Thursday, September 16, 2010

That Mom

So my little D2 started gymnastics at one of those "we'll teach your kid to do a somersault for a ridiculous amount of money" franchises. D2 really has a good time, and if you will allow me to brag, she's pretty awesome at it.

But, something has been driving me nuts. Her twenty-something instructor, who also happens to be the co-owner, along with her Father (ahem), keeps her cell phone in her pocket during class. She takes it out and looks at it every few minutes. It bugs the hell out of me! How much am I paying? And she's totally disinterested in teaching her class? Plus, a few times while she was checking it, she should have been spotting kids, and instead used only one hand to help them - totally inadequate! Three classes went by, and she kept doing it.

So being anti-confrontation, I sent her an email. After I hit send, I re-read it,and thought uh-oh! a little harsh! But oh well, she deserved it, I figured. And no, I did not sign it "a fellow texting addict" she didn't need to know THAT.

About an hour after I sent the email, Miss Gymnast called me. Arghhh! Did I mention I hate confrontation? This is what she said: "I received your email, and appreciate the feedback, however, I think their is a misunderstanding. I don't keep my cell phone in class, in fact it's not allowed. I keep the remote to the stereo system in my pocket. I use it to change the music"

Oh, uh, surrey. Hmmmm, guess I should be wearing those glasses after all.

Hello, my name is Jenny, and I'm an Asshole.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The First Day of the Rest of Our Lives

My D1 just finished up her first week of kindergarten. Sending her off that first day was momentous. Watching her walk up the steps of the bus was a literal step up to the next stage of her life. My baby! Gone. A part of the machine. After a couple of days, though, it dawned on me. She wasn't the only one sucked into the machine. I was, too.

For the past five years, as a stay at home Mom, I've been pretty much on my own. No real schedules or deadlines to meet that weren't of my own making. I did what I wanted, when I wanted. Of course, don't let that statement mislead you. It's not like we stayed up all night and slept till noon. But still, it was a laid back sort of life style.

Now our schedules will be dictated by school and extra-curricular activities. Bus times and homework. Morning routines and bedtime routines. And by the time D2 graduates, It will have been 15 years of this routine for me! Have I mentioned to you that I get bored of things easily? 15 years of this? Wow. I mean, I know it will change in a few years as they get older. But still, take the dropping off at the bus(because the bus stop is almost a mile away, I drive her there - ridiculous!) I'm thinking I can't let them walk there by themselves till fourth grade, at the earliest. Which means when D2 is in fourth grade - five years from now! And I'm already hating this part of the routine, after day 4!

And yes, I know, I haven't even made it into homework battles! My brother told me about the homework struggles with his 7th grader. When my bro told his son to write one more sentence in each paragraph of his essay, my dear nephew wrote at the end of each paragraph "this is one more sentence" Sarcasm runs in the family.

Oh, and did I mention the politics of it all? Suddenly, I'm concerned with how cool D1 appears. Are the kids making fun of her for her shoes not quite matching her outfit? Because her pig tails are a little too wild? And where is my place in things? Do I give her a hug or a high five at the bus stop? When can I email her teacher to ask how things are going?

It never dawned on me that having children would mean going through school all over again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


So first of all, I know, I know. It's been MONTHS. Months. And you thought you were over me, you no longer looked to see if I was around, no longer cared if I cared. And then suddenly, here I am again. Consider this your bloggy booty call. I'm back. For tonight, at least. Just looking to have a good time is all. Guess I just didn't want to be alone tonight. Alone with these bizarre thoughts running through my head, that is. No, I haven't been drinking. I just can't stop thinking about you.

Here's what's on my mind: I thought I was pretty normal. I had a few hang-ups but nothing too major. Or so I thought. I have a friend who is in the same boat as me. The staying-home-with-two-girls-and-trying-to-deal ship. We talk a lot. Confide in each other. But over time it has become clear that maybe I'm over-sharing. She has pointed out that maybe my little quirks are more like a little bit of crazy. Neurotic. There, I said it. Neurotic. Yeah, I gotta touch of the neuroses.

Well, first came the banana incident. We were road tripping to some sort of children's activity, and my friend, let's call her Elaine, said she was going to snack on a banana. "Did I mind the smell?" This is where I paused. I ended up telling her that while the smell didn't bother me, I had this thing, where I had a really hard time looking at someone while they ate a banana. "huh?" Yeah, it's just so PHALLIC. It makes me uncomfortable. Like I'm a peeping Tom or something. Is that weird? Uh, yeah.

Ok, then there was the lunch incident. I was at her home around lunch time and she offered me something to eat. Pasta with chicken. As I said no, she noticed that I had to stifle a gag. "You don't like pasta with chicken?" Uh, no, I like pasta and I like chicken. Just not together. Hmmmmm.

Then out of the blue, in the middle of March, Elaine asks me if I like yogurt. Well, yeah, just not in the winter. "what?" Well, I eat it. But only in the summer. Oh, okay....

And then there was that time at the gourmet restaurant. They offered pomme frites (yeah, french fries) with mayonnaise. And so I drilled the waiter. Was it homemade mayo? Real mayo? Or some crappy Hellmans. Because that, I don't like it. But homemade stuff, yum-o! Elaine's eyebrow went up rather high on that one.

Okay, then I was having a bad day, and I kind of went off on her about how much I hate deli meats. That yes, I may have an all out fear of them. I can't even get myself to buy them at the grocery store for my husband and kids. They are that gross to me. (ACKK.. I'm gagging as I type this). It's their slimey feeling smelliness that gets to me is all.

I mean, we all have our hang ups, right? I guess mine are just centered around food. Hey, I'm not judging you for your issues with public toilets. Oh wait, that's me... yeah, so if I have to spend more than three minutes in one I start to go into a panic attack. Or you, you don't like to splash water on your face... oh wait, that's me, too. Hmmmm, well you, you out there, you're still afraid of the dark! Crap, that's me, too. And reader number 82, you twitch when someone touches your nose! Oh no, that would be me, as well.

Oh my god! I'm freaking nuts, aren't I? It's not just a few food quirks. I'm certifiable. Ah well, I gotta go. Need to make sure all the doors and windows are locked before it gets too dark out there.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

So I tricked, errrr, I mean I asked a friend to watch the girls for me tonight while Hubby and I went to a meeting. More than once I asked, "Are you sure?" and she kept saying it will be fine. But then she made a joke about being sure to hide all the scissors. Which got me all worried, I mean should I fill her in on EVERYTHING the girls could possibly get into? I keep thinking I should call her to discuss. But then I start thinking about what the conversation could be like, if I really did follow a policy of full disclosure.

Me: Sooooo, I just wanted to touch base about tonight and what you can expect from my girls. Thought I'd give you a few tips.

Friend: Oh, it will be fine. My kids can be a little rambunctious at times, too!

Me: (nervously)yeah, I'm sure! Just, ummmm, you said you were having spaghetti and meatballs?

Friend: yes, do they like that?

Me: Sure, but you weren't going to put grated cheese on the table, right? I mean, not where they could actually reach it? And if you are having salad, you will lock, I mean put the dressing in the fridge so they can't get to it, right?

Friend: uh, sure.....

Me: Ok, great! And your kitchen and powder room sinks - you could put the soaps on a high shelf, right?

Friend: (long pause)yeah, I guess I could do that....

Me: great, great! Oh, and the upstairs bathrooms, you don't have hair gels or make up or shampoo just out, right?

Friend: ummmm, actually I do.

Me: Well, why don't you just do a quick trip around the house and gather those things up. Put them on a high shelf, too.

Friend: Oh, I'm sure they won't get into anything like that! But, ok.

Me: Yeah, I'm sure it will be fine. Oh yeah, if you have any step stools you may want to lock them in the garage. Wouldn't want them to be used to get up to those high shelves of yours! I mean, just in case, that is.

Friend: Ok. So how long did you say you would be gone?

Me: Oh, just a little over two hours.

Friend: Oh, no problem. The girls couldn't possibly get into much trouble in that little bit of time.

Me: (long pause for hysterical laughter mixed with crying) Yeah, of course not.

Friend: Ok, so anything else?

Me: Well, let me see. You weren't going to give them anything with sugar or red dyes, right? That makes them a little crazy....

Friend: Oh, I just made cookies with red M&M's. My kids were all excited....

Me: Oh, just let them fill up on them before my girls get there! Oh, and after D2 eats or drinks anything, force her to use the potty. She refuses to wear a diaper, but she also likes to pee in some strange places!


Me: Ha ha, that was a joke. sort of. I mean, she doesn't do that all the time.

Friend: (silence)

Me: Oh, just one more thing! While you are putting away the soap and stuff, make sure there are no pens, pencils, markers, paint, or glue left out! Boy, do they like to color on those walls!

Friend: (silence)

Me: Ok! So see you tonight!

Friend: Oh, darnit! I just took another look at my calendar. I almost forgot we have a really, really important meeting. Uh yeah, we have to meet with the hamster breeder out in New Jersey. Wow! Can't believe I forgot about that! Looks like I won't be able to watch your sweet girls after all!

Me: Really? Oh no! I mean they are such easy girls to watch. Maybe you could take them with you? There isn't a whole lot of damage they can do in the car once they are strapped in. Just don't give them snacks....

Friend: So sorry! Nope, not enough room in the car! Oh look at the time, gotta go!

Wow. I'm sure that's how it would play out. Definitely, definitely not making that call.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wishing upon a Minivan

So my husband is car obsessed. Obsessed. I have to clarify this, though, because I think there are many kinds of car obsessed. He isn't the Nascar watching, Budweiser drinking kind. Nor is he the "I just rebuilt my engine in my free time" kind of guy. He's just obsessed. He gobbles up the free for sale catalogs you get at grocery stores like a teenage girl reads texts from her boyfriend. He knows the name and year of nearly every car on the rode. When we first started taking long car trips together I used to ask him why he was so quiet. He wasn't pondering anything deep, nope he was checking out the cars around him. Obsessed.

About every two years he gets the itch. The itch for something new. He decides one of our cars is lacking something or is about to break. So lucky him, this spring the lease on our minivan is up. But I put a wrench into the situation for him. Foiled his plans! I want us to buy a less expensive car in order to lower our monthly expenses. When I announced the magic number,his face fell. "You only want it to be how much? and that's WITH tax?" Yep, sure is.

He started with scare tactics "well, you know, I want you and my girls to be safe in this car" and "we won't really know what we are getting if it has a lot of miles on it" But once acceptance set in, he became practical. He asked me for a list of the top five things I wanted out of this car, in order of importance. He said he would try to look with that list in mind. Once I stopped laughing over the thought of me, Jenny who doesn't give a damn about cars, and rarely even notices that others are on the road, writing this list, I went to work. And 30 seconds later I was done. Keep in mind this same list would have taken dear hubby days and days to complete. But I gave him mine in 30 seconds flat.

Here it is:
1. must have third row seat
2. good mpg
3. not ugly
4. power doors/seats
5. dark blue

Yep, there's my list. Hubby shook his head after reading it, and then I found it crumpled up in the trash a few hours later.

So now I'm feeling guilty. Maybe I should have put more thought into this list. So I have re-thought my top five into a true list of what this Stay at Home Mama really needs. Here you go, Hubby:

1. An electronically controlled divider that pops up between the seats in the back row to prevent back seat bickering.

2. An automatic vacuum that gets to work every time you hit the remote control lock button. Cleans up all the snacks debris in an instant!

3. A stereo system that allows two cd's to play simutaneously. Girls can listen to their Raffi in the back, while Mama rocks out to her New Wave.

4. Time travel ability that ensures you are never late for another ballet, swim or preschool class again.

5. Built in coffee maker. Wait, maybe that should be first.

There it is!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Letter to the Manufacturer of the Graco Doll Stroller

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am writing to thank you for building such a durable toy. We have had your doll stroller for two years now, and I knew it was built to handle rough toddler play, but I had no idea how well made it really was until this Holiday season. I mean, who would guess it would withstand a grown man, an ex-soccer player, kicking it across the span of two whole rooms?

Ok, I feel I should back up, I mean a grown man doesn't just kick a toy with that sort of force and determination for nothing, right? Well, I should hope not. But to better understand the reason behind this grown man showing a child's toy such violence, I think I need to set the situation up a few hours before the kicking incident. Hmmm, on further thought, lets rewind a full week. Oh, and I guess I should explain that the ex-soccer player is my dear husband.

As was tradition, two weeks prior to Christmas we bought and put up our Christmas tree. It was a beauty - perfectly symmetrical and it smelled divine. I just love that fresh pine scent, don't you? We had it decorated and looking lovely by the end of that weekend. But by Monday morning I was feeling a little uneasy. The tree looked like it was leaning. By that night I was afraid for the life of my treasured ornaments. I asked my husband to do something about it, but he said it was fine. The next night it looked worse, so once again I asked him to do something but he said it would be fine. Sigh. And so it went for a full week. "It's fine" So the following Sunday we had a tree that in my opinion looked like it was defying gravity. And I wasn't surprised when we all heard a soft "ting" and found the tree on the ground. Not surprised, but definitely upset. Some of my favorite ornaments were broken as a result. Oh, but I will confess, being able to say "I told you so" made me a feel a bit better. So the tree falling down set up our schedule for the next couple of hours. What turned into trimming off a few branches to make the tree sit more solidly became a full re-construction of the tree - drilling holes to re-insert branches, using wood glue and twine to restore our tree to it's original beauty. And all the while Hubby and I were doing this, our dear children were being told to stay out of the room for fear of being hurt by broken ornaments. My poor D1 and D2 did a great job for the first hour, but being only 2 and 4, they started to get impatient and wanted to help. So we let them explore the contents of Hubby's tool bag. Which was fine until they started fighting. So once again they were banished. Ok, I'm sure you are wondering what this has to do with your doll stroller, be patient, I'm getting there.

As hubby and I tried to creatively use twine to make the newly glued-in branches look natural, it dawned on me that my dear children were being very quiet. Too quiet. Uh oh.

I spied my D1 first. Asked her what she was doing and her reply of "nothing", made me look a little closer. Her hair! Why was the side of her pretty bob now crooked? "WHERE IS YOUR SISTER?!" I found her sister upstairs. I simply followed the trail of blonde hair that was spilled through the family room and up the steps. There she was, my adorable two year old with the haircut that will be talked about for the rest of her life. Her cute bob with bangs just touching her eyebrows was replaced with a more, a more, ahemm, modern look. Bangs completely cut off - think crew cut style, while the sides and back were left to their original length - that is excluding the random bits that were also completely cut off.

I marched both girls into the Christmas tree room for my husband to see and tearfully (ok, maybe a bit over dramatically!) exclaimed "Christmas is ruined!". Taking in the new haircuts and my tears, my husband sent the girls to their rooms, then turned around and kicked your stroller through the foyer right through to the other side of the Christmas tree room. Where I cried out "thanks, now you broke a toy, too!"

But to my amazement, your wonderful toy made it through! Not a dent or crooked part on it. And while I hope no other family goes through a day with such multiple disasters, I know I will recommend your toy to every Mom I know.

Jenny Henny