The other night I was walking upstairs and suddenly came face to face with a Palmetto Bug (AKA a flying cockroach). I would have taken a picture of it but it was so big, it was blocking my access to my phone.
You really can’t go to sleep when there is a gigantic flying cockroach on the loose, so I knew I had to do something.
I found one of the kids’ buckets and threw it over him. I was about to write a note for my husband like this…
“Welcome home from work! There is a flying cockroach under this bucket. Please remove. Love, your wife. P.S. Don’t forget to shut off the hall lights.”
But then I started to worry that the bug was suffocating under the bucket.
Now only a crazy person would worry about this. I mean, who cares if the bug suffocates, right? But I felt guilty. I mean, that’s not a great way to go. Especially for a bug who was probably just doing his own thing, lost his way and is now confused under a green plastic bucket.
I really blame my father for my irrational state of mind. When I was a kid, we used to play these car games on long rides and one of them was, “How much would someone have to pay you to rip the wings off a butterfly?”
Well, there was no amount of money – not millions or billions – that would make my dad agree to do it. As for me at the time, I think I was willing to do it for $5 and a package of Pop Rocks.
But some of his lofty ethics must have rubbed off on me because there I was, many years later, in the middle of my house stressing about whether a flying cockroach could breathe under a bucket.
I knew I couldn’t sleep with thoughts of his potentially diminished lung capacity, so I needed a new game plan.
I gingerly slid a manilla envelope under the bucket and then for added security, put a book under the envelope. I then proceeded to bring the whole contraption outside and attempted to free the palmetto bug back into the wild.
But when I lifted up the bucket, he just sat there. I think it was the first time in history a cockroach had been freed, so he was pretty stunned about the whole turn of events.
I said goodnight and shut the door.
By morning, he was gone. I feel pretty good about how the whole thing went down. I’m sure he’s still telling his friends about the day he survived the green bucket.
We got tickets! We’re so excited!! I hope my girls (age 10 and 7) still like One Direction months from now when we actually go.
The day of the concert has arrived! They still sort of like One Direction. Yay!!!
Make proper signage. The girls don’t want to make a sign but I will…
(If you’re wondering how I even know the age of Harry Styles’ mother, then you obviously don’t have a copy of the “All About One Direction 100% Unofficial” fan book.)
Check to make sure they sell wine at the stadium.
Try to identify high pitched noise that is shattering my ear drum. Realize it’s girls screaming even though the concert hasn’t started.
7:35 pm: The opening band, 5 Seconds of Summer, begins playing!
8:30 pm: They leave the stage. That was a lot longer than 5 seconds.
Now apparently it is the DJ portion of the evening when they play popular hits and oldies like a Grease melody. The parents get extra jazzed when the Friends theme song comes on. Heart sinks a little bit when my 10 year old daughter says, “What is this song?” I have failed her.
9 pm: I realize I’ve been paying a sitter for 3 hours and One Direction still hasn’t taken the stage. I say to my daughters, “We may not be able to stay until the end of the concert.” 10 year old Dylan responds, “Can we at least stay for the beginning?” I’m not an ogre so of course I say, “Yes!”
9:15 pm: To pass the time, Rick starts counting how many other dads are in the audience.
9:30 pm: Finally 1D comes out!!!
Girls seem sort of excited…
10:55 PM Concert is ending soon. MUST GET OUT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE BEFORE WE ARE STUCK IN PARKING LOT FOR ALL OF ETERNITY.
11 PM Run!! (Make zig zags through stadium to avoid t-shirt booths.)
11:20 PM Find car due to my careful earlier calculation of exact coordinates in parking lot. Mental note to turn this skill into money making opportunity.
11:25 PM Turn around in car to ask how Summer and Dylan liked the concert…
(Don’t worry. I put on Dylan’s seatbelt for her.)
Girls dream about Harry, Liam, Louis, Niall and Zayn. Or maybe they’re just dreaming about their awesome parents who took them to a concert on a school night. Yup, I’m sure that’s it.
I looked at our credit card bill recently and said to my husband.
“If we stop feeding the kids, we will save a lot of money. This is all grocery bills.”
My husband was not at all open to the idea of not feeding our children. It’s so sad when people can’t think outside the box.
Instead we are trying to figure out how to spend less money on food. For many years I believed that you had to spend money to save money! But alas it turns out, you have to actually not spend money to save money.
There is a certain grocery store in our town that is like the grocery store mob chain. They are in practically every shopping plaza and have somehow prevented all other competing food stores from opening up.
They have great food, excellent customer service and with no competition, way too high prices. They seem to have lots of “Buy one, get one free” sales but somehow that just means I end up with 16 cans of hearts of palm and still a $4,000 (approximately) grocery bill.
But I am on a mission to find discounted food and I am willing to search from sea to shining sea to find it. Or you know, drive 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, I decide to go to a wholesale grocery store at 5 pm on a Sunday with 16 month old Cash in tow. There are several problems with this scenario. 5 pm at any grocery store on a Sunday is usually mad craziness. Plus, I was navigating an unknown store with a toddler at dinner time. (I always seem to suffer from passionate, misguided ambition.)
Despite discontent from my toddler Cash, I was doing a pretty good job of making him laugh by pretending to steal his pretzels while finding what I needed in the store. That’s the thing about buying in bulk – it’s just not that hard to spot a container of pretzels the size of an elephant.
But for some reason, I can’t find the dried seaweed. My kids love this stuff so I’m not leaving without it. Around and around I go but it’s nowhere. I ask a few employees who give me vacant looks and mumble something about only doing produce or meat or whatever. Apparently seaweed isn’t big enough to get its own guy.
Then I have the best idea! Ask a customer!! They’re the ones who know where everything is!
So I see this couple and say to them, “Hey, do you happen to know where the seaweed is? I can’t find it anywhere.”
And the guy responds in this not so nice tone, “In the ocean!”
And then his wife starts cackling ridiculously hard as if she’s married to Jimmy Fallon.
Now in my younger days, I would have had some kind of snappy come back for these insensitive clods who clearly weren’t understanding the desperation of my situation with a whiny toddler and the need for this seaweed that keeps all my children happy and I’m hoping healthy.
And I don’t really appreciate being mocked when I just drove three towns over to get some discounted food.
But I have softened in my years and realize that life is too short to get into a shouting match in the middle of bulk dry goods. I believe in peace, love and forgiveness. Plus you never know who might be carrying a weapon in South Florida so better to steer clear of the haters.
I just smile politely at this guy’s self declared comedic prowess and walk away. I did find my seaweed and everything else on the list. Of course, the bill was huge. But you know what they say – you have to spend money to save money.
Sure, there are a million articles on how to stay organized this school year. But how many are there about NOT staying organized? Zero.
Obviously this is a real oversight and I am here to fill the void.
So here is everything you can do to NOT be organized this school year….
Leave everything that comes home from school in a big pile and hope it sorts itself out.
Every time someone mentions color coded folders, do a whisky shot.
Don’t open any emails from the school or your children’s teachers.
When the teacher asks why you never signed up for a conference, just say, “If a conference is meant to be, it will be.”
Instead of checking your kids’ homework, just assume they completed everything to their highest potential.
When it comes to your kids’ after school schedule, write nothing down and just wing it.
Laminate everything – their backpacks, their school uniforms, their shoes. If you are feeling extra ambitious, laminate their beds and desks too.
Never refer to a calendar and always just say, “Sure! I’ll be there!” every time someone asks you to volunteer.
When they ask why you didn’t show up to volunteer, just say, “I was there! You didn’t see me? I was completely there. I saw you. You didn’t see me?”
Get hooks with their names on them but never hang up the hooks.
Prepare nothing the night before school so you can frantically be packing lunches, fixing hair and making breakfast – all why screaming, “We’re running late! Everyone hustle!! We’re late!!”
Keep 385 unsharpened pencils in your house and 1 sharpened one whose location is unknown.
My dad, his girlfriend and her teenage son were kind enough to take care of our 5 kids for a night so Rick and I could have an anniversary getaway. Apparently it takes 3 people to take care of our village.
I wanted our babysitting crew to have everything they needed so I picked this up before we left…
The nice thing about going on a romantic getaway with Rick to South Beach is that you can count his CBS billboards on the way….
As soon as we arrive in South Beach, we find out our swanky hotel is hosting a drum circle and you can imagine our relief that we brought our drum set.
It’s so weird when you have kids and then you are away from them. Sometimes you don’t really know what to do with yourself. Should I go to the beach? Should I drink cocktails? Should I shop? Walk around? Play the drums? Take care of other people’s kids?
By the way, this is what we look like without children…
We ended up at a fantastic restaurant called the Drunken Dragon. And then, as we walked around afterward, we saw one of those people who has to just stand there holding up a sign for hours to promote a business.
Me: “I feel bad for them. That has to be one of the most boring jobs ever.”
Rick: “And the pay can’t be very high.”
And then we got a little closer. And this was the person…
I think whatever this mannequin is getting paid, it’s more than enough.
We had agreed to be back home on Sunday by 1 pm. So at 12:45 pm, I texted….
“Just boarding a flight to the Bahamas.”
We did get back at 12:56 and then waited in the driveway for 4 minutes so we didn’t miss out on a minute of solitude. The trio did a great job taking care of our kids and I know at least my dad is up to doing it again very very soon.