slightly deranged mother of five… proceed with caution

Healthy Communication

(this is actually an old assignment from a communication class I took awhile ago)

After being married for over twenty years one would think that my husband and I would be good communicators, but they would be wrong.   I am able to communicate with others with the metal agility of an acrobat, but with my husband it seems as if I am straitjacketed.  Misunderstandings are not desired, but if proper communication is not learned misunderstandings can have unfortunate outcomes.
My husband has what I like to call “selective hearing”, I don’t think that he is the only man who has this malady, but the prognosis is not good for those who suffer with it.  Unfortunately, those who suffer are the spouses of those afflicted.   When my husband is listening, he generally responds appropriately, but he tends to not listen to me.  I have come to believe that I am the only one that he cannot hear, unless he thinks that the chance of sex is involved, in that case he is all ears.
I must take some blame for our miscommunication, because in order to not sound like a nag, when I would like him to do some menial task, I merely point out the fact that said task needs tending to; I do not command him to do it.  I do not feel that it my station in life to be my husbands “task master”.  If I say that the trash is full, what I mean is “take-out-the-trash!”  I don’t do trash, and this is agreed upon after twenty years.  I have the babies, he takes out the trash.
Most of our miscommunications stem from one of us avoiding something that we do not want to do.   He knows that by my stating that the trash is full, I want him to take it out, but he acts like I am just making an observation.  I think that it has become a game with him.  This has led me to play a game with him too.
This brings me to the unfortunate outcomes that miscommunication can have.  I developed “selective hearing” as well, did I mention that it is contagious.  However, I am only afflicted when I feel that his libido is up.  In other words, if the trash has not been taken out I am not “in the mood”.  My husband is aware of the connection, but in a fit of stubbornness he suppresses his carnal desires so that I do not end up victorious in the battle of the trash.  I have kids that I can command to take out the trash, I do not mind being a “task master” to them, but they are not always handy when the trash is at critical mass.
Every few weeks we have to have the same conversation we have been having every few weeks for the last twenty years.  “Why can’t you just take out the trash when you see that it is full”  “I didn’t know you wanted me to.”  “So I have to express specifically that the trash is half-way to the ceiling and specifically tell you to take it out in order for you to take it out?”  “If you want me to take the trash out why don’t you just say so?”  “How about this, take the trash out every day, even if I don’t tell you to.”
This conversation could be avoided if I specifically told him what to do, but then I would be a nag, which is something that I try to avoid, except for our bi-weekly trash discussion.  I won’t bore you with the lawn debacle; it is pretty much the same at the trash situation.  I suspect that I will be having this same conversation with him for the next twenty years; it is part of the fabric of our being.



Here is a nibble…” Tony happened to change the channel to “Blazing Saddles” ( a movie from the late 70’s or early 80’s that we have seen so many times I can quote a few lines) This movie is known for two things…Gene Wilder, and the campfire scene. Now Gene Wilder is not in the campfire scene, but what is is a bunch of cowboys, after a supper of beans, letting their gas escape in a very loud and boisterous fashion. They farted…a lot. this is know as a “gag” in more ways than one. What makes this particular viewing memorable is that one of my son’s had the audacity to carry on a conversation during the “campfire scene”. this peeved hubby to no end, he even glared at us like a little girl and hissed “Seriously!”, Like how dare you speak during one of the best fart scenes of all times. So in the future, I know that when the blazing saddles campfire scene comes on I must freeze for the 30 seconds of uninterrupted farting. I don’t know what the big deal is…he gets uninterrupted farting in real life after chili night right in the comfort of his own home…complete with olfactory sensory inclusion. This is a brief look at 30 seconds of my super amazing life!

Ditching Church Part 2


As I have written before, I tend to ditch church, a lot. My reasons are varied, but it is mostly because of the behavior of my children. I use the term “my” loosely, because when they act like turds in public they are Tony’s! 

I am still pretty sure I will get into Heaven, even if I rarely go to church. I have it all planned out. If Tony dies first, he will patiently wait at the back door of heaven and sneak me in when I die. If I die first, I will patiently wait outside of the pearly gates and sneak in when Tony is going in! 

But I digress, I was writing about why I still ditch church. Tony filled me in on the antics of my children this past Sunday, and all I could think about was how thankful I am that I wasn’t there. The Priest was talking about the three comings of Jesus. When Jesus comes you will hear it. When Jesus comes you will know it. Jesus comes into your heart. Jesus is coming in the future. All this talk of Jesus coming was too much for Beavis and Butt-head to handle. Mind you, Beavis and Butt-Head are 6’6” so when they start giggling it is hard to miss. Tony tires to discretely shhh… them to no avail. I would have been totally pissed and discretely pinching them, much more effective! 

Just when they get themselves together the priest starts talking about nuts. “Don’t forget your nuts.” He says. The church apparently was selling nuts after church. When I am hearing about them cracking up about nuts for sale, I ask them what was so funny. Steve, I mean Beavis, said that all he could think about was the “Slap Chop” guy. “You’re gonna love my nuts, slap my nuts, chop my nuts!” At that point, I don’t think even Tony wants to claim them. 

With as much as my boys were laughing, as if they were at a comedy club, I half expected the priest to end his sermon with “Thanks a lot! Don’t forget to tip your waitresses! I am here every Sunday!” 


Ditching Church

Lately I ditch church. It is not church that I am trying to avoid, mind you, but attending church with my family! To be more specific, attending church with my children should be avoided at all costs.

Here is a very brief example of what going to church is like for me… 

“Mike get your finger out of your nose!”

“Shhh…Tom, that’s not funny!”

“Mike I told you to get your finger our of your…thanks. No don’t eat it.”

“Shhh…no we will not go to McDonalds after church.”

“Stop eating your boogers.”

“No we will not go to Mcdonalds after church.”

“You two…stop giggling”

“Put your shoes back on.”

“No, we will not go to Mcdo…okay, we will go to Mc Donalds if you stop talking now”

“keep your hands to yourself”

“No, I do not smell that.”

“I don’t know who farted.”

“Church is not a million hours long, and now we are not going to Mc Donalds cuz you just talked again. No,we can’t start over from now”

“Mike, stop drumming on the back of the pew.”

“Pew is not a funny word you two, stop laughing”

“Okay fine, we will start over from now… no more talking!”

“God Dammit Mike get your finger out of your nose, and don’t eat your boogers”

“I don’t know…wipe it under the pew or something.”

Now, all of that is just my half of the conversation, and it is all in hushed tones, but for the hour that is supposed to be spent with God and praying for peace and what not, I get to spend just another hour with my kids trying to get them to act halfway civilized. And the only thing I pray for is the hour to end and my sanity to remain intact! I am sure that the priest is saying something inspirational, but I am only concerned with where my 11 year old’s fingers are.

My husband on the other hand goes to church with these same kids and pays no attention to what they are doing. So while I am spending the hour trying to keep these kids from embarassing themselves, Tony is listening to the sermon! He is too hard of hearing to hear what is going on 2 feet from him, but he can hear what the priest is saying!

Well, I didn’t go last week…again, and Mike managed to get his shoes off and all the way on to his hands! I don’t want to even think of the amount of boogers that boy was able to ingest with his father not paying attention.

Now, the reason I told you all of this, is because the Knights Of Columbus was collecting donations to help mentally disabled children. So after mass Tony gives them $5. I told him if his kids keep acting the way they act, the Knights will be taking a special collection for that poor family with the 4 mentally challenged children in the church. I should not call my children mentally challenged, it offends mentally challenged people!

Oh, by the way, if you ever find yourself sitting next to Mike in church, do NOT shake his hand or hold his hand. And Tom is usually the one who farted.


There’s no tackling in basketball!

I asked my daughter if she would like to play basketball this summer. She is tall, strong, coordinated, and six.

“Oh no, I don’t like all of the tackling!”

Tackling? I’m talking about Basketball, NOT football. I tell her that there is no tackling in basketball

“Yes there is, when someone has the ball and you want it, you tackle them to get it.”

“I don’t think you know how to play basketball,” I tell her.

“Yes I do, I watch it all the time. There is tackling…and punching. You can also punch someone to get the ball from them.”

I know where this is going, but I have nothing better to do.

“Who do you watch play basketball?”

“The brothers!”

I think it is funny the way she always refers to her brothers as “the” brothers and not “my” brothers. I think she does this to deny any relation. You see, “the” brothers can be anybody’s brothers.

Okay, as far as “the brothers” are concerned, there is punching and tackling in basketball!

Hell, there is punching and tackling in CHECKERS!

Horse shoes….punching and tackling!

Chess…Who am I kidding, they don’t play chess!

If you are ever driving by my house and you see some punching and tackling going on, don’t worry, they are just playing Gap League Basketball!