I Need A Babysitter Who Will Work For Free and Not Be a Bad Influence

We used to have a mother’s helper. She came over two times a week, for three hours each time. She’d help with picking up around the house, dishes, lunch, homeschooling, and so on.

For the three months she worked for us, it was great. Sort of. I got to leave the house to run errands alone if I needed to. The extra help around the house meant I had more time to write. Twice I was even able to go get my nails done, alone and in peace.

There were a lot of problems, though, too. Like the fact that she lived about 15 miles away from us, and did not drive (meaning I always had to pick her up and drop her off). And there was the dress code issue – suddenly I was having to answer why I wouldn’t allow ass-cheek-showing shorts and half shirts when the mother’s helper wore them all the time. It also cost us $13 an hour, which was $39 a day, $78 a week, $312 a month…plus the extra gas money picking her up and dropping her off. …and of course there was that one time that she and her boyfriend came over around Halloween to my in-laws (she is actually a family friend, making it even more complex) and she basically “sat” on his lap the entire time…

What I’m saying is that it became not worth it pretty quickly.

So since then, I’ve had absolutely no help at all. Except from my husband, and occasionally my father – both of whom are often flakey, enforce very little rule, and have sometimes questionable understandings of what it means to properly care for a child (example: my husband thinks children can just learn to like exotic meals whether their little stomachs can tolerate them or not, and by contrast my father believes that Spaghetti-O’s count as a serving of vegetables).

So the other day we were at my in-law’s to have dinner (like we always do on Sundays) and to watch the Oscars. Those of you that have been around for a while know how much I just love the film industry (that’s sarcasm, actually…90% of the film industry makes me want to stab myself repeatedly in the eyeball with a No. 2 pencil). But in spite of the utter contempt I have for this industry of greed and workaholism, of course we always sit and watch the Oscars religiously while my film industry husband and his film industry-loving mother fantasize about him one day winning an Oscar for whatever run-of-the-mill reality TV program or McDonald’s commercial his company happens to get their hands on.

1891132_10152113348251704_2055584696_nI’m sure it goes without saying that we really only saw one movie nominated, and only because it was age appropriate for children.

As we were watching the Oscars the other night, I was standing in the kitchen pouring myself a drink and shoveling queso dip and tortilla chips down my throat at unprecedented speeds, when suddenly I heard my husband’s grandmother – literally – yelling at him. I walked closer to hear just what in the hell was going on. Apparently, she had asked him what movies that were nominated for awards he had seen, and he said “none.” She didn’t understand why this blasphemy could be the case, though – which is where the yelling came in. She yelled and yelled and yelled: “why don’t you guys ever go to the movies?” … “how are you two never going out?” … “you work in the film industry, why don’t you and Heather go see some of these?!”

Two words: no babysitter.

Even when we had the scantily-dressed mother’s helper coming over twice a week, she came during the day and my husband was always at work. Our family close by have their own lives and priorities; and even when they don’t, it’s hard for those babysitters to expect to babysit at their own homes when kids need to be in their own beds early (this has been a real difficult thing to get our families to understand). And finally, there is the stark reality that non-family babysitters can be pricey. $13 an hour is actually a lot of money when you live on one income.

All of that being said: everyone needs a break now and then from the hustle and bustle of motherhood, or parenthood. It can – at times – be overwhelming and isolating; and especially when you are a homeschooling mother, who has at least one child literally under foot every minute, of every day… well, it can be a little crazy-making.

And you all know how crazy I am already.

1939718_727765833934576_1210475743_oBut now I’m starting to realize just how much more crazy I’m becoming. And I don’t think it’s in a good way; more in a if-mom-doesn’t-get-a-break-she’s-going-to-flip-her-shit-and-be-taken-to-the-mental-ward-in-a-paddy-wagon kind of way.

We’ve been here before, and the signs are always the same. My hair looks more disheveled. I’m waking up more and more, and more, in the middle of the night with a flurry of things that need to be done going through my head. Worse: the nails on my toes look like something that belong on a gargoyle; and I haven’t shaved my legs in so long that I have no idea what shade of color the skin beneath them truly is anymore. And more than any of it all – more than the nails and hair and the visible signs that I need a little time to myself, I cannot remember the last time I did something with other adults. Like go to a movie, attend a book club meeting, or just have a drink with my husband outside of the house.

So I’m looking for a babysitter. One that will work for free, preferably. And one that won’t look like a whore in daisy dukes that her vagina hangs out of, and a bathing suit top – because that is totally what you wear on a cold day with no sun or nearby swimming pool. I thought about putting together a Mary Poppins-esque list to post on Craigslist, but then I realized that anyone who would respond to a Craigslist ad to babysit for free is probably not someone I want to babysit.

But were I to … it would go something like this (feel free to read it to the tune of the Perfect Nanny song from Mary Poppins).

Wanted:

an occasional babysitter who will work for free

and not dress like a slut

If you want this choice position
Have a cheery disposition
Rosy cheeks, no warts!
Especially ones of the genital sort

You must be kind, you must be witty
Very sweet but not too pretty
Work for free, bake us treats
Sing songs, bring sweets

Crack the whip but don’t be cruel
Turn my cooking into other than gruel
Love us as your family
And never say you’re charging me

If you sit around and text your boyfriend
Free or not, this arrangement will end
We won’t hide your spectacles
So you can’t see
But bitch I catch you in my bed
You’ll need to flee
Hurry, occasional babysitter who will work for free and not dress like a slut!
Many thanks.

Sincerely,

The crazy lady who can’t keep her mouth shut.

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Did Somebody Say “Get Me Away From These Douchey Danes!”?

Let me start by refreshing everyone’s memory:

My husband freaked out a little bit because I was sitting around crying being so kidless and fancy free, the Pookies being gone for this 12 day trip away from me. For the record, I was not crying because I had free time, but rather I realized how much of a grave mistake it was to allow such a trip to happen. I wasn’t ready for it. Neither was anybody else it would seem, for when I finally was given the dignity of some contact yesterday, I learned that the cell phone has – in fact – been uncharged and off for the whole week, the allergy medicine has been ignored, and teeth have not even been brushed. I’m also pretty down in the funks because I have been wanting to move home to Chicago for about 7 years now to be closer to my family and it’s just not happening, although that is another story altogether. In any event, I was a little loose around the edges, so Poor Nick did what any husband would do: he sent me away.

I’m going home today, and you’ll all see that it’s about 5 o’clock in the morning, and I’m up: blogging and listening to Tom Jones. You’d think that is a sign that this little mental health retreat isn’t working, when really it’s that the people staying upstairs were having a party. Around 3 o’clock I woke up to the sound of people wading through beer cans outside in the parking lot: yes, you heard what I said. There were about 50 Modelo and Bud Light cans strewn in the parking lot and someone was wading through them, looking for his keys.

Classy establishment, hubs.

In any event, I think I’m ready to head home. I realized that, while Solvang is the place for a mental health retreat, it’s also the place for overindulgence, douchey yuppies, and losing all your money to tourism and more tourism.

Last night my wine walk got cut short

I decided yesterday to do the Wednesday Wine Walk that the local-yolcals host to try and inspire business. For $20 you get a glass, a map, and five tickets for wine tasting at the participating wineries. Each ticket gets you two tastes.

I got through two places that were on the list, plus one next door that I had to pay separate for. All of them had (for the most part) the shittiest wine I have ever tasted in my life, coupled with a crowd full of douche bags and dogs walking around sniffing people’s assholes. When I got to the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth, I learned that the wine tasting event was being hosted by wine tasting rooms that did not even intend on being open until said event was over.

That’s right. I bought tickets that said “good for tasting until 7” and the last three places participating closed at 6. The most egregious was that the one I bought my tickets at earlier in the day was one of them.

Just yesterday I was thinking to myself that these people drink a lot. I mean, a lot. I know that in Europe people drink a lot more, but I’m really a “glass a day is good for me” kind of gal. Possibly they keep the alcoholism under control by never fulfilling what they actually sell.

So I went to get some dinner instead, and was too tired to cruise all the way to Santa Ynez as my plan was, so I just decided on this local brewery/restaurant that seemed pretty popular since people were crowded all around and inside it.

And then I realized something else.

All of the food here tastes like a fucking pancake

And I don’t mean a good pancake. I just mean some weird, fucked up pancake that is like the cross between powdered sugar and my Trailer Trash Mom’s asshole. Some of the food I had was good, like the ham and cheese croissant I had for breakfast yesterday, and the turkey sandwich I had the first night into town. But for the most part, everything tasted like that shitty pancake.

There are some things that should not have shitty pancake flavor. The chicken and mashed potatoes I had for dinner at that supposedly good brewery/restaurant is one thing that should not have tasted like shitty pancake, yet did. The salad I had for lunch yesterday too … probably shouldn’t have tasted like pancake. And that was like a spicy pancake, which just boggles my mind to even think about right now. At the time I was eating it I thought it was good, but then two hours later – as the taste of spicy pancake lingered in my mouth – I realized that something was wrong with that shit.

Everyone here thinks they are actually living in Denmark

I’m all for upholding your family heritage and everything, but for Christ’s fucking sakes people!

* Wearing those ridiculous Danish Maid costumes when it’s 100 fucking degrees outside just makes me hot.

* Slapping a Norwegian flag on everything from t-shirts to iPad cases does not justify marking up the price 190%.

* Speaking in Danish when you say you grew up in fucking Orange County is not authentic. Ever skede lederhosen your ass back to Anaheim!

So yeah, I’m about over this place. I’m ready to go home and return to my carefully crafted life of laundry, dishes, cleaning house, homeschooling, and wiping asses (literally, figuratively … you decide). Before the return of the Pookies on Monday, I have a few more things to catch up on anyway. As I sit here, with pancake taste in my mouth, shitty wine burning my gut, and every drunken wanna-be Dane outside wading through piles of aluminum beer can trash, I realize that depressed or not, in a funk or otherwise, it’s about time I ever skede lederhosen my own ass back to Camarillo.

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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