Confession: I need for them to go back to school!
I am so over the holidays! I am never over the holidays this quickly. But, my kids are officially driving me crazy! Sure only one of my kids is in actual all day school. Sure the baby is still home with me full time. Sure it's only the 4th actual day of vacation, if you don't count weekends- which I don't since they'd be home with me anyway. But, as of
yesterday five minutes after they opened their last present today, I am officially ready to move on. And by move on I mean kick these kids out into the street.
I had such delusions of grandeur. The days leading up to the holidays, although busy, were very Norman Rockwell. We baked cookies. I went to the holiday parties and shows at school. I did my shopping. We even tracked Santa's path online on Christmas eve. I anticipated that the holiday aftermath would be equally as joyful. The kids all excited at their many days off would joyfully play with all of their new wares. Each one would share something new with the others. All the while I would
be catching up on my noticeably slackerish blog posts be making cookies and cocoa. And yet somehow this fantastical little world I have created for post holiday bliss has eluded me.
As I sit here still and as quiet as I can for fear that they'll find me, I am taunted by yet another round of screams of "no mine!" and "give it to me now!" All the while a stack, and I mean a stack, of new toys awaits each and every one of them. Of course they all want to play with what the other one got. They all want to play with the same exact toy all the stinkin' time! Next year, each one is getting identical gifts! I don't care if an 8 year old girl has to play with Star Wars Legos. Nor do I care if a 2 year old boy has to play with a Hannah Montannah backpack! Identical gifts I tell you. It's the only way to go.
I wasn't even going to write about the holidays. I would have been happy to just gloss right over them entirely and start blogging about how my son gets frequent unexplained diarrhea or something. But, it's been so long since I have written (over a week) and I was beginning to wonder if you would all abandon me. But I knew that there had to be other parents suffering from PTHSD (post traumatic holiday stress disorder). I wish I had advice. I wish I had comfort to offer. I wish I had Vodka to offer. All I can say is that here in New Jersey at least, we only have until Monday and then it's sweet relief.
P.S. We actually had a lovely holiday and I hope that everyone else did too. I did not get the bottle of gin or the prescription for Xanax that I so desperately need and deserve, but it was still a great way to end 2008. Happy 2009 everyone!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Confession: I need for them to go back to school!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Confession: People who name their kids crazy names really annoy me.
I am sure that you all heard the story by now of a New Jersey child named Adolph Hitler, whose parents had a difficult time finding someone who would decorate a cake for his birthday. This got me to thinking about names that people give their children. While we could debate for years whether or not it is the constitutional right of the parents to name their son anything that they want, and the constitutional right of a store to refuse to decorate a cake with language that they deem "offensive", that is not what this post is about. This post is about baby names. I feel like I would be hard pressed to find too many people who think that Adolf Hitler is a good name for your newborn son. At least, I hope that I would be. You see, I have naming issues.
I've never been partial to names that can somehow be shortened to unwelcome nicknames. So, during the naming process of each of my children, I had to be extra selective. We had to meet certain criteria. The names each had to somehow represent the names of a deceased relative. Usually this is done by beginning the first name of the child with the first name of the deceased relative. We also had to come up with something that we could both agree on. And, in my case, something that could not be shortened to a nickname. I realized that I loved the names Jessica, Rebecca, and Jaqueline, but was too afraid of the not so beloved Jessie, Becky, and Jackie. Scratch those. And sorry to all the Beckys, Jackies, and Jessies of the world.
As time wore on and the naming process wore on, and on, and oh yes on some more, I realized two things- I am going to have to write this child's name roughly a gazillion time in my lifetime- and that other people were going to have to read it a gazillion times in theirs. I needed to be considerate to them as well. To help myself out with the writing part, I decided on a short and sweet six letter girls name that I felt could not be shortened or altered. By the way I was wrong. People in their infinite laziness will find a way to shorten the name Lee. "Hey L, how's it going today"? So, with my second child we went with an even shorter and less likely to be shortened five letter name. And finally with our third, the boy, we gave him a very big, little, four letter name. Rest assured that if there were ever to be a fourth child in the future, the names Sue, Lou, and Jen would be passed around for consideration. And I shudder to think of the naming possibilities for any subsequent children. To help with the reading part, I decided that I would not name them anything that could be too easily misspelled or mispronounced. No kids want to spend his or her entire school career saying, "No it's pronounced KAY LEE". Of course when you spell the name Kaaleighe, what do you expect.
So, I guess you could say that trendy and UNEEK spellings have never been my thing. I like to call a Mary a Mary, not a Mayree. I like to call a Trevor a Trevor and not a Trevverre. Sue me. I once knew someone who named there daughter Jacqueline, and spelled it Jakklinne. I am not lying. Why would you do this to your child? And then there are combo names. If your short list for girls names consists of Brianna, Samantha, and Alexis, it is not okay to create the name Samanbrexis. It's just not. Man up. Pick a name. If needed have two more kids, but don't make the rest of us, not to mention your poor kids suffer.
And then there is the initial factor. You may not think it will matter in the long run, but if your last name is Singer and you name your child Andrew Simon, the kids initials will be ass. Don't think for a minute that it will go unnoticed. This goes for the pairing of first and last names as well. If your last name is Dover, do not under any circumstances name your son Ben. The teasing that poor little Ben Dover will have to endure in his lifetime will only hurt you in the long run.
Gender neutral names can cause similar issues. Think them through wisely. There's a reason traditionally girls names have been traditionally for girls. And when you name your little boy Peyton or Skyler and little Peyton comes home for the 12th time having had his lunch money stolen and his underpants pulled up around his neck, you'll have no one to blame but yourself. Sure, you'll want to blame the parents of the bully for not teaching them right. You'll want them to pay the price for not having taught them tolerance and acceptance, and you'll be justified. But, there's no denying the personal culpability that you have in this matter. It all could have been nipped in the bud if you'd have just named the kid Billy. And that is Billy, not Byllee.
If you have any question that people can and will name their child just about anything, and the case of little Adolph Hitler didn't give you enough proof, I give you an actual and factual list of some of 2008's best crazy names. Enjoy.
P.S. Celebrity baby names do not count. Sadly in our society it is perefectly acceptable to names your child Pilot Inspektor or Moxie Crimefighter, as long as you have a t.v. show or hit song. Hell, these kids will never have to function in society anyway, right?
Some of my favorite heinous spellings and butchered namings of last year:
Nixavier- Perhaps for someone who was very conflicted about choosing this name.
Hannaniah- Maybe this was just an n key that got stuck?
Prynceton- Simply naming your child after an ivy league school, does not guarantee admittance.
Heiress- Undoubtedly this child doesn't have a dime to her name.
Hawke- Why the 'e'? Creativity? Naming your kid Hawk isn't enough?
Pretty Girl- No, I am not making this shit up.
Byrch- Your kid is not a tree, nuff said.
Innocence- I'll be taking bets later as to whether she becomes a stripper or porn star.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Confession: It's official, my house is the boring house!
I always thought that I'd have the cool, fun, house where all the kids wanted to hang out. I thought that all of my kids friends would gravitate here for parties, play dates, and days off. Turns out, we're not so much the place to be.
I'm not sure if it is because we are 'stricter' with our kids than some of their friends parents (and by strict I guess I mean that we don't give in to our kids every whim)? I never thought I'd be a strict parent by any stretch of the imagination. I still don't consider it so. Just because we have early bedtimes, and we like our kids home for dinner and in the house on school nights, that doesn't make us strict, does it? Maybe it does. Or maybe it's because we don't have a lot of the high tech modern stuff that kids these days like to play with. Whatever it is, our house was officially deemed 'boring' by my 7 year old and her friend this weekend. This is the second play date to deem it so. So, if you are keeping score at home, that is three 7 year olds who think it is boring here. I'm feeling somewhat hurt. Oh sure, they didn't come right out and say that I was boring, but I am the captain of the ship. I'm the play date overlord. I'm the activities director if you will. If playing here is boring, surely it must be because I make it that way. Zzzzz It's a regular snoozefest.
See, I always thought that it would make playdates fun if you got to do things that you don't get to do at home. Or things that you might not do at other friends houses. I think that making popcorn and watching movies is fun. I think that doing art projects like making butterfly mobiles, and painting mugs is a lot of fun. And up until recently my kids did too. Turns out that if you don't have a Wii, an X Box 360, and a cell phone to call other kids from your class on to let them know you are playing, it's not so fun after all.
At first I thought that next time I'd try to liven things up a bit. But how? I mean it's not like I am making them vacuum the carpets and walk the dogs. But, we are certainly not going to give in to the pressure to get our kids things that we don't think they need, just to appease the elementary school set. My kids have always been very accepting and grateful for what they have. They don't (usually) beg for things that they see other kids with. They don't whine at the store that they need this or that toy or gadget or they'll just die. They are very empathetic to the fact that there are kids out there that have nothing to play with- not toys at all. And that some of them don't even have a house to play in. We'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible.
Still, I want my kids to have fun and happy childhoods. I want them to fit in with their friends. I want to have a fun house to visit. Maybe if we keep doing what we are doing, keep teaching what we are teaching, there will come a time when the kids actually ask to play here. Maybe the kids who come here will go home and tell their parents that that they don't want to play Wii today, that they'd rather make cookies and paint pictures?! Maybe not. Then I thought that maybe, just maybe, the kids not wanting to play here is a blessing in disguise. And I always have the vacuuming the furniture and walking the dogs to fall back on.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Confession: I have, from time to time, allowed household rules to be bent out of necessity. The necessity to keep the kids out of my hair.
Is there anyone who hasn't? I mean, I know that consistency is the key to effective discipline and all that. I know I am in the wrong when I do what I do. But, aren't there times when you just can't help it? Please tell me there are?!
Picture this: It's the fourth day in a row that you have been trying to call the phone company (any important phone call works here)about the $575.00 in phantom charges on this months bill. On day one, after being on hold for roughly 30 minutes, you were disconnected. No time to call back, the bus will be here in 5 minutes and sweet little Sadie's left shoe is still M.I.A. Don't worry. You assure yourself that you'll call tomorrow first thing and have it taken care of.
On day two and three after navigating the complex automated system invented by someone who is obviously childless, and possibly friendless as well, you hear the words that you love to hear, "hello this is Mrs. Blah Blah, thank you for calling Mediocre Phone Service, may I help you today?" Though your thoughts are still reeling over the automated system, and why society insists on deterring us from as much actual person to person action as possible, you pull yourself together to speak to Mrs. Blah Blah. Just as you begin to spew your story, you see Cheerful Charlie hauling ass down the hallway. You peek around to see his diaper at his ankles, trailing behind him is a stinky, horrifying mess. Having just finally caved in after 3weeks and finally mopping the floor, you mutter an "
oh my goodness get your ass over here you little *&%$#" and "I'll have to call you back". You give chase. Wrestling him down about half way down the hall, you toss him in the tub, and begin to survey the damage. Let the cleaning begin. Pass the Lysol. There's always tomorrow for the phone calls.
Day four arrives and the decibel level at your house rivals that of the front row of a Rolling Stones concert. You know that you have to get that call made or their will hell to pay with your hubby. You fearfully dial the digits just as a caravan of kiddies come 'choo-choo'ing' through your kitchen. Head pounding, against your better judgment, you hand each a lollipop (breaking the no sweets before dinner rule). You then corral them all into the den and turn on Spongebob (quickly breaking rules 2 and 3 about no food in the den and no tv before homework is done). An unfamiliar sound surrounds you. Silence. You run to the phone and miraculously get through on the first try. Finally! The phone bill mystery shall be solved. You explain your story in it's pathetic entirety, to the woman on the other end of the phone. Just then you hear the last crunch of the last piece of lollipop. The pitter patter of an army of demanding little feet charging in your direction. You know that you've bought as much time as you could. Just at that moment, the women on the other end who has listened to your 10 minute tirade, informs you that that "really isn't her department, but she'll be happy to connect to someone who can help." Suddenly tales of disgruntled consumers brandishing weapons in an effort to get customer satisfaction don't seem so crazy. A slew of verbal filth that would make Chris Rock blush, runs through your mind. Surely you have enough time to let Mrs. Blah Blah know that you plan to let the air out of all four of her tires before she leaves work today, before the kids arrive in the room. Suddenly you remember that your call is being recorded for quality assurance purposes. Damn!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Confession: Holidays: Sometimes they are the greatest, other times I just want to gauge Santa (or appropriate symbol for holiday of your choice) in the eyeball!
I have not, despite what you may think when visiting this blog, fallen off the face of the earth. I have however been battling a terrible cold, trying to shop for holiday gifts, and preparing for the impending holidays. It started with Thanksgiving and just exploded from there. Parent-teacher conferences, holiday parties, school trips, and so on. I started taking decorations down from what some might call the attic. I on the other hand, am pretty sure if they looked hard enough they might find Jimmy Hoffa up there. Maybe Elvis too. And it just continues to get buiser and busier.Whatever happened to slowing down and enjoying the beauty and magic of the holiday season? Yeah, I am sure someone, somewhere, did say it was possible. So, I promise that there are several posts forthcoming. Really. I mean what could provoke more rants and raves than the holidays? The kids. The family visiting. The fights over presents. It's a mecca of blog material. In the meantime, I need to clear my head. Literally. I have more snot up there than Ivana Trump has divorce lawyers.
Meanwhile, you can catch me at my new writing gig Philadelphia Moms Blog. Of course I wouldn't go looking for my writing today. You know head cold and all. I haven't actually submitted any writing yet. But, I'll be writing there. And here. Soon. Really soon. Promise. Meanwhile, enjoy the holiday season if that's your thing. If not, pull up the covers, turn up your I Pod and hang in there. In a few weeks it'll all be a distant memory.