Confiscated and secured at the bottom of the giveaway bin.

A friend texted me Monday night, around 7, inviting me to a nearby house party. I had just put both kids to sleep, slathered retinol on my face, dressed in my pajamas, took a shot of NyQuil and cozied up to my husband, Greg, on the couch to watch the PBS documentary, “Hemingway,” which is quite good, by the way.

Part of me flirted with the idea of going, remembering what it was like to be single with minimal responsibilities, but then I thought about what Tuesday morning would look like trying to get a 5- and 2-year-old ready for…


The last time we saw each other in person.

We woke up in bed together. It was the morning after my bachelorette party, just over a year ago. There was an empty bottle of Tito’s between us. We were at the FOUND:RE hotel in Phoenix. The rest of our party left the night before — three to go home to their kids, while one sneaked off to see an ex-boyfriend — so it was just Aaron and me.

Relax — we were both dressed and Aaron was gay.

After the other ladies left, Aaron and I opened a bottle of vodka and started reminiscing about growing up in Humboldt…


Crime scene.

The ant farm was something for us to watch — aside from Netflix — and was under the guise of a gift for our five-year-old son, Archer. My husband, Greg, and I should have known better. We haven’t had great luck in the pet department. There was that time we tried to rescue a dog, which is another story. And three years ago we gifted our son a goldfish, Sushi, for Christmas. We kept Sushi alive for 18 hours.

It was my fault, really. Along with the stupid fish, I bought a ceramic shark to keep in the tank. Archer…


Shelf, beheaded.

My son is nearly five, and entirely sensitive. I’m not judging — I know who he got it from. So in hindsight, introducing him to Elf on the Shelf may not have been the best parenting move. In my defense, it was my husband’s idea.

We read Archer “Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” and explained the premise behind the stupid stuffed doll. In case you don’t know (consider yourself lucky), I’ll fill you in. The story goes that Santa has “scout elves” that hide in homes to make sure the children behave. When everyone goes to sleep, the…


“I love you and we are going to have a good day today,” my husband, Greg, told me, grabbing me from behind, pulling me away from the kitchen sink and squeezing my shoulders in his palms.

“OK,” I said, hugging him.

Two hours later we were screaming at each other over a Dr. Fauci bobblehead.

The bobblehead arrived in the mail the day before and I asked Greg, while we were working side-by-side at the dining room table, what it was for. He mumbled something about it being a late-night purchase. He does a lot of these late-night purchases and…


Like most everyone, I am heartbroken over the senseless death of George Floyd and I am disgusted by Derek Chauvin’s existence, and appalled by the three other officers who stood by, doing nothing to help. The cruelty of those nine minutes is beyond comprehension.

I’m hesitant to write this piece because as a white woman, I come from a world of privilege. My worries include the number on the scale, color on my toenails and size of coffee I should order. I’m not anti-racist simply because I dated a black guy or have black and Hispanic best friends. …


Duke, at home.

“Why are you giving her away?” I asked.

“It’s not my dog. It’s his dog,” the dark-haired, pregnant woman told me, pointing at her boyfriend. “Also, I’m not a dog person. I’m about kids,” she added, rubbing her belly and eyeing her 18-month-old who was dressed in parachute pants and a crop top.

I don’t know her name and if she told me, I forgot. So let’s call her Tina. Either way, Tina was standing on my porch with her toddler, boyfriend and a dog that was not hers.

I heard the dog, Marley, needed a new home from my…


Wide open spaces with my people.

“This is the first day I haven’t wanted to kill you, but I was in the guest house most of the day,” my husband, Greg, said to me last night. These are the types of things we have come to say to each other in quarantine. We’ve been married five months, one of those in strict quarantine due to COVID-19. And, like most of you, we have at least another 30 days to go.

As I’m sure you know, one day in quarantine is the equivalent to one week. Greg and I are both working from home and not getting…


The offending dress, my cleavage and my handsome son.

I’m struggling with my sexuality. Not in the way of gender identity or anything, but in the way I’m sure most mothers do. Among the many things that are taken from you as a parent — the Sunday Fundays, sleeping in, pooping in private — your sexuality and body get hijacked, too.

I have boobs. And as much as one would think boobs and kids go together like chips and salsa, it doesn’t seem to be the case. (I mean, they are used to feed babies.) Anyway, three months ago I got married to the father of my children.

I…


Help.

Eleven years ago, while waiting for a diagnosis for bilateral hip pain, doctors threw drugs at me. They were perplexed. I’d been experiencing pain in my hips that felt like barbed wire grinding into my bones. I’d visited primary care doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths, sports medicine doctors and psychics. It was six months in and I’d experimented with cortisone, acupuncture, platelet-rich therapy, physical therapy, massages, meditation, botox, Kinesio tape and X-rays. I’d been to the Emergency Room. …

Meg Ensell

Mama. Writer. Storyteller. Anxiety hoarder. Tapioca lover. Horoscope believer.

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