Friday, December 19, 2014

One of Those Times

Sometimes, I so rock life.  I mean seriously...I kill it.  I workout 3-4 times a week, homework gets done, the house is relatively clean, Clif and I get a night out, we eat our veggies, laundry is put away, everyone is happy and healthy and we are totally winning.


Well then there are the other 51 weeks in the year.

Kidding...but seriously, then there are those times...well, I completely and utterly fail at all aspects of this little life we have.  I'm in one of those times right now.

I ate fast food this week.  I haven't eaten fast food in a very long time.  I did go to the gym on Wednesday, but that was definitely negated by the fast food.

One of the dogs pooped all over the hall last night.  That was fun to clean up, while also yelling at Ainsley to do her homework at 8:30 at night.  Did I mention that she hasn't done it all week and bedtime is 8:00?  And I'm not a crazy homework nazi, but she did miss a week of school while we were in Disney.  Then she got sick, and missed 4 out of 5 days of the following week.  So I feel like she's a bit behind.

My house...oh boy.  It is baaaaaad.  Like, really bad.  Like, I can't even bear to be awake and in it, bad.  Good thing I've been so busy that I haven't spent any time there.  Probably also the reason one of the dogs defecated in the house.  They were left there from 7:30ish yesterday morning until 7:30ish last night.  That's not normal, but it has been kind of par for this past week.

Other than the actual Wendy's fast food this week, we've also eaten out every night...or ordered in.  There's so much to do that I just can't even seem to get home before 6:30 or 7 and then it's just too late to do anything but order a pizza or send Clif on a dinner mission.

Last night, he called to ask if he should pick up food and I said yes.  He asked what I wanted and I said "I don't care, can you please just make this decision?"  He said okay, but what did I specifically want from a certain place.  My response..."Just make sure it doesn't have mushrooms.  I'll eat anything else."

And when I'm in one of these times, I just want to curl up in my bed and cry and sleep.  I don't want to finish Christmas shopping, or clean my house, or wrap presents, or make dinner, or even be present in the evening. Every night, at bedtime.  I go upstairs and tell Freddie to put his PJs on 734 times.  Then I change into my own PJs, lay on my bed and say "Can the kids put themselves to bed and I just stay here?  And while people and things are doing their own stuff...can Ainsley's lunch pack itself, and the kitchen floor mop itself, and the stupid elf move itself?  All while I sleep?"  Then I go to Freddie's room and find him half naked and give him the same lecture I give him every night about doing what I ask when I ask it.

I know it will pass...but it sure sucks while it's happening and there just seems no end in sight.  No end until the big ole Christmas Day deadline when shopping and wrapping and cooking and baking and cleaning and everything else in the world must be done.  Is it any wonder that this is not my favorite holiday?  I will take a nice cold beer on a warm 4th of July day over December 1st-23rd EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!

Now December 24th and 25th are pretty freaking's just the lead up that gets me.

So until then, I will be over here all zombie and bah-humbug-ish.

Monday, December 15, 2014

To the Woman in the Booth Over There


You'll have to forgive me, I didn't catch your name.  Honestly, if I passed you on the street, I probably wouldn't recognize you.  I'm not sure what color hair you have or how tall  you are.  I don't know your age or where you're from.

All I know is that you sat near us at Outback on Friday night, so I could make certain assumptions about your life, but I'm not going to do that.  I'm going to do my best to give you the benefit of the doubt.

So for a moment, let me tell you about us.  We don't eat out very often.  When we do it's normally at one of those counter service places.  You know the ones that are just a step above fast food.  We go to places like Chipotle, or Chick-Fil-A, or Firehouse Subs.  Oh and pizza...we do pizza quite often.

We work.  My husband and I both work full time.  And we have young I'm sure you noticed.  So on nights that involve errands or dropping off cars for oil changes, well, it's very hard to get home and get dinner on the table before bedtime.  So on those nights, we do eat out.

Rarely do we go to a sit-down restaurant.  It's not very affordable for a family of 5 and really the kids are much more happy with chicken nuggets or pizza.  But on occasion, when we're feeling financially optimistic, we will go to a place like Outback.  Before Friday night, I'm pretty sure I hadn't been to an Outback in over a year.  The food is okay, and it is very pricey.

I won't take my kids to a nice restaurant.  If I'm not sure what kind of place it is, I always call and ask about the noise level and if they have a kids menu.  I am always very conscience of my children in public and how they're acting.  I never want them to be perceived in a bad way.  I know they aren't bad children, I know they're just children.  But some tend to jump to conclusions based on a momentary meeting or impression.

So Friday night we decided on Outback, and so did you.  I didn't even notice you.  I was very busy cutting up grapes for the baby, finding ketchup for the preschooler, and walking my 2nd grader to the bathroom.  There were definitely some tears from the baby at the beginning, and maybe towards the middle when the grapes ran out and he had to wait for more.  You see, we're in this crazy kid phase.  He doesn't want to be in the highchair but he's really too young for a booster seat.  He loves the booster, but he doesn't like to stay put, you know?  Maybe you don't.  Again, I don't know you at all, so I don't even know if you have children.  But trust me, 18 month-olds are terrible listeners.  Asking them to sit and quiet down simply does not work.

It was as we were finishing our dinner that you made  your presence known.  You walked over and very politely said "Excuse me, I have a request for you."  I looked up and don't think I didn't notice that you were directing this at me.  You didn't even glance at my husband.

You continued..."The next time your son is screaming at the top of his lungs, please take him outside as to not disturb the other guests in the restaurant."

Or something like that.  To be honest, no one has ever said anything like that to me before.  And at this point my husband was talking back.  Like usual, I can never defend myself the moment I need to.  I'm much better at taking the time to write it down.  Plus, while all this is going on and you and my husband are exchanging words (and again, don't think I didn't notice how you kept looking at me, even though he was doing all the talking, like "A mother should control her children.")  I'm very aware of the fact that we have 3 sets of little eyes watching us.  Three sets of little ears hanging on every word.  Three little minds and personalities being shaped and impressed by everything we do.

There was an exchange, a heated one.  I think the only thing I did was thank you for informing us of how to be good parents.  Some smart ass comment, that probably didn't even come out the way I intended it to because I really suck at that kind of thing.  Then you left.  I can't remember what you said after your initial "request" and I can't really remember any of my husband's words...just the look on his face.

So here's the thing...I get it.  At least I'm trying to get it.  I'm trying to not be all judgy and rude, like some people.  So I'm saying to myself...maybe this was her and her husband's only night out all month.  Maybe she's never had children, or maybe she does have children, and she just doesn't know or remember.  Maybe this is the highest quality restaurant they go to.  Maybe my baby did ruin their meal.

If any of that is true...I'm sorry.  Really, I'm sorry if my child caused you grief and annoyance.  I'm not being condescending or sarcastic.  I'm really sorry.

But I think, maybe, you owe me an apology too.  Because what were you hoping to accomplish?  How does informing me after the fact that my child has ruined your night, do anything but make me feel terrible?  How does approaching people about the way they handle their children fix anything?

That night I went from being embarrassed to upset to angry to confused.  But here's the thing, if you were sitting in front of me right now, and I had the time to think about what to say to you so that I didn't cry or scream.  I would say this.  You have every right to a have a nice dinner.  But I have every right to take my family to dinner at a family restaurant.  You have every right to be annoyed with my kids.  But they have every right to act like kids.  Newsflash...we all live on this planet TOGETHER and we all have to figure out how to work it out and get along.  

So next time you're sitting near us in a restaurant that's meant for families, please feel free to ask for another table.  If I notice, I may be a bit self conscious but I will understand.  Please feel free to roll your eyes and cover your ears.  Again, it may bother me a bit, but I get it.  But please, do not stroll over in all of your high and mightiness and tell me how to sooth my baby or raise my children.  I've got that covered.

The Woman with the Screaming Kid at Outback

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