Last week I slipped on my friend, Lorraine’s, icy driveway trying to pull a will-not out of her dog’s butt. This is not the story I will talk about but I will tell you that my hip is bruised and my shoulder is not moving quite right. There are also weird decrepit noises when I move my legs. My teenage daughter can hear it even with her headphones on, “Stop it!” Okay, child, I will just lay still then. I’ve noticed with age, my whole skeletal system is starting to feel like flimsy toy put together by a crazed, impatient prepubescent girl. I am Barbie’s Dream Osteopathic Bodyworks Exhibit. I only use this as a metaphor because this past week has been all about the memories of when my kids were little. Because of my ice injury, my usual A.M. fitness routine has been thwarted and instead, I’ve been watching morning television. I could get used to it. Regis is on his last hurrah and the ladies at The View are always entertaining. But the best part is that Marilyn Denis is back with her own show on CTV after leaving Cityline a few years ago.
17 years ago, when my daughter was born, there was no specialty cable, the internet was unknown territory for civilians so no Facebook, Twitter, or funny gin-soaked mommybloggers to help us through the day. On tv, Regis had Kathie Lee as a cohost (need I say more?) but luckily we had Marilyn Denis in the morning and then repeated in the afternoon. She was a mom learning to parent just like us and her expert guests were our guides to modern living. I watched her every day, I really felt like she was friend or a sister. I wasn’t a crazy shut-in, I also had real life. I joined a new mothers’ group at the Beaches Rec Centre. We were a motley group of 12 sleep deprived women dealing with fresh scars, brown stains, and other grossities. We met once a week for a couple of hours. It’s all a blur now but back then but I remember most being fixated on this one baby whose head was encrusted with yellow cradle cap. I was itching to reach over and dig in to pick it off. What was wrong with his mother that she left it alone? She obviously had no mama gorilla instincts and after weeks of letting it grow to the point that was medical-book grotesque, I asked her: “Why aren’t you picking that crap off his head?!” I think I shamed her.
Looking back, the whole group probably thought I was a bitch, I was pious and righteous with my cloth diaper service and my personalized Furber method (10 minutes of letting a baby cry can easily be stretched out to a half an hour when your baby sounds like a kitten). At home alone though, I was losing my mind. My baby girl, Evangeline, was the spawn of Satan. She made my nipples bleed with her razor-sharp gums. She screamed with her raw cat voice as soon as she woke up. She did abdominal crunches on her change table, and her legs were so frantic, it was almost impossible to put a diaper on her. She was a good sleeper but when she was awake, I couldn’t wait to put her in her playpen, aka, “Shawshank” or her swing, dubbed the “neglect-o-matic.”
Anyway, it turned out the one thing the mothers in our group had in common was our love for Marilyn Denis and one day we all got tickets to attend a taping of her show. It was a family episode and afterwards, her super-cute cameraman, Emilio, asked us if he could do a taped segment with us moms and our one minute parenting tips. A few weeks later, Emilio, came to my house to film me and another mother from the group, Lorraine, demonstrate our skills. Lorraine lived down the street and was also a stay-home mom and by then most of the other women in the group were back at work because their 6 months maternity leaves were up. Lorraine’s tip was put a Mr. Freezee on a boo-boo instead of ice and the wounded child could eat it after he/she finished wailing. For the life of me, I can’t remember my parent trick. I used to make purses out of duct tape, maybe it was a diaper bag??? Whatever, Emilio, filmed us and was gone before noon. It was the first time Lorraine and I were alone without the other hags and we just looked at each other and I said, “Beer?” and she said: “Fuck, yeah!” and we cracked a couple open and 17 years later, we have been best friends ever since. And we can thank Marilyn Denis for that.
Lorraine and both had our second babies 3 years later. I had a boy, Freddy, who had cradle cap for 3 years that I would lovingly and gleefully pick off while he sat on my lap as we watched Cityline. I’m so happy Marilyn is back and with modern technology, I can access her any time I want with Rogers On Demand. I’m a single mama now and I also wonder, whatever happened to the cameraman, Emilio? Call me, I’m on Facebook and Twitter!