disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Friday, October 10, 2014

no interest in pinterest

I kept hearing about Pinterest and decided to finally pay it a visit. I revelled in horror upon seeing it and vowed to never be a Pinterest mom. I just couldn't spend two hours and twenty bucks to make a sensory table that my kids would destroy in one minute flat, leaving me with sand and rice grains in strange places for the next decade. I just could not make sense of color coordinated popsicle stick snowmen bathroom candle votives or whatever. C'mon people, is this "home maker" thing a competition? Screw that! So what if I only sent a dozen pre-made 99 Cent Store cards to pre-school when all others sent handmade sparkly finger puppet cards with attached lollipop cupid's arrows or whatever. I didn't need to create and micromanage every childhood experience according to some website. I did not need to post my crafts on tumblr and instagram for the entire world to see how awesome of a homemaker I was.

And then....as my boys discussed penises and farts while my mom told me she was a non-traditional mother, after my grandma could not even comprehend why I had a (somewhat) clean house and planned dinner in the making....I logged onto Pinterest and made a quick pumpkin craft.

I can never get my spit together to be a mom who makes 3 exotic, never from a box, meals a day, who has a daily schedule with craft time and learning time, a seasonally hand crafted and decorated home mirroring Good Housekeeping meets Architectural Digest. Aint gonna happen.

But my kids deserve something. I won't have to send my kids to other's homes to experience a real Thanksgiving or Easter. They will see fireworks every July, and help put cheesy themed clingies on the window and help make a Holiday centerpiece. We will attend church and social functions, hang Christmas lights,  have 3 meals a day (boxed mac and cheese counts, right?). We will do a craft or Pinterest activity a week, and my home will attempt to look more clean than, say, a Hoarders episode. I won't let addiction take me over, and will do my damndest to not let depression make me into an empty shell of a mother.

 I will flounder and fail and rise again. I will never be like my best friend, a mother I dream to be. I will never quite grasp mother/home maker one-upping, and Pinterest still makes me feel like pile of crap because I don't make bunny-shaped organic cauliflower buns or whatever and...sigh...we do sometimes eat crappy fast food and leave the television on too long, the antithesis of Pinterest. I am a product of generations of neglect, and have to dig down deep and learn everything new, but it will show. And my no-sew pumpkins and soon-to-be-cooked bratwurst and kraut dinner will be proof that I am trying. I am trying to battle the Pinterest vs neglect demons and come out on top.

Friday, October 3, 2014

this is why i don't do disaster recovery

My paternal grandma, Nanny, is a sweet 94 year old British lady who still serves tea at four o'clock. Except not today. We went to visit her today and she sat in her chair, frail and papery, her eyes milky and dull. She stuttered out a scratchy mumble of words that sounded like a raven's caw and sandpaper. She clawed for a tissue and clutched her stomach with as much poise as could be mustered. "I am a bit nauseous, I don't feel well" she rattled. My uncle grabbed her a pan (in case she needed to vomit) and she clutched it and shook her head, sighing. She had not eaten all day and refused to let more than water grace her lips, a small and mostly full glass sat next to her as it had all morning.

My mom started to tear up, offering a warm beer to my Uncle (a former alcoholic). He declined and she silently served up some rice to my son. Nanny refused the rice, her hand shook and she had to make an effort to say, "I love you but no food" to my mother.

My mom pulled me aside, not a religious one (unlike my staunch Catholic nanny) and mumbled something about me telling her the angels were here for her. I blew it off as too morbid, but as my uncle was finally able to convince her to go take a nap, and she could not even get to standing, I knew it could be the last time I would see her. A certain urgency and silence hung in the air. Shit, I have never seen anyone close to death before. Especially not this close. mother.

My grandpa decided right then to call the doctor, but at 96 he is a bit senile and quite deaf. He was getting nowhere. I wanted to help, but had two small children to chase after in a home full of glass figurines, family too distraught to watch them. My cousin's wife stepped in, and I guided her through things since my Nanny and I go to the same hospital. As usual, they did not have any appointments for the next month and wanted to funnel a dying woman through the hours-long urgent care process. I helped demand a PA or RN, and they magically found an appointment tomorrow morning, praise God. If there is a tomorrow morning. I helped provide medication informations and birthdates and breathed a sigh of relief. mother.

Nanny was finally convinced she needed rest, after grabbing frantically at her shirt and trying desperately to say something but uttering only a breathy rattle. mother.

Shit. She was going to bed. I had to say my gooodbyes, but you know, without saying goodbye, here come the angels, and all that. I grabbed her hand, feather light and neither hot or cold...unreal, really, and held it. "Remember I got you a cross from the Vatican?" And she weakly fidgeted where a necklace would be. Crap. How is this a help? "Well, we go to church now. The boys, too. They know Jesus." Crap. Where am I going with this? How is this helping? How is this closure? "I am praying for your health. Angels." I pause. Shit. My mom kept mentioning them in my ear and here I had had verbal angel diarrhea. I sent a quick prayer to God, silently in my head. Then I worried because I thought a curse word and thought angels were a dumb thing to say. Was that blasphemy? I trudged on. "Jesus's warmth is hugging you. Umm..because...I pray for you to feel better. The angels...umm...my kids have them. We all have angels. And Jesus." I am sweating. My nanny smiles and I wonder if she can even hear or understand what I am saying, especially cause my verbal diarrhea is confusing even me, and I am feeling guilty about associating angels with diarrhea. Then I think about how angel diarrrhea would be like diamonds or something and shit! Last words to your nanny! C'mon! Wait is she smiling because I am making a complete idiot of myself? mother.

I dug a whole and have to gracefully pull myself out. "Right, Josh?" I say, pulling at my toddler. "You like baby Jesus right? Baby Jesus?" And my uncle interrupts me and gently takes her hand. "Let us take you to bed" he says, and I stand and move to the side, secretly letting a tear slide down my cheek. mother.

This is why I don't do disaster recovery. I suck under pressure and death is far too foreign to me. mother.

postscript, as of early Friday morning upon finishing this post, she has been admitted to the emergency room, no further details. I hope that whenever she passes, be it today or years from now, that she goes without pain, only peace and a smile on her face. I wish I had got to know her better, we really only developed a bond in the past few years, as some senility set in, so I never really got to know her. But at least I knew her and know her and love her.