I was dropping off the kids and getting them all signed in to the kidfunness at the gym. I heard one of Lucy’s gym pals (yes, she’s got gym pals, too) come up to her and say,
“Wow, you’re Mom is TALL!”
Lucy: Yeah, I know.
Pal: “She’s really tall. How tall is she?”
Lucy: “I don’t know, but you should see my DAD!”
I kissed the kids and went to the lockerroom. And had to laugh. Because from one tall girl to another, and I know my daughter _ in her future_ I just know, that “You should see my Dad!” is the most polite, and least smart ass response she’ll ever have.
That’s how I roll.
A few weeks ago, I was making my bed because it was the first of the month, or putting up laundry in my room that had been in a very neat pile on my floor for days. The kids were probably doing something very kind and sweet like picking up wet towels off their floor, or squeezing all the toothpaste out of the tubes and watching it ooze and then painting the sink with it or something like that. Whatever. But I heard Lucy singing along to her radio. And when being ignored, she can really sing and it’s pretty good! Dear Lord, is that vibrato I hear on her little 6_year_old voice!? It’s so sweet. When she knows you’re paying attention to her, however, she forces it, it’s all nasally and annoying like all of her little Disney role models. And her hand goes on her hip like she’s miss thing. And she ruins it all. Hannah Montana sings what? I’m just sayin.
So, after the football gig, I realized I had to get Lucy signed up for some extracurricular activity and ruin her reputation too. And although girls can do anything a boy can do. And Lucy could totally dominate in flag AND tackle football _ I considered it because then I’d only have to do one practice and game a week, and when you’ve got two kids going, I’m practically carpooling. But I got all crazy and asked Lucy what she wanted to do. We pondered, together. Hmmmm. HMMMMMM. And then I thought maybe I should help with some suggestions.
“You know, Lucy, I heard you the other day singing in your room. And you have a very pretty voice. Maybe you could do choir or singing lessons!”
She thought about it. We talked about other lessons: dance, art classes, pottery. She even brought up gymnastics.
“Oh, baby. Yeah, about that. You’re too tall for that.”
“I’m only 6!”
“Yeah, I know. Get used to it.”
We looked online for stuff here in the Big O. And she thought about it for a while, and then,
“Mom, if I’m such a good singer, then why do I need lessons?”
Good point. So, we signed her up for dance.
That’s how I roll.
Today is the first year anniversary of my girl Carrie Viv’s death. (Please click on that link and read all of the backtracked pink links.) I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it. I’ve tried to play it off up to this point, like it’s not that big of a deal _ it’s just 365 days without her. Yesterday it was 364. The day before that was 363 days, and the day before that….you get my drift? It’s officially a year since God had mercy on her. But I feel like I lost her before she died so why is the date of her death such an impact? It’s starting to bother me. So, there’s that. And here I am, weepy, like I’ve just watched that darn Folger’s Christmas commercial when Bobby comes home. Darn you Bobby! I’m weepy. What’s with all this weirdness like feelings and stuff? Welcome day 365.
It’s one thing to lose a friend who is like a sister to you, it’s another to lose someone who is your age. Something just hits home _ that mortality is reality.
I went to a camp every summer called UM_ARMY. (HOLLA! All my peeps out there!) UM_ARMY was a church camp where we’d go to a town and camp out at the local church, and go work on much less fortunate people’s houses by day, then do church campy stuff like hot_potato races, water balloon fights, and then prayer. You know, cool stuff like that. I’ve scraped and painted houses, helped tape and float walls and ceilings, plumbing one time _ that was a doozy _ wheelchair ramps, rebuilt porches, and fixed large holes in homes the state would not permit people living in.
Every morning we’d wake up and get in our groups, get our assignments and go. This one house we went to, the directions were literally, “Continue on the dirt road to the dirt path. Turn left at the Oak tree. Go straight down the path until you can squint your eyes to see the house on the left. You’ll know it because of the rotten porch. Knock loud, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey are hard of hearing.”
So, we found the place, and we knocked and knocked. You can imagine we must have been loud enough what with our raging teenage_church_campyness and all, and just having me in the group. Finally, someone came to the door. We’d woken them up. Mr. and Mrs. Harvey were startled at first, but once we explained, they let us in and asked us to pray with them. You never know what to expect in this situation, but that’s the adventure, right? All I remember in all my visits to all of these homes was Mr. Harvey’s prayer, “We thank you Jesus, for sending us these angels to wake us up to see another day.”
I’ve been an eager early riser since then. My dad would have told you different that indeed, I don’t wake up early enough. But I do. And I wake up alert, ready to go, and annoyingly (as vented by some in the past _ you know who you are) perky and thank God for these angels (usually Lucy, but sometimes Max and as of late, Farley the wonderdog) who wake me up to see another day with them.
I suppose that’s one thing I’ve known and felt since Carrie got sick. A new appreciation of life. It’s the last of many gifts she left me _ the reality of how precious my life is. I think I’ll celebrate that today.
That’s how I roll.
I wonder where they got these tutus to fit.
If by “THAT” mom, you mean educated, articulate, and pretty much stick to the Golden Rule, then yes, that’s me!
We decided against our better judgement to sign the kids up for activities this fall. We thought we’d go with something less serious (for me). Something we don’t really care if they excel at, but still has the potential to hold their interest, and engage their little minds and bodies. So we did the research: we asked the darn kids what activity they wanted to do. WHAT? I know. Crazy!
Lucy chose dance, and Max chose flag football. Both are great for me as the competitive mom and all. I know absolutely nothing about crazy things like dance or coordination. So, that’s good. And then, ofcourse, I hate to admit this in crazy_football_ville and being from Texas, but football equates eating ice cream and naptime to me. Flag football chas the potential to be more exciting. Teaches them the skillz. With a z. I swear though, if I have to buy Max a “cup” I’m out. Uggh.
So, I’m cruising down the road, rocking out with the kids to a local radio station, when lo, the after school activity gods speak to us. “Sign up for flag football! REGISTRATION OPEN. Just go to our super website! Yay football” and all that.
An hour after we heard the ad, I get on my laptop and go to the website. I’m a pretty savvy websurfer. Demographically speaking, I’m their target market, right? I’m home with the 6_year_old they want on their teams. The same 6_year_old is asking me to slice an apple and get his transformer back to Bumble Bee while I’m trying to find something, anything that remotely resembles either registration or contact info. I’m the one with the minivan, the calendar to plan all of this, and the checkbook. You would think the web designer would consider all that when designing access to this organization. I finally get contact info with “Send registration and check to an address” still no phone number. Eventually, I get to a page with email contacts and email my questions. Because, and here’s the doozy, when I went to the register link _ you know how you think you’re going to the page you need, because THAT’S HOW IT’S LABELED, and then you have to go to several other pages? Mmmmhmmm. that’s what I did. When I finally get to that page, it says registration is full. Really? Because you just paid for an ad on the radio. I just heard it. You told me to register. But there’s no room at the inn. So, I email as many people as I can. Then I call the one phone number on the entire site and work through an automated voice recording that can only be compared to Dell’s Customer Service. “If you’d like to leave a message for the President, press 1. If you’d like to leave a message for the Vice President, press 2.” Dear Lord, I just need to talk to a live human about the possibility of getting my son onto a 7_year_old flag football team. I leave a message and resolve that perhaps these are all factors that I probably don’t want to leave my son at practice with. So, after further research i.e., ask my pal in the lockerroom at the gym, and shazam, she has the answer and reminds me of another organization, and by end of day, I have Max signed up for flag_football.
Four days later I get an email from someone I’ve never heard of. It’s not a reply, not from anyone, I know. It simply says, “I can get him in if you send me the attached info (FAST), then register him on line with payment.” I think and think and then remember I sent the email about football. He sent a link attached too, it’s an xcel document titled “JUNK” and I open it and it has just Max’s name on it. Really? Junk? I ask my mass readers, with basic communication skills, would this irk you? Cuz it sure did me. Still I kept it as brief as I could. Because I used to coach for a club team. And dealing with parents is why I no longer do it, but you better believe if this email convo had gotten to my board, my ass would have been in hot water. So, without further ado…please read and let me know what you think:
ME: Is this in reference to *flag football league 5922*?
HIM: Yes. (That’s all he wrote. I added the period at the end of his sentence.)
ME: Ok, well, then, uh. Thank you for getting back to me. However, due to
lack of open communication, I found a better fit. Thanks for your time, Leslie
HIM: Work for me. (This time he added his own period. I think he meant WORKS for me, and he’s not telling me to come work for him and help him with his professionalism, grammar, punctuation, or email correspondence, or any type of effective communication. I’m guessing this guy has one of those bumper stickers with Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes peeing on something. Still, even “works for me” suggests insincerity and rude undertones.)
ME: (Because you know I can’t drop it, and if baited, I will bite.) Exactly my point.
HIM: 310 kids. (Seriously, that’s all it said. His signature with his title and all his phone numbers takes up eight lines.)
ME: (It’s time for the unsolicited input. I can bait too. I can’t hold back anymore.)I’m not sure we’re on the same page here, or even if these fragments of information are intended for me. Is there something I’m missing? What does 310 kids mean? Does is mean that you have 310 kids and don’t need my son in your organization? Or does it mean you’re in charge of 310 kids and you’re just too busy?
My son is 6 years old. I wasn’t looking for a college commitment. I was merely inquiring as to the availability of signing him up with *flag football league 5922* because there was an ad on the radio that said that was feasible. I have yet to talk to one person about it. If *flag football league 5922* is willing to post ads on the radio, perhaps there should be contact information and availability. However, the only way to get a hold of anyone in the organization is to leave a voicemail or send an email. I did both. In the meantime, I found something else. I certainly didn’t mean to offend you in doing so. So, when I received your brief email with a document titled “JUNK” with my kid’s name on it, but with no reference to any organization, forgive
me if I was a bit put off.
I was a coach, so I understand not having contact info splattered all over your website. But it helps to have a live person contact dedicated to answering phones and questions for registration. Some of us are new to this whole sign_up process, and when we come across “TEAMS ARE FULL” after we heard the ad for it an hour ago…it’s frustrating. For future reference, as a parent, a former athlete, and a former coach, an open call for registration warrants timely responses with positive and open communication.
From your tone of your brief emails, I can only conclude that I’ve upset you. I’m sorry. Clearly “310 kids” is a success, right? I’m sorry it’s not 311. (It’s probably best to fess up at this point, that I copied this email to every board member on their website.)
HIM: (Having the board copied certainly changed the tone of his reply, and he did hit reply all. So, he does know SOME email functions.) You are absolutely correct. This was not handled well. In the future I’ll do my best to meet your expectations as I volunteer my time to assist with the *flag football league 5922* program. Hopefully the other parents are not upset with our inability to handhold them through the process. I wish you the best in your future sporting. Feel free to give me a call if you wish to address this further.
ME: (I would have let it stop right there, except one word…did you catch it? I made sure to hit reply all on this as well.) You know, that was a really nice note until I got to the HANDHOLDING remark. That was a very rude and condescending representation of *WAA. I do not wish to address this further with you.
HIM: (Apparently Mister Last Word is worse than me…) My bad (No punctuation.)
Please make it stop! So I did, and I let guy wonder have the last word.
So, you know how we picked Lucy’s dance club? I googled it and I called FIVE places. One answered and talked to me with all the information I needed. There’s just something about leaving my kids with people that need to be accessible when I call. I realize they are off dancing, but still, apparently, I’m an advocate of having a front desk, and someone being AT the front desk. While running around town, we stopped in to check this place out. They met me at the desk, introduced themselves to Lucy, and took us around for a tour of the facility. It may be further away, but I just got a good vibe. And they offer Adult Classes. Mwwwaaahahahaha!
That’s how I roll.
Follow up _ I received a fantastic note of apology from the president of said football club. It’s very hard to apologize well. And he did it. So, I appreciate the note a great deal. Enough to redeem my faith in his organization. Not so much the email guy. Still, it was a great note of apology.
Today, I was washing dishes, and broke my favorite coffee cup. It’s my favorite because it’s big, and holds a lot of coffee. And most importantly, it’s my favorite because Ricardo made it for me. He painted it at the pottery place when he took the kids one day. And he painted my Glory Days “Go Buffs” on it as well as my jersey number. That he never saw me play, but remembers what my number was, is sweet, don’t you think?
It’s been a rainy day today, and the kids and I have been recouping from an incredibly busy summer. The rain couldn’t come at a better time for this household. While we lounged, I attempted to put a dent in the ever_growing mound of laundry. I’m pretty sure I did a khaki load, a red load, a pink load, 2 dark loads, a lesser dark load, a grey load (yes, really, a grey load), leaving the lights and the whites for tomorrow. While running back and forth between that luxury, I started doing the dishes. And that’s when I dropped my precious coffee cup in the sink while cleaning it and then tried to catch it, and cut my pinky. The entire split_second of destruction was loud. It all went down while the kids were eating dinner, both got up and rushed over to make sure I was okay.
I didn’t even yell at them to sit down and eat. They were so concerned. It was kinda cute.
I’m a little kitchen_accident_prone, shall we say, and so I know that I’m also bleeder. It was just a little flesh wound, but was bleeding pretty badly. They both saw the blood and asked me again if I was okay. Lucy got me a bandaid and even unwrapped it for me, while Max found a paper towel for me.
They transformed into caregiver mode. Caregiver for the caregiver. Even their tone was very Mommy_esque Pretty cute and sweet.
While I was trying to soothe them because I was gushing blood. When I explained that I’m more sad that I broke my favorite coffee mug that Daddy made for me.
“It’s okay, Mom. It was an accident. Daddy will understand. I’ll tell Daddy it was an accident. I saw what happened, and I know you didn’t mean to.”
Oh be still my bleeding pinky and heart! That was the best clutzy injury moment to date for me. Just how naturally soothing and kind those kids were. How helpful they were. It was simply sweet.
That’s how I roll.
Ever wonder if the animals at the zoo are more entertained watching us walk by?
I apologize to my lack of of postings. It’s summer, and I’m busy getting all kinds of crazy bloggeryisms with the kids. I’ll post as much as I can, but it’s exhausting keeping these kids busy, and then keeping up with them.
Yesterday, I was at the zoo in a bit of a mommy timeout. I thought since the zoo doesn’t have wifi I could stay there while the kids were at the day camp and get some good ol fashioned reading done. I’m taking a class (Get this: I’m taking an online classs on how to teach online, while teaching a separate class…online.) and have text to read but surfing the web and facebook and needy happy kids get in the way of that. So I had a plan _ but then my blackberry came in the mail. God bless the blackberry.
I also didn’t calculate people at the zoo to be so distracting _ but what a fantastic place to observe parenting. It really makes you uh _ review your own parenting style and choices.
Take, for example, daycare _ I don’t care how old or young your kids are or how good they are they are getting barked orders at all day _ even on a field trip. I’ll give the daycare workers a break, because they are making slightly over minimum wage to take care of your kids. Think if you were a daycare leader with 20+ kids. You simply can’t be the fun guy on disney that I let babysit my kids for hours on end.
I’m also noticing a trend of nannies texting while watching your kids scurry through the gorilla exhibit, or chase a peacock. Not safe. Really, there should be some rule…
Even better is the mom that’s not even to a zoo exhibit yet picking a fight with her 4_year_old. “I am not holding your camera today! I told you that when you just had to bring it. I am not holding it!”. Okay lady. Really? Omg _ how dare your 4_year_old want to capture a moment at the zoo. The nerve of her excited for seeing new things and using creativity to take a picture. They’ll never make it thru the zoo. Poor kid.
Just before I left at lunch _ a daycare group rolled up _ this time she’s barking orders while texting. When the other daycare leader guy rolls up _ he’s got a cooler of lunches. Hands them all out and one kid has no lunch. So they bark at kid,”Did your mom bring your lunch?” Kid says “I don’t know” defensivley _ like maybe he’s been in trouble all morning with this crew. Girl leader rolls her eyes, the kid sees it and is defeated. She gets her chips and tosses them at the kid. That’s nice that you are sharing so rudely and all. Look, if you’re gonna take kids to a zoo on a Monday you should really bank on atleast one mom forgetting, if not more.And don’t go taking it all out on the kid. It’s not his fault his lame mom was all busy with frivolous things like getting ready for work and getting kids to daycare and frivolous things like that.
I was just about to roll in on my magic carpet and go get my lunch out of the car and bring it back for this kid, when the guy leader dude finally stepped up to the humanity plate and had the kid sit with him and shared his lunch with him.
After all that, I finally got my reading done and since I had my little fitness sandals on, I decided the second largest zoo with rolling hills would be a great workout for the day. So, I’m finishing up lap one when a firetruck rolls by. What, what? I stop to ask a staffer standing by, to be helpful or something, “Is that firetruck here for one of the day campers?”
Cute little helper teen in Zoo staff t_shirt simply says, “I don’t know.” Really? That’s all you got? So comforting.
I keep walking, this time with my phone in hand in case the zoo calls me.
On my way out I stop in guest services to ask the distance I just walked _ no one knows that either but they were a little preoccupied with silly things like police and witnesses _ we don’t know where the victim is _ WTF? What did I leave my kids with all day?
So, the cops are here, out front and there’s 3 guys smoking right in front of them _ on the smoke free zoo campus. Nice.
Can’t wait to take them back tomorrow!
That’s how I roll.
Talking to Julz(HOLLA!) in the locker room as we were getting ready to swim_train for our triathlon:
ME: “I have the perfect swimsuit pictured in my head for me. It’s a one piece to cover up the stretch marks. It’s cut straight across up top, and a ruffle to make uh, it bigger looking. And a removeable strap. But I can’t find that anywhere.”
JULZ(HOLLA!): “Yeah, I think I know what you’re talking about. I remember my mom wearing a suit like that when I was a kid. Back in the 80′s. It was her favorite suit.”
That’s a sweet friend who will tell you you’re stuck in the 80s with your fashion sense all with an affectionate memory about her mother. Nice.
That’s how I roll.