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The Brains Behind The Operation


One of the ways that my friend KC suggested that I think of Amelia’s encephalocele was that her brain was just so full of awesomeness that it just..exploded out the back. Obviously one skull cavity wasn’t enough to contain all that awesomesauce. She might have been onto something there, because the kid is wicked-smart.

Or, at the very least, she’s my last hope. The shining light of intelligence and common sense in my house. The last bastion of all that might be right in my house.

My eldest, Ben, has never had a whole lot of common sense. He’s the kid that would probably Superman jump off my two-story house with a sheet tied around his neck if he had any more imagination. Thank the powers that be that he was born with as much imagination as I was.

I mean, I’m the person who WANTED to have an imaginary friend but couldn’t even do that. I didn’t have enough imagination to have an imaginary friend. YEAH. Obviously my kid.

Alex, though, I thought might whip him into shape, since he has Ben doing his bidding. Alex, even at 2.5, is an evil mastermind of a child, so I figured that he’d be the brains while Ben was the brawn.

Turns out Alex is mini-Chris Farley. He’s the kid who throws himself into walls on PURPOSE only to bounce off, hop back up and yell “I’M OKAY!!” When Dave’s says he’s my clone, I’m not entirely sure he’s being flattering.

My faith in Alex steering Ben into perhaps having an evil empire where they, oh, I don’t know, maybe made me boat-loads of cash while being evil somehow screeched to an audible halt the other day.

Mimi and I were playing trains in one room, and I watched as my son’s came in and mysteriously grabbed a couple of blankets and ran back out. I waited a couple of minutes and then yelled, “what are you doing?”

“Alex set up a slide!!” Ben happily replied to me.

Shockingly this did not make me feel any better.

Mimi and I followed them out to the other room where, in fact, Alex had set up a slide and we watched as the two lug-nuts we love so dearly slid off the back of the arm of the couch onto the floor below.

Onto their heads.

My son’s were sliding from the couch onto their heads.


No one was crying or complaining that it hurt; no. They were just using their thick skulls and faces to wipe the floor with. I swear I have never been so flabbergasted. Let’s be clear, my own IQ might rival that of peat moss, but I have never had the idea to use my face as the landing spot for falling from heights.

As soon as I recovered from my shock, I stopped them.

Then I informed my daughter that without her, her brothers might be lost forever, a couple of goons stuck picking their noses and jumping off things in the misguided idea that they can fly for the rest of their lives.

Let’s hope that she uses her power for GOOD and not evil.


Sunday was the anniversary of Mimi’s discharge from the NICU. It was still a turbulent couple of weeks before we knew anything about anything, so it wasn’t like it was the anniversary of things being all right again. I mean, if your kid is sprung from the NICU, you’re pretty much grabbing her and getting the hell out of there.

I’m having a hard time talking about all of the chaos surrounding her first weeks of life, but I’m not having a hard time expressing my gratitude. With all of your help and support, I was able to turn what was a horrible, devastating time in my life into something else.

A couple of months ago, you helped vote for me in a contest with a cash prize. I promised I would donate that to the March of Dimes. Because the one bright spot in the whole fucked up situation was knowing that Mimi and I could help other people and other babies.

We are.

I officially became a March of Dimes Mom.

And I donated my winnings to the March of Dimes. I’d show you a receipt, but I figured you could just see that $250 was added to Team Mimi’s March of Dimes widget.

So thank you. All of you.


Mimi says, “Upon further inspection, cupcakes are deemed satisfactory.”

(why yes, yes, that is frosting in her eyebrows)

And for my work with March of Dimes, I was awarded this nifty button from Give it Forward, which is a sweet ass medical fund-raising blog. So thanks, guys! I’m all a-flutter!

53 Comments to

“The Brains Behind The Operation”

  1. On February 1st, 2010 at 11:53 am KeepingYouAwake Says:

    That’s awesome, and you’re the best for accepting what your kids can be instead of trying to fit them into some shell you had designed so they could live out your goals. Whether or not they do daredevil things for fun, they’ll probably impress you and everyone else.

    Now, can I get a picture of said slide, so I can try it?

  2. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:04 pm Mrs. Spit Says:

    Mimi might be your child, but she is very much OUR girl. We are all a little possessive. And of course she’s going to beat the pants off brothers. That’s what youngest girl children do.

  3. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:12 pm BigSis Says:

    I like to think that my son is bright, but he still does those stupid boy things like using his face as a place to land. I’m hoping it gets better as he grows up. He already looks like a hilbilly.

  4. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:15 pm Sara @ Life with the Two Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Mrs Spit.

    Also, that type of slide may or may not have been set up at our house more than once.

  5. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:16 pm Jayme Says:

    That’s awesome, yay for MoD! That girl of yours is going to be something else. I look forward to reading about her 🙂

  6. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:23 pm Morgan @ The818 Says:

    I really enjoy reading you, and your daughter sounds amazing. What an awesome Mama she has to carry on the cause!

  7. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:29 pm kalakly Says:

    So damn glad Mimi kicked that enceph’s ass. She must get that ‘tude from her mommy. Happy 1 year out. You’ve come a long way baby!!!

  8. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:31 pm existentialwaitress Says:

    Mimi kicks ass! 🙂

    My son is very bright, but for some reason still fails to understand that behaving like a jack ass = no video games. Go figure.

  9. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:39 pm gaylin Says:

    Ah to celebrate the awesomeness of kids here is a story from eons past (30+ years).

    My oldest brother and his friends rolled a massive snow ball (over 12 feet round) into our front yard. My sister and younger brother decided to dig a tunnel through it. My sister on one side with a shovel, my brother on the other side with his hands . . . The inevitable happened. My brother ended up with 3 stitches in his forehead! Blood on snow is very bright.

    Here is to celebrating the smarts of kids everywhere. May there always be bandaids and fast moving mothers.

    Mimi getting out of NICU a year ago, sweet! She can rule the world. Queen Mimi.

  10. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:40 pm linlah Says:

    Mimi will have those boys in the palm of her hand and the slide sounds like more fun than the usual tent.

  11. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:43 pm stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Says:

    Really it is a wonder how the human race survived boyhood at all. My two are reckless beyond sense. If they think they are getting a driver’s license at 16 automatically they can think again.

    I agree with KC, Amelia had more brains than she could contain

  12. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:46 pm Patty Punker Says:

    it’s true in my family, too, whenever someone says “you’re your mother’s son” or “you’re just like your father” or “what’s the deal with your son” it’s said in vain and not all that flattering.

    you and all of your children are awesome, fearless traiblazers! you all rule.

  13. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:47 pm Laura Says:

    Yay for you! I love the slide thing 🙂 Ahhh boys. I am pretty sure I had girls because I would be dead by now if I had boys.

    My husband says our little 2 year old Sarah will be the kind of kid who falls into a well.

    My niece was born at 24 weeks, so I totally hear the whole NICU story.

  14. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:51 pm Rebecca Says:

    She didn’t make enough of a mess with her cake. Where is all the gooey icing?

  15. On February 1st, 2010 at 12:53 pm Dot Says:

    Boys are different. Definitely more into the physical. 🙂

  16. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:11 pm Heather P. Says:

    YAY Mimi!

  17. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:11 pm nyx Says:

    Awesomeness! And Amelia? Beauty and brains?

    Oh Lord help you when she starts dating.

    Or when she realizes she’s smarter than her brothers.

  18. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:22 pm Vinomom Says:

    I love this. I don’t have boys so I can’t relate. I just hope you are ready for the other side of the spectrum. While boys might be dopey and face plant into things – girls, GIRLS are a big bottle of hormones waiting to explode. I hope Mimi doesn’t explode onto you. You’ve got your hands full with the evil genius and the lack of common sense already 🙂

    Also I wanted to let you know that I will share my childhood imaginary friend with you. Her name was Lisa and we made bets about things. But I would tell her she couldn’t look into my brain to see what i was thinking, because that was cheating. She had to bet with her OWN mind.

  19. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:26 pm mrs ellenoy Says:

    Hmmm…girls are indeed different, although I can verify that an elder sister will often *force* a younger sister to slide down something on her face for the elder’s entertainment.

    Boys are weird when they’re younger, and girls get weird as they age. Although you have a good chance of keeping Mimi on your side as she grows, just so that the females can hold their own against all of the sausages.

  20. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:26 pm amy d Says:

    So funny about the boys Bex!

    I mean as they mature (is that an oxymoron??) the gap between neanderthal and man is bridged…a bit. But when they are as young as ours and nothing but crazy bursts of flatulence and energy the difference between boys and girls is SOOOOO evident!

  21. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:29 pm Susan Says:

    And yet, when I read between the lines, you’re still smiling! Pat yourself on the back, Woman – you’re doing some great things with your kids!

  22. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:35 pm linzm0 Says:

    *high fives!*

  23. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:39 pm KC Says:

    I am wicked-smart about baby brains. I also need to come see all of the awesome baby brains residing in your home. We must hang soon.

  24. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:48 pm a Says:

    The girls are always the brains behind the operation! Maybe the boys are trying to knock some sense into themselves! 🙂

  25. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:53 pm Nancy C Says:

    My boys are TOTAL KNUCKLEHEADS too. How do any of them survive? Seriously.

  26. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:54 pm Jennifer B Says:

    Yay for Mimi, queen of the Universe!!! To hell with a stupid old encephalocele, that can’t hold her down! I never cease to be amazed by her. And yeah, I hope that we Internetz, who love her from afar, get to claim a small part of her awesomeness.

  27. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:56 pm The Only Girl Says:

    Boys always have been, and always will be, a mystery.

    Congrats on your March of Dimes status!

  28. On February 1st, 2010 at 1:56 pm Cyndi Says:

    Wow, that sounds just like my house! LOL I hate to think what the world would have unleashed if my kids HADN’T been born addicted to drugs… they are so damn smart that even though they are special needs they are in the top of their classes. Maybe this is just an evolutionary fail-safe so we don’t end up with child Brains looking for their Pinky.

    My nephew had a similar problem to Mimi’s except his extra brain compartment was full of blood. He was born with the cord wrapped around his neck twice and wasn’t breathing. Now at 3 years old, he’s already hacking my dad’s computers. When he closes a program he says “bye-bye” and waves at it. He is such a DEVIOUS LITTLE SHIT that 4 hours of baby-sitting him can send a person into hysteria. My sister says “you have it so hard with 3 kids.” I say “but you have HIM!”

  29. On February 1st, 2010 at 3:26 pm A.G Says:

    I left you a little something over on my blog.

  30. On February 1st, 2010 at 3:29 pm Rus Says:

    Aunt Becky,

    As a parent of grown boys and girls, I have to say that what you see is 100% correct and normal. Boys are self destructive right out of the chute. They slowly grow out of it until they get to be like me (about 50) when most of the time the memories of pain stops them from doing the stupid things. We never stop thinking them, however :o)

  31. On February 1st, 2010 at 3:47 pm Not My Mother Says:

    This is perfect. You have provided her with built-in henchmen for when she is running her evil empire (and don’t deny, an evil empire is far more awesome, even the Gates foundation doesn’t have an underwater lair beneath a volcano AFAIK). And she’ll never have to question their loyalty. Their sense, yes, but not their loyalty.

  32. On February 1st, 2010 at 3:58 pm Melissa Says:

    Oh, girls can do the stupid shit too. I once convinced my brother that both of us sitting in a baby carriage (you know, the old 70’s type), that we could go down our very steep driveway, cross the road, down the neighbors steep driveway, cross their yard, and fly off their pier into the lake. It didnt end with our deaths of course, but it didnt end well. And I DID jump off my roof with a sheet tied to my neck. I didnt get hurt then either, landed on my feet. Granted I only jumped from one story, but still.

    I guess my Mom wasnt all that attentive eh?

  33. On February 1st, 2010 at 4:01 pm Elly Lou Says:

    I like to use my face for all my daily activities – opening jars, closing doors, flushing the toilet. I just haven’t figured out yet how to steer and brake at the same time.

  34. On February 1st, 2010 at 4:43 pm Mrs Soup Says:

    Dude, your kids are awesome.

    And they are lucky to have a momma like you. 😀

  35. On February 1st, 2010 at 4:57 pm 3xE Says:

    Congrats on your March of Dimes-ness!
    Sorry your kids take after you in the off-the-wall-amazingly-fun way, I guess.
    The trick is that if you don’t veiw it as a problem, it stops being a problem. So, you might as well give them knee-pads and helmets and join in the fun, right?

  36. On February 1st, 2010 at 4:58 pm Cara Says:

    Before long she will have the boys doing her bidding. Then when they get caught she will sweetly say “But I didn’t do anything” and the boys take the fall.

    What no before cupcake pictures?

  37. On February 1st, 2010 at 5:32 pm Krissa Says:

    That I AWESOME! Love the award and you deserve it!
    Do you realize that if Mimi grows up and turns evil, she could employ her two brothers and TAKE OVER THE WORLD.
    Well, actually, if she doesn’t turn evil, she could do the same thing! Let’s count on that, shall we?

  38. On February 1st, 2010 at 7:45 pm Will Says:

    I was never that reckless as a tot. Not me. Huh uh.

    In all seriousness, it’s amazing how early young women mature in relation to boys. Your little Mimi is probably already perfecting her eye-rolling skills.

  39. On February 1st, 2010 at 8:14 pm Jenn Says:

    I love that photo of her, she is too sweet. 🙂
    My kids do the slide thing too (minus landing on their heads – on purpose, anyway). I don’t stop them though, I’m usually just glad they are getting along and not bothering me. 😉

  40. On February 1st, 2010 at 8:16 pm moonspun Says:

    You make me proud with that March of Dimes work…very proud!

  41. On February 1st, 2010 at 9:01 pm Fanning Flashes Says:

    Congrats on the March of Dimes recognition. I can just see a couple of cute little boys on the couch slide with Mimi (great name by the way!)in the cheering section. Really do like your writing. Thanks for the smile.

  42. On February 1st, 2010 at 9:25 pm Lippy Says:

    At least your kids are finding ways to entertain themselves. Mine want us to dance like monkeys to keep them amused. I still remember the relief when my little niece was released from the NICU, 2 days before Christmas. She just went to a 2 year anniversary, because she was one of the first babies in their NICU. I is amazing how fast the time goes.

  43. On February 1st, 2010 at 9:58 pm mumma boo Says:

    I suddenly have visions of Mimi at the head of a long table, pink bedazzled cell phone in hand, barking out orders to her adoring henchmen brothers. Damn those kids are cute! Keep up the great work for MoD – very proud of you, Bex!

  44. On February 1st, 2010 at 10:03 pm Dawana Says:

    LOL Boys are a handful, though, aren’t they? Your little girl is beautiful BTW! I am so glad you reached your March of Dimes goal!

  45. On February 2nd, 2010 at 8:32 am InsolentBitch Says:

    You know it’s a heart warming post when I have nothing sarcastic to say. Your baby girl is beautiful and your boys are freaking awesome.

  46. On February 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 am MK Says:

    Oh, the memories. My little brother and I were so close in age, people thought we were twins. And I sided more toward the ‘boy’ games – prob because I also have 3 older brothers. We tried to launch ourselves from the couch via the other’s feet. You know, like one sits down, feet out, and the other gets launched by first kid’s feet? We had a pillow pit to catch us. Sometimes.

    Mimi is adorable, of course.

  47. On February 2nd, 2010 at 12:50 pm Mommy on the Spot Says:

    Congrats on the anniversary! Look how far she’s come!

  48. On February 2nd, 2010 at 3:26 pm Mwa Says:

    I don’t get boys like that. Luckily my son doesn’t either. My daughter does, though. Ouch.

  49. On February 2nd, 2010 at 4:16 pm Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] Says:

    Every day until my girls turn 12, I thank Jeebus & Oprah that they gave me girls.

  50. On February 2nd, 2010 at 9:40 pm Notesfromthegrove Says:

    That’s awesome about the money! I’m so excited for you and know that must be such a great feeling. Hugs to sweet little Mimi!

  51. On February 3rd, 2010 at 8:06 am Kristine Says:

    Dude, a brain so awesome that her skull can’t contain it? That’s genius, right there!

  52. On February 3rd, 2010 at 6:19 pm SciFi Dad Says:

    The landing is not important; what is important is that they had a slide! In the living room!

  53. On February 8th, 2010 at 2:25 pm Brain and Brawn: Let the Crazy Child Write Says:

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