Bloody Noses, Wet Beds, Bad Dreams: I’m Leaving the Country

Greg turned 40 last week. 4 to the OH oh oh!

Happy Birthday, Baby!

(Psst… I never call Greg baby. It just felt right this time. Let’s go with it.)

To celebrate, my dad and I are taking Greg on a trip to see friends and museums and live the high life for 4 days. ‘Cause that’s the way we roll when we have a gift of air tickets, a free place to stay, and grandparents who are taking the whole slew of kiddos, minus the teenage daughter who’s embedded at a friend’s house, deep undercover, posing as a child from a normal home. Our kids’ mission this week is to discover exactly how families with clean bathrooms work. They’re writing an exposé, folks, and it’s going to be epic.

Yesterday, I ran around town doing all the last minute running-around-town stuff one does before a trip. You know, like pestering doctors for prescriptions and notifying 100 schools of our absence. As I dropped by one of the schools, a teacher stopped me to chat about our trip. How nice!, I thought. 

When are you leaving? she asked.

Oh, I said, we have to leave town at 3:00AM tomorrow. And I must have grimaced just a little because she expressed her sympathy.

But I don’t want to be that person, you know? The person who whines about leaving at 3:00AM instead of being grateful I get to go on a trip at all? 

So I said, No, it’s FINE, Mrs. Teacher. It’s really FINE. I mean, let’s be honest. I’m often up at 3:00AM anyway, right? ‘Cause KIDS. They WAKE UP. For ALL KINDS OF THINGS

And then I meant to tell her about those things. From one mama to another. I meant to say, You know all the things. Bloody noses and wet beds and bad dreams. They never end. And she was already with me with her knowing nods and murmurs of understanding. We were of one mind as I pressed on toward my goal.

You know all the things, I said. You know, Mrs. Teacher. I’m often up at 3:00AM anyway, cleaning up after all the bloody noses and wet dreams.

That’s what I said.

Instead of saying what I meant to say.

Bloody noses and wet dreams.

And then my brain froze, friends, stuck in a loop of bloody noses and wet dreams. Because I… it was… I didn’t know what to…

And I didn’t explain that I meant to say bloody noses, wet beds, and bad dreams. Nope. Sure didn’t. I didn’t explain anything at all. I just stopped awkwardly for 3 seconds or 300 minutes or all of eternity before saying more things in a hurried attempt to cover it all up. Way, way, way too late.


That happened yesterday, and it was far worse than the time I imagined having to explain Tricky Dick and Nixonian politics to an entire kindergarten.

In conclusion, I’m leaving the country. I’ll be gone until my ego recovers or our babysitting expires, whichever comes first.


P.S. Since we’re out of town this week, posting may be spotty, friends. OR, since we’re traveling without children, I may magically find TONS of time and posting will be off the charts. It’s impossible to say for sure.

Sometimes people ask me how I manage to write at all with kids in the mix.

photo (42)

I honestly have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine.


P.P.S. Did I mention that Greg and I are traveling this week? Without kids? TRUE STORY. Guess what we’re doing? No, don’t guess. You’ll never guess. It’s too, too bizarre to guess. I’ll just tell you.

We’re headed to Holland for 2 days. Plus an additional 2 days of travel.

To Holland. For 2 days. Like we’re young, and we don’t know better.

Wait, though. It gets better.

We’re headed to Holland for 2 days to meet a friend I met online through this blog.

OK, OK. I’m sure you think we’re nuts. Off our rockers. And about to be murdered in Amsterdam. But I’ve met friends of this blog before — one of them in the basement of a parking garage in Vegas (hi, Kristi!) — and I will tell you, we are all far too exhausted from parenting (and, apparently, from cleaning up after late night bloody noses and wet dreams) to successfully execute a grisly murder. Honestly, sometimes we can’t even manage to bathe ourselves, so murder’s right out. Plus, the mess, right? And handling yet another person’s body fluids? Yeah, no. Not if we can avoid it.


So, friends. There you have it. What I very much hope is this week’s most embarrassing moment. Since I’m about to get on a plane, though, and that didn’t go so well last time, who knows? In keeping with the theme of this place and the loving, rad people who hang out here making mamas feel less alone, please feel free to share your own embarrassing moment below. Because — *ahem* –I wouldn’t hate hearing if you’re sometimes a giant dork, too.


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30 responses to “Bloody Noses, Wet Beds, Bad Dreams: I’m Leaving the Country”

  1. Most embarrassing moment…not related to parenting or saying the wrong thing. Living in a village in France while in University, after midterms, sleeping like the dead, I’m awakened by someone knocking on the door. I stagger out of bed, pull on robe, go to door, open it half way and see random man standing there. He coughs, he stutters, he gives up and gives me SERIOUS elevator eyes (but whatever, 19 blonde, reasonably cute, I ignored it), asks for directions and I send him on his way. I close the door and realize when I closed the robe, the right side had folded back over itself, leaving the right side of my body, yep, boob, stomach, coochie parts, leg, fully exposed – the half that could be seen through the half open door. A few weeks later my neighbor asks me “Is it true that Americans answer the door in the nude?” WHAT? NO! She says “there’s some guy going around telling everyone Americans answer the door in the nude.” Ohhhh no wonder I’d been getting so many people knocking at my door lately!!

  2. So, I am too embarrassed to share my most awkward moments right now. Maybe as the posts get more and more hilarious I will change my mind, but for now….High school. My friend is on the phone with her mom and is trying to get ready for work but her mom keeps talking and talking. Finally my friend yells at her, “I need to get off the phone so I can find a blow job!!!” Of course, she meant blow DRYER!! Still laugh over that one…..Have a marvelous time without the kiddos!

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha….. That is awesome! I have heard some crazy things from parents too. We expect it!

    That trip sounds great! My parents are taking all of us (kiddos included) to Antigua on Saturday, so I get the packing running around thing. It is insane getting us ready to go and I only have 2! Have fun!!!

  4. Thank you for telling that story. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does that awkward,”I just…it’s all the… you see…” and trail off into silence to stand there in a puddle of my own embarrassment.

  5. So timely. We bed share with our 8 month old. She has a terrible cold and coughed in the wee hours of the morning until she puked on herself, me and the bed. Everyone gets up, everything gets changed — happens again. I’m holding her in a chair now. Thank you for the laughs!

  6. Ok I’ve gone from lurker to two comments in two days, I’m on a roll!

    Background, I work third shift for a shortline railroad company. Which means I mainly talk to rail crew guys all night on the phone getting their train stuff taken care of. Some train jargon can be awkward for the easily embarrassed I suppose; we hump cars and blow them off for example.

    However, my embarrassing moments on the phone at work (recorded!) have nothing to do with awkward jargon. The best one was last night. I’m talking to a conductor and he was saying how he’d kill for a foot massage (since they walk around on ballast in steel toed boots all day/night). He said “actually just my toes, if someone would massage my toes after work it’d be heaven”. So I replied “if you get your toes massaged you might as well get your balls massaged too. Then you’ll really be in heaven.” Meaning balls of his feet of course. Awkward silence on the other end until he laughs and says “yes getting my balls massaged would be heaven. Oh, you meant my feet, didn’t you?” Fortunately I’m not easily embarrassed, but the thought of someone listening to that phone call – geez!

  7. Ok, so I had to wait an unreasonably long time to read the end of that story because I started to cackle, which prompted hubby to ask what on earth I was reading. So I had to explain it. And then. Then I couldn’t read because of all the tears! Oh. My. That is the best teacher/parent story I’ve heard! And then, I told hubby you said hi to me. His response? “You’re in the same post as the wet dream?!” Hahaha!

    Now, my story. I submitted it to Seventeen magazine as a teen, and they published it. 🙂 I worked at a store in the mall that had a uniform of khaki pants and a blue polo shirt. Obviously, I had plenty of khakis and blue polos. Hating to do laundry was not a new issue when I became a mother. I had clean piles and dirty piles. One day, I grabbed my clothes after school, and changed at work. I’d been there about an hour when I had to go to the mall customer service desk. I walked out of my store, and as a short person often has to do, lifted my pants to quit walking on them. Out of my pant leg flew a pair of shiny, adorable underwear! I wondered how they got off me for a second, before realizing that they were dirty shiny underwear! I went quickly past them and about my business. When I returned, they were gone! (Did I tell you this story before?)

  8. Two weeks ago, huge grocery store. I’m in the pet aisle, looking for cat treats when an employee comes up to me to try and sell me on signing up for the store’s points program. She says “could I interest you in the PC rewards something or other?” I mean to say “no thank you, I don’t pop in here too often”. Instead, I say “no thank you. I don’t poop in here…” And then I stop. She stares at me; I stare back. No-one blinks or moves or says a word…for hours. My mind is spinning, and for a brief moment, I wonder if she knows I’m lying – I have indeed pooped in their store (and I when I did, I lied about it and asked a cashier to let me in the bathroom ” ’cause my toddler was potty training”…and I let her assume that baby had to make poopers, which was patently untrue, but damn, what a convenient cover-up, right?) Anyway, rewards lady remained frozen in place until she realized she’d smiled so long, her lips were stuck to her teeth, and she rearranged her mouth and mumbled something and hustled away quickly. Horrifying.

    • Laughing out loud at this one! What a genius cover-up for having to poop in a public place(like the library; anyone else?)! Blame it on the baby! Oh, I’m gonna use this one.

  9. Lots of embarrassing moments, actually. A big one was when I scheduled a 7:30 a.m. meeting which included the Mayor, and about one minute into the meeting realized I had invited the wrong group … meeting unnecessary at 7:30 in the morning!!! Ugh!

    There was also the time in college when I was working at a shoe store. I was wearing a full a-line skirt, bent down to help someone with their prospective shoes and when I stood up, my slip fell to the floor. Goodness. Time to buy a new slip, I guess.

  10. So funny!!!
    And also can I say I am totally excited you are going to visit Carina in Holland. I found your blog about a month ago and have been reading from the beginning, comments included of course so have seen that faithful Carina commenting and learning new English phrases and how crazy you are actually going to meet in person. I mean what do I know, I’m only up to march 2012 so maybe you already have but still it is so crazy we can meet people for instance, on a blog, from another country and then go visit them! Seriously I feel like getting the visitor from another country! Way to just go for it.

  11. The Netherlands??? Awesome! I lived there for 2.5 years!

    For a totally cool experience, go to the Apenheul in Arnhem (check spelling on both the town and the zoo). It’s a monkey/ape zoo, and you have to check your bags and empty your pockets at the gate, because most of the resident are running free with the visitors, and will pick your pockets and steal stuff from your purse (some even know how zippers work!). It’s about an hour from Amsterdam, and so TOTALLY worth it for half a day of your 2 days.

    And be sure to have a pannekoek in a real pannekoek huis. met spek. And zuiker. (Because powdered sugar on a bacon pancake is a true taste sensation. DO NOT get the ginger pancake. They use a melon-baller, and smother the pancake with 2 dozen balls of fresh ginger (gember in Dutch).)

    Have fun for me!!!

    • You’re coming to Holland for 2 days? Great! But way too short of course. If I see you around, I’ll come over and say hello!

      Two things: If you want to go to Apenheul, look for it in Apeldoorn :-). And I totally agree about trying the spekpannekoek, but you should have it with stroop!

      Have fun!

  12. OK, when you first asked for stories, I was going to say, “Well, there are a million and I embarrass myself regularly, but I can’t think of anything just now, because after I embarrass myself I try really hard to forget.” Which was true, but while reading, one from today and one from a while back (because it was really awful) came to me. The one from today was a minor embarrassment, but I’m one of those people that tries so so hard to be anonymous. I really really don’t like to be the center of attention. As a result, I’m usually the one still singing – the wrong words – in church when everyone else stops. Or still laughing. When everyone else stops. Or the only one laughing to begin with. Or the one who spills her water at the staff meeting. Onto someone else’s papers. You get the idea right? So it should come as no surprise that when I went to pick up lunch for the office today (8 lunches), and the nice girl at the counter said, “Do you want to leave half here while you put the other stuff in your car?” and I said, “No, I really need to get out of here – I have my cart, I’ll be fine.” And 5 of the lunches and 6 of the drinks fit in the cart, so I was holding 3 lunches and 2 drinks and dragging the cart and TRIPPED out the door over a mat. I didn’t fall but made enough of a commotion that the people eating stopped to stare at me. Which is, you know, my favorite thing. UGH! But the worst – at least recently – embarrassment was a couple of weeks ago at church. I was talking to a woman from my small group. She hasn’t been to small group much recently because she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. My husband died of cancer 7½ years ago – not lung cancer, but a cancer that mimicked lung cancer. So I asked her if they had tried a targeted lung cancer treatment that comes in a pill. I was trying to offer an option that I knew about and really I was trying to be helpful. But then my brain decided we were telling Kent’s story and I babbled on and on and in culmination told her that when they tried the therapy I had just suggested for her, that was the last treatment he got and then he died. She gasped and said, “oh, I have to go now – there’s someone over there that I need to see.” I STILL feel like SUCH an idiot when I think of it. I begged her forgiveness several minutes later, and she forgave me and said I hadn’t upset her, which was obviously a lie. But really, as far as bumbling idiots go, I think I take the cake…

    • The cancer story is horrifying; so much like something I would do. But the water spilling example is EXACTLY like me. I’m the one at the party where the attendees have the most tenuous of connections, no one really knows anyone else well enough to be totally comfortable. Anyway, into this scene, enter me: I invariably spill my plate of finger foods into my lap and onto the furniture and try furtively to clean up while acting like it’s not such a big deal as my makeup melts off my suddenly very hot face.

  13. Oh my word! And my 5 year old sitting behind me (playing Legos) just wanted to know why I was laughing out loud… yeah, not going to explain that one until I have to! And then I think I’ll let his father do that trick.
    Not sure I’ve ever said anything like that… since high school I’ve really just tried to keep my mouth shut. But I am rather clumsy so I’m sure I’ve embarrassed myself really badly a few times. I’m also just horrid about remembering embarrassing moments. Maybe it’s a mind block thing, for my sanity.
    Just know that I feel your pain and I’m sure I’ve done something equally awful!
    Have a wonderful trip! I’m slightly jealous, okay really jealous, of your traveling sans kids!

  14. Most horrible stupid thing I’ve said – and I still cringe and I’ve never told anyone this it’s so awful to relive – was during a company holiday party hosted by my boss at her home. My boss has been a personal mentor and nearly a second mother for me for more than a decade – she’s amazing and so so kind and gentle and smart and funny. At the time, her son was a Navy Seal newly stationed overseas for the first time – and my boss, the one I adore, was biting her nails on a daily basis, terrified she would lose her son at any moment in some anonymous and unforseeable way. There was a constant air of tension in her world. So that’s the backdrop to what I said. So there we were, ending a GREAT holiday party at her home… my colleagues were all leaving and I was staying a bit late to help clean up from the party. In an awful brain-farting moment, I yelled to her, “Here – I’ll pick up all the dead soldiers.” WTF!! Yes, I said ‘dead soldiers’ out loud. Now, one day a million years prior I was a college student and someone at some party once called all the empty beer bottles ‘dead soldiers’ but it wasn’t a habit of mine to say, nor had I heard it in 15 years. WHY I said that is beyond me. It was nauseating that I said that. She paused and looked at me, and when she saw me begin to stammer she just went back to cleaning the house. That’s how amazing she is – and apparently how awful I can be. To this day I still cringe when I think back to that slip of the phrase – that moment when I spoke the thing she feared constantly, and said it in such a strange way. So I’m sorry, but I think your moment of dorkiness is nothing compared to my slip-up. Thanks for letting me confess. I don’t know if I feel better or worse… maybe I should just delete this post… Do you have room in your suitcase for another? 😉

    • I wasn’t going to tell this one. I was going to draw from one of my other many many many MANY foot tastings but for you Amy, I will commiserate with this story that I think is similar in its randomness and just bad timing and WHY DID I SAY THAT RIGHT NOWedness.

      I was in my sister-in-law’s wedding, one of about a dozen bridesmaids and we decided to have a meeting at my house. This is the first time many of us had met and I did know ahead of time that one of her bridesmaids had alopecia. She had no hair at all. She was beautiful and confident and so much better a person than I am. We sat down and began discussing plans for the bachelorette party, bridal shower, etc. I have no idea in what context I said this, I only remember that I did and that it makes no difference the context. I said, regarding some idea someone had that they thought the bridal couple would balk at, ” It isn’t like we’re asking them to shave their heads or anything”. Wha? Why? Why did those words come out of my mouth?

      Anyway, I feel like our stories match up a little and I don’t mean to try to one up you or to not one up you making you feel as though what you said was worse. I just wish we both had cookies in our mouths when the ideas popped in our heads to say these things.

  15. Just had most embarrassing moment this weekend. showed up at a party on the wrong day. And the hostess is an FB friend and it was the first time I met her IRL.

  16. I was at my sister’s graduation with my much younger sister sitting beside me when a junior classman decided to streak. He ran by with his manhood (boyhood?) flopping in the breeze and in my head I’m thinking, “He’s showing his thingy to my baby sister!!” So I got angry… and I stood up and yelled, “THAT’S MY SISTER!” *facepalm*

  17. Oh you mean like the time I asked the lady in front of me in line when her baby was due and she said, “oh, she’s six months old. Yeah, I DO need to lose weight.” I WANTED TO DIE. To dig a hole in the carpet and bury myself, right there.

  18. *good, ‘you’re good’ is what I meant to type! Though I do think it is divine you’re coming over here and (apparently) risking your life…. ;-p Goddess it is then!

  19. I really really REALLY need to go to sleep, but I’m SO EXCITED!!! (can’t scream, it’ll wake the kids, so capital letters it is… 😉 )

    See you soon! xoxoxo

    ps: no-one that I know has ever been murdered in Amsterdam, not even a little bit, so you’re god I gues (by association 🙂 )

  20. OK, this one isn’t mine but it is my mom’s so I get embarrassment by proxy even though I was only 2 when it happened and didn’t hear the story until I was 16.

    My mom found these really awesome big coffee mugs that she just loved. They aren’t huge like gag gift huge, they’re big like, “Oh, I just have to drink one of these per morning and I feel good.” Well, she liked the set of 4 so much that she went ahead and got sets for my brother’s preschool teachers that year for Christmas. They had these cute animal drawings on them – all bunnies on one, bears on another and they were tumbling around playing and stuff.

    But they weren’t.

    So after she gifted them, well after, possibly years after …

    Someone pointed out that her set, the same as the sets she gave to the teachers, featured animals doing dirty things. She had given sets of mugs featuring randy animals to my brother’s preschool teachers.

    Oh, and from that point on, I made my mom hide the randy mugs every time I had friends over to spend the night. True story.

    Travel safely.

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