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Big Fish in a Kiddie Pool

As a mother I find myself continually walking a fine line between “Tiger Mom” and fat lazy American mom.

On the one hand I grew up in the 1980’s and reminisce fondly of my childhood years where there was little to no parent interaction and we would play outside all day, enjoying life without being shuffled around from activity to activity. Other times I am swayed by the mothers of Goopville that live in their SUV’s driving their children from sport to sport, music lesson to karate and wonder if I am shoving enough down their throats doing enough.

This week I wavered back and forth quite a bit.

Over the weekend, Michael had baseball tryouts. Because he is young for his grade he misses the cut-off for moving into the league for nine and ten-year-olds. Instead of staying behind with seven and eight year olds he wanted to try out to move up with some friends from last year’s team.

I have mentioned before how Mr. Gaga is quick to dismiss the children’s athletic abilities. The stress leading up to the try-outs was intense. Thank God I was working and did not have to witness the actual try-outs because Mr. Gaga said it was agonizing. They waited and watched each kid get up and field balls, catch pop-ups and hit. He said Michael’s face was bloodless and zombie-like as he waited anxiously for his turn.

A table of washed up dads that are living vicariously through their children  men took notes while staring down boys showing off their baseball moves.  They didn’t crack a smile once as they dismissed each child and called up the next.

When it was Michael’s turn, Mr. Gaga said he did ok, but we would have to wait until Wednesday to find out the results.



For some reason I picture the tryouts being pretty much like this except instead of a crazy jump with a somersault he was catching ground balls....

For some reason I picture the tryouts being pretty much like this except instead of a crazy jumps and somersaults he was catching ground balls….and he wasn’t wearing a leotard.


We found out mid-week that he made the team which was great news, but then I was bloodless and zombie-like.  I started to worry that we made a bad decision to let him try out.

“Maybe I should have let him stay with the younger kids so he could be the star of the team,” I said to Mr. Gaga.   “I always push him and every other mother holds their kids back so they can be superstars… he is going to have to keep up with ten-year-olds!!” I said wringing my hands.

“It will be fine.” Mr. Gaga answered dismissively.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, we had conference week to contend with.  I was determined to find out if Michael was stupid or smart.

His teacher showed me some of what he has been working on. The minute she started to speak about math and scores I lost interest and couldn’t understand what she was saying.  As she rambled on about “math facts” and “common core” I blacked out and started to think about what I would make for dinner.  When the endless ramblings wouldn’t end, I cut her short and said, “Let’s pretend it’s the 1980’s.  Would he be in the smart class or not?”

She stared back at me blankly and didn’t even smile.  I then realized she probably doesn’t even know about the 1980’s.  She was probably born in 1990!!!

She showed me some test scores that indicated that he was reading and drawing groups of bananas doing math at an above average level.  This was the most information I got out of a teacher in years!!

Sam’s was the usual meeting about how wonderful and amazing he his.  When I mentioned that he gets extremely frustrated with the common core math problems, she wasn’t surprised.

“Well do you write out the answers for him?” she asked.

“NO! I would never!” I defended myself from this horrific accusation.

“Okay, well you can if you would like,” she answered sweetly, ” a lot of parents do that part of the homework for their kids.”

“Well, not this one!” I exclaimed. “I already completed the first grade, this is not my problem!” I exclaimed defiantly.

“Okay,” she answered calmly.  “But did Sam ever ask you to do it for him?”

“Um no – because he knows better.  He knows that I would laugh in his face.”

“Ok…..well if you ever change your mind…” she drifted off.


Now the teachers are telling us to do the kids common core homework because it is too hard?!!

The teacher is telling me that many parents are actually writing out the homework answers when their kids are perfectly capable of writing!!


I was pretty sure at this point – this guy was watching from the hallway….



Meanwhile, on top of all of this achievement we have started the dreaded swimming lesson season.  I have told stories in the past about how furious I become during these lessons.  How my children flail about year after year, excuse themselves from their swimming lessons to go poop and how they never seem to progress despite years of lessons.

As a result, when we began lessons a couple months ago they were placed at the same level that they have been for years, while other children have swum and gone.

On the first day, Michael and Sam hopped in the water waiting for their class to begin.  The instructor asked where my children were.

“They are right there in the pool waiting for their “clownfish toddler swim program”….why?”



The teachers were even visibly shocked this session as it was noticably absurd to have thirty five year olds in such a low level swim class. Michael especially towered over the other children.

I warned him that he better not go to the bathroom once and that he better advance this year or there would be hell to pay.

Like the years before spent behind the glass watching my pathetic swimmers….I was disgusted.  Watching my huge children flail about in the water with 5 year olds was painful.

When I saw Michael actually carrying one of his fellow swimmers I had enough.....

When I saw Michael actually carrying one of his fellow swimmers I had enough…..


I stormed into talk to the instructor after the lesson was over.

“Um – can he advance to the next level? He’s like 45 years old – and it seems absurd…” I said briskly.

“Yes – we definitely want to work with him so he can move forward,” the instructor said kindly.  “Now maybe have you considered when this program is over – taking lessons at the School of Swimming or the YMCA?” she said carefully because she clearly thought she was dealing with an idiot.

“Yes!” I said cheerfully.  “We have participated in both of those programs as well as two others, swimming lessons for three years at the beach and your program for three seasons!!”

My tone changed then, “I am into these two for thousands of dollars in swimming lessons,” I said pointing to my two children that were wrapped up in their towels laughing and fooling around, oblivious about what losers they were.

“I am NOT signing up for any other programs. I am signed up here and you will teach him to swim!” I shrieked.

Last week in the midst of waiting to find out if Michael was an idiot at his conference and if he made the baseball team – the swimming teacher confirmed that he in fact has made progress and will likely pass onto the next level of swimming this week!!

It is a swimming miracle sent from Jesus.

In the end of all of this stress, it turns out that Michael is smart, can swim and made the baseball team.

I don’t know how those Tiger moms do it….I am just not cut out for all of this over-achievement.









Tom Hanks was wrong…

There is crying in baseball. 

A lot of crying.

There is also playdate crying, LEGO crying, swim crying, bike riding crying….it’s endless.

That’s all these whinge-bag boys do around here is cry.

Growing up I remember once playing with the kids on my street, and my brother was getting pushed around by one of the older boys (today we would say he was “being bullied.”) One day, my brother couldn’t take it anymore and he started crying while doing a crazy windmill like motion with his arms towards the bully.

I don’t remember how it ended, but the only thing I remember is the crazy windmill move (it was weird and kind of funny) and the crying (it was rare.)

Today little boys cry with reckless abandon.  They don’t gives two shits.  They just cry and cry. 

They don’t care who sees them.  

They don’t care if people think they are cry-babies or sissies.

I think little boys should cry if they have a valid reason, as they are young children and clearly shouldn’t have to hide their emotions because they are boys.

Valid reasons include: injuries, legitimate fears or concerns, hurt feelings by a friend, etc.

Invalid reasons would be I don’t know……not liking swimming lessons or getting a strike at baseball.

We started a new swim school a couple of weeks ago.  My thinking was last time I spent $400.00 and Sam cried every single day, and perhaps if we tried a more low-key program for half the price we would have better results (emotionally, anyways – I have pretty much given up on the swimming part.)

The kids were in separate classes so upon arrival, Michael headed off to the deeper end of the pool and Sam stayed in the shallow end with a younger group. 

Michael is a much better swimmer than Sam, with 18 months and an extra year of swimming lessons on him, so I was most concerned with Sam’s abilities on the first day. 

I breathed a sigh of relief when Sam waved at me with a huge smile and jumped into the pool.  I sat down to relax a bit in front of the viewing window.

But wait, why was Michael being escorted by his teen swimming coach towards the viewing window in tears?

I stood up to greet him and the college girl at the door.

“What’s the problem Michael?”

“I’m sinking!!! I am going to sink!” he cried in hysterics.

I looked at the teacher expectantly – who was frankly doing nothing to help the situation.

“Is he sinking?” I asked.

“No – he just needs to calm down…..” she said hesitantly.

“He can swim, he must just be nervous.” I assured her.  I looked down at Michael and spoke in my famous “fake nice mommy voice.”

“You can swim, your teacher won’t let you sink – you are just rusty, now go to your lesson.”

5 minutes later they were back.

“What now?” I asked impatiently as I whipped open the door.

“He has to use the bathroom.” the teacher explained.

“No you don’t – now stop it and finish your lesson,” I said to Michael between gritted teeth.

“Yes – I really have to go!” he said wiggling around.

I grabbed his arm so hard it almost came out of the socket and dragged him to the door to the boys bathroom.

“Get inside and go to the bathroom and hurry up.  You better be out here in one minute.” I yelled at him.

I stood waiting outside the door with smoke pouring out of my ears.

Tick. Tock.

A couple of minutes went by.  I opened the door and called inside, “Michael what is the hold-up?” 

No answer.

“Michael – so help me God – you better hurry up and get out here or you will be punished for a month.” I screamed like a lunatic with no regard for young men walking by me and witnessing my insanity.

No answer.

“MICHAEL!!!” I screeched.

“What????” he answered.

“Hurry up!!!!!”

“I’m pooping.” he called back.

I actually looked around for something I could smash into a million pieces, but couldn’t find anything, so had to resort to more inappropriate screaming.

“Michael – you better hurry up – this is not an appropriate time to poop!!!!” I screamed.

He finally moseyed out in tears again about sinking.

I dragged him by the arm over to the teacher. She was in for it too.

“Oookaaayyy, he is no longer allowed to speak to me during swimming lessons.”

“Well if he says he needs to use the bathroom we are obligated to bring him.” she answered curtly.

“Well he just took a huge shit for twenty minutes so he’s good.  Do you think he can like learn to swim or something?” I answered shortly and turned on my heel.

Needless to say his pooping and crying landed him in Sam’s class.  He got demoted.

At least he doesn’t cry anymore.

And at least I have straight vodka to drink when I get home from these little activities.

And thank you Jesus for giving me a job that requires me to work a lot on weekends.  Because of this I have missed a lot of Michael’s baseball season.

I was recently able to catch a full game.

Let’s just say it is very lucky that it is MR. and not MRS. Gaga that is the coach of this team of fat and lazy children.

Many of these losers can be frequently found laying down or “looking for mushrooms” in the outfield actually during the game!!!!

You are probably asking “what do their parents say?”


Their parents say nothing!!

Their parents are very busy on the sidelines on their Blackberries and Iphones playing “Words with Friends” and updating their Facebook status to read “At Ethan’s baseball game!! We are so proud of him!!

The thought wouldn’t cross their minds to actually look up and WATCH THE GAME and NOTICE THEIR WRETCHED CHILD’S INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR!

The moms who are off in the shade watching the game quietly – are the ones who kids are actually good.

The parents who show up in Vineyard Vines attire and a huge Tommy Bahama beach chair with a matching sun umbrella are the ones to watch out for.

This dad of one of the players, put his iPhone in his pocket for a minute, looked up and realized that his son was in the outfield picking flowers and had also shit his pants, so he quickly got back on his phone again……

Those moms in the Lily Pulitzer attire at the game are the ones who will say “Oh we are so busy with Hunter! He has tennis and golf on Mondays and Tuesdays, karate on Wednesdays and baseball on Thursdays and Saturdays!!”

I am quite tempted to say “Oh really – is that Hunter? The fat kid who just ran from 3rd base to 2nd? The one Mr. Gaga told me pooped in his pants during the last game?” That’s super that he plays 3 sports!! You must be the best mother in the whole town!!!!

These kids not only shit their pants, and look for mushrooms instead of catching the ball.  They are known for crying when they get tagged out and crying when they don’t get a hit.  They also will refuse to leave the field when they are clearly out, because they DON’T WANT TO, and if they do leave the field against their wishes, they will take their batting helmet and smash it as hard as they can (which isn’t very hard because they are pathetic, doughy wusses) against the fence or onto the ground.

To add insult to injury – at the end of this horrorfest – the score?

It’s a tie.

Every game.

No matter what.


“If you had fun….you won.”

Can you believe this horse shit?






At some point these children in America are going to have to experience a loss, to understand what it is to be defeated, to possibly be inspired to do better or to stop looking for mushrooms, so that they can WIN!!!

Because in real life when you spend your entire lesson time or game time taking a shit and crying – guess what?


I think fellow mom blogger Momma Kiss said it best when she was shocked to find that most parents wouldn’t let their 7-year-olds play dodgeball because it was “too rough.” She wrote:

“I mean really – the pussification of boys these days.”

Enough said.

If you like this loving blog post about how I scream at my children and call other children fat losers, then please share on Facebook!!  ALSO -ANY LIKES ON FACEBOOK WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!! XOXOXO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA

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.

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Reposted for Adventures in Mommyhood

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