A day in the life.



The Beans went back to school yesterday, but school day mornings around here have become quite the dramatic production. Emphasis on DRAMA.  First of all, Sugar Bean, is 13. I could stop right there, without any explanation at all and 99.9% of you would still know what I mean. However, I’ll elaborate. Because that’s one of the things I do best, besides over-sharing and rooting for my Crimson Tide.

With her, there is none of the usual teenager-not-wanting-to-get-out-of-bed riggamaroll, or the “MOM…NOTHING FITS ME!! WHY CAN’T I GET NEW CLOTHES? FUCK!!” (If you haven’t seen it, there is a great example of this in Judd Apatow’s new film THIS IS 40. A must-see if you have kids, especially teens). Life up in here would be grand if it were just that simple. But oh no…I get the emotional stuff almost every morning, and the kid hasn’t even started her period yet! The golden moments of  “I hate cheerleading, and don’t like going to the away games (there is one today). It will take me forever to do my homework afterwards, and there is no adult supervision once we return to school (yes, a teenager complained about this)” and “My entire 7th grade year is being ruined, because I’m miserable cheering and you won’t let me quit. Other girls are quitting. You don’t care about my happiness.”  And during these rants, I have to resist the urge to say “Because I will be 41 tomorrow and know infinitely more than you, so shut the eff up”, remain calm and… parent. Before 8am. Before I’ve had caffeine. Or changed my clothes, brushed my teeth, and peed! Just about the only thing this follows is….The Man’s departure for work.

Now, I should mention that I was a cheerleader myself, both in junior high and high school, but had no part in Sugar Bean’s decision to try out. In fact, it was a shock to me that she wanted to. So, she can’t hang this one on me for forcing her into an activity she desired no part in. Nope, not my fault. I will, however, take full responsibility for refusing to allow her to quit. It’s one of those points of parenting where The Man and I absolutely agree, because we made a mistake early on and learned from it. Yes, that really happens. Anyway, there is a rule in our household now: If you start an activity  as part of a team, you fulfill your commitment, as part of the team. Unless unforeseen circumstances like this prohibit you from doing so. 

In other words, we are not raising quitters.

So I try to explain this to her, and convince her it WILL get better. I declare that cheering for basketball is more fun than soccer, and CFE’s because the games are more exciting to watch and the crowds tend to be larger and more enthusiastic. I also point out that we live in a small, close-knit community (yes, those exist in LA), and if she quits the squad, it may hurt her chances of being chosen for, or allowed to participate in future team activities next year or in high school, because she will have the reputation of being a quitter, and therefore, be viewed as unreliable. In an attempt to validate some of her feelings, I even agree with her about a few of her grievances, which I know to be true, and offer to come to the game today and speak to the cheer coaches in an effort to gain insight into why she is so miserable doing something she wanted to do! I try to relate what she is feeling to my own experiences as a cheerleader. Big mistake…HUGE. She sulks and says, “It was different then.Plus, if you are there, I will mess up. There’s too much pressure.”  But I am steadfast in my decision, and she concludes her rant (keep in mind it’s been going on relentlessly for almost an hour now) as she exits the car saying “I don’t care about school or the year anymore. It doesn’t matter.” Talk about making me feel like shit for parenting, and causing worry about all sorts of things that could result from my refusal to allow her to quit cheering. So I have decided to go to the game. To observe. I won’t approach the coaches, or draw attention to her misery in any way. But I need some answers!

Now, compared to Sugar Bean’s morning tirades, Butter Bean and Sweet Pea’s antics in the mornings before school appear like the actions of angels. But, they still turn the task of getting them ready for their day into complete havoc . At the ripe age of 8, Butter Bean hates to get out of bed. But when she does finally spring forth, there isn’t much I have to help her with beyond fashioning her hair into a ponytail. Extremely independent, that one. Definitely a chip off my block. She is somewhat of a tomboy, so she doesn’t give much thought to what she wears, and settles on jeans and a cute tee with a hoodie most days. Easy, right? WRONG. Her main purpose in the mornings is to antagonize her baby sister, Sweet Pea, who takes sensitivity to a new level, much to the delight of Butter Bean. That child cries from the moment she gets out of bed, and continues for at least 20 minutes. It’s almost impossible to get her dressed, as she is a mini-fashionista and very concerned about how she looks. If she’s picked an outfit that doesn’t fit the weather outside, and I gently point that out, the waterworks start. She takes it personally, and considers my concern for her being cold an insult on her fashion sense. After several minutes of hemming and hawing, we can usually agree on something….as long as it involves wearing tights. And a dress, a skirt, or a tutu. In general, Sweet Pea hates pants, unless they are brightly colored or embellished jeans. Or in rare cases, cargo style. Once dressed, the tears stop long enough for her to make the trek from her bedroom to the bathroom, where I must brush the tangles out of her hair while she screams like a banshee and declares that she knows I’m hurting her on purpose! All the while, Butter Bean is standing in the doorway, backpack loaded onto her shoulders, breakfast of choice in hand….with a devious smirk on her face…watching. You can imagine what goes down when Sweet Pea catches Butter Bean observing. “Mama, she’s looking at me with an ugly face, and it’s making me sad!” Cue more tears. Where is Sugar Bean, you ask? Halfway out the door, sighing loudly, and proclaiming that if we don’t leave right that second, we are going to be late.

Which we never are, of course.

These are my days. One bleeding into another, when school is in session, with only slight deviations from this to the next. Today’s hiccup was that, before crawling into bed last night, I took the time to sit down and write in a card for The Man. I wrote some words of encouragement for the day, along with loving phrases, sealed it in an envelope and carefully propped it in the pocket of his gym bag, where he would be sure to find it. Just because. I know i enjoy ‘little things’, and unexpected gestures, so I thought he might as well. He  startled me awake by asking where his coat was, and then barked at me because I was disoriented and couldn’t answer him. It was, after all, 5 am, and I had only been asleep for 3 hours. So what? I’m a night owl. The nap was decent. The waking, was not. Much to my amazement, there was no mention of the card, and he hurried out the door without even saying goodbye or I love you. I thought to myself, he was obviously in a hurry, and it fell out of his bag. He hasn’t read it. Yes! That’s it.

Then I found the card, ripped from the envelope, lying on the dining room table, just above my heart which fell to the floor beneath.

So that was my morning. How was yours?

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  1. Hugs hun bun!

  2. OMG!

    Okay, the whole morning routine had me laughing as I can just imagine it. It won’t be long before I’m dealing with that, I supposed. Oh, and by the way, I appreciate that Sweet Pea likes dresses, tights, and awesome colored pants. 😉

    As for the card… My heart ripped in half. I like to do that kind of stuff too (even though I never get it back), and that would’ve really hurt me. But, he’s a man. They don’t realize how much emotion goes into those things. I’d put it on his pillow so that he sees it again when he gets home, giving him an opportunity to “make right”. And if he doesn’t? He can sleep on the bloody couch!


    • calibamamom says

      He actually did make it right…texted to thank me, and say he was sorry for being a dick about his coat this morning. However, the card placement on the pillow is genius, woman! I will definitely do that. And Sugar Bean just called from school to ask if I would bring her bloomers because she forgot them, and requested that her sisters and I come to see her cheer today. So, I guess the lesson in this is that once I ‘put it into the Universe’….God listened instead of laughing, and decided to give me a break 🙂

      And yes….it won’t be long until you too will have ‘morning mayhem’ at your house!!


  3. Ouch… And Something tells me there are lots of people that can relate… He may ask for a re-do on that morning 😉

    • calibamamom says

      It was this morning, and not such a good thing to do on the eve of wifey’s birthday, huh? A mulligan is his best shot…lol.

  4. ashlyn ferguson says

    Just found you blog, and I am loving it. I have four boy’s but we have some of the same stuff you just described. Daily.

  5. This just made me so tired for you! Holy hellfire!

    • calibamamom says

      Well, if it doesn’t keep me on my toes, it knocks me on my ass! Either way, I’m active…lol 🙂 I LOVE the saying ‘Holy hellfire’!!

  6. Exhausted. Been there done that.
    A a mom of 4 , all I can say is, “cheers” to you.
    My fav part I that you left you man a note!!
    He’s a man, they aren’t sentimental about cards.. But he won’t forget the gesture.
    Keep it up. 🙂

    • calibamamom says

      Thanks, Becky! It is exhausting, isn’t it? I can’t imagine having 4. Mostly because I am certain it would have been another girl…lol. Bless The Man’s heart, he is already outnumbered so badly that when they grow up, and start getting married, I may have to change the name of the blog to “3 Weddings and a Financial Funeral”…hee-hee. At any rate, drama and all…I wouldn’t change a thing! And I am well aware men are oblivious to cards and such….I guess I just thought on the eve of my birthday he might be a little more aware. I hold no grudges though 🙂

  7. I can so relate to the morning (and mid-day, and nighttime) kid drama! Not glad you had to endure it, but I’m glad I’m not the only one. My morning drama also often includes the “Mommy, where’s my xxx??” followed by a frantic search through piles of laundry: clean-but-not-yet-folded and dirty, because God forbid they wear something other than the ONE uniform shirt or the one pair of socks they like the best. Sister 2 also hates to get out of bed, and then likes to take her sweet time, usually making sure that there are no bumps in her ponytail-do. All the while sister 1 is standing over sister 2 saying “It’s time to go!!!” 5 minutes before it’s really time to go, which is actually 25 minutes before it’s REALLY really time to go, because sister 1 likes to be Punctual. (Read: play on the playground for as long as possible before school.) 🙂

    • calibamamom says

      Yes…we too have the morning laundry search sometimes 🙂 Although I try very hard to keep the clean laundry separated into baskets belonging to each individual, to same a little time when I can’t seem to get it folded and put away…lol. Funny, I always thought when The Beans wore uniforms to school that it would be less of a hassle, because the choices would be limited. God laughed, and decided to show me just how important ‘the right pair of socks’ or perfect hair accessory can be! Always something, right? We have to get together soon, sister….it’s been too long 🙂


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Give it to me straight. I can take it :-)

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