Crappy Anniversary!

So in case you missed yesterday's post ... it was my fifteenth wedding anniversary. And after work, my husband had promised to whisk me off to a romantic locale.*

*And by "romantic locale" I mean the movie theater to see Paul Blart Mall Cop 2.

In anticipation of our evening out, I spent the afternoon wrangling my hair into submission. If you don't know about my hair - well, it's naturally terrible. Thick and frizzy and not even cute.


Old picture, but same hair. UGH.

The only time this hot mess looks decent is when I deep-condition and blow-dry and straighten it, which takes forfreakingever. But yesterday was a special occasion, so that's exactly what I did. And it looked great.

About an hour before Curtis was due home, my toddler ran past me and I caught a whiff of something rank: namely, a diaper full of doodoo. He's in the process of potty training, and he has the pee thing pretty much down pat - but the poop thing, not so much.

When I managed to catch him, he had it smeared all down the insides of his thighs. I don't know how toddlers produce man-sized poops, but mine must have bowels the size of King Kong's. It was the kind of mess that only a good wipedown and then a bath can remedy.

As I was drying him off after his bath, I realized that I could still smell poop. I checked him all over to make sure I'd gotten him clean; I had. I looked at my clothes, my shoes, my hands; all spotless. I re-traced my steps to the bathroom to make sure it wasn't on the carpet somewhere. Nope.

And yet ... the unmistakable stench didn't seem to fade. Frustrated, I ran a hand through my hair, as I tend to do when I wear it down. That's when my fingers got inexplicably tangled in the front of it.

In a crusty patch.

In a crusty patch of dried feces.

IN A CRUSTY PATCH OF DRIED FECES IN MY FRESHLY CONDITIONED AND BLOW DRIED AND FLAT-IRONED ANNIVERSARY DATE NIGHT HAIR.

I didn't have the time, nor the desire, to re-wash and re-wrangle my hair. So I desperately grabbed a baby wipe and swiped at the patch in the hope that it would remedy the problem without having to go to such lengths. I could still smell the poop, but I thought maybe the scent was just seared into my nose hairs or something, so I got a second opinion.

"Cameron, quick!" I hissed at my seven-year-old. "What does my hair smell like?!"

He leaned in, sniffed, then recoiled so hard he nearly fell out of his chair.

"Why does your hair smell like poop?!" he choked.

Ugh.

So there was no choice but to wash it. I didn't want to do my whole head, so I pulled most of it back into a ponytail and just washed the poopy part.


Then I blow-dried and straightened it. But I had forgotten to condition it. So it was all static-y and weird and it clung to my skin like a full-face beard.

So then I put some "anti-frizz serum" in it. And accidentally made it oily.

So I had one oily section of hair. Right in the front.

... But at least it didn't smell like poop any more.


Fifteen

It's not Throwback Thursday, but I'm about to post a picture of my nineteen-year-old self.

I hadn't even grown into my big head yet. Awwww.

Yep: I was a teenage bride. I'd love to know who was sitting in the church pews fifteen years ago today, thinking, "I give this six months." I'm sure that was the general consensus, seeing as I was practically a baby (and my husband was newly twenty-three). I mean - what do you really know about marriage at that age? About relationships?

Curtis put an oversized Wint-o-green Lifesaver in his mouth just before we said our vows, and it clacked noisily against his teeth as he promised to love me forever. We stared awkwardly at each other when our unity candle ceremony didn't last nearly as long as the song accompanying it.


Curtis was sporting the fashionable blindingly-white forehead of a construction worker.

We had no idea what we were in for.

When you're that age, you haven't even become the person you truly are. You're still figuring yourself out, still learning how to navigate the world as an "adult" (and yes, that word is totally deserving of the quotation marks). And now we had to figure ourselves out as a married couple. We were both selfish. We were broke. The odds were stacked against us.

But.

We were in love, and we were determined. So against those odds, we built a life together.

I'm not going to be one of those wives who claims that every day, every month, every year has been beautiful and happy and sunshine and turtledoves. Unicorns didn't sprinkle magical anti-divorce rainbows over our union; it's hard work. At times, it's been an absolute shitshow. It's been his fault and my fault and a few runs of crappy luck that are nobody's fault, but still a struggle to get through.

And yet, when I think of all the hands we've been dealt in the last fifteen years, I know with complete certainty that there's no one I'd rather have experienced it all with. We grew into adulthood together and muddled through the growing pains that come with it. We've had some truly amazing adventures (like the ones I talked about in one of my favorite posts, An Anniversary Letter to a 17-Year-Old Me). We went from partners to parents. We have less hair and more muffin top, but we've gained a sense of permanence. We are each other's safe harbor, because we know this thing we have is hard to destroy. And we know from experience, because we've both tried to destroy it.

I can't say much about my wisdom at nineteen years old, but I will say this: I knew Curtis was the one for me when I realized I was more excited for the marriage than for the wedding. And our future still excites me.

(Mainly because we have this retirement dream of spending our days eating at ALL THE RESTAURANTS.)

So happy anniversary to the dude who drives me crazy in the best and worst ways. I am eternally thankful to him for so much - the fact that he didn't smash cake in my face at our reception, for one thing.

And the "Ugliest Cake Topper Award" goes to ....


Here's to the next fifteen ... and the next ... and the next!


Gum-De-Dum-Dum

This morning, as my kids piled out of the van at school like entertainers from a clown car, I snagged my Kindergartner by the elbow.

"Coby, are you chewing gum?" I asked sternly. "You can't have that at school, you know. And besides, I already told you that you weren't allowed to have any this morning." After you and your brothers begged and pleaded and only succeeded in pissing me off.

His brown eyes widened sheepishly. "It's from yesterday," he shrugged, spitting it into my outstretched hand. "I stored it in the cup holder."

... Gross.

As I stared at the sticky lump in my palm, trying not to imagine all the disgustingness festering there, I vowed for the umpteenth time never to let my kids have gum again. EVER.

I don't know what it is about gum, but it's the thing I hate above all other confections. Probably because it ends up everywhere except in their mouths where it's supposed to be. Like this:

 It wasn't so cool when he realized it was stuck in the hairs on the back of his neck.

Is it just my kids? Is the proper chewing and disposal of gum too advanced for them? I mean, the ones who chew it are school-aged. They are relatively intelligent. They're fully aware of the locations of each trash receptacle in our house. Is it so far-fetched to think that they're capable of chewing it for a little while, then spitting it out in the proper place?

Apparently so. 

Because yesterday afternoon they got some gum (from Dad, naturally) ... and this happened.




... And gum in the cup holder of my van. Of course.

Is there an age where kids magically start chewing gum in the way it's supposed to be chewed? Or are my kids just developmentally delayed where gum is concerned? Give it to me straight, people: are they "gum-dumb" or are your kids the same?

Inquiring minds need to know. For the sake of my sanity ... and my carpet.


The Surprise-Egg Scramble

I may be decent at Trivia Crack, but don't let that fool you - there is a lot of stuff that I don't understand. Like, for example, how Kanye West can have that much ego. Or why certain brands of pickles say a serving size is half a pickle (go ahead, check your fridge, I'll wait). Or anything involving "the maths." Oh yeah, and Spam - the "meat product," not the email kind ... although I don't understand computer spammers, either, come to think of it.

But you wanna know the latest thing I don't get? Like, at all?

SURPRISE EGG VIDEOS.

Unless you've prohibited any and all screen time for your child (I bet you feed him kale chips, too, don't you?), you've probably seen these. My younger kids - five and nearly three - adore the crap out of them. They think they're egg-cellent and will scramble to watch them (heh heh. I got jokes). And my question, typically met with a shrug from my children while they stare, open-mouthed and fascinated, is this: what in the actual hell is so awesome about these videos? There are thousands of them, and they are all pretty much the same ... which is to say, close-up videos of people's hands  opening up plastic and/or chocolate eggs with little toys inside. Kind of like these, except usually a little more fancy, with brand names and characters on them.


Some of them are long ... like half an hour. Some of them have narration (my youngest's favorite features a guy who sounds suspiciously like Jim Bob Duggar). All I know is that my kids watch them like they're viewing some kind of riveting, Oscar-worthy performance. And they act like I've insulted their grandma when I dare to question their taste in YouTube videos.

What's the appeal? Is it the element of  not knowing what's inside the egg until - ta-da!! - it's cracked open and revealed before their very eyes? I'm pretty sure there are a lot of other things that could be equally surprising, and yet they wouldn't be so excited about those. Like watching somebody open birthday presents for an extended period of time. Or watching someone put together a 1000-piece puzzle. (Yawn.) Or for that matter, watching closely while someone poops: will it be green? Soft? OH, THE SUSPENSE!

Actually now that I think about it they would probably like that last one. Boys are gross.

My point is, the apparent amazingness of these surprise egg videos continues to escape me. But I'll say one thing for this baffling trend: it buys me some time to hit up the bathroom in peace, which is pretty much invaluable. (Hey, I'm not in a book called I Still Just Want to Pee Alone by accident.)

I think next time I give my kids chores to do, I'll write them on slips of paper and put them inside plastic eggs. Maybe it will minimize the whining.

... Ah, who am I kidding? Not even surprise eggs are awesome enough to do that.

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