Friday, August 21, 2009

College Fund? You're Wearing it

"If someone can't afford to put braces on their kids teeth then they shouldn't be having kids". That was part of a conversation between two teenagers in an English writing course I took at the local college eight-ish years ago. At the time I was in my late twenties [perhaps, thirty], a mother of two, and the oldest person in the class. The student body consisted mostly of those fresh out of high school, many of whom where there at their parent's insistence and dime. And a handful of those were the irresponsible type that wanted to borrow your notes from the previous class because they, once again, skipped out during the break, because they were the type that were used to charming their way into getting what they need. And I was the type that had no qualms about teaching them a lesson in consequences for irresponsible behavior and was like, um no.

I remember the conversation because we were sitting around reading each other's writing assignments. The assignment was to write three descriptive paragraphs about your favorite restaurant. As I sat there and read about Chi-Chi's Pizza, The Olive Garden, and Cousin's Burgers; I wondered if my summarization of Mon Grenier in Encino would invite the children to introduce a whole new world to their taste buds. Even though I detailed how the waiter in this French restaurant would wheel an apron wearing dressmaker's dummy to your table and read the menu aloud in English thick with French and you're all SALMON! I'll have the salmon! Because it's the ONLY THING THAT CAME OUT OF HIS MOUTH THAT YOU UNDERSTOOD. Although, you did understand crispy salad but you weren't sure why it was crispy and you weren't feeling risky. And you may not have understood but you soon realized that the chocolate covered strawberries injected with liquor were going to knock. you. out.

But I ├ęcartez-vous ... "If someone can't afford to put braces on their kids teeth then they shouldn't be having kids" - she stated smugly and matter of fact. I don't know (nor did I then) what kind of pampered priveledged bubble this young lady sprang from, but a mouth full of perfect teeth isn't a basic need. Oh, it's nice, sure. But not part of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Getting FOOD past those teeth, yes. Getting food past STRAIGHT teeth? No. Many new parents are busy providing immediate needs, and if they're fortunate, planning for college and maybe a car. It's really a crap shoot if braces are going to be necessary at all...not everyone's teeth are jacked. And many new parents also dream of the day that they will own furniture that hasn't been vomited on, peed on, or worse. And by worse I mean, a blow out diaper full of poop soup that shoots straight up the baby's back and out his or her collar. You're welcome.

All of this to tell you that Boy-Child#1 is now sporting braces. And little Miss High and Mighty would be happy to know that I met her threshold for decent parenting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Someone Needs to Pay Attention to What She's Doing

School starts here mid week. I did all of our back to school shopping in ONE day a couple of weeks ago to avoid the rush since we live in a valley where it is apparently the law that in order to own a home you must have at least two children. Where every elementary school is at MAX CAPACITY and where max capacity equals ONE THOUSAND kids. And, in our experience, if you want A) clothes that still work for heat and not fall because hello, still summer in Southern California and B) a decent lunch box and backpack combo to avoid moderate to severe mocking, you'd better jump on things toot sweet. And jump I did. We hit the local Target and got. it. all. I'm talkin' everything from pencils, erasers, folders to several outfits each. The only thing that wasn't purchased on that particular trip were Levi's skinny jeans for Boy-Child#1 which we snatched up later that day at Tilly's. And shoes followed last week.

Since elementary school starts on Wednesday, today I was going through all of the paraphernalia - loading backpacks, sharpening pencils, writing the kids names on their lunch boxes. I'm not a fan of trying clothes on the kids in the store because OHMYGAWD it takes so long. And I'm not ashamed to admit that patience is not my strong suit. But I did have the foresight to at least have them try them on when we got home to make sure everything was good to go. And it was. Is.

But somewhere along the way I severely fecked up the underwear selection. I mean, oh hell, how dumb do you have to be to muck this up? I bought bikini underpants for Girl-Child instead of briefs. This does not work. Not only does Girl-Child have a prominent bootay but she's six. And, in my humble opinion, six year old girls need as much coverage as possible. Swings and slides in skirts and dresses reveal much. Let's cover that shit up. So, there's that. Then! I bought, what I thought, were two packages of boxer briefs for Boy-Child#1. What I actually purchased were ONE pack of boxer briefs and ONE pack of briefs - aka "tightie whities". I don't know if you've ever been an eighth grade boy, but tightie whities [even though they're black and grey in color] will buy you several atomic wedgies in the gym locker room and a raging case of insult hurls at oneself from one's peers. Stinking, pimply faced, in the throes of hormone induced crackly-voiced puberty - peers - that can brand you with a much unwanted nickname for the remainer of your school years.

It would appear that one got so distracted by selecting the right size that she outright ignored the description. And that person, who was so smug about her organizational and planning skills, was at JC Penny today. Two days before school starts. Buying underpants.