Fresh as an Irish Spring

My son has been having some issues lately with the “p” word– puberty — which he and his sister will only refer to by its first letter. Right before Easter we noticed that T-Rex began emitting a deadly, hormone-induced BO. I admit that I first teased him about it — albeit in the privacy of our own home — in an attempt to shame him into using shampoo and soap. That felt horrible to writeWho wants to shame their kid into anything? I didn’t, but you should know that a few months earlier T-Rex went through a phase where he frequently “forgot” to use shampoo and soap until I called him on it. (Aside:  I have a new respect for fifth-grade teachers.)

Anyway, I finally realized that he was washing up, but that Ivory wasn’t doing the job. Bad mom! Then I felt really bad when I read his last-minute note to the Easter Bunny, who he still believes in:

Dear Easter Bunny,

I would love if you could give me a 3DS game called “Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D,” a bottle of cologne and a bottle of hair gel. I love you!

Love,

T-Rex (Your Best Bud – YBB)

I ran out to the grocery store at 10:30 p.m. and picked up hair gel and Old Spice. Hey, it was that or Brut – what do you expect at 10:30 p.m. at the grocer?! I also picked up a package of Irish Spring deodorant soap.

I imagine my son is now the cleanest, manly-est smelling kid in his class.

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Conversations with a Moody Teenager

So my daughter is about halfway through her 13th year. Things had been going remarkably well with her, all things considered — too well I now realize, lulling me into thinking that my little Drama Girl was not going to be a, well, Teenage Drama Girl.

Oh, sure, every time I ask her a question she replies with the same bored /mymomisadope / shrug-of-her-shoulders answer: “I don’t know”. I don’t like it, but I was starting to think maybe that was as bad as it/she would get. I was wrong.

Case Study: A Recent Phone Call After School

Me:  “How was school today? I mean, what was your favorite part of your day…I mean, [damn it, why can’t I think of an open-ended question?!] tell me about your day at school.” [Ha!]

Her:  “I don’t know.”

Me:  “What do you mean, ‘I don’t know’?”

Her:  “I mean, ‘I don’t know’.”

Me:  [clenching jaw] “Okaaaay. Do you have homework tonight?” [Of course she has homework. She always has homework.]

Her:  “I don’t know.”

Me: “It’s a yes or no question.”

Her:  [silence] “Mmm, well, I don’t knowww…”

Me: THAT IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE ANSWER!”

Her:What. Ever.”

And, that, my friends, was the end of our phone call. 

 

Taking a bow

Don’t think of this as good-bye.

Well, okay, maybe a little.

Friends, after months of periodically mulling things over, noodling, waffling, and otherwise staring into space for extended periods of time I’ve decided it’s time to end my run here at One-Woman Show. For over two years I’ve shared my tales of juggling life, laundry and love, and blogging has been a part of this juggling. But in the last six months or so I’ve realized how important it is for me to simplify my life a bit more, or at least to focus my time and energy a little differently. And with that comes choices.

For now, I’m choosing to focus on new — and renewed — pursuits instead of blogging:

Like writing a new humor column at The Imperfect Parent!

I’ve spent the last year dishing about single parenting and divorce in my Dinner for One column, but it’s time to change focus, particularly because my single days are winding down. (Woohoo!) So, I pitched an idea to the editor for a new yet-to-be-titled humor column and he liked it. I’ll be starting in late June so check back here or at the Imperfect Parent website for more details!

Like writing and submitting articles, essays…and, eventually, another novel.

I didn’t discover a love of writing until my late 30’s; I didn’t discover blogging until 2007. I’ve often wished I’d made these discoveries earlier in life, but now I understand (or at least begrudgingly admit) they came into my life at exactly the right time.

This blog has helped me find my voice and hone my writing style. It’s also opened up writing opportunities for me — other potential blogging gigs, my first column — plus helped me connect with potential agents, authors, writers, and, yes, readers like you whose feedback and friendship I value so much.

What I haven’t spent as much time doing as I’d like to is writing outside of OWS. I’m excited to change gears now and do more pitching and submissions. Build my portfolio. Collect those clips. Get more paying gigs! Start work on Novel #2.

I don’t know how or where this will all go, but I have confidence it will go somewhere.

I want to (or maybe I have to?) give it a go.

Like volunteering — through blogging!

Yes, you read that right. I’m combining my interest in non-profits and writing by helping to start a blog for HEARTH, a great organization I’ve been involved with for about 5 years. HEARTH helps up to 15 single moms and their children find their footing again – through safe housing, mentoring, parenting and life skills classes — plus a lot of hard work on the women’s part. I hope I can keep up with them as an occasional guest contributor.

Like spending time away from the computer.

Despite all I’ve written about, well, writing, I’m looking forward to spending more time outdoors, more time exercising (because I’m actually exercising again!) and just enjoying more of life with the wonderful people in my life.

That’s what I really want to do when the curtains close.

Oh, there is one other thing.

 

 

Heh. I’ve always wanted to say that (and it’s true). 😉

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading and sharing your comments here.

I’ve loved blogging at OWS and wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself blogging again someday. In the meantime, I’m linking to some of my favorite posts below. Please enjoy them… and see you real soon around town or the internet!

Susan

Best in Show / Vintage Susan/ One Woman’s Favorites to Write:

I Will Beat Myself Silly with a Limp Lizard (One of my all-time favs!)

Scenes Not from an Italian Restaurant

Italian Genes Do Not Equal la Dolce Vita

Query Me This A really fun one to write. Seriously, I cracked myself up.

Party Moms Gone Mad

Complicated Like This

This is My Life

Take A Flying Leap (or Watch Me Take One) Probably the last time you’ll see me jump out of a plane on purpose!

You Tarzan Me Be Jane

Embarrassing Dating Tales I: Mothballs and Me

And MORE Embarrassing Dating Tales: Dwight Was Right (oh, and these are just the “best” tales – oy!)

Wake Me Up Before You BloNoGoGo – A pseudo tribute to NanoWriMo…and if you don’t know what that is, well, never mind

My Life in Poetry (or Not)

Dating and the Patience is a Virtue Experiment

Better yet, when my patience finally paid off:

A Blog, A Law and a Little Luck – Part I

…and Part II (yeah, it’s good 🙂 )

A little bit of B.A.D.

 

Well, I don’t really have all that much to write, but I felt if I didn’t do another post ASAP One-Woman Show might go dark forever.

Wha-huh? Where did that come from? What’s with the sad music? Susan doesn’t know how to load sound onto her blog. This can’t be good…

See, I think I’m suffering from Blogging Affect Disorder.

I’ve been having a hard time finding the motivation to blog lately and pretty much have doubted anything I write will be worth the screen it shows up on.

Which wouldn’t be bad considering a new Dell 17" flat panel monitor costs over $230 and brings hours of glare-free enjoyment, but let’s not get sidetracked with facts — I’m wallowing over here, ‘kay? (BTW, I won’t even tell you how long I just spent revising — and then explaining — that analogy so it would make some sense. And it really doesn’t. And it’s not really an analogy, is it? *sigh*)

This meh attitude is nothing personal; I’m just going through my strongest case yet of feeling tapped out — of energy, time and ideas. Is it because I’m 40? Over-extended and not able to focus? I don’t know. (Hint: I’ll take a "maybe" and "definitely" for $500!) I see so many fellow bloggers and writers (particularly those who also are parents) pull it off and I’m truly in awe of them, even if I don’t understand how they do it. (I’ve been going through a few spats of jealousy, too. Most greens look good on me, but that  shade certainly doesn’t.) I guess I’ve been getting caught up in what others are writing (in blogs and through other venues), and how they’re writing it, and how often they’re writing it, rather than fine tuning what I want to write in my own voice.

It’s just sometimes I don’t know what that is at all.

I might add my voice comes in flat, midwestern tones. Thank GOD she doesn’t know how to add sound here…

I’ve given very serious consideration in the last few months, and very recently, to giving it up altogether  — commence "gasp!"/wail sequence — so I can focus on my non-bloggy writing, plus other areas I’ve neglected — like getting back to a healthier weight and fitness level, and spending more time in front of my kids, not with my back to them as I sit in front of the computer during those precious few hours I have to myself.

But I’m going to see what I can manage and possibly change with this blog now and into 2009 (sigh of relief — or was that a yawn?). As they say, you gotta "be the change," so if you’re game — and willing to work through some changes, pauses and fine tuning — then, I am, too.

Because, you know, I never do things the easy way!

PS. Hope you’re getting through the holiday season with sanity intact. I won’t argue if you want to send me a new 17" flat panel monitor either.

 

 

Calling all imperfect parents!

(Hint: That would be all of you parents.)

If you haven’t checked out The Imperfect Parent yet, now is the time. It’s one of my favorite parenting sites because it doesn’t shy away from today’s issues but never loses its sense of humor. As the site’s creators describe, "The Imperfect Parent is an online magazine for parents who want to exercise their mind and read more than articles about diaper rash." Amen to that.

Here’s one more reason for you to stop by:

Dinner for One — my new monthly column on divorce and single parenting!

Yeah, they asked me to be a columnist! And so I did…am…will be. This month: my take on Hollywood’s single moms (and a few dads), especially those on Sunday night TV.

Please check out the site for insightful articles and posts on everything from the funny side of parenting (personal fav: Ask the Angry Baby) to child advocacy to politics to raising special children with special needs to same-sex parents to sex and relationship advice for tired moms and dads. (Amen to you, Mominatrix!)

Now go wash up for dinner and enjoy.

Some things I may never “get”

The Ex is celebrating a birthday this week, and, for a moment, I felt guilty about not taking the kids to buy him a card or gift. Then I remembered that he’s just not into birthdays or holidays — his own or anyone else’s. And except for Christmases and one Mother’s Day since our divorce, he has never taken the kids to get me anything, or to encourage them to make me anything (from what I can tell). I realize this isn’t exclusive to divorced parents, and I don’t mean to seem all sour grapes, but why bother when it’s going to fall flat? I’ve done it plenty of times to see the result. I asked the kids to make him cards, which they did with great enthusiasm, so I hope those will bring him pleasure. Honestly, I don’t even know!

He’s a good father; I just have a hard time understanding his way of thinking…still. (Never said I was a quick study.) It’s not wrong to consider each day the same, as he does — one big continuum of time like he blathered on about one New Year’s Eve right before midnight. (For the record, I finally told him, “Would you just be quiet and let me watch the ball drop?!”) It’s just not me, even though I played it off for years. Not me at all. We’re different that way, and I’ve been trying very hard to respect our differences.

So when I asked if he wanted me to bring the kids over to his house on Sunday, Father’s Day, I wasn’t entirely surprised that he told me he wasn’t going to be around. He said he’d celebrate with them tonight instead, but I think that was only to please (appease?) me.

That’s how we left it: two adults not really understanding each other, but possibly getting better at respecting each other…or at the very least, accepting that we’ll never change.

Babble, babble, babble

babblemouthWhile I was obsessively checking my blog stats at work/home/work/work/home/in the shower car closet store yesterday I noticed a few visits here from Babble.com. Babble? I love to babble! I just didn’t realize how much until I saw that they like me, too — or at least they like my blog, as profiled in this post about single, beautiful, smart, witty, fantastic blogging moms!

Okay, so Jessica in her Strollerderby: Mother of All Blogs post didn’t use those exact terms, but she practically did.

I’m honored to be in such fine company, including blogging pal Rachel at Singlemomseeking. The Babble site has many interesting blogs and articles, so now I have another great parenting resource. Now you do, too.