February 3rd, 2011

Homestead Sanity Advisory System

Karrie McAllister

At some point in the history of the United States, the government decided to post a color-coded security system called the Homeland Security Advisory System, a way of alerting the public to potential dangers from some really bad guys.  “The advisory system will be the foundation for building a comprehensive and effective communications structure for the dissemination of information regarding the risk of terrorist attacks to all levels of government and the American people.”  Whatever that means.

What it means to me is that when I go into the chaotic nightmare known US airports, I can gauge how long I will have to stand in line and entertain my kids before we make it through security.  Regardless, I can see where the power that be are coming from; It’s nice to know just where we stand, terrorist-wise, and how at-ease I should potentially feel at any given moment.

That’s why I have decided to introduce my own version of the Homeland Security Advisory System.  Only this one has nothing to do with terrorists or airports or the US Government, and it’s called the Homeland Sanity Advisory System.  It’s a nice visible way to show your family just how irritated you are with being a mom on any given day.

Feel free to print the following image and use sticky-notes with an arrow drawn by a piece of crayon that you found in the bottom of your purse to mark your mood for the day.  Explain to your family the following categories and see how this easy-to-follow system can work for you!

SEVERE/RED:  Severe risk of mom biting your head off.  Tread lightly or just leave.  Someone or something (i.e. the pick-up line at the Elementary School) has irritated your mom beyond help.  Give her gifts, pour her lots of wine.  Do your homework, and for Pete’s sake if you put your dirty dish on the counter instead of the dishwasher she’s going to smash it through the front window.

HIGH/ORANGE: High risk of mom screaming in that high-pitched voice that drives your dad nuts.  Be warned, mom is not in a good mood.  Best put on your angel wings and stop repeating everything your sister says or else the next thing you’ll be repeating is your plea to be released from the depths of the cold, dark basement.

ELEVATED/YELLOW:  Significant risk of mom throwing her hands in the air, shouting a curse word and slamming the door behind her when she locks herself in the bathroom.  Continue decent behavior and by all means, eat a freaking vegetable.  Do this and you’ll be fine.  Plus, if mom has locked herself in the bathroom you can beat on your brother and no one will ever know.

GUARDED/BLUE:  General risk of mom losing it.  Blue is the average rating.  You’re lucky to keep it this way, because with the blue level there’s no need to duck flying Dustbusters* or carrots.  Tell her you love her and pour her another glass of wine.

LOW/GREEN:  Low risk of maniac mom attack.  Mom is in a good mood today…how much wine did you give her?  Take advantage of the fun-mom day.  Throw a dance party in the kitchen, make giant ice-cream sundaes, stay up late watching silly movies and by all means, remember whatever it was that you did that made her so happy because tomorrow is another day.

*I did actually, at one very low point of my parenting career, throw a Dustbuster.  I’m not proud.

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This Weeks Tip

Here’s a great cure for one of life’s most painful little nuisances: the paper cut. Dab a small drop of non-toxic Super Glue (or Krazy Glue, or other strong bond adhesive) on the cut. This adhesive bonds the skin together and prevents air and dirt from getting in, relieving the pain. Just be careful not to touch anything until the glue dries, unless you want it to be a permanent fixture! (Note: this solution is not recommended for cuts or scrapes larger than a paper cut.)