FILED IN: Parenting

Achy, Breaky Suburban New Year’s Eve

It is… was… just another achy, breaky suburban New Year’s Eve, after all!

I often times associate songs with certain times in my life — you know, the good and the not so much — and I believe it was Karen Carpenter (yes, I’m old, shuddup!) who sang about holidays being joyful and how there’s always something new.

But, I also believe that everyday is a holiday, when you do NOT have a sick child at home with you!

[knocks on wood and breaks out the Lysol]

When it comes to ringing in the new year, no one does a New Year’s Eve better than we, here at This Full House of multi-functional gadgets and overly-priced hair products!

Yes, you are…at this very moment…visiting the den of "suburban decadence" (borrowed term from Busy Mom) where…after years of frequenting fancy nightclubs and indulging in champagne envy, b.c. (before children) the hubs and I have become quite accustomed partying in the comfort of our own living room and wearing nothing…but, my mommy pajamas!

[blank stare]

Hooded shirt and sweat pants.

Last year, in true suburbanista fashion, I took my family to visit with a teenage-hood friend (man, he still looks the same…the bastard!) on New Year’s Eve and made sure that we left in plenty of time (we live in Jersey, you know) and get home, so that the kids and I could change into our pajamas, break out the cocktail weenies and float away to happy land, with a couple of kiddie spritzers, of course.

1 part rainbow sherbet, to 2 parts ginger ale

Yes, we par-tayed like…well…there is…NO SCHOOL…tomorrow!


After about three board games, two dozen hands of Uno and numerous rounds of charades, my husband was snoring in one of the arm chairs and I was soooo, you know, ready for bed.


And it was only 9:00 p.m.!


A bunch of party animals we are, eh?

Correct me if I’m wrong — oh, go ahead, everyone else does — but, when a person wakes up, suddenly…say, sometime in the middle of the night…to strange sort of beastly sounds…similar with what I believe one would hear…when being chased down by a pack of wild dogs…well, I would venture to guess that most people would reach for something…say, like a shoe, nail file or clothes hanger…anything…that one could use as a make-shift weapon?

Nope, not if you’ve got kids and — especially, if they’re sick — because you already know that…

[clears throat]


It is a drool-drenched beastie — residing in your child’s ears, nose, throat and/or respiratory system — relentless in its attacks and mostly comes out at night.

If you’re a parent, then perhaps you’ll understand, when I tell you, how tempted I am to drop the kids with their friends around the corner (I mean, they WERE having a real party, with ice cream, a Wii and everything) because, all I want to do is snuggle next to my hubby and, you know, call it a night.


"Aw, c’mon…Thing One…can’t we go ONE night without television…especially on New Year’s…"

[eyes go wide]

"OMG…is that…I mean…I can’t believe it’s…holy crap!"

My middle girl (she turned 12 last week, I think) looked over her shoulder, smiled and shrugged.

"Yeah…it’s Hannah Montana…and Miley Cyrus IS so cewl!"

[shakes head]

"NO…not her…"

[gets up off couch and points directly at]


WOO…to infinity…HOO!

"Oh, he is Miley’s Cyrus’ dad…I mean…he is really Miley’s REAL dad…and some sort of a singer, I think."

[eyes go wide]

"ARE YOU KIDDING ME…I mean…that’s Billy Ray Cyrus…and he was…is…I can’t believe he’s still sooo…HOT!"

Holy crap!

It took me a little while to calm down and figure out — much to my children’s amazement — that Miley Stewart…I mean…Miley Cyrus was…I mean is…Hannah Montana!


Yes, it was HIM!

It was the same Billy Ray Cyrus I had a crush on…um…okay, fell in love with (mullet and all) back in the day, who begged me (yes, ME!) not to break his heart…all those years ago…and HE was…is…WHATEVER…Hannah Montana’s REAL dad!?!?

"Yeah, but at least he looks much better…"

[eyes go wide]

"…without his long hair and for an old guy, I mean."

WHATEVER, Thing Two!

Funny, I don’t remember my mother ever crushing on any of my childhood memories — of course, we ALL know that cartoons aren’t real — except, for Billy Ray.

“Don’t break my heart…my achy, breaky…WHAT?”

Yes, the kids seemed to be just as surprised to learn that my mother enjoys watching Hannah Montana, too.

“It’s a cute show, okay!”

Funny, how it seems a lot cooler, coming from their grandmother.

“Yeah, Nagy Mama, it totally rocks!”

I still think that the years look pretty good on Billy Ray — living as a suburban cowboy and all — me, not so much.

Even so, I don’t really miss those "achy, breaky" days, too much.

“I don’t feel so good.”

Thing One woke up with a high fever, this morning and it seems as if we’ll be spending YET another holiday…sick.

“Man, this sucks!”

Unfortunately, I know how she feels.

“Not really.”

I wiped the hair away from the drool that was stuck to her mouth (you’re welcome) and reminded her that it was New Year’s Eve.

“I’m looking forward to having a private little party, with Hannah Montana!”

At least, the kids seem to be happy with our holiday traditions — simple as they may seem — and we should be happy that there is at least one television show that the kids and I can…ahem…enjoy, together!

“And, actually, I’m thinking about NOT taking a shower, either!”

Here’s wishing all of us — especially, everyone here and who visits the Imperfect Parent family — a happy, healthy and truly prosperous 2008!

[the sound of many corks, popping]

May we NEVER stray too far from home and those who love us, or find our way to those who do, and keep the creeping crud…far, far away…from you!

[lifts glass and offers Lysol]

Kiddie spritzer, anyone!?!?