Tag Archives: #parentingexperts

Tiffany Dearest Holiday Edition


The beautiful Tiffany Michelle.
The beautiful Tiffany Michelle. Photo credit, Tiffany J Photography

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!

Dear Tiffany,

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?

Yours Truly,

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”!


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.


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.


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!


DIY Craft Tip: Print out small photo of your face and glue on EOS.

Optional: Add tiny apron or skirt for feminine flair.


DIY Craft Tip: See above – do dad version.


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!

I really wanted a juice this morning, creepin' Elf.
I really wanted a juice this morning, creepin’ Elf.

Dear Tiffany,

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.

Dear Tiffany,

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).


Playing Is Awesome?

It's game time. I repeat, grab the wine.
It’s game time. I repeat, grab the wine.

I remember when my baby was five months old, we started going to Baby Group. It was my savior, my safe place, my guide to being a mom. I have eleven nieces and nephews but I hadn’t been that interested enough in babies to become informed about them. I would go over to one of my sibling’s houses, love them and then get the hell outta there. I am the youngest of six kids. I was unmarried and then eventually married but still child-free. I had happy hours and parties and openings and premiers and tons of fun things to do to actually give a crap about “raising” a baby. I left that shit to my awesome siblings. And then, one fine Christmas Day, I peed on a stick and ” PREGNANT” was pushed on me like a joint on a teen at a Lourde concert. Ooooohhh, feck.

I gave birth to that much wanted baby and yes, it was GLORIOUS and by glorious, I mean hellacious. I had PPD and mourned my old life more than one can explain with words. I was never happy. I wanted to be happy like all of those ladies in the magazines but I was not. Fast forward five months when the baby got chubby and started becoming a human who actually smiled and laughed at me, that was pretty cool! After five months of colic and hell, I started going to mentioned Baby Group. A place where parents went with questions about their kids and some amazing GURU gave you ALL of the answers! It saved my life. In this group there was a lot of talk about “floor time”and I was all, “I have to get on the floor with my baby?” I thought that was the place where my cats slept and where dirty shoes passed the time, I did not want to go there.

20 minutes of floor time a day was recommended. Ugh OK, so now I am on the floor with my kid, putting her on her acid reflux belly to make sure she didn’t end up totally daft. She hated it and I hated it but we stuck with it and she evolved faster than she had been when I was plopping her in the old Rock N Play Sleeper (which saved my life btw) and tuning in to “The View“.  My kid is four now so bear with my TV references.

Time passed and many years of excuse making and most days, giving the poor kid some play time, she became a full-on preschooler. “Mommy, let’s play…”. Nails on a chalkboard to my ear holes. I don’t want to play anything, with anyone, ever! Ask Daddy, he loves to play. Daddy also owns his own business and has seriously limited time to play during the week and the kid was tenacious and wanted to play with me. I had to play every day at some point. It felt like Guantanamo Bay. You be the mama dog and I’ll be the baby dog. You be the mama lion and I’ll be the baby lion. You be the bat leopard and I’ll be the merpup. Shit got crazy and elaborate and I didn’t care for it one bit. Also, she’s very mandating when she plays, which I am fully aware will benefit her later in life but so would a little flexibility.

Now, Chutes and Ladders is laid out on the table like this year’s taxes.Those tiny squares preschoolers are supposed to move along while counting each one – RIDICULOUS AND IMPOSSIBLE. Face painting? She asks me to make her a cat and then cries and says she looks like a spider. Go Fish? I can see all of her cards, no fun. Old Maid? She still doesn’t fully get it, plus it’s totally insulting to strong, single females. War? Kid can’t even count correctly yet so where are we going with this? Pogo stick? I have to hold the stick the entire time. Ride bikes? I have to carry the bike 3/4 the way home. Painting? Yes, I like it but she differs from the allocated materials and starts painting her vagina, exclaiming she now is a grown up and has hair on her vagina! Woohoo! Paw Patrol? I damn the day I ever bought those over-priced little assholes. Her rocket ship looks like a giant penis and it just makes me feel uncomfortable. Barbies got into my house somehow, which means me dressing and undressing them the entire time because her little hands get tired of shoving those freaking plastic daggers Barbie calls fingers through holes half the size of the eye of a needle. I am not good at this stuff, people.

The Tower of Terror
The Tower of Terror. Note the penis shaped rocket ship bottom left.

I love to take care of her. I love to read to her, I like puzzles and taking her out on the town. I like to make her lunches, buy her clothes and map out her life for her 🙂 I love being her mom but getting down onto the cat’s bed, A.K.A. the floor, where I start to wheeze and sneeze and God forbid start spotting all of the crap in the shag carpet, always ends up in me pulling out the vacuum and thank the tiny, little, blessed 7lb. 4oz. Baby Jesus, she thinks vacuuming is the best, damn game ever.

I know, I know, soon enough I will be appalled at her eye rolling and I will be SO heartbroken when she chooses her friends over me and acts like spending time with her parents is some sort of punishment but I think I’ll miss playing like I miss getting my heart broken, getting a pap smear or getting bamboozled into a play date with someone I can’t stand. I have my strengths, I know them and embrace them and I just hold my breath everyday and pray that she masters the art of independent play sometime soon. Ya’d think for an only child she’d already have figured this out!

For I am not Perfect


donut girl - featured image

Greetings Mommy Dearests,

Recently, I have been losing sleep over a certain issue and now I am going to stop obsessing over it and share it with my sisters, if for nothing else, absolution. The other day while I was walking to my Hot Yoga class, I came across a happy child, frolicking down the street alongside her mother. Everything seemed perfect, as things sometimes do from the outside but as I was passing her, I realized she was eating something I hadn’t seen in years…she was eating a donut.

There they were, just strolling down the ignorant path of life, mother and daughter, unbeknownst to them (I’m assuming because they might be poor or don’t read) that this little girl was ingesting pure poison. Now, I didn’t stop to ask them where they had bought the donut because initially I reflected upon the fact that we at our home, once or twice a year, do splurge on Fonuts. We are not North Koreans for God’s sake but this holed pastry looked too sugary to be a Fonut and as I said before, I think they might have been poor or not able to read so how would they even know where to purchase a Fonut? Here is where my moral dilemma begins; I did nothing to stop them. I watched in horror while this poor (literally and figuratively) little angel orally inhaled a giant, doughy, powdered-sugar piece of nuclear waste and I did nothing. How are they to ever know the long-term damage fried, GMO laden, refined sugar-treats can do to a person? I’ve spoken to hundreds, make that hundreds of thousands of people regarding childhood obesity and while this child was in no way obese and was actually skipping and eating (another child-danger I abhor), I am sure she was on her way home to a dinner of fried chicken with a side of something fried.

As I continued on my way to Hot Yoga, something began to burn deep inside my soul. My own selfish need for a good sesh with Raaj stopped me from fulfilling my responsibility as an educated woman to gently put myself between the duo and their destination to gift them the knowledge that I bequeath. For people pay me hundreds, make that millions of dollars every year to bestow my self-studied informational facts about nutrition upon their blank slates of a mind and I failed. I failed as a person, I failed as an educator but mostly, I failed as a mother. How can I call myself a sister to all women if I am not able to protect, scold even, their children? I should have scolded that child for her joyous innocence and I should have scolded that poor (literally and figuratively) mother for not knowing in 2015 that sugar will turn her neglected daughter into either a crack whore or just a plain old whore.

I apologize to you all today and solemnly vow that I will never ever again walk by a person, self-poisoning themselves with what we once used to call snacks or treats and not say a thing. You have my promise, sisters – you have my promise. I sign off continuing the fight for a world without sugar, a world without hunger and world without judgment for those who just don’t know.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be fulfilled “– Luke 6:20-23




Serena Dearest

Serena Zanello
Serena Zanello

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.

Dear Serena,

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!

Good Luck!


Serena Dearest
Serena Dearest

Dear Serena,

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?!



Hi Kelly,

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.

Dear Serena,

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 mommies@mommydearestinc.com