Thanks, buddy. Just Sayin’.

Some days the BEST place to be is the ‘burbs.
Like today, when my kid told the server at the local cafe “it’s ok, my mommy is just upset about her really big zit! ”

Because if we’d been at the wine and pizza joint in the ‘hood where Jr spent his 1st year, I would’ve straight up burst into flames, giant zit and all.

Instead just smiled and finshed my wine….
The glass hid my zit.

Just Sayin’.

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Aunt Loretta’s Laugh Line

I grew a new wrinkle overnight.

This was not a phenomenon I actually knew could happen THAT FAST until I was about 5 months pregnant with Jr and I looked in the mirror one morning while washing the pregnant-lady sleep drool off my face and, BOOM –WTF!?   Brand new, super deep, never there at all before wrinkle above my mouth.

I attributed it to my dry-yet-zitty hormonal skin, but alas, it was here to stay.

Now I have a good handful of wrinkles that have names – along with the aforementioned “pregnant mouth wrinkle,” off my left eye there is the “Jr’s first really scary barfing illness” wrinkle…. The patch of lines in between my brows is the “are we actually going to get to buy this house constellation” (they all appeared about three years ago, as we lost then won the bidding war for The Casa.)

This newest one? It is a deep smile line on my left cheek.

It’s the Aunt Loretta line.

Yesterday evening my Aunt’s battle with cancer ended. Putting death into words is far more delicate and complex than I have tools to express – and I find myself writing and deleting additional sentences here, because it all sounds trite or somehow far too small for all that the topic means.

But noticing a line – a smile line, deep and pronounced and suddenly permanent, on this day of all days, was a gift.

My Aunt had laugh lines – from years and years of freely and easily sharing her amazing, infectious laugh with the large group of friends and family she loved so fully. That laugh lit her from within and spilled over, radiating out of her like a lighthouse, drawing people to her and enveloping everyone she encountered with joy. She was a fireball of joy… of energy, of love and giving and compassion and honesty and passion for living and doing and experiencing EVERYTHING.

Thank you for the line, Aunt Loretta.

Thank you for showing me how to live a life in which it, and all the others, are well and joyfully earned.

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The Age of the Questionable Decision

So Junior turned 4 last weekend.

In a blaze of Grandparent-spoiling, cupcake hogging, Superhero party glory.

Now I don’t want to jump the gun on my assumptions – we are only a week in to this whole “being 4” situation. But can I just say that week number one has been a freaking whopper.

It appears to me, in my snap judgement brain, that 4 should be known as “The Age of the Questionable Decision.”

We have had more diving off of things than I can remember him desiring to do in his whole life combined, (back yard play set, couches, stairs, footstools, beds, TOILETS…) you name it, he wants to climb it and dive off. As of this week, quite suddenly.

WHY GOD – WHY THE DIVING?

WHY!?

I had congratulated myself on a job well done with his superhero party – attendees of all ages seemed to have a great time, and Jr was surrounded with all kinds of awesome gifts to explore while we cleaned up the aftermath. All was well, right?

Except then I got a call from my life-long friend letting me know that her husband had Jr in his sights as he was riding AWAY FROM THE HOUSE and off around the corner at full pre-schooler-strength speed on his trike, with no knowledge of the parents and at least one set of grandparents all inside the house assuming he was with someone else.

(I still can’t talk about it without shaking my head… how could that happen? HOW!? I keep having flashbacks and randomly grabbing him into hugs that I am sure are stunting his growth or something.)

Guess who learned to unhook the back gate? Yep.

Guess whose daddy put a lock on said gate an hour later? Yep.

BTW – Jr stated for the record that he was “going to Texas to see his cousin.”  On a trike.  I mean adorable, yes… but scary as shit and only one of at least 4 times I have been hysterical thus far into his very short time as a 4-year-old.   Again, Keri nails the mom thing. I should write a manual, I am sure.

But we are not alone in the Age Of the Questionable Decision.

OH NO NO NO, my friends.

There’s Jr’s little friend down the street, whose father recently shared the story of his offspring running FULL THROTTLE across the park, through the cul-de-sac, and over to a neighbor’s trash can before LICKING IT, for no reason at all. Running through the street to lick a trash can like it was a giant ice cream cone = Questionable Decision.

Or one of Jr’s preschool chums who tapped me on the shoulder when I was picking him up from school this week and pointed to what was left of a bent curtain rod, held up over a window with some tape, and said proudly “ I CLIMBED THE CURTAINS TODAY!! TWICE!” Evidently after his time out from round one, he decided to give it another go. (God bless Jr’s teacher. I bet she buys her wine by the case.) Curtains as climbing wall = Questionable Decision.

I have found myself, in the small time that we have spent beginning to wade out into the deeper waters of 4 years old, leaving the wading pool of toddlerhood behind us, looking deep into Jr’s eyes, trying with no success to do some sort of Mommy Vulcan Mind Meld in an attempt to crack the nut that is 4-year-old decision-making logic.

No dice…. The kid is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a “Captain Ca’Merica” costume, laughing his head off as he careens off the porch toward the concrete.

Sigh.

Does Crazy 8s make suits out of bubble wrap?

Can you lo-jack your kid?

Do band-aids come in mega bulk?

 

Give me strength. (And eyes in the back of my head.)

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Oh I’ll wear the braid. Just Sayin’.

We head out the door this morning and I get this:
Jr: “Mommy,  you have the Elsa braid again. You can’t wear the Elsa braid.
Elsa is a queen. You are just a mommy.”

Hold. Up. Son.

JUST a Mommy?
As far as you are concerned I am the Mack Daddy m.f.ing center of the GD universe. I am the alpha and omega, the sun rise and sun set.
Because I am, you are.

Elsa should call it the Keri Braid as far as you are concerned.
Not “Just a mommy.”
THE Mommy.

It’s fine though, kiddo. .. keep it up with the ‘tude.
:::tossing Elsa braid:::
The cold never bothered me anyway.

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Thank you, drive through.

This morning I got trapped in a gas station car wash.

Yep.

I have been ACHING to wash the crusty layer of dirt and ice slicer and other assorted winter crud off of the MUV of late, but there is no point if another round of snow is coming later that day to re-crustify it all anyway.

So today after I dropped Jr off at pre-school, I saw a gas station with no line at the car wash, (miracle I thought… perhaps it was really an ominous sign,) and pulled in to get ‘er done.

All was well, the wash’s arm started its second soapy pass around the Keri-mobile, and I settled in to read some email. (Did I mention I HATE car washes? They freak me the hell out. But so does the idea of leaning my favorite coat up against my dirty-ass car, so I distract myself while inside the necessary evil.)

Then I noticed how quiet things had become. I gave the wipers a swish to get a better view of what was happening, and it started to sink in.

The lights were all out.   The mechanical arm was stopped right at my front bumper. Soap and water dripped from the ceiling into the puddles on the floor, making plopping noises in the creepy quiet

I *may* have yelled out “HELLO!! I AM TRAPPED IN YOUR JANKY FU*KING CARWASH, ASSES!!!”

Panic set in – the doors weren’t moving… It was all steamy and soapy smelling and dark.

HEE HEE HOOOOOO. HEE HEE HOOOOO. (At least that express childbirth class was good for something. Random panic breathing.)

I frantically googled the phone number for the gas station (what did we do before google, for serious people?)

No one answered the phone (stupid worthless google.)

I took a deep breath, opened the car door, and stepped out onto the floor of the car wash. I half-expected some sort of alarm to go off or something – you aren’t supposed to get OUT of your car in the car wash!!

Nope.

Instead all I got was a big steady trickle of soap down the front of my face and coat.

I followed the signage to the manual switch handle for the garage door in front of me, heaved open the door enough to get out, and walked to the front of the gas station.

The dude in line for the wash behind the closed back garage door honked. (I mean seriously. Ass.)

Mr Gas Station Man seemed not-at-all surprised to see my drowned-rat looking self coming toward the counter.

“The car wash just quit mid-cycle, and I was kinda trapped in there, and the arm is stuck in front of my jeep, and it’s all soapy, and I kinda so am I and….” (I was still panicked from my clearly harrowing experience in the tomb.)

“Oh yeah – I will give you a new code… I’ll reset it.’

WTF dude? I am TRAMATIZED here. Your carwash tried to eat me alive.

HELLO.

It took some convincing to get the guy in the front of the line (honker/ass) to let me punch in my new code so I could retrieve my car from inside the wash – and I admit I did NOT like it one bit when the doors both closed around me again.

Suddenly letting The Mr wash my car doesn’t seem so bad.

Does this shit actually happen to other people?

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