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August Mom Again

Published November 2, 2017 by sarcasmica

Hello again, it’s me. Your friendly conscious neighborhood August mom. I was staring at my computer screen wanting to get so much off my chest, but then I realized I just want a second cup of coffee instead.

November kicks my ass every year. Every. F-ing. Year.

I love Halloween. Love it. It’s my fave for those millennial readers šŸ™‚ After it’s all over, I always get a little blue. I procrastinate taking down the decorations. I make a mental note of the neighbors that are cleared out and cleaned up by November 1st.

There is so much prep that happens leading up to Halloween, y’all, my brain is just scrambled eggs by the time it’s over. I’m always left thinking, “Really?! That’s it?! It’s done for another year ?!!”

Think about it.. back to school, parent/teacher conferences, all the fucking communication – or lack thereof – between teachers and myself, my daughter’s birthday, then my birthday, then BAM! Halloween.

And then it’s November and i’m looking at Christmas decorations at the pharmacy. November is my husband’s birthday and Thanksgiving, and before I know it it’s anniversary time and then Christmas. Getting older just means less prep and organization between shit. It’s all, ‘Really? Already?’ while everyone around you is holding a calendar wondering what your malfunction is.

This year my son decided to mature. He decided to do this not with a job or paying rent, but by going trick or treating with new friends in our new neighborhood. They warn you this will happen. They warn you when you least expect it, your kids grow up. They don’t warn you it will happen in the form of ditching mom on her favorite holiday to go ring doorbells and take candy!

Ok, i’m calm. Sorry. I am so proud of my anxious, worried, safety-minded, cautious boy for going out and conquering the neighborhood dressed as a psychotic murderous animatronicĀ  bunny. But why couldn’t he warn me last year that it would be the last family trick or treating year?

He is my oldest and he’s (finally) growing up. He actually commented while doing homework last night – which, by the way, has been meltdown free all year!!! – that he cares about his work and he wants to get good grades.

Huh?! Where is my child?! What the fuck is happening right now?!

All of this is happening while we are having minor construction done on the house. We are adding a deck to our nonexistent back yard. I’m supposed to be keeping track of shit like schedules and ordering crap I know nothing about when I can’t even manage a home cooked meal for my family every night. Every day is a magic trick of turning my seemingly empty pantry and fridge into not one, not two, but three meals for my kids! Somehow there is food in their lunchboxes that does not get a note home from CPS for me every day. And it’s not because I don’t go to the grocery store. I’m there all the time! But still we never seem to have one important ingredient each day.

I am not an organized person. I am an August Mom. I am getting by. I am dealing and managing, but just barely. I’m one missed cup of coffee away from a mental break down at all times, it seems. My husband, who has been working very hard lately coincidentally, and I had a fight last night about fucking deck lights. Deck lights! Why can’t we fight about who loves who more, or who wants to have more sex? Or why do you spend money on all of these gifts for me? Why waste that brain energy on fucking deck lighting?!

 

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Playdate Pain

Published April 6, 2017 by sarcasmica

I’m gonna get real with y’all. I’m terrible at adulting. Nothing highlights that more than being a parent. All the mingling at school, pick up, drop off, playdates.

It’s hell for this introvert! I am not at all comfortable with small talk and chit chat. I see it as a huge waste of time. It’s not like that crap lets you get to know a person. Your feelings about the weather do not concern me. Your chatter about your husband’s job will not be remembered.

Seriously.

My son has allowed me to live in a hermit bubble because his friend lives next door. The interaction I have with the parents is minimal and it’s familiar because Hello! We live next door. It’s comfortable without being forced….. usually.

My daughter, however, is little miss parade float. She high fives and waves and “hello!”s every kid in her class and all the kids in the other kinder class and a few of the 1st graders and a couple 2nd graders.

Nightmare.

I’ve had 2 playdates requested and completed as it is and now I have #3 today. I’m TERRIBLE with follow up. Awful. I did not invite those two other playdate requesters to our house for a reciprocated play date.

Sue me.

My house is a mess, I’m disorganized, we have a smelly hamster cage and a dog that barks when the scent of a new human is wafted through a window. I have a kid that goes to practice twice a week resulting in a 30 mile round trip event in the heart of rush hour traffic. I volunteer twice a week with ear drum-rupturing decibel level creatures that want to remove my fingers, I hopefully get to sneak in breakfast or lunch or coffee with a friend at least once a week between all of that.

I like the rare quiet down time that I do occasionally get. I don’t want to have to worry about entertaining a person I don’t know and likely wont know after this year because we are moving.

This all makes me a terrible bitchy anti-social human being, right?

My husband met the dad of the first one-playdate-stand we had at a daddy/daughter dance I made him go to. I had to justify why he’s never heard of the kid or the dad before.

It’s not that they weren’t nice. The mom was SUPER nice. Really polite. Quite cordial and friendly.

Unfortunately for her and my daughter, I don’t know what to do with that. I can’t relate. I’m not ‘nicey-nice’ and that’s what’s expected of you when you trot your daughter around to princess playdates.

We are more of a super hero family that dabbles in princesses. And these days you are a neglectful parent if you don’t run down a laundry list of awkward questions before crossing the threshold. I can’t just drop my kid off. Stranger danger! Do they have guns? Do they have a teenage boy? Do they have a face-ripping monster pet? Do they have a creek in the back yard? Do they have a bomb shelter? Donate organs? Feed the homeless? Leave their car unlocked? Doors unlocked? Stairs? Peanut allergy? Oxygen allergy? Sunlight intolerant?

It’s not as easy as “MOM! I’m riding my bike over to Mikey’s house, k? BYE!!!!”

And no, those weren’t “the days”. I had many an unwise unchaperoned visit with friends growing up and frankly, I probably shouldn’t be alive. This is not a knock on anyone, it’s just how things were in the 80’s. (actually it was how it was done up until the 90’s!)

I will do my best to keep my kids reasonably upright and functioning. I’m a stay at home mom, so it’s sort of expected … I think. The employment contract I signed is sort of vague.

So today’s playdate at least has a kid for each kid. Little kinder sister, big 5th grade brother. It’s a double play date. I was given the option to just drop them off and go …. something i’d probably appreciate if I were a nice enough human being to invite other small humans to my house accompanied by their parents, but I feel irresponsible dropping and leaving BOTH kids in a house I have never been in with people I do not know. I guess I can at least stay for coffee before peeling out of the driveway

Plans and Paint

Published April 5, 2017 by sarcasmica

Current project: Figure out a design for the new house.

Current status: Clueless

I have done the unimaginable and hired a designer. I need help. I, apparently, am easily overwhelmed. Funny how this happens more and more the older you get. I guess my cup o’ shit is running close to full a lot because the minute someone hovers above it with a handful of more, I start twitching.

Not that this process is anywhere near “shit” status. It’s not. I am just out of my depth. I blame HGTV, Chip and Joanna, Pinterest, and life. I am no longer satisfied with garage sale furniture forced to function and ADD walls with one color over there, another color in the bathroom, and a totally separate color in the hall. It’s time to live like the grown up I’m pretending to be, and the government insists that I am.

BLEND, bitches, BLEND!

The beautiful house we bought has some color scheme issues. The entry is green, the living area is sand, and the kitchen and TV room is burnt orange.

Really…

And the home office is green and the guest room is burn-your-eyes-out blue, one bedroom is regurgitated yellow, another is pleasant boy blue, and the master ceiling – just the ceiling – is ocean sky blue.

 

….

I mean, seriously. The painter we met at the house was just like, “Huh?”

So we are de-patching and wholly unifying. We are gonna bring that space together, but in order to do that, I need a professional. A low-cost, fairly noob-ish designer. You know, one that is still driving around the Escape and not yet into the Mercedes.

I met her at the house and she helped me narrow down a color. It’s beautiful, I love it, but now I’m wondering how big the project is going to get. Not because she’s pushing, but because I just want to do this once.

We are trying to upscale the furniture a bit so we have to not only pick wall colors that match mantles and carpet and hardwoods, but also that lend to some creative furniture ideas and colors.

DELFT by sherwin-williams

This gets overwhelming quickly.

Is it happy hour yet?

 

Alien Evolution

Published March 24, 2017 by sarcasmica

Driving my son to fencing practice last night, he began talking about civilization. At first I thought it was just iPad withdrawal, but turns out he was going somewhere with it.

I have to paraphrase here because honestly, I wasn’t actually listening in the beginning. I tuned in off and on and it went something like this

“…. where we came from…”Ā  “… like from another planet, because there are a lot of planets and we still don’t know everything that’s out there…”Ā  “.. how I got here. I just wish I knew where we came from, you know?”

This was obviously the answer portion of the show.

“You mean like reincarnation?” (a topic of discussion last week)

“Yea.. sorta… but like where people came from. I wish we knew how we got here.”

How can he not know this at 10? Have I been that negligent that these basic concepts were left out?

“Honey .. we know where we came from. There has been lots and lots of science that tells us our history and how we got here.”

silence…. which, if you live with a ten year old boy who plays Minecraft and video games, you know this is not usually a positive reaction.

…. ?? hello?

And it dawned on me that he didn’t really want to seem out of the loop, but since it is a huge loop, more of a sphere, I delved into the very limited information I have on the topic. I was cursing myself for not paying more attention in Ancient Civilization in high school.

We talked about evolution. We talked about early humans. We talked about evolution and early humans. This somehow segwayed into a conversation about language. He wanted to know how language becomes established. Thankfully this I had slightly more information on based on having a near certification for Interpreting.

I explained how language is an ever-evoloving thing. There is no set permanent language because it’s constantly reflecting society.

Language is a result of the culture that establishes and uses it. Think about the word “Cold” or “snow”. Do you think Alaskans have more words used for that or Arizonians? We went on to discuss how the culture determines the usage and rules of a word.

He was still spinning on the fact that words are still being created. “Can I create a word?” “Only if you can find a massive group of people to all use it the same way you do, and then they influence and cause millions more to use it all in a common way.”

“Take ‘Selfie’ for example. This was not a word before smart phones. There were people flipping cameras around to take photos of themselves, yes. I was/am a master at this. It just didn’t have a name until people began using smart phones, apps, taking pictures of themselves en masse. Instead of always saying ‘I’m taking a picture of myself.’ it evolved down to just a single word. A word everyone uses for the same thing.”

We talked about how words get added to the dictionary every year because society and culture is always finding a new way to describe something. We talked about certain things being invented long ago that forever changed society. Fire. The wheel.

It was quite a cerebral conversation for a non-college educated mom and her ten year old son.

And this, my friends, is what can happen when you travel without an iPad. (because your son lost privileges due to behaving like a rabid beast every morning before school)

Don’t get me wrong, this conversation could have played out in a million ways. 999,998 of them being about Minecraft in one way or another. Also, I could have tuned in and out of whatever current story is being written in his brain. This one time it was educational and interesting and I actually found a topic I didn’t have to bullshit my way through entirely! SCORE!

 

Armor

Published January 17, 2017 by sarcasmica

We are a video game family. My husband makes them so it’s sort of a requirement. This is aided by the fact we all enjoy them.

I like RPGs. (Role Playing Games) I’ve lost many a personal growth opportunity to playing WoW. (World of Warcraft) I no longer play, but had played since the beta and well into my son’s life. I did not neglect him to play, but let’s just say dirty dishes may have aged and laundry may have walked as a result of my hobby. This game was my first RPG and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I wasn’t very good at it, and did not achieve anywhere near maximum level, but I felt it was a respectable character.

I like ranged characters. This means I get to be away from the fray, but still hurl damaging hits from afar. Because I get to hang back, my character only needs light armor. I’m vulnerable to attacks, but I rely on “tanks” to deal with the bad guys up close and personal.

My husband likes to play FPS games. (First Person Shooters) He loves big hulking characters maxed out in armor and giant weapons. He loves running into a mess and tackling things head-on.

My son likes FPS games, but tends to hang back and want to direct. He likes the weapons and the action, but not necessarily up close and personal. His armor is protected. Fighting is sometimes secondary.

My daughter is only 6 so her game library is pretty sparse. She loves playing Minecraft with her brother, but they never play with the monsters on. She has begun to master Mario Kart also – but only if she’s Princess Peach šŸ™‚

What is with the gaming lesson? I have realized we play much like we live. Not with big guns and moon boots and space ship getaways, but with our armor and our plans of attack. I am very passive aggressive. I will do anything to avoid a confrontation. Please do not put me on the spot for a quick decision because it will simply not happen. Need support? I’m your gal. Need advice? Anytime! But direct conflict? No thanks.

My husband is all about confrontation. Clean it up, clear it out, what’s the matter, deal with it. No mess. He is a big personality with big opinions and ideas to back it up.

Together we’ve created this little man. This kid that likes to be in charge, but doesn’t necessarily like conflict. He’s all about safety and rules. Things are black and white and everyone else should absolutely follow the rules.(If he chooses not to, it’s for a very good reason! Duh!)

So here I am sitting at my computer trying to work out a problem. My son has a villain. A nemesis. An enemy. This kid has been a problem since 4th grade. I don’t like using the term “bully” as that should be reserved for actual physical threats, abuse, intimidation, etc. The jerk in my son’s class is just that. A jerk. A now 5th grade jock brat. This kid is bigger than most kids in the class and has the psychological back up of a teacher mom. A teacher at the same school, no less. He has a nearly impenetrable invisible armor. … nearly.

Last year the harassment began. Slight things. Big brother annoying things. This kid is not my son’s big brother, however, and that crap will simply not fly. I brought this all to the teacher’s attention.

Things escalated and nothing was being done. I found out my kid was not the only one being harassed. By the Spring there was a playground incident where my kid was shoved by Jerk Boy and I took it to the principal and called out the fact that just because Jerk Boy had a Teacher Mom, I did not appreciate the staff turning a blind eye to the treatment of my kid.

Surprise! Things were corrected. The Teacher Mom literally refused to make eye contact with me after that (and still wont look at me at pick up) but who cares? I just wanted my son safe at school. He had enough to deal with from being behind by an entire grade level and was working through finding a good medication for his ADHD. Also we were new to the school, and a lot of the kids knew each other so my son had to jump in and make friends from scratch.

After making a huge deal about everything, the antagonizing and overall jerkdom ceased. This year we found out they would be in the same class again and worried a bit, but the year began with no issues. … until recently. My son told me last night that Jerk Boy had been resurrected and he was starting again.

Kids have a way of making you grow. Unless you are just unable to pay attention and parent, you kind of have to grow and change as they do. I was a very naive parent in thinking if I could just keep them alive until Elementary School, things would be cake!

HA!! HAHAHAHhahahahhaAAAAAAAA

Dumbass. It just gets more complicated. At school you have a big giant pool of all kinds of small humans from all kinds of big human lives/situations/circumstances and the big humans in charge also come in a wide array of Human.

Spoiler alert: Some asshole grown ups make asshole kids. I strive not to associate with either.

So I’ve become more aggressive in my tactics with dealing with these situations. I cannot send in my tank husband to bash through the administration office. I am the face they are used to seeing. They know me from the IEP meetings and they know i’m not an asshole ( i hope!) But now they know I can be one if someone is choosing to overlook my son’s treatment simply because they are friends with his Villain’s mother.

Kids suck. School is hard. Armor is required! I had big brothers so my combat training was extensive before elementary school. Teasing and name calling was not something that concerned me. I am thankful my family has always been brutally honest about everything. Don’t feel good? Take medicine. In pain? Lose weight, fat ass! Hungry at lunch time? PackĀ  your own damn lunch! Failing a subject? Do the damn homework!

This made adulting slightly more doable. Cynical and intolerant? That’s just back up armor.

I am a firm believer that kids should not be sheltered from life’s harshness. I DO believe it makes for better adults. Having said that, there are levels of tolerance. My kid is a sensitive boy not because he is coddled or enabled. He is sensitive because he is dealing with a lot of factors. He does not go to school, sit at a desk, listen to the teacher, follow the directions, play at recess and come home. My daughter is able to do all of that, and is mastering it in Kindergarten. My son, however, literally cannot. He goes to school after getting up from a restless night of intermittent sleep. He deals with ten channels going on in his brain as he tries to focus on getting the toothpaste on the brush …. if he decides to actually brush instead of just trying to convince me that it happened. He manages whatever clothes he likes despite being able to identify colors, fights through the lack of impulse control to jump scare his little sister every chance he gets. When he makes it to breakfast, he takes medicine that will eventually kick in – hopefully by the time he sits at his classroom desk – eats what he can before his body is no longer interested in food. He then wades through the noise of a morning house, his brain noise, and whatever duties he needs to complete before configuring all the items needed to leave the house.

It would be nice if school was the beginning of his brain activity for the day, but it’s not. When you add to that the stress of a Jerkwad who is seemingly protected by an invisibility cloak in the form of a mother who is a well-liked teacher at the same school it adds complication to your day. It’s a distraction! My kid has managed to jump an entire grade level in Math and Writing. That’s epic! That is huge and I would hate for that achievement to get diminished and jeopardized because he’s trying to figure out avoidance and exit strategies.

Let’s just make kind reasonable people, ok? And if you are afraid you are one of the asshole parents mentioned, you probably are. That’s ok! There’s help! Just stop being an asshole. Attempt to open your mind to another perspective. Start small. That checker who never smiles at the grocery store? Maybe it’s not you, maybe he/she has something really hard to deal with like a sick family member. Be nice anyway. There’s hope! I used to be an asshole, and my kids have convinced me to change… and they are worth it because they’re pretty awesome.

At the end of the day we all want to be able to take off our armor, sit at a table and chow down on a turkey leg.

Just be kind.

 

Break Free!

Published January 3, 2017 by sarcasmica

Dear Teachers of My Little Angels,

I tried. I really did, I swear. I tried really hard to prepare them for going back to school today. I even began prep last night.

7:45 Tuck everyone in. Everyone was bathed, storied, brushed, loved, and hugged.

7:49 Girl child comes downstairs claiming headache and inability to fall asleep
7:51 After list of complaints, hugs and stern “Good. Night.” was given

10:30 Surprise! The boy child is still reading. but he was reading, so that’s allowed, right? At least, this is what he tells me.

10:35 Lights out, happy sounds on to lull overachieving reader to sleep
10:36 “Mom. mooooooom. MOM”
10:37 Swallow fury and exhaustion and sternly correct all imperfections in sheets, blankets, hair, eyebrows, elbows. “Good. NIGHT.”

This brings us to this morning. I swear I tried! I did! I got up, made a hot breakfast for my little geniuses to have proper fuel for the glorious school return.

Fail.

Kids got lost in the bathroom, they forgot how to open drawers to find socks. They failed to operate spoons and cereal bowls, they were unable to locate both shoes.

On top of all of the joyous regular needs of school children, it was 18 degrees outside so we then had to operate jackets AND gloves. Pants AND boots. Scarves AND hair. It was mayhem.

And because I was busy showing/teaching/coaching/yelling directions, I failed in my own duties to foresee the ice covering my windshield. Getting all children out the door without death threats was a bonus, but sitting in the front seat staring at an iced over windshield was my undoing, Teach.

I scraped and cussed as the first bell rang.

The upside is that they were delivered with all appropriate cold weather fixes so they do not return from recess frozen kidsicles. The downside is that they will most likely forget at least two items of wardrobe either in the class before going outside, or just leaving them on the playground.

But I did what I could. It was all I could do not to drive immediately to the airport afterwards and head to California where there is family that would feed and water me, and a beach to soothe my mom-drenched, care-taker emptied soul.

So on the bright side, I WILL be there to pick them up this afternoon. .. i think … right after I check alaskaair.com.

Sincerely,

An appreciative and apologetic mom

P.S. I’d like it noted in my file that I made a hot breakfast AND made lunches. Lunches that did not include cheetohs or chocolate or fish. Although, my son did take a PB&J which I realize is virtually declaring war on the PTA. For this, I apologize but it appears my maid neglected to make it to the grocery store before today. She will swiftly be flogged and fired.

New Shmoo

Published January 1, 2017 by sarcasmica

I have been absent for a while. It would seem failing at the craft fair has sent me into hiding out of embarrassment and frustration, but sadly that is not the case. Nope, I have just become a care giver to my post op husband.

Imma let that sink in.

You know how there’s a whole honest truth to the whole “Man Cold” thing? Well imagine that after surgery. Go ahead… i’ll wait.

I love my husband. I do.

(this is not a statement as much as a mantra I have beenĀ  repeating since the surgery)

Between a husband home and immobile after surgery and two kids home on winter break, and preparing for Christmas and decorating it’s safe to say I’m a few fries short of a happy meal right now.

I am counting down to Tuesday when at least the kids will be out of the house for hours at a time in a safe place where I do not have to manage them, their behavior, their bickering and fighting, their “nuh -uh, that’s not right it’s THIS way!” and dietary demands.

The other reality that has been fairly entertaining with a smidge of annoyance is the dawning of my reality on my husband. He’s not been around the kids for this many consecutive hours ever. Like, ever. And one of the kids has a cold!

He has no escape. He cannot wheel himself on his knee scooter down the stairs to escape. … well, he could if he had the right incentive, I suppose. There is no driving to the office to a last minute meeting. Also there’s a whole fun game of “stop interrupting when i’m talking to mom”

The kids don’t like sharing my attention anymore than I like dividing it up while explaining to all parties how to manage their individual frustrations.

and then I go smoke a cigarette.

Just kidding, I drink heavily.

No, that’s not right either. See, if I drank, then who would drive my husband to the ER in the event of an emergency? Not the 10 year old.

“So, Sarcasmica, how do you handle all that bottled up frustration and energy?”

I tell myself many other people have it much much worse. There are countless women out there taking care of sick kids, terminal family members, managing their own jobs and armies of medical professionals who are necessary for every day life.

Me, I just have to manage my entire family being home for two weeks while my husband recovers from foot surgery and is living in the world’s smelliest boot, rolling around the house dodging dogs and kids, and living in a hospital bed in the middle of our dining room-turned office-turned apartment.

So new year, at this point my only resolution is to keep my children alive to drop them off at school on January 3. Think I can make it? I’m not so sure!

Taking care of another adult has been quite eye-opening. For one it’s made me understand in our old age we better live in assisted living because there is no way in hell I am helping with bathroom duties… doodies… hehehehee

I can’t. It seems I don’t have it in me.

I was raised extremely independent. I am quite happy managing myself, taking care of myself, medicating myself. At this point I’m training my children for college independence and their only 6 and 10. “Make your own breakfast, bring down your laundry, start the car, take the meatloaf out of the oven.”

Kidding, but that’s my parenting goal. Self-sufficiency.

So now to have a grown ass person asking me to pick up a remote and hand it to him. Make a sandwich. Don’t forget to put on the mustard. Bring me a pillow for my foot, but not that one or that one… or that one. No not that direction, face it the other way. But don’t forget to position the corners like this.

It’s all I can do not to explode, people. And it’s not his fault. It’s not. He can’t help being an invalid giant child. I’d be miserable if I were solely dependent on another person to take care of me. He’s actually been in great spirits…. but being waited on hand and foot does have it’s perks come to think of it…

Funnily enough it’s not that i’m managing more around the house with him out of commission, either. Shocking spoiler alert: the trash is still being taken out like always, the dishes and laundry still get done without hiccups, and food gets put on the table like always.

“But how can that be?!?!”

strange, right?

This whole thing has been an exercise in patience, sympathy, patience, unselfishness, compassion and patience. I’ve swallowed so many comments and held back so many eye-rolls that I’m dangerously close to becoming a grown up. It’s terrifying!!!

 

 

 

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