Archive for March, 2009

Best fortune EVER.

RegularDad picked up Chinese food on the way home from work tonight, because he wanted to eat, and according to my calendar, the only way I could have made it home from both an afternoon tea party followed by a mad dash across county lines to the gym for swim lessons in time to cook a meal tonight would have been something even Einstein would have had trouble figuring out.

So – Chinese food it was.

Good deal.

Have you noticed that Chinese places aren’t giving out the right number of fortune cookies anymore? Like, they always seem to give you one LESS than the total number of people you’ll be feeding in front of the TV later on? What’s THAT all about?


Tonight, with a mere three fortune cookies on the table, we gave one to each child, and then RegularDad gave me the third and final cookie. (Because he’s sweet like that.)

“I’ll split it with you,” I told him.

“Okay. I’ll take the cookie half. You take the fortune half.”


And here’s what my fortune said. Word for word:

Silence is a virtual. Especially
Dinner time, from telemarketers.

So, there you have it. Wise words from some automated fortune cookie writing software that’s apparently come down with something. Not that I didn’t get anything out of it, mind you. From now on, when the kids start acting up, I’ll be able to say to them: Now, now, girls. Don’t forget. Silence is a VIRTUAL.

Eh, maybe I should have held out for the cookie half.


Unfrazzling the frazzled.

Last week I took the kids through the McDonald’s drive-through. (I know, I know – a homeschooler eating fast food – freaky ain’t it? Next thing you know, we’ll be cursing like sailors and playing video games.)

Anyway. So, it’s dinner hour, and the kids are a bit of a sopping mess after swimming lessons, and RegularDad’s working late or bowling with his boss, or something, so I’m all: “Hey, who wants McDonald’s?” and reveling in those spare few moments when I am THE GREATEST MOM IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, and I pull into a mildly long line  at our local McD’s and wait a while.

Now, mildly long lines at the drive through don’t bug me all that much, because it gives me time to take the girls’ orders, and let me just say that the decision between a Hamburger Happy Meal or a Chicken McNugget Happy Meal followed by the agony of not being allowed to get soda because it’s not the weekend followed by the interminable silence that is my 5-year-old deciding between chocolate milk and apple juice can take a FREEKIN’ ETERNITY. So a long line can sometimes be a bit of a boon sometimes, is all I’m sayin’.


So, we get up to the speaker and upon hearing that age-old metallic garbled welcome-to-mcdonalds- can-I-take-your-order, I give the kids’ orders, and then I ask a question about something on the menu, something that’s just a dollar. I dunno what. Just something. And there’s this utter silence at the other end — like the girl in there fell into some BLACK HOLE OF UTTER DOOM AND OBLIVION because I didn’t just say And gimme a #4 with Coke — and then someone else gets on the line and answers my question and we move on to the payment window, and finally up to the next window where I’m handed a few bags of “food” and I pull up a little bit so the car behind me won’t be delayed, and CHECK THE BAGS.

Because long experience has taught me that you never just drive away from the McDonald’s drive-through without CHECKING THE BAGS. Because they always forget the sauce. Or the straws. Or the fries. Or something.

This time, HORROR OF HORRORS, they’d forgotten the TOYS!

MOM!!!!!!!!!! my 5-year-old cried. THERE’S NO TOY!!!!!!

(AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!! Let Loose The Hounds of Hell!!!!!!!!!)

What? I said. What do mean? No toy?

Then my 8-year-old said: I don’t have one either.

And so much for the drive-through. We parked the car and went inside and waited 10 minutes for someone to help us. There was only one register open, and the girl working that register was obviously, PAINFULLY new at this job. She had someone shadowing her, telling her exactly what to say, which buttons to push, where to find the apple pies, etc, etc, etc.

And you could SEE IT on her face: how frantic she was. What a nighmare her afternoon had been, and that the evening was probably going to be at least just as bad, if not worse. I suspected that if I were to elbow my way to the front of the line and wave my receipt and demand a couple of Happy Meal Toys for Girls, she’d have just collapsed onto the floor in a sobbing teenage ruin, and who needs that on their conscience?

So, I waited in the regular line with my two anxious daughters, watching this frazzled teenager learning valuable lessons about life and capitalism and the importance of a good college education. And eventually, we made it up to the front there and I showed her my receipt and asked for our toys and then we left.

“Thanks, Mom!” the girls said to me, skipping out to the car with their treasures. “You’re the BEST!!!”

They didn’t tack on that part about the WHOLE UNIVERSE, but that’s okay. The universe is expanding anyway. It’s better to not be compared to things that are expanding these days. I am 40 now, after all.

Tonight, I ran out to the grocery store to pick up salad fixings, some cauliflower, and milk (things that will definitely not earn me the GREATEST MOM IN THE ENTIRE EXPANDING UNIVERSE AWARD), and I jumped into the express line and proceeded to wait quite a while because someone up there had written an actual check to pay for her items, and it practically made the clerk’s head explode. He had to type in all these codes and numbers and it wasn’t working at all. He tried it three times, and he couldn’t get it to work. And he was starting to panic. He kept trying, and after every failed attempt, he’d look over his shoulder to where another clerk was working a line and say: “Hey man! I really NEED your help over here!”

By then I was doing that special crane dance: where you start stretching your neck around to see if anyone else is open, because this could take FOREVER. But the only other guy open was the guy that was going to end up over here helping this dude out, so why bother moving, right? Besides, it was the express lane. The lady in front of me had maybe 7 items. And let’s face it, a trip to the store alone is like a mini-vacation anyway. Why rush things? So, I waited. I read some of the Enquirer’s headlines. Patrick Swayze’s not looking too good these days. It’s very sad.

After a while, and without the other guy’s help at all, this dude managed to figure it out. He was so relieved! “You’ve got to hit the pound sign at the end,” he confessed. Ah, yes, we all nodded sagely. The elusive pound-sign maneuver. It’s gotten the best of all of us at one time or another, hasn’t it? But, we all smiled and cheered for him a little. We could tell he was new at this job. He thanked all of us individually for being so kind and patient. And when I whipped out my Visa card instead of a check book at the end, you could tell it totally made his night.

So, there’s me: being patient. Me: being nice.

Isn’t it nice?


What I wish for, is that I could remember how to act nice like this when it’s the kids who are frazzled. I wish that I could remember that when they’re freaking out, it’s not at all unlike what these two people were going through. That in their little heads, there’s this weird buzzing sound, and nothing seems to be connecting right. And they don’t need me adding to their stress by being impatient. Or yelling at them and sending them to timeout.

That’s what I wish.

OMG! I’m posting.

And just for the record, I’m probably way too old to be even using the OMG! thing.

But there you have it. Me — 40 and trying to be cool. Good thing the kids aren’t in regular school. They don’t really have a good grasp of just how out-of-it I really am.

So, things are on the mend around here. Things have been on the mend for a while, but how many times did you really want me to post: Things are on the mend here today…. We did a little math….

OMG! Could I BE anymore BORING?

So, I stayed away. For your reading pleasure.

But we are finally – somewhat – on the mend. It took a massive sinus infection for my 5-year-old, the flu for me, which I still think was really a sinus infection — but we’ll never really know, and then a sudden bout of strep for my 8-year-old, and all of this finished up today with yet another visit to the doctor to find out why my 5-year-old is STILL COUGHING bad enough to keep herself awake at night. Which led, of course, to another trip to the pharmacy for yet another prescription for something that probably won’t do any good. My kitchen window sill, where I keep most of the medicines, looks like an ICU in-house pharmacy. And I’m seriously considering investing in some CVS stock. Because business is BOOMING there right now.

And I almost forgot to mention that 7 days into my round of antibiotics, I developed a nice little case of hives. So I stopped taking the antibiotics and switched over to Benadryl and spent a few days Not Scratching. Note to self: mention this to the doctor next time.

And in the middle of all this happy crappy, yeah, we did a little work. Just the basics. Just a little. A that little bit seems to have been enough. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been homeschooling long enough to know better than to think in terms of behind or ahead. We are where we are. And today, my 5-year-old sat down with me and read me most of Go Dog! Go. Because she wanted to. Which means we are right where we’re supposed to be.

Boy I sure do sound confident. Like I’ve really got my act together! Don’t I? Before you get all annoyed that I’m so TOGETHER, I should mention the state of the house. I really should. The house is a mess. I’d take pictures, but I’m too tired. It’s just gotten out of hand. The kitchen I’ve managed to keep a handle on, but everything else is just covered with clutter and dust and cheese stick wrappers and dog-eared books and just CRAP. 

And I don’t even want to talk about the Laundry Situation. Except to tell you that it’s definitely A SITUATION. And that’s all I’m gonna say about it. Because I don’t want to talk about it.

But that’s okay.

Because we’re on the mend.

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