Friday, February 26, 2010

Timing is Everything

It is not very wise to shut down every single bathroom in an office building when you have a worker with a weak bladder who consumes half a dozen cans of soda before lunch. The floors haven't been waxed in over five years and you pick today?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Would you like my AUTOGRAPH?!

I have been recognized.

Fame is catching up to me. Before long the paparazzi will be swarming my car as I attempt to navigate through the local Starbuck's drive-thru because I have been recognized for my writing!

I was working late last night, partially because I had work to finish up, but mostly because I was meeting friends a couple blocks away for a cast get-together and script brainstorming session, and really, it made no sense to drive around for an hour just to pass the time, especially since it was snowing, so basically I was just staying warm in my office and not really working, but you get what I mean.


The cleaning lady came in. I don't usually see the cleaning lady because, let's be honest, I want to get the heck out of there as soon as humanly possible (except on days when I'm meeting friends a couple blocks away and there's a sub-zero blizzard making its way through town).

She smiled at me in that "great; now I've got to empty this can of garbage in front of someone who thinks they're better than me" kind of way which, honestly was the furthest thing from my mind. I was actually sitting there thinking, "gosh, it must be nice to come to work and not have a single soul around you that you have to suck up to. I'd be swiffering with my iPod on max, happy as can be. *sigh*" I didn't think it was fair to be hanging out at the desk when she had work to do (especially staring at her in that dreamy I'm-so-jealous-of-you kind of way) so I started packing things up. She kept giving me these sideways glances which made me think I wasn't moving fast enough so I tossed the last of my crap in my bag, smiled sweetly and said good night.

That's when she spoke: "uh, do you, um, know Elizabeth Martin?"

"Yeah, actually, I do."

"Oh my god!" she gushed. "I totally love all your comments you leave on her Facebook page! You are so funny! That one you left about the plants on steroids for a science project was hilarious!"

Yep. I know. I'll be signing autographs soon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Welcome to Holland

Something to really think about...

Welcome To Holland

by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday Menu

Dotter:  Guess what? We had fishwich sandwiches today!

Me:  Oh, did you have them for Lent?

Dotter:  No. We had them for lunch.


Me: If I was younger I'd totally learn to snowboard.

V:  You could still learn. You just wouldn't recover very quick when you crashed.

Me: [silently stare V down to make him as humanly uncomfortable as possible]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Keeping it simple.

Sometimes you have to think outside the box to get your point across. Other times you just pull stuff out of your rear and it works out like you've been doing some creative planning. Last night, I pulled. No, I yanked.

Three and a half weeks is far too long for clean clothes to be crumpled up on a bedroom floor and trampled on. Teenager or not, it was time to get serious. The Bean has two dressers and the largest closet in the house, yet she utilizes none of these to house her clothes. Apparently the floor should suffice. This drives me crazy because the second you walk into the house you see straight through the kitchen into her bedroom. It's well known that my mental stability rests solely on whether or not the room is a disaster.

I've given her several options:

1. Keep said room clean and organized.

2. Shove all clothing items under the bed and in the closet to give an overall appearance of "clean and organized."

3. Keep door closed at all times. Only enter/exit when I am not in a position to view interior disorganization.

4. Switch bedrooms with Dotter and have her suffer the ongoing stress of attempting to keep the room clean and organized.

5. Move to a basement bedroom.

Plain and simple: Whoever is in that room shall keep it appearing clean and organized.

And so it was with great annoyance that yet another sun was to set on six loads of clothes blanketing the bedroom floor. So, I did what any great mother would do: I filled garbage bags full of clothing from the bedroom floor and hauled them downstairs. I positioned myself near the seven loads of dirty laundry the Bean has had down there since August. I emptied the three (yes, three) garbage bags of clothes and dumped them on top of the waiting loads of laundry. And then I tossed everything together like a salad. I mixed everything together. Yes, I did.

The rule is easy: Do a load of laundry. Put the clean load of laundry away. When it has been proven that the clothes are properly stored and there is sufficient room for more, another load may be washed. Continue until maximum storage has been met.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Looking Back

Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back now I would do things differently.

I would NOT explain to my kids why a rule is a rule in more than six words. It's all fine and dandy that mommy feels super good explaining the why's of the world - but I wasn't raising an Aware of Others child. I was raising the next professional debater. She can find a loophole quicker than anyone I know. She knows what my problems will be and have an answer to bypass it every single time. To be honest, sometimes the answer really is, "Because I said so, that's why."

I would give my kids chores "because I expect you to help." Every day. Yes. Every single day. If a kid can grab their shoes and put them on to beg you to take them to the park they are certainly capable of grabbing those same shoes and putting them in a closet. I'd start young with little tasks... I'd go so far as to ask the kid bagging my groceries to put the fruit roll-ups in a separate bag so I could hand it to my child so they could bring it inside. I have a child who is fourteen years old and whines and stomps feet every single time I ask her to do something. And why wouldn't she? It's not expected of her, so it feels like a punishment.

And I would never, ever, EVER pay my kid to do a chore. I would never pay fifty cents to pick up toys off the living room floor. I would never pay two dollars to clean the bathroom. I would never pay five dollars to was the dog. Ever. Because no one pays me when I clean it up. That's because it's expected of me. The way it should be expected of anyone who co-resides in a home.

See how that works? All kind of full-circle like.

Usually the oldest child grows up and complains about how rough life was because they had all this responsibility and the youngest skates through with none of the same rules that the oldest had. Poor Cletus. He's not even five months yet and last night I'm taking him around the living room with me making him pick up chew toys and burp rags, telling him how it's his responsibility to pick up after himself... it's never too late to start over.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I probably could reach deep into my innards and pull out some snarkiness fun, but really, the truth is, I've got a teenager. Remember that stomping of the feet, pouting, glaring little two year old? It's as if I plunked her in water and she grew (like those silly sponge animals that come to life in a glass of water). Let me tell you, it is not that eay to pick the temper tampering teen up by the armpits, firmly place her on the time out chair and say, "This behavior is unacceptable."

On a seperate note, I have been busy planning my Youth Retirement Party. (That's when I officially retire from the Bean's youth, also known as "What fun things can I do now that she's 18 at college perfecting beer pong.") I've decided I want to have a property on an island. Any island. The more isolated the better.

The good news is that 'Hey Soul Sister' by Train still makes me smile and want to dance. Knowing that, I'm going to be just fine.

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

I got a voicemail the other day from the hospital saying ‘since you’re the contact on record we just want you to know your Dad can get a Cov...