Monthly Archives: October 2008

Toxic Pillow

This is the most disgusting pillow I have ever seen. And you might ask if I found it in the street or if I ran over it with my car on a muddy day. Nope, neither of those. It is, in fact, on my teenage son’s bed. Once I discovered it, after being thoroughly grossed out, I removed it from the room–thought about using the BBQ tongs to carry it down the hall, but this might have been just a bit of overkill.

Now, please understand that I do, in fact, clean my children’s bedding, however, Jacob’s room is somewhat of a disaster area, so I have a tendency to avoid it and just tell him to bring me things that need washing–or boiling. I only ventured into the den of filth after he laughingly told someone the other day that his pillow was brown. Huh? I said, “Oh, Jacob, don’t exaggerate like that.” And, he of course told me that he was not exaggerating at all. So, I had to see the evidence for myself.

What I found was disturbing. He refuses to sleep on sheets or use pillow cases. I do not know why. I did my best to clean and freshen the bed itself, which had no sheet, and I put clean sheets on the bed. Then, I stole his blankets and washed those in HOT water. I replaced the brown, stench-filled pillow of filth with a new one, complete with pillow case.
I threw the offending object into the garage, as close to the garbage as I could fling it, fully intending to give it a proper burial in the giant trash can the next time I went out. However, Jacob got home, and the first thing he noticed was his beloved pillow on the garage floor, and he insisted on redeeming it. I’m pretty sure it’s back on his bed, but I’m comforting myself with the fact that I did at least try to get rid of the thing.

Exhibit A: The American Teenager

This is Jacob. Jacob is our long-haired, self-seeking, hard-headed 14-year-old who makes us want throw ourselves in front of a moving train on a daily basis. He does not like to be photographed, so the only pictures I have of him look like this, or alternately, they are from the fourth grade…back when pictures were acceptable. He is one of those kids who, if you didn’t love him, would have been locked in a basement enclosure years ago.

Currently, he has three (yes, 3!) Fs in various classes. In fact, the only class in which he has an A is Band, which, as he tells us, is the only important class, since that’s what he wants to do with his life. So, I’m resigning myself to being the mom of a guitar-strumming wanderer living somewhere in the subway system of New York. I’m picturing him with an open guitar case in which to collect people’s spare change as they pass by and appreciate his brilliant music, music that will, of course be elevated in its brilliance due to the amazing acoustics of the subway walls.

I’m starting to despair of ever getting this kid through school. In addition to the Fs, he also boasts two Ds and a C. English is stupid, “cause we ain’t gonna need that grammar anyway.” And math, don’t even ask about math. Who needs math in order to succeed in the world? History is just that: history. We should just let it go and let the past be the past.

All colleges will look at will be the sheer level of talent that he shows, so why bother with anything else? See why I might find the idea of cliff-diving into the Grand Canyon appealing?

We’ve moved on from punishment to bribery and then back to punishment. Jason is convinced we’re headed straight for having a 30-year-old living on our couch in 16 more years, and I’m not so sure he’s wrong about that.

Our only consolation is that, in talking to other parents of teenage boys, we’ve learned that many of them have the same problems. How do parents survive this? Note to self: Stop at store for more rum today.

High School Football

As I get older, I’m realizing that the weather must be getting more miserable, and the bleachers at high school football games must be getting harder. Last night I sat at a game until halftime in order to watch Jacob perform with the marching band. It was a wet, damp, cold day, and as the sun went away altogether, it got even more miserable. As I hesitantly sat my rear on the water-logged metal bleacher seat, I cringed and definitely did not remember it being this way when I was in school.

I was on the front row of the bleachers, alongside my mom, who came along to cheer Jacob on, and we had a great view of the rears of everyone standing in front of us. I’m not kidding when I say these high school girls were wearing belly-baring tees and no socks–how were they not freezing?!! I’m pretty sure I was the only one in the stands with a big pink puffy coat, complete with faux fur trim around the hood. It looked like I was headed out for a polar expedition, and that’s when it hit me. I’m getting older, and I just don’t find as much pleasure in sitting outside in grueling weather as I used to. It used to be cool to sit outside and freeze.

Now, I’ve turned into one of those old ladies that orders coffee with her cheeseburger at lunch and wears mittens to go from the house to the car.

Also, I learned a new word from Jacob this week. Ugo. As in, “She’s no ugo.” This evidently means that one is attractive or appealing, opposite of ugly. This was spoken while telling me about his new girlfriend, and while being the girl who is not ugo must be great, I wonder what the ones deemed ugo must feel like with this new label.

Smells Like Febreeze

Yesterday, our youngest decided to experiment with the Febreeze when mommy finally broke down and decided she had to make a trip to the potty. No more waiting. Had to go. Well, in the time it took me to make it down the hall, do my business, and return, Jordan had Febreezed himself head to toe. I have to admit, he smelled really good. Very fresh and clean–in fact, I think I might start using that instead of the usual baby shampoo and soap I normally use on the boys.

Being the diligent mother that I am, I watched him for a while to make sure he didn’t show any signs of having ingested the stuff, and since he didn’t start foaming at the mouth or anything else just as obvious, I deduced that he was fine. So we went about the rest of our day surrounded with a fresh, clean scent.

Jacob burned his first CD of his own music last night. I think I’m going to have to admit to myself that he really must be serious about this music thing. And ok, I know this is Mom talking, but it was really pretty stinkin’ good. The cool thing was that Jason helped him figure out all the computer ins and outs, so they actually spent some quality dad-son time together. I’m sure it was riveting conversation, as Jacob’s responses lately usually consist of one or fewer syllables and sound more like grunts than words, but it was time spent together, and that’s a good step.

Micaela and Marissa attempted to clean the upstairs bathroom, but they protested when it came time to attack the toilet. Evidently, there is a LOT of evidence of the presence of a teenage boy using that bathroom…and a teenage boy with less-than-average aim. We’ll save that little portion of the room for Jacob to clean. Glad we have tile and not carpet.

I snuck out of the house while everyone was still sleeping this morning. Well, almost everyone that is. Jordan seems to have an interal alarm clock that gets him up every day between 4:45 and 5:00 a.m. Not a whole lot of variation and also not a whole lot of opportunity to sleep in. We’ve tried putting him to bed later, we’ve tried feeding him more, and we even took note of the effect cough medicine might have the last time he was sick…nothing makes that kid sleep later than 5:00 in the morning. He’s trying to kill us.

The hamster is still alive. Now that I’m counting the days, that thing will probably last for years! The little rodent only came home after I was pelted with promise after promise that went something like this, “Mom, we’ll take care of him. We promise. We’ll take him out of his cage to play, and we’ll clean his cage, and we’ll pay a lot of attention to him, and we’ll feed him and check his water. We promise!” Uh-huh. How many times have the girls cleaned his cage? Ummm…let me think…none. And he only gets out on the occasion that I yell that I have to clean the stinking mess and could they possibly entertain the hamster for a while??? How long to rodents live? How long until I can check myself into the old folks home and just sit and sip coffee and read and watch soap operas all day long?

Welcome to My Blog!

I’ve done it. I’ve decided to break down and join the blogging craze. I have to say, I have tried this before, but this time it will be different. I will be disciplined with my writing. I will be dedicated. (Uh huh…same thing I tell myself when I go on a diet.)

After an initial blogging failure, mostly due to technological brain-freezes on my part, I’ve decided to give it another go. I can teach myself to do this. People everyday learn to do new things, and really, I’m not that out of touch.

Also, I’ve recently been inspired by a visiting speaker who visited us at work and talked about blogging.

Mostly, I want a way to remember and record day-to-day things that I’m sure I’ll eventually store in the cobweb-ridden back portions of my brain, and then one day, when asked to recall events, I will be unable to extract them.

As for the title, again, inspiration. This time my inspiration comes from the two newest additions to our family, our two toddlers from Guatemala. One particularly exhausing day, after lugging them around to take care of several errands, I arrived home only to realize that I had a bit of an uncomfortable, itchy sensation…yes, in my bra. Turns out, one of them (or both) had decided that my cleavage would be an excellent storage facility for their Cheerios. Great idea, except that after running around all day holding two wiggling and energetic toddlers, the Cheerios had become a bit soggy and stuck to my boobs, thus the itching sensation.

It was at this moment that I was reminded of the very unglamorous part of motherhood. Unglamorous, yes…but also very fulfilling. So, now I’m embracing the fact that my bra is a Cheerio-holder, my socks sometimes don’t match, and most probably my t-shirt is wrinkled and covered with some sort of toddler goo. I’m embracing the goo and learning to accept the fact that my hair is always in some sort of half ponytail propped on top of my head. But it’s ok because that look goes nicely with the daily sweatpants and mismatched socks.

To my older kids, who are most likely embarrased at my appearance and the fact that I now spend several moments during the day extracting food items from my bra, I say, “I love you, and I’m sure I looked like this when you were toddlers, too!”