I just marked my third year of bestowing MOMMY awards through my “Driver’s Seat” column, something I typically do each year when I celebrate my birthday. But recently I’ve started to feel like it’s heading downhill since I turned age 45 last month. You could say I’m in a bit of a funk. Since I gave out awards in honor of my up times, I thought—why not give out some awards when I’m down?
Think of these as the “anti-MOMMYs,” the “tired MOMMYs,” recognizing the things that have made my mood a little darker on this March Monday morning.
You see, we’re just two days away from spring and still all I see is brown. Brown branches, brown sandy patches all over the crumbling, pothole-pocked asphalt of the streets, and the brown coffee that spilled on my new spring-yellow running jacket—the one I can’t really wear running anyway since I hurt my knee.
Yes, I’m just a little grumpy, and it doesn’t help that we’re due to get yet another winter weather system hitting Wilton tonight. Ice, sleet, snow—whatever accumulation we’re due to get is likely to mess up the start of school on Tuesday morning. Great, says my internal pessimist. There goes the start of summer too, if we lose another school day.
In fact, I’d like to get my hands on that little rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, for a little what-for. Seriously, what exactly did he drink the night before Groundhog Day 2013 to think he didn’t see his shadow and that we’d be ready for an early spring? The little bugger has obviously been chatting with those who think there’s no such thing as climate change, and decided to confuse the issue further. All I know is, it’s almost spring, and I still have to worry about snow days.
It would help if I had something tasty to tide me over, something that’s comforting and soothing even if it’s not the healthiest choice. Since it is March, I tend to rely on Girl Scout cookies this time of year. Lucky me, my daughter is a Girl Scout Daisy, and as it was her first year selling cookies, we had to support her maiden marketing effort. We stocked up on all the varieties, especially Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs and, everybody’s favorites—Thin Mints. We had a couple cartons full in the pantry, but I must have enjoyed them a little too much, because just when I needed them, when I was counting on them to get me through yet another snow day, there is Only. One. Box. Left.
Who does that to a mom?
What makes things worse is that it’s tax time. (Which, by the way, tax preparation gets its own “Tired MOMMY” award; how better to annoy a mom then to ask her to go back through her expenses of the last year; no one likes to reflect on where all of the money went. It inevitably comes with a great deal of remorse, which doesn’t go away when there are no more Girl Scout cookies in the house to take away the pain.)
Tax preparation is a tense time in our household. My husband and I each have different styles of record keeping—I pile receipts and bills in foot-high piles on the desk, and he likes to pile receipts in two foot-high piles on the floor. Plus, we each keep track of different household expenses and also maintain records for our individual freelance jobs. One benefit of getting through tax season, however, is figuring out whether sauvignon blanc goes better with Savannah Smiles or Thin Mints. (tired MOMMY hint: it works for both!)
There are other recent woes that have put my mood into foul territory. I’ve recently been thinking a lot about online and digital bullying. I attended the recent program at Cider Mill about cyber-safety that was conducted by the Wilton Schools’ technology director, Mathew Hepfer; school resource officer, Richard Ross; and Sr. Assistant State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo. My children are at that age where at least my eldest is on the cusp of cell phone possession, and where both of them are increasing their access to computers and the Internet, I realize that I need to become much more savvy about what their experiences in the cyber world will be.
It doesn’t give me a lot of hope when I even see grown-ups doing their share of bullying online, sometimes here on Patch (quite often in the comment sections of my articles). I can’t say it surprises me, but I wish more people called out the snarky commenters for what they are—bullies. It’s hard to teach kids how to handle getting bullied by their fellow kids, when there are even adults who behave in abhorrent ways online.
Which brings me to the final thing that I’m finding irksome—goose poop. (How’s that for a non-sequitur? Trust me, if you go back and re-read the last paragraph, you’ll get where I was going with that one.) There’s a Wilton mom who recently wrote on Facebook about the goose dropping situation that makes the fields at Miller-Driscoll School a basically unusable place for our kids to play during recess. She’s taking some steps to see how the community can come together and address it, and I hope more people volunteer to help her—plus I hope town officials work with her to figure out ways to try and address it, at Miller-Driscoll and elsewhere.
Because seeing a whole lot less of that kind of brown is something that might just help turn my frown upside down. In other words, it might just make me look like I’m smiling—a Savannah Smile.