Archive for December, 2008

What’s in the pipe, Santa?

And whatever it is, can I get a little of that in MY stocking?

Merry Christmas to all of you. Hope you got something good.


RegularMom’s ultimate gift picks.

Worried about breaking the bank this year, getting your kids those essential gifts? Tired of the endless commercialism and consumerism that practically forces you to buy those essential electronic gadgets that break all too soon? Dreading spending more than you can afford on a slew of toys for your kids only to have them complaining of boredom six weeks later? Well, look no further. Here are some fabulous gift ideas that won’t break your budget and that are guaranteed to keep your kids entertained for more than 45 minutes.

10. Car Keys.
Not the plastic play ones…the real deal. Have an extra set of your car keys made this year for your little ones. If you’re really lucky, you’ll have one of those digital car keys, the kind with the buttons that you push once or twice to open doors automatically. Your little angels will spend several delightful hours pushing these buttons and opening your car doors all while you’re busy making doctor appointments or helping someone go potty. There’s no greater joy than knowing that when you look out your window, you’ll find that your car doors have been gaping wide open all afternoon for the neighbors to see, and for anyone to perhaps dig through your CD’s or leftover happy meal toys. On the bright side, at least your car will be cleaned out, and not by you.

9. Toothpaste.
Who needs finger paints when you can just stock up on various flavors of Buzz Lightyear and My Little Pony Toothpaste? Your children will love a couple of tubes of toothpaste in their stockings this year. They come in all flavors, colors and Disney character brands. Kick back and relax with a cup of coffee while your kids go wild in the bathroom, knowing deep in your heart that at some point they will eat some of it (thus accidentally protecting their teeth against cavities), that the bathtub is only a foot and a half away from where the action is happening, and that those toothpasty handprints will dry to a fine pasty piece of memorabilia on your bathroom cabinets and mirrors.

8. Floss.
To continue stressing the importance of good dental hygiene, how about a roll of dental floss or two? They make excellent stocking stuffers and if you can’t get your kids to actually floss the candy out of their teeth, they’ll at least enjoy unspooling the entire roll of floss into a dish to make spagetti. Old cassette tapes are also good for this kind of play.

7. Trash.
If your kids are like mine, they love trash. All the little bits of fuzz and paper, cheese stick wrappers and broken plastic pieces of… well, stuff that used to be important…it’s all more valuable than gold.  Just skip the vaccuuming this year and sweep all that crap into an old battered shoebox, wrap it up, and give it to your kids as TREASURE. Because to them, THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.

6. Your heirloom jewelry.
They learned it at Grandma’s house, how much fun it is to play with real jewelry. Now you too can give your kids this simple joy of losing all your diamonds down the heating ducts.

5. Dad’s heavy-metal-band black boots.
Your kids will LOVE trying these clunkers on, and you’ll love the fact that once they’re actually laced up in them, they simply can’t move anywhere. Perfect for those moments when you just need to use the bathroom.

4. Remote controls.
If you’re like me, you’ve got dozens of these things all over the house, and you’ve never really figured out how to use them anyway. Half of them go to old broken down televisions hidden away in your basement or attic. Give them to your kids and witness the miracle of built-in DNA as they show you how all those little buttons work.

3. Styrofoam.
There’s nothing more exciting than a pile of styrofoam packing material just-pulled from the box of something your husband just bought off E-bay. Rather than throwing that packing material away, give it to your kids. Watch as they crumble it up into roughly two million tiny pieces of “snow” and spread it all over your livingroom. Delight in their endless giggles as they watch you try to pick up all those static-electricity-charged snow drifts. This is a gift that keeps on giving, as you spend days picking it off your sweaters and their underwear.

2. Scissors.
Surely you’ve got an extra pair somewhere? Just hand them over and watch your preschooler amuse herself for hours on end as she cuts through your un-read copy of Time, your clothing and hers, your expensive duvet, her Barbies and stuffed animals, and of course, her own hair.

1. A Christmas tree they can actually climb.
Bring in some heavy equipment, smash through your living room floor and just plant a damn tree. Leave it up all year and let them go at it. Let the kids decorate it with the little bits of uneaten food they leave behind. Then they can enjoy hours of climbing without even having to stop to get a snack, and you can relax in the eco-friendly knowledge that you planted a tree this year instead of chopping one down.

Well, that should take care of all your I-Don’t-Know-What-To-Get-My-Kids-This-Year woes. Good luck with your last minute shopping! I don’t know about you, but I’m already wrapping up piles of stale Goldfish cracker crumbs and dust bunnies to put under the tree. Nothing says Merry Christmas more than that. My kids are gonna be THRILLED!

Ice storm.

Like much of the United States this weekend, we’ve been batting winter weather. It’s not as bad here as it is elsewhere, but it’s enough to keep us indoors and on each other’s nerves. I’ve got the kids doing yoga videos as much as I can until this ice melts enough for us to venture out and see what we can see.

The sun did come out, quite briefly, early this afternoon, only long enough for me to step outside alone with my camera for a few minutes. I snapped pictures until the cold wind drove me back indoors to where pre-Christmas chores awaited.

It’s dark and freezing now, and the kids are finally asleep, and now I’m sitting here looking at these pictures, and reliving that crisp, momentary dazzle from earlier today, and I find it’s better than the brightest, cheeriest Christmas lights.






Right now, sleet is rattling against the windows in my study. It reminds me of what it sounded like outside this afternoon, when the world was melting a bit and pitter-pattering down onto the ice-coated grass.

I don’t know when we’ll be able to get outside again, and I don’t know how many trees we’ll lose in this mess, but I’m still glad of a little ice storm now and then.

Call me crazy.

Article: “Homeschooling Goes Mainstream.”

Education Next is running a pretty decent article on homeschooling, titled: “Homeschooling Goes Mainstream.” The article talks about how homeschooling is growing to include demographics OTHER THAN the denim-jumper wearing, Christian fundamentalist, to include more commonly now, people of diverse ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds. Here’s a brief passage:

…over the last decade families of all kinds have embraced the practice for widely varying reasons: no longer is home schooling exclusive to Christian fundamentalism and the countercultural Left. Along with growing acceptance of home schooling nationally has come increasing diversification of who home schools and of what home schooling actually means.

 It’s a bit long, and somewhat heavy on charts and stats, but well worth the time, if you’ve got it.

Tagged: Special Holiday Edition.

Ami tagged me and everyone else she knows online for this fun little questionnaire, and seeing as how I find myself in sudden need of some holiday cheer after the fiasco of last week’s car crash, I figured I’d give it a whirl. Here goes: What you all are DYING to know about our RegularChristmas.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I always use wrapping paper at Christmas. And I was raised to be a complete CONTROL FREAK about how I wrap gifts. Essentially, the wrapping itself: the precision, the time, the INVISIBLE TAPE, the special curl to each and every ribbon, it’s all part of the gift from me. So, last year, when my mother-in-law took it upon herself to wrap all my gifts because it just wasn’t done in a timely enough fashion to suit her taste, it just about KILLED me. Which, now that I think about it, might actually BE A GOAL OF HERS. Hmmm…. Note to self: Wrap mother-in-law’s gift with wrapping paper laced with itching powder. With extra beautifully curled ribbons.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
Real. Years ago, I decided that it was wrong to cut down trees every year just because we decided it was festive. I went out to Target and bought an artificial tree, and spent a good hour wrestling with it. What a freekin’ nightmare. After all the pieces were connected, I had to individually separate and tweek each bough to make it look somewhat like a tree. RegularDad was horrified that I’d gone ARTIFICIAL on him and watched with enormous amusement while I struggled with that fake tree for quite some time before taking pity on me and helping. What I learned from that experience is that if I use a fake tree, it doesn’t bring in that fresh pine scent that says HEY DUDES! IT’S CHRISTMAS! EXCELLENT! I learned that having to shape each individual fake bough SUCKS because it takes forever and scratches the hell out of your hands. And most important, I learned that getting a real tree means that RegularDad is in charge of assembling the tree. Also, it’s a lot more fun to take the kids out someplace to pick out a tree than it is to drag them up to a dusty attic and make them stand miserably in a cobwebby corner while you drag a large box of fake tree to the stairwell and shove it down the stairs, cursing and moaning about your sore back the whole time. So… what was the question? Oh, right. We get a real tree.

3. When do you put up the tree?
We don’t have a set time. We definitely don’t do the Thanksgiving thing. That’s just too early for me. It takes every ounce of me to get a turkey and all the trimmings on the table on that day. If someone were to add Decorating A Live Tree to my schedule on that day, my head would probably explode. This year, we put up our tree on the first weekend in December because that was the only day RegularDad could do it. He’s got a hectic work schedule right now. It’s nice to have it up so early, though. I may do that again.

4. When do you take the tree down?
The past two years, we had to take our tree down the day after Christmas because we were moving to a new house within a week after the New Year. So Christmas was rushed. The minute the gifts were opened, I was already secretly putting ornaments away. By the 27th, I was all: Okay! Let’s pack it up, people!!! Let’s get this train ROLLING! And the kids would be all: But Mom! I haven’t even gotten to play with that yet! And I was all: Don’t care! We’re moving! Put it in the BOX!!!! So, this year, since we’re finally NOT MOVING right after Christmas, I’m looking forward to not rushing the end of the season. I may leave the tree up till Memorial Day, for all I care. Because I CAN.

5. Do you like eggnog?
BLEAH! What FOOL invented that little nightmare of a recipe???? RegularDad loves it, though. So, I try to remember to pick up a quart of it. And then I try to remember to not kiss him after he’s had some. BLEAH!!!!!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
There were a few Christmases I remember as a kid, where I’d been Just Dying for something and it came! Baby Alive was one memorable gift. I jumped for joy when I opened the box and saw her there in all her diapered glory. Within a week, though, I was exhausted and horrified by that toy. The WORK! The MESS! What had I been thinking?!? The commercial made it sound so IDYLLIC and life-like, but really, it was just GROSS. Now, with my awesome powers of RETROSPECT, I firmly  believe that if they could tweek that toy to include a lot of endless colic and somehow work in an upgrade that would include projectile vomiting — the kind that always finds its way down your shirt — they’d go a long way to solving our nation’s teen pregnancy problem. It’s just a thought.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
My step-mother-in-law. Really. What gift says: Hey, glad you survived that transplant surgery! Congrats on the new heart and lungs! We really weren’t sure you’d make it. New skis? I’d buy her a book, but I’ve done that for the past three years, and I don’t think she reads them. She doesn’t own any books, and the only magazines I see at her place are the National Enquirer and Star. Seriously.

8. Easiest person to buy for?
My nieces and nephews. They’re so little, still, that anything you get them, even if they already have two of whatever it is, is still cool.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. I bought it a couple years ago, for 50% off. It’s porcelain, so I spent a lot of time in our Very Rushed Christmases telling the girls to stop making the angel fly around. It’s one of my favorite things to put out at Christmas, especially because this year I decided I don’t care if one of the figures breaks. That’s why God invented glue.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I used to buy Christmas cards and then never get around to sending them, and then feel guilty for not sending them. They’d always be the first thing I’d see when I opened all the boxes of Christmas stuff the next year. So I’d start the seaons with CHRISTMAS CARD GUILT. Then I got over it, especially considering the price of stamps these days. I don’t even do Christmas e-cards. And I’ve let go of the guilt. The way I see it, I moved 2,000 miles across the country just so that the family could SEE us at Christmas. Do they really need a card, too?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Nothing major comes to mind, so I guess I’ve been pretty lucky. I do remember one year, when the kids were babies still, it seemed like everyone on RegularDad’s side of the family got me really ugly sweatpants for Christmas. It was really depressing.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
The Year Without A Santa Claus. I’ve always loved the Heat Miser.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Whenever I think to. I don’t shop on Black Friday. Early in December, if I’m out and about and I see something that I know someone would like, I grab it. Mid-month I do a big toy run, and a big book run. And then I rush around all hectic for those little things that I always forget until the last minute.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
We have one that we’ve been trying to recycle for about 7 years now, and I still have it somewhere. It’s a copy of “Scene It”, given to us by RegularDad’s brother and his (soon to be ex) wife. We never played it, never opened it. My 8-year-old was a baby that year, and I guess they thought we’d have a lot of time to play the game, seeing as how we were house-bound with a baby. They thing they didn’t understand at the time (oh, but NOW they do) is that being house-bound with a new baby doesn’t mean you’ve got hours of free time to spend playing “Scene It”. Anyway. I re-wrapped that thing and took it along to a dinner party a couple of years ago, because I wasn’t sure if I needed to bring a gift. I didn’t, it turned out, so I’ve been dragging this re-wrapped box of an old out-of-date version of “Scene It” all over the country for years now, and I still haven’t managed to get rid of it. Oh wait… NOW I know what to give my step-mother-in-law!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Shrimp. And prime rib. And my famous Christmas cookies. And mints. And oranges too. Winter oranges are just the best. And popcorn. And those solid dark chocolate oranges that you have to crack open on a table. And sparkling ciders. And cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. With really great coffees. Ahhh… life is good.

16. What decorations are on your tree?
Colored lights, red wooden beads, small wooden or cloth country-looking ornaments. The occasional plastic odd-ball thing-a-ma-jig.

17. Favorite Christmas song?
O Holy Night.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?
Stay home. If people want to see us at Christmas, they can come here. That’s why I moved 2,000 miles east. And, do they come here? Of course not.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Not off the top of my head, no. But my 8-year-old’s got them listed on her bedroom door. I’m not sure why. But it’s there if I need it.

20. Angel on top of tree or star?
Star. I used to have white tree lights and a cute little country-looking angel at the top of my tree. Then I had kids.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
We’ll open a few on Christmas Eve, but the bulk of it will happen on Christmas morning. I have little kids, remember.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
When people drive into your car with their car when you’re sitting at a stop sign and then say things like: Wow! You came out of nowhere! I also hate going into Toys R Us. Every year, I think to myself that I won’t have to do it. That I’ll find everything I need at Target. Or that I’ll get my act together and order everything online early enough. But then, inevitably, I find myself in a Toys R Us late on a Tuesday night, pushing a squeaky blue cart, wandering around wishing I knew what I was looking for.

23 What theme or color are you using when you decorate?
Techno-Color Lights and Stars. With fragile porcelain figurines that children can’t stop touching. It’s all the rage on HGTV this year.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?
Seafood buffet on Christmas Eve. Prime Rib on Christmas Day.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Lots of cash to spend on books. And to get at least 5 hours of sleep. And to have my mother-in-law CHILL OUT for once. A quiet evening with RegularDad under the tree lights. To just have a nice Christmas.

And a new kitchen.

What? Did you think I was gonna leave it at that schmaltzy isn’t-she-so-sweet-never-asking-for-things-for-herself-Hallmark-moment ending? Uh, no.

Will I get a new kitchen? Not this year. But everything else on my list, I’m pretty much guaranteed, so I’m content with that.

As for tagging people for this, I dunno. It’s a longish one. Are you up for a long questionnaire? Go for it. I did it to find my Christmas cheer. And it worked for me. So, if you’re feeling particularly BAH-HUMBUG-ish, then I say give it a whirl.

And thanks, Ami. This was fun.

On the mend.


We’ve all seen the doctor and we’re all fine. The car’s in the shop, and the insurance people are doing their thing.  In a few days, Nana will get on a plane and end up in Texas where she’ll be RegularSis’s problem for a few days. And RegularSis — if y’all plan on calling us on Christmas Day, may I suggest a car ride while you dig for my number? It makes calling THAT MUCH MORE EXCITING!

Many, many thanks for all the well wishes. You guys rock!

And now back to our regularly scheduled holiday season.

It’s RegularSis’s birthday today, but I didn’t call her. Here’s why:

So, I decided to take the girls to see my mother today. We’ve been here almost 2 years now, and we still hadn’t managed to ever visit Nana at HER PLACE, mostly because she moves a lot, so it’s been hard to keep up with her and all her condos and houses and whatnots that she rents. Usually after about 6 months of living in one place, she’ll decide that the neighbors are All Out To Get Her, or that there are BUGS coming through the ventilation system and biting her in the night, or that…

well… you get the idea. So, she moves a lot.

Anyway. I’d been trying to get on over to Nana’s New House for almost a month, and after two cancellations and working carefully over the phone with my mom to figure out a day that would actually work for all of us,  TODAY WAS THE DAY. There was no way I was gonna cancel this again. So, I piled the kids and some snack bags into the minivan and headed out by 11:00. For once, I was on time, and the kids weren’t fussing. The 2 days of rain had ended, and the sun was coming out and drying the world and making things look cheerful. Hell, I’d even managed to not only REMEMBER my cell phone, but to have charged it all night over night.

Not that I ever USE the damn thing.

As we were pulling out of the driveway, I looked in my mini-rearview mirror and said to my 5-year-old: “Honey, pull on that seatbelt until it’s nice and tight… it’s too loose” like I’ve said to her for months and months and months now, and she dutifully pulled on it until it was tight.

Maybe 15 minutes later, just as I was merging onto another road, another car slammed right into the back of my van, seemingly out of nowhere. KA-BLAM!!!!!!!!

You’ve been rear-ended before, haven’t you? You know what it sounds like, yes? That loud hollow KRUMP! The weird way in which you suddenly realize you’ve been jolted badly, even though it will be quite a few minutes before you realize that the rearview mirror is no longer hanging on the windshield but has come THIS CLOSE to clocking your kid in the forehead and now rests on the floor in between the kids’ seats behind you.

“WHAT WAS THAT?” my 8-year-old asked, as I was yanking the wheel over to the right, pulling over to the shoulder. “MOMMY? WHAT WAS THAT?”

“Someone hit us,” I said, “but WE’RE ALL RIGHT. Okay?” I looked around at the two of them. Their eyes were so big and round and stunned. “We’re OKAY, you guys,” I said again. Then, after considering for a moment, I asked them: “Are you okay?”

And they both started to cry.

After a little bit of soothing, I got out of the van and went around to the back, where a woman was waiting. She looked to be about in her late 50’s. We looked at each other for a few seconds, and then I said: “You okay?” She nodded. “We’re okay. You okay?” “Yeah, we’re okay.” and I stuck out my hand and said, “Shake?” and we shook. “You came out of nowhere,” she said to me. I’d been stopped at a stop sign. My van is not equipped with a cloaking device, so I’m pretty sure we were VISIBLE the entire fucking time, but WHATEVER. People say stupid things when they’re at fault in an accident. I didn’t correct her. I just let it slide.

Her husband had been driving and he was still surveying the damage over at his front end while I shook hands with his wife. He wandered over pretty soon. By now, I’d moved from the back of the van to the side and opened the door so the kids could see me. I called the police. Then I called RegularDad. All of this on my rarely-used, often uncharged and forgotten cell phone. I was still on the phone with RegularDad when the police arrived and I was trying to write down my insurance information with shaking hands all while balancing a cell phone in the crook of my (already aching) neck.

The kids had recovered from their fear by now, and the excitement was setting in. They’d unbuckled themselves and had crawled to the rear of the van. They were gaping out the back window at the crumpled car parked behind us and generally test-driving life as Kids Who’d Survived A Car Crash.

The cop took notes and told us what to do next. There were no serious injuries, and the damages weren’t bad enough that we couldn’t drive away. The couple who had hit us were on their way to a wedding, of all things, so they drove off pretty soon, promising to be in touch, and I pulled off into a parking lot, off the main road so I could make phone calls in peace. I called my mother, told her we’d been in an accident and that I wasn’t sure if we could come or not. The kids heard me say that and immediately began to wail. “We Wanna Go To Nana’s!!!!!!!!!!!! WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

So, I hung up with my mom, called RegularDad back, told him I thought we could still go on to Nana’s, so (sweet guy that he is) he drove over to us and traded cars with us. I called our pediatrician’s office because the girls had each said in passing: “Wow, my neck feels funny!” and talked to the nurses about it, and we made appointments for both girls for Monday morning. I’m torn between concern that I shouldn’t wait until Monday and relief that we don’t have to actually go into an Emergency Room. I hate Emergency Rooms. With all of my heart and soul.

We drove on to Nana’s house and arrived only two hours late. We had a late lunch, and then the girls looked at piles of old photographs of me and RegularSis from way back when. For some reason, I’ll never understand, my mother had saved some pictures of me with probably every boyfriend I ever had as a teenager, and those were peppered in among the shots of me and the dogs, me and the horse, me at graduation, etc, etc etc. “Who’s this?” my 8-year-old asked, holding up a shot of me and some old asshole boyfriend I used to date.

“Mom!” I said. “GROSS! Why do you still have these?”
“I don’t know,” she said. “This stuff was in storage for a while. I can’t remember what’s in there.”

I fielded quite a few cell phone calls all afternoon, from insurance people and RegularDad, and I was just starting to get tired and my neck was starting to complain even more, and I was ready to head back home when my mother said: “Hey, let’s take a drive into town!” “HOORAY!” the kids said, so I stifled my sighs and we all clambered into Nana’s car and headed on into town.

And suddenly, I was force-fed a trip down memory lane. That’s where the candy store was, that was our pizza place, and there’s the fountain but it’s closed up for winter, oh look the old theater’s still there, they just refurbished it because it was so moldy in there that people were getting sick every time they saw a show but it’s really nice now, and look! there’s the dry-cleaners where Aunt Susan used to work, remember that…

And I swear to God, the whole time she’s driving the car and pointing out landmarks, she’s simultaneously holding her cell phone with her right hand and flipping through her call history, looking for RegularSis’s new phone number. Because it was RegularSis’s birthday today (Hey, Happy Birthday RegularSis! Sorry I didn’t call you, but you wouldn’t fucking BELIEVE the day I’ve had!) and she thought we should call her to wish her a Happy Birthday. So, she’s driving down narrow, crowded streets and stamping on the breaks whenever another landmark from my crappy childhood comes up, and then after pointing it out, she steps on the gas again and turns her attention BACK TO HER CELL PHONE, and I’m sitting there in the front passenger seat (THE SEAT OF DOOM), not 6 hours out of an earlier car accident, asking myself: Oh for the love of God and All the Saints, IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING???

And then my 5-year-old said: “Aren’t there any toy stores around here?” and just as I was finished saying, “Hey! Christmas is two weeks away. The last thing you need today is new toys,” my mother said, “But there is a toy store here! A really great one!”

So we ended up in a toy store TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS where the kids took forever picking out a toy each because I’d imposed a $20 limit on them, and then I said to my mother JUST TO BE CLEAR: “Are YOU paying for this? Or am I paying for this?” because with Nana, you’re just never sure who’s picking up the tab.

She paid. She probably can’t afford it, but she paid.

So, after that, I told my mother that we really needed to get going, because RegularDad was waiting to take us all out to dinner. We were walking back towards the car, and the wind was picking up. It was cold. “Let’s just stop and see the Christmas tree lights!” Nana said, so we crossed to the square and ran through to where there was a tree with lots of colorful lights. “Pretty!” I said, “now, let’s go.”

“Doesn’t anyone want ice cream?” Nana asked. “Or coffee?”
“No,” I said. “Not today.”
“Who eats ice cream in THIS kind of weather?” my 8-year-old said, shivering.
“Mom, we’ll come back in the summer,” I said to her.
“Okay,” she said, and we trooped back to the car.

There was still a half hour of time left on the meter. “Well,” Nana said, “we’ll just have to sit here for another 30 minutes.” and she laughed a little at her little joke. But then, instead of starting the car, she spent a good 5 minutes digging through her purse, looking for God knows what.

“What are you looking for?” I asked her.

“My notebook,” she said. “I took it out in the store, when I was getting my money, and now I can’t…” and she trailed off, all while emptying the contents of her purse out into her lap. Then (mercifully), she held up a little book and said, “oh, thank goodness. Here it is.” and then she flipped through it, still looking for RegularSis’s phone number, but to no avail. “Mom,” I said, “we can call her later. We really need to get going.”

So, we started back to her house, but she took the long way back to show us the surrounding country side and her friend’s property, complete with horses and goats. It was getting dark by now, and I’d be driving back to Pennsylvania in the dark and in rush hour traffic, but there was nothing I could do about it.

Finally, we arrived back at her place. I rushed both girls from her car to mine and said a fast, fast goodbye, which means we were out of there in ten minutes — a personal record for us. Five minutes into the drive, I tried to dig through my purse one-handed to find my cell phone to call RegularDad to tell him we were late. But I couldn’t find it, and considering that we were in New Jersey and it’s illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving, I gave up. Two minutes later, my 5-year-old had a tantrum in the backseat because the toy she’d picked out didn’t have quite what she thought it did in the box. Forty-five seconds into that tantrum, I read her the riot act. The word “damn” made its way out into the air of the car. Things got quieter.

Suddenly my cell phone began to ring from somewhere in the depths of my purse. The word “dammit” floated out into the air as I groped for it again. I found it and managed to flip it open one-handed just as the last ring died away and the thing chirped out its signal that I’d missed a call.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!” I yelled, at the top of my lungs.

Instant quiet in the back seat. The kind that makes you feel like the worst parent in the world.

I managed to call RegularDad back and told him we were late and started blowing off steam before I could even stop myself, and he said: “So, I guess we probably won’t go out to dinner then?” And I was beyond the ability to even think about dinner. All I could think about was getting across the God Forsaken Delaware River and home to where I wouldn’t  have to drive a car, or be in a car, for the rest of the day.

We made it back home without further incident, complaint or tantrum. We took the kids to a diner for dinner. I ordered a  Bacon Burger with Fries, A Pepsi, and Chocolate Ice Cream for dessert. I didn’t make the kids eat a single vegetable. I lingered over dessert.

We’re home now and it’s well after 9:00 and the kids are still up. And they’re watching television. Lots and lots of television.

And now that I’ve gotten this all out for you to read, I’m gonna go put the kids to bed, and I’m gonna go have a nice hot shower and then I’m gonna make myself some popcorn and watch whatever’s on.

Because this day is DONE, my friends.

Happy Birthday, RegularSis.

I’ll call you tomorrow.

About RegularMom

I don't have time to write this blog. You don't have time to read this blog. Let's do it anyway.

Email me:
regular_mom at yahoo dot com

Fair Warning:


Home of the…

Proud recipient of…

The Legalaties

All images and written text on this blog is copyright ©2007-2014 RegularMom.

This means that all the stuff written on this blog is, like, MY stuff. As in: Not YOUR stuff. Don't take my stuff without asking, okay? It's rude.


%d bloggers like this: