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Tonight’s Homework: Insights from Emily

25 Jan

TO: Debbie
RE: Tonight’s Homework

For the record it’s 5:25pm. I have finished my Bombay Sapphire, nothing with it other than six vermouth soaked “Tipsy” olives. I used no ice cubes as we have a fridge with a bottom freezer and my kids have a history of licking the cubes and returning them to the freezer so I quit making ice. Just as well, I need the freezer space for food. I blame the homework program, that ridiculous on line Raz-Kids thing (I’m still not sure why Madie just missed question #5), and the fact that our household has been more than a little stressed out as my husband went and quit his job on Friday. Oh, and didn’t tell me ahead of time. Perfect. At any rate, I blame the one-two punch of homework and household stress on my need to skip the Chardonnay at 7pm and move right to the gin at 4:58pm.

Of course, homework tonight really wasn’t that bad, other than Madie telling me my breath smelled, that she didn’t like me sitting next to her, that she “said that” when she clearly didn’t, etc. Sonia Sotomayor would die to hear the way my daughter insists on pronouncing her name. Madie “gave me the hand” (better than the bird) when I tried to correct her. I digress. The point is while I sat fishing out the olives from my Waterford bar glass (I’m Irish- my mother taught me to drink “right”), I started reviewing the spelling/vocabulary list that starts with #1) calm (I shit you not- I can send you the list). Seriously, tomorrow, Madie stays late to take the school counselor’s (otherwise known as “Barbie”) class about stress and anxiety. I’d like to know when Barbie will start a class for the grown-ups about stress, anxiety, and homework. Ugh.

You are so wired in with all that is our school- maybe this could be a “suggestion” for the next PTA meeting. Or…you could take my kid home tomorrow and do homework. I’ll take yours. It’s got to be better than this. My liver is not going to make it through high school if this crap keeps up. The kicker, my newly unemployed husband was just witness to tonight’s homework process. He commented that it sounded like things went pretty badly. I explained that it wasn’t really considered a “bad” night. At least she didn’t yell at me, throw something or end up hiding under the bed. Apparently, he thought I was making up the homework hell that is our daily ritual. Hope your night was better. I need more olives.

Email from Emily

28 Jul


So I’m thinking of you today on many fronts while you speed towards relaxation.

First, no one wants to or is available to meet us at the pool and I’m dreading going alone. I’m not only missing the prospect of our conversation but my kids are driving me crazy with their fighting. We all need our friends.

I got up early to go to the gym to spare them another day there; and I’m wondering if I might just go back for a second work out so there is an activity and I don’t have to participate. Maybe we’ll go and I’ll just stand on a treadmill and watch TV for an hour. Good forbid I work off that half a chocolate bar I downed before 10am.

Second, I was thinking about the idea of siblings having “grown up” conversations as Mary reports hers have. You be the judge, but when Madie holds up a puzzle piece that’s yellowish brown and says, “I don’t like this color; it looks like the “S” word,” does this qualify as adult conversation? Or is this some seriously poor reflection of my parenting? On the upside, it looks like the AD/HD meds are helping with all the “sounding things out” skills.

Third, to your belief that my children never fight, see point number one and add to it the fact that we are all having a silent time out; Madie in her room- Wilson in his- and me holed up in the bathroom banging this out with my left middle finger. The time out was the result of more sophisticated conversation along the lines of, “Oh yeah? Then you can’t be in my band!” To which my other mature and equally witty conversationalist retorted, “Oh yeah? Then you can’t be in my band!!” With my usual patient negotiation skills I hollered to them both, “That’s it! Go play alone in your rooms and see if that’s better than being in each other’s bands!”

With all this charming behavior in mind, we have been discussing our holiday plans. Without the boring details, it may be a cost effective requirement to have our own family road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. It’s about a ten hour drive and I’m wondering, as you are probably a few hours into your trip, just how bad is it? Will the cost of therapy or my liver replacement outweigh the budget bonus of the drive or am I better off buying plane tickets for us all?

Keep me posted on your trip!

Insights Into Emily

5 Jun

A recent text exchange.

Ok, I know this is SO NOT helping, but your blog is hysterical and reinforces my decision to not have children.

Well, I’m glad you are getting a kick out of it- goes to show my crazy world can be appreciated (from afar) by men, women, and the childless! Seriously, the last few months have found me leaving messages for my mother like “I think I’ll have to pace myself or my liver may give out before their teen years, and I don’t think I can afford to be sober then!” Honestly. That was the call after the kids broke her kitchen chandelier playing football inside while I was on the toilet.


Insights Into Emily

3 Apr

TO: The Girls
Subject: It’s Official
It is with a blinded eye I can agree with the hairspray warning to “avoid direct contact with the eyes”. A painful and unnecessary way to prove the obvious. You’re welcome.

Insights Into Emily

9 Feb

TO: The Girls
Subject: Weather Report
Are you freaking kidding me??? I just watched the news. I’m supposed to wake up to three inches of snow??? That’s it!!! You will find me making snow angles in the nude and hoping to be taken to the local funny farm! I can’t take it any more. Forget the new house, I’m moving to southern Italy where I’ll drink wine like water and my children will roam freely in the country side snacking on olives. Oh. Did I mention I also watched House Hunters International? Agghhh.

Insights Into Emily

7 Jan

TO: The Girls
Subject: Update

I’m 30 minutes into their arrival and can’t bear to say a word as I want to yell at them. I think Mark’s happy for the silent choice. I’m in the bathroom hiding. How long do you think I can stay in here? Better question- how long should I stay in here?

Later- the same evening

I have again retreated to the bathroom where my lifeline- aka iPhone has been stashed. I have appreciated all emails about kidnapping me, killing them, the time I can spend in here etc. They are still here. Will someone come light the house on fire? That could address a few issues with one stroke. I’d say “birds” but after the whole Arkansas bird mess, I think we shouldn’t kid about killing birds. Killing in laws- that’s another story!

Insights Into Emily

15 Dec

To: Sandra
Subject: Postal Announcement

Dear Postal Elf,

I will totally understand if you are required to go “postal” after this holiday season. You will most likely want to request some sort of compensation for all this labor. I can only (again) state that I think we are best to join forces over our preferred adult beverage and protest by leaving the littlest of elves (known previously as Madie and Wilson) to wreak all the havoc they can upon the Christmas Couple ultimately responsible.

It is with that introduction that I dread to report the impending arrival of yet another package. This time from LL Bean. Again, addressed to you and needs to be kept from the Meema Christmas Kelleher as it’s from the Papa Christmas Kelleher.

Good thing you have a big porch for all these packages to land!

Cheers, until the next email…Elf Emily

Insights Into Emily

20 Nov

To: The “Girls”
Subject: Food for Thought

In 1500 sq feet, I would NOT recommend Zatarans’ Red Beans and Rice to be served. Period. You think you need an explanation after an introduction like that???

Thankfully, Mark is on a trip, so we are each allotted 500 sq ft in which to be offensive. Seems like Wilson, off to an early lead, has taken all of his allotment and is expanding. Typical man in training. If he were a fully grown man, he’d be laughing and trying to rub our noses in it. Literally. Madie has added an additional burping/hiccupping/coughing event to the mix that is unpredictable, disturbing, and full of varying undertones. The stench as obviously not found its full potential. And me? Well, we all know I’ve never been a wall flower- so I’m smelling like roses and gardenias in spring!

On the upside, we are now out of the Zatarans and I believe it will be awhile until more is purchased. Good thing both kids go to school tomorrow.

Insights into Emily

22 Oct

And back to the Insights portion of the blog…

To: The “Girls”
Subject: Question
So, I’m putting calories into the calorie calculator and I’m wondering. How many tablespoons of Hershey’s chocolate syrup are distributed during one upside bottle turn while your mouth is open below said bottle? And, when your husband witnesses this action and declares, “OH MY GOD,” is that bad? How many calories are distributed in, lets say, six upside down bottle turns? The container says that two tablespoons equals 100 calories. No way I just did five miles in chocolate!!!

Introducing: Insights into Emily

18 Sep

Often, what started out as an email, turns into one of my post. I thought it may be entertaining for you readers, perhaps offer some insight into my crazy life and thinking to occasionally post some of those emails which may or may not later appear as full posts. So, I’m introducing a new occasional mini-series to Where’s Erma? “Insights into Emily”. I’ve spell checked them so they lack all my iPhone spelling/typing errors, but warts and all; this is honestly what I send the people around me.

To: Teacher
Subject: Today with Madie
Dear Mrs. Black,
When I picked up Madie from school today, I noticed that her shirt was on backwards. When I asked her about it, she told me that she removed all her clothes on the playground to play jump rope. She is prone to removing her shoes and she has been known to remove her clothing at home while playing dress up…but this one is new to me. Do you know what happened?


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