Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Motherhood Makes it Better

Last week I wrote about 5 of the killjoys of motherhood. Today I'm going to tackle 5 things that are better with kids:

5. The Zoo. Nothing makes the zoo more fun than having little ones of any age point and smile or even talk to the animals. And, oh, all the pictures you can take!
4. Ice Cream. Going out for ice cream by yourself is fun, but sharing your ice cream with your kids is even better. Especially when the oldest gets a dollop of bright green sherbet on the tip of his nose.
3. Defrosting the freezer and washing the car. Both of these chores become a game with kids. They see the joy in throwing chunks of ice, not the drudgery of moving the freezer. They squeal with delight when you spray them with the hose, not grunt as they bend to scrub the undercarriage.
2. Reading. I still love reading on my own, but there is nothing better than having a little one nestle into your lap or sit beside you with a downy head just under your chin.
1. Christmas. It really is better to give than to receive.

Those are just 5 of the millions of things that kids make better. Have any more you want to offer?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

If Laundry and Pounds were Dollars and Words

It never ceases to amaze me how hard it is to strike a balance in life. Why do we have too much of the things we want less of (pounds, laundry) and too little of the things we need (dollars, words)? And, oh, what tangled webs we weave because each seemingly different thing is hopelessly interrelated.

I often feel that trying to find balance in life is trying to solve a messed up Rubick's cube. If I spend less money, I have to buy cheaper, less healthy foods. If I buy fresh, organic foods, I spend more money. If I keep up with the laundry, I write fewer words. If I go to the gym, I write fewer words. And let's not forget that if I stay up and make my word count, I usually end up eating too much.

Anyone out there have any hints? I haven't even started on the issues of spirituality and balancing children's activities with family time. Or trying to create a social life with other married couples so your children won't be deprived of other friendships.

I'm the master of making things more difficult than they ought to be, so feel free to enlighten me!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Killjoy of Motherhood

You know, motherhood sucks the joy out of some things. Here are five things that are no longer fun:

5. Play-Doh. I don't like picking up little pieces of Play-Doh off the floor. And Silly Putty has been permanently banned from this house thanks to the damage it can do.
4. Water rides. I can't entirely explain this one, but I think it has something to due with adulthood's increased likelihood of chafing.
3. Chewing gum. It gets into hair, the carpet of the car floorboard, ends up in stomachs. Being a teacher didn't help my disdain for gum--my apologies to everyone who's had to suffer my coffee breath due to my chewing gum embargo.
2. Markers. Oh, how I loved markers. I would use markers until they were completely out of ink. Now, I cringe at the sight of them because it usually means Lorelai has found the stash and decorated herself a la Goldie Hawn on Laugh-In.
1. Swimming. Okay, so this one is really the killjoy of womanhood. Swimming was so much more fun when it involved putting on a bathing suit and heading out the door. I don't even mind collecting the towels and accouterments, but I HATE, HATE the landscaping required. I hate that more than the thought of all my extra pounds showing.

So, what about you? What has motherhood taken the joy out of? Kool-Aid? Water balloons? Frog catching?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We have a winner!

Pamela Mason, you are the winner of a nice bottle of Mad Housewife wine. Your name was selected through an ultrascientific process: I put the names into my son's replica Civil War soldier hat, and he pulled it out.

You can expect to receive the bottle just as soon as I either a) find my checkbook or b) meet up with you at a GRW meeting.


Superwritermom is not home right now...

Please leave a message after the beep. Or, better yet, take a stroll over to the Healthy Writers and learn about my complex feelings for my Wii.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another 10 Ways to Know if You're a Bad Housekeeper...

Due to the popularity of the first ten--and that I could come up with examples of bad housekeeping until the end of time--here are another 10 ways to know you're a bad housekeeper. Leave a comment with your own example for a chance to score either a bottle of Mad Housewife or a Publix giftcard to buy one.

10. Your son announces, “I have a new way to get dust off the ceiling fan: bat balloons at it!”
9. Georgia Tech scientists have consulted you as an expert in their latest paper: Stages of Mold in the North Georgia Toilet.
8. Your children’s friends spend precious playtime to tug on your sleeve and inform you that your child really, really needs to clean his room.
7. A favorite family game is Find that Smell. (In all fairness, this one could generally be subtitled: Where did the baby hide the sippy cup of chocolate milk this time?)
6. When you finally do get around to cleaning the refrigerator, you find a casserole that you can’t remember making.
5. You’d rather be in your car.
4. You now know what mummified green beans look like.
3. Your children refer to your bathroom as “the hairy bathroom.”
2. Your son considers defrosting the outdoor freezer a recreational sport.
1. The Island of Sodor has invaded your living room and taken up permanent residence causing everyone passing through to step over bridges and accidentally kick Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends across the room. And they thought running out of that special gold dust stuff was a problem.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Motherhood: the Fashion Faux Pas Adventure

When I'm rushing kids to Vacation Bible School, Choir Practice, a soccer game, I don't feel glamorous. There's certainly nothing exciting about sitting in car pool. In fact, I hate car pool with a passion most people reserve for fire ants or taxes.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Indiana Jones and I actually have something in common.

I may not have to run from boulders, but I'm often in a hurry. I also usually need to keep my hands free, so what do I do? I sling my purse over one shoulder just like Indy does with his satchel.

Other mothers may wince at my lack of style, but sometimes pragmatism beats out fashion sense. I can't catch my three-year-old if I'm holding a Coach clutch. And I have no experience in the area, but I'm sure having your daughter stuff a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a Louis Vuitton would be enough to send you over the edge. But, hey, just try damaging a khaki mesh purse that you got for three dollar on clearance at Kohl's. That's the kind of purse you can't destroy as an excuse to get a new purse; it's the kind of purse that doesn't die just to spite you.

And, to tell you the truth, I wouldn't want my shoulder bag to fray or tear. After all, running after kids can sometimes be just as scary as running away from massive boulders. So tell me about your purse. Are you practical? fashion forward? Somewhere in-between? Do have any purse-meets-kids horror stories?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not a Mad Housewife, Just Not a Good One...

Here are the top ten ways you know you're not a good housewife:

10. You children get excited when you fire up the vacuum because they don't see it that often.
9. Your family considers the pile of laundry on the couch as part of the overall decorating scheme.
8. There are stains on the carpet you can't explain and you can't remember how they got there. You just know they're not poop. You promise they are not poop.
7. Dust bunnies are congregating on the fringes of your hardwood floor. You think they are fomenting a rebellion.
6. It takes you a month to realize you've run out of Scrubbing Bubbles.
5. Your lovely aquarium hand soap bottles now feature fish in atomic sludge because you forgot and bought the orange hand soap instead of the clear hand soap.
4. The shower rod in your guest bathroom just fell for the third time because you are still using the "temporary" tension rod you bought at Big Lots ten years ago.
3. Your children have asked their grandparents to help them change out the burned out light bulbs in their bedroom light fixtures.
2. When you apologize to the bug guy for the state of your house, he says "Hey, I've seen worse" but he can't actually give you examples.
1. The more you clean up, the less you can find.

If you answered yes to more than four of these, I suggest we celebrate with a bottle of Mad Housewife and forget about being bad housewives. Salut!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another Poem....Don't Worry I Don't Have Many More!

Okay, ya'll. I didn't get any comments on my bad poetry last time, so I'm going to assume that the ghazal about potty training is a no go. Take a look at this one, and let me know what you think.

Is this one ready to submit to journals? Does it still need polish? Should I promise not to quit my day job?

The Gospel Truth

The smoke detector in the garage squeaks,
An intermittent plea for a new battery.
I vow to ignore it and have almost succeeded
when I hear mama, mama, mama, mama—
my second reminder this is the Lord’s Day
and I need to rejoice in it. Instead, I grumble and
retrieve my alarm clock, the cuddly doe-eyed one,
ensconce her beneath the comforter
where she, too, succumbs to drowsy warmth.
Just as I drift off, closing my eyes to the
clock that declares it time to shower,
my oldest wake-up call, my trustiest alarm,
Belly-flops on the bed to hug and tickle
his sister whose squeal reminds me of
the smoke detector, still beeping patiently.
Defeated, I leave the invaded sanctity
of the bed to fix breakfast, but it is too
late to go to church, impossible to herd two
unwilling children and their equally unwilling
father into stiff Sunday clothes and stiffer pews.
Later, when all are fed and sassy, I turn on cartoons
and drink my coffee while reading the paper, wincing
at each piece of evidence that all is not right with
the world. But then it’s time for Sunday
lunch, and my only course of action is
to pray and wash away my sins
in the cathedral of my shower.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dear Pandora...

How aptly named you are, iphone app that has opened up a can of worms as well as a world of musical possibilities! I confess that I am now addicted to you, especially as I make long car trips. Where else can I build a radio station around James Brown? Where else can I mix K.C. and the Sunshine Band with the Black-Eyed Peas?

That said, there are a few things we must discuss, Pandora. I really don't want Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson's "Beauty and the Beast" mixed in with my Britney Spears. I know she once worked for Disney, but those days are long gone.

Also, when I say that I like a Ludacris song, please don't load me down with rap. Unfortunately, there are tender ears in the backseat who don't need to hear "You're now turned into the m$#@-f%$$#@ greatest." We all need to get a little dirt off our shoulders from time to time, but could you please consider radio edit?

Oh, and when I skip Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," it's not because I don't like her music. It's because I don't want my three-year-old running around saying, "This my s$#@!" (See plea for radio edits above.) You don't have to send me to the Backstreet Boys. Please don't send me to the Backstreet Boys.

And I'm sorry I blew your mind by pairing Sam & Dave with the Jackson 5 and the Beatles. I didn't know that was going to blow your mind. And I sure didn't know that the love child of those three acts was Stevie Wonder.

Finally, I thank you. I thank you for a radio station dedicated to crooners--although you can go light on the Mel Torme. I thank you for my radio station dedicated to Dr. John even if it does make me want to flee to Bourbon Street.

I know our relationship has already had a few ups and downs, but I can't wait to see what you're going to do with movie soundtracks or 50s music. I think this is love, Pandora. I think we're in it for the long haul.