And Thus, Another A-Hole Was Created

My dog is an asshole.

Specifically, my dog Nixon is an asshole. (I'd hate to lump all of my dogs into the asshole category, although, they do all have their asshole tendencies. But today I'm just focusing on the dog that is currently the most assholish.)

Wait. Am I allowed to call my dog an asshole?

Or is it like calling your kids an asshole, which is generally frowned upon, even when they are being assholes? Because lately, my teenagers have been rather asshole-ish. I've chalked it up to hormones, puberty and the fact I have clearly not spent enough time establishing dominance over the wildebeests I call my children.

But just because my teens have taken to acting out with some assholish-like tendencies, I want to be clear I'm not actually calling them assholes. Because that would be bad.

My dog however, is still an asshole.

Also, assholey? People who park in handicapped spots who do not have a handicapped parking permit instead of doing what other people do: Park in the Expectant Mothers/Parents With Small Children stalls. Because everyone knows those stalls are for people with asshole-ish tendencies to abuse.

Wait. That was probably a bit assholey of me to say. For the record, I've never parked in one of those stalls. Mostly because they didn't exist when I was pregnant or raising small children and also because I imagine I'd feel like an asshole if I did use that stall. What with the whole not being pregnant or having small children and all.

But I'm getting off topic. This is supposed to be about my asshole dog and not assholes in general. Because let's face it, if I don't narrow this down I could be ranting all day about asshole behaviour because the world is filled with asses. And ranting about the assholes of the world really only makes you turn into an asshole yourself.

And I think it's safe to say that nobody likes assholes.

Not even asshole dogs who spend the entire night changing positions by flopping heavily on the bed just as you manage to fall asleep from the last time they bounced you awake and then demand to go outside to bark at the invisible rabid squirrels who are apparently planning a hostile take over of the world if you judge by your dog/s insanely alarmed barking right under your bedroom window.

To make matters worse, your dog knows that you can only sleep if he's tucked up against your side because his breathing is the only thing that can lull you into a non-conscious state in your husband's absence and when you don't roll over to pet your dog's belly until your dog falls asleep he will in turn refuse to lay down beside you. He will instead jump off the bed and pace around your bedroom, with the sound of the clickety-clack of his toenails acting like the doggy equivalent of Chinese water torture and you will slowly lose what is left of your sanity as you beg the universe softly to allow you to just go the fuck to sleep.

Because that's all you want to do, having been deprived of it all week long by the sickness of your youngest child who was actually incapable of going to sleep and who didn't actually intend to keep you awake for two straight nights as he softly sang "Mum, mum, mumm, mummma" over and over again into the baby monitor, keeping you awake as you listened to it. It's not like you could turn it off either because everyone knows bad things happen when you turn the baby monitor off.

And when he wasn't chanting his adorable little chant he was kicking his wall, 'thump, thump, thump' over and over again, like a disabled child's equivalent of Chinese water torture for his mother all the while playing with a stupid musical toy that would chime out the irritatingly annoying melody of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" over and over again until you've heard that melody so many times you are sure it is echoing in a permanent loop inside your head.

But your asshole dog knows all of this and doesn't care.

Which leads to the third straight night of you getting absolutely no sleep and as you sit here, wide awake and exhausted, ranting about the assholes of the world, your asshole dog is laying in a patch of sunlight, on your bed, snoring loudly because he didn't sleep at all last night as he was too busy keeping you awake.

Thoughts of smothering the assholes of the world will run through your head as the tune "Mary Had a Little Lamb" haunts you.

That's when you will realize that your asshole dog hasn't just turned you into a sleep deprived lunatic. He's turned you into a sleep-deprived asshole.

God. My dog is a dick.

Prime Pimpage From A Hoser

So, because I don't have enough to do, or clearly post regularly here on my blog, I've gone and found myself a new gig.

I'm writing a new column over at the spanky new Babble Voices site and I'm pleased to be included with such a talented group of writers. (And judging by the images floating about on the home page, it's a good looking crew as well.)

 Click me!

So if you wouldn't mind heading over to Hogwash (which is very VERY different from Hogwarts, or so I hear because I have never actually seen any Harry Potter movies let alone read one single sentence from any of the books) and saying hello to me over in my new digs so my boss thinks I actually do have people who read me, well I'd be very much obliged.

(I'll pay you in virtual cookies. I'll even give you a real cookie, pulled straight from a bag, if any of you ever come up North.)

For those of you who want to add my new column to your RSS feed, you can find it here:

And in case you missed it, over at Momversation, I ranted about school uniforms. And boobs hanging out of tank tops. Coincidentally, my boobs were hanging out of my tank top.

Over at The Parent Experiment I was a guest on Stephanie Wilder-Taylor's pod cast where I basically make an arse out of myself. Which is always awesome.

If you have a little extra time this weekend, head over here and watch me lay a smack down on new daddy blogger, Charlie Capen from How To Be a Dad. (I should probably point out Charlie appears in his underwear. More than once. Heh.)  Big props to everyone over at Fused Logic and to Narissa Singh for inviting me back to join her after doing my first appearance with her.

And since I'm here, pimping my crap out like an internet crack head, I may as well point you in the direction of my Facebook page, my twitter page and of course, my Google + page. (Maybe one of y'all can teach me what exactly it is I'm supposed to be doing over on G+ other than picking my nose. Because I can't figure it out.)

There. All done with my pimp work.

I feel dirty.

I kinda dig it.

A Mother's Hormones

I watched my daughter push a grocery cart through a snowy parking lot the other night and my eyes misted up. I couldn't help myself; it was a biological response to the flood of hormones that surge through me at a certain time of the month. Don't judge me. I'm a woman.

I was furtively wiping the wetness from my eyes when she hopped back into the car, sitting in the passenger seat like the little adult she is so quickly growing into. I must have had a flashing neon sign on my forehead, blinking "Proceed with Caution, Hormonal Woman Ahead," because she gave me a strange look and asked me what was wrong.

"Nothing," I sniffed as I turned the key and proceeded to put the vehicle into drive.

"Something's up. Two minutes ago you were normal and now you look like someone kicked your dog."

How does one describe to their offspring that they were suddenly attacked with a severe case of maternal love? That watching my long legged daughter bound across the parking lot suddenly reminded me that she was no longer the wobbly-footed toddler from many moons ago? That in watching her I realized I was watching my future and I was suddenly overcome with a huge amount of mommy pride.

I made her. And I didn't do a terrible job.

Even more mind boggling, I made her when I was just barely an adult myself, with no real clue to who I was and with nary an instruction book in sight.

I'm thirty-five years old and suddenly the sounds of a clock ticking out the seconds passing rings in my ears. Every day. Loudly. While other women around me hear the tick tock of their biological clock, I remain deaf to that noise. It's been a decade since I last gave birth to a child, a kid who not only stole my heart but my ability to have any more biological children.

Three kids by the age of 25 and another one picked up at age 33 and I don't feel the biological imperative to bring forth life. I've been there, I've done that. I'd love more children, absolutely, unabashedly, but I have no actual desire to produce them myself. I would be equally satisfied to adopt another, as I would be to purchase one off of eBay.

The sound that haunts me every day is the knowledge that my time with my kids is ending. Their childhoods are almost over, my role as their guide to life is coming to an end. The contract is expiring. Fric is standing on the doorstep to 15 and Frac is right behind her, chasing down the days to 14 like a dog runs after a rubber ball.

One day soon, in a blink of an eye, it will just be the Jumbster and I, alone, waiting for the phone to ring, eager to hear from a husband or a child who has flown from the nest to soar into their own independent world. The downy feathers of childhood are quickly falling out being replaced with the colourful plumage of adulthood.

I don't know if I would have been this sensitive to the passing of time if Bug hadn't died. I never would have thought I'd be emotionally affected by the thought of an empty nest. Most days I stand behind my kids, eager to shove them off of a cliff. Somehow, along the way, I've surprised myself with this maudlin sentimentality I've acquired.

I never expected to enjoy being a mother. Even as I pushed out my first child I was overcome with this horrible sense of 'what the heck did I just do?' But here I am, enjoying the heck out of being responsible for live young. I'm haunted forever with the absence of my third child and his death looms large over everything. I can't help but feel an eternal sense of guilt for the time I lost with him because of his death.

It hangs on my very being and reminds me not to take every minute I have with my existing children for granted. It's the reason I attend every sports event, volunteer to chaperone mind numbingly boring field trips, offer to have one endless sleep over after another under my roof. I don't want to miss a moment of my kids' childhood when I've already lost so much of one child's life.

But it isn't just grief or guilt that inspires such parental involvement. Somewhere along the way I discovered I get a charge out of watching these children grow. It fuels me and I've grown up into the woman I finally am just as my children have grown alongside me. I found what I didn't even know I was looking for all those years ago. My kids make me want to be better. To do more. To try harder.

Like a rollercoaster ride you never want to end, I find myself wishing for more time with my kids. I am plagued with a desperate wish to slow down the sands of time just to prolong my daily involvement in their lives. I want to wring every drop of joy I can from simply being their mother because I know it will fuel me for the rest of my life.

Of course, if they turn into unemployed bums mooching off my largesse as they live on my couch when they are 30 years old I'll likely read this and want to slap myself silly.

The mere act of having children, both accidental and planned, has turned into the greatest thing I never intended. More important to me than the fame and fortune I once dreamed of as a child myself.

For one moment, in a small town parking lot, I was suddenly seized with gratitude for not having the sense to use protection all those years ago and bring forth life.

As Fric stared at me like I had just grown a set of horns in the middle of my forehead, I instead chose to keep my maternal pride silent, and looked into her questioning eyes and simply told her, "I bit my tongue."

"Oh I hate when that happens."

Me too kid, me too.

Time really does fly when you're having fun.