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Bathtime Should Be Easy

There are certain parts of parenthood that should be easy, but they’re not. Because there are a million components to every event that you don’t even think of, and that no one could possibly tell you to expect.

Things like bathtime, which should be effortless and relatively quick. Except that it’s not.

Like, ever.

The other night I wasn’t even planning to give anyone a bath, preferring instead to keep them as dirty as possible (or at least their hair as dirty as possible, because, remember, lice like clean hair) but they were rolling around in the leaves in the front yard and so, just, you know, there could have been a spider or something in their hair. I had to wash it. Plus, I kind of felt like it might be weird to send them to school the next day with little pieces of leaves and twigs and stuff tangled up in their hair. So fine. Up to the tub for a “quick” bath.

First things first, though, the obligatory fight over who “gets” to sit in the front of the tub and who “has” to sit in the back. (Somehow bathtime seating location is, apparently, a fight to-the-death, life-altering event.)

On the bright side, the laundry is in the bathroom with the tub so I was planning to bang out two birds with one stone. Except while I was paying attention to folding someone’s skivvies, my 4-year-old dumped the entire bottle of kid soap into the tub. The bottle that I just bought the day before. Sure the overflowing bubbles were kind of cool, but I knew that trying to rinse their bodies and hair clean was going to be a nightmare of epic proportions (like it was the last time she dumped the entire bottle into the tub.) Nightmare. But whatever. Wash, wash, wash. Rinse, rinse, rinse. Done. Quick fight over who gets the “good” towel and who gets the “crappy” towel. A little crying thrown in there for good measure…and MISSION COMPLETION. The quick 15 minute bath took 45 minutes, there is water everywhere, and removing the soap scum that is left over in the tub is most likely going to be the death of me.  But they are clean. Their hair is dry, their jammies are on, and they smell yummy. Except…except…wait…what was that? What did I just hear a little voice say down the hall? Did I just hear the words “hair” and “gel” in the same sentence? Oh hell no. No. Nooooo! Run back to the bathroom, but too late. The 4-year-old, who is usually quite normal when she isn’t dumping entire bottles of soap into the tub, and who was JUST standing on the stool admiring herself in the mirror, has decided that a little hair gel might be the way to go 5 minutes before bedtime. And if a little is good, a lot is GREAT. I’m talking a handful of hair gel in the front of her hair (just the front), which is parted in a weird way (and will now be shellacked in that wierdly parted way probably forever.) And just like that, the 45 minute bath was all for nothing. There is nothing to show for it except one clean 6-year-old in the other room, a trashed bathroom, and soap scum.  Tons of soap scum. Somehow bathtime has made even more work for me to do. Because EVERYTHING makes more work in the end. That’s the part of parenthood that no one tells you. *sigh* I should have just let her go to school with sticks in her hair.

Here she is in all her gelled-up glory. I assure you, she really is quite normal…

 

No, seriously. She is. Oh, and did I mention that she put eye black tattoos under her eyes? And I can’t get it off?

DSC_0442

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Please Don’t “Baked Stuffed Shrimp” me to Death

 

“This man of mine may truly kill me.”

A line from Gone Girl? Or the sentence that came out of my mouth last week when I thought my husband was trying to poison me?

You decide.

What I have for you here is a story about the night that I was pretty sure my husband was trying to kill me…or as he likes to innocently call it, “the night he offered to cook dinner.”

First, I should point out that I’m not a paranoid person by nature. I tend to believe you if you tell me something, I tend to think everyone has good intentions, I tend to think that if you do something wrong it was just an innocent mistake. But I’m also no fool. (Although, after rereading that last part, I sound EXACTLY like a fool. But that is neither here nor there…) If someone who doesn’t know how to work our stovetop, or our oven, or our microwave offers to make me dinner…I’m very suspicious. Very.

Let me just start at the beginning.

It was a cold and stormy afternoon. The kids had just gotten home from school and the house was in it’s usual chaos when I received the first text from my husband:

have you started dinner yet

I fully expected the text exchange to be the usual exchange about our dinner plans. Something along the lines of this:

texts2

 

Which would’ve then been followed by him telling me how he hasn’t eaten all day, not even one snack, and has barely even had time for a glass of water. To which I would’ve responded by telling him that it’s not my problem that he doesn’t eat when he’s hungry. And then he’d be all “you’re so cold-hearted” and I’d be all “no suh” and he’d be all “ya huh” But regardless…that is not how things went down. Instead, things went like this:

texts1

 

Creepy, right? It may not seem like anything is amiss, but you should know that in the history of our entire relationship (except in the very beginning one time on New Year’s Eve when he was trying to woo me) he has never ever (ever) offered to cook me dinner. Ever. So you can naturally see why I immediately figured that he was trying to poison me. What else could it be. I called my sister and told her the story. She agreed. Attempted murder. I talked to my friend. She, too, was highly suspicious. What was he up to? I made them both promise to have the medical examiner test the contents of my stomach were I to drop dead in the next 24 hours. They both agreed that it made sense…this could be the end for me. Death by baked stuffed shrimp.

It’s important to note that NOT eating the baked stuffed shrimp meal was not an option because, YUM! baked stuffed shrimp! With fries! Of course I was gong to take my chances and eat it. I love baked stuffed shrimp!

So here we are two weeks later and I’m happy to report that I am still alive. I ate the baked stuffed shrimp that he made for dinner, and it was freaking awesome! I could barely even taste the poison. ha ha. It turns out that my husband either wasn’t trying to poison me (but instead decided on a whim to make dinner for some bizarre reason that I will probably never figure out) or my body is super human and I was able to internally fight off the poisoned part of the meal and emerge victorious and alive.

Either way, I live to blog another day.

p.s. before anyone goes on any kind of weird, holier-than-thou, “I can’t believe your husband never cooks you dinner” bandwagon, you should know that my husband is an absolute dreamboat. He is busy doing a million amazingly awesome things every day, and making dinner each night has always been my thing. I may hate it, suck at it, and wish I didn’t have to do it every night. But still, I take ownership of it. And by the way, just to get him back for his mysterious behavior, I raked the leaves in the front yard the other day while he was at work. You know, just to screw with his head.

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Lice

horrified1
Lice.

My head is itchy just writing the word.

Lice is going around my kids’ elementary school. Like wildfire. It goes around every year, it’s sorta par for the course. But this year seems worse. This year there are so many letters coming home. This year my kindergartner has to put her stuff into a plastic bag when she gets to school. I’m dying at the thought of lice hitching a ride on one of my kids’ heads and coming to my house. I’m taking measures to make sure that doesn’t happen. First of all, I heard that lice prefers clean hair. Done. No more screaming into the bathroom to make sure they wash their hair when they are in the shower. Now it’ll be like, “scrub your body from the neck down! Do NOT wash that hair! I’m going to smell it to make sure it is not clean!” My little ones will be happy because every time I try to wash their hair in the tub they act like I am trying to waterboard them. So at least bath time will be a little less stressful. Also, no one is leaving this house without their hair up in some sort of french braid, or french twist, or top knot, or chignon, or corn row. And then hairsprayed until it is a shellacked coat of armor. Sort of like an anti-lice hair helmet.

It’s not even having to delouse the kids that has me shaking in my boots. I actually love gross stuff, so that won’t be any problem. It’s having to delouse my entire house and everything in it that makes my heart pound and has me pacing the floors at night.

And with the amount of warning letters that are coming home from the school, it feels like it is only a matter of time. Dead men walking. Sitting ducks. And all that.

We haven’t had it yet. But if we do get it, I imagine that it will go down something like this:

From first letter home…to full blown lice infestation

FIRST LICE LETTER COMES HOME. NO BIGGIE.

first letter

SECOND LICE LETTER COMES HOME. OKAY.

second letter

THIRD LETTER COMES HOME. SHIT JUST GOT REAL.

okay Ill do it

CHECK WHOLE FAMILY FOR LICE

nit picking

SPOT POSSIBLE LOUSE

see the lice

A CONFIRMED CASE OF LICE. DIE A LITTLE INSIDE.

noooo

DELOUSE THE CHILDREN

delouse

DELOUSE THE HOUSE

cleaning2

DONE! LICE FREE!

kristen-wiig-really-really-happy

EXCEPT THERE IS ONE NIT THAT WAS MISSED

kristen-wiig-dead

AND YOU HAVE TO START AGAIN

it isnt fair

SO YOU GO THROUGH THE WHOLE HOUSE AGAIN

cleaning3

AND YOU STERILIZE ALL THE LAUNDRY AGAIN

laundry2

UNTIL YOU THINK YOU’RE DONE AGAIN

done cleaning

BUT THEN…

janis from friends

SO THIS…

wine

BECAUSE OTHERWISE, THIS…

padded_room

BECAUSE I SIMPLY CAN’T MAINTAIN THIS…

white room

Not hard to see why the horror of a lice infestation scares me like nothing else, right? If this were the year 2027 and we had smell-a-vision you would be able to smell my fear. But until then, just take my word for it. I’m fucking petrified.

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Your Lunch is Better Than My Lunch

jimmy fallon

School lunches are threatening to bankrupt me. Seriously, oh my god. The amount of money I spend getting these kids fed is pathetic. I shudder to tell you that I practically had to take out a second mortgage on my house just to get the kids’ school lunch accounts out of the red after the 2014-2015 school year (which was clearly a year of overindulgence in the cafeteria for the Butters children.) Now this year comes, and we started off good enough with me making them their healthy lunches each day. But that quickly segued into those very same healthy lunches arriving back home practically untouched. Hello?! A Boar’s Head turkey sandwich with mayo on yummy thick bread is nothing to be returning back to me in the afternoon. I’d kill to have someone make me a sandwich with a few cut up cucumbers on the side…perhaps a homemade chocolate chip cookie snuggled into the lunch bag as well. Who would turn their nose up at such scrumptiousness? My kids, that’s who. But why? Why would they rather buy school lunch? Mystery meat on a hard bun with a side of cold greasy fries….? THAT is better than what I’m packing? Surely that is not so. Surely that can’t be right. Surely I’m missing something.

Oh, I was missing something alright.

Today’s school lunches are nothing like school lunches in the days of yore. And when I say “nothing” I quite literally mean NOTHING. Not a thing.

The school lunch menu in Walpole is amazing. Better than amazing. Dare I say “spectacular.” Oh yes, I do dare say it because I just did. I would love to dip my hungry little toes into that vast pool of delicious choices. Let me give you a few examples of why my children would rather eat school lunch:

Today’s lunch. Today’s lunch was breakfast for lunch. Breakfast for lunch! That is fantastic! Pancakes, syrup, homefries, and sausages. Who doesn’t love breakfast for lunch? It is universally loved by all. Every single person loves breakfast for lunch…except for the people who don’t. But there aren’t many of those haters around I don’t think.

Yesterday’s lunch was “build your own deli sandwich” day. With Boar’s Head deli meat. Yea, that’s right. The good stuff. With a side of Cape Cod potato chips. (Like, what?! Is that for real? Sign me up. I want in on that party!)

On Fridays they offer Papa John’s Pizza. Not the rectangular pizza that we got on Fridays when we were kids. Papa John’s. I think it is actually even triangle-shaped.

And it isn’t just the main meals that are scrumpts. Nope. In addition to the mouth-watering daily offerings there are also other choices that the kids can pick from if they want. I’m talking things like fruit and yogurt smoothies (smoothies!), bagel lunch, cereal and yogurt lunch.

If you weren’t already sold on this solid menu (or basically if you are dead inside), the description of some of the side items should absolutely seal the deal for you. Here we go:

Steamed Broccoli ~ The flavor of broccoli blends perfectly with our special seasonings to create a zesty, crunchy snack the kids go bonkers for! (That is verbatim. I literally copied and pasted it from the Official Lunch Menu website. That’s legal to do right?)

WG Dinner Roll ~ Its fluffy goodness is sure to have the kids who packed a lunch looking all puppy-dog eyed at your kids, just begging for a bite. (Again, possibly illegally, copied and pasted.)

String Cheese Stick ~ It’s more than an outlet for kids who want to play with their food — it’s a nutritious, tasty snack! (More than an outlet for kids who want to play with their food! That is genius!)

Tossed Salad ~ When was the last time you saw a room full of kids energetically munching down salads? Just visit one of our lunchrooms when this item is served. You’ll be in for a treat!

And on, and on, and on…

I can’t tell if I want to eat the food or become BFF’s with the person who wrote the descriptions. I think I’m going to go with the BFF choice. That way he or she could come over my house all the time and when one of the kids asked me a question like “What are we doing after school?” my new master-of-descriptions best friend could write down what I should answer: “After school you can delight your taste buds with whatever-the-hell you can find in the snack drawer. You’re sure in for a spine-tingling treat as you settle down to unwind with a bit of Sponge Bob. This will be followed by an uproarious screaming match as everyone tries to get out of doing homework.” And it will sound SO good, and SO much better than anything I could ever think to say to them. (Which would be something along the lines of, “Stop asking me that same question every single day.”)

So I get it. I get why my kids want to buy lunch every day. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to be a part of that menu? It is pure magnificent goodness. That just so happens to be bankrupting me. But whatever. I’m going to ask my new BFF to put a nice spin on that, too.

By the way, I’m putting a link to the Official Lunch Menu so you can see for yourself how amazing it is.

School Lunch Menu

You. Are. Welcome.