I did this sliding into second base. With my face.
I’ll spare you the pics with all the blood taken before it stopped bleeding, by my completely unsympathetic 13-year-old daughter, to whom a mother spurting blood was not an occasion to offer comfort but to take pictures. She would be an excellent National Geographic photographer as it appears watching zebra foal (puppies? Geldings? What the hell are those zebra babies called?) eaten alive by packs of blood-thirsty ravenous lions would be tolerable.
Anyone who doesn’t think 25 people could have a completely different viewpoint on the same situation has never had a nosebleed at a baseball diamond. I was told to put my head between my knees, tilt it back, hang it forward, ice on my neck, ice on the bridge, stand up, sit down, DOES ANYONE HAVE A COLD SPOON, pinch it hard, hold it loosely, try-to-drink-this-beer-clean-my-car-hey-rub-my-nuts.
I don’t think it’s broken, but it hurts like hell today and my top row of teeth are killing me. My partner says if my teeth fall out we are getting married immediately. (He has a really good dental plan.)
That’s what he meant, right?
I don’t understand how I have so much to say on Twitter, but then when I sit down to write a blog post nothing comes out. I think I’ve re-set my brain to think in 140 character increments. While this is great for the Twitter feed, it’s playing havoc with my blog posting. (Havoc. I like that word. There should be a game called “Havoc!” so I could say with sincerity, “C’mon guys! Let’s play HAVOC!” Wait; okay. I went and looked it up. According to Wictionary.com “havoc” means “general destruction, devastation, desolation or wasting” and that’s pretty much what my family does, so it looks like we’ve been playing “Havoc” officially all along.)
Normally I love to write. I don’t feel any pressure to write, and ever since I decided to no longer give a crap about almost everything, I’ve felt amazingly free-spirited. I’m rested. I’m fed. I’m hydrated, and my diaper has been changed. SO WHAT GIVES, WRITER’S BLOCK?
There is stuff to be said. I’ve been playing on a co-ed softball league with PM for a few months and that’s going about as well as one would expect. I’ve had to give out the cobra fangs sign instead of end of game handshakes a few times, and the other night after an injury (the run to first base is HARD) I may have been heard shouting, “I’ll just be here behind this van with my pants down in a pool of vomit!”
These are some of the things that I could write about. But the kids are home for the summer and it’s been busy. They’ve been out of school for two weeks and I’ve already heard the dreaded refrain of “I’m borrreeeedd…” Normally I’m a great believer in the parenting concept of benign neglect, but I find myself having to take more of an active parenting role since last week when, left to their own devices, they started a hamster fight club using Coco and Bella and an old Bakugan Battle Arena. It was getting out of hand. I lost over $20, and I’m pretty sure the fights were fixed. And who’s heard of $4 minimum bets for Rodent MMA? Somebody has not checked the official rulebook, I’m certain.
I suggested they pull out some Christmas gifts I had put away. You know the ones – these are the gifts bought for your kids by people with either no children themselves or those who secretly hate your guts. These gifts fall into several categories:
1. Things that will burn your house down.
This includes wood-burning kits, miniature baking ovens, or homemade explosives. I love cake and miniature wooden wall-hangings that say “Mom’s Kitchen” with a backwards “S” as much as the next gal, but not when their production leads to 2nd degree flesh burns, and three hour emergency room visits. That’s valuable pool time being wasted, friends.
2. Things that will ruin your furniture.
Here we find the candle making kits, soap making kits, Snoopy Sno-Cone machines (these gifts often play double duty and can also be found in the “Things that inspire trips to the Emergency Room” category. But if you score a trifecta and get all three of these above “presents,” you can wash the bloody stump of your shaved finger with the soap and make a tourniquet with a candle wick.
3. Things that will cause you to question your sanity, or result in your no longer being able to pronounce vowels or turn left when prompted.
This is the category for any Lego kit over 75 pieces, Transformers of any size, Paint-by-Numbers, or anything involving math or glitter. Seriously; if you buy my kids glitter in any of its forms, expect a sparkly car. A VERY SPARKLY CAR.
4. Things that will irreparably damage the relationships you have with your children, and make you the featured topic at your kids’ future therapy sessions.
These are things like basket weaving or “E-Z- Knit” kits. While I have several amazing talents, they do not include teaching a 7 year old how to crochet an 2-storey tent with attached sun room and storm flaps using a plastic crochet hook and a 196oz skein of yarn. At least not without doing some kind of serious psychological damage.
So that’s where we’re at this week. If they don’t lose too many more fingers or burn the garden shed down with their candle making factory, we’re going camping in the wilderness during the height of raccoon mating season.
We’ll probably take the candle kit for protection.
I am not an athletic person. I don’t play soccer, I’ve never played ice hockey, I don’t exactly know what the hell “ringette” or “lacrosse” are, and I think I’m supposed to as a Canadian citizen.
My sister’s co-ed softball team has been scouting for ‘talent’ to fill some vacancies in the upcoming season’s line-up. Finding none, they were then seeking ‘experienced’ players. Failing THAT, she approached me about it. Being unsportsmanlike, I wanted to clear up some probable misconceptions before accepting the spot.
“Refresh my memory. Do people chase you around the bases?”
“You run from base to base after hitting a ball with a heavy stick.”
“Oh. I’ve only ever run when someone was chasing me. And only then when I didn’t have a shiv in my pocket.”
“I can probably arrange to have someone shout obscenities at you if you think that will help.”
“I’m pretty sure that’ll happen organically.”
She went on to explain that I would need to buy a mitt, a pair of cleats, and a good sports bra. Bra shopping itself is enough to warrant my refusal. The last time I went into a bra store, I cried so hard that a 25-year-old clerk with boobs like August apples had to pat my arm and console me. “There, there… I know it’s hard for ladies with your shape to get good bras. You’re built just like my mother. She has to go to Toronto to buy used rubber belting down at the docks. I bet I can find out the secret password for you…”
I can’t talk about what happened after that until I receive written permission from my lawyer. But I want it noted here that I did send the girl a ‘get well soon’ card with a $5 Starbucks gift card. (And there was at least $1.40 left on the card.)
PM seemed surprised that I had signed on to play softball.
“You’re really going to play? With your sister?”
“Yes! Why? It’s a mixed league, so you’re playing, too. What’s the problem? Why is your face sweaty?”
“It’s just…I’m not…But you…and she…this cannot end well.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The problem you have with…the way you guys…”
“Jeni, you’ve got some issues. With competition.” In a quiet voice he added, “And athletic skill.”
I assured him I had no idea what he was talking about.
He was on a roll now. “Are you serious? How many drumsticks have we gone through playing Rockband? Then there was the time we played golf with my neighbour, who STILL won’t look me in the face, by the way. And what about the “friendly” game of beach badminton when we were camping last year? Someone put a raccoon in our car afterwards and YOU MADE A NUN CRY.”
Sadly, some of this is true. I am the worst of teammates: woefully unskilled, fiercely competitive, and with an enviable cursing vocabulary. But that nun had it coming.
PM continued to stare at me, but I wouldn’t avert his gaze. (I’m COMPETITIVE, remember?)
I made cobra fangs with my fingers to indicate my ferocity and finally he broke away. “Fine. I’ll play. Who is our sponsor? And what’s the team name?”
I told him which bar was sponsoring us, and our name: “Wasted Talent.”
“Fitting. Does the bar serve Guinness on tap?
“Yes. Oh! And apparently they make the best margaritas in town. K says they’re served in two sizes; the “Requires-two-to-lift” tumbler and the “You-Can-Come-Back-For-Your-Pants-Later” bucket.
PM knew he was beat. He let go a sigh heavy with resignation. It fell to the floor and formed a dull puddle along with his will to live. He walked away but I heard him mumbling.
“This has ‘police blotter’ written all over it.”