Tag Archives: parenting

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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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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Am I Senile Or Forgetful?

Did you know that today is Cinco de Mayo? You did? And so did everyone else? Interesting.

I did. And then I didn’t. And then I did.

Sometimes I think I am related to Dory from Finding Nemo.

Here’s my train of thought:

“Hey! it’s Cinco de Mayo. I should have a margarita and some guacamole.”

Five minutes later…

“What am I going to do tonight? I think The Boy has Cub Scouts. Maybe The Girl and I can get frozen yogurt.”

Sees post on Facebook on how people who aren’t Mexican will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Am I Senile or Forgetful | Ponies and Martinis

Tiny, the Chihuahua says, “What the heck? Remember my heritage, you crazy gringa!”

“Oh. Yeah. I forgot. I must remember to teach the kids about the Battle of Puebla.”

Later in the day…

“If I stop at Kohl’s, I can return those toys and pick up something for myself. Maybe that pencil skirt…”

I see an article about the best tequila on the market.

“Right. Cinco de Mayo. I used to drink an f-ton of Mexican beer to celebrate the holiday. I wonder if I could do that now…. But then I’d have a hangover, and who can work with a hangover?”

And so on and so forth until I’m at home, drinking a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on my couch and binge watching Daredevil on Netflix.

Seriously. I am amazed at myself. Where is my denunciation of the French? It’s certainly not stated in my wine choice. I might as well have said, “Gee, I wish the French had won the war. Let’s raise a glass to them.” Ugh. What the actual fuck?

(PS: condescending history lesson… Cinco de Mayo celebrates the defeat of the French in a key battle at the hands of the Mexican army)

So, what day is it again? Maybe I’ll have one more glass of wine before I go to bed. It’s not like anything is happening today, is it?

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When You Lie Down With Dogs…

When I fantasize about taking a nap, I like to picture my favorite furry friend, or three, with me. They are cozy and cuddly with a touch of lazy, so they would seem to be perfect partners in sleep.

But, I’ve found that when trying to snuggle up with my pups, naps are anything but relaxing.

I love sleep. I always have. My mom said I used to put myself down for a nap until I was five. Now that I have two very active children, naps are pretty much nonexistent.

When You Lie Down With Dogs | Ponies and Martinis

Tiny. Doesn’t she look like a great sleep partner? It’s all lies!

But, every once in a great while, at the time of a great solstice, when the planets are in harmony, and I perform an intricate dance ritual, I get to take a nap.

Oh, it’s glorious.

I approach my bed reverently, and slipping in between the sheets, I rest my head upon a soft cottony cloud, releasing a sigh of pure happiness.

Then, I hear it. A persistent scratch at the bedroom door. It swings open and seconds later I feel the weight of three small dogs as they leap on my bed.

You’d think they’d settle down and enjoy a little cuddle, because my dogs are magnetically attracted to anyone in repose. You would be wrong.

First, Tiny rucks up the covers, making a little bed for herself. Drawing them toward her chest, kicking them back, she twirls around and flops into a tight ball.

Closing my eyes… I drift off… and…. *slurp* *slurp* *slurp.* Twilight, my filth-hating canine, cannot stand the stench emanating from Sparkles’ ears and commences a thorough scrub of her floppy sound receptacles. While I appreciate her dedication to cleanliness, I really just want to take a nap.

Tiny doesn’t want to miss any of the licking action, so she sneaks her way up to my arm and licks my armpit. Shoving her away, I roll over and cover myself with the blankets. Nudging at the covers, the little ninja slips in and starts to lick my face. To thwart her, I throw a pillow over my head. I can’t breathe, but I am going to nap anyway, dammit.

Slowly suffocating, but still napping, I feel something slamming against my thighs and I hear the soft warbles of play growling. Seriously? Chewbacca, aka Sparkles, wants to fight. I am about to throw down if I can’t have a nap, but I don’t think that is what Sparkles had in mind.

I growl back at Sparkles and she settles down. The nap has to happen now, right? No.

Something has drawn their attention, and the wee devils for whom I have boundless love begin to bark. Is it a leaf? Perhaps a squirrel has trespassed in our backyard. Or, maybe a mouse living in my wall farted, disturbing them. Who knows. I really don’t care. I am losing precious seconds of somnolence.

Giving them my best Mom glare, they FINALLY settle down and fall asleep. I join them, slipping languidly into the most spectacular sleep. Gliding through my dreams, I find myself on a desert island, feeling the hot sun on my face. I wake in a sweat and wonder what happened.

The source of the inferno is obvious. I am covered by a blanket made out of dogs, warming my entire body more effectively than any electric blanket ever could. While I appreciate the love, I am not a fan of boob sweat, and these dogs are making me sweat from my boobs, armpits and ladyland unmentionables.

Shucking off my canine companions, I stretch and bask in the afterglow. Licks, barks, sweat and all, I HAD A NAP. Awww yeah.

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