Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Dream Guy

My plans as a young woman included marrying Adam Sandler and owning a Jeep Wrangler.  Neither of those plans has been achieved by the letter.  Josh is kind of like a more common, redneck version of Adam. 

Take our skillet, several years ago. Josh was whipping up some gourmet omelets in the kitchen of our starter home, as baby B and I were bonding in the living room.  All of a sudden, I heard some banging, cussing, and stomping.  Josh flew into the living room, threw open the French doors, and slammed the skillet into the side of the deck.  Wham, wham, wham.  "F*** you, Skillet!"  he roared, then stomped back in and slammed the door.  Just in case the skillet was confused, he reopened the door, roared out a definitive, repetitive, "F*** YOU!", then grabbed the skillet and flung it across the back yard.  It pinged off the back fence, then lay lifeless on the grass. 

Sounds a bit like Happy Gilmore, eh? 

Thankfully, like Happy, Josh has matured quite a bit.  Last night, after we'd purchased a shiny new nonstick red skillet for a bargain at Walmart, Josh calmly placed the warped, dinged, old skillet on the back deck for trash sendoff.  We put away all our groceries together then got a good night's rest before waking up to clean the house this morning. 

I was in trouble for breaking the vacuum cleaner.  I'd tried to vacuum a throw rug by myself, sucking part of it into the cleaner, and burning the belt.  My mechanical husband set about stretching a different model of belt to the vacuum, since we have not been able to find the correct belt on several Walmart runs. 

The smell of burning rubber accompanied Ol' Happy's rant.  "You know, what?  That's IT, Vacuum!  Your f***ing a** is off to the dump with that worthless Skillet!"  Poor Vacky got flung out the door and landed next to the properly "buried" skillet. 

What was worse?  The carpet was still a disaster.  I realized I was going to have to dress, run to my in-laws' house to borrow a vacuum and return it on this supposed day of rest-in-a-clean-house.  Sigh.  The slam of the back door brought me back.  It was Josh with the Shop Vac from the shed. He was attempting to attach the piece from the late vacuum to the end of the hose.  It was too small.  Together, we retrieved the former vacuum, removed its hose, and reattached it to the Shop Vac.  It took much longer to suck up the crumbs, but the carpet looks better until we get a house vacuum replacement next weekend. 

I could go back to resting.  I realized as I drifted off, that my Happy Gilmore was becoming a Grown Up. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Moms Don't Take Sick Days

Well, that's not entirely true. My inlaws and the boys' godmother often take my boys for me when I'm sick.  In fact, they'll usually get the boys the night before so I can rest.  I am blessed.  However, yesterday I called in sick.  I was so exhausted and tired, I knew I would not make it through a day of teaching teenagers.  So here's what a true "sick day" looks like for moms.

At 5:30, the alarm rings.  I hit snooze.  After several snoozes, I realize that this is not "normal tired", but instead "holy cow, I cannot stand in front of 27 teenagers and lead" tired, so I fumble for my phone and "call in" online, requesting a substitute.  I then text my coteacher, who joins me for thirty to forty minutes in two of my classes, to let her know.  We'd both assumed I'd catch whatever Little has contracted, so we'd talked the day before about the backup plan.  Nicole is ready to put that plan in motion.  I go back to sleep.

At 5:45, my husband texts me good morning.  I inform him that I am going to take the day off and sleep.  He suggests that I let his mom take Little for the day so I can rest.  I decide she deserves a break, and that Little needs a doctor appointment so I know what I am catching.  I try to call Mother-in-Law so she won't have to make the trip to my house to pick up Sickboy.  No answer.  I try her cellphone.  Also, no answer.  I wait for her.

At 6:00, I answer the back door, let her know the plan, then set the alarm clock for 7:00.  I still need to get B on the bus.  Grammy lives out of district, so there was no point of sending him with her.  Besides, I have all day to rest, so I'll just put him on the bus and go back to sleep.  I snooze.

At 7:00, I wake B up.  He gets dressed.  G, in a sleepy stupor, waddles to the couch and I cover him up with a blanket I'll have to wash germs off of later and set him up with cartoons.  At 7:40, B and I run to the car and speed to the end of our country driveway to wait for the bus.  Huh.  The next door neighbors aren't out waiting for the bus.  I have a sinking suspicion we have missed the bus.  *Queue Cassie's*

At 7:45, we drive back down the driveway to pick Little up so I can drive B to school.  I am wearing pajamas, a corduroy winter coat, my husband's too-large-for-me shoes, and my glasses.  Do not even try to picture the nest that my hair is.  I'm just the chauffer; I am not to be seen.  I run in and grab Little, throwing on his winter coat and a pair of my socks (comprised of red penguin sock and green Saint Patty's Day sock).

At 7:48 I return to the warm car with Sickboy in my arms.  There, B informs me that the bus passed our driveway while we were inside.  I sigh, smile at Big, and drive him to school. 

At 8:20, Little and I arrive home.  Thank GOD there was no need for us to get out of the car.  Hot.  Messes.  I wait ten minutes to call the pediatrician for an appointment, secure one for 10:30, then set the alarm and go back to sleep until 9:40. 

I wake up, dress, fix the hair (sort of), put in my contacts, and try to dress Little.  He is not going for it.  I decide that, as Sickboy, he is entitled to wear the Ninja Turtle Jammies in public today.  I rustle up some matching G socks, find one half of each pair of his good shoes, settle for a full set of nasty shoes, shoe and coat him, and drive forty minutes to the doctor. 

On the way, Sickboy shows the first wisp of personality for 2015.  He's been sick all year so far.
Me: After the doctor, we are going to get Gatorade and orange juice. 
G: and cold cuts? 
He is grinning his joking grin from ear to ear. It makes him look like an impish leprechaun, and I realize that I am glad to have this moment with him. 
After the doctor, we stop by Walmart for the aforementioned beverages, stop by McDonald's for a four piece nugget for Mr. I-Won't-Eat, and then stop by the drugstore for Zithromax.  Sickboy has walking pneumonia.

At 12:34, we re-enter the house.  Lunch.  Nap.  Well, I nap.  Little may have fallen asleep in front of cartoons.

At 3:40, my alarm rings.  Time to get Big off the bus.  He eats a snack and tackles homework.  I fix dinner, and mother-in-law arrives to pick up Sickboy for the next two nights and days.  It'll be frigid in the morning and she doesn't want him to be out in subzero temperatures.  He has been crying to come home each night, but we remind ourselves that he is five and not in charge, and decide he'll have to deal. 

This morning, at 5:30 a.m., I wake up exhausted and call in.  Luckily, my coteacher has left plans for the substitute she'd thought I'd need.  Little is at Grammy's, and I don't have to be anywhere all day.  I just have meet the bus.  I rest.

To all parents and guardians, who never get sick days like I got today, but instead only have sick days like my yesterday: I more than commend you.  You are past amazing.  To my back up crew: I love you.  Love.  You. 

Good night. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Country Pets

B and I dropped C off at Cassie's house after a two-day video game marathon.  Cassie and Tommy live off of country roads in what looks like a small subdivision.  Their house sits on the bend of a road, though, on a lot of three acres or so, so it feels country.  Well, the location, the need for a riding lawn mower, and the fact that the next door neighbor, who is a bit away, has guinea hens.

Guineas were new to us when we moved to this part of Virginia.  We grew up in Virginia Beach.  In fact, I graduated there, so the thought of having livestock at a house was foreign to me.  Apparently they eat ticks, so they are valuable around here.  Virginia Beach did not have many ticks.

Anyways, after C hopped to the porch, I pulled forward to circle around the power pole and re-enter the driveway so I wouldn't have to back up a billion feet.  All of a sudden, three mape-mape-ing guineas scurried up to the front of my car.

I edged up, little by little.  Two backed off and mape-maped from a few feet back.  The third was either really brave or really dumb.  He maped from his original position, unhinged by an approaching killing machine and its loud meep-meeping.  My Kia sounds like the road runner.

"Go shoo, them, B!"

My dutiful nine-year-old hopped out, slammed the car door and ran at the birds, yelling and flailing his arms.  C heard the ruckus and joined his cousin.   When I'd pictured motherhood, I'd never pictured boys chasing livestock.  Who knew?

The stubborn (or unrealistically friendly) guinea, finally edged away, but he would not go very far.  B yelled for me to keep going, so I crept around the power pole.  B ran back to the car, along with the car, yelled for me to keep going, then opened the door and jumped into the slowly moving vehicle.

I rolled my window down to yell goodbye to Cassie  "I can't believe our lives include shooing guinea hens!"

"Sometimes they follow us all the way down the driveway!"

I kept going, churning mud from my tires onto my silver Kia.