I realize the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show aired several weeks ago, which in this day and age is equivalent to an entire lifetime, but with two kids, a job etc. etc. I will most likely never be the first to write about anything pop-culture related. I did have some thoughts while watching the show though, so I decided to share them with you today, a month later. We’ll call it a “throwback” post so it seems cooler. Some of my thoughts were fleeting; Is Bruno Mars really that short? Should I get hair extensions? Oh look, there’s Kylie Jenner, again. This sandwich could really use some mustard, just to name a few. But some stuck with me longer and here they are, in no particular order.
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 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
Something has really been bothering me lately. I mean, lots of things bother me constantly, but for the sake of this post, I’m just going to focus on one of them. It’s this thing called “Mom Brain”. Mom brain, for those of you who may not know, is what us moms say about ourselves, or what other people say about us, when we’re having a forgetful moment. Can’t find the phone I just had in my hand 45 seconds ago? Mom brain! Drive away with my coffee on the roof of my car after standing in line with two fussy kids? Mom brain! Call the dog by my son’s name while trying to put a leash on my baby? Well, that’s just a normal Tuesday. Just kidding, blame mom brain! My friends and I have all used this saying hundreds of times without giving it a second thought (probably because our brains are so tired from being moms – see what I did there), but the more I started thinking about it, the more I started paying attention to the incredibly intelligent and talented women in my life attributing any little error in speech or memory to their “mom brain”, the more I thought, This. Is. Bullshit. Continue reading
I remember the day I hit my breaking point. I hesitantly entered the conference room and there he was, Napoleon in khaki floods, staring at me with laser beam eyes, his face full anger and disgust. After the one-hour, fun-filled abuse fest, I was going to shuffle ball change out of that dank, old TV Station in nowheresville, NJ, never to look back.
Working for a Sociopathic Narcissist has its benefits if you are fresh in your career. Mostly, any new boss after that one will seem nurturing and sane. Secondly, the Sociopathic Narcissists are usually quite intelligent so you can learn a lot from them if you can handle the heat. And most importantly, working for a Sociopathic Narcissist prepares you to become someone’s bitch and I hate to say it but becoming someone’s bitch pretty much sums up parenthood.
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).
In my favorite musical, Rent (stay with me), one of the most powerful moments comes when the cast belts out the song, “Seasons of Love.” In it, they passionately plea that you should “measure your life in love.” For years, I really took this to heart and tried to measure the “525, 600 minutes” of my year in just that, love. And then, my oldest son started talking. And almost instantly it started to feel like my life was measured less in love and more in the seemingly endless number of questions he asks on a daily basis. I get it, as his Mom it’s my responsibility to guide and encourage his exploration of the world. But honestly, it’s fucking exhausting. And it often feels like my answers never satiate him. “I don’t know” and “that’s just the way it is” are never acceptable so I spend all day trying to come up with creative reasonings when all I really want to do is drive from point A to point B listening to Bieber’s latest hits and not get the third degree about every little thing that pops into his mind.
Knowing that this is a pipe dream however, I decided I would turn his queries into a modified version of a baby book entry. I neglected to document when he figured out how to write his name for the first time or when he learned to ride his bike. But now, thanks to my notebook and a tally counter, I will forever remember the day he asked me if he could have a room full of Boomwhackers (February 7, 2016).
And here for you now, that day, in 190 questions…
6:35am – At some point in the night he gets in bed with us. I have no recollection of this but am stirred out of my dream by his little voice so close to my ear I wonder if it’s actually coming from inside my brain…
Question 1: “Will you rub my arm?”
Question 2: “Is it morning?”
Question 3: “Can I get up now?”
Question 4: “Who will play with me?”
Question 5: “Will you play with me?”
Question 6: “WHY ISN’T ANYONE PLAYING WITH ME????”
I attempt to pry my eyes open but am, as of yet, unable to speak. This displeases him a great deal. Sometime around 7am I am now upright with eyes open and caffeine in hand. He notices the tally counter around my neck…
Questions 14 – 16: “What is that?”
Shit. I neglected to think of an excuse for why I’m wearing this ridiculous thing. I deflect, certain that any acknowledgment of its purpose will only lead to more questions.
Question 24: “Mommy, where’s Chewbacca?”
Here we go. I’d say roughly half of the questions I am asked on a daily basis revolve around something he can’t find. Answer: “Honey, I don’t know. Where did you have him last?” He hates this response. Answering his question with another question elicits a reaction similar to what happens when he loses a game of UNO. In case you’re wondering, that shit ain’t pretty.
Questions 25 – 32 all revolve around me helping him find Chewbacca and just really giving no fucks that I answer with “I don’t know” each and every time. This kid is relentless.
It is now 9:40am and the topic of whether or not we will have a third child has come up.
Question 51: “What if we had 43 babies?”
Question 52: “What if we had 101 babies?”
Question 53: “What if we had INFINITY babies??”
My response looks like this…
Thank god for an impromptu playdate. For a glorious two hours the questions to me dwindle and I can enjoy some meaningful conversation with my friend. We use our time wisely, looking up who has the most Twitter followers (it’s Katy Perry).
At 1:30pm we leave the playdate. 1:31pm…
Question 65: “Mommy, when can I have a playdate with Watson? I really want a playdate with Watson.”
We have just left Watson’s house. I’m pretty sure at this point he’s just screwing with me.
Question 69: “Can I have carrots today?” I quickly check the rearview mirror to make sure I have the right child. Yep, that’s him. Answer: “Sure, buddy!” I’m pretty sure I’m being set up…I am.
Question 73: “Mommy, when is the next time I can get a treat?” Oh, here it comes. Answer: “Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up, so probably you could get a pastry or something then.”
Question 74: “What’s a pastry” Answer: “A pastry is a type of sweet treat.”
Question 75: “But what if my pastry fell over, can I get another one?” Answer: “Sure”
Question 76: “So, when is Valentine’s Day?” Answer: “Next Sunday”
Question 77: “It’s not today?” Answer: “No, it’s next Sunday”
Question 78: “Why isn’t it today?” Answer: “Because today is the 7th and Valentine’s Day is on the 14th, which is next Sunday.”
Question 79: (crying) “But I want it to be today! Why isn’t next Sunday today?!” Answer I say in my head: “Because life is really unfair sometimes, dude. Like me, being held hostage in this car by your ridiculous questions.” Answer I say out loud: “I don’t know, sweetie. That’s just the way the calendar works. Maybe ask Daddy about it later and see what he says” (haha!)
The day, and the questions, continue…
Question 108: “What are you eating?” How the hell can he hear me eating a cookie from two rooms away?? I try to swallow it quickly, but it’s no use. Now he’s staring at me and he knows. He always knows.
At around 4pm we start doing crafts.
Question 131: “What if I opened up these scissors and cut off my thumb?” Answer: “That would hurt a lot.”
Question 132: “Would we have to call the Fire Department?” Answer: “No, we would call the ambulance, or I would take you to the emergency room.”
Question 133: “Why wouldn’t we call the Fire Department?” Answer: “Because there wouldn’t be a fire.”
Question 134: “Well would we call the Police?” Answer: “No, we wouldn’t call them either.”
Question 135: “Why not?” Answer: “How about you just don’t cut off your thumb and then we don’t have to worry about it.”
6:15pm. Dinner. I prepare a chicken dish he is uninterested in eating.
Questions 165 – 168 are all the same, “Why?” He wants to know why I have made this dish and why he must eat it. I can tell we’re about to negotiate here because after Question 108 I decided to avoid a nuclear meltdown and relented on my stance that his next sweet treat would be on Valentine’s Day. Instead, I told him he could have a cookie after he ate his dinner. I remind him of this.
Question 169: “Okay, so how many bites?” Answer: “10 bites”
Question 170: “Of just the chicken?” Answer: “No, of the chicken and the rice and the vegetables.” He takes a bite.
Question 171: “So was that one or no?” Answer: “That was one.”
Question 172: “So how many is left?” I think you know where this is heading…I answer the question from the kitchen, where I am pouring myself a glass of wine.
At approximately 7:30pm, he is in bed. Teeth brushed, books read, lights out.
Question 187: “Will you tell me a story?” Answer: “No, this day is done. We can do stories tomorrow.”
Questions 188 & 189: “Can I have a little milk? Just a teeny tiny little smidgen of milk, please?” Answer: “No. You can have milk in the morning.”
Question 190: “Do you love me to the moon and back?” Answer: Absolutely! Sweet dreams, my little love.” (He’s no dummy – he knows how to end the day so I leave the room thinking he’s the sweetest S.O.B. ever to walk the face of the Earth)
I know what you’re thinking. One of these days the only questions he’ll ask me will be, “Will you drop me off further away from school?” and “Why do you hate my girlfriend (and/or boyfriend) so much?!” And I will miss these days. And maybe that’s true. But for now, I would just like one day where I don’t feel like I’m playing an endless game of Jeopardy with my own smug little Alex Trebek. As much as I love him. My son that is. Well and Alex Trebek too, I suppose.