Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Box Tops for education and guilt

Box Tops, for those of you who don't know, are little printed codes that can be found on various food packages. And I think maybe underwear and socks?

Why?  I don't know.

You are supposed to clip them and save them to turn into your school and each one is worth like 10 cents or something.  You'd think there would be an easier way.  Like just donate the money it took you to print the little squares and we'll all take some time off. I know it doesn't take 10 cents to print them, but when you factor in the huge percentage that must get ignored and tossed, I feel confident that we'd come about about even.

I blissfully threw these away for years, but once your kids start going to school, you are expected to actually pay attention.  Thus, for the past five years or so, I've been plagued with guilt about these damn things.  They have contests, you know.  For which kid or which class can bring in the most.  It matters a little.  There's a modicum of judgment.  I'd wager that that even moms who don't collect them have made a deliberate decision to not participate and feel the tiniest of twinges every time.

But one time when Chris was looking for something in the junk drawer he pulled out a handful of box tops and said, "why are there a bunch of scraps of cardboard in here?"

He didn't even know what a box top WAS.

I don't like to generalize or stereotype, but I'm going to say that, conservative estimate, the percentage of people cutting those out is 1000% female. No man has ever, in the history of ever, cut one of those things out.

It's just another one of the things that I waste my life worrying about and dealing with that will never matter, even a little bit, to anybody with a penis.

Other things on this list are "making children brush their teeth," "duvet covers," and "holiday decorations."

Monday, October 10, 2016

Man Looking: Part 1052

Sam is feeling a little under the weather today.  He wanted some tea, but one of the great things about having bigger kids is that they can get their own dang tea.

Except . . .

"Mom?  Where is the tea?"

"It's in the little cupboard right next to the fridge."

*five minutes later*

"Mom?  It's not there."

I am 5000 percent sure that the tea is in the little cupboard right next the fridge.  I know it is there because I put it there because of course I put it there because it has never occurred to anybody else in this house to put anything away ever.  I am so sure that it is in the tiny cupboard next to the fridge that if someone offered me a bet wherein if I am right, and it is in the tiny cupboard next to the fridge I get a dollar, and if I am wrong the whole world just explodes, I would take that bet.

"Sam, go look again.  Look at the fridge.   Look in every smallish cupboard that is in any proximity to the fridge.  I promise you, the tea is in there."

*five minutes later*

"Mom?  It's really not there."


It was in the tiny cupboard next to the fridge.

"Oh, THAT little cupboard!" he says.

Yes, the one right next to the fridge.

What I need you to understand about this cupboard, though, is that it is both small, and COMPLETELY (other than tea) EMPTY.  There is LITERALLY nothing else in the entire tiny cupboard.  It is a stupid tiny cupboard, nothing fits.  That's why I was happy about the tea.  Now it's a classy tea cupboard.  It has a purpose.  But the point is that it's truly not as if I found the tea pushed behind an old box of crackers or something.  All I did was open the door.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Last week the grocery store had a sale on reduced sugar granola bars and yogurt tubes.  So I bought them.  I took the time to go to the grocery store, search for coupons, compare prices, bring the groceries into the house and put them away and you know what?  I don't even like granola bars or yogurt tubes, personally.

Which is super weird because I keep seeing granola bar wrappers and empty yogurt tubes lying around.  Seeing as how I live exclusively with people who are capable of throwing things away, the only logical explanation is that I am eating them, passing out, hitting my head, getting amnesia and then seeing the wrappers.  Right?  I mean, it makes no sense that people who have the skills and fortitude to go find these snacks in the cupboard or fridge, scale the counter tops to reach them, unwrap and then eat the snacks would then conclude that mission by throwing their goddamn wrappers on the goddamn ground.  NO SENSE  AT ALL.

A few polite reminders were met with blank stares.  More emphatic statements to PICK UP YOUR GARBAGE I AM NOT YOUR MAID were greeted with choruses that, golly gee, that wrapper surely did belong to Not Me.  Directives to pick up the wrappers, irrespective of who placed them there, were outrageous miscarriages of justice.  It is not FAIR, not fair at all, to have to pick up a wrapper that was dropped by someone else.  Funnily, I AGREE.

I was just sitting next to Owen, and noticed that he was eating a granola bar.  "Do NOT drop that wrapper on the floor Owen."

"Okay, Mom, that was all I needed to remind me!"

"Your cheerful attitude notwithstanding, Owen, you should not need a reminder.  There is no excuse for ever just dropping your garbage on the floor."

"Not even in a fire?  If there is a fire, should I make sure I put this garbage in the trash before I escape?"

I will note that his tone is playful rather than obnoxious, but I still want to wallop him.  I am less amused with the garbage struggle around here than he is.

But I'm not a mean mom, so I banter.

"Have we been having a lot of fires around here?  Is that why there is always garbage on the ground?  An out of control number of fires that are causing you all to run for your lives?"

"Hahahaha, yeah, mom, that's it! Hahahah."

But seriously.  Pick up your garbage.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Living with Chris Logic

"Guess what?"

"Eleven dollars and 50 cents."

" . . . shut up."

I'll give Chris credit.  He's an annoyingly good guesser.  Without question, he is better as guessing than anyone else I know.

It's part and parcel of his neurosis, of course.  The one where he mouths all my words as I'm saying them.  The one where he doesn't listen or pay attention in the moment because he is too busy trying to figure out what will happen next. Where he doesn't actually read your emails as much as guesses what they are going to say based on the first four words.

Chris's brain must be an absolutely exhausting place.  I personally have enough trouble just listening and formulating a response, let alone trying to figure out what you're going to say before you say it.  I imagine I'll figure out what you are saying in another second and a half when you actually say it.  

But not Chris!  

Chris is proud of how often he accurately guesses the time in the middle of the night.  But, jesus, just think about that.  He woke up, started computing all available incoming matrices of information, made a guess, then read the clock to see how far off he was.


So when I say he's an Olympic guesser, I mean he's also trained like an Olympian - every waking (and sleeping) moment.  

But, and I may have mentioned this, it is still annoying. 

It's genuinely deflating, when you're all, "guess how much?" and he gets it exactly.  There's just nowhere to go from there.  It's a conversation-ender.  

And it totally derails the story flow when you say, "guess who I saw today" and he knows on the first try.  

Pro-tip: when I ask you to guess who called, just say, "who" and let me move on with my story.  

Here's a classic Living with Chris Logic conversation:

We've been tracking Sam weight for a few weeks (on the sly!  He still just thinks we are letting him play with the scale.  And then we do discuss how to eat healthy food, etc, etc, etc.  I just want to stipulate that we are doing this only because childhood obesity is a real problem and we don't want his weight to get out of control because we weren't paying attention).

After a week at basketball camp, I said "guess what Sam's weight was this week."

"Um. Up two pounds."

"No, he was down .3 lbs."

"Really?  I would have guessed it would be lower."

"You literally wouldn't."


"You just guessed he was up two pounds."

"Oh, that was just my guess, not what I actually thought."

"Seriously, that makes no sense." 

"See, when someone else asks me to guess, I have to take into account their motivation for asking me to guess, and what they probably guessed, before I make my guess."

"Chris, you do know that the goal here is just conversation.  There is no actual prize for getting it right."

"You just say that because you always lose at guessing."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

I create my own problems

Mornings are so hard.

Mornings are literally the worst except for the evenings.

We've been struggling with our keys recently, so when I couldn't find them as we were walking out the door the the other morning, it was like, "of course I can't find my keys. Why would I have learned to keep track of something silly like my keys?"

Where are my keys?

In my purse!

Now all I have to do is find my purse.  I'm zipping frantically around the house, clutching Lilly's lunch and jacket and breakfast and an umbrella and we HAVE TO LEAVE we are VERY LATE and my fingers are tired but if I put anything down I will lose that, too.

"Ok, Lilly, I have to find my purse, so try not to be annoying for a second." (I didn't really say that part, because I love her, but I thought it)

"You need to find your purse with the tree on it?"

She's referring to the purse I was using until a few days ago when the strap broke and I went back to using my trusty old brown purse.

"No, not the tree purse, I don't use that one any more."  Also, I'm finding it super annoying that she's being all specific about this.  The hell does she care what my purse looks like?

"You need to find your other purse because it has your keys in it?"

"Yes, exactly.  Gotta find my purse, because I gotta have my keys to go anywhere."

"So we're looking for your other purse?"

I swear to god if that girl can't stop talking about my goddamn other purse and let me find my goddamn keys in peace . . .

Wait. Why *is* she talking about my "other" purse?

So I stop for a second, and look down and . . .

Yup.  There's my purse, hanging from my arm.

Lilly has been justifiably confused about what, exactly, it is that I'm running around looking for, because surely there is some other purse at play if this one is just swinging in the air.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Nobody wants to be an apple

We were sitting by a pond, Lilly and I, and she says to me, "Mom?  Isn't this so peaceful? Don't you want to stay here for hours?"

And I absolutely did.  Except my hips are too old to be sitting around on the ground like that.

"Mom?  What would you want to be: a hippo, a duck, or an apple?"

Do you know how many years of my life I have spent answering questions like these at this point?  Sooooo many.

"I would say definitely a duck."


Lilly.  Remember the peaceful?

"Oh, a hippo. That's a no-brainer."

"Chris, that's absurd.  Who wants to be a hippo?  What is even remotely appealing about being a hippo?"

"Dude, if I was a hippo I would crush you like a bug!"

"Hippos just look like giant stomachs or some other internal organs lying around in mud.  A duck can fly, swim and walk.  Again, the duck is obviously the better choice."

"Hey, if you had to be a girl duck, you would have LAY EGGS."

"Um, yeah, but if I had to be girl hippo, I'd have to give birth to a HIPPO."

"Fair enough.  I still think ducks get shot at a lot, and nobody wants to mess with a hippo."

And that's how we spent a beautiful Sunday by the pond.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rainbows are pretty for everyone

We're attempting to fulfill Lilly's request for a rainbow theme in hall bathroom. Well.  Technically she asked for a rainbow theme in her bedroom but instead we decided to go with an understated "you're lucky you have a bed, let alone a theme, here, I found a pack of rainbow stickers," theme.

So, even though I couldn't find bedroom stuff in rainbow, I wanted to tackle it in the bathroom.

Here's the thing I figured out:  You can have an owl bathroom, or a seashell bathroom or a leaf bathroom, or an animal print bathroom, but there is no such thing as a rainbow bathroom.

Not even on Amazon.


Because I'm smart and intuitive and pay attention to key words, I figured out that you CAN have a gay pride bathroom. Which is just like a rainbow bathroom, except you have to search using "gay pride," instead of "rainbow."  Then it's a whole new world of options.

In this age of the Internet, I'm always a little surprised when something I want doesn't exist on line. There's how many billion people and I'm the only one who wants a framed picture of a rainbow?  I'm being offer the chance to buy a seven foot tall statue of a rooster, but there's no such thing as a rainbow trash can?  There are more people who want a hat shaped like a fish than want a rainbow hand towel?

Anyhow, with the help of our proud gay brethren, and a picture my mom painted of a rainbow that I stole out of my nephew's bedroom, Lilly is very pleased with her new bathroom.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


I picked the boys up from tumbling today and I wasn't even late!  True story. 

The tumbling teacher greets me with a "Hey! We missed you on Saturday!"

Um . . . we missed you too?  It's so long between Wednesday classes? 

"The halftime show wasn't the same without the boys!"  

Oh.  There was a performance. 

"I understand!" He says, "people get busy."

But we weren't busy. And I also didn't forget. I never even knew about this in the first place.  That's how out of touch we are.

We gather our stuff in shame, the boys clutching the cowboy hats they were supposed to wear during their routine. 

He calls after us, "I think we are going to have one more show this spring, Owen!  So don't lose your hat!"

"I won't!" Owen replies cheerfully as we head out the door.

Then, as the door closes, I hear him say, under his breath, "hashtag, I definitely will."

#hesnotwrong #knowyourself #helearneditfromwatchingus #butsopolite #thehatisalreadygone

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Still no Superman, though.

In the car today Sam asked when we were going to get rid of all the pay phones.

So I'm looking around and I see exactly zero pay phones. "I think the pay phones are already gone, Sam."

"The what are gone?" Owen asks.

"Pay phones, Owen."

"What are those?"

I am so old. So very old.

"Before cell phones there used to be phones on street corners and stores that you could put 25 cents in and make a call."

"Oh, I've seen those.  I saw two . . . no three in Disney world. But prices must have gone up because it cost two quarters."

Okay, so number one, Jesus, inflation. Number two, how about next time we spend a million dollars to take you some place special you pay a little more attention to the goddamn magic.