“This is My Party Shirt”


I tossed the warm sherpa throw from my newly heated feet and clicked the dial to off.  The messy bun atop my head began to unravel so I grabbed a red colored pencil from the countertop and twisted the knot of tangles back into place.  I looked like a train wreck; old heather grey capris, holy from over-washing, covered my legs while a too-small tee with the words, “This Is My Party Shirt” shirt, adorned my upper-half.  I was freezing so a chunky boyfriend sweater completed my look.  I vaguely remember making it to the stairs but some how I managed to drag myself to Aiden’s room.

I stood in the doorway as my little man jumped up and down for what seemed like an eternity.  I only saw him out of the corner of my eye, though, as I was fixated on a figure in the back of the room.  The rocking chair was moving ever-so-slightly, but the figure did not look up.

“MOMMMMMMY, I need to show you something!!  My eyes shifted towards Aiden now holding what appeared to be a crumpled up piece of paper.  “LOOK at this, MOMMY!”

“Yes, what am I looking a…?”  I couldn’t get out the last word before the hacking began.  I frantically waved my pointer finger telling my confused todd to wait a minute.  “Hold on, honey, mommy needs a drink.”  Whiskey would do but I made a beeline for the tap instead.  I filled a tiny paper dinosaur cup with just enough water to settle the fire in my throat. Roooooooooar, was right.

“Okay, sweets pea, what is the problem?”

“Someone squashed my picture!”

“It’s a page from a coloring book.  You have hundreds more.  Let’s get you a new one – a better one – in the morning.  Now it’s time for bed.”


Just then the figured moved.  My eyes darted to the rocking chair.  Nope, false alarm, the figured was adjusting it’s frame to better support the device in it’s hand.  The room began spinning a bit so I kneeled on the floor bringing me eye-level with ornery Aiden.

“Bed.  Now.  Mommy is sick.”

“Mommy, I will pray for you to be better.  And, in school tomorrow, I will make you a heart.”

I smiled, wiped my nose with my sleeve (yes, I did; don’t judge) and helped Aiden into his nighttime diaper.  We then tackled pajamas.  No, really, tackling was involved.  Bed-time is not a game for the faint-of-heart.  As I fell back on my haunches, I looked at the finished product.  Ninja turtle flannel pants and a sledding polar bear top is a win in my book.  That’s when IT happened.  The figure spoke.

“I’ve got it from here, honey.”

I blinked; partly to clear the swells of water from my itchy, red eyes but to also fully see the figure – still seated, gently rocking – in front of me.  I nodded, blew Aiden a kiss and began the descent towards my family-room sickbed.


*   *   *

I woke to sounds of gunfire; screams coming at me from every angle.

“In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.  In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vic…”

I found the remote wedged between my hip and the couch cushion.  Tiny indentations from the clicker buttons were visible on my skin.  I turned the TV off and attempted a deep breath.  Fits of coughing and wheezing immediately followed.  I took a swig of flat soda water from the only glass within reach and again attempted to breathe.  Ahhh, much better.

Brrrring, brrrrring, brrring.


“What are we doing for dinner?”

“I don’t know.”  I glanced at the clock on the cable box but could barely make out the numbers 6:26.  Oh, God, it’s late, so very late.

“I have a lot of work to do tonight and I need to balance the checkbook and I need to get the taxes ready.”


“Mommmmmmmmmy, what are we eating for dinner? Mac and cheeeeeeeeesy?!

Bluetooth, you are now my bitch.  You have been warned.  

“Well, we have eggs.  I can make egg sandwiches.”  I could feel my teeth clenching.

“That’s fine.  We will see you soon.”

That’s when it happened.  When I clearly saw the aftermath and could smell the stench.  Oh, the terrible, terrible stench.  I walked towards it but I knew it was too late.  Yes, the full trash can was overflowing and it was Tuesday evening.  Trash.  Had.  Already.  Gone.  Out.

I turned to my left.  Casualties were everywhere.  Half-eaten morsels from last night’s dinner were shriveled and stuck to plates resting on the counter.  The sink itself was overflowing, protein-encrusted shaker bottles sat hardening like plots of freshly poured cement soaking in the sun.

I needed to wash my face; to freshen myself, prepare myself, for the evening ahead.  As I made my way to the stairs, I could see tiny golden fibers dancing in the sunlight coming through the dining room window.  These very same fibers sat in tufts around my feet, in corners of the room and between each spindle of the staircase.

Cling, cling, cling, tap, tap, tippety, tap, tap.  

Just then the dog made his entrance.  He licked my hand, picked up his favorite chew toy, and moseyed on in to the family room; tufts of his golden, glistening hair falling from his large frame with each and every step.  Within in seconds he turned my comfy sick-bed into his new pallet; hairy, slobber-covered pallet.

One-by-one I picked up discarded articles of clothing from the steps and continued onward.  When I reached my destination, the master bedroom, I went into shock.  I flung the clothes from my arms but somehow they managed to find a pile of their friends.  Piles of clothes were e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

It was at that moment that the garage door opened.  I quickly snapped back to reality…

Oh, there goes gravity

*   *   *

“Do you have any medicine?”

Well, this was a bit of a switch.

“Only what’s downstairs in the cabinet.  You may want to stop by Whole Foods today and grab something.”

Cough.  Cough.  Cough.

I quickly turned from my hubby to my 4-year-old big boy.

“Aiden are you feeling okay?”

“I sick.  I have a fish in my throat.”

“I think you mean frog.”

“No, FISH.”

The hubster was still looking forlorn, sitting on the ottoman.

“Hmmm, looks like mommy may have to take care of you and daddy.  Why don’t you snuggle here and watch a little TV?  I will get the laundry going, wash a few dishes, bathe the dog, clean the gutters, scrub the bathroom tile, re-caulk the shower, polish the silver, dust the blinds, read a novel, write a memoir, reply to 198574876324786 emails, plant a tree, hang some pictures, sew a quilt and start breakfast… Sound good?”

“Yes, sounds good, mommy.”