Category Archives: parenting

Lice – Breaking Down the Sanity of Our Society – One Mother at a Time

lice ecardLast weekend was my first time dealing with lice. I say first time, not because I’m expecting more, but to justify the level of manic lunacy that ensued. Look, I’m not proud of the series of events that unfolded or how I handled them, but I bet I’m not the only mom who’s lost sanity over those little buggers.

Being the neurotic person that I am, I spent the first twenty minutes trying to convince the mom who found said lice that she was certifiable and that no child of mine would EVER bring such an unseemly infestation into my home. Her child had lice the week before and she explained that she noticed my daughter itching her head, which she thought warranted further investigation. Then “the mom” all but put a nit (lice egg sac) in my cornea and I still claimed not to see it.

Crap, it’s 7PM on a Saturday night, my daughter is now crying over her lost sleepover. And I’m pretty sure there’s no place or person available to rob me blind and comb out the lice/rid my house of them, in return! 

This is when I made the shift from being your run of the mill mildly annoying naggy wife to a “we will get a fucking divorce if you don’t listen to my insane rantings and follow my orders to a T” wife.

“If you leave one nit just one, the cycle will start again,” echoed in my head. Those were the parting words of “the mom,” who yelled them out her window as she drove off, like some weird gypsy clairvoyant, giving me a warning about my future. Plus, she was shaking a finger at me, which is always a foreboding way to talk to someone.

Knowing nothing about lice and not having time to look up any facts, I decided that the most efficient way to tackle this plague was to do all the cleaning, washing, vacuuming, and nitpicking simultaneously or one lousy louse could start the whole cycle again. To make matters worse, I had convinced myself that lice multiply rapidly and jump from head to head eating away at your brain cells for sustenance and stripping you of your ability to do complex math problems, so time (and getting a prescription for Xanax) was of the essence.

I started barking orders at my husband, “Go to Walgreens and get Lice MD stat, and buy a metal lice comb, not a plastic one “the mom” said plastic doesn’t work – IT MUST BE METAL!!! … And we’ll need a ton of detergent, oh and trash bags because apparently we have to bag up all her stuffed animals and decorative pillows and store them in our humid Florida garage for like 3 weeks or until all the items collect a solid layer of toxic mold. (Whichever comes first) Now, go go go!!!”

15 full garbage bags of stuffed animals, Barbies, American Girls and throw pillows later, I called to see about my husband’s progress.

“I just got to Walgreens.”

“Why?”

“Well, CVS didn’t have it, so I had to go to Walgreens.”

“You mean you’re just getting to the place I told you to go to in the first place? Listen Buster (oh I called him Buster), you cannot be creative or lazy right now, the future of our family unit depends on you following my very explicit and not at all insane rantings, um directions.”

5 more full trash bags later, Buster arrived home with a lice kit by Lice MD, complete with a crappy plastic comb.

In a full sweat from packing up the house at lightning speed and boiling all of the bedding in our home I whispered: “Where’s the metal comb?”

Please know, that the quiet through the teeth whisper should never be taken lightly.

“The kit comes with a comb? I got a whole kit, see?” he said trying to impress me with his ability to think under pressure.

“NO MORE WIRE HANGERS! I MEAN, IT HAS TO BE METAL! Is it metal?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, let’s see what it says on the box, shall we?” I said, lifting it and backing it away because I do that now that I’m old. “Hmm, it says it includes 1 PLASTIC lice comb right here on the box, so I’m guessing it’s not metal, because I can read. Mother fucker.” OK, the Mother Fucker was silent, but it was clearly implied.

“I’ll go get a metal comb.”

“Do you have the detergent?”

“Nope, I’ll get that too.”

“The trash bags?”

“Um, nope I’m on it. I wanted to get you the lice stuff fast, so I ran in and out.”

“Why is J eating a Drumstick ice cream cone then? We didn’t have them before you left… Did you just buy that?”

Mark made a run for it, but he clearly hates me and he hates our home. I know this because he is leaving me no choice but to leave him and burn the whole place down, so that we can make a fresh, lice free start.

That or having it tented, like they do for termites and taking the risk of it becoming an undercover Meth lab.

When Mark returned, I gave him the job of vacuuming because I needed to keep him out of my presence, as I had grown snakes for hair and may have been spitting poisonous venom at everyone but my sweet little girl whom I coddled and reassured, and shampooed with toxins that I combed out for 2 hours straight!

Then I re-vacuumed the house and added vacuuming the sofas, beds and maybe the driveway, I can’t be sure.

Then I asked my husband to check my head, as I’d been itching ever since someone uttered the word “lice” and those snakes were irritating my scalp. Not having any clue how to check someone’s head for lice, or what he was even looking for — and clearly not remembering the popsicle stick days of our childhood, he smushed my hair flat in a couple of places and said, “It looks like a head to me.” He may as well have been looking at my ass!

At 2 AM I toxicically shampooed myself and combed out my own locks, stripping my scalp of any hairs that were not snuggly secure and making it look like I had a mild to moderate case of alopecia.

I continued to do laundry, heated everything in our home in the dryer for 20 minutes (including our cat), checked for lice, and re-vacuumed — for 5 days straight. Then I did it all over again when we went for a recheck and there was one dead lice (Lii? liche?) ONE, and it was dead. The stuff stayed in my garage for a month, meaning my car could not — and I combed out everyone’s hair numerous times, and always against their will.

PS next week my daughter is having a sleepover party for her birthday! Do you think it would be Picking Monkeyweird if instead of a glitter tattoo gal, I hire a nurse to do fun lice checks? (What? I don’t want that pestilence being reintroduced into my perfectly lice free home/Meth lab.) Fine, not a lice lady, but maybe a woman to do braids, who’s crazy thorough and doesn’t let you into my home until you’ve gotten the “all clear,” I mean, a cute fishtail?

OK, last try: I hire a monkey. Kids love monkeys!!! They’re festive and adorable and totally novel!  Really, who needs another cliché glitter tattoo or balloon animal? But fun with a monkey and a cute picture of him picking parasites off your body = priceless. Yes, and if he can do braids it’s a bonus.

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If you relate or know some parent who would, go ahead and share

My Organs Are Spoiled Brats

Funny-And-Creative-Toilet-SignsThis post is gonna have to be filed under: Brilliant ideas I have to make life easier for everyone! or maybe my Norma Rae moment. Wait, did you not get that reference? How about Network? “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

No?

So, we’ve all discussed my bladder issues (you may recall the Momfession video where I outed myself) … Anyhoo, I was with my doc the other day and she asked if I ever hold it when I have to pee.

Me: You mean like Michael Jackson style or with my mind?

Doc: I guess, if I have to pick between those choices, I’d say with your mind?

Me: I mean, until I can get to a bathroom or if I’m really being lazy and don’t feel like getting up — I’ll just be uncomfortable until it goes away.

(Which I’d like to discuss with you guys sometime because… why does it go away???)

Anyhoo, she explained that doing that isn’t good for your bladder, but I say she’s wrong.

Me: Maybe I’m training my bladder. The next time I’m in a car or watching a bunch of kids perform and don’t know when my child is going on and I clearly can’t make it to a bathroom, my bladder will think it’s no big deal because I don’t let her go every single time she says boo.”

Doctor: “You’re not training your bladder.”

Me: “You’re right, I’m just making it a better organ. Let’s face it, she’s been spoiled (like my kids) all these years getting her way, running MY life. Telling ME when it’s time to go to the bathroom and thinking it’s so cute to mess with me (and my floors) when I sneeze or laugh or just don’t make it in time…

Sooo, I’m taking my bladder into my own hands.

Wait, that came out wrong.

I’m taking on bladder control.

Nope, still not right.

I’m just saying my bladder is about to get some tough love.

Alright, I’m gonna stop trying —

I think you get what I’m saying.”

Then I punctuated my sentence by running out of the office and slamming the door. That’ll show my doctor (and my bladder)! I would’ve ran straight past the check in desk , but I had to let them know there was a little cleanup in the hall.

Listen, I’d been holding it since the doctor mentioned “holding it” and then all that bladder talk and I could be wrong, but I think they were piping in the sounds of a waterfall … I clearly couldn’t excuse myself to use the bathroom during my rant and then I chose to run out which I should’ve given more thought, because running causes a lot of bouncing and well …  I still think I made my point.

I mean organs, who needs em? Am I right?

XO

Jenny From the Blog

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We CAN All Just Get Along – Ask a 9 Year Old

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?The most amazing thing about a child’s imagination is that anything is possible. Even the most intelligent, imaginative adult can’t grasp the sheer power of that one ability. We tend to lose sight of how much we can add with our minds by expecting everything to be realistic and tangible.

As a child, my Barbies could be on a ski trip — barreling down a steep mountain. They didn’t need to be bundled up in coats and boots, they didn’t need skis … hell, I had a Ken that didn’t have a head for at least 6 months before he got replaced.

Now as an adult, if I’m playing with Ry and we’re at a ball, I want my Barbie to be perfectly coiffed and impeccably dressed in the attire appropriate by the invite (should I not have Ry make invites?) annnnnd I will take an extra 15 minutes to find a pair of heels that actually match the gown (and more impressively, each other) before letting said ball scenario begin.

Ry, on the other hand, will bring a single Barbie to dinner and the same ball is attended by her date, a dashing pepper shaker (pun always intended), her bestie, a spoon and her nemesis (who gets her just desserts), a limp french fry.

Where I see all her toys as separated by type — to be used with their own clothes and accessories and tree houses and vans and boats and the myriad other things we’ve purchased to go with said toys, she sees them as equal but different playthings. Her Barbies mingle with her Monster High dolls and those tiny little Lego people whose hair constantly snap off of, and the odd looking figurines she’s collected from Happy Meals — and they all seem to get along.

I’m always in awe of this ability to use whatever is available without complaint or mention. Usually, Ry ignores their differences completely. Ken could be dancing with a My Little Pony and it’s not nearly as awkward as it would be in real life. Every once in a while she’ll use their differences to help take down a group of bullies or mean girls. This, I especially enjoy.

She’ll say to a Monster High doll who’s on some sort of foreign exchange program and finds herself at human school, “You’re green, you don’t belong at this school. Go back to Monster High with the other horrible monsters … where you belong!” Then the green scaly girl with snakes for hair will sob … or turn people into stone … or run and hide and Ry’s hero character will step up and tell the bully that it doesn’t matter if you’re green and scaly, or a robot made of metal, or your hair snaps off your head, because it’s our differences that make us special.  She may even pepper in some Mr. Robinson-esque lesson about how it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Yes, it’s all sappy and sweet, but she says it with conviction, as if she doesn’t mean it to be cliché because she doesn’t.  It’s an after school special and a One to Grow On all rolled into one, but darn if it doesn’t get me every time.

Though I hope she never loses the power of her imagination to see a pepper shaker as a handsome prince, I can’t guarantee that like most adults, that ability won’t fade. However, the sappy seemingly scripted story lines she enacts make me confident that her acceptance and even celebration of people’s differences is already imbedded — and I can’t hope for much more than that.

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XO- Jenny From the Blog

This post is a part of the Barbie Project. Thanks Barbie for choosing me to be a part of something I feel like I’ve always been a part of! Learn more about The Barbie Project with the hashtag #BarbieProject

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I May Have Run Over an Elderly Gentleman While Driving Carpool… Oops

This picture imlies that he was washing my car.  He in fact, was not, but I couldn't find a better picture of an elderly man near a car... MAKE DO.

This picture implies that he was washing my car. He in fact, was not, but I couldn’t find a better picture of an elderly man near a car… MAKE DO.

See how polite I’m being?  Calling him an elderly gentleman and not an old curmudgeon?  No, that would be rude and I am not rude.  Well, unless you consider running a poor old curmudgeon over with your car “rude.”  Then yes, I may be rude, but I have an excellent vocabulary and that has to count for something.

Well Judge, my infraction was merely that.  I was exceeding the limit by a minuscule measurement as my true intention was to get the minors in my vehicle to an establishment of learning to imbue their gray matter with knowledge.

My lady, (This is a Parliamentary court in the 1700s, obviously.) your grasp of the English language is truly inspirational.  Clearly, a logophile such as yourself could do no harm to our language, let alone an old curmudgeon.  NOT GUILTY!

(BTW:  A logophile is a lover of words and vocabulary, which I wouldn’t have to define for you if you were one.)

Moving on.  My neighborhood is fill with inconsiderate speeders during morning carpool.  Especially the first couple weeks!  Most of my neighbors have kids in elementary school and being that our development is exactly .1 miles short of the school bus cutoff; we’re all trying to get to the same place at the same time (anything shy of LATE).

The fact that this elderly gentleman was in this neighborhood in the first place leads me to believe that he wandered in from somewhere with a minimum age.  Regardless – as the busy moms sped around beeping from door to door, it was I that mowed this man down.  I must have been going at least 30MPH, which is fast in an area that has a sign. I don’t know if they’re just not quick or there’s something wrong, but there are enough of them to require a sign.

 

slow children at play sign 2

Frankly, someone should try and speed these kids up.  Maybe if they got rid of the knickers and padding reminiscent of a 1908 football game and gave out some bikes.  The sign could simply read:children at play(Let’s be honest, these tykes don’t look so speedy either.  Nor do they seem to have the latest in outdoor play equipment.  Razor anyone?)

But I digress.  The elderly gentleman in my story was not walking on the sidewalk, but on the street and going against traffic, no less.  He held up his arm in what I took to be a friendly hello.  I waved back, pretending to recognize him, as I do with all my neighbors.  Plus, he was pretty darn old, so maybe he thought he knew me. When I was about to pass him, he flung himself to the sidewalk as if narrowly escaping a careening boxcar.  I guess that wave was really the international, “Slow Down Crazy Lady” sign. 

Oops, I didn’t recognize it without the shaking of a cane, though he did seem a bit melodramatic.

old man yells at cloudI guess the main question is:  Did he pitch himself to the curb or did I send him hurling to the sidewalk?  I didn’t hear a thud; that’s always a good sign.  Though it’s hard to hear much over the din of 6 elementary schoolers trying to one up each other.

Kid 1: I have PE today.

Kid 2: Yeah, well I had it yesterday and 2 kids in my class got lice from sharing bike helmets.

Kid 3: Yeah, well 4 kids in my class got lice and I sit next to one of them… who also has braces.

Kid 4: I’m getting braces.

All other kids: Lucky!

Kid 5: Yeah, well I have glasses.

All other kids: No fair!

Kid 6: Well, I may have scoliosis!

All other kids: Why can’t we have scoliosis?! (creepily said in unison)

Me: Hey, could someone look under the car for an old man?

Me Answering Myself: Huh?  (I tend to answer myself in carpool, as no one pays attention to the driver.)

Still Me: Forget it.

Did I hit that elderly gentleman out for a morning walk?  I can’t say for sure. I didn’t see any wrinkly parts in my chassis. 

Wow, there’s a sentence that could be taken out of context!

Did I mean to run him over?  Certainly not.

Do I think he was being melodramatic?  A little bit.

Am I spraying out my car for lice?  Without question.

(PS no elderly people were harmed in the writing of this blog… I can’t say as much for lice)

xo

-Jenny From the Blog

8 Reasons Sending The Kids Back to School Sucks

smarter than 5th grader ecard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I was as excited to send the kiddos back to school as the rest of the moms out there who’ve had a 12week hiatus from normal daily life. I just wish we could remove a couple irritating back to school elements from the equation (listen to me, I already sound more scholarly … ugh, school is officially in session).

Here’s my list of said irritating elements, I mean, the annoying stuff that comes with those darn kids needing an education:

1. Waking up early blows: I love those extra minutes/hours you get to sleep during the summer, not to mention the stress-free morning routine. There’s no mad rush to get to a bus or carpool lane. No one needs to check and make sure work is completed and paperwork is signed to avoid getting docked a letter grade.

Even when the kids are in camp, I have no problem dropping them off late because, well, I know there won’t be a pop quiz in archery or dodge ball, and no one is grading their lanyard making skills (except for me, that is).

2. It makes me feel stupid: During the summer I’m crazy smart. I figured out the logistics of carrying four chairs and an umbrella, a cumbersome (but cute) straw bag, and two boogie boards from my car to the beach with little assistance. I could tell you the location of anyone who’s ever been on the Bachelor with pinpoint accuracy, due to my summer reading, which consisted of anything you could buy in the checkout line at the grocery store. I know, brilliant, right?

Now, I’ll be expected to know the order of operations or who won the Franco-Prussian war. I don’t even know who was in the Franco-Prussian war and it seems like the name is a total hint, which makes me feel even stupider. Crap, is stupider even a word? (P.S. The older they get, the “stupider” you get to feel. YAY!)

3. Getting to bed early: Because of the whole waking up early disaster, I now have to get my kids to sleep at a time that will allow them to be fresh and rested the next morning … apparently punctuality is important to the school boards. That said, my kids have this amazing ability to get a second wind right when I need them to settle down.

In fact, merely telling them “it’s bedtime” is like announcing through a bullhorn that it’s time to play with the dog, remember you have unfinished homework, realize something hurts you, that you lost something, decide you didn’t have enough for dinner, or start to divulge the details about your day, which I inquired about six hours ago, and got no response.

4. There are NO excuses not to workout: The summer schedule can be pretty erratic — one day one kid is home, one day another, we do things like find beaches or spend days at pools or go to arcades. Things that require my attendance, things that take up the time I could use to stay in shape. Now, with them gone six hours at a clip, it makes it much harder to find reasons to stay away from the treadmill, the gym, or those Insanity videos, which will induce mountains of guilt.

Maybe I’ll put up signs asking solicitors to come to my door, or I’ll make appointments at free clinics to ensure I’m in a waiting room for a good portion of the day, or I could always go to the grocery store multiples times daily because I forgot one item (wait, I already do the last one). Darnit’, I may have to actually lift a weight or something.

5. Making lunches could be the worst task known to man whoever invented the idea should be shot and dragged by horse through the town square and then shot again: I don’t know why the task of making lunches is so burdensome. It’s not like I don’t feed my children on a pretty regular basis, because I do, and I have since, like, forever. But for some reason, there’s this pressure to have something healthy and to cover the food groups or pyramid or isosceles triangle or whatever it is these days, plus the extra act of putting things into Ziploc baggies is sheer torture.

6. Teachers are a judgy bunch: Over the summer I can be a total slacker. No one knows if I’ve considered swimming the equivalent of bathing for the last week, if my children wore the same clothes for three days straight, or if they ate pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But at school there are these other adults who are watching them … and smelling them — and they are totally aware of such negligence.

Plus, those evil drill sergeants request that I sign and return things, on time no less (or they take it out on my children). They expect my kids to arrive before the bell rings … with fresh breath, and full bellies, and finished homework, and signed reading logs, and … It takes a lot of effort and acting ability to seem like all that stuff is done with ease. I don’t mean to seem paranoid, but I’m pretty certain they throw darts at pictures of the bad moms in the teachers’ lounge.

7. I have to compete with other mothers: OK, I know I don’t HAVE to compete, buuuuut my competitive nature is a real hindrance when I try to explain that to myself. Let’s just say, if I don’t beat out the other moms, ahem, kids in the fourth grade science fair this year, I’m gonna be pretty pissed.

8. School supply shopping: Seriously, if you want to test the boundaries of your patience, spend a day in a crowded discount store … with your kids and eight bazillion other people trying to vie for the last pack of Crayola Twistables. Don’t forget to add in the time it takes for your child to pick the perfect folder or composition book.

My daughter spent 25 minutes deciding whether the kitten popping out of a birthday present was “better” than the puppy looking at the kitten with sad eyes while the kitten batted him in the snout. Seriously, neither is going to make you a best-selling child novelist so just freakin’ pick one before I stab myself in the eye with this compass!

Summer Camp is OVER and I Had to Say Goodbye to My Bestie – WHY?

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.13.39 PMWHY??? Why must all good things come to an end? It was one crazy summer and I’m not gonna lie, I made an unlikely friend that I’ll never forget. We had so many incredible moments together. Enjoying the daily grind.

So to my Summer Camp Bestie,

I’ll never forget those moments we spent watching the sunrise over the lake. Each night, when I was worn out from those long camp days you were the one who put the wind back into my sails. YOU were the one!

Each morning, I woke up excited to seek you out — knowing that you would put a smile on my face when I was angry at having to wake up to Reveille and would have spit fire at anyone who dared to so much as say “hello.”

We did it all together at camp and even though we live so far apart, I will never forget the special moments we shared. The laughter and the tears. Because of you, my cup runneth over. I had the time of my life and I owe it all to you.

PS – This is for you!

SWAK,

Jenny From the Blog
AKA
Jenny From The Bunk at Camp Lenox

PLEASE, SHARE SHARE SHARE THIS CAMP SERIES WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND JOIN THE INSANITY ON FACEBOOK

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You Can Learn Pretty Intense Stuff About Your Kids While Playing with Barbies

The other day, a sales girl at a clothing store asked a friend’s daughter what she wanted to do when she grows up — and her answer: “I want to be a housewife.”

Said friend’s jaw dropped and after explaining that she works full time (to avoid the clerk judging) she questioned where that answer came from. Aren’t kids supposed to aspire to bigger things? Why doesn’t she want to be an astronaut? A movie star? A professional baseball player… a lion tamer?

I laughed because well, it was really funny. Plus, stuff like that is only funny when it’s not your child. (Nope, it’s funny when it’s yours too.)

That said, lately Ry has said she no longer wants to be a famous Parisian fashion designer for dogs … So, I thought I’d set up a scenario where I could figure out her aspirations,  or at least identify some of her strengths — for future careers, by playing with Barbies.

I gave her the new Entrepreneur Barbie and thought we should figure out what she’s an entrepreneur of … Did she start a company? Did she invent something? Did she design a building, a line of jewelry?  What does she look up on the iPad (that came with her) who does she call on her cellphone?

Within seconds, I was told that she’s a talk show host. Within minutes, Ry had built a set and put two other Barbies on a sofa for her to interview.

IMG_5921

Please notice they all have drinks, which I’m told is “In case they feel their mouths getting dry from being nervous.” Well, whatever she’s going to be, we can add insightful and systematic to her assets. Continue reading