There’s booze at Epcot

I have been around the world and back again.  Yes, my Disney family vacation has come and gone and I am now depressed back in Amesbury with all of it’s non-magicalness.   A trip like this one (where we surprised the kids to boot) is so wonderful and easy to praise.   But that’s no fun to write about, so instead here’s my 10 Things I did not want to see/experience while partying with Mickey, Minnie, Mom and Dad.

10.  Half-shirts.   I struggle with this one because on some girls, a half shirt is just what the Doctor ordered.   However, these girls are few and far between at Disney World a/k/a the Fattest Place on Earth.  I know it’s hot lady, but your half-shirt window closed long before you pushed out your fourth kid and started eating ice cream after every meal.  Please, loose tank tops are your friend and we all thank you.   Not that I am perfect, let’s see # 9.

9.  My legs, in April, in shorts.   Why is my Irish ass surprised every year when the nice weather hits?  

8.  The price tag of any and everything.   I get it, Disney costs money.   But when the bill for your pizza and salad comes and it’s $200, well….let’s see # 7.

7.   My own tears.  Coincidently, the night I left Epcot in tears was the same night I discovered tequila flights in Mexico.   

6.  My family, after 24 hours a day of together-time.   Even the most loving of families reaches a breaking point, right?   Mine was when I accidently walked in on my Dad in the hotel bathroom, and I’m guessing my Mom’s was when I started crying at Epcot.

5.  Fancy shoes.   Really, the only thing one needs to pack for the Disney adventure is socks and sneakers.   I tried like a fool to wear high heels one night when we went out to dinner.   Rubbing prosecco on your blisters helps, but only if it’s $18 a glass.

4.  Kids in hot tubs.   Get the hell out of my hot tub!  A dad let his 2 sons throw around a damn football in there on Wednesday night.   That’s bad parenting right there.

3.  Gift shops.   After every ride, around every corner, there it is!   The pin your child needs!   The Cinderella crown your child needs!  The bag of cotton candy your child needs!  The batteries YOU need for your vibrator back home…..oh wait.  Those I didn’t need right away I guess.

2.  Hand holders.   Another one I struggle with, am I jealous I am not in a hand holding type of relationship???   Nah, you guys are gross.

1.  All the pictures my creepy husband took of Belle and Sleeping Beauty.   More of the 2 of them than of the kids during their magical week.   Oh well, I guess it’s better than taking pictures of the fatties in half-shirts….or trying to hold my hand.

Have a Magical Week!!!

 

Field Trip Survivor

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It arrived innocently enough in my son’s backpack a few months ago, a permission slip for a class trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. They were looking for as many parents as possible to help chaperone the precocious 6 & 7 year olds and I must have been feeling generous or I felt that tinge of guilt that comes when one thinks about their middle child. It was unusual for me to even examine the contents of his backpack if you really want to know the truth. God, could I even find his classroom? I decided to be a good Mommy and signed my name on the dotted line. March 18th, 2014. It was so far away at the time I hadn’t noticed anything odd about the date.

February turned to March and I flipped the calendar page on my kitchen counter and that’s when I saw it. The color drained from my face and I felt as if I had the wind knocked out of me. The 18th of March is the MORNING AFTER SAINT PATRICK’S DAY. Those sneaky bastards sent the paper home before Christmas KNOWING I wouldn’t put 2 and 2 together. It was a conspiracy, I was convinced. I felt duped. I felt angry. I felt actual fear. Fear for the inevitable hangover I was now going to have to suffer on a school bus with a bunch of kids that don’t have the sense to use their indoor voices around me. Anger returned, followed by guilt. Christ, get it together woman. It’s not like you’re 21 years old anymore, get a grip! In my defense, however, this year for the first time in my career as a barmaid I had Saint Patrick’s Day OFF. Unheard of. I had visions of pints and Irish music while I reunited with all my closest alcoholic cohorts. All these dreams were smashed to pieces.

So I spent last night being good (red wine instead of a 12 pack), listening to the Cranberries and cooking a delicious meal in the safety of my own home. So boring. No one was puking, throwing punches, or crying in a glass of green Budweiser. This sure didn’t feel like Saint Patrick’s Day to me. But you know ”KIDS COME FIRST”. I swallowed 3 Advil just to be safe and hit the sack.

While I was excited to spend such quality time with my boy and explore a museum I had never been to before, part of me was dreading the small talk with the other moms. Surely, they would all be in the PTA and I would be the outcast. Albeit, a cute outcast in my Chuck Taylors and my Dickies bag slung over my sweet rack. When I arrived at the school, the kids and the guardians were already standing in line outside. I scanned the crowd for any hot Dads and came up empty. OK, put my game face on and was determined to show whoever was in my group that I was the fun Mom and we were going to have a grand ol’ time. There wouldn’t be any frowning and scolding “No Running Johnny!” from me that’s for sure. I found my son and was informed I only had one other kid in my group. Easy Peasy. He seemed like a good kid and I enjoy this age, truly. These boys just want to have fun. I resisted the urge to pick the crusty boogers out of his nose (my #1 pet peeve about your kids) and we climbed onto the yellow school bus. (I always think of Chris Farley when I encounter a bus driver….he really was the best wasn’t he? RIP) Continue reading

Field Trip Survivor

20140319-080448.jpg

It arrived innocently enough in my son’s backpack a few months ago, a permission slip for a class trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History.   They were looking for as many parents as possible to help chaperone the precocious 6 & 7 year olds and I must have been feeling generous or I felt that tinge of guilt that comes when one thinks about their middle child.   It was unusual for me to even examine the contents of his backpack if you really want to know the truth.  God, could I even find his classroom?   I decided to be a good Mommy and signed my name on the dotted line.  March 18th, 2014.   It was so far away at the time I hadn’t noticed anything odd about the date.

February turned to March and I flipped the calendar page on my kitchen counter and that’s when I saw it.   The color drained from my face and I felt as if I had the wind knocked out of me.  The 18th of March is the MORNING AFTER SAINT PATRICK’S DAY.   Those sneaky bastards sent the paper home before Christmas KNOWING I wouldn’t put 2 and 2 together.   It was a conspiracy, I was convinced.   I felt duped.  I felt angry.   I felt actual fear.   Fear for the inevitable hangover I was now going to have to suffer on a school bus with a bunch of kids that don’t have the sense to use their indoor voices around me.    Anger returned, followed by guilt.  Christ, get it together woman.  It’s not like you’re 21 years old anymore, get a grip!   In my defense, however, this year for the first time in my career as a barmaid I had Saint Patrick’s Day OFF.   Unheard of.   I had visions of pints and Irish music while I reunited with all my closest alcoholic cohorts.   All these dreams were smashed to pieces.

So I spent last night being good (red wine instead of a 12 pack), listening to the Cranberries and cooking a delicious meal in the safety of my own home.   So boring.  No one was puking, throwing punches, or crying in a glass of green Budweiser.   This sure didn’t feel like Saint Patrick’s Day to me.  But you know  ”KIDS COME FIRST”.   I swallowed 3 Advil just to be safe and hit the sack.

While I was excited to spend such quality time with my boy and explore a museum I had never been to before, part of me was dreading the small talk with the other moms.   Surely, they would all be in the PTA and I would be the outcast.  Albeit, a cute outcast in my Chuck Taylors and my Dickies bag slung over my sweet rack.  When I arrived at the school, the kids and the guardians were already standing in line outside.  I scanned the crowd for any hot Dads and came up empty.  OK, put my game face on and was determined to show whoever was in my group that I was the fun Mom and we were going to have a grand ol’ time.   There wouldn’t be any frowning and scolding “No Running Johnny!” from me that’s for sure.   I found my son and was informed I only had one other kid in my group.   Easy Peasy.  He seemed like a good kid and I enjoy this age, truly.  These boys just want to have fun.   I resisted the urge to pick the crusty boogers out of his nose (my #1 pet peeve about your kids)  and we climbed onto the yellow school bus.  (I always think of Chris Farley when I encounter a bus driver….he really was the best wasn’t he?  RIP)

We three squeezed into the 2nd seat from the back and I soon discovered it was right over the heater.  It became unbearable before we even hit the highway to head to Boston.   I peeled off my jacket and then my sweatshirt and still felt like I was in molten lava with just a thin white T shirt on.   So I reached up to open the window a little bit.  Fresh air, everybody loves fresh air, right?  I started to feel not-so-menapausal finally when some little asshole girl across the aisle demands, “Can you close the window?!  We’re FREEZING!”  Fuck you little girl.   I shut the window while the driver proceeded to hit every pothole from here to Cambridge.   In my mind all I could hear was Eddie Money singing “her tits were SHAKIN’!” because man oh man my boobs were bouncing up and down so much I almost couldn’t stop looking at them myself.  No wonder these turtleneck wearing ladies wouldn’t talk to me.   This really was one hot bus ride.

We arrived and I was told we could all go and do our own thing as long as we all met back at the lobby at 1pm.  Sweet.  Oh, one more thing, we couldn’t buy anything at the gift shop because not every kid had money to get something and it can cause hurt feelings.  (cue: Flight of the Conchords) That was fine with me until I saw all the cool shit in the gift shop.  I never wanted to buy a rock more in my life.  The lady working there needed to sit and spin on a walrus tusk, she was such a douche bag.   I don’t care for people who scold my son when he isn’t doing anything wrong.   Playing with the puppets in the gift shop to me isn’t something to get all worked up about.  Go.sit.on.that.tusk.   She also made some comment about the fact that the kids weren’t buying anything.  Hey lady!  That wasn’t my rule!   I would gladly give you twenty dollars for a peacock feather and some minerals….but I’m a rule-follower (clearly).  I’m trying not to hurt feelings.  (sorry little girl from the bus)

We had a great time exploring the exhibits and of course the boys and I had a chuckle at a very realistic carving of a naked man, balls and all.   Sadly, that’s the only thing I’ll mention from the museum.   See what hanging around with 7 year old boys gets ya?  

So, all in all I had a good day.  I fulfilled my motherly duties and ate 2 bags of chips.   But make no mistake, next year St. Patrick- IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.

 

Next up, the Tour de France

As we begin our transition from Winter to Spring here in Massachusetts, one of my favorite activities is upon us once again…bike riding.  Ever since I was a young girl, my bicycle was my ticket to freedom, my connection to the outdoors, my outlet to get moving and a great time to laugh and talk to my friends riding with me.   I am glad to have passed this love on to my children, but today’s trip was one aggravation after another and it’s a wonder I didn’t just peddle right into Lake Gardner and call it a day.

It was a balmy 50 degrees and the massive amount of snow we got this year was melting so I decided around lunchtime that when the boys got home from school we would all grab the bikes and helmets and ride off into the sunset, hair blowing in the wind while we sing and laugh and they all declare me the best Mom ever…!  It didn’t quite go like that.

First, you have to convince the children they want to go on the ride.  You would’ve thought I asked them if they wanted to go get their teeth extracted the way they grumbled and moaned and protested at my suggestion.  The oldest was watching Modern Family in the living room with all the curtains drawn and the lights off.  He had just eaten 7 snacks rapid-fire and was now hiding under a Snuggie because I invited him to go outside and get some exercise and fresh air.   “I already had gym today!” skinny jeans declared.  To which I asked “Yeah, what did you do today in gym?”  He then proceeded to show me some stupid planking-like body move and said he had to hold that pose for 2 minutes.   Kids today are such pussies.   What happened to dodge ball?  Climbing a rope?  Track and Field?  The kid is in front of me doing damn yoga.  No wonder all his classmates have muffin-tops.   “Change your pants.  Let’s go.” (all biz mommy) Being the first born (aka the perfect child) he went upstairs immediately and grabbed some sweats and a sweatshirt.   One down.

Next up, the middle child.  Ugh.  Seven year old boy who will talk until your ears bleed.   He is usually the most active of the 3 so I was surprised when he ran upstairs and tried to lock himself in the bedroom he shares with his older brother.   The pile of clothes in his doorway helped me to slow down his attempt, and the door wouldn’t close all the way.  That’s a win for Mom.   To the bottom bunk he went, complaining about who knows what.   I have trained my ears to stop hearing at the first hint of whine.   Ultimately, what got him up and moving was the promise that he could borrow a Wii game from the library while we were out.  Hey, whatever gets him there.  I assume he knows they have books too but I’m not 100% on that.   Two down.

Baby girl has the best deal in this whole gig.  She rides on a toddler bike seat that sits in front of me while I peddle my ass off.   She thinks it’s cute to pretend she’s out of breath and winded.  I do not think it is cute.   But honestly, riding on that bike with her is one of my favorite things ever and we have an absolute blast.  Soon, she will be learning to ride her own bike so I cherish her at age 3.  She changed out of her fancy dress and tights was ready to go.    Three down.

Now, to get the bikes out of the garage.  They were hanging upside-down on these big ass hooks so I had to bust out the ladder and get them down.   I got two awesome new bruises while doing this.  But I did it.  Three heavy bikes down.   I’m slightly out of breath so I pause and notice #1′s bike has a flat front tire.  Shit.  I forgot that when we put them away for the winter.   Now try to find the bike pump and his helmet, which of course isn’t with the others.  (Why would it be?)   Found the pump, but it’s useless.  The tire is junk.   Pulled out the ladder (again!) and pull down his old bike from when he was 6.   He tried to appease me but it really was too small for him to ride and he’s not Puerto Rican.  Put that bike back up on the hook.  Called hubby.  Gave him the measurements and the new tire would be arriving in about an hour.   But who can wait?  I suggest to my son that he go borrow his friend’s bike.   Twenty minutes later (the kid lives 2 doors down) he arrives with the bike, and the kid’s brother.  OK.  One more kid, why not?  I already have three so I might as well have a hundred.   We’re almost ready to go.  The 7 year old has to climb out of the tree.   I have to fix the zipper on my back pack, fill a water bottle, grab my overdue library movies (AND books) and hit the road.   OK, lift my daughter and try to buckle her in the seat.   She’s apparently grown a foot since our last ride and needs the straps adjusted.  Lift her out of the seat.   Adjust two of the stupidest straps ever constructed in life. This took a solid 6 minutes.  Neighbor kid asks if we can stop at the store so he can buy gum for MCAS.  (huh?) Oh and can I hold his ten dollar bill?   Strap the babe in and click her helmet.   We’re almost out of my driveway.  Look at my phone, it’s been exactly an hour from when we started.  

The main road we have to take to get downtown is over a mile long and riddled with potholes.   My middle son stopped riding his bike approximately every 30 seconds and walked it.   I was starting to lose it.  And for the first time ever, it was car after car after speeding car on this old country road.  WTF!?  Got all the kids on the right side of the road and started to feel the stream of muddy water that was kicking up from my back tire onto my bum & back as well as my white backpack with the bobby pin zipper.   (breathe, Kerry, breathe)  Bike walker boy finally gets some momentum and then promptly falls right in front of me.   I have NO patience for this bullshit move.  ”You’re fine.  Get up” was all I could muster while gritting my teeth and rolling my eyes.  Supermom!  

We flew down the hill, babygirl and me!  It is a glorious trip down Whitehall Road but we are already dreading the return.  (What flies down, must walk up)  We made it to the library in 25 minutes (it’s less than a mile and a half away) and here I sit, catching my breath and letting off steam via my keyboard while the kids all ask me “Are we going yet? Are we going yet?”  

Thank God you’re listening.  Next stop, gum for MCAS.  After that, six pack for Supermom.

 

One is NOT the loneliest number

Greetings from my local watering hole, where I am holding off on Keno to talk to you about the benefits of alone time.  Earlier as I was driving home from work I heard the song “One is the Loneliest Number” and I started to wonder (and drift into the middle lane) if one IS in fact, the loneliest number.   Let’s examine and appreciate what benefits come from solitude….hold on, let me order another beer…(drinking alone gets a terrible rep but that doesn’t deter me)

First of all, I should preface that I have given birth to and am currently raising 3 children.  I am married and living with my spouse in a townhouse that we outgrew four days after we moved in.   Alone time for me is as rare as finding a pearl in an oyster.   Though even before I was saddled with this baggage I call my loving family I wasn’t afraid to ride solo.   The first time I went to a movie by myself I saw ‘My Girl’ and I am more embarrassed by the fact that I paid to see that movie than the fact that I had no friends that wanted to spend 2 hours with me.   I survived that experience and have relished any alone time ever since.

When is alone time a good thing?

1.  The Bathroom.  It’s not gonna happen but I dream of the day when the door doesn’t open mid-wipe.  Hey, you kids wanna learn about tampons this early in the game?  I didn’t think so! So quit opening the damn door without knocking!

2.  Singing in the car.   I know I don’t sound like Idina Menzel in Wicked but damn it if I’m not going to try when I’m alone in my car.  I can only imagine my distorted face as drivers pass me by.*   Also, I’m certainly not going to play Air Supply’s greatest hits when I have a passenger with me.   This is a perfect example of “only when you’re alone should you listen to this” music.

3. Shopping.  Any mother will testify to this:  if you get the chance to go food shopping without your kids you think it’s a mini-vacation.  It is so friggin sad.

4.  Chore Time.   I laugh about this because since I stopped taking “uppers” my house has suffered, but occasionally I will try to tidy up.  This is when I really do not want my family around.  The kids grumble at my barking orders and my husband watches me work and tells me how to perform these tasks more efficiently.  Which only ensures that he will be strictly masturbating for at least 2 weeks.   Coincidently, the same time frame that I will let the laundry pile up.

5.  Gross stuff.   I’m a human being.  I need to pick my nose sometimes.  I want to relax on my couch like Al Bundy with one hand down my pants.  I burp.  I fart.  I bite my nails.   Please let me do these things without an audience.

6.  Bad TV.  Maybe you all don’t share my love for Little House on the Prairie re-runs or What Not To Wear.  But please let me have my zone out time.  (dirty movies also fall under this category)

7.  Concerts.   I’m the worst because I may purchase tickets with you, but once we’re there, I’m ditching you and hopping seats to get as close to the stage as possible.  It’s nothing personal.

8.  Eating.  You don’t want to try to share a plate of nachos with me when I’m hungry.  You are going to lose.

9.  Sleepy Time.   I want all the covers.  I want Parks and Rec playing while I fall asleep.  I want to wear the unsexy pajamas my mother bought me for Christmas and not be judged.

10.  Vacations.  Another rarity in my life is a solo vacay.  But it has happened (though I was pregnant with my daughter at the time) I was able to attend a good friend’s wedding in California without my husband or 2 sons.  Yes, it was at a winery and I couldn’t really imbibe proper, but just travelling alone is such a treat.  You do what you want when you want to do it.   Amen.

 

*No one passes me on the highway

Bad Parenting

BadPArenting

I need to bring myself down a couple pegs as far as patting myself on the back every day for my amazing parenting skills, and being the coolest Mom in town.   There’s plenty of stuff that I guarantee I’m “doing wrong” and it’s high time I humbled myself.  (Though make no mistake, I am the best there is.)

1.  Their Homework.   When I say I don’t give a shit about their homework, I mean I really do NOT give a SHIT about their homework.  I get emails from Quinn’s middle school teacher which I can only assume tell me in great detail their nightly assignments so I may “keep up with my child” and stay on top of them.   Listen, I already went to school.  I already suffered enough in this lifetime doing my OWN damn homework, I’m not about to care about yours.  I am raising you to be self-sufficient.  That’s my job.  Do your homework.  Remember the assignments without my prompting.   Sure, we read together, and I will give ideas for your projects, but get the math problems out of my face.  They keep changing the rules anyway so apparently my long division was all wrong this whole time…you don’t want my help.  Trust me.
2.  Their Diet.   I try, sometimes.  I cook delicious meals on occasion that contain green vegetables.  There are apples in their lunchbox.  But my bad habits and picky-eater personality are being passed down to these kids of mine.  Yes, I take them to McDonald’s.   Yes, I squirt whipped cream right into their little mouths while they chirp at me like baby birds.  I put cheese on everything.  I have never tried a peach or a plum and I doubt any of them will either.   One good thing is they’re all afraid to try soda, even after my telling them how delicious it is.
3.  My Drinking.   If I’m home on my night off you can be sure of 2 things.  I’m cooking a cheesy dinner, and I’m chugging beers.   Sorry kids.
4.  Church.  Luckily my Catholic do-gooder husband takes them every week, and CCD too.  I usually work late on Saturday nights and then a Sunday day shift.  That’s my excuse and it’s a valid one if you want to eat and have a roof over your head.  I have been known to declare “Jesus knows I closed the bar last night” while flipping over my pillow and pulling the covers up over my head.
5.  Playdates.   UGH, just typing the word makes me feel like a bad parent.   If my kid doesn’t push the issue, I sure as hell don’t either.   I hate to group all of them together, but the moms out there just aren’t cool.   If I’m at your house, offer me a beer if we have to talk about the fucking PTA for the love of God.  Quit helicoptering your kids at the playground.  Stop talking like a bunch of uptight nerds.   Buy new jeans.  Be real.  I don’t need phony bullshit in my life.   Do me a favor, just come pick up my kid and take him for however long little Johnny no siblings needs a friend.  And make sure he eats a healthy snack while he’s over there.
6.  My Language.   It’s no secret that I use colorful language.  OK, I abuse it.  I watch movies with swears when the kids are around.   I listen to explicit lyrics until one of them finally says “Mom this is really inappropriate”  (‘Gimme the Loot’ I am looking in your direction)  They know the song “Kyle’s Mom is a Bitch” from South Park and laugh hysterically along with me when Dad’s not home.  They’ve been in the car when my road rage kicks in.   It sucks.  I feel guilty.  But screw it.
7.  Bedtime.  Hey, you can’t go to bed yet, Walking Dead is on.
8.  Video Games.   I remember Atari 2600.  I played Frogger all damn day and my parents were fine with it because it was the only time I wasn’t biting my nails.  So I afford my kids the same luxury.   Play video games.  It’s together-time if you ask me.   My boys love to play Toy Story 3 and Harry Potter on the Wii.   Just don’t turn into an asshole, that’s when I shut it off.
9.  Extra Curricular Activities.   My oldest is a boy that has zero desire to play sports.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But I just don’t push them as hard as I should to try things they might end up enjoying.   Should I raise them to be more competitive than I am?   Probably.  But I feel like they’re just naturally going to be the best, effortlessly…like I am.
10.  Money.   I should be teaching them to be better with money than their Mom and Dad.   As I look over at this $7.00 plate of nachos on my table at the restaurant I’m currently at with my daughter.   (Who I just ignored for the last 30 minutes while I wrote this.)   Hey, at least I didn’t have my face buried in my phone the whole time, right?