Summergeddon Is Upon Us

It’s that joyous time of year. that wonderful time of year when we as parents suddenly realize how much we took our kids’ teachers for granted. We also realize that they are GROSSLY underpaid for what they endure, but that’s a topic for another post.

Suddenly we are faced with the impending doom of having to occupy our kids. Moms are frantically combing Pinterest for perfectly designed activities to stimulate their little brains while on summer vacation. STOP PINNING! RIGHT NOW. JUST STOP. I’m not knocking Pinterest. I love it. But seriously, Pinterest is ruining our kids childhoods. It is demolishing their creativity one Pin at a time. Remember what you did during the summer? I do. I went to camp. And if I wasn’t at camp, I was left to my own devices. I was lucky enough to have an older brother so sometimes he was left in charge, or so he thought. My parents were also in the unique position of running a business out of our home, so my mom was home for the better part of our childhoods. But she was also working. She basically was just on call in case one of us was on fire or had a stick in our eye.

We woke up, rolled out of bed, shoveled some breakfast into our wildling mouths and were on our way. No daily schedule. Tag, Hide n Seek, Manhunt, Swimming, hunting lizards(yeah that’s a thing in Florida), getting dropped off at the beach for the day. FOR THE DAY. like 6-8 hours. In the sun, with money to buy a sub at the best sub shop in town. I see these super cute (and totally useless) “Daily Themes” for kids during Summergeddon. “Make it Monday” “Take a Trip Tuesday”, etc. A more realistic version would probably be “Make a mess Monday” “Take a Trip to the ER Tuesday” “What the hell did you get into Wednesday” “Thinking About Boarding School Thursday” and “Frozen Drink Friday” Imagine that, for 8-12 weeks.

Now I’m sure some of you are thinking “OMG does this woman even spend time with her kid?” YES. YES I DO. But I also work, am finishing my Bachelor’s degree and I don’t really enjoy glitter or playing pretend. My kid could benefit greatly from a dose of reality when it comes to summer. For some reason she thinks it MY job to entertain her. She comes to me often asking “What can I do?” Um………go away. Find something. Let me just name a few of the things at her disposal: roller skates, a scooter, a bike, sporting goods, chalk, art supplies, a tablet, a dog, pools, the beach….shall I go on? My point is, she needs to suck it up. If I wanted to be responsible for someone’s entertainment, I would’ve become an actress. When did it become my responsibility to make sure my child was occupied every second of everyday?

I bet some of you are saying “I always play with my kid(s), this woman is awful.” Guess what? That’s great. I play with my kid often. And I’m by no means suggesting she run off into the distance without me having any idea of her whereabouts. She’s 7. She can’t yet go to the beach by herself. Hubs won’t even let her go around the corner to the playground with her friends; I’m working on him. The current state of the world has made it virtually impossible for our kids to become the “Kids of Summers Past”.

Seriously though…..step away from Pinterest. Kick your kid(s) outside with a cooler full of drinks and snacks.Let them survive on those shitty popsicles so they don’t get heat stroke because then they will be stuck inside with you. Tell them to come in when it gets dark. Listen for any obvious sounds of pain or eminent danger….and my advice? It’s not a emergency unless someone is on fire or has a stick in their eye….or both.

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If You give a Mom a Cocktail

If you give a Mom a cocktail, she will want to sit down.

When she sits down, she will probably ask you for a straw.

When she finishes her drink, she will probably ask you for another.

If you give a Mom another cocktail, she will want a snack.

If you give a Mom a snack, she probably won’t cook dinner.

If she doesn’t cook dinner, the kids will get hungry.

If the kids get hungry, a Mom will want them to do something to occupy themselves, like coloring.

If the kids color, they will want to hang their pictures on the fridge.

Once Mom sees the fridge, she will be reminded that she is thirsty.

She will ask for……another cocktail.

If you give a Mom another cocktail, she will order pizza.

If a Mom orders pizza, the kids are happy.

If the kids are happy, then a Mom gets quiet time.

If a Mom gets quiet time, Mom is happy.

If Mom is happy, everyone is happy.

And that is why you should give a Mom a cocktail!

How Fairy Tales Prepared me for Motherhood

Photographer Dina Goldstein’s series “Fallen Princesses“ has actually been around since 2009 but I had never posted the photographs as a complete set before. The project looks at Disney fairy tale princesses and their harshly realistic modern day lifestyles. Seems not everybody lives happily ever after. This project has won several awards, been published internationally in magazines, analyzed by experts in the field of Fairytale literature and studied in High schools and Universities.:

You’ve read them. I’ve read them. We grew up on them, as did countless generations before us. We all know that fairy tales started out as cautionary tales to keep adventurous children from wandering off into the forest and eating a candy house while petting a wolf that looks like your Nana. I guess those things have happened in the past. I have a special place in my heart for fairy tales. I have always found them fascinating. I have written term papers about their importance even in today’s world. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that these stories beloved the world over also helped prepare me for Motherhood. How? well gather ’round children and I’ll tell you a story

Old Mother Hubbard: She lived in a cupboard. The poor woman never got out of the kitchen. Give me one example how that is not an accurate representation of being a mom. Go on….I’ll wait

The Little old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe: She had so many children she lived in a shoe. The same shoe. The same stinky old shoe. I mean really I guess it worked out because how often do you have to clean a shoe? Old shoes have a certain feeling of comfort. If this tale were written in modern times it would probably be titled “The little old woman who lived in her yoga pants”

Jack & the Bean Stalk: A small child being sold “magical beans”? Some strange thing growing in your garden? A golden goose that shits riches untold? This has 6 year old imagination written all over it. Bean is hell bent on convincing me one of her friends is a mermaid, because her friend “told her she was”. I also have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell her. On a side note, the only small animal in our lives most certainly does NOT shit gold.

Rapunzel: Ok so the original Rapunzel story is actually quite risque. So for all intents and purposes we will stick with the Disney version. Child……cut your hair or some shady shit will happen to you. Like reptiles living in your hair.

The Princess & the Pea: This should be changed to the Princess & the Pee. Because for a span of your life, everything will revolve around peeing and pooping. Sometimes even while sleeping. Sorry.

Aladdin: Sand, trinkets, a carpet, a monkey, a genie, a tangled web of lies. That is parenting in a nutshell. Except the genie doesn’t grant wishes. It holds dirty diapers.

The 3 Little Pigs: 2 words. Chin Hair. As in, you’ll wake up one day and it will be there. It wasn’t there the night before. “Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin” will become your mantra.

Hell Is a Car Pick Up Line

car pick up 2

It’s long, it’s boring and the end result is a child. It’s actually very similar to sex sometimes. The dreaded Car Pick Up Line. It is inevitable if you drive your child to school. You will sit in the Pick up line. The drop Off line is nothing. It takes mere minutes. The longest part of drop off is traversing the winding road leading up to the area where your little munchkin hops out of the car and you get a few minutes of blessed silence before you have to either go to work or begin your daily routine of chores and never-ending laundry. But Pick Up…..that’s a whole different monster entirely.

Mine is a special kind of Hell. you see Bean goes to a school in a more affluent part of town. The Beach side. It’s not uncommon for me to be surrounded by BMW’s, Mercedes, Audi’s and even a Porsche. Why someone would buy a 4 door Porsche sports car is beyond me, but hey…..whatever floats your yacht. I drive an American made SUV that is almost 8 years old. I’m slumming it compared to these other parents. And that’s just my car. Just wait.

The types of parents you will encounter in the Pick Up Line are a vast array of personalities. There’s;

“Tennis” mom. She looks adorable in her perfectly matched tennis skirt, tank top and coordinating sneakers. The thing is, her sneakers don’t have any scuff marks. Her makeup and is perfect and every hair is in place. This mom just wants you to think that she plays tennis in her free time. What she really does is sit at the tennis club (yes we have those here) and drink martinis at the Tiki Bar. Trust me, I know a bartender at one of those clubs. I know.

The Yoga mom. Now there are actually 2 subtypes of this category. There’s the pseudo-yoga mom, who really just wears yoga pants 99.9% of the time and hopes that people think she is holistic and calm and centered when actually she’s a hot mess because she basically runs a small country. I am part that yoga mom.

Then there’s legit Yoga Mom. She is slender and sinewy. She wears yoga pants like she was born in them. She only feeds her kids organic, non-GMO foods and she probably drives a hybrid, complete with a Namaste sticker on the back right next to the magnet for the school.  In fact she’s so enlightened you really want to shove a Twinkie down her throat while she’s in downward dog and watch her crumble. Her only flaw is the fact that she smells slightly like Patchouli no matter what. It lingers. You can smell it under her designer perfume. It’s always there. It wafts out of her vehicle and into yours.

The PTA mom. Ugh……the PTA mom. She knows when every school related event happens. She is able to rattle off every early release and school holiday. She has no problem walking down the Pick Up line selling T-shirts, raffle tickets and whatever else the school is peddling. It’s best to just put limousine tint on and don’t make eye contact when she gets near your vehicle.

The Clueless Father. Not all dads in the Pick Up Line are clueless. Usually the clueless ones are the dads who got called at the last minute because mom’s Hot Yoga class ran late and now the poor guy is sitting in the line like a deer in headlights. He’s clearly not even sure if he’s in the right place. Hopefully he picks up the right kid. Or the right amount of kids.

The Tech Mom. I personally hate this mom. She is either Facebooking, Instagramming or crushing candy while waiting for the line to move. Then once the line starts moving she’s in a bonus round and forgets she has people behind her waiting anxiously to pick up their beloved children and hear all about their day at school. Actually, why don’t you go ahead and finish that bonus round, I’m good waiting.

All these pale in comparison to when the line actually starts moving. The line at Bean’s school. is a double line that merges into a single line. This requires that people not be assholes. That is humanly impossible. For some reason people seem to be in a rush and forget common courtesy of alternating sides. It gets ugly. Like I’ve wanted to get out of my car and physically accost someone. It’s ridiculous the amount of rudeness and disregard that can occur in a rush to get to your child. Not that any of it matters because you still have to wait once you get to student area. You have to wait for the teachers to get your child’s attention. you have to wait for the car in front of you to finish loading all those kids….how many kids can fit in a Denali anyway?

And I dedicate hours a week to this. It basically equates to roughly 2 hours a week of sitting in this line, enduring this. I can think of several other things I’d rather spend 2 hours on, and most of them do not include my car, kids or other parents. a word to the wise…..Let your kid ride the bus.

Until next time, keep those toes in the sand and your windows up!

Introverted Motherhood

intro mom

I think sometimes Bean thinks I don’t love her, but nothing could be further from the truth. The problem is I’m an introvert. I like my space. I love my silence. I relish in being left to my own devices, free to read or do whatever I want. The point is, I’m OK with silence and being alone. This is a foreign concept to most children, especially mine. She doesn’t like to do anything alone. She doesn’t even like to sit in her room and play video games alone. It is a constant battle.

The Hubs will attest to the fact that I am not the most physically affectionate person. I love him. I find him incredibly sexy, but I am just not an overtly affectionate person. I don’t like to cuddle. I am quite content sitting in “my corner” of the couch when we watch movies. He gets upset sometimes because he equates PDA with proving love. I don’t. When I sleep, I don’t like to be touched. I don’t like to feel confined. He likes to spoon. I married my polar opposite. I gave birth to my polar opposite. Do you have any idea how hard that is to deal with?

Bean is a cuddler. When we read stories at bedtime she begs me to cuddle her. How do you explain to a child that cuddling causes you actual anxiety? That it makes you uncomfortable? Way to give your kid a complex! So I let her lay on my arm. That’s the most i can offer. I can’t envelope her in my arms like the Hubs does. I’ve tried, I just can’t do it. I know, this makes me sound like an awful mother. I hug her, pick her up and I comfort her when she is sad or hurt. But I am not a touchy-feely person. You know what I miss most about Pre-Motherhood? SILENCE!

I love silence. I love quiet. Not having to talk to people is my favorite thing. At this point, I’m sure you’re thinking “how does this woman have friends?” Well actually I have a core group of friends that know me and respect that. I was a bartender and server for a very long time. It was mentally exhausting to adopt a different personality for work. It was like putting on a show 4 nights a week. My friends and I can sit around and not talk and be totally fine. I love text messaging. I pocket dialed my friend the other day and she immediately knew it was an accident because I don’t actually talk on the phone. Bean is always talking to me. Always asking me to remember some tiny detail or something that happened over a year ago. The drive to school is torturous for me sometimes, because I feel like I’m on autopilot, just answering her barrage of questions even though I just want to listen to the morning show and enjoy the drive. I love my child with all my heart, but being a mother goes against my very nature sometimes.

I worry that I am giving her some warped concept of the dynamic between husband and wife and child and mother. She sees Hubs and I kiss and that, she knows that I am there for her no matter what, but I see her mimic some of my behavior, like her sitting in the opposite corner of the couch when we are watching TV together. And that makes my heart hurt. I can’t help the way that I am. And there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. There’s nothing wrong with being an extrovert. I just don’t ever want her to grow up thinking I don’t love her with all my heart. I just don’t want her to touch me sometimes.

Until next time, keep those toes in the sand…quietly

Nature vs Nincompoop

I’m just going to tell you guys up front, this is a rant. A gossip magazine fueled rant on the dumbing down of role models for kids

Every nature show or book will tell you that the more ornate, flashy or decorative a species is, the more dangerous it is. Lion fish, Cheetahs, Frogs in the Amazon, Black Widows, Puffer fish; the list goes on and on. These animals are either brightly colored, fabulously accessorized, or just plain unusual enough to draw your eyes right to them. These animals also look the way they do to warn predators that they are poisonous to the point of death or to camouflage the fact that they are harbingers of death, like the cheetah. For survival, other species stay away from these flashy animals, because they have a healthy sense of self preservation. They want to go on living their happy lives, just existing in their world without fear of being eaten alive or poisoned. And then there are humans.

The Kardashians, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Lindsay Lohan. These creatures are flashy, ornate and repulsively decorative. And yet other humans flock to them, even admire them, and some extremely stupid humans aim to emulate them. We go against everything that millions of years of evolution have taught us and move in droves to get our hands on the latest magazines, concert tickets, movie tickets and whatever else this “celebrities” do to make money to feed their ridiculous lifestyles. Bean loves music. And I’m not an idiot. I know that musicians tend to be flashy. It helps with the “rockstar” image. But I’m failing to see anything remotely redeeming about Iggy Azalea. I’m not necessarily excited about the fact that Bean prefers Black Widow to Colbie Callait(I’m still not even sure where she first heard that…..song). And don’t even get me started on Miley Cyrus twerking. Hopefully her makeup tastes good, because she keeps licking it off. She needs to keep her tongue in her mouth and her clothes on. The Disney Channel must be so proud to claim that little child prodigy.

Children and men for some reason are attracted to these shiny deathtraps. Guys plaster their walls with posters of scantily clad women, ooohing and aaahing over celebrities who flaunt what their plastic surgeon gave them. Sadly plastic surgeons don’t have talent implants. But thank god Nicki Minaj was able to get ass implants, it so helps the nails on chalkboard sounds she calls songs. Does anyone else wonder if these people even OWN real clothes?  Now please don’t mistake this for some rant about feminism and all that jazz. I’m all for looking pretty, and even being scantily clad for D now and then. But there’s a line that needs to drawn, and for the love of shorts longer than your vagina, it needs to be drawn soon. I’m still trying to figure out why the Kardashians are famous. What exactly do they do? What is it they contribute to society, except little Kardashians and the uncanny ability to marry losers and sell magazines for Hearst publishing?

My point is, these are the human equivalent of an Amazonian poison dart frog or a lion fish. Pretty to look at (sometimes) but oh so deadly. Maybe not immediately life threatening. But dangerous enough to make your 8 year old daughter twerk in the living room at Thanksgiving, or your 12 year old son say he’s going to “make it rain” at the next family gift giving event when he opens Nana’s card filled with money. I for one want my daughter to have better role models. Smart role models. These people are fine for entertainment value, but once kids are aspiring to be like Rihanna because she wears next to nothing onstage instead of aspiring to be driven like she was to get to where she is. There are things to be learned from the determination of some of these celebrities. I mean Kanye West was shot and still force-fed his persona to the world.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t admire celebrities. There are plenty of celebrities that use their fame for good. But those celebrities aren’t making headlines with their charitable acts. They only make headlines when they have a movie coming out.  But there are also plenty of other people worth admiring. Everyday people. The people that really make the world go round. We as moms are the first line of defense against these deadly creatures. It’s our job to teach our kids that even though NFL players worked extremely hard to get to where they are, their poor behavior and bad decisions off the field are inexcusable. We are the ones who have to tell our daughters that twerking and looking like an A-squad stripper on Friday night may get her a guy, it probably won’t get her the right kind of guy. We are parents. We man the gate that decides what enters our homes and therefore our childrens’ world.We are Gandalf, in the mines of Moria, yelling “You shall not pass!” at the repulsive behavior of the people society and media say our children should admire. Our kids may fight us, but really….do you want your daughter acting like a spoiled Kardashian dating a guy that acts like Justin Bieber? I didn’t think so.

Til next time, keep those toes in the sand…..a password on the family computertwerk

Hurry Up & Wait

I bet you know someone who does this. If you don’t, chances are you are the friend/family member that does this. If that is the case, you, my friend, are a jerk 🙂 This concept has become the norm in my home as far as a my husband is concerned. D loves to get our child ready for the day or a specific excursion and then make her wait to leave while he accomplishes the menial tasks he SHOULD have been doing while she was getting ready. Now there is something you have to understand. I am a “wash-n-go” kinda gal. I’m not into makeup and other than a ponytail or bun, I don’t do much with my hair. I can be ready to walk out the door with 20 minutes notice(30 if I can’t find my chap-stick).Then there’s D. Bean & I affectionately call him a peacock. Because that is what he does. He goes through several outfits before choosing(usually shorts & a T-shirt) and then has to spike his hair just right. Then he has to check and double-check with me to make sure he looks good. He has to flex in the mirror several times because he did 10 push-ups and wants to see the results. Now mind you, at this point both Bean and I are ready to go. Now I’m sure you’re asking “Well what on earth could he have been doing while you 2 girls were getting ready?” I’m also sure that you’re probably thinking it was something dire like solving world peace, or at least of significant importance like balancing the national budget……MADDEN. He’s playing Madden. Because he seems to be functioning under the misconception that we take a long time to get ready. Now once we are ready, and have waited on him to change and spike his hair perfectly and flex in an ever so manly fashion, you would think he would ready to get in the car and actually depart for our destination? NOPE. At this point we could at least be considered fashionably late. He still has to sit on the porch and smoke(i know, it grosses me out) and possibly use the potty(yes i said potty). All this time our darling child is glaring at him and growing increasingly more frustrated. at one point she has even been known to say “I’m not getting any younger!” It’s moments like those I am certain I took the right infant from the hospital.

How do i deal with all this you must be wondering? Well first off, I love D for all his quirks and Idiot-synchrosies(Yes I am aware I “misspelled” that word.) That being said, I grin and bear it. Marriage, like Motherhood, is a battlefield sometimes. I have had to learn the hard way to pick my battles, and this is just one I’m not willing to call in the cavalry for. Maybe send a drone, or a sniper, but definitely not the full on assault. Because at the end of the day, we got to where we were going, and we had fun when we got there. Sometimes it is frustrating to be reminded that I married a peacock, but when he flaunts his feathers….he sure is handsome 🙂