Hair today, gone tomorrow

This may sound a little odd, but I am enchanted with my son’s head.

There are so many things I love about it.

I am enchanted by the flecks of gold in his hair.  It always shocks me to see this, as my hair is about as jet black as it comes.  When Chip was born, he actually had light blond surfer highlights that I thought were so cool.  He still gets pretty blond in the summer time.  It reminds me of his dad.

I am enchanted by the little cowlick at the back: an ode to Alfalfa.  It never lies completely flat, no matter what length it is.  He gets that from his dad as well.

I am enchanted by the fact that his head is still slightly out of proportion with the rest of his body.  It’s not orange-on-the-end-of-a-tyooothpick big.  It’s just toddler big.  I know someday soon, he’ll grow into his head.  And that makes me a little sad.

But most of all, I am enchanted by the way his head smells.

I know, that sounds weird.

But I sneak smells of it when I can.  In those rare quiet moments when he’s sitting on my lap munching on a cookie… or snuggled in my arms before bedtime, I like to smell his warm, fuzzy little head.

I inhale.  And savor.

Sometimes it smells like wacky watermelon kid’s shampoo, or baby lotion.

Sometimes it smells faintly like a squished piece of chocolate, or some ground in mac ‘n cheese.

Sometimes, after napping on freshly laundered crib sheets, it smells of Mountain Breeze detergent or dryer sheets.

Sometimes it smells like drool.  His, not mine.  But it’s a sweet, comforting smell that has no trace whatsoever of morning mouth.  I guess there is a reason they call it baby’s breath.

Sometimes, after he’s been cuddling with Jay, it smells faintly of aftershave.  I love that I can get a whiff of both of my boys at once.

But there’s always an underlying scent.

It’s the smell of baby.

I can’t describe the scent.  But it is real.  It’s a smell that, on my olfactory scale, ranks right up there with home-baked cookies, cinnamon and fresh freesia.  It’s a delicious, enchanting aroma that, in my book, has no equivalent.

My daughter doesn’t have this any more.  She used to.  But then I blinked, and her baby smells gave way to Tinkerbell chapstick, Strawberry Shortcake dolls and sweaty little preschooler head.

She’ll never again have that distinctly baby smell.  And that, too, makes me a little sad.

But for now, my son does.  If you see some random crazy on the street with her nose buried in her kid’s hair, it may be me.  I know that smell of baby will soon be gone, so I’m soaking it all in while I can.

And so I inhale… and savor.  Because that smell just enchants me.

Mama's Losin' It

The turkey said Google, Google!

Everything was all ready.

The tables were set.

The 16 paper handprint turkeys Bobo and I made were cut, glued, and set out as placecards.

The pies were cooling on the rack ordered and picked up from the bakery.

It was my first Thanksgiving dinner at my house, and I was determined that everything would be perfect.  There was just one thing left to do.

The turkey.

I had planned meticulously ahead.  I had researched spice recipes on the internet.  I had called my mother earlier in the week and grilled her about how to cook the perfect turkey.  (What kind of roasting pan should I get?  What are those little tinfoil snakes used for, anyways? How does your gravy turn out so good?  No one can make turkey gravy like my mom.)  I actually remembered to defrost the bird.  I had set the alarm to an ungodly hour so I could pop it in the oven.

I was fully prepared to cook the dickens out of my first turkey.  Or so I thought.

The morning of Thanksgiving the alarm went off at the crack of dawn.  I stumbled downstairs and groggily turned on the oven to preheat.  With one eye open, I lugged the turkey out of the fridge.  But when I took it over to the sink to wash it out, something fell out of the middle of the bird.

When I saw it lying in the sink, I yelped and jumped back a bit.  For the love of God, what WAS that?

And then I knew.  Obviously, someone had left the frank and beans in the middle of my turkey.

A slew of questions raced through my mind:

What kind of sick joke is this, anyway?
Am I being Punk’d?
What exactly am I supposed to do I do with that?
Cook it up?
Throw it away?
Use it as a garnish?

It was too early still to call my mom.  And I was more than a little embarrassed to try 1-800-BUTTERBALL.  So I turned to my old standby.  Google.

In the wee hours of the morning, I sat at the computer, Googling the phrase “turkey penis.”  Not how I envisioned starting my Thanksgiving.

Eventually, Google straightened me out.  And, suffice to say, the meal (and the turkey) turned out just fine.  But I learned a few things that Thanksgiving day.

I learned that there are some phrases you should never, ever type into Google.  Oh MY.

I learned that you can cheat and use the pre-cut, frozen mashed potatoes.  And, if you add enough butter and cream, no one will know the difference.  As long as you carefully dispose of the packaging.

I learned that my mom really does make the best turkey gravy I’ve ever tasted.

I learned that being able to have four generations of family sitting down at my dining room table is something to be thankful for, indeed.

I learned that tryptophan has no effect on children under the age of four.  Especially after three pieces of chocolate pie.

Most importantly, I learned that store-bought turkeys come with the neck and the gizzards inside the bird.  And I learned what a turkey willy does not look like.

Thank you for that, Google.

I hope you all are endowed with a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Mama's Losin' It
#4. Describe a memorable Thanksgiving.

O, Mr. Coffee Cup. How I love thee.

O, Mr. Coffee Cup.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My mug can hold, no more so after a sleepless night.
My need is obsession.  No!  In fact, it’s a craze.
I love thee, black gold.  You brighten my days.
You deliver caffeine; you answer my plight.
Wee ones, they must wait, ’til you’re in my sight;
Once I have thee in hand, then trails I can blaze.
And those days when nary a drop’s to be found? Alas, we all lose;
For without thee, I morph into grumpy rhinothereth.
I love thee on morns when I cannot hit snooze.
I love thee on morns when I just feel like death.
I love thee with cream, and sometimes a nip of booze.
I shall love thee forever.  Despite coffee breath.

I hereby apologize to Elizabeth Barrett Browning for butchering a perfectly beautiful love poem.  I’m convinced, though, that had Starbucks had been around in the 1800’s, her sonnet might have turned out differently.  But that’s just a theory.

Mama's Losin' It

Sex, drugs and rock & roll

So, I have a confession to make.

I’m not perfect. 

Wow, that feels good to get that off my chest.  And Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, you can just pretend the rest of this post never existed.

I was no wild child growing up.  But when I ventured off to college and, later, into the big wide world, I spread my wings a little.  I did what a lot of young adults did.

I played a little.  I experimented a little.  And I made some mistakes.

Looking back, there are a lot of times I wished I would have done something, but didn’t.  And there are an equal number of things that, if I had a mulligan, I probably wouldn’t do again.  I don’t dwell on a lot of these, because what’s done is done.  They’re in the past.

Or are they?

As a parent, I wonder if some of my past adventures may possibly rear their ugly heads again.  I know that, one day, the uncomfortable questions will likely come.  And when my kids ask me about certain events and experiences, what do I tell them?  When the time comes, do I reveal some of my confessions to my kids?

Confession #1.  I’ve done the deed.
Well, the cat’s out of the bag on this one.  I think by the time my kids are old enough to learn about the birds and the bees, I don’t think I’ll be able to fool them into thinking the stork brought them.  And I think by this point, my parents have probably figured the truth out as well.

But if the questions probe deeper?  I don’t even want to think of touching that conversation with a ten-foot poll.  Anyway, I’m in denial that we won’t need to have that talk.  Because according to Jay, Bobo won’t even be allowed to date until she’s 30.  Problem solved.

Confession #2.  I drink.
I do drink responsibly around my kids; they’ve seen me with a beer or glass of wine in hand.  So I can’t deny that.

But if they ask?  I certainly never had a sip before I was 21, never did anything stupid while under the influence, and I never got completely snockered.

Yeah, I’m betting my kids won’t buy that one either.  I’m wondering if I could just mix a little dirt with water, and tell them that’s what Guinness tastes like.  It wouldn’t exactly be a lie, would it?

Confession #3.  I’ve celebrated 4/20.
But only once.  And I never inhaled.

Oh, crap.  Someone famous already said that.

I don’t know what to say about this one.  I’m just hoping to go with the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on this one.  And I hope they never ask.

Confession #4.  I love rock & roll My first concert was a Kenny G. concert
Ah, finally an easy confession!

I’m not a big rock & roll fan, so I can honestly I’ve never participated in any shenanigans at a rock concert.  I once drug Jay to a Dixie Chicks concert, but there was definitely no shenanigans at that event.

I do, however, still receive quite a bit of flack from Jay regarding my undying love for Kenny G.

But at least that’s one confession I don’t mind wholeheartedly admitting to my kids.

Mama's Losin' It
#2. What are your confessions?

I’m sew done with Halloween

After my little fiasco with the Superman costumes earlier in the week, I was thinking I could put my feet up and relax while drinking pumpkin beer until Halloween rolled around.

I was wrong.

As it turns out, my husband’s office division is doing a theme for Halloween this year.  That theme?  The Addams Family.

I was hoping he’d go with something relatively easy.  Like Fester or Pugsley.  But, wouldn’t you know it… my husband chose to go as Cousin Itt.

Last night, he brought home a little present for me.  A bowler hat, spectacles, and four yards of hideously furry material.  My mission?  To turn a mound of shedding fabric into something that halfway resembled a six-foot Cousin Itt costume.

Begrudgingly, I obliged.  Three beers and two broken sewing machine needles later, we had this:

Not to mention an extremely hairy dining room floor.

And all I can say is… next year, we’re SO going to Target to buy Halloween costumes.

But now that that’s over?  I am happy to say that my motherly and wifely Halloween duties are complete.  I am now committed to actually enjoying the upcoming holiday.  I intend on spending the next few days drinking pumpkin ale.  And gorging myself on Starburst and candy corn.

Maybe I’ll even go carve a jack-o-lantern, just for kicks.  I’ve already picked out my pattern.  Now all I have to do is carve it.

Mama's Losin' It