Friday, August 14, 2015

Finders Keepers?

I balance my checkbook and pay the bills weekly. Usually it is with sweat on my brow, that I crunch the numbers and hope that this isn’t the week where I’ve spent too much and finally taken us under.

With school registration fees, back-to-school shopping, gymnastics fees (this list could go on & on) my check book has been seeing a lot of action lately. So I’ve been looking for small ways to save a little money.

After cleaning up the summer scum that the children had left behind, I was out of cleaning supplies and because I’m being budget conscience, I headed to a discount shopping center where I found multi-purpose spray cleaner, bleach, toilet bowl cleaner, and furniture polish (because maybe I’ll do that??) all for $1 each. My budget was smiling.

I was in the checkout line when I saw it. There on the floor was an envelope. I picked it up. Inside? $350.

Instantly a little angel and a little devil popped up on my shoulder and went to battle.

Devil: Yay! This must be gift from God. This is his way of helping you out!

Angel: You know better than this. This is not your money. Someone worked hard for this money.

Devil: You don’t know that! Someone could have sold drugs to children for this money. Your luck? They probably sold it to your kids! Keep the money.

Angel: You can’t keep it!

Devil: Finders keepers!

Angel: Do unto others!

Ugh. My conscience was fighting worse than my kids. I was irritating myself. I had to shut it down.

I decided I should take the money to the police station. Then I panicked.

What if there were security cameras in the store? What if they saw me leaving with the money and instantly plastered my picture on social media? I could become a cyber-bullying victim: declared guilty in the court of public opinion before I had the opportunity to explain I had taken it to the police.

I handed over the money to an employee who said she would put it in the safe until it was claimed. I’m hopeful that this occurred, and I’m hopeful that the money is reunited with its owner. I’m sure whoever it is is probably on a budget and is missing it more than I could ever need it.

It’s such a shitty feeling to lose money. Once, I lost $100 at a mini-golf course/arcade. I was in middle school and decided to take my entire life savings with me to a putt putt place because I was an idiot. What the hell was I going to buy? $100 worth of slushies and nachos? I guess that was always a possibility….

I never found that money. I’m still pissed about it. I’m pissed at myself and whoever who found and kept it. And I'm super pissed I didn't get my slushie and nachos. I suffered through 9 holes of putt putt hell for nothing. I hate putt putt. I had gone for the concessions.

I left the store and headed home with my cleaning supplies and more importantly a clean conscience. All budgets were working and perfectly balanced.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hold on for one more day....

The reviews are in and after one day, Hadley is calling 5th grade a bust. She’s not going back. Her friends are in different homeroom class and she's comparing her current room assignment to a prison sentence.

Upon returning from school, Hadley crossed her name out on my "Have a Great Day Chalkboard."   Sheesh. 

If this is any indication of how the school year is going to proceed, I might have to imprison myself.

She has requested to be home-schooled to which Cameron replied, “Hadley, don’t do that, you will be dumb!” 

Shit. I guess my review isn’t so hot either.

Did they learn anything? Well, kinda.

Hadley: I learned that these shoes give me blisters.

Cameron: Allergies. I learned about allergies. If I don’t wash my hands after eating peanut butter, I could kill a kid. Maybe even a kindergartner.

With my heart breaking a little for Hadley, I am hopeful that if can convince her to attend, that tomorrow might be a little bit better.

Maybe I’ll play her a little Wilson Philips on repeat tonight and teach her to “Hold on for one more day…..” Perhaps then she’ll be begging to go to school.

That’s what it’s come to, ten years into this parenting gig and I’m now relying on Wilson Philips. 

This is my only idea. This is all I've got. I'm going to smack the first day of school blues out of her with early 90s pop music. 

Good luck Hadley.  PS. Cameron wash your hands.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jack's Wild Wild West Tee-Ball Show

Jack's coach taking him off the pitching mound and returning him to 2nd base.
It was recently brought to my attention that my 4-year-old son was old enough to play tee-ball with the Jasper Youth Softball League. Wait? What? Really? They’ve got to be kidding.

He’s spent only 48 months on this earth, and he’s old enough for an organized sport? I would later learn that “organized” in regards to 4-year old tee-ball is a generous word. However, yes, for organized tee-ball Jack was, indeed, eligible, if questionably capable.

I spent a few weeks deciding whether I should sign him up. It seemed too early. By starting now, surely, he’d be worn out and washed up by 12. He’d then turn to drugs and by 16, I’d be shopping rehab facilities. Tee-ball having served as the gateway drug.

However, I was also well-aware that Jack’s athletic gene-pool was probably pretty shallow, so if he wanted to play, I better give him any head start he could get. So I drank the Kool-Aid and hopped on the the ride to nowhere.

I soon learned that there would be a tee-ball draft. Yep. This is a real situation. Coaches, actually get together and haggle for players, half of whom can’t even wipe their own butts, my son among them.

Jack was drafted to the Devil Rays, and his first practice was scheduled.

That practice. The Devil Rays looked like castaways on the island of misfit toys. And the poor well-intended coach….he handed Jack a bat - on purpose - not knowing that Jack would rather swing the bat at his teammates like a sword than try and hit the ball.

Watching a group of 4-year old boys play their first game is like watching tiny aliens arrive on planet earth. As a majority, they have no clue what’s happening or why. And if you’re Jack, you really don’t care. Here’s what Jack does care about during his tee-ball game:

1. Making a perfect dirt angel while he mans 2nd base

2. Licking the inside of his hat

3. Picking his nose

4. Picking grass out of the outfield, running it into the infield and throwing it at this teammates. The ball? Oh that probably just whizzed on by him. He’d rather lick his hat.

Jack likes to hit the ball off the tee and then hurl the bat - usually the bat goes farther than the ball. He then likes to gallop, skip, or run backwards to 1st base. Even with his theatrics, he usually makes it on base courtesy of the the absurdity and hilarity of 4 year old tee-ball.

It’s like the wild wild west out on that field. Balls flying, bats swinging. Kids running in all directions. No rules apply. If Jack decides he’d rather play pitcher - he goes and shoves the pitcher off the mound. If a player is running to 3rd base, and Jack doesn’t like the look of him, he blocks him like a linebacker. 

There are no rules in Jack’s wild wild west tee-ball show, except one: You always slide home. Running home? Slide! Going up to the plate to bat? Slide!! And why throw the ball home and make the out when you can run it in and…..Slide!

We bring Jack home looking like he got bombed with dirt. But he’s really bombed on sugar. After the game comes Jack’s favorite part of playing tee-ball - a trip to the concession stand. God bless the Jasper Youth Softball Concession Stand for feeding my family dinner (and dessert!) 4 nights a week.

Not surprisingly, the Devil Rays are 0-10. Which is horrible, except if you’re Jack.
Win? Lose? It doesn't matter to him. That’s the best part of 4 year old tee-ball.  The scoreboard, for these days, for these kids, doesn’t exist. This won’t always be true. Some day, in the near future, there will be winners, there will be losers but this summer, out on the field, all that matters is sliding home.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

It's just a tampon.

Throughout the course of my eleven-year marriage, my husband and I have become quite comfortable. 

We don’t hold back a fart or a burp. After all, we are getting older and it is quite possible that if we hold it in we could explode.

We no longer bother to close the bathroom door to pee – there’s no point.  Going to the bathroom is a family affair; I haven’t peed without an audience in years.

Oh look! Mom is going to the bathroom, I need to find out what’s for dinner, have her sign my test, ask her to find my dance bag, spot my back handspring and read me a book.

We’re comfortable. Justin scratches his balls for days and I don’t shave my legs for weeks. This is marriage. This is the real deal. Pissing with the door open, free flowing gas and itchy balls. This is the dream. This is happily ever after. This is my fairy tale, but where in world did I put that glass slipper??

However, this week, I apparently crossed the line when I asked Justin to hand me a tampon. Yep, that’s it - getting me a tampon - that is where he draws the line.

Justin screamed, "Are you serious?!?!

It was like menstruation was an entirely new concept to him. He couldn't believe it was happening. He could not believe I had my period, and he had to be the tampon boy.

I yelled at him, "Are you serious?!?! Is this shocking information to you? It’s my period. Happens every month. Right on schedule. Just hand me one from under the sink."

He relented and proceeded to walk into the bathroom with his face buried in his shirt.

"What is wrong with you?" I asked him. "You’ve seen 3 children explode out of my vagina. This is NOT a big thing."

"Ok, calm down," he replied. "Ok, Ok, Ok, I’ve found the box – now what do you need?"

You’d think he was dismantling a bomb. Then he dropped a bomb.

"Whoa! Wait a second here!" he said. "It says jumbo on the box! Is it really like that?? Do you have a jumbo vagina??

Holy shit. He was like a 5th grade boy and vaginas were brand new to him. Apparently I had to explain. 

"I do not have a jumbo vagina you idiot." I said.  "It’s a jumbo size pack! Do you think the marketing department at tampax decided to appeal to women with the word “jumbo?”

Justin thought this was great.

“Jumbo!"  he said in a sing-song voice."Mrs. Jumbo! Mrs. Jumbo! Get it, like, from the movie Dumbo?”

“You’re a dumbo," I said, "Throw me the tampon and get out of here."

Yep. This is marriage. This is happily ever after. This is my fairy tale forever. I might have misplaced my glass slipper, but I'm pretty sure that Prince Charming wouldn't fetch Cinderella's tampons.