Thursday, November 27, 2014

Products We NEED

I am a Black Friday protestor and have been for years.  I did the whole get-up-at-o'dark-thirty to hit the sales thing once.  It was a mistake.  First, I hate morning.  Second, the stores were full of people and I hate shopping in crowds.  Third, I saved something like 75 cents.  I spent more on gas getting there.  And finally, I hate morning.  It's worth saying twice.  I am that person who will spend full price -- or go without -- just so I don't have to deal with a crowd.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good deal.  I enjoy wearing the clothes I get 50% off more than I love my full-price items.  I get a warm a happy glow just thinking about how much I saved as I'm wearing my fabulous new pieces.  BUT I wouldn't show up to a Black Friday madhouse even if they were handing out Manolo Blahniks for FREE.  Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement.  No one is THAT crazy.  But still, you get the idea.

There may come a day, however, when I might willingly hit a Black Friday sale again.  It's simply a matter of companies getting the right products out there.  We live in an age of great technology and innovation, but I'm waiting for more.  As soon as these products show up, I will be first in line:

1.  Glue made from the stuff that permanently cements Rice Krispies to cereal bowls, leaving you to pretend they "always looked that way."

2.  A furnace powered by the stuff that keeps baked potatoes hot FOREVER, until the rest of your meal is cold before you can even think about taking one bite.

3.  A magnet using the force that allows your foot to find the ONE lego on the 900 square foot floor.

4.  A sleep aid made from whatever it is that lets teen boys sleep 25 hours a day.

5.  An energy drink powered by whatever it is that lets a kid change -- in under 30 seconds -- from comatose exhausted during chore time to bouncing off the walls like a monkey on crack when it's time to go to the movies.

6.  A GPS system that works with the focus and direction of an infant's ability to poop sideways out of their diaper and on to you, but not into the diaper or on the blanket underneath.

7.  A rechargeable battery pack you can plug into your kids for charging up during the day and then remove for your own personal use at 3 in the afternoon.

8.  An air freshener with the staying power of wrestling practice workout clothes stench.

9.  An ICU alarm system with the accuracy and urgency of my kids' "emergencies" when I am trying to pee.

10.  A diet aid using the same insta-full power that keeps my garbage cans perennially full.

11.  Sheets with the comfort quality of a 2nd grader's clothes that makes them want to wear them four days in a row, until forcibly removed.

12.  Vegetables that look and taste like Doritos.

13.  Textbooks written to look like Lego Catalogs.

14.  An AC unit with the freezing power of tile bathroom floors.

15.  A storage closet with the capacity of wherever all the missing socks in the universe go.  Seriously, how big must that thing be?

16. A travel mug with the superheavy gravity car keys have that allows them to fall immediately to the bottom of wherever you lost them -- couch, purse, under the bed, etc.

Finally . . . a freakin' Off Switch for toddlers.  I don't care what you make it out of, just make one.

Nothing, however, will convince me to condone Thanksgiving Day shopping of any kind.  People, it's a day when you are supposed to lay around and eat to the pain threshold, surrounded by your friends and family who are similarly afflicted.  Don't waste it sitting on a cold sidewalk waiting to save $14!

May you all have a wonderful day of thanks and rest!  I'll be over in the corner in a pie-induced food coma . . .




Friday, November 21, 2014

5 v 5

I find myself in a unique position this morning (no, I'm not doing yoga).  If you are a regular reader, you know I have five sons.  You may or may not be aware I grew up as one of five sisters.  And that's where I am this morning -- making a comparative study of my anecdotal experiences in the war of the sexes.  The uniqueness of my situation comes from the rather larger than normal size of the study group and the matchingness (I made that word up.  In case you didn't know.) of the numbers, which is a bit serendipitous. (I didn't make that one up.  It's real.)  Five of each gives us a range of variables within each set to allow for some statistical range.  And that's about the full range of my sciencey mumbo jumbo.

In the basics of basics, raising a child is the same no matter gender, race, abilities, etc.  It comes down to "Make sure this little human you brought into the world stays alive for all (as in ALL) of today.  Repeat for 18 years."  And that's about where the basics end.  The differences between raising girls and boys, athletes and academics, nerds and geeks (oh YES there is a difference), observers and doers, listeners and talkers, biological and adopted, are always going to be HUGE because each and every person is different.

There are some things, though, that simply require us to step back, take a look, say "hmm," and acknowledge a little sympathy for the other camp when it comes to raising boys versus girls.  With a little recollection help from my sisters, I present a few fields of male versus female household life comparison for your perusal and enjoyment:

Laundry

Boys:  The SMELL.  Oh Sweet Baby Sponge Bob, the SMELL.

Girls:  "ICANNOTBELIEVEYOUWASHEDTHISWITHADISHTOWELTHISISREALFAUXCASHMERE!!!MOOOOOOOOM!!!ALLMYFRIENDSAREWEARINGTHEIRAUTHENTICSMACKITYBOOSWEATERSTODAYNOWWHATAMIGOINGTOWEAR!!!!!MYLIFEISOVER!!!!!!

Boys:  "I'm outta underwear."
           "Your brother has some in his drawer, wear a pair of his."
            "K."

Girls:  "I don't have any clean underwear!!!"
            "Your sister has some in her drawer, wear a pair of hers."
            "SICK!!! That's digusting!! Mom, what is WRONG with you?!!!"


Ambient Noise in the Home

Girls:  The sun was setting on the forest glade.  It was orange and warm, streaking through the low-lying boughs of the trees.  Ever so slowly, a rabbit lifted its nose from its burrow.  A tiny chickadee twitched a wing.  Gentle swirls of steam curled heavenward from the warm mushroom beds in the soft log pile.  Not a sound was made.  Not a bird chirped, not a fawn stepped on a single dry leaf.  The world was holding its breath, playing an impromptu game of statue, terrified to do anything more than exist, for there, amidst the bath of sunlight, was the sleeping tiger . . .

Boys:  Gather together all the instruments of a full philharmonic symphony orchestra.  Do not forget the full drum complement.  Throw them all down four flights of stairs.  Bingo.


Conflict

Boys:  "Dude! You JERK!" [smackrumblestomptugbitepunch] [cough, scratch, wipe off blood] "Wanna play some COD?"

Girls:  "Dear Diary, Day 2,983.  Still not speaking to my stupid stupid stupid sister.  She made that face at me and she knows how mad that makes me!  I know she was thinking about how right I am and she just won't admit it because she's just horrible that way.  BUT today when I was trying out my new Smoochalicious lip gloss, I figured out the perfect way to get back at her!  I'm going to take her new pink SmackityBoo top and wear it to school in front of her boyfriend!  Ha!  Then she can't even scream at ME because then HE will see what a swine she really is!"
"PS: T is still SOOOOOO cute!!!"
"PSS: M is still cute, but not as cute as T!"
"PSSS: R might be moving up the cute scale too."
"PSSSS": AHHHHH!
"PSSSSS": My sister is still stupid!


Groceries for the Week

Girls: Organic strawberry yogurt (single serving sizes only, don't get the store brand, it's DISgusting), 6.5 ounces shaved black forest ham,  limited-batch cream cheese imported by hand from Ireland, multi-seed bagels ($$$ brand only!), skinless boneless organic free-range chicken breast (oregon raised only -- do you want me to break out RIGHT before Prom?!!), handpicked granola from Nepal, and 3 gallons of chocolate ice cream.

Boys:  The whole store.  Except the vegetables.


Personal Hygiene

Boys:  "Dude, you stink.  Here's some deodorant."
            "AWESOME!! I got my man smell!  No way I'm gettin' rid of that!!
            "Julia is stopping by later."
            "Gimme that!!"

Girls:  "Look what I got for you at the store!  Isn't it just so cute, the little flowers on the box?  It's whole fun kit, with this cute little zip-up case?!  There's lipgloss and nail polish and deodorant and perfume! I just had to buy it for you!
           "You think I smell bad?!!  How could you, Mom?!!" (commence tears, door slams, etc.)

 
Bathroom Damage

Girls:  Dark smears on walls -- mascara.
Boys:  Dark smears on walls -- exactly what you're hoping it isn't.
Girls:  Piles of toilet paper with odd and mysterious contents all over the floor, garbage can, countertops.
Boys:  Piles of empty toilet paper tubes all over the floor, countertops, anywhere BUT the garbage can.
Girls:  Odd, rainbow-colored smears accompanied by fuzzy Q tips all over the mirror, walls, and countertops.
Boys:  Odd, rainbow-colored smears growing fuzzy all over the walls, floor, and (sadly) ceiling surrounding the toilet.
Girls:  47 wet towels on the floor.
Boys:  47 wet towels on the floor.


SO, whatever you're dealing with this morning, it could be worse.  Or exactly the same.  But it sure will be non-boring!  Now I need to go get the garden tools out to deal with the small forest growing on the bathroom walls . . .