A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: parenting (Page 2 of 9)

Lice to meet you!

They say God never gives us more than we can handle.

And I truly believe that.

Which is why I am not the least bit surprised that I had 13.5 years of motherhood under my belt before head lice was dropped into my lap.

Literally.

That’s right y’all, one of my chil’ren recently had the cooties. And I made this incredible discovery while he or she was snuggled up to me with his or her head on my lap.

(NOTE: I do know the gender of my child. I’m just trying to protect his or her privacy.)

Are you itching yet?

Don’t.

It honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Frankly, I’m feeling like Mother of the Year over here because I battled these beasties and I PREVAILED.

But I suppose I should start at the beginning…

Discovering Head Lice

A few weeks ago, one of my kids was scratching his or her head like he or she had just worn a poison ivy bonnet in the Easter Parade.

“Quit scratching! People will think you have mange,” I chided.

“I can’t help it mom! It’s SO. ITCHY!”

“Oh Cheesus Crust. Did you stick your head in a fire ant hill again?”

“Really Mom! It hurts. Will you look at it?”

“OMG. (rolling eyes) Please don’t have lice. We already don’t get invited anywhere.

I looked, but didn’t see anything suspicious. So just to be on the safe side, I advised my child to covertly swing by the school nurse’s office the next day and ask for a lice check.

“The nurse said it’s just dandruff,” was the report I got the next day.

PHEW. I felt totally relieved and proud of myself for seeking a professional opinion.

“OH THANK GOD!” I said. “Because head lice? Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.”

Aint nobody got time for headlice at The Bearded Iris

But lo and behold, even after a deep moisturizing treatment, the next day was more of the same: itchy itch, scratchy scratch.

My baby was still in total agony, “Mom—my hair actually hurts. It feels like I have bruises on my head. Are you sure it’s not lice?”

photo courtesy of the CDC/Dr. Dennis D. Juranek

photo courtesy of the CDC

We were sitting on a park bench in the bright sunshine at the time, with my baby’s sore head resting on my Levi’s. There, in the sun, with my hand gently stroking my child’s shiny locks, I started to notice numerous teeny-weeny cream-colored oblong specks on individual hair shafts. They were about the size of strawberry seeds. I’m talking TINY. And stuck. Stuck like glue.

Huh,” I thought. “That can’t be dandruff. Dandruff would flake off.”

(And I was right! Here’s a great “dandruff vs. nits” article and photo gallery if you need help.)

So I asked, “Have you been playing in a sandbox at school? There are tiny little grains of sand or dirt or something stuck to some of your hair.”

“No. There isn’t any sand at school.”

“Weird,” I said aloud, and then to myself: OMG! Is this what lice eggs look like?

The second we got home from the park, I started to Google things like “What does lice look like?” and “pics of lice eggs” and “are lice and crabs the same thing?” and “can lice crawl through denim and granny panties?” (No, they like to stay on heads, thank God.)

One thing lead to another and the next thing I knew I had my dog’s flea comb in hand, trolling for live bugs…on my child…the precious, itchy, fruit of my loins.

And sure enough…with the help of that thar flea comb and The Google, my suspicions were confirmed.

IT WAS LICE!

Oh Holy Mother of God. There were teeny tiny micro lobsters of doom crawling on my sweet baby’s scalp.

(In defense of my school nurse, it was a pretty mild infestation, but still. Damn.)

Listen. I read the fine print and I knew motherhood was going to be gross when I signed up. I was fully aware there would be ear cleaning and toenail clipping and epic diaper blowouts. I’ve been puked on, peed on, sneezed on… in the mouth. I’ve scraped vomit off a popcorn ceiling. I’ve nursed my various children through a circumcision revision, “mega colon,” two bouts of ring worm, and a festering puncture wound. And I have a magnifying mirror that makes my upper lip look like an angry poisonous centipede; so believe me when I tell you, I know gross. But discovering a lice infestation on a child who just had their head in my lap? The word repulsed doesn’t even scratch the surface for how I was feeling.

I immediately recalled the time we invited some friends over for dinner and they had to cancel because the whole family had gotten lice and was stuck at home with shower caps full of mayo on their heads.

Oh God. This could be bad.

Panic started to set in.

What if we ALL had it?

Couldn’t. Stop. Itching!

Well, if you’ve got to eat a louse, may as well quit staring at it and dig in, right? (Or something like that.)

Suddenly, my fears abated and I knew with a singleness of purpose I haven’t experienced since the night before tax day that I and I alone could save my child and the rest of my family from this pestilence.

Aaaaand, that’s all we have time for today my pretties. Tune in next time to find out how I rid my child of lice, strengthened our relationship, and discovered a hidden talent!

May your weekend be filled with love, laughter, and no lice.

Yours truly,
Leslie

I’ve been crappified

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may already know that I had the incredible honor of having one of my posts illustrated last Friday by Amber Dusick of the wildly popular blog, Parenting. Illustrated with Crappy Pictures™.

Sorry if this is old news to some of you, but I want to post about it because lots of my readers are NOT social media mavens. (Hi Mom! Hi Jenny’s Grandparents Frank & Fran—Happy Anniversary! Hi Tracy’s Grandpa! ::fist bump::)

Amber applied her wonderfully “crappy” illustration style to an old story I wrote about me and Mini-Me when she was going through an interesting phase several years ago.

And girlfriend nailed it.

The Bearded Iris as illustrated by Amber Dusick

Seriously. How freaking adorable is that? I may need to change all my avatars now.

It’s funny, when Amber asked me which post I’d like her to illustrate, I knew right away which one I thought would be a great fit. It was one of my most memorable posts from 2008, so I thought it would be a great way to revive an oldie but goodie and introduce it to new readers. When I mentioned it, Amber said:

 “…that one would be perfect!!! Lots of conversation that I can pull from for speech bubbles.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

You’ll have to go to Amber’s blog to see the whole thing, but based on a vast majority of the comments, we picked a winner, and Amber’s hilarious illustrations are the perfect icing on the (very sticky) cake! Please go show Amber some love for choosing little ol’ foul-mouthed me to showcase to her vajillions of dedicated readers.

Without any further ado, I present Sticky Situation, now Illustrated with Crappy Pictures.

 

An open letter to Honey Boo Boo’s Mama

honey boo boo and mama june on anderson cooper

“Those other girls must be crazy if they think they can beat me, Honey Boo Boo Child.”

Dear June,

Like many Americans, I’ve been tuning in each week to follow your family’s adventures on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and discover interesting things like how to bob for pigs’ feet, harvest road kill, and make a homemade Slip-N-Slide with an old tarp, a hose, and a bottle of Baby Oil.

To be honest, I started watching for sport, because as a humor writer, it’s kind of my job. And after all the negative press I’d been reading, I was expecting to see quite the train wreck. Who doesn’t like watching that?

But instead, I’ve come to see you as a kindred mother who adores her family and enjoys spending time with them.

Sure, we are different in some ways. For instance, I have a boring (but creative) old dog for a pet instead of a cross-dressing teacup piggy; and I’ve never spray tanned my daughter or had her fitted for pageant teeth. But you and I are more alike than we are different, I reckon.

We both live in Georgia, love to goof around with our kids, and think farts are funny.

We both have a jacked-up toe that we keep under wraps except for shock value. Yours is the result of a forklift accident. Mine came from a surprise middle-of-the-night encounter with one of my kids’ toys.

We both have a treasured family recipe for spaghetti (or “sketti”) sauce that includes at least one tomato-based product.

We’re both raising our daughters to know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

We also both embrace our gay friends/relatives and are teaching our kids to be compassionate and loving toward all people.

We both refer to our vaginas as funny things like “biscuit” and make up words like “vajiggle jaggle” and “vajibblets” and “vajewelry box.” (Maybe in keeping with that theme you could teach your girls to not let boys butter their biscuits without protection.)

On family game night, your family plays “Guess Whose Breath;” my kids play an even grosser version.

I love how your kids know that people usually “oooh on themselves” during childbirth. I wish someone had taken the time to explain that to me 13 years ago!

June, I was honestly thrilled to learn that your show has been renewed for another season. I hope they pay you enough to get your kitchen sink fixed and then some.

I also wanted you to know that I feel really bad about tweeting that your new granddaughter Kaitlyn is “all thumbs” after seeing that she was born with an extra digit. That was mean. I am humbled by the way you used Kaitlyn’s third thumb to teach your kids that we’re all special in our own way. Amen, sister. I think Alana put it best when she said “I wish I had an extra finger, then I could grab more cheese balls.” I’ll raise a toast of Go-Go Juice to that!

Looking forward to season 2!

Sincerely,
Leslie Marinelli
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Originally published In the Powder Room

Does your child’s teacher not like you?

If you’re me, the answer is most assuredly “yes.”

I’ve managed to clock a new world record in making my child’s teacher loathe me faster than ever before.

And I think I may have finally figured out why.*

 

 

*Y’all, for the love of God, that is not a real text. I used my iPhone and my husband’s iPhone to make that shit up. You can breathe now. 

 

Three Parenting Things I’m Doing Right

I don’t usually see myself as a parenting expert. I am one of those people who, for whatever reason, will do nine things right and one thing wrong, and I’ll stew over that one wrong thing for-EV-er. It drives my poor husband right up the wall. He sure wishes I’d give myself more credit and not be so damn hard on myself all the time.

So today for Just the Tip Tuesday, I want to tell you about three parenting things that I’ve done right lately. Maybe it will strike a chord. I hope so.

For starters, I recently taught my sweet daughter Mini-Me how to disassemble the bathroom faucets and scrub the hell out of them.

That may sound like child abuse, but I assure you, she loved it. See?

 

Our bathroom faucet knobs had been grossing me out for a while…they were all moldy on the inside and I couldn’t figure out how to take them off and clean them. So on Saturday when the whole family was working on our chores, I took Mini-Me into the bathroom with me to see if we could figure it out together.

And we did.

The key was, I let HER do the fun part with the screwdriver. She’s only nine and that girl already knows “righty-tighty/lefty loosey,” how not to strip a screw, and how to make a faucet shine like new. I’m pretty proud of that.

I grew up with a single mother. I learned how to clean and fix stuff when I was a kid, partly because I was a curious child who enjoyed solving problems, but also because we couldn’t always afford new things or a repairperson every time something broke. As a result, I grew up to be a very handy and independent woman. I want that for my daughter too. 

Which brings me to the next thing on my list of good parenting. My husband and I recently noticed Mini-Me complaining a lot (and no, not about her chores). We’d all be on a walk with the dog after dinner and I’d say, “Oh, see those lights on that house? I like those. They’re pretty.” (Meaning: someday when we get new lights, let’s get some like that.) And my daughter would immediately follow that with “I wish we had nice porch lights. Our porch lights are so ugly. Our whole porch needs a makeover!” Frankly, I couldn’t agree with her more, but I didn’t like how it sounded coming out of her mouth. So negative!

The next night after we said grace at the dinner table, we started having everyone say a few things for which they felt thankful. It was actually my husband’s idea, but we’ve been enforcing it as a family, so I’m counting that as good parenting on my part too.

I cannot even begin to tell you what a difference it is making in our attitudes. Instead of complaining all the time about what we don’t have, we are all finding so many blessings in our lives. And sharing it aloud at the table is like keeping a gratitude journal times five!

It’s gotten to the point where the kids just start sharing what they’re thankful for, sometimes even when we’re not at the dinner table. Makes me tear up a little just thinking about it. Bucket Head even took a pair of Spiderman underwear off yesterday and said, “These are too small. Let’s find a little poor child we can give them to.” (Don’t worry…I’ll wash them first.)

And speaking of sharing our blessings, look what Mini-Me did last week:

That’s right, girlfriend had 12 inches of hair cut and bagged to donate to children who need wigs. We have several friends who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments or Alopecia and my sweet Mini-Me wanted to help them somehow.

As her mother, I humbly take some of the credit for her generous act because I did the same thing with ten inches of my own hair this past April.

Our children may not hear a single word we say some days, but by golly, they sure are watching what we do. 

(Thank God she didn’t see me smoke that bag of hair in my homemade potato bong later that night.)

Kidding!

I kid!

You know I don’t smoke…hair.

I know I joke a lot about how my kids are raising themselves and that they are thriving in spite of me, but when I sit down and really take stock of the things I am doing right, I should probably give myself a little pat on the back now and then.

My children are amazing. They are generous, grateful, and capable, among other things. I must be doing something right at least some of the time.

How about you? What are you doing right that is rubbing off on your family? Please share your parenting gems so we can celebrate together.

Yours truly,
Leslie

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