One Mom, Every Mom (#349)

My husband did (and still does) a lot of wrestling with Baby D. But our son’s main playmate, when there was no school, sports, or playing with the kids on the block, has always been me.

Baby D loves the water. Swimming is a good way to wear out any kid, even those of the inexhaustible variety. We’d always get to the pool at least a half-hour before lessons and play games. And by games I mean:

Baby D: “Mommy, let’s pretend you are Mommy Whale and I am Baby Whale!”

Me: “Can’t I be Mommy Shark?”

Baby D: “No! Because I am Baby Whale!” (Swims out to middle of pool, proceeds to spin and thrash.) “MOMMY WHALE! MOMMY WHALE! Baby Whale is caught in a whirlpool!”

I would sigh, ignore the sniggering lifeguard and go to “rescue” Baby Whale.

Golden Pond, Town Beach

When Baby D was older, but stuck with only me as a playmate at a New Hampshire lake, the games became more involved. They were inevitably based on whatever he’d read most recently:

Baby D: “Okay, this rock is Momdor and you have to defend it and not let me touch it!” (Baby D charges, freestyling like mad. I scoop him up and throw him a few feet back. Repeatedly. I tire out way before my kid.)

Me (mining blowing a horn): “Momdor calls for aid! Momdor calls for aid! Where are the Riders of Rohan?!”

Baby D (outraged): “Momdor isn’t GONDOR! It’s MORDOR!!”

Me: “Not a chance, Baby Sauron. I’m Gondor AND the Houses of Healing.”

I certainly felt like a besieged nurse on a regular basis. Andy had one of his lemon episodes soon after our beloved rescue dog Woofie was diagnosed with a terminal fibrosarcoma. Then our other rescue, Fey, injured herself shoving Woofie out of the way in order to claim attention from friends and neighbors who came visit Woofie one last time (Woofie had always believed everyone was his friend. Turns out, he wasn’t wrong.)

That month had a lot of trips to human and canine physicians. While sitting in yet another waiting room—don’t ask me which kind—I wrote the following (apologies to Tolkien):

Three X-rays for the denizens
In the house of sturdy brick
A canine with a cancer
And a skull that’s awfully thick
His wussy shar-pei sister
Yelps with compressed discs of three
And the man that ought to walk them
Had surgery on his knee.
One Mom to nurse them all
One Mom to chide them
One Mom to find those pills
Wherever doggies hide them.

I was not, however, the only poet in the family. The following Mother’s Day, Baby D’s class wrote poems about their moms. Baby D’s started off and ended as quite the ode:

My mom is hardworking
She always supports me
She lets me do soccer and
Supports me with glee…

…I love my mother truly
She is the greatest for me
Amazing she can see
What is the best for me!

But the middle? It contained this gem:

When my mother is resentful
I know to hide in my room
Else will come my doom!

Maybe Momdor is Mordor after all.

Or maybe every Gondor has a bit of Mordor in it.

Actual poem & picture. Baby D says it’s tree. Andy says it looks like our dog Fey up on her hind legs. I say words always trump illustration.

If you were hoping for a Christmas Post, here’s my husband’s first New England Christmas. If you want Christmas AND you got every single Tolkien reference in this post, here’s the perfect read for you: The North Polar Bear.

 

Not Dead Yet (#229)

Much like the Monty Python plague victim…

Yeah, I know I haven’t posted in a while. Thank you for your patience while I’m off having adventures in the Northeast, which is green and quiet and soothing and far away from the Chinese mother-in-law telling me that I should be eating celery to lose weight while also insisting that I should go to dim sum daily. (No, celery is not a dish served at dim sum. You see my issue.)

The rural Northeast is also soothing because cell service and WiFi are questionable, at best. More than once I’ve hiked 2 miles to get a decent signal for a phone call. Continue reading Not Dead Yet (#229)

Storm Runners (#163)

Like many couples, Andy and I had to sort out the holidays when we got married. I expected a pitched battle.

I opted for the soft opening. “Since your birthday is around Thanksgiving, why don’t you pick where we go and what we do for that holiday and I’ll decide what we do for Christmas.”

Andy countered with, “Sure.” Continue reading Storm Runners (#163)

A Question of Karma (#159)

img_0369The ancient Sanskrit word “karma” began appearing regularly in the English language about 200 years ago. In Hinduism or Buddhism, “Karman” referenced the sum of a person’s actions, in both this existence and all previous states of existence. How a person acted determined who – or what — they would be in their next state of existence. In other words, if you were a shitty person, you might return as actual shit someday. Or at least a dung beetle. Continue reading A Question of Karma (#159)

The Fairest of the Fairs (#151)

It’s Columbus Day weekend, and I’m wistfully thinking of Sandwich. No, not A sandwich – a place called Sandwich. It’s named after the same English Earl, John Montagu, as the edible sandwich, though. For those unfamiliar with the history of either sandwich, well, the fourth Earl of Sandwich lived in the mid to late 1700s. He was either a compulsive gambler or a workaholic Lord of Admiralty. The Earl didn’t want to stop gambling (or working) to eat, and instructed his valet to stick some salted meat between two slices of bread and bring it to him at the gaming table (or his desk). Continue reading The Fairest of the Fairs (#151)

East Discovers the Joys of a Western Christmas (#104)

IMG_5112The year that Andy and I got engaged, he agreed to join my family in New Hampshire for Christmas. My family is huge and disjointed, however, so he would only be meeting three sisters and my Ex-Stepmother.

A week before Christmas, I spotted the ultimate in Yuletide perfection. A neon green headband with furry moose antlers that LIT UP with red and green lights. I pounced. That night, I showed Andy my prize.

He recoiled. “That’s hideous.” Continue reading East Discovers the Joys of a Western Christmas (#104)

Curfew (#102)

How late was your curfew?
How late was your curfew?

When Andy stayed with my family the Christmas before we got married, he was shocked by how late my Baby Sister came home. She was my last sibling in high school. Her boyfriend dropped her off about 1:31 AM. We, of course, were still awake, thanks to the three-hour time difference between LA and New Hampshire. Andy strained chicken stock while I frosted cream cheese sugar cookies. Baby Sister told us good-night and helped herself to a cookie on the way upstairs.

After she went up to bed, Andy said, “Isn’t it kind of late?” Continue reading Curfew (#102)

Rain (#71)

Red sky at morning, sailor take warning...
Red sky at morning, sailor take warning…

By the time I was twenty-five, my family called me “The Rain Goddess.”

Every outdoor birthday party? Rain.

My senior Beach Week? Pouring rain.

Vacation in Hawaii? Slow-moving tropical depression (i.e., whole lotta rain). Continue reading Rain (#71)

Don’t Open the Door (#70)

Wedding Banquet
The Wedding Banquet — courtesy of Cineplex.com

In Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet, the Chinese bride and groom collapse in their hotel room after an exhausting wedding. There’s a knock on the door. The bride goes to answer it. The groom tries to stop her. Too late! All the young wedding guests pour into the hotel room, carting tables, chairs, booze, and supplies for potentially humiliating sexual games. They set up shop and party. Questionable, regrettable activities ensue.

The moral of the story? Never open the door. Continue reading Don’t Open the Door (#70)

Seven Rules for Your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner (#68)

When it came to our brothers, Andy and I were in the same boat. (Courtesy of the Winniepesaukee Belle.)
When it came to our brothers, Andy and I were in the same boat. (Courtesy of the Winnipesaukee Belle.)
  1. Don’t have a big rehearsal dinner/ party the night before the wedding.
  2. If you must disregard Rule #1, do not serve alcohol at the party the night before the wedding.
  3. If you must disregard Rule #1 AND #2, do not have a morning wedding.
  4. If you must disregard Rules #1, #2, AND #3 absolutely DO NOT have an open bar at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.
  5. If you must disregard Rules #1, #2, #3, AND #4 make sure no members of your wedding party have recently turned 21.
  6. If you are seriously such a fool as to ignore Rules #1, #2, #3, #4, AND #5 there’s  no chance you’ll pay attention to this one, but I’ll give it to you anyway. For God’s sake, do not schedule your only wedding rehearsal with the minister AFTER the open bar at the party the night before your morning wedding.
  7. If you disregarded Rules 1-6, you are an idiot.

Continue reading Seven Rules for Your Wedding Rehearsal Dinner (#68)