Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY Breakfast Casserole

Last week two out of the four members of our household were out of town, leaving the other half of our family at home to fend for ourselves.

And just between you and me, the two hardiest were left, so there were no problems getting along.  Honestly, the other two just drag us down.  Ha ha, just kidding.


So in between marathon Playstation and blog-reading stints, we did all the usual summer activities: read actual books, got some exercise, played golf and baseball, went to the movies, and took care of the lawn.

Which doesn’t leave much time to make dinner, but as there were only two of us, who cares? Either one of us would have been happy eating cereal every night.

But there was a pound of sausage languishing in the fridge.  Since I hate the thought of meat going bad, I whipped up a little something that is a crowd pleaser around here, light as a summer supper and easy enough for even the laziest summer-loving mother.

Breakfast Casserole.  Check out this recipe if you’re looking for an easy summer meal at home, or even if you’re already tired of getting up early to fry up Pop-Tarts for your kids – the leftovers work nicely as breakfast, too.

I enhanced it just a little.  Don't you just love Andy Warhol?

You will need:


1 package of crescent rolls.  Look.  I don’t care what kind you use.  I use the Pillsbury kind because I happen to love giggly doughboys.  I am also suspicious of store brand tube dough since the unfortunate gray tube dough event of 2012.

1 c. frozen hashbrowns.  I almost always forget this ingredient.  I have made this dish without the hashbrowns many times.  It’s stupid to forget, because there are like five ingredients in this recipe and if you forget one you clearly have more problems than I do.  I don’t know how that works out.  I know it sounds harsh but I’m telling you this for your own good.

don't forget me

 1 lb. sausage, fried.  I hate frying sausage.  Does anyone else think it smells like a pig in here?

5 eggs.  Not four, not six.  Five!  Why must you make everything so complicated?

I've used six before.

¼ c. milk.  Pretty straightforward.  If you own a cow, it’s about two or three long tugs of the udder’s worth of milk.  Ask me how I know that.

½ t. Salt-n-Pepa.  Bonus points if you sing “Push It” at the top of your lungs while adding these in.

1 c. shredded cheddar.  Eating it out of the bag while adding the cheese is normal.  There is nothing wrong with you.

Does it look like I care that I used the wrong cheese? 
 Does it also look like I style my hair in the summertime?  
The answer to both of these questions is NO.

1 T. Parmesan cheese.  Who doesn’t love this cheese?  I used some grated parm cause not only was I cool the day I made this, but I was also fancy.



Spray the crap out of a 13 x 9 baking pan with cooking spray, and roll out the crescent rolls along the bottom.  They will fit perfectly and you will be amazed. 

Mix the rest of the ingredients up in a bowl.  Don’t forget the hashbrowns!  Add the cooked sausage last.  I never drain it, but you can if you think you’re healthy.  I’ve got news for you - you’re not. 

This is about when I realized I forgot the hashbrowns.

Pour the mixture right onto the dough-lined pan and give it a whiff just because. 

Bake that shizz at 375 for 25-35 minutes. While it’s cooking, you can do any number of things:  Take pictures of your son as he runs through the yard with the lawnmower.  Sit down and read a book.  Laugh because that is never going to happen.  Figure out how to start a blog for your child since he asked you weeks ago to help and now is as good a time as any, and the last time you started one was ages ago, and you've forgotten how.  Water your plants that you let dry out over the weekend.  You’re a horrible gardener.  High five yourself as you realize you were able to pass off a swimsuit cover-up as a dress when you went to the movies earlier.


When it’s done, the toothpick test will prove that it is done.  Whoever came up with the toothpick test was a genius.  The bottom of the crescent rolls should be as brown as your bottom at the beach.  Let it rest for a little while you arrange your table like the Queen herself is coming over for dinner.  Practice your British accent as you cut it into squares.

‘Allo, Guv-nah!

Eat it.  Serve fruit on the side, or a nice tossed salad if you’re feeling especially brunchy for dinner tonight.  The world is your oyster – go for it.  I like sliced tomatoes or watermelon or even a big ol’ bagel with this dish.  Maybe a side of Cheetos would be a little strange, but go on - get weird. And later you can tell me how it turned out, crazy.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Gone For Now

Another day ends, and he is still away.

I never sleep well when he’s gone.  I mean, I sleep, but I hate the end of the day.  There’s the feeling that something else needs to be done, that I should stay up and wait.  Something’s unfinished.

I never grew out of my fear of the dark; I’m not a night person.  I prefer to go to bed early, only see an hour or two of darkness before I can shut out the darkness with sleep.  When he’s gone I stay up late, until midnight or beyond.  I wake up, hungover from not enough sleep, grateful to have the night behind me.

Nothing good happens at nighttime.  It makes me feel better, safer, whole, when he is here, when our family is complete.

In the summer it’s easier.  Responsibilities are fewer, daily activities looser.  Everyone goes on vacation, kids sleep in.  There is no schedule.  Days are long; the sun sets later and the sky stays light for a while after.  Fifteen official hours of daylight today.  Fifteen hours to fill with bike rides, TV, having friends over, writing, making crafts, reading, baseball, housework, eating meals, and distracting myself from thinking about what is coming.

The sun will set again over our house and our family, minus one.

Nine hours of darkness after the sun sets may as well be fifteen, twenty, ninety.

It’s irregular, the traveling.  I’m used to it; we all are.  I like the simplicity of having one less person to care for, but it makes the coming together difficult; we live on different wavelengths and it takes time to assimilate, to reconvene.  Sometimes the weekend isn’t enough and time goes by with a low hum of tension running through everything we do.

But it’s what life looks like now.  We, like everyone else, are doing the best we can.  It’s not ideal, but it works out, mostly.  I can bear an hour or two less of sleep a few nights a month.  I will survive waiting out the darkness.

He’s gone for now, but like the sun, he’ll be back soon.


This post inspired by:

Mama  Kat's Writing Workshop

Prompt #3: A blog post inspired by the words: setting sun

Monday, June 23, 2014

This Is What I Do

Recently two separate people questioned me about my main occupation.  Because most people know I am a stay at home mom, I haven’t been asked this in a while.  When the subject came up, all the times I’ve been validated for my choice to work solely for my family seemed to dissipate and my words came out in a jumble.  And my mind screamed at me to get it together.

“I don’t work.” WHAT ARE YOU SAYING, you don’t work?  Are you SERIOUS?  “Well, I mean, I’m just a mom.” JUST?  Get with it, stupid!  All those articles you’ve read, all those other moms you’ve counseled over coffee at playdates, all the times you lifted up others –  you just undid it all!

I made excuses. “Well, my husband’s job is very demanding and I have to be completely flexible to be there for the kids because his job makes him unreliable.” Wow – way to throw him under the bus like that.  “I used to work, but it was too hard to keep up with everything, so I quit, and I didn’t like it well enough to go back to it when the kids were in school.” You are a wimp and a spoiled brat. “I went to school to become a psychology professor, but I’d have to go back and get my PhD, and that’s not going to happen.” Lazy.

Maybe I froze because I don’t get asked that question anymore.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t been feeling well and my guard was down.  Or maybe I had a weak moment and for unknown reasons, wanted to avoid the truth.

But nothing I said was a lie.  My husband’s job is demanding.  I didn’t like my old job that much. I have no connection to academia anymore.  It’s true, I’m spoiled - some days I do more bonbon eating than anything else.  In addition, appropriating a “mom” job like public school aide, lunch lady, even substitute teacher holds no interest for me.  Spending my days teaching other people’s children?  Not for me.  Selling jewelry, purses, or beauty products – jobs made for moms by moms – also is not really my thing.

The truth is – I don’t want another job.  This one is enough.  It’s unpaid, thankless, and humble, but this is what I do.  I have no plans to do anything else.  My kids are still at home, and therefore, so I will be.  I could do any number of other things, but my life was constructed for this very thing. 

Am I worried that I’ve been “unemployed” for so long?  Not really.  I might tell people that I am because it’s probably the right thing to say, that I’m aware I might be hindering my chances at later real contribution to society, but secretly, I don’t care. 

I don’t care that I haven’t had a real job in almost ten years and that I don’t earn a steady paycheck, not even that I rely on my unreliable husband for food, clothing, and shelter.  Turns out he is more reliable than I claim.

I care that my kids are home with me in the summer, that I can go to the grocery store every day at ten o’clock if I want to, that I can waste a day reading or internetting or napping or watching TV and there are no repercussions more severe than the dust collects on all the furniture for yet another day.

I care that my family depends on me to hold them all together.  Sure, I could do that even if I was paid to do something else.

But I don’t do anything else.  This is it.

And for me, it’s enough.  I guess I just need more practice saying it.

One day in first grade, my son's teacher gave each child 
the choice of one book to bring home and keep.
This was his selection.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yes, Chef

It was just a couple of weeks ago.  We were on a work trip for him, a welcome respite from the hectic end-of-the-school-year chaos for me.  I could breathe again, if only for a few days.

“So, what do you want to do?” he asked that morning. I cringed inwardly.  Visions of sleeping the day away in a hotel bed were not in the cards for me.   I wanted to bask in the peace of not having to fill my day with tasks until I had to run children around all evening.  He wanted to walk, to sightsee, to DO.  I relented – the day would be beautiful, and I’d never been to this city before.

We walked the streets, took a trolley to some sights, went to a museum.  Ending up at a small bar, we chatted about the evening.  “What now?” he wanted to know.

“Um, give me a minute,” I replied.  We only had the rest of this day together, precious hours before his work took priority again.  His unease with downtime, a tendency to fill the space with ANYTHING often left me with few options other than just following him around.  I wanted to choose wisely, deliberately. 

“Why don’t we go to the movies?”  It’s always my dream to go to the movies, to see something good that makes me think, laugh, and cry.  I might have small dreams.

There was a movie theater by our hotel, and it was no surprise to me that there wasn’t much we could agree on seeing.  The latest superhero iteration was only mildly appealing; the inane college humor flick didn’t really look all that funny.  The action thriller was sure to be a bore.  I was holding out for the one that caught my eye at the start: Chef.

I rolled my eyes only slightly when he claimed not to have heard of it.  It was an indie release, sure to be under his radar, and starred Jon Favreau, who he remembered only when I mentioned Swingers.  But I knew it would be good.

And it was.  Chef follows a rising chef through a simple story.  We watch him lose his job, gain a food truck, strengthen the bond with his son, and ultimately live a life filled with love and fulfillment.  The events of his fall and rise were hilarious, relatable, and touching.  The relationships between characters were refreshing, and a well-known cast made the movie that much more enjoyable. 

Through it all, it had drool-worthy food scenes that rivaled any Food Network episode.  A grilled-cheese making scene even caused my husband to wonder if he could replicate at home the deliciousness that he saw on the screen.

We both loved Chef and agreed it was something our kids would also love.  We talked about it over dinner at a hot pot restaurant, and laughed as the noodles slipped between our chopsticks and we forgot about the piece of beef languishing in the boiling broth between us on the table.

We walked back to the hotel, happy to have the evening to ourselves before the busyness of the week began.   I was glad that I had convinced him to try something new; he was pleasantly surprised that he enjoyed it as much as he did.  For an odd couple like us with such disparate interests and personalities, Chef was a great choice.  For that, it earned a place in my heart as one of my favorites.

*Note:  This is not an official review of the movie Chef.  I just really liked the movie and you should go see it.  I was not compensated in any way for this post.  Although that would be awesome.


This post inspired by:

Mama Kat's Writing Workshop

Prompt #3: Tell us about the last movie you saw… do you recommend it?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Spam Loves My Blog

There are few things in life that hold the alluring combination of being entertaining and annoying at the same time.  Reality shows.  Spongebob Squarepants.  Small children.  My husband.  Okay.  Turns out there are a lot of things that can be entertaining and annoying.

Internet spam is another one.

Spammers love my blog, and leave daily comments.  If you’re not a blogger, then you might not know anything about commenting, so I will educate you right now:  comments are rewards for blogging.  Comments show us that you are reading.  If you read and don’t comment, hey man, that’s cool, but my heart died a little because you read what I had to say and didn’t tell me so.  It’s sort of a major reason to blog for many bloggers.  Positive feedback, people. 

Spammers know this, and they take this knowledge and leave little blurbs of excitement and kudos on my blog every day, listing a website that they invite me to peruse but I’m not curious like that so I never do.  And even though their comments are all garbage and add no real value to my blog, knowing that spammers find me and take the time to autofill my comment box with often nonsensical drivel is mildly gratifying.  I have made it on the internet if the Spambots have come.  And they do.  However, each day I have the thankless job of deleting hundreds of spam comments from this fine blog.

But not before I read some of them.  And today, I’m sharing them with you.  The following is just a sample of the spam comments I receive.  I have not edited content in any way, except to delete the title of the blog post that each commented on, and a link if they’ve added one.  I have grouped them into eight categories: The Health Advisor, The Flatterer, The Student, The Product Advisor, The Drunk, The Fellow Blogger, The Information Gatherer / Sharer, and The Storyteller.

The Health Advisor

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Well, that’s true.  I don’t have a speck of Italian blood in me and I love watching videos of people losing their clothes.

If your dog's wart is causing any type of discomfort to him, it can be removed surgically or by freezing it (cryosurgery). You can't just pick up a rusty pair of scissors and lower your offending skin tag off. Therefore, it may be necessary to cover the site with a band aid to protect it. Feel free to visit my blog post ... removing skin tags

Now that’s important information!  Thank goodness I read this before I used rusty scissors to cut off a piece of skin.  Do they even make rusty scissors anymore?

When people get older the ability to get arouses and excited also take longer to happen but people continue to enjoy sexual acitivity in the old age.  NOTE: Please feel free to Tweet this article, like it, or share it with your Facebook friends.  Maybe the lady you and your husband shared that threeway experience with would want to rendezvous with you.  Here is my web-site:: Kissing HD

Come again?

The Flatterer

You should be a part of a contest for one off the finest blogs on the internet. I most certainly will recommendd this web site! Here is my web site: best steroids Rhode Island

THANK YOU, Rhode Island!  I’m so glad my blog is worthy of the smallest state in the union’s praise.  In addition, I’m thrilled to have the steroid-user population backing me. 

Excellent items from you, man. I've take into accout your stuff prior to and you are simply too magnificent. I really like what you've got right here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which during which you say it. You are making it entertaining and you continue to take care of to keep it wise. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a tremendous website. my web page; silver prices 2014

You know, when I started blogging my main thought was to keep it wise.  So happy someone noticed.  Thanks, man.

I've been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be a lot more useful than ever before. My web-site - web site

Wow.  Three hours of browsing and this is the best you’ve seen?  I have spent many a good day just browsing cat videos.  Maybe you need a class on internet surfing.  Obviously you could also use a primer on naming websites.

The Student

Do you have any video of that? I'd like to find out more details. Also visit my web page – Reginald

Well, Reginald, I haven’t done any videos on my site, but I do like your name.  Perhaps we could be friends.  Do you wear a monocle?

Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I'm still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips for newbie blog writers? I'd really appreciate it. Have a look at my web site ... fuckbuddy

Whoa there, guy.  Slow your roll.  I have some tips for you, but I’m not sure they’re the kind you’re looking for.

The Product Advisor

Limit Controls come in many different types and have a myriad of applications that require a specific type of Limit Control. Check online for both product and price information before you buy mower tires. Speed is good, however computers designed to function at speeds beyond human comprehension are just speedy computers and still bound by the data programmed into them. Also visit my page ... rear tractor tubes

This page will helpful when I need help with lawn equipment and building a speedy computer with Limit Controls.

The Drunk

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My head is spinning after reading this, and I’ve only been drinking coffee so far today.

The Fellow Blogger

Wow!  This blog looks just like my old one!  It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design.  Great choice of colors!  My web log yeast no more review

Are you trying to tell me that I’m a thief?  Because I’m not.  And I’m a little offended that you think I need help with my yeast issues.  Two strikes, son.

I’m a devotee of brilliant writing.  I aspire to be a blog writer myself, but it isn’t easy for me, putting my words out there.  I feel exposed.  Do you feel like this?  Or do you think that perhaps you have to appreciate these feelings of exposure in order to be a real writer?  Here is my website – hardcore sex

Um, if your website is about hardcore sex, then I’m sure that writing is not the only area in which you’re feeling exposed.  May need to rethink your platform – just my advice.

Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your theme. Bless you Also visit my homepage ... how to jump higher

What a sweetie.  Bless you, too.  Note: I *almost* clicked this link.  Who doesn’t want to jump higher?

The Information Gatherer / Sharer

I was recommended this website via my cousin. I am no longer sure whether this post is written through him as no one else recognise such designated approximately my difficulty. You're incredible! Thanks! My homepage Boom Beach Diamonds Hack

I love that your cousin shared this with you and that you appreciate my work, but it sounds as if you’re questioning your cousin’s sources, which is a family problem that I don’t want to get into.

An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who was doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your wweb site. my web-site; recovery muscle supplements

Yeah.  I didn’t buy you a meal.  In fact, I think you should buy me a meal as payment for my impressiveness.

Thankfulness to my father who shared with me concerning this webpage, this webpage is genuinely remarkable. my web blog movies on lesbeans

Thankfulness to your father, too.  And to all the lesbeans.

The Storyteller

Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone! Here is my web site - Lutheran Churches in Papillion

HA!  Kids are so dumb.

 * * * * *

I hope I have shown you that spam can be fun if you take the time to know it better.  And it’s much more fun when you remember to take care of it before there are a thousand of spam comments eating your blog.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with the delete button.


Thursday, June 12, 2014


I hate surprises.

There are several reasons why, but the main one is that I hate to be surprised.

You thought it would be more complicated than that, didn’t you?

The shock and disbelief and surreal realization that there has been this whole other series of events going on behind your back that you were completely oblivious to, ohmygoodness isn’t it wonderful to know that you are so stupid and all these other people are here to witness the look on your face when you understand just how thoroughly you’ve been duped.

I’ve always felt sorry for the unaware, the poor soul who is about to be slapped in the face with overly eager smiles and laughter, awakening to their own ignorance under the pretense of celebration.

Surprises are supposed to be all about the person being surprised, as in ho ho ho, this huge party/extravagant gift/humungous gesture is all for YOU, but the secret is that surprises are all about the surpriser and not the surprisee, which is openly self-centered.  People who love surprises usually love being the center of attention, and though there isn’t anything wrong with that, there is something wrong with calling out a person who would rather stand around the outside of the circle because the opportunities for escape are more abundant.  It’s harder to hide in your room when everyone at the party is there for you.

The few times I have been surprised, it has not gone well.  There were ugly tears.  There were ugly tantrums.  There were frantic calls to friends and acquaintances who had to finish a job I started OMG can you take over for me my husband planned a trip for us but I have a thousand things to do before we leave in two hours and I have to pack and shower and get it together and I can’t believe this is happening he must be crazy or stupid or both.

Happy anniversary, honey.

Surprises are insensitive.  How do you know that someone wants their family and friends to witness their reaction to everybody knowing they are 40, or 50, or 60?  And after a certain age, having a surprise party for someone just isn’t a good idea.  Good luck surprising the 80-year-old with a weak heart.  Hope the surprise at her birthday party isn’t an ambulance ride.

When you plan to surprise a person, you must be prepared for any type of reaction.  You aren’t guaranteed it will be positive.  And when it isn’t, pouting and bewilderment on your end are not allowed.  After all, the surprise is supposed to be about the person you are celebrating, not you, Barbra.  If you did not adequately research your victim’s stance on surprises, then you can deal with the aftermath yourself.  And all these people standing in your living room get to see how clumsily you’ve dropped the ball.

In addition, there is a real chance that your surprise balloon will be popped, and a very prominent and very mean part of me hopes that your plans are foiled before they get rolling.  I won’t spoil a surprise for you intentionally, but please don’t involve me in your ambush, either.

I want to love my loved ones, not stand by and watch a full range of emotions pass over their faces as they piece together hurriedly and confusedly just what is happening to them.

Surprises.  I’ll pass.

They’re not nice, people.  Up with awareness.  Down with surprises.


This post inspired by:

Mama Kat's Writing Workshop

Prompt #1: A blog post inspired by the word: surprise

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eight Things That Are Different When You Have Big Kids

When kids are little, they see their parents in a cosmic haze of love.  To a young child, a parent is wondrous, magnificent, the beginning and the end.  Mom and dad hung the moon and the stars in the sky.  They have healing powers, Mensa-level intelligence, and are superheroes.  They can do everything.  There are no questions about their abilities, and a child’s love toward his or her parents is whole.

I remember the looks on their faces as my small ones held me in their gaze.  As their precious eyes locked onto mine, there was only one thing held within them – complete adoration.

(Disclosure: Sleepless nights,  tantrums, defiant declarations of “NO, MOMMY!” and endless whining also totally marked those early years.  These things happened, people.  Let’s not speak about them, mmkay?)

Parents take care of children with ferocity, assessing needs and fulfilling them with vigor, overdoing it for so long that children expect that beds magically make themselves and that heart-shaped cut sandwiches are found in the wild.  We spend so much time easing our kids into a world filled with unicorns and rainbows that we miss the day when their eyes see the truth.

That parents are really just human.  And frankly, a little embarrassing.

As children age, the shine of parents fades.  Tarnishes, even.  Parents become the silver earrings you used to wear everyday that are now stuffed in the back of the jewelry drawer because they turned black with oxidation.  Over time, the superbond that parents and children share loses its adherence, as our kids tear away from our hearts with words, actions, and slammed doors. 

Is this a little dramatic?  I can’t tell.  I’m too busy sitting here, weeping over the thought that eventually – and soon – my children are going to leave me.  Here are eight warning signs that your kids are now big ones, and that you will soon join me in a sobbing mess on the floor, having lost your shine.  And sanity.

1. You are surprised by their abilities.  They can tune a guitar.  They factor polynomials.  They broke up a fight between friends.  They can whistle, send an email, edit a video.  You don’t know how they learned any of it.  This is a strange realization, considering it took you five years to show them how to use the bathroom properly.

2. Food disappears.  We have a fire pit.  We used to always have Hershey bars on hand.  You know, the kind that break apart into six perfect sections, that you need to make s’mores?  Since my kids are big, we never have Hershey bars on hand anymore.  Ditto for soda, Doritos, and those little bags of snacks that I should stop buying because they seem to vanish into thin air.

3. You lose track of what they are wearing.  How fun it was to dress my kids when they were little.  Summer dresses and matching sandals for the girl, the sweetest jeans-and-striped shirt ensembles for the boy.  I knew where each article of clothing they had was located, and kept in the back of my head specific garments they owned that were appropriate for any weather.  Now our conversations about clothing go like this:  Didn’t you wear that shirt yesterday?  How many days in a row have those pants seen the light?  Is that hoodie going to address me as Mom soon?  What kind of sandwich does it want for lunch?

4. Gum ceases to exist when it enters your house.  I used to store things like gum and mints to be used at my own discretion, dispensing it sparingly to the littles who wanted to chew a piece of gum for ten seconds before they swallowed it like candy.  Now - where is that ten-pack of peppermint gum I bought yesterday?  What do you mean, you chewed it all?

5.  You are now embarrassing.  I used to be a rock star.  My son even told me so, once in reaction to my proficient parking ability.  Today, even innocuous texts like “You are handsome” are met with “Um don’t say that.  It’s weird.”  Expect eye rolls in response to everything you say.

6.  You don’t just not know the last names of their friends, you don’t know their first names, either.  Or that they’re friends at all.  I used to organize playdates like a publicist throwing an opening party at a Manhattan restaurant.  I’d sit with my kids and their friends, making sure their needs were taken care of, being the third player at Trouble and being on hand to dress Polly Pocket.  Now, I hardly see my children’s friends, and when I do, it’s brief.  Oh, nice to meet you, Candace.  It’s always nice to meet one of Sally’s new classmates.  Did you just move here?  Oh, you’ve always lived here?  Well, then.  Huh.

7.  You don’t know what their teachers think about them.  When kids are older there are fewer opportunities to pop in on their classes – secret readers are unwelcome and unnecessary in the seventh grade.  Gone are the days when your child takes you by the hand and shows you his books, desk, where he hangs his coat.  At parent-teacher conferences, one of my son’s teachers says “He’s a great participator.  I can always count on him to get a dialogue going.”  The other says “I wish he would contribute to class discussion more.”  WHICH IS IT, PEOPLE?

8.  You are now sort of stupid.  Things have gone from “Mommy, why is the sky blue?” to “Mom.  OMG you’re doing it wrong and you don’t understand” in a matter of seconds.  Milliseconds.

There are more.  So many more.  But I can’t think about them just now.  Pass the tissues.