Friday, February 24, 2012

Viral Friday

In honor of ESM having a crappy day, here's something to cheer her up.

Many of you may have seen this's from my favorite blog Rants From MommyLand. I laughed so hard, I may have had a bladder control issue.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The One Where I Had to Take Down a Post

Well it happened.

I had to take down a post.

And I've been thinking for the past 11 days what to say about doing so. I haven't come up with anything deep or profound, but I do have a rough explanation.

For those that don't remember, I had a post about Mini-Me's experience at school, in the form of a fake letter to her teacher. I write a lot of fake letters; I always have. It's my way of dealing with things beyond my control. I think it started in 7th grade, writing letters to boys that I would never send. Yes, it was embarrassing to read these later, but it would be even more embarrassing to actually send them.

Since I'm a grown-up now and have this blog, sometimes I funnel my fake letters on here so you all can read them and laugh and/or commiserate. I am the center of my own universe and think that I am exponentially funny and clever and therefor, you all must too. (It's a nice little universe I live in.)

When I wrote the fake-letter to MM's teacher, I was annoyed. Oh, I meant every word, don't get me wrong, but I would never actually talk to someone like this. It was a fake letter I wrote to deal with my feelings and entertain all of you (and to some degree, get a little bit of support). And then, my blog and small town seemed to combine.

I heard from someone that my blog had made it to the school. Not that I couldn't have known that hit counter was going crazy from an email with my blog linked to it. It wasn't hard to see where it originated.

I felt bad. I mean, come on, I'm not made of stone. I'm human. But I stood by every word. When I was telling my friend Jenny about it (who is a teacher and who is married to a teacher), she gave me one of the greatest pep-talks in the history of pep-talks, ending with, "there are BILLIONS of things on the internet. They don't have to look at your blog. They can look at something else."

She was exactly right, but it was hard to really accept that when I was getting hang-up calls from the school. (I'm still not sure how to process that, but I'm not going to waste too much time on it.)

In the meantime, the hits kept coming from that email. It went small-town viral. It went alumni-of-this-chick-I-know viral. It went cheesehead-university viral.

That's when I knew I had to do something.

The name of the post was "Mountains out of Molehills," about how something small was being blown out of proportion. And the same thing was happening with my blog post. Which wasn't the point of me doing it. I wasn't about to have Joan of Arc throw herself on my blog post in the height of martyrdom. That definitely wasn't the point. Irony is real, folks.

So I took it down. I felt it was my duty to contain the virus.

But I also felt like I owed you all, and myself, a concrete explanation. I'm a big fan of the First Amendment and anti-censorship and all of that. It's most certainly within my rights to write and post what I did.

I still stand behind my fake-letter, as it was just that: fake. I don't actually send things like that to my kids' teachers. But that doesn't mean I don't think it. And I'm not going to apologize for that.

But maybe now the school hang-ups will stop.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Viral Friday

(Or video Friday...depending on my mood and memory.)

Some of you may have seen this yesterday, like me. I think it's awesome, but some people think it's awful and childish. I really don't understand that point of view, but to each his own.

(Plus, this guy is from Albamarle, NC and all of my family is from NC, so maybe that's something to do with it. He looks just like my cousin. I'm still trying to prove he is somehow related to me.)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tying up Loose Ends

Because I know all of you hang on my every word, I'd like to update you all on some situations in my life that are important or amusing, but aren't long enough for their own post.

My Bank: You all remember my favorite financial institution, Bank of Cheese Between Our Ears? Here's a reminder: Bank of Cheese Between Our Ears. Well, the cheese must have rotted away, because my po-dunk bank switched to REAL TIME banking two weeks ago. Everyone was issued new debit cards to mark the occasion, and they switched from Mastercard to Visa. I swear, it was like H-Day. (The only thing I remember from 7th grade geography was H-Day...a day in the 60s where everyone in Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right.) As for the guy that pressed the button twice a day to update the system, well I heard he is now one of the 99% and had to go on unemployment.

I-pod Touch: Larry Potter got an I-Pod Touch for Christmas. His cousin in the same grade got an I-Phone. As I put it to my dad during Christmas break: "What's worse than one fourth grader with an Apple product? Two fourth graders." They discovered Facetime, which is awesome, except they were Facetiming at all hours of the day, and pretty much showing my brother and sister-in-law my messy house without my consent. Technology means more house cleaning in the future. I don't know how I feel about this.

A seen from H-Day. Mrs. Lichtman would be so proud I remembered this. You know, if she wasn't dead now.

Hoover: Hoover is doing much better these days, thanks to a new medication. We're not out of the woods yet, but at least he's starting to do work at school, and as his teacher has noticed, is much happier there. Though he still has his moments, at least he's able to recall things that actually happened in the same day that I asked. It's the little victories that excite me.

My foot: I ventured out of the house Saturday for the first time in a month (not counting LP's regional spelling bee or a doctor's appointment) to see some friends in the big city. At the end of the night, I had developed a hole in my cast. I'm supposed to be non-weight-bearing, which I generally am, but I tend to drag my foot...and with wet grass and pavement Saturday, it proved too much for my cast. I got it patched Sunday, and yelled at Monday by my doctor. Also, I have the worst dry skin in the history of dermatology under my cast. The coat hanger and I have been very productive. It's the grossest thing, and yet, fascinating...seeing the steri-strips come off with waxy patches of dry skin. Oh, and now, most of the cotton is gone from the foot part of my cast...the end of the hanger tends to catch on things.

The Spelling Bee: LP had the regional spelling bee last month. I found out that because he's only in 4th grade, this regional spelling bee was advancing to state. This was just for fun. And the caller for the bee was a lady I refer to as "Cankles." Cankles was once an administrator at my kids' school and had the audacity to tell me that LP had no chance of every being a true genius. Moms don't forget things like this. Anyway, it came down to the same two people again...LP and the girl he beat at the district bee. With the same words. In the same order. In the end, he went out on "Duress," coming in 2nd place. But he did spell "municipal" right this time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Moron Chronicles: Don't Wake The Baby!

There's a show on Friday nights periodically called "What Would You Do?" Basically, it's a hidden camera show that puts actors doing socially horrible things to see how the real people respond.

It happened last night to ESM, only there were no cameras and actors. Only dumb people with no conscious whatsoever.

ESM (for those that don't remember, ESM stands for Even Snarkier Mom. She's my mentor, even though I was a mom first.) has a daughter C, who is 11 months old, and is pregnant again and due in June. She's efficient like that. Anyway, C is a great baby and ESM and her husband are absolutely in love with her, as they should be.

As it was told to me, last night ESM hosted her in-laws for a Super Bowl party. Actually, I'm not exactly sure if she invited them over or they just showed up, as they tend to do. Either way, they were there eating her food and been non-helpful.

(I'd also like to take this opportunity to tell all of you that ESM's pregnancy has not been easy. She's working full-time to begin with and still hasn't gained any weight. She was in the hospital 2 weeks ago because she still wasn't keeping anything down. She should be telling off anyone that isn't bringing her food or fanning her with a palm.)

Anyway, apparently, they had just put C down for the night. And then...ESM's mother-in-law woke the baby up.


Because she hadn't given her a kiss goodnight. Or goodbye. Whatever.

And then left. Without apologizing.

ESM and her husband (who turned out wonderfully, despite having a total nitwit for a mother) were up all night trying to get a baby back to sleep. It didn't work out so great.

You wake her, you stay up with her. I don't care WHERE you live.

And now, it's Monday morning. ESM is at the hospital for work, and her husband has a full day of meetings at his job. Meanwhile, somewhere in America, a mother-in-law is at work fully rested and clueless.

Now I don't condone violence, but if something unfortunate happened to ESM's mother-in-law, there's not a jury in this country that would convict based on the motive.

How freaking dumb do you have to be to wake a sleeping baby at the home of your son and your pregnant and sick daughter-in-law, eat their food, not offer to clean up, and then leave like you're mother and grandmother of the year?

I told ESM that if it were me, I'd be calling the mother-in-law in the middle of the night to come deal with the mess she made with C. Calling until she wakes up and answers. Repeatedly. "You want to kiss her goodnight? She's up now at 3 a.m., bitch!"

(Sorry for the language. There are just some crimes against moms that are inexcusable. I get all riled up.)

I'm off to make two phone calls...1.) to see if Starbucks delivers to my friend and 2.) to find out if I can rent a bouncer for her house. It's the gift that keeps on giving..

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dear Future Larry Potter

My Dearest First Born Son:

I write this letter to you in hopes I can give this to you in 30 or so years.

Someday, I'm sure you will be a parent, and someday, you will have a 9 year-old son or daughter. For argument's sake, let's assume you have a 9 year-old son.

My condolences.

It's not that you aren't wonderful in your delightfully weird ways right now, it's that it's so hard to see the wonderfulness through the attitude, backtalk, resistance to hygiene, and nosy nature. I feel bad that I get so annoyed with you right now, but honestly son, you could tone it down a bit.

I'm not sure how to make this clear to you until you yourself have to deal with your 9 year-old offspring someday. I'm not sure what's worse--having you be 9 around me or knowing that I was the exact same way and reliving my childhood through my parents' eyes, through my parenting of you.

You should know exactly what I mean by now. Assuming your son is a chip off the old genetically-malfunctioning block, you are experiencing the same air-quoted joys of the 4th grade child. Your grandfather used to say there was nothing worse than a 9 year-old, and as you are my eldest, it's true so far. I thought it was bad at 1 when you wouldn't walk, but could get in trouble in 2.5 seconds. Or when your brother was 3 and we had to call Poison Control 5 times that year. Or when your sister, at age 4, threw a fit so big, I uploaded it to YouTube and got over 1,000 hits.

It's 9 that, so far, makes me want to ship you off to relatives I don't like.

We seem to be in the middle of a Bermuda triangle that is made by you testing your boundaries with your dad and me,  the love of wearing the same pair of pants for a month, and a flair for the dramatic side of life (honestly, when you screams at your siblings, it's so loud and shrill, the dog next door starts howling. TRUE STORY).

And then there's your hair. You have beautiful, thick, fast growing chestnut hair with just a little shine of copper to it in the sun. You were born with so much of this hair, you had a part in your one day picture. I gave you your first haircut at 3 weeks old.

Which leads me to now. You haven't had a haircut since August. I'm calling this the "choose your battles" style of parenting. Your karate instructor has long, one length hair to his chin, and I know this is who you're emulating. When it's all grown out, it will be fine. But right now, you look like an after school special from the early 80s about bullying; you would be playing the bully. All you need is the puffy coat with the multi-colored striped around your chest and a pack of hooligan brothers.

This is pretty much what it looks like. How did I get this picture? I googled "extra from Oliver Twist." The hair is almost exact.

How do I know that 9 is the end-all be-all to disgusting hygiene and questionable behavior? I don't. Did you ever see the movie Bridesmaids? That one lady with the three boys who says she cracked a blanket in half..,that keeps me up at night. I'm not ready to deal with that subject matter. That's a whole 'nother ball of used Kleenex. But I know by that time, you will have other motivators (like girls) that will make you shower daily.

(Yes, I get both meanings of that.)

And now that presumably you are dealing with this as a father, I am going to offer you the advice my mother gave me to me when you were this age:

"Get him a haircut and wipe that grin off his smart mouth."

And you will find, as I did, it's much easier said than done.

Only 7 months and 14 days until you turn 10. I'm crossing my fingers that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.