About Elle

I'm a Navy wife and a mama to a daughter who's like a hummingbird on crack.
Author Archive | Elle

Ink Quills: Don’t Wave Your Poo-Covered Bum So Hard

Please welcome Scurvy Platypus to the Ink Quills. I’m currently setting up the website so the posts will be here for now. If you’re interested in writing for the Ink Quills, contact me.

My wife says that my inner child is a 13 year old Japanese school-girl, trying desperately to get out. I grew up poor and all over the western side of the U.S.; the rest of my upbringing is messed up enough that you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I lived for the past 9 years in New Zealand, along with my wife of 20 years, 3 cats, and 2 newly adopted children. I suffer from depression, and a sense of humour that my wife informs me I’m too poor to call “eccentric”. My interests are geeky, nerdy, wordy, arty, and musical; for anything more, read my bio.

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Tonight is day five of my captivity; I hadn’t expected to ever be uttering such a phrase before [about poo-covered bums that is], but honestly that’s probably more a failure of imagination on my part than anything. And I’ve got quite the imagination. But, I guess maybe I should back up slightly and explain why I’m captive, and staring at a 3-year-old poo-butt being vigorously waved at me.

…You know, it turns out to be a little bit more difficult to start than I’d thought. The difficulty isn’t really starting, but trying to figure out where to start. Starting at the very beginning would cover some 40 years, a disturbing amount I don’t actually remember, and a whole lot of exposition that would bore the shit out of you.

So, I guess we’ll start in the middle, much like you’re at a cool party and while wandering by, you overhear some lunatic going on about who knows what and you stop to see if it’s an interesting train-wreck that’s happening or just some random ranting. And really, I view my writing much like a conversation; my hope is that someone will actually talk back to me at some point, so I quit being that lunatic talking to himself and instead become the much more socially acceptable lunatic that’s talking to others. Note: You can decide if “others” means other lunatics, or just other people; I’m generous in how I share my conversations and don’t insist on dominating the conversation at all. Unless I actually do and people are just too polite to tell me. I do ramble though, so be prepared for some non-linear conversations and thinking. I like to think of myself as a Salvador Dali of conversations.

At the beginning of April this year, my wife and I received news that we’d been waiting for over two years for… we were being considered as a home for kids. We’re from the U.S. but live in New Zealand as Permanent Residents. We haven’t been successful conceiving, and we’d both agreed that we weren’t willing to do something like IVF. So, we went to Child, Youth, and Family [NZ’s child services] to see what our options were. I’ll skip the details and just note that the way things are done here is really different from what I experienced as a foster-kid and the way the U.S. still does things; I feel like I got the Dark Ages treatment, only without the cool clothes. So, after two years of our lives effectively being on hold, out of the blue we’re told, “We’re considering you for placement and would like to interview you…”

They show up [three social workers], we talk, they show us pictures of a pair of brothers [ages 5 and 3] and they want to know if we’re still willing to take on more than one kid. As the eldest of three brothers that wound up getting split up, I was already committed to that.  A few days after the interview, they ring up and go “Everything seems fine, so we’d like to talk about how we transition the boys into your home. We’re thinking July; we’d rather do it sooner but with the end of the school year approaching, it’d make more sense to do it then. Plus, it’ll give a bit more time for the boys to adjust to the idea, since they’ve been with their current caregivers for a year now.”

First thought: Dude, are they really talking about giving me kids?!?!?
Second thought: Holy shit!! They’re talking about giving me kids!!!
Third thought: Oh shit…they’ve already been in foster care for a year with the same couple…
Fourth thought: I’m not gonna be able to say “shit” anymore. And Gretchin [not my wife’s actual name, but the name her dad called her when she was a kid] is going to have to figure out something to call me besides “asshat”.

We met the kids for the first time in May, a week before the older one turned six. They were living an hour and a half north of us, so each Saturday we’d drive up and spend the day with them. June, they started staying over the weekend with us. After three weekends, the kids were finally told that they were going to be coming to live with us as their “forever home”.

Five days ago, their social worker dropped them off with all of their baggage; that’d be the physical baggage. The emotional baggage is still arriving. It includes an intense sibling rivalry, fear of showers/baths, and attachment issues. Oh yeah, the birth parents are also still involved in the boy’s lives and they’ve got supervised visits with the separated parents every three weeks or so.

Today was the first day of school for the six-year-old [Dee] and since the social worker didn’t get the forms filled in for him [or the forms for kindergarten for the three-year old, Jay], I had to rush around to get him into his new class, get forms filled out and money paid, and then take Gretch to work; I’m taking leave from work right now, so we’ll be switching places come November. Other than the fact that she doesn’t drive, so I’ll still be doing all the transportation…

Weekend visits and a few days of everyone being together still does not prepare you for what I am confronting right now…two formed personalities that I barely know, cultural identities I’m still trying to sort out with adults [I thought baseball was boring until an NZer tried to share their love of cricket with me, which has less happening in it than baseball and can take days for a single game to complete], and a language [English] that I’m only mostly familiar with in comparison to my own [American] that’s filtered through the mouths and brains of children.

All of this is encapsulated by the naked crap-covered butt, currently being gleefully waved at me by an otherwise disgruntled three-year old. After loud protestations that he didn’t need his nappy changed, demands and tears for “grandma” [his previous caregiver] and a glare that could dominate the world if it were weaponised, we make it into the bathroom.

“Alright, assume the position…” Jay wears trainers instead of diapers; so ‘the position’ is hands on the bathtube and legs spread, as if I were a cop searching him; instead of needles and knives, I’ve got to worry about diaper blow-out.

“I dun need a new nappy!”Jay declares grimly, like a hostile teen. The smell, and I’d swear what was an orange mist wafting towards me, indicated otherwise.

“Right. Ok, first come down the pants, and…HOLY?!?…uhhhh…Ok, Houston, we have a problem. Let’s stand nice and quiet for a second while I figure this out buddy…”

“I made a yuck” he announces. His attitude has changed now, shit covered pants around his ankles. He sounds like someone admitting that he was in fact carrying drugs, after a cop finds the stash and shows him. Only nobody would be wanting to buy this particular smuggled package. “I wanna do it myself!!!”

“Yes, you certainly made a WHATAREYOUDOING?!?! FREEZE! Do NOT lift that leg any higher mister!” I’ve caught the offending limb in question and try to delicately extract it from the pants without disturbing the mass. It looks like someone has tried to inexpertly plaster over a wall crack, only featuring a butt instead of a wall and poo instead of plaster. I manage to do the deed and quickly drop the weapon into the rubbish bin outside, just a few steps from the bathroom.

I step back and am confronted by the sight of Jay, giggling like a lunatic and looking over his shoulder at me, as he gyrates and dances in place, hands still firmly gripping the side of the bathtub, and chants “Poo-bum! Poo-bum!” to the beat of whatever internal drummer that boy is marching to.

“Don’t wave your poo-covered bum so hard!!”I’m both amused and aghast.
“Why?” He seems genuinely curious.
“Uhhh….” Oh god, so many reasons…”Because it makes it more difficult to clean your bottom?”
“Ok!” Butt waving immediately recommences.

So now, it’s 02:30 in the morning as I write this and the kids will be awake around 06:00. I’ve got a needy cat trying to walk on my keyboard, a traumatised kitten eyeing me from the couch, and another cat that would like to smack the stupid out of everyone in the house, cat and human alike. It’s winter [Southern Hemisphere y’all, means opposite seasons], I’ve reluctantly concluded I’m probably not going to be able to drink the coffee I made myself this morning [the morning I got up, not in the last couple of hours], and my foot is still sore from the Lego I stepped on earlier.

Holy shit. I’ve got kids…and I am SO unprepared.

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I first started uttering this sentence last year. I never really got it until I took a good look at my house and saw it in such disarray and I wanted to ugly cry. I only have a 7 year-old but she makes the mess of twenty frat boys. Add to that a husband and holy shit, I’m done for.

Burps and farts galore – We instilled in the hummingbird at a young age that these things were funny. Now, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. My husband came from a “prim and proper” household where they NEVER did that and I honestly don’t think my in-laws have ever let out a good burp in private which could be why they are the way they are.

There’s no farting at the table but it doesn’t stop the hummingbird to let one rip which then makes me gag. The hubby will follow that with a large burp which he never usually did until we had the bird and poop and barf were a big subject between us when she was a baby. I’ve created gassy monsters.

Clothes everywhere – Asking kids to put their dirty clothes in a laundry basket is apparently one of the most difficult tasks since they end up leaving them all over the bedroom floor and scattered throughout the house. There’s a dress laying by our front door, dirty socks by the stairs, and shorts and a skirt just lying on the floor in the kitchen.

No matter how many times I stress to my 7 year-old that she must pick up her clothes, I end up being the one to pick all of that up. Her room on the other hand is her responsibility, which is why I try to avoid it. Her complaint is that “I can’t clean all this up myself” and my response is “But, you made the mess so you need to pick it up.”

Itty bitty Lego all over – The hummingbird and hubby love playing with Legos. I’ve never gotten it and have tried to be involved too but I’m just not into you, Lego. I have found there is something more painful than stepping on a lego. A few months ago, I stepped on a small My Little Pony and I’m not sure my foot will ever recover.

The shoe fight – Not only has the hummingbird acquired more shoes than I have, which is totally my fault, every damn morning, we still go through the shoe struggle. It starts off with the simple request of her getting her shoes on and ends up with me practically on my knees, begging for her to just put on shoes that fit.

Somehow, the shoes she outgrew keep coming back in the mudroom, even after hiding them from her, and it goes back and forth with me telling her she needs to wear shoes that fit. But no, that would be too easy. She wants to wear the shoes that just a week before, were hurting her feet. Oy!

Food on the floor that looks like someone went on a drunk eating binge – The little bird is currently going through a growth spurt which is awesome but most food seems to make it on the table and the floor than in her mouth. I wasn’t sure how that happens until a few nights ago after being at summer camp all day, she came home like she had been given red bull.

She couldn’t sit still at dinner and kept on hopping up to show us some dance moves she learned or she would sing us a song. She was bitten by the acting bug last year when she saw a school play of an older friend. And, just last week, after months of rehearsals, she was in a children’s stage production that she loved doing. So, she has been singing non stop for the past few months.

I’m all for that put please don’t fling your food around at the dinner table while getting up to belt out songs. It’s not just the food left under and around the dining room table but a buffet also starts forming around the couch and coffee table. The worst things I’ve stepped on, besides pee, is grapes and macaroni and cheese. The mushy feeling on the bottom of my foot is nasty.

I farted or I’m pooping – Even when it isn’t apparent, the bird has to make it known that she farted. Then, I get a whiff and run like hell from the room which she finds hysterical. When I can finally come back to the room, I’ll ask her what she’s been eating because damn, with all the food she leaves on the floor, one would think she has nothing to release that’s so stinky and awful. I also thought after the whole potty training experience, I wouldn’t have to deal with poop anymore but nope. She has to announce it every single time.

Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart and the smells and sounds will knock your ass out.

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Music Monday: Jack White

 

 

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Assholes And The Dumbasses Who Love Them

The Kardashians – Years ago, I thought they were mildly entertaining but after seeing young girls aspire to be like the Kartrashian women, that’s some scary shit. These people have fans… what the fuck?

The Duggars – They spawned Josh Duggar and are in a cult. Need I say more?

Chris Brown – This fucking guy. Fucking fuck. What an abusive, angry asshole.

Our former landlord – I’ll just say that I am so thankful that we now own our own home and never have to deal with landlords ever again.

My brother-in-law – He’s a douche du jour. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen him so the douche factor isn’t as high as it’s normally been throughout the years but holy hell, he’s an asshole.

The Palin Family – I don’t even know where to start with this mess of a family. And seriously. Bristol Palin was paid thousand of dollars to speak and promote abstinence and got knocked up by two baby daddy’s. Please don’t misunderstand. Normally, that wouldn’t make me so judgemental but also, men and women that have different moms and dads for their children don’t get paid the big bucks for preaching abstinence.

Kanye West – Oy. He’s a delusional, raging lunatic. Fits right in with the Kartrashian family but damn, I feel bad for his poor kids.

Dani Mathers – I only first knew she existed yesterday and if you’re not familiar with her, she’s a Playboy playmate that took a photo of a naked woman in the shower at the gym. She posted the photo and made some smug ass comment about the woman’s body. This asshole committed an appalling act of an invasion of privacy. I go to the gym… when I remember because I’m paying 50 bucks a month, and I can’t even imagine someone doing that shit to me or thinking it was okay to pull something like that.

Mike Fuckabee – Hmmm. Let me count the ways. He’s an asshole, plain and simple. He also supported Josh Duggar. Dick.

Donald Trump – I could go on and on and on and on about this fuckwad. It enrages me that he spreads so much hate… and other assholes support his fuckwad ass. I’ve seen two Donald Trump For President bumper stickers and that’s two too many. He’s a misogynistic, racist, hateful piece of shit and it’s terrifying that so many people are supporting him.

*Lazeretto

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6 Reasons Summer Sucks

I could make a longer list but I’ll spare you.

6. Mosquitos – Mosquitos are assholes that make my sensitive skin pissed off at me. And then I take Benadryl which knocks me out during the day but you know when it doesn’t knock me out? When I need it most… at night. Chronic insomniac here! I’m up half the night on the stuff.

5. The sun – I do like the sun but I’m more of a partly cloudy kind of girl vs. having the sun feel like a tanning bed blasting in my face.

4. 4th of July – I love the 4th of July but what sucks is the assholes in the neighborhood who light fireworks weeks before and weeks after the forth. They tend to do this soon after I put my kid to bed and I want to kill them because yay, my kid is finally asleep but boo, those damn fireworks will wake her up.

3. Kids – The kids are home from school and maybe this is just me but it takes all my strength to keep the hummingbird occupied for an hour. She has energy galore and by the end of the hour, I’m ready for a nap. Thank sweet baby jeebus for summer camp; where other people are paid to play with your children. My 7 year-old has so much fun there but what baffles me is after being there all day, she wants to play soccer, go for a bike ride, go swimming, run a marathon, and pull the car 10 miles when she gets home.

2. Boob sweat – I don’t like to sweat and boob sweat makes it more gross. Wearing a bra sucks as it is but come summer, the boobies be a sweatin’. Some dickhead man must have invented the bra because it sucks and on top of that, in the summer, wearing a shirt makes it hotter and marinates my boobs in boob sweat. Thanks bra inventor asshole.

1. Frizzy hair- I do the Brazilian blowout on my hair but even so, I need to perfect the hair bun because despite straightening my hair, it becomes that of a clown’s wig from Halloween in the summer. Not only that, I’m sweaty and sticky and my hair is all wet from my sweaty boobs. The heat from my boobs radiates to my head and sets my scalp on fire, hence the sweaty, frizzy hair. Or, so I’m assuming.

friends-monica

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Music Monday… on Tuesday: P!nk

Some of Pink’s songs bring out the stripper in me that I didn’t know existed. You probably have at least one song that does that. I start shaking my hips, drop it like it’s hot, and dance like no one’s watching. Cheers!

 

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Six Years

give-it-away

I just realized something today. It’s been six years since I’ve been blogging which led me to follow my dreams and publish real books. I could go on and on but I’ll make this short. Well, probably not that short.

Because I’m so thankful that people actually read my nonsensical ramblings, I want to give some shit away. And, it’s me giving it away from the bottom of my heart, not some sponsored thing. These are things I love to use on a regular basis.

The winner will receive cocoa butter body butter and creamy cocoa butter body wash from The Body Shop. The second place winner will receive some awesome bath bombs from Lush. My friend, Dee, introduced me to them and when my 7 year-old takes a bath with a Lush bath bomb, her skin is so soft and her hair is more manageable. They’re wonderful.

The giveaway ends Tuesday, July 12th at 11:59 EST and will be picked by the trusty random number generator. If you’re like me then you’re thinking “EST, what the hell? I have to do math for this?” Don’t worry… as long as your entry is time stamped before midnight, your entry will count.

It’s also one entry per person and it’s not just inclusive to the United States. You can be anywhere in the world. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me this:

What’s one of your guilty pleasures?

P.S. I’m really loving reading your comments! One of my many guilty pleasures is watching episodes of Sex And The City or UnReal while eating a hook and ladder sandwich from Firehouse Subs when my daughter is in school and the hubby is at work.

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