Five Things Not to Get us For Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and while there are lots of posts and sites dedicated to helping you find the most fabulously perfect gift for mom; I’m here to tell you what NOT to get us. You see, on this day, there ARE incorrect gifts, and it’s not just about the thought and effort that was put into it!  I sound like an ungrateful female dog, you might be thinking.  Um, hell’s yeah, I do, this is our day, and if you want to make it the special day that Hallmark has decided it is, you will follow this “what not to get guide.”

 

1)      Plants, flowers, or anything that is alive: I have absolutely no idea how and why plants became a traditional Mother’s Day gift, but the person who started this tradition was obviously never responsible for the life of another human being.  I mean, what exactly is the thought process behind this?  Now that we have become mothers we will suddenly take up gardening?  My thumb was black before the kiddies were born and it remains a serious shade of ebony today.  Listen closely, mothers Do. Not. Need. anything else to keep alive.  We already have the responsibility of keeping our little humans flourishing and thriving, that’s enough!  It’s just cruel to expect us to rear anything else.

2)      Brunch!  Have you been to a restaurant with your kids before?  Would you like to inflict that on your wife on her special day?  Thought so…

3)      Breakfast in bed:  Every morning I wake up to one of the kids in my face, poking me and prodding me with a moist (yes, I just used the word moist) little finger.  As sweet as it sounds to make mommy breakfast in bed, we just want to be left alone to sleep as late as we possibly can… like, 8AM would be GREAT!  Now, lunch waiting at the kitchen table that can be enjoyed peacefully while you are out with the kids?  That I can get on board with.

4)      Hand crafted projects:  Ok, now there might be some other moms out there that are all, “Noooooo, I love my kid’s little crafts!!’’ These women clearly have children under the age of two.  It’s pretty much a guarantee that they are already studiously crafting something at their desks for you at school, so that gift has already been covered… in glitter that will make the house a mess!  But honestly, so many craft projects are brought home every week, I just don’t have the organizational skills to keep them all in perfect condition… forever!  Ultimately, the kids just end up getting upset when they notice that mommy has tossed their precious creations in the garbage, thus, effectively ruining the holiday altogether. 

5)      A party… at our house:  While yes, it’s lovely to gather the generations of females in the family together to celebrate our societally dedicated auspicious day, if there is anything that this day excuses me from it’s the preparation that goes into having guests at the house.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to entertain, but it takes a lot, cleaning, shopping, preparing, cooking… A LOT!  So no, it would not be easier to just “have everyone over here!”

 

Now that you understand what not to get us, please, go forth and shop!  No, in all seriousness, this is a Hallmark holiday.  What makes me feel truly special is the love and support that my family shows me every day- that is the real gift. This love is felt in a million little ways all the time; from the dinner that you cooked because my day was just slightly longer than yours, to the kids begging for one more bedtime story just to be in my presence a little longer.  Mother’s Day is just another day that I get to feel this love.

Hi, my name is Laura, and I’m a Mombieolic.

Hi, my name is Laura, and I’m a Mombieolic.

 

Mombieolic noun– a mother who knowingly stays up well past an appropriate bedtime in order to enjoy copious amounts of alone time.

 

Like many moms, I stay up until ungodly hours of the night- or the wee hours of the morning depending on how you want to look at it- despite severe exhaustion.  Yes, well past the time that Jimmy Kimmel has signed off and is already happily in dreamland, no doubt snoring loudly alongside his own wide awake Mombieolic wife; here I am, vice grip on my Netflix remote ready to start my sixth concurrent episode of Game of Thrones.  It vaguely resembles a throwback to my college days when the mere thought of going out for the evening before 11PM was appalling.  Um, except now I’m like 20 years and two children older and I’m not leaving my house to go socialize with friends, I’m sitting here, in complete and total silence.

mombieimage

 

During this phase of the day, my body aches, and my lids are like little lead weights careening together until I forcefully pry them open.  The blood vessels in my eye balls are so raw that I look like I have either just hot boxed my car with Snoop Dog or that I have literally been up for about 19 hours.  It takes all of my effort to lift what feels like a 30 pound ice cream filled spoon into my mouth, but I get it there, damnit!  Why?  Because I’m a classic Mombieolic!  I. Will. Stay. Awake… Despite the fact that my body is begging me for sleep.

 

Why, you may ask, would I willingly treat myself like a prisoner in Guantanamo?   Why won’t I merely just go to bed at a normal hour?  I’ve just had an incredibly long and tiring day and it appears that tomorrow- as I will every day for the foreseeable decade or two; then why not be kind to the body I have and just go to sleep? Simple- Because this is MY TIME!  It’s the only time in the house when there is complete and total peace.

 

I can almost, allllmost, pretend that I’m alone on relaxing beach vacation.  I can close my eyes- but not for too long because then I will most certainly be overcome by sleep- and picture myself on a chaise lounge, the warmth of the tropical air, the sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean, the sight of the well oiled cabana boy bringing me fresh fruit and tropical drinks… Shit- get it together, Laura, and open your eyes before you begin to doze and the drool begins to pool on your pillow!

 

The house is so quiet.  There’s no one calling for “waaaaater” or yelling at each other.  The phone isn’t ringing.  The dog isn’t barking at the neighborhood children as they all play and chatter in the street.  There is no bubble bubble bubble, bubble bubble guppies, playing in stereo throughout the house on three different tv’s.  No, the only noise is the sound of me opening another package of Tate’s extra crispy chocolate chip cookies and the loud, delicious crunch they make as I chew them orgasmically, alone!

 

 

I can watch whatever I want.  No one is asking what I’m watching or if they can watch with me.  No one is grabbing the remote from me with abnormally sweaty little hands.  I don’t have to compromise between sports or Blaze And The Monster Machines.  I can put on the Ross and Rachel breakup episode of Friends, watch it four times in a row, and no one will know or be able to comment sarcastically about how cute and idiotic I am.

 

I can eat the really good secret snacks.  Now, there are snacks that we buy for the kids (that we wouldn’t ever consider even allowing touching our pallets) and snacks that we all nosh on- but what the kids don’t know, is that there are snacks that I buy just. For. Me!!  I remove these snacks from their super secret hiding place and eat them in the wee hours of the night without risk of them being grabbed at, drooled on, licked, or tasted by others. Call me selfish, but these are my snacks.  Mine! Miiiiiiiiine!

 

Sometimes I will go online and shop.  Yes, there is nothing like slowly and methodically browsing for new clothes in the darkness of a sleeping household.  It’s almost as good as if you had one of those personal shoppers who bring the clothes to your home try on and choose at your leisure and your convenience.  Or what I imagine that would be like…  Man isn’t suddenly behind me, grabbing at the mouse, pressing buttons, and thus magically emptying my shopping cart and replacing it with a game of Ninja Star Wars or some shit like that, all in all, effectively ruining my peaceful home shopping experience.

 

So you see; being a Mombieolic is not a choice, I am powerless over my late night alone time.  Like all addictions, every morning I, drag my exhausted, consciously sleep deprived ass out of bed and make a promise this past night was the VERY LAST night and that tonight I will without a doubt get to bed early.  Tonight, I will close my eyes and go to sleep the second that the kids go to bed.  I will give up my alone time and replace it with much needed, healthy sleep habits!

 

Fellow Mombieolics, there will be a Mombieolics Anonymous meeting tonight, in my bed, at 1AM.

Snow Day Survival Guide

The word from the National Weather Service is that some snow is headed our way; just how much, of course, is still under debate. The Numerical Analysis weather model, European model, America’s Next Top Model- it doesn’t matter at all, as we have learned the hard way, they are all crap. At this point, it’s just easier to prepare for the worst, pray for the best, and watch the progression from the safety of our kitchen windows with a hot toddy in our hands and fuzzy slippers on our feet. When all is said and done, we will open our front doors and peek outside warily, attempting to keep the huge pile of snow that has blow up against our door from crashing into the house. We will bend over just enough to stick that good old trusty wooden ruler- you know the one you have managed to keep since elementary school (because why would you ever get rid of a ruler, there are always things that require measuring), into portion of the snow at least five inches from the house- far enough as to not measure the remainder of the snow drift, half of which has already begun to melt on your feet, the other half carried off by small child hands and is aggressively melting on top of one of the many electronic devices you have used to maintain sanity. This will accurately allow you to see how many inches of the fluffy stuff you will spend the remainder of your day removing from any path of access to the street. Rule of thumb, if the ruler disappears altogether, you’re looking at potentially two snow days from school and a hiatal hernia.

snow kids

Mush! Mush!

The biggest fear parents have is how they will entertain their children for hours and possibly days on end without CPS being called. We all know that excessive isolation for an extreme amount of time can cause us to do things that we might normally never consider doing. It’s entirely possible that while you’re emptying the dishwasher for the umpteenth time, because the dishes are never ending when four or more people are stuck inside for days on end, the sound of your children’s endless whining maaaaaaay cause you to suddenly snap. Instead of placing that fork back into its rightful place in the drawer you hurl it across the room. It’s sent flying through the air where it finally lands in one of the kid’s eyes, consequently impaling it and finally just gouging it out of the socket altogether… What? It could happen.

Right -so in order to avoid that you MUST be prepared with the essentials, lucky for you I have some suggestions on how to pass the time.

Basics:
Movies
Alcohol
Art Supplies
Alcohol
Baking Supplies
Alcohol
Lego projects that contain 1000 or more pieces
Hot Chocolate
Oh, this imperative, ALCOHOL
Pediatric Benadryl (this is especially important if you’re against giving the kids, you guessed it, alcohol)
Ingredients for s’mores
Lunch and dinner for at least a week
Food coloring and balloons
Bubble bath
Melatonin
Puzzle books
Flashlights
Xanax
Gloves/scarves/hats/boots
And finally, alcohol
Randoms:
Cotton balls
Band-Aids
Gauze
Boo boo buddies
Bacitracin
Rubbing Alcohol
Ace bandages
An eye patch for each child and at least one for an adult.
Anything else that can be used for first aid when you all go stir crazy and start acting like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. If one of your kids starts to talk to a mysterious imaginary friend named Tony and moaning phrases like “Reeeed Ruuuuuuuum”, it’s obvious that you have failed at shopping for at least one of the items from the “basic” list-namely alcohol. Please note- rubbing alcohol can serve as both an antiseptic and a numbing agent for basic feelings of frustration.

snow day

Make sure to get the neighborhood involved in activities. You’re all in this shit together and attempting to go it alone is highly discouraged. Keep rotating houses, one house does a movie, the next an art project, after that they bake somewhere else and so on, until those days stuck at home begin to fly by.

We’ve been lucky so far this year (or unlucky depending if you’re a believer in climate change- which, if you’re not, I give you permission to “unlike” my page right now) and coming up on the end of January and this will be our first real storm. Brace yourself fellow parents. Good luck and God speed.

 

kids in snow

Snow days are worth it just for the photos alone!

Parenting Is Scarier Than Halloween

The first time you meet my mom, she will undoubtedly disclose my most embarrassing moments within the fist thirty seconds of saying “hello.”  Among her arsenal of mortifying stories from my childhood are two that reflect what an absolute, total coward I am.  The first- when I was three my Dadie (grandpa) took my brother and me to see E.T.; the minute that freakish little alien came onto the screen I began screaming and would not stop until I was carried out of theater.  And the second- two years later- at five, the parent of a friend took me to see Ghostbusters, despite my mother’s protests.  Mom had to sleep in my room, holding my hand, for seven months following this blessed event.

My overwhelming fear of horror movies continues to this day; even now I will cover my eyes when I see a preview for The Ring or The Exorcist, The Exorcist Two,The Exorcist Revival, The Exorcist Lives, or The Exorcism Of Your Neighbor’s Best Friend. (Why do they feel the need to continuously remake this movie?).

Halloween is the “scary holiday”, ghost, goblins, and ghouls; headless horsemen, zombies, vampires, they all come out to play on that night.  But as I have grown and delved deep into the throes of motherhood, I have come to realize that these fictitious characters are far from the scariest things one can encounter.  Freddie, Jason, Carrie, they are all just made up and live in movie land.  You know what’s real, made of flesh and bone and live here on earth- in my house, in fact?  My kids.

Yup, those two little pains in my tuchus, the snot slinging, pee-on-the-floor making, running into the middle of oncoming traffic kids scare me far more than Mike Myers ever can.

Parenting is pretty much the scariest thing EVER.  Here, let me illustrate:

Your interpretation of “gross”, “disgusting”, and “dirty” will be completely redefined.  What was once unconscionable is now a totally acceptable form of clean’ish.

Is she auditioning for The Walking Dead or just enjoying an afternoon snack?  Jury is still out… 

life sucking

Frightening, besides the look of ecstasy on her face, is the fact that this level of foulness only rates a “possibly needs to be bathed” on the filthy scale.

img_0900

This woman and her post pregnancy bragging body picture is pretty alarming.  I’m all for getting into shape; but “mom shaming” is one of the scariest phenomenons of our times and leaves me pretty damn cold.

Oh, my excuse you ask?  I live in the real world, not some alternate “perfect post baby body” Twighlight Zone. (PS- I read an article recently that said she gained 10 pounds… guess the real world caught up with her too.)

Whats-Your-Excuse

Someone produced this kid, that’s pretty fucking bloodcurdling.

brock turner

Rapist, Brock Turner

Don’t tell the cops, but she’s one of those scary clowns that have been coming out of the woods and terrorizing people.

img_0901

Just wait until you find your kid in the oven…

roasting Man… or the dryer…

man in dryer

That moment you notice your daughter has discovered boys…

millie crush

and realizes she really, really, REALLY likes them… Scary is the Amex bill that comes after you’ve built a panic room in
your basement so you can lock her away
until she’s 90.

millie w boy

“I see dead people”

discovering your shadow

 

Watching your first born leave for his first day of school is thrilling, heart breaking, and made me pray for the mental health and well being of all of his future teachers.

first day of school 2   first day of school

“Sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight.  Exit light…” (I shit you not, readers, he is faaaaaaast asleep)

asleep-man

Coming to the realization that you can clean up their messes, but they keep coming back, is shocking.  Finally accepting that your house will be dirty until the kids leave for college… priceless.

destructive man

messyman

Do not feed them after midnight.  Seriously, just DON’T.

garbage for dinner

True fear is putting your kid under anesthesia, or watching them suffer and knowing there is nothing you can do about it.

There are those general moments of parenting that leave you speechless and running for therapy.

Like when your son is convinced he can pump milk for his new baby sister:

watching your kid attempt to pump

Or when you have to explain over and over that the little part inside your daughters vagina is her vulva, not her penis. Yet, she continues to insists that it is indeed her penis and she, like her brother, can urinate standing up.  

lady-pees

Coming to understand that you love your children more than you love anything else in this world, your self, your own parents, your husband… everything, is a feeling that is almost too much for your heart to take. 

img_3847

So, my friends, pop that popcorn and watch a scary movie, decorate that haunted house, wear that gruesome costume, because nothing, NOTHING, is as scary as parenting.

This Question Makes Me Cringe

Picture it:

Sicily, 1942: A young peasant girl goes to the local market to buy food for dinner.

Shit; wait, wrong story.

Picture it:

Suburban New York, 2015: A mother, still in her pajamas in the middle of the afternoon (well, the pants at least). She is going through the supermarket with her two young children, a task she attempts to avoid like episodes of those idiotic Real Housewives. (By the way, why do they call them “real housewives”? That’s about as unreal as a housewife gets, but I’m getting off track.)

All is going well – one kid happy in the front of the cart, one in the back and behavior completely manageable. Then the cart starts to fill up. Suddenly, the one she calls Man is stepping on bags of chips, cartons of eggs, bottles of beer. She places him on her shoulders, only a few items left. “This is totally doable,” she proudly thinks to herself. And for an aisle or two, despite having grabbed one of the carts that had Scurvy, (one wheel turning while the other stays in place) it definitely was. Then, they made their final stop, the fish counter. Man liked to see the lobsters in their tank.

An elderly woman was waiting for her order, “Oh, they look so happy, but are you ok?” she says.
“Oh sure, I’m fine. He’s not too heavy.” The mom replies.

Then she hears it, her most hated question, the one that forces a faux smile on her face while attempting to answer politely through gritted teeth. “Are they twins?”

“No, they’re just close in age.” She answers as nicely as possible.

“Oh, of course, she is clearly older then he is.”, says the old crone, echem, old woman, as she points towards the little girl called Lady sitting happily in the front of the cart.
The haggard, tired, pajama mommy had a choice. She could ignore it, and give a polite “yes,” ooooooor she could make sure this sweet old lady, who, let’s face it, made an innocent mistake, know that “NO, she was NOT older, HE WAS, DAMNIT!!!!!”

It doesn’t really matter how messy mommy answered. It just mattered that everyone had finished crying when she finally stepped away from the fish counter.

For the record they are not twins and the “messy mommy” in the story… well, if you couldn’t figure it out, was me. With my four-and-a-half year old Man a little small and Lady, only 18 months his junior, and a one pound (Lady weighs more!) and two inch difference (but Man is taller!) I can see how one could, initially at a quick glance, believe it’s so. I mean, people ask us so often that my husband and I almost considered attempting to pass them off as such at Disney World; Lady having been legitimately free because she still hadn’t turned three. And then we thought, why would we do that? They are NOT twins. (And, of course, Man would have spoken up and sold us out in a heartbeat.) But really, if you take the time to look at them and then think before you speak (something I actually rarely do, so I get it, this blurting out of questions and statements of enormous inappropriateness) the answer is pretty clear.

Not looking like twins here

Not looking like twins here

It’s also a damn good thing Man was busy watching the lobsters and did not hear the question. Just a few weeks earlier, he almost ripped some random woman a new one, having heard and understood the question for the first time.

“Why do you think we are twins??” He said heatedly as he stomped his foot, “I am not a little girl like my sister!” At this point, he only knows same sex twins, so naturally he did not understand why this person thought he was a girl. He showed her his short hair, his blue and green clothes, and seeing that we were in a locker room and allowed to be naked, he threw in a quick viewing of his junk before storming off to go blow dry his hair. Seriously people, stop asking me – I can’t risk Man dropping his pants in public in an effort to prove he is not a twin.

Nope, still not twin'ish

Nope, still not twin’ish

I take some comfort in listening to people’s responses after they realize they could have possibly offended me. They always start to backtrack and come up with some ridiculous explanations.

“Oh, she’s further away so at this angle they look the same height.” (I actually appreciate this one; it shows an understanding of math that I lack.)

“Oh, they just play so well together!” (This has nothing to do with being twins.)

“Boys grow more slowly then girls. You’ll see, when he is 18 he will shoot up right past her.” (Thanks for the encouragement.)

“She’s just acting so mature for her age that I thought she must be older.” (Really. She just threw herself on the ground because I told her she couldn’t leave the locker room naked. It’s obvious to me we have different definitions of “mature”.)

Let’s just add this to the long list of offensive questions you are never allowed to ask a mom. That, or I can keep giving my evil mom death stare to anyone who asks, while Man provides them with adequate proof and laugh about it later.

Slightly more twin like here, as they get older

Slightly more twin like here, as they get older

Girls… Maybe, We’re Just Born This Way

I recall a conversation I had with another mother while still pregnant with Man.  I already knew that I was having a boy, and she already had both a boy and a girl.  We began discussing which was the more difficult sex, “Girls, girls are much harder, S just sort of goes with the flow, but I can cream cheese A’s bagel wrong and it’s as if I have committed a crime.”  I silently thanked God for giving me a boy.

Flash forward about four and a half years and her statement rings so true that I’m ready to stop buying cream cheese.  Man was challenging in his own way and certainly had his toddler tantrum moments; but Lady, Lady is like nothing I have ever seen before.  Suddenly, she turned two and decided it was time to start losing her shit over nothing and everything.  It’s almost as if it were genetically predisposed; one day I said “no” and she just dropped to the floor, little hands and feet banging, while she screamed at the top of her lungs.  My husband and I just looked at each other and laughed, wasn’t this behavior only seen in movies?

I guess art imitates life, because we’re not really laughing anymore.

She's so fancy

She’s so fancy

Here are just a few things that can send her into tantrum mode:

Man has a toy in his hand.

Man flushed his poopy before she got to see it and give it a proper farewell.

I dried the peach I just washed for her.

She wanted the clip on the other side of her head.

She didn’t want the clip at all.

I wouldn’t let her touch Man’s penis.

I wouldn’t let her put random objects in her vagina (rocks, toys, food, etc.).

She wants the entire jar of vitamins, not just one.

She wants water from a “Cars” cup, not a red one.

I won’t let her dump the bubble mixture out on the kitchen floor.

I won’t let her hit other children.

I make her wear clothes.

She doesn’t want hugs and kisses from Man.

She is in desperate need of hugs and kisses from Man.

I won’t let her eat raw food.

I won’t let her paint the couch with her ice pop.

Her banana broke in half.

I won’t let her put lipstick up her nose.

I won’t let her pee standing up.

Her polka for jammies just won’t do, she needs the flamingo ones.

Her dog pooped on the floor at the vet.

She wants to wear her “pack pack” (back pack) but it’s too heavy because she insisted on packing six outfit changes for camp.

I won’t let her pee on the kitchen floor, carpet, my bed, Man’s bed…

She’s not allowed in the Gorilla enclosure at the zoo.

She’s ready to leave for camp but it’s only 6AM.

No one is coming over and she has to play with me all afternoon.

The dog won’t lick her.

I tried to help her.

She wants to eat dinner off of the floor and I insisted that she sit at the table.

She’s not allowed to “dot dot” her naked body.

She’s not allowed to take her friends clothes off.

The oven is on.

She disagrees, it is not nap time and she is not tired.

"I NOT TIRED!"

“I NOT TIRED!”

Does this stage end?  Will she once again be the obedient little angel she used to be?  God, I hope so, if not I’m going to have to stock up on wine and ear plugs!!

What throws your daughter into a frenzy?

Dear Disney Executives

Dear Mr. Robert Iger, Disney CEO:

I LOVE Disney World.  In fact, I love everything about Disney.  I truly believe the Magic Kingdom is the happiest place on earth.  I have fond memories of my visits, from childhood well into adulthood.  I took a bachelorette weekend getaway with my best friend and proudly wore the Minnie ears with the veil the entire time.   I long for the day when I can take my kids and begin to share the magical experience with the as well.  To see the look on their faces when they walk down Main Street USA for the first time will overwhelm me with delight.  I will likely cry from happiness, and tears will be streaming down my face in that first monumental family photo in front of the castle.

We often watch your movies and television shows.  I dutifully buy your DVD’s and with childlike excitement the kids and I put them in the DVD player to enjoy with some popcorn.  And that, Mr. Iger, is where the enjoyment ends.  Immediately I am asked to choose “fast play” or “main menu”.  It doesn’t matter which choice I make – they both lead me to the same place: a ridiculously excessive amount of advertisements and previews.

I get frustrated.

Meanwhile, my children see the television screen come to life and start yelling, “Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse!!”  Then they see the first preview.

“This isn’t Mickey!” the three-and-a-half-year old yells.

“Micka Moss???” chimes in the two year old.

I explain that I am trying to fast forward through this part and get to Mickey; Disney, however, seems to have put a block on my ability to do so.  That little red circle with the line through it appears in the corner of my screen and I cringe.

I frantically press the button. My toddlers – all toddlers – have little patience.  They were promised Mickey and they want him now.  Right now!  Immediately!  I start to sweat, “When will this Lion King preview just END?” I mumble under my breath.

“Lion King, I don’t want the Lion King!!”  The older one begins to panic.

The two-year-old begins to cry from the scene of frustration unfolding in front of her.

“Mickey, Mickey, MICKEY!!!!” I now have two children that are beside themselves because ten minutes ago I promised them Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and they are still watching a commercial for the goddamn Disney Channel.  My parental need to pop in a video and quiet my children down so I can get some work done around the house has been less than satisfied.  Instead, I am now left reassuring disappointed children that Mickey is sure to be here any minute, or hour, while simultaneously attempting to continue the fast forwarding process.  When the show finally comes on I need a break myself, chores are now the last thing on my mind.

This does not make me want to continue to buy your DVD’s.  In fact, I flinch every time my son asks to watch Fantasia.  I understand that this marketing strategy is a popular one, but you are marketing to parents with small, impatient children – please find a faster, more efficient way.

Thank You,

Man Vs Mommy