This is How I Feel…

This Is How I Feel

This is how I feel about dyed armpit hair.

This is how I feel about a Facebook invite to play Dragon City.

This is how I feel about sixteen year olds wearing cut-off mom jean shorts.

This is how I feel when I realize a single Facebook friend is selling Mary Kay, Rodan + Fields, Advocare, and Young Living simultaneously.

This is how I feel about thirteen year old boys having 20,000 followers on Instagram and all they post is sultry selfies. #goodhairday #eyes #smolder

This is how I feel every time I see a beautiful, historical storefront turn into a Vape Shop.

This is how I feel when Pinterest tells me that two dozen ten-color polka dot cupcakes topped with individual Pixie Hollow icing dioramas are easy to make.

This is how I feel when I realize exactly how messy my house has gotten – and that it’s at least 25% my responsibility to fix it.

This is how I feel when I catch the first whiff of whatever is to be the fiery Facebook topic of the week.

This is how I feel when the Dead Sea Mineral Lotion Kiosk Man tries to accost me and rub things onto my arms.

This is how I feel about silk shorts trimmed in Pom-Poms.

I feel this:

What makes you feel that?

Going Pro in Chick-fil-A.

The struggle is real – every single time.

I coach myself.

“You can do this. You were born for this.”

I do a few warm-up drills.

“Reach to the back seat reach to the front seat reach reach reach”

I breathe deeply, attempting to tune every muscle of my body for the exertion that is to come.

Chick-Fil-A Cow

It all happens in less than ten seconds, but therein is the problem. The amount of things that happen in that ten seconds is tantamount to the peak of human ability.

The time has come for the frantic Chick-fil-A pass-off.

One, Two, Three, HUT!

“Hello ma’am I see you have two kids meals with lemonades, a three strip meal with a large iced coffee, and you need Chick-fil-A sauce?”

“That is correct.”

Breathe. You can do this. You do it every week. Way too many times every week.

“Your total is $16.71.”

I hand her my credit card and the marathon begins. Her Ursula-like Octopus arms begin shoving items at my car window in a blur of speed.

Grab lemonade! (“Thank you!” “My Pleasure.”) Pass it back to Ali! Grab other lemonade! (“Thank you!” “My Pleasure.”) Pass it back to Ali as well so Noah doesn’t miss the handoff! Grab kid’s Meals with one pair of fingers and credit card and receipt with other pair of fingers! (“Thank you!” “My Pleasure.”) Set everything down frantically so that she doesn’t toss iced coffee into the car to meet time quota! Grab Iced Coffee! Grab my food! Check for straws and Chick-Fil-A sauce! (“Thank you!” “My Pleasure.”) and DRIVE.

Once again I have completed the feat of the Chick-fil-A Drive-Through Ultra Marathon. All moms in the south are put to this test continuously, as all moms in the south feed their children a diet almost entirely consisting of Chick-fil-A, with a peach thrown in here and there for good measure*.

The drive-thru attendants are finely oiled machines, experts at passing three bags of food into your car while simultaneously swiping your credit card and brewing your fresh and amazingly inexpensive iced coffee. You get the feeling that they’re wearing shock collars under those maroon shirts. If they don’t get all your food out that window within fifteen seconds or neglect to say “My pleasure” every time you say thank you, they will be jolted with a thousand Waffle Watts©, and won’t be able to get that smell of burnt peanut oil out of their hair for weeks.

And then, at some drive-thrus, the pressure has been mounted even further: they now use real, live humans standing in the road to take your order, meaning that you have to know exactly what you want without the aid of the menu board. Sure, they wear a tiny menu written in 4 point font on a thumb ring, but unless you brought your binoculars (and it’s ill-advised to look through binoculars at a woman standing twelve inches from you), it will not suffice.

But ultimately, all of the training, all of the conditioning, all of the physical exertion, all of the mental distress is completely worthwhile: because it keeps you from having to go inside – where there’s a Playplace. Just waiting for your children to climb to the top, get stuck, and panic. Then find half of an abandoned Waffle Fry to eat while they wait on you to slither up to their rescue.

But even that is worth it because of the gift of Chick-fil-A. Or, as my children put it so eloquently,

Ali: “Who doesn’t like Chick-fil-A?”

Noah: “Robbers. Only robbers don’t like Chick-fil-A.”


* Generalizations and exaggerations may be present in this statement. And in this entire blog post. Except about the Ursula arms. They definitely have Ursula arms.

Mommy Jeopardy!

Mommy Jeopardy

“Welcome to this very special episode of Mommy Jeopardy! Our contestants, all too sleepy to actually introduce themselves, will choose from six categories today, all related to their occupation of Motherhood. Let’s get started.”

“I’ll take ‘Kids are for the Strong of Stomach’ for $200, Alex.”

“The answer is…”

Mommy Jeopardy

“What are toddler boy feet after marinating in shoes for two-plus hours, Alex?”

”That is correct.”

“Let’s go with ‘Kids are for the Strong of Stomach’ for $400.”

“The answer is…”

Mommy Jeopardy 2

“What is the car seat?”

“No, but a good guess.”

“What is the bathtub, Alex.”

“Yes.”

“Let’s go ahead to ‘Kids are for the Strong of Stomach’ for $600.”

“The answer is…”

Mommy Jeopardy 3

“What is chunky vomit?”

“Of course.”

“’Kids are for the Strong of Stomach’ for $800.”

Mommy Jeopardy 4

“What is removing a splinter?”

“That is incorrect. Anyone else?”

“Yes. What is removing a deep, long, slippery booger from a tiny toddler nostril?”

“Very good.”

“I’m going to try ‘Kids and Logic Don’t Mix’ for $200, Alex.”

Mommy Jeopardy 5

“What is whining, Alex.”

“Exactly.”

“‘Kids and Logic Don’t Mix’ for $400.”

“The answer is…”

Mommy Jeopardy 6

“What is the sibling?”

“Exactly.”

“‘Kids and Logic Don’t Mix’ for $600.”

Mommy Jeopardy 8

“What is that they can actually go to the bathroom without informing me first?”

“No. Anyone else?”

“What is the fact that I cannot pick up whatever crap they dropped in the floorboard while I’m driving down the interstate?”

“That is correct.”

“‘Before and After’ for $200.”

Mommy Jeopardy 7

“What is a car trip?”

“Yes, but no.”

“What is paying bills?”

“Yes, but also no.”

“What is cleaning the house?”

“That is the question we were looking for.”

“I’ll take ‘Before and After’ for $400.”

Mommy Jeopardy 9

“What is Play-Doh?”

“Obviously.”

“I’d like ‘Cold Hard Truth’ for $200.”

“The answer is…”

Mommy Jeopardy 11

“What are from old pajamas to new pajamas?”

“Correct.”

“Let’s try ‘Cold Hard Truth’ for $400.”

Mommy Jeopardy 10

“What is getting into the shower?”

“Worse.”

“What is while I’m flossing?”

“That is correct.”

“Can I have ‘Cold Hard Truth’ for $600?”

Mommy Jeopardy 14

“What are my infant’s brand new teeth?”

“No. Anyone else?”

“Yes. What are my toddler’s needle-sharp elbows? With which he uses to propel himself out of any position?”

“That is correct.”

Let’s try ‘Cold Hard Truth’ for $800.”

Video Daily Double

“That’s today’s Video Daily Double!”

“Here is the answer…”

“What is opening the refrigerator?”

“That is not the question we’re looking for.”

“What is going up and down stairs?”

“No. Anyone else?”

“What is potty-training?”

That is correct!”

“Can I have ‘The Parenthood Bible’ for $200?”

Mommy Jeopardy 12

“What are boogers?”

“No. Those are part of The Curse of Parenthood.”

“Oh. What are stickers?”

“Yes, that is correct.”

“’The Parenthood Bible’ for $400.”

Mommy Jeopardy 13

“What is hiding in the bathroom to eat chocolate right after forcing the children to eat broccoli?”

“Of course. And we’re out of time. That concludes today’s episode of Mommy Jeopardy! Congratulations on your winnings, and may God have mercy on your souls.”