Rites of passage everywhere

Every time I think I’m getting the hang of this parenting gig (don’t worry, it doesn’t happen all that often; just the rare, delusional flash of perceived competence), something new comes up.

Chickadee’s been doing marching band for years, y’know, so I figured I had the routine down and everything would be old hat with Monkey. But I forgot that he’s a boy and she’s a girl. I mean, it’s not like I didn’t know, but I forgot that once they got into uniform fittings there are… ahhhh… different concerns for boys and girls. Marching band uniforms are… very form-fitting. VERY. FORM-FITTING. Do you get where I’m going with this…?

I had to buy my son compression shorts, okay? I’m pretty sure it was traumatic for both of us. There is no comfortable way to explain to your kid that no one wants to see his junk while he’s wearing his uniform (Me: “No one wants to see your junk while you’re wearing your uniform.” Him: “GOD! MOM!! WHY WOULD ANYONE BE LOOKING AT MY CROTCH??”) or to handle trying on and assessing fit without wanting to stab out your own eyes, afterward. We got through it. Now let us never speak of it again.

No less traumatic, but 100% less groin-related, was taking my kid to get a checking account. It’s almost like I expect her to be a fully-formed adult in the not-too-distant future. That’s weird, right? I think it is. We lived, and I wrote about it for Alpha Mom, because there’s no spot in the baby book to record Baby’s First Debit Card.

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A fitting end to the summer (part 2)

I think I promised you some super-exciting content about our last visit to Costco. (I tell you what, this blog is worth EXACTLY what you’re paying for it. Such value!)

Before that, though, apparently I am falling down on my chronicling duties by not verifying that 1) my children went back to school and 2) they were wearing shoes when they did it. Here you go:

1stdayshoes-2014

[Obvious from the picture: My darling vegetarian has thus far refused to let me buy her leather boots, which means she wears these crappy ones that fall apart and make her look homeless. I'm not saying she doesn't rock that particular look---she's pretty cool and all---but lord, child, let me buy you some decent shoes. Not obvious from the picture: Monkey's shoes are, for the first time, larger than his sister's (I think his heels are just further back).] (more…)

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There but for the grace of God…

I’m over at Alpha Mom today, and I will spare you a long introduction and simply say that this is not the post I intended to write nor a subject I planned to address so directly, but with a high-profile suicide in the news, I didn’t know how to write about anything else.

It’s not a particularly cheery post. It may be uncomfortable to read or even triggering. I wish I could tell you that I had some sort of answer or formula and that suicide doesn’t have to touch any of us, but… we’re not immune, any of us. I could try to sugar-coat it, but that’s scary as hell, right? I think it is.

Suicide isn’t just other people’s problem. I don’t have any good answers. But I’m glad we’re talking about it—that’s a start.

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A fitting end to the summer (part 1)

This summer kind of flew by with a great sucking *WOOOOOOOSH*, and I don’t know how it happened. I mean, I do—we went on a trip, then Monkey went on a trip, and Otto went on a few trips, and for the first time in forever I had One Giant Job rather than Lots O Little Jobs, and Duncan kept acting like he was dying and had to have surgery, and then there was band camp, and POOF: summer’s over. It was just… weird. It kind of makes me long for those days when summer seemed to drag on and on and I did a little jig when the kids headed back to school, because there’s just no pleasing me.

We never even went camping, this year. There was no time. Every now and then I catch Otto staring longingly out back at the camping trailer. I usually say something understanding and supportive like, “Thinking of hitching up and leaving us?” (Before you ask: No, I don’t know why he puts up with me. It’s a mystery.)

The point is, summer shot past and it seemed like we’d be back to the normal school-year grind without any excitement at all. BUT NO! I was working along, minding my own business, when one day last week I pushed back from my desk to go take a shower. I do that, sometimes. My family appreciates it. Anyway, off I went, and when I returned (clean and fresh-smelling!), I had missed a call and the answering machine was blinking at me. Also, my cell phone said I’d missed a call and had a voicemail. Hrm. (more…)

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You can call me Shorty

It finally happened; after months of hovering just under my height—and countless mornings of not-so-subtly sidling up to me and comparing our stature—this morning Monkey came downstairs and I was struck speechless for a moment.

“Holy crap,” I finally managed. I turned to Otto. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing here? Isn’t he, like, an inch or maybe TWO taller than when he went to bed last night??”

Otto concurred as Monkey grinned and bounced by my side, using one hand to supposedly feel the plane from the top of his head to over the top of mine (though he was a bit slanted, and we had to point out that no, he’s not a foot taller than me… yet). Today was a long-awaited triumph for him, and reminder 749 to me that my darling boy is a late bloomer. He’s no longer the smallest kid in the class as he was for so long, but neither has he hit anywhere close to what I assume his eventual height will be. (People love to gently tell me that maybe he’s just going to be short. His dad is really tall; I think he’s just on his own growth curve right now, y’know?)

That brought me back to thinking about all of the joys of asynchronous development, so I wrote about it over at Alpha Mom, because the only thing more fun that trying to figure out a teenager is trying to figure out a teenager who is both ahead and behind.

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Our mom lost her mind and all we got were these tomatoes

Consider this my white flag of surrender for this week. I am done. DONE. I give up.

There’s a stomach bug being circulated around band camp, because of course there is. Both kids have had it. One of them had it twice. (Overachiever!) I may have also had it, but it’s hard to tell because this weekend I threw out my neck (making a bed, because I’m all gangster like that) and in a moment of extreme pain and poor judgment decided I could take some of these leftover painkillers here, I’m sure it’ll be FINE. Hey, not fine! Turns out that Tylenol and Advil do exactly fuck-all for a frozen neck, but no matter how hard to hope and pray that someday stronger painkillers will not make me barf, it’s not meant to be for me and the good drugs. (On the bright side, I’ll never be an addict, I guess.) So I might’ve had the stomach thing. Maybe. Or maybe I just had stupidity.

Otto has been working a million hours this week (whoever said that college professors have the summers off was a DIRTY LIAR) and I’m trying to keep up at work while I can barely move AND I haven’t been grocery shopping AND I GUESS kids marching around in the heat need decent nourishment, you know. As the only thing not pitiful right now is the garden, it’s sort of like “Have a good day at camp, here’s your lunch of some Gatorade and a heel of bread with the last slice of cheese and a big container of cherry tomatoes!” Chickadee reported this morning that during lunch break yesterday her brother was all, “Hey! Open your mouth and close your eyes! I’m going to throw this tomato into your mouth!” What could possibly go wrong with pelting your bandmates with fresh tomatoes, amirite?

But don’t worry, even at my most pathetic, I am still the absolute worst. I’m still having RULES and EXPECTATIONS and generally just making life miserable for those who possess half my DNA. It’s all part of my plan to… turn them into decent humans. (I AM A MONSTER.) I wrote about it over at Alpha Mom, because the only thing worse than having expectations for my children is telling the world about it. (Hey, at least it comes with some pretty good tomatoes.)

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*insert band geek gang symbol here*

Some people love the Christmas season, others twirl around with glee in the early spring when the flowers begin to bloom. Me, I think mid-summer is the most wonderful time of the year. Everyone else is all “It’s so hot! It’s so rainy! I can’t believe school’s starting soon!” And then I’m over here on cloud nine, all, “IT’S BAND CAMP SEASON, BITCHES!”

Band camp is a miracle, wrapped in jubilation, taking the covert form of teenagers who are happy and too tired to be difficult.

Sure, getting up early and packing lunches again isn’t really something any of us missed, but it’s worth it. Chickadee’s in her happy place. Monkey’s stretching himself and finding his way. The groundwork is being laid for an awesome return to school and busy, happy fall days. I like it. Nope, scratch that. I love it.

And hey! This one time, at band camp? I wrote about my continuing love for band camp and all things marching band at Alpha Mom. Long live marching band, man.

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Things I did this weekend

Alternately, Stuff I did while avoiding doing actual work.
Or even, I am super productive when I’m procrastinating.

* Missed seeing a friend on her birthday because I am so disorganized.
* Apologized to said friend and made plans for later this week.
* Realized I hadn’t seen another friend in far too long; made more plans.
* Talked with a third friend about future plans when she returns from a trip.
* Spent a full five minutes marveling at how far I’ve come since my cave-dwelling hermit days because THREE FRIENDS! PLANS! SOCIAL! WOOOOOO!
* Stripped all beds, washed sheets, made up all beds.
* Laid down on freshly made bed wondering if there is anything better in the whole world than fresh, clean sheets on an unrumpled bed.
* Was immediately joined by a dog with muddy paws. (You know in cartoons how there’s an audible *POP* when a character’s happy bubble is burst? It was like that.)
* Did more laundry.
* Stalked my husband’s social media to see how his trip was going.
* Talked to my husband on the phone and assured him that I wasn’t worried at all.
* Texted with my daughter during the car parts of their journey (Her: I’m boooored! Me: Try talking to Otto…?) and enjoyed the radio silence that signified having-too-much-fun-to-talk during the non-car parts. (more…)

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Yeah, we’re cheesy

So the Very Good News is that Duncan is now two weeks out from his surgery and got his stitches out and his inflatable collar off and never have you seen a dog so happy. He loves everyone and everything, and this is even in light of the Not So Good News that wearing that stupid collar (to keep him from eating his stitches, mind you) ended up giving him a whopper of an ear infection. (Apparently having your ears sort of pushed closed for a couple of weeks is bad.) By the time I discovered it, his ear was seriously grody and caked with… stuff. Ear cheese. Doesn’t everyone call it ear cheese? We call it ear cheese. Which then leads to a host of comments about how “He’s such a Gouda boy!” and “He’s just making some Mutt-zerella….”

(I know. We’re terrible.)

Anyway. I gave the vet what little money we had left and now everyone is healthy and good-smelling (Duncan finally got a post-surgical bath; Licorice took herself on an adventure thanks to an HVAC worker here leaving our gate open, and while I think she enjoyed the pond, she also needed a bath) and shhhhh, everyone act cool, because I think it’s all good.

In other news, longtime readers may remember that Something Terrible happened a looooong time ago, back before Otto and I got married, when I brought the kids down to Georgia to visit. At the time I was so upset I couldn’t even talk about it. Here we are, seven and a half years later, and I think we may have finally come full circle. You can go read about it over at Alpha Mom, if you like.

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It’s a little-known fact…

… that there are actually FIVE horsemen of the Apocalypse. No one really likes to talk about the fifth guy, though, because he doesn’t technically ride a horse. He rides an elliptical.

(He’s in killer shape, but has a hard time keeping up with the other four. You understand.)

I bring this up because I’ve apparently become one of those people who exercises. I’m not sure how it happened, but clearly it’s a sign of the Apocalypse. Before the world ends, I figured I would write about it for Alpha Mom. The end days are nigh! Thank goodness I’ll now have the stamina to run from the terror for a while.

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