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Blood

We had an adventure at the doctor’s office yesterday. It went down like this:

All the kids had to get their blood taken, except “the one who is afraid of needles” because he had a soccer game.

I only told the two older boys that they were getting blood taken. I didn’t tell the two younger girls because I didn’t want them to panic. I told the two older boys not to say anything to the two younger girls because, you know, I didn’t want them to panic.

But by the time I got all of them in the car to drop off “the one who is afraid of needles” at his soccer game, “the one who cries” was in the backseat hysterically crying about getting a shot. “The one who is easily aggravated” had clued her in about where we were going and why. (Upon interrogation, “the one who is easily aggravated” said he told “the one who cries” about the needle because, and I quote, he “just felt like telling her.” Nice. I have failed as a mother.) We dropped off “the one who is afraid of needles” at his game, and as he was gloating about being the only one not having to get blood taken I explained that he wasn’t getting blood taken TODAY but I’m just rescheduling his appointment because of his game. His face turned pale. (Which gave me a weird sense of satisfaction.) I smiled, gave him a little wave goodbye, and off we went.

The endless drive to the doctors was spent with “the one who cries” crying, “the one who can roll with the punches” saying that she didn’t care about the needle and she’d go first, “the one who thinks he is funny” trying to make everyone more nervous than they already were, and me giving “the one who is easily aggravated” the stink eye.

Somehow we made it there in one piece. Somehow we got everyone in the elevator (good thing “the one who is afraid of needles” wasn’t there because he is also afraid of elevators.) Somehow we made it into the little room where the blood was to be drawn.

And, oh my God, we did it!

I can’t believe that “the one who cries”actually got her blood taken without having to be strapped to the bed. I was seriously impressed. “The one who can roll with the punches” got her blood taken like it was a walk in the park (naturally). “The one who is easily aggravated” had a rough time of it because he has skinny veins or something. (They had to stick him a gazillion times in both arms before they actually could draw blood. It was ugly.) “The one who thinks he’s funny” was next, and he’s up there joking with the nurse that he might cry and that this is a judgement free zone, right? And just as I’m about to cue the laugh track, “the one who is easily aggravated” faints!! One minute he is up, the next minute he is down.

THAT was unexpected. We have a man down!

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A half hour later everyone was conscious and alert and we headed home. (Stopping at McDonald’s of course, as promised.) As we were going thru the drive-thru and ordering our food, “the one who thinks he’s funny” was yelling into the speaker that his brother had passed out earlier (in hopes that they would give us free food. They didn’t.) “The one who cries” cried the whole time about how she was afraid to bend her (left) arm because she was afraid it was going to hurt so she couldn’t get the food to her mouth (she’s right-handed.) “The one who can roll with the punches” announced that HER left arm also hurt to bend, so she decided to eat with her right hand instead (naturally.) And “the one who is easily aggravated and who also apparently faints when he gets blood taken” talked the ENTIRE time about how he should get to skip school the next day because he fainted.

The night ended with nothing out of the ordinary. It only took “the one who cries” a half hour of hysterical crying to get her band-aid off. But then once it came off she was so excited to see that there was a little drop of blood on the gauze thingy, and she immediately made plans to hang the gauze thingy up in her room to show all her friends. Then she started crying again because she was afraid her arm might start to bleed. “The one who can roll with the punches” told me she needed some Advil (only I couldn’t understand her, so it was like: Can you get me some oval? Oval? No, oval. Oval? No, oval. Oval? She wants Advil. Oh, you want Advil? Yes. Okay. Naturally.) “The one who thinks he’s funny” spent way too much time re-enacting the fainting scene (his version included life saving CPR, and me screaming “live, damn you!”) “The one who is easily aggravated and who also apparently faints when he gets blood taken” laid on the couch and kept on talking about skipping school the next day. (Interspersed with asking me if I could please write in his baby book that he had fainted at the doctor’s today.) “The one who is afraid of needles and elevators” was squirreled up in the corner of the couch on his phone as if the rest of us didn’t exist (because, in his mind, we don’t.)

So, you know, just an ordinary day.

Oh my God, I’m so tired!!!

 

 

2

Elf on the F’ing Shelf

So I consider myself a bit of an expert on the Elf on the Shelf. After all, he has been a seasonal part of our family for about 7 years now. Based on my expertise I have a few changes that I think would make the Elf, and the whole Elf experience, a little easier to manage.

First, an example of what I am trying to avoid:

sleeping elves

Two elves (yes, two) snuggled up with Sensei from Club Penguin, being serenaded by a pink monkey Beanie Boo and her side kick the tiger striped rubber ducky.

Things would just be a lot easier if we made the following changes…

There should be a rule that no one in the family can make stuff for the elf. There can be no tie-dye shirts made out of paper that the elf is expected to wear for the remainder of his time here. (See above picture.) No capes that anyone has to try not to rip every time they move the elf from point A to point B. The creating of little elfin accoutrement needs to stop immediately.

There should be a hotline that you can call 24/7 that will give you some reasonable and quick ideas about where to hide the elf so that at midnight when you are wandering around the house trying to come up with a creative way to hide the idiotic thing (while your husband is snoring loudly from the bedroom) you can just call and get a bunch of easy ideas. Note: Yes, I know that Pinterest has a million creative ideas. But I’m not talking about anything fancy like the elf “pooping” out chocolate chips, or making snow angels out of flour. I need basic boring “have you tried hiding him on the branches of the Christmas tree, yet?” And then maybe the operator could tell me that I’m awesome…but that would just be a little extra something special.

There should be a support group for all the elf movers. At the end of the elf-moving season all members of the group should get together and help each other as we transition back into the real world where we are no longer expected to lurk around the house under the cover of night hiding a creepy little toy. And there should be an open bar at each gathering. And taxis to cart all of our asses home.

The part of the story where it says that you can’t touch the elf or he’ll lose his magic should be revised slightly. It should also include a few sentences about how you also can’t leave the elf questionnaires that he is expected to fill out and then leave behind with the answers. The dead of night is not a good time to be trying to write (in disguised handwriting) a good answer as to why Santa isn’t getting them a dog for Christmas.

The elf’s body should be manufactured using a completely different material. The body should be made of that gooey stuff that you whip at the wall and it splats and stays there until you take it off and whip it at something else. Tell me that wouldn’t come in handy as you are trying to get down the stairs before the kids. All you would have to do is grab the elf off of one wall, and then quickly huck it across the room at another wall. And it would just stick there in some weird, but funny, position. It would take, like, three seconds to move the elf. (This is my favorite idea so far.)

Barring the above suggestion, all elves should come with an emergency remote that lets you suspend time. So when your darling little child comes in your room and says that he is going downstairs to find the elf (at 5:00 in the morning) you can just push the suspend time button and leisurely head down the stairs to find the elf a new hiding spot. Important to note that this emergency-suspend-time remote could come in handy in many other situations as well.

Depending on your sense of humor, perhaps the elf’s body could be hollow so you can fill it with with slim jims. Then you could “hide” the poor little sucker next to the dog’s dish. The kids will be sure to always remember the morning when they woke up to find that the family dog ate their little elfin friend, leaving behind only the head. You could even squirt a little ketchup around the head to make it look like blood. I don’t know, I’m just thinking out loud…

And lastly, 2016 should mark the end of the elf era. On Christmas Eve all elves should disappear into thin air, never to be seen again. And all children should have their memory erased so it is as if the crazy elf fad never, ever even happened.

Going forward, the Elf on the Shelf madness should be replaced by a new and improved tradition that I like to call, “The Alcohol on the Shelf”. Each night the other adult in your house should have to buy you a bottle of your favorite wine. Then when they are sure that you are fast asleep they will need to pry themselves out from under the toasty warm covers of the bed, and slink through the cold house to hide the bottle of wine somewhere fun and entertaining for you to find each morning. They should also be required to take pictures of the hidden/disguised wine each night to post on Facebook to show all their friends how clever they are. Good idea, right?? I’m confident that it will become a fine tradition in no time…

p.s. Christmas Eve is in 14 days. Help!!!!

 

9

Chocolate Chips Don’t Belong in Your Nose…and other truths we hold to be self-evident, but aren’t

girls with choc chips and minions

We hold these seven truths to be self-evident…unfortunately the kids need a little reminder.

Chocolate chips don’t belong in your nose~ First of all, you shouldn’t be shoving anything up your nose. With that being said, if I had to put in order a list of things that you really really shouldn’t shove up your nose, chocolate chips would be at the top of that list. Chocolate chips are food. They are a delicacy. They are little droplets of pure perfection. But the minute they get shoved up your nose they lose all their hard-earned glory and become nothing more than just your average, no-good booger. And you shouldn’t eat your boogers. Even if they are chocolate flavored.

You need to use soap in the shower~ If you are in the shower for 20 minutes using up all the hot water, and then you come out and your hair is basically still dry and you still have dirt on your face…well…I’m sorry, but you have completely missed the point of taking a shower. A shower is meant to clean your body, with soap, from tip to tail. And it’s meant to clean it in such a way that you aren’t soaking in a tub full of your own filth. The shower is a rite of passage. When you’re old enough to take a shower, you are too old for me to come in and help you clean all your nooks and crannies. I shouldn’t have to tell you this. Turn around, get back into the shower, and wash yourself properly. For real.

It’s not a good idea to draw penises on every minion in your sister’s Despicable Me coloring book~ Even if one sister IS standing next to you chanting “Penis! Penis!” and the other sister has collapsed to the floor because she is laughing so hard. I get it, you got caught up in the moment. But EVERY page? Every single page in the coloring book is now x-rated. Throwing the book away doesn’t seem to be enough so I’m just going to burn it.

You can get your own glass of milk~ Oh no you did NOT just walk into the kitchen, open the fridge, see what we have to drink, and then go and sit down and ask me to get you a glass of milk. Uh Uh. I refuse to believe that just happened. This isn’t a restaurant. I’m not here to wait on you. I’m not working for tips. I’m not your slave. You are perfectly capable of getting your own drink. This is lunacy. Do you think I want to spend my days just fetching drinks and snacks at your command? I don’t care that you are so nice and comfy on the couch and that you said “please”…well, now that I look at you, you DO look awfully cozy. I would hate for you to have to get up. Okay, just this one time I will get you a glass of milk. Just this ONE time. Would you like a snack with that?

Cap the marker~ The cover is supposed to back on the marker when you are done with it. That’s how it works. You uncap the marker, use the marker, and recap the marker. Otherwise the marker dries out and it is rendered useless. It’s like the basic laws of physics. If you leave the cap off, you can kiss that marker good-bye. Adios. Sayonara. Ciao. Plus, dried out markers are a waste of money. Moolah. Dinero. Cha-ching. The markers aren’t supposed to be disposable. We live in a civilized society where people recap their markers when they are done with them. Get with the program.  I’m so passionately sick and tired of having to throw away dried out markers. I’m ready to pull the plug on the whole thing and just become a crayons-only household.

When you are at the pool, you’re going to get wet~ Why is it so shocking to everyone when they get splashed at the pool? Stop complaining about getting wet. The outrage coming from you is at such a fevered pitch that one would think you had just been splashed with someone’s vomit. It’s water. You’re at a pool. Why are you so bewildered?  Let’s just look at the facts. You’re in your bathing suit. You’re wearing goggles. You brought a towel to dry yourself off. You even brought a change of clothes for afterwards. It would appear to all involved that you are well aware that getting wet is a possible (and not necessarily shocking) consequence of going into a big giant man-made hole in the ground filled with water.

You need to wear shoes~ If we are going somewhere and I’m trying to get everyone out the door and into the car, I REALLY do think it is super awesome that you hustled and were the first one in the car. Hooray! What I DON’T think is super awesome, though, is when we arrive at our destination and I discover that you don’t have any shoes on. That is the opposite of hooray. How about you just tuck this little piece of advice into your back pocket: If you are leaving the house to go somewhere, put on shoes. You don’t even need to ask me if you need to wear shoes because the answer will always be yes. Even one shoe and one sock is better than nothing because you can just limp and I’ll tell everyone that you hurt your toe in a sky-diving accident and so you can’t wear shoes for a week. THAT I can groove to. Having to put my 9-year-old in the front seat thingy of the supermarket carriage because he is barefoot…not so much.

C’mon, man! Just, C’MON! I thought you knew all this already. Sure, I know I didn’t sit you down and actually tell you all of this stuff, but did I really have to? Isn’t it like how Windows 8 is already preloaded onto a computer…isn’t some of this vital info already preloaded into your brain? I take it, by the the chocolate snot running down your lip, that the answer is no.

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5

To Camp or Not to Camp…that is the question

 schools-out

“Why do you need to sign them up for summer camp?”

My husband asked me that question the other day. He actually asked it like it was a real question and not a joke. As if he didn’t notice me frantically scouring the town’s rec department website for fun camps that might still have openings and that I might be able to get the kids to go to for a few days this summer without having to fight them (or pay them, like I did last year. Don’t judge me.)

Why do I need to sign them up for camp? Did he seriously just ask me that? Can he NOT see the wild look of desperation in my eyes?

Oh my GOD! I’m half in the nuthouse right now just IMAGINING the endless summer with all 5 of them at home. I have to send them to SOME kind of camp. Something. Anything. My husband’s rationale was that we could save money not sending them to camp (which does get pretty expensive when you have to send 5 kids) and that HE never went to camp in the summer (so therefore summer camp is unnecessary, somehow.) But when I was a kid I DID go to camp. My mom would get out the summer catalog, and we all “got” to pick two one-week day camps that we wanted to go to. It was the greatest! I felt so lucky as I scanned the catalog trying to decide which class I would grace my presence with. I remember one year I went to baton twirling camp. A one-week camp that taught you how to twirl a baton. I had no need for this skill, but I didn’t care. Neither did my mother. She just signed all the paperwork and stood in our front door waving as the bus pulled into the neighborhood and we all got on for our awesome summer camp classes. See ya later, suckas!

And, by the way, I don’t even actually think that boycotting all summer camps would save us money in the long run.

If you think about it, after an entire summer spent dodging the daily question of “what are we doing today?” (as if I’m supposed to have a daily list of super fun activities planned…like they would at, oh I don’t know, CAMP), and trying to keep them all from killing each other, I’m most likely going to have a mental break down. It’s basically inevitable. I’ll go bananas, and then I’ll need expensive therapy. I’m talking full on, “she’s been hospitalized for exhaustion, look at her over there all curled up in the fetal position in the corner” kind of therapy.

An extended stay at some posh mental hospital has GOT to be more expensive than camp, right? Plus there are all the little expenses that you don’t think about when you are getting ready to lose your mind instead of sending the kids to camp because you’re trying to save a few bucks:

  • All the gas money spent as my poor husband has to visit me 3 times a day (it get’s lonely in the hospital, and I love visitors)
  • The money paid to the babysitter to watch the kids while he visits me (They can’t come with him, I couldn’t bear to have them see me like this…even though it is their fault that I am here.)
  • The daily delivery of fresh flowers (you know, just to keep my spirits up)
  • A personal mani/pedi person to come in weekly to keep my nails groomed (What? I’m supposed to live like an animal?)
  • A once-a-day twice-a-day Starbucks delivery of a grande hot chai tea latte extra hot with an extra pump of chai. Plus tip.
  • A new wardrobe once I get out (I’m pretty sure that I’ll lose weight while I’m in there)
  • Someone to come in once a day and tell me I’m pretty (just because)
  • Not to mention the expense of the limo ride to the hospital, and then home again when I am done with my treatments

It ain’t cheap. It ain’t easy. And it ain’t happening because they are going to camp.

See, the thing about summer vacation is that it only SEEMS fun and relaxing. But it’s actually the opposite of fun and relaxing. Think of something that is tiring and annoying, and that is summer vacation. Oh, wait, picture that your whole day is spent trying to keep 73 bunnies in a cage. That’s your whole job…just keep the bunnies alive, fed, and in the cage. Sounds easy enough. But the cage only has three sides. And the bunnies keep escaping. And every time you think you have them all in you see one across the yard that you have to go retrieve. Every now and then when you get a chance you huck food at them (and you don’t even care that it is basically just junk food because, omigod, they won’t stop escaping) but for the most part you just spend the whole day running around like a crazy person. Oh, and the bunnies complain and tell you that you are mean. And it’s really hot out. So your hair is frizzy.

THAT, that right there, is the real summer vacation.

Help!!

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2

If You Need Me, I’ll Be In My Shell

turtle selfie

Its amazing the amount of noise and chaos I can tune out when it comes to my kids. For example, I should legit have PTSD from the car ride to the beach on Mother’s Day. But I don’t. The yelling, complaining, and Are we there yet? all just float past me, barely even making it into my ears and to my brain. I’m so good at the tune out that during the whole ENTIRE trip there was only ONE time that I felt the urge to full-body launch myself from the passenger seat directly into the backseat intent on performing a leaping scissor kick while screaming, “That’s right, you BETTER hide!” But luckily I managed to get myself back to a state of calm until the urge passed (Serenity now. Serenity now.) During most car trips I can even let the occasional physical brawl just ride itself out. The way I see it, if you try to give “dead leg” to the person sitting next to you because they are “breathing too loud on purpose”, you’re probably going to get kicked in the head. And that is just a lesson you have to learn on your own. That is NOT something I can teach you.

I can tune out lots of other things, too. Take for instance the cabinets in my kitchen. The other day my husband looked closely at them and he was like, “Gross. The cabinets need to be cleaned.” And I was like, “Huh? What cabinets?” while leaning against the very cabinets of which he spoke. Gunk building up on the cabinets is something that I can tune out (ignore?) pretty easily. Very easily. Okay, maybe way too easily. But really, I have laundry that is begging to be folded, bums that need to be wiped at various times throughout the day, and dinner that is somehow supposed to miraculously cook itself. Am I really supposed to pay attention to the dirt on the cabinets? Plus, I find that if I walk through the kitchen really quickly and kind of blur my eyes a little I hardly notice the dirty cabinets at all. That works for other parts of the house as well, by the way. It’s kind of like a life hack.

I’m just now trying my hand at tuning out my middle schooler’s newly acquired “I know more than you. You may have walked the earth for 44 years, but I am nearly 12 and therefore I know everything” attitude. That one is giving me a run for my money. But I’m no quitter. I’ll tune that noise out sooner or later.

The way I see it, my ability to tune out the unsavory parts of my life makes me sort of like a reverse Ninja Turtle. Instead of jumping into action to fight the bad guy and restore calm and order to the masses, I see the chaos and annoyance increasing and I ever so slowly retreat into my shell. First one foot, then the other… slowly I start scrunching my head backwards until I am safe inside my nice quiet shell, where all the cabinets are self-cleaning, and all the children are pleasant and well-behaved. My shell is the best. I love it in here. It’s so fab that one of these days I may never come out.

2

You’ve Got to Be F’ing Kidding me Right Now

fucking kidding me

Sent my preschooler to school today dressed in full “Beach Day” attire, only to get there and realize that it is, in fact, “Pajama Day” today.

While I was there I saw that today is also “Pizza Day”. My plan of going to Barnes & Nobles (and drinking a hot Chai Tea Latte while I flip through books on how to become a Day Trader so I can can become independently wealthy in my spare time) is thrown out the window because now I have to go home and actually wash my hair (which is all matted and narly from not having been washed for so many days). All so I can go enjoy pizza with my 3-year-old without people wondering if I am homeless and just there for the free meal.

Oh, and over the weekend I had the below text exchange with my husband (while I was down the Cape for a Girl’s Weekend, holla!)

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This should all explain, quite clearly, why the motto in my house (at least in my own head) is “Are you fucking kidding me right now?” By the way, this motto is not going anywhere soon.

14

Let’s Share, Shall We?

sharing-is-caring

You know how someone tells you a story about their kids and you are like, “oh thank God it is not just me”? Let’s do that. Let’s share. I’ll start…

I’m not the only one whose morning routine is basically just a routine of complete chaos, right? No one can ever find their shoes or sweatshirts for some reason. EVER. And I don’t know why it doesn’t occur to me to locate the missing, but necessary, items until we are literally walking out the door. That is like, practically, EVERY day of our lives. (Except Saturdays when we don’t have to be anywhere, and Sundays when CCD is cancelled.)

Oh, and it’s not just me who will drive back through the McDonald’s drive-thru to ask for a different prize in my kids’ Happy Meal, right? I did this yesterday. I had two of the kids in the car, ordered two Happy Meals, got two DIFFERENT prizes. What the heck?! I had to loop around and go back to the window. It sounds mental, I know…but it was so much easier than listening to my 5-year old throw a fit.

Tell me I’m not the only one who will resort to giving the little ones Cheez-its for breakfast as we are rushing out the door to be fashionably late for preschool. It’s either that or grab a donut on the way…and somehow the Cheez-its seem like a better choice. You know, because Cheez-its have cheese (flavoring) and cheese has calcium, and calcium gives you strong bones and teeth. Score.

And speaking of food, I’m sure it’s not just in my house that everyone devours the bananas like they are going out of style, and then begs me to buy more bananas because they LOOOVE them. Which I’m happy to do because, well, they’re bananas. But also because bananas are the best kept secret in the supermarket. You can buy a zillion bananas and it will only cost you about 2 bucks. So I do just that. I buy a zillion bananas for my banana-loving kids. I now have a zillion brown/turning black bananas on my counter because, yea, they’re all set with bananas.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who uses paper plates, paper cups, and plastic utensils because it cuts down on how many dishes I have to actually wash. I know, I know, it’s bad for the environment. But you wouldn’t be judging me if you knew how much I truly hate doing the dishes.

I also hate cleaning the bathrooms. It’s not just my boys who can’t aim, right? I’m talking, can’t aim to the point that I’m pretty sure they are peeing with their eyes closed. Sometimes I make them clean it themselves, which grosses them out. But it doesn’t gross them out enough to open their eyes the next time they pee.

Ummmmm, it’s not just in my car where someone will yell “food fight!” and suddenly a corn muffin will go whizzing past your head, right? Right? Okay, that may just be my car.

But I know that it’s not just me who goes grocery shopping and then two days later has no food left in the house because the kids have gone on an all-you-can-eat bender. I know that happens in your house, too because you’ve told me.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who screams “WILL YOU JUST SHUT UP!!!” silently in my head while my nine-year-old follows me all around the house talking and talking and talking. Oh, and he’s a low-talker so sometimes I can’t even hear what he’s saying, but I know he’s talking because his lips are moving and I can hear a faint murmuring sound coming from them. Wait, I just re-read that and it sounds mean so I would like to clarify that for the first hour of our one-sided conversation I am fully engaged. But eventually someone else needs attention and the nine-year-old just keeps on talking/murmuring with no end in sight. So that is when I begin my silent screaming.

Oh, and you know how I mentioned above that we are fashionably late for preschool (every day)? Well that is because my 5-year-old spends so much time standing in front of the mirror and making up songs about how pretty she is. That happens in your house, too, right?

How about one of my sons who will risk being late and getting detention because his gelled hair isn’t flipping just right? My house only?

I can’t possibly be the only one who buys the kids boatloads of socks, only to have them completely disappear into thin air, right? Does that happen at your house? I can’t understand it. I will go thru the entire house and find every single sock and I will do a socks only wash. I will wash them, dry them, match them, fold them, and huck them into the sock basket. And still there will only be like 5 pair in there. Five. I just bought three 8-packs. And now we have 5 matching socks.

Speaking of laundry, am I the only one who smells clothes to determine if they are clean or dirty? Just because it’s on the floor doesn’t mean that it is dirty. Sometimes it means that it was tried on, determined to be unsatisfactory, and discarded onto the rug. I’m not doing any more laundry than I have to, and I’m not about to rewash clean clothes. So I smell them. Big whiff. Yup, dirty. Gag. (It should be noted that I draw the line at underwear. If underwear is on the floor it goes in the wash. Clean, dirty, I don’t care. I’m not smelling it.)

Okay, it’s your turn. See the little comment section below? Drop me a line and share a story. It’ll make us all feel so much better to know that we are not living in Crazytown alone. And…..GO!

PS~ Check me out on ScaryMommy.com on Friday! Yay!!