I was going to make dinner tonight, but I was out of ketchup, and so the universe has thwarted my plans, AGAIN. Mondays are always tricky, because we have soccer and swimming and acrobatics and dinner in overlapping succession--and so our meal has to be raw foods OR anything that can be cooked for many hours in a crock pot. Except that I have, like, two crock pot meals, one of them being meatballs-I-bought-at-Sam's-Club heated in a crap-ton of ketchup. And brown sugar (relax, people). Which brings me back to my original point, that we are almost out of ketchup, and I am DISTURBED at the rate that we are consuming it--which is not to be confused with any problems I have making an entire meal out of it, because that isn't an issue for me.
You know who's fault this is? HALLO-freaking-WEEN. I just got an email from the kids school that outlines, in great detail, the schedule of events for Wednesday's festivities, and my blood pressure went up 800 points. I'm just gonna throw it out there that I am SO AGAINST costumes in school, and not because it's anti-Jesus or anything, but because something is going to get LOST, 3.5 hours before we actually need it. My faith is strong, friends, but not strong enough to believe that Christ is going to sew me a new Jedi belt, if ours gets flushed down the automatic toilet. Also, there's no masks, or face paint, or weapons (hellloooo, every little boy's costume), and everything should *probably* be individually baggied and labeled--but WHO has time for that, because I need to make pumpkin muffins with cream cheese icing and candy melt spiderwebs for Big J's class, and that is a ball-buster in itself, because I'm afraid I might accidentally kill a kid with baking soda.
Now. I know that some of you will suggest picking up a box of Angry Bird gummies and calling it a day--and I don't know what to tell you, except that my OCD picks really inconvenient times (translation: holidays) to rear it's cellophane-wrapped, grosgrain ribbon-tied, head. And also, I am sort of on a mission to save kid-friendly holidays and birthdays from pre-wrapped, un-sugared treats. I am doing this by making pumpkin muffins, versus cupcakes (not much of a difference, except in their social perception), and then I'm gonna slather them in cream cheese frosting--because let's be clear, I am PRO-CUPCAKE at a kids party. I will make enough muffin/cupcakes for every child to have ONE, lest you think I am pro-childhood obesity; I am, however, all about teaching kids to enjoy themselves in moderation, and how do you do that, exactly, if you feed them celery and call it dessert?
Teaching moderation, however, is a sh#!-load of work. Because first, I had to research all the ingredients in pumpkin muffins, and make sure they were nut-free--or this entire plan was going to hell in an ambulance with an epi-pen. I am NOT pro-swelling-of-the-tongue-and-throat. I am also going to wipe my entire kitchen down with alcohol and set it aflame for the purposes of sterilization (just kidding landlords, I'm REALLY not). Side note: I'm pretty sure that before the Internet was invented, millions of kids died in allergy-related incidents every Halloween.
All you egg allergies and Celiacs--calm down. I am also going to send in a few baggies of skeletons made out of candy-coated pretzels and marshmallows with faces drawn on them. Yes, I aware that I could just make these for the rest of the class, but somewhere along the way, this turned into a mission to save cupcakes in public schools, and that point is sort of lost without, you know, A CUPCAKE. I know that some teachers are against cupcakes from a mess standpoint, but again, I think the bigger issue here is teaching kids NOT to act like a-holes when given frosting. And also, in my youth, I probably ate 75+ cupcakes at school-sponsored ragers--and not once do I remember smearing them on the walls, so maybe I just have faith in eight-year-olds? Which is ironic, given my tendency to lose it over yogurt spills--and the CONSTANT conflict of remembering what it was like to BE an eight-year-old versus cleaning up after eight-year olds....
I suppose there are a few things floating beneath the surface here, and one of them is this struggle I am about to face in getting Big J tested for a learning disability. Unless you're new here, you know that he is struggling in school (correction, has always been struggling in school). We've waited it out, we've given him time to mature, we've had him tested (and diagnosed) with ADD, we've medicated him, we've watched him consistently land outside the range of normal for his age--and I guess I feel like we've been patient and taken all of our steps, and yet, we're STILL being denied formal testing. Well, that's what the very formal piece of paper we received last week says--and it's just hard for me to receive that, without an explanation, or a meeting, or anyone asking me what my opinion on that is. I'm SO frustrated and borderline angry, except that I feel all kinds of guilt over being angry at the Special School District (who doesn't know my kid), at the hoops you have to jump through to make this happen, at how much money it costs the State to test a kid (thereby making it VERY difficult to get a kid tested), at the State for providing services (but making it so very hard to prove that you qualify for them), at the stupid economy for making this an issue about money. This is a post for another day, but my point here is that I don't have the time or brain capacity to get my kid diagnosed with dyslexia, because I am obsessed with wrangling/de-staining four children's costumes and creating entire political platforms based on cupcakes and ideas I saw on Pinterest.
Between the huge dent in my mini-van, and my knack for turning in papers late, and the ruckus I caused in carpool those first couple of weeks--I CANNOT afford to explode brain mater all over the newly renovated school (during election season, no less!); and so, while it might be fairly obvious that I have *issues*, and I am CHOOSING to take them out on Halloween, and it's 73 different events and slutty undertones and costume changes.