Thursday, April 06, 2006


Last summer, one of my dearest friends asked if I would come do a workshop at her church’s moms’ group. The topic was to be about relaxation for moms. Well, April seemed a long way off last July, and I readily agreed. After all, I figured an hour talking about relaxation techniques and tips could be, well, relaxing.

Forward to Monday, the day of the dreaded workshop. See how things change in just a few months? In July – anticipatory. In April – dreading. Whatever.

As I’m driving to the workshop, which I didn’t finish preparing until midnight the night before – not relaxing – I say to Zane, “Honey, we’re going to go see Max and play with the school bus.” Last month at the mom’s group, I took Zane to the church childcare so that he could get used to it, so I was just reminding him of what a good time he had last month. Zane immediately starts screaming, “No Max! No Bus! No Max! No Bus!”

But I’m feeling pretty good, because I had just reviewed a bunch of relaxation techniques. I start breathing slowly and talking to him quietly – reminding him of what a good time he had last time. No dice, baby. He sobbed the rest of the way to the church, and I ended up having to pull him out of the car by his ankles as he futilely clung to his car seat. The whole time he’s sobbing, “No Max! No Bus!” Beautiful.

But I’m actually still doing fairly well. I figure we have 45 minutes until the workshop starts, we’ll get settled, we’ll calm down.

As we walked into the church, people start coming out of their offices to see what the commotion is. The commotion is my 2 ½ year old using every passive resistance technique ever employed by civil rights protesters in an effort to keep us from getting to the church nursery. I have to admit that I started to feel a little un-relaxed at this point.

It only got worse when we got to the nursery room door, so I moved onto Plan B. Zane could hang out with me a little while in the mom’s room and then someone from the nursery could come down once my workshop started and hang out with him in the same room with me. Brilliant – you church people are too kind to offer this to my caterwauling kid, but I’ll take it.

Except, that no one ever came down to watch him.

Hence the following Zane-related activities occurred during my workshop about relaxing for moms:

  • Shoes and socks came off and “Toes, Toes, Toes” was proclaimed loudly and repeatedly for everyone’s enjoyment.
  • Stripping of clothes – then the diaper – then bending over so that everyone could see his bunky
  • Pouring his chips on the floor then stomping on them with bare feet while saying “Zane. Toes. Chips.” - over and over.
  • Hands down his pants (once we got them back on) – cause he just recently discovered how nice alone time can be.

Hence, the following phrases were uttered by me, in between discussing breathing diaphragmatically and progressive muscle relaxation:

  • Sweet pea, let’s don’t show everyone what the good lord gave you.
  • Crud, you’re stinky kid. Let’s take a quick break so that I can change a dirty diaper. I’ll be right back.
  • Yes, those are mama’s toes Zane. Zane has toes, too.
  • No, honey, this is public. We need to wait until we’re in private to put our hands there. No, honey, papa wouldn’t let you touch yourself here at church.
  • Did you leave your penis pointing down? You don’t want to pee all over your pants and shirt. Come here, let me see if he’s pointing down.

Suffice it to say, it was a very stress-filled relaxation workshop I gave. By the time it was over, I was caught between laughing at the absurdity and crying at the irony of my god-awful chaotic relaxation workshop.

On the other hand, I’m sure the other mothers got some validation from my crazy kid’s behavior. I don’t think they’re going to ask me back, though.


SRH said...

He really has just recently discovered his "twig and berries." If he didn't investigate himeslf so thoroughly in public, I mean he really examines himself closely, it would not be nearly as embarrassing.

Lsig said...

That's really horrifying. I'm trying desperately not to laugh at your expense.

Mimma said...

I'm proud of ya, Zane! Show those other mommies what a stressful kid is really like!

Zany Mama said...

"twig and berries" - that one kills me every time.

no need to desperately try...i'm sure some day i'll laugh about it, too.

the child does not need further encouragement. can it, grandma.