Your children, entrust them to me

I am one of those people who has felt like a full-blown adult ever since I was about six. I’m not saying that I’m MATURE, because lord knows I am NOT, but neither am I one of those “Oh, gosh, when did I become the grown-up??” sorts of people. I can’t remember NOT feeling like a grown-up.

(I do remember feeling mighty aggrieved when I wasn’t being treated like one, as a kid and particularly as a teen. I see this same frustration in my daughter and when it’s not DRIVING ME UP A WALL it cracks me up. I think we should isolate the chromosome responsible for this premature sense of adulthood and learn how to extract it from prepubescent girls and inject it into politicians, instead.)

So when I do stupid things, I am never one to blame my age/inexperience or to think “Gosh, I should’ve known better because I’m an adult.” I just figure I do stupid things because I’m stupid. And yet here I am, responsible for two other human beings like I have a clue, or something.

So here’s today’s “Huh!” moment:

Today is the next-to-last day of school, and Chickadee’s BFF is leaving town tomorrow to go on vacation. The girls have been jonesing for a last hurrah before the vacationing begins, and I have been trying to oblige. Now, I don’t know if you remember that Chickadee wanted to dye her hair pink for her birthday, but we ended up not doing it because the principal “respectfully requested” that I wait until school ended to do so. So we decided to do it TOMORROW, after school is over. But Nightingale (aforementioned BFF) is unavailable tomorrow.

So we decided to do it today.

Now, I had talked to Nightingale’s mom about this a while back, which is when I found out about the vacation plans. And so the mom suggested that we do something today, and I said sure, and then she mentioned a sleepover, and MY HEART STOPPED because the only thing I’d like to do less than host a sleepover on a school night is to dine on my own intestines during a movie as if they were Twizzlers. (Mmmmm… chewy!) But anyway, we had this speculative discussion about it a couple of weeks ago and said we’d get in touch and iron out the details.

Well, I sent her an email last week and it bounced. And then Chickadee was a complete brat for about a week straight and I didn’t do anything. And then she sort of straightened out and started in with the CAN WE CAN WE CAN WE PLEEEEEEEASE MOM CAN WE HUH? and I realized that suddenly it was the day before and I hadn’t talked to Nightingale’s mom. So I called her cell yesterday and left a detailed message, asking her to call me back.

She never called.

I called her at 7 this morning and we were in the middle of morning stuff and it sounded like they were, too, and I said “Hey, did you get the message I left you yesterday?” and she said no and so I went through the whole thing one more time. We would like Nightingale to come over after school, I am going to dye Chickadee’s hair pink and I will do Nightingale’s as well, if it’s okay with you and she wants me to, and they can play and have a good time before you go on vacation. Does that work?

Oh, sure, she said. Want her to go home on the bus with Chickie?

Sure! I said. That’d be great. And if your son wants to come, too, to play with Monkey, the more the merrier. (Monkey and Nightingale’s brother are accidental friends because of the girls—the boys are not in the same grade and run in slightly different circles—but they get another well enough and while I’m wielding hot pink hair dye what I REALLY NEED is two small boys running around, too!)

Well, she said, I’ll have to talk to him to see if he wants to come. I’ll call you back about him.

No problem! I said. I’ll talk to you later!

Well, it’s now coming up on 9:00 and I just realized a few things.

1) I still don’t know if I’m getting one child or two this afternoon, because she never called me back. The kids are at school now, so surely she knows the answer. Maybe she’s trying to make it a surprise?

2) I meant an afternoon playdate, but maybe she thought I meant a sleepover! In which case, quick, find me something very sharp I can stab myself with before they get home, please.

3) A woman I barely know just gave me permission to dye her child’s hair, which means that either I am extremely trustworthy-looking or she is ON CRACK.

4) I have no idea what we’re having for dinner tonight or if we even have any dinner-worthy food here in the house, particularly if we are having guests for dinner. (“Here, kids! Strawberries for dinner!”)

It’s not exactly that I’m surprised to find myself the adult in this situation, it’s that BEING that adult apparently confers a hefty amount of power with so little planning.

So, um, hey! We’re having a tongue-piercing party here, later, and I was thinking maybe your kids could come over…? Trust me, it’ll be great!


  1. Tammy

    Don’t ya just love being the mom?!?!

  2. Mom24

    Wow! It absolutely amazes me how some Mom’s are just so relaxed! It probably would do me good to be more relaxed, but I always seem to be more on your side of the equation…having no idea if so and so is coming or not, or how long their parent thinks they’re staying. Good luck!

    BTW–I am extremely jealous that you’re out of school already…we still have 3 more weeks.

  3. Chuck

    You know, when I was in high school, it was possible to rebel by just getting your hair dyed and an earring. Now, kids want other body parts pierced along with tattoos.

    Have fun with your hair dying party! You might play “Get The Party Started” by Pink to get you in the mood. :)

  4. juliness

    Excellent, Ella’s on her way! Should I send extra diapers or do you plan on her going ‘commando’ for the tongue piercing.

    BTW, strawberries TOTALLY go with hot pink hair.

  5. Jodi

    We need to see a picture of the pink-headed girls. Why don’t you do the boys while you’re at it? (snicker)

    And, BTW, I’m jealous that your school year is over. We have three more weeks. *sigh*

  6. Deb

    LOL, cool….we will gladly send our kids as long as you let them all sleep over ;-)

    Best of luck today!! And most kids love pizza or hot dogs so they are easy to please.

    I wish our school was done…we have monster-teacher and can’t wait to be done. I promised Bubby a huge party when the year is done, he has been through so much with her this year.

  7. Ava

    How do you dye hair pink? That sounds like fun!

  8. Amy-Go

    I’ll put ’em on a plane. You’ll pick them up, right? ;)

  9. Mama Bear

    Parenting is difficult because of other parents. Hubby and I often remark on how easy parenting would be if you didn’t have to deal with other’s non-parenting. Especially when they are teens and the parents don’t set a curfew, don’t ask where their children are going, or who they will be with. But, they did make their own jobs easier that way, didn’t they?

  10. liz

    Maybe you could use the strawberries as temporary hair dye? I bet it would end up being pink(ish).

  11. Cece

    I think you have to be the coolest mom I know to dye her hair pink. I’m trying to hold my tongue when my 10 year old does her own hair & I think it looks stupid. I say you plan for a sleep over “just in case” and have a pizza delivery joint on speed dial for dinner.

    P.S. I love you site!

  12. All Adither

    Are you going to stomp up the strawberries to make the hair dye? How natural of you! Awesome.

  13. mamajama

    How trusting Nightengale’s mom is. I don’t think I could be that relaxed about the whole thing.

  14. emesmom

    I second the strawberry smashing idea. If Cindi Lauper could use Kool-aid to dye her hair in the 80’s, why can’t we use strawberries now? And just think of the amount of strawberries you could use up!

  15. tori

    I’m thinking if you pierce tongues, you might want to skip the strawberries. I bet it would sting the fresh wound.

  16. Flea

    Can you dye MY hair pink? I’m hopping on a plane right now!

  17. Holly

    I am totally one of those, “Gee, am I an adult now?” I just don’t FEEL grown up, despite my two kids, husband, and bills. Hmmm. Good Luck tonight, I don’t envy you, it’ll all work out, and by this time tomorrow, it’ll be OVER!

  18. SoMo

    Since I have become a parent I have felt like my life is spiraling out of control. Meaning, my life feels exactly like this post, EVERYDAY.

    Good Luck

  19. anymommy

    I just love your stories. I look forward to them in the morning. Hope the hair dying/possible sleep over party is great.

  20. The Other Leanne

    Nightengale’s mom has it all figured out…she’ll drop off the kids for a “playdate” and pick them up when she comes back from vacation.
    Very cool, very relaxed, very cagey for a reason..!

  21. E

    You know, I’ve had something similar happen to me — not the hair dying thing — and have ended up with SURPRISE! an extra kid, and an uncertain going-home-time for said kid.

    So,um, good luck with that.

    And you must show Chickadee’s hair. I would love to see the pink!

  22. Traci in GA

    Are you SURE Other Mom understood you were going to dye HER daughters hair?? Right before vacation? Is this permanent dye? How soon too wash out/fade? OMG..
    Worried Mom

  23. Leandra

    Can I come, too? I want pink hair.

  24. Caz

    Make strawberry crepes. Kids love breakfast for dinner and all it takes is eggs, flour etc. With strawberries and cottge cheese (or whipped cream, or cream cheese etc.) and syrup. Yum.

  25. Amy@UWM

    Yes, but like the rest of us, you will figure out contingencies for all eventualities and you’ll make it all work in the end. We Moms are simply amazing.

    BTW, as far as #4 is concerned, that’s why God invented pizza delivery.

  26. Jen

    OK it totally freaked me out when one commenter mentioned that the other mom might not realized you are going to dye her girl’s hair too. YIKES! What if that’s true?!!!! Oh goodness… I can only imagine the outcome of that one! Perhaps you can somehow blame the strawberries….

  27. annie

    Brace yourself – it gets better! My daughter gave a party at the end of 8th grade. She invite about 20 kids. Out of all those kids, ONLY TWO parents checked in with me to see if there was even an adult present! Oh, and most of those kids? I didn’t even know, let alone their parents.

  28. Vane

    Wow … I’m amazed your kids are out of school already, mine has a little over a month still to go!

    I’m also shocked at Nightengale’s mom, I’m close friends with the mom of my daughter’s BFF and I’m not sure if I would let her dye my daughter’s hair pink, hehe.

    Good luck tonight, I’m sure it’ll all work out.

  29. Shalee

    Of course she’s going to entrust them to you, Mir. SHE HAS STUFF TO DO BEFORE THE TRIP, AND YOU’RE FREE BABYSITTING! You’re the best kind of quasi-friend ever.

    I thought by the title of your post that you wanted me to leave my kids to you in the will or something…

  30. Sheila

    Pictures MUST be forthcoming, or you will have a mutiny on your hands. Happy pinking!

  31. themuttprincess

    If you want a 12 year old boy I can send one down. He is very polite and helpful at other people’s house, even cleans up and makes all the kids keep things neat.

    Just kidding.


  32. Jenni

    Sometimes I think a break from my son for a few hours might be worth him coming home with pink hair and a pierced tongue….But my husband insists he learn to use the potty before he can have any body piercings. Oh well.

  33. Megan

    I’ve told my children they can do just about anything that is non-permanent so – dyed hair? Done that. Mohawk? The Male is sporting one right this moment (well… okay, the Male has hair maaaaaaybe 1/2″ long so this is a micro-mohawk but he likes it). Piercings? Ears only. Tattoos? Let me walk you down this road here so you can see what that baby’s going to look like 20 years from now. However I do insist that I know before hand and, where applicable, am personally involved. You know, so I can get lots of pictures for blackmail later.

  34. Noelle

    I wish my mom would have let me dye my hair pink!

  35. Sue

    DUDE. YOU are the coolest mom. I thought I was a cool mom but pink hair? schoolnight sleepovers? I wish you were my kids’ mom FOR them.

  36. Brandy

    I was one of the mini-adult types. As a matter of fact my mom nicknamed me “the worrier”. *g* I’m one of those mom’s that would need an intenerary for this hair dying/sleep-over on a school night thing. Good luck!

  37. StephLove

    I remember your kids started school insanely early, but out of school in May, wow. We have three and a half weeks (and two oral reports) left so the end of school feels a long way away. I don’t remember having so many (okay any!) reports to do in the first grade. These last two will be long-term projects #5 & 6. (Topics: Rocks, Germany, Horses, construct-a-model-of-a-hotel, Ecuador and Traditions.)

  38. Danielle-Lee

    oh FUN! I want to dye my hair pink! (okay, that’s the 12 year old coming out in me). The adult in me: Ugh. Sleepovers with screaming girls. Blah.

  39. jennielynn

    Do you want Drama Queen or Missy Hoohaw?

  40. Rachel

    Maybe you should dye Nightengale’s little brother’s hair just to help that other mom learn the benefits of good communication? I want pink hair too…

  41. Janssen

    Those feelings of being an adult your whole life? I have them too and I’m glad to hear I’m not alone; I’ve never heard of anyone else who had them.

  42. fiona

    Actually yes I became an adult at 14, but due to a case of arrested development, have remained 14 inside ever since. I was a very responsible, sensible, hard working 14 year old. I could do homework and sport, even conduct myself well on long solo overseas travel trips. But put a 14 year old in charge of a full time job, a sick child and an unpredictable husband, and poor little thing is quaking within, humming why do I have to be the responsible one?, why am I in charge of this whole mess?

  43. Erin

    Wow!! I wish I could still dye my hair pink…stupid corporate job!

  44. genny

    Too funny, although I’m sure the whole situation didn’t feel like it at the time!

  45. Melissa

    I can’t wait for the tale of the tattoo party!! Too funny.

  46. el-e-e

    hee hee. “The adult in this situation:” Hosting a PINK-hair-dying party. Hee hee. That just tickles my funnybone.

  47. lindasands

    Man, I thought I was the only Mom who felt like that… confused, guilty without reason and regrettably unprepared. My suggestion is to have the BFF call her parent’s cell phone for playtime clarity, and be the “cool mom” who takes them all out for tacos if you end up with the extra mouths to feed.

  48. mommytherobot

    can’t wait for those times when i have to be as delicate as a flower so i wouldn’t ruin my child’s social life!

  49. Heather

    I am still stuck on that fact that your kids are out of school already! My son has almost three weeks left!

  50. Aimee

    “I think we should isolate the chromosome responsible for this premature sense of adulthood and learn how to extract it from prepubescent girls and inject it into politicians, instead.”

    First of all, THIS gem is more sensible than 90% of the crap that comes out of Congress. Thus proving your point.

    Second of all, okay, I’m dealing with someone now who suggest a time for a conference call, but then never responds when we want to confirm, and has once (already) completely blown us off. Ask me how much I like that.

    Third and finally, I want hot pink hair. The end.

  51. Astrogirl426

    Um, Mir hon, I hope you know your readers well enough by now to realize that you will, very shortly, begin receiving deliveries of kids from all parts of the globe?

    I hope you have enough Goldfish :).

    I’d say good luck with the hair dye, but um, I’ve been reading the posts sorta out of order, and so I know how it ends. It’s not pretty (or pink – Hah! Sorry).

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