Sunday, July 24, 2005


Forgive me local grocer, for I have sinned. Today I did something I swore I would never do. I bought groceries at Wal-Mart. Of course your selection is so much better, your produce is fresher and you always have a friendly employee available to help me find items and carry my bags. I know I will never enjoy the same at...that place.

I swear it was not my fault. The blame falls on The Little One and her insatiable NeoPet card addiction. You see Toys R Us no longer carries them. We checked, really we did. It is amazing the amount of chores she will do unasked for a simple booster pack of this silly card game. And you know how desperate I am to reward her for that behavior. For her to actually do housework on her own is not only a small miracle, but it definitely deserves the highest encouragement and praise. Honestly, we did not plan to enter...that place. We were going to go to Big K instead, but we were RIGHT THERE and I was tired.

I honestly only intended to look for the game. How could I know that we had entered the store on the grocery side? I tried not to glance at the displays, I swear. But that bagel display was strategically placed right in my path! You remember the kid's favorite brand of bagel, the one you sell for $1.49? Well they were sitting right in front of me for NINTY-EIGHT CENTS per package! The next thing I knew, I was wandering around and the ingredients for tonight's dinner just fell into my cart. Can you imagine ground sirloin at almost a buck less per pound than I buy it from you?!

Do not fear, however. My loyalty lies with you, dear local grocer. You practice fair employee policies and you purchase merchandise from American manufacturers. You even purchase produce from local farmers, which I appreciate. Please know that I did suffer for my transgression, really I did. I could find no employee available to guide us to the collectible card game section. When we finally tracked one down, we were told "Iunno. Not in my section." We wandered around in aisles so jammed packed with people (not the nicest, cleanest people we've ever encountered either) that we could barely maneuver our cart. And rest assured that the cashier was rather rude and acted put upon when we went to check out. The final kick in the pants was losing 15 minutes of our lives searching for our car in that huge, confusing parking lot.

I have learned my lesson my beloved local grocer. I did save money, but the guilt I now feel in regards to you and our long-term relationship along with the hassle just wasn't worth it. I promise my dear sir, if you will find it in your heart to forgive me this one transgression, I swear that I will not sin again.


Your Long Term Customer Catt

Friday, July 22, 2005

Utter Disgust

I am so angry and disgusted that I could spit nails or smack someone. Lucky for the kids, they are spending the night with their respective friends. (Ed. Disclaimer: I have never actually struck my kids, though there have been plenty of times that I really wanted to) What follows are the details of a local news story that has truly sickened me.

Last week a 4-year-old child went missing in a neighboring city. The incident touched off a massive manhunt, prayer vigils and as you can imagine, a huge media story. The boyfriend of the child's aunt was the one who reported the boy missing. What struck me as a bit strange at the time was the fact that the child was not reported missing until the aunt and the boyfriend had reportedly looked for him on their own for 5 hours before calling the police. The interview with the child's mother was rather disturbing, as she didn't seem to even know much about the child, much less his habits. She almost seemed to be on something. Of course, stress, grief and worry affect people in different ways. I'm sure if my child were missing I'd be heavily medicated as well. After two days of searching, the child's body was found.

As the story unfolded over the last several days many facts came to light. The "mother", it seems has not had custody of the child (or any of her other children). This little boy was in the custody of his paternal grandmother who lives in Jersey. He was here in the area to spend the summer with the aunt. It didn't take long after that for the news to report that the boyfriend had been arrested for murder. After the autopsy, the aunt and the boyfriend's mother were arrested for child abuse and neglect. It seems this little boy had been badly abused, apparently for quite some time, not just during this visit.

Believe it or not, as horrible as the story is, that is not what has me so riled up. I happened to read the boy's obituary in the paper. The family is planning a big funeral, and it is expected that the turn out will be huge as happens when these horrible stories are featured so prominently in the media. I have no problem with that. What got me though, was the last line of the obit. The family has set up a fund at a local bank for donations. The donations go to the family...NOT a children's shelter, NOT an organization that works to prevent child abuse, but the family. The fact that these people seek to gain financially from this child's death makes me physically nauseous.

I'll bury this post soon. I just felt the need to rant and rave. Now I think I'll go have some ice cream.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Lost His Shorts - Among Other Things

Why is it that when boy children reach the age of 13, their brains turn to mush and run out of their ears? I just do not understand it. Any common sense these man-children have begun to develop completely evaporates. Take the report card incident yesterday for example:

I have been patiently awaiting #1 Son's final report card that was supposed to arrive by mail. It had not arrived, but I chalked that up to the school's computer system, which has been known to cause delays. They have been out of school for a month though, so I was beginning to get concerned. I made the comment to the boy yesterday that I was going to call the school to inquire about the delay and also to complain that since other school districts sent out their report cards weeks ago, I felt a month was more than adequate.

Well, guess what? #1 Son neglected to tell me about the Math book he somehow managed to misplace. Luckily he fessed up before I embarrassed myself. It seems the school takes these little snafus rather seriously. His report card was being held hostage for $41.88. Can you imagine the thrill I felt? What really clinched it was his explanation. You see, he apparently attempted to turn his book in, but the teacher refused to take it. It seems he was trying to turn it in BEFORE the final exam and the teacher, in his wisdom, explained that the boy might actually require the book to study. So what did my darling child do? He proceeded to take it to a couple of classes and managed to leave it laying in a classroom somewhere. The book never made it back home.

After the ranting and raving (mine), I managed to liberate his report card. Did I mention it cost me $41.88? I think my favorite part of the whole experience was actually viewing the long anticipated grades. My son managed to get an "E" in gym. For those of you who are not politically correct, that means he failed gym for the last grading period (lucky for him, it only brought his final grade down to a C). You may be wondering, as I did (loudly and angrily), just how one manages to FAIL gym. As I still do not understand it myself, here is the explanation I received:

Him: I guess it might have been because I didn't dress out.

Me: Why in the world did you stop dressing out?

Him: I guess because I lost half of my gym uniform.

Me: What?! How did you manage to LOSE half of your uniform?

Him: I think it might have gotten stolen.

Me: You think? I specifically remember buying you a second lock for your gym locker. Just how was it stolen from your locker?

Him: Well see, I opened my locker to change and had to go to the bathroom. When I came back it was gone. I think that's what happened.

Me: (BIG sigh) So WHY am I just hearing about this now? You mean to tell me that you would rather take an F in the class than inform me so that we can replace a simple pair of cheap shorts?!

Him: Well I was trying to save you money. I didn't want you to have to pay for something I'd just outgrow anyway.

Where is this considerate attitude when he wants a pair of $100 tennis shoes?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Things I Learned On My Summer Vacation

We have just returned from another little mini-vacation. Why do I do this to myself? Hopefully you will benefit from my newfound wisdom.

1) A child that makes a big deal out of remembering to bring her Gameboy on a road trip will forget to bring any games.

2) A child that spends 10 miles laughing at his sibling who forgot to pack Gameboy games will discover that he has forgotten his Gameboy, despite remembering to pack 17 games.

3) It is impossible for two children to work out a compromise to share one Gameboy and 17 games. Instead, they will taunt each other for 5 days straight.

4) Children can sniff out any and every gift shop within a 5-mile radius.

5) Asking a child to read, even something as small as a historical marker, during summer vacation will give them a "massive headache."

6) Despite getting a grade of 100 on a test and major project in school covering the subject, a ten-year-old child will tell you that Valley Forge is the place where "Washington Lincoln bought Delaware from the Indians after some war."

7) Summer vacation apparently causes a child's brains to leak from their head.

8) A tired, hungry child will chant "Mamma, Mamma, Mamma" continuously for 47 miles.

9) A teenager can fall asleep while listening to a screaming death metal CD through headphones. The other occupants of the car, however, will hear every note as if they are sitting in the front row of a concert hall. The teenager will instantly awaken when you turn off his Walkman. He will then be crabby.

10) There are no fewer than 62 radio stations in eastern Pennsylvania that broadcast the NASCAR race. This is not fun for non-NASCAR fans.

11) A child will moan and groan for almost an hour when subjected to a CD by the Dave Matthews Band. This same child will happily listen to the Veggie Tales CD 8 consecutive times...nonstop.

12) No matter which lane you choose when approaching the tollbooth, you will be behind the guy who is counting out $2.00 in pennies.

13) If you have a choice of two routes to reach your destination, pick the fastest one and THEN go the other way. You will save over an hour and a half sitting in traffic with the other drivers who thought they too were taking the faster route. We learned this lesson the hard way.

Happy Travels!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Sleep Deprived

Have I mentioned that I hate summer vacation? I remember living for it as a kid. It wasn't until I became a parent that I realized what a sleep deprived marathon it really is. My children have morphed into unrecognizable beings that have reached new heights of crabbiness.

The Little One is attending an art camp that begins an hour and 15 minutes earlier than her normal school day. Because it is summer vacation, however, she has decided that she is entitled to stay up until 11pm - a full hour and a half later than her usual bedtime. I know, I know...I am the parent and should be able to enforce the bedtime right? HA! Believe me I try, but I am no match for the will of a stubborn, determined 10-year-old girl. She has stooped to levels of stalling that have not been witnessed before in this house. I have even tried to sit up in her room to force her to knock off the stall tactics. The problem with that plan is that I, being sleep deprived myself as well as pregnant, tend to fall asleep thus clearing the path for her eighth trip to the bathroom. The fun part is all the muttering under her breath of phrases like, "how come HE gets to stay up?" ("HE" being the dreaded older brother) and "for cryin' out loud, it's summer vacation!" among other favorites. I'd smack her if I had the energy.

Lately we've decided not to fight her. I figure that she'll feel so miserable that she will understand why we want her to go to bed at her regular time. The result of this is that mornings have become much more of a funfest than usual. She is not normally a happy camper at the start of the day to begin with unless she awakens on her own. We have now resorted to waking her by poking her with a long pole, much like you would taunt a ferocious wild animal. Sometimes I think dealing with a wild animal would be safer.

#1 Son has also evolved into a nocturnal alien who resembles something out of a science fiction movie. There are so many wires protruding from his head that I am afraid he will strangle himself if startled. He has become a master of multi-tasking. I have witnessed him simultaneously playing on the computer (headphones in one ear), listening to his stereo with the volume on scream, talking on the phone all while watching television. I cannot, however, assign him successive tasks like "unload the dishwasher then reload it" or "take out the trash then put a clean bag back in the can" without him forgetting half of the job. He is also a joy to awaken if you attempt it before the crack of noon.

Speaking of aliens, the one in my belly has decided that sleep (mine) is for wimps. He has also become nocturnal and does his best John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever" imitation once I finally lay down in bed. It was so bad last night that he was keeping C. awake. What did my beloved husband (who did this to me, damnit!) do? He moved to the other side of the bed so he could get some sleep. Jerk. I think I'll pay him back during labor. Won't he be surprised?

So yes, my friends, I am sleep deprived and really OVER this summer thing. I want my routine back. In the meantime I think I'll go take a nap. Wake me when it's September.

Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

See my complete profile

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