The makings of a FANTABULOUS day

By Mir
April 15, 2008

Lord, I need more strength this morning than my one allotted breakfast cup of coffee is likely to impart. Be with me, please, and help me not to hurt anyone or grump overly at those who do not deserve my wrath. Indeed, help me to be kind even to those who honestly deserve my bile, because I’d like to be the sort of person who is graceful under pressure and not the sort of person who spouts obscenities in a crisis.

I pray all of this in the name of your Son and also chocolate and bacon and pretty pink drinks… Amen.

Oh, hi! Sorry, I find that starting off my day with a heart-felt prayer can really help to clear my mind as well as fine-tune my righteous indignation later on when everything is still a great big mess. Don’t mind me.

So, I have to make this quick, because I have a dentist appointment. I KNOW! Nothing like starting off the day with having your teeth scraped, I say. I find it sets the tone for the entire day, if the tone you want is WHITE HOT ANNOYANCE.

I’m sure it has nothing to do with being old or how much coffee and tea and diet coke I drink (ahem), but after something like 33 cavity-free years, now every time I go to the dentist they find a cavity. Soon my teeth will be nothing more than enameled swiss cheese. I use the special toothpaste! I have an ultrasonic toothbrush! And still—cavities. Sad.

(I don’t floss, though. Flossing is for masochists. And don’t be telling me that the lack of flossing is the cause of the cavities, either, because none of the cavities have been between teeth. They’ve all been in the deep grooves of my molars. And until I have a giant rotted spot situated between two teeth I shall maintain that FLOSS IS THE DEVIL’S HENCHSTRING.) (Hey, I typed “henchman” first, and that just seemed wrong. So yes, henchstring.) (Shut up.)

Other things that are grumping me out, today:

Hey, I finally got around to looking in the envelope for the parking ticket I got while being held captive in hair coloring hell. I had been all “Pffft! $3! Whatever!” about it, because parking tickets downtown are cheap and who cares, but GUESS WHAT! My little yellow envelope contained a ticket for $3 for an expired meter, yes. It ALSO contained TWO tickets for $5 each for “extended parking beyond limit.” And ALL THREE TICKETS were issued at the same time. Excuse me, but: THE HELL?? I complained vociferously to Otto, who launched into an explanation of the science of tire-chalking and how they were well within their rights because I’d been there several hours, and blah blah blah. I needed to remind him about the clause in his contract which directs him to respond with nothing less than, “Oh my darling, that is horribly unfair and wrong, and also you are looking stunning today!”

[Side note: It is apparently difficult to compliment your wife while you are laughing and trying to pretend she’s not an UTTER LOON.]

[Also unrelated: Women with excessive and unfair parking tickets and unsympathetic husbands are not known for putting out. Just sayin’.]

In other news, my DARLING daughter’s PPMS (yes, I’m going to call it pre-pre-menstrual syndrome) continues apace. To name just a single unbearable injustice: She has only two pairs of jeans with buttonhole elastic in the waist. (For the unfamiliar, this allows you to tighten the waist of the pants for a custom fit, which is important if, say, you are the kind of child on whom the SLIM pants are still gigantic.) She has four MORE pairs of jeans which—HORRORS!—do NOT have buttonhole elastic. She does, however, own no less than SIX belts.

Can you do the math and figure out the problem here? I’ll give you a minute.

If you determined that occasionally the two elastic pairs are dirty and not washed RIGHT THIS SECOND MOOOOOOOM!, leaving the poor dear to wear an inferior pair of jeans to school along with the belt of her choice, but that the belt “feels funny” and it “looks all lumpy” and “EVERYONE HATES ME AND WAAAAHHHHHHH!”, you are CORRECT!

Your prize is consecutive mornings in hell. Congratulations!

Yesterday morning was so disagreeable that I pulled out the Big Guns and last night explained that if we have ANOTHER morning like that, this week, Friday’s birthday party will be canceled and that will be that. In the afternoon she’s nearly a reasonable human, and is all repentance and cuddles and sweetness. This morning a single warning was all it took to bring her down from head-spinning REDRUM! REDRUM! hysteria to a mid-level neck-snapping, eye-rolling state… and so when she left her folder on the kitchen table I saw it but didn’t say a word.

And now I sort of feel like a bitch, but OH WELL. You treat me like a maidservant, I will fix your breakfast and lunch, but reminding you to REATTACH YOUR HEAD before leaving the house is out of my jurisdiction. Perhaps during the ensuing lost recess a certain princess will have some time to think about her actions.

More likely she will come home and yell at me for not reminding her to take her stuff. Such is the neverending joy of being the mama!

Really, it’s a shame we sent in our taxes months ago. This is totally shaping up to be a can’t-find-that-last-1099 kind of a morning….


  1. Mom24

    Well, it’s all up hill from here? At least until after school! Have a good one.

  2. MomCat

    But on the *plus* side, Monkey’s teeth don’t hurt anymore, right? I’m reaching here!

  3. Sophia

    I’ve done that before – “allowed” my child to leave her homework folder, planner, spelling word practice book, etc at home.

    If I remind her every single day for 3 years and she still cannot check her backpack for the essentials, well, sometimes, she just has to fall on her face.

    This does not guarentee she wont forget it again. But it does teach a valuable lesson in responsibility. Especially when she has to sit out recess. Hmph.

    Here’s hoping for a better day!

  4. tiffany

    I too had a crappy morning with one of my satans spawn aka 7yr old drama queen…..AND she left her lunch box sitting next to the couch too….gonna be a crappy lunch at school for her today.

  5. Randi

    Toad is 7. I’m already having head-banging issues with him that cause me to wonder if the age of seven was created by the devil.

    Stand your ground Mir! Then go out and get some Ben & Jerry’s. EVERYTHING is better with a little Ben & Jerry’s.

  6. Flea

    Floss? That’s for sissies. Have all your cavities been with the same dentist? Sometimes dentists find little cavities which just don’t exist. Just sayin’.

  7. Laurie

    Well, here in NYC that same parking ticket would be 65.00. See how good your day really is??

  8. Niki

    Kind of like I “allowed” child #3 to sleep until 7:30 when I finally decided to go in her room and yell that her alarm had been going off for half an hour (non-stop, not intermittently), and that she now had 15 minutes until we left. Fortunately this is the best-natured of the 3, and though she grumped a bit when she couldn’t get into the bathroom right away, there was no more grumping later. At least one has finally learned that when she’s screwed through her own doing, there’s no point in yelling at me about it. Wish she’d teach the other 2.

  9. Andrea

    I too have gone 30+ years without cavities (knock on wood…or enamel!), I drink coffee, I don’t floss and I have deep grooves in my molars. I am hoping my next dentist trip reveals no surprises. Hopefully today’s visit goes better for you, Mir! :)

    My brother’s step-daughter too had PPMS beginning at age 9 or 10. He is surviving and she’s really a great kid now at 15. Hang in there.

    We are having a birthday party here on Saturday…better go face that reality now!

  10. Leandra

    Okay, what *I* want to know is WHY do you only allow yourself one cup of morning coffee. That’s your problem right there. Those kinds of mornings (of which I’ve had several lately) definitely require two.

    Also, wives whose husbands do absolutely nothing to help get the screaming masses out of the house in the morning are not like to put out either. Just so you know.

  11. jp

    Grumpy?!?!?! You want Grumpy????
    Cat fight on my bed at the un-holy hour of 3:43am, 2 cats and 2 small dogs joined the chase around, up and over the bed! Forgot my Diet Coke on the way to wk at the un-holy hour of 6:45am, Plumber’s Crack is off the charts w/ nasty, nasty, customers who think I am the perfect person to scream at. Unfortunetly for them they don’t realize the power I wield……….”Ha you yell at me I will put your service request on the back burner for oh, maybe 2 weeks” hope ALL their plantings shrivel up and die………
    I love my job!!!

    My Oatmeal tasted like spackle and not even remotely flavorfull spackle!!
    The sun is shining, but I wk in a Basement so that cancells out the sunshine…….

    One good thing is that it is FINALLY 50 degrees in NY and my Lilacs are budding………….I guess I can hold on to that!

    Thanks for letting me vent!!!!

  12. Jennifer

    Totally with you on the dentist thing. Have an appointment today for a cleaning and FOUR FILLINGS. Had my first cavity at 21 and none for 11 years and now, four. Looking forward to the jaw cramp from that. Also, I don’t floss either and yes, all my cavities are in the molars, not between teeth. And I totally brush better and more frequently than in my formative years (and especially college) so what gives?

  13. Lucinda

    I went without cavities for several years and then had a ton all at once. Very frustrating. I know you didn’t ask but I am going to mention anyway because I’m giving. I used to hate to floss and didn’t do it because my teeth are very tight together. Even the fine floss would break between them. But I have started using those Plackers and they really do make flossing a breeze. Just in case you ever do feel the need to start–it’s an easy way to do it.

    Now I must look for my 1099’s…..

  14. jp


    Lucinda, be very careful with those floss picker things, friend who is a dentist says they have a way of picking off any caps you may have, especially w/ very tight together teeth!!!

    just sayin!

  15. Ani

    May the rest of your day be peaceful. You deserve a break.

  16. Jennifer

    Oh god . . . I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I thought I was the only mommy mean enough to “forget” the spelling notebook.

  17. Lori

    I’m proud of you. I hope that someday I can be that iron willed about standing up for myself to my children.

  18. Aimee

    Sorry about your mornings in hell. But… heh. Henchstring.

  19. Suebob

    Glide dental floss changed me from a non-flosser to a flosser. It is really miracle stuff.

  20. All Adither

    Suebob: Me too! I’m totally addicted to the flossing now. My gums scream in agony if I do not give them their daily flosseroo.

  21. annie

    Oh, that cavity thing IS the pits, isn’t it? In my teens I had a slew of them despite absolutely fanatical brushing and flossing – at least three times a day. Then I sort of resigned myself to my fate and cut back to brushing only once a day. Low and behold: a few decades of NO new cavities! And now? Nothing in my eating/brushing habits has changed in practically forever, but suddenly I’m getting cavities again! I blame it on hormones.

  22. Sue

    My preteens are killing me. I thought they were bad as 2-year olds. I’d take those days back in a heartbeat. You did the right thing with the folder. Or, at least you did what I would have done.

    And I have grown to hate my dentist. Every time I go, I need some expensive onlay or crown or something. Apparently if you keep drinking coffee and diet Coke, your teeth actually start crumbling out of your head.

    Go and get yourself some more coffee. (To hell with the teeth. But flossing… you really should consider it. I agree with Suebob on the Glide.)

  23. Cheryl

    I’m in the “why are you torturing yourself with only one cup of coffee?” camp. This is the day for a triple mocha if ever there was one.

  24. Astrogirl

    Ugh – I feel your pain, girl. I spent an entire 25 minutes yesterday telling the Bunker Monkey (age: 4.5) to put on his shoes, put on his shoes, put on his shoes, put on his shoes, PUTONYOURSHOESORIAMLEAVINGYOUHEREWITHTHECAT, Dang it!

    He still didn’t put on his shoes. I had to do it for him. GAAAAH!

    I firmly believe their brains go on “break” around the age of 4 (coincidence!) and don’t come back until sometime in their 30’s. If at all. (see: men. Heh.)

    Oh, and wives whose husbands argue with them about the Machiavellian policies of the health insurance company, while the reps (who have no control over those policies) of said Ins. co. are sitting a foot away, hearing it all on the speakerphone, have been known to go days without gettin’ any. Just so ya know.

  25. Astrogirl

    Umm. I meant the husbands go days without gettin’ any. Although, I suppose the reverse would also then logically be true (at least, I would hope so!).

  26. Lori

    As someone who spent all of yesterday afternoon repeating “This is not my problem, it is hers” silently in my head as my 8yo drama queen proceeded to break down from everything from being picked up by me (parents = boring, anyone else = fun!) to the lack of warmth in the air (she was cold and inappropriately self-dressed) to injustice of having to go to the grocery to buy food for dinner – I feel your pain.

    There is nothing you can do for them sometimes but let them yell/cry/work it out. But man, I’m not sure how my mom survived with her sanity intact!

  27. Heather

    “Your prize is consecutive mornings on hell.” *snort* Well, half the battle is being able to keep your sense of humour, right? And you do just fine with that!

  28. April

    I just started reading your blog about a week ago, and you’ve been so friggin’ happy and grateful and all…I’m feeling much better now that you’ve written a rant. Thank you!

  29. jenn

    I like the Reach flosser thingy with the detachable heads that snap on and off. Specially after I had SIX cavities, all between molars, last fall. My new dentist thinks that because the cavities were all right next to crowns, it was probably because of the way the old dentist did the crowns. She probably somehow nicked the teeth next to the crowns, which allowed microscopic particles of junk to lodge in there and eat away at the enamel, and then I went and got pregnant and didn’t get x-rays and didn’t know what was going on for like a year and a half. ANYWAY… point is, flossing is GOOD if you want to keep your own teeth. (Reminds me of the Dr. Seuss’ Tooth Book: Teeth come in handy when you smile, so keep your teeth around awhile!)

  30. Megan

    My poor kids all had that skinny-jeans-don’t fit thing which left us with the choice of paper-bag waisted trousers (just cinch it!) or breeze-exposed ankles. We finally bought them woven leather belts (no holes – because they didn’t make belts with holes that were small enough for my scrawny chicken children) and just wrapped the extra foot and a half of belt end around their middles. Made using the loo a little interesting…

  31. Jamie AZ

    I’m one of those who did the walk into the post office this morning to drop off our taxes. I didn’t plan them to be this late, but when you owe a ton and then leave for 2 weeks to care for an ailing parent, that happens. First time EVER that I’ve turned them in on tax day. Oh well, I wrote Uncle Sam a fat check, too, so he shouldn’t mind. :)

    My boys are 4 and almost 7 and I swear they are like teenage girls somedays with their whining and refusal to listen/comply. Ugh! Hope the day goes better, Mir!

  32. The Mom Bomb

    Ooh! Swiss cheese teeth! What a cool, disturbing visual! I’m going to freak my kids with that the next time they complain about brushing!

  33. Sara

    Apparently we are sharing parallel lives (right down to the hatred for the “devil’s henchstring”–have you ever tried to floss between wisdom teeth? It’s a total knuckle-scraper.)
    I said my prayer this morning, headed off to the grocery with the youngest child (who’s 3, need I say more?) and proceeded right to the wine section. You bet your bippy that I will be enjoying some tonight after the children are in bed.

  34. The Other Other Dawn

    My devil’s spawn also did a cranial 360 this morning. And she’s 19.

    It’s the upcoming full moon on Sunday, I tells ya.

  35. Tootsie Farklepants

    Yeah, I’ve been told that homework or a library book was turned in late because *I* forgot to make sure it was in their backpack. I was all, “ahhh…that’s a damn shame”. They’re learning.

    Also? Amen to your assessment on flossing. I concur.

  36. Vane

    A couple of weeks ago my daughter forgot not one, not two, but ALL of the books/notebooks she needed for homework at school. Her teachers gave her a chance to make up the missed homework … during recess. I’m guessing she won’t be doing that again any time soon.

    Hope your days gets better :)

  37. Carla Hinkle

    I think you mean the devil’s handmaiden. :-)

    I never used to floss because I don’t get cavities but my gums are betraying me in my advanced (35 year) age, so now I do.

  38. Erin

    Dear Otto,

    The other thing you should say to your beautiful wife when she’s whining (justifiably!) is: “Here, have some chocolate!” My husband swears by it.


  39. Sheila

    I spent this morning at the dentist, too, only not for me, but my four-year-old. I sent her off to the hygienist’s chair with a smile and they returned her to me with A CAVITY. Guess where it was? Between the molars! I was reprimanded with a stern look and curt reminder to floss between those teeth. Oh, how I wish I had read today’s post BEFORE leaving the house so I could snap back with “Floss? That’s the Devil’s Henchstring, don’t you know?”

    How, exactly, does one manage to floss a four-year-old perpetual motion machine?

  40. Headless Mom

    Reprint the letter (from a few weeks ago) and present it after school-maybe she’ll get the hint?

    I’ve had days like that with mine. I’ve learned that they, too will pass. But they’re a b*tch when they’re here.

  41. mike golch

    I’ll trade your grumpystiltskin for ihatehaveingaseizurewhilegettingahaircut.
    coffee,chocolateand bacon.My kinda person. I hope the is good for you.

  42. mike golch

    I ment to say I hope the rest of the day is better.
    If not here is a big{{{{{Hug}}}}} for ya!

  43. the planet of janet

    oh you poor deluded souls who think that one missed recess doing forgotten homework will result in “they’ll never do THAT again” …

    yes they will. and it will STILL be your fault.

  44. Kritter Krit

    I love it when you’re grumpy!! You’re at your freakin’ most hilarious when things are in the crapper.

    I agree with you on the dental floss. Dental floss, smchmintal floss.

  45. Tracey

    I never used to floss until a dentist with a sense of humour told me “That’s ok, you only need to floss the ones you want to keep.”

  46. the mama bird diaries

    I just hate the dentist so much. I find it agonizing. Plus I can’t stand the dental hygienist with the attitude who must give me major floss guilt.

    It doesn’t make me floss. Just makes me feel guilty.

  47. Deva

    Oy, I hope your dentist visit went okay

  48. donna

    I’m currently dealing with a teething baby who decided to add insult to injury and caught a cold as well. It’s been a lovely couple of days . . . and nights – cannot forget the nights!

  49. Lindsay

    RE: dentists since I don’t have babies, just teeth. I hope the insurance companies don’t stop paying for all the dental insanity or I will be in wooden teeth in no time. I also have a theory that they just look at your chart to see when the last time you were there was and make comments appropriately. When I was 23 they told me I had gingevitis because I hadn’t been there for a couple years while I was in school. This scared the bejeezus out of me so I went home flossed for a day and then quit again. Last time I was there they were like how’s your flossing going, and I said it’s not and they were like well you are doing something right cause your teeth look great! Oddly enough, since then i have got in to flossing. I put the floss on my nightstand and just started doing it all of a sudden. I think I will put a treadmill on my nightstand to see if I start running again.

  50. alala


    Okay, you win the Best Writer Ever contest. Hands down.

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