Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rookie Mom In the Drop-Off Line

I pick up my kids in the family jet, because I'm not a peasant.

Afternoon Readers,

You know what makes life great? Suspense.

Right now, I'm thirty-three weeks along and eagerly waiting to hear if I have gestational diabetes.

I've actually had three tests already, but as my beautiful, chocolate-brownie-loving body can't decide whether it's slowly breaking down, I get to head in for more evaluation and the possible threat I'll be eating celery until I show up at the hospital, crazy-eyed and drooling.


Luckily, I've had a plethora of things to distract me from any impending and unwelcome dietary changes. Yes, my nesting instincts are starting to kick into high gear, but even more demanding is the overwhelming need to understand the in's and out's of becoming a fully functioning school mom. How I even became a mom old enough to have kids in school is beyond me, but it's happened, and my urge to blend in is strong.

Please don't read the above as, "My urge to blend in is strong, so I get up, shower, put on makeup, and lovingly distribute bento boxes chock full of sandwiches in the shape of puppy faces."

No, I'm really just trying to figure out what time things start and the proper way to waddle through the cross walk, without losing momentum, sitting down, and waving the cars around me. The principal said she's only allowing one of those and refuses to drag me to safety again. I'm sure there are many, many other things I'll need to get the hang of over the next few months, but, so far, this is what I've observed about the drop-off and pick-up process at school.

The Top Seven Things You Need To Know To Survive When Dropping Off or Picking Up Your School Age Children  

1. Pull Forward 

It's really cute how you thought you'd navigate your Toyota Sienna to literally any place along the curb in front of the school. After all, there are the doors. Your kids need to go through the doors to get to the learnin'. 


Pull forward, damn it. All the way to the end. Nope, keep going until you can't see the school anymore. Follow that yellow line painted on the sidewalk, until your children see you disappear and think they've been abandoned to be raised by school staff.

You're actually nowhere near school anymore. The teacher must now hike to your minivan with the determination of someone who's going to climb Mount Everest in socks and a tank top. Knees to chest. Knees to chest.

2. Never Cut Anyone Off

I haven't done this myself, but there's a careful protocol for merging into the pick-up line after school. Last week, I watched two overzealous moms cut me off, instead of heading to the back of the line, in the attempt to pick up their kids three minutes before me.

It was blatant disregard for the sacred you merge/I merge tango all of us parents had been practicing relentlessly for four weeks, carefully embracing this Strictly Ballroom version of our lives. All of us wanting the trophy.

No sooner had I started sulking into my Cheetos, when a teacher barreled out of nowhere, knocked on the offenders' windows in turn, and gave a speech about common decency, taking turns, and possibly remembering to wash your hands after using the bathroom.

I promised myself I'd never be on the receiving end of that grey bowl cut and iron clad admonishment.

3. Kick Em' Out

The first rule of drop-off: kick your kid out of the car as soon as humanly possible. You may have carried them for nine months, but Susan McRange Rover behind you doesn't know that and needs you to keep it moving. She didn't even slow down as she launched her Timmy and Jimmy from a rocket launcher she keeps under her seat.

She's got yoga at eight. She also just drove over the back of your car and down the hood.

4. Round Em' Up

In the same spirit as sending your kids off for the day, it's also critical you be able to herd all of your offspring into the car as soon as possible. If they're old enough to just jump on the running board and hold on to the antennae, even better.

Is everyone clinging to a headlight? Let's go!

5. Timing is Everything

If you get to pick-up an hour early, you'll be waiting for thirty minutes for your kids.
If you get to pick up thirty minutes early, you'll be waiting thirty minutes for your kids.
If you get there when school lets out, you have the crappiest position in line but, thankfully, it'll only be thirty minutes until you pick up your kids,

6. People Watching

The pick-up line comes with a standard cast of characters. I enjoy every, single one of them and worry when someone is missing:

Mom who had to leave beauty pageant early to go pick up her kids
Dad with really cool car he likes to polish while he's waiting
Mom who ran eight miles with a jogging stroller uphill
Mom who takes picture of kid exiting school, every day (Presumably, this is for an upcoming YouTube documentary, A Batman Back Pack For All Seasons.)
Hot dad who may not be a dad, because you never see him with a kid, but could be peddling Axe body spray to the front office
Pregnant mom who stares too long and can't reach the Cheeto that fell under the glove compartment

7. Relief

Every day, I'm excited to see the twins when they get out of school. They make it through the day, and all is right with the world. As soon as we get home and I detach them from the running board of the van, I make sure to kiss them, tell them I love them, and enjoy the time we get together.

After all, tomorrow I have to tell say goodbye, again, and catapult them to enlightenment before someone drives over the hood of my car.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here? Buy some Cankles
And if quick bathroom reads are your friend, grab The Big Book of Parenting Tweets: Featuring the Most Hilarious Parents on Twitter!
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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cover Sneak Peek

Afternoon Readers,

Nope, haven't had the baby yet, but I thought today would be the perfect day to give you a look at the other project I've been working on for nine plus months.

Things are coming together, y'all.

A book will be born.

Mark your calendars for October 2015. New reading material and candy corn in the same month?

I know. I can't believe it either.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Putting Along

"I'm only nine holes ahead of the Kellermans? Ok, let's speed this up."

Morning Readers,

Thirty weeks, you guys. Things are getting serious.

Clothing Status: Now only wearing trash bags and flip flops.

Despite the fact I spend most of the time trying not to tip forward, my present circumstances haven't negated motherly duties to the other children. I'm still required to feed, clothe, and run after the pack, at a slow jog. As of now, I'm pretty sure there are three of them, but, seeing as they've taken advantage of how fat I am, I can only guess at their numbers, while they dodge out from under tables and spring off the tops of doorways.

I'm still determined to maintain some semblance of being a "fun mom," however, which is how I ended up at the golf course last weekend.

Husband made the bid. "Who wants to go putt putt golfing?"

The shouts of children agreeing drowned out my raised hand and concerns that, perhaps, I was big enough to tumble in one of the miniature ponds and not be able to get out.

"Is mommy coming?" Doc asked.

I nodded. "As soon I can find an outfit that makes me look a little less like a golf bag, sweetheart. I wouldn't want anyone trying to drag me around by mistake."

For those of you who've never taken three small children miniature golfing, it really is a once-in-a-life-time experience. It could be something you do twice in a lifetime, but that depends on your level of bravery and tolerance for watching short people swing metal poles around, like tiny, broken cuckoo
clocks. Surprisingly, arming them was the easiest part of the journey:

"Ok, does everyone have a putter?"
"How'd you lose yours already?"
"But where would you have put it? Honey, you're standing on it."
"Ok, what color of ball do you want?"
"They don't have brown. How about a electric green?"
"What do you mean, you don't want to play if the ball isn't 'pink enough'?"
"Well, where did you see it last?"
"Excuse me, sir. Do you have any duct tape? No, everything's fine. I just need to secure all this equipment to my children."

And so we headed out. Luckily, this particular course was built around a "monster" theme, which afforded us many teachable moments, not only in the hand-eye coordination area, but also in the realm of historical mythology.

Husband tried desperately to get our ducklings in a row, his one and only admirable goal revolving around getting the children to each take a turn.  Sundance had other thoughts.

"But, Daddy, if I put the ball right next to the hole, I can just knock it right in."

"That's true, honey. But if you start back here, it's more fun."

She pointed her club accusingly. "That is a huge Frankenstein head. I have to knock it through his neck?"


"But was he real?"



"Um, no."

"So you would say he was more of a legend?"

"Er ...I guess."

Sundance scooped up her ball. "I'm just going to drop it in the hole."

Meanwhile, after shoving his ball into the mouth of a plaster ghost, making it irretrievable, the toddler grabbed his putter and took off across the course. "I'm going home."

"Should we stop him?" I asked.

"Shh, I'm trying to make par through that giant vampire bat." Husband said.

The only child who became highly emotionally involved was Butch. When it comes to anything competitive, he's a five-year-old who consistently has his eye on the prize. Which is why he finished ten holes in front of the rest of the family and condescendingly asked why no one had bought him a bucket of balls so he could head over to the driving range.

"Because we're terrible parents." we answered.

He seemed to take that at face value.

The beautiful weather was enough to balance out any other challenges, even the point where Doc tried to smuggle a sale set of twelve golf balls out of the shop. I ended up being able to putt around my stomach, but I'm looking forward to trying it again, when I'm not trying to swing around a watermelon.

Only nine more weeks and I can try to make par around the giant cobra, without falling in the miniature pond. 

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here? Buy some Cankles
And if quick bathroom reads are your friend, grab The Big Book of Parenting Tweets: Featuring the Most Hilarious Parents on Twitter!
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: