Please Don’t Eat the Pipe Cleaners

Sometimes when starting a new medication it can be helpful and informative to visit an online discussion forum where other people share their experiences and offer support and reassuring words.

Other times, not helpful.

[–] ticklesmypickle  I heard voices on Wellbutrin and I ate pipe cleaners.

[–] WafflesHansen  Holy shit. That’s terrible.

[–] eat_fish Did the voices tell you to eat the pipe cleaners?

( . . .because if he ate the pipe cleaners on his own volition, that would be so much more disturbing than if the voices told him to do it, right?)




Happy President’s Day! (What are we celebrating again?)

Happy President’s Day Everybody!  It is Presidents Day, isn’t it?  If you are like me, you never know for sure because back in the olden days when we were in elementary school, on the calendar there was both George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and we did in fact celebrate them separately.  Then I think because they were so close together the calendar/national holiday deciders just rolled them into one.

I’ve never checked to see who the deciders are, but as the kindergartener would say “it might be Obama” because Obama and the school principal are the only authority figures he is aware of.  (And yes he should be aware of me being in that category as well, but unfortunately, no.  He is not.  Obama gets the bad guys on the street, Mr. Cadotte gets the ones at school, and if you’re bad at home, the only real concern is “Are you going to call the Principal?”)

Also, you would be amazed how very little understanding kindergarteners actually have about anything.  You will just be going along using phrases like “national holiday” and at some point you realize five-year-olds, who mostly hang out with other people who are five, don’t have a lot of occasion to use words like “national debt” or “national healthcare crisis” or “national anthem.”  And they for sure don’t know what the word “anthem” actually means, even though the smarter ones will try to define it as Star Spangled Banner.

So when you explain the word, you might say “National.  Like nation.  Our nation.  Our country.  All the states.” And on the outside you sound like you know what you’re talking about, but in your head you’re thinking huh, what the heck is nation?  I mean, of course I know what it means, but like is Mexico a nation?  And what is the difference between federal holiday and national holiday? Thank god for Google, but I only use that for looking up interesting words like trousseau and wikipedialite, but not boring ones like national.

I’m totally getting sidetracked again aren’t I.  Back to Presidents Day.  I was going to say that the only reason we ever cared about Presidents Day or Washington’s Birthday or whatever the calendar was calling it was “Yay!  No school today!”  I think if there was school we probably did some little craft involving a tall black hat for Mr. Lincoln and a cherry tree and axe for Washington. Do I have that right?  Now I’m confusing myself because I know it was Lincoln who could not tell a lie, but wasn’t it Washington with the cherry tree?  I can distinctly feel some sort of craft with Washington’s silhouette (thank you auto correct, sometimes you really piss me off but in this instance you were super helpful!) and a cherry tree.  But not an axe.  Hmmm.  Well, perhaps I’ve uncovered the real reason we don’t celebrate them separately anymore.

So, when you hear President’s Day, don’t most people think just Washington and Lincoln?  Or are we supposed to also be thinking of others?  Is it because they are the stand out ones, or just because their birthdays were so close?  Certainly there were other February birthdays among some of those early presidents.  And if you have a hunch that I can’t name many of the fourteen Presidents in between those two, you would be correct.  But at least I knew there were 14, because, a) I do recall my mother singing “Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president . . .” Frequently. And always preceded by the words “don’t you remember the song?” So apparently I was already showing signs of not knowing basic American facts from an early age.  And it’s not like she was one to correct.  My dad was the corrector.  Especially of grammar.  Good luck getting to the end of a sentence with him around.  Me and her (deep interrupting voice: she and I) are going to the mall.  The teacher gave it to he and I (deep voice: him and me).  And (we almost forgot about b!), b) because I can do basic math 16-2=14.  Wow.  Get the hell back on topic.


Remember how I was talking about the time warp thing in the blogosphere?  Here it is 8:17 am on Presidents ’ Day, for real, right when I’m typing this sentence.  Now.  Right now.  So I haven’t actually written this post yet, but if I had just traveled back in time, to say yesterday, and written this post then, I could have come back to this moment and hit “publish” and we’d all be in the same time zone again.

But how could I have done that?  I don’t really know how to time travel.  But, someone pointed out that I could in fact pretend I’m time travelling by waking up one day and saying to myself “pretend it’s President’s Day, now write about that, spend two days editing it and then when Presidents Day arrives (or perhaps it already exists out there somewhere and it’s more like you will arrive to that space or point or whatever it is in the universe) you will simply have to hit “publish,” and you’ll be all caught up and on time.  And you would feel that illusive feeling called “ahead of the game.”

To which I say, impossible, because I can’t just pretend it’s a day that it’s not.  How will I know how I am actually going to feel on the morning of the real Presidents Day?  I can’t predict that. Doing a timely blog post about Presidents ’ Day is not really that important in the whole big scheme of things, but there are sometimes things that happen in real life that require you to project yourself into the future.  Like what does future me want to do next Friday night/eat for dinner tomorrow/accomplish with my life? I seemingly can’t predict these things either, which is why I am bad at RSVP’ing to evites, grocery shopping, and setting life goals.

And sometimes even answering my phone!  Cause I think “I don’t feel like talking to anyone right now” so I don’t pick up and then little do I know, my 30-seconds-into-the-future self would have actually LOVED talking to you and would have said Yes, let’s totally meet for lunch today!, but my past self didn’t pick up the phone.  (Loser!  Next time pick up!)  And then the next time (you already know what I’m going to say) it’s like amnesia sets in and you do the same thing over again.  But in this case, I genuinely think admitting I have a problem picking up my phone is the first step, and now I can begin to tackle the problem.  I am going to be better about keeping my phone nearby and actually pick it up when it vibrates.  Or maybe even set it to ring out loud in case I have to walk away from the computer for a second so I can still hear it.  I have set an intention.

The good thing about it being President’s Day is that now we can be all done talking about Valentine’s Day.  It was fun, the craft, the pipe cleaner guy, the giving of the valentine drama, but it is time to move on.  You might be thinking please can we just make some more crafts, maybe putting your kids’ heads on the presidents body, you said this was a craft blog, but no, we already did that.  We’re all done with that.  I’m mainly saying this as a public service announcement to myself:

♥♥We are all done with Valentine’s Day.♥♥

Please, can we just make a couple of pipe cleaner guys?  That was so much fun. Please, please, please? You are asking with those big puppy dog eyes, and I still have to tell you no.  All done.  All done with the pipe cleaners.  All done.   No more.  Go lie down.  (And if you sense I am both the puppy and the owner in this scenario, you would be correct.)

Lots o' special calendar days.  Not all of them school release days, thankfully.

Lots o’ special calendar days. Not all of them school release days, thankfully.

The other reason I had to ask “It is Presidents Day isn’t it?”  is because we have so many school release days around this time of year.  It could be a conference day or it could be a teachers’ record keeping day, or it could be completely random.  The important thing to remember is that you are now the grown up, so Yay!  No school! has turned into “Oh that’s right.  No school.  Honey, you have work today, right?  Crap.  Well, Dad will be at work, so what should we do today?  Something fun?”  I don’t recall my mom rearranging her day to entertain us on school release days (only we called them in-service days when they weren’t a national holiday)  because it was a different time, but now, for better or worse I will be thinking of what to do today and setting aside my own stuff.  Unless the kindergartener is given the ipad to search YouTube for “Monkees” and “Superfriends Justice League” and “The Byrds” and the second grader is given free access to Club Penguin, which they have been doing for—oh my goodness!! 1 hour and 30 minutes!!  (Also, spookily enough, e-x-a-c-t-l-y 90 minutes because it is 9:42 am.) What the heck happened?

So, long post just to say, sorry I can’t do a very good post today, and there are no fun pictures, although you should totally go and do that craft that is posted at the top, because doesn’t it look fun?  You could even tape your kids school photos onto the coins!  But once we are done with these holiday posts, we can be on two- or three-day delay again, and then they will be more concise and on-topic like the first one.  But I just wanted to say → Happy President’s Day!← on time, and does anyone want to come over for a play date?  We’re here.  All day.  All day.  Nothing going on. I’m standing by my cell phone, waiting for your call . . . And you have my email.  Thanks.

Valentine Making with the ADD Mom

The plan was to get the kids’ class valentines done this morning.¹ They each brought home a list of names.  The second grader has about 30 kids in her class, the kindergartener about 20.  A little daunting, since the second grader wants to make them herself.   But do-able.

The second-grader starts by making one for the kindergartener.  Awww, how sweet.  Technically not on the to-do list, but hey, that’s okay.

My daughter made this cute valentine for her brother in about 15 minutes.

Pipe-cleaner Valentine Guy holding a tiny envelope and even tinier card inside.

Isn’t it fun looking?  So fun that I decide I must immediately make one too.

I decide to use the  kindergartener’s “friendship exchange” sized photo for the head, and cut out a heart-shaped body.


When the kindergartener saw it he asked if I could make a little guitar for it/him, too, so I did.    Here is how it turned out:

Pipe-cleaner Valentine Guy with Guitar

Pipe-cleaner Valentine Guy with Guitar.  Rock on!

Kind of hilarious.  Then I thought hey, wouldn’t it be funny to give this Valentine to his guitar teacher?  (Also totally not on the list, but oh well.)

Here is where things went downhill.

Because his instructor teaches the Suzuki Guitar Method, I decided  to make a stool and foot stool, so the pipe-cleaner Valentine Guy/kindergartener could demonstrate the proper Suzuki method posture.  I thought the Suzuki instructor would appreciate my attention to detail.   (Here is where  a person with ADD might benefit from checking in with another grown-up.    To help stay on-task.  And to make sure you are still operating within the realm of  “reasonable” amount of time spent on Valentine making.)  Aaaanyway, here are the results:

The establishment of an attentive but relaxed body position is extremely important.  The student should sit with the left foot elevated and the right foot placed securely on the floor.

Pipe-cleaner Valentine Guy demonstrating Basic Suzuki Technique: “The establishment of an attentive but relaxed body position is extremely important. The student should sit with the left foot elevated and the right foot placed securely on the floor.  Blah blah blah.”  (I tell you all of this only to ask, Does his facial expression say “attentive but relaxed?”  Or is it more of the attentive but strained look so frequently captured by Lifetouch© Portrait Studios?)

I don’t know how it ended up taking 5 hours to make the stool and foot stool and everything, but it did.   The kids lost interest hours ago.  They have been out playing in the snow, going sledding (twice) and enjoying this warmish snowy Sunday.  It’s 2pm and I’m still in my pajamas at the dining room table making this one Valentine.

Update: 6pm.  Finally dressed, but now after having a little distance from “the project,” I realize that the guitar teacher probably doesn’t want a 3D Valentine Display of my kid.  I mean, maybe if it was of his kid it would be kind of funny, but mostly that would be a little creepy, because why am I giving him a picture of his own kid and where did I even get that picture?  So now I’m thinking I need to just scrap the whole idea and give the guitar teacher just a regular flat valentine.  Or probably no valentine, because now what suddenly seems really inappropriate is that I spent five hours on a valentine for someone I barely know.

So, to re-cap, we completed a grand total of two valentines today.  In five hours.  (Okay, my husband just read this and suggested that I clarify that the second-grader finished hers in about ten minutes.  Mine took five hours.  “Own it,” were his exact words.  Whatever.)  So two valentines.  Neither of which are for any of the 50 kids on the class lists.   And one of which now has no intended recipient.  Awesome.  Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo


Happy Valentine’s Day!! xoxo

¹I’m finally posting this today, which is Tuesday, but this all happened on Sunday.  Two days ago.  You don’t even want to know how many hours I spent editing this post.  (More than five.)