Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sometimes I'm Not Very Nice

Get out your judging hats and prepare to look down on me, because I laughed at something inappropriate today and I'm going to tell you about it.

Mike had Pack Meeting tonight. For those of you unfamiliar with Scouts, that's the meeting once a month where the whole troop (?)--I'm not familiar with it, either--gets together. There is an activity, those who have earned badges receive said badges and then there are always refreshments of some kind.

Part of the activities for the evening was a "Getting To Know You" questionnaire that moms and scouts filled out together and then the leader read it in front of everyone and had the boys try to guess who it was. One of the questions was "What was the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you?" Tonight there was a new boy. Well, he was new to me and Mike but we miss Scouts 90% of the time so maybe he's been there a while. Anyway, this new boy said that he didn't have an embarrassing moment. (Kinda makes you jealous, huh?) Further down the page was the question "Which movie could you watch over and over?" and this boy answered "Carebears".

Let's take a time out for a moment, shall we? I know that there are people who think that Carebears are gender neutral toys. We are not those people. Carebears are girl toys. Additionally, Michael is old enough now to recognize gender separation and to notice when things seem a bit out of whack in that area.

The leader kindly commented that she liked Carebears, too, to which the boy said that he had one at home. She asked him which one and he said, "Well, I actually have three."

At which point my older and therefore more superior (feeling) son leaned over and muttered, "That should have been his most embarrassing moment."

To my credit, I didn't laugh out loud. I'm pretty sure that I snorted, though. I wasn't laughing at the little boy, but at my son and his shrewd perspective. Sometimes I forget how mature he is and so when things like that pop out of his mouth I'm surprised.

Go ahead and judge. I'm just as sensitive as the next mom, but that was funny.

Friday, May 14, 2010

An Open Letter to All Husbands

Dear husbands,

We, the women of the world, would like to express our love, appreciation and adoration to you. You provide for us. You love us, even though you have seen us in the morning right after we wake up, you have listened to our not-so-lady-like breathing or (gasp!) snoring as we sleep and you have probably even seen us throw up. You deserve mad props. Who else was there in the delivery room being supportive and wiping sweat from our brows even though most of our hostility was directed toward you? No one. That's right. You are there for us, and we adore you.


Girls' night is special. It is about going out with friends and forgetting that anyone who resides in the same home as us actually exists for a few hours. Our entire lives revolve around answering to the needs of others. Therefore, we do not find it unreasonable that once a month we are allowed to put number one, well, number one for a few hours. Multiple text messages or phone calls are not appreciated. Here are text messages that are acceptable to send while your wife is out with friends:

  • The house is on fire. Would you like me to save your shoes or your craft supplies first?
  • Everything is just fine here at home. Take your time with your friends, enjoy yourself. I love you. This is the only message you'll hear from me.
That's it. Nothing else is so pressing that it warrants a girls' night interruption. Even if your great aunt has died, it can wait. It's not as if that's a particularly urgent message, right? She's not getting any deader.

These helpful tips are not only important for your wife, but for the friends who accompany her. Our whole lives are full of interruptions. We cannot do a single thing in our daily lives without interruptions. Try to understand for a moment what this must feel like: you finally have a captive audience and you are about to speak the first full sentence that has passed your lips in over two weeks. You have just gotten the first three words out of your mouth when the cell phone of your listener chimes. The listener has to answer because, after all, family trumps friends.

Can you imagine it? Can you imagine how it would feel to finally have an evening away from laundry, bum wiping, fourth grade homework and interruptions only to find that all of that crap has followed you? I'll tell you what that's like. It's like a great steaming pile of disappointment.

In closing, we love you with all of our hearts. But come girls' night, leave us the hell alone. Your wife and her friends will thank you for it. And a happy, well rested, soul-fed wife is much more likely to come home interested in bed sports than a wife who has left her house only to find that her job has followed her.

Respectfully yours,

Every Damn Wife in the World

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Somedays I'm Kinda Smart. Other Days, Not So Much

Seven years ago, I was a young mother and fledgling seamstress dying to make clothing for my young children. I decided upon a simple two-piece pajama set and picked out some fun fabrics.

I remember those pajamas with fondness. They were roomy enough that Mike was able to wear them for a couple of years. They were short sleeved with pants and made of a light cotton so they were suitable for both summer and winter. I accidentally made them too long so as he grew I let the pants down. I'm not sure who loved those pajamas more, me or Mike. By the time he was far too big to wear them any longer and they had to be retired, they were so worn that you could see the outline of his body through the fabric.

It was those pajamas that came to mind last week as I did the periodic clothes rotation that the seasons and growing children demand. Adam had outgrown most of his pajamas so I decided that I would make him a few pairs for his upcoming birthday. I even bought some fabric several months ago with the vague idea that I might one day turn it into jammies.

This morning found me in my sewing room, fondly reminiscing as I perused the box of every pattern I've ever purchased. There was the baby bunting I made for Noel. And there were the dragon and dragon-slayer Halloween costumes from when they were one and three.

I finally found the pajama pattern and pulled it out of the envelope to sort out the pieces that I would need.

I smiled to myself as I noticed the changes that several years of sewing have wrought. I used to carefully cut out every piece in the pattern, regardless of whether or not I actually planned on using it. Now I only cut out what I need, saving myself a lot of time that I used to waste cutting out patterns to projects I would never make.

I sorted through every piece, double checked, and then sorted again. There was every damn piece of that pattern except the ones I needed. Which leads me to assume that I threw them away!

I'm a minimalist kinda gal. If you're looking for knick knacks, keep looking because you won't find them at my house. My prom dress was simple enough that I wore it to church for years after I graduated from high school. I put my mother through endless stress because I wanted to rent instead of buy my wedding dress and I refused to get silk wedding flowers so that I could follow the tradition of keeping my wedding bouquet in a beautiful glass display case. (I left my fresh wedding flowers at the church, intending for them to be thrown away and my sneaky mother kept them, dried them and put them in a jar and gave them to me a few weeks later. It took several years before the guilt allowed me to fianlly throw them away.) My rule is this: "If it's not seasonal and you haven't used it in more than a month, you don't need it." Makes for some interesting, ah, conversations between me and my "saver" husband. But I digress.

Somewhere in that frugal little 24 year old brain of mine, I thought that it would make sense to throw away the only pieces of the pattern that I used and keep the rest. They were the key pieces so I can't even use the others, like the neck facing.

Turns out I was a big dummy even then. It's nice to know that some things never change.