Archive for September, 2011

Blue Monday

As marvelously predicted, Sam’s preschool day immediately fell to crap today for when I dropped her off, instead of offering the kiss and enthusiastic “BYYYYE!” that she typically shot my way (haaa, for what, two days? And yet, I’m all, you know, TYPICALLY), she clung to me like a spider monkey and — AND! — when I finally turned to leave, I looked back to find her sobbing with her head in her hands. That was … kind of eye-pokingly awful. I KNOW she’s fine as soon as I walk out the door, but to have the last image of her standing there crying is, again, EYE-POKINGLY AWFUL.

Of course, I arrived to pick her up and she was … completely fine. Of course. I mean, she went outside and painted and climbed and ate clams on the half-shell for her snack, or whatever. (How ELSE do you explain “teddy bears and clams,” HMMMM?) But God, it kills me to pick her up and have her lay her head on my shoulder for a very, very long time, as though I had forsaken her to be next in line for the reaping and if not for my arrival, she’d be headed to the arena to be eaten by genetically engineered wolves.

Meanwhile, I welcomed the reprieve to not only do exciting things like clean the fridge (holla!), but to give myself a damned BREAK, because you guys, my kid is into flashcards, and lo, it is very cute, it is also more annoying than one might think. I am loath to admit that my kid is into flashcards only because I feel like it makes me look like one of those crazy parents who is forcing her to learn Swahili in between diaper changes (“Can you say ‘mtoto’? MAH-TO-TO”), but a quick Twitter consult assures me that it is very common, and my plans to groom Sam for a lofty career screwing caps on toothpaste tubes are fully intact.

However, to give myself a break from the LITERALLY never-ending flashcards, I decided to whip out the paint this afternoon, and HAAAA YOU GUYS, HOW STUPID AM I? VERY.

“Mah HAIR! SO PRETTY!”

I just … well, it’s a good thing she’s in preschool, because HELL if I am doing THAT again, because, honestly, neither Sam nor I is a fan of the out of context bath (“I AM NOT GOING NIGHT-NIGHT!” Fine, kid, NO ONE IS MAKING YOU GO TO BED AT 4. BUT YOUR HAIR IS BLUE), and it took three apre-bath scrubbings to get the blue streaks off the tub, which, you know, was kind of helpful as I had “bathtub scrubbing” on my list of preschool chores ANYWAY, but just not RIGHT THEN. I also did not enjoy scrubbing the blue footprints leading to the bathroom, and I have no explanation for that, except that I do believe she painted her feet.

And with that, I’m going to do some work and read Divergent, which is AWESOME. AND, by the way, I can’t be the only person who wants to THROW UP when she sees the Denny’s commercial with the MACARONI AND CHEESE BURGER. AS IN, MACARONI AND CHEESE ON A BURGER. No. Just no. I’m all for gluttony, but I think that can be satisfied with a nice bloomin’ onion or maybe a special pack of Klondike bars, AM I RIGHT? JESUS.

*Or, you know, Friday. New Order

217 comments September 15th, 2011

The Edge of Glory

I was at the hairdresser’s tonight, talking about school and trades and why she decided to become a hairdresser, and she admitted that she tried college, but it just wasn’t for her. Which, you know, I am so fully behind, I don’t know where to begin. THEN, she confessed that she got into the same discussion with a different client, whose response to her status as a college dropout in favor of doing hair was a rude sniff and “HA! Your parents must be SO PROUD! What a waste.”

She said that. To the woman WITH HER HAIR IN HER HANDS. I feel like finding that woman and cutting her bangs very, very short, and perhaps throwing a little bleach in a very conspicuous place. But you know, it speaks to the whole culture of education that we’ve created, and while I value education (please, who doesn’t?), I think it sucks that we’ve become so obsessed with higher education in a very specific form, and that we’ve declared trade professions to be vastly inferior. I could go on about this for hours and hours, and indeed, in recent months, I HAVE, and it ties back, of course, to the COST of college education, and how the availability of loans has made everyone believe that college is PARAMOUNT, no matter what you decide to do with your life. Oh, but what you decide to do had better be a white collar job, because otherwise you’re stupid.

Blue collar workers, PS, are not always factory workers and other unskilled laborers. You know how much I paid my plumber to fix our bathroom in Florida? $125 an hour. I do not make $125 an hour.

Eff this noise, y’all, I’m going to PLUMBING SCHOOL. Unfortunately, I have zero marketable skills in this area, as I am not visual, nor inclined to do any kind of work with my hands that doesn’t involve typing. But if I WERE? I’d be all OVER that shit, and if you think I’m kidding, I’m not. Not even a little.

Also, if my kids decide they want to go into a trade, that’s fine with me. I don’t care about WHAT they go into, so long as they are ambitious and hardworking in their endeavors to do what they do. I want them to be educated and well read, but those things don’t necessarily translate to a happy and/or lucrative career. So. Want to be a hairdresser? Great. But you’d better work your ass off, and be a goddamned good one. Same thing if you want to be a stockbroker or a therapist or a doctor or a plumber or whatever. Work hard. Be happy. Provide for yourself and your family.

*claps hands* Moving on!

Preschool is going well, although I am criminally aware of just how hard I am jinxing things by saying that, but she really seems to dig it, and I … um, I am enjoying the hell out of my free time. I’m not working or napping or relaxing (I mean, I’m still working, but not during preschool time). Instead, I am doing ALL THE THINGS I never have time to do. Like wash the baseboards. Match socks. Clean and vacuum my car, along with scrubbing the seats and the crevices and … God, this is sounding absurd. Thursday, I am organizing the sippy cup shelf and cleaning out the fridge, and I MAY deep-clean one of the bathrooms, but I’m thinking the deep-clean might have to wait until next week. I CANNOT DECIDE. SO MANY RICHES BEFORE ME.

You guys, what the HELL? All these months of waiting for blessed child-free time and instead of spending some quality time beneath the sheets catching up on sleep and/or parked in front of the television ogling Eric Northman’s behind, I am SCRUBBING MY BASEBOARDS? Vacuuming my car? These are chores, and yet they are LUXURIOUS CHORES, and believe me, I never thought I’d consider bathroom floor steaming to be a luxury, but there it is. Also, there is Lady Gaga blaring, so it’s like a VACATION.

As for what Sam does while I am blissfully knee-deep in Mr. Clean, I haven’t the faintest, because her school reports go something like this:

“HI, MOMMY! Gracie and FISH. I climbin’! And da SLIIIDE! Snake go ‘HISSSSSS!’ Froggie go ‘RIBBIT!’ Yellow! Blue! GREEEEN! IT SPILLED!”

“Oh, really, Sam? What else did you do at school?”

“TEDDY BEARS AND CLAMS!”

Right. So it’s obvious my tuition is going to good use. When she applies to automotive school, I’m sure her skills with spilled teddy bear, uh, clams, will really cinch her admission.

Happy Wednesday!

*The Gags, natch

199 comments September 13th, 2011

Love and Love Again

The reasons for having or not having children are myriad, and while I certainly think every choice is valid and will result in a fulfilled life, etc. etc., all told, I’m not sure anything has given me greater, um, joy, than having my daughter. Maybe this sounds silly, but in the age of tell-all motherhood, I am consistently surprised that for me, at least, the good has outweighed the bad by such an extreme margin that I almost feel embarrassed talking about it.

Yes, it’s hard. It’s so, so hard. Yes, there are days that I want to throw myself into the river and float off into the sunset, because HONESTLY, these children, they are trying to kill us, RIGHT?

But.

I’ll tell you the one thing — the ONE THING — that makes it all worth it is this:

You know when you’re first falling in love with someone, and you get that heady rush with that flip-flop feeling in your stomach, because this person is so amazing! And so adorable! And look at YOU, how you landed this perfect catch, and you just want to kiss them kiss them KISS THEM until you can’t kiss them anymore, because you are just so stupidly, madly in love, and it all comes crashing over you like a crazy wave of … love.

Yeah, that. I mean, a non-sexual that. OBVIOUSLY. TO BE CLEAR. You wouldn’t think I’d have to say that, but when I say kiss, I mean, I KISS MY KID. A LOT. BUT IN AN APPROPRIATE WAY. But you know, I get one of those moments a day, at least. Even when she’s yelling and screaming and refusing to go to bed unless it’s with me, “We go night-night on da bed?”

(IN YOUR DREAMS, BUCKO.)

But that. Once a day, I feel that. So even when it’s hard, it’s not THAT hard, right?

*Jesca Hoop

127 comments September 8th, 2011

Teach Me, Teacher

Sam started preschool this week, and you guys, I KNOW. I am a total wimp, and I don’t know what it is about the whole thing that has me worked up. Well, first, she looked like this, and I could have died:

The backpack, you guys. The freakin’ Elmo backpack. It just squeezes my heart until I’m gurgling on it, really. (Holla, Jillian Michaels for giving me that stupid, stupid analogy. Also: up yours.)

The thing is, she’s going to school for a whopping five and a half hours a week. Yes, let me repeat that: 5.5 hours a WEEK. I’m acting like I’m shipping her off to COLLEGE. I’ve left her with babysitters longer than that in a single shot, which makes my ridiculous angst about school so stupidly laughable, especially to people who’ve been sending their kids to daycare. Like, I know. I KNOW. But there’s something about it being … I don’t know, PRESCHOOL and the fact that she’s old enough to go to a non-daycare preschool that’s just killing me.

She cried for at least 45 minutes after I left. I … what? The school has this policy of not letting parents sneak out, so you have to say goodbye, which feels NEEDLESSLY DRAMATIC and yet, I get it. I mean, logically I get it, but also recognize this is pretty much the opposite tactic than the one we employ for babysitters, which is ye olde Distract and Flee As Quickly As Possible.

The other thing is … ugh, there is a PTO and there are FUNDRAISERS, and I got my first real glimpse of Those Moms, and I am not the person you want on your PTO committee, because I am incapable of viewing such shenanigans without irony. I WANT to take a fundraiser seriously, but I am constitutionally unable to do so. I WANT to get all hot and bothered about the right way to enter the driveway before dropping your child off, but I can’t, because I just end up yelling, “SOUTH TO DROP OFF, MORON!” and when no one gets it, I am just irritated by the whole thing.

Up to this point, too, I’ve been able to pick and choose my friends, pick and choose who Sam hangs out with, and generally avoid the whole parent scene. Surprise! I’m not the kind of person who ENJOYS parent politics! In fact, I run screaming from them! Outside of my core group of friends, I probably have fewer friends than anyone I know, because I’m just … a small-group, intimate friendship kind of person. Large groups make me twitchy and, frankly, kind of bitchy. Professionally, of course, I am able to do this — and am actually quite adept at it — but in actual life, I am of the low tolerance type.

And not to make school all about me, but it’s ENDING. I made small talk this morning! I have to attend picnics for the sake of my kid! Meetings! I might have small talk with strangers! I made a crack about hitting the bar while our kids were in school and had to look around the room to check to see if anyone thought I was serious!

But whatever, I folded three loads of laundry, watched True Blood, (I’m still an episode behind, so …) worked for a little while and went to the UPS store by myself! Myself! And there, the UPS clerk asked about my work (I was mailing off a large interesting-looking book manuscript and faxing a client contract) and instead of talking about work, I was all, well, I AM ALSO A MOM. BUT MY KID ISN’T HERE RIGHT NOW. SHE IS IN SCHOOL. DID I MENTION I AM A MOM?

Meanwhile, when I’m in the same situation WITH my child, I have this overwhelming urge to yell that I am ALSO a PROFESSIONAL with REAL RESPONSIBILITIES. TAKE ME SERIOUSLY!

None of this makes any sense. Also, I have a sinus infection which is making everything smell weird — like FARTS, if you must know, like FARTS. This morning at school drop-off, I was afraid to talk to anyone because I just kept thinking, well, here I am. Smelling like farts. I might not want to be in school politics, but I don’t want to be tittered about as the lady who smells like FARTS, EITHER. I’m pretty sure Sam doesn’t want to be labeled as the kid whose mom smells like a giant fart, TOO.

Note: I do not smell like farts, I just THINK I smell like farts because of the sinus infection. Confirmed.

Also, this whole school thing is really, really making me want another baby. Again. Or you know, STILL.

*The Faint. From Yo Gabba Gabba’s “School” episode. YEP. Also, did you know they used to be led by Conor Oberst, now Bright Eyes, whose voice is like NAILS ON A CHALKBOARD to me? Yes. Music trivia of the day.

92 comments September 6th, 2011


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