Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bus Stop...

Getting to the bus stop is probably the most stressful part of the day.  You know what I am talking about and if you say you don’t, it’s because you are a big fat liar or you take a couple of Adavan with your morning coffee. Everyone’s morning probably looks a little different but it all ends the same…. with someone crying.  Here is what a typical morning looks like at the Harter House:
6:45am…  Hubby wakes me up.  I meander downstairs, get a cup of coffee and join the kid, who are plopped down on the sofa watching TV.  They are eating dry cereal from the box (we never bothered with introducing them to cereal in a bowl with milk…we were just too lazy to deal with the potential mess).  This activity continues for a good 40mins.

7:30am…  This is when I turn off the TV and tell everyone to get ready for the bus.  To which they respond with shock and surprise, as if this was the first time they have had to this.  I head into the kitchen to make their lunches and they work on ‘getting ready’.

7:33am…  I ask Ethan if he has his clothes.  He says he can’t find them.  I tell him to look in the clean laundry baskets.  Of course, there are pants and underwear but no shirt.  Which means Ethan will have to go upstairs to get any items he is missing.  Ethan doesn’t like to go upstairs alone.  He is scared.  Of what?  I have no idea.  What he should be scared of, is me and missing the bus.  But I digress.

7:35-7:40… Ethan tries to get me to go upstairs with him.  I say no.  He begs.  I say, “you’re a big boy, there’s nothing to be afraid of, you can do it, blah…blah…blah.” 

7:41am… I stand at the bottom of the stairs, as a compromise, while he gets the rest of his clothes.

7:43am… I finish up the lunch and try to remember where I put my coffee because by now it is cold and I want to heat it up

7:45am… I check to make sure Ethan is all dressed only to find him, half-naked, playing with a dust bunny that he found on the dining room floor. Apparently, he got distracted.  And he forgot to get socks when he was upstairs.  This is about the time when I say things about ‘dilly-dallying’ and ‘how pissed I am gonna be if we miss the bus”.

7:46am… I run upstairs and get him a pair of freaking socks and tell him to find his shoes!

7:47am… Ethan puts on his socks and begins to complain how they don’t feel right and how they are all ‘bumpy’.  I tell him I don’t care…they will feel better soon….just put your shoes on ‘cause we don’t have time for this!

7:48am… Ethan can’t find his backpack and I can’t find my coffee

7:49am… We are so going to miss the bus.

7:50am… I find my coffee and proceed to heat it up in the microwave for 20sec. 

7:51am… Ethan has found his backpack and is trying to put on his sweatshirt but the sleeves are inside out and he has gotten himself all twisted up.

7:52am… Ethan and I are running down the hill to the bus stop.  Him half crying and me spilling my precious coffee on my sweatshirt, all the while I am telling him to hurry but not to run to fast because he is gonna fall.

7:53am… Yellow Bus comes.  All is well…until tomorrow.

For the life of me I CAN NOT figure out why I keep doing this, day after day.  I mean, I could change some things.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what to do right?  But I don’t.  I keep doing the same damn thing.  They say the definition of insanity is that you keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  Well, that would explain a lot huh?   

So, my new plan is to start the ‘getting ready’ process a bit earlier.  Maybe have the clothes picked out the night before.  You know try some common sense sort of stuff first before the Super Nanny has to step in.

[Update:  I have been trying the above plan and it much better…a lot less frustration and tears.]


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Episcopals...

A couple of weeks ago, we visited an Episcopal Church.  Some of our close friend have been going there and have been trying to get us to come.  So we did.  And it was weird.  Not the people, just the experience.  It was so different from what we are use to. 
Our former church met in a modern building, had praise and worship music, and as far liturgy goes, we might recite a creed once in awhile.  The Episcopal Church was very different.  Wooden pews (no cushions), stained glass, robes, incense, altar boys, a choir, and a really loud organ (have I ever mentioned that I hate organs.  Like REALLY hate them. If it were in my power, I would ban them and destroy them…all.). 
The service had a lot of rituals and aspects that were curious to me.  First, was when the priest read from a special bible and then kissed it.  Then there was the ceremony that involved the incense.  It was quite a scene to behold, actually.  The priest was wearing an extra robe at this point and 2 of the altar boys had to hold up the sides of the robe so the priest could swing the incense bucket over the communion bread and wine.  He was really getting into it.  I was tempted to take out my phone and record it because I was sure that one of those altar boys was gonna get it in the head.  No such luck.  The altar boys were a curious lot to me.  One of them was like 75 years old.  Is it that difficult to graduate from that position?  Lastly, the Choir was fascinating with all the robes and bling (Seriously, they all wore shiny crosses that were like a foot long.)
The Episcopals have all the children join the adults when they take communion (they were in Sunday School making rafts out of cardstock and baby Moses’s out of rocks- which they totally loved! Ethan was especially excited because he got to make 2 sleeping bags for baby Moses out of felt.)  Now, when they came in, Ethan heard the organ playing and choir singing but could not see them (they were up in the balcony, behind us) he turned and asked me, “Mom! Where is that ‘ARRT…ARRT….ARRT’ sound coming from” all while making piano gestures with his hands.  Then my older son wanted to know why everyone was going up to the front so I told them they were taking communion, to which he replied, “They get FREE bread?!?!”.  At this point, Ethan comments about how much he likes the smell of the candles (aka the incense) and I am thinking, “We must look like the most unchurched people ever!”.  I wanted to turn around and tell people that were churched people.  Honest.  Overchurched actually.  We are so churched we have it coming out our asses.  But I thought better of it and refrained.
 My favorite part?  The sermon and the people.  The sermon (probably not what they call it) was great.  And not because it was only 15mins long.  No, it was honest and gracious.  I felt no judgment or shame, only encouragement.  And the people…they were so nice and normal.  No one tried to get us to be involved, or asked us for our contact info so they could get us “Plugged In”.  It was a nice change from what we are use to. 
Despite the differences, I have to say that I enjoyed being there that Sunday. What I am coming to understand and embrace is that we, as Christians, come in all different shapes and sizes.  We may do things differently but we share the same God and the same Jesus. One way is not necessarily better than the other….just different.  This is a far cry from what I have been taught.  Denominations can be so nit- picky and feel the need to think they are doing it better than the others.  I don’t want to think like that anymore. I want to accept others and being accepted despite the different way we express our faith.
I think we will go back.  I might even do a little research to learn what the different parts of the service mean… it might make it seem less weird.




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Red Squirrel...

I hate red squirrels.  I hate them with a passion.  They may be cute but let me assure you, they are evil.

Years ago, I met the devil himself.  Not in Hell, but in my bathroom.  We have an old house and at the time, our roof had developed a leak.  The ceiling in our bathroom was a ‘tile type’ of ceiling.  Sort of like a suspended ceiling.  So, when the water leaked in from the roof, it caused some of the tiles to separate. The leak was so bad that when we had a heavy rain we had to tack up a shower curtain (it was a pretty pink one) and channel the water into the sink.  Man, those were good times…
It wasn’t long after, that I noticed the ceiling tile seemed to be coming apart from the seams.  Shortly after that, I noticed the cats were spending an abnormal amount of time in the bathroom.  Then it appeared that someone or something was continually knocking things over onto the bathroom floor.  Then he appeared.  I watched him escape certain death from the jaws of our ferocious feline and disappear through the hole in the ceiling tile. 
We tried to block up the hole but the damn squirrel kept chewing at the tile to get in (I even tried duct tape…talk about ghetto).  This little game went on for quite some time.   Then finally, the day of reckoning arrived and the showdown began. 

There we were, face to face.  I was standing across the room, next to the door (which was closed by this time).  He was perched on our pink sink.  His eyes met mine and that is when it happened.  He spread out his arms and lunged at me.  Now it just got personal.  Game on my little friend….GAME ON.  For those of you who don’t know, our bathroom is huge.  It is actually a combination bathroom/laundry room and the walls are a type of weird textured wooden panel which gave the squirrel a distinct advantage.  But I was determined.  I would not lose to such vermin.  So, with a wooden stick in one hand and a plastic laundry basket in the other a chased that damn thing all around the bathroom (I may have been yelling and screaming during this stage of the process). 

Did I mention that my husband was in the kitchen holding our screaming 3month old,  yelling to me, “ Will you PLEASE just leave it alone and get out of there!?!?!” to which I responded something to the effect of, “ Hell NO!  I’m ‘gonna’ get him!”  That poor man.  When he said, “I Do” he had no idea what he was getting into.
Shortly after this brief verbal exchange, Big Red pulled a matrix type move and was literally running across the wall (no joke; I think it was the texture in the wooden wall paneling).  Luckly, I was there with my laundry basket and was able to catch him….on the wall.  That’s right, I was holding the basket against the wall with a trapped, pissed off, angry red squirrel in it. In the 10 seconds I had to think about what to do next, the squirrel manage to chew through the plastic netting and proceed to use my arm and back as an escape bridge. 

At this point I just started to cry and heeded my husband’s advice to ‘get out of there’.  We called Fish & Game who sent a lovely gentleman to our door.  He was able to catch our little friend within 5 mins (who knew a little trap would be easier than chasing it around with a stick).  Since the squirrel had scratched me, they would need to test for rabies. Which meant they would have to cut its’ head off.  Usually, I would feel bad about this sort of thing but not this time. Nope, he had it coming.

As the Fish & Game man drove away and Big Red prepared to meet his Maker, I headed off to the doctor’s office for a tetanus shot. Clearly, there were no winners that day.

Even now, as I think of that day, all that comes to mind is “Damn you little Red Squirrel….damn you.”