Monthly Archives: August 2011

Reminiscing

My kids are busy.  I know this because of all the carpooling and lunch-packing and general kid-carting-around that takes place on a daily basis at our house.  I also know this because I am exhausted just watching them and trying to keep up with them on the highlighted and dog-eared paper schedule that lurks somewhere in the depths of my luggage purse.
Recently, it has come to my attention that my kids are WAY cooler than I was when I was a kid.  Take, for example, my 14-year-old.  She’s a twisting, turning, flipping, homework-doing, little-brother-toting, pet-rearing, friend-making, club-joining high schooler with energy to spare.  This prompted a comparison, a sort of then-and-now type of thing, if you will. 
Things I Was Doing When I Was 14
 ·      Picking at zits
·      Trying to hide zits
·      Applying astringent to get rid of zits
·      Hiding by my locker
·      Hoping not to get made fun of
·      Choosing my outfits carefully, so as to blend…so that I didn’t get made fun of
·      Learning (unsuccessfully) how to apply make-up
·      Wishing boys would talk to me
·      Playing checkers and Scrabble
·      Reading books about beautiful girls without zits
·      Removing astringent from face
·      Bemoaning the fact that zits were still on my face
·      Applying mud masks and vegetable concoctions to my face
·      Worrying what other kids thought about me
·      Worrying what other kids thought I thought about them
Things Micaela Is Doing at 14
·      Double back flips and various other trampoline acrobatics
·      Being a member of the Olympic Development Team
·      Being unique and being herself
·      Being funny and confident
·      Picking out whatever-the-heck outfit she feels like wearing
·      Teaching me how to correctly apply make-up
·      Rolling her eyes at boys and telling them she’s too busy being an amazing athlete to bother with them              (Yay!  Her parents personally think this one is really, really cool.)
·      Texting all her friends and being WAY more tech-savvy than her parents
·      Not even thinking about what other kids think of her (I LOVE that about this kid!)
Micaela, we are so proud of you, we could just burst!  (Not like a zit or anything, because that would be gross.  But more like those parents that just know they have a really amazing, positive, outgoing kid with loads of talent to spare.  That kind of bursting.)

Dear Mr. FedEx Man,

I am writing to let you know that I spent approximately an entire hour on I-70 this morning because of your little traffic snafu, and I would like to make a suggestion that, in the future, you hold any rear-ending, bumper-grinding, or side-skidding to a minimum during morning rush hour.
You see, it’s not that I mind slowing down and taking my time listening to Raw Dog comedy on the radio.  In fact, I rather enjoy that station, but I usually save it for after work.  This morning, however, I had already heard the entire CNN news reel twice, and the line of traffic still had not moved, so I was forced to reach forward and lift my arm to actually change the radio station.  You can certainly imagine how off-putting this was, considering the fact that those two seconds I spent changing the radio station could have been better spent lifting my coffee cup to my face.
Also, I would like to suggest that during your next accident you try to take up only one lane of the interstate.  You see, when you leave only one lane open, that forces all the morning traffic, which is substantial, to merge all together.  This may seem like a simple concept on the surface, but let me assure you that drivers in Kansas City do not fully embrace the concept of the zipper-merge.
I would like to request that when you do decide to ram another vehicle it not be a semi truck.  You see, your FedEx truck is big.  The other truck is big.  Two big trucks take up a BIG portion of the highway, leaving little room for the rest of us to pass.
Finally, after having been at a near stand-still for an hour, I would like to have the satisfaction of making eye contact with you as I make horrible, road-rage-induced, near-stroke-level faces at you.  Please have the courtesy of looking at me when I glare at you.  I have waited in a very long line of traffic for the pleasure of expressing my anger with you.  I would like to be assured that you see me and my twisted glare.
Thank you for your time and consideration of these requests.
Sincerely,
Me
P.S. – I hope I may assume that none of my packages will be on a late delivery schedule because of this little mishap.
P.P.S. – If you are unable to move your truck out of the way, it would be nice if you could hand out fresh donuts and coffee to passing motorists. 

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad…Right?

Um, yeah.  So I forgot to send a kid to school.  Worse things have happened in the history of man, right?  It’s not like I forgot to feed anyone.  And it’s not like I left a kid at the grocery store or something.  Oh wait…hang on a sec…let me just get a head count to be sure.  Ok, yeah, we’re good.
So, yeah.  I’ll be accepting my Mother of the Year award again this year, and it will go on display right next to all the awards from previous years.  And you know, all this dusting off of awards is starting to get exhausting, what with the huge collection I have accumulated, but (exaggerated sigh), we mothers must do what we must.
Here’s the deal—and if you ask me it’s totally the school’s fault for not having everyone on the same schedule anyway.  The girls started school on time, as scheduled, and without incident.  Well, we did have to go through approximately 27 different outfits, 14 hair-do’s, 7 colors of nail polish, and 4 shoe changes—but those don’t really count as incidents.  The point is this:  I fed them.  I clothed them.  I got them on the bus (the RIGHT bus going to the RIGHT school…yay, me!).  So things were really starting off on a good foot for the school year.
And get this.  I even have a calendar.  Well, actually I have two or three calendars…I can’t really remember (which could be part of the problem).  Anyway, there is a nifty online google calendar, and just to back it up, I have an old-fashioned paper calendar in my purse.  This was my year to be uber-organized!  And I’ve already blown it.
Truth be told, I was probably writing a story or daydreaming or counting lightning bugs or putting hippie braids into one of my girls’ hair, so I’m not really sure how it happened.  But it happened.
We’ve been getting Jordan psyched up for school for like EVER now, and he’s pretty much been daydreaming about seeing Ms. Beth again for the entire summer.  So we kept telling him, “Ok, little dude, Wednesday is the day.  On Wednesday, you get to FINALLY get your new Transformers backpack down and carry it.  On Wednesday, you get to FINALLY take the tags off your new ‘jean-pants’ and Transformers tee shirt and wear them.  On Wednesday, the bus is coming to pick you up!”  Yay, happy, happy Wednesday party at our house.
Except on Tuesday, the school called and asked if Jordan was ok.  Because, you know, he had missed the first two days of school.
What the FREAK?!  Are you kidding me?  My new super-duper organization system did not tell me this!  It was supposed to be on Wednesday, dammit…not Monday!  Well, just crap-tastic.
So, hanging our heads in utter shame, we had to let the school, the teacher, the bus barn…the entire city of Lee’s Summit know that yes, indeed, our child IS fine.  You see, Lee’s Summit, we are just morons, and we decided to give our child a little extra vacay.
Welcome to the view from the bottom.  I have reached a new parenting low.

Favorites

It’s hard to tell whether Jordan’s favorite thing in the world right now is Transformers or Ms. Beth, so I’m going to have to say it’s a tie.  But I’m gonna just tell you this—I’m  pretty sure the little guy is obsessed with both.
For approximately, oh, the ENTIRE SUMMER, Jordan has worn his new Transformers backpack around the house, and over the course of the summer, that backpack has accumulated numerous items.  We ran across the backpack early in the summer on an outing to Walmart, and we had to buy it right then and there.  Ok, well, we didn’t have to buy it, but it was either that, or I was going to have to leave Jordan behind to live happily ever after with the backpack in the school supply aisle.  So the backpack came home with us.
From that very moment, Jordan began talking about going back to school and seeing Ms. Beth, who I’m pretty sure he’s in love with, in his little 4-year-old, my-teacher-is-the-center-of-my-world way.  And when we got home, he began packing his backpack with treasures he planned on taking to school to show Ms. Beth.
So, what can be found inside the Transformers backpack?  Let’s see.  Things like a torn book, an empty toilet paper tube, a single shoe, 2 building blocks, an empty envelope, a few smuggled sticks of gum, a miniature Buzz Lightyear, and a mystery key.  And, I’ll have you know, according to Jordan, these are all things that are very necessary to his daily existence—they must not, under any circumstances, be removed from the backpack.
And it came to pass…
Jordan somehow ended up with yet another Transformers backpack, probably because he pulled the same I-can’t-possibly-live-without-it routine on some unsuspecting grandparent.  But it worked out perfectly, because I was able to put all his necessary school supplies in the second backpack, and he was still able to keep the other backpack filled with his miscellaneous treasures from around the house.  Perfect.
Any-hoo, along comes Meet-the-Teacher night, and since I was working, Jason was in charge of meeting and greeting and all such things.  Now, he had two choices when it came to the backpack to take for Jordan’s class.  Backpack A was filled with buckets of Jordan’s earthly treasures, and Backpack  B was filled with actual school supplies that might be somewhat useful.  I’m going to give you guys a chance to guess…which backpack do you think Daddy grabbed?
Yep, bingo!  Ms. Beth, I really hope you enjoy the toilet paper tube, single shoe, and crusty gum.  I’m sure it will come in handy this school year.

How to Wrangle a Screaming 4-Year-Old

More specifically, this post will help you wrangle the screaming 4-year-old into swimming trunks that he doesn’t want to wear.  Why doesn’t he want to wear them?  Well, duh!, because you are torturing him with plans of forced water play and sprinkler fun.  What self-respecting 4-year-old wants to put up with that kind of crap?
So, let’s set the scene first.  The unsuspecting parents—who, by the way, think they are doing something WAY cool and fun—announce that all children in the household should proceed to the nearest closet and choose a swim garment for the day.  They announce that each child should don the swim garment of his or her choice and then proceed safely and in an orderly fashion toward the front door.
For most children, this is enough information.  The word ‘swimsuit’ or anything similar typically suggests that there is fun to be had, so there is usually not a fight when it comes to donning this garment.  But, should you find yourself parenting the rare, alien child that thinks water will either a) make him melt or b) tear him away from the Wii for an unacceptable amount of time, you may need to take extreme measures in order to get this child appropriately clothed in swim attire.  (I’m just sayin’…)
Keep in mind that these steps may need to be tweaked and finessed based on the age, agility, and/or willingness of the child to bite into your flesh like he’s a man-eating freaking dinosaur.  Also, I think I might be required by law somewhere to mention that unless you are a professional, you should not try these stunts on your own.
Ok, without further ado:
How to Get Swim Trunks On the Uncooperative 4-Year-Old
  • Try bribery.  I like to start with candy or juice, then move to soda.  If that doesn’t work, try offering him a dollar.  If that still doesn’t work, bribe him with something like this.  “If you put on your swim trunks, Mommy will promise to stop beating you and yelling at you.”
  • While child is distracted in apoplectic fit, quickly (this is key—you must be very quick) pull his pants off and prepare the swim trunks.  Warning:  This will most likely cause a high-pitched siren-like wail to emit from the subject, but if you can stand it, you are one step closer to “trunking” him.
  • If your child wears a rashguard or sun shirt, this just adds to the enjoyment.  I’ll warn you by saying it’s not as easy to remove the shirt as it was to remove the pants.  First, the child is agitated, and second, those little arms can manage some serious flailing action.  But, here’s what you do.  Quickly, grab the bottom of the shirt and pull upward.  The child will probably begin to hug himself with his own arms in an effort to maintain possession of the shirt—you must thread one small arm at a time through the sleeve holes until both arms are free.  Then, do a quick upward yank over the head, once more eliciting an animal-type yowling, typically accompanied by a stomping, thrashing movement.  Do not be alarmed.  This is normal.
You now have a very naked and very angry child.  Congratulations, you’re halfway there!  Now you just have to don the correct gear for your fun day in the sun, and you’ll be ready to go.  Follow the next few steps to successfully don the swimwear:
  • Take a deep breath, sit back, and laugh.  If your child is still throwing the mother of all fits while he is butt naked, this is pretty darn funny, and you should take a moment to enjoy it.
  • Moving right along, to get the trunks on your little sweet pea, you can try to coax him to step into them the easy way, but chances are, you’ll need to sit his rear on the floor to wrangle one leg at a time through the leg holes.  If this is the case, you’ll need to catch him off-guard by moving quickly and efficiently.  Fake to the left, then go in low and to the right—take him out at the knee.  Once he’s flat on his back, throw one leg over his torso, making it impossible for him to wriggle free.  (Yes, he will really be screaming now.)
  • Maneuver one leg at a time into the trunks.  Chances are, once you get the first leg in, it will kick itself free of the trunks when you move to the second leg.  You’ll want to keep a hand on the first leg to make sure this doesn’t happen.  Once both legs are securely in the trunks, stand your little pumpkin up and yank the trunks in a quick, upward motion, securing them at his waist.  (Now he will be stomping, biting, screaming, and flinging snot at anything that moves.  This is not normal.  But then again, nothing about our lives is normal in the least, so you know, just roll with it.)
  • The final step is the most difficult one.  (Note to whoever makes those tiny little rashguards—Really?!  Really?!  Do they need to be that stinkin’ tight?  Because they are really hard to get on fit-throwing 4-year-olds.)  Placing the rashguard on the flailing child can be equated with trying to shove toothpaste back into the tube.  Almost impossible.  You’ll want to hold the bottom of the rashguard open with your hand and one of your feet, while, with your other hand, you maneuver the screaming, snotty child through the teeny-tiny neck hole.  This is actually handy, because the super-tight neck hole serves to wipe away some of the errant snot that has almost certainly begun to run down the little guy’s face by this point.
  • Once his head has poked through the neck hole, you just have the arms left.  Almost there!  Quickly, before he knows what’s happening, grab one of his little chicken wings and stretch the fabric over it.  Do the same for the second arm.  He will probably be kicking you throughout this process, so once again, it’s good to be quick.
Voilá, all done!  You now have a 4-year old who’s ready for some fun in the water!  Remember, once you have him dressed, it’s very important that you pick him up and dash to the car immediately, thereby removing any opportunity he might have to remove the articles of clothing you have worked so hard to get him into.
Don’t forget to remind him lovingly—as he’s trying to deafen you from the backseat—that Mommy says we’re going to SHUT the EFF UP and WE’RE GOING to HAVE some EFFING FUN!  So there.  Dammit, we’re going to play and have fun.