Tag Archives: Donny & Marie

The Back to School ABCs (According to ODNT)

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With so many brands named, I should’ve been PAID to write this post.


A is for Alarm Clock. The two of you haven’t spoken all summer. And suddenly you realize you’re going to be facing off with that bitch every morning for the next nine and a half months.

B is for Bookbag. These days, you can choose between backpack-style (which, because they’re so heavy, will slowly stunt your child’s growth) or rolling (so your kid can look like he’s racing across a busy airport to catch the red eye to Phoenix). Honestly, I never even used a book bag. I used an oversized rubber band (which doubled as a pretty powerful weapon) to get the job done in Nineteen-Eighty-Before-There-Was-Fire.

C is for Contact Paper. You’ll need it to cover workbooks, assemble special projects and repair folders, novels and notebooks. Oh, and did I mention that if you haven’t already purchased it that you’ll soon be racing around town to at least a half a dozen stores, fruitlessly, only to realize that you’re screwed and you now need to order it online? (And how exactly do you think I know this?)

D is for Duct Tape. Because their school shoes will inevitably fall apart when you can count the remaining days of the year on your fingers and toes. And you’d rather send your kid to school looking like trailer trash than purchase new ones so late in the year. (Gosh, I hope no one who calls themselves ‘trailer trash’ is reading right now. Which would be insane because WHO would actually call themselves trailer trash AND be able to read?)

E is for Erasers. No matter how many you have right now, it’s not enough. Your kid is way dumber than you think. He’s going to make mistakes the likes of which you could never predict. Plus, apparently it’s super fun to erase. So, go. Go get more. Now. They’re like 45 for a dollar. We’ll wait.

F is for Food. Lots of it. In the most overprocessed, orange-powder-covered, pre-packaged, single-serving forms you can find. Sure, all that convenience adds up. And, yes, it’s not always the healthiest option. But you’ll thank me when when you realize you need to pack a lunch in fifteen seconds because one of the kids sees that the cafeteria calendar says Shepherd’s Pie.

G is for Goo, as in Shoe Goo. For those more discerning than the duct tape people mentioned above. (“More discerning” = you buy name brand Cheetos)

H is for Haircut. School pictures are just around the corner and you want them to look clean and fresh in the yearbook. Also, accept now that picture day is likely the only day they’ll look clean and fresh all year. (See “S” below. You should learn to love dirt. Embrace it even. Dirt is your friend.)

I is for Ice Pack. Not for your kids. (Duh.) For you. For when they have so much freakin’ homework that you work with them for hours and find yourself going to bed with a splitting headache from the math you had to reteach yourself and then somehow explain to your kid. Patiently.

J is for Jelly. And peanut butter. Unless your kid is allergic. Then you need to find something else that pairs well with jelly. Like ham. Or cream cheese. Or maybe just more jelly. And buys tons of all of it because you’ll be slapping that shit together at warp speed a lot in the morning.

K is for Kleenex. Dear God, don’t forget the Kleenex. If just ONE kid uses it, isn’t it totally worth the effort?

L is for Lunch Kit. ‘Cause they need something in which to tote the Bologna Pizza Lunchables to and from school. When I was a kid, we called them (rusty, dented metal, Donny & Marie) lunch boxes. “Lunch Kit” makes it sound like something you buy with the food already in it. (God, wouldn’t that be awesome?)

M is for Milk Money. Of course, today they can also get three different kinds of juice, bottled water, whole milk, 2% or chocolate. (What the hell kid isn’t getting chocolate milk every day, by the way?)

N is for Nail Scissors. Keeping things under control here is one of the best ways to avoid bringing a DNA sample of each child in your kid’s class into your home. I truly pity those of you with nail biters. Just think of what they’re ingesting. And contracting. And bringing home to YOUR immune system.

O is for Os, as in Cheerios, Eggos, Honey Nut Toasty Os, etc. Curiously, any food that ends in O is sure to make a great breakfast on school mornings. It’s fast, your kids will love it and they can even make it for themselves. (Yes, I am fully aware that Spaghetti-O, Oreo and Dorito end in O. Check the above criteria and tell me they don’t fit in perfectly.)

P is for Patience. You’ll need silos of it … when they come home saying things like “I didn’t think it would be on the test,” “But Mrs. Delery only said for HENRY to stop doing it,” and “SHE kicked ME in the stomach first!”

Q is for Quinoa. I like to keep some on hand to set out on the kitchen counter to create the illusion that it’s a staple in my family’s diet when we have friends over to play. It helps make the other mothers feel inferior to you and allows you to laugh condescendingly and say things like “We use it in everything” and “I just got tired of feeding my kids so much toxic poison.” NOTE: Be aware of this foreign word’s pronunciation (ˈkēnwä) as you will not sound superior but rather like a jackass if you go with the more pedestrian version (kwin-OH-ah) that I threw around for years.

R is for Reasons. Your kid is going to be late for school, forget his homework and act out once in a while. And “We got caught in traffic,” “The dog ate it,” and “It wasn’t ME!” just aren’t cutting it anymore. So, my advice is to get cracking now. It’s early in the year and there’s plenty of time to start crafting some unique and original excuses for the teachers. Once written, you need to drill your kids with recitations until they can utter these new story lines without tears or laughter. Only then will they be bulletproof when problems arise.

S is for Scrunchies and other hair accessories. Yes, it’s hot in August. And, yes, it’s a good idea to keep her hair out of her eyes. But mostly it’s the best defense you have against a lice outbreak at school. That and dirty hair plastered with lots of hair spray. Not that I would have ANY idea what I’m talking about here. (cough)

T is for Tide Pens. (Okay, where’s my endorsement money?) Because at the end of the day their clothing is going to look like a crime scene of unidentifiable stains. And you’re not going to want to do laundry every day. This magic stick buys you the time you need as a human being between spaghetti stains, Kool-aid catastrophes and blood baths. (Fine. Maybe not BLOOD baths.)

U is for underarm deodorant. I thought about suggesting uniforms, umbrellas or even unconditional love. But I’m sticking with underarm deodorant. If your kid is in middle school or even getting close to it, do his teacher a solid and buy some today. There’s never been a better time to try it. (Still need convincing? Offer to sub one afternoon following recess. It’s worse than peeling onions.)

V is for Virus Prevention. In whatever form you can get. Purell, Lysol, hand soap, tissues, flu shots, whatever. Just buy it, please, and use it. I do NOT want whatever your kid is peddling. ‘Case, you know, MY kids are always the innocent victims.

W is for washable. Anything that comes with this label is your friend. Case in point – Let’s say your kid comes home with colorful streaks all over her shirt.

  • Scenario A – After learning it’s her washable markers … You: (sigh) Take off your shirt and put it on the washer. I’ll go spray it down. And wash it. Again. (sigh) … OR …
  • Scenario B – After learning it’s her indelible Sharpies … You: Holy shit. I mean … Shoot! Well, NO! I shouldn’t have said that, but this isn’t about ME! What were you thinking? … You know what? I don’t even care. Just take the damned shirt off and put it in the trash. Or wait, put it with the rags so we can be reminded of this moment every time we clean the son of a mother … $&@%#!! … What were you THINKING?”

X is for Xylophone. Yeah, I know. This one seems weird. But not in MY house. Because, for the past two years, my girl has lugged her instrument (the LARGEST one in the band, thank you very much) into the school with either Dave’s or my assistance and left it in a special place to pick up for her lesson. Because she couldn’t navigate the halls with her heavy book bag AND this oversized musical behemoth. NOTE: New parents, start introducing your toddlers to toy trumpets and flutes now. They’re much more portable. Ooh, or a piccolo. Seriously, it looks like a damned pencil.

Y is for Yellow Highlighters. Trust me when I say if you try to replace your boy’s dried out highlighter with a pink one you may as well be asking him to go to school wearing your old prom dress. Avoid this disaster and keep some (androgynous) yellow on hand.

Z is for Ziplocs. They make great snack holders, lost tooth biohazard receptacles and school supply organizers. In a pinch, they can even serve as starter wallets on days where there are bake sales, book fairs and other money-gobbling festivities. But don’t be surprised if they come back home some days filled with playground rubber, bug collections or some half-eaten snack that you are absolutely positive you didn’t send to school with your child that day.

Feel free to share with friends … because blog posts are like germs.

They’re at their best when contagious and spread around.


read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

A Note from ODNT … Due to popular demand (for my hideously ugly secrets), I am linking this post a second time to the fabulous Honest Mom’s blog. Enjoy reading about the skeletons of even more internet writers here. (Added 6/25/12) 

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Link-ups are big in the online writing community. They help get your name out there to new readers as well as provide you with actual content for your site. So, when I saw that my writing friend, Lindsey from With a Little Love and Luck, was participating in a link-up called ‘Things I’m Afraid to Tell You,’ I decided to give it a try, too.

I started by taking a look at some of the other entries. And I saw some pretty heavy confessions like “I struggle with bipolar disorder” and “I’m an atheist” which had me wondering if I could go through with this exercise. But then I saw a few lighter ones like “I’m intimidated by Facebook” and “I shave my toes.” Alright, fine. So maybe I can do it. And, if you know me at all, you know I’m going to have a little fun while I’m at it.


1. I double dip … but just at home. Honest! It’s really just a peanut butter thing. I mean … how else am I going to get it on every bite of that lengthy pretzel rod? (And, to those who say “spoon,” I say “that’s an extra dish to wash!”) Interestingly though, I have the gall to chastise my children for doing the same. Good Lord, who knows where their hands have been? (I know. What a hypocrite.)

2. I have every one of my children’s teeth and (here’s where it gets weird) their umbilical cord stumps saved in a little box in my bedroom. I think I was a hippie in a past life. Seriously, if anyone ever rifles through my stuff, they’ll probably think I’m a serial killer. Oh, but I can’t wait to see the looks on my kids’ faces when I hand them their boxes on their 18th birthdays. Perhaps I’ll string them into jewelry … or some cuff links for my boy.

3. I am Catholic and, while I don’t subscribe to all of the teachings, I do believe in Heaven. I find that my life is much nicer this way. The anticipation. The accountability. So, if you know something I don’t, please don’t ruin my happy ending for me.

4. I hate The Office, The Hangover, reality television and country music. I know. YOU think they’re awesome. YOU know if I could “just see this one part” or “hear this one song,” you could win me over. Wrong. But I won’t judge you for liking them. Or at least I won’t do it in front of you. And I promise you won’t ever change my mind.

Sidebar #1 … I can remember watching an interview back in the 90s with one of David Koresh’s disciples and hearing her say that people just “didn’t understand his charisma” and that “if you just sat in a room with him for five minutes he could win you over.” And I remember thinking right then and there that I wished the man was alive so that I could sit in a room with him for five minutes. Hell, I’d give him an hour. And he could bring Kool-Aid or whatever beverage he wanted to serve. All I knew was that I was walking out of the room as the same person who walked in. When my mind is made up, it’s not easily swayed. Bring it, Koresh.

5. I (still) have basic cable and VCRs (two of them, thank you) in my house. Hooked up. Not in addition to DVR but instead of it. I just can’t justify the added expense. Plus, the only things ever watched in this house are sports, Nickelodeon and Netflix so what difference does it make? (I’ll bet my entire family just crawled under the table in shame.)

6. I have seen Liza Minnelli, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow and Donny & Marie all in concert. Not together. But, wow, what a show that would be. I love all of these performers … there I said it … and all with good reason. They all represent meaningful connections in my life. Liza = my mom. Neil = my dad. Barry = my grandmother. Donny & Marie = me, the early years. I should probably make a trip to Vegas soon. I’ll bet they’re all playing somewhere. And I could call it The ODNT Sentimental Tour. (Actually, we could probably come up with something better than that by the time I have the t-shirts printed. Now accepting ideas.)

7. I can go for up to five days without washing my hair. I’m not talking about bathing in general, mind you. That happens every day. But hair washing? Well, let’s just say that I’ve discovered the waterless spray “shampoo” that all the octogenarians are talking about. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

8. I don’t know how to dive. Not even close. When I was young, a kid from my class died in a diving accident and, since then, the idea of jumping into anything with my eyes closed, leading with my skull, just seemed like a terribly reckless idea. I guess now I’m unteachable. I think I missed the window.

9. I don’t flush the toilet when I pee in the middle of the night. It all started when we lived in a glorified closet and my first child was an infant. Since then, I’ve just come to feel the noise is entirely too jarring and messes with my whole middle-of-the-night, tranquility vibe.

Sidebar #2 … Why do I have to get up two or three times every night to pee (none of which is flushed until the sun has risen) while my cat manages the whole time just fine in my room shut off from his “facilities?” His kitty bladder must only be the size of an apple. And I’m talking about the small, dinky kind they pack in boxed lunches. He’s my hero. It just doesn’t add up.

10. I have NO idea where I’ll be in five years. Zero. And that scares the snot out of me.

Sidebar #3 … I’ve now managed to work “snot” into the blog for two consecutive posts. Should I keep it going?

Thanks for reading.

What about you? Care to admit to anything in the comments below?