Ok ok...I know it's not Tuesday but I feel like I'm in 10th grade again and have this overdue paper just looming over me. I owe you guys a List Post. All four of you...I can sense your need from here.
(pssst...I started this yesterday, when it was Friday.)
a Friday, it's nice and chilly, and I'm feeling downright sprightly
today. Henry is performing in a flash mob along with his 8th grade
choir group later today, and of course I volunteered to chaperone
because I WOULDN'T MISS THIS FOR THE WORLD. He cracks me up...Henry has
always been the kid who isn't afraid to show his "fabulous" side and I
love that about him.
(The flash mob was awkward and hilarious.)
So here's some listy stuff for ya:
Movie madness! Totino's Party Pizzas are practically their own food
group in my house...and yes, I'm well aware that many times I've
preached about processed food, junk food, yucky food, etc. But you
can't beat a Party Pizza. When I was pregnant with Molly, I used to put
Charlie down for a nap (or leave him sleeping in the car...let's be
honest here) and I'd eat an entire Party Pizza all by my fat pregnant
self. But anyhoo...for a limited time, Party Pizzas have free Red Box
rental codes printed inside the boxes. So that means I have A LOT of
free movies. There was a long, dry stretch without any good movies for a
while (what's a girl to do??) but lately, a few titles came up that
sounded promising. Here's what we've watched:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close:
I now call this "Extremely Long and Incredibly Boring". What a waste
of Tom Hanks. Sorry, I've heard the book is AMAZING but the movie was
not only uninteresting (aside from the always ethereally beautiful Viola
Davis) (girl crush), it featured a very, very annoying kid. I can only
handle so much quirky in one lifetime.
Watch this movie. Now. Here's how much I loved this one: I forgot
about how much I can't stand George Clooney within the first 10
minutes. Plus, it has Matthew Lillard who played Shaggy in the live
action Scooby Doo movies, and I love him. Ooooh..plus, another one of
my girl crushes, Judy Greer. One of those movies that, when it ends?
You're sad that it's over. It made me want to ditch my family and move
to Hawaii. Or take them with me and move to Hawaii.
Sometimes, I like a movie that offers nothing more than some escapism.
A movie that will make you laugh a little, sometimes a lot. A movie
that has some cool music and more than a few good character actors. And
I'll admit it...I love me some Alan Alda. This movie did it. Also, it
reminded me of how funny Eddie Murphy used to be.
Amazing. I watched this one with Henry and William, and they
absolutely loved it. I was completely blown away by the
animation...seriously, it's only a matter of time before we're done with
human actors. It was that good. I think it helped that we have always
been Tintin fans in this family, a million years ago I bought a
complete set of the Tintin books at a garage sale and the kids read them
over and over and over. But, I do recommend this one, especially for
the boys. And before someone calls me sexist or accuses me of gender
stereotyping...let me say, stuff it. This is a boy movie. Plain and
simple. Sometimes things are black and white, and as much as I hate the
fact that we have pink Lego's and the world should be a unisex, gender
neutral landscape, the bottom line is that some things are going to
appeal more to one gender than the other. And this is one of them.
Obviously this wasn't a family movie, I watched this one with my BFF
and her husband. My BFF fell asleep in the first 20 minutes, I made it
almost the whole way, he watched the entire thing. Here's the thing
about this movie: it's depressing. Patton Oswalt is one of my weird
oddball crushes, and he always makes whatever he's in sort of watchable
(he was fabulous in United States of Tara) but the movie, as a whole,
was like a Xanax. I wanted it to be awesome because it was written by
homegirl Cody Diablo, but this was no Juno.
That's it for the movies, now on to a little rant:
Is anyone else getting bored with the seemingly endless flow of "Oh my
gawd being a parent is so hard" and "shhh don't tell anyone but
sometimes I hate my kids" and "Gee parenting is a lot more than being
able to buy skinny jeans in 2T and researching the best organic soy
almond vanilla milk sold in 100% reused sustainable packaging" stuff? Books by
bloggers, that whole Mamastery thing, celeb moms coming clean about
their struggles with parenthood...it's starting to annoy me.
the only people pressuring all of you to be perfect parents are YOU.
There seems to be this godawful one-upping thing that has surfaced in
the last 10 years or so in regards to parenting. Call me the bitchy old
burned out mom in the corner (or as my dear friend Carol puts it so
eloquently, "the pile of ashes over here") but I don't get all the
fuss. Yes, it's hard. Yes, someone you gave birth to can be an asshole
sometimes. Yes, your life changes and no, you won't be 100% happy with
these changes 100% of the time. Get over it.
someone else came to this breathtaking conclusion over 40 years ago
and wrote about it. Her name was Erma Bombeck and if you haven't taken
the time to read something, ANYTHING the woman wrote, I suggest you do
it now. She was the real trailblazer in the whole "Aww being a mom kind
of sucks" movement and she expressed herself without trying to be the
cool, edgy modern mom that everyone seems to be killing themselves to be
nowadays. And yes, I just typed out the word "nowadays". It's only a
matter of time before I get a short, sensible haircut and start keeping
Kleenex in my sleeves.
3. I'm still sad about
Charlie. He's had another bad morning. HOWEVER. I am about to become
one of "those" moms. One who makes a fuss. One who sends emails and
calls superintendents and principals and counselors, demanding answers.
I was subbing in Special Ed. the other day, and it dawned on me: all
of these kids are getting special accommodations in their schooling
simply because they have been diagnosed with something: ADHD, EBD,
Asperger's, Down's, Autism...and some haven't been diagnosed with
ANYTHING other than "he has a tough time". These kids (and I love them,
by the way, don't you think for one second I am speaking in a
disparaging tone) are given different paths, they are shown extra
compassion, they are allowed to learn in their own way. They have their
own staff members who show up for work every single day just for one
reason: To ensure that these "specials" are getting the education they
Why hasn't my kid been offered this help? It
dawned on me, on Wednesday. He has a diagnosis (severe depression).
We've had literally HUNDREDS of meetings with school faculty. And not
once, not ONCE in any one of those meetings, not in any email or phone
call or voicemail left, did anyone ever suggest that hey...maybe Charlie
needs to be shown a different path. Maybe this kid, this child who
tried to commit suicide (I mean..really..did that not raise a big old
red flag to anyone in the faculty??), this boy who used to break down
and start sobbing in class, this kid who so obviously is suffering from
something that is beyond his ability to control..maybe he needed
accommodating. He needs a 504 plan, and you know what? He's going to
get it now. Even with only 41 days of school left, my boy is going to
So now I'm not only sad, I'm pissed.
Pissed at myself for not putting this together sooner, instead of 6
weeks before he's supposed to graduate. Pissed at every single one of
those school counselors for not suggesting this. Pissed at his
therapist, who makes a very nice living out of counseling depressed
teenagers, for not bringing this up oh I don't know, like 3 years ago.
I'm just pissed that my kid has once again fallen through the cracks.
And it makes me wonder (Carrie Bradshaw reference, folks), how many
other kids have gone before him?
Depression is a real
illness. It's not talked about very much, there aren't support groups
for the parents of depressed kids (I'm actually a little envious of how
the Asperger community has bonded..they call themselves the Aspies. I
wonder what the Depression parents would call ourselves..Saddies? We
need a name, dammit.). But my son is disabled just as much as the kid
with raging ADD, just as much as the kid who is lost inside his own
head, just as much as the kid with cerebral palsy. I just wish I had
realized it sooner.
Where am I now, only on 3? Geeze. Sorry.
Aughh...it's 4, Jenny.
Phase Two of Project Big Daddy is about to launch. And this one is
going to be a doozy. Phase One was mind-blowingly easy, and when I sit
down and write my mini-novel to you guys, the novel where I tell you
what has happened, how I got my new, handsome and awesome attorney, how
Secretary may or may not be the man in their relationship...well...you
will be dumbfounded. Like me. It's crazy, y'all. Crazy. But crazy in
a good way.
5. I did get a good sized check from
Secretary (yes, from her and not her husband..go figure). I am now
officially terrified of money, and so I have been cautious with this
tiny windfall. I did get the kids a little sumpin' sumpin', to try and
make up for a few spectacularly depressing Christmases and birthdays,
but nothing major. In my head I was all ready to go treat myself to one
of those newfangled flatscreens with internet, so I could sit on my
couch and not EVEN HAVE TO GET UP TO CHANGE DVDs! But once I put that
check in the bank...I changed my mind. I have a 2,000 lb t.v. that
works perfectly fine, and a DVD player that is also just fine. Our XBOX
died, but the kids did get a Playstation 3, which has Netflix on it.
So, entertainment-wise? We're good.
to treat herself, just a little. So I did make one purchase, one
selfish purchase that was completely frivolous, absolutely non-essential
(sorry, old friend, I did have to bring that up). I bought the entire,
complete, 10-season DVD collection of....wait for it...."Friends". And
I'll be there for you...oops sorry, for some reason that's stuck in my
brain these days. Yes, my dears, that's what I did. I didn't get a
good haircut, I didn't get fake eyelashes woven in (because mine are
disappearing, and yes I've considered it. Stop judging me.). I didn't
buy any new clothes or treat myself to the expensive underwear.
I bought Friends. My awesome real life friend Danielle found it on Craigslist for me and the two of us drove to a little town about 25 minutes from home to get it. We laughed on the way there, because really, how insane am I that I'd take an hour out of my life in the pursuit of Friends DVDs? Pretty insane. But, in the end, I'm so happy with my purchase. I offer no apologies when I say that I think it's one of the funniest shows ever. But I do have to say...what's with the constant nippling, Jennifer Aniston? Those things should have their own agent.
6. Mitt Romney reminds me of Don Draper. Only I don't think about Mitt Romney when I'm in the shower. Apparently I'm not the only one who sees a resemblance:
Ok my lovelies. That's the list. Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe weekend!
P.S. Special thank you to everyone who reached out after I wrote about Charlie. Sometimes the love I feel from you guys, both my friends "in real life" and those I have yet to meet in person, is what makes the difference between a day spent weeping in a fog and a day spent not weeping in a fog. You rock. Thank you for that.