Oh, yes, I can do a cartwheel…

Left alone with my 5 year old, I was suddenly invincible. Oh yes, I can do a cartwheel. You betcha. Teach you? No problem.

5 minutes later, I executed a wobbly cartwheel. Just afraid of hitting the ceiling fan, of course. We practiced and practiced and I had a marvelous idea. Somersault! Even easier!

I bent my head toward my belly, that’s the rule. Pushed off with my hind feet and rolled onto my head. Slid onto my shoulder and managed not to grimace. Somersault! I sat up and rubbed my arm. Ouch? I watched my kid roll over with ease. Show off.

As it always does, the pain waited a while before showing up. Now I wince every time I reach out for anything with my left arm. I sure seem to use that arm a lot more than I thought. Was it the cartwheel? The somersault? At least no one knows I hurt myself doing cartwheels and somersaults.

Yet another secret for supermom.


Toe Attack

The chair leg leaped into my path and ripped off my little pinky toe. I awkwardly hopped on one foot, frantically dragging my tortured limb behind me. My fingers slapped onto the counter and I  sucked in air between clenched teeth.

Eventually, I dared to peek at my missing toe.

Huh.  Still there. Not purple or hanging by a thread. Definitely not bleeding. I could have sworn…

I looked back curiously at the toddler chair sitting innocently in it’s usual spot.

The pain of stubbing my toe finally began to subside as I shook my head. I have got to stop fighting with the furniture.

Parent Problems

1. Instead of sitting back in contentment after a beer, you feel satisfaction after finding time to poop. 

2. In the battle between sleep and a beer, sleep always wins.

3. You can’t think of a single hobby unrelated to your kids.

4. You automatically sing a long to Five Little Monkeys with great enthusiasm for at least a minute before you realize none of the kids are in the car.

5. While standing in line at the grocery market, you cradle bread close to your chest and sway your body back and forth to keep it calm.

6. You leave adults standing there with half finished sentences as you abruptly run into the next room to handle a kid fight… and forget to return.

7. Watching anything rated higher than PG-13 makes you feel naughty.  You constantly glance around to see if the kids might catch you watching swear words, violence.. or worse…

8. Your potty mouth is a sugar mouth around other adults. “Fudge it. Fudge-meister. Fudge Noodles.”

9. You eat on plastic kid plates, even when they are at school.

10. Laundry is a daily torturous event.

Mom’s Don’t Poop

I am pretty sure I haven’t had a real poop in ages.  I mean, how many parents can really find time to poop in peace?

At bedtime, it can take a gazillion years for them to fall asleep. When they finally shut their darling little eyeballs, I barely function well enough to brush my teeth. So, how could I possibly make it to the bathroom and coax my body to perform on demand? Not me!

You really have to go when your body is ready. Miss that urge and POOF! It will return again the absolute worst time.  Standing in the grocery store, having checked off item number three out of twenty. Or driving your kids to practice, without hope of a decent private bathroom for HOURS. Worse, getting caught by another parent when a super strong wave hits:  “***poop now-poop NOW – POOP NOWWWWW***.”

I don’t know what happens to anyone else, but I feel my face flush.  Not a toilet flush – my face flushes.

My bodily functions are a private matter.  But sometimes, I share it with my kids. And they just happen to be young and unaware of the word ‘discretion.’   “Oh, well my mom said she has to poop so we can’t stay.”

Yeah.  That happens. 

Turkey Tale

So… my mom pulls out two turkey breasts from the oven. Someone asks where she got that from, since my brother just finished carving (or hacking) the turkey. She said she cut off the breasts from the turkey before cooking it. She joked that she performed a mastectomy on the turkey.

I didn’t laugh. Rather, I was perplexed. It seemed like an odd thing to do. No wonder my brother appeared to struggle with the turkey. Poor thing. My mom sabotaged him.

Later, I overheard my other brother asking my mom where she got all that extra turkey. He was probably confused, too. I tried to help him out and piped up. “Mom cut it off the turkey before she baked it!”

My mom clutched at her belly, doubled over. I watched her in utter confusion. Finally, she gasped out, “I was joking! I bought extra turkey breasts.”

Omg. Of course you don’t cut off the breasts before cooking a turkey. I felt as stupid as the girl who thought they cooked a pregnant turkey.

Unexpected Waterfalls

There comes a time in every mother’s life, when she asks herself, “Why me?” Although I seem to have one of those moments at least once a day, I don’t think I am weak or lazy. Perhaps I am just in the middle of a VERY long streak of challenges.

She grasped me tightly and sobbed into my shoulder. “No, Mom!” Her three year old voice was in obvious pain.

“Please, honey. Just let your pee pee go. Stop holding it in.” I closed my eyes as she wailed louder, hopping frantically in my arms.

I had applied the urine bag around her private parts as the nurse instructed me. We needed a sample or she would need a catheter. Right now, I couldn’t figure out which was worse.

As my twelve year old daughter and I sat in the middle of the bathroom floor, I held my baby closer to me and murmured gently in her ear. “Everything’s going to be okay. All you have to do is let your pee out in the bag and Mommy will take it to the doctor. You don’t have to go. Mommy will drop it off! We are going to make sure you are all better now!”

She screamed furiously as the pressure in her bladder became overwhelming. My older daughter gasped out. I jerked as pee began spraying on my leg.

No, I obviously did not place it in the exact correct spot, or perhaps it moved with all her jumping. Who was that screaming? All of us, I think.

I grabbed at the bag and tried to hold it in place as her warm urine gushed over my hand. No time for caring. There was NO way I was going to put either of us through this ordeal again. I was going to catch her pee, dammit.

Her eyes widened, mouth reflected shock. We had a major waterfall, and it was splashing everywhere.

The torrent finally stopped. Silence ensued while I gently peeled the bag from her private area. My baby cried out again as she resumed peeing. Standing up peeing straight on a floor would bother anyone who was nearly potty trained.

My older daughter found a washcloth and held it uncertainly. I latched onto it and pressed it against my baby like a diaper, the bag of pee held precariously in my other hand.

We shrieked to each other in our confusion. “Mom, she wants to make the rest on the potty!”

I glanced at the precious pee bag and pee washcloth in my hands. “Put her on! I can’t move!”

I watched, pee dripping down my leg, as my oldest daughter placed my youngest on the toilet. I heard immediate tinkling.

My older daughter looked at me. I stared back. It was rather awkward until she broke the silence. “Mom. I have pee on my leg.”

I kept staring at the pee bag.

“Yeah. Me too. Uh, do you wanna hold this pee bag, or clean this pee up.. Or …” I was pretty uncertain, although I knew I had to act fast.

“Ummm, no. Uhhh, okay.” She took the pee bag from me and stood still. One glance at the baby assured me she was going to just stay on the potty.

I found the pee cup and took the pee bag. Pulling the tab at the bottom, I frowned as I lost some, dribbling through my fingers. “No!” I exclaimed, carefully aiming the bag to the cup. I capped it and placed it in the biohazard zip lock bag. I washed my hands and ran to put it on ice. They told me that was important.

I came back with baby wipes for the eldest and found them in the exact same positions. I evaluated the situation and let them stand/sit there until I cleaned up the pee from the floor with Clorox.

We cleaned ourselves as best we could and I left in a hurry to submit this precious sample.

Pulling into the parking lot, apprehension settled on me as I envisioned carrying an ice bag of pee into the clinic. There was no way to feel regular about that.

I turned off the car and walked quickly to the laboratory, on the heels of a young couple. They sat down to wait as I stood awkwardly shifting with my pee bag.

The lady at the desk asked me if I was dropping off. I gave a short laugh. “Yes, but this is the kind of thing you need your gloves for, and I need to go home and shower after.”

She nodded and had me wait as she typed for minutes. A line began forming behind me, as I continued to hold my pee pee bag.

She finished her typing and turned to me. “Is it shi shi or doo doo?”

I felt the eyes widen and ears grow, from the line behind me as I guffawed, “Oh no, that would be terrible. It’s pee.” I added hurriedly, for everyone’s benefit, “It’s my three year old daughters. It was difficult to get.”

That was certainly an understatement. Did they all hear me? Did they understand I didn’t carry my own pee around?

I pretended to be invisible as I left the office. My eyes kept straight ahead, I sighed internally.

I have pee on me. Again. I do what I have to do. This is my life.

Look at My Butt

I peered at the bright computer screen. Hmm.  I cocked my head to the side as I studied the details of my report. Finally, I ripped my gaze from my work and glanced toward the doorway. And did a double-take.

“AHHHHHHH!” I clamped my hand over my mouth; my chest struggled to breath. I stared into my brother’s face, mere inches from my own. “What are you d o i n g?” I gasped out. It felt exactly like a reenactment of Lydia’s mom presenting her sculpture of Beetlejuice to her husband in the den.

“Can you check me for Pin Worms?” He angled his butt toward me. 

“Hell no!”

“Come on.  It has to be at night.  Just use the flashlight on your phone.”

I couldn’t suppress my laughter any longer. “No, I’m not looking at your butt hole!” I stationed my head carefully away from him, in case he tried to pull his pants down.  I wasn’t certain of his boundaries.

“It will just take a few seconds. I’m worried about Pin Worms.” His voice was smooth and patient in his attempt to persuade me.


“Come on.  A quick look.”

“Go ask mom to look at your butt hole!”

“No, I can’t wake her up to look at my butt.” He paused thoughtfully. “Would it help if I just laid down on my side?”

I huffed, “No! Stop, I’m never in my life going to look at your butt hole.”

“But, I shaved it.  There’s no hair.”

I closed my eyes to regain composure. I was grinning, but truly terrified. “Is your butt itchy?”

He gave me an exasperated look.  “I don’t KNOW. Ever since you told me there’s Pin Worms going around, I feel like my butt is itchy.”

Unavoidable giggles escaped me.  Who doesn’t laugh at an itchy butt? “Give it up, I’m not looking at the folds of your butt hole. Ever.”

He squinted at me with irritation as he finally walked away. I swear I will die if he ever pulls his cheeks apart for me to investigate. Really.

A Plea for Help

“Tell me you’re coming back!” My sister cried into the phone.

I glanced at the paint tubes strewn everywhere. My girls and nieces were in mid-stroke on my other sister’s walls.

“No…not coming back until later.”

“Ughhhh!” A wail escaped. “He’s pooping!”


My sister has an affliction. She cannot handle poop diapers. Her massive gag reflex could rival a bulimic girl, minus the throw up part. In most cases. And it’s loud.

“Okay.” I asked my other sister if she would mind if I left her with my kids for a bit during the painting project. Of course, she was fine with it.

“Hold on,” I said into the phone. “Be there in ten minutes.”

Her voice whimpered back at me softly. “Thank you.”

Ten minutes later, I dropped my purse on the counter by the door. Pushing my sunglasses to the top of my head, I tied my hair back and spotted my brother relaxing in a chair.

“Hey. Why didn’t you have him change the diaper?”

My sister looked at me like I grew
a tail and stated flatly, “He doesn’t change diapers.”

“I see.”

We had a brief moment of thoughtful silence together, the three of us.

I looked at my nephew, and back at my sister. With his mom at work and his dad deployed, he sure required a lot of team work from us.

“Alright.” I hefted him into my arms. “Let’s go change your poopy diaper.”

Judgment Day

It’s so personal and invasive. They inspect you and search for problems. They grade your ability to do the job right. You can’t hide the truth. I squirmed under the spotlight.

“Uhhhh, no. Not really. Not often.” There’s no way to meet his eyes.

“Mmm hmm. I can tell.” He was clearly used to this, but still disappointed.

Eager to end the conversation, I mutter to him. “I’ll start flossing more…” I am careful not to promise how often this will occur. I am a working, single mom; usually, I barely have time to pee. How am I supposed to find time to carefully floss everyday?

Toddler tiger sits in my lap, and the dentist asks her, “Do you brush your teeth?”

She nods carefully, eyes wide.

“Who helps you brush your teeth?”

I look at her expectantly. To my horror, she is silent, as if I don’t exist. He repeats the question. She slowly turns her head to look up at me and says quietly, “Mommy.”

My heart starts beating again, and I feel like I just barely passed a test.

He turns his attention back to me. “What kind of toothbrush do you use?”

“A regular toothbrush?” I wasn’t quite sure what kind of answer he was searching for. My nervous babbling took over, trying to find a way to make me look even more stupid. “I mean, I have the sonic toothbrushes. For all of us. It’s just that I need to open the box and take them out. Then we can use them. I have them,” I repeated. “It’s at home. In the box.”

He chuckled at me and stated the obvious, because that’s always helpful. “It would be good to take them out of the box. It’s as easy as -” he mimed opening a box and pulling out a toothbrush. “They work better out of the box.”

“Right. They do. You’re right. I’ll take them out.” I promised a few rainbows and unicorns, anything to get rid of the attention. And maybe, just maybe – I will floss tonight.