Many many years ago, when we had two kids and still lived in the West Village of Manhattan, Summer (age 1 1/2) and Dylan (age 3 1/2) sang their rendition of Do-Re-Mi.
Now of course, we have been trying to teach 17 month old Cash to say “doe” so that we can recreate this Sound of Music magic but he only really likes to say “hi-yuh!” which is super awesome but doesn’t really work for this particular song.
Meanwhile, the twins have been learning Do-Re-Mi too – mostly because it’s a core part of my highly acclaimed bedtime songs routine. (Mostly highly acclaimed by me but whatever.)
Well, Chase and Harlowe decided they wanted to sing it together one night after bath but before I actually brushed their hair.
And I think you will agree after you watch the video that they will probably not be joining the Von Trapp family anytime soon.
Obviously, we are going to refocus our efforts on teaching Cash “doe.”
Buying shoes before kids…
Wake up on a Saturday morning and think, “I really need some new gold shoes.” Then go back to sleep for 5 hours just because you don’t feel like getting up.
Wake up in the afternoon and make plans to meet two girlfriends at Bloomingdales.
Try on a lot of shoes. Realize none of them are quite right. You’re looking for just the right heel height, a great fit and a shoe that says stylish, fabulous girl but not cheap hussy. Head to Saks. And Steve Madden. And Aldo. And 9 West. And some of the shoe stores in between.
This is grueling and since you only got 14 hours of sleep last night, you’re getting very weary. But you find three pairs that could be the ones. You realize you need to sit with the idea of buying them overnight. Your true shoe will become apparent. Probably in a dream.
On Sunday, you wake up and think, “I feel like something is missing in my life. It’s the gold wedges I tried on yesterday and I must have them.”
Watch a Real World marathon.
Order in sushi.
Take a nap.
Then finally head to the store and try on the Seychelles wedges for 30 minutes. Yes, these are the ones! You buy them. Mission accomplished. You can’t believe it only took one weekend to find your dream shoes.
Buying shoes after kids…
You don’t even consider dragging your kids to a shoe store because they will somehow lure you to the children’s section and convince you to buy 4 pairs of Uggs despite the fact that you live in Florida. This will mainly happen because your 17 month old is pulling every shoe box off the shelf at an Olympic speed and you’ve lost all sense of reason.
So obviously a trip to the store is out.
Instead, look online and after 4 minutes of intense shopping, order a pair of shoes off Zappos or Amazon.
Once they arrive, you forget to open the box for two days.
You finally open the box and try them on. They’re cute! But they feel a little wide in the heel. The wedge is a bit higher than you’re looking for but you definitely don’t hate them.
The box sits on your dining room table for 5 days. You realize you’re never going to try to exchange or return them. Because that would take energy. You’ll make these work.
Mama’s got a new pair of shoes.
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.