Thursday, April 26, 2007

So, Today . . . At School . . .

So today, I was at school. Middle was running amuck. Little was running amuck. They were wearing streamers for headbands and helping me set up for kindergarten registration in the morning. Which means, tableclothes, snack table, helium balloons, EduKit samples, music stands with directions . . . you know . . . general set up.

And about 30 minutes after school got out, in walks this mom . . . . can't find her kid.

Was supposed to pick said child up at school.
She's been waiting in the pick up line.
Said child has not emerged from building.
So . . . page the child over the intercom.
Check child's best friend, who is in Brownies. Nada. She walked home, says best friend.
Not home. Nada.
Check school again. Check other brownie troops. Check neighbors. Check friends.
Panic is setting in, ya'll. Hell, I was panic stricken . . and I don't know this kid.
Check crossing guards. No sightings.
Check teachers. One sighting after school. Walking. Alone.
Panic if full blown. Mom is hysterical. Every phone in school is in use.
Police cruisers are in the front.
The entire class list is being called . . anyone seen ____________?

Listen, gang. It took one and one/half HOURS -- A FULL 90 MINUTES of potential child brutalizing - parent-panic to find this kid. She was at a friends house.
Friend's mother. Not home. Friend's father . . didn't know she wasn't
supposed to be there.

Jeezum, I say to you all. I'm out for pro-active solutions on preventing this kind of thing -- not just for me . . . . . definately not just for me . . . for everyone . . who was making calls and hunting down a kid . . for everyone whose guts were churing and eyes were dry and sticky . . for everyone who was overhearing conversations and praying that she was okay.

I'm still deep in thought about this one . . might be for a while.

Alpha Moms

Have you heard this phrase? My FIL brought this article over for me to read. At the time, sort of a jab . . . look they wrote about you in The Gazette (again, tee hee).

But here's the deal. It's true.

Let me rewind. Bruce Horowitz wrote this article in USA Today, which was then put in our local paper. "Rise of The Alpha Moms . . . busy, plugged-in women and a mareketer's dream." Here are some highlights:

. . . an alpha mom moment where one mom has her blackberry in one hand and two kids in the other . . . . in a nutshell, a marketing phenomenom . . . alpha moms are education, tech-savvy, type A moms with a common goal: mommy excellence. a multitasker. kid-centric. hands-on . . . . plugged in . . . spending an average of 87 minutes on line every day . . alpha moms ingnite the market . . . .

Spotlighted in this article are very hip moms who are mothers to their growing broods of children, while maintaining their lives as marketers, graphic artists, and Wall Street Journal Execs . . . . for example . . .

Constance Van Flandern, who is the marketing brain behind Mommy TV
Isabel Kallman, CEO and founding mother of "Alpha MOM TV"
Linda Perry, a legal assistant and mom of two from California, who also runs a parenting group on Yahoo that reached 7,000 techno-keen mommies
Liz Vanzura, a marketing exec for Cadillac . . . (I personally love this phrase . . maybe IT"S why FIL brought this article over . . . "we're going after moms who wouldn't be caught dead in a minivan."
Holly McPeak -- pro-beach volleyball player

Anyhoo . . . I've read this article . . and read it again . . . and . . . . I agree . .

I am an alpha mom. By defintion -- definately. By description -- definately. And, by the way I envision the teaching and learning and how it's different in THIS generation . . . vs how it was to raise kids 40 years ago. Most definately. I am plugged in. I understand MY SPACE. I understand text messaging and why it's critically important to kids. I understand trusting a kid and letting them totally screw up. And I understand welcoming them home into a very safe place to land with no questions asked, because that's my job, as their ALPHA MOM, too.

I take no credit.

I can take no credit for the Survivor series post. It's not an original work by me. . . . . it's my additions to two separate forwarded emails . . . . .

But thanks for all the great comments.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Next Survivor Series

Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and 3 kids, each, for six weeks.

Each kid will play two sports and either take music or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must take care of his 3 kids; keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, and pay a list of "pretend" bills with not enough money.

In addition, each man will have to budget in money for groceries each week.

Each man must remember the birthdays of all their friends and relatives, and send cards out on time.

Each man must also take each child to a doctor's appointment, a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment. He must make one unscheduled and inconvenient visit per child to the Urgent Care (weekend, evening, on a holiday or right when they're about to leave for vacation).

He must also make cookies or cupcakes for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for decorating his own assigned house, planting flowers outside and keeping it presentable at all times. The men will only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. There is only one TV between them, and a single remote with dead batteries. Each father will be required to know all of the words to every stupid song that comes on TV and the name of each and every character on cartoons. The men must shave their legs, wear makeup daily, which they will apply to themselves either while driving or making three lunches. Each man will have to make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4 year old to eat a serving of peas.

Each man must adorn himself with jewelry, wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes, keep their nails polished and eyebrows groomed. The men must try to get through each day without snot, spit-up or barf on their clothing. During one of the six weeks, the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches, and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or slow down from other duties.

They must try to explain what a tampon is for when the 6-yr old boy finds it in the purse. They must attend weekly school meetings, church, and find time at least once to spend the afternoon at the park or a similar setting. He will need to read a book and then pray with the children each night without falling asleep, and then feed them, dress them, brush their teeth and comb their hair each morning by 7:00. They must leave the home with no food on their face or clothes. A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information: each child's birthday, height, weight, shoe size, clothes size and doctor's name. Also the child's weight at birth, length, time of birth, and length of labor, each child's favorite color, middle name, favorite snack, favorite song, favorite drink, favorite toy, biggest fear and what they want to be when they grow up.

They must clean up after their sick children at 2:00 a.m. and then spend the remainder of the day tending to that child and waiting on them hand and foot until they are better. They must have a loving, age appropriate reply to, "You're not the boss of me."

The kids vote them off the island based on performance. The last man wins only if. . .he still has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over and over again for the next 18-25 years. . .eventually earning the right to be called Mother!

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fool's Day

The First day of April is SO fun around here. I can't pass up a good practical joke. Last year, I taped the hand held sprayer attachment in the kitchen sink down, pointed it at chest level and waited for Man Of The House to turn the water on. It sprayed him all over the place, up one side and down the other -- DRENCHED. And we laughed, and laughed, and laughed. We laughed so hard, we went to our friend's house, where I did the same thing. He called several hours later, laughing, cussing and threatening me for next year.

This year, I got MOTH before he even got up and moving. Worth every second of the planning. I also pulled the wool over the kids eyes . . . told them that school called and they added Sundays to the rest of the year, so everyone had school from noon to five. They were halfway upstairs with long, sad faces before I hollered out "April Fools!!" and got 'em!

I also got 'em with the classic "look at this big bug I found" . . . . they're so fun!

One year, I told MOTH I was pregnant for April Fool's . . but it turned out to be true . . . kinda funny, and kinda not.

Once Big, Middle and Little got into the swing of things, they were planting rubber snakes inside shoes and under pillows. Hanging bugs on threads from light fixtures and from the railings and then lying in wait for the yell or scream. We spent a good bit of time in the yard, too, which presents the perfect opportunity for bug and snake alarms. Middle got ME, I'll even admit. Last year, we had a friendly garden snake in the flower bed by the Cottonwood tree. Every now and then, we'd be descending the stairs, and he slither by . . and we'd all jump. Not because he's scary, but one is never really prepared for a snake to slide over the toes!! Anyhoo, Middle, remembering the snake from last year, got to that place on the steps and hollered "SNAKE" . . . to which, of course, I came running . . . I wanted to see how much he'd grown. Oh, did she bust up laughing. She was snorting and huffing so hard, she could hardly get her "April Fool's" out.

Fun, fun, fun . . . . anybody else out there a prankster? A few new ideas would be fun . . . . I'm not so in to fake piles of poop . . . but I'd appreciate a few good ones . . . .