Friday, March 12, 2010

On parenting while sick, but with good hair.

It is the eve of our all-kids-all-the-time weekend, and instead of trying to plan something fun and stimulating for all of them to do, we’re trying to think of something really subdued. Dull even. You see, Eric, who usually takes on the lion’s share of child wrangling, being a veteran of all-boy sleep overs and ninja war games, is sick. He’s oh-god-I’m-so-sick-I’m-not-being-dramatic-I-HAVE-to-moan-like-this-just-to-stay-alive sick. And I’m just now getting over the same thing.

So tonight will be a test of sorts. Less about fun playing house more about the ugly truth of having four kids bouncing off the walls when all you want to do is knock yourself out with Nyquil and sleep for days.

Eric suggested lining the basement with mattresses, throwing a pizza down the stairs and hiding behind the couch. I don’t think that’s responsible parenting.
I think we should at least put a movie in for them.
Like The Diary of Anne Frank. Or Old Yeller.


We’re having an unusually warm March here in Minneapolis. It’s been raining all week and is supposed to rain all weekend too. Which is tough, cause it will make me feel real bad about kicking the kids out into the backyard all day on Saturday - into the miasma of melting snow, mud and dog poo. But on the other hand, it’s making me so hopeful for spring. Itching to get out there and clean up the yard, reclaim the patio, breathe fresh air.

In truth, these late winter months are always torture for me. I feel like everything is stagnant and soggy and dead. Just waiting for sunshine and warm air, waiting for the rebirth of… of everything. I get so antsy for the season to change that I become aggravated with every little thing that I have been looking at all winter. I hate the dirty windows, the color of the walls, my entire wardrobe, my face in the mirror.

To that end, last weekend, I got a haircut. That might not seem like such a big deal, but it kind of is. For the past twenty years I have been living with basically the same haircut. It’s straight and, usually, long. I get it trimmed a couple times a year. Then every five years or so, I cut it all short, and then grow it out again. But now, for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s a style. Like, not just cut in a straight line right where my bra strap hits the middle of my back. It’s all layery and kind of curlyish and cute. And at first I was a little freaked – cause you know what you have to do with a hairstyle? You have to style it. You have to use stuff on your hair other than shampoo and your fingers.

But I had a sweet little flashback moment this morning. Sitting cross-legged on my bedroom floor in front of the full length mirror, listening to the radio and curling my hair with a curling iron. Just like in sixth grade. All that was missing was the lavender shag carpet of my childhood bedroom.

My new hair is so fabulous, in fact, that Eric thought he should take a picture of it last night. Remember how we just bought a new camera? And neither one of us really knows how to use it yet? By his third attempt at snapping a picture of me, I had tears streaming down my face from the blinding red light that would flash in my eyes before the shutter clicked. And we couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. So, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I have a hairstyle.

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