Monday, November 03, 2014

Driving Crazy

I got my license on the day that I turned 16 years and 6 months old. The exact day.
I happily stood in the long line at the Registry of Motor Vehicles just begging for the opportunity to drive a stick shift in the snow and parallel-park on a steep hill in a car with iffy brakes. Still, it couldn’t come fast enough for me. Freedom from the 10-speed bike!
But time moves on and things change, and by that, I mean we parents are complete suckers. Or at least I am. My daughter is in no particular rush to get her license because she has the luxury of being chaffeured around to wherever she wants to go, at the moment the need arises. Walk? You must be joking. It’s so hard to take a decent selfie while walking. And sometimes you get tired.
So, we’ve got the learner’s permit and the driver’s education classes have begun. I even had the pleasure of attending the parent class and sitting through two hours of a retired state cop explaining, in painstaking detail, the seriousness of each motor vehicle infraction and the virtues of green driving. My husband was conveniently unavailable for that honor.
He is available, however, to take my daughter driving. I am making darn sure of it because I am no longer available. Or willing. Truth is I’m a miserable excuse for a driving instructor. I become a monster, really. I’m like Simon Cowell during the “American Idol” auditions using phrases like, “That turn was miserable!” “What a dreadful stop!” and “Are you serious? You call that driving?” You can imagine the response I get. We come back like bloodthirsty gladiators ready to fight to the death. It’s a great mother-daughter bonding experience.
Dad, by all accounts, is much more patient. He can bite his tongue and say nothing when she rolls through a stop sign or forgets to use her blinker or misses the brake pedal entirely. He can ignore her looking at herself in the visor mirror or singing loudly to a Sam Smith song or waving to a cute boy on the street. Mom just doesn’t have that kind of self-restraint. Or enough medication.
But at least I know my limitations — I am not meant to drive with a permitted teen. Ever. In fact, I would rather ride the Green Line naked at rush hour than drive with a permitted teen. It’s that bad for me.
By all accounts, not mine, my daughter’s driving abilities are coming along nicely these days. My husband said she is getting more confident and skilled; she actually knows which way to turn the wheel when she is backing out of a parking space. This is progress, trust me. She has even asked if she can drive on a few occasions, just never with me. (As Simon would say, “It’s a no for me!”)

So time moves forward, and the day is coming — not the actual day, of course — she could have had her license six months ago. But it’s coming in a maybe-sometime-relatively soon sort of way. And I have to be ready because my daughter believes that when she returns home with said license in hand, there will be a brand-new, shiny automobile waiting for her in the driveway, maybe with one of those big red bows like you see in the commercials. There are probably some puppies and rainbows in this fictional scene, as well.
I told her there is a much stronger likelihood of a beat-up minivan sitting under a cloud of dust that she can occasionally borrow. Hey, not everything is like the fantasy version. Better to learn now.
So another milestone in our household has arrived. It’s bittersweet to see my daughter poised and ready to take on adult responsibilities. And my role is to continue to push her out of the nest with the greatest of care. Knowing she’ll soar to great heights. Whether on foot, train, plane or even in the beat-up minivan. 
Oh, the places you’ll go. Oh, the places you’ll go!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Dirty Truth

Hey, it's a long work, all play. What do you want to do today? Apple picking? Topsfield Fair?Hey, how about 14 loads of laundry? Doesn't that sound like fun?

When you live with 2 high school age teens, the equation looks something like this.

1 day x 4 wardrobe changes x 2 rejected outfits x several pairs of yoga pants that were worn for 27 minutes each x my sister's clean clothes that "fall" into the hamper = "I don't know how we have so much laundry, mom! But it's definitely not our fault."

Sound familiar to anyone? I have tried every imaginable tactic to fight against the assault. I have tried making my daughter's do their own laundry. Don't even ask how that went (said the mother in the too tight sweater). I have fined them for putting clean clothes in the laundry. I have threatened to take cell phones away and I have ranted until I couldn't stand the sound of my own voice.

I'm still losing the battle. I'm ready to beat myself over the head with a bottle of fabric softener.

So I guess it's time for some guerilla warfare. (And a lot of Tide and Wisk). I figure what my daughter's don't know won't hurt them and I'm sure they have this same philosophy with me so...right back at ya!

I am now doing midnight runs and taking things out of the hamper, folding them, and returning them to their drawers. (minus the underwear of course, that would be just gross). But jeans, sweaters, towels - yup, they are all fair game. I figure two can play at this game. Childish? Maybe.Hey, I don't mind doing laundry but washing clean clothes or entire outfits that were worn for 43 seconds is just silly and time consuming and certainly not cheap when you get the water usage fees. Then there's the societal guilt that is imposed when you get the electric bill that says that you use way more energy than your "cost-efficient" neighbors. They even give you the little graph with the line that is way above the rest that is marked "YOU" (you gluttonous pig).

Gee thanks for that. It's quite an honor to be me.

I know that my approach would qualify as bad parenting and here's the thing: I don't really care. If it frees up time for me to watch a movie with my husband or have a glass of wine, well sign me up. I mean I love my kids madly but I'm not going to let a couple of teens take the spin out my cycle. 

There it is: the dirty truth.

Monday, January 14, 2013

When you give a mom a muffin. Sass!

My teenage daughters have made it painfully clear to me that the language they use should in no way ever be adopted, uttered or even alluded to by anyone "old" which is like over the age of 30, a demographic I have belonged to for quite some time.  They use words like "awk" and "sass" and others that I can't pronounce or spell and definitely don't want to know the meaning of.

The problem comes when, after  hearing the word 5,342 times, you find yourself quite mistakenly using the term in public. Like say, at the Dunkin Donuts drive through. But in my defense, they didn't have any pumpkin muffins. And I really wanted a pumpkin muffin because when you give a Mom a muffin, well Lord knows what can happen. Next she wants a latte or a Pomegranate Cosmo or just a little respect.

Anyway, upon hearing that my order could not be filled, I reacted with a vociferous response which may have included the word SASS! I regret such response and am wholly sorry for the embarrassment that it inflicted on both myself, my children and my unborn grandchildren. But it came out nonetheless and I still didn't get my damned muffin.

So I think I've been banned from the drive-through...any drive through. And that may just save me some cash in the long run. Sass!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Am I Crazy or is Everyone Else?

I often ask myself this question - the world seems a universally nutty place these days and I yearn to just slow it down! Why are we moving at the speed of light? I want to enjoy the here and now but I haven't seen it in years.

Working on a book on this topic of running at a frenzied pace. I am about 30 pages in and hope to share at least the introduction with you to gauge interest.

From what I hear from most of my friends - they are all feeling it too. The thing is we have to agree to rachet it down together. One person who slows down gets trampled. Know what I mean?

Well, Happy New Year everyone. Wishing you a calmer, more peaceful year.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Mac n Mouse

Hello friends,

I've finally come around to the thinking that our family needs a Mac. You see we've been a PC family but that's not working out so well any more. After visiting my girlfriend in New York this summer and playing on her Mac I realized why the Apple store looks like a techie playground every time I walk by. I want to play too!! Pick me, pick me!

These things can do everything but call you baby...wait, we have Siri for that. (she calls me Sexy Hot Mama). It goes over well in client meetings at work. But I digress.

I want a Mac and one of those fancy Mac Mouses with no discernible buttons to click. It's like livin' the dream really. So that investment will be our capital improvement project for the year. Yes, we need new garage doors more but can they make a movie with those fancy swipes and dissolves? I think not.

On a separate note it is my Katie's 15th birthday today...sniff. Hard to believe my girl is a young woman now and I'm so proud of who she is turning out to be. Strong, confident, smart and beautiful on the inside and out.  Yes, she still loses everything and has to be dragged out of bed for school and can definitely hand out her share of sass-  but all in all, she's a good one. I think we'll keep her. Happy Birthday honey.

Time to get ready for work. I have to save for that @#% Mac!

Just keepin' it real!