Sunday, July 25, 2010
So this morning I am running my kids to day camp. Which is a nice way to say that the local Parks and Rec will take your kids, for $50 a week and provide fun child care. You know, so you can work and hopefully make more than the $50 it costs to send them there.
I had an interview at my house in an hour, so the morning was filled with screams of “pick up your stuff” and “if you don’t remember your bathing suit – YOU WON’T BE SWIMMING!”. You know, cherished morning stuff.
As I pull the car out of the driveway I look down and see I forgot to change my shoes. I have on a lovely summer paisley print dress with pink and yellows. So lovely.
And my shoes? Enormous zebra print orthopedic shoes. Well, no matter I think. I have to get them to camp.
So I march them in, and hold myself high amongst the other mothers, some wearing cute kahki pants and delicate flip flops, one mother wearing a sex secretary skirt and 5 inch heels. But I hold myself like I look amazing. Cuz that’s how I try to roll in my orthopedic shoes.
I wonder why one of the mother’s that I was trying to chat up kept looking at my lovely and voluptuous bosom. Hmm . . .
Well, I get home and realize the rather “orthopedic” bra that I chose was completely exposed in the dress. Like the neckline of the dress was below the cups.
Old lady bra, ridiculous shoes. Lovely interview dress.
I plan to look amazing when I go back for the 3 pm pick up! And by amazing I mean my bra won’t show and I’m leaving the zebra comfy shoes at home.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
My kids are 10, Blondie and 7, Glowie. I have been dying for a break from them for about . . . 10 years. We’ve had a weekend away here and there, but never a week.
A week without my children is the stuff my sweet dreams are made of!
So I call around and find a sleepaway camp that will take 7 year olds along with our 10 year old. And off we go, in May, to spend a day there, with the kids, to check it out.
Ah, a little piece of yummy in the mountains. A lake, ATV’s, paintball, riflery, archery, roller blading, water skiing, ropes courses, well the list goes on. And on – cuz it’s that kind of place. (I believe they refer to it as HEAVEN!)
On the day of the orientation Glowie asks me if we could just leave her right then. Forget the rest of first grade – she was READY for camp now!
So we cancel our family trip to San Diego and start the enrollment process. You know: the forms, the questions, the medical documentation. And I do all of it without a complaint. Cuz I’m getting a flipping week off!!!
The big day comes, the duffel bags are packed, the checklists have been checked and rechecked (no reason not to take my hyper-anal behavior at home and apply it to camp). Everyone is in the car.
For once, we let Glowie just chat and chat and chat about all the fun she’s going to have, the friends she’s going to make, how late she is going to stay up, and the freedom she is going to have. (You just keep talking Baby – cuz Mama is counting down to her freedom too!)
Blondie is quiet, cuz she is shy and this is harder for her.
In we sweep: there is music playing and dozens and dozens of excited and amazing camp counselors greeting us and ushering us through the process.
We walk them down to the lake, set them up for some lunch, meet some more kids and counselors.
Ah, Blondie really doesn’t want us to go. Glowie however flips her hand up at me and says: Mom – shoo! Goodbye.
I’ve waited 10 years for this day. As we walk back up to the car (everything is hills in this camp – get me out of here!) I keep sneaking peeks back. Glowie is holding court and Blondie is holding her head down.
I am sick. Sick I tell you, to leave my kids at camp.
We drive away while I weep (not so gently).
And I spend the rest of the afternoon of my “vacation” with an incredible sick feeling in my stomach. Is this what the empty nest feels like? Cuz I’m miserable. If I feel like this for the whole week, it is going to suck.
And I’m totally rethinking that whole “commitment” to college thing. Maybe they should just stay home.
Then I have the first of many, many naps. Then I have the first of (well) many, many cocktails.
Then I log onto the camp website and see the pictures of them, laughing, eyes sparkling, having so much fun.
And I feel better. Now THIS is the vacation I dreamed about.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Look, I’m old, I’m tired. I need a nanny. Cuz as you know, the parenting thing is way harder than I thought. Meaning, without help, I would be dead. Period.
I thought a nanny was going to fix everything. I was expecting sing-alongs and tea.
But what the hell? Who knew the goddamed nanny thing was going to be as much work as the kids? Where is the justice in that, I ask you?
Ever since Blondie was born, we’ve had a revolving door of Nannies, Baby.
How can it be that bad? Okay the first one was the most invasive person I have ever met. If Blondie (who at that time was really “Baldy”) ever started to drift off to sleep, she would wake her up. Like seriously. She needed the baby’s attention 24/7.
She would even call at night to see if we had fed the dog. Okay, we hadn’t yet, but not the point People, not the point.
We hired a lot of sweet (I’m talking honey- touched virgins) girls from the local Baptist College. That worked well until we swilled some booze or accidentally let a “fuck” or a “pussy” slip out. (You’d be amazed at how frequently those words do just tumble from our vodka coated lips.)
They came and they went in their ankle-length denim skirts and long straight hair. (I felt so at home when Big Love finally aired. Cuz I’d been living there Baby.)
Next through the revolving door, came the girl who stole my shoes. (Fucker!) Then there was the girl that was so involved planning her wedding that she forgot to take care of the kid. (Hey Babysitter Chick – you are supposed to be here, so I can ignore the kid.) There was the girl that we loved who never showed up again.
There was the English lady who used to call out in a shrill panic: “Girls, Girls please don’t bicker.” Ya, cuz THAT worked.
There was the older lady that had the most frightening smoker’s cough ever.
Now don’t get me wrong, we had some Sweet spots. There was Sara, who was 17 and a liar. No really, she lied. She told us she was going to go to the local Community College when she really had a full ride scholarship to Mount Holyoke. She was a beautiful young feminist who always believed I was the coolest person ever. I’m shallow in that a 17- year old can totally define my sense of self and well-being. (Hey, she’s 25 now, and still feeding my needy side!)
There was Tee, who hung in there with us for 4 years. She started out in black hoodies tied up over her face, making her a rather frightening presence at the elementary school. But hey, she poured love and salty/olive oil chicken into our gullets and spoiled the shit out of us. We love her sweet, unhoodie-covered face to this day.
But, the one that REALLY blew our minds, was Emily, who showed me the incredible wisdom of hiring someone 21 years of age who could run out and BUY US VODKA!
And now we have @PS_Nanny. I’d love to say something smartie pants about her, but I know she’s going to read this. And maybe even leave a comment if I work this just right.
Why did we hire her? One of the first things she ever said to me was: “You don’t scare me”. And given the fact that she declared this from her 6 ft tall height sorta scared ME. (In a hot, kinda way.)
I keep waiting for her to run through that revolving door onto the street. I try so hard not to throw myself to the ground and hold onto her leg when she walks out the door at night.
I tell my daughters that the Nanny isn’t here for them. The Nanny is here for me. Mama has needs. (Well, there is the whole “working” thing, but I try and keep that to a bare minimum.) Needs to eat, needs to never actually set foot on a soccer field for soccer practice, needs for special ballet tights which requires schlepping out to another zip code.
She’s the chick that doesn’t yell at them (cuz they get enough of that with me), makes sure everyone is eating healthy snacks (this may actually be a downside for me) and stands in my office with her arms folded if I don’t get in the shower in time to get to an appointment.
We are in our glory days right now. No one in our family needs a diaper. Not the kids, not me. (Though my Twitter Addiction may be driving a need to buy Depends. Nanny! Make a note.)
And the best part about @PS_Nanny is, that though she may not have an umbrella, she doesn’t mind running to the store for Vodka and Cheetos. #score #keeper