End of the School Year Burnout

Tonight, I poured myself a glass of wine. The box (classy, I know) was almost empty so I had to tip it to get anything out. While doing this, I held the box of peanut butter crackers balancing on top of the box up with my forehead so as not to disrupt the chaos that was once my organized and alphabetized pantry.

 

Before I sat down to write this, I tripped over several stuffed animals. I walked past a half dozen crayola markers that littered the front entry way. I only noticed this as an afterthought because I had just descended from kissing the kids goodnight and I was still thinking about how I should have changed the kids’ sheets before they got in bed. And how I should have washed the syrup out of Ella’s hair today after breakfast. And how I hadn’t finished the dishes and the kitchen was a mess. So really, balancing some crackers up against my forehead really wasn’t a big change from today’s pace.

 

It’s late May. I’m a highschool teacher. Some of my seniors might not graduate. My kindergartner has two and a half million things going on this month. I signed him up for baseball and apparently he hates baseball. My four year old still wears diapers to bed. My husband couldn’t find his ipad because I had too much unread mail stacked on top of it.  I’m off of my workout plan, and for the thirty-sixth summer in a row, I will not have a bikini body at the beach. Before I know it, graduations, family birthdays, and father’s day will be on my doorstep. I’m afraid I’ll forget gifts and parties. I’m afraid I’ll lose my mind.

 

Yesterday I went to get my hair done and my hair had a weird chemical reaction and almost fell out. You guys. I am totally not exaggerating. My hair stylist saved the day but gave me grave warnings about doing things like washing and brushing it. I am literally scared out of my mind that my hair is just going to all fall out any minute.

 

The thing is that I know lots of us mamas are at the end of our ropes here at the end of the school year. It doesn’t matter if we work or we stay at home; if we homeschool or private school or public school or unschool (get back to me on that one because I really don’t know what that is). We’ve all made it this far. This is the end of the year for mamas too; not just our kids. As frazzled as I am, I have a tiny bit advice for anyone feeling like their hair is going to fall out (and trust me, I’m right there with you. Literally.)

 

Today, I quit everything I was doing and snuggled with my kids. I promised myself twenty minutes on the couch. It then turned into thirty. Then forty-five. Did I feel like I wasted time “doing nothing” after that forty-five minutes? No. Instead I felt like it was the only correct thing I’d done in weeks. Everything stopped and I felt their hearts beat. I held their hands.

 

I’m not exactly sure what my lesson plans are for tomorrow. The coffee pot isn’t prepped yet. I sure didn’t spend any time reorganizing my pantry. But I did what mattered, and I can go into the week knowing my heart is full, my babies are loved, and I have the energy to get to the finish line. Just hug ‘em. IMG-2986

Crank That….

Before I became a mom, I was a real live human being. Did you ever notice that people judge moms way more than they judge parentless women or men in general? Become a mom and you’ll see. Luckily, I’ve known from the get-go that I was never going to be awarded Parent of the Year (that dream went out the window moments after childbirth when the nurse asked how much research I’d done on breastfeeding, to which I responded, “Exactly none”, and she clicked her tongue in dismay. In my defense, that book was next on the list but he came two weeks early…) My own mother has even told me, my husband, and complete strangers that she’s surprised at how decent of a parent I have turned out to be. The votes of being a stellar nurturer were clearly never in my favor. I think, though, that if they were, I’d have been even harder on myself these past six years. Now, when I mess up, which is often, I take a deep breath and move on. Then I write a blog post about it.

 

Probably the worst place to mess up parenting is when you’re at your kids’ daycare. I mean, you want these people to think you have your sh*t together and you want to be prepared with the right snacks, and a change of clothes, and slippers for the day time, and boots for the barn, and a blanket for the nap, and the hair and teeth brushed, and the clothes matching, an eight our sleep the night before, a nutritious breakfast, a nice lunch packed, and so on. My daycare provider knows me well enough that she expects me to have about 75% of these things done on any given day. I try really hard, but you understand if your child is anything like either of my two, everything you pack in the backpack the night before gets unpacked and inspected and complained about before you even walk out the door in the morning. The good news is that our daycare people accept us for who we are and also for who we aren’t. I really appreciate that and thus I try really hard to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make sure  my kids have everything they need to have a good day when they get dropped off.

 

Considering my self-awareness, I try to stay on the straight and narrow in other facets of my life-I hold a good job, I have a strong marriage, I hang around the right people, you know, just life choices. But there comes a point in my day where I am completely alone and in a private arena (my car), and sometimes, I let loose a little. After a long day with challenging teenagers, sometimes I like to kick back and rock out to some tunes. My choice in music is pretty PG, and if you checked my playlist, you would have proof. Wouldn’t it just be perfect, then if the absolute RAUNCHIEST song I have ever paid to listen to comes blaring out of my car stereo (brand new and extra loud, by the way) when I went to strap my children in their carseats early last week…

 

Try me, you say. You have worse, you say. But here I am, furiously trying to commandeer Ella’s carseat straps while “Crank That” by Soulja Boy is streaming loud and clear for all of the daycare parents and children to hear. You’re not familiar with the song? Well let me share some of the best parts for you.

 

“Soulja Boy up in this ho…”- (Can you imagine Harrison arriving the next day, only to announce his presence by saying, “Harrison up in this ho”?? Goodness. I’m going to Hell.)

 

“And if we get to fighting I’m cocking on your bitch ass” -(So at the next playground scramble, this will be my child’s response.That will get him sent to the principal’s office in no time.I CANNOT wait for that call.)

 

“Superman that ho” -Rumor has it that this line relates to a crude sexual act which I will NOT explain here in this venue, but y’all know how to use Google, so entertain yourself. My sweet, superhero loving child, however, does not know this meaning, yet he was delighted to hear Superman on the stereo and would love to hear the song again.For those of you in the back wondering how I came to have this knowledge, it is because I had to look it up several years ago when my sixth graders were singing this song in class. Now that I teach high school kids, they gladly offer me up definitions and explanations whenever I inquire. My education is vast.

 

I finally did get those straps buckled after an abnormally intense struggle. My cheeks flushed and my head bowed, I got into my car, afraid to make eye contact with the other pickups in the parking lot. After my most recent show of poor discretion, I’ll be making sure my kids are EXTRA prepared for daycare this week. Please don’t judge too hard. I don’t even really like the song.IMG-2918

Sub Zero

Today in Boothbay it is -4 degrees. I think we got up to a balmy positive two at one point, but when a friend posted that it is currently warmer at the North Pole than here, I gave up keeping track. I had prepared for this day all week-under no circumstances were we going to leave the house and that was final. So naturally, the Clark family was out and about before 8:30 am.

 

I don’t want you to think that I gave in or anything. It’s just that the kids are losing their ever loving minds being cooped up in the house due to this ridiculous weather and we had to get out. After Christmas break and then a snow day, followed by a two hour delay, I figured it would be best to get out. After all, we’re running out of things to do. Pictures have been drawn. Forts have been made. Movies have been watched. Crafts and projects have been attempted. We had to do something, even if it meant braving the subarctic temperatures.

 

Being the exciting parents we are, we thought taking the kids to McDonald’s indoor playground would be a nice idea. Normally I refuse to let my children near the place, and if for some reason they end up there, I promptly disinfect them upon returning  home. Today I didn’t care if there were dirty hypodermic needles on the slide; those kids were getting out of the damn house and they were going to PLAY.

 

Except. They didn’t. Because, heat.

The lovely employees at our local fast food establishment had somehow forgotten to turn on the heat in the indoor playground, thus leaving my children with nothing to do there but eat junk food. And that is exactly what they needed to add to their pent up energy. At one point Ella was doing pirouettes throughout the restaurant and one of the workers kind of side-eyed me. I nodded my head in the direction of the not-functioning playground and we silently called it even.

 

Since that part of our morning was so much fun, we moved on to our favorite big-box hardware store. Legitimately, I have to tell you that these places can be a LOT of fun with children. You can expose them to all sorts of things they’ve never seen, like model kitchens that are spotless. And washing machines that don’t have piles of clothes waiting to go for a spin. And windows and doors without fingerprints. (Well, now they have some, because Harrison and Ella touched every.single.display door and window in the place. Windex?)

 

Before we left, I took the kids to the bathroom. This is where I felt genuinely bad for my first-world, incredibly entitled babies. They were HAVING FUN DRYING THEIR HANDS.

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We also went to Wal-Mart because we enjoy torture. And while Ella decided that we should practice putting her in and taking her out of the shopping cart for the entirety of our trip, my favorite part was when we could see salvation, and we were in the check-out, just about ready to escape the hell that is this store. That’s when a man came on the loudspeaker announcing that he was giving away free gifts in aisle twelve but only to the first few people, and that we must get there right away. I, for one, do not need any free gifts, and so I ignored this kind gesture of giving and was prepared to move on with my day. Justin, however, insisted that I go to aisle twelve promptly to get our free gift. So, I went to aisle twelve. And I waited. And I waited some more. And there were no free gifts. And then, my family joined me in aisle twelve, along with about half of the other shoppers in the store. There’s nothing I like more than being in Wal-Mart with fifty six of my favorite strangers, standing very close to me, waiting to receive a free gift that I do not want. Once Ella started trying to project herself from the cart independently, I remembered that I had the car keys and we left the building without any notice to the male counterparts in our family, who were still, in fact, waiting for their free gift.

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It turns out that it wasn’t really worth the wait (Wow! Who knew!) to get a vegetable slicer (as vegetarians, we own a few of those…) but alas, the family was together again 20 minutes later.

 

It was now lunch time, which coincides with nap time, but we like a good challenge especially when it involves a hungry and sleepy toddler in a public place. I excused myself to use the ladies room, and when I found that there was a line, I remembered that there was another set of bathrooms downstairs. I snuck down there all proud of myself because I knew this secret trick. And then I realized when I went back upstairs that the door was locked. I panicked for a moment. What if Justin thought I just gave up and ran away? What if people started wondering what was wrong with my digestive system that was taking me so long in the loo? How was I going to get back IN the restaurant without going outside and walking all the way around the building with no coat?? Luckily the woman who got to the upstairs bathroom before me came by and let me in. Unfortunately, I had to explain what I was doing down there and now SHE knows about the secret bathroom.  

 

The good news is that otherwise we came out of lunch generally unscathed. The bad news is that Ella decided that she needed to take three trips to the bathroom during our lunch. This became incredibly irritating, but as I write this, I’m thinking she was hoping to dry her hands again, as that was so much fun back at the hardware store. I’m really hoping the weather warms up soon because I think I owe it to my children to give them more enriching life experiences than using a hand dryer…

Tell Me More

My hairdresser just got married, but ever since I met her, she’s been talking about having kids. No doubt this woman will make a great mother. However, I may have scared her out of the idea this week at my most recent appointment.

I was babbling on about school and life, and at one point I brought up the craziness that my children contribute to my everyday existence. Heidi then said, “So take me through a typical day at your house.” OK, sister you asked for it. So this is what I told her:

“Alright, well, sometimes the kids wake up at about 5am and come into our bedroom. Then we have to try to persuade them to go back to sleep until a reasonable 5:45 or 6:00. This never ends well, and usually results in relinquishing my phone to a tiny person in order to grab a few more seconds of sleep. Other days, they refuse to get out of bed, and we have to use sorcery to get them downstairs. Never do people sleep until it’s time to wake up and just make life easy.

“Once people’s heads are off of their pillows, it is time to get dressed. This is a whole new element of excitement. Harrison can usually fend for himself, but somehow that kid never has socks. I do not know where they go-this might be one of life’s great mysteries. I send him off to the sock bin to get a pair and he regularly chooses two socks that could not be more different. One short, one long? Perfect. One orange and one red? Let’s rock and roll. In the meantime, Ella often forgets that she knows how to dress herself and is spinning around the house naked until I can catch her and finagle some clothes on her body.

“By the way, It is not even light outside and I still need to shower and dress myself in addition to all this other entertainment. Justin makes subtle comments about my inability to ever find anything to wear on the first try.

“Ella asks for Raisin Crunch. I pour two bowls. Life is grand. Life is easy. Cereal is salvation. I head back into the bathroom to do my make up. Then, I hear ‘MOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!! I HHAAAATTTTEEEEE THIIIISS CERRREEEALLLLL!!!’ from Harrison. I walk out to the kitchen and catch a bowl of cereal almost in mid air. ‘Fine bud.’ I say.  ‘Eat nothing.’ Back to my makeup. Seconds later, Harrison wants milk on his terrible cereal and before I know it, I’ve put foundation on half a face, and I’m ready to leave the house. This often happens. You want a put together mama? Let mama finish her makeup. Let mama put both earrings in. Let mama make sure she has matching shoes on. But this is not how things go. Mama needs to be sure that there are no spiders in the sneakers. Mama needs to be sure that the “good” toothpaste is out. Mama needs to break up a fight over whose turn it is to stand on the bathroom stool.

“At this point, I have emptied the dishwasher, switched the laundry, made some coffee, packed three lunches, and now it’s time to head out the door. But WAIT! No one has their shoes on. No one has their coat on. I have asked seventeen times. It is just not going to get done. I fly around the house, grabbing things that might be useful for survival throughout the day: a sharpie, a protein bar, a megaphone.

“Everyone is very surprised that Mommy is flustered. However, no one remembers that Mommy has had no coffee. This is when everyone decides to ask Mommy questions about God and Heaven and the Treasure at the end of the Rainbow. On a good day, people ask Mommy about how many teeth are in a dinosaur’s mouth or why we cannot have a pony.

“Once we arrive at daycare, Harrison goes into vacation mode. It is as if he has one million years to get out of the car and inside the building. I, however, am acutely aware of the ticking of the clock. Ella foresees an apocalypse and decides now would be an excellent opportunity to proclaim her undying love and cling to me as if her life depended on it. I peel children off, distribute last minute kisses, and slide out of the door.

“Once I am safely back in my car, ALONE, I take a deep breath and pick up my coffee. Eight more hours until more fun begins.”

Heidi cannot handle any more excitement even though I want to tell her how much fun it’s going to be after school when I pick the kids up. I’m dying to explain how one wants to go to the playground and the other wants to go to Grammy’s and how no one wants to go to swim lessons even though it’s Tuesday and we have swim lessons on Tuesday. Then I want to tell her about how it’s going to be bath time and one won’t get in tub while the other won’t get out, and regardless of where any of the kids are, there’s always water all over the bathroom floor. And then I want to talk about dinner time because the kids are starving all day, yet grilled cheese and carrots are just not going to cut it. I also want her to know that no matter how terribly brushing teeth goes in the morning, you can’t let that get you down ‘cause it’s gotta happen again at night. Oh and she definitely needs to know the fun-that-is-bedtime, where you’re too tired to even care if you have to run up and down the stairs 24 times for the right stuffie, and the blanket needs to be polka-dots down, not stripes-down, and the fitted sheets just don’t ever “fit” on a toddler’s bed, because of the voodoo that they perform while asleep at night.

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This is how I am looked at on a regular basis.

I’m getting worried at this point, looking at Heidi’s face in the mirror. She’s holding scissors close to my head, after all. So it’s now that I tell her about the huge spot in my heart that IS my children, and how, no matter how crazy the day is, the feeling of their soft sweet breath on your cheek after they’ve fallen asleep is the most beautiful feeling in the world. The excitement and anticipation fills back up in her eyes, and I remember for myself, as much as I remember to tell her, that it’s the best thing in the world, being a mommy.

One Granola Bar Wrapper Away from Insanity

In my job, there are a lot of “first days”. There’s the first teacher day. Then the first day with students k-9. Then the first day with everyone all in the building at once. This makes the beginning of the school year a little anti-climatic, and Justin likes to ask me, “Which kind of ‘first day’ is it today?” I always respond that it is the kind of first day which requires a glass of wine at the end.

 

I managed to annoy my husband before I even got out of bed this morning, which is not an undoable feat, but an unusual one. Apparently, one cannot be tired after a long weekend and reset her alarm four times in the early hours of the morning. Whatever. I’m up now, aren’t I?

 

Today, we actually got into the full swing of things. You guys know I like to over-achieve, so not only did we have a real first day with all hands on deck, but also I signed the kids up for swim lessons. Because I’m very good at self-harm, I made sure that lesson gave me .04 seconds to leave after school ended to pick up both kids and get to the pool on time. I couldn’t even think about that until I got through the rest of the day though.

 

I must have told Harrison to put on his shoes seventeen times. Here’s a fun fact: It helps to put your shoes away where they belong in order to find them the following morning! But what do I know? We found shoes for the feet after some painful dawdling around the hallway. In the meantime, I was looking for his bathing suit for the aforementioned swim lessons. Why, people, can we not put bathing suits or shoes where they belong? Justin, in an incredibly casual manner and pace happened to remember that Harrison’s bathing suit was in the boat. He brought me the garment once he located it, proud as a peacock. The suit was, of course drenched in rainwater, and here I am the bad guy for asking what in GOD’S NAME can I do with a soaking wet bathing suit.

 

Somewhere between the time I was begging Ella to brush her teeth and the time I asked Harrison for the eighteenth time to put on his shoes, Justin used my hair dryer to dry the suit. Everything was nice and dry and warm until we got to daycare where I promptly spilled my coffee all over the passenger side of my (new) car while looking for my checkbook. Sorry, daycare, I’ll pay you tomorrow when my bag and checkbook dry out.

 

The work day went pretty smooth, because obviously my teaching skills are on point. Just kidding. I had three girls refuse to set up their binders in class and I may or may not have forgotten to eat breakfast.

 

Since I made it out of there unscathed for the most part, I was looking forward to swim lessons. My kids LOVE to swim, so I knew this was going to be a fantastic event. For those of you just joining us in the life of Katie, obviously Ella decided she hated water and looked at the swim instructor like he was going to abduct her. She added blood curdling screams throughout the 40 minute lesson for sound effects, and everyone at the YMCA now knows that Ella does not want to learn to swim. Fine kid. Good luck finding adult sized puddle jumpers.


When we got home, I was delighted to find homework in Harrison’s backpack. It’s my favorite kind. The family kind. You know, where we all get together and decorate a piece of paper? And the best part is that I just told my class just today that I learned to hate homework only when my own child started school. Karma, you’re silly. But, we’ll do it folks. That apple is going to have the sh*t decorated out of it.

 

And why wouldn’t Justin have a work dinner to attend tonight? So here I am flying solo, looking at a granola bar wrapper that I SWEAR I told Harrison to throw away. He’s left it on the bar stool to remind me of the good times of today, I think. It’s ok though. I’m going to go to bed early, unless of course, Ella decides to start crying again about our dead cat whom she cannot possibly remember as he died before she was born.

 

Fellow parents, I wish you well in these first few weeks back to school. Be it swim lessons, kindergarten homework, or remnants of bygone snacks, we stand together in solidarity.

Road Trip

If you want to experience a special kind of hell, akin to repeatedly stabbing yourself in the eye with a sharp object, I highly recommend taking two small children on a road trip by yourself. And by road trip, I mean at LEAST six hours. We’re overachievers here in the Clark household, so the trip I just took Harrison and Ella on was nine hours one way.

 

We managed to convince my parents to move to our town a few years ago, so we haven’t had to make this trip much in recent history. However, my aunt still lives in my hometown, so off we went. It’s been over a week and I am still exhausted. Here are some highlights.

 

Fun Fact #1: Even though your GPS says the trip will take you seven hours, this is not the case. I was considering suing for false advertising, but then I realized that my GPS does not have children, thus preventing it from knowing the incessant need to pee that is unique only to pregnant women and recently potty-trained toddlers. Since I am not pregnant, this one goes to Ella. I’d be less annoyed about this one except for the fact that Ella is really just fascinated with the locks on public bathrooms, and she likes to check each one out to see how they all work. Most of the time there is no peeing, because after all, I’m not a complete idiot and I put that kid in a pull-up if we’re going to be in the car for more than an hour. The bathroom breaks did not solely contribute to the extra two hours we spent traveling though. The traffic was insane through Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. My aunt believes that there are no real houses in Massachusetts; rather, people just drive around on the turnpike. After my recent experience, I might have to agree with her.

 

Fun Fact #2 DVD players in minivans were designed with the assumption that A) Your children can use a remote control from the back seat (which includes reading the screen) or B) You are incredibly skilled at multitasking and can drive and operate the DVD player (which you cannot see, of course) all by yourself. For the life of me I could not get DVDs to play without having to pull over the car and go through ALLLL the previews. This may have lead to another reason we tacked on two extra hours to our trip. Either way, design fail for my minivan DVD player. Mama cannot be the driver and the entertainment manager at the same time.

 

Fun Fact #3: Although your five year old managed to stay awake for 9/10 of the trip, he still will not be tired when you finally arrive at midnight. I was about to collapse into an abyss of sleep for hours, but my children were running around like crazy people the minute we got out of the car. It’s like they sat all day or something…

 

The lack of sleeping did not end at the first night. As a matter of fact, neither child stayed in their bed for an entire night even once on our trip. I even brought their mattresses with us so they would feel more at home. Apparently sleeping with at least one body part on my head at all times was preferable. This is most likely why I am still tired.

 

The kids really did enjoy the trip. We saw friends and family and we visited places I used to frequent as a child. There were some rainy days where we were kind of at a loss for things to do, though, which brings me to Fun Fact #4: If your kids are throwers of temper tantrums, they put on extra dramatic shows when you’re far away from home and out of your comfort zone. Considering my aunt lives in a retirement community where it is generally quiet, I was concerned that someone was going to call child protective services with all of the screaming going on. We did not get reported for abuse (taking away legos) but those retired people did report me for something else.

 

Fun Fact #5: You can be as loud as you want, but you MAY NOT speed in the retirement community. Apparently a concerned resident went to the community center with a complaint that a “woman with Maine license plates was zooming down the road”. Guilty as charged. I WAS going seventeen miles per hour down the 10 MPH road. I think maybe this particular resident has forgotten how incredibly painful it is to ride in a car with small children. Had he remembered, he would not have been surprised, and perhaps would have shown some pity for me, since I was obviously just trying to get the hell out of that car.

 

Speeding was not the only vehicular violation that we committed while at Retirement Estates…but this next one was NOT my fault. My aunt and I decided we’d let the children play outside early one morning, as they were clearly feeling a little cooped up in the house. Ella decided she wanted to go get some things from the car and I acquiesced. I know she likes to push buttons, which sometimes resets the controls I have in my car, but there were lots of toys in there from my feeble attempt to keep the kids entertained on the ride. I figured this might be a good way to get some of that junk cleaned out. Sitting quietly on the couch, enjoying the peace while Aunt Marylou looked over the children from the front porch, I was suddenly startled out of my two minute reverie by my car alarm. You guys, I could not find the keys anywhere. It was like I was frozen. After several minutes of looking I ran outside with the key fob and feverishly pushed buttons until the jarring alarm finally silenced.

 

Knowing I would not be able to relax after that fiasco, I decided to hop in the shower and get ready for the day. I figured it would be a good time to get out of the neighborhood for a while as well, because clearly we were being a disruption. Just as I finished conditioning my hair, I heard that damn car alarm again. This time, though, I was in the shower, naked (because that’s how it works), and in a town that is not mine with neighbors who do not know me, and already the culprit of so many other transgressions that I really did not want to add streaking to the list. I found a towel that I can only hope covered me enough, ran outside, and pushed all the key buttons once again. Dripping wet and very angry, I directed my children inside so that, if they possibly could cause any more chaos, they could do it under my watchful eye.

 

Fun Fact #6 (or 7, I’ve lost count): In Elmira, where we were visiting, there is a maximum security prison. They do not take reservations. I was thinking a few days in solitary would be good for me, but alas, speeding and disrupting the peace are not quite the kinds of crimes they serve.

 

We are back in Maine, safe and sound. We may never leave the state again. At the very least, I need to recover from THAT trip. IMG-1040Kids have lunch with Uncle John.

Annual….

When you hear the word, “annual”, what comes to mind? An annual family reunion, perhaps; or possibly an annual sale at your favorite store. It could be those annual flowers that pop up after months of snow. Maybe it’s the annual fee on your credit card. There are lots of times for this word to pop up in our daily lexicon. For women, however, “annual” denotes a very invasive doctor’s appointment. We get the distinct pleasure of these visits because we were blessed with a uterus. I’m no physician but apparently that uterus is a complicated thing. I cannot recall another body part that needs to be scraped for cells on a regular basis. Could we not do this to the elbow? The ankle? Hell, your ankle is already right up there in the stirrups, go ahead and grab some cells from there too while you’re at it. But I digress. The point is that I just had my annual visit to my doctor. Gentlemen, you may stop reading here. Unless you haven’t eaten in a few hours; in which case, please feel free to continue reading.

 

I am not a particularly modest woman but I really dislike going to the doctor. Send me to the dentist all day long. They let you lay down and relax while you listen to relatively decent music and they clean your teeth for you. The OBgyn does NOT do any cleaning and there is no music. (Sidenote: OBgyns, you might want to consider music…) Anyway, there is nothing I like less than this visit, and after two children, I quite frankly would be fine if they shut that factory down and I could carry on with my life. But, alas, in the name of health…

 

So my doctor, with whom I have only met once prior to today, is one of those crunchy granola types. I ADORE her. She is just a little on the the hippie edge of things. When I spoke to her last year about my anxiety, which is a longstanding issue for which I am well medicated, she plopped some lavender oil on a cotton ball and sent me on my way, telling me to smell it whenever I was stressed. (For the record, I still have an active prescription to Lexapro and Xanax and I do not forsee substituting lavender for them in the near future.) With all of her earthy love and such, I should not have been surprised when she asked me if I wanted to watch her perform my PAP smear and pelvic exam.

 

“Absolutely not,” I replied incredulously.

 

She smiled a matronly smile. “Sometimes it makes people feel better. Did you know that some women have never seen their vagina? I mean if you’re here, you might as well get the full experience.”

 

My jaw dropped. Does she really think anyone wants to “experience” this more than they already must??

 

“Well, I prefer to keep this procedure limited to only sense, and I don’t need to feel it AND see it. I might not recover as quickly.”

She chuckled and patted my leg. “Ok. We’ll get started.”

And then she…just kidding. If you know what happens next, you don’t need to read about it. And if you don’t know what happens next, you don’t need to read about it either.

So once my legs were back together and I was in an upright position, I decided to pose the question that was burning on my mind.

“My husband has had a vasectomy. I know this is not 100% effective, but we are definitely done having children. Do you think I should go on birth control?”

And then she laughed so hard she fell on the floor and almost choked to death. Not quite, but you guys, it was seriously close. I’ve given that “are you fucking kidding me” look before and I know it when I see it. She informed me of the science of vasectomies (which I know) and about how it can NEVER be undone, which is an absolute fallacy. So the moral of that story is: A) my doctor thinks I’m an idiot. B) I’m not on birth control and C) I tried to share with her webMD info that she promptly rejected.

So, not only did I leave there exposed physically and mentally, I could get pregnant. Thanks, Doctor.