Monthly Archives: January 2014

alarm clock woes…

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This Morning: “It’s not my fault!” the boy yelled up the steps to me.

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Last night: “Dude you need to take a shower for school tomorrow…go…” Taking a moment to look up from the game he was playing he replied, “I’m going to get up early tomorrow and take my shower”. “Yeah, right…you overslept this morning…so no, go take your shower now.” I replied. “No seriously mom, I’ll set my alarm and get up early to get my shower in…”

*****

This morning: “Did you take a shower this morning?” I shouted down the steps. “No there wasn’t enough time…” He started to say, before I cut him off, “Because you didn’t wake up early this morning?” “Yes” he replied. “So what you’re saying is you lied to me last night.” “I didn’t lie! I didn’t lie!!” The boy argued. “Did you set your alarm last night?” “No it just always goes off…” “REALLY!?! That’s your excuse.” “Its not an excuse, Mama, it’s true!” He replied. “Did you double check to make sure your alarm was set?” I asked. “Why would I do that?” He replied. “What so your alarm magically sets itself?  Is that what you’re saying?” “I don’t know…but it just usually goes off without me doing anything about it…” he tried to explain. “Then it is your fault for failing to check if the alarm was set–human error bay!” “It’s not my fault I didn’t know I had to set the alarm!!” He argued back while I simply shook my head; dumbfounded how such a bright boy could be soooo dense.

“I wonder… if you went to bed  on time, would that have made a difference…?” I asked. “I went to bed on time!” He said back. “Yeah….what time did you go to sleep?” I asked. “Twelve!!” “Exactly my point…I sent you to bed at ten.” I replied. “Oh….” He accidentally said aloud, before changing his tune…”Wait, I did go to bed at ten.” He tried. “You may have entered your room around ten…but odds are you stayed up playing a video game or watching videos until twelve”. “No, no that’s not what I did.” He said defensively. “Then why did you say twelve? Usually the first answer is the correct one bay…” I argued. “You’re trying to confuse me now too…” He said with a note of resignation.

After a few minutes he looked at me and said, “Mama, you make me quite angry in the morning…” “Human error bay…just accept that you failed and learn from it…” “I didn’t do anything wrong…so what do I have to learn?” He argued back. “Oh, I don’t know….how about learning how to set your alarm…?”

“Oh” he accidentally said aloud.

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threads….

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Last week Mrs. K and I were standing at the checkout counter of our local grocery store. She was busy writing her check as I emptied her cart of merchandise onto the conveyor belt for the cashier. Once my task was complete, I noticed a woman in a handicapped cart wheel in behind me so I placed a food separator on the belt, for the cashier. Then I smiled and asked the woman if I could empty her cart onto the conveyor belt for her. Nodding her head in appreciation, she simply replied, “Please”. When all was said and done, the woman smiled at me and wished me a good day; as I did the same to her. “You’re a nice person” Mrs. K informed. “Nah, I’m courteous…well or rather I try to be. Life is easier when we are kind to one another” I replied. “Well Marsha I think you agreed with me but in your long roundabout way” she said giggling.

*****

I was preparing to unload my cart at Costco the other day when the woman in front of me lost a check. I watched it float behind the oblivious woman, coming to settle behind some boxes in the next unattended check out lane. “Ma’am…excuse me, you lost something” I said bending down to pick up the wayward check. “Oh my God, Thank you!!” the woman exclaimed loudly; embarrassing me a bit. I smiled and then went back about my business of unloading my cart. When the woman ahead of me finished paying her bill, she turned back and thanked me once more adding, “You just don’t see that kind of behavior anymore”.

******

The boy has always been a charmer. No matter where we are, he always manages to charm someone with his gregarious personality, his intelligence and mannerisms. He loves playing the part of the doorman; holding open the door for others, when entering a building and enjoys hearing the accolades which usually accompany the job. The doll on the other hand is shy, sometimes barely speaking above a whisper; but is always kind and courteous when we go out. I like this about my children. They are innately nice and courteous people…which I hope they recognize and like about themselves too, remaining so throughout their lifetime.

We are all interwoven together; millions of tiny threads working together to produce a fabric of life worth living. Sometimes I think the hardest lesson my children will learn is How To Be Respectful to Others, given all the video games and media content out there trying to teach otherwise. As their parent I know I have a responsibility to counteract that constant drone of hate…but I can only do so much. The old axiom “It takes a village to raise a child” really means something here.  As a community; together-isn’t it about time we ALL began acting better toward one another? How about right now, we stop judging and belittling others. We take the focus away from what makes us different, to what we all have in common: Life, Love, Hope.

The roads we all travel intertwine, our threads weave across paths. Who knows, we may even stop and share a drink or two, before moving on. Being kind, courteous, civil and respectful shouldn’t be that difficult…in all honesty it should be mandatory.

****

Thank you for reading…my 1000 blog for The Mean Mommy’s Memoirs. Who knew I could find so much to write about?

the edge of millennary…

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The boy picked up the phone receiver and replied “Whoo hoo” when I broke the news to him that school was in fact closed for another day. “Really?” I asked surprised. “Well now I can finish listening to the Styx” He replied. “The group’s name is Styx, not THE Styx” I corrected. “Yes, yes, I know…I was listening to “Come Sail Away” on Youtube and had to pause it when the phone rang. So goodbye Mama!”

Well now we know what his day will entail…

******

The doll popped up to see me this morning before I left for work. “You’re off today, though your brother so far is on a delay.” She nodded, wiping the sleep from her eyes before coming over to give me a hug. That’s when I noticed…she had grown another inch. Standing as tall and straight as I could muster; raising my chin I had to lift my feet onto my tip toes so I could nestle my chin on the top of her head. “What? When did you grow again?” I said with slight incredulous tone to my voice. She giggled, then released herself from the hug and began to walk away. “You know you could come with me to Mary Alice’s if you’re too bored at home…” I offered. “No thank you, I’m good. I think I’ll stay here…and grow some more” she said as she walked into her bedroom and closed the door behind her.

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You know this winter novelty of having snow days has worn off when teachers are posting on Facebook their eagerness to get back into the classroom. Last night the doll had a minor meltdown when she couldn’t find the information about whether the school would be open or not. “Doll, they may not have posted it yet…heck they may not post until morning…” I offered. “MOM KIDS SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO NO!!” She shouted at me before announcing she was taking her shower. Looking over at her father I said, “I think she’s had too much free time on her hands…” “Ya think?” Came his reply. Later when the school’s closing had been announced she said, “I never ever thought I’d say I’m ready for school….” “To resume?” I finished for her. Nodding she explained “I miss my friends.” “Well the good news is you have basketball practice Wednesday evening…” I offered. “Well at least that’s something” she replied. ”

Thank! God! Yes! It! Is!!”

 

a mundane approach…

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My kids used to be fun and unpredictable, before this winter set in. Now they’re zombies. “Mom do you realize we’ve only been in  school for about a week this whole month?” The doll asked me. Thinking back on the available days they have been in school, she’s right! Sad thing is, they will probably have tomorrow off as well–due to the extreme cold temperatures.  Dear God they will still be in school come July-at this rate!

*****

The boy, who likes to believe he knows everything, decided to lecture me on the merits of television programs. “Mom, Big Bang Theory is funniest TV show ever, hands down” He insisted. “Bud, just because you resemble several members of the cast….” “Ah yes, not quite! But seriously, this comedy is rich in stories and awkward moments.” He explained. “Yes, you’re right. Big Bang Theory is hilarious. But not as hilarious as say Frasier or Seinfeld.” I replied.

Overhearing our discussion, his father jumped in adding, “Frasier no doubt  is in the top ten along with Cheers and The Cosby Show. But  Seinfeld? Hardly”. “Dad, I concur I mean how can a show about nothing be considered funny?” The boy said attempting to side with his father. ” “Actually if we were to really go back and look at comedies of all time, we must include I love Lucy and the Three Stooges” I explained. “The Three Stooges are dumb!” the boy and his father agreed. “No…you two are dumb. They are classic-just like the Marx brothers, Laurel and Hardy of Abbot and Costello… But if we really go back we need to include the silent film actors Harold Lloyd  and  Charlie Chaplin.” I argued as our conversation fell to a draw.  Looking back at the boy, I noticed his eyes glassing over the longer I talked. “Bay, perhaps in your era…being about quote, unquote two years or so, The Big Bang Theory rates high on your list of comedies…but you cannot claim “All Time” without considering the fore bearers of the genre.” I explained.

Standing up, the boy approached me; his face sporting a grin.  Leaning over, he then pat the top of my head; then with a condescending tone to his voice he said, “This coming from someone who thought a show about nothing was funny.”

Yep…we’re pretty bored these snow days…

An ode to working together…

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I’ve bitched, moaned, groaned, unnerved. I’ve yelled, screamed, pushed and pointed. Finally on Saturday the kids had had enough. “Okay Mom” the doll replied. “Yes Mama” the boy complied.

The doll picked up, put away vacuumed and dusted. The boy washed, scrubbed and disinfected. Together-they worked separately; each completing tasks which kept their usual fighting at bay.

Meanwhile…

The kitchen was filled with the sounds of Motown, as I collected, deciphered and shredded bills and such; emptied, then reloaded the dishwasher to run before thoroughly washing down counters, table, stove and microwave.

The boy’s bedroom was filled with the sounds of Jethro Tull? as he created a pathway through his mess, picking up dirty clothes for to wash; dusting only the open spaces, but nothing really more.

The doll moved onto clean her bedroom; closing her door to quell the competing music her brother and I blared out. Instead strands of Today’s hits filled her air as she exhibited a better desire to rid her room of dust.

Only argument heard? “It’s totally gross!! There are spiders in my room…” “Perhaps if you cleaned and dusted more often you could keep them out of your room!” “Mom!!”

Ah…the sweet sounds of a home…

Irony, excuses and 5:30 am wake up calls…

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I was wrestled awake early…. “Marsh…Marsha….honey?” My husband said as he gently shook my shoulder; trying to wake me from my slumber. When it became apparent that I was semi conscious, leaning down he said, “The boy is downstairs filling out his registration card for next year’s class schedule and he’s not paying attention to what he’s doing. I’m running late for work…could you go help him?” “What time is it….?” I asked with a very rough sounding voice. “5:30 am” He replied. “What the heck is he doing awake at 5:30?” I mumbled. “Well he’s been up for a while…when I got up 45 minutes ago,  he was on the couch in his customary spot and had all the lights downstairs on”.  The hubby informed and then added,  “So could you go make sure he’s filling everything out properly?

LOUD GROAN OF UNDECIPHERABLE WORDS FROM ME…

I stumbled out of bed, found a robe and made my way to the kitchen, where the boy sat, (dressed and ready for school) pensively writing. “What are you doing?” I asked. “This needs to be turned in today for the teachers to sign off on.” He explained. “Last night I told you I wanted to discuss your classes with you…but you were too busy playing on your game system. Why didn’t you have me help you last night?” I asked. “Sorry Mama” came his reply. Looking down at the form I noticed several scratch outs and re-writes from errors made. “Why didn’t you fill this out in pencil?”I asked. As per his norm, he used his favorite phrase ever saying,  “I forgot…it was an accident.” before adding,  “I didn’t remember until I was almost finished that I was supposed to write in pencil…besides we don’t have any pencils.” Looking over my shoulder I asked, “What do you call those?” I said pointing at a coffee mug filled with pencils. “Those all need to be sharpened.” He said as a matter of fact. “So…?” “I know, but the pencil sharpener wasn’t plugged in” he added. When I tried to object again he said, “Mom you know its a sucky pencil sharpener…” “Regardless dude, we have a gazillion old fashioned pencil sharpeners around here….or I bet one of your pocket knives  would have done the trick…” I explained. “Sorry!” Came his only reply.

Regardless, together we went through the course workbook; discussed the options which were open for him then properly filled out his class application form. However, as if to cross all our ‘t’s and dot all our ‘i’s ..we decided to have him consult with his guidance counselor before asking his teachers to sign off on the classes. Then I hurried upstairs, took my shower and got ready for the day,while he happily ate his breakfast. Once I was dressed, we left for school, giving him ample time to discuss his future course work with his counselor.

And now for the irony…

Last night the doll’s school was put on a 2-hour delay due to the weather. When I went to bed at 1:30 am, I double checked to see if the boy’s high school was on the list yet, but it was not. Then again at 5:30 am my husband informed me again the boy’s school still had no delay or closed listing. As such, the boy and I left for school about a half an hour earlier than usual. Once I arrived home, I made myself breakfast, gathered my stuff together for my work day and was about to walk out the door when someone posted on FB that the doll’s school was now closed. A moment later my home phone rang… “Hi Mama!! Um guess what?” “Don’t tell me….” I said.  He laughed adding “Well I guess the school has closed due to the weather.” “You’ve got to be kidding me…” I replied with deadpanned voice. “Funny isn’t it…hehehe… But the good news is I talked with my guidance counselor and I’m all set for next year. Oh and you’ll like this, she even got on me about my B+ grades too…so hey, did you put her up to that?” He said with his most charming styled “smooth things over ” voice he could muster.

Which of course worked.

 

Chuckling into the receiver I said “Buddy?” I’ll see you in about 20 minutes…” “Okay Mama!!” He replied.

 

parental differences….

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Everyone parents differently.

When the kids were little I banned the two word phrase “I want”. One of my brother’s implied  I was being too hard on the kids, because saying “I want” was part of growing up. I disagreed. Saying, “Please may I  have a cookie or Could I please have a cookie” sounded a hell of a lot better to me,  than them saying “I want a cookie” and expecting to get one as a result.  As if to prove to me he understood the notion–even though it was a difficult challenge for sure, the boy wrote a prayer in religion class which read, “Dear God, Please help me not say the words ‘I want'”.

My husband is a very laid back dad. Sure when he gets angry we all scatter; primarily because he does not allow for arguing. He makes his point and regardless if you agree or not, he makes his point. I am always envious of this. The kids obviously believe they can sway me, so they argue incessantly with me. “Why do you always argue with me and not your father???” I’ve been known to shout at them on occasion. The doll answered once by saying, “Because you’re not dad.”

The boy lately likes to yell his responses to me. “Did you finish your homework?” I ask. “YES I DID!!” “Why are you yelling at me?” I say in reply “BECAUSE THAT’S THE ONLY WAY YOU’ll UNDERSTAND ME!!” “No, actually I’m more turned off by what you’re saying…how about applying an inside voice from now on…” “SORRY MAMA, I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!” “Do you talk to your father in this tone?” His tone of voice immediately changes and says, “No.” Why’s that?” “Because Dad doesn’t get on my case like you do…unless you rile him up.”  Ah, in other words your dad is a pushover…I think; but keep to myself.

This morning our conversation went as such:   “MAMA I HAVE A CLEAN SHIRT, PUT ON DEODORANT, ATE BREAKFAST AND TOOK MY MEDS AND YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE US LATE FOR SCHOOL–ALL BECAUSE YOU HAD TO TAKE A SHOWER!! Well unlike you, I can smell myself…I needed the shower. ” After a few minutes of rushing, we’re in the car and on our way to school and he finally lowered his voice to an even tone-perhaps because we’re in a smaller confined space. “You know Mama, you’re infuriating…” He informs. “Well bay, I can say the same about you…” I reply. “True…but you have to love me.” He said. “Are you implying that you don’t love me?” I asked; surprising both of us with the question. Smiling he said, “Only on days when I don’t have homework.” “Uh huh….and you have homework every day right?” “That’s right Mama!” He said and then laughed.

As we pulled up along side the high school building I said, “Let me ask you one more question…?” As he gathered his books he paused to look back at me ” Is that how you really feel or are you acting your age and being a smart ass…? He smiled, big and broad and then opened the car door and stepped out. “Have a good day baby!” I said as he began to close the door. But then, only for a brief moment he stopped; holding the door open he peered in and said, “You too Mama”. before slamming the door shut and walking into the school.

Well at lease he responded…which must mean something…and it wasn’t a yell.