What’s in the box?

I bit off more than I can chew.  I decided to paint  our living room.  Home renovations always seem like a great idea when you’re in the hardware store.  That’s because the couple on the cardboard cut out isn’t arguing.  You won’t see an advertisement of a man sweating profusely and cursing as he attempts to hang a light fixture.  There isn’t a woman on the paint can stomping her feet when drops splatter on the floor.   There should be a warning label on all paint products.  

WARNING: This product is known to the State of California to cause stress and anxiety. 

I wanted to brighten up our “living room.”   We call it a living room.  Some people refer to it as a “family room.”  There is a TV, comfortable furniture and it is just steps away from the refrigerator.   What’s the point of a room with furniture and no TV?  What are you supposed to do in there?  

The walls were painted a sage green in 2007.  It was time for a change.  My daughter had a very difficult time with this project.  I am apparently a clown and supposed to entertain her at all times.   I encourage her to play alone, but she knows how to lay it on thick.   “But, I just want to spend time with you Mommy.”  Well, this time I had to say no. While I was busy she found “the box.”  I was afraid this day would come.   What’s in the box?

 

The box contained toys I planned to sell at a garage sale.  Garage sales are one big party. What could possibly be more fun than sitting in the hot sun and negotiating with an elderly woman who doesn’t want to pay 25 cents for an item? My daughter was overcome with joy.   She hasn’t played with this stuff in years, but it was as if she found a long lost treasure, “I have been looking all over for this!”  That was a big, fat lie.   “You liar,” I screamed.  I’m kidding. I just wanted to see if you are paying attention.  My plan was foiled.  I will not collect fifty cents for an oversized plastic My Little Pony.  Plus, now I have to paint the ceiling.  I was distracted by her squeal and made a mess.  You won’t see that in the Home Depot commercial.  

Amish volleyball

It’s not enough that I spent another day at the amusement park.  My children didn’t go to bed until after 10 p.m.   How is that possible?  We spent eight hours outside on a sweltering day.  They played in the water.   Taking your children swimming usually means automatic alone time at night.  I feel like I ran a race, was in first place and tripped at the finish line.   

The amusement park passes were a surprise for my children.   I don’t know if you can call it a gift.  A gift has a positive connotation in most cultures.  Sending me with children to stand in long lines, spin repeatedly and wade in the water with strangers isn’t my idea of a present.   I was given a chore.   Okay, I will admit it’s not completely horrible.  I wish I could bottle the sound of my 8-year-old’s giggle when we were blasted with water on a rafting ride.  My 5-year-old daughter was grinning ear to ear as we splashed in the wave pool.   I cherish those moments.  It’s the other seven hours and 50 minutes that is exhausting.  There was something bizarre happening in the wave pool.  A man carrying a bible was walking around looking for people to save.  There was a religious retreat at the amusement park this weekend.  I was fascinated by his presence and in awe of his determination.   Preaching to people being tossed to and fro by man made waves seems challenging.  Then again, I did pray to God several times after being knocked over by teenagers.  Dear God, get these kids away from me before I hurt them.  Amen.  

That was yesterday.  So, when presented with the opportunity to spend a few hours alone today I jumped at the chance.  I dropped my children off at their grandparent’s house with a plan.  I was going to relax after running a few errands.  I had a pleasant drive to a local mall.  The sun was shining. I was drinking my favorite coffee and listening to Howard Stern on the radio.   I drove by a group of Amish men and women playing volleyball. 

  

There was a group of women huddled in a circle near the volleyball nets.  I can only imagine they were venting about their lackluster dresses and the fact that they still have to wear bonnets in 2015.   

I went to one store in the mall and left.  My 20-something self cannot believe it either.  I didn’t have any children tugging on my leg to leave and I left anyway.   Then, I went to the store to get milk.  One wheel on the cart was rebelling against the other three and spinning in another direction.  As I struggled to keep the cart straight one question crossed my mind.  Why am I wasting time at a grocery store when I could be doing anything I want?  Then,  I passed a few women standing in the vitamin supplement aisle and debating which probiotic is more effective.   Suddenly, my Saturday night seemed exciting.   I didn’t have to break up a single fight for several hours and can now cross ‘Watch an Amish volleyball tournament’ off my bucket list.  

Snack insanity

I am convinced my children have tapeworms. There is no other explanation for their incessant need for snacks. They want a snack before breakfast. They want a snack before lunch. They ask for two or three  before and after dinner.  

They survive the entire school year without snacking all day, but are famished in the summer.   “There is no way you are hungry again,” I insist.  My daughter will grab her stomach in a dramatic fashion while pleading, “But I am starving.”  I swear she could’ve been a star on Days of Our Lives.  

The grocery store clerk must think I have an unhealthy obsession with Goldfish crackers. My children also consume a large amount of also fruit, yogurt, etc.  The issue isn’t  what they are eating, but the frequency.  Yes, they are capable of getting their own snacks, but I don’t want them ending up on Maury Povich.  Children don’t quite grasp the importance of portion control.  

I make them throw away garbage and put their dishes away, but I have to clean up, too.   A 5-year-old’s definition of clean isn’t the same as mine.   I prefer not to live in filth.  I always remind my children  “I am not the maid.”  I am a waitress who cleans.  

Hello darling

I have been so busy I forgot to write a post about the love note left on my car.   It happened on Tuesday.  I was in a really good mood or just delirious from a lack of sleep, but either way I was smiling.  I worked that morning as a guest co-host on a popular radio show.  It is a country music station.  My grandmother, who loved country music, would’ve been so proud.  She often danced around her dining room table singing along to Conway Twitty songs.  She had fire engine red hair and a contagious smile.  This was long before the iPod, CD or even the cassette player.  She blasted her favorite music on an eight track player. It had colorful lights near the base that flashed to the beat.  
  

There was no such thing as rewind or pause on that player.  I believe it would be considered a human torture device nowadays.  

I only put my foot in my mouth a few times during the morning show.  That alone was reason to celebrate. So, I decided to take a second mortgage on my house to pay for a latte.  Shortly after leaving the coffee shop, when attempting to remove splattered bugs from my windshield (#Neverforget),  I noticed the note.

  

The author tucked that sucker in the windshield blade.  He/She wanted to make sure it didn’t blow away.  The note slid from side to side at least five times scraping across the glass.  I was perplexed.  I parked within the lines.  I didn’t cut anyone off.  I would never park in a handicap spot.  So, why did this person hate me?  Did I have bitchy resting face?  Was it the cardigan I was wearing?  Clearly, English Language Arts was not their strong point in school.  He or she did not stay in the lines.   Plus, they capitalized every letter of a word and didn’t use a pronoun, verb or punctuation mark.  Furthermore, the note lacked important details.  “You were an …….. because…..”  I give props for having lined paper in their car to begin with.  However, perhaps they should use it to complete their college writing assignments.   Then, they can learn to construct a well-written hate note.  

Secret healing clay

I have reached the age where I frequent the face cream section at a department store.  I am basically looking for a miracle to erase years of sun bathing.  I grew up during a time when we thought it was a good idea to coat our bodies with baby oil and lay in the sun for hours.  We knew our skin would burn.  It would either peel or turn into a tan.   I know, it was idiotic.    I have the wrinkles to prove it.  

I will be honest, I don’t want to age gracefully.   I recently purchased a product dubbed “the world’s most powerful facial.”  ‘Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Deep Pore Cleansing’ set me back about eight bucks.  The name alone gave me goosebumps.  I had the secret healing clay at my door within two business days.   There were over 5-thousand positive reviews on Amazon.com about this product.  If 5-thousand strangers say something works then it must, right?  

  
 I’ve never had a facial because I am cheap.  The directions on this container suggest mixing equal parts water or cider vinegar to the clay powder. I opted for water because it doesn’t matter how great your pores look if you stink.   Next, you’re supposed to mix the clay until it is smooth.   It turned out like my mash potatoes do every holiday; lumpy.   
 
It was cool and refreshing for the first few minutes. Then, my skin started pulsating.  This is supposedly a good thing.  The clay got harder and harder as the minutes ticked by.  

     
It was at that moment that my 5-year-old daughter woke up crying.  It was a natural instinct to run to her room.  I didn’t give it a second thought.  I probably should have.  This is what I looked like:
  

Now, imagine you are a 5-year-old child.  You wake up from a nightmare hoping to be comforted by your mother and the Wicked Witch of the West appears at your bedside.  Let’s just say the money I saved on this home facial will be used to pay for therapy.   

Show me your junk

I spent part of my day cleaning out junk drawers.  And I wonder why I am never featured in the “Movers and Shakers” section of the local newspaper.   Apparently, you have to succeed or something. 

There is a little bit of a hoarder in all of us.  That is why drawers were invented.   There isn’t any room left in the junk drawer in my kitchen and the one in my bedroom was filling up fast.  So, I decided to clean them out before I end up on TLC.   I’m fine with scrubs and chasing waterfalls.  I don’t want to be on a reality show that both horrifies and entertains people.  

 I was disturbed by some of the things I had saved. 

 
One of the things in this picture made me weepy.  No, it is not made of enamel.  Why in the hell did I save my child’s tooth?  It was probably the first to fall out, but that’s gross.  The hospital wristband is the one I wore the day my son was born.  I can’t bring myself to toss it in the garbage.  The tooth was taken by the Hefty Cinch Sak fairy. 
 
I bought this at the Dollar Store when I gained weight.   Why exercise when you can just make the waist of your pants larger by adding a button? It is the step below buying elastic pants.  The button worked until I sat down and it shot through the air like a missile.  I am lucky nobody was seriously injured.  
 
This is the 1st Generation IPod.   It doesn’t work.  I am hoping to fix it and show the grandchildren how difficult life was before they were born.  You can’t use it to play apps, videos or pretend to have the perfect life on Facebook.  
 
Apparently, I stole this from One-Eyed Willy.   We used most of the treasure to save the neighborhood and stop the construction of the golf course.  Of course, the Fratelli’s didn’t make it easy.   

  

You just never know when you will be invited to a luau.   Doesn’t everyone have an artificial flower leis in a drawer? 

   

Among random nails, screws, rubber bands and a deck of cards was this gem.   It is a baby picture of yours truly.  Hours from the womb and I was already plugging my ears when people were talking.  I have to keep this because it is one of a very few pictures that exist of me in my younger years.  I have no idea what I looked like between three months and three years old.  And people wonder why the middle child is so bitter.   
 
I have no idea what that is.   

Night terror

I woke up to my 8-year-old son screaming in the wee hours of the morning.   When I ran into his room he was sitting upright and staring straight ahead.   He has been sick the past few days and was restless.   I immediately knew what was happening.   He was having a night terror.  It’s basically a nightmare, but  his eyes are open.  It only lasts a few minutes, but it is terrifying.   I tried to calm him down, but nothing helps until he goes back to sleep or wakes up.   He was crying and repeatedly yelling, “I just want to tell you what it’s going to be like.”  What?    “I need to tell you what’s going to happen, what it’s going to be like.”  He was basically whispering, “I see dead people.”  My heart was racing.  I was on the verge of calling a priest.  I had to know what he was talking about.  “Tell me how what is going to be like? What are you talking about,” I questioned, wiping the tears from his face.  He screamed,  “I have to tell you what it’s going to be like…… when I score a goal!” Phew.  False alarm.  He isn’t Bruce Willis or Carol Anne after all.  

  

After scaring the hell out of me he woke up.   I got him a drink and tucked him back into bed.   He won’t remember a thing in the morning.  

I could not fall back asleep after that episode.  I grabbed my phone and scrolled through the latest news.   What did our parents do when they couldn’t sleep?  Did they write a letter on the typewriter or play Ping Pong on the Commodore 64?  I saw a picture online of the White House showing its pride.  
  

That’s neat, but one question came to my mind.  They have a rainbow assortment of light bulbs on hand?  I wouldn’t even know where to buy a purple light bulb.  I can’t find a clear lightbulb when I need one.  I end up moving bulbs from the less important lamps to the main living areas until I remember to buy a pack at the store.  By month’s end my family needs night vision glasses to make their way through the house after the sun sets.   

The comments below the story on the gay marriage ruling were appalling. I am constantly amazed by internet trolls.  Where do they get the time?  Are they actually awake when they spew hate through their keyboard or are they typing during a night terror?  Let’s pretend it is the latter.   

Maxi

My 5-year-old daughter asked a question today that I am not ready to answer.  “Why do you have to wear that?”  She wasn’t referring to make up or deodorant.  Her little finger was pointing to a bag of maxi pads in my shopping cart.  In my opinion, she’s too young to know that women suffer for seven to ten days every month for most of their lives.  She doesn’t need to know that once a month it feels like your vagina may fall off.  Not only is the cycle uncomfortable, but women have to deal with ignorant men who cannot understand PMS.  Hint: that would be a great time to pick your socks up off the floor.    I told her that older women have to wear them.  “Ewww, you’re gross,” she replied.   It is gross.  How many menstruating women do you see on a daily basis laughing as they skip down the street?  Advertisers make maxi pads with wings sound appealing.   Let’s put stickers on a pair of boxers and see how men like it.   I mistakenly bought super maxi pads while shopping with my daughter. I saw this label and was sold.    
 
Ten hour leak guard protection? These would be great if I were menstruating and trapped in an elevator or lost in the woods.  I had no idea how LONG the pad would be.  Perhaps this picture can put it in perspective for you.   This is a medium sized teddy bear.  
 
If you need a pad this long a visit to the emergency room is in order.  You may be bleeding to death.  It’s longer than a size 8 1/2 shoe.  

 

Or your favorite catalog.  Good luck wearing this super absorbent boat and that bathing suit.  

  
Was the company hoping women would walk in a conga line and share the pad?  There is nothing comfortable about a diaper that stretches from the back of your neck to your belly button.   That is the ugly truth I spared my daughter from learning.  

It is amusing

I spent another glorious day with my children at the amusement park.   Nothing screams fun like getting motion sickness and swimming in filthy water with strangers. 

  

Actually, my children had a great time.  I nearly had a panic attack on the log flume.  Not only am I afraid on high, fast-moving rides, I get really sick.  It’s just another way women are punished for having children.  A mother wets her pants with a sneeze, her abs look like Droopy’s face and her equilibrium is shot.  

  
There is no denying that a visit to an amusement park is a learning experience. Here are a few things I learned yesterday: 

1.) One size does NOT fit all 

2.) Tube socks are still a big seller 

3.) A lot of people make really bad decisions at tattoo shops. 

4.) It is possible to have a worse haircut than I had in the 3rd grade. 
  
5.) Childhood obesity is a real problem

6.) Your life is in the hands of a teenager who ‘could care less.’    

7.) A fishnet can substitute as a shirt.   

8.) A child will have to poop when the only option is a disgusting bathroom full of people who, if not stuffed into bathing suits, would be wearing pajama bottoms.

9.) Some people have no problem with PDA. Apparently, there is nothing sexier than a Ferris Wheel. 

10.)  “Yous” is the plural of you

   

Once upon a time…..

Have you read the fairy tale about the princess who lived happily ever after with an inmate who escaped from a maximum security prison?  I missed that one.   Joyce “Tillie” Mitchell apparently thought she was watching the Disney Channel, but it was MSNBC and a rerun of “Locked Up.”  Tillie is the woman in New York who helped two murderers escape because she was in love.  She actually had sexual intercourse with both men, but the fella who is serving time for decapitating his boss stole her heart.  Tillie should have watched a few episodes of Law & Order before committing a crime.   After her arrest she was singing like a bird without a lawyer present.  

You’ve probably seen her on the news.

 

tillie

 

She was the older woman wearing shackles and a neon green shirt.  I would’ve chosen a neutral color to wear the day of my arrest.  Perhaps, add a pop of color with a necklace or bracelet.   Also,  there is a cutoff age for neon colors.  Just because the kids are wearing something doesn’t mean grandma should.    Nobody wants to see the ladies at the Bingo Hall wearing Daisy Dukes.  Tillie was sticking out like a sore thumb in the courtroom.  Tillie also needs to adjust the straps on her brassiere and lift those girls up.

I have been mesmerized by this story.  Why would anyone risk their freedom to help two criminals?   I realize the show “The Bachelor” would make one think there is only one man on earth, but there are other fish in the sea.  

How does a mother prevent her daughter from becoming a Tillie?  I use the ‘scared straight’  method of parenting.  I plan on spending 18 years scaring the hell out of them and hope they are too afraid to commit a crime.  I turn down the radio and demand their full attention every time we see a prison.   We aren’t taking staycations to correctional facilities.   There is a prison on the way to the orthodontist’s office.   I explain how, if they commit a crime or do drugs, they will have to live behind the wire fence forever. There is no such thing as parole in my speech.    “There aren’t any video games, TVs, candy or chicken nuggets in there.”   I know that is not true, but they don’t.  I’m not going to tell them how criminals in the United States are living large.   Good ole’ Tillie  is about to find out exactly what it’s like.