Musical Mid-Life Crisis… Help Needed

Arrow pierced ego
Now wounded… looking to heal.
Need cool doctor, stat.
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I did a very parent thing this weekend. I have been enjoying the ‘free’ Sirius radio in my new car… and have pre-selected the following stations: 70’s on 7, 80’s on 8, 90’s on 9, Hits 1 and 20 on 20. These last two are my vain (and I do mean vain) attempt to get myself remotely up to speed on current popular music. It’s been funny to switch between decades and listen to what are screamingly different musical styles and markers. What strikes me most about current pop music is the persistent thump thump of the deep bass… Up until recently I thought that every young person listening to the radio was just playing their music overly loud given I could hear them coming 1/4 mile away. But now I realize that is simply the nature of today’s music.

So I was out with the kids running errands , scanning between stations. I settled on something by the Eagles on the 70s on 7 station and began to sing along… and my 10 year daughter, AP, started sighing loudly. Could you please get off this station mom? I turned it up. Mom, anything in this decade please? I turned it up again. You do realize this is music grandma listened to when she was in her 30’s?  Huh, what??? And then I understood it. My daughter went for the low blow… she translated “old music” into the most abhorrent comparison that could possibly be made at that time. While I was sitting there thinking “why I listened to this when I was your age, dear, and how cool that I still know the words” she reached back  a generation to remind me that my mother (who although not “old” in spirit or frame, has started her journey into her 70’s) listened to this when she was younger than I am today.

Ouch. That hurt, I must admit.  (No offence mom… I know you understand.) I responded as maturely as I could at the time. I turned it up again and told her as long as she complained she wasn’t getting anything close to current music. But it has gotten me thinking that I really do need to update my music library on iTunes. I have no illusion that I will be either mother of the year or the coolest mom in the class, but I want to be interestingly eclectic and fun to be around while still maintaining that mystery known as “she’s a mom… who knows what she’ll do”. That requires me to invest a little.

This is all part of my current foray into a modest mid-life crisis. It started with a weekend away in the fall, alone.  It approached its peak on my 45th birthday in February. It continued with the purchase of a car that I thought made me cooler than I am – a combination of  unusual yet practical (a fire engine red Ford Flex with the Eco Boost engine…this last feature allows me to blow away thumping teenagers at stop lights. Yes, that matters to me; see earlier reference to mid-life crisis).  And it may be topping out with recent purchases of a bucket load of clothes at J Jill and the desire to revamp my iPod playlists. At least I hope it has peaked… I’m going broke.

Here’s the problem. I have no idea what music to buy. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to ask AP for her thoughts. I refuse to show weakness. I just want to slip in a few new songs in the tired playlists I have set up for family listening.

Can you help me? What are some current artists (last 5 years) you recommend I spend time and money getting to know? Really appreciate it.

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I’m Cheating on My Husband (Honey, Don’t Read This)

Well… paybacks are hell;
And I deserve to suffer;
But it’s so worth it.
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He is traveling… My mind wanders. A sly smile crosses my face as I picture possibilities.

What to do, what to do…

And like Phineas, a voice in my head shouts: “Maureen, I know what we’re going to do today! Make pancakes for dinner so the kids will like you more than dad.”

And with that, I cheat on Frank. I use his “out of town-ness” as a means to ingratiate myself to the children. Pancakes for dinner are just the start. There’s an indoor picnic (my 21st Century name for eating on the floor in front of the TV). There’s dessert and skipping brushing teeth. There a 3D movie in my bed, lights off, just like the movies.  There’s staying up just a little extra and no book reading.

I am evil. Bwah hah hah. Any chance I get to establish myself as the cool mommy, I take it. Even if it means cheating on Frank and doing with the kids something I would normally discourage in an otherwise normal school night.  You see, I don’t volunteer in the classroom; it’s taken me the whole year to schedule a “reading” session with my son’s class; the babysitter makes a better sandwich than I do and I’m pretty sure the girl scout troop is scared of me. So I’m going to take any advantage I can.

Mind you, I’m not good at hiding my cheating ways. Thirty seconds after this posts, his email will tweedle its arrival. He will read it (at least he claims he does), so I do this with full knowledge that he is now fully aware and I’m stone cold busted.

But he’s traveling right now and can’t do a damn thing about it.   Heh heh heh…

Bath Time is Body Part Discovery Time

Hard questions: answers
rush out, untamed, left alone…
oh, what have I done?
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It’s Tuesday, and with my beloved traveling, it was up to me to handle bath time. No biggie. The kids are getting to be relatively low maintenance in the bath, with only my 6-year-old son needing some help to get things clean after a good soak. Partway through he called me to come back into the bathroom.

What’s up?

“Mom? What are these called again? I can’t remember.”

I peered to see what he was talking about, only to find him holding his penis up and away at an angle that made me cringe, while also pulling on his testicles rather vigorously.

Those? Below your penis? Those are your testicles.

“And what do they do?”

Well, *cough cough* you know how mommies have eggs inside them to make babies? Well daddies have sperm inside them to make babies with the mommies. The sperm is in your testicles. 

“I don’t understand. How does that work?”

(Oh shit, I thought.) Well, the sperm and the eggs combine inside of mommy to make a baby. I knew fully well this was inadequate and other, even more dreaded questions, were heading my way.

“But how does the sperm get there?” There was a note of concern in his voice.

The daddy puts the sperm inside of mommy. We have a special hole in our girl parts.  (What in the hell have I gotten myself into? Stop talking.)

“How does the sperm get out of me? Does it hurt?”

No. It doesn’t.

“But how? Do they have to cut it out?”

No, no, no. It comes out of the same hole that you pee out of.

He quickly looked at his penis now, still unnaturally pulled to one side.  A questioning look crossed his sweet face.  “Do they have to go inside and scoop it out?”  He gestured like he was holding a spoon. I almost laughed out loud, this was such a genuinely confused little question.

No, sweetie. You can make it come out yourself. (Think before you answer, woman… dammit…)

“What? How?” Again, he peered down at his penis, as if it was something foreign and little scary now that he knew it had certain powers.

Well, trust me, you can just make it happen. But don’t worry, you won’t be able to do it for a long time. You won’t make sperm until it’s time to make babies. You’ll be much older. 

“Oh, like when I’m 16.”

No! Much older than that. You aren’t ready for babies at 16.

“Ohhh, maybe when I’m 30.”

Yes, that’s more like it. When you are 30. 

And with that, he was done. Penis released, testicles relaxed, he returned to his pleasant bath time. I am left fearful, however, as to how this conversation will get translated to his Kindergarten teachers tomorrow. Will he recount certain parts, parts explained separately but recounted as if they are of the same thought?  “My mom told me that when I’m 30 I will be able to make sperm come out of my penis. But they won’t cut it out.  She has a special hole. But I’ll be too young at 16. My sperm is in my testibules.”

So to Mrs. Martin and Ms. Ferone, as well as the parents of any classmates who are entertained with stories in the coming days, first, my apologies and second, do not judge until you have also navigated the tricky waters that I have.

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