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Just a Day at the Beach

So we went to the beach the other day. First beach day of the season.

That was fun.

And THAT was sarcastic.

It was basically a shit show that started with an endless hammering of “are we there yet?” Followed (alarmingly quickly) by “Can we leave, we’re bored.” In between those two moments of joy there was a fun conversation with my 6 year old about how much she hates the beach.

Going to the beach isn’t like it used to be when all I had to worry about was if my baby oil was applied evenly, and whether or not I should have brought my aluminum reflector.

Going to the beach with kids is totally different.

The first time we attempted the beach with little kids I knew we were at a level of hell previously unexplored. We had our little ones (I think there were only three of them at the time) sunscreened to the nines. We had a little kid beach tent, and a beach umbrella. I was either hugely pregnant or had recently given birth (either way, I was sporting a super awesome skirt bathing suit.) I saw every beach danger around us, and I was on HIGH alert. My husband, on the other hand, was not. He laid out our beach blanket, put his own beach towel ever so gingerly on top of it, and before I could say “do you want to take the first shift or should I?” he had laid his head down and closed his eyes. Closed his damn eyes. At the beach. With little kids. I was all: No. Uh uh. Tell me you did NOT just attempt a state of relaxation while we are basically at death’s door.

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And he was a little bit like: What? We’re at the beach! Are you flipping kidding me right now?

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We exchanged these pleasantries without either of us ever uttering a word. It was strictly eye rolls and knowing nods and a few “it figures” puffs of breath, with a couple of “You’re crazy” “No, YOU’RE the crazy one!” faces thrown in for good measure. It looked like this:

It was awesome. We may have even driven the whole way home in the hugest silent fight ever.

We’ve come a long way since then.

Now, when we silently speak to each other about our beach trip, we’re commiserating.

Like this:

We’ve been to this beach no less than 20 million times, and these fools STILL don’t know how long it takes to get here?!

how long it takes to get there

 

They heard me say “Everyone is in charge of grabbing their own towel for the beach.” Right? Why is it that we have a combined total of 3 towels among the 7 of us?

towels

 

If she doesn’t stop her incessant talking I’m going to fling myself into the ocean.

quiet

 

Why the hell is he rolling in the sand after we JUST told them to rinse off? 

both shaking head

 

Did we bring any alcohol?

drink.gif

 

They want one of us to go in the water with them. Rock paper scissors. Best out of three.

why1

 

They want to leave. We JUST got here, and they are saying they are bored. That’s it. We are never coming to the beach again. Ever.

roll in the sand

 

And so we spend the whole ride home trying really hard not to do this:

i quit

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100%

I’m planning on giving 100% to my kids this summer. Not 110%. Not even 101%. 100% on the dot.

I’m thinking that on an average day it is going to break down something like this

I’ll wake up super early as I will recognize that this will be my only alone time for the entire day. The fact that this will be my only alone time for the ENTIRE day won’t even seem like that big of a deal at that early hour, because I will be alone. Except that suddenly I won’t be. Because even though I crept out of bed with a ninja-like stealthness that defied all the laws of gravity and physics, some little person in my house will have decided that they, too, want to be up at the crack of dawn on a day when they could have slept as late as they wanted.

I will spend 5% of myself trying to figure out why, on every school day this year, it took a literal act of God to get them out of bed before 8:20 (and that was with me dressing some of them while they were still sleeping and carrying them directly to the car) but today they decide that 5:30 am would be a good time to get up and start engaging me in conversation.

1% of myself will be spent trying to get them to stop talking to me until it is a decent hour.

At some point 7% will be spent trying to be nice and make them all homemade pancakes. (I would have only given 6% to this…but some of the pancakes will have chocolate chips and it will take that extra 1% not to eat them straight from the bag.)

8% will be spent breaking up a fight over the last pancake (that no one really wants, they just don’t want anyone else to have.)

2% on figuring out how the freak they got syrup everywhere. Everywhere.

I will give 6% to fielding their “What are we doing today?” questions. And 2% to laughing at myself for thinking I was going to be able to shower today.

4% will go to checking the weather and deciding to all go to the pool

So far so good right?

We are going to the pool.

5% I will give to trying to find clean towels for everyone. (Why didn’t I do a load of towels last night?!) 1% will go to vowing to be more organized.

4% of myself will be spent searching for goggles, and floaties, and sunscreen. 3% on finding snacks to bring with us. 3% more on trying to find 5 water bottles to fill with ice and cold water.

2% yelling at everyone to get in the damn car.

I’ve given them 53% of myself so far. It is 11:30 in the morning. I need to start rationing.

At the pool I have no choice but to give a full 5% to making sure everyone stays alive and un-sunburned.

When we are done I will spend another 2% yelling at everyone to get back in the damn car.

During the car ride home I will hear, Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! And I will give a full 10% of myself trying to come to terms with the fact that I am the one who taught them the word “mom” to begin with. I’m pretty sure I even wrote it in their baby books. I probably even videotaped the first kid or two when they said it. Now, if I hear it one more time I’m going to rip my ears off my head. I spend 1% trying not to do that.

When we get home I will spend 2% telling everyone to put their wet clothes and towels in the bathroom. Then I will spend 2% walking around the house picking up all the wet clothes and towels that have been strewn about.

At about 4:30 I will realize that I haven’t even begun to think of dinner. I will spend 5% of myself trying to search the cabinets and the fridge for something normal to fix for dinner. I will spend a quick 2% deciding that I’m going to prepare and freeze a bunch of meals on Sundays so that I always have a meal on hand if I need it. I will spend another 1% realizing that I am never going to actually do this.

3% of me will be spent looking around the house in horror and disgust because it is so messy, quickly followed by spending 4% convincing one of the kids to snuggle on the couch with me while they watch Paw Patrol and I cyberstalk people on Facebook.

3% will be spent trying to get the grimiest kids into the bathtub. 4% will go directly to convincing them all that their teeth are going to rot out of their heads if they don’t brush their teeth.

2% will be me yelling again that they need to go to bed NOW.

And my very last 1% will be spent falling asleep next to one of them in the world’s smallest toddler bed.

100% on the nose.

Every single day.

It’s just the way I roll.

 

 

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The 2016 End of School Year Derby

celebrating at kentucky derby

Welcome to the 2016 End of the School Year Derby. It’s a beautiful day for a race.

Okay, we have all the horses moving into the starting gate. I’d like to say it is anyone’s race today, but the expected front runner is Mom Who Has Her Shit Together. What a workhorse that one is. She’s been preparing all year for this race. She is looking strong and confident. She has her label maker holstered and her eye on the prize.

Last moving into the starting gate is Gave Up After April Vacation. Poor thing is just taking it day by day at this point. If you look closely you can see that she is actually limping as she gets into position. She has handed over all her money to the various helpers collecting for end-of-year teacher gifts. You’ve gotta hand it to her, it takes a lot of heart for her to be here today.

They’re all ready, just waiting for the signal…

And they’re off in the 2016 End of School Year Derby!

Mom Who Has Her Shit Together is first out of the gate. No surprise there.

She is followed by Volunteers in the Classroom on the far outside. After that we have Working Mom Who Feels Guilty and Stay at Home Mom Who Feels Trapped running neck and neck. Coming around the turn we have Negative Lunch Balance moving up from the inside. Mom Who Has Her Shit Together is still in front by two and a half lengths, but Wears Workout Clothes Even Though She Doesn’t Work Out is closing that gap. And It’s Pizza For Dinner Again is right there fourth to the outside as the pack moves around the turn. Mean Mom is running a solid race, but she is spending an awful lot of her energy throwing judgemental looks at the other racers which will cost her in the end. Well off the pace is Gave Up After April Vacation, but she is not out of the race yet. Folks, if you look closely at the starting gate you will see That’s It, I’m Done just standing there refusing to budge. She does this every year. We don’t even know why she keeps showing up, but she does. Back to the race, the undefeated Shit Together has moved back to third position just in front of Pinterest Fail, and would you look at this, We Missed the Bus Again has taken over the lead position! Homework, What Homework is working her way up the inside as we come down to the final stretch. I Just Spent All My Money On Summer Camps is ahead of Saltines For Breakfast by 5 lengths with Mommy Needs Wine coming up from the outside. And what is this?! Gave Up After April Vacation is moving swiftly through the pack. She has taken the lead. She has taken the lead! It can’t be! She is in front by a neck…can it be possible?! It is! She has done it! She has done it! A spectacular upset. An impossible result. Gave Up After April Vacation has actually done it! This is the biggest upset in the End of the School Year Derby. She is taking her victory lap and flipping everyone the bird.

Gave Up After April Vacation has won the 2016 End of School Year Derby!!

Shit Together is shaking her head in disbelief and Mean Mom is asking to check tape. Mommy Needs Wine is already heading to the bar, and Pinterest Fail appears to be asking Gave Up if she can decoupage her trophy for her. Working Mom and Stay At Home Mom are arguing about whose life is harder. And That’s It, I’m Done is STILL standing at the starting gate.

It’s just another day at the races here at the 2016 End of The School Year Derby. Thank you for joining us.

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Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t

snob

Dear mom who sent her kid to school sick: you suck. That’s right. You are a horrible person. Just because you had no idea that your kid was sick and contagious is no excuse to have sent him to school. Just because he seemed okay all yesterday afternoon, AND overnight, AND woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed… still not okay. You should have known better. You should have taken a day off of work with no pay just to be safe.  Just in case. What the hell is wrong with you? Now MY kid is sick. Sure, I know that my kid and your kid are not in the same class. And my kid and your kid are not in the same grade. And my kid and your kid basically never see each other except maybe once a week while passing each other in the hallway with their respective classes in a straight line with everyone holding up the peace sign as a visual reminder that passing in the halls is a quiet activity. I know that in order for your kid to have gotten MY kid sick, the sick germ would have had to have leaped off your kid and done a triple flip, quadruple lutz, flying scissor kick to land on my son’s body at just the exact right time. But that is precisely what must have happened because no matter how you slice it, YOUR kid got MY kid sick. And you should feel horrible shame.

Oh, and to the mom who kept her kid home from school. What are you some kind of overprotective helicopter mom? So your son was sick the other day. So what? He seems better now. Toughen up, sweets! Your kid was fine ALL yesterday afternoon, AND overnight. He even woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed. But you kept him home anyways?? Just in case? You actually took another day off of work with no pay for this nonsense? This is exactly what is wrong with society today. Back in the day, our parents would have sent us to school with a bucket in case we needed to throw up on the mile walk to our school. We were tough. Our parents didn’t keep us home all the time. You’re a terrible mom. You’re doing a terrible job.

And while we are on the subject of how much better you could be doing… you really should care more about your kid’s homework. And less. Stop helping him so much with his projects, he is never going to learn how to do them on his own if you keep helping him. Oh, and if you were a good parent you would help him with his projects more. Why don’t you know that? You have all the passwords to all your kids’ electronic devices, right? You check every text, and each Instagram post, and you try to figure out what the hell is going on with his Snapchat account. Right? It’s either that or you are basically just pushing him into a life of drugs and crime. But, my God, please tell me you are not one of those people who checks every text, Instagram post, and Snapchat situation. Get a life. Just the occasional electronic device check will do. Don’t check it every day. Just check it all the time. Otherwise you are doing it wrong. Something tells me you aren’t all sitting down to gluten-free family dinners every night. Am I right? Yes, I can tell. Wait, are you letting your kid go to school dressed in shorts? It’s 63 degrees out! That is too cold for shorts. And it is too warm for pants. Why are you letting him wear pants? It’s 63 degrees out. He is going to be sweating. And freezing. What is wrong with you? Oh, and before I forget, I saw your kid in the center of town with a bunch of friends the other day. You actually let him just go roam around? What kind of mother lets her kid roam around town with his friends on the half day of school? An inattentive mother, that is who. A mother who clearly does NOT care about her child. You really need to cut those apron strings because a good mother would trust her child and his friends and would be comfortable with him walking uptown after the half day of school. Your over-bearing, over-protective, over-controlling parenting style is going to give your child an anxiety and depression disorder. Just ask the experts…which would be easier for you to do if you weren’t working. Outside the home. Child-neglect, much? You should be a stay-at-home mom. Except you should be working. Except you shouldn’t.

blah blah blah

Enough!

Trying to be the perfect parent is confusing and exhausting and impossible. How about less bashing and more support? How about less judging and more “I got your back, sista!”?

How about moms shouldn’t be so quick to tear apart other moms? (Even when the other mom makes it so easy to pass judgement on her because her kid launched himself into the gorilla pit at the zoo.)

I mean, really, for the most part, aren’t we all just trying our best to raise good kids? And isn’t that really what it is all about?