Monday, July 09, 2007

'At Least My Mom Works!'

Nothing new to report outside of the summertime routine -- swim lessons, baseball times two sons and hunting for paid writing gigs. And swallowing bitter pills.

Tomorrow I take the kids on our city's Pacific version of the city bus, the Aqualink. For three bucks a pop, we get a postcard view of the harbor and an hour-long float around The Queen Mary and environs. 'Should be enough eye candy to keep the kids out of each other's faces.

At night I'll escape to the cafe to "work," something a few of my friends can't believe I do. Seems they can't take me seriously as an independent contractor and mom. I have to be one or the other.

Is the stay-home mom role I've played for nearly seven years throwing the haters off? Does my long run as a stay-home mom make my search for paid work less valid? Am I a less skilled worker now than before I bred? Do my emptied breasts and stretch marked belly make me less valuable in the writer's market?

Like taking care of my children isn't "work" enough in the first place, never mind paid work.

"What? You can't talk because you have to work? What work? Are you serious?"

How about this one from The Lawyer's guy friend: "At least my mom goes to work!" Yeah, all day. And she sees you for just long enough to feed you, bathe you and kiss you good night.

Just because I don't report to a dull office to write articles doesn't mean I'm screwing off at the cafe. That I should take your kid with me so you can go see a movie.

Don't I work?


Friday, July 06, 2007

Bitching About the Beach

We’re heading to a beautiful Southern California beach this morning and my kids don’t want to go. “No beach!” were the first two words Cheeks uttered this morning when I crawled up to the top bunk to wake him.

“Yeah. Me no beach too,” The Lawyer said in the God-awful baby speak he picked up from fellow kindergarten kids last school year.

“We all beach NOW,” I growled. (Suddenly I’m a baby talk accomplice. Whatever works.)

What kind of kids need to be begged to go to the beach for the day? Unappreciative spoiled ones. Overscheduled ones. Tired ones. Ones who know they’ll be dragged later today from swimming at the beach to swimming half-asleep and still sandy at the private pool where they take lessons. Ones who are still groggy from staying up late on the Fourth of July.

Will I back down and cancel my beach going plans? No way. After inhaling my trough of coffee drowned in almond-vanilla creamer I’ll pack all four of us up, tuning out the kids’ whiny butts all the while.

The first mini-wave they catch will hush their complaints anyway. Besides, are all these “play dates,” beach or not, really about them? Aren’t we moms just desperate for some adult conversation. Isn’t that what “play dates,” even the sandy ones, are all about?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Soy Burgers Suck

It’s the Fourth of July, probably the biggest day for grilling of the whole year, and I don’t eat meat, at least for now.

I haven’t eaten a single animal product (outside of cheese and milk) for about four weeks. Why? Do I think it’s cruel to eat dead animals? No. Do I have a moral issue with carnivores? No. Do I have issues with cholesterol? Yes. Do I have body image issues? Absolutely. Name one woman in her thirties who doesn’t. Name a woman who doesn’t at any age, actually.

So, there you have it. The real reasons I’m going vegetarian have less to do with ethics and more to do with vanity than anything else. I admit that my sudden vegetarianism is a thin veil for weight loss, a last ditch effort not to have to take up running again, not to get off my ass several fast miles a week like I used to.

Also, my annual check-up is scheduled for later this month, my birth month (DOB 7.20.75), and I owe my doctor a lower cholesterol count from last year’s check-up. I’m expecting an earful, plus a possible prescription for cholesterol lowering meds, like the ones my mother has taken since her 30s. Something tells me my last minute vegetarian cholesterol pullout tactics won’t make my doctor’s cut. The same goes for when I admit that I’ve completely abandoned running, yoga and even walking around the block.

Party tents are popping up all along the block. Coolers are being filled with ice. My neighbor painted her fingernails red, white and blue, her annual tradition. Soon she’ll make a vodka run for her patriotic colored Jell-O shots. When’s the last time I had a Jell-O shot? I feel old.

I just got back from that same neighbor’s house. I took a break from refereeing the kids with their older friend who slept over last night. Anyway, at my neighbor’s I helped skewer marinated beef between pineapple wedges, red onions and bell peppers. Ironic. The new vegetarian dips her hands in meat on the biggest BBQ day of the year (and finds herself tempted). The teriyaki marinade smelled so good.

The Lawyer asked me why “their side of the street” looks so fun, with all of its tents, grills and American flags flying high. “Why aren’t we having people over? Why can’t we have a barbecue?”

Because we just had one last night and Daddy doesn’t feel like it today.

“Man, we’re so boring sometimes,” The Lawyer shrugged.

Yeah. I agree. I wish we were having a big party today too. And, frankly I’m bored.

… Off to the café to work on an article. Thankful to have paying work.

Later I’ll take the kids door to door along our street’s block party. We’ll walk to the stand outside the neighborhood 7-Eleven for fireworks and blow cheap stuff up for kicks.