My husband recently turned 37 and to celebrate I decided to take him to a restaurant in our neighborhood that serves a 96 ounce steak. We did not order this steak, but I just wanted you to know that there is a place on the health-crazed, kale-obsessed Westside of Los Angeles that will still serve meat in massive quantities, and for this I am thankful. I digress. The only problem with my plan was that none of our regular babysitters were available. In these instances we have one of two choices. Continue reading
It hit me the other week as I gleefully strolled into Target (alone). The dollar section was bursting with everything orange, black and purple. Halloween is looming just around the corner! We haven’t even finished the Halloween candy from last year and I am already facing one of the biggest judgmental holidays of the year. The main offenders are, of course, the two major events of the day. So grab a couple of “fun size” Snickers and let’s talk about them, shall we? Continue reading
Upon giving birth, my usual list of worries was replaced by a list of grave fears. What was once no big deal suddenly became a huge deal. Like, what if I forget to clean the dryer vent and it starts a fire while we are napping or what if we run out of Organic Baby Shampoo and I am forced to rub my child’s pristine scalp with carcinogens? I often wonder what my daughter will worry about if she has children and think about what my own Mom worried about when we were little. With social media breathing down our necks every second and a sanctimommy lurking around every corner just waiting to judge, motherhood has become something that you MUST excel at, no matter the circumstance. My Mom recently told me that when I was little, kids just played. That’s just what we did. We went outside with our bikes and our friends and came back at lunch or dinner. Parents were not checking in with other parents to make sure they only served organic carrots at a play date. Hell, we were eating raw hot dogs at everyone’s houses all of the time and that was OK! Do we “over-parent” kids now or are times now different with more things to worry about? Let’s take a look at some of the differences. Continue reading
We all have a few tricks that we keep up our sleeves for when times get rough. I read about these all of the time and marvel at the success stories that these Moms are bragging about. Titles usually sound something like this “How to Get Your Child to Eat Beets with This Delicious Chocolate Smoothie” or “Never Lose a Toddler Sock Again with This Nifty Trick” or even “How Much to Medicate Your Kids for Peaceful Air Travel”.
I am here to share with you my own “Mom Tricks” that haven’t exactly gone viral. However, I am not a quitter. One success and several thousand subsequent fails does not have me throwing in the towel just yet. I aim to master at least one of the below before my child turns 10. I’ve got five years to figure this out, but I have a feeling that I need every minute I can get. Here are the stumpers.
We co-sleep and shit I am tired sometimes. We have a lot of peaceful nights, but we also have plenty of nights where I am clinging to the edge of the mattress for dear life while my child flops all over the bed, arms flapping into my face unexpectedly, kicking me in the back, breathing one millimeter from my face while coughing directly into my mouth. When the early bird wakes up at 6:30am and wants to immediately start a full-blown conversation about why bird poop is white, I revert back to my old stand-by Mom Trick, fake sleeping. I have only been successful at this once, but the one time she actually fell back to sleep with me was so effin’ glorious that the possibility of it happening again keeps hope alive. My determination to get a few more minutes of sleep keeps me from fully accepting this as a FAIL.
The Bunny Bell
My daughter had a crazy fear of the “bell button” in elevators. It all started with a kid at the mall who insisted on pressing it about 40 times while we were in the elevator and the mom did nothing to stop him. Can you say traumatic? Afterwards, each time we got into an elevator, she would worry that someone would press the button and the loud bell would start ringing. At our lowest point, she would outright refuse to ride the elevator with any kid who may have that squirrelly “bell button presser” look in his eye. In an attempt to make the bell button a bit friendlier, we decided to take a picture of it, name it and decorate it with something she thought was nice. This turned out to be a bunny and his name was Daniel. We spent hours talking about the bell button, fielding hundreds of questions as to why it is there, why that kid wanted to press it, why his mom didn’t stop him. Either way, Daniel the Bunny Bell did zip to help the fear of the bell button. We still have to have the occasional agreement with friends about who will press the buttons before getting in and if your kid starts getting that squirrelly look – we will take the stairs. Bunny Bell, FAIL.
This particular activity is the ability to scarf a mini powdered donut in the amount of time it takes your kid to wash their hands (in my case this is equivalent to turning the water on and then off again without ever getting hands wet and definitely never using soap). Being able to swallow the donut whole earns bonus points. The timing of the donut wolf is typically around dinnertime while I am cooking and am super hungry myself. It’s RARE that we have things like mini donuts in the house so finding the sad and lonely donut that needs to be put out of its pathetic misery is always a special moment. Popping it into my mouth unnoticed is tricky if my child is home and likely to round the kitchen corner the moment it hits my lips. Sending her to wash her hands before dinner is an easy way to occupy her, even if for five seconds. The part that trips me up each time is the powdered sugar. No matter how hard I try, eating that mini donut will result in my looking like Al Pacino in Scarface when my kid inevitably barrels into the kitchen to show me how well she scrubbed her hands. This immediately results in her asking about what I am eating and demanding to smell my breath. FAIL.
Unwrapping the Secret Snack
You know the snack that you keep in your purse for emergencies or the random piece of Halloween candy you find in there while wildly searching for your keys? Try unwrapping that snack around your kids. I swear, children under the age of 10 have supersonic hearing and are able to detect the sound of crunchy snack wrappers from miles away. As soon as your eyes make contact with that wrapper, it sends a signal to the kids, “Alert! Alert! Mom found something in her purse. Looks to be a snack of sorts, has a crunchy wrapper and high calorie content. Prepare to launch the question!” We all know what question that is, “What are you eating and can I have some?” There are several ways that I have attempted to open one of these wrappers without being noticed. The loud cough and frantic unwrap, the turn up the music louder in the car and unwrap, and finally the slow and steady wins the race unwrap technique. Results tend to err on the FAIL side, especially when it happens to be a really good snack that I don’t want to share.
Here is where all of you come into play; I am accepting advice on how to turn these epic fails into wins. In the meantime, I will be exhausted, taking the stairs while looking like I just left a cocaine party while being questioned on what snack is in my purse by a firing squad of one (four year old).
“Pass the bread”, my father requested. As my sister reached for the bread basket, the rest of the table held their breath, shut their eyes, winced and prayed for a clean delivery. Nope. As her arm moved in slow motion across her dinner plate, it innately collided with her glass of milk, turning it over onto the tablecloth and undoubtedly drowning someone else’s pork chops and apple sauce, causing chaos and dismay throughout our dining room. This happened almost every night for probably more than a year. We’re not absolutely sure why but we chalked it up to subconsciously looking for some sort of attention from our very busy, very stressed-out parents. When you are one of six children, you sometimes had to pull out the big guns to get noticed. Good grades, bad grades, runaway threats, expulsion, broken limbs, car accidents, awards, parts in plays, visits from the local police or small sectors of the FBI. You had to make yourself known if you were going to stand out. My sister’s was the spilt milk, mine was the visit from the small sector of the FBI on the night of my older sister’s wedding rehearsal but hey, no one’s keeping score here. Growing up in a big family was empowering and degrading at the same time. If you weren’t taking care of your shit, no one else was either so you had better learn to use the washing machine early, pour your own damn cereal and bribe your older siblings for rides from point A to point B if you ever wanted to get anywhere. It was survival of the fittest in a clan that size and while it made me who I am today, it is also one of the biggest reasons I decided that my first born would remain my one and only. Here are the reasons from my own experience that helped me shut the garage door after birthing my first and only offspring.
My mother would forget my sister and I (and occasionally a friend or two) almost every Friday after swimming class at school and we would have to go on to wait in the school Convent where the nuns would serve us up warm diet coke and brownies and continuously call my house only to receive a busy signal as our crib was teeming with phone disorder-laden teenagers. Eventually, one of us would make an emergency breakthrough on the line and tell my mother that she forgot us. How could she not realize her two youngest babies had never arrived home from school? I mean, she called me “Whoever you are” after running through everyone else’s name so maybe that explains it but in her defense, she was pregnant for 10 years straight with only quick smoke breaks in between each pregnancy. How was she ever to rid herself of “Pregnancy Brain”? Truthfully, she never did.
- My child’s life – I arrive everywhere at least five minutes early, with prepared snacks and water in case of immediate hunger and inability to make it the ten-minute drive home. She won’t have to wait in a convent ever, for many reasons but it’s really the warm, Diet Coke I’m trying to avoid here.
I was fourteen years old the first time I ever flew on an airplane. Exotic was hitting up Avalon instead of Stone Harbor, NJ during the summer months. I would beg my parents to go to Disney World and my father’s response would be, “As long as I am paying six private school tuitions, you’re probably not going to meet Mickey”.
- My child’s life – My kid is four and she’s already explored the likes of Mexico (twice), Italy (twice), Spain, Australia and bits and pieces of the U.S.A. She has an annual pass to Disneyland. If we had another kid, we’d have to rent some furniture during the summer months and call it “The Summer House”.
Nilla Wafers were a real treat. Do you remember those? Yes well, my mother would pick up a box of them every Sunday and we’d house that box in 20 minutes or less and then there would be no more “treats” for the rest of the week.
- My child’s life – We talk about whether we’ll hit CoolHaus Ice Cream or Sprinkles Cupcakes on Wednesdays after school. She’ll never have to rummage through my purse to find some Baby Aspirin or a loose Life-Saver to get that sugar high like we did when we were kids.
My mother would give us all a teaspoon (or tablespoon depending on your age and state of awakeness) of Dimetapp. Yes, you heard me, the cough medicine. She’d sit us up on the countertop and disperse the liquid sleep/cough aid to her children before bedtime. We were all ok with this since it tasted of grape and the Nilla Wafers had been gone for days.
- My child’s life – While I won’t deny the fact that I have exaggerated my child’s cough and announced to an entire international flight that she has been coughing for days while dosing her with Benadryl before a long haul, we do not drug her (no matter how tempting) so that we can get a good night’s sleep. I am not knocking my mother’s brilliance or desperation here but really? My poor, tiny liver. If I had more than one kid, I’d ditch the announcements to fellow passengers and line them up on the ticketing booth to dispense the drugs. Like mother, like daughter.
There was no way my parents could have or would have wanted to volunteer or be involved parents in school and outside activities. They were tired, they had no urge and quite frankly, I don’t blame them but you do it for your kid. By showing support for the community your child is involved in, you show your child you are invested in their success. Don’t get me started on my neglect issues, stay with me.
- My child’s life – I give way more than I should and she’ll probably roll her eyes when she spots me putting away library books, the day after I ran the Dance-a-Thon and won the fight for healthy lunches at her school next year but she’ll know I cared, she’ll know I was invested…and I will bask in the glory that I am an amazing parent, much superior to my own. If I had more than one, I’d slow down at drop off while I forced them all out of a moving car.
I couldn’t get away from the chaos. It was everywhere I turned. Loud voices, instruments, televisions, peace was few and far between and I relish in quiet. I had no idea that I loved peace and quiet so much until I was well-into adulthood. Big crowds were a part of my identity, until I learned that I suffer from Claustrophobia, of course.
- My Child’s Life – We bring her to spend time with her eleven cousins over the summer and winter breaks and it’s so great for her. It makes her feel important, like she has this huge family and over the years she’s even stopped physically pushing them away from her while screaming “NO!!” in her loudest voice, arms extended like Elsa trying to escape Arandelle after the Coronation took a bad turn, so I’m feeling pret-ty positive about her progress. If I had more than one, I’d be surrounded by the chaos that I thought I loved but was actually slowly killing me. My children would be killing me slowly. That’s something to contemplate, really.
I realize my life has been full of love and companionship. I’ve rarely ever felt alone and I wouldn’t change all of the crazy for all of the money in the world. We’ve made choices for our family that work best for us. We love to travel, live in LA and provide her with experiences I wasn’t allowed to dream of (mostly because I was in a drug-induced state of slumber). It doesn’t matter because in 20 or so years, we’ll all be reading, “How my Parents Ruined my Life by Making Me an Only Child” By: Stella Masciopinto. Stay tuned, it should be a good one.
“The Three Wise Kids” are here to spread a little holiday cheer! So grab your eggnog, cozy up to the fire and enjoy!
Mommy Dearest Inc.
We’ve all suffered through watching a plethora of animated series with our kids. Some of them, like anything child related are unbearable, others cute, others mind-numbing. What I love most about these shows are the different opinions parents have about them and the dinner party conversations that ensue where one mom will be defending Caillou to the death (you know who you are) while most would argue his future as a member of the MS-13. I find it all super amusing. Here are some thoughts I have had while watching some of my daughter’s favorite animated shows.
Why is Barney still available for viewing and torturing parents everywhere? Like his predecessors before him, he too should be extinct.
Sometimes, I feel like I might be on the verge of a seizure when I watch the Paw Patrol. So.Much.Stimulation.
I think Wyatt from Super Why could use a humanitarian trip to Syria to show him what a “super big problem” actually fucking looks like.
Has no one ever noticed that there are children working in Sofia the Firsts‘ castle? Wonderful. Sofia’s off to enjoy a picnic with mother, send some of the children to prepare the carriage for her.
I won’t discuss Caillou because when we talk about him, we keep him alive.
Peppa Pig, your voice is like a thousand knives, impaling me slowly. I get it that you are a pig but every time you snort, I get the urge to call Dr. Kevorkian while snacking on bacon.
Curious George is actually teaching children that it’s ok to illegally smuggle exotic animals into the country and then hole them up in city apartments with unnamed men who only wear yellow and probably have Schizophrenia. Lesson learned, thank you.
Why is Dora now a budded-breasted tween? Stop it! Her fans will not grow with her, they will move onto something else. Stop being so desperate and making her look so pathetic. Oh, she has human friends now? That’s not interesting. You know what’s interesting about Dora? That she raised those twin babies on her own. She calls them her sisters but we all know that old game. Stick to your twisted life of raising babies and following a map drawn by a monkey – let your freak flag fly, girl, just not in my house.
Angelina Ballerina…if I ever get my hands on your back stabbing, whiney ass, you’re cat food.
Diego, you are a coat tailer who has never had an original idea in your life. You can thank your cousin, Dora for your career. If it weren’t for her, you’d be dealing heroin on the corners of the city streets of your ambiguous Latin American country . You know it and I know it but good on you for getting out.
The Magic School Bus should be called the Magic Bus of Horror and Fear yet they’ve revived it and put it on Netflix for children everywhere to enjoy. I am forever indebted and remember you every time my kid has night terrors. Merry Christmas.
This is a warning! The Veggie Tales IS A CHRISTIAN show! Not that there’s anything wrong with that but if you are not a Christian household, you’d better have your explanation shoes on when they come a asking who Jesus is.
LalaLoopsy has no fucking eyeballs. That’s all.
While watching The Dinosaur Train, no one else thinks, “So, this is a show about creatures that have become extinct”? Is it just me that gets sad about this? I feel like I’m watching a bunch of dead people that don’t know they’re dead yet, it’s awful.
What’s wrong with that poor kid’s parents in the Bubble Guppies who are always giving him crazy shit in his lunch? I constantly feel bad for him and he always sounds so defeated and sad. His fake parents are so mean and someone should call the fake child services on them.
Ruby, you are a condescending whore who should be slapped in that smug face of yours. Your poor brother, Max does not have the best ideas, agreed but that does not mean you get to insult his wants, needs and intelligence. God, I loathe you. I really loathe you. Every time your 50 year old voice over artist speaks, I rock myself to the safe place where you don’t exist.
And finally, The Mother Goose Club. Creepalicious tweens sing Mother Goose songs and act them out in dime store costumes made from a an ex-meth head turned costume designer. They sing so much but they don’t sing so well. Poor kids/adults on this show. I feel like they were kidnapped and made to do this in return for their promised freedom…which will never come.
Wrapping up, I freaking hate most cartoons and in today’s age, there are so many of them but I am forever indebted to them for allowing me to breathe once a day. I cherish them because they exist to assist me when I can no longer deal, like that moment at 5:00pm when I truly believe I might not make it until bedtime, I pour myself a glass of wine and on comes the neglectavision. Thank you to everyone who makes these awful creations, I really do appreciate you.
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 email@example.com