Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do They Pass Out Awards For This Stuff?

At the beginning of every month, my kids look over the school lunch menu and circle the days that they want to order lunch. Today was one of those glorious days where Dalton and Sabrina chose to have the cafeteria's Bacon Cheeseburger instead of my nutritious packed lunch consisting of PB &J, carrot sticks, and a granola bar. Go figure. Actually, I love the days where they both want to order lunch because it means that morning I can hit the snooze button one extra time.

When Dalton came home from school today, he said, "Ask me how the bacon cheeseburger was at lunch."

ME: OK, how was the bacon cheeseburger?

DALTON: Gee, Mom, I don't know. We had our field trip today and you were supposed to pack a lunch for the picnic.

ME: Crap! Today was the field trip? Are you sure?

DALTON: Yes I am sure. I was there. Without a lunch.

ME: But the field trip wasn't on our kitchen calendar!

DALTON: And yet, we went and I didn't have a lunch.

ME: So what did you do? Did you get to eat lunch at all?

DALTON: Oh yeah. I got to go through the lunch line with the midgets when we got back to school and they gave me a PB&J.

ME: Midgets? Short people?

DALTON: (major eye rolling) You know - the FIRST graders. I was soooo embarrassed.

ME: Well, I'm sure you weren't the only one that didn't have a lunch on the field trip.

DALTON: Yep. I was the only one. Thanks Mom.

Anytime, son. Anytime.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Je Suis un Inadapté

I want to go home.

There I've said it.

I've made something of an idiot of myself and I want to go home.

Friday night was Sabrina's end of season soccer party and one of the other soccer moms offered up her house for the party. I was really looking forward to the get together because I hadn't really had a chance to visit with the other moms, plus after days and days of cold rainy weather, Friday afternoon turned into a beautiful day with actual SUNSHINE.

And the party went great. But here is where I screwed up.

When we were leaving the party, I looked around at this nice woman's expertly decorated house and saw that there were beer bottles, wine glasses, plastic cups, bowls, napkins, and other party paraphernalia everywhere. And all the guests were making a beeline for the door. So I told the hostess that if she would like, I would be happy to help her clean up - I just needed to run my husband and kids home and then I would be back in a jiffy to help her. Of course, she protested and said, "No, no. I don't need any help." I said, "Really - I don't mind at all." And she said, "Well, OK, if you want to come back that would be great."

So I left her house thinking, "Cool! Maybe we'll get to gossip about all the other moms while we load the dishwasher! Find out who does her hair while we wipe down counter tops! I'll get the scoop on her vegetarian chili recipe while we wrap up leftovers! Three cheers for female bonding!!!"

But when I got back to her house a mere 20 minutes later, I was greeted with, "Oh. I didn't think you would actually come back."

"Well, of course I came back! What can I help you with?"

"Nothing. I don't need you to help with the cleaning up!"

"No really, I came to help."

"No really. I don't want you to help."

Which left me just kind of standing there thinking, "Well, this is awkward." I mean it's not like I showed up at her door with a bottle of Windex and roll of paper towels, but I don't know these people well enough to just pop in for a social call. Standing there in the doorway, I could feel the blood rush to my face as I tried to figure out how I misread the signals. Was I supposed to come back over, or not? If I say, "Oh - OK" and turn around and leave, will that be rude? If I walk in and put my purse down and start picking up beer bottles, is that rude?

At this point her husband tried to come to the rescue by offering me a drink. (Warning: This is the part of the story where I REALLY make an idiot of myself.) I told the husband thanks for the offer, but I brought my own. And then I pulled a Mike's Hard Cranberry Lemonade out of my purse and twisted off the top with my shirt hem.

I know. Real. Classy.

Maybe I could blame it on a sudden onset of nervousness, but see, at the party earlier everyone was drinking wine and some weird kind of beer and I can't drink wine (migraines) and I am kind of particular about my beer (as in I only like Coors Light), so when I dropped my husband and kids off at home, I ran inside and grabbed a Mike's just in case there was still drinking going on.

So anyway, I ended up sitting in their formal living room drinking spiked lemonade out of the bottle (until the husband discreetly took it from me and poured it into a wine glass) and having polite conversation for about an hour. Of course, by this point I had worked myself into a nervous wreck and was just feeling completely inappropriate (do you know what I mean? where everything you say and do feels exaggerated and too loud and too, I don't know, too MUCH?). Like when they asked me if I had a job, I am pretty sure I said in a high pitched, self-righteous kind of way, "blogging is my passion, but I also do some human resources consulting on the side." Somehow I finally managed to say something about how the time flies and how I really needed to get home. I could practically hear them rolling their eyes and laughing at me as I got in my car.

As I made the short drive home, I realized the experience left me feeling kind of cheap, and kind of desperate. Like I had misread the signals and showed too much enthusiasm by coming back over, even though I could have sworn I had been invited.

I felt like I had let a boy go too far on a first date. Do you know what I mean?

Back at home, I found my husband waiting up for me in the dining room. "Did you make a new friend?" he asked.

"I don't think so. And, by the way, I want to go home."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Innocence Lost

So the homework was done, dinner was cooking, and I sent the kids outside to catch a few moments of non-rainy fresh air.

Do you remember that little hand-clapping game we would play as kids - Miss Mary Mack? Somehow Miss Mary Mack (mack, mack, mack) is still all dressed in black (black, black, black), and she still has silver buttons (buttons, buttons, buttons) all down her back (back, back, back).

But there is a new character on the hand-clapping, sing-song circuit. BARNEY!

(hit play on the video below)

For those of you who may not want to play the video for whatever reason (maybe you are at work, or maybe the baby just finally got to sleep, or maybe the kids are already home for summer vacation and SpongeBob is turned up so loud that you wouldn't be able to hear the darn thing anyway), I've written down the words to the latest in elementary school top 40:

Mama, Mama, can’t you see
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

What this baby’s done to me
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap
Took away my mp3
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Now I’m stuck with dumb Barney
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Oops – Barney’s dead
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Shot in the head
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Barney was shot by G.I. Joe
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Up and down, high and low
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Barney was shot by G.I. Joe
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Tic, tac, toe - three in a row
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap
Barney was shot by G.I. Joe
Clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Do We Really Need to Party?


Tomorrow is Sabrina's birthday. She will be 7 years old. Since February she has been talking about her birthday as if turning seven is the absolute highlight of her entire existence. And I suppose to a six year old, it is.

But here's the deal.

Both of my kids have June birthdays. Back in Texas, this was totally cool because we had a giant swimming pool at our disposal, and we combined Dalton and Sabrina's party into one giant fun fest and everyone was happy.

There were tons of kids, ton of friends, tons of cake. You could not ask for a better party.

But guys. Here, well, here, we do not have a pool. We have lots of grass and a fairly big house, but I am not really one of those parents that can corral a bunch of kids into playing lots of good wholesome party games. I have friends that are complete naturals at this, and actually seem to get a kick out of this particular type of chaos. I am not one of those people. And now these kids are at the "Drop-off" age for birthday parties, and ya know, I just don't think there are enough margaritas in the world to get me through two hours of screaming seven year old girls. As much as I love my daughter, I just can't do it.

And good luck finding a pinata up here anyway.


In April I started casually tossing birthday party ideas to Sabrina. How about the Art Museum? Yawn. Bowling Alley party? Nah. American Girl store? Nope. Build-a-Bear? Uh-uh.

Then she tells me that she has the perfect idea:

This to me is a whole new level of torture. Bad pizza. Disgusting germs covering all of those games. Just the thought of the noise level alone is enough to make me want to hide in my car and chain smoke.

Two weeks ago she changed her mind and decided that she didn't want the Rat from Hell to sing her "Happy Birthday" after all. (Whew!)

And now we are back to square one.

How badly will do you think she be traumatized if we just skip the whole party thing this year? Should I double-up my future therapy fund contributions?