Tag Archives: vacation

What is the Meaning of Life?

29 Mar


I’m not sure if it was my mother’s death that prompted it, or perhaps being on the wrong side of 45, but I make no secret about that fact that I am experiencing a severe mid-life crisis.  It’s not just the fact that I am wearing powder blue eye shadow like its 1975, or that I bought a snappy little convertible Audi (red, of course) or that I have re-discovered the push up bra.  While those things are obvious (and pathetically cliché) in all seriousness,I have also found myself searching to live a more  thoughtful life.  As the mother of young children who is often tossed back and forth in a sea of banal household routines (lunches, laundry, drop off, pick up), sheer utter chaos (9pm Sunday night someone announces they need 17 egg-shaped, nut free, homemade sandwich cookies to contribute to snack tomorrow) and extreme forms of torture (ever step on a lego during a midnight bath room trip??), it is easy to reel in the years on auto pilot, doing but not seeing, acting but not feeling, living but not aware.  I’ve been making a true effort to absorb more of every thing around me, live vividly (thus the blue eyeshadow, perhaps?????) and really be thoughtful of what is happening instead of just being in robot survival mode.  Not easy, but I’m trying.

This week for spring break, my friend Sheila Castellano and I took a last-minute road trip to New Hampshire for a mini vacation. Five kids in tow, we decided to hit an indoor water park. The kids were thrilled, and we were stoked to see they served booze so we could enjoy an adult cocktail while the darlings splashed about. The day was exhausting.  4 flights of stairs up and down for the water slides, (helloooo, I’m 47 years old!) running here, running there,  swimming, jumping, following the little darlings everywhere with scarcely a time to enjoy a cocktail or the grotto like hot tub provided for adults. I’m not going to talk about how one kid almost broke a nose, or how one dropped a deuce in her swimsuit, or the other that had to be rescued by a life guard, but  I do want to share  a moment of clarity I  had, in an unlikely place.

The girls favorite part of the water park was the wave pool. Graded like a beach, every 10 minutes or so a horn would blast warning its occupants that the pool would simulate the breakers of the ocean. Pulling you in, spitting you out, back and forth, being tossed around, the girls would squeal with delight the minute the horn sounded, and run for the “shoreline”. I had just sat down after 8 or 9 consecutive trips up the stairs with an inner tube on my balanced on my head, my thighs were throbbing like jello.  I was about to order a glass of wine, when they scampered up to me, each grabbing a hand, begging me and dragging me towards the man-made shore.  I begrudgingly hauled myself up on my still shaky hamstrings, and hobbled in. The waves started and they each held on to my hand, jumping and howling with glee. As the intensity of the waves grew, we got drawn in deeper, and they clambered closer  to me, eventually climbing me like a water-logged tree trunk. One little strawberry blonde, slippery, meatball in each arm, they held on to me for dear life as we were tossed about  in water up to our shoulders.  My legs ached with the burn of 1000 stairmasters, while one of them grabbed my ponytail like the reigns of a horse, and the other dug her toes into my hipbone, as if it were a rung on the ladder of her own fleshy tree-house.  I was standing there praying for it to be over, when I remembered my promise to be more mindful. Instead of waiting out the torture, I stopped, took a deep breath and FELT what was happening. In my right arm, the little one moved in and grabbed my cheek, planting a wet kiss on me while laughing and squirming with delight.  At my left, the big one was yelling “More! More!” and was beaming the most genuine, delightful grin. They giggled and chuckled in my ear, and it was a moment of pure joy and childhood elation.  As I watched the girls in their delighted state of euphoria, a warmth spread inside of me. Like a  slow-moving wave, I felt my affection for them grow inside of me, and just for a moment life shifted into slow motion, and time stood still.  I saw them in all their innocent splendor, the joy they felt just “being”, and my love for them exploded. Something clicked and for the first time in my life I was AWARE of what unconditional love felt like. Just pure 100 percent love. Not love because you expect love back. Not love fuel by sex. Or money, or power, need, or reciprocation. Not a desire to fill a void left by my own childhood, or to make up for what I never had.  Just unfiltered love.  Not loved tinged by fear: fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, or mistrust, or of being alone or what is going to happen when it ends.  Genuine, unadulterated, 100 percent pure love. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved them, but that love was over shadowed by other emotions too – at their birth there was also wonder, fear of the unknown, worry about health etc.   Even though it runs in the background,   love get swallowed up by daily activities, and  is overshadowed by responsibility.  But at that  moment  love came shining thru in the foreground, and everything else stopped.  The ache in my hip. the pull of my hair, my weariness took a back seat. Warmth, and gratitude came rushing at me as the clock stopped ticking, stars smiled at me, and something spiritual tapped in. At that moment I was grateful for every choice I had made that led me to these children. And in the middle of the White Mountain Valley of New Hampshire, in a 2nd rate water park  at 47 years old, I felt blessed and God spoke to me and said, “This my dear, is the meaning of your life”.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to give up my Sephora addiction any time soon, but I can promise you this: I’m going to take more deep breaths, live a vivid life and just FEEL things more often. I hope you do too.

Thanks for reading and thank you to all that repost this on facebook or share the link with friends. xoxoxox

Copyright 2013 livelaughloveliquor


Moms Gone Wild: The Tale of the D-list Cougars

29 Jul
I know better than to try to keep up with appearances.

Which is why I knew it was time to get away. And by ‘away’ I mean, from the kids, the Hubs, the laundry, the crazy neighbor always mowing the lawn in his satin banana sling, the other crazy neighbor who threatens to kick your a$$ if your dog craps on her lawn, etc. You get the picture, I needed a @#$ing break.

And with that, ‘Girls Weekend Away’ was born.  Myself, and two dear and trusted friends, my ‘sistas from other mistas’,  Justina and Dolly,  left it all behind and headed off as far south as you can go in NJ without leaving the state, to beautiful Cape May.  ‘Guns-N-Roses‘ played at full blast as we jumped in Justina’s other car, the one with out juice stains and ground up goldfish on the rug, which just happened to be a gorgeous convertible Porche.  We promised each other no one would yell ‘wipe my butt’ while sitting on the toilet.  No one would try to cut up anyone’s meat.  No one would steal a tube of lipstick from a mislaid purse, and smear it all over the furniture while the other two weren’t looking.  We agreed that if we had a disagreement, we would not pour a bottle of perfume over the other ones head, or throw their cell phone in the toilet, or any of the other infractions that occur in the life of a SAHM on a daily basis.  We set out to relax, have a little fun, and to feel like we were the lively, vibrant and playful girls we were before the invasion of the body snatchers childbirth occurred and our children/responsibilities sucked the life out of us.  It was our ‘Cougars Gone Wild’ weekend.  Ok, really not cougars, more like those hot sweaty caged orangutans at the zoo who pull their own fur out, but you get the point.

I’d be lying if I said the change in us didn’t happen immediately.  During our two-hour ride down the Parkway, we giggled like school girls telling secrets as we spoke of our lives before our children came along.   Nothing was off-limits: Old flames, far away travels, sexual escapades, the tales of the footloose and fancy free girls we once were flowed freely and with out judgements.  I felt myself relax, and for once, I was able to close those eyes in the back of my head and turn off my supersonic hearing.  No one kicked the back of my seat, and there was no smell of a lingering milk ridden sippy cup left baking in the sun.  Like Columbus, seeing the faint outline of land for the first time on the horizon, it was a whole new world for me.

We arrived in Cape May and naturally, hit the hotel bar for happy hour first.  After a few cocktails and some shopping (we were measured for bras, tried to find bad-ass, air brushed tattoos, and felt up a life-sized statue of a pirate located in a jewelry store) we had a light dinner (which we all ate while it was HOT I might add).  After some discussion, we agreed to go out bar hopping that night, which considering our age and the fact that none of us has been awake past 10pm since 2006 or so, was a sheer act of bravery or stupidity, your call to decide.  Forgoing our ponytails and sweatpants, we went back to the room to primp – a rare luxury these days.   We sat for a good hour, curling our hair, applying our false eyelashes (a must have for the over 40 crew) and trading more secrets of lives past lived.  My sisters in the sorority of motherhood and I laughed harder than we had in years, as we all said prayers that our eyelashes wouldn’t fall into our drinks and/or that no one would mistake us for aging transvestite with bad make up.  By this time, a few cocktails turned into a half a dozen mojitos, and we were feeling no pain.  We paused for a few “sexy vixen” type photos, as the combination of the booze, the skinny mirror in our hotel and the fact that we used actual tubes of lipstick that weren’t previously used as crayons, had us feeling really good about ourselves.

So off we set out into the streets of Cape May, hair trailing behind us as we walked, (cue Whitesnake ‘In The Still of the Night) like three low rent, misshapen, slightly drunk versions of Charlie’s Angels.  Dolly, with her gorgeous hair and sultry eyes looking like a Latina Pam Anderson….. Justina, with her beautiful sculpted features and poised grace, looking like a young Sharon Stone….. Me?  Having recently induldged in a red rinse on my hair, in my mind I was a portly version of the rock goddess Tawney Kitaine.  That is if  Tawney Kitaine had about 2 dozen skin tags, several added pounds, a spray tan gone wrong, (see pic of my feet) eyes  set too close, and a nasty keloid C-section scar.  In reality, I am sure the only thing Tawney Kitaine and I had in common was our blood alcohol content, but hey, at the time I felt good.  In other words, not like a mother.

Dreading the younger, hipper crowd, we picked a dive bar with a live band to park our butts at for the night.  The last thing we wanted to be was surrounded by a bunch of 20 somethings making out in the corner with their Abercrombie mini skirts and tight abs.  That kind of torture makes you realize the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of childbirth, which is akin to watching the stock market crash and waking up one day realizing that everything you ever had is gone.  We needed to find a place that was more of  d-list, like us.

We found a grungy little dive in the middle of town.  It wasn’t too crowded and from the street we heard the band playing ‘Gin Blossoms‘,  so we figured they had to be somewhat close to our age, and upon entering we, were right. The band was talented.  Really talented.  The singer rocked it and the music was tight.  They were however, old (like us) bloated (like us) and slight drunk (ding! ding! ding!).  For fear that their wives/mothers /daughters may read this and I will get my ass kicked, we will call the name of the band ‘Creation’ (a nod to ‘Freaks and Geeks‘ my all time favorite TV show, and if you haven’t seen it, go buy the box set RIGHT NOW, you will laugh till you pee, I promise).  As we danced and sang along, Justina and I noticed the keyboard player kept winking at Dolly.  He was cute, bright sparkly eyes, a big smile and a full head of hair (a full head of hair is really all it takes to qualify a guy as ‘hot’ after 40)  Like 3rd graders, we kept nudging and teasing Dolly that he was looking at her.  We were having a ball, and after shaking our middle-aged asses for the entire 40 minute set, we were happy to sit down when the band took a break.

“Whew”,  Justina flopped down in the booth across from Dolly and I.  “That was fun”.  Justina showed that dance floor who is boss.  She claims dancing is not her thing, but I disagree, she totally kicked it.

” I wish I knew how to play music, it must be so amazing to be in a band.”  Dolly sighed wistfully.

“Me too.” I nodded in agreement.  “I wonder if these guys are looking for a back up triangle player??…….I play a mean wicked triangle,”  I joked.

“Do you girls have any talent?  Justina asks us .  A serious question.

Dolly, too humble to ever admit she is great with hair or is a terrific cook, shakes her head ‘no’.  I am thinking that if wiping butts and getting ground up chocolate chips out of upholstery is a talent, then why yes, I am talented.  I don’t know if it was the liquor talking, or wishful thinking, but I had to say it.  In a deadpan voice, straight face, I replied;

“Why yes.  I am very talented at giving Philateo”!

The girls and I bust out screaming laughing.  Apparently overheard by the old geezer who just happened to be passing by, an eldery poor old goat swings his head over to us, stumbles and almost drops his drink.

Face red, I look up at him mortified, smile meekly and say “It was just a joke…..sorry you had to hear that. ”

He composes himself, chuckles, and says something about ‘heart attack’  followed by ‘in my dreams’. He introduces himself and says his name is Mac.  He is 72 years old and is a widow.  He is balding, stumpy and has a too broad smile revealing yellow corn cob teeth.  He’s got NY attitude (love it) and reminds me of a kinder, gentler Frank Costanza, (Seinfeld).  He sits down and starts telling us about his life.  His wife died 7 years ago, he tries to get out and stay active, and sailed down to Jersey Shore from Manhattan on his boat for the weekend.  He has a hearty laugh and was cracking corny old timer type jokes strictly for our benefit, but his eyes shaded a hint of loneliness. From the way he spoke, it was clear he missed his wife.  We adored him.  He sweetly said he hoped our husbands knew how lucky they are, and jokingly asked if a rich old coot from the city was enough of an incentive to leave them. We laughed along with him and gave him fatherly hugs as he bid us a goodnight and moved along to the back of the bar.  The entire time he was sitting with us, I saw the keyboard player eyeballing Dolly like she was the last drink in the desert.  Justina decided a round of drinks were in order, and went to the bar to get them.

As Justina flagged down the bartender and demanded extra mint in our mojitos, I see the keyboard player and the butterball guitarist whispering to each other.  Suddenly they turn and make their move.  Like hawks, they swoop down and sit at the table across from us.

“Hi”,  the keyboardist says, mostly to Dolly.  “I’m Mike. Are you girls enjoying the music?”  Sitting across from him, I notice he is SHORT.  Real short.  Like ‘Lollypop Guild’ short. I’m half expecting him to break out and sing the Oompa Loopma song.

“I’m Van”.  The guitarist says to me. Dark hair, dough faced with horn rimmed glasses, he looks like a grown up Harry Potter…that is if Harry Potter had bourbon on his breath and a huge beer gut.  Put a guitar in most guys hands, and his attractiveness/ coolness factor amps up about 10 points. This guy? Total dork, Les Paul, or no Les Paul.

We introduce ourselves and tell them that we are indeed enjoying the music.  For some reason, I call upon my inner Catholic Nun, and tell them Dolly’s name is Maria and mine is Katherine.  Sister Maria and Sister Katherine.  I’m kidding, of course, and they know it.  They turn out to be really nice guys, and we chat with them for about 15 minutes or so, and notice Justina (aka ‘Sister Jessica’)  is chatting with Mac again.  She is laughing really hard and looks like she is having fun.  I’m jealous – Mac could have totally showed Shorty-McShortpants and Hogswarts Harry what cool actually is.  I notice Shortstuff is getting touchy feely with Dolly, and she looks uncomfortable.  Van just asked me if I play music or have any talents, and this time it was me who choked on my drink because I automatically feel embarrassed and wonder if he heard our previous conversation.  I tell him I like to write and leave it at that.  He asks me what song I want to hear.  I tell him to play anything by ‘Journey’ for me.  I look over and it looks like Shorty is about to lick Dolly’s arm, so I get up, announce that I had to use the lady’s room, and Dolly has her period,(she didn’t) so she has to come with me. ( WTF was I thinking, that didn’t even make sense)?  Dolly is stifling a laugh as we get up and move towards Justina and Mac.  Justina tells us that Mac offered to ‘go kick some ass’ on our behalf, and that even though he may look old, he is actually a yellow belt in karate.  Shiver me timbers, Mac, you gotta love a 72-year-old gangsta.

The band starts playing again, and its ‘Anyway You Want  It ‘ by Journey.  Van scans the crowd, finds me and points.  I smile and wave.  Another creep comes by our table, a weird assed motherf*cker with a profound overbite and a muddy pair of Keds on his feet (err….from burying bodies, perhaps?).  He is socially weird, sleezy and I didn’t want to stare,  but I *think* he may have had a hard on.  He is buzzing around like a fly and wont take a hint.  I finally tell him we have to go now, and when he demands to know why,  I blurt out, ” Because Justina has a headache”, (true),  Dolly has her period(untrue, why do I keep saying that)?, and I am in sex rehab (untrue, sex withdrawal is more like it) and married to an ex professional wrestler who will rearrange your face (snort!) if he sees you talking to me.”  We leave him with his mouth hanging agape and sashay out the door howling with laughter.  A true ‘Depends’ moment. At our age and the rate we were laughing we are lucky no one peed themselves.  Three tipsy, cooped up, moms away for the first time in years, we were not yet ready for bed, despite the fact that it was 2 am. We decided to walk around and see what was open.  We were subsequently called ‘cougars’ by two 26 year olds, who then claimed we must not like men, after we rejected their advances.  We got busted by the po-po (police), who came and kicked us off the beach when we went for a moonlight walk.  We managed to find a pizza parlor open at 3 am and scarfed down as much pizza as our intestinal crushing spanx would allow.  It took all our strength to refrain from chucking the left over pizza crusts at the buff 20 somethings in mini skirts.  We tried to find a t-shirt place that was open so the girls could make me a ‘I (almost) F*cked Harry Potter ‘ T-shirt.  We cackled and laughed, and our when our fake eyelashes started to droop we knew it was time to go retreat back to our room.

As we flopped into bed, we giggled and whispered, reliving the sheer fun and the joy that being unencumbered has on a woman’s soul.  It was like a middle school slumber party, except we all felt a little nausea from the booze and pizza, and at our age, all insisted on flossing our teeth.  All three of us love being a mom, and are more in tune with our children than most mothers I know.  We take motherhood seriously and give ourselves completely to our families. We all have fantastic partners who are great fathers and amazing husbands… but damn….it sure felt good to be young again, to be free, and to be hit on. That night took 5 years off my age, I felt young again, and for the first time in years, I felt FUN.

None of us wanted the night to end, but it did. One by one, we drifted off to sleep with smiles on our faces and garlic on our breaths.  We went home to our Hubs and kids,  feeling refreshed and alive again, receiving big sloppy kisses and about 1,000 hugs as we walked in the door.  Being in my Hubs’es arms again was so comforting, and although I had a great weekend, there is no place else I’d rather be. I know Dolly and Justina felt the same. I couldn’t help thinking of Mac and the look in his eye when he spoke of his beloved who had passed on. I held Hubs extra close that night.

Two days later we were still hung over, but baby, it was worth it.

Click HERE to see the pics from the trip.

Thanks for reading! And as always, thank you for sharing my blog with other d-list cougars!! xoxoxox

Copyright 2011 Livelaughloveliquor. All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction in any medium without prior written consent of the author is permitted.

What I Did During My Summer Vacation: A Photo Essay

29 Jul

By now you have read my tale of drunken debauchery at the Jersey Shore during our ‘Mom’s Getaway Weekend’.  If not, click HERE.  Three over stressed stay at home moms + a few dozen mojitos = more fun than Cape May could possibly handle.  (Well, that, and a wicked two-day hang over).

If you have yet to treat yourself to a girl’s weekend away, I suggest you do so RIGHT NOW. Trust me, whatever it costs, it’s worth it. In the meantime, enjoy the photos of our little jail break……..

Pulling out from Dolly’s house. Her kids practically ran down the street crying after the car. As did mine at my house, and Justina’s at hers.

Gorgeous sunset at Cape May’s sunset beach.

The sunken ship, off shore.

Dolly and Justina. Notice the cups in hand? It was BYOM (Bring Your Own Mojito) day at the beach. Or at least it was according to us.

Gorgeous dolly, with the surf behind her.

Ok, I totally cop to the 3rd grade humor…..but seriously, she needed a little sumptin-sumptin hanging from the rear view mirror to trick it out. Plus, the underwear doubled as a sling shot to hit those annoying bikers on the side of the road. For the record, we later bought her a crystal thingy and a pewter tiara that said “Queen of the Road’ to take the panties place.

When good tans go bad. The teenager working the spray tan booth was too busy texting to put down a mat so my feet didn’t get stained. Too bad I failed to notice until AFTER I was already sprayed.  And nude.

Our beach chairs, with yours truly.

Our best, drunken, sexy vixen looking,  Pam Anderson, Tawney Kitaine and Sharon stone impressions.

The girls rocking out to the band. I do have pics of the band, but I know I have a bunch of readers in the Philly area, and if someone knows them, I am afraid I’ll get some lunatic wife up in my face.  Not that we would have those guys with a 10 foot pole, or anything.

Go Dolly! Standing on the table like the old days!

How much late night pizza can a pair of spanx hold?

hmmmm…. this hung in our hotel. p.s. Remind me not to book a room on the 3rd floor next time we plan on drinking. Falling 1/2 way down a flight of rickety stairs is no fun at 3 am.

Our view from the cupola of the hotel.

The best fresh squeezed juice ever – squeezed fresh from all those NJ oranges in the NJ orange groves……right next to the oil tanks and pharmaceutical companies…..

Beautiful Justina, that flower has nothing on her.

My kind of shopping…..Rehab is for quitters, baby!

Ok, ok, one last drink…..

Who is the naughty drunk  who signed ‘Jessica, Maria, and Katherine ‘ to the guest list? (cough cough, Justina…)

It’s one thing when the moms club shuns you. This is a whole different story!

Is a Hot Meal Too Much to Ask For?

8 Jul

“I’m sorry Mrs. ______.  She struck another little girl when they were fighting over a toy.  She is banned from Kids camp for 24 hours and if she hits again, she can not come back for the remainder of the cruise.”  The director of the child watch center on our cruise line explained to me very kindly, but firmly.

I looked down at the little one.  Her mop of strawberry blonde curls hung over down cast eyes.  Banned from kids camp, we walked back to our cabin, me scolding her as we did so.  A 2 year old version of the walk of shame. I’m super pissed because tonight is “Elegant Night” in the dining room and they are serving filet mignon with lobster tails, and we had HOPED to let them stay in camp for dinner so we could have a nice romantic meal sans our ponytail posse.  Not going happen.

“Mommy, dat not da truff”!!” (Translation: ‘Mommy, that’s not the truth’) she cries out defiantly.

“Yes, it is the truth. Don’t  lie about it.  I know the girl took your toy, I know you were angry, but we do not hit, Delilah.”

The little one is scrappy.  I know my daughter, and I know she is guilty as charged.  I’ve never seen her hit anyone unprovoked, but if you take her toy  I can promise there is going to be one Mother F–er of a throw down.  That doesn’t make me any less annoyed that our amorous dinner has now turned into a party of four.  Hubs is even more pissed, he had hoped to keep them in camp a little longer so he could get lucky in the cabin after dinner.

Fast forward two hours and all four of us are dressed in our Sunday best (it is ‘Elegant Night’, after all) and are seated at a booth style table in the center of the large dining room.  I look around and notice that all the really nice tables, the ones with a view of the sunset over the water’s horizon, are occupied by couples with out kids in tow.  We decide to each take a child, so we are sitting across from one another, which will (hopefully) prevent fights and attempts at making a mad dash out of the dining room and going AWOL.  The first thing I do as we sit down is collect the silverware, as no good thing comes from a child wielding a butter knife. Our waiter comes over.  He is tall, and strapping from some Eastern European country or maybe France.  I can’t  read fine print under his name tag which states his country of origin.  His name is Gavin and he has an accent.  He is kind of cute, actually.  He starts giving us the ‘Good evening, the menu tonight…blah blah. blah‘ speech, and out of the corner of my eye, I see the little one trying to reach for my wine glass.  She grabs Hubs soda instead and takes several large swigs.  I shoo her away and try to focus on what he is saying, which is not easy, considering his accent and that I am distracted by little miss soda swiller.

“……..order as much as you like, and when you leave, I guarantee I f*ck you like bull.”

SAY WHAAAAT?  I look up at Hubs……did he hear that? I start to blush….f*ck like bull….really? As opposed to ‘be quiet or you will wake the kids’ kind of f*cking , which is all I really know, these days. Did he really just say that? ….is that what they do in Europe?  Why would he say that ?  And is he talking to Hubs or me?  I forget about the little one and the soda momentarily and my head whips around and look at him, stunned.

“What’s wrong, you don’t want your tummy full?” he smiles at me quizzically.

I blink and it takes me a second to realize he said tummy full, not f*ck like bull.  God help me, I put on a smile, mutter, “Oh yes, that’s fine, indeed”, cast my eyes down ward, and realize it’s been so long since Hubs and I have indulged in carnal pleasures, that now everything sounds perverted.  As I sat and pondered our deprived love life, I notice Delilah with my wine glass.  She is holding it by the stem and grinding a pile of salt she dumped out onto the tablecloth.  She starts banging it.  I go to grab it, but am too late.

CRACK! “Uh-oh.”  The stem broke in her chubby little hand.  Glass is everywhere.  How it’s not in her palm, is an act of God. I pick her up, and see it’s on the table the bench of the booth, the entire table has shards of glass scattered about. We need to move, so we do, to the next table over which is unoccupied.  This is what I get for daydreaming about getting my sexy back.

Gavin, the waiter, comes back and gives the girls new placemats, and this time, plastic cups.  He takes our order, and tussles the little one’s hair.

“Are you ok, sweetheart”?  he asks her gently.

“BLECH!  She replies with the loudest burp I have ever heard from a 2 year old, but then again, not many of them slurp down a good 5 oz. of their daddy’s ginger ale in the course of 20 seconds. “I FART FROM MY MOUTH” !!  She announces proudly.  He recoils slightly before faking a smile. I apologize for her and make her say “excuse me”. He scurries away muttering something about our food will be out shortly.  Make it fast, Gavin.

“Mommy, look at this man” Darla, my 4 year old says pointing to a picture on her placemat. “Do you think he has a worm” ?  The placemat has drawings of little fish and scuba divers.

“A worm? Like to bait the fish with? Maybe sweetie,” I reply.

“NO MOMMY”  Not a worm to catch a fish.  A worm between his legs.  Like boys have….remember when Owen (a younger playmate) had his diaper changed?  I saw his worm. ”

Oh God….THAT worm.  I look at Hubs, kick him under the table.  Let him take this one.  Speechless, he opens his mouth, blinks a few times, and shuts it again, like a fish out of water.  I can see he is not going to be much help.

” Your appetizers are here.” Gavin swoops down on us with two dishes balanced in his hands. “Escargot for you sir, and for Mrs, shrimp cocktail.”  I am just about to say thank you when the big one looks at Gavin and says, “Do you have a worm”?

Hubs’s  eyes are in rapid  fire blink mode and his face is ashen.  My jaw drops and seems stuck.  Gavin, unaware of the inner workings of a precocious 4 year olds mind set, doesn’t miss a beat.

‘No, my little dear, they are not worms, they are escargot, like snails ‘ he says smiling, and glides away.  Thank God for language barriers.

As I start to give a brief (but hopefully discreet) lesson on anatomy,  I can tell she is tuning me out.  She has her crayon in her hand, and is drawing.  Fine with me, as long as she is quiet and maybe she will forget about worms.

Hubs looks up at me, and shakes his head in bewilderment.  “We are going to have our hands full”  he mouths across the table to me.  He is smiling but his eyes look frightened.  “GOING TO”?  I think….how about we DO have our hands full?  Between the strawberry blond protegé of George Forman and a 4 year old that channels, Dr.Ruth, I’d say we are skeeee-rewd (Translation: Screwed).  But I smile at hubs anyway, also shaking my head.  He laughs back, and mouths “I love you” and for a moment we forget the girls are there and it feels like we are on our romantic date after all.  We raise our wine glasses and toast.  I can’t wait for my lobster….I’ve been waiting for this all trip.  Succulent and sweet, drowning in butter and piping hot…mmm…..heaven!  Not something we eat at home – what a rare treat.  Tonight is our big night after all, even with the girls here.  Maybe the evening wont be a wash after all.

“ALLLLL DONE!!!!”  the big one announces loudly and proudly as she holds up the placemat she was working on so intently.  As she does, her hand flies up and knocks over Hub’s ice water.  A full icy 10 oz. glass all over his crotch.  Can you say, cocks on the rock? Now, this may be something enjoyed by certain fetish groups, perhaps, but I can assure you, my poor Hubs’s  face contorted in sheer agony and brutal shock.  He leaps up in pain.  You’ve heard of great balls a fire, right?  Well, this the opposite effect….snow balls, so to speak. The poor bastard was soaked in ice water down to his skivvies.  “Jesus Christ!” he yells, a dark spot in the center of his pants.  His poor “worm’ must be an icicle by now.  So much for my chances of getting lucky.

“Sorry Daddy.”  Darla nonchalantly says to him, as if nothing is wrong.  Hubs is standing there swatting ice cubes off his junk, and trying unsuccessfully to soak up the excess with a cloth napkin.  He contemplates going back to get changed, but that will take 25 minutes and the lobster and steak will be here any moment.  God knows we eat enough cold meals at home, on vacation, we want the real deal, even if it means eating it with your balls on ice.  He settles down and puts his napkin over the iceberg that was once his flamethrower, muttering under his breath.  I catch the words “God dammit” and “should have sent them to kids camp”, but not much else. I look up and notice that Darla is still holding up her placemat proudly for display.

Mommy,” she says impatiently, “Did you SEE my DRAWINGS?”

I look up and discover she drew ‘worm’ penises on all the male characters on the placemats.  W…..T…..F ? My perverted, ponytailed Picasso grins at me proudly.  “Now they all have worms”.  OH my sweet Lord…..”That’s great,” I reply, quickly reaching over and turning the paper face down,  “Now draw me a flower on this side” I nervously glance around and force a smile,  hoping no one else saw her obscene attempt at artistry.

Just then, the Calvary arrives in the form of Gavin, with our meals.  “Here you go. Chicken fingers for you girls,”  he says placing their plates in front of them, unknowingly laying the food on a bed of Crayola cocks..  “And for you both, the Filet and Lobster. Enjoy.”  He sets our plates down, and Hubs and I look up and smile at each other once again, happy and grateful to have such a good meal in front of us.  It’s steaming hot and smells so delicious.  He whispers, “This looks great, Chrissie, enjoy it”.  I smile and say “You too!” and then, just as I am about to sink my fork into my mouth- watering lobster tail, the last words I want to hear come flying out of my 2 year old potty trainers mouth:

“I hafta go poopy”. (No translation required, you’ve all heard that one)

Of course she does.  I drop my fork, and shuffle her back to the 10 minute walk to the nearest bathroom, hoping she doesn’t crap herself along the way.

After a stressful bathroom session which included constant reminders for her not to touch anything, a serious death threat if she went near the used tampon hanging out of the trash, and her whipping open the stall door when it was my turn to tinkle so everyone could see my urination skills are up to par, we return back to the table 23 minutes later.  My lobster is cold and the butter congealed.  The filet mignon looks greasy.  Hubs is shivering, as result of the air conditioner being turned to high, coupled with the ice crystals now forming on his testicles.  The big one got down off the seat and is dancing in the aisle to ‘Mac the Knife’ playing over head.  I’m not hungry anymore. Admitting defeat, and now fully forgoing any thoughts of romance, I ask Gavin to wrap the little ones dinner.  I stuff a piece of bread in my mouth, chug the wine, and we head out.  Poor Hubs is using the take out bag to shield his ‘ballsicles’ from curious stares.  He is walking bowlegged so he literally doesn’t get his cheeks chapped.

The girls on the other hand, are laughing and dancing all the way back to the cabin. Which is exactly what I’d expect of them.

Click HERE to see video from that night in the dining room. Note that Hubs is pissed off looking and that the Little One has attitude. And please don’t forget to “like” my page!

Thank You for reading! And thank you for being so patient for another blog post – I admit to being a victim of the lazy days of summer. I appreciate all the emails and messages sent to me asking me when I was going to post, and I really appreciate all the support and love y’all have shown me! I am extremely lucky to have the most awesome readers who ‘get’ that parenthood isn’t always a bed of roses, and who keep me motivated, forward my blog to friends, tweet it, and repost it on facebook.  THANK YOU! xoxoxox


Edited by Annette Garkowski

The Dancing Queen at Frankenstein’s Lab

31 May

Looking around the room, I felt like I was in the midst of some bizarre  nightmare.   At 45 years of age it had been many years since I’ve gotten jiggy on the dance floor, but from the looks of things, not much has changed. The music, the pulsations, they were exactly the way I remembered them.  I had a flashback to my clubbing days in NYC, where every Friday my girlfriends and I would hop a bridge or tunnel to go party in one of Manhattan’s notorious night spots.  Not much has changed – the club was hot, and the energy was palpable.  It was exactly as I remembered a dance club would be, except  instead of stepping over beer bottles and observing the tell-tale signs of cocaine, juice boxes littered the floor, while cookie crumbs dusted the lips of the pint-sized clientele.  About 100 kids, with just as many parents  were along side of me, crammed up, panting and sweaty packed into  the cruise ship’s Frankenstein’s Lab discotheque.  Disco balls hung, lights pulsed to the beat of the music, and the floor lit up intermittently in sync with the song’s bass line. The centerpiece of the dance floor was a larger than life replica of the disco’s namesake strapped to a video screen, overlooking the dance floor. The kids were burning off their pre-party snack and going nuts. 100 kids jacked up on a sugar high, coupled with the macabre decor and the place was a madhouse.

The MC running the ‘Bon Voyage Dance Party’ for the cruise’s ‘Kid’s Camp’ had just announced it was time for the big family dance off.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the Big One hopping up and down with excitement.  The Big One, aka  Darla, is my energetic four-year old princess, who, like me, never backs down from a challenge.  The previous hour was spent with the Kids Camp participants shaking their little booties to the likes of Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and Katy Perry. Prizes, ‘gold medals’ with the cruise ships logo, were given out to individual dancers based on “Best Boy Dancer’, ‘Best Girl Dancer’ ,’Best Teen Dancer’ , and the big one was incensed  that she was overlooked for “Best Preschool Dancer’. “How dare they pick someone else…….that girl isn’t a better dancer than me….” she cried.  To make matters worse, her idol ‘Funship Freddy’, the ship’s costumed mascot gave out the awards.  She worshipped Freddy.  How dare he diss her! I had to hear about it for all of 10 minutes.  She threw a major shite fit like that  only an over-confident, entitled, 4-year-old diva could do.  When the MC announced it was time for the family dance off, she promptly ran to me, announcing “Come ON Mommy!!!” and dragged my fat aging ass on to the scene, where Frankenstein so aptly awaited me.  I thought my dancing days were over twenty-five years ago. Welcome to my nightmare, Dr. Frankenstein.

I look over at Hubs, and he gives me a wave and sneer. He knows he dodged a bullet on this one. The Little One, our 2-year-old, Lilah is fast asleep in his arms.  I’m on my own here, and I know it. He salutes me and mouths ‘Good luck’ as the Big One leads me by the hand to her spot on the reverberating dance floor.  As Funship Freddy takes the mic and counts down to start the dance off, The Big One shoots me a look as if to say,  “Don’t screw this  up”.  I’m scared. And not just of Dr. Frankenstein who is looming down on me.

I look around to access my competition and work out a strategy.  Crap. The mom next to me is Latin American. I’m a Euro-mutt which make her naturally score 10 points higher than me in the rhythm department. I look to the left and see The Bride of Frankenstein is on the other side of me. A Goth mom.  She is young (thus has more stamina) but she looks less than thrilled to be on the floor.  I know I can take her. Scanning the crowd I notice Fat Sweaty Dad is behind us. He is pure white bread, wearing black socks with shorts and track shoes, and he has got DORK written all over him.  He wont stand a chance. The music starts. It’s that ‘Kick Him to the Curb Unless He Looks Like Mick Jagger‘ song.  I start rocking my hips. Things have changed in 25 years.  My hips arent swinging like they used to. As a matter of fact, I am hoping I don’t dislocate a hip. I feel my bones sway one way, and I think my fat is moving in the polar opposite way. It can’t be pretty and I am not unaware that misdirected fat is no way to win a dance contest.  I look behind me and see Sweaty Fat Guy is having the same problem.  I am hoping it looks worse on him.   Goth mom is bored and barely moving.  I notice Mrs. Latin America has on 5 inch spiked heels, and she does NOT look like she is having fun. Ha! Sucka! I am thanking God, Frankenstein and every Donna Summer impersonator that I have ever seen for the sensible shoes I wore.  I start shaking my money-maker a little harder, and it all comes back.  It’s 1983, and I am back in time at The Hunka Bunka Ballroom’s grand opening.  There was a dance contest that night, and I was working it like Tony Minero in Saturday Night Fever. Shaking that ass, moving that junk, until Victory was mine.   I was chosen as the dancing queen that night, and have the t-shirt to prove it. I did it before I and know I can do it again.  Shake, sway, arms moving.  Think like a black girl, damn it.  I look around and the Brazilian Beauty looks defeated.  Her feet hurt, I can tell.  She is slowing down! HA! I shake it some more. Fat daddy is red-faced and you can tell the words “coronary malfunction” are on his mind. The poor bastard is jerking  about in uncoordinated spasms, similar to thank of an epileptic seizure and I am hoping the ship’s doctor is on call, just in case. He looks distressed.  He suddenly stops dancing, and bends at the waist, huffing and puffing,  gasping for air.  His son tugs on his shirt and he resumes kicking up his heels to  a very non-rhythmic version of the robot.  NERD! Is that all you got? Boo! Go back to programming fiber optic infrastructure! You’re a disgrace to fatties !!! (and I should know).  I look at Goth Mom.  She is barely moving….her eyes are closed…. is she sleeping? Might as well be.  I’m psyched, I’m pumped. I look up at Frankenstein and even he appears to be grinning. Or maybe its just the lack of blood flow to my brain – it’s all in my ass – which hasn’t stopped jiggling.  Work it, move it. get jiggy. The Big one is putting on her A game too. She wants this and is giving it her all.  I know we are looking “fly. ”

The tempo changes and “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles comes on. The Big One is enthusiastically bopping, giving it her all.  She is a HUGE Beatles fan, and I can’t let her down. I look out on the floor and notice the crowd is thinning. Several moms and dads have given up, panting and lining the outskirts of the dance floor watching us work it. The Big One is giving her all, moving, shaking, and my girl’s got rhythm. She won’t be outdone, not my girl. Seriously, for a couple of white chicks, we are on fire. Just when I think we got this, I notice another mom and her son moving to the grooving like its nobody’s business. Competition! She is also an older mom, I am guessing in her 40’s. Mom-jean capris (like me) she looks like she too has suffer the effects of PTMS.  She is old,  tired, and uncool,  and has the same pair of sensible shoes I have on, but only in a different color!  She is a funky old chunkster and could be my brotha from anotha motha!!  She is the Jekyll to my Hyde here at Frankenstein’s disco!! Her dance partner is a cute little dark-haired boy who has tricky feet, and is working the beat. Darla and I have met our match. The horror show dance off at Frankensteins lab has just heated up.

As Oprah says, there  is always one thing you know for sure about yourself , and one thing I know for sure is this: I am not the smartest girl in the world, in fact, often times, I am a !@#ing idiot. There is always someone smarter.  I am not the prettiest girl, my eyes are too close-set and my skin is always milky, even in summer.  I am no longer the skinniest (obviously) and relying on my looks will get me nowhere.  But one damned thing I know for sure, is that enthusiasm will take you everywhere in life, and its landed me success, granted me things,  and taken me places where people would never have guessed I’d be. I look down at my little girl, and I notice she is scanning the crowd accessing the competition too. She wants this so bad, and is her mother’s daughter.  She puts on a smile, doubles up the charm and starts dancing from the heart. She is putting on her swagger, shaking her boot-tay and suddenly does a tumble sault on the dance floor in a pee-wee attempt at break dancing.  Competition? Bullshite.  Move over Jekyll and son, cause we are going to blow it up!

We amp up our verve and lock hands. We do the twist and lock arms, knock knees and put our heads together, laughing and twisting. We try the ‘How Low Can You Go’ twist strategy, and I secretly pray I don’t pop a hernia and give birth to my ovaries while I squeeze and shimmy on down low.  Darla is working it too, giving it her all. We are laughing and really having fun together. I see so much of myself in her, and my heart fills with love and pride. Like me, my daughter makes up for her shortcomings with sheer determination and enthusiasm, and I love her for it.  She is putting on her A-game and going for it. Eying Jekyll and son, she sees what we are up against and is hell bent on rocking the house.  As the song ends, I pick her up, grab her, and swing her round, her golden blonde hair flying like a halo around her head.  Her sweet grin is edging up on her flushed cheeks as she giggles as we twirl.  Filled with the warmth of motherly pride, I take a mental snapshot in my mind.  If nothing else we had fun together, my sweet daughter and I, and it’s a moment I hope to remember for a long time.

The song ends, and Funship Freddy announces the winners will get a trophy shaped like the cruise ship. I see my daughters hopeful eyes widen at the sight of the gleaming genuine, plastic 24 kt award. Freddy walks thru the crowd. My daughter tilts her head up optimistically, watching him walk thru the sweaty dads, hyped up children, and dancing queen has-beens, like myself.  The suspense is absolute and the club is quiet. Frankenstein stands sentinel of the dance floor as Freddy weaves his way past us.  Disappointment clouds her eyes. I give her a half-hearted smile and bend down to  whisper “We had fun anyway“.  Always a trooper, she smiles in agreement and nods her head.

Suddenly Freddy stops, turns around and holds the trophy out to my daughter. Her face beams and she squeals in delight. She takes the trophy and throws her arms around Freddy, jumping up and down in sheer exuberance.  Joy is bursting thru the seams of her being, and her smile appears larger than her face. She was never so proud. Knowing how she worked for it, knowing how she upped her game and gave it her all, I was never so proud of her. She is her mother’s daughter.  I know she will do well in life, because even at age four, she knows that if you want something bad enough, hard work, enthusiasm, and a few shakes of  your tail feathers, will give you a great shot at getting it.

Oh, and a pair of sensible shoes always helps too.

Thanks for Reading!

Copyright 2011 Livelaughloveliquor. All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction in any medium without prior written consent of the author is permitted.