Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Take Your Lower Lip and Pull it Over Your Head

Carol BurnettCarol Burnett via last.fm

As a mother, I no longer dread mammograms, pap smears or spinal fusion. I look forward to them like spa treatments.

Major back surgery was painful, of course, but I got oodles of time to myself with a side of morphine. Carol Burnett once said that in order for men to understand childbirth, take your lower lip and pull it over your head.
Well, to understand spinal fusion, take your lower lip, pull it over your head, then pull it back to your neck.

Then stretch it back to your spine down to your toes and put it under your heels. Strap on your best stillettos and dig your heels onto your lower lip. You might understand spinal fusion at least during the hospital stay. Recovery time? That's a different story.

Remove your lower lip from under your stillettos and pull it up to your belt buckle, tuck it into your pants, then snap it back into its original place. And then you get back to your job of mothering.

In my house, you must abide by three simple rules:

1. You must have fun making dinner with me. We made Boboli pizza the other night. The girls fought over who sprinkles the cheese on the sauce. April won because Holly did the sauce. But Holly didn't want too much cheese so she tells April how to do it. April growls.

April's latest thing is to act like an animal. If she ever takes acting lessons and does that embarassing exercise where she walks around a strip mall acting like an iguana or parrot, she's got it down.

Yelling ensues. I separate them into corners like Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinx for time outs. Then I march them back into the kitchen and order them like Louis Gossett Jr., "You two HAVE FUN if it's the LAST THING YOU DO!"

They crack up. I half expect April to do her best Richard Gere impression, "I got nowhere else to go!" Then bark like a dog.

2. If you are a children's author or illustrator, please have a name I can pronounce. When I read to my kids, I always read the author and illustrator's names out loud. Not only is it important to know who created this work, we find more books by these authors at the library.

But it's hard when you can't pronounce their names. I say, "Today we will read 'Jane Goes for a Walk" by Ziadna'en Aidezkyyoiuuon. Illustrated by Andiao;en;knaci Alidja;kanekngalkidu." I do my best but they laugh at me. So I advise if you go into this wonderful line of work, get a pen name.

3. Finally, no fighting until Mommy is at least in her underwear. Many times we get ready in a rush to go somewhere. I'm in a state of undress and I have to break up a screaming and growling fight. I rush out of my room, praying the blinds are closed, to find out what happened. But I can't discipline if I don't have my underwear on. How do you lay down the law when you're buck naked?

So, if these three simple rules cannot be obeyed, I will need a relaxing day to myself until they are. Which reminds me, I'm due for a root canal.

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