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!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sandman, This Is War!

Easter Bunny, Louie the Leprechaun, Santa, The Tooth Fairy, Cupid, The Great Pumpkin, Elf on the Shelf, all creatures/people of myth that we encourage our kids to believe in, and I love them all. But there is another. A person of myth that is making me unholy pissed and I am about to declare “Mommy War” upon him. It’s the Sandman. Yes, that bringer of sleep from the Land of Nod is on my hit list.
I admit, as a young child I was . . . not fond of the Sandman. Okay, I hated him. I avoided him at all costs, and barred the door against him. As a teenager, he seduced me, and I fell in love with him. I defended his actions to all who complained about him, I begged him to spend more time with me, and he did, on the weekends. But when I reached college we grew apart, went our separate ways but for brief periods of time. (Isn’t that how it always goes with first loves?) Then I became an adult and craved his presence again. I yearned for his visits every night, and he usually arrived and gave me what I needed. Our relationship had changed, matured, but was still solid, until I had children.
When I had children, Sandman turned on me like a stalker served with a restraining order. He was obviously pissed when Snark Girl was born, he visited and made her sleep, but for so long that we had to break the “never wake a sleeping baby” rule on a daily (if not multiple times daily) basis. She slept for more than 12 hours a night! I realize now that Sandman is a master manipulator, because Snark Girl’s ability to sleep anytime anywhere was not the blessing it seemed, no, it was a prelude to the torture that was coming.
With the arrival of each of my other three children, Sandman showed himself for the vengeful bastard he is. OCDiva did not sleep through the night consistently until she started Kindergarten. This was the Sandman’s opening salvo in our battle. She hated naps, would nap only on my lap, and gave up daily naps at age 3. (She is still fond of getting up after 8 or 9 hours of sleep, I can’t tell you how many times I thought we had an intruder only to discover her giggling at Uncle Jesse while eating dry cereal.)  Once again, with The Boy, Sandman lulled us into a false sense of calm. The Boy slept through the night by 4 months old, but would only cat nap during the day. This when I began to dislike Sandman. This is when I realized he was bitter about our college break up. Then came Hulkster, Sandman made it clear that he was gearing up for a full battle. It’s not that Hulkster didn’t sleep, he did, but he never seemed to be on on any sort of sleep schedule until he was past his first birthday. Once he did, I breathed a sigh of relief and thought perhaps Sandman was done punishing me. Then, his sinister plan was revealed. Instead of messing with the sleep patterns of my children, he began to mess with MY sleep. If that were not enough, he started messing with that most sacred time of day to all SAHMs, Nap Time.
Yes, The Boy is no longer napping consistently. Hulkster is, but we all know that when one gives up his daily nap the other is not far behind him. It wouldn’t be a problem if Sandman were giving me the eight hours (hell I’d settle for 6 hours) of UNINTERRUPTED sleep I crave a night. But no, he makes sure I wake several times a night to visit the bathroom, adjust my covers, or just for fun. So as I slowly descend into the madness of a severely sleep deprived SAHM, I say to Sandman;

“Watch your back you bastard, because I'm coming for you and I shall be victorious!"

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Like February 14th

I know it’s somewhat popular to either hate the Feast of St. Valentine, (yes, it is the Feast Day of a Saint) to complain that it is a made up holiday, or at the very least to rationalize it away as something we shouldn’t need – a special day to prove we love someone. Well, I will admit something to you;

 I like Valentine’s Day

I like the hearts, the flowers, the candy, the sentimental songs, all of it. No, I haven’t always had a boyfriend on St. Valentine’s Day and so those years might not have been flower filled and chocolate scented, but I still didn’t hate the day because I like what it represents, love.

While it is true that we should all strive to have love in our hearts and actions daily for those with whom we share our lives, the reality is that doesn’t always happen. People get lazy. Spouses forget to tell each other how much they appreciate and love one another. They forget to show the little kindnesses – scraping the windshield on an icy morning. Getting up with the kids so the other can sleep. (Not leaving dirty underwear on the floor.) Parents forget to tell kids how good they are instead of just how bad. Kids forget to tell parents how much they love and appreciate them. Siblings take each other for granted. So is it REALLY so bad to have a day during the year to remind us to treasure those we love? Is it so wrong for children to believe that Cupid brings them a present to remind them to love others? Is it wrong for children to exchange corny Valentine’s cards with their friends while eating cookies in a crepe paper bedecked classroom? Is Love really less deserving of a day of respect than George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., or the Declaration of Independence?  I don’t think so, I don’t think the reminder is bad for any of us.

I certainly understand that no one really NEEDS a heart shaped faux diamond bauble, a dozen red roses, crotchless panties, or a box of chocolates. I understand that what they need is to know that someone cares about them, loves them, and thinks about them. So hate the commercialization of St. Valentine’s Day, just don’t hate the actual day that reminds us to cherish those with whom we share our lives.

Hmm, wonder where the girls stashed that candy they got at school . . .

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Punishment via Ice Pick and a Makeover

Last night, as I was making dinner while the boys played and Snark Girl did her homework, my cell phone rang. “Mommy, can someone come get me?” OCDiva sobbed, “Daddy forgot me. Again.” I calmly apologized and assured OCDiva that one of us would be along shortly and not to worry. (I was, at this point, wondering whether or not DH really needed his testicles.)
You see, DH is a Non-Punctual Person (NPP) and also a Non-Caller (NC). He has a long history of being late leaving his office. Late arriving for various activities. Late leaving the house to go other places. Late picking up people. Late for everything EXCEPT work related things. Does his repeated tardiness irritate the holy freaking crap out of me? Yes, absolutely, because I am a Punctual Person and a Caller (PPC). Normally, I just move on without him – we eat dinner, we leave for events, kids get put to bed, etc., without him. Every few months I remind him that tardiness pisses me off and he does better for a while, but just like any addict, he backslides and if I don’t complain quickly enough, then there tends to be an “incident” as there was last night.

For the past two years it has been DH’s responsibility to pick up OCDIva from dance class. (DH’s office building can be seen from the studio, but is across a major street without a cross walk, so OCDiva cannot walk over there.) Because of his proclivity towards tardiness, DH has a reminder on his smartphone calendar (which also appears on the screen of his work PC), and a recurring alarm on his phone. I also remind him EVERY time that he must pick her up after dance. Well, this week his NPPNC proclivity managed to defeat all attempts to get him to the dance studio on time. (He left the phone on his desk and went to another part of the building and apparently forgot how to use his watch to tell time.)

By the time OCDiva called me, DH was already 23 minutes late. When I got him on the phone I asked (not nicely) what he was doing. He very calmly told me he was ready to leave the office and would be home soon. I asked him (again not very nicely) if he MIGHT be able to swing by the dance studio and MAYBE pick up OCDiva. He uttered an expletive, said he was on the way, and hung up.

Upon arriving home, with tears streaming down her face, OCDiva flung herself into my lap and sobbed. (There was snot on my shirt and everything.) As she began to calm down she asked if she could punish DH, if she could borrow my ice pick to do it, and how many punishments (five). She said, “Not to kill him. Just to make him REMEMBER next time.”  Yes, this is not the first time he has been late to pick her up from dance, this is the latest he has been, but he is a repeat offender. We are talking more than three strikes. Compounding this is that OCDiva is, like me, a PPC. As she cried and formulated his punishments, I texted DH from across the room and told him he was not allowed to be pissy, and would take whatever punishment she devised and I approved as he had “forgotten” her for a full 30 minutes.

By the time dinner was over, during which OCDiva refused to speak to DH but communicated that her feelings were hurt, she felt scared, and unloved (twist that knife to the heart) she had come up with the punishments; ice pick to the arm, timeout (one minute per year of age), jumping rope, hula hooping (both of those to be videotaped), and a makeover complete with make-up and nail polish to be photographed with those photos to be posted to his and my personal Facebook profiles. She still wasn’t speaking to him at bedtime, but he said something that made her smile slightly. When he pointed out her smile and surmised it meant he was forgiven, she shook her head no and said, “Sarcasm smile.”

She has already exacted the “Ice Pick to the Arm” portion of the punishment (she poked him twice to no great effect, so I gave her some instruction on technique and she got a genuine “Ouch!” out of him). The rest of the punishments will be meted out this weekend. He’s balking at the timeout, but I’ve explained to him that if I have to punish him the ice pick won’t be applied to his arm.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Underwear Crime Scene

PMS, Aunt Flo, Exploding Ovary Syndrome, “That” Time of the Month, Period, Menstruation, Womanly Time, Tampon Time, Diaper Undies, On the Rag, The Curse, Hemorrhaging, Shark Week, Crime Scene in my Underwear, and of course (for some women) Thank You Jesus I’m Not Pregnant.

Whatever you call the bloating/cramping/gushing of blood that occurs on a mostly monthly basis, having a menstrual period is not a fun time. Any woman that tells you it is fun is delusional. Even if you are thrilled to find out you are not expecting, you still don’t enjoy the proof.  The changing hormone levels and the accompanying symptoms of PMS can bring a woman to her knees (or put her in bed with a heating pad, back episodes of Gray’s Anatomy, and a bag of M&M’s) and sometimes make her pray for death, or at least a really good painkiller.

Despite all of the hormonal changes that a woman goes through during “The Curse” most of us manage to go about our normal duties, even if we are a bit cranky while doing them.  (Okay, maybe more than a bit cranky, some of us probably reach potential psychotic killer status.) I have been guilty of being a bit more than cranky some months, and the ice pick comes out.  Do we know we are cranky when Aunt Flo is visiting? Yes, we know, but unlike our other relatives, we can’t make that bitch leave. Since we are stuck with old Aunt Flo, even if we could, we just might not want to stop being cranky.  We might want to scream, yell, cry, and just be generally pissed off until she is gone and we have replaced the underwear she made us ruin when she arrived off schedule!

The worst part of being “On the Rag” is when men offer their opinion of our behavior while we are suffering from “Exploding Ovary Syndrome”! I do not know a single woman that has EVER asked for the opinion of a man about her behavior or attitude while she was having a crime scene in her underwear. Yet, there are men who feel compelled to say things to us, like; “Oh stop being such a baby.” (Want me to jam a pacifier up your urethra?) “It can’t be that bad.” (Really? May I kick you in the scrotum 3 times a day for 5 days and then see if you care to repeat that?) “You just need to calm down.” (How about I pump you full of hormones for a week and we’ll see if you “calm down” without tranquilizers?) I really think that some men have a death wish (say those things to the wrong woman and she might oblige his wish). My favorite though, is when a man says, “Never trust anything that bleeds for 7 days but doesn’t die.” (You mean like you will after I shoot you in the gut and lock you in a closet?) However, since I don’t really want to see anyone in the Sisterhood of the Monthly Hemorrhage in jail for killing an ignorant man, I’m going to help out the men with some friendly advice.

Gentlemen, no matter how insane the woman in your life may seem while she is experiencing Tampon Week, no matter how awful she is, no matter what she says to you during that week, please keep this in mind as it will save your testicles if not your life;

No uterus equals no opinion!