Shhhhhhh

Dear Future Stella,
Recently Current Stella has found her voice. This is typically something most parents say around 4-5 months when their baby discovers that sound happens when they push air through their lips in various ways. To say this about a child who is rapidly approaching their 5th birthday is shocking and a bit like getting lice for the first time when you are 25. 

Current Stella. Does. Not. Stop. Talking. Ever. It’s a monologue of sentences that start, stop, restart and sometimes, if we have the stamina, ocassionally complete a thought. She is constantly offering commentary that is obvious. “Mom, you just poured yourself coffee. I can tell that you did because I saw you put the coffee in your cup and now you are drinking it so I know that you poured yourself coffee.” Break. “You pour yourself coffee every morning. You do that right away and then you drink it. When you are done you sometimes leave your cup on the table and sometimes you bring it around the house with you.” Slight break. “Daddy drinks coffee too. Coffee is for grown ups, right?” No pause to answer. “My teachers drink coffee. Coffee is hot. Daddy takes his coffee with him and you drink your coffee at home.” By now im contemplating the idea of a dog shock collar. Could this work for children? Is that weird? Do they sell one on Amazon Prime? Current Stella interrupts this solution by continuing on, “I just drink water. Some kids like juice and milk. Grown ups like coffee and wine…” And some moms like shots of tequila in their coffee and  I now see why…..”When I’m a grown up I will drink coffee and I’m going to have twin girls and I’m going to be an artist.” I show slight enthusiasm to what appears to be a segue into a new topic. “I bet I will drink my coffee while I do my art.” Insert imoji of a gun, followed by the emoji of a coffee cup. 

This scenario is repeated all day long. Earlier today your Dad actually counted the seconds between Current Stella’s words to see how long of a break she took. Once she started talking again he would stop counting. I believe the highest he counted to was 6. Just 6 seconds of silence was the biggest break we got. 

Anyone who knows me will say that I like to talk. It’s true, I have a lot to say and I rarely think before I speak. I also talk really fast. I also mumble towards the end of sentences. I am known to say offensive things unexpectedly. Based on this, I can see how one would think this is the pot calling the kettle black. Not only do I not know what that means (except that it’s clearly racist) I also whole heartedly disagree. I might talk nonstop just like Current Stella but the types of things I chose to rant on about are usually interesting or thought provoking or at the very least, uncomfortably funny. Not current Stella. She’s either telling us real time stats or re-educating us on facts that are already taking up prime real estate in our memory- like every name of every princess. Oh really, the mermaid’s name is Ariel? No shit you dumbass, I saw that movie when it was first released and I memorized every song when I was a child so please don’t condescendingly tell me the name of the one with red hair. I choose to call her Sea Slut, it’s called a nickname. And by the way, Ursela is a damn genius for deciding to take her voice away. 

“Mommy, what day is my sleepover?” It’s not this Saturday but the one after that. “Ok, so first it will be Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday, then Saturday, but not the sleepover Saturday, then Sunday, then Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday, and then, Mommy, guess what day it will be??” The day I voluntarily get my ear drums removed? “No, it’s my sleepover!!!!!!! Remember Mommy, you said it wasn’t this Saturday, or the next day which is Sund-”  Shhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! I am fully aware of how a calendar works and the concept of time. 

The crazy thing is that Current Stella is still relatively quiet and shy in any atmosphere that’s not exclusively made up of her Mom and Dad so it’s like we are taking crazy pills. Nobody else sees, or technically hears, this nonsense im telling you about. She’s so sweet and gentle and calm and whispers and looks away when people address her. I can’t prove it, but I swear she gives me this devil look that says, “oh you just wait Mom, later, you are going to hear the answer to every question they are asking me right now. I can’t wait to tell you my name, how old I am, and what school I go to because it appears you might be on the verge of forgetting….”  

Future Stella, do you still talk nonstop about a bunch of shit that nobody cares about? I really hope not. In fact, I hope this is like when you were 5 months old and slobbering on everything with no self-awareness and I had a moment of severe anxiety when picturing your first date. Then, what felt like 3 seconds, but was actually the better part of a year went by, and I realized you no longer had saliva pouring out of your mouth in a steady stream.  Maybe this is a natural transformation of sorts that nobody ever told me about? Perhaps it goes from saliva, to words, to nonstop-run-on-incredibly-boring-sentences-that-border-on-paragraph-long-diatribes, to, I don’t know, pleasant normal conversation that makes sense and doesn’t totally suck the life out of you? Is that possible you think? I hope so. 
Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, shhhhhhhhhhhh. 
Love,
Mom

When You Ask Your Co-Workers For Mother’s Day Advice

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Dear Future Stella,
Today is Mother’s Day and I hope that means that your Dad has coached Current Stella on how to properly shower me with gifts and adoration. It’s only 6am still so it’s too soon to tell. 

My own Mommy, your G-Ma, is visiting this weekend to celebrate. We went to the most fabulous 4 hour, 5 course dinner last night at this place called Nico. Current Stella came too but didn’t eat anything (obviously) and I’m still in shock that she was so behaved. I mean, I can barely sit still for 4 hours, much less do it without causing some sort of scene so I was VERY impressed. 

We have a fun day of brunch (more behaved sitting by Current Stella I’m praying) followed by the Giants game. The weather today is shi-tay so I’m hoping it doesn’t suck. You will know if it’s really awesome or really terrible because I will most likely elaborate in a blog post in either circumstance. 

Awhile back while stumped on what to get my mom for Mother’s Day, I stupidly asked my coworkers in the breakroom at the salon I work at for suggestions on what I should buy her. I say stupidly because the breakroom at my salon is notorious for being the most inapropriate place on this earth so I should have known what I was getting myself into. It’s a breeding ground for sexual harassment, foul language, sarcasm, racism and all other isms that are generally frowned upon. We work at a high end salon where our language needs to be heavily sensored when we are with our clients and so the moment we get back into the privacy of our tiny breakroom we all feel the need to spew profanities of all kinds. We are hardly ever serious and everyone gets along so it’s really harmless, but incredibly offensive to most of the population. It’s so rancid that one of my favorites pastimes is just writing down verbatim of what is said back there. It’s disturbing and wonderful all at once. 

So, when I asked for gift advice this is what my lovely co-workers suggested 

*A Birkin bag. These bags cost anywhere from 10K to 60K so the fact that this was most likely the only serious suggestion was worrisome. 

*fake a pregnancy. Then tell her the next day that you miscarried. It would be hilarious. This idea came with multiple options on how to fake the miscarriage ranging from emotional (fake crying)  to graphic (fake menstral matter). 

*Jade eggs. I actually pictured some sort of beautiful stone eggs that possibly represent the life that a mother gives a child. Um, wrong. They are vaginal exercise beads. Here’s a quote from their website, “Practice with the Jade Eggs in a thorough exercise program will increase elasticity and blood flow to the vaginal muscles, awakening sexual sensitivity not only in your vagina but also in surrounding genital areas. This will lead you to heightened awareness of clitoral-vaginal sensations and may lead you to experiencing multiple vaginal orgasms even for the first time, at any age!” 

*Ben Wa Balls. I said that it sounds like a similar catergory to the jade eggs. The lovely fellow who suggested it confirmed this was true but that Ben Wa Balls can’t be used for anal insertion so that’s the major difference. He said this matter-of-factly while eating his salad. 

*a blanket. Although not exactly inapropriate, it’s super random nonetheless. Here mom, I got you a blanket. Is that like a metaphor for the safely and warmth that she has provided me with? I’m terrified to google what this might mean in the gay community because there is no way this person meant an actual blanket. 

In the end I decided to go with the jade eggs. The packaging is adorable and if you get the Empress Pack it looks like an actual carton of eggs. Magical sexual eggs that strengthen your vaginal muscles and provide you with the opportunity to have multiple orgasms. Plus, the website said it was sold in over 60 counties including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and North Korea- so totally legit sounding. 

Future Stella, if you are wondering what to get me this year for Mother’s Day in the year 2035, please seek the advice of a salon breakroom. I think I would quite like anything they would come up with. 

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, all I ask is that today you allow me to spend some quality time with Gail the Puppy. It’s Mother’s Day after all. 

In case you are wondering, I can’t actually elaborate on what it means to me to be your mom or how lucky I am to have a mom like your G-Ma, because I would start crying uncontrollably. Your dad is still sleeping and this would definitely freak him out. 


Love,


Mom

  
My mommy and Current Stella. 

Ritual Attempt #4

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Dear Future Stella,

We have had 3 attempts so far to find our Monday ritual together. Some have been more tragic than others, but none were that great. If you want to recap, here’s attempt #1, here’s attempt #2, and here’s attempt #3.

This time I decided to take Current Stella on the bus over to North Beach to see what kind of fun we could get ourselves into. I briefly researched kid-friendly places in North Beach and I immediately regreted it. Most kid-friendly anything is my worst nightmare. A restaurant that says there are kids running around everywhere or that kids eat free on Tuesday nights are exactly the type of places that make me want to click my heels and return to Pre-kidsville. No thank you.

I picked Current Stella up from a playdate and I’m informed by the mother that she had an accident but that she was wearing something she picked out on her own to borrow. Great, except that what Stella picked out was a butterfly costume over leggings (ew!) with boots. I put her cardigan on to hopefully cover the wings and just assumed this was the start to yet another worthless ritual attempt.

On the bus, Current Stella wanted to know if North Beach was on a beach, which it is not. Of course, this prompted why is it named a beach when it isn’t on a beach. Thank God for Google and Wikipedia because I had absolutely no idea. It turns out, it used to be on a beach until the city added landfill and then built on top of that. She wanted to know what landfill was. I pointed at a little girl wearing pink and distracted her the way you can with birds and shiny things.

The first thing we did was walk around upper Grant Street. I am in love with this narrow street with cute little lights stringing across it. The stores are unique (no Starbucks here) and we managed to find a few little toy stores for the Mini Lady to peruse. I told her she could buy one toy. She picked out a Tiana Magic Clip Princess, which was a huge celebration because it was the ONLY one she didn’t have already and I think some sort of special power is granted to those that collect all billion of them. Tiana became a part of our ritual and had to be included in every conversation we had from that moment on.

We made our way to Washington Square Park and sat on a bench to draw the Saint Peter and Paul Church in the sketchbook we brought. This actually turned out to be a hit and Stella noticed a ton of detail in this church that would never have been noticed without sketching it. A police officer noticed her doing this and brought over some stickers to give her. He told her she was now part of the junior police force.  She already is a law abiding citizen and now she thinks she is an officer of the law. She’s worse than a mall cop as it is, so her newfound ranking is going to drive me nuts. “Mom, you just threw away a straw wrapper but that is supposed to go in the recycling.” “Mom, you said I could only have 2 pieces of licorice but you gave me 3.” “Mom, this isn’t a crosswalk. Mom, I thought we can’t cross the street without holding hands.” We were crossing a 2 foot long bike path in the middle of a park. Sigh.

   

Tiana posing infront of the church

  

Tiana checking out Current Stella’s new police badge, I mean sticker.

  

Saint Peter and Paul Church above and Current Stella’s drawing below. I may have helped with some of it….. 

Next we met Current Stella’s friend Audrey and her mommy at the park so they could join us for the rest of our ritual attempt. The girls were playing at the park wonderfully until some kid ripped Tianas head off and dismantled her dress and then handed it back to Current Stella. I really thought she was going to physically rupture. The injustice of it all was a little too overwhelming and I was just glad she didn’t use her sticker badge and arrest the boy for a racial hate crime, Tiana being African American and all. Poor Tiana, she didn’t even last 3 hours. I needed the crying to stop ASAP though, so I agreed to walk back to the toy store to buy a replacement. Of course the store sold her the last Tiana doll earlier that day, but for 3 times the price I could get the Tiana gift set that comes with 3 dresses and a carrying case. At this point, I would have purchased an actual child and stuck a green dress on her and named her Tiana if it meant the whining and crying would end. It’s really bizarre, because in my day to day life I’m usually not persuaded by meltdowns, nor do I condone rewarding demanding requests by irrational toddlers, but I was desperate to save this ritual attempt. 

   
Fun at the park with Audrey until…..

  
This happened.

  

Here the girls are showing off their new toys. 

  
After Current Stella returned back to Planet Earth from her brief visit to Psycho Island, we set out to dinner. I wanted to try this world famous Pizza place, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. There was a little bit of a wait so to kill time we decided to grab a cocktail (much deserved) at Tacolicious. Current Stella goes to Tacolicous every Friday with her Dad (the motivating factor behind me wanting my own ritual with her), but this is a different Tacolicious in a totally different neighborhood. This was weird for Current Stella because everything was exactly the same as the Tacolicious she was used to, but it was also obviously not the same. This brought an element of familiarity to the ritual attempt that I think grounded her. She did refer to a random Mexican worker as Sebastian (that’s the name of the guy at the other Tacolicious) so I think a conversation about racial stereotyping is in order. 

  
Finally, our table was ready and we were all starving and ready to dig in to what apparently is the best pizza in the nation. This place gave uncooked pizza dough to the girls to play with while we waited. I usually hate kid-friendly gimmicks, but this was pure genius. The kids loved it!

   
    

But do you know what happens to pizza dough when it gets overworked? Yeah, it’s a friggin nightmare.  If there is a Tony’s employee reading this, may I suggest a shower in the bathroom and maybe some sort of oil-based cleanser? 

Our pizza came and it was ridiculous. Wow. Pizza is usually one of those default dinners when you have no food in your house and no energy in your body so you just need someone to arrive with nurishment that you can also continue to eat the next day. It fills a void. It does the trick. This pizza though, is everything. 

  

Lastly, we accidentally found a candy shop on our way back to Kelly’s car, so even though it was already an hour past their bedtime we, “the parents,” decided that giving them sugar at this time was logical. 

  

Future Stella, if I ever have the financial resources to have a house with more than just our 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, can you remind me that I dreamed of having a room with giant barrels filled with candy in it? I really think a replica of the room above in my house would be the greatest thing ever, for all of us I mean. 

In summary, this ritual was way too expensive to do every week unless we decided to cut out the part where a random kid beheads one of Current Stella’s new Princesses, thus cornering me into buying whatever it takes in all of North Beach to get her to climb down from the ledge. That aside, this ritual was amazing.

I like the idea of exploring a different part of this awesome city each week instead of committing to just one spot. Let your Dad provide that tired old consistency that she can always count on and I will be the one to spice it up and expose her to spontaneous surprises each and every week? It just makes more sense this way. I just can’t beat Tacolicious Fridays. Stay tuned…
Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, yesterday was Cinco de Mayo and as you know, Gail the Puppy is a Chihuahua. This means she is technically Mexican, and therefore we are too I guess, or at least I wish. 

 
Speaking of Cinco de Mayo, I Just received the greatest text message of my life today from one of your teachers 

    

Adios,

Mom

Happy Birthday Papa!

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Dear Future Stella,

As promised in my birthday tribute to your Guncle, I have another important person in your life who has a birthday today who I would like to honor, your Papa, Lennis Cowell. This is your Dad’s Father and today he turns 72.

You two have always had a very special connection. You were named after his mother, who sadly you never got to meet. Lennis relishes in being a Grandfather and he has equally spoiled his 5 grandchildren. You are the baby though, and his other 4 are all grown now, so its all about Current Stella these days.

Lennis is a very well respected, tough, intimidating man. He spent his entire professional career coaching wrestling, most of it on the collegiate level. There are many men walking around this earth who would call this man their mentor, their friend, and their hero. He is a man of integrity who doesn’t like bullshit, excuses, or whiners. He survived a rough childhood, albeit with excellent parents, surrounded by uneducated people in a scary neighborhood with almost no financial resources. He was a dedicated athlete, and the sport of Wrestling saved him from a life of God knows what. Lennis obtained a college degree while wrestling at Cal Poly. Once graduated, he immediately went into the world of coaching and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, returned to Cal Poly as the head coach, where he remained until the day he retired. He even coached your Dad when he attended Cal Poly himself. He is in the Wrestling Hall of Fame and continues to be an advocate for this sport that he hopes is still around by the time you get to read these letters.

   
     

He can be terrifying and his expectations can be so high that you literally fear his wrath. His height would be considered short, but he commands the respect of a man who stands 7 feet tall. The night I met him I watched him scream into the face of a referee roughly 3 inches from his face. I was absolutely scared to death of him. By the way, the night I met him it was at a Cal Poly Home Wrestling match on Valentine’s Day. More about the romantic gestures of your father later.

It didn’t take long to see that Lennis is actually a giant mush pot that can be brought to tears at the mere mention of his wife, kids, or anyone who he loves. He is sentimental, and values family to the point of obsession. Whatever he expected his wrestlers to do out on the mat, is quadrupled when it comes to his loved ones. However, just like that ref who unjustly scored his wrestler on Valentine’s Day, he will go to battle for his family. His support comes with no strings and no freebees, he makes his kids earn their success but he is there coaching them every step of the way. It also didn’t take long to see that he has a wicked sense of humor that borders on perverted, rightfully earning his nickname Uncle Pervy. He’s the first to notice a nice set of boobs, and a week doesn’t go by without a raunchy joke email from him. He teases the crap out of everyone all the time. He loves a good prank and can take one right back. He is allergic to technology but that doesn’t stop him from always having the latest and greatest gadgets.

Your Papa is shamelessly obsessed with your Grandma. He doesn’t even try to hide his love for that woman and knows damn well who his better half is. I hope you have witnessed this fantastic example of a loving marriage. My favorite thing he does is when a song comes on at their house that he knows your Grandma likes, he stops what he is doing (even watching an important football game) to pull her away from whatever she is doing (even if it’s stuffing a Thanksgiving turkey) and dances with her, dip and all, in the middle of their kitchen. He also cannot publicly speak about her without getting choked up, even if he’s speaking to a group of ex-wrestlers, which he does every single year when he hosts a Cal Poly Alumni event. He drives her nuts half the time, but I would imagine that sweet adoration is hard to stay mad at for long. He knows where his strength comes from.

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Now that your Papa is retired, he loves to golf, spend time with his family and travel. These may not sound like really unique things- don’t all retired people like to do them? Sure, but he had to work his ass off for this to be his reality. Its so great for us to see them spending their days just enjoying life. When you are in your 20’s, its easy to not think about or plan for your future. Trust me, I remember this feeling. Retirement seems so far, far away, and there is always tomorrow to start preparing for it. Life has already been so much easier for you than it was for your Papa, and so I just want you to think of him when you are making your life decisions. Are you working hard enough? You better not have any excuses for anything in your life that you wish were better. Do your loved ones know they are loved by you? 

Your Papa adores you, Future Stella. You can most often be found on his lap or in his arms. I like to watch you melt into his hugs and surrender on his shoulders. He is so proud of every single thing you accomplish and relishes in just watching you play. Its quite a sight to see a man of such strength reveal their vulnerable weaknesses, and you my dear, do this like nobody else.

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Future Stella, this year your Papa will turn 92, God willing. His dad lived until 93 so I really hope he’s still around for you, but life doesn’t make any guarantees except death. I know old people are not the most fun to hang out with, especially when you are 25 years old. If he’s anything like his Dad though, my guess he’s the exception to this rule. I bet he still makes you laugh. I bet he still cries. I bet he still loves just watching you be who you are. I can guarantee he still gives great hugs and that those sturdy shoulders are just as magical as they were 20 years ago. Whatever 92 looks like for him, even if its in memorium, I hope you take the time today to honor him and reflect on how lucky you are to carry on his Mother’s name.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I want to say I love you too. You have been a pretty good kid lately.

Love,

Mom

Uncle Ricky Comes to Visit

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Dear Future Stella, 

Your Uncle Ricky just left to go back to Florida after visiting California for a week. Technically, he’s MY Uncle Ricky but I’m letting you borrow the name until we come up with something slightly more interesting than Great Uncle Ricky for you to call him. I kinda like “Gur” but as you get older, a young girl saying that to a much older male relative might get strange. 

He used to be our closest  (geographically speaking) family member until a year ago when he moved to Florida. Now he’s one of the farthest. He’s my Dad’s baby brother and we have always been close. Maybe because I’m also the baby in my family, but I seem to gravitate towards the youngest members of families as the people I connect with. My mom’s baby sister (My tante, your G-Ta) is hands down the closest person to me (besides the peeps in my immediate family). I married the baby of his family. My two best friends are both youngest children. We just all get eachother. There is something really unifying about being the spoiled little angles that make them easy to surround myself with. To be honest, I am glad I am not having another kid because I fear I will just like that kid more because they will be the youngest. With you being an only, you are going to be both the oldest and the youngest and therefore don’t count. Actually, Gail the puppy is the youngest member of our family and I totally favor her. She can do no wrong and we are connected at the hip. Literally, she lays on my hips as often as possible. 

Your, well, actually our Uncle Ricky, spent the night with us two Sunday’s in a row both on his way in and out of California. Last Sunday he came and made us dinner. He used to do this once a month when he lived near us. He’s a phenominal chef, an ex-professional actually. His food is to die for and I have really missed it. As a kid, I have such wonderful memories of going to his restaurant and he would have to make me the most basic, boring meals ever- like plain pasta, while everyone else at the table was feasting on his gourmet specialties. I don’t know who this reminds me of…..hmm, who else do I know that eats bland boring food even when surrounded by culinary excellence? I don’t know, it will come to me. I will also never forget when he ruined Caesar salad for me for life when he told me that all Caesar dressing has anchovies in it. I could still puke in my mouth thinking about how utterly disgusted I was by this little trivia fun fact. It’s funny the things you remember.

Here’s the meal Uncle Ricky made us. Visually it looks so simple, but each and every thing tastes like heaven and his sauces are always out of this world.

  

Uncle Ricky always comes with little gifts for you and he has always tried really hard to win you over. You are a tough crowd though, and for reasons that I can’t begin to know, you have always taken extra time to warm up to him. You often throw your most epic meltdowns in his presence- this trip being no exception. You also tend to start enjoying his company right around the time it is time for him to leave. This never stops Uncle Ricky from trying and it’s so wonderful for me to witness the great joy you bring to him even though you are a shit stain most of his time with him.

This trip he brought you a coloring book with markers and a floor puzzle that is Frozen themed. He sat with you on the ground and you educated him on who all the princesses are and their names. He was genuinely paying attention. This is a great time to mention that Uncle Rick is a rebel bachelor who wears  black leather jackets and drives sports cars. He drinks Jack Daniels and smokes cigars and gambles and plays cards. He doesn’t watch Disney or play princess games but he genuinely tries for you. He wouldn’t miss a birthday or holiday and he cares so much about forming a bond with you. This is a good man Future Stella and I hope you have formed that relationship that he has spent a lot of time fostering, even though he now lives in Florida. When you are a kid it’s up to the adult to make this happen, but you are an adult now so it’s time that you return this gesture. It’s easy to get caught up in your own world and not make time for the older loved ones in your life but this is so important and rewarding. I’m still working on this as an adult. 

The next Sunday he came back and it was our turn to make Uncle Ricky dinner. This was his request and I have to admit I was nervous! I wanted to make something that we would all eat but that wasn’t kid food. I also wanted you to participate because I know that would make it extra special for Uncle Rick.  We made a chicken stir fry with sugar snap peas, and fresh mint. We served this over rice and for dessert we made a puff pastry with strawberries and homemade whip cream. It was all very yummy and even though we had to seperate out each component of the meal for you to eat it, you did eat the whole thing. You also tried fresh mint for the first time while we were cooking so I had to buy you a toy on Amazon for that. You also tried a French fry at lunch and you got a toy at Walgreens. I’m glad you are draining my bank account buying worthless toys in exchange for trying super nutritious fried foods and other things that are most often garnishes or found in Mojitos and chewing gum. It’s my fault for adding no fine print to the house rule of “If you try a new food then you get a new toy.” 

Anyway, the meal was a hit for everyone. The next morning we went to breakfast with Uncle Ricky and walked around the Palace of Fine Arts to feed the ducks before he had to fly back to Florida.

  
Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, the other night you woke up in the middle of the night complaining about bees being in your room. We obviously told you that you were crazy and just having a bad dream. The next morning you woke up covered, and I mean covered, in mosquito bites. My bad. 
Love,
Mom

Stella’s First Sleepover = FML

Dear Future Stella,

Current Stella had her first sleepover this past weekend. Her bestie, Tyler, spent the night at our house. They are only 4 years old so I was more than nervous to do this, mostly because most Moms scare the shit out of you when sharing their experiences with sleepovers. These same moms will totally encourage having multiple kids back to back. They will enthusiastically support sleeping with your kids. They smile and say “this too shall pass” when the topic of teething comes up. They think overseas flights with triplets that just learned to walk is totally doable with the right activities. But don’t you dare ever fucking allow sleepovers before age 10. The kids will burn down your house and never be the same again. They will try and escape through a window and make-out with the neighbor kids. They will try and murder you in your sleep. They will stay up longer than a group of people on cocaine. Maybe they will do cocaine. They will walk through your house and just knock shit off the walls. They will definitely try and flush your puppy down the toilet. Just don’t do it. I have heard some terrible things when it comes to sleepovers so naturally I was scared to death.

Tyler arrived at around 5:30pm and her parents came inside to have a drink and visit with us for a bit. I would like to think they wanted to hang out with us but they were probably just checking out the safety of the environment they were about to leave their child in overnight. I dug out the outlet covers from storage and plugged them in to all visible outlets. I stocked the fridge with organic food. I know how to play this game. I made Gin and Tonics with fresh grapefruit and a rosemary garnish. I made the necessary  comment about how I could only have 1 drink so the parents would know that there would be a sober adult in the house (obviously, I had like 8 more once they left. Kidding. Sort of. More on that later).

Current Stella had a whole itinerary of things to do with Tyler. Tyler only eats pizza pockets (most likely banned by the time you read this) and chocolate chip pancakes. Best. Diet. Ever. Current Stella had the idea to make cheese pizzas. Both girls loved doing this but I got sidetracked building this golf activity that I over-cooked the pizza and ultimately ended up needing to microwave pizza pockets. Tyler was stoked. Current Stella didn’t eat dinner(strangely enough she doesn’t like pizza pockets), neither did I actually, which is a key part of the story that you will need to retain for later use.

  
I spent, I don’t know, 1/3 of an hour constructing this golf game that the girls played with for less than 3 minutes- standard and totally worth it. Next, Current Stella wanted to make cookies. This just means she wants to eat cookie dough and then leave me to make the cookies and then she will want one of the cooked ones as well. I am not a baker. I love to cook but building a dough of any kind is torture and waaaay too easy to mess up. I am a huge fan of paying out the ass for an item/service that I could technically do myself but have zero desire to do. In this case I paid 20 bucks for the dough for 12 cookies that I just had to plop on a cookie sheet and then take out of the oven after 12 minutes. The only thing I could do to mess this up was to not turn my oven to the right temp or get sidetracked and leave them in too long. Considering I just sabotaged the pizza, I was extra vigilant to not make that mistake with the cookies. We decided to make 6 cookies. That way we each got 1 and then there would be 2 leftover to give to Tyler’s sisters in the morning. Shockingly, I didn’t fuck this up and the cookies were delicious. 

  
 After that, Current Stella wanted to put her pajamas on, make popcorn, and watch a movie. Your Dad and I loved this plan because it meant we could just do what we normally do, which is hang out while she deals with herself. They both changed into their pajamas, Current Stella cooked the popcorn and they climbed into our bed to watch Frozen (so basic) . Around 9pm we came in and informed the well-behaved, mellow girls that it was bed time. They were fine with it and once they brushed their teeth and went potty they climbed the stairs into the loft bed. Right about now is when I began to think all those other Moms are insane. This was easier than liking a picture on Instagram. What’s the big deal?

  
Now is a good time to mention that my friend Kelly was having her birthday party that night. It was at this place called the Starlight Room which is this iconic San Francisco Dance Club at the top of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. It sounded like a lot of fun and I adore Kelly and really wanted to celebrate her birthday. The girls seemed totally chill, your dad was completely fine with me going so I decided to leave the sleepover and attend the festivities while the girls peacefully slept. I told myself I would just have a couple drinks, dance for a minute, and head home in time to enthusiastically participate in chocolate chip pancake making in the morning. Instead, I was drinking vodka sodas like they were water, aggressively dancing on the dance floor and stumbled home in the wee hours of the morning.

  
I came bounding inside our apartment like someone had just spun me around 20 times and then instructed me to enter through the door like I was an elephant wearing tap shoes. Once I established where the walls were versus the door openings, I noticed two perfect looking cookies just sitting there, waiting to be eaten. The severity of my starvation hit me so hard that I had no choice but to inhale both cookies and find my way to my bed like a pin ball scoring a record breaking number of points.

I could not have been sleeping long when I heard the giggles of little girls creeping into our bedroom. This cannot be happening. I’m exhausted. I’m still drunk. I’m starving. 

On a typical Sunday morning, Stella wakes up and pours herself Cheerios. She completely deals with herself. Sometimes she comes into our room to snuggle; if she does, I can usually get her to take the dogs out in the backyard. It’s absolutely glorious. Not this Sunday. 

There are two, extra loud and vibrating mini ladies migrating around my bedroom. How long have they been there? Why does my mouth taste like a rancid bucket of vomit? Where are my clothes? What time is it? Am I having a nightmare? They were hungry the voices were saying, and bored. I start whipping your dad with my hand on his bare chest, my intentions being to motivate him to make the voices stop. My head was pounding. I was the kind of tired that makes your eyelids feel like they have been superglued shut. I couldn’t open them even if I wanted to. 

Your dad began to understand the severity of the situation and reluntantly got out of bed to make the girls their pancakes. 

This is when the guilt started creeping in and I knew I needed to get out of bed to at least attempt to enjoy the remaining hours of this sleepover. 

I remember making it out to the living room. I must have dozed off into a deep sleep on the couch. I have snapshot memories of the girls coming into the room at various points but I just kept on sleeping. 

The sound of the doorbell finally woke me from a deep sleep and I was dying to know what sort of brunch situation your dad had ordered. I peek through the door and realize it is Tyler’s mom, completely  showered and looking normal, ready to pick her up. 

Cool, so I’m wearing last night’s makeup, creepy pjs, and I have not brushed my teeth yet. 

I let her and Tyler’s little sister into my home and we begin to exchange pleasantries. I can barely comprehend and my responses are socially awkward, at best. We make the long walk back to Current Stella’s room and I begin to panic because it has been hours since I have been back there. They could be running a meth lab/brothel for all I know. I open the door and even worse than I could even imagine, every single toy is piled on the ground. It looks ridiculous.

I manage to gather Tyler’s things into her bag and get Stella to say goodbye to her friend. Just when I can visualize myself back in bed, Stella gets excited and tells Tyler’s sister that we made her cookies to take home.

Awesome. Those cookies are long gone and don’t exist. Tyler’s sister is excited about her cookies. There are no cookies. 

I just need them to leave my house so I can vomit and return to bed so I open our fridge, pull out the unused cookie dough and offer it to them as a parting gift. I explain that they are only good right after they are cooked so wanted them to have the full experience. 

They fell for it, said thank you, and left. 

I was hung over for the rest of the day. 

Good times. 

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, your dad and I had the best date night ever tonight. I cannot wait to give you the deets.
Love,

Mom