I know you are, but what am I?

I swore that I wouldn’t blog while on vacation. Then, I got an email from an anonymous fan.

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Doesn’t that just warm your heart? His anger is either the direct result of (A.) living in his parent’s basement well beyond his 30th birthday, (B.) because the elastic on his tube socks has given up the fight (C.) he was trying a little reverse psychology on yours truly. I get it fella, you want a new blog post and you want it now. Hike up those socks and put down the comic book. I hear you loud and clear. I need a break from our vacation anyway. Writing is cathartic for dumb b****es.

I am about to share something in invaluable I learned at Walt Disney World. “Quit your damn complaining!” sounds the same in every language. Even a vacation at the happiest place on earth goes like this when you have children: excitement, whine, giddy, whine, pure joy, whine, fun, whine, laughter, fight, whine about the person you are fighting with, “This is the greatest day ever!”, whine, sleep. Rinse, repeat.

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There is nothing greater than making your child smile or laugh even if only for a fleeting moment. I will never forget the look on my daughter’s face when Cinderella shook her hand. My 14-year-old, the best big brother ever, was grinning ear to ear as he watched his sister’s dream come true. It made me proud. He loves her enough to wait in a long line at a princess castle, a castle that doesn’t have Netflix, PS4 or Wi-fi. My youngest son’s giggle during the “Finding Nemo” musical has been echoing in my ears all day. It drowns out the tantrums. Unfortunately, it can’t block email from idiots.

Work it

I slipped into my Mom-skirt-tankini-getup and swam in a pool where countless children have urinated. I was more nervous about the bathing suit. It was “Family Swim” at my daughter’s pre-school. The children look forward to this day for weeks. Meanwhile, mothers are plotting their escape. They will lie, cheat, bribe, essentially do whatever it takes to avoid getting in that water in front of an audience. I actually convinced my daughter once, after a single sneeze, that she may be getting sick and needed to skip school and “Family Swim.” It was, of course, a miracle when she felt better minutes later.

Some Moms recruited male family members to take the plunge. I had my own father on speed dial. He was willing to do it. Then, my daughter asked a question that sent chills down my spine, “Mommy, am I skinny?” She is 4-years-old. Did she overhear me grumbling to my husband about putting on a bathing suit? Am I causing my daughter to have a distorted body image before she can even read. I exercise on a regular basis, but explain that Mommy wants a strong heart and muscles. You never know when you will have to throw down to get a discounted Barbie on Black Friday. I don’t want her to know I am running off the donut and slice of pizza I devoured hours earlier because I lack self control. Nor do I want her to know that I loathe full length mirrors. My daughter needs to believe that beauty is not defined by how much you weigh no matter what is plastered on TV or in magazines. I want her to have confidence whether shopping in the petite section or at a plus size store.

So, I decided not to make excuses and participate in “Family Swim.” There were about five of us who paraded out of the locker room. It was just like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show minus the sexy suits and perky breasts. We had more cottage cheese than a senior center refrigerator. We also showed the little girls in that pool it’s okay to wear a skirt and call it a bathing suit
be different sizes.

Southwest Comedian

I really hope we have this flight attendant on our next Southwest flight.   To quote my southern friend, “She is a hoot.”  I fly Southwest because I don’t want to sell my organs on the black market to pay baggage fees.  I am dating myself here, but I remember when that was free and we got to eat peanuts on the plane.  Those were the good ole’ days.  Actually, I would sell my organs and soul for a direct flight.  Why would you choose to make stops when traveling with children?  That is like buying the 7 day yeast infection cream when there is a 1 day treatment plan.

That Wascally Wabbit

“Did you kill the Easter Bunny?” Isn’t every mother accused of vehicular manslaughter during the morning drive to school? I didn’t kill the big guy, but I may have critically injured a distant relative. He came out of nowhere. I was driving along, marveling at the sunshine when I saw a flash of white followed by a loud thump. I cringed, thinking I ran over a squirrel. It was even worse. “Mom, you ran over a bunny!” Well, it wasn’t my fault. My daughter was the one who had to wrap a DVD moments before we were set to leave. She has become the queen of re-gifting. It has gotten to the point where she is giving away other people’s s**t. She decided my mother would love the “Lion King 1 1/2″ DVD. My 6-year-old was less than pleased, “I like that movie.” My daughter didn’t waver, “Too bad, grandma has never seen it!” Needless to say, we were late again. If we had been on time that bunny would have crossed the street and gone on to live a life doing what bunnies do. I couldn’t tell a 4-year- old it was her fault, but I could think it.

I wanted to tell her there was no such thing as an Easter Bunny. There are so many questions she should be asking about that story. Why isn’t Will Smith going on a mission to save planet earth from 6 foot tall rabbits? You’re afraid of flies, but it doesn’t freak you out at all that a giant bunny sneaks inside our house while you sleep? Why does he want to give you candy? He doesn’t even know you. I love you and I hide candy from you on a daily basis.

My daughter is oblivious and even wanted to send a letter to the Easter Bunny with her demands. There is no need to write because it’s not your birthday or Christmas. There won’t be toys piled in a basket. Things have gotten out of control. Actually, maybe I should have killed off the Easter Bunny today.

I’ve got something in my pocket

My daughter loves pockets. I mean she really f**king loves pockets. Her eyes light up when she realizes there are pockets on the pants she is wearing. A pocket on a shirt = mind blown. She doesn’t have anything to carry. Perhaps, she wants to be prepared in case she happens upon a paperclip or small pebble. That is about all that would fit in her tiny pockets.

She is only 4 and has already started arguing with me over what to wear. I want her to dress like a cute little girl. She wants to dress like a homeless clown from Florida. Red stripes, purple stars, green socks and Hello Kitty do not go together, but that doesn’t matter to her. The temperature doesn’t matter either. She wants to wear short sleeve shirts in the dead of winter. Do you know that shirt that I meant to get rid of because it is two sizes too small? Yeah, she wants to wear that, too.

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want my pre-schooler to dress like a whore. I refuse to buy shirts with lace on the back or slits in the sleeve. I like pretty dresses and hair-bows. Some people say ” She is just trying to express herself.” Is she saying I am colorblind? I nearly died during labor. I earned the right to dress my little doll.

All hope is not lost. There is a way to get her to wear clothing I like. Dresses + pockets = I win!

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BFF

How do you choose a best friend? Is it because a person is kind? Trustworthy? Funny? Loyal? My 6-year-old found a new BFF. He absolutely adores this kid. They like the same things which is important in a friendship. They love playing poker and beer pong. You should just hear them giggle. I am kidding. They love Legos and playing Mine Craft. I may have to start selling crack to pay for Legos. Mine Craft is like crack for kids. I can’t play any 3D game without getting motion sickness. Plus, there are too many buttons on Xbox and Playstation controllers. I grew up with a simple joystick.

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There was one knob and one button. What the hell am I supposed to do with this:

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It boggles my mind that men can’t do two things at once, but can operate a gaming controller. Perhaps, it is all an act so we expect less and leave them alone. My son and his bestie know the function of each button. Yet, they still put the suffix “ed” on random words.

So, how did these two become best friends? My son told me, “He is my best friend because when I pass gas in school he tells everyone he did it so I won’t be embarrassed.” He is a keeper.

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Teacher’s only

I finally did something I have wanted to do since I was a kid. I peed in the staff bathroom at my old elementary school. When I was in the second grade I saw two teachers walk out of the bathroom laughing. They are having fun in there. I imagined parties with candy, gold sinks and fancy soaps. Why else would they forbid kids to enter?

I volunteer every Tuesday to read with the students in my son’s class. You haven’t lived until you’ve listened to the same story over and over and over again. I could recite the book, “Kit’s Mitt” with my eyes closed. It’s about a girl named Kit who shows up to a baseball game without a glove. Yet, she is still allowed to play and ends up using her hat to catch a ball. I’m calling bulls**t on that one. The kids in this class are great. They are sweet and make me laugh. Plus, a few of them think Kit’s story is bulls**t, too.

I was exhausted during today’s session. So, I drank a lot of coffee. Clearly, I cannot use the toilets in the children’s bathroom. They are way too low. I don’t think I would be able to stand back up. My legs are burning from my latest workout. That’s right fellas, I am going to be rockin’ that mom swim skirt at the beach this year.

I had to use the staff bathroom before I coughed or sneezed. (You know what I am talking about ladies) I half expected to hear someone scold me for going inside. (Cue: orchestra music, orchestra music comes to a halt) It turns out it’s just a regular bathroom. The wall is adorned with framed pictures from the 1980′s. There’s a fake floral arrangement on a small table that would make Oprah Winfrey cringe and a few bottles of lotion.
This is it? This is what I have waited thirty years to see?
Maybe when Kit makes it into the major leagues she can give the bathroom a makeover and give the hardworking teachers the serene space I imagined as a kid.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

My 4-year-old daughter is sneaking out of her room at night and working at Raves. There is no other explanation for her desire to be DJ Jazzy Jeff on a Friday night. She came to me out of the blue and demanded I make a turntable. She didn’t know what it was called. So, she used mime to help me understand. After a few incorrect guesses (Pet the dog? Wash the floors? ) I figured it out. She wanted to spin records which is funny because she doesn’t even know what a record is. As a matter of fact, she calls CDs “DVDs.” I still have my CD’s arranged in a binder. I refuse to get rid of them. I am certain this digital thing won’t last forever. I’m holding out for a VHS comeback, too. On a side note, am I the only one who thinks it is odd that DJs use iPods? If you’re not scratching records do you really deserve the DJ title? Aren’t you just a guy pressing play at a wedding?

My daughter (allegedly) doesn’t remember where she saw turntables. If I learned anything from the movie “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” it’s that daughters lie to their strict fathers and sneak out of their room to meet boys at dance studios so they can win a competition to be on national TV. Either my pre-schooler is chasing some crazy dream like Sarah Jessica Parker or she saw Twist spin on “The Freshbeat Band.” It’s one or the other.

She hadn’t been feeling well all day. So, when she asked me to make her a turntable I couldn’t say no. I grabbed a cereal box, scissors, paper, etc. and my imagination. This is what I came up with:

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I know, not bad, right?
It took longer to make than the total amount of time she played with it. The look on her face, as she mixed a Sofia the First song, was worth it. Now, I’m going to cut down the branches outside her bedroom window. (High five if you get the significance of that last line.)

Instant Karma?

Have you seen this video making its way around the world wide web? Jeffrey White, of Florida, was caught on camera tailgating a woman on a highway and giving her the finger. Seconds later, he spun off the road and crashed into a light pole. He was arrested for leaving the scene of an accident.  There is no denying Jeff acted like an a**hole, but do you notice something wrong in this video?

 

Besides the fact that the woman videotaping (old habits die hard) recording the video had her phone in the wrong position (always record horizontal people!) did you notice she was driving in the wrong lane? Was she intentionally trying to piss him off? I learned in Driver’s Ed. that you always drive in the right hand lane unless you are passing another vehicle. My Driver’s Ed. teacher was a little crazy. I think you have to be slightly insane to allow children who have never been behind a wheel to be your chauffeur. I think driving with your eyes closed would be safer. He wore a short sleeve dress shirt and often had crumbs in his lap. Short sleeve dress shirts say I just woke up from a coma. or I give up on life. Either way, they are not fashionable or sexy. Anyway, the chick on this video needs to get the hell out of the way. It drives me insane when someone doesn’t obey traffic laws. Well, unless I am running late and STOP morphs into a yield sign. I am often late and at this point I don’t even feel bad. It’s not my fault. My children always have something to do at the exact moment we are supposed to head out the door. “Mom, I can’t wear this! I need to dress like SpongeBob construction girl.” Of course you do! Silly me!

We don’t all have time for a leisurely Sunday drive on a Monday. Besides, what are you looking at? People driving in the wrong lane are usually looking from left to right repeatedly. Is this your first time driving in this magical land? Are you overwhelmed by the scenery or are you looking for a good spot to put the body in your trunk? Keep your eye on the road and hit the gas. I hate to admit it, but I would have whipped this lady off, too.

Raise your hand if you’re sure

If the year were 2003 Ashton Kutcher would have made an appearance at my son’s elementary school Spring concert. If you can call this Spring. Mother Nature is being a real bitch this year.

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My 6-year-old son has been looking forward to this performance for weeks. “I’ve got a big show,” he said. That kid was beaming ear to ear. One thing is for sure. This is what life is all about. This is why I quit my job. I would have missed this moment if I had been working.

Somewhere, someone laughed at my optimism. Shortly after the kids took to the stage a foul odor encircled the last two rows. I tried desperately to find a pocket of fresh air. I was on the verge of gagging. My eyes were watering. Then, the stench suddenly dissipated. I gave my mother the what the f**k was that? look. She shrugged her shoulders. The music teacher introduced the program and no sooner did her finger touch a key on the piano and the odor returned. I tried to discreetly cover my nose with the sleeve of my jacket. It wasn’t helping. The smell was like acid, eating through the fabric, burning the hair in my nostrils. I am here to watch my son perform. Ignore it. Cherish this memory.

The next song ended and again, the smell was gone. Every time the cameras flashed the odor reappeared. The jingle isn’t “Raise your hand if you’re maybe.” It is not “Raise your hand if you’re almost confident.” Look, I am not perfect. There are days when my deodorant fails me, too, but I admit defeat. Denial isn’t good for anybody. You have to be SURE.