Tag Archives: toddler

a pain in the latitude, same ol’ attitude…my plastic cocktail cup is half full…bartender?


let’s stretch these rip van winkle fingers and get a few words tapped out on this typing box today. man o man i lost some time again. don’t let your kidneys fool ya, they aren’t just good martial arts targets or models for beans…apparently we really need those things. and like a passive-aggressive (ex)spouse, they wait until they are over-the-top, freakin’ out, foaming at the mouth mad before they speak up.

so, i took my daughter on a little family vacation to san diego. all appropriate elements culminated in a stereotype i hardly have to explain…long flights, lost luggage pieces, shamu splashes, zoo tantrums, toddler vomit, pandas stuffed and real, a hot tub, an ocean, lots of romance, some fuzzy robes and little washclothes folded into special resort shapes. seriously, that washcloth folding thing is an art. no swans at this joint, more functional designs…clearly there are varying schools of thought on towel sculpture. i also learned why they sell really strong margaritas at food stands at the zoo, and why they fall under the “shut up and eat some animal crackers” kids meal selections on the walk up menus. my lisa-simpson voiced bartender at the pool also taught me about something called a “changes in latitude” which delivers in two drinks or less all of the change of attitude one can handle as a “responsible adult” caring for a small child. i watched a ripple of orders rounding the pool as mothers the resort over glommed onto the recommendation. we all smiled knowingly at each other through three kinds of liquor and splash of pineapple juice, mixed so lightly even Mr. Kool-aid is sitting still by the deep end sipping his own.

coming home i had a special brand of layover. my daughter and myself both thank our wonderful travel companion who tirelessly listened to me grunt, shiver and moan my way through Denver International…and helplessly watched me grow pale and slide down the jetway in flames. it could have been worse. my passive-aggressive kidneys held back a lot in the argument…chomping under their breath with me as we muttered to each other, not here, not in public…can we deal with this when we get home? 

a few medical professionals, iv bags and prescriptions later and i’m stretching these fingers, this foggy brain and my to-do list of doom to see where i stand, to get my breath back and my bags unpacked. the thursday clouds outside are packed so tightly with deadlines that they squeeze them out as raindrops and howling tractor-trailer thunder claps. my littlebean is stirring, work is blowing up my blackberry and my morning pill regimen is calling me like a life-alert beacon portending older bones and a 7-day pill organizer.

but here i am, back from the west coast, back from “holiday” and back from the dead. oh yeah…with a kickass new tattoo from Buju in San Diego. never boring, never plain, never perfect, always me. next travel on my horizon is planned for january. we’ll see. the rest of my bones have a pool going to see when my travelin’ bone will scratch out another itinerary. i do have some holidaze coming on…maybe some of my loved ones will head this way instead…anyone wanna try out trish’s guest quarters? if yer scared say yer scared.


one, two…feel the burn…this coffee’s hot and my travel mug was not designed for aerobics


here i am! head swirling, eyes tearing, coffee soothing…it’s tuesday! hmmm. this morning starts strangely, but in one happy development, i’m here tap-tap-typing away. i’d had some silly action figure idea that i’d be able to post regularly from the road…and, “hey AFT, throw your workout shoes in that travel bag while yer at it, and start you up a morning routine…you can squeeze it in between coffee and the part where you write and work a full, 10-hour teaching and technical day!” yeah. that was my internal aerobics teacher talking…you know, the one whose enthusiastic little voice i could slap right outta her mouth most days.

so i’m writing a smidge, instead of the daily beating i had scheduled in the event that i was too sleepy or too late to write anything. i was pretty convinced that i was too sleepy this morning, but my restless toddler once again altered my perceptions and plans for the day.  i found that i was fairly well wide awake after my 5:30am meltdown in response to her 5:15am meltdown. she witnessed some of my sleepy boohoo tantrum, felt bad for me, and agreed to try to get a little more sleep, since i so clearly needed it.

sneaky me, i let it buy me some coffee time and a little catch up moment, plus time to clear my blubbering, sleepy otolaryngology…and hey, i’m slipping a post in where wimpy, whiney self-flagellation was supposed to be…and trying to learn how to say otolaryngology in some way that sounds natural and less like i have a bucket of nickelodeon slime in my mouth. oh coffee my coffee. a half carafe left is my only hope today.

i’m doing the ol’ touch-n-go, driving out of here tomorrow night for another short trip. again, i humor myself thinking, “maybe…since i just taught this class…it will go magically and smoothly, efficiently and effortlessly…enough for me to carve out time for that new fitness hour and get a post in before class starts at 8am.” you know, because technical problems and environments are so predictable…just like student’s learning abilities and attitudes. snort. trainer humor. (nerd flag).

actually, in this case, the attitude part is more predictable than it would be for many of my students. now that i’ve jinxed myself, i will go on to say that i’ve been working on my favorite project, my baby…my fickle, unorganized, never sleeps through the night baby. i’m training professional candidates from the AbilityOne program, a group of non-profits for the Visually Impaired and/or Severely Disabled. like many organizations doing something new, there are still some acts of a keystone cops drama to get through at the top of the food chain before things run smoothly for us middle logistics managers. but no matter what it might have taken to get computer equipment, training materials and a qualified trainer to one site at the same time, inevitably my students walk into my training room ready and eager to learn specific technical skills and anything else i can teach them, technical skills they will add to their federal contracting training and their Bachelor’s degrees. their attitudes and gratitudes are inspiring, and they are mostly all funny as hell. it’s a regular Improv event everyday, student and teacher all yukking it up…and learning stuff too.

just writing about them this morning swells my chest a little. it gives me inspiration for my wednesday night drive outta dodge. it makes me grateful for all of the people in this world for whom kindness is their first value, with determination and humor trailing closely. kinda makes my meltdown this morning feel a little more pathetic…but i have to say it’s worth it sometimes to just let it out in one big bawl. my little fit of tears and self-pity got my daughter two more hours of sleep that i know she needed, and gave me a little time to look for my actionfigure shoes and the rest of my superhero gitch. i didn’t have room for it in my carry on this last go round. let’s see how she travels on a road trip.


the action figure to-do list (each style sold separately)


so, how does an action figure plan her impossible day? how does she prioritize all of that action, and order it just so, to make it from the bedcave to the blogbridge, through toddler forest and laundry swamp, around the steaming catlitter pit, over employment bluff and on to the peaks of packed and ready? i’ve never seen an action figure make a to-do list. neither the superheroes nor the superhilarious pop-art figures i’ve posed in embarassing yoga positions have ever whipped out a pile of post its, a ring bound notebook, or (blech) an Outlook Task List of Doom. they don’t do it in my real life fantasies or onscreen. perhaps i’m not looking for the right thing…perhaps they have an unacknowledged line to the “cloud,” whatever that really is, and it feeds them all of their regular and spontaneous engagements through effortless, thought-based communication. perhaps they’ve had it for quite some time without mentioning it…maybe they take it for granted…maybe it’s a sister benefit for action figure credit union members.

i still need a to-do list and on this particular day, i need a list of the lists i need. yeah. it will all happen somehow, i know. writing here this morning is an effort to inspire myself and lower the risk of a hair fire. conditions are highly favorable…pretty much all week. in preparation, i’m polishing my Zen-plated shield and collecting jokes and deep breaths with which i can mark my trail. later i will follow them back to my bedcave in time to rest for tomorrow’s intrepid adventures.

i’m a little envious this week of the action figures who can fly themselves instead of using mass transit. i’d take that low-emissions invisible plane any day of the week…or try the cape thingy if i thought that would work…and if i had that thought while not substantively altered. there is some foreshadowing of a possible overbooking problem on the last leg of my commercial flight home…plus, if i could get a designated pilot, i could still sit back and enjoy a cloud-top cocktail…call drinks from invisible liquorette bottles.

i’d like to see how other action figures handle scheduling, if they handle their own at all. the nature of our lives requires spontaneity, flexibility and periods of extended energy. how do they pull it all off, and since pulling it off obviously qualifies as its own superpower, why hide it? why isn’t there some caped crusader at the Hall of Justice with a powerful “E” for Efficient or Executor or Effin’ Organized emblazoned on her chest shield? you’d see her strike through a lifetime of chores in a single sweep of Sharpie, knock procrastination from power with a death ray of accomplishment flashed from sparkling eyes, fit “me-time” and exercise into the most hyperbolically full calendar.

writing that i realize it sounds like a pretty boring power…at least from a spectator’s point of view…but as i stare down into a villainous valley of expectations, deadlines and timekeepers, i have to say i’d be encouraged to discover that superheroine, who obviously supers out remotely, which is why you never see her killing time in the Hall of Justice break room.

action figure daughter is now calling plaintively from the dark of toddler forest. it’s time to get my lists on…over my big-girl superhero underwear…part of the uniform, not an underoos set.