Frantic Feeding Frenzy

It’s become an unofficial contest.

A challenge of sorts.

How quickly can these two boys of mine eat all the food in the house?

Or better yet…

All the newly purchased groceries?

Before they’re even out of the shopping bags?

Last week, I bought an overflowing cart full of groceries on Saturday.

We were nearly out of food by Tuesday.

Almost nothing left for dinner.

Almost nothing left to pack for school lunches.

One over-dramatic child resorted to drinking from an expired gallon of water from our makeshift storm shelter closet.

(Wait… Water actually expires?!?)

What’s next on the to-eat list, Jett’s dog food?

At least The Bigly Bestest doesn’t eat all his food in one sitting.

Gotta love teenagers.

Especially boys.

The time it takes teenage boys to eat seems to be directly proportionate to the quantity.

For instance:

A box of eight waffles will get devoured in approximately eight seconds.

Which averages out to one second per waffle.

And a six-pack of yogurt cups will last all of six seconds.

This pattern continues in a sickening whirlwind for several minutes.

Until all that’s left are raisins.

And so they move on to rummaging in my purse.

Until they gleefully discover a tin of mints.

Snacking on mints.

Wow.

At least these two haven’t yet resorted to drinking maple syrup out of the jar for a quick pick-me-up.

Sheesh.

They’ll claim that there’s nothing to eat, when clearly there is something still left.

Sure, it may not always be their first choice.

But when you’re snacking on mints, is that really the time to be picky?

How can you tell me you refuse to eat blackberries?

So don’t tell me there’s no food in the house when there are perfectly good berries here.

Eat the damn berries!

Oh, you’re starving?

But not enough to eat that delicious asparagus sauté , huh?

Or some plain yogurt?

Well, that’s fine.

More for me!

And whatever we don’t eat, we apparently save for the ants.

That’s right.

Ants.

Entire freaking colonies of ants.

Because we have yet to master the art of properly closing bags when we’re done snacking.

And so they march across the bottom shelf of the pantry, systematically working their way up the shelves like some kind of microscopic parade.

Until they’ve effectively invaded every last item in the kitchen pantry.

Cereal boxes.

Crackers.

Cheese puffs.

Jett’s special dog treats.

Well.

At least there was hardly any food left to begin with.

~Happy Friday, friends! Have a great weekend!~

Actual footage from our mealtime frenzies.

Actual footage from our mealtime frenzies.

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Driving Mr. Mascot, Part 2

Slow down.

Slow down!!

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SLOW THE @&*% DOWN!!!

With 30 minutes to spare after dropping my younger child off at his guitar lesson…

It was the perfect opportunity to continue working with my older son (a.k.a. Mascot Boy) on his driving skills.

And so he took the wheel.

Figuring it was only three miles from the music school to our house, it wouldn’t necessarily be an unreasonable walk for my younger one if scary driver Mascot Boy and I didn’t make it back alive from driving practice.

Unfortunately, the fact that it’s been unseasonably hot out made it a less than optimal scenario.

But it’s always good to have a plan, right?

Mr. Mascot decided he’d like to practice in a shopping parking lot that day.

Did you know different rules apply in parking lots?

Namely, there are no rules .

Especially in a Walmart parking lot.

Between vehicles blindly pulling out in front of other traffic with no regard to right of way, and overall mayhem in general…

The very notion of safe driving seems to go right down the toilet.

All I knew is that I sure as hell didn’t want to die in the Walmart parking lot.

I’d rather get eaten by my dog.

Not that my precious Jett would ever eat me.

But still.

Dying at Walmart/in the Walmart parking lot is definitely not the way I’d like to go.

Especially with a 16-year-old driver behind the wheel.

And not only does this 16-year-old believe he already knows everything there is possibly to know about driving…

I’ve somehow recently ended up with two backseat drivers whenever I’m driving.

Because even though my 13-year-old hasn’t had any formal driving instruction, he too  believes he now magically knows everything there is to know about driving.

Specifically, that he and his brother know everything.

And I, the driver with two decades of experience, know nothing.

As if I suddenly need coaching on how to safely maneuver a vehicle.

That didn’t feel like a complete stop.

You forgot your turn signal! Right in front of that cop over there!

I’m pretty sure even I have better judgement than you!

Meanwhile, Mr. Mascot has taken a liking to barreling full-speed toward red lights.

I’m starting to think I ought to be wearing a blindfold when I’m in the passenger seat.

He attempted to park next to the only car in the back row of the parking lot.

Which happened to be a BMW vaguely resembling The Batmobile.

Which happened to be one that we really can’t afford to gently nudge from behind or do a drive-by mirror sideswipe on.

After one unsuccessful attempt of parking straight in between the lines, I strongly encouraged him to find a different spot.

Away from other cars.

All other cars.

After surviving the Walmart parking lot, we headed back to the music school to pick up child number two.

We arrived safely.

The parking lot was under heavy construction.

So we soared over a massive mud bump, Dukes of Hazzard style.

But ultimately, we didn’t get pulled over by any cops.

And even more importantly, we survived.

So it’s a win.

I’ve come to realize that my son’s learning to drive comes at a price.

The expense of fuel.

And the expense of my sanity.

Which has long been precariously dangling by a thin thread.

Oh, but at least I’m getting a break from driving, right?

If your idea of a break is anxiety, panic, or a heart attack, then yes.

Thanks to me, my dear child, you are gaining experience.

Thanks to you, my dear child, I seem to be losing experience.

Or my sanity.

One of the two.

Or both.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Click here if you’d like to read Part 1 of our exciting driving experiences. Have a great weekend, and watch out for nervous Student  Drivers and their equally terrified parents! Haha!~

The Danger Zone... it's a real thing.

The Danger Zone… it’s a real thing.

Perilous Parallels

Turn the wheel!

Keep turning the wheel!

More!!!

And the driving instruction fun continues.

Raise your hand if you remember how to parallel park!

Aww, come on.

It’s just like riding a bike!

Really!

I mean, sort of…

As of three days ago, I still had a vague idea of how to parallel park a car.

More or less.

I hadn’t made any legitimate attempts at parallel parking since my own driving test at the age of 16.

And even then, I’d been instructed to park between two snow banks rather than actual cars.

Which is good, because I likely wouldn’t have passed if I had to wedge myself in between two real cars.

Don’t get me wrong.

I do park in parallel spaces.

But only when I can easily drive right in to them.

(Shhh!)

On particularly rough days, I struggle to park my car straight in between the lines of a parking space…

Yet, I have impressive success backing our large pickup truck into parking spaces with amazing precision.

Go figure.

At any rate, it was time to teach my teenage son the basics of parallel parking.

Because how could that be a bad idea?

And so we drove to a nearby school parking lot.

Here, let me show you how it’s done.

Uh…

Show him what, exactly?

Yikes.

Going purely on instinct rather than any delusion of certainty, I tried.

I missed.

I tried again.

This time, the car was in between the lines.

A flawless execution it was not.

But at least complete and utter mortification was avoided.

For how can one teach what they themselves cannot do?

I must not have done too horrible a job of demonstrating, as my child managed several successful attempts of his own afterward.

My boy has been taking pleasure in using every opportunity to get behind the wheel.

On the bright side, he’s been commenting on my driving with far less frequency.

The tables have turned.

Anyway…

After the sobering knowledge that some of my driving skills might be rusty, I’m tempted to try a few more rounds of parallel parking again.

Totally off topic, but…

Did you know I used to speak French fluently during my teen years?

It’s true!

But then I ceased to continue making the effort to utilize my conversational skills.

So now I sound like I’m speaking Klingon rather than French.

Because skills you don’t use are skills you lose.

So use it or lose it.

~Happy Saturday, friends! Hope you all have a great weekend!~

Parallel parking. Yay.

Parallel parking. Yay.

Terribly Terrific Teenagers

Teenagers.

They’re awesome.

Really, really awesome.

Sooo…

Yesterday was my youngest son’s birthday.

He turned 13.

Now I have two teenagers.

With one kid learning to drive and the other playing his new electric guitar around the clock, things are now twice as fun around here!

And that’s not even factoring all the hormonal mayhem and other joys of those delightful teenage years!

(And kids are always complaining they don’t have anything in common with their parents!)

(Well, overwhelmed by something, at any rate…)

(Make that plural. Teenagers. Not one, but two. Twice the woo hoo!)

(Yeah, that. And speaking of wine…)

(Did you know some wine glasses can actually hold an entire bottle of wine? Probably the genius invention of a frazzled, disgruntled mom..)

(It takes my kids a whopping two hours to even realize I’m home from work. Meanwhile, The Bigly Bestest Doggie always eagerly awaits my return. Yeah. Dogs clearly care more.)

(Google takes a backseat to my expert kids and the plethora of factual knowledge they evidentally think they possess.)

(If you’re a fan of unpredictable extremes, then teenagers are totally your people!)

(If you’ve already punished your child by confiscating their electronics, there’s only one thing left to do. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.)

(Judging by the size of the average teenager, it’s probably far too late to even consider attempting this.)

(Kids don’t realize all that arguing and back-talking is equally exhausting for their parents. And tired and cranky parents are not happy and reasonable parents.)

(Seriously. Don’t mess with me. Mostly because I’m already at the end of my rope…)

Truly, for all that people complain about teenagers, they’re really not so bad.

Except when they’re arguing with you.

Or being irrational.

Or finding ways to endanger both your life and your sanity.

But other than that, they’re the best!

~Happy Friday, friends! Who here has teenagers, or has survived the teen years and lived to tell the tale? I hear there is hope, so I’m fairly optimistic… Have a great weekend!~

Driving Mr. Mascot

Who knows?

I might be a better driver than you!

And I won’t get any tickets!

Unlike you…

And if YOU keep talking, you’re going to be riding in the trunk.

Eyes on the road!

The light is green!

Let’s move it!

My oldest son, the high school mascot boy, started Driver’s Ed this week.

I’ve never seen that child take such dedicated interest in learning anything.

Ever.

Granted, the monster was a natural on his dirt bike all those years ago.

And I always pictured him to be a decent driver.

When the time came.

Which, evidently, is right now.

After just one day of class, he was already an expert.

Monitoring my speed.

Correcting my hand position on the steering wheel.

Pointing out all the road signs that I’ll obviously fail to pay attention to.

Suddenly, I have new appreciation for the meaning of driving someone crazy.

Not only won’t I be getting tickets like you, I also have way better sense of direction!

Hey! You’re going over the speed limit again!

OMG! GET OUT!

Of course, I didn’t actually throw him out of the car.

But his future as a pedestrian was looking increasingly appealing.

We coasted along to the ultimate soundtrack to insanity:

Crazy Train.

Gangnam Style.

Hakuna Matata.

The thumping music rattled my brain and bones as the rearview mirror reverberated in concurrence.

Then flashing train lights derailed my thoughts.

Oh, shit!

Not again!

Those trains sometimes take forever to pass.

Or worse yet, they’ll come to a complete stop out of the blue, stranding lines of cars for hours.

So yeah, I was less than pleased.

And so was my son.

But not because of the train.

Apparently, that was the second inappropriate word I’d used in just a matter of minutes.

Figuring I was on a roll, he helpfully downloaded a Bleep app on my phone to censor my  inappropriate moments.

Fortunately, the train passed in a timely manner.

And we were on our way again.

I’m probably already a better driver than you’ll ever be!

I’m tempted to take both hands off the wheel and drive with my mouth.

Just clamp my teeth on the wheel, and see how well that works.

That’ll show him…

Show him what, I don’t exactly know.

At least render him speechless for a moment, perhaps?

But I really can’t afford to drive erratically like that.

Sure, it would set a rather poor example for my child.

And also, I’ve somehow already managed to get pulled over twice in three years in No Man’s Land.

Which amounts to more than I had ever been pulled over in all my years of driving.

Collectively.

There’s a line in my son’s driving handbook that cracked me up when I first read it:

Avoid turning your car into a deadly weapon!

Well, my boy nearly broke protocol the first time ever behind the wheel.

Yesterday, he officially got his Learner’s Permit after acing the written test.

And so on the way to Driver’s Ed this afternoon, my favorite mascot thought he’d surprise me by starting the car before I made my way out the door.

Oh, but that wasn’t all.

He proceeded to throw the car into reverse…

And then panicked as he realized he didn’t actually know how to stop the car.

He barreled out of the garage and down the driveway at Nascar speeds, as I ran after him like a crazed woman being chased by the devil himself.

STOP THE CAR!!!

STOP THE #@&%*# CAR!!!

The car jerked to an abrupt halt straight across the street, halfway up the neighbor’s driveway.

Thank God the neighbor wasn’t home.

That guy never misses a thing.

GET OUT!

YOU ARE DONE!!!

The brake is NOT just a decorative item!

Use it!

Before I drop dead of a heart attack in the middle of this road!

And to think, this is only the beginning.

Did I mention I’m two days into a 14 day detox?

So I can’t even calm my frazzled nerves with a drink.

Oh #@&%!!!

~Happy Friday, friends! Aren’t teenagers the best? Never a dull moment. Have a terrific weekend!~

At this rate, I'm gonna need to wear this thing around my neck like a cowbell.

At this rate, I’m gonna need to wear this thing around my neck like a cowbell.

Apocalyptic Annoyance

Knock it off!

Make me!

You wanna go?!?

Sigh.

Some people get up and start the day with yoga and meditation.

But not us.

Oh, no.

We get up and start brawling.

It makes life so much more exciting.

Hey, no fair! He’s got more cereal than me!

Nuh uh! Why do you have more cereal than me?

Whack!

What was that for?

I wanted that book!

Well, I had it first!

Shut up!

No, you shut up!

I’m telling!

Not if I tell first!

Mom!!!!!

Mealtime has always been painful in this household.

One child eats only as a means of survival…

And even then, only by force.

Meanwhile, the other one “helps” clear his brother’s plate.

In the most annoying manner possible, of course.

Well…

Life is all about balance, I suppose.

Stop looking at me!

I’m not looking at you!

Knock it off, or I’ll lick you!

Mooooommmmm!!!!!

One boy reaches over and snatches a single piece of dry cereal out of his brother’s dish.

I need more food! He ate most of mine!

And so the flailing begins.

Between foot stomps and arm twists…

And pinches, punches, and pokes…

It’s little wonder I’m such a fan of finger foods.

No way am I encouraging the use of utensils if not absolutely necessary.

Fencing with forks?

Slapping with spoons?

Noogying with knives?

No, thank you.

Knock, knock!

Who’s there?

Boo.

Boo hoo?

Why are you crying?

Shut up!

No, you shut up!

Alrighty then.

I like trains!

You’re rude!

I like turtles!

And rotten!

Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!

And you’re annoying!

I swear, sometimes I can’t help but marvel at how I’m the most normal person in the room.

Yeah? Well, you’re mean!

No, you’re mean!

I like cheese with my squirrels,

I like squirrels with my cheese!

OMG! Why are you being so annoying?

Smell my feet! SMELL them!

You wanna go?!?

And so ended breakfast…

~Happy Friday, everyone! Hope you’ve had a great week! Enjoy your weekend, and try to stay out of trouble. Well, maybe a little mischief won’t hurt…~

I'm fairly certain my child invented this impressively annoying catchphrase...

I’m fairly certain my child invented this impressively annoying catchphrase…

Two Romeos and a Mob of Juliets

Valentine’s Day may be a few days past, but testosterone is still in the air.

Did I say testosterone?

I meant to say, love.

Truly.

At any rate, my two boys have been in full-throttle paramour mode, with the unfettered spirit of Valentine’s Day lingering.

The younger one bashfully leaving anonymous gifts of stuffed animals and chocolate to a special someone before sprinting off in the opposite direction.

The older one brazenly standing outside, waiting for the bus, come hell or hypothermia.

One gifting with presents.

The other gifting with presence.

One shy.

One bold.

Very bold.

With his less-than-subtle, sudden need for fresh air on a rainy, 35-degree morning, it leaves little question to the motives of Romeo Number One.

Every day before and after school, this child stands outside at the bus stop.

Did I mention he doesn’t even ride the bus?

Let me tell ya, this boy has quite the collection of girls.

One minute, he’s going out for ice cream and a movie with one girl.

The next thing I know, he’s talking on the phone for hours…

With a different girl.

And then the next day, he’s eagerly waiting to escort yet another girl to/from the bus stop.

It’s good to have options, right?

Meanwhile, he avidly avoids Stalker Girl, who freaks the hell out of him with her steady stream of obsessively psychotic texts throughout the day.

But getting back to my sweet younger son.

Romeo Number 2 spent the day before Valentine’s Day freaking out over whether to get a card or gift for a certain girl that he thinks he likes.

Did I mention that she used to like him…

Back when he didn’t think he liked her very much?

That’s right.

She liked him first when he didn’t know if he liked her.

And now he likes her.

He thinks.

Which left him with a dilemma.

To buy a card or not to buy?

Or get a gift or give her nothing?

To tell, or not to tell?

Torn between craving the glorious attention…

Or hiding under his desk like a turtle retracting into its shell.

The joys of girl trouble and tween issues. 

It’s soooo complicated.

Both of my boys spend hours each morning in front of the mirror like mini Adonises, getting their hair just right…

All while protesting showers and forgetting to put on deodorant.

Ah, the sweetness of childhood amour.

Paired up with the joy of adolescence, it’s a sure recipe for…

Well…something.

Love?

Romance?

Stinky love?

As in Love Stinks, that song from The Wedding Singer?

Except I highly doubt Adam Sandler was singing about adolescent hygiene.

Teenage lust.

Isn’t it great?

Oh, but it gets better!

Romeo Number One will soon be trying out for School Mascot!

Which is technically part of the school’s Spirit Team.

Which means being part of the Cheerleading Squad.

As in, being the only guy among all those cheerleaders. 

Coincidence?

I think not.

Love is still in the air, and my two Romeos are on the loose.

Perhaps we ought to move to Utah and start a polygamist colony…

Love is still in the air...

Love is still in the air…

Mortifying Modus Operandi

Don’t embarrass me!

Um, helllooo!?!

I’m not the one sitting there, scratching my crotch at the table during breakfast.

Is it my fault your school requested that parents join their child in class to help guide them through the increasingly intricate course selection process, complete with 4-year plans and endorsements?

What kind of monster do you think I am?

And what kind of horrifying feats do you think I’ll manage to pull off in the 60 minutes I’m there, anyway?

Attempt to spoon-feed you your lunch?

Or show up in fishnet stockings and skanky heels?

Or worse yet, come crashing into your classroom on roller skates…in my pajamas?

Hashtag whatever.

Or perhaps I might discuss puberty/body odor/your latest crush loudly in front of all your classmates?

Or do some sort of ridiculous robot dance while singing a cringe-worthy Justin Bieber song at the top of my lungs?

Or lick your messy desk clean?

Or…

Maybe I’ll just wait for the perfect opportunity to declare:

You got an F on that test? An F?!? That’s it. Mama gonna go all gangsta on yo ass!

Right.

As fun as these scenarios might appear in my mind…

I can’t even.

As a natural introvert, I can assure you I will not be going out of my way to even talk to anyone, let alone cause chaos.

And as a self-respecting member of society, I don’t typically speak like that.

Ever.

Well, except maybe when I’m hangry.

I also wouldn’t purposely embarrass my kids, but ish happens.

Besides, if anything mortifying were to happen, consider it payback for all those unfortunate incidents where I wished for nothing more than the mercy of getting sucked into a black hole.

So just remember this:

I could be worse.

I could be much, much worse.

After all, I’m a badass black belt, dirt bike-riding, humor-writing Mom.

I’m cool AF.

Yaasss, I’m totally killin’ it.

So don’t be salty, bruh!

(Is that a thing?)

~Happy Friday! Thanks for stopping by and slinging some serious slang with me today. Have an amazing weekend!~

It's tough being a teenager. And an adult. Hell, life is rough for everyone.

It’s tough being a teenager. And an adult. Hell, life is rough for everyone.