Friday, April 11, 2014

Battle of the Moms


I’m not the only mom who has multiple mom personalities inside their brain, right?  Usually they all get along and we go about our day…but sometimes there’s conflict.  Like today, for example. 

Today my mom personalities are having a debate about whether or not we should clean up the messy playroom or wait until Carter gets home from school and make him do it.  Let’s take a look inside my head and see how the argument is going:

Responsible Mom: “God damn it! I told Carter to pick up the playroom!  It’s a nightmare in there.  That is the first thing he’s doing when he comes home from school.”

OCD Mom: “When he comes home from school?  That’s like two hours from now.  Can’t we just clean it?  I don’t like looking at the mess.”

Responsible Mom: “No! If we clean it then he won’t learn the lesson that he has to pick up after himself.  We’d be setting a bad example.”

OCD Mom: “We teach him that lesson all the time and he still leaves his shit all over the place.  The message isn’t getting through.  Maybe we can just pick up THIS mess and then when he inevitably leaves ANOTHER mess he can clean that one up.  Because I can’t look at that playroom anymore.”

Responsible Mom: “No, we’re waiting for him to clean it himself.”

Calm and Rational Mom: “Hey guys! OCD Mom why do you even care about the mess?  No one is here to see it.”

OCD Mom: “No one is here to see it NOW, but what if someone stops in? The playroom is right on the way to the bathroom.  What if someone stops by and needs to use the bathroom?”

Calm and Rational Mom: “Are you expecting someone?”

OCD Mom: “No.  But anyone could come here at any moment.  What if a repair man suddenly shows up at the door asking to come in?”

Calm and Rational Mom: “If a repair man suddenly shows up and asks to come in then I’d be more concerned that we’re either in an adult film or about to be murdered.”

OCD Mom: “Wait…who even invited you into this conversation?  Calm and Rational Mom?  YOU DON’T EVEN EXIST! You’re like Santa or the Tooth Fairy…as new moms we really want to believe in you but sooner or later we all figure out that you’re not a real thing!”

ADD Mom: “Hey guys! Look over there! Something else needs your attention!”

Responsible Mom: “Aw! Grant wants us to read him a book!”

OCD Mom: “There’s a dish in the sink. I need to do that dish.”

 Wino Mom: “Oooooh…wine! Let’s go drink it.”

Responsible Mom: “Oh hey Wino Mom, didn’t realize you were here.”

Wino Mom: “Girls, I’m always here.”

Well, guess that solves the problem then.  It looks like Wino Mom won.  Thank God for her!  She saves the day a lot.

Friday, March 7, 2014

That's So Offensive


Hi, I have something to say (I know that won’t shock you).  It’s something serious and it’s something I’ve been stewing over for a long time.  But I’m finally going to write it down and get it out there in the open.  Ready?  Here it is:

EVERYONE CALM THE FUCK DOWN!

Whew.  Glad I got that off my chest.  Now, if we could all just agree to do that the world would be a way cooler place.

Our society is so incredibly, stupidly obsessed with being offended.  It needs to stop. 

Ok, I’m not saying let’s all go out and say the most insensitive thing we can think of to the first person we see.  Because KNOWINGLY saying something rude to someone is one thing.  But inadvertently saying something that could possibly in some small way EVER be taking offensively by even ONE person is another thing. 

People are being overly conditioned to not offend one another.  But maybe the real problem is people are too easily offended. 

And bloggers need to cut the shit with the lists of “10 Things Not to Say to a….” 

Fill in the blank: Single mother, mother of twins, parents of boys, grandmas who cross stitch, havers of mopeds, people with hernias…

Its’ getting so ridiculous.  Everyone is going to start carrying lists around of what they can and cannot say to certain groups of people.  And when they go to start conversations they’ll have to pull out their piece of paper and ask:

Are you married?  Not married?  Not ever going to get married?  Do you have kids?  One kid?  More than one kid?  Do you like cats?  Do you own a guinea pig?  What are your general feelings about ice cubes? 

Ok, let me look at my list of things not to say to a married, childless, cat owning, guinea pig hating, ice cube fan…

ENOUGH!


The other thing that bothers me about these “5 Things Not to Say to a…” articles is that no two people who happen to live on a farm, drive a stick shift or have gotten a hair cut in the past week have had the same experience.

For example, I recently read an article called "5 Things Not To Say to a Person who's had a C-section".  I had two C-sections and if anyone said any of the things on that list to me I would not care one bit.  Because I had a different experience than the woman who wrote it.  Because, and look at me when I say this so it really sinks in...EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!

I think we as people generally know what comments are offensive. Most of us, even me sometimes, can control ourselves enough to not be blatantly and intentionally rude.  And if we’re ever greeted with a comment that rubs us the wrong way there are two options:

Option 1 – If it’s someone who we are close to and value we should say “Hey, I didn’t really love that comment, please don’t say it again”.

A friend of mine once said to me “I think it’s cute how stay at home moms call what they do ‘work’.”
 
That comment pissed me off. A lot. So I just told him that I thought his comment was offensive and could he please not be an idiot like that in the future.  Only I said fuck a lot.  And we are still friends.   Dealt with and done.

Option 2 – If it’s someone who we just met on the street we should walk the hell away and be glad that person isn’t in our life.

When Grant was little he was literally bleach blond.  And he has light blue eyes.  Once at Target a lady behind me in line asked me if he was adopted.  It was a brainless comment.  But I don’t think the woman meant to be offensive.  I just said no. 
 
And guess what?  I have literally not thought of this story again until right this second.  The exchange didn’t affect my life at all because her comment didn’t really matter to me...because SHE didn't really matter to me.  I did not run right home and compose a rant about things not to say to mothers with dark hair who have light haired offspring.

Not everything has to be taken the wrong way.  Not everything needs to be made into a big deal.  I don’t think people intend to be hurtful…I just think people are stupid a lot. 

I don’t want to spend my time having to say things like “Sorry I made an insensitive comment about Panda Bears with neck tattoos.  I didn’t know you really loved Panda Bears with neck tattoos.”

Chill the hell out people!

So absolutely defend yourself, your family and your beliefs if you feel incredibly threatened or violated.  But otherwise, let it slide.  Let things roll off your back.  Mutter “moron” under your breath as you walk away.  But don’t let it stay with you; don’t assume that every little comment is deliberately intended to hurt your feelings.  Have a little bit of a thicker skin. 

The new standard by which we should all live is “Try not to be an asshole”. If everyone could just agree to this then I think the world would be a much happier less asshole-ish place.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Worst Book


I love reading books to my kids.  I love snuggling up and getting their undivided attention for a little bit.  I love reading my childhood favorites to them and seeing their reaction.  I really do enjoy reading with my kids.

Except when the book sucks.

And sometimes books just suck.  Sometimes the story is ridiculous or the illustrations are crappy.  Whatever the reason, I’m sure all parents have at one time or another come across a book they simply cannot stand.

Today I happened to stumble across just such a book.

We got the book from the library this week.  As usual when I’m exploring new children’s books I thumbed through the first couple of pages to see if it was something we’d be interested in.  It was a story about a knight and a dragon and it was by an author who I knew and liked.  But oh, man, am I pissed at that guy now!

You see, only the first few pages had words on them.  The rest of the pages were pictures…just pictures.  I’m sorry, did you take a nap in the middle of writing this book?  Go on vacation?  Have a nervous breakdown?  Where are the words?  I want the words.

I got the book home and started "reading" it (and I use that term loosely) to the kids.  I was already into it by the time I realized my mistake.  What the fuuuuuuuck is going on here?  Where are the words? I started to panic.

That doesn’t sound so horrible, you may say.  But let’s remember when there are only pictures in a book the pictures need to be explained.  And trying to explain the pictures is work.  And know what I don’t need in my life right now?  More work.

Like, Hello! Mr. Author Guy…you only did HALF YOUR JOB! If I wanted to be responsible for coming up with an engaging story to accompany of bunch of pictures I would have BECOME AN AUTHOR MYSELF!

Some parents may not mind picture books.  And that’s a personal choice.  In fact, when kids are really little a book with just pictures is great for going ‘Oh, look! A moon! A block! A martini!’  (What? An upside down triangle doesn’t look like a martini to you? I digress…)

When your kids get older they expect you to explain the pictures. In detail. I couldn’t believe I got sucked into a book with only, like,three pages of words. And two of the word pages were only one sentence! That’s how they get ya.  Then after they get ya you turn the page and see this…
 

Soooo…ummm…they’re training to fight each other but apparently they both kind of suck at it? And, like, the dragon is all ‘I’m gonna breathe some nasty fire at you’ and the knight says ‘Whateva! I’m gonna run you through with this long stick thing’ (which probably has a name but I don’t know what it is).

And as you’re looking at the picture you think the next page will definitely have words on it cause who the hell cops out of a story line three pages in!

Oh. This guy.  This guy does that.
 

 


And so they’re going to fight each other.  And they’re running towards each other.  The dragon has his fire breath and the knight has his stick thing, which I hope he got a little more practice with cause damn he was bad at that before! And pretty much this is the most boring picture I've ever seen.  Literally nothing is happening. 

Honestly…the actual story written by the actual author comes back at some point, right?

Wrong.

 

Well, looks like that didn’t go so well.  I don’t know why they thought it would.  Neither of those assholes was very good at his job.  You’re an f’ing DRAGON!  You’re sole responsibility in life is to breathe fire on things and you F’ed it up? Worthless.  And hey, knight? You really shoulda called in sick this day.  Also WTF is that princess doing in the background?  Does she have a purpose in this story?

Oh, she does have a purpose.  Her purpose is to be the typical nagging woman telling those dumb asses ‘I told you so!’ The moral of the story is Bitches be right pretty much all the time.
The other moral of the story is that I'm really, really shitty at making up stories...

 

And all of a sudden everyone is happy and eating hamburgers.  But since the Dragon and the Knight were such failures in life their food was contaminated, the whole town got Mad Cow Disease and everyone died…The End!

See, Author Man? See what happens when you take the lazy route?  Where was your editor during the writing process?  You could have written like ten more sentences and I wouldn’t have to hate you this much. 

Enough with this half ass ‘let the kids use their imaginations’ bullshit because really it’s the parents who then have to use their imaginations.  And in my imagination there is a widespread disease outbreak in the kingdom.  And the fact that I even had to come up with that ending is entirely your fault.  How do you feel now? 

In the future it’d be nice if you could finish your books.  Thanks. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Things Moms Say


I think one of the main parts of a Mom’s job is to be a good liar.  You need to be able to keep a straight face while saying things like “Yes! You ARE very good at breakdancing!” or “Of COURSE I like reading the same book 17 times in a row!” 

There are many times throughout the day when I find myself saying something I don’t really mean just to survive…too many to count actually.  I’ve come up with a few examples.  Here is a list of some things that moms say and the translation to what moms really mean:

Mom says: “I’m not going to say it again!”

Mom means: I’m going to say it exactly 57 more times.

 

Mom says: “I’ve had it with all the yelling.”

Mom means: I’m going to add my own yelling into the mix in an attempt to solve the problem.

 

Mom says: “Sorry, that shirt is in the laundry.”

Mom means: I threw that stained piece of crap out and I’m going to just keep telling you it’s in the laundry until you forget it exists.

 

Mom says: “I’m not your maid.”

Mom means: I’m going to insist that I’m not your maid while picking up after you because I can’t stand the mess…thus proving that the opposite of this statement is true.
 


Mom says: "It's ok, you don't have to finish that mac and cheese. You're probably full."

Mom means: I got my eye on those last few bites.

 

Mom says: “Why don’t you go ahead and explain to me what’s happening in this beautiful picture!”

Mom means:  I have no god damn clue what that’s supposed to be a picture of.

 

Mom says: “I’m throwing away any toys that are left out on the floor!”

Mom means: I’m going to pack them up in a trash bag to scare you but probably not actually toss them because I paid good money for those F’ing things!

 

Mom says: “You’re big enough to get dressed yourself and I’m not helping you.”

Mom means: I’m going to keep up the charade that I’m not going to help you until I realize we actually do have to be somewhere and have exactly five minutes left before we have to leave the house.

 

Mom says: “That’s it! I’m gonna…”

Mom means: I’m about to come up with some outrageous punishment that I cannot possibly follow through with…

 

Mom says: “Can you guys go into the playroom and find me five of the coolest cars we have?”

Mom means: I’m sneaking cookies and I don’t want you bastards to catch me.

 

Mom says: “Sorry that toy with the loud siren is broken.”

Mom means: I took the batteries out.

 

Mom says: “Sorry, I forgot the iPod!”

Mom means: I don’t want to listen to your shitty music right now.

 

 Mom says: “Mommy just needs a little break.”

Mom means: Can someone bring me a corkscrew?

 

Mom says: “You people are driving me crazy!”

Mom means: You people are driving me crazy!
 

Huh…so I guess they aren’t all lies after all.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Are You Ready for Kids?


Some people just know when they are ready to become a parent.  Others have doubts. 

It’s normal to have doubts.  My kids are 4 and 5 and I’m STILL not really sure that I’m ready to be a mom.  I guess I’ll figure it out eventually right?

Well, anyway, if you are toying with the idea of having offspring of your own I’m here to help. I’ve made you a checklist.  Here are some ways you can tell if you’re ready to handle all that parenthood has to offer.  If many of these apply to you it may be time to have a kid:

1. You like talking and being completely ignored by the people you are speaking to.

2. You never wanted to own nice things anyway.

3. You consider it a compliment when people say “Wow, you look tired.”

4. Related to #3…you feel sleep is way overrated and have been meaning to cut back on the hours you spend doing it.

5. You like preparing food and then watching it go to waste because it’s cut in the wrong shape.

6. You have absolutely no interest in keeping up with current events. You’d much rather know what’s happening with some weirdo mice and a pants-less duck. 

7. You feel like your house is way too quiet and clean.

8. You’re sick of being alone in the bathroom.

9. It doesn’t matter to you if you get to chew and actually taste your food.

10. You could take or leave wearing clothes without stains on them.

11. You are the least spontaneous person you know and having to plan a trip to the grocery store to pick up milk five hours in advance doesn’t bother you at all. 

12. You never liked your disposable income anyway. 

13. You love the word “why” and you can’t get enough of hearing sentences that begin with it.

14. Being judged by strangers for every move you make is your idea of a good time.

15. You hate it when you have to say things just once and would much rather repeat the same sentence 100 times before anyone pays attention to you.

16. You think there are only two food groups: Coffee and wine.

17. You feel like you really don’t yell enough and you’d like more opportunities to do so.

18. You don't think having to say things like "Why is there peanut butter on the dog?" is weird at all.

19. You have been desperately searching for a way to get rid of your personal space.

20. You’ve been feeling pretty sane lately and it’s a drag.  You’d much rather feel like you are a psycho lunatic whose life is slowly spinning out of control.

So, are you ready?  Do you meet all of the qualifications on the list?  If so you should probably procreate immediately and join the rest of us! (I mean, if that last one doesn’t totally sell it then I don’t know what’s wrong with you!)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I Don't Care! I Vacuumed!


Legos are taking over my house.

No, like, in all seriousness I'm going to have to build an addition onto my home in order to house all of our Legos.  Actually, I could build it out of Legos, put Legos inside it and still have enough Legos left over to build an f'ing life sized fire truck.

In other words, we have a lot of Legos.

This morning I needed to vacuum the playroom.  But this task is impossible to do without causing some Lego casualties.  There's always the one that blends into the rug that you miss...stupid bastard! My kids know exactly what sound a Lego being sucked into the vacuum makes. And they going absolutely insane when they hear it. 

Today, however, they were both at school.  So here's a question for you: If you suck a Lego up into your vacuum and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?

Regardless, as I was picking up stupid little pieces of overpriced plastic I composed a little ditty to express my feelings about it. 

It's to the tune of  "I Love It (I Don't Care)" by Icona Pop.

I Vacuumed (I Don't Care) by Things Carter Says:

I vacuumed Legos off the playroom floor while you were gone.
You left for school that was my chance, I knew I had to run.

I got the vacuum out and started sucking up your things.
I think you needed that one piece...

But I don't care! I vacuumed! I don't care!

I'm sick of seeing those things every single place I look.
I stepped on one, it really hurt! I nearly broke my foot.

You need to find a better place for them next time you play.
Or I will throw them all away...

I don't care! I vacuumed! I don't care!

You left your Legos out.  I sucked them off the floor.

I know you're gonna scream and ask me to buy more.

But that's just too damn bad, next time pick up your shit!

I know you hate me now, your mom is such a bitch!

I VACUUMED!

(Now imagine me dancing around with a vacuum and singing this...there I go using the attachments as a microphone...)

Hope you enjoyed it.  And feel free to sing it the next time you ruin your kid's lives by messing with their toys!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You're Not My Type


Parents of the world UNITE!

That’s the motto that I think we should all scream every day as loudly as we can to as many people as will listen before someone calls the cops.

Raising babies is a very hard job.  The decisions you make along the way are personal. You do what you think is best for YOUR baby…which may or may not be what someone else thinks is best for THEIR baby. 

And here is where the so called “Mommy Wars” are born.  Because if you believe strongly enough that you are doing something right then that means anyone who is not doing it that way is wrong.

And now we have to go so far as to label people’s parenting styles.  They have to have names and they have to have rules.  And you have to follow all the rules of the parenting style you chose or you will have spent all that money on books that lay out the rules for nothing.  And we can’t have that.

I don’t understand this phenomenon.  Why do we have to pick teams?

“Ok, you’re on the red parenting team and you’re on the blue parenting team.  You have to hate each other.  Ok, GO!”

Let’s take so called “Attachment Parenting” for example.  I recently read a description of this type of parenting which started with the sentence:

“In attachment parenting the goal is for parent and child to form a strong emotional bond.”

Ahhh…I’m sorry.  Is that not the goal of ALL parenting? 

“Congrats on the new baby!  Do you feel attached to him?”

“Oh, no.  I didn’t pick that parenting style.”

My best friend recently had a baby.  She exclusively breast feeds and she wears the shit out of her kid cause he loves the baby carrier.  But if I ever found a cloth diaper in her possession I would think that some other being had taken over her body because there is NO WAY she would ever use those. 

WTF type of parenting is this?  Where does she fit in?  Could it possibly be that she doesn’t have one single “type” of parenting style?  We just don’t know. I’m going to set up an appointment for her to be evaluated by the experts.  She clearly needs some direction.

Authoritative parents want their kids to follow the rules.  Permissive parents are “nurturing and communicative”.  Helicopter parents want their kids to be safe.

Go ahead, folks.  Pick one! 

Unless you pick one you can’t be on a parenting team.  And if you’re not on a parenting team your child will never survive! Plus, if you don’t know what type of parent you are how are you possibly going to know which other parents you’re supposed to hate?

And we can’t just all start getting along because then Time Magazine will have nothing to write about.

Know the phrase “everything in moderation”?  Can we start applying that concept to how we raise our children?

If Suzie only eats vegetables and Mary only eats fruit…then they’re both friggin’ lame and missing out on something. 

Will the world as we know it cease to exist if some parents decide they want to be attached to their kids while keeping them safe and want them to follow the rules while every once in a while giving in?

Let your kids be free! Except if they’re gonna fucking kill themselves by jumping off the top of the jungle gym.  Then step in.

Breast feed your baby! Unless you can’t or don’t want to.  Then stick a bottle in that kid’s mouth and get him fed.

Establish ground rules and enforce them!  Unless you feel wild that day.  Then let them stay up an extra half hour to snuggle and watch a movie as a special treat.

The only parenting style that should exist is “Parent”.  And we can all be on that team. 

Next time you pass parents out with their kids give them a high five and say “Hey! I see your kids are alive and well.  Nice work.  Way to go team!”

And then when our kids are grown and out in the world on their own we can all sit around, have a cocktail and sign each other’s parenting year books:

Team Parent 4-Eva!

Love,

Things Carter Says…

p.s. Stay in touch!