At least my feet are smooth again

By Mir
August 29, 2006

I only have to get through one more day with my darling, wonderful children. Just one. More. Day.

And then school starts! Glorious, wonderful school! We love school! School is very stimulating, and varied, and much more entertaining than I am. School makes the children happy and tires them out and it is really true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Why, when a child spends the entire day telling me that he is booooooored or that he NEEDS something RIGHT THIS SECOND or that she just FOUND those things which are NOT HERS which she is using, I am often not overflowing with the milk of human kindness by dinnertime. Oddly enough. But when those SAME children spend the day at school, I am nearly always DELIGHTED to spend dinner with them. See how that works?

Yes. Go away, it makes me love you more.

And you would think that I’d be in a relatively good mood today. School starts in just a day. The PTA newsletter is complete. Tonight I gave myself the closest thing I can manage to a decadent pedicure here at home—and it was the first such treatment post-walk, so I was finally able to shave off my callouses—and you KNOW how fresh toenail polish usually cheers me right up. And yet, I’m crabby. Lord, I am crabby.

Why am I crabby? Has something awful happened? No. A lot of little, annoying things have happened and life is good and well and fine but these things are making me crabby.

The top 10 things which are invoking a stern glare from me right now:

1) I told Phil I didn’t like him in THAT way (wait; maybe I gave him the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech… I can’t remember), and he stopped trying to eat my face. This is a good thing. He has receded considerably and I shouldn’t complain. But. (Always a but!) But now I appear to have a permanent bump on my chin…? It doesn’t hurt. It barely even shows. But it’s a lump that didn’t used to be there. I am glaring at you, Phil.

2) I finished the newsletter and should be patting myself on the back, right about now. Am I doing that? No, I am not. Do you know why? No? Well let me tell you! It’s because when I went to turn it over to the person who handles the next step, it turned out that… there IS NO PERSON WHO HANDLES THE NEXT STEP. Hahaha! Hmph. Half a dozen phone calls later, apparently I’m taking care of THAT, too.

3) On Sunday my ex insisted on letting the children bring their soul-sucking Gameboys over to my house. They are supposed to be “Daddy’s house toys” and never darken my doorstep. I hate them. Of course when I tried to demur, all three of them argued with me, because THAT’s what co-parenting is all about (thanks!), so I said FINE, you can keep them here until you see Daddy on Tuesday. Then, today, Chickadee got mouthy over something and I told her to bring me her Gameboy. Once again, I’m the bad guy who takes away the cherished toy. I JUST LOVE THAT.

4) Joshilyn is doing a booksigning this week in Athens… less than 24 hours before I ARRIVE IN ATHENS. Can I tell you how much that sucks? It sucks great big hairy donkey balls. Twice.

5) I received my new estrogen gel from Canada today, which was exciting. What was not exciting was realizing that it comes in bottles roughly the size of a can of hairspray, and that chances are that airport security would hassle me about it, because I might want to blow up airplanes with my hormone replacement. If the containers were smaller, I would risk it—if it got confiscated, I would think uncharitable thoughts about the Transit Authority people and deal. But I cannot risk having an entire month’s supply taken from me (nor am I willing to subject it to extreme temperatures by putting it in checked baggage), so I guess for my upcoming trip it’s back to the ol’ patch-on-the-ass.

6) I received a check I was waiting for, today. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I am beginning to realize that very few people actually READ or BELIEVE that whole “payment is due within 10 days of receipt of invoice” bit on the bottom of my bills. I’m not saying I want to go back to my corporate days, or anything. I’m just saying that a regular, predictable paycheck sure was nice.

7) After writing this piece for BlogHer I realized that I had lied. I said I can’t stand kids who don’t have good manners. The reality is that I can’t stand it when ANYONE has lousy manners. That includes, but is not limited to:
A) If I do something for you, say thank you.
B) If I am buying something from you, LOOK AT ME.
C) If you tell me you are going to get me something I need, DO IT or at least let me know that you’re delayed.
D) Do not tell me you’re putting me on hold and then disconnect my call.

8) My main email is no longer working with my Outlook. No one knows why. The ISP support rep who spent a while trying to help me fix it led me through a bunch of command-line telnet prompts that gave interesting confirmation messages; I suggested that next it would tell me that all your base are belong to us, and he immediately responded with “Yes. How are you gentlemen.” This made me somewhat fond of him, but did not actually fix my mail problem.

9) I bagged up the kitchen garbage and put it by the side door last night, but it was raining so I left it there. Then today, I forgot about it for a while (oops) and when I finally took it out, I discovered that it had leaked a puddle of… well, I don’t really want to know… all over the mudroom floor.

10) The laundry is STILL not putting itself away. Dammit.

I know I just made rice krispie treats as the official “we’re going back to school” treat, but this may call for brownies.


  1. Aubri

    Glad to hear that Phil has finally gotten the hint(s) and left you alone! Oh, and have I mentioned lately that you make me smile?

  2. Fold My Laundry Please

    I’ve got nearly a gallon of ice cream left over from this weekend’s birthday parties…I’ll be right over!

  3. Cele

    Oh Mir, this speaks to my heart. Especially number 7. Oh and have the brownies and rice crispie treats. What’s a good chocolate fix among friends?

  4. TrudyJ

    I’m SO with you about the GameBoys. I’m sure my husband would buy them for the kids if we were parenting separately, but as we’re still married he is under my iron control and cannot. A visiting friend who likes to throw money around asked awhile ago if she could buy them for my kids and I said Noooooooo!!!!!!!! only more politely. Gosh I hate those things. Because, you know, we can’t expect children to sit quietly during a car ride, or an adult conversation, or any activity at all really, and amuse themselves just with their own brains — they MUST electronically hooked up somehow.

  5. Bob

    Just a note from the business world: my company is REALLY pushing all of our suppliers to net 30 or better terms. Cash float is a HUGE issue right now. Don’t be surprised if your corporate clients attempt to push your terms to see how long they can get away with.

    I expect that this level of stress is about to dramatically decrease with the inverse square of the distance you travel south. Einstein rules!

    Is Otto going to the booksigning??????? Introducing one’s S.O. to one’s friends is significant. So is the dish between you & your friend afterwards.

  6. el-e-e

    Hahahaha! “All your base…” That’s my favorite. Why, Mir, I didn’t know you were such a charming Geek. (P.S. I, too, made rice krispie treats yesterday! I’m having one for breakfast right now. Mmmm.)

  7. Juliness

    If I could ban ALL types of Gameboys, Playstations, X-Box(whatever the hell it is) things from my home and my (prospective) children, I would be ESTATIC. I can’t say too many bad things though because my nephews play those bad boys like nobody’s business.

    But overall? I hate video games for kids, even grown-up kids. I agree with the entire soul-suckingness of it all. And though it is a HUGE industry, I detest the idea that children now shun the beautiful outdoors and choose to stay inside, glued to some vid screen.

    When I was little, we were outdoors in all kinds of weather. We were only allowed to watch one hour of TV a day…yeah, uphill in the snow too.

    Sorry, Mir…got carried away. I’ll break down my soapbox and shut up now.

  8. Elleoz

    How about chocolate covered rice crispie treats? Sounds like you are stressed. I say take the kids first day of school to treat yourself to something nice like a massage or facial. You totally deserve it!

  9. Amy-Go

    1. Say “school starts tomorrow” 10 times slowly.
    2. Have a brownie.
    Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary. ;)

  10. Kady

    Bugging people to send you money that THEY OWE YOU sucks. Here’s what I do to motivate them. I include the following statement on my invoices, “Please make all checks payable to X. Payment is due upon receipt of invoice. Any payments late 30 days or more are subject to a late payment fee calculated at the legal statutory rate of interest in [your state] on judgments.” Really, there is no e in judgments, but I digress. In Mass, the rate of interest on judgments is at least 12%. Usually, it only takes clients one late payment fee to realize that paying late is more expensive than paying on time.

  11. She-Ra

    I just love reading your blog. Love it! Anyway, I agree totally with the manners thing and I’m going to go read the original post now.

    I found myself at the Starbucks drive-thru last month, talking on my cell phone while paying for/receiving my coffee. Oh my gosh – I was sooooo embarrassed! As soon as I realized what I was doing, I put the phone down and apologized profusely to the drive-thru guy. One of my big pet peeves, and there I was, an offender. Ack!

  12. Barb

    Mir – good luck with the PTA thing. I, too, started off editing the school newsletter. Before you know it, I was the PTA President, because, well…you know…”we don’t really have anyone else to do it, and you would be so *great* at it!!!” I’m still trying to find a decent replacement, and one of my kids has moved on to junior high. Also? Brownies make the world so much easier to deal with…good call.

  13. InterstellarLass

    Brownies rock. I haven’t had brownies in sooo long.

    I have major issues too with being transferred and then hung up on. Especially if it takes me forever to get to the transferred point, and then I have to start all over again! Grr!

  14. Susan

    You know what’s sad? This morning, as I was cussing the zit on my nose that has been there now (although receded) for 24 FREAKING DAYS, I wondered to myself, Hmmm, I wonder how Mir’s Phil is doing?

    Sad indeed.

  15. Susan

    Loved, loved, LOVED your post at Blogher on manners! Manners are *HUGE* in our family, and although my kids–like yours–have slipped up for short periods of time, they truly do have amazing manners for the most part. I tell them often how proud I am, and how proud they should be of themselves!

    The downside is, my kids get easily frustrated when others exhibit rude behavior–especially adults. I hate that at just 7 and 10 years old, they’re so aware of the fact that most people today are completely self-absorbed. I never had to deal with that, growing up. Back then, everyone was, overall, still polite and considerate.

    I’m still trying to understand why that’s all changed.

  16. Gillian

    theonlyreasonidonthaveagameboyisthatiamtoooldtoseethescreen. You will never get my playstation 2 away from me, neither will your kids because idontshare. Many of the scenes on my video games actally replicate outdoor environments. Ahhh, sweet nature. With a Katamari you can roll nature up like a snowball and it is FUN.


  17. MamaT

    Hello, I’m the guilty one who owns an X-box. Really it was for hubby,since he’s been gaming for years, but I admit to buying and dominating him with NCAA Football 200x. (x=fill in the year) We bought Barbie Horse Adventure for my step-daughter about 3 years ago and she still plays it, so it’s not completely worthless. If it makes us any better, we refuse to buy an X-box 360, since this is our second X-box (the first one died right after the 2 year warranty) and we are still pissed at Microsoft about that.

  18. Daisy

    In regards to manners, thank you, thank you, thank you for writing such an entertaining and wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing your life with so many of us and letting us know that we are not alone.

  19. Erin (erin-erin-bo-berin)

    After three months of ‘keeping the natives from growing restless’, as it were, I was ready for the first day of school. After three weeks of school (in DFW, Texas), I can tell you that I am a much nicer mommy to be around. Note: It IS okay to celebrate (privately) when you get all of them off to school!

  20. Jan in Norman OK

    You might want to ask your doctor about the Femring instead of the patch or the gel. One ring lasts for 3 months. And no risk of having it confiscated by airport security.

  21. Coleen

    I do the “all your base” thing on a daily basis in at least one Internet-related activity a day. Sadly, very few people get it.

    Hooray for the first day of school!

  22. Mary Tsao

    Brownies sound like a great idea. Thank you!

    Hope life starts looking up soon.

  23. Kestralyn

    Ummm… yeah. Thanks a BUNCH for telling Phil to take a hike. He apparently decided to hike all the way to Oklahoma and has now taken up residence on MY chin! I’m very perturbed.

    Then again, you’ve got a hot weekend ahead and I’ve got hiding from the home football game. You definately got the better end of the deal. Say Hi to Otto for us!

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