Mr. MBA and his Quest for the Purple Cow

I believe there are moments in a marriage were you need to resist the sudden urge to call them out on their endless BS.  My husband is a wonderful, kind, caring man, and great dad. However, he has returned part-time to school to complete his MBA.  He works fifty hours a week and goes to school two nights a week. It is in his time consuming quest for greatness that  leaves me with the brunt of  housework, errands, and taxi service.

Lately, I’ve been feeling bitter and resentful towards his new found love of school (It has become his dirty mistress).  But what makes it worse it his pep talks. My husband now feels the need to take his project management skills to the next level in an attempt to manage me.  If there is one thing he should learn by now is that I’m unruly and rebellious with any form of pep talk.

I have days were I feel like I live with Seth Godin in search of his purple cow.  Unfortunately, I have become that purple cow to my husband. He likes to test his new marketing theories, and project management skills on me.  I have retaliated lately by being passive-aggressive, snarky, and bitter.

 I don’t want to discuss the Ego Boom after a long day with housework, kids, and navigating the horrors of socialization with other moms on the Playground.  It is always at these times when I’m tired and want to discuss books, movies, music. He will begin:

“Sweetie, do you know what the problem with today’s younger society?”

As soon as I hear this question my whole body begins to cringe. And my general response is “Yes, I know it’s the ego boom.”

“Yes, that’s right! We as parents in today’s society just love our kids too much.  We tell them how great they are, and now when they enter the workforce, they need to be coddled.”

“Yes honey! I’m sure that is what it is?”

“You know what else?”

“What?”

“I think we coddle our children too much.”

“We don’t coddle our children.”

“Yes! We do! Especially you! Do you want our children to feel privileged in the workforce and act like their nineteen when they are thirty?”

“I hate to break it to you but our children are six and eight. I think we are fine with the way we are raising them. They are kind, compassionate, active, and polite. What more do you want?”

“I just don’t think you should coddle them anymore.”

It is at this point my mind always begins to wander too far off places.  I’m at the coffee shop; the mysterious man walks over, and asks me about my book. We sit, we talk, we laugh, drink coffee, and live happily ever after.  Unfortunately, this is only a fantasy, and my dream is abruptly halted by my husband saying, “What do you think the problem is with today’s younger generation?”

I blink, stare blankly, and say “I wish I was in the slacker generation.  And if I hear about the ego boom one more time this week or I coddle our children too much… I’m going to scream! And throw something directly at your head!”

 He then looks at me heartbroken, slinks away quietly, and I feel horrible for voicing my opinion in such a harsh manner. It is then I wonder – am I cranky that I have put my dreams aside in order to let him pursue his career and goals? Maybe?  But at the same time I love the freedom of staying home with two little boys and watching them grow.  I wouldn’t change that for any Masters Program, cubicle job, or quiet moment in a coffee shop.

The Pepper Spray Incident

It was my sons year end hockey party and one of the parents was kind of enough to pull some strings for our boys to have the glory of visiting the Tactical Unit Training Centre.  It was everything little boys love to see from tanks to guns.  My husband volunteered to take them and let me enjoy the peace and quiet at home.  I enjoyed a luxurious hour of tranquility, basking in the sun, to the sound of birds chirping. I was in bliss until I received the phone call from my husband.

“Don’t Panic! I’m on my way home and I want you to have a shower ready.”

“A shower? What for?”

“It’s nothing to panic about!”

“What do you meant there is nothing to panic about?”

“Well just don’t worry! Nobody is really hurt!”

“What do you mean nobody is really hurt?”

“Well! It’s just… I don’t know how to put it!  But Elliot got pepper sprayed.”

“What do you mean Elliot got pepper sprayed? How does a six year old get pepper sprayed?”

“Ummm…Well, we are not really sure how it happened.”

“Is he alright?”

“Yes! We flushed out his eyes, stripped his clothes, and he just needs to get a shower when he gets home.”

 Accidents happen but pepper spray? No parent is ever prepared to hear their child has been pepper sprayed. We want our children to have experiences and learn about their community.  But it’s moments like these which are cautionary tales that child safety is imperative to any field trip. Clueless, to how all of this happened, once my little man was calm and in the shower, I interrogated my husband.

“How did this happen?”

“I don’t know!”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“It was all very sudden five kids hopped out of the tanks screaming, gagging, and crying. Somebody left pepper spray in the vehicle. And we think it feel off the shelf.”

“You think?”

“That’s what we think?”

“You mean to tell me that is what you guys think?”

“Yes. I’m sorry!”

 We can’t place bubble wrap around our children.  But you would think before placing a child into an armoured vehicle that someone would take the time to ensure that there was nothing in it which could harm that child.  I am fortunate that my little man is fine, regardless of the fact, that he is shaken to the core, and looks so sad with puffy red eyes. It could have been much worse. 

My husband in the past has always referred to me as “the helicopter parent” because I’m always circling around our children telling them not to climb too high or ride their bikes too fast.  But I think it’s moments like these which are reminders that a child’s safety must always come first and foremost in everything we do. I don’t know who is to blame for this horrible incident, but what I do know is my husband learned his lesson, and will never mock my worry skills, again.

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A Conversation with the Thistle Lady

 

I have a confession to make…It pains me to say it but I hide from my neighbour. If I see her I will dodge behind a bush or throw my husband to her as the lamb to the slaughter. I’m being kind when I say this but my neighbour is a Tyrant.  It was last summer that we purchased a beautiful home on a green space – perfect for our kids. But unbeknownst to me I had to deal with The Thistle Lady.

Our conversations would begin as such:

“I’ve been meaning to discuss an issue I have with you about the thistles. You see I have noticed that they have been growing in the park space and I have taken the opportunity to be pulling them out. I was just wondering if you thought about doing the same – for the children, of course.”

I would look at the Thistle Lady with a dazed incomprehension of what she was actually talking about and wondered about the children.

“What do you mean for the children?”

“Well, you know how prickly the thistles can be?”

“My children seem to have no problems with thistles. Why would I want to pull them out of the public park space? Don’t we pay property tax and home owner’s association fees to have it taken care of?”

“Yes, we do! But it’s about communal living. The people of the community must take back the park spaces. Maybe we should even charge for others to use them.”

“But why?”

“As you know we need to take care of our common space.”

“But it looks fine. “

“You have no idea. But what do you know? I’m not quite sure you do anything besides stare at the computer, drink wine, or read books all day.”

 “I think I hear the phone ringing.”

The phone was my saviour but even on the best of days there was no escape!  It is this conversation which would occur on a daily basis, and at anytime of the day nobody was ever safe. She even went as far as to plant a thistle in my flower patch and tormented anyone who dared to enter the park.  It is this reason alone that I believe every home for sale should list a neighbour beware policy.  No one should ever have to deal with the Thistle Lady!

Granny Panty Shopping with Mother!

The eternal high-waisted beige underwear that our aging mother’s love to wear with enjoyment, and hang on the clothesline with pride. It’s almost as if saying, “Look at me ole boys! I’m frisky in beige! Dive right in!” Unfortunately, no matter how much my mother protests that they are the most comfortable thing she has ever owned (without the exception of crocs) she would never part with her dear friend Ms. Beige.

Ms. Beige has been around for as long as I remember! These wedgie apparatuses are a pleasant reminder of butt picks and panty-lines. Every time, I find myself in the Sears Underwear department with my mother. We have this conversation:

”Mom why do you buy those things?”

“They fit me just right.”

“But wouldn’t Jim from next door prefer to see you in this.”

 As I hold up a nice vivacious red bikini cut.

“Would you stop? You are embarrassing me!”

“How could I embarrass you? All I’m simply doing is holding a red thong.  Thinking it might be more appropriate for the obvious.”

“What is the obvious?”
“Mom, do you really want me to answer this?”
“You don’t have to wear them. I know but I still have to watch you purchase them.”

“What are you the panty police?”

“As a matter of fact…Yes! And I forbid you to wear them.”

“I dare you to buy these nice silky red ones?”

“Ugh!”

“Fine! Can’t you least buy Ms. Beige in a different colour?”

“What’s wrong with beige?”

“Are you planning on ever having sex again?”

“That’s it I have had enough.” My mother than storms off to pay for the wedgie device.

I yell back, “Well, can you buy me these? Because I’m not wearing any at the present moment and I’m getting a little chaff from my jeans.”

My mother’s face turns beat red, “Have you no shame?”

“It’s not my fault you raised me!”

 At this point my mom storms out of the store. And leaves me stranded at the mall. You think she would learn by now never to take me underwear shopping. History can be a bitch and sometimes it does really repeat itself. Especially when granny panty shopping with your mother.