Category Archives: Twins

All the World’s a Stage

I have next to no talent when it comes to public speaking—or public anything, for that matter. Even group texts stress me out to a degree. It’s just not in my DNA—dealing with a live audience, large or small. I much prefer to express myself by sitting at my laptop and stabbing at the keys, hopeful that I will convey something meaningful to those who happen to be on the receiving end of my words.

That said, I am a ridiculously shy person who would do almost anything to avoid being in the spotlight. Crowds instill within me not a sense of excitement, but sheer panic. Call me crazy, but I’d be more inclined to endure a root canal than to set foot on stage in front of throngs of people. And for the record, I find little comfort in the old adage JUST IMAGINE THE AUDIENCE IN THEIR UNDERWEAR AND YOU’LL BE FINE AT THE PODIUM. I should know. I tried that during my high school commencement speech and it did nothing but fuel my anxiety. Plus there was the whole boxers vs. briefs issue and I didn’t know which I was supposed to envision.

By some strange twist of fate, my youngest daughters (one, a gifted actor and singer, and the other an incredibly accomplished musician) absolutely thrive in the limelight, having little or no reservations about performing in front of swarms of people and/or cameras. I have no idea how this happened. I only wish I had one iota of their courage and an ability to put one’s talents on full display—critics be damned. Even my husband has a special knack for public speaking, usually armed with a single index card on which he has scrawled roughly six words. I can’t even fathom how he generates an entire speech out of that.

By contrast, I fear I will wither and die whenever I must step out of my comfort zone and address a gathering of people—with or without an index card. I couldn’t even eulogize my own parents or say a few words when my brother passed. On a lighter note, it’s amazing I ever made it through the eighth grade since it was there that I was required to deliver a four-minute speech on how to hit a golf ball. Of course, I chose this topic because it was one of the few skills I possessed and if I had to talk about something, it might as well be something I felt relatively comfortable discussing.

Looking back, I’m quite sure I found the experience to be decidedly intolerable. I think the closest I ever came to enjoying myself on stage was when I played Chicken Little in elementary school. Granted I don’t recall having many lines, but I do remember being in love with my costume. My beak was comically oversized as were my feet, but the best part was getting hit in the head with a pine cone that someone offstage threw at me, because, of course, THE SKY WAS FALLING. Drama like that was beyond fun. Another time in grade school, I snagged the role of the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and sang Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo in a small, but packed gymnasium/auditorium. In both instances, perhaps I was too young to care what people thought of me, or maybe I was patently obsessed with the idea of frolicking around on stage instead of sitting at a desk doing schoolwork.

At any rate, I’m still perplexed by the fact that I spent a number of years as a teacher—each day having to overcome at least some measure of performance anxiety. Thankfully the kids were terrific. Hopefully, they were none the wiser.

Planet Mom: It’s where I live, gearing up for my book signing on First Friday at Otto Bookstore in Williamsport where there may be crowds, but happily, I’ll only have to speak to one person at a time. Please stop by between 6:00 and 8:00pm on June 1st and pick up a copy of DELIVERANCE: A Survival Guide to Parenting Twins. Bear in mind that it’s not just for parents of twins. It’s a real hoot for anyone who has ever raised children. If you can’t make it, please visit me at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom. Caricature by Simon Ellinas.

Copyright 2018 Melinda L. Wentzel

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Filed under Bookish Stuff, In the Trenches of Parentville, Me Myself and I, The Write Stuff, Twins

DELIVERANCE: A Survival Guide to Parenting Twins is HERE!

Deliverance is a wildly amusing, in-the-trenches sort of guidebook to surviving Hell Week with twins—only Hell Week lasts for an entire year—the point at which most parents of multiples can finally come up for air. In a word, it is a candid and hilarious tale of survival—one that provides both advice and amusement for parents in desperate need of salvation (or sedatives). Quite literally, it is an essential field guide for those managing the madness of caring for two babies at once—a book that can be read in the thick of raising children, with its bite-sized chapters and undeniable readability.

 

As one mom put it, “Deliverance should be mandatory reading for all prospective parents of multiples.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

As a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Melinda L. Wentzel, aka Planet Mom, is an award winning slice-of-life/humor columnist and author whose primary objective is to keep mothering real on the page while maintaining some semblance of sanity on the home front. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Parent Magazine, the San Diego Family Magazine, the Kansas City Parent Magazine, Twins Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Cup of Comfort, the Khaleej Times Weekender, Dubai, UAE and a host of online publications to include Mamapedia, BetterWayMoms, MomStuff, HybridMom, MomBloggersClub and the Huffington Post.

 

For more than a decade, her newspaper column, Notes from Planet Mom, has appeared in Webb Weekly (Lycoming County, PA), where she offers parents who subsist at various stages of lunacy a sanity cocktail in the form of gloriously irreverent and, at times, surprisingly tender pieces about marriage and life with kids. She and her husband live in north central Pennsylvania with their twin daughters, two pampered dogs and a self-absorbed cat. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PlanetMom, find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom or subscribe to future posts via email (located in the sidebar on every page of this website).

 

Order your copy HERE: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0692830014 and if you think Deliverance truly delivers (laughs and great advice, too), please write a review there and I will be eternally grateful.

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Filed under Bookish Stuff, In the Trenches of Parentville, Twins