how stupid do you think I am?

Nothing irks me more than people who lie to me.  It is a complete and utter waste of my time not to mention an insult to my intelligence.  Especially if the lie is pretty transparent.  I mean really, who likes being lied to?

We’ve all done it. We’ve all told fibs to get out of certain activities or obligations.  Fair enough.  I am not about to dissect the many levels of fibbing and to justify when it’s ok to lie..  I mean, we tell our kid all the time Chick Fil A is closed for cleaning just so we don’t have to take him there.

I’m not talking about parental fibs or necessary protect-you-from-the-harsh-truth kind of fibs for a five year old.

I’m talking about people who can’t think fast enough to cover their tracks.

Exhibit A:
I texted you, but never heard from you.
Oh, I didn’t see my messages.
UM…. did you know that I have “READ” receipts on my messages. (not my doing, my iphone’s invention)
Yes, you read my &%%%# message.
Don’t lie to me.
*****************
Of course if you’re nice like me and wish to spare the liar further embarrassment, you play along, allowing them to save face.

Exhibit B:
I tried to call you all week.
UM… no you didn’t. I have caller ID and a call log.  There are no numbers related to your call in my call history.
Don’t lie to me
******************
Of course if you’re nice like me and wish to spare the liar further embarrassment, you play along, allowing them to save face.

I shouldn’t be so put off by bold face liars. Really.  But at least think enough of me to cover your tracks and concoct a plausible storyline.  Seriously.  At least give me that.

How stupid do you think I am?

the dreaded playdate

My son is five.  We’ve gone on the occasional play date, usually to the park with another mother and her kid, or at the pool with another kid and his mom.   The theme is… WITH ANOTHER MOTHER.

It’s nice to have adult company while the kiddos play.  It’s nice to be able to see what your kid is doing and if necessary, to have the other mother watch/discipline her own kid so you don’t have to do it.

Play dates with other mothers are nice.

But, now that my son is five, play dates are starting to look a little different.

Some mothers with kids this age allow their child to go to another child’s home without them for a play date.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, especially if you know the family.

I just don’t think I’m ready for it.

I still think my kid is a little boy.  I want him to be independent, but I don’t feel he’s old enough to know what to do when you visit someone else’s house (etiquette wise). He is an only child who has only ever been in daycare.  I feel he still needs me in close proximity to coach him on how to act at someone else’s house.  I can’t assume that just because he’s toilet trained that he ‘gets’ it…. and knows the dos and don’ts of being a house guest.

I look at summer day camps and I’m torn.  I don’t want him to have a boring summer. I want him to be around other kids, but I’m just not sure he could handle it.  I know a summer day camp is a far cry from a 2 hour play date at a friend’s house, but the underlying concern is the same; can he handle all the things I wait in the wings to help him with?

I know the right thing is to let him fly on his own.

But he’s five.

I think there’s time.

I must be doing something right because this is hard.  If parenting wasn’t hard, I wouldn’t be doing it right… right?

Peace.

Monday musings

It’s Monday.

So what else do you do on a Monday, but run a ridiculously long list of errands. And take your five year old with you. Of course.

It actually gave us something to do, and I was grateful for the outing.  We are suffering through a heat wave (I prefer to call it summer in the South) but the weather people call it a heat wave.  Whatever.  All I know is that it’s damn hot. DAMN hot.  Like melt the eyebrows off your face hot.

As a treat for being such a good helper, I took my son to our local splash pad.  It was a great way to cool off and to, well, just get out of the house.

Little did I know that modern parents have ripped pages out of Soap Opera Digest and US Weekly Magazine to name their children.

As I sat there watching my son play I was surrounded by shouts of micromanager mothers… “Holden, Maddox… Jaden STOP that, do this, don’t do that…”  “Isabella, Adrianna, Sophia…. come here”.  GOOD GOD.  Just because Angelena Jolie names her kid something doesn’t mean YOU need to do that.  You live in the rural south of America.  Your son, when he’s 45, will look ridiculous answering to the likes of Jaden and Maddox. Especially when  he’s working at the Piggly Wiggly.

I mean really. Whatever happened to John?

Anyway, each to their own, I guess.   But seriously… STOP MICROMANAGING YOUR KIDS!  Because by the time I get them in fifth grade they can’t think for themselves and then YOU complain about it and expect me to fix it. STOP IT!

Then there was our swimming lesson.

Good grief.

My son is learning to swim.  Of course, like anything new and challenging, he’s not having it.  After many tears and rounds of tough love, he swam the length of the pool.  It’s hard to sit there and shut your mouth when you a) know it’s the best thing for your son to let him cry it out and b) you want to go scoop him up, dry him off and take him to Dairy Queen to make him stop crying.  But, I powered through, shut my mouth and sat there letting the swim instructor work her magic.  And now he can swim. Go me.

I took a few minutes of ‘me’ time to give myself a pedicure.  It’s one of my favorite things to do. Wait, scratch that. Having someone ELSE give me a pedicure is one of my favorite things to do and I don’t get paid until next week, so a home pedicure it was. Plus, I have an OBGYN appointment this week and you may as well have nice toes as you’re getting your private parts inspected.  Just sayin’.

So, as I luxuriated my feet in my dollar store dishpan full of suds, I watched a daytime TV show host a wedding.  It was really nice, but as soon as the bride walked out I thought WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU ON WHEN YOU BOUGHT THAT DRESS? DIDN’T YOU HAVE PEOPLE WITH YOU… AND A MIRROR?  Seriously.  It was hideous.  And I’m sure very expensive. She looked like someone had TP’d her (toilet papered her).  Seriously.

Watching the whole thing reminded me of my wedding day (sans the TP esque dress and the fancy schmancy decorations).  I was never the kind who dreamed of a wedding.  In fact, I went wedding dress shopping alone, in sweats and a ball cap.  4 weeks before my wedding. I bought the first dress I put my hand on.  It currently sits in a Rubbermaid tub in my closet with liquor stains on it.  Whatever. I wasn’t much of a wedding enthusiast.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I like being married.  I just don’t feel you need to spend thousands of dollars on one day when you’re eventually going to be yelling at someone about how they load the dishwasher.  Really.  Why go into debt just to do that?  Needless to say we had a very low key wedding with the world’s worst photographer.  That is the ONE area I tell brides to be NOT to skimp on.  Our photog was hideous, bossy and horrible, so much so I considered reenacting my wedding photos just to get better pictures.  HORRIBLE.

So, I sat there watching these two lovebirds fawn all over each other, trying to remember what it was like to be a newlywed. We’ve been married ten years.  Not a lot compared to others, but more than a few Kardashian weddings combined.  I’ll take it.

As you can tell, from my random musings on this Monday, summer is a very slow season in this house, but, I’ll take it.

After surviving the Facebook gushing Father’s Day tributes yesterday, I felt I deserved to blow off a little sarcastic steam.  Seriously.  I tried to stay away from all the flowing tributes because having a dead father, well, it kind of makes you feel bad.  When you start wanting to post “JUST YOU WAIT” type of status updates to those lucky enough to still have a live father, it’s time to turn off the computer.   So I did.

So here I sit with perfectly pink toes, and nothing to look forward to tomorrow except the stay at home mom gig I’m currently on.

I’ll take it.

Peace.

summer time and the livin’ is easy

It’s summer. I’m on vacation. I’m getting a taste of what it’s like to be a stay at home mom. So far, in the span of one week I’ve chauffeured, entertained, cooked, cleaned, appeased… you name it.  It’s an ok gig but I still think work is easier with it’s predictable schedules and patterns.  Nevertheless I am trying to savor the time I have with my son.

Summer seems to be a magical time. Late, lazy nights.  Late lazy mornings.  A lot of nowhere to go and nothing to do.  A much needed respite from life.

Summer, with it’s lack of structure affords me a lot of time to think.  And, as I’ve learned about myself in the past few years, this is a dangerous thing.

I sit, with time to reflect on, well… everything.  I think about all the stupid things I’ve done, second guess the ok things I’ve done, compare and analyze everything from how I handled high school to the parent I’ve become.

Quite frankly, it’s exhausting.

I  need to stop.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of myself in my son.  I purposely try not to unload my vices and bad habits on him.  But somehow I think certain temperaments are inherited.  I dunno, I’m no expert.  I only know what I see in my kid.  I see a kid who looks before he leaps (literally, it took him a full five minutes to talk himself into jumping into a pool), who is sensitive (me), who analyzes to the death (me).  It’s not pretty.  I don’t even know why people buy mirrors.  They only need to have a child to see their true selves.

It’s a little daunting.

Soon I will travel home to visit my mother and grandmother, and if I’m lucky a friend or two from my formative years.  I will go home, put on a brave face and ignore the gaping hole left by the death of my father.  I will patiently sit and listen to my mother bemoan life; God bless her, I am one of the only solid supports she has.  I will sit and relive my childhood trying not to piss her off and leave a mess in the kitchen.   I will entertain my son the best I can, left to my own devices.  I will feel like I’m 12 again, inadequate and unsure of myself.  It’s not that I dislike going home, there are a lot of good things, but there are also a lot of memories that swirl up to the top of my collective memory.  That, coupled with the already heightened anxiety I feel about the push and pull of home, well, it’s not always something I look forward to.

The easy thing would be to not go.

The hard thing would be to not go.

So, I do it, put on a brave face, refill my Xanax script and carry on.  Isn’t that what all good daughters and mothers do? Pleasing others to no end, pretending to be solid and bulletproof.

Summer time and the livin’ is easy.

Or is it?

Peace.

ch ch ch changes

I’m sitting here on my first official day of freedom. No, I didn’t do hard time in prison, I’m a teacher. Then again….

I digress.

It’s summer vacation.

I’m also sitting here, alone in my kitchen reflecting. I dropped my kid off at his daycare for the last time today. He’s there as I scurry around and go to doctor’s appointments and run errands before vacation kicks into full swing.

He has been at this daycare since he was 9 weeks old. I vividly remember the first day I ever dropped him off. I cried and cried and cried.

And here I sit, 5 years later, still crying.

Where did time go?

I’m crying not because daycare is ending, I’m crying because I have no idea where the past five years went. I’m crying because we’ve hit yet another milestone and I feel like time is racing past us.  I’m crying because it’s getting real.. this whole school thing.  No longer is my kid playing all day, he’s about to enter a world of learning, assessments, mean kids on the playground and homework.

Simply put, he is growing up.

No, my kid isn’t the first to go to kindergarten.  But he’s my first, and he’s my only.

And we are about to close one chapter and open another.

And it’s a little scary.

Our nice little established routines are changing. We are about to enter the unknown.  The plan I put into place three years ago  (to transfer schools so I could teach at the school he will attend) is coming to fruition.  I am overjoyed, but I am scared too. Change has never been my forte.

So here I sit, savoring the last minutes and hours of our regular ‘routine’, looking ahead trying to wrap my head around embracing change.

Wish me luck.

Peace.

three little words

How.  Are.  You.

?

Three little words. So simple, yet when we ask them to someone, we often don’t really take the time to listen. How are you has become one of those pleasantries we exchange; a question we really don’t care to know the answer to.

But I do.

I care.

I try to ask people whom I know have been having a rough go how they are doing.

I try to remember to check in with people who have lost loved ones to see how they’re doing.

I try to be sincere.

I don’t ask to be nosy, I ask because chances are no one else asks, and no one else really cares.

It’s nice to be asked how you are and for a person to really mean it.

I don’t get that luxury.

Peace.

regrets… I’ve had a few

I’ve been thinking a lot about regret.  Such a futile thing to do, I know.  However, I’ve been thinking about regret.

Three years ago, in the depths of emotion and shock over losing my dad so suddenly and tragically, I acted in a very not so nice way toward a family member.

It’s a long story with a sordid history.  Let me just say at the time I thought I was doing the right thing by shielding my grieving mother from a potentially awful situation (one that would compound her grief and add more stress to her life at the time).

I acted like a mama bear for my mama.  I felt like her protector was gone and I had to step up.  I circled the wagons, armed my arsenal and in the process was very rude and offensive to a family member.

I was not on good terms with said family member before the incident, hence my actions.  Obviously calling to apologize is not an option.  And I’m not sure I really want to apologize, given that person’s actions as well.  However, my being a good Christian Catholic guilt is getting the best of me.   I wonder if I simply should have let the incident play out.

But I didn’t.

I can’t turn back time (I’m not Cher….)  but I can’t help but feel a sense of remorse for my actions.

Should I attempt to reach out, or let sleeping dogs lie?

I just don’t know.

these are the days

Today I took my kid for his kindergarten assessment.  Of course, he aced it, and scored quite high.  He was able to recognize sounds, letters, colors, write his name, cut with scissors etc… thanks to his gifted pre K teacher and of course,.. (ahem…) me. My husband (a gifted mathematical, linear thinker) and I ( who is a pretty good speller and wordsmith) always said if our kid was born with his math skills and my language skills, he’d be well off.

If he was born with my math skills and my husband’s language skills, he’d be screwed.

But I digress….

The bonus of my child starting kindergarten is that he will attend the school where I teach.  Today I took him around the school and showed him my classroom.  He was thrilled when he saw his picture on my desk.  He was equally as thrilled to raid my candy jar. (the one I use to bribe kids to do their homework).  He’s been to my classroom before, but this is the first time it really clicked for him that he will BE a student at the school in the fall.  He will be a big boy at a big boy school.

I made the choice two years ago to transfer schools so I could be at the same school as my kid.  The school I currently teach at is in our district (the other school I worked at was not).  I had a grand master plan… to set myself up by securing a teaching job at the school in order to be there when it was time for L to attend.  The stars and moon aligned and I took the plunge.  It was difficult to leave a school and coworkers who saw me through marriage, the birth of my son and the death of my father. They are/were family.  After all, I spent a decade with them.

But, it was time to move on.  It was time to put my family first.

I consider having my kid at my school one of the few perks of my job.  I know not everyone would agree. But for me, it’s a sound choice.  I have struggled with working mother guilt for the past five years.  I vowed to never miss a first day of school, a Christmas concert or field trip.  By teaching at the same school my child attends, I am afforded these luxuries for at least the next 6 years.

My son (who just turned five) loves being with my husband and me.  The feeling is mutual.  He has gotten into the habit of climbing into our bed in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t bother to drag him back to his own room at 3 am.  This has also turned into him just plopping himself into our bed at bedtime.  And to be honest I don’t really stop him then either.

Before I get blasted about the ills of this habit, I have one thing to say.

My kid is a developmentally ‘normal’ kid.  He won’t be little forever.  There will be a day when he ignores me and stays in his room.  I know those days are coming faster than I’d care to admit.

While it may not be an ideal sleeping arrangement, it is what it is.  My kid feels safe and secure. He is happy. And sometimes he wants to be in his big boy bed. And that’s ok too.

After all, at the end of my days do I want to look back and say “I’m glad I followed the parenting rules by the book and listened to total strangers tell me how to correctly parent my kid”  or do I want to say “I’m glad we cuddled, giggled and savored these precious moments”.

I choose the latter.

Peace.

1000 channels and nothing to watch

I’ve been feeling rather tired and down lately so I decided to be good to myself.  I went to bed early.  I made time to unplug.  I sipped tea on my back porch.  I spent time with my son.

And I decided to watch tv.

Normally, I don’t watch tv.  I’m not even sure why we have cable.  The only shows that are ever on at our house are Peppa Pig and whatever History channel crap my husband loses himself in.  Oh, yes, and Game of Thrones (his viewing, not mine).  I never seem to be able to sit down and watch an entire program unless I a) hide  b) stay up until the wee hours of midnight when my kid is safely tucked in bed  c)I take a day off work to indulge in being home alone.  Note- option “C” never happens.

So tonight I a) hid  and b) hid.  I’m not proud.  I actually hid in my bedroom while my son and husband sat in the living room absorbed in some game on the ipad.

Now I was in a whole new world… Tuesday night,  uninterrupted prime time viewing.  And I was totally lost.  I am so out of touch with what’s on tv I had no idea what to do or what to watch.  If it doesn’t have a talking pig, a robot or a saucy superhero, I don’t really know it exists.  Yes, my world is that small. I have a five year old.

I flipped the channels until I settled on The Bachelor.  I am not a fan of this show.  I find the whole premise excruciatingly cheesy, fake and demeaning.  But here I sat, tuned in.

I only lasted about five minutes.  Apparently some girl named “Brit” was axed as the Bachelorette. Devastated, she was whisked away via limo from what I presumed was the Bachelorette mansion. It was all very dramatic.  Tears, hushed, serious tones from the host, fake nails, too much hairspray and 20 some near drunk guys in the next room waiting to be charming once the cameras rolled.

It was all very confusing and awful.

As I watched “Brit” sob out her disappointment in the back of a limo, I thought to myself …girl… you have no idea what the real world is like.. step in my shoes for a while. I just picked my husband’s socks up off the floor for the umpteenth time and I’m ready to light them on fire on the lawn while I wash my Xanax down with a Capri Sun juice pack because that’s all we got ’til pay day.  Honey, you dodged a bullet.

But I digress….

Poor Brit.

I channel surfed and found a news channel. It was too depressing. Murder. Poverty. Kidnappings. Too much.

Attempt number three at channel flipping landed me on a reality show. Again, more out of touch morons, standing willingly to be judged by untalented millionaires all the while clambering for 15 minutes of fame.

Ah. No thanks.

So, the lesson I learned is this… I’m not really missing much by not watching tv.

And, I kind of like talkikng pigs.

Peace.