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Meatless May, Again. 

It’s that time of year. At least twice a week I get this sort of email: Dear Parent, please send in pictures of your child doing something she loves, something she hates, and something while speaking French and standing on one foot. OR this: Dear Parent, please come in to school for a two hour long presentation/party/celebration on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week and please make sure your child senses NONE of your resentment. And finally,  my favorite: Dear Parent, please purchase 200 pieces of poster board for the endless projects you and your child will fight about over the next five weeks. 

Luckily for me, it’s also Meatless May! And while it’s more of a Mostly Meatless May (meat can happen on weekends if need be), I actually feel like mostly is a pretty good bar, as in – I am mostly a decent mother, I am mostly a good wife, I am mostly a productive writer. 

Everybody gets on board with the meatlessness. My eldest loves it the most because he complains about the lack of variety come dinner time, which is actually how Meatless May was born. Last week he said, “Wow, you really turn into Guy Fieri in May.” I have no idea who that is, but I’ll take it. 

I rescued the veggie Pad Thai after the tofu turned into a gelatinous mush when I followed the recipe and tossed it in cornstarch (never again.) 

Even though know the chickpea omelette looks and sounds pretty revolting, it’s actually a big hit here. You have to ignore the fact that the batter looks like inedible gunge.

Everybody gamely tried the cilantro and basil pesto, even my youngest who believes that if it’s not covered in Nutella, it’s not actually a food.

The herbs are all made possible by M., who built these rockstar vegetable beds for Mother’s Day. 

(Never mind that I told him to build them in a spot which is under the shade of a giant tree and nothing will really grow except for the herbs. Never mind that instead of making me feel like an idiot, he offered to build me something somewhere sunny in the garden.)

I guess I can safely say that I am mostly capable.

Happy Meatless May, peeps.

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Biblio-F#*ked.

Dear School Librarian,

Thank you. I love that my child gets to spend time with you. I love that she picks a book she likes and reads it. I am so happy that she is doing something other than watching crappy tv or begging to play on my phone, or fighting with her sister, really I am. But please, I beg you. If you are going to send a book home with her, please send an invoice along with it, because it is now a well established rule that I end up paying for any and all library books that come into my home. Also, how many books on seahorses are there? Because she has now checked out THREE and lost of all them somewhere in the bowels of this house.

It is that time of year. We are all falling apart. Those of us without any executive function skills are in particularly bad shape. To wit: 

1. I drove a child to a pajama-themed birthday party carrying a Beanie Boo only to learn that the Beanie Boo birthday party was happening at a different date for a different friend. Said child shot me daggers when she saw everyone else in PJS and she was wearing a dress. 

2. When I drove to the Beanie Boo party a week later and saw no other cars in the driveway I quickly checked my phone for the invite only to learn that the party was weeks away. Same child. Same daggers. (I did the same thing a week later.)

3. I left off a best friend for one of my own kids’ parties. I have no business making parties. I especially have no business making parties this time of year. 

4. Children fighting early yesterday morning. Packed two of them into the minivan and drove to the Botanical Gardens. Got miserably lost in the Bronx. Had to park in Fordham overflow. Paid for parking but could not figure out how to get into lot. Drove home. (Same kid. Same daggers.) 

And I just received 4 emails from teachers asking me to come in for end of year events. One of them is over two hours long. I think I am already going to be sick that day. The only way I am going in to school is if I can find those damn library books. 

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Almost perfect, but not quite.

You could say that I lack attention to detail, or that I am easily distracted, but really it’s that I cannot see a project to its completion. I’m not talking about big projects… those I’m sort of okay with. I’m talking about the smaller things, the things that trip us all up every day. 

For example, I can load a dishwasher yet just leave enough dirty cups in the sink to leave everyone wondering what the hell I was thinking. Similarly, I can unload the dishwasher but leave all the cabinets open after I put things away. 

And this morning once again, I seem to have done it. You see, I see nothing wrong with this: I believe this counts. I believe I have done my job. I believe it is very clear what I intended to do, and there’s nothing wrong with someone else having to come along and finish this for me.

Thoughts?

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On the road again…

Facebookers, I see your happy family vacation pics and I raise you two: cleaning puke off a car seat and watching as two guys try and fix the dent in the car (made when I hit a pole earlier in the week) that is slowly shredding the tire.In my defense, I only ignored the dent because it happened when I was on my way home from the auto repair shop; the right door refused to open because of yes, all the dents. (I am nothing if not consistent.) 

(Big thanks to a certain neighbor and two passers by for helping out with that sitch.)

I have zero to say about the puking. It happens whenever she’s in the car for more than ten minutes. I put her on a bus to camp last week. She puked every day and three times on Wednesday. Needless to say, she is not going back. And that thing you’re about to suggest I try? I’ve tried it.

I romanticize these car trips in the planning. I have visions of singalongs, covered bridges and quirky bookstores. But in reality, one thing happens after another and before you know it you’re buying Febreze in Syracuse.

UPDATE: One week later we are driving home and I got to hold this: #StillWinning

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Summer SOS

Yesterday was the first day of summer and also the first day of summer vacation. Already, I am finding crap like this happening in my kitchen. 

In other news: anyone know how to remove spray paint from a computer screen? Asking for a friend.

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Oranges Ablaze

It’s the last day of Channukah, which means that I’m going to get a break from worrying about the house setting on fire because someone has decided to make oranges into candles. Apparently the wick is part of the orange: 

 

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Bright lights, Barbie and Bella Abzug Splashed Across My Chest (or Hannukah as Failed Feminist Mother)

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be the kind of parent who does not buy presents for Hannukah. I would absolutely, positively LOVE to be the kind of parent who has succesfully convinced her children that experiences, or possibly even charitable contributions suffice. (Hell, I would also like to be the kind of parent whose children have never heard of Family Guy but I won’t be greedy.)  

Instead, I am the kind of parent who brought this shit into my house on Night Two of the Festival of Lights:  

 I blame my sister and brother in law for this. They didn’t buy it, but my five year old saw a picture of her beloved cousin with a life-sized Elsa Doll and demanded that THIS monstrosity be hers for Hannukah. She specifically requested that the doll be large enough so that she herself would be able to climb into the box it came in. This thing is over three feet tall and graces just about every room in the house. She is wherever I look. The other children are scared of her. 

I wanted to be like a friend who gave her daugher Jewish Feminist t-shirts for Hannukah. They are fantastic and we do have quite a panoply of women from which to choose.   (True, with my luck all the Gloria Steinems would be sold out and I’d be stuck with a Bella Abzug shirt. I love you Bella, but I’m not sure I would wear you across my chest.) Instead, I welcomed a life sized-Barbie into my home. I’m not even going to discuss the lip gloss palettes I bought. I feel sick just thinking about them.  

My seven year old always asks for something odd and then regrets it immediately. (One year: A “baby clothes waching machine” that was basically a wooden box with a door which we now use to store other crap in.) This year she wanted a remote-controlled car. I went one step further and got her a kit she has to build and then can control. Whoopeee! Was I finally getting a girl who wants to build? Could I humble brag with reckless abandon?? (Aw shucks, I just wish she’d ask for the damn lip gloss.) True, I myself cannot navigate the Goldiblocks/lego world (it all looks the same to me, sorry) and I used to cut up jigsaw puzzles as a kid just to make the pieces fit… but if I have an offspring who wants to do this, then why not encourage it? 

Of course, said child took one look at her remote control lego car and another look at Godzilla Barbie and almost lost her mind with envy. I pulled her aside and whispered something about lip gloss on night six. That did the trick and I officially suck as a feminist mother. 

I like to think that it’s because Hannukah came so early this year; I didn’t have time to be the kind of gifting parent I want to be. But I know better. Even if Hannukah came on December 25th, I’d leave this all to December 22nd (if I am luckly) and buy up all this crap in a panicked frenzy, giving no thought to the substance of it all. 

Oh well,  maybe next year. 

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