(As in: everything makes you want to, and your kids do nothing but)

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Have you ever seen those people who walk around at theme parks, grocery stores and zoos with their kids connected to them by a leash? Usually it’s hooked to a fuzzy animal-shaped backpack. Monkeys seems to be a top pick. I’ve often wondered what would happen if a primate at the zoo got loose and saw a tiny person-shaped monkey strolling around backwards.

monkey leash

Oh My God! It actually happened to this blogging mom!

I used to think those parents were ape-shit, pun intended.

It’s a fine line between the leash and duct tape and chains. I work in News. I am not going to do anything that even closely resembles child abuse.

leash

But, I am mother to a pint-sized flight risk. His main goal in public is to race toward danger, whether it’s a parking lot (death trap) or the “big kid” playground (death trap).

running huck

Huck escaping to the big kid playground.

We should’ve seen this coming. When we took our daughter home from the hospital, we decided the first song that played on the radio would be “her song.” It was Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.” Seemed appropriate, especially since her feet are still the size of a newborn’s.

elton john tiny dancer

When we took our son home from the hospital, we played the same game. His song… “I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley. Clearly this means he will be a pot head or a cop-killer.

bob marley

Huxley is going to turn 2 years old this week. It’s his defining moment. He’s about to become a psychopath or an athlete, a good cop or a very bad cop.

future felon

My mother-in-law asked me what the theme is going to be for his birthday party. I was thinking, “violence.” Maybe a bleeding red velvet cake, body part streamers and we can turn his sister into the pinata.

pinata

Nah. We’ll go with a soccer cake and some traditional “boy” colors.

I will say this about my little man. He knows how to live. He takes risks. (ones that could cause his mother to go into cardiac arrest) But, he loves life.

On the swing the other day, as soon as he got to the highest point he would throw his head back and take his hands off the chains. The kids is insane, but I envy his joy.

huxley swing joy

I considered the leash, but I think I’ll stick with yelling at him at the top of my lungs in my “man voice,” which terrifies all other parents and children within ear shot.


I am guessing I’m not the only parent of little ones that occasionally suffers from something I call “sleep cursing.”

You’re deeply asleep, dreaming of sleeping in, using the potty in privacy… all things “single” and you hear the cries. You try to ignore it, but it grows louder. Eventually, they spill into screams of “mommy!!”

This isn’t when you start slinging curse words like a sailor. Not yet.

You rub their back, you “shhhhh” and you ask if they need something to drink.

You wrap them in a blanket, ask if they don’t feel well and RELUCTANTLY pick them up.

huck sleepy bottle

This happened at 4 a.m. with my son this morning. He probably has an earrache, which makes my reaction even more offensive.

So, I’ve given him milk and he’s cuddled under a blanket with me on the couch and we’re watching Thomas the Train. That’s when I give up and start praying I can fall asleep on the couch next to him.

But, nooooooo. Every 3 seconds he has to shout (with the sippy cup in his mouth) “Choo choo train!” Seriously? It’s Thomas the f&^ing Train. There are nothing but trains, Huck!!

thomas the train

Quit smiling at me you smug little &^%.

At one point he kept asking over and over, “What’s going on?” “What’s going on?”

I mumbled irritably, “They’re looking for Percy.”

Huck: “What’s going on?”

I silently say “f&^k” and say, “THEY’RE LOOKING… FOR… PERCY.”

Huck starts whining and he asks again and I lose it. I’m dropping f-bombs and telling him to just please shut up for the love of God! JUST STOP!

cursing

This is called “sleep cursing.” I would never curse in front of my kids while awake. But, something in my brain just snaps when I am in desperate need of sleep and my kid is keeping me up in the middle of the night for NO GOOD REASON.

ralphie soap

I usually do self-censoring, falling silent at the opportune moment in the sentence. “Go to *silence* bed!”

So, how did my morning end? With me handing over duties to my husband, him getting me back up a few minutes later because he had to shower, me trying to squeeze in a five-minute power nap before getting up and oversleeping.

I did my makeup at red lights. I have bed head. I will spend too much money on lunch.

But, I caught up on all those Thomas the Train episodes I’d been dying to see. So, there’s that.


Everything looks like a death trap to me.

Perhaps it’s because I work at a job where I write about all of the most unusual, bizarre and tragic accidents.

Girl gets run over by a lawnmower?

Happened twice in the span of a month here.

Toddler drowns in pool?

During the summer, it’s at least once a week.

But, my level of paranoia can’t be normal. I mean, I contain it to a certain degree. At least, I keep it to myself.

While the kids are the backyard, I am thinking about Cottonmouths and Water Moccasins. (people have seen them in our neighborhood)

cottonmouth

When we’re in the front yard, it’s coyotes or maybe just an irritable neighborhood dog.

coyote

The front yard poses the additional risk of a driveway where someone could easily back over a child. That somebody being me… even though I am super aware of where they are outside at every single moment.

driveway

DEATH TRAP

My in-laws have a pool in the backyard. I have envisioned Huck diving in after a soccer ball so many times, it’s almost like it already happened.

POOL

DEATH TRAP

The stairs will lead to broken bones someday, I’m sure of it.

A sex offender will move into our development. I already know exactly what street the closest one lives off of even though it’s miles away. Yet, I still check the FDLE site on a regular basis.

It’s not a cold, it’s a sign she has a compromised immune system.

I didn’t even let me kids near a peanut until I had ample time to whisk them off to the ER if needed.

evil peanut

SNEAKY DEATH TRAP

Hot dogs, carrots, grapes and now linguini (see previous post) require extreme supervision.

The bathtub is an “eyes-on” environment only.

Oh, and every time we cover a car accident, which is several times a day, I always check the make and model right away to be sure it isn’t my husband who totes the kids to school and back.

I don’t spend all of my time worrying, but being prepared to react. Which is why it’s hilarious that one of the only times my daughter has been hurt in the past week is when I yanked a Little Bo Peep staff out of her hands and accidentally flung her head first onto the floor. Girl had a death grip on that thing!

How did we ever survive our childhoods? I went door-to-door selling Girl Scout cookies alone. I was nearly mauled to death by a vicious Rottweiler when I went INSIDE A STRANGER’S HOME. I hung out with a weird old lady in her house so she could give me a coaster with a Cardinal on it. I went for a solo bike ride only to see a guy getting all lewd and lascivious in a parked car.

That’s it. Buying a big bubble to keep my kids in.

BUBBLE BOY


Valentine’s Day as a parent is Hallmark holiday hell. Screw all of those depressed, single people with their “woe as me, I’m going to have to eat dinner alone and watch a movie solo.” It sounds like HEAVEN.

movie alone

There is some unspoken competition raging between moms of kids in daycare to come up with the coolest, craftiest Valentines ever. They create cute little cardboard cutout hearts and peanut-free, organic treats. These moms are the reason why Pinterest makes me insecure.

crafts

I don’t even know the names of my kid’s classmates. Granted, my husband takes them to and from daycare. How am I supposed to write up their Valentines?

To: the kid who reliably has snot running down his upper lip.

To: the little French girl who doesn’t speak any English, je t’aime.

To: The new kid who bites my daughter on the arm all the time. XOXO

This week, I am signed up to bring cookies to both kid’s classes. I learned my lesson last year and refuse to bring in a batch of burnt crusty brownies again. I’m gonna be that guy that brings in something clearly labeled “Publix.” It won’t be organic, cause that stuff is just plain expensive.

Head Waiter

Then, there’s celebrating a holiday centered around romance when there is so very little of it in a household with two toddlers. I have visions of slow-dancing with my husband after getting a little tipsy from the wine over a fancy dinner. Afterward, we will bow chicka bow wow and sleep like babies.

Ahhh, but we HAVE babies.

So, we will get reacquainted over a quick, reasonable dinner, keep the drinking to a minimum so we can pick up the kids from daycare date night without them calling the cops and hope to be sleeping by 10 so we can get up at 6 in the morning with the kids.

Shopping for my husband is worse than pulling teeth. I prefer a root canal to trying to figure out what he would actually like.

He has started providing me with a wish list, which means there are no surprises and I still somehow manage to bungle it. Wrong shoe size, books with clever titles he would never read, coffee cups that were so ginormous they looked like they belonged to Rock Biter from Neverending Story.

rock biter

They look like big, good, strong hands.

I know all he really wants is a glass of bourbon, his pipe and some privacy.

Every single Valentine’s Day card reads the same these days: “I miss you.” “I can’t wait until…” “Someday we will… ”

I hate Valentine’s Day for a plethora of new reasons.

I love my husband every day.

I love my children immensely.

Got plenty of the love stuff.

I hate candy, crafts, baking, pink and shopping. I just realized that’s everything my daughter loves. Great, I officially hate my daughter’s favorite holiday.

american horror story

These probably wouldn’t fly with 3 years olds, huh?


I am starting to think no one can be more cruel and insulting than a toddler. I’ve been called a lot of different names, but somehow none sting as badly as the ones spewed from the mouths of babes.

The other night I was lying in my daughter’s bed, reading her a book and she started smacking my stomach and chanting “Fat belly! Fat belly!”

fat belly

I told her that wasn’t a very nice thing to say.

She responded, “But, you’re belly is big so it’s a fat belly.” I asked her where she learned to say that and she told me from her daycare worker.

(Reason #456 why I wish I was a stay-at-home mom)

It was enough to make me want to do 1,000 crunches immediately and swear off the consumption of beer for the rest of my life.

I’ve moved past showering or bathing in front of my daughter. I’m done fielding the awkward kind of questions you anticipate from a kid at least in the double-digit age range. I learned my lesson when she started poking through the trash so she could point out “pons.”

But, the other day it was unavoidable. I was getting dressed and she looked at me and said, “Mommy, you’re ewwwww.”

My mother tried to make me feel better about the whole exchange, saying small children just don’t understand the way adult bodies look. They think little kid bodies are normal. Nice try, ma. I still feel like getting lipo.

Awhile ago, Alma told me I have “up hair, like a boy.” She means “short hair” but of course it was the “like a boy” part that made me feel butch and brawny. It was enough to convince me to grow out my hair. (which means I will shortly end up trapped in the stage where I look just like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse)

swayze

Then there was the day when she said, “I love Daddy. You love me. But, I don’t love you.” I thought perhaps she was confused. I asked her to repeat herself and she said the exact same thing again. Awesome.

Before my daughter graduated to verbal insults, there were the physical ones. As an infant, she thought it was hilarious to slap me repeatedly in the face, sometimes in public. The only tactic that worked was humiliating. I had to allow her to slap me over and over and over while not reacting at all. It worked, but not before many tears were shed.

monkey slap

Do the Gods of genetics throw me a bone with my son?

No way.

He’s a hitter AND a kicker. If I don’t react at all to his attacks, he just keeps on hitting and kicking. He’s like the long-distance runner of assault and battery. If his skill level in bruising and beating me is any indication, his verbal insults will entail F-bombs.

The worst thing about all of this? There is no satisfying revenge. I can’t fire back at Alma that giving birth to her is what stretched out my belly skin to create a perfect calorie pouch. I can’t kick Huck in the shins, though Lord knows the desire is occasionally there.

I guess I’ll just go cry and do crunches.


IMG_20140208_104015

Poor consistently rejected crayon colors. Faces will apparently always be shades of red and purple.


I suck at pretend. There’s almost nothing that terrifies me more than my daughter asking, “Can you play with me?”

I know it means we will have to “play school.” We take all of her stuffed animals to Huck’s room (school) and they sleep (lie in his bed for 10 seconds) and then we take them all back home. (her room) Then, she will say, “It’s time to wake up and go back to school.” We have to do it… ALL… OVER… AGAIN.

I am going to be a great roller coaster buddy at theme parks.

I would watch The Incredibles several times in a week without being bored. The Goonies? A gazillion.

GOONIES

I think Easter isn’t complete without dyeing eggs the old-fashioned way.

The only downside of a baby pool is that I can’t fit all the way inside.

baby pool elephant

Blowing bubbles is awesome, crafts are cool, bike rides are the best. Pretend is a bunchabullshit.

I don’t even know what my problem is. I can do an incredible Deep South accent while reading a Corduroy book, switching to the Spanish laundromat owner like an Oscar-winner. But, ask me to find something for two fairies to do inside a doll house and I draw a blank.

DOLL HOUSE

I’m like, “Do they sleep? Cause that’s what I wanna do.” “Do they dance? There’s no music… so that’s ridiculous.” “Do they have a tea party?” “Ok… we poured the tea. We took a sip. Now what the hell do we do? Tea party… over.”

tea party

I understand that imaginary play is uber important in my child’s development. I nearly cry tears of joy when I see her cuddle “her baby” bunny and wrap her in a blanket to sleep. It’s so sweet! But, I guess at some point the part of my brain tasked with imagination shriveled up like a raisin and died.

raisin

MY IMAGINATION

I run into the same problem with my niece. We’ll be playing in the pool and she’ll be pretending to run a restaurant. (Because the chick is an entrepreneur. She was charging us for pages out of a coloring book at 6. She has since graduated to selling bracelets for a profit.) She’ll ask to take my order and I ask for mashed potatoes, lobster and perhaps dessert. I pretend to pay her, pretend to consume it, end up with a mouthful of chlorine water. Next time she asks what I want to order, I’m like, “Nothing. I just want to get a tan!” (I don’t actually yell at her, but I do eventually start turning her down, which makes me feel AWFUL)

As for myself, I think I am a pretty fun parent.

When playing pretend, I’m like a creepy, bald uncle who’s never held a baby.

uncle fester


The saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But, we live in a day and age where parents get divorced, siblings spread out across the country and the only people willing to watch your child want to discuss their “fee.”

If the Tsetse fly gets me, there’s no passing my kid off to another gal in the tribe.

tribal hut

A couple days ago, I came down with a stomach virus. I called it the sick cruise without the “cruise.”
As I made my every five-minute dash from the bed to the bathroom, I could hear my husband’s groans of irritation with the kids growing louder as the night wore on. If dramatic sighs were a sport, he’d be an Olympian.

olympic medal

NOT my husband.

I tried to take over at one point, lying on the couch while the kids watched television, but within minutes had to say, “Mommy has to go potty.”

There is nothing worse in a family than a “man down.” (or woman down)

My mother-in-law broke her arm this past week when she fell while cleaning the top of the fridge. My father-in-law posted about it on Facebook, but it was in Spanish. For several minutes I was trying to figure out why she jumped from the fridge, hurt her arm and they turned into Tarzan and Jane. There was a Tarzan reference, but clearly my Spanish isn’t that great.

tarzan and jane

All it takes is one member of the family down, even the extended one, to derail all plans. She was supposed to watch the kids so we could celebrate my husband’s birthday this weekend with a rare overnight alone. Now, we’re trying to figure out how we can survive a couple hours at the race track with two kids. (Can you even take kids there? It seems illegal. Those places always reek of cigar smoke and seem to be teeming with aged sex offenders)

race track

When I finally felt good enough to at least pick up the kids from daycare, I told my daughter I was taking them to Boston Market because “Mommy is too sick to cook.” She said, “Then I won’t talk to you.” I said, “What?” She said, “When you’re sick, I won’t talk to you.” So, at some point I must’ve scared the bejeesus out of her when I was ill. I can totally picture it: Me lying on the floor, writhing in agony and her bothering me about where her bunny’s blanket is and me shouting, “DON’T TALK TO ME. I’M SICK!!!”

Instead of being able to ask my mom for a hand, I’m text messaging her that I’m slowly dying of digestive failure.

Instead of being able to ask my mother-in-law for a hand, well… I’m just glad she still has a hand after the whole swinging from a fridge incident.

It takes a village, but we’re all in the “isolation hut” now. Not just reserved for menstruating ladies anymore. When there’s a man down, you suddenly wish you were better neighbors.

It takes a village. It also takes a team.

Last night my daughter started to cry in her bedroom. My husband found her hiccuping and burping.

Being astute, he rushed her to the bathroom where she promptly blew chunks across the tile floor.

We’re like an elite hazmat crew, working at high speeds, silently triaging the scene. My husband’s running the tub and whipping off her pajamas. I’m grabbing a plastic bag and every cleaning product created.

breaking bad

Within 15 minutes, we’ve got her sleeping in bed with minty fresh breath. I’m like a crime scene cleanup tech. You could sell that bathroom without anyone being the wiser to the gore it’s seen.

Props to any single parents out there. If I was one, I would just crawl under a vomit-stained bath mat and cry until DCF showed up.


You probably had people warn you in advance that having children was going to dramatically change your life.

You probably thought, yeah I know, I know… no more partying until 3 a.m. No more sleeping in until 10 a.m.

Maybe you even considered that it would be more difficult to take a quick run to the corner store, considering you’ll be schlepping a car seat or a kid that falls asleep every single time the car moves for more than a block.

huck sleeping

But, they don’t tell you it’s the little things you can’t do anymore that cut like a knife.

I just want to shave my legs. Wearing jeans every day of my life isn’t a fashion statement, it’s a necessity.

hairy legs

I just want to paint my nails. I spend the better half of every week with chipped nails that make me look like a hooker who also works with heavy machinery.

I just want to workout. We try to swap workout days, but whenever I’m on the elliptical, in the garage, even with earphones I can hear them screaming inside the house. It’s tough to do serious crunches when you are considering the very real possibility someone has broken into your home and is slashing your family to bits. At least that’s what the screams sound like to me.

Susan Strasberg in Seth Holt's SCREAM OF FEAR (1961). Courtesy P

I don’t want to sleep in until 10 anymore. I want to sleep for 8 consecutive hours before I die. I want to sleep in until 8 in the morning. I want the sound of birds chirping to signal the start to the day, not a kid shrieking.

blue bird on my shoulder

Why do they do that anyway? Wake up crying for absolutely no reason. I mean, I want to cry when I get up but that’s because I don’t have a choice. They do. They can sleep in, but they don’t. Instead, they wake up crying like a creature is nibbling the tips of their toes off and they desperately need you to rush to the rescue and slay the beast.

I just want to watch a movie. One with cursing and sex and gore and everything my kids are not allowed to witness and I don’t want it to be interrupted 5 times by a crying kid who can’t seem to sleep without smacking their head against the edge of the bed. Or a kid that falls out of their bed. We actually had to put those pool noodles inside the sheets to try and keep our daughter from falling out of her bed. Guess what, she still does. It’s like she sleep climbs over them and throws herself head first into the floor, just to spite us.

I just want to use the restroom without one or the other child kicking the door 20 times in a row or asking, “what are you doing in there?” Even if they do leave me alone, I can usually hear them within seconds asking my husband, “Where’s mommy?”

locked bathroom

But, what I want more than anything is to spend some time alone with my husband. Every time we hang out for more than a half an hour somewhere without the children, it’s like going on a first date. I’m like, “Hey, I kinda like this guy. He’s funny and smart.” If we hang out for more than an hour I’m like, “Hey, he’s pretty hot.”

old date pic

Before you have kids you’re like, we’ll get a babysitter or have the in-laws watch the kids. After you have kids you realize that getting someone to watch your kids just means you have a chance to rush home and clean the house that’s been collecting dog hair and filth for weeks. I could seriously create a life-sized version of our dogs with the amount of hair they shed in a week. It’s like a chihuahua a day.

So, yeah… they say everything is going to change when you have children. What they really mean is EVERY THING. If you don’t have kids now, don’t waste time partying. Shave your legs and paint your nails!