Well, I was supposed to publish this blog entry on my 40th birthday. Just a few weeks late, right? In between dressing Polly Pockets in incredibly tiny little tops and skirts and dresses (slightly maddening), I have finally found the time to write another blog entry. My 30th birthday was much different than the big 4-0. I was newly married, not-yet-with-rugrats, and I didn’t own any sort of property apart from a beat-up Dodge Shadow that didn’t even have A/C. Ahhh, those were the days. On the day of my 30th b-day, I went to a winery with Sach and my best girls and then we headed out that night for a wild-n-crazy evening with pals in the DC area. The next day, I headed to the spa (hung over) for a full day of pampering. For my 40th, (4:45 am wake-up to get the kids in the school bus by 6:30 am, already a doozy) I started out the day by going to read to Mia’s class. I was so excited because it’s not every day that the parents are invited to your kid’s class at the French school. It was awesome. Then by mid-day, I finally succumbed to a stomach bug (can you freaking believe it!) but I rallied through a family dinner complete with an Oreo cookie cake that the girls had excitedly chosen for me. And the next few days were fab. I had two dinners out with various groups of girl-pals and then the following weekend (because I wanted to drag out my b-day as loooooong as possible), Sacha and I went to the island of Roatan, Honduras, for three days, six hours, 12 minutes and five seconds of alone-time. Lots of food, lots of beach time, and lots of drinks. Ummmm, yeah, LOTS of drinks. But we missed our girls! We were so excited to get home.
So, here, I give you my thoughts at the age of 40. As usual, they are jumbled and disorganized and not in any order in particular. I might be repeating myself (it’s the age) and I am sure there are typos. Slightly flawed, just like this Mama. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them-
* Big Mama, Little Papa-Z says I am a big lady and Daddy is a little boy. That’s the difference between 40 (moi) and a youthful 39-year-old (her Dad) to a six-year-old. It’s kind of like dog years when one is that little. Remi told me this morning when I was in the shower (she was standing at her usual perch just outside the shower) that Daddy is seven years old and I am 64. That makes me 448 years old. And she had a twinkle in her eyes when she said it.
* Salon Torture-I went to get an eyebrow wax and the lady started to wax my upper lip. I almost died. I jumped off of the massage bed and nearly hit the ceiling, I was so surprised. So how to go about dealing with a quarter-waxed upper lip, you say? Luckily, a little bit of oil wiped the wax right off without taking my (bountiful?) upper lip hair with it.
* Excuse Me While I Scream Bloody Murder-Bikini waxes mother-f-ing HURT. And is it my imagination or have things grown down there in places they haven’t before? Ummmm, I don’t remember, to be honest, and never checked down there when I was 27. However, I am pretty sure that there is hair sprouting in places it should NOT be now. I practically gripped the massage bed like I was being exorcised last week when I was having my bikini wax.
* Old Man Nose-On that note, there is now the question of white nose hairs. On my husband. NOT on me. Yet. When we were flying to Roatan for my 40th birthday celebration, Sacha and I discovered that he had a white nose hair. Sticking right on out there in plain view. So we decided to get rid of it. I braced myself and with his blessing, I yanked it out. Along with about 4 other nose hairs. And if you’ve ever pulled out a nose hair, you know that it KILLS. So as I was dying laughing (doubled over, ugly snort-laughing, because, you know, I was being my usual supportive self), my dear better half was crying in pain. Literally sobbing. But laughing all the same. Good times. And then Sachie told me something that made me bellow with laughter even more-he told me that when men get older, they start to grow hair out of their noses and ears. And then here’s the kicker-he told me that they start to grow vaginas on their lower backs. Again, peals of snorting laughter to the point where we were now starting to draw (bad) attention to ourselves on the plane, just the two of old old-timers. At least we can still laugh with each other, right???
* What’s That Ugly Lump On Your Leg? Sacha’s lower leg injury. My dear hubs (who likes to remind me that he’s about eight months younger than I) got walloped on the soccer field about three months ago and he’s still pretty much limping to this day. Yet he refuses to admit that he is hurt. And he’s back on the field. Because that’s what makes him happy, even if it makes him cry at the same time. And I am now the proud owner of a custom-made team outfit (it even has my name on the back) so that I can get out there and cheer on my better half. Happens to be bright yellow and makes me look a bit like Big Bird but I’ll get out there and support my guy. Now I just need to have one made for each of the girls.
* My Fingernails Hurt. Achy-breaky body. Holy crap, my body seems to ache these days after taking out the trash.
* Happy Me-Happy hour takes on a new meaning because I cannot stay awake after 8 pm. I am not physically capable. Therefore, cocktails at 5 pm are essential.
* It’s Only 7:20 pm? On that same note, it’s kind of depressing when your 8-year-old regularly stays up later than you do. Mia is a night owl just like her Daddy. I am, however, a pigeon. I am in my jammies at 8 pm and eying my bed like it’s a big old ice cream sandwich. And anyone who tries to talk or interact with me after 9 pm, they have to do this knowing that I might just fall asleep on them. And I most certainly won’t remember our conversation the following day.
* Pampers, Please-No longer carrying a diaper bag makes me want to weep AND high five someone at the same time. Weep because it does make me sad! My babies aren’t babies anymore. (And my eight-year-old really doesn’t for it when I try to rock her in my lap.) But on the flip side, I don’t have to lug a heavy, overloaded bag anymore. Or make my husband do it, more likely. (And my diaper bag was always black patent leather, which Sacha just looooooved, I think I might have mentioned before.) And I want to high-five someone because it’s just so awesome not to have to change diapers anymore in the most ridiculous places because they don’t have a baby-changing table. Hello, developing countries. However, I still carry just as much junk in my regular bag now-I still have the wipes (what mother of a 3/6/8 year old doesn’t?), the snacks, the water, the crayons, the paper, the books, and on and on and on. I could practically pull a seven-course meal out of my bag. Made entirely out of snacks.
* Can I Have Crayons With My Order, Please? I no longer seek out a restaurant in terms of its coolness or trendiness or its amazing cocktails and bar. Nope, we now seek out restaurants in terms of their proximity to home, the size of the playground, the appetizers and desserts for my kids. Actually, the desserts are for me. Who am I kidding? Sacha still scopes out the bar and I still check for chocolate. And even better if they have a great bar AND a yummy dessert list.
* Homework Harrows-I spend some of my time during my day reviewing long division and fractions and the history of the ancient Nile flooding so that I can be ready to go over homework with my third-grader. How many millions of years ago did the first pre-historic man appear?
* Floss Me, Baby-I would never forget to floss my children’s teeth but I often forget to floss my own. I am militant about flossing their teeth, even my three-year old. Pink, green, and blue flossers in funky shapes. If only my floss looked this fun.
* Tongue Twisters-Dinner conversation consists of a plethora of knock-knock jokes, multiple loud conversations going on at the same time, occasionally an outburst from Dad to calm the troops, at least one little nut whining, peals of laughter from all of us and occasional tears, and ALWAYS a question like this-“Mum, why are penguins naked?” By the way, try saying “toy boat” three times in a row fast. We all get a kick out of that one at our table. Also “flash message”. Try it. Three times in a row. Try it with kids and everyone will be cracking up.
* You Are Sitting On The Remote-Sacha and I argue over wanting to watch Downton Abby (moi) or Man VS. Food (sigh, Sacha). Rockin’ Saturday nights, I tell you.
* Peachblosson and Rosedust-Dad can sing all the words (juuuuuust a little off-key) to “My Little Pony”. Also in French (yup, it’s “Mon Petit Pony”)
* Foreign language foibles-our house is a mix of French, English, Spanish, and a spattering of Arabic. Put them all together and things can get pretty hinky. It used to be easy for me to keep track of it all. Nowadays, my brain doesn’t work so well (thanks 40). My Spanish is back, but I don’t get excited over verb conjugations like I used to. I know, nerdy, huh.
* Downton Nighties And Caps. In my 40’s pajamas are about comfort. I know I might look like a Granny in my all-in-one, but I am as cozy as a clam. In my house, we girls are fans of the all-in-one. Except for Sacha.
* 40 And Feelin’ Funky-You know that butterflies/excitement feeling you get waking up on your birthday when you are a kid? Naaaaah, I didn’t get that on my 40th. However, my kids were so giddy that they all pranced into our room at 5 am to wake me up. I was, however, already downstairs having my 30 minutes of peace. So all they ended up doing was waking up poor Sach. Who was not as exited to wake up. See the night owl/pigeon comment.
* Massage envy-I play tennis with a great young gal who is single and has no kids. And she has a massage table that she bought at a Costco-type place and takes around the globe with her. Like I have space for a massage table. Nope, I just have room for a massive play-bakery for my three daughters. But noooooo, no room for a massage table for Mama. Boo hoo.
* Barbie Christmas Music Makes Me Want To Beat My Head Against The Wall-Music for the kiddies. Our IPod these days is filled with Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. Yeah, I want to listen to Liz Phair (can’t because of the language) and Sacha wants to listen to Metallic (can’t because the girls start to complain with all of the guitar and drums and “boy music”) but there is no room for anything in our home that isn’t bubble-gum sweet and pop-y. We drove to the beach the other day and listened just two times to the Backyardigans and Sacha begged me (going on the third time) to change the music. And when we drove to Copan, Honduras, around Christmas-time and we got lost (a five-hour trip turned into over 10 hours, kill me now), we must have listened to Barbie Christmas over 100 times. And both Sacha and I were wondering why we felt utterly homicidal at the end of that trip.
* My brain hurts-When I help Mia with her homework, we sometimes have to memorize things and the other day, we happened to be going over a poem that she needed to know by heart. So I memorized it, too. And yesterday was the first time I really noticed the difference between her eight-year-old brain and my 40-year-old noggin. We were quizzing each other and I thought I did a pretty good job-slow and methodical but I got it right. Apart from one or two little blips. Then came my eight-year-old. And she rattled off the poem (in French), not one teeny mistake and voilà. And she gave me a B. Huh.
* Wipe Me-I have an obsession with baby wipes even though I no long have a baby to change. I mean, I just cannot live without them. They work better than anything at taking out crayon from a rug. Or a wall. And they are ideal post-grocery shopping. Especially post-grocery shopping in developing countries.
* Lady Big Bum-Frizzy hair, big tush, funny boobs-what I would GIVE to have the body and face I had 20 years ago and felt so self-conscious about at the time. And the boobs.
* As I get older, I most certainly am becoming more particular. Picky, Sacha would say. Just determined, I would beg to differ. The other day, I went on the hunt for tonic for vodka-tonics. I went to four different stores and couldn’t find any. My perfect plan was almost foiled. Finally, I found some what appears to be black market, or contraband tonic called Royal Club. My Granny would always say that tonic is good for a bout of malaria because of the quinine in it. And that tonic is good for the joints. She used to say that, too. That’s not a bad thing, right? Maybe I should start drinking a glass of sherry like she used to and then I would be happily pickled by 5 pm.
* Big bums and all, I am one incredibly lucky girl. This past year was such a whirlwind of bad news and fast changes. And as much as I had an amazing time in Roatan, I love my crazy, quirky, faulted, beautiful, hilarious, bossy, sassy little family of three little nuts and Sachie. And that’s all I need at the ripe old age of 40 to be happy and content in life. That along with a few knock-knock jokes.