Monthly Archives: March 2009

Smile Therapy

8:00 p.m. – I am sitting in my car at my daughter’s school and I’m smiling. They say if you smile, your mood lifts. Sometimes my day takes on the tempo of a runaway train and this was one of those days. So when these days happen, I try smile therapy. It keeps me from taking it all personally. My day began at 6:00 a.m. but the real race started at noon. Here’s the play-by-play:

Little E’s school’s Open House is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and she has early dismissal, so I use my lunch hour to pick up her and a friend at 12:45. We run to the friend’s house to fetch her computer, stop at McD’s for lunch ($20!), and I drop them off with instructions to walk the dog, clean up the lunch mess, and do their homework.

I knew I had to cook dinner since my budget wouldn’t be able to handle another splurge. My boss lets me leave a few minutes early and I stop at the store to pick up some things. Racing home, I am greeted at the door by a McMess on the table, a puppy that had thrown up (the dog would eat a chair if it fit down his throat!), and two kids staring into computer screens. Interesting choices – not wise ones considering the day would end with parents in face-to-face discussion with teachers.

Juggling grocery bags, I let the dog out of the kitchen and tell my daughter to clean up so I can start the spaghetti. She piles a tray high with trash and, as she moves toward the garbage bag I am holding open, the entire contents of a McShamrock shake falls to the floor. Apparently, I need to actually tell my child at least once in her lifetime that she should empty liquid into the sink first, so it’s my fault.

For the second time (or is it the third?), I tell her to clean it all up and, as I turn to wipe down my pants and shoes, I see the dog peeing on the carpet – twice. I ask them if they took the dog out…….no. Did you at least finish your homework?……uhhmmm. Mental note: lock up her laptop for the rest of the week.

Deep breath. Regroup. It is now 6:10 and I need to leave at 6:45, after I cook supper. I take the dog out, although it’s kind of useless but it makes me feel better. Coming in, I watch my girl go through an entire roll of paper towels because she can’t let it touch her fingers – gross! I jump in to help because time is a-ticking.

Finally, the green gunk is cleaned up and I mean this stuff flew! The fridge, the stove, the dog, and I am sticking to the floor with every step. Making my way to the stove, I put a pot on to boil and grab the cleanser to try and unstick my kitchen while the supper is cooking. After all, multi-tasking is my life.

6:50 p.m.- Spaghetti and meatballs are served, the dog is wiped down, and I take off for Open House almost on time. I end the evening with my daughter’s English teacher, who tells me the kid is smart but she is a little lazy with the details, like cleaning up her work and finishing things. Yeah, tell me about it.

Keep smiling.


Filed under Personal Life


You may have one of those “School Years” books. Actually, if you are a parent, it’s a certainty – they come with the kids. It’s like homework….it’s momwork. And lots of moms keep up-to-date on their kid’s books. I’m just not one of those moms. At present, sheets of junior artwork and class photos are shoved into Years One and Two but that’s about it. I have all the stuff. I throw little of my child’s creations away, which plays havoc with my closet space. I keep telling myself that I will eventually make the time to organize it all. But for me, the problem is a combination of procrastination, my need to split my daily energies between work and family, and, as of right now, there are still only 24 darn hours in a day.

So, imagine my thrill when my daughter brought home a shiny new book titled “My School Years” and presented it to me with pride. She bought it at the school book sale and thought it would absolutely make my day. I ooh’d and aah’d, thanking her dramatically, and off she went, mission accomplished. Sometimes I benefit from my daughter’s occasional lack of follow-through and, whew, this was one of those times. The book sits on the shelf next to the first one and, to any visitor, I appear the model mom. If anyone decides to leaf through one, I’m cooked.

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Life is in the moments.

Moments can be humorous, most especially when you look back. For a single working mom, living in each moment is sometimes frustrating and frequently lunacy. Writing it down is therapy – it makes me laugh and helps me to move forward. By sharing these slices of my life, I hope to just lighten your day and help you to find comfort in the fact that you aren’t the only one sticking to the kitchen floor.

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Filed under Personal Life, Teen Years