Just under the wire

It should not surprise you that I waited until the last possible day to get my car inspected (just be glad I got it in today and didn’t forget until I got a ticket in January. It is not unlikely). It should also not surprise you that my car is like the Fire Swamp from The Princess Bride. Of course, I am so used to the filth that I didn’t think about it until I was exiting the car and suddenly realized that to inspect the car, SOMEONE ELSE WILL HAVE TO DRIVE IT. Which means they will not only have to enter the car and witness the filth, but also to touch it with what will probably be their bare hands. And, of course, I realized this before I had time to run home and throw out all the cracker crumbs and empty juice boxes and crunched up coffee cups and endless, endless gum wrappers and God only knows what else because the man had already seen me pull in and was walking over to greet me.

So the very nice Slavic man takes my keys and my registration and Noodle and I sit around while she chews on my coffee cup lid (relax, it was empty) and they inspect the car. Two other procrastinators pull in after me, and I secretly rejoice at not having been the biggest lazy-ass in town for once.

The nice man comes back and I go to pay and casually say, “You’re busy today.” Yes, he says. It’s the last day of the month. People always come in and try to get their cars inspected at the last minute. (Imagine all this in a very charming Eastern European accent.) Then he adds, “I understand this. You wait until the last minute and you get it done, and you say, ‘YES! I have done it!’ and you have this wonderful feeling. If you get it done in the middle of the month, it is not exciting. You say, ‘Eh, I did it.'” And after he was done explaining my innermost thoughts, we started to leave and Noodle waved goodbye to him. “Ciao, bella!” he cried as we walked out the door.

Dear God, please don’t let my car have given that nice SlavicItalian man a staph infection. Thank you.

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Like I said…

I have no idea what I’m doing. That pertains to parenting as well as joining Twitter, which I just did.

No fewer than five people have told me I should tweet (Tweet?). Please understand, I don’t understand Twitter. I don’t know about tweeting (Tweeting?). I don’t believe that my life is interesting enough to warrant a blog, let alone a Twitter account.

But everyone is still sleeping and there’s only so much time I can spend on Facebook and reading news and watching YouTube videos at near-silent levels. I can’t go upstairs and get my book or the stairs will creak and Noodle, who hears like a bat, will awaken and scream at me until I cry. Thus, boredom has led me to Twitter.

@halfassmama

Because I am a total moron, I did not check whether there were other half-assed mamas out there before picking my blog address. (I thought I did, but I guess exhaustion really does have an effect on the brain.) It turns out that there are at least two others out there. And here I thought I was the only one. Not only am I unoriginal, but I am slow, so halfassEDmama was already taken.

So go ahead, read it. We’ll see if I can figure it out, but don’t expect any fancy hashtag business or clever one liners.

A new frontier

Yesterday, I got my hair cut. BY MYSELF. That’s right, peeps, no children at all. The stylist saw me and said, “No baby today?” I think Noodle and I are the new Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Do not try to guess which is which or I will break your legs (unless I am Tweedledee, in which case, we’re all good). I got to sit for an hour and have adult conversation without having to jump up and snatch the baby leering precariously down the stairs. I did not have to wrestle my son to the floor and say between gritted teeth, “You. Be. Quiet.” I got to sit like a human being and have my hair done and be safe in the knowledge that if anything in that salon was broken, my spawn and I were not responsible. She screwed up my bangs, but I’m willing to let it go.

Last night, our friends came over for dinner with their adorable boys. Bucket cooked Ethiopian and the grownups drank wine and talked while the three boys played robot tag. No bones were broken, no tears shed. We had a lovely evening.

Right now, my house is silent. Tibs is across the street, playing. Noodle and Bucket and Hamish are asleep. The only sounds I can hear are the computer keys and the wind blowing.

I had forgotten what silence sounds like.

I’m scared.

To the rubber room and back again

So last night my husband, Bucket, worked until 2 am. This meant I was with the kids all day. Let me preface all this by saying I was not meant to be a single parent. People who can effectively raise children on their own deserve a special place in heaven. They are glorious, beautiful, sainted people who deserve far more respect than they will ever receive. I think my best bet is purgatory.

The kids and I went out to dinner. Tibs wanted Greek food, so we went to the Greek restaurant where they seated us immediately and then ignored us for 20 minutes, until Noodle began melting down so obviously that they thought maybe they should feed us, if only to shut the kids up. Then we waited another 15 minutes for the food. Drinks came, and I practically poured them down the kids’ throats, yelling, “DRINK THE SPRITE! PLEASE, IN THE NAME OF GOD, JUST DRINK THE SPRITE!” (Noodle had milk. I’m not THAT bad a parent.) So they finally brought the food, and Noodle ate some, threw most on the floor and then tried to wander the restaurant, Tibs started to wake up and act crazy, and by the end of the meal, I was ready for a rubber room. On the way out of the restaurant, a woman said about Noodle, “You have a really cute kid. And so much personality!” When she started to talk, I feared she was going to say something like, “People like you should be banned from parenting and put in the rubber room where you belong.” I smiled, said thank you, and ran away before we were stoned to death by the rest of the restaurant.

Nights like that make me question whether I should have had kids.

But then we came home and I put Noodle to bed, and Tibs and I decided to watch Ghostbusters together. Because Bucket was at work late, Tibs and I could have a date and stay up late. As we were getting our drinks ready and turning on the heated blanket, Tibs looked at me and said, “Maybe we can have some snuggles!”

And bam. I remembered why.

A few things

1. I am not a morning person. Having an infant has taught me that. Also, I need at least 10 hours of sleep to be able to function as a normal, kind, decent human being. For every hour less than 10, I lose at least one of those adjectives. If I get fewer than seven hours, I will eat your brain. This morning, my son got school lunch, which meant I didn’t have to get up to make his quesadilla, which meant I got to sleep in until SEVEN FIFTEEN! (Let it be said that not once in my life before having children did I think waking up at 7:15 was sleeping in.) In my glory days of freelancing, I could sleep until nine, ten, eleven o’clock and life was beautiful. Today, I had already been to the gym and was on my way home at 9:30 when I stopped at Trader Joe’s. It suddenly occurred to me that TJ’s might not be open, as it was before 10am, and I became momentarily enraged. Then I remembered that all the sensible people were still sleeping somewhere in their warm beds. I became even more enraged. Fortunately, the store was open and all the people were friendly and our friend in the sample foods section showed my daughter her puppets and no one ran screaming from my sweat-stained hair or my foul, foul post-gym stench. No blood was spilled. So there’s that.

2. My previously relaxed, charming daughter, Noodle, has decided that she does not want to be left at the gym’s day care with the wrinkled old ladies who dote on her. She has obviously decided this in some sort of toddler rebellion, as she is pissed off that her nap schedule no longer precludes me from doing anything fun or good for me. She wants to be in charge of everything, including the two hours a week that I get to exercise. Let the fight for ultimate power begin. (Spoiler alert: Get used to my giant thighs.)

3. I tried to go to the liquor store to buy wine at 10am today.  I went over, with my yoga pants and pit stains and greasy hair, my baby on my hip, and I realized, oh my God, I am That Woman. The only way this could be worse is if I was buying PBR and cigarettes. (Which, by the way, I wasn’t. I swear it was wine for the risotto I’m making tonight. Well, partly.) The store wasn’t even open. This is a new low.

Good and bad news

The good news is that my son, who shall henceforth be known as Tibs, told me today:

“You’re the goodest mama in the world!”

The bad news is that he said it because I let him have a cup of coffee when he got home from school.

He’s Ethiopian, dude. He’s probably been drinking coffee since birth. And besides, who are you to argue? I’m the goodest mama in the world.