Talking to Teenagers Mother’s Day Edition

18870-the-walking-dead-the-walking-dead

NOT a teen prom pic. although, it would make those grad pics a little more interesting…

Since Mother’s Day is drawing near and there are some mothers out there who need your love, I have compiled a list of tips for dealing with the strangest and complex of animals, the Teens.  Read it.  Frame it.  Present it to her on a silver tray with her FULLY PREPARED BREAKFAST, FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATE and you will be her favourite person EVER.

You. Are. Welcome.

Teens don’t want to talk to you and often appear dazed and confused at the best of times, so having any kind of logical coherent conversation is a minefield of babbling randomness or total silence.  It’s a crapshoot, really.  AND, they would rather be connected to their phones than anywhere in your vicinity.  They don’t even want to acknowledge your existence in the universe let alone in their sphere of the world, so having any kind of repartee demands skill on your part…and actually paying attention, which let’s face it, to some of us is quite difficult.

Here are some tips when talking to teens to keep in mind:

  1. They think you are lame and so far from knowing any of the real shit that goes down that it amazes them that you are able to operate a motor vehicle or any other major household appliance, so keep whatever you want to say short and to the point.  They already think you’re dumb…don’t make it worse by trying to expand your street cred with them by going on long explanations of the mechanics of making paper airplanes.  I’m begging you.
  2. Feed them first. They respond well to food of any kind and are more likely to talk to you whilst downing their fourth hot dog, than after said meal and The Walking Dead comes on.
  3. Trap them in the backseat of a motor vehicle with their friends by offering to drive them wherever they want to go. They often forget you’re there and will start spilling stuff with their bestie, unknowingly giving you fodder and further gossip for later wine dates with the other moms…not that I’ve done that of course.
  4. Don’t try to be their friends. Seriously, they have those already.  They need parents.  Do that.
  5. Try not to trivialize the drama that they have going on. My eldest is a total drama queen, while my middle child is more level headed and logical.  We see the drama emanating from D1, but instead of making fun of her, we try to be listeners and silent supporters.  She just needs to vent most times.  She vents and moves on.  AND THEN we roll our eyes and mock her endlessly…we’re allowed.  We voted on it.
  6. Humour is awesome. I think we’ve been through this before.  There’s ALWAYS a good time to use sarcasm and puns to prove a point.  They realize they’re being silly…and maybe a bit DRAMATIC.  AND then they’ll stop it to save the onslaught of mockery and endless teasing they’ll have to endure later.  Because that will happen…oh, yes it will.
  7. Using the dog as an excuse for your overprotectiveness is quite okay. For example “I only texted you a million times last night because the dog was obviously worried you would forget to feed her the next morning and was up all night pacing and panting.  So, really.  YOU NEED TO BE HOME TO TAKE CARE OF THIS DAMNED DOG.”  See?  Like that.
  8. Guilt is in your repertoire for a reason. So use it.  “You’ll be sorry for that when I’m not here to take care of you anymore because I’m locked up in some home for the insane due to the torment you and your brother and sister did to me for all of my adult life.  And THAT is why I need wine.”
  9. Hone your poetry skills for those late night texts that go unnoticed by your little darling and are spread around the bar at 2:00am to her friends who now think you are either A) a poetry genius or B) as drunk as they are. Either way, you win.  AND, don’t worry about coming up with something original.  Using Dr. Seuss rhymes and other children’s authors is highly recommended.  It makes them remember their long forgotten childhoods of you reading Hop on Pop for the millionth time when they were four. They get all sentimental and want to go home…or will text you begging for you to stop.  Yay you!  Epic win…
  10. Distraction is your friend.  Learning the art of distraction is so much a skill I highly recommend.  You can use it during an argument with Hubby: “I know, the Visa bill is high this month and Oh MY GOD ISN’T IT YOUR MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY NEXT WEEK?!  We so have to get something for her.  GET ON THE PHONE AND CALL HER RIGHT NOW! When was the last time you called her?!  WE NEED TO KNOW IF THERE’S ANYTHING SHE NEEDS. YOU MIGHT HAVE TO DRIVE OUT THERE!”   The visa bill is forgotten and it’s his fault his mother’s birthday is next week and he callously forgot…bastard.  Anyways, you can use this ‘technique’ on the kids too: “You are so right.  I had no idea that it was so difficult being you.  By the way, did you know that Sephora is going in the mall?  Have you SEEN their new website?  Maybe you should apply for a job there!  Let’s see if you can apply online…”       So, so easy….

Why I Don’t Like You and Other Truths

It’s true. There are some people in this world that are just hard to like. You know the ones. The obnoxious guy who always tries to make puns out of ridiculous things; the girl who incessantly judges all the other girls; the sarcastic narcissistic boss who decides you are not worthy of his time and/or discussion hence he ignores your pleas for a meeting and constantly schedules you to clean out the photocopy machine during lunch; the highly OCD/Religious lady who declares you Hell-bound lest you fall on your knees and immediately repent for the wine you drank last night and the garden gnomes you stole off her lawn during your drunken escapade… You know. THOSE people.
I’ve decided I should write down all the things I DON’T like about people, so I can discover all the things I DO like and compare. It’s a shit-list, but well worth my time…since the photocopier is a lame-duck anyway. WHO NEEDS LUNCH, EMMIRITE???!!! Ugh…
Since we all love a good list, here’s a list of characters I don’t like:
The “I-don’t-drink-cause-it’s-bad-for-you-and-not-because-I’m-a-recovering-alcoholic-which-would-be-way-more-understanding-if-I-was” person – WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?! I know, I used to be in your crowd, and as the saying goes, the rehabilitated are the worst…so that would be me. Instead of being the rehabilitated alcoholic, I’ve reinvented the program and did it backwards. I’m the rehabilitated non-drinker…tea-totaler gone alckie if there ever was one. I’m the worse…I love a good glass of wine…alcohol and I are good pals…in moderation. BUT REALLY? Nothing? Nadda? Cocktail? No? I just don’t see how we could go on being friends. Hand in your friendship rewards card. I just can’t deal right now…

MAGOO TOAST
Bad drivers – Ugh. I think everybody admits to knowing a bad driver, but never admits to BEING a bad driver. With so many of BD’s out there, you would think SOMEBODY would cop to being the one and only asshole who takes pleasure in cutting you off, or speeds up as you are about to pass, or texts and drives then is surprised by rear-ending someone…I’m actually a pretty decent driver…seriously, I’m an excellent driver…just don’t talk to Hubby… no, don’t do that.

Diaz Bad teacher
The Narcissistic “I’m- fucking-awesome-and-you’re-the-lamest-lamo-evah” dude – GET OVER YOURSELF. YOU SMELL. WE ALL FIND YOU HIGHLY OFFENSIVE AND AWFUL TO BE AROUND. GET OVER YOUR MOMMY ISSUES AND GET SOME MANNERS…AND STOP BEING AN EMOTIONAL FUCKWIT. I think that covers it.
Competitive, much? – Seriously. I can only handle the ‘you vs me’ thing so long before it gets old. I’m done. If we just come to a mutual understanding of cohesiveness and team work, all will be good. There is no need for this competitive bullshit that takes up way too much time and effort. It’s too hard…let’s move on. By the way…I WIN.
The Russian Judge just gave you a -10. – Judgey people are the worst, right? They decide who is right and who is wrong, who is ‘in’ and who is not, who wore it best, who wore it like a burlap sack, who has too much eyeliner on today, who is an idiot, who doesn’t belong because she has the wrong colour of hair, the mommy who looks down her nose at you after you had that glass of wine at breakfast lunch…seriously. If you can do better, than do it. Otherwise, be supportive…be objective…be open minded. Oh, Goddammit, just be Oprah.

That's right!  I'm awesome!

That’s right! I’m awesome!

The “You’re-going-to-Hell-and-I’m-not” person– okay. Jesus turned water into wine, right? He saved Mary Magdalene from being stoned to death, right? He told people not to judge others unless they want to be judged, right? Hmmm….

My Jesus toast says 'Be non-judgey'

My Jesus toast says ‘Be non-judgey’

The Whiner/Constant Complainer – OH MY GAWD STOP IT ALREADY. It’s not going to get better by incessant whining…DO SOMETHING. If it’s not the way you want it, CHANGE IT YOURSELF. Otherwise, leave me the hell alone. I’m busy making lists…Ugh..

That should be a pretty exhaustive run-down of all that is annoying in this world. The awesomeness is below…
Givers
Considerate drivers
Tolerant
Positive
Good Sense of humour. Imperative.
Social people who make unsocial people less awkward and more social-ish. It’s a talent. They can draw people in and make them feel at ease, instead of reminding them of their usual awkward and self-conscious selves. It’s a rare gift.
Happy

So, the truth in assigning what’s wrong with people vs what’s right with people is as individual as the person. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to judge, its human nature to complain and its human nature to drive badly…so I’m told. I guess the human condition requires us to be more supportive and less rigid in our expectations, to be more tolerant and to be accepting of everyone as they are…as annoying and as difficult as that may be. We are all in this together…so putting up with each other’s idiosyncrasies is imperative if we are to have some check marks on the ‘awesome’ side of the list. Tolerant, giving, positive…words to define humanity at its best. We all have people we don’t like and think we could go on without, but if we did that, we would lose three quarters of the population! Who wants a world of ‘perfect’ people?

Wait…I’m thinking….
Sorry. ‘Perfect’ is an unreal ideal.
We are all human, afterall….

I'm not Human...I'm a Sloth.  But I'm still cool...

I’m not Human…I’m a Sloth. But I’m still cool…

Monday Thoughts

I forgot my chocolate in the car. Is it wrong to get my daughter to drive it over to me?
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I plan on taking more of them because I’m getting too lazy to write shit down

Huh?

Huh?

After forty-eight years of struggle and fear, I finally accomplished a real push-up. Not the wussy modified knee-pushup…the real ‘military’ style one. AND, not just one. I can do up to FIVE! IN A ROW. I was ecstatic about it until I started bragging to everybody I knew and they all gave me that look. You know the one…the ‘oh-that’s-cute-and-sad-at-the-same-time-cause-she-thinks-she’s-conquered-an-acutal-life-skill’ look and go ‘yeah. EVERYBODY can do those’. Fuck. I thought I was being awesome. Turns out I was just being average. So, now I’m asking everybody I see if they can do an actual pushup and not the wussy modified knee-pushup but an actual pushup, and they go ‘yeah’ and then I go ‘show me’ which they do, which makes me feel only slightly adequate and not at all as awesome as I did when I finally completed my FIVE IN A ROW. Ugh. I’ll have to up my game and brag about my expert crafting skills at building a tower out of Popsicle sticks and white glue. That’ll show’em…

This one...this.  I did this.

This one…this. I did this.

I must have driven to work like I was in the Indy 500 this morning, because by the time I arrived in the parking lot, my lunch had spilled all over the back seat of the car…I think half of it landed somewhere on the floor under a seat, but I was too lazy to look for it. It’s buried under there somewhere. Maybe D2 will find it…eventually. Then it will be like “Gawd. Something died in here. What’s that smell?” I’ll blame the dog…It’s good to have a plan.

What?!

What?!

I just tried to call D2 to bring me my chocolate. She’s not answering. She probably found it in the secret hiding space in the car where everybody looks first, and is not answering my calls because she knows that I’m going to ask her to deliver it. Dammit. I hate it when my kids know me too well. I’ll have to text her with the word ‘emergency’ and then she’ll call me and be all like ‘chocolate isn’t an emergency’, but I beg to differ. CHOCOLATE IS ALWAYS AN EMERGENCY. THAT’S LIKE SAYING BAMBI’S MOTHER’S DEATH WASN’T A TRAGEDY!! Have you no heart? Ugh.

TRUTH!!

TRUTH!!

We are planning the next all-ladies all-inclusive boozer vacay that hubby has decided he needs to be apprised of just in case he wants to go off somewhere warm alone and without his awesome lovely wife…whilst we ladies are contemplating sand, sun and visions of drinks and shirtless waiters, I may have to give a false not-so-sunny-and-hot location just to make him feel better. Like, instead of Jamaica or Cancun, guess what dear? We have decided to go to Bell Island or Greenland instead. Or, we’re foregoing any awesome vacay altogether, just so we can spend all of our saved cash on you guys…
Hahaha…I know, right? Good, one Kayjai.

Top Ten Things To Do This Spring That Won’t Involve Cleaning Anything, Making Anything or Exercising Anywhere. You. Are. Welcome.

It’s exhausting trying to keep up with all of the tips and advice from the ‘experts’ on what one should be doing with all of that extra time that we seem to have on our hands this coming Spring. What?!

We should be cleaning out our closets, our email, our garage and our colons… apparently that’s a thing. Cleaning out your colon. Eww…

And then there are others who insist we get in shape for summer, get exercising for that bikini, that bbq, than reunion, and lose weight for that somebody special we’ve been hanging around waiting our entire lives to meet and to fall helplessly in love with. Ugh. Enough already. Instead of working so hard at trying to be clean and skinny, let’s just relax and enjoy the coming of the warm weather…even if it’s taking its sweet ass time getting here.

So, here are my Top Ten Things to do This Spring:
10. Laugh at the neighbours who are insistent on getting rid of the frozen snow that still inhabits their front lawns by chopping, spraying and shoveling it onto the road. Our neighbor was at it twice yesterday and her snow pile is up over her front window. It must be driving her INSANE to see my side of the street with virtually no snow on our lawns…we are just better at taking it easy AND LETTING NATURE TAKE CARE OF THE MASSIVE FROZEN SNOW PILE. Instead of being a tad obsessive about frozen shit, she could harvest all that snow and make snow cones, sell them at 50cents a pop and then VOILA…instant cash to pay for that ice pick she’s going to rust out soon. Then she would have all the neighbourhood kids clamouring all over her place looking for snow cones…maybe I’ll post a sign at the corner to advertise for her. I’m all about community, peeps.
9. Wear spring colours. It makes you feel better and more alive to be wearing pink and purple and bright oranges and reds instead of blah-black and gruesome-grey…blah. IT’S SPRING DAMMIT…let’s get the colours out! Your mood will improve too…not that you’ve been crabby lately…or maybe you have. Sick of winter and cold and ice…yeah. You’re looking a little crotchety…get out that lovely yellow sweater and those pink capris…so what if it’s minus twenty… Wear that shit!
8. Do something outside….just not knocking down the snow. Take the dog for a walk, take down the elusive Christmas decorations, search the ground for growing buds, take photos of the neighbour’s cat pooping in the old guy’s garbage can…you know, get out there!
7. Invite friends over for drinks…that’s always a good idea.
6. I was going to write ‘plant bulbs’, but I think you have to do that in the fall…and it’s work, so this is not about work. It’s about relaxation….so go to the florist or the nearest store and buy a spring bouquet to put on your table. It will brighten your room…and you can admire it as you eat your frozen snow cone. AND, lace that snow cone with some liquor….make it a ‘grown up’ treat. What? It’s relaxing….
5. Revel in the longer days…it means longer naps.
4. Remember those long forgotten resolutions you made at midnight on that freezing December night when you were drunk and couldn’t even remember your first name, let alone something to resolve to do for the New Year?? Remember those? No? Me neither…carry on.
3. Be good to yourself. You’re the only one you’ve got.
2. Make a kid laugh by telling a stupid joke. They love those, even if they’re teens and they roll their eyes at you and say you’re lame…they really think you’re worse than lame…but that’s okay. You made them roll their eyes and probably smile when you weren’t looking. It still counts.
1. Be grateful for where you are, where you’re going and what you’ve done to get here.

There you go. Enjoy your Spring…

l-amazing-photo-pug-and-tulips

Conquering Fear

As most of you are aware, my plight into the dark abyss of fear is not foreign to me. Unfortunately, it’s been like a weight on my back for several years, shortly following the demon ride of all time, Soarin’. Disney has a foul sense of humour. They installed a ride intended for families and small children to enjoy epic vistas, a flying naturalistic view of land and water…and golf.
At the same time, they subjected the masses to ‘hang gliding’. WHAT?! This ride, apparently, is to “Experience the Golden State like never before while “hang-gliding” over landscapes as varied as they are beautiful. Feel like you’re flying—and even smell what you’re seeing as you skim rolling waves, powdery ski slopes, majestic redwood forests, fragrant orange groves and familiar landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge.” Ahh, it sounds so innocent and lovely. THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE?! I don’t remember FLYING OVER THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE! AHHH. I probably had my eyes shut in a frightened panic thinking I would surely crash into one of the steel components. Because, when you’re me, that isn’t a movie in front of me…it’s fucking real. As for the orange groves, they spray orangey stuff at you intending for you to ‘have the full experience’ when really all it did to me, was make me sneeze and jolt me almost to my death. From 6 feet in the air. What? It could happen…Could have hurt my ankle or bruised my ego or something….
Really, it simply subjected me to a dangling terror-filled journey into scenic vistas of golf courses and orange groves at perceived heights of 30,000 feet, whilst suspending me randomly in mid-air with a wanton frail looking belt and my own warped sense of minimal security. *sigh* DAMN YOU DISNEY. I think I cried through the entire thing. It was at that moment, I realized I was having a major panic attack ON A KIDDIE DISNEY RIDE. So, simply put…I decided riding on anything that left my feet dangling in mid-air with no security belts, major shoulder straps or helmets made of steel, was beyond my realm of possible feats. The end.
Until, Epic Ladies’ Trip 2012 and Jamaica ski lift ride from the other side of hell….the Jamaican jungle. I can still hear one of the ride operators in an attempt to fill the ladies with epic joy while we were dangling haphazardly several hundred feet above any kind of terra firma, yelling “HEY LADIES! HOW’S THE RIDE?!” All the while, me swearing profusely under my breath and sobbing in quiet hysterics with white knuckles gripping the steel bar fearing my ultimate descent into the jungle with nothing to soften my landing but the large fern leaves of all those very tall trees…ugh. In defense of the ladies and the tour operators, I did not even THINK to research the ride to Magic Mountain to see HOW THE HELL WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GET UP A MOUNTAIN. DUH…IT’S A MOUNTAIN. So, totally my fault and I managed to live through the ride up…tear stained and partially broken, but alive…and the ride down. Pretty much the same thing, only we were headed downwards, so logically, we were falling anyways. That’s how my brain works, people.
It was this latest vacation with Hubby that I decided enough was enough. Two trips with panic attacks were two trips too many. I needed to conquer this fear of flight. At least, attempt to conquer it. So when the opportunity arose to book a trip on the Oasis of the Seas, we took it. And when Hubby declared he was going to ride the zip line on the boat… I volunteered to take pictures. That was going to be it. Then he suggested I try it. I laughed at him and MAY have said something like “you are fucking crazy. HELLO. SOARIN’. DANGLING IN MID AIR” Then I thought about it. I looked at videos. LITTLE KIDS WERE GOING ON THE ZIPLINE. Surely, parents weren’t subjecting their children to death defying antics like a Zipline without precautions? Right? RIGHT?! AND, they were wearing helmets, and most importantly SAFETY BELTS! Hmmm…
After a bit of soul searching and arguing, mostly with myself, I convinced the weak and terribly frightened Kayjai that conquering a fear born from an innocent Disney ride, surely cannot be that bad. AND, If I happened to plummet to my death, what better way to go than in the Caribbean on a huge cruise ship above a burger shop that sold burgers and deadly milkshakes? Really, I would probably die more from the milkshake, than from the zip line…maybe.
We both stood in line and I managed to cross the zipline in epic Kayjai fashion. No, I won’t show you the video, because, well, my reaction at the end of the ride was…special. The smile was plastered to my face, I was stunned into silence and I was wearing a helmet…it wasn’t a fashion forward moment. I’ll let you imagine it…
Here’s the shot before I got to the top.

See how excited I am?

See how excited I am?

The greatest trepidation I felt, was putting my feet at stage 3 on the steel bar with the operator telling me repeatedly to ‘let go.’ I’m sure he was about to pull me from the whole thing when I did just that. I let go. I let go, forced my eyes to stay open and slid down the ride. I didn’t fall. I didn’t panic. I let go. The fear was replaced with joy. I extended my legs laughed at myself and made it to the other side with a huge relief and accomplishment. And possible whiplash at missing the landing mat and hitting the spring…it wasn’t pretty, but it was done.
No tears were shed in the making of this moment. Well, maybe a few at the sheer joy of accomplishment.
Fear is a powerful emotion and if you let it, it can take over. Don’t let it. Conquer your fear and see how strong you really are.
I dare you….let go.

Live, Drink and Be Merry…or Mary, if That’s Your Name

Last night, as I was finally able to sit in front of the fire with the dog on my lap and a glass of wine in my hand, Hubby made a remark that unsettled me. He commented on my glass of wine. Maybe I shouldn’t be drinking wine EVERY night, and since we’d be having wine on Friday, as our usual routine, I could skip a night. I think I froze in mid-drink and stared. The unthinkable statement made me blink in disbelief. SKIP A NIGHT?!
I don’t drink EVERY night…more like every OTHER night. I don’t drink to get drunk. IT’S A GLASS OF WINE FOR PETE’S SAKE.

wine and cookies

So, it got me thinking as to the conversations lately about enjoyment of one’s time while on this earth and taking care of your health so one can live a healthy and long life. If something happened to me, would I regret having a glass of wine last evening? HELL NO! I would have regretted NOT having that wine…that’s how I look at everything now.

If I skip something, will I regret it if anything happened? For example, if I chose to skip my work out on my scheduled day, would I regret it? Yes, probably, since I’m working ever so hard at keeping it up. If I skipped going to something I enjoy, would I regret it the next day? Yes. Absolutely…so no skipping stuff I enjoy simply because somebody else thinks it’s a bad idea, or somebody else isn’t really into it. I still do plenty for others. I hold down a full time job, take care of the house and make sure my adult and semi-adult children are eating and contributing to society. More or less. I try to make time for friends and family and enjoy others’ company. I try to dwell on the positive instead of the negative and keep things light. Don’t get me wrong, I have my days where nothing goes right and I seem to fall down at every turn, but that just reminds me I’m human and we all have our off days…it also makes a great post and gets people laughing.

We spend a lot of time working and being busy raising our kids and worrying about the future. I’d like to turn that around. Life is way too short to worry ourselves about something we cannot prevent, or something we cannot control. Take precautions, yes. Protect what you can, absolutely. Forfeit fun and enjoyment for the sake of being ‘safe’….no thanks. I’d rather have cocktail forks jammed in my eyeballs; or be forced to endure a lecture about the complexities of pencils than have a life void of enjoyment and fun.
So…did I have my glass of wine? You betcha. AND, I’ll have more tonight…and maybe tomorrow night. If I so choose.
Life is to live and enjoy. There is enough pain and suffering already in the world without adding to it. Yes, it is our duty as members of the human race to try to make things right by being positive lights in others’ lives, by inspiring our children to go out and do good in the world; make it better. Rise above our mistakes.
It is also our duty to enjoy our life, our friends and our family to the best of our abilities.
So, cheers friends! Enjoy….

The Pink Lady...yeah.

The Pink Lady…yeah.

There’s Calories in Air, I’m Sure Of It!

D2 suggested I try My Fitness Pal to help me with tracking my calories and hopefully shedding some pounds.  She set it up on my phone and set a goal for me.  The calorie counting at the top tells you how much you have to spend and how much you have used with every documented morsel you decide to tell it you have eaten.  I thought it was a great idea, since she has been using it for a week now and really is getting the hang of it.  I thought it would be a great mother-daughter bonding thing.

 So, I was using it today, the FIRST day, and already it’s yelling at me.  “I THOUGHT WE WERE WATCHING OUR CARBOHYDRATES?!”   “HEY, MORON, I THOUGHT WE WERE WATCHING OUR SUGAR INTAKE!”  “THERE’S SUGAR IN CHOCOLATE!”  “WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO OUR DAILY CALORIE INTAKE AND IT’S ONLY 10AM!”

I’m starting to think My Fitness Pal is really My Calorie Asshole Nazi and I’m not enjoying it.

I think I’ll put in that I ate three Big Macs and doubled down on a two litre of Coca-Cola and see if it goes into any spasms of outrage.  Maybe it will self-destruct.  Maybe it will automatically email everybody and set up a food intervention circle.

That would be great as long as somebody brings the wine…