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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Screw You, Anonymous

Once I dropped the f-bomb in the comment section of a friend's blog, and a coward "Anonymous" replied with this: 
    Well Lucy, I hope you don't speak to your kids the way you commented here! Please! Is it necessary???    

No, of course it's not necessary. A lot of things aren't necessary, but we do them anyway because they are amusing or they make us feel better. But I do think that my response was quite necessary. It also happened to amuse me and make me feel better. Warning: explicit language...

    Oh, hey, Anonymous! How are you? I do hope you're well. We're just swell over here at our house! Want to know what we did today? Well, first we had a few whiskey shots and smokes for breakfast while we gathered around the TV for some nice gay porn. We sort of lost track of time. (In hind sight, maybe the pot wasn't such a good idea.) We realized we were running a tad late for school, so we quickly got the kids' backpacks together. Today was show and tell for the letter R, so I sent them along with their razor blades and Rohypnol.
    After school they hopped in the back of the pick-up truck and we headed to the playground. We found some hypodermic needles and broken glass and they were so excited that I let them take some home for their collections of sharp and shiny things. (How can you say, "No" to those cute little faces?)
    They wanted a snack when we got home, so I whipped up some nice Jello shots. (Delish!) When Daddy got home they practiced their target shooting in the backyard with some nice brewskies. I just treasure the bond they share with their father.
    They were so exhausted by the end of the day, we didn't even eat dinner. They just passed out on their beds of nails, clutching their teddies riddled with bed bugs. They named them all. How cute is that?!  I hope they have sweet dreams tonight, as they anticipate tomorrow's fun-filled day of scouring the beach for used condoms to make all sorts of clever balloon animals. My kids are just so darn talented!
    Well, anyway, I feel like I've rambled, and I'm so sorry about that. Wait. Why am I apologizing to you? Oh, that's right. Apparently your shit doesn't stink, and your holier-than-thou attitude makes you feel as if you have the right to tell me what is and what is not appropriate to write on my friend's blog, or what to say and not say to my children. Just so we're clear, I don't give a fuck what you think of me or how I raise my children. I'm pretty sure that 20 years from now, my kids will read this and tell me how awesome I was for standing up to...what's your name again? Oh, that's right. You didn't have the balls to write it. If you're a good girl, maybe Santa will put some in your stocking, along with a fucking sense of humor. Get over yourself.
Much love,


Did I overreact? Possibly. Was I still a little tipsy from wine time when I wrote that? Most likely. Should I have slept on it to see if I was still mad about it in the morning? Maybe. Do I care about any of those things? Not even a little bit. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A New Four-Letter Word


Go ahead and scratch your head because you know it itches now.

Lice. How can such a simple, little word hold so much power? Many of you have probably gotten that dreaded letter from the school nurse that a "case of lice has been reported in your child's classroom." But how many of you have actually had a case of lice in your home? If you have, you know why that word holds so much power.

When we were little, they did regular lice checks in the classroom, and I remember a boy was sent home after one. We all assumed he had lice and was this dirty thing that we shouldn't go near. We avoided him like a leper because even then, we knew that lice was a four-letter word. Turns out, he just had a major lollipop situation happening in his hair that he didn't tell anyone about.

As children, we pretty much just believed everything our parents told us. Dirty kids get lice. Stay away from them.

During this time last year, a case of lice was reported at my daughter's preschool, and we all pretty much lost our shit. OH GOD. DOES MY KID HAVE IT? WHO STARTED IT? OH GOD NO! We all grabbed our kids and frantically started searching their little heads. But none of us really knew what the hell we were looking for. I did a google image search of "lice and nits." I wouldn't recommend that.

We didn't have a school nurse on staff, so a mother, who (unfortunately) knew what to look for, examined all of the kids. She found several nits on my daughter's scalp. And I froze.

What do you mean? MY kids don't get lice. That happens to the dirty kids. No way. Look again.

But then I remembered the family who reported the initial case of lice. She was this adorable, sweet, clean, healthy, happy little girl. Turns out lice actually prefer clean hair. I had heard that before, but until the reason was explained, I didn't believe it, and I clung to what we were told growing up. Dirty kids get lice. Stay away from them.

Lice is a four-letter word, and we don't talk about it. We don't associate with people who have lice. And now everyone knew that it was in my house. And I was ashamed.

Do I have to tell everyone she's been in contact with that she has it? Is there a prescription? Do I have to throw everything away? Do I have it? Do my boys have it? Is it in the car? Do they jump? How long will she have it? Do I have to cancel Thanksgiving? Oh god, I have to get out of here. They're looking at me like the dirty boy with the lollipop. 

I went home, put a shower cap on her head, and called the doctor. I spent a lot of money and time ridding our house of that (particular) four-letter word. Those little bastards didn't stand a chance. Somehow, we were lice and nit free in less than 24 hours. But it was 24 of the worst hours of my life. My mom calls it "The Incident." It wasn't an incident. It was a goddamn nightmare.

But it's over now, and I learned a lot. I learned about what lice are, how they live, what they like, what they don't like, how to prevent them, and how to get rid of them. Most importantly, I learned that it's nothing to be ashamed of. I recommend that you learn about it too; Some knowledge might prevent you from judging like I did. But for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT GOOGLE IT. Call a company that specializes in lice removal and they will tell you everything you need to know.

But one thing I can tell you is that it's not your fault. You're not a bad parent. Do not be ashamed.

Shit Lice happens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How To Handle Parent Teacher Conferences Like a Boss

It's been a long summer of sweaty sunblock in your eye, sand in unmentionable places, and lies about having no money when the ice cream truck comes rolling up right before dinner. Now as the leaves start to fall, and you're back in the groove of accomplishing things while the kids are in school, BAM, it's parent-teacher conference time. And you're like, "Crap. I have to put on pants AND a bra so that I can listen to how my kid won't shut up in class?" As a former teacher I have the advantage of knowing how to play this game on both sides. So, here are some tips on how to handle those conferences without drinking panicking ahead of time:  

Show up early. 
Not on time, and certainly not late, but EARLY by maybe 5-10 minutes. This doesn't mean knock on the door before your appointment. Don't be a dick. It just means be prompt and wait in the hallway until your time comes. It's an appointment, and if you screw it up, you screw it all up. You don't want to piss off the person who is responsible for assessing your child. Trust.
Let the teacher speak. 
You are there to learn about how your demon spawn child is doing in school. While it's great to have parent input, the teacher has a lot to share with you in a very short amount of time. If you go over your time, you'll screw it up just as if you were late to the appointment. Not cool. The teacher will ask you if you have anything to add or if you have questions. Wait until then to do your thing. And for the love of jeebus, stop talking when time's up. There is nothing more awkward as a teacher than to have to cut you off, but they kind of have to. Don't make them have to.
Make a joke. 
I don't mean like some "why did the chicken cross the road" bullshit. I just mean make the teacher laugh to ease the tension. It's not easy for you to hear some of the stuff the teacher has to say, and it certainly ain't easy for him to say it. Recently, I actually said to a teacher, "I'm glad he's good in school. 'Cause it's a giant shitshow when he walks in the door at 4:00." Now he knows I won't freak out if he sends a note home about how my kid got up to talk to his friend in the middle of a Jamestown lesson. If this doesn't come naturally, that's totally cool. Just smile a lot. But not too much. It's creepy.
Be supportive. 
You know your kid better than anyone. If your kid is an asshole, you probably already know it. So work with the teacher to help make him less of an asshole. Kids are rarely angels at home and monsters at school, so if the teacher says your kid is difficult, don't tell me you didn't already know that. Teachers usually have pretty effective behavior management plans in place, so ask what they do and how you can model it at home. When kids figure out their parents and teachers talk, they're like, "Wait, what?" *MIND BLOWN*
No TMI. 
Unless there is some drama in your life that is affecting your child's academic performance or emotional well being, the teacher doesn't need to hear it. So, if you wanna vent about how your dead beat ex hasn't paid child support in 6 months, now isn't the time. Go to the bar and bitch to a friend like a normal person. Ain't no teacher got time for that.
Say thank you. 
Teachers spend a lot of time preparing for a week full of one-on-one, meaningful conferences to discuss their students, on top of all the, you know, EDUCATING THE FUTURE OF SOCIETY and whatnot. Did you ever notice that teachers often refer to their students as "my kids?" That's because sometimes they may as well be. They see your kids more than you do during the school year. They work hard for your children. REALLY hard. So say thank you. And mean it.
Try not to kill your children. 
A week of half days is hard. That's like twice as many hours of having them home. You should drink twice the booze. It's only logical.
Have any parent-teacher conference stories to share? I'd love to hear 'em in the comments.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Food for Thought

My kids are little and they still like me, so I volunteer for school stuff whenever I have time. I send in treats, set up class parties, organize the bane of my existence Book Fair, and count thousands of Box Tops with other moms and dads. This morning I was walking through school with my 24 little bottles of water for the Halloween party and I passed by a few moms with all these elaborate treats and crafts. And I wondered;

When did something as simple as sending in a treat for a class party become moms trying to out Martha Stewart each other? 

Enter another battle in the Mommy Wars: The Pinterest Snack Battle. Why can't I send in green grapes without making them look like the goddamn Grinch with strawberry and marshmallow hats?  Someone comes in with something all fancy and handcrafted, and sure, it looks cute for like 6 seconds, only to be seen again when my kid yells across the house for me to come wipe her butt.

My point is that moms really only do this for other moms. The kids don't give a shit. You think they'd be disappointed if their grapes didn't have little hats? Nope. They'd be all, "Cool. Grapes. I like grapes. Gimme some grapes." Your job was easy. You're the one making it hard. Stop doing that unless you want to and actually enjoy it. When you're googling "cute Halloween treats," stop and ask yourself, are you doing it because you genuinely love being crafty or because you don't want that look from the other mom at the party? If it's the latter, KNOCK IT OFF. You're there, you brought what you said you would bring, your kid adores you and your regular ol' grapes, and that other mom can suck it. Nothing else matters. Did your mom do fancy stuff with grapes? Probably not. And hey, look at that! You still turned out pretty awesome and you still think your mom is the bee's knees. And I bet your mom wasn't jealous of some other mom's grapes. (Well, maybe she was. Maybe hers were bigger. And perkier. Our grapes are just never the same after having kids.) 

Once I made this Pinterest cake for my son's birthday ...

And I kind of wish I hadn't. Sure, I was pretty damn proud of myself and I posted pictures of it on Facebook. (After all, we have to impress the other moms.) And sure, my son liked it. But guess what. He would have been happy with a store bought cake with his name spelled wrong in sloppy handwriting. Why? Because it was his birthday, he was with his favorite people in the whole world, and to an 8-yr old, cake is just cake. And if I hadn't spent all that damn time on a cake that was just going to be sneezed on and devoured in seconds, I would have had more time with my birthday boy. That's some food for thought. It's not a competition. It's a waste of energy. And I'm so. so. tired. 

Are you with me, moms?