True Christmas Spirit

‘Tis the season for my 6-year-old daughter to go around the house gathering her toys, jewelry and crafts made out of toilet paper rolls  to wrap up. She is the queen of re-gifting. I remember going to a birthday party as a kid and one of the guests did something similar.  She re-gifted used earrings. Some of the girls laughed behind her back. Others felt bad that she couldn’t afford something new. As an adult I think differently about that box of tarnished stud earrings. Perhaps, the gift was actually more thoughtful than any of the scrunchies, banana clips or jelly bracelets we purchased. Maybe she sacrificed her prized possession in order to make a friend happy. Today my daughter wrapped one of her favorite teddy bears, football cards and a few crayons for her grandmother. She was so proud to deliver this gift. “Grandma is going to be so happy,” she said skipping to the front door. I patted myself on the back for raising a daughter with such a giving heart. It doesn’t hurt that she saved me $50.  

This video of equally as thoughtful children popped up on my Facebook feed. It was in between a post about a friend frosting Christmas cookies and another demanding I share a post to prove I love my dog. I won’t be bullied into expressing my feelings. My favorite chain letter-eque Facebook post is Share this if you love your children. I think we should be asking people who don’t love their children to ‘like’ a post so Child Protective Services can intervene. Those are the people I’m worried about. Anyway, I ugly-cried watching this video.  In this clip, children were given the option of taking a present on their wish list or one for a member of their family. I know at least two of my children would have done the same thing.

Instagram Husbands

This video is pretty funny.  It’s funny because it happens.   I went to a wedding this past weekend and forced a friend’s boyfriend to retake a photograph a dozen times. (I also may have participated in a dance-off.  A.C. Slater doesn’t have anything on this girl after a few cocktails.)  I blamed the boyfriend’s photography skills.  The truth is the lighting was less than flattering if someone was overdue for a Botox injection.  The camera has to be positioned at the right angle to get the Jennifer Lopez glow and avoid the double-chin shot.  If that doesn’t work you can go with the black and white filter.  In desperate situations you can add the blur effect.  The technology we have is simply amazing.  My children will never have to manually rewind film in a camera.  I miss banana clips and pinning my jeans, but not having to wait for film to be developed.  There was a 50/50 chance a picture would turn out to your liking. Nowadays, we can delete a bad shot in an instant.  Instagram is a gift from above; a middle-aged woman’s best friend.

 

 

 

Jeb on pause….

I finally got around to watching the premiere of “The Late Show”  with Stephen Colbert.   I am hoping to get a chance to finish that new movie “Titantic” next weekend.  Of course, I didn’t watch “The Late Show” in one sitting because my children don’t want me to relax.  They usually wait until I sit down to ask for something.   In this case, I am grateful for their neediness.  I discovered a real gem watching the interview with Jeb Bush.   I should clarify.  I discovered a hidden gem pressing pause during Jeb Bush’s interview.   Perhaps I am just sleep deprived, immature or both, but I found his facial expressions hysterical.  I think both Republicans and Democrats can agree on this.  

  

Did someone slip an Ambien in Jeb’s water?  Donald?
 
Don’t do it Jeb!  You are on live TV.  
  

Nice save.  

  

Jeb’s impression of “The Church Lady.”   Well, isn’t that special! 
 
The ‘I have no idea what you said so I will pretend to laugh’ laugh.    
  

Wake up little buddy.  You have a presidential campaign to run.  

 

Bad boys, bad boys…

I got pulled over this morning by a cop on a bike.  This was not an episode of “Chips.”  He was on a bicycle.  A police officer on a mountain bike  stopped me in my vehicle.   He made the siren noise with his mouth.   No, not really, but that would’ve been funny.  I was at a stop sign, about six cars from the crosswalk, waiting for the crossing guard to guide some young lads to the other side.   When I grow up I want the confidence of a crossing guard.   She has no fear.   She wears that neon jacket with pride and stops cars like a boss.  Of course, elementary school children don’t care about the long line of cars waiting for them to pass.   They have no sense of time which is why 90% of a parent’s time is spent telling them to put on their shoes.  I knew these kids were going to practically crawl across the street. So, I allegedly grabbed my phone  to send a quick text to arrange a ride home for my son.  It was at that moment that a police officer pedaled up to the passenger’s side window.   I smiled.  He did not.  Erik Estrada would have grinned.   Instead, he motioned for me to put down the window.  He actually made a circular motion with his hand.   Clearly, he grew up in the 80s. As the window was ‘winding down’ he barked orders,   “You need to pull over!”  I thought he was kidding.  “Seriously?”   He was  a drill sergeant on a Schwinn.  “I am serious ma’am, pull over!”   Okay, now I was pissed.  Not only was I going to be late to work, but he just ma’am-ed me?  People driving by were laughing and pointing.

This is an artist rendering of the traffic stop:

A friend sent me this text message.

The conversation with the police officer went like this….

Me:   “You don’t have anything better to do than stop a mom in a minivan,” I said.  I have a habit of not knowing when to shut up.  “When you are done with this why don’t you peddle over to the known drug houses in town and arrest actual criminals.” 


Officer
: “License and registration, please.” 


Me:  “You have got to be kidding me!  I wasn’t even moving.  You are on a bicycle. You were stopped right next to me.   Just so you know, I am going to take a picture of your bike and we will see how this holds up in court.”


I had diahrea of the mouth.  Honestly, I would have been in the wrong if I was doing what he alleged. I respect and appreciate the hard work of the men and women in law enforcement. I didn’t know this is the law in New York State :

  • An operator of a commercial motor vehicle who holds a portable electronic device in a conspicuous manner while such vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays is presumed to be using the device


At the same time, that was a ‘nickname for Richard’ move on his part.  He ran my license over his walkie talkie.  In the end, he did not give me a ticket.  Maybe he didn’t have any in his fanny pack.  He warned me to drive carefully and hopped  on his bike.   He actually stood as he pedaled away.  He didn’t even pop a wheelie. You are no Erik Estrada, sir.  

Funny farm

I am not perfect.  I know, it may come as a shock to many of you.  I forget things.  If you ask my children’s teachers they will tell you that I forget a lot of things.  I just remembered that I signed up to be chaperone for a school field trip to a farm.  I’m sure that is real comforting for the parents of the children I will be guiding around a large tractor and hay bailer.  Perhaps, I blocked out the trip because of the location. Don’t get me wrong,  I appreciate a hard working farmer.  I appreciate food that comes from farms, but why in the hell would I volunteer to chaperone a trip to a farm in June?  I am sweating just thinking about it.

I don’t sweat because I am morbidly obese.  It’s the hormones.  Millie Vanilli blamed it on the rain.  I blame it on the hormones.  Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be walking the runway anytime soon.  (Apparently, it’s not a good idea to eat handfuls of candy in bed minutes before you fall asleep.)  Nor will I be a hand model.  I have a crooked finger.  I broke my pinkie moving a couch.   It’s a long story.  Do you have time?  Actually, to summarize, I was moving the couch with someone, got mad and said, “I will do it myself.”  My finger thought that was a bad idea.   I race my children to urgent care when they sneeze.   I would duct tape my own limb before scheduling an appointment  with the doctor.  I don’t have the time.  So, I went to a drug store and bought a splint.  It turns out doctors go to medical school for a reason.  This is how it healed:

I should see a doctor to reset it, but the idea of intentionally breaking a finger sounds worse than an annual gynecological exam and that doctor uses what looks like BBQ tongs in your vagina.  (Take a minute process that one gentleman.  Yes, we earn the right to complain.) I suppose it could be worse.  I could be ‘the kid with the baby foot hand.’  Who is that you ask?  A co-worker (who shall remain nameless, but simply adores me) shared the story today of ‘the kid with the baby foot hand.’ No, this isn’t a Stephen King novel.  He went to school with ‘the kid with the baby foot hand.’  My co-worker claims it is true and he is a trustworthy guy.  Apparently, ‘the kid with the baby foot hand’ was injured by a lawn mower as a toddler.  He lost his foot and the hand was beyond repair. According to the story, the doctor sewed his baby foot on to his arm.   So, he grew to be ‘the teenager with a baby foot hand’ and eventually ‘the man with the baby foot hand.’  I would imagine one would relive that traumatizing day every time he opens an app with a baby toe.  I am skeptical and rightly so.    Perhaps, it was just a tall tale made up by a child born with a deformity.  If that is the case, that kid is brilliant and has a good sense of humor. If the story is legit then the doctor who performed the surgery needs to be sent to the ‘funny farm’ and I won’t be volunteering for that field trip.

Rock, paper, scissors 

I have a new hatred for the paper gowns at a doctors office.  I sat in an exam room with an 8-year-old patient for 45 minutes.   My son was scheduled for a checkup.  It would have been a stress-free appointment had it not been for the constant rustling of the gown.    Like most children, he cannot sit still.   It’s no secret that I suffer from Misophonia.  A crisp apple can send me over the edge.   Being in a 10 x 10 room with a child in a paper gown is pure torture.  I was on the verge of ripping the damn thing off him when the doctor strolled in like she wasn’t nearly an hour behind schedule.   I wanted to scream,  “Where the hell have you been?”  I bit my tongue.

There are a lot of things I would change about a doctor’s office beginning with the music.   I don’t expect the pediatrician to play Wu-Tang Clan, but enough with the Soft Rock.   Even Phil Collins doesn’t want to hear A Groovy Kind of Love anymore.  It only makes the time drag and conjures up bad memories of middle school.  I was like countless teenage girls who sat in their rooms in the late 80s crying over a boy while listening to Phil Collins on a cassette player. You didn’t play a Phil Collins song to get pumped for the big game or when using your thigh master.  Phil helped you cry it out.

I could also do without the broken toys, books that are missing pages and magazines from 1998 in the waiting room.   Take my $35 co-pay and renew your subscription.  Furthermore, if you’re going to have a tv on the wall put some cartoons on it.   Watching a busty anchor read an infomercial on heartburn medicine isn’t a good distraction for a child who is about to get a flu shot.  She is almost as annoying as a paper gown.  Almost.

Guessing Game

I am convinced my children were game show hosts in a past life.   They are constantly making me guess things, but there is never a prize.  Every statement begins with one question: “Guess what?”  I am at a disadvantage. I would have to be the ‘Long Island Medium’ to guess correctly and that’s impossible because my curling iron retired in the 1990s.

I recently jotted down some of the interesting things that followed after my children said, “Guess what?”  Well, that’s a lie.  I didn’t jot anything.  Who jots anymore? We keep notes on our phones.   ‘I typed on my phone’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it.   Anyway, here are a few of my favorites:

“Guess what?” …..

“What?”  (Children will speak out of turn on a regular basis, but they won’t finish a sentence unless you say ‘What’ until you are blue in the face)
….. “The caterpillar hatched at school.”  

How the hell was I supposed to guess that?  A minute ago we were talking about the character you unlocked on Lego Batman.  Plus, I thought caterpillars were cut from the Common Core curriculum.  

“Guess what?   (While eating dinner) ….. You have silver hairs on top of your head.”

Tell me something I don’t know kid.  

“Guess what?  (While playing with the Barbie Dream House)  …..  This Barbie’s mom is dead.  She wasn’t nice. ”  

Is she threatening me?  Did she see this tactic on an episode of the Sopranos? 


“Guess what?  ….. I slept in the corner of my bed.”

Damn it, I was going to guess you slept in the middle.  It’s a good thing I didn’t place any money on that bet.  



“Guess what? …... I just burped and it tasted like the cheese I had for lunch”

 I  believe that is why the hashtag “TMI” was invented.  


“Guess what? ……  I don’t really like those meatballs”

I could never have guessed that judging by the tantrum you threw 30 minutes ago when I told you I was making spaghetti and meatballs.  Well, guess what?  I don’t like cooking them.  How about we do a little experiment where you try to survive off the land?  


“Guess what? ……. I ate the grapes you packed in my lunch today.”

Well, I didn’t pack it as a decoration.  I am pleased.  Especially since I found out you throw out most of the food in your lunch box.   Let’s skip the middleman and I will throw my paycheck directly in the garbage can every two weeks.  I don’t mind that I’m using my Botox funds to buy overpriced snacks that go to waste.

 
“Guess what? ….. “Doug” (withholding child’s actual name to protect myself)  got a red card today.”  


Was he playing soccer or misbehaving?   I would never have guessed that because I don’t know “Doug.”  I couldn’t pick him out of a line up and judging by his behavior that may be a possibility one day.  


“Guess what?….. someone got mud on the floor in the hallway at school.”

I  hope they launch an investigation and find the criminal responsible. 

Podcast

Here is another podcast for your listening pleasure. I am not pretending to be Howard Stern. It’s a work in progress.  I celebrate small victories. For example, I finished this podcast without a single child asking for food.  My children want a snack minutes before a meal begins and seconds after a meal ends.  I am convinced they have tapeworms.

clickhere

La,la,la,la Elmo’s World

I think someone killed Elmo to make my new purse. I received it as a gift yesterday from my 5-year-old daughter.

IMG_9933.JPG

The purse was purchased at the Holiday Gift Shop at school. Every year I give my children money to shop. To outsiders, a.k.a. people without children, it may seem like I am just throwing money away. I might as well burn it. There is no denying the items for sale are crap. You are blinded by the ‘Made in China’ stickers at this shop. It sells everything from rings that turn your finger green, cheap plastic toys to the ever popular #1 dad mug. We have five in the cabinet. It’s a fundraiser for the school and also teaches children about giving. Tell that to “Mary,” a girl in my sons class. Her name has been changed to protect her identity. Apparently, “Mary” decided to partake in the trend of “self gifting” and treat herself. “Mary’s” family won’t be enjoying a Kawala bear knickknack this year.

If anyone else wrapped up a Sesame Street purse I would be offended. It’s like giving someone a Chia Pet or a hot chocolate gift set from CVS. These gifts say “I don’t know you at all.” However, I love this tacky bag. I also love the ring that makes it look like I have gangrene. These gifts are invaluable. My children are beyond excited to hand out these presents. They often tell you, with their faces lit up, what the gift is while you are opening it. It makes me proud; not that they give sh*tty gifts, but that they enjoy giving. They like to make other people happy. It is a beautiful thing. I am doing something right. On the other hand, “Mary’s” mother has some work to do.