A lesson from Young MC

You know him right? The one hit wonder rapper from 1989~ish. young mc

His voice is haunting me.

(Yes I know what the song is about, but don’t you take lyrics and apply them to your life all the time? You do. Don’t you?) So here’s the deal:

My kids are creative. They are imaginative. They are exhausting. crazy kids

If I said yes to half the things my kids asked me to do, we’d never sit down. So I say no and leave the room. And then the words of the prolyphic Young MC come to mind…

Just Bust A Move, Whitney.

“From frustration first inclination is to become a monk and leave the situation.”

Damn straight I want to leave the situation. Hey MC, you are young and don’t have kids. I’m tired and their ideas are elaborate or loud or messy or include me or (gasp) all of the above! I don’t want to bust a move.  So of course the kids “get shot down cause <their> overzealous.”

“A girl runs up with somethin to prove, So don’t just stand there, bust a move”

Shut up, MC! I’m trying to read my Facebook newsfeed. Ain’t nobody got time for a bake sale. But he won’t shut up, it’s like an earworm. Come on Whitney, just bust a move.  Ugh. Damn.  I think of the experience they will get from the yes. I don’t do it all the time but I do try to say maybe instead of no…that gives me some time to think about it.

“You run over there without a second to lose, And what comes next, hey bust a move.”

So the no becomes a maybe…. that many times turns into a yes. My laziness shouldn’t be the reason to not do something. Besides, I gotta get Young MC off my back.

Mom, may we have a car party? Yes! Let’s bust a move!

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Mom, may we have ice cream for lunch?Yes! Let’s bust a move!

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Can we make an obstacle course in the garage? Yes! Let’s bust a move!

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Can we get our pets and our friends and their pets and have a pet parade through the neighborhood? Umm no. What? I’m not Mother Teresa.

So my friends…..

Now you know what to do, go, bust a move!

Don’t say no too quickly. Say maybe. (Unless they ask for a pet parade and then it is totally acceptable to say no.) A maybe that possibly turns into a yes. Because when I think back, the yes made a pretty good memory. xoxoxo

Young MC not doing it for you? Allow Brian Williams to inspire you.

http://youtu.be/vwc9_nqX6Zc

Help! I’m trapped in a minivan!

And I mean literally. Those sliding doors! While borrowing my friend’s minivan for the week, I realized that there is an art to opening those things. I never mastered it. It took me a good 5 minutes of pushing buttons and lots of screaming before my children were released from their backseat prison.

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But really what did I expect? The car has the word “van” in the title. Generally speaking, if there is a van involved, an escape plan should be devised.

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(Exhibit A)

I don’t quite “get” the minivan.  If I’m going to spend most of my day in something, I want to look good in it!  Let’s face it, the minivan does not scream style. Ok, maybe the minivan delivers more room than my SUV, but not by much. Besides, I don’t really want to be the car that can fit 5 kids and 5 bikes in the back. Not having space is actually an easy way to get out of more carpool duties!

Bottom line: Many things in my life scream “MOM”……

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(Exhibit B)

I’d rather not have my car scream it too.   Especially when all my little mom indicators have been dropped off somewhere and I’m wearing lipstick!

So I’ll go back to my SUV with the doors I can open myself.  Happily accepting the looks of admiration I get when I am pretending to be just a girl around town.

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(Exhibit C)

No offense to you minivan moms out there. I can’t pull it off. I’m sure it looks great on you…..

It’s just this game I play….

Remember that game Perfection? The timer is ticking away and you must try to get all the different shapes into their perspective holes before the time runs out. If you don’t, all the pieces go flying into the air.

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I am in a perpetual game of Perfection.

My kids are in various activities, I’ve got my own appointments around town, and I’m constantly trying to squeeze one more task into that 5 minutes between one thing and the next. It’s called multi tasking, people, and Oprah says all moms do it.

Example: I’ve got to drop kids at school by 7:45 and I have a doctor’s appointment across town at 9. Here’s where the game begins. I’ll bet I can grab a few things at the store before my appointment. (One more shape, one more hole!) I forget that I have to add time in for driving through LA traffic, as well as parking at both the grocery store and the doctor’s office. I always choose the longest slowest line in the checkout area and then have to wait for a price check on something personal…like tampons.  You know the drill. An employee, let’s call him “Darryl,” slowly meanders over to grab the box, sizing me up the whole time. No Darryl, I don’t need them at this very moment. It’s for later. LATER, ok?  (Am I the only woman still embarrassed to buy tampons? Why is that?)

Anyway, when my grocery shopping is done, I have to race home to put up said groceries before heading to the doctor’s office. It’s now 8:55 am and I am still a good 15 minutes away from where I need to be.  Cue knot in stomach and crazy driving. Argh! I never learn the lesson. The feeling of pride and accomplishment I get from the few times I actually successfully squeeze in that “one more thing” far outweighs the million times I am unsuccessful and late.

Hey everyone! I dropped the kids at school, hit Target for another sundress (and tampons) AND made it for my pap smear! I did it! Do you hear me? I won! Perfection!

It is interesting that the game was named Perfection.  Is that what I’m doing? Trying to be perfect? Probably.  What a scam. But I’ll keep trying to beat the clock. Frantically attempting to fit all my errands and responsibilities into every time slot. Not a minute wasted.  I can’t help myself. I want to win the game. I want PERFECTION.   perfectionFF

Suddenly….this summer!

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Camp enthusiasts

I sent my three California kids (along with their cousin) to the Hill Country of Texas for two weeks.( My husband said I was shipping them to Camp Hell for 10 days because of the heat and humidity.) But let’s face it, kids are resilient. Heat doesn’t bother them. “Pain don’t hurt.” ~to quote from the amazing movie Roadhouse.(yes I said it was amazing.)

I’m a Texas native and wanted to give my kids a meaningful connection to my home state. They had never been to sleep away camp and they were excited.  I too was excited. I had 2 full weeks without kids, without dogs, without any responsibility except to see old friends and eat and drink myself silly. I mean, I had to be in Austin in case there was “an emergency” at camp. That’s just good parenting. 😉 My husband was kind enough to pretend to believe that reasoning.

On the 2 hour drive from Austin to camp, my kids and their cousin, discussed the exciting things they would be experiencing. (Canoeing, Horseback riding, Archery, Campouts, the Guadalupe River, and of course…NO PARENTS!)  I gave them a thumbs up code so I could get a sense of how they were doing in camp pictures. (2 thumbs up~ awesome time, 1 thumb up~ ok, no thumbs….miserable)

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Needless to say every day I’d go to the camp websites and scroll through the pictures. Not one kid adhered to my thumbs up code. And only one of 3 wrote consistently to let us know they were a- having a great time, b- were a little homesick, and c- needed money, sunglasses, and Minecraft books.  But I could see from the huge grins on their faces (and the charges made at the Canteen)…they were having a blast.  In a world where kids can’t play in their own front yards much less be free to roam their neighborhoods, sleep away camp gives them the freedom that we all took for granted.

And let’s not forget my freedom! Freedom to sleep in until 9am! Freedom to eat chips and salsa for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Freedom to have marathon couch viewings of Netflix series. Ahhh I love sleep away camp!

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Lord knows we moms need a break from our rewarding yet challenging 24 hour 7 days a week full time mom gig.  I was instantly reminded of that when we got home and I opened my daughter’s suitcase to find a broken bottle of BBQ sauce drenching every article of clothing. And again the next morning when I was driving to the pediatrician’s office after being up all night with my son as he coughed and wheezed.

As I complete my millionth load of laundry, dole out meds, and answer the constant question, “what are we doing today, Mommy?”, I make a mental note to do the early bird sign up for next summer’s sleep away camp…and look into the 4 week session option. You know, for the kids.

“It happened one summer
It happened one time
It happened forever
For a short time…” ~The Motels (Suddenly Last Summer)