Saturday, December 29, 2012

I’m Pregnant and I Really Want . . .

What do pregnant women really want? Well, I cannot speak for all pregnant women, but having given birth four times and being approximately 9 days away from delivering my fifth child I can at least tell you what I want and I’m pretty sure there are some other pregnant women out there that will agree with me.

I want people to keep their fricking hands off of my stomach! Even if I do know you, that does not give you the right to manhandle me, invade my personal space, or cop a feel. Contrary to my crazy Mother-In-Law’s assertion that “All pregnant women love to have people touch their stomachs” this is not true!

I want you to stay out of my decision on how to feed my child. Unless you a medical professional that needs to know, do not ask if I will be breastfeeding or bottle feeding. If you are in need of that information, accept my answer and move on. When The Boy was born the Lactation Nazi would not believe (even after the nurses and doctors told her) that The Boy had to be on a special formula for his kidneys and INSISITED that I HAD to breastfeed or I was not taking care of my child properly! That bitch is lucky she escaped with her hair still attached to her head.  

I want you to respect my privacy; do not ask me detailed personal questions regarding my pregnancy. “What position did you and DH use to conceive?” “Are you constipated?” “Have you passed your mucus plug?” “How much weight have you gained?” Contrary to what my MIL thinks, not all details of pregnancy are for public consumption and are only the business of me, DH, and my OB.

I want you to ask what you can do to help me. While I’m sure you mean well, offering to keep me company is just asking me to entertain you for a couple of hours and is not restful for me. Ask if you can watch my other kids so I can nap. Ask if you can do my laundry, or dishes, or some other household chore so I don’t have to do it.

I want you to ask me if I want to help with and participate in things. Do not assume I am completely helpless/worthless because I am pregnant. If the third grade needs two dozen sugar cookies and I am known for making awesome cookies, go ahead and ask me to make them. Don’t assume that because I am pregnant I can no longer bake and won’t want to go to a movie. I will tell you if I am unable to do it.

I want gift receipts because how many faux fur trimmed pink bedazzled hoodies can one infant use? I am grateful for every gift, but have, with past children been given three and four of the exact same baby item.  Want some really great gift ideas to someone with a newborn? Gift certificates to a restaurant that does take out or delivery. A couple of hours of housecleaning. A babysitter for when the new parents are ready to go out in public.

This one is for all the Darling Husbands (or whatever the baby’s other parent is called), I want you to get me a gift (sometimes called a Push Present) to acknowledge my hard work that culminated in our new little bundle of joy. Flowers, a favorite snack, even a card! Something! My own Darling Husband has failed to do this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I have explained to him, as have my daughters and best friends that this time he needs to come through. I told him this will be the FIFTH of his GIANT children I have pushed out and I would like some acknowledgement of those efforts.

In short, I want you to treat as normal human being. I am not livestock, a wimp, or public property. I just want you to be respectful, treat as you would like to be treated as a non-pregnant human being, think about what you are going to say before you say it, and for the love of all of that is holy DO NOT TOUCH OUR STOMACHS!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Payback Is A Bitch" or "Toys As Revenge"

We have a saying in my family regarding giving gifts to children, “Paybacks are a bitch.” This all started because when I, the firstborn grandchild, was about two years old my aunt and uncle gave me a monkey with cymbals. It was so obnoxious and creepy all at the same time.(I still have it, hidden in a storage room, because I am rather afraid of it coming to life at night and killing me. I also cannot get rid of it for fear of angering it.) Anyway, my mother did not find this to be a great gift for a child, so she bided her time, and when my aunt and uncle had two children the ages of two and four, she struck back.  She bought EACH OF THEM a
Yes, a drum, complete with drumsticks. My mother handed the gift wrapped headache inducers to my cousins, smiled at my aunt and uncle and said, “Paybacks are a bitch.” (My mother has a mouth as dirty as a Paris sewer.)  So, the rule was established, if you give a kid in our family an obnoxious gift, you’d better hope you are childless or your kids are too old for toys.

I think this probably happens in every family. Given that the official kick off to the Christmas shopping season, Black Friday, is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d help you out with a list of awful toys. You know, just in case it is your year to deliver the payback or if you just know some kids and hate their parents.

I have given each of these toys a Payback Scale Rating from 1 to 10, 1 being that you are a wimp and 10 being that you not only want revenge but never want the parents to speak to you again.

Popcorn Popper –PSR of 4 - I LOATHE this toy and its heinous poppity pop noise. It is SO annoying and there is no off switch and no batteries to take out to claim the toy is “broken”. You are just stuck with it.

Furby  - PSR of 7 – It’s irritating b/c it speaks in gibberish, has no off switch, and can randomly turn itself on. It is also irresistible to toddlers when it belongs to their older sister. Snark Girl has owned it for a week and I already want to smash it with a hammer.

V-Tech Learning Tunes Karaoke – PSR of 8 - My boys have this toy (given to them by my father, his payback is going to be a bad nursing home some day). It has different voices and one of them is super creepy like a serial killer/child molester voice from “Criminal Minds”. This toy is now hidden away because it came on in the middle of the night and scared me half to death when I heard it over the baby monitor.

Baby Alive – PSR of 9 – This doll is a pain in the tush. It eats, drinks, and then pees and poops. My girls had this toy; it was super creepy. Its eyes moved and made a weird clicking noise. I also had to pour water through the doll every time the girls “fed” it because if I didn’t the “food” would harden to cement and render the doll inoperable. It was heinous and I was so glad to sell it at a garage sale!
Handy Manny Toolbox – PSR of 10 – My sons had this toy. It is the DEVIL. It is ridiculously loud and there is no volume switch. We even covered the speaker with duct tape and it was still crazy loud! This ranks as Darling Husband’s least favorite toy of all time and his mother gave it to The Boy (you can imagine how bad HER nursing home is going to be.)

So while these are not all the horrible toys you could use for paybacks, they are few of mine and Darling Husband’s least favorites to see our children receive. As you go about your Christmas shopping this year, perhaps beginning on Black Friday, keep in mind what can happen when you give an obnoxious toy and what obnoxious toys for which you might need to say, "Payback is a bitch"!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Target Time Warp

You think to yourself, “I’ll just run in to Target and grab some dish soap, tampons, hairspray, a bag of tortilla chips, and a birthday card for Dad. It’ll take 10 minutes, then I’ll go to my nail appointment.” (Well something like that runs through your head, does mine anyway.)You walk in the red door, under the bulls-eye. You have the best of intentions as you grab that red cart, walking directly toward the household cleaning products to get the dish soap.  ~ Oh, look at those little metal buckets! Those would be perfect for small toys! ~

Once you have the soap you head towards the feminine hygiene products to find the tampons. ~That headband is so cute it would be perfect with OCDiva’s orange dress! ~

Once you have the tampons (why is the cart so heavy) you wander in the direction of the snacks to grab the chips.  ~ Snark Girl has been asking for some new flip flops, hmm, neon yellow/green in her size, perfect! ~

.Finally you make it to the chips and throw them in your basket. ~ I should really grab more pretzels, and Goldfish crackers while I’m here. ~

Next you need to find the hairspray because your hair is just not going to stay cute on its own. ~What an adorable pair of plaid shorts, oh and they have a matching polo. The Boy could really use those for church. ~  

You aim (again) for the beauty department and the hairspray.  ~Car trashcans! DH really needs one of those because the trash on the floor of his car is just unacceptable. ~

You notice that, oddly, your feet hurt a bit, but you power through because you really need hairspray.  ~Well, we do need new beach towels for summer, and if I don’t get them now, they’ll be gone. ~

With the hairspray in the basket you move toward the last item on your list, the birthday card. What kind of card to get, there are so many to choose from. ~Well that is such a cute Little People school bus! The boys would love it! ~  

Finally, humorous (yet appropriate) card in hand you head toward checkout lanes.  ~ Those are the shorts Snark Girl wants for softball, oh, on sale, better grab those. ~

You start emptying the basket and wonder how on earth you ended up with all of this stuff! Is this someone else’s basket? Was someone slipping things into your basket? Are you on one of those hidden camera shows? What the heck happened? Because without even realizing it, you’ve gone from a ten minute, $15 trip to pick up dish soap, tampons, hairspray, chips, and a card, to a 90minute trip for metal buckets, headband, Boo-Boo Buddies, flip flops, pretzels, Goldfish crackers, shorts, polo, car trashcan, beach towels, Little People Bus, and  softball shorts, and your total is over $200!

Clearly, you’ve been a victim of the TARGET TIME WARP. (It’s even worse at Super Target because they have Starbucks!) Now if you’ll excuse me I need to run to Target for Vitamin Water and overnight diapers, I should only be gone a few minutes . . .

Sunday, April 8, 2012


When does it happen? Are there signals? How do you know when it happens to you? Does something change about you and mark you forever? What makes other people know it’s your time?
 I’m talking about when someone call you “ma’am” for the first time, well someone other than a member of the military. It shocked me when it started happening to me. I was in my early twenties and suddenly teenagers, not that much younger than I, were calling me (shudder) “ma’am”.  I was appalled! I would check the mirror for wrinkles and signs of rampant aging! Why on earth were these people, less than a decade my junior, calling me that hideous term reserved for people that were really old, like my mother?

For years I cringed (internally and externally) when I was called “ma’am”. But gradually, as I aged, I no longer cringed. Instead I began to kind of accept it. Not because I suddenly looked “that old” (I’m often told I look 8 to 10 years younger than I am by people for whom there is no benefit in lying to me), but just because I seemed to have reached that point in my life. I had made peace with it I suppose. A recent event made me realize that I not only accept it, but I except it.  What was this momentous event? I shall tell you.

I had to go to Walmart the other evening. While in the toy department, a young man, in his late teens (I would estimate) felt it appropriate to bounce a basketball repeatedly and loudly through the aisles of the toy department store while shouting (repeatedly) "I gots da rock!" Upon my first encounter face to face encounter w/this youth I said, "Yes, it looks very nice sitting on top of your neck." This caused a nearby man in his 30s (?) to laugh uproariously, and nearly fall over when the youth did not get that I was implying he had a rock for a head. The youth continued to bounce the ball through the store (it was loud and echoed). Then, as I waited in line to pay, I was again treated to the sound (from the next lane) of the basketball being slammed into the floor and the "I gots da rock" verbalization. After few rounds of this noise. After watching other patrons roll their eyes and sigh and mutter about they wished he would quit. After hearing the cashier beg Jesus to make it stop, I said, "I’ve got this.” Then I very loudly said in my best “mom” voice, “IF YOU BOUNCE THAT ROCK ONE MORE TIME I WILL SHOVE IT SOMEWHERE SO YOU GOTS IT FOREVER!" My statement was accompanied by dead silence. Then I heard cussing from the youth. He then rounded the corner to my lane, with a look of anger on his face, his girlfried (?) following nervously behind him, he took a step toward me. I put my arms out to my sides in a "bring it" gesture, and said, "Yeah! What!?" He stopped short, held his hands up in surrender and said, "Uhm, nothing ma'am, nothing." Walked back to his lane and we did not hear anymore bouncing. The cashier asked if she could be my bestie.

It was at the moment the youth called me “ma’am”, that I realized I liked to be called “ma’am”. I accepted it. I owned it. I expected it. I no longer think of being called ma’am as a sign that I am “really old”. I think of it as a sign of respect, one that I have earned by no longer be an inexperienced teen myself.  I especially expect it from ill behaved punks at Walmart!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


They may begin for different reasons, but they all pretty much follow the same pattern; flinging of oneself to the floor, kicking of feet and banging of fists, thrashing about of the head, inarticulate screaming, sobbing, and need for help to reach a mutually satisfying solution to the trigger problem.

 It’s embarrassing really, this lack of control. This anger so intense it annihilates all ability to function.  Yes I’m talking about temper tantrums, fits, meltdowns. No matter what the trigger, the end result can be terrifying for both the child and the parent. Yes, it is both awesome and frightening to behold, and what’s a child or husband to do when confronted with the ”Mommy Meltdown”?

It’s not as though a child can just walk away and leave Mommy screaming in the middle of Target. Well, they could, but it would probably just exacerbate the MM. It’s not as though a husband can just ignore his wife during her tantrum, because the screaming is probably directed at him. So what to do?

Having recently had a “Mommy Meltdown” (mine was mostly directed at DH), the only advice I have for husbands and children is to look contrite, agree with whatever Mommy says, and BY ALL THAT IS HOLY do not contradict her or tell her to calm down (this will likely set off another wave of screaming and possibly things being thrown).

What sets off the MM? Mine was being denied (AGAIN) any “time off” from the job I do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I think every person in the world (no matter how much they love their job) occasionally needs a day off to recharge their “battery”. I haven’t had any “time off” since before The Boy was born (he’s 3 ½ ). Being repeatedly promised my “time off” and then having it ripped away at the last minute through inconsiderate behavior by DH was the final nail in the coffin of my sanity.

I threw a fit at DH. I didn’t yell, but I did use a very firm, not sweet voice to express my displeasure and unhappiness with the “no time off for Mommy” policy that seems to have developed. He offered to completely skip some necessary yard work so I could have “an hour or so” off, if I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my time! He doesn’t get it, I want time to go do whatever strikes my fancy, no itinerary. To have some time without a phone call every 20 minutes asking where something is, and when I’m coming home. I also don’t want to come home to a bigger mess than I left behind just because he cannot manage to wash a dish while the kids are around! (His mother would come help with the kids, but he ”just can’t seem to get around to asking her”.) So, no real resolution was reached and the MM simmered.

The next day the MM boiled up at the girls as they bickered, were hateful, were defiant, and yelled. I explained to them that I had had it and they’d better shape up or Mommy would leave them with a babysitter (DH hates to hire them because then we have to pay them, he’s cheap) and they could be raised by Daddy. They didn’t care. Didn’t change their behavior one little bit. Way to show some love to Mommy.  
The MM is still simmering, ready to erupt again (a Spring Break during which it has rained non-stop is not helping), so DH had better get on the ball, and call someone to help him with the kids so I can have some “time off”. Because soon, the MM will no longer simmer, it will boil over and that is something NO ONE wants to see (especially not the cashiers at Target).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse Meal Planning

I’m sure this exchange happens in many houses every night; “Mom, what’s for dinner?” “We’re having delicious fluffy clouds of gastric delight.” “Aw Mom, I hate that!” I know it happens in my house. It’s not that my children are not what one typically considers a picky eater. They will eat most forms of protein (OCDIva gags on shrimp). They will consume any fruit (except Kiwi, the weirdoes, I love Kiwi). They readily consume vegetables (except for cauliflower which I also hate). They are also very fond of dairy and breads. So why is almost every dinner met with, “Yuck! I don’t want that!” “Ugh, I hate that!” “That’s so disgusting!”? I have no idea. It’s not as though I serve shrimp, Kiwi, and cauliflower at each meal.  (I think some of it is just defiance. Whatever the reason, I find it worrisome because I fear that will this type of food antipathy they will not survive the Zombie Apocalypse due to starvation.

I envision the Zombie Apocalypse being a test not only of our weaponry stockpiles, but also our food and beverage stockpiles. My house should be pretty easy to zombie proof (and like the average American raised by a Republican I am armed to the teeth), so I think the kids, DH, and I can just hole up in the house until the whole thing passes (plus we live in a residential area rife with the elderly, and you know what they say, you don’t have to be faster than the zombie, just faster than your slowest neighbor). But we will need to have a stockpile of food to eat until civilization is up and running again. Therein lies the problem.

What to feed four kids when running out to Kroger every day isn’t really an option? (I assume the zombies will enter Kroger in search of food and get lost amid the myriad aisles in search of the free samples purveyors and eventually die of starvation because you can never find those people.) I suppose that we could go with the theory that the kids will eat when they become hungry enough, but that will mean some pretty cranky kids until that moment arrives. Somehow I don’t think letting the kids eat Kiddy Crack (Pixie Stix) and cookies for the months it will take to be rid of zombies roaming the streets (and the aisles of Kroger), is going to cut it. Maybe some tried and true “Kid Favorites” will get us by if not keep up exactly the picture of health (note to self begin stockpiling pepperoni, sharp cheddar cheese, various crackers/chips, assorted canned fruits, and  vitamins).

I suppose there might be a benefit to the Zombie Apocalypse Meal Plan, after it’s over, the kids might not complain so much about what they are served for dinner. I would think a nice plate of shrimp scampi with veggies over linguini would be a nice change of pace after months of Vienna sausages and fruit cocktail, don’t you think?  Hmm, I wonder if Zombie Mothers ever get complaints from their kids about dinner, “Aw Mom! I don’t like lawyer’s brains, I like doctor’s brains!” 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lost In Translation

I think this has happened to every parent. You say something to your child, but what they hear is something completely different (as if you’ve suddenly begun speaking Urdu, or Swahili).

I say; “Snark Girl and OCDiva, please  complete your homework in a timely fashion.” 
Snark Girl hears; “Please twirl, dance, and sing for the next two hours and only do one page of your homework until I scream like a crazy woman, then rush through all of it in twenty minutes .”

Of course, you can repeat yourself (sometimes ad nauseum) and hope they listen, hear, and understand what you are saying, but a lot of the time they just don’t. At least this phenomena is sometimes entertaining when the child repeats back what they thought you said. (Yes I have had OCDiva’s hearing tested, repeatedly.)
I say; “OCDiva, please remove your dance bag from the pathway through the mudroom.”
OCDiva hears; “Please improve your chances at spoon dog buddies.” (Seriously, this is what she thought I said last night.)

I don’t know if it really is just that they do not listen, or that they don’t hear us. (I know, convenient hearing, it’s the official diagnosis of Snark Girl’s and OCDiva’s “hearing problems”. Really, it’s in the chart.)
I say; “Snark Girl, please take your shoes to your bedroom.”  (She’s only 10, but is already a shoe whore, for running shoes.)
She hears; Well, she hears nothing because when I repeat my request (in an increasingly loud and irritated tone, after the fourth time) she says; “Well I didn’t hear you! You don’t have to yell!” (Apparently, I do have to yell if she is unable to hear me. Of course no one living outside of this house has trouble hearing or understanding me when I speak. Well, except when I am reduced to inarticulate screaming by my children.)

Sometimes it may be that the child is too young to understand?
I say; “Hulkster. Do not take off your diaper.”
He hears; “Hulkie baby, please take off your diaper and poop on the living room floor and then walk in it and track it over most of the main floor of the house.” (I’m halfway willing to believe he doesn’t understand me, but when I ask where my phone is, or for someone to bring me a Clorox wipe, he retrieves them and brings them to me. I think he understands more than he lets on. Sneaky.)

Perhaps the child is just in a “terrible” phase (twos, threes, childhood) and therefore thinks it’s FUN to defy you (and see the veins in your forehead pop out)?
I say; “The Boy! Do not bite! No! No bite!”
He hears; “The Boy, my baby love, please go bite Hulkster hard enough to leave a bruise for a week.” (Of course, The Boy, does this while smiling angelically and looking to make sure I see him but am too far away to prevent it.)

Believe me, I’ve heard all of the advice; “Speak to them in terms they understand,” (okay, but I’m pretty sure repeated threats of all manner of awful things is just going to up those therapy bills later in life). “Allow them to complete the task their own way,” (uhm, no. The dishes must be in the cupboard, the toilet must not be cleaned with their sibling’s toothbrush). “Don’t raise your voice,” (remember, they cannot HEAR ME IF I DON’T YELL). “Children should just get to be children free of rules and responsibilities,” (sure, let me know how that works out when they take over a moderately sized company using only a Knork and a Smartphone and declare themselves “Dictator for Life”).

I really don’t know who to blame, (I suspect DNA may be partly responsible because Darling Husband’s listening/hearing skills are iffy at best), or how to solve the problem (short of putting one of those eel thingys in their ear like Khan did to Chekov to make him comply). I’m probably just stuck with the repeating, yelling, threatening, bribing, and sighing. But if you someday hear of young woman with a penchant for running shoes and hoodies becoming “Dictator for Life” somewhere in the world,  you’ll know I gave in!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Filling & Emptying Buckets

Recently, OCDiva's teacher read a story to the class called, “How Full Is Your Bucket?”. The basic premise was that we each go around with an invisible bucket, when we say/do good things to or for someone else, we are “filling their bucket” and our own "bucket". But when we are negative or unkind, we are “dipping” or emptying the “buckets”. It was meant as a lesson on bullying and how we should lift people up, not tear them down. It made me start thinking about how sometimes someone says something that might not seem like a big deal, but it bothers us. We dwell on it and become more upset as the day goes on. The comment could be from anyone about anything.

Maybe it was your Darling Husband, “Honey, I’m glad you found the time to color your hair.” (Is he trying to say I look old?)

Maybe it was one of your kids, “Mom, it’s so great when you actually make dinner.” (Will they turn into substance abusers because I made Bertolli Pasta instead of spaghetti sauce from scratch?)

Maybe it was an Aunt, “It’s so nice that you were able to hire a sitter so you can go to a spa.” (Does she think I’m neglecting my kids?)

Maybe it was a friend, “Oh, I guess you’ve just been too busy to clean this month (as they survey your messy living room when they stop in unexpectedly).” (What do they mean “this month”; my kids can achieve this level of destruction before lunch?)

Maybe it was an overheard stranger, “Uggs are so ugly!” (Didn’t they notice I am wearing Uggs?)

Maybe it was a celebrity fashion stylist, “It’s so sloppy when people wear workout clothing every day, especially when they never work out.” (But they're comfortable, doesn’t carrying $500 worth of groceries in the house and putting it all away count as a workout?)

I always wondered why we sometimes dwell on comments like those. Some are innocuous, some are not. After hearing about the story OCDiva's teacher read and the “bucket filling” exercise the class engaged in after the story, I think I know "why". Comments like that make a "dip" in our “buckets”.  Too many "dips", and eventually your “bucket” is empty, and no matter how much self esteem you have, it's hard to feel good when your "bucket" is empty. 

I am going to challenge myself to try to fill the “buckets” of those around me every day, which will in turn fill my “bucket”.  

So who emptied your “bucket” today? What are you going to do to fill someone else’s “bucket”?

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Runaway

Running away from home. I’m sure we all threatened it at least once as children. I know I said it to my parents more than once . (Of course, I couldn’t run far because I wasn’t allowed to cross the street by myself.)                                                
Occasionally in the news I hear about a woman that disappeared. I don’t mean the women that suffer a blow to the head from a falling tower of garden hoses at Walmart and just wander off. I’m not talking about women who are being abused and leave to escape from that abuse (instead of doing a burning bed kind of thing). I don’t refer to the women that have (God forbid) been abducted by a serial killer or met some other grisly end.  No, I mean the women that one day lock up their house and just walk away from their (seemingly) wonderful life.

You know who I mean. The woman that has a nice house, nice (or at least not piece of shit) car, nice children, and a nice husband. The woman that volunteers at school, at church, and in the community. The woman that can be called upon to bake two dozen cupcakes at a moment’s notice. The woman that is willing to pick up a friend’s kids because the friend is stuck in line at Kroger. The woman that is always happy to help everyone else. In short, the woman that is probably each of us (at least in some way).

I always wonder what the final thing was that made them leave, the straw that broke the Mommy’s back, so to speak.  Was it the 50,343rd pair of dirty underwear they picked up off of the living room floor? Was it the water a child sprayed all over the kitchen that their husband promised to clean up but didn’t? Was it the 35th time they tried to pay at Kroger ( with two cranky toddlers in tow) only to find their wallet missing after a child took it out of their purse looking for money for library fines? Was it the sight of the umpteenth unrinsed bowl? Was it the requested spaghettios lunch being thrown to the floor and different food demanded? Was it the millionth time she tried to poop alone, only to be disturbed by a child asking her to, well, do anything? Was it the 500,000,000th load of laundry? Was it picking up the thrown (and leaking) sippy cup or pacifier ONE MORE TIME? Was it in fact none of those things? Was it really just that she wanted more than two minutes alone to do something for herself other than maintaining basic bodily functions?

I don’t know what it was for those women. Because for the few that come back, even if they are asked why they left and where they went, they are not allowed to answer publicly to Matt, Ann, Kathie Lee, or any of the other morning show talking heads. No, they are whisked away to “be evaluated” and “rest”. As if running away automatically means they were crazy! I think they are not allowed to answer publicly because their answers might prompt a rash of women vanishing for a few weeks to hang out in a luxury hotel and “spoil” themselves by NOT watching hours of cartoons every day, and sleeping all they want.

Today is one of those days I would like to run away from home. Of course, if I ran away I would miss the kids (and eventually DH) terribly. So, I’m not running away, yet. But who knows, one more wet towel to pick up off the floor and you might see my photo on the news with the caption “Disappeared.” Don’t worry though, the 5 star hotel will be lovely and I’ll think of you fondly while I’m having a mani-pedi and sipping cocktails poolside. So, what would YOU say to the morning crew if you ran away from home? (Assuming you returned.)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Glam Vow

The other day as I was looking in the mirror to put in my contact lenses, I realized that I look like Death. Really, the Grim Reaper. All black clothing? Check (yoga pants for the GR on the go). Extremely pale skin? Check (I get so little sun I could be a vampire, but not the sparkly kind). No make-up?  Check (I haven’t been able to find most of it since OCDiva gave DH his “makeover”).Unkempt hair? Check (wow do I need to have a playdate with Miss Clairol). Ass kicking shoes? Check (well, running shoes, but hey, they worked for Buffy). Black, hooded, cape? Check (well, black track jacket, but hey, capes get caught on stuff). Scythe? Well, no (but my purse should qualify as a deadly weapon – big, and heavy with all the junk I carry around for the kids).

Was looking like Death a new thing for me? Was I just rocking the latest in Grim Reaper couture? Was I just setting a new trend among the SAHM set? Was this always how I looked? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding, “NO!”

In my pre-SAHM days, (when I worked in an office) I wore make-up, fixed my hair, only wore yoga pants on the weekends to go grocery shopping, and wore (gasp) high heels nearly every day! I had a closet full of cute shoes and cute clothing that I wore and accessorized and I enjoyed it! I colored my hair, I waxed things, and I plucked religiously. I was moderately glamorous. I cared about what I looked like. But something happened over the past 8 years, I had three more kids.

Is it that I don’t have time to color, pluck, wax, make up, and coif? Did I just get too lazy to wear “real” clothing? Is it that people spend so much time commenting on the beauty/cuteness of my kids that I just assume no one sees me? Is it that I just don’t care how I look anymore? I think that all of those things may be true. I think it may also be that like a lot of moms I don’t take time for myself. 

In the evenings when I could wax, pluck, and color? Instead I check homework, wash uniforms, find mates to shoes, fill out field trip permission slips, and send emails as Head Room Mom. In the mornings when I should be coifing, putting on my face, and dressing in something other than athletic gear? I pack lunches and snacks, dispense medicine, find any random items needed (keys, hats, gloves, etc.) keep everyone on schedule, and shove them out the door on time. Of course, during the day I take care of the boys and the house (not a lot of beauty ritual time there). 

Did I become complacent? Did I allow my children (and in all honesty my husband) to take over my life? Did I sacrifice my hotness/hipness/humanity in the pursuit of happiness for my children/husband? Yes, yes I did. But that is over! I am taking back my glam! I vow to not wait so long between hair cuts that my stylist is checking the paper for my obituary! I vow to wear something besides running shoes (or flip flops in warm weather) at least a few times a week! I vow to do the full “war paint” and coiffure for more than just church! Most important of all, I vow to take some time for myself each day!  

Now excuse me while I go find my tweezers and a pair of my “FM Shoes” . . . 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jane Jetson & My Sins

I’m going to admit one of my sins to you. What sin? That of being covetous. What do I covet? Not money, cars, or someone else’s spouse. No, I covet the kitchen from “The Jetson’s”. Why? Because it was self cleaning.

Today I cleaned my disaster of a kitchen. How big of a disaster? Well the governor had scheduled a flyover for later this week and FEMA was about to offer aide. I’ve tried to teach the girls, and DH, that it is better to “clean as you go” when working in the kitchen, instead of leaving all the mess for the end of the project (it doesn’t get cleaned because they claim there is never time after). But they don’t listen and the result is sticky, dirty, and messy everywhere. You are probably saying to yourself, “Oh, it can’t have been that bad, she must be exaggerating.” Oh it was THAT bad. To give you an idea of the size, it is an eat in kitchen with two refrigerators and table for four. There was no access to the window or the table, there was just a narrowish path from the stove on one end to the extra refrigerator on the other end.  What was this epic, about-to-be-on “Hoarders” mess made up of? Many, many, things.

A pile of empty cereal boxes, pizza boxes, bacon wrappers, dirty paper towels, empty toaster strudel boxes piled on top of the stove (as if becoming a “found object” art exhibit). All kinds of unrinsed, unwashed, unscraped dishes (there were some quests for new antibiotics I SERIOUSLY considered throwing away instead of washing). Multiple pairs of shoes and clothing items, belonging to the girls and DH (because their clothing drops where they remove it). Assorted papers that the girls should have trashed (but instead became a new floor covering). Crayons, pencils, pens, markers, tape, magnets, and books that the girls should have put away (instead became an obstacle course to avoid potential middle of the night foot injuries). Toys (of all sorts).  Clean dishes that just got piled up on the counters (new storage system or just laziness?) Assorted packages of crackers, bagels, and chips that just didn’t get put back in the cabinet (wouldn’t want to expire from hunger because they had to walk to the pantry). Mustn’t forget the muddy footprints from humans and dogs (a pattern for the new flooring).

What brought my kitchen to the point that it took two trash cans full of trash, two big storage tubs of stuff that doesn’t belong in the kitchen , two loads through the dishwasher (many more to go), scrubbing and scraping the counters, stove, and sink, (really, do none of them know how to use a paper towel?) a thorough vacuuming, then mopping, to make my kitchen clean? Is it really that DH and the girls crave careeres a Found Object Artists? No. Is it that they aspire to fame and fortune as the developers of a new antibiotic or adhesive? No. Are they trying to save the environment through alternative floor coverings? No. Really, the kitchen reached that point because I became ill, and DH and the girls are unwilling to pick up after themselves without continued reminders from me.

 Would I trade DH or my kids (or the dogs) for a continually clean kitchen? No, of course I wouldn’t. But even though I know it’s a sin, I still envy Jane Jetson that self cleaning kitchen!