Whine: I took two crabby cats to my local superstore to get antibiotics for them both. After all the hassle of parking in another state and waddling a cart through the throngs of other cheapskates, all the way to the pharmacy, they had the nerve to look me in my tired eyes and tell me they didn’t have the medicine. Because ear infections are rare conditions and it must be hard to acquire the exotic medicine required to treat them, right?
Cheese: Don’t worry, though, I didn’t leave empty-handed. Luckily for me, the Girls Scouts were standing at the entrance selling their crack cookies. I felt it was my civic duty to buy at least a few boxes. I don’t want to be a jerk to the Girl Scouts, do I?
In a recent post I highlighted that I am a slow learner. I might learn your phone number the first time I hear it and remember it for the rest of my life, or learn the name of every designer on all seven season of Project Runway, but when it comes to things that are actually useful, I tend to require extreme remediation. As is evidenced by the fact that I have on more than one occasion let my children run amok with bare bottoms and then had to clean up the consequences. Here are a few more things I wish I had learned the first time instead of the second, third or fourth:
#1) Markers should be put away in a cabinet that is way up high and cannot be reached by four year olds who prefer to express themselves creatively with body art.
Side note. The other day, during supervised marker time (I’ve finally learned), I turned my back for all of thirty seconds and she wrote all over her legs (because of course she wasn’t wearing any pants, we clearly don’t believe in pants in this house). When I scolded her, she began crying and rubbed her eyes. Dark blue marker streamed down her face; she looked like she should be singing lead vocals on Karma Chameleon.
#2) Do not serve spaghetti on the same day in which you have mopped your kitchen floor. You are just setting yourself up for an extra dose of Futility Frustration (which is in high enough supply when you have small children). It’s kinda like getting your car washed when the forecast calls for rain. I suppose you could also solve this problem by never mopping your floor.
#3) Some things should be left for people with actual skill. Like predicting the weather, diagnosing my kids’ various illnesses (just say NO to Google MD), but especially sewing. Straightly sewn lines evade me like the Holy Grail evaded King Arthur and his knights. I would save a lot of swearing and frustration if I would remember this before embarking on a highly-complicated project like sewing a pillowcase or cutting fabric into straight lines.
#4) Sugar is not my friend. A box of Hot Tamales is not the solution to my droopy eyes, and in fact is the cause of the other parts of me that may or not be droopy. A better solution to my droopy eyes would be to stop playing solitare after the 50th game and get my droopy parts to bed.
#5) Pregnancy makes me extra tired. Extra hungry. Extra weepy. Extra large. I am surprised by this every time. You’d think I’d have this down by now. When I am pregnant, I should know better than to: stay up past 10pm, eat a salad for dinner, look at baby pictures of my kids, or walk any distance further than the couch to the refrigerator. Yet I try one or more of these things every day and am shocked when I’m exhausted, starving, sobbing and out of breath (usually at the same time).
And as an additional word of advice (this one’s a freebie) one should avoid watching Steel Magnolias (or A Baby Story or telethons of any kind) during this time. Ocean’s Eleven, however, is highly recommended, especially when in labor.
#6) Whatever it is, it won’t last forever. Kids eventually learn to use the potty, to keep their food on the table intead of under it, and to do things all by themselves. So the sooner I learn to laugh it off, the more I can find the good parts of stuff. Like learning to find the humor in the fact that I have to get off the phone with my sister because Lil’ Sis won’t stop pulling down my pants (darn you, elastic waistband!). Or enjoying getting to see Big Sis explore her ”mad scientist” alter ego even though it always involves lots of yarn, at least one roll of tape and tons of clean up because soon she’ll be headed to school, and I won’t get a front row seat to the inner workings of her unusual little mind anymore.
And clearly I’ll never learn, as typing that last paragraph is enough to send my tired, weepy self on the hunt for a box of tissues, or Hot Tamales, whatever’s closer.