Monthly Archives: November 2011

OWN YOUR SHIT

So, I’m feelin’ pretty good lately. Like I’m owning shit. Well, not shit, more like, ME.  


Like I’m all up IN my skin, not just wearing it. It feels warm and fuzzy too…. and I haven’t even started drinking yet.  


When I look at my body in the mirror, it looks right.  

It doesn’t look great, it doesn’t look young, but it looks right.  

I’m not fucking ‘young’ anymore anyway which is okay, you see, I traded in my tight young ass for experience.  

Life Experience“, that is. 

Not totally ready to go full tilt and all wrinkly-assed for the sake wisdom yet, but I’m not totally turned-off by the thought of that like I used to be, either.

I guess I’m growing up.  

It took me a minute, but I’m getting there. 

One might say I’m “passing the baton”.  Well, I guess if the “baton” is a dick then that’d be right.  

What I’m sayin’ is, that when I was younger, you know, without kids hanging off my tits, I was so hung up on looking a certain way, fitting into what others classified as “attractive” or “hot”…and by “others”, I mean mostly, men.  

In factI think I was more concerned with that then just pleasing myself I’ve learned since then, that pleasing a man over yourself gets you a few things: hung up, stood up, fed up, and fucked up.  

My kids kinda taught me that lesson in a very “Tough Love” kind of way. 

They forced me, by their sheer existence, to prioritize

Like in the fucking Army when they “personality strip” your ass in order to rebuild you their way. Kids are like these little fucked up corporals that strip you of your frivolous ways.  

“Oh, hello mommy, I just dropped by to tell you…”
 
BAM!! There goes your body! 

BAM!! There goes your social life!
 
BAM!!!! ‘YO ASS IS MINE, BITCH! 
 
At first you’re all shell shocked…pissed off….depressed.  

“Where the hell did my life go???”
  
Ahhh, you see, that’s all part of the plan.  

After a while, you learn being pissed about it, just uses up valuable energy you could be using to survive…. 

and then my friends…..IT’S ON.

“I don’t care if I fit in these jeans or not, I NEED TO EAT!”

“I don’t care if my hair smells bad, I NEED TO SLEEP!”

“I don’t care what the hell I look like while I’m “doin’ the do”, if I’m gonna take time away from sleeping to fuck
THAT SHIT BETTER FEEL GOOD!”

And so, starts the cycle of OWNING YOUR SHIT.

It’s an individual process you see, this whole epiphany of “Owning Your Shit”, and may not have started to take effect in your life yet….but it will.  And you’ll know it when it does.  It has this nifty, confidence thing where you suddenly feel more attractive, without even trying.

So, here’s to getting older, getting experienced, letting your kids teach you the real deal, feeling good in your not-so-tight-skin, fucking for the feel of it, and OWNING. YOUR. SHIT.

Now, THAT’S something worth drinking to.
Cheers bitches!


Blame the Butterfly.

I like to have philosophical conversations with my 6 year old. 

You know why?
Because kids minds are so untainted and optimistic, they tend to take things at a very “face value” level.  Using what they know (which is not much) they sometimes come to funny and suprisingly palpable conclusions, and have no qualms about rejecting logical things adamantly.

Kids keep shit real based on their own realities,  realities that may or may not include the existence of fairies and monsters, super powers and the belief that birthday wishes come true. Many times children think they know everything but yet always ask to know more. They’re relentless learners and free thinkers and it’s one of the reasons I love them so.  
The other is because they’re soo fucking easy to whoop in checkers.  King me.


So I’m walking down the street with my 6 year old and she’s talking about the latest piece of junk shit she got out of those little quarter machines at the grocery store.  She starts recounting all of the previous junk shit toys she can remember in one. long. run-on. sentence….

“So after that I got the little red squishy one that I thought was a crab but was really like a bull or a cow or something and even though I really didn’t want THAT one it was okay ’cause I didn’t have it in my collection yet, the one I really wanted was the whale even though it really doesn’t stay on the pencil as good as the squishy pig…..”

She’s talking so fast that she hasn’t even realized I’ve stopped walking.

“Psssst” I say.  She spins around to see why the heck I’ve just halted.  She’s looking at me with a very confused expression.   I trail my eyes down to my foot where I am very obviously pointing my toe at something.  Something shiny.  Something round.  Her eyes follow mine then suddenly grow wide and excited.

“A QUARTER!!” she shouts and jumps down in to a frog squat to grab it.  
“Thanks mommy!”

She is officially delighted and becomes even more so when she makes the connection. 

“Isn’t that funny mommy, you know, how I was just talking about those toys in those machines and how I wanted the whale and now I find a quarter on the street..Now I can try and get it!”

“I found the quarter.” I remind her.

“Yeah, well that’s what I mean, YOU find a quarter, but I mean I was just talking about getting another squishy pencil topper, and now I can!!”

“Yup, fate.” I say and start walking.

“yea fate….  What’s fate?”



Hmmmmm, how am I gonna explain this..?  Not with too much info but I still need to be explicit enough that she gets the gist.  And then I go ahead and fuck it up.

“Well, fate is when something was meant to be, y’know, destined to happen…”  

Why the fuck did I just say destined??  Now I’m gonna have to go ahead and…

“Well, what’s destined??”

Sigh, I just defined an otherwise simple idea with a more complex one that I will now have to explain as well… I shoulda just kept it at “Yup.”

“Well, destiny is like fate, it’s when something is meant to be or meant to happen no matter what you do.”  I’m trailing off hoping that’s good enough.

I’m wrong.

“So, you mean like getting old?”

Haha, clever.  Ok, I see this topic is way to enticing for her to just let go of, and I already put my foot in it, so fuck it.  Let’s delve.

“Well, I guess you could say we’re all destined to get old, but I think it’s more then that. Some people believe that your life is like a path and so you’re on this path and certain things like what you’ll be when you grow up, and maybe people you’ll meet are kind of all already there, just waiting for you to get to that part of the path. Everything in your life is kind of like a story that’s already written and you’re the main character playing out the part that’s written… so in other words, YOU for instance were always my daughter even before I knew it, and even before I ever thought of having you.”

“That’s stupid.” she says, almost immediately.

“Don’t say stupid.”

“Ok, well that’s just impossible then.  I mean, how could I exist if I wasn’t even born yet?  That just doesn’t make any sense.  And who would write my story?  I don’t think someone else wrote MY story and I wouldn’t know about it.  And that quarter, you know that quarter I found? ”

“I found it.”

“Yeah, that YOU found, w
ell that was just a funny coincidence.”

I actually agree with her.  I, myself am no  ‘fatalist’… I’m more of a Butterfly Effect person. 
Hmmm, let’s see how ‘stupid’ she thinks that idea is.

“Well, some people believe that everything that happens is because of every little decision you make.  Like the fact that we decided to walk on the sunny side of the street caused us to find the quarter.  If we had just crossed over, we would’ve missed it altogether.”

She is pensive now and for once, not talking. 

“I’m gonna blow her fucking mind right about now..” I think.

“And not just that, but some people believe that that it’s not just every little decision YOU make but any little change that happens around you or even far away can change your future…” 

Silence.

I think I’ve said too much now. Which may not be bad.  I’m about to say more.


“So, there’s this thing called the Butterfly Effect…”

I start explaining how a butterfly flapping his wings somewhere can start off a chain of events which could have possibly made this side of the street sunny enough for us to find the quarter.

“Coooool” she says “but, if we can’t see the butterfly… and we don’t know where he is, but he still makes the street sunny… then it’s like HE’S the one writing OUR story and we’re just the people acting it out….?  I think the butterfly made us find that quarter, and it’s been waiting for us all along.”

OOOooooo.  She’s got me.  Which is good.  The brain is churning, wheels spinning and she’s even got me pondering shit for a minute.

I’m about to correct her again about who found the quarter, but on second thought,  I just shut up and enjoy the thoughtful silence.


Itchy Bitches

Feeling itchy?
Although there are many different kinds of itches there is typically
one
thing that unites them all:
They are all for the most part,  beyond your control.  
So, Where do they come from?  Why do they happen? 
And more importantly,
what is the best way to scratch ’em?  Well, I think I kinda have it figured out, and here it is:

Top Five Itch List, What They Mean, and Their Scratchy Solutions

1.The Sneeze Foreplay Itch — You know the one.  The nose tickle that lasts forever.  The one where you look like an idiot for 30+ seconds before you actually sneeze.  Mouth all open, nose in the air.  People are already ‘God Blessing’ your ass in anticipation.  And usually, the dumber your face looks, the bigger the sneeze(s).

What it means — It can mean a couple of things, usually though, it signifies the onset of either a cold or allergy season and so therefore carries with it  notions of fear and disdain.

What you can do —  Well I can’t tell you what to do about your allergies, but I CAN give you a suggested way to eradicate The Sneeze Foreplay Itch.  It sounds and looks very cliche but putting your finger under your nose actually works!  Must be some kind of  physics thing involving air, gravity and boogers.  Of course you look like an even bigger dummy but in the long run, your co-workers will thank you for not spraying them with snot, spit and germs.

2. The Sneak Attack Smack In the Middle of Your Back Itch —  I’m not a religious person, but I am absolutely convinced that this is God’s way of being a turd.  (I see you laughing up there...)  I mean why else would that shit just come out of nowhere?  And it’s never a little tiny itch either, it’s always mega intense.  Did I mention it’s physically impossible to reach as well?  Seriously, it’s like licking your elbow, or seeing your ears… I mean unless you’re in Cirque Du Soleil and can bend your ass in half, your fucked.

What it means — As I said earlier, it’s a cruel joke of some higher power, and if not a ‘joke’ it’s gotta be like a mini-karma thing.  Nothing big like what would happen to you if you killed a puppy.  More like not telling someone their skirt’s stuck in their panty hose.

What you can do — Well, the best scenario to be in if this should happen to you is with a close friend or family member.  Y’know, someone you don’t mind asking to do the deed for you.  Asking a stranger can make you look a bit like a primadonna though, so try and avoid.  The second best thing would be to have some kind of arm extender. It doesn’t have to be a back-scratcher per say, it can be something as simple as a pen or even a chopstick should you coincidentally be in a Chinese restaurant.  If you’re alone though, I’m sorry to say, you have no other choice then to use the Grizzly Technique of rubbing your back vigorously on a tree, building or other rough surface.  You will find your mother-in-law’s 5 o’clock shadow works nicely for this.

3.  The Bottom of the Boot Foot Itch —  This one is very closely related to the previously mentioned Middle of Your Back Itch in that it strikes you mysteriously and is extremely annoying.  It is always in the middle of your instep right on the sole of your foot, and to make matters worse, it almost always occurs when you’re wearing a boot or other lace-up  complicated footwear.  It is not quite as bad as the Back Itch though, because you can actually reach it by yourself …. it just takes a little maneuvering.

What it means — Well, it can either be a karma/God joke thing, or it can simply be something not so esoteric, like say, a little piece of crud that got caught in your sock and is now, after walking around a bit, becoming a big pain in your ass.  The fact that it usually occurs whilst wearing inconvenient footwear however, suggests the former. (Yo!  I said I see you laughing up there!!)

What you can do — Well, unfortunately, there’s no getting around this one.  You actually have to stop what your doing and take of your goddamn shoe.  Sticking anything down the boot risks running your stockings, and besides, you can never make that 90 degree turn to get to the sole of your foot.  So just bite the bullet, find a discreet place, and hope you wearing a presentable sock.  And if you’re not, fuck it.  Nothing beats that feeling of relief you get from getting in a thorough scratch session.

4. The Vicarious Cootie Itch A.K.A. The Mind Fuck Itch — Now THIS itch is quite evil.  I say this because well, it’s not even a real itch.  Meaning it cannot be squelched by a simple scratch.  This is the itch that happens when you get a letter from your kids school informing you that someone has LICE.  This is the itch that happens when you see a BED BUG commercial.  THIS is the itch that happens when you’re watching the shower scene in ARACHNOPHOBIA.  Let me expound. In the case of the lice letter,  you’re affected immediately  in your head, for the others, it can be an entire body experience.  It’s precursor is usually that “YEEeeEEeee” chill, you know, when your teeth clench and you get the shudder thing.  Then you feel one little itch, and another, and before you know it, you have psychosomatically given yourself whatever it was you were thinking in your mind.  It’s totally contagious too.  All you have to do is mention the said creepy crawly to a friend and… BAM!! now they have the Vicarious Cootie Itch too …. dang, I think I’m getting a case of it just by writing this…

What it means — It means that you have had some kind of personal cootie run-in or some kind of creepy crawly phobia… or both.  Don’t be ashamed though, it’s more common then you may think… in fact, I have yet to encounter a person who has never experienced this particular kind of itch…. and if they say they haven’t, they’re lying.

What you can do — Because, as I said earlier, this is a Mind Fuck Itch, you have to get your mind the fuck out of it.  In other words, distract, distract, DISTRACT!  Now, since we’re all parents here this should be easy.  I mean, we’re all practiced in the art of distraction otherwise how else would we get toddlers to do what we want?  You’re gonna get a fight if you say “NO, you can’t” to a toddler but if you’re smart, you’ll go with the old “Look at the birdie!! Look at the birdie!!” trick in order to lure them where you want them.  It’s like the carrot and the stubborn mule — he won’t go if you pull him but if you have a good enough di
straction
, he’ll follow your lead.  So if your brain is caught with images of bed bugs sucking your blood as you sleep, just push in pictures of puppies and chocolate and in no time, you’ll be cured!

5. The Time For Another One Itch — This one’s a fucking DOOZY.  Now, did you think I wasn’t going to have a MOMMY reference in this whole list??? C’mon, this IS PaRANThood after all isn’t it???  So, let’s talk about this one.   This One More Baby Itch is the most dangerous itch of them all.  It usually happens when your youngest child is about 2 1/2 – 3 years old.  It’s a very complex and convoluted itch because it is very real in your mind AND body, and yet, it is completely ILLOGICAL.  It can be particularly provoked by being in the company of infants.  On rare occasions, it can even be husband influenced.  While it’s happening though, it can have very profound physical effects such as spontaneous lactation, and yet it has a creeper quality, allowing itself to periodically withdraw following good self-rationalizing session.  But not unlike that weird creeper dude in that photo at your friends birthday, it’s always there, waiting, whether you see it at the time or not.  And if you succumb… it’s effects last your entire fucking life.

What it means — Well, it means unfortunately, that you’re a pretty normal chick. Us moms are the ultimate dichotomy.  The first half being, that since you’re a mother once already, you are familiar with all of the lovely aspects that accompany the act of nurturing.  The tender moments you’ve experienced now draw you back, like a drug.  The satisfaction and contentment of a newborn babe asleep in your arms is unmatchable.  The smell, the feel, the warmth… it’s all completely enticing, and has somehow slipped away with the toddler you once cradled who is now a mouthy jerk. You yearn for that same closeness.  You so enjoyed wrapping a tiny child almost completely inside yourself that you have almost forgotten    that.    other.     part….. That other half of the dichotomy.  That suck ass part that after considering and rehashing,  has many times kept The Itch at bey and is somehow STILL so much a part of us.  I don’t know just how they derived the word MOM from the word MOTHER, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t.  I believe the word MOM is an acronym for Master Of Masochism.   There’s this kind of worrier pride thing that goes along with being a mom isn’t there?  It’s like we’re on Survivor.  We go through the harshness that is pregnancy, allowing our bodies to take a beating, then birth (have some more!) then all the shit that happens after…in fact, sometimes I even think we have a secret need for this part too…. (I STILL see you laughing up there by the way…  NOW CUT IT OUT!!)

What you can do — Believe it or not, the answer is simple.  Well, maybe straight forward is a better term…  There are three ways to go in this situation.  a) You can succumb to the Itch and have another child.  I have done this once, and at times have wanted to fucking kill myself, but overall, I regret nothing.  b) You can override the itch using some strong will power and eventually when your child gets older and you become an actual real person again you just might be grateful you made that decision… but beware, there is no guarantee it will not rear it’s head again….
 or 3) Get a fucking DOG.  After the  second time  that Itch crept up on my ass, I got a dog.  He’s about as tall as my two year old and very cute.  He completely fulfills my need to nurture and cuddle, just without the stretchmarks or the sitters.  I still gotta deal with a little piss and poo, but at this point, that’s a cake walk.

Well I hope that was not only enjoyable but informative, and now, here are some “Itches” that didn’t make the list but definitely deserve an honorable mention…

The Seven Year Itch
The Teenage I Knew I Shouldn’t Have Slept With That  Guy Crotch Itch
The I Wanna Go Out, Get Drunk And Dance Itch

and finally,

The This Cast Fucking Sucks Itch



ESCAPE!!

I’m having an “I Hate My Life” moment.   Ok, let me re-phrase that so I can breathe without screaming…  I’m having an “I Hate My Life Right Now” moment. 

The kids, the husband, the messy house, they’re all closing in on me.  Every “Mommy!!” feels like a piranha bite.  The mess in each room is morphing in to quicksand, pulling me deeper in to piles of play food and Duplo blocks.   The stroller is a giant tower, piled high with coats not hung up because the closet itself has become a dangerous avalanche zone.  The husband is questioning me about dinner and the defrosted chicken that’s sitting warm on the counter.  
“How long has it been out?” “Are you sure it’s still good?” “Did you forget to put it in the fridge?” 
The cat has just knocked down the plant spraying soil all over the floor — I think what a good fur stole he would make as I sit on my hands and knees picking up pieces of pearlite.
“Sign my homework!” “Give me juicebox!” “Are you making broccoli?!” “MOMMY!!!” “Meeooooww!!”  AARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

MOMMYYYYY!!!!

I feel like running away, maybe under the cloak of night… Yeah, that’s IT!! I’ll steal away quietly while the monsters are sleeping.  Tip-toeing over toys I will slowly open the front door.  A thin stripe of light from the buildings hallway will slice through the dark living room.  My final vision as I back silently out of the house will be of the  cat lazily opening one eye just in time to be the sole witness of my departure….
I’ll flip him the bird.  

   

Fuck you cat.

With just some money and a small bag of clothes, I’ll  catch a yellow checker cab.  The driver will have a newsboy cap, some serious 5 o’clock shadow, and will be chewing what’s left of a cigar nub in the corner of his mouth.
“Where ya headed Miss?”  he’ll ask over his shoulder in a thick Brooklyn accent.
“The airport.” I’ll respond without even a pause. It’ll be raining lightly. 

I can see myself at the counter now.  Like in the movies when someone goes to the airport and just picks some far away destination blindly from the departure board — It’ll be a place I can’t pronounce.

 The lady at the desk will ask me “Round trip Ma’am?” and I’ll just look at her all snarky… 
“One way.” I’ll say, with a determined look and slap down the money.  I’ll wear a kerchief on my head and some big black sunglasses even if it IS night… maybe some red lipstick.  I’ll seem nervous — like I’m running from the law. 

Maybe I’ll find a small bar in the terminal and sip a dry martini while a mysterious and handsome traveler eyes me.  He should have a hat  …. a fedora. 
He’ll ask me where I’m headed but before I can answer…
“Flight 753 is now boarding… Flight 753 is now boarding” the monotone voice will echo throughout the terminals. 
“I’ll let you know when I get there..” will be my response.  With a last gulp I’ll finish the martini, push a twenty across the bar and grab my little suitcase.
“Keep the change.”

 

Yeah, something like that….

I can feel the mysterious traveler’s eyes on my back as I make my way to the gate.  I’ll give my boarding pass to the attendant and start the long walk down the ramp towards the plane’s open hatch.  There will be a moment where I’ll glance over my shoulder as if having  second thoughts…. is that a tear..?  No, just some dust.  The slim male attendant greets me at the hatch.

“Hello ma’am, let’s see.. ahh yes, that’s 11B straight down on your left.”
I’ll find my seat and as I push my suitcase in to the overhead compartment a strong hand comes up over my shoulder from what seems out of nowhere, giving my bag the last shove it needs to shimmy in to the cramped space.

Swirling around I come face to face with the mysterious handsome traveler….
“You never did tell me where you were headed….”

Then BAM something hits me in the head!!  I’m seeing stars… no, not stars, I’m seeing, rainbows….. no, just one rainbow…… a rainbow of crayons as the box of Crayolas fall from my 6 year old’s top bunk  crashing down on my head….
“MOMMMYYY!!!”
Shit. Oh well, who was I kidding?  At least I got away for a minute, even if it was only in my mind.


Gimme the phone, we’re having pizza tonight….


The Little Girl Who Cried “OUCH”!

Drama.  


It’s what seems to be my 7 year old daughter’s compadre lately.

She’s been doing this thing recently that I have been trying to ignore, but unfortunately, it involves me.  And it’s not just me.  It’s Daddy, it’s little sister… in fact, it’s the dog, and the cat too.  I’m almost convinced it would happen with absolutely no one in the room at all…  

It’s, the “OUCH!!”   

She says it when I nudge her to go get her shoes on, she says it when I brush her hair.  She constantly says it when alone with her sister in a room (half of which I’m sure is unwarranted), and she says it when she plays with the dog.  The only time she doesn’t say it, is when she’s playing with her friends in the playground.  

It annoys me to think of how many bumps and scrapes have happened there, but mysteriously, the “OUCH!!” is nowhere to be found… I’m pretty sure she’s aware that an “ouchie” at the playground, might END that playground session….

She may be dramatic but she ‘aint no dummy.

So, you see, my daughter has become: 

“The Little Girl Who Cried OUCH”.  

It’s to the point where I ask for physical evidence in order to prove the ouch”!  

What the hell!?

I assume that just like all annoying things children do, it’s a stage that will pass at some point and I KNOW that this past weekend has taught her a lesson… at least for now… 

Ok, ok, and maybe me too…

It’s Saturday morning and Daddy has already left for work.  It’s errand time and this morning’s errands involve the supermarket, and the pet store.  


Everything seems… normal.  

The little one is being her annoying three year old self, and the 7 year old is chatting away non-stop to anyone who makes eye-contact.  I myself have a bit of a headache from celebrating my sister’s birthday the night before.  Nothing too crazy, just dinner and some drinks.  At some point, during the incessant chattering of the 7 year old, I politely ask her to: 

“Take the talking down a notch”.  

I  don’t tell her this part, but her squeaky voice is beginning to feel not unlike an ice pick being tapped in to my temples.  

Instead, I tell her simply that my head is a little “ouchie”…. 

Well, well, well, guess who gets all ouchie” NOW…??  

Yup.

“Mommy??”


“Yes?”

“You know how I have this cough??”

“Yes, the same cough you get every year around this time?”

“Yea, well sometimes it hurts when I put my head this way..” 
She says pointing her chin at her toes.. 

At this point I’m wondering what this has to do with the cough but I’m just gonna go with it…

“Oh yeah?  Well, does it hurt a lot or does it feel like maybe you slept funny…?”

“Not a lot.  Oh, and my foot has been hurting too..”

I’m getting skeptical now. 

“Which foot?”

“Well, sometimes this one, but sometimes the other one hurts too…”

Okay, I’m pretty positive that at this point, she’s full of shit.

“Ummm, Okay, well if it still hurts tomorrow, let me know.”  My standard answer when it comes to these random phantom “ouchies” that have been regularly afflicting my daughter lately. I say this because most of them are either forgotten or “All better!” by the next day.

“Oh, and one more thing..”


“Yes..?”

“My ear feels funny.”

“Well you have a little cough and cold so maybe you just have a some pressure from being congested…?”

“Yeah, probably mommy..”

The rest of the walk home is pretty quiet which is a bit unusual, but enjoyable nonetheless, so I speak no more of the neck, cough, foot, or ear and just relish in the silence.

Home.  


Now this happens all the time.  I’m busy unpacking stuff and the two kids start getting in to it.  The typical, *YES!/NO! SHIT*, *MINE!/I HAD IT FIRST! SHIT*.  

Sibling squabbles.  

After three “CUT IT OUTs!!”  I’m beginning to get pissed.  I march in to their room and instruct the 7 year old to take out her weekend homework and get a pencil.   I return to my unpacking…

Again*YES/NO/MINE/NO!!!*
  
“Excuse ME!”  I say marching back in, now more pissed. 

“I thought I told you to get your homework out!!”

“Nyeah NYEAH NYEAH! this child says to me, millimeters away from having her tongue stuck out!!!!!

Well.  


I’m just going to tell you that she would be taking a nap that very day, right along with her BABY sister, while I would count down from 10 million and order a Netfix movie...  

Something funny…. something nice… something calming.

No more then 20 minutes in to my decompression movie, and I start hearing it.  


The muffled sound of coughing.  

I take a deep breath and ignore it.  

Two minutes later… *cough cough cough*  

Grrrrrrrr,  whatever…  

*cough cough cough* 

Is she exaggerating that?!?!?!?

“Where was this cough earlier??” I’m thinking. 


“Funny, now she’s punished, now she’s coughing.”  

Then the door opens…

“What is the problem?!” I ask down the hallway…

Out comes a sobby disheveled little girl, lip blubbering… 

“OUCH!! My ear hurtsss..”

Oh boy, here we fucking go….

I feel her head, no fever.  I look in her ear, a little bit of wax.  I give her Tylenol.  

“Go back in the room.”

*cough cough cough*

From the other room… “OUCH, my ear……”

At this point, I’m at a loss.  She has no fever, she’s been fine all morning.  So fine, in fact, that she’s up to sass me and fight with her sister!!  “Miss OUCHIE” herself is now suddenly crying in pain the moment she is forced to take on a punishment.  She seems to be in the same amount of “pain” despite the Tylenol … 


W T F.  I’m about to lose my SHIT.

Now, I don’t say this so often, but, thank God Daddy’s home.

He barely gets his foot in the door when I practically accost him with the annoying details  leading up to his arrival.  

“Do me a favor,” I say, “take this one to the urgent care center so they can check her out and tell her nothing is goddamn wrong with her!!!”

“Really?” he says,  “You know how she is….”

EXACTLY. So please, just take her so she gets bustedPLEASE.”

Reluctantly he puts her coat on, glaring at me all the while. 

“PLEEEEEASE” I mouth to him silently, my eyes wide and pleading.  His eyes now, are rolling.

About forty minutes later, in walks the both of them.  My husband hands me a diagnosis:  


Middle Viral Ear Infection and Bronchitis prescribed Z-pack



I. Feel. Fucking. Horrible.

I want to run away crying.  

I am officially the worst mother in the world.  

I can do nothing but hug and kiss her apologizing profusely.  

I cup her face in my hands and ask her if she can ever forgive me for not believing her.  I try to explain my reasons for not taking her seriously and the importance of only saying something hurts when something hurts…. 

I am crying.  

She starts crying too at this point and says: 

“I forgive you Mommy. Do you forgive me for not always telling the truth????”

I’m speechless.   

I don’t say it, but she knows I do.   

We hug, and I stroke her hair.  I can tell, everything’s going to be okay. 

A lesson has been learned by all…..

“OUCHHHH!!!” 


A squeal from behind me issues throughout the house.  I jerk my head around and see my 3 year old with a tiny, furrowed brow.  

“I herwt my toooeee.”



Oh boy.


5 “Firsts” We’d Rather Forget, But Just Can’t.

Baby’s first step, first hair cut, first words, first tooth.  These are all moments that we as parents relish.  We WAIT for these moments and even commemorate them in brag books, scrap books, and video diaries.  They are signifiers of time, milestones in our childrens growth and development both physical and psychological.  “Experts” even have gone as far as to pinpoint at what ages you can expect to see such firsts….. just another example of a bunch of bullshit to make moms feel bad or as though they’re child is abnormal.  You know normal mommy injustices.

So, yes, these firsts are quite darling and make for a really cute picture… but if you know me, you know I’m all about commiseration of shit. 


So, let’s talk about all the other FIRSTS.  The ones that happen to EVERYONE but rarely have a cute accompanying picture in a brag book or nary a mention in all of those “How To Parent” bullshit books….. you can run but you can’t hide from…

1.The First Time Your Baby Chooses DADDY Over YOU
You can’t believe it.  The same child you sacrificed your whole body for.  The same child, for many of us, whose mouth has been stuck to your tit since birth. The same child YOU got up with in the middle of the night a BILLION times to rock and hush and hold in order to lull back to sleep… you feel betrayed and hurt… you can’t really understand it….who the hell is this miniature TRAITOR!?

 
Don’t feel bad, your baby is just now old enough now to think beyond survival.  She wants what’s new, whats novel and right now, it’s Dad.  Be proud!  You have made her feel safe and secure for so long, she finally feels okay getting the fuck away from you!! Don’t be a dummy, GET OUT BY YOURSELF!  As a matter of fact, RUN.  Go get a mani/pedi for fuck’s sake.  And don’t worry, as soon as she feels tired/sick/bad she’ll be right back up your ass and you be wishing for another Daddy moment.  


Looks cute now but at the time, you kinda wanna punch ’em both in the face…

2.Your child’s first BLOODY Injury
You don’t really realize just how this moment is going to effect you until it happens.  There ARE a couple of words that pop in to my mind though, like TERROR, PANIC and SEVERE DURESS.  Of course you suspected at some point this would happen, but to see your child bloody in any way for the first time can throw you for quite a doozy.  It usually happens one of two ways.  You got your classic:


“Fall On The Face Unintentional Lip Bite” 
And your oh, so popular: 
“I’m Running Before I Can Even Really Walk, So I Completely Scraped The Skin Off Both Knees Fall”.   

The first one is a little bit of a harsher ‘Mommy Haze’ because face cuts bleed A LOT.  The actual laceration may be no bigger then a grain of rice yet it bleeds like their fucking arm got chopped off.  This was MY first encounter with The Bloody Injury…… NIGHTMARE.  

My husband couldn’t even handle it — I  turned to him for some kind of something but he was already running away, his hands clutching each side of his head in sheer horror … 
“Wow, thanks a lot guy” 
Looking back at this experience now, it must have actually appeared quite comical to an onlooker. 

When you finally wipe enough blood away to find out where the hell the cut is, it’s almost always tiny and on the inside of the lip thanks to those cute little sharp ass teeth you were so proud finally came in.  Don’t fret though, one tissue and a tight pincer grip on the affected lip and off they go to do it again.  

“The Knee Mangle” is fun too.  Especially if its on a gravelly surface.  It’s a run, a slide, and a scream as you watch little red spots seep through their pants.  This is also commonly accompanied by the double bloody palm.  Yup lovely.
This injury was so common with my first daughter she literally had overlapping knee scabs from age 2-4.  I wondered when I finally saw skin on her knees if it would look normal or just be all scar tissue.  Well, I survived it, as did she, (who of two of us is more traumatized, I can’t be sure) and she has totally normal knees now at age 6.  
Even when it was happening on practically a daily basis I still took comfort in seeing one of my favorite children’s  books “The Me Book” illustrate the fact that yes, 
“Knees are for….Lots of Bandages”


The ME Book by Jean Tymms


Look familiar?  Not the elephant part… just the knee part.. although…….

3. First Stomach Bug
Now, if your kid is over one and you still haven’t dealt with this, consider yourself DAMN LUCKY. 
You know, there are people you may have known, or have seen on TV that have been around a dead body.  Well, I myself haven’t but I have heard the same thing come out of several people’s 
mouths… 


“You never forget that smell...”  

That may be true,  because after you’ve had The Pukies invade your home, you are changed.  It’s pretty fucking devastating and it all comes on so fast!  Like a goddamn sneak attack.  You’re playing with your child and suddenly they get this weird look on their face… you haven’t quite seen it before.  It’s like ouchie mixed with fear and urgency and then….. 

They just run right ‘atcha!  

You don’t know what to do so you do what’s natural, you extend your arms out to them… only to be met with a disgusting blast of food, mucous and bile all over your chest, sometimes your hair, and even sometimes your face.   And the smell…  When I tell you, NOTHING …. NOTHING is more vomit inducing then the smell of the stomach bug puke, I’m seriously getting queasy just conjuring it up in my mind.  And it does not stop.  A sip of water, a bucket of puke, a sip of water, a bucket of puke…Now if you thought THAT was bad, wait ’till it starts coming out of their ass.  Always a light color, the “sick shit” can never be mistaken for any other diarrhea — it’s signature, is unique.  The bug is usually only a 24 hour thing but you will wash more laundry in that 24 hours then in all the laundry you’ve done since their birth….and you and your house will reek looong after the bug has left.

 I ALWAYS SAY, I’ll take a three day fever over a one day stomach bug no doubt about it.  At least with a regular fever, they just want to lay around and be pampered, that I can handle…. oh, and did I mention, in about 12 hours, you’ll have it too?


Yup, this’ll be you!  Only difference?  No one will give a rat’s ass.

4.Baby’s First Shoplift
So there you are, once again with the stroller in the baby supply store (it seems the only place you go to nowadays) and you’re browsing around.  Your kid is fussing and being snarky so you hand them some kind of knick-knack to keep him quiet.  You pick up a couple of pairs of socks, maybe some bibs and some kind of feeding contraption that looks really fucking cool but turns out to be yet another useless piece of shit that you feel guilty about chucking. (Why did I do that again???)  You pay for your stuff get half way home only to realize you kid has sill got that $5.00-$10.00 knick-knack in his slimy little drooly hands… SHIT!  What do you do??  Do you go back?  He already drooled all over it and now they’ll just make you buy it…  

Why didn’t they see it in the store and stop me???  
Why didn’t I notice??  
Aww, fuck it.  You feel embarrassed at first but then weirdly, soon after, you’re chuckling as you tell daddy about the “hot” rattle your boy “lifted” from the store.  
Then there’s also the first time you’re in the same store, but your kid is a bit older now, and you make your purchase only to get home and realize that your son has a toy in his hand that you didn’t give him to keep him quiet!!  He just went ahead and plucked it from somewhere quietly without alerting even you…..!! 
WTF??
Don’t worry, he’s not destined for a life of crime, besides,  it only takes ONE time of him setting off the store alarm before he learns his lesson of “You can’t just take thing from the store!”  and your lesson of checking the damn stroller before you leave!!

Can he work on the chain gang if he can’t walk yet?

5. Baby’s First Playground Pummel
This is my final first.  Not because I don’t have a MILLION more, but because nap time’s almost over. 
So you’re in the playground AGAIN watching as your kids crawls, wobbles or stomps through every dirty puddle she can find, completely disregarding any and all equipment specifically designed to engage her.  Finally choosing the nastiest puddle, she stops. Up comes another cute little girl around the same age equally drawn to the same disgusting puddle.  You turn to see her mother approach and smile.  

“Say hello to the little other girl sweety!!” you say to your kid who is looking a little peeved about being muscled off of this particular dirt she so rightfully found first!!  Before you can say “parallel play” all you hear is ‘WHAP!!’ and now the the other little girl is holding her head crying!
  
Wait, what???  Did that just fucking happen???
  
You are beyond mortified.  The other mother has long since swept her daughter up asking her if she’s okay, all the while giving you the most disapproving sideways glare you’ve ever gotten.
  
“NO!” you say to your way-too-satisfied-looking-spawn, 
“That is NOT NICE!  We DO NOT HIT!!!” 

You look at the other mother, your face is flushed with embarrassment 

“I’m so
o sorry,” you say. 
“She has never done that before!” you say.  

By now, the other mom is giving you the “That’s okay” thing which really means “Nice devil child you have there, HUMPH!!” and walks away.  

You’re still kind of aghast, and to make matters worse, any attempt you make to try and get her to apologize is met with crossed arm obstinacy.  
What have I done wrong?!? you think… 
Was it the time Daddy roughhoused with her?? 
Or the time I accidentally let her watch Tom and Jerry???  
You don’t know this at the time, but pushing, shoving, hitting and grabbing is pretty commonplace in the playground and that soon enough you’ll be handling these little scuffs in stride, with a little ‘no, no, nooo..’ or time-out, or whatever, it all works itself out… 

For now though, like an insane person, you’ve just spent three hours on line googling “child+violent+urges” or “hitting+child”  and have convinced yourself that you have made some GRANDIOSE parenting mistake, unintentionally turning your kid in to a mini Muhammad Ali.

So, remember, you may not want to remember them, but it’s these shitty firsts that help us keep it all in perspective!  


Just like that first step, if it hasn’t happened yet, it will.  

Just as a first step teaches a child to walk, a first round of The Pukies teaches YOU to turn them AWAY from your FACE.

Love always,
PaRANThood.

Tween. I got a problem with that.

TWEEN sounds just like TEEN, and since they practically ARE I have a great fucking idea!  Let’s tell all little girls who are between 10-12 that they have moved up from the rank of “kid” to “tween”!
This way they can go ahead and get a jump start on only giving a shit about boys, clothes and make-up!  (You know, all that good stuff that’s marketed to girls in the teen sect).

So what if they don’t have boobs, I’m sure we can shove their little immature bodies in to some kind of training bra and that way also give them a jump start on being sexual!  Two birds, one stone…it’s ingenious.  So what’s the smallest size string bikini briefs come in these days?  Oh, and furthermore, can we get them with printed little sayings on them??  Like, I dunno, AWESOME, or I LOVE TEXTING, or, no, wait, I got it!  DIVA!  I’m on a roll here, not only can we sexualize them at 11 but incorporate an ignorant and uppity attitude at the same time!  There I go again, killing two birds with one pair of inappropriate underwear.  

Let’s seeeee,  what else what else…  I’m sooo totally not done yet like, fer sure!  AHA! Let’s set up a bunch of really awesome role models for them to look up to.  I vote for anyone blonde!   I mean,  they may be stupid but they’re certainly prettier then brunettes.  Besides, who ever said girls have to be smart?   As long as they can be as sarcastic as possible and get the boy, they’re good.    I know this because all the Tween shows on Disney and Nick Jr. tell me! 

Speaking of Disney… thank GOD for them right?  I mean who else has been there for our daughters since day one?  Teaching the importance of being beautiful and always waiting for a man to come save you??   I mean have you ever witnessed the lesson of low-self esteem taught so effortlessly?  So naturally?  It’s like you almost don’t even realize it, it’s so fluid!  Which princess was your daughter for Halloween?  Mine was Belle, which of course means Beautiful!!  Who the fuck wants to be Mulan anyway?
Where was I?  Oh yeah, TWEEN, a double digit age is a double digit age right?  Fuck it, 10 year olds are basically Divas in training, so let’s make sure they know it. 

Soooooo, 7,8,9 is almost 10… how about SWEEN?  Like soon to be TWEEN??  I’m thinkin kitten heels……..

Listen, we can perpetuate this shit or not, we just gotta know it’s THERE.

The Quasi-Ellusive, Not-So-Mysterious…. SAHD

Ok, here’s the scenario


You’re in the playground with your mom friends.  The kids are running around, you and your girls are doing the literal coffee clutch thing, chip-chip-chipping away about some potty-training snafu, or the fight you got in to with your husband last night when you get that elbow jab in your arm. 
  
With hot coffee splashing over your fingers you’re about to give your friend the “What For?!” but before you can open your mouth, you notice her eyes have a widened, crazy kind of look and are set upon something apparently captivating over your shoulder.

Following her gaze, you turn your head and there it is.  

Walking in to the playground, almost as if in slow-motion, the ONE thing that could silence a gaggle of moms… 

The Stay-At-Home-Dad also commonly known as  “Hot Dad”.

Every community has at least one.   
He is almost always alone — I mean he’s with his kid(s) but never with another Hot Dad or even another mom.  

He has a nonchalant stride and seems completely unaware of the fact that he’s the only adult in the playground with a penis.


Well, HE may not notice but WE sure as hell do!  Don’t we ladies?  (and BTW he totally DOES notice).  

Now, now, now, before you become paralyzed with awe, as if you’ve just had lunch with Brad Pitt, let’s use our brains for a moment and dispel the myth.

The SAHD may be a RARE sighting but he is by no means a unicorn, leprechaun, jackalope, or any other mythical, magical creature.  I know this because I have infiltrated this world and befriended many a happy and hunky playground distraction. 
 
Let’s all do something we haven’t done in a while. 
Let’s all rewind our minds and try to remember our PRE-BABY, PRE-HUSBAND sensibilities.  

I know, I know, blow away those cobwebs and think of the person you were.   

Cute, perky, no bags under the eyes, nice figure, young.. the world was a clam shell, waiting for you to open it.  Got that image? Good.  

Now, think of how you thought of stuff during those care-free naive times.  

Now think of the guy you thought of at that time who was sooo absolutely, unbelievably HOT! 
 
Got THAT image?  
Good.  


I dunno bout you, but this is what I imagine… Patrick Wilson in the movie 
“Little Children” If you haven’t seen it..you must!  But this shit is straight up FANTASY bitches!!

Now look at that SAHD that just walked in to the playground.

Chances are he pales in comparison to that ideal of hotness that you just pictured your mind.  A bit older, a bit more tired looking, and probably lacking the washboard fantasy abs you were drooling over in your mind.


Not an ugly guy, but not “Spill my coffee all over my crotch HOT!!” either…


Let me throw a little analogy out at’cha.  

Imagine you’re starving, you haven’t eaten in three days and someone hands you a stale bagel.  
You’d never eat it on a regular day, but it’s looking pretty damn tasty right now, ain’t it??  

Now, chill out dads, I’m not calling you a stale bagel, 
(well not really), I’m just saying I’m not convinced that some of these HDs aren’t just being made in to demigods simply because us Moms are for the most part “man deprived”  during our daily routines.

“Oh, no,” you may be thinking, 
“It’s not that he’s hot or not hot, it’s that he’s just sooo good with the little ones!  Look at how well he changes that diaper!  Now THAT’S sexy!” and…
“See how he handled that tantrum??  My husband could NEVER do THAT!”  

Now is when I do the Cher Moonstruck thing where I slap you in the face and yell “Snap out of it!!”  

Yeah, he may be more sensitive to a baby’s needs then your husband may be. 
YEAH he’s a much more efficient diaperer then your man. 
YES he never forgets the sand toys where as your husband on the rare occasions he takes the kids to the playground forgets the whole damn diaper bag… 

…BUT it’s not because the SAHD was BORN this way.  

Like you, and your evolved baby care skill set, he too has an advanced skill set because like YOU, 
HE TOO does this shit every-fucking-day-a-million-times-a-day.  

See, no magic there, just a normal parent trying to survive like you and me.  No genie lamps, no wishes granted.

Oh, and one more thing, most of the time, the reason they are SAHD’s in the first place is because when a baby comes, if both parents are working, there’s a choice to be made.  
Who stays home and who stays working?
  
Usually the one who makes the most or has the best job benefits stays at work… leaving the other with the child care.  

I’m sure you all get what I’m saying here…. right??

I am not hating on SAHDs AT ALL.  

In fact, I give them Kudos for assuming a role that our very sexist society deems only for women.
  
But I don’t admire them anymore then I admire all of my SAHMs that trudge though the unending days and sleepless nights of parenthood.  

Men are not better because they take care of the kids, just like women aren’t better because they bring home the bacon.

So next time “Hot Dad” walks on the scene, do yourself a favor, don’t drop your coffees, instead, invite him in to the clutch.

He’ll probably be relieved.  

Being the only dude is intimidating and being the only man on the boat don’t make him some kind of Captain.  

He’s a lowly deck hand, just like us, swabbing the deck, walking the plank a million times a day for the real tyrannical pirates in all of our lives — our kids.

Happy Hallo-who-the-hell-are-you-supposed-to-be?!

Smell my feet.  

That’s what I feel like these kids are saying to me when they ring my doorbell, demanding candy, but have NO FUCKING COSTUME ON.  

Now listen, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  I don’t need to see a hundred dollar costume complete with every detail and accessory possible, but those sneakers with a white T-shirt ain’t cutting it.  

If you don’t know, I’m a New York City Girl.  As a kid, we were pretty poor, but that didn’t stop ME from tying a goddamn SCARF around my chest, putting on some baggy pants and rubber banding the bottoms in order to concoct some kind of Gypsy/Harem Girl costume…  

And then, there was always the: Hobo Fallback Costume…  

If you really don’t have any options, take your most trashed up clothes, trash ’em up some more, and don’t forget to rub some of mom’s brown eyeshadow on your face to simulate some real authentic looking street dirt (a coffee can with change makes a nice prop for this one…).  

So what I’m saying here is, it’s not a MONEY thing…  

It’s an EFFORT thing.  


Now, I do MY part.  I go to the annoying Halloween Candy section at the supermarket/drugstore/whatever and buy bags of candy for these little ones.  I stand by the goddamn door waiting to hear my doorbell ring, and answer it promptly with treats in hand…..but I swear to God, if I open that door and a kid is standing there with a supermarket plastic bag in his hands, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, they’re gonna know what FEAR on HALLOWEEN, REALLY means.  And furthermore, non-costume wearing Trick-orTreaters, DON’T EVEN ASK ME for extra candy for some made-up sick sibling.  If one exists and they actually ARE sick, they shouldn’t be EATING CANDY anyway.


So, after I take my little ones out trick-or-treating (fully costumed) I will be waiting for the Trick-or-Treaters to come to me, but at least make a fucking mask out of a paper plate, either that, or be prepared to…. 

Be afraid … be very afraid.


GooOOoooOoood Night.