Oh, Lucy.

My husband and I have a play against one another.

A play that keeps our marriage kicking, or ticking…like a bomb–of glitter, of course. I’m not certain whether it comes from a place of fearing redundancy, or straight from the gut of twenty-something-immaturity, but sometimes we lead with sharp, slightly offensive humor.

Think the show, I Love Lucy.  (truly, we’re harmless)


{Take One: Serious Pose}  {Take Two: Husband Mocking Wife}

{Take Three: Wife Trying to Strangle Husband}

It’s the kind of humor that makes you laugh, before you realize it stings too.

Also known as the caress-slap. We’ve all experienced it, those two sides of humor. It’s the compliment that besiges the insult or vice versa.

Here’s an example, kissing your spouse and immediately being told after that your breath stinks. We’ve all been there, except for me. And you reading this…because in the land of this blog, we are perfection with the mintiest breath ever.

Okay, that is a big, fat lie–we aren’t.  See, there’s the slap.

Never mind your spouse, it’s kids, who steal the show.  They have a special approach to the caress-slap. It’s where they completely miss the lead, or follow through of the caress step. And my darling beauties are no exception.

Here’s an example…hold for one second, let me light the stage of my confession:

I. Am. Terrible. At. Math.

There, now you know. My life keeps moving forward because I own a calculator, without it…well I don’t like to think about that.

Do you remember the character Dylan from the movie Friends with Benefits? Yes, you do—it had Justin Timerblake in it and he was dreadfully dumb at math. To clarify, he makes it known in the scene where he’s contemplating jumping the fence to get to the Hollywood sign and he figures outloud that somehow 6×3=92. I’m just going to let that sit right there for a minute.

So yeah, that’s me, except Justin makes his character look incredibly endearing to be that terrible at math. Being terrible at math—something you use every single day– feels like being naked on stage with the spotlight shining down on you. And after birthing and breastfeeding four kids, things have changed—let’s just say (in any phase–past, present, or future), I have no business being naked. In public. On any stage. Ever.


(This art piece showcasing pain is known as: Math)

Sadly, or comedically…(remember we laugh, instead of cry in the land of this blog) I can still list by name, every peer of mine in high school, who unknowingly helped me pass all our courses of math.

Yes, I cheated…but they never knew it. That’s a lie. A person I will not name, (rhymes with Rat) caught me once. He gave me the angry stare, then told me to study and stooped over his test, blocking my view. I failed that test. Thanks (rhymes with Rat).

But back to the point. My oldest daughter, Avayah, is starting to catch on to my lack of proficient skills in mathematics. This is where I lie and say she’s seventeen and taking AP math courses, except she’s really nine and in the fourth grade. (I can feel it through the screen right now, you’re judging me…)

This is also where I tell you that my husband, Travis, is a math master. Someone has got to pay the bills, right?  Praise Jesus for him.

So a couple of weeks ago, Avayah came home from school, ate her snack, watched a little television and then heard me use those words sure to exasperate her…“Got any homework?”

I waited for the eye roll/groan/you’re ruining my life hand gestures, but instead I got a long pause, her hazel eyes avoiding meeting mine. I thought to myself, that’s different.

After a solid twenty seconds of hesitation, she weakly said, “Um, yeah. A math paper.”

“Let’s get it out and get to working on it, okay?” I countered, feeling oddly triumphent. Maybe the thought of doing homework after she’d been at school for eight hours was starting to be a happy place for her. I was on the cusp of fist bumping the air, when I noticed her slowly rocking back and forth on her heels in the kitchen, not getting her homework out of her backpack.

“But I need help with it, I didn’t understand the lesson.” She informed me.

“Okay, I’ll help you.” I smiled.

This is the part where her eyebrows, now shooting towards the ceiling in disbelief, tell you everything you need to know.

“Uh, does dad work late tonight?”

There it was.

The slap.

“Hey, I can do math too.” I protested. Note to all mama’s…never show weakness, especially to a nine year old.


Avayah (9 going on any age that knows more than her mother…)

Then Avayah laughed, smiled, and then quipped, “Mom…really? I’ll just wait for dad.”

Any chance of a caress was shot, buried six feet under.

And wordlessly, I backed out of the kitchen, stomped like a two-year old down the hall, all the way to my bedroom closet, shut the door and cried, while praying this prayer, “Dear Jesus, if you have to take Travis to heaven, please, paaaahlease, let it be after all the beauties graduate from both high school and college…because otherwise, we might be in big trouble. Amen.”

Or I really just stood there and thought to myself, one of these days you are going to need my skills, because math isn’t everything, okay!  I can do make-up, hair, just basically all the superficial things that are fun and fabulous.  And not to mention that I raised you, yeah remember all those nights that I rocked you until my arms were burning numb–the weight room at the gym has nothing on rocking, toting, and carrying a baby until their three around e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.  No, you don’t remember I guess. You were a baby.  But still.

And…I’m crazy dramatic and this my friends, is why I remained silent in front of the nine year old.  Soon enough I will bask in the glow of appreciation.  Probably, sometime after the next 2o years.  But hey, I can wait her out.

God Bless people like my husband, who kills mathematics.  And God Bless those like me, who get murdered by simple multiplication—take note, if this is you too, find someone who rocks math and marry them.



Author: Sarah Black

I'm a self-professed 'Drama Mama'...of four daughters, I blog to (over)share my stories on learning to maintain my sanity by strictly eating laughter in the emotional land of motherhood while trying to keep my husband from running away from the sheer amount of estrogen flooding our house.

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