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Monthly Archives: April 2011

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.



I read an article lately that discouraged preschool sports, citing injuries to little bodies that are still developing as a potential problem. The article also said that “studies have shown that kids who take sports as preschoolers are no more likely to play sports in high school than those who don’t.”

They might be onto something.

My 3-year old just finished basketball and will start tennis and swimming in a couple of weeks. My 5-year-old is finishing ice hockey next week and will go right into baseball and swimming. He asked to do track, but we said no. But they want to do these activities! It’s never my idea to spend $200 on helmets, skates, registration fees. I just figure what’s the harm in keeping them active, fending off obesity and learning to be on a team?

My husband played division one sports and got recruited for both baseball and football, so I always defer to him before we sign up for anything.

“When you were little did you play sports.”
“When you were really little, like Sam’s age?”
“Oh my God, then maybe I should sign him up for baseball now!”
“Oh no, I didn’t start baseball until junior high….I’m talking about
bowling school.”
“Um, bowling school is not a sport. It was a place for your mother to smoke cigarettes and drink beer, while someone else watched you.”

Ok, so the moral to that story is that kids don’t have to start a sport at age 3 to become the next Tiger Woods. I actually think that most
parents that I interact with don’t know that. I have found that I could easily become one of those parents.

When my oldest was 3, about to turn 4, I signed him up for a “youth track” program at a local college. Since he was born he has NEVER been tired. He stopped taking naps at a very young age and started catapulting himself out of his crib at 15 months, further hindering the sleeping process. I thought even if he ran around the track once, maybe he would get tired.

The first day he ran 2 miles without stopping.

My husband and I, (emphatically NOT RUNNERS) stood on the sidelines smoking cigarettes watching in shock. We had to stop him for fear of his life. I remember looking at his little beet-red face thinking, “So this is my destiny…to be the mother of an Olympic
track star.”

One of my girlfriends said, “You should really videotape him, he’s going to need it for his E True Hollywood Story.”
(P.S. – He still wasn’t tired.)

So over the course of Fall track and Spring track my son made friends and wanted to be on the track with other 3/4 year-olds. Unfortunately, said 3/4 year-olds were always ” tired” or “had stubbed toes.”. It was infuriating to watch my track star walking the track with these lazy kids. We became crazed.

“If you want to walk Michael, we can go home and walk up and down the street…We are not here to play games, now RUN!” I said angrily during one particularly annoying session when he walked the
whole time. “What’s going to happen to you in life? Every time some loser wants to do their worst you are going to be by their side helping them????”

I at least had the sense to tell on myself to my husband when I got home.

“He wants to hang out with all these fat derelicts that walk the whole time. (looking back, the derelicts were 4 year-olds enjoying a walk around the track)
I’m turning into a crazy track mother. You have to take him next week, maybe if you run with him, he’ll run.”

No dice.

My husband tried to run with him and he wanted to go slow to walk with his friends.

“Come on Michael, let’s go! I’m beating you and I’m not even trying! Try to keep up!”
“Dad, I’m tired…’s not even a race.” Michael said, exasperated.
“EVERYTHING is a race!” my husband said like a lunatic.
Two mothers walked by and gave him a dirty look.

So we gave it up. Maybe he can go back to it some day, as he potentially could be a track star; but for now my husband and I had to take a break to work on being rational, non-competitive human beings.
So our house rule for now is only 2 sports per season;)

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.)

False Advertising

So by the third round of the stomach bug, I pretty much turned the TV on and gave my kindergartener the remote and let him watch all day.  For the first couple rounds of illness and the first 10 snowstorms I tried to utilize the game closet, but how much “Guess Who” and “Handy Manny Uno” can someone take? Plus, I had many hours of “Lysoling” and sheet-washing ahead of me, so I just let it go.

I should know better than to do this, because by throwing caution to the wind, he will now get to watch 500 commercials, and he has been known to get lured in by advertisements.  When he was 3, he somehow saw an infomercial and was so taken in by it, he requested the Touch n’ Brush for Christmas. This device is a “Hands-free toothpaste dispenser that gives you toothpaste in just one touch!”  It was supposedly a device that would suction-cup to your bathroom wall and you could stick your toothpaste tube into it – and then you just stick your toothbrush in a with “NO MESS!!” you could get the “perfect amount of toothpaste on your brush!”  Well fast-forward to the Christmas delivery of said item, and we had toothpaste dripping down our walls, on the shower curtain, on the floor, big hard balls of toothpaste hanging off the device.  We had to finally throw it away and explain to our distraught 3-year-old  about the concept of false advertising.

So I’m upstairs doing “my chores” of “Lysoling” doorknobs, light switches, stuffed animals and anything else my germophobic mind can think of, and my son calls me every two seconds for a drink, a garbage can to barf into, a kleenex, etc.,etc. Then as he starts to feel better he starts calling for other reasons. 


I run down the stairs, “What?”

“Do you have trouble bending down to wash your feet in the shower?” he asked excitedly from his spot on the couch.

“Um…..I guess, ” I answered, not knowing where he was going with this line of questioning.

“You need Easy Feet! It’s like a slipper with brushes in it to scrub your feet without bending over, so your back won’t hurt!”

“Ok thanks.”

A 1/2 hour later…..I come up from the laundry room to find him rummaging around in my pocketbook.

“What are you doing?”

“Looking for something.” he says frantically.

“No – get out of my bag.”

“No..wait Mom!” he says pulling out my Louis Vuitton wallet. “Mom, do you think that if a huge truck ran this over it would be destroyed?”

“Michael,  I think that if a huge truck ran over my wallet, then something is going horribly wrong, but I actually think its pretty thick and durable……I think it might be ok.”

“Ok – well we need to get the “Little Wallet” for Daddy then….its this wallet, and if he drops it and a huge truck runs it over, it’s not even ruined.”

“Ok – we will think about it….”

“No Mom, he really needs it!” he’s pleading with me now.

I stare at him.  Ok, one more game of “Guess Who” never killed anyone.

Linking up with Carri from Adventures in Mommyhood
for Sunday Funday!

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