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Waking up is hard to do

I commented to someone the other day that I really never know how to react to the (often placating) usage of the phrase “All teens do that, it’s totally normal.” Do they/is it really? On the one hand, I don’t appreciate challenges we face due to my kids’ “extras” being brushed off as no biggie; but on the other hand, it turns out that I have no idea what normal teens do. It’s doubtful that I was ever a normal anything, myself, and my kids are not neurotypical, so how the heck am I supposed to know if they’re being normal teens or being their special snowflakey pain-in-the-butt YOONIQUE selves?

The one thing I have managed to learn is that a little humor brought to even the most aggravating situation can help a lot. I’m sure the kids don’t think it helps them as much as it helps me, but it helps me not to strangle them, so it’s all good.

Without further ado: Feel free to head over to Alpha Mom for the ballad of the school morning teen.

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The best-laid plans

Or, Things I did wrong recently.

Or, Life is hard because I am dumb.

Or, Allow me to make you feel better about your life choices.

I keep telling myself that I should just come over here and post some dog pictures and call it a day—after all, who needs content when you have furballs, right?—but it hasn’t happened and now all of that procrastination has paid off, because it turns out that while no one day has been blog-worthy, lately, taken in sum total I have a veritable epic of life-and-how-to-do-it-wrong to share.

Every day is a new opportunity to do something else stupid, as I always say. (I never say that. I should, though.) Without further ado, various illustrations of my suitability (or lack thereof) as a functional adult: (more…)

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Sometimes I am a delightful jerkface

I think I have discussed here before a certain… shall we say… philosophy difference in parenting between myself and my children’s father. Said difference manifests in a hundred different ways, but one of the most frustrating for me has been—and mind you, we’ve been divorced for ELEVEN FREAKING YEARS—this pervasive feeling that, as the custodial parent, I do most of the “hard” stuff and he gets to do the “fun” stuff. This is not a problem unique to us, of course. But as someone who really enjoys giving gifts to people I love, it has been a small but sharp point of contention all this time that I’ve essentially been unable to give “good” gifts to the kids since the split. Because the other person in this equation 1) buys stuff for them constantly and 2) is willing to spend way, WAY more money than I am.

This is perhaps a silly thing to get annoyed about, and I know that, too. Also, things have changed over the years, and that whole mythical “figuring out some basic truths about the way different people move through the world” thing that everyone told me would eventually come to pass is happening now, and so the sting of “I never get to be the hero” has lessened, of course. Still: Every electronic or “big” treasured thing my children own did not come from Otto and me. And that’s fine, but it can make occasions worthy of present-giving kind of challenging.

It’s fun to give someone something that makes them happy. I like to make my children happy. Lord knows I don’t get a lot of opportunities to balance out the “WHY ARE THERE DIRTY SOCKS ON THE COUCH?” and “ARE YOU TRYING TO FAIL THIS CLASS OR CAN YOU JUST NOT BE BOTHERED?” moments. (more…)

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Sing it with me

Being an adult is complicated, man. While I appreciate that I don’t have to ask anyone if I feel like having ice cream for dinner (this IS the marvelous future I imagined!), there are other aspects of adulthood I don’t relish quite so much.

Like, the older I become, the more I realize I’m responsible for my own behavior, regardless of how anyone else has behaved towards me. In a word: BUMMER.

Teaching these lessons to my kids feels a bit Sisyphean. Today I’m over at Alpha Mom, talking about what respect really means, and how much it’s not about the other person. It turns out that sometimes other people are jerkfaces, and that doesn’t entitle us to be jerkfaces right back. Weird, right?

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Dear kids: don’t read this one

Today over at Alpha Mom I’m sharing the naked truth about keeping romance alive when you have teenagers. Spoiler: It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be (and not in a “that’s what she said” kind of way, either). This would be a good time for nosey children of mine who like to read my blog to NOT go read that particular post. Consider yourselves warned.

By way of apology, I offer you this picture of my breakfast.

(They let me eat about half of it.)

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The only constant is change

Scintillating life development this week: I went to make myself a haircut appointment—as the weather warms up, my hair has begun to expand accordingly—and discovered that my last cut was… last April. Granted, I’ve been growing my hair out more or less ever since I stopped dying it and cut it all off a couple of years ago, but still. The fact that I went almost an entire year without so much as a trim is an excellent metaphor for the year in general. Don’t worry, I’m getting it cut on Thursday. For my next trick, I may even remember to have my teeth cleaned.

Anyway. While I’m busy indulging in self-care (HAHAHAHAAAA) I’m also thinking about my kids’ futures (because why not). I can take care of the haircuts and dental hygiene and whatever, but I would really like it if society would stop telling them they have to figure out the rest of their lives before they turn 18. I’m grumbling about it over at Alpha Mom, because that’s what I do. You know, between haircuts.

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Elsewhere, an earworm

Apparently I’m still writing things in other places, on account of those pesky “contracts” and “bills to pay” and all of that. This week at Alpha Mom, I’m telling you why everyone’s favorite song of the moment has become my new anthem. Sure, it goes great with animated princesses, but it goes even better with floundering teens (for real).

Plus, it’s fun to sing in the car.

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Guess what last weekend was?

I know I didn’t talk about it a ton this year, but after all of the ice and snow and general mayhem of last week, we ended up putting on just two performances of The Vagina Monologues. (It was supposed to be four, and it’s a charity event, so the truncated schedule was kind of a bummer all around.)

Over the weekend I did a quickie “Hey, would you want to see video?” query over on the blog’s Facebook page, and your responses ran from “yes, please” to “WHY HAVEN’T YOU POSTED IT YET???” so I guess that was pretty clear. If you are NOT interested in hearing me be completely NSFW while making a lot of interesting faces (seriously, Chickie was asking me about why wrinkles happen, the other day, and I explained that your skin loses elasticity as you get older; when we watched this video after Otto made it, her first comment was, “I thought your face was supposed to be LOSING elasticity, Mom”), go ahead and skip this. Also note that there are a couple of skips/cutaways due to camera issues, but this is pretty much most of my piece.

“Because He Liked to Look At It” from woulda on Vimeo.

[And finally, you know I'm not one to beg on behalf of every pet cause, but this production is usually a big fundraiser for Project Safe and didn't make nearly the money it normally does due to the weather. If you felt like donating a few bucks to them---or your own local, similar organization---that would be pretty spectacular.]

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Hunkered down and craving french toast

The ZOMGSNOWPOCALYPSE is hitting Georgia right about… now. The kids only had half a day of school, there are actual snowflakes in the air, and rehearsal for The Vagina Monologues this evening has been canceled. (Did I mention that I was doing that again? I am. Also, I’m not quiiiite off-book yet, as I was supposed to be for tonight, so yay for canceled rehearsal!) (Did I spend an hour this morning doing chores around the house, belting out dialog about my vagina, much to the dogs’ consternation? Indeed I did. Duncan seemed particularly uncomfortable, which is saying something, because he regularly flops down in the middle of the floor to lick his phantom balls for an hour.)

Now that I’ve successfully rendered this post porn according to most search engines (HAAAAA), I thought it would be a good time to direct any whippersnappers to my post today at Alpha Mom about how these southern snow days do NOT remind me of my youth. And if that’s not enough—or if you’re in a cooking mood—last week I shared some suggestions for Super Bowl snacking, though here at Casa Mir we will, of course, be dining on Extreme Bitterness That The Patriots Aren’t Playing.

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We’re gonna need a bigger vacuum

Today ended up completely sideways and I don’t really know how or why. This is me cheering myself up with the conversation that STARTED the day, before everything went to crap.

Her: So explain to me, again, why you want to be cremated when you die?
Me: Well, for one thing, I’m cheap, and I think the cost associated with buying a hole in the ground and a fancy box to bury in it seems dumb to me. For another, I don’t believe that the body means anything after the soul leaves it. Why fancy it up? Get rid of it, I won’t be using it. And I don’t want a place that you feel compelled to maintain, or that you have to sit and feel sad.
Her: But… so… then what do you do with the ashes?
Me: Sometimes people keep them around, like in a pretty container, but lots of people rather they be scattered somewhere that made them happy. Don’t save my ashes, that’s creepy.
Her: Oooooooohhhh. Okay, so after Licorice dies, we should have her cremated and then spread her ashes under the couch in your office. And after YOU die, I should just dump the ashes in your bed.
Me: That seems kind of gross for Otto, if he’s still around.
Her: Nah, he’ll love it. He can still sleep with you every night!
Me: You’ve got it all figured out, I guess.
Her: Don’t worry, I’ll sprinkle Monkey on the keyboard when it’s his turn.
Me:
Her: What? It’s where he’s happy!

Debate continues as to where Duncan should go (maybe the landing on the stairs, though I feel he’s mostly just confused there, not really happy), but thankfully Otto has already picked his finally resting/sprinkling spot. [Note to self: Revise will to specify that Chickadee never gets to decide where anyone's ashes go.]

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