Don’t you just love an MNO (Mom’s Night Out)? I remember when the kids were babies and I wouldn’t even consider it. I don’t know why – heck, I probably needed it more then than I do now! Luckily, I’ve finally come to my senses and try to get out for an MNO a few times a month.
It started with a book club which progressed to a bar club. After more than a year of meeting at the bar, one of us thought maybe we should try to get a little culture back into our MNO – so we headed off to the public library to hear an author speak. We all planned to meet there, but some of us were running a bit late and I received a text from my friend who was already at the library asking if it were some kind of practical joke and telling me we should all get there as soon as possible because she was afraid she was going to “catch the menopause.” As soon as I walked into that library, I understood her text. There were elderly people in every row. Women were knitting. It ended up being a great experience and of course we topped it off with a stop at the local bar. I got home that night though and couldn’t help but wonder if it meant that we were getting old.
The next cultural outing was to see a play “in the city.” We’d all looked forward to it for weeks! We had dinner reservations just before the show and were all gussied up for a night downtown. We arrived at the restaurant and it was filled with older people. I just thought maybe that was what happened when you dined early. When we ran into the theater, with less than a minute to spare, I sat down and took a look around and realized that we were again some of the youngest people there.
This time, it felt different. Being the youngest people in the crowd feels kinda nice. I mean, we’re forty, anytime we feel younger is a bonus! So as we were headed home that night we talked about finding some other places we could venture to and be the youngest. We’re currently researching the local bingo scene. There’s one stipulation though, they have to serve cocktails.
Since I was little, I’ve loved anything sparkly and fancy. I am from Cranston, that may explain some of it, but I always thought it was just how girls were. As I got older, I started to wear less and less of anything even remotely fancy.
When my daughter was born, I was so happy to have a little princess that I could dress up! I loved when she was a toddler and would wear princess dresses and tiaras. Bows in her hair! High heels around the house! Eye shadow all over her eyes and forehead! It was perfect – everything I thought it would be.
Then, BAM! Tweenagedom. What a downer. No more pink, ever. A bow? Forget about it. A rhinestone, some silver stitching, a ruffle? All absolute NO’s! It’s the most frustrating thing about having a tweenage daughter. She really still does love this stuff, she tries it all on at the store, even lets me buy some of it. But actually wear it? No way. Suddenly it’s all about jeans and sweats, Uggs and sneakers. It’s got to be some kind of peer pressure or crazy group think, but girls her age actually think that they look better this way. They look like slobs! Slobs in hundred dollar boots!
Strangely though, at about the same time that she started to despise anything sparkly and girly, my love for them grew! I’m instantly drawn to anything with sequins, rhinestones and glitter! I recently spent an hour trying to decide between a purple patent leather purse and a shiny gold purse. I’m suddenly buying flower and rhinestone clips for my hair. Wearing far too many bracelets and enormous cocktail rings. It’s like Freaky Friday – except, I’m still the responsible one.
I’ve been explaining my reclaimed love of all that glitters as “embracing my Cranston-ness” – but really, I guess I’m still a princess after all. And, considering the crown they gave me for Christmas, my family thinks so too.
We had planned this fabulous vacation to the Bahamas. We were looking forward to it for months. But as it got closer, I was going insane packing for 5 people, and doing everything you need to do to get ready for a week away, You know what I am talking about…the laundry, the shopping, the mail, the trash etc…etc…I was already stressed out and we hadn’t left yet. I was worried. Was it going to be a vacation for me? Was I going to have any fun? I was not so sure.
We started our vacation by being detained at the airport because my son thought he should bring his Fushigi Ball in his backpack. Then my daughter was complaining that her backpack was too heavy. When I went to see what she had in there, I discovered that she thought it would be a good idea to bring her Children’s Dictionary and her new world record book, that she got at the book fair, and 6 American Girl books. So who do you think carried the backpack? That’s right. ME.
It was not looking good so far.
When we got to our destination there is so much to do and the kids immediately wanted me to do everything with them. I wanted to have fun with them, but I was also hoping for a little relaxation too. They had me going down water slides so high and fast! I had never seen slides like these before! They had me hanging on to a tube for dear life while riding rapids and, yes, screaming! The Lazy River was more my speed, but I did it all! I jumped waves and built sandcastles and waited in long lines… all for the happiness of my children.
Still, I really just wanted to relax.
But a funny thing happened on about the 3rd or 4th day. I was actually having fun! The roles had reversed. I started dragging them to things and I heard myself saying, “Let’s go on that BIG slide”! and, “Let’s jump these great waves”! and, “Do you want to do that AGAIN?” I would ask them over and over if there was anything else they wanted to do before the day was done. We didn’t go to bed early and I was ok with that. I was not watching the clock thinking how much longer are they going to stay up. I wanted them to stay out as long as possible.
On our last afternoon, I was in full on fun mode! They couldn’t drag me out of the water. I kept saying “C’mon! These waves are awesome!” I think they thought it was funny seeing their mom get crushed by wave after wave. Finally they waved to me and said they were going back to the pool. They actually left me there having fun all by myself.
After a lot of wave crushing and a lost pair of sunglasses, I decided to rejoin my family, but it was nice to know that I could have fun just because I wanted to have fun, and not because I had to have fun “for the kids.”
So it may not have been the sit- in -your –beach- chair- and –read- a- book- vacation, but it was a GREAT vacation…..even for me.
When I told a friend that the lady from the packy said hi to me at the Homegoods, she said that was a red flag. Two red flags, actually. One just for calling it the packy. Then she said drinking wine at the laundromat by myself with my People magazines when the dryer was broken was another red flag. Now I’m up to 3. So, it’s either time for an intervention, or a cocktail…
With that in mind, I’d like to share with you an idea the other Minivan Mom had after February school vacation – Mimosa Monday. I’ve included a copy of her super-cute email invite below so you can all have a Mimosa Monday as well.
Mimosa Monday is in effect!
Come on over to re-connect.
One long school vacation,
Equals one tiny delicious libation!
Let’s toast to a great week anew,
And this vacation in the rear view.
The joy begins at half past 9.
To see you all would be so fine!
Celebrate the end of this week with the kids and the start of school again! Invite your friends, sit back and enjoy the empty house once again!
I live about half an hour away from where I went to school, and even though 30 or so miles isn’t far, in this small state, it’s like another world. I never see anyone I went to school with.
Imagine my surprise, while shopping with my 2 youngest at a local gift shop, to spot someone I remembered from school. Someone I don’t remember well. We certainly weren’t friends. But, we did go to school together. And, since I’m a grown up now, and I try to be a good person, I thought, “I’ll just catch her eye and say hello.” So, I did just that. Well almost that. I caught her eye alright, her STINK EYE. She gave me the stink eye! We’re forty-something year olds. We don’t give the stink eye. We say hello. I decided that was that, enough of me trying to be Miss Nice Girl and started to leave. As I attempted to gather my children, my little guy had a full on meltdown, kicking off shoes and everything. By the time I managed to escape, I’m sure Stink Eye knew exactly who I was.
Fast forward a few months and my little guy has just started preschool. I was really enjoying that 2 hour and fifteen minutes to myself – maybe a little too much – and was running late for pick up one day. There was no time to wait for the elevator, so I took to the stairs, running. Just as I reached the second floor landing, SPLAT! I fell flat on my face. No sooner had I landed, the door opened, and Stink Eye walked out. AND STEPPED OVER ME.
Well, that was about enough of that. So that’s how it was gonna be – she was going to pretend she didn’t even know me. Fine by me.
A few years have gone by since, and I’ve seen her here and there and no big deal. Until a few weeks ago when I attended a seminar and she was there. Stink Eye and me, in the same 2 and a half hour seminar. So, being the grown up I am, I immediately texted to the other Minivan Mom that Stink Eye was there. But, instead of using Stink Eye, I used her real name. Her whole name. And I ended my text with “shoot me now.”
Not a big deal, right? Not until later on that evening when I realized that my friend had not responded, so I wrote on her Facebook wall. Here’s what transpired:
Me: Did you get my text? I may blog about that experience.
Other Minivan Mom: No I did not get your text. Did you send it to ME? Haha. What experience?
Me: Great – maybe it wasn’t you. Crap! I used LAST NAMES and everything!
Me: I knew I shouldn’t have taken up texting.
Other Minivan Mom: Uh oh! I just double checked and sorry but I got nothin!
Me: Now I can’t even find my flippin’ phone. Picture me in a full on freak out right now!
Other Minivan Mom: Got it.
Other Minivan Mom: I mean I got the image in my head, Not your text.
Other Minivan Mom: Calm down and breathe.
Me: Wait, when I called you this afternoon, was that home or cell?
Other Minivan Mom: I don’t remember. I can’t remember 5 minutes ago.
So here’s the moral to this story. You don’t have to be Miss Nice Girl all of the time just because you’re a grown up, but if you’re still gonna pass notes (ie texts) like you’re in junior high, just make sure they get where they’re supposed to be. And, never, ever, use real names.
Last night I left the trash out. I mean really out. In the middle of the kitchen, with spaghetti on top. My husband was out late, and I’m sick of doing everything, so I left the trash there in a very massive passive aggressive way.
This morning when I came down the trash was still there! I took a few breaths, started my coffee and then very dramatically calmly, asked him to take out the trash. He did. But he left the can, with no new bag, in the middle of the kitchen.
In my next life, I’d like to be someone who can walk by the full trash in the middle of the kitchen, step over loads of sorted laundry waiting to be taken downstairs, walk in and out of the bathroom, closing the door as if there weren’t 3 towels strewn on the floor, and put one more plate atop the pile in the sink as if I’m playing a game of Jenga.
The only way I can imagine that happening is if I were to come back as my husband. But then I’d have to deal with me. So, a better idea would be to come back as a dog.
I ran into a friend at preschool drop off the other day and she looked amazing. So, I told her. And she replied, “Thanks! Ugh, I haven’t had a shower in like a week and so&so’s been puking since……”
I seriously didn’t hear a word after that. I was too consumed with the idea that I had showered, that very morning, shaved my legs, spent 35+ minutes blow drying my hair into submission and even used bronzer and blush.
And still, if you placed us side by side and asked random people on the street who had spent hours getting ready and who had a puking kid and hadn’t showered – the people would not pick me as the one who’d spent hours getting ready.
What the what!?
So I was on my way to a swim class when…
No, this is not a joke. You know when people say live and learn – well this is one of those times.
I was on my way to take my son to his swim lesson and my oldest said she had a lot of homework and could she please stay home and work on it. So I said yes because we are starting to let her stay alone for short periods of time during the day. She is responsible and I trust her. But then my very sweet, but also very independent 8 yr old said, “Well, I have a lot of homework too. Can I stay home too?”
Now, my morning had started with a flood under the sink and went down from there so against all reason I said…You guessed it! Yes.
While I’m at the pool, which is only a few minutes away, I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach like that I was going to regret that decision, but it was too late.
Next thing I know my phone is ringing. It is not from home. It is the über super mom from the PTO wondering if I got the e-mail she had sent me. I answered by saying that I wasn’t home, but I would check when I got home. She then said,…
“I know you’re not home because I just called your house.”
Can you see where this is going? Now this is a mom I admire. I don’t want her to think I’m a total screw up. And being the good mom she is, she just wanted to make sure that everything was on the up and up.
I only have a few rules when I’m gone and NOT answering the phone unless it’s me is #1!
Well, my very sweet, but independent 8 yr old thought it MUST be her friend calling her, so she answered the phone. When the über super mom from the PTO asked her if she could speak to her mom she said, “Oh my mom is not home.” When the über super mom from the PTO asked if she could speak to her dad she said, “Oh my dad is not home either.” Then, a very concerned über super mom from the PTO said, “Well, who is watching you?” My daughter answered, “My baby sitter.” So the über super mom said, “Well, let me speak to your baby sitter please.”
And do you know what my lovely, sweet, independent daughter did?
SHE HUNG UP ON THE SUPER über MOM FROM THE PTO!
Which led to the über super mom from the PTO calling me, and my being completely busted!
Learn from me people. Just don’t answer your phone.
Due to scheduling conflicts, my ENTIRE family left at 7 this morning. For the day. How about that for a little “me” time?
It was unexpected, so I haven’t quite mapped out my day, but here’s a rough draft of how I think it will go:
Let dog out
Let dog in (it’s raining)
Empty full sink into dishwasher
Run said dishwasher
Throw another load of laundry in
Fold the 2 loads already on the couch
And, wait for it…
Take a shower!
By then it’ll be about 8:30 and I’ll be running late (again) to pick my mother up for her doctor’s appointment in the city. After the appointment, I’ll drop her off, politely say, “no thank you” to a lovely lunch out and speed hurry back home to pick the little guy up from school, make his lunch and head off to work for 2 hours before speeding hurrying back for the bus and then starting from “let dog out” all over again.
Now, if this isn’t the “me” time I’ve been craving, I don’t know what is.
The forms came home in the backpack. It was inevitable, kindergarten registration time is here. In the packet is a list to help determine if my guy is “ready” for kindergarten.
My friends all say,
“He’ll do great!”
“It’s going to be wonderful!”
“He’ll love it!”
Who cares about him – what about me? What about my readiness? How am I going to do? I’ll tell you how – not well. Not well at all.
We’re talking about Kindergarten. For. The Whole. Day. From 8 something in the morning until 3 something in the afternoon. My baby’s going to be gone ALL DAY. Doing godknowswhat. Well, I have some idea of what he’ll be doing. But I won’t know EVERYTHING. Kids withhold information, they give you the bare minimum of details about their day. And, most of his day will be spent away from me.
He’s my last one. The baby. I wanted him home longer. With me.
The big kids have lives of their own, lives that involve friends, afterschool activities and sports. But the little guy, he’s still all mine. Once he goes to school, that’ll be that. He’ll be a big boy. And I’ll be…what? Home alone, all day? Don’t get me wrong, I like a little free time here & there. Preschool is just fine for me, a little over 2 hour break in the morning. But the whole day?
I’m just not ready.