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.

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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!

“We” are pregnant?

No, I’m not pregnant and my husband is not pregnant. As a matter of fact my husband has never been pregnant. I just want to make it very clear “we” cannot be pregnant unless the “we” is two women. To be pregnant is to carry a fetus. At this time in history men cannot carry fetusus (I so wanted to say feti) maybe when we get the cow to jump over the moon men will carry fetusus. “We” cannot carry the fetus, “we” cannot feel the contractions, “we” cannot push the baby out and “we” cannot breastfeed.

Now I don’t know how this got started. Did it start with that 1994 Junior movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his pre-governator days? Did people really think that carrying the fetus was a shared experience after watching that movie? Did some man decide that the woman was getting too much attention so he decided to say that “we” were pregnant? I don’t know but “we” can make a baby and we can expect a baby to come, however, “we”cannot be pregnant.

Now, if when people are saying that “we” are pregnant as in we are “abounding in fancy, wit or resourcefulness” then that is correct. I don’t, however, think that is what people are meaning to say unless it is a coincidence that she happens to be carrying a fetus at the same time she and her husband are pregnant as in “abounding in fancy, wit or resourcefulness.” I do have to say my husband and I have been in that situation three times — “abounding in …. ” while I was pregnant.

Last night as I was ranting about the “we” pregnant thing to my husband he mentioned that royalty could say “we are pregnant”  as in the royal we. Because the royal crown is considered to belong to the people, apparently, when royalty gets pregnant it’s the whole country carrying the fetus.  Okay, I’ll let all of England carry those royal babies, but here in the US can “we” stop being pregnant? We are done with this post now. We are going to get something to eat.

Yes, he takes after me

I was writing. I should have been cutting out paperdolls or giving a puppet show or teaching about the difference between baking soda and baking powder — you know the things good moms do. I was writing, and then I heard something. Actually, I heard nothing and that was the danger. I imagined, when I went to investigate, I was going to find naked dolls hanging from the ceiling in flames or wet toilet paper stuck to the wall framing a colorful mural.

I slowly walked into my son’s room to find my 5-year-old daughter and my 22-month-old son playing chess. I’m not sure who was winning, but my toddler was clapping.

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