March 30, 2007

No Good Deed

Tee Hee. Have you ever been happy to be ostracized? That's where I'm at, happily, blissfully, over-the-moon ecstatic to be purposefully left out.

This is a longish sort of story, so if you are intrigued, read on after the jump.

I live in one of those neighborhoods where the majority of the families are starting out. Some are very comfortable. Others are just getting by or worse, scraping by narrowly by the hair of their teeth.

My situation is very comfortable. Both my husband and I work and we make a very good living. I have friends in the neighborhood who are stay-at-home moms and others who are working moms. Just for the record, I have no personal feelings about either. Being a mom is hard work, as is being a wife and the keeper of a home. So, I mean no disrespect when I tell you the following story.

I have a "friend" who is sort of, well..., I don't know how to describe her. She's mean. She's a user. She's self-centered. And she's kind of a b-word.

She is a stay-at-home mom. Of course, she was a housewife before that. When she and her husband moved to the neighborhood she decided to not work outside of the home anymore. A couple of years later she became a mother and continued to stay at home.

Before this, however, she would complain - loudly - about not being able to find work. Except, if you delved into the complaining, you would find that she was really complaining about the fact that people expected you to work for that paycheck. Lots of time has passed since then and I have come to discover that she is the laziest person I've ever met.

To this day, she sleeps until 9 or 10 am. Did I mention that she has a 1-year-old child? How is this possible? Oftentimes, she is not even out of her pajamas by 5 pm. I mean, come on!

She's so lazy, in fact, that the baby shower / girls night out that she had for a mutual friend - was actually planned by the guest of honor. Because she couldn't be bothered. Moreover, she even refused to be a driver to the event (despite having a minivan that seats 7) claiming that there was something wrong with her brakes. Brakes, I should point out that have been the excuse for her not driving for 2 years, but which are not so bad that she can't drive 40 miles/day with her child in the car. Getting the picture?

I have invited her and her husband to many gatherings at our home. The last four or five invitations over the last 18 months were rebuffed and specifically I was told that "it isn't [their] thing." Fine.

Now, I told you all of that to put the rest of the story in context.

When I had the baby, this woman would perpetually complain to me that she and her husband weren't making enough money. Eventually she asked me if she could watch my daughter while I was at work. Ask is not the right word. She begged me to let her watch our daughter. I had mixed feelings about this, but finally my husband suggested we help them out. As soon as could be arranged she began caring for my child in her home.

However, right from the start it became clear that she'd really like us to pay her to not watch our daughter. Suddenly there were all of these conflicts that had to be worked around. She had noon hair appointments every month that couldn't be moved. Every Friday she had weight watchers meetings that couldn't be moved. Her child had doctor's appointments once/week. It was pretty inconvenient.

Finally, she called me one Friday to tell me that she couldn't watch my daughter the whole next week because her friend was moving and she needed to help her pack. I agreed to make other arrangements and start anew on the Tuesday following Labor Day. There was no uncertainty in the arrangements. We would simply return to the normal schedule following the long weekend.

I was out of town that weekend, but I didn't concern myself about reconfirming the arrangements because they were already set. That Tuesday morning, my husband walked down the street to deliver our child. Just as he was 2 houses away, she pulls out of her driveway, looks right at him, and drives away. He immediately dials her cell phone and she doesn't answer. He keeps dialing her cell phone and her house phone, leaving messages, until he is hot as a $2 pistol and he calls me.

The man is livid.

I arrange for alternate care for the day and then proceed to leave my own messages for her by cell phone, house phone, and email. No response. No response, in fact, until 8 pm that night. That is when she calls me to "apologize" for the "confusion." When she didn't hear from me over the weekend (when I was out of town), she made other arrangements for the week.

I was livid at this point, so I politely told her I would make other arrangements.

The next day I get an email from her outlining all of these changes that she's going to be making. She intends to open a regular day care, but not for children under 4 (mine was not even a year old at this point). Then she talks about how she wants to take these children on daily field trips because she doesn't want them in the house and isn't getting her shopping done. Trips, I should point out, that will be taken in the vehicle with the bad-two-years brakes. And, she wants more money when I'm already paying top dollar for inconvenient, irregular, in-home care that she wants to move to the carseat.

I printed the email and took it to my husband and asked him if perhaps we could find alternate childcare because my good will had been tested to the breaking point.

His words - "Tell her to go to hell."

So, I sent her a polite but succinct message stating that we would find other arrangements elsewhere as our child was clearly under her age limit and the fact that I didn't really want my child growing up in a carseat.

Whereupon I was flooded with "oh that's not what I meant" messages which I politely responded to, but only insofar as to rebuff her. We made other arrangements and have been completely happy with our new childcare provider ever since.

My husband, however, is still a bit pissed at the lazy lady though. In fact, he has told me that he doesn't want her in our home. Specifically, I was told that I could invite her husband to our Christmas Cocktail Party, but not her.

Which is ridiculous, so I invited neither of them.

Now, I did mention to mutual friends about the situation and why an invitation wasn't being extended. I didn't feel it would be a big deal, however, because they always refuse the invitations anyway.

But, as you might expect, news of the party did reach her. The person who told her did so casually, explaining that almost the entire neighborhood had been invited. True enough.

This lady did not email or call me to ask about the party and the missing invitation, however. I figured they weren't interested and so no explanation was required from me. Honestly, even had my husband not insisted we ban her, I doubt I would have invited her. She's mean to just about everybody in the neighborhood and I wanted to send an unspoken message about unacceptable behavior.

It seems that she's sending me a message though. She's planning (yeah, right!) another girls' night out and I have been explicitly uninvited. I've never been so pleased to be excluded. I'm tempted to send her a thank you, I'm so happy.

Of course, I have to wonder who is going to drive!

Posted by Phoenix at 11:13 AM | Comments (6)


Hello everybody! Phoenix here. The Feisty One has graciously offered me my own corner here in which to post things that I feel unable to post at the other place.

You see, everytime I turn around, somebody is outing me. They'll mention it casually, they'll mention it not-so-casually. Most of the time these people intend to pay me a compliment by bringing my hobby to light. I realize this. But, when so many people know what you are up to, you begin to self-censor.

Censorship is not good in general, but self-imposed censorship defeats the purpose of blogging. The whole idea is to vent my spleen so that I don't take it out on others or walk around with a full head of steam waiting to explode. Right?

So, these sorts of topics will be moving over here, where it is safe.

Many, many, many thanks to my feisty friend for providing me this opportunity. It is greatly appreciated by myself and my husband who doesn't understand why I've been getting twitchy.

Posted by Phoenix at 09:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The taboos against discussing religion and politics should also apply to the topic of parenting. While both religion and politics can be personal, there are probably few things as personal as parenting choices.

No two people have exactly the same beliefs, mores or principles, even if they are both parents to the same children. What I would hope is for couples who have children to have more beliefs in common with one another than opposed.

Dash and I are very different people, but we share many of the same ideas and values. His parenting approach and style are more laid back than mine, but our children know what is and is not acceptable in our household.

We insist our children show respect to adults by addressing them properly (Miss Susan, Mr. Yabu, Mr. Denny, Mr. Goat) and responding to questions with “Yes, Ma’am, Yes, Sir, No Ma’am, No Sir.” We also insist our children respect their peers and treat others kindly.

Are my children perfect?

Absolutely not.

However, they do know and understand the difference between right and wrong, as Dash and I have defined them.

When we are in the homes of others, we also show our respect to our hosts by adopting our very best manners. There homes are not for us to destroy or defile.

It is no coincidence most of our close friends with children also share many of our core values.

The purpose of making children behave has less to do my own dictatorial tendencies than teaching them the tools which will help make them to be successful in this life.

There is a dichotomy they must learn. On the one hand, we have to build our children up and help them to become self-assured, self-confident individuals to meet the hard knocks that surely await them as adults.

On the other hand, they also have to understand the sun does not rise and set purely for Little Johnny’s or Little Suzy’s pleasure. Our society is a social one. In order to succeed in this country, one must learn how best to get along with others. That begins and ends with self-respect and respect for others.

Posted by Christina at 08:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 28, 2007

Hiding in plain sight

For the past two and a half years, this blogging thing has formed the conduit for the extension of my thoughts. Writing a diary was never my intent, but that is certainly what it has become in many ways.

Oddly enough, I have never written in a paper diary or otherwise journaled anything.

When we were expecting Sweet One, I did write in a journal to her to let her know how very excited we were she was coming into our lives. At the time a part of me was concerned something tragic might happen and she would never know of our love for her.

That journal is now gone. It was not one of the things we were able to salvage from the fire; however, at fourteen she has several years of memories which should instill in her the knowledge of our love.

Lately, I have been writing over her to vent my feelings regarding the boyfriend issue.

Dash was concerned about her reading my true thoughts.

I have been banking on her not checking Feisty. As it is, she rarely checks the other place much anymore, unless, she overhears our discussing a particular post or comment.

When Sweet One has asked what I think of her boyfriend, all I have said is: "He's okay. I really haven't had much of chance to get to know him."

I know that disappoints her, but I do not think she needs to hear what I really think.

Posted by Christina at 09:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 26, 2007


Sweet One's beau and his mother showed at the party on Saturday.

He is okay, but not cute at all.

His mom was okay, but not great.

She is a real estate agent. Sometime during the course of her stay, she left business cards on my coffee table, as well as the dining table which housed all the desserts.

I was pissed.

Tacky, tacky, tacky...

She had the good sense not to seek me out when she returned to retrieve her spawn once the party was over.

Posted by Christina at 10:49 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

March 21, 2007

Well, hell

Sweet One put me on notice today the new boyfriend is atheist.


That came out of nowhere.

I am not wild about that concept.

She explained his parents divorced when he was like two and his family have gone to an atheist church before.

She added one of her best friends freaked out about it and pissed her off.

Me, I am trying not to get too shaken up about it. Would I prefer he be Christian? Absolutely.

However, she is fourteen. I doubt the religion issue played a huge part what she attracted her to him and who knows how long this budding romance is going to last.

Further, I am not sold on the fact he is atheist.

Later in the day when she told him best little friend freaked out about it, he responded: “No problem. Do you want me to go to church with you? That’s cool.”

As I said, I do not think he is a die hard atheist.

Now, I really cannot wait to meet his mother on Saturday.

The old flame is looking really good to me right now. Oh, yeah, I am still pulling for CN!!

Posted by Christina at 07:24 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 16, 2007

Here we go!

The phone calls have begun.

So has the giggling.

I have to say, CL is quite the young man. He has no shortage of personality.

While they are four months apart in age (she's older), he is in the seventh grade (Yay!) while she's in the eighth.

I consider that a good thing. They do not have any classes together.

The fact that he is six feet, two inches tall, is still weirding me out. That means he and Dash are the same height.

I need Tammi around with her platform high heels when he comes over to meet us!

Posted by Christina at 06:58 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 15, 2007

Now for the Latest

Next weekend we are having a BBQ for the people (friends, neighbors, and co-workers) who were so supportive and helpful to us these past several months. We hope to get together with our blog friends on another date.

Sweet One had already invited a number of her friends and their families. Her crush for the last year and a half (CN) and his family are on that list.

After she called me the first time yesterday afternoon, she called again. At that point I told her I was anxious to meet new boyfriend (CL). After she got off the phone with me, she ran into him.

Sweet: "Hey, I just spoke to my mom. She wants to meet you."

CL: "AWESOME! When?"

Sweet: "We are having a BBQ next weekend and you and your family are invited."

CL: "Sweet Cool! We'll be there."


I mean WOW.

The kid has a personality and a half.

She showed me a picture of him from her cell phone. He has a mop of curly blonde hair. He is cute.

We shall see.

This is all sort of surreal for me.

On the one hand, I am having a hard time that my first born is growing up and maturing.

On the other, I am terribly excited for her. It really is nice to have someone you like, show you he likes you in return.

Further, I really adore the old crush (CN). I think he's a great kid.


However, I would not want to be fourteen ever again.

Posted by Christina at 02:01 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Yesterday, I put this post up over at the other place, but ended up taking it down because Sweet One is a little sensative over the new boyfriend thing.

This was the original:

Sweet One is so going to kill me for posting this.

My phone rang just a few minutes ago. "Momma," she said, "just wanted to let you know we do have tennis practice this afternoon."

"Okay, good. I'll pick you up."

"Thanks. Now, I need to tell you something and I don't want you to freak out."

Freak out?!



"Okay, I won't freak. Spill it?"

"I have been liking my friend CL for a while and today he asked me out."

Now, "going out" is a term of art and does not mean "going out on a date," but in old fart terms means "going steady." She knows she cannot date for a couple of more years, at least.

"What about CN (the guy she has been crushing on for over a year)?"

"CN and I are good friends and it doesn't look like that is going anywhere."

"What does CL look like?"

"He's 6'2" and blonde."

"When do I get to meet CL?"

"I don't know. We'll think of something."

So, there you have it. She has her first real boyfriend.

While I have not met CL yet, I have met CN and just adore him.

Now, let me call her father.


Called Dash and said: "Well, looks like your daughter has a boyfriend. Want to guess who?"

"Harrison?" he said.

Harrison is one of the little boys in Wee One's class.

"No, wrong daughter."


"No, his name is CL."

"What does he look like?"

"6'2" and blonde."

Dash is also 6'2".

"G-r-e-a-t...." he responded.

Posted by Christina at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack