Sucky Babysitters

Hubs and I actually went on a date last night. Like, the no kids kind involving real talking without being yelled over.Dinner and a concert. Much needed.Of course, we hired a babysitter for our kids. She’s a high school senior and the daughter of one of the higher ups at my husband’s work. Seems to be responsible as teens go.Gang: she could barely talk to us when she arrived. She hurried over to the kids, avoiding as much adult conversation as possible. Maybe she mumbled some kind of acknowledgement to my brief “please keep the kids alive” instructions.Unfortunately, the babysitter couldn’t follow the basic instructions because we returned home at 10:30 p.m. to find the kids fully dressed in zombie states watching T.V. on the couch.”Why are you still awake?” I asked my kids loudly.”They wanted to stay up,” the babysitter said.Well, shit. I want a European vacation, ya know?The pizza crust stared up at me from the coffee table.Just little stuff, but come on. I’m paying you California minimum wage for this?It’s not just her. Every babysitter we’ve had, all good kids who are high achievers in school and do all the extracurriculars and whatnot, can’t seem to carry out simple childcare tasks. They leave a mess, or the kids are awake when we get home.Is this how we were as babysitters? Maybe so. I remember calling my mom for advice while babysitting the neighbor’s kids at 13. They stopped calling me to babysit after a year or so. Perhaps I sucked. Maybe babysitters just suck.Hey, we got out of the house and our kids were alive when we returned. So I’m calling it a win. Anyone have a good babysitter we can borrow?

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Eight

Today, my son is 8.

This post isn’t about how time has flown boy (it always does) and how I miss his baby face (oh, that newborn hair fuzz and brand new smell).

This post is about how fortunate we’ve been to watch my boy grow and evolve over these eight years. It’s about how ridiculously smart he is and tender and chicken of the dark and naughty in school and gorgeous.

He’s so much more than a mish-mash of genes from two people. He’s a lightning storm, brilliant and blinding and loud. I couldn’t have dreamed him up in my wildest dreams.

Change is good. Time is a gift. Eight is great.

Throw Them Out!

No one’s going to remind you to do this, so I’m going to.

Buy yourself new bras and underwear. More than one. A half dozen of each.

Some of your underwear are more than a decade old. They are all stretched out and have permanent period stains.

You wore that pair in the hospital when you went into labor with your firstborn. Remember how they got wet when your water broke and you threw them in your overnight bag to change into the disposal hospital granny panties? You probably should have thrown them out then. But instead, you kept them through two more kids.

That over there’s the pair of undies you bought at Victoria’s Secret for your honeymoon all those years ago. They were cute then. They’re not so cute now. Throw them in the trash.

Remember that thong? You were rocking it while Sisqo performed the Thong Song at that concert in 2000. Twenty years ago. Now there are 20 year olds wearing something called a “front thong”. It’s even worse than it sounds. Google it. Then sling-shot that thong-tha-thong-thong-thong into the garbage where it belongs.

Where to begin on your bras?

I see you, wearing that nursing bra. It’s so comfy, but your youngest is 4. Put it in the trash and pour a little milk out on top of it for the fallen bra homie that kept you company on those sleepless newborn nights.

Your mangled, twisted pile of faded, stretched-out bras with an occasional underwire poking through would be almost artistic if it wasn’t so sad. Toss them all.

Now go to your nearest discount store. Find some stylish but comfy bras and underwear with a good brand name. Look, that cute lacy bra is even on clearance. Bikini underwear. Not thongs. Not briefs. You’re 30 something, not dead.

There. Don’t you feel better already? You EARNED this with all your labors of children and/or labors of love.

Wash. Enjoy. Repeat.

Our Best

I showed up for my gyno appointment this morning five minutes late, wet hair pulled back in a ponytail and no makeup on.

I was feeling all a mess after hustling both kids out the door this morning for school. With the school run done, I of course had to run back home, jump in the shower and scrub the parts with bleach to be exam-ready. (Not really bleach. Do not try at home. You know what I’m saying.) I had to text my work colleagues a few things and grab my son’s Cub Scout sign-up form to drop off while I’m on this side of town. No time to pack the lunch I wanted to.

As I bounded up the stairs to the doctor’s office I was anticipating the judgey looks my disheveled appearance would get.

But instead, in the doctor’s office I found a young mom trying to comfort her fussy newborn with a feeding tube in his nose. There was a woman doing her best to keep her toddler occupied while checking in for a pregnancy test appointment, explaining to the front desk she is diabetic and requires a blood test. Across the room sat a baby-faced couple with their newest addition wrapped in a blanket, still enraptured with the newborn’s tiny sleeping face.

My wet hair and makeup-less face was the last thing on anyone’s mind. All of us just doing our best to power through the day, deal with the inconveniences and love on our babies while we can.

A Slimey Lesson Learned

My 7-year-old son stuck slime in my 4-year-old daughter’s hair, and my husband had to cut it out.But my son, who often loses his temper when he’s confronted with something he did wrong, took full responsibility for his actions. Then, he apologized sincerely. Not one of those sarcastic, terrible ones.My daughter has long, beautiful hair with some to spare. Every strand lost was worth it. Also, screw slime.

Leaving College Behind

I’m often surprised college was 15+ years ago. Wasn’t I just hitting the bars or clubs with my friends, and then scarfing down Taco Bell at 2 a.m. without a Tums chaser?

But guys, “clubbing” isn’t even a word anymore. Have you SEEN college kids? Yeah, there’s a reason “kids” is part of the phrase. I like some hair on my men, thankyouverymuch. Hold the man (boy?) buns.

I used to love watching reality T.V. like Real World and Teen Mom. I totally related to their plights. Now if I happen to land on whatever the current reality show of the moment is before I switch to Netflix, I’m like what’s up with these entitled, asshole kids?

My first job was working movie theater concessions, and now I’ve become that lady grumbling about the slow, unprofessional service.

In short, yeah I’m 37. College WAS 15 years ago. Songs from my college days are now on the *gasp* throwback station. I recently saw TLC at the fair. For FREE. We used to wait in line at the music store Ticketmaster counter for that shit. Who even are the popular artists now? Cardi B is about the extent of my knowledge.

I’ve become oldish. Out of touch with current trends. And you know what? I’m OK with it. It’s good to buy myself a new couch or mattress when I need one.

Fast food at 2 a.m. probably isn’t good for us anyway. College was actually kind of a rough time for me. There’s no need to go back.

I’ll take the gray hairs, and the indigestion, and my kids and my husband. I’ll go ahead and keep the confidence and experience that grows with the passing years, and the freedom and even the fear that comes with expanded awareness.

My college years can stay in my memories and printed photos where they belong.

Stop With The Sweet

Can we stop with “sweet” already?

There are so many more interesting words to describe our daughters, sons, friends, co-workers, acquaintances. But especially our girls.

“Sweet” has become a buzzword. Something we say when we want to praise someone, but don’t have the words. It’s safe. It’s trendy.

My sweet friend gave me a gift. My sweet daughter is 3.

But what is the person really? Are they thoughtful? Considerate? Yes, kindness is so important. But not sweet.

Sweet is a thick, sticky syrup that hinders our climb in life. I want so much more for my kids.

I want them to be brave and happy and aware. Caring. Resilient. Conscientious. Sweet is a saccharine throwaway that’s says you’re nice, but also safe. Predictable. Docile.

We need doers in our world, and action is a little sour and spicy. Some kick with the sugar. Sweet belongs in cooking, not kids.