These Silly Adulting Things...

As stated by the great Chili Davis, "Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional." (Obviously had to look up who said that quote) With just a few days left in my 32nd year, I have come to realize that I genuinely avoid adulting whenever I possibly can. Pretty sure I avoid it more and more each year, perhaps in part because I have come to acknowledge my weird phobias and quirks... and frankly I'm okay with them. I've somehow managed. Successfully? That's debatable. But I've managed enough to exist and kind of get away with daily living.

The following is a list of things that I weirdly don't feel old enough to do. Either I have an odd fear, or it just is way too mature and real-life-y. On the other hand, when I do accomplish said-items, I get a ridiculous sense of adultness and maturity... like internal pride to a level that is way elevated in relation to the size of the task. And sometimes I would really love a high-five. There is nothing on the list that even remotely makes sense, but welcome to my brain and neuroses. Let me begin. 

1. Going to the dry cleaner. This isn't something I particularly avoid now that I know how it works, but this one just give me a strange sense of "having it all together." I, clearly, do not. I'm not sure if this is from movies or tv shows, but a housewife with dry cleaning is just the epitome of maturity... so to pretend with hangers of starched clothing covered in plastic gives me a total Susie Homemaker vibe and like I'm really killing it in the adulting department. 

2. Giving the babysitter instructions. I have three kids, my oldest being nine years old. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. I can't help but think as I'm spouting off bedtimes and no eating in the family room rules... Am I really the parent in this situation? I swear it was yesterday that I was the babysitter, making $5 an hour and saving up to buy a TV with the VCR in it so I could record Dawson's Creek. Who are these three children whom I created, carried in my stomach and am fully responsible for? When did that happen? And how am I supposed to be the professional on them and tell you how to care for them? 

I am not alone. And these memes keep me thinking that way. 

3. Having any type of repair person at my home. First of all, don't rape and kill me, k? Second of all, I feel like I never fully understand what I should be doing while they are there. Do I stand over them awkwardly? Do I pop in and out from the area they are working on? I already typically have to apologize for the mess they have to step over to reach whatever is broken and I kinda don't want to stand there while he moves Barbies from in front of the air conditioning thingy. So I awkwardly sit in the kitchen without my glorious trash TV shows on, (lest he judges me and my love for Bravo and the Kardashians), and mess around on my computer until I hear him walking which is when I leap up and pretend like I'm doing something meaningful other than listening for his every move and browsing the sale at South Moon Under. It turns into a double bill- repair and new sweater. 

4. Calling to make any type of appointment. I think I just like to be totally prepared for what I need to say and know exactly what they are going to ask me. I can't deal with crazy surprises, like "Can you do next Thursday at 2pm." Ugh like I don't know, can I? When I need to actually make these phone calls, I have to amp myself up, get everything out in front of me that I could possibly need, and lock myself in my closet. And I still freak out. Call me a millennial, but for the love of all things holy, give me an appointment request situation online. And also, don't call me to confirm the appointment I just made online. I did it online for a reason. So I didn't have to talk to you!!! 

5. Calling to order food (I guess you can say I am anti-any type of phone call, really). I'm telling you, it is a phobia. The comedian Jim Gaffigan totally nailed it in one of his shows- look it up. But the person on the other line talks so ridiculously fast and I can hear clanging and mania in the background, so inevitably I completely freeze and have absolutely no idea what I was ordering or who I am or where I live. Any online ordering app is my BFF. I actually have an entire folder on my phone dedicated to food apps. I guess this phobia applies to all areas of ordering food with a real human while not seated at a restaurant. Why would I wait in the line at Panera with the masses, just to have someone yell "I can help the next person in line!" and go totally blank on the you-pick-two items I want from the vast menu above my head that is always changing and seems to have morphed from English to Vietnemese before my very eyes? I inevitably screw something up, forget a drink, get a yogurt for the child who wanted soup, you name it. Rapid Pick-up people. All.the.way. If I ever do have no other option but to dial a number and order food, the sense of relief when I hang up is palpable. Then I do a happy dance, unlock myself from the closet with pride and tell the girls that dinner is on its way. 

6. Going to the post office/UPS store. Come on, does anyone ever know what they are doing when they go to the post office? How do you know which box to pick? How much does this weigh? Is this packaged right? What do I do and can someone please help me? I once mailed a wedding gift that was fragile and because I'm an idiot smiling dumbly saying "Um, sure," shipping the thing cost more than the present itself! Like was it packaged in unicorn hair? Some people have a strange gift of being able to mail things and it simply has a little sticker that says $4.77 in the corner. Matt's grandmother is one of those people. So normal and packaged properly... one of my goals in life. I mean, even the stamp machine always seems to be broken when I step foot in the post office. Zappos has actually changed my life a bit in regards to this fear though. Re-taping the same box, printing out my free return label and just dropping it off at the counter while all those suckers stand waiting in line gives me an inflated sense of joy and confidence. 

7. Having cleaning people. Every other Wednesday in the Simmons home are the very best days of the entire month. The lemony smell as I walk in the door is like angels singing to me. Glee fills my heart and I inhale the glorious scent of cleanness. Anyone can walk in the door and I'll breezily be like, "Oh come on in, sorry for the mess. Let me put this one dish away." (If they actually know me, they know my cleaners schedule and will laugh in my face). Who cares that I frantically get my children ready and out the door 30 minutes early to go hang out at my sister's house just so I don't have to face those poor women when they come in and see the trainwreck we have created in merely 14 days? I have said this before... I am just really not important enough to ever be around while someone is cleaning my dirt. And I swear, the girls bathroom looks like they literally paint the sinks with toothpaste all.the.time. Like I don't even know how they do it, it is actually impressive. My life has changed for the better on the "creepily parking down the street from my house so I know when they finally leave" front. Thanks to my snazzy garage door opener app, I am alerted every time it opens or closes so I can know the minute they are done and out the door. (Thank you, my dear friend Ryan at Gaithersburg Garage Door- after 2 new doors and a new motor in less than a year, I think we are some of your very best customers. Don't ask about the multiple doors. Just don't.) 

8. Ordering wine from an extensive menu. Look, I get the 6-pack carrier with an extra 10% off at Safeway like a boss. Most of the time I look for cute bottles, fun names, or ones that are typically more expensive but have a great sale price. I mean, paying $25 is really pushing it for me. It goes down just as fast as the $12.99 bottle. I'm not a snob. Or as I like to say, "I don't discriminate." Yes there are gross wines obviously, but I am pretty good at staying in my lane and picking up some good ones that I like and have no problem drinking. So when I'm put in a situation with a massive book of wines, I usually hand it right over to Matt (partially so I don't feel bad about how much the bottle costs). Recently we went with my brother and sister-in-law to RPM Italian in DC. It is Giuliana and Bill Rancic's place (E! News, my red carpet girl- c'mon) and both Cheryl and I were totally geeking out over it. When the sommelier came over to ask, Matt was already handling one phobia for me (he was in the lobby ordering pizza for the girls at home, which I wasn't doing because my Papa John's App was not loading- what horror!). So I was like errrrrr I'll do a Sauvignon Blanc I guess? She sensed the question mark at the end of that request, so she went into a whole spiel about this other one that I need to open my horizons to and it was just so beyond lovely and she would bring me a taste. I never say no to a free taste, especially when it is $15 a glass (and that would be the proper number of ounces, aka my glass had two drops in it. Ugh. I have gotten way used to the country club pour). 

It was the Vernaccia di San Gimignano (Say that five times fast. Or once, after a bottle of it), I did the little pretend swirl/sniff thing, oohed over it, and out came a bottle of it for a schmillion dollars. 

I should probably stop here before you think I'm certifiably insane. If you don't now, I'm sure I will affirm your suspicions in the near future. Somehow, despite these strong feelings regarding so many things in my adult life, I manage to maintain a relatively normal existence. I have my coping mechanisms (in the form of apps, preferably). Maybe I'll start calling people in my 40's. #goals 


Just, how???

Sometimes life just feels like it is passing by without enjoyment. Like I am trying to get through the week, only to be met with just another week. I anxiously await the weekend, but then- is catching up on DVRed shows on Sunday afternoon with Matt that amazeballs? Okay I withdraw that statement. It is. But anyways... another week happens. I'm still playing catch up in 99% of my life and the feeling of failure and chaos continues.

I've had a rather long week and a half with 2/3 girls plus myself getting a lovely virus, fever included. It was no stomach bug, but everyone felt pretty crappy... and having a child with a 103 degree fever lying on top of you all.night.long can be compared to bathing in hot coals. But I have been wondering something lately. This isn't meant to be a rhetorical question, or a silly one. How does everyone do it? No, but really. How? How do you get through the grind of each day? The often monotonous, yet exhausting, endless stream of chaos? Making lunches, driving carpool, eternal laundry, dishes that don't do themselves, activity sign-ups (on time, no less), birthdays, cleaning, forms from school, dinners, grocery shopping, 87 homemade Valentine's for everyone in the 3rd grade, keeping your kids in hole-less clothing in the appropriate size. doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, school parties, play dates, homework, buying shoes that fit before the correct season so you aren't frantically ordering snow boots on Amazon Prime while your poor child wears rain boots with plastic bags and 18 pairs of socks in three feet of snow (sorry Summer), volunteering, school projects, clean sheets, green pancakes on St. Patrick's Day, the logistics of multiple children in multiple sports on multiple days at multiple times. Let's not add in the whining and fighting and drama and feelings. Stick a fork in me if someone gets the stomach bug. 

I read a book recently. It actually wasn't recently, it was like the end of summer four years ago. The fact that I am still thinking about it should be telling. And also I'm pretty sure that everyone has read it by now... The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. It hooked me from page one, but turned into something so utterly different than I would have ever expected. I won't spoil anything, but the feeling that it left me with was the thoughtful consideration and questioning of every small and large decision I have ever made and will make in my life. Every decision you make has some sort of consequence, big or small. The notion that decisions and judgements you make every day can completely change the course of your life, and specifically your children's lives... I mean, so deep and stressful, am I right? Also though, when did life get so complicated? Do you ever feel like you are just screwing up your kids? Just absolutely, 100%, hands-down botching things? I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing or what is the right thing- multiply that times three different children with three different personalities and endless different needs, and thinking about the fact that what I decide for them now could actually affect their entire lives-- it is just a recipe for disaster.

I also know that in addition to questioning decisions on a daily basis, I do view certain things in a different way than others. Prior to the age of 18, my life was pretty much rainbows and butterflies and rose-colored glasses. I came from a childhood that was extremely free and innocent. I would leave in the morning to meet my friends; we would go play at the creek for hours, building forts, getting dirty, wandering. When it started getting dark, we would go home. If I was heading up my driveway and the dining room light was on, that was bad news and I knew I was late for dinner and epic stern looks were coming my way. Hours on end, no cell phones, no knowledge if I was ever coming back. That was the life and freedom I knew... it was phenomenal. And it is something I can't provide for my children. #yetanotherfailure. When I lost my dad, I lost that innocence along with him. I lost my safety net in life. I lost the idea that "bad things only happen to other people." I know terrible and tragic things can happen to anyone at anytime because it happened to me. The glass ceiling was shattered. It is a club you never want to get into but once you're in, it is eternal membership. That kindred spirit of "Yeah. I know." My heart actually hurts when I see others going through things, because it just has the tendency to take me back to the worst time in my life. I have to be careful how much I invest myself in tragedies because I can easily let it swallow me up. 

So where am I headed with this depressing, abysmal story?? Back to screwing up my kids, that's where. I start to get stressed with all of these decisions we have to make for/with them and if they are the right ones, particularly in the midst of the busy, complicated life that everyone seems to have now. Do you know the one massive positive I have in the middle of all of this? My person. Matt knows how to calm me, how to encourage me, how to get me a martini if I need it, how to let me be if that's what's best. He is my far superior half whom I really, truly, would drown in this madness without. He brings me back to earth and helps me know that we are doing our best and we have happy, healthy, (mostly) good children. 

So how does everyone do it? I'd love some hints. Like those Nintendo cheat codes that were everything in the 90's. An "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start" could be pretty freaking helpful at the moment I have to turn the car around for the 3rd time on the way to dive practice to get the bathing suit we forgot at the house (mid-the act of pouring the last drops of children's motrin for one, but post-having to locate another who forgot she was not supposed to be on the bus as I was sitting in the carpool line). I realize we are all so hard on ourselves which is honestly a big part of the problem. You may be able to tell, but I'm kind of the oversharing type. Shocker, I know. Just because I overshare doesn't mean I am confident in my decisions or failures or anything, really. 

In the midst of this monotonous, chaotic, complicated life, you do get glorious moments... Like the snuggles and the pride and excitement of showing you their clean room. The "I love you mommy's." And like the time your child who slices her finger while "moving" daddy's razor, explains to us that she is far more concerned about the large bandage on her middle finger because if she holds it up it means she "hates God." She's 6. But ya know, these babies just keep bringing us to the next day, next week... with even more opportunities for us to screw them up.