Tag Archives: humor

Keeping up with the Jones’ Part 16,492

Once upon a time, I was a new and idealistic mother of a beautiful boy. His nursery was perfect. He had a little toy box with stimulating and developmental items, a shelf with nursery rhymes and Baby Einstein books and a section of Spanish books for children (I was going to teach him other languages, obviously). And playing in the background at all times was a soothing baby massage CD. I doted on him; took him to my grandparents’ retirement home twice a week so all the residents could love on him also. I practiced attachment parenting and never raised my voice.

I was the perfect mom and I was sure everyone else agreed.

That sweet boy will be 18 in a month. He is followed by 6 siblings, down to the almost 4 year old baby of the family. And unfortunately, with each baby, I became a little less perfect.

Now I do not like perfect moms at all. They make us well-meaning and imperfect mothers look terrible. And our kids notice.

My 11 year old daughter has a friend down the street. She goes to the girl’s house every day and together they ride bikes. Then they play at her house and her mom invites them on hikes and dinner picnics by the lake. The girl does not come here because, as I’ve hypothesized, there’s a lot of us; we’re loud, and we don’t have picnics. Or maybe because when she first met me, I had a margarita in hand and she was scandalized. Or maybe because after the name introduction, there was a measuring contest of “whose hubby has the more impressive business title.”

Either way, annoying.

For my daughter’s birthday party, we invited her friends to the movies. But these parents couldn’t be satisfied to drop their child in exchange for two hours of freedom. Nooo…. they brought their other daughter and then stocked up on candy and popcorn from the concession stand and passed it around.

It gave me fiendish pleasure to see that she had popcorn stuck to her butt later. I’m terrible, I know.

For Valentine’s Day, the kids had to bring cards and then something to hold their cards in from other classmates. The night before the Valentine’s party, I ran to Walgreen’s and scooped up what cards were leftover. The kids then addressed them and stuffed them into their paper bags, crudely decorated with scribbled pink and purple hearts. The perfect parents? Well, a few weeks before, I had heard that my daughter’s friend’s mother had begun helping her children make card boxes. She had found some old, wooden treasure boxes and together they sanded, painted and decorated. Their cards were not made of paper and bought at Walgreen’s, but rather, handcrafted from material that folded like a book and fastened with Velcro. Each classmate’s name was then embroidered beautifully onto the inside “page” of material.

My daughter just got back from a field trip from… wait for it… Disneyland. Three days in California and Disneyland. I don’t know about you, but we went to museums when I was in school. Last night, while reheating leftovers, I asked her about the trip. She went on and on about how much fun she had.

“Was (enter kid’s mom’s name) there?” I interrupted.

“Yes, she was a chaperone. And she bought me tacos!”

Ugh. I grumbled and put another dish in the microwave.

“Of course she did!” I said, obviously annoyed that I was bested again.

“Well…” she began boldly, “you could’ve been a chaperone, too!”

Seriously, am I the only one who finds this annoying? All these perfect Pinterest mommies making the rest of us look worse than mediocre with their tireless devotion to their children? Where’s the justice?!


Lego the Legos

There’s no nice way to say this, so I’ll just go for it: I hate Legos.

I do not discriminate. I hate superhero collections, Lord of the Rings collections, fairies and dragons and princesses and Lego characters pretending to be um, Lego characters. Point being, if it’s a Lego, cute kitty or cutthroat pirate, I hate it.

I used to think Legos were a great alternative for our children’s couch potato generation. It gets them away from the screen and forces, at the very least, the following of directions. It doesn’t push them outside and on their bikes, but at least they’re not zombies in front of mindless YouTube videos by Jesse and Mike.

But that’s where the good things end.

One Lego set that your kid wants will run you, if you’re lucky, $49 before tax. But that’s not the cool set they want, which is actually between $75 – $150. Yes, there are little $10 and $20 “sets” available, but those are just starters for toddlers who are just beginning their Lego addiction.

When you buy Johnny his supersized Lego set he HAD to have for Christmas/Easter/Memorial Day/birthday/just because, there is about a one minute moment of bliss. They admire the box and what they will create, and you feel a sense of pride for once again getting them the best Lego set ever (since last month’s release). They get to work creating their fire-breathing dragon, castle and drawbridge, and position their damsel in distress…

That’s it.

30 minutes later and it’s done. The stocking and Easter basket lasts longer. And now guess what? You need a place to put it! But when the dresser and night stand and every other level surface in the house is covered with Lego creations, Where do you put them all? And if you think you can throw away the box after said creation is complete, guess again. You can’t. They need it. Like I need the tossed away wrapping paper with several year’s worth of scribbled names.

With all the kids I have, I figure I’ll need multiple spare bedrooms for their completed sets and accompanying boxes… if I’m to continue down this dreaded path.

And despite a kid’s attempt (read: my attempt) to keep Legos organized or intact, these tiny pieces of madness end up EVERY. WHERE. In my pillow cases, the washing machine, the dog’s mouth, under beds, and in every nook and cranny in the house and car… I must confess that I have recently quit saving the pieces “rescued” by my broom and now daydream about the day they’re all swept away…


No Filter

I think that’s a popular Instagram hashtag – #nofilter … #Iwokeuplikethis. But that’s usually in reference to an amazing picture that claims to be unedited, even when it really is.

But I’m off track and this is not about a good picture…

Last week I was due for my annual microblading touch-up because #eyebrowsarelife, y’all. That means, my drop dead gorgeous microblading friend is going to be thisclose to my face for two hours, concentrating on said brows. Then she’ll post the before and after as always and put it on her Instagram feed.

So in preparation for my appointment, I woke up with a nice, big zit right next to one of my eyebrows. I don’t think I’ve had a single breakout in over a year since a farmer’s market chocolate binge. But there it was. No reason at all except to laugh at me.

I ambulated from the bathroom into the kitchen to make breakfast, grumbling to myself about how unfair life is. After breakfast, I sat with the 7 year old on the couch waiting for his bus to come. Out from bed and down the hallway came my delightful, chatterbox 3 year old. She perched herself in front of me and rambled to her little audience for a few minutes before stopping in mid- toddler speak.

“What is THAT?!” she asked, pointing to my unfortunate and unsightly overnight growth. Thank God for 3 year olds to direct your attention to what you obviously didn’t notice!

I texted my friend/drop dead gorgeous microblading artist and told her what happened. I mean, she was going to notice anyway.

Fortunately, she does have a filter app on her phone…


Angry Mom Rant Part II

While listening to the self-help book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***, I’m simultaneously failing, or at least having my new found life methods put to the test, by a never-ending need to vent about the public school system. In my defense, they are helping me right along by supplying me daily with new things to give a **** about – as hard as I’m trying not to (read the book and you’ll get what I’m saying).

If you read my previous post, you will recall my great frustration over the excessive nature of the school supply lists and the insane cost of these supplies.

Day one of the new school year came, and so did their backpacks – stuffed with more papers to sign, forms to fill out, and requests for money everywhere.

The district is completely online. All enrollment forms are done online; schedules and test grades are posted online; and class news and teacher communications are also online. Yet, each teacher wants the parents to fill out information packets on their children again. Yeah, I just spent a week doing it, running back and forth from three different schools for residency verification because the online system wasn’t working (enter eyeroll here). But now I get to hand write it all out again for each of the teacher’s files. Maybe they don’t communicate with the office and the online system in that capacity. Whatever. I’ll let that one slide.

But now there’s more and more stuff to buy, things to volunteer and sign up for, and more supplies to buy. I’m seeing red now. It’s only the THIRD DAY!

My middle schooler is in Art. While I already bought supplies for this free, public school-provided class, I must send him with a $25 check for Art class by the end of the week for a grade! So he’ll fail if I can’t pay? What if I can’t? He has to pick another elective?

On the way to school this morning, the 5th grader started haggling me for $5 for a “mandatory” student planner. Funny, the middle school gives them out for free. That must be where the art fee comes in – to offset the cost of these “free planners.”

I lost it. I said, “No way. I don’t believe it. They can provide that. Tell them your mom can’t afford it. Tell them I went broke buying school supplies for the rest of the grade!” And by the way, I’d rather go to Office Max and spend $50 on a fancy planner for her than buy their branded ones they are using as fund raising.

Schools are good at convincing our impressionable youth of a few things, many of which deserve their own post. But right now, let’s focus on how the child must buy everything thrown at them, or be made to feel left out. After all, what’s $5 for a planner? Don’t I want my kids to keep track of their assignments? Don’t I care?! So right now, that’s the measurement: the parent who can volunteer for everything, buy every piece of spirit wear, planner, and contribute to each fundraiser and donation request, cares the most. More than me. I’m not personally in competition with Mommy Do It All. I’m pissed that my pockets are expected to be bottomless or my child probably isn’t loved enough and will fail in life.

Oh! Did I mention their tennis shoes aren’t allowed in P.E. unless they tie. Yeah, I got a demand for new shoes from two of the kids (the third, autistic, I was emailed about). My kiddos run around all day in their tennis shoes just fine. But now they’re not good enough for 30 minutes of jump rope and situps.

I’m sure there’s a life lesson that my children and I can learn from all this non-education related nonsense. So far, they don’t appreciate me singing The Rolling Stones: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need!


Feel the Heat

Because the temperatures in Dallas aren’t quite hot enough, we decided to escape to Tucson, Arizona for the summer.

The first leg of the trip was a 16 hour car ride with 9 children, 2 adults and 1 dog. As we approached the border of Texas and New Mexico, the 9 year old boy yelled out with much concern, “We’re not going to be in a free country any more!” Yes, he was serious. That Texas pride runs deep, ya’ll.

When we finally arrived to the desert, we were soon faced with WHAT NOW? I mean really! What do people do when it’s 115 outside? There is swimming, as long as you own stock in a really good sunscreen company. There is Netflix. Thank God for Netflix.

I soon found out people are crazy in this place.

Day 2… or 202. What does it matter. I’m not going to survive anyway. Hubby decides to look online for things to do in a dismal, roasting dust bowl. Oh! There is a website! Oh my gosh. Let’s see… wake up early and take a walk. By the way, I did that. By early they mean 5am because it’s already bright outside. Then there’s hang out in Barnes and Noble. Are these people for real? Finally there was something about a planetarium in the university. That sounded interesting, and more importantly, out of the heat.

We had to park about a block from the entrance. Walking is not a problem usually, but then again, it’s not usually 156 degrees with negative humidity. My jeans stuck to my legs. My feet slipped out of my wedges. We were halfway there. Inside the building, approximately 4 minutes after exiting the parked cars, I lost interest in whatever the hell we were there to see, was blind in one eye from the sun, and was dripping wet and panting like a dog. I’m glad the ladies at the front desk didn’t bother to ask me questions and instead interacted with my husband. Don’t mess with a dying animal.

What? They close in 5 minutes?! You. Must. Be. Kidding. I nearly died walking in the building and now we have to walk back out?! Oh but they gave us passes to the show a few days later so we could do this again! Shoot me now.

So what’s next? Dinner? Sure. But what I really want is to drown in a swimming pool. But I try to be nice and help find a restaurant that will accommodate 7 children. We settle on an authentic Mexican restaurant and are seated.

The waiter is a good looking, friendly guy who we’ll assume is younger than me. We get to chatting about our vegan keto diet we’ve just embarked on, and then I bring up the heat and lack of humidity. Being from the area, he hates humidity and prefers that “just stuck my head into a 500 degree oven” feel. In fact, he likes to jog in it IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. I’ve now concluded everyone in this town is crazy. Or braindead from the heat. I keep hearing promises of rain and “monsoons,” but I think this is what they tell themselves to keep up strength, and what they tell outsiders to keep them there. Lies. This place hasn’t seen rain in, well, never.


Sleeping Alone 

I’m not sure how it happened, but it did. I won’t say I co-sleep, but I guess, unofficially, I do. I don’t care if other parents do or don’t. I don’t judge. After 7 of my own kids, sometimes complete exhaustion takes over. Those are “cookie dough for dinner” and “I don’t care where you sleep JUST SLEEP!” nights. 

Usually at least one falls asleep with me. But somehow I wake up with that one plus two more. Sometimes three. And after awhile, I noticed these extra bodies have taken over. 

But something crazy happened tonight: four wanted to sleep together… not with me. I have an entire queen size bed to myself. 

One might think I’d relish in my new found, or rather reclaimed space. But no… I’m scrunched to the very edge, in the fetal position, unsure about life and how to fall asleep. What if my back doesn’t hurt in the morning? What if I want to get used to this?? I think I better grab a baby in case I get any more crazy ideas. 


Conversations in the Grocery Store

Today’s edition: “Zombie Apocalypse vs. Alien Invasion – Which is better?”

Leave it to kids to ponder such things!  Especially my very imaginative 12 year old.

At some time between check-out and the car, he began monologuing, I mean, discussing, the pros and cons of each and why one was overall preferable to the other.  With an alien invasion, most of the world is likely to be zapped in an instant.  I admit that at first I thought this was a good thing.  Can’t worry about stuff if you’re already zapped dead, right?  But no, I was not following his logic…

Independence-Day

You see, this kid is not about less pain, shortened misery or just ZAP and dead.  No, he is about survival.

With a zombie apocalypse, death is not a sure thing, but running for your life all day and night is.  Since not everyone will be infected, those not plagued will have the opportunity to find safe havens and work on a cure.  He even suggested pretending to be a zombie by wearing makeup like Bill Murray did in Zombieland.  Also, a 12 year old boy running around shooting zombies is a thrilling thought.

billmurray-zombieland-sparrowsoirees

So, after much explaining, he was that much stronger in his conviction: Out of the two end of the world fantasies, we should all hope it’s zombies instead of aliens – just don’t get caught by a zombie you think is only wearing makeup, but is actually a real zombie!

*Photos are not my own – Google images and sparrowsoireeblog.com


Two….

This one is trouble. He’s illegally adorable, extremely loveable and very smart. 

Why are these things bad??


More Parenting and Marriage Memes

Let’s see…. epic tantrums from the nearly four year old and freshly turned two year old… a dishwasher AND oven break one month after their warranties expire (at the same time)… No wine…. It is definitely time for something laugh – worthy. Even at 10pm.

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Teeth

As I admire my seven month old’s three top teeth that seemed to grow in overnight, I can’t help but feel sorry for my six year old. He knocked his two front teeth out when he was 2 1/2 and is still waiting for them to come in… In the meantime, he has watched now three younger siblings grow full sets of teeth. Fortunately, it hasn’t bothered him 🙂

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