Shart week

Dawdler Toddler Preschooler: Mom, we learned DON’T touch sharps. They’re sharp!

Me: Sharps?

Dawdler Toddler Preschooler: No, wait. Not sharps. <thinking…> Sharts.

Me: Sharts?

Dawdler Toddler Preschooler: Yes, sharts. Swimming in the ocean. Sharts.

Good friends are hard to find

Yesterday I was lamenting about the difficulty of making new friends at work (among other things). Here’s a perfect example. I have a coworker who I’ve often thought should be friends with me. So I followed what I think to be normal make-a-friend protocol: I introduced myself first, I have since chatted with her from time to time, sometimes at great length, I’ve IM’d her, and discovered tons that we have in common. We’re both from the South, she used to work in the same field as My Better Half and so we know some of the same companies and people, she loves all things food, and she has a kid just a hair younger than my oldest. So over time I’ve tried to transition our workquaitance into more of a friendship and…it’s gone absolutely nowhere. I’ve stopped by and asked her out to coffee: no, thanks. I’ve invited her to things that I get invited to with other moms: no, thanks. I’ve asked if she wants to check out the farmer’s market or go to this photography exhibit sometime or: no, no, no. Always no. So I basically gave up.

Today I stumbled on her blog. And I can’t decide if I feel even MORE rejected because I’m seeing how much we really do have in common (likes: coffee breaks, walks, babies, photography, baking, and cocktails) that’s making me seethe with rage at her successful blog, or if it’s just her smug-ass tone. The whole thing reeks of “look at me and my cute little family effortlessly identifying and then seamlessly achieving all our life goals one by one!” tone. It’s really hard for me to relate to, either because of the current uncertainties that underpin our lives at this moment or because I live over here. IN THE REAL WORLD where life can be HARD and can’t be photoshopped to perfection. And/or because I’m bitter as all hell that someone else seems to have achieved my perfect blend of working as a writer and still having the time + energy + spousal support to devote to one’s own personal creative outlets.

So I needed a gut check and sent the blog to my BFF without commentary.

Her: huh. So why *aren’t* you friends with her?

Me: I dunno, ask her. I’ve made an effort for a year now, and gotten shut down every time.

Her, five minutes later: I dunno, she seems a little…smug?

Me: YES! THANK YOU! I wasn’t sure if it was just that I’m having a hard time relating to her perfect little life or seething with jealousy and/or bitter?

Her: Well, then file me under: bitter as sh*t too.

And that’s why we’re BFFs.

How to avoid bath time antics

Recipe for ensuring your kids smell straight-from-the-bath fresh and clean with a minimum of difficulty and effort:

Have older child scrub your face with their bath soap during imaginary bath time. Do not rinse.

The rest of the day any time you cuddle or hold your child, you will think “Awww. You smell SO good.”

Let’s Make Everything Harder for Parents, Shall We?

A conversation in our house this morning:

Me: “…so the bottom line is, yes, Dawdler Toddler can start preschool next month, & there’s still availability, we just have to decide which of the 10 preschools in the district we want her to go to.”

My Better Half™: “why not just the one in walking distance to which we are zoned?”

Me: “No preschool there.”

My Better Half™: “So just send her to the closest one in our district that has a preschool.”

Me: “oh, sure. You’d think it would be that easy. But here’s the tricky part: preschool in our district is 4 days a week…no school on Wednesdays…and you choose the morning half day, which ends at 11:20 OR the afternoon half day that ends at 3:20…”

My Better Half™: “…can’t you just do both to get a full day that’s 8:20-3:20? Even though that’s NOT A FULL DAY at anybody’s work?!”

Me: “…no, because it’s exactly the same school day, just repeated twice.”

My Better Half™: “…so what are we supposed to do with her after the morning or before the afternoon? And ALL DAY EVERY Wednesday?”

Me: “…that’s an even bigger question. So there’s a before/after school program for those of us who, I dunno, work and stuff? But it’s only offered at some of the 10 preschools. There is one full-day option – it’s a Montessori multi-age classroom, but that’s only at 1 of the 10 preschools… and we’d be committing to the Montessori track…which I’m not sure I’m on board with…and anyway we would have had to registered forever ago because there’s a waitlist for that.”

My Better Half™: “…okay, so I guess we do the preschool that’s closest to us AND has one of these before/after school programs.”

Me: “…agreed. So now we get to the next question. Of the preschools that also have the before/after school programs, which of those do we want her to go to Kindergarten at?”

My Better Half™: “…okay, now you’re just talking crazy. She’s only 3!”

Me: “…yeah, I know. But here’s the thing: Since our elementary school, the one in walking distance, doesn’t have a preschool, she can either go to preschool wherever we choose and then switch at kindergarten to where we’re zoned OR continue on to kindergarten wherever we send her to preschool. There’s this thing where if your elementary school doesn’t have a preschool, and as a result you send your kid to a district preschool somewhere else, you can choose to continue on at that school where she started for kindergarten & elementary – y’know, so your kid doesn’t have to make all new friends at a new school all over again. So it’s really a question of where do we want her to ultimately go to kindergarten & elementary school.”

Both of us: <banging head on counter>

Me: “…and there’s actually kinda significant differences in curriculum & in quality in the different district elementary schools that also have preschools so…”

—-

Is it absolutely bonkers that we’re talking about WHERE TO SEND OUR JUST-TURNED-3-YEAR-OLD to kindergarten?! Is this INSANE or normal these days? Hard to tell…

nope, not bitter at all

Me: What time are we meeting our friends at the Children’s museum? 9:00?

My Better Half: uh, not til 11:00…

Me: <raising one eyebrow>

My Better Half: I tried to get them to agree to meet around 9:00 but then they said “Why so early?!”

Me: Their kids must sleep in.

Me: F*ck them.

—-

I can at least take solace in the fact that last night the Yankees (their team) lost to the Red Sox (ours). While I drink my coffee and pray for an early nap.

Got Chuckle?

Does anyone have a recipe for homemade chloroform? I ask because I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep. Insomnia + exhaustion is a bad combination.

By the way, how do I know homemade chloroform even exists? Because I still remember a story My Better Half told me about a long time ago, where a friend of his figured out how to make it and called his homemade concoction “Chuckle” because the chemical makeup was something like CHCl or something. If you know how to score some, let me know. Til then I’ll be self medicating my insomnia with listening to the most boring podcasts I can find.

Last call

Three weeks ago we made plans with friends to go out tonight to hang out one last time before they move. Ah, academic life. Our friends are at the mercy of the job market, so they are moving from their one-year appointments at the local university to another one-year appointment at a different university out-of-state. Anyway, we had to plan far in advance due to us having family in town and our Dawdler Toddler’s third birthday, so we agreed upon Sunday June 22. We went ahead and booked a sitter. They have kids too, and they did the same. Only this morning their kids woke with fevers and vomiting. And for some bizarre reason, they’re deciding that this makes for an ideal evening to cancel on us in order to hang out with their kids. Something about how dumping them on a sitter & running for the hills would be irresponsible, blah blah blah. Sheesh.

So we – My Better Half and I – were left to our own devices as to what to do with our valuable and rare night out. We had planned a great night out on the town. Hit a couple high points, Phoenix places one really would miss out on if they had never been and seeing as this was one of their last chances, we figured we’d go one place for happy hour, another for dinner, and a third for dessert. But since it was going to be just us two, we opted for a movie instead. Rather than waste all our month’s income at shi shi (sp?) restaurants we can’t afford anyway while we stare at our phones, we decided on a movie we can’t afford either. So cliche but since WHEN do movies cost $20?! I know, we don’t get out much, clearly. The last time we got out was when My Better Half™’s parents kept the kids for a night in November. As in LAST YEAR. And we saw a movie then too but it just seemed way cheaper. Probably because we didn’t pay his parents for watching the kids. And because we went to the $3 theater to watch something that had probably originally come out over the summer.

But back to last night. After the movie, we still had an hour to kill. We could’ve just headed home but it was the dreaded bedtime hour. Getting Dawdler Toddler and Baby to go to bed is like trying to coax a particularly feisty raccoon into a cage. So we decided to let our well-compensated and rarely used sitter take that on for one night while we wandered into a bar to grab a snack and a beer before heading home. We were one of only 2 tables in the bar, and we ordered an appetizer and a beer and about 5 minutes after they brought us our order the server stopped by again to say “So, it’s last call, so are you guys going to want another?” No, we said. Then My Better Half™ high-fived me and said “OMG! It’s almost like we’re normal adults again! When was the last time we were out for last call?!” Now, granted, it being a Sunday night and a small neighborhood watering hole, this bar’s last call was at 9:00 p.m. But still! It really was like a brief return to being a member of adult society again for one tiny little moment. So our makeshift night out that cost us a fortune? Worth. Every. Penny.

Vacation recap

Yesterday was my last day of vacation staycation off. I just don’t know what to call it. It’s probably no secret that a vacation with two kids 3 and under is hardly restful, so while calling it a vacation is wrong, even the “-cation” part of staycation just rubs me the wrong way. Here are some handy reminders that I may need to review when planning our next trip to ensure sanity next time around:

  • If at all possible, avoid making the first day of your time off a 19 hour day of packing, travel with the two kids 3 & under, trying to coax the two kids to sleep in unfamiliar beds and surroundings, and picking up all members of the party.
  • When hiking, make sure none of the children goes too far ahead, potentially selecting the wrong trailhead. You know, that one that goes 600 miles to the Mexican border? Avoid that happening.
  • Keep in mind that all sightseeing road trips are for everyone else. You will be spending every stop feeding a child, calming a child, or helping a child use the bathroom.
  • But fear not! You will have plenty of time to sightsee blue skies and trees from inside while you man your station at the kitchen sink, where you will be stranded doing dishes for 9 people, 4 of whom graze throughout the day, requiring an endless supply of clean dishes.
  • Be sure and eat out as much as possible at restaurants you’ve been dying to try. Because restaurants are tons of fun with kids 3 & under, am I right?! You may not get to eat the food you ordered your Better Half selects for you (because you’re not given the chance to read a menu nor are you around when orders are taken) until hours later but you’ll be sure to enjoy the ambiance of the potties, on account of the parade of children who decide one after another, but never simultaneously, that a trip to the potty is necessary.
  • Bring a bottomless supply of coffee because you will get no naps. None.
  • And/Or bring benadryl for the children.
  • And/Or BYOB. So you can doctor up your coffee so you can prevent yourself from becoming a total witch to your family. You won’t be going anywhere most days anyway.
  • The day your time off ends, you will get to go to bed at 6:00 p.m., though and sleep a glorious 11 hours. And it will not be enough.