Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mama Hari, Super Spy

When I was growing up, I hated it when people came into my room. I had various mechanisms (er, behaviors) to keep anyone I was related to from ever coming for a visit. This mostly involved extreme bouts of crabbiness, threats of violence against myself or others, or sometimes blasting lousy 80's dance music. Come to think of it, I did this at the office today and no one came in. Imagine that.


A&P haven't discovered the sanctuary of their rooms yet. Other than the occasional "GET OUT OF MY ROOM" directed at the other brother, it's a fairly peaceful detente complete with a "cracked door policy." No one ever seems to mind that I've picked up the clothes in the middle of the floor (right at the edge of the basket force-field) or made the beds or whatever. I must admit, I take advantage of this and do my fair share of digging around in drawers and under the beds. The public service announcements on TV implore me to snoop. Who am I to question NBC?

Today, I really wished I was too dumb to dig around in their rooms. You never know what you'll find. Sometimes I find fistfuls of quarters or dirty socks from a baseball game last June. I can hardly tell you what I found. It's so ghastly. You will judge me. You will send me secret letters and comments judging me. I'm horrified, terrified and actually thinking about bringing in some help.

Do you want to know what I found? Is this killing you? Oh boy, here it is. I found...

A shirt that says "Perrysburg Class of 2015." What the Sam Hill is that? 2015 is like 40 years from now. Shouldn't we be living on the moon and flying around in hover cars? Shouldn't I have a robot rubbing my feet and injecting Botox in my crowsfeet while I type this?

2015? Shouldn't I be able to read people's minds by then? Won't we be growing food out of thin air and repairing ourselves with magic wands?

I can't stand it. It's going to be awhile before I snoop again- maybe Thursday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Less is More

Whilst putting the finishing touches on a familially collaborative pair of science projects the following conversation occurred...

Me: Hey P we have a few extra things let's add them to the poster.
P: Why. I only have to have 8 and I already have 8.
A: (emphatically) I have 12!
Me: It never hurts to go beyond the minimum.
P: Who cares? My grade will be the same if I have 8 or 9 or whatever.
Me: Seriously? You're happy with doing the absolute, least amount of work that you can get away with?
P: Yup. Where's the glue?
A: Did I mention I have 12?
Me & P: YES!
Me: Maybe I could do the least amount possible.
P: What are you talking about?
Me: Under Ohio law, I am only required to get you to school, give you a place to live, some clothes (nothing flashy) and your food (also nothing fancy).
P: What? You're kidding.
Me: Nope. Not kidding. I could start doing only what the law requires starting right about...
Me: What?
P: That wouldn't be very nice.
Me: So what.
P: How about 10 things on my poster?

My work here is done- for at least the next 10 minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Can I ask you a question?

What happens to twin parent bloggers after their kids turn 4? Where are you? Are you hurt? Do you need assistance? A martini? Did you get a paper cut from the spelling list?

Where do they go? Where are all the parents of tween twins? Have they been abducted by aliens, attacked by zombies? Are they laying on the kitchen floor surrounded by gum wrappers, Best Buy Xbox game receipts and dirty socks? Wrapped in IPod earphone wire so tight that they can't reach their communication devices? This is a CRISIS!

Are they stuck in the pantry after writing a 50 page, 4 day grocery list that includes, but is not limited to, so many carbohydrates it would make you bust out of your pants just thinking about what's on it? (Believe me, I am SO protecting you.)

Where are these people suffering through 7th grade? I see them in the pick up line at school. Do they see me? Or, are they so blinded by math homework, the bandaged finger attacked by the list of irregular spelling words, and stinky football clothes that they can't do anything but drive around town in a stupor?

Are they toiling away in their laundry rooms and sneaking in emails on their Blackberries when no one's looking? Do they forgot they're talking to regular people and say things like " Hey Dude" or "Hey Buddy" to their boss? Or to their kids "SH!T, I can remember what side my gas cap is on!" Or worse, "SH!T, I shouldn't have eaten ice cream for dinner just because those kids begged for it, AGAIN." Or even worse "SH!T, two martinis in the bucket sized glasses are too much to remember Algebra!"

Bottom line, pray with me. There are 49 ba-jillion other middle school, tween twin parents out there. They have no idea that we're looking for them so they can drink the martini I made for them. Oh wait, that's for me....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who are you?

Overheard at the Junior High...

Football Coach: ATKINS!? Where are you going?
Kid: To practice
Football Coach: ATKINS! You're going the wrong way! Hustle up! NOW!
Kid: I'm going to practice Coach.
Football Coach: What practice, you're going the wrong way!
Kid: Cross Country
Football Coach: OH, you're THE TWIN.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mysteries of the Universe

A&P each have a laundry basket in their closets.

Mysteriously, clothes can only be deposited 5 feet or more away from the basket at all times. An invisible force-field protects the baskets from anyone under 21 stepping near them. I even tried to put the basket smack-dab in the middle of the bedrooms to see if that would elicit increased dirty clothes placement compliance. Alas, the force travels with the basket!

Every night we make dinner.

Mysteriously, no matter what plate Peter is given, he is only able to eat half of the food. Then, the plate and the fork conspire to move the remaining food around the plate in a random fashion so as to appear that more than half of the food is gone. Even more mysterious, this never happens with dessert.

A&P have lots of socks.

Mysteriously, the socks are abandoned, one at a time in various locations. A sock will be orphaned in the family room on the coffee table while another is left to its own devices yards away on the floor of the back hall. Like a reverse Hansel, the socks always lead to a boy.

There's a brand new, beautiful tube of toothpaste.

Mysteriously, in 30 seconds or less it is mushed and mangled. The gooey, minty blue mess extends beyond the sink onto the floor- in the hall. Tim ended up with paste on his suit one day last week and that's not even our bathroom. Weird!

Ripley's must be awaiting my call.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Andrew: Chick Magnet

At dinner tonight, Andrew introduced us to his "signature move."

A: Hey, want to see my signature move?
Me: You've got to be kidding me.
A: Ya, I do it when I come and go into rooms.
Me: OK, what you got?
A: (The move- work with me on this. Twelve year old 7th grader with longish hair and braces with green and blue rubber bands. He leans his head way back, swaying from side to side so his bangs flop back and forth, landing, jauntily, to the right side all while rolling his eyes and batting his eyelashes.)
Me: (In hysterics) When do you do this? Are you trying to attract girls with that?
A: I do it all day and yes, the girls love it. At school I also told everyone that I like short-shorts.
Me: Are you channeling the 70's? If so, I don't need to go back.

He decided to go outside after dinner. On his way out:

A: Everyone watch. I'm exiting with my "signature move!" (head and hair waving)
P: (Chasing him out) I'll show you a "signature move!"

Good times.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Losing My Mind: Bit by Bit

I totally freaked out today. I was clinging to the proverbial parental ledge, so slippery, with my hands smothered in bacon grease, and my bad thoughts all culminating in a big footed monster stomping on my slipping hands while I dangled over an abyss of incompetence.

This almost sounds like a nightmare! It was! It really was!

It happened all in my head. Something like this:

Psycho Me: OMG, H1N1.
Normal Me: Oh please. Everything is fine. They haven't flopped over on your watch yet.
Psycho Me: Doesn't matter ... this is different. Must go buy crates of hand sanitizer and masks and hire a hand washing tutor to keep on retainer. I have to pre-order chicken soup from the Amish before it's all gone.
Normal Me: Stop! You're making me nuts!

So here I was at work, on the phone with the doctor's office, scheduling flu shots and trying to sound exceedingly polite and normal.

Outside voice: "No appointments for 4 weeks? Really?"
Inside voice: DANGER, DANGER. Must bully office into scheduling before sun-up tomorrow.

Alas inside my head the monster was stomping away and Psycho Me was gaining marketshare- rapidly. The lady at the office actually told me to RELAX. Can you imagine? RELAX??? How?

Remember how I let one kid fall off the footstool and I nearly mashed the other one to smithereens when I careened down a flight of stairs? This was nothing compared to the pandemic flu and I am unprepared, completely unqualified and now is when everyone will find out what an incompetent parent I am when my children shrivel up like raisins.

Normal Me slowly returned after a small publicity campaign in my cerebellum and other necessary cranial regions. Normal Me reminded Psycho Me that before I brought A&P home from the hospital I almost bought a Hummer because I was afraid of everyone on the road and surely it would be better to just drive on the shoulder.

I never bought the Hummer. The appointment is in 4 weeks. I have 4 gallon size pumps of hand sanitizer. If you're coming for a visit, bring a mask for yourself and a sedative for me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Scouting Requirement #1: Brush your teeth!

Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Tents as far as the eyes can see and well over 1,000 Scouts. That's a whole lot of Scouts.

Some Moms went for a visit and to watch the parade of Scouts and bands and other parade type stuff. A&P were happy to see me but unwashed and slimy. Andrew was covered with Oreo crumbs.

Me: Dude, did you brush your teeth?
A: We don't have any sinks.
P: Ya. Didn't need to bring the toothbrush after all.
Me: Yack.
A: It's fine, I'll be home tomorrow.
Me: Seriously, double Yack.
A: Got any gum?

I tried to get him to take the whole pack, but he decided one piece was enough.

I flossed my teeth twice when I got home, just for good, familial, measure.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Karma Stick- WHACK!

Hmmm, who was a few days ago feeling so proud and puffed up like a thanksgiving turkey? Hmmm, what was that about? Was it homework?

So Twin A, the normally responsible child, dashed out the door without a form that had to be turned in today worth a whopping 25 points. Yowch. In orchestra, no less.

Off Dad dashed to stash it in the orchestra room before school starts so he doesn't end up with an F in music.

Worst part is, I bet A is croaking on the bus if he realizes he forgot the form.

Fixing this for him is probably wrong and yet another example of my slipshod parenting. (I only dropped this kid once. although I didn't really drop him or let him roll off the furniture. I slipped down a flight of stairs and managed to still hold on to the baby.)

(On my knees, now) Please make them responsible, please, please, please. (Insert dog like howling and frustration HERE).

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Earth is Spinning Backwards!

Glory Be! Count your chickens and pull up a chair, I do declare that the earth is spinning backwards! Yes, indeed, good folks, not only are we whipping around in a counter type fashion, but Mercury is in retrograde! The toilets are flushing the wrong way, dogs and cats are living together in perfect harmony and I'm pretty sure I heard that down yonder, it's raining from the ground to the sky. Yesindeedoodiddilydo!

In honor of these great geologic events, I present to you the REASON. The real, honest to goodness, cause of all of this jumbilification....

Two weeks of school and NO MISSING WORK.

My job is done. Until tomorrow morning.


Monday, September 7, 2009

My Life: With Twins

After suffering through my blogging hiatus, not knowing what to write about or how much was too much, I came back here and changed my tag line. It used to say "Comments on my life with twins." Well, duh, they were my comments because it was my blog.

Saying "My Life: With Twins" seemed a lot more specific. If my blog were about nearly nonexistent 18th century sailing diseases my tag line would say "My Life: with Scurvy." Unlike scurvy, I can't eat a half dozen lemons and sleep off my duplicity issues. Twins are a permanent condition.

A&P used to stay right where I put them. They might not have been happy about it, but they were too small to put up too much of a fuss. My first clue that I might have some issues in the parenting department should have been when I let Peter roll off the ottoman onto the floor. He might have only been about 8 pounds, but from then on, he knew he was smarter than me. Really, who lets a baby roll off the ottoman?

A&P are 12, nearly 13 as my mother so nicely pointed out today. A clear difference from when they were 8 or 10 weeks old is that no one seems to want to come help take care of them. No one is calling asking to help at bath time or feedings. No one is bringing us lasagna and making us go take naps. I could really use that lasagna and the nap and the people to come over and explain to my nearly 13 year olds why it's not OK to smack down a bully or get tattoos or listen to music about hookers or have a secret email account or get girls' phone numbers. Each day that passes, I am getting worse at this and considering that I started off dumping one of them on the floor, I didn't have much farther to sink.

Lastly, my love for them is questioned daily. When I am ready to do my own personal smack down, I often say "I am so glad you are here and I love you with the burning passion of a thousand suns." Last week one of them said "Really? A thousand? Why not a million- is that too much for you? And, if you are really the sun then you're burning us up and that must mean that you really want to kill us."

Seriously, who is bringing lasagna for dinner tomorrow night?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Get It- Now

High school graduation. I could never understand why parents were so psyched about their kids' graduation. People throw big parties and cry and carry on. I've been thinking all along- why? It's just High School. There's so much more- shouldn't you be packing the kid for college or a trip across Europe?

I totally get it now. There are so many days that I feel like a complete and utter failure. The boys can't even pick up their socks or make themselves something to eat. They'd sooner sit around sockless and starving than take care it themselves.

Lest you think it's all despair, there are other days where there's a glimpse of something good. Maybe something sunk in along the line. Flash forward to high school graduation- I totally understand the glee, the big giant cake and the wads of Kleenex. The party is not for the kid- it's for the parents who survived.

On this topic, I always thought 8th grade graduation was kind of dumb too. Especially since stopping at 8th grade won't do much for your long term prospects other than perhaps securing a place on the chicken gutting line at the rendering plant. But that's not what the ceremony is for- I totally see it now- it's for me to celebrate the fact that Junior High will be behind us forever.

I'm calling the bakery and reserving that cake.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Note to the Child whose Butt always gets saved

To You: and you know exactly who you are.

You are a twin and therefore benefit greatly from having a duplicate of yourself roaming the halls of the junior high.

As you are undoubtedly aware, last year, we saved your butt more times than we could count. You were the happy beneficiary of a homegrown class monitor (that other kid) who brought everything home that could be copied for you.

You know what? You're done. That other kid won't pay your electric bill and he won't help you get a job or learn Kirkegaard when I force you to go to schools on opposite coasts and maybe even different countries.

You are taking advantage of a familial situation that no one else has. You know what? You can't do that, so stop it. Someday, when you're not living in my basement, you'll thank me for making it tough on you now.

Besides, I think there are lots of spiders in the basement.

Love, Mom