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Monday, August 29, 2011

I Am The Coolest Aunt Ever

Great things have come out of my parents getting grandchildren through my oldest brother. First off, my typical Jewish mother no longer asks when I’m planning to pop out kids. My large Jewish family has stopped asking when I’m going to get married at every family event. I have an adorable niece and nephew whom I play with and lavish with love and bubbles. I get to be “cool Aunt Jyssica.”

My 4-year-old niece loves to see me and knows I’ll roll around on the floor to play with her. I bring her bubbles, which are cheap and apparently the coolest thing since dinosaurs, and she knows I have a ladybug earring that I wear in my right ear. She loves this ladybug. Every time I visit, she climbs up me like I’m a wobbly talking tree and yells “CAN I SEE YOUR LADYBUG?!” (directly INTO my ear) and then yanks my ear to her and says hello to him. Also, she named the ladybug George.  Which didn’t make any sense to me, either, until I realized she names everything George, after the curious monkey.

Side note, I almost traumatized my niece beyond all recognition at my sisters baby shower for her second kid, when I bought a Curious George pinata. We made sure the kid was safely inside when the adults were hitting George with a wooden baseball bat (It was a big hit. Pinatas should be at every baby shower. 8 month pregnant women, blindfolded with a bat, hitting a tree, are hilarious.).

My nephew is only 1 and a half, and he’s one handsome rugrat (despite my brother’s ugly mug, haha) and has the sweetest laugh and smile. He is also a climber. I never realized how impressive chairs are. He will walk up to a chair—any chair at all—and climb onto it. Once there, he’ll grin and look so incredibly proud of himself. Then he climbs down and wanders over to the next chair. He has welcomed himself to the world of walking and climbing with many tumbles, stumbles, trips, and falls. And bruises. Well, that’s all of us…

We are not a coordinated family. Trust me. Within 4 months of moving to NYC, I fell in a crosswalk and ended up needing a wristguard and a sling. My mom once sprained BOTH ankles so badly that the doctor actually said it would have been better if she’d broken them.  My brother, who the father of these 2 adorable children and both my biggest protector, as well as one of the most annoying people in the whole world, once skateboarded his way to a broken arm so severe that he needed surgery, a cast from shoulder to fingertips, and it STILL looks weird in comparison to his other arm.

Me, I’ve broken many bones. Some more than once. And I don’t always remember how each of them happened.  

The best thing ever is that no one in the family is as concerned about my love life, or lack of one, since there are kids to focus on! These 2 kids, the beginning of the newest generation of Scotts, are already carrying on our awkward tradition of being accident-prone. It’s not a good or braggable tradition, but a tradition nonetheless. Some families have names or jobs they pass on, some have weird habits or traits. We have a distinct lack of coordination.

My nephew jumped out of his high chair recently. He stood up and launched himself off of a high chair onto tile floors. This action resulted immediately in almost giving my brother his first heart attack, added to the gray already in his hair, and a trip to the hospital to make sure nothing in the kid's head was shaken loose. Luckily, along with little to no coordination, the Scotts also pass along a hard head from generation to generation. The boy is perfectly fine.

My sister-in-law is actually completely awesome. I'm not sure how, but she is the biggest dork I know and fits perfectly in my dorky family, even though she is a Catholic mexican. She's hilarious, though. My mom thinks she's a sweet angel (who delivered grandkids to her), but the rest of us know she is just as mischievious and silly and dorky as the rest of us, and has consequently passed that onto my niece and nephew!
I’m pretty sure if I were to hatch a kid, my family would visit me more. This is just an unrelated thought. Not that that is happening any time soon. I don’t even have a dog right now. And everyone knows that dogs are like starter kids! But being an aunt is good training, too, and one of the coolest, most satisfying roles I’ve ever had.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I am a quitter.

I quit smoking a mere 5 days ago. And I am awesome. AND apparently have the willpower of a VERY WILLPOWERY person!

I always thought my willpower was hidden away somewhere with my as-yet-unfound impulse control and my never-to-be-found patience. People say patience is a virtue, but I have to tell you, it is a virtue I have never possessed. ADHD much? Mayyyyybe...ooh! Shiny! Skip, jump, bounce. *waddle like penguin and make penguin sounds.* What? I'm not ADHD.

Here’s the thing though: I do feel proud of myself, to a certain extent. I mean, I was a smoker for close to 10 years, and in all that time have made maybe 2 efforts to quit, both of which ended before 24 hours had passed. But at the same time, it hasn’t been hard. I expected to be fighting cravings like a superhero and using willpower to scale difficult times of shivering, foaming-at-the-mouth withdrawal symptoms.

How wrong I was. For whatever reason, I woke up one morning, said “I am DONE.” And proceeded to take the last few cigarettes out of my purse to give the boyfriend, and bouncingly went about my day.

Where is the STRUGGLE? Where are the HARDSHIPS?

Dammit. How am I ever going to become a superhero, if I have no obstacles and struggles to overcome? What the heck?! No one ever becomes a superhero because they were supremely average and just went about their day—even of it includes SKIPPING!!

On the other hand, I suppose I have options. I could go be exposed to a ton of radiation, get toxic waste spilled on me (a la Alex Mack…oh yeah, baby…90s reference!), maybe get bitten by some sort of bionic insect. Any suggestions? Help a poor, well-adjusted kid become superhero-worthy?

This isn’t even fodder for a good children’s book! “Jyssica woke up one morning perfectly fine, and had a good day.” No one wants to read that!

I need excitement! I need villains. I need something! If I am ever going to become a superhero and have powers, and become the stuff that myths, children’s tales, and newspaper stories are made of, SOMEthing is going to have to change around here!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Waking Up Supermad

Do you ever have one of those days when you just wake up, and right from the moment you get out of bed, you’re spoiling for a good fight?

You get up, and for no reason, you are just PISSED. You don’t remember your dreams from the night before, you just KNOW that something went down in them. Someone killed your hamster, your boyfriend cheated on you with a Japanese transvestite stripper-by-night/bus-driver-by-day, your parents moved and changed their number and didn’t tell you, which finally led to your understanding you are the least favorite and leading to years of expensive therapy that you couldn't afford, SOMETHING happened.

And even if you don’t know exactly what it is, you know you’re mad about it. And you are just going to keep that mad going. On those days, I’m not doing anything so tame as “waking up.” No, I am GETTING THE HELL OUT OF SLEEP! And I see my alarm clock, and it’s buzzing, and that annoying little beeping isn’t just gently awakening me from a deep sleep, it is jackhammering my face screaming “WAKE UP, SUCKA! You gotta go to WORK! HAAAAHA!” My alarm clock is taunting me, and I cannot handle that level of childish mockery at 7:00 in the morning.

Have I ever mentioned that I am not a morning person? I don’t like for anyone to talk to me for that first maybe 30 minutes of being awake. I just shower, and go about my morning, and by the time I get on the train, I am awake and ready to greet people civilly. Usually, anyway.

Things that normally wouldn’t bother me, or that I might not notice, suddenly become a HUGE DEAL. Stub my toe? I curse like a sailor. Loudly. Shower isn’t getting hot fast enough to please me? Curse at it, in multiple languages, and maybe throw in a hand gesture or 2, all while cranking it to the “Fire of a Thousand Suns” setting. And THEN (you know you saw this coming) being supremely annoyed when it’s so hot that the shower curtain starts to melt into a sad plastic-y puddle.

But ok, let’s say you make through your morning routine and out the door, all without killing yourself with a business card, just to make a point. You don’t know what that point might be at the moment, but you’re pretty sure it has a “deeper meaning” and substance, and that only poor misunderstood, pissed-off you would “get it.”

Not catching the light to cross the street, a pedestrian asking me for ANYTHING, the train not magically arriving as my feet step onto the platform, anything is fuel for my mood.

My sister-in-law was once mad for an entire day, and smacked my brother upon waking up, because she had a dream in which he cheated on her. 99% of the time I think that’s insane. That one day I wake up ready to kick a squirrel, I figure he probably had it coming.

Then, suddenly, I'm fine. I don’t know what made me want to suddenly stop mentally burning everyone’s hair, but I’m suddenly completely okay again. My mood is uplifted, my optimism is back in place, and I’m happy again. And off I go, tra-la-la-ing, as if nothing happened.