Regurgitated gift

I am not proud of my performance this weekend. I definitely did not bring my A game.

I decided to take the kids on a road trip. My 7-year-old is obsessed with superheroes. He is the neglected middle child. I don’t lock him in a closet and feed him scraps. I just can’t do the things with him that I did when my older son was his age. I have two other children to take care of. Plus, I am now called “ma’am.” So, when I heard Marvel Universe Live was in Philadelphia I got tickets. It will give him one happy memory to share with his future therapist.

Philly is a 5 1/2 hour drive from our house. That wouldn’t be so bad, right? I invited my mother along.

I loaded the van with snacks, drinks and a few blankets. The kids picked out movies to watch on the road. Everyone was excited. We left the house at 7:00 a.m., stopping to grab some breakfast to eat in the car. I was running on adrenaline, patting myself on the back. I am the greatest Mom ever for doing this. So, when my daughter asked for an egg sandwich and milk I didn’t bat an eyelash. “Sure!” Sure? What’s better for your stomach before a 5 1/2 hour car ride than eggs and milk? If this were an episode of “Saved by the Bell” everyone would freeze except Zack Morris. He would talk directly to the camera about my bad decision.

We got about an hour into the trip when my daughter started whining. “Do you think you’re going to throw up?” Nope. “Did she need to poop?” Nope. I made another rookie mistake, assuming she was just tired and needed a nap. Minutes later, without warning, she began to vomit. NFL running backs have nothing on grandma. My mom busted out some slick moves to catch most of her breakfast in a blanket. We still needed to find a store and get supplies to clean my daughter and the van. Unfortunately, people in northern Pennsylvania apparently live off the land. We couldn’t find a store for miles. There were a few shady gas stations near the exit ramps. My car may have smelled like death, but we wanted to live. Thirty minutes later we finally got cleaning supplies and a few strange looks in a grocery store parking lot. I must have looked like a criminal, frantically trying to get rid of evidence. I am surprised nobody called police.

Was the show worth a 5 1/2 hour drive in a minivan with vomiting and sporadic bickering? Yes. My son had the biggest smile on his face from beginning to end. It didn’t matter to him that the actors were following an audio recording or that Ms. Marvel appeared to be a few months pregnant.

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My daughter, who was apparently suffering from amnesia, declared it the greatest trip ever. Plus, I got to spend quality time with my own mother. It’s something, as we age, that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Each moment is a gift. Sometimes that gift includes a regurgitated egg sandwich, but it’s a gift none the less.

Crazy Eyes

“This is the greatest day of my life!”

“I can’t believe this is happening to me.”

“Keep your fingers crossed!”

“I guess you can’t trust anyone.”

These are just a few of the symptoms of chronic Vaguebooking. Vaguebooking is a sickness where one constantly posts vague status updates on Facebook. Facebook is not the place to play guessing games. It is a a place to post pictures of your food and pretend you have the perfect marriage. Vaguebooking causes unnecessary stress to ones friends. How can you sleep at night knowing what you’re doing to people you haven’t spoken to in a decade? I posted a vague status tonight to demonstrate. A few of my close friends were very concerned. A few others commented, but I know many more were scratching their heads. I apologize. It was all in the name of science.

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I thought I was the subject of a Vaguebooking recently.

Is he talking about me?

He can’t be talking about me.

He has to be talking about me.

Why would he be talking about me?

He is talking about me.

He wasn’t talking about me.

What did passive aggressive people do before Facebook? Did they write anonymous letters? Scribble graffiti on brick walls? How did they make someone feel insecure without actually telling them?

Facebook is also a good way to unwillingly publish horrible pictures of yourself. What’s worse than seeing a bad photo of yourself online? That time a friend attempted to fix the red eye in a good picture and made you look like Crazy Eyes.

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Sticks and stones

I drive a minivan. I fought it for the longest time. I crammed my children into a SUV because I wasn’t going to be that mom. I was still cool. With the right Spanx and a little Botox I was still hot. Then, for the same reason people wear elastic pants I got a van. I wanted to be comfortable. I am comfortable when my kids are not arguing. If they couldn’t touch each other there would be less fighting. “His elbow is in my spot.” His elbow is connected to his arm. There is nothing I could do about that except get a vehicle with more space. I fell madly in love with my minivan. I have also memorized dozens of movies that I have never actually seen.

I’m not embarrassed of my ride. Well, that is not always true. I was humiliated today. I was walking to my van after a doctors visit. I made an appointment because I have  had a weird sensation that something was stuck in my throat.  I am convinced that the people who edit WebMD are former soap opera writers.   They are constantly trying to kill me off.   It turns out it was what’s called a tonsil stone. Yeah, it is as disgusting as it sounds. It is like a kidney stone on your tonsil.  I hear anybody can get them. At least that is what my friends tell me when we meet for the early bird specials.

I was walking to my car when I saw a handsome man step out of a BMW.  I may have stones, but I was rocking a new pair of shoes and looked damn good. He noticed. I got to the minivan, but kept on walking. I don’t know why I cared what this person thought, but I did. It was nice to have someone who didn’t look like a troll pencil topper check me out. It rarely happens when I am wearing Bermuda shorts and sneakers. So, I made a split-second decision to strut to the end of the parking lot and swing back around to the van.  He would be gone.  I would look cool.  That was the plan.   Unfortunately, my sexy shoe got stuck in a small pothole. I never win anything valuable, but I hit the ‘unlucky bastard lottery’ once a week. My ankle twisted and I stumbled forward, arms failing. I didn’t hit pavement, but my confidence went crashing down as I limped back to my minivan.

#Disgusting

Something was trending on Twitter last night that should serve as a wake up call for all parents. I noticed the pound sign (old habits die hard) hashtag #Twitterpurge.

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Apparently, this is a “game” where people shame others by Tweeting naked pictures. Most of the photos were of young women. I highly doubt the pics were intended to be part of a trending topic. The girls were probably naive enough to think they were sending a photo to one phone. Perhaps, a boyfriend asked for a picture. Maybe they thought it was a good idea. Here is proof that it is not. It is absolutely disgusting that anyone could be this malicious. It should serve as a lesson to young people about the danger of social media. The word “private” doesn’t exist in cyberspace. My kids can expect a long lecture about what should and should not be shared over the internet. I have no problem scaring the s**t out of them. Fear can be a good thing.

(A note to the perverts out there who willingly posted pictures of their junk. You should probably do a little manscaping before taking that shot. Your tree doesn’t look that big in the jungle.)

I guess we didn’t have it so bad growing up. Sure, we had to deal with a busy signal on telephones and had to use a card catalog to find a book in the library. (If there was an emoticon to show my disdain for Melvil Dewey I would insert it here) I didn’t have to worry about cyber bullies. A few kids once wrote nasty things about me on the chalkboard at school, but I never had to worry about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

I hope the losers who posted photos of underage girls get arrested. They are too stupid to realize that sending or distributing photos of a minor is a crime. It’s called child pornography, a**holes.

Been there, done that

I felt like I was in college again this week. I wasn’t drinking watered down alcohol at a bar while men wearing excessive hair gel hit on my friends. I was trying to put my 4-year-old to bed after a night at the drive-in movie theater. A friend and I set up lawn chairs in the back of her husband’s pickup, got the kids situated with blankets (because Mother Nature is f**king with us again) and snacks. They looked so damn cute sitting there for all of 5 minutes before they decided it would be more comfortable in the minivan. Being a mother means working a waitressing shift that never ends. I was “in the weeds” all night. I suppose it was my own fault for bringing a chair. A chair is comfortable and children don’t ever want you to be comfortable.

My daughter was excited about the movie until the snacks were gone. Then, she had to build a tower with rocks. It was as if the future of the world depended on it. A lot people were counting on her. I wasn’t annoyed at all that I spent money for her to do something she could have done at home for free. She had fun and that’s what matters. That is what parents have to tell ourselves so we don’t lose our minds.

My daughter fell asleep on the way home. I knew I was f**ked. Now, I had to carry her in the house, make her use the bathroom and change into pajamas. We would just roll the cavity dice and skip toothbrushing. I managed to get her into the bathroom upstairs and that is where a struggle ensued. Her eyes were open, but she wasn’t awake. She refused to get off the toilet. Putting an overtired child to sleep is like taking care of Snookie after a night at the club. She was slurring her words, “I’m need to live here.” I tried to be patient. “Come on sweetie, you need to go to bed.” She had a death grip on the toilet seat. I managed to pry her fingers from the porcelain. Then, the bicycle kick started. She was trying to kill me because she wanted to live on a toilet. Think about that.

I carried her kicking and screaming to bed. She passed out within seconds. She would sleep in her clothes that night and didn’t remember a thing in the morning. We’ve all been there.

If you like this, you will love that

I love Netflix. The original programming is brilliant. I could not live without the wide selection of children’s movies and TV shows. It is the best medicine when a kid wakes up vomiting at 3 a.m. I had to watch infomercials when I was a kid. The Shamwow doesn’t have the same calming effect. Hell, we could only watch cartoons on Saturday. You were f**ked if you overslept and would have to wait another 7 days to see Richie Rich or Heathcliff and Marmaduke. We didn’t have TVs in the car either. When my 14-year-old was a toddler we rigged a TV/VCR combo in our SUV. We were ballin’. It was attached with a bungee cord to the center console. Thank goodness we never got into a fender bender. That sucker would’ve gone flying. Who the hell thought that was a good idea? On that note, who the hell thought these movie recommendations were a good idea? Is Netflix headquarters in Colorado?

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Decisions, decisions. Should the family watch a few brutal murders or some steamy lesbian love scenes together?

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If you like the Cleavers then you must hate other races. Wtf?

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Movies for kids 8 – 10 who are serving time at juvenile hall?

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And if chess really gets your blood pumping, wait until you see “Secrets of Henry VIII’s place.”

No shoes, no service

I make a mental checklist before I leave the house with my kids. Snacks. Check. Drinks. Check. Sunblock. Check. Apparently, I need to add shoes to the list. I ignored my own advice that “it goes without saying” never applies to children.

I decided to take my children to a local amusement park after work. It was a spontaneous decision based on guilt. Another Mom posted a picture on Facebook of their “perfect day.” Oh yeah, watch this b**ch. I raced home, packed a bag in record time and told the kids to jump in the car. I expected my children to be bursting at the seams with excitement. During the 45 minute drive to the park, my teenage son complained that he couldn’t bring a friend. My 4-year-old whined about having to go in the water. My usually negative 7-year-old son was the only one who was excited. He was so excited that he forgot to put on shoes. Who does that? He walked from the house, through the garage and into the car. At no point, while tiptoeing on the cement, did it dawn on him that he was barefoot? I didn’t realize he was shoeless until I parked the car. “Oh, Mom,” he said “I don’t have any shoes on.” Translation: “Hey Mom, I am about to f**k up your day. Good luck solving this problem since we are an hour away from home!” If I left now my daughter would lose her mind. The inner child in me wanted to stomp my feet and cry. I took a deep breath, “It’s okay. I will buy flip flops inside. ” He climbed into the wagon and we made our way to a gift shop. It had flip flops to fit everyone from “The Littles” to “The Jolly Green Giant,” but not the size we needed. Are there a lot of grown men in a size 13 forgetting to wear shoes, too or is the person ordering inventory a Kardashian? We continued on through the park. I was desperate and even thought about swiping a pair of shoes from a bench. I could just borrow them. I said I thought about it. I didn’t do it. Luckily, another gift shop had water shoes in his size.

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It turned out to be a great day. There is nothing better than the sound of your child’s laughter. Of course, I will edit this story for Facebook omitting anything negative. You can’t tell the truth to “friends” you haven’t spoken to in twenty years.

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Drag race

I lost a race. It was a spontaneous drag race in a plaza parking lot. I didn’t even know my competitor. He was driving a family sedan. I was in the minivan. We pulled into the plaza at 8:15 a.m. Target was the only store open at that hour. He wasn’t there to shop and neither was I. It takes a lot of strength to leave a Target store without making a purchase. Those damn red clearance stickers have the power to hypnotize. I don’t even remember buying a gigantic ceramic owl or glass carafe, but I only paid $5.

We both needed coffee. There is a Starbucks nestled inside our local Target store. We pulled into the parking lot at the same time. I was already running late to work because I spent 15 minutes searching for My Little Pony. Obviously it’s not my little pony. I am not a female Brony. In case you don’t know, a Brony is a man who is obsessed with Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, etc. For me, collecting My Little Pony figures when you are a grown a** man is a deal breaker.

I made eye contact with the man in the sedan. Then, I gunned it. He accelerated, too. I pulled into a spot near the entrance and jumped out. I got halfway to the door when I realized I left my wallet in the van. I had come too far to give up now. I ran back, grabbed some money and sprinted to the store. I actually caught up with him. Then, he dropped his keys. Victory would be mine! I could see the Barista waiting at the finish line. I tried to pass him on the right, but he swiveled his body, buttocks in the air, toward a row of carts. I had to go around. Then, a store clerk appeared out of nowhere. Did she drop down from the ceiling? I thought about knocking her over, but being detained, handcuffed and photographed would definitely put a kink in my schedule. He made it to the counter first and to make matters worse, what does he pull from his pocket? A list. He had a f**king list. I got behind “Mr. Let me go get a drink for every person I have ever met.” I would not be taking a victory lap that day.