Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome 2010. So far, you rock.

Hey there blog. 'Member me?

All the Christmas hoo-ha is over and life has returned to "normal".

My family is detoxing after a steady, 2-week diet of party meatballs, (They're small! They're covered in sauce! They're party meatballs!) random bites of chocolate candies, (bites, because the rest of the piece goes uneaten after discovering the chewy center contains coconut or orange sherbet or some other crap-ola flavor) pistachio nuts, cookies and artichoke dip. Mmmm. Artichoke dip. There's spinach in it, so I have declared that it counts for a serving of vegetables.

But here it is, January 4, 2010, and this year has already started out with a big, fat bang. Here are some exciting things that have already made 2010 rock my world.

1.) I actually stayed up until midnight on New Year's Eve. It was a Christmas miracle. A Christmas miracle that happened on New Year's Eve. Bill and I watched "the Hangover" for the first time, and we were underwhelmed by the general UNfunniness of it all. Sure, I chuckled a few times, but it did not crack me up as much as hyped. Despite this fact, however, I still could not peel my eyes away from it when my sister called at about 11:30 p.m. to inform me that J-Lo was wearing some sort of flesh-colored costume on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Um, no thanks. I have no interest in seeing J-Lo in all her almost-naked badunkadunk glory. I didn't even see the countdown and the ball drop. Did Seacrest say, "Seacrest, out."? I don't know because I was too busy watching three, idiot man-boys running around Vegas tranquilizing Mike Tyson's tiger and wrecking a $4,000 hotel room.

2.) Annabel peed on me today. Not a little bit, but a whole bladder full of the stuff. She cozied up and fell asleep on me this afternoon while we were chilling with "Olivia" on Nick Jr., and a few minutes later my lap felt very warm. But I didn't move her for about 20 minutes because I was enjoying the rare snuggle time with her so much that I just sat there with her curled up on my lap full of pee. And I loved every minute of it. Not the pee. The snuggle time.

3.) Yesterday I witnessed a truly shocking form of parenting, and it made me go Hmmmmm. But not totally in a bad way.

Let me explain.

Charlie and I went to a local indoor play place that also sells huge wooden outdoor playsets. It is full of slides and forts and basketball hoops. For a price, this store/warehouse also lets people bring their children there to play on the sets they sell. Charlie and I were there to price out basketball hoops that Bill and I are thinking about installing on our driveway. We were waiting in line behind a family with three young children: two boys and a girl. The mom was purchasing a yearlong membership to play at this place, and the two older children ran off to play on the slides and tire swings. The dad was watching the three-ish-year old boy, and helping him up and down the slides. This family was there all of five minutes, and as the mom was still checking them in at the register, the dad walked over to her holding their crying boy, and cupping the boy's chin in his hand. He said to the mom ever so calmly, "We have to go to the ER now. He split open his chin and he needs stitches." Then the mom replied, "Oh, darnit. Okay. Round up the kids." Seriously, just like that. There was no spazzing, no freaking out at the sight of the blood gushing down their child's chin, no questioning if he needed stitches. It was all so Zen that the whole thing skeeved me out a little bit. In fact, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own two peepers. And THEN, the mom tells the other two kids to "Come along now, because 'Junior' has split his chin open," (which is gushing blood profusely at this point) and the kids are all, "Sure, Mom." Charlie and I just looked at each other like, "Huh? What just happened here?"

Let's recap.

Three kids. Mom is paying for membership. Dad takes 3-ish-year old boy to play on the slide. Boy promptly splits chin wide open. Blood is gushing. Dad is all, "Gee willikers" about it and calmly decides that a trip to the ER is in order. He tells Mom, who is all, "Dangit, sweet niblets" about it, and calmly rounds up other two kids who are all, "Aww shucks, but no problemo, Mommio." Charlie and I are all, "Whatchu talkin' about Willis?" about the scene we have just witnessed, especially Charlie, because he has learned in his 9 years on this planet that sliced open, exposed skin + gushing blood + possibility of the ER = panicky Mommy.

I understand that there has to be one calm member of a parenting duo, and TAG! I am not it. Clearly, this dad was the calm one, but the mom, too? How does that work? Who does the spazzing out in their house? Who does the second-guessing of parental decisions? They were so confident about the situation. They just said, "Woops. Definitely gotta take Junior to the ER," with the same conviction that one would say, "The sky is blue today." or "That hummus makes me gassy." The wife didn't say, "Are you sure?" about 8,012 times like yours truly does. They were all, "And that is that," about it, and I was equal parts in awe of them, jealous of their composure, and slightly skeeved out by them.

But then I decided that our way works for us, and I'll stick with it. I proudly embrace my inner spazz.

4.) I have learned that people (including moi) in my beloved midwest are still shocked and have the nerve to complain when it's cold in January, (IT'S JANUARY, PEOPLE. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE COLD HERE.) and they still don't know how to drive in snow. Therefore, I had a super-duper, fantastically awesome 1 hour and 5 minute drive to school this morning, and a sa-weet, slammin' 1 hour and 10 minute drive home from school at the end of the day.

5.) I have been banned from using my cellphone while driving. My children are the ones who banned me. This morning as we were driving to school in the slushy, slippery, icy muck, my cellphone rang. It was Bill, calling to check on how I was doing on the roads. Charlie screamed, "STOP! DON'T ANSWER IT!" then proceeded to lecture me on the dangers of talking on the phone while driving. I promptly hung up on Bill and listened to Charlie say, and I quote, "Mom, over 6,000 people have died talking on their cellphones while driving, and over 7,000 people have died texting while driving." Yes sir. Whatever you say, sir. I'm not sure where he got the statistics, but my sweet little punk schooled me. Hardcore. And I decided that I should set a good example, because in less than 7 years that same sweet little punk will be driving. A car. On the road. In various weather conditions. And that scares the ever-living crap out of me, especially in the age of cellphones and texting. Personally, I don't have the problem of texting while driving, because I barely have the patience and motor skills to text while standing. But dang, you guys. When am I going to get my daily helping of inane chatter with one of my sisters or besties? Did you know that I spend about 3 hours of combined time in my car every day? But a good role model I will try to be. Albeit reluctantly. I don't think this resolution is going to last.

It's shaping up to be a great year. And I'm not even being sarcastic when I say that. I usually hate January, but I have vowed to be more sunshine and rainbows about it. I shall love it even through the cold, and the dark, and the dreariness. Because I'm happy.

Welcome 2010. So far, you're kinda sorta awesome.

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