A Phone of His Own?

I was, like, the last person in the developed world to get a cell phone. Seriously. I was twenty-six or twenty-seven and the only reason I grudgingly got one is because I was in a minor wreck and had to rely on someone else to call for help.

(And no, the wreck wasn't my fault, thankyouverymuch.)

I was so behind the times that when I told people I didn't have a cell phone, they'd look at me like my eyebrows had turned into caterpillars and were inching their way across my face. "Everybody has a cell phone," they'd say, as if I didn't know.

Yesterday, I had a flashback to 2007 when I heard that phrase again ... only this time it was from my nine-year-old.

It started when I got a text. I expected it to be from one of the handful of people who regularly text me - but instead, it was from a number I didn't know, talking about, "So much homework!" and "Are you making that Minecraft video?" and a bunch of emoticons.

I haven't personally made a Minecraft video in ... well, ever. But I just happen to know someone who is obsessed with Minecraft, so I was pretty sure he was the intended recipient of the text.

"Colin?" I shouted in the direction of his bedroom. "Did you give one of your friends my phone number? Because I think you have a text."

It was as though I'd told him tomorrow was Christmas, the way he scrambled to snatch up the phone. "You can text with your friend for a little while," I told him, "but I need it back soon." Because hello, not having access to your own phone is a weird feeling.

When he was done with it, Colin asked the question that I was certain was coming: "Mom, can I get a phone?"

And I gave the answer that he had to know was coming: "No."

"But everybody has a phone," he said, proceeding to rattle off a list of his technologically-blessed classmates.

"Good for everybody," I said. "But you're nine years old. And your parents are mean. So you don't need a phone."

Seriously, is this a thing? Nine-year-old fourth-graders having their own phones? Because until yesterday, I had no idea that kids this young (not to mention MULTIPLE kids this young) had their own phones. I guess if there's a need - like, maybe if the kid's parents both work and he or she is in some sort of extracurricular activity or sport after school or something - I can see the practicality of it. But, like, my son literally has zero purpose for having his own phone at this point. And in my opinion, probably not for years to come.

I mean ... who wants to waste valuable data on conversations like this?

... I rest my case.

Monday Moanin'

So ... today is Monday. I'd know that even without a calendar.

I know it's Monday because while I was in the shower, my toddler got out of bed and decided it'd be a fabulous time to get into my economy-sized tub of coconut oil.

I know it's Monday because my cable is out for reasons unknown, and so our breakfast "background noise" was missing. Which meant my kids talked more. Which meant they bickered more. Because heaven forbid they talk for ten minutes without arguing. And bickering always turns into pushing and shoving, and when they're pushing and shoving they aren't eating and getting dressed, and when they're not eating and getting dressed, we run late.

I know it's Monday because my hair, much like my kids, refused to cooperate.

I know it's Monday because when I took my dogs outside, I stepped in poop. And saw a spider the size of Africa. And on my way back into the house, my flip-flop broke.

I know it's Monday because as I was typing this blog post, a fly literally smacked into the side of my face and I freaked out hard enough to fall out of my chair. OMG. I know a spider who needs a snack.

I know it's Monday because, like ... wasn't it just Friday?

My weekend was nice, though. My brother visited from Missouri, which is always a good time now that he doesn't give me wedgies or fart in my face any more (not that he doesn't try, but I'm faster now that we're adults). He does those things to my kids, which is amusing. Especially since I'm no longer the target. Plus, I realized yesterday that there is only ONE MORE SUNDAY standing between me and The Walking Dead!!! Is anybody else totally stoked? I can barely contain my excitement. Show 'em, Kermit.

Even though it's Monday now, and so far it's been full of those Monday-ish annoyances, the week ahead isn't looking so bad. I've got a couple of new giveaways in the works (and don't forget, you can still leave a comment here for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!). The weather is supposed to be decent, so I can send my kids to school in just a t-shirt and jeans without having to go through the "do they need jackets or don't they" dilemma every morning. And every week is a new chance for something amazing to happen.

... Or, you know, something like getting hit in the face with a fly and falling out of your chair.

Be nice to me, Monday!

TGIF! Oh, Wait.

Before I had kids, before I was a writer, I worked outside of the home (and okay, sometimes while I was a writer because writers don't make all that much money, y'all). So I know there is no better feeling than the glorious, amazing thrill of leaving the office for the last time that week, knowing that you have an entire weekend to do whatever the hell you want.

Since I'm a work-at-home mom now, though (see here for a sweet illustration of what that's like), that has changed - and although there are a whole lot of awesome perks, one sad casualty is that Fridays have now lost a little bit of their sparkle. They blend into other days and, really, aren't that much different. But like a person who has lost an arm and still feels that phantom limb sometimes, the old me still gets excited when Friday rolls around.

This is frustrating, so I wrote a poem.


There's laundry to do ... but it's Friday!
There are dishes to clean, but ... it's Friday!
There's just so much stuff on my gotta-do list,
Plus anything extra that I might have missed,
But the thought of these chores just makes me feel pissed -
Because darn it, come on now, it's Friday.

I wish I could clock in and out
And when five o'clock rolls around, shout,
"I'm done for the week! No more work! Time for play!"
But for do-it-all moms, Friday's still just a day
It's no wonder my hair is going so gray
'Cause the magic is gone out of Friday.

I'm still waiting for someone to open up that exclusive club for thirtysomethings.

Make it happen, people.

Happy Friday - whether you've got anything going on this weekend or not!

Dating: Parents vs. Non-Parents

"Date your spouse!" the experts always say. "Just because you're married with a family doesn't mean the spark has to die down. Flirt with each other! Keep the romance alive!"

That's great advice. Really, it is. It sounds fantastic ... in theory. Kind of like before you have kids and you swear you're never going to feed them processed food or let them play with your phone to keep them quiet for ten minutes. But when you try to put it into practice? Well, sometimes it just isn't practical. I mean, I'm pretty sure that when I'm brushing my teeth while wearing food-encrusted pajamas and telling my husband how I accidentally got poop under my fingernail while changing a diaper and oh by the way did we pay the sewer bill last month?, I'm the last person he wants to flirt with.

I'm not saying it isn't important to try to keep a connection as a couple - it is. And relationships take work. But so do kids, and all the obligations that come with them. And when you're trying to juggle all of that, it's not usually the children who are shoved to the back burner. Even when you try to keep the spark burning, it's a whole different ballgame when you're married with kids. Going on a date, for example, only remotely resembles the dates you used to go on. Let's break it down.


Non-parents: Stroll leisurely around the mall because you'd like to pick up a new outfit for tonight. Oh, and maybe a new eyeliner or something at the department store. Throw in a manicure if you've got time. Arrive home, soak in a tub, deep-condition and exfoliate and moisturize, shave every shave-able body part while blasting your favorite music. It's like a spa up in here. Spend ample time perfecting your makeup, hair, and outfit. Put on cute underwear. Be excited because tonight is going to be awesome.

Parents: Rummage through your closet to find something flattering that you don't wear every day. Get pissed off. Settle for something. Wish you could stroll leisurely around the mall buying a new outfit. Realize the kids have used your eyeliner as a crayon; make a mad dash to Target. Arrive home, look at the clock, freak out because the trip to Target seriously ate into your time budget. Shower quickly, swiping over your legs with a razor, hitting up your pits and bikini line if you have a couple extra seconds. Ignore kids pounding on door. Decide whether to blow-dry your hair or just put it up wet. Slap on some makeup. Squeeze into some sort of fat-reducing underwear. Hope you don't sweat through your blouse with all this dashing around. Be excited because as soon as you're able to leave the house, tonight is going to be awesome.


Non-parents: Grab purse, cell phone, keys. One last quick mirror check. Open door. Exit.

Parents: Make sure the kids are fed and the kitchen isn't a wreck. Leave emergency numbers and special instructions for the sitter. Tell the kids goodbye. Wonder why the hell they're acting like you're about to permanently abandon them. Give hugs and kisses and try not to get food or snot all over your decent outfit. Pry clingy children from legs. Slip out the door. Realize you forgot your phone. Come back in and repeat clingy-children debacle.


Non-parents: Go to a high-end restaurant or an upscale bar. Order without looking at prices. Enjoy laughs and animated conversation about movies and current events. Check your phone periodically to see if anyone has "liked" your check-in on Facebook. Discuss where to go next; the night is young and the options are endless!

Parents: Go to a chain restaurant because you have a coupon (or go to a high-end restaurant, but order the chicken because it's cheap). Feel frivolous because you order an apple-tini with your meal. Rejoice in the fact that you don't actually have to cut up anybody's food, or tell anyone to get out from under the table. Check your phone periodically to make sure the sitter hasn't called. Promise you won't talk about the kids. End up talking about the kids. Keep checking the time because you're paying the sitter by the hour, and anyway, you're getting tired because eleven o'clock is way past your bedtime and the kids woke you up at six this morning.


Non-parents: Return home; decide whether to end the date or take it further. If it ends there, go inside, remove makeup, put on comfy clothes, let out the fart you've been holding in. Go to bed. Sleep peacefully. Wake up whenever. If it goes further ... light candles, pour wine, put on soft music, and reveal that cute underwear and those nicely shaved legs. Bow chicka wow wow!

Parents: Return home. Fork over cash to sitter, trying not to cringe about how much money you've spent on this date in total. Look at children sleeping and marvel that you missed them, even though you were excited to be away. Remove makeup, peel yourself out of fat-reducing underwear, put on comfy clothes. Yawn. Decide whether or not to devote a few minutes to "spousal intimacy" or just go right to sleep. Drool all over pillow until child wakes you up in the middle of the night for a drink/to tell you about a nightmare/to tell you there's pee in the bed. Wake up at the crack of dawn to make breakfast for hungry children because, duh, who else is going to do it?

So you see? Bringing romance into your relationship is important, but becomes slightly tricky so when kids - and everything attached to having them - are thrown into the mix.

I think until they're older, I'll just be thankful for Netflix and popcorn, and the fact that my husband doesn't care so much if my legs are stubbly or my outfit is old.

Just as long as there's no poop under my fingernails.


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