Monday, June 29, 2015

Shit My Dad Says... The One Where I Wish He Was Somehow MORE Catholic

When I was in my early 20s, I had a Catholic friend of mine tell me why she had only very recently decided that she didn't need to wait until marriage to have sex. "In Catholic school, they tell you that premarital sex makes your soul die", she explained.

She realized at a relatively young age that her soul wasn't going to die because of sex, but yesterday I discovered that there is a situation where sex is evil and ruins your soul. Specifically, my soul died a little when my dad decided to tell me about his sex life.

First, I want to apologize for even telling this story. It's kinda like The Ring. I can't unhear it or unknow it and the only way to mitigate the evil in my heart and shoulder the burden I now carry is to spread it to others. The people I've already told responded with sorrowful whimpers and guttural animal noises as I tortured their souls with this tale. I also feel that it's important to get this out on paper so that when I inevitably end up catatonic from the trauma, my family will have something to show the doctors to explain my condition.

Second, I'm going to recommend you gather a few things before you read the remainder of this post: First, Holy Water-for obvious reasons-, and then you'll need a few items for the lobotomy you're going to want to give yourself when you can't help but cringe as you imagine your own dad telling you about his sex life- I'd recommend a gallon of bleach, a melon baller, and a scalpel.

Here we go.

It's been common knowledge, and the source of so much comedy, that the last time my dad got laid was the night my 26 year old baby sister was conceived. In fact, my mom will swear to the fact that her 4 children represent the only 4 times she ever let him touch her. After they divorced, my dad was pretty convinced that Jesus was super mad at him because you know, Catholic. He was also always adamant that he did not believe in premarital sex and that my mother (ick ick ick ick ick) took his virginity and that he had not been with anyone else. I guess that sounds pretty fucking ridiculous in the year 2015, but my dad is just so fucking weird and gross that I've always believed him, because even if he wasn't the BEST Catholic, who wants to fuck a homeless guy anyway?

Anyway. A couple of months ago, my father informed me that he had started dating a woman that he met on the bus he drives. As you can imagine, I did not have high hopes for this relationship, because she has to be either the most fucked up person alive OR the most insecure. I met her a few weeks back, and it turns out she is the latter. That said, she's actually a really nice person, (which means my dad is going to ruin her life, but that's another conversation for another time) and he's brought her along the last couple of times he came to visit. . My point is that they are still together, and they recently moved in together.

My first reaction when my dad told me that he had a girlfriend was to jokingly ask if he was getting laid yet. He actually answered that question for some fucking reason and explained that, since they were both living with roommates, they did not have the privacy required to violate Jesus's code of conduct. After that, I realized that eww, my dad thinks this is information I really wanted to hear, and I vowed to NEVER EVER EVER ask ever again, Amen.

Yesterday afternoon my dad came to visit. I was surprised when he did not have his ladyfriend with him, and we had the following conversation (seriously you guys, last chance to close your browser):

Me:  Hey Dad. I'm surprised you didn't bring Susan along. You've had her with you every time you visit lately.

Dad: Well she had to work today.

Me: Oh, I gotch....

Dad: AND she's really mad at me.

Me: Oh god. What did you do?

Dad: Nothing, forget it.

Me: Well now you have to tell me, obviously.

Dad: She asked me not to say anything.

Me: Is it about money? It HAS to be about money.

Dad: No.

Me: REALLY? What else could you possibly have done to piss her off?

Dad: It's involves someone you know.

Me: Oh, what did you take her to Uncle Bobby's house and he made a rude comment or something?

Dad: No.

Me: WTF Dad.

Dad: Well...::leans in to whisper:: we were having an... intimate moment...


Dad: And I accidentally...


Dad: Well, it's about your mom.


Dad: I accidentally said your mom's name during our intimate moment. She's really mad at me.


Dad: And then I made it worse because I was telling her how she reminds me of your mother.

Me: ::dies of self-inflicted wounds::

---------------------------------------BARF INTERMISSION---------------------------------------

You guys? Are you still there? Do you need an extra minute to get the vomit out of your hair and your souls back into your bodies?

I don't think I need to go into too much detail about why every single word he uttered was horrifying and traumatic for me, but let's do that anyway. First- "intimate moment". I'm pretty sure I literally choked back vomit when the words came out of his mouth. Who says that? It's not as though I was raised by him and delicate phrasing is something I'm used to. I just think it would have been exponentially less creepy if he had just said "sex". And then I go into the death spiral of thought where I start to wonder exactly what "intimate moment" means. Does that mean actual P in V sex? Was... was my dad... getting a beej? OH GOD BRAIN PLEASE STOP THINKING THESE THOUGHTS. And that inevitably bleeds into the train of thought that OH MY DEAR SWEET BABY JESUS- I NEVER WANTED TO KNOW THAT MY DAD IS A NAME SAYER (shouter? moaner? GOD MAKE IT STOP PLEASE) during his... ick... intimate moments. And then I find myself wondering, should I give him advice? What would that advice consist of? "Hey dad, maybe next time just tell her it feels good or just make noises that indicate you are enjoying yourself"? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? WHY IS THIS MY LIFE NOW? WHY HAS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE THOUGHTS CROSSED MY MIND IN THE LAST 24 HOURS?

I'm pretty sure this is my punishment from God for all the premarital sex I had.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's a TRAP!!!

Back when I was in my teens and early 20s, I remember being regularly annoyed by my brother's inability to do simple tasks. Actually, that's inaccurate. It was his inability to do "woman" tasks. The best example I can give of this was the time he asked me to make him a hot dog. Seeing as how he was a dick to me like 95% of the time, obviously I told him to make his own fucking hot dog. "But I don't know how", he said. And so I gave him a simple explanation for a simple task- "Put them in some water and boil them for a few minutes". But as it is with men, he put a fantastic amount of effort into trying to convince me that he literally could not figure out how to boil water. First, he poured water into a frying pan. Then, when I showed him which pot to use, he turned the faucet as high as it would go and held it under the water and let it overflow for several minutes before I finally snapped "what the hell are you doing?". "I don't know how much water to use", he told me. "Enough to cover the hot dog", I explained. And so he turned the water to barely a drip and held the pot there for 5 solid minutes, asking every few drops "is this enough?". It went this way with every step of the excruciatingly simple task of boiling a hot dog, until my sister gave up and made it for him.

At the time I refused to cave because of course you know how to fucking boil water, you imbecile. And then I got married and realized that my brother was a) simply not a good enough an actor to pull off "too dumb to boil water" and b) carrying on a long standing tradition of men making the task of ASKING THEM TO DO A TASK so infuriating, that you really would rather just do it yourself.

Caitlyn's last day of preschool was yesterday. Rodolfo is bringing his parents from Peru to spend the summer with us while she is out of school. In preparation of that, I've been toiling away, cleaning and organizing the house to be ready for their arrival this Thursday. And so last night when April told me she wanted to bring Caitlyn to a water park with her today, I asked Rodolfo to get her bag ready for the morning, while I organized some things in the kitchen.

I'm a seasoned veteran now when it comes to dealing with feigned stupidity, so I didn't dare simply tell him where she would be going and expect him to figure out what that meant in terms of "get a bag ready". I gave him a short list of what to include- a bathing suit, a change of clothes- including socks and underwear-, a towel, flip-flops, sunscreen, her waterpark pass, and money for lunch.

First he assured me that she did not have any clean clothes. Since I organized her closet 2 days ago, I knew this was bullshit. Still, I had to explicitly tell him what she should wear TO A WATER PARK and practically give him the longitudinal coordinates in her closet to find "any one of the 10 summer dresses hanging up in there". Then, he could not find her bathing suit. This led to a heated argument in which he complained that I had left a basket of clean laundry in her room that has not been put away, and maybe if I had done that, her bathing suit would have been easy to find. He then spent 5 minutes rifling through the DIRTY laundry, all the while complaining that this bathing suit was simply impossible to find. In case you were wondering, there wasn't ONE, but TWO clean bathing suits in that one basket of laundry that he would not check under protest of my not having put it into her drawers.

He managed to find the towel himself, completely forgot the sunscreen and water park pass, and then launched into another rant when he could not track down her flip-flops. I told him to check under the couch. They were not there. I told him to check under her bed. Not there either. Apparently they had evaporated into thin air. He decided she would instead wear sneakers. To a water park.

This entire process (during which I ended up finding literally every single thing besides the towel myself) took him around 40 minutes. To put a few things in a bag. Next time I think I'll just do it myself.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Mom Skills

My best friend and fellow blogger, Nadine, had her first baby a few days ago. She ended up having a rather unexpected c-section, so she's been in the hospital since her adorable new daughter's birth. I've made an effort to go see her as often as I can, and on Wednesday night, that meant dragging my own kids along.

The juxtaposition of being a veteran mom crowded in a small space with my own two children and a tiny newborn baby and her newly minted mommy cued me in to a few things I hadn't realized before.

Let's call them mom superpowers. It sounds better than "shit I can do without really thinking about it now that I've been chasing around rugrats for 5 years straight". Here are some skills I didn't realize I had until that day, in that room, with that sweet new baby:

Split-Second Decision Making: I guess I should be more specific. I have in no way mastered the art of making MOST decisions in any sort of highly effective manner. It's really just ONE extremely specific decision that moms with multiple children learn to master. The decision of who to drop (spoiler alert: it's always the bigger one!).

You see, there comes a point when your toddler is in the "reachy, grabby, HOLD ME ALL THE TIME OMG NOW" phase, and it always coincides exactly with your older kid's "who does that bitch think she is, I WAS THE BABY FIRST- HOLD ME" phase. And sure, you try to be fair. You try to hold them both (because obviously this is not an issue of fairly split time. It's about wanting to be held at the exact second your sibling is being held). But there will come a point, dragging your two kids around the house, where one of them starts to slip and you gotta make that decision. Who do you let slide out of your grip and ever-so-gently ... you know, drop on the fucking ground? Anyway, that day with my kids, holding a much tinier baby than my own, Alex got the drop for probably one of the first times in her life. Sorry kid. Maybe you should talk to your sister about your obvious feelings of betrayal.

Mind Reading: There are certain instincts as a parent that you develop about your kids. You become really familiar with their temperments, their personalities, and what you can expect of them in almost any given situation. For example, I fully expected it when Caitlyn started loudly sobbing into the microphone in the KFC drive-thru because her mean, mean mommy was getting chicken for dinner instead of the McDonald's she so desperately wanted and definitely deserved. I might as well have fed her the tears of her baby sister, for the way she reacted to that great injustice.

Anyway, I realized how fine-tuned this skill had become while we visited baby Elizabeth. Everyone knows you have to be really careful when you introduce a toddler to literally anything and everything even slightly more fragile than they are. Toddlers are gods of destruction and they are not to be trusted. That said, to call Alex a bit precocious would be a huge understatement. Alex is well advanced for her age and she can and does understand and follow direction most of the time. So while I was certainly cautious about letting her touch a newborn baby, I also knew I could explain to her that she had to be gentle with her new cousin. And she was. But as it goes with toddlers and impulse control, that did not stop her from getting momentarily distracted and forgetting the rules. It was a split second decision she made, to try to rip the baby's face off, but I saw it coming. My mom Spidey sense perked up and her little hand and inexplicably constantly razor sharp nails hadn't even made it halfway to the baby's delicate face by the time I stopped her.

And I've saved the most important skill for last, of course...

Ability to Tune Out a Screaming Child: In my loud, frantic world, I didn't even realize this was a skill I possessed. I suppose it's one thing to tune out an individual loud noise without it so much as interrupting your conversation. It's a little harder when you're getting it in stereo from two kids, while simultaneously being asked to resolve whatever the fuck is making them screech at each other in the first place. The little one snatches the big one's toy. The big one starts whining and snatches it back. The little one starts crying while the big one gloats at her obvious size advantage in the toy snatching game. The little one starts pawing and grunting at you because she's upset. The big one starts justifying- "but she took it from me first!"... and eventually you tell everyone to shut up and threaten to take all the toys away if they don't both knock it off.

But that's not really my point. In the relative quiet of a hospital room, where the big one was quietly playing with my phone and letting me coo at the new baby and chat with my friend, it was easy to ignore the little one, who was clearly jealous that I was holding another baby and screeching and whining and grabbing at my legs because she wanted me to pick her up instead. I barely even noticed it, until the new baby also started crying and Nadine- who was clearly exhausted, stressed, and trying to get to know her own baby's cues and needs, not to mention recovering from a c-section- gave me her best "please make it stop or I'm kicking your entire family out of my room" look. I picked up Alex and did manage to calm her down. But I couldn't help but think it was a little funny how I barely noticed it, while Nadine had clearly been pushed to the brink of insanity by the two babies crying in stereo. It's an acquired skill, I guess. You spend so much of the first few months of your kids' lives trying to figure out why/stop them from crying that it doesn't even occur to you that sometimes you can just pretend like you don't hear it.

I suppose I'll end on that spectacular piece of parenting advise- "if your kid is screaming, just pretend like you don't hear them".