Friday, December 24, 2010

Bad Mom Cards - Christmas Edition

Have you heard about Bad Mom Cards?  They're a group of cartoons from the New Yorker, with depictions of bad moms and an explanation of the deed they did that was so terrible to merit a collectible card.  One says "#35 Martina F.: Didn't put up St. Patrick cards one year."  Another says "#61 Deborah Z: Has never even tried to make Play-Dough from scratch."  My personal favorite is #89 - I don't want to spoil it so you have to click over and look at it.  The illustrations are hilarious, too.

I love them because it's a good way to get rid of mom guilt.  All moms make mistakes, and the things we do that we feel the most guilty about are probably not a big deal.  When I do something worthy of a bad mom card, I remember those cards, have a laugh about it, and try to do better next time.

So here's mine:  "#96 Dorothy W.: Did not get child a stocking for Christmas."

I feel so bad about it I kind of want to cry.  I really meant to get her a stocking.  I planned on getting her a really cute one and ironing on a pretty "S" and filling it with cool candies and little toys and fruits and nuts.  But I didn't like any of the ones I saw when I went shopping for one a couple of days after Thanksgiving.  Then I contemplated sewing one myself (I've never really sewed anything in my life and I don't have a sewing machine, so who knows why I thought that might be an option).  Then, these past couple of days, I planned on doing it for sure.  But Nathaniel needed the car to get to school to work on his paper, and by the time he got home it was dark and cold and snowy outside and who wants to go to Walmart then?  So today, I thought I'd get one after we got to Nathaniel's parent's house.  But by the time we got to Farmington, ate Christmas Eve bread and cheese dinner, and filled up the gas tank, Walmart was closed.  It was 9:20 PM on Christmas Eve, so I wasn't surprised.  I just drove through the parking lot, feeling tears well up in my eyes, imagining my daughter who has been a model child this past year waking up on Christmas morning to see everyone else joyfully dump out the contents of their stockings and then realizing there wasn't one for her.

So I went to 711.  I figured that even if Summer couldn't have the beautiful stocking I'd envisioned, she could at least have some good candy.  I bought her Pop Tarts, Pringles, Nerds, honey roasted peanuts,  Ritter Sport chocolates (okay, those were at least partially for me), TicTacs, and some of those dumb plastic bracelets that change shape.  I went home and put it into a plastic Christmas bag we used to transport my homemade crackers.  So lame.

As I wrapped Summer's Pop Tarts, I thought what a bad mom I was and remembered the Bad Mom Cards.  Okay, so it's really lame I didn't get it together enough to get Summer a freaking stocking.  But when I ask Summer what Christmas is, she says, "Jesus burfday."  When I ask Summer what song she wants me to sing her, she says, "Jesus Christmas music."  She likes the trees and the ornaments and the lights, but I think I've done a good job teaching her that the reason behind Christmas is the Savior, and it doesn't matter if her stocking is a used plastic bag.

Merry Christmas everyone.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brown-Eyed Girl

Summer is constantly sleep-deprived, and she has the tired-looking eyes too prove it.  Today, I told Nathaniel she took a three-hour nap (turns out I was wrong, but that's irrelevant).  Nathaniel came home and after playing with her for a bit, said, "Let me look at your eyes, Summer."

Summer obediently turned toward Nathaniel and said, "They're brown."

Like, "Dad, don't waste your time.  I know this."

She's really cute.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Patronizing Emails

When we moved into our apartment, the walls had not been patched or painted and looked pretty ugly. The carpets had not been cleaned and looked awful. I sent an email to the landlady letting her know that we thought the apartment was junk and she never responded. Four months later (yesterday), I got an email from my landlady's local "manager" (i.e. the person who gets cheaper rent because he's willing to deal with disgruntled tenants so that the landlady doesn't have to). I've been debating how to respond. I can write back the little helper and tell him this is ridiculous. I can write the landlady and tell her this is ridiculous. Or, I could post the email on our blog and tell all of you that this is ridiculous. I think I might do all three, but here's to the last option:

Hello Fantastic Tenants,

    Just got off the line with [landlady] today. There are some units that are lacking extra paint to match the current walls, and as such, lack the ability to cover up any needed cover-ups! As such, she felt it most efficacious to have any of you who are need of paint take a small one or two inch section of paint from an unobtrusive spot in your unit to the nearest paint matching store (Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc...) and buy a quart of matching paint. Then, send your receipt to her with your next months rent and she will reimburse you by taking off that money from your NEXT months rent. She feels this will be a better process than having a paint shop have to come out and get a sample form each unit and then provide the paint, as that would be MUCH more expensive! Let me know if any of you have any questions. Thanks for being so great, and have a VERY Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas indeed. I can't wait to spend it scraping paint samples off the wall, matching it at Lowes, and painting our piece of crap walls with it. At least this alternative is MUCH cheaper for the landlady!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Story of My Life

It's very easy, if you are a stay-at-home mom, to completely forget how to talk to people who are not parents.  My life has exhilarating moments, heartbreaking moments, hilarious moments, and tenderly sweet moments.  And nearly all of them revolve around my daughter.  If I'm not careful, here is what a conversation with a non-parent looks like:

Me: Summer did the cutest thing today!  She picked up a stick and said, 'Question mark.' I looked at it and it totally looked like a question mark.

Non-parent: Oh, cute.

Me: Oh, and today I started singing Christmas music to her, and she looked at me and stuck her fingers in both ears.

Non-parent: Ha, that's hilarious.

Me: I know, right?  She loves Christmas music, though, and she loves it when I sing it to her at night.  When I'm putting her to bed, she always wants me to sing to her in the chair in her room.  So I sit down and ask her what song she wants me to sing.  Tonight, she said, "Jesus," so I started singing her a Primary song about Jesus, but then she interrupted me and said, "Christmas."  So I sang Away in a Manger and Silent Night, and she loved it.

Non-parent: That's so sweet.

Me: Oh, she can say so many things!  When we read No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Summer always supplies all the 'No more monkeys jumping on the bed' parts.  And, when I was singing the Dora theme song, after I sang, 'Swiper no swiping! Swiper no swiping!' she said, 'Oh, man!'  I hadn't even sung that with her before!  It was soooo cute!

Non-parent: Awesome.

Me: But being a parent can be rough.  Today, as I was putting her down for a nap, she grabbed both of these huge, ridiculous earrings I was wearing and pulled as hard as she could.  I yelled at her to stop, but she didn't and just yanked them out of my ears.

Non-parent: (horrified) Oh, gosh!

Me: Oh, it wasn't that bad.  She didn't rip a hole in my ear or anything.  And she's usually really sweet.  She is teething right now, and it's unusually rough on her.  She's getting three of her smaller molars.  All at once.

Non-parent: Oh.

Me:  But she pooped in the toilet, so that's good!  Before she refused to sit on it, but I guess all she needed was a Dora potty seat cover, 'cause now she wants to sit on it all the time!

Non-parent:  Huh.

Me: So, yeah, being a mom is great.  Um, so, how is school going?

I know that reciting all the goings-on with Summer does little to foster a relationship with another person.  I used to be good at making friends and conversation, but I am so rusty I fear I've lost the art.  The sad thing is that it was a talent I had to work for.  In middle school I had a reputation for being stuck-up, but the truth was I was deeply insecure and scared to talk to people I didn't already know, and when I did talk to people I knew I pretty much only talked about myself, because that's what insecure people do.  I got better at that, but now I'm afraid my social skills are the same as they were when I was thirteen and I got a boyfriend and broke up with him the same day.  I hope to get better at it, but it's easier to say nothing, so that's usually what I wind up doing.  That or talk about Summer's Dora potty.

Blogging is sort of similar.  I haven't done it as much lately because I've been insanely busy with work and raising a kid (and baking mini banana cream pies).  I feel bad that Summer is progressing so much and I have done so little to document it, but I'm not too interested in writing a milestone blog, because I know they can be uninteresting to read if the kid isn't related to you.  And while I can turn Summer's funny/sad/cute stories into something funny and worth reading, I don't have the time.  (I have to make mini banana cream pies!  And eat all of them even though I made them for the ladies in my ward whom I visit teach!)

So that pretty much sums up my life: hanging out with Summer which is awesome (except for today when she was awful because of her teething), working, and baking.  Hopefully soon I'll get the guts and find the time to make new friends and write awesome blog posts, too.  Or maybe I'll get the guts to write the posts I want to write and not worry about what people will think.  Or maybe I'll just realize that the internet is a colossal waste of my time and I'll disconnect it and live a very happy life.  Who knows?

P.S.  I represented a client in court for the first time yesterday.  It was....okay.