When I’m in the car or going for a walk, I really like listening to podcasts. I like hearing the news too but there is only so much I can take before I find myself in the fetal position, drinking wine coolers and weeping to sad 70’s classics.
So I like to give myself a break and listen to Fresh Air on NPR or WTF with Marc Maron or one of my new favorites, the Mystery Show with Starlee Kine.
In the Mystery Show, Starlee Kine (from This American Life) solves mysteries. Now these are not murder mysteries or mysteries like what happened to Amelia Earhart because that would be depressing and I would be back to the fetal position with the raspberry wine coolers.
These are mysteries like… How tall is Jake Gyllenhaal?
I know what you’re thinking – I don’t really care how tall he is. Well, you will after you listen to the Mystery Show. Apparently, there is a lot of speculation about his height on the internet and Starlee Kine got to the bottom of it all.
Conan O’Brien even had Gyllenhaal on his show to measure him but I don’t think they really took into account all of Gyllenhaal’s thick, luxurious, perfect to run your fingers through hair that easily gives him an extra inch for sure.
Where was I? I think we all got distracted.
Anyway, I’m not going to tell you how tall Gyllenhaal is because finding out on your own is probably on your bucket list.
But I’m solving my own mysteries around here. What is my expertise for such work? Playing Watson along side Sherlock Holmes in acting camp. When I was 12 years old. Now that you are convinced that my credentials are worthy, let me go on.
My personal mystery was – what to do about three GIGANTIC palm trees that got hit by lightening in our front yard and were in danger of falling on our house. Like very very soon.
When it comes to yard maintenance, I’m more of a “Don’t do anything and hope it doesn’t look like crap” kind of person but this palm tree issue was pressing.
I called a palm tree doctor and he said, we were screwed. I mean, not those exact words. Obviously he used more medical jargon – being a doctor and all.
So then I called some companies to find out how much it costs to take down these humongous things and they said, “your life savings” and I said “how about a hundred dollars” and we eventual settled on something in between.
I assumed they would use some kind of ax, yell “Tinder” and lots of single people would come out and catch the tree. But surprisingly, it doesn’t work that way at all.
They actually climb these trees and then cut them down piece by piece.
That guy on the left totally thinks I’m putting this on Facebook and tagging him.
So mystery solved! Now you know what to do if big palm trees get hit by lightening and are about to fall on your house. This information will probably be completely useless to you.
See, if only I had told you how tall Jake Gyllenhaal is. Now that’s information you could really parlay into something.
Parents can go a really long time without peeing.
That’s because there never seems to be a good time to go.
Like you don’t want to drag your kids into a public restroom because you’ll have to start yelling, “Don’t touch that! Or that! Oh my gosh. Get off the floor!!”
And there is no such thing as a quick trip to the bathroom because suddenly every kid has to pee (or even worse poop) and of course there is the washing of the hands afterwards and the whole ordeal takes 20 minutes. If you’re lucky.
Photo Courtesy of Parentdish
Or you can’t even figure out where the restroom is. Or there is a line. Or you just forget to go. Or whatever.
My point is – I came home the other day with 2 year old Cash and I hadn’t peed in like 4 hours. Was it really that long? I don’t know. But it was long enough.
I left my son in the playroom so I could pee for 30 seconds and maybe check Twitter and Facebook.
Right away, I knew it was way too QUIET.
Then I heard the chime the freezer makes when it has been left open too long. I hurried to the kitchen and was relieved to find that Cash had only unwrapped a stick of butter.
And then I noticed something else…
Oh mercy. How long was I checking Facebook? I guess for as long as it takes a 2 year old to unwrap a whole box of butter. Yes, he unwrapped each individual stick. He must be planning on doing a lot of cooking!
No wait, correction. According to Cash, they are blocks.
If you are looking to spend a lot of money without much satisfaction and lots of stress, take some young kids out to dinner.
I have optimistically been going out to dinner with children since 2004 and despite significant evidence that this is not a good use of time or money, I boldly keep doing it.
I’ve been at restaurants where I pretended not to notice that one of my children was eating packets of butter and just imagined that he was eating it on invisible bread.
I’ve had a child dump his head into a lovely restaurant fountain. Three times.
I’ve had a child remove her shoes and socks and then put her feet on the table which might not be 100% sanitary.
I’ve written a letter of apology to a restaurant after a particularly disastrous outing. (I still need to send that by the way. I wrote it in 2008.)
On the way to a restaurant, I’ve listened to one of my children plead… “I AM SO HUNGRY. I AM SO HUNGRY. I AM REALLY STARVING. I NEED TO EAT NOW. ARE WE AT THE RESTAURANT YET? I AM STARVING TO DEATH.”
And yet, when we got there, she hardly ate anything. But you know how filling restaurant air can be.
And yet, I keep going.
Last week was not an exception.
I took my 5 kids to dinner along with a friend and her children. Despite the fact, that 2 year old Cash colored on the table, and then drew on the menu and then spilled his apple juice all over the place – everything seemed to be going pretty okay.
Until he started coughing at one point (probably due to shoving a combination of fries, fish taco, mac and cheese and mashed potatoes in his mouth), and this coughing made him throw up. All over himself. The high chair. And the floor.
Luckily this was a very busy, loud sports bar so no one really noticed.
Except for absolutely everyone sitting around us.
So here is me, having just scrubbed a sports bar rug (which can not be all that clean anyway) and my friend took a photo…
I look strangely euphoric over the whole incident but I think that’s because I’m trying not to cry. And I was also happy Cash didn’t throw up in my wine.
And by the way, my son Cash also left the restaurant with no pants. But whatever.
Of course, it won’t be long before I take them all out to dinner again. Because while some people might give up on their dreams. I will not. And someday I’m sure I will have a calm, relaxing dinner with my children.
And even if not – no matter what happens in any restaurant – there is nothing like the feeling of arriving home to a clean kitchen and no dishes.
In life, I pretty much vacillate between thinking people spend way too much time looking at their phones to spending too much time looking at my own phone.
It’s sort of a yin and yang thing. (I know. There’s no “g” on yin. It’s a hard thing to accept.)
I try to put my cell phone away but then I just have to check Twitter and Facebook and my email and Instagram and some of the news sites so I know what the heck is going on in the world and well, I probably should check Twitter again because it’s been 4 minutes.
I make a serious effort to put it away when my kids are around but it’s not always easy.
There is something about being deluged with constant requests and endless talking from little children, that makes me want to disappear into the online world so I can look at other people’s cute kids who must never make these kinds of demands on their parents.
Or I just want to laugh. Like when I read this Tweet…
I mean, seriously. What were we all staring at before we had cell phones? The countertops? Out the window? Lovingly into each other’s eyes. I don’t know.
But then I saw this photo and it’s the perfect reminder of why we must put our phones away. As often as possible. Take a look at the one woman in the front who seems to be truly present at this event.
This was taken at a movie premiere.
Okay, she probably left her cell in the car and is thinking, “Dammit, I wish I had my phone. I would be lighting Twitter on fire right now with my hilarious tweets. Hashtag Grannie Knows How To Trend Worldwide.”
But instead I’m going to believe that she didn’t need or want her phone. Because sometimes if you’re trying to record it all, you miss it all.
So let’s all look up now and then.
Yay! We love having 2 year old Cash at the table. He’s so cute and fun! He mimics everyone like a parrot.
Holy crap, he can reach everything.
He’s throwing plates and cups and silverware off the table.
Now the table has to be set like this…
That’s better! Sure, four of the kids are completely crowded on one end but at least everyone can eat in peace.
Uh oh. Cash thinks the table is a lazy susan. Now he just spins the table around to get what he wants. How is he so strong? Does he work out at the gym?
We are forced to immediately pull his chair away from the table to minimize the destruction.
But wait, what is he doing now? He is wiggling his body in such a way that it actually moves his seat back to the table all on his own. Honestly, this kid must work with a personal trainer. The core strength alone! Does he do pilates?
Okay, he is back at the table, once again spinning it around. I make a mental note to buy a heavier table. But in the meantime, Cash must be relocated.
He has now been moved to a seat at our bar.
And yes, he sits alone but he is happy.
And yes, he is still throwing his plate but now it sometimes makes it into the kitchen sink.
Order has temporarily been restored.