Duchess Kate: No Rest for the Royal?

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Nary a hair out of place, Duchess Kate stepped out of the private hospital wing and into the media frenzy. She looked no different (and no less gorgeous) than when we saw her last, only this time the baby was not in her belly but in her arms. Perfectly coiffed, perfectly dressed, perfectly perfect. Isn’t that how we all felt having just produced a human? At least that’s what she claimed–she is feeling what any new parent experiences. Um, not quite. I’m pretty sure my experience, the ordinary birthing process, was not even close. Perhaps the only commonality is that underneath all of her glam, I’m fairly certain that some of her royal areas are seriously smarting.

Birthing is birthing, whether you’re pushing out king or commoner. But from there nothing is the same. Most moms struggle to shower and dress. We don’t have a personal hairdresser meet us at the hospital. On top of always having washed hair, I’m guessing that Duchess Kate won’t walk around smelling like sour milk–or worse. If she ever does feel like a real new parent she won’t ever let us see it.

This likely won’t change even as her regal offspring grow. Sometimes I think I have yet to emerge from the new parent haze. Eight and a half years in I’m as frazzled as ever and my spawn are no more civilized than when they first arrived. Last night’s dinner was case in point. It’s as if they weren’t in camp all day with the amount of energy they were able to expend popping out of their seats. It was like a prolonged pee-pee dance but without the biological urgency. Thing One was spewing bits of egg that finally stuck to Thing Two’s elbow. Thing Two had chocolate pudding up his nose–only after trying to lick it off his finger. Apparently we still haven’t discovered the meaning of a napkin. And then there was the miniature polar bear flashlight that took an unexpected plunge into the cup of milk.

“IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!”

It’s always an accident.

Except when it’s intentional. Between the two were are in a perpetual state of behavior modification!

I love a good irony. Yesterday when the world was waiting with bated breath (or some of us realized we could set the DVR to CNN) to catch a glimpse of this royal little angel my darling child went off to camp dressed as a red-hot devil. It was alphabet soup day; she chose D for devil. Why?

“That way I can be naughty.”

There’s something to be said for spirited children: they keep you on your toes. I don’t have time to be tired. I’m just glad that I don’t have cameras chasing me around in my haze. Poor Duchess Kate isn’t so fortunate. One day after the immaculate introduction of Britain’s Prince George she’s captured on camera with her flowing mane thrown into a less-than-fabulous ponytail and presumably tired eyes guarded by over-sized sunglasses.

Rest up, Kate, it’s only just begun. If raising a devil is hard work, rearing a future king is simply unimaginable.

 

 

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Can You Teach an Old Mom New Tricks?

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These are my toes. They are so far away, and the older I grow the more distant they become. Each morning is a reminder that the questionable flexibility I may have had in my youth is ever fleeting. Never has that been more obvious than in this last week. My kids started a camp which offers transportation–fun for children and parents alike! While we wait for the adorable Brian who drives Van #5 we play games on the lawn. Popular favorites include Toilet Tag and Dead Man, both of which are renditions of the traditional tag. Even inventive names cannot distract me from what is painfully true: I move with the agility, fluidity and swiftness of a tree stump.

A while back my sister-in-law encouraged me to purchase a Groupon deal for Reformer Pilates. Certainly the plan was to enjoy the torture together. However, her work and my kids seem to be in the way. Damn responsibility! So I had to go it alone last week when I tried my first class.

Sporting my beloved Nike spandex shorts, the actual pair that predates the existence of Lululemon, I skulked into class. I wanted to fly under the radar–unlike the bedazzled, Botoxed mom who looked years younger than her accompanying teenage daughter. She was there to be noticed–or rather her enhanced bosom with dangerously large nipples were there to be noticed. My only goal was to make it through the class without becoming permanently tangled in cords and springs.

With just slightly more grace than Tobias Funke I emerged relatively unscathed. I declare success! So much so that I will go back. After all, I do have to be able to reach my toes if only to keep them trimmed. My daughter–the same one who “washed” her hair without shampoo for two weeks because she failed to tell me she had run out, and also the one who constructed a challenge for herself to see how long she could wear a single pair of socks–informed me that my nails were nasty. She took it upon herself to clip them.

Now, I may not be able to school my kids in tag, but dammit I need to be able to keep my toenails in order! Somehow I’m pretty sure that’s not what drives Nipples McGee…

Summer Lovin’

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Sixteen years ago tomorrow we shared our first kiss. Or at least I think we did. Forgive me as time challenges memory. We saw fireworks–literally. Overlooking Boston’s Back Bay we took in the July 4th Pops Spectacular and also celebrated the beginnings of us. It was likely the last time I stayed up late enough for such a display. Four years and a few days later we were married atop Vail Mountain.

This “holiversary” (think Chrismukkah) is witness to our union, friendship and partnership. Like the novel One Day (sorry Anne Hathaway but you ruined the movie for me) the course of an entire year can be examined on a single day, thereby revealing the passage of time and the evolution of a relationship. The day itself may be mundane or remarkable, depending on the year. In 2005 we greeted the day in the hospital, following the second repair of our firstborn’s heart. In 2011 we scattered some of my father’s ashes at the very spot that he gave me away. Other years have been recognized with a simple outing to the community pool or a patriotic small-town parade. Last year involved many, many boxes and an equal measure of stress.

This is the year we reclaim our adventurous spirit. The summer we met–way more fit and a lot less tired– we’d swim in Walden Pond and bike 30-plus miles for our favorite ice cream. We’d walk along the Charles into downtown Boston for a movie or we’d wake pre-dawn to compete in some sporting event…and perhaps even make it to the podium. Then of course we’d eat more ice cream.

How are we going to earn said ice cream this year? We’re doing it SoCal style. That’s right– we are taking ourselves surfing! Forget romance. But I can guarantee comedy. I only wish I could document this destined-to-be debacle for you. You’ll have to rely on your imagination for that.

With the kids in camp on Friday we’ll have a few hours to play, just like we did that summer sixteen years ago.

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