At Least Say "Please" When You Tell Me I'm Doing it Wrong

"You are off route," the monotone voice said.

"You are off route," it repeated.

I glanced around and wondered how it was possible I was off route when there hadn't been a single cross road or exit for miles. Glancing down at the GPS, I realized it had been smoking crack in between downing bottles of crazy pills. According to the GPS, I was sitting smack dab in the middle of a golf course.

Except, I wasn't. I was smack dab in the middle of a freeway, driving 55 mph as other cars zipped past me.

I smacked at the GPS a few times to shut it up and hoped it would get a clue before I reached the portion of the journey that I actually needed help with. Of course, it didn't. I wondered aloud to Alexis why we even ask the GPS for directions when it is so frequently wrong.

She wondered why we ask the GPS when it is so clearly lacking in manners. It drives the poor kid absolutely insane that the GPS doesn't say "Please" and "Thank you" as it bosses you around. Alexis doesn't have to worry about turning into her mom in 30 years; she's already there. Together we shall nag the universe into having good manners. Just call us the Please Police.

Alexis continued on to ask if the GPS was smart. I responded by saying that it was sort of the expert on how to get places.

And then I thought about it some more. I realized the GPS is a lot like every other kind of expert there is. Parenting experts . . . social media experts . . . all experts . . . they're quick to give you advice, often being bossy and rude as they do it, but they don't always really know what they're talking about. Unless that expert is in your shoes, seeing all the things you see, they sometimes can't tell the difference between a golf course and a freeway.

Screw the experts.


Kids Are Smarter Than Us

Alexis is in a "I don't want to go to school," rut. I think it's a combination of things that has her suddenly all whiny about going to the only place she has ever known. For one, there have been FAR too many vacation/sick/stay home days in the past few months. While I'm glad she has had a lot of fun each time she's gotten one, she hasn't quite figured out that we can't keep up that pace all year round.  The bigger issue, however, is that her bestest friend of all time switched schools about a month back. And when I say "bestest friend," I'm talking about Alexis' other half . . . the little girl who became attached to Alexis' hip (and heart) when they were 6-months old and never let go. Until now.

Yeah, it kinda sucks. A lot.

Anyway, this morning was yet another morning filled with complaints like, "I want to stay home with you," and such. Once I explained to Alexis that it would be terribly boring at home all by herself since I wouldn't be there, she got the bright idea into her head that she should ask to go to work with me.

I told her that would also be horribly boring. Always one to investigate potential lies, she started questioning me. I shot down her dreams of watching TV. I blew up her hopes of playing with toys. I denied the opportunity to play outside. I confessed that the snacks weren't as good as what she would get at school. I admitted there was no story time. I acknowledged that there would be no chances to splash in the sprinkler.

With a newfound understanding for what it is that I don't do at work, Alexis looked at me and said, "It's OK, momma. You can stay here with me. We'll have fun!"

If only.


I Have a Problem

Confession: I have a very severe case of Can't-throw-toys-away-itis. I've suffered from the disease for as long as I can remember. I could prove it by parading out bag-after-bag filled with stuffed animals from my childhood, but really, the most effective proof comes in the form of toys from the bottom of the toy food chain.

Happy Meal toys.

Now, before the Nutrition Police come jumping down my throat about letting my kid eat that many Happy Meals, please note that it is *I* who will live forever thanks to the wondrous preservatives contained in McDonald's french fries and that orange day-glo cheese they use. I am a fan of "Cheeseburger Happy Meals Without the Meat, please" and have been eating them pretty much forever, especially when I need a cheap lunch quick.

And, well, if you look closely at some of the toys, you'll realize that Alexis was definitely not the beneficiary of the McDonald's goodness.

Dr. Google says I've had those two toys since 1996.

*hangs head in shame*

I told you I can't throw away toys. I CAN'T. Not even when they deserve to die a painful death.

Exhibit A:

DIE, STUPID GUITAR, DIE! Er . . . I can wish a painful death on the annoying thing, but I can't actually put it in the trash.

Perhaps the most annoying toy every to come into my possession was this ridiculous brown/gray blob thing that made a nose that sounded a little bit like a gassy foghorn. Actually, it didn't just sound a little like that, it sounded EXACTLY like that. Somehow the thing became stuck under the seat of my car, a fact which was only evident when I made a right turn. I would turn the steering wheel and hear the loudest, most obnoxious farting noise coming from directly below me.

So classy.

It stayed in my car for months because by the time my hands were free to rummage for the Mystery Farter, it had long ago stopped making the noise. I would forget right up until I had to make another right turn. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Oh, and this is the Mystery Farter.

A person with a brain would have thrown it away after evicting it from the car. I, on the other hand, tossed it in with the dozens of other Happy Meal toys.

I told you it was a disease.

And now I've gone to see Toy Story 3.

First of all, if you haven't seen it yet, GOOOOOO! It just might be the best Pixar movie of all time, which is like saying the $100 bill is the greatest currency of all time. Seriously, I loved the movie, as did Alexis and Mr. Husband.

Second of all, thanks to the Toy Story franchise, but especially Toy Story 3, I now think toys have feeeeelings and they'll be hurt and scared and OMG! Not the landfill! And OMG! Not the daycare center and OMG! Not the attic! and OMG! you have to keep toys forever and ever and ever and you have to play with them every day and waaaaah! I'll never throw away another toy again, not even a broken one because what if it's Woody and Buzz's friend?

If you haven't seen Toy Story 3 yet, clean out the toybox before you do. It'll be the last time you'll ever get rid of a toy without feeling guilty about it.

Or is that just me?