling fruit water and said “here Mom, have a drink.” I knew this was because she had overfilled her cup so I asked her if she needed me to drink some so she could carry it into the other room. Her response was “Well, yeah… you have big jugs!!” Sometimes it takes me a minute to decipher what this kid is trying to say. She is funny and sarcastic but sometimes her vernacular is a little off. My mind was shuffling through all of the phrases that sounded remotely like the words just uttered and finally came to “you take big chugs” which is what I believe she was going for. That, or she thinks my chest is inflated with bubbly water. I never know what goes on in that kid’s head. What comes out of her mouth leaves me wondering!
Part of the reason for her eccentric vocabulary is that she spends a lot of time with my Dad who has some really interesting sayings. She has spent many summer days running around the backyard hearing “turn on the burners” which may be why she once said to me in the car “turn down the burners lady!” She is apparently getting a little more cautious as she ages. When she was barely five years old she yelled from the backseat at the car in front of us “Go man, go! Are you driving or talking on the phone?” about three seconds after a light turned green. I guess driving with Grandpa is a lot more soothing than driving with me. I understand, it’s hard to be a passenger when mom thinks she’s in a race car. Sometimes there is a little role reversal in the car. A few months ago my little girl said to me “If you you don’t turn down this music, we are going to cancel punk rock in our house!” Again, her vernacular was a little off, but I got the jist of it.
Queen of the road!
I know kids are little parrots which is why I have cleaned up my potty mouth dramatically. Unfortunately when I drop my phone in the parking lot of the gym or stub my toe, instead of swearing my brain now temporarily shorts out and my mouth blurts out things like “God bless America!” or “Son of a Seabiscuit!” People look at me, but my kid has yet to drop an F-bomb in the middle of Target. I almost closed my entire hand in a gym locker last week and screamed “God save the queen!” Apparently in addition to my Tourette’s Syndrome I also become British when in pain. My daughter has yet to repeat any of these phrases. Although she does say “Wow Mom!” a lot when I blurt out such phrases so she must know the meaning behind the actual words is not as it appears.
Occasionally my kiddo says things that are clearly out of the blue. Last week she said to me “JEN, don’t be so hard on me!” when I asked her to pick up her toys so we could leave her grandparents’ house. I can only guess where she picked up that phrase. She also says things like “what in the heaven are you doing?” which I suppose is better than saying hell – which is exactly what I said at the age of four to the Avon lady! So things could be a lot worse. At least she has quit calling me Bloggy!
I wrote this while listening to this awesome album by some chicks who probably drop F-bombs in Target:
I have a love/hate relationship with the gym. It’s not for the obvious reasons though. Most people don’t like the actual work that is done at the gym but they love the results. I love working out, I just hate that it has to be with other people. The gym I go to is pretty crowded right now with all the people who decided that they were going to get in shape in 2018. They are the same people who made this vow at 12:01 on the first day of 2017. And just like last year, they will be gone by the end of February. But for now, they are mucking up the works. I have encountered more broken machines at the gym in the last three weeks than I did in the prior nine months. I was a little perplexed as to how this could happen so quickly with the ellipticals until I watched a teenage girl hop on the machine next to me and pump away as fast as she could for about two minutes until the machine started clicking and her knees started to buckle. I looked at her at one point just to make sure she wasn’t having a seizure. It turns out she couldn’t figure out how to turn on the machine to track her progress. She jumped off in a huff and walked away without wiping down her machine. Apparently she didn’t see the twelve signs posted all over the gym asking her to clean up after herself.
My husband returned from his workout last week and shared with me that a guy was humming the Ghostbusters theme really loudly and singing along to the parts he knew. I wish I had been there to hear that, but realized it was best I wasn’t there since I have a hard time not expressing my amusement and may have fallen off a machine laughing. Unfortunately a few nights later we both witnessed a guy who was both grunting and huffing simultaneously as he walked along on his treadmill at a whopping two miles per hour. A woman then started huffing away right behind us. At one point it sounded as if a porno was playing in surround sound. I couldn’t keep it together and had to head to the sauna.
The dry sauna is usually one of my favorite things to partake in at the gym. However, when the gym is crowded like it has been, the sauna gets a lot of extra traffic. The only good thing about this is that the conversations I get to overhear usually involve more bros and more idiocy. Unfortunately the added idiocy also comes with added pounds and added sweat. I try to sit in my corner and soak in all of the bizarre bro talk – mostly about their piles of money and how much they drank last night – without getting soaked by the sweat dripping off of them as they pace back and forth and stretch on the floor. There is also usually the one guy who has to prove he is extra tough by doing push ups in the middle of the cedar box full of people. I can’t even count the number of times I have walked out to the sauna after spending ten minutes fighting with my bathing suit in the locker room only to find wall to wall bros and no free seating. That is when I turn right back around and leave.
When the boobs come out these boobs get out!
Inevitably when I head back into the locker room there is only one other woman in the area, but she feels the need to take up every available inch of counter and bench space within 100 feet of her. Her 15″ x 15″ bag is like a clown car with 80 pounds of make up, hair product and clothing spilling out all over every available surface. In the past week I have watched a woman spread three towels over the benches in between the lockers and dump her beauty products all over the place claiming her space; a 6 year old lying down playing with her mom’s phone on one bench as said mom dropped wet towels and bathing suits dangerously close to my electronic devices sitting at the corner of the other bench while she spread her belongings all over the room; and two elderly women sitting topless, one on each of the two benches in the area while speaking Chinese very animatedly. The last scene had me throwing my coat on over my bikini and fleeing before getting knocked out by a boob as the women’s arms flailed while they chatted. It was then that I remembered why I rarely used the locker room.
Someone needs to write a pamphlet about gym etiquette, although I don’t know who would read it. People seem to be unable to read the various signs around the gym asking that they wipe down their machines after use, to not use cameras in the locker rooms and most disturbingly necessary to not spit in the drinking fountain. If the seven word signs are too difficult, a pamphlet on etiquette would be like reading War and Peace for the bros.
Are you talking to me?
One of the peculiar things that happens to my husband that never happens to me is that as he is getting on a machine a person walks over to tell him they are using that machine. They are sitting on a machine close to the one that he is attempting to sit down on or doing squats five feet away. They say things like “I am in the middle of a rep” or “I am getting back on that machine.” This has never happened to me. Although, to be fair I don’t make eye contact with people at the gym very often and my headphones are blaring Hatebreed so people could be yelling all kinds of things at me and I would have no idea. My husband is a nice guy and it’s written all over his face which is why people walk all over him if he lets them. Me, not so much. My expression usually says “get out of my way” even when I am not in a hurry. I mentioned to him several responses he could give to people who try to hold machines they are not using like it is their own personal gym. My responses included giving them a definition of “using” or pointing out that they were not in fact currently on the machine which means it is free to use by anyone. Since he is opposed to getting punched and/or harassed he declined my advice.
I think the entertainment I received last night made all of the overcrowding and close calls with accidental motorboating in the locker room worth it. I was in attendance at a one woman show. I was diligently pushing into my sixth mile on the elliptical when I heard a woman start singing in what can only be described as a pseudo operatic voice. I looked up at the television to see Beyonce jiggling away but the singing wasn’t matching up to the mouth movements on the screen. My familiarity with Beyonce is limited, as I only know a few songs (one of which was done better by Jonah Matranga), so I didn’t know what song was playing or who I was hearing.
I looked around and quickly found the source of the noise. A very small middle aged woman was on an elliptical machine a row behind me singing away with her eyes closed. I could hear the song she was listening to so she obviously was playing her music through her phone speaker for the whole gym to hear. This did not surprise me in the least, as I have heard people doing this at least weekly. The thing that surprised me was that she was wearing headphones. Either she did not have them properly plugged in or she had both the headphones and speaker enabled simultaneously. Whatever the issue was, this crazy lady was singing at the top of her lungs completely off key as she shared her “music” with half the gym. As I was looking back at her I noticed that several other people were laughing along with me. The best part about this is our little entertainer had no idea she had an audience giving her their full attention since she had her eyes closed. She was literally singing like nobody could hear. I turned around and went back to my workout but at one point the singing stopped abruptly. She must have opened her eyes or been otherwise tipped off to the fact that people were watching her.
I was amused by this woman because it is something I could relate to. Sometimes I get wrapped up in what I am listening to so much that I find myself running on the elliptical, lifting double the weight I am used to at double the pace or drumming on my legs. There are usually pretty awful videos on the televisions except on saturdays when every now and then a really good video airs. A few years ago I almost fell off my machine when Sleigh Bells came on right in front of where I was working out. I had to pick up my phone and text my husband and friends to tell them of this fabulous news. They were not all that excited and it ended up being a fluke because I never saw the video again. Someone probably saw me almost take a header and flagged it as a health risk to gym members! So to the singing little lady from the other night, keep it up. Joy is contagious, even when it is completely out of key.
Have you ever been around someone who is so negative that they literally suffocate any room they are in with their heavy attitude? You can just feel the bad vibes radiating from them and all of a sudden you can’t breathe. They tiptoe up with their giant pillow to smother any little rays of sunshine around them. Usually they are totally unaware that they are smothering you or anyone else with their negativity. Half the time they don’t even realize that they are, in fact, Eeyore. They think that worrying that their glass is not half full means they are a “glass half full kind of person.” They are the person who points out a hurricane just hit the island you are vacationing on next week. They bring up divorce rates when you talk about your newlywed friends and the probability of you pooping on the bed during childbirth when you tell them you are pregnant. These are my least favorite people to be around, yet they are drawn to me like moths to a flame. I think it’s my resting bitch face.
A normal person would run the other way when they see Eeyore trotting up with his pillow ready to smother. Not me! I try to convert them into an optimist. I am like a Jehovah’s Witness shoving my little glass half-full in their face saying “yes, but what if you looked at things THIS way!?!” That probably comes from my need to be right all the time more than my wanting to make that person a better version of themself. Plus, I am a pot stirrer. I can’t help myself, especially with Debbie Downer. I tell her that’s great news about the hurricane because it probably cleared out all of the tourists, and that our newlywed friends have a better chance of staying married than they do dying in a plane crash, so good news for them. As for pooping on the table – where do I begin? It will make a funny and disgusting story for the child later in life and will be fodder for jokes for many years to come. Bring it on Eeyore, game, set match!
The problem is I leave these conversations as if it were an actual tennis match, and I was up against Anna Kournikova. I am exhausted and Debbie Downer just sulks away unaffected. I guess that’s because the little energy vampire drained me. One would think that after a few of these Jehovah worthy interventions I would learn my lesson, but I am a bit of a slow learner and I am stubborn, the ultimate double whammy! I get sucked in time and time again by the negative creep dragging me into the basement with them to show me how stark and lonely it is. I follow them right down and try to convince them that a set of nice curtains and a coat of paint will make all the difference while trying to pour a little water in their glass. And as I pour they suck down that water just like they are sucking the life out of me.
Alas, I am the eternal optimist. I will keep compiling my list of rebuttals for little miss downer and her half empty glass. Well, that or I am always ready to stir the pot and beat that dead horse for all I’m worth. I guess it’s all how you look at it.
In our house we meditate. We practice both individually and together. If you have met me, I know this is probably hard to believe – but can you imagine what a spaz I would be without meditation? At night before my daughter goes to bed we all meditate together in her bed. We take turns choosing the guided meditation nightly. Whenever it is my daughter’s turn she chooses this really bizarre guided journey about a child with an angel friend that looks like a rainbow.
It starts out okay enough, even if the main character is named Sarah and “could be a little girl or a little boy”. I’m thinking maybe if the main character was unisex that a name like Alex or Logan could have been used. I mean, SNL gave you Pat and Google is right at your fingertips, yet Sarah was the chosen name for the little girl or boy. So right away, the poor little boy Sarah has some issues that a rainbow angel may not be equipped to handle.
The guide explores scenarios where the rainbow angel could help Sarah with her physical ailments. She goes through the colors as she talks about blue fixing her boo boos and green making her feet feel like they are in cool grass. When she says that when she has a tummy ache her rainbow angel fills her stomach with the color red to make her feel warm and relaxed my logical little mini-me turns to me and says “red is the color of blood. Filling her stomach with blood would NOT make her feel better!” I’m glad I am not the only one who thought this.
By the time the guide has made it through the colors of the rainbow I am a little annoyed that she didn’t do any research as to what each of the colors represents. They seem so logical to me, but maybe she just went with her gut, which is apparently full of blood. Somewhere in the middle of the mediation I hear a loud “VROOOOM VROOOOM” from Sarah’s rainbow angel. After hearing this meditation at least five times, I still have no idea why this is happening. Maybe the guide thinks this noise is a color.
She goes on to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” after the rainbow angel fills Sarah with the color silver. By this time I am fairly certain this woman is on drugs. In fact, this meditation may have been written by Hunter S. Thompson on a bad acid trip. By the end my head is more garbled than when it started, which is, from my understanding the exact opposite of the desired result. Instead of feeling zen, I feel confused and a little annoyed. The thing is, my daughter is totally relaxed and ready for bed. So, I will listen to crazy lady with the color blind rainbow angel every night if that’s what it takes. My mind is clear as soon as I see that tiny little face sound asleep.
Like all good parents we have password protected our devices, including my daughter’s Kindle, to prevent her from online shopping and/or purchasing apps or games by herself. You wouldn’t think a six year old is able to online shop, but she sees a lot of it going on in our house as well as her grandparents’ house. Quality grandma/granddaughter time consists of searching different legos or barbies and scrolling through pages and pages of product photos. Mini-me can even find where the toy is sold for the best price. I don’t give my Mom a hard time about this because I know that intelligent shopping is in fact a skill that will benefit my child later in life, namely when she needs a pair of knee high black boots that are appropriate for both the office and a night out. It is a skill I acquired from my Mom before there was even such a thing as online shopping!
The password also keeps her from being able to pick up her device and use it without our permission. I am awoken on most weekend mornings by a tiny finger poking me in the middle of the forehead. When I decline to jump out of bed within ten seconds a pink Kindle is shoved in my face with a shake. I type in the four digit password and am left to sleep for an additional half hour.
My husband and I both have the code and we have also shared it with my parents so they can unlock her device when she is with them. This was clearly a mistake. My Mom remembers the code and uses it when needed. My Dad can’t remember the code from one day to the next so he has to consult my Mom for the code every single time my kid asks him for help logging on.
Yesterday, I heard my husband ask my daughter how she was able to get on his phone. She had picked it up on her own and was watching videos. His code is the same as the one we use for her devices. She proceeded to tell us that Grandpa told her the password. I was unclear as to how this would happen since she shakes her Kindle in my face with her password demands when she wants to use it to play a game. I was under the impression that my parents got the same treatment. I was immediately concerned because I thought she had figured out a way to outsmart the Old Man and weasel the password from him. This is not at all what transpired.
My Dad had taken my daughter out to their lake house to do some work. When they were driving home she asked if she could play on her Kindle. I can only assume that she was being persistent or she had worked really hard because he allowed it (which is unusual in the car). Since the four digit password is something that just will not stick in his head, he called my Mom to give it to him yet again. As she recited the digits over the phone he repeated it to my daughter and let her type it in herself. He didn’t pull over and stop the car. Part of me just shakes my head at this but the other part of me completely understands after having witnessed my Dad entering the password on his own. It is similar to watching a monkey use tools, all of the anticipation of wondering if he can do it and all of a sudden he is in!
I would explain to him why this was a bad idea, but he is so bad with technology that he has to have my daughter operate the television when he babysits. I get the impression he may not have been able to enter the password on his own even if he hadn’t been driving at the time. Seriously, he signs his text messages “Dad” on the far right of the text. So I am not surprised when he does something like this. We laugh and change the password. It could be worse, and knowing my Dad, it could really be a lot worse!