Tag Archives: kids

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.


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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My Dog Ate My Daughter’s Poop

My Dog Ate My Daughter's Poop | Ponies and Martinis

The Offending Canine

Weekends. They are a time to live the good life by enjoying exploits at the Home Depot and making tough decisions like what toppings to get on the pizza.

They are not a time for fecal follies.

Once my kids left the explosive diarrhea and sodden diaper phase of their life, I thought I had most toilet traumas behind me. While it’s true that I cannot go a day without flushing the evacuations of my daughter’s bladder, my days are otherwise free of bodily fluids.

I was getting too soft with this cozy situation and my daughter could sense my weakness, sniffing it out with the precision of a lioness hunting a gazelle.

She went in for the kill this weekend.

I was heading into the living room when I saw the entryway was blocked off by two boxes, with my daughter on one side and the dogs on the other.

Me: So… what’s with the boxes?

The Girl (pointing to the couch): My poop fell out and Sparkles ate it.

Me: Wait. You pooped on the couch? And Sparkles are your poop?

The Girl (laughing hysterically): No! I didn’t poop on the couch!

Me: Sparkles pooped on the couch? And ate it?

Girl: No! Poop fell out of my butt, I stepped on it, and when I wiped it off, Sparkles ate it.

Me: On the couch?

Girl: Mooooom! You’re not listening.

Right. Because it’s so very clear what has happened.

Girl: I was pooping, IN THE BATHROOM…

She throws an exaggerated eye roll in my direction, and continues.

Girl: … and I didn’t want anyone to see me. So, I waddled over to shut the door and my poop fell out.

Me: You were walking around with your pants down? And poop in your butt? Why?

Girl: I didn’t want anyone to see me!

Of course. Makes sense.

Girl: The poop fell out, and I stepped in it.

I realize as she’s talking, that her feet are resting on the coffee table. The same feet that have stepped in her own waste. I am willing to bet her tootsies were not washed after she pranced in the poop. Therefore, my coffee table is now enveloped by fecal matter.

Girl: I wiped the poop off my foot…

Wiped? Did she wash her hands afterward? Probably not. Ugh. What has she touched?

Girl: … and then Sparkles ran in…. AND ATE IT! IT’S SO GROSS! UGH! She can’t be here if she’s eating poop!

I tuned out her continuing narrative, and began a mental triage of the situation.

I need to clean her feet, the coffee table, the path from the bathroom to the table, every surface everywhere. Oh, hell. I’m going to burn the house down and start over. I’ll never be rid of the poop.

Half a tub of clorox wipes later, I was no longer crawling out of my skin, trying to escape an all-encompassing feculence.  I also gave Sparkles more than a few snacks to clean the crap out of her teeth. I really couldn’t even look at her until I had. It was too disgusting.

Moral of the story my friends: Never poop without shutting the door first, and if you have to get up, make sure there is no poop in your butt or a dog will swoop in and eat it.

Good talk.


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A Crime Against Good Hair

When I gave birth to my daughter almost six years ago, I had visions of a pink-clad cherub, prancing through the fields, and wearing floral dresses with her blonde hair blowing in the breeze.

Sadly, my offspring was not one of the Ingalls children, tumbling down the hill of life like a puppy too happy to care about their footing. My daughter is headstrong, whimsical on her own terms, a great lover of leggings – not dresses, and nothing makes her madder than not having someone pay attention to her.

Somehow she has it in her head that all attention is good attention, and that belief has manifested itself in my car being washed with Gatorade, her room decorated with used pull-ups, and most recently, cutting her hair off in what would seem to be a vain attempt to look like Mia Farrow.

Her extreme makeover coincided with my husband leaving town for business, a point not lost on me, because it is a sad truth that I do not do well as a single mother.

Imagine a dog, herding sheep from one pen to another with one sheep who keeps making a break for it. The dog nips at the sheep’s flank trying to keep it in line, but the sheep laughs wildly at the dog and dances just out of its reach.

This is my sad existence without my husband for support.

The first morning on my own, I was running to and fro trying to look vaguely presentable for work when I sent the kids downstairs to start breakfast. Somehow, I thought that I would not have to hover over them, but I was horribly wrong.

I came downstairs to find my darling son dressed, but he hadn’t bothered with breakfast or brushing his teeth, finding it more important to watch Slugterra.

There are some days when I would rather watch Burpy in all of his flamey goodness than brush my teeth, but a Tuesday morning with only minutes to spare before leaving would not be one of those days.

Thankfully, a gentle cattle prod to the butt got him moving, but I couldn’t find my daughter. As any parent knows, a missing child is highly suspicious.

She doesn’t hide very well, so I easily located her in a locked bathroom. Jimmying the lock, I opened the door and saw that our bathroom had been turned into a crime scene.


My beautiful baby girl.

Instead of blood, the room was covered with blonde hair. A wad here, a wisp there. Gleefully, my daughter stood there with a pair of scissors in one hand and a maniacal expression on her face. Her bangs were gone, and one side of her hair was a lot shorter than the other.

I almost turned away to throw up.

Choking back my horror, I assessed the damage and tried to do a little triage. My first impulse was to pin what was left of the bangs back, but there was not enough there. The hair, or remnants of it, slipped out of my hands. I couldn’t even call it hair. It resembled a caterpillar, fuzzy for the winter.

My only option was to brush it and hope no one would notice. Fat chance. Her new look was not exactly subtle.

I don’t know what it says about me, but I wasn’t mad at her for the hair. What irked me was WHY she did it. Because I wasn’t hovering over her and fawning over her every movement, she needed to do something to grab my attention. Somehow, in my mind, that means if she’s willing to that to get a moment of my time, she will do drugs, drink all night, and bring home a man reeking of chlamydia just to shock me.

In vain, I put her in timeout and try to talk to her. As she languishes in the corner, performing the role of a put-upon diva, I tell her that I love her not matter what, but I like her when she’s not doing something stupid.

It’s like talking to a brick wall. She has no remorse and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t reflect on what happened after she had left timeout. I honestly don’t know what to do, but until I figure that out, I’ll just hide the scissors and hope for the best.


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George Washington, Jesus, and a Catholic School Education

When my husband and I decided to send our daughter to private school, we thought she would get an exemplary education coupled with a solid religious foundation that would set her up to one day rule the world.

No pressure on her private school.

I think she’s getting a whole lot of religion and history, and everything else thrown at her, because it seems to be blending into an education puree in her head.

The Girl: So, do you know George Washington?

Me: Yes, I do.

Girl: He died.

Me: Yes, he did. (Where is this going?)

George WashingtonGirl: He died and told God to make cars, and roads, and cars…

The Boy: You said cars already.

Girl (talking over her brother): Well, he died. And God died.

Me: Jesus died.

Girl: God died.

Me: Same thing,

Girl: Oh, yeah.

She launches into an Our Father with God Bless America thrown in at the end. Because, why not. Luckily, we don’t go to Mass that often, so she hasn’t had the opportunity to regale the parish with her mish mosh of an Our Father.

My poor son who is in year three of Jesus School, keeps trying to correct her on everything from how to cross herself to the right words to pray to the saints. Although, he does say the saints should, “Hooray for us.”

I kind of like that better than pray for us. Who knows if the prayers will do anything to influence the big guy, but I could really use a “hooray” every now and again. Especially if it’s St. Jude. If the patron saint of lost souls hoorays for me, then there really isn’t anything I can’t do. I mean, he probably saw some really messed up stuff.

I am going to assume that my daughter will sort everything out eventually, but until then, I think I am going to enjoy her interpretation of how the Catholic faith works. Who knows, I may learn a little something about Jesus, and George Washington.


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Portrait of a Harried Mother

It’s Groundhog Day every Saturday in my house, but I don’t have Bill Murray playing the piano or making ice sculptures. Instead, I have two kids with early morning extracurricular activities and zero motivation to get their shit together to participate in these activities.

After a long week of dragging the kids out of bed by their ankles, shoving them into their school uniforms, and tossing them into the hallowed halls of their elementary school, probably with their hair and teeth brushed, they decide to sleep in on Saturdays.

Usually I would praise Jesus, the Sandman, and everyone else for this great miracle, but I can’t, because WE HAVE SHIT TO DO.

The morning prep is a one-parent job because the other one is trying to scrub yesterday’s stink of their body. So that’s one parent to….

1. Feed the dogs, let them out, clean up the poop they’ll leave in the house even though you just took them out, dammit.

2. Convince The Boy, who is too tired to be bothered with pants, to cover up his junk.

3. Rip the nasty pull-up The Girl uses for a toilet off her body so her girl parts can air out and not smell like the hind end of a horse.

4. Feed the beasts, I mean kids, while nudging the dogs out of the way because they are part Hobbit and think it’s time for second breakfast.

5. Beg, plead, threaten, bribe, and anything else that can be thought of to get the kids to put on their clothes. One of these days I will take them to soccer or dance completely naked. I bet they would get dressed for me after that.

6. Shave The Girl’s head when she runs screaming in terror from the hairbrush.

7. Pin The Boy down and scrub the plaque off of his teeth with steel wool, or whatever is handy.

Finally, they are ready and it’s the other parent’s turn to shower. There are approximately 15 minutes to make the magic happen before leaving the house. Today, this was my result. I am so hot I can hardly stand myself.

Wow. Feel my MILF-y smolder.

Wow. Feel my MILF-y smolder.

I wish Bill Murray were here. He’d make the chaos of the morning all better. And he can remind to not drive angry.


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A Chaotic Home is a Happy Home

The one thing I’ll never compromise on is… having chaos in my house.

Growing up, I lived a pretty quiet life. It was just me, my family and my books. That didn’t really change until I had my son. As any new parent knows, babies can be, how shall we say? Disruptive. My house was an explosion of plastic crap, baby bottles, and two people too tired to clean anything up.

Adding to our general disarray, we had three fur-shedding tornadoes; two cats and a dog. There wasn’t a day that went by when tumbleweeds of hair and dust didn’t roll past my feet.

I tried to keep up, but I couldn’t. The house was mostly clean, but I still had toys, books, and crafts everywhere. I had to choose; picking up board books or playing with my son. Don’t get me wrong, I would try to toss a few things into a basket as we played, but it was never enough.

My house isn't messy.

My kids are awesome house designers.

Soon, we moved, adding to and losing some from our brood. My daughter was born, one cat and a dog died, and we adopted three energetic pups.

In our house, it’s loud. A sample of our symphony…

“Mom! She’s using my Netflix!”

“Well, he’s not eating breakfast!”

“That’s mine! Don’t watch ponies!”

*Sobbing* “Mommy! He hit me!”

“She started it!”

“Aaarrroooo! Bark! Bark!”

“Where is your father? I am trying to make sandwiches. Have you finished breakfast?”


“Brushed your teeth?”


“Stop fighting, brush your teeth, and for the love of God, daughter of mine, brush your hair; you look like you’ve been fighting with a raccoon.”

“Grrrr…. Grrr…”

“Where’s Tiny? And, what’s in your backpack, baby girl?”

“Do not put Tiny in your backpack.”

“Meow, meow, meow…”

“Someone let the cat into the basement, and get your shoes on!”

It’s not all bad, there’s also this…

“Daddy, throw me on the bed!”

“Now me!”

“And mommy!”

“No. Not mommy.”

“Squeal… squee!”

“Again! Again!”


“I don’t think Sparkles likes the excitement.”


“I got the blankets to make a tent! Let’s watch a movie and make cookies.”

“I want the dough!”

“I want the bowl!”

Notice all the exclamation points? Yeah, we’re a boisterous bunch. Boisterous, messy and ridiculously happy. So, come on over. You may have to dust some cat hair off the couch, but you’ll have a good time. I promise.

This post was part of the Finish the Sentence Friday bloghop. There are always fun topics, and I don’t participate enough.


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