Long-Haired Guinea Pig Tired of Being Mistaken for Donald Trump

Long-Haired Guinea Pig Tired of Being Mistaken for Donald Trump

guinea pig isolated on the white background

A Long-Haired Guinea Pig living in a pet store in Queens, New York is tired of being mistaken for business man, TV personality, and presidential candidate, Donald Trump.

“I’ve been mistaken for lots of famous people on account of my illustrious golden locks,” stated the unnamed guinea pig. “Several years ago, someone thought I was Hulk Hogan.”

“I didn’t mind being mistaken for Hulk Hogan. It was kind of fun actually,” the guinea pig reminisced. “People cheered for me and the attention was exhilarating. Then once, someone yelled, ‘Rip your shirt off, Hulk Hogan!’ And I yelled back, ‘Let me tell you something brother! I’m not wearing a shirt!’ But the guy didn’t speak Guinea Pig so he tried to rip my shirt off for me. I yelled, ‘You are pulling my fur, you asshole!’ He still didn’t listen so I bit him. He dropped me back in my cage and called me terrible names, but even that wasn’t as bad as being mistaken for Donald Trump.”

“Another time, someone adoringly called me Rapunzel,” the guinea pig recalled with a chuckle. “I swooned a bit because Rapunzel is beautiful. That guy fed me rampions and stroked my fur. I thought I was in love. I imagined he’d help me escape the pet store and I’d be free forevermore. But then I remembered there’s more to life than being admired for your beauty so I bit him. He dropped me back in my cage and called me terrible names too, but even that wasn’t as bad as being mistaken for Donald Trump.”

“More recently, someone mistook me for Jodie Sweetin.”

“I said, ‘How rude!’ Then I bit him.”

“But even THAT wasn’t as bad as being mistaken for Donald Trump,” said the guinea pig.

“Shortly after Trump announced his candidacy for President, people flocked to the pet store. They’d all point at me and laugh and say, ‘Look! It’s Donald Trump!’ I’d tell them that actually I’m just a beautiful guinea pig, but they never understood (because, again, the language barrier). Once, a big dipshit came in and sang the Celebrity Apprentice Theme Song and that’s when I had enough. I was sick of being mistaken for Donald Trump. That’s when I went to the media.”

When asked specifically what the guinea pig hated most about being mistaken for The Donald, he responded, “I could cite numerous occasions where Trump exposes his ignorance on basic world issues. We could discuss the fact he openly admits he does not prepare for any of his debates (preferring to “improv” and who are we to squash his inner thespian?). Let’s see, what else? We could focus on his absolute intolerance of anyone who is remotely different from him. Or we could look into his exhausting narcissism and erratic toddler-esque shenanigans. The only thing Donald Trump and I have in common—neither one of us has served a day in public office or in the armed forces,” stated the guinea pig.

“The bottom line is—I don’t want to be mistaken for Donald Trump because he’s a misogynistic, racist bigot. He’s an imposter…bread and circuses for the masses.”

When asked if he had anything to say to Trump directly, the guinea pig said, “Yes. Mr. Trump, your hair is atrocious. I have the name and number for an outstanding groomer. She’s really great with pigs.”

(48 hours after this article was published, the guinea pig was adopted by a Bernie Sanders supporter who trimmed his hair back and dyed it white so he’d never be mistaken for Trump again.)

 

The Solitude of Motherhood by Kristina Hammer

The Solitude of Motherhood by Kristina Hammer

Mother and daughter near the window at home

The solitude of motherhood is the ultimate paradox. On the one hand, you are constantly swarmed by the needs and wants of other people; on the other hand, you’re often completely alone, isolated, left to navigate the rocky terrain of life with small children by yourself.

I am betrothed to my soul mate but he is unable to co-parent alongside me because his job keep him away from home sixty to seventy-two hours a week. He is the family provider and the children’s extra special Sunday playmate. I am the stay-at-home mom-ship captain-prison warden-public relations director-service coordinator-keeper of all the things.

This is by far the hardest job I have ever had. I have worked in an upscale, posh fruit market and deli with over two hundred register codes to memorize. I have worked in Bingo halls, ice rinks, and day cares. For many years, in between, I held down a second job as a nighttime security guard. After college, I worked as a Health Unit Coordinator, managing patient care in some of the most fast-paced, unpredictable units of the hospital- Labor & Delivery, Pediatrics,Neurology, and the I.C.U.. None of those jobs even begin to compare to the stress, exhaustion, and physicaldrain of Mom Duty.

Everyone undoubtedly knows, it is the village which makes or breaks a good mother. This mother was breaking under the pressure. Going into my first pregnancy, I was a bit on the younger side of the average age for first-time moms. In my naïve twenty-two year old mind, the picture of motherhood American Baby and Baby Talk magazines painted, would become my reality.

What a slap in the face it was to realize those farcical illustrations were far from the truth. No matter how many Mommy and Me classes we went to, how many playgroups we auditioned at, or how well I adhered to the advice in articles like “How To Find Your BMFF (best mommy friend forever) At “Gymboree” and “Build Your Mommy Crew In Style,” I never felt welcomed, nor, did I ever make a single friend.

There is only so much fight in someone, and, by the time I was having my third child, five years later, my fight was gone. Dried up.Vamoose. My tribe would never be, and, I was surprisingly okay with that. A natural introvert by nature, it was torturous bearing the barrage of mother-baby socialization necessary in order to find a gaggle of girl friends who weren’t single, childless, Molly-loving club goers. Those kind vanished, to never return again, the first time my newborn baby cried in their presence.

So, when the third was born, I finally let go of the fairy tale depicting, magazine idealism entirely. All it had done was leave me friendless and on the brink of insanity– and, truthfully speaking, I was afraid of what would come beyond the point of insanity.

By the time my fourth child came, I had fully adjusted to motherhood without the stress of social pressures, and, subsequently, without any outside support. Four kids and one mother – twenty four hours a day, three hundred sixty five days a year – with only the varying levels of school during the school year to break up some time with a few of the kids. Coupled with the task of managing the entire household, and all the bullshit associated thereof, my hands are so full, I am losing my grip on it all, completely.

My sleep is random and sparse, constantly interrupted by one little person’s needs or another. My body is perpetually ready for bed and continually fighting wakefulness, because it has no idea when sleep is supposed to happen anymore. The chores have gotten farther behind than I ever imagined possible; giving up on the idea of ever having a presentable looking home. Not even a flawlessly clean home, just presentable.

Looking around, all I could see was failure in the overflowing piles of paperwork, stacks of laundry baskets that will never be folded before we’ve worn it all, dishes in the sink for days on end, and a smell emanating from our dingy carpets the kids are surprisingly not nose-blind to, but actually seem to prefer. Days turn into nights which turn right back intodaytime again, sending shockwaves of confusion through my brain as it tries to decipher time and date.

I feel trapped in the twilight zone of stay-at-home parenthood, where every day seems just like the last and the memories of each blend together in jumbled chaos. In all of my painstaking endeavors to become an attractive, friend-able Mom, it has become apparent to me, motherhood is an isolating, punishable, and taboo feat in which society makes you feel as if you haven’t done enough. It is a lonely and daunting role which threatens to consume you, if you let it.

For a long, long time, it seems, I have done just that. I have focused solely on the parts of motherhood which were unexpected and/or unattainable. I was blatantly ignorant to the value of what I had staring me right in the face. Becoming aware of the fact that I am miserable by my own fault, has been liberating. I have realized I was only mirroring the rejection I felt from my endless attempts at finding my best mommy friend. I was finding fault in my inability to be a real life Wonder Woman and keep up with lifein its high-speed chase towards death, to prove there was value to the opinion of a bunch of mothers I only knew the back page summary of the story of their lives.

And, you know what? My way of getting through is A-okay by me. I haven’t made the leap off the insanity cliff, yet. Actually, I am probably a lot further from the edge than I ever was before, without the added pressure of a motherhood fantasy dangling above my head. This is the most arduous, back-breaking, demanding, and wearisome role I have ever been graced with. The most rewarding and fulfilling, too. I have the opportunity to see my children every possible moment along their journeys. I can take the time to talk to them, play with them, learn with them and from them, sharing a bond we wouldn’t have had on the same level, otherwise.

So what if I’m not good at managing household repairs and spring cleaning regimes? My children’s laughter fills the air and their smiles brighten the rooms of our home, bringing joy to even the most mundane of household chores. We are busy making memories and memories can be quite messy at times. So can dealing with temper tantrums, sicknesses, and injuries, too.

The solitude of motherhood tests my limits and capabilities on a daily basis. For whatever reason, I was meant to go this journey, but, for the first time ever, I am so damn grateful I have. I have proven to myself that I can. That I am. That I will. I am the mother I was meant to be and there is nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

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Kristina is a married sahm of 4 angrivating, but sweet, children on her way to insanity and beyond. With big dreams and little luck in life, she is simply trying to survive until the last one graduates with her sanity in tact. You can find her ramblings over at The Angrivated Mom (http://www.angrivatedmom.WordPress.com), on Facebook at The Daily Rantings Of An Angrivated Mom (Http://www.Facebook.com/theangrivatedmom) or on Twitter at @angrivatedmom.

A version of this post originally appeared on The Angriavated Mom: https://angrivatedmom.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/nothing-wrong-with-that-nothing-at-all/?preview=true

Retail Therapy by Jennifer McKenzie

Retail Therapy by Jennifer McKenzie

Internet Shopping

When the new baby arrives, you might think sleepless nights are preventable. I’m here to tell you that in fact they are not. Sleep deprivation affects parents every day, and sometimes, said sleep deprivation requires a little therapy. Need an example?

So here’s the scene: it’s 1:27 am and I’m sitting in my bedroom holding our 5-week-old baby boy in my arms. It’s feeding time. My husband passes me a warm bottle and then climbs back into bed, and I have every intention of crawling back under the warm blankets within the hour.

I’m exhausted.

Hubby and I had a colourful discussion earlier about our finances. My husband is so cheap he goes to the pond to have ducks throw bread at him. (Haha. In my state of mind this shit is funny.) Money is tight right now because I am on maternity leave and I’m not getting a full pay cheque. Babies are expensive. As the result of our discussion, we decided I am to start following a strict budget.

Whatevs.

My eyelids are heavy and I drift off to the rhythmic sounds of my rocking chair. The soft purring sounds my son is making as he breathes turn into a sort of crackling sound. My eyelids fly open and I am suddenly very alert. Sweet mother of Pearl, he is congested and it sounds like his lungs are full of phlegm.

A few days ago we were at the doctor’s office where another child dared to sneeze within a ten foot radius of my child, and now my poor baby has a cold. Well that’s it, I’ve just managed to tack another hour onto my feeding shift. I have to stay awake to make sure our baby can breathe properly. How can I put him down in his crib knowing that the cold symptoms could worsen overnight?

2:35 am  I’m still holding onto my son and I am watching him very intently. Am I dreaming or do his breaths sound a little irregular? And is it just me or is his chest moving faster and faster? I grab my phone and Google these symptoms just to make sure it’s nothing serious.

Okay, rapid breathing can be a sign of something more serious. One website leads to another and before I know it I am on a page that describes a virus that “is highly contagious and spreads through droplets when someone coughs or sneezes”, can “cause infection of the lungs”, and “affects the heart and the immune system, and can lead to other more serious illnesses.” The reasonable, well-rested version of me would understand that there is no chance my baby has contracted this virus, but don’t forget he is five weeks old and sleep deprivation is making me very irrational right now.

2:59 am  “Pssst….pssssssssst….hey Mark….MARK!  WAKE UP!” I am standing at my husband’s side cradling our child. I tell him our baby has contracted a serious virus. My voice cracks and sounds a little strained when I tell him we have to see a doctor as soon as possible. I am a little frantic and I remind him about the nurse at the hospital who said we could call her any time, day or night.

I would like to tell you there are no tears streaming down my face at this moment but my Mama taught me that nice girls don’t lie. My patient husband opens his eyes long enough to remind me that “Google Diagnosing” is prohibited in our household between the hours of 12 and 6 am, and that our son is just fine. He calmly tells me to put the baby back into his crib and if he is still fussy in the morning we will call our family doctor. He’s right. My husband keeps me grounded. He always knows the right thing to say when I am like this.  He is my rock. I love my husband.

3:34 am  I hate my husband. Look at him lying comfortably in bed. And he’s snoring.

Zzzzzzz SNORT

What the crap!?! Doesn’t he know that this is a POTENTIAL HEALTH EMERGENCY and he should WANT to stay awake with me?

Zzzzzzz SNORT

I hate that sound. It’s so loud! Lord love a duck his snoring just woke the baby. Time to get a bottle, it’s feeding time again.

4:05 am The glow of my phone is calling me back. I’m still awake and I’m holding my sleeping baby (I have to make sure he is breathing) and I need a little retail therapy. My hips are a little wider now, and my pouch is a little pouchier, so maybe I should buy some clothes to fit my new mom bod. I decide to do a little online shopping. I find some nice t-shirts and a couple of soft hoodies.

Add to cart? Yes, please! Click.

Since everything is online and I’m not able to try anything on, I should probably buy those pants in large and extra-large just to be on the safe side. Click. Half an hour later I have to stop shopping because my total is closing in on the two hundred dollar mark. But those boots are cute, so I’ll add those too. Click. I look at all the items in my virtual shopping cart and my mouse hovers over the checkout button. Should I spend that much money?  We did just have an argument about our financial woes. Maybe I should just cancel my order.

Zzzzzzz SNORT.

Click. Thank you for your order.

4:59 am  Must get some sleep. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe my baby doesn’t have a cold after all. He’s been sleeping in my arms this entire time. He’s not fussing and his breathing is just fine. I’ll just put him down in his crib to let him sleep. For the love of Pete, he just woke up. He must be hungry. I’ll get him a bottle because it’s feeding time (again).

5:27 am  I think I am finally ready for some shut-eye. The baby is fed, he’s sleeping in his crib, and the house is quiet. Maybe I can catch a few winks before my toddler wakes up for the day.

6:45 am  A loud noise makes me sit up in bed. From our home office I hear an angry voice shout, “Jennifer McKenzie, get out of bed!  What did you just charge to our credit card?!?”

“THERAPY!” I yell back as my head hits the pillow.

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Jennifer McKenzie lives in Elmwood, PEI. She is a Kindergarten teacher who is presently on maternity leave and happy to hang out with her daughter and newborn son. She has agreed to follow her monthly budget so she can stay married to her ever-so-patient husband, Mark.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

scribbles

Momologues is looking for eight guest posts for the months of March and April.

I’m looking for stories, 600-1200 words, with a unique perspective on life with children. Perhaps you have teenagers; are a grandparent acting as primary caregiver; maybe you’re a dad with a story to tell. I love heartfelt, sappy, funny, sassy. Anything goes really! Of the eight posts picked, one will be featured in G! Magazine (a local publication here on the east coast of Canada describing itself as “Slightly Irreverent. Never Boring.”).

Send your submissions to llcarmody@gmail.com. Attached the piece with “Momologues Submission” in the subject. Please leave a short bio in the body of your message in the event your piece is used.

 

Treat Day

Treat Day

cookies with chocolate on a table

It’s a well-known fact that teachers love Friday. It’s not just because Friday salutes Saturday. No, it’s because Friday is Treat Day in the staffroom.

At the end of each week we gorge on snacks; we eat our feelings; we squirrel away together at morning recess and we stuff our ever-loving faces like bears preparing for hibernation. It ain’t pretty, but it happens.

That well-spoken teacher you met at parent-teacher interviews checks her manners at the staffroom door and fights bleached-tooth and Jamberry-nail for a piece of banana bread. Veteran teachers know if we wait until our last student has her snowsuit on properly before heading to the staffroom, we risk only having leftover crumbs to peck at like sad, hungry birds.

While Treat Day sounds like anarchy, I assure you, just like everything else in primary school, it is a tightly organized regime. Every teacher must sign up to bring treats at least twice throughout the year or risk being shunned by the herd. And God help your gentle soul if it’s your week to bring treats and you accidentally forget…

Everyone develops a sort of reputation when it comes to Treat Day. You know when “Mrs. A” and her friends are on treats you’re in for a feast complete with gingham tablecloths and freshly picked wildflowers. Everything’s homemade and there are complimentary breath mints for you as you head back to class.

And…when “Mrs. B” is on treats you know you’re having chips and Timbits.

I recently discovered I have a reputation as “napkin girl”. It’s as glamourous as it sounds. Everyone knows if they’re on treats with me, I’m bringing napkins. It was Thursday after school when it hit me like a taser. Oh my God I’m on treats tomorrow! I need to go find my treat team and tell them I’m bringing napkins!

By the time I found them and explained how good I am at bringing napkins and how it’s kind of my “thing”, they informed me napkins had been taken care of and the only thing left was baked goods.

Baked goods.

As in I had to bake something.

Baking…I love baking. I’m actually probably related to Betty Crocker because everything I touch turns to brown sugar and butter and tastes like David Beckam in boxers. I’m serious. It’s a freakish gift I have. I can bake you under the table. There’s just one problem…

I have toddlers.

Yes, that’s toddlerS—plural. Have you ever tried to bake with toddlers? It’s a special kind of torture deserving of its own Pinterest board. I decided to keep it simple due to the extenuating circumstances, so I went with Chocolate Chip Cookies.

As the toddlers busied themselves eating crayons and crying, I gathered the ingredients and supplies. I was no further than the measuring cups when they both noticed I was doing something “fun” and HAD TO BE INVOLVED.

They came at me like walkers frothing at the mouth mumbling incoherent nonsense. I immediately gave in as I was outnumbered (I’m ALWAYS outnumbered!) and they ate me alive. Toddler One went to work mixing the wet ingredients while Toddler Two blew kisses at the dry ingredients.

Toddler One handed me the bowl of eggs, sugar and butter and said, “Mommy, I done.”

When I looked in the bowl, the eggs were still whole, the butter was in a block and the sugar was dry.

“You are NOT done,” I said. “Mommy’s on treats tomorrow and God help me if I show up empty handed!”

“Mommy bring napkins,” Toddler One said innocently.

“Not this time…”I seethed.

Just then, Toddler Two brought me a “present”. Toddler Two is in that adorable phase where he plucks lint out of rugs and carpet with laser-like precision yet he can’t manage a spoonful of food without Picasso-ing it all over his face. (I’m sure there’s a chapter on this EXCITING phase in What to Expect When You’re Expecting.)

As Toddler Two insisted his lint was part of the dry ingredients, Toddler One sneezed the most meaningful sneeze all over the wet ingredients. Panic set in as I plucked the lint from one bowl and wiped the sneeze germs from the other.

“BOYS!!!! Mommy needs to prove she can bake something and you are NOT ruining this for me! NOT NOW! NOT TODAY! Do you hear me?!”

Both toddlers burst in to tears from my scolding as mom-shame set in. We took a short intermission for me to earn back their love.

Somewhere between snot, lint and tears I managed to get the cookies in the oven.

“You’re not actually going to bring those to school, are you?” Husband asked.

“It’s either Snotlate Lint Cookies or nothing,” I said.

“Maybe next time you should just bring something simple…like napkins,” he suggested.

What a good idea. Why didn’t I think of that? Maybe next time I’ll just bring napkins.

 

The Family Who Exercises Together

The Family Who Exercises Together

Family running

I’ve always wanted to be one of those families who exercise together. You know, the kind of family who jogs around the neighbourhood, children in tow, making all the neighbours jealous. And even though we just decide to drop everything and go for a little jog together like it’s no big deal, our outfits are the perfect mesh of Lycra and spandex all in complimentary colours.

Yeah…we’re not that kind of family. Instead we’re the type of family who binges on Netflix and ice cream in fleece pajamas. But I know those other types of families exist! I know, because I saw one once. Yup, with my own chubby eyes…I saw a family who exercises together.

I was eating breakfast (ice cream), when I saw them. The mom was jogging (of course), and on this particular day, the weather was especially nice, so naturally, she was pushing a stroller while she ran. As a complex mix of hatred and admiration for this woman fattened inside me, I saw her OTHER child. He looked to be a toddler not much older than mine obediently BIKING beside her (without training wheels, I might add). To complete the picture, her hunky slice of a husband was pulling up the rear on his bike…laughing and soaking in the image of his perfectly built family.

I gobbled ice cream in double time as they went by. Look at her running…with her flattering tights and expensive sneakers, I thought. She probably had her babies via stork, or Immaculate Conception. And look at her children ENJOYING the fresh air. How dare they? What about that husband? I bet he’s daydreaming about ice cream and muffin tops like every other normal human being.

I jolted back to reality when my own husband shook my arm, “Why are you mumbling?” he asked, “You sound like a crazy person.” And that was enough to set a fire under me. If her family could exercise together, why couldn’t mine? I finished my ice cream (waste not, want not), threw my bowl in the sink, and gave the family a pep-talk.

“We’re gonna eat lightnin’ and we’re gonna crap thunder!” I yelled.

My tone was so aggressive, it made the toddler cry.

“Oh no, don’t cry, baby! Mommy’s just psyching us up to exercise.”

“Eh-ter-ties?” he asked.

“Yes, I know it’s a new word you’ve never heard mommy say before—EX-er-cise.”

I got the babies in their snowsuits and marsh-mellowed them into the double stroller. Once they stopped crying from being stuffed into this foreign vehicle, Husband and I laced up our sneakers, and we took off. We made it to the end of the street (30 seconds away) before I had to stop for a water break.

The instant the stroller stopped, the baby, who insists on constant motion, yelled what I can only imagine were profanities. I had no choice but to keep the stroller strolling. But not before I fetched a cracker and a sippy cup for the toddler.

And this is how we trudged for the entire “run.” Husband and I stopping every 30 seconds to bend down and tend to some helpless child’s needs while the other one yelled because we weren’t meeting his needs. We worked ourselves into lathers before we made it around the block. I muttered under my breath, “This is NOT what SHE looks like when SHE goes for a run.”

“What? Who are you talking about?” Husband asked.

Just then I heard the steady pat-pat-pat-pat of expensive sneakers drumming behind me.

“Good morning! Great day for a run!” she chirped as she breezed by.

It was HER— and her little family too! THEY WERE ON THEIR SECOND ROUND OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. THEY LAPPED US.

I punched her in the face in my imagination, but I smiled back in real life.

“Ha, ha, great day,” I snorted.

I watched her flattering tights shimmy off into the distance. I tried to mimic her moxie, but my cardio attempt descended into a weird stop motion animation of lunges and squats followed by angry sprints. (You know how you can rub two sticks together to start a fire? Well, apparently you can rub two fat gams together and pretty much start a fire that way too, because my thighs were burning.)

We made it home in four pieces. I handed the children to Husband and scooped myself a bowl of therapeutic ice-cream. It doubled as salve for my ego and an ice-pack for my legs. I laid on the couch moaning as I reassessed my goals. “Maybe we’re just not the kind of family who exercises together,” I said. “Maybe we’re just destined to grow old and fat together.”

And then Husband said the unthinkable.

“Well, if you don’t want to get fat, maybe you should just ease off the ice cream,” he suggested.

Endorphins sent that comment right to Hormonal Headquarters causing me to stomp off in a tizzy. Then I did what any emotionally stunted person would do. (No, I did not binge drink like it was spring break ’98, I wish.)

I put the iPod on shuffle and had a dance party.

Well, first I punched some throw pillows. Then I put the iPod on shuffle and had a dance party.

And just as I dealt my first blow, I heard that familiar lick, Woah, oh, oh, ohhhh….followed by that unmistakeable flute-like part, do-do-do, do-do-do, do-do-do, doot-dooo. I took a few cleansing breaths as both babies’ ears perked up. Then the song kicked into full gear.

Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting!

The baby went bananas in the Jolly Jumper as the toddler did flying karate chops off the couch. I channeled my inner Ms. Piggy and before we knew it, the whole family was…

Exercising together!

It may not have been pretty or co-ordinated; we may not have been rocking matching workout gear. But there we were jumping, dancing, laughing, sweating. When the song was over, the toddler yelled, “AGAIN!” So we did it all again.

I haven’t forced my family to go running together since that fateful day. We still binge on Netflix and ice cream, and we only remove our fleece jammies when required. But every time Kung Fu Fighting takes its turn on the iPod, we become a family who exercises together.

 

 

Loodle Loo-Letting Go Of Guilt After Postpartum Depression

Loodle Loo-Letting Go Of Guilt After Postpartum Depression

Let it go

It was March, 2015. I woke up early—earlier than usual. I showered, put on make-up and blow dried my hair. As I swiped my lashes with mascara, I wondered how long it’d been since I’d gotten ready to go somewhere so early. Two years. It had been two years since I’d gotten ready to leave the house with a sense of purpose.

In the basement, I could hear my toddler belting out his version of “Let It Go” from Frozen. “Loodle LOO! Loodle LOO!!” he sang. I pictured him dancing around the living room like he always did when he pretended to be Elsa. I imagined the fuzzy blanket from the couch thrown over his head so he could have long hair too. Every morning, before the sun had a chance to wipe the sleep from her eyes, my boy was up, wide awake, singing his heart out to his favourite song.

Upstairs, I slid my legs, one at a time, into a pair of dress pants. They were old, two years or more, and completely out of style. I remembered wearing those pants once a week (twice if I could get away with it) back in the day. I sucked in my stomach and coaxed the button into the hole. I let out a defeated sigh as I looked in the mirror. “Who are you?” I asked the foreign reflection staring back at me in the mirror. I peeled the pants off opting for a pair of tights instead. “Baby steps,” I muttered.

I was on my way back to work after, not one, but two years of maternity leave…two pregnancies, two healthy baby boys and two rounds of postpartum depression, anxiety and insomnia. The metamorphosis into motherhood had not been gentle on me, particularly after my first child.

I didn’t want to go back to work; I had to go. We were broke after living on a fraction of our income for so long. I was on unpaid leave with my second child as I hadn’t built up enough hours to draw another maternity leave, and my husband was on paternity leave so he could be with me in the event I relapsed into another round of PPD (which I did).

But there was another reason I didn’t want to go back—a more pressing reason. I did not want to leave my son. Not my baby, I knew he was fine. I didn’t want to leave my oldest. I stood in the doorway and zipped up my boots. I got the zipper caught on purpose and wrestled them off.

“You’re stalling,” my husband said.

“I know,” I said.

“We’ll be fine; you go. I’ve got this,” he reassured me.

And I burst into tears.

“I can’t do this. I can’t leave him,” I bawled.

I was in a comfortable stage of healing with my second round of PPD at this point. I was seeing someone regularly and was loaded up on all kinds of delightful meds. We knew the warning signs of a relapse, and I was forthright with my family and my doctors when I felt myself slipping the second time. I had a strong bond with my second baby. I knew he was okay. I knew he didn’t blame me for what happened.

It was my oldest son I couldn’t leave. Along with the symptoms of a PPD relapse, I was also struggling with overwhelming guilt related to my first round of postpartum depression after my oldest son was born. I couldn’t process what had happened. I had perpetual drifting thoughts wondering if I damaged my son’s wellbeing by being so ill myself. I was constantly seeking his approval. I shied away from disciplining him. Not a week passed where I wasn’t crying to my husband about what had happened after our oldest was born.

And so, on that mat in our front entry, because I didn’t know what else to do, I prayed. I was already on my knees pretending to wrestle with my boots, so why not? I prayed to God to show me how to let myself off the hook. I asked Him to give me a sign—nothing ambiguous. I didn’t have time for that. I was about to be late for my first day back to work for Christ’s sake. I begged Him to crack me over the head with a sign that everything was okay, that my son forgave me and I could let it all go.

And He did.

I could hear my toddler thumping up the basement stairs coming to say goodbye and wish me good luck. I quickly wiped the snot and tears away and tried to mash the mascara back up where it was supposed to be. As he made it to the doorway, the chorus from his favourite song kicked in. And my little boy, my little gift, grabbed my cheeks in his hands and with the most fervent intention in his little Smurfy voice, he roared, “LOODLE LOOO!!!!! LOOODLE LOOOOO!!!!” right in my face along with the music (perfectly in tune I might add too).

He was giving me permission to let it go—to let myself off the hook. And that is what I needed. I needed it to come through him and from Him. And it did. I’d like to say that from that moment on, I completely understood all the complexities of my postpartum depression and everything was perfect after that, but that would be a load of horse shit. I spent a lot of time on this issue with my counsellor and I still rely on those delightful meds, but on that day, my first day back to work, “Loodle Loo,” was exactly what I needed to hear to get me through.

 

 

 

www.solemates.com

www.solemates.com

Heart symbol

Whelp. Here we are in the depths of January. Time to stuff all the holiday decorations back in the closet and make way for the depressing dark days of a new year. Fear not my festering friends; these days won’t last. Thankfully, once again, corporate America saves the day! Because as soon as Rudolph curls up in hibernation, it’s Cupid’s time to soar. Make way for Valentine’s Day! Another excuse to binge-eat chocolates and slosh back a box of wine (insert fist pump).

For most, Valentine’s Day is just the pick me up we need to make it until March Break.

But as we roll into the season of love, I can’t help but think of all the lonely soles.

No not souls, you grammar geek. SOLES.

Yes, socks.

Where the hell do all our lost socks go? Why do they just up and leave their mates with nary-a-nuzzle? And more importantly, how do their former mates move on without them? Do these solitary soles ever find their perfect match? Do they opt to tangle in the sock drawer with some lusty fishnet? Or are they destined to a life of solitude forevermore?

Well, I WON’T stand for that. No. Being the proactive citizen I am, I decided to take their frisky fates into my own hands and sign all the single socks up on solemates.com (because socks can’t type and everyone deserves love, gosh darn it).

Argyle Sock

Hi, I’m Argyle. I’m a huge nerd, but lately, people seem to really dig me. I like long walks in uncomfortable dress shoes and frequent spins in the cold cycle. I’m looking for an associate—no romantic encounters. Apply with in.

Gym Sock

Yo, I’m Gym. I’m real toight, but everyone says I smell. Whatever, it’s worth it because I’m so TOIGHT. I left my last partner because she’s holier than thou. Plus she totally lost her figure and got all saggy. If you’re the taut sock I’m looking for then let’s get together. Nothing long term.

Ankle Sock

I’m short and cute and very discreet *wink, wink. You can take me anywhere, but I tend to fall down a lot and can be totally annoying.  Tee hee!

Toe Sock

Hello there! I’m a colourful character—the life of the party! I seem like a load of fun, but I often make people very uncomfortable.

Support Sock

Hi! Hi, hi, hi! Whatever you need, I’ll be there for you! I’m cozy! I’m warm! I’ll hug you forever! I’m here to make you comfortable and take away all your pain. I’ve got your back. Pick me! PICK ME!

Slouch Sock

Hi…I’m a bit lumpy around the middle…and my posture is horrendous. If you’d like to let yourself go, I’m the sock for you.

**********

And if you’ve stuck around this long, I bet you’re dying to find out who found their perfect match. So, I won’t keep you waiting any longer.

Argyle met Toe. Toe showed Argyle how to live a little and they both embraced their discomfort. They remain friends (associates if you will) but there have been no reports of a romantic encounter.

Support met Slouch and they fell toes-over-ankles in love. Slouch taught Support to relax a little, and Support taught Slouch to stand up for herself. They’re getting married in August.

After a brief encounter with that lusty fishnet, Gym met Ankle and they’ve been together ever since. Gym admitted he finds Ankle a tad annoying, but he’s willing to over-look her short comings because he’s a complete douche.

So there you have it folks. If these lost soles can find their mismatch made in heaven, then so can you. Never give up on love.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

 

Mother Defends Her Choice to Co-Sleep

Mother Defends Her Choice to Co-Sleep

co-sleeping mother and baby

When Jenny Evans was pregnant, she vowed she would never co-sleep.

“I knew all the research about bed sharing and SIDS, so I just decided to do the right thing and put my son in a crib from day one,” stated Evans.

But two weeks into parenthood, the nights were taking their toll on her and before she knew it, Jenny’s son was in bed with her and her husband.

“And he’s been sleeping with us ever since!” she said.

Evans was quick to defend her decision to co-sleep.

“We made sure the mattress was firm and had tight fitting sheets. And when he was a really little baby, we always made sure he was on his back.”

Since deciding to co-sleeping, she says everyone is getting much better rest.

“I really can’t imagine it any other way now. We all just snuggle in and wake up rested and feeling great!”

But not everyone agrees with her choice to co-sleep. At a recent family gathering, Evans says her family sat her down, intervention-style, to protest her sleeping arrangements.

“My mother told me co-sleeping isn’t healthy for my son. She said it’s time to move him to his own bed once and for all. It’s not like I haven’t TRIED to move him to his own bed.  I have! But every night around 2 am, he finds his way back into our bed. It seems like the older he gets, the more stubborn he becomes!”

Evans’ mother says her daughter’s decision to continue co-sleeping is unacceptable.

“My grandson is going to college in the fall, for Pete’s sake! Enough is enough!”

When asked if she will continue to co-sleep when her son goes off to college, Evans responded, “Oh no! That would be ridiculous. We’re planning to switch to bunkbeds in the fall.”

Evans’ son insists he gets the top bunk…that is, until around 2 am when he climbs in the bottom bunk with his mom.

All I Wanted For Christmas Was Me

All I Wanted For Christmas Was Me

Sleeping woman wearing blindfold sleep mask.

Somewhere in my rookie parenting brain, I thought maybe, just maybe, I might get to rest over the Christmas break. I thought I’d get a chance to lie down and binge-watch some smutty series on Netflix while overdosing on licorice. Between all that, I’d take little naps coinciding with my sugar lows while visions of my next Twizzler-bender danced in my head.

Well none of that happened.

Toddler One and Two had other plans…and they all involved me.

Until two days before Christmas, Toddler One was adamant he wanted a fish for Christmas. Determined to nail my first big Santa gig as a parent, I delivered. I got him the little tank, fish food, water purifier, and a fancy Betta fish. I was giddy driving home from the pet store knowing I’d totally outdone myself.

But I had ulterior motives. Not only did I want to outdo myself in the Santa department, but I wanted to get my kid something that would occupy him ALL. CHRISTMAS. DAY. If he wanted a fish, he was getting a fish.

Then, not 48 hours before the anticipated delivery was supposed to happen, Toddler One changed his mind. He no longer wanted a fish. In fact, he now hated fish.

“Fish make me feel sick,” he said.

I let out a defeated sigh and through gritted teeth asked, “Okaayyyyy…what DO you want from Santa?”

“A choo-choo,” he said, “One that goes around and around with buttons.”

“You want a remote control train?” I asked.

“YEAH!!” he roared as he dove off the couch.

As annoying as this last minute demand was, I figured a train would occupy the toddler even better than a fish. So like Arnold Schwartzenagger in Jingle All the Way, I dashed around town like a commercial Christmas psycho, looking for a remote control train to satiate Toddler One’s desire.

Six exhausting hours later, I arrived back home…without a remote control train. The thought of being a Santa failure weighed like a lump of coal in my stomach. Over the next 24 hours, I warned Toddler One that sometimes Santa can’t come through on last minute wishes.

Christmas morning came and the fish was welcomed into the family with a lukewarm reception. After staring at him for all of three seconds, the fish was abandoned for the flashing, blinking allure of toys and more toys. An hour after that, the novelty of the new toys wore off and both toddlers were clingy, overtired and bored.

In that moment, I wished…WISHED for that train. The coveted gift that would have entertained the toddlers for hours so I could just…lay there.

I had visions of the train going round and round with Toddler One’s infectious giggle in the background. He’d play for hours figuring out all the buttons. He’d even share happily, nay, joyously with his brother. And that’s when I’d make my move. I’d slink away to the couch. I’d lay down on it. I’d sigh. I’d hear that sweet, familiar sound of the Xbox turning on and then…I’d veg while tiny minions delivered licorice to my mouth.

And in that moment, everyone’s Christmas wishes would have come true.

If only…

Somewhere late on Christmas day, after both toddlers had climbed all over me ALL DAY, I got squirrely. Toddler One refused to nap and no new toy would please him. In a fit of exasperation I yelled, “WHAT!? WHAT DO YOU WANT?!?!”

He burst into tears and screamed, “YOU!”

I put my face in my hands and slumped down to pick him up. He cried and cried, which made me cry. I told him I was sorry and held him until he fell asleep on me. And that’s when it dawned on me. I wasn’t going to get away. No fish, no toy, no train would give me the elusive break for which I so desperately pined.

Because all my kids really wanted for Christmas, was me.

Determined to redeem my super Santa status, I vowed to deliver. If all my kids really wanted for Christmas was me, then that was what I was going to give them.

So for the next ten days, we never left each other’s side. They climbed on me, slept on me and ate on my lap. We had extra-long bedtime snuggles, epic bath times, and I responded to every tiny night whimper. We built snow forts and snowmen; made blanket tents and block towers. We read every book. We wrestled. For ten days straight, I was theirs—and they were mine.

As the holidays came to an end and work loomed in the future, I wondered how the toddlers would deal with detoxing from our bonding binge. I dropped them off at the babysitter’s house that first day back to work, and with nary a tear, they both went willingly. I got in the van and drove off only to find I was the one crying. Our vacation was over. Our intense snuggle time had come to an end.

But there was more to my tears. I was exhausted. I pulled over and let myself have a little cry. (Who am I kidding, it was a big ugly sob.)

Then I wiped the snots and tears away, and I got down to business.

No, not work business, but self-care business.

I phoned in a sick day.

Because as much as I loved our bonding binge, all I wanted for Christmas was me too.