Category Archives: Parenting

Bitches Ain’t Shit.

Today I was at the soda shop downtown with Jack.

He likes looking at all the vintage Hollywood 8×10’s framed on the wall, pointing out John Wayne and Shirley Temple every time without fail.

A large group of junior high students came barreling into the front door, prompting me to wonder whether I was that irreverent and annoying at fourteen. I felt sorry for the girl behind the counter, who had one sandwich and seven (free) waters to serve. Ugh.

Soon after they entered, Jack and I squeezed past the group and walked outside. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a skinny kid crossing the street with a mop of bright orange hair: shaved on the sides and flopping over one eye. And seriously? This hair was the color of orange that you see in magazine features about “coral” nail polish. Really, really orange. Traffic cone orange.

Thundering steps and a flinging open of the door caused me to reflexively put my arm around Jack’s shoulders and pull him to me. It was three of the kids from inside the shop: Two girls and a guy. The guy called out to the kid crossing the street, “Jason!” The kid stopped, and flashed a peace sign. “Dude, seriously?” yelled the guy, as he turned and walked inside.

“Ugh,” one of the girls said to the other, “it’s so orange. Nice way to memorialize your dead father!”

WHAT?

I mean, SERIOUSLY? Fuck You.

I hate those girls, and I wanted to run to Jason Coral Hair and give him a hug.

Bitches.

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Filed under Parenting, Stories

Rethinking

Man, When I get too much time on my hands (i.e.: when my children are gone) here’s what happens:

1. My laundry stays caught up. This is a good thing.

2. My house stays very neat. This is not such a good thing, because the second they come home I’m astounded at how quickly it becomes a cluttered swamp.

3. My refrigerator empties out. I don’t drink milk or juice, or use bread or butter or cheese when I cook for myself. Today’s inventory: Peaches, Pesto & Pinot Grigio. HAH! Swear to dog, I didn’t plan that.

4. I get all skinny. See #3.

5. I miss having the boys around to cuddle and hug and kiss and run my fingers through their hair.

6. It reminds me of what my uncle’s fiancée said: That being lonely when the kids are gone will make them feel guilty about leaving. She’s probably right, and I should probably start, like, dating or something.

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Filed under Dating, Kids, Parenting

One

It’s twelve hours since I got the phone call from my mom. 

At first I let it go to voicemail, because I was in a noisy restaurant bar with Reece, but she called right back. And told me that my children were still waiting for their father to collect them from the airport. An hour after they’d landed and Miles called me like I’d asked.

Right, so, of course I freaked out, called my ex (no answer, no surprise), called his wife (also no answer), and phoned Miles’ cell (yes, he’s nearly eight and I got him a cell phone… thank goodness.) Reece gave me her phone since my battery was dying and I still hadn’t heard anything except that Daniel’s car broke down on the drive to the airport. Ugh.

I spoke with the airline rep waiting with them, apologized, and asked her to find them something to eat, since it was seven o’clock and they’d eaten lunch at one. 

I called later, after a few vodka crans and Miles said they were at Daniel’s house. Good. But I didn’t speak to Daniel, because nails don’t spit well over the phone. 

On the up, I stopped at a Linens-N-Things on the way home from the airport. It’s one of the ones that’s closing, and I wondered if I could be so lucky as to find the coffeemaker I want on sale. And I did, so now I have a brand-new Keurig in my kitchen, replacing the ancient Krups that always spattered and scalded me and took ten minutes to brew a cup of organic.

Try 30 seconds, motherfuckers.

And I shall be productive today, and I shall not lose my temper with my ex. And I shall clean the shit out of my house, and it shall stay like that because there is no one here to mess it up. Sad face.

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Filed under Frustration, Kids, Parenting

Fairly Odd Parents Don’t Get Sick

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself as I maniacally wash and sanitize my hands, and then pick up wads of tissue from the floor and tables. Seriously, Miles just walked from the living room to the dining room where I’m sitting just to toss a used tissue onto the table. I looked at him like he was tossing a kitten into a vat of boiling oil.

“Uh-uh, man, no WAY.”

He grinned sheepishly. He knows where he should put the snotty ones. And forgive my overreaction, as I am just as guilty of hoarding used tissues next to me in bed, or possibly on the nightstand when I am sick. But this one got up, walked fifteen feet and elected to place the wad just shy of the waste basket I use when I pay bills.

Miles is basically better, save for the head cold and gunk in his chest. Yay for neti pots; hopefully this won’t turn into a sinus infection.

Jack, on the other hand, is just on his second day of being feverish and developing a rattly cough.

Yesterday I bought Lego Star Wars II at Target.

In my ultimate fantasy, one or both children will either play it or sleep today so that a) I can get some writing done and b) I don’t have to listen to Cosmo & Wanda any. damn. more.

fairly-odd-parents.jpg

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Filed under Kids, Parenting, Weirdness

What’s so Funny ’bout Peace, Love & Understanding?

You know what would make my holidays happier? If people would stop wishing me a Merry Christmas wherever I go. I mean, for seriously.

Yesterday I was shopping with my mother who, as it turns out, is not Jewish. Hey, you just learned something about me. So anyway, we’re at this clothing store where we know the owner, who is a dumbass and a flake, and “sharon” says to me, “Oh, Madeline, I bet your kids are getting so excited for Santa Claus! Have they been making their Christmas Lists?!”

This is one of my favorite conversations to have because I like watching people backtrack and squirm.

“Well, no, they’re not, because we don’t celebrate Christmas at our house.”

“Oh . . . oh, right. Well, they must be excited for Chanukah, right?”

My mother, who can’t stand squirmage, jumped to Sharon’s rescue. “Miles and Jack actually say that: ‘We don’t have Christmas at our house; we have it at Grammy’s house.”

“Oh! So I’ll bet they’re giving their Christmas lists to Grandma!”

Fuck me, man.

“Actually, since Chanukah is a relatively minor holiday in Judaism, we keep it pretty low-key. They don’t make lists of things they want.”

The lady looked like she was trying to comprehend this information, while at the same time thinking how deprived my poor children must be that they don’t get to experience sticky-sweet excessive consumerism. I shot my mom a look.

“It’s really very refreshing,” she said, “I’ve never gotten a list from them.”

Then I told my mom, since I didn’t feel like talking to the lady any more, but I wanted to make sure she heard me, about what Miles had said to me on Monday night.

“I remember when we had Chanukah at our old apartment: we played dreidel on the floor and got chocolate gelt and we each lit our own menorah and I got a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on a Motorcycle! That was awesome. I still have that turtle.”

We left that store and popped into the grocery store across the street. On the way out the bell ringer called out, “Merry Christmas!” and I just held my head up and kept walking. Because I know that, in my town at least, the Salvation Army INSTRUCTS their ringers to say that. But I also know that, where Disapproving Maya works, the management asked the bell ringers to say “Happy Holidays” instead.

See? Nice, easy, inclusive. And I know that the Salvation Army is a Christian charity, duh. But charity, acceptance and coexistence are all Christian tenets, right?

I guarantee you that Jews would throw lots more money into those red buckets if we didn’t feel marginalized by the assumption that we believe that Christ was the only son of God/Eternally begotten of the Father/God from God/Light from Light/True God from True God/Begotten not made/ of one being with the father/through him all things were made/for us and for our salvation he was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and was made man/For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried.

How about some Latin, yeah? Just to keep things interesting? You bet.

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est, et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos, cuius regni non erit finis.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem, qui ex Patre procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen.

Whoa. Like, don’t assume we believe that. Just because some of us know it by heart, just like we know “Away in a Manger” and “Silent Night” because our orchestra and choir programs apparently weren’t subject to the whole “separation of church and state” thing.  And please don’t assume that, just because your response is, “but it’s a seasonal greeting/I’m not talking about religion,” it makes any difference to Jews or Muslims or Pagans or Atheists or Wiccans or any other minority faith. We really don’t care.

As my friend Amy Guth put it (far more eloquently and less rantingly) on her blog, it’s not my birthday, it’s yours, and it feels oogy when you keep wishing me a happy one.

I came home and called the grocery store manager.

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Filed under Chanukah, dumbassery, Friends, Jewish, Kids, Parenting

I’ll see your “dumbass” and raise you “inconsiderate fuck”

stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

i just got an email from daniel with his flight itinerary for his next visit which was supposed to be friday-sunday. a very nice note accompanied it, saying that a conference came up and he decided to move the visit to sunday-tuesday. how sweet.

no phone call, no email, no “will this work instead? i really need to attend this conference and i really miss the kids so can we change the dates?” nope, “i’ve moved the visit to sunday morning and i’ll drop them off at school on tuesday.”

wow, so yeah, they have hebrew school for three hours on sunday, regular school for six hours on monday and tae kwon do for an hour and a half monday evening. should be plenty of time to get in your “it’s always a party with dad” activities. that, and you know, homework and stuff.

not to mention that i’ve committed to working at a charity benefit all day saturday because they were supposed to be with him.

i want to go back to bed and wake up and hear that he’s magically been transformed into a beetle so i can squash him on the pavement with a satisfying crunch.

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Filed under Divorce, dumbassery, Frustration, Kids, Parenting

it’s a good thing i don’t own a gun.

wow, daniel is the biggest dumbass on the planet.

he did something so incredibly stupid, so embarrassingly irresponsible while the kids were with him last month that i’m rendered speechless. aghast. agape. agog.

the fact that he made them promise not to tell me about it says a lot. i’m not sure i’m prepared to talk about it here, but suffice it to say, it is the mothership of stupidity and cluelessness in a parent.

i’ve talked with friends and lovers, consulted with joe, my fuckbuddy-cum-attorney, and cleaned my house in frustration and freaked-outedness.

it is very disconcerting to realize that, even though every second of every day the possibility of something terrible happening to one of your children exists, and i understand and respect that, mine are disturbingly unsafe when they’re with their father.

he is consistently raising the bar for stupidity in parenting, and this time it involved child endangerment and the police (the motherfucking police!) in his city, whom i’ll be phoning tomorrow to get to the bottom of the most disturbing words i’ve ever heard my children say.

and they’ve been known to drop f-bombs. just saying.

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Filed under Divorce, dumbassery, Freaking Out, Kids, Parenting