Tuesday, November 20, 2018

And Now, More About the Horrors In My Home

When you look like this, it's time for a night cream.

Morning Readers,

Let me tell you a story.

A few years back, while celebrating the engagement of a good friend, I grabbed a drink and plopped down next to the wife of another friend. Not knowing each other extremely well, we made the usual small talk:

"Can you believe the size of this patio?"

"I'd give anything for outdoor fans like that."

"I heard death by outdoor fan is fairly rare, so yes, I'd also install some as well."

As these chit chats usually do, the conversation turned in the direction of  home-ownership and any progress being made on our respective fronts. Shortly after lamenting a shared tragedy of water in basements and the devastation of soggy drywall, my companion said something that made my blood run cold. "And you know, that was bad, but it's nothing compared to the spider crickets."

*record screeches*

I sucked lemonade down the wrong pipe, coughed, and stared dumbly back at her. "The what?"

"Spider crickets. They're real. They live in the basement."

I waited for her to bust out laughing and apologize for suggesting that this type of atrocity roamed the same terrain I did, but her face was as serious as an Irish grandmother talking about eternal salvation.

She continued. "Yeah, our house is really old. And when I wanna do laundry, I have to creep down these ancient basement steps and check any piles on the floor."

I balked. "For these cricket demons? They hide in the socks and underwear?"

"And they jump."


"At your face." 

The chicken wing I'd been holding dropped out of my hand.

I'd heard enough to be sickly fascinated for the rest of the evening. She proceeded to explain that spider crickets wait in and under things, launching their fat bodies at human's faces to stun them. They don't bite, but the sheer horror of their unnaturally long legs flying at one's eyes is enough to pitch them as the main focus for the eighteenth season of American Horror Story. I thanked my lucky stars that, even though we'd dealt with silverfish, house centipedes, and wasps attacking in the living room, this scourge had passed over The Oak Palace.

But then, last night happened.

After padding downstairs, laptop and wine in hand, I wandered past the ridiculously ugly insulated curtains adorning our backdoor (a leftover from the former owner that I've, regrettably, not set on fire).

There, nestled in a sea of brown taffeta was the most monstrous insect I've seen to date.

Eyes as big as marbles.
Enormous body.
Appendages from hell.
My past Google searches sounded a mental alarm.

Biting the inside of my cheek to keep from screaming, I gingerly set down my the most important thing I was holding and contemplated clubbing the thing with my computer. Sanity eventually won out, and I backed quickly away from what looked like a gigantic spider with antennae as long as flag poles.

It mocked me from its perch, "Oh, you thought you were about to sit down and work on your new book. But you were wrong. Because I'm going to jump off these Designing Women rejects and murder you."

"You are going to murder me," I whispered.

Fight or flight took over. Quick as a woman who's had three c-sections can scale two flights of stairs without popping a seam, I was up and back down again with a can of the only thing that makes me look decent before a wedding or a funeral and supplies strong but touchable hold.*

I raised the can of Herbal Essenses and fired.

And fired again.

And again.

With every shot, the thing with tarantula legs slowed but didn't stop climbing the drapes. Soon, it was at the top, staring directly down. A chill ran through me as I realized that, even though I'd made its hair look fabulous, it wasn't dead.

"You smell great," I hissed. "But, pretty soon, that stuff's gonna harden up, and you won't be able to stick a bobby pin in it."

But before I could monologue again, the tarantula hovering above me teetered and fell backwards. 

Behind the curtains.

I couldn't look. Instead, I grabbed the broom and retreated to the couch, where I clutched my wine and waited.  And waited. After an hour, I wondered if the dog had, after stealing an entire Toaster Strudel, mercifully eaten the intruder.

An hour passed. Warily, I got up to turn out the lights, but a flash of motion caught my eye, and I whirled around to see a heavily styled insect wandering across the carpet.

Whomp.Whomp Whomp.

When I die, All I ask is that people speak in hushed tones about the way I wielded a broom.

"Paige Kellerman? if you can't say anything else about the woman, she killed insects like a gladiator in a Colosseum. Her cooking though..."

Ugh. I really thought I'd be writing something Thanksgiving-themed this week, but you know me. Kill a giant, disgusting bug, debrief the internet about it.Then again, I suppose this is a good time to say how thankful I am the spider cricket won't be here for the holiday.

Unless there's more.

At any rate, you guys have an amazing Thanksgiving. I'll be over here, eating mashed potatoes and keeping my broom on standby.

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Thanks For Rearranging My Life

Oh, the shoes live with the mugs now? Suuuuuuper.

Afternoon Readers,

Fall just hit this week, and despite the lingering fruit flies, the cooler weather is doing wonders for my mood.

Warm weather: Stumbles out in jean shorts and yells, "Who's got my coffee? We're late for school."

Cold weather: Stumbles out in stretch pants and yells, "Who's got my coffee? We're late for school, but oh my, would you look at that stunning foliage."

Things I love about fall:

Taking a shot every time I see "Gather" spelled out on someone's front door wreath. 

Things I don't love:

Icy cold mornings (One novelty morning reserved each year to enjoy it, before I hate it)
Already having to turn on the heat
Realizing none of my cold weather clothes fit- a sad result of pool/beer/hamburger season
The fact that Husband chose this particular time of year to rearrange my kitchen

Now, before we get into this, yes, I know I'm not the world's greatest cook. Or a great cook. Or a cook.  BUT. Here's the thing. I've spent the better part of three years shoving things into cabinets the way I like them.

Do I make pizza 86% of the time? Yes
Do I use the other 14% of the time to make actual meals? Sometimes, yes. And it's precisely for those hand-full of meals that I absolutely have to know where I put the pepper. If it's lost, instead of cooking, I spend an enormous amount of running around the house, asking anyone of they've seen the pepper. Generally, I'm greeted with blank stares from children only wearing one sock, so I despair and order pizza.

Still, when I walked in from running errands last Saturday, it wasn't any less disturbing to find out my spice collection had been up-ended.

"Ok, so I grabbed milk and a few snacks that are gonna make us soooo fat. Wait.What are you doing?"

Husband, hands full of pepper shakers and salt tubs, stopped what he was doing, smiled sheepishly, and motioned to the cabinet above the stove. "I just finished organizing stuff."

I slowly lowered a can of nacho cheese onto the counter. "Why?"

Pointing back up to the cabinet where all spices, tea and a lone bottle of soy sauce now resided, he proceeded to explain. "Now that I'm doing more dinners on the weekend, it makes more sense to have this stuff where I can get to it."

This was irritating. Because he was right. Husband had been cooking fantastic meals for the last month, and I'd been thoroughly enjoying it. That is, until he decided to make the process of feeding me easier on himself.

I let out a frustrated sigh. "Fine. But where's my collection of plastic grocery bags?"

He pointed to a drawer. "There."

"And my trash bags?"

Another drawer opened, revealing a neat row of trash bags, tin foil, and other non-food stuffs. "Here. Oh, and that drawer you never use? I went out and grabbed some new dish towels and stuck them in there."

My eyes found the tiny, corner drawer, which was now filled with fluffy, white towels."But that was my bonus empty drawer." I protested.

He frowned and shoved a small container of paprika into its new spot. "What's the point of an empty drawer?"

I stalked over to the refrigerator and began unloading milk. "I need somewhere to put unrealized hopes and dreams. Everyone knows that. I also store complaints, yells into the abyss, and useless platitudes I tell myself, in the very back."

"You're crazy."

I nodded. "Agreed. My craziness is discussed, in hushed tones, for many miles, but you can still see where I coming from, yes?"

Husband considered. "Wasn't it you who said, "I'm so fat and happy, I hope you cook a new recipe every Sunday," last weekend?"


"And, last night, you started jumping up and down and clapping your hands, while you chanted, "He's making chicken friend rice tomorrow. He's making it for me," over and over?"

I finished shoving ice cream into the freezer and held my  hands up in surrender. "Fine," I said. "But if I can't find the coffee, on Monday, be prepared for that phone call."

We left it at that.

Later that night, I also enjoyed three plates of chicken fried rice.

For me, compromise tastes like sweet and sour sauce.

I'm still not thrilled about not being able to find things in my cabinets. Before I sat down to write this, I got turned around and almost brewed some cumin in a paper towel. Luckily, I found the coffee in a sensible (ugh) spot and saved the day.

As fall proceeds, I'll allow this new state of things because I love Husband and I do love to eat.

But this situation also calls for a trip to the store for new pants. So, if you'll excuse me...

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Toddlers and Teeth Cleaning

How I look when I have to take a child to any kind of appointment.
Photo by John Volante on Unsplash

Afternoon Readers,

As it stands, nothing has slowed down in the Kellerman house in the past week. I keep waiting for it, but, just as five, quiet minutes start to accumulate, someone falls down the stairs.

None of my four charges have decided to stay babies forever, so they keep bumping into things, screaming at each other, and asking me things like, "Why are bald eagles bald?"

I don't know, children. Now go get me another pumpkin beer. That's why mommy's going bald.

Let's see. Let's see. Ahh, yes. Last week, Doc decided to turn six. I didn't like this at all. Mostly because he was a ridiculously fat and furry baby I brought home yesterday (as an aside, we thought he might be a third werewolf), and now we wants to talk about primary colors and shapes and, "Have I thought hard about investing part of my portfolio in gold?"

He was my resident comedian, and now I'm stuck with the baby and her demands for two baths a day.  "Why? Why do you need another bath," I ask.

"Wif bubbles!" She shouts.

And so I drink coffee on the toilet and peruse my phone, while she sends plastic squids on expeditions through Suave tsunamis.

A typical day.

 She's as absolute tyrant with curly hair, but as far as companions go, she's fairly loyal and makes my business her business. Never was this more apparent than last week's jaunt to the dentist. I'm determined to stay up on dental health so I don't end up gumming my pudding by fifty. This means, come flood or famine, I drag whatever child is home with me to the office and attempt to parent, while someone in a mask tries to stab me in the molar with an ice pick. Just as any life coach would recommend.

"You don't mind if she sits there, do you?"

After flooring the van down the street in an attempt not to lose our coveted appointment time, last Monday found Mrs. Jones and I setting up camp in vinyl chairs and waiting to hear that my teeth were falling out.

The hygienist smiled. "No, she's fine. Grab that stuffed tooth over there, honey."

Mrs. Jones obliged, put a twelve-inch-tall plush tooth with a grin like Tom Cruise in a headlock, and settled into her spot. She smiled back. "Tanks."

Before I reclined for what would be twenty minutes of less-that-relaxing enamel shiatsu, I gave the toddler a warning glace. "Can you sit there with Mr. Tooth Cruise and watch Paw Patrol?"

She considered for a second. "No."

I looked back at the hygienist. "Just do it. This ship isn't going to sail any smoother."

As I reclined backwards, and before I ended up flat on my back, I caught a hint of raised eyebrow. Until November, Mrs. Jones is still shy of three, a point where toddlers think about what they're supposed to do ...and do the opposite. The look on her face spoke of five, maybe seven minutes tops, before she shut everything down. Low and behold, two minutes of plaque scraping in, and I felt pressure on my feet.

"You k'?"

Before I processed what was happening, and powerless to stop it, someone small and chubby began climbing me like Mount Everest and perched, like an over-sized hawk, on my stomach. Mouth wrenched open, I tried to object. "Et own."

The hygienist, a little too understanding for my taste, smiled at the insurgent. "It's totally fine."

But it wasn't fine. Metal continued bobbing in and out of my mouth like an iron water fowl with anxiety, while Mrs. Jones slowly crushed my internal organs. I was dying. I just hadn't realized the lights I'd see in my final moments would be coming from a swivel lamp and directly tied to an out-of-pocket deductible.

"Mom. She hurtin' you?"

"Uh uh. It oh ahy."



"Hmm. Oh tay."

Mrs. Jones raised both eyebrows and started directly into my mouth for the next twenty minutes, sure that someone was killing her mother with a butter knife, but not exactly doing anything to stop it either. Deep down, I hoped we never had to test our relationship mettle in a true crisis.

Such is motherhood.

Eventually, my teeth did get cleaned and, as an added bonus, my organs had been so compacted, I went down a pant size. Unfortunately, I was informed that I'll need a crown. Which means I'll be doing this all over. Which also prompts me to wonder...

Maybe the bald eagle's bald because it takes her kids to the dentist regularly.

Until Next time, Readers!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

I Enjoy Doing Enriching Things With My Kids, But It's Slowly Killing Me

Karen finally figured out that story time went more smoothly when she sent the children outside.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Afternoon Readers,

How was everyone's summer break?

Shhh. The important thing is we survived. It's all over now. Stop crying.

Originally, I'd intended to blog throughout the heat-saturated months, but my days were soon sucked up by the pool, breaking up kid fights, and taking so many trips to the grocery store, the customer service lady said we could move in.

I like and respect her, so I said, "No, I couldn't possibly," despite the proximity to free bakery cookies.

So, back to school and spilling on the strange, new routine, it is. Because, quite frankly, this year is different from every other year since this establishment's establishment. Meaning, three out of four Kellerman children are in school.

*This spot reserved for pointing and gasping*

The twins started third grade. Doc is in Kindergarten, and the baby is a terror. Oh, a cute terror, to be sure, but I've never met a two-year-old I could trust. (The last one made some bad financial investments and it was a whole thing.) Anyhow, it's only Mrs. Jones and I. Compadres. Ride-or-dies. People who have conversations like...

"Would you like to watch Octonauts or Wiggles?"

"The toof paste is aaaall ober da floor."

"Right. Hiring a nanny, it is."

Kidding. Sort of. We all know I'm still on the lookout for that blessed lady floating out of the sky with her carpet bag. But more on my time with Mrs. Jones later.

Exhibit A
Now that we're back on the educational track, the name of the game has been personal enrichment. NFor instance, I'm doing my best to try and read out loud more to the children. It's a strange sentiment from a writer, making it sound so arduous. And I do love it. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut.

Have you ever tried to read out loud to several children, spanning several different ages?
And you're not a teacher?
Or popping quaaludes?

In theory, it's a joyous experience, filled with wide eyes and inquisitive looks. "Mother?" One child raises a hand to submit an inquiry. "Now that you've finished the story, can we talk about themes?"

You smile back benevolently and everyone takes turns talking about how the story addressed truth and their various opinions on the matter. Was it about mobile down stuffing or something more existential? But it is just Make Way For Ducklings, after all, so everyone breathes a collective sigh that the birds made it to the pond.

And then there's real life.

First of all, when you're a mother and want to read a story, they all sit on on top of you. Yesterday, as I struggled out from underneath my pile of children and gasped for air, I manged to claw my way to a copy of Little House on the Prairie.

"Everyone, sit down," I yelled at the top of my lungs.

I combed a shaky hand through my hair. "Now then. Gather round. This is a classic. A beloved staple of my youth."

A voice piped up. "What is it?"

"Little House on the Prairie."

"What's a prairie?"


"How little is the house?"


"I don't like it." (No one's more that they don't like a book than a child who's never read it.)

Sighing, I cracked the cover open and began. "Chapter one-"

"Who's Laura?"

"She's the author. Now then-"

"She lived on a prairie? Can we talk to her?"

"She's dead."


The next hour existed in fits and starts. Mostly because the children had no idea what a covered , wagon was, and also because the baby is enthusiastic about being read to but, due to her nature, can't let it happen.

"So they're putting everything in the wagon and it's covered with a tarp. Right, so no air condi-"



Mrs. Jones ripped at a page. "Dis' a book?"

"Yes. So as I was say-"

"You get me milk? Ma. You readin'. I yike dat a wot." *starts singing unintelligibly about cows*

All this to say, I really am trying, but the literature angle to parenting is a little more complicated than it seems. Enrich your children? Sure. Try not to back, slowly, out of the room and buy a plane ticket to Europe? Complex.

I'll think about it later. I have toof paste to clean up.

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What I've Learned In Eight Years of Being a Mother

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Afternoon Readers,

Well, it's official.

I'm never buying the Frosted Flakes/Lucky Charms special edition cereal again. I know, I know. I talk about cereal a lot. But the ratio of marshmallows to flakes was all off, and it's something that maybe shouldn't have happened.

In a happier category, something positive that did happen last week was the twins' birthday. Their eighth birthday. For those of you who've been here since the beginning, that means two things:

You're old.

I'm really old.

It seems like just yesterday we loaded them into the back of our suv and drove 5mph home. You know what they say, as long as you don't know what you're doing, might as well have two babies at a time, right?


But we've all lived to tell the tale, and I'm proud to say I know a few more things, these days, than I did in 2010. We went to the petting zoo on their big day, and as I watched a herd of baby goats stampede, I couldn't help thinking it was a lot of baby goats. But after that, I started counting off a few pieces of knowledge I have now that I absolutely didn't have when I pulled on my first pair of mesh underwear* and wandered home.

*Five stars. Absolutely recommend

What I've Learned In Eight Years of Being a Mother 

1. You're literally always winging it.

No one has parenting figured out. If you ever meet someone who says they do, run. There's a good chance they operate a cult named Parenting Round' the Kid's Bop Comet and want to outfit you with some new, white Nikes and a glass of cyanide flavored KoolAid.

You don't have to take my word for it, but enjoy the underground bunker!

2. They'll do amazing things that have nothing to do with you.

No matter how hard you try to screw things up, your kids will begin to display talents you didn't realize they had. Sometimes this is art. Occasionally it's a great throwing arm. Sometimes, they're super smart and end up doing your taxes that year.

3. You're a huge liar.

"I only give them this much sugar during the week." You hold up your thumb an index finger to show Barb at the bake sale. But you don't! You're a nasty little fibber who took Huey, Dewey, and Louie to Dunkin' Donuts three times last week. 

4. Screen time

I wrote something on that, and here it is. Feel free to spread the good word.


5. If it's broke, just let it go.

This was a tough one for me and still is. Kids break everything. Full stop. You can either accept it and live a relatively anxiety-free life, or lose your mind over every body-shaped hole in your drywall and spend your day spitting and growling at anyone who rings your doorbell. Life is not Pottery Barn. Unless that Pottery Barn's on fire.

6. And while we're at it...

Kids don't just break things, they also leave ridiculously random objects all over the house. If parenthood was a dive bar, the sign on the door would read, "Welcome to parenting! Where there's toilet paper in the freezer and rocks in the toilet."

You must make peace with this, as well. Also, keep one of those grabber things in the bathroom. You'll need it at least three times a day.

7. Most of your alone time is after dark.

Wait. Strike that. All of your alone time will be after dark, between the hours of 9pm and 1am. Anything deviating from this needs to be submitted in writing.

8. All those annoying old people are right.

As an annoying old person myself now, I'm starting to get strange urges. When I see a young mother desperately toting her first new baby through Target, the itch to yell out, "It's ok. They grow up really fast," bubbles up at the back of my throat. At the last minute, I shove a Twizzler in my mouth, instead.

But they do grow really fast. This blog, a perfect documentation of me slowly losing my sanity, is proof of that. Whether I like it or not, my twin tornadoes are taller and taller. Smarter. Better looking than me. They teach me how to use my iPhone, and I remind them to put on clean clothes every day.

"Mom," they say, in unison. "Don't embarrass us in public."

"No," I answer. "I only have a little bit of time left."

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Building the Perfect Nanny

You have a mermaid crown? You're hired.

Morning Readers,

How do you spend your free time?

If you're like me, you eat Pop Tarts and read about strangers. It's the best, isn't it? Some people are extremely constructive with their time, but not Paige Kellerman. Nay. What's that, Internet? Someone I don't know bought something I can't afford and used it to propel themselves to the Maldives?

Do tell! *lights distinguished looking pipe and leans back in chair*

So, while sifting through virtual tidbits this week, I stumbled across an article about Kate Middleton's nanny. Of course, I'd always assumed the royal family has a nanny, but I couldn't help but satiate my curiosity about the woman who marshals the heirs to the throne. In short...

She's amazing.

Dresses impeccably.

Is currently teaching all the royal children spanish.  

"Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo." I rolled the name around on my tongue as if, I too, could sound like a distinguished care giver from Spain, who'd trained in Switzerland, at an establishment that turns out the most respectable nannies in the world.

No, I was still the parent who raises her offspring on chicken nuggets and mis-remembered advice.

But what if I had a nanny? I mean, not for me, but for the children?

As I nibbled on off-brand cookies, I mulled over what qualities a nanny would need to have to work in Kellerman house. I narrowed it down to ten absolutely necessary traits.

1. She must have four names.

Three names weren't good enough for Kate Middleton, and they wouldn't work for me either. Something like Francesca Madeline Coco DeLacourt would do.   

2. She must laugh at all my jokes.

If they don't laugh hysterically at everything you say, there's no point in having hired help. This would be a terrible litmus test for whether one of my jokes would work on the internet, but a requirement nonetheless.

3. She must have a magic bag.

I think it goes without saying that any nanny who doesn't start her first day on the job by pulling a floor lamp, a house plant, and a full-grown parrot in a cage out of her carpet bag, is going to be a disappointment.

4. She must enjoy dumb shows and peanut butter

At noon, we'd break and watch something ridiculous on Netflix, while toasting to the marvelous open-faced pb and js we'd made. I'd laugh and say, "Oh Francesca, look at these fabulous pb and js we've made once again.

5. When I'm in the bathroom, she must be good at running interference.

If she can't block children like a hockey goalie, she need not apply.

6. When she realizes she's more of my companion than a caregiver, she absolutely must not panic.

7. When we're traveling in the van, she must be ok with climbing back over the seats to hand out snacks.

A necessary, but often irritating duty of motherhood, is how many times the off-spring sitting behind you demand something to eat. This is usually right after they've eaten, but the prospect of driving down the road, while small children wail, "I'm huuuuuungry," is, oftentimes, unbearable and ruins any 90's R&B you're trying to listen to. "Francesca," I'd say, "Throw some Minion fruit snacks behind you, post haste. Craig David's on the radio."

8. Dishes are essential

I'll do most of them, but that big pot on the stove I forgot falls smack dab in the center of her contract.

9. She must be ok with odd jobs.

The general care and feeding of the children I'm completely capable of handling. It's the random tasks I can't abide. Any nanny working for me must be open to finding lost scissors, socks, and hair ties. She must also be fine with Lego extraction and organization, putting flea medicine on the dog, and picking up Capri Sun wrappers off the ground.

10. She must be willing to work for free.

Or at least some sort of barter system. On payday, I'd say, "Francesca? Do you remember Downton Abbey?"

"Yes," she'd reply.

"And you remember the scene where the servants receive their pound notes, after killing themselves for the Crawleys all week?"

"Yes, mam."

"Working here isn't like that. But here are all the coupons from the most recent Value Mailer. If you purchase one burrito platter from Burrito Hut, you get one free. I'll see you on Monday."

Hmm, maybe I'll put out an ad.

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

When It Rains, It Pours Bleach on Everything

How I looked, after yesterday was over. 

Afternoon Readers,

If you've hung out here with me for a while, it's not a huge secret that I don't enjoy cooking. In order of dislike, it looks something like this:

1. ) Getting mauled by bears

2.) Getting mauled by bigger bears

3.) Cooking

The reason why escapes me. No, wait. I remember. Because cooking, while kids hang off the back of your pants, crying hysterically, doesn't mimic a gentle, Julia Child experience, so much as being beaten with a bat.

(A mild correction: There is one thing I dislike more than making a meal, and that's seeing that same meal, again, at 2am. Or really any time after I've rolled myself into bed for the night.)

Especially chaotic days have an interesting habit of sneaking up slowly and pouncing. No warning. Just the softest tap on your shoulder can quietly signify that winter's coming. And that's precisely what happened around 1am, yesterday.

"I threw up."

Groggily, I blinked through the dark. "What?" I called out.

"Twice. I threw up and I'm sick."

Staring at what I'd originally presumed to be a ghost child floating in the ether, one of the twins came into focus and motioned for me to get up and address unfinished business. All parents know the siren song to clean up puke. You desperately want to roll back into the covers, but some sort of annoying, primal instinct kicks into high-gear, and, suddenly, there's a towel in one hand quietly whispered expletives in the other.

Now, this wasn't my first rodeo. But, even after eight years of parenting, the magnitude of the damage was impressive.

"What? How? Why? Did its trajectory hit the neighbor's Mustang?"

The details weren't important. I was in my underwear and half-blind, so all there was to do was shovel comforters in the bathtub, to wait for a morning wash, spray some sort of cleaner, wrap the invalid in fresh blankets, and stumble back to bed.


1:30am: Repeat entire process

2am-3am: Stare at the ceiling and contemplate booking a flight out of the country, rehash past mistakes, try to solve world peace.

6:30: Feeling six degrees separated from refreshed, I wake the children.


While simultaneously calling the school's absentee line for Twin A, it became apparent that Mrs. Jones had thrown up during the night, but, being her mother's child, had decided to roll over and go back to sleep.

I've been reading literature on positivity lately, and, time after time, it's suggested that stress is greatly reduced by "leaning into" one's struggles, instead of fighting them. So, just as I was leaning into a stack of sour blankets, reminiscent of the pepperoni (never again), we'd had the night prior, there was a primal yell from behind me.

"Maaaaa! I poop. I poop right now."

Whirling around and almost suffocating under rancid bed coverings, I managed to catch the freshly-cleaned Mrs. Jones generously distributing her stomach troubles all over my prized, 100% cotton, hand brushed by Himalayan goat herds (or so I imagine) fitted sheet.

It was now green.

Meanwhile, I shouted commands to anyone else who'd had the misfortune of being birthed by me.

"You. Get socks on."

"Someone make lunches!"

"I'm supposed to make lunches?"

Continuing to lean into my troubles, I Lysoled my coffee and packed pillow cases into lunch boxes. After which, our rag tag band fell over itself into the van and barely dropped the healthy twin off for the remainder of second grade, on time.

The rest of the day was a cloud of Febreze and tears.

Miraculously, all Kellermans were feeling fit as fiddles by end of day. So much so, I managed to marshal the troops to the school's open house, where I picked up a year's worth of art projects, two plants, and reasonably confidant feeling that no one was failing out. Things were looking up.

After all children were tucked into fresh beds, I leaned into five chocolate chip cookies and headed to bed. The fitted sheet enveloped me, and I drifted off, until a gentle tap hit my shoulder.

11:30pm: "Mom?"

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: