Maybe we can pencil you in...

Today after school I had to herd my herd right off of the school bus and into the car. I practically ran them home from the bus stop, dislocated limbs as I yanked backpacks from their little bodies and chucked them in the front hall (where they still sit), threw some fruit snacks at all of them and hauled them all out to the driveway. They were so shell-shocked they were actually cooperative. We had appointments right away and although it goes against my nature, everything I stand for, and my regular habits, I HAD to be on time for them. After those appointments I schlepped them home quickly where the oldest changed out of school clothes and into soccer attire while the youngest two grabbed a quick snack (and the youngest threw a shit fit because I felt that a bag of rice did NOT qualify as a snack and we should NOT bring daddy's empty beer bottles to soccer...) It was so freaking hectic getting everyone out of the car, grabbing what we needed and back into the car in literally 7 minutes I was ALMOST tempted to go do a few shots of Cuervo before heading to the soccer field. Apparently drunk parents at public parks are frowned upon...weird.

As I sit here now, finally mildly relaxed (read: sitting and semi-frantically making mental lists of all I have to do at home)watching the two youngest play happily in the sand (read: one is throwing it and one is rolling in it) and the oldest practices with her team I am so very very thankful that my everyday is not like this. I would be a raging alcoholic. I know of people whose days ARE like this. EVERY.FREAKING.DAY. I don't think I could function, nor could I successfully keep track of appropriate schedules, times, and places. I'd end up with a tball clad kid at karate practice on pee-wee football night.

I just don't have it in me to "schedule" my kids. I am fine letting them participate in sports; obviously as I am currently watching the oldest play soccer. They can do whatever they want...within reason. It can't cost more than a mortgage payment (sorry Sam, no figure skating) and the schedule can't be completely out of control (dance class 4 nights a week?? I don't think so) Last spring my schedule made me want to hurt people as the oldest played softball twice a week, the middle played tball twice a week, and the leftover day I spent drunk. My week was shot. I often prayed for rain so practices would be cancelled. It's not that I don't want my kids to experience stuff like Jazzercise, choir, underwater basket weaving, Chess club, Young Scientists club, recycling club, Bible study, yo-yo group, and competitive yodeling. Bring on the experiences. Just squeeze them into the school day somehow.

I want my kids to have time in their day to BE KIDS. I didn't like our schedule today and I guarantee you, by the time we get home, shove some dinner in them, bathe and bed them all WITHOUT giving them a chance to play..they'll realize they didn't like it either. I can handle it one night a week, maybe even two. But I don't want to have to SCHEDULE time for my kids to be 9, 6, and 2. You look at kids today and they are shuttled from ballet to soccer to the counselor to the dermatologist to jazz/tap combo to the chiropractor and rounding it all out with a stop at the herbologist. WHAT.THE.FUCK???? Kids are way overscheduled. No wonder they have to see a shrink and have early onset anxiety disorders. They've got way too much shit to worry about. A 9 year old should worry about which shirt to wear tomorrow and whether or not she knows all of her spelling words for Friday. She shouldn't be worrying about if she'll even have TIME to study her spelling words in between dance class, therapy, the dermatolgist, and Bible study. I know something is seriously wrong if my kids have more shit scheduled on the calendar than I do. I don't want to have to pencil in time for my kids to ride bikes and scooters, play with neighborhood kids, or just sit and veg out. Kids NEED that. Hell, who am I kidding, I need that. I can't be constantly shuttling kids from one activity to another. Drunk driving is illegal. I realize as they get older and are involved in more, schedules are going to fill up and conflict. Unless I lock them in their rooms, turn them into social recluses, and deny any involvement in any extracurriculars, their schedules will become slightly overloaded as they age. But I'll be damned if I'm going to synchronize calendars on my iPhone for my elementary school-aged kids. The ones who pick their noses, should still get help wiping, and get excited about pudding in their lunch boxes. (ok, so this could be my husband too, but for the sake of example I'm referring to my kids...)

As they get older they'll want to do more and my calendar will fill up whether I like it or not. But for now I want them to be able to have time in their day to unwind and be kids. So in between the once-a-week soccer practice I'm fine with only having reminders of when library books are due on my calendar. Shit, what day is it today????

When did birthdays start sucking?

So it's my birthday next week...and there is part of me that is still shit-myself-excited.  Does that part EVER go away?  That little kid inside who anticipates an upcoming birthday for weeks in advance? Even though I'm a grown up and supposed to pretend that I dread the arrival of each and every birthday?  When did birthdays start sucking?  WHY did birthdays start sucking?

Remember when we were little and our birthdays were like a national holiday?  A day when we were convinced that the world SHOULD in fact revolve completely around we long suspected it did anyway? My son's birthday is just a month before mine and I watched him in the weeks leading up to his big day.  We planned his party, he made his "I want that for my birthday" list, he chose the flavor of cake he wanted, he changed his mind about the "theme" 62 fucking times (don't worry, I'm not bitter about that nor am I upset about the pile of unwanted party favors that I can't find the fucking receipt for...)  And he was genuinely excited about his birthday.  He could not have been more excited about it.  All adults should be like that. 

I know far too many adults who could give two shits about their birthday.  And just as many who act as if they'd rather visit the gynecologist, the dentist, AND wait in line at the DMV all on one day.That makes me sad.  When did we reach a point in our adult lives when birthdays are supposed to suck?  I realize that we have grown up responsibilities and most days feel like a Monday but one's birthday should be a welcome "vacation" from the everyday.  Your birthday should be your chance to be the center of attention (even for those of you who swear you hate that...enjoy the oodles of Facebook greetings, need to talk to anyone)  Your birthday should be used as your excuse for EVERYTHING....don't fold laundry, it can wait until tomorrow...why make your day worse by dealing with everyone's underwear?  Don't cook anything, make someone else do cook or take you out.  Or feel no remorse whatsoever about eating total shit all day long.  You can.  It's your birthday and calories don't count (I'll find the research that backs this up later...just trust me on this one)  Go treat yourself to something new...don't buy ANYTHING for the kids when you go to Target.  Go get a mani or a pedi.  Plop yourself down on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry's.  Your birthday should be about YOU.  Stop pretending it sucks.  Birthdays are fucking awesome.  Yep, we're grown ups now and don't typically have blow out parties with bouncy castles, pinatas, and goody bags but we still deserve to have a special day.  Why the hell not?  Getting older doesn't suck THAT bad...I like to think I'm getting better with age (work with me on this one...)

In our 11 years of marriage my husband has been gone for nine of my birthdays.  Yep, nine of them.  And yep, my birthday means that much to me that I've counted.  Shit, I am a middle child...number 3 of 6...when else was it going to be all about me??  October 12th, dammit.  And guess what?  He's going to be gone again this year.  Am I going to mope about acting like someone took a dump in my Cheerios?  Nope.  Why would I do that?  It's my birthday dammit...sure I still have to do the daily tasks that MUST get done (like making lunches, changing diapers, putting the kids on the bus...) but you better believe I'll be squeezing in "it's-my-birthday-and-it's-all-about-me" whereever I can throughout my day.  Want me to pay my mortgage?  Fuck off, it's my birthday, I'll do it tomorrow.  The toilets need to be scrubbed?  Bite me, do it pee all over the damn thing anyway.  You want WHAT for dinner??  Too damn bad, you'll be lucky if I bother to feed's MY birthday dammit.  I don't dread getting older (minus the effects of gravity and whatnot...but that's a separate post) and I think that birthdays are something to be celebrated no matter how old you are.  Whether you're 6 or 36 (no, I'm not turning 36...just sounded good...) everyone should KNOW it's your birthday.  They gave us fucking crowns in Kindergarten, why not in our 30's? 

Totally kidding about the crown part...kind of...