IRS vs. PTO

This is one of the first posts on this blog and an edited repost seemed appropriate since school starts back for kids in our area this week. 

Parents of kids who have been in school — would you rather deal with the IRS or with the PTO?

Hmm?

You probably had to take a second to think about that. Answering questions related to purchases made years ago, deductions made, and other boring nonsense sounds pretty bad. But then you realize that you’re not comparing the IRS to car shopping or signing a million pages in a house closing — you’re comparing it to the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization). At best, that realization gives you a sinking feeling in your stomach. At worst, you might be having some flashbacks and screaming, “No, God, no!” in your head.

The PTO is kind of life the mafia, but without the threat of violence. They’re constantly trying to shake you down for money, do favors for their top earners, and are masters at extortion. If your family doesn’t pay the protection membership fee, then watch out.

“Get out there with 50 packs of overpriced M&Ms and don’t come back until they’re gone.”

“Little Peter can only sell 10 tins of popcorn? Get his butt back out in front of the Walmart ’til they’re gone.”

“Each child was supposed to raise $300 for this fundraiser. Your child raised $298.12. You think that’s acceptable?! Hit. The. Streets. Find that money or else!”

Or something like that.

Some people like to believe that making kids stand on the corner or go house to house peddling whatever the item of the month is teaches them how to succeed in life. They’ll be great businessmen or women, become entrepreneurs, learn something about persistence. It also prepares them for a future in drug dealing, but making such a comment is a surefire way to get a dirty look or two cast in your direction.

Here’s a little visual comparison of the two organizations. I think we can all agree that the PTO is the worst (assuming you are honest on your taxes, anyway).

(You can zoom in to read the smallish handwriting. Laziness prevented me from redoing it.)

What would you add to the list of crappy things about the PTO?

I should mention that this isn’t representative of the PTO at Little Man’s current school…I plead the fifth on other experiences.

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Return Of The Label Maker

A couple months ago, I made a post about being a Bad Mommy (Blogger). At the end of the post, I made a comment about getting a Mom of the Year award and included the following image:

The boy saw this image while scrolling through a folder on my iPad that contains all of my doodles and loved it. I’m not sure if he just liked the doodle or if he vehemently agreed with the sentiment expressed on the cup. I didn’t ask, since I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. At any rate, a few days later, Little Man told me that he had a present for me and gave me this:

The label maker returns! Whenever I buy tape for my label maker, Little Man goes through it at lightning speed, labeling the hell out of everything. (Seriously, the chair is labeled “Chair” and he has a box containing pieces to his human anatomy doll labeled “Body Parts.”) It totally cracked me up that he thought to do this. This will be holding my pens and pencils on my desk, since I a) don’t drink coffee and b) don’t want the labels to fall off.

Happy Friday!

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A Shirtless Cowboy

A couple weeks ago, I took the kids to the library for the summer reading program party. I’m sometimes hesitant to take Baby Girl to events that require her to sit still and be quiet for a length of time, because I never know how that’s going to go. Toddlers are basically ticking time bombs — except for there is no digital clock showing you how much time you’ve got until they go off. They just do at random, which complicates outings.

Fortunately, Baby Girl did very well at the party until the very end, when she got super antsy and fussy. We had a few other places to go afterwards, so I called my husband to meet us to pick Baby girl up and take her home so she could play. We met at a gas station that was halfway from town and our house. My husband arrived first, so when I got there, I pulled up beside him and waited for him to come around to get Baby Girl. A few moments later, I spied a shirtless man in my side mirror.

Yep, it was my husband.

“Oh my god, he doesn’t have a shirt on!” Little Man yelled.

I opened the door. “Where on earth is your shirt?” I asked.

“At home.” He grinned.

“Oh my god, Dad, you are so embarrassing! You’ve gotta put clothes on when you come out!”

He explained that he didn’t want us to have to wait on him; since he wasn’t going in anywhere, he didn’t bother putting on a shirt. For the record, my husband works from home for a certain mammoth financial institution. This is how Mr. Corporate America goes to work most days — often shirtless and sometimes in boxers. Thank goodness they don’t have video conferences!

After teasing him a little more, we parted ways. Little Man continued talking about his dad’s lack of a shirt.

“Man, that was SUPER embarrassing. Can you believe he didn’t put a shirt on?! Who does that? I hope he doesn’t do that again,” he said.

I snickered. “Are you finally getting to that age where you’re embarrassed by your parents?”

“No. I’m not embarrassed by my parents, but I am embarrassed by not wearing clothes!”

What he said after that was absolute gold.

That’s a lovely mental image. And now let’s make it more than a mental image, shall we?

My husband has been put on notice — no more leaving without being fully clothed, unless we’re going directly to the pool or beach. And even then, I’d prefer that he wear a shirt along the way to spare anyone we meet from being intimidated by his chest ‘fro.

What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done to your kids or that your parents did?

Also — does anyone have a suggestion for a tagline for this blog? I’ve had a couple good suggestions made, but would like some more. Help a dorky girl out! 

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Cleaning

Everyone knows that kids have an aversion to doing chores. Say the C-word, and you’ll hear the groaning and complaining start. Asking them to help with things around the house instantly brands you an Asshole Parent, one who clearly doesn’t love them. I don’t much like doing chores either, but spending more time dragging one’s feet than the chore actually requires to be completed — and having to do it anyway — baffles me.

Baby Girl likes to help me with my chores sometimes — the more likely it is that something will break, the more she wants to help. (And I’m sure that when she is more capable of doing these chores in a few years, she’ll develop an aversion to them, too.) However, when it comes to picking up her toys, she acts like doing so is torture and often refuses to do it. The threat of taking away a toy does little. When she’s in Stubborn Mode, she’d prefer losing every toy she owns to giving in and doing what she’s told.

Rather than whine, last week Baby Girl got a little creative with her attempt to get out of picking up stuff.

While straightening up the living room, I told Baby Girl to pick up the stuffed animals she had been playing with. She had been doctoring them and had left them strewn across the couch.

“Mommy, I’m just too young to pick up toys,” she told me.

Too young. That’s quite a mouthful for someone who’s too young to pick up her mess. After suppressing a giggle, I informed Baby Girl that if she was too young to pick up her toys, then she was too young to have them and that they’d go in storage. She put them away, and with minimal complaints for a change.

What’s the best excuse you or your kid has given to get out of doing chores?

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Blog Milestone

This blog finally hit 500 WordPress followers a few days ago, so yay! I’m not sure who number 500 was, since my browser keeps freezing up and crashing when I try to view my follower list, but thanks to whoever it was! And thanks to everyone else who is following. It has been a fun six months with this blog, and I appreciate everyone who has been supportive of it.

Since the milestone notification image from WordPress is kind of blah, here’s my own:

I started working on an outline for a book tied to this blog. As slow as I am, it’ll take forever time to create the extra doodles needed to have enough to publish (plus maintaining the blog), but hopefully I’ll finish something for a change! So, here’s to continuing build the blog and hopefully a book in the distant future.

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Slowing Down Roller Coasters

I went to Carowinds with Little Man and my husband last week. I hadn’t planned on going, because I’ve had back troubles recently, but Little Man begged me. It’s hard for me to say “no,” especially where making memory type things are concerned. I figured I’d go enjoy the togetherness and take pictures, but I ended up riding some stuff anyway. Not the best idea, but it was fun. Mostly.

Little Man was talking about some rides that he wanted to ride on the way in and mentioned The Intimidator. I probably don’t need to provide a description thanks to its name, but in case you want the details, it’s over 200 feet tall and about a mile long. (And you can see it here.) It used to be the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the park, but the Carowinds powers that be decided they needed an even bigger and even faster coaster, so they built Fury, which is 325 feet tall. Two of the highest roller coasters in the country are in one park. (While looking up the heights for these, I saw that there are some coasters that top 400 feet, making the Intimidator look like child’s play!)

Back in the day, I loved roller coasters. I lived for them, even. But now, at the ripe age of 33, joint/muscle issues, and anxiety that prompts me to look up death statistics with different rides? Yeah, I’m not so much of a fan. But, once again, Little Man started begging, so I agreed to ride. This is the first summer he was tall enough to ride the real roller coasters, and this was the first one, so it was a big deal for him.

That’s pretty sweet, right? First big kid roller coaster, and it’s important that his mom get on it with him. That’s what I thought, but then he made a comment that let me know that perhaps his insistence on me riding wasn’t a making memories thing that came from his heart. Not completely, anyway.

Thanks, buddy.

I rode it anyway — pretty sure I didn’t slow things down a bit — screamed my head off, and my picture was so bad that we had to purchase it.

The real picture is MUCH better than that. I couldn’t really capture the almost sobbing, close to an anxiety attack, fears for her life look that I had going on. A couple of my friends did laugh so hard they almost cried, though, so that’s how bad it is.

Are you a fan of the big roller coasters or do you like to stick to rides closer to the ground?

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Summer Busyness

Things have been busy. And I mean busy. With only a couple weeks left until Little Man starts back school, we’ve been trying to do everything left on our summer list. My lists are always very…ambitious. I way over plan things. Whether it’s what I’m going to get done around the house with a few hours to myself or what we’re going to do during summer vacation, I always plan for about four times as much as is possible to do.

As such, I am a bit behind on blogging. I have started over a dozen drafts, but haven’t gotten anything together yet. And I won’t even start on how far behind I am on reading blogs. But, we are doing so much around here. We’re painting and hiding rocks as part of the Kindness Rocks Project, doing science experiments, doing lots of artsy stuff, and are going lots of fun places. We’re making all kinds of memories! (And I’m fulfilling lots of orders for my little vinyl decal side thing, which is great, too.)

Here are a couple of quick doodles I did last week. Hopefully I’ll finish one of my drafts over the next couple of days and play a little catch up on reading y’all’s posts. I’ll probably wait until school starts back to do the next guest post doodle.

My husband vs. me. And, hey, arms that don’t look like penises!
They never take just one bite.

How is your summer going so far? 

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Calling All Dorks: Baby Howie

The first guest post for my Calling All Dorks series comes from Becca, who blogs at the hilarious With Love and a Little Self-Deprecation. If you aren’t following her blog, then do so — she possesses a fantastic wit!

If you’ve ever purchased a house, you probably know that sometimes the previous owners leave things behind. A lot of times these left behind items tend to be mostly crap, but Becca’s “gift” was a little…different.

Her story:

We moved into our house in 2011. It has its issues, but there is a perfect spot for an extra tall Christmas tree, which is really all you can ask for in a home. (That 75% of the reason we bought this house. I actually did the math.)

I really can’t think of a better reason to make the biggest investment of your life.

But we have found that the real gift of this house hasn’t come in the form of ample space for Christmas decor, it’s Baby Howie.

When you move into someone else’s old house you assume that they will take all of their stuff with them. The family who lived in our house before us missed that memo and for some reason we skipped a walk through before closing. Probably because we were 26 years old and were simply too proud of ourselves for figuring out how to apply for a mortgage as fetuses to worry much about other details. And they had offered to leave their snow blower and ride-on lawn mower so we were literally distracted by something(s) shiny.

While there are at least 15 reasons I wish we did a walk through (including but not limited to the striped circus curtains left in the living room), Baby Howie is the one reason I’m glad we didn’t. You see, sitting in the rafters of our garage is a baby doll. Drawn underneath the doll on the rafters are a set of eyes looking up. And written under the eyes, “Baby Howie.” Most people think that’s creepy for some reason. Glen and I don’t. (Marry someone who gets you.)

Aww, you thought I was making a weird joke didn’t you?    That’s cute. But no. He’s totally real.

[Let’s get a close up on that — cue the slasher music.]

We readily accepted Baby Howie as part of the family. The small upstairs bedroom became “Baby Howie’s room” from the moment we moved in. We didn’t bring Baby Howie into the room, prevailing theory is that he is structurally important to our home so we can’t move him from the rafters, but it was his just the same. When guests came over for the first time we proudly brought them into the garage to introduce Baby Howie, because that’s how we treat guests at our home – give them cookies and nightmares.

Jack recently saw Baby Howie and asked about him so we explained that the doll was Baby Howie and that he lives in our garage. No, we can’t touch him, he has to stay there forever undisturbed. Being our son, Jack has accepted all of that as truth and checks in on Baby Howie’s well being on a regular basis. Every day that our daycare provider doesn’t call me asking about the baby living in our garage is a good day.

I don’t expect you to understand Baby Howie. He’s not for everyone. Just respect the fact that he isn’t going anywhere and now he’s officially part of your life too.

Let’s hope that Becca doesn’t hear a scurrying in the night and get up to check things out only to find this in her rafters. Dun-dun-duuuunnnn!

Would you keep Baby Howie or trash him? I say “Keep” because that’d be a hell of a thing to show guests. (And it might be enough to keep certain guests away.)


That wraps up the first post in the Calling All Dorks series. If you have a funny/dorky story that you’d like to see poorly illustrated, then send me an email at dorkymomdoodles@gmail.com. (Old posts are fair game.)

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Dumbass of the Day Award

This one goes to me. I was setting up a page to promote my Etsy shop and part of that page talks about how I’m not one to really post stuff for sale on a blog post. It doesn’t really fit in with my content. I was just going to put it in the menu bar, out of the way (but hopefully noticeable).

And then I hit “Publish,” attempted to add the page to my menu and discovered that I hadn’t created a page, but a post. Which was sent out to y’all.

Egg on my face.

I swear this wasn’t planned to promote without promoting. (Or something like that.)

Now I’ll go put my Dumbass of the Day Award on my shelf next to my “Okayest Mom of the Year” award. (And maybe I’ll even do a doodle for this new award later tonight or tomorrow morning, because why not?)

It’s Getting Hot In Here

Y'all, it is HOT. We've been having a heat wave in my neck of the woods, which is brutal, considering our typical summer day would be considered a heat wave in many other parts of the country. The temperatures the past few days have neared 100 degrees, with the real feel exceeding 110. The humidity is a bitch, no dry heat for us for the most part. And it's so hot that even getting in our pool doesn't offer any relief — it feels more like a hot tub than a pool, and that's at 6:00 in the evening, not during the hottest part of the day.

I do not like the heat. I might be Southern bred, but one day I want to be Southern fled. I usually fail the "Are You A Real Southerner?" quizzes, and my body agrees — it does not do well with all the heat and humidity. Unless I've driving somewhere and that somewhere happens to be indoors, I usually hide out inside during the afternoons. My kids aren't fans of the heat, either, so they're more than content to hang out inside and do whatever activity I've come up with until the sun starts going down a little.

My husband, on the other hand, doesn't mind the heat a bit. He loves our mosquito infested region, which is one of the few flaws I've found with him. As such, we probably won't be relocating anywhere with milder temperatures during the summer anytime soon. Boo. Silver lining — at least I don't have to pack up and move boxes.

Yesterday we had the blinds closed, the lights off, and the air set at 74. I'd prefer to have had it lower, but it wouldn't have made much of a difference since our air conditioner won't get it below 76 when it's super hot out. The best unit on the market — one that is meant for a house larger than ours — is no match for a South Carolina heatwave.

Today our area has been lucky. Some rain moved in and brought the temps down to a real feel of around 90, so it's been easier to keep the house cooler. Unfortunately for me, I've pulled a muscle in my back and have been requiring the use of a heating pad. A heating pad, y'all. I'm trying to figure out who I pissed off in the universe, because that's cruel and unusual punishment.

How's the heat in your neck of the woods? Any pissed off HVAC units that are threatening to go on strike? 

Want to connect on social media? You can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. If you'd like to see your funny/dorky story doodled, check out the details on this post