A Weekend of Alternative Parenting

I am not even sure what “alternative parenting” means, to be quite honest. I Googled it and Attachment Parenting came up – not the concept I am talking about right now by any stretch of the imagination. No, faithful blog followers, when I say I had a weekend of “alternative parenting” I mean that I basically didn’t parent at all. I just decided to not give a shit. About anything.

We all need a break from the daily SAHM grind. Mothers that work are so admirable to me mostly because they let some of the small stuff go in the interest of keeping their sanity. I could never do that. By contrast, I feel that since my life is defined by this motherhood wrap, I need to be on it all the time. I was heading for burn out, though – something I always seem to be heading for – so this weekend I decided to kick back and watch the state of nature take over.

Here were the results:

My list received no checkmarks.

I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I am an obsessive list maker. I will make these enormous lists full of daunting tasks, and you think that I won’t be able to get them done because there are just so many things on there; but because I made my list I get them all done anyway.

Towards the end of last week, I realized I had a lot of things to do over the weekend and this coming week, so I decided to make a list so that I would easily stay on track. Each day had its tasks that needed to get done to lead to the next day, and so on and so forth.

Since I decided to not really give a shit, though, my list received absolutely no check marks of completion for the weekend. And I don’t fucking care.

Around 11 o’clock Saturday morning, I decided to make cans of pickles and fruit

It was a completely off-the-wall and out-of-nowhere decision, but around 11 o’clock in the morning on Saturday, I decided to make cans of pickles and fruit. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while (which is odd because I hate cooking); and yet, I had never really gotten around to it because I’m always too busy wiping people’s asses and cleaning up toast crumbs off the kitchen counter.

Because I decided not to parent or really give a shit this weekend, though, it instantly became a “me” weekend and so canning rose to the top of my priorities. As an added bonus, when my Trailer Trash Mom called and I accidentally answered the phone before seeing the caller id, I was able to rub it in her face that I have again achieved something of motherhood that she never was capable of doing.

The apartment became what appears to have been a war zone

I must spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning up after people without even realizing it, in addition to what I am aware of doing that is. As I sit here, looking around the apartment, I see what appears to have been a war zone.

There are crumbs all over the coffee table. There is hay from Agamemnon (my guinea pig) all over the living room floor. There is strawberry jam on the wall in the kitchen and some sort of unidentified substance on the refrigerator handle. Our kitchen table – usually a pristine image of style and grace – has glitter in the grooves, empty grocery bags all over the top of it, and miscellaneous shit (mail, keys, pens) sitting around it. The bathroom appears to have suffered an explosion of towels, for there are seven bath towels just strewn about in there. There are hair barrettes fucking everywhere.

What’s worse is the condition of the people. My husband still has toothpaste around his mouth from brushing his teeth this morning. He has little clippings from his beard on his shirt too. Pookies took a bath this morning and yet there is dirt on just about every inch of skin. It would appear my “a fruit or vegetable before every snack”-rule was only minimally adhered to as well, because the only fruit eaten was watermelon, and half of it is sitting on the kitchen counter, waiting to be disposed of.

And again, I don’t really care.

You may be asking yourself at this point: just what do I care about if I am coming off this weekend of alternative (a.k.a. not) parenting? Am I worried about catching up on my list, getting things back under control, and cleaning up this gargantuan mess?

Not really.

I care about the fact that I canned dill pickles, spicy garlic pickles, strawberries, apricots, and yellow cherries. I care about the fact that when I went to Sephora today I got a 500 point perk as well as a 100 point perk. I care about the hilarious scene in the Target between a husband and wife in matching Raiders jerseys – the defining moment of which included the woman screaming the words “if I see you check out that bitch over in the Starbucks again I will whoop yo’ ass and cut that bitches weave!!” I’m excited that our neighbors upstairs moved out (they are so damn loud); and moreover that I suggested they send home the friend helping them move with the hairy back and send back someone more along the lines of Goran Ivanisevic.

More than anything, I care about the fact that I feel well-rested, and ready to actually attack my list. I think a weekend of alternative parenting really worked for me. Not sure it worked for anyone else, but that doesn’t really matter at this point, does it?

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My Kid Is Better Than Yours Hell – Day One

Today began another two weeks in hell. I know what you faithful blog followers are all thinking: don’t you think every week is a week in hell, B(itch)? Well, yes; but this is two weeks in an especially hellish hell. This is two weeks in “My Kid Is Better Than Yours Hell.”

It just so happens that all of the extra, summer activities I wanted to piggyback our homeschooling on this year landed during this week and next. So whereas during the regular school year activities are spread out; this two weeks every day is like a long, death march of kid-related sports and recreational activities stacked one on top of another. What does that mean? More activities and being out of my apartment cave means more exposure to assholes. And it seems like everyone is out to prove that their kid is better than everyone else’s.

Being summer, the coups de grâce of the assholes in my community are out in full force: the Summertime Over-Achieving Parents (hereafter referred to as SOAPs). After ten months of ditching parent-teacher conferences, shirking out on volunteer requirements, and generally ignoring their children’s’ school and otherwise needs, SOAPs now have exactly two months of summer vacation to prove to themselves that they are the best parents on the planet.

(No, this is not one of the SOAPs’ kids hitting the ball … it’s a miniature me in the making.)

So on this, the first day of “My Kid Is Better Than Yours Hell,” two SOAPs at this evening’s group tennis lesson pitted themselves against each other to such a degree that a fight almost broke out. There were a number of reasons this was a recipe for disaster from the get-go.

Recipe for disaster, reason #1: Both SOAPs were clearly yuppies. They both drove these terribly pretentious-looking SUVs with movies constantly playing in the backseat so the kids will stay shut the fuck up. One talked on the phone for the first 20 minutes of class, only on his blue tooth – blowing niceties and canned, corporate euphemisms up the ass of whomever was on the other end of the line the entire time.

The point is that yuppies always have something to prove; their status as yuppies depends on it.

Recipe for disaster, reason #2: Both SOAPs were men.

Need I say anymore really? This little “my kid is better than yours” argument between the two guys was not really about their kids. No, no, faithful blog followers – it was totally about the size of their dicks. Had I a ruler in the backseat of my car, I would have been the hero of the day by just getting it out and settling the whole thing without the need for 40 minutes of arguing that came to near-blows (over who’s little bastard enjoyed Wimbledon more).

Recipe for disaster, reason #3: Both SOAPs’ daughters sucked terribly at tennis. Yes, I did say they sucked at tennis, which could ironically point the “my kid is better than yours” finger at me. But seriously, as a tennis player myself and someone that can simply observe what is going on, I can say with absolute certainty that those two little girls are just not into it. Neither one gives a fuck about tennis one iota. One kept letting the ball whiz past her head without even caring whether she swung or stood there. The other kept trying to just launch the ball over the fence, rather than actually learn the fundamentals.

This is two-fold. First, because their daughters suck, the SOAPs had to argue more to cover up that fact. Second, because their daughters don’t give a shit, it’s obvious the SOAPs put them in tennis just to prove something. What? Who knows; or cares for that matter?

Recipe for disaster, reason #4: The tennis pro utilizes parent pressure. I already knew this because it is our second group session with him. He’s actually pretty awesome. He always seems to roll out of bed about 15 minutes before the evening class; sometimes smelling like whiskey. He drives this crazy, old van that I imagine him saying “if this van’s a rockin’ don’t come a knockin'” about twenty or so years ago. The first time we met him, he opened the door of his van and a ton of tennis balls and cans came tumbling out – perhaps the most hilarious thing I have seen in a while. He’s very serious about the sport, though, and is an amazing player through all this nonsense, so we have decided to stick with him for the long term.

One of his teaching paradigms is parent pressure. He reminds the parents each week that if the kids are serious they should be practicing daily. It seems only right, actually – I mean, unless you live next to those very tennis courts, chances are your kid needs a ride to practice every day, making it the SOAPs’ responsibility. And today he inquired on who had their kids watch some of Wimbeldon. One of the SOAP daughters raised her hand, prompting the other SOAP to yell “why aren’t you raising your hand honey?” And here is where the fight ensued. These two doucheblazoons proceeded then to argue about who’s kid was more interested in watching Wimbeldon. “Well Katelynn was glued to the TV the entire time.” “Oh yeah, well we nicknamed Amanda ‘AK’ after Kerber.” It got worse and worse until finally the two SOAPs stood up with that yuppy, machismo, puffed chest “you want to go” look and – fortunately – class adjourned just at that very moment.

So today was “My Kid Is Better Than Yours Hell” because these two pompous, yuppy assholes subjected us all to their verbal pissing contest. Tomorrow is day 2 and I can see that we are off to a roaring start. On the docket is: swimming class, zoo animal science camp, homeschooling, and t-ball. I wonder what hellish things are in store for us through all of that?