The Inmates Are Trying to Kill Me

Is it a full moon? Is Mercury in retrograde? Has Earth changed the direction of its orbit around the sun? Because either I’m getting really freaking paranoid, or the inmates are upping their mental game in trying to kill me.

Dear Husband just left for a week out of town, so it’s just me. That’s nothing unusual in our household, but the inmates seem to always choose these times to pull out all the stops on their insanity.

Last night at 10:30 I was getting ready to go to bed early for once, when suddenly Young Son started screaming bloody murder with more terror than I’ve ever heard come out of his little body. I sprinted upstairs, turned on the light and found him hiding under the covers. “WHAT???!! WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!? ARE YOU BEING MURDERED?!?”

“I heard squeaking!!! There is a mouse in my bed!!!”

*sigh*

Okay. So let me fill you in a bit. Back in January (during yet another time when DH was out of town for three weeks), we had a mouse in our house. Like I said, all this shit happens when he’s not home. I was able to get rid of it, our pest control company had done their thing and everything’s been fine. Unfortunately ever since then, YS has been fearful that the mouse is in his room at night — like regularly yells for us after he’s gone to bed, claiming he’s seen a mouse in the dark. One time it was a dirty sock in the corner, another time it was his arm brushing up against his stuffed animal. While I feel for the kid — I mean I wasn’t exactly calm about the whole matter either — this freaking out every other night is getting really old.

[Deep breaths] “Young Son. There is NOT a mouse in your room. Dad and I have checked every night for you, the pest control guys have checked. There’s NO MOUSE!”

He crawled around on the floor and looked at all baseboards for mouse holes. “But I heard SQUEAKING, Mom!” (He thinks he’s going to see evidence of mice by finding a hole in a baseboard just like in the cartoons.)

“Dude. If there were any mice upstairs, they’d all be partying it up in First Born’s room with all of junk and snacks he’s got stashed in there. Your room is totally boring to a mouse. THERE’S NO MOUSE!”

I made him go to the bathroom to pee and get a drink of water to reset him, tucked him back in and turned the lights out. I stumbled back to my bedroom and collapsed on the bed. So much for an early bedtime. It was going to be awhile before my adrenaline dropped below toxic levels.

I’d finally fallen into a deep blissful sleep by 2:00 AM, only to be awoken by God knows what. Was it a sound? Did my mom-dar get set off by something? I didn’t know, but I just knew something was up. I listened for awhile and kept thinking I was hearing…something. I finally got up to investigate, because I had a sneaking suspicion that First Born was up to no good. I tiptoed down the hall and threw open his door. It was dark in his room, but I had seen the tell-tale light of his tablet screen quickly being extinguished. There was some quick rustling and then silence.

“First Born! What are you doing?!?! I know you are awake!” I reached down and found his tablet still warm with his ear buds dangling from it. ARRRGGGG! In our house we have a strict rule that all electronics are turned into Mom and Dad at bedtime. Any use of electronics after lights-out has clear, major consequences. Yet somehow FB couldn’t resist the temptation and had managed to steal it off of my nightstand where I had kept it.

“What were you thinking?!? It’s two o’clock in the stupid morning! You have a major test tomorrow!!” They are doing their yearly statewide standardized testing at his school this week, and we always try to be sure he gets a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast especially during those weeks. The next morning was going to be super fun.

“I don’t know. Sorry Mom,” he sullenly muttered as he crawled under the covers.

“You’re in some serious trouble, pal. GO. TO. SLEEP!” as I flounced out of his room in a rage with his tablet clenched in my hand. I returned to my room and started searching on my phone for safes with fingerprint, retinal and voice recognition security. This sneaking electronics crap was getting out of hand.

Three hours later I finally fell back into a fitful sleep only to be woken up at 6:00 by Young Son yelling again, “Mom! MOM!! MOOOOMMMMM!!!!”

I went running in, flipped on the light, “WHAT?!? What’s wrong?!?”

He looked at me from his bed with big eyes, “Uhh…uhhh…I just wanted to say good morning. Sorry.” I guess must have looked particularly crazed and scary.

“You. wanted. to. say. good. morning,” I tried to say as calmly as possible. “Good. Morning….Oh. And happy birthday, by the way. Go back to sleep.”

I gave up and went downstairs to make coffee and make his special birthday breakfast muffins. Awhile later, I went upstairs to roust First Born. I opened his door and said loudly, “GOOD MORNING! You need to get up. I better not have to come up here again.”

His eyes flew open and he stuttered, “Okay….okay…good morning…just a second…” as he tried to get his bearings.

Ha! Success! I had him scared! Normally I get a surly response in the morning when I go in, but this morning he was much more subdued. Damn straight you better be scared, kid! Luckily he knew better than to poke the bear this morning, and we actually had a calm breakfast together.

Then YS declared, “Mom! I know what the squeaking sound I heard was! It was a booger in my nose squeaking when I was breathing!”

Hallelujiah. Mystery solved.

After the kids were off to school, I went back inside to savor some quiet and coffee and to try to get motivated to accomplish some things. Alas, it was not meant to be today. Instead I took a nap, drank more coffee, thought about doing things, played outside with Warrior Princess and then wrote this post. So at least I’ve got that going for me.

Now I’m getting ready to get some birthday dinner for Young Son and his fellow inmates. Screw cooking tonight. I hope he picks a place that has alcohol on the menu. Cheers to a good night’s sleep tonight.

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Happy Birthday, Young Son. You may be batshit crazy, but I’ll always adore you with every fiber of my being.

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YouTube Is Going to Be the Death of Our Society As We Know it.

I remember life before we owned a VCR when I was a kid. If you wanted to watch TV you had to know exactly when your show was on and on which channel — or you had to scour the TV section (which your mom had carefully removed from the Sunday paper) to find it. Then you had to be ready to watch the minute it started. TV was REAL TIME. It didn’t pause to wait for you to grab a snack or go to the bathroom. You had to wait for commercial break if you wanted to do any of that. And those commercial breaks had to be carefully coordinated: “I’ll get the drinks, you refill the popcorn bowl.” Or if it was a really long show, “I call downstairs bathroom!” as you’d sprint off. “Hurry up! You only have 30 more seconds…Wait! It’s coming on now!!! QUICK!” your mom would yell at you as you’d come stumbling out of the bathroom still pulling up your pants.

Then when I was in 8th grade, we finally got a VCR. It was awesome! I no longer had to restrict my school and social calendar based on my TV watching requirements. “I’m sorry, I can’t be a girl scout because they meet on Tuesday nights and that’s when “Facts of Life” is on. Or if someone else wanted to watch a show at the same time my show was on, I no longer got stuck with the old crappy black and white TV with the duct taped antenna that you had to hold in place just so with your foot while you watched so it stayed tuned in just right. Now with a VCR, who cared if you had to tinker around for 20 minutes programming it to record and then try to fast forward efficiently (but not too efficiently so you had to keep rewinding) through commercials and the extra five minutes at the beginning of the show you had to record so you didn’t miss anything.

Then fast forward to the invention of TiVo. I was dating my now husband at the time. He’s always been more of an early adopter than I am, and when he went out and bought one, I was pissed! “What the hell! Why are you spending all that money on something you don’t need — instead of putting that money towards, I don’t know…an engagement ring???? That was an interesting fight. But I quickly fell in love with that thing and wondered how society ever survived without it.

After we got married and I had some control over the DVR, I used to get drunk with power. If my husband wasn’t responding to my text messages in a timely manner, I would text all four of his phones to bug him. If that didn’t piss him off enough to reply, I pulled out the big cannon: “If I don’t hear back from you within 5 minutes, I’m cleaning house on the DVR. Battle Star Galactica Season 2 is getting it first.” Usually it actually worked! Little did I know I was honing my idle threat making skills way back then. No wonder I’m so good at them now.

Then along came “On Demand” — again how did we ever survive without being able to access countless episodes of our favorite shows at the click of a button?? It was the beginning of the binge watching trend. Now the inmates could watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or their beloved show of the moment ad nauseum with ease!

But a few months ago, we cut the cord to cable TV and are strictly Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and so on. For the most part, it actually hasn’t changed my TV watching habits…but it has for the inmates. Now instead watching Disney and Nick Jr. etc. which at least had some element of being educational, they have become obsessed with watching YouTube videos instead. God help me. YouTube is going to be the death of polite society as we know it. If it is on for more than ten minutes, I swear my IQ level drops…and that’s serious, because my kids have sucked most of my IQ points off me and I’m only left with a few to jingle around in my pocket anymore.

Young Son is the most obsessed. If I let him, he could watch endless hours of people playing “Plants vs. Zombies” or “Minecraft” — and there are never any good “LEEEEROYYYY JENNNNKINS” moments to at least keep it entertaining. The ones that make my blood run coldest are the YouTube channels where kids do the “Real vs. Gummy Food” challenges or “what random shit can we waste to make into slime with as much mess as possible” challenges. Good. God. Do NOT encourage my children to want to do this!! I always wonder just how much parents shell out to get all the foods in gummy form, and how many vats of glue and pounds of glitter are gone through to get the best shot. What I really want to know is how much Ritalin and Valium are given to the kids to stay calm, focused and not killing each other to make these nightmare vignettes. No. Really. I do…I’m taking notes.

Then there are the ones where parents have written weird mysteries for their kids to solve, including intricate escape rooms with complex cardboard box tunnels and intriguing clues that lead to nothing interesting. Some of these channels make hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in advertising and sponsorship revenue! Seriously. If you want me to click “like” though, you’d better plant a dead body in there or something. I mean even on “Murder She Wrote” you were guaranteed a good crime scene. But at least these parents are putting their kids in front of the screen instead of behind it all the time.

Okay. Next time the inmates declare they are bored, I’m pulling out my old VCR and video tapes of random 80s TV shows. Then I’m going to give them the remote with old batteries and make them watch those gems for awhile until they realize how freaking glorious their lives really are.

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The Pediatric Psych Ward Went on Vacation…and Survived!

I know you’ve all been dying to know how the Pediatric Psych Ward’s vacation went. Was it fun? Was it epic? Did anyone die? Well, first let’s get one thing clear. It was a “vacation” for the inmates…not so much for the wardens. I’d say it was more of a “trip” — lots of planning, packing, panicking, yelling and just overall work. Let’s not forget about the laundry. I swear to God their suitcases breed dirty laundry, and we somehow came home with three times the amount of crap than we went with!

The trip up to The Dells was pretty uneventful and fairly peaceful. The inmates finally figured out a lot of our idle threats leading up to the trip to leave them at Uncle Gruff’s instead if they kept being such jerks were maybe not so idle. Once we arrived at Great Wolf Lodge Resort, they all stripped down and wrestled on their swim gear and were ready to hit the water almost before we even got to our room. So much for settling in.

First Born jumped out of his flip flops mid-stride and was off like a shot the minute we walked in the door to the water park.  “Oh well. He’ll find us when he’s hungry,” I figured. Young Son and Dear Husband left to explore, so Warrior Princess and I stashed our stuff and headed over to the water tree fort,

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Ft. Mackenzie, Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells

which had lots of spray areas and interactive toys. “Let’s ease into this place,” I thought. It was all going well until a loud bell started clanging and kids started screaming and running all over the place. “Oh crap! Something bad’s going to happen!” WP froze and looked up at with me with huge, terror-filled eyes as 1,000 gallons of water came crashing over us. Yeah. So that sucked.

We high-tailed it out of there and ran into Young Son, Dear Husband and First Born. FB was unsuccessfully trying to get YS to go on the water slide, so DH took one for the team and went with his thrill-seeking son.

We wandered over to the Lazy River — that would be more our speed, right? Lemme tell ya. Nope. Not so lazy. The WP and I decided to try it out together and YS reluctantly went solo. I got him situated on his own tube, gave him a shove and wished him God speed as he went spinning around in white-knuckled circles down the river. Then I managed to wrangle a double tube for ourselves. Okay. Now how was I going to mount this cursed thing with some shred of dignity? Well, if there actually is a way to do it in a dignified manner, I eluded me completely. I muscled my way to the entry point with the unwieldy tube under one arm and WP clinging for dear life to the other. I probably knocked over a few young tubers in the process, but oh well. It’s survival of the fittest when it comes to this kind of thing. I slapped the tube in the water, stuffed one leg through the back hole to keep it from floating away and pried WP off of me until she had a proper death-grip on the front seat of the tube. Okay. So now how do I get my squishy butt on this thing without flipping it and drowning my kid in the process? I grabbed onto the hand railing, scootched the tube under my rear end with my feet and went for it. Somehow we didn’t flip, but my resulting position was far from attractive or comfortable. My matronly swim skirt betrayed me and hiked itself up under my pits, thus exposing more of my flabby thighs as I thrashed and scooted around like a fly stuck on fly paper to find proper purchase on the flotation device from hell. Once settled, we bobbled around until a group of young teenaged boys decided it would be fun to race each other around the river. They checked us up against the bank, and I probably uttered some profanities and told them to take their punk asses to the GoKart track down the street. Good Lord. How did I become such a grouchy old lady?! Finally we crashed over to the exit. WP scrambled off with the help of another frazzled mom as I pried the tube off my butt with a loud “thwap!” I distinctly felt neither pretty nor lazy at that very moment.

We decided to check out the wave pool. This could go either way. She was feeling pretty brave with her Puddle Jumper on by this time and was really getting into it. I was relaxing a bit more too. It was reassuring to see all the amazing life guards there — holy buckets, do those people work hard! They were constantly pacing the deck, intently scanning their areas looking for struggling swimmers. There was not a sullen teen life-guard camping out on a chair in sight. It gave my anxiety a rest knowing professionals had my back in case one of the inmates got into trouble under my watch. Between wave sessions, WP was happily splashing around when she looked over and found herself eye-level with some dude sporting some serious butt cleavage. She looked over at me in amazement, “Mom! That guy has a hairy booty hole!” (Thank First Born for teaching her that gem…) Jeez. I don’t think Mr. Chewbacca heard us, but we quickly swam off nonetheless to avoid seeing the flip side of that hairy mess.

Eventually we re-grouped and decided to call it a day and do some more the next day. We went back to the room, ordered some pizza and it was time for bed. The kids had a

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KidCabin Suite, Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells

special little “cabin” within our room with a bunk bed and a single bed…after some very complicated rounds of “rock, paper, scissors” to decide who was going to sleep where, beds were claimed, jammies donned, teeth brushed and potties done. WP was beside herself with glee that she got to sleep in the same room with her big brothers. She even decided to go shirtless to be like them. (I guess wearing her brother’s underwear isn’t enough. At this point, I’m waiting for her to decide she needs to pee standing up.) Eventually she settled down after they threatened her with various forms of violence if she didn’t stop giggling.

Husband and I finally got to enjoy our Wine Down service by romantic phone screen backlight as we silently surfed the web, scrolled through Facebook and read the news for the day. It was actually pretty great. Was it a perfect, relaxing, rejuvenating time? Oh hell no. But was it fun? Yes. Yes it was. It was good to be with other families enjoying time together, witnessing other kids’ meltdowns (and not just our own), seeing other parents rocking far-from perfect mom and dad bods. It was real. It was family in all its imperfection… and hopefully some really great memories were made by all. Will we do this again? Absolutely. But it’s going to take awhile for me to get through all the unpacking and recovering. In the meantime, if you need me, you can find me taking a nap in a pile of laundry somewhere.

 

 

 

 

Spring Break Panic Attacks

Over spring break (Lord, help me!) we are taking the inmates to The Dells for a few days. This will be the first time any of us have been there. Everyone keeps saying, “You’re going to love it! You can sit back and relax and the kids can wear themselves out!” However, my anxiety is NOT believing any of that malarky. I have so many questions…
  1. People say, “You need essential oils.” Umm…okay. Do I dab it on my wrists? Behind my ears? Slather it on my children? Dump it down the water fall? 
  2. Other say, “You need to drink. A lot.” Well, true…but you know my inmates are gonna drag me down the insane toilet-flushing water slide. I don’t see it ending well for me…or fellow water park attendees when I either become violently ill or shit myself. 
  3. And speaking of THAT fun subject…Warrior Princess has been embracing the whole potty training thing now that she gets to sport Young Son’s briefs. Except for a few bumps in the road, she’s been doing great. Now I know pools are filled with gallons of pee anyway, so what’s an extra gallon or two from our potty goddess? I just have to pray for quality chlorination and fill my head with thoughts of rainbows and unicorns.dookieBut what if she’s…THAT KID… who becomes un-constipated in the pool??? I don’t know if I can handle the hostile looks of ridicule and shame from other parents as they evacuate the pool, marching their sobbing children past our pooping princess. “You ruined our spring break! Why did you go and fill your kid up with fiber! What kind of rotten mom are you! We hate you!” (Yes, friends. These are the thoughts that fill my head at night. You’re feeling pretty sorry for my husband right about now, aren’t you?)

     

  4. How do I keep track of it all without completely losing my mind?? I know we picked the worst time of year to go and it’s going to be full of insanity, melt downs and fighting (and not just from me.) Just thinking about the crowds while trying to manage three impatient inmates chomping at the bit to get the fun started is giving me a major panic attack.You know they’ll immediately all want to go in different directions. First Born will make a bee line for the most intense slide of all, Young Son will find something to be grouchy about — “This place is too wet. My goggles are leaky. When do I get to have a hotdog? They better have hotdogs here.” And then Warrior Princess will either want to follow First Born to certain drowning or will be glued to my hip the entire time and try to use my boobs as floaties. (Which reminds me not to forget her Puddle Jumper.)

    And then there’s Dear Husband. He’s the biggest wild card of all. Now he may just surprise me and really get into it and have some fun. On the other hand, he might “take one for the team” and offer to guard all the crap helpful gear I’ll surely be required to bring, while the rest of us go have “fun.” Yeah right. You know as well as I do that four hours later, I’m going to find him relaxing on a lounge chair with his phone in one hand and a cocktail in the other. “Hey! Did you have fun? How’s the water?” (Cue my stroke-inducing rage attack.) How about you find out for yourself when I waterboard you???

  5. When do get to relax? Let’s assume for a minute that the planets align and he and I are able to find a place to sit while the inmates splash away while we watch from the side. I’ll bet you vat of mimosas and a platter of bon bons that as soon as my first cocktail of bliss and joy arrives, those jerks will come slogging back to me, “I’m hungry! Can we have ice cream? I’m tired of swimming. I’m bored. I want to go play video games. I have to go potty…Ooops. Never mind.”*Whimper*

Why did I think this was all a good idea? Well, when Dear Husband and I were searching for a fun family getaway, he casually mentioned, “Hey look. This place has ‘Wine Down Service’ where you get your choice of wine and chocolate, cheese or charcuterie delivered to your room.” YES! SOLD! Sign us up! Jeez. Am I that much of a moron that I’m easily bribed by room service. (Yes. Yes I am.)

I just had a brilliant idea! Just when it’s scheduled to arrive, I’ll say, “I need to go get something out of the car. I’ll be right back.” I’ll dash out, hijack the delivery guy on the elevator and lock myself in the back of my fabulous mini van, kick my feet up and watch a DVD of my choosing while I Wine Down….All…By…My…Self. It will be glorious.

Yes. This is what my life has come to. Wish me luck.

No One Ever Listens To Me, Except When I Don’t Want Them To

I know I’m not the only mom out there with this complaint, but how come my children only listen to me if I yell? For example:

Me: [In a calm voice] “First Born, can you please come and set the table for dinner?”

FB: [Crickets…light saber and pew pew pew sounds from XBox…crickets…]

Me: [slightly more stern, but still calm] “FB. Did you hear me?”

FB: “What?”

Me: “*sigh*… I asked you to please come down and set the table for dinner.”

FB: “Whhhaaaatttt?”

Me: “Please. Set. The. Table. For. Dinner.”

FB: [Huffs loudly] “No! It’s Young Son’s turn. Make him do it!”

Me: “He’s done it for you for the past week. I asked YOU to do it.”

FB: “Gimme a minute.” [Mutter mutter…pew pew pew…]

{five minutes pass}

Me: “FIRST BORN MALE CHILD! COME DOWN AND SET THE TABLE NNNOOOOWWWW!!!!” [Vein on forehead throbbing]

FB: “Jeez! I’m coming! What’s your problem?!”

Me: [Head explodes…more mess for me to clean up. Great.]

Yet somehow if the inmates are upstairs Xbox-ing, tap dancing or killing on each other while Husband and I are sitting in the family room,

Me: “I made cupcakes for dessert.”

H: [Does not look up from phone or away from TV] “Mmm hmm…”

[All mayhem upstairs comes to a screeching halt…Thundering footsteps pound down the stairs.]

FB: “Did you say CUPCAKES?!!”

YS: “Did you use buttercream frosting? I really hope you got the ratio of frosting to cake right so the cake isn’t too dry and the frosting isn’t too cloyingly sweet.”

AWP: “Are thems pink?!”

Me: “Seriously?! *sigh* Yes. I said cupcakes. Young Son, you need to stop binge watching Nailed It! on Netflix. And they are yellow with chocolate frosting, but I put pink sprinkles on yours, AWP.”

FB: “When’s dinner? Can I have one now?”

YS: “Did you use semi-sweet or milk chocolate in the frosting?”

AWP: [Stomps foot and pouts] “Awww! I wanted PINK frosting!!!!”

Me: *whimper* [Takes entire tray of cupcakes to laundry room and locks door.]

hero_01.png I think our Alexa has completely turned on me. I love using her as a timer for cooking or nagging the kids to do stuff like,

Me: “Alexa. Set a reminder for 15 minutes.”

Alexa: “What’s the reminder for?”

Me: “Warrior Princess, Go Potty.”

Alexa: “Okay. I’ll remind you in 15 minutes.”

Fifteen minutes Alexa says, “Warrior Princess, Go Potty” and off trots AWP to go potty. She’ll listen to Alexa, but never me. Whatever. I’ll take what I can get.

But then the kids will say,

FB: “Alexa! Fart!”

Me: “Alexa. Stop!”

Alexa: [Farts]

[Gales of laughter]

YS: “Alexa! Play the Gummy Bear song!”

Alexa: [Cranks out loud, soul-killing, annoying music] “Oh I’m a gummy bear / Yes I’m a gummy bear / Oh I’m a yummy tummy funny lucky gummy bear…”

Me: “Alexa, stop!”

Alexa: “I’m a jelly bear / ‘Cause I’m a gummy bear / Oh I’m a movin’, groovin’, jammin’, singing gummy bear / Oh yeaoooh

Me: “AAAHHHHLEEEXXXXUUUUHHHH!!! SSSSTTTOOOOPPPP!!!!!”

Alexa: “Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummibär / Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummy Gummibär / Bai ding ba doli party…”

Me: “AAARRGGGGHHHH!!! ALEXA!!!! You dumb whore! For the love of GOD! STOP!”

Meanwhile, the inmates are rolling on the floor laughing so hard they can hardly breathe.

Here’s the thing though. I think Alexa is secretly always listening to me. Get this. The other day Husband and I were admiring the solar panels the neighbor down the street installed on their roof. We thought it would be really cool to be “greener” — but we came up with lots of questions. How long does it takes to see a return on your investment? What’s the maintenance like? Do we get any tax benefits from it? Where is the additional energy produced stored? We decided to do a bit of research.

Then a few days later, THIS comes in the mail:

What in the actual…??? Coincidence? Maybe. Freaky as hell? YES!!! I think I may need to put tinfoil on Alexa during private conversations or speak in code. Or maybe I just need to go off the grid completely, in which case solar panels would be really handy. If you need me, send me a smoke signal or a note via carrier pigeon.

 

 

 

The Very Idea of Going Back to Work

First Born Male Child turned 11 over the weekend. That means I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) for 11 years. EEEEE-LEV-EN YEEEEAAARRRSSSS.

So many times I get asked, “Pretty soon Warrior Princess will be in school full time. Do you plan on going back to work then?” Uhhh…maybe? Why is this question so hard to answer? Here’s why:

  1. You’ve caught me here at Target randomly wandering around trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight that will not cause a revolt from the inmates, and you want to know what my future employment plans are? Go away. Now.
  2. I honestly don’t know if I can adult again.
  3. I don’t even know what I’d want to do.

Seriously. Here’s how I imagine an interview going:

Interviewer: “Tell me about a time you faced adversity and how you overcame it.”

Me: “Uhhhh…well…I was having a hard time potty training my daughter. She refused to wear big girl underwear and wanted to wear PullUps for the rest of her life. I used incentives, bribes, begging…nothing worked. I bought her dozens of pairs of fun undies — Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, pink with dinosaurs, ones with donuts and unicorns on them — Nope. She didn’t want anything to do with them. So I said, ‘Ugh! Do you want to wear your brother’s undywear?!!’ Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘YES!’ So I sent Young Son up to get her a pair of his super hero ones that were getting pinchy. He brought them down, she immediately stripped down, pulled them on and was happy as a clam. Did I freak out because she was wearing BOY’S undies? Nope. I called it a success and moved on. I mean now she even has an extra little pocket in the front for her Shopkins and Chapstick…and we all know how we women never get enough pockets. That’s a big win all-around in my book. I may have to try men’s underwear frankly.”

Interviewer: [Blink….blink…blink…] Thank you for your time. We’ll be in touch. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Or some people will suggest, “Maybe you could get something part time — like work at Starbucks or Williams-Sonoma. Think of the discount.” Okay. Good thought, but that would require me to be nice and patient, and I don’t think I have any left. I mean I am from Wisconsin, but I’ve lived in Illinois for nearly 14 years now and have three kids, so here’s what it would look like:

Starbucks customer: “You made this triple venti half caf decaf raspberry white mocha with 10 extra pumps of mocha too hot and I asked for it to be 109 degrees and I think you only put 9 pumps in.”

Me: “But did you DIE? No? Then go over and pour some skim milk in it like a normal person and cope, accept and move on. Plus, that’s a ridiculous drink and I can’t believe I’m actually talking to you right now.”

AAAAAnnndddd. I get fired.

At Williams-Sonoma it would probably go something like this:

Customer: “I want to return this 15 piece All-Clad set of pans and this 50 piece Wüsthof knife set that we got for our wedding. The first time I used them I cut my finger really badly and burned myself. I want to see a manager.”

Me: “Really? No. You need to go home to call your mother and tell her all the ways she failed you in preparing for life. In fact, give me her email address, there are a few things I want to say to her too. And then I want your husband to think long and hard about how he has thrown his life away by marrying you.”

Then the manager presses the button on her headset and whispers, “Sandy, could you send security over to escort out our new employee? We won’t be needing her services any longer.” Then plasters a smile on her face and hip checks me to the side, “Hi ma’m. I’m so sorry, please allow me to help you. What free stuff and discounts can I offer you for your inconvenience?”

If I got a job in an office setting, I can’t imagine that going much better. I don’t know if I can do meetings ever again. They would feel something like this:facebook_1551197480122

And if I would get stuck in a cube farm, how would that work??

[cell phone rings] I think,”Crap! The school! Who’s sick? Who’s in trouble? What now??!” Answers phone:

Me: “Hehhehello???…Oh, hi Nurse Nightingale…his head hurts? Did he hit it on something or someone?…he doesn’t know…well…give him a drink of water ‘cuz he’s probably dehydrated and then give him an ice pack so he’ll leave you alone and send him back to class. Unless he vomits or passes out, he better not bug you again….Yeah, I’m really sorry…”

[five minutes later, cell phone rings and it’s the school again…]

Me: “Ugh! Is he back in your office again???…Oh! Hello Mrs. Principal…Sorry about that. How are you?…Wait…he said what??…well no, I really don’t think that’s the proper use of that word in a school setting… And then he tried to laminate what? Well, no…I know he’s not supposed to bring things like that to school and that is not the proper use of school equipment….Yes, we will certainly be having a very serious come to Jesus as soon as he gets home…Yes, I realize this is the 8th time this year already…I’m really sorry…”

Honestly. I would never get any work done and be fired within a week. I think my children have ruined any sort of job prospect for me within the next couple of decades. I guess I’m just going to continue to be a SAHM here and write stupid stuff on my blog. Maybe it’ll go viral and I’ll get a book deal out of it. Or maybe I’ll just drink coffee and think about cleaning my house.

I Have an Invisible Tattoo on My Forehead

Hi friends! Did you miss me? I’ve missed you. I really need to detox from the insanity of the past few months. First Christmas and New Years, then the long slog through January, three weeks of my husband being out of town, snow days, other stupid random days off of school, apocalyptic polar vortexes of doom…If hear the sounds of 16 horse hooves galloping down the street, I’m ducking for cover.

I think all of this end-of-the world weather has completely broken the filters on some people. The other day the Warrior Princess and I stopped in at Subway for a quick bite. While we were watching the sandwich artist assemble our gourmet meal, WP got super excited and did her happy dance when we came to the big tub of tomatoes (her favorite food…yeah…if she didn’t look just like me, I’d question her DNA.)

The guy at the register thought she was a hoot and asked me, “Is she your granddaughter?” Oh yes he did, friends. Yes. He. Did.

The lady assembling the sandwich went wide-eyed, sucked in air and looked at me in horror. I blinked a few times and said, “No. She’s my daughter. I’m just old.”

The mortified lady hurriedly clobbered my sandwich together, hurled it at the guy who was still fumbling around and muttering embarrassed gibberish. (I think she may have kicked him in the shin while she gave him a really good death glare.) Just to torment him some more, I scrounged around for awhile in my purse for a crumpled up coupon and took extra long to find the Subway MyWay Rewards app on my phone. Then I paid in cash with exact change just so he had to count it all. Then I cheerfully thanked him, and WP and I made our way to find a table.

As we were sitting there, I heard a heated conversation going on in the back room. Since I don’t speak Hindi, I wasn’t sure what was being said, but I imagine it was something like this:

“What the hell?!? Why would you ask her that?!?!”

“What?? I mean did you look at her? She looked like the lettuce when it’s time to throw it away!”

“Really, dude? You’re an asshole. She looks like she needs a good night’s sleep and a new eye cream. Why don’t you just ask the next customer if she’s pregnant while you’re at it!”

When I got home and told my dear husband, he thought it was the funniest thing in the world and proceeded to pepper me with old lady jokes for the rest of the evening. Later I was rubbing his back and said, “Hey. You marry a cougar, you better expect to get scratched.”

He replied, “Hah! Try saber toothed tiger!” And then he couldn’t breathe. I don’t know if it was from laughing so hard, or me knocking the wind out of him.

A few days later, I was filling out some paperwork at a doctor’s office and the lady behind the desk asked if I had kids. I replied, “Yes. Two boys who are 10 and 7 and a 3 year old daughter.”

“Wow! You’ve got your hands full! That’s quite an age spread. Were they planned that way?”

Yes. She. Did.

I did my blinking thing for a moment and answered, “Well, my husband travels to China a lot. When his trips were three weeks or longer, he tended to miss me and we ended up having another kid 9 months after he got back. He keeps his trips to two weeks or less now.”

She blinked back at me as she processed, “Ohhhh….”

Seriously folks. What is it about me that people just completely toss away their filter whenever they talk to me lately?? I think I must have an invisible tattoo on my forehead that only clueless people can see. It must say, “Come hither and talk to me. I love a good insult. Please tell me what’s on your mind.”

I mean I get it when my kids say things that are innocently unkind. Recently WP was in the bathroom with me (because why not? I mean I need my personal toilet paper dispensing assistant and morale coach every time I’m in there you know…) “Hey Mom. Your legs look funny,” as she pointed out the hail damage on my pasty white thighs. *sigh*

And then she gave the final blow to my already brittle ego. This weekend, Dear Husband said, “Hey Warrior. How about today you try and do a really good poop and pee on the potty for Dad?” Now mind you, I’ve been begging, bribing and badgering her forever trying to get her to use the big girl potty. But nope. Not on her agenda. Not now. Not ever. She will walk across the stage and accept her diploma while wearing a Pull-Up, thank you very much. So you know what that punk did? She did four pees and a poop on the potty that day and proceeded to run around showing off her cute squishy tushy in her Paw Patrol undies the rest of the day.

Yep. I quit. Finished. If you need me, you can find me in the corner of my closet curled up in the fetal position quietly whimpering. Until someone has something nice to say to me, I’m done here…or until my phone dies and I can’t play Boggle and scroll through Facebook anymore…but then after I’m charged up again, leave me alone!