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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

  1. I went to Home Goods and all I got was this lousy f’ing fruit basket

    March 6, 2016 by admin

    FruitBasket

    “Get your coats on kids! We’re going to Home Goods!”

    I say this to my two youngest children with as much unbridled enthusiasm as possible, because I really want to go to Home Goods. We’re going to peel through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru for munchkins, and then I am going to coast into Home Goods on a coffee high and shop the shit out of the storage section. I am ready to change my life.

    Bins. Bins. Hooks and shelves and bins. And baskets. Lots of freaking baskets. I want it all. When we bust out the double doors, our cart full of plastic and engineered wood and rattan – give me all the f’ing rattan you have – I know that our lives will never be the same. I just feel it way down deep in that twisted place in my heart, the part of me that truly understands that the perfect hook rail will make be a better person. In fact, I will be a better mother for spending $200 on things to put all my shit in and hang it on.

    And so when the automatic doors slide open, and I look out into the sea of colored glass and throw pillows, mass produced art, and things – all sorts of wonderful things – to put on my shelves, a wave of optimism washes over me. A fake seashell display calls my name. My son points to a giant wooden buddha up ahead and laughs. And I know we’ve already won. But up ahead in the distance, my mecca, the storage aisle, beckons. It is there I will find my salvation.

    I take out my list, eager to check off all of the items that will transform my home from the frumpy mess it is to the exalted shrine of order it was meant to be. I scour each shelf with a sense of excitement. I can’t wait to buy buy buy. Buy more things to put my other things in. I touch each organizational item with a sense of wonder. The anticipation builds. The possibilities are endless!

    It doesn’t matter that I was here in this very place two days ago. It feels like an eternity. I see things I didn’t see before. Laundry baskets with French words stenciled on them. L’Hotel Des Grandes Laundry. (Oh. MyGODI’ll feel so f’ing European when I am washing shit stains out of my kids’ underwear!) Wire baskets with mini chalkboards, so I can write down what’s inside. So I’ll know what’s inside! The people that think of these things just know. They. just. know. It’s like they can see into my soul.

    I’m loading everything into my cart. My baby is covered in a heap of canvas life force. I’m barking at my 4-year-old to grab anything and everything with mail dividers. The power of clean compels you!

    On the way to the cashier, sweaty, breathless, I begin to take a second look at my bounty. Passing by a wall of inspirational word art, the objects in my cart begin to shape shift before my eyes. The canvas seems senseless. A stack of mini acrylic boxes seems radical. No. That won’t quite work. $29.99? That’s outrageous. Rubbed bronze? What was I thinking?

    And all the promise with which we entered that big box of retail hope is fading. I see that I haven’t checked off a single thing on my list. No organized canned goods. No row of neatly hung princess dresses. No visually stimulating laundry center. Two and a half hours from the moment those double doors opened and my kids and I walked brazen into those florescent lights, I walk to the cashier and hang my head in shame. But not before my eyes desperately scan the shelves lining the check out line for an item that might redeem this trip. A journal with a floral cover, perhaps? NO! A scented candle? I bought three last week. A set of crystal drawer pulls? There must be something, SOMETHING I can do with those! A cheese knife in the shape of a mermaid? No! No! No! As I near the head of the line, I turn and look at the shelves, hoping my eyes will catch something I’ve missed. But there’s nothing.

    “I remember you from the other day,” the cashier says.

    I don’t ask her, out of all the (mostly) women that come to Home Goods searching for order, why she remembers me.

    Instead I smile, and silently hand her my purchases:

    This:

    FruitBasket

    A wire basket with chalk board. So I can write down what’s inside!

    And this.

    Frame

    A picture frame. Isn’t it ironic?

    Until next time, Home Goods. Until next week.


  2. My Totally Lame (but Mostly Achievable) Parenting Resolutions for 2015

    January 9, 2015 by admin

    Ok. So there are a TON of articles floating around the Interwebs about New Year’s resolutions for parents. I’ll sum them up for you right here: Be more present. Act more patient. Don’t yell. Make more Pinterest crafts. Be a better wife/husband. Cook healthier meals. Keep a clean house. Set aside more “you” time. Stay off of: social media, your phone, your computer, your tablet and every other digital device. Say “yes” more. Be stern. Be kind. Be everything. To everybody.

    As a parent, I want to achieve some of these things too, but…I don’t see me staying the course. And failure, my friends, is not an option this year. So, I am instituting some of my own, more reasonable and achievable – albeit lame – series of New Year’s Resolutions. I may not win any Mom of the Year Award with any of these, but if I can stick to them, my life will no doubt become infinitely better than it was before. In 2015, I resolve to:

    1. Apply my age-defying eye cream.  Every. Damn. Day. 

    Husband says it’s a gimmick. I say I’ll never know if I don’t use as directed.

    2. Take a shower every morning. 

    If you have early risers like I do, either you get up at the butt crack of dawn to take a shower. Or, after you’ve had your first cup of coffee and nervous breakdown, and you send off whomever is of school age, you sit the rest of them in front of the big magic box while you pull yourself together and clean up your act. Generally I shower every day, but not always in the morning. Why? 1) because I don’t like butt cracks and 2) I like to pretend that I don’t use TV as a babysitter. Sometimes, showers happen right before husband arrives home from work to show that I do indeed have some self-respect. Other times, 5 minutes before I need to pick up the boys from the bus stop so the driver doesn’t think I’m a total loser. But a shower in the morning – now THAT is a game changer. It not only provides some motivation to not be a total slug, it also stops the UPS guy from cringing when he delivers my jumbo box of Pampers Sensitive Baby Wipes from Amazon.

    3. Have fewer PJ days. 

    Having the occasional pajama day is great, but we’ve been having WAY too many around here. So many, in fact, that when I ask my children to put on daytime clothes, they look at me incredulously and ask “Why? WHY!?” Why indeed, I say. But it’s time to show that we too conform to societal norms.

    4. Not to cry over spilled milk. 

    Literally. I cry (or yell) when my children spill milk. Or anything else for that matter. My husband is famous for telling this story from when we first started dating about how he spilled a glass of water on the rug in my apartment and I went into panic mode, racing into the kitchen like I was on fire and returning with a cloth to start sopping up his mess. He claims to this day that I even yelled, “Water on the rug!” as if I was screaming “Fire in the hole” to a line of marines. And still, he married me. Lucky guy.

    5. Keep my kitchen island clear of things which do not belong on a kitchen island so we may actually use it for its intended purpose. 

    KitchenIsland

    No one can sit here.

    6. Serve frozen chicken only once per week. 

    LMAO.

    7. Stop lamenting my advanced maternal age. 

    I can no longer say I’ll turn 40 someday. It’s happening. This year. I have four children: ages 9, 5, 3 and 6 months, and there are times, usually when I am applying my age-defying eye cream, that I torture myself by calculating what my age will be at certain stages of my children’s lives. Sure, I’ll only be 48 when my oldest graduates high school. But for my youngest? I’ll be f’ing 57 years old. That’s way more than halfway to dead, people. These are usually the times when I turn to my husband and ask: What the hell have we done? Then I look at the young, innocent faces of my beautiful children and think, we better get that Last Will and Testament notarized. But I have to stop this. Have to. Forty is the new 20, right? In that case, I’ll only be 38 when my youngest graduates high school. Sweet!

    8. Stop lying to my kids

    Oh I’ll still lie about the big things: like Santa Claus and the overall quality of their artwork. But it’s the little lies that really count. Like when we all sit down in the dining room for lunch and they ask why I have potato chips and they have carrot sticks. “I ate my carrot sticks just now in the kitchen.” Lie. Or when I tell them they’ll get sick from a bite of my chocolate protein bar because it is specially formulated for adults. Lie. Or when I tell my three-year-old that no, you absolutely can’t watch Doc McStuffins – AGAIN – because she, her big freakin’ book of booboos, and cast of freak toy friends are on vacation. Bold. faced. lie. It’s got to stop.

    9. Buy myself something. Anything.

    A pair of underwear. A tube of mascara. A jar of body glide so I’ll start running again. The bar is low here. But no, a stock pot from the local discount home goods store doesn’t count. Even if it is stainless steel.

    10. Drink more. 

    I’m not talking about water. Wine. Yummmm. Alcohol. Delicious. More beer! I haven’t imbibed much since the baby was born almost 7 months ago. This needs to happen.

    11. Wash my kitchen floor once a month. 

    This would be a huge improvement. HUGE.

    12. Exercise twice a month. 

    As long as I eat…nothing, this should help me achieve my fitness goals. Bonus resolution: I will not post the details of my workouts on social media.

    ResolutionBlog

    13. Make tons of evening dentist appointments. 

    Sometimes it’s more pleasant to have my teeth scraped with a sharp, metal instrument than deal with bedtime.

    14. Throw away the Play Station.

    Honest. I think that’s all it would take. Just one little follow through on one of my big. empty. threats. In 2015, I am going to give away all their stuff to little kids that clean up and take care of their things. Or, I really will leave them home alone if they refuse to put on their shoes. Or throw out the Play Station if they keep bickering. Or make them take an ice cold shower if they don’t leave hot water for anyone else. Or put them in the dark basement send them to bed with no dinner eat all their candy make them sit in a naked timeout. Wow. I am really f’ing mean. (Note to self: I can resolve to be nicer in 2016.)

    15. Make fewer trips to Target. 

    I love to buy bins and baskets and then put stuff in them. Mostly kids crap that I don’t want them to use anymore but crap I don’t want to throw away either. I am like a moth to the fire in the storage section at Target. So I just can’t go.

    16. Cook the food that I buy or buy the food that I cook

    Two nights ago, I put a package of frozen, thin-sliced turkey cutlets in the refrigerator to thaw. They are still there. And every time I open the refrigerator, I look at them and think “WTF am I going to do with thin-sliced turkey cutlets?” Kids aren’t going to eat those. In two more days, I will throw them away.

    17. (Step 1) Write things down on my calendar. (Step 2) Look at calendar to see what I’ve written down. 

    Step 2 is new for 2015 and will hopefully help me improve my attendance record.

    18. Finish painting our kitchen. 

    We started in 2004.

    19. Find the cause of my husband’s snoring. 

    Then, eliminate it.

    20. Sleep through the night at least once a week. 

    I haven’t slept in 9 years. And when you have 4 kids, someone is always awake. Please let 2015 be the year of sleep. Sleep will make me a kinder, gentler more normal person.


  3. Why I feel like a crappy parent #3,716

    August 27, 2014 by admin

    10464394_10152668250239761_1411529712801795413_n

    Yesterday, my five-year-old lost his first tooth. It had been loose for weeks. But yesterday, somewhere between eating Orange Leaf frozen yogurt for lunch and later, Goldfish crackers for a snack, it was gone. I know what you’re thinking about my food choices right now and that’s your prerogative, but it’s not the point.

    The point is my five-year-old was practically crapping his pants with joy that the tooth fairy would come, as she had so many times for his older 9-year-old brother.

    I am responsible for Tooth Fairy duty, a noble job. Only, it seems that I am not very good at it. I could blame it on the newborn, who doesn’t sleep and induces extreme exhaustion, but that wouldn’t explain this little episode, in which the “Tooth Fairy” forgot for not one, but two nights in a row, to put something under my oldest child’s pillow.

    So when I hear the heavy footsteps of my 9-year-old climbing down from the top bunk, then the light clicking on and the scolding voice, “Moooommmmm, Colin didn’t  get anything,” my heart simply sank.

    Half asleep, Colin sleep-yells from under his covers, “The tooth fairy didn’t come!”

    F*ck. F*ck F*ck F*ck.

    In my defense, last night I did buy a pack of Pokemon cards, the coveted item my son had hoped the Tooth Fairy would bring, and this morning, in a moment of desperation, I thought maybe I would sneak them under my pillow and yell from my room that the Tooth Fairy had made a mistake, his present was under MY pillow.

    But then, what type of self-respecting Tooth Fairy would fly in, see a couple of sleeping adults, and think to herself, “Yes, this must be the place.” At least not one that services an area so far north of the Mason-Dixon line.

    My only saving grace was that my son had swallowed his tooth and, because I wasn’t here to supervise, had not written a note explaining his predicament. I assured him this morning that if he writes a note today, the Tooth Fairy will surely come tonight. But really, isn’t that a little anti-climactic? Isn’t that like Santa Claus bringing presents after all the post-holiday sales have started? Like the Easter Bunny leaving rotten eggs?

    Husband thinks I am being too dramatic about the whole situation, but these are the types of things that pull at my heartstrings.

    This morning, I am the world’s crappiest parent.


  4. A Modern Day Julie McCoy

    August 7, 2013 by admin

    Welcome aboard, you little shits. What can I do for you now?

    JulieMcCoy

    I’m sure Julie McCoy, cruise director of the Love Boat, never spoke to her passengers like that. (She probably would have been thrown overboard by Captain Stubing.) But she only had to entertain an entire cruise ship. I am the point person for occupying an 8, 4 and almost 2-year-old for the entire summer.

    But seriously, us SAHMs (and dads) are totally the modern day Julie McCoys, trading the navy suit with white piping and clipboard for yoga pants (or, in my case, sweatpants) and smartphones. We make sure all the passengers aboard our boat – or Minivan or SUV or whatever it is you captain – are happy and satisfied with their entertainment. I find it completely exhausting. And, to be quite honest, a little over-the-top.

    At dinner, I’m already planning what we’ll do the next day and asking the kids – I’m asking the kids, for f*ck’s sake! – if it all sounds acceptable to them. I was thinking of going to the beach tomorrow. Is that all right with you, sirs? You won’t have to do a thing. Not a thing! I’ll take care of it all. I know the basket of beach toys is sooooooo heavy. I’ll carry everything, including the 25-pound 2-year-old in the Kelty on my back. I’ll put on your sunscreen and pack a nice lunch. And after, we could stop for ice cream. Does that sound good? And then when we’re ALL good and tired and have sand stuck in places where it won’t come out for days, I’m going to carry everything back to the car while you whine and complain that you’re hot and hungry. And then when we get home, YOU can relax with a movie while I do the chores, try and fit in some work and start dinner. How does that sound? Good? Good. 

    Then, I go to bed making a mental list of all of the crap I need to pack for our outing and setting my alarm for some ungodly hour so I can be sure everything is in order before we leave. Because all hell will break loose if I forget the goddamn Goldfish crackers.

    Now I know what some of you are thinking. How could you say such things? Being a SAHM is the most wonderful thing in the world. It’s a gift. 

    And I know this. Really. I do. And I am grateful and blessed that I can stay home with my children – who I love unconditionally. Honest. I do. That’s why I had three – and spend my summer entertaining their every childhood whim.

    The truth is, I really don’t mind being the family’s Julie McCoy. (I know you think I’m lying, by the way.) I mean, I could be stuck in an office studying spreadsheets. But instead, I get to see the little people that mean everything in the world to me enjoy themselves and make memories. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get to me sometimes. That doesn’t mean it’s not completely exhausting and totally overwhelming.

    And at least Julie McCoy got paid for her troubles.

    I know. I know! My reward doesn’t come in monetary form. I know that it’s so much more than that. But when you’re in the thick of it, and you’re running yourself ragged doing everything humanly possible to make sure everyone is happy and having THE SUMMER OF THEIR LIVES, sometimes you have to remind yourself of that. And I guess I am. Right now.

    For the remainder of the summer, the days of which are dwindling faster than I’d like, I’m also going to remind myself that the kids’ happiest times are the times when I actually do the least amount of work, Squirting each other with squirt guns. Splashing together in the blowup pool. Playing a game of Bananagrams. Taking a walk through the park. These may not be the events that kids will write about in their What I Did Over Summer Vacation essays once seated at their desks back at school but they are the times when happy moments come easy and stress-free. And these are the ones I want to make sure we have more of before the start of school.

    I’m sure even Julie McCoy got pissed off at her passengers once in a while. (And, by the way, I am totally being her for Halloween now.) But for my sanity – and for my kids’ – I have to stop playing Julie McCoy once in a while. I’m not a cruise director. I don’t even want to play one on TV.

    I want to leave you with a scenario to ponder. What if Julie McCoy, cruise director extraordinaire, jumped ship and rowed ashore on a lifeboat one day, leaving her passengers to their own devices. What if she threw in her navy suit and clipboard and syrupy sweet smile and said F-U, I’m not doing it anymore. Find your own f-ing fun. What then? Would her passengers turn into a boatful of lifeless a-holes, floundering in their own boredom? Or would they rally and find their own fun?

    I hope it’s the latter, because THIS Julie McCoy plans to row ashore, at least a couple of times this summer.


  5. Moms are Superhuman Too

    April 9, 2013 by admin

    CarPeople

    Becoming a mother is kind of like becoming Spiderman. Only instead of being bitten by some radioactive arachnid, you’re injected with…well, presumably you know what you’ve been injected with and I SO totally don’t need to go there. But the end results are similar: Superhuman Powers. Because let’s face it, once a woman begins to GROW ANOTHER HUMAN BEING INSIDE HER OWN BODY, everything changes. I’ve been a mom for nearly eight years now, and the side-effects of motherhood still never cease to amaze me. My abilities – like all moms I know – are endless and constantly evolving. Spiderman may be able to sense danger, cling to skyscrapers and possess cat-like reflexes, but here’s some of the things I can do.

     

    • I may not be able to crush a car with my bare hands, but I can carry six grocery bags, a gallon of milk, a cup of coffee and a writhing toddler from the car to the front door with no casualties.
    • I often moonlight as a human lie-detector, able to detect kid bullshit with almost 100 percent accuracy. (One percent fail rate due to 4-year-old’s recently-aquired and surprisingly powerful ability to fib.)
    • I can decipher who has not flushed the toilet by quick visual analysis.
    • I possess superhuman focus, and by that I mean I can tune things out as well as a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Applicable “things” include cries, whines, screams, screeches of terror (obviously fake) and other obnoxious noises, plus ridiculously outrageous pleas and requests, bickering, tattling and many other forms of verbal diarrhea. This power is used only when absolutely necessary and when no one is in imminent danger.
    • When not picking up, trying to donate or hide old toys under leftover pasta in the trash, I sometimes use my superhuman Toy Detector power to help the kids find things.

     

    – “Mom, where’s that microscopic Lego headlight that goes on my 2,000-piece Lego race car that keeps falling off into random and hard-to-find places?”

    – “In between the left and middle cushions on the smaller couch in the family room, honey. Under the dirty sock and banana peel.”

    (This power also works for finding additional things, such as articles of clothing, homework assignments and other school-related things and sports equipment.)

     

    • When not cooking an actual meal (which admittedly is more nights than not lately) I have the unique ability of presenting food in such a way as kids still think they are eating an actual meal so that the next time they do, in fact, eat an actual meal, they won’t know the difference. (Please, please comment if you get what I’m saying here.)
    • Despite how weird it sounds, being shameless is a special Superhuman Mom Power too, one that I most definitely possess. Since bearing three children, shame has totally gone out the window. Thank God too, because how else would I be able to walk my son to the bus stop in my pajamas or scream like a banshee from the stands at a Mite hockey game?
    • The ability to always make my kids laugh. Am NOT adverse to using potty humor when necessary. But other tricks include:

     

    Making random faces and asking if they’d let me volunteer at their respective schools looking like this:

    image

     

    Showing them funny pictures of their baby sister, like this:

    image

          Dancing uncontrollably across the kitchen floor, like M.C. Hammer on Crack. (Definitely no photo available of that.) Admittedly, this method sometimes backfires and I end up the victim of comments like, “Mom, you are so weird.”

    • The ability to be in a thousand places at once. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. School, grocery shopping, errands, activities, practice, games, work. The liquor store.  That kind of commitment takes more than just a GPS. 
    • I’m about to get serious on you with this one: I have the ability to comfort my children when no one else can. A tight hug. A soft kiss. A gentle pat on the head or brush of the cheek. Three little words. I love you. Coming from a mom, nothing is more powerful. Not even Spiderman swinging between skyscrapers.

     

    Moms – and Dads, because they have superpowers too – what amazing abilities have you developed since becoming a parent?


  6. According To This, I’ll be Dead Sooner Than I’d Hoped

    March 1, 2013 by admin

    There’s a new study  out that says having sons takes an average of 8.5 months off a mother’s life. (Please note that according to this study, having sons does not affect a father’s lifespan, lucky shits.) For me, this study is actually a breath of fresh air because I thought I’d die a much earlier death due to having two sons. I thought I’d shaved at least several years off my life already. But maybe it’s just my particular breed of boys.

    8.5 months? Come on. That’s less than a full school year. That’s just one Mite hockey season. You can’t even fully gestate another baby in in 8.5 months.

    But still, when I tell my boys that “I just can’t take it anymore,” or “You’re killing me,” at least now I’m not just overdramatizing. At least now I have some proof to back up my claims.

    In no particular order, here are a few of the reasons why I think my boys are killing me faster.

    1. Bickering (2.7 years gone). It’s constant. They bicker about what episode of Wild Kratts to watch. They bicker about one teeny tiny black Lego in a room filled with thousands of Legos. They bicker about who their baby sister loves more. They bicker about who ate more at dinner and who did or didn’t fart at the table. They bicker about Nerf gun darts, paper airplanes, who won at knee hockey, plastic place mats, scraps of construction paper, mechanical pencils, cheap birthday party favors and the close proximity of one another’s face, hands, elbows and feet.

    2. Worry Over the Threat of Possible Sports Injuries (2.3 years gone). I know. Girls play sports too. I also know that injuries are possible with any sport, but having a young and enthusiastic hockey player (and another one being cultivated) does cause a bit of concern from time to time, especially with all the recent discussion about concussions in young kids. Tonight during the ceremonial puck drop of the Boston/Ottawa game, I learned that a local high school hockey player had his wrist slit last month by an opposing team member’s skate in a freak accident on the ice. He almost died. “I have to Google that,” I said to Rich. “Please. Don’t,” he said. “Then you’ll worry about that too.” Worry Over the Threat of Possible Sports Injuries consists mostly of things that could happen in the future, not things that are likely to occur in the present.

    3. Noise Levels (9 months gone). Boys are loud. They are loud on their own. But when they are together, noise levels can be epic. Or at least it seems that way to a person who cherishes peace, quiet and an environment free of the sounds of bodily functions. I can’t tell you how many times a day, I say Stop Yelling. Stop Screaming. Stop making that annoying noise. Stop making fart noises with your armpit. Do that in the bathroom. Stop burping. Stop stomping. Stop banging hockey sticks against the wall. My husband says they’re just being boys. Sometimes I want them to stop. just. being. boys.

    4. They say girls are emotional. (We’ll find out for ourselves soon enough.) But, newsflash: Boys. Are. Crazy. Trying to figure out what goes on in their little heads is like trying to figure out why in the hell people would want to watch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Louie Anderson, Keshia Knight Pullam and a few other B-list’s, wannabes and has-beens compete in a high-dive competition on ABC. Attempting to do so takes at least 2.1 years off my life.

    5. Roughhousing. (2.4 years, ba-bye). Boys are generally highly volatile little beings. An intense Star Wars Lego battle soon turns into a friendly wrestling match turns into a not-so-friendly boxing match turns into a free-for-all ending with someone crying and needing a bandaid or cold compress. Boys need to be supervised at all times, leaving less time for things like texting, browsing Facebook, cooking, cleaning and drinking wine. This deprivation leads to malnourished children, a hungry husband, a filthy house and an anti-social, yet much more sober, mom.