2

Things That Sound Better in My Head, Part I

Halloween is in a few days, which marks the unofficial start to the season of Things That Sound Better on Paper. I’m talking things that sound really awesome and fun and “these are the things memories are made of” type of things…but that actually suck in real life.

Case in point: Coming up with, creating, and buying Halloween costumes. I’m going to call this post: Things that suck in real life but that sounded really good in my head, Part I.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I love Halloween. It’s so fun. I sort of have a running list of potential Halloween costumes in the back of my head all throughout the entire year. Which served me well for a while, until other people in my house started needing me to put all my Halloween costume energy into their Halloween costumes. Don’t even make me tell you about the time that my husband and I were going to a Halloween costume party and we spent every free minute for an entire WEEK creating his costume (which involved pvc pipe and expensively overnighted FedEx’d items) so that when it came time to create my own costume I had about four minutes to come up with something because the babysitter was already there and my husband was trying to hurry me up and so I had to go dressed like Charlie Chaplin.

Halloween 2012

See?! He looks like he is being carried around in a box by a butler and I look scarily like an actual man.

But I digress.

So now we have kids who are old enough to think about their Halloween costumes and I’m on the back burner. Whatever. I’m good with it. Because these are the things that memories are made of. Right? And it’s just so fun that the kids are all excited to pick out their Halloween costumes. So, yay! And I get completely caught up in the moment, and I totally lose my mind and (omigod) I decide to take them to Party City. Because for some weirdly bizarre reason, taking 4 of my 5 kids to Party City one week before Halloween sounds like an awesome idea. It really does. Not like in a sarcastic way, but really and truly. I actually really think that things are going to be great. So we go to Party City for a quick happy trip. Quick and happy. Happy and quick. Until this…

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Holy hell! There are HOW many choices of Halloween costumes to overwhelm my kids with? And with 57,000 choices you would think that they would have at least one if not two Peppa Pig costumes to choose from. But nope. Not a one. Luckily they DID have the Monster High costume that my other daughter has been talking about since August.

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Luckily it is only $34.99. (THAT was sarcastic) $34.99. Thirty. Four. Ninety. Nine.

And are those FISH NET STOCKINGS?

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This costume is under the 3-6 year old section. We won’t be getting the fish net stocking accessory. Thanks anyways.

The boys decide they want Morph suits. Okay, what are those, like $7? $10? Nope. $24.99. I shit you not. We need a blue size large and a red size large. They have blue. No red. Okay, we’ll take a large in green. No green large. How about a large in purple? Nope. White (shudder)? No. (phew) The only one that they have in large is tie-dye. Great. It’s $10 more. Of course it is.

A quick peruse around the store and I see that Party City isn’t just for kids. A sparkly Ninja Turtle bustier…

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Oh God, I am already shuddering to imagine my girls trying to find Halloween costumes when they are older.

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What the heck store am I in? They should have adult only shopping times because some of this stuff could be cute… if given the right situation. But no sparkly corset with booty pants and thigh highs will be purchased here today with my children in tow. Even if I wanted to, I can barely afford the costumes that we are already getting. Bread and water for dinner for the rest of the week kids…but you’ll look sooo cute in your $5,000 costumes so it will all be worth it.

And maybe this little number will be on sale when Halloween is over.

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Winning!

4

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

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I only have like 7 forks in my entire house. I started out with a gazillion…and now I have 7. I have no idea what happened to them. All I can think is that they are hiding out somewhere with the missing spoons, because I only have 5 of those left. I’m not even talking about 5 regular, normal spoons. I’m talking 2 small spoons, 2 bigger spoons, and one mammoth spoon that came with the silverware set when I first got it (and I was like, “what the heck am I supposed to do with this gigantic spoon?”) Now that weird rogue spoon is being used as a cereal spoon by my tiny 6-year-old (who can barely even lift it.)

I don’t get where everything disappears to.

It’s not like they are socks.

Socks are expected to disappear. It’s like in the life manual that the sun will rise, the sun will set, and the sock will lose it’s match. When I get a new package of socks I have a quick discussion with them before I launch them into the washing machine, “Alright guys, look to your left, look to your right…one of you won’t be here after the rinse cycle. God speed.” If I grab the stuff out of the dryer and all the socks have come out with their buddy I’m shocked. I call my sister to tell her, and we both marvel at these warrior socks who made it through battle together. So, yes, missing socks I understand. Missing other stuff…not so much.

Like the time our pizza cutter disappeared. Gone. Poof! One week it was there, the next week I go to slice the pizza up and it is gone. I Nancy Drew’d the crap out of that mystery, though, until I realized that in a weird fit of cleaning-up-post-pizza-consumption my husband threw the “empty” pizza boxes into the trash with the pizza cutter still inside one of them. (Now that I think about it, that could also account for at least one of the missing forks…)

The other thing that disappears at my house all the time are Sharpie markers. Sharpies are both feared and coveted at chez Butters. I love them so much. So much. When I go to the store and I’m in the marker aisle I always look at the lovely packages of Sharpies and daydream that I could buy them all. “Look at all those brand new Sharpies!” I have visions of sharply permanent drawings being created on paper (or any other appropriate blank canvas), and then being framed and hung up, or tucked into baby books. My husband has visions of sharply permanent scribbles on the wall and furniture. (Truth be told, his vision is probably more realistic than mine.) But still, I love those little sticks of impossible to wash off color.

Oh, and the rate at which ChapStick disappears at my house is particularly alarming. We are right on the cusp of the dry-lip season, so all my kids are scurrying around constantly looking for something to sooth their chapping lips. I used to buy the good stuff that I knew would do the trick and do it fast. Now I just buy whatever no-name brand crap is on sale because I know that no sooner will they swipe it across their lips that *poof* it will disappear into thin air. Only to inexplicably reappear in the laundry basket because it somehow has gone thru the washer and the hot dyer…which means it has melted and destroyed all the expensive Under Armor shirts that were in there with it.

Speaking of laundry…that is quite literally the ONLY thing in my house that doesn’t disappear. It just keeps appearing and appearing like it is trying to repopulate the earth.

So the next time you come to my house, be prepared to step over large piles of laundry as you say hello to my dry-lipped children (who will most likely each be wearing only one sock while doodling on the wall with a Sharpie marker and eating humongous slices of pizza.) If you can handle that, you are welcome to come over any time. Just bring your own fork.

2

It’s Not Your School Project

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At the beginning of each elementary school year I would like to receive a letter from my child’s teacher explaining the at-home projects that will be assigned that year, and the expectations for those projects. I want the letter to read something like this:

Dear Fabulous Parent~
This year in 3rd (4th? 5th?) grade we will be doing a plethora of awesome projects that will go along with a book or topic that we are covering in class. This project is meant to tap into the creative side of learning and will hopefully be fun for your most wonderful child.
We are looking forward to seeing what your child can come up with.
We are NOT looking forward to seeing what YOU can come up with. This is your child’s project, not yours. Holster that glue gun, ma’am, and step away. Further. A little further…THERE. Right there. Close enough to help, if needed, but far enough away to keep from trying to hip-check your kid out of the way so you can just take over and do the whole thing yourself.
We know, we know…ALL the parents are doing it, man. But really now, if all the other parents jumped off a bridge would you jump too? Hmmm? No, we don’t believe you would. Let’s apply that good old common sense to your child’s school project. It is a project for an 8-year-old to complete. We know 8-year-old work. We know what to look for. We know that if we assign the “take a real pumpkin and make it look like a character from your book” project, and that squash comes back all carved up, glued up, and modge podged up until it looks more like Harry Potter than Harry Potter himself…well, we know that that is the work of a Pinterest-loving mama. If the pueblo in your 5th grader’s Native American project looks so cozy and inviting and well-crafted that we find ourselves regularly fantasizing about actually taking up residence in it and living off the land… we know it is not something that your child created.
We know you mean well. And some of you may actually get excited and want to do these projects for your kids because they are fun. But some of you may feel like you HAVE to do these projects for your kids because that is what every other parent is doing.
Well, we are letting you off the hook this year.
If you’re child’s project comes to school with the professional touch of a creative parent, they will be asked to do the project over…and you will be tarred and feathered and set on display next to all the appropriately created 3rd grade projects during open house.
Most sincerely yours,
Your Child’s Amazing Teacher
4

Grocery Shopping Hell

For the record, I hate shopping. Hate it. (Unless I’m at Target, obvi) Out of all the things I have to shop for, I really hate shopping for groceries the most. But shopping for groceries with kids in tow is like a whole new level of hell that you can’t really even understand unless you’ve been there (and if you’re reading this, you have most likely been there.) Let’s go there together now…aisle by aisle…

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar…

Produce
Scene: Me, lovingly putting overpriced apples into a bag
Kid: Mom, can I have one of the plastic bags?
Me: No
Kid: Why not?
Me: Because. Those bags can be dangerous.
Kid: (laughing like I’m an idiot) Dangerous? How can a plastic bag be dangerous?
Me: You could put it on your head and then you couldn’t breath. Plus, the other shoppers will look at me and judge me for giving you a plastic bag. I can’t go there today.
Kid: Please?
Me: No
Kid: Please?
Me: No
Kid: Please?
Me: Fine. Just don’t put it on your head.
2 minutes later…bag on head
Kid: Hey Mom, look, I made it into a hat!
Me: Hand it over.

Deli
Scene: Me pushing the big red button to receive my number. It’s a long way off. Peruse the presliced meats and try to decide if I should just buy a pound of sort of gross, presliced boiled ham rather than wait…
Kid: Can I push the button, too?
Me: No
Kid: Please?
Me: No. It’s too busy. There are too many people. You can’t just take all the number tickets.
Kid: Okay
Me: Fog out
Kid: push push push push push
Me: What the…
Kid: Look at all the numbers I got!
Deli guy: number 187
Me: That’s me
Other deli guy: number 188
Me: That’s me
Deli girl: number 189
Me: That’s me. 190 is me, too. We have up thru 195. I have kids with me (as if that explains it, because it sort of does.)

Every. Other. Aisle.
Scene: Me trying to shop quickly, economically, and healthfully. Kids trying everything to thwart that effort.
Cereal Aisle
Kid: Mom! Look! Coco Puffs! Can we get them?
Me: No
Kid: Mom! Look! Lucky Charms! Can we get them?
Me: No
Kid: Mom! Look! Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Can we get it?
Me: Ooh, yummers! Yes! But that is the only thing off our list that we are getting.
Cookie Aisle
Kid: Mom! Look! Halloween Oreos! Can we get them?
Me: No
Kid: Mom! Look! Halloween Chips Deluxe! Can we get them?
Me: No
Kid: Mom! Look! Pepperidge Farm Gingerman Cookies! Can we get them?
Me: Sweet Jesus! Yes! But that is the only other thing off our list. That is it.

Meat Aisle
Scene: Me trying to select the least disgusting looking ground beef.
Kid: What’s THAT?
Me: Hamburger
Kid: Where does it come from?
Me: Cows
Kid: What do you mean?
Me: It ground up cow meat. They raise the cow, kill the cow, grind up the meat, and we eat it.
Kid: (pale, slightly green, weak in the knees) Are you kidding?
Me: No. Sorry.
Kid: I don’t want that. Let’s get chicken instead.
Me: Do you know where chicken comes from?
Kid: No
Me: It comes from chickens.
Kid: WHAT?!
Me: Yes. They raise the chickens, kill the chickens, cut it up into pieces, and we eat it.
Kid: I want to leave. Can we just get hot dogs.
Me: (ooh, this is so fun!) Do you want to know where hot dogs come from?

And hour and a half later
Scene: At the checkout, loading a cart full of random crap onto the belt
1 gallon of Chocolate milk
a large bag of Halloween candy
Ice Cream (it was on sale)
The aforementioned cookies and cereal
1 dog toy (wait…what? We don’t have a dog. Fling toy to the side)
Fruit Roll-ups (cue the cavities)
Pudding (This will be gone in about 3 seconds once I get home)
Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos (basically the whole -ito family is being represented in my cart)
Why don’t they serve alcohol at this store?

Kid: Can I get a candy bar? You know, as a prize for being so good? Please?
Me: (beaten and broken down, a shell of my former self) No, yes, I don’t care, whatever. Get me one too.

Pay the cashier practically an entire week’s salary, murmur something about seeing them again in two days, drag my sorry ass to the car. Practically cry when I realize that I now have to fit all the stuff, plus the kids, into the car. Practically cry when I realize that I then have to get all the stuff, plus the kids, out of the car when I get home. Practically cry when I realize that I have to put all the stuff away once I’ve unloaded it from the car.

And this is why I hate shopping. It’s like a slow, twice weekly, really expensive death.

1

The Difficult Discussion

I don’t usually discuss politics or anything particularly earth shattering here at Put Your Booger In My Pocket. But that is not to say that you won’t find me up on my soap box discussing serious current issues if they need to be discussed. It’s not all sippy cups and fresh kids around here. No sirree. I can get serious when the time comes.

And that time. Has. Come.

There’s an issue.

I can’t just look the other way like this is not happening…because this IS happening. It is an issue so huge that it is literally almost as important and discussion-worthy as who our next presidential candidates will be, or climate change, or whether or not it is going to rain this weekend. It’s here, and it’s an atrocity. It’s the elephant in the room that needs to be discussed.

You know what I’m talking about. The unfortunate return of the high-waisted jean.

Why is this happening? Who thought bringing that trend back was a good idea? I know no one wants to talk about it. We all just keep our heads down and pretend not to notice as our friends start to wear jeans with waistbands that are creeping ever higher. But someone has to bring it up, so it might as well be me. My god, jeans are hard enough to buy even at the best of times, and with the best of waist heights. Now this wrench is going to be thrown in the mix? Did we or did we not just recently come out of the “exploding muffin top, jeans so low you had to trim your bikini line” phase? We had people walking around with zippers on their jeans that were only an inch long. We had people sitting down and exposing their ass cracks like it was just another accessory. We had people wearing low-ride jeans who had absolutely NO business wearing low-ride jeans. None at all.

Now we’ve gone the other way. High-waisted. They pitch us the high-waisted jeans like we’re going to look like this:

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All cute and sassy and long and lean. So we rush out and buy a pair, and next thing you know we find ourselves strutting around town looking like this:

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And we’re like, how did this happen? Sure they are kind of super comfortable (especially the ones with the elastic waistband, ahhhhh) but they hurt my eyes to look at them. Nothing about these real-life high-waisted jeans is flattering. NOTHING. The girl on the right (up above) is even sporting a slight camel toe. And she has loafers on her feet! What kind of shirt do you even wear with these trousers? Obviously not a striped turtle neck sweater (exhibit A on the left up there). I’m also going to ixnay a white short sleeved blouse. So where does that leave us? A crop top. High-waisted jeans beg to be paired with a crop top of some sort. So that is going to be my only shopping option when I bop out to the store really quickly one afternoon because I have nothing to wear to a thing I have to go to that night. High-waisted jeans and a crop top. And loafers. And, obviously, a weird belt.

Why can’t there just be jeans that sit at a regular place on your body? Why the extremes? Here is a general rule of thumb that I think could help us all: if you can see your c-section scar, your jeans are cut too low…if the waistband on your pants is meeting up with the underwire of your bra, your jeans are cut too high. That’s it. The color of your jeans should also be taken into consideration. They should be of a darker hue, but not black. And not light. And, for the love of all that is holy, NOT acid washed.

Just regular, normal, perfectly cut, fabric-with-a-little-give, totally flattering, less than $100, jeans.

Why

Is that

So

Hard

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