Sunday, February 15, 2009

Next on Survivor: The Birthday Party

I am officially done hosting kids' birthday parties for the year. Hurray!

While I enjoyed planning my daughter's girly-party and my son's manly pizza-and-skate soiree, and each event went smoothly, I'm always glad to be done with the round of hostings.

I think they should make an episode of Survivor in which the teams of challengers are dropped off at several suburban locations and forced to deal with the following obstacles:

  • Crying child who may or may not be on the verge of throwing up
  • Bored child who decides to make things livelier by trying to hide in the fridge
  • Guest is dropped off shortly before the party ends and is picked up an hour after everyone else has gone home.
  • Spoiled, ungrateful guest who announces, "This is stupid." Extra points for not kicking him. More extra points if you DO kick him.
  • Parent drops off a child and then informs you that the kid is allergic to every food item you are serving.
  • Guests whose parents responded that they would come never appear.
  • Guests whose parents did not RSVP magically appear.
  • Spouse just happens to get sick the day of the party and is forced to spend that time in bed resting and watching TV instead of helping you.
  • Spouse just happens to get sick the day of the party but tries to help anyway and is useless.

The team that survives a party at Chuck E. Cheese without trying to kill that damn singing mouse wins.

Now THAT I would watch.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy V.D.!

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone! Also, my heartiest condolences if you are attempting to make a dinner reservation or purchase reasonably priced roses at this late date.

After 18 years of marriage, the Silent Swede and I don't make a big deal out of Valentine's Day for the following reasons:
  • It falls between our wedding anniversary and our son's birthday, so the birthday festivities tend to take over and we usually combine anniversary and Valentine's Day for convenience.
  • We've been married 18 years.
This is not to say that the Swede and I don't love each other, but after you've been together for a while, Valentine's Day is just another day. Sure, it's a fun excuse to receive chocolates and sexual favors, but you can do that the other 364 days of the year. Also, when your boyfriend buys you overpriced flowers, it means he loves you. When your husband, someone with whom you share bank accounts, buys you overpriced flowers, it's time for a chat about fiscal responsibility.

Our most memorable Valentine's Day would have to be from several years ago, when we were stuck inside a Denny's booth across the street from Disneyland. With every other chain restaurant on the street packed to the gills, Denny's seemed to be the least of all evils. While we were trying not to stare at the, um, diverse assortment of humanity around us (think of characters from a David Lynch movie, but with kids), our very sweet but tired waitress informed us that the kitchen was running behind for the evening and apologized in advance. I think our dinner took about two hours, which is two hours too long to be inside any Denny's.

In the middle of it all, while our hungry and cranky kids tried to tear apart the booth, the Swede and I looked deep into each other's eyes and said together, "Happy Valentine's Day." Then we laughed maniacally and went back to restraining our little heathens.


On a (even) lighter note, Cake Wrecks, one of my favorite sites, offers a wonderful selection of wrecked Valentine's Day cake photos, including the one shown above. I highly recommend that you take a look-see.

Photo via Cake Wrecks

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I Heart the Health Room

I have found my new calling: School health-room assistant.

I can't call myself the school nurse because I'm not a trained nurse. However, I am trained in CPR/First Aid and school district policies regarding all matters of health. In our district, every three or four schools are overseen by an RN and each school's health room is monitored by a health room assistant. This is what I did this past week as a substitute staffer for my kids' school district.

Friends are surprised that I like this job so much because I'm known to be a bit of a germ-a-phobe. There is hand sanitizer in every bag I own, as well as in the glove compartment of the Babemobile. Also, I don't enjoy being around sick people too much.

This is what I have learned: The health room is probably the cleanest place in the school. Sick kids are in there for a short period and don't get the opportunity to wander around and touch the keyboards or pens. You are never more than 10 feet away from a sink and soap. There are boxes and boxes of disposable gloves as well as rubbing alcohol. It's a dreamland for moi.

When a kid wanders into the health room and you offer ice for a bump, bandage for a cut, a cleanly lined tub for vomit, crackers for empty tummies or just a sympathetic ear, you are suddenly that nice lady who is much nicer than that monster who yells at you during recess after you try to throw a rock at a passing car. Sick kids are much more pleasant than sick adults in the sense that they don't whine about all the work they're missing or insist that they have a hereditary condition and will probably die soon.

I feel very responsible in the health room. There are thick folders of all the students' health histories as well as records of which kids get which meds, all of which are neatly stored and labeled in a locked cabinet, for which I get to hold the key. It's very humbling to realize that when there is a medical emergency, I will have to remember everything I've been taught and remember where everything I need is located. It forces me to stay alert. I've had a few scares already at school and I'm glad I knew where everything was.

And the forms! I love clearly defined procedures that are accompanied by neatly printed forms. Bump your nose with a ball? There are two forms to fill out as well as a call home to let parents know that their students will come home with a form. Fall off the bars and hit your head? Ditto.

I am going to try to get as many health room substitute jobs as I can in the hopes that a permanent position will open in the near future. For anal-retentive (or as I prefer to call it, "detail-oriented") person who is not squeamish and enjoys children on a short-term basis, it's an amazing job.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Go Away, Germs

My youngest is home sick with a cold and cough today. My husband has been coughing and blowing his nose for the past week. My oldest has spent the last few days lagging. And now I feel a cough in my throat.

Go away, germs.