Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm just a little afraid

Cubby came home today and said our local library had come to his school today to encourage participation in the annual summer reading program and remind them that this summer, since they'd technically be in 7th grade, they could volunteer at the library.

Immediately after he told me this, he got online and signed up as a volunteer.  Then he wanted to go to the library (which isn't REALLY unusual, but it's mostly to play games of the video and board variety with people). As I dropped him off, I asked what he wanted to do at the library, mostly trying to get through to him that he wouldn't be there for fun and giggles but to really help.  He said he could sign people into the computers or shelve books (he's known how since the age of five, price for being the kid of an English professor who also worked for a major library management software provider) or help with game days.

Again, I reminded him this wasn't about his fun level, and I asked why he wanted to do this. He said, and I quote, "well, other than Boy Scout camp, all I'll really be doing this summer is playing video games and playing video games with friends.  I might as well do something useful."

(Crickets. . . )

"Ok!  Good for you!" 

Could it be? Could the lifelong lessons FINALLY be kicking in? Could he be thinking of others?

Then he added "plus, if we volunteer the whole summer, there's a pizza and ice cream party at the end!"

Hopes. Dashed.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Breeders VS. Non-breeders

A friend of mine recently posted an article about how someone with kids was fed up with the attitudes of her non-breeder friends.  Fair warning if you read the article, she's a bit bitter about a school situation and seems to have her own axe to grind.  The friend who posted is married, no kids, and I was amused at some of the comments that popped up regarding the audacity of this woman.  My friend, I should note, is not one of the people who thinks children are accessories and respects that additional arrangements may need to be made in order to have an evening out.

But then there are others.  My husband has a friend who, as a couple would routinely call and say things like "hey, in a few hours we're going to be in your area, so let's DO something!" With these people, I learned, "do something" is not a nice dinner we might be able to scrounge up a sitter for.  No, "do something" requires no less of a commitment than staying out until 4am.  Well, actually, that was when I put a stop to the nonsense the last time we ever "did something" with them.  At that point, it was like the Bataan Death March for Hubbster and me, except we were held captive as they were driving.  We have divulged ourselves of those happily childless friends, because we're in our 40s, and drinking until we're squishy to 4am and beyond is not nearly as appealing as it was in our20s.

Sometimes, we do enjoy getting out, with friends who have kids or not, and we save our knowingly adult activities for those times.  No, I'm not talking strip clubs or illegal activities, just ADULT places, like restaurants where there are white tablecloths and hushed tones, and we're not eating dinner as if it were a speed sport.  It can be amazing, though, that family members can sometimes be the ones who insist children can handle those places, when we all know they can't.  It's as if they've wiped the child years from their minds.  Hubbster and I were once at a swanky as heck place, enjoying ourselves immensely, when a table of seven came in.  Four kids, three adults, and everyone was miserable.  It was obviously two parents who were unwilling to bring their four kids in, and a mom/mother-in-law who had insisted.  The parents were trying their best to keep the kids quiet while simultaneously trying to find something they would eat on the VERY expensive ala carte menu, and grandma was looking like they were all raining on her parade.  As we were walking out, I mentally sent good vibes to the parents.

What SHOULD  happen is we should all be able to understand that we have different lives, suburban or city, with kids or without, and try to make plans more than a few hours in advance.  Then, we breeders will happily dump our kids and race for the place where we can dress in clothes we never get to wear because they're too nice.  Do forgive us, though, if our eyes are a little glazed and we stumble a bit.  It's pretty when we can pick our heads up and look at our surroundings.  We never get to, since we're on constant kid alert, scanning like we're the Secret Service.  We're stumbling because we never wear decent shoes, just the sneakers we throw on to get to the next item on the agenda.  Oh! And don't laugh that our "look" is outdated.  I told you, we don't do this often. Then we'll part ways, everyone happy, as the non-breeders go to their immaculate condos on the lake with the view and us breeders will go to our burb locales, trying to squish ourselves around the kids and dog in our bed because they missed us.  Is there a bed size bigger than king?  We might need it.