Girl Power

Sigh.  Finished my first Daisy Scout meeting today.  I only had 5 girls, but it was still pandemonium.  Lesson #1 of the Day:  5/6 year old girls are just as nuts as 1st grade boys playing baseball.  As usual, the scene I pictured in my head didn’t match up at all with what actually transpired.

The scenario in my head:

Five nice, quiet girls sit down, eat a quiet snack, do a quiet craft (neatly), and then sit in a circle to learn all about Girl Scout traditions.  Do the friendship circle to close and disperse.  (God, typing that I do realize what a total moron I am.  I mean, I do have one of these creatures don’t I?)

Actual scenario:

Girls running throughout our meeting place (the school cafeteria), constantly having to go to the bathroom, only to be found playing with water and paper towels.  Throwing a beach ball at each other, even when said ball never did get used for its original name game ice breaker purpose.  Diving right into the craft upon entry to learn Lesson #2 of the Day:  Glitter glue NEVER dries, but will get on EVERYTHING.  Which leads into Lesson #3 of the Day:  Bring paper towels to arts and crafts times.  Which leads to Lesson #4 of the Day:  YOU SUCK AT ARTS AND CRAFTS JENNIFER.  WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!  You bought a hole puncher that was too small.  You brought glitter glue for 5 year old girls to use.  You didn’t buy enough rainbow yarn for the necklaces and for the love, seriously girl, glitter glue?!

Then we dive into snack.  Everyone chugs juice boxes like they are going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.  Cheez-Its are ravaged.  (OK, I’m being dramatic, they just ate the crackers and juice quickly, but it was NOT IN THE ORDER I HAD PLANNED.)

Then, what the hell, there are 20 minutes left, let’s just go to the playground and run around.

I did manage to cram 10 minutes of actual Girl Scouting into the last tiny bit of our meeting.  We did the friendship squeeze, learned the Girl Scout Pledge (crap, Promise, I will get this vocab down soon I swear) and got our hands to do the motto thingee (again failing at the vocab.)  They all seemed to like the squeeze thing, so it gave me hope that with a little control and organization, they may just like this whole thing.

Apparently, the guide books that told you to establish rules at the onset were on to something.  It’s like I’ve never met a kid before.  Yeesh.

Overall, the parents were nice, grateful that I took the helm and seemed ok with the fact that this first meeting was not the finely tuned, efficient machine I had envisioned in my head.  Thank God.

Thank God also for Pinterest (which just made me panic at my inadequacies and lack of planning, but which I think will prove helpful for the future), a great program and support system by our local Council and most importantly, for the mom who promised to be my second in command and who also seemed genuinely excited to help come up with arts and crafts after I professed how bad I suck at them. GOD BLESS YOU MY NEW BEST FRIEND!

SIDEBAR:  Are we noticing a trend in my volunteering?  Girl Scout Troop Leader who sucks at arts and crafts.  Boys baseball coach who can’t catch or throw a baseball.  Why can’t I stick to volunteering at what I’m good at?  Is there even a school age club for dirty books and napping?

Guess I have to stick to things outside my comfort zone, which is why I continue to make these seemingly awful decisions.  Cause let’s face it, if I don’t, I will end up the hermit cat lady who is dead for a month before anyone notices she’s gone. I will constantly strive to break out of my introvert shell to avoid this grime fate.

So to sum up, glitter glue + insane expectations = a humorous tale to make you feel better about your own lives.

Hope you enjoyed!

This is what an idiot looks like.  And yes, I do have glitter glue on the butt of this new shirt.

This is what an idiot looks like. And yes, I do have glitter glue on the butt of this new shirt.

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League of My Own

Seriously, that title was way too easy.

So, my new title is Coach.  Ever meet an introverted coach?  No?  Me either.

Well I am redefining the role I guess.  Like an idiot.  Which is how I introduce myself lately, “Hi, I’m Coach Jen…cause I’m an idiot.”

Short story short, my son’s 1st grade baseball team didn’t have a coach, so the Rec sent an email to all parents asking for volunteers.  Me, having the patience of a gnat, thought about it for 5 whole minutes (with no outside counsel) and emailed back that I could do it if NO ONE else volunteered.  Well apparently, no one did.  So, I took the job.  Like an idiot.

I figure how hard can this be?  Baseball’s not a hard sport right?  You throw the ball, hit it with a bat, catch it with a mitt and repeat until everyone is begging to go home.  BUT…did you know that there are different sizes of bats?  And batting helmets?  And kids for some reason don’t catch the ball, or hit it, or throw it naturally in 1st grade?  Did you know there is a batting stance?  A way to catch a ball?  A way to throw it?  Seriously.  There is.  All of these things I have not a clue how to do.

These poor kids.  Remember the line in Clueless where the girl says her doctor said balls can’t go near her face?  Well that’s the thought I have while teaching baseball to first graders.  LINES FROM CLUELESS.  There goes my social life.  (hee hee see what I did there?  It’s a line from the movie.)

I cannot catch a ball.  Every time I catch a ball, I get an ear to ear grin, stop, point to the ball in my mitt, and exclaim, “Hey!  I caught it!” in wonder and awe.  This is not great when playing catch with a 1st grader, who isn’t really that impressed that his COACH can catch a ball.  And they tend to get slightly annoyed when they throw the ball back to you and you miss it, oh say, 5 out of every 6 times it’s thrown to you.  So you have to go chase the ball down, just to have them throw it again.  Basically, catch with me is like playing catch with a dog.  You throw it; I run after it and come back all panty and drippy, and only look confused when you throw it right back to me to do the whole process over again.   At least I don’t bring the ball back all slobbery.

We’ve had two practices.  The first one was chaotic, but not as bad as I thought.  The parents are nice and very helpful, and none seem to be the ‘roided out, living through their kids type either.

Another big plus is my husband is in his element.  He’s kind of taken the lead on this coaching thing, while I take the paper pushing aspect of the job.  I am the organizer, he is the coach.  Problem is he can’t make every other practice and will miss all weekday games because of work, so at some point, I will have to step up and be an actual coach.  These are the days I might fail to live up to my promise to my son “not to embarrass him.”  Not that this bothers me all that much really.   A little embarrassment makes a kid stronger right?  And in 10 years, he’ll look back not in embarrassment, but with pride that his mom cared that much to step waaaaaay out of her comfort zone to make something happen for her kid.  OK maybe not 10 years, but maybe 20?  25?

Well, I do care enough.  I want him to know I will support him even if it scares the hell out of me.  And I need to get out of my comfort zone every now and again.  If I don’t push myself, I will end up alone with a houseful of cats like all hermit-like introverts.  And while that does sound slightly appealing at this moment in my life, I don’t want the police to find my half-eaten body six months after I’ve died because no one else cares to look for me.  So basically, 1st grade baseball coach = not being eaten by my own cats.  Don’t say I don’t have goals people.

Just a fair warning.  You will probably hear A LOT of baseball stories until about mid-July.  Bear with me.  This is kind of a big deal for me.

Coach Jen OUT.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the hat!

Thanks Mom and Dad for the hat!

Confessions of a Parent, Part Deux

First confession:

This was merely a close call, not an actual mistake – so don’t freak out when you read this.  Did you know that Flexeril and Focalin pills look very similar? Flexeril is an awesome muscle relaxer prescribed to me after a month of dealing with an annoying pulled neck muscle (which, btw, is the worst place to pull a muscle. You have no idea how heavy your freakin head is until it hurts to hold it up.). Focalin, on the other hand,  is an ADHD medication intended for my 6 year old. Let’s just say someone in our home, who is above the age of 35, may have gotten the bottles mixed up and handed our 6 year old a Flexeril. Thank GOD this kid is the most detail oriented person on the planet. He pauses, looks at the pill quizzically, and says, “This is different from my other pills.” At first, we are both like, “No it’s the usual one, go ahead and take it.” Then a pause followed by, “WAIT, DON’T TAKE THAT PILL!!!” Good thing he notices the little things eh?

SIDENOTE: Zyrtec and Xanax are also similarly shaped, but those are just for me, and either way, I’m feeling pretty good, so no harm done right? Can’t say Xanax has ever helped with my allergies, but then if I take the Xanax by mistake, what the fuck do I care?

Next confession:

“Mom!  This milk is gross!”  What?  I just bought it.  It smells fine.  Crazy kid.  “Grace, quit being dramatic, it’s fine, just drink it.”  “But MOM, it’s gross!!!”  Sigh. “Here let me try it.”  Huge swig out of her sippy cup and insert whatever the noise is for spitting out milk and gagging here.  “What the???”    Note to Self:  Always disassemble sippy cup components.  If left intact, milk and other debris tends to get trapped between the plastic insert and the cap.  I had just let my daughter drink old, dishwashed, moldy milk leavings.

Confession #3:

This is an oldie, but goodie.  Back in our single kid days, when Will was just starting to really walk around and we were new to the whole wearing shoes all the time business.  While baby shoes are adorable, I was far too lazy of a parent to actually put them on just for looks.   My kids wore socks only until they set their own feet on the ground.  So much for those adorable booties I spent a fortune on before I had children because they were totally NEVER worn.  Anywho, my babysitter calls me up one day at work about mid-morning saying Will is limping and he won’t put any weight on one foot.  So, as I have shown in previous posts, I am completely calm and rationale in my train of thought.  Did he break his foot?  Are his leg muscles growing wrong?  Am I walking him too much on one side?  Is that even possible?  Is one leg growing faster than the other?  Is it shorter than the other, just like my self-diagnosed one short leg syndrome?  So, I call the doctor to see what might be the problem and they are running the gamut of questions when I hear my call waiting beep.  It’s my sitter saying she found the problem.  My loving cat had left Will a present in his shoe.  No!  It’s not that!  Eww.  She’s a good cat, she wouldn’t do that…it was one of her tiny toy catnip mouses (mice, meeces?) that she was playing with and had jammed up into the toe of his shoe.  So – that morning in my rush to get us out of the house on time, I unknowingly shoved my poor kid’s foot into a shoe crammed with mice, tied them up and ran out the door.

Last one:  This is borrowed from a friend, but I can guarantee most of us have almost done it.  The names have been rhymed to protect the guilty.

After visiting with my parents on Sunday, I was driving back home with the kids and rhymes-with-Hobie decides that he needs to go to the bathroom.  Of course, we are nowhere near a rest stop, so I have to get off the turnpike in the middle of nowhere. I asked the attendant where the nearest gas station was and he pointed in that direction. The station was under construction and had no indoor plumbing, so we had to settle for the porta potty around the back.  So in the dark and cold, we run around the back of the building coatless, and he hurries into the porta potty.   While he is going, I am huddling with rhymes-with-Lenzie to keep her warm and Hobie asks if I have extra toilet paper because he pooped and there wasn’t any in there. I dig through my purse, sightless in the dark.  I grab hold of a package thinking it’s tissues and grab one to hand to him. Hobie asks me why it’s wet and I say it is a moist towelette and to just use it. I then go to grab Lenzie and smell bleach for some reason. Ummm yeah I made my son wipe his butt with Clorox wipes!!!!

Thanks Megan Ann Leigh for the story.  Cracked me up!  In my opinion, at least you know you killed all the germs!  No need for hand sanitizer after that poop!

That’s it for tonight!  Say goodnight Gracie.

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PS – I totally woo’d Toledo Area Parent (check them out here).  I will be submitting some stuff by the end of the month, where they will hopefully take my sad writing skills and turn it into literary genius.  Or they’ll just shake their heads and go, “Nice try kid.”  Either way, I gave it my best shot.  I’ll keep you posted.  Thanks for all the support.  KF – I owe you big for suggesting it to me!