Tag Archives: kid

Dear Diary, My Kid Is Perfect (like I had any doubt)

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Can't see the dog poop from here mom!!

Can’t see the dog poop from here mom!!

Today I woke up at 5:30am. Why? Because I was worried about next weekend when I have to wake up at 3am to take a bus to NYC and how sick I get when I have to wake up that early but how I can’t just stay up because that also makes me very sick. And what am I going to wear to New York and where am I going to sit on the bus and how much it sucks to get home at 1am and have to get into a cold car and drive the 45 minutes home and which bags I need to bring and what the kids are going to wear and by then, I was back to today and it was 6am. By skipping my early morning pee and Tylenol I was already starting to have a headache. So, I got out of bed, peed, took my Tylenol and pretended to meditate. I could tell it was going to be a super terrific wonderful awesome fabulous hell yeah really good day!

I finally decided to stop faking it, got out of bed at 6:30 and took a shower. But first, I dropped the toothpaste in the sink that is clogged so, basically I dropped the toothpaste into a pit of germs and spit. Before I used it. Then, I hopped in the shower and one of the kids had changed the radio station so it was on some top 40 crap. A really good song came on and I got goose bumps but I had to shave, which I did even though I know better and now I have the worst razor burn. Maybe the razor burn would have been tolerable if I was just putting back on my sweats, but, I had to get dressed in my mom costume because the 11 year old had a doctor’s appointment and a parent teacher conference. Super Terrific!

I woke the kids up. The 11 year old took a shower because she had her 11 year old check up today. The 15 year old took out the dog and fed him and started the car. I had to dry the 11 year old’s hair because it is negative 34 with the windchill in MARCH. Then, I came down stairs, tripped over the dog leash, realized that all of our winter coats are in the car so we are all going to catch pneumonia and then half fell down the icy stairs, banged my knee getting into the car and my phone won’t charge anymore. Wonderful Awesome!

Took the kid to her Dr appointment. She is perfect. Like, I totally knew that, but, I am glad the Dr and nurses got to see a perfect child…I’m happy for them. I am sure it made their day. Then, we went to school. I dropped her to her 3rd period art class and went to meet with her teachers. I was totally cool with this parent teacher conference. When my oldest was in kindergarten, her teacher explained to us that if a kid was having issues, they were the ones who got the beginning of the year conferences. Kids who were doing great got the end of the year conferences. Being that this is the end of March, I knew I was in the clear. And sure enough, her teachers were all “she’s perfect!” I was sort of feeling like maybe I should call a press conference to make sure the whole community knows my kid is perfect. Mostly because being the mother of 3 kids, 2 of whom have entered full blown teenagerhood, I know that perfect children do not last.  Hell Yeah!

My dog’s feet smell.

I got schooled today in bird sex. It’s gross.

This is what people in my house do to avoid going downstairs to the kitchen. And by people, I mean me.

This is what people in my house do to avoid going downstairs to the kitchen. And by people, I mean me.

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F.D.K. (Funeral Director’s Kid)

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No this was NOT my bed…

Growing up, I didn’t really feel connected to the human race. I always felt a bit different. I guess it is because I was adopted. Not only was I adopted, but I was adopted by a funeral director and a nurse. Not only was I adopted by a funeral director and a nurse, but we lived above the funeral home.  I thought I must have been dropped from outer space as I had no birth story, and I was surrounded by death and the knowledge of sickness. You can only imagine what conversations around the dinner table were like. My parents were pretty much done with each other by the time I was 8, so all they really had to talk about was their work. They were both workaholics. I don’t mean that as a “catch phrase” or a “label” they seriously worked all the time. They both loved what they did and hated their home life. Which left me either alone or with my grandparents, who fortunately lived a few blocks away.

At a very early age I learned how to walk without making any noise. Just like the Native Americans do when hunting. This was no easy task as our house was a 100 yea old Victorian with all hardwoods that creaked. Until I mastered this skill, I was made to stay in one room whenever there was calling hours or a funeral downstairs. I also learned to lip read cartoons and infer plot by body language because I was not allowed to turn on the volume on the Grieving people did not need to hear little feet running around above their heads or God forbid  Tom and Jerry. I didn’t question this. I just figured out ways around these rules.

Many times both my parents would stand calling hours. I remember being at the top of the stairs once and whispering very loudly “mom!! mom!! the cat is throwing up on the rug!! mom!! mom!!” and some stranger  opening the sliding divider and laughing hysterically at little me in my pj’s. Mom was not at all amused, to say the least. Not sure if it was because the cat puked or because I thought she needed to know right then and there.

Another unique thing about being the funeral director’s kid is that I believed “body” was a bad word. Because around my house “body” was always whispered. “Make sure you don’t go into the basement. There’s a ‘body’ here.” ‘When is the ‘body’ arriving?” “I have to go prepare the ‘body’ so I won’t be up for dinner” Really put a cramp in my bike riding because I kept my bike in the basement. And I know all of you who knew me when are curious. Yes, I did see a ‘body’ once. It was our 99 year old next-door neighbor Rose. I accidentally walked in on one of my dad’s men doing an embalming. Not pleasant. More because it was the first time I had seen a 99 year old lady naked rather than because she was dead. 99 years dead or alive is scary. My dad’s man about had a heart attack. I scared the bejeezus out of him!!

That didn’t scar me. It was just what happened. I felt worse because I knew I would get in trouble than I did for disturbing the sanctity of the embalming process. It was a total accident, but still, a punishable offense.  It was a good life though. My dad was almost always around and there was almost always a party happening downstairs. Dad would play music that the guest of honor would have loved and there was always a lot of laughter and everyone was always dressed in their best, smoking cigarettes. Some nights I would sit at the top of the stairs and just listen to all the adults chatting and laughing and sometimes sobbing. My dad was an expert at what he did and was very successful. And when we didn’t have a funeral, I would go exploring.

Our funeral home was beautiful. My parents were antique collectors. My dad was all about Victorian and my mom was all about Early American. So, the upstairs where we lived was all Early American and the downstairs  was all Victorian. So when I would go downstairs it was like entering a different world. Velvet couches and gold ornate wall paper and oriental rugs. Really a great place to pretend I was a princess. I wasn’t really allowed to play downstairs, but you know how kids are. My friends and I would go down and have seances and try to bring about the spirits. My house was the hot spot on Halloween.

We also had The Funeral Home Phone. The Funeral Home Phone would ring at all hours. The prank calls at 3am were always amusing. Ring Ring  ” George Washington just died! We need a hearse!!” snicker snicker. hang up. Well, that’s clever. I wasn’t supposed to answer The Funeral Home Phone. But when dad wasn’t home and mom was in the tub, the opportunity presented itself. I was 5 and I answered it just like my dad, mom and grandma did, or so I thought… “My daddy isn’t here but my mommy is in the tub. Hold on plwease! MOM!!! SOMEONE DIED!!!!!” Lucky for me that it was just one of dad’s men calling to check on a “body” that was being dropped off and he thought I was hysterical.

My dad had a few men who came and helped out every so often. They would come upstairs between calling hours (calling hours were traditionally 3-5 and 7-9) and drink coffee, smoke like fiends and talk and laugh. I was always around when the men came upstairs. They thought I was great. I would entertain them with dance solos and they would tell me dirty jokes. Other times, dad and I and the men would meet out for coffee and donuts and cigarettes. It was the late 70’s early 80’s, everyone smoked. But these men were a throw back to the early 60’s. The suits, the hair, the attitude. Really fun guys.

There were so many rules to living above the funeral home. Besides not walking loudly or watching tv with the sound on, I wasn’t allowed to play in the front yard. Gives a bad impression to have a little girl playing under the funeral home sign. We couldn’t have a dog. I wasn’t allowed to talk about who came and went to our house. If  my parents were on The Funeral Home Phone do NOT interrupt them to tell them the toilet is overflowing. That was apparently rule #1….who knew?

I still have a hard time saying “body” normally. I think it was 7th grade health class when our teacher was saying “body” this and “body’ that without whispering or any hesitation that I began to understand that the rest of the world said body and meant body. I said body and thought “dead person in the basement” .

Being a funeral director’s kid is pretty tough. Other kids were always asking me if I slept in a coffin. Didn’t I wish!!! Or if I saw dead bodies or ghosts. Well, duh, I lived over a funeral home. The only kid who was really kind of mean about it was the grave digger’s kid. How’s that for ironic? Overall it was a good childhood to have. I was part of our family business. I was always in charge of dusting the legs of the tables and chairs before calling hours and checking all the supplies in the bathroom. I did eventually learn how to answer the phone and take messages and how to stand calling hours. I still use my silent walking skills to my advantage and I can get the jist of any program on tv without hearing a word. Body puddy and embalming fluid aside, it was a good life.