Charge It

September 29, 2009

On Saturday afternoon, when I opened up my mailbox, there was some sort of a letter from James's elementary school.

"Huh. That's funny," I thought. "Usually they send letters home in his back pack."

I ripped open the envelope quickly, excited at the prospect of what might be inside--after all, it was far too important to send home with my irresponsible, little four-year-old. Perhaps it was the letter confirming my suspicions that James is gifted, talented, and too handsome for his own good?

I unfolded the letter, read it once, and had to read through it twice to fully take it in.

It was a bill. For nine dollars. From the elementary school cafeteria.

Apparently, my son had talked the lunch lady into opening a tab so he could buy himself an extra little something every day. You know--a pudding cup, a Nutty-Buddy, a two-pack of cookies. Basically, whatever his chubby, little heart desired.

I've never been so proud in my life.

But, regardless of my pride, I'm not the type to let my food-loving child get away with everything, so I called the cafeteria yesterday morning.

I was like, "Hi Cheryl, this Amy Lawson, James's mom."

"Oh," she chimed! "We love James, he's so darn cute!"

"Cheryl," I replied, "I didn't know that the preK students were allowed to charge things in the cafeteria without their parents' permission."

"Well they're not," she said.

"But I just got a bill for nine dollars from you guys. James has definitely been charging some snacks."

"Well he's really persistent," she said. "And cute, and convincing..." her voice trailing off. "And he loves cupcakes more than any other kid I've ever dealt with."

And I was all, "Oh Cheryl, you should see him with a milkshake--he's completely passionate."

And so on and so forth.

Last night, I made the executive decision that I'm going to continue to allow James to run a tab on his snacks at school. I think it's totally funny.

Extraordinary Parenting: It's Easier Than You Think

September 24, 2009

I chaperoned a field trip for sixteen four-year-olds today, and holy hell, what freaking craziness.

Now don't get me wrong here, I love four-year-olds just as much as the next guy--their tousled hair, the way that boys aren't afraid to hold hands with other boys, the fact that they tuck their t-shirts into their underpants--but honestly, I only volunteered out of fear. Pure fear that James might sh!* his pants in the middle of a remote apple orchard and never make a full recovery.

I mean really now, my kid's been sick for the last couple of days and he's accidentally pooped his pants twice. He's definitely on the mend, but I still don't have total and complete faith in the strength and wisdom of his bowels--especially among thousands of pounds of apples.

Go ahead and call me a helicopter parent for tagging along, but my son's got a reputation to uphold among his peers, and because of that, the only lap he should be pooping on is his mother's.

Seriously guys, James'll be going to school with these kids for the next fourteen years of his life, the last thing I want is for his quote in the senior yearbook to read, "Dude! Sorry I shat in your shoes."

After all, that was my senior quote--and in this family, we really value originality.

Anywho, I went on the field trip, and it involved a long and bumpy hay ride through a dirt road in the woods. As I was climbing onto the wagon I muttered a little prayer. I was like, "Dear Lord, please don't let these bumps make James explode, but please let the bumps make me explode." What can I say? I'm sick of being pregnant. But looking back, I probably should have been more specific with The Man Upstairs.

Once I settled onto my bail of hay I looked around and noticed that literally all of the adult eyes were planted on me. Apparently, the mere prospect of some woman's water breaking behind a tractor is even more intriguing than a night at the three-ring circus.

Now a woman's water breaking while her son has a raging case of projectile diarrhea? That, my friends, would blow 'em clear out of the water.

And here comes the good part--there was no water breakage, but between you and me and no one associated with James's class, I legitimately peed my pants before we even got to the goat pen. Every time we'd hit a rock, or a divot, or a weed, another four-ounces-or-so would spew out of my bladder and onto the seat of my pants. James's teacher would turn to me and say something hopeful like, "Any contractions after that bump?" And I'd smile to every adult on the wagon and say, "Nope, nothing," as my Hanes Her Way High Waisted Briefs became more and more water logged.

As we passed the sunflower field and I whizzed for the third time in three minutes, James pulled my ear toward his mouth and regretfully whispered, "Mom, I think I pooped in m'britches a little bit." And I was like, "No big deal, buddy. Mommy accidentally tinkled on this hay bail. A lot."

I've never, in my life, seen such a look of reassurance on any child's face. I knew his secret and he knew mine--and those secrets were locked up tighter than tight in the sacred vault of the mother-son relationship.

My intuition told me that my boy would need me today--and he most definitely did. So mothers, never doubt your instincts. And never hesitate to pee in your pants for sake of your child's self-esteem.

Attitude Award

September 21, 2009

Welp, not a lot to report up in this neck of the woods. I'm still big, still pregnant, and the good news is that my attitude has improved immensely. I'm so nice, so kind, so considerate that I can hardly stand it.

But here's the bad news--when I have a good attitude, I have nothing to write about.

Holding doors for old ladies and constantly saying please & thank you only goes so far in the humor department, ya know? You guys seem to enjoy my rambling thoughts about injuring peoples' private parts far more than you enjoy my stories of good old-fashioned Christian charity.

Shame on you all.

So I'm signing off early today--I'd like to leave enough time to run and skip through fields of daisies before it gets too dark on me. But believe you me, if I see any super rude, ugly, and/or clumsy people out there, I'll be sure to hop on and tell you all about it. In detail.

Happy Monday!

Still For Sale

September 18, 2009

Last night, around 5 o'clock, I was running around my house like a crazy woman, trying to get out the door to a meeting--which by the way, turned out to be the worst meeting I've had in a long, long time. It ended around 9 o'clock, with me standing in the parking lot of a fire house expressing the following sentiments over my cell phone: "You know, you're right, everyone does have a place where they can be most useful. His just happens to be in a vat of crap that goes right up to his neck."

That is not a joke.

Anyway, an hour before the meeting, I was an absolute mess. I had to run to grocery store for a box of almighty donut holes (as if anyone needs donut holes at a night meeting, right?), I still had to drop James off with his Grammie, and worst of all, I couldn't find a single thing to wear. And I mean that. I've long outgrown my professional clothes, my underpants chafe like they're made out of sandpaper, and I haven't done laundry in fifteen days.

Cut to me, digging through a box of workout clothes, looking for an elusive stretchy black skirt when the doorbell rings.

I ran to the door, swung it open, and was greeted by two guys I've never seen in all my live long day. Definitely not a set of Mormon missionaries, like I'm used to. This companionship looked like lobstermen, they smelled like lobstermen, and guess what? They actually were lobstermen from Damariscotta, Maine. One was tall and thin, the other was short and stout, and they both had a lazy eye. I kind of wanted to take a picture.

I, on the other hand, was half naked, half a step away from blowing my top, and fully confused--as usual.

The guys appeared to be somewhere in my age range, and they introduced themselves as "Norman" and "Clyde." Again, this is not a joke. I mean, maybe it was to their mother when she was drinking whiskey and pushing 'em out in a tavern somewhere--but as far as I could tell, their birth certificates could back them up.

Apparently, Norman and Clyde were at my house to look at the Blazer (oh yeah, because we still have it--a story for another day) and maybe take 'er for a test drive. Never wanting to disappoint a man of the sea, I tossed them the keys and was like, "Oh no problem, this is a perfect time to check out the car! But seriously, if you're not back in nine-and-a-half minutes, I'll make the time to stick an Indigo Girls sticker on the bumper of your Subaru Outback."

They were back in eight-and-a-half.

And there I was, standing in the driveway holding the title in my left hand, and my favorite purple fuzzy pen with my right. They stepped out of the Blazer and I was like, "So? What'd ya think?" And before they could answer I was all, "Give me six hundred bucks or a mulching lawn mower and she's yours!"

But they had questions. Like:

THEM: How come the speedometer don't work?
ME: Because it's an '89.

THEM: How come the tailgate don't open?
ME: Because it's an '89.

THEM: Why'd you decide to sell it?
ME: Because it's an ''re approaching your time limit here, boys.

THEM: How long've you had it?
ME: Since '89.

THEM: Why does it lean to the let so hard?
ME: Because. IT'S AN '89!!!!

I'm very sorry to say that they missed the opportunity of a lifetime and left my driveway empty handed. A shame really, '89 was a great year.

Let me know if you're interested.

Pregnancy Brain, Case Number 4,352: Amy and the Great White Phone

September 15, 2009

I'm nothing short of a spectacle these days--a true sight to behold, if you will.

The very last thing I need to do is draw any unnecessary attention in my direction--but let's not forget, I'm Amy Lawson, and that happens to be my speciality.

I've been at work since 6 o'clock this friggin' morning. I got here early for two reasons. First, I'm an independent contractor, and I'm trying my damnedest to bank some hours before this baby comes in a couple of weeks, and second, I had a 7 o'clock meeting.

As soon as the meeting was over I realized how unbelievably hungry I was, so I grabbed my wallet, my phone, and my keys, and set off for my very favorite muffin joint. Which happens to be inside of a gas station. Because Maine is totally classy like that.

As I was driving to the gas station, I grabbed my phone to call Jared, and guess what? Nothing. No reception whatsoever. The phone was completely dead, like something out of a Brady Bunch episode where Bobby fiddles with that old school phone cradle, smiles, and hops on his banana seat bike to go let Ethel the Operator know about the issue in person. Too bad "Ethels" don't exist anymore, because hoo boy, I could really use someone to let go on today.

Anyway, the lack of service was kind of strange for that particular spot on the road, but again, I live in Maine, and rumor has it that some people up here still crap in cooking pots and throw it out their living room windows--so really now, what more could I expect from a silly piece of modern technology?

I pulled into the gas station, gathered up my things, and waddled toward the door. As usual, people turned to look. I'm used to this now, especially after Jared let me know why--apparently it looks like I'm "walking around with a donut shoved up [my] ass."

To which I say: Well thanks, hun! You know, I wasn't gonna mention this, but it smells like you're walking around town with an industrial waste dump shoved up your ass, so I guess we could both use a good old enema, now couldn't we? Love ya!

Anywho, I waddled across the parking lot smiling in response to a couple of stares and snickers, loathing nineteen-year-olds, and thinking to myself, "If only I had a legitimate reason to kick you in the balls right now...." and "Once upon a time, you came out of some one's vagina, too. So shut the hell up!"

And then I thought about the talk I gave in church on Sunday. It was about kindness. It was really good.

I walked into the store and carefully selected the biggest chocolate chip muffin of the lot. I guess it was the gas station's birthday (or some crap like that) so it was on sale for a dollar. Finally, my mood was beginning to change.

That is until Mike, the middle-aged cashier, looked me bang in the eye and said, "Nice phone."

I was confused, my cell phone sucks--it's broken and it's always kind of greasy. How could this man possibly be complimenting my nasty little Nokia?

Well, turns out he wasn't. He was complimenting the gigantic, white, portable phone that belongs on a cradle in my office. You know, since that was the one I brought along with me.

I didn't even have a purse to conceal that monster on my way out of the store, so I manned up, and walked by those boys for a second time. What used to be a quiet snicker had turned into a big old whoop-de-doo! They were busing a gut over there. At my expense.

So I did the only logical thing that a grown woman could do. I said, "You suck. Both of you." And then I ran to my car and cried for a minute.

The End.

Laziness Rewarded

September 11, 2009

If I had to wager a guess, my posting will be really sporadic for the next month or two. I'm just completely wiped out, you guys.

I don't remember feeling this way with James, but then again, by the time I was 36 weeks I had quit my horror show of a job and my life consisted of leisurely trips to Target and afternoon walks around the park--seriously.

I didn't have a 4-year-old spewing on his walls at 3 o'clock in the morning (happened last night), a 4-year-old to lift in and out of grocery carts (listen, I'd let him walk, but the kid steals things), and I most definitely didn't have work meetings at 6 o'clock on a Friday night (bitter doesn't even begin to describe it).

My hat goes off to moms of 3 and 4 and 19 kids. They deserve all the liquor and sexy naked man calendars that this fine world has to offer.

Yesterday afternoon, when James got home from school, I declared that we would take a walk to the nearby Post Office. It's only about .7 miles from our house, and my intention was to teach James how to count the envelopes, ask for stamps, pay, and get change--all while using his very best manners. I would collect my Mother of the Year award as we happily waltzed out the door.

Well, we arrived at the Post Office approximately 3 minutes after the van from the local assisted living facility, and I was in rugged shape--temped to take a drag or two off their oxygen tanks if you know what I mean. Needless to say there were at least a dozen seniors (bless their pace-makers) waiting in line for stamps, agonizing over the bears, the balloons, or the flags when it was finally their turn.

Folks, I simply couldn't handle it.

So guess what I did...

I planted my big, fat ass on a bench next to the picture window that looks into the lobby, gave James his "Son, It's High Time You Become an Independent Man" speech a few years early, and sent him in to brave the line all by himself.

I scratched my crotch and supervised through the plexiglass--as any good mother would.

Well let me tell you, James was the undisputed belle of the ball. The seniors Ohhhhed and Ahhhhhed and rubbed his curly hair over and over again. He made a lot of casual conversation with our elderly neighbors who all (I kid you not) loitered in the lobby to watch him order the stamps, and clapped (CLAPPED!) when he did so successfully.

I swear to high heavens, if they had had the proper equipment (and were in good enough cardiovascular health), they would have hoisted him up in a throne and paraded him around like one of those native African princes.

After James took his bow, they filed out of the Post Office--with their canes and walkers and osteoporotic backs--all wearing gigantic goofy grins across their faces. As they inched back to their van most of the group stopped to thank me for sharing my son with them, and complimented me on being an excellent mother for raising such an independent and confident young boy.

I was like, "Really? I'm just huge and slow, and I only sent him in there because my nether regions are friggin' killing me! Thank you, thank you, thank you for not calling CPS."

Because of the overwhelming positive response, I've decided that today, I'm sending James in to buy the 40 pound bag of dog food while I wait in the car. He's a very determined young man, so we'll see how it goes.

And tomorrow? The financial planner.

School Boy

September 8, 2009
I think I forgot to mention that James started school a little while back. In our neck of the woods the public schools have a half-time PreK program, so James is officially taking the bus and I'm officially getting boatloads of solicitations to serve on the PTA.

I'm like, "Sure, I'll be on the PTA, but you've gotta understand that I steal t-shirts, I nurse in public, I don't do fundraising, and it wouldn't bother me one damn bit if the Captain Underpants series was a permanent part of the curriculum."

I'm not sure on this, but it seems as though the president forgot to add my name to her email list. Huh.

Anywho, James is loving school. He seems to have found his soulmate/BFF in a skinny little kid named Isaiah, and has developed an undeniable man crush on this bus driver, Rusty. And really now, who can blame the kid? James is four and Rusty DRIVES A FRIGGIN' BUS--it's a match made in heaven if I've ever seen one.

Today, when James got home from school, I said, "So how'd you do today buddy?"

And he answered with, "Mom? You know that lady with the really big body? She has a funny voice and she's always asking me questions?"

"James," I said sternly, "I sure hope you're not talking about your teacher that way."

"No Mom," he assured me, "I'm talkin' about you! You ask me too many questions."

Well goodness, I can hardly believe how much he's learned in a week!

Thirty Days Out and Wretched as Ever

September 8, 2009

I have exactly one month to go until my due date and let me tell you, all bets are off. I'm pissy, I'm cranky, and I'm wearing sweatpants to the office for the rest of this pregnancy. If anyone has anything to say about that, I'll cry and cry and wipe my nose all over their shoulder--all the better if it happens to be on something that's dryclean only.

If I had to wager a guess, there's almost nothing as awkward as a gigantic, hormal officemate asking you to rub her hair and tell her she looks pretty while her face is coated in nice, warm snot--so let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

I swear to the high heavens, unless I'm hearing words like, "Here's a chocolate pudding cup," or "Here's an unmarked bag of money," or "I stuffed your husband in the trunk of your car for you at no charge," I want absolutely no part of it.

I asked Jared to move out this past weekend.--just to his mother's house, and just for thirty-or-so days. And do you know what? That heartless fool had the nerve to say no. Right to my bloated face.

Not smart, honey. At this point, you've gotta give the big girl everything she asks for--and then back away slowly.

That's all.


September 4, 2009

Did I mention that Jared and I are on a little babymoon?

I'll catch you all when we get back.

The Get Real Gallery

September 2, 2009

Ta da! Twenty-something reasons to help you feel a little more normal today. Thanks for all of your participation, I love you guys!

I had to laugh at my old college roomate's comment. She was like, "Sorry, I can't participate in this one, I'm a total neat freak."

And I was all, "I know. Remember when you made that cute sign that said, 'Don't Forget to Wash the Dishes,' and I accidentally dropped in it a bowl of tomato soup and left it that way for two weeks?' You were really mad at me."

Anywho, without further ado I bring you many, many fabulous links:

Vanessa shares here mini-mess with us here.

Jane on the other hand, gives us the full monty.

Chelle gives us a tour of her place.

Mindy's house here.

Here is M.A.'s. Don't laugh. (I'm just quoting her)

Those cobwebs made me smile from ear to ear--because we have matching ones!

Mel B is keeping it real.

Pam's not afraid of a little honesty.

Leila graces us with some beauty pictures.

And then there's Mrs. Furious, who's never afraid to share her sh*t with the world.

You can peek inside my #1 fan's house here. (I have to say things like that, she's unstable.)

Life with the Grovers looks a lot like this.

Meet Bloggin' Betty. She is special.

Turtle keeps one heck of a normal shell.

We have matching playrooms--except mine had dark faux-wood panelling and hers doesn't. Peasant.

Sarah says this will be better after her kids go back to school. That rule doesn't apply to me.

Sami's not afraid to tell it like it is.

Deb has two washers and two dryers! Now that's just crazy. At least her heart is in the right place.

Honestly Rachel, not bad at all for having four kids!

Why lie? Kim needs a maid. Apparently we all do.

Lyndsie gets an A+ for folding. She's still working on the 'putting away' part.

And then there's my mother, who doesn't really understand what 'messy' means.

I also have some good pictures of Cat's office, but my computer refuses to let me share her mess with you. Just close your eyes, and picture a nice, stiff wind not-so-gently blowing through your computer room. There.

If I missed anyone, let me know...