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Mama Interrupted January 6, 2009

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family.
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Interruptions. They seem to punctuate parenthood. They also seem to punctuate working from home. The phone rings at the most inopportune moment, the spouse calling (or texting) to inform you that they have to stay late at the office, the bell rings during the toddler’s elusive  nap time, the call of “Mama, Mama, come play with me” interrupts the train of Pulitzer-winning thought that was flowing effortlessly from your fingers to the keyboard, and so on.  Those are among the basic, daily interruptions that  many of us contend with in one way or another. Then there are the big life interruptions: illness, death, pregnancy, going into labor, airport delays, war, severe storms and blackouts … oh yeah, and the holidays, which as much as we might anticipate them, do seem to interrupt life’s usual rhythm of chaos.

For us, the holidays and the end of 2008 were marked by a series of some of these “big”  interruptions (thankfully, none of them too tragic), but definetely enough to have 2008 end for us with neither a bang nor a whimper, but more of a dull thud that resonated into 2009  much like the overtone series or the series of ripples on a pond after being upset by the smallest of pebbles.  Actually, I’ve been Mama Interrupted for the greater part of the fall and winter, so it only seems befitting that this state of being should have carried into the holidays.

The holidays started with delusions of stress-free normalcy: cleaning and decorating for Christmas (no we’re not the decorate-the-house-and-string-the-lights-the-day-after-Thanksgiving family);  getting to the market; shopping for the The Boy’s last Christmas as an only child; getting out holiday cards, and the litany of other pre-holiday preparations.

But Mama isn’t the only factor involved. There are also The Husband, The Boy, the “baby” and the Fates.  Apparently my Muse went on vacation — perhaps to Hawaii to hang with the Obamas and the press corp — and left me with her cousins, the Fates, who thought that it would be all too much fun to mess with me and my grand plans for organization, to get ahead on work, research my next opus and make plans for our new schedule once the husband takes his newly elected post.)

The Fates tinkered with me. They decided to toss in a heaping table spoonful of snowstorms and for added flavor, two dashes of tiny colds — one for me and one for The Boy. For The Boy, this was but a mere inconvenience of having Mama chase him with tissues to remove the shiny gel cascading from his nostrils onto his upper lip. For Mama, it only added to the exhaustion of being pregnant while chasing after a toddler with said tissues, and fully determined to not make The Boy’s last singleton Christmas not suck.  Meanwhile, our house lay in limbo between campaign-aftermath and the holiday season as The Fates toyed with schedules and extra pre-vacation committments for The Husband, and needing to also prepare for his local swearing-in ceremony scheduled for New Year’s Day.

We managed to make Christmas and The Boy was elated. But this effort did not go without punishment from The Fates. The lovely ladies decided to knock me on my ass — well, more like flat on my back — allowing the effects of their simmering brew to take full effect.The day after Christmas, I was really sick. But that was not enough for those playful ladies … oh no! They decided that The Boy’s naps should also take a vacation, and that The Husband should bring home work.  I had no choice but to let them have their fun — the three dancing around me with great zeal and choreographing in counterpoint to their own dance, a pas de deux between my two children — the elder singing “Mama, Mama” every few moments, imploring me to join him on the floor with his cars, the one within me using my thimple-sized bladder as a bosu ball. All the while The Husband clickety-clacked on the computer, occasionally chanting to The Boy, “let Mama rest.”

“What next?”  The trio of tricksters asked each other. Perhaps, a black-out. (The sisters are quite fond of drama.) And thus storms ensued along with what for us was nearly two days without power, and initial forecasts from DTE that it could be several days before everyone was back up and running at full capactiy.  Ironically, only a mile away, my sister-in-law was spared from the darkness, so we went there … but not without my Muse’s sitters for me in tow.  Excited to be with his cousins twice in nearly as many days, The napless Boy wanted no part of bedtime, and did everything in his power to avoid it. (The Fates, by the way, like to share their fun, and did so with a greater portion of the area.)

Our power was restored (along with the phone and Internet), but not without leaving us to have to reboot and renetwork everything and a two-day frenzy of making preparations for The Husband’s big event, planning orignally scheduled for the period of time when we were without power. (Oh joy, oh bliss! The Fates giggled as their dance became an all-out jig.) My darling sitters gave me enough energy to make it through New Year’s and the Husband’s big event … but decided next to prey on The Boy as a parting gift for me in anticpation of the Muse’s return from her hiatus. By Saturday night, The Boy had a fever. By this morning, he was too sick to resume daycare, an event I was anticipating eagerly so that I could return to my work and the beginning of our new schedule — one that I’d planned to get a handle on during the holidays and when The Husband was on “vacation.”

Each attempt to gain clarity and regain control became more elusive as the Fates insisted that at every turn, Mama was to be inter—

Hang on, I hear a fuss from upstairs. (It’s all good — The Husband’s on it.)

While interruptions happen, I’ve decided that the Muse left me in the hands of  her cousins, to create a grand finale of interruptions to mark the end of a very interesting 2008 and start of 2009 wherein Mama will weather the interruptions better and be more focused, creative and constructive in doing so.  So instead of the interrupted resolutions list started before we lost power, for 2009, I think I will sum up as having an overarching theme. One that is for a new sense of discipline — in spite of the interruptions that may come flying at me. The Twisted Sisters can go play with someone else for a while — and when they’re back for more fun and games, I’ll be ready for them.

© 2009 Erika-Marie S. Geiss

On the third day of Christmas… December 27, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family, Uncategorized.
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…I wrote a Christmas meme. 

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Since Christmas is technically 12 days long, today being the third day of Christmas, instead of imparting three French hens to my dearly loved readers, instead I have saved my Christmas meme for today.  Boddie at Finding Boddie tagged all of us over at Absolute Write, so here I go. From what I understand the rules of the original meme includes tagging seven others, but in the spirit of sharing and giving at Christmastime, I too will leave this meme open ended. (more…)

So this is what’s meant by “No Child Left Behind.” December 22, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in education, Humor & Satire, parenting & family, politics, writing/editing/blogging.
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Yesterday, I had to do a few quick errands, which meant driving straight into the Lion’s Den, also known as the one-mile square radius of the major shopping mall in our city.  My usual route to that neck of the woods was backed up, so I took a detour, which led me down the street where one of our city’s two high schools is.  Driving along, passing some kids with backpacks and others curiously without any, I noticed the school’s street-side marquis.

It read, and I kid you not, “Holiday Recess. 12-22-07 Thru 1-7-08.”  Certainly my eyes were deceiving me. I must have been distracted by Viggo Mortgensen’s voice on NPR as he discussed his most-recent film.  Certainly a schoolhad not spelled “through” as “T-H-R-U” on its marquis, and especially not the school that is literally walking distance from the Board of Education.  I wished for one brief second that my cell had been close enough and that I’d been stopped in traffic in front of the marquis, so that I could snap a picture. It was fodder for a blog post. (more…)

Some Assembly Required… December 20, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family, Uncategorized.
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This three-word phrase is one that instills in parents greater fear than a root canal. It is also a phrase that connotes a parental rite of passage, when the night before Christmas, after the wee ones are tucked in their beds envisioning sugar plums with one ear open for the sounds of hooves upon the roof, mom and dad are trying to quietly find the tiny screws (and a screwdriver with a small-enough nib), correctly sized batteries while reading pictogram directions that make no sense in any language. (more…)

O Tannenbaum! O Tannenbaum! December 20, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, parenting & family.
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Our Tannenbaum (and deutchofiles will appreciate the capitalization) is not exactly a fir tree…more like a faux-fir. My husband and I grew up with the aroma of balsam in the air at Christmastime and our first two years of marriage, we went on the annual tree hunt, that quest for the perfect tree, with limbs that would fall to just the right height, be nice and full, with no bald spots, and broad enough to cast a lovely bonnet over the presents that would come to lie beneath it. Last year, our first Christmas as parents with a newly toddling 10-month-old along with new-parent fears of spontaneous tree combustion, and the potential for fallen pine needles to become a toddler delicacy, we decided to go for an artificial tree. (more…)

T-minus five days and counting… December 19, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in parenting & family, Uncategorized.
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It just dawned on me—well a few hours ago anyway—that Christmas is in five days, not including today of course. That means, only a couple of days left to ship packages via Priority or Express mail to ensure Christmas Eve delivery at the very latest.  For those who may be wondering, how on earth Christmas managed to sneak up on me despite the fact that Christmas products have been on store shelves since Halloween ended and some stations have been playing Christmas music 24/7 since Thanksgiving, and lest we not forget the neighborhood Christmas displays that have been sprouting up since Thanksgiving like so many mushrooms after a week of rain.  (more…)

Ch-ch-ch-Chia! December 9, 2007

Posted by emsgeiss in Humor & Satire, Uncategorized.
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This is one of my all-time favorite posts, so I’ve made it sticky just in time for the holiday season. 
(You’re welcome.)
-E (12.13.12)


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It’s Christmastime again
and the Chia Pet commercials are everywhere.

Apparently, Chia Pets don’t seem to sell at any other time of the year. I’m thinking that they might make a great gift for the White Elephant party that my husband and I have been invited to, where you have to bring a tacky gift, instead of a “real” gift, but we’re still on the fence about that one. 

The concept of actually buying a Chia Pet made me think, and I realized that I don’t believe I know anyone who really has one, despite the fact that you can get them at CVS, Walmart, K-mart and other fine stores. 

This of course led me down another path of bizarre logic. Since their “watch it grow” inception in the ’70s, we’ve had the Original Chia Pet, Chia Daffy, Chia Buggs, the Chia Head and many other Chia charaters. There’s now even Chia Cat Nip, so your furry friend can get in on the Chia action.  But what about the Chias that never made it to market? Here are a few, and warning, these are not for the easily offended. (more…)

Scary, scary! It snuck up on me. October 31, 2007

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For some reason, Halloween snuck up on me this year. Boo! Despite my across-the-street neighbor’s incredible display that’s been up for nearly a month, costumes, giant sacks of candy and pumpkins being sold just about everywhere, and even attending a grown-up costume party with my husband, Halloween still said: “Boo! Boogah, boogah!” to me. Maybe it was because we had some unseasonably warm weather during the first couple of weeks of the month and it felt more like summer than anything remotely having to do with a fall holiday. (more…)