Sunday, March 28, 2004

MomBrain is flying high, and not just because of the mushrooms in her omelet. No, there are other reasons for being unnaturally happy: It's a spectacular 60 degrees and sunny in Seattle, I am home from a lengthy trip, the Little Guy has crashed into a rare and deep nap, the Big Guy is off in search of caffeine, and we are fresh from hosting a successful brunch with good friends (meaning the house is clean). And so I find myself with a rare hour alone in front of my computer, with a thousand things I'd like to work on.

But first let me share with you the first rule of living with a freelance writer: When an Important Editor calls and the Writer is esconced in the bathroom with a constipated three-year-old, do not under any circumstances pass the phone through the door. Especially when the three-year-old has imaginary friends.

Important Editor: This is Ms. Fufu calling about that Important Project with a Major Publisher. Is this a good time to talk?
Little Guy: (crying) Mommy, why are my poopies hard?
MomBrain: Can I call you back in ten minutes?
Editor: This'll be quick. I just want to make sure you know how aggressive our deadlines are before you commit to them.
Little Guy: MOMMYYYYY!!!
MomBrain: Shhhhh. Uh, I know the deadline is in June.
Editor: It is, but it sounds like you might have other ... commitments.
Little Guy: (calling the Rescue Heroes) Sam Sparks, do you read me? ch. We need emergency assistance. ch.
MomBrain: I'm a fulltime writer, so I'm sure I can accommodate your schedule.
Editor: We have absolutely no flexibility on this date.
Little Guy: (grunting) Emergency! Emergency! Does anybody read me?
MomBrain: I'm sorry ... I'm with my three-year-old in the bathroom.
Editor: (laughing) Don't worry. I've been in that position before.
MomBrain: Oh, you have children?
Editor: No, but ... you know what I mean.
MomBrain: Oh.

posted by Marjorie
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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Hello, my petite artichokes. I know you have all been very very worried about MomBrain's whereabouts, and I apologize for my extended absence. A stomach flu sandwich -- violent abdominal illness preceded and followed by two head colds -- plus a lengthy trip to the other coast kept me busy.

I am currently in frigid, rural Maine, celebrating my mother's 65th birthday and delighting in all the details of New England life that I'd forgotten. For example, directions. Here is how my parents gave me directions to a bookstore. Of course you need to read this with a Maine accent:


    Take the turnpike to the exit we usually take to the airport.

    Go down to where your mom got her eyes done and turn left.

    Get in the South Portland lane.

    Go through the light and get in the other lane.

    Go to the place where we went that time for that thing. Turn right.

    Go past the hotel where Elvis stayed. Keep going.

    Go behind the Maine Mall and find Borders.


Well. Now I must sign off to indulge in Yankee Pot Roast and Gravy. Oh yes.

posted by Marjorie
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Wednesday, March 10, 2004

A Poetic Moment
Back in the days when I was just Brain, I had trouble getting out of bed before 8:00. But now that "Mom" is part of my name, 8:00 is practically lunchtime. This morning at 6:30 I was playing a computer game with the Little Guy. This is the game where he races his snowplow with spiked tires against my beetlebug with flat tires. Of course the race course is a frozen lake, so while I am busy sniffing snowbanks, he is busy kicking my butt. This seems to be important for his little 3-yr-old self esteem.

Anyway, while we were loading up the game we had this conversation:

LG: You know how to pway this game, right Mommy?
MB: I sure do.
LG: Then you don't need the destructions. (Throws the CD booklet to the floor.)
MB: (Sighing) No, I don't need the destruction.

Once he got tired of whomping me he wanted to build his own race track. So we worked together, picking obstacles and adding sections of road. Except halfway through every track he would cancel it, which in this game means a stick of dynamite with a loud and colorful explosion. I don't mind telling you that MomBrain was getting just the teensiest bit frustrated. I *like* building things. It had educational value -- he was learning how to imagine spaces and solve problems. We were making lots of twisty turny fun. But the explosions kept coming, with him laughing maniacally while I sat back and sighed. And then it occurred to me. Little boys need the destructions.



posted by Marjorie
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Thursday, March 04, 2004

Spousal Abuse
The Big Guy is fast digging himself a hole right into the guest room, where he may have to sleep permanently. This morning I went to an airline office and made complicated travel arrangements, went to the ninth circle of bureaucracy hell to renew my driver's license, picked up a lamp that had been repaired, and then picked up the Little Guy from preschool. No shower, no breakfast, just a bunch of mad dashing, then home to meet the Big Guy for lunch. And what is the first thing he says? "I see you didn't get the car washed." He is very, very lucky I didn't pummel him to death on the spot.

To be fair, I had told him I would do it. But, in one word, priorities, man. Priorities.

Child Abuse
Today's conversation with the Little Guy. We were running late and I was trying to get him to eat breakfast and get dressed for preschool.

MB: C'mon, we're late. It's time to stand on your head and drink prune juice through your nose.
LG: (Tearing up) But Mommy, I don't wike prune juice.
MB: Then you can drink lemonade through your nose.
LG: Okay.

Self Abuse
Today I am wearing a plastic shirt. It's been rolled up in a ball for almost a week, but looks pristine. It's shiny. It swishes when I move. And it makes me sweat like crazy. I'm sure it's some kind of weird space-age fabric made for moonwalks. And why would I wear a shiny, noisy, sweaty plastic shirt? Duh. It makes me look thin. As long as I hold my arms out from my body and don't move, no will know.

posted by Marjorie
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