How Many Times Will I Say "Class Mom" In This Post?

Another weekend down for the real estate family.

I volunteered to be Class Mom for both Princess Roundhead’s 2nd grade and Chubs’s Kindergarten. The good part is that I’m co-class mom for both classes with my mom-friends. That makes it much more tolerable. The bad news (for my co-class-moms) is that I’m the asshole and they are the respective nice ones, so, they’ll be consistently mopping up behind me. Both the girls have amazing teachers who I love, so truthfully I love being involved to help the teachers and spend more time with the kids. But there’s a definite downside.

So, you know when you get to that part where you can’t do something yourself and you need other parents to volunteer and they could not give two shits that their help is needed? That’s the part that irritates like a plastic tag in your cotton underwear.

I was chatting with one of the moms who I was co-class mom with last year. This year our girls are in different classes but she’s Class Mom for her daughter’s class. We were sharing Class Mom woes on the playground on Friday. (I know, I’ve become every cliche possible right now.)

She told me that a parent came up to her and said: So you’re the Class Mom?
Her: Unfortunately.
Him: Why do you say that?
She then lost her filter and said: I didn’t want to do it but no one stepped up. People seem to not understand that the reason Stoddert is so highly desired is because the parent involvement got this school to where it is now but it’s the same people doing everything. No one volunteers for anything. People think all this just happens magically. Bit it all falls on the PTO and the Class Moms to do it.

Well, that was refreshing. I was shocked she actually said it. I didn’t even do it justice in my written version. The way she conveyed it was so satisfying, I was looking for a cigarette to light. I’m good at being passive aggressive in emails or on this blog, but to say it to someone’s face? Hell yeah! She said he slinked away with that “sorry I asked” face.

This weekend was the Fall Festival. Think: food trucks, bounce houses, pumpkin painting. Last year if anyone besides me recalls (#StillBitter) the Class Moms of Pre-K were told a week before the event that it was “customary for the Pre-K to run the costume shop.” Not many people signed up to wo-man that booth and this year was no different. I saw the two class moms sitting there all day because no one else in their class volunteered.

I hate people. Did I ever say that I hate people? I hate people. Between this and rescue it’s hard not to hate people.

We had much of the same for our Kindergarten class sign up. Less than half of the families signed up to help watch our oversize Connect-4 game. I emailed the entire class on Friday night and asked how it could be possible that less than half the families would volunteer, and to please take a look at the list and sign up for a quick half hour shift.

Not. One. Additional. Person. signed up. NOT ONE. I could smell them through email, heating up their queso and turning on the football game.

I get it, you’re soooo busy. But I too am working 55-60 hours a week, helping run a dog rescue, getting a podcast off the ground and raising 2 kids. My house hasn’t been clean in a year, I can’t remember the last time I went to the grocery store, I’ve seen zero shows on Netflix that everyone is raving about, Chubs told me I’m never home (again,) and we only get help from a nanny for 2 afternoons a week. And now I decided to train for a 50 mile walk this winter. Suck it. We’re all busy.

And if you live in Glover Park you are probably familiar with this other thing we have to contend with known as the Russian Embassy. They mysteriously installed cameras all over Glover Park, but when contacted about it to ask if they would release footage if there were a crime caught on the cameras, they SAID NO (allegedly, according to list-serv mania.) To add that insult to injury, the other problem here is that their children also get a seat in our public schools.

This may not be a popular opinion, but being that I have State Department clients and friends who have shipped out to other countries and whose children went to the “American School” in that country, I fail to understand why children of Embassy Parents who are here for just a year or two have just as much right to a seat in our schools as the people who live here, pay taxes here and contribute to the city. Wouldn’t it make more sense to allow a DC Resident who is “out of boundary” into the school than someone who is here temporarily and has zero interest in our city?

Like I said, not a generally popular opinion but the school is massively overcrowded. The teachers and our kids are suffering because of this. It really makes private school look better, honestly.

I’d like to say I’m now retiring the phrase “Class Mom” but I’m pretty sure we all know that’s not true.

Meet Our New Family Pets!

Last summer, Princess Roundhead and Chubs made us that deal that if we got them hermit crabs then we didn’t have to get them American Girl Dolls. We fell for it, got them their crabs and then we ended up at the stupid American Girl Doll Store anyway to spend part of their college fund on dolls no one plays with anymore.

Chubs’s crab died a few months later. Thanks in part to my heating pad contraption, Roundhead’s held strong through the winter and spring. I hoped that Woody (yes, that’s her name) would survive until summer and she did. (We don’t know that it’s a girl, that’s what Roundhead wants to believe.)

We went to Rehoboth last week and I told them to bring Woody. We were going to talk to the crab people to find out why Woody was pretty inactive as of late, and why she hadn’t ever changed shells like they are all supposed to do. At the store that’s most well known for selling healthy crabs and where we got Woody from, they said, “Oh, she needs a friend.”

For Fuck’s Sake. Of course she does.

Chubs picked a blue sponge bob shell crab, and named her Violet. Here she is! Everyone say hi to Violet!

Hello everyone! I’m Violet!

Hello everyone! I’m Violet!

If you didn’t say hi to her you missed your chance because she’s dead now.

You see, Violet was not in the cage the next morning. We weren’t sure where she could have gone because as you see the cage has plastic sides. It isn’t exactly one you can climb out from. We were staying on the 4th floor and left the cage on the balcony so the hermies could enjoy the heat. We all looked over the balcony and thought, “No, she didn’t…”

We went downstairs to scour the boardwalk and Princess Roundhead said, “MOM! LOOK!” She handed me a tiny piece of a blue shell. We called in forensics and while the tests were processing, a nice man walked up to us and asked if we were looking for a hermit crab. I actually looked at him suspiciously and said, “What makes you ask?”

He said they found it earlier that day. I asked if Violet was in the E.R. but he said she was in the morgue, a.k.a. the patch of dunes by the building. He brought us over to her final resting place. I was convinced she was alive but Real Estate Dad was like, “Melissa. She’s dead. Give up.”

“Aren’t You People Supposed to be Animal Rescuers???”

“Aren’t You People Supposed to be Animal Rescuers???”

Anyway, poor Chubs. We told her we would get her another crab, so back to the store we went with our saga of how Violet committed suicide. Somehow we ended up buying not one but two crabs. It seemed a better way to hedge our bets in case one of these two decided to tell the world to fuck off.

And that’s how we came home with 4 hermit crabs.

Right. The math doesn’t add up.

We brought Woody to the beach = 1 crab

Bought Violet = 2 crabs

Violet committed Suicide = 1 crab

Went to replace Violet, came home with Sandy and Violet2, plus Woody = 3 crabs.

This story is already long enough. I’ll finish the rest later.

She's Not Dead, She Just Fell Over and Looks Dead

It is rare that I look back on a day and say, “Good parenting today, Melissa.” Mostly I feel like I’m just getting by on fumes and promising myself I’ll do better tomorrow. I’ll get back to this in a moment.

There’s a postscript to the story of the paralyzed squirrel. We ended up finding him. When Chubs and I were squirrel-hunting the other morning, a few neighbors saw us. You know that part of your brain that tells you, “hey, we really shouldn’t share this with other people because it makes us look crazy?” That part of my brain is busted.

I told everyone I saw about the paralyzed squirrel and it didn’t backfire! Later that day one of them found him!

I ran to grab a crate while New-Summer-Nanny called Washington Humane. Then, New-Summer-Nanny, the girls, our neighbor and her kids and I ran and scooped him up in a towel. We put him in a plastic container inside the crate and waited for help to arrive.

We all hovered around him trying to help. Princess Roundhead ran inside to get nuts, carrots, apples and water. We were outside with him just waiting. He got stuck in the towel we attempted to help him get free. It didn’t go so well.

Go the hell away! P.S. I’m a girl!!!

Go the hell away! P.S. I’m a girl!!!

The animal rescue people were madly efficient. They came within 15 minutes and whisked her away, saying they refer these cases to the wildlife division.

I know. They probably euthanized her. I don’t want to think about that. I’d like to think that she’s scooting around their offices with little crutches or a tiny squirrel wheelchair. (It can happen! Google it!)

After the girls went to sleep that night, I thought about my feelings for animals. I didn’t grow up with pets or any sort of love for animals. My parents viewed animals as another mouth to feed and something to take care of.

But, as we all do, I always look back on how I was raised and what I want to do differently with my own kids. One of those things is making sure the girls learn for compassion for animals. Seeing the concerned looks on their little faces worrying about the squirrel, it registered that I accomplished that. I gave myself, our friend and New-Summer-Nanny a virtual high-five. We taught the kids something important the other day - something that matters.

School's Out FOR SUMMER

Today is the last day of school. Oh how I look so forward to summer with the kids. This is an exceptionally busy summer for us with work, weddings and all the planned visits we have to fit in, but I’m thrilled it’s summer. Even if I’m consistently sweating like a pig and showering 3 times a day. Super sexy, I know.

Yesterday was Chubs’s Pre-K graduation. I have to got to rename her before she learns to read. Anyway, I was so happy to see her in her cute little cap and gown the teachers had for them. But then she walked into the gym and she looked sad. And then I got sad.

Her teacher went through the “awards” they gave each of the kids in class, and one of Chubs’s awards was that she was like a ray of sunshine. Let’s pause for a look at our little ray of sunshine.

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She was like this the entire time. She looked sad. Then she cried and ran over to us. When she stopped crying I asked her what was wrong and she said she didn’t want to leave her class.

Then this wave of emotion came crushing down on me and I just wanted to get out of there. The girls wanted to stay after school to play on the playground and Real Estate Dad stayed while I walked back home. I kept thinking why am I sad, why am I sad. Then it just hit me that the girls are growing up so fast. It’s true what they say - the days are long and the years are fast. I can’t believe they are about to turn 5 and 7. What I would give to have a day with them again when they were 1 and 3. Or 2 and 4.

Perhaps it was the jolt I needed to remind myself to work less. And pay attention more. I spend a lot of time away from the kids for work - and lots of that work is often times unproductive in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Chasing agents for showing instructions for their listings. Sitting in traffic. Showing a listing that has a ratified contract and the agent, “oops” forgot to cancel the appointment we made. I can’t even quantify the hours of time I’ve wasted in the past month alone from this nonsense because people just don’t respect other people’s time. I’ve suddenly become a huge advocate of respecting other people’s time because I realize how much this is costing me personally.

Today is the last day of school and I can’t wait to get those girls and start our summer.

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On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink

Like so many other mothers of girls, I do not look forward to the teen years.

I can’t believe my girls are going to endure the really crappy teen nonsense and there is nothing I can do about it. I encourage all the camaraderie they have with their girlfriends now, especially M. She and her besties write each other love notes every night, with really sweet compliments that build each other up.

Girl Power

Girl Power

Here’s M and one of her “hype girls” at Field Day today. Look how dang cute they are. They love each other.

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I know it won’t always be like this. In fact, I know it will change and change forever into a Regina George world. There are not a lot of venues where women celebrate other women succeeding. Life for women is really about moving from one area with nasty mean girls to another area with nastier mean girls. The teen years are soaked with nasty backstabbing girls. Early adulthood and launching into the professional world - also soaked with nasty backstabbing women.

I briefly worked for Calvin Klein (note, I said briefly) (note, I really mean it was a short period of time, this was not making a pun about Calvin Klein briefs) when I was in my 20’s. Several women would fly into the office each morning and park their broomstick in the corner with the others. They would proceed to make everyone’s day miserable while they nibbled on a carrot for lunch then proclaimed they were full. I would have gladly purchased all of them first class tickets to hell but we were already there.

Fast forward to present day. I’m still dealing with it.

Some of you may know that two years ago I started East Coast Corgi Rescue. It has tested my love of corgis in ways I could never have imagined. A good friend told me not to do it. She runs a rescue in Atlanta and said it is just so difficult and so much work. I didn’t listen though.

When I first started the rescue, I was welcomed by some corgi lovers and derided by some frosty nasty hags. As I worked to build the rescue by myself, I looked to many of these women for advice. Some were awesome. Some were assholes. Some were total trash.

When I shared my first shocking rescue story with my friend in Atlanta, she said, “Probably 85% of women in animal rescue have some sort of mental illness. Once you know that fact, everything else makes sense.”

Well, it does and doesn’t. The current board of East Coast Corgi Rescue is comprised of 5 women and 1 man. We all work in a very similar manner. We all have a similar viewpoint on most things. We’re all 30’s to 40’s, work in a professional capacity, and we all, most importantly, do not believe ourselves to be God.

In 2017, the first year of the rescue, I worked alone and saved 6 dogs that year.

In early 2018, it became obvious I needed help. Several people joined and formed a board. We had two board members who could not get along and they both quit in the early stages. The board that remained persevered and saved 61 dogs that year.

I’m incredibly proud of that accomplishment. We couldn’t save them all. We endured some very difficult tragedies with corgis because of some very negligent prior owners.

We removed stones from a bladder, removed a tumor from a rectum/prolapsed intestine, treated heartworms in several dogs, took a dog with diabetes which we have in hospice care and continue to spend a small fortune on, cleared up several extreme skin rash issues, treated hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, fixed an allegedly hermaphroditic dog with a habit for biting, picked up several from Amish puppy mills who lived outside in deplorable conditions, pulled 3 out of a meth house and showed several dogs how to trust again after the life they endured.

All in one year by the way. All in ONE. FUCKING. YEAR.

What do the nasty Regina George rescue hags have to say?

“Your rescue only takes easy dogs. You don’t take biters.”

Maybe three dogs of the 61 we took into rescue were easy. But none of the above medical issues were easy, nor were they inexpensive.

We have had several biters in the rescue. We have one now. We’ve tried taking them in but none of our adopters want a biter. And sometimes, biters cannot be rehabbed into not biting. This also doesn’t make us different than many other rescues who also have policies that they don’t take biters. But fine, guilty as charged. I have two young girls living at my house that I’m like, legally responsible for keeping safe, and two elderly dogs - one which has seizures. I’m not bringing a biter into my house. My older daughter has a huge scar on her foot from a dog that bit her, totally unprovoked. My kids are the priority and it’s my job to protect them. You caught me. I won’t bring a dog that bites into my house again with two little girls.

We have a sliding scale based on age for our adoption fees. This information is available in our FAQ’s which are pinned at the top of our Facebook page - where they have been pinned for a pretty long time.

What do the nasty Regina George rescue hags have to say?

“Your rescue charges $800 for dogs.”

Laughable. I’m not sure where that rumor started but I have a pretty good idea which Mama June started it. We’ve never charged $800 for a dog. Again, fees are on our FAQ. If we have a puppy, it’s $600 with $100 refunded at proof of spay/neuter since they are too young to do it prior to adoption. The scale slides down based on age. Easy info to find. Easy info to confirm. But I suppose it doesn’t make as good of a “story” does it? One of the Mama Junes charges $600 for her dogs, but yeah, it’s more fun to spread a lie about us than look in your own mirror I guess.

We had a dog early in our rescue days when we had no money, and the dog had a defect in her esophagus. I brought in all the corgi people I knew to ask what to do and to say that we would surrender her to anyone who could help. Corgi world’s version of a martyr Mama June appeared before me and said she would take care of the dog. We transferred her to that rescue.

What do the nasty Regina George rescue hags have to say?

Never to our faces of course… “I flipped out when I heard they were going to euthanize the puppy.”

That is a nice giant lie and we all had a good laugh at that one. Euthanizing the puppy was never on the table, and those parties know it because we were all included in the same message. Revisionist History is funny.

These lies and accusations continue, I have several more I could share but they’re losers, this gets boring, there’s that 85% mental illness figure looming. There’s really one theme to recognize here that you learned in junior high:

When women see other women become successful at something they are either doing but not as well, or that they wish they could do, they lash out in all sorts of ways. This is a lesson we learn early and often in our lives, and it will manifest itself over and over through the decades.

It’s pathetic that I have to prepare my girls for this but I’m ready with the lessons I have to teach them:

Downplay successes. Downplay your good grades. Downplay how sweet your boyfriend is, how much money you have, or how much you enjoy playing the lead in the school play. It only incites jealousy and then turns into a full assault and takedown. It’s easy when you’re a teenager to get distracted by this nonsense and that’s what “they” want.

I’m still learning, because I’m rabid about defending the reputation of an organization I founded. But there’s no point, because disproving the lie isn’t what Regina and her friends want. They want the fight. But karma, as I’ve learned, is incredibly efficient in handling these matters. Case in point, one of the biggest bullies we grew up with now wanders the aisles at stores, mumbling to herself like a crazy person.

It won’t be long before someone chokes on a hamburger served on that delicious dish of karma.

I Didn't Even Apply But I Was Recruited Anyway

If you want to volunteer at any DC Public School, as of Fall, 2018, you have to jump through the added hoops of getting a TB test and being fingerprinted at the DCPS Central Office. Suffice it to say, most people are too busy for this nonsense, so there is a limited number of parents who can volunteer for field trips.

I received an email from M’s teacher a couple weeks ago asking if I could chaperone a last minute field trip to Nats Stadium. Apparently they applied for this field trip and were never told by the Nats people that it was a yes until a week before the date. And since very few parents can chaperone…

I agreed, mostly because I love M’s teacher as much as I love 7-11.

Right after I replied: “Dear M’s Teacher, I had one thing on my calendar that I can move and I’ll be there,” I got a text from Real Estate Dad. He said: “M’s teacher emailed to ask if we would chaperone a trip to Nats stadium but I said neither of us could as we were both busy that day.” (We were…if you count “busy” as the day of our orthodontic appointments where we’re cashing in $29 Groupons for an alleged $3000 off Invisalign.) (What could go wrong?) I told Real Estate Dad I already moved our appointments and we were going. Turns out she only needed me though. Score for Real Estate Dad. No ortho and no Nats trip.

Yesterday was the field trip. We were to report to school at 8:30. This was hard for me because I just don’t like mornings. And mornings don’t like me. But I got to be with M and two of her sweet little friends who I adore, so we expected it would be a good day.

These are some High Hopes Right Here ^^^ as We Exit Stoddert to Get on the Bus. And yes, their nametags say “Stoddert Elem” with the School’s main phone number.

These are some High Hopes Right Here ^^^ as We Exit Stoddert to Get on the Bus. And yes, their nametags say “Stoddert Elem” with the School’s main phone number.

When we arrived at the entrance to the park, they didn’t even check our bags, making me wonder why I bothered to remove my pocketknife from it. I could have used it to ward off street vagrants or alley rats should we have encountered any. We were sent through the metal detectors. There was one mom who had a trough of water who held up the line because they told her to dump it out and she refused. The guard said, “Didn’t they tell you the rules? There’s water inside the park.” She said, “I have a sick child with me, I can’t be without water.” They went back and forth a few times. He finally said he was going to pick his battles and let her through. So me and my trough went through the gate.

Real Estate Dad says I cause trouble wherever I go. It’s not on purpose. I just want what I want. The other day M whispered to one of her friends that she loves when her mom makes announcements to people, as I was telling a bunch of kids I didn’t know to get off the neighborhood trampoline. There were little kids who deserved a turn and none of the other parents would look up from their phone long enough to tell their ungracious little mini-me’s to get off the tramp. Sometimes you have to corral the crowds so things work out in your favor.

After we got inside the stadium, we began a long processional of collecting water bottles, popcorn and cracker jack bags on the way to our seats. Once we were seated, on hot metal, in the blazing sun, with now lukewarm water, the fun began.

Oh wait. No it didn’t. Some actor types came out and this shit happened:

1) Postage Stamps
2) The Postal Museum
3) The 4 Mascot Presidents
4) The History of Baseball
5) And several other things I don’t know anything about BECAUSE WE LEFT. Other moms we spoke to afterword called it a “play.”

It wasn’t fun to roast like a marshmallow while two of the three children I was in charge of were FADING FAST. One was sick, one was super hungry and one was “bored and hot.” The bored hot one was mine so I was more than happy to tell her to stuff it. But the other two were not mine, and I knew they weren’t doing well in the heat. I also knew I had to deliver them back to school alive and well.

I brought the girls up into the breezeway and went to look for food. A bunch of other parents made their way up there as well and we began chatting about this pain in the ass field trip. I said I was going to get my girls some food. I was determined too, I actually considered leaving the park because no vendors were open and our alleged free lunch of hot dogs was nowhere to be found.

I knew though that if I left the park, I’d be banished from field trips and I would be the subject of the legend about “that mom” who left the stadium to get food. Kind of like I was “that waitress” who rung up the $1800 bottle of whiskey at Ruby Tuesdays, and instead of just taking that out of the register since we didn’t even have it in stock anyway and since no one goes to Ruby Fucking Tuesday’s to imbibe on an $1800 bottle of anything, I was the subject of Waiter/Waitress Lineups up and down the east coast.

I found a woman who worked at the stadium. I explained our plight. She pulled out a piece of paper and said, “Um, well, hotdogs are being served at 11:40 after the kids run the bases.” I said, “IT’S 12:15!!! THESE KIDS HAVEN’T EATEN ALL DAY!”

The woman started to look a little nervous. I realize these are first-world problems and I felt bad I pushed a little too much. She said she didn’t have a walkie talkie to call anyone. I said, “Fine, you said food is at the 107 entrance?” She then looked real nervous. I grabbed my girls and said, “We’re going on a walk.” I told the other moms we still had to wait until after every single first grader in the entire District of Columbia ran the bases before we could eat. We were looking at at least an hour. In the sun. Did I mention the sun?

The girls and I started walking. We got from 131 to 119 when we encountered a roadblock. It was a giant, white, toothless guard who spoke in grunts. I found another person who worked there because negotiating with Big Poppa was getting nowhere. I’m standing there telling this new lady that we needed to get through, all the while conceding inside my brain that I have literally become my fucking mother. Despite our rocky and often non-existent relationship, I have no clue if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

The woman said she’d be right back.

It took a long time. We waited. I’ve got to hand it to her, M certainly knows her mother. She was pretty much suggesting I push past Big Poppa and make a run for it. I was like god damned it M, we can rob banks and run underage sweatshops on our own time but we have two nice girls here who I cannot and will not bring down with us, now put your counterfeiting equipment away.

SUCCESS! The lady let us go through.

We got to see some neat stuff on that walk.

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We finally got to the food! We grabbed hot dogs and burgers and sat down to eat while we watched every first grade class run the bases. The girls were done with their lunch for a good 10 minutes when they finally called our school. We watched from the other side of the field as their classmates ran the bases. I said, “See girls, you would be down there running the bases if we didn’t come here to find food.” All three of them said they were happy they chose the food over running the bases.

I think we all know I like to complain. It’s part of my schtick. When we got back to the school and all the chaperone moms convened, every single one of them said some version of, “That was horrible!” Some moms even ran home before pickup so they could shower (again) because it was so darn hot out there.

I texted Real Estate Dad and said, “When this trip comes up in two years again, remind me to keep Chubs home that day.”

Because I’m working hard for School-Mom of the Week this week, I finished out the day by going back to the school at night for the PTO meeting. One of the newly elected officers for next year was heading up to the school a few minutes before me, sucking down what she had in her cup. She told Real Estate Dad she was going to hide her cup in our yard because she couldn’t bring it into the school.

I really need to be better friends with her. It’s gonna be a good year next year.

Spring Break Week

The girls are off school this week, so unfortunately we have to parent more than the usual minimum wage work ethic. We’re at the beach, getting the condo, that I convinced Real Estate Dad we should buy, ready for the summer rentals.

The entire process of buying the condo was quite a saga. For anyone who doesn’t have my blog posts memorized, this was the property purchase where the listing agent went all Sybil-menopausal at the closing table because her commission was wrong. We sat there with our jaws on the floor, as she told anyone who would listen, how she gets 100% of her commission. We patiently waited for her to realize we didn’t have keys to the condo she just sold us. We waited in vain. She was too busy lamenting the woes of her commission check to give a rat’s tiny ass about anyone else. I really hate other Realtors® for giving us a bad name. I also hate having to put that stupid R in the circle, but if I don’t, the NAR will email me tomorrow saying that I’m improperly using their trademark. No, I’m not kidding.

The post script to the condo story is that at Christmas, I went to visit clients at the SW Waterfront with a little holiday gift and they asked me how my year had been. They knew from Facebook that I was in the path of the Logan Circle murder a few minutes prior to when the jogger was murdered last fall, and that it was about enough for me to pack everyone up and get out of dodge. I told them we had just bought a condo in Rehoboth, and that having an escape plan made me feel better. They said, “Oh our neighbors just sold a condo in Rehoboth. They don’t live here full time, they come down on weekends from Frederick.”

I said, “Their names don’t happen to be….” and sure enough, my clients live next door to the people who sold their condo to us in Rehoboth. It was even wilder for my clients since they already had all sorts of coincidental connections with their neighbors. DC and Rehoboth are both small towns it appears.

The other post script to the story is that anyone who has an Airbnb or rental property has to be insane. I’m convinced of it. I have pulled pillow after pillow out of the closets here, and they are all stained, half with blood, half with mysterious fluids. I suppose I’m a believer in my mother’s standard of cleaning: It’s not enough bleach until your hands crack.

Anyway, this week is shaping up to have some real interesting conversations with the girls. I’m not sure if these exchanges happen all the time or if maybe I should listen more.

M, to Real Estate Dad: Your dad was our best best Papou.

Real Estate Dad: You never met him. He died before you were born.

M: I know, but he was our best best Papou.

Me: Uh....how can he be better than the Papou you have that's ALIVE?

M: MOM!!!

My dad is gonna be pissed. I suppose that’s a repercussion of grandparenting solely via FaceTime.

Last night I forgot the Golden Rule with the girls - control the amount of sugar they ingest. They went off the rails crazy. Real Estate Dad and I finally had enough, so we told them they were being annoying and we were going to lock them up in the condo and go out for a drink.

M: You can’t leave us alone.

Me: Why not?

M: Someone could take us. You are parents, you should know that.

Real Estate Dad: No one is going to take you, all you have to do is act like you’re acting now and they will leave.

Me: Or they will take you but they will bring you back in a few minutes.

M: YOU CAN’T LEAVE US ALONE.

M starts to cry.

Me: Oh yeah we can!

Real Estate Dad: You better start behaving.

M, still crying: “NO DON’T LEAVE US!”

Me: Please, have we ever left you alone?

M: No.

Me: Exactly.

Chubs: You left me home alone.

Me: Well, err, I ONLY DID THAT ONCE AND I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE IN THE HOUSE!

Man. That was over a year ago and she’s still holding a grudge.

At least the corgis are having a good time.

Deeelicious treatz wash up right down there! Nom nom nom.

Deeelicious treatz wash up right down there! Nom nom nom.

Some Will Win, Some Will Lose

Don’t Stop Believin’ is forever ruined for me thanks to that dumbass Meadow Soprano. No one, and I mean no one, is that bad at parallel parking unless they are from Maryland.

Oh don’t cry, Maryland. I googled “state with worst parallel parkers.” After 4 YouTube videos, the 5th match was an article about how Maryland has dropped parallel parking from the driver’s test. So, see? It’s not your fault you suck at parallel parking. In the spirit of “everyone’s a winner,” the entire state just lowered the bar for you.

Anyway, it is no secret that my parallel parking skills and my ability to find ace parking are, well, ace. I inherited both of these parking skills from my dad. Every other weekend we drove from suburban Connecticut into New York City for some nonsense that we all coined, a “Mommy Fun Day.” The neighbors found it odd that we would drive and not take the train. My dad was always confident he would park right in front. And my mom always wanted to go to the Bowery to buy jewelry and it was oddly safer in the late 70’s / early 80’s to drive in New York City if you were coming home with loot.

Although now that I re-think that, it seems weird because I remember being parked on a sketchy street, waiting in the car for my mom who was spending her fun day eyeing a bracelet. Some man and his daughter (I assume) were walking down the sidewalk. The little girl was walking really slow while drinking a McDonald’s soda. The dad turned around and yelled at her for being slow. He snatched the drink from her hand, threw it at our car where it smashed on the window and he beat the girl’s butt. It was something you might call the police for now but back then we looked to our Dad for guidance. He just stared straight ahead and said, “Keep your mouth shut.”

For the record, I would have already been on the phone with the police once he threw a perfectly good fountain soda away because that is the real crime here.

So, parking. For various friends and clients who all remark on my ability to find a spot “right in front” and my knack for squeezing my car into the smallest spots, I started taking pictures of my coups. Don’t be jealous. We all have to be good at something. You can perform a heart transplant, I’m a good parker!

Here’s my car that day I thought, “I’d like to go to the Amazon Store but it’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday and Georgetown is going to be more of a zoo than the zoo.”

Amazon Prime Parking

Amazon Prime Parking

Or that day I said, “Let’s eat dinner at Clyde’s in Georgetown” and Real Estate Dad said, “But, parking.” And then I parked right in front. There’s my car! You can see it through the front door of Clyde’s!

“It’s cold out here Real Estate Mama, can I get a Molotov Cocktail with a match to go?”

“It’s cold out here Real Estate Mama, can I get a Molotov Cocktail with a match to go?”

Or when we went to Arcuri’s and drove because even though we live 3 blocks away, sometimes we’re lazy asses.

Anyone with a remote sense of shame wouldn’t post such a shitty picture, but alas, ‘tis me.

Anyone with a remote sense of shame wouldn’t post such a shitty picture, but alas, ‘tis me.

The other day I had the girls with me and we had to pick up something from the hardware store. There was not a spot in front. But, I was one illegal u-turn on Wisconsin Avenue away from a spot right across the street. I did my magic, and started backing into the spot.

Then I stopped paying attention. That happens sometimes.

And I heard a giant smash.

There was a man on a ladder cleaning the store window. M yelled, “MOM HOW DID YOU NOT SEE THE CAR ON THE CAMERA!” She’s right. I am actually so confident in my parking abilities that I don’t use the camera. Don’t ask. It’s one of my quirks. I can “feel” where all the cars are around me. Except for this day. My feels were off. The guy screamed “WHOA! YOU SMASHED THAT CAR!”

It wasn’t just any car I smashed. It was the top of the line Lexus truck. I mean, if you’re going, you may as well go big.

The guy on the ladder was now the guy off the ladder and I was momentarily distracted by the fact that he was talking out of a hole in his throat. I think. He sounded like a robot. I was mostly hoping the kids didn’t say anything.

We all gathered around the back of my car and the front of the Lexus and I didn’t see any actual damage. The guy is saying that he can’t believe it, he heard a smash, he expected the car to be wrecked. M and Chubs are like, “We can’t wait to tell Daddy!” (Traitors!) Then the owner came out and saw us milling around by her car. I told her “I hit your car when I was parking.”

She said, “Oh I do it all the time!”

I said, “But don’t you want to look? I think I busted your Lindsay Lexus license plate holder.”

She laughed, hopped in the car and took off. Of course then I realized she was actually parked illegally in a loading zone and jumped out to get herself a salad at Sweetgreens.

So I rewrote history* for the kids, and rewrote the future for me where they would tell Real Estate Dad. I said, “See, that’s not a legal parking spot. She shouldn’t have been there. If she parked somewhere legal, Mom wouldn’t have hit her car.” They didn’t figure that one out because duh. Of course if she wasn’t there I wouldn’t have hit her.

*If you need a course in “How to Rewrite History” or “Parallel Parking & the Associated Lab Course: Getting a Spot in Front,” both are taught at my parent’s house.

Let's Play - "There's Nothing Sexier Than..."

Quick! Fill in the blank!

There is nothing sexier than waking up to _________

Okay okay, now me!

There is nothing sexier than waking up to the sound of your dog vomiting. If you have a dog you know that sound. It’s similar to the human dry-heave, except it’s a wet heave. You can actually hear the vomit in their stomach, gurgling and bubbling before it comes out. All over your new carpet.

But I’m not bitter.

There’s an upside. By the time I went to find and clean the vomit, one of our very efficient dogs had already taken care of it.

I get extra credit because that, my friends, is sexy.

And I Didn't Puke This Time!

Guess who went on another field trip as a chaperone?

Yes, this glutton for punishment. As someone who gets car sick backing out of the driveway, you would think I would stop raising my hand for this stuff.

Here’s the good news: I can finally say I’ve been to and toured Dumbarton House!

Here’s the other good news, according to their website:

This is excellent marketing right here ^^^

This is excellent marketing right here ^^^

Here’s the bad n… What? You didn’t think there would be bad news? I threw you off with two pieces of good news. (Well, three pieces if you count the implication I made above about how I didn’t vomit.) Listen up because you should know by now that bad news is practically the underlying theme of this blog. So here it is:

The condition of the bus that delivered us to and from Dumbarton House should have been junked a decade ago. I’m not even sure my snark can capture the torture that was this bus, and I’m not sure my outrage could properly be contained should I actually choose to, gasp, complain.

Here’s the floor of the aisle, if you can even call it a floor. Parts under the rubber mat and duct tape were rusted through.

Here’s the floor of the aisle, if you can even call it a floor. Parts under the rubber mat and duct tape were rusted through.

Here’s a hole in the 2nd step, which I’m about to fall through as I exit the bus.

Here’s a hole in the 2nd step, which I’m about to fall through as I exit the bus.

Oh this looks safe. This is the emergency exit on the roof of the bus. You want to know how well the duct tape prevents the elements from entering the bus?

Oh this looks safe. This is the emergency exit on the roof of the bus. You want to know how well the duct tape prevents the elements from entering the bus?

Not well at all.

Not well at all.

I wish I wasn’t just screwing around here, there was a ton of water pouring through the emergency exit in the roof and I’m sorry people but this is not acceptable because my hair is keratined within an inch of its life and I can’t afford for it to get a ton of dirty rain-bus water on it and not have a hair dryer and sulfate-free shampoo close by. While my umbrella kept me and the cuties dry, the water was flying off the umbrella toward other people. There was no way to win this one.

In other news, f*ck you DCPS, for not bothering to require a minimum standard of safety. I almost want to be that mom who drives my kid to every off-campus happening.

Then I remembered:

1) They go to Fillmore for their arts education every single week.

2) I don't really like rocking the bus boat bus-boat.

3) I have a job and that job entails selling houses to people. I can't sell houses to people if I have to moonlight daylight as a school uber driver.

Next field trip, barf bag and roll of duct tape go in the bag. Because you just never know.