Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sick kids, dinners out, and unexpected phone calls

...and not necessarily in that order.

I was really hoping for a nice, boring Memorial Day weekend. Just some time to putter around the house and take the kids to the pool a few times before every weekend for the next two months is occupied by invitation-only events.

Alas...no dice. I didn't stand a chance.

Friday was relaxing, but that's where it ends.

Saturday was pool day. And pooling we did go. Now everyone has too much sun despite the thorough and frequent application of SPF 70+. Later on, friends came over for a BBQ and a drama-free good time.

Sunday was also quiet. I had dinner plans with girlfriends and Richard was headed out with a friend so the babysitter was called. And I'll bet she regrets THAT one now.

Everything was going juuuust fine. I was enjoying my girly time when 10:30 pm rolled around and I got a phone call....."house phone". Never a good sign at that time of night.

On the other end was Clifford, and in a desperate tone he says "MOM! Alexander is throwing up LIKE CRAZYYYYY....and it really stinks!"

Really? He couldn't do this when we were all just sitting around doing nothing on Friday night?

Fine...so I talked Clifford off the ledge, got more information, came to the conclusion there was a mean-ass stomach bug in the house, and headed home to relieve the poor babysitter who was dealing with the carnage.

Ana-- you're a trooper. Please promise to not be scared away. You're my only hope for sanity......

Once home, I did some serious bleaching and managed to get Alexander to sleep after a few solid heaves.

Richard texted and promised to take the overnight shift. Done and done.

So then we have Monday.

That morning, after confirming Alexander was fully recovered, I noticed that I had a missed call from my landlady, who I adore. The problem is, she NEVER calls so I was instantly a little nervous. Were we too loud out on the patio Saturday night? Nahhh, can't be, despite Richard thinking he's young enough to stay up til 4am and not hate himself the next day.

So I call....the following is what I can remember, it was that traumatic....

Her- "Helloooo! Happy Memorial Day! I wanted to tell you that I was able to get a job in the DC area and we'll be moving back up so I wanted to give you notice."

Me (inside voice)- NOTICE? WHATTT? NOOOOOO!!!!

Me (outside voice)- "Ohhh, wow! That's wonderful! I would appreciate the summer to find a new place to live....."

Her- "Absolutely!"

Me (inside voice)- KILL ME

So now, after a wonderful three years in a house I love, we have to move. Completely unexpected, but understandable as she and her husband have 4 grandchildren here that they deserve to spoil completely rotten, as only grandparents can.

The house-hunting has officially begun. And I'm determined not to rip the kids from the school they love, although they're convinced we're about to become homeless.

I think we'll be okay, kids.

Although my news is very surprising and requires me to tack on a whole-house move to my otherwise packed summer schedule, I can't complain one bit on this Memorial Day. Those who have served and currently serve this country deserve that attention.

Cross your fingers and toes in the hopes that someone in the neighborhood is willing to rent their property to this insane brood.

We could use all the help we can get!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

How young is too young?

After spending a lot of time thinking about Alexander and Puppy, it dawned on me that I would much rather have a child who hangs onto a stuffed animal far too long than one who is carrying around a functional iPhone at the age of 10.

Seriously? These kids are 10 years old and they have SEVERAL friends who have iPhones and email accounts. Who's emailing them, their grandparents? And these are the same kids who I now have to put their phone numbers into MY iPhone contact list so I know when my kids are calling me from the playground.

This doesn't sound right.

iPhones are expensive pieces of equipment with really expensive service carrier bills behind them. How are these other moms okay with this? I, for one, refuse.

I say the longer kids can just be kids the better. I lived for a very long time without the wonders of modern technology at my fingertips whenever I wanted it. I think it's made us all really impatient, with myself falling into that category, unfortunately.

Having said this, I will NOT be one of those moms who throws her kid an iPhone. Ride your bikes instead, little guys. Maybe go nuts and break out the skateboards. Just don't expect me to buy you a phone when you're only 10. I was in high school before the cell phone was even invented, and in graduate school when the Internet was invented by Al Gore (I love that story) and I'm totally fine!

Old, but fine.

NO, I never actually owned one of these

Friday, May 18, 2012

How old is too old?

And no, I'm not talking about me wearing a miniskirt (jerks, you know who you are) I'm talking about my 10 1/2 year old kid still having a stuffed animal that he just can't seem to unload.

5 years ago, Richard bought the kids little stuffed dogs during a trip to the H&M in DC and Alexander hasn't put it down since. I should have known this would happen since he also did this as a toddler with a blanket he got as an infant. That thing has crazy holes in it and should probably be preserved. It was a huge deal when he finally let it go. And that only happened because he left it at my Mom's in Utah and she had to ship it back. That little bit of time was enough apparently. No more hole-y blanket permanently attached to Alexander's hand.

Clifford also had the same blue blanket, and the same stuffed dog, but for some reason has never been attached to either. Identical twin wonders never cease.

So to this very day, we have "Puppy". Puppy is a full-fledged member of the family and gets washed periodically, and every time I come across him, I wonder why the hell my kid STILL has a stuffed animal that he must sleep with and take on long trips.

Maybe he'll go to college with him, too.
For his sake, and the sake of all of his future girlfriends, I hope not.

So it begs the question...how old is too old to hang on to something like this? Is it an attachment issue? Am I looking at paying for years of therapy? Maybe.

Richard is insisting on dipping Puppy in bronze when Alexander finally grows out of him, if that ever happens. Regardless, I'm certain he'll be with Alexander forever.

A boy and his dog.

And no, I can't get him a real dog. Cut to me walking that poor thing at 5:30 am in the pouring rain because no one else in the house wants to deal.

No thanks.

For now, we have Puppy. And I'm okay with that.

Puppy, you're bad-ass and we love you

Thursday, May 17, 2012

And now I'm making eggs

The kids watch way too much TV. They can quote movies and recite commercials with embarrassing accuracy, much like a lot of kids (an adults) I know. And you know who you are....

So it didn't really surprise me when last week Clifford came to me and said "Hey Mom, we have to take the SOLs at school next week so we need to eat eggs for breakfast".

That so?

Usually we're so rushed on weekday mornings I just don't have time (or desire) to actually cook things...on the stove...with heat. The kids eat fruit and toast and easy stuff like that. Most of the time.

Enter the SOLs, and those damn Incredible Edible Egg commercials. The same commercials that would have you believe you could single-handedly build yourself a shopping mall just by eating eggs for breakfast.

Don't get me wrong, I like eggs. My kids like eggs. I don't mind cooking eggs in various forms ON THE WEEKENDS. Not while I'm trying to get ready for work and kick the kids out to the bus stop on time. But I relented.

Egg it is.

Finish your eggs!

Maybe they're right. Maybe eating eggs for breakfast will make them the smartest kids in the whole school and score amazingly high on their SOLs. Maybe it's just a bunch of crap orchestrated by those little turds just to get me to cook eggs on a crazy weekday morning when I'm already running late.

We'll never know.

Although, they scored as high as they possibly could last year and I'm pretty sure there were days they went off to school having eaten nothing but whatever they dug out of the bottoms of their backpacks.

Mother of the year, right here. But I digress.

As long as the SOLs are going on, I've agreed to cook eggs for breakfast in the hopes I have two budding rocket scientists who will invent a cure for all diseases living in my house.

Once those tests are over? Back to whatever they can find in the kitchen and heat up without burning the house down. Mom needs to take a shower.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dear Mom, I....no.... WE Love You

Nothing says Happy Mother's Day like a good dose of food poisoning.

Clifford, my 'delicate system' child, decided to shake up a perfectly sane weekend with this little curve ball. Like I needed more excitement.

His entire life, he has taken the brunt of every cold, flu, rash, you name it. He and Alexander would get the same cold and Clifford would undoubtedly get sicker. Poor kid got the crap-end of it. So this weekend, Saturday night rolls around and Clifford comes into my bedroom at about 1:15am complaining he can't sleep. Of course that has NEVER been an issue, so I simply asked him to go back to bed.

30 seconds later he's in the bathroom kicking off a vomit-fest that lasted roughly 4 hours.


In between dry-heaves he manages to tell me he ate a hot dog that "didn't really look like a hot dog" at the neighborhood festival earlier that day.

Well that explains it. Jeez.

Alexander apparently ate the same hot dog, but he basically has an iron-clad immune system and slept through the whole episode waking up only to come tell me we were making too much noise. NOTED...SHUT YOUR DOOR. At least it was just one of them who was sick....

Two hours in, Richard took over Vomit Patrol so I could go back to sleep and ended up camping out with Clifford in the living room so he could finish dry-heaving while supervised. It was glorious.

Everyone survived the night...barely.

The next morning, Alexander was up at 6am (of course). And in my haze of exhaustion, I manage to open one eye to see the note he brought me for Mother's Day.

Alexander was covering for Clifford, considering the dry-heaving. Didn't want to waste paper.
Thanks, kids! I'll be sure to stock up on printer paper for next year.

It's the thought that counts, right?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's not okay, even during hunting season

Okay I'll admit it, I don't even know when hunting season is. I guess it depends on what's being hunted. Anyway...I was totally blown away today when I stumbled upon a brief article about a man and woman from Indiana who were arrested for, get this, being drunk enough to think it would be a good idea to strap 4 children to the hood of their car and drive 3 blocks. I don't know if they were stopped after only 3 blocks or if that's as far as they needed to go, but I seriously just don't get what goes through the minds of some people.

Was there not enough room IN the car because they bought so much booze at the liquor store? Or maybe it was just one of those drunken "hey, ya know what would be realllly fun????" moments.

Either way, people are complete idiots.

I have often thought, and maybe even said aloud, that I would drop the kids off on the side of the road for someone else to take home because they wouldn't stop bickering at each other. But I definitely wouldn't follow through with that. (Even though I know they would be returned unwanted within the hour). I'm allowed to think it, it's what gets me through those 'annoying kid' moments.

But seriously...the hood of your car? Like a deer you just shot and planned to make jerky out of?

These kids are pretty young so hopefully they won't grow up with fond memories of being tied to the hood of the family car and driven home like that under the watchful eye of their wasted parents. And please don't let them think it's okay and do it to their kids when they have their own and find themselves leaving the liquor store parking lot looking for a good challenge. Break the cycle, people.

In other news, I watched a special on NatGeo yesterday speculating what the world would look like several years after humans just suddenly disappeared, thus no longer able to screw it up. It was looking pretty good.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Watch out, mean bus lady, karma will getchya

This morning was not a pleasant one. For whatever reason, and there are usually many, Alexander wouldn't drag his scrawny butt out of bed.

After several warnings from me that he wouldn't have time to eat or make his lunch, he finally managed to get up, get dressed, and scream at me a little before running like his pants were on fire for the bus. Of course as soon as the door shut, I realized he forgot his lunch so I chased him out into the front yard calling him back.

"I'll just go without it! I'm gonna miss the bus! Ahhhh!"

Hell no, he's not going to school without lunch. So I made him come back.

Meanwhile, the bus rounded the corner, but coming toward the house instead of away as it normally does. Alexander starts to freak out a little when he sees this all happening, but instead of passing us by, the bus driver, we'll call her the Really Mean Bus Lady, pulls over to the side, honks, and throws the doors open just in time to hear Alexander holler "it's not my bus!".

Really Mean Bus Lady then SCREAMS at my kid "IT IS TODAY, HURRY UP, GET ON THE BUS!!!"

What the hell? Who screams at a kid like that?

So he complies, the doors slam closed, and she hits the gas just in time to rudely cut off a Metro bus full of Thursday morning commuters. I was sure to throw her some nasty looks as she drove by for yelling at my kid, but I don't think she gave a crap. She had one of those plastic visors on, the kind that go behind your ears, and she had hair all pulled up over it like an amateur tennis player from the early 80s. So she definitely didn't give a crap.

About 30 minutes later I called the school to make sure he got there okay and wasn't eaten alive by Really Mean Bus Lady. He was there, alive.

Fast forward to later in the day when I left to get the kids from their after school program. I was driving behind a school bus, and when it stopped to drop off three miserable middle schoolers, I noticed that it was indeed the same bus driven by Really Mean Bus Lady, plastic visor and all.

I made a point to catch her eye and throw out some more nasty looks. Again, she didn't give a crap.

Beware, Really Mean Bus Lady driving bus #47, all that 'mean' will get you some day.