Archive of ‘Reality Bites’ category

The Ties That Bind.

This morning, my great aunt died. She was old, and sick, and had lived a very full life,  so it was not, in and of itself, a great tragedy.

But you know what is?

The fact that I never got to know her. And, because I didn’t know her all that well, can’t fully share in my mother’s grief. And she? Could use some comfort right now.

My mother loved my great aunt. Very much. But my grandmother (her sister) got angry with her over something. Maybe something trivial, maybe something big, no one remembers anymore.

But that anger turned into a grudge.  A grudge so strong that she refused to speak to her. A grudge so enormous that none of us were allowed to speak to her, either.

So my mom was cut off from the people she loved. She wasn’t able to include them in our family events as my brother and I grew up. I remember her only vaguely as a kinder, plumper version of my grandmother. Someone who laughed more frequently, and it seemed, forgave more easily.

And now she’s gone.

My grandmother can’t say she’s sorry, even if she wants to. She can’t get those years back. Can’t regain the love she threw away – the family she tossed aside.

It’s pretty damn stupid.

You only get one family, people. Some of us get good ones, some get shitty ones, but we all only get one.

One set of people that knows our history. Our neuroses. Our joys and half-forgotten pains.

One group that remembers when we still pooped our diapers, and who won’t hold it against us when we’re pooping our diapers again.

My grandmother? She’s 90. That’s pretty awesome.

But with every passing year, she alienates more and more people. Loses more and more friends.  Angers more and more family.

Soon, there won’t be anyone left.

What’s the point of living, if you don’t have anyone to love?

I hope I never find out. I wish no one ever did.

You only get one family. Make the most of it.

Proudly linking up with Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can’t Say today.



Mommy’s Intuition is Always Right

Warning: This post is about poop. Lots and lots of poop. If you are uncomfortable listening to poop talk, you should probably click on by.

For the first two and a half years of her life,  my daughter was as regular as clockwork. Seriously. You could set a watch by her bowel movements.

But then something changed. Suddenly, she didn’t want anyone to see her poop anymore. Which meant she sure wasn’t going to poop on the potty, and from all appearances, she decided to hold it all day at school, too.

She became a Poop Hoarder.

Now, Poop Hoarders, they quickly become constipated. And once constipated, they are fed wonderful tasting things like mineral oil to make them poop.

When encouraged to drink beverages tainted with slimy goo (goo that consequently forces them to let go of some of their Hoard), they decide to stop drinking.

Eventually, what you get is a never ending cycle of constipation, then diarrhea. Constipation, then diarrhea. Constipation, then diarrhea. You see where I’m going with this.

That’s where we’ve been with my daughter for the last few months.

Still, I thought it was normal. Everyone assured me this was just a phase a lot of kids go through.

So I ignored the warning bells chiming “ding, ding, Ding, DIng, DINg, DING” in my head.

But then, after three weeks of poop explosions (sorry, I warned you), I asked the Internet what the problem could be. And you know what the Internet told me?

Bad things. Lots of horrible, no good, awful kind of things.

IBS, IBD,  food allergies, lactose intolerance, Celiac disease….

There’s no end to the doomsday information available on the Internet.

So after a sleepless night, I called the doctor. Finally. Weeks after I should have.

But still, part of my brain thought I was overreacting. When we walked in, I was almost apologetic. “This is probably just first-time mommy syndrome acting up,” I said.  “I don’t normally do this. This Visiting the Doctor thing,”

But then the doctor did something unexpected. She told me I was right to bring her in.

Then we were sent to the radiologist for an X-ray of her belly. And you know what that picture showed?

My little Poop Hoarder had a stash that went all the way to her chest.

That’s when we started hearing phrases like “impacted bowels,” and “adult enemas” and “Miralax every two hours.”

My brain, of course, stopped at impacted bowels.

My kid had been wandering around stuffed with poop for God knows how long.

I felt awesome.

So anyway, we’re in the clearing out phase.

I will spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say that after giving her one enema, I hope I never hear those kind of screams coming from her again. Unless she’s having a baby.

We are now best friends with Miralax.

I have the scent of poo stuck in my nose.

And I am never, ever ignoring my Mommy’s Intuition. Ever again.


Daddy’s Girl.

For the first three years of her life, Tori was practically attached to my hip.

It was the All Mommy show, all the time, from the moment she awoke in the morning to the last time she woke up from a bad dream in the middle of the night.

And at times, I wearied of it. In fact, I may have hidden in the bathroom a time (or 200) hoping that if she couldn’t find me, she’d ask daddy to get her juice/play with her/wipe her boogie/admire her poop.

More often than not, it failed to work. And I would emerge, just as tired and with the faint smell of toilet clinging to my clothes, to care for her every need.

But things are changing.

Brian and Tori at the parkNow, she wants her daddy. A lot.

Almost all the things that mommy used to do for her are now daddy’s territory. Juice-getting, car seat-fastening, fruit-cutting, bedtime book-reading…those things have all gone daddy’s way.

He’s the one she asks for at the end of a temper tantrum.

The one who she goes to first for a cuddle.

And I? Am left on the sidelines.

I try to be a good sport about it. To pretend that I enjoy the extra time to myself and that I’m not at all hurt when she chooses him over me.

This is, after all, exactly what he’s been dealing with for the last three years.

And sometimes it is nice. Sometimes I do enjoy being able to snatch an extra few minutes to read a book, catch up on my email, or, more likely, get another load of laundry in the wash.

But it stings.

I’m used to being first. To being the answer to all her problems. To being needed, 24/7.

And I’m not at all comfortable with this demotion.

I’ll get over it. And I’m sure there will come a time (probably soon) when I am again first in her heart.

But for now? It hurts, damn it.

And that’s the end of my whine.

Proudly linking up with Just Write at the Extraordinary Ordinary.

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