Tag Archives: babysitting

It Was The Principle

11 Jun

I don’t know if you’re aware but crossing certain social boundaries within a family dynamic can create a WWE Royal Rumble type of atmosphere.

It can be anything. A look. A word. A phrase. An act. Anyone of these can light the fuse.

And the funny thing is that I was recently reminded that I’m not the only crazy neurotic mom that battles with her family over boundaries.

Earlier this week I hung out with a friend of mine who was in serious need of a girls night out. Apparently Marissa had let her mom babysit over the weekend and when Marissa returned to pick up her daughter, her mom had not only thrown “the schedule” out the window, but also decided to cut the little girl’s hair. And the thing is as a mom I know how important “the schedule” is to a parent’s survival so I thought … man that does suck, but when she mentioned the tiny tot ambush makeover I almost gave her some chocolate.



I knew my friend — the Aquanet Hairspray junkie — would have a serious problem with that boundary violation. She cherishes her little girls hair and accessorizes it and it’s just on with her, it’s a whole Paul Mitchell obsession with good hair. And the thing is her mom knew that too, so the fact that she decided to go all Edward Scissorhands really surprised me.

Apparently grandma felt that her hair needed a trim … it was just too long.

And that’s when sparks flew.

While hearing her story over pasta and wine, I completely understood why she was so upset. It was the principle … the principle.

This is the root of most wars.

The principle.

An ethical standard or guiding conduct in our lives. The way things work.

Apparently Marissa’s mom did not get the message regarding the principle and hair cutting. And the thing is the haircut itself wasn’t disastrous. It was short, but not terrible. However if that would have happened to me, it would have been serious breech of conduct. So I completely understood her frustration.¬† Cutting a girl’s hair is serious and shouldn’t be done without the verbal and written consent of the mother. But I tried to assure her that it would grow back and that everyone has battles like these.

Principle battles. I have at least three a week with my own flesh and blood. So what do I do when this happens … When I’ve explained that a boundary has been crossed and the principle has been attacked? Do I stand there and wait for the traditional “I’m sorry?”

No. It’s not coming.

I call a friend, have a girl’s night out with my buddy, tell her my woes, eat some chocolate, laugh a lot, and hope for fewer battles.

She was definitely on the right track to recovery.



Dig Your Own Awesome Hole

2 Sep

Dear Space Invaders,

I knew you might be a problem. I was hoping¬†you wouldn’t be.¬†I was hoping I¬†wouldn’t run into you, but whenever you hope for something like this not to happen, it usually does.

It wasn’t Labor Day, it was¬†Day of the Space Invaders.

I tried to prepare myself and avoid contact with you at all costs. I marked our territory with sand toys, Tommy Bahama Costco beach chairs, towels, boogie board, and a Radio Flyer wagon. I even dug our regular giant hole in the sand, deep enough for cannonballs and construction-building action for both my five-year old and two year-old. I thought it would be enough.

But you are who you are.

I should have bought that yellow crime scene caution tape and surrounded the perimeter. Maybe that would have worked.


The scene at 11 a.m.

The scene at 11 a.m., before the sun decided to join us. After that, it got a little more crowded.


But with all these people there I doubt that even CSI tape would have helped.

Now even though I had mentally prepared myself for your presence and the many cult followers of your ideology, I did not take into consideration that you would take it to another level. I did not think you would drop off your kids at my beach site.

The digging of an awesome hole does not give¬†you¬†or any other parent¬†the right to drop off¬†your kids, while¬†you and your posse¬†relax, talk to¬†your friends, read magazines, send text messages, or sleep. I’d like to do those things too, but when you go to the beach with kids there’s no down time. You should know that already.

So this is just a reminder that the digging of an awesome hole does not mean I am running a day care.

I mean I don’t mind our kids hanging out, splashing around, playing in the hole, or playing baseball with each other. I don’t. I like having fun with kids. I like having fun with my kids. It would be good if you had fun with your kids too. And¬†it would be great if you were present so that you could check your kid so he didn’t eat sand or drown in the ocean. Drowning sucks.

And your¬†whole¬†my-kids-can-play-with-your-kids’-toys-it’s-O.K.-let’s-all-share¬†fake speech is a load crap. I’m calling you out. It’s crap. You know it. I know it. I know you know that I know it. You’re just trying to lure my kids into a false sense of beach play so that you can bail. You’re gonna bail.

You’ve done it before.

I’m onto you now, mastermind. There will be no sharing of any kind.

I mean for crying out lout, I could be some kind of pedophile. You don’t know me, but there you are leaving your kids in my care and walking away. You think that just because I’ve got a nice face that I’m not crazy. Well … I’m not, but I could be.¬†That’s the point, I could be. You know who¬†else had a nice face¬†… Ted Bundy. Apparently chicks thought he was hot, and we all know what happened there.

So for everyone’s safety you should¬†really dig your own hole. Awesome holes can be dug by almost anybody. So man up, grab your Target shovel, and get to work.

The Guat


Making Mount Everest Out of a Molehill …

2 Mar

¬†Movie night was supposed to¬†be simple. But nothing in The Guat life is simple and nothing turns out the way you thought it would … well sometimes parking spots.

Mount everest

Image via Wikipedia

The Lorax was supposed to be a stress free-outing, with popcorn — a¬†celebration of what I call my son’s preschool graduation. I know it wasn’t his graduation, more like his termination because of the raise in tuition and his teacher going on maternity leave. But graduation sounds better.

So in celebratory fashion I wanted to secure our entrance to this Dr. Seuss extravaganza and get tickets ahead of time, not wasting any time standing in line, or risking the show being sold out.

But buying movie tickets online is tricky. You need to be sure that you’ll be going at a designated time. I thought I was going on time. I thought I had picked a time suitable for everyone’s nap schedule and snack schedule, including my own. I had lined up a two babysitters: 1)¬†A friend of the family who offered to do¬†it seeing how I constantly watched her kids when they were younger,¬†and 2) my mother, who found out the friend of the family was watching the baby and got all possessive over her grandkid and decided to assist. But even with that time was not on my side.

I called our first babysitter three times reminding her of when we’d be arriving. The plan was to hang out for about fifteen minutes to make sure the baby was all right, and then go to the movies. We had never left her with anybody other than my mom or aunt, so even though this was a friend of the family, we were still pretty worried and filled with a little anxiety. But¬†it would only be for two hours. So we thought we’d¬†get the baby settled, she’d be fine.

My other half was supposed to meet me at home so we could drop off the baby, then pick up my son from school, take our time saying our final good-byes to his preschool buddies, take a few pictures and be on our way.

No. Not even close.

Movie started at 5:20 p.m. We were supposed to drop off the baby around 4:30 p.m. I’m waiting for my dude to show up, as he¬†suggested I wait for him because he was getting off work early¬†and wanted¬†me to buy the 5:20 p.m. tickets, instead of the 6:30 p.m. tickets. He insisted.¬†Said everything would be fine.

4:00 … No dude. Phone call, no answer.

4:15 … No dude. Phone call, no answer.

4:30 … No dude. Phone call, answer. I’m waiting for you, I haven’t picked up our son from school. His response: what are you waiting for, you should have picked him up a while ago. I hang up.

4:40 … Drive like Speedracer and arrive to pick up my son.¬†Didn’t bring the camera to take pictures. Didn’t think to bring an extra shirt to replace the mud stains and paint. Didn’t have enough time for proper good-byes … had to make time for potty …glad I brought the cards and thank you gifts for teachers the day before.

5:00 … Arrive at the babysitter’s. No dude. No babysitter.

5:01 … Call babysitter and found out she’s at karate¬†class with her sons. Could I wait 15 to 20 minutes?

5:02 … Exasperated.

5:10 … Dude shows up.

5:15 … Babysitter shows up. I give her the rundown of the baby’s schedule, give her the bag of toys, and leave the diaper bag on the couch. We hang out for about five minutes, baby seems o.k.

5:20 … She mentions she needs the base to our car seat because she’s going to pick up her sons from karate.

I’m sorry what?

I thought babysitting meant sitting in your house (or mine) and watching the baby. Not carpooling or traveling.¬†I was not o.k. with this, in fact this seemed to stress me out considering this was the first time she was babysitting for us. My dude and I hesitated. One of us was on the verge of not making it. But she assured us everything would be fine … we were sure it wouldn’t be. We knew she’d start crying and it freaked¬†me out. She pushed us out the door assuring us the baby would all right.

I was worried and freaked out. I was a neurotic parent. I was frustrated¬†that the situation I tried so hard to avoid came to pass: felt rushed everywhere, dumped off my kid with no hey-get-used-to-this-lady-and-her-house-because-you’ll-be-here-for-a-while time, late to the movies, and probably wouldn’t find parking or seats in the theatre.

5:30 … Arrive at the movies, get tickets from kiosk, go up the escalators, ticket chick takes our tickets … get a text from the babysitter: We think you took the diaper bag by mistake, couldn’t find it … no worries we bought diapers. ūüôā

5:31 … Taking deep breaths

5:33 … Dude assures me that he didn’t take the diaper bag. I know¬†I didn’t take it, but he still assures¬†me it was him¬†… apparently it did an Andy Dufresne¬†from Shawshank and “vanished like a fart in the wind.”

5:35 … Enter the theatre. No seats in the back or middle. Still taking¬†deep breaths.¬†Sitting in the second row center. IMAX indeed.

Movie starts.

I felt like I added a couple of gray hairs on that trip. At first I couldn’t concentrate, I was so stressed out and worried about the baby. She must be losing it,¬†I thought. My gut ached. I felt bad because I couldn’t fully enjoy the movie experience with my son because I was worrying about my other kid.

And then my son turned to look at me as he ate his butter-flavored¬†popcorn and chocolate covered raisins. He smiled and said … Here he comes mom, The Lorax!

So in that instant I decided to commit to the moment. The baby would be¬†fine. If I didn’t trust the babysitter I wouldn’t have bothered to ask for the favor in the first place. Besides, my mother would probably show up in forty minutes, so I’d have two babysitters working to entertain my kid. I needed to calm down. She’d be fine. I realized this was not a Mount Everest¬†problem, this was a hill. I’m glad I came to my senses in¬†the middle of the movie.

I’m glad I wasn’t climbing Mount Everest¬†anymore, otherwise I would have rushed out of the theatre as soon as I saw “THE END.”

I would have missed my son jumping up out of his seat and yelling: “Come on let’s dance! Let’s dance everyone!”

As the credits rolled and the¬†Lorax’s humming fish began singing and dancing, there I was … dancing and doing spin moves with my son … second row … center aisle.

The Lorax (film)

All I Wanted To Do Was Leave By 8:00

15 Jan

Tun-tun,¬†tun-tun-tun-tun, tun-tun-tun-tun, tun-tun-tun-tun, tun-tun tun turooo-rooo, turooo-rooo, turoo-rooo, turoooooooooooo …

Cover of "Mission Impossible (Special Col...

I felt like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. But instead of being a successful secret agent I was a mom that ended up with a bruise on her hip and a bad tequila sunrise.

All I wanted to do was leave my parent’s house by 8:00 o’clock to make it to my friend’s BIG 4-0 celebration. Listen to music, laugh with some friends and not have to worry about being a mom for one night. I don’t get out much in the evening, let alone an entire night for partying, so needless to say I was pretty excited.

It’s hard to find someone to watch my kids for even an hour, let alone an entire evening. I know what you’re thinking, You live at your parents…hello they would to help you out, right?…Well there are all types of grandparents. You got the Huxtable loving grandmother who cares, does anything for you, drop your kids off any time you need a break. I’m-a help you. Then you have the Everybody Loves Raymond Marie Barone grandmother who sometimes helps a little bit TOO much.¬†Or you have¬†the crazy Tyler Perry¬†grandmama like Madea¬†who’ll watch your kids, but¬†knock the sass out¬†them with a frying pan in a second. And then you have my mom who believes in “the chancla”. She’s old school and won’t hesitate to reincarnate into the Latin version of Madea…I try not ask for many favors as I feel my presence in her house is a big enough favor alone as I am in her “space.” Asking for her to watch them is usually a great challenge…like climbing Everest¬†in the snow with one leg. So I keep the babysitting to a minimum. I have to build enough courage to withstand “the exhale” and “the look” and then the … “well I guess so.”

But once that force field is up I have to insure that everything is hassle free. So I needed to put my kids to sleep before we could leave. That way all my mom had to do was watch them as they slept…easy right? I thought so.

I figured if I planned it out with enough time I would be able to tire both my kids out for an early nap in the afternoon and then plan out for an early bed time.¬†As it got closer to dinner time I began with the crazy anxiety and feeling like it wasn’t going happen. There was¬†too much to do and I should have started earlier, like a 7 a.m. or something. But I pushed on …

At 6 p.m. I cleaned the house, did some laundry, played with my son, fed the baby, cooked dinner, washed the dishes, opened the computer for blogging, prepared the bottles for the evening, left detailed instructions for my mom, played with my son some more, closed the computer for no blogging, folded the laundry, then his dad finally shows up.

At 7 p.m. they take showers, while I try my best to keep the baby awake and reiterate the baby sitting instructions for mom, which she ignores of course because as she often tells me “…how do you think you were raised?” I often wonder that myself. She shrugs off my instructions and tells me not to worry about it. She knows what she’s doing.¬†My husband¬†and son get out of the shower, and help me fold the remaining laundry.¬†Our son decides to help too, so we have to re-fold half the pile.¬†Husband gets our son ready for bed. Our son needs his teddy.

At 7:30 p.m. I run downstairs to get it and run back up. The baby needs the bottle I run downstairs to get it and run back up. Our son needs water I run downstairs to get it, and as I am going back up the stairs I realize I also need to take the bottle warmer and¬†baby cooler with milk bottles. I turn back to get them and as I walk over the dog and her bed in my¬†Hanes¬†cotton socks I don’t quite make it up the stairs as a normal person would.

Walking is not complicated. It’s really not.

One foot in front of the other…it should be the same process when I go up the stairs, however the laws of physics did not agree with my Hanes¬†white-cotton socks. I slipped at the base of the wooden staircase and my hips landed smack down on the corner of the second step…bottles went flying everywhere.¬†And I needed to take a minute … several actually as the pain radiated throughout my body and the ouwwwwwww¬†came out.

Pine is not a soft wood at all. If I was a senior citizen the ambulance would have needed to make a trip to the house. This pain was beyond profanity. It was just ouuuwwwwwwwwwwwwww and clenched fists. People fall down stairs all the time. Constantly. However, my body decided to fall going up the stairs. UP! Not down. Up. It must be the Guatemalan blood.

At 7:45 I peeled myself off the stairs, collected the bottles and sippy cup and crawled up the wooden staircase and plopped on the bed massaging my hip.

“You shouldn’t have fallen down.”¬† my husband says.

“Yeah. I guess that wasn’t a good idea.”

At 7:50 I took a shower and rubbed my hip

At 7:55 I came out of the shower, continued rubbing my hip, and took some ibuprofen.

At 8:00 I got dressed and kissed my son good night and his dad put him to bed. The baby was wrapped up and sleeping already. I carefully made my way downstairs to use the blow dryer.

At 8:15 My son was still awake.

At 8:20 My mother returns from filling a prescription down the street that apparently needed to be done at that moment in time.

At 8:30 My husband comes down and assures me that our son is on his way to dreamland.

At 8:31 My husband tells me he’s left the keys to the car next to my son.

At 8:32 My son is still awake.

At 8:45 My husband assures me again that our son is off to dreamland.

At 8:50 We’re in the car ready to go, pulling out of the driveway.

At 8:55 We’re on the freeway. Only 55 minutes later. If I was saving the world like Tom Cruise, we’d all be dead by now. I thought, at least my kids are asleep and I don’t have to worry…

At 8:56 my aunt, who incidentally caused the mini tsunami that washed over my computer a couple of days ago, decides to slam the bathroom door.

At 8:57 My son is awake asking where we are.

Midnight…My son finally falls asleep.

At 1:00 a.m. We walk back in the door. I’m still massaging my hip. No time for blogging Saturday night. So for the second time this year I miss a day. First one due to a mini-tsunami that sidelined my computer. Second one bad hip and failing mission eight o’clock. Better luck next time.