Friday, January 29, 2010

Deep dark secrets

I’m home alone this morning and I was going to lie around and watch TV and eat chocolates for an hour, but daytime TV is really sucky. I lasted less than 10 minutes. It’s sad when neither Barbara Walters nor Judge Judy can hold my attention, because honestly, my standards aren’t that I high. I watch Top Model. Anyway, since I don’t have anything else to do (well, that’s not true, I have TONS of things I should do, but not very many that I want to do) I thought I’d spill a little bit of my guts.

For some reason the theme song to the Reba show has a hypnotic hold on me. I don’t watch the show, but if I happen to flip by while the song is playing I’m unable to keep clicking until it’s over. It’s like some kind of country music voodoo.

I don’t like getting out of bed in the morning. Some people think I’m a morning person because I get up early, the truth is, I know morning isn’t going to go away just because I ignore it, so I might as well face it and get on with my day.

I rarely cook a real meal. Like maybe 2 or 3 times a week. I know that makes me a bad wife/mother. I don’t like to cook and I like cleaning up even less. Sorry.

I don’t like The Simpson’s. There I said it. I think it’s a dumb show and I’ve never watched a whole episode. I have a sense of humor; I just don’t think it’s funny.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's not about winning, right?

I’ve been sitting here for an hour trying to plan my soccer practice which starts in 30 minutes but I haven’t been able to plan anything because of the endless loop playing in my head. It sounds something like “Holy Hell woman what were you thinking volunteering to coach a soccer team? Huh? HUH?!!”

The answer is “I HAVE NO IDEA!”

Each practice leaves me more insecure about my lack of skills. My brother came to our last practice, which, while super kind of him and very helpful for the children, served as a big loud reminder that I KNOW NOTHING about soccer. I mean, it’s fun, and I like the kids and they seem to like me, but I just have no idea what I’m doing and I feel like I’m going to ruin it for them.

Also there’s this one mom, she hates me. I can tell. She rarely speaks to me, mostly she just gives me this look then sends her son to practice with “pointers” for me. He’ll say “My mom said I should show the other kids how to ____” “My mom said I should only play ______” “My mom said ______” Last week I told him it was too bad he or his mom aren’t the coach. What I really meant was “Tell your mom to put up or shut up. If she wants to be the coach here’s my whistle.” But that’s not really the kind of thing you can say to an 8 year old.

My assistants are no help. I ask them if they have any ideas and they say “You’re the coach, it’s up to you.” Then they laugh, like there's some MAN joke that I'm not in on. Really? Just like that you’re going to let your kid go down in flames because you don’t want to be in charge? Or because you want to prove to me that I'm an idiot.  Trust me, I KNOW I'm an idiot.

You know that’s really what’s going on here, right? None of these people wanted to be responsible for anything. The mom with the stink eye? She’s at every practice sitting in her lawn chair the entire time, taking notes, thinking she knows more than I do (ok, knowing she knows more than I do), so why didn’t she step up and coach? She clearly has ideas about the right way to do it.

I’m the only one, out of 14 kids, that’s 28 parents, who was stupid brave enough to take this on. That has to count for something, right? Just agree, okay?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

If she finds out she can get Hee Haw from Netflix I'm in trouble

My daughter thinks she loves country music.

I’ve been trying to look the other way, hoping it was a phase. I thought if I didn’t make it a big deal those sad songs coming from her little flowered stereo would go away, and she would stop using her microphone to sing about broken hearts and lost dogs, I’m starting to think I that was the wrong approach and she’s really a fan. This morning she corrected me “It’s not Russell Flatts mom. It’s Rascal." Really? A grown-up named Rascal? What were his parents thinking?

I’m not sure how she even found out about country music in the first place. I don’t listen to it, unless you count the occasional Dixie Chicks fling, or teaching my kids the words to Family Tradition, which I don’t. The Dixie Chicks aren’t country and Hank, well, my mom’s third husband bore a striking resemblance, in both looks and disposition, it’s sentimental. When I think of being whiskey bent and hell bound, he’s the first thing that pops into my mind.

I listen to the music of my youth-80’s alternative, U2 when they were fresh and full of angst, and the music of my parent’s youth-Simon and Garfunkel and the Beatles. I listen to Alicia Keys, The Kings of Leon….every once in a while The Black Eyed Peas (you know, when I’m in the car alone and no one can see me dancing). I’ve tried to expose our children to “good” music. I’ve shared my CDs, my mix tapes, my vintage INXS concert t-shirts, I've told them how The Cure is misunderstood and how “back then” big hair was cool.

I was going to blame my mother, because that’s what people do in situations like this. Everyone knows, when there's no reasonable explanation, you blame your mother.

Also, my mother is a walking greatest hits country music album so…..

Then last night it was raining and I heard my husband ask our daughter if she knew that song about the rain on the windows. All at once everything started to make sense. HE'S the one who told her about country music, he's always trying to wreck my plans.  When he started singing I had a flashback of riding in my mom’s old Chevette with Kenny Rogers coming from the cassette deck.

Suddenly things were moving in slow motion and they were headed toward the computer so he could show her this-

Naturally I stopped them, Morning Desire is not a condition I want to be explaining to a 9 year old.

I won this round but who knows what I'll be up against next time.  It’s clear to me that I’m going to have to get a lot more aggressive and put a stop to this before she starts asking for Crystal Gayle CDs and Oak Ridge Boys posters.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The day I shirked my civic duty

My kids and I had planned to go to the MLK parade downtown like we do every year, somehow they had conned me into agreeing to take them to Peter Piper Pizza for lunch afterwards, which is really a holiday miracle, because on the list of things I hate because they make me feel like my chest will implode from panic, Peter Piper is #3. Then we woke to rain, which we hardly ever do, and the thought of standing in the rain, even to teach my kids a lesson and taking my damp self to pizza hell so I could spend a thousand dollars on tokens to make sure we would come home with a rubber ball and a plastic slinky wasn't something I was feeling up for today.

So I bribed them. 

I offered them frozen food with absolutely no nutritional value and rented movies and real buttered popcorn (not microwaved), I called it a Rain Day and promised them limited chores and tents made out of blankets. They fell for it. 

Now I feel like a heel (sorta).  If we talk about equal rights and sacrifice while we eat frozen pizza in our pajamas does it still count?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Like my brain is the size of a pea or some nonsense

Riddle me this~with all of the “real” news I could be reading or watching, not to mention my own mile long to-do list, why in the name of Johnny Carson can I not turn away from the Conan/Leno train wreck?

Honestly, I don’t usually even watch late night TV.

Or Jay Leno. Ever.

What gives?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There's no rule that I have to make sense....is there?

I can tell that today's going to be one of those Mondays that doesn't end until Wednesday.  Oh, it's Tuesday you say? See what I mean?

Not one, but two of my children are requesting doctor's appointments. Child A has a legitimate complaint, Child B is just a descendant of his maternal great-grandmother-a woman who leaves no ache undiagnosed, no mole un-biopsied, no funeral unattended.  Under normal circumstances I could just put Child B off for a day or so until he forgets about his unspecific issue, but wo be unto the mother who takes one child to the Dr. and leaves the other in Geometry.  A report would have to be filed with the Unfair Police.  I mean really, what would you do?

Last night I dreamt over and over about 3 things.  The only one I can remember is the color yellow. Not a soft dreamy yellow, but more of a caution yellow.  That's all that's left of my restless night.  The number 3 and a No Passing sign. What do you suppose it means?

Did you know that if you are the official coach of the soccer team not only do you have to be at all of the games but you have to be at EVERY practice too? Early. And you’ll definitely be staying late. It’s true. Kids nowadays are very demanding. They actually expect you to teach them soccer skills.  It's becoming very clear why there were no other volunteers.  I'm just kidding. I'm having fun (when I'm not breathing into a paper bag) and we won our first game. 2-2.  A tie means you both win, right?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sometimes it's too much work to think of a title

I’ve been in a funk lately (ugh, I hate that word “funk”), a shlump, a ditch, down a well getting knocked in the head by wishers with their stupid pennies all day. You know what I’m getting at, I haven’t been my usual carefree happy go lucky self.

For the last week I’ve found one excuse or another to cry over some stupid thing everyday.

You know things are bad when your kids start being nice to you.

A few days ago I cracked. Like a week old Easter Egg. It was pathetic.

I’d gotten up and done some laundry then I headed to Target. After I'd browsed the entire store (Christmas clearance you know) I went to check out and realized I was missing my wedding ring. It’s loose and it falls off sometimes, usually I feel it happen and scramble around on the floor to find where it's rolled. But I didn’t feel it come off this time and it was nowhere. I searched all over Target, all over my car, all over my house. It was the last straw. My wedding ring. I’ve managed to hang on to that thing for nearly 20 years and it was just gone.

In under an hour I convinced myself it was an omen. Doom and gloom were here to stay. F-o-r-e-v-e-r. Woe was I. Tears were leaking down my cheeks and I was ready to throw in the towel when suddenly, just like that moment in Christmas Vacation when the Mrs. realizes why Clark's lights aren’t coming on, I remembered something. That morning I had stuffed some Christmas decorations in a box and as I shoved them in I’d heard a little clunk. I had figured it was one of my carefully packed knick-knacks shuffling around. I rushed to the box, and there it was, right where I’d “left” it.

Oh, you won’t even believe how I sobbed. Like a baby. I was cracking up I tell you. Right then Clark Gable came in and gave me a big slap!

Okay, not really, but he should have.

After I shook off my Gone With the Wind fantasy it occurred to me that I’ve been shlubbing around here like my glass is half empty when in fact, at the risk of sounding like my mother-in-law, it’s a little more than half full. I mean I’m a SOCCER COACH for Pete's sake!

I don’t know if it was the slap or the sob crying but I seem to have snapped out of it. I know because last night my son told me I’m ruining his life.

It appears everything’s back to normal.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Soccer practice was a HUGE success, thanks for asking.

My standards for success might be kind of low. No one cried, no one got hurt (unless you count my feelings when my husband told me “those kids are going to walk all over you if you don’t start REALLY blowing that whistle!”~Apparently soft whistling is a sign of weakness), and I did not have a panic attack.

All of the parents were really nice. They kept thanking me for volunteering. Which I’m pretty sure was their veiled group way of saying “Sucka!”

Anyway, I’m satisfied. I’ve already started planning for our next practice (by doing deep breathing exercises and really blowing my whistle to get my family out of bed this morning.~ That should teach my know it all husband a thing or two).

Moving on~

In today’s grocery ad I noticed that California Clementines are on sale this week. Does anyone know how a Clementine compares to a Cutie? I have just about eaten my weight in those things this season, but “Clementine” sounds so old fashioned and lovely. Important qualities for fruit. I might have to try them. I’m picky about my citrus. It must be seedless, easy to peel and not too acidic. (You should hear my milk rules).

I also noticed that our local Fry’s store is supporting all of their customers who made healthy eating resolutions by putting Twinkies on sale buy one get one free.

PS~our soccer team is called the Spartans, which, unfortunately (or fortunately) makes me think of this EVERYTIME I hear it.~

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Please pardon the random capitalization; I’m having a small FREAKOUT.

There’s a reason why I don’t need to make New Year’s Resolutions. It’s because I’m a big crazy nut. ----Oh, wait, that has nothing to do with why I don’t need goals……

I don’t need goals because I am a big crazy nut who tends to rush headlong into things (projects, commitments, recipes) without thinking about the fact that I may not possess the skills, ingredients, mental capacity required to be successful at these things. I call it "Growing as a person, the hard way." You should try it, it's very refreshing.

Let me give you an example. My daughter decided she wants to play soccer. I think that’s GREAT. We signed her up, bought the right shoes and waited for further instruction.

And waited and waited…….

She’s playing in a league where the coaches are parent volunteers. You would think wouldn’t be a problem, right? 15 kids on a team, the odds must be pretty good that at least one of those kids has a parent who has a love of the game and is willing to share his or her passion with a bunch of 9 year olds, right? WRONG! So very, very wrong.

After 3 weeks of testy e-mails from the team mom (because out of 15 you might not get a coach but you can bet your britches you’re gonna have a thumb war over who gets to make the snack schedule) reminding us all that we still had NO COACH, I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s how I am, I’m a pleaser, what can I say, the pressure was too much. I sent an e-mail back (reply all, even)saying that I would do it, but they should be aware that I have ZERO soccer knowledge (which is not entirely true, I’ve been to some games and when I was in college I dated a soccer player for 3 weeks, give or take, it wasn’t serious. I mean he was nice enough…..oh..). Honestly, I figured when the dads saw that the honing of their little Pele’s was in the hands of a WOMAN with no skills there would be a rush to relieve me from my offer.

Frankly, I’m getting a little worried about the future of soccer in America.

Also, I’m getting a teensy bit nervous about this evening when I will host(ess) my first soccer practice. THIS AFTERNOON, did I mention that it’s TODAY?! Yeah, well, it is.

My brother, who knows EVERYTHING, and also coaches my niece’s team was kind enough to help me sketch out a plan for our practice and tell me a few vital things that we absolutely MUST do before we play our first game THIS SATURDAY. Also, because he’s a big fat know it all, he mentioned a few things that are nice to know, but not yet, wait until the kids (he meant ME) are little more comfortable with the basics. Unfortunately the “need to knows” and the “impressive tricks” are all in a jumble in my head now (I was taking notes but he’s a fast talker) so I don’t know if it’s the Matthew Dribble or the Maradona Turn that’s for beginners and he’s run off and taken a cruise with his lovely wife and now I can’t even call him to double check. (I surely wish people would be a little more considerate with the planning of their romantic getaways.)

I think I’m going to be okay though. I bought a whistle, duh. I’ve showered. And I’m wearing my Frankie Says Relax shirt, because, I have a sense of humor (and also, you know, to remind the sideline parents who stay for practice to find out if I was lying about my lack of skillz, that it’s JUST A GAME).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goals?! BAH!! Who needs goals?

I was not going to resolve this year. Dadgumit and dagblastit I was determined to boycott the resolution craze. “Why bother?” I asked myself. “You NEVER keep those stupid resolutions anyway.” I said to myself “Self, you have enough to worry about, you don’t need the humiliation of being a non-keeper of resolutions AGAIN this year.”

The problem is I never take advice, even my own. It’s quite a problem.

I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking of all the ways I could be better. (Hard to believe I know, as I am practically perfect already.)

Now there’s a list. I’m calling it a guide. I’m also keeping it to myself. The personal shame I will feel in 13 and ½ days when I stop doing yoga will be enough. I can do without the public shame this year.