How about you go play outside?

I was at the gym last week, or the week before. I don’t know, I’ve been since then, but this conversation happened a couple of weeks ago, and i’m just now getting around to writing about it. Anyway, the group and I were talking about playing with our kids. Being the honest type, I confessed: I hate playing with my kids. I really do. They admitted the same. Playing with your kids is mind numbing.

Don’t mistake that for not wanting to spend time with them. I do love spending time with them. But the words: “Do you want to play legos with me?” There’s an audible sigh that I emit. “Isn’t there anything else we can do? Play a game, do a puzzle, read the bible?” I loved playing with them when they were younger, but I’m really shitty at playing with my kids. It’s like yoga, I’ve admitted that I suck at it, I find alternatives and move on. Please don’t make me play My Little Ponies.

I heard this phrase on a blog a couple of weeks ago. In her bio, she described herself as a “play-at-home mom.” The gagging sound that I made was loud. Look, you can be whatever you want to be. If you love it, awesome. But you make me gag. My mother didn’t hang out with me all day. She had shit to do. Kids weren’t shoved up on a pedestal when I was growing up. “See you for dinner, now get the hell out of the house.” I went and made my own memories. I had my own adventures. A lot of them were pretty awesome, and my mom knew I could take care of myself.

Somewhere in the last 10-15 years, the term “helicopter parent” became a buzz word. And I’ll be the first to admit, I live with that anxiety. And more parents spend time working remote, which means we’re all up in each other’s business. It’s becoming ridiculous. I’m trying to let go of that constant monitoring. I don’t want to be cutting my kids’ steak until they’re forty.

When we moved, one of the great selling points of this new house, was the backyard. On top of it being flat and huge, there’s a patch of woods behind our house. Just big enough for them to have adventures, but small enough that they won’t get lost. I had a patch of woods like this by my primary childhood house. It was awesome. We had ramps back there. We’re hoping to make it something special for them. Where they can feel as if they have the freedom to play, without my stomach feeling heavy all the time. I mean, let’s face it, spend a couple of hours on reddit and you’ll hear the scariest shit about people being molested or nearly kidnapped, or actually kidnapped. I don’t really care if these are made up stories or not. I don’t need that sort of worry. I probably should have thought about that before I procreated, but I can’t give them back now.

There’s a great article over at The Atlantic, about these Playgrounds popping up in the UK. “The Land” is what they’ve termed an “adventure playground,” Which is basically what we would know as an abandoned lot, when we were kids:

The playgrounds were novel, but they were in tune with the cultural expectations of London in the aftermath of World War II. Children who might grow up to fight wars were not shielded from danger; they were expected to meet it with assertiveness and even bravado. Today, these playgrounds are so out of sync with affluent and middle-class parenting norms that when I showed fellow parents back home a video of kids crouched in the dark lighting fires, the most common sentence I heard from them was “This is insane.” (Working-class parents hold at least some of the same ideals, but are generally less controlling—out of necessity, and maybe greater respect for toughness.) That might explain why there are so few adventure playgrounds left around the world, and why a newly established one, such as the Land, feels like an act of defiance.

“This is insane.”

I said that exact same thing. But, honestly, we found this sort of shit when we were kids. All over the place. Abandoned playgrounds, houses (I remember finding an abandoned farm house as a tween. It was a decent bike ride, requiring me to ride on a major road, and also a very narrow, winding back road, notorious for accidents. The house obviously was a great place for teens to party), walking on railroad tracks.

And kids need to have these adventures to learn how to solve problems. I understand that, but getting over my own fear of illogical thinking that the shitty patch of woods behind my house is teeming with pedophiles and kidnappers isn’t easy.  And there’s the guilt of making them go off on their own. The alternative is that my already shitty time management skills are compromised, because I’m not teaching them how to be alone. And God Damnit, I don’t want to play Legos anymore.

 

 

But does it come in white?

We’re building a loft for my daughter. When we moved, we knew she would end up with the shitty end of the deal in room choices. She probably is the one to downsize rooms considerably. Going from a 14×14 room to a room that’s maybe 10×11? In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. She didn’t need all of that space. But given the size of her room now, I knew that as she got older, she would need a little more space.  Nowhere to go, but up.

Of course the builder in me wanted to build something. The laziness in me was trying to persuade me to buy something. The sane person in me (such a small person it is, too) was like “WHY are you taking on another fucking project?  I never listen to that person. I’m pretty sure Einstein or Tesla didn’t listen to their sanity either.

Ultimately, to get what we wanted, essentially her room on two levels, we decided to build. Naturally, I decided to make myself feel inadequate by searching Pinterest for ideas. And honestly, while we’re talking about Pinterest, I’m not totally friends with Pinterest. I mean, it’s essentially a glorified search engine, specifically for crafts. Crafts that will make you feel as if you’re the most mentally retarded person on the planet.  Delivered to you in a pretty mood board like form.  I think from now own, I’ll stick to google.

I found something with which to go on. I consider myself an intermediate DIYer. I know enough to not make shitty mistakes, but more importantly, I know exactly where my weaknesses lie, in order for me to avoid becoming a “nailed it” meme.

Which brings me to the whole point of this mental vomit.

We’re in the home stretch of operation loft. The husband is cross bracing. I have a perfect image in my head of what it’s supposed to look like. Instead of 4×4 posts, he slammed 2×4’s together to make 4×4.  After nearly ten years of marriage, I finally realize this stark difference between men and women. His brain is thinking: It will work. My brain is thinking: how can it have function AND form? How can it be prettier.  I take one look at the brackets, and ask: Do they come in white? My husband just looks at me. He gives me that look. The look that I’m SO not. An idiot woman. I am an idiot and yes I am a woman. I’m not both of those things together. You know what I’m talking about.

Aesthetics. Sure, I’ve heard Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. But that was like an epiphany. I like things to look aesthetically pleasing. Most men really don’t give a shit. I guess at that point I realized how much it meant to me.

His response was a no. One of those no’s you say to your child when they’re trying to be cute. “Aww look at you, just…no.” He replied that he was just trying to prevent me from making an ass out of myself at Lowes. Even worse. Because I’m not afraid of Lowes, or asking stupid questions. It DID provoke me to look up those brackets in white:

White-U-Bracket-300px

 

Sure, maybe it was invented by a man. But behind that man, was probably his nagging wife, yelling from across the room: “AND IT SHOULD COME IN DIFFERENT COLORS.”

 

I’m the worst Mother, ever.

I posted pictures of my kids on my private Instagram account of the boy child on his birthday. We were at McDonald’s. I said: guess who’s excited to be a part of the first timers club? #notmommy

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One of the women in my weight lifting class (I say this like a complete asshole. Like someone in the 80’s, who’s wearing a leotard, because that’s exactly what I’ve become. I’m going to start using the word nautilus on a regular basis and I should end this parenthesis, because by this point, you probably don’t even remember what the original sentence is about. Here, let me tell you, so that you don’t have to back track or even use a brain cell remembering. We were talking about my kids going to McDonald’s for the first time in their life, and me posting about it on the internet, and a friend in my “nautilus” class…) she thought I was bullshitting. “No, that can’t be real. Surely your kids have been to McDonald’s.” And I say, “listen, I realize that I am a total hypocritical asshole, because yeah, botox, but I have standards and stop trying to argue logic, OK? Let’s call it what it is, which is yeah, I’m one of THOSE people.”

Yeah. My son is seven, and that was his first time ever, going to McDonald’s. They’ve been to fast food restaurants, but the amount of times is less more than one hand, but less than two. He BEGGED me to go for his birthday. I feel like I got off cheaply this year. McDonald’s and a $13 Lego set.  But I couldn’t help but feel cheap. I mean, yeah, when I was a kid, McDonald’s wasn’t a big deal. Sure we went there now and then. But we knew it wasn’t every day food.  And given the way we are as Americans, less time, less money, more bang for the buck, and convenience, I was afraid of my kids being addicted. And also, we just referred to it as poison food.  But that seven year old, he’s getting to the point where he believes nothing I say, anymore. And also, the enigma. “Why doesn’t Mama want us to go to McDonald’s.”

Because, McDonald’s is the symbolism for evil, in this country. I mean, seriously? They’re STILL using the clown? He doesn’t get as much play, these days, but we all think about Ronald, and he’s frightening.

So, we go to McDonald’s. And I have to admit, I can’t remember the last time I went to a McDonald’s prior to that. I don’t think my husband and I have ever gone, in the entire 10 years we’ve been together. The eldest proclaims “I want a happy meal.” Mama had partaken in a happy hour cocktail prior to this trip. Because poison food. Everyone else orders and we sit down in what now looks like some sort of upscale fast food place. When the hell did McDonald’s become swanky? And when did they start using real chicken? Is this a thing now? We grab our food and the kid’s meals are now in a fucking paper bag? What the hell? What happened to all that was good and holy?

We went from this:

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.37.30 PM

to…

PAPER BAGS?!?

I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be showing this much emotion. That box was beyond awesome. Because, you would save it for days. Where else was your toy going to live? Now they give kids a shitty paper bag to carry their crappy plastic, do-not-microwave-or-put-in-the-dishwasher-else-you’ll-end-up-with-an-undiscovered-form-of-cancer, Lego cups. Not even real glass! Which is precisely why I’m not going to buy the bullshit answer of lower carbon footprint. Because, it’s fucking McDonalds. When you brag about how many people you’ve served and it’s most likely more than the current population, you don’t get to be a dirty hippie. And you should probably get tested. I’m just saying.

Stop being assholes, McDonalds. Give those kids that stupid little Happy Meal box. The box that was once a highlight in a kid’s day.

On the road to nowhere, with lots of bullets.

I want to say that my intent is there. There’s lots of intent. The execution fails, obviously. I have no clear direction for this space. No structure. Much like my life these days. But that’s not a complaint. It’s just the stage of my life.

The thing is, I don’t want to have a niche. It seems if you want to get noticed, you need to have some sort of category. But something I constantly ask myself over and over: Is it better to know a lot about one thing, or a little of everything. I get torn between “should I have had one passion, or is it just wasteful and random to know a little bit about everything?”

And what the fuck? Sometimes I want to be funny. Sometimes I’m complex. I don’t want to be angled, like some bad reality TV show (and seriously, it would be me doing the same shit, over and over, no one needs to see that). I live my life in the moment and in chunks. And I’m OK with that. It means I don’t want to be confined to one thing. And God dammit, I’m the asshole in charge around here.

Oh wait. What? I…I can do that? You don’t care? Well, then…alright. FINE, THEN!

So if you like any of the following:

  • swearing
  • comedy
  • anything creative
  • DIY
  • beauty shit
  • fitness

Then this pile of shit is for you.

So recently, we moved. Since this is a new space, and you may not know me, we moved to a smaller house. We weren’t in dire straights or anything, we just had a monstrosity house in a McNeighborhood. I didn’t want to be living like that. We wanted more time and all of that. So yeah, we moved to a cute little cape, which I’m enjoying immensely, for the following reasons.

  • easier to clean
  • lots of charm
  • A lot of this nonsense I’m OK with. As in, I don’t want to blow the place up and start over, like I did in my last house.
  • The kids are downstairs and we’re not.
  • Which means I don’t wake up with a lego wedged up my asshole.
  • No formal living/dining room. We have both rooms, but we use them casually, every day.
  • I’m running out of bullets.

Also? I got a new…you know what? It’s really not important and borderline boring.

Here’s a $1.25 and go fuck yourself.

*I walk into our bedroom* (I feel I should clarify here, I walked passed him and was standing next to the bed.)

Him: Did you know that Spotify did this?

*pause* – for what seemed like an insanely long time span of 10 seconds, but was really probably .5 seconds

Me: Oh, I TOTALLY KNOW! How the fuck would I know, unless you TOLD me?

Him: Well maybe if you shut the fuck up, and let me FINISH!

Me: Touche´.

It wasn’t always like this. While my husband is weird, and openly so, our relationship has always been a bit more terse whenever it comes to my sarcastic sense of humor. He’s a sensie. Warped and sensitive. Yeah, we’re a pair. But it works. We balance each other out. And he cooks, which is mostly why I keep him around.

On top of being sensitive, he was also diagnosed with borderline Aspergers. I know, right? Everyone is on the spectrum these days. But honestly, it’s one of those things that really is borderline. He’s a sales engineer, and a really good one at that, which just seems so un-Aspergery. I was in sales, I’m cut out for it, because I’m a woman that can roll as a guy. I’m offended by nothing, and I swear a lot. He’s so much more like a woman. There are no strip clubs in his life. He’s OK with it. It’s just not his thing. I on the other hand, love a good strip club.

When we were first married, his quirky humor still delighted me. His humor still delights me. He’ll say the most random shit, and I’ll be nearly shitting my pants. I’m being a tiny bit literal here (another time, another time). But there were times I had to tell him something he said wasn’t appropriate. He didn’t believe me when I told him that he sometimes scared small children. Our kids are unfazed. Others stared in abject horror.  When he put things together, it was a lightbulb moment.

And now, as long as I’m obviously, glaringly sarcastic, it’s something that I can get away with. When he attempts to make a sarcastic comment, I want to pat him on the head and say “GOOD JOB!!!”

It makes me proud.