A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Quit staring at my shuttlecock, ya perv.

Well, it’s Spring Break in these parts, and we’re staycationing this year…again. Spring Break travel requires much more advanced planning than I am ever able to successfully do, so here we are.

Home sweet…holy shit, is there a wasps’ nest in our new screened porch? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of having a screened porch? Awesome.  

But we’ve already made it halfway through the week without major incident, which is pretty good for us.

Perhaps you’ll recall the Spring Break three years ago when my dog Ike was brutally assaulted in our front yard by a courier carrying a concealed weapon and then spent 10 days in the hole for defending himself and his family? Don’t worry, we had his record expunged (the dog, not the psycho courier).


Or two years ago when Alicia Silverstone was all over the news for feeding her infant pre-chewed food from her own mouth and inspired my family to make a parody video?

Or last year when I snapped and made my children do a prison-crew-style roadside trash detail. Ah, memories.

What we did on our spring break via The Bearded Iris and In The Powder Room

But this year so far, knock on wood, has been pretty fun and uneventful.

My husband, aka The Gatekeeper, with his ginormous prefrontal cortex, made us all do some goal planning for the week. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this before, but he makes us do this every time we are out of our routine, like summer and holidays. I used to hate it—I’m too impulsive and “creative” to think like that. But I’m starting to see the value in setting goals and thinking ahead for more than just What’s my next meal and what’s on TV tonight? 

One of my goals for this week is to exercise five times. That’s a tall order for a slug like me.

Luckily, The Gatekeeper bought and set up a new volleyball and badminton net last weekend.

Oh yes, we’re that family now.

And guys? I have to admit…it’s pretty fun.

First of all, learning new things is really good for you.

Secondly, chasing balls and shuttlecocks all over your yard with a racquet is great cardio vascular exercise.

Thirdly, making inappropriate jokes about balls and shuttlecocks leads to uncontrollable belly laughs which stimulates your brain AND your core.

Hey, whoever named it a shuttlecock totally had it coming. I mean really. I can’t help it. I just can’t. Plus, if you have two of them? Come on. They totally look like super pointy boobs, right?

Listen, this is actually a step up for me. I’ve been calling it “bad mitten” for 44 years. I had no idea it was actually badminton. Then again, it was only last year I learned that February has two Rs. (Sweet Jesus, I’m turning into my mother.)

Anyhooo, alls I’m sayin’ is, I play badminton now. I’m a badminton player. Okay, fine, I have yet to participate in one full successful rally back and forth over the net, but by gum, I’m going to get there. They’re called goals, m’kay. 

Also, apparently my knees look like “there are two babies being held hostage under my skin,” according to my ever-complimentary children. (Yes, Mom, I know…the chickens have come home to roost.) So, I’ve got that going for me.

OMG my knees look like babies via The Bearded Iris

“Mom, your knees look like you’re holding two babies hostage under your skin.”

I’ll have you know, distracting my opponents with my Knee Babies is an excellent strategy. I might have to branch out and apply this technique elsewhere in my life.

Consider yourself warned.

Would you like to see more of my family’s daily antics? Please follow us on Instagram for more moments like this:

Bucket Head on Instagram via The Bearded Iris



  1. Kim at Let Me Start By Saying

    I am cry-laughing like a fool, and will never un-see your baby face knees.

    • The Bearded Iris

      And you are welcome! I’ll let you meet the babies in person next week at EBWW. Get psyched!

      • Kristin Shaw

        Oooh, I’ll get to see both of you AND your baby-hidin’ knees!

  2. Leighann

    BWAHAHAHA… awesome! I had forgotten that they were called shuttlecocks. That makes me want to play bad mitten even more!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Who knew a light-weight racquet sport could be so dirty?

  3. JD @ Honest Mom

    Only you could make “giant prefrontal cortex” sound dirty.

    And hey – our kids both have jack-o-lantern smiles! My 8yo is missing her two front teeth and lisping like a champ.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Isn’t that the cutest thing? I cannot get enough of Bucket Head’s toothlessness.

      Wow – I really didn’t intend to be dirty with that PFC line (because I was going for the dirty later with the whole shuttlecock thing), but you’re right…it’s kinda my thang.

  4. Famous SpokesGoat Pricilla

    Pssst – I will maaaa you a secret. The publicist’s knees are carrying twins.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Photo proof please or I won’t believe her.

  5. Rachel

    Leslie, my goal of Spring Break is to use the compliment “I think you’re the baby’s knees” as much as possible! 😀

    • The Bearded Iris

      YES! I love it! Baby’s knees really are pretty cute. Baby’s faces ON middle-aged women’s knees…probably a little more freakish than cute, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

  6. Liz

    Wow, your knees really do have faces in them. Maybe if you work up a good enough sweat playing w/ your shuttlecocks you can claim that you have the baby Jesus crying in your knee and sell tickets to religious and/or sports enthusiasts.

    • The Bearded Iris

      I like your thinking Liz.

  7. lisa thomson-The Great Escape...

    Thanks for the laugh, Leslie! You had me at ‘ginormous prefrontal cortex’ not to be confused with ‘vortex’. Shuttlecock and ginormous were just too close together…Happy Spring Break!

  8. L. Hewitt

    They do! and Shuttlecocks! preveliciousness everywhere. I wonder what will show up in your google search stat things? Happy Spring Staycation! I have some extra pollen should you need some.

  9. Anne @MidlifeBlvd

    You’re the only person for whom “the twins” means her knees.

  10. julie gardner

    Oh my god, I married a man with a giant prefrontal cortex, too.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time.

  11. Menopausal Mother

    Knee Babies? O.M.G. Well…..I have a chin baby……does that make you feel any better?

  12. Kate Hall

    OMG, it does look like little babies under your skin – like one of those 3D ultrasounds. That’s a sweet party trick. And until this post, I thought it was bad mitten (spelled badmiton) too. I don’t think I’ve ever typed the word out before, so it could be auto-corrected.

  13. Julie

    Badminton–what a great idea! I generally despise all forms of exercise (including those disguised as “sports” or “games”), but playing with a shuttlecock may be just what the doctor ordered!

  14. Foxy Wine Pocket

    What?! It’s not “bad mitten?!” That simple fact blew my mind… until I saw the freakish babies in your knees. You need to put a smile on their faces with a marker before you post those again.

  15. Allie

    Oh the knees, they show our age. How long before plastic surgeons figure out away to fix that!? Who knows, maybe they have already. We have a badminton/volley ball net too, they gave it to me last year for Mother’s Day. I concur…exhausting (embarrassingly so).

  16. Roxanne

    I’m an editor and I still always want to type it badmitton. So there’s that.

  17. Mary Anne

    You’d better gets those knees lipo’ed before our trip–you never know who we could meet on that airplane…

  18. Andrea

    Gasping with laughter, I read this to my daughter and showed her the picture of your knees. Her response?

    “Yeah. They totally do.”

    Kids are cruel.

  19. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    I love your spring break posts. These stories are the perfect examples of why this is the first blog I fell in love with.
    The knees are cracking me up. It must be in the air. My knee was injured, BUT that didn’t stop the fruit of my loins from dishing out: “Your knee looks like one of those really ugly bald Cabbage Patch Kids. You know?” Yes, I know. Then my youngest ran and got a pair of googly eyes to stick on it. Should this be where I start to humble brag about how my kids are creative geniuses? 🙂 Ellen

  20. A Pleasant House

    I can totally see the babies- one a little boy, the other a girl. So cute.

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