I am a terrible mother.

I had to pick up Hailey early from school because she’d hurt her neck, and I thought it was just a pinched nerve but to be safe I took her to the ER and on the form under “Chief complaint with your child” I wrote “SEVERE PAIN IN THE NECK” and then I read it again and accidentally laughed out loud and immediately felt like a terrible person.

Thankfully the doctor was able to give her a shot and muscle relaxers which stopped the pain and he said she had a bad cervical strain, which seems weird because I’m pretty sure your cervix is in your vagina.  He also said her parallelogram was spasming but when I told Victor that he thought I was insane, because apparently it was her trapezoid?  In my defense, I never took geometry in school and bodies are baffling.  Bottom line:  My kid is broken but better and I shouldn’t be allowed to be anyone’s mother.

PS. Follow-up to the flooding in our house:  They’re going to have to rip out part of the bathroom, which is distressing but for the best.  They also have to rip out some damaged floorboards upstairs and downstairs but since most of the house has wooden floors and it’s so old they can’t match the stain properly so they’re going to have to remove most of the furniture in the house, sand all of the floors and refinish them all, which means 3-4 weeks of people in the house and no furniture in the bedrooms or living room or basically any of the rooms I hide in.  I tried to get them to just not fix the floors because honestly I’d rather live with the damage than have strangers in the house but apparently it would fuck up the resale value of the house if we don’t fix it.  Moving into a hotel or apartment isn’t really an option so I’m now considering putting up a tent in the backyard for Dorothy Barker, the cats and me to hide in during the workday.  A tent, a laptop, three cats and a dog. Welcome to the workspace of the future.

I don’t have a good picture for this so here’s a video of my dog jumping in slow motion:

View this post on Instagram

I want to be this happy when jumping.

A post shared by Jenny Lawson (@thebloggess) on

191 thoughts on “I am a terrible mother.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I’m pretty sure you need to hire those ppl who build pretty treehouses and build one immediately.

  2. You could rent an RV and park it in your driveway for a few weeks. All the comforts of home, just in your driveway.

  3. Backyard tent for the win! And avoiding human contact, but that can sure be a win.

  4. I work up one day last year with terrible neck pain. Went to see my physio who informed me I needed a few days off to get it right, and wrote me a note for my boss. ‘Sever cervical pain’ was the quoted reason. My boss looked at the note, looked at me, looked back at the note… He didn’t ask any questions. I laughed until I cried. And then cried because laughing hurt my neck. Kept the note.

  5. Jenny, on mommin,’ juh-eez, it’s SO HARD. Carry on though, mama, because from my perspective, you’re rockin’ it. You’re funny and you’re loving and you’re winning.

  6. I always wonder when I think about how mixed up people get when they get told about cervical problems. Hopefully the difference is explained propertly.

  7. you are nothing short of tremendous… That was really funny.

  8. I once looked at a house for sale, where during some remodeling, the family was living in the attic. To tell you the truth, it looked very cozy. I liked the attic better than the house.

  9. Do what I did and flee the country! Take Hailey too! Your dog may have to stay at the kennel. When I was gone for a month after they moved our furniture out, people asked if I worried my rooms would be painted the wrong color? I told them we were only painting a small office and the family room. Guess what happened? Yep. They painted our master bedroom and then didn’t say anything about it since the contractor caught it and had it repainted. I noticed the plate off one of the plugs… busted!!!

  10. I would say I’m sorry your life is so fucked up sometimes, but we’re all having too much fun (in a sympathetic way).
    Still rereading comments from your last post.
    P.S. My wife says its OK to be your groupie now, so long as I still do the dirty dishes.

  11. Poor Hailey! Pain in the neck totally sucks (I’ve got arthritis in my neck so I totally understand). I could watch Dorothy Barker in slo-mo all day. How does she jump so high? Trampoline floors?

  12. There is also the cervical spine. Knowledge gained from watching ER and Grey’s Anatomy.

    Surely there’s a room somewhere that you can hide in – Victor’s office?

    Good luck on the remodel. Perhaps it’s time to go visit your parents?

  13. Hey Jenny, just an idea. Among your passel of local friends and fans, there has to be somebody with an RV than they don’t use in the wintertime. Would be a lot more comfy than a tent!

  14. Or one of those She Sheds! Get a shed in the backyard and set it up for you and the fur babies! Perfect hiding place to escape the craziness in the house. Can even put a fridge in there for snacks and drinks, only have to come out once they leave. Good luck and happy thoughts from the frozen Alberta tundra.

  15. Cervical Vertibre are the ones in your neck, and the muscle they mentioned is called the Trapezous.
    I strained the same thing once and it was miserable!
    Hope she feels better soon!

  16. I second the idea of renting an RV and living in your driveway for a couple (or more) weeks.

  17. You always make me laugh and want to feed you doughnuts. You can come hang out here and we’ll binge on doughnuts and wine. I do love you.

  18. I feel your flooring pain. I’m currently on day 3 of huge gaping holes cut out of the subfloors on the main floor. Sawdust and nails everywhere. This is after spending a month with just splintery cruddy subfloors to walk on. The noise and dust are unbearable, and, to top it off, today was a snow day, so I had three bored kids underfoot, who had no access to tv or video games, or even a table to eat at. Their life was ruined all day. heaaaaavy sarcasm I feel like this will never be done. The actual flooring doesn’t get installed until NEXT week, and I’m sure something will happen to screw that up, too. As if having to replace all the subfloors in the first place wasn’t enough of a screwup.
    But I’m glad Hailey isn’t too broken.
    Can I come live in your tent city? Me and my cats, who are also tired of all the construction. Mainly because I won’t let them out to play with the workmen and the holey floors. I’ll bring brownies.

  19. Just reading the house renovation news gives me anxiety! No. Really. Feeling anxious. Damn. Get well quick Hailey.

  20. The slo mo video was the cherry on top of this post.. I actually cackle laughed with the video.. thanks for the smile and spirit lift..🙂

  21. Better than a tent, you could get a yurt for the backyard. Introvert Yurt. Introyurt! You could market them and make millions!! 😉

  22. I’m certain that you meant to say: “My kid is borken…..” Must’ve been a typo!

  23. Dude. Next time you decide to blog about parallelograms and mathematical vaginas, please open with a STOP EATING YOUR FUCKING CARROTS BEFORE YOU READ THIS OR YOU WILL DIE warning. Damn near choked to death on one during the initial spazztic inhale of laughter. You almost made me dead, Jenny.

  24. Haha. I thought the same thing when I had a cervical compression. Lol Chiropractors are magical and can help that. He works on my ra too. Hope she feels better and you stay dry.

  25. Could you rent a trailer, like a camper-trailer? You and the beasts could retreat to the trailer to avoid the onslaught of people. You would even have WiFi, and a mini-bar with your favourite drinks and snacks.

  26. I get neck pain too so I know it is a pain in the neck…lol. Pitch a tent and move in with the furbabies. There are some really nice tents available. 🙂

  27. I say you just get a big bounce house and party like a five year old for a few weeks.

    (I’m also trying to get funding for a Diet-Cokery [the equivalent of a winery with a tasting room and everything for people who don’t like the taste of wine but like to hang out in lovely locations] so it’s possible my suggestions are not quite mainstream…)

  28. You need a SheShed/Office/Poolhouse. The insurance should totally pay for that.

  29. Well it and move! Sell as is. Get out! Or buckle down, and get a rental house. Neither choice is great for someone with your issues. Maybe this will be an experiment in how far you’ve come?

  30. I should know by now to NOT be drinking anything when I read your updates. Vodka tea STINGS when it comes out through the nose.

  31. The trapezium and trapezoid are bones in the wrist. The trapezius is a muscle that goes from the neck to the shoulder. Those anatomists could have been a little more creative when they named things!

  32. When my daughter was 7 she filled out a medical form with the chief issue being “Problem Lisning.”

  33. Now is the time when your fort-building skills will come into their own! Tent fort in the back yard – wahoo!!!

  34. I really don’t like people in my house. I only like me in my house and it takes me some amount of time to get my equilibrium back afterwards when anyone is there, even if I adore them. Anyway, I had a guy install some hardwood floors in my home a while back. He didn’t talk much, which was fine by me. We wound up waiting together awkwardly for his partner to deliver something one day (long story, but it was easier to wait together.) We made painful small talk, or at least it was painful for me. He gave one word answers, etc. At some point I asked him if he like getting out and meeting people with his installations and he blurted out “No! That’s the worst part! I just want to do the work!” His work was beautiful, btw, I think he really did enjoy it. It sort of helped me realize they maybe don’t want to be there either, at least some of them. Anyway, hang in there, Jenny. We’re all right there with you!

  35. Oh. My. GOD. Jenny, a yurt, you can put a yurt in the backyard! They are all kinds of awesome, and Hailey can put a hammock in the center with a special hurt-neck-prop and keep you and animals company.

    Can I come over and play in your yurt?

  36. I definitely should not be anyone’s mother, and yet I have three grown children. My kids turned out fine (as far as I know, they always call and text their dad first with any news…hmmmm).I’m sure you’re an excellent mother. I would have laughed at the severe pain in the neck comment, too. I even got a mental picture of my youngest daughter, Greyson, when I read it. Sorry Grey, I love you dearly, but you know it’s true since you’re the only one left in college and thereby taking money from my retirement since we spend it all on you. As for your living situation, what about one of those tiny houses you see on HGTV? There’s plenty of room for you, the animals and a laptop. I don’t know if Victor would like the close quarters, but he can stay in the big house until the workers leave. I’m in your corner no matter what your decision is.

  37. Sounds like the perfect time for a Disaster Book Tour. Go to all the places in the lower 48 that experienced a huge fire, mudslides, earthquakes, tornadoes, and blizzards and sell, sell, sell. They will feel better after reading your books, you get to come home to a finished house, and you made money.

  38. The “she shed” is all the rage. Run to Home Depot and get you a big 8×10 shed. It’s cheaper than a month long vacation and it’s more storage for the stuff Victor claims you can’t have.

  39. I have such a problem with strange workers in my house that I am currently washing dishes in my bathroom. Thanks for making me feel less a freak and I think you’re a fabulous mom.

  40. Ok so one day when I was 15-16 I was bickering with my mom. All of a sudden she starts screaming oww ow owwwww. I look at her and I’m like u ok what’s wrong. She says I don’t know I just got a shooting pain in my @$$. Then her eyes get big and she starts laughing saying “I always knew you were a pain in the @$$”. She laughed for 15 mins. That’s my mom in a nut shell. You would have really liked her Jenny.

  41. Do you have any friends who will loan you an RV or trailer? That would make a great hideout! 😉

  42. To be fair, writing “severe pain in the neck” in regards to the issue with your child is funny. And, since it doesn’t seem to be too serious (I mean, strain sucks, but with the neck it always could have been worse knocks on wood) then I think you’re fine to laugh about it. You can’t plan something that good (you didn’t plan it, right? I hope). I hope she’s feeling better now that she’s gotten some muscle relaxers and probably resting.

  43. I adore the yurt, RV and She Shed ideas! Make this a fun adventure! And poor Hailey; I hope she feels better immediately. Take care of each other you’re priceless!

  44. Rent out your home on AirBnB for the entire period of time repairs are underway, take the cash, the pets and Hailey (and Victor, if he’s down with it) and have yourselves a nice hotel stay with the money you got from those suckers.

  45. Severe Pain In The Neck how I laughed!!! perfect…..for the physical part anyway! A tent? How about bugs etc……..You need a better hideout than that! You DESERVE a better hideout! Hugs

  46. Good vibes to Hailey for speedy healing, and many spoons to you while you endure everything being borked.

  47. I’ll join you in the terrible mother category. Driving my daughter to the ER a few months ago because she wouldn’t stop vomiting, I was struck by the absurdity of the situation and couldn’t stop laughing. I was laughing and apologizing all the way. Luckily, my daughter forgave me.

  48. I view January as being the month when all of the crappy stuff happens so that the rest of year is great & fabulous. Could be just all of my January’s are crappy but I choose to look at it as a positive. Can only go up from here, right?

  49. My entire spine is a mess, including my neck, though in general it causes me surprisingly little pain. But on occasion, the muscle spasms…AGONY! I hope Hailey feels better soon.

    And who wasn’t a pain in the neck at that age anyway? I was. My coworker’s daughter is. All of us were. 🙂

  50. I blame David Bowie. The whole fucking universe fell apart when he died.

    And I would so write that on a doctor’s evaluation paperwork for one of my kids. Non-ironically of course

  51. pretty sure “terrible mother” does not describe you! Are their off-season rates on an RV rental? Hailey follow all the Dr’s instructions so you recover completely, even if you think you’re fine. Ask me how I know this.

  52. Since I’ve been in massage school for a couple months and have been taking loads of anatomy I assume that they are talking about her cervical vertebrae and her trap muscle which is the superficial muscle on the upper back. I’m so excited to have learned enough to know this but sorry she hurt her neck and back. I hope she’s completely healed soon!

  53. Oh my my! The day my teenage daughter broke her finger was one of our best moments ever. We spent great quality time in the ER where we had no cell phone service. It was just us and her pain killers which lightened her mood like a balloon. Yes, I had a blast with my loopy kid. Please send me a form for the terrible mother club.

    Also, I love that kangaroo dog! High Five!

  54. can you rent an RV, or borrow a camping trailer from someone??? (Hope the repairs move along quickly, that stinks!) also, you’re an excellent mom, because laughing helps you heal faster and Hailey is probably all better by now…

  55. I second the yurt!!! Get a yurt to hide out in. You can build a cushion fort in there and put a no boys allowed sign on it and Beyonce could guard the door. Victor could only come in if you gave him the secret password. Yurt!

  56. Instead of a tent, what about an RV? You can rent them, and there’s that built in bed if you wanna pile up with The cats and Dorothy and lots of pillows. Not to mention it has power and a toilet

  57. My husband is in Dallas this very second. Walking around town barhopping wearing his Philadelphia eagles NFC championship T-shirt just to be a dick and piss off all the cowboys fans. In the name of travel for business he’s having a great time. Meanwhile here in Pennsylvania we are expecting rain after a fast snowmelt and flooding, and I found out today my nine-year-old has scarlet fever. Mind if I come over with my tent? I’ll bring wine slushy‘s!

  58. Terrible mothers, unite!!

    I had a coworker who came to work in a neck brace and told me she had a severe cervical sprain and I know I made the strangest face! How did you injure your cervix so badly that it effected your neck?!!!

  59. Meh. It’s OK. One of my best friends lost her kid in a theme park because she was distracted by her in-laws. After a frantic search and RUNNING through the park to backtrack she finally got to Security and wailed, “I’VE LOST MY CHILD! He’s four and blonde with blue eyes and this tall and wearing this, and I have a picture of him from half an hour ago!” The security guard glanced at the picture and replied, “You lost two children?” She pauses, thinks, then replies, “… Maybe?” About that time her son AND 11 yr-old daughter, who was still gripping his hand as she’d been told to do, walk around the corner from behind the counter. My friend was horrified she hadn’t noticed both missing, and her daughter STILL hasn’t forgiven her. I’m totally on the daughter’s side! That poor girl is going to be sharing that story on a therapist’s couch one day!

  60. Oh man! I am just getting over an injury at work that caused my trapezius?! (No I wasn’t swinging from a bar, but I did get hit in the back with one) muscle to spasm for almost a month! It was the worst! The only relief I had was when I went to physio and they hooked me up to some sort of electric shock machine that shocks the muscle until it is too confused to tell you it hurts. I also got some wicked muscle relaxants. I sure hope she heals up faster than I did!
    Bonus: if she does get some wicked muscle relaxants you’ll have some pretty weird conversations with her for sure! They make you crazy loopy!

  61. Maybe they could add some secret trapdoors or compartments or something? Then you are basically only a portrait with moving eyes away from a mystery house.

  62. That tent idea is actually pretty good. Look up Coleman Instant Tents on amazon. $110 for a one room tent, $190 for a two room tent. Very, very easy to set up – Victor will love them. And cheap enough you can not worry too much about claws and toenails damaging the floor. It being winter you will want to dress warm, but plenty of room for folding tables and chairs!

  63. Would it be totally weird to have one of those PODs delivered to your driveway and set up your office in it? It seems more solid and a better cover for hiding than a tent. However, I’m imagining the conversation with the PODs people.

  64. Dude, you did everything right. I don’t think I would have taken Parker (that’s my 12-year-old) to the ER. I would have taken him to urgent care where we are like high-rolling regulars in Vegas. “Good evening Mrs. Hot Mess,” a gold lame wearing cocktail waitress says as the automatic doors open up to the Children’s Hospital urgent care. “Will you be staying with us for the usual amount of time? You remember Dr. Gupta? He will be taking care of your son this evening.” I mean, they literally know us by name.

  65. You’re a fine mother. I repeatedly told my son to stop complaining about his summer cold and buck up and go hiking with us (we were on a camping trip in the Smokey Mountains). So, on a 90 degree day we took him for a 4 mile hike and it turned out he had Pneumonia. I wanted to hide under a rock forever. He survived and amazingly still loves me and laughs at this story.

  66. When I was in 7th grade my mom took me to the doctor (after being sick for more than week) and the male nurse asked if we were sisters and my mom thought it was the best compliment and was in her head my entire appointment and to this day I still don’t know exactly what was wrong with me. So you’re doing great! I hope they fix everything soon!

  67. If you give Dorothy her own place it can be her pup tent. The cats might like their own cat house.

    Sent from my iPhone


  68. Not a treehouse. You should get a modified shipping container. That way you won’t have to worry about falling out of the tree and it doesn’t take long to remodel the container.

  69. You’re welcome at our house. We already have 2 hairy dogs, one grumpy, semi-feral cat, and 2 extra bedrooms. We live out towards Dripping Springs! Country living. Lots of cedar. HA! Hang in there. (BTW, the cervical spine is a real thing.)

  70. I have actually done the tent thing, and it was kinda awesome. You might want to consider it, at least part time. It’s excellent to have somewhere to hide, as needed. Even to just go out, sit, and breathe. They are cheap, too.

  71. That is one dang cute doggie! BTW, have you considered renting an RV of some type for a couple of months and just parking it in the driveway? You would be able to escape to a quiet place when you need to and have a private living room/bedroom/bathroom. Having workmen in the house is very stressful – I’m going through the same thing right now (on a smaller scale – stairs being redone.) I REALLY want to escape.

  72. Dorothy really can jump, can’t she? I just hope it won’t be too cold for you out in the tent in the backyard. In case you didn’t notice: it’s winter.

  73. So, someone else probably already asked this but I’m tired and don’t want to read through 101 comments… If there’s no furniture in the bedrooms while this is going on, where are you sleeping? Did you just move the bed into another room that’s not affected by the angry water spirits? Hope Hailey feels better!

  74. I don’t like to be THAT PERSON who points out typos but I’m pretty sure you meant to say she is “borken.”

  75. You are just adorable. Your daughter will heal & your house has to be healed. Face it, life is just a bitch but I got your back. You can come stay with me. Beasts & all. I work all the time so we’d never see each other.

  76. RV!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Borrow, rent or buy one, usually you can get a small trailer and park it out of sight in the back yard or side of the house, out of sight from the street. Check with your HOA or town about getting a permit for the short term if it’s normally not allowed. If you don’t think you would continue to use it once the renovation is done, return or sell it if you buy it. Some people fall in love with them and like to use them for travel and vacations. Definitely nicer than a tent, easier to get than a tiny home\she shed, in the short term, but possibly something to keep permanently after this all settles down.
    Good luck, sweetie, and I hope Hailey feels better soon.

  77. My floors are pretty old and the varnish worn off years ago in most places. I just left it like that.

  78. I don’t like people in my house either. Really anywhere in or around my house. I had storm windows installed last year and they’re drafty and look horrible because I wouldn’t let the very nice man inside the house to test whether they would open. Well, they don’t open. Ok, three open, but the rest not so much. Siding two years ago…nightmare!

    I am very sad for you “/

  79. When this happened to us our homeowners covered a hotel for almost a month. Might be worth checking.

  80. If ever you want to hide in Canada, let me know. My grandparents have a 40 acre farm on the side of a mountain. The pups and kitty can come play with the sheeps, and there is a small cabin you can hide out in. Its where I go when I can.
    Glad to hear Hailey is ok, I know how that goes, my whole spine is borken, they tried fixing it with titanium, so now I say I got Superman beat 😉 Hugs love, you got this. Use the old floor boards and build a teepee.
    Loves ya

  81. I hurt my neck when I was a kid in gymastics and have had issues with my left trap muscle periodically seizing ever since. Regular massage (I get an hour and a half massage once a month with a CMT who is also an RN) has realy helped a lot.

  82. You’re a great mom! I’ve had Hailey’s problem many times, and the best thing I’ve learned is never put heat on a sharp pain or you’ll make the inflammation worse and you end up in the hospital. Sharp pain gets ice, dull pain gets heat. No one ever told me that until I stumbled into a chiropractor’s office like a sobbing Quasimodo and he told me I had treated it in the worst possible way. The more you know!

  83. You’re lucky you didn’t get a severe questioning over why your child has neck pain and how you caused it. Which is what happens at my local hospital. The thing is love everyone experiances it now a days just don’t let it get to you like i did and had a complete break down.

  84. Someone above me commented and recommended a bounce house as an alternative workspace and honestly I think the rest of us can go home now because that’s just genius.

  85. Parallelogram spasms are the worst.

    p.s. it took ALL my concentration to spell parallelogram and I still got it wrong. Thanks autocorrect!

  86. When my son was 10, he told the nurse that he broke his toe when he was getting a drink at the bar. I laughed, the nurse did not, and I had to explain that he had gotten his feet tangled in the stools at the island in our kitchen when he was getting his water cup. So you can sit by me.

    I am sorry to hear about your house. It will be done soon. It will all be over. You can do this!

  87. “I tried to get them to just not fix the floors because honestly I’d rather live with the damage than have strangers in the house…”

    I’m doing this right now. I’d rather have a shower that alternates blasting me with hot and then cold water rather than call maintenance because I just cannot handle the whole maintenance experience.

  88. Great idea! I had an uncle Einer, originally from Norway, who’s children literally lived in a tent in the backyard because their house was too small and it worked for them. To his credit, they lived in nice warm California.

  89. Couldn’t you find some 2nd hand office container (you know, used for administration on temporary work sites with one or more windows and the possibility to plug electric appliances with a main line to your house) to put in your yard? They generally come in rather cheap, only transportation may be expensive, and you could just sell it again afterwards. They even get the whole living units (with separate small rooms, kitchen, bathroom) but they are generally more expensive. If you get an office container you could use your bathroom and kitchen when the working people are gone, but at least you’d have a safe place for during working hours…

  90. On the bright side, you’ll be able to stand over them and go, “Sand the floor! Sand the floor!” and they’ll be able to win karate tournaments when they’re done.

  91. My sympathy on the strangers in your house. I feel your pain. 🤞they work FAST and do a good job. Hope Hailey’s parallelogram is better. 😊

  92. My daughter fell while roller skating on her last day of Christmas break. She probably broke her tailbone, which I am told you really can’t do anything for other than ice and ibuprofen. But IF I had taken her to the ER, I could have written “SEVERE PAIN IN THE ASS” for the chief complaint.
    Next time.

  93. Why do I think if you gave that tent a gypsy theme it would be a fun place to work…Maybe the colorfulness I envision.. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be in a flood. It takes great strength to rebuild…When I think of all the people going through devastation of their homes, our place of escape, what we have worked to provide for our families.. it is overwhelming…Yet too a tribute to the human spirit that they persist till they overcome… Reminds me of what was once said to me… “You are stronger that you think” I may have made that my mantra.. Thanks for you blog..

  94. OMG, have you ever seen the Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long? Most people say that is a comedy. I say it’s a horror flick because I would go completely off the deep end if I had strangers in my house that long. Hell, I nearly went off the deep end just having family in my house for the holidays.

  95. I agree with everyone who thinks the Tent plan is excellent but maybe just build a tiny house. Imagine having a tiny hobbit house in the backyard that you could run away to. Decorating a new tiny house you can work in would be awesome! It’s basically a slightly larger doll house.

  96. There was a forensic files episode about mold from a water damaged house that almost killed a family. At least your mold won’t be murderous?

  97. Another thing to worry about. Make sure when they ripping up walls and floors that you explorer cats don’t climb down in a hole and disappear.

  98. Oh man I could just see you with an airstream in the back yard. 😉 But more seriously, I’ve been poking around at the rental market because I need to try before buy and can point out this:
    I’ve never worked with them but they ahve a lot of listings.

  99. So Wikipedia clarifies that the medical profession needs more words since one word (cervical) means two VERY different things:
    In anatomy, cervical is an adjective that has two meanings:
    of or pertaining to any neck.
    of or pertaining to the female cervix: i.e., the neck of the uterus.

  100. If it’s warm enough to consider…
    I have vague memories of you writing about Civil War reenactments. Do you know anyone with a tent? Up here at least, January isn’t a big time for reenactments, maybe you could borrow or rent one of those!!
    If I weren’t so darned far away I’d loan you my medeival pavillion.

  101. You’re a good mom. You took her to the ER to get it checked. My mom never would do anything like that when I was a child or teenager. I had to take her to the ER when I was 16. I repeat, You are a Good mom. (Say this to yourself daily until it sinks in, don’t keep feeding the bad dog)

  102. My family has an eight sleeper tent that we haven’t used in years, maybe you could use it? Or maybe make an igloo. Or dig a bunker and hide in it. Dorothy Barker could maybe help you dig? Good luck with the renovations. Tell Hailey we wish her a speedy recovery!

  103. AIEE! Did she have to get a shot in the back of her head? I hurt my neck this week and had to. Do not recommend.

  104. When I was a homeowners insurance adjuster, a lot of people didn’t want to leave their homes during repairs for various reasons, whether it was due to having a lot of pets or living in the country and they had livestock to take care of. A lot of people would rent an R.V. and park it at the house and live in it until repairs were done. Some of those luxury R.V.s are nicer than people’s houses (and definitely nicer than a tent! LOL). Depending on your HOA, this might be an option for you AND your insurance company might pay it under your Loss of Use coverage if the expense would be equal to or less than staying elsewhere. Just a thought! 🙂

  105. Laughing doesn’t make you a bad mom… and not understanding medical shorthand… I would have been right there with ya! Remember that teenage girls (especially ones in pain) do not have a sense of humor – but one day she will look back and laugh.

    Best of luck getting through the remodel! I hope that the end result is something you love, and the anxious situation is just a blip in your memories!

  106. you seem so well suited to being a parent. at least you had reservations about “SEVERE PAIN IN THE NECK”. my mother would have been telling that story and launching into exactly HOW i was a pain the neck at dinner parties to garner sympathy for years to come. ah, simpler times.

    btw, i am terrible reader/fangirl because i keep looking at the adorable, hilarious Dorothy Barker and thinking that she is the flounciest dog i have ever seen, and simultaneously wanted to braid or seriously trim some of that flouce. also, i’m annoyed that her white fur would get all over my black sweaters even though i’ve never met her.

    anyhoo, really love the tent/shed/rv temp office solutions. sounds better than most of the workspaces i’ve been in‽

  107. I read your estimate on 3-4 weeks and laughed. Your pain has just begun. |>Small< house fire here. not done after seven months. Good luck.

  108. Don’t worry about being a bad mother. Being a bad father is kind of my whole thing, you know, like my strategy and my mojo and the reason I keep getting these letters from neighbors about the feces and such. Some of us walk to the beat of our own drum, I tell them.

    badparentingwebs recently posted https://badparentingweb.wordpress.com/2018/01/12/era-vulgaris-or-there-just-arent-words-or-at-what-point-do-we-officially-get-to-say-our-president-is-a-lying-racist/ and it was pretty f*cking depressing.

  109. If your daughter have another spasm, apply some ice (icepack wrapped in a wet towel) for 5-15 min on the back of her neck where the pain is. It should relieve the spasm. Check the skin after 2 min to see if it’s not too cold. It shouldn’t hurt, if it does, take the ice off.

  110. You absolutely cannot be inside when they refinish your floors! The fumes are horrible. They might make you do weird things. No- wait- they might make You boring & normal! Don’t expose yourself, Jenny! You can stay at my house in DC anytime.

  111. I’m with Sharon H on this one, you are not a bad mother. Mine wouldn’t have taken me to the ER either. In fact she would complain how I ruined her day and was probably faking to boot. You are definitely not a bad mother, nope, nope, not at all.

    I daresay I don’t understand the attitude of all this “I hate random people in my house” bit. As much as I hate people I hate being uncomfortable more and nothing is more uncomfortable than a loused up environment. Bring in everyone in town if it gets my house straightened back up promptly. It’s all about me, fix it for me, fix it now.

    Good luck!

  112. I feel your pain/frustration. Last summer we decided to have our kitchen remodeled. Since the house is 128 years old, the wiring for the whole house had to be replaced (it was actually installed later than 1890, but was pretty old!). After the new tile floor was installed, I fell and broke my foot (5 separate bones – 1 fracture). So, with 100+ degree temp. and me in a wheelchair, we had to sit outside during the day while they worked in all the rooms with wiring – drilling holes EVERYWHERE, right through wallpaper which is in every room. (Wall paper holds old walls in place and hides bulging plaster). The re-wiring took about 2 weeks. All furniture was covered with plastic. NOT FUN!
    Workmen were here four months. Nice new kitchen. Foot healed. Everything is now back in order, but every room has big white plaster marks over the wallpaper. I’m planning on fixing one room at a time, but not ready to start yet. Did I say I’m 72 years old? I’ve always done my own wallpapering but after the foot debacle, My ladder climbing days are over. Except, last week I climbed an extension ladder to get my cat out of a tree. When a pet’s life is in danger, you can do super-human things!

  113. Thank you for slomo DB leaps! Reminds me of seeing my mother’s tall standard poodle’s head popping into view in the transom window when I come to the door. I have no helpful ideas for surviving the house redoers but I know it can be done.

  114. Hang in there! I don’t think you are a bad mother. Look how happy Dorothy Barker is. Nobody could be a bad mother with that happy of dog because dogs and kids need the same things.

  115. My “smart” sister laughed at me when I said they had put a cervical collar on my daughter after an accident. (She can be a real PITA when she’s trying to show how smart she is. Side note: we both graduated at the top of our class in high school. My class was bigger than hers!😈😈😈). It does sound weird to say that though!

  116. Wishing you well with the house, and I’m sure Hailey will enjoy the “pain the neck” joke later, when it doesn’t hurt!

  117. Are you selling your house anytime soon? Fix the flooring before you move! Like, buy the next house, begin moving in, and then fix the floors and sell the house! I know, I know, it’s not the right order that MOST people use when selling a house, but who ever accused you of being MOST people?

    I love that your daughter is a math enigma to you. Bless your heart. 😉

  118. I am glad that Hailey is okay. Neck pain is never anything to fool around with.

    I am so sorry about all of the upheaval with the furniture and your work / living space … and the poor floors!

    BTW – make sure that they are using a dustless sander. You want some written assurance about how much dust you will have to contend with or they are responsible for wiping down your walls and ceiling. Your walls will be covered with fine dust and it gets into the HVAC duct work otherwise. With your health history that could be really bad news. ALSO – IF you are sensitive to chemicals consider low odor water based poly coating and have them do numerous coats (which takes a long time) to ensure that it doesn’t wear off as easily. They may also have low odor resin based poly coating – but you still may smell it.

  119. How very strange. I was telling my dog, Charlie, today that I thought I should put up a tent in the yard and move out there–me, him, and 3 cats. I’m not having work done, I am just mad at my husband and thought a nice little stay-away time from him in the snow would be a good break. Charlie does love the snow, but he didn’t seem to think the cats would enjoy it as much.

  120. Oh, thank you for the parallelogram laugh! Damn geometry.

    Before I found out about the cervical spine, I thought a “cervical collar” sounded really uncomfortable.

  121. Neck pain is a pain in the…. arse! Feel better, Hailey! The tent idea sounds perfect. Maybe they make a Tardis one.
    PS My fave part of that vid is her tongue flopping out of her mouth on the ascent. 😀

  122. Lol the cervical region is in the spine is right where the back of your neck is. Which is where you said Hailey was hurt. I hope she gets better. You’re not a terrible mom lmao. You just need to be a little edgamacated haah

  123. Wow. Too bad there is no National Canine Basketball League (or is there? I’m not a basketball expert.) That dog gets some serious air.

  124. My chiropractor recommended Bio-Freeze for my neck pain issues, and it works wonders for me, so it might be helpful for Hailey, too. They have it in the Safeway pharmacy here, but also online. You are a great mom–don’t sell yourself short.

  125. Rent a camper or tiny house for the back yard. There’s a place near here that sells/rents ready made sheds with windows and porches. Little shed and an extension cord=hiding in plain sight with all the furbabies..

  126. My favourite pub had the “sand-and-refinish” job done on the floor and most of the other woodwork after disappearinng under 4 foot of flood water. Most of it looks pretty good now, but the edges of the original medieval floorboards are a bit stripey…

  127. I would like to chime in and ditto the comment saying ‘Thank you Jenny for making me feel not weird.’
    Most important, I want to say Thank you Jenny for reminding us that weird is ok, and we’re in the most excellent company.
    And to all the weird Blogess tribe, Thank You!
    And Hailey, you’re in my prayers-cervical pain is the worst whether it be upstairs or downstairs.

  128. Hmm. Clothing or cubby? Decisions, decisions.
    Clothing: noise-cancellation earphones at all times, horses’ blinkers optional. Or a burqa. Or all three.
    Cubby: I’m thinking hire a tee-pee (lots of cushions/rugs for animals & easily transportable), gypsy caravan (moveable, colourful and has a bed included), normal caravan, or tiny home on a trailer (for a designer option). Or is there a basement/attic available? My aunt had a similar problem, she ended up selling and moving when the renovations got too much for her. I will let you know that she regretted it, and wished she’d stayed as she loved the old house. Hang in there, you are so strong and have many animals to snuggle. They will be stressed too, so be strong for them. And cuddle.

  129. I may have accidentally just revealed your plans to run for president at thephilfactor. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. This might be a good time to make your announcement.

  130. Bah! Live with it and worry about resale value when you’re ready to sell! Fix it then! I love you and Dorothy. Oh heck, I love you and everyone/thing about you. So happy Hailey is better!

  131. Finally caught up with your blog. I’m sorry you are going through all that. I would have lost my shit. Congrats to you being strong. Glad Hailey is better. hugs

  132. It’s somewhat off topic of your blog, I apologize. Today I also had a medical issue that took up my day, it made me stressed, made me feel weak, and filled me with guilt for missing work. It made me think of you. Because I guess it’s sorta funny, my ear really wanted the day off.

  133. Does your insurance pay for a hotel? Because that would seem somewhat suck-y. By the way, your dog is adorable and dogs jumping is adorable and your dog jumping is extra adorable.

  134. Oh thank Jesus that I am not the only one who gets confused on all things cervical/cervix/neck/vagina!!! I had to have surgery this past spring- a cervical fusion and whenever I told anyone, I fully expected them to ask me why I was having my vagina fused……it was stressful.

  135. Jenny I totally get what you’re saying…… my brain is pretty messed up and I spend a lot of time arguing with myself about what I should say, or do, or so on and so on. Thank you for your posts and your books. I have all of them and have re read them a couple of times. Take care my dear. Tracy from Kitchener Ontario

  136. Sounds like you need a little studio in your backyard for hiding in! Maybe Victor would rent you your very own construction trailer while the crews are at work in the house?

  137. Rent an RV! But the tent idea is good, too, you can actually get nice and roomy tents that have screened in foyers or some such.

  138. I could watch Dorothy Barker bounce in slo-mo all day. I miss my Papillons and she makes me smile. Maybe I need to get another Pap….

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