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    I’m One Big Parent-Teacher Conference Waiting to Happen

    September 26, 2012

    I generally don’t beat myself up over my parenting choices. You are welcome to put the Little Tykes Car on the trampoline and then bounce your brother in it until someone throws up. I’ve given you ample warning that it’s GOING TO HAPPEN and you still think it’s a good idea. Test out that hypothesis of yours already. I’ll just stand here with a coffee in one hand and a fresh shirt that will fit any of you that vomit upon yourself. Rather than dwelling on my less-than-mainstream parenting, I spend more time beating myself up for important things like the chick who started a Mommy Needs a Beer fan page on Facebook and got 150,000 likes in 2 months. Ah, opportunity lost.

    So tonight as Ethan was making chocolate chip cookies, he glanced over at me casually.

    E: So… I got a 95 on my quiz today.
    K: That’s good.
    E: Well, I would have gotten them all right except I answered a question that was right but the computer told me it was wrong. SOOOO dumb.
    K: What question?
    E: It’s so stupid. You won’t believe it. The question was “I can use the stove by myself” and of course, I answered “yes.”
    K: You didn’t.
    E: I DO.
    K: I meant “you didn’t answer ‘yes.’”
    E: I DO USE THE STOVE BY MYSELF.
    K: Ethan, the rest of the world doesn’t let a 7-year-old have her top secret chocolate chip cookie recipe and then let him bake cookies. And you were, in fact, “under the supervision of an adult while operating the stove.” (**LAWYERED**)
    E: No, I wasn’t. You were sleeping in bed.
    K: That was like three weeks ago. But I was standing right here tonight.
    E: Whatever. Are you telling me I should lie?
    K: ….
    E: Mom?
    K: I’m telling you that the answer that grown ups want to hear is that you were “operating a stove under the supervision of an adult.” I was in the house. That constitutes supervision.
    E: SOOOO dumb.

    Crossing my fingers that the safety quiz never says “I can brew beer by myself.” Please, Lord.

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    And that one time, Mom sold my favorite cement mixer

    August 13, 2011

    When you have a yard sale, sometimes you just have to let go of the past. You fill boxes with crap that meant something at one point but you haven’t looked at it in three years and vacation is a week away. That bad boy ain’t paying for itself, so something else had better.

    So imagine my dismay when Ethan began sobbing hysterically in the back seat of the truck as we were leaving to take our yard sale items to our friend’s house for the community yard sale the next day. Ethan never cries and he was out of control.

    K: Honey, what’s wrong? Why are you crying? How can we help you?
    E: WHY do we have to sell the CEMENT MIXER?
    K: Uh, what?
    E: THE MIXER, MOM. (insert body wracking sob) Why do we have to sell the CEMENT MIXER?

    Before you wipe a tear from your eye for the sadness that is my dear, sweet, feeling six-year-old, I’ll remind you that when I made 2,500 pounds (you read that right) of cement for the shed floor, that “sensitive” child watched 4 hours of Scooby Doo in lieu of helping me. To my knowledge, this was not only his first time declaring his undying love for the mixer, it was also the first time he had MENTIONED THE MIXER EVER.

    K: We need the money and we don’t need the mixer anymore.

    It was a cheap shot but having done family marketing research on my family, I’ve determined that crying poor is a very effective way to shut down the “I wanna” train.

    E: But we PAINTED THE MIXER.
    Nate: We could paint a NEW MIXER, E-fan.
    E: It won’t be the SAME.
    Nate: I have four dollars. I could pay someone to paint it the same.
    K: (because I am a bitch) Ethan, you could buy the mixer. Do you have $100?
    Nate: I’ll give you my $4 and then you’ll have $100 and can buy the mixer.

    (sidebar: I love Nathan more than life itself)

    Ethan: Mom, why don’t YOU make some money if we need money?

    If you live within 200 miles of me, that gust of wind you heard at 7:42 p.m. last night was my husband’s swift intake of breath at that exact moment. This did not deter my precious little heir in the least.

    E: If we need money, why aren’t you selling more shirts? You haven’t had a craft show in a long time. You aren’t even TRYING to find more craft shows to do.
    K: ….
    Derek: SHHHH!
    E: (sobbing yet remarkably unfazed and emboldened by the truth) All you do is relax and be on your computer. You should find a show so we could keep the cement mixer forever, just to look at.
    K: ….
    Derek: SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
    K: Relax? This is what relaxing is? Because l feel like if this is the definition of relaxing than I’m done relaxing.
    Derek: Eee-than.
    E: I’m just saying if Mom sold more shirts we wouldn’t have to sell the mixer.

    Derek tore him a new one for being fresh and we arrived.

    We got to our community yard sale location and Ethan climbed into the back of the truck and draped himself across the mixer so Derek couldn’t untie it and take it out. It was kinda like Greenpeace trying to ram the fishing boats in the Pacific Northwest, except without a noble goal of the saving of endangered wildlife. At that point Dan came out and offered him all manner of treats as salve for the wounds that are the crises of our childhood. With a wailing “No, thank you” he held firm in his defense of the plight of the mixer. I was proud.

    He wailed all the way home and from his top bunk. We now found ourselves drunk with parental power and the ability to send our children to therapy for the most mundane things. Plus, we didn’t have enough stuff for the yard sale.

    D: We should get rid of The Baby’s toddler bed. His mattress doesn’t fit and we’re going to move him in with the boys anyway. When are we going to do another yard sale anyway?
    K: But we put him to bed already. Ah, screw it.

    We turned The Baby’s light back on. He was still awake. I cleaned a spot on the floor and with his chubby little hands gripping the sides of his mattress, we lifted it out of the frame and onto the floor. And had the floor been free of toys and the mattress found a level resting place that would not have resulted with him rolling off the side of the mattress, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have cried himself to sleep saying “bed.’”

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    When pushing his buttons is self punishment

    May 11, 2009

    Occasionally I do things that really annoy my husband.  Do not ask my husband, under any circumstances, to go outside after he has taken his shoes off.  He will do whatever you ask but the groaning and moaning under his breath is extensive.

    Then there is the changing of the bed.  Tonight I rushed upstairs to put the sheets back on The Boy’s bed before got out of his bath.  I threw our sheets onto the bed and went back to cleaning the bathroom.  I promptly forgot about the sheets until The Husband trudged up the stairs.  I was busy cleaning up glass from behind the couch downstairs (I don’t know.  Don’t ask.) so I just pretended it wasn’t happening.

    When I came up to bed, I peeled the comforter back.  There on my bed was a scratchy bottom sheet.  180 thread count on a GOOD day.

    People, since  the creation of Smart Bargains.com (home of the $89.99 800 thread count sheets) and Overstock.com, there is absolutely no reason to own sheets that are less than 600 threads per square inch.  Yes, I saw the sheet expose and I know about the thread count scandal of cheating about number of threads.  But anyway you look at it, no one should be sleeping on a sheet that is meant to go on top an air mattress on your camping trip.

    Air mattress on a camping trip?  Try the two-tiered mattress.  And let’s be honest.  I put the 600 thread count sheets on that bad boy too.  If I am going to be charged by wild animals and be subjected to nasty bugs, I should at least have some comfort to look forward to at the end of my day.  My husband was mortified.  Since we were reliving the Lewis and Clark Expedition, I had to hear how neither needed an air mattress or fancy-schmancy sheets.  Which no one complained about once he rested his nasty head on them at the end of the day.  Atop the air mattress.

    K:  What the hell is this green sheet doing on the bed?

    Silence.

    K:  I left the matching one to this top sheet right here.

    D:  Well.  I didn’t SEE any sheets so I had to FIND some.

    K:  Well.  I don’t know where you found them because I don’t normally leave the SANDPAPER sheets upstairs.

    D:  Whatever.

    K:  I don’t think I can sleep on them.

    D:  Whatever.

    He refused to get out of the bed because he thought I was being ridiculous.  I slid my ass across the sandpaper-like sheets and got into the bed.

    Kinda feels like college except without the smell of incense and stale BLD.

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