Sunday, January 22, 2012

Auntie's Panties

I'm often forced to face the fact that I am a completely unorganized, unprepared mother.  My 18 months-apart sons put me in a whirlwind of diaper bag delight for so long that once that time in our lives was safely behind us I sort of went as far the other way as possible, opting for the smallest handbag I could find.

This usually only resulted in me over stuffing my purse.

Through today though I've learned moderation in accessory selection but still always kick myself for never being "more like Mandy" when life's little emergencies come up.  It's usually gum, a cough drop, hand sanitizer, or chap stick I'm short when someone is in need.  My sister-in-law, she is the Mary Poppins of purse stow-awayers.  Anything a kid could dream up to need is there at her fingertips on demand, always.  In her purse, in her camera case, in her neatly packed and prepared soft-sided cooler of snacks.  She's the Girl Scout of mommies, and my minis would gladly move in with her tomorrow if given the choice.

After bustling out the door for the normally forty-ish minute trek to Grandpa Bud's service, we were running only a few minutes behind the schedule we had set for ourselves accounting for the horrific weather we'd had and any unknown pre-service duties that may lay ahead for hubs as a pall bearer.  I threw in a few extras, the usual straggler items that get left behind at each other's houses.  Our family lives in a Bermuda Triangle of sorts, and it's inevitable that we all have always got something in our kitchen or coat closet that belongs to another kid or sister in our family, and it gets put in a pile for the next person that comes by that way.

We hadn't made it far from town when I heard one of the biggest, juiciest, make-you-not-even-want-to-look sneezes come from the back seat.  Esten was frozen with the goo like stalactites coming from his nostrils, his forearm at the ready, his eyes trained on me waiting for my signal, the go-ahead, the okay to go for it, to wipe his nose on his shirt sleeve.

"NO WAY BUDDY.  Not today.  Not with those clothes."
We were all in our best, new shirts and pants for the boys, Daddy in his suit and tie, me in the best black whatever I could pull together and make work.  I went for my purse, but I don't know why I bothered....I never carry tissues in there.  Nothing.  I swear if I would have found a tampon in there I would have found a way to rip the thing apart and give it to the kid, but no dice.  I was coming up empty.  I looked at hubs.

"Do you have ANYTHING in here?  Paper towels for cleaning?  Baby wipes?"
I looked in the cloth shopping bag of my MIL's I had thrown in to return to her, with the items I was schlepping up to return to their rightful owners.  There, in the bottom of the bag, was our only hope: one clean pair of my other sister-in-law's underwear she'd left at our house when she stayed that didn't make it out of our dryer.  I handed them to him in a wad.

"No way, you're going to be mad at me mom!"

"No I'm not, they're not mine, they're Auntie Sara's."
He's already wiped his nose with them.  Now he looks like he's going to throw up.

"Now blow.  Don't worry, I'm not going to tell anybody."
Okay, so that part wasn't true.  When the others got to the service, I told them all.  So now, Esten officially has had his first truly traumatic underwear-related experience, and I think it's good.  What else is he going to have to chit-chat with a therapist about?  He's had an awesome life so far.  And he's seven.  It's time to liven things up a little.  Maybe he should think about being a little more prepared, like Auntie Mandy is.  I've had some undie incidents in my life and survived them, and these days panties play a bigger role than you'd imagine.

First there was the birthday my mom gave me underwear.  As a present.  When I was far too old for that. And I unwrapped it.  In front of people.  It's mostly blocked out at this point.  Mostly.

In Junior High April Fool's left me the butt of a prank involving a skivie switcheroo on a school trip, one that took years to live down amongst some participants.

A High School summer vacation to San Francisco sans parental units returned me safely to the Spokane airport after many mechanical delays, but not so safely for my luggage, which had been drawn and quartered.  It was the first offered up once the baggage claim carousel fired up, but not before all my panties made a maiden voyage once around in front of three planes' worth of passengers in what quickly turned the grumpy, tired, late night crowd into a giggle fest.  My mom was eager to gather my things and settle the score with the airline, but I was only eager to crawl under a rock and die.

These days those first-on-last-off necessities play a whole different role in life.  I recently realized I and my father spend far more time in them together than a father and daughter should.  But alas, this is what my life has become.  3 a.m. in a tee shirt and undies getting a pill for your 85 years-old-in-a-month dad when he wakes up in the middle of the night and/or helping him to the bathroom when you realize you're wearing the same outfit sometimes happens faster than you can put pants on.  Here are photos of my dad and I:

Jockey® Men's Underwear, V-neck Tee Multi Pack

Hahahahaha! Of COURSE I'm kidding!  My dad does NOT wear V-necks. That's ridiculous.  Oh yeah...and he's about a buck-fifteen in soaking wet clothes with chicken legs and I'm....well....I'm not about a buck-fifteen and we'll leave it at that.  He didn't like it when my mom got him little boys' Ninja Turtle undies when he got too skinny for grown-up sizes.  I guess we've all had our underdrawer drama.

We, the adults, have been incredibly entertained as well.  London does an AmAzing Tarzan routine with his boxer briefs that leaves me feeling sorry for those outside his trusting circle.  Kenadie, bless her sweaty little soul, works up such a lather playing hard that she just can't help it and instinctively peels off the layers until she begins to cool.  She doesn't care that she ends up giving everyone a peek at her princess panties.  She's six, and that's how she rolls, take it or leave it.  Love her, love her streaking.  Hey, give us a good seat and a mediocre glass of wine, send a kid through in various surprise stages of undress doing some trick, act, song, or unnatural noise with a body part, and chances are either that we'll be entertained or at least too tired to spank anybody.  It's a party.

Anyway, I think Auntie Sara may have decided she didn't want her now snotty undies back, but I'm not sure at this point.  I left them in my MIL's washer.  It's now up to them to hash out.  I do know that Esten has made me promise to try to be more ready for emergencies such as that, which I will.  I need to.  Mandy is a fantastic mom, way better than I.  I know this because, like I need only take a poll of my shorties to know that they'd voluntarily go to her without a second thought.  I know it's because of more than cheese sticks and tissues in her purse, though.  It's because they know her heart overflows for them, and thus theirs for her.  And Esten knows that Auntie Sara really isn't mad about her undies at all, and that if he was really in a bind he's got a grandpa and a few uncles who would give him a sock to wipe his butt in a heartbeat.

And isn't that what family is really all about?


  1. I needed those laughs, thank you! I love you.

  2. Once again, you simply amaze me with your way with words!! :) I love it....Thanks for starting my Monday off with a smile!!
    Heather Hildreth

  3. Heather, thank you for the early morning laugh and reminding me how incredibly awesome our crazy family is!!! Angie:)

  4. You absolutely crack me up!!! As for my family they would tell you, that I am the one who has the purse with everything in it. It usually is because I am overly prepared, and I think of all the 'What if's'. This is worse than not being prepared, as your children are slowly learning they have to prepare themselves for life's 'Oh, No!' moments. Where my children, nieces', and nephews' expect me to always be prepared for them. But little do they know that mommies and aunties cannot always be there. And when that day comes, they will have to realize that they better have put their big boy/girl panties on!
    So don’t be so hard on yourself, you are just preparing them for Life!
    You are a great mom, wife, daughter, and friend! We should all be so grateful to have you in our lives. As you help us put our lives into perspective, and help us to see that we are just as normal as any other mom! And you know how we all need that once in a while. Thank you for putting my ‘mommy’ skills into perspective!