Category Archives: Guilty Mama

Mixed Bag Monday

Mondays are full of surprises, aren’t they?

For starters, Riley woke up with an impressive case of pinkeye, which means he’s home from school, which means nothing I wanted to accomplish is getting accomplished.  Instead, I’m avoiding playing Candy Land, and I’m about to start my third load of laundry.

Here’s another one.  I discovered a dead squirrel on the street at the end of my driveway.  (It wasn’t me, I swear.)  Clearly the squirrel is worse off than me, but still, he’s ginning up some trouble.  My curious children want to examine him and reunite him with his mother.  They want to touch him and take him to the hospital.  He’s in good condition right now, but I don’t have a good feeling about how he’s going to look later in the day or week.

And another one.  Later this afternoon, the boys and I are taking Mike to the airport.  He’s flying to New York City on business until Friday afternoon.  This one isn’t a surprise, but it stinks anyway.

Despite the unpleasantries of the day, I’m in a pretty good mood (surprise!), and the way I see it, the week can only get better from here.  That is, unless the “pink guys” get Dylan.

Editor’s note: A few weeks ago, Dylan thought he had pinkeye (he didn’t) and said, “I’m going to look in the mirror and see if there are any pink guys in there.” That’s one for the memory book, which is why I’ve written it here, because I don’t remember the last time I put anything in a memory book for my kids.  Guilty Mama!  (It is Monday.)

The days ahead (Terrific Tuesday? Wonderful Wednesday?) have a lot of potential.  Until then, it’s Mixed Bag Monday.  And Meatless Monday, too!  Since I was stuck at home all day with my little pinkeyed monster, I made mushroom kale lasagna rolls.  Yum-o!  (Check out the recipe here.)  I’ll post a picture of the finished product on my Runaway Mama Facebook page later this evening, which is a good reason to “like” the page if you haven’t already done so (tisk tisk).

What kind of Monday are you having?

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Filed under anxiety, business travel, conversations to remember, cooking, Guilty Mama, pinkeye, recipe

Toys, Games, and Activities I Loathe (A List!)

I recently accidentally deliberately let half a dozen containers of Play-Doh dry out on the kitchen table so I could throw them out. I know what you’re thinking. The Internet is chock full of instructions on how to revive dried Play-Doh. What you need to understand is that I don’t want to save it. I want it to die dry so I can get rid of it and never have to play with or clean it up again. I don’t appreciate the mess it leaves on every surface and floor in my house or the anxiety it causes when the colors get mixed together and, despite my children’s pleas, can’t be unmixed, which got me thinking about all of the toys, games, and activities my kids force upon me that make me wish I were prepping for a colonoscopy instead.

1. Play-Doh. (See above.)

2. Bubbles. Bubbles are perfectly fine…at someone else’s house. At my house, bubbles make fingers sticky, which make doorknobs, floors, windows, chairs, tables, and refrigerator handles sticky. Bubble machines, wands, and other poorly manufactured bubble instruments always break, and bubble fluid always spills because someone with clumsy little hands wants to do it “all by myself.”

3. Monopoly, including but not limited to, Cars 2 Monopoly, Monopoly Junior, and Star Wars Monopoly. These board games (as well as most others) almost always result in a child quitting and/or walking away with important game pieces and/or crying because he doesn’t win.

4. Any toy smaller than my thumb, including, but not limited to, Squinkies, Zinkies, Drifters, Trashies, Fighter Pods, and Bonkazonks. These teeny tiny toy terrors, which are meant to be collected, end up lost instead only to be found later inside a shoe, the washing machine, the DVD player, a backpack, the tooth brush holder, the trunk of the car, or all of the above. They are manufactured for one reason and one reason only: to drive Mamas crazy.

5. Elefun. This delightful preschool game challenges toddlers to use nets to catch as many colorful butterflies as they can that blow out of a friendly elephant trunk. It’s tons of fun for the whole family…[insert record scratch]…until it’s time for Mama – on her hands and knees – to collect the uncaught butterflies that are scattered all over the floor and put them back inside the elephant and start the merriment all over again. And again. And again. And again. Case closed.

6. Swings. Before I continue, I want to point out that I’m a good Mama. I am. I often say this (or write this) when I’m about to do or say (or write) something that might seem, well, un-motherly. Here goes. I don’t like pushing my kids on the swings. It was okay when they were babies, but by the time they were toddlers, putting them in the swing was less about enjoyment and more about confinement. (FYI: Saving a toddler’s life every 30-45 seconds in an obstacle course of dangerous playground equipment is exhausting.) Now, after six years of Mamahood, I’ve earned the right to sit on a bench while my children push each other on the swings (reason #249 that I birthed more than one child). Would you like me any less if I told you I had a “Don’t ask Mommy to push you on the swings or we go home” rule? Nevermind.

(I’m a good Mama…I’m a good Mama…I’m a good Mama…)

7. Lincoln Logs. Every time the Lincoln Logs come out, I’m instructed to build the log mcmansion featured in the building instructions. Adding more misery to an already dismal predicament, they want to help. By “help” I mean, hinder, thwart, and sabotage. When the Lincoln Logs come out, I answer phone calls from 800 numbers.

8. Video Games. I can’t help it. The mere thought of playing Lego Star Wars for the Xbox makes me want to fold laundry.

9. Paint. My dislike for paint is more about timing than anything else. My children almost always want need to do an art project at or before dawn, when I’m handling raw meat, while I’m chopping onions (and coincidentally already in tears), or I’m in the shower.

10. Puzzles. This one is complicated. I actually like puzzles and am happy to do them with my kids for several hours minutes. That is, until I discover a puzzle piece is missing. Then Obsessive Compulsive Mama takes over and I want to hurl the puzzle out the window because a missing puzzle piece is totally and completely unacceptable.

11. Powered riding toys. Every time one of my kids takes our battery-powered Lightning McQueen for a spin, we lose a sprinkler head.

Ironically, despite my annoyance with extreme dislike loathing of several categories of toys and games, my house is filled to the gills with them. Hmm.

For the record, I love being with my kids. Most of the time. This is starting to sound bad, isn’t it? Please tell me you hate some toys, too. (Please.)

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Filed under colonoscopy, games and toys, Guilty Mama, list, Obsessive Compulsive Mama, toys

School Rules

During bath time last night, I took the opportunity to give the boys some advice for the new school year – Kindergarten for Dylan and the nursery level for Riley.  In my day, it was called nursery school, but that was a time when kids went to school for the first time in nursery school, and after that, they went straight to half-day Kindergarten.  (That’s what I did, anyway.)  Now it’s the nursery level because preschool includes the toddler level, the pre-nursery level, the nursery level, and pre-Kindergarten.  At the ripe old age of three and a half, Riley is starting his third year of school, and Dylan is starting his fifth.  No wonder there were no tears this morning (and no wonder Kindergarten is the new first grade), but I digress.

Here are the four school rules I made for them up during bath time:

  1. Be nice.  (First impressions are everything, even in Kindergarten…perhaps especially in Kindergarten.  Please and thank you go a long way.)
  2. Be friendly.  (I can’t help but sing in my head, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other’s gold.”)
  3. Be a good listener.  (You will be your teacher’s favorite.)
  4. Have fun!  (If anxiety or fear makes this last one hard, Mommy will hug you at carpool…and make you “big” popcorn as soon as we get home…and give you a “first day of school” surprise from the toy store.  Promise!)

I made the whole thing up as I was went along, and I think I did okay, but in hindsight, I realized there were a few rules that might also have been good to mention:

  • Don’t blurt out to your entire class, “I have to poop!”  For heaven’s sake, just go to the bathroom.  Speaking of which…
  • If you pass gas (or fart like a grown man, ahem, like Riley), remember to say excuse me.  Which brings me to…
  • For Riley only (I hope):  Don’t pee on the floor next to the toilet.  The spare clothes I sent to be stored in your classroom are your least favorite  items from your closet.  I did this on purpose to teach you a lesson should you decide to pee on the floor next to the toilet at school.  That’s right.  Your spare set of clothes has pockets, tags, buttons and all sorts of accouterments you dislike. (Sorry, Lovebug.  This is a battle Mama can’t afford to lose.)

Here are a few non-bathroom rules:

  • Don’t cry when I drop you off.  Please!  It’s torture.  It makes me feel like a bad mother and will totally and completely ruin my day.  Don’t give me a reason to announce “Guilty Mama!” on social networking sites.  Please.
  • Don’t try to get your teacher’s attention by tapping her boobs.  She might not like that.  As long as we’re on the topic, don’t try to get her attention by grabbing her face either.  If she’s anything like me, that might make her want to hurl you out a window.

Alright.  I think that covers the Runaway Mama’s first day of school advice.  As we speak, my boys are busy being kids, growing up, and having new experiences (without me) that will shape their lives forever.  I can’t wait to see them both later today, ask them, “How was school today?” and hear the predictable one-word response that my non-communicative boys have perfected over the years to describe a day at school:  “Good.”  Even though this frustrating-to-no-end, vague, and non-descriptive word drives me crazy, I’ll take it any day over “Bad.”

Have your kids started school yet?  Do you have any first day advice to share?  

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Filed under Guilty Mama, school