Cautionary Tale

My life as an evil mastermind started off quite innocently at the playground one day.  “I’m Spiderman and you are Rhino,” my son said.  “Come and get me,” he shouted, running behind the climbing structure.  With a half-hearted Rhino roar, I chased him.  He screamed, “I got you.  You are tied up in my webs.”  Then, he squealed, “again, again!”  With each performance, I became more and more convincing as the Rhino.  Soon I was stomping and charging like a seasoned evil villain.  “I am just playing with my son,” I told myself.  “This is harmless,” I insisted.

But, before I knew it, I had moved onto gateway villains such as Sandman, Electro and Doctor Octopus.  I thought that I could handle it.  I told everyone, “I can stop at any time.”  I couldn’t see how I was beginning to change.  Spending hours studying the villains and learning their ways, I mastered their evil laughs and moves.

My downward spiral into the abyss of evil mastermind accelerated on a Superhero Saturday at my house.  In order for my son and his friend to play superheroes, I had to become many evil villains at one time.  I was Joker and Penguin tying up Batman over a pool of sharks.  Then, I was Dr. Octopus crushing Superman.  “Help!” yelled Wonder Woman tied with her golden lasso to the railroad tracks.  Sending an out of control train to cut her in half, I laughed “Hee, Hee, Hee.”

On evil overload, I was a dozen villains that day.  When it was over, I started planning my next battle with the Superheroes.  “This time I will win,” I exclaimed.  “Wah, Ha, Ha!”  My family humored me thinking that this would be the end of my life as an evil mastermind.

However, it was only the beginning.   I no longer studied evil villains.  I created them.  First, I became the Evil Easter Bunny throwing candy bombs at children.  When that wasn’t evil enough, I invented Rat Woman.  I was a bad ass villain starting a rat fight with Cat Woman.  The fight ended with “<chomp!> <chomp!><burp!>, tasty,” I said “<cough!>, <cough!>…hairball.”  What do you expect?  I’m a rat.

It was finally time for an intervention.  “Mom, we want to let you know that we love you,” they said.  “We have enjoyed playing with you in the past,” they continued.  “But, it has gotten out of hand!  You are out of control.”

Stunned by their revelations at first, I sat quietly listening.  “No, I didn’t do that,” I protested.  “Yes, you did!” my son firmly replied.  “And, you are getting worse.  We are afraid of what you will think of next.”

When I could no longer deny my obsession with evil villains, I had to admit that I was powerless over evil villains and my life was unmanageable.  Rehab was brutal.  They made me go cold turkey, which meant I wasn’t allowed to play any of the evil turkeys from Free Birds.  They let me eat all the candy I wanted to reduce my craving for Craven, but I was not allowed near the TV room with the Xbox.  How many nights did I pace outside that room shaking, sweating and watching the others play?  “Phew!  I am glad that’s over!”

Dinner and a Show

“Michael, Michael, Michael you get down from there,” his mother begged.  I looked up from my salad to catch a view of one of the cutest 2 years old boys that I have ever seen.  He had climbed up, so that he could reach the ketchup dispenser and he was squirting ketchup everywhere.  Horrified his mother leaped to stop him.  “No, No, No Michael,” she shouted grabbing his hands.

Laughing he jumped down and started running the parameter of the dining room in Wendy’s.  His mother chasing him all the way yelling, “Michael stop!  Michael stop!”  He dodged her grasp like one of the finest running backs in the NFL.  She finally trapped him in a corner and picked him up.  His arms and legs swinging all the way back to the table.

Once she settled him at the table in front of his Wendy’s Kid’s Meal, he stopped for a moment to take a bite before launching into his next sprint across the dining room.  “Michael,” she yelled dashing after him.   “Look what I have,” she said holding up his prize.  “If you sit down and eat, I will give you this prize.”  He stopped in his tracks and ran back to her jumping up to grab the prize.  “Michael, sit down please,” she said sternly.

Smiling, I watched Michael work the deal like a seasoned salesman.  He started running towards the fencing in the front of the restaurant.  Reaching for the top to climb up, he heard his mother say, “Okay, if you eat your meal, you can have your prize and a Frosty.”  He turned around with a big smile on his face and marched back to the table, the victor.

Who would have thought that for the price of a salad and burger for my son I could get a show as well?  What a bargain!

Alien Invasion

I don’t want to alarm you, but think there has been an alien invasion.  When I went into my son’s room this morning to wake him up, he had been replaced by an alien.  While it looks like him, it does not act like him.  Apparently these aliens hate school.  They hide under their blankets to avoid going to school.

After stripping the bed to get this alien out of it, I had to drag him to the kitchen for breakfast.  I am wondering if he is one of the bug aliens from Men in Black.  All he seem to want to eat is sugar.

I suspect they have a strange sense humor.  His favorite TV show is Crash and Bernstein.  He has been trying to replicate the pranks on his family and friends.  Also, he finds belching, farting and face slamming very funny.

According to this alien, the females of the species carry a deadly disease called cooties.  Contact with girls could be fatal and must be avoided at all costs.  Also, I am told that they have an allergy to homework and bedtime.  Their reactions can be quite severe at times.

The Olympics on his planet include games of Minecraft, Skylanders, Plants vs Zombies and Call of Duty.  They must have some form of football on his planet, because he loves Madden 25.  In order to win, they practice for many hours, jumping up and screaming as the battle gets heated.

Also, it seems that the inhabitants of his planet leave their clothes, dishes and trash everywhere.  This planet must be a dump!

Besides the mess, this planet must be very violent.  He likes guns, shooting and battle.  He has Nerf guns, water guns and cap guns.  When guns aren’t available, he likes to have pillows fights and throw stuffed animals.  He has been building bunkers throughout the house for battle.  I am afraid there is going to be a large scale invasion.

To avoid the destruction of our planet, I have been attempting to educate him as to our earth customs.  For example, if he wants to practice the custom of playing with his friends, he must complete his homework and go to bed on time.  Also, if he wants to partake in the custom of dessert, he must eat his vegetables.

He seems to be responding to my requests, so I will not alert the NSA just yet.  But, I would like you to keep an eye out for strange behavior in your children.  We need to know how wide spread this invasion has become.  The fate of our planet rests in your hands.

Meet my hero today

After the wonderful speeches and Taps have been played and everyone has left, there stands a lone figure at the graveside.  A piece of her heart lies in this grave and she cannot bring herself to leave it.  She remembers the day that this soldier was born, when she anxiously listened for his first screams of life.  “Yes,” she said in relief, “he sounds very strong.”

Smiling she turned from the kitchen sink to see him raise himself up and take his first steps.  She dried her hands to reach for him as he toddled towards her falling into her arms.  “Look at you;” she cooed at him, “you are such a big boy.  You are walking.”  She was so proud of him and grateful that he was safe in her arms.

On Memorial Day, she dressed him in his little suit and showed him how to salute as the soldiers marched by.  She told him how brave they were and how they served our country.  “When I grow, I’m going to be brave,” he proclaimed, standing up straight at attention.  “I’m going to be a soldier.”  She smiled and patted him on the head, “yes, you are my very brave boy.  I know that you will do great things.”

She was not surprised when he joined ROTC in college.  “You are so handsome in your uniform,” she said as he marched towards her.  “Have you received your orders yet?” she continued with a twinge in her chest.  As proud as she was of her boy, she was afraid for his safety.  Turning to wipe a tear before he could see it, she said, “I’m so proud of you.”

Standing resolutely in an Air Force hanger, she smiled and waved at him, throwing a kiss to her son.  “Come home soon,” she yelled over the sound of the jet engines.  “But, not too soon,” she said softly.  “Come home alive.”

Her next meeting in the Air Force hanger was to greet a flag draped coffin that held a piece of her heart.  With her shoulders slumped and her head hanging down, she bent down to kiss the head of the coffin.  “My sweet boy you are home,” she choked.  Stroking the head of the coffin, she said “rest easy my son your battle is done.”

Sitting in the center chair, she faded in and out as members of the military spoke about her son’s bravery and how many lives he saved.  She looked up as they handed her a metal of honor and a folded flag.  She wanted to get up, but her legs would not work.  She was frozen in her seat.  She softly mumbled, “Thank you,” and shook their hands.

Filtering past the coffin, family, friends and military members, stopped to say “we are sorry for your loss.”  She forced herself to look up and say, “thank you.”  Once everyone was gone, she sat quietly with her son like she had many nights in his youth, making sure that he was okay.  She could hear him say, “Mom I’m okay.  You don’t need to stay.”

Leaning forward to kiss his head one more time, she fell on top of the coffin. “I’m not ready to let you go,” she sobbed.  “Come home with me,” she begged.  When she regained her footing, she slowly shuffled to her car.  She turned to look at him one more time.  Raising her shaking right hand, she saluted her brave hero.  “Good night my son.  Rest in peace.”

My baby rocks!

Looking up from my laptop, I was pleasantly surprised to see my son dancing to a Bon Jovi song.  I was amazed when he started the movements of air guitar.  “Wow,” I said and clapped, when he leaped into the air and landed in a half split.  “You rock!” I shouted and he looked up with a proud smile on his face.

It brought back lots of memories from the 80’s, watching my son dance and sing songs from Bon Jovi and Aerosmith.  At first, I thought his taste was due to listening to 80’s Rock in the womb.  After days of 80’s rock, I began to wonder if there was a more serious problem.  When he said that he wanted to grow out the back of his hair, I panicked.  Could this be the dreaded 80’s gene?  Eek!

I couldn’t sleep.  “What if he grows a mullet?  What if he starts wearing parachute pants and jackets with shoulder pads or Hawaiian shirts with jeans?  What will his gym teacher say if he comes into class with a headband and legwarmers?”  I had to know before this 80’s obsession got out of hand, so I ordered testing.

First, we tried the Pacman test.  “Oh No! He loves it!  There’s no hope!” I yelled.  My husband said, “Calm down!  We haven’t finished the testing.”

Taking out a pile of flash cards of 80’s bands, he said confidently “he will never guess all of these bands.”  When my son guessed KISS on the first card, my husband said, “beginner’s luck.”  His face went white as a ghost, when my son guessed Guns N Roses for the second card.  “How could he know that?  Maybe there is something to this 80’s gene,” he said with a sigh.  “Do they have 80’s gene therapy?”

Hysterical, I grabbed the flash cards.  “You must be giving him hints.  Let me take a turn.”  I lifted the next card with my hands shaking.  “He can’t possibly know this band.”  When he guessed Duran Duran, I thought all hope was lost.  “What will we tell the family and neighbors?” I cried.

“One last test,” I said with a shaky voice “Devo.”  I selected Whip It on the stereo and watched his reaction.  On the edge of my seat hoping that he was not lost to the 80’s, I found myself starting to move with the song.  My husband and I started dancing.  All of a sudden we heard, “Yuk!  What is this song?  It is terrible!”

“Hurray,” I shouted with joy.  “He hates Devo.  He doesn’t have the dreaded 80’s gene.”  After celebrating that our son did not have the 80’s gene, we turned Devo back on and finished our dance.  “Whip it good!”

I’m so Proud!

Watching my son march behind the fire engine with his big sign that he made in art class, I could feel my heart swell with pride. I am so proud of the boy that he has become. With Mom and Dad waving at him in the parade, he puffed out his chest with confidence and raised up his banner. “Hampstead Rocks!” he shouted with his town spirit.

After watching the police cars, fire engines and school mascot followed by the class rooms of students with their banners, we squeezed into rows of excited parents getting up and down to take pictures. Singing our town song, the students all deserved a 10 for loudness and enthusiasm. What town spirit!  Then, a future American Idol contestant sang the National Anthem. I was amazed at the volume that came out of that tiny girl. We all cheered for her performance.

I don’t want to sound bias, but my son’s class had the best song and performance. They sang a version of “What the Fox Says,” changing the words to go with our town. They were so animated and soooooo cute!

I held my breath when it came time for him to dance with a girl. He had been complaining all week about having to dance with a girl. “Mom you won’t believe it! I have to dance with a girl. Yuk!” he cried all week.

I was pleasantly surprised, when he finished his dance without any incident. While he had a squeamish look on his face during the Virginia Reel dance, he managed to get through the whole dance with a girl – despite the cooties. I had to laugh when I caught a glimpse of one of his friends with the same look on his face. It’s okay. I’m not ready for him to like girls yet.

As a conquering hero, he strutted up to us proud of his accomplishments. He made sure to introduce us to his teachers and friends. Of course, we needed to look at all of his art work and writing assignments. When his teacher said “he is a very special boy” with a sincere smile, I smiled ear to ear with pride.

It’s not as easy as it sounds!

This entry is a shout out to the mothers that suffered with infertility. It is so frustrating to watch everyone around you get pregnant, when you are struggling. And, everyone has so much advice to give you.

First, I was told to go on vacation get drunk and I would come home pregnant. After a week of drinking, laughing and loving, I tested negative on the pregnancy stick. Ugh!

Then, they told my husband to wear boxer shorts to increase his sperm count. Equipped with boxer shorts and an ovulation tester, we continued the quest for a baby. We became slaves to the ovulation monitor arranging our schedule for when it told us to have sex. There was no romance left, just the quest. Months of defeat turned into a year and I was finally forced to admit that I had a problem.

When I was finally desperate, I crawled under my OB/GYN’s door, because I felt less than an inch tall. What kind of a woman can’t get pregnant?

My husband’s test was very simple, collecting a sperm sample. My tests were not so easy. Just a hint, when your doctor says that it will be a little pinch, she is lying.

I remember one day leaving her office in agony after one of the so called pinches. It was torture watching all of the pregnant women coming and going. They made it look so easy. I had to fight the urge to hate them for being pregnant.

Another understatement was that I might experience a change in my mood with the hormone therapy. You think! I was taking 12 times the amount of hormones that are normally found in the body, so that I could super ovulate. I was inches from a rifle in a tower. My husband wisely stayed out of range.

The craziest part of the story is that even knowing how painful the whole process was, I would do it again to have my son. The joy of being a mother has made that old pain a distant memory. I take out it to support other women who are suffering, because I have been there.