Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shhhhh Don’t tell the others….

I was watching the video Ann Imig did for Listen to Your Mother and was suddenly reminded about the “validation” we lack as mothers. I wish I’d have written more way back in the day when I was new at this but as I have heard so many moms say, I just did not feel comfortable in my own skin yet. I did not feel safe or that I was doing the right things in my journey of motherhood. I felt for sure I was doing some major permanent damage to these babes. Ha, little did I know -9 years later- that clearly the damage has been done to ME!

Permanently disfigured, serious loss of brain function, limited memory skills, and endless exhaustion is what I am left with. Jaded, bloated, and frumpish (yup I made that word up.)  And I have to ask… Why do none of the others  tell us, WARN us that this would happen?  They know (I think)? I will give them this small leeway that there is in my opinion a slight bit of Mom-nesia going on here but the rest? Well that is just blatant lack of disclosure.

From the start- “Hey, I wanted to warn you that since this is your first pregnancy, one afternoon very soon you will be out walking across a parking lot and will be unable to take one more step as your hips will actually dislocate and begin to spread so that the babies head will be able to fit through. And by the way it will hurt like a mother fucker but don’t worry, it’s totally normal.” Ummm okay? Or how about this… “Yes, well I wanted to give you a heads up, people will tell you that you are glowing and that pregnancy will make you radiate beauty, but in fact you will be bloated, swollen, completely off your meds bat shit crazy with hormone flux. You will fart like a fat bean burrito eating dog. You will have horrific acid reflux, nightmares that’d scare a vampire, and will get no sleep because you will feel so uncomfortable all the time you want to chew off your arms.” Do they tell you that stuff? No! Oh yeah! How about that if you don’t do some major work on stretching out your vaginal opening that you will most likely tear from the head coming out, or that you will probably poop all over the table as you are birthing? Little sweet factoids like these are politely left out and why I ask??

This is only where the lies begin. They seem never ending to me. Lies lies lies… “Oh my kids never watch TV.”  “We don’t cuss in our home EVER.” “My laundry is always done.” “I get along so well with my in-laws.” “My child was completely potty trained at age 2.”  All lies designed to make us feel as if we are keeping up with the Jones’s but in fact we are all lying about just how impossibly hard it is to get it all done. “These cookies are baked from scratch.” “I hand sewed her communion gown.” “I made all the party invitations myself.”

Like we just want to make it all seem so perfect so that when we recruit some other poor sap into motherhood we can somehow feel secretly better knowing that she is now a part of the quiet suffering too.

Well I’m going rogue ladies. Here’s what’s up. From now on when a mommy says to me, “Oh I don’t know how you do it all?” I’m going to tell her this- Xanax is your friend- quick get some. Then that my laundry is piled to the ceiling. That at least once a week I will open the washer to the sour smell of clothes left in there for a few days. That I scream at my kids until my throat hurts, my bathtub needs scrubbing, my landscaping is non-existent. My “craft table” should be called my “crap table” as it’s piled with junk from unfinished art projects and class party leftovers. I shave my legs only once every two weeks and that “made from scratch” in my house means I took a box of something and added a few extra ingredients that the label did not call for.

Friday, March 22, 2013

".. yike a poop swirter!"

Like living with completely wild animals sometimes is what it feels like living with children. I can not tell you how many times the phrase.. "What the What???" has crossed my lips. The things I have seen and experienced thus far in life would amaze, bemuse, and bewilder the intentionally childless and the yet to have children folks I know. So today is no exception.

BFD (That lovingly stands for Big Fat Daddy): "Oh my God Leslie help me!! Help me!!"

This is what he shouts from the shower. Hmmmm... within seconds I deduce the following. #1. it was not the sound of a terrified or mortally wounded man. #2. Ummm that phase uttered by a naked man can mean nothing good. #3. 1...2....ummmm where is the third child? and why would he be with my naked husband in the bathroom.. What the What? (tempered only slightly by the fact that we have only one bathroom in a five person household!)

So I get up from my comfy spot reading a book to go into the abyss and find out why it is I have been so urgently summoned. Knowing nothing good can come of this.

Here I find a scene I can only describe as utterly unexplainable and DISGUSTING. Fi Fi- who is 4 is straddling the toilet with no pants on and approximately oh I dont know 8-10 spots of nasty yellowed brown diarrhea poo on his legs. Across the throw rug in front of the shower is a squirt pattern of same said diarrhea  that appears to come from the direction of the tiny butt-hole pursed over the toilet. I try with all my might and for a good maybe five minutes to understand how he missed the toilet entirely and how the poo ended up shooting across the room practically and onto the throw rug. I have only ever seen one other thing quite like this. Once when Charley was a baby she had Jaundice and the doctor took her temperature through her tiny baby butt and when he pulled out the thermometer poo shot across the exam room about six feet. Our doctor was a funny guy who only said "Huh... well she wins the record for distance." And thankfully I did not have to clean that up.

I think that because Finn was leaned slightly back and pushing him self up with his hands his tiny butt was aimed forward. I dont know. Why do I even bother to try to understand how this happened. Oh! I know because it takes more time away from the realization that I am going to have to clean this up!

 BFD is like hiding behind the shower curtain and when I ask what happened he says through his hand over his mouth and nose to keep out the smell: "I dont know. I did not see it happen!"

So I ask Finn who responds in his sweet four year old language all L's are pronounced as Y's and the QU combination comes out as a W: "Sowwy mom! I dont know. The poop just shot out my butt yike a poop swirter!" 

Why I find this so hilarious I do not know. But between my husbands snickering behind the shower curtain and the utter poop-tastrophe I have to clean up it just seems hysterical. I laughed until I peed.

I mean that literally as I have three babies with giant heads and well things just have never been the same in that department since childbirth. And there you have it too much info about life in the old Kohlmeyer house. Peace out. Hope your Friday night was more fun filled than mine.. or at least less poo filled!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's a GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     I am giving birth right now.
     Deep long sobs.
     The kind of sobs that rock you.
     The kind of sobs that make your eyes puffy even the next day.

      I am giving birth to me.

     Ok so it’s a bit metaphorical but try to follow me. I have said in the past many times that Leslie is dead and her rotting corpse lies on the kitchen floor while everyone in the family keeps stepping over her pretending not to see all the flies. It seemed true at the time. It was my truth. I think it is the truth for many mommas. We die a little when our children come into the world to make room for all the nurturing love and painfully deep selflessness we have for them. It’s okay. We do it and we never look back. We never regret but we give up that thing that made us who we were in order to help them grow into who they will become. Now while it is far from over, at ages, 9, 7, and 4, they can stand on their own two feet (literally.) I only pick them up when there is a fall or a bruised ego. They can think for themselves. While not always making the best choices (a velvet tufted kings crown to school or a popsicle for breakfast) at least they are attempting and don’t need me to hover. They can brush their teeth, eat their own food, dress themselves and use the potty. Finn still needs the occasional but wipe…ha ha. But they are becoming self sufficient little people. Beautiful self sufficient little people, and here I am empty arms. I have always been one to need to fill them in one way or another- so here I am arms outstretched and ready to give birth. I am giving birth to Leslie. My next incarnation. The new me, and I am sobbing so deeply it hurts. I welcome her from inside of me, with these open arms. I grab her, and hug her and I sob in her shoulder. Welcome back new-old friend, it’s so good to see you.
     What is the catalyst? Today… today is the day. I have worked hard my whole life in one way or another. Had odd jobs and gone to college but one constant has remained. I have always written. Occasionally, frightfully, I have put myself out there for folks to see and hear. I have accepted the criticisms and the praise. Yet always in me there lurked the doubt that I was not good enough. To call myself a writer and artist was a scary thing, but it’s always been there hidden in my gut. Sometimes it pours out of me and other times it’s been evasive and a struggle. I think most truthfully it hides behind the fear of success rather than failure. If I succeed at this then I will be out there with no cover, no shelter, no armor. While those of you who know me may think I’m tough. Truthfully I am fragile and have the insides of a marshmallow…  Today is the day and I think it’s time. I’ve heard it said that at 40 we are given the gift of WTF. We care less and less about the image that we portray to the world and FEEL more and more the selves we are truly on our insides. I FEEL that. I FEEL like this strong beautiful talented Leslie that is in my head and less and less like the timid, scared, overweight one I see in the mirror. I welcome that. In honor of that I took a chance. One that I might not have taken before but one that I believe in and one that I’m so deeply grateful that I did. I submitted a piece from the blog to “Listen to your Mother.” If you don’t know what this is, I suggest you Google it right now. Run don’t walk. It’s amazing. “Giving mother’s day the mic,” they say. They are giving this mother more than a mic. Unknowingly they have become my birthing coaches. Yelling from my side as I push. “GO GO GO YOU GOT THIS…” They are helping me deliver this new self into the world.  I can’t thank them enough for this chance to shine, to grow, to share this new me, the chance to be reborn. I’m so excited at the possibilities. 

 This new journey, this next phase of Motherhood will be one where I get to be this mom to my kids but also where I get to be some of me again. I will spend some time nurturing and mothering me. Motherhood takes on so many shapes, so many phases, so many truths. Today is the day-It’s time. My bags are packed and I am ready for this journey. 

 Please visit for details on my upcoming performance and for a listing of events around the country.