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Friday, October 29, 2010

Call me if you find my great idea wandering around on the street

Friday Night. No Plans.

Both kids are tired and don't want to do anything but veg in front of their respective 'mind sucking' devices so I decide to be indulgent and sink into a bubble bath and do some reading and thinking.

I sink in letting my mind relax and wander.  Ahhh, clear thoughts not interrupted by ringing and beeping and requests of my time.  That dusty place in the corner called my creativity starts to come alive, spitting and sputtering, trying to fire up like the water faucet that lost its power and then sputters back to life.

Then it hits. A really cool blog post starts to form in my mind. It's good, really good. I like it. I consider jumping right back out of the bath to start to write. Then I realize my legs are starting to look like the Newf's, so I decide to do a little grooming while I'm there.

A few more ideas come in and out. Decorating ideas, book ideas, how to spend the weekend ideas. Before the prune sets in,  I dry off and put on my favorite fuzzy slippers. I go to get the electronic writing device to plant my brilliance into the interwebz and ....... it's gone.

My freakin' idea is gone. I panic. Then I try to slow my breathing and think. Was it about the kids? Hubs? Hairy Legs?  Where the hell is my freakin' idea!

Gone, just like my flat abs and my Breck Girl hair from the 80's. Gone.

So this is all you get tonight. If you see my great idea wandering around on the street, send it back my way. I'll leave the light on.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I cheated on the girl and made her sick

My girl has wanted to be a teacher since she smelled chalk and saw she could boss people around for a living. She'd rather go and buy school supplies than Web-kins. She'd pretend to do homework before she got any of the real kind.

For the last two weeks she has cried every single day because she didn't want to go to school. She took her temperature for 5 days straight. The first time taking it into the bathroom with her and coming out shouting 102! When I insisted that I'd like to actually SEE the read out on the thermometer she tried two more 'fake me out' attempts until the real story of 97 degrees Fahrenheit.

For a few days she tried the "I'm gonna puke" approach.  I told her the nurse would call us if and when she did "puke" and we'd come get her.

Then I started to worry. What if something was happening at school.  I talked to the teacher. She said the girl had been fine. No changes.

More days of hyped hypochondriac-ness.

I tell her I'll make an appointment with the doctor. She wants to know when. I tell her when I'll call. No, she wants to know WHEN the appointment will be. Then I worry she might really be sick. Then I go to the dark side of worry for a minute or two until she loads up on a huge bowl of bananas with chocolate followed by ice cream. Never mind.

So I go to the next step. The root and transportation of all evil. The bus.

After the girl gets on the bus, I ask the bus driver to call me. Maybe it's the evil bus kid. Every bus has one. Maybe the girl has become his target.

I'm walking back to the car and it hits me.........

I see Dude, her brother, sitting in the co-pilot seat of our gas guzzlin "cooler than a mini-van" SUV. It hits me like a big fat "DUH".

Just this summer, Dude started riding shot gun. One step away from the kids table, while he's wearing deodorant. Big changes.

Add to this that Dude is in a new school this year. A school that requires us to drive him to school every day.

The girl thinks I'm cheating on her with her brother. 

Over are the days that he is long gone on the big kid bus before she wipes the sleep from her big blue eyes. Long gone are the days when we linger over the Honey Nut Cheerios until it's time to saunter down the long lane to the big yellow bus hand in hand with the Love Story theme playing as our sound track. Our mornings with blue birds and daisy fields and skipping.

Yes, we did skip down the long lane a few times, true story. The girl and I have always been special.

Now the stinky kid that kinda smells like Old Spice is sitting in the front seat of her "true love's ride" jamming to G'N'R.  Those speakers that used to sweetly sing Taylor Swift are now blasting Hair Nation.

My girl is lovesick. She misses her mommy. She misses Mommy and Me.

So, I call the bus driver anyway because I said I would. She answers and I say, Hey Ann, I've been worried about the girl. She's been crying because she doesn't want to go to school. Anything happening on the bus?

I kid you not, Ann the bus driver says,"I noticed your son sitting in the front seat every day this year. I think she's upset about that."

Could she have called me two weeks ago and saved me some major drama. Damn that bus driver psychologist.  What is she Dr. Phil or something.

So I'm trying to date the girl again.

Just to validate. On the way home tonight she said, meekly from the back seat, "I wish there were three seats in front."

*Sigh* I wish they'd sit in the front and I'd hang in the back and watch a movie.

Why is there no manual for this parenting gig?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I love October. Crisp autumn air, leaves crunching under foot, the explosion of color - yada yada yada - same ole story, same ole song and dance, right? Everyone loves fall, blah blah blah

You know what else happens in October? Hint .... pink

Yes, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This has gotten big!

I couldn't find the bag of SunChips that the girl wanted in the grocery store this week because the bag is pink this month. It's normally green. Complete confusion.

I'm thrilled by the movement October pinkness has become. I'm also a little concerned. Sometimes when things become so big they become wallpaper, not art. Let's not forget the 'reason for the season'. It's not about being able to buy pink M&M's all in one bag, although that was extremely helpful when the girl was a toddler because her birthday is October 1st. I have decorated entire parties around the availability of pink M&M's.
Check it .....

Cute huh?

Yea, but pink M&M's are to remind us to fund the research to cure breast cancer.

So let's get real about what October Breast Cancer Awareness Month means to me. My BFF, since I had big hair and drank Barcadi and McDonald's Coke, has lost her mom to breast cancer.

My BFF has now undergone testing that has determined that she has a mutated gene putting her at unusually high risk of heredity breast and ovarian cancer. Which using a phrase from my salty grandfather and in keeping with the theme here today, "Sucks hind tit." (Link available for translation) Wondering how many followers I lost with that comment.

The good news is, she has an early warning that allows her to be really proactive with treatment options. The bad news is, cancer sucks and now she gets to think it about it pretty much every day.

So this is where you come in.  Time to help out. Because you can, because you should and because I need my BFF forever.

Her support group FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) is partnered with a really cool company called Tiny Little T-shirt Company. - Go to the FORCE site and follow the link to buy some great t-shirts for you and the family.  25% of the order will go to FORCE.  I saw Christmas decorations up at Lowes, you might as well start your Christmas shopping today and help to cure cancer too.

How cute would these be on a long sleeve T or a nice hoodie - come on -

And if you don't go buy a shirt, I'll send the Newf over to slobber on your supper.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Note to Parents: Put down the bubble wrap

I once asked a colleague of mine what she would have done differently as a parent if she could start over. Her response has never left me.

She said:

I would have let my daughter feel and understand more consequences when she was very young, so when the challenges got bigger, she would know how to make better choices.

She want on to explain that she would "save her" from pain and consequences thinking that was the best way to show love.

Her daughter later went on to suffer big consequences with drug and alcohol abuse. Thankfully, she was able to pull her self back up and now lives a good life running a Montessori school with her mom.

I have taken this advice to heart. Some days I do better than others.

When "the girl" was a toddler, I took her to preschool on a crisp fall day in shorts.  I had stood in the closet with her that morning while she steadfastly insisted that she was wearing shorts.  I reminded her that it had gotten quite chilly overnight and she was going to be really cold on the playground.  She gave me the stink eye and said, "shorts!" So I shrugged my shoulders and took her to preschool... in shorts.

The preschool teacher stopped her little preschool teacher smile when she saw the curly headed girl come in the door. She looked right at me and said, "You know we're going out for recess today? She's going to be cold." Yep, I said. Maybe tomorrow she won't want to wear shorts.  I kissed my little 'Gift from God' goodbye and off to work I went.  Oh, I'm sure I was the talk of the teachers lounge that day.

I have lots of room to improve as a parent. I totally suck at it some days. But I am sickened by how many kids I am seeing in school and activities that are spoiled and entitled. We have to let them make choices and then be accountable to those choices.

Soccer should have a winner and a loser. Why practice harder if you can never win.
If you don't bring your favorite skinny jeans down to be washed, you can wear them dirty or be a fashion don't. I could go on and on with similar situations.

We've put so much bubble wrap on our kids, protecting them from all kinds of crap. They're going to get pretty bumped and bruised when there's no one to pack their lunch and cut off their crusts. (Which reminds me, why am I packing Dude's lunch everyday? - Note to self: Dude now packs his own lunch.)

Or they'll just live in our basements forever.