I know that it is spring because…

… every time I let the dogs out, Licorice comes back in covered in twigs and leaves and mysterious little burrs, all “I’M A WILD ANIMAL! YOU CAN’T TAME ME!” Meanwhile, Duncan comes back inside sneezing. Because he is a delicate puppy-flower, and he has hay fever.

… both children are suddenly complaining that they “don’t have any clothes that fit,” as if it’s somehow MY fault that they grew since last year. Also, at 15 and 17, they seem unable to grasp the concept that 10 minutes before the bus comes is not the most optimal time to start demanding I find them some larger shorts. (I’m good, but I’m not THAT good.) I bought Monkey 5 new pairs of shorts after confirming that, yes, every pair of shorts he had magically shrunk over the winter. The first morning he wore a pair, I asked him if they felt alright and he said, “Yes, they’re comfortable and easy to wear!” This prompted a conversation about the extreme (comparative) difficulty of wearing jeans (don’t ask me; I’m just as confused as you are), and for WEEKS he then appeared in the kitchen each morning, struck a pose, and announced that his shorts were easy to wear. I really have no idea what that’s about but it makes me laugh every time.

… tiny ants. TINY ANTS IN MY HOUSE EVERYWHERE OMG MAKE IT STOP.

… everyone suddenly seems very interested in their grades. I am amused by this. I mean, you couldn’t be bothered for the last 9 months, why start caring now? Er, I mean… great job, kids…? (Related: I think we’re all ready for this school year to be over.) (more…)

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#oldmomnewtricks

All I could get Chickadee to tell me she wanted for her birthday was permission to install Snapchat. (Owing to an unfortunate bending of the house rules a few years ago, that particular app was off the table for a while, because I am a Giant Meaniepants.) I let her go the entire day without mentioning it, then downloaded it to her phone right before she went to bed that night. Then, of course, I had to install it, myself, and it was even more cringetastic than this:

It got me thinking, though, that as inept as I am, it’s always worth it to meet the kids wherever they are in terms of their preferred method(s) of communication. I think Snapchat is dumb, but whatever. It’s working for us.

In fact, quite a few things I never would’ve predicted are working for us right now, so I’m sharing over at Alpha Mom, because maybe you, too, have a teenager daughter who wants you to leave her alone and cuddle with her, simultaneously. It’s not just me, right…?

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Turn down for Flerp

I don’t know if you knew this, but today is a very special holiday. Just in case we all suddenly fell and hit our heads and forgot, my darling daughter made sure to note it on the family calendar pretty much the moment we flipped over to April.

flerp-day

That’s right—Flerp Derp hopes you are all observing International Flerp Day today. (Translation: It’s her birthday. Please to remit candy immediately.) (more…)

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Trick your children into feeding you

I love to cook, you know. I do. I love food, I love trying new recipes, I love nourishing my family. But—and this may come as a shock, I know—sometimes I am just REALLY TIRED and I think to myself, “Aren’t these people old enough to feed themselves??” The answer is “sort of,” because left to their own devices, no one feeds ME, and that is sad.

So when I was offered a review opportunity with the “suggestion” that I turn it into a “get your teens excited about cooking” angle, I was allllllll over it. They said “write about your kids getting excited about meal prep” but I heard “force your children to prepare a lovely meal for you,” but whatever; potato, potahto, I’m in.

If you have your own disgruntled slave labor available—or even if you don’t, but think it would be fun to have fresh, delicious ingredients and recipes delivered to your door—you’re going to want to check out our experience with Blue Apron. (Spoilers: Chickadee wore my Wonder Woman apron, Monkey finally got his picture on the Internet, and dinner was delicious. Also, we have a special promo offer for readers you should go snag.)

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Reentry, Casa Mir style

I went away for the weekend and it was GLORIOUS. Listen, I know I tend to exaggerate for effect, but this is simply the truth: I have not had several days free of responsibilities (read: children) in, um, a really REALLY REALLY LONG TIME, and so with the help of a few amazing girlfriends, I spent 48 hours doing every ridiculous cliched “GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT” activity we could think of, far away from my delightful but needy family.

We: Ate sushi, drank wine, went to a spa and wore ridiculous robes, window shopped, made chocolate, gabbed endlessly, took pictures of our food, consumed a metric ton of chips and pico and bacon (not all at once), and donned matching pajamas. I cannot tell you how healing this was. I am terrible at putting myself first and so over the last few months I have just become more irritable and cranky in the name of “doing the right thing” (spoiler: not actually the right thing if you’re turning into a jerk!) until Otto sat me down one day and informed me that I needed to go on a trip. “I don’t care where you go,” he said. “Just take a couple of days and go have fun.” (He’s the best.)

It was amazing and then I came home and reality smacked me in the face, because that’s how it goes. I wasn’t even unpacked before it became clear that my son’s welcome home gift to me was… well, you can read about it on Alpha Mom, but you should probably bring some hand sanitizer and vitamin C.

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Developmentally (in)appropriate

It may not make sense to those of you with “normal” kids, but we always have to do a little celebration around here whenever we see “typical teen” behavior, given that whole asynchronous-development thing that tends to leave my special snowflakes lagging behind their peers in various ways.

So anyway, I had a touch of food poisoning or something, and Otto went out and bought me some crystallized ginger because he’s sweet, and then Monkey took it upon himself to enhance the label. I tried to get mad when I saw this, because COME ON, really? But on the other hand, it made me laugh, because WAY TO GO TOTALLY NORMAL AND DISGUSTING TEENAGE BOY. Well played.

crystallized-ginger

(There’s nothing like a little orgy to settle your stomach. Apparently.)

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Life lessons abound

I know; I know—we’ve been woefully short on amusing anecdotes here, lately. I’m falling down on the job. It’s pollen season, you see, and so my head is filled with cement and when I am not working or being a terrible, horrible burden on my children (UGH MOM WHY CAN’T I JUST LEAVE ALL MY CLOTHES ON THE FLOOR AND NEVER EAT OR SLEEP, YOU ARE THE WORST) I am doing exciting things like telling my husband that I have a million things to do, but I lack the motivation to get up off the couch.

Anyway! While I set this awesome example of productivity for my offspring, I am also working on helping them figure out when disclosure of their special needs makes sense, and it turns out that’s a much bigger deal than I ever would’ve imagined. But we’re figuring it out (and by “we” I mean “they,” because it’s all them).

Completely unrelated: Someone from Barbados keeps calling my cell phone and hanging up. Is it a wrong number? Someone working up the courage to talk to me (I’m not that scary, I swear)? This is just one of the mysteries I ponder while sitting on the couch blowing my nose. Don’t be jealous.

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I’ve been keeping a secret

The nice thing about being friends with people via the shiny box rather than in Real Life™ is that I can address only what I feel like addressing, and also you can’t actually see me. This suits my inner hermit just fine.

Today I’m over at Alpha Mom exposing the thing I’ve been trying to pretend didn’t exist (la la la la! can’t hear you!!), because the truth is that I have gained a lot of weight and I have been trying to ignore it rather than figure out how to get healthy again without potentially tipping my food-sensitive kid into unhealthiness.

I’m not sure I’m getting it right (but no worries, I am CERTAIN someone will come along to tell me how very wrong I am, thank goodness), but I’m trying. I’m looking forward to a day when we’re all healthy at the same time. I mean, assuming that’s a real thing that might happen.

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Life is hard, and then you apologize

If some bizarre set of circumstances arose such that I could only say two phrases for the rest of my life and NO OTHER WORDS (wow, as the person my family regularly refers to as “she who makes with the many words,” what a terrifying prospect THAT is), I don’t even have to take time to mull over my choices. Without a doubt, the two most important utterances in the English language, to me, are:

“I love you”

and

“I’m sorry.”

Most people have no issues with that first one. We could probably all use some work on the second one.

I’m all apologies over at Alpha Mom, because I can’t be mad about other people struggling with it when I am, too, I guess. (Spoiler: Still mad, anyway. Working on it.)

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Because I’m the meanest

They say you should be careful what you wish for, you know. Sometimes I think I WISH MY CHILDREN WERE MORE SELF-SUFFICIENT and then… I have to learn how to let them be more self-sufficient, no matter what that looks like. It’s kind of agonizing. Because if they would JUST… it’d be so much easier IF… but don’t you SEEEEEEEEE…?

Hell hath no fury like a control freak thwarted, is my point.

But hey, my kids will be adults in just a few short years (hang on, I just need to breathe into this paper bag for a minute), and time marches on whether I like it or not. As scary as it is, I’m turning over the reins more and more, even when I know it’s not going to go the way I want to.

Hey, at least it affords me good blogging material. Come on over to Alpha Mom today to read about how I’m letting go of lunch, even if it kills me (and it might).

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