Monday, February 25, 2013

The Perfect Family Vacation

            “When are we taking our yearly vacation?” my littlest ball of sunshine asks. Yearly vacation????? I think to myself. We don’t vacation.
            I can’t take my darlings to the local grocery store without them fighting, and they want to take a vacation? Not on your life, I think. If I go on a vacation it is going to be a fight free, complaint free, kid free adventure. I am not trapping myself in a car, or on a plane, or in a boat, or on a train with my argumentative little monsters. On my imaginary retreat I will not hear:   “He’s touching me,” “She’s staring at me,” “I don’t want to do that,” “I don’t want to go there,” “Make him stop copying me,” “Make him stop copying me,” “I have to pee again,” or “Are we there yet?”
            My idea of the perfect family vacation comes a lot closer to fruity summer drinks, a cabana, a massage, and a pool boy (ok, he’s negotiable). Ha, you're there already. Well, wait for me. I have to get my bikini. Hey, it’s my fantasy vacation, so I get to be a size two.
            “So,” my littlest bundle of positive energy sucks me out of my perfect fantasy escape, “when are we taking our yearly vacation?”
            Not wanting to disillusion my youngest bundle of love because he is the only one who still thinks I am fabulous, I say, “Remind me honey, where did we go last year?”
            “The same place we go every year,” he explains to me in the same voice he uses when we go visit his ninety-eight year old papa, “Seattle.”
             “You're right,” I lie, “now, I remember. We had so much fun, didn’t we?”
            I know, I know, it was wrong, but who am I to strip him of his treasured childhood memories. Even if they aren’t real, they are good ones. And believe me, he’s gonna need those fake ones. The reality around here isn’t so pretty.
            And we actually did go on a vacation to Seattle a few years back.  So, it isn’t like a complete lie. Well, the yearly part is certainly a fabrication. That one and only family vacation inspired me to develop the perfect family vacation criteria.  
            But I can’t break his sweet little heart with these sad truths, so I sadly explain, “we probably won’t make it this year, sweetheart. Oh, and before I forget, we lost the pictures of your first birthday party.  But, in case you can’t remember, We had a clown.“

Monday, February 18, 2013

Being A Parent Is A Tough Job

            My beloved teenage girl had one of those boring events that we feel obligated to attend because of our parental duties. Somehow, during the hours prior to this event, I must have annoyed that lovely girl of mine because during dinner that evening she politely asked her Dad to attend with her. 
            “I thought that you wanted me to go,” I calmly stated.
            “Nope,” she (just as calmly) stated in return. “I’d rather go with Dad.” 
            “Okay,” I responded, “Have a good time.” 
            “What was that all about?” my partner in this parenthood gig gently asked me. 
            “I guess she’s miffed at me,” I explained, “So she wants you to take her.”
            “Are you alright with that?” he asks, concern etching his face.
            “Absolutely sweetheart,” I laughed, “I didn’t really want to go. It is exhausting trying to pretend you’re not bored out of your mind and even harder to feign interest in the other parents-of-teenagers held hostage by these mind-numbing events. I just feel bad that I upset her today.”
            “Well that’s not really fair,” my husband declared sullenly, “you upset her and now I’m the one being punished…”
            Like I said, being a parent is a tough job. Sometimes being the favored parent is even tougher.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Has Anyone Seen My Ear Plugs?

           Please don’t judge me, it was a complete accident. I swear. I actually stumbled across it and once it happened. I just couldn’t seem to stop doing it. I already want to do it tomorrow. Stop it; you're making me feel guilty. Alright, I will start at the beginning…
            My husband snores. Oh, I don’t mean that cute little sound your husband might make as he’s dreaming his nighty-night dreams. It’s more of a catastrophic sound that makes you want to smother him with a pillow and try for an insanity defense. It is the kind of racket that shakes the walls. Even the dogs two houses over have been known to howl. I am not exaggerating when I say that previous neighbors have complained to landlords. I don’t blame them, if I didn’t love him I would move.
            So out of desperation I bought ear plugs and they were amazing. I bought nice soft ones in pretty colors and I think they may have saved my marriage. They certainly saved my husband’s life. I haven’t whacked him in the ribs since I started wearing my new bedtime accessory. I haven’t lodged myself against the wall and heaved with my feet until his coma-like body falls completely off the bed. I haven’t had to drag my pillow and blankie to the lumpy couch and suffer lower lumbar pain as well as sleep deprivation. I haven’t slugged my husband upon his bright-eyed wakefulness and left him wondering if I am on my period, yet again. 
            OK, OK. I’ll tell you what I did; I might-have-sorta-kinda left them in all day yesterday because as an added bonus, it might-have-sorta-kinda muted the kids too. Yes, I kinda feel bad. Hey, I already begged you to not judge me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Scavenger Hunt

            This week’s blog is going to focus on the brilliance of other mothers who find creative ways to deal with the boredom of their little people and how we can pull from their ideas and experiences. I am always amazed at how brilliant our colleagues in this parenting gig can be.
            Recently, two lovely girls came to our door to acquire something on their scavenger hunt list. I was more than happy to oblige them and making conversation while filling their list request, I asked them about the group they belonged to: youth group, birthday party, girl scouts, etc. I was absolutely astounded and amazed when these lovely young people clarified that they, in fact, did not belong to any such organizations. Their remarkable mother had engineered the scavenger hunt as a way to get their bored little bodies out of the house. Truly an inspired woman!
            In contemplating her brilliance, I decided that I would make a few modifications to our scavenger hunt experience. Since I haven’t checked the registered sex offender list lately, I am only going to send my bored little bunnies to people I know. I also decided to adjust her list because hers consisted of silly items: one red crayon, one shiny new penny, a black button, a deflated balloon, a lollipop, and a feather. My list would be far more enticing. My scavenger hunt list would include: scotch tape (why am I always out of that? I swear I just bought some), toilet paper (because I am always out of that), cough syrup (so I don’t have to run to the store), chocolate (of course!), vodka (I am not even going to try to justify that one), and a crisp twenty dollar bill!