Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why You Should Never Sneak Chocolate

Some people drown their sorrows in drugs or alcohol. Some turn to the gym in times of stress. Still others take up yoga or listening to recordings of humpback whales to relax when things get tense. Me? I turn to chocolate. Or cookies. Or coconut cake. Or brownies. Or well, pretty much anything in the dessert family. My name is Dawn Meehan and I have an addiction to refined sugar and carbohydrates. 

This year I feel stressed out from my job. I told my boss I'd rather lose my house, live in a cardboard box, and eat dirt than to go back to work there in the fall which is really saying a lot since I'm not entirely certain I can live without the aforementioned dessert fix on a regular basis. Still, I suppose if I'm not stressed out from my job, I won't need those chocolate fixes and I can make do nicely with the dirt diet.

On the way home from work today, in an effort to destressify before picking up my kiddos, I blasted Duran Duran as I cruised along with my windows open. Sometimes you're just in a Duran Duran kinda mood. I was feeling better as I drove, the wind whipping my hair around and the scent of orange blossoms from a nearby grove filling my nose. I turned the radio up a little louder and sang off-key because I had no kids in the car to make fun of me. Then I got behind someone driving 20 mph in a 45 zone and slammed on my brakes. In a huff, I muttered something about buttmunch drivers and maneuvered my van around the Caprice. As I passed the car, I glance down to see if it was an idiot texting or a senior who couldn't see over the steering wheel and had the reflexes of a depressed sloth. That's the thing about Florida - you get the nice weather, but you pay for it in other ways. Like sharing the road with the bingo crowd who also migrate south to enjoy the nice weather.

Feeling stressed out once again, I reached for the candy bar stashed in my purse for emergency situations - hurricanes, nuclear war, getting stuck behind the Where's the Beef lady. I scarfed the chocolate while being very careful not to drop any little chocolate shavings on my light-colored pants. The secret to successfully sneaking chocolate is to make sure your kids don't hear you open the wrapper, and that you don't leave behind any evidence like chocolate smeared across your pants.

When I arrived at the school, I hopped out of my van, eager to scoop up my kids and hear about their day. I was feeling pretty good about myself. My hair lacked its usual Roseanne Roseannadanna look and was freshly straightened and smoothed. I was wearing a cute new top and a pair of pants I hadn't been able to fit into for nearly a year. I sauntered into the school, shoulders back, head held high knowing that anyone crossing my path was bound to whisper to their friends, "Who IS that amazing woman?"

I smiled at the YMCA director and chatted with her, giving her my usual countdown to the weekend. "Two more days!" I said. We chatted for a minute, then I looked at a dad waiting for his son. I smiled. He gave me an odd look. He must be trying to refrain from throwing himself at me because I look so good today. Brooklyn ran out and started chattering about her day. I made a brilliant reply then glanced up at the dad to make sure he heard how witty and wonderful I am. Did he just raise his eyebrows and smirk? I can't tell if that's a good look or he's scared of me.

Brooklyn and I moved toward the door as Clayton rounded the corner and met us. "Hey Clay! Did you have a good day?" I asked as we headed out to the car.

He gave me a quizzical look and asked, "Is that chocolate on your face?"

"Huh? Chocolate?" I asked. 

"Yeah. Did you have chocolate? What's on your face?"

I ran to the mirror and looked and sure enough there was chocolate smeared across my face. I don't mean a little spot of chocolate that might be mistaken for lip gloss or a freckle or even a booger. Nope, I had enough chocolate on my upper lip to look like Hitler. I couldn't have gotten more junk on my face if I'd tried! I groaned. So that's why I was getting odd looks! 

Great. Now I have to explain why I had chocolate and didn't save any for the kids. And, more importantly, I can never pick my kids up from school again. Yep, I am one class act.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Don't go to Sleep

Some families encourage and uplift one another. Some families spend time listening to each other. Some people respect each member of their family. I've been told that some families are actually nice to each other. In my family, however . . . Well, let's put it this way - it's probably not the best idea to fall asleep before your siblings. Or your mother for that matter.

Yeah. Sorry about that kiddo. But really, who could resist? Hmmm, I should probably sleep with one eye open from now on, huh?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why Being Left Out Can be a Good Thing

file3111258685095I wrote a post about how my son took his little sister to the annual father/daughter dance at her school. It just happened to work out for him to take her, but I was prepared to occupy my daughter with alternative activities had she not been able to go. And last year I wrote a post about how my other daughter didn't attend the dance. I got comments on both posts from people who were shocked and disappointed that a school would hold an event like a "father/daughter dance" in this day and age, knowing that some people would be left out because there are so many complicated families. In fact, it seemed to be the general consensus. But I have to disagree.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

And Then Sometimes They Surprise You

64800_10151677746815116_1258777484_nRecently I’ve had a problem with Jackson thinking he’s 40. He’s 14. He’s gotten into this habit of running off with friends whenever he wants. A couple weeks ago, I gave him permission to walk downtown with his friend. I told him to be back in half an hour for dinner. Apparently “be home for dinner” translated to “go out to dinner with your friend and his family and don’t bother asking first and don’t answer your phone when I call or text until you’re halfway through dessert” in Jackson’s language. I was fed up with that so I grounded him for a week. A week of not going out with his friends was pure torture for Jackson and I thought he’d learned the lesson. I was wrong.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Live in the Happiest Place on Earth

My friend Ally and I spent the day in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday. I generally visit the Disney World parks with my kids, seeing the place through their eyes and finding it nothing short of magical. On Sunday I had the opportunity to view the Magic Kingdom through the critical eyes of my friend who is a director of human resources for a major corporation. And you know what I learned? Disney World truly is the happiest place on earth. Companies like Delta, IBM, Chrysler, and GM have spent lots of money to learn the secret to Disney’s success from the Disney Institute which has been teaching companies about customer service and brand loyalty since 1986. Here, for the bargain price of free, I’ll tell you how you can incorporate some of Disney’s strategies in your own lives at home or at work or wherever you are.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Another Proud Moment

Maybe I shouldn't make light of this, but well, that's how I work. What can I say? Some families talk and hug and tell each other how much they love one another. Other families give gifts or share delicious home-cooking with each other. My family expresses our love for one another by mercilessly making fun of each other. It's what we do. If my kids all grow up with serious complexes and a decade worth of material for a psychiatrist, I'll feel like my job as a parent is done. So, when I saw Savannah's test corrections for a test she took in her genetics class, I just had to blog about it. (Keep in mind, Savannah is my  straight A, 4.5 GPA, National Honor Society kid.)

Her teacher offered the students extra credit to write the test question they got wrong, put the correct answer, and explain why they got it wrong. Savannah started making the corrections by writing things like Amino acids aren't even part of it and double helix is the actual structure. But somewhere along the line she apparently gave up and started writing such gems as I just need the extra credit, If you love me enough, you'll just give me the points, honestly, how were we supposed to know this, and I am not a medical researcher therefore I should not have been penalized for this question, and it's stupid.

Yep, I'm feeling pretty proud right about now. I think it's safe to say that Savannah will probably not be a geneticist in the future.

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