Poster Family

Ever have one of those moments where you take a deep breathe, exhale, smile, and just know everything is right with the world? Mine are always immediately followed by overwhelming guilt.

We’re healthy. We’re happy. We’re fortunate. We’re the walking “American Suburban Dream Family” poster.

Tonight we watched in awe while the kids stared wide-eyed at the master chef in the “HAAAT! HAAAAT! Mommmmy! HHHAAAAAT!” local Japanese steakhouse. I have no doubt the Count will attempt cracking eggs on my spatula tomorrow morning, all while explaining to me (in his now, very informative and condescending 3-year-old tone) “No way Mom. The man at the place with the fishies did it this way, so I can too! I HAVE to do it like that. That is HOW you do it!”

Then at Ben & Jerry’s at the Suburbia Required Town Center, the Kaiser and kids were dancing to oldies blasting through the ice cream shop while I giggled and snuggled and had to force myself NOT to scream at the top of my lungs “MY LIFE IS FUCKING WONDERFUL! DO YOU SEE THIS, EVERYONE? THIS IS HAPPINESS!”

…but as always, my smugness was smacked by that bitch reality when the Count held his penis through his shorts and his oldies dance became the “keep the pee IN” shuffle and knowing his fear of LOUD flushing public toilets, someone was going to have to brave the local restroom…while someone else calmed what was bound to be a shrieking 16-month-old, aghast at the site of one of her parents leaving with her brother.

That entire thought process reminded me that the Count will be quick to meltdown in said public toliet, because only moments before his cherry garcia-topped-with-gummy-bear bliss, he was torn-kicking and screaming-from a toy truck, cleverly packaged with a book at suburbia’s book shop. Or coffee/music/toy/card/dvd/pen/journal mega-store, whatever you prefer.

So after the pee and shriek and clean-sticky-kids-after-ice -ream tag team by the Kaiser and I, we arrive back at the minivan to find that the Count left his toy from the Japanese steakhouse in the mega book/coffee/card/body of hoffa/cd mart.

Sensing we just don’t need the row of flashing Japanese fake teeth that will surely send us into seizures later, we play dumb and vaguely answer the Count’s desperate cries of “BUT WHERE COULD IT BE, MOMMY? I LOST IT? OH, MOMMY. I LOST THE SPECIAL SURPRISE FROM THE PLACE WITH THE FISHIES!” with “eeerrrr. ummmmm. I’m not sure where it could be….ummmm… must have left it somewhere…..ummmm. oh, yes, I am so sorry you lost your very special toy (that you’ve had for less than an hour and cost 2 cents to make) I’m sure another little boy will find it where you lost it and he will be soooooooo happy. So don’t worry sweetie.”

Now safely back home, having endured tears but minimal screaming over the loss of the crap toy, I read from one of the new books we dutifully purchased after rock-star trashing the children’s section of the store.

Both kids snuggle on either side of me. One nursing, the other listening to every word. I turn the pages like a pro and wonder, again, how I got so lucky and feel my heart bursting through my skin.

The Kaiser sits next to us and I wish there was a photographer hiding in my kitchen to quickly capture this American Suburban Family moment. You know, for the next poster.

And then I realize the baby isn’t really nursing, she’s sucking a finger while she pinches my nipple, and hitting me with some hard plastic case. And the 3-year-old? He’s listening, but with his fingers in his ears because he’s afraid of the story.

The Kaiser looks at me over all the nonsense and we catch eyes. Roll eyes. Laugh.

Maybe we’re not the poster family after all. But I’m not complaining.

Happy Anniversary honey.


  1. Wishing you well and a Happy Anniversary!

  2. Oh what a funny story! Happy Anniversary!

  3. Happy anniversary! Your American dream family sounds oddly similar to mine…in a good way (as my daughter reports to me “I’m covering P’s mouth, mommy! hee hee”

  4. Your family sounds a lot like mine. I once had someone tell me that my family was ‘normal-dysfunctional’ whatever that means. 🙂

    I guess in the end it boils down to love and laughter. I have a feeling that y’all have plenty of those things to get by just fine.

    Happy Anniversary!

  5. Yep, sounds like the perfect family moment. I’ve got a huge smile on my face just thinking about it. But the messiest, most imperfect moments are always the best, aren’t they?

    It’s your anniversary? Happy Anniversary! I’m glad I picked today to find you.

  6. Awww! How sweeeet! Happy Anniversary Erin and Aaron! How many years? I’m all sentimental now. You guys rock.

    Holy shit. Is that my name over there?

    Erin….you’re too sweet.

    We love you guys! If we lived in Cali, we’d babysit so you can have dinner and a GBJ.


    Dana (and Doug)

  7. Happy anniversary! How many years is it?

    Sounds like you had a pretty typical day to me. And I think the crying and screaming are all part of the American Suburban Dream Family.

  8. Queen of Spain says:

    6 years of wedded bliss. BLISS I say!

  9. awww. *sniff*sniff*

    i have moments like that, too. those skin bursting, heart-breakingly beautiful happy moments.

    usually that’s about when i step in a cold puddle of dog pee on the floor.

    happy anniversary.

  10. Happy Anniversary! What a great story. Can’t wait for those toddler years to arrive! Oh wait. Yes. Yes I can.

  11. What a great story. I should be so lucky someday.

    I’m glad to see that you hadn’t, in fact, stopped blogging, it was simply me being dumb and forgetting to update my RSS reader. “You know, I don’t think I’ve read anything new on the Queen of Spain blog since… let’s see… since she moved to a new address. Oh.”

    I really enjoy reading your blog. When I’m not being too dumb to read.

  12. Happy Anniversary!

    The messiest moments are the best!

  13. Happy Anniversary! ARen’t such perfect moments great!

  14. The “fun” is in dysfunctional and I am convinced that didn’t happen accidentally.

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