Category Archives: Parenting
My bestie and I were on an errand from God on Sunday. 1.) Because she was getting a new phone after almost chucking hers out the window because it wouldn’t text and other highly necessary operations that are a must for the technically connected… and 2.) because the monster needed his school supplies and there would be no other time to do it in their busy schedule before Meet Your Teacher night later in the week.
She was feeling oddly bad for me because I would be standing around in a phone store looking longingly at the phones that I couldn’t afford because I’m painfully poor and am days away from having a really professional and good paying job which will actually put me back in the economy’s middle class ranking, so she suggested we divide and conquer to make things move a little faster and be more productive. I would drop her off at the phone store then run and get the school supplies. Sounds easy, right? I was excited because I don’t go with the girls, their grandmother is extremely generous in offering each year to buy their supplies for them, so I would get the experience without the stress of it being with my own children arguing over Hello Kitty folders and Frozen backpacks.
No, that’s not even what happened. When I walked into the store the school supplies were directly in front of me and the mass chaos that was ensuing was both shocking and eye-opening to me as a parent as well as a teacher.
And here is where I revolt from my fellow teachers and throw them all to the wolves. Because we are BAD people. I mean bad, as in were are definitely going to hell bad.
I walk up to the school lists and begin to read, thinking, not too bad, not horrible. But then I start searching for the items and realize, these are really specific items being requested on this list. (5) folders, but they must be red, blue, green, yellow, and purple. I get the plastic folders because I know my friend’s son and I think, “hey, he won’t be able to destroy these, at least not easily, right?” So I start looking for the appropriate colors and find all but a yellow.
I am defiant by nature, so when I can’t find a yellow in the plastic version I refuse to switch to the paper version. It’s just principle now. So I get orange instead. It’s in the yellow family, a secondary color created by its primary counter parts yellow and red. Orange will be the new yellow.
Next I had to find specific amounts of crayons, markers, and colored pencils. Lets be honest, none of the amounts he was supposed to have were correct, me being a teacher I’m thinking, “More is better, right?” 36 colored pencils instead of 24, 10 markers instead of 8, what could 2 additional colors hurt?
Then came the dry erase markers. I don’t disagree with the purchase of these, but when the girls are specified to bring “fine tip” and the boys “chisel tip” I draw the line. Last time I’m brought dry erasers chisel tip was the norm so I’m thinking easy peasy. Nope, apparently fine tip is all the rage these days. Stupid, chisel I can make a fat line or a thin line, best of both worlds, but apparently higher education is more specific in their instruction of new teachers these days. When I was in college we had to practice writing on CHALK BOARDS people. CHALK BOARDS. I have a strong aversion to chalk boards. Like I’m gonna puke if even one squeak comes from a piece of chalk and God FORBID someone scratch their nails on it. I’m gagging as we speak just thinking of it…
At this point I begin to notice I’m walking the aisle mumbling to myself, “Crayons, crayons, pointed tipped scissors, magic erasers. What the f*ck is a Magic Eraser? ” Over and over again. I think, “People are gonna start staring, so I’d better keep it together.” But then I realize all of these other parents are doing the same thing!
One guys walking down the aisle going, “Oh God, oh God…”, another is mumbling, “Stupid, stupid, stupid…”. I heard a mother say to her daughter, “You’d better make this fridge and microwave last you all four years.”
I ran into another mom looking for a specific brand of pencils. I directed her to the correct spot, then asked, “Do you know what a magic eraser is?”
“I’m actually a teacher and I have no idea what it is..” She looks at me with a mixture of hatred and pity and I scurry away.
The breaking point was the crayons. I was in need of a 24 pack, but could only get the 8 count jumbo size or the 128 mega pack and I figured I’d have one pretty pissed off third grader gunning for me if I brought either of these home. After angry Snapchats and rantings to my bestie, I stoop about as low as I could go on this “damned from the beginning” pilgrimage and nab a pack out of a pre-packed bag for patrons to purchase for underprivileged school students. A new low for sure.
As I made my way back to the phone store to pick her up, I was reviewing what purchases might not be actually kosher with the teacher figuring the orange folder might be a bit of a stretch, but surely it couldn’t make that much of a difference right? Wrong. I was promptly informed that last year the items that weren’t correct were sent home with a note stating they were not acceptable and new items must be purchased. In fact, she informed me that she fully expected to be back out re-buying all of these same supplies the week after school started because generally half of them weren’t correct.
I was outraged. I told her if the teacher made a peep she should let me know and I would be up at that school the next day having it out with her. She insisted it really wasn’t worth it and that buying all new supplies was in turn, much easier.
Today she posts this blog from People I Want to Punch in the Throat on my wall about school supplies and teachers. People I Want to Punch in the Throat found it came from Ginny over at Praying to Darwin and its PURE GENIUS.
For all you Mommies dealing with this shit right now, cheers!School Suppliesby XXXXXXXXXXXX on Monday, September 7, 20xx at 10:31am************************************************Dear Mrs. X:In just over a week, you will be my son’s Grade 1 teacher. He is ever so excited to be under your tutelage. Why, since the last day of kindergarten, entering your class was all he could talk about. He gleefully thrust a piece of paper into my hand on that June afternoon, and said, “Here’s a list of the stuff I need for school next September!”And I have to admit, I, too, was excited. I’m a school supplies geek from way back. And so, in early August, I set out to buy the items you’d listed. It was on my fourth store that the realization began to sink in.You’re a crafty bitch, aren’t you?This list was a thinly disguised test. Could I find the items, exactly as you’d prescribed? Because if not, my son would be That Kid, the one with the Problem Mother, Who Can’t Follow Directions.For example, the glue sticks you requested. In the 40 gram size. Three of the little buggers. (What kind of massive, sticky project you’ve got planned for the first day of school that would require the students to bring all this glue, I cannot imagine.) But the 40 gram size doesn’t come in a convenient 3-pack. The 30 gram size does. But clearly, those would be wildly inappropriate. So I got the individually priced 40’s, as per your instructions.Another bit of fun was your request for 2 packs of 8 Crayola crayons (basic colors). The 24 packs, with their 24 *different* colors, sat there, on sale. I could have purchased *three* of the 24 packs for the price I had to pay for the 8 packs. (Clearly, you’ll not be teaching the youngsters any sort of economics lessons this year.) Even the cashier looked at me, as if to say, “Pardon me, ma’am, but are you slow?” as I purchased these non-bargain crayons. But that’s what the list said. And I was committed to following the list.But the last item, well, now, you saved your malice up for that one, didn’t you? “8 mm ruled notebooks”, you asked for. Simple enough. Except the standard size is “seven” millimetres. One. Millimetre. Difference. Do you realize, Mrs. X., exactly how infinitesimal the difference between 7 mm ruling and 8 mm ruling is? Pretty small, I assure you. The thickness of a fingernail, approximately. But that millimetre, that small bit of nothingness, made me drive to four different stores, over the course of three sweaty August hours. And when I finally, finally found the last remaining 8 mm notebooks, I took no pleasure in my victory. I merely shifted my focus. To you, Mrs. X.You wanna dance, lady? Let’s dance.Because I am just batshit crazy enough to play your games. And, in turn, come up with some of my own.On show and share day, my son will be bringing the video of his birth. It will be labelled, “Ben’s First Puppy.” Enjoy.He will be given a list of words, and daily, he will ask you what they mean. Words such as “pedophile”, “anti-semite”, and “skank”. Good luck with those.At some point, you will attempt to teach him mathematics. And I’m quite sure that, like most of your ilk, you will require my son to “show his work”. And he will. Through interpretive dance.Because that is who you’ve chosen to tangle with, toots. A stay at home mom who is not entirely balanced, and has altogether too much time on her hands. But is, most certainly, A Mother Who Can Follow Directions.Sincerely,Ben’s Mom
Oh yeah, ladies, I’m with you all the way…
This week has been incredibly insane judging by the fact that I should have been writing this post three days ago, but am just getting to it now… Lainey found a stray cat last week and insisted we keep it. Oddly enough, despite my cat whispering abilities I told her no, I just couldn’t bring myself to handle that much added responsibility. Beside the fact that my cat whispering abilities told me that the cat was extremely ill, and probably only had days to live… Even Ella said, “that cat is going to puke and die.”
Every time I went out for a smoke I felt as if it were judging me, all coughing and gagging, like my smoking was causing it to hack up a lung. It was so uncomfortable I just gave up, until Trisha came over and started freaking out when it started in on its hacking again.
Lucky for me my dad was feeling charitable this weekend and while the girls where with their dad he took it down to the pound to be put out of its misery, hopefully. I know it’s harsh, but I’ve been through enough feline leukemia to know when to recognize it, and it was staring me down this weekend.
Ella was sick on Sunday. Seemed a bit odd, just a fever, headache and extreme narcolepsy. No, not really, but for the child that refuses naps daily, it seemed a bit odd to me. I stayed home with her on Monday (after having to explain to Lainey what happened to “her cat”, can we say awkward?) Anyway after running the gambit on maladies for Ella I finally got her into the doctor, to find she had…drumroll please….strep throat for like the hundredth time this year. I mean seriously the girl uses the stickers from the doctor like badges of honor… 15 in all, she’s so proud…. Finally I said to the doctor, “this is getting a little ridiculous, I mean we like you and all, but I see you more than I do my best friend.” Result? Tonsils out. Peace.
Back to the cat story, Lainey has now been hounding me all week for a kitten. Her dad said we could have one from their farm and I had agreed, but then changed my mind. I think I have commitment issues, I mean that’s a lot of responsibility I’ve had like 500 times in my life. I only had a husband once, and I ow I’m never going there again, so why would I want to try something ONE more time, like its going to change? Call me a glutton….or stupid, whichever… It’s not like its a husband or something…. Really, I mean please…
So, I actually had to look back at my posts from last September, but yes, yes this has happened before… My children have reached the bottom of the murky caldron of complete and utter insanity just from a simple little thing like having to go back to school. If it were just the going back to school it might be alright, but when you add visitations, swim lessons, birthdays, choir practice and so much more into the mix… it really makes the murky caldron all that much worse.
Hence, a return to conformity and routine is making a comeback in our house this week. There is SO much less television it’s almost hilarious… Their father is the food nazi, I am now the TV nazi. You want to watch TV? No TV for you!
I just want to loud noises to stop in all honesty. So instead of doing my homework assignment last night, here is what I did instead. Turns out it just has to be in paper form for them to think it’s written in stone. Guess I’m going to have to start sending memos… Yeah, did you get that memo?
Lately my posts have been fewer and farther between and it’s not for a lack of things to write about, it’s just lately I have so many things going through my head I’m afraid writing it all down would become a random jumble of incoherent nonsense that I couldn’t make heads or tails of it later.
Do you want to know the reason I continue to post on my blog? (I feel like it’s a dirty secret <eye rolling>). I continue to write because it makes me feel good to look at my stats and see how many people have read my blog each day. Isn’t that sad?
This is what my life has come to… low self-esteem sucks. And actually I’m no stranger to low self-esteem, blogging is just a new way I can feed the need for human interaction without having to interact with them face to face. Weird I know…
It’s not that I’m looking for attention, it’s that I want to know that someone hears me in this stupid world Or that I might be able to make a difference somewhere. Shut it Trisha. I know, Liz and her idealistic thoughts, get use to the idea that the “man” is gonna always keep you down. It reminds me of a book Ella has called “Kitten Hide and Seek”, “What’s my name? Play the game….” Not that the “man” is a kitten, but that you just have to play the game. Geesh, this isn’t making any sense.
I give Trisha a hard time, but I wonder, is it her in my head saying those things or me? Is this me growing up realizing that I’m never going to be important enough to make a difference, I’m meant for mothering two spoiled children that I have created to overcompensate for the horrible way I have handled my self over the past two years, and what they have had to go through. That, honestly, they would probably rather be with their father where they can at least live in their own home, where it is somewhat reminiscent of their previous lives. Where they can have new clothes, and toys, and American Girl Dolls and Barbie Dream Houses and a baby sister. That the only thing they will have to look forward with me is… what they see right now. Probably living in their grandparent’s basement, or in a cheap apartment, or rented home, jumping from school to school until their mother can finally get her act together. Just us, no frills, because mom is never going to be able to find a job she excels at, or earns good money at, or is successful at…
This sounds very depressing I know, and I honestly don’t go around thinking all of this all of the time, but there are moments when I let my happy facade down and think, “shit, this really is as good as it’s gonna get”. And not that it’s horrible, mind you, it’s not the path I would have chosen myself, but how often are we forced onto paths we haven’t chosen? And I know it’s about me and my motivation to succeed and survive, but still, there are questions, and uncertainties. Maybe this is just me working through the last bit of all of the bullshit I have waded through up to my armpits these past few years. Maybe it’s an empty question being sent out into nothingness. I don’t know, but I do know writing it down as a point of reference for a week, month, or years down the road will allow me to think “Jesus girl, what the hell?” But then be able to say to that insecure, unsure of herself girl, “It got better.”
Geesh, it’s been a rough couple of weeks at our house. I think we are pushing my dad over the edge. The girls have had major, crazy mood swings that had me putting them to bed early tonight. Anyone else???
I’m starting to become a bit defensive about Lainey’s constant barrage that I baby Ella and not her. (In a whiny voice that could curdle milk…) “You always baby Ella, you never baby me because I’m older. I got a cut on my finger at girl scouts and had to sit through the WHOLE meeting until I could go home to get a band-aid for it, but you talk so nice to Ella blah, blah, blah, schmergitty schmergin…”
Of course I let her have it tonight, nicely, but none-the-less told her until her attitude got an adjustment she could count TV out after school and could start getting her homework done and then read until I got home from work. The whole time this is going on in the car I’m just sitting there with my head on the steering wheel waiting for the light and thinking, really? This is why people want to have kids? (Just kidding, love them, but you can’t win for trying!)
I’m going to start going with the attitude that unless they are saying I’m the worst mom in the world, I’m not doing a good job. Girls. I don’t know what to do with them, and it’s only going to get worse!
I don’t know what I will do when we move to our own place, but I don’t think I will have to worry about that for a while. Yes, I am still living in my parent’s basement, but I’m embracing it… waaah, waaah, waaah…..
Haha, on a brighter note today, I got a search engine term for “self-absorbed” hahaha!
Once again that dirty word has crept its way back into my world. I can’t escape it. I blame “The Family“. At the next Academy of Parenthood award show I will be nominated for mother of the year. Here’s why:
Tonight while giving the children baths, one of the children pooped in, on, and around the tub. I’m not going to name which one it was, but the other is to blame, because as sure as the sun will come out tomorrow, this child decided for the SECOND time in two minutes, that she HAD to go to the bathroom AGAIN while the other was in the tub. So needless to say, when the other was soaking in a nice warm bath, she had to “do her business”, and the other was already on the throne. Mirolax is the devils tool, and I blame it too.
I deserve the Mother of the Year award because I cleaned it all up with minimal yelling, crying, and throwing up, well, no throwing up, but the feeling came to me a time or two. I may or may not have suggested I blamed the other child, but seeing as how they don’t get sarcasm or implied meanings I’m pretty sure they didn’t get it. This is aside from the fact that they were both home from school today sick, and they have been on steroids or something because they are C-R-A-Z-Y, with a capital C.
Afterwards I went down to the gas station to get a soda and a pack of smokes and my mom didn’t even say a word. I’m pretty sure it’s because I deserved a liter and some Jack to go with it, while I smoke an entire pack.
Notice the irony of this post being filed under Sh*t my Kids Do… it’s got to be a full moon again…
I took the girls to the mall this weekend to buy them Christmas dresses, and in the process reminded myself why we don’t go shopping together more often. In all honesty they did pretty good considering they are too big for strollers and we had to navigate on escalators. Ella is scared of them, but Lainey is scared of elevators so there isn’t much one can do about it. Besides the fact that Lainey doesn’t really like going out in public, AT ALL.
We went to Macy’s and found a dress for Ella and a sweater for Lainey, but then Ella needed a sweater to go with her dress, and of course, Lainey needed a dress. So, we headed down to JC Penney to see what we could find. Just as we find Lainey a dress, Ella declares she needs to go to the bathroom, RIGHT THAT MINUTE. Ok, so we start walking to the back of the store and it’s like we are moving in slow motion… I look around for Ella and she’s sauntering behind. I’m like, didn’t you have to go to the bathroom? Yeah. Ok, well, do you think we could maybe get there, like today? Yeah, I’m coming… Oooo-kay…
finally we get there but you can’t take merchandise into the bathroom with you so Lainey says she’ll stand right outside with the dress, Ella goes in, and I stand at the door listening to her. Then she insists that she can’t reach the sink to wash her hands, sanitizer will NOT do, and so we take another 5 minutes washing hands and what not…
Finally we make our purchases and head back to Macy’s where there is a Clinique makeup lady waiting for some unsuspecting patron to pounce on. I give her one look, that says it all, like, seriously lady, if you want to watch my children for 20 minutes while I get a make over go right ahead, but I am not going to be responsible for the impending doom that my youngest will reek on your store. Did I mention Ella likes to hid in the clothes racks? Makes for an interesting shopping trip. 100 feet to the door and Ella starts in on how her legs hurt and they won’t work anymore and can’t I just carry her? She weighs a whooping 50 lbs, so no, I will not carry you. And they wonder why they don’t ever get to pick out their clothes…
I had to go home and take a nap after that…
If you read my blog you know that there has been a major crackdown on the girls at our house. Can I just say, last night was AWESOME!!!! That is how I want every night to be!!! Lainey started freaking about homework first thing, but I told her we were just going to TRY it out today with no meltdowns and keep a positive attitude and see how that worked for us. She read to me while I prepped for dinner, then we did flash cards, then spelling (she got ALL of the correct with no prompting!!!) We had dinner, played an EDUCATIONAL game on the computer (- all three of us), and they read in bed before falling asleep at a reasonable hour.
Basically I am writing this so the next time I’m going crazy and don’t know what to do I can read this and remember that the SMACKDOWN is effective! Bring it on!