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Bringing Sexyback

I am 5 feet 6 inches, and weigh as much as a newborn giraffe.*  I wasn’t always this way.  There was my high school phase (when eating Taco Bell every day after school was my fourth meal), and my college phase (when eating Taco Bell every night at 2am, as God intended, was my fifth or sixth meal).  But somehow after I popped out a baby, I also popped my collarbone out of hiding.  This may have been because it was really hard to eat ramen while holding a (con.stant.ly.) screaming kid, or because I was awake 24 hours a day and developed the metabolism of a cokehead on a trampoline.

My weight has always been something I ignored unless directly annoyed by it, like the Bath & Body Works employees who try to throw a shopping bag as big as a recliner at you the minute you cross the threshold.  (Yes, thank you, my intention was definitely to buy enough lotion to stock my ‘I forgot it was your birthday, hope you enjoy smelling like fake pumpkin’ stash until 2025.)  Some of the annoyances turned out to be thrilling discoveries, like that one time my friend Marie freaked out over my 6-pack.  That’s right, bitches, it turns out that when the light hits my stomach jusssssst right, my belly fat is aligned in the EXACT SHAPE OF ABDOMINAL MUSCLES.

Due to the double miracle of my fatpack and post-baby weight drop (come on, God owed me after braces, mullets, glasses, allergies, cellulite, and a solid 5 years of strangers mistaking me for a boy**), I have never exercised.  Yes, I get winded doing laundry, walking uphill (read: anywhere but the hallways of Nordstrom), and stirring a batch of brownie batter too vigorously, but making my heart race ON PURPOSE?  I will save that for my panic attacks, thankyouverymuch.

And then one day I was sitting on the couch with my sister, and she pushed her hand into my belly to get me away from her.  What happened next was like a reverse-Alien: her hand disappeared into my stomach, up to her wrist.  “What the hell?!  Ohmigod are you seriously this squishy?  You need to HANDLE that.”  (If you guessed that I set my new Kim Kardashian Lumee phone case to ultra-bright and flashed it onto my fatpack to try to reverse the damage, you would be correct.)

Fast forward a few weeks, and I am at Dancers R Us for an exercise class with Marie, who needed volunteers for a class she was teaching .  Having never been in a room full of mirrors, I went into an instant selfie-coma.  The place was perfect for figuring out what sexual position you look least disgusting in (hint: it’s the one in a swimming pool, where everyone looks skinnier and weighs what they would on the moon).  I was actually quite excited to see my GapFit workout pants… work out.  Until that point, they had only worked out the shortest distance between my couch and the open bottle of Chardonnay.

Because I’m a moron who has no concept of how much 2-pound weights really weigh, I threw myself into the warm ups.  Then I remembered that I need my 10-year old to open our heavy front door for me every day, and that 2 lbs + 2 lbs = 4 pounds, which is 3 pounds more than I can curl.

Every time Marie chirped “keep that leg in the air,” I wanted to throw my SPRI ball at her – except it was constantly rolling across the sex room because my leg wasn’t strong enough to hang onto it.  FYI, if we are having a conversation and it looks like I am staring at your vagina?  I am actually studying your upper thighs for evidence that you can hold this ball between your legs while doing squats (and maybe evaluating for dimples, but I’m just jealous because I burst out of my ‘looks like a boy’ phase with DDs and cellulite and I’ve never recovered from that gender earthquake.)

I made it through most of the class (minus planks – those can go back to hell with nonfat cheese) only by reciting the Taco Bell menu like a meditation chant.  Turns out I was able to marinate a 10-pound baby inside my body, but on the outside, I can’t lift anything heavier than a tequila shooter.  Perhaps my sister should have reverse-Aliened me sooner.

*I know you Googled it.  I had to.

**Ages 8-13.

© Calling All Cool Moms 2016

Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down

“OHMYGOD what is in your bathroom?!”

My sister is visiting, and I can only assume she found a) my crimping iron,  b) cellulite cream, or c) the earrings I stole from her circa 2007.  (Seriously though, crimping WILL come back in style and I will be leading the army of aging Jem fanatics.)

“Why in God’s name do you have Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo?  Don’t you know that there is formaldehyde, parabens, and synthetic  fragrances in that stuff?”  She says this as though my son is slathering himself with nitroglycerin every night before settling in front of a fire.  “You had your baby way too long ago.  This is the non-GMO, non-fat, non-vaccine era.  Basically the only thing safe to feed your child is the grass in the backyard.  But then only if it’s non-fertilized.”

For a minute I am lost, as I think she said ‘GNO’, and I can’t imagine why a Girls Night Out would be harmful to my son.  I mean, the next day is a free-for-all of video games for him, and he knows how to brew my coffee, so everyone’s a winner.  A quick Google search leads me to realize that I am completely out of touch with this “Non”era, and that my child will probably grow up with some sort of Bruce Banner-esque radioactive disease in which he smashes small cities looking for America’s last piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Maybe I did have a baby too long ago.  Or maybe I let common sense guide my parenting, rather than a Facebook article.  For example, when my son was an infant, he viewed sleep like a Real Housewife would view K-Mart: it was beneath him.  I was putting him to sleep on his back, swaddling him to the point where he resembled the potato-baby I carried in my papoose during my 3rd grade Native American school play, and trying to let him ‘cry it out.’  No dice.

After Week 6 of insomnia (Sidenote: I wonder how many Navy Seals would ring that quitters bell if they added an insomniac baby to Hell Week?), I somehow nodded off into my Christmas dinner.  As in, cheek down in the mashed potatoes.  Ring, ring, bitches.   I went straight home, put my kiddo to sleep on his stomach [cue studio-audience gasp] without the papoose gear, and we all slept happily ever after.

Or how about getting him off the bottle?  I was so overly paranoid that my kid would end up bringing a bottle to 2nd grade that I wanted him to stop cold turkey by 12 months.  I tried substituting milk.  I tried apple juice.  I even tried drinking from that damn sippy cup myself while dancing to the Word World theme song, but the cup remained ostracized like Regina George after one too many Kal-Teen bars.  Plagued with visions of my son sneaking hits off his bottle in the high school bathroom, I filled that sippy cup with Sprite.  And with that?  All the (disease causing, melt-your-face-off, poisonous plastic) bottles went in the garbage.

My point is, sometimes you have to do what is best for you and your kiddo – unless the best means yogurt from a tube (mold!), milk (hormones!), or chicken nuggets (pink slime!).  In that case, you might as well slip a pack of Marlboros into his lunchbox.

#RIP

 

 

© Calling All Cool Moms 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Will You Accept This Rose?

Let’s be real here: I think the divorce rate is up to some crazy high percentage.  50%?  60%?  Basically, as you are walking down the aisle, half your guests are thinking “What’s the over/under on the longevity of this union?  And will there be tequila at the reception?”

Think about it this way: you give the best years of your thighs (not to mention your dewy no-need-for-Botox complexion) to someone there’s only a 40% chance you will stay with forever.  (Sidenote:  Dermatologists should team up with the courthouse.  The back of your marriage license application should have a picture of thighs unaffected by childbirth or gravity, and a forehead without that stupid line between your eyes that everyone gets because you end up so angry at your cellulite.  Caption: “Are you ready to give away your most precious gifts?” I mean, I mourned the loss of these things way more than my virginity.

Anyway, fast forward to post-divorce dating.  There really isn’t a more torturous life event, except for maybe having your entire E-cart wiped out during the SAKS one-day sale because some broad was quicker than you to push the “Complete Purchase” button.  So.  A few pro-tips:

1)  Don’t even bother.  Not unless you are prepared for the type of humiliation and degradation typically reserved for The Bachelor contestants.  Example: You’re getting dropped off at home, where your kids are fast asleep and the babysitter is taking selfies.  Things get a little bow-chicka-wow-wow in the front seat.  As you contemplate whether you can get rid of the babysitter and risk your kids walking in on an real-life episode of Scandal, you decide to embrace your inner Olivia Pope and throw yourself into the drivers seat.  Unfortunately, because your body now has the flexibility of a candy cane, you slice open your forehead on the rearview mirror.  Nothing says GAME OVER like a bloody face (except maybe “If you weren’t chosen, say your goodbyes and leave immediately”).

2)  While tempting to buffer a date with a few cocktails, remember: You are not 23.  There is a formula for your hangover once you hit 30: {# of shots +  # of OMG I LOVE THIS SONGs = # days your hangover will last.}  And while the Kardashians may be able to live it up all night inhaling vodka infused with the breath of newborn babies, they also have Vitamin B drips next to their beds and Glam Squads to bring them back to life.  You?  Have a bottle of Tums and a $9.99 bottle of Neutrogena moisturizer.

3)  Daniel Craig is not real.  Once the opportunity to date is available to you, you suddenly think: Yesssss no more beer guts or balding!  I will go to the beach and Daniel Craig will saunter out of the water, notice my stunning Bond-girl beauty, and his abs and I will happily ever after!  Ladies, if a grown man has even TWO sculpted abdominal muscles, he also has a boyfriend named Percy.

© Calling All Cool Moms 2015

The Parenting Games

You know you’ve played a drinking game at some point in your life.  Maybe you recently convinced everyone at a dinner party to play ‘I Never.’  (Hopefully not with a table full of co-workers, because the next morning your confession of streaking across your college campus and being thrown into the back of a police car wearing nothing but a thong tends to go from Will Ferrell-funny to Amanda Bynes-cuckoo.**)

Or maybe you were in a frat house living room, watching Dawson’s Creek, and taking a shot every time Joey pushed her hair behind her ear.  (Seriously, Joe?  It’s called a hair tie.  If your glam squad had invested in one, certain people might not have ended up breaking a front tooth after an unfortunate encounter with a coffee table and spending the night at an emergency Sears Dental clinic so that your parents wouldn’t notice when you went home for Thanksgiving the next day.***)

Unfortunately, once you are a fully-functioning adult and parent, it is frowned upon to watch reruns of 7th Heaven and shoot tequila every time Lucy or Mary is caught making out with a boy (oh, Ruthie, you tattling little scamp!).  But not to worry, there is a whole new array of activities that will make you want to pop 2 Excedrin and pray for tomorrow: The Parenting Games.  May the odds be ever in your favor.

THE LYING GAME

Kiddo: You got married in 2006?  But my birthday is in 2005.  Wait a minute… did Daddy only marry you because you had a baby in your belly?

Parent: NOOOOOOOO OF COURSE NOT.  WE WERE DEFINITELY IN LOVE.  IN LOVE, I SAY!  [Note: Clearly my ‘tell’ when I am lying is lapsing into a very loud, Shakespearean dialect]

THE HUNGER GAMES

Kiddo:  Can I have toast for lunch?

Parent:  No.  You had toast for breakfast.

Kiddo:  But I don’t like anything else.  Toast is my favorite food and I want to be happy and eat toast all day every day and parents should want their kids to be happy so I don’t understand why you would do this to me if you love me as much as you say you do.  Mommy, why don’t you love me?

Parent:  Would you like butter or margarine?

THE BRIBERY GAME (a.k.a. Indecent Proposal)

Kiddo:  Mommy, when you were on the phone with Grandma, I heard you say Aunt Judy was ‘a conniving, Edward Scissorhands-looking bitch.’  What does ‘conniving’ mean?

Parent:  Ohmygod.  I need you to pretend you never heard that.

Kiddo:  But that would be lying.  Why do you want me to lie?

Parent:  Because if you promise to never, ever repeat what I said about Aunt Judy, I will get you your own cell phone.

Kiddo:  Make sure it has unlimited data.  I will need to Google Edward Scissorhands.

Basically?  If you thought the side effects of an epic Hour of Power were bad, just wait until your kiddo finds a photo from the ’99 Phish concert and asks if that’s a cigarette in your hand.

**I imagine.

***See previous footnote.

© Calling All Cool Moms 2014

How To Get Divorced

Remain graceful.  Expect people to murmur when you enter a room, their mouths stuck in tiny O’s of pity, their heads shaking ever so slightly.  They are all thinking the same thing:  Can you believe it?  They seemed so happy. And: Thank God it’s not me.

Breathe.

Repeatedly touch your newly naked ring finger.  Something that was previously slipped off without a second thought – to wash dishes, or take a shower – now feels like a phantom limb.  Notice people flicking their eyes to that finger, flinching as though it is an assault on them, being unmarried.  Fight the urge to yell: I was like you once!  I made 2 cups of coffee in the morning!  I smiled and I laughed and I never had to kill a spider!

Divide your belongings.  Shatter a wine glass against the wall when he tells you he wants the tribal statue from your honeymoon.  You do not want this figurine, or the happy memories attached to it, but it is easier to scream about this inanimate object than your broken life.

Cry.

Buy new curtains.  Pour all of your energy into finding the perfect color, pattern, material.  Sit on the couch at night watching Letterman, wondering why these gorgeous new layers of silk are not enough to make you forget.

Call your friends.  Plan a night of drinks, fun, and dancing.  Remember who you were before your marriage, before you stopped eating tomatoes because he was allergic.  Before you wore your hair in a constant ponytail because he liked to see your neck.

Meet other divorced women.  There is a bond among people who once uttered vows of forever, who whispered secrets, who shared slivers of their soul until fully exposed.  These women will join you at dinner, eyes darting around the room, everyone unsure how to behave without the safety net of a marriage bed.

Pray.

Cut your hair.  You can almost smell him in the strands that fall across your face, a stain from your life ‘before.’  Stare at your new reflection and wonder if anyone else will love the scar above your eyebrow, the curve of your jaw, the freckle on your lip.  Remember yourself, this moment, this new life.

Smile.

© Calling All Cool Moms 2013