Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Flip, Flop, Cover-up?

We have eight people in our home who each own at least three pairs of flip-flops. That’s 24 total pairs of flip-flops. So why is it we have exactly 23 singles that don’t match any longer?

My answer may alarm you but here’s the truth. You know how we all hear about candidates running for President who are constantly being accused of “flip-flopping” on the issues? There’s a reason why. It’s not because they are constantly changing their mind on vital topics of the day. No, that’s too simple. It’s really code language for something far more sinister.

It’s because several of the Democratic and Republican front-runners for President may have actually stolen flip-flops right out of your front hallway closet (Go try and find a matching pair right now. See I was right). It’s all so obvious. Why else do you think the leading candidates are constantly calling each other “flip-floppers?” They all know the truth about each other’s shocking behavior -- but we’re not listening. Shame on all of them – taking one of our little kid’s seaweed green flip flops right in the middle of the night.

Still need more proof? Okay, try this on for size. Why is it that they never, ever show the feet of candidates during a televised debate? Why do they insist on hiding behind those floor length podiums even when they claim they’re going toe to toe? Just for balance? No, Sir. It’s so you and I won’t see their tiny little sinister political piggys from sticking out from a turquoise flip-flop on one foot and an orange flip-flop on the other. Imagine the gall of these Presidential candidates.

They’re constantly telling us, “It’s time to take back our nation.” I say it’s time we take back our flip-flops. Let them cash in their millions in campaign contributions and go to a clearance aisle at Walgreens in November if they want their own pair of flip-flops that bad. Why deprive a family of eight from the flip flops we so desperately need to go swimming next June?

As a mother I say, who cares about the economy, or health care, or foreign policy when compared to the real issue of our day? Don’t you agree with me that we as a nation have the right to see just who is wearing our flip-flops? After all, one of these men or women may someday place their feet in the Oval Office. (Hey, wait a minute. Now that I think about it why do they never show the President’s feet behind his desk in the Oval Office either? What’s he wearing? This story could get big…)

So which party can be trusted to address the problem of missing flip-flops? The Liberals promise that they’ll confiscate only those who own too many flip-flops. Their plan is to then redistribute flip-flops on a more equal basis throughout society. (Like I want to wear someone else’s flip-flop even if it once belonged to Donald Trump.) The Conservatives on the other hand, promise if elected, to cut your flip-flops in half and let you keep the other portion rather than sending the whole thing to Washington. (Like we all can wear a flip without a flop and not suffer for it.)

Moms, it’s time you got involved. I challenge you to attend a caucus or town hall meeting the next time a Presidential candidate comes to town. I, for one, plan to ask, “As a mother of six who are missing dozens of flip-flops, tell me…how will Baby Boomers once they reach retirement age, tip-toe through the Medicare system wearing only one flip-flop? How will you prevent “no child from being left behind” with only one sandal? And the perennial question, “Do you as a flip-flopper feel my pain (particularly fallen arches and bone spurs)?”

Yes sir, these candidates deserve these tough questions and more. And don’t be surprised if you catch one of them putting their foot in their mouth – and you suddenly recognize it’s one of your son’s flip-flops.

As a Mom, this may be the most important election of our time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dinner: Solved

Finding time for cooking a homemade dinner is tough. Friends, baseball and watching Hannah Montana all cut into our time.

For all of our busyness I've come up with a solution. No, its not revealing Hannah Montana's secret to the world, but rather canned food. I know what you're thinking... a whole meal from cans. Won't that taste awful? My answer. Probably. But it's fast.

To start things off I suggest chicken. Nothing spells homemade like Sweet Sue's Canned Whole Chicken. It's just like Grandma used to make in her country kitchen if Grandma were a multinational corporation specializing in processed and preserved poultry.
To compliment the main course I would say the best idea would be Jellied Eels. A lot of kids would never even think of eating a plain eel but throw the word Jelly before it and suddenly it's goes like hot cakes.

To top it all off there's refreshing Bird's Nest Drink. I think its producer sums it up best with its self proclamation of "Super." This will undoubtedly remind kids of other super things, like Super Soakers or the Super Mario Brothers.

So there it is, a dinner that tastes like homemade in a quarter of the time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

"Top Ten" Questions I have about Laundry

All of us have questions about our laundry. Women used to have their questions answered by their moms, grandmas and neighbors over the backyard fence as they hung their clothes up on the clothesline. I am a stay at home mom of 6 with mountains of laundry to do. These are some of my unanswered questions about laundry.

"Top Ten" Questions I have about Laundry

1) How come no woman I know has time to hang their bed sheets out to dry on a clothesline but has 45 minutes to drive to a Hallmark store to buy a candle named "country sheets?"
2) Why is it socks go in the washing machine as pairs and never come out?

3) How come people say it helps the environment if I wash cloth diapers instead of using Pampers for six children -- but in the end have to dispose of two Maytag washing machines and a dryer from running them night and day? Are these people willing to come and bury my appliances in their backyard?

4) Why did I let my Aunt Lillian talk me into washing my husband's new ties in the washing machine? Why did she smile and promise they would look "better than new?"

5) How come I have to use an entire cannister of Oxyclean on my kids' sports uniform to get a postage stamp of grass stain out each week -- yet they clean an entire carpet covered with sump pump sludge with only two tablespoons on television ads? Can I connect my sump pump to their carpet?

6) How come Metamucil tablets turn into lifesize baskteballs that have a life of their own when they go through the wash if they are left in a pocket?

7) How come my laundry pile is always taller than I am? How come I often hear the voice of a man from inside the laundry pile who once went into our laundryroom to work on our furnace? Is this the reason his truck has been parked outside for the last three months?

8) How come during the spin cycle my washing machine begins to vibrate with such force and velocity that it “walks” away from the wall? It really does. It reminds me of the robot from “Lost in Space” that used to follow family members waving its arms, “Danger Will Robinson…Danger Will Robinson.

9) How come one night we woke up thinking there was an intruder in our bedroom only to switch on the light and find out it was only our Maytag?

10) How come people ask me what I am going to do with all my time when I don't have all that laundry to do -- knowing full well that I will be dead.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Too Tired for Technology

As a mother of preschoolers, I fell behind the curve when it comes to technology. While other women were sporting Blackberries, Palm Pilots, and Blue Tubes dangling in their ears, all I could manage was a small spiral notebook from the dollar aisle in Walgreens. However, just to stay in the game I decided to refer to it as my Papyrus Pilot. My Bic ballpoint pen is my Cylinder Inkjet 5000.

These are some of the things that I have put in my Papyrus Pilot. First of all there's a listing of overdue library notices (now in the thousands of dollars, carrying with them threat of foreclosure on our home); the birthdays of all our relatives that I missed while taking anti-nausea drugs for throwing up during pregnancies.

Are you wondering what I was doing while you were updating? While other people were updating, I was scraping out the remainder of my mauve lipstick with the cap of my ink pen so I could make it last one more week.

While other people were updating, I was spending an hour walking around the block. That's how long it took me to walk around the block with preschoolers.

While other people were chatting on their newest equipment, I was chasing Pooka out of a drainage ditch. Every time I would ever start a conversation with another human around my age, Pooka would head either for a wet ditch, a river, a lake, a train track or a tollway. Pooka makes Curious George seem satisfied.

While other people were updating, I was dating my husband.

While other people were updating, I was laboring in childbirth.

While other people were updating, I was handing out hugs and kisses for all sorts of boo boos that preschool kids can get into.

While other people were updating, I was making dinner. I don't have a palm pilot to plan the family's menus. My Papyrus Pilot does a good job recording the grocery list. I always use my Papyrus Pilot in meal planning. I need help because the three words that I fear most in the English language are, "What's for dinner?" I have trouble deciding what's for dinner. And it's a question at least one of the kids hits me with before 9:00 Am. I can't think pasta primavera before the Cheerios are scraped off the floor. And I know the clock will keep ticking toward 6:00 Pm and I'd better have someth ing steaming, stewing or grilling.

Over the years I've decided a number of meal planning methods. My least favorite was to open the freezer and make whatever fell out and hit me on the head. It had spontaneity going for it, but the lump on my head grew monotonous. Besides, we couldn't afford the monthly brain scans this home making method demanded.

Even with this failsafe method there are certain things I won't make for dinner. Because when I was pregnant with six children, not all at once mind you, I calculated that I threw up a combined total of 2000 times. I am not kidding. One of the combinations of foods I will not eat together is potato chips and milk. Why? Because I refuse to eat something that at one time has come out of my nose

I finally settled on deciding what was for dinner according to the days of the week. Monday is for M so we eat meatloaf or meatballs; Tuesday is for T so we eat tacos or turkey, Wednesday is for W which limits us to watermelon and watercress sandwiches. And how do I remember what day it is? I use my Papyrus Pilot, of course.

So buy a papyrus pilot, simplify your life and enjoy your husband, your children, sunsets, fresh air and the important things in life that really do last.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

20 Things I've Learned from Raising Six Children

20 Things I’ve Learned from Raising Six Children

(Published also on October 2007)

1) Salt, pepper and milk are not fish food.
2) It's a bad thing when your child calls from camp and asks if it's a bad thing if one foot is bigger than the other.
3) If you mow the lawn with the basement windows open – the carbon monoxide detector will go off.
4) The ceiling fan doesn’t hold more than a 40 pound child and is not a substitute for taking your child to Great America.
5) Two kids cannot sit on top of the refrigerator but one can.
6) A 10-year-old cannot run a mile without shoes but he can run a ½ mile.
7) A mother with three sons doesn’t have that many friends who are mothers of all girls when the sons are young. The mother has more friends who are mothers of all girls when they reach high school age.
8) You get invited over less to friends and family’s houses for Sunday dinner when you have six kids.
9) When the nurse says, "even though the white count is as high as Mononucleosis – it’s only E coli," you shouldn’t be happy.
10) Finger painting is a good hobby.
11) Finger painting the front door is not a good hobby.
12) Green marker and a new couch don’t mix.
13) Black marker and a new loveseat also don’t mix.
14) The backyard swimming pool is not a bubble bath.
15) Pool filters do not like bubbles.
16) A dog who has been fed two packages of hot dogs can throw up twice his body weight.
17) Being hit with a marble from the second floor hurts more than being hit by a marble from the first floor.
18) The Easy Bake oven does not bake cookies fast enough for a family of eight.
19) “I hope you didn't forget I put the cell phone on the roof of the car” is not a good thing to hear when you are going 60 mph on the toll way.
20) A good sense of humor will get you through most problems in life.