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

Category Archives: bad behavior

I am starting a petition to rename my local children’s museum The Land of Shitty Moms.

A snit between me and some lousy parent nearly came to fisticuffs today.

fisticuffs

She may have been pregnant or just a regular at World of Beer. Either way, I know I would’ve won.

Yeah, she made me that mad.

The first problem: It’s the week where admission is free with your public library card. Apparently people who enjoy free books also believe in a style of parenting that fosters stealing, hitting and general mayhem.

There wasn’t a single toy my children played with that wasn’t snatched from their hands within seconds.

There wasn’t a span of 5 minutes where they weren’t shoved out of their position in a line.

Their requests for a turn with something, no matter how polite, were met with a child holding onto the coveted item with a death grip, flashing an evil grin that would’ve earned them a role in a teen vampire flick.

polls_721109Edward_20Cullen_203_2732_498938_answer_2_xlarge

But, no single instance of crappy kid-dom got my dander up like the following:

My kids were playing with giant soft blocks.

They are numbered, intended to be used to create an arch.

My kids are bringing me each number in order to stack them up.

As soon as we got three blocks high, some string-bean with a maniacal Joker grin would rush them like she was part of the defensive line.

Nicholson-s-Joker-the-joker-9484024-323-345

She did it once and I waited patiently for the demon seed’s mother to intervene.

The second time, I said, “No, honey we’re trying to build a tower for an arch.”

The third time, I am looking around like, “Where the f*&k is your parent?”

Now, I’m not a complete asshole.

The first time some kid tries to bulldoze mine or treat them like straight poop, I take a deep breath and assume the parent was busy sneezing or wrangling a second child.

But, when it happens over and over, I am damn sure gonna tell your kid to back the f&*k off. (Obviously, in the gentlest way possible.)

Now, this kid’s mom turned out to be just feet away, watching and doing nothing. (In other words, totally approving of her little shit’s behavior.)

In fact, a few seconds later I overheard her say to her tiny psychopath, “They can’t tell you not to play. The kids’ mom is right there. You go ahead and do what you want.”

‘Do what you want?’

Well, therein lies the problem.

Your kid can’t do what she wants. What she wants is to destroy something other kids were playing with. (In the way it was intended to be played with.)

Next, she’s going to “do what she wants” and smother your newborn to death. But, ‘Go ahead honey! Express yourself.’

Now, as for what I want to do when I hear something like this? Well, it could be misconstrued as a published threat against a potentially pregnant woman.

Now, let me be clear, I do not hold similar grudges against other parents of toy-snatching underage assholes.

There were plenty of babies who grabbed a toy from my kids and I simply smiled and gave the “friendly shrug” to their moms.

If your kid is so little, his main objective is to deep throat that phallic fake fruitĀ or use a felt piece of lettuce to wipe away the evidence of a cold accumulating under his nose, no apology needed.

felt cucumber 010 (Yes, I noticed your son, the one with the gooey drainage traveling like a slow-motion river from nose to mouth and was offended. You took your sick kid to a freakin’ packed children’s museum during free week. Thanks a bunch! But, still… you’re not the mom I’m pissed at.)

As a parent, my job is to watch my child’s every move.

I have to make sure no pervert sneaks them off to a public restroom.

I have to make sure no mentally ill woman who miscarried 3 years ago tries to snatch my kid and pawn them off as her own.

But, mostly my job is to make sure my kids don’t act like dicks to yours. I do a damn good job.

All I ask is that you do the same, because if you don’t, I will take over the role.

Several times today I told a small child that wasn’t my own, “You need to take turns.” “You need to ask for a turn.” “You need to wait in line.”

My head was so hot today, all those moms are just lucky I didn’t throw a “f*&Kwad” at the end of those sentences.

Another brief example:

I was at a free music show event for kids at my local library the other day.

A herd of cackling moms sat in the back and talked the WHOLE time. (Great example ladies!)

Meanwhile, the poor guy performing had to yell at one of their kids over and over to sit down.

At one point, the kid pretty much slapped the guy in the face.

The kid’s mom was still laughing away at whatever-the-f&*k with her pals.

Yeah, you weren’t facing some dire circumstances and were looking for a shoulder to cry on and momentarily lost track of your son in a small room during a public performance.

Well, maybe your kid has special needs.

Wait… in which case, you REALLY should’ve been watching him to make sure he didn’t ruin an entire event for a few dozen kids and physically assault the musician.

Here’s what I’ve realized since deciding to make my full-time job raising two children:

I’ve done a darn good job with limited time for the first few years of their lives and a whole lot of other parents are failing miserably with loads of time and they don’t give a crap.

Welcome to life as a stay at home mom.

Welcome to the Land of Shitty Moms.

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I was under the misconception there would be less crying when my newborns became babies.

When my babies became toddlers.

Little did I know the crying would continue daily well into my children’s 3rd and 4th years of life.

My daughter cries in the morning when my husband leaves her to come downstairs because she isn’t cooperating while getting dressed.

She cries at night because her Hello Kitty hat fell out of the bed and she doesn’t want to get out of bed to retrieve it.

She cries louder when I threaten to shut her door if she doesn’t stop crying.

She whines when her brother touches her.

She whines when she can’t get her shirt over her giant melon head.

She whines when I break the devastating news that we will not be eating Ravioli every night.

My son whines because his blanket has slipped down to the bottom of the bed.

He whines because I tell him he needs to put his sippy cup on the counter when he’s done.

He whines and transforms into a tiny T-Rex, flopping his stumpy arms because I won’t put “Baymax” on a perpetual loop on the T.V.

crying t-rex

He cries if you even suggest he’s going to get time out.

He cries with shame if he hurts himself.

Last night, he cried at 2 a.m. for no apparent reason that we’ve been able to discern.

Most days begin with the sound of crying raining down from upstairs as I cook my breakfast and lunch for work.

Most days end with someone crying for some stupid reason before bed.

Most nights, sleep is interrupted by someone crying because they fell out of bed, had a nightmare, have an earache or in my son’s case… who the hell knows why?

Last night, I had a Come To Jesus talk with Alma about the crying.

A shut the door, sit down, look at me chat.

I told her that as she approaches age 5, it’s becoming increasingly ridiculous for her to whine and cry.

I told her she needs to start verbalizing her emotions, using words to describe how she feels. Say, “I’m sad.” Say, “I’m mad.” Say, “I’m an irritating a-hole and think you’re a shit mom.” (Okay, I didn’t say that.)

Her response was, “There’s a big kid at school who whines all the time.”

“Okay, he’s a dork.”

I said, “Do you hear me whining and crying all the time? No, cause I’m a big girl. I don’t go around saying, “I’m tired! Wahhh!” “I want to wear ripped jeans to work! Wahhh!” “I don’t wanna write about dead babies and riots and mass shootings! Wahhhh!” (Definitely didn’t say that.)

I made her paraphrase back to me what I was saying to be sure she understood.

Less than an hour later, she was in her room, screaming like a banshee, tears streaming down her face because she couldn’t find her Frozen lip gloss.

“Oh, the horror! The tragedy! How will you survive SLEEPING without lip gloss?”

These are the moments when I really start to feel a deep connection with parents arrested for duct taping their kids mouths shut.

I thought crying at this age was reserved for broken bones and stranger danger.

orphan alma2

I don’t take a lot of pictures of them when they’re crying. Pouting? I got that covered.

orphan alma

My children have perfected the “orphan look.”

orphan huxley

Do my kids just suffer from weak constitutions?

Should I be prying their eyes open, forcing them to watch videos of real suffering like A Clockwork Orange for kids?

clockwork orange

Or maybe I am the only parent who feels their blood pressure rising with each meaningless wail.

The only one whose skin crawls when their child is shrieking needlessly.

The only one who sprouts spontaneous tears as soon as their child starts crying.

Damn.

I’m the one with the weak constitution.

weak constitution


So, we’re at some family-neutral restaurant eating wings when Alma starts to act up.

She’s sliding around the booth like an eel, smacking her chin on the table, worming her way onto the filthy floor.

I threaten her with a “bathroom time-out.” Before she even blinks again, she’s grinning maniacally, slithering back under the table.

So, I drag her to the bathroom and go inside a stall with her. Instead of whimpering and apologizing, she’s grinning at me with hate in her eyes.

She’s in full-on batshit crazy mode.

So, I tell her I am going to leave her alone in the stall for her time-out.

I close the door, waiting for her to at least utter a half-assed ‘sorry’ when instead, she says “I don’t even want to look at your FACE right now!”

At which point, I drag her back out and my husband and I tell her she’s not going to attend her friend’s birthday party. That’s where we were heading next, so I drop off my husband and son at the party and drive Alma home.

She’s now raving like a lunatic, screaming, spit flying from her mouth, digging her hand into the back of her throat and gagging.

your face

I put her in her room for time-out, while she continues to shriek and flap her arms wildly in my general direction.

I tell her through tears that I wanted her to go to the birthday party, but her behavior is the reason why she can’t go.

She screams louder.

She screams for an hour.

When it turns to a shuddering hiccuping, I go back in and ask her if she knows why she got time-out.

“No.”

I said, “You were not listening, sliding around in the booth and then you told me you didn’t want to look at my face during time-out. You were mean to me. Do you want to be mean to me?”

“Yes.”

I said, “If you act badly, you can’t do fun things like to go to birthday parties.”

Alma: “I’ll just go to the next one.”

Seriously?

This was me sticking to my guns.

The most epic time-out of my parental history and she doesn’t give a shit.

If she’s this vicious and ungrateful now, will we be bailing her out of jail when she’s 13?

This weekend, we took the kids to the beach, to the park, out to lunch, bought them Big Hero 6.

alma beachalma park

We cooked for them, we bathed them, we cuddled on the couch suffering through episodes of My Little Pony and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

We do so much for them and so very, very little for ourselves.

I asked Alma if she had any fun this weekend at all.

Her response… “I didn’t go to the birthday party.”

She got another time-out at dinner for playing with her food. My husband threw her food in the trash.

I’m the mom who is secretly sneaking some leftover mac n’ cheese into the fridge, just in case she really is starving and apologizes or acts even remotely like a normal child.

I am the mom who cries as she’s tucking that tupperware into the fridge.

I am the mom who is tucking it right next to the rum I bought in order to make it to Monday.

I am the mom who is starting to feel like she’s losing as a parent.

My daughter can be so sweet, yet so evil.

So kind, yet soul-crushing.

I watched her at the park playing on the see-saw long after she was done so the other little girl could keep bouncing.

She will find a quarter in the mulch and look at me to see if she should put it back down, just in case it might be someone else’s.

She will rush to get me a band-aid if I have a hangnail.

Then, she transforms like Ed Norton in Primal Fear.

ed norton primal fear

Sticking with the Norton theme, she’s Tyler Durden from Fight Club, pouring lye on our hands.

tyler durden

Such a sweet face.

alma face

I know the devil inside.


My husband and I are drowning.

We’re being sucked under by a tidal wave of sick kids, pummeled by a tsunami of fake tears.

It’s a rip current of bad attitudes, wave upon wave of time-outs.

There are unexplainable belly aches.

belly ache

Cold weather crankiness.

cold weather cranky

Ear aches.

ear ache

Rainy days trapped indoors.

stuck indoors

Not to mention traffic jams caused by overturned trucks carrying baby formula and dogs with mysteriously enlarged spleens.

trafficsick frankie

This past weekend, we tried to make the best of what is becoming a bad life situation.

We took the kids to the horse track. (Trust me, it’s not about gambling. We look at horseys and pick our favorite. Alma always chooses the one with the pink number.)

There are no pictures, because I was too busy giving my kids a perpetual verbal beat down to snap a photo.

On the way there, my son keeps dropping stuff on the floor of the car and whining for me to pick it up.

My daughter whines that she wants her window rolled down. I have those old-timey hand-cranked windows, so I tell her no.

She says, “I can do it with my foot!” I say, “No, don’t roll the window down with your foot.” Seconds later, I can feel my hair start to whip around because… she… rolled it down with her foot.

My husband says, “That’s it, Alma. Time-out whenever we get back home.”

She responds snarkily, “5 minute time-out.”

My husband, “That just earned you 10.”

At the track, she whines that she wants to sit on the benches outside instead of indoors. (Even though it looks as though it might rain.)

She whines that she wants to go in the bouncy houses. (The ones that are surrounded by a moat of mud.)

My son whines that he wants juice, not lemonade.

He whines that he wants a different hot dog. (What the hell does that even mean? All hot dogs are created equal.)

He starts whacking his auditorium seat up and down, then standing on it.

She knocks over my water.

Huck gets angry at me for telling me he’s also getting time-out and smacks my arm.

This is when I threaten to smack him in the face. Loud enough for other people to hear. That is also when I start to cry silently.

I mean, I’m never gonna smack my kid in the face. I’ve never even popped him on the bum.

I am humiliated.

I feel ashamed.

I feel guilty.

I feel like the world’s worst parent and… I feel like drinking A LOT. (Which would ALSO make me feel like a bad parent.)

We ended up cutting the whole thing short and going home angry.

Both kids got time-outs so epic, they both took naps.

I took a nap too.

They woke up feeling rejuvenated.

I woke up feeling ill-prepared to handle another 4 hours with them before bedtime.

That evening proved to be everything I anticipated and MORE.

Frankie is on medication for his chunky spleen or injured spine or whatever they charged us $1,000 for and it causes excessive urination. So, it wasn’t a huge surprise when Alma pointed out the slow-moving puddle of dog piss in the kitchen. I was surprised by the sheer enormity of said puddle. It had to be about a gallon.

I was nearly done sopping it up when I ran out of paper towels.

It’s around the same time that Alma slips and falls while chasing her brother.

She’s scream-crying, her absolute favorite.

I tell them to stop running around.

I’m mopping up the rest of the dog pee with Santa Clause napkins when Huck slips and falls flat on his face. He has a bloody nose and is shrieking. I cradle him on my lap as he yells into my face.

At some point, it almost sounds like he’s trying to make words, but I can’t understand him through the screaming.

It turns out he was saying, “I have to go potty.”

It was too late.

He peed on my lap.

It made it to my undies.

There’s no way in hell I’m cooking after that. So, I rush to Target to get some Chicken nuggets and potato fries.

Huck takes one bite of one nugget and says, “I’m done.” (par for the course) He spends the rest of dinner smashing his food and getting intermittent time-outs.

Clearly, time-out is not working.

We have also removed almost all toys from their rooms. Next would be, what? Furniture? In a month, my kids will be living like orphans in the suburbs.

This is why it takes a village.

Mommy and Daddy are going to lose their ability to cope if they don’t get a goddamned date night.

But, my mom lives far away. His mom is recovering from surgery. My dad and his wife were booked this past weekend visiting my brother. (And frankly, they’re probably overwhelmed by the crush of grandchildren at this point.)

I had a friend invite us to hang out this past weekend with him, his daughter and his wife, even with our kids in tow.

How do I explain that it’s not possible because my children will suck every drop of fun out of whatever we do?

And how do I do that while still conveying just how much I adore my children?

I love them so much, so much that weekends like this past one just break my heart. Feel me?


The real story behind the sweet pictures of our Sunday trip to the zoo.

(Worth noting: My son was sick the night before and we were up with him every hour until he woke up for good at 4 a.m.)

Things started off remarkably well.

The first animal we saw was some kind of warty hog that had buried himself under a pile of hay with only his rotund rump exposed. Despite this, my daughter shouted with glee, “This place is fun!”

kids entrance

We dodged dive bombing parrots inside the aviary.

We saw white rhinos, including the enormous lumbering bull that my daughter was determined to call the “mommy rhino” despite some obvious danglage of dude parts.

Both kids were amped inside the exhibit I call “Snakes and bugs and stuff.”

kids komodo

We made our way through the shrimpy funk at the stingray tank and got splashed by mungy water during a feeding.

Then, Alma made her first demand for a toy.

Here we go.

I tell her she has enough toys at home.

She says she wants a different toy.

I say she should start to learn to enjoy the experience of being somewhere fun without taking home a token toy.

Her attitude shifts and the next thing I know she takes a swat at my husband with her bunny.

I take her bunny away and tell her she has to apologize for hitting him with it and she bursts into tears.

She’s crying hysterically while we walk past the flamingos and coy pond.

People are staring, but I am not backing down.

Eventually, she apologizes and we recover on the carousel.

carousel

Afterward, Huck wants to go on the tiger train rollercoaster and we’re pumped when we see that he’s over the required height.

Alma and I stand by to take pictures while the boys wait in line and then I see them come back out of the line.

Huck is crying.

They’ve told him he has to be 3. My husband told them he turns 3 next month and they still turned him away.

We try to appease Huck with a watermelon icee and he’s NOT HAVING IT. He’s grunting like a gorilla and swatting the air.

“Do you want to go to the petting zoo?” “Do you want to see more animals?” “Are you hungry?” “Do you need medicine?”

With every question, he does an angry Michael Jackson moonwalk away from me.

moonwalk

I finally get him to calm down enough to take a spoonful of the melted icee and he promptly gets brain freeze and spews it across the ground outside the penguin exhibit and starts screaming.

Moments later, Alma starts choking on her icee. This is just SO MUCH FUN.

Later, we’re standing in line waiting for the “train” (hoping to make Huck feel better) that takes you around the zoo for a brief and underwhelming tour. The kids are eating Doritos, which means mostly just dumping them along the walkway and stomping them into tiny pieces.

Of course while we’re waiting in line, they notify us one of the trams is shut down so it’s a longer wait than usual. (Now, 20 minutes) Then, the speaker system breaks on the working tram while we’re in line and it’s another 20 minutes.

Alma yells, “Mommy, Huck pushed me!” Huck says, “I said I was sorry.” Then he hugs her.

I overhear people standing nearby saying, “Awww” and “There’s still good parents out there.”

There it is. The balance between cracking the whip and showing the kids a good time.

“Here’s a fantastic day where you don’t have to do anything but have a good time. We provide the snacks, juice, icees, rides and carry your crap around. We wipe your bums, bring changes of clothes and spend a gazillion dollars all so you can have a blast.”

They behave badly and we give time outs, take their stuff away and trouble shoot.

People see them throwing a massive temper tantrum and probably think, “crappy parents.”

People see them hugging and apologizing and think, “good parents.

The fact is, we’re good parents BECAUSE we don’t buy into their temper tantrums.

Alma never got a toy. She got to keep the zoo map.

alma pouts bunny

We did not try to smuggle Huck onto the kiddie rollercoaster. (Although it was tempting) He got the tram ride where he kept saying, “There’s no animals. There’s trees.” (An astute observation)

We’re trying so hard, but it’s a battle and one that doesn’t usually end with pleasant memories and grateful children.

As we walk back to the car, Alma is pouting because she didn’t get a toy.

Huck whines, “Where’s MY map?”

Then he crashes, drooling on the car seat.

We were hoping to go out to lunch. Instead, it’s McD’s and buying groceries and consoling Huck when he wakes up and tossing out the kids uneaten peas and watching Batman and breaking up fights over legos and “Don’t hit your sister!” and “Stop crying over everything!” and yes, that’s moonshine in my Coke.

There were good moments at the zoo: Alma in heaven on her horse, Huck mesmerized by otters, the moment when Alma randomly started patting Huck sweetly on the head.

otters

Was it worth it?

Ask me when the kids are in their 20’s and we find out if they even remember this stuff.