When the Play Date Ends: An Army of Ermas


Since Buttercup was a little tiny baby, she has despised goodbyes. Newborn shrieks would replace content gurgles the instant she got wind of diaper bags being packed up, hugs exchanged with whomever it was we were visiting, and car keys jangling.

Those newborn shrieks have since been replaced with tantrums, MAMA I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE I LIKE IT HERE's and hours of pouting afterward just to prove her point. And that was when we visited my adult friends. Without kids, people. Heaven help me when it was an actual play date that was ending.

She's five now. Adorable. Smart. Hilarious. She has strength and character and Mother of...

She's going to break me with that attitude.

Her teacher told me the other day that Buttercup crossed her arms over her chest, dug her heels firmly into the ground, and flat out refused the green journal being handed to her for an activity in class. It seemed that Teacher Lady had assigned each child in class a random journal that was theirs to use for the entire school year. Only problem was that green has never been one of her favorite colors and apparently Buttercup was a bit miffed that her preferences had not been taken into consideration.

"I don't like that color," she said. And I know exactly how she said it.

"I'm not working in that." she said. And I can hear the bitch that will replace the brat when my little princess grows up just the tiniest bit more. Because, and trust me on this, it's a milestone that you and your family will note. There might not be a Hallmark card to designated for the very moment you realize it is now socially acceptable to tell at at least one person outside of your head that your kid was a total bitch today and then get weepy because yesterday she had just been bratty. Something changed while she slept. She grew up a little bit. And now you aren't sure if you are crying because you miss your baby are are dead-fucking terrified because it's probably only moments before she realizes she has hormones and all hell officially breaks loose.

Which explains the instant sobs when the ultra-sound tech announced that the baby in the belly was a girl. So sweet and dress-able when they're small. But then they grow up.

And it's always too fast.

We had a play date recently with her BFF from preschool two years ago. In elementary school years, these two have known each other for decades.We managed to leave with only downcast eyes and whispers about being sad as we walked out to our car.

"I like it here. I'm sad I have to go."

And I understood. Because I just learned that a play date of my own is ending.

An Army of Ermas riding off into the sunset on September 30. The site will remain live for fans to peek at when they need to go searching for a favorite laugh. But there will be no more reasons to try and swear less while while writing about something funny. And I'm going to miss that.

I want to pout. Maybe throwing a tantrum will make the fun last long enough for everyone to forget we were supposed to be leaving. Or I could change tactics and promise to play nicer and share more and not call people names anymore.

I kneel down to Buttercup's level and give her a hug before we get into the car.

"I know, sweetie. I'm going to miss my friends, too. But we'll see them again. And it will be soon. Right now, though, it's time to leave."

Thank you, Ermas. It was fun while it lasted. And to Boss Lady, Stacey Graham: Thank you doesn't even begin to describe the gratitude I have in my heart for having had the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing group of writers.

I'd Have Stuck To One Topic But The Pharmacuetical Grade Speed Hasn't Kicked In Yet

Maybe it's the phase of the moon. Or perhaps it's my head adjusting to new meds. Or it could just be that my Muse decided to clock out without notifying me and is currently sipping mimosas by the pool at some beach side resort while I sit here staring at my blog wondering what the hell I'm going to write about. If it's the latter, that bitch is so fired.

Until I figure out where my motivation went, I'll thank the Universe for providing me with a few bits of awesomeness to fill this space. Hopefully, my motivation will find its way back home by Wednesday, with that being my next regular posting day, and all.

And now?


The First Bit of Awesomeness

My friend Jenna Glatzer must have stolen my scale, as is evidenced by the following Facebook posting:

Dear Bathroom Scale, I've been eating nothing but bird food and cereal for 2 weeks. You are now supposed to show me a LOWER number as a reward for my efforts. I don't mean to question your competence as a scale, but I just thought I'd point out that you seem to be doing it wrong. If you need help understanding how to lower your numbers, please ask my bank account.


The Second Bit of Awesomeness


It's Back to the 80's week at Funny Not Slutty, y'all. I was lucky enough to be included in the awesomeness, which happened to work out nicely since I was still in possession of The Funny. We've got 80's babies and leotards and John Cusack and a whole bunch of, like, neon-colored, multi-bangled hilariousness going on over there from a boatload of talented women. Click on over, read my piece on what the M in MTV should stand for these days, and save me a trip to my therapist with a little ego boost I like to refer to as A Comment.



The Third Bit of Awesomeness

You know that An Army of Ermas site I contribute to? (This is the part where you nod your head and say yes because even if you didn't know before you know NOW and will spend your coffee break catching up so you don't have to lie next time) My editor over there, Angie Mansfield, decided I was worth an interview on her blog, The Wandering Zebra and it would be ever so sweet if you'd pop on over, laugh in the right spots, and leave a comment to make me look good for The Powers That Be. (This is the part where you nod your head and...oh never mind. I see you are already familiar with this program. Carry on.)


The Fourth Bit of Awesomeness

Remember that LifeProof iPhone case contest? You know, the one for the case that you can pretty much do anything with and STILL have a working phone? Want to know who gets a free case in their choice of color? I'll tell you. Or rather, Random.org selected one of you lucky bastards and I get to pass on the good news. Shelley Oswald will soon be tweeting from the shower with her purple LifeProof case JUST BECAUSE SHE CAN.

Thank you to LifeProof for sponsoring the contest and to all of you for entering.


The Fifth Bit of Awesomeness

This one is my favorite.

There's gonna be a wedding, y'all. And I'm gonna be a bridesmaid! Congratulations to my BFF Heather and her new fiance Dave. Buttercup approves, so you guys are all clear to proceed with the planning on the nuptials.

Happy Monday, you crazy kids.

Road Rulz

Did you know that the shape of the school crossing sign is made to represent a school house so as to help those of us behind the wheel of a car remember to follow the posted speed limits?

Yeah...me neither. Which is probably why I was standing in line with 50 other people to sign in for traffic school. As much as that sounds like it would be made of absolute suckage, I have to admit that (aside from the waking up at 5 a.m. thing) the day was pretty entertaining. And by entertaining? I totally mean educational and *clears throat* always obey the rules of the road, kids. You're too pretty to become someone's girlfriend in prison.

And for that matter, so am I.

This is why I'm here today, y'all. To share with you the highlights of what I learned in traffic school. Keep in mind that some (or all except for one) may only apply to Arizona, so I hereby recuse myself and The Army of Ermas of Any of Your Issues if you try to use any of the contents of this post to fight some crazy traffic ticket in the Alaskan boonies.

That being said...

* Never, under any circumstances, point out to the instructor that you found your almost falling asleep at the wheel on the way in to traffic school ironic, seeing as this whole thing is supposed to be about safety.

* It's probably also an even better idea to not file a formal request to allow those with access to the Internet to send in traffic school payment via PayPal and take the course during a special Twitter party with the hashtag "RoadRulz". Trust me...it won't go over well.

* While the driver of a motorcycle is not legally required to wear a helmet, his (or her) passenger is. Insurance companies are thereby encouraged to point and laugh at each biker who willingly signs off on the safety gear and instead chooses to pay a higher premium on his (or her) insurance policy.

* Homeschooling is required for children ages five and up.

* Well, maybe only if parents of said child who will be in a five-point-harness until she's 30 wish to spare her the humiliation of being unstrapped from her car seat every morning at school drop off from now until her senior year of college, seeing as safety seats for kids are not required for children over the age of five.

* "Work with your neighbor" in regards to class tests means the person sitting next to you, not the people who are laughing at you on Facebook for landing yourself in this mess.

* "So, what are you in for" is an acceptable greeting in traffic school.

* "I was FRAMED" is an (obviously) acceptable response to the aforementioned greeting in traffic school but...

*  Streaking blue eye-shadow across one's face and screaming "FREEDOM" upon dismissal tends to be frowned upon.

* Oh right...and the brake pedal's on the left.

Happy Driving!