Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let's go for a run, Redneck

Isn't the M & M store a happy looking place?  Until the MacFuddles get there.  This particular M & M store in Orlando, Florida is also the scene of one of the worst MacFuddle meltdowns in recent history.  

It started out so well.  I agreed to buy some bulk M & Ms for the boys.  The nice M & M lady  showed us the line on the bag that was a pound and I told the boys to carefully shoot for only half that, or so.  Boy 2 immediately grabbed the first handle he saw and reefed on it with all of his 60 pound, surprisingly muscled little body.  It seemed to me he would empty the whole tube of assorted M & Ms and we would have to remortgage the house to be allowed to leave the store so naturally, I needed to yell at him, "STOP!!", way too loudly.  There is a possibility I overreacted. 

So, he tried to move to the next tube and empty it into his bag and I told him he was done.  He didn't like that at all: "I still need AQUA and MINIS!!" I shrugged my shoulders which apparently is his cue to begin sprinting through the store. 

While he ran around the entire store at top speed, Boy 1 called something to him each pass, "Stop, Boy 2, you're going to get in trouble!", "Mom will get you mini M &Ms", "There's the security guard!"  I mentally cycled through my options: chase him, yell at him some more, call 911, yell at PHD, run away.  People were beginning to stare at us.

At about the fourth run-by, PHD caught the back of the little runner's shirt which stopped him in his tracks abruptly enough to make me think of the choking noise the dog makes when he pulls too hard on his leash.  By this time everyone in the store had stopped what they were doing to stare at us. 

The whole episode ended with me marching through the mall threatening to change our flights home.  No more fun for anyone, ever, etc. And I am eating all the M & Ms.

Moral of the story:  When you are the biggest rednecks in a mall in Florida, you know shit has gone off the rails.  

Also, the mini M&Ms are better.  I don't know why, they should taste the same as the big ones but they don't.  Weird, right?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nightmare, Project Share

Hmmm, I just found this draft post from last June. There is probably something horribly wrong with it but I can't tell what that might be now, so here goes!

Boy 1 told me he had had a nightmare the night before.  Boy 2 asked him, "Which one?" like he had rented a movie, or something. Maybe he thinks everyone has the same nightmares.  I didn't explore this thought further as I was distracted by the conversation we had just had:

Boy 2:  I have to do Project Share tomorrow. 
Me:  You just did it today and you have to go again tomorrow??
Boy 2:  Yup, Last person of the month gets to start the next month.
Me:  Oh.
Boy 1:  I had a nightmare last night.
Boy 2: Which one?

That may be repetitive.  The point is that the Grade 3 class does a show and tell every morning and each student gets a turn once a month. And it is a horror show for the parents.  Well, probably not the good parents, just for me. 

My thought:  "S*!T, now we are going to fight for another hour tonight so we can get up early and freak out for another hour tomorrow getting that done.", triggered a panic attack, and also meant I couldn't invest much energy or curiosity into the nightmare theories of Boy 2.

He was unusually compliant, blew out a Project Share in 15 minutes and went on with his day.  Full of surprises that child.

The next morning the teacher tells me, all proud, "Boy 2 (She actually calls him by his real name, though, in case you were wondering) volunteered to do Project Share today!" 

Hmmmm, did he now?  When we got home I asked him what really happened. He blushed furiously and said, "I didn't hear what she asked so I put my hand up in case it was something good.  It wasn't."

There is probably an important lesson there about attention to detail, accepting the consequence of your actions or something.  What I want to know is: Is it possible everyone has the same nightmares?  That the people that make nightmares are lazy and keep recycling the same dreams over and over?  

That would explain why Project Share is monthly. Nightmares are recycled.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

One of these things is totally like the other

Sometimes Boy 2 is so much like his father that they actually have the same catastrophes within a short period of time. For example, one Wednesday, I get a yell-call from PHD about five minutes after the start of Boy 2's gymnastics class, "WHERE IS THE FREAKING GYM?"  What? You mean the gym he has been attending for three years?  I can hear Boy 2 yelling in the background, "Why didn't Mom just take me?".

So the following Monday morning I had to work and PHD kindly offered to get the kids to school.  At 9 am I get a call from a sobbing Boy 2.  "Mom, I tried to ride my bike to school and I got lost! Can you come home?" I find out slowly that PHD isn't there but his phone and wallet are so I assume he isn't too far away.  After about five minutes of chaos (not long by MacFuddle standards) PHD arrives back home and takes Boy 2 to school.  PHD doesn't think it is at all strange that Boy 2 can get lost on his way to school even though we have lived in this house and gone to the same school for over three years. I am ready to get a brain scan on both of them.

After a series of befuddled incidents like these over the course of a couple of weeks, I found myself very near my limit one Friday on our way to the garden show.  I was pondering my personal theory that the secret of a successful marriage is having high tolerance to irritation.  What if my irritation barrier was broken?  We are all in trouble. The next time there are crumbs on the counter or socks on the deck, someone will get beaten with my swiffer. We walked through the very busy parking lot, me pondering, Boy 2 doing cartwheels and PHD nearly race-walking way ahead of us, like he usually does.  I was just about to yell at him, "Hey Prince William, do you need to walk so far ahead of us?" in my o-so-attractive screechy voice  when it happened.  Boy 2 cartwheeled onto his feet in time to watch PHD walk directly into the hitch of a truck.  Boing.  His knee even made a cartoon noise. The contact with the truck spun him in a circle. Boing. Good thing he didn't hurt himself because Boy 2 was nearly on the pavement laughing at him. It was pretty funny to me, especially the thought that for Boy 2, being so much like his father, it's like witnessing your own future...Before he knows it he'll be making his own Boing noise...Now in my head I just have to think "Boing" my irritation barrier is strengthened.  It's like a super power. I can't explain it and probably shouldn't even try.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I know, I will cook bacon!

After 11 years of struggling with daycare, rearranging my work schedule, and generally freaking out, we decided it was time to let the boys come home after school on their own. After a week of planning and prepping like some kind of military exercise, I decide we are ready.  On the three days a week I have to work, the plan goes like this:

1. Ride the bus home.
2. Call Mom.
3. Have a snack, but don't cook anything.
4. Practice music, watch TV, play video games until Mom comes home, but do not leave the house.

I was having huge anxiety over the whole deal but I figured at most they would be alone for 31.5 minutes three times a week.  I am mentally unavailable for much longer periods of time even when I am physically present, so it should be fine, right?

Day 1.

Starting at about 3:30, I check my watch, then my phone, then my watch to see if they should be home yet.  Finally at 3:50, I call home.  Boy 2 answers.

Me:  Are you both home?
Boy 2:  Yes.
Me:  Both of you?  You forgot to call me. (They probably barely had their coats off at this point.)
Boy 2:  Oh, I forgot.
Me:  Okay, what are you doing now?
Boy 2:  Cooking bacon.
Me:  Cooking Bacon??  In the frying pan?
Boy 2:  No, in the microwave.
Me:  I will be home right away, maybe wait until I get there and can help you.  I don't want you to start a fire.

My co-workers are laughing at me as I pack up in a frenzy and race home.  When I arrive home the front door is open, the back door is open, there is uncooked bacon on the counter and not a kid in sight.  Boy 1 eventually emerged from the office and using our super sharp detective skills, we correctly deduced that because of the snowstorm the night before, Boy 2 would be at the hill. I found him sprinting up the toboggan hill, unzipped jacket flapping around him.

In review:  I told them to take the bus, call me, don't cook anything and don't leave the house.  They took the bus, didn't call, cooked bacon and went to the toboggan hill. But, nothing bad happened. And they did take the bus.  That's like a 25% success rate.  Could be worse.

Day 2.

I thought "Screw it.  Do what you want."  So they came home, called me, had an apple and practiced their music until I came home.  Do you know what this means? 

Me either.  Probably nothing.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Birthday Boy

At this moment, I am pretending to sternly glare through the office window at 10 ten year old boys who are supposed to be sleeping.  I am also throwing occasional empty threats out at one 11 year old boy. As of midnight, Boy 1 is eleven.  Seems like a week ago he hit double digits. I think it is important to point out that time isn't flying by for me because I am old, it is because I have had a lot of interesting experiences in the past year.  I read a study about perception of time, or maybe it was something I saw on on an infomercial. Probably still legit, though.  

I do, however, notice about a year's worth of development in Boy 1's ability to communicate sarcasm and or disdain for his mother.  Today, or, I guess, yesterday, now, Boy 1 came to the bank with me.  As I stood in line, I realized I hadn't totaled the deposit book for the teller.  I frantically tried to manually add the two numbers before we got the front of the line.   When the teller finally confirmed that my total was correct, I felt like I had won some kind of mathy award. Grinning, I said to Boy 1, "Ha, I got it right, high five, Me."  He says in his best, I am almost a teenager and therefore exponentially smarter than you already, and also slightly bored with you, voice, "You mean clap?"  Yes, I suppose that's what a high five to myself would be.  Doesn't sound nearly as fun though and now I feel dumb instead of funny.  

So I am going to wake him and all his friends up at 6 am with a series of loud, slow high-fives to me.  I deserve it.