If You Only Knew

Hey everyone, I need to interrupt my post to bring you this news.

Katie over at Chicken Noodle Gravy just dished about No. 7! In all seriousness, I am incredibly flattered by the feature that Katie wrote. Head over and check it out and while you’re there take some time to explore Katie’s blog – she’s a wonderful writer. Chicken Noodle Gravy is one of my absolute FAVORITES!! Thank you so much, Katie! I’m floating somewhere up around cloud 9 right now…

We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming…

How many times a week do you figure you want to run away? I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if I claimed that I want to abandon ship at least once during a 24 hour period. I’ll go ahead and say it, out the seven days in a week there are likely at least five (or many more) minutes per day in which I’d like completely disappear.

 *POOF!*

Truthfully, in those dark moments I’ve wondered if my family would even notice or regret my untimely departure. I don’t think that they would and I’m not sure that I’d blame them.
Last month, I survived a week of school vacation without a husband for the better portion of said Hell…er, I meant to say school vacation. By the time I was attempting to muddle through the eighth day of solo parenting, I was cracking. Mount Vesuvius had sprouted on my left cheekbone, along with some freshly carved lines courtesy of a week-long frown bender. My voice had taken on that raspy, Marge Simpson quality as the result of yelling.
Sometimes I think my vocal cords might be permanently damaged. I’ve run to hide in the bathroom and wonder if my children’s memories will be composed of a red-faced, screaming freak they called ‘Mommy’.



image courtesy Google image search

Any remnant of what was once pretty and toned is quickly fading away. Gwen is absorbing all that once was. She flips and twirls her long hair while I come to terms with my new pixie cut. We perused some photo albums this week, the ones that contain mostly pre-children photographs. “Oh Mommy!” she said with a breathy sigh, “You used to be so beautiful!” Gee, thanks…I think.

I stepped out of the shower one morning to find an audience. There they were lined up like judges minus the score cards. “Mommy, why is it grey under your eyes?” “What happened to your toenail polish, Mom?” “Hey, how come your butt crack sticks out of your jeans when you bend down?” “Don’t you wish your hair was long and beautiful like mine?”
I slowly turned and faced them with my blackened eye-bags and chippy toenail polish and, without words, gave them a look that made them run away. Then I went to find some pants that didn’t expose ass cleavage and I cried in my closet. 
I sobbed because I felt trapped and resentful. I sobbed because I don’t earn my own paycheck anymore. I sobbed because I’m tired. I sobbed because I feel like a hamster on a wheel, doing the same thing every single day. I sobbed because I felt guilty for sobbing about all of these things.

If you really knew me, you would know that sometimes I fight the urge to run.

Mama’s Losin’ It Note: I’m not losing my grasp on sanity. I wrote this in response to Mama Kat’s weekly writing prompt. I chose “If you really knew me, you would know that sometimes…”

Pretty Suckers

Like three tiny vampires, they sucked the pretty right out of me. The first two went relatively easy on the amount of beauty they stole. They sucked just enough pretty to allow me to replenish. They were kind enough to leave the pretty somewhat intact, considerately taking only what they needed. They didn’t cry too much, they slept through the night and, mostly, I only had to chase them around a Boston apartment with two bedrooms and no stairs in the living area. We all went to the gym together, we took advantage of Boston’s sidewalks and the Charles River Esplanade that was right around the corner. The park across the street wasn’t half bad either.
 
Then we moved to the country. We bought an 150-year-old house and got pregnant in the middle of our grand plans for tearing down plaster walls and renovating a barn (insert the sound of a scratching record here).
 
The third one is the real culprit. She’s the one who sucked the last vestiges of pretty out of me. Please, allow me to present the People’s Exhibit No. 1.

Exhibit No. 1 - Still Riding the Pretty Train

Exhibit No. 2 (below) shows me one full year after the photo in Exhibit No. 1 was taken. Notice that I was still riding the pretty train, looking fit and well-rested. I was running four times a week at that point. You can tell right? The gym was within walking distance to our apartment and they had free babysitting. God bless the Oak Square YMCA. I miss you.

exbibit no. 2 - still pretty

Then we moved away and purchased what I consider to be the mother of all Pretty Suckers.

Exhibit No. 3 - Evil Pretty Sucker

Just when we began tearing down 150-year-old plaster walls, we were struck with some rather unexpected news.

Exhibit No. 4 - Pretty Sucker Number Three

 Pretty Sucker extraordinaire was born nine months and one scaled back kitchen renovation later. Bathroom renovations? Forget about it. Walk in closet? Yeah, that became a pooky-pink nursery. Have you ever lived through construction in a 150-year-old house? That old horsehair plaster dust sure can travel! Not to mention the possibility of lead dust, the four steep and narrow staircases and drafty windows. So we sold the mother of all Pretty Suckers to provide a safe, warm and comfortable habitat for our little Pretty Suckers.

exhibit No.5

 Pretty Sucker Number Three looks like a beautiful, quiet baby doesn’t she? Look at her peaceful newborn slumber. Breathtaking, isn’t it? *sigh*

Well, here’s the reality of Pretty Sucker Number Three’s first two years.

exhibit no. 6

exhibit no. 7

exhibit no. 8
She is also the star of the Narragansett No. 7’s banner. She’s my muse.

Sometimes the Pretty Suckers can’t control their vicious nature and they are forced to squish themselves into small hiding places to avoid public detection. On the day that this photo was taken (Refer to Exhibit No. 9), Pretty Sucker Number Two was feeling particularly vicious. It hid in this spot at LL Bean in Freeport for 20 full minutes before re-emerging in the form of a child. Under no circumstances should you approach a Pretty Sucker during this heightened state of agitation. They will scream very loudly and there is a strong possibility of a nasty bite. Slowly back away and pretend to ignore the Pretty Sucker. Attempt to make eye contact with the horrified adults in the general vicinity while pretending that the Pretty Sucker belongs to someone else. If possible, laugh and snap a few pictures, but do so from a distance to avoid further provocation.

exhibit no. 9

The male Pretty Sucker is relatively quiet and has a terrific sense of humor. These days he tends to leave me and my minuscule amount of remaining beauty alone. That is, if I allow him to assume his alter ego and scare the other two Pretty Suckers.

In my earliest days with the Pretty Suckers, I foolishly thought they would allow me to retain my pretty. I read them bedtime stories in skinny jeans and a pair of Jimmy Choos before going on dates with their daddy. My hair was still long and luxurious. Well, I was stupid!
 
Four short years and the addition of Pretty Sucker Number Three has left me in a rather haggard state. I’m considering Thermage coupled with a chemical peel to attack my fine lines and wrinkles… 
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Cue the Crying

Dim the lights! Cue the princess music! Illuminate the castle and send Jasmine out! Is that woman in section T, row 15, seat 14 trying not to cry?

What? At least I’m man enough to admit it. The Disney species of princess make me cry. I don’t know why. Is it the music? The gowns? The castle? The last time I was exposed to the princesses en masse was March of 2006. Gwen was just a bun in the proverbial oven as I stood in front of Cinderella’s castle during some kind of Disney Princess extravaganza, sobbing. I was a weird 30-something pregnant woman blubbering at the vision of fake royalty waltzing with their princes on the grand staircase of the castle.

I remember pushing my little boy’s stroller toward the castle and hearing the grand announcement of Ariel and Prince Eric, followed by Snow White and Prince Whosey Whatsey and the guy who got hitched to Belle. Did we ever find out that guy’s name, or does she still refer to him as ‘Beast’? Maybe she really is a peculiar girl… Anyway, there I stood with my eyes glued to the girls and their princes waltzing around when I felt the overwhelming sting of tears working their way up the pipeline. I bit my lip, I took a deep breath, I looked away and shifted on my feet, but there was no stopping the flow. I let my freak flag fly under the guise of emotions run by pregnancy hormones, but the truth of the matter is that to this day, I have no friggin’ idea why the hell I was bawling.

Today I took Gwen to Princesses on Ice. The overture announcing the arrival of a princess boomed throughout the Civic Center, the lights twinkled and danced, then Jasmine skated into view. The ol’ pipeline started to trickle and threatened to spring a leak. Thankfully I was able to call myself a jackass and turn off the spigot. I was fine until the end of the show when those stinking princesses went and lined up on the stairs with their princes. Maybe it was the gowns, or the music. Mostly, I think it was the delight in my little girl’s sparkling eyes as she clapped and danced with excitement. I realized how quickly time has passed since my Disney World princess/pregnancy-induced outburst. Back then, my baby was just a bump. Four years has assigned the bump a sex, name and terrific personality. I’ve spent the past four years falling in love with a beautiful princess.

The waterworks flowed as those princesses stood on the steps waving and waltzing, but mostly my tears were tears of joy and wonder as I watched my girl’s face.

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