Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hissy Fits And Tantrums Always Get Me Down

This is the week of our NPR station's semi-annual pledge drive, which usually drives me up a wall. Sometimes I don't even listen the whole week. But this year, something is different. Listening to them beg for money over and over again, and describe the "thank you" mug in detail, and talk about how much it costs to buy body armor for their foreign correspondents - I don't know, it's sort of soothing. I like it. This worries me.

Anna regressed today. She'd been doing pretty well for a few weeks, doing her chores without throwing hissy fits and refraining from using the death glare on her hapless siblings. Today, it all came back. Wow. To top it off, she sat around complaining how cold it was and was not at all amenable to my suggestion that she put on more clothes, or at least some socks. In fact, the sock suggestion earned a double death glare. It was rather unreasonable of me. After all, if I would just hike that thermostat up to 75 degrees, she wouldn't even have this problem.

The little girls and I went to a local supermarket today to get away from their possessed teenage sister and to eat all the samples. One of the salespeople thought she was being helpful by giving each of my girls a balloon. Rachel's balloon popped shortly after we reached home, causing her to howl in rage for a full 15 minutes, while Susie, fearful that Rachel would confiscate her balloon, cried and screamed at me, "Go back to store!" In the meantime, Brian was crying that he hadn't gotten a balloon at all (he hadn't wanted to go to the store with us). Even by my warped standards, it was quite a scene. So, in order to take people's minds off the damn balloons, we played a game of Trouble which involved my pinning Susie in a sort of wrestling grip so that she couldn't grab everyone's pieces off the board. The game was fun, despite my having to yell repeatedly, "Hurry up! Go! I can't hold her much longer!"

I will look back fondly on all this, right?

Any childless person reading this blog is no doubt scheduling a permanent contraceptive procedure right now. So, to scare them even more, I will admit that, with the exception of "Sense and Sensibility" and "Groundhog's Day," I missed every single movie released in the 1990's. (I was busy having babies, all right?) Diesel recommended Office Space, which we recently viewed and enjoyed; were there any other good ones I missed? I'm trying to catch up.


  1. Thanks, this was a fun way to end the day, laughing.

  2. I overheard a childless woman at a party last summer comment on a mother of four -"Wow, that's not hobby children is it?".


    But let's face facts who is going to be old and lonely?
    ...NOT you!

  3. Supermarket balloons are the worst! They always cause problems in this house. That's a great reason to shop Wal-Mart...no balloons!

  4. Game night at our house: 1. say the family game pledge (it's all about family togetherness and fun, winning is not important, no rubbing it in if you win, remember that you are brothers, etc.);
    2. everything we use is duplicated for the toddler (he gets his own board, game pieces, dice, and if we're using one, his own hourglass timer); 3. I multitask (play w/ family while "pretending" that I'm really playing w/ toddler).

    Needless to say, sometimes after game night...I am literally exhausted!

    God bless!

  5. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who finds elementary board games challenging. I just refuse to do it while the baby is awake.

    Our grocery's deli gives free cookies. They're way better than balloons. (And contribute to childhood obesity, blah blah blah...)

  6. a) I hate balloons. If people ask if they can give my kids balloons I say no and walk the other way. If balloons do make it into our house, I pop them the first opportunity I can get. They cause nothing but arguments and when they do pop they're choking hazards that the little ones inevitably find and try to swallow.

    b) I also hate the fund drive. One year we gave $100 and they send us this crappy classical CD along with a letter saying something like "The market value of your free gift is $20", meaning they screwed us out of $6-7 (because we could only claim $80 on our tax return)

  7. Movies? In theaters? We can't even manage a Netflix account. I'm no help there.

    I always feel like I'm screening the "helpful" people with the "free" stuff too. One of the samples at the market Friday was gelato (and oh my word it was so good) and the owner of the company, who was giving out the samples, was EXTREMELY nice, but I had to sort of talk over him as he offered my young children a choice of flavors that included a concoction with espresso. Only if he was coming home with me to scrape them off the ceiling!

    (I tried that one. It was phenomenal. The kids had lemon.)

  8. i am developing the same wierd nostalgic feeling towards NPRs fundraising drives. i just leave that radio on. what is up with that?

    can't help with the movies. what is a movie? i don't know.

    no, the people without kids aren't doing anything -- they just think they would NEVER be in situations like you described -- even if they had kids....

  9. My 3 children are all grown now but when they were all three under age 5 we were never invited anywhere! Going to the grocery store was the WORST and I think the ladies from the bakery would hunt us down to give my children cookies. Oh thank you, sugar...just what they need.

  10. Re babies, I'm still waiting for someone to leave me one on the doorstep in a carrier bag - then I'll know it's meant to be! And in my neck of the woods that could easily happen.

  11. I use to commute 2 1/2 hours a day and NPR was my savior. Man, are they calm. And they can make a story on the anatomy of dirt actually fascinating. I laughed outloud at mention of the mug.

    I never could figure out why I didn't change the station during their fundraising drives. It was like a mantra or something.

  12. That's what you get in a big family--toddler and teenager tantrums at the same time. If your timing is right, you can throw menopause tantrums in there too!

    Good times.

  13. Thanks for sharing the balloon fiasco. Brings back fond memories of my son letting go of his and screaming in the grocery store parking lot as it sailed away.

  14. Love the Carpenters title.

    Don't feel so bad, I got the 90's down, but I missed the 1980's.

  15. Oh thank god, I thought it was just me.

    I was busy doing the kids thing too during the 90's...and sitters were not only expensive but WAY to hard to organize.

    If you get a list of movies together can you share it with me...please.

  16. I hate the fund drives. I figure that even if I gave money, that would just put me on their list to bug each and every time they have a drive. Maybe if I could give anonymously...

    Besides, even if you give money, they still keep on begging for 10 days. They should have it so that if you did donate, you got some special signal that gave you the regular programs minus the begging.

  17. Office Space is my all-time favorite.

    On our NPR station here they do pledges for a freaking MONTH. Ugh.

  18. I hate balloons. For most of my children's lives they have caused nothing but problems. Let's start a movement...

  19. LOL, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one with "one" of those days.

  20. First, you poor woman--I've had all of these scenarios, but not all in one single day. Yikes!

    Second, I recommend School of Rock and Bridget Jones's Diary for comedy, anything with Jackie Chan for action, Philadelphia and The English Patient for provocative 90's drama and Chocolat just because it's beautiful to watch.

    Third, I know the genders are different, it just still floors me how it's steeped in the very fiber of our DNA to be so different. (And I was trying to help a few friends feel less wounded by crappy V-day gifts:))

  21. I hate balloons. They are evil. Guaranteed to cause fighting, guaranteed to eventually end in sadness when the balloon eventually a) pops, b) floats away, or c) shrivels into a scary looking deformed raisin.


  22. ROFL! Great post.
    Ok, I'm really scared that you're enjoying NPR's pledge drive. I HATE pledge week and usually don't even turn on my radio for the entire time.

    I can't think of any 90s movies. I know I watched some. What were they? Um...I like Curse of the Jade Scorpion (Woody Allen, but when he's on and really funny)...um...oh I'm too tired to think. Read reviews on amazon. It will help.

  23. Oh I so understand your day, but I still can't stand the NPR fund drives, but for some strange reason, I can't change the channel. I feel so trapped, and it's not like I can donate while driving down the road anyhow.

  24. Ho ho. Where do I start?

    I've been missing the soothing pledge drive because I've switched to listening to all my favorite NPR shows as podcasts. My kids are always telling me to take off my headphones.

    Sorry about the hissy fits. I say record them and use them as barter when the kids are older and threatening to put you in a nursing home.

    I hate supermarket balloons. Do they ever end well?

  25. You know, I have seven kids and sometimes your stories even scare me! Mostly because I have five girls right in a row and the oldest one is 12. Have I got some fun years ahead of me or what? My "Anna" is only 10 and already in full swing. As a matter of fact, while posting this comment, she informed me that she hates me. Surprise, surprise.

  26. ROFLMAO... "Hurry up I can't hold her much longer". I just can't get past that one... I am still laughing.

  27. What is UP with the inability to put on a sweater? Caitlin isn't 14, but DANG she seems to have a lot in common with Anna!

    It's WINTER here and I don't keep the house as cold as some, but 68 isn't really shorts weather. When she complains about being cold while I'm wearing a sweater, I just suggest that and get the huffy face.

    Honestly, is it that hard to figure out?