Posts Tagged ‘parents’

It started with a simple desire to do a little cleaning while the tallish minion was in school, and the smallish one was on vacation with his dad. Nothing major, just a little Spring Cleaning without their input and hysterics when I tossed half of the 137 stuffies in the donation bag and threw out a few dozen Happy Meal boxes.

It ended with a destroyed kitchen, a pickup with the bed overflowing, and a storage room emptied and repurposed. Throw in a sprained knee, 9 new bruises, and a sore back. Add the help of two WONDERFUL friends.

The ultimate result was that the minions’ shared room became the tallish one’s room, and the storage room became the smallish one’s room. He finally has a room of his VERY OWN, and the video I have of him screaming I LOVE IT is completely worth the hassle.

I thought I was done for a while, except for the storage stuff purged into the kitchen and the poor truck that needed emptied.

I was wrong.

The first night gave me a new respect for nurses in nursing homes where each grumpy patient has a call button. One needed medicine, the other chocolate milk. While I was in the opposite room, Orange Kitty decided to somehow unplug the smallish one’s TV. Screaming ensues.

While I’m fixing the TV, the tallish one shrieks from her room. The medicine I’d just given her included some oil for an ear infection, complete with cotton ball. The panic was…”my cotton ball just got lost down my ear and is stuck in my throat.”

Ummm…

I fished the cotton ball out of her sheets, assured her that cotton balls will NOT travel from her ear to anywhere else inside her. This was about the time something touched the back of my knee.

I screamed, she screamed, and her little brother bolted, yelling “I just wanted night-night kisses!!!”

Sometime a couple hours past bedtime, I finally peeked in on two snoring minions, in their own beds, in their own rooms. It was a tough decision not to take a photo of each, because they were just too darn cute…I’m pretty sure the flash would have woken them up and worn out the cuteness real quick.

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Travelling with minions is not for the weak. Murphey, or Newton, or whichever smart guy of the olden days said “whatever can go wrong, will,” nailed it.

I took a trip this past week to Corpus, with some friends and of course the tallish and smallish minions. They loved it, I loved it, I’m pretty sure I’ve dissuaded at least one friend from ever having kids…and I learned a few travelling lessons along the way.

Be sure you pack at least one backpack of “things to do” for each child. A shared bag of entertainment is unacceptable, and not nearly big enough. You need, at a minimum, gadgets with apps, chargers for said gadgets, coloring books and crayons, games, a digital camera, something that plays music…and be prepared to still have to give up your cell phone.

The trip WILL take twice as long as you plan. Takes 11 hours to get there (and you know this because you’ve done it more than once)? Nope. Better plan to get there in about 24, including camping out at a budget motel somewhere along the way, parked next to a pedophile van, trying to dissuade your friends from telling ghost stories about haunted motels.

Avoid pizza places. They ALL have games and money-sucker machines that are irresistible to minions.

Bring trash bags. You’ll discover a ton of different uses, besides the fact that 2 minions on a road trip can create more trash than a family of 4 in a week. It WILL rain, and you can put your luggage (suitcases and all) in big trash bags for the back of the pickup. Put extra pillows and blankets in one, because there will be some point on the trip that it will become necessary to create one giant pallet full of sleeping little ones in the back of the cab.

…wait. Everyone travels in a pickup, right?

Then, you should also brace yourself for the music. No matter that there are 2 tablets, an mp3 player, a couple of iPods, and 14 pairs of earphones floating around…you WILL be giving up radio rights. You WILL be listening to Kidz Bop for hours on end, and you WILL memorize the Gummy Bear song before you get home.

When you’re at your destination, driving around exploring and taking photos, the local police will pull you over for making a sudden uTurn for a shot of the Shrimp Crossing sign you just spotted. And when said cop hits his lights, your minions (who have memorized Despicable Me 2) will “be a siren” for him by yelling “beedo, beedo, beedo…” until you threaten them with jail time. Thankfully, lots of cops in touristy towns are pretty patient with tourists.

…or they feel sorry for the poor idiots hauling around the Beedo Kids.

You’ll also need snacks. 37 bags of chips, 20 suckers, a container of trail mix, some doughnuts, crackers, apples and bananas, and assorted cookies. You have to resist the temptation to mix sedatives into the snacks. It’s frowned upon…although I’m not sure I understand why.

I also don’t understand where this new gray hair suddenly came from…

This video has been a hit all over Facebook and probably everywhere else on the web today. I had to share it because I think I found my new Parenting-Idol.

This man needed a way to get through to and make a point to his rebellious teenage daughter…something that would wake her up and maybe, just maybe, teach her a bit of respect.

He succeeded.

This is an awesome video…If you have a teenager, or an almost-teenager, tie them to the chair and make them watch this all the way through to the end.

I must say that I would never have thought of this approach, but when my kids are teenagers I will certainly leave this as a possibility.

While most comments I’ve read are from people who wildly approve, there are a few who think it was too extreme…

For those…

  • This man found a way to discipline his daughter without any form of abuse.
  • Grounding her and taking away said laptop apparently didn’t work…he tried less extreme avenues of getting through to her.
  • Teenagers are notoriously bull-headed and sometimes need a wake-up call. I know I did.
  • She publicly humiliated, berated, and disrespected her parents…the punishment should be equally public. I think this was fair and very “eye-for-an-eye.”
  • The girl deserved an ass-beating…this was mild. 😉

So, that said….Go Laptop-Shooting-Dad!

There were also some great comments and insights in a public interview on Super-Dad’s facebook page. He answers some questions about why he did this, what message he intended to send out, and other things. It’s also definitely worth reading…the interview was apparently done by the Toronto Star…

http://www.facebook.com/tommyjordaniii

The Climber found his own personal Utopia today in the form of a high school gym…

I got brave and took him and The Diva to a JV girls’ basketball game. I was actually intending to work, taking some kick-ass photos to send in for the paper I work for.

Turned out I was being a bit ambitious…my goal should have been to just have living breathing minions of which I knew an approximate location for by the last buzzer.

The Guru was busy, and I wanted to see my cousin (the minions’ beloved Aunt Koko) play ball. So I packed up the camera, some pull-ups and back-up pants, and the shortish ones, and off we went.

We joined some relatives and things went smoothly for about 4 minutes…until the Climber got bored with the folding seats that he discovered would swallow his narrow butt at will.

I’m still thanking The Man for the fact that it was a JV game, meaning there wasn’t a huge crowd, and that we were sitting near one end where the minions had a few empty bleachers to terrorize.

I am NOT thankful that Aunt Koko’s mother brought her video camera…

I’m pretty sure these snippets will surface on Facebook to haunt me for years to come…

  • A glance to the side that reveals an upside-down trashcan weaving along the second steps towards us seemingly propelled by two familiar little shoes.
  • Audio of my voice yelling “NO”, “Come back”, “I will SKIN your HIDE,” and my personal favorite…”This video surfaces and I will BEAT your ass.”
  • Me carrying the Climber back UP the stairs…about 17 times.
  • There is a barred barrier on the end of the bleachers (thank you God and coaches), and there is now a video of me shaking and leaning against every bar to make sure it could stand up to a possible attack of 23 pounds of fast-moving child.
  • the Climber making a great inchworm impression.
  • Him stealing a sip from someone’s unattended beverage. Sorry Sir.
  • Him waving and yelling “Bye-Bye” (and grinning oh-so-charmingly) to about twenty strangers.
  • At least one drop-to-the-ground-dying-slug impression when I stopped his umpteenth escape attempt.

All in all, I think I got about 4 decent photos of the game…and no, I don’t have a clue what the score was.

Lots of people have asked me where I got the rant about restaurants and other places moving towards banning kids.

I read several before I got mad enough to come on here to suggest a ban on creepy uncles and generally vent about people who cannot handle the fact that there might be kids in public places…but here are a couple of the articles that sent me into my self-righteous Momma-is-Mad tailspin.

The No-Kids-Allowed Movement is Spreading

Stop Discriminating Against My Kid!

Restaurant Bans on Kids

BTW, I do think that people should teach their kids some manners and actually watch them in public…even I get a little upset at the never-been-disciplined kids who are released into the wild of a Wal-Mart to fend for themselves and crawl under bathroom stalls.

However, I have seen adults do the same (sadly that is completely true), and they’re all still free to roam the grocery store commenting on the tampons in your cart and running you down with their own…

I also don’t take my kids to a nice restaurant on a Saturday night or an R-Rated movie anytime. Most parents actually do show some discretion…heathens that we are 😉

How does everyone else feel? Am I the only one who would have a hissy fit if I got kicked out of a grocery store or fast-food joint for having a child with me on a random Tuesday afternoon?

OMG. I really thought I was beyond being shocked by the general masses…

Apparently not.

There are stores, malls, and restaurants now offering “child-free” hours, days, and even weekends. They’re catering to people seeking peace and quiet when they venture out into public.

Seriously, people???

Yeah, I get it. Kids can be annoying. They’re loud, sticky, and sometimes smelly.

So is your uncle. Can we ban him from the next table so that he’ll quit leering at me when I lean over to wipe a booger off my toddler’s upper lip?

Hey, we mommies aren’t petitioning for a ban on grumpy people who like to scare the bejeezus out of our kids for daring to smile at a stranger!!

Any of you childless peace-seekers ever consider that the frazzled mom who just ran over you with her basket and contaminated your sneakers with kid-kooties might just be trying desperately to get her groceries, get home to feed her kids, and get in bed herself in time to wake up and do it all again?

Try stepping aside and letting her pass. Try saying “excuse me.” Try not standing smack in the middle of an aisle considering the possible consequences of spending 8 cents a pound more on the “new better clumping” kitty litter for 45 minutes.

This just might be her ONE free hour in the day to do the shopping between naps and meals…and you want to ban her from the freaking store so you can hear the “clean-up in aisle seven” voices more clearly?

Afraid you might have to battle for the aisle with a person pushing *gasp* a stroller? Again, step aside and share the aisle.

That family trying to scarf down a meal with their kids at the next table might actually be trying to enjoy their first dinner out in months, and they just can’t afford the meal and a sitter on the same paycheck.

If you want peace, shop at midnight and glare at the people running the floor buffers. If you want quiet, shop with your iPod. If you want to not be near the breeders, stay home and buy your crap on eBay.

And to the stores who think this is a great idea…consider this. People with kids spend more money on stuff and don’t linger in restaurants…they have better things to do than occupy a table for hours pondering the best way to piss off other people.

Just sayin’.

Since I have started blogging, there is one person that never never fails to read my posts, share them on Facebook, and encourage me to keep going (or kick me in the ass with a reminder that I have “neglected my duties”) more than anyone. The topic of this post was her idea and suggestion, and I decided to run with it…Thanks Susy!

The “Bucket List.” It’s a popular thing now…and mine is one of the few blogs without one. Seems everyone is making a list of what they fully intend to do and want to experience before it’s too late.

That’s not what this is.

Yeah, yeah, someday I will make a Bucket List of my own…and I will post it here for your amusement.

But this one is a little different. My list for today is going to be all the things you NEVER once thought you would do, intended NOT to do, or otherwise ended up involved in that you would never have planned on.

This isn’t exactly an Anti-Bucket List, but similar.

This is the Bucket List that Fate would have written for you with her cruel twists and gleeful cosmic jokes…

  • You will travel several states away in search of an ancient cemetery for the purpose of…well, you won’t have a good reason. You will take this 36 hour road trip on a bus with dozens of strangers. (some of my cooler relatives actually did this one)
  • You will grow up without the intention of EVER having children because you like the order and freedom of your own existence too much to share. Then you will be blessed not only with two children, but two children JUST LIKE YOU.
  • You will spend adolescence fighting with your mother about your messy room…then you will develop adult-onset OCD…and have a messy child.
  • You will overcome your shyness in one fateful night, and realize this when you wake up the morning after your twenty-first birthday party with the terrible realization that you accepted a new job the night before…as a bartender in the bar you celebrated in.
  • You will find out that the bartending job will become the most loved and long-lasting job you ever had. You will discover yourself behind that sticky bar, make some of your dearest friends, and learn more than college ever thought to teach. You will get comfortable in your own skin and come out of your shell to never go back in.
  • You will spend more on an education you will never use than you will make in any one decade of your life.
  • You will get mad at a boyfriend and pack your bags, call a cousin to come get you, and move out of the state.
  • You will find out that the cousins you fight with as children become damn good friends as adults.
  • You will not forget the people who were cruel to you in high school. You will also not forget the people who were kind.
  • You will discover that you work much better for yourself.
  • You will be a night-owl in a world of people who leap out of bed at sunup like a freaking cheerleader on crack…you will resent these people and spend your life making coffee and trying to convince them NOT to call you before noon.
  • You will discover that the only thing you need for an impromptu trip to Albuquerque (simply because you like the name and you’ve never been) is two friends, a Ford pickup with an intact radio, a giant bag of Funyuns, and someone’s boyfriend’s gas card.
  • You will discover that the return trip (from anywhere) is never as great as the trip there. Unless you took a bus, then got smart and rented a car to come home in.
  • You will have an incurable soft spot for cats. You will marry a man who is allergic to them.
  • You will bungee jump for the first time in the parking lot of a Ford Dealership from a rusty crane. Your mother won’t speak to you for a month.
  • You will learn to drive a stick shift. You will abandon the whole concept in the middle of college traffic at 5pm on a Friday in the middle of the busiest intersection in town and hitch a ride home. The owner of the extended cab, long-bed Ford dually will have to come fish his boat out of traffic himself. He will forgive you…eventually.
  • You will take out a mailbox with an 18-wheeler.
  • You will yell at inept tech-support people at AT&T, at least two bosses, and a bank manager.
  • You will throw flaming cookies out a seventh floor window after forgetting they were baking…for a couple of hours.
  • You will stand barefoot (as a child) on a fish your dad caught and talk about the “whale.” You will also tell him it’s “darker than hell” outside while sitting on the armrest of his truck.
  • You will learn to speak a foreign language well enough to start a fight.
  • You will laugh in spite of yourself the first time your child says “dammit.”
  • You will get out of speeding tickets by crying, flirting, and using the “but I really gotta pee!” excuse. Then you will marry a cop.
  • You will stash photos of a cowboy water-skiing in swim trunks and a stetson for later blackmail material. You will later exchange these photos for equally incriminating ones of yourself.
  • You will organize at least one bikini square dance.
  • You will creep through old houses at night with friends and be convinced there are ghosts.
  • You will believe in ghosts, vampires, and superstition…and not care who knows it.
  • You will get tattoos and piercings.
  • You will learn that following all the rules and doing everything “by the book” would have made you a completely different person…and you won’t regret a damn thing.

WOW…

My kids have a LOT of crap. I knew this, but it didn’t really sink in until I waded in there yesterday armed with a box marked “garage sale” and a trash bag.

I came out four hours later with 5 garage sale boxes, 4 FULL trashbags, and a box of the dishes that I’ve been searching for.

I found treasure, trash, and things that made me go “hmmm…”

Best in Treasures:

  • 6 HotWheels that we thought were gone for good
  • 2 Barbies…sans clothing
  • A Barbie leg…that did not match the above-mentioned Barbies
  • My favorite coffee mug
  • 9 socks
  • A tennis shoe, a houseshoe, and a flip flop
  • A cat (seriously…he snuck in while I was working…with the help of the Climber)
  • 2 sheets of stickers that had never been stuck on anything
  • My slate grey eyeliner
  • Lots of batteries
  • Goodnight Moon
  • 4 Littlest Pet Shop critters

Best in Trash:

  • Lots and lots of discarded papers and tissues…of course
  • 2 half-licked-clean suckers
  • What I think was once a Tootsie Roll (I hope)
  • My son’s cracker stash
  • My daughter’s rock stash
  • A bundle of dead dandelions
  • A lock of my daughter’s hair…that we thankfully had (apparently) never missed

Best of the Things that made me go Hmmm:

  • What “Flart” goo apparently does when it dries to a bedpost
  • Play-Doh rocks
  • Lots of little animals wearing clothing from the naked Barbies
  • My son’s suitcase…packed and ready to go courtesy of the Diva
  • Roughly 57 movies in the wrong cases
  • Chapstick stash IN the CD player
  • Something green and glittery in a teacup
  • Something pink and sticky in the oven of the play kitchen
  • Something fuzzy under the bed (later identified as the wayward cat)

The garage sale boxes were full of outgrown clothes and unused toys.

The biggest treasure of all…

THERE WAS CARPET UNDER ALL THAT CRAP!!!!

Today was one long series of unfortunate events of the sort that Jim Carrey would never survive. It began with last night’s craft project and concludes with the character Band-Aid on my ass…

Last night I took some old photo frames that were the same size and color, sanded down the sides until they all matched perfectly, and fitted them together into a frame collage. It was gorgeous, if I may say so myself, each frame was black with gold trim so together it looked pretty fancy.

In this new set of frames I placed some black and white prints of kittens in costumes that I had been saving for years that came from a calendar…many many years ago. I have not seen a calendar similar to this, ever. I was saving the prints for something special.

I proudly hung the completed piece of art in my bathroom on a blank wall that has been bugging me. As a freelance writer with two kids out on the Back 40 of Hell’s Half Acre, I don’t exactly have much money. Extra things like home decorating items and wall art are luxuries that we just can’t buy. So anytime something can be made cheap and still looks classy, we are quite delighted with it.

This morning, things went pretty much as usual, my son woke me up at the crack of dawn to dance to CMT (his favorite early-am activity). I drank coffee that took an hour to brew (Hard water = a coffee pot that drips water at the rate of a slowly leaking faucet). I fixed us all bowls of our favorite cereal (none of the three of us like the same kind on the same morning…it is apparently against some cosmic rule).

I subsequently dumped out a bowl each of Cookie Crisp, Cinnabon-Something-or-Other, and Fruity Pebbles when I discovered the milk was a little…sharp. Eggs were rejected for the fact that I had exactly two eggs, and three hungry people. The kids got Pop-Tarts, I got another cup of coffee.

After that it was back to CMT and Legos for the munchkins, and I went into the bathroom to put on makeup and do something with my hair. My son gave me two minutes to get good and into the application of my eyeliner (very black, btw), then came marching up behind me with a TV remote in hand, headed for the toilet.

I leapt across the room, screeching “Nooooo!” and saved the remote in the nick of time, while apparently drawing an impressive black stripe across my face. Unfortunately either the high-pitched noise, the sudden shudder of the room from me jumping, or karma from the last bug I squished, something managed to dislodge the nail holding up my pretty creation from last night.

The entire thing came crashing down into the bathtub, shattering into dozens of splinters of glass and wood (insult to injury: the places I glued were mostly intact). Even the photos tore just enough to render them mostly useless in the future.

My saving grace in that moment was that the entire mess was limited to the interior of the bathtub, so it was fairly easy to scoop it all out, then shake out the bath mat and rinse the tiny shards down the drain. Plus, I could do all this with the munchkins and their curious little fingers locked safely out of the room until the glass was cleared.

It also gave me a few minutes to bawl like a baby and mourn the loss of the cool wall art that I would have dragged all house-guests into the bathroom to look at for the next month.

Once all of that was done, and the rest of the morning passed without any bloodshed or major malfukulations (yea…….sound it out…..there ya go), we all trooped out to Plainview to pay a bill that was due today.

I took with me all the money I had, which was enough to pay the bill and buy the gas to get back home. I did not consider that we would be passing roughly 137 snow-cone stands and a dozen ice cream trucks on this journey in 103 degree heat (but it’s a DRY heat…ha). I couldn’t buy the treats; couldn’t even stop for my gimongous iced tea from Sonic as I had hoped. We got the bill paid and the truck back up to a quarter tank with about 17 cents to spare.

By this time, the kids were sweaty and mutinous…

The bribe I got them out of Plainview on was that it’s Tuesday…and Meemaw (my grandmother) ALWAYS goes to the pizza buffet night in Lockney, and we have a standing invitation to go eat with her each and every Tuesday. We have been doing this for over a year at least a couple times a month, and not once has she allowed us to pay for our meal. Therefore I felt fairly safe in the drive to Lockney.

Nope. This turned out to be the one Tuesday that she wasn’t home, wasn’t in town, wasn’t anywhere to be found. If looks could kill, the tiny lightning bolts flying at the back of my head from the backseat would have taken me out right there on Main Street, crashing the truck into the newly remodeled pizza place.

I pacified the kids with a trip to visit my parents (they LOVE Grandma and Papaw), and got lucky. Mom had some money she was saving for me from some of my storage stuff she’d sold for me.

Therefore, I got to feed the angry, hungry minions!

It wasn’t pizza, but Dairy Queen fries and chicken saved me from a sure overthrow of the throne tonight.

Getting back home was uneventful, as was most of the rest of the evening. The kids watched iCarly and George Lopez while I got a few things written for “work.”

My son drowned my favorite makeup brush in the bathtub and my daughter had a hissy fit because I wouldn’t let her wear a pageant dress and boots to bed. The cat scratched the smallest one for dragging him around by the tail, and the screeches that ensued scared the loopy cowdog outside. The dog howled for half an hour, and the kids went to bed mad at me…for some reason, it was all Momma’s fault, as always.

Finally…

Finally, the kids were in bed and I was alone (well, reasonably so, the kitten in the house doesn’t count). I poured a glass of bourbon and diet coke because I am NOT a glass of wine kind of girl, and I ran the bathtub full of bubbles and bath salts.

I sank into the tub and slid down…and immediately jumped back out, splashing water and bubbles all over the bathroom.

Yeah, there was a piece of glass in the bath mat that had evidently survived the cleanup efforts of the morning.

Yeah, I cut my ass cheek.

And yeah, considering that I am really not a Band-Aid kind of person, it is quite an admission for me to tell you that since the location of the cut was just so that shorts were uncomfortable, I decided to put a bandage on it.

There are dozens of bandages in my house, in every shape and size, in Tinkerbell, Hannah Montana, Cars, Toy Story, and more…lots to choose from.

I put SpongeBob on my buttcheek just for spite.

I feel terrible. My kids inherited my sense of grace and balance.

For some reason I was born with an off-kilter center of balance, which results in things like falling up stairs and walking into doorframes in my own house where the layout is as familiar as my own foot. While entertaining in general (at least for bystanders), this tends to cause problems with unexplained bruises, cuts, and scrapes. Not too big a problem for an adult, I have only been asked once or twice if I would like the number to a crisis center hotline or a women’s shelter. My predisposition for easily bruising doesn’t help.

In case you’re wondering, the particular day that prompted some well-meaning woman to think I was a battered wife found me sporting a tank top and shorts. This was shortly (as in a day, I believe) after moving to a new house, and the day of carrying boxes (balancing their corners on my leg as I opened a door or car trunk), pushing and lifting heavy furniture with hazardous protruding knobs and handles, and my typical incidents of tripping and running into things had left me with many small bruises on my thighs and upper arms, a skinned knee, and a big purple spot on my left forearm. Factor in the three band-aids for some minor cuts and scrapes, and I am sure I looked the perfect candidate for a social services poster.

Anyway, while I am used to my own lack of grace and balance, I wasn’t prepared for the apparent genetic factor in clumsiness. Evidently, you can pass the trait along to your children, and mine each got a healthy dose of it from me…poor little tykes.

A week ago, my daughter proved that her aspirations to be a famous ballerina were pipe dreams when she twirled into a metal pole (that she was fully aware of, she had been dancing around it for half an hour). She knocked herself silly for a few seconds, and put quite an impressive goose-egg on her forehead.  After a few tears and some ice, she was fine, and the mark is quickly fading.

Two days ago, her little brother was testing his running skills out on a handicapped ramp and almost rendered himself handicapped when his little body got a few steps ahead of his little legs. Down he went, creating himself an identical mark to his sister’s…in the same spot on his forehead.

Now I had two kids with big purple bumps over their right eyebrow, scraped knees (because their knees are always scraped), and mutinous expressions at Wal-Mart buying more band-aids and Neosporin. I tried to look unashamed and nonchalant as I checked out at the register, ignoring the alarmed expression on the cashier’s face as she stared from my kids to me, I’m sure wondering what I whacked them over the head with.

All the way to the truck, I mentally wrote out a script for the CPS workers and police that I was sure were about to show up.

I wondered if my own bruises would help my case or make it worse…