Tag Archives: insanity

Where the Hell Have You Been, Pony Pants?

Hello, friends! You’re probably wondering where the hell I’ve been and are, frankly, a little insulted that I have been largely absent except for the occasional swoop-and-poop on the interwebs.

I have returned to offer a mea maxima culpa and beg for your forgiveness. Not that any of these things are more important than you are, but here’s a peek at what I’ve been up to.

1. I was in a wedding. My bestest friend and the godmother to my little beasts got married, and for some reason she thought it would be a really good idea to have me in her wedding. We’ve been friends for 12 years (we met at birth obviously) and you’d think she would know by now that I am a chronically late train wreck, good only for make-up tips and bringing magnums of Chardonnay. Either she forgot that, or my sparkling personality blinds her to my faults. Thank God there was a type-A maid of honor to carry the team.

2. My husband works too much. Every summer I go through the same thing. My husband’s work kicks up and he has to stay late doing stuff I really don’t get, but I pretend to, so I don’t look like a heartless strumpet. This means I am a single mom, just trying to survive being eaten alive by two demanding kids, luxuriating in the silence their sleep brings. When he is home, I am trying to connect with him, and by connect I mean ravage, because a girl has needs, you know?

3. I quit my job. Sadly, it wasn’t something worthy of a viral video when I did give notice. I know some people burn their bridges and salt the soil where the bridge supports were placed, but I actually liked the people I worked with. Well, most of them because there are always a few who make you want to poke your eyes out with a spoon rather than have to deal with them. Most of the stress came in wrapping everything up in a neat little bow, because obviously the company is going to crumble without me there. At least that’s what my ego thinks.

4. I am writing, or pretending to. I have you fabulous friends, and I contribute to BLUNTmoms (they are also snowed by my sparkling personality). I’m also trying to get my attempts at stringing sentences together published in a few anthologies, and they have deadlines at the end of the month. Seriously, if this doesn’t work out, I’ll be one sad puppy. So, get your tissues ready; I’ll need you guys.

5. There was a great migration of the elderly. My parents decided to retire and bought a house within spitting distance of mine. While it brings great joy (new babysitters!), it also brings stress (um, you want me to put that bookcase where?). Thankfully they are getting settled and only need The Hubs to do some heavy lifting. They can use him and I get a free meal out of it. It’s a big win for everyone. Except for my husband, who may end up in traction.

So, you see, I am simply a victim of circumstance. Or poor planning. Maybe both. Anyway, I am going try to be better about hanging out with y’all cause I love each and every one of you. Except for you, creepy stalker guy.

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Dear Zumba, I Hate You

In our house, the kids tend to say hate when they are upset with someone/something/anything. I am trying to discourage it because, aside from the fact that it pierces my heart to hear how they hate me… No. Wait. That’s the only reason why I am discouraging it. But, I am making an exception to the “hate” rule for one thing; Zumba.

For those who don’t know, Zumba is a fitness craze where white girls dance around to Latin hip hop music, pretending to get in shape but, in truth, are just trying to look sexy.

Zumba

Preach.

I am sure you’re asking yourself, “Whoa. Why so fierce, Pony?” Here’s why. On a misguided whim, I thought I would sign up for a session of Zumba classes at my work’s fitness center. Typically, I register for one of the many yoga classes. One time, I signed up for boot camp, and it surprisingly wasn’t bad, except for the fact that I wanted to die at the end of every class. A good death, but death nonetheless. This time, I got a bug up my butt and thought, Zumba. Let’s try Zumba.

I went into the first class thinking positive thoughts, like, “It won’t be so bad. It will be nothing like cheer class where you you couldn’t chant Be Aggressive if your hair were on fire and a proper cheer was the only way to put it out.” And, “Just stay in the back for the first class. You’ll pick up the moves and own the place. Or, at the very least you won’t draw attention to yourself and you can sweat in peace.”

I sure know how to build myself up.

When I entered the classroom, I was heartened by the sight of my fellow classmates. It was a nice grouping of women who looked like grandmothers, cubicle surfers, and nary a one of them had 6 packs. There was even a guy. He was probably there for the sexy, but, still. A geeky white guy was in the room. I couldn’t possibly be worse than he was.

“Okay, I can do this,” I told myself. I mean, I’ve done Insanity. You know, the workout with Shaun T, who will smile as he rips your whole body apart and reshapes it with his bare hands. If I can survive Shaun “Keep Your Core Tight” T, I can take Zumba.

One of the girls even turns to me and says, “The teacher is so nice; you’re going to love this class.” I feel confidence rising.

After a brief overview of Zumba, the teacher gives us her only instruction, which was to, “look at her and keep up.” That’s not a lot to go on, but I can do that. I mean, I have eyes and all.

Then the music starts. It’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love Again” by Usher. I’ve always liked this song, so it’s a good omen, right? The teacher moves slowly, and I’m keeping up. Still no instruction other than an errant hand flinging to the left or right depending on where she wants us to move, but that’s OK. In fact, it kind of reminds me of Insanity because we’re starting out with a lot of squats and kicks.

Then the teacher goes off the rails. There are kicks, turns, squats, cha chas and hand flailing. I look around, and you can tell who the regulars are; they are they ones in the “Zumba” branded pants shimmying like they are in the club.

The teacher is singing along with the music and flipping her hair around like she’s the frontman for an 80s hairband. Does Whitesnake need a new lead singer? I found one for them if they do.

I look at the clock. Only 15 minutes have passed since the start of the class. Holy Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I have 30 MORE MINUTES. I’ll never make it. I am tripping all over myself, trying my best to keep up, but all I can do is throw myself in the general direction the rest of the class cha chas.

Even the nerdy white guy is doing alright. On rhythm and everything. I start to think it’s just me, but then I catch the eye of  an older woman who is looking at the instructor like she has lost her damn mind. In my mind, I say to the woman, “You are wise. You know what’s up. Can we leave? Go get some tea? I could use some tea.”

But no, I Zumba along. I even start to hear Shaun T telling me to keep my core tight. Trying to look on the bright side, I think, “Well, if I keep my core tight, that will get a workout, so it’s not a total waste.”

Channing Tatum

Only way I’d do Zumba again is if I had Channing massaging my feet & pride afterwards.

At one point, I actually feel myself start to tear up. I cannot Zumba. No matter how hard I try, I cannot Zumba. I cannot keep up with the mincing footsteps, arm flailing, or ball chains. I will my tears to remain in their ducts, and start to plot my escape. The door is about 5 feet from where I stand; I just need to sneak past the token guy and the chick who swore I would love the class (LIAR!).

Then the twists turn everyone to the back of the room, where I have been trying to hide myself. They are all staring at me as they thrust their hips so I turn and thrust too. It’s a horrifying sight. Sweaty office workers pretending to be zesty dancers. I feel their eyes on the back of my head and I know they are laughing at me on the inside. Searing humiliation consumes me.

Finally, the torture ends and we are all dismissed to go back into the real world.

I am pretty sure the teacher knew how upset I was; I have the worst poker face. Honestly though, I don’t care. I will never Zumba again. I don’t care how much I paid for the rest of the classes; it is not worth the humiliation. I would rather do Insanity while standing on hot coals than return to Zumba. I’ll leave the sexy hip thrusts to my co-workers.

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Did I Really Just Say That?

There was so much that I did not expect when I became a parent; the mind-numbing exhaustion, wearing my child’s blowouts, and the things I would end up saying to my offspring. There is great joy in the stereotypical, “Because I said so,” or, “You get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit,” but then there are these choice nuggets:

  1. No, I will not wipe your butt. You’re 7. Which probably leads to…
  2. Please don’t wipe your poop on the wall. I mean, seriously. How messy can they get when wiping up? And how, after using a half a roll of toilet paper, do they still manage to get it all over their hands? And why do they think their poop hands should touch the wall? There is so much I just don’t understand.
  3. I don’t care how nicely you ask, you cannot have a Ring Pop for breakfast. My kids somehow think that if they put “please” in their request that I will acquiesce. Then, they are sent into hysterics when it doesn’t work. “But, you said to ask nicely! I did ask nicely! YOU LIED! I’m never going to ask nicely again. I’m going to eat this Ring Pop anyway! As soon as I can get it open!” Tears, rolling around on the floor, and leg kicks ensue.
  4. Why is there a used pull-up in the middle of your room? My daughter still uses a pull-up at night, because she has a bladder the size of, well, a small child’s bladder. I don’t care about pull-up use, as long as it doesn’t extend into the teen years, but what I do mind is going into her room after a long day and finding a sodden pull-up or two in the middle of her floor. Why doesn’t she throw it out? Does she like the smell of rotting urine in her room? Is it like fresh napalm for her? I mean, I don’t leave my feminine products lying about after I’m done with them. Because that would be DISGUSTING. I might lose my mind if, as a teen, she does the same thing with pads that she does with her pull-ups. I might even get nostalgic for the days when it was just a pull-up I found.
  5. Yeah, well, you smell like rat-patooties. I am ashamed to admit this, but I have been known to sink to my kids’ level when I am at the end of my rope. I would love to be the perfect parent who always takes the high road and is so awesomesauce that they never even get into a fight with their child because they and their child are so well behaved, fighting is not in their lexicon. Since our family is on the opposite spectrum, I end up saying things like “rat-patooties” and, “no… you are!” We’re all 5 in this house.
  6. You have lost TV in the morning, TV in the car, and when you get out of school. This is something that sticks out, not for the words themselves, but because I said them while trying unsuccessfully to get my daughter to bed. I start by offering her rewards to stay in bed, like watching Sheriff Callie in the morning or snuggling when she wakes up. Then, after about the third time, the punishments get doled out. I try not to take too much away at one time because I’ll run out of bargaining chips pretty quickly. There are nights when I do run out and have to make things up, like, “Your grandparents won’t pick you up from school now.” They weren’t planning on it, but dammit, I don’t know what else to say. It’s either that or, “Go the f to sleep!” in my best Samuel L. Jackson voice. I like to think I made the right choice in that situation.
  7. Who pooped in the hall and ate it? Oh, wait. That’s something I say to the dogs. Nevermind.

While I’m glad I haven’t had to resort to the violent, old-school chestnuts such as, “I’ll give you something to cry about” or, “If I have to come up there….” I still wonder on a daily basis, what the hell am I saying? Is this normal? Am I raising some seriously screwed up kids? I guess as long as I don’t have to ask the kids if they ate their own poop, things can’t be too bad, right?

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A Voyage Into the Second Circle of Hell

Every time I take my kids with me on a quick trip to the grocery store, I have this delusion that they will be well behaved and that I will somehow get through it with a shred of my sanity still intact. Alas, that has yet to happen.

Albert Einstein

Seemed fitting.

I am reminded of the quote, which may or may not have come from Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It probably comes to no one’s surprise, that by this standard, I am quite insane.

Take today, for instance. I wanted to dash ever-so-quickly into the store, grab some milk, grapes, and whatever will help make the polar vortex (part deux) bearable. My son suggested at first that I should leave him and his sister in the car.

Hubba what?

There is no way on God’s snowy Earth that I would do this. Now, I know my parents left me in the car to run quick errands, and while they were gone, I’d read, pretend to drive their brown whale of a Cadillac, eat all of the Certs I could find, and play with the cigarette lighter. No kids were harmed in this act of temporary abandonment and I am clearly not too scarred by this. Now, I, on the other hand, have two bundles of joy that would get bored in about two seconds, find some way to put the car into gear and proceed to run into other cars, shopping carts and delicate old ladies.

So, I try to nip that in the bud as I find a parking space. Since the world figures it’s OK to park like an a-hole because it’s snowing, it takes me awhile. The whole time I hear, “But mom, we’ll be good. I mean, Papa lets us do it all the time.” Papa is my father-in-law. I make a mental note to have words with him later. Or, have my husband talk to him, because I am a wuss.

I bundle the kids up and get them out of the car. The stomp on, squish, and shuffle their way through every pile of black, scummy snow in the parking lot. Of course they do. Because that looks like oodles of fun.

The first fight we have is about what cart to get. They want to get the cart with a car attached to the front. I hate these things with a passion. They are unwieldy, the cart part itself is smaller than a standard cart, and my kids only stay in them for approximately three aisles, or until they see something they just have to touch. Repeatedly. That I means I am left pushing this monstrosity into cereal displays, canned goods, and generally looking like I am a character in a comedy sketch, rather than the super competent mother I am. I would rather shave my eyebrows than get one of these damn carts. 

Somehow, I win the cart battle but then lose my daughter to a pouting fit because I won’t let her ride one of those germ-infested kiddie rides the grocery store has that, frankly, she is too big for. I need milk, not pinkeye.

I could regale you with my adventures once I was in the store, but I don’t want you to suffer the way I have. You might start to twitch and feel compelled to soothe yourself by singing “Soft Kitty” or with a magnum of wine. It was pretty much an endless stream of, “Please don’t touch every apple… No, we do not need doughnuts… I am not buying a $20 piece of As Seen on TV crap, I don’t care how silky it makes your hair… Where the hell did you wander off to now?”

I finally get to the checkout and think I am just a credit card swipe away from freedom, when the kids see it. Sweet mother of all things holy. It’s a GIANT flipping plush animal display. Surrounded by candy. The grocery store wizards decide to put their Valentine’s Day goods right next to the checkout lanes. Oh, I know why. It’s so children, just like mine, see the teddy bears the size of a calf and want them with every fiber of their little being. They LOVE these smiling pink unicorns SO MUCH that they become limp, crying noodles at the sight of them. Now, Jeremy Renner with a pink unicorn? Then we can talk. Until, then kids, get it together.

Let’s just forget for a moment that if I did buy the damn thing, wrestle it home in my car and lug it up to my daughter’s room, she would play with it for all of a day and then move on to another plushy friend.

Typically in these situations, I create a little song and dance about how we can’t get it right now, and what ever holiday may be next on the calendar is coming, so we can get it then. Every time. I don’t care if the next holiday is Arbor Day. I will say anything to get them away from the shiny, pretty thing they have fixated on. I know that some people are thinking, “Just say no. Discipline your children and they will learn they cannot have everything they ask for.” Uh huh. Because I’ve never tried that before. My children have worn me down to the point where I am a desperate woman. I am almost at the point where I will offer them Doritos and a Mountain Dew if that’s what it will take to move them along. I am not proud. I am practical. I value my sanity.

I make it out of there by the skin of my teeth. But, like any good horror story, it’s not over. Not by a long shot. Because I’m pretty sure we’re going to need dog food, toilet paper, or wine. And I am willing to risk a expedition to the grocery store for wine.

To be continued…

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