The Thorny Devil

Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling great.  In fact, I hadn’t been feeling great since Monday.  I had been managing to plow through, but yesterday, I asked my Husband to get home from work early since I just needed to SLEEP.  A lot.  And sleeping is rather difficult with a toddler.  

My Husband did come home.  He took excellent care of Mac.  He took care of dishes and toys and even went to the grocery.  

But when Moms “take a day off” – even with stellar help – stuff starts piling up.  And pile up it has:  laundry, cleaning, some of the groceries are still all over the kitchen counter. . .

I’m playing catch up this morning, at least.  But I didn’t want to leave you hanging so here’s something that makes me giggle that will hopefully make you smile too:

Mac gets Ranger Rick Jr. magazine.  It’s clearly not marketed to his 22-month old demographic, but my nephew was selling magazines and I felt like I had to purchase something.  So I Ranger Rick Jr. it was.

The magazine is full of vivid photos of interesting animals.  Often the photos include a brief blurb about what makes the animal unique.  Mac really loves looking at this pictures and we work on learning their names.  A few days after the magazine arrives, he’s typically able to accurately identify the animals.

(Which leads me to a suggestion for Ranger Rick:  KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE ZEBRAS ALREADY!  There are zebras in EVERY issue.  We get it, kids must like zebras. . .but I’m way over them.  How ’bout a manatee or a Capybara next month?  Switch it up a little?)

Anyway, this month’s magazine arrived about a week ago and contained a feature on “Weird Skin.”  It’s like the dermatological nightmare of the animal world.  There in graphic glory are caribou shedding disgusting antler “skin,” and magnificent frigatebirds with their lusty red throat pouches all puffed off (although the caption indicates they are just “showing off”).  There’s an admittedly adorable armadillo.  And a couple of freakish frogs. . .




This is apparently a THORNY DEVIL.

Except my son doesn’t really have the hang of properly enunciating the “T” sound yet. . .

So thanks to Ranger Rick, he’s running around screaming “HORNY DEVIL.”

I try so hard. . .why do I try so hard?!  

And. . .Then. . .

Me in a text to Chris early in the morning:  “I feel all sick and disoriented.  My arm is doing that weird numb thing again.  I wish you were here.”

Chris:  “You should probably see a doctor.  Are you ok?”

Me:  “I’m fine.  I probably just slept on my arm weird.”

10 HOURS LATER. . . .

Chris:  How do you feel?

Me:  Much better thanks.  My arm hasn’t bothered me since this morning.

Chris:  What arm was it?

Me:  My left.

Chris:  Sure it wasn’t your heart?  LIke a heart attack?

Me:  Um yeah, Mac and I hiked the entire park afterwards, hills and all without any problems or chest pains.  It’s not my heart. I’m probably sleeping on my arm funny.”

Chris:  Well, you never can tell, you could have a clot floating around in there somewhere that could kill you.

Me:  Um-hummmmm. . .(as I add another 1/2 inch of butter and salt on to his bread). . .

It’s Gross Humor. . .At My Own Expense. . .With Bonus Drunk Pics!

Ok.  So what follows is a little gross and veers a little into TMI territory. . .consider yourselves warned. . .

Last Wednesday and Thursday nights we stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Maryland.  It’s a really nice waterfront resort (We know it’s a resort because they charge resort fees – whatever the eff they are for?) and they have all sorts of wonderful kid-friendly amenities. . .plus room service and housekeeping. . .and complimentary Portico Spa shampoo and soap that my Husband covets.  (I know, WTF?  He loves the stuff. Maybe that’s what the resort fees are for?)  Plus, they are located very close to a local birding hot spot:  Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

Sounds ideal for all of us. . .No?


I’ll give you more details about our trip soon, but in a nutshell, we arrived about 7:30 on Wednesday night. . .Pounded the complimentary champagne and cranberry juice they offered in the lobby,  took Mac to the pool, ordered room service, and then attempted to get him to bed.

He wasn’t down. (figuratively or literally).

Chris kindly offered to pace with him in his Sleepy Wrap until he fell asleep.  Since we booked a one room suite, this meant I was relegated to the bathroom with a magazine, rum, and an ice bucket.

Nothing but the best for us!!

Let’s just say after about 50 minutes sequestered in the bathroom slurping rum alone, I was wishing I had eaten more that day.  Things were getting a little fuzzy.  But I couldn’t risk disturbing the kid so I very, very quietly, belly crawled out to the bar area, snatched a bag of tortilla chips, and slithered back into the bathroom on my stomach, where I silently allowed chips to dissolve on my tongue one by one, so as to not make noise crunching.  Then I amused myself by taking snap shots of my environment.

Ahem. . .Here’s a great “What I did on my Vacation” photo essay. . .

Trust me, the bathroom was spotless. . .

The bathroom looked spotless. . .Inviting even. . .

Ok. . .It's still a bathroom but clean. . .

Ok. . .I’m starting to become a little loaded and a lot disenchanted with these circumstances.

Ok.  I don't give a damn.  This bathroom could be filthy. . .

Ok.  There’s a water view with a gigantic full moon under clear skies RIGHT NOW.  And this is what I’m looking at.  DRINK MORE.

Takes for-effing ever to dissolve on the tongue.  Why am I eating processed tortilla chips in a bathroom again?  Slur. . .Slur. . .Slur. . .

Takes for-effing-ever to dissolve on the tongue. Remind me again:  Why am I eating processed tortilla chips in a bathroom? Slur. . .Slur. . .Slurp. . .If you knew the shit I had to go through to get these chips.  Slurp. . .Vacation is starting to feel like a bad night in college. . .except with more wrinkles and sagging. . .Oh, and an 18-month old.

Look at the pretty lighthouse. . .Hiccup.  Sob.  What the eff happened to me?!  Hiccup.  I clearly peaked in 5th Grade.  . .

Oooooohhhh. . .Look at the pretty lighthouse. . .Hiccup. Sob. What the eff happened to me?! Hiccup. . .I should be enjoying the water views right now with Chris from our balcony.  Instead I’m in a bathroom alone looking at a lighthouse print.  Where have I gone wrong?  I clearly peaked in 5th Grade.  Sob.

Bitch-ass towel just talked shit to me.  Did you hear that?  Said she couldn't cover my fat ass.  Eff you bitch ass towel. . .You're only a Hyatt Regency towel.  You could never cut it as a Ritz Carlton Bath Sheet.  Now who's talking shit?!  Tell me your thread count.  Yeah.  Thought so.

Bitch-ass towel just talked shit to me. Did you hear that? Said she couldn’t cover my fat ass. Eff you bitch-ass towel!  You’re only a Hyatt Regency towel. You could never cut it as a Ritz Carlton Bath Sheet. Now who’s talking shit?! Tell me your thread count. Yeah. That’s what I thought.

The next morning, we headed out to bird.  I had packed us snacks because we find it’s easier for us that way rather than having to find a restaurant in the middle of a hike.

But after you have imbibed a little too much the evening before, a peanut butter sandwich, cheese sticks, and carrots while hiking and birding don’t really cut it.  SO I WAS STARVING ALL DAY!

Starving is NOT a good place for me to be.  It causes me to make irrational decisions – especially about my next meal.  And all I could think about all afternoon was MEAT.

Now, this is odd because for years I have been almost entirely vegetarian.  I’ll eat wild caught fish and dairy but not livestock.  It’s not because I believe livestock shouldn’t be eaten, but more because I don’t particularly agree with the environmental consequences of factory farming.  Plus, I do believe a plant-based diet is more healthful. . .and let’s face it, if those photos are any indication, I need all the help I can get. . .

We do feed Mac meat sparingly. . .(not that he likes it too much). . .We purchased a 1/3 of a cow from a friend who has a small farm – and who farms in an environmentally responsible, sustainable manner.  Still, I only offer beef for dinner about once every two weeks, and often I don’t eat it myself. . .unless it’s MEATLOAF.  If you hate meatloaf, well, I still love you. . .but what the hell?

STARVING was getting the best of me. . .And I was dreaming of something BBQ’ed or butter-fried and very bloody (I love me some bloody meat), hopefully with a side of bacon if I could swing it. . .

As we headed into downtown Cambridge for an early dinner, I was dreaming of the carnage I was about to exact on some greasy flesh of who knows what origin. Yeah vacation.

And I did NOT disappoint myself.  (Yet).

I ordered some kinda’ steak on a huge hunk of greasy buttery garlic bread smothered with sautéed mushrooms and onions, served with a side of hand-cut, sublime french fries, au jus, and slaw.

And I barely came up for air.

In my legacy of “not finer moments,” this is easily in the top 25.  Ok. . .you got me. . .top 40.

I licked my greasy fingers.

I felt like Boss-Fucking-Hog.

It was glorious.

Until we got to the car.

And my stuffed to capacity stomach started to gurgle.

Hmmm. . .?

I popped a peppermint candy thinking that might help things to settle.

But by the time we made the left onto Heron Boulevard towards the Hotel, my stomach felt like a damned washing machine on spin cycle.

I was starting to feel a little panicked.  I had stuffed myself full of meat and grease and my digestive system was certain to exact its revenge any minute.  Probably after I squeezed myself into that fucking Miracle Suit. . .because yes, even if you are certain you are going to barf or worse, the kid still deserves to go swimming. . .

We unload the car. . .backpacks, cooler, blankets, jackets, a carry-out container. . .and somehow I manage to get back to our room all the while silently pleading with my stomach and intestines not to cause an unfortunate scene in the elevator.

Once we got to our room, I unceremoniously dropped everything and attempted to make a quiet retreat to the bathroom, but Mac saw where I was headed and came racing after me at breakneck speed.

Oh balls. . .

Do I slam the door in his face?  Meltdown is certain to ensue. . .

Do I leave the door open and hope my Husband has enough empathy to just go hang out on the far side of the suite and distract himself and Mac?

Do I try to race to one of the public bathrooms on a lower level of the hotel?

Do I put Mac in the bathroom with me and then shut the door?  Can he be trusted in a strange bathroom?  Should he be subjected to the ill-effects of Mommy’s poor judgment and gluttony?

Ultimately, intestinal urgency beat out any rational decisions and I raced to the commode leaving the bathroom door wide open.

Lets just suffice to say my intestines gave me what I definitely had coming  for being so recklessly indulgent with my meal options and portion sizes.

Fortunately, the justice my digestive tract doled out was swift and sudden.  At least I didn’t have to linger long with the door wide open and the kid bouncing in and out and my Husband lurking heaven only knows how close just outside the open door. . .

But intestinal distress wasn’t all I was about to suffer on this trip.   Seems mental anguish and complete humiliation was also on the agenda. . .

No sooner had I wrapped up my urgent business and emerged from the bathroom, until Chris went into stand up comedy mode. . .

He’s screaming and laughing and hollering. . .

“Oh Man!  Can you turn up that fan?  What did you eat?!  Mac, should we see if Mommy left skid marks in there?!  Does Mommy have any intestines left?!”

He’s practically crying. . .gasping for breath.

“Mac, Did Mommy go poop?  Mommy made a huge poops!  Oh my goodness, it’s like her colon exploded in there!  Whooooo-wheeee good thing Mommy doesn’t wear diapers.  Maybe we had better burn Mommy’s underwear.”

Gasps for breath again. . .

Makes huge flatulence noises with his mouth.

Gasps for more breath. . .

SHOUTS – “Mac, ask Mommy what that toilet ever did to her to deserve that kind of treatment.”

Ok.  I get it.  Suffering is funny.  Suffering with explosive diarrhea is even funnier.

So I chuckled along with him.  It’s not like Chris was getting laid any time soon (EVER AGAIN), so might as well let him have some fun at my expense. . .

But I could feel my face flushing from embarrassment and Jesus, he’s SOOOOO loud!

My Husband has no idea how loud he is.

I know he doesn’t have a hearing problem because he listens to the TV, radio, and other audio (gawd damned bird call CD’s) at a normal level. . .but when he gets laughing and talking about something, it’s like he’s a frapping jet engine. . .LOUD.

Fortunately for me, the kid had a nearly existential crisis over some chocolate ice cream shortly thereafter and my bathroom situation was quickly forgotten by my kind and compassionate asshat husband.

But the NEXT morning, I left our room pretty early to get some ice for our water bottles and I noticed something I hadn’t noticed previously:  Nearly every room around ours’ had a newspaper at its door.  AND there were MANY people dressed in fine business attire walking through the halls.

Clearly the entire wing of this floor of the hotel was occupied.  

This hotel is also a conference center.  A conference center that happened to be hosting the Maryland Banker’s Association and another financial services company for corporate meetings. . .which is the sort of industry I worked in for 12 years before I became a stay at home mom.  I used to be one of THEM!  

Clearly the entire wing of this floor of the hotel was occupied by people who USED to be my peers!  

As I shamefully scurried down the hall, in my sweat pants, hair a mess, teeth unbrushed, eyes trained on my flip-flops, avoiding eye contact with the professional finance types I was passing, I noticed something else:  I could clearly discern, without effort,  EVERY NOISE that was coming from our room!

I could hear my Husband laughing.  I could hear my kid laughing back.  I could hear EVERY. BLESSED. NOISE.  EVERY. SINGLE. WORD.  ALL. OF.  IT.  The ENTIRE LENGTH of the HALL!!!!!

So yes, for anyone from the Maryland Banker’s Association, in case you were wondering, I was the Mommy in room 6518 who had the explosive diarrhea last Thursday night about 6:30 PM.

I sincerely apologize that you had to hear my Husband’s blow-by-blow accounting of the entire episode.

I wish there was some way I could back track and make that entire evening better for ALL of us. . .

But life seldom offers a do-over. . .

I can only hope that you laughed from the confines of your well-appointed hotel rooms half as much as my Husband and 18-month old did, as they witnessed me once again suffering a humiliating blow to my ego and dignity. . .

Jesus, what an absolute debacle.  At least I didn’t absorb too many calories from that fattening as hell dinner.