Every year when my birthday rolls around, I make a big deal about advocating for yourself. I stand up, loud and proud, and say- get YOURSELF something. Don’t use a giftcard you were given to buy the kids something. Don’t sit there and hum and haw about how the kids could use new socks, or shoes. Of course they can. The kids ALWAYS need something. But so do you. And even if you don’t need it, even if it’s frivolous, you deserve it. Be “selfish”- it’s okay. It’s YOUR day. Take that shit. Get something you want that no one else can use. Eat the food you like, even if no one else likes it. Take the day off from the responsibilities around the house calling your name. Laundry can wait. Feeding your kids, ehhhhh maybe not- but the rest can hold off another day.
After a decade of not doing anything for myself for my birthdays, of them always being more about someone else than myself, or about nothing at all- I took the reigns last year. I took them, I got exactly what I wanted, and it was the best birthday I’d had in as long as I could remember.
This year was a bit different. I’ve been a bit down, I’ve been stressed, and dragging, and with my birthday creeping up (as I type this, it is tomorrow, which is January 30th), I just didn’t feel like having to bug my family about my birthday. I didn’t feel like making my own big plans. I just wanted, for once, for someone else to do something for me–instead of me taking it all on myself. I wanted to sit back for once. Not have to worry about it. Not yell it from the roof tops.
I received confirmation today that nothing has been planned for my birthday. No meals, no gifts, no cards–not from anyone in my immediate family. This isn’t one of those sitcom moments where they’re going to surprise me at the last second and make me feel like an asshole for expressing my disappointment- they’ve literally done nothing.
I want to be mad. After the huge deal I made about it last year, and no one even though to get a card? I want to feel down, and unappreciated- but I don’t deserve that on my birthday. I deserve to feel good about myself, and while I think the disappointment will stay- the sadness will not.
Thing is, we parents spend so much time taking care of everyone else- that those we take care of don’t realize that sometimes we need to be taken care of as well. They think we’re so solid, so dependable, that we don’t occasionally need to be treated. And it SUCKS. But I get it.
It’s not because they don’t care that they didn’t make any birthday plans for me. It’s not even because they forgot. It’s because I made them think I didn’t need it, didn’t want it. That was partially my mistake, and one I won’t make again–because teaching my kids to appreciate the ones in their lives that they love, even with just small things, like homemade cards, is a lesson worth teaching. And standing up for myself, and speaking out about what I want, what I need, and when my feelings are hurt, is one I’m still learning.
My Netflix assignment this month is to share with you the upcoming Netflix series and shows that I’m excited for in 2018… but that’s kind of impossible, because I’ve been loving everything. There’s so much amazing content on Netflix right now, and on the horizon, that I can’t choose. That’s honestly not a bad problem to have.
If you’re anything like me, and you’ve watched basically everything there is to offer- OR- if you’re just looking for some recommendations of what to watch this coming year, for you AND the kids, I’ve got you covered.
My FIRST suggestion (for the adults) is one that is kind of going against the “rules”- because it’s already streaming, but I have to share it:
An adorable British romantic comedy series that I used to watch years ago when it went by the weird, yet endearing name “SCROTAL RECALL”. I thought they hadn’t made another season even though they left me in the lurch with the finale of season 1, but it turns out they just changed the name on me, and there are TWO more seasons to watch. SO GO WATCH THEM.
After you’re done with that, and if you’ve already binged the hell out of Black Mirror and are haaaaaaaaaaaating that you didn’t savor the episodes because now you have to wait another year or so for more, there may be something to tide you over.
Described as “a fast-paced cyberpunk series where death isn’t permanent and human consciousness can be digitized and downloaded from body to body”- it looks like one episode of Black Mirror in series form, and I’m totally down. Altered Carbon begins streaming on February 2nd
COMING SOON- but I’m not sure when-
SANTA CLARITA DIET season 2!
No, I don’t have a date. Don’t come at me and try to kill, stuff me in a freezer, and save me for snacks over it, okay?
I need to know– is there a cure?? Is she going to fall (literally) completely apart??
I hope you’re not tired of reboots, because 2018 brings a reboot of the 1960’s classic- LOST IN SPACE!
Danger Will Robinson!
One I’m really excited to dig into is a new series called “EVERYTHING SUCKS!” —
“The standard coming-of-age story is turned on its head with a set of dueling A/V and drama clubs set in 1990s Oregon” – which sounds absolutely hysterical. That begins streaming February 16th!
Check out the trailer:
Dear god, my childhood.
Is that all? Absolutely not- but there is only so much time in the day– and we still have to cover stuff for the kiddies! And I guess us adults, too, since we have to sit through most of this with them.
Some NON-cringeworthy recommendations (actually I’m pretty excited about a few of these):
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS Season 2!
My kids have read the books, but are still super pumped to see what happens to the Boudelaire orphans in this second season! Neil Patrick Harris returns as a delightfully, horribly evil Count Olaf.
Season 2 starts streaming on March 30th!
TROLLS: THE BEAT GOES ON!
Heck yes there’s a Trolls series.
“Trolls: The Beat Goes On! picks up right where the hit movie left off, and follows the adventures of Poppy, Branch and all their Troll friends.”
I’ll be honest- I didn’t want to like Trolls, but I couldn’t help myself. Me and the boys even had a Trolls crafting afternoon, courtesy of DreamWorks animation, to celebrate! All episodes are streaming now!
So, tell me- what are YOU excited to watch on Netflix in 2018? What should I watch??
When I was in the second grade, I broke my leg. My family had gone on our annual skiing trip to Massanutten, a ski resort nestled in the mountains of Virginia. We had a week full of laughs in freezing temperatures, and were sad that it was about to come to an end.
As a typical kid who didn’t want to leave, I convinced my mom to take one more trip down an advanced ski slope called Geronimo. Reluctantly, she agreed. We strapped our skis back on, rode the lift up the mountain, and looked down upon the end of our vacation. Only, it didn’t end quite the way we thought it would.
Right over the first hill, I hit a patch of ice and went down, landing flat on my stomach. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, not that I fell often, but often enough to not think the pain I was experiencing was anything to be concerned about– and that’s when I heard my mom scream. I looked back over my shoulder at her, and that’s when I saw it. My foot. On backwards. Ski still attached.
A spiral fracture of the left tibia. We spent the end of our vacation in a hospital, and I spent the next 6 months in various itchy casts.
I never went skiing again.
“Oh my God, Jenny. That was almost 30 years ago. Get over it!”
I can’t. Seeing your leg on backwards changes you. I don’t even like snow anymore.
Have you ever had a moment that colors the rest of your life? You don’t realize it at the time, but something so small can shift everything you do from that moment forward.
There was a time I ate my mom’s special recipe sweet potato pie. It was the most delicious thing I’d ever eaten. I looked forward to it every year, and even begged her to bake it throughout the year just so I could have it. And then, one fateful day, I had about six servings and caught the stomach flu. I spent the next eight hours barfing up my beloved sweet potato pie and never ate it again. I can’t. My body physically will not allow even a bite to pass my lips because of fear of yacking it back up– even though the barfing had nothing to do with what I ate.
It didn’t stop as I went from childhood to adulthood, either. Experiences are still coloring how I live my life, the decisions I make, the things that I do and don’t do.
Like kids. Had 2 of those. Definitely won’t do that again. Live and learn, I guess.
“It’s 10pm, do you know where your children are?”
Bitch, yes. My kids are still young, but let me tell you something, I can already see myself as that evil parent who always knows where they are at all times because I’m GPSing tracking their phones. Of course, I won’t know for sure until I get there, but for now, I am comforted by the fact that my kids don’t go anywhere without me taking them there first.
The problem is what they do when they’re home. They’re in my house, I can hear, and see them at almost all hours they are awake… but I’ve lost them. It’s almost like I don’t even know them anymore, and I used to brag that I know them better than they know themselves. They are complete strangers. They’ve been stolen away from me.
It’s Minecraft, y’all. Minecraft stole my children from me. Minecraft is the true evil of their generation. It’s like pixelated crack. If they could snort it, I am positive they would.
They come home from school, ask what chore/s they can do to earn screen time, and I basically never see them again until their shit has shut off, or they have decided it they do not nourish their bodies they will die.
It’s all they talk about. It’s all they want to do. It’s all they think about. They have full conversations about Minecraft (and Roblox, don’t get me started on that shit) that sound like a completely different language to me. They probably dream about Minecraft. I no longer have to look at their shit unless it’s clogging the toilet, but I’m pretty sure it comes out in blocks.
I’m confused. My brain does not compute. I game quite a bit. Hell, I live stream games, but Minecraft is a weird little world I don’t understand.
They keep trying to pull me in. I want to talk to them about their school days and they want to talk to me about blocky bullshit.
I just want to hold a normal conversation, and they want to talk about some random youtube video they watched about some random Minecraft crap I don’t understand. I would rather talk about the molecular content of farts than talk about Minecraft. I would rather discuss what might have been trapped in Abraham Lincoln’s beard hair than discuss Minecraft. I would rather eat fossilized cat turds than talk about Minecraft.
This must be how my mom felt when I wouldn’t peel my ass off the floor and stop playing Nintendo/Sega, and that makes me uncomfortable. This is it. This is really it. I have become my mother. Thanks a lot, Minecraft.
It’s official. I’ve done it. Eight years and some change into parenting my second child, and I’m done. It’s complete. I have reached the pinnacle of parenting.
The first one I kinda fucked up, but he was my practice kid, right? I nailed the second one, and in record time. I can retire my parental finger wag and scowl I have honed over the past decade. He can go off to college now. I have nothing left to offer him, for he has everything he needs to be a productive human already. The older one is still going to require a little more work, but I am signing off on the eight year old. He is ready to go off and make his own way now.
I know what you’re thinking: How? How did you accomplish such a miraculous feat in such a short amount of time?Should we be calling the Guinness Book of World Records? Putting your name in the ballot box to win a Nobel Peace Prize? And let me say, while I appreciate the multitude of praise for a job spectacularly done, there is no need for parades, accolades, or awards. Instead, I am going to share with you the secret of my success, so that you, too, might be done parenting your children before they hit the double-digits.
It all started with Sunday chore-time. This is nothing unusual. We do it every. single. week. One week one will clean a bathroom and the kitchen table, and the other will clean the big bathroom (which is “their” bathroom) and the other small bathroom. The next week, they switch. They can try to argue, but it’s no use, because this is how it is. As long as they complete these chores and don’t half-ass them, all is right with the world. They’ve been doing a decent job for so long now that I didn’t even think to check every nook and cranny behind them to make sure they hadn’t half-assed. I may have never even noticed had the toilet in the master bathroom not been out of commission, and had I not needed to go pee before bed time on Sunday night, and had I NOT noticed, while going to sit on that toilet, that it wasn’t really clean. That is what brought my attention to the base of the toilet, and around to the back, and WHAT, pray-tell, did my eyes behold?
Pee. But not just any pee, crusty pee. Lots of crusty ol’ pee. Probably weeks worth of crusty pee because maybe the boys decided they didn’t need to actually aim into the toilet and it’d be fine flying all over the place like a fucking water hose- I’m not really sure. All I know is I was horrified.
Have you ever tried to pee with your feet OFF of the ground? It’s like the opposite of a public restroom butt-hover. It’s where the floor is so disgusting, that you plant your ass, lift your feet, and let it go. Once you’re done, you do an Olympic gymnast level leap clear to the other side of the bathroom. It’s dangerous, as your pants are still down, limiting your range of movement, but it can be done if you don’t want a layer of crusty pee on your feet.
I was disappointed, yes. Disgusted, absolutely. Angry, yeah- a little. I trust the kids to fully clean the bathrooms in exchange for being able to live here for free, and screen time, and me making them food, and all that fun stuff. I don’t ask for a lot. Some respect, a few chores here and there, general requirement of not being a major a-hole. EZPZ, right?
Monday rolls along, and I roll out of bed still thinking about the fact that I nearly used the boys’ old pee as a foot exfoliator.
I confront the one responsible for the half-assery and request, calmly, that when he go and finish the job he was supposed to do the day before. He asks if he can get to it a bit later. Sure, I say. It’s early, why not, I say. Let’s relax for a bit– as long as you get it done. I’m not unreasonable.
By the time he gets to it, it’s a bit before lunch. I’m upstairs in my room doing my makeup.
To give you an idea of how far we are apart- I’m at the back corner of my room, about ten feet to my right is my doorway, and a few feet from that doorway is the doorway to his bathroom. I can hear everything crystal clearly.
It starts with him claiming he has no idea what I’m talking about. According to him, the bathroom is spotless. There’s no mess. I inform him that not only did I find poo streaks on the toilet seat itself (which I cleaned off prior to sitting, he can thank me very much) but that I nearly wore his old pee as winter socks.
He is not pleased.
And by not pleased, I mean hysterical once he sees the devastation that has occurred.
This isn’t unusual. The kid always cries when he has to re-do chores. I’m never sure why, because he spends 10 times longer crying about cleaning than it would take to actually get the job done, but whatever. I’m not him. He can waste his time however he sees fit.
I heard something different through the self-pitying sobs this time. I pause doing my eyeliner to get a better listen.
It’s…. what IS that–I wonder to myself.
And then it hits me, much like reality has hit him. He’s gagging.
So I’m sitting there at my vanity, trying to perfect a cat eye, and he’s a few feet away, scrubbing up his OWN CRUSTY OLD PEE like
“THIS IS DISGUSTING” *gag* “I HATE THIS” *gag gag* “THIS IS SO UNFAIR!” *gag* “I DON’T WANT TO-eeeoooohhhehhh-DO THIS ANYMORE!”
And it’s taking everything within me not to laugh hysterically. Never has there been a sound more pitiful than a little boy realizing how fucking disgusting he is and having to clean up the disaster he himself has created.
It’s karma. It’s poetic justice. It’s the peepocalypse. And he’ll never ever half ass cleaning the bottom of the toilet again.
(shhhhhh, just let me live in my delusion for a day or two)
@AtypicalMiriam I am frightening *and* tall 😂
@AtypicalMiriam He fears me. I am the only female I this house. All penis people live in fear.
Me: Just ripped the ass out of my pants. I mean, they were OLD pants, but I feel like it's because I was bigger than I was 10 years ago. 10yo: Everyone's bigger than they were 10 years ago! I am! Me: YOU WERE AN INFANT 10 YEARS AGO 10yo: ... 10yo: *slowly backs out of room*
Person on tv: Age is just a number! 10yo: Yeah, a number that pulls you closer to death.
Party animal over here pic.twitter.com/OVpKPuu4Yc
Proving to my kids that they ARE Friends goo.gl/fb/QbSSNp
Writing my next book Me: My period inspired a whole new chapter! Husband: Your lack of period inspired a whole book... Me: pic.twitter.com/fpNHwnYeAF
The card my kid made me at school. I truly don't know why I expected anything different 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/T7nai0ycqS