Monday, April 23, 2012


It was just another Saturday morning. It started at baseball. It was the meeting point where I would pick up one of my kids who was at a sleepover the night before. Of course two of my kids were playing baseball. So we were committed to a morning of sun and sport.

Actually, the story begins on Thursday when my son got the invitation to a sleepover planned for the following night. Birthday parties here in Morocco have the advance notice of anywhere from 3 days to 24 hours. Compared to the American standard of 3 weeks to 168 hours. The international approach is stressful. How the crap am I going to find this kid (who has everything) a gift here in Morocco last minute? I was reluctant to let Sky go for so many reasons. One of those being that the host was neither Moroccan nor American and the parents didn’t speak much English. In the end I decided what the hell? Surely they won’t be shooting heroin. What could possibly happen?

Baseball is filled with the prideful boredom that comes with watching your child hit a home run at the world's most sluggish sport. Don't misunderstand, I don't mean to demean my baseball playing children here, only the sport itself. I'm chatting to other moms about very important things like education, travel and child rearing. You know, the usual. When one of my sons sits down beside me and starts rummaging through my purse for some gum. But my gum is located in the "secret" zipper portion of my purse that also contains my tampons. You know where this is going don't you? Then mid conversation, he interrupts me waving the tampon, "What's this mom?" So I quietly reply, "We can talk about that at home." Which does not quell his curiosity. It only exacerbates it.

Meanwhile, my other son has been returned from his sleepover. And after the dad who dropped him off leaves, my son starts to divulge the details. First, he reports he got no sleep. Not a wink. Which is why I refer to sleepovers as sleepunders. This is also why I hate them, because the next day is the outer ring of hell. It is the inner ring of hell if the sleepover was at your house. Oh, and breakfast? It was candy. No flippin' joke. So now he hasn't had any sleep and is all drugged up on sugar. He assures me he feels great. Never better in fact. Who needs sleep? Life is great. Isn't this what all druggies say when they're high? Oh and then he tells me one of the boys called his driver to come pick him up in the middle of the night and ditched them. And the dad didn't even know that until the next day.

After baseball we rush home so I can feed them lunch. While I’m furiously making sandwiches I’m also explaining what a tampon is. Of course they were completely grossed out, and for a brief moment they were feeling sympathetic to what the future had in store for their sisters. Especially when I did a size comparison between a tampon and a baby's head. Suffice it to say I don't think the boys will rummage through my purse for gum anytime soon.

This is when the sugar crash began. Right before I headed out to my appointment at the spa. Now, very rarely do I leave all four kids home alone in a foreign country where there is no 911 to call in case of emergency. Normally this would make me feel extremely guilty, but, honestly, I was so freakin’ happy to leave. I did remind them that I expected everyone to be alive when I got back. And that any blood shed should be cleaned up prior to my return.

I meet Jenny and Faith at the spa where we’re getting together for Faith’s birthday. I get a call right before I have to turn off my phone for my Thai massage. It's from a crying kid. Who is fine, except for the crying that stems from having locked himself out of his cracked ipod touch. That and pure exhaustion. So I tell him what any kind nurturing mother would do. Go to bed. And I turn my phone off. Free from any frivolous calls about things like whether aluminum foil can go in the microwave or not.

A tiny Asian woman instructs me to take off my clothes. Though we don't share a common language, she still makes it abundantly clear I should remove my underwear. Then I lay on the mattress on the floor waiting to relax. Except my mind is spinning with frivolous things. Like aluminium foil and whether the kids are trying to call me to inform me they burned down the house. Or that River pushed Ember off the trampoline and her back is broken and she needs an ambulance. That was until the part of the massage where she massaged my boobs. Yes, boobs. Since I had never had my boobs massaged before, I had no idea this made me laugh uncontrollably. Which startled her. And she promptly stopped and looked at me in horror. As I ineloquently tried to explain it’s not you, it’s me. I’m just not used to my massage therapist getting to second base with me. But, I’m totally cool with it. Really.

When my boobs and the rest of me were free of pent up tension, it was time to have my feet scoured and beautified with Jenny and Faith. As we talked, we let Faith choose the color and we all went the same shade of red for her party later on that night. We basked in relaxation and our friendship with our perfectly coiffed nails, until we had to leave to collect our kids and head to the party.

Somehow my kids managed to survive each other for 3 hours without a broken a leg, setting a fire in the microwave or drawing blood. Huh. I should leave them more often. I know you'd like to know about the party. Suffice it to say. No one ditched the party early. No one ate just candy. And I'm pretty sure everyone slept well that night. Cause that's the way we Americans party.

Yup, just another Saturday.
Which is why we did this on Sunday.


Chantel said...

I'm SO stealing your "sleepunder!" We throw a huge party (150+ guests) WITH children (I know, I'm mad) every fall called The Soup. I make 6 kettles of soup (and back up batches to nuke) and everyone brings wine and bread and cheese and their own bowl & spoon. (the invite reads, "bring a bowl, a spoon, & a friend") Every year we have a slew of kids that wind up sleeping over in the basement. (all boys) And this is our agreement--I WILL get up at 10 and make bacon and pancakes. They will NOT notice or comment on the fact that I am pouring the half empties of merlot into my coffee mug.

They may not get much sleep, but they do eat. :) Oh--and the "secret pocket" totally cracked me up! You actually went there with the baby head?! Dear Lord...

The Loerzels said...

Chantel what a cool tradition! I love it and the merlot in the coffee ;) said...

Ah, yes, the ubiquitous sleepover. My only requirement for the sleepover was that pickup occurred after 5 PM. That meant the other parent had to be more of a parent- since they would be stuck with the repercussions of a sleepless night or one filled with jellybeans...

Sine said...

"Although I did remind them that I expected everyone to be alive when I got back."

Loved that sentence! I wrote a parenting column once, and could have used that for the one on "home alone - how do you know when your kids are old enough to leave them" or something like that. They're old enough when you urgently have to get out the house lest you kill someone!

By the way, if you think baseball is boring, try a cricket match.

Rachel said...

Ah, kids, they are such a JOY, such a treasure.. ;-)

Jaime Brown said...

" He assures me he feels great. Never better in fact. "

I bursted out laughing so hard at this!!!

Bahhhh hahahahahaha!!!

Marie, you're too much!

The Loerzels said...

Thanks Jamie, if I had been home in the afternoon I would have made him stay awake and eat those words one tiny bitter bite at a time.


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