Archive for December, 2010

1. Please select from the list below the description that best fits your domestic situation:

a.  Having as much fun as chicken have teeth.
b. Bobbing for apples and having a party!
c. Pressing into each other come what may.

2. Marital Status:

a. It’s complicated.
b. Newlywed!
c. Married.

3. Number of children in your home:

a. 6
b. 2 perfect angels!
c. >2<6

4. Age:

a. Mind your own damn business.
b. 26!
c. I’ve discovered that my real measurements have nothing to do with numbers or statistics.

5. Weight:

a. I know where you live. I know where your children go to school.
b. 104 pounds!
c. I’ve discovered that my real measurements have nothing to do with numbers or statistics.

6. Household income:

a. Don’t make me slap you.
b. Over $100K
c. We have enough, and know how to be creative and careful.

7. How many times per month do you do something fun and just for yourself?

a. 0 (And the answer would be the same if you had asked me times per YEAR.)
b. 4
c. At least 1, and sometimes 2.

8. Which best describes your nutrition plan?

a. Cheetoes and Shiraz
b. Vegan
c. I don’t know, but it’s gotta be quick, easy and yummy.

9. Which best describes your exercise program?

a. Couch, coffee and Camels.
b. 3 Spin classes a week, 3 weight resistance sessions with personal trainer, and run inbetween 12-20 miles per week.
c. Move more than I eat.

10. Which life issue concerns you most?

a. Crippling Credit Card debt.
b. Spiritual/Personal Wellness
c. Balance

11. When is the last time you went to the bathroom alone?

a. 1995
b. Yesterday
c. I can’t remember.

12. Of what are you most afraid?

a. The children will never move out.
b. Stretch marks.
c. Not having enough resources to serve my children equally well.

13. About what are you passionate?

a. Control
b. My husband!
c. Sleep

14. Do you participate in any groups or clubs that do not involve your children?

a. I don’t participate in any groups or clubs period.
b. Of course!
c. I can’t remember.

15. How would you describe your present emotional state?

a. Like sand under a contact lens.
b. Majestic.
c. Uneven with periods of partial forgetfulness.

If you answered mostly As:

You are in need of some serious attitude rehydration. Clearly, anger has seeped into your green tea and your choking on the bitter dregs. Consider a spa day to rejuvinate the Spririt, mind and body. Nourish the relationships in your life with Light, Love and attention before your attitude makes you lose them. Count your blessings. Rehearse solutionas, not problems, and get your arse off your shoulders.

If you answered mostly Bs:

You either never burp, fart or swear, or you are in denial deeper than the Nile, baby. No one is that perfect. Get over yourself.

If you answered mostly Cs:

You are a Mamma warrior who chooses to rise and lift her voice in Hallelujah. You go, sister!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

As detailed in Landslide Preparedness and Prevention for Oceanside Residents, “In Southern California, heavy rain events have the potential to cause devastating landslides. The City of Oceanside has initiated an education program called Landslide Preparedness and Prevention for Oceanside residents.”  As property owners are responsible to protect the stability of their residences and businesses, The City of Oceanside has launched a prevention program to urge the local residents to learn how to safeguard their real estate.  These resources include links to documents, fact sheets, practical advice and resource agencies that may assist their efforts.

I am plenty jealous.  I  would love a list of links, docutments, fact sheets, practical advice and resource agencies that might assist my efforts to protect my family during this stressed out season of festive angst.  My family does not reside in Southern California, but I am The Mamma who is charged with the protection and stability of my family.  The Emergency Broadcast System has posted our home under a Familyslide Watch.  A Watch means that conditions are likely to produce an actual Familyslide.  Familyslides, and I don’t mean like those fun and wild perks found at Great Wolf Lodge, are a threat to family serenity and holiday communion.  We are in a season of heavy stress that has the potential to cause familyslides as devastating to relationships as landslides are to homes.  As such, we join other similarly situated Mammas to monitor in case any of the following indicators occur over the upcoming holiday season:

1.)  Changing familyscaping patterns such as not serving alcohol at the obligatory family meal where the resident sister alcoholic always gets trashed and makes off color remarks (especially the comments where her verbal runoff covers you or your children in jealous sewage), event juggling (make triage list of obligatory functions and stick to it exclusively), small slides, flows, or progressively leaning dynamics (cover as many lapses in judgement- your own and your children with Grace as you can.  ‘Tis not the season to micromanage, ’tis the season to survive).

2.)  Avoid all outside relational contact that stuck or jammed for the first time.  Choose to be with people who make you laugh, agree Ben & Jerry pint size containers of Cherry Garcia ice cream really are single servings, and concur that Chinese take-out is a festive Christmas Eve dinner tradition.

3.)  Beware any new cracks in the plaster, tile, brick, or foundations of your self-control.  If you are like me, you’re wound a little tight around the bobbin these days.  I like to think of it as attitude caulk.  Like today, at my son’s fencing tournament, when the crowd literally gasped at the bad calls of the ref that cost my son the match not one, but two times.  I remembered, hey, not only am I in public, but I am well boiled dry in terms of personal resources.  I only strangled him and got a black card in the dark recesses of my mind.  I metaphorically caulked my mouth shut.  It’s amazing how I can fill the cracks in my emotional plaster and give my psychic tile a face lift by simply shutting up.  If ever there were a time to know that my perceptions might be off, the sprint to Christmas after an exhausting Thanksgiving road trip is the time.

4.)  If your outside walls, walkways, or stairs begin to pull away from the family building, in other words, if you are having that run-away from home fantasy again, be of good cheer.  Such projection means you actually haven’t lost your mind.  And though you don’t get to dye your hair black, hitch hike cross country and join a motorcycle club to enjoy all that boot and leather goodness, neither are you broken, damaged or impaired.  It’s simply as normal as the tree lights all not working, or the tree falling down, or the kids sneaking the bag of red and green M&Ms up to their rooms.  Stay put, and next time you’re at Food Lion, they have a buy one get one free going on holiday M&Ms right now!

5.)  If you’re slowly developing widening cracks appearing on the ground or pavement of your attitude, it’s time to take a break.  That you just read this and spit all over the screen in disbelief is a tell tale sign you need one.  Cancel one event.  No one likes the cookies that come home in an exchange any way.  Stop.  Put on a movie and hug your kids.  Take off your bra.  Stay in.  Reduce let’s you recycle Christmas spirit and patience.

6.)  If stress is breaking underground communication lines, re. you’re snapping at your children, and blaming your husband and flushing your perspective, it’s time to re-evaluate priorities.  In fact, it’s the perfect time for actually getting that gingerbread kit out of the box and making banshee with icing in the kitchen with the kids.  Smack peppermints, nibble gumdrops and see the sweet delight of their frosting mustaches.

Were you to disregard these preparedness prevention guidelines, in the midst of a familyslide, you may notice;

Water may break through ground surfaces in unusual forms… tears on your kids cheeks, moisture in The Husband’s eyes, potty puddle from puppy.

Relational fences and retaining walls may expand and shut your heart away from the people you most love.

Faint rumbling sounds of regret may increase in volume in the foundation of your soul.

The ground may slope downward and may begin shifting in directions under your feet causing you to trip on your own tongue, strangle in the trap of your own schedule and throw you to the ground.

Unusual sounds, such as hope cracking or brittle boulders knocking together in your heart like castanets, may indicate Spiritual debris.

Collapsed esteem, mud slinging, fallen regard for consequences, and other indications of possible deterioration may be seen when taking a big breath and/or when you pause to laugh at yourself. (Embankments along high expectation sides are particularly susceptible to familyslides.)

I confess I am in a dervish of a maternalslide.  I am bringing in the sandbags in my attempt to keep the splash off my kids and their holidays.  I’ve had a stress headache every day for over three weeks.  I feel like I have a helmet of fog over my forehead and that everything is just a little bit blurry, though I am drug-free except for caffeine.  My memory is more shot than a deer on hood.  I’ve stopped eating gluten, have abstained from drinking alcohol of any kind, and have increased the intake of my fresh fruit and vegetables.  I exercise six times a week and floss daily.  I am doing everything I can do in my own strength.

Still, however, I am a millimeter away from familyslide.

As such, I realize neither my sense of humor, nor a gingerbread house is enough to shift my house upon a rock.

It is time again to recognize that I omitted the one event I can’t cancel without consequence of my peace.

It is time to pray.

Rejoice, Immanuel.

Prince of Peace!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!


In response to the legal action initiated by The Boy, The Middle Girl, and Baby Girl in Stepford SUV Bubble Explosion, The Mamma files a counterclaim:

SUPERIOR COURT LAWFUL AUTHORITY

1      THE MAMMA                              )  Matter no.  1-4-1000-18
2      0 Good Can Come From This Lane         )
3      Optimum, Hope  14411                   )
4      Republic of Maternal Entropy           )
5      Authority.representation/proper        )
6                                             )
7                                             )
8                                             )
9                                             )
10                                            )
11  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF THE HOUSE
12                                            )
13           THE MAMMA                        )
14                                            )
15              Vs.                           )
16                                            )
17                                            )
18  THE BOY, THE MIDDLE GIRL, BABY GIRL       )
19                                            )
20   Defendents                               )                        -
21                                            )
22           THE MAMMA
23                                            )
24       Counter Plaintiff                    )
25                                            )
26            Vs.                             )
27                                            )
28  SUPERIOR COURT OF PATERNAL ENTROPY        )
29  SUPERIOR COURT OF DOMESTIC RELATIONS      )          COUNTER CLAIM
30  COUNTY OF FAMILY HARMONY, AL, The Boy,    )             Exhibits;
31  The Middle Girl, and Baby Girl,           )

COUNTERCLAIM

SUMMARY

I, THE MAMMA, one of the people of Optimum, in this court of record claim that the SUPERIOR COURT OF PATERNAL ENTROPY, THE SUPERIOR COURT OF DOMESTIC RELATIONS, THE COUNTY OF FAMILY HARMONY, AL, The Boy, The Middle Girl, and Baby Girl have trespassed upon me, the above named being party to my being falsely accused, slandering my name, and having no jurisdiction over me to impugn my community standing and good reputation as a Mamma defender who wants to rise up and sing Hallelujah.  I am overstressed and under resourced in the running of our home, and my claim shall be held to a lesser standard than that of an attorney who is not hope-deprived.  I claim damages of h100,000 (one hundred thousand hugs) from each flesh and blood party and p1,000,000 (one million pardons) from each corporation, for my injury as outlined in my counterclaim:

That I did NOT knowingly or unknowingly cause emotional hardship to The Boy.  At no time was he held hostage or denied the basic needs of food, water, exercise and sleep while in my care.  That I am most certainly not responsible for the worst afternoon of his entire life or its subsequent features.

Likewise, that I did NOT violate The Middle Girl’s Third grade liberties or fail to implement safety improvements following the last family road trip.  The Middle Girl clearly seeks to malign my name in a desperate effort to avoid long division.

Futhermore, that I did NOT injure the pride of Baby Girl.  Medical documentation proves she did NOT sustain retinal damage and could have complied with AR reading quiz review requirements pursuant to family expectation.  I ipso facto can NOT be held liable for public humiliation experienced by my child when a parental loci was in charge of her lunch.

Finally, THE SUPERIOR COURT OF DOMESTIC RELATIONS, THE COUNTY OF FAMILY HARMONY, AL impeached me with faulty testimony of overtired minors who actually love THE MAMMA and are unable to function, deliver homework, complete laundry, or maintain public health in the home without me.  Any judicial record that indicates otherwise clearly colludes with immature parties who cannot do better until they know better, until they are sovereigns without subjects and independent unto themselves.

The damages can be satisfied pre-trail as a settlement wherein a heartfelt family meeting is held and Grace is served like high tea.  Expedited trail dates are available were the parties agreed to have Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Lattes and raspberry scones available forthwith.

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

A recent rash of semi-hysterical emails that Cc’d all the parents of The Middle Girl’s third grade class prompted my rehearsal of some common sense email etiquette tips for parents.

The trigger email of the series was penned by a well meaning, but emotional Mommy that wanted to understand why her son had become ill three times since October, and thought it might make grand sense if the other parents took their kiddos in for testing whether or not they were symptomatic.  The word “carrier” was used.  Naturally, this prompted enthusiastic responses from both sides of the sick bed.  Parents did not want their own child singled out because they had been ill, while others did not want their child to undergo unnecessary medical procedures.  Each exchange of the series was replied to all.

In all seriousness, before I begin my spoof of the day, Email Etiquette Rules for Outraged Parents, may I sincerely assert that time and research has proved two universal truths about email.  First, it is better to never, ever send an email to any one for any reason when angry.  A cool off period always aids reflection, and flame emails sent cannot be taken back.  There is NO DELETE KEY once that puppy has taken up residence in another account’s doghouse… and then you’re the one in the kennel.  Secondly, it is rarely helpful,  or even advisable to REPLY ALL.  In the vast majority of email communications, your response may be sufficiently rendered directly to the original or most recent sender.  Finally, nothing can understate the fact that EMAIL IS NOT PRIVATE!  Once you send an email, it can be forwarded and/or printed to any party without your knowledge, and certainly without your permission.

That is what happened in this case among The Middle Girl’s class parent community.  Nothing makes genuinely sane and loving people more situationally crazy than the righteous defense of their kids.  You mix the unconditional love of a Mamma Bear protecting her cub with partial information emotionally communicated to twenty other equally fallible parents similarly devoted to the own kids in the same classroom community, and it’s like Kryptonite.  Even Super Man gets the vapors in such a scene.  As a result, good people got mad and hurt.  Reputations were dented and egos were bruised.  It was messy, sad and avoidable.  REPLY ALL is a quick way to SUPER SIZE woe.

So again, I am going to kid soon.  What will follow in Email Etiquette Rules for Outraged Parents is PARODY.  I am sincere, however, when I testify email can be a communication tool that can bite back bigger bitter than a rabid badger.   You know that old woodworker adage, “Measure twice, cut once?”  I think email’s version is “Read twice, send once, and if angry, don’t send at all.”

On a lighter note, time to infuse some levity into this whole scene, so, as promised:

Email Etiquette Rules for Outraged Parents

1. Don’t send anything you don’t want Xeroxed 1000 times and stuck under every windshield of your child’s school parking lot.  (Faculty AND student.)

2. Avoid using REPLY ALL option.  Think about it, do you really want to scream in stereo?  Every email sent to school stakeholders adds or detracts from your family brand at that school.  You don’t want IRREGULAR as your family label!

3. Less is always more when you are angry.  Use as few words as possible.  Avoid profanity.  Profanity never translates in email and you can’t help your kids if you come across like a drunk that tossed too many at your first cousin’s open bar karaoke night .

4. Speaking of imbibing… don’t drink and email.  No good can come of it.  1-95 has signs warning against Intextication on billboards.  You cannot offer good tips to your kid’s school when tipsy.

5. Write in a clear and non-threatening manner.  You can’t help your kid if you’re in the local lockup or subject to a restraining order.  State your point briefly, clearly and as positively as possible.  See Rule #3.  Less is Always More.

6. Remember that emails may be forwarded without your knowledge or consent.  This is a literal as well as a figurative transfer.  Write email in such a way that the reader will not forward his response all over the head, psyche, grade or freedom of your kid.  If there is any possibility that what you wrote in your email can do more harm to your kid, don’t, for the love of .com, send it!

7. Don’t forward hoaxes.  If you don’t know or cannot prove the assertions of your text, do not transmit them to a stakeholder in your child’s school community.  It just makes you look a little hysterical and a lot ignorant.  Email is not talk radio, people, it’s not anonymously phoning in and getting it all off your chest time, it’s on the record and it has teeth that can bite back.

8. DON”T SHOUT.  In email, writing in all caps is considered shouting.  If you feel the need to hit the all caps key as you compose an email, this is like a Star Trek moment on the bridge, RED ALERT!  This is an email you probably should not send at all, and certainly not without a 12-24 hour cooling off period.

9. By all means, PHONE A FRIEND.  Get a tone check from a spouse or trusted friend.  Make it an accountability partnership.  Promise each other that you are going to act as one another’s SPAM filters.  Make a commitment to each other that you will honestly tell each other if your email makes you sound like a flaming ass.  That’s what friends do!  We tell each other when we’ve got lipstick on our teeth.  No one wants to look like an ass or have red delicious canines.

10. Cool off, cool down and walk away.  Flame emails usually hurt people.  Set a time limit you will honor for all emotional emails, 12 hours-one week.  Abraham Lincoln did this with letters.  He put letters aside in his desk drawer and rarely sent letters that communicated anger or criticism.  His legendary honesty was balanced by judgment.  Remember that it is difficult for people to be on your kid’s side if they are pissed at you as a parent.

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

This article is about a family culture accident in 2010.  For information regarding why we ever chose to procreate, see Younger and Even More Stupid than 1 Day, 4 Kids, 1000 Miles and 18 Hours.

Explosions

On November 30, 2010, the day after a family’s freakish road trip home from a sister’s wedding in Boca Grande, an emotive fire and series of psychic explosions occurred among the four children, who had been held hostage in their family vehicle for 18 straight hours without once uttering a plea for food, water, rest, or help from passing motorists or employees at area gas stations on the family’s route.

The explosions occurred within a family unit, area schools and a family home and resulted in the discomfort and anxiety of innocent bystanders, who knew the family before the incidents.  According to a report issued after the accidents, actions taken or not taken led to overstraining of childish impulses through suspended animation, traveling backward in time and the subsequent overpressurisation and pressure relief. Adolescent and pre-adolescent flow to the bottleneck of traffic overwhelmed the children, resulting in excess fatigue and resentment to carry over out of the top of their self-control, flowing onto the backs of those with whom they share relationship, accumulating squarely on the shoulders of The Mamma, causing a maternal cloud, which was ignited by The Husband’s frequent travel as the entire family machine kept running without a brain. The report identified numerous failings in judgment, risk management, family management, Stepford culture within the SUV, rest breaks, nutrition, and general health and sleep.

Aftermath & Legal action

The string of relational blasts began when The Boy entered in the SUV in the driver pick up line after school on Monday afternoon at approximately 3:24 p.m., throwing anger at The Mamma and injuring the ear space of more than 6 other children present.  The Mamma was charged with criminal violations of kidnapping and child endangerment laws and has been subject to lawsuits from The Boy’s teachers. The Boy then slapped The Mamma with an emotional hardship claim, asserting that she was most certainly responsible for the worst afternoon of his entire life.  Attempts at mediation proved unsuccessful as The Boy was too traumatized to talk about it.

The second explosion occurred Tuesday night with a then-record crying jag of The Middle Girl for hundreds of Third Grade violations, and subsequently imposing so much make-up homework that she had missed during the family trip that she was emotionally scarred.  The Middle Girl asserted both an independent suit against The Mamma claiming that she had failed to implement safety improvements following the last family road trip, and joined a class action suit with The Boy to insure that she would never, ever have to travel with The Mamma again.

The third explosion hit Wednesday morning as the fractured family commuted to school.  Baby Girl spontaneously erupted in response to her AR reading book and refused to review for her quiz.  She claimed that she had read so much while trapped in the car on I 95 that she sustained retinal damage.  She took her injured pride with her into the building where she proceeded to throw pencil hand grips under the table during Morning Work time and touching another child’s snack.  Baby Girl was isolated during lunch and had to eat with her back to the rest of the class.  Baby Girl has also filed a lawsuit against The Mamma claiming emotional damage that led to public humiliation with mixed emotional fitures.

At last estimate, The Mamma is being sued for the second-largest class action suit again one parent since May 28, 1988.  Were the Mamma to be found liable in all of these cases, she would have to pay upwards of $38 million in fines and damages.

The Mamma Resigns

The Mamma attempted to retire early amid the various problems plaguing her family since the 1 Day, 4 Kids, 1000 Miles & 18 Hour mind-numbing cruise.  A confidential source close to The Husband disclosed that her plea to resign was rejected.  The Mamma was remanded to her home to honor and serve her family as matriarch for the rest of her life.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!