Asteroid covered in bacteria hitting the earth? Nuclear meltdowns? CDC explosion? Mutant flu strain? Testing on rats gone wrong? How do YOU think the zombie apocalypse will begin?
People have been spinning theories for longer than I’ve been alive. Even back in the dark ages when they put bells on caskets just in case people just so happened to rise from the dead. All the speculation, the tv shows, the urban legends, the myths, the movies…. they’re wrong.
How? How could I possibly know the unknown? How can I state that all the literature, all the science fiction, won’t come to be fact? BECAUSE. I am patient zero!
That’s right. If the zombie apocalypse ravages the entire planet, it probably started in my humble abode. Nukes aren’t to blame, neither is radiation, infectious disease leak from the CDC, animal testing, asteroids reanimating the dead from their graves, no.
This is where that book series/move “The 5th Wave” had it all wrong. You don’t kill off the adults and leave the children. You start by infecting the children. It seems so innocent. Childhood cold, keeps them home from school for a few days, and then they’re good to go. But once the parents get it, and they ALWAYS get it, it’s 75 times worse, 80 times longer, and has them wondering if this is it. If this bitch-ass head cold is how it all ends.
WELL IT IS.
It all starts with what you think is a cold. Runny nose, mild fever. No big deal. Or, you don’t think so, until you hear 5 other kids in your child’s class are also out with the same thing. You get your kid well, back to school, and then you catch it, along with 3 more classmates and 6 teachers. Days later, they come home with yet another illness, only this time, it’s changed. Stomach ache, nausea, lack of appetite. They delightfully pass that one on to you, too, when you certainly didn’t ask for it, nor did you want it. The third illness comes home shortly after– taking out 8 classmates and your entire family with wheezing cough, extreme congestion, general sense of misery. You haven’t even recovered from the other two illnesses before you’re floored by this one.
That is precisely what’s going on in my house right now. I’m just waiting for skin to start rotting or limbs to fall off, or to suddenly have an insatiable urge to consume human flesh. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve clearly got the plague, so it’s only a matter of time.
If it doesn’t start here, with me– it will start in an elementary school, probably somewhere near you. Prepare the lysol & the bunker.
In the immortal words of Bruno Mars: “Don’t believe me? Just watch.”
I can still see the day in my head as if it just happened yesterday. Kind of like those embarrassing memories from the 8th grade that randomly pop back up on the backs of your eyelids as you try to fall asleep. The chances of anyone else ever remembering this mortifying moment of yours are slim to none. Chances of you ever forgetting it are about the same.
That’s exactly how I feel about a party I attended with my husband and (then) very young children. I’m not the type of friend to drag my kids to a party where it isn’t appropriate, so I knew beforehand that bringing them along wouldn’t be a big deal to the hostess, who did not have children, or the other guests, some of whom who did. With toddlers, you know going into any situation that there’s strong potential for tantrums. What level of tantrums, you aren’t sure. They could be hungry and throw a booger-bubble inducing shit-fit, or they could be sleepy and go super-sonic red in the face. Or they could just be kids and flip the fuck out for no reason. WHO KNOWS. NOT ME.
As Murphy’s Law usually goes, what can go wrong will- and lo and behold, my kid throw the tantrum to end all tantrums. Super sonic booger bubbling from the depths of hell. I did the mom thing and tried to calm him down, and when that didn’t work, I took him outside, because the tension was palpable. My kid was the only kid losing his shit while everyone else, both parents and non-parents, stared in horror. Even though in your gut, you know tantrums are normal, you can’t help but feel like everyone is judging you. Everyone’s thinking your a crap parent with a kid you can’t control.
Calming him down outside wasn’t working, and I soon came to the realization that the only thing to do would be to leave. In no way am I going to be the parent that ruins someone’s party, or meal, or movie, because my kid can’t control their emotions.
While getting jackets and shoes on (my kid still melting down like a hot-ass snowman), friend without kids pulls me aside and asks if he is okay. In a way that implied something abnormal was going on. I did my best to assure her that this was typical kid shit, that it happens, that it’s normal, but I could tell she didn’t fully believe me. It hurt.
Let it be known, my friend is an awesome person. Great friend. Someone who didn’t have kids, and I don’t think even had any experience with them. I was her once. I probably had the same “the fuck is wrong with that kid/mom?” moments all those eons ago. That doesn’t make her a bad person, not at all. She was awesome then, and she’s awesome now. Fast forward a few years, and now she’s a mother, too.
And this is where the life lesson comes in. WHEN is it a good time to say “I told you so”? See, when it comes to my kids falling down and hurting themselves after they SPECIFICALLY went and did something I told them not to- they get an insta- I told you so. Or when someone doesn’t safety flush their swamp ass droppings and everyone ends up knowing it was them who blew up the bathroom- TOLD YOU SO.
You see, normally, when I find myself in the midst of a tantruming child, I shoot a sympathetic look if her eyes are to meet mine, and thank the stars in the sky that it’s not me (because it has been so many times before)
This friend, now a mom, years after my kid lost his shit around her, now found herself in the same situation I was once in. It was now her kid throwing an epic meltdown surrounded by adults staring and other kids who were playing quietly.
This teeny-tiny part of me wanted to be petty. Wanted to smile and say “told you so”- because, just like I said, it IS all kids. No, there’s nothing “wrong” with them. And I could tell by the way she handled the situation (like a damn bad ass) that she knew that now, too. Would be snorting “TOLD YA SO!” at her help? Was it the right time, place, or situation? Obviously not.
The last thing a mom with a tantruming kid needs is another mom being snarky as fuck about it to her, rubbing her face in being what is perceived to be “wrong”. Hell, the last thing ANY mom needs is another mom being snarky to her about her parenting. We should be lifting each other up instead of basking in the glow of watching someone else struggle.
Save the “I told you so!”s for the people who deserve it: children and husbands.
Last night, I picked up my phone for what must have been the 50th time to check the date, and realized something. Not only was it past midnight, but that meant it was February 24th.
“Huh.” I looked over at my husband, “do you know what today is?”
He frinkled his eyebrows. “Yes.”
It’s not like I’d forgotten. I knew it was coming up, but with sick kids and sick me and due dates and everything else chaotic that went on this week, I guess it got away from me.
Don’t worry, there’s nothing to panic about. I didn’t forget to get gifts or make plans– that’s not really something we do. I just have this strange sense of it feeling like far longer, and far shorter than 10 years at the same time.
Some days, I can predict absolutely everything he says and the way he chews makes me want to fucking scream, and other days he’s surprising me with tacos and we spend the night laughing our asses off like the olden days.
The strange sense is also present because after a full fucking decade, I feel like I should have some kind of sage marriage wisdom to pass on to the younger folk, the newlyweds, the engageds, the “thinking about becoming engageds”, or even those wondering if they will make it to their own 10 year anniversary.
Thing is…. I got nothin’. All this time plunked into this marriage, and I have no wise, sage, old-married type advice to pass down. I don’t know how to make a marriage last. Or how to keep things “spicy”. Or if you should or shouldn’t go to therapy. Or really anything that people ask for advice on. I really don’t! I’m totally clueless.
What I DO have are random tidbits that kept me from smothering my husband (and possibly vice-versa), and I guess something that keeps me out of hideous prison orange is worth sharing, so, here are my marriage “tips” (though calling them that is kind of a stretch)- take’em or leave’em.
–Bottling shit up doesn’t help. Seriously. They won’t know if you don’t tell them. If you need to yell, have at it. No marriage is happy all the time unless there’s some Stepford shit going on.
–Piggybacking on that thought: HINTS DON’T WORK. Even though the man has known me most of my adult life, even though he knows me pretty damn well, hinting about things I want doesn’t get me what I want from my husband. If I’m not direct, I don’t get shit. This never changes.
–The most pointless argument you can possibly have is over where to eat. When in doubt- tacos.
–Having kids will totally bring you closer together, but it WILL NOT FIX ANYTHING. In fact, kids make marriage ten times harder.
–People tell you that “you should never go to bed angry.” Wrong. You can totally go to bed angry. Hell, sometimes I quite enjoy angry sleeps.
–Most importantly: your marriage doesn’t have to look like ANYONE else’s. That’s why it’s YOURS. What works for someone else may not work for you. Never try to force, or emulate, or guilt yourself because your relationship with your spouse isn’t as “perfect” as you think someone else’s is. They aren’t you. You aren’t them. You’ll never be. Do your own damn thing.
Don’t believe the black plague still exists? Try sending your little one off to elementary school. They’ve got the back plague, purple plague, orange plague, striped plague, polka dotted plague– pretty much every illness you can imagine, your kid will come home with in those glorious 5 years of school, making you feel like you’ve given birth to patient zero of the zombie apocalypse.
My house has gotten bitch-slapped by the booger-bug over the past two weeks. First with Holden, then the husband, then me & Parker got smacked by the snot simultaneously. Two weeks in a row, I’ve had a kid home sick, and while they are very different humans, sick kids are pretty much all the same.
HOW? Well- allow me to enlighten you:
1. They will nag, beg, and whine at you for weirdly specific food, and eat less than half of it, leaving the rest to be thrown away because they’ve infected it and no one else can eat it.
2. Any body part that propels them to do something for themselves does not work. This non working body part rotates throughout the day. Unless you aren’t looking. Everything magically works again when you aren’t looking.
3. They get weird, random bursts of extreme energy and try to convince you that they’re miraculously all better, but you know it’s a trap, and that they’re going to feel even more like garbage in 10 minutes, but you can’t stop them from bouncing off the walls, so… yeah… you’re screwed.
4. Not sick? Give it time.
5. Even if you are sick– we’re talking, head pounding, puke flowing, booger dripping, can hardly function, sick– you are not, and will never be, as sick as they think they are.
6. They might be whiny, annoying, exaggerating, needy, and you might feel like garbage, or you’re exhausted, have no energy– but you’ll still get them everything they need because you love them and hate when they even feel the slightest bit like garbage.
Sound familiar? Well, you’re in for it. May the Force (and the immune system) be with you.
A few nights ago, I found myself in a familiar situation: an hour deep in a conversation about what to watch on Netflix with friends. From cartoons, to movies, to original series- there are always recommendations to throw out, and shows that are amazing we’ve never heard of. It’s an endless treasure trove of viewing pleasure. But this conversation took an unexpected turn. My friend told me that her husband went ahead and watched a series on Netflix she wanted to watch… WITHOUT HER.
CUE LOUD GASPS!
Just as I was about to rip into the man and explain the million ways this offense was one worthy of divorce, I realized something…. I am guilty of the same horrible crime.
That’s right! I’m GUILTY! I watched an entire season– ENTIRE SEASON– of Black Mirror before I was able to control my cheating ways and stop so Thomas could catch up and be able to watch season 2 with me. Do I regret it? Obviously not, since I started The OA without him and got caught remote handed in the middle of episode one. Thinking back, I’ve been guilty of this for a long time.
Back when Netflix sent me to New York City for Orangecon, and they released new episodes of Orange is the New Black early, do you think I waited until I was home to start the season with Thomas? HELL NO I DIDN’T! I have no self control! Apparently that was just the beginning of my cheating Netflix spiral of not-so-shame. Because I still don’t feel bad. Netflix is the itch I must scratch. And the apple does not fall far from the tree, because now my kids are pulling this crap on each other.
From sneaking episodes of The Walking Dead before the other wakes up, to popping on Troll Hunters when the other is sleeping.
It’s a sickness. One that cannot be cured. Honestly, cheating with your favorite shows just means you have to watch them again, and… well… I see nothing wrong with that.
Looking for some more recs to cheat with? I got you covered!
Every. single. time. pic.twitter.com/qxy23khtts
Sneaky Life Lessons with Netflix! goo.gl/fb/XZtzdP
I am powerless against chips & salsa pic.twitter.com/Rx2wivW4uR
Assuming that periods are nothing more than cramps and bloating is doing women a HUGE disservice. Here's the truth: holdinholden.com/2017/04/men-…
I guess their taste buds are just THAT advanced. pic.twitter.com/yqzIQHzHS9
The closest I've come to public nudity is when my kid opened the bathroom door on me at Starbucks.