Spring is ALMOST here and all our new years resolutions of saving money, getting in shape, writing more in our blogs or having a more Positive Outlook on life have hopefully sustained the last parts of winter. With any luck, we have stayed in the gym past March 1 when 90% of the work out Resolutioners fall off the treadmill. Optimistically, we enter the grocery store on the produce side and not the liquor side to begin shopping for fresh brussel sprouts and not fermented grapes. Enthusiastically, we sit down at the computer with coffee and write something funny so we feel like our brain was used productively and not just to determine who did what to whom, why, how and why (then repeat). Willingly, we are keeping a swear jar so we really do save money quarter by damn quarter that may amount to a substantial total by years end.
We need to face up to these challenges of life and not be taken back down to the dregs of parenting and the The Daily Dose of WTF of having kids. The one-thing, the “something” that happens everyday that makes you say: ‘really– did you seriously think that was a good idea’ while staring wide eyed at your child. The “where-did-you-get-that-sharpie? I-hid-all-the-sharpies-and-that-isn’t-coming-off-the-dog-for-a-long-time” moment of daily parenting. And if you truly are keeping that swear jar you can substitute “fudge” for your F.
With our Positive Outlook, we are working-out 4 days a week which is a mere 208 days/year (which is reasonable) and our point of view on life is spectacular except for the 40 min we spend on the elliptical thinking time as essentially stopped. We will get excited about the Farmers Market in the spring and all the outdoor activities warmer weather will bring. We look forward to the Coach Purse we will buy by July since the swear jar is already half full. But we lament about the Daily Dose of WTF from Parenting that comes 365 days/ a year with no way to stop it. Now, maybe its just me because I have 4 opportunities everyday of a WTF situation (or 1,460/year) but somehow I don’t think the WTF number is related to the sum of kids you have, just the fact you have kids. That makes the Positive Spring Outlook look daunting and the the Swear Jar may need upgraded to a coffee can (two Coach Purses?).
I am not talking about the small facts like my kid is wearing mismatched socks or decided that he needed a new look so he stole hair gel and made himself a redonkulous “faux-hawk” 5 min before the bus comes. Those are humilations he has to deal with on his own with his peers. I am talking big ticket Daily WTF’s that require the statements: Are we going to do this EVERY DAY? or When are you going to LEARN? Or possibly: You have to be shitting me! (which will cost you a quarter). You can keep the actual “WTF” statement for situations like when you kid comes downstairs with dirty bedding and asks you what to so with said bedding. You then reply “put it on the back porch” (oh,BTW, I speak fluent sarcasm- holding that for another blog) and he starts walking to the back door……..(WTF?!)……… but I digress…………….
The Daily Dose of WTF for me usually starts with getting them ready for school. Now this is a routine, nothing changes, nothing new. Get up, eat, dress, brush your teeth and pack your bag. Simple, right? Wrong. My DD of WTF begins with the fact its 5 degrees outside and someone has lost their winter coat which is now my problem. Someone is screaming because someone else is threatening to drop their toothbrush in the toilet and the 4th someone doesn’t know which lunch to pack even though there are 4 IDENTICAL lunches sitting on the counter. This is where the phrase ‘Are we going to do this EVERYDAY’ becomes handy and the Positive Outlook looks grim. That’s scenario accounts for 3 WTF’s before the bus even comes……….. in case you were counting.
The DD of WTF comes the way of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. At first the same day over and over and over seems somewhat novel and soothingly predictable but soon you are talking to a groundhog and dressed in a sombrero. You look to mommy-blogs to keep your sanity to know that you aren’t alone. There are legions of moms out there dealing with the Daily Dose of WTF and spinning their wheels right along with you in trying to teach what is right, moral and not horrifically disgusting (the disgusting part comes from having boys). We combat the DD of WTF with reward charts, marble jars (this one actually worked for awhile, google it) and just good old fashion threatening but soon we find the gold stars have fallen off the charts and the marbles have been scattered under the couch. You are then left with threats that you may or may not act on. I tend to be generally consistent in acting on my threats but sometimes I do slack. The slacking isn’t due to laziness on my part but it kinda keeps them on their toes– what WILL she do next? A little bit of crazy spur-of-the-moment parenting will keep them thinking.
Now we all love our kids with our whole body and soul, but its the ones closest to us that usually make us the most nuts. Other moms will try to blow off your rants of “there were 7 uneaten sandwiches and something that once resembled a banana but is now brown slime in the bottom of his backpack but he came home STARVING from school everyday, WTF?” with “well, maybe he’s just not hungry AT school” and you look at them like they have sprouted antlers. You know if the slimy banana was on their side of the backpack it would be a whole different discussion. So, ladies, when your friend starts in with the DD of WTF just let them go. Let them get it out and don’t offer advice. I suggest you only add your DD of WTF and get some good laughs in before the kids come home from school and you get the note that you kid was teaching kindergartners how to eat worms on the playground. Between venting and the following bullet points, you can then get back to the Positive Outlook:
- get on the elliptical for “eternity” to burn off some mental confusion of why worms taste good
- dream of the warmer weather to come where you can toss them outside and listen to Adele (or in my case Green Day) with out their whining
- take your jar of quarters to the bank to get rolled into $20 sleeves (because you will be paying for the Coach Purse in quarters)
- and, finally, put on your Sombrero for another battle tomorrow with the DD of WTF.
Much love from Only the Dog Listens and her 98 cal pour of Chardonnay!