Tag Archives: motherhood

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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My Curls Lose the Fight Against Humidity

Ah, Summer. It’s warm, wonderful, and I can luxuriate in the sun like a cat. But, while I am a woman who loves Summer more than my husband loves bacon, my hair tells a different story.

I have been blessed/cursed with a magnificent mane of curly hair. On my best day, it resembles bouncy, beach waves and on its worst, I am rocking a mane worthy of the king of the jungle.

To tell what kind of day I’m having, I rate my hair on a scale of, “Normal to Simba.”

1. Normal, beautiful and bouncy.

2. Beyonce with her hair in the wind. Who am I kidding? I don’t look like Beyonce on my best day, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

My Curls Lose the Fight Against Humidity | Ponies and Martinis

I wake up looking like this.

3. A sweet baby chick. Fluffy, but still manageable and adorable.

4. Alfalfa. The Little Rascal, not the sprout. One of the great mysteries of the universe is, “Why is there always one curl that won’t behave?” It’s like your hair is taunting you. What a bitch.

5. Pre-makeover Anne Hathaway from The Princess Diaries. “This is as good as it’s going to get. Sigh.”

My Curls Lose the Fight Against Humidity | Ponies and Martinis

Shut. Up.

6. A full hipster beard, or unshaven poon tang. Lingering question, “Is there really a difference?”

My Curls Lose the Fight Against Humidity | Ponies and Martinis

Fluffy, wispy in places. Nope. No difference.

7. Justin Timberlake with his ramen-haired 90s look. This usually happens when I get a little too liberal with the curl-shaping mousse. Nothing compares to audibly rustling every time you move your head.

8. Pom-pom with google eyes. On particularly bad days, I lose my peripheral vision and can only see my fro. I tend to bump into a lot of things.

9. Troll doll. I call this look, “I overslept and tried to crunch a little water into my curls to get them to lie down, but had to run out before doing anything real to my hair, and this will be in a bun as soon as I can fund a mirror and 50 billion industrial strength bobby pins, and even then it’s a crapshoot because my hair is liable to repel the bobby pins and I’ll end up putting someone’s eye out.”

My Curls Lose the Fight Against Humidity|Ponies and Martinis

What is the troll to hair ratio here?

10. Simba. Naaaatsavayna….. babanitzivana… I am the Queen of Pride Rock, bitches, and don’t you forget it. (And if you point out that only the men have manes, I will take you down. And I’m not lyin’.)

My Curls Lose the Fight Against Humidity | Ponies and Martinis

I own this jungle, dammit.

No matter where do you fall on this scale today, I hope you have more good hair days than bad, and the power to give zero fucks on the days when nothing in the world is going to make your hair better.

Simba out.

photo credit: Closeup of Bluebell via photopin (license)

GIFs from Giphy

photo credit: Man with Beard via photopin (license)

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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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Ten Ways to Tell Spring is Not Your Season

Ah, Spring! Is there nothing more delightful? The snows of winter have melted, the tulips have emerged, and the world seems fresh and new.

But, there are a select few that may not be cheering the beauty of the season. Here’s how to tell if you are one of them.

  1. When you get into bed, your heels scratch the sheets and you briefly wonder if your child has ripped the velcro straps on their shoes.
  2. You go to shave your legs and realize the hair you remove would make a very healthy donation to locks of love.
  3. Opening the windows in your home is problematic because then all of your neighbors would hear you yelling at your kids.
  4. Hoarders called. It wants to help you take care of your spring cleaning.
  5. You’d rather sweat than give up your supply of cashmere sweaters and hot cocoa.
  6. Is that lice? A reappearance of snow? Nope. It’s the trail of ashy skin flakes you leave behind you when you walk.
  7. Damn, baby. Are those your hooves? I think your sandals just ran away in terror. Get yourself a mani-pedi stat.
  8. The thought of researching and selecting summer camps for your kids makes you break out in hives.
  9. Yoga? Piyo? Oh, hells no. You’d rather let that layer of warming winter fat linger around your midsection.
  10. When you go to pull the folding camp chairs out of storage, you cry a little because you know it means it’s time for another season of sitting next to bug-infested soccer fields.

Take heart, Spring-avoidant mother. The season will soon be done, and you can spend the summer stressing about the high cost of the school supplies coming up in the fall.

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