Thursday, April 25, 2013

A trip to the movies, with kids

Last week the kids and I joined my mom, sister and 4 year old nephew for a trip to the movie theatre.
This blog is based on a true story. These are actual events of that night. 

Anyone who was at the 6:55 showing of Oz the Great and Powerful at the AMC Theatre in Arlington, I want to express my sincere apologies. We knew not what we were doing.

It started off with running late. Of course. This is to be expected when taking multiple children anywhere. We begin by stocking my purse full of candy and snacks to avoid cashing out our 401ks. Then the potty assembly line is set in motion. We instruct the kids to use the bathroom before we leave because a) we all know they need to go and will realize it at the longest red light 5 miles from the theatre. And b) public restrooms are guh-rooooosss! Of course the kids respond in perfect harmony, “Noooo we don’t have to go.” The adults are tired, the kids are not, so they win and we load up. 

Mass confusion erupts because everyone wants to ride with grandma. There aren’t enough boosters in grandma’s car so the kids argue like lawyers in Divorce Court. Everyone just shut up!!!!!! Wait who said that? 

We play musical booster chairs and ultimately grandma ended up with 3 loud and annoying kids in her car while my sister and I take my car, alone with no kids and no screaming. Hehe! Sorry grandma. 

Strategically placed in front of the theatre is a station of damn gumball machines. The kids are hypnotized by the assortment of colors and all the choices. My sister thought it might take less time to let them each get a damn gumball rather than contend with the bottomless whining about not getting a damn gumball and how they reeeeally wanted a damn gumball. Grandma is reaching new levels of frantic because we are still late.
We get in line and every kid has decided those damn gumballs suck and need a place to spit them out. There’s $.75 my sister will never see again. We finally get to the front of the line (still late) and spend a million dollars. Of course my sister, Princess Save-a-Penny has some frequent movie go-ers pass she intends to redeem her $10. The lady behind the glass didn’t apply her discount at first and I knew my sister was mentally preparing for battle. I was backing away slowly. 

Grandma has a fear of everything. When the kids are frolicking outside you can always hear grandma somewhere saying, Watch out! Be careful! Don’t touch that! Don’t do that. Come back. Not so high. Not so hard. Easy! Nooooo! So naturally when her 3 grandkids are in front of an escalator she has horrific images of the kids being sucked in feet first and shredded up like tomatoes in a food processor. Wait! Hold my hand, don’t let go and don’t jump off, be still! Noooo! I don’t really care for escalators either.  Not because of the potential death hazard but because my kids think it’s funny to watch me have a mini seizure when they pretend to lick the hand rails. 

We barely make it upstairs alive (insert sarcasm for grandma). The kids scatter and I’m already exhausted and realize why they opened a bar in the theatre. 

We herd them all into the restroom and demand they each take a leak before the movie starts. Logan isn’t old enough to go in a stall by himself. He’s still ignorantly unaware of the different forms of herpes that reside on the rim of a public toilet seat. He’s short (everywhere) and conveniently lays his wiener on that middle section of the rim. My job is to instruct him to hold it not lay it down, and keep his free hand off the seat. He loves to flush, in public. At home, not so much. At home he uses the toilet as his personal feces crock pot and rarely uses the frequently sanitized handle. 

I can hear my nephew’s voice echo from the other end of the restroom defending that he didn’t touch “it” so he shouldn’t have wash his hands. 

We finally get into the theatre. It’s dark, the previews are almost done. We find our seats and begin to get situated. I’m distributing the candy and snacks. My nephew only knows how to speak in the form of questions. Even his statements sound like a question. He thinks if he hisses his voice then he is whispering, even if his hissing voice is decibels louder than his actual voice. (He gets that honest from his mom) The entire movie he whispers his questions. What him doing? Why? How come he do that? Why? Where they going? Why? More candy? Why? How come he said that? Why? Is that funny? Why?

On the way out of the movie, tactically placed by the exit were tons of games that each kid wanted to play. At least in the game area they didn’t have to “whisper” so we let them play for a little bit. Then the kids scattered to the escalator, cue grandma! Wait! Hold my hand, don’t let go and don’t jump off, be still! Noooo!

Movies with kids. So fun…..

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Food Fight!

Not the fun kind. Not the kind you see in the movies in cafeterias, but the kind that end with full plates, empty bellies and one hella mad mama. 

Instead of saying, “Ok guys, dinner’s ready!” I should stand on a chair and yell “FOOOOOOOD FIIIIGHT!” Because that’s what it is. Straight up battle of the wills. Try it, you’ll like it. It has cheese on it. You liked it when you were a baby. Eat before it gets cold. Gah for the love of mother monkey milk just put it in your mouth and chew! I give up, you’re excused. 

I was a picky eater as a child. I remember being afraid to try anything that didn’t resemble a chicken nugget or a French fry. One time I didn’t want to eat my green beans so I put them in my mouth then pretended to wipe my mouth with my napkin. But in actuality what I was doing was a spitting them into the napkin. I know, I know, impressive skills for a child. Oh how clever I thought I was. I decided the best place to discard the evidence was my parent’s bathroom trash can. Not the toilet, the trash can. Obviously I was discovered and went to bed with a red butt. 

I’m not sure if having a picky child is my punishment for the torture I caused my parents at the dinner table, but I’d rather pass a kidney stone through my eye ball!

I’ve tried it all. I’ve let her help me prepare the food. Most of which she won’t even touch. I’ve tried “kid friendly” recipes. Let me just say, I don’t know what kind of picky kids the magazines, blogs, articles and Oprah  are referring to but anything with pesto in it won’t be consumed by my kid. Or maybe their definition of “picky” means they prefer carrots over green beans or chicken over fish. But my kind of picky kid means the main food groups include and ARE limited to mac N’Cheese, grilled cheese, cheese taquitos, cheese pizza, chicken nuggets and lunchables. Basically the key ingredients to early onset diabetes. 

I’ve reached out to my mommy friends and their advice is consistent to what I already do. I make dinner, I serve dinner, if they don’t eat they don’t get a snack or anything else. Most nights Kylee goes to bed hungry and whiny. Granted, I was vice president in developing Kylee’s terrible eating habits. As a baby she ate whatever we fixed. There came a point when she began to refuse what we made and then we catered to her. Worst.Mistake.Ever. I believed she would grow out of it on her own and it would get easier as she got older. I repeat, worst mistake ever EVER! I’ve gone through stages of mother shame for this and I’m living out the consequences of it now so to those who told me so, don’t tell me so. I already know.
I’m looking forward to the day that this battle is won and dinner time doesn’t leave me looking like this:

Dear Dinner Time,
I want you to go suck on a piece of jagged wood until your mouth is filled with splinters and then drink a cup of salt water vinegar. You and I are NOT friends. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Keep Calm and Marry On

Way before I met the love of my life, (I love you Kurt) back when I was just a spectator of stressed out brides I remember telling myself, “I will never get that worked up over a wedding.” I am now eating those fondant covered words. My current self would like to go back in time and kick my past self in the forehead.

I can plan the heck out of a birthday party. I’m the queen of Evites, cupcakes, balloons and goodie bags. But when it comes to weddings I am a natural disaster and I’m faux pas-ing all over the place. Breaking every tradition known to bride.  There are actual cave-women brides rolling over in their graves at my wedding planning capabilities. Or should I say incapability’s.  I know more about testicular cancer than I do about planning a wedding yall. For real. 

So, I’ve compiled a list of things NOT to do while planning a wedding.

1. Don’t share your ideas with anyone, including the groom. JUST KIDDING! Kind of. When you share your ideas with people you are opening yourself up to a LOT of unsolicited opinions. Before you know it you are second guessing everything about YOUR day.  And when you tell the groom your ideas their response is either a grunt, a head nod, or a “whatever you want babe.” It isn’t until you actually make and purchase a decision that they give you their opinion. (I love you Kurt)

2. Don’t delegate. Because YOUR day doesn’t mean spit to anyone else. When you entrust responsibilities to others you will find yourself doing a bunch of follow ups on the task only to be greeted with the disappointment that they haven’t done a thing you asked. Then you will transform into Grumpy McGrumper pants and no one will like you. Including the groom. (I love you Kurt!)

3. If you like it, buy it. Like right NOW! Go to the register immediately. If you say to yourself, “I’ll come back for that” you will be exceedingly irate when the 14 year old Hobby Lobby associate looks at you like you just asked her who the president of Saudi Arabia is. She will go get a manager who will then be 50 shades of pissed that she had to leave her station to help you find this unknown object that apparently Hobby Lobby only manufactured a few of and are apparently sold out of and she doesn’t know if or when they will get more in because she really doesn’t know what the nap-sack you’re talking about in the first place.  Just buy it now and save yourself the eruption of inner fury later. 

4. Stay off of Pinterest! I know it’s so tempting not to browse the Wedding category to see if anything new has been pinned. But don’t browse things you have already checked off of your list. If your bouquets are done, don’t look at bouquets. If your dress is bought, don’t look at dresses. If your invitations are printed, don’t look at invitations. If your groom is already picked. Ahhhh gotcha! Catch my vibe? Otherwise you’ll find yourself exceeding your budget, making more trips to Hobby Lobby and buying more burlap then you know what to do with. Trust me. 

5.  If you have any friends getting married, do not compare your plans to theirs. This is hard. Girls are to weddings as boys are to ESPN. We could talk about it all day long. This is fine as long as you don’t start questioning your own plans. Each bride is different and each budget is different. You just be you, let your friends be who they are. 

6. Don’t freak out. (insert sarcastic laughter here_____) After all the planning is complete and your money is gone and you have an abundance of burlap and silk ribbon left over. You still have your best friend who will be at the altar waiting to say I DO regardless of the flower arrangements, which hor d'oeuvres are being served, what kind of shoes you’re wearing or what the final head count is.

I might need to add to this list later because my planning is not completed yet. Sigh. 

I mean this in the best of ways, I can’t wait until this wedding is over! (I love you Kurt)

Friday, April 12, 2013

What really matters....

Sometimes its extremely easy to get distracted by the daily stuff we face. Difficult people, bills, time outs, homework, practice, games, groceries, laundry, dishes, errands and other stuff. But then there are moments captured that make all that stuff, just stuff

And this is one of those moments:

I'm calling it, perspective.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Letter to All Dead Beat Dads

Dear Ass Hat, 

I am writing this letter to you on behalf of all the single mothers who struggle on a monthly, weekly, daily and hourly basis as a result of your selfish and immature outlook on being a cooperative co-parent. When I use the term “struggle” I am not referring solely to financial struggle. It is emotional and mental struggle as well. Maybe the thought hasn’t crossed your simple little mind yet that the mental and emotional well being of the one raising your children should be considered somewhat of a priority to you. Because guess what? If the primary care giver is losing her Schmidt every day it could quite possibly affect your kids! Ya know, the ones you claim to love. I will redefine love later in this letter for you as well. 

You place all the weight of raising children on the shoulders of one person, they are destined to snap. It’s okay that you barely got out of high school with a diploma. You don’t have to be valedictorian to know that one person can’t carry the weight for two dumbass. We appreciate the abundance of confidence you have in us to provide for every single friggin need and demand of our little lovelies without any help from you. But your lack of give-a-damn goes hand in hand with our inner bitch. And the inner bitch wouldn’t come out if you would throw your toddler pants away and try on your big boy pants for once. Just see if they fit. 

I realize you would rather menstruate monthly than send money to your ex-wife. In your mind you’re sending money to fund her Pinterest addictions and many shopping sprees. But please believe me, any money you send goes into her household budget. Did I just loose you? Sorry, I will refrain from using such big and scary words. The money you send eventually ends up in the kid’s stomachs in the form of food; Or on their backs in the form of clothing. Sometimes it goes towards their afterschool care. If you were unaware, that ain’t free honey. You know those games you miss because you’re on vacation? There were registration and uniform fees to join that team. The vehicle that took them to those games usually comes with a car payment, insurance and gas. It could also come in the form of clean children. The water was crucial to the bath they had last night and the electricity was a big help when doing homework. All of these things took place under a roof that was also, wait for it… wait for it…NOT FREE ass clown. So while you’re white knuckling your coach wallet and jumping through every ring of fire and finding every loop hole to avoid paying child support, you are only hindering the quality of food and clothes your kids consume and wear; And the amount of extra activities they get to participate in. Yes it also hinders our mental state because we stress ourselves bald making sure our kids don’t go without because they have a selfish man child as their sperm donor. 

And while driving your ex wife insane is a guilty pleasure of your’s, please know that your kids had to suffer in order for you to cause any anguish to us. You can’t punish us, without somehow punishing them first. Also, just a side note and something you might want to jot down on a post it somewhere… That divorce decree signed by a judge wasn’t a suggestion letter or optional list of instructions on how to be a man. It was an actual legal binding contract that you’re supposed to adhere to regardless of what a douche you are at heart. And while escaping your legal responsibilities has become a sport in your little world, (and you’re a pro at it) eventually your feet will be held to the fire. You will be forced into submission sooner or later. Since the legal system is bottle necked with stubborn, childish, dead beat dads, it will most likely be later.

But believe me, like Wyatt Earp once said, “  Tell all the other curs the LAW'S coming! You tell 'em I'M coming... and Hell's coming with me, you hear?! Hell's coming with me!” 

So about this love word you toss around as often as you switch out girlfriends. Stop using it until you understand what it means. Just because you donated the goods to produce the kids doesn’t mean you naturally love them. Love is intentional, not natural. Love is an action and a choice. It’s demonstrated through your choices; The good and bad ones. Love is expressed in how you spend/waste your time, energy and money. Love is sacrificial. Love is not sending a random text about how much you miss and love them after you have passed up opportunities to spend time with them because it wasn’t your custodial day.

Side note: Isn’t it ironic how the only time the divorce decree is implemented in your life is when it’s in reference to your custodial time with them?

Your juvenile and irresponsible choices are a direct expression of your love towards your kids. Unstable life decisions leave your children with a gaping hole of insecurity in their hearts. That insecurity will breed fear and eventually they will develop trust issues with you.  And the older they get the more aware they become. You will naturally need someone to pin this on and I am assuming you will elect your ex-wife for your distant relationship with your own children. But truth is your children are smart little farts. They aren’t house pets without any concept of their surroundings. Their disappointment in you will be the natural result of broken promises and lies. Not because mommy rolled her eyes the last time you called. 

In closing, you can’t possibly look in the mirror and see DAD OF THE YEAR. I mean, right? Here is a simple check list. When you have the majority of these items checked, you can consider yourself a dad. Until then, you’re just the guy who helped create kids. 

E     Employed (like with taxes taken out and everything)
       Own housing not provided by a girlfriend or parents
       Own car (also not provided for by a girlfriend or parents)
       Pays child support (not $20 here and there when you’re feeling generous.)
       Quality time (not sitting next to the kids on the couch while watching Sponge Bob)
       Makes promises – Keeps promises (this one is kinda crucial, you’ll see why one day)
       Supports (financially and morally) in the daily dealings of the kids
       Don’t suck!


Struggling Single Mother