Baby Girl (BG): MOM! MOM!! *click*
I quickly dial back, the phone goes to voicemail.
Don’t panic, don’t panic.
Me: Baby girl?
BG: MOM!! I fell, with the baby…*garbled, garbled*
Me: Is she hurt?
Me: Dammit…calm down a second, BG!! IS. SHE. HURT???
BG: No, she’s fine *screaming again, crying* I broke my fucking ankle!!!
Don’t panic, don’t panic, baby girl is home alone with her two babies and I’m over an hour away.
Me: Did you get a hold of your hubby?
BG: I called *screaming again* no…*sobbing*…answer
Me: Okay, let me see what I can do. Where are you? Where are the girls?
BG: *sobbing, hysterical*On the floor, in the hallway. I was getting out of the truck with baby in my arms and somehow I rolled over on my ankle and fell. I landed on my elbow and baby’s head was like an inch from the floor…OH. GOD.THE. PAIN!!!
Me: Alright, I’m going to try to find someone close by (her sister, brother, and sister-in-law are all within 20 minutes of her) you keep calling hubby.
::five minutes pass, I can’t get anyone and my phone rings::
Me: Baby girl? Did you get a hold of hubby?
BG: MOM!! HELP ME PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZ!!!
Shit, shit, shit…okay, think Mom…
Me: *looking at my boss who can hear BG screaming/crying on phone and looks genuinely alarmed* I’m on my way, you keep calling hubby. *boss nods and I grab my stuff and run out the door*
I called my hubby on the way to BG’s house.
Me: Hey, BG thinks she’s broken her ankle. She’s lying on the floor at her house and we can’t get a hold of anyone. I’m on my way out there now, but I’m like an hour away. *I look down at my speedometer..it reads ‘80’…I try not to think about that*
Hubby: What the fuck happened?
Me: I don’t really know, she’s hysterical. From what I gather, she fell getting out of the truck with the baby and somehow rolled her ankle in the process.
Me: I know, right? Can you call her?
Hubby: Me? Why?
Me: Because YOU are her Daddy, and you are always able to calm her down.
Hubby: Okay, but you keep me informed.
Me: Thank you, honey. I will.
I hang up the phone and for the next few minutes concentrate on driving like a madwoman through the Dallas traffic.
::phone rings – it’s BG’s husband::
Me: Where are you?
BG Hubby: I’m on my way home, be there in 15 minutes or so.
Me: Okay, I’m on my way there, too. I’ll watch the girls while you take BG to the hospital.
BG Hubby: Okay.
I hang up again and go back to NASCAR on the freeway.
::phone rings – it’s my daughter-in-law::
D-I-L: Hey, what’s going on? Everyone’s phone is blowing up.
I relay the events and ask d-i-l if she can come out to the house to watch the girls after she gets off work – she lives very close by. I can’t stay too late as I have to work the next day and we don’t know how long BG may be at the hospital.
D-I-L: Sure, no problem. I’ll see you around 6:00.
Me: Thank you!
I’m almost to BG’s house now and realize that a one-hour trip has taken me less than 40 minutes. I don’t even….sigh…thank you, God.
I walk in to find BG and her hubby in the bedroom. BG is on the floor, her ankle is roughly twice its normal size, but it looks to me to be more of a strain/sprain than break.
We carry her to the car and a couple of hours later she texts me the good news – no break, BUT severe strain to ligaments, possibly a tear but time will tell if she needs surgery. For now, it’s a boot, crutches, ice, and heavy-duty ibuprofen.
And that, dear readers, was how I spent my Monday….getting gray hair # 1,287.
What did you do?
Sometime during the years we had four teenagers in the house, the kids and I developed a unique method for communicating.
3 X 3 Post-it notes left on the kitchen table, morning, noon or night were just big enough for quick notes, pleas, questions, etc. between me and the strangers sharing our house and using all the damned towels.
Not exactly heartfelt, soul-searching types of communications you see in Lifetime movies, but we got our points across.
Until the day that my oldest daughter left this one on the table:
“Mom, where k-y?”
I must admit I had no idea how to respond to a request for K-Y from my then 17-yr. old daughter.
Of course, my first reaction (okay, second reaction – my first was why is she asking me this question) was to Google chastity belts – they still exist, I went against one of my own Internet rules here and actually asked Uncle Google about ‘chastity belts’, knowing there’s not a ready vat of brain bleach on the stove this morning ::shudders:: that’s how much I love you people – but quickly decided that was just a tad bit too Middle Ages even for me.
Instead I responded on my way to work that morning with:
And waited all day to find out the answer. Was my baby girl involved in some kind of kinky activity that I really didn’t want to know about…even though I had to? If so, did I really believe she’d leave me a long note about her new job as Busty McChesterson and how it was a vital tool of ‘the trade’, and didn’t we keep a supply and if not, why not?
The mind raced, back and forth, all day.
When I got home, I raced to the kitchen table to see if I’d gotten a reply.
I bought a bigger Post-It note pad the very next day.
My phone rang as I was busy doing absolutely nothing (and it was awesome) Sunday afternoon.
Baby Girl: Mom, what kind of snake is black and grey?
Me: Most of them,why?
BG: Well hubby just killed one, and we were wondering if it was poisonous.
Me: How big was it?
BG: Tiny, like less than a foot long.
Me: Did it have round eyes?
BG: (yelling to hubby) Did it have round eyes? He says he thinks so.
Me: Can you take a picture and send it to me?
BG: (giggling) Yeah, that’s not going to happen. Hubby pulverized it. I mean, it’s like in a half dozen pieces out there.
Me: Why the overkill?
BG: Hubby said it was following him down the sidewalk and chased him into the garage.
Me: (laughing at the image this conjured up) I highly doubt that. Anyway, it’s dead now but small black snakes are usually garter snakes and are harmless. Besides they’ll eat all those spiders and the mice you have out there.
BG: Well now I feel bad, and sad, and dammit hubby leave the snakes alone!
Me: Next time, only kill it if it’s in your house or has the triangular shape to its head, or you can hear and see the rattle.
BG: Great! Mice, spiders, snakes, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!!
Me: Who you gonna call?
That, that is why Baby Girl and I get along so well.
“…..well she kept saying it was her Virginia…”
“I know, sometimes the Pennsylvania gets squished.”
It was these and other random comments about states in the Eastern U.S. that made me wonder how my daughters got to be so interested in geography.
And how do you squish Pennsylvania or own Virginia?
It was then that I was told they were code words.
Yes, you’re thinking what I was thinking.
And, now it makes sense.
I can just see me now, going around to all the high schools and talking some real sense into those hormone-crazed boys and girls.
Here’s one of my visual aids, what do you think? Will it work?
I think I may have mentioned a time or ten about my upbringing by alcoholic wolves.
It wasn’t nearly so much fun as you might think, but on occasion it was funny.
Case in point was my parents’ bizarre rules.
I could stay out all hours of the night when barely a teen, but I couldn’t watch any movies rated “M”…or today they’d be rated “R” for fear I might see/hear ‘something’ that would influence me.
What did you think I was doing out with older kids, parental units? Hmmm?
Well, I wasn’t…but that’s because I was a very old soul and that’s because I was being raised by alcoholic wolves. And because I wasn’t going to become like them.
Which brings me to my confluence of funny/naïve for today.
I was a teenager when the movie “Alice’s Restaurant” was all the rage. Apparently, there’s a scene about some special brownies in that R-rated movie.
I never saw the movie, so I didn’t know about the brownie scene, and so I blame the wolves for my almost being carted off to jail one night.
A bunch of my friends and I were hanging out at another friend’s house. His mom was a real-life waitress and she worked late hours, so we had free run of the place. We were actually pretty good about not breaking shit and cleaning up after ourselves.
This particular family had three boys and a girl. The oldest boy was one of my best friends. We’d known each other since the third grade when he introduced himself by punching me in the stomach when I asked him how he got that shiner over his right eye – another story that’s (sigh) not funny.
Anyway, it was besties from then on. His sister and mine were the same age, so they were besties too.
This particular night was a warm summer evening with a star-filled sky, so we dragged the radio out to the front lawn of their townhome and proceeded to crank up the tunes and sing along.
Bestie’s sister and my sister decided to clean up the house for the mom while the rest of us were outside.
They also decided to bake some brownies.
Real, Duncan-Hines boxed brownies. Nothing special about them, but it was a special treat for us and we eagerly awaited them coming out of the oven.
While we waited, bestie’s next-door neighbor got fed up with our loud music and called the police. This kind of thing happened a lot as our townhome complex had originally been intended as a retirement community.
The police arrived on scene at the same time as the brownies.
My sister had handed me the plate when the officer stepped out of his patrol car.
“What are those?” he asked.
“Brownies” I said, my mouth full of chocolatey goodness.
“What kind of brownies?”
“They’re special brownies.” I replied, shoveling the last bit in my mouth.
“Yes, very special brownies.” I said, wondering why he kept asking about them and wondering if he wanted one, I asked, “Want one?”
He grabbed the plate filled with warm goodness from my hand and proceeded to tell me I was going to jail for possession.
“Of what? Brownies?” I asked as he sniffed the remaining goodies.
“Officer, I can explain.” It was my bestie coming to my defense. “She’s never seen that movie, sir, when she says special she means that my little sister baked them for us especially.”
The officer didn’t say anything, but went around to the back of his car.
It was then I noticed the “K-9” lettering on the side.
The magnificent German Shepherd that hopped out of the back seat was all business. He placed his nose on the platter the officer set in front of him….and proceeded to scarf a brownie before the officer could stop him.
Embarrassed, the officer quickly loaded the dog into the car, told us to keep the noise down and left.
My bestie had to explain the whole brownie-thing to me and the entire gang laughed themselves to tears over my almost-arrest.
We also had to throw away the rest of the brownies, which sucked.
Well played, alcoholic wolves. Well played, indeed.
I was five and Karl was six.
I knew he liked me because he would find daddy long-leg spiders, and dangling them in front of my face by one of their long legs, he’d chase me around the playground.
I thought he was the cat’s pajamas in Kindergarten.
He lived, with his parents, in the apartment next to ours. An apartment that until just before the end of the school year had housed my parents and me. Now, with summer approaching, it was just my mom and me.
Amidst the chaos that divorce brings Karl was a constant in my life.
All blue-eyed and blonde, he was the cutest boy I knew. Granted, at five I’d not known many and was beginning to show the lack of trust in the male of species that would dog me for many years.
We played on the apartment’s vast common areas, and swam in the pool all summer.
One night Karl kissed me on the cheek as we sat on the front stoop staring at the fireflies we’d managed to capture and put into Mason jars.
I was over the moon.
By August, I was certain Karl was the “one”. I knew we’d grow up, marry, and have a bunch of kids.
And, we’d never divorce.
It was not to be, though.
Just before school started, I heard Karl’s mom tell my mom that he and his family were going to move. When I asked her where they were going, she looked at me and said, “Ohio, honey.”
At five I had little grasp of geography, but I knew that I lived in Missouri so if they went to Ohio we’d be separated by a lot of miles. My globe confirmed my suspicions.
On moving day Karl and I stood silently, side by side, as we watched young men in uniforms load up an enormous truck with furniture and boxes, and his parents bringing suitcases and hanging clothes to load into the family’s station wagon.
When the last of their things was loaded into the car Karl got into the back seat. He hadn’t said a word to me, but as the car started up the hill he turned around and sadly waved goodbye.
That evening I sat on the stoop; the remnants of the day fading in the distance. It was so quiet, and I missed my friend.
Daydreaming, I imagined Karl as the white knight in my favorite fairy tale. I thought one day he’d come riding over the hill, and carry me off on his trusty steed.
Finally, it was completely dark and my mother called me inside. I stood up and climbed the stairs, looking back once to see if my fairy tale had come true.
I kept up my vigil for a few more nights, but eventually learned that sometimes endings are just that…endings, and I never saw Karl again.
And the crickets chirp amidst the crowd gathered.
On the other side of the glowy box, my readers – all three of you – are wondering what the hell I’m trying to say.
A text convo between me and my youngest daughter a/k/a baby girl:
Baby: I just got an upsexy!!
Me: What’s that?
Baby: Blargh!! You were supposed to ask “what’s upsexy?”, to which I would reply “nothin, what’s up with you?”
I’m a hep cat, I’m like totally rad, I’m like totally….lost.
You kids get off my lawn!
*walks back in house, grumbling about kids today*
A conversation with my TCD (technologically-challenged daughter).
She doesn’t know how to disable auto-correct on her iPhone.
I refuse to show her, because if I did you wouldn’t get to share in the hilarity.
I sent an e-mail to everyone about the upcoming Easter dinner at my house, and asking my daughters to bring a dish.
TCD: i will be bringing carrot people and ranch
Me: It’s a cookbook!