Perpetually Peeved


Hey Elves – You’re Fired!

I’ve been trying to wrap up all my Christmas shopping by the end of this week.  I plan on spending the time off I have doing fun things around town with the kids, not last-minute running around in crowds.  I HATE crowds.  LOATHE crowds, actually.  I also can’t stand shopping unless it involves margaritas or shoes for me.  So, I’ve been doing a lot of lunch-hour power shopping and stopping in to a single store between picking up the kids and heading home.  The other day, I needed to run into Macy’s for three very specific things:  handbags for Smalls’ teachers.  I knew exactly what I wanted.  I was a woman with a coupon and a mission.

Peeved:  Okay, girls, Mommy has to run into Macy’s real quick and pick up some presents for Smalls’ teachers.

Smalls:  Are we getting them Zhu Zhu Pets?

Peeved:  No, Smalls, I think they’d like purses better.

Smalls:  Oh.  Can we stick a Zhu Zhu Pet in the purse?

Peeved:  No.  Let’s just get them purses and then you can make a nice card for them.

Biggie:  Where are we going?

Peeved:  Macy’s.

Biggie:  Oh, cool.  I totally need skinny jeans.  Macy’s has the best skinny jeans.

Peeved:  We are not shopping for skinny jeans.  We are going to get out of the car, go directly to the purses, select three purses, pay for them and leave.  Understood?

Biggie:  But the skinny jeans are right next to the door closest to the purses. I could just…

Peeved:  Here’s the deal.  Ready?  I just need to grab these things real quick.  You all need to behave because Santa is watching and if you don’t behave you’ll get coal in your stocking.  Smalls, you’re in the stroller.  Biggie, you’re pushing the stroller.  You both stay right next to me and offer your opinions if and only when asked.  I need you to be my elves tonight.  We are not shopping for ourselves, we are shopping for gifts for others.  Got it?  Elves.  Helpers.

Biggie:  Fine!

Smalls:  Fine!

I love elfyourself.com - check it out. :)

*****

A condensed version of the events that took place inside Macy’s on December 13th at approximately 7:03 p.m.:  touch, touch, touch, drop, yell, whine, whine, whine, yell, disappear, reappear, yell, skootch, skootch, skootch the stroller, heart attack – where the hell did Smalls go?, yell, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, yell, stroller derby, near fatal collision with purse rack, yell, don’t touch your sister-stand right there and don’t move-Smalls get your feet off of the stroller wheels, purchase of the closest three purses, step routine, step routine, step routine, yell, time out in the corner, whine, whine, whine, yell, touch, touch, touch…

****

[In the car on the way home]

Peeved:  I don’t want to hear a word – A WORD! – from either one of you.  Biggie, that was embarrassing and disrespectful.  You are twelve years old and I had to put you in time out in the corner of Macy’s.  You should be ashamed of yourself.  How hard is it to stick your hands in your pockets and behave yourself for five freaking minutes?  I asked you to help me.  You did exactly the opposite.  You think it’s okay to misbehave now because I’ve already done my shopping for you?  Well, you have another thing coming.  Santa doesn’t bring trampolines to kids that don’t behave.  Get my drift?  You need to learn to listen.  I told you not to touch anything and I don’t think there was one item in that store that you didn’t leave a fingerprint on.

Smalls:  Yeah, and she…

Peeved:  I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Gallery!

Smalls:  Yeah, well I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Butter Jelly Gallery!

Peeved:  Oh no you don’t.  I’m mad at you too.  You were not wearing your listening ears.  Mommy told you to sit in the stroller and what did you do?  You skootched halfway across the store.  I look away for one second and you’re over in Petites walking around with the stroller hanging off your butt.  When we get home, it’s dinner and bed for you.  No show tonight.  Biggie, it’s homework and bed for you, too.  Give me  any lip and I’ll take away your electronics for a week.

****

Peeved:  Here, eat your dinner.

Smalls:  That’s not dinner.  That’s cereal.  I want dinner.

Peeved:  Well, we don’t have anything in the house.  And, after the way you acted in the store, I’m certainly not going food shopping with you.

Smalls:  I want dinner. [lip quiver]  Cereal is not dinner.  [start of cry]  You need to have something with bread for dinner.  [full on crying, now]

Peeved:  Fine!  I’ll go make something out of nothing.

*****

[in the kitchen]

Smalls:  [sobbing in the other room - then... silence]

Peeved:  Smalls…  what are you doing?

Smalls: [in the most pathetic four-year-old voice you can imagine]  Looking at a picture of you [stifled sob] …  when you were happy.

Peeved:  What?

Smalls:  You’re with daddy… [stifled sob]... and …  you’re smiling [full on crying again]

*****

Dear Future Therapist of Biggie & Smalls,

It is all exaggerations and half-truths, I swear.

Sincerely,

Peeved



The Upside to Teenage Vampire Offspring

Biggie and I volunteered at the PTA pumpkin sale on Sunday.  To attract customers to the sale, she dressed up as a vampire and danced around the roadside with a sign.

Biggie:  So, wouldn’t it be cool to have a vampire as your kid?

Peeved:  No.

Biggie:  Why not?

Peeved:  Because then you could torture me for eternity.

Biggie:  No.  I could only torture you for the rest of your life.  You’d still be mortal.

*****

The other upsides to having teenage vampire offspring?

  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting hurt.
  • You wouldn’t have to pester them to make their bed (they don’t even need beds).
  • You wouldn’t have to feed them (and if you did, they could order the kid’s meal for eternity).
  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting sunburned.
  • You wouldn’t have to drive them everywhere (they could just run everywhere real fast).
  • They don’t stand in front of the mirror for hours looking at themselves and dancing (ha – they have no reflections).
  • You wouldn’t have to pay for orthodontia – so what if that canine sticks up a little bit?
  • They can’t have pets.
  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting pregnant. (My husband’s personal favorite.)
  • The threat level of a wooden spoon would suddenly skyrocket.

Come to think of it, Biggie would rather be a zombie...



Biggie, Smalls & a Smart-Ass

BIGGIE

One only needs to look back a few posts to know how I feel about eyebrows.  So, the other day when I noticed something funky going on with Biggie’s eyebrows, I had to get to the bottom of things.

Peeved: Biggie – what the heck happened to your eyebrow?

Biggie: Nothing.  What are you talking about?

Peeved: That – right there.  That eyebrow did not always start almost at the middle of your pupil.  And, the other eyebrow doesn’t match.  What did you do to your eyebrow?

Biggie: Nothing, mom.  Geesh! [eyeroll, foot stomp]

Peeved: [grabbing Biggie by the chin for closer inspection]  OH MY GOD!  You shaved your eyebrows!?

Biggie: No.

Peeved: Well, somebody did.

Biggie: Well, I was in the shower and I was shaving my armpit and I got soap in my eye and when I went to wipe it off I accidentally shaved off part of my eyebrow.

Peeved: You ACCIDENTALLY shaved off part of your eyebrow?

Biggie: Yes!  I had soap in my eye!

Peeved: Well, you are not allowed to shave anymore.

Biggie: What?!  Gosh, mom!  You’re the worst! [eyeroll, foot stomp]

Peeved: Obviously, you can’t be trusted to keep razor blades from accidentally coming near your eyeball.  No more shaving unless you tell me the truth.

Biggie: I am telling the truth!  Don’t call me a liar!

Peeved: Well, what happened to the other eyebrow?

Biggie: Well, I had to try and even them out a little bit.  Am I going to be punished?

Peeved: No.  I think living with those crazy eyebrows will be punishment enough for shaving them.  However, you will be punished for lying.

Biggie: I’m not lying!!!  It was an accident!!

Funny, when I was younger my stepmother always used to say, “Do you think I was born yesterday?” and I would wait until she walked away and whisper, “No, the day before.”  She also said I’d get back everything I ever gave her.  Who’s laughing now?

Who knew shaving your armpits could lead to Lasik so easily?

 

SMALLS

There are many sacrifices we make as we become parents:  the ability to run around the house naked, curse loudly, sit down for an extended period of time, sleep in, and go to the bathroom alone are just a few.  It’s Saturday morning, Mr. Peeved has been sick for the last few days and I have the beginning of a nasty respiratory virus.  All I want to do is sleep in.  Alas, 8:20 brings this conversation to my ears:

Biggie: [in the bathroom]  Get out!

Smalls: I have to go!

Biggie: Well, I’m going.  You can’t go.  Get out!

Smalls: Biggie! I have to go!

Biggie: Smalls!  I’m going to the bathroom.  I need privacy.  Get out!

Smalls: I don’t have to get out.

Biggie: Yes, you do.  You can’t just come in the bathroom when someone is using it.  I need privacy!  Get out!

Smalls: I am giving you privacy.

Biggie: No, you’re not.  You’re still in here.  Get out of the bathroom!

Smalls: Biggie, privacy is when you don’t look at someone when they’re going to the bathroom.

Yes, Smalls, when you have a 4-year-old in the house, that’s exactly what privacy is.

 

A Smart-Ass

My father always tells me I’m a smart-ass.  I always tell him I’d rather be a smart-ass than a dumb-ass.  My nephew, he doesn’t fall far from the Aunt Emma tree.  At the age of three, this kid could tell you the difference between a bucket and a pail.  By the time he was four, he knew what sarcasm was and had perfected his deadpan delivery.  Here’s a text I received from my sister on Friday:



Peeve podge…

The last few days have wrought plenty by way of inspiration, but not much in the area of motivation.

I finished Smalls’ Halloween costume.  Sewing is tied for third on the list of things that make me happy (food and bad reality TV being numbers 1 and 2, and the tie for third being shoe shopping).  It’s mathematical, but creative at the same time, and at the end of the day you have something to look at and say, “I made that.”

That is one scary cheetah.  Besides the fact that the pattern was made for Umpa Loompa and I had to take it in about 2 inches all around, it came out relatively good. It didn’t hurt that I just got a new sewing machine.  An awesome new sewing machine.  A sewing machine that makes me wonder what the heck I was doing wasting my time on that dinky little one I had before.  Ignorance is bliss, indeed.  Now, I just have a poodle skirt to finish up, a Lady GaGa (we finally found one appropriate enough for Biggie to wear), a Sonic the Hedgehog sidekick, a kitty cat, a zombie cheerleader and either a tiger or a hot dog (she just has to make up her mind – I’m voting for hot dog!).  Wish me luck, I will need it.

*****

Friday night,  I spent the entire evening cleaning my house.  Saturday morning, I spent the entire morning re-cleaning my house.  Sigh.

*****
Saturday I decided to host a dinner party at my house.  It was a potluck, but I was making the appetizers and the main dish.  And by “I” I mean me.  Mr. Peeved was working.  Don’t ask me what I was thinking, I won’t have an answer for you and I’ll just change the subject real fast.  I figured if the Irish in me can let me get away with drinking whiskey and not getting a hangover, then the Italian in me should let me make an edible dinner.  The kids and I went shopping at the farmers market.  I remembered their jackets and everything.  I remembered all the things on my list.  I whipped together an Italian Nachos sauce, a caprese salad and a tray of baked ziti all with an hour to spare.

Full cream, asiago cheese sauce with onions, peppers, Italian sausage and olives that you dredge over nachos and top with banana peppers. Mangia!

Are you impressed?  Yeah, I was too.  I was so proud of myself.  Whistling away, cleaning up.  What?  What does that empty cheese container say?  Shredded asiago?  Who the heck sells shredded asiago and, puts it right next to the shredded mozzarella?  Dagnabit!  Back to the store for baked ziti redux.

*****

Sunday, Biggie had her first gig as a babysitter/mother’s helper for my friend (let’s call her Brave Soul, shall we?). Biggie would like me to make a public announcement on her behalf, it goes something like this:  I AM SO COOL.  Anywho, she took the assignment very seriously, packing a “do bag” and getting pointers from her more seasoned friend.

Biggie:  Don’t worry Brave Soul, I am so prepared.  I have coloring books and a tea set and a lot of fun activities that I can do with Little Brave Soul.  And, my friend, she, like, babysits all the time, and she told me all the tricks of the trade.

Brave Soul:  That’s great.  Little Brave Soul will love that.  What did your friend teach you?

Biggie:  Well, she said you just have to play whatever they want to play and make believe it is the most fun in the whole wide world even when it’s the most stupid and boring thing ever.

Brave Soul:  Yep, that’s pretty much all there is to it.

There is a rule in my car that is violated at least twice a day.  The rule is nobody is allowed to touch the radio until we are out of the driveway and even then, they are to ask first.  Biggie can’t grasp the concept.  Yesterday afternoon, we get into the car and she whips this CD out of her bag.

Biggie:  Mom, can I play this? [waving it in front of me]

Peeved:  What is it?

Biggie:  It’s my babysitting mix.  It’s all my favorite songs.  You know, for when I’m babysitting.

Peeved:  Biggie – it’s spelled wrong.

Biggie:  No it’s not, ma.  Gosh, that’s like, slang.  No one puts the G on the end of ing words anymore.  Can I put it in?

Peeved:  Sure, I want to hear this.

[Biggie inserts CD, turns up volume and it starts playing]

Biggie: Oh.  [hits disc skip to track 4]

Peeved:  What are you doing?  Just let it play.

Biggie:  Oh, I can’t.  Tracks 1, 2 and 3 aren’t appropriate for Smalls to hear.

Peeved:  What?  I thought this was a babysitting mix.

Biggie:  It is.  It’s just music I like.

Peeved:  But, the first three tracks are inappropriate for your little sister?  Why?  What are they?

Biggie:  It’s mostly Lady Ga Ga.  The first one is the one with the Christmas tree and the second one is the one with the disco stick.

Peeved:  I don’t think either of those are appropriate for you.  What are you doing downloading these?  And, what’s wrong about a Christmas tree.

Biggie:  You know, when she says “light me up, put me on top, let’s fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la”.

Peeved:  Give me that thing.  Right. Now.

Biggie:  Guess I’m not allowed to listen to it anymore…

You think?  It’s bad enough Katie Perry is melting Elmo’s popsicle.  Now I have to worry about the sanctity of yuletide carols.

photo from msn.nz

*****

This morning, I couldn’t find my soapbox.  Which, is a shame, because apparently people have completely forgotten the art of manners.  Simple things, like hold the door open for the person behind you.  And, say thank  you when someone holds the door open for you.  And, if you see me running (or hear my heels clicking) towards the elevator, don’t pretend you can’t find the door open button.  Jackknives.

*****

I will be appearing on Animal Planet's "After the Attack" next month.

Smalls:  Mommy, thank you for my cheetah costume.

Peeved:  You’re welcome, honey.  I’m glad you like it.

Smalls:  When are you going to make your costume, mommy?

Peeved:  Well, Smalls, I don’t know what I want to be for Halloween yet.

Smalls:  But, you need to make a gazelle costume.

Peeved:  I do?

Smalls:  Yeah.  What am I going to eat if I don’t have a gazelle?



Lights, Action, Consequence
The Department of Torture has created a hybrid monster it likes to call the Big Granny.  This abomination rears its ugly heads when Biggie, the attitude-infused pre-teen/Secret Torture Agent joins forces with Granny, my mother and Chief Torture Agent, Division of Family Services.   

They are like the Zippleback of How to Train Your Dragon, except, less cute.

Peeved:  Biggie, I need you to put away those [completely inappropriate] clothes Granny just bought you and lay out your outfit for school tomorrow

Biggie:  Ugh.  God, Mom, I KNOW. [eye roll, drawer slam, foot stomp - she is only this coordinated when pouting] 

Peeved:  A simple, ‘yes, Mom’ will suffice.  The receipt for those clothes is still in the bag.  Talk to me like that again and I will have no problem returning them. 

Biggie: I am!  I’m doing it!  Gosh, Mom! [throws hands up in air, gives look of death, stomps foot again] 

Peeved: Biggie… 

Granny:  Oh, give her a break, she’s tired. 

Peeved: I’m sure she is.  I’m tired too, it’s no excuse for talking to me that way. 

Granny:  Oh, come on, she’s medicated. 

Peeved:  Mom, it’s Tylenol Sinus! [eye roll, foot stomp, look of death] 

See, much less cute.

If Lindsay Lohan didn’t have Dina doing such a bang-up job of coming up with excuses, I’d have to recommend my mother for the position.  I don’t know if you’ve seen the Matt Lauer interview with Dina Lohan, but she pretty much blames everyone else for Lindsay’s problems.  It’s the judge’s fault.  The judge was “coming down hard” on her.  This, of course, is true because the Judge is currently being recused.  What?  Lindsay is on her fourth stint in rehab and still, we can’t admit there may be a problem that has nothing to do with external forces?  The biggest mistake that judge made was not also ordering Dina to the Betty Ford Clinic for families of addicts. 

Call the engraver, we need to change "Mother" to "Enabler" - this makes me sad to be associated with Long Island.

Every Monday, I grab a beer, sit down and put on one of my favorite shows – Intervention on A&E.  (Yes, I realize how wrong that is.)  It’s so compelling to watch these people and their real-life struggle with addiction.  I love that the show actually keeps it real and portrays what happens when addicts face an intervention and go to rehab.  What happens is, about half or more relapse.  I used to try to guess which ones would make it and which ones would not.  However, that game got too easy to be any fun.  You can tell who was going to make it by their families.  If there was one – it only takes one – enabler in the group, they were done-zo.  I don’t understand this.  I literally yell at my TV.  It’s like watching a horror flick when the girl goes towards the weird sound instead of hiding in the closet and calling 911.   

Addict:  I don’t even have a problem.  I’m not even going.  

Good Family Member:  If you don’t go, then I will no longer let you stay at my house.  I will no longer let you borrow my car.  I will refuse to give you more money. 

Addict: That’s fine.  I’ll just ask Mommy. 

[Peeved:  Don't do it Mom.  Stay strong.  Remember what Candi said, you will no longer let them kill themselves in front of you.  You are only helping her die.] 

Bad Mommy:  We love you, we just want you to get better. 

Addict:  Are you going to cut me off, too? 

Bad Mommy:  [crying, showing weakness] 

[Peeved:  No!  Bad Mommy! No!  Well, dammit, I give her about 10 days before she starts drinking the mouthwash.] 

I told you.

Parents need to stop giving kids excuses for why nothing is their fault.  Hollywood or not, there is no such thing as consequences anymore.  For my kids, I want life to be something they live, not just a series of things that happen to them.  The Dina Lohan’s of the world need to put on their big girl panties and start doing the difficult job of parenting.  No excuses. 



Me 2.1

Apologies, I am my mother’s daughter.  When I said I had a post coming late Friday night, what I really meant was almost midnight on Sunday.  I’ve spent the weekend touring kiddie jump places and drinking vodka.  Don’t judge. 

Last Wednesday, I had a wonderful dinner with a fellow blogger and photographer (she would probably protest me calling her that, but her pictures speak for themselves) – Katie from You Are What You Eat… or, Reheat.  She was taking pictures of Biggie and Smalls because, of course, while they jump up and down and simultaneously cross their eyes every time I’m behind the camera, when it’s a stranger they are all blinking eyelashes and smiles.  

Katie (to Biggie): You are so pretty, you take great pictures, you could be a model. 

Biggie:  Actually, I’m going to be a marine biologist. 

Peeved’s Friend (yes, I have at least 1): Well, you could model to pay for school to be a marine biologist. 

Peeved:  Yeah, mommy modeled a little when I was in high school.  You could do that. 

Biggie:  You?  Modeled?  [giggle fit] 

Peeved:  Yes.  And, I wouldn’t laugh if I was you.  You look just like me when I was your age.  I wasn’t always old, you know. 

Biggie:  Yeah, I look just like you.  But, prettier. 

Well, at least we don’t have to worry about self-esteem issues.  Biggie is my mini-me in more ways than just looks, she also inherited my smart-ass attitude and ability to tell the honest truth.  To prove to her that she does, in fact, look like me when I was her age, I pulled out some old photos.  She chose the photo of me that she thought looked most like her and recreated the look for a photo shoot.  

Me 1.0

 

Me 2.1 (Now, new and improved)

 

The next day, we were sitting down for dinner. I had just picked up Biggie from school and she was telling me about her day.  

Peeved: How was school today? 

Biggie:  Good.  Another boy asked me out. (This is the 4th in the past week.) 

Peeved:  Oh, did you make him fill out the survey your stepdad requires? 

Biggie: Nah, he wasn’t worth it.  Guess what? 

Peeved: What? 

Biggie:  I wrote the best poem ever.  You want to hear it? 

Peeved:  Sure… (getting on the game face…) 

Biggie:  Okay, the assignment was to tell where you are from. 

Peeved:  All right, bring on the ode to Long Island pizza. 

Biggie:  No, mom, this is really good.  It’s the best poem, like, in the world. 

I am from chlorinated pools, from law firms and from the restaurant business. 

I am from the little, one story house. Small, comforting and the one that I sleep in. 

I am from the venus fly trap outside, by the tree.  Vicious, yet gentle in its own way. 

I am from smudging my name on my cake and loud laughing. From [dad's name] and Emily.  I’m from the spoiled brats and mean little cousins. 

I am from will you trust me. 

I am from sleeping late and then eating and falling asleep again. 

I am from many cousins and family members.  From flan and cheese eggs. 

Biggie:  So, what’d you think? 

Peeved:  I think that was the best poem, in the whole wide world. Like, ever. 

Yep, like me, only prettier, more confident, less modest.  Me at 12 years old. 



Thank you sir, may I have another?

Masochism [mas-uh-kiz-uhm]:

  1. gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc., inflicted or imposed on oneself, either as a result of one’s own actions or the actions of others, esp. the tendency to seek this form of gratification.
  2. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.
  3. Volunteering to take your 12-year-old Secret Torture Agent to the mall to spend her birthday money (and bringing your 4-year-old Jr. Secret Torture Agent with you).

Okay, so dictionary.com only lists #1 & #2.  But, obviously someone over there has never attempted #3.

Last night I ventured out to suburbia to let Biggie spend some of her birthday and graduation gift certificates.  I will let you guess how long it took for her to spend $325 in two stores.   A hint:  the girl knows what she wants. After the first stop on the torture tour, Justice, where we purchased everything from clothes to mood change nail polish to ZuZu pets** (for Smalls), we headed on over to Abercrombie (the kids version of Abercrombie & Fitch).  At Abercrombie, they sell underwear shorts.

Abercrombie underwear, I mean... shorts.

Now, I understand that at the ripe old age of 33 that I am an unhip curmudgeon by pre-teen standards, but WHAT THE HECK ARE THEY THINKING?  Parents are up in arms about Miley Cyrus (who is 18) gyrating on stage and singing about how she can’t be tamed, but it is okay to market this apparel to pre-teen girls?  The inseam on these shorts has to be less than an inch and they are super low-rise.  And, they come in a size 7. 7!

Me:  No way! Those are ludicris! Biggie, you have underwear bigger than those shorts.

Biggie: Ew! No! Maybe YOU have underwear bigger than those shorts. [eye roll, hand wave, head twist]

Me: We need to get you bigger underwear.

We left the mall, sans underwear shorts and were all starving.  Where to go in suburbia when you want a good meal?  Steak-n-Shake, of course.  They were all out of “regular” cups, so we received our milkshakes in “large” cups.  Now, there is a saying in our household when food is served in a ridiculous portion.  We say, “it was bigger than my head.”  As in, “The burger was so big.  It was bigger than my head.”

I would say about a head and a half.

I don’t even think Jaba the Hut has a bladder that big.  But, at least now I know how I can keep Biggie out of the underwear shorts.

Me:  Biggie, that milkshake is bigger than those shorts.

Biggie:  Yeah, it is. [fit of giggles]

Me: We need to get you bigger milkshakes more often.

**For those of you not in the know (lucky bastards), ZuZu Pets are electronic hamsters that make noises and roll around the house.  They are very realistic, as somehow the ONE I allowed Smalls to get turned into FOUR in the time it took me to pick out a t-shirt for Biggie.  I bet they also come with a squeaky wheel and an auto-setting for “nocturnal.”  Damn Department of Torture, they are inventive.




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