Monthly Archives: May 2012

Thank You, Rude Buddha

(A.K.A. Andy Samberg from Saturday Night Live)
This is now where I go to for all of my parenting know-how.  It is a veritable fount of knowledge that is mostly hidden from the public under the guise of rude comedy and  things we adults like to make fun of on a daily basis.
I hesitate to share my new-found parenting GOLDMINE, but I will do this because I like you people, and also because one of my new life goals is to be less troll-like, so I will offer up social interaction as a way to start conversation.  (I hear that’s what non-trolls do in their spare time.)
Anyway, one evening, while watching SNL and enjoying a rousing skit of Rude Buddha, I learned a little trick to sounding oh, so wise.  This has recently come in quite handy with our overwrought teenager who is dealing with the angst and stress that accompanies life as a first-world teenager.  (Oh Ma Gawd, the pressure is tremendous!)
During a recent dramatic scene (Act 2, Scene 4, I believe…entitled ‘Why My Life Won’t Go How I Want It To’), I remembered Rude Buddha enlightening his followers by making up enlightening statements to solve their problems on the fly.  You know, he just pulled solutions out of his ass at random intervals.  So I figured, hey, why not?  How much worse could it get?
Thus far, we being the wretched parents that we are, had been unable to solve the teenager’s problems, so why not give it just one more try.  We went for the Samberg Method.  Fake enlightenment.
So, it goes a little something like this.  During mid-crisis, just make something completely ridiculous up.  (The more ridiculous, the better.)  When you do this for the first time, if you have done it correctly, your teen will look at you as if you have been smoking crack.  If you get “the look,” you have succeeded in throwing a mental speed bump right in the middle of their mental breakdown.  Yay for parental success.
Careful though!  You absolutely MUST keep a straight face while pulling this off.  Practice in front of the mirror a couple of times for good measure.
If the tirade continues, you may need to do this multiple times.  Fear not.  Make up things up as you go.  You can be enlightened by anything—things you see or hear or whatever.  That’s all part of the fun.  Of course, we may be paying for psychological care for our kids later, but it’s sure fun for now.
Here are some helpful examples:
Teenager:  My coach says I have a terrible attitude!
Parent:  Well, we need to remember that potatoes only grow underground.
Teenager:  (Confused look, followed by eye roll.)  I don’t even GET what you are saying.
Teenager may continue tirade:  I had a terrible day!  I had to sit on the bleachers, and I got yelled at!
Parent:  I’m sorry you had a bad day.  Just remember that the river always looks wider before you begin to swim across.
Teenager:  What is WRONG with you?  Are you listening to me?
Parent:  Yes, I am trying to help you.  Sometimes it helps to put things into perspective.  (Inside head…Bwa-ha-ha!  Evil laughter ensues.)
Teenager:  I’m going to bed!  This has been a terrible day!
Parent:  Good night.  Love you.  Don’t forget that a wet towel never holds as much water.
Teenager:  (Huff.  Eye roll.  Door slam.)
Parent:  (Leans back, smiles, sips wine.)
Thanks, SNL.

Conversation With a 5-Year-Old

It started at about 6:00 this morning as I was getting ready for work, and I really did a fairly decent job of keeping a straight face throughout the ordeal.  Went a little something like this:

Jadon:  Morning, Mama.  You putting on make-up?

Me:  Yep, I’m getting ready for work.

Jadon:  Girls wear make-up?

Me:  Yes, girls wear make-up.

Jadon:  Boys don’t wear make-up, right?

Me:  That’s right.

Jadon:  (Observing my almost-dressed-for-work state)  Boys don’t wear bras.

Me:  That’s right, too.

Jadon:  Girls wear bras?

Me:  Yes, girls wear bras.

Jadon:  So that when the cops stop them for speeding their boobies don’t bounce and the cops don’t laugh?

Me:  Ummmm….why don’t you go watch SpongeBob while Mommy finishes getting ready?

Ok, a couple of things here.  First of all, we are not frequently stopped by the cops, nor do we usually refer to them as “the cops” to the kids.  We sometimes point out police cars and such, but really, it sounded like I was living with a little gangsta this morning.  “Yeah, man…gotsta watch out for those cops, man.”  WHAT?!

Also, as a public service announcement to all my friends out there, remember to wear your bras.  Because if you don’t, and if you jiggle or bounce or anything, the cops WILL most certainly laugh at you.  You are welcome.

Week in Review

(Also, Alcoholism:  Hobby or Life Mission?)
The week has been challenging to say the least, but really so much pales in comparison to the grand finale of last night that I think that’s where I have to begin.  So, really, this blog could be titled Why the Holy Hell Is There a Snake In My Basement, and that would really explain a lot.  It would especially explain my newly acquired desire to take up drinking on a daily basis.
You see, it always begins innocently enough.  Marissa was dropped off at practice.  The boys and I had our usual attention-grabbing trip to Target, wherein Jadon fell face-first in the parking lot in front of an oncoming car and decided that he needed to take a 10-minute time-out right then and there to cry it out.  No need to move out of the way of oncoming traffic or anything—nope—just cry it out, son.  They’ll wait.  So, I scooped him up, pavement and all, and we ran toward Target and safety, and once I finally got his tears mopped up and the blood (Dat Blood!) wiped onto my own pants to prevent any psychological trauma on his part, we actually ventured into the store, where I proceeded to bribe both boys with Angry Birds dog tags if they would just for-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy be good in the store.  Yes, I bribe my kids.  We don’t judge here.  This is a judgement-free blog.
So we went to Target, where I’m not sure what I actually purchased, except for the Angry Birds dog tags…and Band-Aids for the life-threatening parking lot injuries that were previously sustained.
Then we went into some sort of mind-numbing zone where we waited for Marissa to be done with practice so that we could FINALLY go home.  Micaela was out of town at a meet.  Daddy was also out of town.  Just Mommy, the boys, and Marissa—and we were holding down the fort just fine, thank you very much.  UNTIL…
We all got home, and Micaela’s crazy cat—the one we all love so much and would NEVER-EVER threaten to send to the pound (wink-wink)—was having an absolute fit at the door to her room…the door that leads to the basement, her newly finished room.  I had already been down there twice to feed the cat and to baby the cat, but there was clearly something else bothering the cat.  By this time, I was thinking she was possibly in need of a much-needed trip to the kitty resort better known as chez-cat-pound, but I digress.
Trudging back downstairs AGAIN, because I had nothing better to do at 9:30 p.m., I decided that maybe the cat’s water had been overturned or maybe she just needed a swift kick belly rub.  But when I got to the basement, OH WHAT TO MY WONDERING EYES DID APPEAR…
But a holy-mother-of-God-Almighty-SNAKE.  In the MIDDLE. Of. My. FLOOR.  Which just so happens to be inside my house.  Let me just clarify that I did not, at any time, invite this little reptile inside my abode, and I wanted it out—immediately.
So at first, I thought maybe, just maybe it was a play snake, as in ha-ha the boys left it down here in the middle of the floor.  Cute.  But as I approached it, armed with a plastic hanger and gently prodded it to verify its plastic nature, it spazzed out on me like an electric eel on crack, and I immediately deduced—as I was flying across the room, screaming obscenities—that it was, indeed, alive.  Crap.
Ok.  Breathe.  I am a grown woman.  This is a little snake.  No problem.  Plan.  Need a plan.  What did I do?  I woke the 10-year-old and quickly deputized her as Junior Snake Wrangler and put her to work holding the plastic hanger.  I had a larger job to do.  I needed to place a plastic tote over the top of the crazy, man-eating snake.  I looked death in the eye as I approached the little f$%%#ker with the plastic tote, and just as I began to lower the tote, the little crap-turd snake spazzed on me again.  Every single time the shadow of the tote went over the stupid snake, it freaked.  And then I freaked.  And then Marissa freaked.  And then the whole world freaked.
So what did I do?  I called Jason.  In Charlotte.  Because you can do a lot of snake-wrangling from Charlotte.  I didn’t care.  It was his job as the man of the house to get the damned snake out.  From Charlotte.  So at 10:30 at night, I called him and demanded someone of the male persuasion in my house immediately, which might sound slightly inappropriate, but I’m sure that during the entire conversation, I sounded somewhat like a screeching lunatic, so he complied.
And a giant thanks to our friend Tony, who is WAY better at extracting snakes from houses than I am.

So This Introvert Walks Into a Conference…

Nope, people, it’s not a joke.  This is it.  The deed is done.  The money is paid.  And now I’m getting an ulcer, and I’m pretty sure that by June, I’ll develop an unspeakable case of anal leakage brought on my random bouts of stomach nerves.  But hey, on a positive note, that’ll definitely make me stand out among the other 500 GAZILLION writers that will be at this conference hoping against hope to get the attention of that one agent who thinks they may have a single, teensy scrap of talent.
I’m really doing ok.  I’m going about this in a calm, organized fashion.  I have until June, for God’s sake.  Here’s my plan:
  • Spend the first week in a complete panic wondering what the HELL I have done and babbling incoherently about how I can’t talk to (gasp!) PEOPLE and how can I just walk up and talk to STRANGERS and pimp myself out and holy-cheese-whiz-Batman, I may just crap my pants.  Ok, check that step off the list.  Yay.
  • Next, focus on refining my writing for about 10 minutes.  Then spend about a month telling myself that I am a crappy writer and that I better hope they have a damned good cash bar at this place because I am going to need a lot of fermented grapes to get me through the weekend.  Drunken starving writers are all the rage, I’m pretty sure.
  • Figure out what to wear.  This should be easy because I own nothing but denim.  Crap, I own nothing but denim!  Up until this point in my life, I have been content to live in casual-Friday attire every single day of forever, because, hey, that’s just what we creatives do, and if people don’t like it, they can suck it.  So there.  But I’m thinking that may not be my best approach here.  Make trip to Macy’s sale rack.  Avoid denim.
  • Resume refinement of writing projects in preparation for biggest presentation of my FREAKING LIFE, which, by the way, must be summed up in approximately 3 minutes, leaving approximately 7 minutes for me to be raked over the coals by brutal, cut-throat agent who hates run-on sentences.
  • Resume berating my own writing and comparing it to every other successful writer in the history of mankind, inventing reasons for my writing to end up in the bottom of agent’s trash heap.  Drink wine.
  • Repeat steps as necessary until June.

So, as you can see, I am fully in control and ready to prepare for the single-most EFFING HUGE event of my life.  Because I am such a people person, you know, whenever I crawl out from under my bridge and decide to actually speak to people instead of growl and mumble incoherently about things like pronouns and sentence structure and hiding in tree trunks and such so that I can avoid human contact.  Yep, total people-person.
You guys, don’t tell anyone, but I think I might be having some sort of a nervous reaction.