Jul 5, 2021

WARNING

THE FOLLOWING IMAGE MAY BE CONSIDERED PROVOCATIVE FOR PUBESCENT BOYS AND SEVERELY SEX-DEPRIVED HUSBANDS.

 

It’s the summer of 2017, and I’m on my annual trip with my childhood friend, Nikki.  We say adios to our hubbies, pack up our kids, and head to the funky and enchanting land of Taos, New Mexico. This is one of my favorite places in the world, where lavender grows wild on every street corner, sparkly diamonds are replaced with chunks of turquoise, colorful art fills the shop windows, and even the bank tellers are high as a kite.

I look forward to these summer trips each year. They are a much-needed escape from the unrelenting Arizona heatwaves but these trips are far from a relaxing spa weekend for these two moms. Though, you will find me lounging around in borrowed robes. In this case, the thoughtful Air-BnB host has provided us with the coziest moo moos one has ever felt, just like the ones my grandma used to wear. I fight my four-year-old daughter for the pink one and remain in it for most of the trip.

Between Nikki and I, we have three kids under the age of six. This makes the days exceptionally long and tiring. We close the curtains tight to block the rising sun, in the hopeful anticipation that their busy little bodies will sleep in just one extra hour. This gives us time for an undisturbed cup of coffee on the porch before the sun rises to greet us. Each night we try our damnedest to stay up for a nightcap, but this proves to be a feat as our energy is depleted from the bedtime nonsense of our toddlers.

Have you ever noticed that little people turn into dehydrated philosophers the moment their little legs slip into their superhero jammies? It has gotten so bad that I have been forced to ban my munchkins from watching the popular TV show, Super Why, as it encourages their curiosity of life. This is actually a real show, in which a group of know-it-alls wear capes and solve problems by asking a billion questions. 🙄 Not on my watch, they won’t! They can save that inquisitive thinking for their teachers…..thank you very much!

After a cup of coffee, we set out to conquer the world with activities like the ever-exhausting half-mile hike, which takes a solid two hours and consists of three snack breaks, an unexpected poop break, and at least one complete melt-down. Somebody, please explain to me why kids can swim, play and destroy our homes for 14 hours a day, but the moment they set foot on even the shortest trail, they act as though I am asking them to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?

Nikki and I tag-team the meals and bedtime stories, making life feel much more manageable. For a moment, we understand the pure genius of the sister-wife concept as we clean up dinner in just under fifteen minutes. However, we have zero desire to sleep with the same man, and we drink way too much to be accepted into the Mormon community, so we decide instead to call ourselves sister-moms.

Finally, the kids are down, and the sun is just beginning to set. Nikki pops me open a beer and invites me to grab a seat on the front porch of the quaint adobe home. We sit next to each other on an old turquoise bench. The yard is filled with deep purple iris and one proud sunflower standing six feet tall. I imagine it was porches just like this that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe to paint her magnificent interpretations of the New Mexico desert flowers.

All is well in the world as we silently watch the clouds dance like orange and pink swirls across the evening desert sky. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the moment of serenity is gone as we hear a loud crash. We both silently wonder, whose kid broke what, what will cost, and who is going to get their lazy ass up to check? I have two kids, and she has one, so by mathematical reasoning, it is twice as likely to be one of my offspring.

I enter the house and quickly follow the whimpering coming from the bathroom. I open the door to find my six-year-old son lying on the floor, rubbing his forehead with his pants around his ankles. I quickly kneel down next to him and ask, “Oh my God, Grey. What happened?”

His face is red and covered in tears. He looks up at me with the profoundly pitiful “why me?” look and says, “You know when you want to check to see if you still have poo on your butt, so you climb on the counter and look between your legs in the mirror?”

Now, this is the point where I pause, to wonder how often he does this, realizing he does take a rather long time in the restroom. I am trying my damnedest to hold back the laughter that is threatening to burst out of me like an uncontrollable sneeze. I respond with the shortest answer possible to lessen the chance of its escape, “not really,” I reply.

He is a keen observer and sees my look of humorous bewilderment and raises me one of wide-eyed shock with a furrowed brow.

“Mom, you should really check sometimes,” he says sharply.

“Thank you, honey. I’ll consider it,” I say.

“Well, be very careful when you do because it’s very dangerous. I fell face-first on the floor,” he says in his soft voice.

I reflect on his kindness and concern for my well-being, and after a moment, I respond, “I’ll remember to be careful. Thank you, son”.

“Mama, since I’m crying, can I have a three marshmallows?” he asks this with a completely straight face as though it makes complete sense.

Once again, I am tongue-tied and can only respond with, “Uhhhhhhh”. For some weird reason, he takes this audible sound of confusion as a resounding yes. He then quickly hustles to his feet with one last sharp look in my direction, then scurries off to the kitchen for what he believes is his much-deserved marshmallow for making it out of the bathroom alive.

I will never know if the look was his disgust in my apparent lack of proper hygiene or disappointment that I am not smart enough to figure out how to look at my own asscrack in the mirror. Being the caring mom that I am, I will be investing in a full-length mirror to prevent any further brain damage.

Moments like this are precisely why mothers drink 🙄. Please do not judge us but instead grab a beer, my friend.  Life only gets funnier.

Cheers,
Shea


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