Monday, May 11, 2009

Consolation for the Pity Party

Hoo, boy. I guess I went a little overboard in my preceding post about Mother's Day. Things could certainly be a lot worse . . . I just wish they would have a little consideration ONE DAY A YEAR. I truly have not raised them to be inconsiderate slobs.

But right after I finished that post, I remembered this and felt much better after I watched it, because it's so funny.

It's Mr. T honoring mothers in a thoroughly charming rap from way back in the '80's:

Random Mother's Day Musings

I've kind of run out of stupid things the Tyke says (which is quite unusual). So I have nothing to report there, although I'm sure he'll replenish the supply soon. Actually, that's not true; I do have one! Baseball season has gone into "full swing" as it were, and he is quite an accomplished and obsessed player. He's in a major league that has three ages and he is one of the "elders" this year so the coaches depend on him as a mentor. I'm not proud of the Tyke's smugness about his "elder" status. One of the newest, littlest kids on his team said this weekend, "I played center bench for four innings!" And the snarky Tyke shot back, "Oh, did you play LEFT OUT, too?" That was mean, and certainly does not belong in "a gentlemen's game."

In other news, I had one of my worst Mother's Days ever. Boo-hoo, I am having a little pity party! I myself do not have a mother anymore, so I could not fob off my disappointment on another generation. First off, the boys forgot until at least half way through the day (Tyke) and the big one demonstrated complete oblivion. In fact, the big one decided (without consulting anyone else in the household) that he was going to invite a bunch of boys over to have a band practice. This is a jazz kid. He majors in jazz piano and vocal at his arts academy. He decided to have a ROCK band practice. On my Mother's Day, which I had cleverly envisioned and deeply wished to be a day of specifically designated peace and quiet during which I would blissfully READ while receiving occasional hugs and whisperings of adoration from my offspring. Hah. Dream on.

On the other hand, my DH made me a lovely breakfast. Which is not his job because I am not his mother, but he did it anyway. That was the bright spot . . . it then went downhill . . . First of all, whoever decided that Mother's Day should be Summer Travel Baseball Tryout Day? DUH. Even the madrigal choir director figured out practice should be canceled.

So in troop the boys, who I must admit are a clean, courteous and personable (not to mention genuinely talented) lot. But LOUD. And since they were my guests I was obligated to provide snacks and beverages, which flies directly in the face of my Mother's Day credo: Do Not Lift A Finger for Anyone Else Today. This also one reason I hate previously unannounced invitees. I have no way of being prepared to be a courteous hostess. On a Sunday, I am likely to have few things left in Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, and they are certain not to go together. Such as, say, canned mushrooms and evaporated milk, or niblets corn, chicken broth and popsicles. You would think the popsicles would be okay, but not when one kid is madly drumming, another is pounding piano, and two others are banging away at guitar. The hands are heavily engaged.

Luckily I found a can of frozen lemonade and loads of popcorn.

This is one of my perennial gripes about 1) Mother's Day and 2) my birthday. They will not do anything to help. They will pile up dishes and mess and dirty laundry, etc. but not wash or clean up, because their theory (while misguided and disrespectful, not completely illogical) is that the "special" day only lasts ONE DAY and eventually, if they wait it out, it will not be Mother's Day or my birthday anymore, and then they will be off the hook and I will have to go back to doing it myself just as on regular days. BOO!!!

So the kitchen looks pretty much as though a bomb hit. The empty popcorn bowls and dutch oven full of little burnt kernels and water jug and lemonade pitcher are waiting for me right now, along with the breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. I am disenchanted and unmotivated and mad and not a little vengeful.

Then what happened? The Tyke and dad escaped all the noise of the band (baseball tryouts), and got back after 5:00. The elder kid SAID his band would only go two hours, but they stayed until 6:00. Then the elder kid suddenly (and I thought suspiciously) asked if he could go to the reservoir. We live in a wooded area where there's a series of reservoirs that are treated as parks and recreation areas. I couldn't really understand this so I told him not to go inside the reservoir, just take the walk up and back. I associate the reservoir with places where people get into trouble or go for walks with friends to scheme or tell secrets. On the other hand, families go there for running, picnics, dog walking. You don't hear about crimes there--but I just don't like it.

This was the Insane Clown Mom Posse coming out of me. I am completely traumatized by the reservoir unless we all go there as a family and are roped or chained together. It has been many years, but in 6th grade big kid "left for school," but actually ran away to the reservoir on a rainy day (scheduled to snow) without adequate outerwear. He stole stuff out of his father's mountaineering pack, including a large knife. He took a book about Daniel Boone, thinking it would tell him everything he needed to know about living in the rough. He took a large amount of cash he had saved from pet-sitting. (Idiot.) He had bought into a local urban legend that a "hermit" lived on the island in the reservoir and he was going to go live a while with the hermit and kill deer to survive. This was, not coincidentally perhaps, the year he was in the musical "Tom Sawyer."

Since then I have refused to let him go to the reservoir alone. He wasn't the frantic mom who had to call school and 911 announcing a missing child, invite a policeman into the house and give a photo and other descriptions, and sit and worry sick. Three hours later the policeman drove him back to the house, with little to say to him other than, "Did you know I'm a certified diver with [local water district]? Why do you think our town needs certified divers at the reservoir?" And kid thought for a split second and said, "Uh . . . because people might get killed or drown at the reservoir?"

And that was that. To his surprise, when he came to the door I was not weeping with gratitude. I was MAD. I wasted no time, gave him a sandwich and took him straight back to school. I said, "You might not have started out your day at school, but there's no reason you can't finish it there." His teaching team thought my "tough love" strategy was brilliant. He didn't try it again.

But that spectre of horror has never left me. So last night I got very upset after he was gone about half an hour, then went hysterical. The Insane Clown came out and begged DH to please, please, drive up and search. The very very minute the car was in front of the house, kid came home. Everyone thought I was absolutely crazy, kid came in, and all was well. Almost.

Finally people started noticing that I had not set foot near the kitchen, so DH asked what I wanted for dinner. (This never changes year to year--it is always Asian or Indian takeout.) I said I was not in the mood for Indian. I had conveniently set out a menu from our new Japanese place, but it went unnoticed. UNFORTUNATELY our favorite Chinese restaurant, which was right around the corner, got very bad over the past couple of years--so bad we could not tolerate it anymore and quit ordering. Recently it opened up with a new name and new management. We had never bothered to venture in, for obvious reasons. UNFORTUNATELY it was a fast, easy choice, so DH went there (without asking).

Worst "Chinese food" I have EVER eaten. One dish was a seafood thing. I always like shrimp, but this had scallops in it (which I cannot eat, an DH knows this!) and purported to have lobster. I tried the [one tiny piece of] lobster and it was like shoe leather. I found only two shrimp, but this is a family of four. All the rest was icky sauce and scallops. I think there was one pea pod. So I tried the "chicken." One "chicken" dish was upposed to be sesame. It was not. I looked on the receipt and there was an "orange chicken." DH said he did not order orange chicken--that he had ordered General Tso's and sesame. Anyway, whatever it was, it was all nasty. All the chicken sauces tasted like ketchup thinned down with water and rethickened with cornstarch. I could not find any chicken in the chicken. It was all deep-fried batter that was tough and actually unchewable. Hardly any vegetables to be found anywhere, except a few pieces of broccoli. Then there was the eggroll--like dry brown kraft paper. Looked old and perhaps pre-frozen. I had a couple of bites of rice (hard to screw up), and left the table, throwing away what was on my plate.

I really hate to waste food and I know that even though it was bad, it was not cheap. I'm sure I set a bad example for the boys by leaving the table after voicing my disgust, but, honestly, YUCK.

Now it's not Mother's Day anymore. Hark, the dishes await.

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