Sunday, June 16, 2013

Longing For Those Good Old (Sticky) Days

Have you seen that scene in Bridesmaids where the mom of three complains about her boys mausterbating all over the house? I love that scene. It's a relief to finally hear someone tell the truth about kids.

At 17 and 15 mine are past that sticky blanket phase, but we got other things going on. Daughter convinced me that buying one of those tall cans of Arizona iced tea and getting one free was a good deal.  I'm not really in favor of buying drinks with no nutritional value, except beer, but I agreed.

The following day, her younger brother expressed interest in the second can and I told him he could have it.

When Daughter discovered this she went .... well...wacko.  Somehow she thought it had her name on it. But we checked and it didn't.

Her:  (to her younger brother) That's mine.  I put it in the fridge to get cold.

Him:  Nope.  It's mine now.

Her: Give it to me.

Him: (sipping) Ummm. It's good.

Her:  Mom!

Me: (the sound of a mom ignoring)

Her:  Give me half!

Him: Get a glass.

Her:  You get a glass.

Him: You get a glass.

Her:  Mom, bring me a glass!

Me: (the sound of a mom hiding)

Her:  Give it to me now!

Him: (savoring) Ahhh. So refreshing!

Her:  (the sound of her nearly 18-year old hands dumping a bowl of Fruit Loops* on her brother's chest)

Him: (the sound of his 6'2" frame covered with milk and cereal bits escaping out of the front door)

Her: (the sound of her 6'1 frame bolting to lock the front door.  And then the back door)

Him: (no sound,  just outside prancing like John Cleese in front of the kitchen window miming his complete enjoyment in drinking the iced tea. His iced tea.

Me: (out of hiding and holding my gut with laughter)

Her:  (screaming at me) If you don't stop laughing I will...I will push you!!!!

Oldest Son Emerging From Basement:  You really should do something about this, mom.

Me: Is it 5 o' clock yet?

Food and Drink addictions are serious things, folks.  And so is living with kids.

*I didn't buy the Fruit Loops.  My ex (who lives with us) got 2 boxes free and I had to hide one box from Daughter, as you can imagine.  Clearly getting free stuff isn't worth it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Micro Brews, Spinach and Ex-husbands

What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, encouraging my kids to eat drugs. Well, here's another subject I get a D- in: Arguing in Front of the Children.

As I mentioned, my ex-husband and I still live together.  It's called birdnesting.  The idea is, that since the kids didn't get a divorce, they shouldn't be shuffled from place to place.  With birdnesting, the kids stay in the house, and the parents take turns staying with them.  Only we don't take turns.  Cause we  can't afford it  think it's better for the family.  We each have our separate rooms, but occasionally have a micro-brew together.

The other day I joined him and Daughter on the deck.  The two of them were talking about school and she said something to which he expressed doubt. And if there's one button that Ex can push, it's my Doubt Button.  So to my utter and complete surprise...the PAST came up.  It came up cause I brought it up.

The PAST (combined with a few micro-brews) goes something like this:

Remember when you told your old girlfriend that she was crazy and couldn't have possibly owned a particular make and model car?  Remember?  Cause you said they didn't make them that year.  And so rather than drop the argument, she drove you to a dealership to prove it.  And you were so wrong!!!!

Or the time you doubted me about my brother's first name.  I looked at Daughter.  Your dad once told me my brother's name couldn't be Jack.  It had to be John.  Jack was a nickname, he'd insisted. So I called your grandma, asked her what Jack's real first name was, and put the receiver to Dad's ear.  Proves your dad doesn't know jack.

Or the time, I turned back to Ex, you wouldn't believe the take-out salad I got was spinach.  You said it was too good to be spinach and that spinach wouldn't have such a bad reputation if it tasted so good.  It could so not be spinach, you'd said.  So I called the restaurant, asked what kind of salad I had just picked up and put the receiver to your ear.  It was sooo spinach!!!

You know how when the PAST comes up, it has a way of snowballing out of control.  And it did. It did cause I make it snowball out of control.

Or the time you refused to believe that some people wore pajamas to bed without underwear.  I swear I'm not making this up (oops, I think I just stole that from Dave Barry).  Do you recall how I polled my friends at the Barnes and Noble coffee shop and the results were 50/50.  He'd chalked it up to the fact I have weird friends.  I chalked it up to the fact that Irish Catholics are so out of touch.

Or how about that time, I went on, at the Hampton Inn in Dubois when you contended that queen size beds were bigger than king size.  They had to be bigger, you'd said knowingly, because the queen has more power in chess than the king.  That time the kids came to my aid with confirmation.  They know a king size bed when they're jumping on it.

I mean, really, with all that ammunition what could he say?

Here's what he said:

Why should I believe everything everyone tells me?  It's good to have healthy skepticism.

About Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, I shrieked. Not spinach.  It just shows that you don't have trust in people.

Have confidence in yourself, he retorted.  You don't need to prove anything.

He was right.  So I left Daughter and Dad and went inside to find out the latest scandal in Downton Abbey Season 3.  OMG the baby will be christened a, a.... Catholic!


And so it goes.  Another Day in the Life.  I suck at not arguing in front of the kids. I suck at bringing up the past.  I suck cause I just plagiarized Vonnegut and the Beatles.

But honestly... the fact that Ex has always doubted me and now seems to doubt Daughter... is probably the one single reason he is an Ex.  To me, it shows a lack of trust.  And how can you have a relationship without trust?

This is something that still hurts.

A lot.

Something that doesn't exist in My Fantasy Life.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

How Not to Talk to Your Teen About Drugs

Something is terribly wrong in my household.

Instead of me reprimanding my kids for what they say, they reprimand me.  I'm constantly getting, "Mom, you can't mention your love of beer on Facebook.  You're a teacher."  Really?  As if the two aren't part of a symbiotic relationship.

I'm also told not to talk to my kids' friends about my politics.  "Please, mom. No lectures about factories in Bangladesh.  Just drive us to the mall."

There is no backlash from teens in my fantasy life.

Like the other day.  When I was watching a sitcom with all three of them and a character alluded to marijuana brownies.  I turned to my 20-year old.  "Have you ever had marijuana brownies?"

"Of course not," he replied.

"We'll have to make them for your 21st birthday."

"Mom!" the two oldest yelled, pointing their heads towards their 15-year old sibling.

"What's the big deal?  I'm sure he's heard of marijuana brownies." I turned toward Youngest.  "Have you heard of marijuana brownies?"

He nodded.

And then I get from Oldest, "It's the beer talking. You don't know what you're saying."

"I know exactly what I'm saying," I retorted.  "I'm saying we'll have marijuana brownies for your 21st birthday.  It's much safer than binging on alcohol."

"You won't remember this is the morning," Oldest Son said.

And sure enough, once I woke up I got a "talking to" from Oldest.   "Mom, I don't mind you talking about marijuana around me, but you're being a bad role model for Youngest."

I feel rather indignant when people try to edit me, but I had to admit that maybe Oldest Son was right.  I had a talk with Youngest.

"You know, last night, what I said about marijuana brownies?"

He nodded.

Well...we can't have them because marijuana is illegal.  Now if we lived in Ann Arbor or Boulder Colorado.... Wait.  I's not just that marijuana is's a mind-altering substance.  And if you were to eat the brownies, you'd be sprawled out on the couch with a bag of Doritos laughing your arse off at Saturday Night Live.  Wait.  Saturday Night Live isn't that funny any more even with a side of brownies.  I'd be sprawled out on the couch with a bag of Doritos and laughing your arse off at Family Guy.  Wait.  You already do that. All the time.  You see what I mean? We don't need marijuana brownies to have a good time!

He nodded.

I rock sometimes.


Full disclosure:  I had to look up the word symbiotic to make sure I was using it correctly.  I'm still not sure, but I'm not letting you tell me to replace it.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

What They Don't Tell You About Divorce

So, I am officially divorced now.  But we still live together and he still doesn't do what I tell him.

No matter. I have a lover, he has a lover; it's all good.

Except when you see those bricks at a stadium, or a bench at a metro park--with inscriptions dedicated to spouses--and you now know you won't be seeing your name on one.

When I was at the Art Institute of Chicago recently and I noticed a gallery dedicated by a man to his loving wife, I felt sick to my stomach.  


Why couldn't I have divorced a rich man?

Reason #584 why I prefer my fantasy life.