Where Have I Been Lately? Too Busy Not Being a Parent.

I don’t know where time flies to these days. One second the government is open and in what feels like an hour, you look up and realize that the government has been closed down for days and days! Anyways, I’m back to write about my lunch today.

It was a lovely salmon wrap that I purchased from a wonderful take-out style eatery at a nearby open air mall. What a lovely setting to sit and have lunch in the beautiful sunshine. After ordering my meal, I took a look around in the courtyard to see where I would like to sit. I wanted to be in the sunshine and saw a lovely spot across the ways. So, I walked over and sat down, but within a few seconds I realized that the at the table that was 2 feet away from me were 2 mommys with 4 small children. Darn, I knew I should have taken more time to assess the seeetcheeation before deciding on where to sit. So, rather than be rude and move away, I decided to be mature about it and work through my own issues. Yes, I’m trying to become more aware of my phobias and tendencies to stay away from strangers with small children. (For some reason, I have more tolerance for friends kids and family members. I know, some would call that discrimination. I don’t know what to call it.)

Of course, I’m within earshot of their conversation which, not surprisingly, revolved around the children and the subject of children. Another things that did not surprise me at all was that before I was half way into my salmon wrap, which was delicious by-the-way, I heard the words, “play date”. Oh, if you only knew – well, I’ll tell you – how much those two words may me cringe. Literally, when I hear those words my back and shoulders scrunch upwards. It’s an innate reaction for me. The moms were very excited that they could make their next play date for their kids to play together. I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to be planning a date with your husband? I wonder how many moms of small children actually even have conversations with their husbands never mind dates.

Another part of the conversation was one of the moms asking her daughter who was about 4 years old this question, “do you want to come with me to wash your hands?”. The little girls said, “no”. Very politely, which was very nice : ) However, the question I had floating around in my head was, why would you ask your 4 year old that question? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for the parent to say, “let’s go wash your hands”? OK, time for me to shut up. The kids were well-behaved and the mother’s seem to be doing a good job with their kids. Even when one of the kids started yelling instead of talking (out of the blue, it just started happening) the mother calmly asked her why she was yelling all of  a sudden and she told her that it wasn’t necessary to yell, the child listened and lowered her voice.

So all in all, it was a bearable experience for me and I’m glad that I sat there to help me get over my phobia of being in situations like that. See, I’m growing : ) Just don’t say the words, “play date” around me.

Please Leave My Stuff Alone! Get Your Grubby Little Hands Off That!

“How many times do I have to tell you. Don’t touch my stuff!”

Guess what I’m referring to? Yes, you got it, children playing with your STUFF! Or playing with stuff that could hurt them or potentially hurt someone else. Things like hot water, plastic bags, pens and pencils, any sharp object, food, wet food, greasy food, dried food, any food, wrappers, heavy things, things small enough for them to swallow, things too big for them to swallow but they try to anyway, string, your dentures, your underwear, your lipstick, magic markers, crayons, paint, fire, forks, that box, that branch, that toy, that salami, that propane gas tank. PLEASE don’t let me go on because I could form a list so long that it would rival the list of things on a greedy child’s wishlist to Santa Claus. In a nutshell, kids like playing with things that you don’t want them to be playing with. It starts as soon as they come out of the womb and sometimes continues through college.

My thought is, that in order to stop this type of behavior you’d have to have nothing but yourselves in your home. No furniture, because little Tommy will chew on the upholstery. No food because little Amy will get into the fridge and smear the food on the wall or smash it on the floor. No clothing because little Angel will get his little Angel feet tripped up in your scarf and possibly fall on his sweet little Angel face. No-thing would have to exist in the house except naked people. And even if it was just you naked, with the naked child with no clothes on to chew or get tangle up in, even then the child could easily start playing with your hair or your nipples or your ears in a way that could hurt you. And that wouldn’t be fun either.

Whether you have children or not, we’ve all witnessed the scenario of the contents of a house upside down and inside out with stuff tossed everywhere – the aftermath of kids needing to get into and play with stuff. I personally would go insane if I had to live in an environment like that, all disrupted, chaotic and disheveled. I commend parents who are able to tolerate this because I certainly could not.

Hence, SWaNK.

“Goo Goo Gaga” and “I Don’t Know”

A transcription of a recent conversation I had with a 3-year-old:

CQ: “Hi little one, how are you?”

Little One: No attempted words, just a screech.

CQ: “What are you going to do today?”

Little One: “I want that one! I want that!”

CQ: “So? What are you going to do today?”

Little One: “Better go ween and some the pear.”

CQ: “Oh, really? That’s nice.”

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A transcription of a recent conversation I had with an 11-year-old:

CQ: “So, now that school is over, what are you planning to do this summer?”

11-year-old: “I don’t know.”

CQ: “Do you have any activities planned like softball?”

11-year-old: “No, I don’t want to play this summer.”

CQ: “Why not?”

11-year-old: “I don’t know.”

CQ: “Oh, OK.”

What Could Be Worse Than Nails Digging Into A Chalk Board?

Hundreds of screaming and screeching kids in a schoolyard, that’s what!

And you thought the title of this article was a joke with a punchline that would follow, didn’t you? Well, this is serious. I don’t even have PMS right now and all I could think of was, “SOMEBODY PLEASE SHUT THEM UP NOW! GET ME OUT OF HERE!” Don’t get me wrong, I actually like kids in general, but when there are hundreds of them in a fenced-in area on a warm, sunny day and they have been cooped up in classrooms all morning and have then been released into the schoolyard for their recess break and you’re about fifteen feet away from them with nowhere else to escape to and they are all screaming and yelling and screeching at one another at the top of their lungs, then that is an exception.

I was at the laundromat today doing three loads of laundry. I love this establishment because it is clean, modern, efficient, calming and lovely. They play classical music in the background to add to the calm and the sound of the machines humming is almost Zen-like. When I do my laundry there I bring my laptop, so I can work and be productive while my clothes are gently spinning away and being refreshed. It’s like a day at the spa for both me and my clothes.

But today, it was HELL DAY at the laundro-spa because recess for the kiddies started just after I loaded up my three loads and little did I know that there was even a school right next door hidden behind the bushes. I couldn’t think straight and the quivers running up and down my spine were on hyper-mode, worse than they would be if someone were digging their nails into a chalk board. It felt like millions of fire ants were crawling rampantly all over my body. And after about 10 minutes, I almost lost my marbles. But, I forged through the pain and eventually recess ended and so did my agitation. My emotional agitation, that is, not the spinning and churning of my clothes.

The moral of the story? I’m not really sure. I think I just needed to vent! Thanks for listening.

Enjoying Other People’s Children

Yes, I like and love children! Even though I’ve chosen not to have kids of my own, I enjoy having kids in my life. My nieces and nephews, my boyfriend’s daughter, my Hawaiian “little sister”, the neighbors’ kids, my friends’ kids, and many other children are a joy to be around. I sit back and admire how some of the parent’s are able to cope with the kids and the constant energy that children seem to give off. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m happy that they do because a world without children would be a world without a future. Here’s to other people’s children.

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