Mad About It Mondays, Rants

Mad About It Monday: How To Ruin A Relationship In One Simple Step

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary Blog

Mad About It Monday

…because passive aggressive Facebook posts were so yesterday

Happy Monday, Everyone! Lately, I’ve been posting my M.A.M mini-rants on Facebook but something happened to me recently that warrants a blog post. Let’s just say that a simple Facebook post just can’t contain all of the rage. I’d also like to get your thoughts on the situation. After you’re done reading, leave me a comment and answer this: What would you do if you were in my position?!

Neighborhood

When we were building our house five years ago, I was excited about the prospect of having the kind of neighborhood where there’s a real sense of community…you know, the kind of place that you’re excited to raise a family in. I don’t know if times have just changed or if it’s the neighborhood we moved into but we only know a handful of our neighbors and, although we really like them and are on friendly terms, we don’t know them all that well. One of our neighbors has a child that’s a few years older than my three year old daughter. We like this kid and are friendly with his parents and occasionally we’ll invite them over for a get together or spend a few minutes chatting while we’re all outside. Over the course of the last few months, the parents have asked me to babysit their child several times. It’s certainly not a problem at all. We enjoy having him over and are more than happy to help on occasion, when they need a favor and that’s exactly what I thought I was agreeing to when I received a text message last week asking me if I would mind watching the child for a little while on Saturday. Here’s what the message said:

“Hey, would you mind watching Kiddo on Saturday? I have to work in the morning and wanted to take SoAndSo out for his birthday dinner after work if he’s up for it.”

Now I assumed, as any rational human being would, that I would be watching Kiddo on Saturday evening, so his mom and dad could enjoy a night out. Absolutely no big deal. I replied and mentioned that, even though we were planning to go out to dinner, Kiddo was more than welcome to come with us if he wanted to. “It’s up to you guys,” said the mom. “Kiddo is always welcome to tag along,” I replied. “Cool,” I thought,  “It’s settled. We’ll take Kiddo out to dinner and it will be fun.” Apparently, I was wrong. The next morning, I got this text message:

“I have to work at 10:30 so I leave around 10:00…I can bring Kiddo over then and how much would you like for the day? Either his dad or I should pick him up around 7ish”

wait-what

Wait, what?! Now something that was supposed to be an evening favor has turned into an all day ordeal but since I’d already agreed to her vague request for us to watch her child and since this child is old enough to come with us wherever we go, I decided not to worry about the change in our day. I didn’t reply to her comment about payment because, honestly, I’m a really bad negotiator when it comes to people that I know and I thought that she would ask me in person what would be fair. Fast forward to Saturday…

Kiddo came over around 10:00 in the morning. We played a few games and ran some errands before coming home for a pizza party lunch followed by blanket forts, a movie and snacks, hide & go seek, sidewalk chalk, and an assortment of other activities with the kids. Although it was long, it was a pretty good day. I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to entertaining a seven year old child but I managed and, by the time 7:00 rolled around, I was a little exhausted and ready to head out to our already delayed dinner plans. Kiddo’s mom picked him up at 7:45, seemed kind of rushed, and made absolutely no mention of paying us for watching her child all day. I was a little floored. I certainly don’t mind doing anyone a favor but ten hours of my time is well beyond a good neighborly favor. So I sent her this text message:

“…I realized I never responded about how much money would be okay for the day. Anywhere between $5 and $10 an hour would be fine. Normally I would say don’t worry about it but since it was all day, I think that’s fair.”

She responded asking for an exact dollar amount, I replied with “$50 would be fine” (which comes out to be about $5 an hour, an amount I think is totally reasonable for all day child care including meals, snacks, and activities) and she said she’d bring it by tomorrow. Well, guess what?! Tomorrow came and went and the next day came and went, too and I still haven’t heard from them and they haven’t come by.

Annoyed

It’s not the money that matters to me, it’s the principle of the matter. When you say that you’re going to do something: DO IT!

I don’t know if it’s the fact that I felt tricked into agreeing to something that ended up being a much larger commitment than I anticipated or the fact that she offered to compensate me for my time but didn’t or some combination of the two but I am outraged slightly appalled. I mean, who does that?! I can’t even imagine taking advantage of someone like that. I just can’t.

I would love to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they forgot or that they were just busy but, the truth is, I know better. Kiddo has come over several times over the last few months and I’ve always declined an offer for payment because it’s only ever been for an hour or two but this time it was my entire day and that’s different. I can’t help but feel the only reason they asked me to watch him in the first place is because they didn’t want to have to pay for a sitter to watch their child. How frustrating.

Fail

Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be doing them any more favors any time soon.

What would you have done in my situation?! Have you ever dealt with something like that? If so, I’d love to know how you handled it.

Mad About It Mondays

Mad About It Monday: Commercials We Know & Hate

madaboutitmondays

Hello, friends and happy Monday! It’s been a while (longer than I’d care to admit) since my last “Mad About It Monday” post so I thought I’d jump right back in with a list of my top five favorite commercials to HATE. We don’t watch a lot of television in our household but we do take the time to catch up with our favorite programs on HuluPlus after the child goes to bed each night. Hulu provides us with the opportunity to see a whole slue of no good, just plain awful commercials that I cringe at the very thought of. I’ve compiled a list of five of the worst commercials we all know and hate and encourage you to share yours in the comments.

#5- Chase Freedom “At The Pumps”

At first glance, most viewers wouldn’t think anything of this seemingly innocent commercial but if you pay attention, at about four seconds in, you see something terrifying.  Here we have this woman, at the station, pumping gas while her car keys are in the ignition and the car is on. Really?! Don’t they specifically WARN you against keeping your keys in the ignition while pumping gas? Let me save you the trouble of looking it up, yes. Yes they do. Now, logically, I know that there’s a very minimal risk of a spark from your car being on causing the gas pump to blow up while you’re pumping but, why even risk it?!  Is it really that hard to turn off your car for three minutes while you fill up the tank?  I mean honestly, I’m surprised she wasn’t also smoking and spraying gas everywhere in the commercial. What a dummy.

#4- Disney Side “Lion King”

Dear Grandpa,

No. You narcissistic tool bag. You just can’t resist ruining the moment, can you?! Congratulations, you’re officially uninvited to our upcoming family Disney trip because we can’t trust you to behave yourself. What’s next, will you photo-bomb the pictures of complete strangers and tackle your favorite characters, shoving small children out of the way to get to them? Nice. Not. That set you just ruined, by the way, took a PTA mom hours to put together and now the kids can’t finish the play that they’ve spent months preparing for because you’re a life ruiner, Grandpa. You jerk.

#3- Geico Commercials (All of them)

Dear Geico,

No. Just no. Please stop. For the love of all that is holy, knock that crap off. That is all.

#2- Learn To Be 

Hi Melissa, it’s called Google. Or your parents. Or a teacher. Or your math book. Or anyone else other than this really creepy math tutor that you randomly happened to find on the internet. Aren’t you the slightest bit worried that an adult is weirdly smiling at you over the webcam after reciting the definition of something you could have very easily found on your own? Haven’t your parents taught you about the dangers of using video chat with complete strangers? I guess not because they clearly aren’t available to help you with your easy geometry homework, either. Hold on, don’t go anywhere. Okay, I’m back. I just did a search for “How do you find the area of a triangle?” and more than 86.8 million results popped up. I did this without giving a possible predator the layout of my home. You’re welcome.

#1- AllState Check 

Who just inserts themselves into someone’s check battle at a restaurant? I mean, honestly. How the hell does he even know that she saved money on insurance? That is CLEARLY grounds for a restraining order. Oh, and here’s a tip for YOU, Dennis Haysbert, nobody cares that you were once on the show “24” over ten years ago. And no, you are not, in fact, responsible for a black person becoming president.

 

 

Culture, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Monday: The Label Makers

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary BlogWelcome to Mad About It Monday

…because passive aggressive Facebook posts were so yesterday…

Happy Monday, Everyone! If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that I usually take some time each Monday to discuss something that’s been bothering me (either seriously or sarcastically). If you’re new here, you can find some of my old posts here:

Today I want to talk about something that’s been bothering me for years: Labels.

Generalizations | Labels | Stereotypes 

Some labels are okay; like the one that tells you that your favorite beverage contains “100% Juice” or the one that helps you better understand how to care for that 97% cotton, 3% spandex article of clothing. Those labels are great. They’re beneficial and they’re necessary. Nutrition and product labels are the only ones that matter. Society could stand to do without the rest of them, don’t you think?! I’ve talked before about that feeling of never being good enough (Never Enough) but labels are something that other people give us that are beyond our control.

Muslims Are Terrorists | Overweight People Are Lazy | People With Disabilities Aren’t Intelligent

I think one of the most dangerous things about labeling a person is that it is a shortcut.  It creates a false sense of understanding, without having to put in the requisite time and effort to truly comprehend the nature of that which is being labeled, be it an individual, organization, or an entire society.  Labeling something suggests that it can be defined by that one thing, but nothing is ever so black and white.  People are complicated, as are countries, religions, and anything else that one may be tempted to define in a bumper sticker sized sentence.  True understanding requires that we first recognize and then cast aside our preconceived notions.

Last night I listened to a TED talk that summed my feelings towards religion and doubt more eloquently than I ever could.  Though the speaker did not specifically talk about labeling people, I think the need to cast doubt upon our own understanding can be applied to our understanding of individuals as well as the broader subject of religion and faith.  Belief without introspective questioning and doubt is shallow and incomplete.  It is the same kind of intellectual dishonesty as labeling an individual.  Both are the easy path, but the easy path is usually not the best one.

I encourage you all to not take the easy path.  Don’t label someone, because you would not want to be labeled.  You are not that easily defined and neither is anyone else.

You may not be able to prevent others from labeling you but you can set the example by not labeling others. 

When you have the chance, take the time to watch Lesley Hazleton’s TED Talk. I promise, it’ll inspire you.

My friend and new blogger Aimee over at Here Comes Baby B asked me if I was going to offer a link up this week. So I said, “Sure, why not?!” If you’re interested in sharing your own “Mad About It Monday” post, you can do so here:

Daily Life, Mad About It Mondays, Parenting, Uncategorized

Mad About It Mondays: The Inadequate Mother

What other people think about you is none of your business…

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary Blog

If you’re new here and would like to catch up on some of my past Mad About It Monday posts you can find them here:

Going To Bed Book Rant & I Can’t Stand Toodles

The Inadequate Mother 

Parenting is a full time job where the pay is in hugs, kisses, snuggles, and a lifelong relationship with your little one. But unlike traditional jobs, parents don’t get a lot of feedback. There are no annual reviews and sometimes it’s hard to gauge just how well you’re doing at your job. I think that’s why I fall into that trap, as I’m sure many others also do, of comparing myself to other moms. Not just that, but I worry about the judgement I get from other parents when my child is acting up in public or when I let my frustration get to me and end up raising my voice in front of others. I’m left wondering, at the end of the day, if my parenting is going to yield the results I hope for (a well adjusted, kind, compassionate, intelligent, respectful adult someday down the road) or if my child is going to end up with years of therapy as an adult.

How do you grade yourself when it comes to being a parent?

A few weeks ago I stopped by a drive-thru while C and I were out running errands. After I handed her the small bottle of chocolate milk, she asked me for a straw. I explained to her that she was going to have to drink her milk without one, just like we do at home. Instead of enjoying it, like I expected her to, she looked at me and started to pour out the milk all over my back seat. I reacted, without thinking, and yelled (very loudly and firmly) at her to stop. Normally when I get after my child, she pouts, whines, or sheds the occasional (real) tear. This time was different. She didn’t cry. She didn’t pout. She buried her head into her hands. It was at that moment that I realized I had shamed my daughter. I felt like a failure. A monster. It’s easy to let those moments define my day, my week, my month, and even my life but do those hiccups really make me a bad parent?!

I guess the answer to that is different for all of us. No one child is exactly like another and parenting styles differ from family to family. I just need to learn to look forward. Each day is a new adventure with the opportunity to create memories with my family. I have to understand that I’m going to screw up. I wrote a post a while back (Walking the Line: On Parenting) and I have to go back, from time to time, and remind myself of those words. That it’s okay. That learning how to parent isn’t a test we can study for, it’s an experience that we learn and grow from with each passing day.

The days when I feel like a complete and utter failure are the ones that I could use the most encouragement. So let me offer some to you:

  • There are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days but no one day will last forever.
  • Cherish those special moments with your child and think back on them to help you get through the rough days.
  • If you feel like you’ve completely screwed your chances for winning that “Mother Of The Year” award, know that you’re not alone. We are all in the same boat.
  • You are not inadequate. You are strong and this, too, shall pass.

Parenting is tough and we are warriors.

Children's Books, Mad About It Mondays, Parenting, Rants, Reviews

Mad About It Monday: The Going To Bed Book

Welcome to Mad About It Monday

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary Blog

…because passive aggressive Facebooking was so yesterday…

It’s been a while since my last Mad About It Monday post in this series and I thought I’d bring it back with something that’s been on my mind for a long, long time.

I love being a mom.  I love the time that I get to spend with my two year old, snuggled on the couch, reading stories together.  But good Lord Almighty there are a lot of books out there and some them are just downright (as Mr. T would say,) “Absoludicrous”.

You might remember my expose on a guide for stalkers cleverly disguised as a classic children’s book or my thoughts on the worst parenting example ever.  Today, I want to dedicate this post to a book that’s been grinding my gears form almost two years.

the-going-to-bed-book

The Going to Bed Book

Filled with nonsensical nonsense, “The Going to Bed Book” has been a popular bedtime story for the last 31 years.  Before it makes its way into your book basket, I must air my grievances with this so-called children’s classic.

Now, you might think that I’m going to talk about what a bad idea it is to exercise right after bed. About how any activity that creates adrenaline and increases one’s heart-rate is not going to be conducive to a restful night’s sleep. Furthermore, it is pretty nasty that they are exercising after they’ve taken a bath.

But, I’m not going to talk about that.

You might also think that I’m going to talk about how illogical it is for a lion, elephant, and moose, among others to share the same bathtub in an effective or safe manner. You may suspect that I’ll mention that, based upon the Archimedes’ principle of water displacement, the tub would have to exponentially larger than depicted in order to support the level of bouyant force exerted by the combined weight of all of those wild animals.

However, I’m not going to talk about that either.

What I want to talk about is this:

Going To Bed Book Lion Hunts Bunny

That bunny might be getting ready for bed, but you can tell he’s pretty sure that he’s going to become the lion’s breakfast.

AND NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE.  Somebody had to have purchased all of these custom-fitted pajamas and specialized exercise equipment, but they seem to have forgotten that these are wild animals and no amount of messed up rhyming bedtime routine is going to deny the inherent laws of nature.

As the parent of a toddler, I am in no hurry to explain the entirely justifiable fear within that bunny’s eyes.

Thanks for trying to steal my child’s innocence, Sandra Boynton.

Goodnight.

Mad About It Mondays, Parenting, Rants, Reviews

Mad About It Mondays: Toodles The Saboteur

Disclaimer: If you’re offended by strong language and sarcasm, this post is probably not for you.

Check back tomorrow for pictures of my adorable child. Also, I love Disney.

Welcome to Mad About It Mondays

because passive aggressive Facebook posts were so yesterday

Mad About It Monday- Copyright It's An Ordinary Blog

I’m not entirely certain how the love affair started but at some point within the last 10 months my child has developed somewhat of an obsession with Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse“. Being a Disney fan myself, I don’t have a problem with that. I do, however, have an issue with the fact that Netflix has only one Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show available to stream from my Roku device. Really?! Doesn’t Netflix have an agreement with Disney?! I mean, honestly….come on. That’s not even what irritates me. If it was, this M.A.M post would be awfully short, am I right?! Want to know what really pisses me off?! It’s Toodles.

Toodles is a whiny bitch.

There, I said it. Now we’ve seen some of the old shows where he was sweet, didn’t talk, and was relatively helpful. Now? Not so much. I’ve probably seen “Road Rally” (please, Disney, for the love of all that is holy make more available on Netflix) a couple hundred times and every time I watch it, my hatred for Toodles grows just a little bit stronger. If you’ve never seen it, here’s a re-cap:

Mickey and friends decide to go on a fun road trip together where they stop at various points throughout their journey to solve mini-mysteries. Each time they get through one of their pit-stops, they’re rewarded with a special surprise (whoo! Exciting!). Before they’re set to leave, Goofy realizes that he doesn’t have his bike to travel with so the professor gives him a handy rescue truck that he’s been working on to take along. The only requirement is that Goofy agrees to use the rescue truck whenever anyone needs help. Sounds simple, right?! Wrong.

Why?! Because their group has a saboteur in the mix. That’s right, Toodles, I’m onto you. The group is met with a series (as is the case with every episode) of unforseen obstacles along the way and guess who just so happens to have exactly what the group needs to continue along?! Ding ding ding! Toodles. Hmmmm…. sneaky sneaky.

I’ve always been a little suspicious of Toodles but he really shows his true colors in the episode. When Goofy comes to the rescue to help out the team, Toodles looses his shit. And here’s the thing: Minnie actually feels bad for him and tries to rally support. What the hell?! Are you freaking kidding me?! You’re a manipulative bastard, Toodles. And when the trend of recovering from, what I believe are, staged attacks on the group on their own continues, Toodles just ups and leaves. The team feels sorry for him, goes to look for him, and then gifts him with a surprise that’s bigger than everyone else’s at the end. Wow. Just wow.

Even if the obstacles are not of Toodles’ design, he needs to learn that it’s ok for someone else to help out for a change.  What’s more, by placating him, they’re only feeding his insecurities.  He needs tough love.

Dear Toodles,

Knock that crap off.

XoXo,

It’s An Ordinary Blog

Culture, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: “Oh, Wow. Bad Outfit Choice!”

Mad About It Mondays

I’ve touched on this kind of thing before (if you’re intrested you can find my posts here and here) but somehow hearing rude comments from people in public or in the media never ceases to amaze me (and not in a good way).

It was a beautiful seventy-something degree day on Saturday and so my husband, daughter, and I decided to enjoy some play/workout time outside. I decided to wear my Old Navy compression capris and a t-shirt. Why?! Because when I go to get dressed for a workout I think, “Man, I’ll really look sexy working out in this!!!”. No. It’s because when it comes to doing things that are both fun and good for you, comfort is important and it’s not a beauty contest.

Aftewards we ran into Costo to grab a few things and while we were in line to check out a couple who was coming up behind us very loudly started discussing what they thought was a poor outfit choice. I don’t know if the multiple “Oooh, that was not a good outfit choice. Oh wow! Oh wow!” was about me or not (they weren’t even looking at me) but I don’t care and it doesn’t matter because it was about someone.

So let me just say this and I’ll wrap up my short Mad About It Monday post for the day: If someone’s outfit choice elicits that kind of response from you, the problem isn’t with what they’re wearing. Maybe, just maybe, the problem is with you…