Driving Miss Baby

Stella Sleepy Car Seat - for post

You know what is super deadly? Driving a car with a kid in the back seat. One asks themselves why mothers take solace in wine after birthing our beauties and that’s a loaded question. What I will tell you is that if you’ve ever put a baby, toddler, preschooler in a car, you have risked everyone’s life who was riding with you and/or around you.

I remember fearing for my life the first time I drove alone in the car with my newborn in the back. What if she got hungry and started to scream? What would I do? What if she pooped or felt alone or God forbid, I came to a stop and the lack of movement threw her into a tizzy? The first time I attempted the solo car ride, I pulled over and fed her 3 minutes in. She cried and I couldn’t stop looking back. I was literally hell on wheels. It continued this way for the next 17 months. She hated the car, the car seat and everything that went with it. Everywhere I attempted to go, I was accompanied by shrills of discontent. I remember times when I would be half out of my seat, bent over backwards, shaking a toy in front of her while blasting down the freeway at 65 mph. Texting while putting on lip gloss, sipping on gin and juice with a car full of rabid hawks is safer than driving with a small child.

Taking a nap while ferociously responding to an email after a swarm of angry bees makes its way into your car is safer than driving with a small child.

Using your foot to steer while you search for a nail file that fell on the floor of the passenger’s side while your two uncaged cats have at it is safer than driving with a small child.

Huffing paint while your friend pushes on the gas pedal from the backseat while you tease your bangs with your free hand is safer than driving with a small child.

Once, we were coming back home just around dark and she started crying to a point of worry. I was doing the old, “Sshhh, sshhh, sshhhh” routine but her screams didn’t subside. I kept telling her in the softest voice, “You’re upset. It’s ok. We’ll be home soon.” When we finally did get home, I opened the back door of the car to find my hysterical six month old’s face covered in a bloody mess! I gasped and started to bawl myself.  I grabbed her like she was the last Cabbage Patch Doll on the shelf of a Toys R Us on Christmas Eve in 1985. I took her in the house, laid her on the bed and began to clean up the American Horror Story that was her mug, only to discover the tiniest little scratch above her eye. MFK (mother f#@&*ing kid) had worked herself into such an upheaval of emotions about being strapped into the baby saver that she scratched her face, causing herself to bleed like a victim on Dexter. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Later, it turned into, “Snack, pwease”. I started to dispense snacks like a machine in the lobby of a Grateful Dead concert. Then began the, “I’m hot. I’m cold. I’m tired. I’m bored. I don’t want this show, I want another show. I want to hear ‘Somebody I used to Know’ (for the 15th time in a row). I felt (feel) like a one woman circus, trying to keep my one-child audience from staging a violent coup against the ruling authority purely out of fleeting dissatisfaction. I realize this is my own doing. When I was a kid, I had no snacks in the car. Hell, I used to sit in the back of a wood-paneled station wagon, facing traffic, with no seat belt on, throwing my father’s company-branded pencils out of the back window at oncoming drivers. My entertainment was annoying my siblings while littering and putting oncoming traffic into danger and I can assure you, my parents did not have a travel potty on hand for my relief at any time. If I had to pee to the point of not being able to hold it, I peed next to the car, on the side of the road, while my other 5 siblings sighed in annoyance. We played car games, which I do from time to time but if I can be frank, I just want to be left alone while driving and she’s really not good at “I Spy with my Little Eye”, honestly, she’s terrible at it.

In summary, if you spot a car with a car seat in the back, avoid it like the Herp. No one is safe. Being a DJ, a vending machine, a story teller, a game show host, a movie provider and most of all, a one-woman circus, does not provide for quick thinking and rapid reflexes. It’s actually a recipe for disaster. No wonder in Sweden they keep their kids facing backwards until age four. The Swedes know how damn dangerous it is to drive with kids. They’re pretty progressive people, if I may say so myself.

 

I Hate Sand

sandy as shit

I have fond memories of going to the beach. As a child, I loved taking trips to Robert Moses Beach with my sister and cousins. All five of us kids piled into the backseat of the 1981, red Chevy station wagon along with towels, chairs (for mom’s use only), and food (one of us would inevitably put a foot into a pan of baked beans and smear it all over the “way back” where a secret baked bean eating party would ensue for fear of telling the grown ups that 2  54oz cans of Grandma Brown’s were ALL over everything).  Arriving at the beach was always so exciting – smelling the sea air, feeling the warm breeze, lugging a heavy beach bag a mile through the enormous and sweltering parking lot before even getting down to the shore.

BUT, once we got down to the sand…we went apeshit. Building giant sand castles, digging holes to China, burying each other up to our necks, running a make-believe fast-food restaurant serving only sand meatball sandwiches. I remember my swimsuit being filled to the brim with sand, the outer fabric and the inner lining trapping a load of sand in between, making it difficult to distinguish if I had pooped in my pants or if it was just a giant lump of sand in my crotch. My hair would be whipped up into a snarled, salty mess and my scalp would be coated in a fine layer of silt. It brought me great joy to get popsicles at the beach (bomb-pops, to be exact) – eating them as fast as we could before they melted away. This always meant eating quite a bit of sand along the way but that never stopped any of us – even if the popsicle was dropped directly on to the beach this was, in no way, a deterrent. Nothing a public water fountain (gasp) couldn’t wash off.  None of this sand business bothered me. Not one bit.

Flash forward 30 years.

I hate sand.

I hate it on a level that is on par with things like the whole family getting the stomach flu on the same day or biting your tongue super hard. I f*@king hate it. Living near the beach has provided me with plenty of experiences with these dreaded granules and I feel justified in saying that if the beach were made from something else, like moss, or even something like shards of glass, I would be much, MUCH happier. Sand finds its sneaky little way into EVERY SINGLE THING that it gets near. It comes home with you, uninvited, and finds its way into every part of your life. At home, I find myself swiffering the floor constantly – it’s like I am in a never-ending race and always losing. It also seems as though sand quadruples when it hits the floor – what may start as sand stuck to the bottom of a shoe actually turns out feeling like a dump truck backed up to our front door and emptied fifty tons of sand into the living room. I feel so defeated every time I am doing something like folding laundry and find a little inside-out sock and as I am right-siding it, a small beach pours from the sock and on to the floor. Thank you, playground.

Yesterday, we went to the beach and upon leaving, I vigilantly employed all of my sand removal tactics before getting into the car (emptying our beach bag, shaking out towels, changing out of sandy swimsuits, washing feet, using baby powder…the whole routine). We traveled the 2 short miles home with minimal sand, in my opinion, and headed straight to take a proper shower and wash towels. After all of the rigmarole with the sand removal, I climbed into bed last night, exhausted, only to find that my sheets felt like a beach towel that had been sprayed with Hawaiian Tropic Oil and dragged 2 miles down the beach. It was almost like my sheets were MADE from sand. How the FUCK was this possible? Nobody entered the bedroom or even so much as looked at the bed before showering. Not a soul took off their wet, sandy swimsuit and flung it onto the bed. A sneaky 4 year old did not rip off her clothes like a wild woman and decide to jump on the bed gleefully with shake-n-bake style sandy feet. Angrily, I laid there wracking my brain as to how this could have happened and came up with nothing. Zero! I very briefly considered getting up and changing the sheets, but that would involve two other extremely unsavory things…

  1. Waking up my four year old (who we co-sleep with – that is a topic within itself).
  1. Putting on a fitted sheet at 11:30pm (fitted sheets are neck in neck with sand on the list of things that I loathe and are also a topic within themselves).

Both of those options were terrible enough to endure a night of sleeping in a sandbox. Needless to say, I slept horribly all night. I woke countless times cringing every time my toes snagged along the dry, gritty sheets. Every move caused a miniature abrasion on my body. The night was one of the longest in history. My husband woke up this morning and said “I had sand UNDER my pillow last night.” I know, me too, and your guess is as good as mine as to how it got there.

If you are wondering what my guess is….it would be the little lady in the photo. My sweet, sandy girl. Her joy in being buried in the sand makes me (kind of) tolerate the sandbox that I usually sleep in and has made me realize that swiffering the floor is actually a form of exercise. As parents, don’t we all just want them to share in the joys that we had as kids and someday become storytellers with tales of sweet memories from when they were small? That being said, I just hope she realizes the evil that is sand sooner rather than later.

Brian Dearest

Photo courtesy of Rustic White Photography

Welcome back, Dearests!

For your next dose of Mommy Dearest Inc, we’re introducing our featured category, “Ask the Experts,” where we seek parenting advice from some of our wisest and most accomplished friends. So what if none of them have kids of their own (yet)? We all know by now that anyone with a child has likely lost their mind and any ability to give sound advice, so we’re seeking guidance from the sane ones – the childless.

Photo courtesy of Rustic White Photography
Photo courtesy of Rustic White Photography

Without further ado, please enjoy the expert advice of none other than Mr. Brian Patrick Flynn. In addition to having the perfect three word name and being ridiculously handsome (the proof is in the picture), Brian is also an Atlanta-based Interior Designer/Production Designer/Set Decorator extraordinaire! Seriously, everything this guy touches instantly becomes 1000 times more beautiful and stylish. And, it turns out, Brian also knows a thing or two about proper child-rearing.

Happy reading!

Question #1 – 

Dear Brian,

My four year old daughter has recently decided that she won’t eat anything red. You can just add that to the list of other things she won’t eat…meat, anything hot, sandwiches, things that are “flappy” (your guess is as good as mine), beans, mac and cheese, bread or anything that has visible spices in it. I need to prepare meals for the family and school lunches and I am at a loss. Any tips on how to get her to pick less and eat more? 

Sincerely, 

Theresa

Dear Theresa,

Short and sweet: your daughter may be a pint-sized liar and/or thief. This may sound harsh, but here’s my reasoning. She’s using color, texture, shape and sheen (four essential elements to a well-layered interior) to steal your happiness and your valuable time. How does she know what she doesn’t like? She can’t even spell her own name or pay for her own smart phone apps. Now, I’m no expert on children (yet), but it’s probably best to stick your attention seeker (aka DAUGHTER) into a very sparsely furnished room with absolutely no color, soft underfoot surfaces or physical elements with character, and serve her a bowl of air and a glass of make believe oxygen astronaut juice. Once she’s robbed of all texture, color, shape and sheen, SHE WILL EAT HOT MEAT-FILLED FLAPPY SANDWICHES AND WASH ‘EM DOWN WITH A BEAN, MAC AND CHEESE, BREAD ROLL AND CURRY SMOOTHIE AND LEARN TO LIKE ‘EM. Trust me, deprive her of almost everything and soon she’ll come around and stop being a flappy-hater.

Question #2 – 

Dear Brian, 

My four year old daughter keeps asking me if she is going to die. She cries quite a bit when we talk about it, and death in general scares her. It’s quite a lot for a four year old to grasp and I am not sure how to go about having a healthy discussion about it. Can you give me some suggestions on how to broach the subject?

Yours Truly,

The Grim Reaper 

‘Sup GrimReepz,

First up: the reality of human existence on planet earth proves that somewhere around the 100 year mark, she is going to expire. Just like the family’s pet goldfish or flying squirrel, the flowers in your vases and the engines in the automobiles you drive the family around in. It’s a fact of life Reepz: we are born, we decorate our houses so that our children and pets can destroy them, and then we bite the big one after spending $300K per child and $12K in vet bills per pet.

I do have a solution to help tone down her obsession: You need to wallpaper your hallway so she can appreciate life more and forget about all things morbid. Trust me, some bright color and a medium repeat pattern will keep her from feeling like she’s in purgatory thus leading to such dark-sad thoughts. Perhaps a large scale botanical in shades of celery green, grey and robin’s egg blue or even a classic hexagon in the hot pink and turquoise color way. Now, get that kid out into the sunshine and play her some Björk, dammit!

Question #3 – 

My son LOVES to take a “nature pee.” Which would be fine if we were actually in nature when this happens. More often than not though, this happens on the playground, on a walk with our dog, or just generally anytime he’s outdoors – including our backyard, where there happens to be a perfectly good toilet right inside. While I admit it is much easier at times to let him drop trou and pee on a tree rather than braving disgusting public restrooms, I worry that he will grow up to be one of those douche bags who pees on buildings for fun and then ultimately blames me for his behavior when he’s being taken to the local police precinct. Should I put a stop to the public pee now or wait and see how things shake out? (pun intended)

Yours in Urine, 

Kelly 

Meh. Your son is going to be a massively successful person and just fine and let me tell you why: He doesn’t give a #%@$. And what I mean by this is sometimes he just really HAS to go; it’s part of being a living human being. And, instead of wasting time finding the nearest bathroom, he just gets all super efficiency-based and goes right then and there. He can use the time saved to learn HTML or jet propulsion physics or how to sew. One word: LEADER. Now, let’s avoid lawsuits by making sure no one who actually cares is around when he decides to empty some of the tank, and perhaps have him bring a stylish tapestry with him everywhere he goes to put up as a privacy screen. I think a wide neutral stripe would be fantastic as would a modern camo, maybe in taupes, pumpkin tones and olive greens for a little autumnal flair.

As far as avoiding him becoming a D.B., just make him wear those trashy skull-and-crossbones t-shirts every single day and force him to talk about super basic stuff like football statistics, brands of guitars and use the term MAN CAVE to describe boring things like nail polish organization, shopping for rice or dropping off dry-cleaning. That way, when he’s an adult he will be programmed to NEVER WANT A MAN CAVE.

Words to live by if you ask us! To check out more of Brian’s work, visit his incredibly inspiring website, http://flynnsideout.com/. We’re warning you though, as soon as you see what this man can do to a Family Room, you’ll want to cash in that college fund for Jr. and hire him to redo your entire house/life! You can also find him on Instagram at @bpatrickflynn  where he waxes poetic about everything from Taylor Swift (whom he loves) to cats (which we honestly can’t tell if he loves or hates) to sofas he doesn’t need but buys anyway. If you need some inspiration in your life, and we know you do because of those MFKs (mother f#&$*ing kids), put a little BPF in your life! 

If you have a burning parenting question you want our Experts to tackle, please email us at mommies@mommydearestinc.com. If you have other burning things, you should really see a Doctor.

Until next time, Dearests!

 

Breast is Best!

breastisbestpic

Hello Mommy Dearests,

S.M. here, and this week I’m going to cover a topic near and dear to every woman’s heart: breastfeeding. Ah, just typing the word makes me lactate with joy! At this point, you’d have to be living under a very large rock to think that any other method of feeding your baby is appropriate. But don’t just take my word for it.  Hundreds, no, thousands of studies have proven that a breast fed baby is likely to be smarter, healthier, richer, taller, and less likely to kill you in your sleep than those peasant formula feeders. These facts are indisputable.

But, listen Dearests, I’m nothing if not sympathetic, and I know that breastfeeding can be a bit hard at first. So, I’m here to give you some support and helpful tips that will keep your little one sucking for years to come! The biggest fear women seem to have about nursing is the pain. Well, I’m here to set you free from that misinformation. It’s quite simple really. If it hurts, you’re doing it all wrong. Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt – it’s supposed to feel good, magical even. Imagine what it would feel like if you met Rainbow Bright while riding on a Little Pony on your way to eat ice cream with Punky Brewster. Pretty magical, right? THAT’S HOW BREASTFEEDING IS SUPPOSED TO FEEL! Hands down, it is the single most beautiful feeling any woman could ever experience. So, if you don’t feel that way, don’t worry, it just means you need to try harder and do better.

I’ve also heard some women lament that they have low milk supply. I find this one rather hard to believe since God clearly designed all us gals to provide for our babies, just like all other species on the Planet. But, if you’re feeling as if you may not be producing at your peak level, there is a very easy solution…breastfeed more often! It’s so simple really. The reason you feel you don’t have enough milk is because you aren’t nursing or pumping enough. And, as we all know, since breastfeeding is the single most important thing you can do for your child, any and all activities other than nursing should come a very distant second to your attempts of upping that supply. I recommend pumping immediately following each nursing session and never go longer than two hours between feedings or pumping in any 24 hour period. Sure, you could sleep or eat a little bit while your baby naps, but that would make you a selfish mommy, and I know you wouldn’t want that. This may sound exhausting, but I assure you, once you get that milk flowing, exhaustion will turn into EXHILARATION and you will forget all about sleep!

Now, I feel it is my obligation to also address the F word. Formula. Oh, how it saddens me to think of all the women who have been manipulated into using this evil product, made by evil people who only want to do your precious baby harm by raping their poor little virgin guts! I weep for them and I weep for their babies.  Why, when nature has made such a perfect food would you even contemplate feeding them anything else? Please, Dearests, do not fall for the propaganda. Formula will rob your child of any shot they may have at overall wellness. They will be cursed with non-stop ear infections, they will be overweight, they will only want to eat skittles and drink Pepsi for the rest of their lives. But, above all else, they will feel no attachment towards you whatsoever. To them, you will forever be the woman who deprived them of the joys of breastfeeding. If you have a daughter, this will likely lead to her hating her own femininity when she grows up. If you have a son, this will undoubtedly lead to him being a lifelong bachelor who suffers from emotional detachment and MAJOR mommy issues. I tell you this not to scare you, but rather just to lovingly give you all the facts. The choice is yours. If, for some reason, you do choose formula for your child, please do the responsible thing and make it yourself. It may take up every ounce of free time you (don’t) have, but trust me, you will sleep better at night knowing that you made the best of a bad situation.

Lastly, and most importantly, whatever setbacks you encounter, please remember that breastfeeding is a marathon and not a sprint, and just like a world-class athlete you should never, under any circumstance, give up. When you get Mastitis and become faint with a fever and the chills, just keep nursing. When your little one has reflux and screams bloody murder every time you place him at your breast, just keep nursing. When you are a working mother and need to sleep so you can function at a high level in order to keep your job, just keep nursing. When you, quite simply, just want to have a (mother effing) drink when you (mother effing) choose, don’t give in to the urge. Just. Keep. Nursing! 

I am here for you, Dearests. I am cheering you on from the sidelines and I know you can do it. And, when all other methods of encouragement fail to inspire you, just remember that if you quit breastfeeding, you will be judged. Not by me, of course, but by everyone else. And, I wouldn’t want that for you.

Love, Sanctimommy
Love, Sanctimommy