Tag Archives: crud my kids say

Evil Creeps Closer

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The phone rang with the number of The Kids’ school. At the same time, texts start coming in from The Girl. She left for school that morning feeling less that 100% so I assumed it was a call from the nurse & rejected the school phone call while finishing up a phone call with a client.

When I finally looked at my phone I felt the color drain from my face.

“We’re in a shelter in place” read The Girl’s text.

Cursing myself for not answering the call from the school, I fought the urge to drive there knowing that whatever was happening, the last thing the school staff needed was a group of anxious parents getting in the way.

I’m sure every parent from Parkland or Columbine… every loved one from The Pulse in Orlando or The Borderline in Thousand Oaks, CA… thought it couldn’t possibly happen in their world. We all think that. We all desperately want to believe that. Whenever there was a lag in The Girl’s texts, I wondered. Just like all of those other families.

Just 6 days ago, last Wednesday, a threat to The Kids’ school was found in a bathroom. It was deemed “not credible” & extra police were on hand for the last two days of the week. The Kids were with their dad that night & we discussed via text whether or not he should keep them home like they wanted. We decided, as The Ex so eloquently put it, that “we would not be emotionally manipulated by some mouth breather with a crayon.”

Heading back into school on this Monday morning, it seemed like a lifetime ago & we didn’t give it a second thought.

The Girl tells of being in math & having the teacher suddenly go to the door & pull a couple of kids in from the hall, shutting off the lights & locking the door as they rushed into the room. At least she had her phone with her. The Boy was in gym with his Medical Assisting shop which is 99% female. As the girls were ushered into the women’s locker room, he was pushed into the men’s locker room with a group of seniors that had been working out nearby. No phone, no way to communicate, not knowing anyone. He puts on a brave face but when we went to the store tonight, he stuck by my side instead of his usual routine of going off to see what was new for PS4 or XBox games.

My kids are growing up with evil getting closer.

Someone pointed out tonight that it was a good thing they practiced active shooter drills because at least they knew what to do. “It’s like the fire drills & evacuations we used to do in school.”

Only it’s not.

A fire can happen any time, true. But a fire – with rare exception – is not an intentional act of violence. Staring down a fire & trying to get away from it can’t come close to the terror of facing down evil with a gun. In your school. These kids are growing up with a heightened sense of fear for exactly this reason. We wonder why anxiety is rampant among teenagers. We blame mounting academic pressures, the 24/7 culture of social media & the violence of video games. Have we ever considered that it’s because this generation – born during & after 9/11 – have been raised on high alert. They have been raised to know that they are not safe, even in their own schools.

I remember the first time The Boy came home from his new elementary school in 3rd grade & told me about the drill they had. The teacher locked the door & turned off the light & they all crawled into a vent at the back of the classroom & had to sit really still. That same year, their first in public school, The Girl came home & told us about a lock down drill they did in middle school that day. One of the kids said something during the drill & the teacher looked at that kid & said, “Thanks. You just killed us all.”

This is how they have to live now. This is how we all have to live. With evil creeping closer.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t even really know what questions to ask to get to the right answers to end this. I trust my kids’ school. I trust the systems & protections they have put into place. I trust my kids to be smart & alert & to do what they need to. No, I don’t want to be emotionally manipulated by some mouth breather with a crayon. I also don’t want to see evil in my kids’ school or any school. And I feel helpless watching it creep closer.

The evil didn’t get to them today. The school was evacuated & the kids were sent home. The school was swept by bomb squads & dogs & deemed safe so they will be going back tomorrow.

But “safety” is kind of relative now, isn’t it?

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Valen-Times

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The Girl: “I don’t have a Valentine.”

Me: “That’s okay, sweetie. I don’t have a Valentine either.”

The Girl: “This is different. This is 5th grade. This is HARD!”

The Boy: “What are you talking about? You have valentines. I saw you sign all those SpongeBob cards the other day.”

Me: “No, buddy. When people get older, they like to have one special person that they want to be with & they call them their Valentine.”

The Boy: “Well, that’s just ridiculous.”

———-

Me: “Come on guys! Let’s make our Fondue!”

The Girl: “Let’s hope it really is a fondue & not a Fon-Don’t.”

———-

The Boy thought it was unfair that this was called “Fondue for Two” so we changed it.

Scenes from The Super Bowl

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The Boy: “YEAH! The New York CHUMPS! That’s why it says NYG!”*

Me: “That would make it The New York Gumps.”

The Boy: “But that makes no sense.”

*we’re still working on the trash talking.

———-

The Girl: “Mom, is that your second beer?”

Me: “Yes. Why?”

The Girl: “I’m not proud.”

———-

The Girl, during the Teleflora ad with Adriana Lima: “So slow motion is supposed to make it sexier?”

———-

The Girl: “You know I don’t have any idea what’s going on… and I think the commercials are definitely the best part of this.”

Touche’, Little Girl.

MomDay Monday – Aisles of Smiles

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Everyone should have to work in retail for at least 6 months at some point in their lives.

Every. One.

It’s something you can’t possibly understand unless you experience it first hand. And I promise you, you will never shop the same way again.

All of us in retail have seen things that would make your head spin. And then pop off. There are the people who open the curtains & drape them across the towels to see if they match. And the ones who put every rug on the floor to see how they look under their feet, then leave the aisle looking like a U2 concert. And then there are those who wipe their kids’ noses on the clothing (it’s why you should always… ALWAYS… wash what you buy before you wear it. New clothes smell be damned).

Now don’t get me wrong. There are many shoppers who are genuinely kind & who appreciate when you help them. But there is also a daily, random weirdness that makes you scratch your head. So to get through the day, I end up saying things in my head to amuse myself about  each situation because frankly, if I’m amused, it will just go better for everyone.

———-

Customer: “I need a 2×8 runner.”

Me: “Ours are 25×84 inches.”

Customer: “I don’t know what that means.”

Me (in my head): “It means you should be shopping somewhere that doesn’t require basic math skills.”

———-

I’m sorry I directed you to the wrong aisle, ma’am, but your accent made, “Where’s detergents?” sound like “Where’s da Trojans?” and, hey, who am I to judge?

———-

You know people in my area really hate The Yankees’ A Rod when his picture won’t even sell for 75% off.

———-

Would the brass polish you’re looking for be for your hair, ma’am?

———-

If you know each other well enough to have this discussion in the aisle of your friendly neighborhood retailer, then you probably know each other well enough to have this conversation in the privacy of one of your own homes, away from the employee of the friendly neighborhood retailer who just wants to fold the towels. By the way, I’m glad your baby is finally able to latch on & that it made a big difference in how chafed your nipples are.

———-

You can say “buffalump” as many times as you like, ma’am. I’m not ever going to know what it means.

———-

Apparently on your planet it’s called “milk oil.” Here we call it “chocolate syrup.” Welcome to Earth.

———-

This is an actual store, sir. Not a flea market. We don’t haggle.

Sometimes it’s the customers who inject the humor: 

“I see boys clothes & I see toddler clothes. Where are the old fart clothes?”

———-

Me, to a customer with a full cart: “Did you need help finding something?”

Customer: “No, thanks. I think I’ve found enough all on my own.”

———-

Me: “Can I help you find something?”

Customer: “My husband… Wait! What am I saying? I have the car keys. This is my chance!”

And then there are the inspirational:

80-year-old Eileen is going back to college & came to the store to buy a computer desk & chair. “It’s just a number,” she said of her age. “If you stay engaged in life, you won’t grow old.” God speed, Eileen.

MomDay Monday – Questions & Answers

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There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

Now before you run screaming into the night because you think this is another “2011 sucked & let’s all hope for a new start in 2012” post, calm down. It is. Except not really.

2011 asked a lot of questions of me. Mostly “Why?” and “What the hell happened?” It was a year of endings. My marriage ended. Friends & lovers walked away & I did some walking away of my own. Bun-Bun & Cupcake, The Hamsters, both died (A graveside service for Cupcake will take place tomorrow at 5 pm in the backyard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a donation to Mom’s Sanity Fund  because in our grief I think I agreed to get a cat). Even my vacuum cleaner & water heater said goodbye.

So this is where other blogs or posts or status updates or tweets would tell you how they will be the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, ready to greet the new year full of optimism, with a clean slate. To them I say… Shut. Up. It’s not that simple. Yes, I too am hoping that 2012 will be a year more of answers than of questions. Answers like “Yes”, “Anything you want” and “Of course your new kitten already knows how to use the litter box & has been trained not to scratch the furniture.”

But just because the calendar moved one day does not take away the pain, the confusion, the moments of doubt. Those things will continue to drift in & out, hopefully lessening as the year wears on. So I refuse to say that I will no longer feel bad or will stop asking “Why?” or “What the hell happened?” I will give myself the time to sort through those questions & come to answers that are livable for me. It might be in January, but more than likely, it won’t be for a while yet.

So welcome New Year. Nobody is happier to see you than I am. Let’s agree to an uneasy truce & see what you bring. Just know that you’re on notice, 2012… I’ll be watching you.

Oh, Sweet Carnage

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This is what the kit is supposed to look like:

And this is what happens when you make the kit with The Boy:

“Elves will die!”*

“Noooo!! Not the reindeer!”*

“Ah… the sweet taste of carnage.”*

*Actual quote from The Boy.

Dear Viewing Public: Please do not inundate me with comments & emails about my son needing psychological help because he created a scene of carnage out of elves & reindeer. He is a boy. A 7-year-old boy. If your 7-year-old boy is not creating scenes of carnage out of everyday items, THEY’RE the ones who need psychological help. It’s what 7-year-old boys do. True story.