Posts Tagged ‘mother’

After 14 years, do you get a company tchotchke*?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
*tchotchke: –noun (slang). An inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament.

This job’s got a lot of perks. Oh sure, the obvious ones like the love and devotion of a delightful family; the satisfaction of knowing, when you put your head down at night, that they’ve all survived yet another day of being {14} or {11} or {10} or {8} or {41} or { }…; or even that you’ve got pretty good job security, which is lucky these days for sure.

But specifically? This SAHM gig’s got a lot of aspects to it that are appealing no matter where you work:

10.) Flexibility: Should I grocery shop today or tomorrow? Do we have enough milk to get us through the next breakfast without resorting to apple juice on Cheerios? What about toilet paper? (Certainly the boys think this is optional, but the rest of us might be in need. Quick! A Roll Census.) I get to decide.

9.) Creative expression: What should I make for school lunches — PB&J again? Or get crazy with tuna salad? What about a little wrap dealio, with some sliced leftover chicken? (Do the kids cry over my meals at school too?) And then there’s dinner. Ah, dinner.

8.) Dress code: clothing optional at the bus stop (and by this I mean, PJ’s are fine {keep your pants on, literally}). Even better when combined with a hoodie and some Uggs, provided your pajama bottoms are shorts, and not full-out long flannel pants (then you look like maybe you’re going to the farm stand and not the bus stop). As for the rest of the day….vary your outfit whenever possible. The folks at Shop-Rite are beginning to wonder.

7.) Break times: you can/must take them liberally. Make sure to catch what Rachel Ray’s cooking up (might get some of the gang sobbing later one), see what Hoda and Kathie Lee are drinking this morning (literally, it would seem), what the women on The View are arguing about, what Victor’s up to on Y&R, if Sonny and Brenda have gotten their collective act together (but ooooh, love me some Jason), and who’s on with Oprah.

6) See the world: or at least the delightful 6 mile radius around your home. To the store! Home again! To school! Home again! To school! Home again! To the store (turns out the toilet paper didn’t last)! Home again! To school! (Depending on the day, do this trip approximately 6 times.)

5) Meet new people! Probably at the bus stop while in your shorts and Uggs. Or better yet, at school, when your teacher introduces herself to you and makes small talk about what an interesting vocabulary your youngest has. Did she mean that in a good way?

4) Supervise others: Beg the construction guys to help you figure out why no stone match can be found for exterior of your house. (Never mind that it wasn’t covered in moon rocks or plutonium, but regular old everyday rock.) Confirm again that no one will accidentally unplug the sump pump, leading to alarming beeps overnight that wake the house and set the kids on edge.

3) Finance: Stretch your cash as far as it will go. Discover you  have exactly $2 in your wallet when called upon to pay for another piano book for your child’s lesson. And no checkbook. Debate about returning to the car to scrounge for quarters.

2) Foreign languages: Enjoy learning new languages along with your children as you drill on Spanish vocabulary cards. Follow along in some unnamed language as you wait for the gas station attendant to finish his call before pumping your gas (it’s NJ people — I don’t/can’t pump my own).

1) Sociology/psychology/counseling: Become a human snuggie or punching bag, depending on who gets off the bus and in what mood (also dependent, for some of us, on the performance of the 401k or the stock market in general). Be prepared to welcome them with open arms and a big smile or, conversely, arms crossed and a matching scowl. Tickling is sometimes a welcomed activity, but so too is the old “leave me alone,” technique.

This was prompted by Mama Kat over at Mama’s Losin’ It. Need Inspiration? Check her out!

Another chance.

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

I’ve got another opportunity today to do it better. Do what better? Well, this parenting thing. And more than that, this whole being-a-decent-role model for them in the process. At the end of many days, I go to bed feeling like I dropped the ball. Actually, not only feeling like I dropped the ball, but that the damn ball was dropped, rolled around and picked up a dog, who then abandoned it in a corner where it attracted a fuzz or two before being picked up by a couple of boys who thought it’d be fun to toss it around the kitchen despite being told to knock it off with balls in the kitchen becuase if you decapitate another one of my ceramic chickens I’m really going to lose it…ahem. Many nights I go to bed feeling like I dropped the ball.

Every day I tell myself that I’ll have more patience with people, and every day I fail long before lunch. Primarily, the “people” that I’m referring to are my people — flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. But I also mean the General Public — the driver who’s decided to actually drive 5 miles below the speed limit today, thus hindering my progress to the Dog Food Store; the checker in the grocery store who insists on talking over me to the next checker about a third employee who had a kick-ass party the night before; the teenager in line at Dunkin Donuts who won’t get off her phone long enough to place her order but instead holds up her finger (and the line) in a wait-a-minute gesture while the rest of us contemplate other fingers to be held up….See? Patience out the window and I’ve not even had that cup of coffee yet.

The biggest drain on my patience — what sets my hair on fire, really — is that my children, in particular, do not seem to realize I have any boundaries. There used to be a time, waaay back in the day, where, if something were “Mommy’s,” it would be treated with reverence and awe. “Ooooh, that’s Moommmmy’s,” and then the item would be lovingly stroked or admired. Now, indubitably what you’ll hear is, “Cool! That’s Mom’s! [snatch! clutch! walk away!]”

I got a new computer after The Great Email Hack of June 2010. It’s a lovely shiny new Mac. The children have an lovely old(er) Mac in the next room. Whose computer are they using? Without asking?

The most recent thing that set me off? I brought back two paper fans from Key West. They were handed out during the town “Conch Train” tour — the hokey guide called them “air conditioning.” I brought them home, actually figuring the kids would like them. But I had no sooner taken them out of my bag and laid them on the counter when they were snatched! and taken away. No one asked, “What are these? Can I have these? Do you need these?” — they were just appropriated. And now they’re disappeared, at which point I lost it — over paper fans.

When I’m outside myself, watching myself lose my marbles, I think, “Lady, you must get A Grip.” But The Grip eludes me yet again.

Yesterday, my husband brought home a new iPad. He won it at a contest at work — part of a team-building thing wherein he and a group of employees had to compete against other teams for several weeks….answering questions about the company and other trivia. His team won, and each team member got an iPad. Husband already had one, so he generously and wonderfully brought it home *for me.* This was last night — and because of a busy evening, it really only made it out of the box at bedtime.

Who wants to bet an over/under on how long before someone snatches! clutches! walks away! with it? When you see smoke from central NJ, don’t panic. It’s just my hair on fire.

And since today’s another day and it’s still early, I have a another chance to figure out how to tamp down the flames before anyone gets hurt.

Yes, I saved the heads. I'm that mother.

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