The Mom Who’s Always Right Here

IMG_5240On Sunday I wake up at 6:30, like I do every morning, without prompting. My monkey brain immediately calculates the number of hours I’ve slept and it’s not enough. I stayed up too late reading or writing, Tweeting, my mind whirring. I wish I could sleep in just a little more, but my body is stubborn in its ways. I’ve kept to my side of the bed all night even though my husband’s side is empty. He is out of town, skiing the powder in the snowy Canadian Rockies. Continue reading “The Mom Who’s Always Right Here”

In My Car

Sometimes I just sit in my car. I sit there for as long as I can filling my car with minutes of me not being a mom or a chauffeur or a wife or a stay-at-home anything. I sit thinking or not thinking. Breathing so only I can hear it.

Parked in my driveway, I wait to be ready to go into the house. Just before I open the car door, I wonder if I can eke out any more alone time. Maybe I’ve forgotten something “urgent” that requires backing out of the driveway once more before heading into the high-energy together time that awaits me in the house for the rest of the day and on into the evening. Maybe I need to pick up the dry cleaning. Is it ready today or tomorrow? What day is it anyway? Do we need more milk? We always need more milk. Do I have time to go to the vet for more flea medicine? Wait, are they even still open? What time is it? Oh, perfect, they’re already closed. Who closes at 3 p.m. on a Monday anyway? Continue reading “In My Car”

U is for Uvula

uvula: a fleshy extension at the back of the soft palate that hangs above the throat.

The toddler is deep asleep. I’ve just tucked in the 9-year-old and called out a final “‘night ‘night” to the tween. Josh is out of town for work. The dog is snoozing on the living room couch. My laptop is open and I’m happily settled into a stool at the gleaming clean kitchen counter, a glass of wine winking at me. A quiet evening to myself is absolutely thrilling.

That’s when the giggling starts. How can that be? Lilah’s been asleep for a solid hour already and I just put the big girls to bed in their own rooms a few minutes ago – didn’t I?

I listen intently, valiantly hoping the laughter will just, you know, disappear and that everyone will go to sleep in their own beds all on their own. Right.

I’m in no mood to go traipsing up the stairs to play the enforcer. The clock is ticking on my precious Me Time. But I need them to go to sleep because sleep is awesome and magical, but only if my kids get enough of it. When they don’t, the next day is like trying to survive among the Walking Dead: everybody drags their feet, moaning and drooling. If you get too close, they try to bite you. It’s pretty gory.

I lean back in the stool, facing out the kitchen door in the general direction of the stairs and let loose my most urgent, hot-breathed shush. The giggling abruptly stops. I can’t believe that actually worked. I reach for my wine. Seconds later the laughing starts up again, only louder. Okay, that’s it. I give up. I tromp up the stairs to lay down the bedtime law.

I bust through the door to Ruby’s room. “What is so funny?” I demand in my best voice of authority. They are on the bed totally cracking up. “Hello? What’s going on?”

IMG_0013Ruby finally comes up for air. “Ella’s wiggling her uvula!”

Huh, what? Uvula? At first I can’t place the word. It sounds remotely vulgar and completely ridiculous at the same time. Oh jeez. Where did they hear that word? Did they Google it or see someone wiggling theirs on YouTube? I hope Ella didn’t SnapChat her uvula to anyone.

I stand there in the doorway, searching my brain for “uvula.” I quickly zero in on my sparse knowledge of anatomy. Vulva, labia? No, wrong end. Vocal cords? Nope. Then bam! Uvula, yes, got it. It’s that little drop of flesh hanging from the back of the throat. Thank you fourth grade anatomy unit!

Meanwhile, Ruby can’t stop saying “uvula.” It’s so true that sometimes the strangest words are such a delight to say over and over again. You can’t help yourself. You just want to roll them around in your mouth, touch them with your tongue and tumble them out into the world

“Say it mom! C’mon, say it,” Ruby urges.

I want to say it so badly, but I hesitate. I’m supposed to be getting these girls to bed so they can get a decent night’s sleep and I can have some coveted alone time.

Screw it.

“Uvula,” I say loud and clear. Hilarity breaches whatever wall of parenting decorum I’ve been trying to uphold and we are all hysterically laughing in that way you do when it’s well past bedtime and you’re supposed to be sleeping, but you can’t because you’re too busy wiggling your uvula.

I’m participating in the 2014 A to Z Challenge during the month of April using the very broad theme of LOVE to carry me through the alphabet. Check out writing by other bloggers taking on the #atozchallenge at @AprilA2Z.