Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Internal (mostly) Dialogue Concerning My Angel Tree Experience

Today is the day! I am so excited! Gonna teach my baby about kindness, gonna get him thinking of others! Woot woot! Now, where the heck is the tag that has my Angel kid’s information? Maybe I left it in the car… No, not in the car. Maybe it’s with the rest of the mail on the bar… No, not there. Maybe I stuffed it in the diaper bag after church… Nope. Maybe I don’t need it! I know it said he’s 15, and he wears a Large shirt, and his pant size was a 36…something. What was the other number? Well, the devil, I need that tag after all. 

(20 minutes later) THE TAG!!! Hallelujah! 

“Andy! Are you ready to go help me shop for our Angel Tree boy? Let’s go!”

(to the tune of a conga line) Mama time with Andy! Mama time with Andy! 

Hmm… I should make this time really special since I hardly ever get time with just Andy anymore. And it’s Happy Hour at Sonic. Let’s get slushes! Yum yum yum!

“Andy, do you want a slush? What flavor?”

…(Willie Nelson style) On the road again! Just can’t wait to get on the road again!

…Holy smoke, what’s up with all this traffic? UGH, we’re not even moving! I wish I had a big truck—I would totally off-road it right about now… Ah, it’s a wreck. 

(15 minutes later) Whew! That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! Thank goodness because stores close early on Sundays, so we don’t have time to be sitting in… WHAT THE HECK??? We just got out of stand-still traffic! What is going on?...Another wreck? Are you kidding me? Ain’t nobody got time for this!

(10 minutes later) Wow, that was a mess. I better be extra careful. Obviously, people are having trouble driving today.

Okay, now that we are in the clear traffic-wise, I better make sure Andy understands the whole Angel Tree thing. Here goes:

“Andy, do you understand what we’re doing today? We are buying Christmas presents for this boy whose family can’t afford to buy him presents. Are you going to help me pick him out some cool stuff? Alright, awesome!”

Arrive at Store #1:

Whoa, it is really crowded… Great, they’ve moved all the toys to the front of the store. No way to avoid them. Power through, power through, power…

“No, Andy, we’re not shopping for you today. We’re shopping for our Angel Tree boy. You have lots of toys at home. This boy doesn’t have much, and he needs clothes. We need to focus on getting him some new clothes… No, we have a BOY. That’s a dress…. No, he’s a teenager, so he doesn’t need an Elmo… Well, that’s a nice shirt but he needs a shirt with long sleeves… No, he needs long sleeves…No, that one doesn’t have long sleeves either… Long sleeves, Andy…”

Kill me. Kill me now.

“Okay, Andy! Time to find him some pants!... Hmm, I don’t see his size…”

No, no, no, no, no! Don’t tell me they don’t have his size! That means going to another store! Sigh. Well, it’s due, so I guess that’s what we’re going to have to do. Brace yourself for the toys again…

“No, Andy, we’re not shopping for you today. Remember- we’re thinking of OTHERS today… No, you can’t have the Transformer… Because we’re not shopping for you today; we’re shopping for our Angel Tree boy… No, you can’t have the candy either… Because you’ve already gotten a slush, AND we’re not shopping for you today… Andy, do you even know what that is? It’s coffee. You don’t drink coffee… No, you cannot try coffee… ANDY! we’re NOT shopping for YOU!”

I do not think this is working. This whole experience is supposed to be teaching him gratitude and thinking of others. I am not sure what I’m doing wrong. Maybe I need to explain how Angel Tree works again…

(on our way to store #2) “Andy, did you understand what I told you about the Angel Tree? We picked this boy’s name off the tree so that we can help him have a happy Christmas. He needs some new clothes to keep him warm this winter, and his family can’t afford to buy him what he needs. So it’s our job to find him the things he needs today. Do you understand?... Okay, good! So are we shopping for YOU today?...That’s right! It’s not Andy’s turn today. It’s this boy’s turn. And look! We’re here! Let’s see if we can find him some pants!”

Store #2:

 “You need to tee tee? Okay, let’s go find a bathroom!”

Please, let it be clean! Please let it be clean! Please, let it be clean!... Okay, not too bad. Alright, let’s do this! 

“Andy, don’t touch the…!”

Too late. Well, he’s current on all his shots, so maybe he won’t get sick. We’ll just wash those hands really, really well… Done! Let’s do this!

“Alright, so we need to find pants… Yes, that is cute, but we’re not shopping for our brothers right now.”

Man, that’s super cute. And I haven’t finished Christmas shopping for them yet. And he IS thinking of others, so maybe it’s not so bad. And again, super cute. Oh, blast it all, let’s get it!

“Okay, okay, we can get that for your brothers. Put it in the bag…You want to get the baby that, too? I don’t think he really needs another hat… Okay, fine, put it in.”

Aw, he’s so sweet! Look at him, all picking stuff out for his brothers!... 

Uh oh. I think I blurred the line. Here we go again…

“No, Andy, you don’t need another superhero shirt… Because you just got a new one last week… No, you don’t need that either. Remember, we’re not shopping for you right now… No, we’re not shopping for you right now… No, we’re not shopping for you right now… Andy, what am I going to say? That’s right—WE’RE NOT SHOPPING FOR YOU RIGHT NOW!”

$50 for jeans??? They’ve lost their mind. Guess we’re going to have to try one more store. I don’t know if I have it in me…

Store #3:

“You’ve got to go to the bathroom again? We just went at the last store!... Okay, let’s go!”

Holy smoke, this does not look sanitary. And it smells awful. Ugh. Why does he always have to go in public bathrooms? I HATE public bathrooms!

“Andy, don’t touch ANYTHNG in here, okay?... You’ve got to what? Nooooooooo, are you sure you can’t wait?”

Line the seat, line the seat, line the seat… Okay, I think that’s safe. 

SERIOUSLY??? Did he just knock every bit of my lining into the toilet and sit his naked behind on that thing? No, he did not! Gross! I’m going to have to bathe this kid in scalding water when we get home. Oh, yuck, and his clothes too. Those pants are dragging on that nasty floor. Ew! 

“Okay, let’s wash your hands. Let me help you with the paper towels since you can’t reach.”

Ugh, what is this on my hands? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. What IS that? And it’s on the handle? What? Surely that’s not… OH HEAVENS, it is. That is POOP on the paper towel dispenser handle. 


“No, Andy, I’m fine. There’s just… MUD on the handle and it got on my hand. DON’T TOUCH IT!!!!!”

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts… More soap, hot water, more soap again, and soap a fourth time... Now, I need to dry them—NO, DON’T TOUCH THAT! Jean swipe will have to do. DEAR LORD, GET ME OUT OF THIS BATHROOM!!! 

“Excuse me, Miss. That bathroom needs some attention. There is… Well, let’s just say it’s mud because that would make me feel MUCH better, MUD smeared all over the bottom of the handle of the paper towel dispenser. Please, can you have someone clean that up before another unsuspecting soul gets… MUD… on her hand? Thank you.”

“Come on, Andy, let’s get these pants and get out of here!... Andy? Where--? Get out of the clothes, please… Andy, get out of the clothes!...Please don’t unfold things. You can just point if you want me to look at something, you don’t need to actually pick it up…What did I JUST SAY??? Please DO NOT unfold the clothes!”

Ooh, finally—JEANS! Let’s grab them and go! 36x34… Hmm… Come out, come out, wherever you are! 36x30, 36x32. 34x32… WHERE ARE THE 36x34’s???

“You need to WHAT? No, no, no. We just did that. We are NOT going back in there… Andy, it CAN’T be an emergency! We were JUST IN THERE!”

No, Lord. You wouldn’t do this to me. You wouldn’t send me back in there when I’m just trying to do this good deed for this Angel boy, just trying to do some intentional kindness-building in my child. Surely, Lord. Surely You wouldn’t make me go back to that bathroom. PLEEEEEEEEEEASE, LORD, SEND ME TO LIVE IN A HUT IN AFRICA, BUT DON’T SEND ME INTO THAT BATHROOM!!!

“Okay, Andy, I hear you. Let’s go… PLEASE don’t touch anything, and PLEASE don’t knock my toilet-liner into the toilet bowl.”

Let me just check out the situation over here… I cannot believe it has not been cleaned! Did I not tell that woman that it was DIRE that someone take care of this???... Oh, no. What is that kid doing? Oh, NO. What just happened here?!? And HOW?!?! 

NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!!! I think this bathroom is cursed. We’ve got to get out of here! 

“Don’t move! I will help you! PLEASE don’t move!”

Ew, ew, ew! Good grief, what am I supposed to do with these jeans while I take care of this MESS? These jeans are cursed. I should just chuck them into the poop and be done with them.

“Andy, do NOT touch me!... DON’T TOUCH me!... I SAID DON’T TOUCH ME!!!!”

God, please don’t let him touch me! I will have a meltdown right here in Poop City if those hands touch me. Please, God, please!

“LOTS of soap, Andy… Okay, let’s wash them again, just to be sure… One more time!... Okay, now dry them on your pants. And let’s go!”

His pants aren’t any cleaner than the paper towel dispenser. I seriously hope I still have antibacterial soap in the car or I’m gonna have to amputate his hands before he can get in… 

I need a manager. Ooh, there’s someone. Maybe they can call a manager over here…

“Yes, I do need help. Your bathroom needs MAJOR attention. MAJOR. It’s a total poop-fest in there. Wear a hazmat suit when you go, but PLEASE have it taken care of… Thank you, sir.”

Okay, let’s pay for the jeans and get the heck out of Dodge.

“No, Andy, we’re not going to look at the toys today… Because we’re not shopping for you today!... What do you mean, I never do anything for you?!?! SON, I JUST CLEANED UP YOUR POOP MESS, AND YOU HAVE A SLUSH IN THE CAR! NOW GET IN YOUR CAR SEAT AND TELL ME WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED ABOUT KINDNESS!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Grown-Up Thanksgiving List

I'm thankful for:

1.      800-Count Boxes of Baby Wipes.
Baby wipes have replaced all other forms of cleaning. We wipe down tables, chairs, floors, counters, and people with them. We use them to clean up food spills, errant crayon marks, squashed bugs, and all sorts of misplaced bodily fluids. Then we use a clean wipe to pick up the dirty wipe and carry it to the trash. 

2.      Disposable Diapers.
I understand my carbon footprint is of epic proportions. I will try to make it up to Mother Nature somehow. But after cleaning out poopy undies during the weeks of potty training, I know for an absolute fact that I would never survive cloth diapers. For all you Super Moms who use them—I’m not worthy. 

3.      Disney Junior.
Sure, it’s annoying to have nothing but theme songs playing in your head all day, and I’m aware that it’s considered bad parenting to stick your kids in front of the TV. I know they should be using their imaginations and playing fantastical games in homemade costumes constructed out of scrapbook paper, or basking in the joys of literature surrounded by piles of books by acclaimed authors. But for now, we’re in survival mode. And while Disney Junior is on, everyone is quiet. Everyone is still. Everyone is happy. So Mickey Mouse Clubhouse it is.

4.      Lunchables and String Cheese.
Yep, more bad parenting. Again, I don’t care. Want to make it through Kroger without shoes flying, cans being toppled off the shelves, or The Imperial Death March being hummed for a full hour? Hand the kids a Lunchable and some string cheese. They won’t poop for three or four days afterwards, but that’s okay. Everything will clear up in time for the next grocery trip.

5.      Crockpots.
Dump a few cans of stuff into a single pot, turn a knob, then forget about it for 6 hours, all to be praised at the dinner table for my cooking prowess? Yes, please!

6.      Chic-fil-A Play Places.
Is it 115 degrees outside? Been raining for 8 days straight? Arctic temperatures blowing in from up North? No prob, Bob. Chic-fil-A offers a full playground crammed into a 10x10 ft. space of climate controlled Paradise that will have the excess energy dispersed in time for afternoon naps, all while you sip bottomless sweet tea. My pleasure, kids. My pleasure.

7.      Nap Time.
The days that everyone actually falls asleep are rare. The days that everyone falls asleep at the same time are even rarer. For everyone to fall asleep at the same time and stay asleep long enough for Mama to nap also requires the stars and planets to align. But nothing in the whole, wide world can beat those days. 

8.      Spanx.
No, I have not lost the baby weight, from baby #1, 2, or 3. And yes, I fully intend to participate in the full month of holiday goodness that is right around the corner. But rest assured—my pants will still zip. Thanks, Spanx.

9.       Boppy Pillows.
Everyone knows that the Boppy is a must-have for nursing mothers. Less widely known is that the Boppy is the perfect pillow for just regular old sleeping. It fits your neck perfectly and offers just the right amount of support. And since Baby will end up in bed with me every, single night for an unforeseeable span of time, it is the only way I can get even remotely comfortable and he be comfortable, too. Having seen the husband use it as well, I can report that you will look like a complete idiot with that thing wrapped around your neck while you sleep. But hey, it’s dark. Do what you gotta do.

10.   Free blog sites.
It’s like venting to a therapist, but cheaper.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Don't Judge My Wal-Mart Brats

I used to be a real Judgy Judgerson.

I would stand there in that Wal-Mart checking line and shake my head at the screaming preschoolers begging for toys or candy and screaming at their mama for saying no. I used to roll my eyes at the bartering mamas trying to bribe their way into a calmer shopping experience, or, worse yet, the ones who finally gave in and bought the toys and candy. I used to think that if those mamas had done a better job teaching their kids manners and that “no means no” or maybe even (Heaven forbid!) doling out a spanking every once in a while, then none of us would have to stand here listening to their bratty kids throw temper tantrums in public.

Oh, it was nice and green on the childless side, where all my hypothetical future children were angels who obeyed my every sweet, soft-spoken command. 

Let me tell you—my real-life children are not perfect angels (no matter what Grannie tells you!), and my sweet, soft-spoken commands are ignored more often than not. And even though my ‘no’ really does mean ‘no’, and I try my best to both model and implicitly teach good manners, and I dole out spankings and time outs daily, and I do my ABSOLUTE BEST to be a good parent, my kids still pitch fits. Loud, long, ridiculous, scream-fest fits, complete with tears and flailing. 

Yes. It’s true. MY kids are the new Wal-Mart brats you hear screaming for toys and candy. 

And don’t think for a minute that I am not aware of the looks and eye-rolling of the people around me that get to witness the full onslaught of original sin that manifests itself as soon as we walk in the door of any given retailer. I am aware that we are ruining your shopping experience. I know you think I should just throw in the towel and try again when the kids are better rested, or better fed, or strapped head to toe in electronics, snacks, and teddy bears. I know that you think you could do a better job, did a better job way back when, or will do a better job when you have kids of your own. But let me warn you—all that judgment may come back to bite you.

You see, I am convinced that the vast majority of mess that my kids pull is in direct response to my judging another parent when their child exhibited that exact same behavior at some point in the past. (All other mess is a direct result of payback for everything I put my own parents through.) It’s funny, in a I-want-to-slit-my-own-wrists-kind-of-way, how life is circular like that, and “what goes around comes around” is an absolutely true statement, not just a random threat people like to throw out.

So, just be warned, you might want to hold your tongue and stop your self-righteous thoughts in their tracks when you start aiming judgment at me for the following:

1.      Refusing to let Andy walk.

Yeah, I know he looks like he’s 5. But you know what there, Judgy Judy? He’s 3 ½. Would you like to know what 3 ½ year-olds do when they’re allowed to walk instead of ride in the buggy? I do because I was foolish enough to try it once. They pull things off the shelves and put them in your basket without you realizing it so that when you make it to the register, there’s an additional $100 worth of CRAP to sort through and put back.  They also run down the aisles ahead of you so that they can hide in the clothes rack and make you search the entire department looking for them. When they do actually walk with you, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be hell-bent on being FIRST, which means that they will manage to always, always, ALWAYS be in the exact spot that allows them to get clipped in the heel with the buggy wheel. And when you’re stopped, they will have to stand on the bottom rungs whilst performing buggy gymnastics. If you’re super lucky, they’ll manage to tip the whole basket over, pinning them underneath and suspending the other kid who’s strapped inside in mid-air. Oh, yeah—it’s happened to us. 

2.      Allowing Andy to walk.

Yeppers, it’s a long, hard, 2-way street of torture. If he walks, it’s hideous. But if he rides, it’s equally hideous. So while yes, I see you eyeballing me while my kid runs helter-skelter down the aisles screaming, “Find me, Mama!”, let me enlighten you on what to expect if a 3 ½ year-old rides in the basket: They hang over the edge of the buggy at precarious angles, occasionally managing to get their head clonked while turning onto a new aisle. Sometimes, they hold their arms out whilst leaning over the edge, much like good ol’ Leo in Titanic, sweeping items off the shelves onto the floor for Mama to get to pick up. When they do sit correctly, it’s only to rifle through the products in the basket with them, doing cool stuff like building towers with your can goods so that every single can looks like it went through a tornado by the time it arrives home, therefore losing the ability to stack neatly in the pantry. Or better yet, they’ll wave those tampons around and ask at full volume, “What are these for, Mama?” And don’t you dare put it past them to actually OPEN any given product if curiosity or hunger gets the best of them. 

3.      Not having my heart melted when Finnick says “Mama, I need you!” and bursts into tears.

I know, I know. He’s adorable with those big eyes and dimples, and he looks just pitiful crying those giant, crocodile tears. And all he wants in the whole, wide world is his Mama. I know you just cannot believe that I won’t pick that poor baby up and cuddle him til the cows come home. Here’s why: He has “needed Mama” every second of every day for about a month now. And he has cried giant, crocodile tears about 700 times already just since breakfast. But right now, at this exact moment, we need groceries. Or batteries. Or what-the-heck-ever I came to this store for. I assure you, I did not bring the kids out to Wal-Mart for kicks. And since there are 6 people in our house other than this adorable little sob story, I’m going to have to finish up this errand before I rock and cuddle and sing lullabies. So when you see me hunched over like Quasimodo pushing that basket while hugging that baby, understand that truly, this is all I can give at the moment. Be grateful, Judy, that I can’t give more. Because I want to give you a piece of my mind right about now.

4.      Not dropping everything to take Andy to the restroom when he yells it’s an emergency.

Judy, Judy, Judy. Poor, na├»ve Judy. It’s not an emergency. In fact, he does not need to go at all. Do you know how I know this? Because he’s my child. I live with him. Do you know what, “I need to poo poo!” means? It means, “Mama, this is the most BORING thing in the entire world, and I am ready to be done.” So when I calmly continue looking at women’s clothes, it’s not because I am a terrible parent. There are other things that make me a terrible parent, but this isn’t it. It’s because I have visited every public bathroom in the city with this child, and I now know exactly what signs I need to look for when he legitimately needs to pee, poop, vomit, or blow his nose. And since I have zero clothes left in my entire closet that are not covered in one of the excrements listed above, I am finally going to finish the process of purchasing new garments for myself so that I can go into public without being JUDGED for being a disgusting slob fest. 

5.      Bringing my kids shopping empty-handed.

I am aware that today’s culture says kids need to have a toy, or a snack, or some sort of electronic device at all times, especially if I want them to be behaved during something boring like shopping. But you want to know what I’ve discovered? Once you’ve started something, you’ve got to keep it going every time, without fail. So yeah, we used to do the snack/toy/Angry Bird thing. Until the fateful day that our trip was only going to last 5 minutes so I said no one needed a snack/toy/phone for such a short jaunt. Good gravy, Judy, you should have heard the fussing! The screaming! The crying! The why-why-why-why-why’s! It had become a necessity because shopping had been equated with goldfish/toys/AngryBird in their precious little minds, and now I OWED THEM those things! Heck to the no. I am going to be living with these little darlings for a very long time, and I have no intention of establishing a precedent that they will only behave if bribed. So sorry, customers, my kids are going to sing, and beg, and fuss, and cry, and giggle, and point out every round food that resembles a ball because they’re not buried in my phone or a box of animal crackers. I am going to deal with it. I guess you’ll have to also. And if you offer up a sucker in the midst of one of their epic tantrums just to “keep them quiet”, I am not afraid to go all Dikembe Mutombo on you. 

6.      Loading my kids up with snacks while we shop. 

Another double-edge sword. No, I’m not going to break out the Cheerios every, single time we go to the store. But sometimes, we’re going to be here awhile because we’re out of everything but Oxygen. And you know what—these days, I feel that a snack is about the only thing that’s going to allow us to survive this. I am aware that we are leaving a little cereal trail behind us as we go, and we’ve wiped blue sucker all over the basket, and we’ve probably dropped a sippy cup with a mangled lid that resulted in a small ocean on two separate aisles. I’m really sorry, store employees. I will gladly clean up the messes we’ve made and let you take care of the shopping list, if you’d rather trade. I’ll bet big money that you’ll be happy to trade back within the first 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I'm Sorry I'm Weird

Let’s start at the very beginning…

I was not your average kid. 

There are plenty of people who read this blog who knew me back in my school days who can attest to the fact that I was absolutely NOT popular, or cool, or even what most would consider normal much of the time. I was one of those “marches to the beat of her own drummer” sorts. 

For example, rather than chase boys and attend dances and parties, I spent my time doing things like convincing people to all come to school dressed as made-up superheroes or with their clothes as mismatched as possible. And while all the pretty, popular girls’ Halloween costumes were things like sexy nurses, or sexy, spandex-y cats, or sexy fill-in-the-blank, mine were things like a Christmas tree or a bag of jelly beans. For these reasons—and oh, so many others—people thought I was a little weird.


Shocking, I know. 

But along came adulthood, and surprisingly, the tide started to turn. Apparently, being a little different is a good thing when you’re a grown-up. So all the things that labeled me as weird when I was a kid/teen suddenly just became quirky, or refreshing, or a host of other positive adjectives. 

For example, screeching out the Birthday Song at full-volume to a roomful of 6th graders didn’t make me WEIRD, it made me DEDICATED, and FUN, and “BOY, DOESN’T SHE JUST LOVE THOSE KIDS!” Ditto for wearing a Ghost Buster costume on Halloween or participating in every Red Ribbon theme day. 

So for nearly a decade, I’ve been bee-bopping along to the beat of my own drummer AND being cool/popular/normal ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It’s been pretty great. I see now what all the hype about popularity was. 

But apparently, there is a line. And that line is made out of children.

Before kids, my weirdness consisted of being unique, living life with loud, reckless abandon, and not giving a rip what other people thought about me. Child-induced weirdness is different; it’s a total loss of all social skills. Think: that kid in school who was so weird that even the weird kids wouldn’t sit with him/her in the cafeteria.  

Sadly, I did not see this social incompetence coming. I was caught totally off-guard by THE LOOK. I know that you know THE LOOK—cocked eyebrow, wide eyes, frozen smile from a fake chuckle... All tell-tale signs that someone finds you more than just a little odd. 

Afterwards, I tried to evaluate what went wrong. WHY would someone think I’m odd? How did this happen? WHEN did this happen?

The more I thought about it, the more I started remembering other cocked eyebrows and wide eyes and frozen smiles, especially lately. And I thought back to the things I had done or said right before receiving those LOOKS. And suddenly, I realized-- 






I almost wanted to go back and apologize for my lack of social skills, but I decided that would make me come across as even weirder. So instead, I will make some general, public apologies. Because that would be totally normal. 

To Whom It May Concern:

I am sorry that I talk incredibly fast and non-stop so that you can’t get a word in edge-wise. I never get to speak to actual adults, so I have to cover lots of topics in the short amount of time you’re here. 

I am sorry if everything I say is really, really loud. When I’m home with three screaming children, if I’m not at top volume, I might as well not bother speaking. I’m also sorry for my really large, dramatic hand gestures. At least half of what I tell my kids has to also be enacted. Over the last few years, I’ve basically morphed into a really loud mime. 

I apologize for the inane laughter (also loud), even after things that aren’t very funny. I’ve had to fake laugh A LOT for the sake of my kids’ tiny little self-esteems, so pretty much no matter what you say, it’s HILARIOUS compared to the preschool comedy I’ve been subjected to for the last 3 years.

I’m really sorry that I do voices. That probably freaks you out since I’m the only one speaking, so in theory, there should only be the one voice—MINE. I promise I do not suffer from mental illness. I’ve just found that changing up my voice sometimes helps hold my kids’ attention better. I see that it kept your attention as well, just not in a good way. 

Please forgive me if I alternate between total distraction and intense, Superman-X-ray-vision eye contact. I’m trying to watch my kids while we’re chatting so that they don’t destroy something or get themselves kill’t, but the guilt of not giving you my full attention (rude!) forces me to overcompensate when I do look your way. It’s a hard line to toe. 

I’m sorry if I yawn the entire time you’re speaking. I haven’t slept soundly in 1,311 days. I assure you that, despite all appearances, I am hanging onto your every word. Because I can understand them. And they’re not about poop. 

I sincerely apologize if I come across as WAY too intense and pushy while trying to schedule another play date, or girls night out, or what-the-heck-ever. I’m just really, really desperate to get out of my house, and I’ve had about enough of taking Wal-Mart and Kroger trips just for a change of scenery. And the people who work there have had just about enough, too. 

I’m sorry that every time you see me, my hair is wild, I stink, and I’m wearing the same clothes I’ve had on the last 15 times you saw me. I used to try. Really, I did. But when I know I am going to inevitably be doused in some sort of human goo and sweat down while chasing after 2 hyper children in triple-digit temperatures with 100% humidity, trying to appear presentable loses its appeal, short-lived that it would be. I assure you that my clothes have been washed and I have bathed, even if you can’t tell. 

I promise that I will try harder! I will do better! I will re-learn volume control, and eye contact, and appropriate v inappropriate conversation topics! I will even throw a few new shirts into the rotation so you’ll have something new to smell—um, SEE! Just please don’t give up on me. You see how bad it’s gotten already. Imagine if I got even LESS social interaction! Oh, the horror!