Archive for January, 2011

Proudly Lowering the Standard for Defining Parenting “Success”

January 19th, 2011 at 7:41 pm » Comments (7)

Some days I count as successes just because I got through them without yelling or crying or parenting in clearly awful ways. Today was one of those days.  There may have been an addiction to lean on. And music whose lyrics are not perfectly suitable for young children, but they weren’t around. Regardless, this counts as a success.

Today must have been some sort of record. Three little boys, in full on TEARS for three different reasons between the time I picked them up from school and BEFORE 4:45 p.m.  And…? It was NOT my fault. Sometimes – not very often –  I realize everyone around me is acting all weird and crazy and then (because I am so stinkin’ smart) somehow I reach the conclusion that it’s actually all stemming from ME. Because i’m in a foul mood and acting weird and crazy and snippy and then THEY are and really, if I’ll just guzzle a diet coke or pray or apologize for being a moron or whatever it is I need to do right that second, then the world around me will calm on down.

(I KNOW. I need to quit the diet coke. Am addicted, or that sentence would never have been written that way. I KNOWIT, ‘kay? And just lighten up, because I am ALL OVER IT. So all over it, in fact that I have given it up THREE whole times since January 1. And really, it did NOT help on Monday when Caden-6yr decided to tell the cashier at the grocery store all about how he’s trying to be helpful to me and encourage me to stop because it’s bad for my health and he’s being real patient with me. He wore a mournful expression to show his heartbreak that his cracked out mother was failing the 12 steps and all. His Dramatic Mistreated Waif routine should have horrified me into stopping forever, but no. It made me WANT TO ADD WHISKEY TO IT, thanks, Caden-6yr. The cashier nodded, and smiled at Caden-6yr, and said, “He’s talking about… diet coke?” I nodded. She looked at all 3 boys and said, “If I had 3 boys, I’d be on more than that.” And… thank you, kind lady. Then, because ‘thank you’ didn’t seem like enough, I ended up in weird conversation where she was going to try to get a job somewhere I’m familiar with and so I offered to be a reference and then she wrote down my name and maybe I just shoulda said, ‘thanks’ instead.)

Anyway. Today the crazy was coming from THEM. In fact, I think i did a pretty good job of not letting their crazy wear off on me. Always a challenge, but it was met successfully today. Wednesday afternoons we go to my mom’s for awhile after school. Normally, this is a sweet, relatively peaceful and enjoyable time.

But today, several times Mom and I looked at each other over a crying, whining kid’s head and shared a WHAT THE HELL? expression. Seth-5yr and Caden-6yr had a full on tears FLIP OUT over a rock. A ROCK. A black rock that Seth-5yr was saying was his very special ‘souvenir.’ And props for breaking out that word, since last month you couldn’t say words that start with ‘s’ and now you’re onto ‘souvenir..?!’ Okay, then. You just cry over it and I’ll make your brother give it back in the name of good speech therapy.

But then Caden-6yr has a full on tears FLIP OUT because nuh-no, that rock story was totally misrepresented and there were some false allegations that needed to be sorted out regarding throwing something over a fence, but way back when the fence wasn’t even built yet. And would you like to try to hang onto your sanity while figuring out exactly what that means? I held, I patted, and when the wailing entered into the ‘i’m just being dramatic to make you hate life as much as i do right this second because of a ROCK’  phase, i told him to go finish his cry in the bedroom with the door closed. Freedom of expression, but not in my right ear, please.

Ethan-10yr had his own meltdown. I’ll spare you. Not because I’m that nice, but because I just cannot bring myself to relive the ordeal long enough to type it.

I’m calm, sober as ever, even patient. Seriously, I am. Don’t judge me by my caps lock issue. I was patient while they argued over a rubber duck as if the fate of the world depended on it. Even though there were TWO yellow rubber ducks that I couldn’t tell apart. And I tried. But then I gave up and used a zen voice to threaten an early bedtime (I was hoping to get to follow through on ) and then went to the kitchen and drank a diet coke.

I requested “Whiskey River,” Willie obliged, and I turned it waaay up. I tried not to think about the mom whose child drowned in the bath while she played a game on facebook, and rationalized that this was nothing like that since the boys are 5 and almost 7 and it was perfectly okay to go stand in the kitchen with Willie.

It’s been that sort of afternoon. I told the boys they were going for a record since they’d all had meltdowns with tears in a very short period of time. They shrugged and walked off and one of them said, “PB.”

Which made me wonder why they were discussing peanut butter when i was talking meltdowns, except we all WERE standing awkwardly in the pantry at the time…. and then I realized that kid had not meant ‘peanut butter’ at all.

He meant “personal best,” and had said it earlier as well in a different context but in the same abbreviated way.


Oh my gosh, don’t EVEN go there today, sweet boy-child.

This was not anyone’s PB. But we all made it.

And that’s good enough for me…

This Post is 100% Gluten-Free Goodness

January 19th, 2011 at 9:45 am » Comments (19)

I’m always amazed at the stuff you guys know. Y’all are know it alls, and I appreciate it. I was going to send a friend an email with a few gluten-free resources and sites, and then I thought… y’all would probably know more than I do and would have interesting, more knowledgeable input.

If I asked.

So I’m asking.

Please leave any relevant links, ideas, tips, questions, whatever-you-want that is glutenfree or celiac-ish or anything you think might be helpful. (Future googlers will thank you as well.)

Specifically, I’m thinking of Michele and Jennifer S, but there are probably others…?  Anyway. Thanks!

It’s a No Snow day. Or, a Monday Masquerading as a Saturday.

January 17th, 2011 at 5:07 pm » Comments (11)

Today is the kids’ No Snow day. Meaning, they stay home from school because they haven’t needed to use a snow day and this was a built-in ‘extra.’  It’s Texas logic I cannot possibly explain more than that. I know. It does NOT make sense, Northerners.

Fittingly, for a No Snow day, it was close to 70 degrees.

This was our No Snow day:

Go outside and marvel at the large amount of Canada Goose poo on the driveway. By ‘marvel’ I mean:  hop, and yell “don’t step in that, don’t step in that, don’t – oh nevermind, go wipe your shoes off in the grass.”

Eat doughnuts at the doughnut place we like. I don’t eat them, but I do like to sniff them. I get something else that’s just as bad for me, involving eggs, cheese, and croissant.  The highlight here was when all the boys decided to break off parts of their doughnuts and exchange with each other since they’d all ordered something different. Spontaneous generosity and sharing. I almost fainted.

Then, the gym. Highlight here was Caden-6yr not getting hurt to an extreme degree, as he usually does. And when I was done and picked them up from the kid area, one of the boys said, “WHOAH, Mom. You don’t even smell like a guhl anymore.”  And thank you, son, for that. Clearly my work here is done, and could you please use your quieter, inside voice for those special observations?

If I were a natural homeschooler sort, or even just more conscientious about parenting – I would have taken this particular No Snow day to teach the kids about Martin Luther King, Jr.  As yet, I haven’t. But the day is young.

This does not EVEN count, but I did educate the kids (against their will) about the importance of appreciating all things Roy Orbison. They were hungry. I was getting their lunches on plates, so they were a captive audience. There was singing and dancing and mostly good-natured threats of withholding food if they didn’t participate.

Next on the list is fixing all the kids’ bikes. This means buying tires for at least two of them and figuring out how to put them on. I’ve never done this… but how hard can it be?  I have a book I can consult, if necessary. Last year Mike got me bike stuff. A LOT of bike stuff, but then I never went and actually got a bike to go WITH all the bike-ish stuff he so nicely gave me. Among the bike-ish stuff is a paperback with the unfortunate title, “A Woman’s Guide to Cycling.”

It sits on a shelf in the bathroom and it makes me laugh.

Roses…Or Fancy Feast…

January 15th, 2011 at 5:09 pm » Comments (2)

Caden-6yr caught me singing to the cat, and it has rocked his little world. Personally, I wouldn’t rank it very high on the charts of Weird Things I Do, but Caden-6yr would.

Charlo, the cat, was sitting on the laundry room counter, meowing at me and swatting my arm as I walked past him to get to the washing machine. He was hungry, and this is his classic Hungry Cat Misbehavior.  However, he had the misfortune of being hungry three hours before dinner time and I was unsympathetic. I was never a good waitress. Do NOT meow at me and swat my arm, I don’t care HOW hungry you are, buddy.

I took his white, furry face in my hands and leaned in and, with lots of drama and twang, sang, “I beg your pardon… I never promised you a rose garden….” because it seemed appropriate.

That is, until Caden-6yr came up behind me and said, “ARE YOU SINGING TO THE CAT?!”

It scared me to pieces, and my heart did that awful, thuddy thing, but I didn’t let on that he’d scared me.

I wouldn’t actually promise anyone or any cat a rose garden. Roses: gross, vile, never.

Caden-6yr continued, “MOM? I heard you.” The tone was accusing.  The face was incredulous.

“Yeah, fine. I was singing to the cat.”

“Well. It was a WEIRD thing to do.” He backed out of the laundry room, seemingly afraid that if he took his eyes off me, I might start up again and need further reprimands.

Caden-6yr, outlining the preferred behavioral standards once again.

Maybe one day I’ll measure up… but it might not be very fun.

Peace, Gratitude, Caffeine

January 15th, 2011 at 9:04 am » Comments (6)

This week, this morning I am especially grateful.

I woke up to Mike telling me goodbye on his way out the door for the airport again. I had on a wrinkled Life is Good t shirt and a really good feeling that he had probably bought diet coke and put it in the outside refrigerator. Not that he said he did. And I’ve specifically asked him not to. Since I’m, yaknow, quitting every other day. But he’s leaving for a week and it’s the sort of beautiful enabling behavior I’ve come to expect from him.  I got up and ran through the freezing cold garage in my wrinkled shirt and shrieked like a moron when there sat a 12 pack on the bottom shelf of the fridge.  Life IS good.

Diet Coke and Mauna Loa sea salt macadamia nuts (straight from Hawaii relative) for breakfast. The latter have caused a three pound weight gain since Christmas, and I have not a single regret about that. Yum. WORTH it.

I’ve been sleeping. A lot. I had some to make up for. Ever just get really comfortable with a certain amount of stress and it really doesn’t FEEL like too much after awhile and then someone really nice says, “hey. i’ll look at that and in fifteen minutes totally get rid of that stress thing by telling you this is nothing.” That really wasn’t said. Same thing though. Nothing to be gained from helping, just doing it anyway. I had no idea how much this thing was bothering me until it wasn’t. Sleep is nice.  So grateful.

Today I’m picking up a new pair of running shoes because they called and, gasp, I answered the phone and they are now in stock. Then a basketball game for Caden-6yr, and then taking dear sweet, expectant friends to our storage unit to view Seth-5yr’s crib to see if they want it.

Because I will never, ever personally need it, again, and this thought makes me very happy. This little friend is gorgeous and cute-pregnant.  I always looked SUV-pregnant. Big difference.

Yesterday I spent half the day with a friend. We met early for coffee, hit the kids’ stores for after-Christmas sales, and then had lunch and were amazed that our era had arrived of not having baby spit up in our hair. It had seemed like that day would never come. And it did. We looked at each other across the table and reveled in that particular blessing. Here we were. No spit up in our hair. All kids in school. On-sale purchases in car. Nachos between us on the table. We made it.

Life is good.

Starring Caden-6yr as Himself

January 13th, 2011 at 7:44 pm » Comments (4)

Caden-6yr…. a far more delightful child than I am currently giving him credit for. Right now I’m just drained by the very six-year-old-ness of this lovely blue eyed boy. His talents include using a range of dramatic voices, endless facial expressions, superior acting skills, and right now he’s using them ALL against me just for the sheer pleasure of watching my shoulders droop in defeated tired mommyness.

Yes. I’m sure that’s what it is.

It’s all about me.

His being six.

Because that makes so much sense.

Today Caden-6yr launched a persuasive, dramatic plea for why he shouldn’t have to know how to spell his spelling words. It lasted one very long hour.

I gritted my teeth and explained the holes in his logic and decided to avoid thinking about how this might be some reaping/sowing crap about me not really thinking i needed to learn history for history class.

Yesterday I had three boys at Target and Caden-6yr was angling for a scarf. Caden-6yr likes accessories. Always has. But you know…? We live in Texas. It’s not really that cold THAT often, and his neck isn’t OVERLY tall and sticky-uppy and it’s probably fine. Not that my reason for not wanting him to have a scarf is that he isn’t a giraffe.

I explained my reason to him. We had just passed a mom with three pretty little girls. My three boys did that simultaneous head jerk thing in the direction of the three girls, which I chose to ignore rather than address with a “STOP IT, YOU ARE TOO YOUNG TO LEER – AND ALWAYS WILL BE, NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT” lecture. (The alternative lecture might be “How to do that with some subtlety” but that just doesn’t seem right, either.) I just wasn’t up to taking on this particular reality right at that moment.

Instead I addressed the scarf issue. It was easier. “I don’t like to give you long pieces of fabric like scarves or robe-ties. It’s just asking for trouble. You swing off the ceiling fans like Tarzan, you tie each other up like calves, or you make tourniquets and endanger the existence of your limbs.”

Behind me, there was a gasp. It wasn’t from any of the boys. They weren’t listening to me. I turned. It was the mother of the three pretty little girls and apparently SHE was listening and was horrified.

Yeah well, honey, three boys ago I would have been shocked and horrified, too. I smiled. And shrugged.

And then tonight… Caden-6yr magically turned adorable and charming again and made me want to kiss him and hug him and squish him he was so cute. Over dinner he said, “MOM. When we were in Seth-5yr’s closet, we found one of the very first dictionaries ever made.”

His voice was slow and dramatic and full of awe. Caden-6yr has a weird, intense love of all things archeological. And there had been a historic find of epic proportions in his little brother’s closet.

I agreed when he asked to be  excused from dinner to go get it. It was important. Experts would be interested.

He came back with super-wide blue eyes and cradled it carefully in his hands.

A white book, with brightly colored letters on the front spelled out “Very First Dictionary.”

I hugged him. I kissed his little normal sized neck, and laughed into it, and explained that it meant it was a dictionary for a young child — not a claim that it was the very first dictionary ever printed.

Honest misunderstanding, though.

He seemed disappointed.

But it made my night. Six can be absolutely delightful. I just probably need to remember to notice it more.

lyrics psa

January 12th, 2011 at 9:30 pm » Comments (5)

i’m behind schedule for the week, and can hardly keep eyes open. i blame caden-6yr for waking me up at 3 am and then my stressing about something i shouldn’t have been stressing about until 6 am when mike left for the airport. i shamelessly begged caden-6yr to stay asleep tonight, more for my benefit than his. and i told him that, also. loving. so very loving of me.

however. let’s talk lyrics. briefly. before i pass out.

that 80s song by the Motels, Only the Lonely has worse lyrics than i ever thought. but. those lyrics do NOT say ‘only the lonely get laid.’  I thought they did say that. nuh-no.  I’m clearing that up in case y’all thought so, too. it’s ‘only the lonely can play.’  you’re welcome.

a couple of months ago i had a similar revelation, courtesy of Irene Cara singing Flashdance in a more enunciated way than I’d ever heard before. Okay, fine, it was the same version as ever, but I finally heard it right for the very first time.  Irene does NOT sing “take your pants off and make it happen.” no. she does not.  She sings: “take your passion and make it happen.”  see the tricky part? Pants off… passion…. right. confusing. sounds the same.

but in case you think i’m just way pervy by now, that is not the case. i was a ballet kid in the 80s and ‘take your pants off and make it happen’ was what happened when you got to ballet class and took off the jeans that you were wearing over your so-not-stylish baby pink tights and stripy leotard and then started to dance. ‘take your pants off and make it happen.’ that’s what she really meant. drop the jeans and do an arabesque like you mean it, little girl. Irene was all about the dancing. Honest misunderstanding.

(I used to have a ‘no blogging while tired’ policy. this was brilliant. it prevented posts like this. but if i still adhered to that policy, i’d never blog and then i’d miss y’all.)

Maria’s Stand-In, With New and Improved Attitude

January 10th, 2011 at 1:35 pm » Comments (5)

The maid took the week off.

This is fine.

We have a replacement.

Unfortunately, the replacement looks a lot like me.

The dog is way confused.

Apparently Maria does not drip mop water on his darling chocolate-y head.

And he doesn’t feel the need to follow Maria everywhere, loyally showing ‘presence.’

Or whatever it is he’s showing me with all the endless, chivalrous following.

He is WIPED OUT from my cleaning.

And mop water-ish.


About history.

I hereby repent of the history whining. Sorry, y’all.

It’s not all history that gets me.

My grandfather’s unique place in WW2 history kinda takes my breath away.

Once, when watching a history thing on tv I told Mike to press pause and said, “Look. That right there – that is supposed to be my grandfather.”

How cool is that?!

I’d tell you the details, but probably get them wrong. History is like that for me, even the really interesting history.

So to infuse genuine interest, I have tried to personalize the text reading.

I have pretended that these people are relatives of mine. Of yours. Of the cat’s. Anything.

I can’t say it has helped.

(Because I KNOW my cat is not related to a 10th century Turk, and so that strategy was not my best one, but i am TRYING, yaknow?)

I have tried dramatically reading aloud, as if it is the most fascinating material ever.

But I noticed I wasn’t listening to myself.

So that didn’t help.

It would be so much better if it weren’t all so OLD.

The history class I wanted to take was more recent stuff. But it was not available.


My father, if he has seen even ONE of my whiny history posts, probably made this weird grunt/snort/disgust/cough sound he usually makes if the Cowboys are losing.

My father likes history.

He once gave me a really long lecture on the importance of Texas History.

I was in the 7th grade.

I was not doing well in a Texas History class.

That passionate, heartfelt lecture on the importance of Texas History was horrifyingly detailed and lengthy and I can still remember much more of it than I should considering how long ago that was.

I gave him a Texas History book for Christmas that he wanted.


No more whining.

I do not want another lecture from my father.

Or his imagined weird snort/cough/grunt/disgust sound that only he can make. (LaLa, can’t you just HEAR it?)

I’ll pass or fail with grace, and with the proper respect for ancient historical peoples who probably are not related to any of us or our cats but who should be revered and studied anyway I suppose so whatever I’ll do it, no more whining.

Just watch.

Ethan-10yr: Toddler to Toga

January 8th, 2011 at 10:13 pm » Comments (4)

I’m supposed to be studying. but i’m tired and history is so tiring with all those skirmishes and wars and yawn. must i really learn who was in power and why and for how long and then what happened and THEN who was in power and why and for how long and THEN what happened and etc…?

because it kinda sounds like my life, and not the good parts. the “he did this to ME, mom, and so then I got mad and did this to HIM, mom, and now i just don’t feel like sharing my toys and that is why i am now standing in his bathroom and will not leave even though he is doing the twinkle dance and has to go real bad…”

territory. control. ego. toys. whining. revenge. isn’t it all the same?

over coffee the other day at Starbuck’s,  I asked Ethan-10yr if he had any theories on the fall of the Roman Empire. “Sure. Balance of power just shifted, Mom.”

I need to learn to bs like this kid.

Does he know what he’s talking about? No. I asked more questions to be sure. Becuase usually he does. But not this time. He just managed to come up with the right sentence and the right, “duh” tone of voice to carry it off and make it sound good.

I’d like to submit this for all future history assignments. “Balance of power just shifted. Okay? And let’s just forget all the little fiddly details and just leave it at that. That whole balance of power crap? Yo. It shifted.”

The other night I was sitting in bed, laptop open, supposed to be studying (again) and probably not. Ethan-10yr comes in wearing a chenille blanket draped like a toga. (Why? Because he’s Ethan-10yr.)

I said, “Nice. Very Grecian.”

He sputtered. Indignation was palpable. The NERVE of my even saying that.

“Mom. I was going for the Roman Senate look.”

My mouth fell open. And then I apologized.

He left the room in disgust.

I wondered why I had apologized, but the whole scathing, ‘duh, you moron’ vibe will get me every time, regardless of its source.

When Ethan-10yr was a baby/toddler, I knew he was something else. And not really in a good way. More like a “Holy Crap, I Wanted a BABY. AND THIS IS WHAT YOU GAVE ME, God, He is NOT A NORMAL BABY” sort of way. I’ve never thought that about the other brothers, and I adore them for that.

Ethan-10yr was like a curious, genius explosion waiting to go off.  And when he did, it was like watching a cartoon of the tasmanian devil.

It’s not that he was intentionally destructive. It’s that his energy and thirst for knowledge of all forms manifested itself in his physically devouring his environment while he rapidly learned all he could from it. He wasn’t bratty or awful or ill-behaved — it’s that his way of interacting with the world around him consisted of long, frantic, energetic missions for conquering everything around him by learning about it by whatever means possible. In public, I carried him firmly on one hip until he was over the age of 3. No other method was safe for containing this little powerhouse. Holding his hand was laughably insufficient. He was a force. I had taught kids his age before, and so was perfectly qualified to say that having one Ethan was like having FOUR kids his age, as far as needed energy and supervision required. I thought I’d never make it.

He was BORN a know-it-all.

He started speaking in full, imperative sentences at 9 months so that he could correct everything I was doing wrong in my parenting. Before that, he glared at me and screamed in frustration and then made notes in his crib at night on language so that he could start talking at his earliest possible convenience. It was a good use of his time since he didn’t bother sleeping.

When I gave him to someone else to care for at church or somewhere for an hour or so i always felt bad. They thought they were getting a normal child. But I knew as soon as I walked away, the Ethan-ish bomb-like quality would go off and there was NO way this individual was prepared for whatever he would do in his endless quest for learning.

Now, at 10, he’s exactly the same way. The only difference is that it manifests itself in perfectly appropriate and even admirable, socially acceptable ways. This is more than I ever hoped for. He reads, he conducts experiments, he memorizes everything instantly, he researches more than everything, he interviews everyone and weighs in on any topic at any time, and usually in a condescending tone of voice I’m trying to discourage.

For the most part, he’s now a socially functional know-it-all.

Who wears blankets like togas, but still. Big improvement from his tasmanian devil days.

I can handle this kid without feeling like he’s outnumbering me, and I usually really enjoy him. Looking at him now, and remembering him at age 3… i think that balance of power stuff might just have shifted. For now. So I think I’ll appreciate it, since apparently these things do not last.

I just wish I could ethically get him to do my history homework.

Point A to Point B at Dawn

January 6th, 2011 at 10:01 am » Comments (7)

There are drunk men outside the kickboxing gym. This is nothing new. There’s a bar right there, so it makes sense. As much sense as it can possibly make for there to be drunk men standing outside a gym as early as 630, and more at 830. It’s barely dark, but there they are, slurring an offer to walk you to your car.


Well, gee thanks. Now that there’s a staggering guy here in this dark parking lot offering to walk me to my car i feel SO SAFE. So much better than before! How very thoughtful.

I do not watch much television, and never in the daytime. But once, years ago, I watched an episode of Oprah and she drilled it into my head that you never go with someone from Point A to Point B because Point B is the all-important “second location” and if you go to the “second location” with an attacker, basically you die a horrible death.

I don’t think these specific idiots are the people Oprah was talking about. But it’s difficult to know. And it’s better to not volunteer to be in a position where someone could shove you into your car and drive off with you into Horrible Deathland.

So I don’t.

In the interest of not leaving point A (wherever contact is first made), and leading someone to point B (car), I have been known to stand there and chat with Mr. Impaired until I’m sure he isn’t going to follow me. And if he starts to follow me, I just come back and wait him out. It doesn’t take long, due to lack of my being friendly, lack of his attention span, and his predictable frequent toileting needs.

This isn’t every time after class.  It’s more like every 5th or 6th time I go. And I assure you, it isn’t that I’m cute. I am anything but cute. It’s that it’s dark, and these guys are SO out of it, they can’t tell that I am actually QUITE revolting.

After kickboxing, I’m completely soaked in sweat. I smell soooo nasty. My hair looks like it just got washed, but it didn’t. That’s just sweat. The mats on the floor are a black rubber material that is designed to cushion a lot of falls and soak up people’s sweat. And after spending a lot of time on that mat, that’s what I smell like,  but also like other people’s bare feet, too. A LOT of other people’s feet. I’m also covered in black scuff marks from that mat, as if I’m an old piece of dirty linoleum.

The upside is a killer endorphin high and an “I survived” sense of accomplishment.

I’ve talked to the other women at the gym about those guys. They tell me the problem is I’m little, and thereby much more approachable. As much as it bothers me, there might be some truth to that.

For years I’ve run into someone we know and he never says hello. I always have to say hello first, and get his attention. He’s a nice guy. And he always says the same awful-but-nice thing: “Oh. Glad you said hello, I didn’t want to look at you because I thought you were someone’s teenage daughter.”

A few things about that.

1. Don’t say that. That’s weird. And gross. And sorta oddly admirable, but mainly it just icks me out.

2. I will not be saying hello anymore. I do not like this conversation. Also, it’s REAL hard to have a conversation when it always starts like THAT, so there is no point in saying hello and asking about the family anyway.

3. I don’t think he would like it if I answered, “Oh! Funny! I always forget YOU are a full grown man. Coincidence!”

So maybe the drunk guys are the opposite of Mr. I’m Not Looking At You, You Small Underaged Thing.

The irony is I could beat their faces into the pavement with very little effort, and they should all be terribly afraid of what would happen if I just lost a marble and decided to take them from Point A to Point B. They should be avoiding the Small, Smelly One at ALL costs, because that one is far more dangerous than she looks and every bit as dangerous as she smells. She can take away any weapon and she tends to overreact with the punching and the kicking, and sadly no one is safe. Also. The third person thing she’s doing  is creepy.

Not that these guys would believe any of that. Not that I really want to get into the habit of fighting in parking lots after dark and constantly having little blurbs in the Crime section of the newspaper with my stringy-haired picture.  My children would be so proud. We could frame my sweaty mug shots and hang them in the hall next to the picture of Seth-5yr in the pumpkin patch.

One of the women at the gym told me to come to the morning classes instead. There are no drunk people in the parking lot at 5 am.

I’m really not sure what’s worse – the 5 am part or the drunks after dark part.  But I’m having trouble finding enough hours in the day to study and exercise and parent, and that awful idea definitely finds a couple more hours that had previously been devoted to sleep.

Worth a try.

Or I could just find some cute frames for the Mug Shots in the Hall idea.