Over my head over here

 

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Looks are deceiving

 

I find the kids really annoying today.  It’s true. Kids ARE annoying.

Usually we all manage to put up with each other, as I’m sure I might possibly annoy them too.

But today…..

It has been a day of them egging each other on, teasing and poking each other, being loud and obnoxious in public….. Today they are the kids that people who don’t have kids see, and then think to themselves “I’m so glad I decided not to have kids”.

I think the last straw was in the hardware store. I just needed to get ONE THING. Well, two things.  A battery for the fire alarm that won’t stop chirping (also annoying) and some hardware to fix my towel rack.

As I walk with them, I stay between them so they can’t poke and tickle each other and try to keep their volume to a minimum. Jenna refuses to walk in a straight line, and at one point just collapses on the floor in a giggling heap. Pulling her up is impossible, she keeps her knees bent and won’t bear her own weight.

They find this hilarious. Me, not so much.

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My whispered threats of beatings once we are out of the public eye are not taken seriously, they know I’m bluffing.

They’ve reached that point of silliness that just doesn’t stop. We’ve all been there. The point where the laughter just doesn’t end, no matter what danger it may put them in.  They needed something to snap them out of it, a shock to the system.

Getting them buckled into their seats, I see the answer.

I had just bought them each a small box of valentine candy at the chocolate store. I glared at them, grabbed those boxes, and took them to the front seat with me.

I ignore their renewed attempts to annoy me. YES, they were now doing it on purpose! I open a box, and start eating it piece by piece, keeping my eyes ahead of me. Suddenly they aren’t laughing so hard.

“You can’t eat our candy!”

“Oh YES I can. I bought it. It’s MY candy.”

Seething from the back. From Jenna especially, you don’t mess with her chocolate.

To further illustrate how I am the boss of them, I pull into the Starbucks line. Order myself a tea and NO CAKE POPS.

I drive away and smile to myself as they sit, stunned, in the back.

Jenna is absolutely outraged.

She starts on a rant about how I don’t even love them because I took their candy and I’m not a good mom. Of course I have to return with how good kids listen to their parents and they weren’t being good for me.

“So, you don’t love us!” She’s not asking. She’s accusing.

“You don’t love us and maybe you don’t want to be our mom!”

I’m amused now, chocolate and tea has restored my humor. So I respond:

“I never said I don’t love you, are you saying you want a different mom?”

She doesn’t come out and say it, but she’s heading in that direction. I get a speech filled with 4  year old logic about how it’s physically impossible for a parent to actually love a child if they take candy from them. And maybe it’s time for us to part ways. Not that she doesn’t love me, but maybe we need a break. And besides, if I send her to a different house, they’ll probably have a dog.

I promised her there would not be a dog. She’s stuck with me, and her chocolate was delicious.

 

 

 

 

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Political Stress Relief

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Tired of your Facebook feed blowing up as we hurtle towards the end of true freedom as we know it?

Sick of speeches against Trump, speeches supporting Trump, rallies for and against, Starbuck boycotts, Uber boycotts, Muslim boycotts, and the boycott of basic human decency?

Are you nauseous trying to sort through real reality and alternative reality, trying to figure out what’s, you know, real?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got some tried and true methods to get your mind off the battle between Democrat and Republican, between Muslim and Christian, Between Good and Evil… ’cause that’s what it’s all about, right? No more gray area, and we all have to PROVE we’re the ones who are RIGHT. (or LEFT…ha ha ha).

Ok, so… Get on a plane. Go to Syria. Get off the plane.

Are you with me? Great.

Now time to de-stress. Get your mind off Twitter politics for a while.

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Take a leisurely walk. Probably avoid Aleppo. But regardless, no matter where you go…. notice the people around you. Oh….do they look kind of jumpy? No worries, bombings and random shootings will do that, but I’m sure YOU’LL be ok. Just avoid….everything…

See? Haven’t thought about Trump yet, have you?

Nowhere to stay? Right, forgot there may not be a thriving tourism business right now. No worries, you can stay with my family in Damascus. What, you think it’s weird that all the adults are home, and not working? Well, that happens when your entire business was actually destroyed, bombed, looted and there are no prospects for work because people are just trying to stay alive right now as much of the economy has been shut down. Upside, more family time, yay!

Don’t mind the lack of electricity for several hours a day. It’s actually a very complicated plot to ensure that residents (and the occasional vacationer) disconnect from social media and really connect with each other. So be grateful, and polish your conversation skills, it’ll be fun! And bonus….no Kellyanne Conway or pesky celebrities with actual opinions of their own.

Lack of running water… don’t think of it as a problem. Rather, think of it as a SOLUTION. I promise you aren’t going to be sucked into reading post after post on Facebook for a while, or making comments trying to defend your opinion on recent executive orders. You’ll be too busy making trips back and forth to a public water supply with everyone else in the area who still wants to drink, bathe, cook, or just gargle.

At the end of your stay, provided you survive, you will have developed all sorts of coping mechanisms. Once back home (cause you’ll be allowed in) they will help you deal with the stress of the common American. The daily stress felt by those safe enough to have time for it.

Deep breathe…. you’re welcome.

That Indian place

A few days ago I decided to order some Indian food from this place we know, it had been a good month or maybe even more since we ate from there.

I splurged, got three things instead of two for us to split, extra garlic naan bread…. I was VERY excited to eat it.

I waited patiently for the husband to come home, didn’t even unpack the bag. As I waited I thought of the delicious cream sauces, yummy warm bread and chunks of paneer cheese. This place….. when the food is good, it’s very, VERY good.

But when it’s bad……

So I unpack as soon as I hear the garage door start to open. Set the table, open everything, I’m ready!  Find a stray cashew in the rice, I remove it and ignore it. The husband has this belief (possibly not unfounded) that the food we order has been scraped off other peoples plates and into our containers. Maybe because it always looks different, they use different vegetables almost every time,  but the sauce is always the same so who cares!

We start to eat. And that’s when it all just goes to shit.

Someone forgot how to cook, or someone there hates me. One of our dishes had a heap of soggy vegetables and no cream sauce to speak of, rather it sat in a warm bath of its own broth and some odd spices. I tasted, praying for it to be better than it looked. Nope.

My staple dish, the one thing that ALWAYS looks the same, and tastes the same, SUCKED. The only thing correct was the peas and cubes of cheese. A horrible fake.

We cried a little, ate what we could. Cried some more. NOT satisfied.

Now, any other place pulls this crap, and I would not hesitate to call and complain. It was THAT bad. But that’s the problem with this place. I HAVE called them before, because of another issue we had with the food once being so spicy that it burned our lips off even when I had asked for it to be “very mild”. It was so hot, that eating was purely pain, we could taste nothing but our melting tongues.

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The guy on the phone was nice,  I recognized his voice. He was so sorry, offered to buy us a dinner to make it up to us, told me to order again and it would be much better. So I did, I went again a few days later to pick up my “free dinner”, after calling and talking to another guy reminding them that I was collecting on his promise.

I got there, and was assured it was going to be great…and told I had to pay. It was funny actually, I tried to tell the guy that it was supposed to be free because we couldn’t eat it last time. He smiled very indulgently, and basically said “no, it’s gonna be great so go ahead and pay”.

So I paid.

And that’s the problem. Because sometimes that  food is amazing. Sinfully good. So good that right now, as I type, I can TASTE it….. but you never know when it’s going to be that good again.

You want to walk away when it sucks, as it will about every 4th time…. but they know. They KNOW you will come back. Makes them cocky. They can literally give me rice off someone’s plate. I will eat that rice if their vegetable korma is amazing. I will eat it with ANYTHING. And they know that.

I’m not proud of the fact that I fully intend to order again in the next week or so.

By my calculations, it’s gonna be great  next time. I hope.

 

Am I sick, or do I just hate everyone?

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Yesterday was supposed to be a great day. The husband didn’t have much going on at work, so we had “talked about” going to a mall across town with the little ones.

We’d stroll around, basking in our love of each other. Hold hands over pretzel nuggets in the food court. Find all the pants we could ever need for Sammy, the kind for skinny boys who need an adjustable waist but also very long legs. Find the perfect jean skirt for Jenna so she can wear her blue and white striped tights with red hearts on the knees.

Goals, I had goals yesterday.

Then, yesterday actually happened. I did my usual Sunday stuff. Cleaned, washed floors. Took Jenna shopping for groceries. Came back. Built a model of the Eiffel tower in toothpicks. Cured cancer…… all while the husband was……somewhere…….doing whatever he was doing in the house. On the phone with his family, on his computer, drinking his coffee…..

At 2pm I asked him, as he stood in his wife-beater and shorts, if he was planning on getting dressed today? He thought he might eventually. He always seems so surprised to find out the actual time after he’s putzed around for hours.

 

 

We didn’t get to the mall he wanted to visit, but instead he insisted on rushing to the mall close to our home to see if we could at least find pants for Sammy. Dreams of pretzel nuggets were dashed.

It didn’t go well. I was annoyed, as I often am when faced with someone who has different time management strategies than me. I DID find the jean skirt for Jenna that would have been perfect with her adorable striped tights, and a pair of pants for my tall, skinny boy.

Unfortunately, my black mood would not allow me to be courteous to the rude lady manning the cash register, and I chose to leave all the clothes behind in a fit of pique that only hurt myself as I walked away. The husband was wandering around in other departments at this time, and so without knowing it, was saddled with the burden of somehow being responsible for me not being able to buy the clothes I wanted as he wasn’t by my side to smooth things over with the mean monster lady in the kids department.

The drive home…silent. We had a dinner to get ready for and I was thinking of what I needed to do for me and the kids to make it on time. Also thinking about that jean skirt. And pretty much disliking everyone and everything in general. Ever feel like that?

It wasn’t until we pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant later….  I realized that my crap feelings weren’t just psychological. I also FELT like crap. My nose was stuffy and getting stuffier, and starting to leak like a faucet. I had a weird feeling in my throat, like a pre-tickle…. just a little taste of something to come. My eyes were glassy…

I was getting sick!!  No wonder I felt like kicking someone. It all made sense, and actually made my mood better-as I realized I probably did still love my husband after all.

Whew.

 

 

Caskets of gems….

Moenich World Coin Grab Bag - 50 Coin Assortment

So last night, it was a stay up late night for me and the husband with the two little ones. Sammy had been playing his kindle, and I let him….. and then I checked my email before heading to bed around midnight.

I find 29. TWENTY-NINE amazon digital receipts… for things like “pile of gems”, “bag of gems”, “casket of gems”, and coins, all sorts of coins and containers of coins. “Unlimited energy”….. how much were these things? I opened the first email. $20.00!!!!!!   second email. Another $20.00!!!!!  Oh, wait!!  $53.99!!!   Gems are expensive!!!  Lots and lots of expensive gems, and coins, to the tune of over SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS. REAL dollars…. charged to my Amazon account.

Needless to say, bad words were said. Hands went flying…. Daddy intervened, saving a life I’m sure. My hands shook as I called Amazon digital customer service, who thank GOD are open 24 hours a day it seems. And miraculously, the guy on the phone, Luke, fixed it for me.

First he laughed. And laughed pretty much throughout the call. I told him I didn’t realize the kid could purchase anything because I had parental controls set, no purchases without a password!

Apparently, since I gave him access to the games he was allowed to play, he can STILL purchase apps within the game. And extra lives, coins, gems, all that good stuff. In one hour, he spent a total of $691 and change. Why? Because he wants to be better than his friends at this game.

The game by the way, which doesn’t exist in our home anymore. Kindle is on lockdown forever. FOREVER.

I would like to say that he learned his lesson…

I KNOW that I learned mine.

 

 

We like nuts

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The 3 year old is going to be 4 in a matter of days. It’s pretty exciting, especially since each of the ninja turtles has called her personally-so she says-and they are in fierce competition with each other to get her the best gift. I can’t wait!

She’s growing up, uses the word “actually” a lot.

Like last week…. I picked the two youngest up from school and she is dying of starvation in the back seat. Begging to eat right now. NOW! So I decide to take them to a local place and eat with them, then bring dinner home for their dad.

As we get our food, I say to her “….and you were crying about being so hungry….”. she tell me, “actually, I wasn’t crying. I was whining.”

Touché.

She makes me laugh, and I’m enjoying it and also sad because this age is so awesome and goes so fast…… and she’s the last one, the last one!!!

Today though… takes the cake.

She’s reading, at the point where she can read simple sentences and is learning rules about letter sounds. She got how “SH” together make the sssshhhhh sound, and “TH” have their special sound. Today was a very special lesson about the importance of the silent “E” at the end of some words.

Her teacher sends some books home for her to read each week, I laughed at the title of one of them “We like nuts”. Of course, that’s just my mind in the gutter…..

She’s reading to me today, as I cook dinner. Sounding out her words like a champ. She gets to the nuts book….. opens and starts to read.

I hear “I lick nuts….”

!!???!!

We talked about the silent “E”.  How it makes the “I” have the long sound…. because we LIKE nuts….we just like them. that’s all.

 

 

 

Sweet rewards of parenting

 

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My teenage son has contributed to the vast majority of my gray hairs, and although I love him a crazy amount, he also makes me crazy.

From his special ability to only see things from his own viewpoint, rendering himself the victim in every possible scenario….. to his disregard for a clean organized room and bathroom which is all I really will ever want from him for Christmas….

It is sometimes quite a challenge.

And, you know, he’s a teenager. So multiply everything by 5 million because if those two chin hairs are any indication….hormones are raging, and rational thought is out the window.

Something is happening though…

Here is an example of something that kind of gives me hope that he might come out the other side of puberty in a good place.

He was at his dads house Monday, because that’s one of his nights with his dad. I get a call from him, around the time I need to put the little ones to bed, asking if I can iron some clothes if he brings them over because he forgot he needed to dress up for school.

“Don’t you guys have an iron??”

He doesn’t want his dad to iron his clothes, and he doesn’t want to….because neither one is capable of doing it well, not as well as me.

This is true….but also designed to inflate my domestic ego so I can’t resist demonstrating my mad ironing skills.

It works. He comes over and hands me a shirt that looks like-and probably was-balled up somewhere before it was fully dry, and a pair of pants with questionable history of cleanliness.

I iron them both, he takes them and leaves.

Later that night, I get a text.

Good night mom, love you. Thank you for everything you do for me. By the way  you need to step it up, you’ve been slacking lately. JK, love you but for real pick it up get your head out of the gutter, JK love you. Tell Gasan to keep up the good work, he’s been ballin lately.

Interpretation: I love you mom. I’m 15 and on the verge of being a man, but still kind of a little boy and I know maybe I’m hard to deal with but I’ll never actually admit that…but we can both just “know it” and I’m going to cover up any expression of feelings with little odd remarks about you not doing your domestic duties well enough and a nod to your husband for being a cool guy.

Progress people. I’ll take what I can get.