Why I Am Not Suited For A Customer Service Job/ Dealing With The Public In General

Recently, Sheepdog had an appointment at the dentist for his 6-month cleaning. I always encourage him to give out his own email and phone number for those kinds of things because I do not keep his schedule during the week and I have enough people to coordinate without adding him to the mix. For whatever reason, I was receiving all of the text, email, phone, and voice mail messages with regard to this particular appointment, and to make for even more notifications, Sheepdog has apparently maxed out his dental benefits for the calendar year and they wanted to confirm that he knew this cleaning would be out-of-pocket.

October 19, 11:10 AM – TEXT MESSAGE (incoming) “Joshua has an appointment with the dentist on 11/9/21 at 8:00 AM. Questions? Call phone number. Please note, all patients are asked to wear a mask/face covering when in the office. Txt STOP to opt-out from automated msgs”

November 3, 1:11 PM – TEXT MESSAGE (incoming) “Text C to confirm appt for Joshua on 11/9/21 at 8 AM with the dentist. Text R to reschedule. Questions? Call phone number. Please note, all patients are asked to wear a mask/face covering when in the office. Txt STOP to opt-out from automated msgs”

November 4, 11:54 AM – MISSED CALL Dentist

November 4, 11:55 AM – VOICEMAIL Transcription “Good morning this is the dentist giving you a call um Joshua has an appointment with us at 8 AM on November 9 next Tuesday un this appointment will be out of pocket you still get a discounted rate with your insurance but I was calling to let you know please give me a call back at phone number thank you”

November 4, 11:55 AM – TEXT MESSAGE (outgoing) to Sheepdog:

And, yes, Sheepdog has a black eye in that picture. It is from jujitsu, not from me.

I am still bored, but I am clearly not ready to get a real job yet.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Two Girls, One Boy

Once upon a time, there were two young girls.  They were friends with one another.  They laughed together, they imagined together, they danced together.  They enjoyed their time together very much.  They became better people for having known one another.

One day, the friends discovered a boy.  He was smart and funny and kind.  One of the girls decided that she liked this boy.  Coincidentally, so did the other girl.  But when friends like the same boy, it can often lead to trouble.

The girls were aware of this, so they decided to settle their dilemma with a contest.  They would both try to learn information about the boy.  Each unique fact would be worth a point.  At the end, the girl with the most points would be the winner.

So the girls set off separately, each trying to gather as many particulars relevant to the boy as possible.  Eye color = 1 point.  First job = 1 point.  Most cherished book = 1 point.  Preferred style of music = 1 point.  Strongest subject in school = 1 point.  Most frequently quoted movie = 1 point.  On and on the girls went, gathering their data.

After a fair amount of time has passed, the girls totaled their points.  They were tied, dead even.  How ever would they determine the victor?

They decided that the girl who could be the first to learn the boy’s favorite color would be the winner.  Conveniently, the girls were both performing in a dance recital, which the boy planned to attend.

The girls were very excited about dancing on stage… the costumes, the makeup, the lights, and the applause all brought them so much joy.  Most of all, the girls loved to dance.  Dancing is freedom and precision and feelings, all rolled into one.  For these two girls, there was little else better than dancing, except dancing with a true friend.

As the girls prepared to take the stage, they remembered this.  At that moment, they decided that no boy was worth the destruction of their beautiful friendship.  They hugged right before they took their positions.

After the show, the girls saw the boy and posed for a photograph with him.  The girls stood on either side, but a boy would never come between them again.


…and then there was MY kid, photobombing their beautiful moment.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Take Me Out to the Ball

This weekend Sheepdog and I went out.  On a date.  To a Ball.

I know, I know.  How did a girl who is – by conscious choice – perpetually in flip-flops and sweatpants, and usually in bed by 8:45 on Saturday nights, end up at a fancy-schmancy ball?  So weird and just wrong, am I right?  Well…

Cinderella’s shoes for The Ball. Sheepdog approved.

Earlier last year I was talking to my dad about travel.  He and my mom are fortunate in that they go on a lot of trips throughout the year.  But one of the things that drives him crazy is the inefficiency of commercial airports and airlines.  Well, duh.  Flying sucks nowadays.  Gone are the days when everyone is all dressed up in the airport like they are straight off the set of Mad Men.  These days you are more likely to see people in their actual pajamas than you are people in suits.  It is no wonder that we are treated like idiot cattle and consider it a “good flight” if we don’t have to sit in our teeny, tiny seat next to somebody who needs more than one seatbelt extender (more often than not this is also the person who has the very questionable showering habits) and/ or we didn’t have to hang out on the runway or tarmac with only recycled air for countless hours waiting for fill-in-the-blank (clearance to take off, repair of the broken filangie, the pilot to sober up, blah blah blah).  So, half joking but half seriously, I suggested that he look into private planes.

One thing that I will tell you about my dad is that he is a big talker.  Not that he doesn’t often deliver, mind you, but he sure does like to make grandiose plans, especially around cocktail hour.  And only about 17% of those plans actually come to fruition.  For example, just last year he brought up the idea of “The Epic Trip,” involving him and my mom, me and my three sisters, and our husbands.  He sent out an email to all of us that explained how he wanted to go somewhere and do something truly meaningful together, so he asked us to submit ideas and wish lists.  The girls dreamed of huts in Bali, the boys named world class golf resorts, and Sheepdog wanted us to work on a dude ranch in Montana.  The best idea came from the Other Rob Fisher (long story short, my dad always accidentally uses a bogus email that he thinks is for my brother-in-law, but in fact belongs to a really funny guy with the same name who always comes up with awesome responses to our group missives, without acknowledging that he is not actually Our Rob Fisher – it can sometimes take a while for anybody to catch on), who suggested we should go surfing in South Korea and he attached an article like this one to the email:

Surfing in South Korea (AT YOUR OWN RISK)

Anyway, I looked into flying on private jets.  What I discovered was a whole new world of luxury and lavishness that I had never before allowed myself to fantasize about.  But after peeking behind that curtain, I was all about it.  And from what I have heard from those who have flown this way before, it is like crack.  You will never want to go back to Hartsfield-Jackson or Spirit Airlines again, sister.

So I reached out to a couple of companies on my dad’s behalf.  We went back and forth for a while and my dad and I finally got our schedules to mesh and we went to a meeting a few weeks ago with a rep from one of the best.  And I think the big talker actually got excited about the idea of a private plane.  We will see once the quote comes back.  But in the meantime…

The rep called me last week to see if I (or my dad, more importantly) had any questions.  I actually did, so I met with him one more time.  He also mentioned that he had two extra tickets for a black tie event and asked if Sheepdog and I would be interested in attending, along with him and his wife.  They also have a crap-ton of kids, like us, so he figured us moms would be all excited about getting dressed up and not having to take care of them, if only for a few hours.

Normally, I would make up some excuse as to why we were unavailable, but I recently made a promise to myself that I would try new things.  I vowed to go out of my comfort zone and be open to new people and experience different adventures.  So far, all I have done is use a telephone number instead of a website, when available, to deal with customer service issues.  And I thought I was making grand strides!  Before I could even control myself on the telephone, I blurted out that we would love to attend The Ball with them.  Gasp.

We ended up having a really fun night.  In typical fashion, I wanted to back out around 4PM.  Sheepdog was sick with a cold, the boys did not want us to leave them, and it started raining buckets.  But I dragged my sorry butt into the shower and proceeded to get dolled up (hair AND makeup… I know!).  Sheepdog put on his tuxedo (he looks fiiiine in a tuxedo, by the way – more incentive for me), and off we went.  The Ball was to benefit the American Heart Association, so there was a silent auction and dinner then a live auction.  It was really fun to watch as people raised their paddles to spend thousands of dollars in support of a great cause (and a trip to Hawaii).  We really enjoyed the rep and his wife too.

One of the funnest moments of the night for me was seeing that another woman had on the same dress as I did.  I pointed it out to Sheepdog and he tried to make me feel better by saying hers was “more purple” or something, but there was no denying it.  I bought it off the rack closest to the cash register at Macy’s, for goodness’ sake, (yeah, I’ve never been much of a shopper) so what did I expect?  I honestly did not care, but thought it would be fabulous if Sheepdog ever so subtly took a picture at The Ball of me and the woman “together.”

photo (1)

Who Wore it Better?

Thus confirming that, despite even my good-hearted attempts to evolve as a person and try new things, you still can’t take me anywhere.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

When You Gotta Go…

One of the things I have always loved about little kids is that they are as real as it gets.  There is rarely any ulterior motive or mind games or hidden meaning behind their words or actions.  If they are hungry, they ask for food.  If they are tired, they will fall asleep.  If they have to go, they go.  And they tell it like it is.

Mommy is Number One; Daddy is Number Two

Kid E is sufficiently potty trained and has been for a while now.  The problem is that he is too short to pee into the bowl and shake without making a mess every time.  And yes, I tried having him use a stool and I did not enjoy having him pee up onto the back of the toilet bowl or even one time the bathroom counter, just because he could reach up there.  Our solution was to have him sit on the toilet.  He very quickly developed the annoying habit of needing to take everything off (pants, underpants, shoes AND socks) each time he went.  It was a complete pain.  Being the mature parents that Sheepdog and I are, we both took to pretending that we did not hear Kid E when he announced that he had to go to the bathroom (I am an excellent fake sleeper).  Never one to give up on shirking the really mundane parenting duties, Sheepdog and I upped our ante and started hiding when he called us.  Kid E is a smart bugger, so he has now assigned specific tasks to each of us… I cover the Number Ones and Sheepdog gets to handle the Number Twos.  This solution is fine, except that Kid E has developed a shorthand speak about it and now he just yells out, “Mommy is pee!,” or “Daddy is poop!”  And he doesn’t even get in trouble for calling us names because he is just telling it like it is.

May the force be with you. Just be sure to put the seat down when you're done.

Toilet Star Wars

Kid E is getting taller every day, and he can usually reach the bowl standing up.  Since Sheepdog and I are completely over the removal of every article of clothing below the belt every time Kid E has to go, we are thrilled about it.  While staying at my mom and dad’s house for our ridiculously long family trip we have had some issues with everyone having to go at the same time, however, and not enough free bathrooms available to satisfy that need.  So one time Kid D and Kid E both had to go (right now!) and I told them to just go at the same time in the same potty.  As you can imagine, their streams crossed in an “X” formation and a lightsaber duel ensued.  Now I swear they are synched up to always go at the same time (right now!) just so they can fight it out Sith style over the bowl.  Boys are so gross.

Just Go In The Ocean

This story is an older one as Kid C is ten years old now, but it is quite applicable to today’s post so I am including it.  Years ago we were enjoying a beautiful beach day and Kid C decided that she needed to pee.  Quick, fast and in a hurry.  She was about three or four years old at the time and Kid D was just a baby and my hands were full (probably breastfeeding him without anyone being any the wiser on the beach because I am full of all kinds of talents), so I told her to just go in the waves and pee right there.  She looked at me like I was an alien, but I reassured her that all the little kids did it and no one would know so she should just go down to the water’s edge, whistle like nothing was happening and just let go.  Little kid pee is mostly water anyway.  She walked away like I was the crazy one but she really had to go, so off she went down past the lifeguard stand to relieve herself.  Next thing I know she was doing just that.  Except I did not think to clarify the subtlety of the maneuver and she had completely removed her bathing suit and was mimicking a sitting position, just as she would if she were on an actual potty – naked as a jaybird with pee clearly running down her leg.  Smooth.  I pretended that she wasn’t my kid for the rest of the day.

You Have to What?

We were at a friend’s pool yesterday after a nice beach day just as all of the BBQ and firework festivities began.  My kids are part fish, so they were swimming up a storm.  Not much can get them out of the water once they are in.  The only exceptions are lightning and bathroom breaks.  When the latter struck, Kid D ran out of the pool soaking wet, screaming with total abandon, “I have to poop!”  He did not care that absolutely everyone at the party (probably everyone in the town) had heard him.  He didn’t care that the very cute little girl who lived there was taking him by the hand to show him where the bathroom was and she was fully aware that he was about to drop a deuce.  He just didn’t give a sh!t.

It is awesome to me how simple being a kid can be.  I hope for my kids that they get to experience that feeling for as long as possible.  No worries.  Do what you like.  Say what you mean without worrying what other people think.  And next time you have to go, just walk down to the water’s edge, strip naked and let go.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

Song From the Backseat

I have been running errands all day today.  I try to plan them out all at once on a route that saves as much gas as possible ($3.69/ gallon… are you KIDDING me?!?).  Kid E was with me all day because he didn’t have school.  He is pretty good about getting dragged all around Creation, being taken in and out of his car seat a gazillion times, and doing boring stuff like grocery shopping.  He makes the best of it and brings props (usually something sweet and normal like LEGOs that he has turned into a weapon), talking to himself and his imaginary friends, and making up songs.

I get a ton of enjoyment from eavesdropping on him.  He is a great imagination stage right now, and I know from experience that it won’t last long.  Today’s gem was musical, sung to the tune of “Frère Jacques,” and it went like this…

I’m in last place, I’m in last place.

I’m a big LOSER!  I’m a big LOSER!  

Mario Kart is hard.  Mario Kart is hard.

I’m in last.  I’m in last.

That Wii really is an awesome babysitter.

Wish me luck for tomorrow…

With Friends Like That…

So I’m driving around my regular kids’ shuttle service the other afternoon and I start listening to Kid E in the back seat.  This is what I heard:

“I will punch you in the face.”

“Then I will punch you harder right in the middle of your face.”

“Then I will knock down a tree and make it fall on your head.”

“Then I will hit you so hard with that tree that it makes your head fall off.”

I asked him who in the world he was talking to back there.  He replied, “Oh, just my friend.”

Dude, I don’t think I wanna be your friend.