I've got a friend (in a low place)

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

I have a new friend. You may have met her.

In fact, if you’re a woman hurtling through her 40s, then I can pretty much guarantee the two of you have crossed paths - at least once.

For me, the first time we encountered one another was at the bookstore. In the children’s section. On a Tuesday. She was wearing a pink feather boa and she flipped her hair in a carefree way as she manically pointed out a young mother with her nursing newborn, cuddling together in the teacup chair.

Then, she elbowed me - hard - in the left boob.

Not long after, I ran into my new friend at the grocery store. Within minutes, she convinced me I was freezing to death and sent me running to the car to lay down on the seat heaters.

From the day my friend and I first met, she has given me nothing but grief. And facial hair. Problem is, I can’t just shake her. She's worse than glitter.

My friend is a powerful dame and her omnipotence is enough to give me heart palpitations.

Every. Single. Day.

And, a traveling rash. My hip, leg, earlobe, eye, lower back, belly.  Every month the location is different but the scenario is always the same. I end up scratching myself like a gnat-infested ape, while my gal pal looks on and laughs until my head starts to ache.

My friend gives me sinus pains and makes my joints throb. Occasionally, at night, she throws in some insomnia, jimmy legs and sometimes, that little shit sets my skin on fire. Usually at 3am.

But that’s not all.

She mixes me up. Once, she suggested I put ground coffee beans in the teapot. Then there was the time she had me pour sour milk in the garbage can, instead of down the drain.

It's like I'm in a perpetual state of confusion which - I'm certain - is how my new friend stealthily stole my tolerance and replaced it with stabby impatience.

(Do not borrow my socks. Consider yourself warned.)

Since meeting my friend, I’ve become forgetful. Also, since meeting my friend, I’ve become forgetful.

She fills me with anxiety as she coaxes me into believing that I’m ailing. Between the tingling sensations, dizzy spells, phantom ear pain and irregularity, just last week alone I had four separate incurable diseases, including mustache cancer.

The fact of the matter is, this cling-on-chick is merciless. So hear me now and listen to me later. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t let my friend sneak up on you. Because if you do, you’ll find yourself melting into a blubbering puddle of snot the next time you watch cat videos with your kid.

So if you see this new friend, don't pause, just go ahead and dropkick that twat into your golden years - where she belongs.

Or don’t.

The thing is, I’m in no position to give advice. Because since I’ve met Ms. Perimenopause, I’ve lost the ability to make any and all decisions. 

No, really.

Image: FreeImages.com/Derek Kimball

Shhh... it happens

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

I’m the first to admit I’m not a perfect mother...

I’ve fed my kid no name brand marshmallows. For breakfast.

I’ve let her pee down the shower drain on the deck of an upscale hotel pool (yeah, you knew that was us, didn't you Courtyard Marriott?).

I’ve backed away – quickly - after she wiped her nose on a fake cashmere scarf in a clothing store (sorry Old Navy, but it's not like you’ve never sneezed).

But none of that really compares to what I did - or rather, what I bought - on Wednesday.

I'd like to say that it is totally out of character for me to pay $19.95 for a plastic dog that craps itself. But I'd be lying. Mostly because there was that time I bought my kid a stuffed toy mole with poop on its head.

Mind you, that was entirely by accident. 

In any case, Doggie Doo - the game - is now at our house and the 5 year old is in love. And why wouldn't she be? It involves a dog, that dumps.

If you're not familiar, let me educate you...

Doggie Doo comes with one wiener dog on a leash, a container of "dog food", a bone, a die and four little shovels. The object of the game is to feed the dog and be the first to collect three canine corndogs.


And, just to be clear, the mooky-sticks need to be on the table before they can be scooped. Because, of course they do.

The steps are simple. First, you feed the little fellow by sticking some of the included yellow goo in his mouth. Then, you shove the bone in the pup's mouth, you know, to create an airlock.

After that, the rules don't really matter because all anyone wants to do is watch that dachshund drop his doo all over the dining room.

Yes. It's like that. 

Usually, the pooch obliges, right down to the sound effects. Problem is... sometimes he doesn't and the yellow goo becomes, well, stuck. Understand there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with this problem and let's just say don't use your finger unless you want to answer some rather uncomfortable questions in the emergency room.

Also, it's probably not by accident that the Doggie Doo dog can be dismantled with nothing more than a screwdriver, a glass of eggnog and a few choice expletives.

In any case, when the channel is clear, the results are disgusting. But you don't have to take my word for it...

Bottom line... it doesn't take much to amuse me. Or my kid. Apparently. Next thing you know I'll be hauling home a game featuring a cat that fires hairballs out of its mouth. Are you paying attention toy manufacturers?

No, really.