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These are my final complaints of the year. Probably. (Maybe.)

December 9th, 2008 · 24 Comments · Cucumbers aren't always cool., Daily, Social Awkwardness

1. I don’t mind Christmas shopping. However, when everyone in the family suddenly pretends to have never met my kids and I end up having to do Everyone’s Christmas Shopping, well, I get tired. And then I lose my bubbling Christmas spirit. And suddenly, when Amy Grant’s Christmas CD comes on, I find myself thinking, “Suck it, Amy. I’m trying to make 42 To Do lists over here.” This happens Every Single Year, and I hate it because I Am Known For My Holiday Spirit. (Not really. But I *could* be if I didn’t have all of these damned lists to make for everyone!)

2. If I had time to construct a pie chart to show you The Things I Hate, screenings and assessments would fill roughly 63% of that chart. Two weeks ago, Jeff and I participated in a social and emotional screening to try to get a grip on Harper’s tantrums. The outcome? “She scored a 65, and the Ideal Child scores below a 59.”

Me: Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere. How do we move forward?

Screener: Oh. Well, I’ll have to get back with you sometime on that, won’t I? See you in January!

(65 Crickets are chirping. Only 59 are supposed to be chirping.)

I suppose I now need to make Harper a shirt that says 65 and just assume that Everyone Will Get It. Except I don’t get it. So, on to the next Thing, yet back to where we started and on and on. (Are you smelling something that sort of stinks like an unclever blend of patchouli and horseradish? That’s my discouragement with assessments and screenings!)

3. I’m having a hard time finding parents who are able to attend the kindergarten holiday party next week. (I know. Life is good when I have time to complain about these ridiculous things, right? I know!) And I’m fine with that because I know that everyone is busy and everyone works and so on. However, I hate that I take every single No (not to mention every unreturned phone call) personally. Because that’s silly. People aren’t saying No because I’m sort of socially inept, are they? No. (Are they?) But, anyway. I just need to find someone who is willing to pour rice into 16 tube socks and then tie them off with yarn. Tube Sock Snowman! Anybody?! I promise not to make awkward eye contact with you! Actually, no promises. Suck it, Amy.

Wait. Let’s end this with something good. Kara recently listed her Christmas stockings at Etsy, and I love them.

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24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Zoot // Dec 9, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    I have anywhere from 4-7 people every year who request an email from me with Christmas suggestions for my kids. It irritates me because I don’t want to give them MY ideas (I’m proud of them!) but I don’t have many generic ideas to pass out so I get grumpy too. Bah.

    I just found out there were TWO parties in my daughter’s class this past weekend. We weren’t invited to any of them. I’m trying not to take that personally and trying not to wonder if it has to do with that time I forgot to put on deodorant before a function.

    I would come to your party AND wear deodorant.

  • 2 Amy in StL // Dec 9, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I should come help make snowmen. Except it’d be awkward cuz I’ve never met you in meatspace. But holy cow I need to stay busy to get over my ex who I should just be over because he wasn’t even nice to me the last six months but my heart won’t accept that…. So…. Busy, must stay busy…

  • 3 Betsy // Dec 9, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Ugh, the lists We have a bunch who hit December and have suddenly never met our children or used the internet, so we have to make the lists and do the shopping and then make reimbursement hints for the next few weeks. Not worth it!

  • 4 liz // Dec 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I feel you! I found out that someone is having a Christmas party this weekend and we aren’t invited. This is a person whose daughter said to me today, “You are like my second mom. I love you.” Apparently, I’m a good friend to the child and merely useful to the parent.

  • 5 Wanda // Dec 9, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Oh, I hope it isn’t your last list.

  • 6 Alli // Dec 9, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

  • 7 elsimom // Dec 9, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Re: the parents who say no – it has nothing to do with you, I promise. I am a parent who has to say no, and I feel really bad about it, and wish that I could do more, and guilt for “leaving all of it to the parents who don’t work outside the home” but then there’s the work that I do outside the home, and the trying to spend the time at home on the children, and the lists to make for the relatives (hee,hee, had to throw that one in there!). So – I say no. BUT – you shouldn’t feel bad, that’ll just make two of us! And, if I could come, I would gladly put rice in tube socks! Because we have a tube sock snow man in our living room right now from last year’s kindergarten party -and he’s adorable, and she’s so proud of him!
    On behalf of the parents who said no – I thank you for your efforts. They are appreciated, even if they didn’t mention that when they said no.

  • 8 Em // Dec 9, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    I lose mine when people ask for gift ideas for me. I get that they want to get me something I’ll like but I want to see what THEY think I will like. Also a ridiculous problem to have, I understand.

    Also, FYI, I work in a hospital and we use rice socks as heating pads (microwave for 1 minute or until its a comortable warmth). I have also heard of people adding potpurri (sp?) type things – lavendar for example. I’m telling you in case you wanted to make it a gift to the parent from the kid. Or if you had one left over plus a stiff neck.

  • 9 Em // Dec 9, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Oh, also, even though I am boring myself with all of this rice talk. It helps to fill them by cutting off the bottom of a large-ish paper or plastic cup. That holds the end open and is wider than a funnel.

    Cute idea by the way. Who knew there were so many uses for rice and tube socks?

  • 10 blackbird // Dec 9, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    A co-worker told me, the other day, that she finds Christmas kind of creepy – and, you know, I’m inclined to agree.

    I’m in a “fuck them all” kind of mood, Buckethead, so, FUCK THEM ALL.

  • 11 NGS // Dec 9, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Last year I spent an entire afternoon creating a list of potential presents I might like for my father. At Christmas, I received exactly ZERO of those gifts. He said I was too specific or something. So, why did I do all that? I may resort to kicking something the next time someone asks for a list.

  • 12 cin // Dec 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    sorry to be such a party pooper here.. but.. did you ever think that perhaps people would like to give something your child really wanted or maybe they think you kids have so much what could they possible give that they dont already have.. i have two boys and lots of nieces and nephews we exchange with and the parents all willingly share what the kids would like.. it usually comes from a place that the person feels the kids already have everything and they probably could be getting a repeat :(

  • 13 Kara // Dec 9, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    What’s the point of the assessment if they aren’t going to tell you the next step? Ugh.

    And thanks for the stocking linky love. :)

  • 14 Mom On The Go // Dec 9, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I took the exact opposite approach this year to your #1. I decided in early November that Reid’s main gift would be a Playmobil Victorian doll house and then I bought it and the furnishings (sold separately) and then let people know that I would like to be the middle man in their Christmas purchases. So far I’ve got my mom, one brother and one sister convinced that this is the right thing for them. It’ll help me control the clutter – there will still be clutter but it will be all related. I so hope that I’ll have a similar inspiration next year.

  • 15 but Momma // Dec 9, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Oy-vey!

    If you think my kids have it all, don’t ask me what to buy them…

    I say yes everytime you ask because I want you to like me. “Snowmen? Sign me up!” “Monkey-bread for the breakfast party, right after I drop off all forty of my kids, SURE!”

    And good luck with your assesment, if you design a “65″ t-shirt I’ll buy one for my son!

    fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!

  • 16 brit // Dec 9, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I totally take it personally too. Hey they didn’t come to my kids birthday because I am a freak, or they didn’t call me back becuase I am a freak….it’s not always about me….is it?b

  • 17 Jen Turley-Nash // Dec 10, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Ang, scan me over a picture drawn by each of your girls and I’m going to help you a little with your Christmas spirit with a Whimsy. You can mark it off your to-do list…cause I know you were planning on getting them each a blanket! Email me their pictures, and your address. And put a check mark next to “Find the best present ever” on list #38.

  • 18 patois // Dec 10, 2008 at 2:35 am

    What the hell is an “Ideal Child” and where do I find one of my own?

    Sorry you have to wait another month (or more) for some suggested steps.

  • 19 Badger // Dec 11, 2008 at 8:48 am

    (Bad word) assessments. When my daughter was diagnosed as possibly bipolar and we tried to see another doctor for a second opinion and SOME HELP, they said sure, they could see her! In six (bad word) months! SIX (VERY BAD WORD) MONTHS!

    I guess if she was suicidal or something we could just commit her to a (bad word) inpatient facility and have the (very bad word) state take over her case? (UNBELIEVABLY FILTHY WORD!)

    So yeah. That all sucks. (gratuitous bad word)

  • 20 Jen // Dec 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    You already know this, but don’t take the no’s personally. I, for instance, won’t be able to attend any party Olive’s class may have, because I’ll be schooling my other 5 children. And my kids in the Christmas pageant will miss the cast party, because it occurs exactly when I have to pick Olive up from school. Totally not personal!

  • 21 Ani // Dec 11, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    Assessments suck moose, esp. when they end up in that grey area…not enough to be a clear indicator of anything. 65 vs 59…and that means what?!?

  • 22 Michele // Dec 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Assessments suck. Yes. But at the same time, when my son’s came back qualifying him for services, I have to admit I thought, “HA!! I TOLD you so!” As far as the parents not calling you back… It’s nothing personal. So far, I’ve just been scared of every room rep mom I’ve come across. I actually had one berate me for not doing something or other… I replied that I spend 5 hours on the school newsletter every weekend, and don’t have time for more on the weekends to volunteer. She said back, “We’re all busy, suck it up.” I’ve been scarred. Another actually tracked me down and informed me that my children would grow up stunted emotionally if I didn’t participate more. So… It’s nothing personal – Sometimes we’ve just been traumatized by the other parents.

  • 23 kimblahg // Dec 12, 2008 at 12:30 am

    ah yes, tantrums. we’ve been through assessments, meetings and mountains of paperwork- it can be so frustrating. with all of my kids, speech delays and some sensory processing issues contributed heavily to tantrums. the triplets get ongoing speech and some occupational therapy and i think it is helping. maybe. i’ve been through it and am familiar with the processes, local school districts, resources if you need any advice.

    also, i’ve decided i’m chickening out of the triplets’ preschool “winter parties” because i’m still scarred from running between three fall parties. i’ll bring supplies though!

  • 24 Velma // Dec 12, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I spent the afternoon making graham cracker faux gingerbread houses with my son’s kindergarten class. The mom who organized it and I were the only parents who showed up! I love the tube sock snowmen, though – those things are adorable.