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

Category Archives: Family humor

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.

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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.

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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 fruit 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.


My life post retirement at age 34:

I get a full night’s sleep.

I’m sure it won’t always be the case.

There will be earaches, nightmares and Alma launching herself head first from the bed like a circus stuntman.

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But, for now, I’m RESTED.

My children wake up slowly. No screaming, crying and face-smacking over which outfit I choose.

They eat real breakfast!! This morning we made blueberry pancakes and banana pancakes. It might seem like no biggie, but as a former working mom, I feel like a stay at home mom rock star!

We’ve read books together, colored together, gone to the library and flown airplanes.

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We’ve also taken the dogs to the vet, gone to the dentist and hit up the Super Target for batteries and dish soap. So glamorous!

I’m still adjusting to the nasty realities of daily life with petulant midgets, I mean small children.

I spend a shocking portion of my day wiping butts. I had no idea how frequently my kids still pooped. It goes in. It comes out. They have straight guts like unpotty trained puppies.

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I still feel my blood pressure skyrocket when my son cries for no good reason: He hates slip-on shoes, Alma got the yellow straw, he can’t find his Ninja Turtle ball.

I envision drop-kicking our dog like I’m going for a field goal when he barks incessantly during naptime.

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Living in Florida, any of our exercise time means sweating bullets, getting back into the car with sweaty pits, bum, upper lip, no more makeup, hair lookin’ like a swim cap.

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Not a good look. Now I know why some moms find it’s easiest to give up on looking cute. I left my cute in a puddle on a playground.

I can’t say I miss grownup conversation, because even that was rare at my former place of employment.

But, my chats with my son about how his member looks like a castle are not very gratifying.

Other mind-numbing topics include: Why we have nipples, how God made dogs, what veins are.

We have also not made it past the stage where it’s cool to count poop. “Mommy, I did two dem!”

So, fish sticks and temper tantrums.

Sweat stains and poo math.

But, I get to watch my son finally color inside the lines.

I watch my daughter kiss my son’s hand to wake him from his nap.

I get to see the countless tiny moments I’ve been missing for nearly five years.

So worth it.


For Mother’s Day, we went with my in-laws to the beach.

My son is sick, so on the long drive there we enjoyed the soundtrack of incessant hacking punctuated by simultaneous shrieks of “Weeeeee” from both kids whenever we went over a “hill” on the highway.

When we arrived there, we began the Sisyphean task of unloading tents, umbrellas, beach toys, coolers and I began lathering the kids in sunscreen.

When I got to my son’s nose, maybe because he thought I was going to wipe the snot, he freaked out and started smacking me in the face.

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He got an epic car time-out, during which he cried out a bunch of the snot.

I finally got him to stop crying by distracting him by helping pigeons get some water at the shower by the parking lot.

Then halfway to the beach he starts screaming again because he sneezed out more snot.

At the beach, he perks up and has a great time, but my daughter is refusing to go into the water because there are waves.

Never been an issue before. She tells me she’ll go in the ocean when she’s five.

They drop cookies and cheese puffs in the sand, still trying to pick them back up to eat them. I question their common sense.

huck beach

We stay just long enough for it to make sense that we built a second G-D home on the beach before packing up and heading back to the car.

We decide to head to Chili’s with my in-laws, because every other restaurant is packed with mothers.

My son falls asleep just minutes before we arrive.

Lunch starts fine, with him sleeping on my husband’s lap. But, he wakes up moments after the food arrives and starts crying.

My mother-in-law assumes it’s because he’s sick, but NO. He ALWAYS wakes up like that.

So, I take him outside for a stroll, to watch cars whiz by and interrogate him.

“Do you want juice?” “Do you want chips?” “Do you need to go potty?” “Do you want corn on the cob?” “Do you want two-for-one margaritas?”

He goes with juice, so we head back inside where he refuses to leave my lap, so I cannot eat.

The juice (and my daughter’s chocolate milk) arrive just in time for us to leave. That earns the waiter instant dick status.

At home, you’d think my son would get back to that interrupted nap, but no way. He’s up for the long haul now. So, we take a bike ride.

During the bike ride, my daughter decides to ask me why we don’t live forever.

Last time she asked me, “Who made God?”

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Nothing like a relaxing bike ride with Alma.

When we get home, my husband and I trade off struggling through naps and watching the kids.

I want to shout Amen and dance with snakes when bedtime arrives.

dancing with snakes

But, noooooo! Alma says her belly hurts because she’s still hungry.

I struggle between thinking she could possibly be going through a growth spurt and be legitimately hungry and assuming she’s just making up the typical excuses to stay up late. I also don’t want to set the precedent that eating in bed after brushing your teeth is okay.

I offer her “squeeze fruit.” (glorified applesauce) She says she only wants Goldfish.

I tell her she can eat Goldfish, but she has to sit on the floor because she’ll get crumbs in her bed.

I bring her the Goldfish and she starts crying because she says she wanted bread. (I was apparently supposed to deduce this telepathically.)

telepathy

I bring her the bread and leave. Moments later, she’s yelling at me from her room to come and throw away the crust she doesn’t want.

There’s a several minute fight.

“You have two working legs. Throw it away yourself!”

More crying. I find her crumpled on the floor of her room with a wad of crust in her hand. So, I drag her to the bathroom and make her throw it away.

Now, she’s wailing that the chunk of middle bread she wanted was in the pile in the trash. So, I pick it out and send her off.

I start to feel guilty.

I picture her someday telling her college boyfriend about her wretched mother who would send her starving to bed with a mashed up piece of bread plucked from the garbage.

couple crying

I go back to her room to talk it out and find her sound asleep, the chunk of bread uneaten inside her curled up little paw. I kiss her cheek and toss it out.

We pick our battles.

My husband I have talked about how incredibly sick we are of constantly telling the kids, “No.”

We do let some stuff slide. In the car ride back from the beach, we let Huck shove crackers from his Lunchable under his seat belt buckle, showering crumbs around my car. Alma was rubbing circles of ham on her thighs.

That’s cool.

Whatever.

I digress.

We finally have the freedom to have a couple of beers and watch some mindless crap on TV when… I hear Alma crying.

She has puked all over her bed, her pajamas, her hair.

It’s a mad dash to bathe her, brush her teeth, wash sheets. (Although my husband tends to just toss stuff in the trash. We lost two fluffy pink blankets last night.)

I threw out the bathmat. Once there are chunks in that thing, there’s no getting it clean.

I disinfect the tub twice over, because Lord knows if one kid gets a stomach bug, we’re all screwed.

She sleeps through the night and I feel like we’re in the clear.

Until I get a text message from my husband this morning that she crapped her undies overnight and several times since.

Now, I spend the entire day at work feeling pressure under my tongue like I’m going to puke.

The paranoia that could inevitably lead to me actually tossing my cookies.

So, that was Mother’s Day.

I did get some lovely earrings and a watch from the husband.


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.

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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.”

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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


Ahhh, the sleepover.

A quintessential part of the American childhood.

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Just the word “sleepover” probably stirs up fond memories of late-night giggling, poorly painted toe-nails and itchy sleeping bags.

For me, it dredges up the crying jags and calls to come home in the middle of the night.

The panicky realization that I was actually expected to sleep at some point.

The horror of having to pretend to LIKE pizza and ignoring the aching pains that followed due to lactose intolerance.

My top 3 worst sleepover experiences, in no particular order:

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

Maybe it was the title of the movie that had the parents confused.

Sleeping, like a “sleepover.”

Maybe I had led a sheltered life, never having seen a movie that was rated R by the tender age of 8.

But, I could not hide my shock and dismay as we huddled onto our friend’s fluffy, pink twin bed and watched Julia Roberts being raped by Patrick Bergin.

sleeping with the enemy

This face will forever haunt me.

The first sex scene I had ever seen and it was a portrait of a violently abusive marriage.

At this age, the mere mention of sex made my throat swell-up with anxiety.

As I’ve mentioned, I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian family and just thinking about sex was likely to earn you a ticket straight to the fiery pits of hell. (At least in my prepubescent mind.)

At first, I tried to nonchalantly cover my eyes.

That wasn’t going to work.

There was audio.

Can’t cover your eyes and ears simultaneously.

So, I did what any other slightly hypochondriacal youngster would do.

I pretended to feel sick, rushed out of the room and spent a good portion of the evening engaging in calming banter with my friend’s mother. (No mention was made of their incredibly poor choice of films for the sleepover.)

(By the way, I adore that movie now. I guess it’s kind of like, ‘I can watch it now without wanting to die or praying for forgiveness! I win!’)

THE MANSION UTI

My father was a math teacher at a prep school for rich kids.

We didn’t have much money (understatement) and frequently found ourselves with incredibly wealthy friends.

One of those kids lived in a mansion with an olympic-size swimming pool, complete with high diving board and an ice cream parlor.

They were having a birthday party for her brother and I swear to God, they had the longest, most phenomenal Slip ‘N Slide I had ever seen. It ended in a pool that was way bigger than the above ground one we had in our backyard.

slide the city

Yes, that’s Slide the City. But, it was totally like that!

Needless to say, I was already intimidated by the home, the toys, the yard, the pool.

Just looking at my friend sitting with perfect posture while playing at her grand piano was enough to make me feel inferior for JUST BEING.

It was around midnight when I started to realize I was suffering from the world’s most wicked urinary tract infection. Dear God, the pain!

I wasn’t keen on being there, but I wanted to impress my rich pal, so I tried to suck it up, tough it out, biting into the provided pillow to try to keep from screaming.

I finally broke down and called my mom and whispered through tears that my private parts were en fuego.

THE PUKE

I’m sure you’re already thinking you can guess how this sleepover went. But, wait!

It was a sleepover at MY house and I was NOT the one who puked.

It was my neighborhood friend.

She ran for the bathroom.

She only made it to the hallway.

It was projectile.

It was shocking.

It was the look on my father’s face while he was sopping it up that I will never forget for as long as I live.

He looked like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction.

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Or Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained.

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Or Samuel L. Jackson in any movie for that matter.

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These and also the glaring facts that some parents are also perverts, some guns are left unlocked and some alcohol is on the bottom shelf are the reasons why I will never (don’t hold me to it) let my kids sleepover.

And your (vomiting) kids can’t stay either.


So, you survived the endless pooping newborn months.

You managed to tackle toddlerhood without your child escaping diaper-clad from your home or flying down a flight of stairs.

Time to celebrate?

No way. Now, you’ve reached the creepy kid stage.

Children are basically small stalkers and perverts and they get a free pass.

Allow me to use my own as examples:

My kids constantly want to watch me bathe. I don’t have a clue what they find so fascinating about my personal bathing habits, but it’s not cool and locking the door is the ONLY option.

They also want to watch me use the potty. Again, my bodily functions don’t vary much from anyone else’s, so I don’t understand their obsession.

They’re also obsessed with their own bodily functions.

Each child, every time without fail, feels the need to share the number and size of their poops. “I did three! One big, two tiny!”

I’m like, ‘Uhhh, I don’t care. I just know I can’t wait until you can effectively wipe your own butt.”

Just about whenever I get my son undressed for his bath, he points to his chest and says, “What’s this?”

“Your nipple?”

“What’s this?”

“Also your nipple.”

“Do you have nipples?”

“Yes.”

“Does Alma have nipples?”… and so on and so forth. Bathtime is one long list of people who have nipples.

Last night, I bent over to pick him up off the couch and he reached into my shirt and said, “I want to touch! Squeeze! Squeeze!” Nothing like getting goosed on the boob by your kid.

They love to share their bodily functions. Alma sees nothing wrong with wiping her snot on my blanket. Occasionally she will drag her hand across my cheek, leaving behind a wet streak. I will ask her why her hand is wet. “I licked it.” (‘Cause that totally makes sense.)

Huck doesn’t mind that I use the bath towel to remove the shit-ton of wax from his ears, as long as I can show him what it looks like afterward so he can say, “Ewwwww.”

Children are also morbid.

The other day as we were walking through the park, I noticed a black snake writhing in the parking lot, it’s head squished by a van that had backed up over it. I tried to urge Alma to walk away and she started whining, “I want to see it! I want to see it!”

She also told me about a classmate who killed a lizard at school. She went into graphic detail about how he chopped off its head.

Then she told me that same story again… and again… and again.

Children are not only creepy, stalking, morbid, perverts. They also know how to REALLY bring the awkward.

Randomly the other day, Alma turned to me and said, “So, when I grow up will I have someone in my belly?”

It’s sweet that she already aspires to become a mother someday. It’s adorable that she’s planning her brood. It’s totally NOT a conversation I want to delve into with my FOUR year old.

In conclusion, you thought you were done with the yuckiest part of parenting? Nope, now they can just TALK about all the nasty stuff that comes with being human. Welcome to Kids Are Creepy.


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.

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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?


Here’s my riddle. I am in desperate need of something that flies without wings.

There’s a fine line between having a life that’s moderately difficult and a life that’s nearly unbearable.

The former can be greeted with an acerbic sense of humor. The latter cannot be greeted with anything other than a veritable sledgehammer of curse words, an inordinate amount of alcohol and a river of tears.

Lately, I have found it increasingly challenging to manage my life with shrugs, snickers and snarky comments.

I’ve read articles recently about the curse of having a “Threenager.”

fournager

I have a Fournager. See? It’s not even funny because there is no word for a child who has gone from being willful to unmanageable and is also four.

I am bombarded with comments about how her stubbornness and crappy attitude will someday allow her to become a powerful, confident woman. It is of little comfort when I am currently tossing her “powerful” butt in time-outs all day long, every bedtime is a battle of wills and we’ve been forced to swear off all public outings.

alma and huck

Don’t get me wrong, she still melts my heart by telling me I’m her best friend and randomly cuddling up to say, “I like you, mommy.”

But, lately, she’s destroying my life.

I can’t take a bath without the sound of her shrieking upon getting another time-out.

I can’t make it through dinner without her playing with her spoon, flicking her food to the dogs and shouting “Huck touched me!”

I can’t take the kids somewhere fun without her demanding a toy. Since when did it become a requirement to have a commemorative purchase when you go to a Jump Zone?

Huck is not absolved of all guilt.

The other day I heard them arguing about “who won” in the race to get upstairs. (They both say they won no matter who gets to the top first and then fight about it.) Moments later, I heard the loud smack of Huck’s hand across Alma’s face.

Even when he’s not pummeling her, she’s fake crying over something he did.

unicorn

We refer to this as a “unicorn.” A magical, fleeting moment where they were playing without fighting.

When he finds out I’m not the one putting him to bed at night, he slaps the air and grunts. If I am in close enough proximity, he slaps me too. Another time-out! Yay!

huck pouting

I am sure every parent has been there at some point, but it feels like the kids are conspiring against us right now.

They’re determined to suck the joy out of every single moment of the day and let me tell you, my days suck pretty hard long before I get home in the evening.

Not to mention all the fun times involved with cool stuff like earaches.

huck earache

I have tried so many different methods of discipline and parenting (Without spanking, can’t bring myself to get there yet.) to no avail.

The only explanation I can come up with is that they have so little respect for us because we’re… just… not… there.

We’re paying a hodgepodge of day care workers to raise our kids for pretty much the entire day, five days a week.

I can only wonder if I would find better ways to get them to behave if I was actually able to monitor their behavior, their food and their naps every day.

Maybe they’re tired.

Maybe they’re eating too much sugary crap at school.

Maybe they’re harassed all day by whiny brats and no one is there to intervene, so they become whiny little brats when they get home.

Maybe they just don’t respect us because we’re just not there.

It’s a long shot, but Lord knows, I don’t blame the kids. If children behave badly, it’s invariably the parent’s fault, right?

So, now on top of the misery of long commutes and long days at work and long and repeated time-outs, I am wracked with the guilt of feeling like a failure as a parent.

So, if anybody wonders why lately I’m not a font of hysterical anecdotes and amusing quips about my adorable family, that’s why.

adorable kids

I need… more… time.


Dreams where you can fly and naptime aren’t the only things that melt into memories when you reach adulthood.

While you can’t get away with throwing fists-on-the-floor temper tantrums or a sea of stuffed animals on your bed, (unless you’re cool with being creepy) there are some things I feel we have every right to bring back from our youth.

1. Forts. When did it stop being cool to read underneath a blanket hooked from couch to coffee table? What could be more cozy than creating a blatant hiding spot in your own home?

blanket fort

2. Tiny boxes of cereal, especially the naughty kind. I’ve never stopped thinking Apple Jacks are amazing. It’s time to ditch the Kashi and go full-on Fruit Loops! (The tiny boxes will make you feel less guilty anyway.)

cereal

3. Trampolines. I know, I know, we’re all over the weight limit. We’ll bend the springs and break bones, but bouncing didn’t stop being a blast just because it comes with some jiggle now.

trmpoline

4. Slip N’ Slides. Avoid the jiggle of bouncing and just slide your way to full-blown embarrassment. You’re going to end up in the grass, but really, why is getting dirty such a big hairy deal now?

slip n slide

5. Fluffernutters. One simple mention of this gooey deliciousness had my brothers, mother and myself determined to buy a big jar of Fluff during the next trip to the grocery store. Feel guilty about ALL that sugar? It has a shelf life of like three million years, so just dip into it every once and awhile and know you’ll be set for the apocalypse.

fluffernutter

6. Dress-up. On Halloween, the vast majority of adult women dress like whores. I imagine part of the reason why is because they’ve been storing up the innate desire to play dress-up for decades and all they have left is the desperate desire to look hott. Why can’t we don a tutu in the middle of a week when we’re feeling girlie or a cape when we feel ambitious?

dressup

7. Exploring. I have been battling an urge to pull on my tall boots and go traipsing in the woods behind my house for a year now. There are coyotes and deer and rattlesnakes and rabbits and I WANT TO FIND THEM. (Okay, maybe not the rattlesnakes)

exploring

8. Painting. I suck at painting, but when you sit me down next to my 4 year old and we’re going head-to-head, I’m the frickin’ Vermeer of watercolor.

alma painting

9. Passing notes. Can you imagine how thrilled you’d be if someone at work had something hilariously naughty to say and chose to write it in a little note, folded up like a little origami, slipped sneakily onto your desk? If they included the check, “yes”, “no” or “maybe” they would instantly become the coolest co-worker ever.

origami notes

10. Roller skating. Google Computer Love by Zapp & Roger. Now, turn it up. Now, picture the disco ball, the sound of those skates on the wood and then feel the rumble of the tile as you head to get a soda and some churros. Tell me, you don’t want to be able to pull this off still.

roller rink