Monday, December 21, 2009

Sick and Sitterless in the City

It was inevitable wasn't it? No sitter, no school? Someone had to get sick. The twist? The sickie is me!

I made this whrrl story with few of my (new favorite) comfort things. They are all awesome, if you don't have a stomach virus. Which is what I turned out to have! Back to the drawing board...

More stories at Casa de Momfluential
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What do you do when you are sick and home alone with kids?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Birthday Mello Roos

I've been a mom for almost 13 years. My kids have had all sorts of friends and playmates over those years. Nice ones, nasty ones. I've been aghast at the cruelty of five year old girls who make fun of fat people and I've been mesmerized by the charity of 8 year olds. But rarely have I been flummoxed as I was today by a classmate of my daughter's. Lets call her Chutzpasha.

Chutzpasha just had a birthday party this past weekend. A big gala affair with at least twenty or thirty kids invited. Including my daughter. My daughter decided she'd rather skip the festivities. Her own sister's party was at the same time, and she wanted to be there. She and Chutzie are hardly bff's. Plus the last time she visited this particular party bounce house palace, she broke her arm & the owners were very mean to her, accusing her of being a big baby. Hell if we were going back! But I digress. My daughter was an ixnay on the artypay.

Which was a relief. Because frankly, with the holiday season, teacher gifts, adopt a needy family gifts (umm, how needy is needy? Cause I am thinking we are two tanks of gas away from qualifying here), secret santas, school fundraisers etc, we are TAPPED OUT. Scraping the bottom of the holiday cashpoor bucket. I knit my husband a sweater for Hanukkah. I made toys out of old socks. You get the picture.

Apparently I was mistaken in my assumption that we did not have to get Chutzpasha a gift, however. A mistake that she has seen fit to correct quite vociferously. There are credit card calling centers in India who could use this kid to shake down defaulted accounts. Two text messages, a phone message and a few live calls came in rapid succession today. I think there were deadlines and vague threats of further action alluded to. My daughter was starting to twitch every time her phone bleeped in the same way I twitch when I think my Amex card might not go through. Like she wished a giant hole in the time space continuum would just open up and take her away from the consumerverse. If only for a brief moment.

I may not be an etiquette expert, but last time I checked, it wasn't mandatory to gift at parties for kids you are not close with, when you did not attend the party. But I admire Chutzie's well developed sense of entitlement which is why I have come up with the following options as gifts. Please vote in the comments and/or suggest other ideas?

1. Flaming bag of poo
2. Etiquette handbook
3. In Lieu notification (donation to Smile Train or local kid's charity)

I have to wonder what Chutzpasha's mom would thing of her daughter's demands. She'd probably be mortified. I know I would be! But one thing's for sure. The next time anyone is late paying me? I'm calling that kid.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fry me to the moon

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It's day two of Sitterless in the City. The evening before Hanukkah. Not a present is wrapped, the beds are unmade. The dreidels are lost somewhere under the couch and the bills are unpaid...

Oh wait. I don't have to write the entire post in rhyme. Thank god.

I'm happy to report that despite our home and holiday being somewhat in a shambles, no-one has lost an eye yet. All that could end however, when Hanukkah commences tomorrow and we start to fry things. It's traditional to make latkes for the holiday but since I am not fond of potato pancakes (or the accompanying smell that takes ten years to go away, only slightly less time than say, fried fish) I am going all middle eastern with our holidays and making Sufganiyot. AKA Israeli Jelly Donuts. Now that's a holiday treat!

Meanwhile I decided to come up with a top ten list of fried foods to try in future years. The tradition is to eat foods fried in oil, but it doesn't say what kind of foods. Who knows, we could start a whole new tradition! Why should carnies and Christmas celebrators have all the fun. It's time to light your menorah, spin your dreidel and consider the following:

Top Ten Foods Destined for Chanukah Frying Greatness?

1. Snickers
2. Ice Cream
3. Twinkies
4. Pickles
5. Oreos
6. Poptarts
7. Fried Chicken in Donut sandwich
8. Fried Bacon (lets call it fried turkey bacon, for the sake of our kosher pals)
9. Fried Mac & Cheese (I have it on good authority that this is delish)
10. Fried Maccabee Christo - lose the ham, double the cheese.

Did I leave anything off the list? Please be sure to tell me in the comments below!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sitterless in the City

You know how everyone has some kind of secret to their superpowers? Mine is our babysitter. She works part-time for us, half housekeeper, half baby wrangler and occasional carpool driver. Without her I'd be driving three plus hrs a day to get all my kids where they need to go, when they need it. I'd have mountains of clean laundry that never gets put away (I wash, she folds) and little kids that get bathed half as often. My floors would not be as swept and my countertops even more cluttered, which is almost alarming to imagine. Her not being here is like kryptonite to me. I lose all ability to function. I shrivel and twitch like Superman in the crystal cave. Eventually I am rendered useless.

She's not just helping me with the basics, she's saving me from myself. On a daily basis. Left to my own devices, without assistance, I inevitably obsess. It's not enough for me to just clear off the kitchen counter. I must clear every. last. scrap. of clutter and then I must disinfect and scrub the grout. Afterwards I will guard that space like an angry tiger ready to dismember the next person whose cereal sploshes a little. Rinse and repeat with the garage, the bedroom, the laundry room, the hall closet.... You can imagine how much my family enjoys seeing me like this. It's really a good thing when I delegate housekeeping. I can disengage from the mess and tantrum slightly less frequently.

The sitter also saves my marriage. Because for three or four hours a day, it's neither one of our "turns" to change a really really nasty shitty diaper. Instead we both get to go on a quick Starbucks run. This, at the moment is more magical than hot sex at a hotel, let me assure you.


Our sitter has taken a much deserved, well earned, month (MONTH!!!!????) off to go visit her family. I've gone through the requisite five stages of grief since learning about her plans to leave us and decided there is only one thing that might get us through. I'm going to blog about it. Yep. I'm using my sitter's absence as blogfodder. Whee!

It's Day One and I am sitting on the couch. I'm trying to resist the housekeeping pull of the clutter on the counter and the unmade bed upstairs. Must. Get. Work. Done. My husband and I have split the days and the carpool driving in a complex calculation or "You're on, I'm off" time mostly revolving around the 22 month old who requires constant attention. Off time is when we are supposed to get work done. So technically I am off, so I am on. Online, anyway.

Staytuned for reports from the front. It could get ugly...