Sunday, May 28, 2017

There goes another one.

   Out of the mouths of babes can come a lot of honesty and not all of it cute. It was recently Mother’s Day and my family planned to take my mother out to breakfast.  We usually don’t bother with dinner because of the crowds and I got my usual dark chocolate and flowers from my spouse.  This was my eighth Mother’s Day as a parent and things are improving with my offspring, albeit slowly. 
   Last year had to be an all time low. My daughter pitched a real Oscar winner that Sunday because no one was available to play with her majesty.  Our little Captain Clueless refused to grasp the concept of a holiday devoted to Moms. “Why isn’t there one just for kids?”, she asked. “We call that Monday through Friday!”, I fumed. I heard Roseanne Barr’s voice in my head saying “This is why some animals eat their young.”
    I left the house by myself to make sure we didn’t make the local news. There is a small record shop where an entire section of used Cd’s are a dollar apiece. Cheapskate that I am, I closed the place. My husband, God bless him, ironed, made dinner, and cleaned up the kitchen. I was even able to take a nap. I still felt frustrated with my offspring and myself. How could we be raising such a self centered beastly hemorrhoid?? “We spoil this kid, it’s my fault.”

    I was finalizing my plans for bread and water and deciding on shackles when I spoke to our family therapist.  She was able to calm me down and help me understand that my grown up brain is not understanding how our girl thinks. While there is some spoilage, she is not far removed from most other kids her age. Nevertheless, the day left a bad taste in my mouth.
   Mercifully, since time heals all wounds and also flies, a new, unspoiled Mother’s Day was here before I knew it. I am double whammied in that my Mother was born that day, too. We made plans to visit my mom to take her out. I bought a nice flower arrangement and a few small things but when we got to her house, she wasn’t feeling well. “I’m sorry but I’m not going to make it,” she said. 
   She sat in her recliner and my daughter sat next to her in the other chair. We talked about her activities that week and her neighbors. Finally, my daughter says “Are we just going to sit here and talk all day?”. Clearly diplomacy is nowhere in the DNA. It was decided, after we stopped laughing, that we would go to breakfast and bring food back for my mother. “Just get me pancakes from McDonald’s”, she said. I had a daymare about spending Mother’s Day at a fast food place. 
   Thankfully, we reminded my mom that since we’re going to be at a diner, we can just place and order while we’re eating rather than make a separate stop. Luckily, the lines at the restaurant weren’t that bad and we were back with takeout for mom in no time. The rest of the day was uneventful and blessedly tantrum free. My daughter even understood the fact that no one was around to play because it was a holiday!  Progress can be slow as a glacier but I’ll take it.

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Clearance Continues...

  The last few weeks here have been nuts. This has been a good thing though. I worked to gather all the crap I could in the time I had. It worked out well, albeit not smoothly. I was sweating small stuff like getting the house clean first before the company came and will I be able to make it out for class? It took some doing but actually I was able to pull off most of what I wanted. I just had to stay focused and keep in mind that I wasn’t going to be able to get everything done. 
  I completely blew a therapist appointment. I felt bad but it also worked out time wise because I needed that time to keep working. I had fantasies about going through each room of my house with a rubbermaid bin or box and disposing of crap from each room. Yeah, right, after I train local birds and squirrels to do the laundry and dust my house. Thankfully I get rid of junk all year so I had plenty of stuff gathered, waiting to leave anyway. When you add the boxes from my mom, we had more than enough for a respectable sale.
  I was looking forward to hanging out with my bestie and the bonus was that 2 family friends finally made it. They brought a few things and even sold one item. I’m hoping that now that they’ve seen how much stuff you can sell, they’ll join us for real next year. Of course, after the sale I found more things to get rid of but I’m enjoying the space. We got 2 rockers out of the basement and my shed got reorganized. The neighborhood yard sale was underwhelming but we did really well. The receipts this last time set a family record. 
  This was gratifying as long as you don’t think about it too much. Analytically speaking I would have made more money per hour sewing sneakers in Mexico than I did at my house. The labor was three days to set up and one more to put things away and donate. So why go through all this aggravation? I mentioned I’m enjoying the space but it’s also how I got said space. It’s a bit cathartic to get rid of junk we’re not using and certainly making the house look better helps my ego a lot. I’m in a never ending battle to cut clutter at home and the prospect of cash at the end of it makes for a nice carrot.
   A tax deductible donation to Purple Heart is also fabulous. It doesn’t get much better than putting the remote down long enough to schedule a pickup at my house. If it’s been for sale twice and no one bought it, it’s a good candidate. All I have to do is snap a few pictures to cover my ass for our 1040 and take some notes. I highly recommend it. 
   My daughter seems to be handling things better, too. Maybe my judgement is improving as to what she’s done with but I doubt it. Sadly, I think the video games have replaced most of her toys although I don’t think she’d admit it. We still use some board games when there are “forced breaks” from the small screen but I miss the early days. Just going through her board games was a great excuse to play them to see if they were still “keepers”.
  I make sure she’s aware of what’s going so I don’t have to deal with any oscar winning hissy fits the day of the sale. She’s also been pretty good about coming up with substitutes for things we just had to rescue. I will ask her to be reasonable about it. Don’t save a stuffed elephant and hand me a marble to sell instead. She’s also old enough to understand that it’s not just her old toys we’re selling, at least not in the spring. Every fall I do a consignment sale for mostly clothes and shoes she’s outgrown but some toys leave then, too.
   The fall clearance comes in handy to deal with anything that got missed in the spring. It helps that she still believes in Santa. “We have to make room”. I don’t know what I’ll tell her when that changes but for now that’s one thing I can still hang onto.