The Side-Eye, Part 2

So what if I earned a side-eye for not paying extra for grocery bags. Me and my 72 cents laughed all the way to the bank!

OK so the last time I talked about giving the side-eye, I was putting my kids on blast about some of the off the wall, slightly negative contributions to society that they do almost on a daily basis. On the flip side, I have to be honest and admit there may have been a FEW times over the years that our kids had to give us a side glance or two. See, the great thing about being a parent is that you are the first example your child has about how people should conduct themselves. And since your child starts out young and innocent, your behavior comes across as normal to them. That is until they get older and begin making friends. Then they start noticing that their friends and their friends’ parents behave…differently. Once that happens, it’s all over. Their once normal mom and dad are now exhibiting behavior that appears suspect and there is no coming back from that. This process usually takes a few years but the end result is the same–your children no longer have an idealistic view of you. You are a flawed individual and they must come to terms with that. Now although sometimes John and I can come across like we are a few cards short of a full deck, I think that, overall, we are pretty great parents. But I would be speaking less than the truth if I didn’t admit to a few moments where our kids should have and likely did give us the side-eye.


1. JOHN’S RUN IN WITH THE LAW. My husband is notorious for getting pulled over by the police for one moving violation after the next. I don’t know if it’s bad luck or if maybe there’s some kind of bet going with the local police to see how many reasons they can find to pull him over. But whether he is receiving a citation for turning without a signal or just parking in the wrong spot, my hubby has definitely over-contributed to the local precinct’s doughnut donation. But out of all of his minor altercations, the one that earns him the side-eye is definitely the time he got pulled over in front of the kids’ elementary school! Oh yeah baby. It seemed as if the entire school, including our oldest two children and all of their friends were standing outside when this whole situation went down. The infraction? A rolling stop at the stop sign near the school. My husband was pissed, my kids embarrassed, but me? I thought it was hilarious! As a matter of fact, I’m still laughing while I type this. But not to be outdone, I have had a couple of side-eye experiences at our children’s school myself. On to number two…

2. MY BUS LANE AFRO PICKING MISHAP. I admit, I am not a morning person. I am usually frazzled, slow, sleepy, and just not my own best friend in the mornings. So I will say that I wasn’t paying much attention when I pulled in front of the school to drop Jacqueline and Isaiah off before heading to work. Isaiah didn’t want to get out of the van AGAIN that morning so I had to walk around to the passenger side and pull him out. While I was standing there watching him walk towards the school, I figured I’d go ahead and finish picking out my afro. Why? Because I hadn’t done it yet and that seemed as good a time as any to detangle my tresses. Hey, when you have a gang of kids, you have to fit in the beauty regimen whenever and wherever you can.  Of course, I was sleepy and didn’t notice that I was parked in the area that has big yellow stripes and the words NO PARKING, BUS ZONE in large print. So I really shouldn’t have been surprised  when a school bus full of students pulled up behind my minivan and blew its horn at me. That crap scared me so bad I almost stabbed myself in the head with my afro pick. My daughter turned around and just rolled her eyes upwards. What could I say other than “oops”? Yeah, that was definitely a side-eye moment.

3. JOHN’S FREE FALL. My husband has a hard time with listening to constructive criticism. He got his comeuppance in front of the entire family when he was standing on the very top step of a step stool trying to hang curtains in our bedroom. We were all in the room for one reason or another and we all noticed my husband wobbling back and forth like a bowl of Jello on that top rung. That’s when I lovingly said “John, you need to be careful before you fall honey.” My husband, in his typical gruff man-voice said “I am NOT going to fall, I know what I am doing.” About two split seconds after that all we heard was a Homer Simpson sounding “DOE!!!” and watched as my husband went flying backwards, bringing the curtains down with him. Thank goodness our bed was behind him. He landed on it and then bounced off and hit the floor, still on his back. We all laughed until we cried. Well everyone except my husband and his faithful side-kick Jacqueline who actually cried that we were being mean. Jonacye and I were the worst offenders. We didn’t have time to side-eye him for that one, we were too busy rolling on the floor laughing and gasping for air.

4. MY TOOTH FAIRY MISHAP. I can’t help it. I am a procrastinator and not always very organized. But when AJ began losing teeth I tried my hardest to remember that his missing little enamel bits were under his pillow. One day he lost a tooth and was so excited about what the Tooth Fairy was going to bring him that he couldn’t fall asleep. I, on the other hand, had no problems drifting off and I wound up falling fast asleep, forgetting to find a quarter, a dime, a nickel, anything, so I could exchange it for his tooth. When my son woke up the next morning he was devastated to find his tooth still under the pillow. He cried and there I was feeling like the worse mom in the world. I tried to make it better by explaining that due to the economy the Tooth Fairy was having a hard time giving money for teeth. You see my son has always loved watching the news and he had heard a few things about our country’s fiscal demise. It didn’t work. Especially since I fell asleep the next night and forgot again to get that tooth. After a while I think the cat was out of the bag and as AJ got older he just began taking his missing teeth straight to his grandparents. He said that way he knew he would get his money. As for me, I got the side-eye and the knowledge that I just ruined my son’s belief in an important imaginary icon. Yay me!

5. JOHN’S TESTOSTERONE INFUSED SURVIVAL SKILLS. My husband is a typical male. He works hard and prides himself on not showing too much emotion. So when he is scared of something he doesn’t like to admit it. Instead he faces his fear head on, adrenaline pumping, and all sense of sanity goes right out the window. It was bad enough when he pulled a gun on a mouse that got into our house. But this time, the kids noticed a snake on our front step and they ran in screaming to tell their father. Now, my husband has never told me he was afraid of snakes but judging by his reaction, I think it’s a safe bet to say they freak him out. This man went charging towards the front door like a super hero. He grabbed a garden hoe and beat the crap out of that poor serpent. Then, to make sure it was good and dead, he set the thing on fire. Really! Now I’m no animal activist but even I thought that was a bit extreme. And afterwards, when my husband began telling the story, that snake got bigger and bigger and bigger. I was beginning to think he had killed Puff the Magic Dragon or something. Bless his heart. The kids just nod and give him a side glance as they slowly walk away.


6. THE PERFECT STORM. This time I think both my husband and I deserve the dubious glance award. This incident occurred during a pretty intense storm complete with tornado warnings. My husband cleared out the hall closet and filled it with blankets and pillows so we could be comfortable while we waited out the storm. At one point my husband and I decided to check the news for the status and had the kids stay put. As the storm subsided we went to bed as normal. Now usually, I get up in the middle of the night and go and check on each one of our children. But when I went to AJ’s room, he wasn’t there. No biggie, the kids are known for sleeping together at times. I went to Jacqueline’s room and it was empty as well. Soon I was in a full panic, running through the house screaming and crying that someone had taken our children. My husband had jumped up and had joined in the search. That’s when it dawned on me that we had never gotten them out of the closet. When I opened the door they were all huddled there, sound asleep, probably dreaming that they were in OZ or something. I know, we get the side-eye for that crap. And probably a light slap because we both just sucked as parents that day for sure!

7. JOHN’S MCGRUBER TENDENCIES. My husband has a challenge that he is trying to overcome. He cannot stop mixing business with pleasure to save his life. One night, after months of wanting a fire pit but being too cheap to actually purchase one, he decided to dismantle the barbecue grill and place it in the center of our lawn so the family could enjoy a night by the fire. We roasted marshmallows and told scary stories. The kids loved it. That is until John decided that this would be a good time to burn up some old documents that needed shredding. So there they were, fresh off their marshmallow high, throwing social security laden documents into the fire like wayward Enron executives. To make matters worse, since it was summer and this was a grill with a top that had a hole in it, our grass caught on fire. So we spent the rest of the summer staring at the burnt spot in our grass as a reminder of the great time we had that night. Oh, and we never could get that grill put back together. A new grill is still on my wish list and donations are welcome!

8. MY BABY SOAP SUBSTITUTION. As a working mother, there is limited opportunity for me to go to the store. So if I run out of something, I have to make do with what I have until I can make my next run. This time Jacqueline informed me that we were out of baby soap and she was trying to give Jace a bath. She was upset but I told her not to worry. Mom had a solution! I simply advised her to use my feminine wash to bathe her brother instead. Jacqueline didn’t give me the side-eye. She gave me a full on WTF look instead. I calmly explained to her that feminine wash is just a gentle soap and it is perfectly safe to use on her little brother. She reluctantly took the soap and washed him up with it. I know my daughter thought I was off but that my idea worked rather well. Jace was clean, fresh and smelled just like a woman wearing all white while riding a horse on a beach.

9. JOHN’S ZOO VOCABULARY. My husband loves going to the zoo. I, on the other hand, am not a fan. I have allergies, a low tolerance for heat and a general dislike for animal smells. One Saturday my husband was full of excitement about taking the kids to the zoo. He was trying to get me on board and was listing all the great reasons why we should go including seeing some “erotic” animals. I looked at him and said, “It’s exotic animals honey.” He was like whatever and off we went. Of course, once there we were watching a display of some type of horse/donkey mutt, I don’t know what they were called. What I do know is that they chose the moment my family was standing there watching them to go all National Geographic Reproduction Special on us and start butt humping. My children found it funny, I didn’t. And all my husband could say was “See, I told you we’d see some erotic animals!” Side-eye!

10. MY FRUGALNESS. Growing up I can say I definitely had more love than money. We learned to make substitutions in so many areas that I still can’t stop finding the cheap way to do things. One day I went grocery shopping at Aldi. To keep costs down they don’t have a bagger so most people bring their own bags or grab boxes to use to load their food in their vehicles. Well, I forgot to grab a box and I didn’t bring any bags. When the cashier asked me if I wanted to purchase some, I declined. I figured, why waste my money on something that wasn’t necessary? So I put all my food in the trunk and had the kids unload the groceries one item at a time when I got home. My son seemed a tad bit perturbed and had the nerve to ask me how much were they charging for grocery bags at the store. I told him 6 cents and went on a rant about all the stuff I could buy with the money that I saved. My son was speechless. He simply turned around and went back to the trunk to get out more food. I was blissfully happy about the dollar I’d saved and not too worried about that side-eye that I saw him throw at me on his way out the door.

Got a side-eye moment you want to share? Leave a comment and tell us all about it! If you like what you’ve read, please share this with a friend.

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