Full Breakfast Club

Full Breakfast Club

Today marked the first full day of Summer Vacation. The boys celebrated by sleeping in, letting me sleep in, and then turning into Grade A Jerks before noon.

I want Summer Break to feel like a big ball of fun for everyone, but things still need to happen. Things need to be cleaned. Summer Reading needs to not be ignored until three days before it needs turned in to the Administration Office. The arguing over video games, computers, footballs, Pokemon cards, anything, everything needs to be kept to a minimal. And, most importantly, all of this needs to happen with a modicum of respect for the one running this gig, being me. Especially as my husband seems to be working some overtime at the fire department, leaving me in charge of the runnings of all things household more than usual.

I made the Executive Decision, because I can do that, to give the boys tech-time in the morning, and then run a no-tech-time stretch from lunch through 3:30 in the afternoon. Chores needed completed. Books needed started. I needed to not hear children yelling to their friends through headsets about Star Wars or football or Minecraft or w h a t e v e r.

Then I hear mumbling in the kitchen.

“Stop complaining.”

You guys, we’re like hours into this Summer Vacation, and I’m stressed to the max with a number of Adult Things. So, I’m not all aboard the Complain Train.

“Come. Here.”

My oldest son appears in the door of my office, face sullen like any good-standing Tweenager.

“What?” Or more like, “What.” A statement. Not a question. Laced with Tweenager Angst. Like this child doesn’t know I was Tweenager in the early 90’s. My Angst far outranks his Angst. Forever and ever. Amen. Let’s go to a Rave.

“What are you complaining about?”


“I asked you a question.”

“I was about to answer you.”


I know you hear what I heard in that italicized “about.” My blood pressure shot through the roof, but I waited.

“I don’t think it’s fair that we can’t have technology until 3:30.”

Something happened in my brain right about the word fair, as it, also, was laced with Angst and Judgment and an unspoken I really kind of hate you. It wasn’t quite a snap, but it sure was close to a pop.

I went straight up Breakfast Club on the kid.

“Oh. You don’t think it’s fair, do you? Well, you just lost technology for the rest of the day. How’s THAT for fair?”

I just left off the “try me.”

I recognized as the words fell out of my mouth that I had gone full Breakfast Club, but they were already cascading down my tongue and into the air between us. I could not stop them.

I followed them up with this gem, becoming not only a cliche Breakfast Club scene, but my parents.

“Get that look off your face.”

Man, I hated hearing that. What look was even on my face? It’s just my face. And like me, our oldest son does not possess a Poker Face. Everything he thinks or feels or processes shows up RIGHT THERE on his face.

Parent of the Year, right here.

We talked later, after he read some of this first book for Summer Reading. He apologized. I apologized. I couldn’t even make him laugh with the Breakfast Club reference, because it’s 2017 and he’s 11 and I’m old. My husband, working a metric ton of overtime lately, found it humorous.

I’m just hoping tomorrow is a better day for all of us.

Full Breakfast Club


Shop LuLaRoe

At Least He Had Fun

At Least He Had Fun

I ran to the Post Office, drove across town, and picked up the boys from school. I picked them up early, thus ruining the last nine weeks chance of perfect attendance, but I picked them up exactly on schedule to make it to the dentist.

We sang a few songs on the interstate. BigBrother told me he did well on his spelling test. (Spoiler: He admitted at bedtime that he did not, in fact, do well. That bedtime confessional still runs true.) I somehow managed to avoid traffic, and we pulled up to the dentist’s office at exactly two o’clock.

I’ve never been on time for the boys’ dental appointments which is exceptionally embarrassing as my mother-in-law works there. I usually call from the interstate.

“We’re coming. I promise.”

Which is better than the time I called and said, “We’re supposed to be there now but I completely forgot and we’re at home.”

I have a paper planner. I utilize the calendar on my phone. But sometimes, and especially during baseball season, I get a little lost in the details. Or completely go off the rails. Either or.

So I smugly walked into the dentist’s office and sat down in the swanky waiting room. The receptionist said hello, and we sat for approximately ten minutes.

And then my mother-in-law appeared.

“Your appointment is tomorrow.”

“I know. The boys’ is today.”

“No, it’s not.”

“Yes, it is. I have a text from…” Scroll, scroll scroll. “The pediatrician.”

I didn’t say “shit” out loud but it was definitely implied.

I rushed the boys out the door, hustled them in the car, and voice dialed the pediatrician.

“Hi. Yes. We have an appointment at two, and now it’s two-ten. I accidentally went to the dentist instead of the pediatrician. We’re about five minutes away.”

The woman on the other end of the phone laughed but said she had to check with the doctor. Which, I understand. I kept driving. And hitting ALL THE RED LIGHTS. She came back on the phone and said they’d hold my appointment. So I kept driving and HITTING MORE RED LIGHTS.

I squealed into a parking space and rushed my not-so-little-kids into the building, waited for the elevator, waited as it stopped on another floor to pick someone up EVEN THOUGH THAT NEVER HAPPENS IN THIS BUILDING, and nearly ran into the office. I told the woman sitting at the desk our name.

“Your appointment was 20 minutes ago.”

“I called. I went to the dentist instead of here. The woman who answered asked our doctor and she said it was okay.”

“She did?”

No. I’m lying. Who makes up a story that makes them look like a total moron?

“Yes, she did.”

“Okay, you have to fill out eleventy billion new papers for this year.”


“Thank you.”

Or something like that.

We didn’t wait long at all before a nurse ushered us back to room eight. She asked about their eating habits and school and baseball. She took them off for weight checks, measurements, and ear and eye test while I wrote the same information on approximately 72 pieces of paper. (It was just two, but why does it always feel like so many?)

The boys returned, donned their gowns, and in just a few minutes our doctor walked in.

Can I tell you how much I love our doctor? We inherited her five years ago when our previous doctor, whom we also loved as he was so patient with my First Parented Child Overreating, retired. We love her. Her smile is contagious. She’s very encouraging. She backs me up with the boys when she asks about technology time and even reinforced with LittleBrother that, yeah, he’s supposed to be in the booster seat for another four and a half inches and, sorry buddy, but just because your friends don’t ride in one doesn’t mean you get to skip it.

Sometimes I want to hug her.

I don’t think that’s appropriate.

Anyway, she found it HILARIOUS that we went to the dentist first. She literally laughed out loud.

“That sounds like something I would do!”

Then I loved her more.

The older of the boys got three shots, which none of us expected, but the nurse who administered them gets a big gold star for knowing what questions to ask and when as she gave him all three shots. Like seriously. Major kudos.

It’s not all great news.

One kid needs glasses. This was not a surprise as I got glasses in fourth grade and my husband thinks he was in fifth grade when he got his. LittleBrother will be near the end of third grade when he gets his. This also possibly explains the headaches he’s been experiencing. To which he said, “Yeah, I sometimes get a really bad headache in class and get aggravated with everyone.” Really, kid. Tell me these things before appointments with the nice doctor, okay?

The other kid’s hearing has worsened in his bad ear. We knew this. He failed the school test. Again/always. His volume when he speaks has increased, and not just because he’s genetically a Swearingen. We have another referral to the audiologist to figure out what’s going on.

Did you know that hearing aids are 100% NOT covered, even with ACA? Did you know that even with vision insurance, we’ll fork over hundreds of bucks for LittleBrother to see clearly and not experience headaches that make him vomit? And some of you want to reduce our health care that we, as a family of four, already pay mightily for? Uh. Okay. Here’s my middle finger.

We got home in time to sign agendas (…) and relax for a bit before the rain started. I thought, “Ooh! They’ll cancel the baseball scrimmage and we can spend time at home.”

It’s like I’m new at this baseball mom thing.

The scrimmage was canceled but our practice was moved to an indoor gym. I got 1.25 miles from home (I know because running) when BigBrother asked, “Did you bring his baseball stuff?”

No, I didn’t. Thanks for asking. So we turned around, grabbed the gear, and then drove a little more quickly to the gym.

After I got LittleBrother pushed into he gym, I read the novel I’m working on for a half hour and then worked for an hour. BigBrother watched practice, but I wouldn’t let him go get his glove to participate because his younger brother needs to be able to experience things on his own from time to time. When he came out of the gym, he was all smiles.

“I had fun.”

Crazy day in which my husband worked and I did all of the things wrong and it rained and I felt alone and like a failure as a mother? Worth it with those three little words.

At Least He Had Fun