Fifth Installment: Friday Facts and Fiction

By Mir
July 9, 2004
Category About

I love how threatening to be even more pitiful than usual just draws the questions out of everyone. It doesn’t make me feel like a melodramatic attention-demanding freak at all. Really. Let’s get to it before I think about that for too long, mkay?

Genuine asks, how can he keep one sibling from killing the other, or–perhaps more importantly–him from killing them both?

Thanks for asking, Gen! I love when people give me parenting advice, and so will seize any oppotunity to dispense some, myself. Preferrably of the sort that makes me look like a cross between Carol Brady and Mother Theresa, and makes the questioner feel like primordial pond scum who foolishly reproduced through mitosis while thinking about… ummm… nothing. On account of being single-celled. (Fiction. I hope.)

My kids have a couple of years on yours, but what I have found to be true is that no matter how badly they are nudging and annoying each other, they prefer being together to being apart. A simple “if you cannot play nicely together you will be separated” is often enough to head off trouble around here. When it isn’t, they play alone in their rooms for a bit, and whine and cry about how they want to play together. The following reunion usually goes more smoothly. (And if that doesn’t work, that’s why God invented DVDs.) As for you? Take a deep breath, walk away, count to 10; do whatever you need to do to remember that someday you will look back on these frustrations with fondness. (Fact.)

Zoot wants to hear about my most embarassing moment, but there are soooooo many to choose from!

Well, my neighbor came over while we were playing outside last week, and we sat and chatted, and after a while I asked how her husband was doing because I hadn’t seen him in a while. She said I hadn’t seen him because they were getting divorced and he moved out several months ago. Oops. Or there was the time in college (when I lived in a curfewed dorm) when my roommate and I had the munchies really badly (because… ummmm… cuz we were just hungry. yeah.) and the only vending machines were in another building, so we ran across campus, after-hours, in our pajamas, in search of food… and were caught on our way back through our window, still laughing our asses off. Bummer. How about the time when I was still working as an engineer, when Chickadee was a baby, and a coworker opened up my closed office door–thinking I was out to lunch, and wanting to leave some papers on my desk–only to behold me sitting at my desk, eating a sandwich, with my double-electric pump slurping away as it jutted out from my bra? Ah, memories. (I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine the truth of the preceeding.)

Zoot also wants to hear about my dream date. Egads.

Oh, it involves windswept strolls on the beach, diamonds and fast cars, and a Fabio look-alike who adores me and spends endless gobs of money on me. (*gag*)

I haven’t been on many actual “dates.” Part of that is because I got married too damn young, and part of that is the whole college/grad school “hanging out” mentality where no one has any money, anyway. My ideals involve the person, not the setting. And apparently those ideals for the person–which I’d thought were reasonable before I realized that most people are selfish idiots–are such that I’m about as likely to get that dream date as I am to meet Santa Claus. Know a nice single guy with a great sense of a humor who loves kids and bright but neurotic women? Send him my way, and I’ll tell ya all about our date! (I’m serious. Send him now. No, don’t. Crap.)

mc uncloaked from lurkdom long enough to ask how and/or when did I know I wanted kids.

Right about the time the contractions started, I knew…. (Fiction! Fiction! Be right back; I have to put more money in the kids’ therapy fund….)

As I’ve discussed on here before, I am the sort of masochist who always wanted kids, even as a child myself I was always enchanted with little ones. So the “how” was easy, for me. The “when” was a bit more complicated (both in deciding and because we faced fertility issues), but the criteria there included the obvious like being married, having enough money for diapers, etc. For those who haven’t always desired offspring, I have no idea how you decide. I know folks who swear “there’s never a perfect time” and “once you do it you rise to the task” and that may be true, for some. On the other hand, I know people who truly believe themselves incapable of the sacrifices parenthood calls one to make, and I think that’s a worry worth heeding. One of my parents felt very deprived of, heck, I don’t even know what… something… due to the impact of us kids, and it colored (still does) our relationship. Kids know when they’re viewed as burdens. I may rant about my kids, sometimes, but I cannot imagine my life without them, and they are the highest calling I’ve yet to experience and I hope they always know that. (Fact. When did I turn into such a sap?)

Busy Mom wants to know the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow…

… but she neglected to return and clarify which type of swallow she meant, so I’m going to have to demand that she bring me a shrubbery before I can answer.

Amy had a lot of fun with some wine last night and professed her love for me, wanting to know only if I loved her in return.

My dear, I love you as much as is possible without it becoming weird and scary and causing your husband to file a restraining order. (Fact.) Also I am thinking of moving to my own domain, and am seriously considering naming it Just because I want to be cool like you. (Fiction. Well, the site name. I really do want to be as cool as you!)

Pam wants to know if I have any extra digits or extremities, and if so, are they creepy?

How did you know? I have a third nipple. It’s on top of my left foot, which came in handy when I fell asleep nursing in the rocking chair and dropped the baby on the floor. (Fiction. No need to call the cops.)

Sorry, nothing extra. I’m plenty creepy with just the requisite number of appendages. (Fact.)

Julia wants to know why I’m too chicken to consider lasik.

It’s very simple. I feel that if a surgery doesn’t result in the removal of actual organs, it’s not worth my time. (Fiction.)

It’s very simple. Lasik involves having your eyeball sliced open while you are awake. And there is huge chance of improved vision, but also a small chance of blindness. All in all, not my idea of a good time. (Fact. Ick.)

Lisa wants to know if I feel like I’m wasting my life on domestic chores and would I like to join her Lifewasters Anonymous support group?

Yes, and yes. Crap. That wasn’t very anonymous.

Mad wants to know if I would ever consider marrying again.

Welcome to Friday Facts and Fiction, Mad. I’m going to guess this is your first one, because someone asks me that almost every week. Not that it makes me feel like a lonely loser, or anything. No, really. It’s okay. I’m not crying, there’s something in my eye! (I’m sorry; it had to be done.)

Under the right circumstances (and no, I don’t know what those are, as they’ve yet to present themselves), yes, I would consider it. It seems very unlikely for the near future, though. (Fact.)

I love Debby, but she is a wiseass. She wants to know the true meaning of life.

Say it with me, everyone… 42. Suckah.

Jennifer asks three questions, but I’m skipping the book one since I’ve already answered that twice. So…

… how did I choose my children’s names?
Why, do you have a problem with me naming them Chickadee and Monkey? Well, do you?? (Oh, you figured out those aren’t their given names? Dang.)

I am crazy into the meanings of names. Perhaps because the traditional translation of Miriam is “bitter” (despite modern baby-naming books trying to soften it up by claiming it means “strong” or “stubborn”). Chickadee was conceived after years of infertility, one definite miscarriage and a couple of probable ones… and the same week my grandmother died. I am convinced my Grandma made ordering up my mini-me her first order of business in Heaven. I was determined to name her after my Grandma Rose. But we needed a middle name, too. On an infertility listserv I belonged to at the time, a long-time member popped in to announce the joyful news of having adopted a little girl, named a beautiful and unusual name I’d never heard before, but reportedly meaning “God has answered me.” I proposed this name to my then-husband, and it turned out that we both liked it so much, we used it for her first name (her middle name is Rose). It suits her, and I don’t think Grandma Rose minds a bit.

With Monkey, again we delved into the baby books and debated the various meanings. We quickly settled on a less-common name that means “he laughs.” (Never was a name more perfect; this boy has the most frequent and jubilant laugh of anyone I’ve ever known.) That left us to months of debating his middle name. The ex wanted Matthew, but both the chosen first name and our last name have two syllables, and–as I cautioned Genuine during the hot debates to name baby AJ–a repetitive syllable pattern (in this case, 2-2-2) often sounds weird. We finally negotiated down to using Matthias, which was “close enough” and solved my obsession with the syllable thing.

Both children also have initials that form words. We did that on purpose. We’re weird. (Fact.)

… what is the best part of my day?
Breakfast. Or lunch. Maybe dinner. Or any time I’m having a snack. (Fiction, honest.)

This is a tie between waking and bedtime. Monkey hops into bed and snuggles with me in the morning, and provided that he isn’t too starving hungry or carrying a load in his pull-up, this tends to be an awesome one-on-one time for us. Conversely, Chickadee is not a morning person, but often causes me to melt into a large puddle all over her room at bedtime with some random profundity. It’s easy to let the hustle and bustle of everyday get me caught up in enduring my life rather than enjoying it. Those precious “just being” moments with my kids bring me back to what’s important. (Fact.)

Regular Cinderella want to know if I’m pretty when I cry, which I think officially makes her weirder than me.

In the category of the-truth-is-stranger-than-fiction, I’ll go for full disclosure: When I cry, my normally hazel eyes glow electric green, my nose turns bright red, and my smattering of freckles are intensified on the background of whitest-white-mixed-with-angry-red-splotches. This may be why people ask me questions on Friday rather than risk me crying. It may also be why–when I caution the children “don’t do that unless you want to make me cry”–Chickadee shrieks with glee, “Do it! Cry! Mama looks crazy when she cries!”

Janet wants to know why lilacs smell so good.

That’s a great question. I can only guess their amazing scent is designed to offset any irritation generated by the incredible mess the petals tend to make.

Shiz asks why do people get sick when they travel, why did the dinosaurs die, and where is the hidden treasure?

Air is recirculated on airplanes and therefore if anyone on board has some germs, you’ll be breathing them; everyone knows the real reason dinosaurs became extinct; and if I had any idea where the treasure was I sure as heck wouldn’t be sitting here blogging when I should be on Monster finding myself a job. (Yeah, I know my answers are getting shorter. I’m getting hungry.) (Truth, kinda.)

Shelly wants to know why fools fall in love.

Because they’re fools. Duh.

Alrighty… thank you all for playing! For some reason, although I fed them just a few short hours ago, my children seem to think they need to eat again, so it’s time for me to go. I hope that you enjoyed this week’s installment as much as I did. And that you have all vowed never to shop at Excellent Purchase even though this morning I did manage to get the TV debacle somewhat straightened out.


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