long time, no write

It’s been forever since I was here.

26 days to be exact.

In part because I have been alternating between sick and swamped at work, leaving me neither the time nor the energy to sit down in front of a computer at home. But mostly because in the moments I did find the time to write, I found I didn’t have anything to say. I was spent. You can’t force inspiration. It just doesn’t work that way. You can’t sit down, put on your inspiration cap, and tell yourself “Time to write….now what are we going to say today?” Nothing worth writing or reading comes of that.

But it’s also a balancing act, because there’s the pitfall of falling into thinking that because what I have to say isn’t brilliant or perfect, I have nothing worth saying at all.

There’s all kinds of advice out there about how to break through writer’s block, but, for me, there is no surefire cure, other than carving out some time and space away from the computer, but only while giving myself the permission to take a break, so that I’m coming back to something I enjoy, and not trying to escape something that’s become a burden.

Shaking My Fist Skyward

So after this weekend of 105+, I take back pretty much everything I’ve ever said about “So what it’s hot! It’s hot everywhere because it’s summer. Just adjust accordingly!” Fate, you cruel bitch. I surrender.

I attempted to entertain Baby but she got bored (as did I). Here was our itinerary Saturday:

Our afternoon walk around the hood? Too hot, so that’s out. How about playing with your bear? Bored already? Here’s your lamb! Ok, let’s read a book…or 8. Still no good? Let’s listen to music while you crawl around…what’s that noise? Oh Jesus. She’s trying to eat a diaper. Luckily it’s a clean one. Wanna go swing in your…oh, no. it’s too hot out there and your swing is in the sun. You wanna go to…um….hmmm…the mall, I guess? What do you mean people watching doesn’t entertain you longer than 30 minutes? Sigh. Let’s go…um…well….home, I guess.

Remember your bear? Oh, right. You’re bored with him. Well, try it for awhile while I google playgrounds. Oh, City of Tempe, why is your website so anti-informational?! I can see that you have playgrounds but no info about any of them – do they have baby swings or just big kid equipment? Are they shaded?  Let’s just go drive around and see.

Hmmm. No luck but at least you’re down for a nap. Jesus. I’m starving. I could really go for a burrito. Hey! There’s a burrito place on the other end of Kiwanis Park. OMG! It has a drive thru! “Phone pickup orders only?!” Fine. I will pull over, look up your website & phone in my order from 5′ away. Oh, c’mon people. Your menu is a PDF that won’t open on my phone – time for a redesign, seeing as it’s 2012, guys. Forget it.

And that was just Saturday. I googled Saturday night looking for activities in preparation for Sunday. There are indoor playgrounds…at $9 a head and nowhere near me, so that’s out. The children’s museum online reviews say it’s a madhouse on weekends and toddlers beware.

Sunday, I decided to take her swimming. City of Tempe – WTF? The only pool you have open before May is the wave pool, and @ $7, kinda steep for a public pool. At least it’s indoors. But the waves are bigger than I envisioned – way too ‘scary’ for her, when she’s scared of the pool in the first place. Looking online, there is only other public pool open this weekend. Too bad it’s practically in Queen Creek, but hey, we got no other ideas, why not? After a 25 minute drive, it’s a 20 minute line to get in. Once we got in, it’s a f*ckin free for all. Parents not watching their kids who were practically running over Baby and definitely splashing her in the face. Thanks, little Assholes. We left after 15 minutes of ‘fun.’

So, yeah. I surrender. I have no idea wtf to do w/ her this summer. From what I read online, you get the same sort of Lord of the Flies experience at baby splashpads, other pools, & indoor playgrounds. Baby storytime at the public library? Tuesday afternoons in Tempe, Tuesday mornings in Mesa, Tuesday mornings in Chandler, Tuesday mornings in Scottsdale (are we seeing a pattern?) Did you know that more than 73% of moms are working moms? Cuz apparently public libraries don’t. (I realize that work isn’t always M-F but, c’mon).

I give up. This summer is going to be like Groundhog day.

That is So R-tarded

I know that there are words that need to be excised from my vocabulary, especially with Baby getting more acutely aware of language. The obvious ones: the F bomb, for one. But I have to confess, I routinely use the word retarded. I know that makes me all Michael Scott ca. 2006 and I should know better. Still, I love that word. I use it as an all-purpose term for things that are stupid or flat-out ridiculous. I would never, EVER use it in a derogatory fashion to refer to someone who is developmentally challenged. That would be wrong. But I never realized how much I use it until My Better Half told me this morning: ” You have GOT to stop saying that, or once she talks, she’ll be calling all kinds of people and things ‘retarded!'”

Uh-oh. It’s true. Look, I’ve become cognizant of its less friendly iteration that I use (f*cktarded) and stopped using that. (Mostly). But I hadn’t realized just how much I throw around the R word. I need a substitute term. And fast. My usage of it is not *intended* to be offensive at all but here’s the thing: I have no control over how someone might *hear* it when I say it. Any suggestions on substitute all-purpose terms are welcome.

 

Another Problem Only for Upper Middle Class Moms

So I tried the meetup group thing again. This time, it wasn’t all about women who hate PHX, it was all about women for whom daycare is beneath them. Down to the very last mom, every mom was either looking into Montessori or already had their child enrolled in one. Except for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Montessori. I myself went to a Montessori-style elementary school and it was an amazing school. I would love nothing more than to be able to send my daughter to Montessori. But the reality is that, at least right now, it ain’t happening. I’ve looked into the Montessori schools here. They are, without exception:

  • highly expensive. Every single one costs as much as infant daycare, the priciest of all daycare ages
  • designed for the affluent mom. The longest ‘full-day’ any of them offer is 8:30-2:00. “Hey work? I’ll be rolling in around 9:15 each day because I’ve got to drop Baby off at nursery school. Oh, and I’m sure you’ll have no issue with me leaving at 1:15, too, k? thx!” So, in addition to being able to pay as much as I’m currently paying for daycare, I also still gotta come up with the cash for  daycare on top of a ‘full day’ Montessori school…or just have my nanny schlep her back home after school & take care of her til I roll home. No wait – it doesn’t make financial sense to work just to pay for my nanny, so I’ll just be a stay at home mom.

And why should I trust the educational chops of a school that is named Tempe Montessori…when it’s located in the city of Mesa?!

 

Fool Me Once

I LOVE me some April Fools’ pranks. Even when I’m the victim, I really appreciate the April Fools efforts. When My Better Half asked me first thing this morning, “Hey, can you get me the soap out from under the kitchen sink?” I was instantly suspicious. I expected some spring-loaded something to leap out of the cabinet. That, or a badger. (Hopefully of the honey variety). I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he’d simply finished installing all the cabinet locks to keep Baby out of the base cabinets.

But, in honor of April Fools, and especially since I just don’t have time or energy to carry these out, here are 3 of my favorite pranks (in no particular order):

 

  • Remove all music from your loved one’s iPod and replace entirely with tracks they despise. They’ll just pick up their iPod to go in the morning, leave with it, and only discover the prank on the move, when they can do nothing more than throw up their hands and curse you.
  • Change their ringtone to something ridiculous. Then, when their phone rings at work, they’ll think “who the HELL has Nelly’s ‘It’s Getting Hot in Herre’ as their ringtone?!” followed quickly by “JESUS would they answer their phone?!” and finally, “oh shit. That’s MY phone.”
  • I can’t take any credit for this one, but remove the frosting from inside Oreos and replace with toothpaste. Serve.