the early bird catches…. an empty wallet?

back-to-school shopping
all we need is wheelbarrow
and lottery win

Y’all. Holy shit. We just got back from buying the wee one’s school supplies for Kindergarten. School starts 8/27 so we’re a little early, but I ordinarily love school supply shopping and we were itching to get all the stuff.

I seriously think we just bought supplies for half the class. Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s the list, straight from the school’s website:

Kindergarten

(all supplies preferably NOT
Roseart brand)
1 – plastic supply box
1 – clipboard (letter size)
3 – composition books (No spirals)
2 – packages #2 pencils (sharpened)
4 – boxes 16 count crayons (basic colors only-NO Roseart)
4 – 8 oz. bottles Elmer’s white school glue (NOT COLORED)
1 – backpack (large enough to hold a 1" binder)
1 – box 200 count tissue
1 – pkg. pink erasers (no pencil toppers)
1 – pair child Fisker
brand scissors (no plastic scissors)
2 – boxes Crayola basic color markers
1 – package 6 count dry erase EXPO markers (medium point)
3 – containers of liquid soap
2 – packages seasonal/fun
stickers
2 – red pocket folders (no brads)
1 – Kindergarten rest mat and towel
1 – yellow highlighter

Girls only:

1 –
package plain paper plates
1 – box Ziploc
plastic bags (gallon or jumbo size)
Boys
only:

1 – box Ziploc bags (quart or
snack size)
1 – package plain paper lunch bags
(white, if possible)
1 – box wipes

That is a LOT of stuff. Especially when you’re at Target and you grab a different school’s list to see what those kids need, and those kids have 1/4 of the stuff to bring. Not only that, but this list seems designed to inflict irritation.

Clipboard? That’s going to take a special trip to an office supply store, because Target doesn’t have them.

A set of 6 dry erase markers? There are only sets of 4. Or 10. Or 12.

16 count crayons? $2.49. 24 count crayons? .20.

8oz glue? $1.57. 4oz glue? .15.

1 box of 200ct Kleenexes? I could only find boxes of 120ct or 180ct.

JEEZ. It was very vexing trying to buy these supplies, because nothing matched the list. And the things that did match the list were a lot more expensive than the things that were close, but not exactly right. Sigh.

So I’m going to be that mom. The one who supplies her kid with the right amount of stuff, but in various and sundry quantities.

I understand that teachers have specific reasons they ask for the supplies they do. And probably much of those reasons hinge on knowing that the school can’t afford to provide a lot of the things we take for granted – like crayons. I know a lot of times teachers end up spending a lot of their own money on things they shouldn’t have to. And that’s probably why we’re being asked to provide so. much. stuff.

And yet, I wish the things on the list weren’t such a pain in the ass. White lunch bags? The hell? I know they make better puppets, but no one sells them. Or if they do, they’re like 1,000 times more expensive.

Ah well. I grouse and complain and admit to being a little prickly about my kid having to bring four times more shit to school than most of the other kids in the district, but it was still fun to go get everything. I still remember the fat Snoopy pencils I had rattling around in my backpack on my very first day of school. And so we’ll pile all of this crap into a wheelbarrow for the first day and the wee one will show up grinning and scared and excited in shiny new clothes, with a sparkling new backpack, emanating that smell of newly sharpened pencils.

I can’t believe he’s starting school in just less than a month.

That should give me just enough time to track down the ever elusive clipboard.

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It was not good

sonorous breathing
this is what night time entails
in other folks homes

Last night is a night that will shine in infamy. From 2-4 am the wee-er one head-butted me, scratched me, climbed all over me, delivered many, many consecutive kicks to my solar plexus, sucked my milk dry, and finally rammed her head so hard into mine I bit my tongue.

As we wrestled and struggled and I tried to get her to lay down calmly and sleep, my husband gently snored. Until I lost my mind a little bit, and in a rare show of excellent parenting I screamed at my child, "WHY WON’T YOU FUCKING SLEEP?"

This, I’m afraid, made her cry. It made me cry, too. In body wracking, sobs of defeat. I felt like an abject failure as a mother when the last vestiges of my mama-ing arsenal were obscenities and tears. I cried and cried. Ironically, as soon as my wailing began, hers ceased. She sat on the bed and stared me, three fingers in her mouth with her head cocked very slightly to the side. Her wispy hair stood on end, from the hours of ramming it into me and the pillows. I looked at her sweet face, feeling so in love and feeling so helpless.

As she continued to stare at me I had the horrifying thought that right at that very moment she was formulating her first long-term memory of me. This made me cry more. Finally, I felt a hand on my head and my husband wondered aloud how long this pathetic scene had been going on. I wailed something about "two hours!  two fucking hours!" and then I dissolved into another wave of tears and self-doubt. I had frightened myself with the intensity of loathing I felt for my baby as she kept me awake; as she kept hurting me. While we were wrestling, I didn’t like her very much. I wanted to get away. And at that small moment, it didn’t matter to me that she was crying. I wanted her to cry. I wanted her to feel the misery she was causing me. And that thought scared me. Hence the meltdown.

My husband, sensing the direness of the situation (how many times do you wake up in the middle of the night to see your baby sitting silently, while your wife thrashes around?) offered to take her downstairs for a while. I couldn’t even say yes. I just shrugged and wiped my nose.

Less than thirty minutes later they were back – she was sound asleep. He gently placed her next to me, and he crawled into bed. He patted me on the head and I fell into a fitful sleep, dreaming of CPS and alternate universes where babies took care of mamas.

It was a bad night.

But now it’s morning and I feel a little better. The wee-er one was cheerful when she awoke, and even cheerful when the babysitter arrived (for the most part). Now I’m at a cafe, ostensibly here to work on a new book, but I had to get this out first. A public confession of my sins.

I know every mama and baby has nights like we had. I had just hoped that after my girl turned one, these nights wouldn’t be quite so awful.

So I’m drowning my feelings of inadequacy with spinach feta quiche and a plate of potatoes, onions and peppers. The food is very good. I’m pretending I deserve it.

zee taste ezz, how you say? Juzt a beet chewy.

that bizarre food guy
he has nothing on my kid
raw snails, anyone?

There has been so much rain this summer, we have snails on our front door and some kind of mossy fungus growing on the curb outside the house. The mossy fungus I can deal with, and I THOUGHT I could deal with the snails. That was until they became lunch.

Sometimes, it is necessary, even "required by law" to not leave your small children unattended while you spend hours outside with your puppy trying to convince him that there’s nothing wrong with pooping on wet grass.

In my attempt to keep my kids from strangling themselves and/or swallowing balloons and/or climbing up the wall Nightcrawler style, I make them come out with me while I’m on poop patrol. Usually, this isn’t a problem. They love being outside, especially if it’s sprinkling and especially if the wee one can sing his new dingleberry song. (yes, yes, it’s my fault he knows what a dingleberry is – well, it’s the DOG’S fault. It is NOT my fault, however, that he chooses to replace the words to "Jingle Bells" with "Dingleberry." It’s pretty damn funny, actually. And I know I shouldn’t encourage it, but I kind of do.)

So we’re outside. The dog is all, "WTF, yo? These paws don’t touch wet grass. i thought I told you that." And I’m grouchy and the wee one is singing, "… dingle all the waaaay," and I notice that the wee-er one is quietly crouched down, popping things in her mouth rapid-fire like. I think, "Fuck, it’s those rocks again!" But no. Upon further, harrowing, inspection, it is not the fucking rocks.

She is eating snails.

Like popcorn.

Crunching them with her eight sharp teeth.

Leaving bits of chewed up snail and jagged shell all over her tongue.

And as I’m sweeping snail bits and shell pieces out of her mouth I’m wondering if there’s a merit badge for this, and also if I’m going to throw up now or wait to get inside.

Sooooo gross. So completely, horribly gross to have tiny bits of chewed up snail on your fingers and a flailing, pissed off baby under your arm, and a dog who will undoubtedly poo as soon as you step foot inside, and a kid who is screaming "IN A DINGLEBERRY SLEIGH." Now I understand why none of the new neighbors have introduced themselves to us.

The wee-er one is asleep now, spent from her post snail eating tantrum.

And I have just realized I never washed my hands after The Incident.

Stupid fucking nasty ass slimy sticky snails. Bleh.

extra beneficialness

my old lady hands
edamame perks them up
in round about way

Extra added benefit to making fresh edamame? You can rub the pods with kosher salt before dropping them into boiling water, and the Kosher salt all over your hands makes them so soft (your hands, not the pods)!

My hands are so nice this morning. It’s all I can do to keep from stripping down in the kitchen and rubbing my entire self with Kosher salt.

Perhaps this is what those elusive bath salts are for? I wouldn’t know – the last time I tried some, my body burned as if I had bathed in gasoline. So maybe the stripping down thing isn’t a good idea.

But my hands feel great. (And the edamame was good, too.)

whew

crazy lunch time vibe
should we blame low blood sugar
or maybe ourselves

Have you ever had one of those restaraunt excursions where the kids insist on screaming, knocking over drinks, running in and out of their seats, complaining about the food, having to go to the bathroom a million times, and then ultimately falling out of the high chair, spilling most of lunch on the floor and being the sole cause of the waiter’s flare-up of PTSD?

Just had one of those lunches. As my friend and I, and our brood who all seemed to be hopped up on goofballs, left the place we were pretty sure all of the other patrons and the waitstaff were going to burst into applause as soon as the door closed.

I used to be embarrassed when things went haywire in public. But then I realized, at least with my family, we’re pretty much haywire all the time anyway. And anybody else who has kids or is around kids, should understand that kids + public places = mayhem, at least 80% of the time. Add some root beer and long lost friends to the equation, and the mayhem is infinite and unavoidable.

My goal is to keep my kids reasonably under control when we’re out, especially when we’re out to eat. Sometimes I’m successful, other times, not. I rely on people who cross paths with us to understand that mommy-ing is difficult and kids have minds of their own and sometimes that makes for a rowdy lunch.

We may be making a noisy mess, but it has to be a more pleasurable mess for the gawking onlookers than the mess created by the hassled mom spanking her kid in line at the grocery store. Right?

Ah, well, to everyone at Magnolia on this rainy afternoon I say, Yep. That was us destroying the place. I hope you enjoyed your lunch. And I hope we didn’t get any of our flying strawberries on you.

Finished!

neglecting over
mommy comes out of her hole
HP7, done

It took me forever, but I finally finished the Deathly Hallows. I won’t say anything about it for the, like, three other people in the world who haven’t finished it yet, but I will say I liked it. In case you were wondering.

And now I’m onto tackling more pressing matters, like checking to see if my fruitfly trap is working.

It is!