Thursday, April 22, 2010

Redbook to the Rescue?

It was not a good day.

I told Tom this when he woke up. He works the night shift so he sleeps until the afternoon. He seemed a little taken aback when he came down the stairs and saw me sitting in the middle of the living room with a bunch of Natalie’s toys surrounding me. Not to mention a spray of crumbs.

“Would you believe,” I said to Tom in a shaky voice, “that I had this room cleaned ten minutes ago? But just look. Look what you daughter did to it.”

Tom blinked. He wasn’t sure how to respond so he just scratched the side of his head and went, “Er.”

Very insightful man, that Tom.

“This has not been a good day,” I continued, standing up. I brushed crumbs off my knees. Natalie had been munching on some crackers and had decided to turn them into confetti. She had crumbled them into her palms and had tossed the bits into the air. “Weeee!” she had gone. “Weeee!” I had been in the kitchen doing the dishes and hadn’t known what she was doing.

“Why hasn’t it been a good day?” Tom asked, but his tone indicated that he really wasn’t interested. He probably just wanted to sit in front of the computer but he knew if he did that then I’d probably lash out and call him names. He says that I have rage issues and that I can be mean. This isn’t true. I mean, okay, maybe it’s a little true. I did call him numbnuts the other day but that was because he was just STANDING there as I was cleaning up. Who just STANDS there and watches another person clean? I mean honestly. I did apologize for the name calling, by the way.

“No one will listen to me,” I began. “This morning as I got Tommy off to school, he kept shouting even though I explained that Mommy wasn’t a morning person and that if he valued keeping his tongue, that he ought to keep it down. Then Natalie was up and she didn’t want to listen and kept bringing out every single toy she owns to the living room. I tried to get a tiny break in and read a few pages of my book but then she wanted to play tea. I said I didn’t want to play tea but she insisted, slapped her tea hat on me and forced a plastic cup in my hand. After tea time I went upstairs to clean and realized that your son had PISSED in the plastic tote that holds his cars. Who does that? Is he some kind of animal?”

Tom made a face. “Er,” he offered.

“Then your daughter won’t stop shitting. I cleaned three shits today and I think it’s because she ate an entire tray of veggies yesterday. Then I had to do the catbox and let me tell you Tom, I’m so tired of dealing with other people’s bowel movements. I’m just so tired and I just want to sit and BE for a bit but I can’t because I live with a bunch of animals!” I concluded.

“Go upstairs and rest then,” Tom suggested. Thank goodness he actually said something. If he had gone “er” I might have called him numbnuts again.

I did go upstairs. I started to go through my pile of papers that I’ve been meaning to sort through. I stumbled upon several magazine articles that I had torn out—if an article interests me, I tear it out so I can re-read it.

I found one that made me smile.

It was from Redbook and it was about 5 ways to de-stress in 20 minutes or less.


I definitely needed to de-stress. So I surveyed the article and decided to do the different ideas that it suggested.

Number one was to tidy up a little.


I had been tidying up all day. Didn’t the article realize I had been dealing with people’s excrements? According to the article, stress-reducing endorphins sometimes get released while cleaning.

This doesn’t happen o me.

Stress-CAUSING endorphins get released when I clean. Because I start to think, “Why am I picking up a GROWN MAN’S socks? Why is there PISS in this plastic bin? How many turds is this child going to produce?”

So yeah. I moved onto the next suggestion.

That one said that I ought to stare out the window because nature scenes can help a person de-stress.

Okay. I could give it a try.

I gazed out the window.

La-la-la, waiting for the de-stress to wash over me.

A few cars drove by. Boring.

Then I noticed my neighbor in her yard planting something. She was staring up at me in confusion.

Great. My neighbor probably thought that I was either A) spying on her or B) checking her out.

“It’s okay,” I wanted to say, waving the article around. “I’m just trying to de-stress!”


So that bombed.

I checked the article again. Number three said I should sniff some coffee. Problem? We don’t drink coffee in this house. Maybe I could run to Starbucks? The article said that the smell of coffee beans helped relax sleep-deprived rats after all.

Wait a minute.


Was the article comparing me to a RAT?

Moving on to suggestion number four.

Ohhh. It was telling me to get my game on. Apparently games are distracting from your problems. Well, duh. The thing is, I don’t play a lot of computer games. Not anymore. I used to play a game called EverQuest before I had kids but now I don’t have time for it. I do play the Wii but usually when the kids are in bed because if I try to do it when Natalie is up, she stands directly in my way and tries to take the Wii-mote from me. Then I get irritated and she cries and shouts that I’m not SHARING and I wind up turning the game off.

I checked out the last suggestion.

Score a yoga buzz just by breathing.

You mean all I had to do was BREATHE to relax?

I decided to try it out. I was told that I should sit quietly and close my eyes. Then I needed to let my muscles completely relax and release tension. I had to shrug my shoulders, and roll my head and neck. I did this and felt like I was Linda Blair. I breathed in and out, in and out. Ooo, maybe it was working. I did feel relaxed. I did—

“Where are the diapers? Natalie took a dump!” Tom’s voice rudely cut into my thoughts.

I kept my eyes closed. “You know where they are,” I yelled back. Why doesn’t he check first? Does he think I wake up and go, “I think I’ll change where I store the diapers.”

“It really SMELLS!” Tom boomed.

“Welcome to my world!” I answered.


Ahh, I could relax again.

I was drifting away into another world, one filled with cosmopolitans, lifetime chocolate supplies and an explanation of what in the world is going on with Lost. I was—

“What are you doing?” The bedroom door was thrown open and Tom stood there with Natalie beside him.

“De-stressing,” I said. My eyes were still shut.

“You look like you’re about to fall asleep sitting up,” Tom the genius observed.

“I’m not. I’m trying to—oofff!” The ooof was because Natalie hurled her body into me and I fell back. My eyes snapped open and Natalie’s face was inches from mine.

“Horsie!” she said and sat on my face. Ugh. Thank goodness Tom had changed her diaper. Otherwise I’d have probably passed out.

“Get off Mommy,” Tom said, lifting her off. He stared down at me. “Are you better now?” That was his way of saying, “Are you going to be nice and not call me names?”

I sighed and stood up. “I guess.”

“I know a way to cheer you up,” Tom said and I thought he was going to suggest something sexual. But no, he said that he’d take me out for some ice cream.

“Remember Dairy Queen has that deal where you can buy a blizzard and get another one for twenty five cents,” Tom added, knowing it would make me happy that we’d save some money in the process.

So in the end, the article didn’t really help me de-stress.

It was my delicious Butterfinger blizzard that did.


  1. I don't think there is any way to de-stress if you're at home. Unless of course you have 3 or 4 cocktails or something. That's what I do if I have to stay home! I've had so many days like yours lately and I think I'm going to go insane pretty soon. I wish I was a celebrity so I could be admitted to a retreat for relaxation! :)

  2. Next time....bypass the Redbook and head directly to DQ. It really is the answer. :)

  3. You need to write a Redbook article saying how its really done.

    Step 1) Dream of chocolate land
    Step 2) Get ice cream for cheap at the DQ

    Repeat as neccessary - stubborn stress (like that caused by random pissing and scattered pooping) may take several cycles to remove.

  4. I agree with blueviolet. Go straight to DQ. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. (Although that would be nice.)

  5. DQ has the same effect on me :)

  6. oh no. i hate those days. and the authors that write relaxation articles are stay at home moms. they are probably dudes. bastards.

  7. I like the idea of you writing an article about how to de-stress!

  8. Ahhhh yes nothing like a butterfinger blizzard to do the trick! one ever knows what its like to clean and clean and clean...and then have someone that you love come along and totally destroy an area that you cleaned...its frustrating as heck...

    After being a mommy and wife for 9 years, I now know why my husbands parents and my parents chucked us outside and locked the doors!

  9. I have a self hypnosis for relaxation cd I used to try to listen to. It doesn't work. Someone always finds me. Even when I'm in bed for the night ready to sleep, something or someone will ruin it for me.

  10. At the risk of sounding know it all, I have a couple of ideas. First, how do you know it was Tommy who peed in the pail? Maybe it was the cat. Our cat occasionally pees unexpected places just to be funny. And speaking of cats, I know you are at your wit's end with Natalie and potty training. Get the girl a cat box and get the good clumping litter. She can use that and might find it amusing! Much easier to clean up than the diapers! Think about it!

  11. My favorite way to destress is to take a shower. All that warm water beating down on you. And you can lock the bathroom door and pretend you don't hear them standing outside the door shouting at you. (You can even sing if you need to block them out). Plus, if you cry in the shower, no one knows because they can't hear you and you were already wet anyway.

    Tips for sanity from a 20 year veteran. Of course, that would be implying I'm still sane. And that's up for debate. =]


  12. Megan's Guide to De-Stressing:
    1 - Food. Pretty much any delicious, unhealthy food.
    Note: If cause of stress is unhealthy diet, avoid No. 1.
    2 - Music. But you can't just listen, you must dance along. Preferable in an exaggerated, embarrassing fashio.
    3 - TV. Best if used to watch programs that offer no confusion or thought whatsoever. You might think VH1 reality shows apply, but you'd be wrong. Wonder what's wrong with people takes up a lot of brain power.
    4 - Driving. Best if done on long country roads with no other people anywhere in sight. For location of said roads, see car commercials.

  13. Mmmm... yeah that's the way to get me to destress, too. Chocolate or ice cream. A good scream works, too, but then neighbors might call the cops.

  14. The most stressful 2 minutes of my life came when I was trying to meditate for the first (and last) time. "Just clear your mind" I was told .. I practically started to hyperventilate ... I'm a high stress, type A kind of gal ... I relax with a strong cup of caffeine.

    I think people who write those Redbook articles have never actually had kids ... it's like those yahoos on "What not to wear" on TLC ... I can just see me now with my $200.00 blazer and my new pointy toe shoes ... and vomit all over them. None of them deal is a real moms reality.

    DQ does sound like the best solution ...

  15. He does care! I love ice cream. The best way to destress! *smiles*

  16. lol , ice cream works every time! and DUDE why is motherhood a constant stream of cleaning up crap! drives me bonkers!! lol...glad you got to destress!

  17. millions of mothers around the world could relate to you on this post! including myself! and yes, frozen treats are totally the way to go...i prefer double chocolate brownie ice cream. :)

  18. I cannot tell you how bizarre it is to read about my own life on someone else's blog. Everything from the husband acting clueless about diaper location to getting tired of cleaning up other people's shit to feeling completely relaxed after a shot of soft serve filled with candy bar. Only difference is I would have gone for Snickers.

    I need to say it like you do. I always tame things down for fear of offending someone who thinks it's inappropriate to say that some days just freaking suck.

  19. I am SO not ready for kids. LoL Glad you enjoyed your Dairy Queen. The nearest one is too far for me! :( I had Starbucks instead. :)

  20. I'm convinced that the people who write the LIFE CHANGING articles in these magazines do not:

    a) have children.
    b) have vaginas.
    c) have a clue.

    So, basically a bunch of dudes were sitting around saying, "Why are women so stressed out? Maybe they just don't know that they can stop. Let's tell them!"

    Butt heads.

  21. I'm going to say she will produce as many turds as it takes until you decide she needs to sit on the toilet until she's 1)potty trained, or 2)about to graduate from high school. that's how it happened in my house, anyway.

    And I agree with whoever said destressing is not possible in your own house. i can only destress in a place where i can either spend money, get a massage, or let someone else serve me food.

  22. Mmm, butterfinger blizzard...

    Oh those men. Always redeeming themselves when you really want to be mad at them. Haha.

  23. You need to write a book. I always want to keep reading your put me right there with you. I can visualize the entire story with your really need to think about writing, inbetween poops, potty and chaos! ;)

  24. Megan, thanks for your list. I'm already munching on some good food now. Love Little Debbie snacks.

  25. dq can work wonders! lol. ps my husband tells me boys pee on stuff "cus they can". blech.

  26. OH I know I shouldn't have laughed but I did. I remember those days! Mam oh mam! They were not fun!

    Have you ever tried closing and locking the bedroom door then going to the bathroom and closing and locking THAT door too? Have a radio in the bathroom, and if you can, take a bubble bath? that way all the pounding and hollaring going on that the first door will be drown out by the second door and the radio???

    Used to work for me. After a while it dies down in the hall. Usually after about two hours. . .

    Cheers g/f! Glad DQ helped!

  27. New follower! Dairy Queen ALWAYS puts me in a better mood. Im thinking thats what I will have for lunch.

    And that article looked like something ripped out of a 1970's good housekeeping!

  28. I just stumbled upon a creation known at the "Shotcake", it's a fresh baked cupcake filled with...wait for it...ICE CREAM! Any flavor you choose.

    I think it's the perfect de-stresser! (We don't have DQ's here.)

    Hmm, I think I'm feeling a bit stressed right now.

  29. Stare out of the window! Great one! I shall try it at work ...

  30. I hate questions. Especially from husbands who live in the same house as you and can just look for themselves or problem solve accordingly.

  31. You had me at Dairy had me at Dairy Queen

  32. I was ROLLING at this entry ... because I could identify with EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. Right down to "Welcome to my world!" (I say that all the time and it drives Curtis nuts. But I hate when he has the audacity to complain about something I deal with on the regular!)

    And I totally agree ... nothing ever, EVER de-stresses like ice cream. :)

  33. you seriously need to write a book (if you haven't already).

    i've been baking and eating sugar cookies like nobody's business lately. i keep trying to justify it by saying, it helps de-stress me more than working out does. ha!

  34. Dairy Queen ROCKS and I always feels less stressed when I've had a scrumptious blizzard. :) My husband plays EverQuest...and has time(?) for it? hmph...I don't think it's fair, but whatever! Glad you found something that was de-stressing for you!

  35. Ice cream will do the trick every time! They should have put that on the list. Much better than cleaning.

  36. I will do some yoga every night before I go to bed and I sleep like a rock. It definitely helps me sleep more soundly! But that is after I've put my kids to bed and told them a monster will eat them alive if they should leave their room! (Just kidding!)

    It is very hard. As you can see there are many other moms going through the same stuff.

  37. That sounds like some day! My son does the exact same thing when I give him crackers. However, I play this game with my husband where I pretend that I don't see the crumbs and let him vacuum.

    I like the DQ de-stress idea. Maybe Redbook should publish and article about that method. With a coupon.

  38. Yeah, how could you honestly ask why you are picking up the socks of a grown man? Have you lost your senses, woman? Grown men lack the ability to put their socks into the hamper, even though every bit of paper they want to discard is crumpled up and shot like a tiny basketball toward the wastebasket! You know that...

  39. This was perfection. Every single word.Except next time, he should take the kids out for ice cream and let you sit in the house and listen to the quiet - and then bring you your blizzard on a silver tray.

  40. sometimes, they go and do something just so sweet.. that blizzard sounds wonderful..

    but yikes!!! all that piss and poo... i really don't even LIKE my own poo!!!

  41. Horsie... I could only imagine if that diaper was dirty.

  42. Wow! I am glad it all ended up okay. The bizzard sounded wonderful. Next time just go there first.

  43. destress=away from home

    That's the only way it'll work. I heard some great fares available for all inclusives to Mexico right now...

  44. So glad I popped over here! Laughter is a great stress reliever. Blizzards, however, give me a tummy ache. Sad! I do love them so!

  45. That's me, sitting on the floor, amidst circle of toys and crumbs...while hubs (who sometimes works night shift, sometimes day 12 hrs at a time) has no clue whatsoever about what's going on...and wonders why I can't seem to manage better...I prefer reading about it to experiencing, thank you! And I'm testing out the shakes at McDonald's. It's closer for me.

  46. ice cream cures most issues of stress. It is always nicer when the hubby suggests it, because it makes you think that he is listening. I hope you day starts going better...oh and btw, what is up with little boys peeing in plastic. I used to find this all the would not mind but thier bathroom is only 3 feet from thier bedroom door.

  47. I don't know. Three poopy diapers, a piss filled container and toys all over would just about send me over the edge. I think I'd need a Peanut Buster Parfait to relax ME. Yeah, that's the ticket!

  48. Ice cream and coffee save me every time. Who the heck breaths to relax? humph! I got kids to chase, pee to corral and poop to shovel. James peed out the backdoor and Jesse pooped on the back porch where upon, Puppy cleaned it all up. It was awesome. Puppy needs a dental now.


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