All That Is Wrong With Me, I Blame on Catholic School

autumn-leavesToday’s guest blogger comes by way of Alaska with a slight detour through Arizona.  Terrye is a fellow redheaded blogger who appreciates great geekery and possesses a unique sense of humor. However today’s post reflects her more serious side:

Hopeful Expectations

I still remember the thrill of going to the special stationary store in Del Rio, Texas with my mom and dad (my annoying little brother might have been there, too) to pick up my school supplies, leather satchel, and most importantly, my school uniforms. I had just gotten over my bout of the latest off the beaten path, freakish illness; this time it had been Mycoplasma pneumonia that I had contracted from one of the many coughing, sneezing, runny nosed immigrant farmers’ kids whose families followed the seasonal harvests and typically didn’t have medical coverage.

My parents, acting on the advice of other parents in the neighborhood whose children had also run the gantlet of bizarre, non-typical childhood illnesses, pulled me out of the public school and enrolled me in the nearest parochial school; the one and only Sacred Heart Catholic School (I swear, there is a ‘Sacred Heart Catholic School’ in almost every state I’ve been too – heck, there’s one down the street from me – like it’s a franchise or something – “Do you want a blessing with that?”). As my father was a product of a Catholic school in upstate New York, he was sure it would be the best thing for me, or as he was fond of saying, “it builds character.” If only he knew how true that would turn out to be, just maybe not the kind of character he was hoping for.

And So It Begins

The first week went smoothly, I made a friend (Maria), I was getting the routine down, and life was good and funky disease free. But being the only redheaded, pale white (or translucent, depending on the season) kid in a small, Texas border town, it wasn’t long before the school bully took notice of me like a tick on a bloodhound. Lucia was in the 3rd grade, the size of a small over-pampered pony or a PBR bull in training. The first time she walked up to me, she made my world go dark, literally. She blocked out the sun as she towered over my skinny little 1st grader body where I knelt on the ground playing cars (yeah, I’m a tomboy, so what?). I remember standing up when she asked me my name and I responded, “Terrye.”

Apparently, she didn’t like my answer, because she slapped me across my freckled face and knocked the toy out of my hand. I vaguely recall bending over to pick it up and then groggily being led to the school nurses’ office by a playground monitor. Lucia had been kind enough to teach me about the hockey hip check when I had bent over. A move I’m pretty sure isn’t typically popular among Mexican-American elementary school girls. When I got home, mom opened the door to greet me and immediately launched into orbit around Pluto. We spent the next hour and a half scrubbing the gravel, sand, dirt and dried blood off of my face. A very perturbed 4 foot 11 inch momma bear, visited the school the next day. Apologizes were extended from an extremely innocent looking Lucia for introducing my face to the sun baked school yard and from the staff for not notifying my mom of my injuries.

Licking My Wounds

The rest of the day, Lucia stayed away from me. I was actually beginning to get my hopes up that this might all turn out well. But destiny is cruel to naïve first graders. I wish I could say that through some act of witty retribution, that I got revenge on her butt. I’m sorry, I’m afraid I can’t. I spend every recess after that hiding out in the alcove that housed the statuette of Mary until we got the news that dad was being transferred back to Alaska and we would be moving to upstate New York until he secured housing. Which, for me, meant going to my dad’s old school, Saint James Academy, but that’s a story for another day. During my thankfully limited time in Del Rio, I did learn some very important life lessons.

1. Turn the other cheek. If you take your eyes off of your enemy, even for a split second, they will slam dunk your butt into the basketball hoop of life. And, it’s a waste of time to carry a grudge against someone. It only gives them power over you. I would rather spend my energy on more constructive activities like crossing things off of my bucket list.

“Living well is the best revenge.” George Herbert, English clergyman & metaphysical poet (1593 – 1633).

2. Forgiveness. Asking a bully to apologize is like asking the sun to stop shining on a sunny day. Just because I forgave her, didn’t mean that I left myself open to more of her torture. And as my mom (who was ¼ Cherokee) used to so fondly repeat, “Don’t get mad, get even.” She just left out one very important part; the how.

3. Respect. Never underestimate the evil genius lurking in a 3rd grader’s mind and respect their far superior physical mass. Since my introduction to bullies, I have had my fair share of being picked on and being bullied and I have always respected their cunningness at being cruel.

“Respecting your opponent is the key to winning any bout. Hold your enemy in contempt and you may miss the strategy behind his moves” ― David H. Hackworth, Decorated Soldier, Military Journalist and author (1930 – 2005).

4. Bullies. Hiding from a bully rarely solves the problem. The best solution I have ever found for dealing with a bully was to stand up to them. Typically, it required one of them to “flip my bitch switch” before I developed the nerve to man up and face them. I was forced, by my parents, to practice patience and understanding, something I still work on daily, but when it comes to being pushed around, the best solution I’ve found has been to show the bully I am not their personal whipping boy.

“Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.” ― Donna Schoenrock.

5. Pray. When all else fails, a little prayer may just pull your butt out of the fire.

Misplaced-AK-buttonTerrye Toombs is a writer, blogger, trophy mom, taun taun wrangler, ankle model, and five time Naked Twister North America Champion (Southwest Division).  Occasionally she also finds the time to do other things, like sleep and make furniture out of used instant pudding boxes.  Currently you can find evidence of her sentience at and

FTSF: A Day in My So-Called Life

This is my first attempt to do Finish the Sentence Friday.  I always want to join in, but I end up being either already involved with something else or am just a day late and a dollar short.  Not this time.  I decided it was about time I got my act together and just DID IT!

Today’s sentence was “A Typical Day in my House looks like”:

There are not enough words to accurately describe what a normal day looks like in the Wiser-Genius household.  So instead let me take you on a pictoral journey of sorts…


Watch your feet. Every day is lego armageddon here.

I love this picture and I want to use it everywhere...

There is dress up, but not in the way you’re thinking…

Yes, he built it himself, because that's what he does.

Superhero suits are being developed and built.  Yes, he built it himself, because that’s what he does.

The Professor showing me some of the cool stuff in the "Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary".

Books are read.  Many, many books.

We cook, usually healthier fare than this but I don't always take good pictures.

We cook, usually healthier fare than this but I don’t always take good pictures.


There is always a need to extricate the dog from something at some point during the day.

Occasionally we have some ideas.

Occasionally we even have some ideas.

Elaborate crafts are created (this is a homemade zamboni.)

Elaborate crafts are created (this is a homemade zamboni.)

We have fun just hanging out.

We have fun just hanging out.

There is a lot of love.

And there is always a lot of love.

My family may seem a little unusual compared to others, but the basic elements of a good family are all there.  And that is what matters most.  I hope you enjoyed the tour through a typical day at my house.  Don’t be scared, please come back!

Now don’t walk, RUN to Can I Get A Bottle of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time? and/or Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyholic and/or Dawn’s Disaster  and/or Mommy for Real (isn’t it great to have choices?) to read all of the other posts about days in blogger’s lives!

Also, since you’re running anyway, go on over to Baking in a Tornado and see what the swappers have come up with for the April Secret Subject Swap Take 1.  It all goes live at 9 am Eastern time.  I’ll be in on the swap next week!

Confessions of a So-So Easter Bunny


This is from a couple of years ago, but isn’t she an adorable bunny?  She’s not the so-so one, that’s me…

I hope you all had a Happy Easter.  I think that the PPs would be laughing hysterically at me.  After all, I didn’t even do anything remotely pinnable for Pinterest this year.  Not even much in years past.  The last couple of years I have done well if I get my container of plastic Easter eggs out and let my kids play with them.  While this blog post is probably a couple of days later than it should be, I DID post something on Easter featuring some VERY funny Easter related things I found on the internets.

But now I have a few Easter confessions…

1)  We didn’t go to church.  I wholeheartedly acknowledge the reason behind WHY we have Easter, and it has nothing to do with bunnies or eggs.  Yet Easter, like Christmas, is one of those holidays that people who don’t go to church any other time show up.  I’m not judging, we all know that I miss church way more than I probably should because one of us is sick or hasn’t slept in eight days straight.  I’m still a Christian, unless you want to take away my Church card for that.

2)  We didn’t color eggs.  This is because no one really seemed to care.  Things were so busy leading up to the holiday that there was little time and not one little person became excited when we spoke of it.  I wanted to do the all natural dying thing where you use things like turmeric, beet juice, etc, but had a hard time finding some of what I needed.  Maybe next year!

Photo from Frontier Natural Product Co-Op

Photo from Frontier Natural Product Co-Op

The picture above is what I wanted to do this year.  Here is the link to the Frontier  website.  I have since filed it away in my brain for future reference.  Don’t laugh, I really do have a functioning brain somewhere in this head of mine.

3)  I delayed my children’s instant gratification.  Easter morning Princess Gimme got up waaaaaaay before anyone else and begged me to come downstairs.  “There are eggs all around” she announced.  I had to burst her bubble.  “We’re not looking for them until your brother gets up.”  This did not sit well with her, seeing as her brother could sleep all day every day if he wanted.  I let him sleep in a little bit longer, and of course she did not die.

4)  Our own mini Easter egg hunt really sucked.  This was because the Easter Bunny didn’t plan ahead this year.  There were not lots of little things to put in eggs like in years past, and this bunny WAS NOT going to give the kids loads of candy.  However, the bunny did pick out some awesome lego sets for the kids.  These sets were so awesome that I didn’t think the kids were going to put them down long enough to eat breakfast, and they also made it hard for The Professor to want to leave for our Easter brunch.

Honestly, we’ve never had a great Easter egg hunt.  Our yard is basically mud this time every year, and getting my children to go outside is always interesting anyway.  And speaking of Easter egg hunts, does anyone ever think of Gilmore Girls whenever it comes to Easter?  You know, the episode where Kirk hides all of the eggs for the egg hunt?  Raw, uncooked eggs… While I did not find what I was looking for, I DID find a clip of his speech.

5) I recycle.  In other words, I have reused the same Easter baskets every year.  No one has noticed.

6)  We went to a truckstop for Easter dinner.  No seriously, we planned this.  We all, as in my parents, my sister and her family, and me, live a bit of a ways from each other.  We started trying to meet up somewhere in the middle a couple of years ago.  It works out pretty well.

7)  Evil Genius spent Easter afternoon tormenting various members of his family.  I should have taken video, but then there would have been evidence.  The icing on the cake was when he put Princess Gimme up on top of a shelf…

8)  Our Easter supper came from a drive through.  This was because it was after 7 pm and we still weren’t home yet.  At least I had a salad.

9)  I was tired.  I spent the next day recovering from our time off, because that’s how that stuff works, apparently.

10)  And the BIG confession:  This Easter was especially hard for me to get inspired.  It took me awhile to figure out why, other than just being busy.  Then it dawned on me, and I feel silly for not realizing it sooner. Last year Easter Sunday was a terrible day for my family.  I woke up early to get things ready for the kids for Easter, only to come downstairs and find that my beloved kitty had passed away.  There was no warning.  Even though he was an old kitty, up until that moment seemed to be in good health.  He had simply expired under the table in the kitchen.  I had to wake Evil Genius up to bury him in the backyard before the kids woke up.  This began a long sad time for me without my loving kitty cat that could never get enough love from us.  I cried for what seemed like months.  Since then we have talked and talked and talked about about getting another cat, but for every cat that we have liked there has been some reason that it would not work out.  Either the cat had health problems, was only available with another cat as a buddy, we don’t have the money to cover the fees, or the cat doesn’t like dogs.  This particular cat we had was the gentlest most kind cat on the face of the earth that put up with everything, including being laid upon by children and picked on by our antisocial kitty.  It’s hard to find a combination of personality traits like he had.

Isn’t it funny how we get so attached to animals?  This one was very special, and he provided a lot of comic relief to our family.

I still get a little sad when I see pictures of our kitty, he was such a sweet cat.  This is a typical picture of him, getting his 23 hours a day of sleep.

I still get a little sad when I see pictures of our kitty, he was such a sweet cat. This is a typical picture of him, getting his 23 hours a day of sleep.

So forgive me, oh gods of parenting, if I did not produce the perfect Easter for my kids.  I’ll try harder next year.  Maybe.

The Sadder But Wiser Girl Goes To Visit The Menopausal Mother

The Sadder But Wiser Girl is not here, please leave a message after the beep…

What’s going on?  I’m guest posting today!  This is my first ever guest post and I am VERY excited about it.  Please come on over to Menopausal Mother and check it out!  What’s it about?  I can’t tell you exactly, but it involves horrible reenactments by our resident Barbie doll family…

Remember Grandpa Snake?  He's over at the Menopausal Mother today...

Remember Grandpa Snake? He’s doing his very first acting job over at the Menopausal Mother today…

CLICK HERE and you will taken to a faraway blog known as The Menopausal Mother…

The Hokey Pokey Is Not What It’s All About

Where have I been?  I’ve been plagued with computer issues the last 24 hours or so.  I’m not doing well on delivering any posts due to that, Evil Genius being off of work for four days and actually wanting to be around people, and all of that last minute stuff that comes along with Christmas. Since it’s getting too late to finish and share my “Alternative Christmas Movies” post, I’m thinking I need to just move on to something else.

After wandering around for quite a while today trying to figure out what the heck was going in the kids’ stocking this year without blowing much money, I settled on socks.  They NEED socks, and what better to put in a stocking than socks?  And M&Ms candy canes-when I was a kid that was always the coolest thing to get!  And I’m still worrying about trying to even up the presents, and that I got nothing for my husband or the dog or the cat.  I had to stop and think for a minute before I drove myself crazy, that is NOT what it is all about!


star trek mind meld

(My apologies-I can’t ever think of the word remember without a Wrath of Khan reference.)

What it’s all about…

hokey pokey

Not that…this…

what christmas is all about

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Just like the Terminator, I’ll be back (the day after Christmas).

Who Gives A Hoot About the Inn? This Manger Has A Hot Tub!

My daughter would think this is cute.  Awwww Mommy look at the little baby beer!

My daughter would think this is cute. Awwww Mommy look at the little baby beer!

The story of Christmas is a pretty amazing story anyway.  Put it in the hands of a preschooler and you’ve got a whole new spin on things.

It all started with a plaster nativity set.  You know the ones they sell at Wal-Mart?  Grandma had sent one up a while back for Princess Creative to do her magic.  Of course, Mommy doesn’t always look very closely at things, and I failed to realize what it actually was (I thought it was a bunch of farm animals, honestly.)  We had been trying to figure out what exactly we could make nativity people out of, and had been hoping we’d find some old fashioned clothespins or something.

Upon the realization of that hey, we had the goods, the creating commenced.  She painted the figurines.  They look like they either had a day at the mud spa or are really lacking in personal hygiene.  Once this important part was completed, I offered to help her build a manger out of cardboard.  She refused.  She told me she had something in mind, and disappeared upstairs.

Who could say no to this budding artist?  I have a hard time with it!

Who could say no to this budding artist? I have a hard time with it!

She returned with a box from her room.  She hoards this stuff upstairs, you know.  Then she began collecting recyclable items from all over the house.  What resulted was an amazing manger with all of the state of the art stuff.  Because nothing is too good for the messiah, you know.  It includes:

Skylights, lamps,  and adjustable windows-Because mangers are notorious for poor lighting.

Room Service-Because room service played a very important role in the divine moment.

Hot Tub-This must be where the animals party.

Hot tub ie taco holder.  Looks like the shepherd chose to take it easy!

Hot tub ie taco holder. Looks like the shepherd chose to take it easy!

Then she sets everything up in the living room.  She confesses that she can’t find baby Jesus.  What I SHOULD have said was that baby Jesus is born on Christmas. What I said instead:  Go find it.  When she couldn’t find it, I told her to think of something else she could use.  So she compromised.  Now we have two wise men, joseph, a lamb, a Sonshine Family baby with crib and teddy bear, three Barbie dolls… and the list goes on.  The manger is the place to be, complete with lots of Barbie baby toys.  I understand the Hello Kitties came by to hang for a spell already.

The manger... the partying is happening early...

The manger… the partying is happening early…

Its probably good that we do not own an Elf on the Shelf.  I’m sure if he came by there would be all kinds of bad things happening.

So people with the cool mangers you bought at Target, don’t judge!  It may not be pretty, but it came from a very beautiful  imagination.  I still think she believes a manger is like a motel, just with animals, but we’ll go with that.

We had a neat one as kids.  It was one mom had made from a stained glass kit.  Very pretty.  I can remember being obsessed with the whole idea of the nativity.  And angels.  I always wanted to play the angel in the pageant but never did.  I’m not sure why I wanted to do that.  I must have wanted the Jelly Toast.  You know, from Hark the Herald Angels Sing-“With the jelly toast proclaim…”

Did you have a nativity scene as a kid?  Was it homemade or store bought?

My favorite nontraditional manger.  couldn't resist this one-I saw this on Facebook.

I think this has to be my favorite nontraditional manger. I couldn’t resist sharing-I saw this on Facebook.

Resuscitation Successful! Items that didn’t work before now do. Wheee!

So shiny!

So shiny!

What looks like just a sink to you is something more to me.  After the sprayer/aerator thingie broke off the sink the other day I was going to give up on ever washing dishes again.  Evil Genius had enough of this things not working (ie wife has another excuse to stay away from dishes) nonsense.  Not only did he get a garbage disposal unjammer thingie and fixed it, he also replaced the faucet.  It’s shiny.  We have a sprayer that actually works.  AND everything is hooked up correctly now.  We do live in a house where we have yet to find any plumbing that is actually hooked up right.  Our shower is actually the exact opposite of what it says.  You turn it to cold to make it hot, and hot to make it cold.  Makes sense, right?  THAT was a lot of fun when we first moved in (not).

He so deserves praise. This week I’ll be sure to wash all of his underwear.  Now, let’s do the dance of joy!

Dare I say that this blog drove him to it?  Perhaps.  He gave me a REEAAAAAALLY hard time about a certain blog post that I made a while back. It took me a long time to figure out as to which one he was referring.  I finally realized that he was talking about Living With A Evil Genius (Or Two).  Honey, in my defense I was not complaining, or bitching, or whining.  It’s called humor.  I can point that stuff out from time to time.

Now if it had been the semi naked Thor picture that drove him to it, I was going to start posting shirtless superheroes with comments about broken household items more regularly.  Like this one:

He did point out to me that he had done quite a few things, all in one day.  Not being one to discredit my wonderful husband, here is what he did yesterday-1) Got up. 2) Put on pants. 3) Greeted people at church, wearing a nametag that had his real name and therefore people knew it was him greeting them!  4) Helped decorate the church for Christmas (I originally typed Easter in there for some reason). 5) Got a haircut. 6)  Hung Christmas lights outside. 7) Made two trips to Lowes in one day. 8) Fixed the garbage disposal. 9) Replaced the sink faucet. 10) Let both children live another day.  Not too shabby honey.

I like them.

I like them.

Greeting the members of the congregation was quite funny.  We weren’t funny, but our kids were.  My son greeted everyone by greeting their navel, my daughter shook hands in her own nonconformist way-she is left handed, and WILL NOT shake hands with her right hand.  They shook so many hands that by the time it was time to share the peace Princess Christmas seriously looked at me as if to say “AGAIN? REALLY?”  Then she proceeded to try to make off with one of the apron dresses they were dedicating.  The fact that she is so cute makes her very, very dangerous.  She knows this too-she wields her power whenever possible.  Her poor brother.  She’s got him doing whatever she wants, and I’m sure this is only the beginning of her world takeover.

While I’m talking about church, keep in mind that if I don’t publish any more blog posts after Saturday, it’s because I’m dead.  I have to sing a solo with the choir backing me up next Sunday.  I can’t get through the darn song without panic setting in, and I just may very well have a heart attack and die.  I haven’t done a solo in years.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve done one since I’ve had children.  And I used to do this stuff daily.  I used to hire myself out to sing at weddings.  I USED TO TEACH MUSIC.  Hello Panic Disorder.

Despite worries of impending death by participation in music I think this week is starting out pretty well!  If I could do a cartwheel, I’d probably do one.  Except knowing me I’d probably pee my pants!  Check back in tomorrow to see what mirth and merriment we’re going to be getting into!

The Recessive Gene: My Pool Needs A Lifeguard

A little DNA humor for you.

My family struggles with an affliction.  There is no test to determine whether you have it or not.  You don’t know you have it, until one time it just happens.  Someone says something innocently to you or around you, and you BURST INTO SONG.

We refer to it as the recessive gene in my family.  It’s more of a sickness, actually.  It’s like a chronic illness-once you have it, it’s yours for life.

Still unclear as to what I am referring to?  Picture it, choir practice, all of the members of the choir are sitting in the pews.  The choir director chooses the song to rehearse and says “Let’s start at the very beginning.”  Which I reply instantly by singing “A very good place to start.”  I can’t help it, it just comes out!

Oh it’s not just limited to songs from The Sound of Music.  I must admit that one is a frequent target though, especially anytime someone says dough, doe, ray, me, sew, so, and tea.  That will result in any number of lines being sung from “Do, Re, Mi” by yours truly or any member of my side of the family.  Other common targets include, oddly enough, Monty Python’s “I’m A Lumberjack and I’m Okay.”

It doesn’t stop there.  It gets much worse.  I am also burdened with the ability to make a song out of anything.  ANYTHING!

I taught preschool for many years.  Every kid in my room had a theme song.  It was like a mini WWE- when they would come around, I’d sing the little song I made up for them.  We had an Adrianna, who was and always will remain one of the most awesome kids of all time.  I made her a theme song from the tune “Alouetta”.

Note to Sallie Mae-This is the one and only time I’ll admit to using the damn degree in this post.  You can still have it back.

Or theme songs. We should all have a theme song.

Some songs are a frequent target for modification.  “My Sharona” by The Kinks has endless possibilities.  Many of those versions I can’t share here.  You say you’re addicted to something, I’ll break out my best Robert Palmer.  “Might as well face it you’re addicted to (insert thing here).”  Obviously some words, like cheese, work a lot better than words like magnesium sulfate.

My husband has this gene too.  Since my daughter seems to have also inherited this affliction at the tender age of three, I guess in this case we can’t call it a recessive gene, now can we?

Some of my proudest song modification moments:

“I kissed a cat and I liked it, his breath smelled just like catnip.” (“I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It”)

“Stop draggin my trash around.”  (“Stop Draggin My Heart Around”)

“Mouse poop in my pantry doesn’t make me happy.” (“Sunshine On My Shoulders”)

How many of you are enough of a Weird Al fan that you either a)  Can’t hear the song without singing the Weird Al version, or b)have NO idea what the actual words are to the songs he has parodied?  I have no idea what the actual words are to “Our Loves In Jeopardy”, “Gangsta’s Paradise”, or “Ridin”.  I certainly can’t hear Avril Lavigne’s song “Complicated” without singing “Why’d you have to go and make me so constipated?”

It’s a sickness…  Do YOU have the recessive gene or some horrible mutation of it?  How does it manifest itself in your life?

BWAH HA HA! Scary, isn’t it?

If Unicorns Fart Glitter And Poop Rainbows, Where Does Glitter Glue Come From?

This morning I told my daughter that unicorns fart glitter.  There was no particular reason for that.  It just launched out of my mouth.  I’m waiting for that one to come back to haunt me.  Probably during the children’s sermon on Sunday.  Gee, and I didn’t even think about them pooping rainbows.

My kids’ teachers are sooooooo going to hate them.  Call it my vendetta against public education.  You shun me, I’ll turn my kids and their big mouths lose on you.  Not really, it’s just the same stuff that runs rampant on my posts on here.  When I’m out in public and the social anxiety kicks in, a lot of people probably don’t even know I can talk.  But when I’m at home in my comfort zone, bizarre stuff comes out of my mouth.  It’s like the kid in me never quite went away, and I am sure that all of this will eventually come back to haunt me some day when my kids start blabbing to the teachers.

The Professor already has a serious problem with saying whatever flies into his brain, it then swoops right down out of his mouth.  This summer we were at Princess Defiant’s swim lessons.  Since he has a serious fear of any water that’s deeper than a couple of feet, he took private lessons and therefore played in the wading area while she was swimming.  He didn’t seem to notice that all of the other children there were a third of his age.  He DID notice the adults, and talked to them, nonstop, the entire time.

I was engrossed in watching my daughter when I overheard my son say to one of the parents, “You know, there are words that I can’t say.  Bad words.  My Dad says them, but he says I can’t.  I think that when I’m in third grade, I’ll be old enough to start saying those words.”  I quickly jumped up and put an end to that conversation before he started reciting all of those words that he’s not allowed to say.

Princess Defiant is still in the “Hey, Hey, HEY I Want To Be The Center Of The Attention And I’ll Say Anything To Get It” Phase.  Luckily, most of what comes out of her mouth is pretty tame.  Sometimes a little weird, and of course I have to jump in and offer an explanation (to which people think “Hey, she CAN TALK?”)  Most recently it had to be during library storytime.  Our awesome children’s librarian was reading a story, and I could hear my daughter over there saying “Hey, HEY!  GUESS WHAT?  Hey! I have something to tell you!”  I turn around and shush her.  I’m not sitting with her, because she wants me to be invisible unless she has to go to the bathroom.  She wants to be ALONE at the library during storytime, like her brother.  Anyhoo, me shushing from across the room is about as effective as me shushing her from somewhere two blocks away, because she keeps going.  Finally, she says in her loudest but not quite yelling voice, “I MADE A ZAMBONI!”

THAT got everyone’s attention.  The librarian and the good parents in the reading area all turned and looked at me.  I laughed nervously and told them it was something she made out of a box.  Everyone turned back around, but I got some straaaaaaaange looks.  Since I was already looking for my perfect nonexistent future employer on my laptop anyway, I pulled up the picture and showed them after storytime.  I still got some strange looks, but also some impressed ones too.  This was all her idea.  I simply supplied the box, paper, and toilet paper tubes.  Want to know how to make your very  own zamboni?  Oh, we have the goods right here.

For the record, this is what started all the zamboni business. I still don’t think she really knows what a zamboni is.

Kind of on the subject, I wonder what would happen if she saw a pile of glitter.  Would she think that a unicorn had visited?  For that matter, if unicorns fart glitter and poop rainbows, is she going to wonder where glitter glue comes from?  Ooooooooh, I really won’t go there.

Sorry I Missed Church, I Was Smoking Crack With Satan

Amen to that.

“I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I’m baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.”-Amy Farrah Fowler to Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory.

I believe in a higher power.  I also believe in guardian angels.  I believe in miracles.  I believe in all that stuff.  However, what I don’t believe in is that you need to dress up and put your behind in a pew every Sunday just to show people that you are a Christian.  I know there are people who go to church religiously.  Every Sunday.  Rain or shine, snow or sleet, neither snow nor rain nor darkness can keep them from it.  Oh hang on a minute, that’s the Post Office.  I’m happy for them.  I’m really glad that they  do that.  I wish I could be one of those people but I am not.  And believe me, I feel guilty as hell for it.

I have had an on again, off again relationship with the church I attend.  It has nothing to do with the church itself.  It has everything to do with my life these days.  When you have other people who control the various aspects of your life, you don’t always go.  And for the record, it’s not MY church.  I am not  a member.  Neither is my husband.  We live in a very small town where there are only two churches.  Both are Lutheran.  I am a Methodist, currently without a church.  They disowned me.  No it’s not as bad as it sounds.  We don’t live in that town anymore and my husband does not desire to drive there every Sunday.  When they changed pastors, they basically threw out all the members that don’t attend.  Anyway, we attend the church a couple of blocks from our house.  It’s a nice little church.

I have two children (you knew that, right?).  When I have gone to church I don’t get to sit and listen.  I haven’t actually heard a whole sermon in years.  Most of the time I am dealing with my children, or really distracted by them (damn ADD).  I really don’t get a whole lot out of it.  It’s too small of a church to have a staffed nursery.  There is a small room that the children can play in, but I have to go with them.  It’s not like I can just send them down by themselves.  And there’s something in that room.  SOME. THING. In that room (just picture William Shatner saying it).  I get some sort of allergy attack when I go in there, in addition to the fact that I am extremely claustrophobic. When a room has no windows, I have issues with it.  I end up going home with a migraine every time.  So we don’t  do the nursery.

My husband has gone to church this whole time because he sings in the choir.  Is that weird?  The non musician sings in the choir.  And does solos.  I have recently started attempt #2 to be in the choir.  Princess Naughty pretty much put a stop to it last time.  Between the fact that we had to find someone to watch our kids during the time we sing and misbehavior during choir practice, it didn’t last long.  My choir career stopped the night during practice when she managed to empty the contents of the organist’s purse in between running sprints around the church like a maniac during practice.  Evil Genius can’t track all of her movements because tenors sit up in the back corner and he can’t see her.  This time, a year later, she is older and is semi well behaved during practice.  Sort of, at least comparative to last year. Last practice I missed quite a bit of what was going on-I dealt with her laying under the choir pews, hanging off the pews, and generally being a stinker.  When I threatened to take her out of there, of course she wanted to go.  I stuck it out, though.  I don’t know how long it will last.  Which is too bad, because I like singing in the choir.  I don’t get to do much anymore.

And then we went through a period where the kids only wanted to go to Sunday School.  Evil Genius didn’t want to make them go to church if they didn’t want to.  So I stayed home with them and he went.  Occasionally there would be a morning where both wanted to go.  One of two things would usually happen.  Like I assumed they weren’t going and therefore didn’t do something important like showering (trust me you REALLY want me to shower before I come to church.)  Then both kids would go with my husband and I stayed home, while people thought I was smoking crack with Satan.  Or my husband didn’t go, and therefore none of us went.  Now we’re to the point where they both want to go most weeks.  Which is good, since I have started singing in the choir again.

Where am I going with this?  I just get tired of people who have to point out that we weren’t there.  I know I wasn’t there.  You don’t need to tell me.  It wasn’t like I fell into an alternate universe that morning.  There was a reason why I wasn’t there.  I always feel like I then have to explain myself.  No, I really don’t.  I have literally had people come up to me at our Post Office and tell me that we need to come to church.  I live in a small town.  I’m glad that you feel so passionately about your church, but you don’t know what goes on in my house.  I’m not in control some days.  Most days.

This morning was particularly bad for me.  I have not taken my meds for a couple of days.  I had anxiety oozing out of me.  If you could see it, it probably looked like ectoplasm.  Anyway, I got up in plenty of time to get my kids up and around and get presentable and so forth.  I had just laid church clothes out for my daughter when Evil Genius called from the bedroom that we weren’t going.  The guy works the equivalent of two full time jobs, that’s like a zillion hours a week.  If he is tired and wants to rest, that’s ok!   He told me I could go if I want to.  No.  I have tried that before.  When my kids misbehave, I can’t stand people staring at us.  And they do that when their Dad isn’t there.  More the little one, but The Professor has his moments.  I don’t want to disrupt anyone’s church service.

Our church is a little different from others in that Sunday School is after church, not before.  I missed that meeting, not sure what the reasoning was behind that.  Anyway, I took the kids over about the time that church gets over in my yoga pants and hooded sweatshirt.  As we turned the corner, I saw a gazillion cars in the parking lot.  I so wanted to turn the kids loose and just let them go in by themselves.  But I can’t let my kids be unsupervised.  I see too many kids that just run wild.  So I went in.  There were people everywhere.  There was cake and a very formal reception.  Of course my children HAVE to go in and have snacks, because it’s all about the snacks, right?  Long time members of the church were having a wedding anniversary.  People were decked out in their finest, and I was in my sweats and my hair in a ponytail.  I stood out like a sore thumb.  I made sure they got their cake and their punch.  I know I got a couple of dirty looks.  I just wanted to run and hide.  “Missed you in church today,” was said by a couple of people.  I tried to defend ourselves:  “My husband wasn’t feeling well”. “I just live there.”  “Talk to my husband”.  I just wanted to run and hide. The Sunday School teachers were nowhere in sight.  Someone asked a question, I cheerfully answered it, and she acted like I wasn’t talking to her.  How dare I talk to anyone!  I didn’t go to church today!  I let the entire choir down because I wasn’t there!  Or something like that.

I finally was able to locate my daughter’s Sunday School teacher, to make sure I wasn’t just leaving my children.  And I literally ran out of there.  I felt awful.  I was just bringing my kids to Sunday School.  I guess I could have kept them home like I have so many times in the past.  There are so few young people in the church as it is, and I was horrible, evil, terrible.  As I walked home, my ears felt like they were on fire, tears welled up in eyes.  I wanted hop in my car and drive away from this town.  All because I was feeling bad for not going to church.

I walked in the door, told Evil Genius he was picking them up, took my meds, and took the dog for a walk.  I walked around town as far away from the church as I could, tears streaming down my face.  Why do I care what people think? I know my husband doesn’t.  I shouldn’t.  I know that I can’t please everyone all the time.  I know not everyone will like me.  But often I feel like people hate me.  It’s part of the anxiety.  But what people don’t understand is that I’ll just quit coming instead of dealing with it, because I hate confrontation.  And I feel bad enough, I don’t need more stuff to feel bad about.

It didn’t particularly end well.  Evil Genius went to get the kids.  He came back with one child.  Princess Tantrum was waiting just where she was supposed to along with her Sunday School teacher.  The older kids tend to run way over, and he couldn’t find the Professor.  So he brought the Princess home and went back for my son.  Who had been playing in the nursery for some reason and then tried to walk home by himself.  Apparently punishment for his evil mother who didn’t come to church. After everyone was home and lectured, I realized they had both left their coats there.  I wasn’t about to go back for them.

If you are one of those people who do actually get to church every week, I’m very happy for you.  If you feel welcome and accepted where you are, how does that happen?  What’s the secret?  Just do me a favor, if we don’t come that week, don’t mention it.  Because we’ll be back.  I just don’t know when.

I know he’s watching. He knows why we don’t come to church sometimes…