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jannica merrit

humor. honesty. sometimes both.

My Little Secret*

*Post is geared for the ladies.  Men read at your own risk.

 

 

I am seriously not kidding…female TMI alert!

 

 

 

 

 

I have a little secret.  I don’t share this with very many people, so let’s just keep this between us, okay?

Because before writing this, I think I have shared this with possibly two friends.

Sharing this here is a big deal for me.  But it is important.  And, I suspect, a big deal for a lot of ladies.  So, I am going to risk the judging I worry about and start.

Ever since my lady parts pushed a human out of them, when I sneeze, when I jump, when I cough, when I try to do Zumba, when I twist the wrong way…I pee on myself a little.  Colds are hell.  Trampolines…I can’t get within five feet of them without a little anticipatory trickle.

How many of you ladies have this little secret, too?

It is a shameful feeling, buying Poise pads and not looking the cashier in the eye, as I try to get out of the store as quickly as possible, or make a loud comment about how, “Yes, I think this is Mom’s brand.” *wink, wink* (Sorry, Mom).

My heart aches for the child brides in third world countries, who don’t have access to what we have in developed countries and have to suffer in isolation and shame.

What is so sad is that if this is as common in developed countries as I think it may be, and yet…we are (I am) so embarrassed to talk about it here.  “Not me,” I like to pretend, “must be horrible.”

A recent Facebook  post in one of my “Moms Groups” someone posted about this under, “asking for a friend.”  The post was flooded with an almost unheard of number of responses.

Yes, I have been too embarrassed to talk about it, so I will never judge anyone else for keeping silent.  I worry a bit as I write this about, well,  anyone reading this.

But that is why I am writing this.  Because it needs to be said.  Because it needs to be out of the closet.  Because it isn’t just what happens to women “of a certain age’ or mothers.

There are treatments, and I finally pushed my gynecologist to help me with it.  And she hemmed and hawed, and ordered a test.  It was an embarrassing test, because, what else would we do in this situation?  And the test came back that mine was bad, but not the worst, and she looked at me and shrugged.   And I looked at her and said that I wanted Pelvic Floor Therapy because I am tired of living with my little secret…that, well, isn’t so secret anymore.

And, I had my first therapy session today.  And it was…intrusive but professionally done.  And I was able to speak freely and get some exercises to do at home.

And, it may take some time to strengthen my pelvic floor muscles, but there is hope!  And, I hope the more we talk about it, the less embarrassing and shameful it will become.

Girl Time

My son spent the night at his Godmother’s last night and my youngest and I got some rare “girl time.”

I wonder what it is like for her, as she has never known being my only child, and being an “only” myself, I try to navigate my management if their sibling relationship as best I can, with no direct knowledge of either side of it.

At two and a half, she seems content, doesn’t ask about her brother, and is playing with me and our dogs as usual. She played in the sandbox yesterday afternoon, which she usually does solo these days, and doesn’t seem to miss him.

But I expect when big brother returns, full of “I am so cool after a night of being spoiled and being an only again” swagger, I imagine she will rush to greet him with excitement and joy.

They really seem to love and take pleasure in each other, while still maintaining firm grasps on property ownership (each toy amazingly belongs to both of them).

After a docile babyhood,  where she would smile and gurgle at him while he took away any toy that suited him, she has blossomed into a toddler from whom nothing is grabbed away from without a fight.  (I give her brother partial credit in her motivation to develop extreme bicep strength).

I am going to see if she wants to help me make brunch this morning, a task her older brother is loathe to share! “I am doing the eggs! I am doing the cheese!”  It is fuzzy already what he was doing at her age, and I have to challenge myself to make sure she doesn’t get a “free ride” on things because it is easier to get a five year old to pick up toys.

We cuddled last night, and slept in this morning and she had some coveted time watching YouTube kids videos on my phone without competition.

And, before long, we will return to our normal family dynamics…let the fighting and playing commence!

Mini Golf Lessons in Love

I am rule follower, with few exceptions. I have a bit of a lead foot, but still generally won’t go more than nine miles per hour over the posted speed limit.  I recycle, and force my kids and the people around me to do the same (as much as I am able).  I color between the lines.  There is the way you are supposed to do things, and that is how you do them.

And now I am a Mom…

We took the kids to mini golf last night.  At two and a half, my poor sleepy daughter was regulated into her umbrella stoller and only able to give coaching (“hit the ball!”) advice from there.  She took her restrictions fairly amicably for once, probably due to the help of all the sights and sounds on the course.

But my son, my beautiful, athletic, smart five and a half year old son, who had never played putt putt golf before in his life…

We stood at the first hole with him and demonstrated standing to the side of the ball, practicing a swing before hitting, and which direction to aim the bottom of the putter.  He did as directed, and we celebrated each other’s successful shots, and played without keeping score…when we were playing below Jack Nicholson levels, we looked the other way.

On the second hole, he stood to the side as we had showed him, but held the putter backwards. I gently corrected him.  And, at each hole, that putter was somehow always facing the wrong direction, and I corrected him each time.

By the fifth hole, he was standing diagonally to the ball, so his back leg would block an effective swing, holding the putter backwards.  We showed him proper stance and putter placement again.  And again.

But somewhere around the ninth hole, it hit me: he was having fun doing it his way.  Fun! Wasn’t that why we were there?  What difference really did it make if he did it “right”, especially after what was almost turning into nagging?  Who else (that I see in the mirror every day) does it her way even though sometimes it is slower or not the norm sometimes (as long as it doesn’t break too many rules!)?

I took a breath. The most important thing, loving and accepting my son and letting him do what comes naturally for him–have fun!  And, he did! He hit the ball with every imaginable club angle, from many creative positions, and we celebrated every time it eventually went in a hole (with or without our help).

Lessons in Mini Golf and loving my son just where he is…because he is my son.

Missing Genes

I am seriously thinking that my children are missing a gene, an odd DNA strand here and there that helps with learning certain behaviors.  It certainly isn’t missing from my genes; thus it must be some strange omission from the other side.

The following stand out as particularly absent:

First, the DNA that controls the ability to turn off a light when exiting a room.  I would give them credit if it was a momentary, ‘be-right-back, went-out-to-get-a-sip-of-water’ sort of thing…but, no, they are not intending to go back because “let there be light” (everywhere) seems to be their motto.

It’s more accurate than a trail of bread crumbs to tell me every step of where they have been.

I knew my son restocked juice bottles in the fridge because the light was on in the room I use for storage.  I know my son did his chore of feeding our dogs when I found the “trail of proof” light on in the laundry room, door open, light on in the garage, and a trail of dog food pieces leading into the house.

Second, where-oh-where is the DNA strand that would help them identify trash?  Especially, their trash, and help somehow propell their little hands and little feet to actually pick up their trash and place it in one of the many waste buckets I have conveniently placed all over the house.

My oft-used phrase, “Trash goes in the trash” seems brand new to them every time I utter it.

I have verifed that their cute little arms, legs, and hands are functional, but somehow they do not have the gene to identify a used food wrapper and place it where it goes.

The third missing gene that I have identified involves remembering that when clothing is removed, it isn’t immediately  picked up by the Clothes Cleaning Fairy (CCF).  My children seem to think that, just as some magical person must exist to turn off the lights and pick up their trash, there is also a wonderful CCF following them.  I would love to meet her, except sadly, we are one and the same, so in a way, I guess I already have.

Last, but not least, is not the structural configuration to allow my children to hear–they have that–but whatever brain program would allow them to not only listen, but also respond.

There is something so very frustrating about asking them something and being met with dead silence,  and then an annoyed,  “I know!” after I have repeated myself four or five times. I have tried the code word, “Acknowledge”, but thus far this also is met by a blank stare.

They are good kids, I “acknowledge” that, but goodness the missing genes get frustrating some days!  At least, I have their teen years to look forward to, when I hear room cleaning and listening peak! 😉

They Are My Sunshine

There is a song from the 1940s by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell that has been covered by numerous artists and part of the lyrics are:

“You are my sunshine,

My only sunshine

You make me happy

When skies are grey

You’ll never know dear,

How much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

It was likely written regarding a romantic love interest, but it reminds me of my love for my beautiful children.

A hard day? I can bring a smile to my eyes thinking about hugging my daughter.

Tired? I perk up after work when I arrive at daycare and hear jubilant screams of, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” as my two and a half year old runs to me for a hug.

Tonight, when I arrived at my sitter’s, my son ran out singing his own version of “Mommy’s here!  Mommy’s here!  She’s here!  My Mommy’s here!” and running back and forth between her door and my parking space.  It showed not only his ever-lasting love but revealed the possibility he had conned her out of quite a bit of sugar.

My daughter has the cutest angry/pouty face when she has been sent to her room,  and stomps out in indignation.  It is all I can do not to smile where she can see it as she stomps away.  And, a few moments later, it is hard not to cave when she holds up a toy enticingly, and says, ” ‘Prise, Mommy!” (her copy of her older brother’s way of “buying” himself out of a time out by putting together a cute collection of his toys as a “surprise” for me.

My heart swells each morning to look at their cherubic faces as they sleep,  before I slip off to get a few chores done before they wake up and want to help.  Before long, my five-year-old will be able to really help me on some of them.  He is getting so big, but unfortunately  it takes almost as long to explain what I want him to do and ask him enough times that he gets started on it,  as it would to do it myself.

They are my sunshine!  They make me happy when life is grey!

They will never know fully how much I love them.

Please never take my sunshine away…(except, of course, when they are 21 and then I will be okay with them getting their own places).

The Plan?*

I came upon this book, its pages flapping sadly in the breeze as I waited for a stop light while driving us home.

It sat on the side of a corner where homeless people often stand with signs asking for donations or help. The title, A Plan for Salvation, seemed woefully out of place with its situation.

I wonder what circumstances brought it there. Was it given to a lost soul on the corner, in hopes of helping them, and then cast aside?  Or was someone hopeless of ever finding salvation?

It seemed every backstory I came up with was amazingly sad.  I could only say prayers for whoever lost it…

 

*A small diversion from my normal parenting blogs.

My Junior Groot

I recently watched Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 on Netflix.  I love the characters,  their in-fighting and their many flaws.  And, Chris Pratt is not hard to look at, either.

But one scene, amazingly, was very similar to my everyday life.  If you haven’t watched the movie, SPOILER ALERT!!!

 

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Baby Groot, the only one of their band who is free on a space ship full of outlaws, is the only hope to help Yondu & Rocket Raccoon escape.  They only need Groot to bring Yondu his prototype fin to replace his original fin, which was destroyed by the Ravagers.  They describe it in intricate detail, and Groot returns with a desk, a small live animal, a severed toe–even Yondu’s underwear–everything BUT the needed fin!

Asking my five-year-old son to bring me something is so much like this…

My two year old daughter had fallen asleep on my lap in my chair, or getting it myself would have been the least painful course of action.

“Honey, can you bring me my phone?”

No response; my young man didn’t even look up.

“Honey?”

“What, Mom?”

“Can you bring me my phone?” I asked again, pointing at it.  “It’s on the end table, by the couch.”

My son, turned in circles, looked right at the couch, not seeing it, and handed me a tissue.  I am Groot.

“No.  It’s on the far end table, baby.”

“What’s an ‘end table’?”  I am Groot.

“It’s–”

He reached down on the floor, found a toy car, and started to bring it to me.

“Honey, that’s not my phone.”

He shrugged and handed me the toy car.  I am Groot.

“Honey! Mommy really needs her phone!”

“Where is it?” he asked, trying to hand me a Parenting magazine.

“On the end table, by the couch.”

“What’s an ‘end table’?”

“The TABLE at the END of the couch.”

“What?” Turned and looked at couch, not seeing or comprehending the word “table.” I am Groot .

“The TABLES. At the END of the COUCH. There are two of them! See, two?” I shook my head at the proffered water bottle.

Blank look, twirling resumed,  “What?”  I am Groot.

“THE TABLES! AT THE END OF THE COUCH! DO YOU SEE THE COUCH?”

He nodded.

“AT EACH SIDE, LIKE THE END, THERE ARE TABLES. ONE IS FULL OF JUNK. LOOK AT THE OTHER ONE. NOT THAT ONE! THE EMPTY ONE!”

Deep breath. My daughter, used to a loud house, slept soundly during this exchange.

“Yes. That thing there. My phone is on it.”

He stopped twirling.

“Please bring me my phone.”

He skipped to the far end table, and brought me a Christmas card from my friend in Canada.

“Right place, wrong object. My phone?” So close.

He returned with my phone.  He is Groot!

Thankfully, he has never brought me a severed toe (no comments on underwear).

Was he playing me, or is five years akin to, “I am Groot”?  What do you think?

 

Five Year Old Musings

Here are a few cute and sweet random conversations from my son this week.  Five years is such a prescious time, on the cusp of being a little boy, but with an imagination that doesn’t stop.  This post was sparked by the following conversation:

“What are you doing, Mommy?”

“I am going to write my blog.”

“Oh, good!  Can I help?”

“Sure.”

“What is it going to be about?”

“How much I love you!”

“Aw, Mommy, I love you, too!”

“Look, I am going to write ‘Mommy’!”

So, I showed him how to type: Mommy

And he carefully considered what I have shown him, and typed: abb3322114455

Nailed it!

 

“I like you in my sight!” is my favorite new compliment.

“I like you in my sight, too!”

“Aw, thanks, Mom!” he answered.

 

I picked him up from daycare the other day, and informed me he had a girlfriend now.

“Tell me about her.”

“She wore pants.”

“What is her name?”

“I really don’t know that.”

Ah, true love!

 

“Mom, before I can go to bed, I have to feed my kittens.”

“Your kittens?”

“Yes, my kittens. There are five of them and they are invisible.”

“Okay, go feed your invisible kittens.”

“Thanks, Mom.” He comes back, “Uh, Mom…”

“Yes, baby?”

“One of them threw up.”

“Is it invisible?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Okay, I will clean it up after you go to bed.”

 

After screams had subsided from the backseat while I was driving is home in heavy traffic: “Mom, sister isn’t my friend anymore. Maybe she can be some day, but not now!”

 

“Mom, I have something important to tell you.”

“Yes, baby?” I stopped what I was doing due to the seriousness of his tone.

“When Poppy asked Branch to share his food with everyone, he didn’t want to.”

“I know. Sharing is nice, but he was worried they would eat all his food.  What would you do?”

“I would make a magic wand so everyone could have food.”

I love this age, as I have loved him since he first kicked from inside.  Every day raising him is a true blessing to me, even when I am tired and he is on fully charged internal batteries. I hope we can always have such great conversations.

 

 

Top Ten Reasons Mommy Is Losing Her Mind

 

It’s Tuesday, and already it has been a super-long week.  Overtime hours at work and a house in worse than its usual state of disarray.  I fell asleep early on the couch, watching Transformers (my favorite!) on Netflix (not influenced at all by my five year old son). It started out rather okay. It started out…

I am pretty sure a break down is imminent.

Here is a Top Ten List of the reasons why:

  1. Waking up to puke on my floor
  2. Waking up to a puke covered toddler
  3. Waking up to puke on my couch
  4. Waking up to puke on my pants
  5. Waking up to puke on my t-shirt
  6. Waking up to puke in my hair
  7. Waking up to puke on my floor
  8. Trying not to puke myself at the smell
  9. Carefully taking off puke-covered toddler’s clothes
  10. Cleaning up puke from my toddler’s skin
  11. Cleaning up puke from my toddler’s hair
  12. New jammies and toddler to bed
  13. Cleaning up puke from my couch
  14. Cleaning puke off the remote control
  15. Dragging myself into my bedroom
  16. Finding another sick child in my bed
  17. Carefully taking off puke-covered preschooler’s clothes
  18. Cleaning puke off my preschooler
  19. New jammies and preschooler to bed
  20. Cleaning up puke from my comforter
  21. Cleaning up puke from my sheets
  22. Cleaning up puke from my mattress cover
  23. Washing puke from my pillows
  24. Washing puke off of my hair
  25. Washing puke off of my hands
  26. New sweatpants and t-shirt
  27. Smelling bleach cleaner all over my hands
  28. Washing couch cover, clothes, sheets, and towels at 2 am
  29. Wishing I had never bought raspberries

Wait, I think that is more than ten.  But, I am too frazzled to fix this. I am going to get some sleep before the kids wake me again.

 

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