Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Down with the fathers ...???

After weeks of battling my husband’s ex in court, I’ve come to a conclusion about fathers in our society.

A hundred years ago if there was divorce it was not only scandalous but there was never an issue of custody or support. Most of the time, the father got off easy. The wife left with nothing and there was no such thing as joint custody. The kid either stayed with the mother or the father. Hell, look at the movie the Parent Trap… and it made in the 70’s. There was a messy divorce, one parent took one kid, the other parent took the other kid. There was no squabbling, there was no going back to court each year. Maybe that was a better system, honestly.

Here’s what’s happening today…

I read an article about a father, who had primary parent status, who made $200k a year. His ex (who just saw the kids only in the summer) made $50k. She plead to the judge that she needed money because she can’t afford a good home for her 4 kids … who she only sees in the summer. The father (who was not previously paying child support, as the kids were with him 9 months out of the year) was ordered to pay $75K a year (after tax) in support … TO HER… because she chooses to have the type of job where she makes $50k a year. She has 9 months out of the year to go back to school and further herself so she CAN make more money. And what does she do? Bleeds the father dry financially… why? Because he makes a good living and she NEEDS more money, right?

What the hell is wrong with this picture?

Isn’t this still AMERICA… land of opportunity? If so, then why do so many people have their hand out? Why would they rather swindle people out of money than create wealth for themselves? You want to know why our country isn’t great anymore? THAT’S why!

Hello, people! Why can’t we all just get off our asses and work harder to make life better for ourselves? I know, I know, since the recession hit, some people are doing twice the work for half the pay. I think those people are in the minority. I think that this country turned completely into the land of the lazy.

But, I digress… I was talking about fathers.

Remember those old TV shows like “Father knows Best” where the Dad was head of the family. He took pride in taking care of the his family and his family (in turn) loved him. Less than 100 years later, let’s look at what father figure examples we have here. Let’s first look at the Disney channel. When my step son was first old enough to start watching the Disney channel, I thought it must be wholesome channel… hell, Mickey Mouse is Disney… what could be more wholesome than that!  Well, here’s the reality of the Disney Channel shows. The kids have smart mouths. The girls dress like tramps. The boys are know-it-all’s. AND… the fathers are all portrayed as idiots.

Let’s look at commercials lately. What’s the theme? The men do something stupid or goofy and their wives end up saving the day.

How did society’s perception of men end up so biased in the other direction. My husband’s a smart man that loves his family. Why is that never portrayed in TV shows (hello, Disney channel) and by the media?

I guess that many people… like many 1st wives… think of their husband as a paycheck. They deserve money, right? Well, what does that make their kid? A tool used to get money? What? How have we gone so far away from what’s important… and that’s the kids…

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yea I drink... I have a 2 year old

My husband and I live in a small AVA. For those of you who aren't wino's that American Viticultural Area - it's a good area to make wine. A few weeks ago we were at a big farmers market with the kids and someone asked me if I drink, wanting to know if I'd like a sample of wine. I've always thought it was odd when people ask you if you dink. You don't ask someone if they floss their teeth or eat mushrooms.

Anyway, what was more funny than the question was my answer. We were there with the kids, right? So I was standing there with Baby C on my hip, literally. I told the guy "of course I drink, I have a 2 year old." He didn't think it was funny.... I did.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I'm A Step Mom

Those words have an interesting connotation. We have memories of stories with the “wicked step mother” from way back in our childhood. For a long time I thought that the step mother was the bad guy or just the one who wasn’t really the Mom… more like a glorified babysitter.

Now that I’m here, in this place, I get it. I’m a parent, not a friggin’ babysitter. I make lunches, go to school functions, do homework. That’s what a parent does, right?

Over the past almost 4 years, I’ve experienced it all and I can truly say that being a step mother is damn hard. Let me elaborate:

Scenario 1) You’re cleaning up puke off the carpet. The puke was put there by a kid that frequently gives you attitude and may or may not say the words “you’re not my Mom” while having a meltdown because you asked them to take out the trash.  With your own kid, at least there’s a bond. They love you unconditionally. You’re the one that comforts them, cleans the cuts, kisses the boo boo’s. You’re Mom and that’s a high ranking title.

Scenario 2) The dreaded Ex has called you for the 12th time today, pissed off that you won’t switch one of your holidays with her. She’s irrational and screaming like a banshee.  Even though you try to remain more neutral than Switzerland, it’s impossible. She ends up hanging up the phone saying that her work schedule (cocktail waitress)  is very important and she just can not switch shifts in order to take her child at the allotted time and says (my favorite) “I’m tired of being inconvenienced by you”.

For those of you who have been there, I'm sorry and I get it. I’m at the point where I’m just sick and tired of bad behavior, bad parenting and no accountability ALL THE TIME. Here’s the thing I don’t really get. Who has the time and energy to continue the drama, and the bad behavior on such a long term basis? I’m not too sure if I should be impressed or pissed.

The hard part is being even the least bit zen about the whole situation and let it roll off you like water off a duck’s back. Maybe I need a new yoga mat… or a vodka martini before the yoga… might not help with the balance but it might help with my patience. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Work Funny

The other day I getting ready to leave work to pick up baby C.  I was walking into the bathroom at 4:45 PM when I saw the funniest thing. There was a small Asian woman (who works down the hall) who walked out of the bathroom with a roll of toilet paper. She walked out of there like it was nothing… just a normal day stealing some company toilet paper. Of course, once she left the room I laughed. Then I thought to myself, if I even thought about stealing company TP would I do it? Would I steal this crap 1 ply toilet paper to save a buck? I happen to like the cushy 3 ply that I use at home. I don’t know if I could ever be THAT cheap. Of course, this woman probably has millions in the bank and can retire any day now (sort of like that book “millionaire next door”). I still think I’ll sick with my soft 3 ply.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Purple Hair Dad

Yesterday I saw a middle aged man walking with a 4 year old girl while he pushed a 2 year old girl in a stroller. He was having a conversation with the kids and made the 4 year old hold his hand across the street, the way good parents do. Then I noticed....the man had shoulder length purple hair. I will repeat that just in case you missed it. The 45 year old man had purple hair… we’re talkin’ Barney purple.
Two things came to mind when I saw Mr Midle-Aged-Punk-Rock:
1)      Really?
2)      Good for you for being a good Dad

I guess you're never too old to rock and roll but at some point in time trying to make yourself look like an 18 year old just isn't flattering. At some point in time it just looks silly. (Sort of like when my husband’s Ex wears pig tails. I just want to scream “you’re over 40… get over it and stop wearing pig tails”… but that’s another Oprah show.) I believe you're only as old as you feel, however, age appropriate attire is still important. 

There’s a woman in my office who’s probably pushin’ 50. She likes to wear her hair in a bob (bangs, et al…) with white fold-down socks and Mary Jane flats. It drives me nuts! She’s almost 50. Can’t she find a nice pair of kitten heels that’ll work for her?

Anyway, I find it just distracting. Take, for example, the guy on the corner pushing the stroller. Why didn’t I see that he’s a good Dad first and then anything else later? Whether or not you want to believe it, perception is important. People notice you based upon your appearance. I notice that since having Baby C I get more comments that include the word “Maam” and, in general, fewer men smile at me when I'm out in public. Could it have something to do with (for example) the cheerio stuck to my pants that I found this morning… after I got to work… and was there for an hour?... Possibly…. 

There are phases to everyone’s life. In this phase most of my clothes are covered in some type of food or dirt while I carry a heavy (almost) 2 year old on my hip. Someday soon I’ll be in a different phase, and won’t have cheerios stuck to my clothes. 

On some level I feel bad for purple hair Dad. People don’t see his personality or his accomplishments, they see that God-awful purple hair and how he looks just a little silly. Even though he may be a good Dad, I still felt like saying “please, please, stop the bad hair”.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No Good Deed Goes Un-Punished

Just in case you weren't completely sure that no good deed goes un-punished, I have (more) proof. I got a call from a friend today; we’ll call her Sally. Sally's been living in the same apt for something like 15 years, and as you might expect, she's become close with her neighbors. One of her neighbors got a new job and will be moving. My good friend Sally decided to throw Mary a party to perk up her spirits and show her how much everyone will miss her. 

The day of the party, Sally brought Mary a plant, thinking it was a nice gesture. They had a great time at the party; people ate, people drank, you get the idea. Sally got a call later that night from Mary. She was hysterical, asking where my dear friend bought the plant and what kind of plant it was. Sally had no idea. She bought it at the grocery store along with the wine and some other things for the party… easy gift, right?  Turns out Mary’s cat ate the plant and started projectile vomiting. After several frantic calls to the grocery store and poison control, the  Mary found out that her beloved cat, Mr. Snuggles, ate a lily that’s poisonous to cats. What are the odds?

Sally called the next day to find out how Mr. Snuggles was doing. Mary burst into tears and told her that Mr. Snuggles was on life support, IV, et all.

All this because my friend wanted to do something nice for another person.  There's your proof... no good deed goes un-punished.

By the way, Mr. Snuggles did, in fact, recover from the lily ordeal. Sadly, he has only 8 lives left.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Cubicle Etiquette

Like many people, I work in an office. Also, like many people, sometimes I feel like I'm in a Dilbert comic strip, or in the movie "office space". There's always that one employee that is way too enthusiastic in meetings. Or someone who dresses a little strange. I work with a woman who (no kidding) wears Mary Janes and white socks... every day. This might be a cute look, but the woman's old enough to have gray hair.... Mmmmmm not so cute at that age.

Something funny about the new job is that my boss and I are not located at the same site. She’s 30 miles away. And while that may seem like a slacker’s dream, it also makes communication a pain. That being said, the new boss really hasn’t been able to fill me on the work environment of the new gig because she works in a completely different area.

I’ll admit to you that I take personal calls at work. Are they all day every day? No. Maybe 5-10 mins every week or so are spent talking with colleuges. And sometimes I do make personal calls regarding things like Dr’s apts and such.

I hadn’t really thought much about it until I received an email from one of the leads in the area (keep in mind that  I don’t work for this person). I was one of 10 on the distribution list who received an email entitled: Cubicle Etiquette.

Keeping in mind that people in general are weird, I try to take things that happen at work with a grain of salt. I received an email last week that cracked me up and bothered me at the same time.

This email went on to explain that we work in a “close” environment (whatever that means) and that it’s come to his attention that excessive conversations have been occurring. If someone has a lengthy conversation they should schedule a conference room and use it rather than their desk phone.

I read it and immediately took it personally. Call it one of my neuroses, but I’m the new kid on the block, and here I am calling my insurance company in the middle of the day to ask if they’ve paid my son’s ENT because they sent me, yet another, bill. And apparently, I’m bothering people?

Here’s something I’ve never understood about things like this? The doctor’s office (for example) is open only from 9-5, right? And when am I at work? 9-5. So when am I supposed to make these calls? Should I sneak out to my car and use my cell? What about a conversation about my son’s ENT bill is so offensive that someone HAD TO complain that I’m bothering people.

Of course I realize that this email may not be directed specifically towards me, however as the new kid in town, I take offense. 

Just as I was reading that note, I remembered seeing something on someone’s desk the other. It was one of the desk phone blinking things. It lights up if you’re on the phone. I guess people are supposed to look at the status of the light before speaking with you to make sure that you’re not on the phone (really, people? You can’t just say “I’m on the phone”? or come to the conclusion the phone/headset up to their ear means… oh, I don’t know… they’re on the phone?).  Below the light there was a note that went something like this:

“When the light is on that means I’m on the phone. Please take your conversation elsewhere.”

At the time I thought that the office loon just lived there and thought nothing of it. Why am I getting the feeling that they’re ALL the office loons? Could I be living in the land of no personal calls? I’ve been to this place before and I don't like it one bit. 

But... my child is only 21 months and I still have a while to save for his college education… that and I like eating.  So, I guess I’ll be standing outside with the smokers the next time I need to make a personal call. Wouldn’t want to offend anyone!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day / Step Mother's Day

My Mom's been gone for 6 years now, so Mother's Day has always been emotional for me. Since having Baby C, the holiday is now just bitter-sweet. Every day I'm thankful for my happy healthy baby boy. That doesn't mean it's always easy or fun, I'm just thankful I'm in my shoes, not someone else's.

I've had a Step-Mom for a few years now. I've also BEEN a Step-Mom for a few years now. In previous years I've been reluctant to get my step Mom anything for mother's day. Why you ask? Because, she's not my mother. I finally came to some self realization about the whole situation... why don't I just give her a break? My Step-Mom can't help the fact that my mother's gone or the fact that I'm still bitter about that. 

Being a step-mom is a thankless job. At least if the child is your own kid they love you and you know it (as evident by my sculpted "guns" as a result of constantly holding my baby boy half the day... his new thing). If my step-son gives me a present on mother's day (which he has in previous years), I would feel recognitizezd for all of the things that I do for him.

This year I decided to surprise my step mom and send her flowers the day before mother's day (honestly, the delivery rates for Mother's day flowers was outrageous... so I picked the day before). She's a nice lady and makes an effort with me. I decided to take a different look at mother's day. Why not celebrate wonderful woman who are mother-figures to you? Sometimes other mother figures have the same kind of impact on you as your own mother. I'm sure they'd appreciate some flowers, too.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


My son loves our family dog and the feeling is mutal. It's like a big furry love fest at our house every day. Baby C calls the dog "Dog Dog"; it comes out "Daw Daw" (We're working on the "g" sound). When I was preggers with my son I was really worried about the dog. She was my baby before my baby. How would she react to a baby? Well, the amazing thing was that Baby C became her baby. The dog tried to sniff the baby all the time (which freaked me out), but I don't know if that was the equivalent of the dog making sure that was in fact our baby. If C started crying the dog would come looking for me, ears perky, taking a few steps toward Baby C's room and then backing up to see if I was coming along.

The funny thing about the dog is that she's not just a dog, she and Baby C are best buds... well, the kind of best buds with a love/hate relationship. Most of the time, Baby C wants to share his snacks with our wonder-mut (which drives me nuts). He'll sit down next to our 85 pound yellow lab and put a cracker in his mouth, and then give one to Dog-Dog. One for C, one for Dog-Dog. When you tell him that the snacks are for him, not Dog-Dog he'll just say "No! Dog-Dog" and keep doing what he's doing. Other times, when Baby C has snacks he doesn't want to share I'll hear a high pitched squeal and then "NO!" I'll turn around; there's the dog, eating the baby's cookie and Baby C with his pouty lower lip out.

Despite their on-again, off-again food/love relationship, they're buddies. One of the most endearing things that the dog does (and one of the most annoying) is that she gets up and checks on my son in the middle of the night. I first realized this was part of her nightly routine when she had a growth removed and had to wear one fo those big radar dishes to keep her from taking out her stiches. At 2AM I heard a weird scraping. It was the dog trying to get through Baby C's door frame. The dish was too big and she couldn't maneuver through the door frame. She kept attempting to get through the door frame but would always hit the frame, causing her to stop. I'd hear "crash, scrape, scrape". Until then I didn't know this was a nightly ritual. 

The other night Baby C was up at 2AM ... again... I sent my husband in to check on him. As my husband was walking into Baby C's room, who was walking out? Dog-Dog, acting as if it was a normal occurrence. Of course, by the time my husband reached my son he was pointing and yelling "Daw-Daw".

Unfortunately, Dog-Dog is sick and has less than 2 years to live (sniff, sniff). If she makes it to Baby C's 4th birthday it will be a blessing. Given that we're dog people we're already thinking about our next dog and maybe if we get a puppy now that Dog-Dog can help "train" the puppy. Maybe we should getting a "Nanny Dog", like in Peter Pan. What kind of dog was that? Mastiff? Noufie? Regardless, we should get one and make sure the dog can heard the kids. Does anyone know a dog trainer that can help us train the dog to heard the kids?

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Guilt Monster

Before having my son I made the decision to keep working. I like working, honestly, and I also like the pay. My last post I talked about the guilt I feel towards putting my son in daycare for 5 days a week, rather than 4. Since that time I've been thinking a lot about my guilt and how to deal with it. Here's the problem... I don't want to spend my free time thinking about what I SHOULD be doing to be a good Mom. I want to be doing it. I want to be the best Mom I can be. Period. That being said, I also came to the realization that my wonderful (almost) 2 year old son exhausts me. I also realized that my husband and I really need some time away from my son in order to recharge our own batteries.

I took the advice of a very wise woman and got a babysitter last Saturday.  My husband took me to lunch. I realized that I somehow felt better leaving my son with the sitter in the middle of the than leaving him at 6PM for dinner. Why? I would like to be home to put him to bed. I'm not too sure why that makes me felt so much better, but it does. So, maybe for a while the Hubs and I do lunch dates until my guilt starts to subside. What I do know is this; I will never feel comfortable leaving Baby C with a sitter (and vice versa) unless I start to leave him with a sitter. Here's the funny thing... I think that I may be more uncomfortable with leaving my son than my son is when I leave him with someone.

Someone at work today said something poignant. She said that taking time to yourself, or just with your partner allows you to recharge your batteries, and in the long run, makes you a better Mom.

That being said... I've started dropping my son at daycare, rather than my husband dropping him off in the morning. He's also started throwing a major fit in the morning. We're talking alligator tears, screaming, "Mommy, Mommy"... the whole deal. It makes me feel like crap. I've noticed that each morning this week I've started out feeling low... majorly low... and I think it's because of my son's reaction to the daycare drop off.

The thing about guilt is that it's a cycle. You feel guilty because (in my case) I made my son feel bad about me dropping him at school, so I let him have more treats or stay up later than usual to make up for that fact. Then if I don't do the extra treats one day, I feel even more guilty because now I'm not doing special things to make up for the fact that he's going to daycare. For me, it's a cycle. I guess I just need to stop feeding the guilt monster and stop feeling guilty about my decision to be a working mother. It is what it is. I work. My son has to go to daycare.

So, how do I tame my guilt monster? ... I'm not too sure, but I think my sanity requires that I figure it out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guilt, guilt, guilt

I started a new job. It's full time. I'm no longer working just 4 days a week. There's something about that extra day that's adding an exponential amount of guilt. Fridays my little man and I would do errands, laundry, he would chase the dog around the house, etc....Now Fridays he goes to daycare. I feel kind of guilty about that.

Last night Hubby and I were looking at a house and we picked up Baby C late. He was upset and clingy for the rest of the night. Poor little guy. Some days I feel like he just wants to spend time with Mommy, and some days I feel like I don't have the free time (like when I'm making dinner) or some days it's simply impossible for me to retain my sanity and take him to the grocery store with me. And, I feel guilty about that in a way that I really didn't before I went back to full time. Because I worked one less day a week, was I a better Mom? I don't know...

I came from a European-mutt family with some Italian in the mix. I'm used to guilt, I could have majored in guilt, I'm the queen of guilt. That being said, I don't know why I always feel guilty about the fact that (a) I work and (b) I LIKE working. If I were to stay home all day with my child I would either turn into a raging alcoholic or a maniac. So, I'm a working Mom. Why can't I get over the fact that someone else watches my child while I'm at work?

I'm sure that every working Mom deals with the same thing... The GUILT...  I've been dealing with it by hugging my baby boy every second that he'll let me. It's incredible. How does every other Mom deal with it?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

2100 miles in a Suburban with a dog, a 20 month old and my husband

We finished our big road trip from the Midwest to the Pacific North West. It went about how I thought it would go. The dog panted the first day of the trip. The baby rarely slept (I know… usually babies love to sleep in cars, right?). Baby C is always afraid he’ll miss something consequently he’s a crappy napper. Day 2 of our trip C was crabby… majorly crabby and wouldn’t sleep in the hotel. We were wrecked. The next day the hubs and I traded off driving while the other slept. That was the day we drove 800 miles. While we were in some tiny little one horse town my hubby noticed C had 2 crusty ears. With his tubes, the crusty ears meant an ear infection. Great. Just what we needed. Fortunately, I had ear drops and baby Tylenol with us. Unfortunately, baby C was still a major crab.

I learned a few things during the trip, one of them being that I would have lived (and so would the dog) if we would have had to drug the dog to take her on a plane. My poor dog has doggy cancer and only has 2 years to live. I feed her whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She’s on way out… why not? I just couldn’t bring myself to drug her and put her in the cargo hold of the plane.

But then how was being cooped up in a saburban for 4 days with my son throwing toys (and misc goldfish) at her any better?

I would like for all 2 of you reading this now to benefit from the wisdom of this hellacious trip. Here you go…. My tips for long road trips with a 2 year old.

(a) pack toys or a movie player (if it will keep their attention).

(b) pack snacks – even if they only eat half, it keeps them occupied

(c) overnight diapers are the best. If they’re sleeping you really don’t want to wake them. Baby C pees a lot (what can I say he’s well hydrated, right?) and when we’d press on and wouldn’t change him every few hours, he’d leak. I just started using the overnight diapers so that we wouldn’t have to worry about that.

(d) Pack your patience

(e) Stop often

I would like to point out that the last point also includes stopping for a sanity break. For some reason my child is more well behaved around others than me. Am I alone here? Who knows. What I do know is that if he’s really acting up I just need to take him on an errand and he’s a saint.

We had a few hours until we reached Seattle and I could not handle Baby C moaning in my ear anymore. It felt like he screaming at the back of my head… and well, in fact he was, but he didn’t really do so intentionally. I saw a sign for a winery and insisted that my husband pull over. Keep in mind, I hadn’t showered in 2 days, I was crabby, wearing the same clothes that I had the day before and had not a stich of makeup on. The good Samaritan at the winery let us come in, even with the baby, but I’m sure she could tell that I need a drink… big time.

My wonderful husband let me do the tasting and walked Baby C around the property. After only 30 minutes I started to feel like a new person again. Note to self: drinking in the middle of the day for sanity purposes is ok. Happy Trails.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Parenting lessons learned from my husband’s ex-wife

When I decided to marry my husband, I knew that I found a great man and partner. I also knew that he had some baggage… mainly his ex wife. The past few years has been a roller coaster of drama and emotion coming from the general direction of the EX. As I step back and look at these many tense situations I think about how to raise my own child, Baby C. Making lemonade out of lemons, I’ve decided to take these experiences with a grain of salt, as a reminder of the type of parent I would like to be. Here’s what I’ve taken away from my dealings with the EX:

1) My Baby is his own little person and as much I might like to, I can’t always bend him to my will. I can already see his own personality forming. As much as I would like for him to be the type of kid who sits and plays with blocks, I don’t see that happening. He wants to climb, jump, run, etc… he’s a do-er and he (unfortunately) gets that from me. I just need to take a good breath.

2) Do you use your kid… for anything, but most importantly as a pawn for your own personal gain. They will grow to understand what you have done.

3) Always be as truthful with your kids as you possibly can be (keep in mind this is age appropriate). I’ve seen certain situations (from both the EX and other EX’s I’ve seen) where the ex spouse has lied about their ex in order to make the other party look bad. Don’t do that. Again, your child will figure this out and will resent you for it in the long run.

4) The focus of my life is my family. When you’re single, your focus is yourself, YOUR clothes, YOUR job, YOUR car…. Etc… Now that I’m married with a child and stepson, my family is my focus, as is should be. I want my son and my husband to know that they are the most important things in my life. Period. As such, a act accordingly and do my best to make sure that they feel loved and special.

There are more things that I’ve taken away from this situation, but the kids are asleep and in bed and I’m dog tired. Good night!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cha-cha-cha changes

I haven't written in a while. I've been busy… seriously busy… the type of busy where you just want to go to bed at 9PM because you're exhausted. We're moving from the Fly Over States to the Pacific North West... In 2 weeks. AHHHHHH!

One thing I've noticed about a big move like this… Well, more than on one, but the thing that stands out to me is the fact that when people find out that we're moving they (a) tell everyone they have ever known and (b) always seem to ask "are you (small pause) excited about this move?"

I was talking with the owner of Baby C's daycare yesterday and the topic of moving came up. So, I gave her a heads up that we'd be moving. By this morning I had several people at the daycare (most of whom I only share a smile or "good morning" with) made comments about our move. My favorite comment was made by a woman who works in the toddler room and who's age is indeterminate. I can tell that she doesn't take care of her skin (she must clearly not be obsessed with moisture the way I am), never wears makeup and has a sort of shabby old lady bob haircut. I rarely talk with this woman and if I do it's in relation to how much Baby C has eaten or how many dirty diapers he's had that day. I walked into the toddler room this morning with C. As I tried to get his coat off and get him in his seat for breakfast she started a weird line of questioning.

We hear you're moving to Washington. "Are you (pause) happy about that?"

I just replied "Of course we are" while I took off Baby C's coat. I promptly kissed my child on his fuzzy little head and headed out the door while commenting "thank you" as I walked out. What did she expect? Did she expect me to say "Well, I really don't want to move (especially after just putting in a new kitchen) but we have a good opportunity to keep our jobs with our company… so yea, we're friggin' happy about having jobs".

Moving is stressful enough. Moving this far is overwhelming. We have no idea what areas are horrible, what areas are nice, overpriced, etc… We have to find a new daycare (ugg), a new house, a new favorite grocery store, a new …. EVERYTHING. It's an adventure. And it's an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, to see another part of the county, to experience fresh salmon on a weekly basis (oh yea). It's so strange to me that some people are curious about my life when they really haven't had much involvement in it up until now. Oh well... like everything in life, you need to just roll with it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cracker Barrel Rantings

Last Sunday I decided to treat the family to cracker barrel for breakfast. My 18 month old either acts up there or is a saint who can't stop stuffing his face with biscuits. I was hoping for the latter problem when I heard a girl behind us screeched and yelled "no" at her parents. Ahhhh, the public temper tantrum. How utterly embarrassing. I know them well, though. I also know how to diffuse them. A walk around the store full of crap that I don't need and then a quick rock on the rocking chairs outside and he’s ready for breakfast. Is it always easy? No. Is my walk around the building necessary to restore balance and order? Yes.

Well, that’s not what happened at 1 table over. I saw the mother (a) try to negotiate with the 2 year old. Really? You’re going to use your “inside voice” and negotiate when you child is screaming their head off. Then when that didn’t work both parents (b) IGNORED the child and buried their head in the menus.

Now I can see ignoring the tempter tantrum at home. That’s what “they” say you’re supposed to do, right? But in a restaurant? I don’t want to hear my old child scream, much less someone else’s. As this child continued on for most of our meal I was slightly afraid that Baby C would join in and let the mutiny begin. My son was too busy eating a bowl of fried apples, a blueberry muffin, part of my eggs, half of my parfait, and some of my husband’s grits. The boy just could not eat enough and didn’t seem too interested in what was going on with the table next door.

In thinking about the situation, I have just one thought. I know what’s wrong with America. I know why there are “occupy” protesters in the streets and entitled people with their hands out, rather than a resume in hand. Here’s the problem.

How are our children expected to understand how to behave, act, make the right decision, be stand up people, if we as parents never tell them, show them, and (quite frankly) make them act that way from a young age?

When I was pregnant with Baby C I was determined that my child would be well behaved enough that we could go to a restaurant and he would (a) not throw food, (b) not scream, (c) and be an all around well mannered child. Well, it’s harder than it looks to train you child to do this. You have to be prepared to take their food away when they decide to throw it or walk their little asses out of the restaurant when they act up. This means that my meal is cold most of the time due to the fact that I'm either feeding the kids or disciplining them. And... my husband ends up taking the boys for a walk while I finish my meal alone after everyone else has eaten.

Is it ideal? No. But I hope that my child is learning that in the long run you can't behave like a little shit in public, and if you do, expect to be taken outside with Mama.

There's another aspect to this whole scenario. If you allow your children to walk all over you, how do you expect them to understand the concept of consequences and responsibility!? All of these crazed occupy wall street people strike me as entitled spoiled brats who grew up, spent their parent's inheritance and now realize that they need to actually get a JOB and WORK and it's hard and you don't get paid as much as you like, but you make it work. They're like spoiled children who pull the "that's not fair" routine while they pout and cross their arms.

Is it FAIR that Donald Trump has gazillions of dollars and I make a modest living? Well, he did inherit a bunch of money (lucky him) but he did work hard too and make smart decision (hence, working for his money). So, yes, I guess it's fair that I make a pittance compared to Donald Trump. Because, after all, life isn't fair... but we have roll with it.

Whew... I wasn't expecting to go there, but now that I have... I'm glad I decided to discipline my child in a restaurant rather than just ignore him.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Hate Daycare

I been super busy and haven't written a lot lately. Though I was off from work I was working hard... with my child.

Right before Christmas there was an outbreak to strep throat in the "toddler room" of my son's daycare. I didn't work the week after Christmas and assumed that the long weekend would kill any trace of strep that might reside in that room. I went into daycare Dec 27th (hoping to drop him off so that I could get a few hours of downtime from my boy). Well, they had another case of strep creep up. Fearing that my son would be infected, I kept him home for the week.

So there went any plans of thoroughly cleaning the house or getting some post-Christmas mall shopping done. But, I had to pay daycare for the week. I had to pay them so that I could watch my child. How does this make sense?