Thank you so much for the plain, white butter dish and the amazing tube socks you got me last year for Christmas. While they both have come in handy I can’t help getting this twinge of severe annoyance anytime I see either of them. Like the socks are saying, “He has no idea who you are” and the white butter dish is whispering, “I’m out of butter again and it’s HIS fault. Kill him in his sleep.”
We here at Mommy Dearest Inc. are fully aware that it is the thought that counts and maybe sometimes, thinking so much can overwhelm the most thoughtful of people. There are also cases when people wait until the last minute and then end up giving you a cappuccino set and an espresso set on the same holiday and you don’t even drink coffee but I digress. Continue reading →
It’s time for another edition of “Ask the Experts” where we task our very wise (and very child-free) friends with answering your toughest parenting questions. This week we’ve recruited Reality TV Development Executive and one of Kelly Dearest’s besties, Colin Devenish. Now, Colin may be better known for his love of poker and sports (see below) than his child-rearing abilities but that may all change after this post. Behold, Colin’s take on all things stinky kids, minivans and why preschoolers are really just Network Executives in disguise.
My nine year old could care less about personal hygiene. She lies more often then not when I ask her if she brushed her teeth, changed her underwear or used actual shampoo in the shower. It’s a real problem and I am worried that people might start calling her the stinky kid. Can you help?
Does your nine-year-old live out loud? Does she have no Plan B? Is she all-in? I’m just asking because we’re casting for a precocious pre-teens with halitosis show for the Breath Mint Network and I feel like your daughter could potentially be a good fit. While it is worrying that your kid is gonna be the one with the cloud of dust and pack of flies following her into her teen years, I’m gonna say this actually isn’t that big of a deal. Adolescence has a way of self-correcting even the smelliest kid’s hygiene failures. All you need is one cute boy she has a crush on telling her she reeks for soap and toothpaste to start getting real interesting to her. In the meantime I’d plug your nose and pour yourself a tall Scotch. You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
I have never seen myself as a “minivan mom.” I’ve always seen myself more as an “Aston Martin Mom.” However, I have had three kids in 4 years and I had to give up my dream of an Aston Martin for the time being and settle for a Honda Odyssey. It was a tough pill to swallow but there are worse things, I suppose. My question to you is, how am I supposed to drive a small-sized yacht, with three crazy kids in the back, park in the only parking that exists in LA, which is “compact” and still keep my “cool” (in more ways than one)
Needs her Mojo Mama
Dear Mojo Mom,
One of the greatest challenges of working in TV is not going to Defcon 4 everyday. Why? Because expectations are unreasonable, money is tight, time is short and no one will face reality when the IDEA of something feels better.
Ahhh, but you did ask about the kids and an oversized car. Let’s dig into that a little bit. The Aston Martin isn’t happening Mojo, not if you wanna send the ankle biters through college and pay for them to eat organic kale salads and avocado toast everyday and have every damn Apple product that comes out for the next 18 years. Given all that, the aptly named Odyssey will probably be the best vehicle to pilot you through these choppy childhood years. So the only X factors here are the kids and the means to contain their uncivilized behavior and that pesky parking issue. I say you put a steel-cage in the back and treat every trip to the store or soccer practice like a championship WWE wrestling match. Lock ‘em in, swallow the key, and let them batter each other to their heart’s content. Then blast some of that music that made you feel cool in the 90’s (they call it oldies now), and try to pretend there’s not three feral animals in the back of the car engaged in some Revenant style beatdowns. As long as the kids can’t smack you while you’re driving, or physically exit the car, you should be ok. Oh and just start valet-ing everywhere. Is 5 bucks here and there worth saving you from flying into a homicidal rage? I am no accountant, but I’d say yes.
I feel like my son has a split personality! He is basically a complete asshole to all children and adults, friends and strangers alike, when we are in public, yet the sweetest most loving child when we are alone. I suppose I could keep him in the house and continue crafting all damn day, but I like people and wanna be out in the world. HELP!
Borderline Schizophrenic Mama
I’m pretty sure your son is a network exec. The bad news is he’s gonna be completely unbearable, unreasonable, insane, malevolent, vicious, simple-minded, tyrannical, maniacal, callous, callow, petty, ridiculous, vindictive, cheap, asinine, oh hell, where was I? Oh yeah, the good news. The good news is if you don’t like him you can fire him in a year and start over. Honestly though, in my experience with network execs, very few of them are actually certifiable schizos and some of them might actually be human. In general, when they are unkind to us humble development folk, it tends to be because they are afraid of something. Maybe your son is anxious to be around people and being around them makes him act out. I’d ask him how he feels when he’s outside the house. As a shut-in myself, er, I mean as someone like me who’s super well-adjusted and calm, I bet he just gets nervous around people. And if that’s not it, fire him now. It ain’t gonna get any better.
A few years ago, Kelly Dearest was a Producer on the Food Network series, “Worst Cooks in America.” One of her contestants, her favorite as a matter of fact, was Professional Poker Player, Tiffany Michelle. Now, Tiffany is the kind of person who sort of makes you crazy with all her fabulousness. She is impossibly beautiful – um, hello look at that picture, multi-talented (in addition to making major bank by schooling everyone with her poker prowess, Tiffany also kicked ass on Season 15 of “The Amazing Race,” and is a talented actress and musician, most recently appearing on the Emmy nominated soap opera series, “DeVanity” ) And, here’s the real kicker, she is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. But, as Kelly learned, she can’t cook a fish to save her life! So, while we wouldn’t rely on Tiffany to make us Christmas dinner (sorry, Tiff), we thought she would be the perfect Expert to give us some much needed Holiday advice when it comes to dealing with our MFKs. Enjoy! Oh, and for more of Tiffany, check out @tiffnymichelle on all social media!
We have an Elf on the Shelf. An Elf on the Shelf is an Elf that flies into your home on Dec. 1st and every night he flies back to the North Pole to report to Santa about your child’s behavior. Every morning, he’ returns and lands in a brand new spot in your home. You can’t touch the elf or he will lose his power and not be able to fly for a few days. He’s wicked creepy but he gives me such leverage over my daughter’s behavior. He is more powerful than Santa because he is this tangible being who is forever looking at her from across the room in the most disturbing way. My question is, how do I keep this power all year long with out the creeper of an Elf to assist me?
Power Hungry Mom
Dear Your Majesty,
Don’t fight the power…. join that creepy ol’ elf and create an entire ELF ARMY to help you battle your daughter and the psychological warfare that she’s inevitably waging down on you on a daily basis. All is fair in love and war, mama! I introduce to you, “The Elf On The Shelf (“EOS” for short) Army, err… “family”!
JANUARY – OUTTA WORK ELF
DIY Craft Tip: Construct tiny newspaper coat and glue tiny cardboard sign between EOS hands that says, “Will work for milk & cookies”. If possible dot EOS chin and face with unshaven scruff.
FEBRUARY – CUPID ELF
DIY Craft Tip: Dig Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen action figure out of toy box, steal bow & arrow – glue on EOS, add white decoupage diaper around genitals.
MARCH – ST. PATRICK ELF
DIY Craft Tip: Keep it simple. Just spray paint the damn Elf green. Job done!
APRIL – FOOLISH ELF (aka Jester Elf)
DIY Craft Tip: I got nothing. Wow, this mom stuff is hard!
MAY – MAMA ELF
DIY Craft Tip: Print out small photo of your face and glue on EOS.
Optional: Add tiny apron or skirt for feminine flair.
JUNE – PAPA ELF
DIY Craft Tip: See above – do dad version.
JULY – AMERICAN ELF
DIY Craft Tip: Rip American flag off one of those cheap little wavy flag things (this is not illegal, I just Googled it) and wrap around EOS, toga style.
PG-13 version: Tie EOS onto an actual firework and shoot that motherfucker off on July 4th. When he shows up the next day (add a slight char or melt for effect) minor’s minds will be BLOWN! Max power shall be yours!
AUGUST – Mean mom: “Back To School Elf” / Nice mom: “Summer Elf”
SEPTEMBER – (dealer’s choice)
Based on whoever little Jimmy or Sally’s character obsession is at this point in the year, use that shit to your advantage and dress EOS accordingly. (If played correctly this has the potential to be the most powerful EOS Elf!)
OCTOBER – Ghost Elf
DIY Craft Tip: Adorn EOS with white paper sheet or toilet paper with eyeballs cut out.
NOVEMBER – Turkey Elf
DIY Craft Tip: Buy additional EOS. Buy miniature turkey figurine. Chop off both heads. Glue EOS head onto turkey. WAH-LAH! Thanksgiving EOS!
DECEMBER– You got this!
With the holidays coming up, I am hoping you can help me explain to my four year old how reindeer fly. This has become an obsession for her and she is determined to get an answer that fits her very high expectations. She is also very curious as to how Rudolph wound up with a red nose when all the others have black.
Exhausted and out of answers,
Dear Are You Smarter Than A 4yr Old,
Ok, I know you’re tired of questions, but just one more question. Is your 4yr old, like, a stupid 4yr old or a really smart 4yr old? I need to size up my opponent here to know what I’m working with. Do you think we can get the whole Pinocchio plotline past her? I.E. lies = red nose. What about a Popeye-esque, “Eating lots of broccoli makes him fly, of course!”?
If you think this is much too juvenile for Little Miss Smarty Pants, and fear she’ll call you out on this bullshit, then get on Amazon and order the largest educational book on Reindeer that you can find. She’ll be pissed come the Epilogue but you’ll have bought yourself at least a few days of peace and quiet, and the chance to conjure up a better answer/solution.
I have two kids – one of them is four and a half and the other is six months old. The four and a half year old has a Christmas list a mile long. The six month old would be happy to chew on his diapers or my socks all day long. My question is, do I have to buy the six month old Christmas presents this year or can I use that money on more practical things, like booze and a nice pedicure? I know he won’t remember it, and he already has a wide assortment of things to drool on, but I’m afraid one day he will find out his brother got every LEGO set known to man and all he got was a stocking full of Aquaphor and overpriced baby wipes.
Santa’s Little Helper
Dear Mama Needs A Brand New Bag,
Listen, what Baby 6 mo don’t know, won’t hurt him. Just like the occasional drop on the head isn’t really going to do any serious lifetime damage. (Speaking from experience as an often-dropped, frequently neglected twin myself).
By the time Baby 6-mo is old enough to resent you for the blatant Lego discrimination scenario, there’ll be flying cars and pocket teleportation machines. Present favoritism is really the least of your worries. My advice is to start saving your money now cuz THAT futuristic shit is gonna cost you a pretty penny, but it’ll be well worth the lifetime of “Cool Mom” points it’ll earn you. Just chalk it up to investing in baby’s (and your) future!
If your sleep deprived mom brain really can’t process that kind of foresight and financial planning, a permissible solve is buying a cute new baby bottle for Littler Mister’s gift, and filling it with a shot of your favorite alcohol. Not only will you feel guilt-free from not having given Baby a present, but you’ll have purchased a practical gift, especially considering his current affinity for chewing on and drooling on things.
(And for any disapproving and judgey friend or family member, you simply explain that the booze is the latest sterilizing technique from Dr. Gomindyourownfuckingbusines).
This week Mommy Dearest Inc. turns to our early childhood expert, Serena Zanello. Does Serena have any children of her own yet? Nope, but that doesn’t mean a thing. Serena is not only a savvy entrepreneur of architecture and design, she is also a wise, wise old woman, trapped in the body of a 30-something, Italian-born genius. Like her boobs, her accent and her impeccable control of English grammar, her insights are a gift to the world.
I am hoping to get a little advice on how we can get my four year old daughter to start wiping herself after a poop. My husband and I have been her wipers for the past 4 1/2 years and frankly, the job is getting old. Also, any guidance in how to avoid spending hundreds of dollars on new underwear would be great too since there may be a steep learning curve on this lesson and we don’t want our sweet girl to be the kid with the “skiddies” at school.
The Poop Patrol
Dear Poop Patrol,
I had just few experiences with poop and kids, I will gladly share my knowledge about this topic.
Years ago I was watching a friend child – the age of your daughter – every time I was with her…magically she had to poop and asking me afterwards to have her ass wiped!
So, first of all is not my kid and as much as I loved her the only thing I was seeing was a full grown person asking me to be wiped… and well, I have a lot of fetishes, not poop (this is probably a chapter for another type of blog!) So, I decided it was time to teach her how to avoid this weird human interaction, not just for me, or her sake!
One day she had to poop (Again??? How big is the intestine of a 4 years old?) so I undressed her just to be sure to avoid some messy accident and left her on the toilet. Right afterward I heard the call, not a holy call, just the usual “ I’m done!!!!!” But I was ready this time and with a steady voice I told her to wipe herself, she saw mommy and daddy doing it so many times. I didn’t ask her to design a bridge!
She called twice, then start screaming and crying, rolling on the floor naked while me ignoring her. It was time for her favorite cartoon, then her favorite snack but I told her she couldn’t move from the bathroom till she was cleaned and dressed. I waited 10 min…silence. Then I saw her with a disappointed look carefully take a piece of toilet paper and she did it! (I won’t describe how). It worked!!!
Well maybe you will need to try this several times! That was my lucky poop adventure!
My four month old is becoming very addicted to his pacifier. I’ve never been a crack addict, but I imagine the feeling is somewhat similar. If it falls out of his mouth while he’s sleeping, he will scream and cry until I put it back in. This happens throughout the night, and quite frankly, I’m fucking exhausted. I don’t want to take it away from him completely because I know it helps soothe him, but at what point is enough enough?!
First of all, thank you for spelling pacifier for me. I thought till now it was called Pussyfire. Now I understand why my friends ask me to speak just Italian with their kids if I’m alone with them. Well, I’m not a crack addict neither but I will try a simple trick my grandparents used with me when I was addicted to my thumb!
Soak the pacifier in grappa, it’s so strong it will put your baby to asleep in a minute but in the mean time the flavor is not so great – especially for babies – so while he is falling asleep he will also spit it away and soon he won’t want it anymore. Just be careful your baby is not going to become addicted to grappa. You will spend peaceful nights with a tipsy baby and a cheerful husband/wife/partner. (PC)
Let me know, it still works for me some nights too!
Serena – The pussyfire expert
P.S. If grappa doesn’t work try with Rum.
P.S.S. If it doesn’t work with the baby try it on yourself, just use a standard glass instead.
My preschooler is super obsessed with her vagina. She talks about her vagina, my vagina, the cat’s vagina all day long. When she isn’t discussing vaginas, she is exploring her own. While I understand this is a very normal and healthy thing to do, I am worried it’s becoming too much and even when I tell her this is something we save for private time, she doesn’t listen and will spread-eagle it in the middle of a dinner party. How can I curb the vagina action without putting shame on the subject and causing her to have issues later in life?
The Vagina Momalogue
Dear Vagina Momalogue,
I think this is a very interesting case of early signs of Nymphomania. Don’t worry, I had it too and loving it now! In my experience she will do it just for a couple of more years till 13 or 14 when she will find someone who will get obsessed with it too. When it happens her focus will slightly move to something else, I’m a teen expert too, so call me back when it happens.
For now I will leave her free to show it or play with it, it’s not fire for god sake! At least she won’t destroy your house with her obsession!
With all my respect,
*Please email your parenting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
Question #1 –
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?
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 –
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?
The Grim Reaper
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 $12K in vet bills per pet.
I do have a solution to help tone down her obsession: You need to wallpaper your hallway so she can appreciate life more and forget about all things morbid. Trust me, some bright color and a medium repeat pattern will keep her from feeling like she’s in purgatory thus leading to such dark-sad thoughts. Perhaps a large scale botanical in shades of celery green, grey and robin’s egg blue or even a classic hexagon in the hot pink and turquoise color way. Now, get that kid out into the sunshine and play her some Björk, dammit!
Question #3 –
My son LOVES to take a “nature pee.” Which would be fine if we were actually in nature when this happens. More often than not though, this happens on the playground, on a walk with our dog, or just generally anytime he’s outdoors – including our backyard, where there happens to be a perfectly good toilet right inside. While I admit it is much easier at times to let him drop trou and pee on a tree rather than braving disgusting public restrooms, I worry that he will grow up to be one of those douche bags who pees on buildings for fun and then ultimately blames me for his behavior when he’s being taken to the local police precinct. Should I put a stop to the public pee now or wait and see how things shake out? (pun intended)
Yours in Urine,
Meh. Your son is going to be a massively successful person and just fine and let me tell you why: He doesn’t give a #%@$. 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 email@example.com. If you have other burning things, you should really see a Doctor.