Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Ways I'm Failing at Motherhood. This Week.

Here are 10 ways I'm failing at this whole motherhood thing this week.  This list is not to be confused with how I failed at it last week, or with how I will undoubtedly fail at it next week.  

1.  One of the neighbor kids walked in on me watching Naked and Afraid with my 11-year-old.  If you’ve never seen it, it’s a pretty innocuous, Survivor-type show on the Discovery Channel, but the contestants happen to be naked.  Neighbor-kid walked in just in time to see a naked person’s behiney on tv.  I’m sure he went home and told his mom that Mrs. BoyMommy was watching porn.  With her 11-year-old.

2.  Small had chocolate milk for breakfast this morning.  That’s it.  Just chocolate milk.

3.  Explained “getting laid” to Medium and Large because of something they saw on The Big Bang Theory.  It would have been easier to explain the actual big bang theory.

4.  Told Small, “we’re not reading books right now.  We are watching TV.”

5.  Started crying at Target today.  And since Target is apparently the Grand Central Station of my social life, I got caught.  Seriously, I can’t keep my sh*t together long enough to grab a gallon of milk.

6.  Silently wished that the moms' email distribution list to which I belong would vacate all controversy and return to the usual menu of buying/selling each other’s used crap, advertising school spirit nights, and displaying pictures of neighborhood squirrels.  (Also considered suggesting we lighten the mood a bit by perhaps discussing religion or politics instead.)

7.  Bought two picture frames and told the check-out guy that, because I have three children, I’m going to have to pick my two favorites when deciding whose photos to display. 

8.  Suggested to another mom that, since her husband is helping me out with some daytime childcare while I have an appointment next week, she may want to perform some extra “favors” on my behalf.

9.  Purposely left our to-go box on the restaurant table last night so that I wouldn’t have to throw it away myself in 3 days.  For some reason I was worried I’d hurt the waiter’s feelings if I told him I didn’t want to save the nuggets for later. 

10.  Hid books behind the bookcase so that I won’t have to read the same stories again tonight.  I’m afraid if I skip as many pages as I did last night that eventually Small is going to notice significant holes in the plot. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

My 21st Birthday vs. my 41st Birthday: a Detailed Analysis. With Photos

So yesterday was my birthday.  I’m 41-derful.  Kind of a letdown after all the festivities of my 40th birthday. 

For instance, I have 527 “friends” on Facebook, and yet I received ONLY 113 birthday wishes yesterday.  The other 414 of you are dead to me.  

I’ve always loved my birthday, as anyone who knows me will attest.  I do my friends the courtesy of reminding them how many shopping days are left so that they can have the joy of watching me open a plethora of gifts celebrating the anniversary of the date of my birth.  What’s not to love about THAT?  I don’t get people who don’t love their birthdays – it’s an entire day that is devoted to the celebration of YOU.  If you don’t want to celebrate your birthday, can I have it?

I must admit, however, that celebrating at 41 is a little more, um, reserved than celebrating the milestone of turning 21. 

                                                      My thought process at 21:
Better get up early . . . like 11 . . . to make sure I can help pick up the keg at the Kroger.  I can do that now.  Get a keg full of Milwaukee’s Best.  Because I am 21.  I know that real grown-ups get kegs all the time because they're so much more practical than buying bottles or cans.  We are having a party at the apartment I share with 3 other girls, even though our fridge is stocked only with condiments and a tub of yogurt, and we’ve decorated with $5 unframed posters we bought at the campus bookstore.  

I’m so stoked because my brothers are coming!  I am THE coolest big sister ever.  I am going to take a photo of myself and my brother standing next to a keg of beer.  But make sure Mom doesn’t see it!  I don't want to get in trouble.

This is what telephones used to look like, kids!  I have no idea who I’m talking to, because I’m pretty sure everyone I knew was in the same room with me.  In fact, I can't even be 100% sure there was anyone else on the other end.  [I'm a few drinks in at this point, to state the obvious.]  I’m so glad I don’t have to get up for class tomorrow, but even so, I bet my hangover will be gone by around noon. 

I'm not athletic, but I bet if the Olympics had a beer pong team, I could totally be on it.  Plus I have a good teammate.  I'm gonna marry him in a few years.  

                                          My thought process at 41:
Gotta make sure I’m back from dropping the boys off at the bus stop in time to meet the Glass guy who is going to repair our window to the tune of $400.  After 3 loads of laundry, a storybook about farm animals, and an “educational” children’s television program starring weird little talking mermaid gubbie thingies, I need to remind Small that we don’t “hulk smash” things that don’t belong to us.  

Kick myself at 3:00 when I’m sitting at the bus stop waiting for Medium so we can go get his allergy shots, because, while I would have had plenty of time to make it to the doctor’s office on time if our appointment were at 3:30, I just now realize our appointment was at 3.  Oops.  Leave the doctor’s office and come home to help Large with his homework and order a nutritious pizza for their dinner.  

Spend a total of 10 minutes celebrating with my family, which includes a tiny ice cream cake that is still in the freezer next to the frozen waffles, the chicken tenders, and the Jimmie Dean sausage biscuits, a funny card from Hubby, and 3 oh-yeah-I-forgot-it’s-mom’s-birthdays from the boys.  Listen to a painful rendition of the Happy Birthday song complete with baritone accompaniment, which Large does NOT know how to play because he just brought it home today.  Wait for Hubby to return from picking up babysitter so that I can leave for preschool orientation.  

Have lovely cheesy & carbalicious mexican dinner, complete with what I hope was NOT a lice-infested sombrero and one (large) margarita.   Don't have second margartia because a) I have to drive home and b) liquor sometimes causes me to be drunk and/or to lose the contents of my stomach.  I paid good money for that mexican dinner.  Don't wanna waste it.  Hang with preschool moms as we converse about the origins of baby names and the appropriate age to start the kids in team sports.  Stop by bank so I can pay sitter.  Home by 9:15, because, well, it’s a school night.  Take 3 ibuprofin to ward off a morning headache and mentally begin preparing my to-do list for tomorrow. 

I promise I'll do a better job next year of reminding my friends how many shopping days are left, but perhaps you should just enter it in your calendar now.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

If Facebook Posts were REAL.

Hubby and I were chatting last night about the plethora of happy family summer photos that are making their way onto Facebook.  Sure, I could post photos of my smiling children, frolicking at the pool with their dad (on that one random evening he got home before dark and was able to join us.)  Or a photo of them playing ball in the backyard (before Medium had a full-on temper tantrum, complete with hitting, ball spiking, and name-calling.)  Or a photo of the fish we caught (after I pulled the wayward hook from a screaming Small's shorts and untangled Medium's line from his "this-pole-is-SO-STUPID-I-am-the-WORST-at-fishing-the-stupid-fish-keep-eating-my-worms" fishing pole.)

When you know people well enough, you know that what they're posting online is not the full story.  But who wants to look at pictures of messy houses, petulent children, and household chores gone awry?

What's that you say? . . .

BoyMommy's Keepin' It Real Facebook Posts, Summer 2014:

1.  Swagga Wagon

2.  Laundry

3.  baseball cards

4.  Uh oh.

5.  Gratuituous Ninja photos

6.  Healthy Eating Habits

7.  My mad Housekeeping Skillz

8.  Christmas in July.  Because I haven't put that sh*t away.

9.  My boys are SUCH good little listeners

10.  AND they're charming!

You now how all those OTHER posts on Facebook make you feel just a teensy bit envious or a tiny bit bad about yourself/your looks/your parenting/your eating habits/your social circle?  (No?  Just me?)  Well this series of real life photos should make you feel better about your own life, because if you've put all your holiday decorations away, actually have dairy products in your fridge, and had a boogerless morning, you're doing better than I am!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Romantic Getaway! (During a Hurricane.)

A few weeks ago, Hubby and I had escaped for a few days by ourselves to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.  We know plenty of people who are able to “sneak away” every now and then in order to recharge their marriages, and even some who are able to have regular date nights.  We do not have that luxury, however, so planning a getaway in which we would leave our children for a few nights with their grandparents was a big deal.  We haven’t been away together since 2008, if you don’t include the one raucous night we went to an out-of-town wedding so I could be the super-fun pregnant bridesmaid.
The BEFORE pic, when we were still dry
and didn't feel like vomiting yet.
We have been planning this trip for some time, as making arrangements for the three boys requires a lot of logistical maneuvering.  Add to this the fact that everything we do seems so complicated – many times we’re just too exhausted from the planning to actually put anything into action.  We booked flights and hotels and we were all set to have our romantic vacation from July 3-7. 

You know where this is going, right?

We used frequent flyer miles to book our flights from Richmond, Virginia to Boston, Massachusetts.  Via Newark, New Jersey.  I’m sure Newark is a lovely town once you get to know it, but everything I’ve ever seen/read/heard about Newark leads me to have a preconceived notion that it is the smelly armpit of the Northeast.  Unfortunately, the weekend we were traveling was the same weekend that Hurricane Arthur was wreaking havoc, so we were trying to beat the bad weather up the east coast.  No luck.  Our flight from Richmond to Newark was delayed, and before we even stepped foot on a plane our flight from Newark to Boston was cancelled.  Hubby stood in line for 2 hours and 45 minutes to try to figure out how we were gonna get this party started. 

Any of you who follow my blog regularly already know that Hubby, bless his heart, does not handle travel hiccups well.  See this or this.  He held it together, though, even though the airport restaurants and bars close at 8 which meant there was not a nerve-calming beer to be found anywhere.  We finally boarded a flight from Richmond to Newark and realized we would have to spend the night at one of those shady hotels near the airport.  In Newark.  The airline graciously gave us a discount coupon freebie! number to call to make our own reservations at the airport hotel.  In Newark.  Finally something went right . . . Hubby logged on to the hotel booking website and found us a room.

Surprise!  When we got the hotel, in Newark, they had no record of our confirmation, and since everyone else whose flight was delayed or cancelled was in the same predicament, there were no rooms left.  Hubby started to lose it a little here and after a few tense moments, the desk clerk found a room for us.  It was “Lou’s” room, but we could use it.  Um, not sure who Lou is, but our choice was between Lou’s room and another room, in which an employee’s girlfriend had just showered so it needed to be cleaned first.  Lou’s room it is.  Once we got to Lou’s our room, we discovered that Lou is either in a wheelchair or he is a midget/little person.  Hubby was very confused by the door peep hole that was only 3 feet off the ground but found it comforting that he had a handle to hold onto in the shower AND an emergency phone next to the toilet.  I double-bolted the door just in case Lou didn’t receive the memo that his room was occupied for the evening. 

We caught the first flight out to Boston the next morning, but we missed the 8am ferry we were supposed to catch to Cape Cod.  We arrived in Boston, got settled and refreshed, and figured taking a later ferry wasn’t a bad idea after all.  The original plan had been to spend most of the day basking in the sun on the beach in Provincetown and then hit some of the cute little shops and bars before catching the ferry back to Boston around 7pm.  The ferry trip was 90 minutes long, and since it was Independence Day, we thought we might be lucky enough to see some 4th of July fireworks as we pulled into the Boston Harbor.

Yep.  That would have been nice.  

Bad hair/bear day.
Again, Hurricane Arthur screwed with our plans.  The ride over from Boston to Provincetown was cloudy and gray, but we were still excited to get to the Cape.  Once we arrived, however, the rain started in full force.  The first thing we did when we got off the boat was buy a raincoat for me.  We tried to maintain a positive attitude, visiting quaint little boutiques and fun bars.  I started to get really cranky when my feet started sloshing in my shoes and my underwear got wet through three layers of clothing.  By the time the rain started coming sideways and in sheets, we attempted to find an earlier ferry back to Boston.  No luck.

When we finally boarded the ferry at 7pm (with about 20 other suckers, total, who hadn’t been able to score an earlier ferry,) the wind, rain, and lightening were so bad, we each popped a Dramamine and tried not to think about the choppy waves.  I laid my head down on the sterilized and probably not encrusted in dried ketchup and coffee rings table with my palms down in order to steady myself because it was the only item I could find that seemed to be staying still.  I felt like I was on the Edmund Fitzgerald.  Hubby and I have been together for 20 years, and I know from experience that an evening that ends in vomit just isn’t as fun when you’re 40 as it is when you’re 20. 

Luckily, the rest of our vacation was lovely, but it was a long time comin’.   We’ll be ready to take a romantic vacation together again in approximately fifteen years.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

J. Crew, You Disappoint Me

C’mon.  You knew I’d have something to say about J. Crew, right? 

The other day I was flipping through facebook when I noticed someone had posted that J. Crew is introducing a size 000 to their line of clothing.  This “news” is bad enough, but what really bugged me were the follow-up posts.  I expected some backlash about how making clothes smaller and smaller just perpetuates the adolescent myth of being fat.  But the comments I read were the opposite.   There were responses gushing over J. Crew’s FINALLY offering sizes that won’t gape at the waist.  

To me this an example of grown women, (who know better,) manipulating how other people view them; I am SO thin, I am actually THANKFUL that I will no longer have to float in clothing that the rest of you fatties consider normal-sized.  It is just as manipulative as an acquaintance of mine who once complained because Lily Pulitzer doesn’t carry as size 0 petite.  Guess what?  She doesn’t carry a size 16 either.  The comment was designed to be a dig, however, because we both know a woman who wears a size 16 does not look the same as a woman who wears a size 0 petite, but this aquaintance was gonna make damn sure I acknowledged it. 

I’m 40 years old and feeling a little bad about myself because I'm thinking about how “fat” I am, especially compared to a size 000 human being . . . imagine how pubescent girls are feeling.  Why is J. Crew willing to add an extra zero to its smallest size instead of adding some digits in the tens place on the other end?  Some of their clothes, (but not all,) go to a size 16.  Meanwhile, I’m shopping in stores that feature horizontal stripes and rhinestone skulls.  Seriously, when is the last time you saw a fluffy woman who wanted horizontal stripes, which only add to the illusion of wideness, and bedazzled floating heads?

Before anybody gets her tinsel in a tangle about the smaller woman’s issues with body image, let me remind you that I have NEVER blamed my voluptuousness on anyone but myself.  I like pizza and beer and donuts.  And lots of ‘em.  I’m a smart girl; I realize there’s a cause and effect factor working here. 

Just to keep things in perspective, however, let’s examine what 23 inches actually is.  You can’t convince me that a grown woman with a 23-inch waist is healthy.  I call bullshit.  I wore a size 0 for a span of approximately two weeks when I was 11 years old.  I didn’t feel bad about myself for moving up from size 0 to a 2 to a 4, etc. because I was a growing girl.  I know a lot of healthy, athletic, trim women, none of whom could squeeze into a size 000. 

Just so we’re all on the same page:
My 23” thigh:

My 11-year-old son’s 24” waist:

My 4-year-old son’s 23” hips:

J. Crew, do you still think it's "normal" for a healthy woman to be able to comfortably fit into 23" size 000 jeans?  I realize I'm just one shopper and that my opinion makes absolutely no difference to Big Retail, but I am disappointed that you would even market such clothing in a mainstream women's store as opposed to your children's line or a line for juniors.