Slip Sliding Away

I am 100% sure that this amazing contraption would have kept me working happily at my lawyer job a whole lot longer. And by “working,” I mean making worker’s comp claims while I lay on my living room floor with a ruptured disc. It is a wooden human-sized hamster wheel, designed to keep you moving while you’re shopping online typing your super important work emails. Bonus: it also offers the chance of an unexpected faceplant into your laptop. If you work in one of those hip “no walls” office spaces, imagine the entertainment this will provide your co-workers!

Are there really people who are coordinated enough to type and maneuver a human hamster wheel at the same time? I can’t even imagine. After having kids, I lost any coordination I may have had, and that is saying something. For example, before kids I routinely tripped when boarding the metro during rush hour. Embarrassing? Yes. Bloody? Not so much. Flash forward to after I had my son, and my embarrassing stumbles turned into unintentional gymnastics. During rush hour, it was totally normal for me to slip and slide down the escalators during my commute, and not in a cool, rebellious way.

That is not me.

That is not me.

Once I slid down an entire set of escalators in a splits formation when my front leg slipped right out from under me. But that’s not all: while doing my sliding splits, a college-aged dude near me got tangled up in—that’s right—my breast pump bag, and I took him down with me. When we reached the ground, I untangled my boob horns from his backpack, pulled my shit together, and walked my bloodied legs onto the nearest train car. Where everyone promptly avoided eye contact with me.

But even in my clumsiest moments, I know that I’m still a badass, and here is why. When J was really little, I bundled him up and headed out during an ice storm because I was determined to have him in the voting booth with me while I cast my ballot for a lady president in the primaries. Because babies love voting, duh. I knew that, in between drooling and playing with his toes, he would appreciate the significance of the moment, and years later we could reminisce about what a formative event it was in his life.

We never made it, though, because I wiped out on an ice patch on the top of our front steps with my baby sitting on my hip. Instead of diving head first down the steps, I somehow twisted around in mid-air, wrapped my arms around J’s gigantic baby head, and landed on my back. J never even touched the ground. My whole body hurt, but I was so worried about my son seeing me freak out that I laughed and looked into his worried baby eyes and said, “Wheee, that was fun!”

For the record, it was NOT fun at all and I lied right to my little baby’s adorable face. But we were fine. For the next few days, I kept running over and over in my head how badly it all could have ended. I scolded myself for not being more careful, and for risking my child’s safety to do something he wouldn’t even remember. I felt terrible—until my husband pointed out my mid-air ninja maneuvers that had kept my son perfectly safe.

So, no, I may not be able to gracefully walk down stairs or, um, stand still on escalators like a regular person any more. But when it matters, I’ve still got some moves.

But that dude I ensnared with my boob horns might disagree.

Advertisements

It Takes Two

Yesterday at my Starbucks office, I sat next to the most amazingly awkward first date. In between long silences and embarrassed-sounding giggles, the future couple discussed the following. (Please note: this list could also be titled, “Things You Should Never Say to Anyone You Want to See Naked.”)
1. “So after I turned 50 I started gaining tons of weight because of my menopause-associated night eating. My mother did the same thing when she was my age because her hormones went crazy. One time I woke up on the kitchen floor drenched in sweat with the refrigerator door wide open and food everywhere. It was 2 in the morning! Ha ha ha!”
2. “I know everything you need to know about fatty oleic acids.” [Followed by a lengthy description of fatty oleic acids, cholesterol, and massive heart attacks.]
3. “I will tell you the problem with healthcare for the poor today: it is TOO good. That is really the problem.”
4. “Well, my parents were a little physically abusive, so that’s probably why I liked my ex-wife so much. She was batshit crazy. I am always attracted to crazy women! Ha ha!”
5. “Don’t you think the worst thing about living alone is not having someone there to massage you when you need it?” [Said in a deep, raspy voice, while walking behind the man and then squeezing his shoulders.]

I haven’t dated for 18 years (and what the hubz and I did in college doesn’t really qualify as “dating”). So I have no idea what I’m talking about. But I really think that if I heard any of those five subjects on a first date I would get up and run right out the door.

But these guys were planning a second date as I was packing up for the day. As my grandpa used to say, “Every pot has a lid.” And really, thank goodness these two found each other; it’s got to be hard to find someone who shares an interest in fatty oleic acids (or at least someone who is willing to pretend they give a shit about them).

Please oh please let them come back to Starbucks for their second date.

Also: for your terrifying scientific fact for the day, I just Googled “menopause night eating” and it is a THING. A real thing that can happen to women. Just another thing to look forward to, ladies!

Celebrity Roundup

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for Celebrity Roundup!*

1. ALERT ALERT Benedict Cumberbatch update. Unfortunately it is not about his crumpets or monocle. And yes, I did intend for that to sound dirty. Lord Cumberbatch is not going to be in Star Wars, and that’s a really big deal because…well, I have no idea why that’s a really big deal. He’s just so awesome that not being in movies makes headlines? OH King Sir Cumberbatch Duke of Wales.

From Jordan Zakarin @ Buzzfeed

I can’t explain this. Just go to Buzzfeed.

2. At the end of our recent California trip, we went to Disneyland for the day. The highlight of the day was seeing the joy and wonder on my children’s faces. JUST KIDDING, it was totally seeing David Beckham AND Brandon Flowers (who I mentioned a while ago here) on the same day IN PERSON. Also, I am guessing the lowlight of the day for my sister-in-law was when I pointed out Brandon Flowers to her and, for no apparent reason, kept saying that I just wanted to rip my shirt off.

3. Seeing David Beckham and Brandon Flowers at Disneyland reminded me of how lame the celeb sightings are in DC. Once in DC I saw Hillary Clinton walking out of a restaurant, which was cool, until I told someone I saw her and they said, “Oh yeah, I heard she was in town, I used to work with her.” Well aren’t you fancy. Another time I saw Trent Lott walking downtown when he was in the news for being all racist and crotchety (which I realize does not narrow down the time frame). This was when I was working at the law firm. I happened to be walking with a super smart, outspoken Democratic colleague, and I couldn’t wait to hear what he had to say when we walked by Trent. Imagine my pride when my colleague yelled, “YOU SUCK BOOO!!!!” right at Trent’s face. That’s the kind of nuanced takedown you can only learn at an Ivy League law school.

4. And finally, this is probably the only Celebrity Roundup in the universe this week that did not analyze Miley Cyrus and/or twerking. You are welcome.

*Please note that I will probably never do another Celebrity Roundup, much less on a Thursday.

Bee-yoo-tiful

Before school started this year, we squeezed in one last summer trip out west to California. We started in San Francisco and drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to Irvine. I don’t know why everyone thinks San Francisco is full of hipster-artsy-weirdo types; it is not like we saw a group of interpretive hula hoop dancers performing to tambourine music in the park. Oh wait.

HulaHoopers

[Note: that picture is blurry because I was worried if I got too close they would sense my incredible hula hooping talent and try to steal me away.]

The roadtrip was fun. We saw family and friends, and also, gigantic snorting elephant seals:
ElephantSeals
They were smelly and made obscene noises and fought constantly. I am talking about the seals, not the family and friends we saw. Just to be clear.

The hubz and I had done this road trip nearly a decade ago, right after I took the bar exam. That time we stopped at every charming coastal town along the way, drank wine, stared at the ocean, and wandered through boutiques and galleries with nothing but disposable income and free time. I knew the trip would be different this time with the kids in tow – less wine, more whine (ba dum, ching!) – but I couldn’t wait for them to see the coast. Because don’t all 4- and 6-year-olds appreciate scenic natural beauty? Answer: no. No, they do not.

I spent the first hour or two of our drive demanding calmly suggesting that they look out the window and enjoy the view. Here is a good example of the scenery:
Binky
That is a picture taken high above the ocean, while the marine layer rolled in over the water and melted away as it hit the mountains in the morning sun. The kids did a nice job of faking it, but they were not impressed. (And yes, that is a fake binky in my daughter’s mouth. The kids entertained themselves by pretending to be babies and “baby talking” for most of the drive, which did not drive me insane at all.)

Here is some more beautiful scenery from our drive:
Waterfall
You can just make out a tiny, thin waterfall splashing down onto a pristine beach, near turquoise ocean waters crashing into beautiful, rugged rock formations. Did my kids like that amazing scene? Sure, for about two seconds, and then they saw this:
Tunnel
That is a drainpipe/tunnel. They ran through that thing, laughed, made fart noises, giggled, and were thrilled to be running through a huge rusty pipe.

So after the tunnel o’ fun, I backed off and let them enjoy the car ride however they wanted. And along with enjoying the view and having uninterrupted conversations with the hubz (what?!), I was able to appreciate that my kids were cracking each other up in the backseat of our rental car for mile after mile after mile. They were whispering, and giggling, and saying totally naughty things, and making up silly games, and it was beautiful.

Not as beautiful as that freaking waterfall, but still pretty good. And now they’re back to school and I miss them like crazy. Even the baby talk.

I Believe I Can Fly

I took a little blogging break. Did you miss me? Well, I am sorry, but I did not miss you, because this was happening. TO ME:
DSC_0922

And this:
DSC_1076
And a little of this:
DSC_0946

We were in the Caribbean and it was perfect. My kids snorkeled in the ocean, the hubz and I fell off paddleboards paddleboarded, and we crammed about forty years of sun exposure into ten amazing days. We also enjoyed the local drinks cuisine. Here is a picture of my husband telling some local men how much rum punch I drank at lunch one day:
RumPunch

Our travel day home was not perfect, though. I’m talking mechanical problems, a missed connection, a screwed up re-booking, and getting home after midnight with two delirious kids. Which got me to thinking: you know all those tips and suggestions people give you for flying with kids? Like, “Bring earplugs for the people seated next to you on the plane while traveling with your infant.” And, “Take the red-eye so your kid will sleep.” And, “Buy these overpriced and difficult-to-use gadgets and you’ll be able to change your baby’s diaper in an airplane bathroom with only your mind.” Well, those are completely useless. Here is the only list you will ever need.

Mama, Esq.’s Tips for Flying With Kids
1. When planning your trip, ask yourself: who will watch the kids while I go on this trip without them?
2. If you are definitely going to fly with your kids, then go have a drink and get the fuck ready.
3. Seriously, just fly by yourself and meet everyone at your final destination. Preferably after you’ve had a chance to explore the local spas.
4. OK, so let’s do this thing. Wait, you said you’re planning on bringing one bag? Well aren’t you precious. Just go ahead and make it eight, and budget around $400 for baggage fees.
5. Do not let your plane’s mechanical problems make you miss your connecting flight, because that is totally under your control.
6. When your travel day does not go as planned, try going balls-out crazy at everyone around you. I’m talking yelling, and making empty threats, and foaming at the mouth, and tossing papers around. This helpful tip was provided by the angry man in front of me in the re-booking line.
7. If an airline representative dismissively tells you to file a formal complaint with the airline “to help make his life easier,” remember: it is probably better to choke down your anger and get an ulcer than to explain to your 4-year-old why mommy dropped an F-bomb at a pleasant-sounding stranger. Probably.
8. When you realize an hour later that the same airline representative screwed up your re-booking, just go ahead and drop that F-bomb. It’s probably better your kids hear it from you first than from some little punk at preschool. Probably.
9. Don’t forget to enjoy the magical wonder of flight with your children. You may want to celebrate this magical wonder with several cocktails and/or an Ambien.

Safe travels!