Category Archives: Parenting Fail

Thursday Morning

We’re running late this morning.
Of course, we just started running late, we’re always on time until one of the kids announce that they forgot they had to be at school early for archery, or Spanish club, or study group… or anything else that could throw our morning into a pile of screws.
“mom are the red bowls microwave safe?” I hear Grace call out. “Yes” I say and then wonder to myself if they really make bowls that are not microwave safe these days? What a waste that would be. “Good” she calls back, “all the other bowls are dirty”.
Whats the point in loading the dishwasher if you’re not going to run it? I lecture myself.
I hear the buttons on the microwave beep, 1 minute 30 seconds, it’s what is required for the perfect bowl of oatmeal, I silently wish I would have had oatmeal this morning.

The microwave begins to whir when Gabby says “Oh Mom, I do have archery this morning”
Grace and I look at each other and then look at the clock on the oven.

It’s 7:37. Grace has to be at school by 7:50 if Gabby is to be at archery by 8. No time to eat your oatmeal at the table like a good American family now.

I tell the girls to grab their jackets, school bags and Gabby’s lunch as I plop the hot oatmeal into a mug with a handle for Grace to eat on the way to school – whip open the silverware drawer just to give myself the second fat reminder in five minutes that I didn’t run the dishwasher, so her choices are a fork or a serving spoon. I select the serving spoon and run and start the Beemer so it can be warming while the kids continue to gather their belongings.

On the ride to school Grace calls her dad to tell him good morning using her sisters phone, texts her boyfriend back a “good morning” from her phone and takes a bite of her oatmeal at the same time. I smile, cause if there’s one thing I’ve taught her, it’s multitasking.

Gabby reminds me from the back seat that she needs an excuse letter to miss the Archery tournament tomorrow – so I lean over to the floor board to rip a sheet of notebook paper out of Grace’s spiral just as she gathers it up to jump out of the car and begin her school day. She’s fumbling the door open as I’m going down the list in usual morning routine .

“you do have money for lunch?” “yes mom
“and your school ID?” “around my neck
“and your phone?” “love you, bye mom

We come to the worlds longest stop light and I began to write Gabby’s cop out letter. After 16 years of parenting, I’m skilled at cop out letters, but this one is truthful, and unfortunately, something I have to write often.

“Gabby will not be able to attend the archery tournament on Friday…” I begin just as the light turns green. I throw the pen and paper into the seat next to me. I might juggle a lot but there is no way I’m going to try to write and drive. Being at a complete stop is one thing.

Between three long stop lights I finally manage to get the words out in blue ink:

Gabby will not be able to attend the archery tournament on Friday as she has visitation with her dad in Tulsa”

Gabby pops out of the car while I’m running down the usual morning list with her:

“got your lunch box” “yep
“and your backpack” “uh huh
“did you turn your cell phone off?” “bye mom, love you
“bye baby, be sweet.”

I slip into the driveway five minutes later and gather the wrappers and oatmeal cup from the car.

Step into the house and immediately begin to load the dishwasher with the dishes of the morning so I can finally run it. Oh God, please don’t let me forget to run it again. I’ve been beating myself up over it all morning. I wipe down the counters and the table and notice that the place mats are crusty. I use that word lightly. “sick” I say out loud while scraping what may have been a lucky charms marshmallow off with my fingernail.

I gather all the place mats and the throw-blankets from the living room for the washer, but when I go to put them in, I see that Gabby has left her laundry wet in the washing machine from last night. I want to be mad, but I left the dishes in the dishwasher, so I’m really not a good example.

As I am digging through the washer to separate what can be dried from what will shrink if I even exhale on it, I fish out her swim suit. It’s January. I’m not even going to ask.

The load isn’t full so I go into her bedroom to see if there is anything that needs washing, and on her bed lay 4 shirts. She did laundry last night, so these surely can’t be dirty – but I learned a long time ago that the sniff test is just self inflicted punishment, so I scoop them up too and throw them into the most jumbled load of laundry that ever was.

Rerun is whining at my feet, so I lean into the pantry and scoop out a cup of dog food for his bowl, with an equal sized cup of water to drink, he’s so excited I think his 10 pound body might knock me over. I pour the pebbles into his ceramic dish and think “that’s the last mouth I have to feed for 6 hours”

Feed. Yes. Thank God I remembered. I shuffle to the fridge to lay something out for dinner tonight.

I look through my appointment book, satisfied that there are no conference calls today, I locate my laptop and sit down on the couch, it’s finally time to write.

But first, I really need to run the dishwasher.

Linking up with Bees With Honey on Let’s Bee Friends Friday

and also with:


As Long As I’m Living….

I was flipping through photos we took last weekend when I ran across this one of Grace on my back. I quickly recalled that I had another photo like that just a year old so back, so I scurried through my facebook photos in hopes of finding it. I was right about having a similar picture. I was wrong about it being a year or so old. When my eyes fell on it, I realized with one breath how much has changed since the earlier photo was taken.

  • 30 total pounds between the two of us
  • just over a foot in height (all her)
  • 5 school years
  • two different homes
  • two different cities
  • two different marriages
  • nearly 5 birthdays
  • 3 boyfriends (her, plead the 5th on mine)

Only a couple of things stayed the same.

  • I still love the color turquoise
  • She’s still my baby

Linking up with BitsofBee today
in what might be my favorite link up!
Grab your favorite quote, say something
about it and link up!

PS. Gabby, never fear, the next one is about you 🙂

The Mid-Parenting Crisis

I’m brainstorming here. I’d like this to be well thought out resonating post of parenting rationalization but the truth is that I’m sitting at my desk shocked by interactions that have taken place between myself and my teenage daughter in the past week, things that have come out of nowhere.

I know that over the past year I’ve come to a sort of mid-life-crisis in parenting similar to that of the 40 year old man that is mid-life minus the new Porsche and Viagra. My daughter is turning 16 in a few weeks and with two years left before the world sees her as an adult (which is WTF for another time, because really calling them adults at 18 makes my brain asplode). But in the past year while dealing with the thought of her spreading her wings I’ve realized that there was so much left to teach her, and so many things I did wrong over parenting that I wish I could delete. While she turned out miraculously amazing, especially for being raised by a teenage mom, I effed up on my part in more ways than I can count. There just isn’t enough time to correct those errors, not enough time to teach her to cook and mow the lawn and fix the car and change air filters and apply for jobs and interview and … and I’m in a panic. It’s almost over and I didn’t do these things. So I’m scurrying to correct, show, train – all the while she’s in a mid-teen-crisis of realizing that she’s nearly 16 and old enough to make her own decisions. She’s ready to have her own ideas and do what she wants to do, she knows everything, I’m stupid.  Suddenly she feels as big as a bear, inferior, and full of teenage sarcasm and attitude. The way she has spoken to me in the past week has caused me to show great restrain because if she were an adult, I might just lay her on her ass.

But she’s my kid. My baby. The one that I have done everything that I can for, for almost 16 years, the one that I cried for,prayed for and worked for.

I have to remind myself of this because when I look at her with that teenage rage, I can’t seem to find my baby anywhere in her face.

With this great combination of my mid-parenting crisis and her new found mid-teenage-crisis spinning in to a whirlwind of chaos and arguments and tears and disappointment our life has been turmoil the past year but man, it’s been sheer hell for the past week.

A whole week. A week out of being under the same roof, as mommy and daughter that we will never get back, because the days aren’t stopping.

And I can’t figure out where her anger is coming from, the same that I can’t find the “soft side” of me that I’ve always had in parenting that would put an end to all of this, pull her into my lap and fix this, like I used to be able to.

For the first time in all of my parenting, I don’t like being a mom right now. It’s harder than I thought, but at the very same time, I love being a mom and I wish it weren’t almost over.

I’m a complete and total mess.

And in 4 more years, I’ll have another 16 year old. Someone hold me.

My Dearest Santa,

Dearest Santa,

I haven’t been so good this year. I know I promised to be better in 2011, but I lost track somewhere along the way.
I fussed about housework, even though I promised I would be thankful for the opportunity to clean up after those I love.
I grumbled when Gabby wanted me to watch movies with her, even though I swore I’d take in every parenting moment I could.
I griped when Grace borrowed my shoes (and jewelry and purses and hair accessories and…) even when I remembered that that would come to an end in a few short years when she’s an adult.
I was short when my husband asked for a kiss after I had already rolled over. I know it doesn’t take much to roll back over and give him a kiss, but it was the principle that I’d been facing him all freaking evening and when I finally rolled over to sleep THEN he wanted a kiss. I was tired you know, from the house work, and the bitching about all of the other things.
I know.
I’m pretty lucky that someone like him wants to kiss me.

I could have given more at church, I could have volunteered more time, I could definitely have cussed less when in traffic with a bunch of damn idiots. There I go again. You know me, always making promises I can’t keep.
I make mountains out of molehills and I fight to be right, not to solve problems. I get by doing as little as I can and if I do much more than that, I make sure that people take notice.
Somehow I’m loved, but in retrospect, I wasn’t much of a blessing in 2011.

So I don’t want any presents.

But the girls and Bald Lover have been anything but naughty. Oh sure, there’s attitude and stuff, but they all get that from me. So along with their presents, could you help the day go beautifully. Make the Ham edible, help me to bite my tounge, Prevent me from arguing with a teenager until they cry, just for this one day.
Let the “economically friendly”presents brighten their eyes, and let their dad call them and not get into a fight.
Just this one Christmas.
And next year, I promise, I’ll be so super awesome. I really will.

P.S. Don’t eat the cookie on the right, it has been on the floor.
P.S.S : We’re also making you Peanut Butter Pie



I freaking love lovelinks!

Sub-Par at my Best – it’s Sorta Fall Anyway.

I’m not a homemaker. Only I am a homemaker. Only not. I don’t cook, I hate holidays and I spend the majority of the day working from home instead of working ON the home. But it’s Fall break and I made a promise to myself that I’d spend more time with the kids starting now. This grand idea might have come after some sappy song about second chances defining you played on the radio, or from the guilt of the night last week where I was working clear until bedtime, or the subtle reminders of all my health ailments and how precious life really is and I shouldn’t take it for granted but regardless, I needed to spend time with my long-haired offspring.

Hi, I’m Brandy and I. HATE. HALLOWEEN. Which is the very reason that my divorce papers with my baby-daddy states that he gets them EVERY Halloween and I get them every Fourth of July. This year, Halloween is in the middle of the week (didn’t think about these consequences when I moved 100+ miles from the ex) so I get the kids this Halloween meaning I in the eyes of said little tax-deductions, I should do ALL of the Halloween tasks. I did tell you I’m not particularly fond of this holiday?

Anyway, decorations.

So we went to get Pumpkins.

Now I’m not even an over-achiever at being sub-par. I’m mediocre at best. So while all the internet takes their kids in their posh matching outfits to the pumpkin patch and feeds animals and has hay rides and leaves with just-the-perfect-pumpkin-ever– we went to WALMART. I never go to Walmart. Like, not even for last minute razors on the way out of town. I hate the place and avoid it at all costs. So don’t ask me why I whipped the car into the parking lot today, I was right in the middle of a holiday-that-I-hate freak out.

While we’re there choosing just which Walmart pumpkin we’d like the best, Grace was talking about how she would love to make pumpkin pie, you know, to go with our pumpkin theme. That might have scared me into a heart arrythmia and the next thing I know I jerked the cart down the frozen food section begging for Mrs. Smith to rescue me with her wholesome frozen Pumpkin Pie, ready in under 30 minutes or eat the crap cold – it was perfect to me if only “okay” with the girls.

Being that this was the first pumpkin carving I’d ever taken part in, I allowed the girls to school me on how to clean a pumpkin’s stringy nasty guts out while the smell of a frozen pumpkin pie baked in the background.

It’s freaking nasty. Gabby continued to run and wash her hands every few scrapes while we both made small gagging noises.

Eventually Grace got the amazingly bright idea that we should roast pumpkin seeds like her never-to-be-stepmom and dad do with her. Though I can make a mean hamburger helper, I’m no cook – but I wasn’t about to be one-upped by the “other house” (it’s cool, we all get along) so I quickly googled directions for roasting pumpkin seeds and settled for the first search result on google. They turned out nicely even though I was out of 2 of the 4 ingredients..

The girls continued to carve their pumpkins as I sat close by reading my twitter feed supervised like a responsible parent and spent time with them.

They ate their made-from-the-heart frozen pie and CONTINUED to carve the pumpkins. I imagine this special task doesn’t typically take the  ENTIRE day, but the genius mother in this family knowing nothing about pumpkin carving only bought one pumpkin carving tool to share between the two kids. I’m a genius, I tell ya.

When it was all said and done a frozen pie satisfied them nearly as good as a homemade one, a Walmart pumpkin carved similar to a prestigious pumpkin patch pumpkin and the pumpkin seeds were (and I quote) “better than” the other ones they’d had.

I’m sub-par but it’s sorta Fall around here afterall.

This weekend we buy Halloween Costumes. Oh God.