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Spirit Week Redux


June is hectic.

There’s a lot of baseball happening, coupled with end of the year school ceremonies and shows.  In addition, Mr. Gaga’s work schedule gets crazy in June and also my part-time job picks up as it’s a popular time of year for people who need “bras.”

We are just tired and hot and sick of everything – so I was secretly happy when Michael came home in the last week of MAY! and said that his teacher said there wouldn’t be any more homework.

“Why not?” I inquired.

“I don’t know….there’s a Jewish holiday?” he shrugged.

“What? The last day of school is June 19th..” I said looking at the calendar.


Is there a Jewish holiday that’s 20 days long? This sounds suspiscious….

Could it be that besides being Jewish your teacher is very lazy??”

“Oh well – I guess you won’t have to be stressed about homework during baseball season.” I sighed.

The next day Michael came home from school and ripped open his backpack excitedly to reveal a paper he had received from his teacher.


He proudly put it on the refrigerator talking about how he would be wearing his Mets jersey to “sports day.”

I distractedly looked it over and went on to do something else.

I mean Spirit Week is nothing new.  We all participated in these days growing up so I wasn’t too interested.

This Monday started the week and the kids went off to school with their jerseys on and baseball hats.

They came home with tales of people with all sorts of fancy sports paraphernalia.

That night after dinner and showers, the kids were in their rooms busily preparing outfits for “Crazy clothes day.”  They both picked out mismatched outfits that they planned to wear backwards and Michael found a very funny hat in his closet.  He came out of his room with the outfit on to show me and Sam.

“Very wacky!” I chuckled.

He smiled to reveal the piece de resistance which was a pair of fake rotten teeth.

“Awesome Michael!!” I said, “This is a great outfit!”

Sam was quiet.  I looked over at him and asked what was wrong.  “His outfit is so good and mine is horrible!” he wailed bursting into tears.

Michael and I quickly found another “wacky hat” in the closet and that calmed him down.  Both boys put on their outfits and laughed at each other in the mirror.

It was time to go to bed.

“Wait!” Michael said as he peered at the paper outlining the rules of Spirit Week.

“No hats allowed!”

Screw you PTO!!!

Screw you PTO!!!

Sam threw his hat on the floor and threw himself on his bed in tears again.

“What stupid twat is behind these spirit rules?”  “No worries Sam!!” I said cheerfully while Michael frantically dug in his drawers to find something as exciting and wacky as the hat.

He came up with some shinguards and a headband and glasses that seemed to make Sam happy and the kids went to bed.

The next day they came home and were stressed out about Hawaiian Day.

I knew that neither child had a Hawaiian shirt and so I rummaged through their t-shirt drawers looking for something suitable.

“How about this?”

I held up a “JAWS t-shirt.  “Ugh, Mom – it’s not decade day.”

“I think Hawaiians have to watch out for sharks though…” I said as I pulled out two t-shirts that had surfboards on them. “Hawaiians definitely surf.” I said confidently.

They stared at me skeptically.

I pulled out bathing suits to pair with the t-shirts and Hawaiian leis leftover from Sam’s birthday party.

“Perfect!” I said proudly.

The next afternoon they came storming in.  Sam threw down his backpack with disgust.

“Mom – do you know that all the boys in my class had shirts on today with “Beach trees” and flowers on them?” he asked with exasperation.

“Ok – well since you aren’t Magnum PI- I am sorry that we didn’t have beach tree shirts available.” I answered back.

Does this like the kind of outfit that a 1st grader should have readily available?

Does this like the kind of outfit that a 1st grader should have readily available?

“And…” he continued, “this lei is made out of plastic.” he spat out while he took off his Oriental trading lei that cost 40 cents.

“Yeah…” I answered expectantly.

“Well, me, Michael and one other boy in the whole school had plastic leis!” he yelled.

“What are you talking about?” I asked with confusion.

“Everyone else had REAL leis!” he yelled.

“What’s a real lei look like?” I asked positive that he was very confused.

“They had real Hawaiian necklaces made out of real flowers! And girls had real flowers in their hair too!” he cried.

I stared at him in horror trying to figure out how people got their hands on real Hawaiian leis.

“And grass skirts!” he added.

“Ok Sam! Let’s just concentrate on the next day coming up – what is it?” I asked afraid to look at the evil spirit week flier.

“Oh, it’s decade day!” he said excitedly. “Me and my friends are going to be rappers.”

“Oh ok – from the 80’s- what will you wear?” I asked cheerfully.

He grabbed the ipad and found a picture of LL Cool J and explained that he would need gold chains and a hat.

Michael casually asked what decade the hippies lived in. I answered the 70’s and he matter-of-factly announced he would be a hippie.

This was the fourth night of this stupid ass week and I was at the end of my rope.

I went upstairs and stared at all of my gold chains leftover from the 80’s.  None of them looked like LL COOL J’s.

I thought about if I knew how to make a tie-dyed shirt and would it be ready in time for school tomorrow.

The answer was no.

I couldn’t take this week anymore, I was losing my mind.

I put the kids in the car. A quick trip to the nearest Party City and $40 later and everyone was happy.

The next morning when the kids got ready – I felt confident that there would be no complaints.

Clearly I was the best mother ever.

Their picture is blurred to protect their identity - but please know that there is a leather jacket, two sets of glasses, a peace necklace and a a gold ring and dollar sign necklace involved....

Their picture is blurred to protect their identity – but please know that there is a leather jacket, two sets of glasses, a peace necklace and a gold ring and dollar sign necklace involved….

I casually mentioned how annoying all of this was to my brother.

“Well that’s your fault – Mom would’ve rubbed her cigarette ashes all over my face and told me I was a bum.” he said with disgust.

“A bum? That’s not even a category…..” I answered.

“She would have said “there are bums in all decades and sent me on my way…” he quickly answered.

He was probably right – but like everything else with these children – I was succumbing to this over the top bullshit as a result of what the other parents were doing, creating an environment where my children think it’s normal to have a real fucking lei made out of exotic fresh flowers.

“So….did everyone love your outfits today?” I asked when the boys got home the next day.

“Oh yeah, three people had the exact same outfit as me in my class.” Michael mentioned casually.

“WHAT???” I screeched.  “So everyone is buying costumes at Party City for this?? It’s like Halloween?  No! It’s like a week of Halloween!” I said with disgust.

“What about you Sam?” I asked.

“Well – everyone wanted to wear my gold ring, but there was a kid in my class that wore a full Michael Jackson outfit and he had a red leather jacket and a glove that had sparkles all over it….” he answered with resignation.

I couldn’t wait for this week to be over.

“Ugh – what’s tomorrow?” I asked with disgust as we cleaned up dinner. “I can’t wait for this stupid week to be over, I wish Michael just had spelling homework and I didn’t have to work on full costumes every night like I am the costume designer for a Broadway show.” I complained to Mr. Gaga.

“Why?” he asked lightly.

“Well because apparently gone are the days when you can just wear a backwards shirt and a Mets t-shirt.  This is very intense!” I explained.

“I wish we were Jewish so we could have a 20 day holiday and the kids could just skip school….”

Mr. Gaga rolled his eyes.  “It’s about the kids being excited to go to school.”

“That’s the point of all of this? Are you fucking kidding me?? They stop teaching the children a solid month in advance of the end of the school year and then they think that if they dress up like they are at Woodstock then it will make a difference in their spirits?” I yelled.

Mr. Gaga ignored me as usual.

“Also – tomorrow is pajama day!! Why is it a treat to wear pajamas all day long? It’s slovenly and weird and disgusting.  How could that possibly lift anyone’s spirits?? Only losers that have no job and nothing to live for wear pajamas during the daylight hours??” I was getting very fired up.

Sam and Michael were already upstairs weighing their pajama options and Sam was once again for like the 5th time this week on the verge of tears.

“What now Sam?” I demanded.

“Well it’s just that my friends have pajamas that have different teams like the Giants or Jets on them….”he said quietly while he stared into his pajama drawer.  I picked out a pair of Superman and Mario Brothers and held them up.

“No, Mom those are embarrassing.” he pleaded.

Michael was having the same dilemma in his room.

“Ok well it’s going to be 85 degrees tomorrow, so I don’t know what to tell you.”

“We don’t wear NFL licensed sleepwear during the summer -and I’m not buying you pajamas for this stupid day.” I snipped while pulling out the clothes that they usually wear.

“This is what you should wear tomorrow – because this is what you wear to bed and you shouldn’t be embarrassed about it.” I said tossing the bedclothes on their beds and turned on my heel.

They weren’t happy but they listened to me.

Fuck you pajama day and the horse you rode in on....

Fuck you pajama day and the horse you rode in on….

I don’t know if the kids’ spirits have been lifted or not by all of this hippie and Hawaiian bullshit but all I know is that I can use a break from the pressures of parenting school-age children!!

Onwards and upwards – we are halfway through the 20 day June Hanukkah so that means a mere 10 days left of school!!!

Thanks GOD!!!



Get me the Hell out of Here!

Sometimes I worry that I will run out of stories to tell you.

Lo and behold – Goopville never lets me down.

Last week when I took Sam’s friend to a baseball game for his birthday, we took 7 friends that he chose.  This was considerably less than years past when he would invite 20 kids to a party at our house.  When some of the chosen 7 mentioned how they were excited to go to the game for Sam’s birthday at school, other who were not invited – heard and were disgruntled.

Instead of having manners and some self-respect they let Sam know that they were mad.  They demanded to know why they weren’t invited.

“Just tell them it was my fault,” I said with exasperation when Sam came home on the day of his party distraught. “I’m sorry I’m not taking 20 kids to a baseball game and P.S. you aren’t even friends with those people.”

Monday after the game, Sam came home from school and told me how he had said ‘hello’ to his friend Julian in the hallway.  Julian had responded “Don’t talk to me…I hate you.”

I told Sam that Julian’s behavior was rude and unacceptable and suggested he not bother trying to talk to him any more.

Tuesday, Sam came home and said that despite my suggestion he had taken it upon himself to say “Hi Julian,” yet again to this devil child and the child had responded, “Don’t talk to me – I still hate you.”

I was now starting to get annoyed.  “Well Sam why do you keep trying to talk to this very troubled individual?”

“He’s my friend!” poor innocent Sam replied.

“Well he’s obviously a very angry person and I don’t think you should bother with him anymore….” I said dismissively. “Also -clearly you are not good at one-liners – here let’s do some play-acting.”

I took some time with Sam pretending to be the rude child in the hallway – and made him practice what to say back the next time he said something mean to Sam.


“Great! You are ready!” I assured him.


Sam came home and made no mention of Julian so I thought the drama was over with.

“Did you see Julian today?” I asked while I prepared dinner.

“Oh yeah,” Sam said with tears in his eyes…


“I saw him at recess and I said “Hi Julian,” and he punched me in the stomach.”

I lost it.

I slammed down my knife on the cutting board and stared at Sam.

“And so I hope you kicked him in his junk!” I screeched like a lunatic.

“No! Mom!! I didn’t do anything!! I didn’t want to get into trouble!!” he pleaded.

“I have had it!! YOU DON’T LET MENTALLY UNSTABLE BIRTHDAY-PARTY OBSESSED LOSERS PUNCH YOU! What is wrong with you?? You better punch him in the face next time he pulls this shit – and you better hope your father doesn’t find out about this or he’s going to go to your school and take care of this.” I ran over to the computer.

“I am emailing his mother right now and this is going to stop right away – trust me – or I am going to go to the playground tomorrow during recess and I will give this kid a piece of my mind!”

I may or may not have mentioned a few of my other thoughts about this child....but I can't be sure because I was blind with rage.

I may or may not have mentioned a few of my other thoughts about this child….but I can’t be sure because I was blind with rage.

I dashed off an email to Julian’s mother outlining the events of the past few days and demanding that she speak to her son about his behavior.

Shortly afterwards I noticed she had called my phone and left a message.

In the message she rattled on about how she was sorry that this happened.

She said, ” I’m surprised that this happened!! Julian was so upset about not being included in Sam’s party – so I put up a bounce house in our yard during Sam’s party – to distract him!! I thought that would help – but I guess he’s still upset!!”

She put up a BOUNCE HOUSE!


“Am I on “Candid Camera?!!” I yelled to the kids….

bev on phone

I deleted the bizarre message and assured Sam that Julian wouldn’t bother him any more.


“How was your day?” I asked Sam sweetly when he arrived home.

“Oh good!” he responded positively, “I had to leave my classroom to have a meeting with Julian and the school psychologist, Dr. Smith.

“I’M GOING TO GO INSANE!” I screamed.

Just so you have the proper imagery – please imagine my sweet innocent child meeting with a monster child and the school psychologist.  Picture a woman who can only best be described as Martin Lawrence wearing a cardigan and pleated, elastic-waistband polyester slacks.  Also imagine this person to be very dumb.

Sorry - but I don't feel comfortable with this woman pulling Sam out of class to meet with a child with a behavior problem.

Sorry – but I don’t feel comfortable with this woman pulling Sam out of class to meet with a child with a behavior problem.

“No – mom! It was to talk about why Julian was mad!” Sam tried to convince me.


“Well, Dr. Smith said that Julian knew that punching me in the stomach was wrong – and he feels bad.” Sam said happily.

“Well unless he’s a total moron – I would think that he would know that.” I answered shortly, “And then what happened at this stupid asshole meeting?” I said impatiently.

“MOM!!!” Sam started to get upset, “I shouldn’t have told you!”

“What else happened?!” I demanded.

“Well Dr. Smith said that Julian feels bad but he’s not ready to say sorry yet….Dr. Smith said maybe another day we could meet when he’s ready to apologize.”

I thought my head would explode.


So my sweet innocent child with a bruised abdomen had to be removed from his learning environment to talk with Martin Lawrence in circles about how another child’s bad behavior?

On what planet do I live?

“Is that even legal??” I demanded of Mr. Gaga after firing off an email to Sam’s teacher explaining that he was banned from fruitless interventions with lunatic children and Martin Lawrence, “I mean is it normal that a child doesn’t get in trouble for punching another child over a birthday party?  We have now spent hours talking about this all week!! Hours that we will never get back!!!”

It’s the end of the school year and I just simply don’t have the patience or desire to speak to anymore Goopville parents, administrators or rotten children.

The only good thing that has come of all of this – is that I had yet another stellar story to tell you.

And I know that many of you will ask – “Did that really happen?”

Sadly – yes.



My bra is still wet….

It takes a lot to make a household run smoothly.  It takes a lot of remembering.

Remembering to launder baseball and soccer uniforms so that they are readily available, remember putting money into your child’s folder for a class gift, remember to pick up a birthday gift for your child’s friend, remember to bring your child to said birthday party.

There has been a lot on my plate lately between the children’s activities and my job.  Also, Mr. Gaga has been busy at work – so it’s a real juggling act to get everything and everyone where they need to be.

This week to add fuel to the fire – it was Sam’s birthday.  Historically birthday party planning really sends me,   anyone who crosses my path,  the household into major upheaval.  

But this year I was totally smart and ready.

I booked a party with our local Double A baseball team.  Sam chose 8 friends to bring to the game and all we had to do was arrive at the 3rd base gate at 6 PM and the team would let Sam throw the first pitch.   I ordered food ahead of time and the organization would bring cupcakes to the kids at their seats during the 2nd inning.

I literally almost had nothing to do…

So obviously I prepared a superstar “METS fan” baseball goodie bag…

baseball party goodie bag

Also – I prepared cupcakes for Sam’s baseball team, The Cubs, for Saturday.


One of the children that was on his team and going to his party needed gluten free cupcakes – so I prepared those too.  I carefully set aside one cupcake to bring to the birthday party so that he would have one during the game.

When Friday came – I went to work and ran around and squealed home on two wheels to be ready for the kids to arrive at 5 PM so that we could head to the park with plenty of time for Sam’s first pitch.

By 5:20 one child had not arrived.

We anxiously looked at our phones as we waited for this last straggler….

At 5:30 – we decided to leave.  The kid’s dad finally put-putted into the driveway with no sense of urgency.  I was totally stressed out at this point – and basically shoved the kid into the backseat of the car filled with seven year olds.  I should have known it was going to get wild when “late kid” hopped in the car saying “What’s up Mother-Fudgers!”

I peeled out of my driveway and realized that Sam wasn’t in my vehicle. I rolled down the window as Mr. Gaga was locking the front door and yelled out “Shouldn’t I have Sam with me? So he gets there on time?”

“Just go!” Mr. Gaga called.

I peeled out and sped to the park.  I literally drove at ungodly speeds (sorry for any parents that are reading – I am a very good fast driver) and got to a parking lot that was off the property at about five minutes before six o’clock.

“Should I park here? Will I get to the park at 6?” I asked the parking attendant.

She assured me that if I parked quickly and ran for my life I would get there.  I parked the car in the lot and ran through a field and over a small bridge and found myself near the stadium.

I just assumed Mr. Gaga was right behind me so I parked and screamed at the 5 boys that were with me and made them run as fast as possible towards the building..

As we approached the building we realized we were at the opposite side that we needed to be on.  I needed to meet someone named Steve at the 3rd base gate.

Did I mention it was 90 degrees?.

nb stdium

While normal people were leisurely entering the park – we ran by them at warp speeds, dripping with sweat – desperately trying to make it to the gate on time.

When I arrived Steve was waiting for me.

I stumbled up – dripping with sweat, kids in tow.

“Are you the Gaga party?” he asked.

“Yes.” I managed to spit out while catching my breath.

“Ok – is Sam here?”

I stared blankly at him. I looked at my phone. It was 6:00 on the dot.

“He’s with my husband – they are parking the car.” I answered vaguely.

“Ok – he needs to be here by 6:05 or he can’t do the pitch.”

I called Mr. Gaga immediately. “WHERE ARE YOU?!” I screeched.

“I’m at a light.” he answered casually.

“What the fuck does that mean? Where? What light? I told you that Sam should have been in my car?!!”

“Well – I’m at the light.” he answered.

If I could have reached through the phone and murdered him I would have.

“Ok – they are here – just parking,” I lied to Steve after hanging up on Mr. Gaga.

Two minutes passed as I frantically watched car after car drive into the stadium parking lot.

I called back.

“I’m still at this light – I am stuck behind all these cars.” he answered casually.

It was 6:02.

“Are you at the edge of the parking lot?” I asked impatiently.

“Yeah – I guess.” he answered.


“If I run to the edge of the parking lot and back do you think I will make it back in like 3 minutes?” I asked Steve.

Steve shrugged.

I turned on my heel and ran like the wind.


I ran to the edge of the property and grabbed Sam and his two friends and we ran as fast as we could back towards Steve.

I was truly dripping with sweat….the kids were stumbling and I kept screaming for them to keep up.  People stared at us as we ran by them as we got closer to Steve. When we crashed through the gate my makeup was running down my face and my bra was filled with pools of sweat.

“We are here!” I squeaked as we rounded the corner right into Steve’s space.

He took one look at me and said “Oh jeez…this is……um…bad.”


There was no time for apologies about my appearance – I had to get Sam to the pitcher’s mound!!



The whole group of us tumbled on to the field. Steve was going to argue that only the birthday boy could go onto the field but then he took another look at me


and he just shrugged and let us all on.

I finally breathed a sigh of relief that we had made it and then I gulped when I saw the distance between the pitcher’s mound and the catcher.  Sam was thrilled and he actually threw the ball and it reached homeplate no problem.

As we headed back to our seats I was walking behind Sam and I had a minute to reflect on how old he actually was. For a moment I watched him walk and I felt like he was a teenager – where was my little baby Sam?!


We headed to our seats and happily ate hot dogs and watched the game.  It was the end of the first inning when I realized that the cupcakes would be coming shortly and that in the hurry – I had left the precious gluten-free cupcake in the car.

“You have to go to the car and get the gluten-free cupcake,” I demanded of Mr. Gaga, “I already ran like 5 miles tonight and my bra still has the Pacific Ocean in it.”

I pointed vaguely towards the trees where we had entered into the park – “The car is that way.”

After about twenty minutes I texted Mr. Gaga to see what the hold up was.  The cupcakes arrived for the other children yet there was no sign of Mr. Gaga.


The gluten-free child stared at me expectantly, “Where’s Mr. Gaga with my cupcake?” he asked sweetly.

“I don’t know sweetheart…I ran from my car all the way around the whole stadium and then all the way out to the edge of the parking lot and back in 5 minutes – but it apparently takes Mr. Gaga 30 minutes to pick up one very small gluten free cupcake.”

He stared at me blankly.

Finally after 45 minutes!! Mr. Gaga returned.

“Where’s the cupcake?” I asked trying to remain calm.  “I couldn’t find your car.” he said with disgust as he sank into his stadium seat.


We barely spoke the rest of the night.  Why am I literally!! running around like a maniac to make sure everything is perfect and Mr. Gaga is sabotaging me at every turn?!

I chalked up to him just being a man and he chalked it up to me forgetting the cupcake in the first place.

At the end of the night we dropped of all of the happy children and went home.

I peeled off my sweaty clothes and took a shower and when I went in to kiss Sam goodnight, my heart leaped.

There was my huge, grown-up 8 year-old son.

Holding on to his childhood toy -“bear-y.”


And another great year has flown by……but he’s still my baby.



Am I a Clown? Here to Amuse You?

Sometimes when I blog, I feel as though I am putting my stuff out into the universe and the universe hears me…..

and laughs.

After posting last week about how the PTO at my children’s school can go shit in a hat, I was happy to be able to put the chapter of my life behind me where I help with school activities.

Monday morning I looked at my phone and realized that my new resolve to not help others would have to begin on Tuesday.  I had volunteered to help in Sam’s art class.  Helping in the classroom was definitely different than helping the PTO – but still…

Also – many times I have shown up to help teacher’s that supposedly need help desperately, and they actually don’t need help at all.  After I cut short my time to run errands or do something that I need to so that I can scramble to get to the school, I often find myself standing in the classroom with nothing to do.

I will help kids cut something out or erase something or various other art-related tasks that in the 1980’s we would have completed on our own.  In those days “mothers helping in the classroom” was not invented yet.  Not only did our moms not come to our classroom to help the professional people who were getting paid to teach their children, even when we got home they didn’t help us.

We actually did our work in school and out of school … OURSELVES!

Here, children in the 1980's complete their homework surrounded by TAB and second-hand smoke and zero parental involvement.

Here, children in the 1980’s complete their homework surrounded by TAB and second-hand smoke and zero parental involvement.

I digress.

Monday as I was helping a little boy draw a fish, the little girl next to him said to me in a hushed tone of voice,

“Do you know? I actually don’t think that the Boston Tea Party was a tea party?” she looked up from cutting her fish waiting for my reaction.

“Oh really?” I played along.

“It wasn’t a party…it was a war!” she whispered with wide eyes.

“A wart?!” another little boy interjected.

She continued cutting her fish and looked up calmly.

“Well I do have a wart on the bottom of my foot….it used to be white, but now it’s brown.” she said seriously and quickly changing the topic.

All the kids at the table squealed with laughter and even I chuckled a bit.  I reflected on my vow to never help again and thought it wasn’t sooo bad helping at the art class.

When I got home I was met with an email from a very nice mother that just happened to be a member of the PTO requesting my help at the upcoming school fair.

Because she is a very nice woman and she peppered me with lies such as “I know you work well with children,” I suddenly found myself clicking the link that would allow me to volunteer for this fucking nightmare.

I figured even though I cannot face paint and I don’t enjoy spending time with strange children, it would only be 30 minutes…how bad could it be.

This email is to remind you that you are signed up for the following slot on Fun Fair 2015″:

Wed, 05/20/2015 5:30PM – 6:30PM EDT 

— Face Painting Station

To view the SignUpGenius form, go to:

“Fuck!” I shrieked to Mr. Gaga when this confirmation email popped up.  “This dumb “Sign-up Genius” tricked me into being the school clown for one hour!”

Mr. Gaga laughed with the universe at my demise.

“So now I blog about how I hate helping the PTO and the next thing I know I am a full blown clown.” I sighed.

I had to accept my fate so I prepared mentally to entertain the children.

"What have I done to deserve this?" I asked Mr. Gaga one more time before I left for the fair.

“What have I done to deserve this?” I asked Mr. Gaga one more time before I left for the fair.

When Sam, Michael and I arrived at the fair- I headed to the face painting table assuming I would be met with brushes and easy picture ideas to choose from.

Instead I found this:


I was totally screwed.  I ripped open the package as an angry and bratty mob of children headed my way.

Sam and Michael, sensing a pending disaster, ran for their lives off to the dunk tank, leaving me in the dust.

“I’ll take that.” the first child said bossily pointing to the witch face on the package.

“Yeah  – no…I can’t do that.”

While she pondered what to get a little boy sat in the chair next to me.  “Can I please have a lizard?” he asked sweetly.

“Um…no,” I said with exasperation, “How about a rock? Just like a very small pebble?” I tried to convince him.

He stared back at me blankly.

“A lightning bolt?” I pleaded.  He agreed and I clumsily drew a jagged line down his cheek.

“Ok – I’ll take this,” the bossy girl was back and this time she was pointing to the vampire picture on the box.

“Fine…sit down.” I conceded and did my best to create bloody fangs on her face.

“Okay can you take my picture so I can see it?” she demanded when I finished.

I obeyed.

She stared at the picture serenely and ran away.

Next up, “Can I have a panda?”  a little girl said patiently waiting while I googled “How to draw a panda face.”

The torture never ended.

“I’ll take Batman…” “I’ll have a NY Giants Football”…..”I’ll have dog.”

The vampire girl then returned when I was about half-way through my shift.

“Did you get any better yet??” she demanded.

“Um…no why?” I answered.

“Well I want you to do it again – but better this time….I figured by now you would be better at this.”

“Well I haven’t attended a cinematic makeup school since you left….so no.” I answered shortly, while the line grew behind her. Still she made me give her a “touch-up.”

This is as good as it gets kid...hit the road and don't come back.

This is as good as it gets kid…hit the road and don’t come back.

Next up a mother wandered over with her son.  She gently nudged him into the chair.

“Go ahead Cayden tell her what you would like.” she said in a sing-song voice.

The boy stared at me silently.

“See the pin he’s wearing?” she said proudly.  I looked at his shirt and I saw that he was wearing a huge circle pinned to his shirt – it was clearly a laminated picture that he had drawn.

“That’s a cat that Cayden drew in art!” the mom said excitedly, “And he would like that exact picture on his cheek!”

What the hell?

Are you fucking kidding me?

I scribbled and smudged on his cheek, sweating bullets while the mother peered over my shoulder beaming with pride.

When I finished there was a huge black blob with ears and a tail on this kid’s cheek and I quickly sent him on his way.

“What time is it?” I asked one of the mothers, as the cat-pin mom had sent me over the edge.

“Oh, it’s 6:30.” a mother answered casually while she waited for me to get started on her child’s face.

“Oh – I have to leave – sorry.”

fizbo running

Sometimes it takes me a few tries before I learn….

The universe has spoken.

And I got the message loud and clear.



Why I am not on the PTO

Last year I found myself complaining about my childrens’ school.  We have 11 elementary schools in town – and I kept hearing about all of the great programs and activities offered at other schools.

One school offered a “tough mudder” for kids, another a school play, another exciting field trips funded entirely by the PTO.

“This is fucking bullshit,” I told Mr. Gaga as I put yet another $8 into an envelope so that Sam could go to a park down the road and look at the soil.

Once I inadvertently complained to a PTO member of our school.

“Well,” she answered, sweet as pie…

“You can’t complain if you don’t help..”

The truth of that theory stung a bit.

I guess I couldn’t just go around talking shit about our school and our PTO if I wasn’t bringing anything to the table.

When a friend suggested I help out with a town-wide initiative to get children to eat healthier foods at school, I thought it might be something I could help with.

The purpose of the group was to help with creating a school garden that could ultimately teach children about gardening and utilize the herbs and vegetables at the yearly farmer’s market at the schools.  Also someday – the goal would be to get the vegetables into the salad bars at schools.

Well I love food.…” I thought to myself….

“And I hate fat children….hmmm”

“I’ll help!” I answered enthusiastically to my friend.

I mean how hard could it be? I am very smart – I work well with others  I like helping children  I like children   I can follow basic instructions.

So suddenly before I knew it – I had approximately 5 meetings on my schedule.

Apparently I had to meet with various groups to discuss how to grow a garden and create a good farmer’s market for our school.

The legwork was already done -after sitting through several meetings where people talked in circles and offered unsolicited tales of their gardening experiences, I felt it was time for some action.

I quickly made a few calls.

I secured a local cub scout troop to help build the garden.  I chatted with a few parents that promised to help.  I called some farmers that agreed to help at the farmer’s market.

I asked for money from the town-wide group for a new garden and they enthusiastically agreed.  The school PTO agreed to give money as well.

It all took about 20 minutes total and a little networking.

When I emailed out my progress to the necessary contacts to get the ball rolling for the garden and market – I was met with radio silence.

“That’s nice that you’re helping …it’s just that …we wanted to have some more meetings.”

I know that you want to have another meeting.

But I have fucking shit to do.

I know that these “meetings” where we all politely sip a beverage and look at each other earnestly while the other person speaks seems very important…But guess what?

It’s not.

President Obama doesn’t have this many meetings.

Maybe in the olden times mothers needed to gather around to chat about what they were doing but we don’t need to do this any more to be effective.

There’s social media, email, texting and cellular phone service.

I actually don’t need to speak to anyone face to face to be effective.

But then if you don’t go to 50 meetings and talk in circles……

What will you do??!!!

Zumba and tennis combined only takes up 2 hours!

What will you do???!


I stone-cold single-handedly solved all the problems and we were ready to roll.

But nobody wanted my help!!

I sent several emails to my PTO contact for the farmer’s market and the teacher in charge of the gardens.

I kept checking for their excited replies.


I was almost stalking them.

Then I stopped.

Nobody noticed.

“Well fuck it,” I told a friend that I had enlisted to help.

“They don’t want our help I guess – and quite frankly I am very busy and I am not going to run around begging people to let me help them.”

She agreed.

I told another friend of my plight.

“You have to understand – these women have nothing to do and they want to feel very important and needed….by helping too much you are taking away their thunder.”

“Um – okay – well I am not familiar with people who don’t take help from others – because if it was up to me – I would never do anything again and I would just delegate everything to whatever idiot wanted to do it. I am unaccustomed to this type of creature that wants to do everything themselves.”

“Well – that’s why you don’t join the PTO,” she answered smartly.

Finally – the teacher responded and we had to schedule another MEETING to talk about the garden.

kristin wiig

Went to that meeting.

Got clearer sense of what we needed to do.

Relayed information regarding money and volunteers that I had ready in the wings.

Also – as I side note – we are talking about a VERY small plot of land that will be dedicated to a VERY small garden.

Students in China are finding a cure for cancer - but we are all dicking around trying to figure this out.....

Students in China are finding a cure for cancer – but we are all dicking around trying to figure THIS out…..

Is everyone aware that men and women across America are growing food and flowers by the acre with no problem?

These guys had one meeting this year - and it was just so they could agree to bring 2 hoes to this photo shoot.....

These guys had one meeting this year – and it was just so they could agree to bring 2 hoes to this photo shoot…..

After I spoke to the teacher and promised that I could get the funding and man power to create a garden that would suit the needs of our school…..


And now I have learned an important lesson.

I had to learn the hard way for sure.

Last weekend – at Michael’s baseball game – I was discussing this experience with a working mother who said I was insane to even entertain this idea of helping.

“Well it’s just that sometimes I feel guilty – and once a PTO mom said to me I can’t complain if I don’t help,” I explained rationally.

A very successful suave dad was listening, he interjected into our conversation.

“Of course you can complain!” he said indignantly, “You pay taxes in Goopville – don’t you?”

“Yes I do!” I answered excitedly to this very smart successful man.

“Then you have every right to complain – don’t let those women make you feel bad, they just have nothing else to do.”

My savior!!

He was right.

I am just not cut out for this PTO bullshit.

If I have to be honest….I don’t! really work well with children, I don’t! really work well with bored women, and I fucking hate gardening. I have a hard time finding time to keep up with manicures and pedicures as it is and I don’t need some school dirt patch ruining my nails.

And if children don’t have fresh vegetables at the salad bar then they can eat a fucking lunchable and a doughnut.

Why is this my problem?

It’s not any more.

Sorry Michelle Obama.

Better luck next time.

I am sorry you are fat and eating a lunchable - I tried to help.

I am sorry you are fat and eating a lunchable – I tried to help.

So in closing – if you are looking for me – I am the mom complaining loudly on the sidelines…..



Perfect Mother – The Mother’s Day Edition

I had a great idea for tonight’s blog post – I would offer all of you some mothering pearls of wisdom!  I decided to check in with my children to see what worldly and mothering tips I have given them over the years.

“So like what are some things that you will always remember me saying to you?” I asked hopefully over brunch to the kids.

“Oh I know…” Sam answered matter-of-factly as he ate his pancakes. “When our rooms are dirty you come upstairs and say ‘Clean up this beeping shit.’

I sipped my coffee calmly.  “No Sam – I don’t say that unless things are very bad.”

“Oh – you mean like when we come home from somewhere and you say ‘Did anyone touch your peep?” Michael asked.

“Well – yes I guess – but more like – have I taught you anything?” I asked biting into my eggs benedict.

They both ate their breakfasts silently.

Mr. Gaga apparently had tuned all of us out and was pretending he was somewhere else completely and ate in silence.

Maybe I am just a horrible mother that offers nothing except peep monitoring and yelling about dirty rooms…Oh my God am I a monster?


“Well when we complain about something you always say ‘There are people with no arms and legs.” Michael offered.

“Yes! That’s good!  I do say that and that’s good right?” I answered whole-heartedly – maybe there was hope after all.

“Well Michael – I am always helping you to do well at school and be smart….like what do I say to you that helps?

He shrugged blankly.

I stared at him – waiting patiently.

“Well you just say so much stuff and it’s like annoying- so I don’t really listen…” he answered.


Great- so I do offer pearls of wisdom – but nobody is listening to me!!!!  I knew it.

Sam started to notice that I was becoming depressed by this conversation.

“Mom – I know! You always tell me that I should eat my food because people have no food – and then you tell me not to eat junk because I will be fat.” he said eagerly.

“Ok – yes.” I answered with less enthusiasm.  That was not exactly a sparkling moment of genius.

“What about like what I tell you to be good at sports and life?” I asked with exasperation.

“Oh well – when you ask us if we won an activity – and we tell you that there were no winners – you tell us there’s ALWAYS a winner! And you tell us to always be the best!” Michael said with annoyance.

“Oh yes! That’s great advice!!” I answered – pleased with myself, finally.

“Well Mom, sometimes there’s no winner!” Michael answered back.

“If you think there’s not someone doing the best – you need to pay closer attention.” I persisted.

Is this the only meaningful thing that my children will learn from me????

Is this the only meaningful thing that my children will learn from me????

I gave up and when we got home from brunch I was changing my clothes and feeling sad about what a horrible mother I was.

“Do you think it’s bad that the kids don’t love me or think that I have taught them anything?” I asked Mr. Gaga as I threw on a t-shirt.

“Nope,” he answered robotically.

I got my things together and was heading out to my car.

“Okay – so while I go grocery shopping can you just make sure that you get Michael’s baseball clothes out of the laundry?  I threw all his clothes in at 6:30 AM to be sure they would be clean for his game – and also can you help him get his homework done?”

“Sure.” Mr. Gaga answered disinterestedly as he tinkered with the lawn mower.

I only asked him to do those things because it is in fact Mother’s Day and I thought that gave me the right to ask him to do stuff that I would normally do.  Also, as the luxurious brunch part of my day was over I was officially back on duty to go to the grocery store and clean, etc.

As I drove to the grocery store to buy food for dinner I was thinking about how I could change my parenting style.  I resolved to be more positive.  I should swear less.  I should be more comforting and supportive.

“I will be a good mother and my children will love me and appreciate me,” I thought as I wheeled my grocery cart into the store.

Just then my phone rang.  It was Mr. Gaga.  I had only been gone for twenty minutes – what could he possibly need from me?

“Yeah so – Michael didn’t finish his homework – he had a meltdown…And also he had his ‘eye-black stick’ in his pocket….”

Just so we are clear – the ‘eye-black stick’ is what men wear in baseball to prevent glare…seen here – and also seen on my 8 and 9 year old at their baseball games…you know…because of the “glare.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29:  Left fielder Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals runs off the field against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 2-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 29: Left fielder Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals runs off the field against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 29, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers won 2-0. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

“Oookayyy….” i answered waiting to hear the end of his tale.

“And the eye-black was in the pocket of his baseball pants and then those pants went into the washer and then they went into the dryer….”


“and sooo….all the clothes are black and the washer and dryer have black in them……” he finished softly.


Well that whole ‘I’m not going to swear any more thing’ didn’t last long….

I mean – why do I even buy clothes??


Here’s one example of what I came home to….

Why do I spend every dime I have on clothes for children that are unappreciative?

And why should I not swear about this fucking bullshit?

And why should I feel bad when other mothers judge me for swearing?

It’s fucking mother’s day and I can swear if I want to.

And if you all think I am a bad mother and if Mr. Gaga thinks I am a bad mother – And my own flesh and blood children don’t appreciate me – well perhaps they haven’t noticed all of the wonderful things that I have done.

I have protected their peeps.

I have made sure they eat all of their food.

I have encouraged them to come in first place in everything that they do…

I think that’s pretty dang good mothering.

And if people don’t agree…





Sam becomes one with God and I put crosses everywhere….

Even though I don’t know a thing about Jesus, and am the worst living Catholic, I somehow gave birth to a Jesus-loving guido.  We aren’t quite sure if he was so excited about his first communion because he loves Jesus or because he wanted to try the communion or because he wanted a swig of wine from that filthy wine cup, or because he wanted a gold chain.  But either way way – Sam made his first communion today and it was a very long awaited accomplishment.

I have to bring my children to CCD once a week for years to get to this point.   And most recently I had to attend several meetings to be sure that I understood and could abide by the church rules.

When I went to those meetings, the woman in charge would ask us to recite prayers and hold hands with other parents while we said the “Our Father.”

Diverse Young Adults

But I plugged along.

I know that this religion stuff is an important piece of parenting as an Italian and Irish person.

But it’s a little bit much.

We had to go to a 2 hour retreat last weekend that was centered on making a “placemat” for the alter during communion.

We had to chose out of pages of religious symbols what we wanted to use – we had to cut out and color each symbol that we chose and paste it to a piece of construction paper.

Sam and I did a few and then we  I lost interest.

“Here Sam – do you want to add this magazine to the paper?” I asked quietly.

“Um, Mom – that’s called a BIBLE” Sam said with disgust…

“Oh – well it looks dangerously close to an US Weekly – and in about two seconds I am going to draw Bruce Jenner’s face on it – so just glue it to your paper,” I retorted.

“It actually looks like an US Weekly to me too…” Sam quickly agreed as he pasted it to the “placemat.”

I sat through the mass for his holy sacrament.  I listened to the priest speak of “eating a meal with Jesus,” and eating his body and blood.  I tried to stay serious and pretend that this was totally normal.

I even clapped during the songs and pretended to know the words while this lunatic belted out tunes about Jesus at the top of her lungs.

kristen chenoweth

Next on agenda was to make sure that his party was what it should be – which means many foods and delights in a cross formation at a party.

The antipasto course was a plate of cured meats and cheese in a cross formation…

Blasphemous - maybe. Delicious? YES!

Blasphemous – maybe.
Delicious? YES!

And then of course “Cross” cookies.


Oh yes – and I had the chinese nail artist paint rosary beads on my nails – just in case Jesus doesn’t believe that I am down with all of this.  This should send me to heaven….

rosary nails

Sam received two chains with crosses.  This is a major development in his life.  Tonight he went upstairs to get ready for bed and then came down with his entire face covered with blood.

“What happened?” I asked with horror.

“Well one of my teeth was little wiggly and I just pulled it right out – because my cross made me strong.” he explained.

This cross provides bionic powers....

This cross provides bionic powers….

At the end of the day – Sam is one with God.

He thinks that I am too.

And all is right with the world.




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