Monday, December 17, 2007

O Tannenbaum

He's done! The Tile Guy is done! Everything except sealing the grout, that is. "I'll come back in 2 weeks and seal it for you, so it doesn't get stained," he said. Can you tell this guy doesn't have kids? What we need is pre-sealed grout. I give this stuff about 5 minutes before someone spills half a quart of grape juice on it. Larry convinced him to come back in a few days instead; but why bother? It will still be too late. For now it looks gorgeous, though; I need to remember to take some pictures before those little monsters ruin it.

Still sick here. I made it to Anna's flute choir concert anyway (I call it preemptive attendance - she could have cared less whether or not I showed up, but I don't need her throwing my absence in my face 10 years from now, thanks), which was bearable. I am missing the Mom gene that makes it possible for me to go gaga over these concerts - her friend's mom was gushing, "Weren't they wonderful?!" while I was thanking the good Lord that I had brought my knitting to keep me busy.

Granted, I have the head cold from hell, which makes me a tad grouchy anyway. As in, I almost took Larry's head off later for I-don't-know-what (and in front of the kids - not my finest moment). Then I went upstairs and slammed doors and sulked a bit while I put away laundry. (See? Even when I'm sulking, I'm doing the damn housework.) I thought about how single parents have it easy, because they don't have to get along with anyone, and how I am going to be old and grey before these kids are old enough for me to run away from home without feeling guilty about it. And I thought about how much I hate having teenagers in the house, because they make me feel short and old and naggy. And I wondered why everyone else is enjoying living with their teens (or so it seems, from the blogs I read) while I am hating every minute of the experience.

And then I went down and apologized. And I actually meant it. But I think Larry is still pissed off.

Yesterday we decorated our tree. Let me explain here that I am proud of the fact that I have always let my kids decorate it how they like (well, I insist on white lights - no colored lights for me). It always ends up being somewhat of a mess, with homemade ornaments that we've saved through the years that the kids are proud of, and ornaments that Larry has brought home from his travels that he and I like, and big, unbreakable (!) shiny balls from IKEA. I've always felt good that the kids were happy and that the tree looked beautiful to them, even though it looks like some weird sort of rummage sale to anyone else. Okay? So, this year, Anna says, "I wish we could have a tree that has the lights, and the balls, and some tinsel, and that's it." She said it nicely; but, with that one sentence, she uncovered that yearning for a tidy Christmas tree that I had repressed all these years. And ruined my day.

I sound crazy, but this time of year does that to people. And the head cold - I did mention the head cold, didn't I? And I was up again last night with a barking child? And my kitchen appliances are in my living room? So cut me some slack, okay?

I need to try to sleep. I need all my energy tomorrow to go searching for some real Sudafed, not that PE crap that doesn't work.


  1. YAY!!! The tile guy is done - almost.

    I am so sorry that you are sick. So sick that you can't even enjoy the 4+ inches of snow we got, LOL. (I for one wsa so happy to look out the window and see that it had rained). But head colds do suck. Maybe a hot toddy would help. Hold the honey, hold the lemon, hold the tea. And add an couple extra shots of whiskey. That might help you feel better.

    I too don't have the mom gene to be all excited over the kids concerts and plays and stuff. It makes me feel bad, but not enough to pretend to have that gene.

    Do those unbreakable balls really not break? My kid seem to be able to break any and everything that is unbreakable.

    And having been there and done that, being a single mother is WAY easier than being married. I kept reminding my husband of that fact everytime he got on my nerves, LOL.

    I really do hope that you feel better soon.


  2. do you home school? thanks for the comments:)

  3. Congrats on the new tile!
    I would suggest not letting ANYONE near the tile until the grout gets sealed, because if some child gets tired of eating their grape popcicle, and they put it in a cup on the table, and it melts, and then accidently gets knocked over, and rolls under under the table, and the grape popcicle soaks into the grout, it will leave a stain!
    Trust me on this one.

  4. Sounds like you need a vacation. Take it easy. Make some cocoa, watch some movies, order in for dinner. (Easier said than done, I know). Hope you feel better:)

  5. Enjoy that finished tile. Roll around on it and do a little tap dance.

    I wish you and yours good health. You guys have been inundated with the creeping crud.

    Have a great Monday, Karen.

  6. If I had to venture to guess, I would say that it is not that everyone else is actually enjoying living with their teenager but more like (as is in my house) their teenager has found their blog. So, rather than make their lives even more difficult, they write about how teens are just like rainbows and puppies! Did that make sense?

    Glad your kitchen is finally done! We went through that at my house at this exact time last year. It was finally done on the 22nd of December. The day before all my family got to my house.

  7. I always let my kids decorate my tree, too. I mean, who is Christmas really FOR? (Well, besides Jesus, who, I'm thinking, isn't so into the whole tree/presents/greed thing.)

    I get excited over my OWN kids' recital parts but the rest is drudgery. I figure I owe it to the other parents who sat through my kids' parts. But I bring my knitting, oh, my, yes indeed.

    I don't know, is there some way to not internalize Anna's comments on your life? Because it won't be long before she really regrets them (judging only by my own regret timeline) and she'll apologize and you'll forgive her. Maybe you could just sort of forgive her now? You have a bad cold but she's got all those raging hormones!

  8. Waiting for pictures!!

  9. Amen to your idea about the grout/sealer combo! You can always buy the easy spray on kind and do it yourself. But heck, who has the patience and time for that? Here's hoping you get well soon!

  10. I so sympathize with all your comments. I'm not having a whole lot of fun with my teens either, though every once in a while we have a nice day. Every year my kids have had a big choice in decorating the tree but as soon as they move out, my tree's gonna look like Martha Stewart decorated it.

    Except...part of the fun is thinking about all those old ornaments and the good old days. I dunno. Maybe I'll keep the homemade ones.

  11. You need chocolate!


  12. Oh, yeah - remember REAL Sudafed? Where did it go? That and Dimetapp. They were so much better in the olden days. Well. Have to say, as always, thanks for the several great laughs. The grout, the concert, the tree, the teenagers... Feel better soon!

  13. It can get to doubt. Especially with a head cold. Get well soon!

    We have a tree for the kids. They can do it however they like. The other tree has some guidelines. ;)

    And enjoy that tile!! New flooring is on our list.

    Using My Words

  14. YEA for the Tile Guy and BOOO for your head cold!!!

    I, too, am missing this, "the Mom gene that makes it possible for me to go gaga over these concerts." In fact, it GREATLY annoys me the people that bring 2 cameras, a video camera and their ENTIRE extended family to the YEARLY chorus concerts. I, on the other hand, show up (only because I would feel very guilty if I didn't), watch, do the polite clapping and get out as QUICKLY as possible! I feel you pain.... On the upside, next year, I will be able to knit at these things, because I will know how then :)

    Feel better soon!!!

  15. Ugh. I hope you're better soon, and that nobody spills grape juice.

    I should take up knitting to have something to do during all these interminable concerts etc. that lie before me. It'd be pretty rude to bring a book with one of those clip lights, I guess.

  16. "naggy. And I wondered why everyone else is enjoying living with their teens (or so it seems, from the blogs I read) while I am hating every minute of the experience. "

    Um, not. I don't like having a teenager. He's mean. And I think he would bite me if I let down my guard.

    And he's bigger than me. But I can still take away his car keys and the computer.

  17. jennifer - I can't wait to see who lands on my blog after googling "unbreakable balls."

    jill - I have so been there.

    maria - we had to go out to dinner for the past 3 days. the guy at the hamburger place laughed at me - he must think that I have 6 kids and don't know how to cook.

    hotfessional - isn't it sweet how they turn on you like that?

  18. How old is Anna? They get better by junior year it seems. My oldest is a senior, and I like him 90% of the time. Of course he's leaving next year so I am a bit sentimental. The 10% of the time that I dislike him, it is because he is doing something completely without thought...but I am not sure if that is because he is a teenager, or because he is a man.

    My second is 15, she is starting to come out of her unpleasant phase. Like I said, most kids normalize (to some extent) by junior year.....I have studies to back me up.

    The baby is 14. She really is lovely. She has always been unusually bright and different, so I am not sure whether she will go through that truly awkward unpleasant phase or not. I am knocking on wood and crossing myself vigorously as I say this. I do not wish to tempt fate.

    Also, I have found that laying down the law and making my kids go to bed and get 9 hours of sleep a night does amazing things with their dispositions. Amazing.

    I am totally jealous of your tile floor, if you tell me your kitchen is big enough for two people to stand in at the same time, I will break and cry right in my little base housing kitchen. The one that is approximately the size of a wheat thin.

  19. My mom HATED us when we were teens. We were horrible, horrible people. She started liking us again in our late twenties I think.

    When I was a teenager, I wanted a "tasteful tree." I had a tasteful tree for a few years, until we had kids, and now I much much much prefer the jumble and mish mash.

  20. Take a picture for us (because we all know it will last longer...) JK. I'll send happy thoughts of kids not staining the grout before the tile guy comes back (you know he just wanted an excuse to stay away until after New Years, right?) I suggest you take your kids and all the festivities to his house where I'm certain his grout is sealed. :)