The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: Bucket Head (page 1 of 6)

Quit staring at my shuttlecock, ya perv.

Well, it’s Spring Break in these parts, and we’re staycationing this year…again. Spring Break travel requires much more advanced planning than I am ever able to successfully do, so here we are.

Home sweet…holy shit, is there a wasps’ nest in our new screened porch? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of having a screened porch? Awesome.  

But we’ve already made it halfway through the week without major incident, which is pretty good for us. Continue reading

Sometimes a picture really is worth 1000 words…

Bucket Head and I had our first Tiger Cub Den Meeting last week. We decided to pose for a few quick photos on our way out the door.

Personally, I find anyone in uniform hard to resist.

Apparently, Bucket Head does not.

annoying mother and den leader

A Full Circle Cornhole Moment

My 6-year-old son Bucket Head wants to be a Tiger Cub.

It’s all he’s been talking about for two weeks: “MOM! THEY GET TO SHOOT BOWS AND ARROWS! AND GO CAMPING! AND RACE PINEWOOD DERBY CARS!!!”

Is it just me, or does this statue look like a giant turd?

Is it just me, or does this bronze statue look like a giant turd?

Bucket Head was made to be a Cub Scout. The kid can’t walk without finding and picking up sharp sticks wherever he goes.

So we went to the Cub Scout Roundup last night; sat and listened and whooped and hollered at all the appropriate cues; and then when the Cubmaster asked for volunteer Den Leaders, it was so quiet you could hear a flea fart.

Honest to Pete, the only sound in the joint was the cafeteria clock going tick-tick-tick as all the parents put their heads down and avoided eye contact with each other.

Cubmasters must be used to this response because they played it pretty cool.

…for the first five minutes.

And then the begging began in earnest.

One of the other leaders approached my husband who has worked with my oldest son’s Boy Scout Troop for years and said, “Jim? How about you? Ready to be a Den Leader?”

“Sorry, Bob. Can’t do it this year.”

“Oh, come on. It’s only an hour a week and the first four meetings are totally planned out for you.”

“No can do, man. I’m already spread way too thin.”

tick-tick-tick

“Anyone? Folks, we can’t have a Tiger Den without two Den Leaders,” the Cubmaster pleaded.

tick-tick-tick

“Do it for the kids! We’ll help you. There is training!”

You could see the panic sprawled across all those sweet little 6-year-old faces.

“What’s happening, Mom?” one of the boys whispered.

Nobody was stepping up.

A bead of sweat slowly trickled down the face of the dad across the table from me as he busied himself on his iPhone.

Uh-oh. This is bad, I thought to myself.

tick-tick-tick

And just when it looked like poor little Bucket Head wasn’t going to get to be a Cub Scout after all, a small voice piped up from the back:

“I’ll do it.”

A universal, audible sigh of relief reached everyone’s ears at once. 

Wait, who said that?

Who is that crazy woman in the back raising her hand?

Hey! I know her! Hi!

Oh no.

Hold on, folks.

She might not be the best choice.

Isn’t she a… a… a humorist?

I mean, she overshares on the Internet. And she has a book on Amazon about lady bits and stuff!

Oh well. Too late now.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to your newest Cub Scout Den Leader!

(It’s me. Say hello to me. Thanks. I get tired of talking to myself, y’know?) 

Yeah. I’m just as shocked as you are.

(But I’m pretty excited about the uniform!)

So we’ll have to see how it goes. I’m bracing myself for the very real possibility that I will be deemed “unacceptable” as a Cub Scout Den Leader based on my, well… me-ness. But like I tell my kids all the time, beggars can’t be choosers. You don’t want someone like me* heading up your Tiger Cub Den? Then step up.

But in the meantime, I already know one of the crafts we’ll be doing! The boys are going to LOVE IT!

To help you fully appreciate what an enormous full circle moment this is for me and my family, I’ve spruced up one of my very first blog posts for you about the time I played Cornhole and perfected the art of the Dutch Oven at Cub Scout Family Camp five years ago. It’s probably new to you, and it is one of my all time favorites. Enjoy!

© 2013 The Bearded Iris

That time I sprayed breast milk all over my dentist

Have I ever told you about the time I accidentally sprayed breast milk all over my dentist?

No?

Oh honey. Pull up a chair—this is a juicy one… so to speak.

Honestly, I would have rather been at home cradling my newborn son’s sweet little blue face to my beach-ball-sized bosoms, but I just couldn’t wait another day—I had to get to the dentist. It was an emergency.

I’m a “woman of a certain age.” Oh fine, I’ll tell you. I’m 43. And like most of my friends born in the ’60s and ’70s, my teeth are falling apart. I don’t know if it’s because we didn’t have the same preventative dental care back then or because I didn’t do a very good job brushing the Razzles and Now and Laters off my teeth, but by the time I was a senior in high school, every single one of my back molars was more filling than tooth. (Sorry, Mom.)

And the metal fillings from back then? They had a shelf life. By the time I was 30, every single one of those fillings had needed to be replaced.

All that drilling and refilling takes a toll on the old chompers.

I got my first crown when I was 35.

And then when I was pregnant with Bucket Head, it was obvious that I was going to need another crown.

But I was pregnant! And going to the dentist is the only time I get the good drugs! It would have to wait.

I bided my time for the rest of my pregnancy, chewing only on one side of my mouth and avoiding anything too hot, cold, sweet, or crunchy. It sucked. And then apparently while I was giving birth and biting on that leather strap out in the woods (not really, but that’s what it felt like) I cracked that compromised molar somethin’ fierce. I would need to get to the dentist as soon as I could remove the ice-pack from my nethers.

My husband had to work that day, so I called my neighbor and BFF, Tammie, and asked if she would be so kind as to drive me and newborn Bucket Head to the dentist and hold Bucket Head in the waiting room while I got my new temporary crown. “It will take two hours, tops.”

She agreed, God love her.

We timed it perfectly, or so we thought.

We got there a little early, and I nursed baby Bucket Head in the waiting room. Then he fell asleep in Tammie’s arms as I waited to be called into the back.

I was really scared. I hate having dental work done. It riles every single one of my freakishly heightened senses and I usually get prescribed valium for the night before and the morning of my procedure.

But I didn’t want to do that since I was nursing. I was drug-free and more nervous than a virgin at a prison rodeo.

As luck would have it, the dentist was running behind, and our perfectly timed breast feeding was for naught.

I’ll never forget it as long as I live. There I was, fully reclined in the dentist chair—mouth wide open, eyes tightly shut against the bright light, suction tube slurping away while the dentist drilled… and drilled… and drilled. I had my iPod rocking in my ears so I wouldn’t hear any of it. But the song ended, and in that 3 second lull between songs, I heard my baby cry.

Game over.

The tingling started. Then I felt the slightest bit of wetness in my ginormous nursing bra. I squeezed my eyes shut harder and prayed my breast pads would soak up the run-off.

The drilling persisted. My dentist, also a mother, kept stopping every few seconds to ask if I was okay, “Do you need me to stop?”

“No, keep going! He’ll be fine.”

“Are you sure? Do you want to go see him?”

“NO. The Novocain! It might wear off. Just do it. But hurry. I’m starting to leak.”

Suddenly, Bucket Head’s cries were the only thing I could hear, even over the drilling and the music on my headphones. My sweet little baby needed me, and my milk bags were responding to his hungry pleas.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

I glanced down and my shirt was soaked. Actually, it was my husband’s shirt, since I had just had a baby and all I could fit in was one of his old button downs.

Behold, a dramatic reenactment:

That time I sprayed my dentist with breast milk by The Bearded Iris

The milk flow was so strong and steady, it soaked clear through the paper bib resting on my chest.

Y’all, there was milk everywhere. It was dripping down my back onto the chair!

I could smell it.

I was absolutely mortified.

Everyone worked at lightening speed to get me up and out of there. (And not just because of the milky mess I was making in their dentist chair.) The microsecond that temporary crown clicked into place, I was on my way back to the waiting room, unbuttoning my shirt like Clark Kent on his way to the phone booth. I could not get that baby onto my boob fast enough. Poor Tammie—I practically ripped her arms off taking that wailing baby from her.

Thankfully, everyone in the dentist’s office was so sweet and understanding. “Bless your heart!” they clucked repeatedly, and not in the stereotypical Southern “Oh you pitiful idiot” kind of way. It was more like, Solidarity, sister! We salute you and your overactive milk ducts! They were women helping one of their own, and I would be forever grateful.

Talk about the milk of human kindness.

This post, and my 13-year-old son’s future therapy bills for having to take that reenacted photo of my leaking fun-bags, were both made possible by the International Breast Milk Project. Their vision is that every infant in the world have access to donor human milk as a first choice when a mother’s own milk is not available, and they aim to create awareness for the need for donor human milk, mobilize donors, and provide donor milk to infants in need. 

IBMP_webad05

Bucket Head on board

It was starting to drizzle.

Bucket Head and I would need to run for it.

We counted to three and ran from the store to our car while I pressed the button for the automatic sliding door. He hopped into the back and we both buckled ourselves in while I checked my mirrors.

I put it in reverse and was starting to ease backward out of our angled parking spot when I noticed a gangly teenaged boy walking right behind my minivan. I braked and waited for him to pass. “Kids,” I muttered under my breath and made a mental note to remind my brood to be on the lookout for people reversing in parking lots who might not be able to see them.

Once he passed I checked my mirrors a second time and started to reverse again, slowly.

And again, there was something passing by the back of my van, seemingly inches away from my rear bumper.

It was the teenager’s father.

He wasn’t hustling at all, he wasn’t stopping to let me get out of my parking spot, he was simply glaring at me and shaking his head. I hit the brake as he slowly sauntered by giving me the stink eye.

Obviously he had the right of way. If I had noticed him I never would have tried to back out. But the blind spot on my minivan is huge, especially in the drizzle through the rain-spattered windows, reversing at an angle.

Oh—that look! What the hell, dude! Do you think I’m TRYING to mow you down? I’m just trying to get out of my parking spot. I totally would have waited for you to pass if I had seen you. It’s drizzling and I’m dry in my car—of course I want you to pass by safely and get into the store unscathed.

Ack. I hate that. Why did he have to glare and shake his head in judgment like that? Why couldn’t he just hustle by and wave like “Ooops, sorry—didn’t see your reverse lights.” I like to think that’s what I would have done. I probably would have smiled and waved and hustled by. I hope.

But his nasty face and pissy attitude set me off. Where is the common courtesy? Why couldn’t we have shared a pleasant exchange like an “I’m sorry, you go,” “No, that’s okay, you go,” kind of moment? Why can’t real life be more like that Liberty Mutual commercial that always makes me cry?

I know I shouldn’t have, but I exploded.

“I didn’t see you, JAGOFF!” I shouted at him (from behind the safety of my closed windows and locked doors.) You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can never take the Pittsburgh out of the girl, I guess.

That’s when 6-year-old Bucket Head, who I momentarily forgot was buckled in right behind me said, “How do you know his name, Mommy?” 

And then my heart exploded from the cuteness and my road rage melted away.

I wish every vehicle came standard with a backseat Bucket Head. I think the world would be a better place.

Now I just need to teach him to stop calling people jagoffs.

Everyone needs a backseat Bucket Head by The Bearded Iris

OMG. What have I done?

There is only one thing worse than accidentally giving your child a bad haircut…

 

Nature Boy, 4-years-old, the first and last time I ever cut his hair. (circa 2003)

Nature Boy, age 4, the first and last time I ever cut his hair.

 

…and that is paying someone else to give your child a bad haircut.

 

Before during and after of my son's worst haircut

 

Shhhh.

Don’t say a word.

I already know. Believe me. I know.

Even The Gatekeeper, who is truly the most stoic and level-headed of any man I know, was PISSED when he saw what that woman did to our little boy.

“Were you on your phone?! How could you not notice what she was doing?”

“No! (Maybe.) I was right there! I couldn’t tell she was going so short! And then when she started to blow it out, I just figured we could fluff it up again when we got home. I had no idea.”

I specifically asked her for a trim. I only wanted a trim. And she was the one who gave him his very first haircut several years ago.

Bucket Head's first haircut

So what if English isn’t her native language! It’s just a trim. What could go wrong? (Famous. Last. Words.) 

But when she brought him over to the cash register she said, “His hair very stubborn (sic), but I cut all the curl out for you.”

OMG. She thought she was doing me a favor…like curls were the mark of the debil.

Y’all…I have cried real tears over this. Don’t worry, never in front of him. I put on my bravest face and told him how grown-up he looked. I even secretly called his Kindergarten teacher to give her a heads-up so she wouldn’t freak the freak out when she saw him.

But my baby. My curly headed little cherub. His shining glory scattered across the barber shop linoleum.

I feel like I’ve slapped baby Jesus across the face.

It’s just hair. It will grow. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. But you see, there is a legend in my family of the time my mother cut my cousin Matt’s baby curls off and they never returned. I’m pretty sure my Aunt Debbie has never forgiven her sister for that.

And so I wait. And I pray that Bucket Head’s curls will return.

And they probably will. He’s almost six-years-old, after all. These aren’t just baby curls.

But the saddest part? (to me, anyway)…

Bucket Head LOVES his new look.

short haired Bucket Head

He asked us to buy him a comb…his very own comb. He’s never owned one before.

And we keep catching him in the mirror, combing his hair flat as a board. It’s painful to watch.

It’s actually feathered, and a little long in back. Sometimes, in certain light, he reminds me of a mini Larry Wilcox from CHiPs.

Larry Wilcox from CHiPs

He said to me, “I feel like a new man.”

I had to bite my lip to keep from laugh-crying.

“Don’t you like your curls, honey?”

“NO. I hate my curls. I hate the way people are always touching my head. I want to look like all the other boys.”

It breaks a mama’s heart, I tell you. To hear your child “hate” an integral part of their being.

BeardedIris-Mulleted-1982-223x300

Leslie with She-Mullet, 1982.

But I feel like I have to let him explore his new look…just like my mother let me experiment with Sun-In and She-Mullets.

Of course, I was twelve, not five! I thought I had more time.

So we help Bucket Head comb his hair flat and I try my best to not touch it, even though it pains me to keep my hands to myself.

I can only wait and wonder. Will he come around? Will he learn to love his curls someday? Or will the desire to conform stifle his ability to see how perfect he already is, exactly the way God made him?

It is only hair.

Right?

Please. Save me from myself. Assuage my guilt. Tell me about the time you accidentally slammed your child’s hand in the door or Sharpied Groucho Marx eyebrows on your kid because you thought for sure they would fade away before school picture day. Tell me something. Anything, really.

Yours,
~Leslie

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