Do Not Underestimate a Determined Mother.

I need a pedicure.  Desperately.  And tomorrow I’m going to the beach.  So there will be toe nail polish.  Oh, and this is something that I don’t do for myself.  This is something I like to contract out.  Yeah, I need this pedicure and I will have it.  Do not underestimate a determined mother.

I sort of act as den mother for my condo association.  Which sucks for them, as lordy, I can barely manage my own life, let alone the residential matters of five other units.  But here I am.  Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest mother in the place.  Maybe it’s my sparkling wit and charm.  Yeah, probably not that.  Who knows? 

In September 2009, a month before my daughter died, my condo initiated almost $20K of tuckpointing work.  I wrangled five units to both agree to a contractor and cough up the dough to pay for the work.  A month before my daughter died.  Kind of sucks, no?  We had been prattling on about the need for the work and quibbling about contractors and estimates for over a year.  But when push comes to shove, I got it done.  The same needs to happen today.

I learned yesterday that the City was threatening to turn off the water to our condo.  Why?  Because the sink hole at our front curb, the same freaking sink hole I’ve been calling the City about for fourteen months.  Sigh.  City tells me they’ve been communicating that the problem is ours for over six weeks, but with no response.  Seriously, people? 

When push comes to shove, I will handle this too.  From the beach with my toes freshly painted?  Why?  Because I am a determined mother.  Apparently, I am a determined den mother as well. 



So Independent. So Smart. So Freaking Helpless.

This is a confessional, ladies, so prepare yourselves for some shameful admissions. 

I am a smart cookie.  I know my way around a book.  I have opinions about important things that I share freely.  I love to debate and I can support my arguments with the best of them.  I am tough as nails.  I’ve buried a child and still manage to put lipstick on in the morning.  Really, what more can I say than that that demonstrates my mettle? 

But despite all of these credentials, I am still a total wife.  Circa 1958 wife.  Stand behind your man kind of wife.  Sigh.  I don’t mean to be, but I am.  I rely on my husband to change the lightbulbs, solve all my computer problems, and pay the bills.  I don’t know nearly enough about our finances and today I am in panic mode.  Today, ladies, I have to fly through Atlanta airport.  Alone.  Good Lord that makes me anxious.

You see what I mean about a confessional?  It shames me that I can describe myself as I did above and still, despite the aforementioned mettle, I can be whimpering on the inside that somehow, all alone, I will need to navigate the ATL all by my lonesome this afternoon.  Betty Friedan, the same Betty Friedan that gave the commencement address at my alma mater, is rolling in her grave.  Gloria Steinham assertively requests that I no longer use the word feminist to describe myself.  My astute carpool mate wondered if that is why I wore my prettiest dress to travel in today – – to make it that much easier for strangers to help a gal out in the Big Bad Airport.

She’s not wrong, my carpool mate, and the irony that this dress is a modern version of a 1950s housewife at the market shirtdress, complete with nipped in waist and a-line skirt is so not lost on me.

Okay.  The recovering Catholic in me feels a bit better.  I got to suck it up.  Woman up, if you will.  I can do this.  I.  Can.  Do.  This.   

But, seriously, send up some prayers for me around dinnertime and send them down to ATL.  That includes you, Mr. Mary Tyler Mom, dear GPS of mine. 


When Mom is Sick. Cough. Sniffle. Repeat.

Mary Tyler Mom has seen better days, folks.  No joke.  I feel like hell.  This is day 11 of feeling like hell.  This hell, though, is better than last week’s hell where, technically speaking, I felt like I had moved to hell’s basement, was handed a shovel by Satan himself, and told to start digging. 

Last Friday, unable to stand it anymore, and with the loving support (and frustrated nudging) of Mr. Mary Tyler Mom, I dragged my a$$ to the local Walgreen’s to sit in line with all the other sickies.  To my great and grateful surprise I was diagnosed with acute sinusitis.  This called for antibiotics!  I had convinced myself it was allergies, or viral, or that I would just have to function in misery for the rest of my life, so the idea of a pill to make it all go away had me tearing up in front of a total stranger.  The gal advised me to take all my meds, as prescribed, and rest.  Ha!

Somehow, just as I had dragged by sorry self to the doc, I had been dragging my sorry a$$ to work all last week.  No doubt, making my Tenth Stage of the Khan rocket into those double digits.  When I last checked, it was, like, Fifty-Seventh Stage of the Khan.  That’s not good. 

I was grateful it was a Friday evening.  Mr. Mary Tyler Husband was home much of the weekend, so I could rest.  Because my man rocks.  Hard.  But not all men rock like my man, which got me thinking, what’s a mom to do when she moves to hell’s sub-basement?  Seriously, I know I have it easy.  I’ve got one two year old son.  A good one – – Mary Tyler Son takes after his Dad, so he rocks hard, too.  When I was alone with him, he would visit me on the couch, pat my head, and get back to his trains or dinosaurs.  He didn’t complain about eating cheerios with yogurt for breakfast and dinner.  He took daily three hour naps.  The dear let me watch HGTV once for a whole hour before asking for Diego.  Lordy, do I love Mary Tyler Son.

If I were feeling dangerous, I would have called in sick and taken care of my bad self while Mary Tyler Son went to his sitter.  But with two days off for jury duty and three days off for miscarriage in the last month, calling in sick didn’t strike me as wise.  Imma still new to my gig and when your boss doesn’t know you, when you haven’t built up the workplace equity, three prolonged absences within a month is a sure fire invitation for being seen as a troublemaker.  Nope, I like my gig, so I don’t want that. 

And that makes me wonder what the other moms do whe they’re sick.  Not headache sick, but Fifty-Seventh Stage of the Khan sick. I asked this on my facebook page and got a few responses, a third of which involved nothing.  Power through it.  Dang, that sucks.  Hats off to the moms who power through it.  I wish for you more understanding kids, bosses and husbands/domestic partners. 

For me, I do what I need to do, but not a damn thing more.  The dishes will keep.  The laundry will heap.  Scrambled eggs are a fine source of protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I do the bare minimum and crawl out of the hole when I feel better.  Which Imma do straight away.  As soon as I feel better.  I promise.  But tell me, what do you do when you’re sick?