I’m the cute one on the right. Sometimes what is said to be “tradition”…(MOTHER!)…is simply torture. And I happily bestow this “tradition” on my kids for redemption and effect.
Some friends and family are surprised that we don’t send out a Christmas Letter. “Well, since you’re a writer on that blogger thing you have and all…” I’ve considered it, but I figure I keep everyone posted year round. And I’m always concerned that sarcasm and the funny may be in poor taste for the Christmas letter. I’ve composed some pretty funny ones in my head, but don’t have the gumption to send them out. So, without further ado. Here is my e_Christmas letter….
Merry Christmas Y’all!
As mentioned before, we love Christmas, particularly Christmas music. The kids and I have been listening to Christmas tunes after school everyday with out one iota of a request for the tv to be on. Yesterday, we wrestled to Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer and O Holy Night. It was an interesting combo, really.
This year, I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but I just feel very sentimental and feel overwhelmed with the need to teach the kids that it really is what you give, not what you get. Ricardo and I were just talking this morning that it won’t be long before someone at school spills the beans on the real issue of Santa. I am guessing it’ll be this kid. And I’m prepared for that. I love that they are absolutely in awe over the idea that Santa thought of them. And when they find out, I’m looking forward to explaining it to them in detail.
“Kids, it’s us…we go through all that trouble for you. Thanklessly, we did it. Don’t you think that’s more compassionate and cool than a fat old man breaking in and taunting little boys and girls with toys so that you’ll continue to go sit on his lap next year?”
I’m fairly certain I’ve lulled many a relative to sleep with stories about my dad. But if there’s one thing that goes hand in hand with Dad stories, it’s Christmas. My mom and dad loved to make Christmas happen for us. In hindsight, now I realize that my parents took a journey out of their means, financially and emotionally, solely for the one moment of magic in our eyes when we came downstairs to see what Christmas brought. It looked like toys…but I think there might have been some Hope under the tree there too. They didn’t even really like each other, and for that one moment, they worked together to make Christmas special. They even looked at each other nicely….no “go_straight_to_hell” glares at each other for a solid two days. Although somewhat materialistic, it was always the most happy time in my house. And we had many traditions: breakfast quiche, sitting at the top of the stares, and we didn’t have to take turn opening presents, it was a free_for_all, go_time, every man for himself.
We’ve started traditions with our little family already. Some carried over from our childhood, and some new. Last year, after my cousin _ Martha Stewart _ told me about her advent calendar, I totally stole her idea. This year, we’re incorporating a bit more charity and deeds in it than last year.
The other day on the radio station in town that’s been playing Christmas music already for a month now, they are having an adopt_a_family_a_thon. Like the ol Hallmark commercial, they had me boo_hooing about it..Ricardo called just to say hi.
Me boohooing: “Hello?”
Ricardo: “Baby, what’s wrong?”
Me, still boohooing, “We have to adopt a family! NOW! CALL THIS NUMBER RIGHT NOW! AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS!”
At this point in our relationship, Ricardo knows how to read this. I’m happy to say, we’ve adopted a family. Just one. So that’s good. I think what’s refreshing for Ricardo is that I’m still spending his money, it’s just for a good cause and not, “Look something shiny! I NEED THIS NOW Let’s get it!”
Since I bring y’all up to date year round as to what we’re up to, here’s what we’re doing this year for Christmas goodness:
*Each year the kids clean out their toys (with anticipation of more from Santa…and Mommy likes to get rid of the ones that bruise your foot on). I give them each a bag and tell them that there’s kids out there with no toys. They’ve happily understood the concept and filled a bag since they were 3. It really makes me proud to see them do it. Then, when they go to school, I pack up another bag of toys they don’t play with. And after school, we take it to a women’s shelter of some sort.
*This year, I’m embracing laziness. I’m taking all the gifts to the mall to the Make_A_Wish wrapping station. Yes, it’s more than wrapping paper actually costs. However, I’m not up til 3 in the morning watching the unending loop of A Christmas Story on TBS on Christmas Eve while I wrap presents that within hours will be torn to shreds. We did a test run and the Make_A_Wish Wrapping Station is sourced by straight up volunteers, and they do buy their paper, at somewhat of a discount…Hobby Lobby should sooo jump on that and donate paper, but whatever. So, your money primarily goes to making that wish happen.
*We adopted the family. I’m really looking forward to taking the kids shopping for that family, and then delivering the gifts and food. They can be a direct part of making someone’s Christmas special.
*The kids came home from school and asked if we had any old coats the other day. Back in Texas, there was a great Coat fund raiser/ collector gig. But I guess there’s one here too, at their school. So, I’m sending them with an abundance of outgrown snowpants, gloves and coats. Them growing so fast can benefit others too, right?
*I’ve always given the kids a quarter when we walk into the stores to put in the bell_ringers buckets. Lucy asked me why they ring the bell yesterday. I explained it to her and she just said, “Wow, it’s so cold for her to stand out there and ring the bell for money for other people.”
“Yes, it is.”
“That’s really nice of her to do that.” Yes it is.
Yesterday, we kicked off the Advent Calendar Bags with a trip to The Nutcracker Ballet. It was very special. They got to dress up, we rode with our great pals, Nikki and Julz(Holla!) and their daughters, and we went to the Cheesecake Factory including gourmet chicken strips and cheesecake. We went to the big fancy theater, it was beautiful, and Lucy turns to me and says, “I want something. When can I get something?”
Just when you think they’re getting it.
Merry Christmas, Y’all.
That’s how I roll.
I’ve gotta workout or find a good cover up so that I don’t offend this guy when I tell him no and to get out of my light.
Some of you may be wondering, “What’s with the incessant workouts, Les?” Well, let me tell ya. First of all, when the kids started school this year, I thought I’d have all this time on my hands, but suddenly lost time for the gym. I don’t know how that happened. I’m still trying to figure it out. So, when the junk in the trunk started to look more like a hoarder south of the border, the border being my waist line, I figured I needed to get back to the gym.
It was so long since I’d been to the gym, that I’d forgotten my lock combination. I had to try several combos before I figured it out, and then I had to write it on my hand or my water cup before I locked it and went to work out. That’s pretty bad.
Even worse was the joy in the eyes of all the regulars that I was back! You see, there’s a new gym in town. Let’s just say they are fancier. I get the sneaking suspicion that it’s a like the Jags now…it’s got the Jaguar hood ornament, but it’s pretty much a Ford Taurus. My gym is fancy for me, but there have been SOME people have been lured to the dark side, the OTHER gym. Personally, I find this competition refreshing because it’s weeded out some real gems, shall we say. Apparently, I’d been gone so long, people thought I’d left for good. They couldn’t be so lucky.
“Oh good, you’re here!” It was a surprising welcome. I figured I’d swooped in under the radar, and gone fairly unnoticed. But apparently, my six foot bombshell of a pear_shaped frame had made an impression in the exercise mats as well as the people there. I didn’t know I was known, let alone missed so much. Hopefully, there’ll never be a greeting like, “Oh you’re here. Again. Dammit.”
Nothing gets me back in the gym faster than scheduling a trip to Mexico. Ricardo and I just decided one day that we were long overdue for a trip. Or what I call a necessary 4_day date. And so, by the powers that be, we found a great deal, coordinated with school, vacation, my work, Ricardo’s vacation time, Gramma coming in to take care of the kids __ God bless her soul, all that and we booked our trip. And then I realized that it would probably be weird to wear full length pants and a long_sleeved shirt at the swim_up bar in the pool. I’d have to get my suit on. Uh. Oh.
I got the brilliant idea of board shorts. I can cover the cottage cheese and dimple ripple all the way to my knees with board shorts. This is great! So, I surf (get it, surf _ and we’re talking about board shorts) the web for board shorts. In my quest, I discover that board shorts for women only go up to size 12. Size 12 for me is skinny, and I’m not there yet. I need a size bigger. So, I ask you, don’t you think that board shorts should not be for skinny people, but accessible to those of us who are trying so hard to help other tourists out so that they don’t have to be blinded or horrified by the lumpy jello_jiggle of which my thighs provide? Help me help you is all I’m sayin. Geez. My only comfort is the American motto for trips to Mexico, “Anything goes.” I guess that includes my thunder thighs.
Until then, I suppose I’ll have to get to the gym so I can continue to remember my lock combination, greet the people and make my appearance (it’s good to be loved) and smooth the dimples out. It’s so hard to be me.
That’s how I roll.
I know a few guys who would have gladly worn this t_shirt to the bar back in their day.
My annual visit snuck up on me. By sneak up, I mean, I remembered it, and tried to not think about it. It’s not that it’s so bad. It’s just not so fun. I also try to avoid thinking about scheduled root canals, democratic debates, and the line at the DMV when I have to renew my license. All things can be neglected if I really need to, put off per se, but are all necessary. So, I bear down and do it.
When that appointment nears, each year, a woman can’t help but daydream as to how they could make this a better visit other than adding knit socks to the stirrups. Really, they should accessorize those paper gowns that open in the front. Might I recommend a glittery tie, or a leopard print belt? Perhaps, for a small fee, like, $5 or something, offer a pedicure package while you’re there, in the stirrups and all. Oh, maybe even a pumice stone foot holder stirrup. Yummy!
In the process, at some point, I decided to write down questions I thought of for the doctor. You know, ladies. The questions you’ve always wanted to ask your lady_bits doctor, but once you’re in the stirrups, you’ve lost all pride and gumption, so you just sit there and listen to lady_bits doctor describe her every move. As if that will make it more fun.
I wrote the list down, adding to it when something crossed my mind and promised myself that this is the year I’d ask the pressing questions.
Back when I was in grad school, I had fellow colleague who had a sister who was an OBGYN. And at study session, after a bottle of wine, we’d get to giggling about something, and she’d tell me all the funny stories her sister told her. To my horror, I discovered, according to the colleague that doctors supposedly prefer you shave…and I’m not talking about your legs. Or your armpits. By to my horror, I mean, I don’t shave there….The Wonderland. With my lack of grace and coordination, combined with a razor blade and my vajayjay, I don’t think so. And don’t you go wincing on me about my refusal to shave. Ms. Thang down there is well taken care of, well groomed.
Still, I digress. So, I’ve always wondered about the credibility of my colleague and her sister and the theory to shave or not to shave, that is the question.
I go in, the nurse takes all my vitals, and says there’s a student shadowing Dr. and is it okay if she comes in with the Doctor today? I say something like, “Sure, but you better warn the student that I have questions. Serious questions, and I’m not afraid to ask today. She’ll get quite the education on how to keep a straight face in front of a patient.”
I must have alarmed them, because Dr. Lady bits came in all by herself. I love my doctor. Primarily because she helped me with the single most important break up of my life. Ladies, you know the break up…the one with Aunt Flo? The woman single_handedly (no pun intended…well, maybe intended just a little) liberated my entire being as a woman. SERENITY NOW! But moreso, she just seems like a very down to earth and if need be, ridiculously honest person. She’ll tell it to me if I need it…told…to…me.
She comes in and simply says, “I hear you have questions.”
And I fire away. Now, I’ve worked this up brilliantly. A little warm up at first, and then sneak in the big stuff. So, I get out my comedy book. Because I keep one with me to jot notes, very funny notes, down and when I thought to ask her these questions…it seemed comical, and I needed paper to write on, so there it is. Your comedy notebook is more sacred than a locked diary. No one looks at it. It’s unwritten law. So, the questions were safe in there. But, Dr. Lady bits has no idea I’m now involved in comedy, and so I think the lil fat notebook was somewhat alarming. I fire away.
The warm up questions were things that concern only me, and my situations. Very standard, don’t you worry. Then I got into the shaving question.
“Okay Dr. I’ve chatted with my girlfriends about this for years, and I’ve just resolved to get your answer and then call all my friends and tell them.”
“Are we supposed to shave Downtown or not for you?”
“You mean, shave, for me? For your annual visit?”
“Well, not for my man. If he wants me to shave that, then he’ll have to shave his too. Yes, for you and this fine visit.”
“Wow in all my years, I’ve never been asked my preference before.” She’s blushing at this point. “No, you’re not supposed to shave. It’s actually more awkward to have it, uh, bare down there.”
And yet another liberation from Dr. Lady Bits. THANK YOU!
A slight pause and then she says, “Really? You ladies really worry about that?”
HELL YES WE DO! And I cannot believe she’s never been asked this before. But what I said was: “I’ve polled my girls, and yes, indeed, we do worry abou that.”
“That’s so sweet of you to care.”
I promise her, from this exam forward to make a concerted effort to bring one good question each year. A question us ladies have pondered on. A question that at best, will help share a good giggle, as well as some enlightenment. It’s what I do, share the laughs, share the knowledge.
As you can see, I don’t like the technical terms of anything to do with my nether_region. Which, we discussed. She asked what I have my kids call their parts. There’s a wild debate out there _ haven’t you heard _ that we should be teaching our children the correct term. You know _ the term that rhymes with angina. Ofcourse I choose to use a different term with my kids because quite frankly, I don’t like the word, so I really don’t want it screamed at me 30 times a day in a grocery store, at a restaurant or in church. I really don’t want that. We have our own special terms. I tell her what they are, and she says to me, “That’s good. I just can’t see a 3 year old saying the word (rhymes with angina.)”
This is the best annual exam I’ve ever had because she’s just validated me TWICE. And bonus: she gives the most gentle breast exams ever! God Bless this woman. She is so getting our Christmas card!
She leaves me to get dressed and says,
“Thanks for the best visit I’ve had in a long time.”
In case you’re wondering, yes, I get that a lot.
That’s how I roll.
It occurred to me that I never posted my last comedy competition. I’m pretty sure I opted out since it tends to be a bit mundane, with the same jokes and all. However, since some time has passed and I threw a few new ones in, I’ll post it here. So, just click here now.
A little sidenote _ I ran over time. Shocking, I know. I’m working on it. I don’t know when the next competition will be, but I look forward to working on it. If you have any comments or input, I can’t promise I’ll take you seriously. But I’ll read it. You can email me, or feel free to post a comment for all the world to see. I dare ya!
That’s how I roll.
I am banned, in the state of Texas from doing moves like this. I’d take ‘em all down with me. It’s a liability issue, I was told.
I get to the gym today, get my steam on to warm up my frozen toes, and then get my stuff on, turn on the mp3 player, and lo, it’s out of juice. Dammit. If there’s one thing I hate when I’m working out, it’s hearing myself breathe. I like to blare it out with very loud rap music. There’s just something motivating about, “Shake your money maker like somebody’s ’bout to pay ya…” THAT’S motivation.
So, I get up to the workout area, and check in on the classes, on a whim. Now, I’m not much for the classes. Everytime I attend a workout class, I have to verbally confirm with the instructor that there will be no weird things going on. By weird things, I mean anything that involves any type of pattern, add_on, or coordination. No whirly_birds or helicopters over the step. Because then I’ll fall, it won’t be a graceful fall, we’ll have to involve the former Nebraska Husker/professional football who’s now a doctor, they always call him when an emergency arises and he’s there, and I saw him on the way in, and he’s there. So, they’d call him, and should I pass out, and in the moment of gravity, my shirt scoots up a bit, that poor man will be exposed to stretchmarks, that I don’t care if you’re a doctor, or your wife has had three babies, you’ve never seen stretchmarks like this before. So, I’m just trying to avoid all THAT, when I simply ask “Is coordination, or any type of assimilated dance move involved?”
The lovely lady tells me “NO! AND WE”RE SO GLAD YOU”RE HERE!” I say that in all caps, because she really was excited. We get started, and not two minutes into this 1 hour, 15 minute class, there we are, doing fucking step moves, and grapevine. I’m watching her and then trying to not visualize my tumble. All I can see is that Las Vegas hotel they just imploded on the news.
The next thing I know, “grab your weights, we’re going down stairs” comes out of the Liar’s mouth. Are you kidding me?
Dear Liar Lady,
The reason fatties like me show up in your class is so that the rest of the gym doesn’t have to see the fat rolls bounce. Could you please join me in my quest to keep the cottage cheese butt to a visual minimum for the rest of the members at the gym? Please?
Junk In the Trunk, and the headlights, and a little on the rims…..
Whatever. I feel it’s important to mention here that when I graduated from college, I vowed that never again would I ever do the following….ever:
Push Press and/or pushups
15′s _ this was a vicious punishment in which you had to run the width of the basketball court, touch line to line, 15 times, in less than a minute. You little people think this is easy, but us tall folk, not so much.
200′s _ some call this a distant sprint. I call it bullshit. We had to run 8 of them in less than 32 seconds. Or we had to show up the next day and do it all over again until finally, one day, mid season, Coach would either forget about it, find some other mean of torture, or give up. But mostly, I call it the major contributor to the epidemic of butt cramp.
Horses or Suicides
Neh. We never say never, and indeed, I’ve ended up since college participating in all but the 200′s, the 15′s and the Horses or some call them Suicides. I don’t like to call them suicides, but I did watch a kid in high school running horses, plant, then turn to pivot while his knee stayed in place. I blame his coach for his torn ACL, a seat on the bench, as well as the rest of his career in high school, he could have played in college, but thanks to the damned Horses he ran, instead, enjoyed the rest of his high school days smoking weed. Way to stick it to them. So, every time I ran a horse back in college, all I could see was my knee staying in place while I turned. It never happened. So, that’s good.
That’s real good, because once we got out of our safe place of working out today, we ended up in the gym, and lo, the next thing I know, I’m running Horses. I guarantee you, I will NEVER run the 15′s. Ever. I MEAN IT!
After really obscure stuff, I’m not even sure this lady has her credentials, except whatever she had me doing, made me sweat, and made my arms, legs, and tire roll burn, individually. We ended up back in the room, the safe place. But the class lasted a bit long, it started at 10, and was supposed to be an hour and fifteen minutes. At 11:30, I had to start cleaning up my stuff. That’s when one of the ladies (a fellow mom of twins, mind you) chimes in and says,
“Leslie, stay for dessert!”
I look around the room, because I didn’t smell chocolate. And I have a keen sense of smell…of chocolate. I spotted the Liar’s bag, and thought, wow, that’s big. And I assess the width and length of the bag, calculating that there could, in fact, be a lovely dish of sweet delectables in there. So I say, “Isn’t that quite the enabling…dessert after a workout?” All judgemental like, because I hate her. And they all giggle and say “Oh, it’s a good low_cal dessert.”
Well, I’m IN! WoOHOO! Dessert is going to bring me back to this class EVERY TUESDAY! Because I have a pal, who is not even 30 years old yet, but goes to the 50′s Rockers Swim workouts because they serve donuts after they are done. And I’m so on this! YAY! I stay, we go another 10 minutes, stretching….releasing…relaxing…whatever. Then we’re done, and that WOMAN, our fellow mom of twins says to me, “How did you like dessert?”
Robert DeNiro screams in my head, “DO I AMUSE YOU!? What the bleep bleep bleepity bleep did you just say!?” The stretching was “dessert”. I’m guessing these very same people all rally together around their alcoholic gal pals and say, “Hey, stick around, we’re going to make martinis.” And then serve up a mocktail and a slice of intervention.
I feel so exposed. So violated. And I’ll be there next week. Maybe I’ll bring brownies.
That’s how I roll.
Thank you Skippy’s mom from Lucy’s kindergarten class for not only exposing your son to the very scary Scary Acres at Halloween, but letting him come to school and scare the buhjeezus out of my daughter with intricate details.
“Hunny, that stuff is fake.”
“But Mom, Skippy said it’s FOR REAL. And there’s a real guy with a REAL knife, cutting ANOTHER REAL GUY! It’s FOR REAL. HE SAID SO!”
I’m guessing that’s why it’s not recommended for 5 or 6 year_olds. I’m just guessing.
Scary Acres is exactly that. Julz(Holla!) went on a hot date with Sven and reported back to me that there are about 4 different sections.
The Scary Menu looks something like this:
The hayrack ride through the “forest” finale is a man chasing you with a chain saw…$25
Cornfield Maze, finale is a man chasing you with a chain saw…$25
Haunted Mansion, finale is a man chasing you with a chain saw…$25
Pet the goats, finale is a man chasing you with a chain saw…$22.95
I just drive right on by this place. I’ve never liked scary things, tv shows or movies. It took an Act of God for MyDaph to drag me to see CandyMan for the college free night at the movies back when we were in college. Our dorm bathroom looked a lot like a scene in that movie. So, for the rest of the semester, if I had to pee, and it was dark out, MyDaph had to escort me in there.
But since I was pregnant, my dreams escalated to nightmares so much in fact that I excluded all conflict of any sort out of my tv viewing diet. One night I had a craving for breakfast and so we went to Denny’s. We were seated close to the ugliest crossdresser (male or female) I’d ever seen. That night I had a dream that I made out with Marilyn Manson. No more pancakes for mamma. I wasn’t sleeping well as is, with those 50 pound fighters wrestling in my uterus of steel every night. I was also huge (really?) and couldn’t roll over. So, I had to resort to waddling my 270 pounds to Ricardo’s recliner. Atleast then, if I needed to get up, I could use my momentum and the lever on the chair to scoot me up. Do you know how hard it is to find something on tv at night while you’re nestled in a recliner with absolutely no conflict? It’s tough people, but I found it. It was the Cosby Show on nick at nite. Good stuff.
So, even now, again, the fear of, well, scary stuff, never went away. I’m more flighty, and even more scaredy. I resist adventure. Personally, I think twins are enough adventure. Don’t you? I potty trained twins, I LAUGH IN THE FACE OF ADVENTURE! HAhahahah!
So, when we were at the bank this week, and Lucy went on and on about Skippy’s experience at Scary Acres, I couldn’t resist a little fun.
Lucy: “Mommy, have you ever been to Scary Acres?”
Me: “No, Mommy doesn’t do Scary Acres.”
Lucy and Max together in Harmony: “WHY NOT!?”
Me: “Because Mommy doesn’t need to pay to get scared. I’ve got kids for that.”
And we all three giggled. They have no clue how scary it is to have kids. No clue. But it was funny, and that’s what I’m here for.
That’s how I roll.
Remember when you were in college, and they had nickel beer night at the bar. Oh sure, it’s illegal now. Because we showed up, in droves, and took complete advantage of the blessed opportunity of which we’d been bestowed. Because if you’re in college, and it’s nickel beer night, and if you don’t go, you have failed your university as a tuition paying student, as a child of a parent paying that tuition, saving your parents hundreds of dollars, and basically as a human being. In holy terms, nickel beer night is a Rite of Passage. It’s a requirement, and the sheer pressure of getting kicked out because you didn’t take advantage of a moment of opportunity in time, the shame, it’s overwhelming.
The parental equivalent of that shame is the once a year occurence of Daylight Savings Time.
I’m a failure as a parent. I mean, if I can’t have some personal gain once a year on Daylight Savings Time, I’m a total failure. Last night we went to sleep, bidding good night to Ricardo’s parents. I was reminded it was daylight savings time and we get an extra hour to sleep. What delightful news! I reset the coffee pot so not to be disturbed with actually having to manually turn it on in the morning and went upstairs to bed.
In all my brilliance (Inevitably, this will balance out of brilliance and moronal bliss to a nice average, I’m sure.) I have taught Lucy, the early bird, that she can’t get out of her bed until 7a.m. At 6:45a.m., she rolls in with some ridiculous story about “I had a nightmare, blah blah blah”. With my best morning breath, I explained three happy thoughts and sent her back to bed. I’m pretty sure Unicorns were in the mix. Fifteen minutes later, after the fastest unicorn dream in the history of time, Lucy’s back at my bed side, explaining, “IT’S SEVEN!” And if I could please escort her downstairs, that would be great.
We get downstairs, and that’s when I realize that I never set my clock, more importantly, Lucy’s clock back. And it is 6a.m., not 7a.m. That’s a big difference. I considered hauling her butt back to bed, but the explanation to a 5 year_old was exhausting. I’ll make up my hour somehow, later.
Lucy and I made lemonade out of lemons, and cranked on the tv. I don’t know when the last time I got to watch my favorite kids show, the Higglytown Heroes was on. Probably since before Lucy could read 7 on a clock, because it comes on at 6:30. Although not planned, and somewhat against my will, that was the best extra hour, snuggling on the couch, watching PizzaGuy and giggling. It was a flashback to many the early mornings when they were babies.
I mentioned to her later that day that SOMEBODY woke me up early, and she so apologetically told me, “Mom, I didn’t know it wasn’t SEVEN!” I explained that it was okay, and that I enjoyed our time together.
Nowadays, it seems like we hit the floor running. I shout commands at them and we get out the door, somehow, to school on time each day. I think next year, I’ll plan to fall back with Lucy again.
Happy Daylight Savings Time.
That’s how I roll.
Just so you know…this particular Earth is totally protected. And also, it’s offical. I have no say in what my kids wear for halloween. Thank God I knocked Mickey and Minnie Mouse out when they were babies! Then there was Elvis and the 50′s girl…that was fun. Now it’s come to this.
I’m impartial with Halloween. It’s fun gearing up for it, but the actual day of Halloween is a mother’s version of a decathalon. The events are:
1. Finding the right costume _ This is indeed quite the project. Calculate in the rules from school, a budget for a mom who does not sew nor craft times two, and add in what will keep them warm considering Halloween seems to be the perfect day for mother nature to send in a chill and the ocassional snow flake. Don’t even get me started about stupid safety measures. Recap: Must meet school rules, must be budgeted for, must be warm and snuggly.
2. Packing the costume and making sure each kid knows to go pee BEFORE they put their costumes on. (The javelin throw)
3. Remember all accessories. This may seem like a menial 10th of the Halloween decathlon, but hey, so is the triple jump. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from ruining the gold medal chances of Halloween greatness. Remember the accessories.
4. Get spiderwebs and candycorns to Max’s class for his class party. There may be a technicality here because I was told to get purple and green spider webs. However, the store only had purple and white. So I went with it. I’m still waiting to get the call from the party coordinator moms to tell me what a washed up piece of crap I am and how I can’t read, nor follow directions and what kind of parent does that make me? But so far, no such call. So, I’m still a contender, I suppose. But there’s always technicalities years down the road, I mean, look at Marion Jones.
5. Get juiceboxes to Lucy’s class party when I drop the kids off for school. This was easy. However, I actually had to park the car, and carry those juice boxes in rather than stay nice and warm and toasty, and pull up to the side and push the kids out while telling them to have a nice day. The nerve.
6. Get to MY class and hear 50 students randomly complain that they couldn’t wear their costumes on speech day. I’d consider this the 1500m event: slow, bearable, but slightly tiring.
7. Get candy. Now this is always the event I bomb in: Hurdles, if you will. Some think it’s easy, since I’m so tall, I’m supposed to be graceful and have great strides. But to me, that’s all the more leg to get tangled up in those hurdles. Buying candy is a great example of being Catholic. You don’t want to get too little and then feel guilty, so you get way too much, and pay penance later. Sigh. It happens. Last year, I went to Sam’s Club and got halloween popcorn bags. We had so much left over that Ricardo just ate the last bag of it LAST WEEK.
8. Get home, get the kids, and fake it like you’re having fun and so excited while making Halloween cookies and nursing the candy headache you just induced because you just bought all that candy, and well…
9. Hand out candy. Nothing brings home a bad attitude to me like handing out candy to a bunch of brats. Granted, the beginning it starts off so cute. The little kids in their snuggly like a giant chicken, or a bunch of super heroes. And then the fine line is crossed with arrogant teenagers not even in costume. “Just put down my jack_o_lanterns and take some candy and no one gets hurt.” Some form of this is usually what determines when I lock the door and turn off the lights. Last night, it was a group of FOUR 20_something year olds trick_or_treating for what they called, “The baby’s first halloween”. One to hold the pillow case, one to hold the baby, and one to….Really? How old is the baby? She’s 3 weeks old. Idiots, it’s 30 degrees out, and please don’t give the 3_week year old baby one of those dum_dums I just dropped in the “Baby’s” halloween bag. If you can’t carry your own bag, if you can’t say trick or treat, or thank you. No candy for you. That’s my new rule. Lights off, and we have two bags of candy left.
10. Getting the kids off the sugar high. Much like a decathlon, it’s just a matter of finishing.
With the gold medal in hand, November 1 is a welcome. After I dropped the kids off at school, I went to put some new tunes, other than the Halloween cd I’d made for the kids. Had I heard Ghostbusters, The Monster Mash, or One_Eyed One_Horned Flying Purple People Eater one more time, I might explode. So, I throw in an unmarked cd, and lo, The Chipmunks Christmas Song starts playing. And then it hits me, if there’s one reason I love Halloween, it’s that to me, after it’s over, I can play the Christmas Music. I love Christmas. But moreso, I LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC!
I’m more of a closet Christmas Music listener. I realize, and force an important lesson on my kids, “We have to give thanks first before we can celebrate Christmas.” But the music is so chipper and fun and grateful. It’s validated, I feel.
So, I’ll wait until after Thanksgiving to put the lights up, or get the decorations out. But if you see a minivan roll by and hear a faint Ella Fitzgerald catchy version of Merry Little Christmas…that’s me. And that’s how I roll.