2017, a work in progress

When I sat down to write this post it was my intention to share with you a hilarious story about Poopouri: how my aunt brought it with when she came to visit recently and how we then spent entirely too much time divulging to the rest of the family our struggles with doing toilet business when we know someone will inevitably and immediately enter the bathroom after us and smell our shame. It was a gross but comical conversation and when it ended she said she was leaving her “Party Pooper” Poopouri behind as a gift. I still need to write her a thank you card (“thanks for putting up with my [insert poop emoji]” seems appropriate.) As usual Rinn entered this story with another hilarious mispronunciation; remember when he insisted that I was in a “whore show” and that it was a “bitch” who stole Christmas, not a Grinch? This is just as hilarious but way less embarrassing than having to explain to strangers that I'm in a horse show and Rinn simply struggling pronouncing his "S's".

Combine that and the fact that he calls my mascara “scarecrow” and it’s clear his diction is a work in progress. While I could’ve easily stretched this tale into a full essay I got distracted when I noticed that the most recent post I shared was last year and included our Christmas card. It’s now June. JUNE! Obviously my mind began to wander and rather than talk about poop for 6-8 paragraphs I couldn’t help but ponder “what the hell have I been doing for the last six months?”

First I spent a week in the Dominican where I struggled with the art of relaxing for an uncomfortable amount of time before doing nothing but soaking up the sun, snorkeling off of Catalina Island and drinking my own weight in rum and cerveza. I finally had an opportunity to wear my thong swimsuit without my son shouting to everyone within earshot that my butt is showing and I was only legitimately concerned that I was about to be sold into a sex trafficking ring one time when our airport shuttle driver got lost on the way to our resort because it was the middle of the night and the road was manned by armed guards. Obviously things turned out fine but I don’t care where I am, a guy wearing a handkerchief over his face wielding a semiautomatic weapon is going to make me sweat.

Before that however I decided that while Christmas is the season for giving, $1000 was entirely too much to spend on a bed for a then 4-year-old and I’m pretty skilled in using power tools. So I drew up some plans, measured twice, cut once, enlisted the help of my dad for some of the heavy lifting and built Rinn a full-sized loft bed with an attached staircase that doubles as hidden storage. This accomplishment would come in handy when trying to instill in Rinn the feminist perspective. He came to see one of my final shows as an equestrian performer and aerialist in which I pranced around as a toy fairy whose role it is to bring the other toys to life and afterwards insisted that the “butterfly (apparently the costuming is misleading) shouldn’t fix the toys because girls can’t fix toys”. I went all “I am woman, hear me roar and build stuff” and used my recent carpentry accomplishment as proof that girls can do anything boys can do. Any and all women that he encounters throughout his life can thank me later.

As I alluded to in the previous paragraph I also changed jobs, trading in my spurs and baby powder-laden compression shorts for three-inch heels and fishnets. I left behind the sand and saddles to return to dancing basics where my feet are never more than a few inches off the ground and have spent most of 2017 learning, rehearsing and performing in a new show. My aching joints aren’t too happy with the decision but my groin was pleased to hang up the ol’ aerial harness and return to it’s normal groinly duties. Also I was given the opportunity to fangirl over Lacey Schwimmer from Dancing with the Stars as she choreographed our new opening dance number. I look like a baby giraffe and have nearly falling off the stage trying to execute it but the experience was amazing.

In the midst of all that Rinn celebrated turning 5 with a cowboy-themed birthday party at Wildwood Mini Golf in Branson. The owners were wonderfully accommodating considering over half a dozen preschoolers were high on icing and running amok while wielding golf clubs in a manner more suitable for police batons. Fortunately the event went off without incident and Rinn walked away with trunk full of dinosaur toys and fond memories of his first real-life birthday party.

I finished another semester at MSU and Rinn graduated from preschool. At this rate I’ll probably get my Bachelor’s Degree when Rinn receives his high school diploma but that’s besides the point; to celebrate and kick off our summer vacation we loaded up the car and took a quick road trip to the coast, Panama City Beach to be exact.

We made pit stops at the Memphis Zoo and Tupelo, MS (birthplace of Elvis) to indulge Rinn’s obsession with the “King of Rock and Roll” and all things animal; also I’m not crazy enough to try and confine a five-year-old to a booster seat for thirteen hours without serious repercussions. We built sand fortresses for dinosaurs and collected seashells by the seashore. Rinn tried a raw oyster and was hardly a fan but was totally enamored with the “Sea Lion & Rough Toothed Dolphin Show” at Gulf World. We saw sharks at the aquarium and ate them at Hammerhead’s. We spent an evening perusing surf shops for a giant squid and sperm whale; two very specific toys Rinn’s had on his wish list since watching a documentary on Netflix. He acquired a squid although not-so-giant but we’re still on the hunt for a sperm whale (somehow I think companies aren’t too eager to manufacture toys that require them to put the word “sperm” on the packaging.)

I enjoyed a furlough from fake eyelashes, my curling wand and disingenuous smiling but returned only to find myself at Urgent Care having been viciously attacked by sand fleas. I’ll just add “I have fleas” to the list of strange ailments that have plagued me in my 33 years of existence.

I chauffeured Rinn to rehearsals, practices, recitals, conventions, competitions and games for dance, t-ball, basketball and soccer. So much so that I’ve contemplated getting one of those fancy uniforms and a set of driving gloves but would have to order three of them considering my parents also did a fair amount of transporting.

I taught dance classes, although infrequently because science has yet to perfect the art of cloning and I’m physically unable to be in two places at once. Rinn continues his obsession with dinosaurs but has added wildlife-in-general to his interests, opting to watch NATGEO and Animal Planet over the Disney Channel and Paw Patrol. I celebrated another birthday and while getting older isn’t all that cool, it certainly beats the alternative.

There were some tornados, $4500 in hail damage to my car and an earthquake which Rinn insists is pronounced “earthcrank”. Rinn has demanded that he start wearing deodorant and went bowling for the first time. Elvis Presley and The Temptations were there to see him get a strike and a handful of spares; he’s now on par with the Dos Equis guy to be “the most interesting man in the world”, which is fine with me as long he takes me with on his journey towards greatness.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some things and others I’m leaving out intentionally because they’re either too tragic or too great and will make for a great future post but there you have it; our 2017, a work in progress.

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