wtf? wednesday

by renegademama

I miss Ava. I miss the clever things she says. I can’t wait for her to get back from Europe. One more week. Anyhoo, on her behalf, I’ll share this little story for wtf? wednesday …it has always been one of my favorites.

We were camping at my husband’s family cabin up in the Caribou Wilderness near Mt. Lassen. Ava was about three. We were sitting at the picnic table inside, drinking hot chocolate. Or maybe it was Irish coffee. Well, one thing we know for sure is that AVA was drinking hot chocolate. I was drinking something, most likely involving whiskey. Anyway, Ava asks “Want to ‘say cheers?’” and of course we do, so we clink our mugs and “say cheers” and then Mac says “bottoms up” before taking a drink. We all take a drink, but Ava stops. She looks around at us (me, Mac, my mom) a little confused. Then she sets her mug down, wriggles around into a standing position on the picnic bench, picks up the mug and takes a drink, proudly announcing “I’m drinking with my bottom up!”

Yeah. I love that.


Merging onto the Bay Bridge on our way to San Francisco, some human in a Lexus SUV totally (dangerously) cuts us off, forcing me to slam on my breaks and yell inappropriate words out the closed window. From the back seat, Rocket asks “Why did that guy do that?” I answer (always a diplomat, you know…) “well I guess he was in a hurry,” to which Rocket responds “Maybe. OR, he’s an idiot.”

(Now where did he learn such skepticism and general intolerance? Totally inappropriate for a boy his age. His mother should really do something.)


Rocket, playing with his wooden sword (yes, exactly the Waldorf type of toy I made fun of in this post), looks very serious and says to me “this sword looks like it’s made of wood. But it’s actually a real sword made of metal but covered in wood, so I won’t hurt myself.”

(Why is that so freaking cute?)


And then sometimes kids say things that beg the deep philosophical WTF?, because they are so right on – so brilliant in their simplicity. And so GOOD. As in holy. And loving. And perfect. Here’s an example:

Me: “Rocket, are you excited to go to the Japanese Tea Garden?”

Him: “yeah.”

Me: “I know you love it there, but you don’t sound very excited.”

Him: “well, I like it there, but I don’t love it. It’s a thing. We don’t really love things, Mama. We love our family. Plus, Ava isn’t here, so it won’t be all of us. It won’t be ‘just right.’”

What he loves is his hanging with his sister. What he likes is the tea garden. That makes sense to him — because why would you “love” some object, some place or thing? 

Someday he’ll realize that the whole world is based on The Love of Things that now seems so wholly incomprehensible to him.

But until then, he’ll just have his spectacular innocence and sweet clear truth.


8 Comments | Posted in wtf? wednesdays | April 13, 2011

I should be over this sort of thing by now

by renegademama

One would think that since this is my 3rd baby, I wouldn’t be running to the doctor for silly little innocuous ailments. One would think that.

But one would be wrong.

Last week, the woman who saves my life daily and renews my faith in humanity (A.K.A. Georgia’s nanny) called while I was at work, letting me know that Georgia had a rash. (P.S. I am not kidding or exaggerating with the verbose title italicized above. Well, maybe a little with the whole “faith in humanity” thing – cause I don’t have much of that. But seriously if it weren’t for my friend Maia, who watches my little one when I work, I don’t know what my life would be like, but I know for damn sure it would not be even nearly as nice as it is now. In short, Maia is magnificent and I love her.)

AnyWAY, so Maia says she has this rash and hasn’t eaten much, so I come home from work and sure enough, baby girl has this weird red splotchy rash on her head, neck, torso and back. She’s cooing and bubbling as always, looking very unsick, but I figure what the hell, better check it out.

So we go to urgent care, since by now it’s after 5pm.

Sitting in the waiting room, Georgia nurses and is flipping around happily, sharing nipple views with everybody, making all kinds of noise and bouncing incessantly…and I’m observing all this when the thought crosses my mind this baby is extremely not sick. The voice of reason speaks, softly.  “Janelle. You’ve had 2 kids before this one. Both of them have had unexplained rashes, more than once, and it’s never been anything. She has NO other symptoms. She’s happy as a damn clam…” and here’s the kicker, people…”Janelle, SHE’S GOING TO HER PEDIATRICIAN FOR A CHECK-UP TOMORROW MORNING at 9am – don’t you think this can wait? Don’t you think she’ll be fine until then?”

And I think about it.

And I watch her flail about.

And I see her grin.

And I know she’s not sick.

But there’s that other voice…”but what if she IS?”

What if this is the first time the happy baby who looks unsick actually has the really serious rash disease and is actually very, very sick and I had the chance to save her but I chose not to and now my baby is hurting and dying and I made the wrong choice?

And…I stay.


We finally get called into the doctor’s office. Twelve seconds later Rocket starts thrashing around on the patient bed in a way so evidently wonderful that Georgia discovers a new squeal – this loud, super animated shriek of delight that says “I am SO NOT SICK and I LOVE IT HERE and HELL YEAH look at HIM GO!” and I think to myself “dude, Georgia. Can you please stop that. Just act sick for a minute so I don’t look like a total asshat in front of the doctor.”

Cause I don’t want to be one of those over-reacting silly mothers. I’m a grounded, mature, intellectual, reasonable one. Damn it.

But she doesn’t stop and he comes in and blah, blah, blah you know the story. She had some unidentified viral rash that would pass in a day or two and, just as I suspected, she’s FINE.

As I was leaving I wondered why I never listen to that voice – the one that whispers “your kid is fine.” Why do I always listen to the scared mama bear who worries and envisions pure catastrophe and worst-case scenarios, even though all evidence points elsewhere?

Because I’m a mama.

And I don’t really care if I look like an over-reacting jackass and fill every nasty stereotype of the emotional dramatic goofy female.

What I care about is that my baby is alright.

And I want to hear that she’s alright so I can sleep.

But I hold her a little closer anyway and I feel in the depths of my soul a gratefulness. Because I know  there are some mothers who go to the doctor and hear other news. And their lives are irreversibly altered and their hearts shredded. Because they were just like me – with all that worry and love and desperate insane need to protect and adore and hold safely – but they were told something else. How can they be so brave? In the face of all that. To hold on.

And I love that little rash.

Because it’s nothing.

Thank you, God, for nothing.

post-rash. still fine.

13 Comments | Posted in unenlightened parenting techniques. | April 11, 2011

what I learned this week: anarchists, cherry blossoms and Kim’s a badass

by renegademama

1.       Anarchists hold book fairs. In Golden Gate Park. I saw one. And here I thought they just spent all their time writing angry words with Sharpies on pieces of white cloth and pinning them to leather jackets.

2.       Apparently I don’t know how to make WordPress automatically publish posts. That’s why there was no “Circle Time” yesterday. Though I’m sure you’ll all pull through this one, it is a little annoying, cause I had a great song picked out. Whatevs.

3.       People should not say “whatevs.” It is a really stupid word. And yet, I kinda dig it.

4.       This week sucked. Everything pissed me off or made me sad and I had a bad attitude and short temper and what I need is for somebody to take over my life for just a few days, so I can collect myself and come back when I’m refreshed.

5.       I think I just miss my little girl.

6.       And shit, I really do miss my little girl. Twelve more days.

7.       This week didn’t totally suck, because I had lunch with Kim, who writes this blog and is absolutely marvelous  – both via writing (check out that blog!) and in person. I’m hoping she will become my new BFF and possibly run off with me if the whole hetero thing doesn’t work out. We discussed that and she’s in, which makes me feel better. One must have a solid back-up plan.

8.       My son has been begging to go to the Japanese Tea Garden again in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. He likes having tea overlooking the pond. He told me that specifically. So we finally took him yesterday and the cherry blossoms happened to be blooming – they  were in the trees and floating on the ponds – and there was this breeze shaking everything just a little, scattering the blossoms around in perfect disarray and turning the whole garden into a place so lovely it was almost surreal. Georgia felt it, and was actually giggling at the cherry blossoms above her. Rocket spent a lot of time gazing into ponds and swirling his finger in the water. He was quiet and contemplative and stomped along the paths with a deep happy grin, looking for “that giant Buddha” and I felt a deliriously sweet peace there and I realized kids don’t need amusement parks.

9.       Speaking of amusement parks, we’re going to one next weekend. (Okay seriously, do I have multiple personality disorder?).  We’re going to Santa Cruz, where we will sit on the beach and ride the Big Dipper and walk along the wharf and maybe see the big redwoods. (I can’t get somebody to take over my life for me, but I sure as hell can ignore it for a few days.)

10.   If one more kid falls on the floor in hysterics over their Wii experience, I’m breaking that stupid mind-numbing machine with a rolling pin. Or any other large object. The specific breaking device is unimportant.

11.   Chinatown smells like urine but the food is so fucking good.

12.   Skype is awesome…when it works. But since it pretty much never works, it’s mainly just irritating.

13.   I’ll get through this week. Oh wait. I already have. Word.

8 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | April 10, 2011

How to get unfriended on Facebook…

by renegademama

I’m writing this post because I’m a bad person.

And this list is not comprehensive.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get to it…

How to get unfriended on Facebook…or at least annoy the living shit out of people.

  1. Post more than 5 times a day. If possible, give us a run-down of where you’re going, especially if it involves running errands. Because that is really interesting stuff that people want to read (dude WAH?): “Going to post office;” “Headed to the park!”; “getting my nails done!”; “leaving work. TGIF!”
  2. Write about your cat. Sorry, but nobody gives a shit. If your cat dies, that’s sad. You should post that. If your cat vomits on your face, that’s interesting and you should definitely post that. But if your cat is just cute and you feel like sharing, or it has feline behavioral problems (oh yeah, they exist) or the sniffles, you should not write about that because I’m pretty sure about 1% of the population gives a shit, and those are really poor odds.
  3. Call your pet your “baby.” Your pet is not your baby. Even if it’s a puppy, or a kitten, it’s not your baby. I know this for a fact because the last time I left my actual baby outside with a bowl of water, some food and a scratching post, I got in BIG trouble.
  4. Try to sound smart. Say profound stuff. Talk about your graduate degrees. Impress us with your stunning intellect and piercing creativity by dropping quotes of obscure philosophers and applying them to your daily life. Because we are impressed. Because everybody appreciates your insights. Fucktard.
  5. Post inspirational quotes and cute, happy little sayings about friendship, flowers, love, looking on the bright side, new doors opening and other such ridiculous meaningless feel-good crap. Use smiley faces and exclamation points. A lot! 🙂
  6. Play Farmville. Send requests to people who don’t play.
  7. Use your relationship status as a retaliatory tool against your partner. Perhaps you think we don’t notice that you go from “married” to “single” to “in a relationship” 5-7 times a year, sometimes within the same month. But we do notice. We do. And every time we see it, we think you’re an idiot and wish you’d figure your shit out once and for all so we can finally stop reading about it.
  8. Post a lot of pictures of yourself. Post a lot of pictures of yourself all dressed up, in cool, exotic, fancy places – and make sure you are the only person in each photo. In each picture, make the exact same “I’m hot” face and if you’re a female, show cleavage. Tilt your head down and slightly to the left. Have a small lock of hair fall strategically over one eye. Look coy. Repeat.
  9. Post politically charged, highly controversial statements that trigger raging arguments between 300 idiots on Facebook who don’t know each other or anything about the topic at hand. Say things like “keep your laws out of my uterus” or “the institution of marriage is sacred and it’s between man and woman” or “Go Dodgers!” or “I think breastfeeding in public should be a felony!”
  10. Whine. Tell us how much your life sucks. Go on and on about it. Lay it on thick. Use Facebook as a virtual, one-sided therapist. And one of these days, after we put away our violins and inspirational quotes, we’ll tell you to get the fuck off Facebook and go change things if you’re so damn unhappy. Or, if we’re more the passive aggressive type, we’ll just unfriend you, then claim we had no idea what happened.

I wonder if calling people out on the annoying shit they do is a way to get unfriended on Facebook? I hope not. Cause that would hurt my feelings. And then I’d have to whine. And we all know how that goes.

Happy Friday! TGIF! 🙂

yep. pretty much.

Motherhood. The end of Dignity. Part I.

by renegademama

Lemme tell ya a little story.

Last night Rocket and Georgia needed a bath. This happens often. I started the bath water. Rocket got in, too soon, like he always does. Then, as always, he complained with shock, horror and sadness that the water was only warm in half the tub (by the faucet). And I, like I always do, suggest he sit by the faucet until the whole thing warms up. I got Georgia undressed on the changing table, then realized that I was still in my work clothes and was really uncomfortable, mainly because I was still wearing a bra, which is, as far as I can tell, totally inappropriate while in one’s home. So I went into my room, setting Georgia on the floor naked.

As I did this I had a flashing, ominous thought “she could pee on the floor.” I did a quick risk/benefit analysis and decided it was worth it – I would just get dressed REALLY FAST and if she peed, I’d spray it with something and have Mac deal with it. Since he wasn’t home I could play the “you weren’t here dealing with these hoodlum children so now you must help” card.

I sat her down. I undressed. I grabbed a skirt and a shirt and threw them on. I couldn’t find a clean shirt in my drawer, so I grabbed one from the pile on the floor, which is comprised of maternity clothing I have not yet put in the garage. Yeah. This is my life.

I return to the baby. Not more than 2 minutes have passed since I deposited her there, sitting up happily and saying “Bah.”

I notice something odd on the ground beneath her. I realize what it is. The words “No fucking way” escape my mouth.

The kid has pooped on the floor.

And I want somebody else’s life. Is that too much to ask? Just right now. Just for the next 5 minutes.

But I know this isn’t Inception. It isn’t my dream or anybody else’s and in a horrible twist of fate, I’m the only person here to deal with this.

Now I enjoy bathroom humor as much as the next guy, but I’m going to save you the details of this particular bowel movement except to say that it was well, not solid. Therefore, it was everywhere.

In moments like this, the body enters a sort of flight-or-fight response. Time slows down. Adrenalin pulses. The mind starts ticking methodically…focus on the basics, on survival…

My objective: remove baby from floor, wash her. Preferably without covering myself in poop.

I assess my options.

If I put her in the tub, the tub will be full of poop. Not doing that.

If I wipe it off her, well, that’s impossible. This is going to require water.

None of my options look promising, but I’m running out of time. Any second one of those erratic bouncing hands is going to reach down and grab that stuff.

Must act now.

So I pick her up under the arms and hold her out in front of me, hoping none falls off and begging the higher powers that she doesn’t have it on her hands, which are, of course, grabbing for my face. I dart to the bathroom sink and place her there, at which time Rocket demands to know what’s going on. I tell him. He yells “Let me see!!” and starts exiting the bath to get a better look. I scream something imperceptible but oddly effective, since he sat back down and just began requesting details.

I turn the water on. It’s cold. Of course it’s cold. Damn faucet. Cold running water has now messed with my life twice in 10 minutes. Georgia starts crying. She doesn’t like cold water. Rocket tries again. I yell. I wash the baby. I wash the baby. I wash the baby. I’m tapping the hot side of the faucet with my finger trying to warm the water up without burning her and she’s slipping around like a small seal doused in olive oil and Rocket’s nearly in tears because he doesn’t get to see the poop and this is my life. It occurs to me that moments like this would serve as extremely effective birth control.

Finally, she’s rinsed.

And with a sigh of relief I set her in her seat in the bath by Rocket. But by now the water is practically to Georgia’s neck so I do the “hold slippery seal” routine again and punch the button to drain some of the water out. Rocket is now in hysterics because he sees something on my chest that’s funny. I don’t care though. I ignore him.

But then I smell something uncool. I look down. There’s poop all over my shirt. And since it’s a maternity shirt and therefore HUGE, the v-neck is hanging really low, allowing poop to also move down my chest and between my boobs.

Rocket is having the best night of his life, viewing two of his all time favorite things at the same time: boobs and poop.

I rip the shirt off and throw it in the garbage. Yes, the garbage.

Then I bathe my baby and wash myself and decide next time I’m staying in my damn work clothes.

And I realize that I’m going to write a blog post about baby poop and its role in my life, even though I swore I was way too deep and profound and intellectual for that kind of, um, shit. Ha.Ha.Ha.

after the bath. sweet smelling clean kids. totally worth it. well mostly worth it.

9 Comments | Posted in motherhood. the end of dignity. | April 7, 2011