Tag Archives: rants

Kid Menu WTF

My kids and I are always really happy when the waitress hands them crayons and coloring pages, but when it’s time to figure out what we want to eat, things head south quickly.

For some reason, every restaurant ever prints the children’s menu right on the coloring page.
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In a way, this COULD make sense. Maybe bigger kids look at their own menus to figure out what they want to eat, and if they are coloring it ANYWAY, it might as well be the only thing the waiter hands to them. The trouble is the menu on the coloring page spells disaster with smaller kids. They can’t read the menu, which means the parents need that coloring page to help them order.

For reasons I can’t figure out, most restaurants lately haven’t been printing the kids’ meals on the main menu. I guess they figure if you have the coloring page at the table, you don’t need the same information printed in the adult menu. Wrong. If my kids are coloring, they don’t want me to look at the coloring page you just gave them to figure out what they should eat. While Lily is old enough to read the menu, she’s not old enough to figure out if there are any dairy-free choices on it and I need to look. Rose is NOT old enough to read the menu at all. I need to see that sucker if I’m going to figure out their meals and how much they are going to cost.

But when I go to look at the menu on the coloring page, somebody gets upset. Somebody shrieks “Hey! That’s MY coloring! I want to color!” Somebody pouts until I’ve finished making a selection.

The coloring page that was meant to bring peace to our table has now caused more discord than would have happened had no coloring page been brought to our table at all.

Why do restaurants insist on putting the kids’ menus on these things? And IF they must insist on putting them there, why not also put the menu on the adult menu so the parents can figure out the food/bill?

The kid menu on the coloring page is just one of those things that restaurants have all wrong, and I bet none of them even know they are causing problems. And trust me they are. Every time I go out to eat, I have this problem even after explaining to the kids WHY I must take their coloring away for a minute. I’ve seen other mothers struggle with the same thing. STOP THE MADNESS!

People for kid menus being reprinted in the regular menu! Riot!

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Dairy-Free Funk

Today Lily went for her third or fourth round of allergy tests. We were REALLY hoping that maybe she wasn’t allergic to milk anymore. She broke out into hives when eating yogurt when she was 8 months old and hasn’t intentionally had anything with even a trace of milk in it in years.

Unfortunately, she tested positive on the skin test today to the extent that she is not ready for a food challenge to see if she can ingest milk. While her reaction was smaller than it was two years ago, the milk allergy is here to stay for at least another year.

This milk allergy is such a pain in the ass. Sure, we’ve found all the substitute foods. I can recite a long list of brand name junk foods that are dairy-free (Oreos! Crisco! French fries!). We know what dishes at most chain restaurants are ok and were outraged when McDonald’s discontinued the popular-with-us dairy-free Chicken Selects (though the chicken nuggets are dairy-free now! They didn’t used to be! FYI!).

The trouble with the milk allergy is that we can’t just go out and eat a cookie from a bakery. I have to make ALL of her desserts for her. We can’t go out for donuts. If Lily gets invited to someone’s birthday party, that means that I have to bake cupcakes and pack a lunch. That’s right: Other kid’s birthday party have turned into a chore rather than a festivity for me. You’re invited to a birthday party? Great! Now I have to bake!

I hate it. And I’m not even really the one suffering here. I’m sure Lily would love to get a big cookie from Panera or wake up in the morning to find donuts in the house or order mashed potatoes from a restaurant. I’m sure she’d kill to try a milk chocolate candy bar from her Halloween bucket or eat the treats other kids bring in our their birthdays, but she can’t. I can send or make substitutes for all these things, but she knows it’s not the same. She knows she’s missing something. And it’s really not fair.

I don’t even care if she is ever able to drink cow’s milk or cheese. I just want to be able to send my kid to a birthday party without having to make a dairy-free cupcake materialize or worrying that someone might accidentally hand her a ranch potato chip.

But it’s not going to happen. And in a lot of ways we are lucky. We’ve been able to control her food enough that she never reacts and when she DID react to accidental exposures it was always with hives and never with anaphylaxis.

She has a great attitude about everything, but seriously, I’m ready for this milk thing to be OVER.

At least it’s not gluten or peanuts.

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Red Tape

Lily starts kindergarten in about a week. This has been a long time coming, especially since we decided to “redshirt” her and wait to send her to kindergarten until she was almost 6 years old. Her birthday is 25 days before the cut-off in our school district, but at least 35 days AFTER the cut-off in every surrounding school district. It was a tough decision, but I’m fairly confident it was the right one. I guess I won’t know until… well, possibly never. Any problem we have with school this year we could have easily had last year.

I’ve been filling out kindergarten forms like crazy. The forms range from logical to upsetting. The most upsetting form was one where I had to guaranty someone would be here at the house if they let school out early because of an emergency. If there was an emergency, they wouldn’t have time to call and warn the parents. If I can’t guaranty I’ll be home during that emergency, I’m supposed to send my child to another friend or relative who can confirm that they will be home.

Who the hell can guaranty they will be home during the 15 hours a week their child is in kindergarten? It’s ludicrous! I signed that paperwork, but seriously, how the hell can I guaranty I won’t be running an errand if this rare emergency send-home happens? Am I supposed to sit home 15 hours a week while two out of three of my children basically have childcare JUST IN CASE they randomly send one of them home? No. That’s not going to happen.

So here’s hoping in the rare event that they send my child home during an emergency, I’m actually here. Because I’m psychic and will totally know that they’re doing it, apparently. I’ll give Lily further instruction on what to do if that doesn’t work out (neighbors), but yeesh.

Then there were the medical forms. Since Lily has a food allergy (We think? She’s being retested TOMORROW!!!!), we had double the insane amount of medical forms because doctors need to sign off on both Benadryl and Epi-Pens.

When I printed out the medical paperwork this morning, I was admittedly late. I’ll bet 99% of the other kindergarten parents also printed out said paperwork this very week. All hail the mighty busy pediatricians this week. They deserve a break! But I was shocked looking at the paperwork that it said it was “to be completed at your child’s physical”.

Was I to take that literally? Because I have no physical lined up. We only get one well-child visit per year and it has to be more than one year after the previous well-child visit. We aren’t due for another physical until late September (more paperwork!).

I panicked. Then I called the administration building, where I was informed that “obviously” the doctor will fill out the paperwork based on my child’s LAST physical.

Oh. Obviously. That’s why it said “to be completed AT your child’s physical”. Obviously. Get an editor, school system.

And then I discovered that we had to have paperwork filled out by her dentist. Because teeth are SO important to her learning, I guess.

I mean, seriously, why? WHY? I understand the medical forms. The school needs to know our kid’s health history in case something goes wrong. They also need to make sure kids are vaccinated, which I think is important. But dental forms? How many teeth emergencies are kids going to have at school? I mean, sure, a kid could knock a tooth out and then it would be a tooth emergency (been there), but otherwise, WHAT? Why does the dentist need to pre-authorize my child to come to school?!

I guess it’s probably to make sure we’ve all taken our kids to dentists by now, but still. I find the dental form ridiculous and just another excuse to make parents run ALL over the place before school starts.

Dental forms? REALLY?

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Swim Fail, The Return

As I posted earlier, Lily was shockingly moved to Level 2 of swimming this week after failing Level 1 at her previous swim lesson. Today the opposite happened. I was sitting in the parent coral a ridiculous distance away from the actual swim lessons. The parents are infuriatingly not allowed to sit close enough to see much of anything, but I noticed Lily was suddenly sent away from the Level 2 group to take class with the Level 1 group.

What the hell? No one had talked to me about this at all, and I was pretty sure no one had talked to Lily either. I couldn’t tell if she was ok about this. When she’d been moved to Level 2, we’d all made a huge fuss about it and now she was back in Level 1? WHAT THE HELL?

I stood questioning it with another mom and kept saying “Should I go say something? I feel like I should do something. I should, right?” She said she would be over there yelling at the instructors. So I went (though I didn’t yell). I didn’t wait for the lesson to be over. I went right then and asked what the hell was going on because seriously WHAT THE HELL? You can’t play with a kid’s emotions like that! “You fail! Nope, just kidding, you pass. Nope! Wrong again! FAIL!!!!”

I ended up interrupting two swim lessons because two different teachers had to come over and explain what was happening, but I don’t care. They could have avoided this by telling me what was going on BEFORE the lesson or after yesterday’s lesson. Indeed, they told me they’d decided to move her back down yesterday, so it’s not like they couldn’t have told us about this in advance. I asked if they’d explained to Lily why they’d moved her down and they said they hadn’t! I mean SERIOUSLY. This is a little girl here. Let her know what’s going on so she doesn’t feel like she’s done something wrong.

The explanation for all of this was that the person who had tested her on Monday had been too lenient and Lily wasn’t ready for Level 2. Trust me, I could have told them that. In fact, THEY told me she wasn’t ready for Level 2 two weeks ago. That’s why I was so surprised when they moved her up! They said in some of the other time slots for Level 2 she might have been ready, but the Level 2 in our time slot was too gigantic for them to give her the attention she needed. Again, I could see that. BUT TELL ME before you do something like that so I can prepare my child for the fact that you are demoting her after I gave her SO MUCH praise for being promoted.

RAGE.

Lily, luckily, was actually happy with the change. She was upset during her one day in Level 2 because she was the only kid who couldn’t float without help. She likes Level 1 better and was more upset that they had moved her up when she wasn’t ready than she was that they had moved her back up. She said in tears “They shouldn’t have moved me up! They made a mistake! I can’t float!”

And as I told her repeatedly, SHE didn’t do anything wrong. THEY did. Fine, you accidentally put a kid in the wrong level. TELL the parents or work a little harder with the kid. Don’t just demote her without communicating with anyone! It’s not like I’m not there for the swim lesson.

This rant was brought to you by our city pool’s swimming program. Once this session is over in a week and a half, I think we are finished with these people and taking swimming elsewhere. So far, we’ve cut the city pool’s swim lessons and a local dance studio out of our lives for ridiculous customer service. Who’s next?! Is it really this hard to be organized and good at communicating with parents when you are giving children lessons?!

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What’s the deal with shipping?

We ended up getting this Gorilla brand swing set from Walmart, and we’re very excited for it to come… any day now. The shipping from Walmart was an apparent bargain at $100 after the $400 ridiculousness that transpired at a major toy retailer (you can probably guess which one). No store pick-up was available on this model, but after what happened with the $400 shipping swing set that you also couldn’t pick up at the store, we’re downright agreeable to this.

But apparently our swing set delivery saga is not over yet.

After my husband confirmed our order on my account, he noticed Walmart had my old cell phone number. I changed to a local number more than 2 years ago, but I guess I never updated my Walmart.com account. It didn’t mean much when all I usually buy off the website is photos shipped to our house.

With a $950, five hundred pound delivery, that phone number might be important.

I immediately updated my phone number on the website. I knew our order had already been placed, but the new phone number and record of a phone number change should have been available on the site. I hoped.

I got an email from Walmart confirming that our swing set was shipped and I could expect it within a week period. It said nothing about phone calls or people contacting me, which surprised me because you’d think they’d want to let you know before 500 pounds of swing set blocks your driveway. 500 pounds of wood dumped randomly in our yard? No big deal.

Whatever. I just wanted it to get here.

Flash forward to Friday night. I was out of town and finally turned on my computer after being offline all day (I still have an unintelligent phone). I got this email:

We want to alert you to a delivery issue. Carrier Home Direct USA is attempting to deliver the Gorilla Playsets Landing Wooden Swing Set from your order number xxxxxx. They have attempted to set up a delivery appointment by calling you at (My OLD phone number).

Please contact Home Direct USA at (their number) in the next 48 hours to schedule delivery. To ensure expedited service during your call, please provide tracking number xxxxx when you call.

If you are unable to set up a delivery appointment, your item will be sent back to the supplier or return facility. A refund will be credited to the original form of payment when the returned product is processed.

Ok, so they apparently didn’t get my new number. Fine. My fault. It’s on me… though you’d think they’d be able to find it if they really tried. You’d also think that if the correct contact phone number was that important, they’d have us specifically fill out a form about where to best contact us for the delivery.

I immediately called Home Direct USA.

They are only open Monday through Friday during typical business hours.

But the email says I only have 48 hours to call them or we lose the effing swing set. Forty-eight hours technically ends BEFORE they can answer my call.

This puts me in a conundrum. Will I lose my swing set because of the weekend, or do they mean business days? If they mean business days, the email should probably say “48 BUSINESS hours” so that when people like me call on the weekend they know their giant ass purchase isn’t sent back or delayed by another week.

I panicked until I noticed an email option. I emailed them all of my new information, how I changed my phone number on my account the day I made the order, how and where to call me, what days/times would be good for delivery etc.

I get back “Call us Monday.”

Am I the only one who thinks they should call ME on Monday? I tried to call them within the 48 hours. I gave them the information they needed, but it’s back on ME to call THEM? I’m the one paying all this money for a swing set and they can’t be bothered to call me back? Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?

Maybe our problem is the $100 shipping. Clearly with $400 shipping the swing set would have arrived wrapped in gold and delivered by shirtless underwear models within 30 seconds of our order. With our cheap $100 shipping, we get a “well, we can’t call you or be bothered to double check the phone number on your account, so I guess we’ll just send it back to the store.” If the $100 shipping swing set ever gets here, it will probably be dumped carelessly anywhere by a truckload of sweaty fat men sporting wifebeaters and plumber butts.

Who knows if and when this thing will ever get here. And IF it does get here, if we have the skills (or time) to assemble it.

The magic 8 ball in my head says “Outlook Not So Good”.

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