Dog Days of Parenting

There are days when I wonder how I am going to raise my three kids. Okay, those are most of the days in the year. There are days when my oldest son drives me absolutely crazy and I wonder if his mouth stopped moving if he would still breathe. There are days when my daughter is pouting and whining and I wonder where she could possibly have learned this bad habit. There are days when my youngest boy is crying most of the day and I wonder if my head will every stop aching.

 

These are the things you never think about when you are falling in love with someone. No, you picture picket fences and bruised knees covered in band-aids. You imagine baking banana bread as your children knit scarves by the fire (no that might have been a Jane Austen book).

 

Parenting is hard most of the time. People are difficult all of the time. Just when you think you will be driven to madness, one of your offspring says something loving or funny, and you remember why you carried that sweet thing through 40 weeks of torture. And you remember why you looked like a beached whale and waddled to the bathroom every 15 minutes. Yes, you know that these dog days will eventually go away, and you will be left with an empty house. In the mean time, you look forward to the minute they are all in bed and Ben & Jerry calls your name from the freezer.

To REad

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Job Experience — Part I

I am going to start a series of posts about my former jobs. My nephew (who is only 4 years younger) likes to tease me about the different jobs I’ve held. I mentioned in another post my police academy ambition. Now, I will actually share some lessons learned and moments from my eclectic job life–because I think I’m a celebrity and you would like to know these things.

My first paying job was a typical first job — babysitting. Since I am the youngest of eight kids, I was the babysitter for many of my nieces and nephews. I actually started babysitting when I was in the 5th grade. I can’t imagine my oldest son babysitting right now. I was either more mature than that average 5th grader, or my sister was desperate to get out of the house.

As I got a bit older I started to babysit for other people as well. Now with my three kids, I wish I was around to babysit my kids now. That was confusing. My point being–I would like to have a dependable babysitter for my kids now at the rate I got paid. I was paid 50 cents per kid per hour. Now, babysitters charge about $10 an hour for one child!

Lessons learned from babysitter positions:

  • When a pea gets stuck in a child’s nose, don’t panic, just hand them a tissue and tell them to blow real hard
  • It is easy to get a kid to laugh, but difficult to get them to stop laughing
  • Kids always puke on hard-to-wash surfaces

  Perks of the job:

  • Jello Pudding Pops — not in stores anymore 
  • Popcorn
  • Pizza
  • Water skiing lessons
  • Jet ski rides

Would I do this job again?

Not for 50 cents an hour per kid, no I do it now for free!

The Service in Customer Service

Friday, I decided to take my three sweet children to the fair. I am not exaggerating; they were actually sweet on Friday. I planned ahead and bought the tickets online for a cheaper price than at the gate, and was gloating about my resourcefulness. I tend to gloat anytime I save money, and repeatedly tell myself how thrifty I am.

We live very close to the fairgrounds and walked to the fair (saved $8 -$15 in parking fees—see I’m gloating again). We went through the little gate and everything was going smoothly, the weather was nice and the kids were still sweet. One of the tickets I bought online was for a book of ride coupons. I presented this to the girl at the gate and she said, “Oh, I can’t take this you have to go somewhere else.”

To which I replied “Where?” (Good question, huh?)

“I don’t know this is my first day” –it was the first day of the fair.

I moseyed onto the ticket booth, so that he could say “Oh, you need to give this to them” and pointed to nothing, really.

I then proceeded to walk through the entire fair to the far  entrance to the fair to the information booth. Being the “information booth” I assumed they would have information. “Hi, can I help you?” the information chick asked.

“Well, I bought this ticket online and don’t know how to get my ride coupon book.”

“Oh, let me call someone”, she said. She got on her walkie-talkie, cb or what have you (you’d think with technological advancement she would have something called an “icom” or “berry talker” or they’d be text messaging.)  Anyway, the information guru on the other side of the device told her that I needed to go to the ticket booth.

“But, I already went to a ticket booth and they couldn’t help me,” I said somewhat sweetly.
 

“Oh, well, you have to go to it again. These will be open at 11 o’clock.”

“11 o’clock?”

“Yes, that’s when they opened last year.”

“Okay, thanks.”

I (still smiling) looked at my watch (10:30) and then wandered over to the nature section so my kids could pet millipedes and bearded dragons. They were very excited and I was happy they were so excited. We stayed in the nature section until my daughter told me that she had to go to the bathroom–yesterday.

So we ran to the nearest restroom tripping over turtles, snakes and the elderly as we frantically searched for the closest latrine. After what seemed like hours, but what was only 1 minute and 23 seconds, we found a place for my daughter, and all of it made it into the toilet. I was relieved. The kids begged me to go back to the nature area. And, being the nice mom that I am, and because it’s free, we went back to petting the turtles and snakes.

At around 11:00 am, the kids started asking about the rides again. We find the closest ticket booth and I hand my internet receipt. She greets us with a shaking of the head and pointing of the finger to a sign taped to the window which basically said:

All internet ticket purchases must be picked up at the ticket window between Looney Tunes and Monster Trucks

“Oh”, I said, “where is that?”

“I don’t know where it is,” said the very helpful ticket booth lady.

“Okay, thanks.”

We of course have no idea where the monster trucks and Looney whatever are, and don’t know what direction we should even go. We start walking, again.

On our journey we meet a lady (or was it the tin man?)that seemed official, and I said as politely as I could possibly muster at this time, “I have been looking for someone to help me with this internet purchase for the last hour, could you please help me?”

“Oh, sure, I’m so sorry (finally, a sorry) let me see that,” she says and then gets on her cb radio thingy.

We waited for about 10 minutes while she called up everyone in a 30 mile radius for an answer.

“Oh, I know where it is”,  she said after speaking to what must have been the 911 operator,  “just go back where you were and you will see a trailer, ticket thingy and the monster trucks right next to it.”

So we go back toward where her finger was pointing, convinced this time, we would get the tickets, only to find ourselves at the same information booth we visited an hour previously!

I just looked at information chick and said “No, we still haven’t gotten our tickets.” (I would like to say I was still sweet, but I was more terse than polite.)

“You still don’t have them?” she said which we all know to mean – “you’re still an idiot?”  

At this time the lady who had pointed to this general direction pops out of her little golf cart to say “You still haven’t found it?” which we all know means – “you’re the stupidest person I ever met.”

She finally shows me where the hidden little trailer was next to the monster truck ride (okay, these were not monster trucks they were baby trucks).

I went up the stairs and presented my internet coupon, and the lady at the booth hands me the coveted ticket coupons .Not being content to leave it at that, I mention that I had a very hard time finding the trailer.

“We’re here in the same spot every year”, she says in a monotone voice.

“Well, I’ve never been here before and wouldn’t know that, and there are no signs anywhere.”

“Oh, yeah, there aren’t any signs, but everyone knows where we are.”

“No, I have talked to 4 people that work at the fair and they didn’t know. No one knows where you are.”

“Okay, I will make sure the people at the front know where we are.”

Would it have been so hard to say “I’m sorry”, or, “Please take more ride tickets for wasting an hour of your day chasing down everyone at the fair to ask them something they all should know the answer to” or even “You shouldn’t have had to go through all of this, the fair should be fun!”

I was to blame because I was supposed to know where they were “last year” when I was living half way across the world!  

just a follow-up to my pharmacy thoughts

1. I want you to know this weekend I was able to eat Baskin Robbin’s Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream.  I know you were worried about this so I wanted you to know.

2. I know many of you were worried about how I left my kids in the car while I ran a quick errand. First of all, it was probably a total of 6 minutes and 27 seconds that I was actually  in the pharmacy or I would have had more thoughts going through my brain.

3. I love my kids and would never put them in harms way. If I leave them in the car: 

  • I make sure it is running just in case my 9 year old needs to move the car to a different parking spot.
  • I leave a loaded gun on the seat next to him so he can keep intruders away.
  • I leave a bag of hard candy for my 2 year old to munch on just in case he is hungry.
  • I put the radio on a rap station so they can learn new words.
  • I give my daughter a box of matches to play with so she doesn’t get bored.

So please don’t worry!

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