in defense of farting

In Defense of Farting

I walked out to find them bare- bummed with tan lines exposed throwing blueberries off the front porch. No adult aided the baby striptease, and that’s where the fun was had, for they felt no need to immediately cover all that they had just exposed. I paused in my own judgment, before I proceeded to interrupt the competitive contest emerging from a dinner with too much cheese for systems of their size and operation. The smallest went first, an impressive release, and her participation on its own fueled fun into the air; light and smelly.  The eldest brother followed confident in his skills, which failed to impress beyond himself, though he did not notice the surroundings of his own ego, declaring himself the winner before the contest’s end, so proud of the noise he produced. As the middle girl expelled much more gas than one would think could exist in a toddler, interrupting her brother’s naked victory dance, laughter erupted more furiously than her bowels to the point of comical hysteria full of clapping, jumping, and teething drool.

The adult mother in me faced the temptation of horror in the face of the sheer freedom in so much naked flatulence. Yet upon further reflection, I do believe, children understand the underlying philosophical truth of farting much better than the adult, full of restrictive thoughts and habits brought on by age and fear. For I have never met a baby so overcome with themselves that they fear the opinion of others at the expense of their own comfort.

The foremost defense of children in their farting behavior begins with an understanding of freedom and necessity. Since it is necessary, like happiness, and sex, and maybe religion, too, it is only logical to revel in its game with reckless abandon, complete and without guilt or shame as these are the destroyer of all that is good and healthy.

Yet logic is not needed to apprehend farting’s fun, nor should it be employed in excess in any matter at all, for children understand the lightness it produces, and the necessity of rejoicing in air of everyday life; smelly or not.

With natural competition as the driver, the flatulence, itself, tends to ease and erase the underlying sense and existence of the day’s sibling rivalry, as stripping down naked without apprehension or insecurity and engaging in behavior in which there is no shame yet discovered, is one of natures most hilarious opportunities to refuel and ignite the indissoluble bond between siblings.

Its interesting, too, that even in their freedom, there is a recognition of order, for farting is much more fun, when the rules of taking turns are acknowledged and respected.

Imagine adults in the heat of arguments expelling such pungent smells with such ferocious sounds and continuing to care at all about the silliness of their original argument. If heads of states passed gas instead of bills, I believe the economy would be in much better shape. Or if two married adults, fighting over finances or birth control, simply farted instead, would not there be any better reason to retire towards laughter?

The understanding is inherent in a child to engage fully in the freedom in their souls still detached from worries and insecurities. They so often succeed in such a feat through behaviors we adults no longer have the courage to employ, which is where the real shame is, all bundled up inside, afraid and tense, anxious and embarrassed.

A big day for James.

The first difficult day was March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, followed by May 1st, the other feast of St. Joseph, both days full of celebrations for Josie and her patron saint. On May 22th, the day for little miss Rita, his patience was once again tested, a seemingly unending journey toward the feast days of his sisters with no sign of his own. “But, when is it MY feast day?” he would beg. July 25th, we would remind, at least 6 times a day. “Will I get cake?” “Cake is for birthdays, but we will see…”

Breaking the news that his special day is actually shared with his dad, the original James, only caused a mild sense of Spencer Pratt’s “I want it all to myself.”

The morning began bright and early, Florida style, with all three kids in the bed singing, “Happy Feast day to James.” Josie’s tendency to repeat every single word spoken by James in a language unintelligible to all but James and me, caused borderline fist fights throughout most of the morning, because, as James clearly understands, it is not in fact Josie’s feast day. The good news for the parents is James eventually figured out that Josie would stop saying “its my feast day,” if he stopped saying “its my feast day,” incessantly and continuously, so it was a win, win.

The boys fished on the docks as the sun rose and James experienced his first sight of a snook “nursing” daddy’s finger. Apparently, snook latch onto a thumb and won’t let go of it in the water after being caught, a phenomena I’m perfectly fine with missing, and I’m further horrified that James explained it as “nursing.”

We swam and had cake and ate his favorite foods and talked about St. James, the fisherman, thanking God for all that is good, especially my main men/toddler.

To James on your feast day,

May your vigor be virtuous and your smile wide and sparkly. May you love God with all that you are confident that He loves you more.

To Jim on your feast day,

I’m sorry your son bossed you around all day and picked all of the meals and activities. Since I’m the one who wanted him named after you so badly, I’ll take the blame and make you a cake of your choosing some other day.

Happy Feast Day to you all. Also, happy halfway to Christmas, a fact, I deliberately avoided communicating to my small children, because 6 months of “is it Christmas yet,” is something I wont miss hearing.


Vacations Rule.

Confessions of a Mom on Vacation

1. My Children Find it Peculiarly Uncomfortable in a Clean Car

He sat in the same position as he does at home, in the center car seat, of a minivan we do not own, that several families use in this Florida paradise. His eyes spoke confusion, his brow once again burrowed with a non-standard operating procedure question, the stress indicated by the slight scream in his voice and sporadic kicking of his legs. His eyes looked down to the floor below him, “Mom!!! There is no mess on this floor!!!!!”

2. Clichés Exist in All Languages, including Broken English

We happily played on the beach. James through sinking rockets into the waves scrambling to retrieve each on within .5 seconds of throwing it. Josie ran in and out of the ocean insisting, “I’m swimmin! Watch me, watch me!” on repeat. Rita ate her weight plus Jim’s in sand, using a shell as her spoon, unaware that the whole food version was the utensil. Jim and I stood, soaking it in, enjoying the occupation of each happy kid. A middle age couple walking the beach wearing suits indicating a foreign country, most likely European, but maybe Brazilian, origin. He looked at us, counting with his hand, pointing to each child. He waved his hand and gestured strange things. The French accent was immediately apparent, offering full discloser to the swimsuit fashion. “You!” he began, “you have…” “how you say?…hands!! yes, hands. Your hands, uh, um, they are very, uh uh FULL!”

3. The Best Vacation Plan is to Bring as Many Grandmothers as Possible, Even if Only for a Few Days.

There were three of them. It was glorious. They said things Moms dream of: “Can I hold her?” “Please let me feed her.” “Why are you up so early, its only 8:45, go back to bed, the kids are so good!” “How about I watch them and you go for a run?” “I think you and your husband should walk the beach and go to dinner tonight alone.” “I would love to change a diaper.” “They seem like best friends.” “Your children are so well behaved.” “What would you like for lunch?” “I’ll make dinner, you sit.” Relation to your children is irrevelant. Grandmothers of all kinds are wonderful Additions to a beach vaca.

4. Swim Diapers are a Bigger Sham than Diaper Genies

They quite literally do nothing but make a number 2 vomit inducing, and with so many fish in the ocean, does it really matter?

5. Bathing has taken a Vacation, too.

I hear salt water is almost as good as soap, or maybe that’s my imagination giving me hope, whatever, they seem very clean.

6. When most of the city’s inhabitants average age is above 78, children in Mass can pretty much do whatever they want.

Josie grabbed a strange old lady’s cane, Rita pooped everywhere, everyone was still so adorable to an old person.


Happy Swimming!

she also told me she was a professional boxer

Prompt: write about an untrue family story


The children were free to walk about, a teacher assigned to each group of ten. My sister’s golden brown curls, having been brushed that morning, stood frizzy and with happy attention. She and her friends chatted cheerfully, spunkily meandering from one portrait to the next, with their small eyes of wonder; big and inspired. It was their third grade field trip. The colors and strokes made by artists: the backdrop to holding a purse and standing with friends in an outfit of matching scrunchie to socks to stirrup stretch pants to body suit, planned weeks in advance for this very special occasion of long bus rides, packed lunches and free spirits.

The curator asked that they gather around, to study one painting in particular. He explained its importance to history and creativity and beauty and asked the crowd if anyone knew the name of the artist behind such a marvelous wonder. She stood on her toes, the girl with the curls, and in her red top, and side pony. She raised her hand straight up as high as could be, quietly chanting, “pick me, pick me, pick me!” He pointed his finger, calling on her, releasing the excitement pent in her pointed toe to her waving fingers.


“My mom did!” she exclaimed with enthusiasm and matter of fact!


The looks on their faces of confusion, brows burrowed and slight head shakes were not ones she detected.


“Your mom?” he said so as not to offend the spirit of a girl.


“YES!” she continued talking quite surely. “My mom! The real one is hanging at my house!”


Again, the adults chuckled, but, still, she did not notice as she shook her head again and again up and down excited and fast, her eyes wide of truth and intent to impress.


He went on to explain that it was Renoir, in fact, who painted that those two sisters on a terrace with hats full of flowers and gardens as their landscape. Yet, the innocence inside that sister of mine, stood convinced that the imposter hung on that wall of the museum, staring at her, with lies and betrayal offending her honor.


“She signed it an everything!” she continued to say, about the discount print hanging in the pretty golden frame on the wall in the living room next to the mirror and the staircase so everyone could see it, day after day, as they came in and out of her childhood home, with the signature of her mother scribbled down in the corner.

Who wants Cheese?

prompt: write about a mystery


As I finished the wiping, then started another, “how did this happen so fast, these bums in these diapers?” I’ll never quite know, the mystery of God; his gifts and his picking of two people together, or the thoughts of that ball, made of plastic of white, bouncing between us, a boy and a girl; its flight short and happy, over that table for tennis.

It began as a friendship, and long conversations, about beliefs and our dreams and jokes we found funny. The shyness in me, and innocence, too, took a rather long time to notice him, though; the warmth of his eyes and joy in his smile, his heart ever patient, and loyal, and kind. He asked me to play ping-pong, after Mario Brothers ended in my losing frustration. With my single right hand grasping the paddle, I joined in the game of marriage and babies and all that is happy.

We played for a while, and I was doing quite well, better than ever, for a girl with no skill, or even an interest in the properties of serves or how to keep score at that basement table. Yet, I held the lead with pompous delight that he seemed to enjoy, for he already knew that there is never a time I don’t revel in winning. As the game came to a close, I rejoiced and spoke loudly of beating a boy, yet it was him who was winning the girl with the voice high in volume. As he put down the paddle, with a grin wide and gleaming, I noticed his hands, his left and his right, strong with a nerve in their pulse and a plan that was working. My eyes became wide at what hung by his side, revealing his jovial affection for me. His predominant one, made for handshakes and hockey, never did enter the game that he lost. They grew even wider, their darkness opening, at the notice of flutters, and butterflies dancing, igniting my heart. The ball, small and silent, rested with purpose fulfilled, its spin having never turned naïve into notice. The mystery of God is one hard to fathom, at the thought of a life so happy and joyful, built by a ball; small, round and plastic, bouncing between us right into our hearts. The game he did forfeit, yet the prize we both won: five years married and forever, and the next diaper too.



Today, we were told to write about something political.

Pitter-patter is not at all political. Unaware of congress, and the president, too, it might be better off, for I’d hate it to think its just a bunch of cells, lumped together haphazard.

I remember exactly the day and the moment of each of my three.

It was the last Sunday in May, the first time James danced. I sat near a pond off the road called Love Hollow, twirling grass in my hand as his dad’s arm drew back with his rod, attached to the string, swaying peacefully behind him and then into the water. I sighed in surprise and sat there a while, pressing my hand on his body and mine. The kick, like him, strong and intense like a hammer, seldom stopped moving or talking to me.

Sweet baby Josie, danced awfully early. I folded that shirt then dropped it at once, and put back my hand to where it belonged, right onto my belly and close to her feet, kicking and jumping. She’s never stopped tapping since 8 weeks gestation, reminding me then, just like she does now, to quit all that laundry, and play with her, instead.

Rita Therese was 9 weeks along. I laid on the chair and its soft navy back, its cushion absorbing my day’s exhaustion. What a surprise, those feet came to be, reminding of joy, and sacrifice, too. Her kicks the first, that led me to tears, for her soft gentle rhythms weren’t the first event unexpected. Rita, my child, is not a mistake, but a gift sent from heaven, unforeseen and received.

Pitter-patter cannot vote, or chose at all, which seems not fair, to me, its mother. It cannot march or stand outside the courts with a sign or a hanger. It only pushes and twists and rolls. It taps quite strong before it naps. Hiccups come at the same time each day. Its legs stretch up to my ribs, and like to dance at bedtime. I cannot will it, nor make it stop, just choose whether to enjoy and exactly how much.

Choice is the word parading around, but I find it confusing, because choose I did, that night in my bed.

Life is simple; it begins and it grows, so long as its let, and loved just for being.

The price of organic living? $10 apples.

How much are apple slices? $10.

The tale of today’s impromptu and regrettable trip through the Wendy’s drive-thru begins ten years ago during my senior year of high school. As the lead minion to the Wicked Witch in the Kansas munchkin dreamland, I was dedicated to my role. Due to lack of athletic coordination and amateur rope technicians two years my junior, my left rotator cuff was torn in a flying trapeze catastrophe making the wearing of the bum squeezing harness in front of my peers much less worth it.

10 years, 3 babies, and 1 adult swim team with too much back stroke later, my shoulder popped out worse than my bum in the harness and aggravated pregnancy consequence #567: carpel tunnel. It’s all quite fine, and the kids think I’m cool with this brace, but it makes it hard to buckle car seats and balance babies. With work going on in my house today, we needed out, and Rita had a fever, so public places were a no, and no one likes to play with sick kids that are probably contagious. “Lets go for a drive! I have one good hand!” I said to them all and they put on their crocs. To the car wash we went, and only one kid did cry, so I’ll count it successful at half a dollar per minute of mild crying inducing distraction.

“I’m hungry!” James said, which was echoed by Josie without the G or the R. I thought back to my kitchen with workers still present and its lacking refrigerator contents. I began to consider the drive thru for the first time in my mom- career, so as to avoid unbuckling and rebuckling. Jim’s done it twice and they were huge French fry fans, but the health nut inside me has never allowed a solo trip to the red head or arches. I braved the first window searching for the healthiest option. Chicken wraps with apple slices as a side filled with hormones and other things I tried to ignore. Their confusion prompted questions like “what is this place?” and a “give back our money!” and “put up the window, I’m hot!” command.

I passed them the wraps, hoping to sit and watch the passing chooooo chooooo!!! And with one, tiny, singular bite of salty, saucy chicken not cooked by mom or without extra hormones sparked spitting and crying because “this is disgusting!!!!” and so also became the car with all the remnants of chicken mixed with slobber spread all over its floor. I took back the wraps and in the garbage they went, and that’s when I realized, I spent $10.97 for spit out chicken and two bags of apple slices. The French fries I did not buy could provide no comfort.

With one more surprise left in each bag, I thought “maybe the toys will win back the morning and occupy them while I vacuum the chewed chicken in the car. Oh wait, only one whale was given, it will be okay, maybe they can share.” The problem, however, is that if there is anything that does not come naturally to children, or maybe just mine, its communism.

And I typed this whole thing with only one hand.

looking forward to watching this unfold as a mom of a curly and a straight.

prompt: describe an object coveted as a child. I chose my sister’s hair, because its awesome, and always has been. 

I also find myself, often wondering, how we, two sisters, ended up with such a life of living next door, and marrying brothers, and sharing all of our belongings and ideas and jokes. 



Dirty blond, voluminous, and wildly perfect is the hair I was born without. Mine, dark and heavy, is too straight and much too stubborn to possess a joyful bend despite the desires of my imagination.  My sister’s curls, though, soft and gentle, rebound effortlessly to every request and idea, of a mother whose hair is the same. I looked up, with eyes younger and legs shorter, to see their bouncing curls, hopping with a melodious rhythm; in sync and on key. 


I remember feeling often like my limp strands, straight and heavy, sounded like they looked: blunt, unforgiving, and flat. Its at-home hair cuts often left it unaware of its unevenness and lack of trend. Gravity, is the first of the laws, which bounds each straight strand of this dermis unwilling to take a shape but its own. Her curls, though, are quite agreeable to pressure so long as its not atmospheric, and scissors that make mistakes. Yet, even when its humid, all those bends seem cool, making their frizzy halo as round as her face, pure and beautiful.

Before each special occasion, like my first day at school or First Holy Communion, I slept in rollers for at least two days. I would have curled it always, if I had been allowed. But the process of getting hair like theirs with hair like mine is timely, tedious, and requires help from someone bigger, just like the girl to which it belongs. And even after all those hours of attempt to curl and primp, my sluggish main, released from the curling sponge, remained wet and still quite limp, full of awkward kinks that made no curl at all. I envied all those spirals, and wished they’d take me away, wrapping me and my insecurities up into a bun or maybe something cuter with a bow of silk or barrett that sparkles. 

Maria often wondered why I tried so hard, to rid myself of all this hair, different than hers, and than moms, just the way she liked it. She’d brush and braid and pick out bands to adorn my silly head, that failed to see its beauty, and only hers, instead. The cloud of little sister envy made it hard to see beyond her and her curls. So, she’d remind me of its color, and the way she saw it: pure and rich and dark, unchanged even by the sun. Its willingness to stay the same, and sway, instead of bounce, “Its the kind of hair of princesses and queens who wear jewels and crowns, and of beautiful brides with veils and lace and love.” She showed me her knots that a comb could not help, and its ends split from weakness inherent in its type. She talked of birds and nests, afros with no taming, and other things confused by mirrors. Our difference, still, unwelcome, but the brewing bond of hair spawned a question quite courageous. “Do you think I could borrow that sweater? Its dark like me, and fits me pretty well. It seems to match this headband that you picked, and these new high heels that make me tall like you.” 

She surely sensed my begging, but, distracted by my knowing how the sweater fit, she also sensed my sneaking presence in her closet. “Get out” she said quite plainly, which was awfully rather rude, after all that talk of royalty, and weddings with lace and love. 



Womb Service

Im almost ten months not pregnant, so I’m not sure if I should be linking to this party, but, the phrase “womb service” made me giggle  and think about my crazy cravings and 4,876,876 trips to Old Town, Alexandria’s Chipotle while pregnant with baby numero uno.

Baby #1: James Carey  images

I spent most of the first 16 weeks sprawled on my bathroom floor, getting to know way too much about porcelain. Monday of week 17 I braved the grocery store, solo. That Whole Foods and I had some rough encounters, especially in its sea food section. I walked past the alcohol aisle, then the whole bean coffee, my envy brewing. In an attempt to choose peanut butter, it happened: my first craving. In my previous 22 non pregnant years, I thought cravings and morning sickness were a bunch of BS. Yet, there I stood, with a burning desire to devour mounds and mounds of a food I had never before eaten: CHICKPEAS. The need was immediate, impulsive, and ravenous. To the salad bar I fled…

I ate approximately 8 million chickpeas during that pregnancy. Humus sufficed, but the pure bean was king. After chickpeas, I wanted a grape fruit, and then I went to Chipotle and ate two salads with everything they served but the beans. Pregnancy has enough wind all by itself.

Baby #2: Josephine MarieUnknown

I made it to about 22 weeks before the crazy.

“Where are you?” I panted.

“What’s the matter?” he asked with concern.

“I need ice. Now. Go to the gas station. Or the beer distributor. I want the crunchy kind. With the holes. And make sure its soft enough so I can bite it.”

Everyday I “ate” somewhere around what could melt into 6 gallons of water. And then I made blueberry pancakes, for breakfast, elevensies, lunch, foursies, dinner, and pm elevensies. In fact, for the last 6 weeks of her gestational career, Josephine packed on all seven of her pounds with the sole help of blueberry pancakes.

Baby #3: Rita Therese  images-1

Rita, unlike her sister, craved Omega 3s, probably because her older siblings sucked all the good ones out of me before she got there. It was, actually, the first nicest thing she did for me. At this point of her 9 month life, she’s done a lot more of those. Her in-utero existence gave a resurgence for my once 3-5 times a week  love for salmon. My healthy addiction had been ruined on a 17 hour flight to Australia, during which I threw up roughly 34 times, as they served the most repugnant smell to a girl with full fledge baby in the tummy throw ups: farmed salmon, steamed with peas and some sort of fake rice. If you could see my face as I type, its grimacing in disgust by the memory.

One fine day during week 18, I got hungry and only Salmon would do that day and everyday for the rest of her pregnancy. Smoked salmon is what I really wanted, but I do believe its frowned upon for preggos. I rejoiced and still rejoice, because its healthy and I missed it so.

I also ate 8 billion pounds of peanut butter m&m’s, and 8-10 gallons of would be melted water daily, and wanted roughly 4-6 pints of Guinness because its good and my two other kids were often bad. I settled on sipping my husbands.

And I will have you know that each of the foods I craved are each of their favorites. Its science.

You all did want to know that, right?

Happy Weekend and silly blogging to you!