what I learned this week…tans, messes and mariachi

by Janelle Hanchett

What I learned this week…


  1. I love the look of sun-kissed tan kid faces. I love the shiny gold streaks the sun brushes across their hair. I love the freckles and the tan lines. It all says “summer” to me. It reminds me of being young and free all day and sunburned, with that perfect exhaustion, that in-the-sun-all-day glow, calm and serenity.
  2. My kids have those sun-kissed faces right now. [Yes, I know the sun causes cancer.  No, I do not make a habit of it. But damn it’s sweet for a while.]
  3. I no longer have insomnia. I now have wanttosleepallday-ia. It’s nice to have things back to normal. I think.
  4. Speaking of normal, you know what’s NOT normal? The sleep habits of mothers. Check it out. All freaking week I’m exhausted. I mean my head hits the pillow at 10:30pm and my eyes are aching my body is like lead and my attitude is really not that nice. I wake up with the baby at 5 or 6am questioning suicide. So this morning I have a chance to sleep as late as I want. As LATE AS I WANT – I could catch up on all that sleep. And what do I do? Wake up at 9am. Can’t sleep more. WHY? WHY? WHY?
  5. Do not talk about ghosts (not even nice ones) ever ever ever around 5-year-olds. If you do, they will suddenly be “scared.” Every night. Even though they’ve been camped on your floor for, oh, I don’t know, FOREVER, they will bump their neediness up a notch, demanding lights on and an adult presence in the room while they fade gently into safe peaceful non-ghost slumber. Fuck me I’m an idiot.
  6. I mean seriously who the hell talks about ghosts around their 5-year-old?!?
  7. My son will not pick up his messes without being asked. EVER. If you ask him, he will do one of three things: 1.) Ignore you; 2.) Fall on the ground in agony, struck suddenly immobile by a horrible stomach or head ache; 3.) Move to the area of the mess in question and roll around in it, half playing with it, half moving it around toward where it’s supposed to be.
  8. I have no idea what to do about #7. None. I usually just end up yelling or beating my forehead with a meat tenderizer. [That was a joke.] Suggestions welcome.
  9. I really want to send my kids to summer camp one week this summer, so they get to experience something cool at least once. But good god almighty it’s expensive. Shiiittt. Why do things seem so different than when I was a kid? Am I that old? We had no money, and I went to summer camp. I don’t get it.
  10. Next weekend we’re going camping in Lake Tahoe with some of our favorite people in the world, which I’m hoping will balance the fact that camping with an 11-month old is freaking miserable. I do not learn. I don’t.
  11. I don’t love mariachi music. From my house we hear it pretty much all day during weekends (our neighbors, evidently, love it). I hear it right now in fact. And no matter how long I listen to it, I don’t really dig it. Live it’s okay. Of course being forced to hear any music all freaking day long is pretty damn annoying.  Oh well. More proof I belong in a nice quiet yurt in Borneo.

Have a great week.

You can't really tell how tan they are from this picture, but they are. And it's lovely.

13 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | July 17, 2011
  • Shan

    4. Dude, if I could sleep to 9:00 I’d be so freaking happy! Of course, if I went to bed before 3:45 this morning (just in time for Fynn to finally wake up… the girl knows when my leg hits the bed), I might not be jealous of sleeping to 9:00. Note to self.

    5-7. LMAO

    9. There are cheap camps. They’re usually operated by churches. Pick your poison. I sent Corey to camp four years ago. On Catalina. I missed him so bad. He was pissed when he had to come home.

    10. Next weekend we’ll be in Monterey, Pleasanton and possibly SF (we’re not exactly clear on where my BIL and his fiancee’s new place is. After that we’re heading to Lodge Pole and Crystal Cave. So I’ll be having my own camping/hiking with an 11 month old. AND a 3 year old who, to date, has not used a public restroom. She has progressed from melting down about even going near one (dude, I can relate, but c’mon!) to just plugging her ears and breathing a little fast. Should be awesome!

    11. I love the mariachis! But as I read this I realized I agree… Live only.

    • renegademama

      Church camps = BRILLIANT. Never even thought of that! I’m checking it out pronto. And by the way, you crack me up Shan. Crack.Me.Up.

      And I love you for it. I died when I read “should be awesome!” – something about the thick dripping sarcasm – you know I love that shit!

  • Shel

    Hey, wanted to say I saw your hubby and kiddos today, felt like I was seeing someone famous 😉 Were you there? Welcome to the school, can’t wait to meet you…you are one seriously cool chick!

    • renegademama

      This may be the coolest comment I’ve ever gotten, mainly because it makes me feel like one of the popular kids I never was…you know, being “recognized” and all… 🙂

  • sherilinr

    i totally agree ~ there’s something so fabulous about that summer freckley tanned little face. i sunblock mine up heavily & she still freckles and tans & i love it.
    i’ve had good luck getting mine to clean up her crap when she’s avoiding it by taking the crap away. just bag it right up into a garbage bag right in front of the kid & heave it into a dumpster & next time they’ll take you more seriously when you say it’s time to clean up.

    • renegademama

      As I mentioned below…I’m doing this. I just need to get my nerve up and do it. I talk big but I’m a wimp. but I can’t take this anymore – the kid has got to learn.

      • Shan

        One word of caution… days before Christmas when Corey was five and About. To. Die, I told him to pull himself together or I’d take all of his presents and throw them in the trash. Corey got this horrified look on his face, backed up and said, “Can’t we just give them to the kids who don’t have any?”


  • Jess

    7. OMG I thought my son was the only one. It’s like I asked him to chop of his boy parts, his agony is so great. It drives me absolutely insane.

    8. ME EITHER.

    • renegademama

      this is hysterical. glad I’m not the only one.

  • Kateri Von Steal


    You may not agree with this.
    But it has worked for me… after the first time of trying…


    My son tried this with me.
    Not wanting to clean up, pretending to half play half clean… double over in pain or complain of some phantom pain….

    I warned him with, “You don’t clean it up by time I come back in this room, I am throwing it in the garbage.”

    He didn’t believe me.
    So I did it.

    He flipped out. it was insane.

    But, the next day when I told him to clean up.
    It got done.

    And now when he even thinks he’s not going to clean up.. I start with, “do you remember what happened to you handy manny truck?”

    Then he quickly cleans.

    • renegademama

      Okay…so I’m trying this. I need to grow a pair and just do it. I’m such a damn wimp, but this is getting totally ridiculous. I mean it’s unreal. Plus, it’s just STUFF. Just crap nobody’s going to give a shit about in 5 years. Or 5 minutes.

  • Laura Vivoni-Toro

    New Follower from Bloggy Moms. I love your post! I can totally relate!!! 😀

  • dani

    My kids just fell out of a Beach Boys’ song. And it is lovely.

    My son does the same thing. Can I borrow your meat tenderizer?

    What is up with camp costs? It’s insane.