Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Proof I Am The Worst, Spoiler!!!!! Edition. Or, Busted! by Allison

So in case I need further evidence that I totally fail at mandatory parenting things (Spoiler!!!!!)
like the Tooth Fairy,

SPOILER!!!!
TANGENT ALERT!

1. Spoiler!
Send your children away!
For many reasons, they should not be reading this.
They should read Shel Silverstein or Jane Austen.

2. And Helpful Tip Plus Spoiler!!!
Don't hand your child Judy Blume's book Superfudge unaware.
If your child has not been informed by a spoilsport kid or a drunk uncle,
Judy Blume's book about the Total Spoiler Involving The Red Suited Jolly Fellow And Tiny Reindeer will most certainly bring on the Bah Humbug.

3. Proof Of Spoiler!!!
That book is how I found out about above referenced holiday lies we tell children.
I was taking a bubble bath and reading,
which is a lifelong habit of mine,
and I was reading Superfudge, and -

4. Spoiler!!!!!
I learned that bit of information on what is real or not real.

5. And stormed down the stairs,
 in bathrobe, brandishing the book over my head in indignant fury,
throwing a giant fit about How It Is Wrong To Lie To Children.

This is remembered by all, because I made a scene. 
But who puts that Spoiler!!! in a children's book?
Bogus.

6. Anyway, I have managed to keep Superfudge out of the girls' hands and not fail at Christmas.
And as I told E when she asked me about Spoiler!!!!! on the ride home from ballet one day,

7. "There is a kid that ruins it for everyone.
That kid is remembered forevermore as a cruel and monstrous being.
Do you want that to be you?
No? 
Cool.
I love the twinkly lights and all the fun, it remains awesome, trust me.
At least you didn't find out while taking a bubble bath and reading!"

(Interjection by younger E here: "Really? You read in the tub even then?")

8. Anyway,  it is both a shocking way to find the Spoiler!!!!! out and a memorable Young Allison And Her Tantrums story that I cannot live down, ever.

TANGENT OVER.
BUT SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!! CONTINUES!
DIFFERENT SPOILER!

So just now, V hands me a molar, from out of her mouth.
She has always done that.
As a toddler on the changing table, she'd just pull out a tooth and hand it to me.

That is her demeanor in most situations, she doesn't Make A Big Deal Out Of Everything.
Which?
Is awesome.
Because some of the rest of us in this house have different temperaments.

Anyway, I would receive tooth,
and attempt pitifully to mark it in Way Too Complicated And Nobody Cares About Which Tooth Was Lost When, Freaky Baby Book.

(Note: I wrote down the first three teeth or so.
The rest is blank.

For E's baby book,  I made everything up,
because I know someday she will nostalgically look through her baby book,
note the empty parts,
and harass me about it.

M's baby book is still shrink wrapped.
You know how everybody tells you the youngest kid has no baby book?
I Smug Mommy thought I would  prove everyone wrong.
Ha.
Shrink-wrapped, and I don't even know where it is.)

So just now V hands me the tooth,
and what has always cracked me up is that Matt is an actual medical doctor with degrees,
and yet, he is so grossed out by loose teeth or freshly plucked tooth that he runs screaming.

I am like, oh, ok. Tooth.
(Internally: Note to self, do not forget about the Tooth Fairy.)

V is twelve,
but when she was little, I was a lunatic,
(Proof: http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/10/ditch-sugarplum-fairy-and-pony-but.html)

and I'd do this ridiculous, elaborate thing where I taped quarters and drew a rainbow or a caterpillar or whatever I could make out of quarters.

This was absurd because:
1. I cannot draw
2. I never have quarters
3. I will be sleepy or reading or dealing with another baby and forget
4. I suck at this stuff

Of course, I cannot keep up the arts and crafts.
Eventually, a dollar shows up, if I write all over my hands to remember even that.

I tried my best, I swear.
And I have letters from the girls to the Tooth Fairy -

(I save them as proof that at some point in time, I did not flail at this parenting task.
 I keep them in a folder along with the "You're The Best Mom Ever" cards and notes. 
The latter I trot out routinely as Defense Exhibit A,
 whenever the girls start telling me I am the worst mom ever.)

But it is exhausting, all this remembering of stuff.
Forms, wash the dance clothes, where is the bad dog?
Sometimes, I totally forget.

That is the worst, because you have to fake the looking through the bedsheets -
 and Lo, and Behold!
Look it was here the whole time!
And that sham gets old.

To avoid this scenario, I do two things:

1.  Ask Matt to stay up and handle the delivery - this is always met with a resounding "Wha?????" face.
It gets too tedious to explain the whole thing, especially when I was doing those arts projects with quarters, so I huff off.

2. And do the thing I have been busted for at least five times - rush the delivery.

You know, all tip-toe, shhhhh?

And I am met with a big blue eye snapping open, five inches from my head as I try to shove stuff under the pillow?

The first time that happened, I was a rookie.
I screamed and ran out of the room.

That is not playing it cool.

Now, I pretend I am kissing them or smoothing their hair down.

They are on to me, but we all just pretend otherwise.

The worst and saddest is when their eyes kind of open and then squeeze shut,
 to spare me the indignity of being Worst Tooth Fairy Ever.

But tonight, we sank to an even more pitiful level.

V hands me her molar.
I take a picture of it and text it to Matt, because I know he will be horrified and grossed out.
(Note: He was totally horrified and grossed out! I am always right.)

And then I am like, "Do you see my purse?"

She hands me my wallet, and I feel like this was lacking in a magical, special quality.

So I make her go in her room and shut her eyes while I put money under her pillow.

She starts laughing,
and I am like "What?
You are the one summoning forth my hideously inept Tooth Fairy.
Don't tell your sisters. "

And she's like, "Mom. You are the worst Tooth Fairy."

And I am all, "Oh really? You know others?
And I think I am going to take back my money and huff off in a Tooth Fairy Tantrum."

And she's like, "No. I mean, if you wanted it to be a surprise when I was younger, you shouldn't have done art. "

And I am all "Don't make fun of my art.
I realize it is woefully subpar compared to you, but no mocking me,
especially when I was shaking the sofas for quarters to make caterpillars for your youthful delight and enjoyment."

And she is all "It's not the art.
It's that twice you put it on the back of E's preschool homework."

And I am all, "I did?????
I did that TWICE?"

And she is all, "At least twice.
It was kind of obvious at that point."

And I am all, "Ug."

And she was like, "It's OK, Mom. It will be funny one day."

And I ask "How long have you been on to me?"
With a twinkle in her eye, she says, "Does it matter? That was my last tooth."

Well played, V. Well played.














Sunday, September 22, 2013

Death Row, or the Cigarette Factory? Let's Do Both!, or My High School Field Trips, by Allison

So today, I am being Organized Parent and signing a bunch of Forms, not my favorite task ever.

Especially when the Forms are basically death waivers so that V can go white water rafting with her class at school. I am all for this field trip, and know better than to read the fine print .
(Note: That is a cool benefit of law school. You know there is fine print, you know there is stuff in it you should read, but you can make an informed choice to be ignorant and not read the many ways in which your child can get mangled on a field trip)

Anyway, after signing her life away several different ways, I was thinking about my own field trips growing up, because death was involved, but in a different, more bizarre way than boring waivers.

I grew up in an area with lots of famous historical landmarks within driving distance, lots of good field trip options for our schools to pick from. And certainly I saw plenty of colonial things and presidential homes and settlements and capitals and such. But the top two field trips of my youth are the ones no one ever believes me when I tell them, and I have to like, call someone from high school and put them on the phone to prove that I am not making this up.  Because those field trips were to Death Row and the Cigarette Factory.


I am not lying. And I did not go to juvie or anything, I was an honors student at a nice suburban school. And for some reason, our high school government teacher felt that his 11th grade AP Government class needed to be Scared Straight or something, and we got to take a field trip to the prison. You know, in case any of us were planning to commit some felonies after we finished our homework and editing the newspaper and running track or whatever, I guess he wanted to show us where we "would end up if we weren't careful."


 Um, Death Row usually involves being a little more proactive in your crime committing than just not "being careful." I mean, sure, you get caught doing your giant Death Row crime by leaving behind a glove or fingerprint or letter detailing your evil scheme and you should definitely be careful not to do that, but I don't think he was taking us there for tips on how to not get caught while having homicide spree.  Or maybe he was, he was a weird man.


 But anyway, 11th grade AP Government class takes a bus to the federal prison, (and sidenote: before this trip, the girls were instructed to wear long sleeves and long pants and not "dress provocatively" or look anyone in the eye or listen to what they were likely to shout at us. Why in the world one of us didn't object to this nonsense, I have no idea) where we I AM NOT LYING are marched down OCCUPIED Death Row cells, and then given a lecture from a corrections officer on how we would not enjoy it if we were to wind up on Death Row, so we should not commit any capital offenses.



Helpful information! I don't think any of us had worked that out for ourselves at that point, this group of nerdy high school kids, I don't think any of us had even ever gotten detention at school in our lives, WE WERE NOT THEIR TARGET AUDIENCE.


 And the high (low) light of this wacky adventure was when we got to see the Electric Chair, the one that was still in use (this was Ye Olden Days, well, not as Olden as hangings but Olden enough that they still used the Chair) as a current method of execution. And now this is where you are thinking, Allison is a total liar and she does not even make up believable lies, but this is true: my teacher asked for volunteers to SIT IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR.

The real one, that executed people at the time on a regular basis. I am pretty sure nobody volunteered, because we are not idiots, but our teacher was not right in the head, and he really for some reason wanted one of us in that chair, for visual impact on this little Scared Straight mission or whatever in the world he was attempting to do. And guess who he kind of "laughingly"pushes into the Electric Chair? The real one that people have died in, like that week? ME, of course.

Of course me. I did not want to sit in the Electric Chair.  I was not a high risk candidate for felonies, I don't think I'd even broken curfew at that point in my life, and I got good grades and why did I have to sit in the Electric Chair? Who approved this field trip? Who looked at this cracked out teacher's submission for taking his honors students to Death Row and making one of them Named Allison sit in the Electric Chair and thought, "what a great idea, let's get the bus reserved and schedule this immediately, excellent plan."


This whole experience was so randomly horrifying and bizarre that none of us talked about it for years, I don't think. And then my friend LH calls me one day to put me on the phone with someone she worked with because they did not believe her about us having to go to Death Row and the Cigarette Factory for field trips. Because who WOULD believe that? It's ridiculous. But true. And the memories flood back, and I am all, WHY? That was a very, very poor choice of field trips, maybe take the honors Government class to the state legislature? Something aspirational, not PRISON?


And I had totally blocked out the Cigarette Factory. I mean, this was the late 1980's, people were not as super-informed as they are now about all the bad things that cigarettes can do to you, but it was not Mad Men era either. And we were in high school and there was a no smoking rule, I am pretty sure. But we go to the Cigarette Factory (with our Health Class, of course, just like you go to the prison in Government class, makes total sense) and see how the cigarettes are made (again, I am not making this up).


And at the end of this very enlightening tour of carcinogen manufacturing, if we are 18 we get a free pack of smokes! I was 17, so I got a cigarette pen. I am pretty sure things like these field trips are one of the reasons I am still great friends with the people I went to school with, because nobody else would ever believe anything we said about stuff like this so we have to hang out together to remind each other that we are not crazy.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

All Hail The Changing Of The Closet! Or, It Is Officially Autumn, I Say So, by Allison

So in case this in not on your calendar or Google alerts or whatever makes your phone light up or beep - Autumn has arrived.

Says me.

I know there is a bit more time left for Summer officially.
Those officials are evil.
The completely absurd, horrible, uninformed governing body of calendars?
Who have forevermore decreed I can't have Fall weather now,
and Summer starts in late June?

Bogus. 
Also, total lie.
I have years of anecdotal evidence that at least on the East Coast, it becomes boiling hot and I never get to wear my Transition From Spring To Summer wardrobe,
because there is no such thing.

Ice storms, then hot.
Poor sad lonely boatneck striped shirts, yearning (or maybe I am the one that's yearning, could be) to be worn, passed over by Very Grumpy Allison for stupid hot weather clothes I know I will be sick to death of by July 15, darling sundresses not darling anymore, and I start being super grumpy.

Stores selling sweaters and boots and stuff I love are not helping.
And I still get the Back to School, Need A New Outfit mindset, so what if I am not actually in school.

People in my house are enrolled, and two of the three girls are totally genetically cursed by me, leading to them wearing wool and riding boots to the first day of school, in the 90 degree weather.

Growing up, every year I picked out the first day of school outfit, it is supposed to be like it is in my Seventeen magazine,
I don't care what the dumb weatherman is saying about 90 degrees and humid.
I led a one person protest against Summer still existing.
A sartorial protest, and I was the only one suffering, so it was not really an effective protest, but I did not care.

I am getting kind of more reasonable (Note: My version of reasonable)

I have been holding off on The Changing Of The Closet - Which?

Is as much a pageant as The Changing Of The Guards at Buckingham Palace, but with better music, and a crowd of one, namely M the seven year old stylist.

But today was my breaking point - it was not hideously hot, just kind of annoyingly hot, and that was enough for me.

The Changing Of The Closets Has Begun.

It is one of my favorite things, to say goodbye to my Summer clothing friends, who are like, my fourth best friend in nursery school, and throw a celebration for the triumphant return of my total best friends forever, Fall clothes.

That was my entertainment of the day, and honestly, it was awesome.

M the seven year old stylist is an awesome audience, and V and E were walking around in my tall boots or tall Fall shoes,
V asking me "Why do you wear such high heels when you are already tall?"
 Ug, that is like explaining quantum physics, but way more nuanced,
and not something I can fully put into words -

The best I could do was "I love them, they are pretty, they look better, and I can walk in them and if I don't wear them I will lose my current level of tall shoe-wearing ability,
and I can't have that happen.
Plus I made up that Girl Scout badge on how to walk in heels, so I have to, it's the law."

Oh, the super fun of The Changing Of The Closet.

It is actually a wise move economically, at least in the economy of this house -
because if I am made aware that I own eleventy black sweaters and every kind of boot invented and am all set on tweeds,
I will be less likely to fall for the Sirens' Call of awesome fall clothes helpfully popping up on my computer or mailed in delightful catalogs or otherwise whispering
"You really do not have that many black sweaters, and those boots would be perfect for walking along the moors of Scotland."

So I am being financial wizard, playing in my closet all day.

M the seven year old stylist is on assist, wearing a trench coat and seriously?
That girl is chic.
I mean, I bought her the trench coat, but she saved up her money for it and picked it out, no prodding by me, and it is fabulous and now I want another trench coat,
although I know from The Changing Of The Closet that I have several already and one has a sticky note on the dry cleaner bag saying "Allison stop buying trench coats, love Allison."

Total bonding time with M, while E is at dance rehearsal and at the dog park with Matt and the good and bad dogs,
and then Matt and V are examining a tent for a camping trip in which I am totally not going -
I checked, I don't have the outfits for that.
Whew.

Matt sticks his head in the closet when I am in the middle of boot analysis:
(Which boots need cleaning, and which ones get best positioning on shoe shelves, versus get lined up along the side -
 that is very important, like putting vegetables where children can reach them in the fridge so they eat carrots instead of cookie dough -
I have a totally non-linear, inexplicable system for what goes where)

And he is all, "What are you doing? Inventory?"

And I am all, "Yes, exactly. It is The Changing Of The Closet day."

He understands, because he has lived with me long enough to know that I have an elaborate ritual of rotating things around and it makes sense to me,
and I don't make him do anything and I am not getting up to trouble,
so he is all, "Ok, cool."

And leaves, before I can think of something he can do to participate in the festivities.

And in attempt to keep me upstairs celebrating The Changing Of The Closet,
Matt and V and E are watching a Star Trek movie.
M the seven year old stylist asks "Is that the one where they meet Jar-Jar Binks?"
And as V says "No, that is Star WARS," 
I say "Does it make a difference? "
And M says, "No, I just wanted to know which one of the ones I don't like it is."

So more Changing Of The Closet for us.

And since it is an official ceremony, that means it can't be hot and muggy anymore.
I'm not kidding around, Weather.

I have been patient, it is September already. I am usually on your case in August.
I think this may be the longest I've ever held out in commencing with The Changing Of The Closet.
I did not wear a wool sweater to Back to School nights.
I have pitched very few fits.

It is Autumn, adjust your calendars, let the leaves know to do their color changing thing, and send the humidity elsewhere.

Do I have to file an appeal or something to make this happen?
I really want an intern to look into this pressing matter.

Until then, I will have to rely on made-up ceremonies, voodoo, and hissy fits to summon Autumn.

It tends to work every year, eventually, so I know I am on to something.






Sunday, September 8, 2013

Thursday's Child Is Full Of Indignant Rage, Don't Tell Me How Far I Have To Go! A Rant, And A Magic Cure Courtesy of Grouplove's "Ways To Go" by Allison

So there were poems or nursery rhymes that I totally, completely either interpreted in the most tormented of ways,
or they actually are awful and people should stop passing these horrors down,
generation to tortured generation.

Specifically, in my case,
There was the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead :
("When she was good, she was very good, when she was bad she was horrid.")

Because I had aforementioned curl, and was baby narcissist, and so I was like "Am I good?
Horrid? Probably both?
Horrid is a harsh word!""

And I seriously loathe that poem about what type of person you are,
 based upon the day of the week on which you are born -
 "Monday's child is fair of face . . ." -

I HATE that one.
I am not born on a Monday, so no fair face?
Not on a Tuesday, so not full of grace?
At least I escaped Wednesday, those poor people are full of woe.
 I'm not Friday, so am not loving or giving.
 Not Saturday, so I don't work hard (shut up).
 Not Sunday, so I am  neither bonnie nor blithe.

I'm Thursday's child, and I have far to go.

And OK fine,
I realize that one could interpret that as meaning I will go far in life.
Young Allison did not internalize it that way.

First, I got the words wrong and thought it was "Thursday's child has a row to hoe."
Which?
Is ludicrous of Young Me,
but I totally thought that was the verse.

That I was doomed to be a farmer in the heat hoeing rows,
which I did not then (or now) have a clue how to do.

I was like, "Bogus!"
" Can we pretend I was born on a Monday? Tuesday? Please?"

Even when I figured out it was "Thursday's Child has far to go,"
I was/am still protesting that curse.

Young Me was trying to find loopholes,
ways to change my birth certificate to Monday,
escape clauses,
evidence that poem was written by a Lying Liar Who Lies -

I did NOT want to have far to go.

In my head, far to go meant
"The starting line is here. You, Allison and the other Thursday people, walk ten miles backwards, and then catch up to us"
Or I envisioned myself at the bottom of a well,
 or having to climb a mountain,
 or all sorts of dramatic, ludicrous, idiotic dilemmas that I was cursed with because of the Thursday's child fate.

(Note: I did learn, while searching for possible other versions that were cool to Thursday people, using the DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM so clearly Ye Olden Days, that it traces back to Ye Oldener Days poem based on Ye Oldenest Days fortunetellers.)

(Subnote: This is why I do not go to fortunetellers.)

I overthought this stupid nursery rhyme, clearly.

But even now I want to go back in time (I always find new reasons for that!) and tell the poem man that he better write about something less horrible and confusing to Thursday children.
I don't think he'd listen to me,
Because he would likely think I had far to go in understanding what he meant in his children's rhyme. 
I would still argue with him, though,
because his poem is arbitrary, and how does he know anything?
And he is not The Boss Of Me and how far I will or will not go.

As a good deed to children then and forevermore, while back in time  I would also request poem man tell all his lullaby or nursery rhymes writing colleagues to STOP.
Stop writing the horror-filled children in peril being pecked at by birds or left in trees stuff.

(Seriously.  Most lullabies and nursery rhymes are evil and scary and creepy and wrong.
http://www.iwantanintern.com/2013/02/hush-little-baby-im-going-to-sing-you.html)

And once I got past absurdly overanalyzing nursery rhymes and taking them a bit too personally?

It turns out I did NOT get past it.
My brain will not let it go.
I don't care, my strange and winding brain clings to the early offense,
 and outrage,
 and being told I had to go far to do something I was sure I didn't want to do.

But why am I now thinking of my indignant rage over Thursday's Child mysterious curse?

Duh, I was listening to music.

Awesome music, by awesome band Grouplove.

Am fan, saw them last year, will see them soon at Most Excellentest Music Festival, yay and whee to that.

And the first song off of their new album, "Ways to Go," is magic!
It is a great song for many reasons - their infectious joie de vivre, even when all's not well yet is delightful to me.

And its magic!  They have solved my lifelong Thursday's Child thing.

Not kidding.

"I've got a little bit longer, I've got a ways to go . . ."
Grouplove's song makes it sound like, no big deal, we'll get there, lets be awesome now.

"Even when I can’t see my rearview/ Even if I call just to hear you/ Even when I sleep all day"

 Let's play some fab music and be cool and fun, ways to go, no biggie.

I am not exaggerating when I say this song, while on repeat with me chair dancing with my big purple headphones on, wormed its way into my strange and winding brain, and somehow met up with the part of my brain that is all mad at the Thursday's Child poem.

And as I imagine Grouplove does often, they saved the day !
(In this case, muted one of my long-standing rants)
Their awesomeness and super fab song with a great hook and ways to go, whatever, won!

See you later, stupid mean days of the week rhyme, I have some good music to listen to.

And now I have been using my newly Zen on the Thursday's Child thing as an excuse to listen to "Ways to Go" on repeat while writing this long rant on the thing I just said I was totally over.

So maybe not totally over it, but still. I've got a ways to go. . . .

I'm off to plot how to make the fact that all three of my girls were born on Saturday work to my benefit.

And as always, am benevolent benefactor:

This live version of Grouplove's "Ways to Go" (because I get to see them live soon and I am giddy and they are fab live) and the video.




Live at Bing Lounge:

and video:


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Trick Or Treat? Depends On The Year. Halloween Costumes And The Havoc They Wreak: By Allison

So tonight's fun festivities,
apr├Ęs the homework/dinner/bath/no you cannot use my phone routine,
we begin a Beloved Family Tradition -
 (Total lie, it is more, Geneva Convention negotiations, You Sank My Battleship, RICO violations thing)
Halloween Costumes.

And by "we," I mean ME, because the Adult In This House Who Is Not Named Allison is hiding at a doctor's conference meeting.
 (Fine, he is doing good for the world and I am fighting over acetate dress up clothes, but still.)

Halloween costumes are fraught with challenges when you've got 3 daughters, all unique and cool and awesome except when I have to deal with them over Halloween costumes.

I have been bickering with V for a week because she wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and I can't have that happen.
Seriously, I did not know they were a thing again, and I protest the re-emergence of that nonsense.

Attempts at logic like
"How are you going to play your violin in the Spooktacular Halloween concert with a turtle thing on?" and
"This is just a very bad fad that will end soon, can't you just be a regular ninja? I am ok with that." fall on deaf ears.

Thank the heavens -  The horrifying, awful, mostly child prostitute catalog came today.

I am not being sarcastic.
V skipped over the trashy stuff (I hadn't had time to see the catalog and rip up those pages)
 and she went straight to the NERD.

Ug.
In order to avoid ridiculous faux-1980's nostalgia bad cartoon turtle thing,
I have had to hand over my credit card for her to buy a Star Trek costume.

I am not a fan.

In fact, Star Trek works like Ambien on me, I fall asleep in two minutes.
Even the allegedly good movies recently - I accompanied Matt to the first one because it was his birthday or I was being nice or something,
and it was opening weekend and the theater was packed with people who did not want to hear me talk in Comic Book Guy From The Simpsons Worst. Episode. Ever. voice.
Matt was saved from having to drag me out of the movie for being awful (http://www.iwantanintern.com/2012/06/avengers-or-why-i-am-worst-by-allison.html)
because I fell asleep immediately.

So I don't know who V has chosen to dress like from Star Trek,
but I did make sure that it wasn't a Harlot Star Trek Girl costume.
I am SURE there are a bunch of those, and I don't want to know anything about that ever ever.

E, early bird child, has already established her costume and organized friends to coordinate.

M, seven year old stylist, wants to wear the same costume as last year - adorable spider princess colorful charming ensemble.
But get this?
She wants me to get her a NEW one, even thought the old one fits -
because the NEW catalog shows it with different stylish leggings and you can order a matching costume for your American Girl.
But not sold separately.
I am both impressed by their Evil Machinations and  all sorts of furious at this catalog for tweaking the costume a tiny bit and reselling it as New and Improved.
So now M is acting bereft, Oliver Twist, Little Matchstick Girl over leggings and a costume for her doll.

And to distract me from my various rants, the girls were like, "Remember that one year this didn't happen?"

Of course I remember it, because the absence of Endless Negotiations Over Halloween Costumes is not something I would ever forget.

So I am now repeating "serenity now" over and over, and fondly remembering the one time I accidentally won a battle I didn't know I was fighting:

And now I shall recount my total fails and random surprise successes in the Halloween Costume Wars:

Trick or Treat? 
Depends On The Year, A Saga: by Allison:

So this is funny, and slightly pitiful, but I can work with that. 

To begin, we got the good Halloween catolog today in the mail.

And by good I mean, there are fewer child prostitute costumes in there than most other catalogs or websites.

People without kids or with only boys
(Note: those boys can be Han Solo or Avengers or whatever FOREVER, nobody makes Avenger prostitute costumes, I don't think, and if they do, I really never ever want to know about it)
may not know this,
but when you try to find a Halloween costume for your daughter once she is over the age of 7, you are pretty much stuck with Harlot.

Harlot Saucy Pirate Wench, Harlot Trashy Witch, Harlot Angel/Devil, Harlot Cat or Cat-type Animal, etc.
Or if you are lucky she will want to be Hermione from Harry Potter for 5 years and you can do the tie and robe and wand and you are good.

Otherwise, good luck.

Needle in haystack, and then you have to convince your daughter that she wants to be cute Ladybug Princess instead of Harlot Zombie (not making that up).

There is one catalog that makes expensive but not jailbait costumes, and it arrived today.

 It is July, we have not recovered from swim season and I am working on a rehearsal for my upcoming flash mob (more on that later), why do we have to deal with Halloween now?

Is wrong season.

Too hot.

Pumpkins would rot.

 But here is why:
The good costumes, the ones that will not involve fishnet stockings,  sell out, and then horrible costume-scalpers sell them on ebay for hundreds of dollars, just so your daughter will not look like a Trampy Mad Hatter (not making that up, it exists, but I am not putting a picture because yuk).


 And if you are not super-organized, calendar-consulting, up on this stuff type person
 (Note: I am not any of those things at all, I really wish I were but it does not seem to be happening),
you will go to get Halloween costumes in mid-September, which is TOTALLY reasonable to me, it is early, I am all ahead of the curve on that, see kids, I didn't forget the permission slip, we are cool . . .

and you will find out that your 8 year old's dream costume of Eighties Girl (I should have saved some of my Forenza outfits) is sold out, backordered, going for 400 dollars on ebay.


And now she wants to be Harlot Goth Rock Star instead, and Matt is looking at me like, can we sew her something?
(Which?  The answer is, No.
If it is me we are talking about, no.
I cannot sew at all.
Matt actually can, but he calls it "suturing" so he does not feel like making curtains turns him into Betsy Ross, but "suturing" a button onto a shirt and "suturing" Native American booties for a 3rd grade project is actually sewing.
I do not tell him this because I can't sew or suture, which are same thing.)

So two years ago, The Tragedy Of The Sold Out Non Harlot Costume occurred, in case that is not in your history books.

We all survived, E had to be like a purple appropriately constructed but weird saloon type dress and cat eared thing, I have no idea what that costume was about.

M was Pink Supergirl and V was Honeybee (not the Harlot Honeybee, there was totally one of those). Nobody would agree to be Hermione.
But the world did not end, and nobody was dressed like child prostitute, so success.

 Last year, the catalog arrives, our house still smells like sunblock and chlorine and it is hot and I am not in mood, but girls turn total psychotic maniac children and chase me around with it until we order their costumes so that they are not stuck wearing something random because all of the good ones are sold out.

And joy!
Eighties Girl is in there again, the other two pick out ones that are not indecent, we order, I am all "I bet we are the first people we know to order their Halloween costumes."

All smug, since I am not first or early ever, and this is a new experience for me.

But V goes, I bet Mrs. S already ordered theirs.

And I am all, the catalog came today! This very day! No way.

Background:
 Mrs. S is a really good friend of mine with two girls V and E's ages, and we do things together and they go to school together and play violin together and it is pretty much assured that whatever activity is going on, she will be there first, with healthy snacks, wet wipes, foldup chairs, a defibrillator, whatever you need.

You might think this would make me hate her, but she is awesome and cool, calm and relaxed and fun, just naturally on the ball in a way I cannot possibly understand or emulate in any way.

She is also the person I call for questions I should know the answer to, like, when is holiday break, what day is the concert, any sort of information thing I am rubber she is glue, bounces off me, she gets it and retains it and uses it helpfully.

But is also fun to go have a glass of wine with, see movies, shopping, in general, she is great, so I do not hold it against her that she has it together and I am scotch taping Girl Scout badges on and such.


 So to humor V and prove for once I am Most Organized Together Mom Ever (for this one second in time),
I call Mrs. S, say, did you get the catalog for Halloween, the girls picked out bla bla, and she says yes, her girls ordered theirs yesterday.
 (Note: she is not gloating, she does not have any idea I am even trying to find out if she's already ordered hers or not)
And after we chat, I scowl at V, she is like, "told you," we move along.

So that was a very long windup to this:
The famed catalog arrives today, along with stupid back to school stuff and please, people, it is hot out, stop this, but V holds up the catalog.
And I am all, here we go.

And her face lights up, and she gets twinkle in her eye, and says, "Mom, you should totally call Mrs. S and tell her we have our costumes already."

And I am like, we do?

When did we do that?

Am I losing whole chunks of time now?

Did I take Ambien and buy 500 costumes late at night?

But no, she reminds me their recital costumes from Lion King show are awesome and they love them and want to wear them for Halloween, so we have technically had our Halloween costumes since May.

And V is not being sarcastic or snarky here, nor is she trying to start a "Who can accomplish this Mom task first" contest with Mrs. S because she knows I will go down in flames,
she just sees the humor in the fact that we accidentally already have our Halloween costumes and will not have to frantically buy them right this second or be Harlot Nurse this year.


And she knows me, and Mrs. S, well enough to know that we will both find it hysterical that my girls (through no proactive Halloween costume purchasing action on my part) have their costumes lined up.

Because I should take my tiny, random, accidental accomplishments in parenting while I can.

Because come Halloween, I will totally be calling Mrs. S to ask what time is the Halloween parade at school.

I really, really want an intern.