Monday, August 20, 2012

Who Needs Sleep, Tell Me What's That For?

Sleep, a word whose meaning escapes my children.  According to the dictionary, "sleep" means to be dormant and inactive.  Someone should give my children a vocabulary lesson because between the three of them, I get no sleep.  There is someone constantly coming into our room during the night with different "problems."  They need to get this synchronized so that at least we could get everyone taken care of all at one time instead of making this an all night long affair.  Oh, and when I say "we", I mean "me" because my husband is completely unaware of the drama being played out by his offspring as he snores his way through the complaints and the fake coughs in the wee hours of the morning as if they are competing for an Oscar (check here to see if your husband also suffers from HHS).

For the past decade, I have not had a complete night's sleep.  My kids never sleep, at least not on the same choreographed night.  Someone is always sick, and there is always an alarm going off when I finally get the opportunity to drift off to sleep.  This makes the day following one of those nights an awesome experience enhanced by a cup of coffee that seems to be super glued to the palm of my hand (you've seen the beer hats, I need a coffee one).  Anything that comes out of my mouth probably does not make complete sense and sounds as if I have been drinking; only I haven't had that luxury because someone has to take care of everyone and that someone would be me.

There have been days when I wanted to call in sick, because I was so tired, to see if someone else could play the role of "Mommy" for the day.  I picture it playing out like it does in the soap operas that I no longer have time to watch even if I did DVR them: there would be an announcer stating, "The role of 'Mommy' will be played today by blah blah blah."  I am sure my kids would freak out, inciting nightmares that would cause more sleepless nights and probably several therapy visits. 

Motherhood, you don't get paid for it, but it can be a beast of a job while being the best job. 

**Note to new first-time mothers: If your baby is sleeping through the night, wonderful (no sarcasm intended)!!!  Just know that when your child is mobile and not in a baby bed, she will not sleep through the night anymore, and will aimlessly wander around your house looking for ways to wake you up....make sure the knife and scissor drawers are locked, there is no standing water in your bathtub (on second thought, the toilets should be on lock down too), all household cleaners are out of reach (but, if you have a climber, just lock them up too...the cleaners, not your child), all outside doors are locked and pray that your child doesn't know how to unlock them and wander outside in the night while you lay peacefully sleeping (or just get a house alarm, that way you will know if anyone opens a door or a window).  Now, sleep well!  This is why I do not sleep, maybe I should seek therapy... - I will pretend to be asleep until Mommy goes to sleep. I will then cry so that she has to wake up. I will play this game all night long because I can...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What NOT to do in the Car Pool Line: Are You an Offender?

Over the past four years, I have had the pleasure of sitting in six different car pool lines for an approximate total of 23,760 minutes which is 396 hours or 16.5 days (based on spending 33 minutes a day, 22 days a month for 9 months a year).  Wow, what I could do with all that time!  Not the point.  The point is that I have observed a lot of different people in car pool lines.  Which means I have observed a lot of people doing weird and/or annoying things in car pool lines.  21 days of my life so far spent in car pool lines....maybe I should have written a blog on that.  But I'm not, I am writing about what you should NOT do in a car pool line.  Remember, other people can see you....

1.  Do not pick your nose.  I know, I am going with the obvious one first.  We tell our kids not to pick their nose at school, and yet, there you are, their parent, picking your nose in front of all of their friends' parents.  Not the classiest move you have ever made, nor the most sanitary.

2.  Stop singing at the top of your lungs.  Especially if your windows are down.  Odds are, you are not a great singer, even if you think you have a chance of winning American Idol, so the rest of us do not want to hear your rendition of a ballad or, better yet, "Baby Got Back" (true story, I have heard someone do this in the car pool line).  If you must sing, make sure your windows are indeed up, and use your inside voice.

3.  Do not bring vomiting children.  If you have another child in the car with you who has to open the door to vomit outside the car more than once (I'm giving you some wiggle room here with "once" because maybe you did not know they were sick before you got in the car pool line), leave that child at home with another care giver.  If that is not an option, get to the school early enough to check out your other child so that the person behind you in the car pool line do not have to watch a continuous reenactment of something they never wanted to watch.

4.  Do not be disrespectful of other people's time.  If your child is ALWAYS the last kid out to the pick up line, do not continuously be the first person in the car pool line so that everyone else waits an extra ten minutes DAILY so that your child can lolly gag through the school.  Some people are so rude and clueless.

5.  Do not keep your doors open.  If your car is clean on the inside, keep the automatic doors shut in the car pool line.  I am sincerely glad (and mostly jealous) that your car looks like it just got detailed, but keeping your automatic doors open everyday in line is just showing off.  Close your doors, you are making the rest of us look bad (read Ode to My Minivan here).

6.  Do not shout profanity and use ugly gestures to the other parents.  Why?  Because you have to see them EVERYDAY.  These are the people that you will be spending at least 16.5 days of your life with, I don't think that causing tension is the smartest way to go here.  However, a little horn blowing never hurt (car pool road rage: read about it here).

7.  Do not fall asleep.  At least without setting the alarm clock on your cell phone.  I get so frustrated when parents fall asleep and do not know that the car pool line is moving.  Horn honking does not always work in the case.  If you are the car behind this moron, and honking is not working, get your un-showered self out of your car (I don't care who sees that your clothes don't match), and knock on the clueless snoozing  person's window.  Hopefully it will shame them into setting an alarm next time.

8.  Do not get so into your reading that you do not know what is going on around you.  If you are one of those people who checks out on the world around you when you are reading, this is probably not the best way to pass your time in a car pool line.  If the school could blow up and you wouldn't notice, then you should probably put the book down.  If little aliens jump out of the car in front of you and start dancing on every one's care and you wouldn't notice, then you should probably put the book down.  If an entire car line can disappear in front of you because they have already picked up their kids and a gazillion car horns are honking at you and you wouldn't notice, then you should probably put the book down.  Just saying....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top 5 Pet Peeves

Pet peeves.  Everyone has them.  Even those of you who pretend that you don't (which is annoying because we all know you do).  Not that long ago I asked my readers what their pet peeves were.  Amazingly enough, a lot of them were the same ones that I have, but to spare you the long list, I have narrowed the list down to the top five.  So, without further ado, here are the Top 5 Pet Peeves:

1.  People over the age of 18 (and honestly those younger are annoying too) saying "like" every other word.  It like makes them sound like so young and even like uneducated.  Like, you know what I, like, mean?  All that was missing from those two sentences was someone snapping and smacking their gum.  Which leads me to Pet Peeve #2....

2.  People who do not know how to chew gum.  I am glad that you enjoy your gum, but I do not enjoy seeing it in your mouth or hearing you smack it.  Spit it out or close your mouth.

3.  Adults still trying to be "cool."  High school is over people, and for some of you, it is more in the past than for others.  So for the love of all that is good and holy, stop trying to be so cool because nobody cares.   Girls (um, I mean women), looking down your nose at people because you think that you are better than them was eye-rolling in high school, embarrassing in college, and now it makes you look down right stupid, get a life.  Again, no one cares, we are too busy being un-cool to our kids.  Oh, and guys, if you have to do the "head toss" to get your hair out of your eyes and you are over the age of 25, get a haircut because you are not fooling anyone about your age (or your hair loss).

4.  One-uppers.  You know these people, there is one in every crowd.  You cannot tell a story without them trying to top it with one of their own.  If your kid took off his diaper and repainted the walls with his poop, then their kid did that plus painted the floor with it and projectile vomited all over the ceiling.  I am not sure why some people want to have the worst child in the group, but some do.  It is one thing to feel sorry for someone and tell them that your child has done something similar, but to ALWAYS have a "better" story is a bit frustrating.

5.  People who do not know how to have a face to face conversation.  They are too busy looking around or past you.  Or they are too busy with their phone and will not stop playing with it while trying (ineffectively I might add) to have a conversation with the person in front of them.  Technology has made some people socially stupid.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Life Gets Hard After Kindergarten

School has started for my two oldest children.  To be a little more specific, the fake illnesses and car pool line rage has started.  There is nothing like hundreds of parents trying to drop off their elementary students at school to spark a road rage like nothing seen on the highway.  To be honest, I would have no problems with the car pool line if it were not for the clueless people who refuse to follow the rules or are so lost in their own world that they do not realize that there are other people in the world around them that would like to coexist without being ticked off to the point of screaming and honking their horn.  Not that I ever do the latter, well, much anyway.  Although that has happened, you can read about that here

The first day of school is important to every child.  For the parents too if we really want to be honest.  Probably even more so for us.  No matter how much some of us like to pretend that we cannot wait for our kids to go back to school at the end of the summer, let's face it, it is easier for them to be at home.  When they are at home there is no homework to check over, no school anxieties to deal with, no getting up at the butt crack of dawn to take our kids somewhere that we just have to turn around and wait in a car  pool line for an hour to pick them up.  See, summer is easier.  During the summer, I did not have to peel one child off of my leg to leave her somewhere or have the other child disown me publicly.  Summer was easier on my ego....well, if we leave the having to wear a bathing suit at the pool part.

My middle child started first grade this week, and, after dealing with school anxiety in kindergarten, we were all hoping that first grade would be different.  It appeared to be as she was really excited about the first day of school.  Then I had to peel her off of my leg in order to leave her in the classroom.  Great, another year of fake illnesses coming up.  My oldest child is now in the fourth grade.  I attempted to walk her to her classroom, but she would only let me go as far as the front of the school.  I was completely disowned by my kid in front of the school.  Apparently, at least in front of the student body, I am not as cool as she thinks I am when we are listening to music and dancing around the kitchen while cooking dinner.  Then again, she did tell me that I was weird then too.  I might as well face it, I think I have lost all of my cool points with her.  The first day of school should really be followed by a support group of mothers at the local bar where margaritas are on the house.

Oh, but the first day of school got even better, I still had to pick them up.  The car pool line was insane, full of people who obviously did not know their head from a hole in the ground (really, these people should be a little embarrassed at this point).  These people even thought they should be in the car pool line a full hour before school was out!  Seeing that I did not feel that way (and I am sure that my two-year old that had to tag along thanked me for that), I was really far back in the line which did not bode well with my first grader since she asked me to be near the front of the line.  When asked how her day had gone, she replied with "great."  A sense of relief flowed through me.  Then I was slapped with "well, except...."  Apparently first grade, unlike kindergarten, did not have a long enough lunch time (although this child takes two hours to eat a sandwich, so I am not sure how long "enough" really is) so she did not get to eat her lunch [she only ate the grapes], recess was not long enough because she "didn't even get hot" (although it was like 110 degrees outside), and there was no nap time (ouch, I hear her on that one).  The good part of her day was that they sorted colors with Skittles, and the teacher let them bring home the candy to eat.  She then said, "but I guess I can't eat those since we can't have candy."  After learning her assumption was correct, she grumpily said that they did not have snack time either but they would tomorrow and could only bring fruit. 

First grade girl was still scowling out of the window when the too-cool-for-me fourth grade chick got in the van.  Apparently her day was great, but there was a homework assignment for me.  Wonderful, love these, they make my day (said no mother ever who was in her right mind).  My assignment, should I chose to accept it (which, by the way, I am thinking of not), is to write an essay about my daughter so that the teacher can know more about her.  Somehow I am thinking that simply writing "she is wonderful because she is mine" is not going to be acceptable or helpful.  It was then that my disappointed-she-is-not-still-in-kindergarten first grader sighed while looking out the window and made the intuitive statement, "Life sure does get harder after kindergarten."  If she only knew... maybe she should read my blog. - The first day of school should be followed by a mom support group at the local bar.