Category Archives: Partying with the Ponies

George Washington, Jesus, and a Catholic School Education

When my husband and I decided to send our daughter to private school, we thought she would get an exemplary education coupled with a solid religious foundation that would set her up to one day rule the world.

No pressure on her private school.

I think she’s getting a whole lot of religion and history, and everything else thrown at her, because it seems to be blending into an education puree in her head.

The Girl: So, do you know George Washington?

Me: Yes, I do.

Girl: He died.

Me: Yes, he did. (Where is this going?)

George WashingtonGirl: He died and told God to make cars, and roads, and cars…

The Boy: You said cars already.

Girl (talking over her brother): Well, he died. And God died.

Me: Jesus died.

Girl: God died.

Me: Same thing,

Girl: Oh, yeah.

She launches into an Our Father with God Bless America thrown in at the end. Because, why not. Luckily, we don’t go to Mass that often, so she hasn’t had the opportunity to regale the parish with her mish mosh of an Our Father.

My poor son who is in year three of Jesus School, keeps trying to correct her on everything from how to cross herself to the right words to pray to the saints. Although, he does say the saints should, “Hooray for us.”

I kind of like that better than pray for us. Who knows if the prayers will do anything to influence the big guy, but I could really use a “hooray” every now and again. Especially if it’s St. Jude. If the patron saint of lost souls hoorays for me, then there really isn’t anything I can’t do. I mean, he probably saw some really messed up stuff.

I am going to assume that my daughter will sort everything out eventually, but until then, I think I am going to enjoy her interpretation of how the Catholic faith works. Who knows, I may learn a little something about Jesus, and George Washington.

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Portrait of a Harried Mother

It’s Groundhog Day every Saturday in my house, but I don’t have Bill Murray playing the piano or making ice sculptures. Instead, I have two kids with early morning extracurricular activities and zero motivation to get their shit together to participate in these activities.

After a long week of dragging the kids out of bed by their ankles, shoving them into their school uniforms, and tossing them into the hallowed halls of their elementary school, probably with their hair and teeth brushed, they decide to sleep in on Saturdays.

Usually I would praise Jesus, the Sandman, and everyone else for this great miracle, but I can’t, because WE HAVE SHIT TO DO.

The morning prep is a one-parent job because the other one is trying to scrub yesterday’s stink of their body. So that’s one parent to….

1. Feed the dogs, let them out, clean up the poop they’ll leave in the house even though you just took them out, dammit.

2. Convince The Boy, who is too tired to be bothered with pants, to cover up his junk.

3. Rip the nasty pull-up The Girl uses for a toilet off her body so her girl parts can air out and not smell like the hind end of a horse.

4. Feed the beasts, I mean kids, while nudging the dogs out of the way because they are part Hobbit and think it’s time for second breakfast.

5. Beg, plead, threaten, bribe, and anything else that can be thought of to get the kids to put on their clothes. One of these days I will take them to soccer or dance completely naked. I bet they would get dressed for me after that.

6. Shave The Girl’s head when she runs screaming in terror from the hairbrush.

7. Pin The Boy down and scrub the plaque off of his teeth with steel wool, or whatever is handy.

Finally, they are ready and it’s the other parent’s turn to shower. There are approximately 15 minutes to make the magic happen before leaving the house. Today, this was my result. I am so hot I can hardly stand myself.

Wow. Feel my MILF-y smolder.

Wow. Feel my MILF-y smolder.

I wish Bill Murray were here. He’d make the chaos of the morning all better. And he can remind to not drive angry.

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Stopping by Woods on a Muddy Afternoon

Whenever my husband says, “Go with me on this journey,” I usually gird my loins to prepare for one of his stupid totally awesome plans.

This time the journey was to buy a plot of land in the woods, build a cabin on it and then rent it out most of the year so it will just pay for itself.

I was actually more on board with this than the last brilliant idea, which was to sell our house, buy some land and build our dream home. Great on the surface, but the truth is, we’d end up living in my parents’ basement for a year while The Hubs figured out how to build a house. From scratch. For the first time.

So you can see how a cabin in the woods would seem like a much better idea. At least I wouldn’t have to live in that mess while it’s being done. This girl does not do honey buckets, and requires electricity and water just to be content. Call me high maintenance, but I really like showers and power for my Keurig (okay that Keurig part sounds high maintenance).

Seeing that I didn’t say no right away, The Hubs seized the moment and whisked the whole family away one rainy morning to check out possible plots for our wooded kingdom.

The first one up for sale was adjacent to the downtown area of the region. It’s less of a downtown and more of a stoplight with a gas station. As we meandered through the side streets looking for the land, I noticed many double wides and could hear the dulcet tones of banjos in the background. This was not the wooded retreat I was seeking. It was the dark side of going out to the country. I have no interest in meth labs or squealing like a pig.

The road to the second piece of land was much more promising. There were trees, little log cabins, and instead of banjos, I heard cicadas. Now that’s more like it.

The woods

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.

We followed the road, or dirt path covered in gravel, indicated by a prominently placed “For Sale” sign. It was lovely. Flanked by trees, the sun peeked through the leaves revealing a bucolic landscape. There was a stationary derrick, but as my husband pointed out, that would mean the property came with mineral rights and we might not have to pay for gas.

It was getting better and better. I like free gas. (Insert your own gratuitous flatulence joke here)

We came  to the end of the path, and decided to hike around the property to see what it offered. Other than a plethora of trees, there were creeks, clearings perfect for lazy deer to visit, and… 10-foot tall barrels with a metal ladder leading to them. I really don’t know what was being stored there, but it was the only thing wrong with the property.

High on the knowledge that we would be starting a new journey to get all Little House in the Big Woods, we piled into our minivan, ready to take a victory hike to the local caves.

We were ready to leave, but our van was not. In making a u-turn to head back down the gravel path, the little grocery-getter became stuck in the mud.

No one panics, because, hey, it’s just a little mishap. We tried pushing the car, rocking it back and forth, and putting sticks behind the wheels in a vain attempt to get just an inch of traction. The van would shift slightly, and then stop.

Mud, mud, mud

Our muddy little minivan.

Nothing worked. Still, no panic. But, then I heard it.

“I have to go potty.”

Now, I panicked. My daughter had to pee. If it were my son, I wouldn’t have cared, because boys have the natural equipment to pee in the woods. We women, hearty as we may be, do not.

I could not ask her to squat and pee, because I knew that would mean she would pee all over her clothes. She’s 5, and as coordinated as I am. Then, there was a second complication. I had to pee too.

There was no way I would squat either. It was shark week and I did not need to be covered in my own blood as well as my own urine. I could just see my stench attracting every bear and wolf in a 10-mile radius.

Being ever-so-resourceful, I decided to use the ladder attached to the barrels, thinking we could sit on a step and use it like a toilet seat. Smart, right?

I placed a paper towel on the step and had my daughter sit down. Her pee went flying everywhere, but thankfully not on her pants. I helped her clean up and peed on our toilet step too. Since it was shark week, I left a special something behind on the paper towel. Of course, my daughter wanted to know all about that.

“Mommy! Are you OK?”

“Yes, I’m fine. When a woman’s body is ready to have a baby, and a baby doesn’t appear, then the body gets rid of the baby material.”

“Hey, Daddy! Guess what? This stuff is just because Mommy had me. It’s OK.”

Oh, Lord. Yes, please tell everyone and show them what I have going on in my lady land.

We cleaned up, and then got back to the task at hand. I raked all the mud I could from behind the wheels, while my husband gathered more rocks, twigs, and grass to put behind the wheels.

But it wasn’t enough. We were now faced with waiting for a truck to come find us in the wilderness and tow our sorry minivan out. Thank goodness my husband came up with an idea to gather up all the rocks we could find and use them as traction to drive out of hell.

Muddy, tired, and angry at nature, we were free! Oh, sweet freedom!

Later, we discovered that the land we were on was not actually the plot we wanted to buy. Apparently, the one we were looking at was across the street. It explains the gunfire we heard and ATV tracks we saw.

Yup. All that. For nothing. Well, not nothing. It made for a great story that we’ll remember for a very long time. I guess family bonding is not a terrible consolation prize.

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My Daughter, Eloquent to the Core

Five and a half years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. She cooed, cuddled, and exuded a sweet demeanor.

And then, she learned how to talk. Her first word was, “Mommy,” which was the high point of her vocabulary skills. Eventually she moved on to full sentences, and all hell broke loose.

Highlights…

The Girl (to my mom): I know why your cat died.
My Mom: You do?
The Girl: Because he was old. Just like you.

(Playing Let it Goat, a game like Flappy Bird)
The Girl: Ow! My kidney!
The Girl, a few minutes later: Mommy? What’s a kidney?

Sorry about my mother

(During a discussion on the proper terms for anatomy)
The Girl: So, what’s a “fur-china” again?

Me: Why is there yogurt all over the table?
The Girl: It wasn’t my fault! I jumped off the table and the yogurt leapt out!

The girl has declared all windows in the car must be up so, "My hair won't get crazy."

Me: I love you, baby girl.
The Girl: I know.

The Girl: I am being honest; I peed in my pull-up.
Me: so, where is it?
The Girl: behind the toilet.

(Told she needs to go home after a sleepover)
The Girl: No! I don’t want to leave! We’re watching Barbie Fairytopia!
Me: I’m taking you shopping.
The Girl: (stops crying) Oh! I love shopping!

So, there you have it. I am blessed with a daughter who is wily, obnoxious, smart, beautiful, willful, stubborn…. you get it. She’s awesome and I have no idea how to raise her.

Pray for me.

There will be a second installment about my son, who is hilarious for different reasons.

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The Animals Have More Privileges Than The Kids

In my home, there is an unequal balance of power between my children and the pets.

I adore my furry beasts. They will never take precedence over my human babies, but I have noticed they get away with a lot more than my kids do, like…

Eating vomit and trash. Twilight, the middle child of the three pups, will eat ANYTHING. This includes cat poop, used maxi pads, crayons, and her poop.

Shred their stuffed animals or their bed. All of the dogs tend to disembowel their stuffed toys, beds, or anything that is plushy. Sparkles, the alpha female dog, eats the leftover bits and pieces. I discovered this shortly after I adopted them, losing several ducks and chewy ropes in a matter of days. This resulted in me having to pull remnants of rope out of Sparkles’ butt when they were trapped upon their exit.

Sparkles Merida, a Schnauzer like no other.

Sparkles Merida, a Schnauzer like no other.

Beg. Tiny is the littermate of Twilight, but you’d never know they were related because she is one-third of her sister’s size. She loves snacks and belly rubs, and isn’t afraid to ask for them. Repeatedly. Tiny throws herself on her back and squirrels around until you scratch her tummy, where she sits contentedly until you stop, at which point she weaves around your legs until you scratch her again. This goes on for a good 20 minutes until I can escape without getting tangled up in the dog.

Poop on the carpet. Twilight is usually the culprit. This is the primary reason why I am the only one who loves her.

Lie on the steps and scare the bejeezus out of me. Hercules, a 15-year-old tabby cat, may be geriatric, but he loves to lie on the steps and leap at my ankles like a tiny ninja. When the steps are covered in cat-coordinated carpet and I’m carrying something upstairs, there is no way I will see him. I should by lying at the bottom of the steps in a broken heap while my cat prances on my corpse.

Tiny

Tiny, the smallest of the small ones.

Leave their toys out. Do you know how much it hurts to step on a half-chewed Nylabone? Imagine a pile of Legos that have been filed down to sharp points and then torched so they are nice and toasty. Then, step on them. That about covers it.

Roll in carrion. The dogs are mighty scent hunters, and when they find a particularly delicious scent, they want to cover themselves in it. Kind of like when I wear perfume. Unfortunately, the dogs love things that stink. Cicadas, ants, barf, skunk sprayed grass; you name it. Then they like to come and snuggle up to share their putrescence with me.

Lick up the water left behind when I shower. Whenever Hercules wants to let me know that his water dish is empty, he goes into my shower and drinks his fill. I don’t think he’ll die, but I don’t understand how it can be delicious. Would you want to drink a big cup of dirt and soap? Blech.

Poor, sad, middle child.

Twilight. Poor, sad, middle child.

Run through the house like maniacs. The animals get a wild hair up their butt, and start chasing each other up the stairs, down the stairs, and around in circles. They are barking, jumping, and getting underfoot. The cacophony is deafening, but in the end they end up in a furry heap on the floor. I thoroughly enjoy the silence when that happens.

If my kids did any of the above, I would lose my crackers. In the case of eating their poop or rolling in a pile of dead bugs, I would vomit and then the entire neighborhood would hear my rage. Sadly, when I have to discipline the pets, I just say, “Bad dog!” or, “No, Hercules!”

What makes one different from the other? You could argue that kids should know better or that animals don’t have the brain capacity to realize that what they are doing is disgusting. But no one, man or beast should be doing these things. At the very least, they should not be doing them in front of me.

Seriously, it’s pretty gross. It’s a good thing they are cute, because poop breath is not. Now excuse me while I go and rub a tummy before cleaning up a little cat barf.

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Kid Crap I Actually Like

There are a lot of things I don’t miss about being a kid, and things I suffer through now just for the kids. Digimon, Seek & Find books, games where I have to pretend to be a plastic pony spring to mind. But, some stuff meant for kidlets… I actually enjoy.

Playing Barbies. Barbie has some serious swag. The impossible shoes, fashion forward outfits, multiple careers. I don’t want to be Barbie; some of her incarnations are tramp-tastic; I just want the stuff. Her dream house is my dream house. That closet that goes on for miles, an Olympic-sized pool, a horse to ride at any time. It’s Kardashian-esque, but not nearly as x-rated.

Fairies. I hated the portrayal of Tinker Bell in Peter Pan. The short skirt and bitchy attitude just made me mad. So, when the first fairy movie came out, I was less than thrilled. Her leaves left little to the imagination. Why were the other fairies covered up and not her? Is it impossible to add an extra layer of ivy? Of course, my daughter watched it and loved it. Then I watched it and loved it. Tink is an engineer! There is friendship and of that warm and fuzzy crap! Eventually she did get some more leaves, thank goodness. I don’t like my smart, engineer fairies too skanky.

Magic shell. Turns any bowl of ice cream into a Klondike bar. Throw in some caramel, and it’s orgasmic.

Disney World. The princesses! The rides! The sheer magic of it all. Watching my kids having fun, means I have fun too. Plus, did you know that there are many pools where you can sit on the sidelines and drink margaritas? Seriously. The pool is fenced in, the water is shallow and a bar is nearby. That mouse is super fantastic and awesome.

Forts. Take sheets, pillows, chairs and an engineer of a husband, and you get paradise. I don’t fit in them very well since I am not three apples high anymore, but there is something so magical about creating your own little world. The kids love to watch movies and eat popcorn in their fort. For me, it’s a perfect place to hide. Take a glass of wine, go into the fort, and no one knows I am there. There is no screaming or crying in my fort; just blessed silence.

Dilly dallying. When I finally let go, which isn’t very often, I love looking at the world around me. Rabbits, leaves, all that outdoorsy shit. The kids do too. A hike that would take most people a half hour takes us at least twice that, because we’re making dirt mounds, examining fallen trees, and play guessing games with the clouds. I bond with the kids, and I don’t have to put much effort into hiking. It’s a win all over, really.

Giggle & snuggle fests. The kids crawl into my bed on a Sunday morning, and we cuddle up, laugh, and act unbelievably lazy before finally getting up for the day. It’s special and magical and I love it. I also love not having to get out of bed for an extended period of time on the weekends. If only I could convince my husband to get me coffee and a bowl of cereal, it would be perfect.

It’s cathartic to share my secret with all of you. Don’t you dare tell anyone, or else I won’t give you a bowl of ice cream with magic shell. It’s perfect when it’s paired with pinot grigio in a tent.

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