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Put a sock in it, Maddy McWhine, and praise Jesus

This? This is the epitome of how we all feel some days. Is it not?

I? Have one nerve left. And it is frayed, my friends.

Frayed makes me think of a joke I formerly used to amuse the 5th grade set:

A string walks into a bar. Barman points to a sign and says, "See that? It says No Strings Allowed." String stands up, hunches over, and walks out of the bar. In the parking lot, he rips, shreds, rends and tears, then ties himself up. He walks back into the bar, where the barman eyes him suspiciously and asks, "Are you a string?" and the String says, "I'm afraid not."

Wuh wuh wuh.

Clearly I'm not smarter than a fifth grader. And that blog IQ test agrees. I got Elementary School, which so offends my extremely delicate intellectual sensibilities that I won't even deign to link to the test site. It can suck me.

See? Look at that: testy.

Testy is exactly how I felt when Persistence pulverized a cupcake in her car seat. (See cake shop story below.). I suppose you'll say I get what I deserve, letting a 2 year old have a cupcake in the car. Suck me. No, bite me. Wait, no, go bite yourself.


I have no idea what day of NaBloPoMoSoSlo it is, but I do know what day of the week it is: Day 2 of Children Home Full Time.

Hence the testiness and frayed knots. (Did you seriously just now get the joke? LOL)

But not the sole reason. Oh no I have been Determinedly Cheerful and Up With Life this week despite the constant catcalls from the audience.

As always I aim to please. Therefore, so long Pollyanna McBlithe and hello Maddy McWhine.

Go ahead and test me. Offer suggestions and ideas about how I can Better Mother and Prevent the Madness. Tell me about setting and enforcing limits, such as No Cupcakes in the Car.


Before you do?

You ought to know I have two highly sensitive IP tracking devices attached to this blog. And I'm not afraid to drive (outside of Houston---seriously, I'll drive in Boston or France happily before hitting a Houston highway), no matter that gas costs in excess of $3 a gallon (that's the cheapest gas in the state---must be some compensation for living underneath a scary number of oil refineries) (gas, by the way, that we are supposed to believe just went up because barrels of oil just went up, coincidentally right before a holiday many people drive distances during...isn't life so random that way? I mean, barrels of oil getting expensive right before a holiday? So odd how that happens, so consistently. It's almost too great a coincidence to be coincidence. Why, it appears almost like an organized pattern!).

Wow, really testy, even gas prices are pissing me off (but seriously I can't be alone in that).

How did I arrive in this state? Was it merely one cupcake incident and rising gas cost? Oh no, my pretties. It is never that simple.

Let's step through the Monday that was:

7:00 a.m. Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy! The kids have adjusted to that heinous form of torture known as Daylight Savings and are back to sleeping to 7 a.m. Praise Jesus.

7:30 a.m.
Is this eternal reef post just too whackadoo? Maybe I ought to channel Jenny and do it a la The Bloggess. Oh well, no time to second-guess the midnight writing. Must be ready to leave house entirely by 9:30.


I took my hard-earned birthday cash---and listen? At my age and stage it is definitely hard-earned---and bought a maid's services. Yes, the Best Gift for Me Ever: cleaning service.

People ask me what I want as gifts. I always say, "Cleaning service." And they laugh. As if I am being funny. Which I am not. I am being dead-straight honest.

Since I've already shared with you my list of skeeves, allow me to share with you a few of my Peeves:

Cleaning up
Cleaning up after other people
Cleaning up after other people who can't be troubled to tidy up after themselves even though the mom screeched like a fishwife for an entire day about tidying up
Cleaning up after other people who are grown adults and ought to know way, way better and whose idea of tidying up means piling it someplace like over the closet door or on the kitchen table even though the wife screeched like a fishwife for an entire month about tidying up

I mean really, these people know me, but have they met my Type A perfectionism?

I think my husband believes he can cure me of it by sheer dint of working in total opposition to it.

Newsflash: unsuccessful!
(Note: When being read aloud to from this post, this bit made my husband literally LOL, like, "JULES! You made me spit on my laptop screen!" LOL.)

Okay so...I hired a maid service to come clean my house because, by goodness, (a) I had some cash, (b) I'm old now damn it, and (c) I spend so much time tidying that there is no time left to clean---not the way I expect it to happen; see aforementioned Type A perfectionism, which, by the way, is only applicable to myself, my space and my endeavors---AND still have a life.

I've been asking around about cleaners, just so you know I did not pull this service out of the phone book. The woman-who-cleans-so-well-her-clients-speak-of-her-with-an-orgasmic-tone is not accepting new clients.

Plan B required.

At the bra-fitting party four people highly recommended their cleaner, who shall remain nameless but suffice it to say her Name is not her name although it is the name everyone calls her and is on her business cards and on her car and well, for all I know tattooed somewhere but...apparently not on her birth certificate or driver's license and I had to shred that check.

Regardless, I got her name-not her real name from the party.

Therefore, that party was not a total wash because (a) I got a good story out of it, and (b) I got a good cleaner recommendation out of it.

Oh, why would it have been a wash? That would be because, despite RSVPing with my bra size, it was assumed I had no bloody idea what I was talking about so they brought no bras in that size. I mean, nobody admits to being that small. It had to be a mistake, yes?


It's really freaking cool to have some woman after a fitting (and if you've ever had one you know what I mean here) say, "Oh, we didn't bring anything small really don't have much tissue up top do you?"

Oh tissue. Oh the horror. Oh the recollections. Oh the Judy Blume books.

I want you all to know I waited two full days before quipping, "Thanks for re-admitting me to the IBTC!"

Hey. It cracked up my mom friends. After two or so margaritas, some punchiness and err I don't know what. No kids, mostly.

So, anyway, I left the bra fitting party with the name and number of a cleaner. Who I called. Who came to check out my house.

Following with the theme of the week, as she breezed through the upstairs and downstairs, she says, "Eh, it's not very big, in fact, it's quite small!"

Stunned, I paused, then said, "Actually, it's just big enough for my family, just as much as we need."

Wouldn't she DIE to know this house is twice as big as our house in Boston!

I mean, that's some commentary, a cleaner telling you your house is pitifully tiny. Not---I am compelled to add---that it generated the price break I'd hoped for after she said it.

This should have been a warning, folks.

But remember, Pollyanna mode. I am not a bull looking for red flags.

So I simply unloaded the dishwasher, ran two loads of laundry, and did more tidying up so the area would be all perfectly prepped for the awesome cleaning that would happen.

8:30 NoBloPoMo can go BloMeFoSho. I cannot believe the pile up in my Reader. I hope these people will forgive me. I must breeze through in reader view.

9:00 Okay quickie hygiene routine, dress for morning walk.

Antsy kids and I are waiting. Maid is ten minutes late. I promised a walk and bike ride around town to take invitations to the birthday party.

9:50 Talking self down from mad.

10:00 Self is not agreeing to negotiator's terms for Being Talked Down from Mad

10:10 Maids have arrived. Praise Jesus. I run through Spanish numbers in my head. No, nine does not at all sound like ten. Set it aside, Maddy McWhine.

10:20 Girls and I hit the road and have a pleasant brisk walk through the neighborhood delivering party invitations. It's not even too hot. (Happy surprise.) I made the invitations myself and they look good, if I may say so. As we drop by friends' houses, a few were home and even invited us in for a brief visit. We managed to drag this out for almost two full hours.

12:30 Home, quick costume change for Patience, pay maids, and head to (I shudder to admit) McDonalds for promised playtime and junk food. Then off to scout dollar stores for party favors.
(Hopefully something in a bunny...a stuffed one, not a live one. I could not do that to people. Unlike some teachers. Who sent home Live Crickets on Friday. Hoppy was returned to his rightful place---the Wild---on Saturday as soon as I remembered he was in the backpack. I think we all, cricket included, sighed relieved and happy afterwards.)

2:00 No favors, but a friend gave a good tip for some Easter clearance merchandise.

Cake is ordered. Patience left her detailed spec and drawing with the cake lady. Yes, I hired someone to make it. I figured our mother-daughter relationship was more important. This way she can hate on someone else who doesn't do it Exactly Right. (That Type A Perfectionist gene is powerful.)

This is the spot where the cupcake pulverization occurred. Bring it on, people.

That's the best you've got? Okey dokey. Really, I hate to minimize your efforts, but you pale by comparison to my children, who are Masters Of Eat Shit and DIE!!!

At the front door, I instructed the children to Stop. Drop shoes. And tiptoe. DO NOT MESS MY CLEAN FLOORS! EVAH!
(Note: Is it tacky at this point to suddenly understand my cousin's opposition to her son getting a Boston accent? I have now begun the exact same objection to the Houston accent. Bring me idears, but DO NOT bring me warshers. Seriously. LOVE YOU HOUSTON, STG! I do. Just...not so much the accent.)

2:20 Persistence took my full glass of water and knocked it all over the freshly mopped FOR A NOT-SMALL FEE kitchen floor.

2:21 Naptime for Persistence.

2:25 Knock at door, a neighbor child seeking Patience. Go, play. Key word: quietly. Wake your sister and DIE, kids. I mean that sweet and loving, like.

I began mopping, for free, the kitchen floor. It was then that I noticed it. Crumbs? Are those crumbs under the kitchen chairs?

Why yes, yes they are. Crumbs. On my allegedly freshly cleaned floor.

My Type A cape unfurled from my collar and I began my inspection.

(This is hands down the shoddiest cleaning job ever. They didn't even try to put things back neatly. Oh I am pissed off.)

That's when Patience yelled, "My horsie! My horsie!" Her brand new party favor from her veryfavoritefriend's birthday party? We cannot find it. Still. I will never hear the end of how Those People Lost her Freaking Horse.

The small, awake children? Are banished outside.
It is here that Patience would like her list of woes inserted:

1. My horse is missing. Mommy will not find it.
2. Mommy says if there is no brain matter it's not a real injury and we can't have a band-aid.
3. Mommy will not cut the crusts off bread or rind off fruit.
4. Mommy makes us eat protein in the morning. She says donuts are not protein.
5. Mommy made me get a Big Chief lined notepad instead of a stuffed animal today.

Goodnight, Patience.

(Mommy says, "Complaints, lodged and filed in File 13. Have a nice night!)

3:30 After re-mopping the kitchen floor (and noticing spots missed completely) (and some dust bunnies in corners) and trying to set my house to rights (who leaves a sofa askew that way? who leaves pillows pell mell? who leaves books ALL DISORDERED AND CATAWAMPUS to each other and the shelf that way? Cockeyed books. My heart? It feels strained.)

Upstairs to my bedroom for a bit of relaxing clothes folding.

3:32 The 43rd interruption by Patience and friend who are meant to be playing outside quietly so as to not wake Persistence by ringing the bell repeatedly and sending the dog into barking frenzies.

Friend has had her bike chain come off. I fixed it and then endeavored to de-ick myself. A few minutes, one chain, very small could the mess be so big? Oh and wow, what great timing! Hot New Mailman just drove up with the mail. He waved and I wiggled my grease-stained fingers back. Charming.

Tonight seems like the exact night to go buy a casserole from Dish and Dash.

And to set the scene...

Monday resembled a day crafted by talented special F/X guys working on a Stephen King movie. It was foggy all a menacing creeping fog, not a nice, soft impressionistic one.

The fog retreated to the wetlands, lakes and bays for most of the day but as the sun began to set, it moved back in. The kids had been riding bikes but returned to home base insisting, for the first time ever, that they could not ride in the fog. That's how creeped out they were.

And that, my friends, is quite enough. It's time for Maddy McWhine to put a sock in it and praise Jesus, maker of grapes that turn into wine. And reason for Easter thus purpose behind plethora of Easter stock that stores are desperately trying to be rid of in advance of Christmas stock and therefore on massive clearance to my everlasting Peter Rabbit birthday party themed joy.

P.S. The maid returned and we took a Type A tour of the house where I pointed out the Not Clean areas. She offered to re-clean.

P.P.S. I just heard the weather report and they promise an actual "drop down below 60" cold front (that would be 30 whole degrees!!) for Thanksgiving. Praise Jesus and something to be really thankful for!

There we go. Put a sock in Maddy McWhine and things will work out. Of course, now I will be dressed and made up to the nines every day for a week around mail delivery time trying to re-image myself in the mailman's mind.

TOMORROW! Hump Day Hmm! Topic: Your Name: The Soundtrack. Music. Hearing a song on the radio can flash me back to a specific moment in time. I always laugh whenever I hear Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard because it makes me think of my sister and the two of us goofing off. There are songs I like when I'm happy, songs I like when I'm not. Music. What does it mean for you, in your life? Do you simply listen? Are you a singer? A musician? Were you one? The topic is simply: what role does music have in your life? (Thanks to Emily at Wheels on the Bus for this topic idea!) Wow us with your awesome songs.

Closing thought: My Parenting Secret Tip of the Week (no bakeries involved):

This thing can take any moment and turn it into laughter (you only need to watch halfway)

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
Also blogging at:
Using My Words
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Mary Alice said…
Okay. Seriously your title made me howl! I am sorry Ms Testy. Two words for you, Doctor Rosemond. Go forth and buy every one of his books. We used his parenting methods and they work. Also be extra good to yourself this week - loll around in the tub and read stuff that makes you laugh. Ya hear?
Suz said…
Seriously funny and I got elementary school on my blog, too. The fact you got it makes me feel soooo much better. And the cleaners? I'm glad you went around your house and told them what for.
Sunshine said…
I spend so much time tidying I have no time to clean either. I hear you girlfriend.

And you sucky mcsucky mood is totally understandable...I GET it. I've had two kids instead of the four the last two days and they are still making me batty. As long as there are plural children, they will organize against me...the bastards. lol
Rachel said…
LMAO! Your title made me curious, your subject matter made me laugh.
Houston has the worst traffic of anywhere I have ever driven. It is awful and I despise when we have to go there.
You got snubbed by the bra ladies and the cleaning lady... damn, how are you not standing on a tower with a gun somewhere? LOL, sorry. Snarky woman has inhabited my body this morning.
I about died when I went to fill up yesterday and it was $2.94! Seriously?! Holy hell! I remember $0.94!
My kids (4 and 1) have crushed numerous cupcakes and whatnot in their carseats... you try driving 6 hours across Texas with them without some sort of bribery. Yeppers.
Okay, I truly hope you have a better day, but damn I enjoyed this!!
You are hilarious when testy!

Truly, I hope your day goes better -- but I so needed this laugh...
Girlplustwo said…
sister, you are funny even when you are frayed. frayingly funny?

sometimes being a parent is amazingly hard. you are a good mama.
Lawyer Mama said…
Oh. my. god.

You need a margarita. Seriously. Now.

My cleaners move the pillows around on my bed. It drives me insane. I'm not a huge neat freak, but certain things MUST be a certain way.
rockygrace said…
Ha ha ha! I haven't heard "Don Gato" in years! Thanks!
Kellan said…
I know ... we are into day four of the Thanksgiving vacation and I have my four kids and my neice and nephew home every day. We've had a few melt downs and I'm not sure at moments if I can make it until next Monday. It takes everyone at least a week to adjust to any real change and that is about the time they will all go back to school. The cupcake thing - not good. I would probably suggest, not to that again. Take care and see you soon. Kellan
thailandchani said…
Ugh! Way too much activity. I can't imagine going at that pace for more than ten minutes!
Laura said…
Holy cleaned toilets can I relate to this post! You nailed it Girl!

I too am a bit frayed and your post made me realize I am not the only onestruggling right now...

Chin high, hang in there!

Thanks for making me stop and laugh.
painted maypole said…
wow. hope the rest of your week goes better!

cleaning services are WAY over rated, I find.
Melissa said…
I'm having one of those weeks, too. At least I'm not having people over; I'm actually doing the travelling for once.

I've only had one cleaning person I really liked, and she *ahem* had to suddenly leave the countrty. Don't ask, don't tell...\
Liv said…
Okay, but at the risk of getting a shoe thrown at me, for someone who just said, "Put a sock in it" you still write the longest posts on these internetz. lol.
Kyla said…

And yes, thank Jesus for grapes that turn into wine. Yes, yes, yes.
Anonymous said…
After spending the last three days cleaning my butt off, I feel your pain. I am hoping to get a service come next year and if I see one dust bunny after they leave... DIE!

You have every right to be whiny after a chaotic day like that!
Leslie said…
That 's why I never hire anyone to clean.... I come home more frustrated than when I left... well that was a few years ago and I am getting too old too - I've been entertaining the idea again -- your post brought back too many bad memories... and some great giggles!
thanks for the humorous Don Gato... and may the floors shine for you.
Magpie said…
Don Gato!! I haven't heard that in years.

Why aren't those children in school?

I broke down and hired cleaners to clean my house before my kid's birthday party. It was an arm and a leg, but, it was nice to do.
flutter said…
I think I am slightly scared of you. It's kinda sexy rroooowwrrrr.
Mayberry said…
Any post that includes the word "catawampus" earns an A+ from me.
Mad said…
One of the great things about blogging is that it has really, really, really allowed me to track my PMS. Every 4 weeks like clockwork, I write sullen posts, sulk and think about shutting down the blog. Then I jump back a few months and see the trend.
BAH! I just did a timeline post, too, lol!

I don't what to tell you regarding your children.

I will say, however, that the one in the photo is wicked cute.
Julie! You are hilarious - even when testy.

But *darn* maid service. I've been there. Argh!

Julie Pippert said…
I am so surprised it took over 20 comments before one of you lovely people said PMS.

As it happens, I do not need PMS to act like this. I can behave this way totally hormone free. Or rather, my hormones are so constantly wackadoo that my behavior is not conscripted within a particular week.

WOW like being a TEENAGER!

As it so happens, also, the children were absolute ANGELS on Tuesday...and that's WITH getting three shots a piece at the doctor.

Go figure.
Amy said…
Ha! I scored junior high blog. I'd say that quiz is obviously lame and bogus.

My cleaning lady developed a no-show problem with a whole lot of really fascinating excuses. I was relieved when she ran out of them and I could finally get back to not cleaning my house for free, myself.

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