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mommy

Terrified by the Dashboard Lights


Where did I leave off ?……Oh right…I did a kind act for my child and was rewarded with my “mom car” blowing up. 

The “check engine” light is flashing, a dinging noise is chiming repeatedly and another symbol is lit up on the dashboard which (a quick perusal of my car manual tells me) means essentially “Run for your life!”

So what did I do?

I drove home.  I was so close – I had to do it.

I arrived home without the car blowing up.

I was near hyperventilation.  The kids were still crying about Superman.

The “mom car” had to go in the shop for repairs.  This hellish week of back-to-school and my husband’s crazy schedule, we couldn’t have only one car. My husband borrowed someone’s car and let me use his.

It was glorious.

His car is nothing fancy.   But for starters, it’s a car and it’s not red.  It’s pretty fast and it has a leather interior and heated seats.

He watched me as I was getting acclimated, adjusting the seat and changing the mirrors.  I looked up at the rearview mirror and remembered that I can possibly get some tanning done in this vehicle.  I started thinking I should just keep this as my car.

“Look you even have a skylight in here!! It’s not fair!” I said pouting.

He looked at me with disgust.

“Ok – at least get the lingo right – It’s a sunroof.”

“Oh right – apparently my “mom car” is making me stupid……I am keeping this for my car now, you can have mine.”  I said matter-of-factly.

I think he didn’t really take me seriously the first day.  But by the end of the 10- day period of time that my car was in the shop, I had a new lease on life and there was absolutely no way I was giving him his car back. 

I can feel my youth in his car.  I am lower to the ground than I have been in 6 years.  It’s not depressing and sad like my “mom-car.”   I don’t chug along dropping kids off at school or going to the store. 

I zip.

I zip to the store in my sporty little car.  I open the skylight and crank up the music. I don’t have room for more than 3 kids and a stroller can’t even fit in the trunk if I tried.

It’s wonderful.

Not to mention that I have paid my dues in the offensive automobile department.  My father gifted me with my first car which was a powder blue Chrysler Holiday.   It was mortifying and ruined my life for a short period until I totaled it on purpose  in a horrible accident – (but everyone was ok thank goodness.)

I actually couldn’t even find a picture of this ridiculous hunk of shit – but this is the closest image I could find – just to give you an idea of what my Dad thought would be appropriate for his daughter to drive to a New England prep school where all the children drove BMW’s.

Picture this in powder blue....

After that I used my father’s Ford Taurus station wagon to get around for a while until he replaced my “Holiday” with a Mercury Topaz from the 80’s. 

This is what it looked like - but don't worry I tinted the windows and got some bitchin' hubcaps to spif it up....

After that I spent a few years driving a red Ford Escort, and then finally got a little sporty car that I liked. 

Guess what happened when I paid off that car and was loving life?

I had a baby and spent the next 6 years rocking a “mom-car.”

One day when we were fist-pumping (through the sunroof!!!) to the music, with the wind from the open window blowing my hair – Michael asked “Mommy when are you getting your car back?”

I turned down the radio – “This is my car.” I answered.

“No it’s not!” he said. I stopped at a light and looked back at both kids.

“Yes it is – and do you seen how clean and luxurious it is?  Do you see how it seems as if the person who owns this car has no children?” I asked.

They both nodded their heads “yes.”

“Ok – it’s going to stay that way. No more eating in the car.  No more leaving Lego guys and itty-bitty GI Joe guns and loose crayons in the car.  I want this car to always seem like there are never any kids in it….Got it?”

They agreed to this. 

By the time my car came back from the shop – my husband had resigned himself to driving the “mom-car” full-time.

Next step – making the full swap of the cars.  Out came the shop-vac and garbage bags and my husband went to work cleaning out the “mom-car.” 

It didn’t go well.

“This is disgusting, how could you live like this?” he said several times throughout the day.

“This car has been with me for some rough years!!  Children have grown up in it!  They have eaten and barfed and pooped in it!   Your car is so nice because you only had children in it like twice.  Drive a mile in my mom-car shoes and then we will talk, and I am sorry I didn’t have time to “Armor-all” the car – because I was busy BREASTFEEDING!!!”

Whenever I need to defend myself – I usually try to work in the breastfeeding and then I automatically win the argument.  Even though I haven’t breastfed in 3 1/2 years – it actually is still effective!!

Finally I took my lipglosses and sunglasses and any other essentials and gave him his cologne and EZ PASS and we were swapped!  I felt such a weight off of my shoulders.

And really it is for the best.  If I don’t nip this in the bud right now – I could end up in one of those things for the rest of my life! I could be bringing them to college in a van!! I could be picking them up and 32 friends from the movies!!

That wouldn’t be good for my mental health.

If this "mom car" thing continues - this will be me picking up my kids when they are on a date .....and then nobody will be happy.

Why should I drive a “mom car?”  Haven’t I done enough?  

It’s not enough that I am permanently fat and unpleasant?

I have to wake up everyday and get into some sort of red mini-van that’s filled with smashed up goldfish, sand, and toys?

 I don’t have a dog. 

I don’t have 4 children.  

Why am I driving this thing again?

Oh right …..I’m not.

It was hurting my feelings – and I feel much better now.

I know it’s a bit of a pain – but if you have a minute please vote for me as one of PARENTS MAGAZINE’S FUNNIEST MOM BLOGS!!

AND IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT YOU CAN VOTE FOR ME AS ONE OF THE TOP  MOMMY BLOGS….I AM VERY POPULAR:)

Linking to Shell at Things I Can’t Say and Boobies, Babies and a Blog and

Seven Clown Circus

Off the Deep End


We spend a lot of time at the beach in the summer.  Up until last year I never sat down once when I was there.  I would lug chairs, towels, lotions, toys, swim diapers, etc. and then I would run around, covered in sand and sweat, chasing two little boys all day.  I would dig holes, take rocks and sand out of mouths, and most importantly prevent drowning.  It’s exhausting.  I’m tired.

These kids need to learn how to fend for themselves, and SWIM – so I can sit in a chair and read US Weekly, and look up occasionally……Is that too much to ask?

We sent both kids to about 5 or 6 costly sessions of lessons in hopes that they would learn to swim at an early age.  My husband and I did “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” to see who would get in a bathing suit and splash around during the “Parent and Me” lessons, and we were out about $500 before we realized we were getting nowhere fast.  If they both got tossed in a pool they would sink like a bag of rocks.

Last summer, Michael finally could stay afloat and do the doggy paddle.  When we went away this spring, he jumped right into the pool, no problem.   I was busy putting SPF on Sam with my back to the pool and Sam started laughing and said nonchalantly, “Look at Michael….he’s drowning.”

What do you know – he was fully drowning.

Into the pool I went to save him with my clothes on.

“This is bullshit!” I screamed at my husband shortly after I saved our child’s life, as he leisurely arrived at the pool, while I stood drenched in my clothes.  While I was putting sunscreen on the kids, blowing up inflatables until I passed out, saving people’s lives and getting the beginning of a sunburn because I spent a half hour taking care of the kids instead of protecting myself from the sun, my husband “had to go to the bathroom.” Please note all that occurred during the time that he spent on one trip to the bathroom.

“Why? What happened?” he said incredulously holding a beer and a copy of Men’s Health.

“Michael drowned!” I screamed.

“Really? I thought he could swim…”

“Well apparently he forgot.” I said with disgust.

Michael was listening to the conversation – floating on a tube in the pool, completely recovered from the traumatic event.  He said casually, “Mom, you should be a lifeguard.”

“I don’t want to be a lifeguard! You guys have to swim!!” I yelled hysterically.

So fast-forward to May, time to pull out the big guns.  There is a swimming school 20 minutes from us that operates a very intense and expensive program.  For over $400 for 2 kids, every night for 2 weeks, they promise you 2 swimming children. 

I signed up for lessons that started at 6:30 for Sam and 7:30 for Michael.  Insane? YES!!!!

I thought – “OK – it will be a rough 2 weeks and it will be worth it.”

First off – this place is in a huge glass building and parents are not allowed inside during lessons.  We are allowed to watch from outside through patches of condensation on the glass to see if we are getting our money’s worth.  Well of course, lessons started 2 weeks ago when it literally RAINED EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  So there I am each night drenched, miserable, with one child hanging on me telling me they are cold, staring at the clock waiting for the lessons to be over.  One night it was thundering and lightening, and my husband tried to come in the building and they made him go wait in his car!! SWIMMING NAZIS!

Also, because its 20 minutes away, by the time we took showers and got home each night, it was a little before 9.  To say the kids were tired is a huge understatement.  We haven’t been to the bus stop in 2 weeks, and everyone was on edge, and could very easily be reduced to tears at any moment.

Oh – and wait, don’t let me forget the best part! Sam started each morning when he woke up by opening his eyes and bursting into tears, saying “I don’t want to go to swimming tonight!”  He actually cried throughout 7 out of 10 lessons.  I would peek in and see him with his hands on the edge of the pool practicing his kicking just hysterically crying.  There I am, out $450, plus hundreds more on gas, exhausted and this kid is inconsolable.

More than once I thought I had made a huge mistake all in the name of sitting down on the beach, but we trudged along.

One morning I was at the end of my rope, and Sam was doing his morning routine. 

“I hate swimming!” he screamed, “I am never going to swim! NEVER!!” he yelled through tears.

I lost it.

“You ARE going to swim!!!” I yelled, “And not only that you had better be Michael Phelps when this is over!” I screamed in his face.

He just looked at me blankly for a couple of seconds and then started crying again. 

Friday was our last night – thank you Jesus.  Parents were actually invited in!  Do you know that both kids calmly walked down this long diving board, waved to me, jumped into 9 feet of water, popped up and swam to their teacher!!

It was a MIRACLE!!!!   It’s not Olympic worthy – but if I can even read the “Stars – they are just like Us” page of US Weekly I’m going to be one happy girl.

If you love your weekly Goo Goo Gaga – please vote for me by clicking on the banner below!! Thanks ;)

 

Reposted for Adventures in Mommyhood

Baby mama (not)

Baby mama (not)

Even though I have been waiting almost 6 years for this…now that I am not going to have any children in the 3 and under category,  I feel a little bit like a slacker. 

I know – you think I am crazy – but I feel like maybe my life isn’t as torturous as it once was, and maybe I am not allowed to complain anymore.  I mean when I see Moms lugging strollers and diaper bags into the library or the store, with bags under the eyes, it seems like a million years ago that I was in their position.  But what I would like to know is – can I still say I’m tired? Because I really am!!   I truly don’t remember the last time I wasn’t tired. 

When I am out and about in town, I wear my sunglasses at all times to not make eye contact with people I don’t like, to hide the fact that I look like a bag of shit and have had chronic dark circles for 5 years. My sunglasses of choice have been an old pair of black Pradas that are the perfect shape to cover a good portion of my face and are really dark – so nobody can see my eyeballs.  They have been sat on, dropped, thrown in the sandbox, etc.  I can barely see out of them because of all the scratches.  It’s borderline insane that I wear them, if you look at me when I’m wearing them – you will just see crazy scratch marks all over both lenses.  When people ask about the situation I just say – “I know its horrible – I just haven’t had a minute to get new glasses.”  Which is true – but what now – do I have to throw them out?  What’s my excuse why I can’t do something so simple as get a new pair of sunglasses?

"Oh hi - I'm just here to pick up my son from preschool."

Even this past Christmas – I was arguing with my brother, who just had a baby, about where we would meet in the morning to open gifts. 

“I’m not lugging my kids – taking them in and out of all of their seats and straps and carrying them into your house in the freezing cold – only to get back in the car to go to NY like an hour later.” I argued.

“What are you talking about? They are grown men! The get in and out of their booster seats by themselves and walk to the door!” he replied.

“Oh right…..Damn it!!”

Also – can I still look like shit? Or do I need to start getting my act together?  For a long time after I had S – people would ask me how old he was and I would say the wrong age.  For example, if he was 7 months I would say 3 months – so people would think I looked good for having a 3 month old.  Or my favorite was when S was 6 MONTHS OLD!  and someone asked me when I was due.  I said “Next week!” And they were like – “Oh you look so good!”

How long can I call this “baby weight?”  I think when the last child is age 4, we have officially left the “baby-weight” stage and moved into the category of “Fat person.” 

Aside from the fact that I am morbidly obese – I also think that I have to try to look a little more presentable in the wardrobe department.  When I grab a shirt (from the pile of clothes in my room that I never seem to have time to put away) if there’s something on it, I don’t think I can say “Oh….the baby must have spit up on me!” when someone notices anymore. 

In general, I have pretty much let myself go.  I used to do weekly waxing appointments for lip,chin, brows, etc. color my hair every 2 weeks, cut every 8, manicure every week.  Now the best way I can describe my maintenance schedule is by showing you the picture below of my facial hair as of last week before I finally couldn’t take it anymore and waxed it.

If I don’t have babies keeping me up all night, who am I to have this kind of moustache? Or gray roots showing?  What’s my excuse to have my feet and toenails look like my grandfather’s?

For a long time having two baby boys 18 months apart, was something that got me off the hook.  I wore my weathered, ragged look like a badge of honor.   I was such a good mother – that I only could put all my energy towards raising these babies and had no time for frivolous matters like waxing my beard or putting together a matching outfit.   I mean how does Betty Draper do it?

I guess having these kids grow up has some disadvantages.  What’s next?  I’m expected to have a clean house?

Go to Work


So my son apparently has hit it off with someone in his kindergarten class.  I don’t know this because he told me.   I know it because this kid’s “stay-at-home dad” accessed my info through the handy school directory, and told me via email.  He suggested getting the kids together for a play-date and mentioned also that his child has a twin brother that will be “tagging along.”

Great!! These are always the kind of messages I enjoy finding in my inbox.  So, I invite both children to be dropped off for a little while one day after school.  Stay-at-home Dad says “Great, but I don’t usually drop the kids off, do you mind if I hang out for a while?”

I ran upstairs to my husband to consult on how to respond.  Always the one to save the day, he says, “Well just let him hang out for a while.” 

“No!! I have things to do! I thought they would play and I could clean and do stuff around the house. I don’t have time for these stay-at-home dad games, I’m busy and I’m not interested in hanging around in the yard with some creepy weirdo.”

“So just say that.”

“Seriously?  Say I don’t like to hang out in the yard with creepy weirdos?  Thanks for your help.”

UGGHHH.  Now I had to email that I understand and that we would be happy to meet in a park for an hour.  Now my afternoon will be spent awkwardly with some man I’ve never met.  These are the little episodes my mother never had to deal with.  In the old days all Dads went to work, but even if they worked nights or something allowed them to be home during the days, then they would get another job or build decks around the house and maintain their lawn to perfection.  They wouldn’t sip a latte at the park with my mother (and by “park” I mean the backyard with a metal swing-set and a ball for my brother.)

So off I go to waste almost 2 hours at a park with this guy making small talk.  Thank Jesus I have a sparkling personality and get along with almost anyone!!! (NOT)  And the guy is perfectly fine and nice – but I don’t care.  I don’t care if he was Brad Pitt, I am not interested in hanging out with him.  I have THINGS TO DO!!  Just because you are the only man I know that has NOTHING TO DO but go on play “dates” with women that you don’t know…..

“Well I don’t think I will make that meeting I have to run home for my playgroup, and then I have Kindermusik at 3.”

So of course, he promptly emails me for another “date” and I keep blowing him off until he finally gives up.  Then everywhere I went all winter– I would see him!! It became a joke, my husband would say “Your friend is here.” And there he would be, ice skating randomly one random morning, at a hockey game, in the hallway waiting for our teacher conferences!   The other day I was picking up my kindergartner from school in a huge rush and practically ran by him and said “Hello,” as I passed.  He called after me,

“So could Michael have a play-date with us soon?”

I said “Sure,” and kept running.  Can this guy take a hint?

Look dude – there are a few issues here:

A – You and I have both made some poor choices regarding our careers resulting in our spouses making significantly more money than us.  So much so that we have been designated of more worth home with the children.  It sucks sometimes, you’re bored, …I get it.  However, I have my own husband’s ego to stroke.  I’m not on this earth to entertain you and your kids…I sometimes wonder if I’m even qualified to entertain my own 2 kids, and my husband will vouch in that I rarely entertain him.

B – Join a “Stay-at-home Dads” group – and hang out with them if you need to be with your kids all the time.  But in case you haven’t noticed you have 2 six-year-olds that are in full-day kindergarten. They are self-reliant and almost in first grade.  Don’t you think they can go on a play date without you?

C – Having already established that the kids are in school all day, this leads me to my third point.  Tony Danza called, he wants his apron back.  Get a fucking job and stop bothering me.

I linked this post to Adventures in Mommyhood:

Top ten ways this is not my mother’s motherhood….


#1 – On weekends my children would go outside after breakfast and not come back until dinner.  They would never bother me to tell me how hungry, thirsty, bored they are.  And during this playtime, I wouldn’t really know where they were, I might have a vague idea of the vicinity, but that’s about it. This would be fine and I wouldn’t worry about sexual predators or the guy across the street that waters his telephone pole every morning.

#2 –In the afternoon/evening my kids could watch Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and Electric Company, back-to-back every day (that’s 2  ½ hours people!!) and I would have zero guilt or worry that they were going to be stupid or violent or fat.  I would just make dinner and talk on the phone the whole time.

#3 – I would never have to attend or host a playdate.  My kids would play with whoever lived on their street.  Even if it was someone they would never ordinarily be friends with, or someone weird or annoying like Fran Drescher’s kids, too bad. They would just play with who was available and make it work.

#4 – Plus even if someone asked me for a playdate, I wouldn’t be available because I would have lunch and then from 1-3 I would have to watch Days of Our Lives and Another World.  Then I would have to take a nap.  Also – my husband wouldn’t be available because he and all the husbands I know would be at work (out of the house.) There would be no chance that a Dad would show up for a playdate or birthday party.

#5 – I could put all of the cereal in the lowest cabinet in the kitchen and teach my kids how to fend for themselves, so I could sleep in the morning while they get themselves dressed, get breakfast, MAKE THEIR OWN LUNCH! and get ready for school.  And if they aren’t disciplined enough to do this and miss the bus, they
could walk or ride their bike to school to learn a lesson.

#6 –I wouldn’t spend 5 minutes every time I got into a vehicle, strapping people into various boosters and car seats like they were preparing for a space shuttle mission.  They would sit (or stand) in the backseat with no seatbelt.  For a special treat, (if we weren’t in the Blue Ford Hornet that had doors that blew open when you turned a corner) I would even let them sit in the front passenger seat.

#7– While in this vehicle I could smoke cigarettes with the windows closed using my built-in ash-tray and listen to whatever I wanted to on the radio. It might be the oldies station, Imus in the Morning, or Howard Stern but the thought would never cross my mind to drive around town listening to the Imagination Movers or Big Time Rush.

#8 – Also, if I needed to stop for my daily milk and cigarettes, I would just park the car and run into the store and leave my kids in the second-hand smoke bomb car.  Or if it was my mother-in-law’s motherhood, I wouldn’t even leave my house.  I would just give my kid $5 and send him on foot to the nearest convenience store with a note that said “Please give my son a gallon of milk and a pack of Marlboro 100’s.”

#9 – When I needed a babysitter, I could just leave my children
with their 85-year-old great-grandmother who was A – off the boat from Italy and doesn’t speak a lick of English and B- could only walk with a walker.  I would just keep my fingers crossed that nothing bad happened that would require an adult to contact the authorities( requiring use of the English language.)  Also, hope that if the kids did something wrong like run baths for their Cabbage Patch Dolls and leave the water running for so long that it’s pouring through the downstairs ceiling, she will stop watching church and doing the rosary long enough to notice.

#10 – I would have given birth at an appropriate age so that when I had a child in kindergarten, instead of being a fat , weathered  35 year-old, I would be a young, skinny and vibrant 27-year-old with my whole life ahead of me. I wouldn’t have gray hair yet, or saggy boobs or fat stomach, so I think I would be in a much better mood!

Oh well, that was motherhood in the 1970’s.  Can you think of a way that your motherhood is different from your moms’? Let’s hear it – Leave me a comment!!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

x0x0x

Lady Goo Goo Gaga

I linked up with Adventures in Mommyhood for

Reposted for MAMA KAT!

Riches to Rags


I recently did what I call my seasonal “rag rotation.” It’s when I put away my winter “rags” and take out my summer “rags.” I don’t know quite how I got to this point…..

It began obviously enough, when I first got pregnant in 2005, my maternity clothes moved into my closet. I gently nudged my “real” clothes to the side, knowing that I would be wearing them again in 9 months. YEAH RIGHT!!

Little did I know that most of my tops would be “half-shirts” when I ever got around to trying them on. Oh – well great news – half-shirts are back in style!!

Picture this but where J LO has a nice smooth belly, imagine a huge muffin top hanging over the sides….not good.

Sometimes I found a shirt that fit, but it would immediately be destroyed by formula, spit up, etc. So I started shopping at the OLD NAVY for disposable clothing, figuring I would go back to my stylish self when I was done being fat.

Except I got pregnant again, and seasons kept coming and going and I never threw out my “disposable clothing.” What I actually did throw out was my designer half-shirts, and settled into my “mommy uniform.” (long-sleeve t-shirt, jeans and UGGS in winter, wife beater, capri, and flip-flop in summer)

I pretty much just checked out. Even my “rags” starting getting ratty. Apparently when you get on your knees to zip jackets, tie shoes and change diapers 500 times a day the knees of your jeans can actually get worn away. But when you pay up to $200 for said jeans you just wear them anyway.

“Oh, um Bon Jovi called….he wants his jeans back.” my husband greeted me one day.
“That’s the style!” I protested weakly.
(See below…See this is exactly how I look when I leave my pedicure and go to pick up my preschooler….what’s so bad about that??)

One time I even cut them into shorts in an attempt to salvage my favorite pair of jeans.

“Nice jorts.” was my husband’s comment that day.
“What’s a jort?” I asked.
“A jean short.” he answered matter-of-factly.
Ok – when my husband, who currently wears sunglasses that he got at the gas station, makes fun of me, things are very bad.

But now the problem is that I am so far gone, I don’t even know where to begin!! Apparently if you are wearing “jorts” and a “Who Farted” t-shirt its pretty hard to navigate your way back into fashion.

“I think we have to start shopping at Ann Taylor.” my best friend said to me recently.
“What? Why? What are we going to get there? Slacks and a blouse?”
“I don’t know, but any mom I know that looks put-together shops at Ann Taylor or Ann Taylor Loft.” she answered.
UGH.

How did I get here? When I worked in NYC I was always pining away for a new bag, shoe, or pair of jeans. Any spare pennies I had were applied towards clothes, make-up, shoes, expensive hair-cuts, skin-care, waxing, etc., etc….the list was endless. I used to love going to Brasserie 8 1/2 because you could eat an egg off the bar for dinner, and spend your only $15 on a cosmo, and not worry about starving to death. This was around the time I bought my first pair of Chanel shoes. They were gorgeous and worth every rumble of my stomach.

Now look at me. My Chanel shoes are in a box in my husband’s closet,(my closet is filled with UGGS and flip-flops) along with all the other relics from my past. There are some shoes and clothes I just can’t give up, and keep hope alive that they might fit someday.

In the meantime, if you are looking for me, I will be at Ann Taylor Loft.

I linked up with Adventures in Mommyhood for

What I learned on a 19 hour road trip with small children…

What I learned on a 19 hour road trip with small children…

1 – Definitely check to be sure that the portable televisions work. Specifically, be sure that they are not going to get so hot from being on for a long time that they will essentially come close to bursting into flames and melting your DVD, leaving your children in tears and 15 hours to go.

2– Definitely when resorting to the built-in vehicle television, be sure to check that the sound options work in said vehicle so that you have the option to just turn on the audio in the rear where the children are seated. Otherwise you will have “Dora’s Easter Hunt” and “Star Wars” on FULL BLAST for 4 hours so that they can hear it all the way in the back.

3-The item below is a sanity-saver and can become an addiction. I find myself still looking in my hometown for Nevada and Hawaii. Sometimes good old standards like the license plate game can get you through!

4 – Learn how to mute the GPS lady. She will pretty much get you where you need to go, but she is an annoying bitch who does not shut the fuck up.

5 – Don’t travel with teething infant who is having explosive diarrhea every hour.

6 – Although it might seem the right option when faced with the breakfast choice of “Shoney’s,” “WAFFLE HOUSE” or “Huddle House”, the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is not a good choice for me. I will forever remember the sensation of biting into a pancake filled with blueberries covered in raw pancake batter, while watching my husband eat some sort of meat and biscuit covered in white gravy. Apparently it’s a nice place to rock in a rocking chair or play checkers or eat items smothered in Alfredo sauce, but not for me.

7– Utilize family or friends that have room in their car that are making same road trip for some miscellaneous bags, strollers, etc. Be prepared when your parents inform you that on the way back they won’t be able to bring back anything for you because they “need all the extra room in their trunk to fill it up with cartons of cigarettes,” from discount outlet.

8 – Be mentally prepared when coming home (even if it’s almost MAY) that you will need to immediately TURN ON THE HEAT in your house and sink into an immediate depression.

Reward Zone


 Fruit Salad

Pasta Salad

Muffins, breads or coffee cake

veggies & dip

Trail Mix

Candy  (or bags of candy – like M&M’s)

Tray of Sandwiches and/or Wraps

cookies and/or Brownies

Cheese and Crackers

So, I know that you are thinking the above list must be a menu for a bridal shower brunch for 100 women or something along those lines.  If so, you would be incorrect.   It is actually a list of requested foods sent by the PTO at my son’s school for the teachers during conference week.  Apparently, if these teachers have to speak to adults instead of children and stay at work until 5 or 6 instead of 3:30 in the afternoon, then they need an assortment of baked goods and sandwiches to make it through.  It is apparently the parents’ responsiblity to make sure that the teachers have the sustenance to survive the extra two hours of work.  These are apparently the most famished individuals who could ever meet. 

That was last week.

This week’s donation is just as annoying.  A student teacher has been helping out in my son’s kindergarten class for 12 weeks and is completing her required hours this week.  So of course, I get an email requesting that all 22 kids bring in $5 to be applied towards a gift card thanking the student teacher.

Ok, I understand that this person worked for free with my child and that’s very nice, but its called an UNPAID INTERNSHIP.  Something WE ALL have done, if we had any plans of having a career.  Why is it that when people make the smallest accomplishment do they need to be rewarded with a box of doughnuts or a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond?

What about the custodian at the school? After that guy cleans up his 12th puddle of barf during flu season do we give him anything?  What about the bus drivers? After 12 weeks of driving around screaming children should we greet them at the bus stop with chocolates and a bottle of wine?

Don’t get me wrong, I love teachers. I value what they do and I personally could never do it myself.  I am just very unaccustomed to this reward system. 

Growing up, my father owned a factory and worked morning, noon and night.  I’m pretty sure when he landed a new account or created a new product, nobody ever gave him a balloon or a gift card to the Cheesecake Factory.  When it’s a snowy or rainy day, postal workers don’t come back to the post office to find hot chocolate and a Snuggi waiting for them. 

Where does it end?? Can everyone give me some input on this….because maybe I’m just crazy.  (And no you will not be getting any baked goods for your comments.)

Safety First


Recently, my father had to bring my kids somewhere and I had to make arrangements to get him my extra car seat and booster seat.

“Well, I’ll just put Sam in the car seat and put a seat belt on Michael.” my Dad said.

“No Dad you can’t do that! I think you will like get arrested or something!”

” Uh, he’s as tall as me, it’s fine,” he responded, annoyed with my overly-safe child-rearing. This is a common theme of conversations between my parents and I. I heed advice from various authorities such as my pediatrician, the DMV and the Surgeon General, and my parents basically tell me I’m a loser. This began pretty much as my first one was born and the Dr. told me not to bathe him until his umbilical cord fell off.

“Well, this baby is filthy,” my Mother would say with disgust.

Her best friend also put in her two cents, “Oh yeah, we would bring our babies home from the hospital and put them right in the kitchen sink….And we didn’t use organic baby wash either, we used whatever was by the sink, even if it was Cascade.”

“And I think you and your brother turned out ok,” my Mother would close all of these types of conversations with this.

And we are fine to a certain extent, but thinking back to our days of rolling around in the backseat minus even a seatbelt, in a cloud of cigarette smoke, it does seem a bit unsafe. That being said, we definitely have made some much-needed safety improvements, but a little throwing caution to the wind would probably help our
anxiety levels a bit too.

I called a neighbor that has a son in 3rd grade to confirm that I was right about the booster seat law.

“Oh yeah, we just took him out of the booster last month, I think the guideline is 70 lbs. And 4’9.”

Ok if this is true, basically what that means is that my college roommate, my great grandmother and Kelly Ripa should all be buckled into booster seats when in a moving vehicle.

Really?

Melted snow=Easy access


So the downside to the melted snow is that my neighbors will be outside with easy access to me and my kids. This is not good. Last summer, I got a phone call from a neighborhood mother who has a preschooler, like me. Our kids have played together minimally, mostly because A – I don’t really care for this woman and B – her kid is completely out to lunch. Also, as a side note, she recently moved here from New Jersey and essentially talks like Fran Drescher from ” The Nanny.”

“Hi, I just wanted to call and tell you we mailed out some invitations, Jacob wants to put on a show in the driveway and we invited some friends to watch it.” she says when I answer the phone.

“Ok..let me just check my schedule,” I cut the conversation short and told her I would call her back. Let me also mention that we avoid playdates with these people because the house is beyond filthy and the yard is filled with piles of dog shit at all times. The invitation for ” Jacob’s Show” comes the next day and is slated for a day I had planned to meet a friend at a park with our kids.

” So now I have to cut my day short and run back here!” I complained to my husband. ” Then don’t go,” he replied.
“Well nobody they invited is going to drive here for this! We are the
only ones in walking distance, and this poor kid is going to be like in the driveway with a top hat on, waiting for someone to show up!”

So of course the day comes and it’s a hot, gorgeous day at the park. Annoyed, I rush home to make it for the 3:00 showtime. I peer through the blinds and see no sign of life; no chairs in the driveway, no props, no stage. I don’t think this kid is winning any awards for set production anytime soon. At 3:35 we head over. We stand at the foot of the driveway, staring at the house waiting for them to come out.

“If they don’t come out soon, we are leaving. I’m not standing here all day,” I said to my 3 and 4 year old.

“No! Let’s knock on the door! We want to see the show!” they shouted and started to run on the grass towards the door.

“Get over here,” I said between gritted teeth, ” Don’t go on the
grass or near the house.” Just then they come out with another little boy from preschool, and Jacob’s little brother and the mother. All the kids immediately start running around the yard.

“Is anyone else coming?” I ask, carefully navigating the yard in order to avoid dog poop. “Oh no, Andrew’s mom just dropped him off and nobody else could come.”

Of course.

After about ten minutes of idle chit-chat I ask, ” So, when does the show start?”

The mom laughs like “the nanny” and calls out to her son, ” Jake, Michael’s mommy wants to know when the show is starting!”

He stops playing and we are all staring at him. “Oh well, there’s no show……it’s really just a play-date.”

I thought my head would explode. This brat tricked us into coming over for a play-date?”. Arms crossed I walk over to him and say in my fake “nice mommy” voice, ” Mikey and Sammy were excited for a show, so you are going to have to go ahead and put on a show.” He just stared at me and ran away.

So now I’m stuck in this poop-infested yard with Fran Drescher. Great. I look over and notice that the kids are now playing in a sandbox that has no sand, just filthy water in it.

“Get away from there!” I scream like a maniac.

“Whaaaatt? That’s just our pool….” Fran Drescher says with her thick accent.

My fake mommy voice is long gone.

“No….it’s not a pool….it’s a sandbox filled with still water and Legionnaire’s disease.” I said with disgust. “Ok, you guys, let’s get going.”

” Oh no, you can’t leave before the cake! Jacob and I watch the “Cake Boss” and he wanted to design a cake all by himself, wait till you see it!”

OMG.

It’s not enough that my kids now have West Nile Virus from the “pool” and all of our shoes are filled with dog shit, now we have to eat filthy baked goods?

Out she comes with this lumpy cake that has been squirted with basically an entire can of Redi-whip and jabbed with 25 twix cookie bars. The kids eat a a couple bites and we leave.

As soon as we get home I soak their entire bodies with hand sanitizer and I keep saying ” I cannot believe there was no show.” The kids agreed that it was totally unacceptable. I was so glad that my kids, even though they were 3 and 4, got the fact that these people were ridiculous.

The next day, I’m driving down the street and the mom flags down my car. I considered flooring it, but gave in and as I started to slow down, my 3 year old said, ‘What does this fucking guy want now?”

My sentiments exactly. We are working on the swearing, but I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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