Today I Didn’t Eat Lunch with My Kid at School

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It starts off a typical Friday morning, where I stand in the shower and meticulously plot out what to do with my 2.25 hours of allotted free time for the week.

Husband has the cute suggestion that today I should go have lunch with our kindergartner, Kid #2.

Husband had lunch with Kid #2 before and it was no less than the highlight of Kid #2’s life since October 2009 when he first breathed air.  Continue reading

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Why I’m Quitting Stickers

Stickers

Here they are, waiting to take over my sanity.

I’m quitting stickers, I decided today.

Done. Cold turkey. NOT A SINGLE ONE MORE. Adios, stickers.

From this day forward, I vow to make my household a sticker-free zone.

That includes fancy-schmancy fundraiser nametags that screw up my fake-satin shirt. That includes irrelevant product ads that cover up the front of my newspaper. That includes hanger-on-Frozen-Elsas attached to the bottom of my boot.

Over!

I should’ve learned from my mother.

It was 1989. She was standing in my brother’s newly-evacuated room with a Parkay margarine tub of hot water and a butter knife in hand. There my mom sweated and scraped the day away, trying in vain to remove the saucer-sized Captain America that had leeched onto the side of my brother’s old dresser hutch – like that birthmark on Gorbachev’s head when he tore down that wall. Perhaps it was easier to rid the western world of communism than remove that unsightly blotch.

And now here we are. Wait, where? How did we get here, here covered in goddamn stickers?  Continue reading

Motherhood on Tour: Wardrobe Malfunctions

Recently I crawled out from the Havin’ Lots O’ Babies cave where I’d been not-sleeping the past 8 years and heard some amazing news!

*** JANET JACKSON JUST RELEASED A NEW ALBUM! ***

Here is what you should probably know:

  • I am unsure whether this album is actually still “new.”
  • I am unsure whether the word “album” is actually still relevant.
  • I am unsure whether this is the proper way to use bullet points.

Unfortunately, as the above will illustrate, I am no longer cutting-edge enough to make an intelligent comment on this breaking news, nor do I definitively know what those polka dots are supposed to be doing next to those words up there.

Here is what I know about Janet Jackson:  Continue reading

6 Parents You Meet on the First Day of School

It happened. With all the ceremony of the onset of menses or a new season of The Good Wife streaming on Amazon Prime, so it was decreed that I must strap my firstborn into a too-big backpack and trundle him off to kindergarten, or as Mr. Dru likes to call it, “The beginning of institutionalization.”

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Dru and son on the first day of kindergarten, 2015.

Unlike our overeager district, I realize most of the U.S. doesn’t begin the new academic year in what could reasonably be referred to as early-August. That’s good news for my fellow newbies, because in addition to logging a few more hours in the end-of-summer more-urine-than-water public swimming pool, there’s still time to prepare yourself for an important ritual: seeking out the A-List parents at school.

You need these people. They will host the best play dates and parties, sneak flasks into vocal music concerts and refer you to the brilliant illegal parking place that’s just a hop, skip and a jump from the school’s back door. We at Punch Drunk Village believe in giving back, and so for your quick reference, I’ve categorized the types of parents you’re likely to encounter on the first day of school. Remember: choose your friends carefully, and your frenemies extra carefully.   Continue reading

There Will Be Blood

PsychoAllow me to set the stage for a recent Day in the Life story that occurred last week.

This took place during my “family vacation” – if by “family” you mean “lots of people crammed in one van,” if by “vacation” you mean “lots of people crammed in one van moving from one geographic location to another geographic location.” But call it what you like.

We were staying at a cabin on a lake near Minneapolis and decide to drive into the city to visit old and new friends. These old and new friends don’t know one another. But we typically like to make things more convenient for us them by awkwardly forcing everyone in a room together. One stop shop, if you will.

The Cast:

  • One family of four:  mom, dad, two young kids.
  • One family of five:  mom, dad, three young kids.
  • One male friend. Single by choice. Childless by choice. Works as senior event planner for fancy art museum. Will thus be called fancy friend going forward. Knows a living room couch’s proper ratio of down-filled pillow to carefully-placed Egyptian cotton throw blanket. Gets extra descriptors here in case automatic response to reading “childless by choice” is “well…but maybe someday.” Let’s just shut that right down.

Continue reading

Manufacturing Courage: Or, That Time a Bull Shark Almost Devoured My Kid

Unless you’re living under Donald Trump’s combover, you probably saw this week’s big story about a South African surfer who barely survived a shark attack. Twitter blew up, experts experted all over the morning news shows, and I experienced a little something called déjà vu, because four months ago, my five-year-old son was THISCLOSE to being an amuse-bouche for a bull shark.

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How could a guy named Mick Fanning NOT become a professional surfer?

As I sat sipping wine on the deck of a rented Florida beach house (thanks, mom) my son frolicked in the late afternoon surf with his cousins. I kept a casual eye on passing dolphins and talked politics with my aunts and uncles.

(Note: earlier that day, while lounging in the sun, I’d speculated about how I’d act if I saw a shark approaching one of my relatives. In my daydream, I was super heroic… sprinting in the sea, launching my sizable self–fists flying–straight at the shark, and then cradling the victim in my arms as I strode onto the beach, level-headed and calm as I shouted for assistance.) Continue reading