April 8, 2011

Domestic Enemies of the Slacker Mom

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Rants From Mommyland. The ladies over there have the same irreverent sense of humor as me and they never fail to cause my tea to come spewing out my nose (a compliment, I assure you). One of the topics they've covered is domestic enemies of a mother--a homeschool mom, a military mom, a single mom, an urban mom--you get the idea. I've loved every post but I couldn't help but notice they've neglected a mom-type so near and dear to me--the Slacker Mom. That just won't do. So I present to you...

Domestic Enemies of the Slacker Mom

Enemy #1: The Birthday Party This is enemy #1 in my book because it causes untold stress and trauma. It starts out innocently enough with the first birthday when the whole family comes over to watch Howdy stuff his very first cake up his nose and smear frosting all over his hair. The next 2 or 3 years may not even be so bad but then they hit kindergarten and first grade, ages where they start having friends and understanding what this whole birthday thing is all about. Then it's not enough to just have Grandma and Grandpa over for spaghetti. No, now you have to invite other kids over which means you have to entertain them and feed them. And in my kids' social circle, goodie bags are always handed out which means I also have to spend a small fortune buying trinkets for all the kids who are coming over to celebrate Howdy's birthday. How do you think I feel telling my kid, "Sorry, honey, I couldn't afford to buy you a present this year. I spent all my money on bubbles and press-on tattoos for your friends." And it would be a black mark on their reputation for all time if we were to do the same thing twice. Not only do I have to come up with something new, but it has to be bigger. Each year has to top the next until I'm renting the Ringling Bros and hosting 200 guests in my backyard for a 3 ring circus.

Enemy #2: Laundry I realize this is an enemy of every mom, but it's an especially annoying problem for us slacker moms. See, it.NEVER.ENDS. If I actually get down to bottom of my laundry pile, I can't really sit back and relax because my children are wearing clothes. That are getting dirty. And will have to be washed. In our family of 5, we go through 35 pairs of socks and underwear each week. That's assuming no one has to change clothes because of the rain or sports or spills or anything else. And while my kids are pretty good about putting the dirty stuff in the baskets, I have yet to get them to tell me if they have something spilled on their clothes that would require a good dose of stain remover, and heaven forbid they actually remember to straighten out their socks. I end up pulling them out of the dryer in little balls. The best part is when I pull the toes of the socks out and a pile of dirt falls out into the basket of clean clothes, ensuring that I will now have to wash that load all over again. I would consider becoming nudists, but I'm not sure I could afford the therapy bills that would entail.

Enemy #3: PTA Moms If you are one of those Martha or Betty types that dresses your kids in clean, matching clothes, fixes them a healthy lunch each day, sends out homemade invitations and volunteers for every activity at school, I say good for you. Now go play in traffic. You Stepford moms are making the rest of us look bad and I don't need any help in that area, thank you. That's nice that your child wears designer clothes but let me tell you something. A rip in the knee hurts a lot less when the pants were from Goodwill as opposed to Nordstrom's. So Sassy never matches and her hair is always in her face. She got herself dressed and is proud of the way she looks. She gets to choose how she looks when she has to go out into the world. And, yeah, I know. My hair would look much better if it was professionally done instead of relying on the sale box of hair color from WalMart and my nails are always broken and ragged. But the money and time I save by doing it myself is money and time I can spend doing something fun with my kids. Do you know how many trips to the zoo/park/movies I can make with my kids for the price of your one salon appointment?

As the stay-at-home mom, I realize the house and everything that occurs within it is my responsibility. But that whole myth of the stay-at-home mom lounging at home in front of the soap operas and eating bonbons? That had to start somewhere and I'm all for keeping that urban legend alive. But how am I supposed to do that when things like doctor appointments and dishes and playdates keep getting in the way? And what is with my family expecting me to cook dinner? Seriously? EVERY night? Obviously I neglected to read the fine print when I signed up for this. Next time, I'll hire a lawyer.

April 1, 2011

Tomorrow? Marker Safety Classes

Sassy has the most beautiful blue eyes. Except for today. Today they started out sort of bloodshot and I thought maybe she just hadn't had enough sleep. As the day progressed, they started to get...pinker. She battles allergies so I gave her a Zyrtec and figured she'd be fine. Not quite. Her left eye went from being slightly pink to flaming red. Great. As visions of pink eye and stys (sties?) flashed through my head, I called up the doctor. It was already after 4pm and I figured I would have to be squeezed in with the weekend rush of sickies on Saturday but all they asked was how long it would take to get there.
"Um, 20 minutes?"
"Great. See you at 4:30."

Let me just stop right here. 20 minutes? Really? Why do I say such lies? If I was already in my car and there was no traffic, 20 minutes would probably be about right. But instead, I had 3 kids parked in front of the TV without shoes or jackets and absolutely no desire to pack up and drive across town. It was only with much grumbling and threatening that I managed to get them out the door. Once I had them strapped into the car, I still had to contend with rainy weather and idiots who don't know how to drive in rainy weather. Oh, and Friday rush hour. I could've called and rescheduled but the idea of spending even a day with my daughter all germy and contagious and therefore spreading her nastiness to her brothers or, even worse, me had me hustling through the city to try and make it. I was late, of course, but they still let us in. Whew!

So back in the exam room, the doctor asks Sassy a bunch of questions. Does it hurt? Is your eye itchy? Do lights bother you? No, no, and no. Did you hurt your eye recently? YES. Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Sassy, tell the nice doctor how you poked yourself in the eye yesterday with.a.marker. I have no idea how she did that since she was sitting on the couch quietly when it happened but that just proves she is in fact my daughter.

The doctor put some drops in Sassy's eye and then some dye and then pulled out this small UV light. It made the dye in her eye glow like a neon highlighter. It was so cool I made her do it again so the boys could see and say things like, "That is so awesome!" Well, in addition to being highly entertaining, it revealed that she had a scratch on her cornea. A bottle of eye drops and we were good to go.

At the check out desk, we made an appointment to come back in a week and then, because I am one of those who are lucky enough to have no medical coverage, I pulled out the checkbook and held my breath. $102 and the donation of one of my kidneys and the bill was settled. And they want me to come back? Seriously? Hey, thanks for the free meds but unless Sassy's eye is falling out of her socket or is oozing green slime, I think we'll be okay without that "follow-up" visit.

The whole ride home we made jokes about how now Sassy could double as a night light as long as she could sleep with her one eye open. (Yes, we absolutely make jokes at each other's expense.) Traffic was just as bad on the way back but I didn't mind so much. I was just happy that I wasn't going to have to quarantine Sassy so she wouldn't infect the rest of us. That would've SO messed up my weekend plans.