Will I or Wain’t I

I am never sure what next weeks blog will be about until something happens to me, and at the moment it is unfolding- I think- yes this is it…

The other week when I was in Miami I was walking down the street and I passed a rather large man sitting on a bench. He was a down and out, who probably sits on the same bench every day, wearing the same clothes (of that part I am certain) and probably spouts the same vagabond wisdom to other passing tourists.

He saw us coming and I could of sworn he was looking at me but I couldn’t tell because he was wearing sunglasses- the CVS variety, which some drunk South Beach reveler probably left on his bench. He leaned in and said/sang in his down and out alla breve:

“Some will and some wain’t

Some can and some cain’t

Some are REAL and some AIN’T”

I laughed appreciating the spirit, especially as we were in Coconut Grove and Miami has to be second to Los Angeles for silicone and Botox and all things plastic surgery- calf implants anyone? Some are certainly real and some ain’t.

We came to Miami for the wedding of a good friend and at the festivities I met plenty of thirty eight year olds who had already started with the facelifts, boob jobs, eyebrow lifts, botoxed lips, so much so they looked simultaneously unreal and much much older than they really were, which is clearly not the objective – or perhaps they were lying about their age too. I think there is a bottom line with plastic surgery, which I keep telling my mother who doesn’t listen: Don’t F_CK with your face.

Because we spent our week in Miami celebrating a wedding, I figured that perfectly delivered vagabond wisdom was symbolic of the institution of marriage and the sometimes, institutional world of dating.

Like boobs, some marriages are real and some ain’t. Plenty of people get married to stay in a country or leave one. In Bermuda, where I am from, you have to be married for ten years before the spouse of the Bermudian can become a bonafide resident without fear of being redomiciled to their country of origin, or even allowed to become a majority owner of a business.   This is a sticky issue for many people, and more than one divorce petition has followed a status application.

I myself might as well be a bond girl because I have three passports from three different countries. My one passport only, British husband and I have been married for seven years. He is probably worried I will get the seven year itch, evidently women come down with this but men don’t- I was told by a divorcee the other night. What my husband should be really worried about is me getting drunk at the wedding, standing over a subway grate and lifting my dress over my head like Marilyn Monroe in the movie of the same title, or shall I say rather not like Marilyn Monroe. I had escaped our three year old daughter and a party was destined to ensue.

The bride and groom were on the older side of a first marriage, and so a lot of the guests had ditched their children for the weekend and escaped the everyday grind of parenthood. The multitude of people just like me, made it feel like Spring Break in Ibitha or the first time you climbed out of your bedroom window and went to a night club. We were free, uncork the wine, turn up the music – there isn’t a kid you are responsible for for ten thousand miles.

Our friend Martin was walking past another hotel in Coconut Grove on his way to the sports bar when he passed an couple sitting on the stoop outside the Sonesta puffing away on cigarettes, head to toe in fake tan, and the Primark summer line.

“Its not difficult to spot the British holidaymakers, smoking fags, fake tan!” he laughed.

On the return trip, passing the same hotel a few hours later, there they were again – the same couple and more cigarettes. But this time he was with Chris, and Chris went up to the couple, “Mr. and Mrs. Hill, “ how are you?” Martin was mortified. It was the mother and father of the groom. I suppose it takes a Brit on holiday to spot a Brit on holiday.

Given our age there were a fair share of divorcees attending the wedding too and the divorcees were particularly hilarious people perhaps because of or in spite of their experiences in marriage and divorce. The couple, Brett and Mollie who were sitting at our table at the wedding dinner met on Match.com and after their respective divorces and had a sum total of four children between them. It turns out that the Bride and Groom actually met on Match.com too and were now entering that special place, the one on prime time television commercials for couples that met on Match and got married- an internet dating success story.

In my dating life, I never tried Match but perhaps I should have considered it and perhaps I would have if I had not ended up back resident on an island where a good percentage of the population would respond to the title, Cousin. Learning your extended family tree is not just a history lesson but a dating protocol, however that doesn’t stop some people. I was asked out on a date by a cousin way back in 1998. My response- that of horror- was “but we have the same great grandfather and the same last name! ” How many people can say they have been asked out on a date by a relative, at least he did have a full set of teeth.

I suppose there isn’t anything desperate about admitting you would like to date someone who doesn’t disgust you at first glance and shares in your interests and priorities and who you haven’t known for most of your life or god forbid- are related to. I am sure Match.com is far more successful than that other dating establishment which I was also horrifically subjected to in the past – the blind date.

When I moved back to Bermuda from England the dating pool was pretty slim, so when I met a wonderfully extroverted woman from Texas who said she had the perfect man for me, I believed her. I had no good reason to believe her. I don’t even remember his name but Blind date guy called me, and I agreed to meet him for drinks on a Friday after a cocktail cruise. My friend Julie was in town for a wedding so she would be with me and it would be a relaxed meeting between Blind date guy, Julie and myself rather than create any expectations like him buying me dinner or anything serious. This was my first blind date, I was taking it slowly and as it turned out it was also to be my last, after the assault.

Julie and I arrived at the bar on time and I looked around for blind date guy but didn’t see anyone that met his description. I told him precisely what I would be wearing that night and between that and a description of my hair there could be no confusion. Julie and I ordered a drink, and then another. By ten pm it was clear he was not going to show up. Julie and I ended up – full hot- with me running around the bar telling everyone that I was stood up by a blind date- “Can you believe it! He’d be disappointed if I ever meet him,” and on and on. Eventually after the clock struck midnight we decided to leave, and we disappeared down the dark ally way next to the bar in the direction of home.

Out of nowhere a car screeched to a halt. A man jumped out of the car and chased us down the ally. He grabbed my arm violently or maybe just drunkenly and with my free arm I took my purse, which was heavily weighted with an early generation digital camera the size of a small melon, and clocked him over the head, not once, but several times. Clearly I thought this stranger was trying to rob us, but it was in fact my blind date. He was shorter than me and four hours late so in the end I felt I had dodged a bullet, even though he had not dodged my digital camera.

A few days later I was in the grocery store and happened to see the woman from Texas, I was trapped by distracted women and grocery carts so I pretended to be looking at the expiration dates on the milk cartons ( they were all the same) but I could not avoid her.

“So have you had your blind date yet?”

“No. We were supposed to meet up last Friday but it didn’t work out. ”

I felt it was the simplest explanation of something that had no hope of succeeding. I don’t think she knew about the assault or at least she didn’t let on.

About a year later she tried to set me up with someone else at a party, who was just as short, about my height five foot three at the most. At the risk of sounding completely superficial, I think I told her that I was only interested in men who were at least six feet tall. The moral of the story is that if I had used Match.com ( was it around then?) it would have prescreened all the short and late men out of my dating pool, and it might have saved me some time, and a digital camera.

Typical of a Generation X, I am fascinated to hear about people my age and their experiences on Match. Their stories did not disappoint. At our table at the wedding, Mollie’s match, Brett seemed like quite a catch, but his Match stories were well—horrifying– but there is just something about love that convinces you to never give up- until he met Mollie.

Brett described going on a date with a woman who lost no time in letting him know that she, “likes sex with liquids.” He said he told her he would be up for that, thinking to himself, honey, melted chocolate, candle wax- worth a try- not too weird. As the night wore on she confessed that her overwhelming desire was to get naked and pee on him. There was no second date.

Brett said when he got home he mulled over in his mind the eternal question, “Maybe I am really a prude? Am I a prude? ”

I told him categorically, “No.”

On Match you have to put your age down and select an age range of potential candidates. Perhaps they could do with a box for whether or not you like to be peed on. Brett said his range was 35-50. A woman sent him a message saying that she was 51, and he agreed to go on a date as she was only one year out of his range, which was not a big deal to him. The date was going well and Brett said she didn’t look a day over 40, his own age at the time. On their second date she said,

“I have a confession to make.”

“What?” at this point he was probably worried she would say she was really a man.

“I lied about my age.”

“Okay, how old are you?”

“I am not 51, I am 62.”

Brett found this hard to believe, he thought she looked like she was 40 not his own mother’s contemporary.

A few days later, the 62 year old emailed him on Match declining the possibility of a third date, “ You are too old for me, I like younger men.” Brett was twenty two years younger, but somehow not enough.

Just to out due his own stories Brett had yet another one. He took another Match.com prospective out for dinner one night, afterwards they went to a local bar for a night cap. Everything was going well for a change, until after drink number three.

“I have a confession to make.”

You can imagine what Brett was thinking… “Are you going to tell me you are really 16 or 84?” but just to out due any of Brett’s other dates on the crazy Richter scale…

“I was abducted by aliens.” She said with utmost sincerity.

“ I’ll pay for your cab home.” Brett said with a matched sincerity masking his horror, and disbelief. At this point Brett was wondering not only if he was really a prude, but what question he filled out on Match that paired him with a bunch of crazies.

I laughed hysterically hard at his final dating disaster story, because something very similar had happened to me in college without the help of match.com. There are some people that attract crazy all on their own, I am a beacon. No one has wanted to pee on me yet however.

Back in college when single men were everywhere, there was a house of three boys and my roommate was dating one of them. One of the boys- I think his name was a deceptively simple- John -was quiet and mysterious and piqued my curiosity. Eventually one Saturday night after a show at the Mermaid Lounge in the Quarter in New Orleans, I ended up in his car. After he kissed me- for the first time (and last) – he went into a twenty minute story about being abducted by aliens on a beach in Alabama. During which time I was desperately trying to figure out how I was going to convince him to let me out of the car, which had automatic interior locks. I think I was overcome with a parched throat and had to get another beer. I don’t think I ever saw him again, not sure if he graduated or if he was returned to the ether, some plaything of alien men and their anal probes. I am pretty sure he told me he was probed. I think I would rather be peed on.

And then there was the time, also in college when the boy I liked had a psychotic break and for some reason decided to run around our New Orleans Garden district neighborhood naked clutching a bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum. We had to chase him down in my friend Jane’s car. He didn’t drink and I think at this moment I discovered why. He is now married with three children and I assume off the Captain Morgan.

“Some are Real and Some Ain’t” or as I will tell my Eva when she grows up- you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. However you can also drink too much, tell dating stories about alien abductees and have fun at a friend’s wedding, and I did!

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Christmas on the Curve

I knew when I got the stomach flu a few weeks ago that somehow I was destined to catch something else and ruin our Christmas with some form of effluent. What caught me by surprise was that everyone would be sick, including the dog and that I would spend Christmas morning on the Curve, as in Curving Avenue. For those that don’t live here, that’s pretty much as deep in the hood as you can get.

Things started to go wrong when I left all my cooking for Eva’s family only birthday get together until the morning of the event which started at 11am. A stressed out derelict mom and a stay-at-work dad can’t invent time so I was still cooking for about two hours after everyone arrived. Never fear, Eva still got her paleo chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and we managed to skype her grandparents in England but not until they were halfway into bed. It all got done and I was happy at least that I had not tried to throw her a real birthday party like we do in June for her “Unbirthday,” but the next day things started to go wrong.

On Monday it was back to work with a lunchtime escape courtesy of Chef Judah and Chef Serge at the Lido. When I returned home, my little Piggy was there waiting for me, as Reza drops him off every Monday afternoon when she takes Piccolo for his walk and we have several hours of quality time together. I knew something was wrong when I walked in and stepped in two puddles of pee. It wasn’t like him not to greet me at the door or to pee on the floor. Piggy has better manners than most of us.

When I picked him up he moaned a bit and I realized that he felt really light like he had lost weight in the few days since I had last seen him. Reza came to pick him up at about seven o’clock.

“Reza, I don’t think he is very well.”

“Yes, he wasn’t well yesterday either.”

“Do you think he could have gotten into some trash or eaten something bad?”

“Yes, the B….CH next door feeds him and when I tell her off she swears at me but I told her that I know plenty of French too.”

“Okay that’s probably what it is then. I will take him to the vet tomorrow, if we call them now and it’s not an emergency then they will say to bring him tomorrow.”

“Okay.” Reza said through tears, “I just don’t want to loose him.”

“Don’t worry we won’t loose him because he ate a bad hot dog.”

Clearly Reza knew more than I did.

A few hours later she called.

“I am sorry but I ignored what you said and I am taking Piggy to the after hours vet. I am already on my way.”

“Okay Reza.”

She called me on the way home and said that he had been given fluids for dehydration, and treated for gastroenteritis and that a blood test would come back tomorrow.

The following morning as I was trying to convince Eva to wear underwear and we were going through our regular repartee,

“Mummy turtles don’t wear underwear,” When the phone rang and it was the after hours vet.

“I am afraid it’s very bad news.”

Very bad news, what could that be he was fine a couple days ago!


“He has severe diabetes and liver involvement.”

“Okay what does that mean?”

“You will need to do what is best for the dog and end his suffering.”

“I can’t do that today.”

“I know its not a good time of year.”

“If that’s the answer I have to take him to my vet for a second opinion.”

“I will need your credit card for the charges.”

“I will read you the number, the stripe is burnt out anyway.”

I spent the entire day wearing sunglasses in December trying to work, wrap gifts and not drown the house plants with my tears. I was going to have to put my dog down at Christmas, the dog I had to rehome last Christmas. It was not something I could quite get my head around. He was only eleven, miniature dachshunds should live to at least sixteen. I wasn’t mentally prepared for this. How would I tell Reza?

I picked up Piggy from Reza’s house and took him to the vet for our three o’clock appointment. My vet said immediately that Piggy would NOT have to be put down.

I was in shock.

“What do you mean, he doesn’t have to be put down, you mean we can wait until the new year?”

“No, you should just have to treat the diabetes.”

She looked over the blood work and confirmed.

“He does not have liver involvement, his liver enzymes are the same as they were a few years ago, slightly elevated but it doesn’t have to do with his diabetes.”

“Will he feel better with insulin?”

“Yes he has a complication from diabetes, ketosis which is making him sick not organ failure; we should be able to get him stabilized.”

I was so relieved. I wasn’t sure how much was because I didn’t have to put him down or because I didn’t have to break that horrible news to Reza.

I stressed myself out so much the next day I woke up with a terrible cold and cough, the horrible tickly throat cough that lasts for weeks, goes into your chest, and makes you cough till you can’t breathe and you throw up. You are never sure when it will strike and if you have one in public people start to crowd around you thinking you are having a panic attack or a seizure.

I cancelled all of our Christmas Eve plans and then got the bad news that Piggy would be in hospital until Christmas morning, so I went ahead and cancelled the Christmas breakfast I was supposed to be hosting at the house, anything to get out of cooking.

On Christmas day, I picked up Reza and we headed up the country to the vets, but not before she loaded my car with Cassava Pies and said we would have to make a delivery after we picked Piggy up. I was easy with that, at least the family knew better than to make me responsible for anything other than roast potatoes for Christmas dinner.


EndsmeetEndsmeet 2

Our vet gave Reza and I a full run down in how to give Piggy insulin shots and how to feed him and how much to feed him, and a full run down on possible complications. It was intimidating but I knew we could do it, and we had a four day weekend to get up to speed.

I was happy we were picking up Piggy and not a body bag on Christmas morning, it would not be the kind of package you expect to be handed on Christmas. Everything was looking up as Reza and I headed off west in the hazy sunshine of Christmas morning 2014. Spending it at the vets with Reza and the Pig was certainly not as bad as the Christmas morning I spent in the Maternity ward with a famished newborn. I kind of felt like an odd couple version of Thelma and Louise with a diabetic dog sitting on my lap as we headed toward town in my beat up 1997 Mazda, alone on the road when most people were feasting and opening gifts. We felt like we had escaped a much worse fate, and we each had a new lease on life as one of Piggy’s two mothers.

My exuberance was short lived.

“Reza, where is our next stop. Where are we taking all that Cassava pie.”

“We need to drop some by Stormy’s house.”

“Where does Stormy live?”

“Curving Avenue.”

I was silent for a moment.

“We are going to deliver Cassava pies on Curving Avenue on Christmas Morning?”

“Yes.” She said.

“Jesus Christ! “

“Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain.”

“Reza, you sound like my mother.”

I thought about my options, I could admit I was scared to drive into the depth of the hood and instead opt to drop her on a street corner with more Cassava pie than she could carry and make her walk dragging a diabetic dog. Ummm no.

“You know, the Curve?” She asked

“Yes I know Curving Avenue,” I figured I was already in too deep with a back seat full of Cassava pie. Truth was the only time I had ever driven down Curving Avenue was as a news reporter eons ago, escorted by police to cover a fatal stabbing. It had just gotten more dangerous since then. In fact, gang violence was known to erupt around the holidays. I was instantly worried about Thelma and Louise, and the body bag. I wondered if someone would stick us up for Cassava Pie. I would never put that past a hungry Bermudian.

As we turned right past the sign that reads “Curving Avenue,” I sunk deep into my seat, eyes darting around, and whispered to Reza,

“Just tell me where?”

She seemed oblivious to my nervousness as she rolled down her window, and began what was an animated Robin Leech type tour of the hood.

“On the left you have Hoarders Manor, with a collection of fine furniture falling apart in the front yard, stolen or appropriated at least thirty years ago and built up in an alfresco tower to offset the front of the house, making it almost impossible to enter.”

“Above and to the right we are passing a much adorned piece of public art on a concrete edifice with the famous tagline, Money Over Bitches, inked in blood and located here with prominence to represent the artist’s emotional and physical landscape.”

As we wound silently around Curving avenue, I wondered if my Santa hat counted as a hoodie and started to worry about the case of insulin and hypodermic needles in the trunk. I considered what Thelma and Louise would do if we got stopped by an actual gangster. Reza would probably start speaking French, pull out the concealed pistol she found at the dump while I would try and offer the gangster money on my credit card to spare us and I am sure Piggy, diabetic and pint size would put on quite a fight against any pit-bull. All of that I was hoping to avoid.

“Are we there yet?”

“It is right up here by the Cake Shop.”

Cake Shop

I braked as a motorbike came from the other direction.

“That’s Stormy’s daughter, beep your horn.”

“I am not beeping my horn on Curving Avenue.”

So Reza rolled the window down and started hollering,

“Cassava Pie delivery, Cassava Pie.”

Stormy’s daughter came over with a confused look on her face, and Reza handed her

a tray of Cassava through the window.

“I know better than to get out of the car.” Reza said to me, as we continued on our Cassava Christmas delivery route through the hood.

Happily Thelma and Louise eventually made it back to the relative safety of St. David’s and the East End massive. I kissed Reza and Piggy Merry Christmas and returned home to Eva, Daddy and Piccolo with my own tray of Cassava Pie. It was refreshing to have done something different for a change on Christmas morning and to have survived without champagne or sausages, and to have Piggy for another year of Monday visits and Saturday outings is more than enough of a Christmas gift for both of us, Thelma and Louise that is.

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A Birthday Party or Three

Tomorrow my little baby Eva will turn three years old and officially become a Big Girl. As an only child Eva has gotten away with a lot of baby behavior for far to long. My embarrassment is often confessed to friends when Eva demands, “I want my nipple babi (her bottle)” something she should have given up two years ago. At least she is not an eight year old sucking a pacifier or worse, my breast- thank god I gave that up on week six. Eva also still sleeps in a crib, and has been asking for a big girl bed for at least a year. I have been promising her that she can finally have her big girl bed for six months but I keep shifting the date of my promise, counting on her inability to fathom time.

Now that she is heavy enough to give me a hard time lifting her into her crib, I have decided to take the metaphorical reindeer by the antlers and allow her to move into a big girl bed tomorrow. We will also be relinquishing her afternoon nap, my only two hour break on the weekends to work, surf facebook, write my blog, etc. I will miss her nap, but I won’t miss the bedtimes, which have lengthened to at times 10pm. I think I really loved her nap a bit too much. In exchange for her big girl bed and not having a nap Eva has to make an even trade and give up her bottles, this will be difficult to enforce, but life must move on. Parenting is really just a very long lesson in the art of the barter.

The upside of having an almost three year old is the tantrums have downsized, although a lot of parents say it is not the terrible 2s, it’s the terrible 1s,2s and 3s. Eva herself had her first tantrum a few days after her first birthday when I came to collect her from school. Auntie Zoe saw my new mother of a toddler look of horror, and lifted her hand to stop me from reacting further and said, “ This is a tantrum, you must ignore it.” The worst tantrums of course were right around two but they have been steadily improving since then. A friend of mine said her daughter’s tantrums were so bad she was convinced it was her personality, but it did shift eventually, and she was hugely relieved that it was just a phase, albeit a very long one.

Like all phases, as you see the backside of one, the next one hits you totally unprepared. Eva’s turning three phase is an honesty phase, when she says exactly what she thinks, right when she thinks it without social tact, embarrassment, or any kind of filtration. I hope it’s an almost three year old phase, but the thought has crossed my mind that she could have possibly inherited this character trait from my mother, and in that case it will be more than just a phase, and an interminably long one. My mother calls it “Telling It Like It Is.”

When we were at a Christmas party recently Eva was waiting patiently with Daddy to use the bathroom, when the very tall father of the host exited the bathroom. Eva yelled, “Daddy that man looks like the CREEPER,” hiding behind his legs while desperately trying to hold her wee. The Creeper for those who aren’t up on their Scooby Doo is one of the monsters that haunts the Mystery Kids.

A far worse example was when I had been to the gym, and in my usual crazy rush neglected to take a shower for one, perhaps several days and when I picked Eva up one such afternoon from school, she threw her little arms around me and stuck her nose in my crotch and yelled, “Mommy You are Stinky!” at least twice to my complete mortification. I knew somewhere my own mother was enthusiastically nodding.

Then there was the time when we were at the coffee shop and I saw her little friend Gwyenie coming through the door and alerted Eva of her arrival. Just as Gwyenie entered our room Eva yelled, “But I don’t like Gwyenie.” I smiled as my cheeks blushed, and Eva continued to completely ignore the little girl. I suppose the lesson there is I can’t choose my daughter’s friends.

Although Eva’s tantrums have diminished now that she is three, she is harder to fool. Her newest phrase is, “It’s not fair.” She says this at any and every time she has to go to bed, turn off the TV or eat a green vegetable. I am not sure what “fair” is in comparison to because she is an only child and sure her 40 something parents are allowed to stay up past 9 pm, the terrible irony is they would love to go to bed at 9, but they have a night owl toddler and lack the energy for “It’s not fair,” discipline.

We are aware that as an only child, there are drawbacks and advantages. She gets at least 20 books read to her a day, we harp on about the important questions in life, like if she ate five or eight green beans, every sheet is clean and her lunch box rotated every three months, she is signed up for gymnastics and swimming three months in advance, she has an album for every year of her life, a drawer for her artwork, framed pictures of every childhood milestone and has at least twenty gifts under the Christmas tree.

At several times we have had those parental conversations about not spoiling her yet it still happens. We decided when she was still in the womb that after her first year we would throw her a birthday party with her friends in the summer so that she would not suffer from having a birthday right next to Christmas, a birthday everyone forgets except for Jesus. This year was our first with a June birthday party, as soon as it was done I thought phew I can cross that off the list but by the time December rolled around, I thought oh lets have a little lunch for family and godparents. So now Eva is having another birthday party tomorrow, complete with cake, a treasure hunt and more and more presents. Opps it just kind of happened perhaps because it takes a landmark in our toddler’s life to get us to host a social event.

Unbeknownst to me, Auntie Zoe threw a birthday party on Wednesday for Eva because several of her friends at nursery were going away for Christmas. That night Eva had a tantrum reminiscent of when she was twenty four months old. I was shocked, OMG she has regressed. The following day when I found out about the party Auntie Zoe and I put together that she was expecting to get her big girl bed that night, but yet again mommy disappointed her. I felt really guilty, confusing the poor child with not one but three birthdays, she probably didn’t know if she was two, three or twenty three.

Tomorrow is her actual birthday, not one of the several “Unbirthdays” and I hope it lives up to her expectations. My mother has already started coaching her for the occasion. My mother just returned from Boston where she purchased a little black dress for Eva to wear on her big day. When she gave Eva the dress, she said.

“Now Eva, when your grandfather suggested black for your birthday dress, my first thought was no of course you cant buy a child a black dress, it needs to be pink or purple.”

Eva did not react and kept playing with her legos.

“Then when he said you would look fabulous in it because of your blonde hair, I reconsidered.”

Eva barely makes eye contact but pretends to be an elephant.

“Every woman no matter what age needs the quintessential little black dress,”

my mother continued.

Eva continued pretending to be a sleeping elephant, a sophisticated make believe play, a clever disguise for I’m not interested.

“It should be multi-seasonal, go from day wear to evening wear, smart casual and dressed up for formal.”

Eva the elephant was pretending to snore.
“Black is slimming, but the material and cut is just as important, and then there is the label, recognizability is a must if you want to be anyone who is anyone.”

“Mom she is turning three not thirty.”

“Never too early.”

I look down at my daughter as she picks her nose and chases the dog around the house.

“Mom, I hate to break it to you but I think she is a tom boy.”

Tom Boy

“Hmphf, you’re the one that pointed out she is only three. I have started her an account at Talbots, they are having a special on tweed.”

“We are having a special on vodka at Eva’s party.”
“Okay good.”

“Okay good.”

“Then we will all be happy?”

“Only if Eva wears her little black dress.”

“I will make sure to wear perfume.”

Happy Birthday to Eva!

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The Worsick Family Christmas Letter 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I am writing this while sitting on the toilet, it is the only free time a mother has but at this moment I would trade it in for a clean bill of health. Eva and I have bonded more and more throughout 2014 by sharing communicable diseases including my current ailment, a week-long stomach bug. I didn’t know that existed until I had a two year old in nursery, only one of the amazing discoveries I have made this year! Daddy seems immune but that is probably just because he chose the year of the terrible twos to become a Stay-at-Work Dad, working two jobs and starting a new career in 2015. He has decided to get into the field of security systems, that seemed like a better way to profit from the growing crime rate than to turn our basement into a marijuana farm. I was leaning toward the marijuana farm but never mind.


Eva has become more and more verbal and expressive like her mother. Just last night she said, “I like it when Daddy is not at home.” We are getting closer and becoming more and more alike. I am pleased to report that she has recently learned how to pick her nose with her big toe. Mommy is not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed. Most people are still unsure of Eva’s gender, but that is because she spends more time in a turtle costume than in normal clothes.

She takes pleasure in outsmarting us. When Daddy tried to feed her grapes for breakfast the other day, she said, “turtles don’t eat grapes, they eat jelly fish.” Later on I struck a deal with her that after her bath I would allow her to get back into her turtle costume only if she allowed me to brush her hair. She agreed. When I whipped out the hairbrush, her response was “Turtles don’t have hair.” Mommy still has a lot to learn about arguing with a toddler.


She has also become quite observant. After climbing on Daddy recently, she noticed the top of his head, and asked him with much concern, “Daddy what happened to the hair on the top of your head?” Mommy is not free from her toddler torment either, every time I use the toilet in her presence, she warns me, “Don’t break the toilet seat mummy.”

Everyone seems to think Eva is some sort of genius because she could do three year old puzzles and use adverbs from the age of one and a half, but I am not so sure, now that she is almost three and still can’t figure out how to climb out of her crib. I knew ballet was a lost cause so I have started Eva in gymnastics lessons, it might help.

As for me, after being unemployed for several months at the beginning of the year I now have two projects on the go, that are inevitably growing larger and getting more and more expensive, which is exactly how I would describe the reality of having a child, and probably how my husband would describe having a wife especially one with a sky miles credit card.

I am coming closer to convincing Eva that by the time she is three she can’t expect Mommy to carry her into school and to the car and next door and basically everywhere all of the time but I figure as long as she isn’t standing on a street corner yelling “Pick Me UP!” when she is twenty then we are all good.

I also find myself carrying Piccolo around now that he is too fat and arthritic to get down the steps. Piccolo is a sausage dog, but now at the ripe age of almost 12, he is more sausage than dog, and requires all the care of a doggie old folks home. I am thinking of putting him on the treadmill, that treadmill that I don’t ever get around to using.

I asked Santa for an amazon.com slow cooker and a soda stream for Christmas, it was only upon reflection that I realized how middle aged that was, that and the fact that I haven’t checked out the new restaurants, or even been away more than once in a year and a half. Maybe I am aging in dog years, and that’s why Piccolo and I are such good bedfellows. We roll over and leave Daddy at the other end of the bed.

For Christmas I ordered the largest tent I could find on amazon for Eva and shipped it to my mother’s Boston apartment and then told Daddy, “I have to fly to Boston to collect the tent in January, maybe with some friends and it might take a week.”

For 2015, I am wishing to not get hemorrhoids, to not get run over, to not get divorced or pregnant, and to never get the stomach flu ever again, especially the strain that lasts for a week.

I just reached into my desk drawer to find a pen to sign this letter, and found a deconstructed tampon. It’s a toddler’s metaphor for my life. At least I didn’t whip that out at client meeting.

All my best for 2015. Please follow my blog if you haven’t already, I would love to break the 100 followers mark ( I have 49). Pathetic, I know. Undiscovered. Not for long.

DM signature001Christmas card 2014

Thanksgiving Blaspheme

Thanksgiving, the time honored American tradition of gorging oneself in the company of family members and giving thanks for all of life’s blessings which include but are not limited to, a toddler’s terrible fashion sense and a family of crazy people.

Thanksgiving morning began with my mother finally catching up on her emails from last week, and reading last week’s blog. My parents’ morning conversation went something like this,

“She is most certainly not getting a Christmas ornament from me this year. “

“But I thought you were already NOT giving anyone an ornament this year?”

“Well that is true, they are too expensive, but I have been known to make exceptions.”

“Yes you are known for that tendency.”

“I am giving one to Giles and Danielle because they got married this year, that’s my exception.”

“So they really need a Christmas ornament.”

“Yes, they really need one.”

My father related the conversation to me when I dropped by midday to borrow paper, treating their house like the depository for everything I might run out of, eggs, paper, home made food, Thanksgiving dinner.

While I was there my mother began what has become a normal barrage of pleading insults.

“You aren’t wearing that tonight are you, please try and wear something better.”

“That doesn’t even match, you are wearing blue and black…. TOGETHER.”

She pretends to faint in shock.

“You never wear any of the clothes I gave you last winter.”

“Its 80 degrees outside, and I haven’t had the time to unpack my winter clothes.”

“You need to wear the yellow pants.”

“Why the yellow pants in particular?”

“It’s a fall colour.”

“So is black and blue.”


After getting home with Eva at 6pm, I managed to wash up, feed her a snack, bathe her, make her lunch for the next day and make gluten free stuffing, leaving no time before 6:30 to get dressed or find my yellow pants, so like all important decisions I left the door to my wardrobe open and asked Eva to choose what I would wear to our Thanksgiving feast.

“The Green shoes mommy.”

“I can’t just wear green shoes, you need to pick out a dress something fancy for Mommy to wear.”

“This mommy, this mommy!” Eva said clutching the rhinestones that adorned the black dress hanging on the door.

“Hmmmm.” I said contemplating her suggestion.

“Its not Halloween but I could give it a try.” I said while looking the dress up and down. It was the latest “gift” from Reza who I swear is trying to improve my love life by dropping off sexy numbers I could never fit into. This was one such outfit.

When she gave it to me, she flung it out of the window in a crazy rush, like she was returning it after some late night hustle, — think Pretty Woman dress with cut outs, lycra and rhinestones. As I peeled it off of my face, and had a look at it, she must have detected my shock or surprise. She began rocking back and forth in her car seat and saying



“You’ll need to lather yourself from head to toe and then slip that on and…..

drum roll…

“OOOHH Laa Laa.”

And then she sped out of the driveway before I could make any protestations about 2 not being my size, pleather not being my most flattering material and rhinestones being well just Dallas sized –gross. Since then it has been hanging on my closet door waiting for a toddler with hooker fashion sense to get me to try it on. So I did, try it on after lathering in coconut oil as per Reza’s advice. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I looked every bit the Pleather whore, it sucked me in and let me out in all the wrong places, making me look not just sexy but pregnant all at the same time which is very wrong. Although my vanity does not extend to fall colours and earrings, I do draw a line at looking pregnant. To Eva’s supreme disappointment I took it off, which was a chore in and of itself. I decided to hang it in Eva’s closet where all the other gifts from Reza reside. The Next time my inlaws come to visit they might think a call girl has moved into Eva’s room or become very concerned about our dress up games.

I pulled out a few other options, which were vetoed by Eva, until she found my blue and red 1940s dress.

“This one.”

“Okay, a compromise, a 1940s courtesan, instead of a rhinestone harlot.”

I threw on the dress and managed to carry, Eva her bunny and blankets, an eleven year old Dachshund named Piccolo and a tray of stuffing next door all at once, in heels becoming at once part hoarder and part lady of the evening.

We weren’t the only ones tarted up for the evening. My sister had thigh high boots and hoop earrings looking every bit the Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and weirdly matching our sister in law in a similar black and white ensemble. My 40s floozy outfit had been upstaged by an eighties throw back but at least I wasn’t wearing black and blue, TOGETHER.

Eva created her usual mayhem through out the evening while the adults ate a feast of offerings my mother had slaved over all day. The Festivities really began when my mother rang her Waterford bell and got up to make her speech on being thankful. She rounded it out with a mini speech on how proud she was that her daughter in law had passed her real estate license exam and joined a new company and that her son, Giles had passed his first actuarial exam, the most recent crowning achievements in an otherwise middling family.

“You forgot something.”


“You forgot someone.”


“Chris, my husband, he also has a new career.”

I pointed at him at the other end of the table.

“Oh opps?”

“And Cheers to Chris’s new job.”

My mother always needs prompting to remember the quiet achievements of those who don’t work in reinsurance or property.

“Blaspheme!” I thought to myself.

It made me wonder if making an omission is similar to making an exception, but in an opposite way. My side of the family, the street walking, non yellow pants wearing, hustling, non reinsurance people seem to be favored with more omissions than exceptions. In some ways I am thankful for that. I can dare to wear pleather and rhinestones and tart around with my overweight dachshund and screeching toddler reminding me in their own way of the merits of my rhinestone sparkle of Dereliction – offset with pleather.

Xx Derelict Mom.

Eva’s Law

The occasion of one of your best friend’s weddings should be memorable for all the right reasons but when you are the mother of a two year old Murphy’s Law applies more often than not to each day, week and special occasion. I now call it Eva’s law, if something can go wrong it will go wrong. And Eva has lived up to her rule for this week has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

I was anticipating a challenging week last Friday night when Eva and I dropped Daddy off at the airport for his nine day trip home for his Grandmother’s funeral. I could barely remember the last time he went away on his own over a year ago. It was to be my foray into single parenting, something many mothers do full time with multiple children, on one salary and in much worse circumstances but I can’t help feeling sorry for myself when the puking begins.

I made it through the weekend just fine, but then again it was the weekend and my energy was high and we even had a chance to go out on my parents boat on Sunday for an evening swim at Paget’s island in the middle of October. We live in paradise, how nice to have a moment to appreciate it I thought. Of course it was the calm before the storm. There were clues but I chose to ignore them, like the ill fated optimist I am. Eva was fussy when she woke up from her nap and had a tantrum about nothing. When we were on the boat she ate very little, and of course it is October, which always means trouble but alas I always pretend everything is okay.

As I was on my own, and did not eat dinner until after I put Eva to bed on Sunday night, I decided to stay up late and watch Boardwalk Empire, which I usually record to watch later in the week. Eva’s law applies here, because it is always the nights I choose to go to bed late that Eva gets sick, like it was always the nights I decided to go to bed with no clothes on that Piglet and Piccolo would get into a huge fight and I would have to try and separate them, wondering if I should let them kill themselves while I put a dressing gown on and call for help. At least on Sunday night I was clothed and caught up on laundry.

At 2am I bolt upright in bed and hear crying coming through the monitor. I race to Eva’s room ever the dutiful mother, determined that during Daddy’s absence Mommy would rise to the heights of favorite parent, the one that didn’t abandon her. It seemed to be working over the weekend and she even started calling me Daphne for a few moments, but after the sickness set in I was back to Scrappy do. I lift Eva out of her crib at about the same time I notice the tell tale stench of vomit. I immediately think of the hotdog she had for dinner, could an applegate uncured hotdog be at fault? I flipped on the light sat her on the bed and stripped her of her clothing. In fear I look into the crib at all the blankets, sheets, toys and books that are covered in puke and sigh. If Daddy was at home I would have woken him up and one of us would have cleaned up the puke and one of us would have tried to console the sick crying Eva. I put her on the big bed, and went about stripping her crib. Bundling the dirty sheets, toys and books into a ball and I tossed them out onto the lawn pretending they didn’t exist. Eva and I changed clothes, and I got settled in for what would be a long four hours till morning.

“Mommy is going to sleep with you in your big bed so we can cuddle, because you don’t feel well.”

“Okay mommy,” Said Eva throwing her little arms around me.

“Would it be okay if Piccolo slept in your big bed with us?” I asked.

To my surprise, “Yes,” was her answer. She usually never even lets Piccolo come into her room.

I had just finished tucking Piccolo in at the end of the bed, when Eva turned a shade of pale, became uncharacteristically still, and tilted her head over. I was a pro at vomit, so I threw a towel underneath her, as fast as a cowboy withdrawing a gun from his holster in a shoot out. Just in time. I bundled it up, wiped her mouth with a wipe, and took the surprise package to the growing bundle on the lawn. I then retrieved several more towels and lined the bed with them, before climbing in and draping myself with a sick crying child, it was at this moment that reality overtook my optimism and my denial and I had to admit that she had the dreaded stomach flu.

I think she vomited another four times before the sun poked its head above the horizon at about 6:45am and we got up for what I knew would be an even longer day. The pile of vomit laundry outside looked like Mount Everest to an exhausted mother of a sick child so I continued to pretend it didn’t exist, until my father came over to check in on Eva, and I took the opportunity to hose down all the sheets, books, toys, blankets, towels etc and begin the mountain of laundry of which four days later, I have whittled down to only one more load.

Now that Eva was almost three a pattern had finally revealed itself. Since she was 1, she ( and I) had contracted the stomach flu every April and every October. Evidently the virus springs to life and high contagiousness when the seasons begin to change. I promise to myself of future Aprils and Octobers to undertake some immune boosting measures before this happens again, as it will during another future, terrible, horrible, not so good, very bad week.

Needless to say work deadlines, schedules, errands, phone calls, emails and writing time were all postponed while Eva continued to vomit through the workday. It was far worse than usual so I put a call into the doctor’s office, who said what I expected.

“There is really nothing we can do about it.”

When the vomiting seemed to stop things got a little easier for a few hours, Eva laid on mommy watching Scooby Doo and then I put her to bed for her nap. When she woke up, I could smell something pungent but it wasn’t vomit, it was diarrhea. I am kind of on the fence about what is worse vomit or diarrhea, but my poor baby Eva had both making this virus the worst she has ever had.

By nightfall she seemed better and would be back to school the next day and we would both be rested, but at midnight she started crying again, and I rushed into her room only to find the same scene from the night before, a carnage of vomit. Like groundhog day I picked her out of bed, stripped her clothing, wiped her down, stripped the bed, added it to the now growing again mountain of dirty sheets, clothes, toys and books outside, and settled in for night number two in bed with Eva.

By Wednesday I managed to get back to work, and finally sleep through the night (both of us,) but by Thursday (today) the poor little baby is still having diarrhea. Today was scheduled as a day off for me, on a cruise boat celebrating one my best friend’s weddings, instead I am feeling like crap, writing this blog post and praying I don’t come down with the stomach flu and four day diarrhea, and god forbid- even worse give it to the bride – so I missed the cruise. I am hoping, however that Eva’s law does not continue its rule and render me unable to attend the wedding. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened, as last October Eva had the stomach flu and had just recovered before Chris and I flew for our first and last holiday without Eva for three days to New York for a friend’s wedding. Upon arrival in New York I contracted the same stomach flu and remained in bed for the duration, missing the wedding and barely making the plane home. I have no intention of reliving this experience. Of course, I am also looking forward to Chris’ arrival home on Sunday night and the triumphant return of co-parenting.

Xx Derelict Mom

Eva's Law

Fair Warning

It is officially the middle of July, its hot, the social calendar is full, it seems I spend most of my free time trying to teach my two year old how to swim so she doesn’t drown if someone leaves the gate open. I gave up exercising when it hit 80 degrees and 99 percent humidity, but some how my day seems more full, and when your days are full the forward planning gets much more complicated. My motto when Eva was a baby, was “wing it” but now that she is two, that plan isn’t really working anymore and I have come to the begrudging realization that I need to be more organized, kind of like my sister who has probably already filled her kids Christmas stockings six months in advance. Part of my disorganization comes from my eternally changing schedule of employment as what I do everyday often changes on a clients whim, an unexpected equipment failure, and other more important people’s schedules which can be tricky with a two year old. Many people are astonished when I say I am not available except between 9 and 5pm, as if there were no such thing as a working mother, or like I grew another head right in front of them.

The phrase “summer holiday” used to bring images to mind of relaxing in a sun lounger reading a stack of books sipping a pina colada, and I know that I did this back when I was a young bronzed teenager before real life hit like a rogue wave in a horizon pool. When I heard the words “summer holiday” for the first time this year back in January it was from Auntie Zoe, Eva’s second mother when she let us know of her plans to take a holiday for two weeks in July, of course I winced dreading Eva’s last day at school but we all need a holiday, especially Zoe. Back in January plans were hatched to go away at the same time on our own summer holiday, therefore minimizing our own work days without daycare for Eva. My plan was elaborate, it was six months in advance and it involved three countries and as many airlines. My plan was to fly Chris’s parents from the UK through Ireland to Boston Massachusetts where they would stay overnight then fly onto Bermuda, after a week in Bermuda, they would fly with us back to Boston, and we would drive up to my parent’s house in New Hampshire for a week. We could enjoy our “summer holiday” with an adult to child ratio of Four to one, which if we couldn’t abandon Eva all together, was the next best thing. The plan was flawless, my mother in law booked their Aer Lingus flights to Boston and I booked our five non refundable sale tickets from Bermuda to Boston and back on delta. I had checked the: plan our summer holiday box in January I was ahead of the game, or so I thought.

About a week later I asked Zoe,

“Zoe I just thought I better double check with you, you are going to be away the first two weeks of August- right?”

“Oh no we changed our plans slightly we are now going away on July 16th and coming back on the first.”

“Oh shit.” I said I booked our tickets to leave on August 1st.

When Chris came home we discussed it.

“Why does it matter you don’t have a job anyway.” At the time a project had fallen through.

“I don’t think I will be unemployed six months from now.” I said ever the optimist.

“Oh really how can you be sure?” Chris said, ever the pessimist.

“Maybe we should see if we can change the plane tickets?”

“Why would we do that and pay more money?” Chris said.

“Because otherwise I will have to take a month off of work between our summer holiday and Zoe’s.”

“You don’t have a job.”

“Okay.” I relented I was not going to win this one.

I started to realize that planning in advance might not only be not my style, it was fraught with its own innate difficulties. There was one innate difficulty that always seemed to crop up in my life, my very own mother. She was especially good at appearing when everything else was going wrong already and deciding that the most important thing at that very moment was that I was in desperate need of a new shower head, or lawn furniture. If I spent $8,000 dollars on a new patio set at Island Trading all my problems would miraculously go away. She also had a knack for ruining plans and she was beginning to rub off on my father.

At some point she decided to bring an important detail to my attention.

“So have you booked your flights for your summer holiday in NH?”

“Yes I told you we booked them a few weeks ago.”

“Did you do it in time for the Delta seat sale I told you about?”

“Yes mom.”

“Are they flexi tickets?”


“You might want to call and check or see if you can upgrade them.”

“Why?” I started to get suspicious.

“We just put the house in New Hampshire up for sale, it’s on Sotheby’s Real Estate.”

“What? !!! Mom I just bought five non refundable plane tickets six months from now. What am I going to do?”

“It won’t sell.”

“Why did you put it on the market then?”

“To sell it, eventually.”

“What if it does sell tomorrow?”

“There is usually a period of exchange.”

“Not six months! “

“You will have to make other plans if that happens. It won’t happen.”

“Oh my god, I thought you were going to give us all a year or so warning.”

“This is fair warning.”

As we are about to set off on our holiday next week, my mother was in fact right the house has not yet sold but it could have. It is usually my mother that takes pains to deliberate what might happen, in fact it is one of my mother’s favorite excuses for her least favorite activity, babysitting, which I will explore more fully next week in Part II, GiGi Goes AWAL.

“But Eva might throw up?”

“But Eva might not eat dinner?”

“But Eva might not go to bed.”

“But Eva might not be as good as Sadie and Trystan.”

Xx Derelict Mom