Tag Archives: The Middle

We’re Taking Back Our House, Kids…

Long-term readers of Herding Cats in Hammond River are probably aware of my love for the ABC sitcom, The Middle.  I wrote about their Mother’s Day show here:

https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/just-call-me-wendy-for-one-day/

I don’t think I’ve laughed as hard or as loud at a show as I did at the episode of The Middle that aired last night!  I swear that ABC has video cameras hidden in my house…this program is my life!  Here’s a video clip (please watch – it’s essential to the post):

http://abc.go.com/shows/the-middle/video-detail/featured/catering-to-the-kids/pl_PL5539592/vd_VD55105136

Sadly, Jim and I are “Mike” and “Frankie.”  We spend most of our time making ourselves crazy/miserable/tired so that our children will be “happy”…I don’t think they appreciate how much we do for them!  We do their laundry and dishes, spend massive amounts of money to feed and clothe them, and drive them anywhere they want to go.  When we plan meals, the menu’s based on their likes/dislikes, not ours!  We listen to their music (they whine when we put ours on) and watch their TV shows (seriously, people…how long can one watch Family Channel before losing one’s sanity?)!  When the kids tell us they need something for a homework assignment (that they’ve known about for weeks), it’s usually the day before it’s due…we drop everything and run to the store to get the posterboard/modelling clay/three-humped camel that they need for their project.  We used to get away twice a year for a long weekend without kids…there were no trips for Jim and I in 2010…we were too busy and too broke (although somehow we managed to scrape together the money to take them to PEI for three days, and go to Sandspit and the go-cart park)!

I spent three hours folding laundry (there were 10 loads or so) on SUNDAY night.  Mine, Jim’s, Devin’s and my dad’s clothes are put away.  Four days later, the neatly-folded girls’ clothes are still taking up two chairs in my living room!  I refuse to cave this time…they’re putting them away, not me! 

When I came home from the store on Monday night, the dishwasher was full, and still had not been run (it was full when I left in the morning).  “You didn’t tell us to run it, Mom!” Anna protested.  Really?  Three teenagers home all day, and nobody thought to turn it on?

Since Tuesday, Jim has been getting up early every morning on his week off to take Devin to driving lessons (to be fair, this was Devin’s mom’s idea, not his!).  I’m sure Jim would rather sleep in…

Tuesday night, I went to the kitchen to get a glass…there was a lone plastic cup in the cupboard, which normally houses in excess of two dozen drinking vessels!  I’m sure there are dirty glasses in every room in my house, except the kitchen!  The same people who hoard sticky, crusty glasses in their bedrooms will be the ones complaining when the dishwasher doesn’t get them clean! 

Yesterday, Jim spent the day installing the new computer he built Dad for the bookstore.  We went out for lunch (to a place which doesn’t serve its food in cardboard containers)…it was glorious!  It’s been way too long since we did that!  We’re going out again on January 22nd to a concert…no kids then, either! 

So…I’m drawing my line in the sand…things are going to change around here, from now on!  I urge other parents of teenagers who find themselves in this rut to stand up with us and take back your houses!   

We’ll start with dinner tonight…guess what, girls?  We’re having fish, because Jim and I like fish!  If that’s not good enough for you, there are Pizza Pops in the freezer…the microwave’s over there!  After supper, we’re going to watch Eureka on the big TV in the living room…and then maybe we’ll put on a record and dance…flee to your bedrooms if you must!

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Filed under family, food, rants, satire, self-discovery

Post #50…Random Observances…

I’ve been writing this blog for almost two months now, and as my title suggests, this is Post #50.  I feel like I should deliver some amazing wisdom to celebrate this momentous occasion (I have a fondness for statistics).  Since I’m not feeling particularly wise this morning, I think I’ll do something else…

1. A friend observed earlier this week that more people in Saint John were aware of the opening date for the long-awaited Costco than the fact that our city celebrated its 225th birthday on May 20th…I wonder how many people know that we are the oldest incorporated city in North America?  This is indeed a sad commentary…

Our current Saint John logo...

2. My father called himself a “numbnuts” yesterday…I didn’t have tape running…the man never admits when he’s wrong!

3. While watching the season finale of “The Middle” last night, the mother, Frankie, decided that she and Mike were “lazy parents” because their kids were having trouble at school…Mike countered with, “Maybe we’re not lazy parents…maybe we just got stuck with crappy kids!”  I’m with Mike on that one.  No offence to my “perfect” children (but when you forget your homework, it’s not my fault!).

Frankie and Mike's "Crappy Kids"

4. My peas and beans are up in the garden…hooray!  One of the squirrels has been digging in the big lettuce pot…bad squirrel!  Herbs are still hanging on…

5. My beloved Jim has become obsessed with birdfeeders…we have 2 regular ones, a suet feeder, and three hummingbird feeders on our back deck!  The squirrels and the starlings are having a field day!  Jim is also working on finishing a huge birdhouse that his dad started years ago…we may need heavy equipment to hoist it into the tree where he plans to put it!  He and Anna are getting some good photos though…

Anna took this one before the feeder got moved to the deck...

6. Our rhubarb is ready…wishing I knew how to can things…maybe I’ll make some pies (with pre-made pie crust, of course).  Anybody within driving distance is welcome to come and help themselves (to the rhubarb, not the pies!)…

How come my pie never looks like this?

7. My daughter, Kaylee, wants to reclaim her elliptical machine, which she refused to come and get when we were moving…it has resided in our back kitchen for the last year-and-a-half…there are at least ten boxes which have to be relocated before it’s going anywhere…oh, joy…

8. We were folding another massive amount of laundry last night…Jim repeated his idea of making the kids do their own laundry (while he was matching the full garbage bag full of socks).  I’m starting to think maybe he has a point…with three teenaged girls, it’s impossible to keep track of whose stuff is whose!  Another observance – when folding a towel, I fold it vertically first, and then horizontally.  My dad seems to think the other way is right…it’s really not helpful if I have to fold it again.  Just another peri-menopausal moment of rage…you’re welcome!

I need this guy to fold my towels...

9. We have overnight company coming from Ontario in about a month…wondering how we’re going to have the house in a “presentable” state by then…where did I leave that magic wand?  Oh…it’s over there, under the big pile of crap!

10. I rediscovered pesto and feta cheese recently…really enjoy spreading it on a tortilla and popping it under the broiler for a couple of minutes…discovered that writing a blog and cooking at the same time can cause the smoke alarm to go off…

Pesto...food of the gods...

11. I bought the new cookies with blueberries and brown suger – you know, the ones they’ve been advertising on TV like crazy?  They were on sale at Shopper’s…they are as good as they say…and they even have flax in them!  Delicious, and healthy too (at least that’s what I keep telling myself as I shove them down my throat, six at a time – they are kinda thin!).

You have to try these...

12. I might be getting that bike I was wishing for (https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/fear-of-falling-terror-on-two-wheels/).  Jim’s dad says there’s one in their shed they’re not using…yay!  I have to work off those cookies…

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I hope you continue to enjoy it as much as I love writing it!

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Filed under gardening, memories, rants, self-discovery

Just Call Me ‘Wendy’ for One Day…

I love the TV sitcom, “The Middle.”  I barely need two hands to count the number of shows I watch regularly on TV, but since it debuted last fall, that one has consistently reflected my life as it is now.  It’s about a working-class family, the Hecks, in the Midwest – mom, dad, and three kids (two teens and a 7-year-old).  It’s not a typical Hollywood sitcom – nobody wears designer clothing, financial stability is somewhat shaky at times, and the parents aren’t “perfect.”  At the end of every show, I check around my house to see where they have hidden the video camera that’s capturing the essence of our daily existence.

The Heck Family...

Last night’s episode was centered around Mother’s Day.  The mom, Frankie, is awakened at 6:30 a.m. by the kids fighting about her special breakfast…she rolls her eyes, but pretends to be asleep when they arrive with the tray, which ends up getting spilled down her front by her teenage son, Axl, flopping down on the bed to catch some more precious Z’s.  She chokes down the dry toast, burnt waffles, and runny eggs (daughter, Sue, asks anxiously if she likes her breakfast, and is assured that, of course, she does!).  The youngest, Brick, has made her a macaroni picture frame – the glue is still wet.  Frankie waxes poetic about how “spoiled” she is.  The dad, Mike, pokes his head in from the bathroom, and reminds Frankie that it’s “her day.”  She asks him to bring the stain remover…he can’t find it…”Are you moving things around?” she asks.  Mike is unsuccessful – Frankie announces that she’ll open “the rest of her presents” after her shower.  Predictably, there are no more presents – Dad rounds up the kids and they make a whirlwind run to the drugstore.

This was not Frankie's breakfast...

The family comes back, and tosses the bag to Frankie (a roll of wrapping paper sticks out the top).  “An inflatable foot bath.  Wow, that will come in handy!” says Frankie, as she pulls it out of the bag.  Her mom calls, and explains that her sciatica is acting up, and that she won’t be able to go out for lunch with them.  Not wanting her mom to be alone on Mother’s Day, Frankie decides to surprise her…Sue comes along for the ride.  Arriving at Frankie’s mom’s house, they can see her through the screen door – she’s got a highlighting cap on, and she’s drinking wine while dancing around the living room to music from the 70’s.  Frankie hands her a wrapped gift, which turns out to be a food dehydrator.   Her mom opens it, and takes it to the kitchen “to find a place for it.”

Don't buy this for your mom unless she asks for it...

When confronted about why she lied about her back, Frankie’s mom declares that “Sometimes I just want to do my damn hair, drink a glass of wine, and listen to my Barry!”  Frankie takes that badly: “You mean you don’t want to be with your daughter on Mother’s Day?”  “That’s not it at all!” replies her mom.  Frankie’s mom admits to not liking her present: “Why would I spend $4 on grapes to get 99 cent raisins?  Frankie responds with, “What about me makes them think I’d want to blow something up and stick my feet in it?”  All three of them end up crying…

Every Mother's Dream...NOT!

The kids have made me lots of Mother’s Day breakfasts, which were probably better than what Frankie got…I appreciate the effort they go to when they do make them!  I’m not keen on somebody spending a lot of money on me – I really don’t have much use for macaroni picture frames, though.  It would be nice if they would clear a path through their bedrooms, or empty the dishwasher once in a while.  It would be amazing if I could go to the cupboard or the fridge and find the snack that I had my eye on was not devoured before I got there!  There are a lot of days that I want to do just what Frankie’s mom did…pour a glass of wine, crank up the tunes, and dance without the kids making fun of me!  I’d like just one day where everyone calls me “Wendy” instead of whining, “Mooom…”

An album I listen to on those rare occasions that I have the house to myself...

Maybe the day after Mother’s Day…

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