Monthly Archives: January 2010

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

I am a pathological liar. There I said it. But then, you can’t really be sure I’m not lying can you? I can honestly say I have not spoken one true word, other than “I love you, vegetables are good for you and I’m absolutely positive we can’t keep a live zebra in our backyard” to my children since 2004.

I’m not sure if I should be in the confessional every week or if my lies are deemed white lies. As explained by Sister Jean in the fifth grade white lies are not as catastrophic as a real lie. So my understanding is that I can get off the phone in a hurry if I use a white lie like “Oh shit, someone’s at the door,” and not go to hell, but if I use a real lie like “Oh shit, my house is on fire,” I’ll probably burn in hell. Get it? Actually to be honest, I don’t.

Nevertheless, I have a problem. Back in the day I lied to get out of everything. I’m not proud of this, not one bit. I actually repent this one any chance I get, ‘cause I actually told a College professor that I was undergoing surgery on my breasts. A doozie, yeah. I never actually said what I had, I was evasive, persuasive, and used a girly thing to make him feel uncomfortable (God forgive me). I did have a breast surgery but about three years earlier, so when the Professor called me on it, I was able to produce my records in a snap, and had a doctor’s note fabricated as well. I went to great lengths to get an extension in this class, imagine what would of happened if I actually applied myself? Again, God forgive me.

After graduating college I had a Rolodex of lies on my desk for any day of the week that I called in sick because I was hung-over, and well, really hung-over – “food poisoning, car broke down, emergency dental surgery, and my favorite my car broke down on the way to my dental surgery.” I changed my ways around age 26-27 and stopped cold turkey. I hated the way it made me feel and officially declared myself an adult.

I thought I had this lying thing beat, then my children started to speak and the lies just started shooting out of me, much like they did, but with much less afterbirth and pain. Now I tell lies to protect their feelings or to protect myself from any question that a) doesn’t fit into my schedule, b) is totally ludicrous, and c) well, it’s just not happening. The other day Richie asked for a dog, I said he had to be 14 years old. Thankfully, he bought it hook, line and sinker. But that’s not a lie that’s a random rule I made up that he will haunt me about till he’s 14. Then this afternoon while cruising past a Dunkin Donuts Matthew started screaming “I want donut! Peeze Mommy, peeze.” I told him they ran out and closed the store, the screaming stopped. That was definitely a lie, but come on the kid’s a sugar junkie he didn’t need it and quite frankly either did I.

A few days later the mother of all questions popped out of Richie’s mouth “Where do babies come from?” This was it for me, I either told the cold hard truth or lie again. Was I really ready to tell my soon-to-be six year old about sperm, eggs, and the harrows of childbirth? I paused, uttered a lot of ums, uh, ums, and blurted out “from my belly”, he seemed satisfied. Not so much a lie. Technically it’s true I had two c-sections. Nevertheless, I took a deep breath and decided then and there the cold hard truth can wait. My boys were still babies and until I feel they can handle the reality of the “where do babies come from” questions, that’s the only answer they’re getting. Richie may be ready in two years or when he’s 18, a mother can dream, right? Is it so horrible that he’ll be the only 18 year old that thinks kissing can knock a girl up? I realize that I may not be teaching them the best lesson, but they’ll never really know that I skirted some issues with some white lies, but I can’t lie to my children forever and at some point I’m going to have to stop. For now though if small fibs and some white lies gets us out of a few tough spots, I’ll go to confession. Not so bad, at least I’ll get 10 minutes to myself! Now when the “how do you make a baby” question comes up I’m pretty sure I can say there’s a Betty Crocker Cake Mix, right?

Posted in That's Life

The Quest for the Holy Grail

I’m on a quest. Yep, just like Indiana Jones I am going to embark on an adventure of a lifetime, and as God as my Witness, by the end of this year my children will embrace vegetables, fruits and other healthy choices. I know this is going to be a long battle, it may require some bribery, and it sure as hell is going to be tough. I am totally prepared to face a pit of angry snakes, well in this case kids, as I toss healthy food choices into the mix. But, I’m determined to harness these kiddies into eating something other than chicken nuggets, spaghetti with butter, and French fries – before more damage is done. It took me over 20 years to learn the value of a good peach versus a 100 calorie pack of cardboard cookies. I want them to be healthier than I was. I want them to understand that chips and cookies should be eaten in moderation, a healthy balance. As a kid, I had no idea when I would see crappy food again so whenever it was in sight or in my reach I’d shove it down like a convict going to the electric chair and this lead to a lifetime of horrible eating habits, crash diets, and an unhealthy mind set about my body. I don’t want my children going through that not only because it’s not healthy or good way to go through life but quite frankly, it took a long time to undo, and I’m still a work in progress, they’ll have harder things to learn throughout life, eating right shouldn’t be one of them.

Nevertheless, I prepared myself to start the quest today. If my plan was to work, I had to move like a stealth bomber, a careful attack that would sure as hell hit hard. I figured I would take the kids food shopping with me and have them pick out some foods that they think they might like – limited to fruits and veggies. I packed the kids in the car, started the two mile drive, and advised the boys of my plan. The little one just shouted out a random “Poopie! Poopie!” (Frankly, not so worried about his eating habits as much as his ability to act like a Fraternity brother at the age of two). The five year old moaned, rolled his head, “I don’t like anything, I hate fruits and vegetables, I am vegetarian”. “That’s great!” I replied, “Then, you’ll have an easy choice, ‘cause vegetarians eat fruits and veggies.” More groans, more wails, more cries of “I don’t like this, I don’t like that” and then he started kicking the back of my car seat like a donkey. I kept on getting jerked back and forth, back and forth, one kick, two kicks, whiplash was eminent and I was about to blow. I hunkered down in my Blackhawk (okay, my black Mini Van) and flying out of my mouth came, “If you don’t try one new fruit today, I’ll take away all your animals”. My son’s collections of plastic and stuffed animals are for him what water means to the rest us; can’t live without them. Our basement is a zoo, no joke –we have a Giraffe that stands three feet, a four-foot Tiger and a Zebra. Enough said.

So I threatened my son, I’m not proud, but it wasn’t life threatening and guess who ate a blueberry today while his younger brother was making fart noises with his underarm, next thing he’ll do is crush a juice box on his forehead. Okay, I’m a little proud of the blueberry eating and well, honestly, a two year old making fart noises with his underarm, that’s my boy!

Threats, bribery, when it comes too healthy eating, I’ll do what it takes to get the job done.

Posted in Mangia Mia Fitness Pia

Guilty as Charged

Crazy ideas, we all have them right? Mine was thinking that my friends would want to train for a half marathon with me. I enthusiastically sent an email to all my friends, most who are turning 40 this year, figured it was close enough to the New Year that the taste of resolutions would be in their mouths. My email was filled with exclamation points proclaiming we’ll be fabulous at 40! We’ll lose weight! We’ll be able to wear short-shorts! It was a win-win in my eyes: we could bond during the training process, look 40 in the face and basically laugh, cross the finish line holding hands raised high with sweaty smiles on our faces, I’d host an after-party, and to top it off we’d have tighter asses –something we all moan about. The responses were mixed: plenty of no way José’s, some maybes and one very meek yes; only one email response threw me for a loop though. A very close friend, a mommy with a newborn, fired off a series of questions: “When do you train? How do you train? Where do you train?” I was hopeful that I was getting another yes, so I responded quickly, and with a pep in my seat: “whenever I can, in the morning, at the track, on the treadmill, literally whenever I could squeeze it in”. I was very satisfied with my response, I felt this would be the hook, line and sinker – I thought I covered all bases for a definite Yes; that was until I got the response: “Nope, maybe next year, don’t want to be away from the baby any more than I already am”. BAM – the Mommy Guilt’s slimed me as if I was a contestant on Double Dare.

This sent me into a tailspin. And some serious questions came up. Am I taking on too much? Do I not spend enough time with my children? Am I neglecting them if I train for this half-marathon? What about the other two half’s, the 24-hour road relay and the adventure race I signed up for? Am I literally trying to run away from my kids? Was this my AH HA moment? Shedding light on the fact that I was not a good enough, attentive enough or the playful mother that I feel I am? Doubting myself again which is inevitable as a mom ‘cause as soon as the baby comes flying out of your vagina or yanked through your belly so does a world of doubt. You could have been the most secure, confident person in the world but once you give birth – fuggetaboutit.

I was so uneasy, I hemmed and hawed about my mommy skills; I looked at my children through different eyes. Matthew, the littlest bugger was climbing the couches as if they were Mt. Kilimanjaro, diving off like superman, then the next day he in an act of pure, shall we say, creativity yanked off his diaper when I wasn’t looking and made like Picasso (um, yeah, a horror show) was this the result of my bad mothering, or was he just being a boy? Richie, the five year old was sitting watching an iCarly marathon, drooling from his mouth I believe (either that or potato chip crumbs, didn’t get too close), mesmerized for what seemed like days, was he going to turn into a George Costanza with no future? Was I doing it all wrong? After about two weeks of eye-spying my kids, the answer came as quickly as the guilt’s. No I am not doing a thing wrong, we’ll maybe a few things – but that’s why there are therapists, right? BUT, my children were seeing a mom that is strong, active, takes care of herself, and is falling in love with a sport that she never thought twice about a year ago – which in turn makes her happy. Running is my outlet to get away from macaroni on my feet, screaming kids, a sometimes cranky husband- to give a little bit to myself so I can do it all over again tomorrow.

What’s ironic though, is the fact that over five years ago, I went out to dinner with this same friend who wasn’t in the mommy phase, yet she gave me the best piece of advice of my life. It happened to be my first trip out of the house after I had my first son, I was suffering from Post Partum, I felt extremely guilty that I left him for an hour – and out of her mouth came “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of him”.

Well said if you ask me.

Posted in Mangia Mia Fitness Pia