Monday, September 30, 2013


I am not one to devalue an education, now having said that, I am going scream... I hate homework! I am sitting at the kitchen table, the frustration building and building, trying to get my child to focus. 

How do teachers do this? Everyday? I think teachers are amazing. I can’t seem to teach my very own offspring the very basics educationally, and I love them. How do they do it when they don’t love them? How do they do it when they don’t even like them? There is no way a teacher likes all of his or her students. Not all of the time anyway. Hell, I don’t always like my own kids. I especially don’t like the one that doesn’t already know how to multiply/divide fractions! 

I raise my head off the table (I was previously banging my head against the table top) and protest, “you are making this harder than it has to be.”

“Don’t yell at me,” he whines. 

“I am not yelling!” At least I think I wasn’t yelling. There is a buzzing in my head and I was trying to be louder than it. 

Seriously, I think, is this really necessary? I can’t ever recall a time my parents sat down with me and did homework. As a matter of fact, my parents’ motto was that it wasn’t their homework; it was mine, therefore I needed to do it on my own. A task I didn’t follow through with regularly. 

Then again, I spent my teenage years hanging out with kids who knew all the alternative uses for glue. I begrudgingly remind myself that because of my negligence towards responsibility and my affinity for other amusements, I wasted most of my early adult years working crap jobs. I didn’t work my way back to college until I was in my mid-thirties. I know that I don’t want that future for my little guy.

“Take a deep breath,” I say (more for my benefit than his). Then I capture his little face in my hands and say, “you are the brightest crayon in the box, so we can do this……”

Monday, August 19, 2013

Who colored on you?

When my littlest was younger he was a calm, quiet, little guy. He was content to simply sit back and watch the world unfold around him. He wasn’t that child that would talk to anyone. In fact, he rarely exchanged information verbally with strangers. If you, the stranger, approached him to chat about how cute he was, he would simply smile at you while holding tightly onto me, his savior; his mom. 

Being the mom of other children, I loved these traits in my youngest bundle of love. My oldest was brave, bold, and adventurous. He was born ready to explore the world and its inhabitants. By himself. He didn’t want my help. He didn’t need me or my guidance. 

So, I relished my littlest and his sweet personality. I could take him shopping without incident. He didn’t want to go off by himself. Hell, he didn’t even want out of the cart. He didn’t have tantrums for candy bars. He was a perfect replica of a perfect boy: cute, cuddly, and silent. He would never say embarrassing things to strangers because he wouldn’t talk to them. It was awesome. 

Until...we were standing in line with a very ominous looking guy covered in tattoos standing behind us. Head to toe, tattoos. This guy was huge, intimidating, and unfriendly. He didn’t smile at my adorable boy.  He didn’t smile at anyone. Being the diligent, overprotective mother, I physically tried to block my preciousness from view. But my boy wasn’t hiding behind my motherly strength; he was twisting and turning to get a better view of this daunting creature of manliness behind me. 

And out of nowhere, completely to my horror, my boy says, “Who colored on you?” 

The big scary guy laughed all the way out of the store.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Little Ears Have Big Mouths

If you have been following along on this little road trip down Parenthood Lane, you know that my mom is extremely critical of me. She actually acts as if I couldn’t parent a hermit crab. Okay, I will admit to losing him once, but I found him crawling around three days later. I also have an inability to keep houseplants alive. But I have not lost a child, well not permanently anyway. 

We (as in my precious little family) just finished a very long visit at the grandparents. Now, before we left our own home this morning, I went through the litany of rules I always mandate before going to grandmas: Do not talk back. Do not fight. Say please and thank you, even if you don’t mean it. Don’t tell Grandpa to chew with his mouth closed. In fact, don’t run, don’t jump, and don’t play. Just sit. Quietly. 

I don’t want a phone call when I get home. Do you know what I am talking about? Does your mother do this to you? After finally releasing the breathe I have been holding since my little family returned to our own abode, my phone will ring. It’s my mom. It goes something like this:

“Mom,” I say exasperated already, “He is four.”

“He called me a liar,”  she scathes into the phone. 

Oh shit, flows into my brain, followed by, hmmmm, he must have heard me. 

“I realize that, and there is no excuse for it,” except that it’s true, I think but do not say. 

“You need to take care of this,” she angrily responds.

 “Of course Mother,” I reply.

That angry telephone exchange is followed by one of the most important conversations we can have with our little echoes; don’t repeat what mommy says when she is ranting about grandma.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pissing Contest

This may not be politically correct, but I have decided that parenting is a pissing contest. 
Seriously, don’t you feel like you are always in a power struggle with your little people? It gets really old, doesn’t it? The same issues, day in and day out. It can really wear you down. So, I have developed some standard responses to my young challengers:

~I’ll be the mom today. 
~Sorry, you’re not old enough to vote, so you’re not allowed to veto. 

~I didn’t receive your part of the mortgage, so you can not do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want, in my house. 

~One of us is going to win this, I bet it’s gonna be me. How much are you willing to wager?

~Google Andrea Yates and then decide if you want to keep pushing me.  

 ~I haven’t heard from your attorney, so your appeal is denied.

~If I am so dumb, how come I have all the power?  

~Just fill out the complaint form and put it in the box marked ‘garbage’.

And my very favorite: 

~As the warden of this prison, I get to see the sunshine, taste the steak, and smell the flowers. Keep it up kid, and you won’t be able to say the same.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Can I PLEASE get on a waiting list???

What follows is an email I sent to Waste Management Customer Care last Friday.

Dear Waste Management,

As you are probably aware, the yard waste containers are back ordered. When I call Waste Management to inquire about a waiting list, I am informed that I must pay for the service in order to be on the list.

Before you email me back with the standard, "the can is a courtesy, we don't charge you for" b.s., allow me to point out that you provide the can normally (therefore, some of us don't have extra cans or lawn bags and don't want to spend money on something that you normally provide, and will provide when they come in). It feels sorta like giving me a bowl of soup without a spoon, and then telling me I can not complain because you weren't going to charge me for the spoon.

And yes, I am aware that I can call you every morning to see if they have arrived, but as your customer care specialists have pointed out, it is unlikely that I will get one because I am not on the list.

Now that we have covered the standard reply when I call your company, let me tell you my issue:

I don't mind waiting for a yard waste container while they are being ordered. However, I do mind being charged for a service I can not utilize. I take great issue with the fact that you would require me to pay for the service or not allow me to be put on a waiting list. I would like to think that my standing, as a long time customer of Waste Management, would have more value to you.

I would like to suggest that you generate a list for your loyal customers, without making them pay for it. Please allow me to point out two things for you: A list is free, so it cost you nothing to show consideration for your customers and provide a courtesy list. And that this situation isn't created by any failure on the part of your customers, but because you can't provide a component of a service that you offer.

Thank you for taking your time to help solve this issue. I look forward to finding a workable solution that doesn't require me to pay to be on a waiting list.

Guess who got a yard waste container yesterday...