Sunday, September 12, 2010

what they don’t tell you.

jonas, because he is 16 months old and can’t effectively communicate, has been a LITTLE less than desirable to be around for long periods of time. don’t get me wrong. i love my little dude. i think he is for SURE the best part of me.

he just happens to be the best annoying part of me at this time.

and i could make excuses, like he’s tired or hungry or whatever. but to me, bad behavior is bad behavior. plain and simple. i can sympathize when he’s sleepy so he’s grumpy. and i totally get the pissy while hungry gig. BEEN THERE.

like today at sunday lunch at my grandparents’ house. he was simply a giant butt for 90% of lunch. he’d drop food on the ground, moan, roll his little head until it about popped off his shoulders, and tried to get out of his chair. i’m trying to teach him that he just simply can’t get out of his highchair because he wants to go sit somewhere else…that’s not how it’s going to work. after trying to redirect his attention, i had some success. but when it came time for dessert, he started up again. while the table was being cleared, i got him out of his highchair and we went to another room so he could calm down and talk. while i know that he doesn’t GET what i’m saying to him, i still try to explain to him in a calm but firm voice that we do XYZ because ABC. and after he was calm for a minute or two, i took him back to the table so that he could have some dessert, too.

only, he refused to sit down. like, kicked his feet and screamed. after trying a few times, i decided that it was time to go. we declined his grandpa’s offer to hold him in his lap for a few bites of cake because when we are acting poorly we don’t get rewards. and sitting in his grandpa’s lap and having cake was the reward that couldn’t be.

sometimes being a parent just isn’t fun. at all. when you’re pregnant with your first child, people somehow fail to tell you this. you sort of float through your pregnancy visualizing how nice everything is going to be, how you’re going to implement this sort of parenting style, how everything is going to be perfect.

and then you experience labor. the first sign that being a parent, moreso, a mother, is hard. and frustrating. and painful. heartbreaking.  how you’re going to find yourself trying to rationalize to a 16 month old why they can’t throw their food on the floor and always have everything they want.

and then there’s the flipside. because there’s always a flipside.

being a parent, namely a mom, is the best thing that i have ever done. my heart swells and soars for this little tyke in ways that i never, ever could have imagined. every time i’m told what a good little boy he is, i feel my heart just on the verge of exploding.

and so we’ll battle it out over chocolate cake and highchairs now. in several years it will be the same, but about curfews and girlfriends.

and i couldn’t be more genuinely excited.

Friday, September 10, 2010


early that morning, our junior class had attended the college fair. row after row of college representatives from the surrounding area passed out free pens and t-shirts, trying to get new "recruits".

and so we went, table to table, and gathered all of the free stuff. i mean, i had no intention of attending the college of the ozarks, but hey, a free pencil sharpener never hurt anyone.

after our goodie bags were filled with loot, we all began to part ways, going to our next class. my boyfriend and i walked, hand in hand, plastic bags swaying with each step. he dropped me off at my class, stealing a quick, innocent kiss. and i walked inside, closing the door behind me.

i sat at my computer in my graphic design class, the only girl in the room. it was an ordinary day, creating pretend ads for a class project. one of the boys looked down at his hidden cell phone, and then quickly stood up, walking across the classroom. as he turned on the tv, he interrupted our teacher's reprimand by saying, "we have to watch."

and that's when we saw it.

one of the world trade center towers in NYC had been crashed into by a plane. how tragic! it was obvious that the plane could have no survivors. we commented back and forth of how strange it was that a plane would fly into one of the buildings--there must have been some sort of freak technical accident. the pilot must have had a heart attack. something like that.

while we looked at the screen, we watched the plane hit the tower. but this re-play looked different than the other ones. and then we realized that it was a second plane. hitting the other tower. and that this was no accident at all.
we watched in silence. we watched as the plumes of smoke stretched across the sky. we watched flames licking the sides of the buildings. and then we watched as each tower crumpled.

it was then that i realized we had all lost our innocence.

the rest of the day was a blur. we went to class after class, lugging around our now oddly heavy bags of college paraphernalia through the halls, with looks of worry and tears on our cheeks. by this time, we had all heard about the third plane hitting the pentagon.

the size of the classes got smaller and smaller through out the day, parents uncertain of what else would come. in some classes we sat and watched the tv in eerie quiet. in others, the tv was muted, and we talked about our feelings of confusion, despair, mourning.

it was then that i realized our lives would never be the same.


nine years have passed since that time. you can ask any american, and they can tell you exactly where they were at, what they were doing, who they were with when they heard about the attacks.

i looked at jonas this morning, smooshed banana smeared across his cheeks, hands, and left eyebrow. and i thought about how different his childhood would be compared to mine. the extra security measures, the terror alerts, the fear.

nine. only nine years.

it seems like yesterday.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010



you are SIXTEEN MONTHS OLD. which in human years is like 74. or something. mommy’s bad at math.

like any other sixteen-er boy, you are ALL ABOUT CARS. AND TRUCKS. you point at EVERY SINGLE CAR ON THE ROAD and proudly announce it. you like to say “papa truck” when it’s time to play in your papa’s, um, truck. you make EVERYTHING into a car, including books, laptops, shoes, and rawhide bones.

this past weekend we went to okc to see your daddy, aunt carole and uncle zach, and aunt sarah and uncle jamie. throughout the weekend i kept hearing what an awesome little guy you are. and while i did the whole OMG YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU DON’T SEE thing, i have to agree.

you’re a rad little dude.

you can entertain yourself really well. even if that means it’s 3:47am and you make fart noises with your mouth and then laugh. for twenty minutes. while your daddy and i are trying to sleep. 3 feet away.

you’re getting SO big and SO fast that it’s hard to believe. every single day you’ve learned a new word. i also realized how much your brain soaks up everything that we say when you started saying “oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit”.

yeah. when you get sent to the principal’s office for that sort of stuff in kindergarten, let’s just blame your daddy, okay? even if it WAS me that you were repeating? deal?

i’ve said this so many times in the past, but i love watching your mind work. you can for sure tell a difference between when you’re just playing to play, and when you’re playing to understand. you will do the same series of movements with whatever you are trying to learn about until you have mastered whatever you’re trying to do. it makes me so proud that you work so hard, even if it means that my soda bottles can now be unscrewed and you can now work my iphone (and get on facebook ON it).

you went to the fair last week, and you’re favorite animals were the turkeys and the longhorn steer. forget the kittens. the pigs. the bunnies. i guess that just affirms what people say about you. 

you’re a manly baby.

jonas, every day with you is amazing. while you look a lot like me, i can see your daddy in all of your actions. from the way you cover your head with your blanket while you sleep, your grouchiness when i wake you up before you’re ready, your sense of humor, your love of all things furry, and your desire for all things cake…nothing makes me happier than to see your daddy in you.

you’re a lucky boy to have a daddy like yours. i hope you always realize that.

we love you so much. we have been through so much in the past 16 months-it hasn’t always been easy. but we’re together. the three of us. plus zeus. and that means that we can make it through anything.



Monday, September 6, 2010


when i was 16, i had my first car accident.

it was a few days before christmas and i ventured to fayetteville to get a gift for my dad. because it had snowed A LOT earlier in the week, the parking lot had been plowed. the piles of snow were scattered across the parking lot, and blocked all of the ways that i knew how to get out of the parking lot. because i was a new driver in sort of unfamiliar parking lot, i decided to follow the first car i saw. when the old school jeep i was following stopped suddenly, i rear-ended him. and then he drove away. fast. i’m guessing that he didn’t have insurance or a license OR SOMETHING, but i picked up the pieces to my car, figured my way out of the parking lot and drove to another lot across the street and waited for my parents to come get me. and because i’m wendy, i threw up in the snow a few times too. because it’s what i do.

i’d like to say that was my only teen foray into the accident world, but its not. shortly before my 17th birthday, i had two accidents in literally two days, taking out two other peoples cars.

one was parked.

that year my by birthday cake had a cartoon depiction of me slamming into a car, with HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSAMA BIN WENDY in swirly, red icing.

my parents are jokers if nothing else.

(don’t even get me started on the time i thought i had received a letter from d.c. laced with anthrax).

on wednesday, a day like any other, i had a car accident. i’m not even really sure what happened other than it was 5 o’clock traffic on the main highway in town during the first rain in 40+ days. the cars in front of me stopped suddenly, and i simply didn’t stop fast enough.

i was really okay (and remarkably calm for being me) while waiting for my family and the police officer to arrive. and i didn’t shed one tear. well, that was until it was decided that my car had to be towed away.

it went downhill quickly after.

i cried. and then i cried some more. and then i called john to let him know what happened even though he was in class. and after i left him the most sob-by voicemail ever, i decided that wasn’t probably the best idea, so i sent him texts letting him know what had happened.

so if you happen to see john in the coming weeks, be prepared to listen to my voicemail. its honestly one of the funniest things that he’s heard in a while, and he plays it openly for those around him. and if not, i can reenact it pretty well.

of course, this time without the crunched car.