Is A Baby Sister Really Too Much To Ask For?

2013-04-20 11.16.56My youth was idyllic.  My days were drama-free. It was so darned peaceful that Mr. Bluebird occasionally landed on my shoulder to whistle a cheerful tune.  I never heard those words so frequently uttered by Country Squire station wagon driving dads on family roads trips: “DON’T make me pull this car over!” But my childhood was agreeable, not because I was the spawn of Ward and June Cleaver.  It was not because I was the Perfect Child.  It was calm for a singular reason – I was an Only Child.

But I needed a sibling.  I wanted a Big Brother just like my two best friends.  I begged my parents for a brother.  Without spilling the beans on the birds and bees, they gently explained that this was never, ever going to happen.  My six-year-old brain understood the word “no,” but not the underlying mechanics that prevented my plan from becoming a reality.

As a more worldly seven-year-old, I decided a baby sister would do.

As a second grader, I launched a full-scale Jack Abramoff-style lobbying effort to secure a sister.  I created a grassroots campaign utilizing the alliances of friends with younger siblings to influence my parents.  In a stroke of perfect timing the teacher asked the class to write a story about our family: the perfect opportunity for a journalistic expose of My Life With The World’s Most Unreasonable Parents.  As I read my story out loud, I watched with joy as my teacher’s eyes widened in what I assumed was horror at the situation known as my family life.  When she told me to stay behind at recess, I thought she would say, “You poor dear!  I can’t fathom that you’re forced to live with such selfish parents who don’t understand your need for a baby sister.  I’m calling them right now.” [Read more…]

Maternal Instinct

holding babySome women are born to be mothers.  Then there’s me.  The tell-tale signs of my lack of maternal instincts started at a tender age.  While other girls fussed and cooed over their plastic baby dolls, I cut all the hair off mine and left it naked in the backyard in the rain for five days.

When it came time to enter the babysitting ranks, my mother lined me up with my very first job.

It was also my last.

I took my young charges to the park to spend a fun-filled afternoon. As far as I was concerned, we had a great time.  So imagine my surprise when I was not only fired, but forever banned from babysitting, by my very own mother.  She informed me that I exhibited less-than good judgment while taking care of her best friend’s children.

I was perplexed. [Read more…]

Not Eggs-axctly What the Easter Bunny Had in Mind

egg huntAn Easter Egg Hunt at the Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo turned from a festive spring holiday event into a hard boiled criminal case when two moms got into a fist fight.  According to witnesses, the fight started when one of the mothers shoved a kid out of the way so her snot-nosed brat could get to the plastic eggs first. Because nothing captures the spirit of this Christian holiday like punching another mom in the mouth in front of a bunch of kindergarteners.

Makes you wonder if they were filming an episode of Teen Mom 2.  .  .

The brawling women had to be separated multiple times.  After the profanity-laced tirade in front of 4-6 year-olds was over, one of the women left with more than an Easter basket – she also left with a bloody nose.

Talk about a bad eggs-xample of parenting.

Santa, for the sake of Mall Elves everywhere, put this chick on the naughty list.

Update: Thanks to the eyewitness account of a nearby woodland creature, police have cracked the case.

Jeans for Every Occasion. Seriously.

jeans

Ever since Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss invented them in 1873, workhorse blue jeans have been a part of the American landscape.  The advent of Lady Levis put them on the female fashion radar in 1934.  And we’ve had a love affair with all things denim ever since.

Although we adore our brands with a fierce loyalty, women have endured many incarnations of this iconic wardrobe staple.  We’ve paraded around with Gloria Vanderbilt, Calvin Klein and Jordache stamped on our derrieres. I’ve worn things that would warrant the Black Bar of Fashion Don’t Shame to hide my true identity when I donned trendy, less-than-flattering nightmares like jeggings (jean leggings), jorts (jean shorts) or that too-long denim skirt that made me bear an uncanny resemblance to Ma Ingalls.

In 1947, Wrangler introduced the “new jeans for cowboys.” But recently Wrangler made an inventive effort to reach out to the female consumer. And I bet their latest denim development has Jacob and Levi turning over in their graves – Wrangler Spa Denim Jeans – better known as moisturizing jeans. [Read more…]

Lost – The Home Game

man fridge

By the time I heard the refrigerator door open for the fifth time in less than a minute, I knew what was next.  Footsteps were heading in my direction, just like clockwork.

“Mom,” Older Boy asked, “Where’s the ketchup?”

There are only two possible answers to this question at our house – the fridge or the cabinet. Being in charge of condiment procurement and storage, I knew the correct answer was the fridge.

“Follow me,” I said. I opened the door and scooted the single gallon of milk a mere three inches to the right on the shelf.  This nearly imperceptible move immediately revealed a Costco-sized tankard of Heinz.

“Hmph,” he said grabbing the bright red plastic bottle filled with enough ketchup to liberally douse every French fry served on the 3-11 shift at any McDonalds.  “I didn’t see it.”

The reason, of course, is obvious; I spend my free time moving household items around to confuse him.

But I’m starting to wonder if we need to schedule a family visit at the eye doctor.  Because Younger Boy and The Husband also routinely experience this unique visual disturbance when looking for things.

Just last week, I heard what sounded like cabinet doors opening and closing in the other room.  A few minutes later, Younger Boy entered the room where I was sitting and asked, “Have you seen my tuba?”

Pause for a moment, if you will.

A tuba is not your typical household item.  Nor is it a diminutive and easily misplaced musical instrument like, say, a clarinet or kazoo.  When properly housed in its case, it bears an uncanny resemblance to a Volkswagen parked in a corner of my living room.  So, yes, not only have I seen the tuba, I’ve tripped over it in the middle of the night most notably when Younger Boy deposited it in the center of the room. At those moments in the dark of the night, I’m not usually referring to it as a tuba.

“Follow me,” I told Younger Boy, walking toward the living room.  He nearly tripped over it when we entered the room.

“So that’s where it is,” he said with relief. “I didn’t see it.”

So I wasn’t the least bit surprised the next morning when The Husband walked in the kitchen and asked, “Have you seen my wallet?”

Of course I’d seen it, when I was removing a couple of twenties.

“It’s on your desk.”

“I just looked,” he told me.  “It’s not there.”

“Follow me,” I said.  As we stood in front of his extremely tidy desk, I lifted a file folder to reveal his wallet.

“I didn’t see it,” he said grabbing his wallet and shoving it in his back pocket just before leaving the room.

I don’t know why they come in search of me when it’s time for Household Lost and Found.  Apparently, they believe I’m equipped with a homing device.  Sadly, boys, ovaries are not GPS enabled.

Then it dawned on me, eyesight isn’t the problem.  Their vision is just fine.  And it didn’t take a doctor visit to figure it out.  It’s obvious.

They can always find me.

So I have a plan.  I’m plastering a picture of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model, Kate Upton, on every object they might need to find. I guarantee I’ll never have to look for anything again.

I speak from personal experience; it worked for me.

Because I haven’t misplaced my car keys once, – since I got my Brad Pitt keychain.

How to Clean – The Teenage Years

Who needs a closet when there’s all this great floor space?

Wet bath towel on hundred-year-old hardwood floors. Yeah, that sounds about right.

When Younger Boy was little, I could always find him by following whatever trail he left behind. Not much has changed.

After the dehydration scare, at least he’s drinking something.

Younger Boy returned from the trip requiring this bag a month ago.

What you can’t see in this photo – on the back of the door are two extra-large hooks.

I’m not sure he’s ever made a bed. He may not know how. I have failed miserably.

Neatness has never been his strength.  Most of the time, I overlook it.  I choose my battles and tidiness has never been one of them. In small doses, a little messiness doesn’t ruffle my feathers.

But all of these photos occurred on the same afternoon.

I’m glad there’s not an audio for this photo. I was not happy when I turned around and spotted this food reaching the fossil stage.

After spotting the food nearing fossil formation, it put me over the edge.  I’ve never been particularly good at house cleaning, but I had some definite ideas for what I believed was the proper technique for this project. I think it was quite effective.

Problem solved.

The New Rules of the Working Mom Reality – Part 2

Recently, I explained the New Reality of the Working Mom to The Boys.  But after a few weeks in the trenches, I realized I left someone important out of the mix.  Someone else who needs learn the ins-and-outs of the Working Mom World.

That would be me.

I’m a little out of practice.

So to help those of you who are making that transition from stay-at-home-mom to Work for Pay, I’m going to share my experiences. It’ll save you a good solid month of workplace embarrassment.

You’re welcome. [Read more…]

It’s October – Get Your Mammogram

It’s breast cancer awareness month. Get your mammogram.  Remind someone you love to get theirs. I double dog dare you.

The Truth About New Car Envy

 

 

 

 

 

My friend thoughtfully offered to give me a ride.  So when an unfamiliar car pulled into my driveway, I barely glanced up.  But there was my friend, smiling and waving, sitting behind the wheel of a brand new car.

No wonder she was smiling.

When I opened the car door, there was no way to avoid it  – New Car Smell.

Now I had a bad case of New Car Envy.

If my truck smelled like that, I’d sleep in it.  But my vehicle is so old that in the State of Montana, it’s eligible for a Learner’s Permit.  And now it emits an odor that suggests I’ve used it on more than one occasion to transport roadkill.  [Read more…]

The New Rules of the Working Mom Reality

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Younger Boy and Older Boy,

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been at your beck and call for the last fourteen years.  I, your faithful indentured servant, have been available 24/7.  No lunch money?  I delivered.  Needed a ride?  I was there.  Forgot to clean your room?  It was done.

No doubt, I have been working.  And I’ve been well paid in the currency of stay-at-home momhood – glitter glue cards and spontaneous hugs.

But we’ve entered a new phase.  You’re both in high school and I’m bored.  So I’ve got BIG news. No, it’s NOT a baby brother.  [Read more…]

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