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Top 3 Things That Made Me Laugh Today

BWAHAHA! That’s all I have to say about my day! (Well, really, about life in general, but we will just focus on then funnies of today for time’s sake). So, the day started out with a trip to Michael’s to get some crafts for the kids, so they are not up my grill. We buy some clay, a scrapbook, cool markers, and baking supplies. We’re good, yes? Well, not exactly. When we get home, we first decide to delve into the “YOU*NIVERSE Crystal Growing Unicorn” craft, in which you “Grow a Crystal Sculpture!”

Seems easy, yes? Um, no! First off, they don’t mention that not only do you need to wait two hours for the crystal liquid to settle in a bowl once you mix it (this is SO not a kids thing–anything requiring patience), but then you have to let the unicorn sit OVERNIGHT in the crystals before painting them. This sucks! Like, who wants to wait till the next day? It should have a warning on it that reads: “This is 24-hour craft! Beware that Children will Be Bored and You Will Be Responsible!” It’s like when you buy them a hamster, and then you’re the one caring for it after day 3 (#truestory). But, at this point in the crystal unicorn, I am legit involved and want to see this through.

So I go to clean up the mess and leave this nasty fish tank of crystals to sit overnight, and I can’t find the paper towels. Oh, wait, guess where they were, these coveted paper towels, of which I am allowed to buy just ONE at the store because of restrictions!? In the living room…#chewtoy

Onto the next craft, my daughter decided to be innovative and philosophical. Thinking about Santa, and how one should be rewarded for being good and punished for being bad, she devised a list of good behaviors that merit rewards (or points) and bad behaviors that force you to pay. Some good behaviors, such as not complaining, brushing teeth, and setting the table (ha! AS IF!), are compensated with points and rewards, such as “stay up an extra 20 minutes.” Bad behaviors, on the other hand, like hitting and punching, result in chores.

I realized, after looking at this extensive list, that the consequences and payments on the bad list are essentially MY LIFE. Yes, that’s true. Cleaning, raking leaves, shoveling snow, matching socks, folding laundry, garbage, recycling, and “making my bed for a whole month” are basically what I do on a daily basis.


Makes me wonder…

I mean, I am GOOD! Very good! In fact, I found $80 in cash on Friday outside this person’s Jeep, who was parked next to me. I could have legit pocketed that and gone holiday shopping. But, no, because I am good person, who believes in Karma (Um….when’s it coming?), I put the cash in an envelope, and I wrote, “Looks like you dropped this” and put it on their car.

But, I’m the one living the punitive chores list! Seems off, no?

SHEESH!!

Happy Holidays! Wish me luck with the crystal painting tomorrow!!

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Kids, This is What You Can Get Me for X-Mas #giftguide

I’ve been reading all these gift giving guides, and I decided I’d write one of my own for my children to reference. Here you go, Kids:

1. A REFRAIN FROM ASKING “Where is a clean mask?” when we are harried and rushing out the door on the way to school in the morning. I am sweating, frazzled, clomping around in my work heels, and basically hating life when you do that. We have a name for this person I become: the angry chicken, because I am squawking with my beak. Don’t make me the chicken.

2. A DUMPSTER FOR ANY SMALL TOYS, including Hatchimals (these are crazy, tiny animals that you peel out of a gross plastic egg like they are “hatching.”) These toys are not only killer weapons when I step on them in the middle of the night in the dark, but they are also dog chokers. Not to mention, Hatchimals are fun for like one minute, when you see what they look like after they hatch, and then they’re not so fun. Kind of like giving birth and seeing the baby, and then it’s just “meh.” KIDDING!

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3. A WEEK AWAY TO A RETREAT: I just want to be sent someplace where I can journal, sleep, get daily therapy, go on walks, and do nothing. I might enjoy something cult-like, where I sit by a fire with some freaks, and we bond while making S’mores and someone with a man bun (maybe the cult leader) is playing guitar.

4. “MOMMY MAKEOVER” PLASTIC SURGERY: Hey, I won’t be offended if you guys pay for it. Just get me the gift card, and I will go for that Mommy Makeover. I will never spend my mortgage or cable money on it, guys, so dump your piggy banks and get Mommy the help she needs. This is, after all, your fault I look like this.

5. A YEAR OF PACKED LUNCHES (can be frozen): I hate packing lunches, because now that peanut butter is not allowed (#nutallergies), I have no sandwiches to make. PB&J was my go-to sammie, and really the only one you guys eat. Not to mention, a jar of Skippy can last for like 20 lunches: basic economics. Now, I have to rifle around the snack drawers, find cutlery for the yogurts, add in a freezer pack to keep it cold (and you often leave it in your backpack overnight, so I have to dive in the freezer and find a new one), and feel bad that you went to school with six bags of chips for lunch.

6. A NEW REMOTE CONTROL: The one in the basement, the one I use on the elliptical, is covered in sticky ice cream and God knows what. No matter how much I sanitize it, it’s sticky and maybe more foul than the ones in hotel rooms that I put a Ziploc bag over before I touch them. I want a back-up…one you do not touch.

7. GIVE ME MY BED BACK: I love you in my bed (sometimes), but the fact that my bed is now called “our bed” is an issue. And, I found a sour patch candy in the sheets the other night, and your old blankie kinda smells, so I can only face one way in the bed–away from it. I might like to sleep alone, so I can read, stretch out, and feel okay sleeping on my right AND my left side.

Her side of “our” bed

Well, that should be a good start, kids. And it doesn’t require a lot of shopping! So, make like Santa, and get to it. I’ve been “Good” this year…

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It’s Okay to Cry

I have cried, I think, once a day for the last seven days. That’s unusual for me…now. In my 20s and 30s, I am pretty sure I cried every day. I remember one of my close guy friends told me he hadn’t cried in several years, and I was befuddled. I was like, ‘HUH!? You must be so repressed! What is happening!?”

So I used to cry about big life things, such as, “I am never going to find ‘the one,'” and ‘Why can’t I figure out what I want to do with my life?” Ya know, your basic lame, white girl problems when you’re still on the dole of your Dad.

I know I’m 28, but can you send me my rent?

Now, I cry about things like when my son and I were walking the dogs last night, and he told me that my ex-husband probably married me for my looks, but “those have lowered.” Or, when I miss my long-distance boyfriend, and it hurts. Or, that I don’t always fit in.

I am not sad, really, no. I am just in-tune with my emotions, I guess?

I cried, too, this week when I saw my daughter sleeping next to me, as she does every night, and she’s so big now. She’s almost 8. I know, I know; she should sleep in her own bed. But, I’m alone, and I like to touch her ankles with my cold feet, and to hear her breathing, as I did when she was an infant and wouldn’t nap unless I lay down with her. I cried, because I remembered how tiny she was, in her zebra, zip-up, onesie, and how she smelled of powder and cornsilk on her fine hair. And how, at that time, things were so different, and I didn’t envision co-parenting and sleeping alone on Wednesdays.

The point I guess I’m trying to make is, it’s okay to cry, even if you’re happy. The tears stream down, cleanse you of those thoughts, and you can move on. People seem so concerned with appearing happy. I guess I’m just here to say, well, it’s okay to cry…

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My Daughter told me to Chill

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“Mom, I know you want to hang out with me, but I’m actually kind of popular? So you might have to chill, because I have to call my friends.”

This is what my 8-year-old said to me. 

I almost died laughing. But, then, I got scared that she will not want to play with me anymore!  The saying “they grow up so fast, in the blink of an eye” never resonated with me–until now. I used to balk when people would say that to me in the grocery store, as my two kids dangled off the cart. I’d reply, “Really? ‘Cause this ‘aint so fun right now, and time’s moving awfully slowly.”

I kind of had that feeling again this year when I had to do remote homeschool and work full-time. I was exasperated and couldn’t wait till 5:00. When the kids were babies, 5:00 marked the time I could feed them and then put them to bed expeditiously so I could relax with a TV show and a glass of wine. Now, they are up till I go to sleep. 

It’s funny, because parents wait for this time, a time when they can be at home together as a family and not actually have to play! And, now, I see a baby and think, “Wait, am I too old? I want one! They smell so good!”( Er, yeah…I know I’m too old…)

I look in my daughter’s room, and she has her perfume bottles lined up just-so, and her hair things and jewelry.

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The wooden crib of stuffed animals hasn’t been touched in some time. “Where is Penny?” I asked the other day, referring to the beanie baby she used to adore that we’d create funny stories about. “I can’t find her,” she said.

I feel like Penny.

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This is what Penny looks like

I shouldn’t say woe is me, because the upside is I have time for myself now (i.e. time to clean). And, this is a very nice thing.

We played Old Maid the other night. My son is afraid of the Old Maid, so much so that he doesn’t want to play. Wait, as an aside, how rude is it that the loser is someone stuck with the Old Maid? First off, I could use an Old Maid to clean my house. Secondly, an Old Maid could also just be some fun party chick, who never got married or had kids, and she’s a blast to hang with. No? I’m voting for the Old Maid. Anyway, I digress. It was so fun to play cards with them, laughing and screeching when the maid was passed about! I wanted to play again and again.

I certainly don’t long to revert to those days in the grocery store when I’d be told I had my hands full, but I sure do miss my children scurrying about in their jammies, and me being her number one friend.

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To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool? That is the Question.

Who here is struggling with whether or not to homeschool in the fall? I am raising my hand virtually, because I can’t decide! I mean, on the one hand, I am totally in fear of the fact that I will have to be their teacher again, and I’m gonna be honest…I wasn’t that great at it! Not only did I lack some real patience, but I also let them have recess too long, and I skimmed over some stuff, and I totally let them take advantage of me, like we used to do when we told the substitute we were never given homework on Tuesdays.

On the other hand, I don’t want to send them to school and worry each day that they’re carrier monkeys who didn’t wear their masks, or didn’t wash their hands, and did not keep their distance at recess. I can say now from my observations this summer, that when kids get together, the distance seems to go out the window. So then, I think, “Okay, let’s just bite the bullet, and I will step up and be a good teacher. I will have a curriculum, and I will stick to a schedule and I will forgo my life for the school year, even more so.”

Then…I sit on the couch and stare out the window, frozen, and think about making a run to the liquor store.

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Fact: I didn’t look like this. I was not smiling, and my hair isn’t that short.

So maybe I won’t make a decision. Isn’t that a decision? I just want people to decide for me. I remember going to therapy, and I’d ask the therapist, “Can’t you just tell me what to do?” And she’d be all, “No, that’s not my job! You have to figure that out for yourself. I can lead you in that direction, but I can’t make a decision for you.” Well that made my decision: not to go to therapy anymore…

Also, don’t our decisions constantly change? Or is that just me? For example, today, I implored my children to go to the beach with me. See how messed up that sounds? Like, I have to beg someone to go to the BEACH? How ’bout y’all get a job, and then we can talk about how painful the beach is… Anyway, so my daughter says to me, “No! I’m not going so you can sit on your can in the sun and not swim!”

SIT ON MY CAN!

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What I sit on

Can you believe she said that to me? First off, where’d she get that expression (#guilty?). Second, I had to not laugh (even though it was kinda hysterical) and tell her that she better shape up and stop disrespecting me.

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So we decided not to go to the beach and instead to go to the Vineyard on the ferry boat. Good plan? Okay, maybe. So I go get dressed, walk the dogs, get ready to roll, and the kids are not moving. They’re now settled in with their devices, playing Adopt Me and Shark Hunt, and now I’m pacing back and forth like a rabid hyena telling them we “NEED TO GO!” so we can find parking and get on the hot, COVID ferry only to ride over and be hot in a mask. They didn’t respond.

So I decided not to go to the Vineyard.

Now I am doing this.

See? I can’t make a decision. Can you? Homeschool or no? 

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