Category Archives: Partying with the Ponies

I Need a Decoder Ring For My Kids

When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I felt a great weight of responsibility because I was bringing a life into the world and I didn’t want to fuck it up.

When a serial killer is caught, the mother is blamed for raising him incorrectly. The same goes for bad politicians, inept doctors, and that one motherfucker who can’t fold a Chipotle burrito without having the guac seep out of the bottom.

The mother is ALWAYS to blame.

Since I didn’t want to be responsible for anyone losing the guac out of their burritos, I read, researched, and came up with a flawless plan. I would raise my son perfectly.

Science-of-Parenthood-Cover

Where was this book when I was pregnant?

I would eat all of the right things while pregnant, exercise every day, and when he came into the world, I would wear him, while he wore organic cotton onesies.

He’d never watch TV, or play video games; he would build palaces with blocks, and read educational books, but not Goodnight Moon, because I don’t want him learning that he can get out of bedtime by saying goodnight to every flipping thing in his room.

It would be beautiful. He’d be perfect, and I would be relaxed knowing I had done so well as a mother.

Obviously, my dreams exploded like an h-bomb the moment he left my womb. I was a hot, sleep deprived mess, and that really hasn’t changed. Frankly, things got worse as he aged. At least you can count on an infant to eat, sleep, and poop. Toddlers, on the other hand, are a slippery, strong-willed bunch, just as likely to kick you in your boobs as they are to lay a slobbery smooch on your cheek.

I remember thinking one afternoon after my son burst into tears because I cut his sandwich into triangles when he wanted to halves, “Why isn’t this crap in the parenting books? Wouldn’t that make life easier? At least you can prep for it.”

Well, Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler did create that book, “Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations.”

In their words: “Science of Parenthood started nearly three years ago as an illustrated humor blog. We use fake math and science to “explain” the stuff that puzzles parents every day. Things like …

Why are broken cookies “ruined?”

Why does it matter what color the sippy cup is?

Why can’t you put the straw in the juice box without your kid having a melt down?

Why will a kid whine-whine-whine for a toy, then lose all interest in that toy once they have it? 

Where the eff is my phone?  

We’ve come up with some pretty hilarious theories.”

Seriously. Where the hell was this book when I was in the trenches with my kids? There were times when I didn’t think I would survive. My soul was battered by the constant tantrums and meltdowns over ridiculous things and my sanity was frayed to hell.

For the record: yes, the banana is the same exact one I gave his sister, sadly the goat brushes belong to the zoo, and no, boogers are not a food group.

Obviously, this book won’t solve life’s toddleriffic problems, but it will help you realize that you are not alone in the daily battle over invisible itchy tags.

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A Love Letter to All of the Teachers Out There

In my never-ending quest to become “Mother of the Year,” I try to keep my kids scholastically engaged on weekends, over the summer and any other time I have Catholic guilt about letting them play Minecraft for an hour. Or five.

I honestly don’t know why I even try. There are oh so many reasons why I am not a teacher, and frankly the children of the world should be grateful.

How are teachers superior to me? Let me count the ways.

1. Even when I am right, I am wrong. I tried to help my son with a math packet he has to complete before school starts. He was having a problem, and I, being ever so helpful, tried to explain it to him. His response? “You don’t know how it’s done! And now, it will be wrong! And I’ll never get the right answer!” Yes, I meant to ruin your academic career, tiny human.

2. Embarrassment means my kid will never read. Ever. I try to help my daughter with her sight words. She likes to do them all on her own, and if you correct her, kiss your ass goodbye because she will take that shit off with her teeth. Then she is pouting while you are sitting there ass-less, pleading with the 5-year-old to sound out the word, “what.”

3. I do not know this newfangled crap. Have you guys had to deal with phonics? There are words with hoops, swoops and umlauts all over the place. I don’t get it; at least my kid does because I have no clue what any of it means. Does that word need a slash? An accent aigu? Who the fuck knows. And this leads to…

4. I cannot think fast enough to answer their endless questions. While I am an intelligent woman, when my kids ask me anything too quickly, the hamster that runs the wheel of my brain dies. “Mommy, why doesn’t Daddy have boobies like you do?” “Did Grandma go to school with Thomas Jefferson since she knows so much about him?” “Are girl lions less cool because they don’t have manes?” Yes, I have answers for this, but when I stumble over them, I look like an idiot. And it all ends with, “I thought mommies knew everything.” Well, I don’t. Learn it now and maybe it won’t hurt so much when you get older.

5. Why do they run away after 5 minutes? My daughter wants to be a Daisy Scout, so over the summer we work on little projects to get her to cookie selling glory in the fall.  You’d think she would be ever so excited to complete the Daisy packets, but my tiny ray of sunshine leaps up to check on her brother, drag the dog around by her collar, get a snack, and pretty much do anything other than work on her project. You know what she has to do? Color flowers, draw pictures of her summer, and talk about how to be a better scout. She has some serious first-world problems and they are driving me insane.

6. Painting is messy. I usually don’t mind art projects; in fact I encourage them. But when my kids, especially The Girl, want to paint, I lose my mind. I lay out the newspaper, but then somehow, gnomes end up putting the paint all over my wood table. While I am cleaning up the splotchy mess, the kids are either watching endless amounts of TV (parenting FAIL) or they are painting the dogs. Seriously, the schnauzer had blue ears until I could figure out how to wash dog ears.

I don’t know what the moral of this story is, but I know that I will never be able to compete with the teachers of America. The next time you see one, throw yourself at them, squeeze them with all of your might, and whisper “Thank you” in their ear.

I’m sure they’ll thank you for it. Before they call the cops.

This first appeared on BluntMoms.com as Teachers Are More Competent Than Me.

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O! Jesus, Where Art Thou?

I don’t know if you’d call me a religious woman; I’m probably more what you’d describe as, “spiritual.”

So, there’s many a Sunday when I can be found in the throes of worship, praising my great love for a higher authority; St. Mattress.

But on the days when I haul my ass out of bed with every intention of getting a little Jesus in me, my kids don’t seem nearly as enthused.

“Mooooom! I don’t wanna go! It’s….. boring!”

Be that as it may, my sweet loves, we’re going.

Then there are the hearty debates over what constitutes proper church attire.

“But, I’m wearing khaki shorts with my Pokemon shirt! And Jesus wore sandals, so it’s ok!”

“I love my Sheriff Callie dress! People can see around my pink hat.”

O! Jesus, Where Art Thou? | Ponies and Martinis

I died on the cross for these idiots? I’m throwing myself off the edge of this building.

I am not a fashionista, unless you count the avant-garde ensembles I whip up with Target’s Merona line, and I don’t expect my kids to be either. What I do expect is a modicum of respect for our activities.

When they are finally wrestled into mostly decent attire, we get in the car and the bargaining begins.

“If we have to go, do we have to stay long? Can we leave after we have the cookies?”

Just so you know, the “cookies” are communion wafers. Maybe we can dunk them in the wine while we’re at it, for a fully blasphemous experience.

Jesus must love me because if He didn’t, I’d surely be struck with a bolt of lightning when I entered church.

At church, getting settled is a chore in and of itself. I always look for a pew that’s mostly empty, and preferably occupied by other kids. I figure I’ll get fewer dirty looks that way. The people who are serious about their Jesusing get a little judgy when your kid crawls into your lap instead of kneeling.

You can imagine what kinds of looks I get when my little princess rolls around in a pew with her favorite fuzzy blanket.

O! The Christian irony.

Before long it becomes crystal clear that the Sundays I have decided to “worship” at home have negatively impacted the kids’ religious education.

“HEY! Who’s the guy in the green robes? And what is he holding?”

That “guy” would be the priest, and he’s holding a chalice. Kinda fundamental to know.

Then, long before the cookies and when it’s acceptable to leave, hunger overtakes my children. It doesn’t matter if they had a big breakfast, two snacks, and a goat sacrifice before we left the house. Somehow, church makes them ravenous, turns off their voice modulator, and forces them to proclaim ad alto voce, “WHEN DO WE GET CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES?!?!”

Maybe we can have a little nosh after we learn about suffering and deprivation. I am feeling pretty deprived of sanity, composure, and politesse at this point. And who knows? The time we spend together over brunch may end up being more educational than the time spent in church.

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#Blessed or #Insane? Sometimes, It’s Hard to Tell

Whenever you see a status in social media pop up tagged with #blessed, it’s always crap.

“I love my perfect children and we spent the day learning about Socrates. They are so smart! #blessed”

Or,

“The baby just loves avocados and quinoa! #blessed”

And,

“My little helper was tidy and calm when we worked on our papier-mache art project! #blessed”

See how that gets old fast? There is no way that happens in real homes. It’s more like:

“Got halfway through The Very Hungry Caterpillar before my daughter chucked the book at my head. Maybe she’ll learn to read before college. #insane”

Or,

“The baby will only eat Puffs. At least they have vitamins in them. #insane”

And,

“I am wearing papier-mache and the kids left the craft table ten minutes ago. #insane”

#Blessed or #Insane? | Ponies and Martinis

A pretty accurate depiction of me in the morning.

Maybe it’s all a matter of perspective. I had what I would call a “#blessed” moment this morning, but it looked more like this:

*Kids enter the room with a cinnamon roll for me and three for themselves*

Kids: Mom! We brought you breakfast!! Let’s eat on your bed!

The Boy: And I brought Humphrey’s Book of FUN-FUN-FUN, so we can do puzzles!

The Girl (at the same time): I know you don’t like icing…

(Side note: I don’t? Well, maybe they are looking out for my love handles)

The Girl: … so I gave most of it to myself.

(Ding, ding, ding! I think I understand what happened with the icing and it’s not an act of kindness by my little princess)

The Boy: Ooh! Let’s figure out what the mixed up words are…. Mom! What word is this?

The Girl (climbing into my lap): Okay, pretend I’m your little baby. My name is Rose, but I’m not born yet.

Me: Okay. Aw.. baby Rose…

The Girl: No, Mommy. Don’t talk. I’m still in your tummy. I’ll tell you when you can talk.

Me: Got it.

The Girl rolls, squirms, and kicks me in the face prepping for her big entrance as baby Rose.

The Boy: Hey, Mom? When do hamsters need oiling?

The Girl: Ga ga! (pretends to walk and falls over)

The Boy:… Mom! Listen!

Me: Right. When do hamsters need to be oiled?

The Girl rights herself and crawls into my lap.

The Boy: … When they squeak! … Aw, Humphrey. He’s a funny hamster.

Me: Yes. Yes he is.

This goes on for another 15 minutes before the kids decide the world is more exciting downstairs. I think the fact the TV is there has a lot to do with that.

When they leave, I am exhausted and grateful. I love those kids and their high energy, even though they seem to take all of mine when they go.

So, yes. I am #blessed, but I am also #tired.

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What Do You Mean, There is No Easter Bunny?

When I decided to propagate the myth of Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the rest of the pantheon of fictitious characters with my children, I knew there would come a day when the lies would have to end.

I just didn’t think it would happen so soon.

The real Easter Bunny

This guy, is totally real

It started a few weeks ago when my son asked at bed time if Santa was real. He wasn’t as concerned with how long it would take Santa to deliver the presents, or even the manufacturing of said presents. It was the cookies.

“How can Santa eat all of those cookies and drink the milk? He would be really fat and unhealthy.”

I had prepared answers for the presents. Thanks to the Doctor Who Christmas special, I could claim that Santa was really a Time Lord and that the sleigh was bigger on the inside, thus enabling him to carry all of those presents around the world.

I was not prepared for milk and cookies-related queries. Maybe a vacuum that would suck them up so he could eat them later? Elves that came with him and ate them? Or, maybe parents did help with the cookies part? I liked the last option because with that I could angle for some parent-friendly beverages and at least get a little wine out of the situation. I’m lactose intolerant and I really take one for the team when I down that mug of milk. I’m surprised my horrendous gas has not given my away yet.

No dice. Apparently his friend saw his parents wrapping presents that were from “Santa.”

I screw up a lot when it comes to my kids, but I have been on top of this whole stealthy ninja stuff. I steal teeth, move plushy elves, and stuff a mean stocking. I need other parents to keep up. Their slacking is ruining my efforts.

I did a little song and dance and managed to put off revealing any truth, but I knew my time was running out. Then, just one day before Easter, I overheard my son talking to one of his little friends who was over for a playdate.

His friend was saying, “Yeah, I saw my mom with some Easter-themed Skylanders under her rug, so I know there’s no Easter Bunny.”

My no-longer innocent child replied, “You know, there’s no Santa either. My other friend saw his parents wrapping his gifts.”

To pour salt on the wound, my daughter was in the room with them. I can’t have two kids lose their faith on the day before Easter!

Pouring myself a large glass of wine, I steeled myself for the inevitable. I was going to have to tell my son the truth, and try to save my daughter from finding out as well.

I also cursed the other parents again. Sweet son of a Triscuit, why couldn’t they be more like ninjas?!

Using my best, “We have to talk voice” I pulled him aside.

“So, I heard you talking about Santa and the Easter Bunny,” I started.

“Yeah, I don’t believe in them.” He flippantly replied.

I tried once again to go through why he doesn’t believe and refuting his “evidence” but he kept reiterating that he didn’t believe in magic, and so he didn’t believe in Santa or the Easter Bunny.

Even though it could have backfired on me, I threw the only curveball I had.

“What about Jesus? You can’t see him, but you know he’s real.”

Heavy eye rolling ensued. “Mooooommmm…… that’s a totally different story.”

Knowing I was defeated, I threw in the towel and leveled with him. No, there was no Santa. Or Easter Bunny. Or Tooth Fairy. He looked excited to have been right, but there was a hint of sadness too.

The next morning, my young man played his part for his sister and enthusiastically opened his basket while declaring, “I love the Easter Bunny!” He tossed a not so subtle wink my way, but all things considered, my still-believing baby girl was none the wiser.

Honestly, I’m glad it went so well, but I can’t help but feel a little sad that this piece of his innocence has faded away. What’s next? Will he say that he won’t be going to Hogwarts? Or that he’ll never be a Pokemon trainer? I might need a hug and a stiff drink when that happens.

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New Year’s Resolutions I Can Keep

New Year’s Resolutions I Can Keep | Ponies and Martinis

I resolve to be more beach-friendly this year.

With the very best of intentions, I start off the new year with an ambitious resolution or two, like working out every day or not yelling at the kids. And slowly, but surely, I fail to keep them. This is why I still carry some baby weight and my kids are deaf.

This year, I have come up with a few resolutions that I know I can stick with.

1. Wear yoga pants more often. I have kept my yoga pants isolated to the gym, but I think I have been severely limiting my comfort. Have you ever worn those things? It’s like rolling in butter and lying in velvet all at the same time. I won’t wear them out in public, like one of those people from Walmart, but, I’ll wear them for lounging, kid drop-off, and girls’ night. Maybe I’ll buy my friends a pair or two too.

2. Drink more wine. I love, love, love wine, so when the kids go to bed, I pour myself a glass. Unfortunately, life gets in the way of me enjoying it. There’s laundry to fold, dishes to do, and eventually, it’s time for bed. Sometimes, I don’t even drink the whole thing. I know! It’s the saddest story in the world! There will be no more sad stories in 2015. God as my witness, I will finish my wine.

3. Act like an idiot with my girlfriends. When I had kids, I stopped going out with my friends. Oh, there would be brunch or coffee, or a night in, but nothing like the bacchanal we’d had in our 20s. I miss those days, when we’d go out looking super skanky, dancing like the rhythmless white girls we are, and knocking back a few Manhattans. We’d sing along with Bon Jovi and do things that I am really glad were not captured on video. Of course the next day would be hell, but it was worth it. I need to do that again. But, this time with a better hangover cure.

4. Enjoy mindless entertainment. I finally read The Grapes of Wrath, a few fascinating books by Bill Bryson, and watched the Ken Burns documentary series on Prohibition. I am so much smarter now than I was 12 months ago. But, dammit, I want to take my edumacation down a notch. I won’t go to the dark side and start watching the Kardashians, but I need more Amy Poehler, Doctor Who, and Arrested Development. The Joad family is way too depressing. Sweet baby Jesus, someone find them a Habitat for Humanity house and a union to join.

5. Nap. Oh, naps. How I do love thee. With every fiber of my soul, I worship you, O, great nap. This is a no-brainer. And to accomplish this, I will…

6. Stick to the basics with housecleaning. Scrub the toilets, vacuum up the tumbleweeds of dog hair in the hall, wipe down a few jelly smears, and call it a day. Dirt can only help my kids, right? Build up their immune system and stuff? And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll burn my house down and start over. Perfect.

7. Lose my filter. For most of my life, I have worried about what other people thought of me. I always had a frank personality that I kept locked away like a crazy aunt in the attic. This year, she is breaking free and taking over. Here comes the crazy, and it’s going to be good.

I may not manage to keep any of these resolutions, but I am going to do my damnedest to try. I mean, seriously, how fun is this year going to be?

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