Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dude, did you skin The Grinch?

Do you often find yourself wondering if you still have it? No, me neither. That would be shallow.

For those of you who have children, you’ll understand the following dilemma: when one of your friends organizes a night out with the girls, your initial excitement of getting out of the house is immediately eclipsed by the sheer panic of making it happen. Is my husband around to watch the kids? Will I have anything entertaining to talk about other than my adoooooooorable children? Is it physically possible to keep my eyelids open past 10:00 p.m.? And most importantly, how long will it take me to get ready? Nowadays, it’s a task that seems as monumental as climbing Mount Everest, or more appropriately, fastening a post-baby belly the size of a Sherpa into the folds of my jeans. This nauseating visual is immediately followed by the equally nauseating question: do I still have it? Can a completely dishevelled and out-of-touch mother of three, with permanent deposits of baby vomit on her shoulder, get back out on the scene? Or more appropriately, hit the town and not cause a scene?

To prepare for a public viewing, I start by working on my face. Some mornings I look in the mirror and could swear some of my facial features have migrated during the night; my eyes have mysteriously splayed down towards my ears, making it appear as though I’m on the cusp of morphing into a hammerhead shark. Simply put, a touch of lipstick doesn’t cut it anymore.

It's embarrassing to admit this, but recently I got reeled in by one of those coma-inducing infomercials; one with a magical voice that promised to reverse the effects of hard living (translation: university diet of vodka, Export A "Green Death" and Kraft dinner) and aging. In all likelihood, the product is made from snake venom and the collective sperm of all endangered species, but when you're desperate, you really don't give a shit. These details become trivial. In a giddy trance, I dialled the toll-free number and waited in anticipation to place my order. I was having visions of my former dewy skin reflecting back at me in the mirror and was so lost in my daydream, that I almost didn't hear what the lady was telling me. I asked her to repeat the cost. Then I giggled nervously and asked her to repeat it again. I had erroneously assumed the price I saw on the infomercial was the total cost, not four regular instalments of said amount. I politely declined and said, “For that price sweetheart, I’d be expecting you to mail me a new face.”

I recall a particular incident from a few years ago; I was ready to call my friends and back out from a night out on the town, with some lame excuse involving a highly contagious, rash-inducing, unfortunately timed illness that mysteriously surfaced in my first born just as I was about to walk out the door. One of the benefits of having children is that they provide a built-in excuse for dodging any sort of social commitment. I just didn't feel up to it...mostly because I had actually forgot how to look presentable. Seriously, you know you look rough when you laboriously spend an hour getting ready, putting some serious effort into it, start to feel pretty good about yourself, only to answer a knock at your front door to find your neighbour standing there, who takes one look at you and says: “Oh. So sorry to wake you. Can I borrow an egg?” Ooooouch.

I won't lie to you. It hurt. But fear not, my friends, I soldiered on. I journeyed into my closet to find a suitable outfit to mark the occasion. I should mention here that in regards to overall fashion, I let myself go just a touch while enjoying my maternity leaves. Nothing major. It usually starts with wearing the same pair of green sweatpants every day, followed shortly by the addition of a green t-shirt and a green sweater. May I add that the greens rarely match; in fact, offensive clash would be a more appropriate description. In my head, because I'm wearing all green, I sort of feel put together. Don't ask. I have no answer.

I would have gone on washing and wearing the exact same comfortable outfit for the entire year had my sister not intervened one afternoon with the following declaration:

“Dude, did you skin the Grinch? You look horrendous.”

Now if this had been the first reference to the Grinch that week in question, I could have handled the insult like a mature adult. As it happened, earlier that week, Jack and I were playing when he (purposefully) whacked me over the head with a metal car. I gave him my dirtiest scowl and demanded an apology. I was pissed off. He looked me straight in the face and said:

“Mommy, you look like the pwince from that movie.”

My heart instantly warmed.

“Honey, don’t you mean the princess? Mommy’s a girl so I can’t be the pwince.” (Being hit up with flattery, I instantly forgot my request for an apology. At times, my vanity knows no bounds.)

“No, Mommy! Not that movie. Not the pwince, I said the GWINCH.”

Aren’t 3-year olds adorable? Particularly when their mouth is sealed shut with duct-tape.

In the end, pulling yourself together and getting out of the house is always worth it. Bonding with girlfriends is like a soothing ointment for the soul. So even if you don't feel like it, I urge you, get out of the house once and awhile. Heck, throw on a balaclava and poncho if you must. It's one of the benefits of living in the Praires...we can wear a get-up like that and not look like a stalker. Warning though, amidst the stories and giggles, you’ll inevitably find yourself thinking that the music is far too loud, the floor of the bar could really use a good scrubbing, the young girls, who clearly raided your toddler’s closet for their t-shirts, should think about covering their kidneys so they don’t catch a cold, and as you crouch precariously over the toilet seat you wouldn’t dare sit on even if ordered at gunpoint, you’ll be tempted to tidy the bathroom stall whilst you urinate because your capacity to multi-task cannot be tamed. And at some point during the night, you’ll wistfully think of your children, wishing you’d been there to tuck them into bed, read them their favourite story and kiss them goodnight. And at that very moment you’ll realize that yes, you still have it – you have it all, plus more.


FANNYPaK said...

Happy to hear I'm not the only one out there. Love your postings!

Janita said...

Thanks, your handle, BTW. Brilliant. xo

Karla said...

I love all your stories Janita! Makes me really excited to start our family! Can't wait for all the 'up' moments and the 'downs' :)

Jodi Carmichael said...

Too funny and so much like my life! A few years ago I caught myself saying to my mom, "You should have seen what the young girls were wearing!"

Love reading your blog. :)

mini said...

Wow Sonia was are so funny and your blog is awesome!! Mini (Sonia's friend)

Janita said...

Karla - thank you! Having kids is definitely worth the ride. You're going to love it. ps. the 'down' moments provide all the cheap entertainment so technically, everything's considered 'up'.

Jodi - yes. We all morph into our mothers don't we? Ha! I recently caught myself muttering "These kids nowadays..." and stopped myself before the uphill-both-ways stories commenced. ;)

Mini - thanks so much! Any friend of Sonia is a friend of mine. Give her a hug for me, will ya? xo

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