3

Absurd

absurd

Last year my daughter, who was four at the time, came sashaying down the stairs all super sassy and proud because she had gotten herself dressed without having to be told. As I’m telling her how fab she is, she mentions all super casual that, oh by the way, she couldn’t find any clean underwear, so she is wearing a pair of mine. And off she flounces into the play room. Wait, WHAT? MY underwear? Need I mention that I am a fully grown adult, and her whole entire body is about the size of my right leg? How is this even possible? How is it even staying up? So I tracked her down and asked her: “How is this even possible? How is it even staying up?” She pulls her shirt down over one shoulder and shows me that in order to get my relatively gigantic underwear to stay up (RELATIVELY gigantic. Relatively. It’s not gigantic. It’s regular sized underwear. It’s just huge, you know, compared to her), so in order to get my super cute but relatively gigantic underwear to stay up she has it up over her shoulders. Like Borat. Which somehow struck her as a reasonable option, and not completely absurd.

But I’m no fool. I know absurd when I see it. And I see it a LOT.

So I decided to make a short list of some of the absurdity that I live with:

The Winter Coat Fights: The other day it was 29 degrees out. 29. That is cold. Undeniably. Not even debatable… except to my 8-year-old. My 8-year-old was standing outside shivering to death, lips turning blue, and fingertips showing the first tell-tale signs of frostbite while insisting that he was warm. All you could see were white puffs of air coming out of his mouth as he tried to convince my husband (who was ready to blow a gasket) that it was, in fact, not cold out. That it was actually warm enough that he could stay out all day and be perfectly comfortable, and that under no circumstance was he wearing a winter coat to school.

 

The Pencil Sharpening That Has Gotten Completely Out of Hand: I recently got a new electric pencil sharpener because for some reason no one can ever find a sharpened pencil anywhere in the whole house. So I bought a big thing of pencils and this really cool pencil sharpener. And I was psyched because I thought that now all our pencils worries would be over. And they were, kind of. We now have zillions of pencils to choose from. Except they all look like this:

small pencil

 

The Uneaten Sandwich: Why does this one particular child bring his half eaten or uneaten food home with him in his lunch bag? (Unless it’s like an unopened prepackaged bag of Doritos, in which case, nice job.)Why doesn’t he just throw it in the trash at school? It’s not that I always care, except for when he specifically asks for a certain sandwich for his lunch, and I go out and buy all the fixings and make him the nice sandwich that he requested…and then that sandwich comes home uneaten and untouched? I don’t get it. And, clearly, neither does he. Just throw it away at school, man. I’m cool with that. You don’t have to even tell me. I don’t mind living in a fantasy world. As long as it is a nice fantasy world that involves my son eating the food that I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR and OH-SO-LOVINGLY PACKED FOR HIM!

 

The Dark Side of Face Paint: Okay, I may have to accept some of the responsibility for the absurdity of this face painting eyesore. But in my defense it kept her occupied for about 15 minutes. And, really, did I know she was going to go full face red? I was picturing a little rainbow on her cheek, or maybe a butterfly or something. She does take a mean selfie, though, huh?

facepaint1  facepaint2  facepaint3

 

The Apple Swan: I’m happy that you want a healthy snack. I’m thrilled that you asked for an apple. I’m beyond delighted that I actually have apples in the house since it is the day before shopping day and we usually are eating whatever crumbs, crap, and leftovers we can find. But, can’t you just eat the damn apple sliced up into nice wedges like a normal person? Do you HAVE to have it cut and reassembled into the shape of a swan? I’m not doing it. I’m too busy. Not happening. Okay, maybe just this once.

apple swan

 

The Most Absurd Game Of All Time: And then there was the time, shortly after we bought the girls their booster seats, that the boys thought this would be a fun game. I don’t think I need to even elaborate on the absurdity of this. I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

boys in box2  boys in box

7

I Will Survive

Carpool2

My husband knows everything about cars. It’s like this weird gift he has. All he has to do is hear one “off” sound that a car makes and he knows exactly what the problem is. He can take a quick glance at a car as it whizzes by at 80mph going in the opposite direction on the other side of the highway and not only tell you the make and model, but also the exact year the car was made. He really, really understands cars. All cars. Except mine.  He doesn’t understand my car at all. Or, more to the point, he doesn’t understand the interior of my car. He doesn’t get how it can possibly be so messy. He doesn’t understand at all how there can be so many crumbs, french fries, and random snacks lying around my car that I could conservatively feed a small family for a month or more.
I can vividly recall a story I read once about a woman whose car went down an embankment, flipped over or something, and then was camouflaged in the brush so that the search parties couldn’t find her. And she was there for like a week! The only way she survived was by eating snow. Aside from the fact that she probably lost a ton of weight and could fit into her skinny jeans by the time she was rescued, it was probably nightmarish having nothing good to eat or drink while she hung upside down in her little hidden car waiting for someone to spot her and get her a sandwich. That would never happen in my car. My car is basically a survival kit on wheels. If we were to be traveling at a high rate of speed, around a hairpin turn, over sheets of black ice unseen to the naked eye; and then we plunged down a steep hill coming to a gentle stop, hidden in the tall underbrush… we would be fine. We may be a little bit dazed by the unexpected plunge, but we would basically have all the comforts of home right there in our car. First, for some strange reason, there tend to be clothes just strewn about my car. This is a mystery to me as we all enter the car fully clothed, and exit the car fully clothed. But none the less, we could be stranded in a ravine for days and never wear the same thing twice. In the way, way back of my car you can find cleats in various sizes, as well as soccer balls, footballs, and a baseball or two. If we are able to jimmy the car door open and squeeze out of the vehicle we could clear off a nice spot, set up goal lines, assign teams, and play a rousing game of catch while we wait for our rescuers. And if we were to work up a sweat with all our rambunctious play there are always plenty of drinks stashed willy nilly throughout my car. Not just one choice of drink either. There would be no “we just have one bottle of water everyone so use the cap as your drinking cup and lets ration.” No chance of that. It would be more like, “okay, let’s see everyone, we have waters, juice bags, iced tea…whoa whoa, no need to shove, there’s plenty to go around.” Once there was even a fork on the floor of my car. A fork! Why was it there? I don’t even know. But if we are trapped at least we can all take turns with the fork and eat the crumbs civilly. No need to act like animals. We don’t have a DVD player in my car, but if we did we’d be golden because over my visor I have a Redbox movie that I was supposed to return 5 days ago. You’ll even find  books to read, and if you want to draw pictures to pass the time I happen to know for a fact that there is a giant orange and blue magic marker rolling around back there somewhere that we “borrowed” last week from my cousin Sharon’s house. (see exhibit A)

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

So, yes, my messy car may be incomprehensible to my husband, people without kids, and (when its really bad) possibly even the local board of health. But when I see a fellow parent open the back door of their car and I spot the crackers ground into their rug, well…it brings a little tear of joy to my eye.  We are united in a solidarity that some people will just never understand. Fist pump.

6

Faking It

fake itHere is my confession…I fake it. That’s right, you read that correctly. I. Fake. It. And if you’re a parent don’t even try to tell me that you haven’t faked it…because I totally know you are lying. And now you’re a faker who lies about it, and, really, do you want to keep going down that path of self-destruction? Just come on over to the dark side with the rest of us. That’s right, come on…we’ll get thru this together. You’re just like me, I know you are.

Monday mornings I’m all gung-ho, fresh from the weekend of sharing the mayhem of children with my husband. Do I want to watch you dance some strange lyrical dance while your sister hums a tune she is making up as she goes? Of course I do! I really do. I think that would be swell. Do I want to just sit here while you create your Minecraft house, complete with fireplace, cows, pick axes, and Steve? Yes! Thanks for asking! Sitting on the couch with you sounds like the perfect way to spend my afternoon! Do I want to watch a re-run of Peppa Pig for the 5 millionth time even though I have a bazillion other things to do? You know it! But by Friday…forget about it. By Friday I’m faking it. Big Time. And it is all I can do to paste a fake smile on my face and agree to watch you perform the “Disappearing Quarter” magic trick AGAIN. And I have to physically MAKE myself politely clap at the end, instead of saying “I saw you throw the quarter behind your head. I actually heard it hit the wall and then clatter to the floor. Did you think that I did NOT see that?” But wait, of course you think I didn’t see that, because I acted amazed. I fake-looked around for the quarter, I checked your hands and up your sleeve as I faked astonishment that the quarter had really disappeared. I’m awesome at faking it. And I don’t really think that there is anything wrong with it. I actually think it is a good thing. The alternative is unsavory. The alternative looks like this:

“How did my school paper end up in the trash?”

I put it there. Along with the million other papers that you all bring home every single day. Because I am literally inundated with school papers and I don’t even know what to do with them all. I think a better question here is why are you going thru the trash…

“Do you want to play pretend restaurant?”

Nope. Not unless you are serving me real food, with a real drink (preferably wine), and then cleaning everything up afterwards. Not interested.

“Can we have tacos on Tuesday nights?”

No we can not. Because I will spend a ton of time prepping the toppings, and seasoning the meat, and crisping up the tortilla shells…and none of you will eat anything except the olives. So let’s stop this tomfoolery and I will just buy a bunch of cans of olives and grab some toothpicks and we’ll call it good.

“Do you want to play Simon Says?”

No. There is nothing I would like to do LESS than play Simon Says right now. Unless it is Monday morning, then I will play Simon Says. Otherwise, no.

So you see what I mean my fellow parents? (That’s right, fake smile, nod your head and fake agree with me.) It’s good to be a faker sometimes. Welcome to the dark side, it’s delightful to have you here.

keep calm green

11

The Outhouse

No Public Restrooms picture

My youngest kids love public restrooms. LOVE them. Doesn’t matter where we are: a store, a restaurant, the library. Even outhouses hold some sort of mystical fascination over them. Public restrooms gross me out. Not them. They see the sign for the bathroom and they are like “I gotta get me some of that!” So in we go. The routine is always the same. First they comment on the atmosphere of that particular restroom: “Wow, look at the doors! They’re blue!” Then onto the smell: “Why does it smell so gross in here?” (asked incredulously EVERY time) Then onto the fight about who gets to be in which stall: “I want the big one! No, I want the big one, you can have the small one because you’re littler than me! I not little! I big! Well, you still can’t have the big one.” Then no one wants me to go in the stall with them: “I’m going in alone, Mom! And I’m locking the door, too!” (said with all the teenage angst a 5-year old can muster). But of course they want me to wipe them: “Can you crawl under the stall door and come wipe me?” And as if all of that isn’t gross enough, they love to go #2 while they are there. They say it all nonchalant, like they are going to kill two birds with one stone: “Yea, I think I’m just going to poop while I’m in here.” Sometimes I’m like “What?! Fine whatever, just hurry up.” Sometimes (like at the dentist’s office where the bathroom is small with no ventilation and is right off the waiting room) I’m like “Oh hell no! You are holding that poop until we get home.” So you would think that all of this would have prepared me for Sunday at the boys’ football game when of course the littlest girl had to pee. She took one look at that big orange outhouse (with graffiti all over the outside of it, mind you) and she giddily decided that she just HAD to use the bathroom. Immediately. And try as I might to make that wish come true, I couldn’t do it (due to the absurd amount of pee all over the toilet seat.) So instead, I introduced her to the fine art of squatting and peeing next to a tree (a la my sophomore year in college). Which she thought was awesome and hysterical, and so did her sister. And frankly so did I…until she announced (all super casual) that she had to poop. Which her sister thought was even way MORE awesome and hysterical than just peeing next to a tree. And while I’m manically shrieking “Don’t you dare! You’re not an animal!” I’m thinking to myself: Really? THIS is my life. Standing outside, next to a tree, begging my 3-year-old not to poop on my shoe. #SheDidntDoIt  #MyShoeWasSaved #FeralChild