Sunday, September 8, 2019

I do not want to pack your lunch. I can't even pack my lunch.

You guys, it just took an act of congress to sign-in to my blog.

I am "this many years old" (written with a smug look on my face that says - I am sick of 'I am this many years old'), y'all:

1.  Get my coffee.
2.  Decide, after stewing about two things for two weeks to write it down even though I have 18,000 things to do right now that do not remotely involve me sharing with anyone how I am feeling.
3.  Turn on my laptop.
4.  Check my email (I have deleted all but nine emails after having thousands for years, so sometimes I just check my email even though I know there's only 9 because it makes me feel like I am actually doing something useful in life).
5.  Check my bank account (Because I can, y'all.  I got online banking after 35 years).
6.  Go to my blog's http.
7.  Click 'sign-in.'
8.  Make a confused face when Google asks me what account I'd like to use (5 choices pop-up).  Who are these people?  Why does Google have all these accounts for me?  Did I make them?  Google:  I hate you.  Do I really want to write a blog post?
9.  Pick one randomly.
10.  Cuss when I log-in with a password I have pulled out of my ass (and it works - there might be a God and she knows me) and Google tells me there are no blogs currently for this account.  Would I like to &*%^$*&% start one?  There is no god.
11.  Lose the will to write anything.
12.  Pull my Password Book (titled Password Book) off the shelf.
13.  Cuss as I look at all the pages where I've written UPDATED PASSWORD FOR MY BLOG.  Who am I?  Do I even deserve a blog?  DO I EVEN UNDERSTAND HOW THE INTERNET WORKS?  Decidedly, no and no.
14.  Go to the link under Help that says, "I am a moron and I still cannot log into my blog.  I have tried selling my first born and that has not worked.  Please help me with a step-by-step."  (Google does know me.)
15.  Change my &*%^$^$# email account AND my password AND write it down in the book AND log into my blog.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  Here we all are, FINALLY.

I no longer remember what I had to write and I am so mad that my fingers are making nice clicking sounds on the keys.

Okay.  Here we go.  The two things I have really quick since I spent most of the time I don't have logging in.

Y'all, why are high school students not packing their own lunches?  This has gotten under my skin so much that it has caused me to gain weight.  I think.

So, I attended a sports meeting with my sophomore the other night and when the coach asked are there any questions a mom said, "Yes.  I pack Tommy his snacks and water bottle, but I just want to make sure that there is water available at the meets that he can access."

Okay.  I communicate with my sophomore girl right now exclusively through texts and side-eyes except when she wants to berate me for like not buying enough blueberries.  I gave her a side-eye at this point that said, "Is she f&*%$^ serious?  Is Tommy in PreK?"

PLEASE NOTE:  I teach PreK and I am not a judge Judy when it comes to parenting.  But, this really got under my skin.  If you are a sophomore in high school and you are involved in sports, should you not know how to ask for water in the Texas heat (which is still above 1000 degrees F)?  AND WHY IS SHE STILL PACKING HIS SNACKS AND WATER BOTTLE???  My kids started packing their lunches (mostly under duress) when they were like in fourth grade.

When I posted this question (innocently, I thought) on Twitter (nothing is innocent on Twitter, I know), I got the interesting response that he might have a condition that would require help.  Yeah, I get that.  I'm a teacher and a parent of four.  But, still.  My PreK kids (some of whom have unique needs) take out all their own snacks and water bottles and fill up their water bottles with minimal assistance.

What I really think is going on here is something I read about last night.  What is happening??  I know now that I am not the only one out there in the universe who does not need to know when my child is picking their nose.  I haven't made dinner in months, you guys, let alone put trackers on my kids' phones.

Maybe this is hitting me so hard because I feel guilty all of a sudden for being such a sub-par parent or maybe it's because I am seeing sooooo many capable, yet helpless PreK students entering my class, or maybe I am turning into a cranky old lady.  I suspect it's all three.  So, yeah.  I just had to get that off my chest.

And the other thing (yeah, go ahead, picture me):

Sophomore girl comes home the other day and tells me and her dad that she learned in her child development class about the character traits parents should have.  Before she even recounted them my thought was, "Maybe I'll have one?"  She carefully pointed out the ones we don't have.  Even collectively.

I am My Kid Tells Me I Shouldn't Have Had Kids years old.

Immediately I thought of all the traits missing from her teacher's list.  Oh, and, lest you think I'm completely heartless (you are not too far off the mark at this point) - lots of big love for HS child development teachers everywhere.  I don't even know how they actually communicate with high school students.

Essential Parenting Traits (short list)

1.  A sense of humor.  Could this one literally not cover for all the other traits you don't have?
2.  The ability to listen attentively to Minecraft drivel you don't understand for literally years even though you are thinking about how many more miles you can drive without running out of gas, is there milk in the fridge, do you have clean underwear for work tomorrow, when is Christmas.
3.  The best playlist to get you through all the feels and to teach your kids what real music sounds like.  (I mean shouldn't that one literally be a requirement for pregnancy?)
4.  The ability to potty train a human without losing life (yours or theirs).
5.  The ability to multi-task while multi-tasking.
6.  The ability to clean up pee, poop, vomit, and any other thing that comes out of a human.
7.  Have enough love in your heart to cover for all the times you screw up like sending your kid to school dressed like they're 100 when it's really only the 99th day of school.  And ice cream.  You're gonna need the ability to buy lots of ice cream after pulling crap like that on your kids.

I'm gonna just stop at seven even though my mind was going on and on.

Then I asked her if the teacher gave them a list of traits teenage girls should have.  She gave me a side-eye.

That's all I got.  I feel a little better after writing it all down.  It's too late to go back.  On most days, I am doing the best I can and I respect parents everywhere doing the best they can.  Sometimes it's hard down here in the trenches.

Below I have included a short video because it restored my faith in our parenting thus far. If our kid makes videos while doing math online and they are so funny I have to watch them like a billion times while still finding things to laugh about, then, yeah.  I think we're doing it ok enough.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

busy as a Mexican paper wasp.

Y'know how when something kinda bad happens and you just have this sinking feeling that you are on the verge of a landslide of bad happenings?  Well, here we stand (we being my family).

Saturday hubby was cutting some trees down and he got stung by what we think are Mexican paper wasps.  His hand swelled up and he was in a fair bit of pain.  (Man-pain, though.  Which for comparison's sake:  a man being in a "fair bit of pain" = a woman being in labor with twins.)  This led to the frightening discovery of a wasp hive in some boxes of stuff that we have "in storage" next to our garage.  This led to a discussion about how to get rid of said hive.  (It's hard to tell how large the hive is or to scientifically estimate how many wasps could be in said hive.  Estimates range from three inches to three feet in length and anywhere from 20-2000 wasps.)

Hubby and I have been thinking about the hive quite a bit since Saturday.  He called some sort of wasp guru and she said hive removals can cost up to $800.  Currently we have about a $20 in checking, so we're thinking that won't work.  She also said that Mexican paper wasps can somehow sting through basically metal and so you are pretty much defenseless against them.

I had a nightmare in which giant bees were chasing Girl 3 and it was scary.  I told hubby I had a nightmare about the bees and he said, "Me too."  The fear this is unleashing is kinda a movement in our family right now.

So, today we got a notice that we are having bulky pick-up very soon in our neighborhood to which we all said excitedly, "Yay!  We can finally get rid of those boxes stacked by the garage."  Followed by a depressed, "But, how are we going to kill the wasps?"

This led to a terrifying dinner discussion which was disturbing yet typical of my family.  Here are some solutions that were proposed (most of them by hubby).

1.  Dress in multiple layers of clothing with our ski gear on top and modified BMX helmets for head protection and unleash several cans of whoop ass wasp spray on the hole in the box.  (Incidentally, when this first happened and we saw the hole in the box which is the opening of the hive, the 1. Cut a hole in the box jokes began.)  Boy child said to this idea, "That might work, but what if someone sees us?"  Point well taken.  Plus, we couldn't decide who would be the main person on this.  Hubby sweats a lot and it's still like 90 here, we don't really want to put the children at risk, and I don't have good aim.

2.  Get a second opinion.  This was Girl 1's idea.  If I had to pick a rational member of the family during this conversation, I pick her.  Hubby said he'd already as good as gotten one (see #6), and that pretty much shut her down.

3.  Put a lighted torch type/molotov cocktail on the end of a large (like 14 foot) pole that we have (why do we have that pole?) and somehow maneuver the pole into the hole in an attempt to burn them out.  To this I said, "Yeah, but then we have the same problem if they swarm us and we just go back to needing our suits and wasp spray."

4.  Burn down the entire garage (this was, surprisingly (?), Boy Child's suggestion).  We all kinda liked this one because we all hate cleaning the garage and we've been wanting to start over for a while.  But, y'know, laws and stuff.  And I said I'd feel really bad if we accidentally burned the neighbor's garage down, too.

5.  Somehow maneuver a tarp over the wasps (without them knowing) and then after the tarp was sealed (with rocks?) on all sides we would stick a fogger in there.  This seemed like a reasonable suggestion to us.  But, how could we get the tarp over them without getting stung?

6.  Ask our neighbor who "knows a guy" that can do it for $50 to give us that guy's number.  And call him.  The kids and I really liked this idea.  We pointed out that it kept our family safe and if we called the guy tonight, we could still get our wasp-free boxes to the curb (and possibly clean the garage) this weekend.  Hubby hated this idea.  He said $50 was still too much and we were up for a challenge.

In the end (I think it's the end?), hubby said the only way it's getting done is if we all take a job.  We've kinda decided (I guess?) that three of us will dress in suits (I'm not sure what kind, but I might be getting our ski clothes out of the attic), the youngest will man the phone (in case she needs to call 911), Girl 1 will drive the getaway car, and Girl 2 will be in her room on her phone and after we've exterminated the wasps, come out alive, and are wiping the sweat off of our brows will bounce downstairs and say, "What'd I miss?"

Friday, September 7, 2018

i teach prek. thank you?

i blinked and summer was over.  there are 54 more days until halloween.  this is my life currently:

in my prek class we go hard on manners the first couple weeks.  i eat lunch (and sometimes breakfast) with 18 four year olds five days a week.  a lot of times they don't like what i'm eating (or what their classmates are eating).  at the beginning of the year, they say things like, "that's disgusting!"  "that looks like throw-up!"  "is that poop?"  "your food is sick!"

so, i teach them that it's more polite to say, "i don't care for broccoli."  "i don't really like tomatoes."  "i am not a fan of humus."  "i've never seen food that looks like that before."

we also learn the "magic words."  ("please" and "thank you.")

so, the other day i was eating tomatoes for lunch and a little boy named J said, "DISGUSTING!  i HATE tomatoes!"

i said, "oh, J!  remember, manners!  what's more polite?"

to which J said, "i hate tomatoes................please?"

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Dental floss? Anyone?

As most of you know (all three of you reading my blog - half of whom are related to me), I have four kids.  When the three older ones (currently 16, 15, and 14) were, I think under say 10, I had a housecleaner who I loved dearly.  Even with said housecleaner, my house was rarely deep cleaned.  She did not:  clean windows, move furniture, or clean the insides of any cabinets or such (presumably, that was my responsibility).  With three small children and one smaller child, I just never really cleaned.

I can distinctly remember the last time every window in our home was cleaned.  I was going into labor with Girl 2 (so, 2004), and hubby insisted on continuing to clean the windows until he was done.  (Another blog post, entirely.)  Those windows eventually got filthy again and we decided just to get all new windows.  And, it's kinda gone like that.

The fridge rarely got cleaned (inside or out or underneath) and then finally we just got a new fridge.

So, since I'm a teacher, summer is my time to "relax" and get everything I put off all freaking year done.  Doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, eye appointments, purging, and cleaning.  On my summer list for the past few years has been:  Clean the entire house, top to bottom, and get rid of unnecessary items. This is a painstaking task and usually I end up drinking a lot of beer and blogging many times while completing it.

I'm about 1/8 of the way through and here's my list so far.

1.  We always end up with a lot of dental floss.  It's weird.  There are six of us and we all go to the dentist religiously every six months.

 (And just a side-note:  I have teeth I am proud of and my first memory of going to the dentist was in about late elementary when I threw up on the dentist after my mom warned him that I had a heightened gag reflex.  My next dentist memory is from college when the hygenist actually felt the need to show me how to brush my teeth.  I don't know if it's because I was the tenth child, but I do not recall my mom or dad ever asking me if I'd brushed my teeth or showing me how to brush my teeth.)

The dentist gives us dental floss every time any of us goes to the dentist (which is 12 times if you are doing the math).  We all floss, but no one ever uses this particular dental floss.  This time I checked we have 13 containers of floss from the dentist.  (Along with maybe 1000 hotel containers of toiletries.  I am thinking of googling a place to donate all of these items.  Oh, and old contacts, of which I have 7 boxes unopened.

2.  I clean my fridge now that I am able and it just gets dirty again.  It's ridiculous.  I mean, how rude. Fridge:  Have some decency and consideration.

3.  We never have band-aids.  My kids constantly make fun of me because I just don't believe in band-aids and so I don't buy them.  And when I do, the kids use them, damnit.  And then we don't have anymore.  Here is my logic (and if I could make flow-charts, now would be the most amazing time) - if you are cut and bleeding you might need a band-aid.  Can you stop the blood with a tissue?  Yes?  You don't need a band-aid.  No?  Then try a paper-towel.  Can you stop it with patience and a paper towel?  Yes?  You don't need a band-aid.  No?  Then you might need to go to the ER.  Can you see bone?  No?  You don't need to go to the ER.  Try pressure, a paper towel, and more patience.  Yes?  You need the ER.  And go ahead and take some ibuprofen because you're probably going to need it.

My kids make fun of me for numerous things and my extreme distaste for band-aids and my penchant for ibuprofen are defiantly one of their funniest and most honest observations.

Well, I actually found five sad band-aids while cleaning.  I screamed out to all my kids, "GUYS!  GUESS WHAT.  I FOUND FIVE BAND-AIDS.  DON'T SAY I NEVER GIVE YOU ANYTHING." Girl 1 was the most pitiful.  She came into my room where I was cleaning my bathroom and very sadly said, "Mom, can you please buy more band-aids.  I actually need them sometimes."  It was really pathetic and made me think what a horrible parent I am.  I think I'll consider buying more.

4.  Where do people put random stuff?  Consider this a survey and please let me know.  Where do you store safety pins?  Do you even have safety pins?  I mean, they're so confusing.  Are they an office supply or a toiletry?  A beauty product?  What about Scentsy bars?  Party supplies?  Wreaths?  We have a small junk drawer which I police religiously, but not only is it not really the place for safety pins or Scentsy bars, it's so junky they wouldn't fit.  We are not rich and we definitely live in a tiny house, but if I had a million dollars and could buy the house of my dreams I'd have a junk closet where I would just store random stuff.  For now, there is a snack bag of safety pins on my desk until further notice.

5.  Can we talk coffee cups?  Make no mistake, I love my parents and I get amazing teacher presents every single year.  But, it is fact that teachers get approximately 8000 coffee cups a year.  This year I got two with my name on them.  I'm embarrassed to Goodwill them because the horror if the parent that gave them to me saw them at Goodwill.  I love my coffee, but I use exactly three coffee cups (all the Starbucks large city ones) weekly.  Goodwill gets a lot of cups from me y'all.  Ditto for reusable water bottles.

6.  I've read every single article about cleaning ever published, I think.  Usually they just make me feel incredibly inadequate and dirty.  But, sometimes I just flat out think, who the hell?  And, also, when?  I just finished Mr. Clean sponge cleaning my restroom walls and door frames.  It honestly looks like I painted.  Good God.  Am I that filthy?  (And, now, by the way, I am enjoying a beer and blogging because damn was that hard work.  I do not think I'll be up to it for another 16 years.)

That's my list so far.  It's a work in progress, so there might be more later.  Meanwhile, if you're ever in the neighborhood, please don't hesitate to stop by for a coffee or beer.  I will try to wash the dog hair off the counter before I serve you.  (And you can take a sweet little bag of floss and toiletries with you when you leave.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

102 years later.

today my dad turns 102.  he was born in 1916, and here's a google link to what i found out about that.  i have the upmost respect and love for this man.  and when i wonder about "god" i can say that what i see in him is a light that i will equate with a god.

a list is not adequate, but it's all i have.

1.  he had me when he was as old as i am now.  he'd already had nine children.  i will allow myself to imagine that only for a short time because it sometimes brings me to tears.  i am an "older parent" and our youngest is nine.  (that almost brings me to tears.)  parenting is hard and having an infant right now, for me, would be really hard.  i admire the heck out of him for parenting me like he did.

2.  there are so many great stories when you have been on this earth 102 years.  here's one:  my husband and i had recently moved close to my parents and we went over to their house.  hubby who is an expensive bike enthusiast had a really expensive bike.  because we were living in an apartment without a garage, hubby asked dad to keep his bike in dad's garage.  dad hung it up and hubby, looking at the hook dad had hung it on, asked dad, "jesse, is that hook gonna hold my bike?"  and dad said, "well, if it doesn't, your bike will fall."  classic dad.  pragmatic.  funny.

3.  dad walked almost every single day of his retired life.  for exercise.  and he made a habit of collecting cans (which he traded in for "beer money") and picking up trash while walking.  i could honestly go on and on about this.  but i think the most incredible part about this to me now is that he stopped and picked up trash.  all of it.  because he did not like litter.  i used to be mildly embarrassed by this as a teen.  but now, i cannot stand litter.  i try to pick it up in my neighborhood every morning.  i hope if dad knew this, he would be proud of me.

4.  dad had an amazing green thumb.  he could grow anything.  my mom, when she was alive, used to try to get my dad to like use mulch or water more and dad would just say, "why?  it's growing isn't it?"  i use mulch and water and everything i plant dies.  i did not inherit his green thumb.

5.  my early memories of my dad are of him coloring with me.  and sitting by his feet while he read the newspaper every night.  another memory is that he weekly (?) would bring a vending machine snack home for me and my sister.  this was a rare treat for us.  my mom had these silver measuring cups and my sister would carefully divide the candy evenly into two cups.

6.  words i would use to describe my dad are:  humble, gentle, patient, kind, simple, wise, loving, content, and generous.

7.  my dad crossed the border when he was nine.  there are so many more details about this that i have learned and forgotten.  i hope to see my last living aunt on my dad's side this summer and refresh the details of this because i would like to be able to repeat this story accurately.  some details about dad i do know are that my dad knew no english when he crossed the border, he worked in the fields picking fruit, he served in WWII, he was injured in the Battle of the Bulge, he earned a purple heart, and he earned his high school diploma when I was about 12.

there was a period of time a few years ago when i helped to provide care-taking for my dad.  he still had most of his memory and there were days i would go to his house frazzled and stressed out for one reason or another.  being with him always calmed me down.  he has a way of just making you feel peaceful and purposeful.  for me, seeing dad daily like that was a great time in my life.

when i think about the amazing legacy my dad has, it's pretty cool.  this morning on my run i thought of all my siblings and their kids.  and their kids.  i thought about all the states we live in, the professions we have, the lives we've touched.  without dad, none of that would have been possible.   i thought about all the amazing things i've learned from my dad - way too many for one blog post or even one book.   it's pretty sappy, but it made me feel pretty good at a time when i've been feeling pretty crappy.  even when he doesn't know it and he's not physically with me, he still has the ability to cheer me up.

my dad is in an amazing memory care home now where they take incredible care of him.   his memory fades in and out.  on good days he knows me.  on not so good days i'd like to think he knows i love him.

today we will celebrate him and the great life he's had and i hope that he knows how special he is.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jesus Take The Wheel

To date my best parenting accomplishment has been potty training four children.  I remember consulting one book and it was called something like Potty Training in 24 Hours.  (That book was mostly a lot of voodoo, but there were some good pointers that I used.  I won't say they were potty trained in 24 hours, but I will claim a moderate to high level of success comparatively evidenced by the fact that more than one friend offered to have me potty train their children.)

When it came to potty training, my kids were quick learners (well, three of them), I managed to be consistent and set the bar high, there were few relapses, and they are all still going strong.

Now, I find myself faced with another difficult parenting challenge which I would like to go down as a Big Accomplishment just like potty training.  I will call this challenge:  Teaching Your Child To Drive (While Not Dying or Killing Others).

This begs the question:  Is there a parenting book dedicated to just this topic?  No?  Well, there should be.  God knows, I've already got enough material for a book.

So, when I knew my son would start to drive I thought hubby would be the frazzled, cursing, white knuckled parent and I would be the cool cucumber blasting the radio with the window down and my hand nonchalantly hanging out.  Hell.  To.  The.  No.  Already.

Hubby is remarkably calm and I am a complete basket case.  Honestly.

I think the best/only way to adequately describe the current situation is a list.

1.  Not only is being a helpless passenger completely nerve wracking for me, when I tried to explain to Boy 1 how I felt being a helpless passenger he said, "Jesus, mom.  How do you think I've felt for 16 years?"  *silence*

2.  The other day while we were waiting (him driving, me a passenger, three girls screaming in the back) in the turn lane to turn left from a four lane road to a six lane road bubba asked, "If an emergency vehicle were to pull up behind me with their siren on, what should I do?"  To which I replied, "Hmm.  Good question.  Ask dad."

Then I said, "I think you should just...I'm not sure...pull out of the way?"  Then bubba said, "Yeah, duh.  But, like where?"

I said, "Well, I'm not sure.  That's a good question.  I'm not sure in 35 years of driving that's ever happened to me.  I think just try to get out of the way and not get hit by another car the best you can.  It's not like that kind of thing happens regularly.  I'm sure by the time it happens to you, you will be far more experienced and just know what to do."

Then it happened yesterday.

And, of course, it was raining and dad wasn't in the car with us.  Just me and six kids.

We  were turning left from a highway access road to a six lane road.  The light was red and Boy 1 was the first person turning left.  An ambulance was suddenly right behind us with his siren on and honking.  My god.  Cursing ensued, Boy 1 was screaming, "*&%&$!!!  MOM, WHAT DO I DO?," the backseat driver (Girl 1) went into high gear screaming, "MOVE OUT OF THE WAY.  WE'RE GONNA DIE.", Girl 2 offered up her "advice" in the form of screaming and cursing, and I'm pretty sure Girl 3 (and possibly me) started crying.  The two friends that were being carted around turned white like ghosts.

It all came out fine, but I think all of our nerves were frayed.  As for myself, I don't even take Xanax, but I felt I needed 10 afterward.

3.  If we had a curse jar in the van, it would be full.  Everyone has started cursing.  I know you're probably snickering at this since I have been known to curse on occasion, but I'm serious.  All the kids (except, honestly, the nine year old) are cursing.  A lot.  You know those signs "Baby on Board"?  We need one.  Crazy Cursing People On Board.

4.  Everything I've known to be true has been called into question.  I'm constantly thinking of driving situations I do not want to be in with Boy 1 or really by myself (in case there's a teen driver near).  I mean, really.  The toddler years are paling in comparison to the fear I have now.  No matter your political affiliation:  Why do we as a society allow teens to drive?

5.  I have seen these signs that you put on your car that say "Student Driver" and some have other things added like "Be Patient" "Don't flip the bird," etc.  So, I thought that would be a great idea for when Boy 1 is driving.  I suggested this to him and he said, "&^%* no, mom.  That is crazy.  I don't want people being nice to me.  I want to experience driving for real.  If everyone is nice to me, I won't really know what real driving is like once that insane sign comes off."

I don't even know how I feel about that.

6.  Why don't people talk more about this?  Why are there not online forums dedicated to Parents of Teen Drivers?  I need a support group.  Or at the very least, more beer.

Boy 1 is working today.  So, no passengering.  I'm going to (happily) drive myself to the grocery store and try to avoid all other cars (in case there's a teen driving).

Happy, safe driving to all of you and just remember that in the next car could be a terrified, white knuckled mom passengering around while her cursing immature teen is learning to drive.  Be patient.  Be kind.  And please, try not to flip the bird.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The purge of summer 2017 in which the wii "disappeared."

As a mom of four, wife of one, I get blamed a lot.  It's my fault when someone doesn't eat breakfast or lunch and is starving and can't wait for dinner.  It's my fault when laundry (that's not mine) stays wet in the washer for 24+ hours.  It's my fault when there's a schedule "miscommunication" and someone has to walk (no one ever has had to walk, but we've done our fair share of unenforceable threatening).  It's my fault when someone doesn't get the item they needed from the grocery store (because I'm a mind reader and can predict everyone's needs and wants).  And on and on.  If we're all honest, it's rarely my fault.  But, sometimes it is.

So, last summer I committed possibly my worst "parenting" (and I say "parenting" because it mostly just affected my kids) mistake to date for which I am still occasionally blamed.

Summer 2017, my son became a minimalist.  He researched it, decided it was for him, and then decided that everything but his bed, desk, technology, and a few clothes were not essential.  Then he encouraged us to start getting rid of our nonessential items crap.  I sorted through things I hadn't seen since the 80's, made piles, put things in boxes, and made about 20 trips to Goodwill.  The minimalist thing worked for us since I like to throw everything away and hubby could stand to throw a lot away.  Also, we are six people living in a teeny, tiny house.

While all of this was happening, we were building a tiny (tinier) house in the back for said son and we were also remodeling our kitchen.  The entire kitchen was packed into boxes and moved into the living room and a fine layer of dust was on every.  thing.  (In case you are wondering, I am still married.)

We also went on two vacations (one out of state) and did all the normal things we do during the summer.  To say that this was stressful does not adequately describe the state of the chaos.  There were boxes for our boxes and in those boxes were more boxes.

We microwaved food  in the living room (where our microwave perched on three boxes) for so long that when we finally moved the microwave back into the kitchen on the brand new black granite countertops, we still headed into the living room to microwave food.  Our dog stopped barking at the workers, and we just got used to people being in our house from 7 to 7.

Anyway.  In the midst of all of this, we got a flat screen TV.  We had said goodbye to our beloved tube TV months before, and finally purchased a flat screen.  When we put our tube TV to the curb for bulky pick-up I had diligently separated out the VCR (yes, we had one), DVD player (because we got a new one of those, too), and what I thought was just a TV contraption thingie and put them all in a box to go to Goodwill.  I distinctly remember (although no one in my house verifies this) asking everyone to go through the box to make sure nothing of value was in the box before I took it to Goodwill.  My story is that this went ignored by all family members.  Their story is that I never asked anyone anything and that I just threw random things in boxes and took them to Goodwill.

Well, eventually the kitchen was finished, we had "minimalized" the house, and we were ready to set everything back in its place.  The kids decided to play a relaxing game of Super Mario to celebrate and they asked me where the Wii had gone.  I said I wasn't sure to look in the boxes that were left.  No one could find the Wii.  Eventually I asked what the Wii looked like.  I'm pretty sure they described the TV contraption thingie that I took to Goodwill.  And that's when the yelling, hysteria, crying, and blaming started.







I swear to God.  It's been almost a year and there is still hate about the Wii.  My 15 year old daughter (self-proclaimed Super Mario expert - I'm not sure what level, but she knows everything about Super Mario) is about to purchase a new/used Wii with her own money and my kids are crazy excited about the prospect of having a Wii again.

As you could guess, I haven't missed the Wii (God knows I couldn't even recognize the damn thing).  But I must say a part of me is looking forward to hearing that catchy Super Mario tune again and maybe practicing my dance moves with Just Dance.

It took a long time for the kids to forgive and forget not bring this up on a daily basis.  There was a little retribution a few weeks after the Wii was discovered missing.  I went to do my favorite ab/core workout video and all I could find was the DVD cover.  At that point all the boxes were unpacked so I could not imagine where it had gone.  Then it occurred to me.  It was in the old DVD player.

I was pissed.  I regretted putting the tube TV to the curb.  I regretted putting all the old crap in boxes.  Hell, at that point I considered going to all the 27 Goodwills in our city and hunting down our Wii and DVD player, and our VCR for that matter.  I thought about the great deal someone got on our Wii and the DVD player.  With my favorite DVD in it!  

I take responsibility.  I mistakingly gave a perfectly working Wii to Goodwill.  But, like many people, I have served my sentence.  Karma played her hand and there went my DVD that kept me in shape.  I now have no core muscles and no visible abs.  I tell my kids, "Mom has served her time."  I lift my shirt slightly to show my muffin top and silence ensues.  The kids shrink out of the kitchen mumbling indecipherable comments.  Sometimes the gods just put everything in place.

Case closed.  Score even.

The end.