Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Runaway Train

The Runaway Train
By Allison Adams 08-2-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun 08-03-12

Four weeks ago I joined Weight Watchers Online in a desperate effort to stop my consistent, persistent, weight gain, which – for a woman in my “stage of life” – is akin to a runaway train.  Apparently.

After studying the Weight Watchers website I learned that the reason I have continued to gain weight because I have been eating large portions of unhealthy foods and not exercising. 

Shocker, I know.

Some of you might think exercising is f-f-f-fun.

You might think it’s simple to muster up a little self control when it comes to choosing a salad and a fish fillet over, say, a beautiful cheeseburger, all-the-way, with a side of fries, and a thick, rich, delicious, chocolate shake… 

Whaaa … what was I saying? 

Some of you might think Weight Watchers is just a gimmick.

Anyhoo, I registered online, read almost some of a little bit of the Weight Watchers guidelines, and commenced with portion controlled, point-counting.

After Week 1 I stepped on my bathroom scale and was pleased to see that I had lost nearly 5 pounds.

Hurray for me!

Together, me and my portions and points were a force with which to be reckoned!

After Week 2, I stepped on my bathroom scale and was a little deflated to see it register a number that was not that much different than the week before – but I soldiered on.

I did a little more reading on the Weight Watchers website to see if I was doing something wrong, and it turns out I had missed a whole section that talked about exercise being a “critical component” to the success of the program.

Interesting concept.

I should have known there was a catch.

At the end of Week 3, after I budgeted my points, and walked TWO WHOLE laps around the Laughlin Memorial Hospital walking trail, I stepped on my bathroom scale and thought somebody had made a huge mistake because the number it registered was identical to the one that was there one week earlier.

Deflated, I sought and received encouragement from many who have managed portions and counted points before me. 

They reminded me that this is a journey, not a race.

It’s a lifestyle, not a diet.

Exercise is a must.

Blahbitty, blah, blah, blah.

I continued to eat my carrot sticks and plain, non-fat, Greek yogurt, and gave some serious thought about going for a walk.

I was stunned when the weigh-in after Week 4 was a repeat of Week 3.

STUNNED, I tell you.

Didn’t lose an ounce.


Let’s just say I was more than a little angry.

I was so furious I decided I needed to blow off a little steam.

I hopped off the scale and grabbed a water bottle, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, The Dave Matthews Band, and Reba McIntire, and we marched ourselves around the Laughlin Memorial Hospital walking trail.

We walked 3, lickity-split, laps.

In the heat of the day.

One of us was sweating profusely.

Sunglasses sliding down my nose.

Face beat-red.

Singing so loudly at times I could even hear myself right through my noise cancellation headphones.

Now hear this, Weight Watchers:

I am NOT letting you kick my marginally large caboose. 

You are NOT bigger than me!

I’m gonna stick with it. 

I’m gonna continue to carefully calculate portions and points.

I’m gonna hit that walking trail with my iPod several times this week – I don’t care who hears me!

I’ll bet you a 3-ounce can of Solid White Albacore Packed In Pure Spring Water mixed with a tablespoon of Hellman’s Reduced Calorie Mayonnaise (6-points) AND a low-fat, granola bar (3 points) that next week, the number that registers on my bathroom scale will be LESS than it was this week.

This is WAR, Weight Watchers.


And now, apparently, it’s also public.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Like A Hamster On A Wheel

Like A Hamster On A Wheel
By Allison Adams 07-22-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun 07-22-12

My washing machine is on the fritz.

It’s no surprise, really. 

It’s performed perfectly for over 22 years, washing clothes for a family of 5 without needing anything but electricity, some H2O, and a little soap. 

When my last baby bird flew off to college last fall, my washing machine sat idle for days in between little loads of laundry generated by the 2 of us.

It must have assumed it was semi-retired.

It must have been daydreaming of La Boca Del Vista condo living in sunny Florida when I awakened it rudely earlier this summer, after my baby bird flew back to the nest with what appeared to be all of his dirty laundry – from his entire spring semester – along with a couple dozen dirty duds belonging to his dorm mates.

For several long days after my son arrived home, I tortured my poor washing machine.  Apparently.

In those long days I fed my washing machine one load after another.

And another.

And another.

No wonder it doesn’t know when to stop the washing.

You see, that’s the problem: it doesn’t know when to stop the washing.

Now when I put in a load, if I’m not paying close attention (never), my washing machine moves from one cycle into another, and then starts the process all over again.

And again, if I’m not (never, ever) paying attention.

And again.

Like a hamster on a wheel.

One day (always), when I happened to be particularly distracted with important business (on Pinterest), my wacked-out washing machine took my poor load of whites through 3 series of cycles before I remembered what the heck was going on in the laundry room and stopped the madness.

I tried sweet-talking it:

“Don’t fail me, friend!  You are the wind beneath my wings!”

I tried a tough-love pep talk:

“Now, look – are you gonna let a couple of decades of dishtowels and a semester’s worth of socks and sweatshirts get you down?  Buck up and get back in the game!”

I inconvenienced our family and let our laundry pile up for a week in order to give my washing machine a little vacay.

Can you please wash my golf shorts today?”

“No can do.  Our washing machine is on sabbatical.”

“It’s in the laundry room.”

“It’s needs some quiet time.”

“It’s a washing machine.”

“It’s been under a lot of stress lately.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Turn your shorts inside out.  Your golf buddies won’t notice.”

“I think you need a little therapy.”

My husband was right – I called in a specialist.

Dr. Reviere arrived the next day and listened intently as I described my washing machine’s sorry symptoms.

He quickly delivered a diagnosis:  my washing machine had a bad ticker. 

Bless its heart.

As it turns out, when a ticker goes bad on an old machine, the motor almost always follows suit.

Dr. Reviere suggested that, in the interest of economics and common sense, I learn to live with my antique appliance and its defective device.

After all, it still washes the clothes.  (Does it ever.)

So now I just set a separate ticker – er, timer – when I put a load in the washer so I know exactly when to run into the laundry room and manually manipulate the dial to the “Off” position after the spin cycle.

Sometimes I put my arms around it and shout out a little encouragement:

“Keep goin’, baby!  Don’t worry!  I got your back!”

Yeah, I know. 

I need a little therapy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Web M.D.

Web M.D.
By Allison Adams 06-24-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 06-24-12

Ever since the news media announced that we’d be paying the price for our mild winter with a nasty tick and skeeter season, I’ve been on high alert.

Some people in my family would say I’m obsessed with this issue, and perhaps I am, but they ought to be grateful.

Without me, they would not know about the dangers that await them in the great outdoors.

I remind them regularly (via a prepared speech) that ticks and skeeters carry heinous diseases.

I arm them with the proper insect repellent before they go outside, and when they come back inside I instruct them to conduct a full body check over every inch of their epidermis to be sure they’re not packing a pernicious passenger.

Despite my efforts, yesterday my husband returned from the golf course with an itty-bitty tick latched to his back. 

(You’re scratching now, aren’t you?)

I sprang in to action to remove the intruder using a cotton ball soaked with liquid soap, which slowly smothered the bloodsucking beast.

When the time was right, I detached the tick from its host, and tossed the tick and cotton ball into the trash.

I lectured my husband on the hazards of golf, and warned him to be aware of the signs and symptoms of tick borne diseases, which I promptly researched on the Mayo Clinic’s website.

I read all about Lyme disease until I could recite the symptoms and treatment verbatim.

Then I went on to learn about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

That led me to West Nile Virus.

Which took me to Dengue Fever.

I began to feel a little clammy.

I started to itch a bit. 

My head ached and my eyes began to hurt, which caused me to have some vision problems.

It occurred to me that I also suffered from a little aching in my joints, restlessness, and some sensitivity to noise when I don’t have that annoying ringing in my ears.

I noted that, at times, I experience difficulty in speaking, occasional confusion, absent-mindedness, and agitation – all of which I feel certain that my husband would confirm.

I remembered that last week I had a cough and a little bit of a runny nose.

I also don’t sleep very well, and I’m often very tired during the day.

Thanks to the information provided on website I realized I have a several serious health issues.

Without my glasses I ail from the effects of astygmatism, myopia and hyperopia. 

And wouldn’t you know it - blurred vision is one symptom of botulism!

I have a case of scurvy and acid reflux, but no peanut allergy – thank the Lord!

I may or may not have a deviated septum, which could have been the cause of my runny nose, but in reality I probably contracted a mild case of the avian flu.

I battle narcolepsy and I'm ridden with cellulite.

After reading the signs and symptoms as best I could (given my vision difficulties) I realized I am afflicted with sciatica, vertigo, and separation anxiety.

Despite the fact that I haven’t stepped on a court in 10 years, apparently I have tennis elbow.

Also, my carpal tunnel has a syndrome. 

Last, but not least, the symptom checker on the website indicate I have the yips and a touch of rabies. 

I walked feebly through the living room to report my ailments to my husband.

I paused in front of the TV to inspect my flat feet condition and I heard (with my good ear) a TV commercial warning about the dangers of diabetes.

Well, guess what?  I have 3 out of 6 symptoms.

I added diabetes to my list and handed the terrible tally of maladies to my husband.

“I doubt that you have contracted a tick borne disease,” I said, “but according to my diagnosis it’s a miracle that I’m able to stand upright.”

He read through my ailments as I made my way to lie down on the couch.

“Hmmm.  You forgot one”, he reported.

“I did?” I asked.

“Hypochondria.” he said.

“For the love of Pete, please write it at the bottom of the page,” I directed.  “I’m too weak.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Natural

The Natural
By Allison Adams 07-08-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 07-08-12

This is a documentary.

I thought you may or may not be interested to know how I write one of these columns.

Usually, like tonight, I wait until the eleventh hour of my deadline, which is set by my editors (plural) – it takes a village, apparently – and I hope that they’ve been extremely busy with several big news stories and don’t realize that I haven’t yet submitted my column for review on a more timely basis.

Then I gather any column topic ideas that I have either emailed myself, left myself a voicemail about, or written in chicken scratch on the back of a Pal’s receipt or on my dry cleaning ticket, and shoved in the cup holder of my car.

Next I sit down at my desk, fire up my computer, and wait for a light bulb to illuminate above my gray haired head.

This is about the time that my husband appears to “help” me. 

Take tonight, for example.

My beloved wandered in and saw me sitting in front of the computer, staring at a blank screen, and casually parked himself behind my desk chair, and peered over my right shoulder.

Him:  So … what are you doing there?

Me:  I’m trying to write a column.

Him:  Oh! Wow!  Is it that time again?

Me:  Yes.  Yes, it is.

Him:  Great!  Well, what’s this one going to be about?

Me:  I don’t know yet. 

Him:  Really?  THAT must be a little scary – the not knowing, I mean.

Me:  Yes, it is.  Do you mind, dear?  I work better without someone hovering over my shoulder.

Him:  Oh – right, right, right.  Sorry. I’ll leave you alone.

Me:  Thank you.

Him:  Are you sure you don’t know what you’re going to write about, or are you just telling me that to get me to leave.

Me:  But, you’re still here.

Him:  Right.  Well, I just thought that surely you must have some ideas – don’t you?

Me:  Unfortunately, no – and this column is due in three hours, so I’m getting a little – um – edgy.

Him:  Oh, right.  Right.  Okay then, I’ll just leave you alone.

Me:  Thank you.

Him:  Do you need anything – maybe a glass of water, or a bowl of ice cream?

Me:  I need a little privacy, please.

Him: Oh, sure.  Right, right, right.  I’ll just go in there, then, and leave you be.

Me:  That’d be great.

Him:  I’ll just be in the next room if you need me.

Me:  Perfect.

Him:  You’re not going to write about me leaving the garbage cans at the curb for five days in-a-row, are you?

Me:  No.  I already wrote about that.

Him: Oh, right.

Me:  You’re still here.

Him:  Yes, sorry.  I just want to make sure you’re not going to write about the way I control the TV clicker every weekend.  You’re not, are you?  I just wondered if you planned on writing about that.

Me:  Already did – several years ago.  The goal is to write about something different every time.

Him: Oh, sure.  Right.

Me:  I love you, but you’re loitering.

Him:  I’ll leave you alone now.

Me:   Thank you.

Him:  You’re welcome.

Several more moments pass and neither of us moves a muscle.

Me:  I can feel you staring over my shoulder. 

Him:  Right.  Well, I was just hoping that you wouldn’t write about me again for a while – you know?     Can you leave me off your list of column topics for a few months? 

Me:  But you’re an unending source of fodder.

Him:   I think you already wrote about that.

Me:  Oh, right.  Right, right, right.  Thanks for reminding me.

Him:  I’m here to help.  I’m very helpful.  Hey – you could write about that!

Me:  Great idea!  I promise to paint you in a positive light.

Him:  Oh, good!  I’ll leave you alone now.

Me:  Thank you.

Him:  No problem.  Just trying to help.  It’s just my nature – helpfulness.

Then I type it all up, like this, and email it to the newspaper. 

It’s a complicated process.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hunger Games

By Allison Adams 05-26-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun 05-26-12

It was like déjà vu all over again.

A partial loaf of bread, a dull knife, an open bag of chips, and an empty plate were artfully arranged on the kitchen counter.

My husband stood facing the refrigerator – door wide open.

His right hand had a firm grasp on the refrigerator door handle.

His left arm was fully extended and braced against the refrigerator doorframe.

It looked like he was using his body weight to push the refrigerator into its parking spot.

But I knew better.

I’d observed this scenario a thousand times.

I watched while he stared a hole through the contents of the refrigerator shelves.

His gaze was punctuated with an occasional heavy sigh, or a Neanderthal-ic grunt.

Every now and then he’d lean forward to go in for a closer look, as it were.

He glanced back over his left shoulder at the still life arranged on the kitchen counter as if to wonder if bread and chips, alone, would suffice for lunch - but his inner Dagwood spurred him to turn his attention back on the contents of the refrigerator.

I couldn’t take it another minute.

“What are you looking for?” I asked.

“Some lunch stuff.” he said. 

“We have ham, turkey, cheese …”

“I don’t see it.”

“If you don’t mind my saying so, you could stand to hone your technique.  You may actually have to move something in order to see what’s behind it.”

He reached inside the refrigerator, hooked his left index finger through the handle of the big, yellow, milk jug, and dragged it about an inch or so from its original resting spot.

“Nope.  We must be out of it,” he proclaimed.

“Look in the meat drawer,” I suggested. “The drawer that’s labeled ‘Meats’.”

He slid the drawer open slightly, peeked inside, and pushed it closed.

“Nope.  Just bacon,” he reported.

“Did you lift up the bacon package to see what was underneath?”

“I’ve changed my mind.  I think I’ll have peanut butter and jelly.”

He resumed his vigilant watch in front of the open refrigerator, as if expecting to witness sudden movement inside.

For several moments, he stood paralyzed.

“I guess I’ll just have peanut butter,” he announced.

Again, I couldn’t contain myself.

“The jelly’s in the door, second shelf, near the jar of Maraschino cherries!” I blurted out. “There’s a red and white checkered lid on the jelly jar!  It say’s ‘Smucker’s’ on the …”

“Found it!”

With that he closed the refrigerator door and set the jelly jar on the counter. 

He scratched his head, wandered over to the pantry, flung open its door, and faced the crowded contents of several shelves. 

He stood hunched-over with his arms hanging down at his sides. 

His knuckles rested on the floor – if you get my drift – and his staring resumed.

I watched him out of the corner of my eye as several moments passed.

“The peanut butter jar is centered on the second shelf, ” I declared.

He stood stupefied. 

“Its brown,” I hinted.

No response.

“Red lid!” I hollered.


“When you pulled the bread out of there – about an hour ago, when you started this arduous process – the peanut butter was sitting right beside it.”

“I’m skeptical!” he shot back.

“There are 3 letters on the label: J-I-...”

“I see it!”

“It’s a miracle.”

He held the jar of Jif over his head like an athlete showing-off a championship trophy – complete with simulated cheering section.

“I really didn’t need your help,” he said.  “I’d have found it eventually.”

“Define eventually.”

“It’s very challenging to find anything in this kitchen. It’s like hunting stuff on a page out of an ‘I SPY’ book.  Plus,” he said, “you hide things.”

“Well. Now you know what I do all day while you’re at work.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Door Number One

Door Number One

By Allison Adams 03-04-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun 03-04-12

At the start of the New Year I vowed to get rid of clutter and take care of some things on the “Honey Do” list.

In this house my hubby is a hard-working, traveling man – and I am Honey.

My Honey Doing is well intentioned.

I start off following the list closely – replace air filters, repair window screen, etc. – but it doesn’t take long before I start to venture off in other directions.

My husband says I am easily distracted.

Anyway – what usually happens is I branch out a bit and end up painting something.

(It’s a sickness.)

Many, many, many times that something I paint is the front door.

Our front door has been white, black-green, eggplant, teal, and burgundy – for starters.

Several years ago I had a dream that the Lord told me to paint my front door gold.

I am not making this up.

The very next day I told my hubby about The Dream, then I marched right over to the paint store and picked out the perfect color: “Imperial Yellow”.

It wasn’t exactly the gold color that the Lord mentioned in The Dream, but I think He’d have suggested “Imperial Yellow” if He’d seen the paint swatch.

By the time my hubby came home from work that evening we had a brand new, sunny, front door.

“What do you think?” I asked.

“Its very bright.”

“It’ll grow on you.”

“I doubt it.”

To tell the truth, it never really grew on me.

I gave it a couple of years before I eventually painted it a pale gray-green: “Water Moss”.

It’s a much better match with my seasonal front door decor.

We almost never use our front door: Its really just there to give purpose to the doorbell.

The door through which we enter and exit 99% of the time is our back door – the door that leads from our kitchen to our garage.

Beneath fingerprints, kick marks, and the normal wear and tear that comes with being pushed and pulled, over and over, day in and day out – it was painted flat builder’s white.

It was a very sad door, and I was a Honey doing a boring chore in the general vicinity … so I decided to branch out and give that door a happy face-lift.

In no time I was armed with a quart of semi-gloss and a sash brush.

And because I wanted happiness whether we were going in through, or out of that sad door, I went out on a limb and painted both sides.

I really can’t believe he didn’t see it coming.

“Notice anything different?” I asked as he came through the door that evening.

“Ummm. Does your hair look nice?”


“Happy anniversary?”

“No. I was replacing some weather stripping and suddenly I painted the back door.”

“Well, you sure did. I see that now.”

“Are you new here?”

“Its very blue.”

“I know! Don’t you love it? It’s really blue-black. I knew it was the perfect paint the minute I saw the name of the color – ‘Blue Note’. You know how I love music!”

“Is that supposed to make sense?”

“It was a sign.”

“Of course it was.”

“Honestly, its like you don’t even know me.”

“I’m trying to take it all in.”

“Now its a happy door!”

“Why did you paint both sides?”

“Happiness a comin’ and a goin’!”

“Ahhhhh. I see.”

“I was only thinking of you. You come and go through that door all the time, and I wanted it to evoke good karma.”

“Thank you. Its very nice.”

“Well, it’ll grow on you. Besides, you know what they say.”

“No, I don’t. What do they say?”

“Happy Door – Happy Life.”

“I thought it was ‘Happy Wife – Happy Life’.”

“Same thing.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Empty Nesters - Part II: Frost Bite

By Allison Adams 02-19-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 02-19-12

For a long time my freezer was simply a rest stop for leftovers as they traveled from the serving platter to their ultimate destination: the garbage can.

Over the years I have continued to put things into my freezer with absolutely no intention of ever eating them.

The only reason I froze food was to fool strangers who looked in my freezer into thinking I was normal.

There. I said it.

Now that we are Empty Nesters it has become necessary for me to revisit the whole Freezer Issue because on the rare occasion that I do cook an amazing meal we need a way to properly preserve the leftovers, because two people can’t possibly put a decent dent in a pan of lasagna unless they eat it daily and nightly for a week.

For several months now, I’ve been practicing The Art of Freezing.

“I have an announcement to make”, I hollered to my husband. “I’m going to defrost something for supper!”

“Thanks for the warning”, he replied. “Do we have a choice?”

“Certainly. Do you prefer something reddish brown, or something with a pinkish hue?”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Well, I assume the pinkish hue bag contains something in the poultry family, while the reddish brown bag is likely something non-poultry.”

“Like beef?”


“Wouldn’t it help to label that stuff before you put it in the freezer?”

“If I did that we’d have absolutely nothing to talk about.”

“Good point.”

I have finally learned not to freeze in bulk. It’s impractical and unattractive.

I now freeze things in portion-sized, transparent, Zip-Lock freezer bags. They’re much cuter.

I’d hit a home run if I ever picked up a Sharpie to use to label the cute freezer bags.

“How long have those things have been in the freezer?” hollered hubby.

“How long has Elvis been dead?”

Every few years I have to root around inside my freezer with a stick, extract some of its contents, and throw it out to make room for more deposits.

It’s a vicious ice-cycle.

My husband began having second thoughts. “You know, I’m really happy with a can of …”

“Let’s go with the reddish-brown bag”, I suggested. “I have its identity narrowed down to one of three possibilities.”

“Are any of them edible?”

“I believe this could either be chili, vegetable beef soup, or my homemade Rachel Ray spaghetti sauce.”

“They’re all digestible options, but ...”

“Would you like to make this interesting?”

“As if trying to come to grips with the fact that my next meal, and possibly my last, will consist of an unidentifiable frozen food, isn’t interesting enough?”

“My dollar says its homemade spaghetti sauce. You?”

“My money’s on vegetable beef soup. When was the last time you actually made spaghetti sauce?”

“When did Washington cross the Delaware?”

“Let the games begin!”

“Step away from the microwave!”

I’m not sure what I have more trouble with, really – freezing or defrosting.

I rarely think to pull something out of the freezer so far in advance of a meal that it can spend a day or two lollygagging around in a thaw while in the controlled comfort of my refrigerator.

I really wish I could defrost bag of frozen “whatever” just by staring at it with my Super Microwave Eyeballs; then plate it up.

Am I alone?

“This may be your lucky day”, I regretfully admitted. “At this point I can tell you it’s definitely not chili. It might very well be vegetable beef soup, but I’m also not ruling out spaghetti sauce.”

“The next 10 or 15 minutes of microwaving should be revealing”, said hubby. “Lets up the ante. I’ll throw in another $1 – you?”

“You’re on!”

“This is so exciting! I’ll open a bottle of wine!”

Let me tell you people, Empty Nesters can make something out of nothing.

(Oh, and it was soooo my homemade Rachel Ray spaghetti sauce.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Running With Scissors

Running With Scissors

By Allison Adams 01-22-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 01-22-12

This morning I received a call from a young friend of mine – a new mother – who reported that when she turned her back for a split second, her 8 month-old baby girl rolled off her changing table onto the floor below.

The baby was fine: The mother, however, was traumatized.

“Welcome to Parenthood.” I said to my friend. “I promise that someday you’ll laugh at this, but in the meantime, an event like today’s will help you be prepared for the next one.”

“The next one?” she asked with trepidation.

“The next one”, I replied. “Like when she accidentally bangs her head on a door...”

“Ohhhhh …”

“… while throwing a temper tantrum.”

“… nooooo.”

“Or when she decorates your living room wall with your lipstick, draws all over her face with a Sharpie, slams her finger in a door, makes mud pies with the kitty litter…”


“ … dials 9-1-1 just to say ‘hello’, swallows a nickel, runs with scissors, won’t eat anything but jello, and picks her nose in church.”


“She’ll tell a lie, refuse to practice piano, start choosing her own friends, pick out her own clothes …”

“Oh, no.”

“She’ll have her heart broken, skip school, give you the stink-eye, learn to drive, get a tattoo, and dye her hair purple.”


“She’ll bring home The Boyfriend.”


“Wait! Have no fear! The Parenthood pendulum swings both ways.”

“Thank goodness.”

“Someday she’ll sit on your lap and read to you, draw a picture of you, pick flowers for you, help you bake cookies, play with your hair …”


“She’ll hold your hand, write a poem for you, laugh at your jokes, tell you her secrets, cry on your shoulder. Her little world will revolve around you.”

“Ohhhh! Yes!”

“She’ll score a goal, ace a test, start solving her own problems, learn to speak a foreign language.”


“She’ll make a speech, go to college, choose a political party, start a movement, question her beliefs, quit shaving her legs, organize a protest, and find her life’s calling.”

“Enough! I can’t take it!”

“Don’t worry! You’re just experiencing an early side effect of Parenthood: its called ‘temporary traumatism’.”


“Sure! Parenthood is a bittersweet pill, my friend. The most common side effects of Parenthood are (this is not a complete list):

“Temporary traumatism, followed by sudden onset euphoria, followed by sudden onset despair, followed by sudden onset serenity, followed by sudden onset hysteria. Repeat.”

“I’ve felt all of that!”

“You’re likely to suffer nagging irritation brought on by frequent frustration due to intense emotional conflict, or over-exposure to something like the business end of the Silent Treatment.

“You may endure periods of disillusionment followed by strong urges to pull your hair out following a long period of unsuccessful, intensive, persuasive reasoning.”

“Good grief.”

“Its also likely that you’ll undergo temporary disappointment followed by great satisfaction when you’ve forced yourself to step back and let your child suffer the consequences and Life Lessons learned by making her own mistakes.

“Have you ever watched ‘Gilmore Girls’?”

“I love that show! Do you have season five on DVD?”

“Nope. Call your doctor if you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time basking in the thrill of victory, or dwelling on the agony of defeat.

“Avoid the urge to use any degree of force, bribery, or trickeration, to instill a false sense of self-worth in your cutie pie – even if there’s trophy and a sash at the end of the ‘rainbow’. Have you seen ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’?”

“Oh. My. Gosh.”

“Also, avoid the urge to micro-manage every single move your sweet child makes.”

“Is that ‘Helicopter Parenting’?”

“Oh – you HAVE read the warning label!”

“Yes, I have.”

“Well, then you also know that everyone who takes Parenthood will hopefully experience the gift of unconditional love, eternal devotion, immense joy, loads of laughter, profound pride, times of tears, and eventually – gray hair, or gradual hair-loss.

“Parenthood should be taken seriously, because the effects of Parenthood last a lifetime.”

“I think I sprouted a gray hair right after she fell off the changing table.”

“No doubt, my friend. No doubt.”