Running on Fumes

Oh hallelujah! Less than a week until First Born Male Child and Young Son go to school! I feel guilty that I’m so excited for my kids to go back to school, because it feels like I’m wishing away their childhoods. But really it’s more than wanting them out of the house. It’s me wanting some of me back.

You know how I’ve said that as the summer progresses, things just go down hill? June is great because I’ve got plans and ideas…and energy! The kids are drunk with freedom and loving life. But then July comes along and it’s like the 2nd hour of a long car ride. “Are we there yet?!” The movie is over and the snacks were devoured 50 miles ago. August is like hour 6 when lunch was ages ago, car games are boring, fights break out over things like, “Mom! He’s blinking too loudly!” — and everyone has a sore butt from sitting for so long. Just put us out of our misery. Please!

I’ve screwed myself again this summer, and I really wish I’d learn. Instead of keeping myself “fueled” with self-care for me every once in awhile, I put all my energy into keeping the kids busy, happy and not killing each other 24/7. I honestly can’t remember the last time I spent time with a friend. (I’m guessing it was May.) Basically I tried to get in all the miles as I could on one tank of gas, didn’t dole out entertainment for the inmates along the way — basically I blew it all on the first half of the trip. Yep. Total rookie mom mistake and I should know better. Right now my low fuel light is on and my engine light has been flickering for the past 27 miles.

I do enjoy the slower pace of summer and the break from after school activities, homework, strict bedtimes and the spontaneity that affords. But after nearly ten weeks of being with my kids ALL. THE. TIME… I’m burned out. No matter what I’m doing, there’s always a kid in the mix destroying something, fighting, interrupting or doing something weird. Fer crissake — I found a pair of YS’s underwear in the backyard today! HOW and WHY did this HAPPEN!? I swear if I don’t hear or see them doing crazed things, I go on high alert because I know they are plotting. It’s exhausting.

I was trying to write earlier in the day and had to resort to using noise canceling headphones. Our kitchen had turned into the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for Pokémon card trading between YS and his friends. There was yelling, weird hand gestures, paper strewn all over the floor and I think there was a hostile takeover at one point. It was epic. I finally had to ring a bell and banish them outside.

So here I am at 11 PM trying to have a complete thought for the first time today. I just remembered: Bob needs to come tonight. In case you’ve forgotten, Bob is YS’s tooth fairy. Gladys (FBMC’s tooth fairy) has retired since FBMC figured out she was in the same boat as Santa and the Easter Bunny — it’s been a rough year. So here’s what Bob’s leaving tonight. (The Pokémon handbook is FBMC’s.) Lord help me, I hope YS remembered to pick up his Legos before he went to bed!img_20180816_224601775_ll1

Stress Baking & Bonfires

img_20180628_114949136.jpgI’ve been doing a lot of stress baking lately. There is something zen about baking for me. Perhaps it’s because it’s an activity that engages all of the senses: hearing the whir of my 6 quart KitchenAid stand mixer, the smell of my favorite Penzey’s vanilla and the aromas coming from the oven, the feel of a perfect dough, the sight of a cookie just kissed with golden brown…and of course taste. I think what clinches it for me is when I can deliver a surprise treat to a friend and it makes their day just a little better. After baking off a double batch of cookies, my blood pressure seems to return to normal. (And the fact that I can bribe my kids for good behavior with said baked goods is a bonus.)

“So why all this stress baking?” you ask. We’re into week 3 of summer vacation and hell has hit. Already.

Right now the drama between First Born Male Child and Young Son has been over F’ing Pokemon cards. Yes. Pokemon cards. The number of screaming, ranting cage match fights I’ve had to break up ought to earn me a ref’s jersey and whistle. (But I’d have to immediately hide the whistle because those assholes would go crazy and try to shatter each other’s ear drums with it or drown out the other’s voice whenever he spoke….that last one’s not a bad idea, actually….)

Anyway. The fighting usually starts over trades. FBMC gets YS to trade a good card. A little while later YS realizes he’s been bamboozled, the trader’s remorse hits and that’s when the real shit hits the fan. It has gotten to the point where if I hear one word about Pokemon attacks/energy/evolvement/health and other crap, my lip curls back and I start growling and cursing.

What makes all of this crap even worse, is my husband supports this behind my back. He has taken the boys to stores to buy these Statan’s calling cards…multiple times! Then when I lose my shit over the betrayal, he says, “But I made a new rule that all trades need to be approved by me first.” Well, that’s all good, Mr. Boss Man. But considering that all of the back alley trading goes on while you’re at work or out fishing, I’m left to deal with the resulting wreckage and carnage. Thanks for nothing, traitor.

So here’s how I’m dealing with this. I’m going all batshit crazy Mean Mommy Monster. You see, for Father’s Day I got my husband a portable fire pit under the premise of making s’mores and memories. In reality, I plan on using it for Pokemon cards. Anytime the boys fight, I threaten to use their cards for kindling. I’m hoping to get to the point where all I have to do get out the fire starter whenever I need their behavior to do a 180.

So neighbors: if you see smoke coming from my backyard, grab a lawn chair, a skewer for toasting marshmallows and come on over. I’ll supply the stuff for s’mores and will most likely have plenty of baked goods and booze. Oh. Feel free to bring your personal hell and toss it in the fire if you want. We can make a video and post it on YouTube for other moms to use an example to their inmates. Guaranteed to go viral, I say! This may just become my new zen activity…

And for those of you who actually like Pokemon cards, here’s the most powerful, rarest one yet!

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