grumpy about the pick-me-up card

My last post was about how annoyed I am about misdirected inspirational one-liners. So it goes without saying that Anthony and the kids reacted to my grumpy by giving me feel-good cards.

Last week Anthony had to go to Florida for a few days, to a conference where he didn’t have to present or discuss anything. He had to spend his days socializing and eating well and working out instead. Without Jesse or Nick or me. Poor, poor fellow. While he was gone, Nick came down suddenly with a bad fever late Friday night, which left him acting lethargic and miserable like he had the flu. And Jesse seemed to be developing a new cough. I took them to the doctor first thing Saturday morning, and then Nick and Jesse and I were trapped in the house for 24 hours as we waited to see if his flu test came back positive. (I take quarantine seriously for infectious diseases and viruses. I don’t want to be responsible for infecting somebody who has compromised immunities. You probably don’t want to get me started on the anti-vaccination movement.)

It turned out Nick just had a really bad ear infection. Still, being trapped in the house for a couple days with one sick child and one stir-crazy child is always emotionally exhausting for me. I don’t get all “la la la let’s do some crafts!” I get all “stop coughing in my face! Stop whining! Stop playing with the dog’s butthole! Stop touching me!” I’ll never know if the kids really are jackasses or if it’s all in my grumpy, irritable head.

Okay, I do know, but I don’t feel like saying it out loud right now.

So Anthony took the kids away for lunch and a matinee when he got back in town. After 5 sweet, silent hours by myself, the minions came back bearing cards for me.

Here was Jesse’s:


Dang that’s a cute little round thing. Hedgehog, right? The message inside:


Aaaw. And Jesse wrote this note:


“Sometimes when I’m a little prickly you still love me. You still are nice to me. You’re the best!”

Wishful thinking on Jesse’s part, I think, but sweet. I felt like I was the prickly one, but Anthony quietly chewed me out when I said that out loud, pointing out that Jesse was saying she was the one being prickly. Check.

Nick also gave me a card.


Okay then, tell me. What do you see? A giant blue peacock? Are those feathers a romanticized depiction of my enormous ass? (Shrinking, by the way, thanks to the bipolar diet I’m on.) This is apparently what Nick sees:


Really. I’m amazing. Amazingly stinky when I forget to shower, amazingly prickly when I’m overwhelmed by the kids, amazingly under-achieving? I know I know I know, head slap that grumpy out of me! The best part was Nick’s special message to me, dictated to Daddy, who wrote it in his best handwriting:


Perfect. Nick loves me 69. Just last week he loved me 15, so the vector is moving in the right direction. Someday he might even catch up to me:  I love my family infinity.

grumpy about marriage (guest blog!)

I’ve been super busy last couple weeks, and there’s been sickness in the house, so I haven’t had time to write anything. Also I haven’t had anything to say that I think anyone would find even remotely interesting. So my friend Elizabeth wrote a grumpy guest blog! Yay! I’m not alone in my grumpy!

Let me say this without Elizabeth’s permission: Elizabeth is a most excellent lawyer I worked with some years ago. She’s really bright and snarky and sweet and cynical, with a wicked sense of humor, which is a beautiful combination of qualities. Like me, she came to parenthood late. Like me, she has a daughter who faces some challenges in the years ahead, but hers are probably more significant than Jesse’s. Unlike me, the challenges of parenting a child with unique needs don’t seem to be breaking Elizabeth. Instead she seems to be becoming even more resilient, more peaceful, and just plain better because of it. Woulda coulda shoulda. But hey, that’s why I’m in therapy with Jesse.  Anyway, here’s what Elizabeth has to say this week about her mate, providing further proof for one of my new inspiring inspirational inspirations: Everyone farts in the same language.

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Hi! My name is Elizabeth and I’ll be your guest grump today! I really can’t hope to equal the excruciating grumpitude that is Carla, but I will try to whet your appetite and keep you somewhat satiated while she is recovering from flu, missing An-ton-ee, or just busy.

I have to free associate a bit here to get my grumpitude up to speed. I just had my wedding anniversary on January 8. So I will be….GRUMPY ABOUT MARRIAGE? Yes? Okay. Disclaimer: I love my husband very much, and our life together is good. We have a partnership, he’s a wonderful dad, he respects me, blah blah blah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

When I first got married there was a reality tv show on called “Things I Hate About You” that I liked to watch (in secret, because I didn’t want Max to know that I watched reality TV — I guess I thought I was only supposed to watch PBS or Wall Street Week or something). Anyway, this show consisted of couples airing to their gay boyfriend Mo Rocca their various gripes about the other spouse — the spouse was messy; the spouse sang in the car; the spouse complained a lot; the spouse never cleaned up. At the end of the show someone won a major household appliance or trip, I can’t remember why.

Okay, I’m right on the cusp of getting to my point now. Here’s the thing that’s insane: When I watched this show as a newlywed, I really and truly believed that if Max and I went on this show (okay I’m starting to snort with laughter), he would have a list of things about me that were annoying, obviously– but, but — I would not possibly come up with even a single quality about him that was unacceptable. Yes! I actually believed him to be perfect! OMIGOD! And I was so lucky that this perfect being was willing to co-exist with my clearly imperfect self.   Can you imagine?

Well, times have certainly changed! Let’s see now, do I only have to pick ten things that annoy me about him?

  1. He farts constantly. I’m not talking about a little gas and maybe that was a fart, maybe it wasn’t. I’m talking about gas that ruins furniture, that makes you drop to the floor and moan “Oxygen!”
  2. He won’t drive. Ever. I do all the driving.
  3. His idea of a healthy meal is pork fried rice with extra broccoli. The broccoli cuts the fat, you know.
  4. He can’t hang up a towel without smooshing it so that it takes maximum drying time.
  5. He is incapable of throwing anything away, including any little piece of artwork our daughter does. Believe me, she’s no Van Gogh.
  6. He answers every phone call. Every phone call.
  7. He doesn’t understand the concept that one buys new clothing just because one likes the clothing.
  8. He will talk to anyone. See #6. I think every telephone survey person hits us up.
  9. His idea of a great night of entertainment is a vampire zombie slasher film featuring Nazis on skis.
  10.  He only ever wants to go the Jersey shore on vacation.

(I have to admit I was sort of scratching a bit for the last few there. ) Well, it’s too bad that show is off the air!

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[Carla here: It sounds like love to me.]