Thursday, June 26, 2014

Said No Mom Ever...


Summer!

Yesterday was the last day of school so now everyone around here is officially on summer vacation.  When you’re a kid summer vacation is, like, the highlight of your life.  You can’t imagine that anything ever in the whole entire universe can match the feeling of walking out of school on that last day with MONTHS of summer in front of you. 

When you’re a parent, however, you’re feelings towards summer vacation change a little.  I’m definitely looking forward to spending time with my kids and having fun in the sun but there are some things that just aren’t as cool about summertime when you’re the mom. 

You may hear moms and dads this summer saying things like “Nice job jumping that wave!” or “I can’t believe you learned how to swim without floaties!” But know what you won’t hear them say?  You won’t hear them say any of the following:

1.       “Finally! Summer! This means everyone will be home all the time and the house will stay clean for half as long as it used to!”

 

2.       “Summer means more play dates and more kids around the house…I CANNOT WAIT till my grocery bill skyrockets due to that fact!”

 

3.       “Putting sunscreen on the kids is the highlight of my day.”

 

4.       “No…wait…I was wrong.  Pulling the kids away from whatever fun thing they’re doing to REAPPLY sunscreen is the highlight of my day.”

 

5.       “I just can’t get enough of that chlorine smell in your hair sweetie!”

 

6.       “YAY! A pile of wet towels!”

 

7.       “Go ahead and eat that popsicle in the house.  In fact, feel free to sit on the couch or just walk around in general.  I’ll gladly clean up the sticky trail you leave behind!”

 

8.       ““I looooooove packing up kids so we can travel.  We’re going away next month…which is perfect because it’ll take me about that long to get all their toys and clothes organized. “

 

9.       “Sand is so easy to get off.”

 

10.   “I’m really looking forward to the biceps I’ll develop this summer from carrying bags, coolers, sand toys, umbrellas, chairs and screaming kids back and forth from the beach to the car!”

 

11.   “It’s vacation and everyone knows vacations are about sleeping in.  My kids will totally get that and be on board with the extra snoozing!”

 

12.   “Know what I love? Taking wet bathing suits up and down so my kids can pee a million times a day.  Love it.”

 

13.   “Summer camp costs how much? Well that seems completely reasonable!”

 

 

14.   “I can’t wait to watch everyone else sit down and relax by the pool while I chase my kids around making sure they don’t die!”

 

15.   “You’re bored and need me to play with you?  I had NO idea.  Say it again…”


16.  "It's so nice you kids can spend so much time together and not fight at all! I just so enjoy the peace and quiet around here!"

 

Happy Summer Vacation!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Yo Ma, Calm Down!


I never pictured motherhood to look like this.  I look around and I assess my days and my kids and myself and, honestly, I never pictured it like this. 

Let me clarify “this” for you:

I never expected it to be 8:15 am and to be holding down one kid trying to get peanut butter out of his freshly showered hair while the other kid repeatedly tries to hand me a shoe saying “Can you untie this?  Can you untie this? Can you untie this?” while I repeatedly say “Not right now.  Not right now.  Not right now.” And the peanut butter kid is screaming and the shoe kid is annoying the shit out of me because he just won’t give up and the dog needs to go out and the dishes need to be done and I need to shower because the last time I showered was…well it wasn’t today…and I’m trying my best to keep it together but all I end up screaming because it’s supposed to be “walk to school day” but I know there is NO WAY we will make it if we walk to school.  And on the way to school we pass all the happy, put-together families who were able to get up and out and walk to school.  And when we get there the friendly teacher says that if we walked to school we get to go sign some piece of paper and get our pat on the back…but we didn’t.  We didn’t walk to school.  And after I drop shoe boy off I have to go back into my car and listen to peanut butter boy who is now crying because he wanted to get out of the car at the school and I wouldn’t let him.  And again…I just want to scream.

Here’s the part where I really want to write “Does anyone else ever have one of THOSE mornings?” But in reality, I can’t even write that with a straight face because that’s a pretty typical morning around here.

Every day is crazy. Everyone yells in my house.  All the time. 

And I know we’re not supposed to. I know that as the parent I’m supposed to stay cool and collected but I basically find this task impossible.  I don’t have it in me.  And before you preach…I’ve tried.  Seriously.  I’ve stood there in the middle of my two screaming kids and tried to speak to them in a peaceful tone without raising my voice. 

In order to gauge the effectiveness of this technique please picture trying to hear a butterfly flap its itty bitty delicate wings in the middle of a busy downtown city street.  Can’t be done.  Me basically whispering in the middle of an all-out “He touched my Legos!” type brawl also cannot be done.  I may as well stand there and pick my nose…actually I may get a better reaction if I stood there and picked my nose.

Note to self: Try nose picking technique.

Now, I’m not saying it’s impossible to stay calm as a parent.  I’ve seen it done.  I know it exists. 

I have a friend who I’ve known for a year now and through many playground interactions, play dates, school functions etc.  I have never once heard her raise her voice.  Ever.  She’s always the mom who can rationalize anything to the kids and do it with poise and grace and I honestly don't have any idea how she does it. 

She’s over there all:



 

And then there’s me over here all:


 


But, like, I really want to be the normal mom.  I don't want to be the mom with the clenched teeth who is trying to convey with her eyes on the playground just how much trouble her kids are going to be in when she gets them to the car.  I don't want to be the mom who tries deperately to get her kids to stop fighting about where in the car they want to sit (because EVERY SEAT IS THE EXACT SAME DAMN SEAT) but ends up losing her shit in the end.  But I always end up doing the shit losing thing.

So I yell…and then I feel guilty for yelling…so I say I’m going to stop yelling…and that lasts about 37 seconds…

It’s like my kids will only stop doing whatever they’re doing when I get to the point where they fear my head might ACTUALLY explode and then I might make them clean it up.  And there’s nothing they hate more than cleaning up. 

Why you gotta make Mama go all kinds of bat shit, kids?

 

So what’s the point of this post? I’m not sure.  But I just wanted to know if I’m alone in the wild yelling department.  Am I the only one who tries to stay calm but ends up looking like a crazed zombie anyway?  And not those slow moving bastards either, I’m talking about the fast-as-hell, better move your ass or Mama’s gonna eat ya, type of zombie.  Because psychotic moms need love too …

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You Oughta Know


Dear Kids,

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend and I just want to say that I love being your mom. I know sometimes it must feel like I’m a crazy lunatic who never knows which end is up.  That’s actually true a lot of the time.  This parenting gig is hard and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that you don’t know about and wouldn’t understand.  It’s mom stuff.  I do a lot of mom stuff without you ever realizing it.  Someday maybe you’ll be a parent and then maybe you’ll get it.  But until then I’ve made a list of some of the stuff I’m talking about.  I hope someday you’ll read it and realize that I’m not always the type of mom I want to be but I’m always the type of mom I can manage to be.  And that must be enough because, after all, it’s gotten us this far.

So in honor of Mother’s Day I give you…

Things You Oughta Know:

-I see so much of myself in you…and it scares the absolute shit out of me.

-I will always love you.  I don’t always like you that much, though.

-I don’t get offended when you say I’m the worst mom ever or that you hate me because I know you’re just mad and don’t really mean that.

-I DO get offended when you won’t give me a bite of your mac and cheese because DUDE! I gave you life!

-I re-kiss you and re-tuck you in every night before I go to bed to make sure you’re comfortable, your blankets are straight and you’re not too hot or cold.

-When I see grass stains on your clothes while I’m doing laundry I think “Wow, they must have really had fun this day!” and it makes me happy.

-When the little shithead girls at the park said you couldn’t come in the clubhouse because you were annoying them I gave them a dirty look and said “He doesn’t want to play with you anyway” and then took you out for donuts.

-I know I say I drink a lot of wine because of you…but yeah, that’s actually true.

-Sometimes you catch me staring at you and you say “What?” and look at me like I’m crazy. But it’s just because I’m having a moment where I just want to grab you and squeeze the life out of you due to extreme love...so intense staring is the less violent way to express those feelings.

-I whisper things about how awesome you are in your ear while you sleep.

-I never want you feel an ounce of pain.  And when you are in pain I wish I could take it all away.

-Except for when I say “Stop doing that, you’re gonna get hurt” and you don’t listen to me and eventually get hurt.  You earned that pain.

-I like it when you figure things out on your own but I also secretly like it when you need me.

-I would never rather wash dishes or do laundry than play with you but sometimes I have to or we’ll all be naked and eating off the floor.

-I feel guilty every time I throw away a picture you drew or a flower you picked for me.  But, I mean, I do it anyway cause where the hell am I supposed to keep all that shit…

-I will always hate the first person who breaks your heart.  Even if they go on to cure cancer or solve world hunger.  Still dead to me.

-I enjoy my time spent away from you and I don’t feel at all badly about that fact.

-I get annoyed when you relentlessly ask me to play soccer with you but I’m also petrified of the day when you stop asking me to play soccer with you.

-I smell your hair every time I kiss your head.

-Sometimes I love the sound of your voice as you babble away and talk nonsense to me.

-Sometimes I’m so annoyed by you talking to me because I’m in the middle of doing something or need to concentrate and OH MY GOD STOP TALKING!!

-I get really aggravated because you always have to poop at the most inopportune times, like when we’re in Target or out for a walk or in every restaurant we’ve ever been in…ever.

-I’m not a perfect mother.  But it’s ok because you’re not a perfect child.  And I think we’re both doing just fine.

And most importantly…

-I love you more than I can ever in a million years put into words.  So just trust me, it’s a lot.
 
 

 

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.