Monday, July 9, 2012

Olympic Trials and Armpit Tribulations

The Krussel family thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the Olympic Trials.  While I cried watching Proctor and Gamble commercials about Olympian Moms, my children attempted to mimic the butterfly stroke on dry land, belittled the pure athleticism required to pole vault, and then finally settled into a serious discussion about armpit hair.  Mabel is only seven years old but she has serious concerns about men, their armpit hair and whether or not it's really appropriate  to have armpit hair at the Olympic Trials. 

As we jumped from gymnastics to swimming to track and field, Mabel's stream of consciousness began..... 
 "I would definitely shave it if I were a swimmer. I totally get why they do it.  Why did God put hair there? Girls don't have it."  Of course Meg had to chime in and explain that yes,  girls do have armpit hair which was disturbing to Mabel.  "Why do we have to shave it and guys don't?  Oh, that guy got a lower score because he didn't shave his pits. No one wants to see that.  Do those big ladies who do the shot-put shave their pits?  Maybe armpit hair gives you extra strength. Isn't there a guy in the bible whose armpit hair gave him extra strength?  What does armpit hair look like on the jumbotron?  Those people paid good money and they don't want to see armpit hair.  Think of  the Memaws who are watching and have to see that.  Clearly all the girls shave in all the that like a rule or could I grow some hair and scare people? I totally don't get this steeple chase thing."

During a short pause, Meg chimed in and said, "I think the runners with the holes in their shirts think that they are faster.  I don't understand why you wear a sleeveless shirt and then put on sleeves that don't connect."  Those two little sentences sent Mabel back into her rant.  "Duh, Meg, they do that so that they can show off their armpit hair." 

 The rant continued. "What do you think Gus, does that guy have hair or no hair? Hurry up and vote because he's almost done and then his arms go up!!!!  I'm going to go with hair because he looks like a guy that would keep his hair."  During post race interviews Mabel would scream at the tv, "put your arms you have hair or no hair?"

All of the Olympic Trial armpit discussion took the issue to another level. Gus appeared in his boxers with his sidekick, Mabel and their jubilation could not be contained. Mabel gleefully announced that she had discovered an armpit hair on Gus.  This was big breaking news around here.  Gus actually  shared his sisters excitement. "Do you want to see it?"  Mabel chimed in and said, "I know it's real because it hurts him when I pull on it and I see his skin pull up too! Oh and Gus checked me and I don't have any hairs yet."
Do I feel shameful in sharing this with all of you?   No, not really.  These are the discussions that I will one day look back on and terribly miss (of course this requires that my children actually mature and cease discussions of this kind....fingers crossed!)  Besides, Mabel should have the armpit hair issue out of her system shortly and that means we can move on to the Higgins Boson and Arafat's possible poisoning.  And then when the London games begin, I'm sure armpit hair discussions will reemerge with an international flare. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Profanity, Dancing, and an Overactive Imagination

We are one full year into our life with Celiac Disease and it's not going well.  Celiac is a multi system, chronic, autoimmune disease that has over 200 manifestations. As my coping mechanisms weaken, I've noticed the development of three new manifestations.  My guess is that these are undocumented symptoms of Celiac that deserve further study. 
 Profanity  I was raised in a strict, Catholic household and attended strict Catholic schools which means I was never allowed to cuss. This past year has brought out a foul mouth.  For a while it felt really good and it did relieve some stress.  But now the words have lost their healing powers, and I'm going through withdrawal.  Who do you turn to when you are out of curse words?  Well, really there is no one, but I see our pediatrician very often so I addressed the issue with him.
Bullet Bob entered the tiny room that I'm way too familiar with.  How familiar?  So familiar that we stopped playing "I Spy" two years ago because we all know every tiny detail, including the red print on the strep test swab wrappers.  "What's up Krussels?", Lightning Bob said as he entered the room. This is what came out of my mouth, after way too much illness and a completely wasted beach vacation. "Well Bob, the problem is, I'm out of cuss words.  Call it Defcon 5 or code red...whatever....but I am in need of a new arsenal of curse words and I need them to be really effective. So help me,  to help these kids because they need a mom who can cuss and release all of my pent up anger and frustration.  Do you have a pamphlet on to potty training, eczema and vaccinations? What ya got for me?".  Bullet Bob sat and stared and then said, "Well, I'm glad that you have a great attitude about it."   I responded, "No, not really Bob! Cure or cursing, those are the options."  After writing out some prescriptions for my sick 13 year old,  Dr. Bob stood from his  wheelie stool, embraced me in a hug, kissed my cheek and said, "I'm sorry this sucks."  I'm still in search of some good zingers and as much as I dislike the fact that I'm now a person who curses, at least I'm not stripping or shoplifting.

 Dancing in Public   Publix grocery store has a minimal amount of  gluten free products but we still walk in there if we are in need of a prescription, Dove chocolate is BOGO, or Kroger is out of Udi's bread. Besides a stellar pharmacist, Publix also has some pretty good shopping music. On this particular day,  Gus and Mabel were busting a move in a sparsely attended aisle as we made our way to the frozen food section.  Yes, the Gluten free Udi's bread at Publix is frozen.  I'm pretty certain that the same five loaves have been in the freezer for the last six months.  As we worked our way down the aisle, I was hushing my children so that I could enjoy Goerge Michael's , "I Knew You Were Waiting".  And then I was spontaneously dancing and, not lip-syncing, it was all out embarrassment.  Gus and Mabel instinctually fell into their roles as Solid Gold backup dancers.  I opened the freezer door and serenaded that expensive, freezer burned loaf of Udi bread and sang, "I knew you were waiting, I knew you were waiting for me."  Let's be honest, this is where weird bread goes to die and I rescued that puppy and then paid big bucks for the "pretty crystals" of freezer burn that Mabel pointed out.  I thought the song was so fitting.  I quickly snapped back to stellar maternal behavior after a Solid Gold Dancer rammed my heel with a poorly steered grocery cart.  This is one symptom that most likely will not subside.  I'm cool with it.
Overactive Imagination Every few weeks I go to Whole Foods to get a few gluten free items that aren't carried at our local Kroger.  The parking lot immediately raises my heart rate. It's terrible and someone is going to have to die in the name of highly priced organic fruit before someone recognizes that even earthy, tree hugging folks have parking lot rage and all the lanes should be one way.  I always pass the spots that are intended for the electric cars. One day I'm going to snip the cord off of our old vacuum cleaner, duct tape it to the front of my van and then park my 2003 Honda Odyssey in one of those spots and see if anyone notices.  Upon entering the store,  I always work my way across the registers looking for my favorite gluten free magazines....1)"Delight" -because you know this lifestyle is delightful, 2)"Living Without" -because I love that reminder staring at me on my coffee table and 3) "Gluten Free Living", and it's always clear that the fad dieters have taken the whole supply which probably stood at ten. 

 My only other stop is in the dog food aisle.  No I don't have a dog, but that is where the gluten free cookies are found.  I completely understand the placement of these items.  I can almost guarantee you that there are well to do dogs in East Cobb that have been thrown an Annie's Gluten Free Snickerdoodle cookie in error, and those same dogs may have refused to eat them.  I pick up Annie's snicker doodle bunnies as well as the chocolate/vanilla bunnies.  I'm always thrilled to see Kinnikinnick animal crackers  in stock so I grab that as well.  When you are sworn into the secret society of gluten free freakdom, they make you say Kinnikinnik five times really fast and teach you to say Udi's without making that "ew" face.

 So back to my vivid imagination....   On one fateful day in the dog aisle, I became overwhelmed at the presence of another person coming towards me.  Literally I have never shared the aisle.  I looked up and saw, none other than Kim Zolciak, one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta!  My brain instantly became excited at the thought that Kim could have Celiac Disease and therefore jolt our disease into the forefront of mainstream America via dysfunctional reality tv!! I pictured Kim and I hanging out in her mansion kitchen while her chef whips up gluten free snacks.  I pictured Kim and I throwing a Celiac Disease Charity Benefit at her mansion and everyone would be wearing skin tight tank tops that reveal just the right amount of side boob and on the front they would say, "I've Got Side Boob for Celiac."  Kim is famous for her love of dresses that show just the right amount of side boob and lets be honest, Celiac is sexy, and sex sells so the t-shirts would be $30 a piece.  Why didn't it ever dawn on me that Kim could be perfectly healthy and just shopping for expensive dog food?  I let my imagination get the best of me in all of two seconds.  With her wig (that looks much better on tv), her diamond ring bigger than my head, and more makeup than I've worn collectively in my entire life, she was just there for dog food.  My lapse from reality quickly ended and I sauntered off to the check out where I was charged $28.00 for my three little boxes of dog treats...uh, I mean cookies.  

All of the Celiac experts out there, um, I mean both of them, should be aware of these three new manifestations that I'm exhibiting.  So if you witness my foul mouth, spontaneous dancing or whacked imagination, please remember that it's my Celiac Disease acting up and you shouldn't judge.