Friday, May 23, 2008

Step 1: Admit That Michael Jackson is the Problem

Warning: This first part is gonna get graphically whiny. If you don't want to read about me feeling sorry for myself when I have absolutely NO reason to whine, skip down to the word THRILLER.

Okay, so the rest of you are all ready to wallow in completely unearned self-pity? Let's go!

A few months ago in Relief Society a really nice Mom that I highly respect said something like:

"I don't know how some of you get all stressed out by summer, because there is nothing I like better than having all my kids around me, all day long." And the way she said it was like, the rest of you whiners need to fix your attitudes.

Which I know I need to do. (Although, to be fair to That Sister, it is perhaps possible that I read more into her tone than she actually meant to say.)

In my defense, though, That Sister does have a swimming pool, which can take up lots of time during the 115 degree days, when you aren't frying eggs on the sidewalk. I do not have a pool. And she also has a great teenage daughter who is one of our favorite babysitters. I do not have one of those living at my house, yet, so I have to go to That Sister's house and borrow hers, then pay that wonderful teenager for her company. Which doesn't happen every day, for a myriad of reasons; some financial, and some involving me not wanting to clean up my house, or call people on the phone (also, I don't like rejection).

So, anyway, I start to get anxious as May begins. The last couple of weeks have already been rough (when I've been home. Cause mostly I've been on vacation without my kids. I know. WAHWAHWAH. Stick with me. I am trying to paint a stark and bleak portrait of my general malaise, so that I can make my point. I'm just so terribly long-winded). The kids having been fighting more than usual, I end up in the middle of it, dinner isn't getting cooked very well (there was actually Mac 'n' cheese with cut up hot dogs last week. I could hate on hot dogs for an entire post. My Dad used to make dog food for a living), and I am so exhausted I am in bed by nine more often than not. Plus, I haven't been feeling so great since Mexico (I'm fairly certain I've got either Monteczuma's Revenge or Malaria), and I've been so busy with all the Coldplay singles, and reading romantic fiction about body-snatching aliens.

(No, I'm not pregnant. Why, do I look it? You shouldn't ask that. It is RUDE.)

I keep thinking, how are we going to get through this summer? Is this a sample of things to come? What is going on around here?

Then it hit me. During Jane's fifth meltdown in as many days.

This is totally Michael Jackson's fault.

THRILLER is the problem.

You see, maybe a month ago I watched some kids on the news, dressed as werewolves and moonwalking and celebrating the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's Thriller. That night, Jake was out of town, and Ross needled me until I went on YouTube and watched his favorite Weird Al videos with him. I thunk to myself: Pastiche? Parody? Reality? It is a slippery slope. You love Eat it? How about Beat it? I set the 80s scene: Did you know that when Thriller came out, they played it at the top of every hour on MTV? Because almost nobody else had made a video yet, except that one for Video Killed the Radio Star.

So they ask, what's MTV? Oh, yeah, I blocked that, didn't I? Never you mind about the MTV.

So we watched all 15 or so minutes of Thriller. Only, Jane didn't totally get the subtle differences between tongue-in-cheek-horror-dancing-music-videos and actual horror movies (to which she has never before been exposed). The crud was scared completely out of her. By her own mom. She has been sleeping in my bed ever since. She won't take a shower unless someone is in the room with her. I heard her hiss at someone last week: "I HATE Michael Jackson. He is so scary." And she isn't referring to the the real reasons we should all be scared of Jack-O.

Which explains why Jane and I are like mean, Michael Jackson-dancing-zombies-with-the-creepy-yellow-eyes these days; with all the crying, kicking and whining (won't say who's), no one is actually sleeping. Even Jake, usually immune, seems more blurry-eyed than usual.

You know what's funny? I actually feel like a better Mom since I figured out what the problem is around here. Jane is causing a ruckus cause she can't cope with lack of sleep and her irrational fears of the dancing dead, and I'm just too sleep deprived to be nice about it. So I actually have hope that the summer can, and will, be better.

I still feel pretty bad about freaking her out with Thriller, though. I'll bet That Sister wouldn't have made such a mistake. Ross doesn't seem any worse off for it, though. He's still begging for more Weird Al.

Now, I wish Jake had consulted me before renting Raiders of the Lost Ark last night. Jane said: "Mom, there were melting faces! It was really scary. Can I bring my blankets to your room?"

P.S. I might have exagerated my whininess a little for blog effect. Am actually thrilled silly over glorious, rainy weather.


P&M CLAN said...


I had a pool and summers were nice!But as you know we don't have one now and I dread summers! It is def. easier having one!!!!! Now the kids are inside all the time and that leads up to kids fighting (i'm sure from boredom). My kids loved the Indy movies. They were a little scared of number 2 so I wouldn't let Jane watch that one at all! They tear peoples hearts out of their chests. It would be nice to be able to go somewhere tropical without the kids! LUCKY!!

Fat & Sassy said...

Hi Jane, I love reading your posts!!! I have gone private, if you want an invite please go to

Thank you for always making me are too funny!

Shannon said...

Kelly - you can come to our pool any time. It has made a huge difference in our summers since we got one. It helps us stay cool and wares the kids out so they go to bed at decents times! Without trying to rub it in I love it!:) Really come over. I forgot I just read you don't like to call people. I will call and invite you!:)

Leslie said...

I'm feeling the same stress and my kids are only 5 (almost) and 2 (almost)...and while I did love the made me think...oh boy...this is going to be one long summer.

Jolene said...

I don't think I was in Relief Society when someone said that - because I am sure I would have laughed out loud and said something rude and then got called in to the Bishop's office. It's probably a good thing.

We don't have a pool - every year we beg for one. The thing I do have, however, is teenagers and that makes it easy to leave to get my toenails done, go to lunch or a movie by myself in the summer. When you feel the panic attack - borrow one of mine and we will hit a movie and sneak some sandwiches in.

Natalie said...

Hi, I found your blog from Shellie K.s and am not sure how she knows you but I love your blog. It's always a laugh. Thanks so much. btw, I used to live in Mesa and still have a sister and parents and relatives there...any chance you know Mandy Stewart of any Sandbergs or Lees? You're welcome to check me out...