She’s Practically a Dinosaur

posted by Momo Fali on November 16, 2008

One of our nieces gave birth to her first child today, and another niece had a baby a couple of weeks ago. Aside from reminding me that I am old enough to be a great-aunt, these brand new babies bring back memories of when my children were newborns.

You know? Those times when I got no sleep. Those times when I walked around with circles of milk on the front of my shirt, spit-up on my shoulder, and my hair unwashed most of the time. Ah…good times, good times.

When my son was born, my daughter attended a preschool where dismissal was a nightmare. Crowds of moms, kids, strollers, and toddlers, all confined in a five foot wide hallway. The only nice thing, was that there was literally no room for small talk. I felt safe picking up my daughter looking unkempt.

But one day when I arrived without make-up, in my husband’s sweatpants, an over-sized sweatshirt, and a hat to hide my greasy head, all the moms in that hallway turned to greet me with uproarious laughter.

I looked bad, but I didn’t look that bad. I quickly peeked down to see if I had bodily fluids on my shirt, but realized I was all clean. Baggy maybe, but not dirty. Though I certainly wasn’t in any condition for “all eyes on me”.

As I approached the door to the classroom, I found out why I was so popular. The roughly 60 year-old teacher had taped up a piece of paper with, “How old is Mrs. H?” printed on top. Underneath, there was a list of the kids’ names and their best guess at their teacher’s age.

Most kids guessed 40, some 50, and one even guessed 92.

But, my daughter? Well, she apparently didn’t care what I looked like, or whether she would draw attention to her frumpy mom, when she said her teacher was 100,000 years old.

Oprah Cliffs Notes VI

posted by Momo Fali on November 12, 2008

On today’s Oprah, Dr. Oz stopped by to discuss his new book, You: Being Beautiful.

Dr. Oz brought along Harvard-educated dermatologist, Dr. Susan Evans. Who also happens to be the most beautiful woman in the world.

Dr. Evans pulled women from the audience, who were concerned about wrinkles, sun spots and adult acne. None of them wore make-up so that Dr. Evans could put their faces inside the Visia Skin Analysis machine, which shows underlying skin problems. Way underlying. Here’s where Dr. Oz tells a woman how beautiful she is, as the deep damage to her skin is shown on a 20 foot wide screen in the background. I’m sure she felt lovely.

This is Geri’s foot. Geri has a fungal infection, which Dr. Oz says is easily cured with a pill. The only problem with that? The pill can cause liver failure. Hmmm…pretty toes or liver failure? Seems to be a toss up. Dr. Oz suggests to skip the pill and to instead soak the fungal feet in vinegar. Because feet that smell like vinegar are much more pleasant to be around.

Here Dr. Oz explains cellulite, which he says is incurable. This is just what I wanted to hear, exactly not at all. Then Dr. Oz showed the audience the expanse of my rear end.

In a nutshell, Dr. Oz wants us to know that what’s on the outside is evidence of what’s on the inside. In which case, I apparently resemble a Butterfinger.

A Plague Upon This House

posted by Momo Fali on November 11, 2008

This is a glimpse of how a family manages to get through a bout of the plague. I highly recommend keeping these suggestions in a mental file.

Here is said family’s recycle bin. Note how Mom and Dad deal with stress by drinking cheap beer and large quantities of wine. Oh, and see the Mueslix box? That’s what happens when you haven’t been to the store in over a week and want to make Magic Wheaties Meatloaf, but after you’ve started mixing ingredients together you realize there isn’t a Wheatie to be found.

If your substitute choices are Kix or Mueslix, go with the Mueslix. It’s a good alternative, but you will have to take some time to pick out the raisins.

This is what happens when a six year old plague victim gets tired of playing with his Matchbox cars. He makes stick figures out of the track. Don’t be alarmed when he tears it apart limb from limb.

These are bath toys, and because Mom’s tend to make plague victims bathe a lot, these toys get frequent attention. If the victim happens to name them…oh say, Jessie, Jessley, and Jorley. I highly suggest knowing those names, which one is which, and be able to make up some great stories about the three of them on the spot. Because a soaking-wet, tired, rash-covered, feverish, projectile pooping kid tends to be a little sensitive.

Get used to running out of clean clothes. It’s okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending your daughter to bed with plaid pajama bottoms and a camouflage top, and putting your son down for the night in fire engine pants and a green, dinosaur shirt. No one can tell they don’t match in the dark.

And finally, about that laundry…if you wear a zip-up sweatshirt to pick up your daughter at school, and you don’t have a clean shirt to wear under it, make sure the plague victim you’re holding doesn’t pull your zipper down. Just sayin’.

What I Wouldn’t Do

posted by Momo Fali on November 9, 2008

There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my children. This giving of myself started when I was pregnant. I gave up my energy, my sleeping habits, and my waistline to the child inside me. I also gave up quite a bit of my stomach contents.

Once my kids were born, I surrendered even more sleep and I turned over my cracked and bleeding breasts to an electric pump. My preemies had this cute thing they did called not latching on, which left me tethered to an electrical outlet for the better part of their infancies.

Parents stay up all night with sick children. They miss important meetings at work so they can make it to recitals. They don’t see their favorite band in concert because they’ll be chaperoning an out of town field trip. And the best of the best give up entire summers to coach Little League teams. Isn’t that right, honey?

All parents give of themselves, but because of my son’s health problems there have been times I needed to give a little more than I felt comfortable.

There was the time I slapped on a lead apron so I could hold him still during a CT scan. The doctor had wanted to sedate him, but I knew I could keep him calm…by singing I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. I kind of forgot there would be a technician running the scanner. Poor lady.

There were the times my boy went into sensory overload at the dentist and I had to lie strategically in the chair with him on top of me, just so he would open his mouth.

And, I’ll never forget doing a song and dance routine in the middle of the hospital’s lab, so the phlebotomist could get get a blood draw. I bet the phlebotomist will never forget it either.

But there are also times as parents, when we just can’t give enough.

Yesterday, in the midst of his nagging, mysterious illness, my son looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Mommy, you have to make me better.”

At which point, I just went ahead and gave him the only thing I could. I sacrificed my heart and let it break into a million pieces.