Sunday, March 27, 2011

At this rate, I should switch to "Exorbitant College Tuitions & Wine."

Thought I gave it up, didn't you.

No, I did not give up the blog. I missed it. I spent the rest of the winter writing class lectures late into the night, grading and responding to emails addressed to "Professor N." that made me snort. I missed the nights when I could vomit a post about my whiny kids and go to bed feeling like I (sort of) accomplished something.

Kitt turned two last month. We ditched the crib. Now every morning, she wakes up, makes a grand gesture to her big-girl bed and says, "Look! A bed!" The Munchkin is articulate and full of drama in both good ways (imagination? Check.) and bad (Shut off the TV?! I shall never recover!! NEVER!!) Much to my horror/amusement, has no social filter whatsoever.

She is me.

The girls have reached this miraculous age at which they start playing together. Oh my gawd. The play tag, give each other horseback rides, make up games to which only they know the rules. These days won't last; soon they'll be screaming at each other from opposite ends of the house, pulling hair and stealing boyfriends. I wish I could bottle these moments when they are each other's best friend.

Sometimes, just before my IT'S TOO QUIET mom-alarm goes off, I'll find the two of them hiding under a bedspread together, laughing hysterically at each other. It's beautiful. It's adorable. And it lets me finish the laundry before we all suffocate under it and die.

Of course, the Munchkin still constantly asks me where I'm going, even if I just move from the kitchen to the living room. Here. I am going right here, three feet to your left. Wave.

As for me? I shoveled a lot this winter. I bitched and whined every time I had to call for oil, but dammit, the tank got filled. I only forgot to put the trash out a few times. I did my own taxes. I got flowers. I hired a babysitter a while back, and have gotten to the point where I can say, "Hi. You know the drill. Bye," and I'm out the door. It's worth every f**king penny.

So. To sum up: not dead. Laundry finished? Not even close. Back to regular posts?

Uh, yes-ish.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nothing good gets posted after midnight. As evidenced right here.

If you are one of these couples, I mean no offense.

But nothing irks me like couples that call each other "Mommy" and/or "Daddy" instead of by first names.

I stood behind one such couple at the checkout line tonight. They came touting their three screaming overtired kids and a cartload of crap pulled from the dollar bins at the front of the store.

Now, there's a certain threshold for calling your significant other "Mommy" or "Daddy." For example, it's impossible to resist when you have your first newborn baby. It's a big deal, and you're entitled. It's also hard not to do it when talking to your kid and the kid references the other parent. If the Munchkin said, "I want Daddy to read to me" then yes, I'd repeat her and say, "Daddy, will you read to her?"

But that's because I'm tired and lazy, and I'd rather just use her word than waste brain power to say a whole new one.

But this couple? It was a thing.

"Ooh! Daddy!" the mom said. "Do we have double-A batteries?"


"Triple A's?"

"Yeah we have lot of those."

"We do?"

"Oh yeah, Mama. We do."

"What about a lint roller, Daddy? Do we have a lint roller?"

"Great find with those pants, Mommy. The boys love those pants....Mommy."

I can't imagine how they talk to each other in bed. That was two minutes longer than last time, Daddy! Yaaaay Daddy! *claps*

Meanwhile they couldn't seem to look each other in the eye and both had these dazed where-the-eff-am-I smiles on their faces. I'm guessing Mommy's secretly boffing the soccer coach and Daddy vents his frustration with a women's shoe fetish.

Meanwhile, it's ten o'clock at night. Their kids are screaming and clawing at each other and trying to bash each other with the shopping cart. All the clerks and straggling customers are staring at them. The weird thing was, the parents almost seemed to be enjoying the attention. Like, "Ahh, here we are! Aren't we craaaaaazy?! Can you believe it?!"

Then again, I recognize that I am in no position to be judging the family dynamics of total strangers. I'm sure they're perfectly happy. Whatever.

They racked up $325 in merchandise. All I wanted was a freaking box of diapers.

Can you blame me for b*tching?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is it possible to soak a snowball in vodka?

Winter with kids is so much fun.

And, winter with kids also sucks dinosaur balls. You just never know which one the day will bring. I've already received the no-school-tomorrow call tonight. I've beeen curled up in the fetal position, chewing on my hair ever since.

The great thing about entertaining your kids during the winter is that you get to be a kid again. You make forts, run with sleds (geezus I'm tired), kick up snowstorms with your boots and pretend that the icicles are magic crystals that Tinkerbell and her sidekicks need to make winter arrive on time. Or something. It was an elaborate plot. I got confused.

And yet we've had more meltdowns in the last week than in the last six months. Why, you ask?

Simple. Snow gear.

Both kids have developed an ongoing love-hate relationship with their winter outerwear. They love their snowpants. Then they hate their snowpants. The straps won't stay up and oh, god, now they are twisted. TWISTED! Initiate tantrum sequence.

They can't wait to try on their boots. Then their boots suck. Their socks are bunched up. The zipper is digging into their skin. Boots are the spawn of Satan.

Then, of course, I'm moving too slow. I'm moving too fast and now they think I'm going without them. I stepped on someone's hat. I dressed that one first, and this one wanted to go first. This one is screaming at me. This one is going for a time-out.

Mind you, we're still inside.

Don't even get me started on mittens. Specifically, the inability of mittens to stay on the hand, and the insanity of watching a two-year-old yank off her mitten in frustration, plunge her bare hand into the snow, and then scream because she has no mitten.

In general, once the whining subsides, we have great fun in the snow.

For eight minutes.

They'll only remember the eight minutes, right? That's what matters, right?!

I seem to remember spending hours outside in the snow with my brother. Now I realize that we were probably only out there long enough for my mom to retreat to the bedroom, smack herself with a pillow three times and then regroup in time to make us hot chocolate. And then we probably had a fistfight over who got more marshmallows.

So. Winter fun. What do you do?

I'm not casually asking, here. I'm desperately pleading.

I just saw a snowflake. QUICKLY, PEOPLE!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Then again, I could have gotten a steaming reindeer turd in my stocking and it STILL would have been better than last year. But I digress.

So, what are you supposed to write when you have nothing to bitch about?

I wish I could tell you that we had a Christmas full of scandal and controversy, but it just didn't happen that way. Last year at this time, my ex had informed me that we'd just had "our last Christmas together." Fantastic, thanks for the heads-up! Grab a cookie on your way out!

This year? Better, to say the least.

No, it was better than better. It was the best Christmas I've had in a long time. I baked. I sang Christmas carols every day, even Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," which seems to play every thirty seconds and usually annoys the crap out of me. I faithfully hid our Elf on the Shelf every night and got up at dark o'freaking clock every morning so that the Munchkin could show me where she found him.

I talked to people. Friends, relatives, parking attendants, whoever. I didn't hear anyone last year. They'd talk at me while I frantically brainstormed how to dodge the question, "So, how are you?" Every interaction was defined by things I couldn't say. It was like living inside a negative film strip.

I feel like I lived every moment of Christmas this year. It was all about cookies and egg nog for Santa. It was about that first early-morning glance at the presents, when you come downstairs and your entire house seems transformed and waiting.

Also, it was about violating some inflatable presents:

(This toy is clearly manufactured by a group of 15-year-old boys. "DUDE! I know where we can stick the air hole!")

It was about joy.

The real thing. Not the fake thing where you smile psychotically and scream "EVERYTHING IS F**KING GREAT!" whenever someone comes within ten feet of you.

Hypothetically speaking, that is. Ahem.

Hope your holidays were happy, everyone. I know mine were.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Will I ruin the moment by confessing that I bribed them with cookies?

You forget how beautiful your kids are until you see them through someone else's eyes.

After a while, we stop seeing them. We see tantrums and fights. We see the snippy backtalk and all the things they don't do, the rules they refuse to follow. We see all the kids who are better behaved than they are. We see all the things they are not.

We see the hassle of getting them dressed, changing diapers, washing mysterious blue paint off hands, snapping "DON'T TOUCH THAT" in the public restroom every three seconds while you tweak hair into pigtails, shove barrettes into various places and mediate massive amounts of whining while holding everyone's jackets under your arm, all the while thinking dude, the portrait studio is three feet away but are we even going to make it?

And then somehow, despite all that, they hand you a moment. It's as if they hand you a little gift and say, "Here. This is what we look to people who are not you. In case you forgot."

Which, you did. Temporarily.

This moment snaps you out of your Perpetually Irritable Human coma and reminds you of why you keep going, even when you don't want to. It makes you stop and say, wow, those are my kids.

Suddenly you see them, again. Really see them. Eyes shining, arms clasped around one another, one of them grinning and the other one gazing at the camera with wide, wise eyes. Two different personalities, perfectly captured. They're yours, and they are amazing.

I feel like I saw my girls for the first time today.

Have you seen your kids lately?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cooking endeavors are getting suggestive all on their own. Not good.

I really need to stop baking.

I have so much Christmas spirit this year that I'm practically crapping candy canes. It's Christmas! Let's decorate! Let's bake cookies! Let's bake more cookies! Who wants a stick of butter for dinner?

All that weight that fell off during the divorce? Whoa, Nellie. I can feel it sneaking its way back on, plastering itself back onto my butt cheeks, once again settling onto the gelatinous shelf of my love handles.

In short, ew.

I actually love to bake, even when the holidays aren't having their way with me. Cooking, not so much. For example, I tried to make breakfast for dinner the other night and came across something called a "Puffy Oven Pancake." It's supposed to look something like this:

Cute, huh? Doesn't the dusting of powdered sugar look adorable? Can't you just picture a delicate array of raspberries and blueberries pooled in the middle?

I got this:

(I cooked this while on the phone with a friend. "How's it look?" she asked. "It has, like, an air bubble erection in the middle," I said.)

No berry pool for me. Oh well.

Anyway, I enjoy baking from scratch. It relaxes me. There's something about working with my hands, and about using ingredients that only gain meaning and purpose when you put them together. I mean really, have you ever heard someone say, "No, I don't want your f**cking homemade chocolate chip cookie?"

If you have, that person needs to be clubbed.

Really, folks. I have freakishly excessive amounts of both holiday spirit and cookies to share. Come and git it.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

I totally look like a celebrity now. From the waist down.

Today I bought a pair of - oh God, I'm so ashamed - skinny jeans and boots.

I didn't mean to be such a sheep. It's just that, I decided that after the year I've had, I deserve at least one item of clothing not plucked from the clearance rack at Target.

Also, I have an interview this week, and the one collared shirt I own (which I pulled from a Space Bag that's been sitting in my closet for four years) looks so pathetic that I practically apologized to it out loud.

So, I went clothes shopping at the mall this weekend. And all I have to say is, I still don't get it.

The current fashion trends, I mean. Why is everything so...weird? I do not want to wear a drapeneck asymmetrical tunic with ruffles that look like shoulder tumors. I don't do ruffles, period.

As for the wide belts? Come on. For the high-waisted gals like myself, those things wear like corsets.

Shopping windows can be mighty persuasive, though. After walking by sixty-five mannequins dressed in skinny jeans and boots, I found myself staring with disdain at my flare-leg jeans. Was I really wearing a style that had gone the way of polyester and, uh...petticoats?

Baaaaa. Baaaaa.

The boots are cute, I guess. The jeans don't leave much room for donut-eating, so they might have to go. The jeans, I mean. Not the donuts.

Do you get fashion these days? If so, teach me your ways! C'mon, I'll split a donut with you.