Yesterday I had my sons 7th birthday party.

This is how my day started.

Like healthy crack.

I’d had a grand few days of insomnia the week before. As anyone who suffers from it knows, after day 3, you start to function at base level. Left foot, then right foot. Breath into lungs, breath out of lungs. I take a prescription sleeping pill, but had run out with a few days until my dr.’s appointment. So, in all my stuporific wisdom, the night before the party, I took a Seroquel. 

Now, I feel a bit of back story is needed. I’ve worked in mental health for quite a period of time. I have witnessed the effects of Seroquel on the human body. When it was prescribed as a sleep aid, I thought “Well that’s bullshit” and threw it in to the back corner of my drug cabinet. (So you’re clear, it’s an anti-psychotic, also used for bi-polar disorder, and it’s one of those badass drugs that I used to have to give to my schizophrenic patients. When the voices in their poor heads were telling them to do stuff that you wouldn’t normally do.) I don’t know why I even kept the bottle, as I had no intention of ever using it. But my poor sleepy wee brain said “Just take the fricking thing!” I did.

Wow. That is so not a fun high. You sleep, but not a real sleep. More of a” tread water around sleep” sleep. Drugged. Oh so yucky. The next day, the day of the party, I felt like I was wearing lead boots and had the worst case of cotten mouth this side of a Hookah pipe. But that energy booster mix? Totally works. (You alll know what you are getting for christmas. Not hookahs. No.)

Party on. I’d invited 5 of the bairn’s school chums as last birthday, I made the mistake of having seventeen of the little hellions sweet children there. Once was enough. These kids are country kids in a small town school, and out of twenty six Grade Oners, twenty of them have known each other and gone to school together for 3 years already. How awesome is that? They are like cousins. And because they are country kids who know all the moms, they are polite and comfortable to be around. Some highlights.

If you need them to shut their yell holes for a wee bit, just make them wear their hats like unicorns for a minute. It doesn't work, but it changes the acoustics a little.Don't ask me why he wore his Superman robe all day. He is 7. He has no fashion sense.

Crowded around to be first to give a present. Because they are so thrilled with their choices. Too cute.

These homemade cards are just the best thing. I'm saving them. So sweet.

This kid is only six but I am certain he is FBI. He carries a piece and goes on unexpected trips for days on end and won't tell his folks a thing about it.

There were many gun battles, lots of screaming and running. At one point, I found four of them playing dead. I called to hubby and said “We’ve had casualties! Get the truck, we’ll load the bodies and dump them in the field!” At which point, they all came back to life and I shrieked “AHHHH!!! ZOMBIES!!!!!!”, which was, of course, the perfect thing to say. Because that started a whole new game were they tried to kill me. (Um, Hello? What 6yr old doesn’t love a zombie mother?)
All in all, a great success. I was worried, I’ll admit. Earlier in the day, I called on the gods of twitter (I’m @3snaps) and prayed there would be no vomiting.  The gods heard me, and no one left their cake on the floor! Yay!!!!!
I hope I made at least one childhood dream come true. For my sweet boy. My only. My seven-year old.



Quietly Proud

A busy week, what with withdrawal, family visiting and my son’s kindergarten graduation. You heard me! For those of you that are sans children, we as a society celebrate the mediocrities of life in earnest. The ability to sing the ABC song and hit the toilet (Yay!) has become a reason for people to fly in, get gussied up, buy presents and have cake. It is quite ridiculous. By my total I will have spent $735,000.00 on presents for inane accomplishments by the time he (hopefully) graduates high school. Without becoming a father. (Throwing that in there just in case the gods of birth control happen to read this.)

What ever happened to being quietly proud? And letting the offspring know that yes, this is nice, but get ready, because you have your whole goddamn life to work at and passing the K is pretty minor. Have we spoiled and coddled our children into a state of complete dependence on accolades just so they ‘feel’ good? I don’t know how the bosses of the future will manage. Hallmark had better come up with a card that says “You finished your work on time like I told you and you didn’t have your dad do it so you are the most awesomest human employee that the world ever had! Here’s your fucking cake!’

Am I proud as his mother? Yes, I am. There is almost a feeling of relief as well. “Hey! He made it! We didn’t fuck this all up as badly as we thought!” But then we remember we have 12 more years before college. And one more grey hair sprouts on my carefully coiffed head.

(Okay, I sound bitchy and like it doesn’t matter to me. It does. I almost can’t believe he’s gone from babe in arms to a little boy going into Grade 1. I wish I had one more day. One more day of everything with him. Of  babyhood, first steps, first words, first friends, the worst of the flu and colds, the tears, the tantrums, the sleepless nights, the last kiss goodnight, and every hug and kiss he’s ever given me. This is too fast. I need just one more day of all of it.)

We use 10% of our brains, imagine how much we could accomplish if  we  used the other 60%. Ellen Degeneres

The Spank of Love

I’ve been doing some reading of other ‘mommy blogs’ on the internet and I realize I am dangerously unqualified to be a mother. I should have looked into this 7 years ago. What the hell is wrong with me? This is so like me, biting off more than I can chew, and struggling at it the whole time.

Why am I saying this? Let me fill you in on the areas I lack according to what I’ve been reading:

I don’t like the word poop. And I don’t like discussing it. We have 2 dogs and 3 cats. I also have a son that took forever to potty train. I wasn’t too worried about it as I thought he probably wouldn’t being graduating high school with a loaded diaper. I just assumed there would be a girl he was interested in who would tell him she couldn’t go out with him until he stopped shitting his pants. He did get used to the toilet, yet the little twerp refused to wipe his own butt because he “didn’t want to get germs on his hands.” I kid you not. So, while I am averse to feces on the whole, in the past 10 years, I have been forced into the role of amateur scatologist. Not particularly entertaining, save one time the dog and child ate a bunch of Crayons, but that lost its allure after, oh, 3 seconds.

Basic safety information here went something like ‘don’t run with scissors’. I believe that childhood is meant to be filled with bumps, bruises and scrapes. It’s the time in your life when you learn that if you do something stupid it’ll probably hurt afterward. (Sadly, stupid never hurts before you are about to do something stupid. It should. Wouldn’t that be helpful?) Now, since he could talk, I’ve had the Why child. Why, why, why, why,why,why… And he’s not one of those kids that will accept “Just because” or “Because I damn well said so”. He would give us this look like “You expect me to believe that? You guys are assholes.” So as his mother, I racked my brain on how to get this kid to pay attention to what I was telling him. I couldn’t wrap him in bubble wrap and he refused to wear the helmet I bought for him so I decided I’d get him where guys fear most. I started telling him that if he did certain things his penis would fall off. It actually worked for a couple of years until around age 4, he looked me dead in the eye and in a manly, serious tone said “You’re lying. My penis will never fall off. Now quit saying that!”. I changed tactics after that. The new rule of thumb regarding safety is you get one brain, two eyes and one penis. Wreck those and there is nothing you can do. I think he’s listened. ( And yeah, I keep throwing in the penis thing. I’m hoping it’ll make him keep it in his pants until, oh let’s say thirty. I know I am bullshitting myself. But let me hope,okay?)

I love him but I don’t find everything he does darling or precious. He’s human. He makes mistakes and steps out of line. Discipline is required. We have tried most everything the parenting manuals say. Time outs, consequences. What have you. Much of it to no avail. I don’t believe in beating kids and I think spanking doesn’t work. But we did come up with something. Oft times, this kid will push my buttons til I’m about ready to rampage. My mother said something one day that made much sense. “He needs to know you love him. Then he’ll behave.” I came up with the ‘Spank of Love’. In the midst of a yell fest, I will bellow “DO YOU NEED TO KNOW I LOVE YOU?” to which he will he will sweetly reply, at the top of his lungs”YES! I DO!” “OKAY!!!! SPANK OF LOVE IT IS!!!” We then proceed to fly shrieking around the house ‘spanking’ each other, him as hard as he can (I deserve it) and me, well, I pull my punches. It seem to defuse the situation and then we can talk. Weird, yeah, but whatever works. I hope child welfare never shows up during one of these sessions.

So, yeah. I guess according to some mommies I’m doing everything wrong. But I’ll tell you something. He is smart. Polite. Can talk to adults. Caring with his friends. Good to animals. Loves his family. Believes that trees can talk to him and refers to earth as “the mother” and thinks you are a shithead if you don’t recycle. And he is funny as hell. You’d like him.

I may be doing this parenting thing differently but he’s turning out well. And I don’t think he’ll get your daughter pregnant before marriage. Because I’ve warned him, well, you know.

The Hood

I have struggled with clinical depression most of my life. Who knows why and at this point, who cares? It’s just  a part of me that I live with. I have done all the things you are supposed to; medication, meditation,therapy,acupuncture. It’s been a long haul.

But sometimes the blackness creeps up and brings with it the veritable smorgasbord of  symptoms that can accompany depression. OCD, anxiety, all that shit. Crippling feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Trust me, it is quite the little party in my head.

Having son has helped. He makes me get out of bed and get shiny about life. Because the last fucking thing I want in the world is for him to think he is responsible for ANY of this. He brightens my day just through his sheer joy of being alive. Little kids are great for that. They skip when they should walk, they sing about anything. They give hugs, dance and wrestle just for the feeling of moving. It is really wonderful. So is he.

But sometimes all I feel is failure. And you know what? I am not alone. 

I think of the mothers out there who had to set their children loose from the nest too early, just so they could be happy and learn to fly. The mothers of children who have special needs and different abilities, the ones that want to weep at the end of the day, having watched their baby struggle with the simple. The mothers whose children are sick, fragile or just goddamn difficult.

And us mothers? We’re hard-wired to wear every unhappiness our children have. We wear it tenfold. Can you see it? Mine looks like a shoddy second-hand suit.

Motherhood is the Hood. It’s scary, confusing, at times downright violent. You have to have much courage to enter.

If you’re not in the ‘hood, that’s okay. You will be one day, and there is a whole lot of us battle-scarred mothers out there to let you know it’ll be alright.

If you are in the ‘hood, my sisters, don’t let the blackness swallow you. The good, joyous stuff will always out weigh the bad. They will be fine in spite of and because of us.

 And go take off that shitty looking suit!

(To the dudes: I can’t speak for you, obviously, but you’ll be okay too! Now go kiss your mom!)

p.s. More on depression later. You are not the only one. And please don’t take this as a message to have a kid to cure your depression. It doesn’t. And that would be really fucked up.


In case you didn’t know, I am an only child, who has an only child. It’s a little hard deciding who the earth revolves around but, we manage. I think I was a bit of a difficult child as I was too smart for my own good and I pretty much thought my parents were full of shit the moment I was born.  I was demanding, sassy and thought I could always get my way.

When I was about 10, I decided I wasn’t very cool. I needed to change that.  The first thing that popped into my mind was that if I had a monkey, in my small prairie farm  town, well, that would be pretty much akin to becoming a goddess. Those hicks would ooh and ah and line up for miles to gaze at my monkey. I’d be so goddamn popular I’d OWN that place and all 300 people in it. And only a chosen few would have the luck to pet my monkey.

So I started.

“Can I have a monkey?” No. “I need a monkey!” No. “Please can I have a monkey?” No. “YOU HATE ME! WHY WAS I BORN? YOU’RE TERRIBLE! I WISH I WAS DEAD! I MAY AS WELL BE IF I DON’T HAVE A MONKEY!”  And so on. And on. And on. For months. All day, every day.

It was absolutely terrible. Exhausting for all of us. I could not for the life of me figure out why those pricks were ruining my only chance of happiness.

I plotted.

I pictured myself in some Wonder Woman outfit with Dirty Harry’s gun and thought about sneaking up behind them, and calmly saying, “Get. Me. A. Fucking. Monkey. Now. GETMEAFUCKINGMONKEYRIGHTNOW! Or make my day!”

In theory, it probably would have worked.

About that time, my dad snapped.

I’m not sure if he said it to mom, me or the universe but he bellowed something like, “Monkeys jerk off all the time!!”

Now, I wasn’t too clear on what that meant, but it didn’t sound good.  I didn’t think I wanted something doing that around me all the time. (I’ve actually made that a personal philosophy in my life, but I digress.)

I let the monkey thing drop.

And guess what?  Son now wants a puppy. I have 5, four-legged, fur-covered shit machines in my house. So the answer is no. And I am completely ruining his life.

“I want a puppy.” No. “I need a puppy.” No. “Please?” No. “NOTHING LOVES ME IN THIS HOUSE! I NEED A PUPPY!” And so on.

Mom, Dad, I’m sorry. Excuse me while I have an Advil and chase it with a small keg of wine.