Five Ways to Get Out of Volunteering At Your Kid’s School

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It starts in late summer with emails from the PTO alerting you to various “fulfilling” volunteer opportunities awaiting you at your kid’s school. On the first day of your school your child’s backpack is stuffed with sheets of colorful copy paper – each one proselytizing a “fun” volunteer gig. By the second week of school you’re being solicited as you wait in your car in the after school pick up line. Week three of the new school year the gloves are off and you feel a little like you’re being bullied into chairing the school spirit wear sale. When week four hits you give in from equal parts sheer exhaustion and because you get the feeling some of the other moms are talking about you and not in a good way.

Now, before you tape this list to your refrigerator please be advised that I have loved volunteering at my children’s schools. In fact, I have met my best mom friends from doing my volunteer due diligence. But there are times in one’s life when you need a pass from tallying up the school gift wrap orders which is why this handy list was created.

1) Have another baby. A newborn will get out of any volunteer duty. Just showing up at school with your bundle of joy is akin to wearing a sign that says “Leave Me the Hell Alone!” But beware by the time that baby celebrates it’s second birthday you will be considered back on the market and hit up with a vengeance. After all, you’ve had  a “two year break”.

2) Volunteer Outside the School. This one will buy you a year max. But it has to be a substantial volunteer opportunity with not just any organization. It should be high-profile – say Junior League president or chairing the Symphony Guild. Being a Cub Scout Den mother won’t do anything for you. In fact, it could hurt you as in – “Well since you’re already doing the popcorn sale for the Cub Scouts it would be sooo easy for you to just tack on chairing the school’s cookie dough fundraiser. I mean they’re like pretty much the same thing – right?”

3) Start a New Job. Tread carefully when using this one and make sure the words part-time job don’t enter into your career description. Which means even if it is part-time or a home based business as far as anyone on any committee at your kid’s school is concerned you’re putting in 40 plus hours a week.

But be warned this is not a “forever” excuse. It’s simply a single “get out of being a committee chair” voucher. The whole job thing in the school volunteer lexicon is meaningless because there’s always a mom who is a cardiovascular surgeon and is piloting her own jet to Syria two days a week to perform life saving medical treatment with the International Committee of the Red Cross AND is treasurer of the PTO.

4) Get New Agey. Share that you are restructuring your life and prioritizing your family’s goals to enhance pivotal bonding moments and increase your spiritual connection to the Sun Goddess Shemesh therefore leaving you with zero time for “other world” commitments. Sure, there will be talk that you’ve booked first class passage on the Space Shuttle Cra Cra with non stop service to WTF but I can guarantee not only will you be left alone but people will be wary of making eye contact with you.

5) Volunteer for the Big One. By this I mean agree to chair your school’s biggest fundraiser. Oh, I know it sounds counter intuitive, but trust me one big volunteer commitment is your get out of jail free card for YEARS. Here’s how I suggest playing this for optimum long-term impact. When your eldest child is in third grade bite the bullet and say an enthusiastic yes to the fundraiser. While chairing the fundraiser let it be known about all the hard work you’re putting in, the hours it’s stealing away from your precious family, and for extra measure I always like to throw in that it’s causing just the tiniest bit of marital discord. All of this is excellent info to share at any PTO meeting when you’re asked to do an update.

After the fundraiser is done and has exceeded expectations, because who are we kidding you were in charge and of course that means fundraising records were set, you then ride off into the school volunteer sunset. What all this means is for the rest of your tenure as a parent with school aged children you can use the excuse that you Chaired the (insert name of fundraiser here) back in (insert year here) and you really are still recovering. No one will dare challenge that statement and instead will look at you with awe and in some cases eyes aglow with reverence and thank you for your service. Sure, it’s was months of hard work, but if you do the math and extrapolate that over the years your kids are in school you’ll find that it’s a cost benefit analysis winner!

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new fall Snarky line of clothing and accessories. Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.)

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Dear Snarky – WTH on School Fundraisers?

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I am new to the whole elementary school thing. I have twin girls in the first grade and I’m stunned by all the fundraisers. Since August I have bought gift wrap, candy, magazine subscriptions, spirit wear and dropped a bundle at the book fair. Now, parents are being asked or you could say bullied into attending an “adults only” fundraiser for the school AND donating something to the silent auction. It’s being held at a Country Club and tickets are $75 a person! I want to skip it because I feel I’ve given my fair share to the school. What would you do?

Signed Margaret 

Dear Margaret,

Do not walk, but run as fast as you can to buy a ticket to the Adults Only School Fundraiser. Trust me on this it will be the best $75 you’ve ever spent in your life. These parent parties fueled by an open bar will provide you with delicious entertainment.  Behold the slightly to totally intoxicated fathers getting into a bidding war on a live auction item that results in a throw down. See the PTA president get tanked and dance most inappropriately with someone who IS NOT her husband, but the female PTA Vice President. Rejoice when the snooty home room mom who always forgets your name makes a pass at the principal.

Good times can not even begin to describe it. Even better if your school parents only fundraiser has a 1980’s theme, which my research has shown is the number   one choice for these parent parties. Get ready to howl with laughter as the majority of the moms at your children’s school get their 80’s version of Madonna on. I’m not kidding when I tell you at least one mom is going to walk into that party in a cone bra. Now, don’t tell me that’s not worth $75.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or PM on my Snarky Facebook page.

 

Snarky Goes to Pre-School

elite_pre-school_1607485Finding the right pre-school for your child is the first step in your journey of micro-managing every educational aspect of your kid’s life. When they’re 3 you’re interviewing child care directors and pursuing the nap to art time ratio. When they’re 16 you’re super ticked that the SAT exam proctor won’t let you into the testing room with your teenager. What’s up with that?  It’s a potentially life changing test and if ever a kid needed his mom holding his hand, offering him sips of Red Bull and dabbing his furrowed, studious brow with a cloth then this is it.

Sure, sometimes all that parental devotion can backfire. Back in April my son was looking for a summer job and had applied on-line for a part-time job at the local Walgreens.  He didn’t know his social security number so he left the job application open on his computer and asked me to type in the number while he was at school. I got his social security card out of the safe deposit box and was sitting down to input it when I noticed there was a test Walgreens wanted you to take as part of the application process. What the hell, I thought, how hard can a freaking Walgreens test be for a stock boy position? Yeah, that’s right, I took the test and clicked submit. My son gets home from school, checks his e-mail and finds out that his application to Walgreens has been denied because he FAILED the test. Ouch! I, a college graduate, had flunked, from what I could tell was, a basic literacy test. My children have used this information to viciously mock me all summer. It’s gotten so bad I’ve had to alter my driving so I never pass the Walgreens with my kids in the car.  The taunting is too much. Jerks – Walgreens and my children.

Enough about Walgreens and back to maternal obsessive compulsive disorders. Since I’m well acquainted with this affliction I was very concerned about my twenty something friend Nikki when she confided to me that she had not been taking her second child, 2-year-old Lilly to the most coveted preschool in the city – The Duchy Day Academy . This is the school that you almost have to be a double legacy to get into.  No one cares if you attended back in the day. You have to have a family tree where every branch shows that most of your relatives illustrious educational journey began at Duchy Day.

The place is impressive. I’ll give it that. It’s got fancy columns out front, black and white marble floors in the entry and what I’m guessing are antiques in the foyer. It looks like a Chanel boutique I went into once. I had ducked in because I really needed to use the restroom and they were not very forthcoming with letting me partake of their facilitates. It’s not like I just walked right in and asked where’s the ladies room was. I did the slow stroll through the store and then inquired.  I told the severe looking woman with her hair in one of those low buns that she didn’t need to look so put out I only had to go number 1 for God’s sake.  I could tell from the looks everyone working there was giving me that I was “so not Chanel boutique material” and you know what I’m okay with that. I wanted to run out of there screaming “Target rules bitches!”

I knew Nikki’s mother-in-law was hell-bent on all her grandchildren attending Duchy Day and had pulled some major strings to get Nikki’s little girl enrolled. Here’s the deal,  Nikki hails from not just the wrong side of the tracks, but more like the wrong side of the tracks adjacent. She was 18 and working in the college law library when she meet her future husband.  As Nikki’s mom tells the story – her little girl F#*$ed Up and she means it literally and figuratively. Nikki got pregnant and then married – up, way up the social ladder. Fortunately, for the first four years of her marriage, Nikki’s husband did some kind of clerking for a Federal Judge and they lived far, far away from her mother-in-law. Two years ago they moved back so her husband could work in the family law firm and Nikki’s been trying to dodge her MIL’s “good” intentions ever since.

When Nikki broke down in my kitchen with the tearful confession that she had been skipping the Monday/Wednesday  Mommy and Me classes at Duchy Day I was worried for her. First, I knew if her MIL found out all hell would break loose and secondly Nikki is one of those gentle souls with an always happy attitude. For her to be ducking out of Duchy Day something was wrong. I handed her a dish towel to wipe her eyes and asked what her was going down at the D.D. That made her eyes fill with tears again and she said in a whisper that the other moms were making her feel like something was wrong with her daughter Lilly.

“Okay, dry those eyes girlfriend,” I said.  “I’m a seasoned mom and there is nothing, nothing at all wrong with Lilly except that she’s too beautiful for words.”

That got a smile from her and she sniffled and said, “Thank you, but maybe there is something wrong.  They all make comments because she can’t sit still and never wants to do what she’s supposed to. Like in circle time when every other kid is sitting in their mom’s lap Lilly is up wandering and she talks through story time and when we do something called cognitive motor skills which is really just playing with blocks Lilly is off playing with anything but the blocks.”

“Oh my God,” I laugh, “Is that all?  That’s nothing. My son and I got kicked out of Kindermusik when he was 2 and a half.  Who puts drums, cymbals and tambourines in front of a 2-year-old boy and his mother and then tells them no touching?  I couldn’t help myself those tambourines were cool.  They even had feathers attached to the shaky things.”

“You touched them?”

“Well, we both did.  We couldn’t help it. There we were in a circle with the instruments laid out in the middle and the instructor was blabbing on and on and one thing led to another and I grabbed the tambourine Clay grabbed the cymbals and started beating the drum with his left foot and then the next thing I know we’re being asked to leave Kindermusick – forever.  Their lose by the way because we sounded pretty good.”

Nikki laughs and that makes me feel better until she says, “Well, I wished the Duchy Academy would kick us out because I never want to go back.”

“Oh come on sweetie it can’t be that bad.  Is it whispering or are they just giving you one of those my kid is better than your kid looks?”

“All of the above and more. No one wants to sit by us in circle time and I’ve noticed the other mothers directing their children away from playing with Lilly, like she’s not good enough for them. You know, I’m used to people treating me like trash or being condescending because I got pregnant at 18, but what I’ll never get used to ever is people treating my kids that way.”

“Then you’ve got to fight back.”

“What do you mean?’

If you just give in and leave Duchy Day then these women have won.  You’ve got to lay down the law now and let everyone know not to mess with you or your kids.  You can’t just throw in the towel when Lilly is 2. It’s a marathon not a sprint this whole motherhood thing.”

“But I’m scared.”

“I’ve think I’ve got a plan if you’re up for it.”

“Do I have to do it by myself?”

“No, this particular plan I’m thinking of involves me and you.”

“Will I get arrested?”

“NO!  God, you sound like my husband now.  It’s fool proof – almost.”

“Okay, I’m in, but now I’m just not scared, I’m terrified.”

‘No worries and for this plan to work you’ll need to call me Dr. Snarky. ”

One week later

It’s early on Wednesday morning and I’m in the kitchen eating Greek yogurt and strawberries. My husband walks in en route to get a cup of coffee and stops as soon as he sees me. He stares at me. I stare back at him. We don’t speak. He resumes his walk to the coffee maker, pours himself a cup and as he sips his coffee continues to give me the eye. Finally, he gives in, sighs and says, “You know it’s illegal to practice medicine without a license?”

I keep spooning my yogurt into my mouth, pause, and say, “Yes, I’m well aware of that fact.”

“You know it’s potentially illegal to pretend you’re a doctor?”

“Hmm, interesting,” I say in a very bored tone.

“Just checking because if you get arrested I’m in meetings straight from about 9 to 4 and I will be unavailable to bail you out.”

“Thank you, but I have no plans to go to jail on this very pretty summer morning.”

He starts collecting up his keys, sunglasses, wallet and briefcase and says, “Then I have no plans to ask you why you have on green scrubs and a white lab coat that says Dr. Miller.”

He then walks over kisses me on the forehead and says, “Have a good day Doctor” and begins to walk out the door for work, stops, turns around says, “If you really need me send a text.  The police do allow that you know, a text instead of a phone call.”

“Good to know and don’t worry about this morning I’m not even a M.D. I’m a Ph.D.”

“Oh really, a Ph.D. In what, if I maybe so bold as to inquire?”

“For this morning and this morning only I have a Ph.D. in Childhood Psychology with an emphasis in early childhood development and I’m doing, what could be, groundbreaking research in the area of gifted toddlers.”

“Stop!  Don’t tell me anymore I want to be able to pass the polygraph when the cops ask me if, at any time, I knew of or aided you in your plans.”

“I guess that means your don’t want to know that I’m going with Nikki to the Duchy Day Academy to conduct my research.”

“Oh God, no – Duchy Day?  I have clients with kids that attend Duchy Day.  Now, I’m worried.  Text me as soon as your done doing whatever you’re going to do so I know the kids aren’t home alone with their mother in lock up.”

“Relax. This is no big deal.  Now go to work so I can start thinking like a Ph.D.”

“I’m serious.  Text me, Dr. Miller.”

Okay, okay, I will. Now off you go.  I’ve got stuff to do.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.  Good luck!”

And with that he was out the door and I was able to finish my yogurt in peace. I didn’t know what my husband was so worried about. I had everything very well thought out. The best part of this whole plan was my outfit.  I’ve never worn scrubs before and they were having a tremendously bad influence on me.  I was having serious thoughts of crossing over to the dark side – as in good-bye track pants and hello scrubs. The only thing holding me back was that my husband puts up with a lot from me and I’m afraid if I go full on scrubs that might be just the thing that makes him reconsider the whole “until death do us part” thing.

I got the scrubs courtesy of my two doors down neighbors.They are both M.D.’s. Valerie is a medical researcher at the local university and her husband Bob is a family practice doctor. A couple of Halloween’s ago I borrowed one of her lab coats.  Yesterday I went over to ask if she would loan me one of her coats again and she volunteered to throw in some scrubs. Valerie is pushing 60 and is probably a size 18 so the scrubs she gave me are deliciously roomy. The great thing about Valerie is she never even asked why I needed them. She just smiled and said, “Are you up to something?” and I smiled back and said, “Yeah, a little something” and she winked at me and said, “Have fun.” Now, that’s a good neighbor and these scrubs are amazing. It’s like wearing the most comfortable pair of p.j.’s you’ve ever owned. I’m wallowing in cozy. The lab coat’s not bad either.  Just having it on makes feel incredibly smart and superior to the lowly humans who only hold Bachelors of Arts degrees. Which means I now feel superior to myself.

As for my idea for helping Nikki feel better about pre-school, it’s a pretty simple one and I’m not ashamed to admit one I’ve, kind of, used before. (Yes, Your Kid Is a Genius Now Leave Me Alone).  I’m going this morning to the Mommy and Me class pretending that Nikki’s child, Lilly, is part of an ongoing study on profoundly gifted toddlers. I, in my role as Dr. Miller the lead researcher, will be shadowing Lilly at pre-school as part of the study.  This gives me the chance to blab in pseudo scientific terms what a genius Lilly is to the other mothers.  I’m not just doing this for sweet Lilly and Nikki I’m doing this for every mom who has sat in a preschool story time circle and was made to think her child was different and not in a good way.

I had already cleared my visit with the director of Duchy Day. All it took was one phone call telling her how the Duchy Day Academy was known through the early childcare research community for it’s excellence. She couldn’t have been more excited to welcome me into the classroom. I had arranged with Nikki to follow her usual pre-school routine.   planned to arrive a couple of minutes after class had started so I could be introduced and then rave about the genius that is baby Lilly. I looked official in my scrubs and lab coat get up.  I had also ponytailed my hair and was wearing some reading glasses (Costco) that had a bit of a Harry Potter vibe.  To make me look more official I had my son take his I pad and put some research looking stuff on it so I could pretend to be recording data.  At ten minutes after 10 I walked into Duchy Day, was greeted by the Director, and then given an escort to the Mommy and Me classroom where the Director introduced the esteemed Dr. Miller.

“So sorry for the interruption,” the director said, “This is Dr. MIller, a clinical scientist who is conducting long-term research of gifted children and our Lilly is one of the pre-schoolers her team is following. This morning Dr. Miller is going to sit and observe Lilly and she’s asked that all of you pretend like she’s not even here.”

I smile really big and say, “Thank you all for letting me share your morning.  I’m very excited about seeing Lilly in her preschool environment. She’s one of five profoundly gifted 2 year olds in the nation my team is following. I’m going to sit right over there and try to stay out of your way.”

As I had expected the term “profoundly gifted” had gotten the seven other mothers in the classroom’s attention. All of them couldn’t take their eyes off of Lilly who was gnawing on a block. I sat down and started typing crap on my son’s I Pad like Lilly eating a wooden block like a rat chows down on cheese shows extreme giftedness. One mom in some ridiculous maxi dress (Seriously, a maxi dress for sitting on the floor at preschool?) and goofy Ugg wedge sandals scooted close to me and asked, “What’s the criteria for determining a gifted two-year old?  I would think that a child would have to be older before you could find that out.”

I looked over to the teacher and said,”Oh, I so didn’t want my presence to disrupt your class.  I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it.  Our usual routine is to let the children have some free play time for the first 15 minutes so if you want to answer the question feel free.”

“I’d love to answer that, but I must do it quickly since I need to really focus on observing Lilly.  So to answer your question”, I say looking over at maxi/Ugg mom, “Yes, there are tests that you can do with a very young child to profile their level of intelligence.

Another mom, in a tennis skirt, who looked like she had never gotten it on with anything over an SPF 5, (Isn’t tanning a sign you can’t read?) butted in with a,”Pardon me, but I’m confused. I don’t see anything about Lilly that makes her so different from our kids.”

I do a small chuckle and say, “Well, you’re not a doctor are you?”

“Why yes I am.  I’m a pediatrician.”

Holy crap!  I look at Nikki and my eyes are saying WE. ARE. SCREWED!  Plus I’m super ticked off.  How could Nikki not share with me that there was a pediatrician in the freaking Mommy and Me class!  Oh shit, shit, shit. Nikki is starting to get tears in her eyes.  If she starts crying this will not end well at all.  I have no choice, but to go my strong suit – full B.S. mode and hope it works.

“Really?” I say.  Are you still practicing?”

“No.  I practiced for just one year and then got pregnant and decided to be a full-time mommy.  But maybe when my last kid starts high school in 12 years I’ll go back. “

That statement totally distracted me and has forced my brain, against it’s will, to do math.  This woman had years and years of schooling and then practiced medicine for one year.  Good Lord, talk about almost a zero rate of return on that educational investment.  Where was her father?  Because I can tell you what my dad would have done if one of his kids had pulled that – demanded a refund for all the college tuition he shelled out.  This also tells me that she may be one of those people who are smart yet still dumb asses. I mean look at her. What doctor would tan?  A smart/dumb ass doctor that’s who. I decide to go with that.

I look at her and say, “You should definitely return to medicine when you have the chance.  I can tell by watching you with your son that you have a real gift.”

She smiles and says, “Thank you. You’re not the first person to say that.”

I then ask her is she’s familiar with the work of the German research team of Bergman and Bauer (Which I pulled right out of my dumb ass, thank you very much. I think the alliteration really made it sound believable.)

“No, I’m not. It’s been while since I was in school.”

“Well, they’ve done extraordinary work in profiling children like Lilly.  Just look at her.  I think it’s easy to tell a difference.”

After this statement 7 pairs of mom eyes immediately start watching Lilly.  Nikki is watching me and I hope to God she’s praying.

“See how she puts the blocks in her mouth,” I say, “That demonstrates her ability to really want to learn about the spatial connectivity of the block.  The other children play with them by stacking. Lilly is researching the block.  Now look at her, she’s wandering off, away from the other kids, this show signs of heighten awareness, of an innate curiosity. Have you also noticed, in maybe other classes, how Lilly can’t sit still as long as the other children?  It’s because she’s bored. Her intuitive intellect demands to be fed and if others aren’t feeding it, she’ll do it herself. She really is an amazing child. All of your kids, really all of us, can learn from her.  It’s a very exciting time to be a clinical researcher in this field, very exciting.”

I then excuse myself from the moms, move closer to Lilly, immediately began typing more crap on the I Pad and act absorb in my work.  The Q&A time needs to be over I was running low on B.S. I sit in the classroom for about 15 more minutes and then leave during story-time. I walk to my mini van which I parked as far away as possible from the school and take off. I’m still worried about Nikki and to calm my nerves I go to Target and enjoy walking around in my scrubs and lab coat until the pharmacist, apparently on break, tries to strike up a conversation with me as I get a Diet Coke from the snack bar. I tell him I’m on call and have to get back to hospital. Two hours later Nikki and Lilly come over to my house and yes, I’m still in those yummy scrubs. She’s ecstatic. The other moms bought the story and Lilly and Nikki got invited to three separate play-dates.

“Great!” I say, “When are you going?”

“I told them all no.”

“Why? I thought that’s what you wanted?”

“It is. I do want Lilly to have friends, but those moms they’re going to have work for it.  I told them I’d have to check the dates against Lilly’s calendar of gifted and enrichment events.”

Now it was my turn to get a little teary eyed.

“Oh Nikki,” I said while hugging her, “You’ve made me so very, very, proud.”

***For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new winter Snarky line of clothing and accessories. (Flannel Snarky P.J.’s anyone?) Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.) Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Snarky Saves the World Part 1

Based on my real life with some very ill-mannered aliens thrown in.

 It’s only the first month of summer and so far I’ve sat through a trio of action adventure movies.  It’s not that I don’t like action or adventure it’s just that I’m think the formula of some men and a random chick kicking all sorts of alien butt needs to be shaken up a bit.  The epic battle I would like to see would be Aliens vs. Moms or more specifically Aliens vs. Snarky.  Yes, I want to see a movie featuring me (sure it’s a little narcissistic, but hey, it’s my blog) as played by Sandra Bullock (of course she’ll need some prosthetic cankles as I’ll, oops, I mean Sandra, will be wearing capri track pants during most of the film) taking some disgusting life forms intent on harming earth and giving them the mother of all beat downs.

I really think I’ve got a great idea going here, like blockbuster great, so if any of you have a second cousin who works at the Starbucks where some big Hollywood type sends their assistant to fetch a venti cappuccino tell them to share the Snarky.  I’m not asking for much, maybe just write the website address on the lid or something.  I’m doing Hollywood a major favor. The Mom Movie market is where it’s at.  Who pays for all the movie tickets of anyone ages 0 to 18?  Moms.  Who takes the kids to all the movies? Moms.  Who wants to see a movie that’s not a lame rom/com? Moms. Seriously, how long has it been since there’s been a decent romantic comedy? And if you think New Year’s Eve was a comedy I would beg to differ.  So, here’s just a taste of my science fiction/action adventure – Snarky Saves the World.

Act One

INTERIOR SCHOOL CAFETERIA LATE AFTERNOON.  8 moms are seated at a cafeteria table while their kids run around the room. The camera zooms on our hero, Snarky rolling her eyes while breathing through a tissue.

Okay, scratch that – I can’t write this in script form. It will give me a headache.  All the set ups, dialogue and camera pans to the right stuff – yuck.  I’m going back to traditional Snarky mode which is me complaining about stuff and the ensuing fall out. So, here’s the do over or as they say in Hollywood – Take Two.

_______________________________________________________

Why does every school cafeteria smell the same like dirty mop bucket water, boy feet and rancid Twinkie? (BTW a Twinkie would not have the “opportunity” to go rancid on my watch.) I’m having to take hits of Gain Febreze to make it through this emergency PTO board meeting.  What? You never taken hits of Febreeze?  It goes like this; you grab a Kleenex or toilet paper (in a crisis of stench you can’t be choosy), take the travel size Febreze from your purse, soak the Kleenex with Febreze then hold it up to your nose and take a couple of very deep nasal inhales.  It’s the ultimate cleaning breath, my friends.

Also, on my Why list – Why do school meetings have to be in the cafeteria?  What’s wrong with the library?  Is the library too good for the parents?  Are we not worthy of chairs?  Are we doomed to perch our adult size butts on tiny round cafeteria seats that are attached to the table?  But, the biggest “Why” of all was – Why do moms try to make money off the backs of children?  Because that’s why I’m trapped in an elementary school cafeteria on a beautiful, breezy, late spring Tuesday afternoon, 30 minutes after the bell has rung, talking about yet, another new P.T.O. fundraising idea – “Scents for School” (candles, those scent sticks, plug-ins etc).  P.T.O. Fundraising chairperson and sister-wife to Satan Charity Turner (for a deep background on Charity read The Reverse Stubing.) is all over “Scents for School” because it’s a calorie/gluten/sugar-free fundraising alternative and therefore far superior to the cookie dough, pizza, candy, bake sales etc. the school has.  Charity managed to leave out that “Scents for Schools” was a subsidiary of “Superior Scents” which she is a direct sales representative for and if “Scents for Schools” is approved as a fundraiser she would be getting a tidy little personal profit based on the pyramid sales structure.

I’m tempted to not even bring up that point because I’m so anxious to get out of the meeting.  My 10-year-old daughter is giving me the “I’m going to die if I don’t get a snack soon” eye.  Which is nothing compared my 14-year-old son’s “glares of doom.”  He and two of his friends, the uber nerdy Hyatt and Grace, who is a couple of years away from becoming gorgeous, have walked over from the high school to catch a ride home and I know they’re getting muy impatient based on the latest text I got that reads; “I would kill myself if I lived your life and had to go to a meeting about citrus scented candles. Hurry up!”  I texted back, “I would kill myself if I had 2 hours of Algebra homework.”  But, both kids had a point it was time to wrap up this meeting.  I had listened to Charity sing the praises of perfumed wax long enough and I was more than ready to stop looking at her.  This “wanna be hot mom” of two with a very unfortunate hair highlights (they looked orange in the direct sun.) had on black yoga pants, with a leopard thong you could see every time she bent over to take out a candle from her “Scents for School” bag, fur-lined Ugg clogs, and a tight black Nike t-shirt that reads, “Come and Get Some.”   What we supposed to come and get – crabs?  A free feel of her silicone breasts?  I think I speak for all of America when I say we’ll take a pass on getting anything Charity has to offer.  Just as I was ready to raise my hand and ask for the topic of the Scents for Schools fundraiser to be tabled until the general PTO meeting next week emergency sirens went off.  You know the ones that get tested the first Wednesday of every month at 11 a.m. and that you never pay attention to.  Well, it wasn’t Wednesday and it wasn’t the first of the month so we all looked at one another, grabbed the kids and hauled ass to the school basement.

Snarky Saves the World – Part 2  coming soon.

**Many thanks for all of you who “liked” me on Facebook!  May the Snark Be With You.  For those that haven’t done the deed yet to stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.   Cheers!

Undercover Snarky – Almost The Conclusion

One of the last things on my to do list was to pay a visit to the now infamous (to me) Spring Creek elementary school.

The morning before the PTF meeting I’m in the school parking lot waiting for Eleanor. My plan is for both of us to walk in together, sign the parent volunteer sheet, slap on a Spring Creek Elementary School “visitor” sticker and do some recon.

Eleanor pulls up beside me and we both get out of our cars. I follow her lead as we walk into the school.  Just as I thought, it’s easy peasy to sign in at the front desk, (I don’t think the school secretary even looked up from her computer as soon as she recognized Eleanor) and walk to the workroom.  Here, like in most schools, are where you find the copy machines, paper, staplers etc and moms (I know Dad’s volunteer, but in my nine years straight of having at least one child in elementary school I have never seen a father collating worksheet packets.) allegedly assisting their child’s teacher.

The mother maybe hard at work die cutting hearts for the February bulletin boards, but she’s also multi-tasking by gossiping her ass off. That made the workroom ground zero to gauge the mood of the moms.  As Eleanor and I were about to enter the workroom she stopped short.  I asked her, “What’s up?”  Thinking our big game – Priscilla Davis might be in there.

Eleanor stepped back and said, “Crap. I hate that mom.”

I peak over her shoulder and say, “Which one are you talking about?” There were three moms in the workroom.

“The petite one right by the copier with those stupid boots on.”

I look in again and see a woman, in immediate need of a sandwich, in riding boots and freaking breeches or whatever the hell you call those pants that fancy people who ride horses wear. (Oh pardon me, I mean equestrians) Did she ride her horse to school because I didn’t see a hitching post in the parking lot?

I ask Eleanor, “Do you hate her because she wears her horsey pants to volunteer at the elementary school? Because if so, that’s enough for me?”

“No, I hate her because we’ve had kids the same age and in the same class for like five years and she never ever remembers who I am. God, I’m so sick of it. I’ve probably re-introduced myself to her 100 times.”

“Ohhhh,” I say, “One of those. A mom with a bad case of arrogance amnesia. The old ‘you’re not important enough for me to remember therefore I’ll pretend I don’t know you as a way to signal my superiority.’ Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go in there and mess with her.”

Eleanor gave me a pained expression so I said, “Correction. I’ll go in there and mess with her.  You pretend you need to make copies.”

With that we both walk into the work room and whatever conversation/gossip the three women were having stops. Eleanor says hi and I smile and nod at everyone.  Horsey pants sneers and says, “Do I know you two?

I give her an over the shoulder confused look and say, “You’re joking right?”

“No, I’m not. Have we’ve ever been introduced? She then gives both of us the snobby once over. “I don’t recollect meeting either of you and I don’t think I would know you from the club or the barn.”

THE BARN! I’m biting down on my lower lip to keep from howling and suddenly the lyrics to the classic 1950’s TV show – Mr. Ed pop into my head.  (No, I not that old, but who hasn’t heard the Mr. Ed song sometime in their childhood.) “ A horse is a horse, of course, of course, And no one can talk to a horse of course.  That is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed.”  What a huge Mr. Ed’s ass this woman is. I get it lady you ride horses. That doesn’t make you Kate Middleton.

Instead of singing the Mister Ed theme song I say in a very concerned voice, “Okay, now you’re scaring me. You do know me from the barn. I’m the dressage champion (points for me pulling that term right out of my butt.) and  Eleanor and you have had kids in the same class for years.”

I then do a long drawn out “Ohhhhhhh” and all of the moms give me a weird look, including Eleanor.

This is when I stick the knife in and rotate it counter-clockwise, “I am so, so sorry. I should have realized you’re going through menopause and having those memory lapse issues my mom’s Red Hat Society always talks about. Don’t worry according to my mom it all comes back after your body gets used to the non-estrogen lifestyle. You’ll be fine. Circle of life, my friend, Circle of life.”

As Horsey Pants is turning bright red I’m grabbing Eleanor’s shoulder and turning her towards the door.  We both walk out and Eleanor whispers, “Oh my God.”

I say, “I have no doubt she’ll remember you now.”

Eleanor still whispering, which was starting to aggravate me, says, “Yeah and not it a good way.”

“Stop worrying and count your blessings. I’m guessing she’ll never even make eye contact with you again. Now, where’s the cafeteria?”

Eleanor showed me the cafeteria and how the meeting would be set up. The PTF board members have the custodian set up a dais for them with microphones and a smart board. When Eleanor tells me this I look at her and ask, “How many parents come to the meeting that they need a dais and microphones?  Most elementary school PTA meetings are lucky to get two dozen parents.”

“They really publicize the meetings and they take role. Your kid isn’t eligible for any awards if at least one parent or guardian doesn’t come to a meeting.”

“Shit.” I say, “They TAKE roll. (Totally dismissing the just as shocking fact that school awards are based on parental attendance at a PTF meeting.) Why didn’t you guys tell me this? I’ll need to work around that.  Do they take roll at the beginning of the meeting? Is it a verbal roll call or do they just circulate a sign in sheet?”

“They take roll as soon as you walk in  There will be table right here and two of the board members watch you sign in.”

“Don’t tell me they check I.D.?”

“No. I don’t think so. Is this going to be a problem?”

“Maybe, but don’t worry about it.  I’ll improvise. Now show me the exits that will open and not set off an alarm.”

A couple of minutes later I feel confident that I know the school’s layout and walk back out, solo, to my car. Oh perfect, there’s Horsey Pants in the parking lot. She walks up to me and says, “Not that it’s any of your business, but I am far too young to be going through menopause.”

I was ready to just give her some more grief, but then a thought occurred to me. To pull off this scheme the Nut Ups will need parental support. This is an awesome opportunity to turn Horsey Pants into an ally.

“Hey,” I say, “You look early 30’s tops to me (Total lie. She looks 40ish on a good day.) But, Priscilla Davis has been telling everyone your going through the big M complete with drippy hot flashes. I’m sure she’s jealous of you. Seriously, everyone is. You should come to the PTF meeting tomorrow. Did you hear she’s trying to be PTF president – again?  Like she thinks she’s queen of the school or something. You want to get back at her – show up.”

“How would going to the PTF meeting get back at her?”

“I don’t really know, but I heard a rumor it’s going to be good.”

“How good?”

“How about that big, bleached blonde, head of hair of hers is going to be ground zero for a school wide lice epidemic and that’s just for starters.”

Horsey pants gave me a full mouthed smile and I my first thought was wow, those are some bad veneers. If I were her I might want to cut back on the horsey expenditures for some better cosmetic dentistry. After I got past the slipshod teeth I smiled back and said, “So, will I see you tomorrow night?”

“Oh, I’ll be there,” she purrs, “And I’ll bring friends.”

We both go to get in our cars and as she opens her door she looks back at me, wrinkles her brow, squints her eyes and says, “Are you sure I know you?”

“Yes, I’ve been at this school for years.”

 

 

Parent Teacher Conference – By the Numbers

1236465_612764895442080_848344258_nThe Parent Teacher Conference is one you either look forward to because your seven-year-old little bundle of joy is reading at a college level thus providing you with the opportunity to sit back, sniff an Elmer’s glue stick and bask in the praise being heaped on your budding genius.

For others the conference event ranks right up there with getting your annual pap smear.  As a veteran of many Parent Teacher Conferences I will confess that some years it’s all good and other years, if given the choice, I would pick getting up close and personal with a speculum.  As your kids get older the whole parent teacher conference vibe changes.

No longer do they just have one teacher, they have eight. This leaves parents hanging out in the hallways waiting their turn for the various teacher meet and greets. To make this occasion even better no one closes the damn door when they go in to meet with teacher thus giving people like me (curious and concerned) the chance to share in everyone’s conference experience.

Due to my superior knowledge gathering abilities I’m able to present to you this edition of: Parent Teacher Conference By the Numbers.

11 Moms in yoga pants.  The time has come to “out” the yoga pant. It’s just the 21st century version of the black stirrup pant risen from the fashion ashes of the 1980’s (I’m sure the stirrup pant had to bitch slap the shoulder pad to see who would climb out of the ash heap first) and reborn, stirrup-less and with a trendy, sporty name. Ladies, we all know yoga pants are super comfy, but sometimes you have to peel off the cotton/lycra athletic wear and put on some real clothes. Trust me, if you can insert your legs and then use your super toned arms to yank those yoga pants up and over your firm butts all the way to the land of flat abs then you can do the exact same maneuver to get yourself into jeans, cords or gasp, a pair of dry clean only pants.   It’s exactly the same except you also have to work a zipper and a button.  I know it sounds really hard, but hang tough.  Don’t let a little thing like a zipper and button get you down. I’ve got faith in your fine motor skills and by golly it will give those nifty opposable thumbs a workout too.

For the two yoga pants on the bottom, athletic bra on the top moms that “worked” the conference into their running schedule you get a special shout out.  Please note, I have nothing against marathoners. I applaud their dedication, self-discipline and resting heart rate. It’s that I just don’t care to hear people proselytize about their workouts.  These two chicks over shared, again and again, that they had just “road slammed 13 miles” because they were “training for the New York Marathon in an effort to BQ”.  Which I found out means qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Silly me, I thought they were talking about BBQ.  Imagine my embarrassment when I asked them, “Wow, they have that good of barbecue in New York City?”

The marathon mom with terminal torpedo nipples that looked like they were trying to drill their way out of her jog bra sneered at me with disgust and said, “God, how would I know.  I haven’t had beef since 1992. Besides I said B.Q. not BBQ.”

I said, “Oh sorry” and then asked her if I had any gristle in my teeth. (Seriously, what a witch.)

Those moms needed to run along home, shower and come back. Their beef free sweat stench combined with what I’m pretty sure is urine was making me queasy.  I think one of them may have an incontinence issue that’s been aggravated by pounding the pavement.  May l suggest “Depends for the Girl on the Go” or at the very least a full coverage panty with a deluxe cotton crotch lining instead of the thong peeking out of the back of their yoga pants. With all that running I would think the thong would really irritate your butt crack.  Lord, think of the friction.  I’m surprised it hasn’t worked like a saw and cleaved both women in two or at the very least given them a case of double crack or as it’s referred to in medical terms – a double vertical.  That’s when you have a butt crack that’s twice the normal size.  Just another reason why I don’t run.

Here’s a brain teaser for you – What’s the maximum number of family that can show up for one child’s conference?  According to my data the answer is 8 Family Members.  That’s one mom, one dad, one step-dad, one dad’s girlfriend, two grandmothers, one aunt, one adult step-child.  Yes, indeed it was a blended family festival.  I struck up a conservation with the chatty paternal grandmother and praised her for being so involved in her grandchild’s life.  As predicted that sweet statement got her talking.  She explained that she was here less for the grandchild and more as a support system for her “poor” son who got the “shaft in the divorce.”  As for the adult stepchild and the aunt they were both “certified education professionals.”

According to grandma, “One was a substitute teacher on occasion and the other worked as a day care helper, but they both know a lot about school stuff.”  As for that girlfriend the Dad brought, and couldn’t seem to keep his hands off of, I never talked to her, but I pretty sure she was dragged along for the sole purpose of being a “F You” from the dad to the mom.  I wish you could have seen this crew.  They couldn’t even walk through a door without bickering about who would go in first and where they would sit.   The geometry teacher gently suggested that the biological parents of the student sit in the two chairs provided and the rest stand.  The grandmas didn’t like that one bit. They both got the chairs.

7 Violating the school dress code moms Yes, I know I’ve beaten this horse to death, but, too bad. I’m back on the subject of hot moms. I stopped counting when I easily reached 7 moms who were in violation of the school dress code.  At what age do we get over the fact that we have breasts?  I ask this because it seems that we have a need to bare our middle to lower boob well into middle age.  Do we do this so we don’t forget we have them? Do hoisting our girls up and way out of our tops serve as a fleshy post it note? A “don’t forget these are yours” reminder

I also encountered a new species of hot mom during the Parent Teacher Conference. The Harley Mom. This bad girl was decked out in Harley gear.  Which can best be described as a bedazzled Harley t-shirt and a ridiculous biker hat that has all that skull and crossbones crap all over it. But here’s the thing that propelled this mother to the Hot Mom Hall of Fame – She was in shorts, flip-flops and chaps. Yeah, that’s right, freaking chaps.   (Please note: This is my second chap sighting in less than 3 months. I’m getting alarmed.) Not just any chaps, mind you but black chaps with a hot pink stripe down the side. I was mesmerized and had to strike up a conversation with this Biker Babe.  As an ice breaker I commented that her “hair sure looked good for just getting off a motorcycle.”

She stared at me for a second and said, “I didn’t ride a motorcycle here.  I drove my car.”

Intrigued, I blurted out, “Really, then why the chaps?”

She quickly answered back, “Oh, I’m breaking them in.”

Still curious I go for it with, ”You have to break in chaps?”

“Yes, they’re leather and you need to wear them so they can form to your shape.”

Now, the whole shorts thing makes sense so I ask, “Is that why you’re in shorts so the leather can form to your legs better?”

She gives me a confused look and says, “No, I’m wearing shorts because they match my shirt.”  With that statement the Harley Mom is catapulted to Stupidest Hot Mom status.

6 Really Important Parents  Congratulations you have a very demanding job that requires your constant and steadfast dedication to your phone. I get it, your better than the rest of us moron parents who can actually holster our communication devices for something as mundane as a parent teacher conference.  I saw this repeatedly – parents walking into the classroom for their conference still taking on their phone.  The teacher goes to shake their hand and introduce herself, but the dumb ass parent for some reason, I’m guessing helping land a jetliner that lost all four of its engines or doing brain surgery via their iPhone, won’t hang up.  One parent was even having a conference call with their phone on speaker.  (BTW, your sales numbers in Des Moines sounded awfully low.) She kept on giving the teacher the 1 minute sign with her finger.  I think the teacher was extremely nice not to give that parent the 1 minute sign with her middle finger.  I know I wanted to.

There’s no better time than standing out in a hallway waiting for your turn with the Algebra 2 teacher to strike up a conversation with other mothers you have never seen before.  This all leads to 2 Awkward Confessions.  I found out that one mother’s “dead beat of an alcoholic husband drank away all of their private school money.”  This mom in a Burberry trench coat and handbag was bemoaning to me that her son after “9 years in private school was reduced to a public education and now he’s failing because he’s distracted by the large class size.”

I asked her what grade her son was in and she said he was a freshman.  That lead to my follow-up question which was, “Why is a freshman taking honors Algebra 2?  It’s a sophomore course.”

She explained that because he’s from a “private school background” she felt he would “be at least be 2 years ahead of any public school curriculum.”

Sure, I wanted to strangle her with her $3,000 trench coat, but she wasn’t worth it so instead I said, “Maybe he’s not N.P.S.M.”

“What’s that?” she asked trying to raise her eyebrows without success due to excessive botoxing.

I replied very matter of factly, “It means Not Public School Material.  You know kids who can’t hack it in the real world.  It’s okay, don’t feel bad or anything.  I just hope you’ve got a family business where he can find a job someday.”

Another mom confessed that school is really a “waste of time” because the most important thing a kid needs to learn to succeed is to “not take crap off of anyone.”  I felt I was doing a public service by attempting to disabuse her of the notion.  I gently pointed out that being a successful adult means being able to judge when you should take crap off someone and when you shouldn’t.  On a daily basis any adult will have an occurrence when they’re taking crap. You have to metaphorically weigh that crap and decide “Yeah, I’ll take that” or “That’s a no can do” and begin redistributing said crap.  If you went through life never taking crap you wouldn’t ever get behind the wheel of a car, fly American Airlines, get an education, hold down a job, stay married and most certainly never ever have children. Taking crap is a life skill.   I don’t think I convinced her.  She told me I was “talking crap.”

Beware of 1 Mom Bearing Gifts.  This mom is not just a suck up she’s a show off.  On the first day of school and during Parent Teacher Conference time you can see her up at the school with a red wagon full of treats for the teachers.  In elementary school this is tolerable. When you have middle school and high school aged children and you’re still dragging a Radio Flyer red wagon filled to the brim with your “world famous chocolate chip pumpkin bread” down the hall then you need to roll yourself and that wagon to the closest in-patient mental health facility.

The Wagon Mom is a confused ass pain. Confused because why in the hell would you give high teachers pumpkin bread?  If you really want to suck up try some hard liquor. She’s an ass pain because she parades her Merry Sunshine self up and down the halls stopping every few feet to answer parent’s questions about “What’s in your wagon?”  (I’m I the only one that thinks that sounds dirty?) She’s very eager to answer, in voice that sounds like a Disney Princess after taking too many hits of helium, how she’s got goodie bags for all her kids teachers filed with the “Smith Family Secret Recipe World Famous Pumpkin and Banana Bread.”  Each treat is in a cellophane bag tied with school themed ribbon and pencils that say, “The Smith Family Loves Teachers.” Gag.  One dad at this year’s conference, God bless him, told her,“I can’t believe you still do this.”

She, of course, took it as a compliment and asked the parents standing around “You mean none of you bring treats to the teachers?”

That was my cue to reply, “No, because our kids can stand on their own feet and don’t need pumpkin bread shoes to prop them up.”  Oh my, she took her little red wagon and stomped right down the hall.  Is it wrong to hope she suffers crippling injuries due to a runway red wagon ramming her into oncoming traffic in the near to immediate future?  I sure hope not.

 

Rantober

In a shock to no one I’m ranting again.  My Halloween candy stash has been forcibly removed from my home.  At first I thought it would be a good idea.  A Pre-Halloween cleanse, if you will.  Like most of my ideas it sounded excellent in theory, but was a disaster played out in real-time.  During a P.M.S. sugar craze I went for the bottle of children’s Gummy Bear vitamins.  One word – yummy. Two words – over dose.  I didn’t know until I shared my secret shame on Facebook that all the extra iron and vitamin A are not a good thing. Think death or at least a case of chronic constipation, Now I’m back on my cleanse with a fiber chaser. It’s made me very crabby and given me a level of gas that is so intense I fear leaving my home.  I have no other recourse, but to vent.  So, here goes.

Facebook  I thought I had seen almost every instance of T.M.I. imaginable on Facebook from a pregnant women’s comment that her “cervix is mushy and dilated to a 6.” To a dude’s “tripod” Viagra story, but nothing tops this: (Please note what I’m about to reveal is a word for word status update.)

“This morning my beautiful 13-year-old daughter’s journey to become a woman has begun.  She finally started her period!  When I heard her call me into the bathroom I just knew it had happened”

Yes, a mother, who I know and until now didn’t think was insane, put that on FB.  What kind of mom shares that kind of personal, private information with the general public?  (I feel justified in using the term general public because the mother has almost 1,000 FB friends.)  This question so haunted my every waking minute that I had to message her and ask, “Aren’t you afraid your daughter is going to kill you?”  She replied, “I can’t imagine she would care.  We’re going shopping after school to celebrate.”   Really, shopping? Is it going to be a mad cap adventure at Target for maxi pads and panty liners?  Maybe even worse than the mother’s over share were her “friends” responses.    Her status update received 59 likes (Why would you “like” that? What’s to like?  “Yeah, you get to enjoy PMS, cramps, and basically being on restroom alert 5 to 7 days out of every month.  Yippee!”) and 24 comments These were my favorite. (Once again, word for word here)

“The Lord has smiled and another girl has flowered into a beautiful woman.”

Okay, that totally creeps me out. The whole God grinning, flowering woman thing sounds beyond disturbing.

“OMG Your daughter just got her period? My Ava started hers at 11.”

Read it and weep mothers are now competitive about when their girls start menstruating?  It’s the Period Olympiad folks. What does that say about us as a society?  I’ll give you a hint. It says we’re, most if not all, bat shit crazy.

Do not let her use Tampons for at least 6 months it will ruin her hymen.

WTH?  How can a Tampon ruin your hymen and how does 6 months play into the ruination schedule? More importantly why should we be obsessed about hymens in general?  Inquiring minds what to know.  I felt compelled to comment on this comment and asked those 3 questions.  I got this response. “The hymen is at its most sensitive the first 6 months of a girl’s period and you want to be sure not to break it.” I commented back, “You really need to read some basic biology books and not rely solely on your “Great Granny’s Guide to the Care and Upkeep of Your Virginal Plug.” Can you believe someone deleted my comment to her comment?   Jerks.

The one thing I’m certain of is this T.M.I. Mom better watch her back. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I’m very, very sure her daughter will seek revenge and it will be painful.  At least I’m hoping it will be painful and that her daughter will share all the gory details on Facebook.  In gleeful anticipation I’ve already sent her a friend request.

Kid’s names  I know it’s none of my business what anyone chooses to name their child.  But for all you pregnant or soon to be pregnant woman out there let me offer this advice.  When thinking of a perfect moniker for your someday baby ask yourself this question: Is there anyway it will make him or her a serial killer?  Remember your kids grow up and if you give them a goofy name they’ll solicit some degree of payback.

I feel the need to offer this advice because today when I was at the park walking my dogs I stopped to talk to a mom and comment on her adorable son.  She told me her son’s name is “Awesome.”  I replied, “Of course he’s awesome.” She corrected me.  “No, he’s not just awesome that’s his name.”  I said, “Really his name is Awesome?  Is that a family name?” (Yeah, I said something that stupid. I was flustered.) She politely said, “No, no one else in the family is an Awesome.”  I asked her how they came up “such an original name.”  She smiled and said, “When he was born my husband and I both looked at him and the first word that came out of your mouths was awesome.”  “Oh what a great story,” I happily replied and bid my farewell.  It took everything I had to not turn around and go back to the woman and talk some sense into her.  I wanted to scream, “Awesome, you named your kid Awesome!”  Doesn’t she know what’s she done.  One of two things is going to happen here. The kid will either grow up to indeed be Awesome (doubtful) or he’ll become the nation’s worst serial killer.  F.B.I. profilers will trace back his mental unhinging and proclaim that it all begin in elementary school when Awesome was teased for being not so awesome.  I can see the news headlines “Awesome Serial Killer Claims Another Victim.”  I’m seriously worried for this child.

Sometimes you just have to talk yourself (or family members) out of name.  My dad (the accountant) wanted me to name my son Cash.  I told my Dad that unless he wanted to pay me lots of cash for naming rights there was no way that was going to happen.  I also have always loved the name Grace.  But, me Klutzy Cankle Doofus couldn’t name my daughter that.  What if she inherited my total lack of coordination?  How grossly unfair to be named Grace when you have problems walking and talking on your cell phone. Never mind that it took me years to master climbing stairs in flip-flops.  It was imperative that I select another name.  The good news here is that my daughter turned out to be very graceful, but I’m certain that if I had tempted fate and named her Grace she’d be a mini-me still learning how to keep clogs on her feet. (It’s all in the toes.) Trust me no one wants that for any child.

Adult Halloween Costumes  My number one Halloween rule is I will not wear any costume that requires Spanx or a bra that through an intricate system of ropes, pulleys and under-wire elevates my breast to the higher altitude of my clavicle.  When did Halloween leave Scary Town and relocated to Slutburbs? Have you been to a Halloween costume store?  They should rename them Skanks R Us.  It’s all thigh high tights, garters, cleavage and stripper shoes.  The worst is they’ve taken sweet, innocent children’s characters like Minnie Mouse and Alice in Wonderland and turned them into (non Magic Kingdom licensed, of course) hooker outfits.  What happened did Minnie cheat on Mickey with Goofy? (Bad choice Minnie. I would have picked Scrooge McDuck over Goofy.  Sure, Scrooge is old, but he’s loaded and I think he looks cute in his top hat.) Did Mickey throw her out of the House of Mouse?  Did Minnie find herself short on cash? Was she forced to relocate to Tramp Toon Town and work the pole at Donald Duck’s Gentleman’s Club “A quack establishment featuring the no pants dance”?  I’m pretty sure that’s what went down because Minnie’s outfit doesn’t say Disney it says Do Me.

While I’ve got your attention I’d like to add that few things are more pathetic than middle-aged women using Halloween as an opportunity to strut around in honeymoon lingerie masquerading as a costume.  I went to a Halloween party last weekend and I hadn’t seen that many almost exposed boobs since I attended a La Leche League breast-feeding class 15 years ago.  There was the sexy sailor, the foxy firefighter, the slutty Cinderella, the voluptuous vampire all way past their nublie years .  I hope they all caught a horrible chest cold or at the very least extreme chapped nipples.

Nerd/Geek Days During the week before Halloween many schools have spirit days that consist of kids dressing up in a different outfits each day.  For example, there’s a Western Day, Pajama Day etc.  Some schools even have a Nerd and/or Geek days where kids come to school with goofy glasses with tape on them, too short pants pulled way past their belly button, pocket protectors – you get the picture.  I’m a one woman wrecking ball when it comes to Nerd/Geek days sanctioned by schools, places that allegedly celebrate knowledge.  Why don’t the schools just have a day that proclaims “We Hate Math and Science!” or “We Never Want to Find A Cure for Cancer!”

A Geek is many splendor thing and these kids need some love.  They’ve been picked on post womb. As the proud mother of a super geek I was appalled several years ago when my son’s school had a Nerd/Geek day.  I had him embrace his geek by dressing up for school in a coat and tie.  I then took those fake $1,000 bills you can find at the Dollar Store and stuffed them in his suit coat pocket and put one of those “Hello My Name is” labels on him that read, “Hello, I’m your boss in 20 years.”   Well, guess what happened next? I got a call from the principal expressing “concern” about my son’s costume.  He felt it was “uppity.” I was up at that school faster than you can say, “Stanford Graduating Class of 2018.”I ever so politely pointed out to the principal that the Geek day was a form of bullying. (Yes, many years ago I learned any variation of the word bully is a parental trump card.)  I then gently suggested that instead of mocking geeks the school embrace their thirst for educational enrichment or at the very least get the costume right.  Goofy glasses and high water pants – please.  I don’t think Steve Jobs, the Google Guys, or any Nobel prize-winning scientist I’ve ever seen looks (looked) like that, especially not the girl geeks.  The principal attempted to blow me off, pat me on the head or whatever by saying, “You need to take off your mom hat.  You’re over thinking this.”  Oh my, that poor, poor man.  I hope someday soon a Dr. Geek/Nerd will invent a 3 part  robotic prosthesis for male genitalia because there’s an elementary school principal in Texas walking around without any of his manhood left.  I ripped it right off, stomped on it and then tossed it the trash on my way out of his office.  Screw “Don’t Mess With Texas” what you really need to do is “Don’t Mess With a Mom of a Super Geek.”  We’re lethal and our kids know how to crash your computer system.

Lord, that felt good to rant.  I’m not even craving high fructose corn syrup.  Now, there’s a Halloween miracle for you.  Well, off I go to venture forth and find something else to irritate me.  I’m sure it won’t take long.

**Many thanks for all of you who “liked” me on Facebook!  May the Snark Be With You.  For those that haven’t done the deed yet to stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs. Oh and while you’re at it go ahead and share my link with friends.  Cheers!

Liars – All of Them!

1176265_10151814829998130_806107146_nLeave it to the first day of school to bring out the filthy liars in the motherhood community. I guess the scent of newly sharpened number two pencils, the aroma of brand new nylon Jansport backpacks and the essence of Johnson & Johnson Strawberry Sensation Detangling spray somehow manifests itself into a chemical cloud that permeates the nasal passages of all moms with school age children. The potent chemical combo must then travel to the brain cortex and trigger a nervous system response that manifests itself in grown, should know better females, telling great big whooping fibs for a 12 hour period.

We all know what the biggest back-to-school is fib is don’t we? It’s the mother of all fibs. It’s when we share to anyone who will listen, but most especially other moms that our guts are being ripped out, our souls are being shattered, we’re grieving, we are in the deepest, darkest pit of despair because school is starting and we’re bereft imagining a world in which we can not spend every waking hour with the magnificent beings that shoved their way of out of our loins.

Yeah, I get it. The first day of school is emotional. Every year is a milestone. Your kids are getting older. You’re getting older. You’re anxious and maybe a little worried because you want your children to have the most wonderful first day. I’m right there with you. What irritates me is the mompocrisy of women who use this day to over-share that they are “just dying inside” because they’ll miss their kids so much. It’s like a contest and the winner to Best Mom goes to whoever is wailing the most about school starting.

I admit I’m on the other side of that statement. Way on the other side. When my alarm goes off on the first day of school I spring out of bed and do, at the very least, a 60 second happy dance that is so exuberant it scares the dogs and causes the dining room chandelier to swing violently to and fro. I then skip to each child’s room and wake them up with this little song (loosely sung to the tune of Camp Town Races)

“Get up, Get up, Right Away cause Mommy’s happy school starts today.  

 Hurry, hurry and get dressed Lord knows I crave an empty nest.

 Don’t worry about me, be sure to sign up for loads of free extra curricular activities.”

After I see them off to their respective schools. I get back in my mercifully empty car, bow my head in silence and thank the gods of parenting that I made it through another summer with my sanity, somewhat, in tact. I then do a deep cleansing breath, roll down all my windows, crank up the NPR, scream “yahoo” while doing multiple air high fives, and toast the new school year by sacrificing a virgin Diet Coke.

Sadly, I have found over the years that I have to hide my joy or at the very least downplay it. It seems it is bad form to celebrate your liberation from your children. To do so makes one seem (gasp!) less than mother-of -the-year material. I started out this first day of school by being very well-behaved. Inside the privacy of my own home I didn’t conceal my back-to-school bliss. I figured my kids were used to it but I was respectful of their need for some summer closure.

I gave my son a moment alone with two besties – iPad and X-Box. He had a tearful farewell. I told him not to worry about leaving his “friends” unattended for 7 plus hours each day. I promised to go in and dust them every morning and to throw his video game controllers on the floor at least twice around lunchtime so they would still feel right at home. My daughter got choked up when she blew a kiss to the TV remote and thanked it for an amazing summer. I promised her I would light a candle in honor of the Disney Channel. With that done I loaded up and did the drop off and bye-bye.

So far, so good, until I attended a “Mom Coffee” comprised of moms from a wide swath of the neighborhood. Some I knew, others I had never seen before. Unfortunately the mom meet and greet sat me off from the get go. I tried, I swear I did. I smiled, I nodded, I made my “you are so right” parent face, but after 20 minutes I snapped.

I couldn’t take another mother blabbing and using a kleenex as her must have back-to-school accessory to emphasis how sad she was summer was over and her “little munchkins” wouldn’t be with her. Because here’s the deal – the mom doing the most award-winning interruption of “I love my kids more than you because I miss them already” was a total fake.  Her two kids when not enjoying back-to-back sessions of two-week sleep away summer camp or at their grandparents for an extended stay were at my house driving me crazy and I don’t even have children their age. Trust me, I think I saw her kids more than she did.

This is when I trumped the weepy moms fibs with a bigger, better one of my own. I told this group that it was really too bad they were so upset that school had begun because I had seen a recent study, somewhere, that had shown that moms who are the most sad about school starting are the ones that didn’t spend enough quality time in meaningful engagement with their children over the summer and thus their guilt manifests itself into a debilitating, chronic back-to-school remorse.

Oops!

Cue the crap storm. Moms got enraged! Kleenex were flung to the floor and women began to defend their summer schedules and suggest “how dare I question their parenting.”

“Goodness,” I said, (in my best Barney Fife married Miss Goodie Two Shoes voice), “calm down I didn’t write the study, I just saw it and to be perfectly honest I loved it. It validated my parenting philosophy because every year I’m thrilled when school starts.” (And now to toss some hand grenades into the crap storm I add this zinger.) “I’m glad to know it’s because according to scientific research I’m doing an incredible job as a parent.”

Oh-My-God I committed the cardinal Mom Sin I proclaimed that I was better than all these ticked off moms. Even worse, I credited science for the shout out. (So it was made up science, big deal and who’s to say someone out there isn’t really doing a study like that?) Every mom knows that you can’t just announce that you’re kicking butt in the Olympic sport of momdom.

You and a group of friends can boast amongst yourselves how superior you are to other moms but under no circumstances can you proclaim to the world-at-large that you’re a better mom than the mom or moms standing right in front in you. These weepy women, in no way, wanted someone like me to “out mom” them. In their world I wasn’t even a contender.  But, thanks to the Gift of Fib” I had yanked their chain, hard. Score! (Not that I thought I was a better mom. Maybe a mom whose head wasn’t up her ass, but better – well, who really knows?)

As I was enjoying their somewhat suppressed fury the “discussion” took a turn for the worse when one mom wanted to know where I saw the study. “I don’t remember,” I said thoughtfully. “It was some on-line science journal my husband reads.”

Good save, I’m thinking. People will believe my husband reads heavy-duty science stuff, but no one could see me devoting hours to bettering my brain with esoteric journals. To make it sound even more credible I added, “I’ll text him and try to find the link for you.”

One Rhodes scholar piped up, “Are you sure it wasn’t junk science?”

“No,” I quickly replied. “ It was an International Pediatric Educational thing.”

I knew it was time to make my get away before someone took me up on texting my husband for additional information. I thanked my hostess, grabbed another muffin (well really one-third of a muffin since they were of the mini variety) and then went back to the cluster of moms still debating the “study” and said goodbye. I told them I had to run.  I was so busy putting the finishing touches on my family’s “Our summer was so awesome were excited about school party.” 

“Yeah, it’s going to be an amazing evening,” I said.

“Where did you get the idea?” one mom asked like I was incapable of thinking up one of my own.

“Oh,” I get “The Gifted and Talented Mom magazine, don’t you? It’s part of the national G.T. curriculum. You should really check it out.”

(Note: I don’t have a child in G.T.) And with that I sashayed right out the door, really working it, like I thought I was something. In truth my family would be celebrating the first day of school with pizza and cupcakes and complaining, lots of complaining about the teachers that dared to give homework their first day back but really was that any of their business? I think not.

*****For all things wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find the new Spring/Summer  Snarky line of clothing and accessories. Plus, there’s my book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. (Click here for purchase information.) Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

10 Steps to a Successful School Drop Off

W1426Well, you asked for it. So here it is – An Idiot’s Guide to Dropping Your Kids Off at School.

1) If you feel the need to “make out” with your children before letting them out of your car please do not enter the drop off zone and proceed to the nearest parking space where you can smooch, snuggle, family group hug and high-five your way to a kinder and gentler morning without holding up the line for 5 minutes.

2) If your children are shoeless, half-dressed or require some final grooming tips before being allowed to disembark from your vehicle please do not enter the drop off-line. All children should be “mission ready” for their school day before you reach the drop zone. This also applies to the parent that feels the need to get out of their car, unbuckle each kid and then place their backpacks on their backs. Rest assured parent if your child can use scissors at school and go to the bathroom independently I can guarantee they have long ago figured out how to master a seat belt and know that the straps to their backpack do indeed go on their back. All you’re doing is holding up the line and sabotaging your children’s fine motor skills.

3) If you have a child that had a melt down en route to school please pull over somewhere private and address the issue. The drop off-line is not a hospitable place to conduct any kind of family therapy. Studies show that a teary, unhappy child is further distressed by the act of having to get out of the car.

4) In the interest of public safety do not attempt the triple play of talking on your phone, putting on makeup and driving while negotiating school drop off.  Because when you hit the back of my car it won’t be because I stopped short it will because you were distracted by the superb magnifying qualities of your new lash boosting mascara.

5) Do not, I repeat, do not, get out of your car to “visit” with another mother. Nothing you have to share, no gossipy tidbit, even high value teacher gossip or spousal cheating updates, are valid enough for you to leave your vehicle. All parents doing transportation duties should keep their butts firmly affixed to the driver seat.

6) If your child is having to “pack mule” anything that is either half their body weight, bigger than their arm span or is fragile such as:  An Invention/Science Fair project, diorama or worse the dreaded Puppet Stage book report please make arrangements to help them unload and transport said items to school from the safety of the parking lot.

7) If you are in a hurry because you are so much busier and more important than any other parent in line please leave for school 10 minutes earlier so we don’t have to listen to you honk your horn or attempt to squeeze into a line opening that is not big enough to accommodate your vehicle or your ego.

8) If your child’s teacher is the assigned school professional working the drop off zone please resist the urge to address a concern about your child, ask a question about homework or engage in any “sucking up” chit chat. This will only result in you holding up the line and irritating the teacher.

9) Never, ever, park in the drop off-line. I know you think that you’re just going to run into school for less than 60 seconds and what could it hurt to leave your car for a moment but in the time space continuum that is the drop off zone that 60 seconds stretches into at least 10 minutes. It’s not your fault. It’s never your fault. You’re a popular mom and you ran into another mom you needed to talk to or you got waylaid by someone wanting you (of course) to volunteer for the latest fundraiser. Meanwhile, your car is causing not only a traffic stoppage but a disaster is in the making as other cars have to go around your parked vehicle compromising the safety of children.

10) Please be aware that the interior of your car does not make you invisible nor is it totally sound proof. I can see you squeeze that chin zit, pick your nose, do the “what if I got a facelift “ maneuver with your hands as you pull your forehead skin up into your hairline and I can hear you scream at your kids. This, while not always holding up the line, does turn me right off my morning Diet Coke.

In review, the perfect drop off scenario should be as follows: Kids are dressed, backpacks are at the ready. You approach the drop off zone in full alert, hands on steering wheel, preferably in the 10 & 2 position, and eyes forward. One of your child’s teachers is doing drop off duty but you valiantly fight your desire to speak to her about the book report due next week or comment on her “super cute skirt.” When it’s your turn for car unloading you initiate the “bye bye, have a great day” sequence, as children unload swiftly and with all of their belongings. You then ease away from the curb and drive away from the school secure in the knowledge that you are a master of the drop off. Take pride in that fact. It’s not an accomplishment a majority of parents can claim.

cover_1.3-2*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

 

 

The Sports Parents Hall of Shame (The Elementary School Years)

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To celebrate this season of recreation here is the definite list of irritating sports parents. I, after much research, that has resulted in bleacher butt, have categorized the parents into eleven different groups of “species annoying” or to be strictly scientific Pater Athletica. (In alphabetical order)

The Clock Watcher– More accurate than Greenwich Mean Time the Clock Watcher is absorbed with timing how long his/her child gets to participate in the game. The Clock Watcher tallies the findings and immediately after the game shares with the coach the numerical breakdown. Say it’s not so, if the C.W.’s kid got less game time than some of the other kids. This fact will turn the Clock into a ticking Time Bomb ready to explode if their child doesn’t get above average play time in the next game. In some instances the Clock Watcher has even pulled his child mid-game in protest and gone home. I call that the Jerk Play. Never mind that the kid misses practices, begs to sit out or is nursing an injury (real or imagined). All that matters to the Clock Watcher is minutes played and his kid better have all the minutes.

The College Scholarshipper – Every parent reading this who thinks their 10-year-old will, for sure, get a full ride to college due to their amazing athletic ability please take a deep breath and brace yourself for a hard truth. Less than 6% of all high school athletes get college scholarship to play NCAA sports and less than 1% of all high school athletes go on to play professional sports. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “My kid will be that 6%.” Awesome, I applaud dreaming big and I’ll be cheering your child on. But, I’m going to ask for just one little favor – please, please quit talking about it. No more comparisons of your child’s elementary school game stats in relationship to what college scouts are looking for. No more sharing of your master game plan to get your child on full athletic scholarship to your alma mater, and pretty please no more yelling from the stands at your kid – “That’s what I want to see! That’s what the Buckeyes will be looking for!”

The “I Could Have Gone Pro” Dad– Is there anything more awkward than witnessing a dad trying to show off his sports skills at a game for kids? No. This dad can be seen arriving early for practice and games in his full jock attire. Sometimes even wearing his old high school football jersey which due to time marching on is more of a stretchy crop top. He’ll go on the field to throw balls for the kids and by throw I mean show off how big, strong and powerful he is. He heaves the balls so hard the kids can’t catch them. I wonder if he thinks he’s impressing the moms in the stands. My short answer no. No mom likes seeing an adult pummel her 7-year-old with a football thrown hard in his stomach. Meanwhile, he keeps up a play-by-play of his sports experience including his impressive Pop Warner and junior high career plus his high school triumphs. Next he’s off to run that lap around the field beating the kids and then crowing about it. He even gets down and does the warm ups with the team except it’s all about, “Look at me, look how fast I can do a push up. Now watch this I’m doing a push up with one hand.” Someone hit that dad in the head with steel cleat. Please. At the beginning of the season the kids think the dad is cool. After about 3 practices the kids begin to think the dad is a little scary. “Why does he stay for practice?” they ask. “He’s not even the coach?” As a parent I think he should hang up his jock strap and sit down, preferably away from me.

The I’m Raising My Child to Be a Serial Killer – Research has shown that nothing triggers the complex gene mutation that creates serial killers like a child being pressured to play sports against their will. (Okay, so I’m making that one up.) It’s one thing to introduce your child to a wide variety of athletic endeavors and encourage physical activity. It’s another to force them to continuing playing a sport after they reach a certain age. Once a kid has demonstrated no interest whatsoever in said sport, exhibits complete misery at being made to partake in the sport and shows no discernible skill sets for the game after playing for six years then maybe it’s time to call it quits on sport A and move on to sport B or C or D. So, they don’t like team sports. It doesn’t mean they don’t like exercise.  So you’ll never get to see your son or daughter pitch in the Little League All Stars Game. Get over it and embrace your non-athlete because I have four words for you: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. The geeks shall inherit the earth.

The Pep Squad Mom – Got spirit? Let’s hear it!  I’m all for enthusiasm at my children’s sporting events, but the Pep Squad Mom needs to switch her Starbucks to decaf and retire her high school cheerleader pom poms. Yes, we’re all proud of our kids as they try to figure out where the ball went and what to do with it, but do we really need to break into a rehearsed cheer, complete with arm movements and clapping or do the wave? There’s what, like 15 parents total watching and half of the parents spend more time staring at their phone than the field. As for the whole color coordinated family spirit wear you suggested – sure, our team is the Purple Thunder, but I’m not interested in buying spirit wear for their 8 game season. One, I’m an adult, two our kids are 6 and their games last all of 30 minutes. Isn’t that going just a wee bit overboard to have every family “support the team in unified spirit wear”? Three, I don’t look good in purple. I appreciate your energy and dedication to children’s athletics and the fact that at age 35 you can still do a pretty impressive herkie, but I could really the see the game better and my child attempting to play if you would only sit down.

The Revenge of the Rec Team Parent – Hell hath no fury like the parent stuck with a kid on the rec team when he really thinks his child should have made into the “elite” or “select” level. This parent will try to restructure the season so it’s all about his/her child getting the experience he or she needs for the next round of tryouts. Forget about it being a team sport it’s a me sport. This parent comes to every practice and game intent on his/her child being given all the opportunities to shine. May I suggest to this parent if you want your child in the spotlight 24/7 try solo sports like tennis (singles) or figure skating (and I’m not talking pairs).

The Screamer – This parent has the lung capacity that would put a blue whale to shame. They can holler and shriek at their child the entire game or competition. Usually they can be found near the field, court, pool etc multitasking by pacing and screaming. Unfortunately, the screaming is not of the encouraging variety. It’s more of a drill sergeant on speed: “C’mon you can go faster than that!  Go get that ball!  You would have had if you had been paying attention! We practiced that, remember, r-e-m-e-m-b-e-r!” I can only imagine how your child feels being bellowed at the entire game, but, I can tell how I feel. Sad for you, your family and my ears.  And may I ask where is your spouse because he or she should be telling you to pipe down. Better yet, don’t attend the games until you can exhibit some sort of impulse and vocal control or adjust your meds.

The Suck It Up/Shake It Off Parent – Sometimes it’s just a twisted ankle and sometimes it really is a broken ankle. The Suck It Up/Shake It Off parent treats every injury the same – it’s no big deal. Player down on the field or court it doesn’t matter to this parent. They always shout the same thing, “shake it off.” God forbid that play stop and a parent leaves the stand to see what is wrong with their child. The Suck it Up/Shake it Off will continue his/her monologue about how whatever happened is no big deal and that kids today are coddled babies (or pussies). Back in their day the injury would have been fixed with a jog around the track and an ace bandage. Really?  Because I would like to test your vintage theory by hitting you in the ankle with a baseball bat and see you walk that off.

Team Divorce: At most games you would never know which parents are divorced. On occasion the aftershocks of a very rancorous split will be played out to such a degree that the action is not on the field, but in the stands. Dad or mom bringing a date to the game can be the fire starter or a child custody issue can get things heated. At a Little League baseball game last year I witnessed two parents fighting over who had the right to take their child home after the game. The mom holding a baby in her arms, shoved the dad.  The dad pushed her back, another dad from the stands ( a federal judge) jumped up to separate them and then both parents shoved him. Long story short the police were called, the game was stopped, their kids were crying and the Federal Judge pressed charges. Whoever said, “baseball was made for kids, and only grown ups screw it up” was right.

The Unicorns & Rainbows – No one likes to lose. Some hate losing more than others. It’s natural for kids, especially when as they get older to be disappointed when their team doesn’t play well and really who wants a kid whose team just got annihilated 87 to 2 to be joyous. Be very careful that a Unicorns & Rainbows parent doesn’t see your child’s gloomy, ticked off demeanor.  They will descend upon him or her like a plague of happy locust. “Oh come on, it’s a beautiful day.  You got to see your friends, smell the fresh-cut grass and feel the sunshine on your face.” Pardon me, but you are not helping. Also, the bit you dropped about being happy that your alive because 150,000 people die everyday was a little over the top and freaky scary to a 10-year-old. The U&R parents can’t stand to see a child weather the agony of defeat. Like there’s a law that says a kid must be cheerful at all times. As they stalk you as you walk to your car, thank them for their concern, while making sure your keys are out so you can quickly break into a run and finally escape their happy homilies. You know after a couple of minutes in the car and a trip to get an Icee all will be well with your mopey kid. Besides, who wouldn’t be a little sad about a game gone bad.

The Whining Second Guesser – Oh my, if you were a young child your behavior would result in a very long time out and maybe a nap. But alas, you’re an adult so, that means no one can punish you for your excessive whining. Our only retaliation is to avoid you like the ebola virus even if it means hiding out with the opposing teams parents. Nothing ever goes right for you. The calls made during the game were horrible. The field was too wet. The court was too slippery. The other team’s kids looked too big to be 11. The coach got it all wrong.  If only we had played on another field. If only the coach hadn’t substituted in that child. Yikes, put a sock in it.  A big knee-high wool soccer sock.

Now, that I categorized “species annoying” go forth my friend and enjoy your child’s athletic prowess. Holding firm in the knowledge that you, for not being on the list, are already a winner.

For all thinks wonderfully Snarky go to www.snarkygear.com where you can find T-shirts, ecards for Facebook and my brand new book – Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.  Here’s a little ditty about it:

The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.

 If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.