Friday, April 20, 2012

What Gets Rid of That 'Dead Animal' Smell?

Something not everyone knows about me is that I do not believe in giving children weekly allowances. Perhaps it has something to do with my upbringing.  My dad didn't believe in paying us to do household chores either. It doesn't make sense to get paid to clean up your own mess. Don't get me wrong. I totally disagreed with his opinion while I was growing up...until I turned 14 and wanted my own money and got a JOB that paid far more than my friends $5 a week allowance.  I bagged groceries every Saturday at the commissary (military grocery store) for tips and usually cleared anywhere from $20-50 a week. So, my dad instilled a good work ethic in me from a young age. And my mom made sure we kept the house tidy with her and even insisted that we do our own laundry. (You know, once we were in high school and began to complain at 10pm Sunday night that we "needed" our jeans for school Monday...though they weren't in the hamper all weekend and instead wadded on the floor in our room.)

Anyway, since I buy my kids snack foods and clothes and toys and shoes and pretty much anything that they need, I don't find it necessary to pay them an allowance. They go to school for less than 4 hours a day, so they don't take a lunch. I give them breakfast in the morning, buy them a pkg of cookies each on the way to school and they eat as soon as they get home.  With classrooms holding more than 70 students, I do not want them eating after touching the desks, walls, etc.  I'm grossing myself out over the germ factor as I type this.

So when my kids want money, I make them earn it by giving them jobs that aren't on their regular list of chores to do. (And when I say regular, I mean outside the scope of stuff that I tell them what to do daily but don't run around inspecting with a check-list.)  I had three of them last week whining about wanting money and "a job" to earn it.  I HATE scrubbing the top of the stove so I told Ismail to wash up all the dishes and the counters and the stove top for 3 E.P.  The bathroom needed cleaning, so I told Samiya to clean the bathroom thoroughly, including the tiles for 3 E.P. (Honestly, she did such an awesome job that I gave her 5!)  Then it was Aiman's turn. He begged me for a job. I really didn't have much else for him. So I told him to clean out the fridge with vinegar and water.  He was pissed. I don't know why. It was fairly empty except for the usual mayo, mustard and the usual jars in the door and one crisper drawer that has dried dates and coconut in it for whenever I have a baking itch to scratch. Every other shelf was pretty much empty. All he had to do was wipe down the shelves and voila! Three pounds would be his.

No. He wanted to do the bathroom or the dishes....that his siblings were already doing. Whatever. He went to bed sad and with no money. Honestly, I'd already swept the house out and mopped earlier that day and Randa had dusted for me when she was pretending to paint all the furniture with a dry paint brush. (I LOVE that game.)

Ismail stayed up until midnight cleaning out the fridge, too. He gladly took Aiman's 3 E.P. and I could go shopping and put away new produce and cheese without feeling like a terrible mom for not washing out the fridge first.

So, tell me WHAT on Earth could put that 'dead animal smell' back in my fridge a week later?? Ismail searched and found it. Rotten cheese from the day after the last fridge cleaning 7 days ago.  Guess I forgot it was in there. I wonder if Aiman will want to earn 5 E.P. today. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pick Up Games in the Living Room

So I finally sat down inspired to complete the next chapter of my novel, when Aiman came up to me and showed me a round black lid to an empty vitamin bottle. You know, one of those 500 horse-tablet containers.  He had a shit-eating grin and the tile scrubber with the stick thrown over his shoulder. "Can I play with this lid?" he asked.

"Sure," I answered absently and went back to my chapter. I heard the noise levels rising from the living room.
I shut it down with a "QUIET" shouted over my shoulder.

Five minutes and a lot of laughing later, Samiya walked up and asked me, "Mom, do they get in trouble for hitting with the hockey sticks while playing?"  I told her that I suppose it depends on where they're hitting and how.  "I'm sure hooking someone in the face with a stick and the puck is at the other end of the ice would probably end up with at least a penalty box or a good pounding for the offender. Now hand me that dictionary on the table because I can't remember if 'imminent' has two i's in it." I got my dictionary and then the light bulb came on.


"Yes, ma'am," was sung back by 4 of the 5 kids in a chorus.

I shook my head, realizing that if I broke up the game now, the whining about whose turn it is to use the computer would start and I wasn't done with my chapter still.


Who says I'm not up for MOTY award?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why You Don't Take Kids to Frederick's

Hollywood Blvd Pictures, Images and Photos

Call it "Flashback Week" if you want, but I've been remembering all sorts of crazy things that have happened to me. Today I was thinking of embarrassing moments in motherhood and flashed back to someone else's embarrassing moment in motherhood. I was still just a "cool aunt" figure.
My best friend, we'll call her Anne, was divorced and had custody of her 4 year old daughter, we'll call her Marie. (Yes, you know who you are because I'm using your middle names in an effort to keep you "innocent.") Anyway, Anne had been seeing a guy for several months and decided to buy him silk boxer shorts for Christmas. They didn't fit.
So, like any good girlfriend, she volunteered to exchange them for him because he was too busy (read: too embarrassed) to do it himself. We piled into her big ole blue beast of a car and drove to the mall where we found (ta-da!) Frederick*s of Hollywood. The return/exchange line was a mile long. And Marie was bored. I took her to get some french fries and we looked at some toys at a toy store and she rode one of those mechanical horse rides. We went back and saw that Anne was next in line, so we busied ourselves walking around the store.
Like most four year olds, Marie was very impressed by all the colors and textures of the racks and racks of clothes. "Woooo, this one's shiny" and "Yuck, this one makes my hands itch" and "I like this pink one with the mirror things on it" were a few of the comments she made. Then it happened. The murmuring, chatting and music all seemed to go
strangely quiet all at once. And Marie's voice could be heard
shouting, "HEY! MY MOM'S GOT ONE OF THESE!" I looked up and over at the cashier where I could see Anne's shoulders tense up and her buttcheeks clench. Since I didn't want her thinking I'd shown her child something totally inappropriate I yelled to her, "RELAX! IT'S A ROBE!"
The whole place cracked up.

(Originally posted on Square Peg in a Round Hole, Oct, 2009.)

Mom with Scissors Gets REVENGE!

Does this guy look like he needs a haircut in the worst way? I don't think so, either. But he apparently is going to spontaneously combust if I don't get up right now and pull out my clippers and cut his hair immediately.  I've been blowing off this chore for the last 5 days or more because I have either been too a) sick b) tired c) uninterested or d) busy with anything OTHER than shaving little bits of really poky, itchy, hard to get out of my clothes coarse hair that jumps into my shirt and leaves me scratching for hours because HE  has to get a shower first and use up all the hot  water because HE is the home haircut victim and not I.

I'm SOOOOO giving him a damn mohawk, it's almost scary.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Salivating on the Monitor

I made a mistake. I went back to Pinterest to look for a quick and easy recipe to make for tomorrow for lunch. Holy BEACH TOWELS, Batman! I'm drooling and now I need to change my shirt. I've run across recipes for spinach, onion, feta and hazelnuts salad, eggplant and chicken parmigiana, roasted tofu and pear salad, and baked egg cups (that I'd have to make with garlic cured beef instead of ham because we don't do pork.) I'm starving now....Hello, Pavlov? I'm your dog. Wanna quit with the damn bells already?

Now ordinarily this would not be a big deal...but my son was looking to make some extra cash before I sat down to the computer so I told him to clean the kitchen for 5 E.P. (Egyptian Pounds.) So, he has the counter rolled out into the hall blocking the doorway to the kitchen and there's really not much in the fridge anyway that would remotely come near the ingredients I need for ANY of those awesome recipes. (Except for the apple pies baked into the apples but let's not go insane here! It is after 11pm.)

I'm just going to eat the leftover rice and yellow lentils from dinner and maybe any salad the kids didn't snarf down. But I'm SO going to the open air market tomorrow and we are going to be back in the gourmet game, BAY-BEE! I'm back.  I'm hungry.  And it's on.