Tuesday, May 29, 2012

That's Annoying

Parenthood is annoying.

It can also be wonderful, enjoyable and rewarding.  In between those moments, however, its super annoying. 

But I do have to say, the annoying parts are not always caused by something the kids are doing…although mostly they are...

Here are some things that I’ve encountered during my time as a mother that I’m annoyed by through no fault of my children:

1. Lack of correctly sized children’s clothing

Dear Children’s Clothing Companies,


Love, Danielle

Seriously, you people need to cut the crap.  Can someone please explain the difference between 24 months and 2T?  Or a 5 and a 5T?  Those sizes seems like they should be the same damn thing.  They’re not. 

I hate being asked what sizes my kids are. 

Grant is a 2T waist, a 3T length but can fit into 24 month shorts cause there’s no length issue.  He still has some 18-24 month shirts that fit him but also some 3T ones that are too small.  So that’s what he’s wearing these days.  Does that size exist? 

Could all kid’s clothing manufacturers get together and come to some sort of agreement about sizing?

It would be way less annoying.

2.  Lack of childproof paraphernalia that actually keep things childproof

When your baby becomes mobile the first thing you’re supposed to do is run right out to the store and buy locks, latches and gates for every conceivable place in your home. 

Then you’re supposed to sit back and feel responsible because you took the necessary steps towards letting your child safely explore their surroundings.

In reality, all you’ve done is delay the inevitable. 

It’s like in the movies when someone is being chased by the bad guys and the person stops and knocks stuff into their way then keeps running.  The bad guys don’t see that and say “Cardboard boxes! How will we ever get around these? Never mind.  Let’s just give up and go home.”

If your baby wants to climb the stairs they will find a way to tear down the gate…or it will get to the point where they’re able to simply climb over it and flip you off from the other side. 

I put latches on my kitchen drawers which held through a couple of good tugs…but which gave in at tug 537.  My kids are not quitters. 

They figured out the trick to the lock on the snack cabinet in no time.  And the knob I put on the bathroom door?  They didn’t even attempt to find the trick to that one…they simply removed it.  Problem solved.  I would constantly find them playing with the pieces of it…in the toilet.

So sorry to be the one to break the news but there is no such thing as “childproof”.

It’s like Santa.  You believe in it when you’re a young, new parent.  But you eventually find out it’s a load a crap. 

And that realization is annoying.

3.  Lack of toys that don’t make noise

Did I miss the meeting where everyone in the world got together and decided that all toys created after a certain point HAD to make some form of noise?

There is no place in my house I can step without setting off an alarm, bell, whistle or siren. 

And what’s with those puzzles that are light activated? Anyone else have those? 

So if a piece is missing and the sun happens to hit it the thing just keeps going off.  I once walked around my house for 20 minutes checking if there was a stray cat somewhere because I was hearing random meowing. 

Things that parents appreciate: Quiet

Things parents rarely get to hear: Quiet

Not everything has to sing.  And if something does, in fact, have to sing please make it come with an off switch.  And make it have some volume option other than “Ear-piercingly, mind-numbingly loud”.

Oh, and as a note to my childless friends…stop giving my kids loud horns, drum sets and electric guitars.  Because someday you will have children.  And pay back is a bitch.  So I will go out of my way to find the loudest, craziest, most noise making toys they make and gift them to your future offspring. 

And that will be annoying.
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Monday, May 21, 2012

Three Hour Tour

“Mom can we go for a bike ride?”

Damn.  Think fast.  Think of ANY possible reason we can’t go for a bike ride.  Is it raining? I wish it were raining.  Why isn’t it raining!

In theory I would love to go for a bike ride.  He could pedal along and get some exercise.  And I would take Grant in the stroller and follow along behind.  We could explore the neighborhood and make some new memories.  We would have the best time.

The reality of the bike ride, however, is so much different.  It’s like Gilligan’s Island…you think you’re just going for a quick ride around the block, but actually you better bring a snack, cause you’re gonna be gone longer than you thought... 

First we have to get the helmet on just right.  Did you hear me? Just. Right.  Failure to properly situate the pads on the head results in our bike riding mission being sabotaged before we even look at the bike.

After I get the helmet on I have to fight with Grant.  Because my 2 year old doesn’t want to just WATCH his brother ride a bike.  He also wants to ride one.  But as he is currently incapable of this task I have to reason with (bribe) him to get in the stroller instead.  Sometimes he goes quietly, but most times he screams for half a block…so peaceful!

Next the boys fight over whether we’re turning right or left out of our driveway.  Carter usually wins this fight cause he’ll just take off in the direction he chose and we are forced to follow (he’s an ass).

Well, we’re off.

The first time we got to this point I thought we would be around the block in no time.  Then I was introduced to “scratching time”.

What is scratching time, you ask? Oh, let me tell you.

Apparently Carter’s helmet is itchy.  So he’ll ride about five feet and then slam on the brakes and yell “Scratching time!”  Then he’ll sit in the middle of the sidewalk and stick his fingers up under the helmet for a minute (a full minute) until scratching time is over. 

The fun thing about scratching time is you never know when it’s gonna come.  It’s not a regularly scheduled thing.  It can happen anywhere…like in the middle of a crosswalk, for example.  Then you have to look apologetically at the car that was dumb enough to let you cross and try to explain to them about scratching time.

The only thing worse than when he wants to ride his bike is when he wants to ride his scooter.  He scoots for 12 seconds and then tells me he’s tired.  He just can’t go on. 

Then I turn into the crazy lady screaming at her kid to move.  I get a lot of “Wow, you’re so MEAN” looks from passing cars when this happens.  Hey, pal, unless you know the joys of scratching time I don’t need your judgment right now!

Clearly at this point I have to carry the scooter…and push the stroller. 

Today Carter kept running ahead of me so it must have looked like he was by himself to some drivers.  At one point he ran to the corner of our street and loudly yelled “SCRATCHING TIME!”

He then proceeded to scratch…his balls.

So there is this three year old, still wearing his helmet, standing on a corner scratching his junk.  And no mom in sight.  It must have looked like he just escaped from a kiddie mental hospital.

Silly me! I though scratching time only involved the head.  Learn something new every day, right?

Friday, May 18, 2012

F'ing Friday

I hate today. 

My hatred of today started last night.  The kids didn’t nap and then were both up several times throughout the night crying for no reason. 

I hate crying for no reason.

I knew they were both going to be exhausted.  And exhausted means cranky.  And I was right…they suck today. 

They both cried and whined from 6am to 8am without any break.  You know it’s gonna be a good day when on his way out the door to work your husband says:

“Bye, hun.  Love you.  Um…good luck with the kids today.”

 Yeah, alright! Enjoy work ya big asshole!

I decided that maybe playing outside would be a good idea.  Fresh air and all that.  It became less of a good idea when it took us FORTY FIVE MINUTES to get ready to go out and play in OUR BACKYARD. 

They needed a snack.  Then they needed a drink.  People! You walk down a flight of stairs and you’re there, you don’t need sustenance for this.

“Mom can we have a drink of water? Can we have a drink of water? Can we? Can you get it?”

For future reference "Can we have a drink of water" means:

"Get up RIGHT NOW and get us a drink of water or we’ll get it ourselves and make an f'ing river in the kitchen, Bitch!"

After I cleaned that up they needed sunscreen, hats, and to use the potty.  Grant didn’t like his shoes.  Then Carter didn’t like his underwear…HIS UNDERWEAR…he had to go change it.

We finally got out there and as I’m walking around picking up dog poop (Glamour, Glamour, Everywhere!) I hear them screaming their heads off about some car that they both wanted to play with.

We have no less than 75,000 cars and trucks in my house, and yes some are cooler than others.  But the one they were fighting over was a stupid little matchbox car.


Caused this:

At which point I told them if they didn’t stop fighting over that car I was going to eat it.

Which caused this:

It was at this moment in my day that I received a call from…my gyno.  Oh, hi. I don’t want to talk to you at all. When your kids are being jerks the last thing you want to do is talk to the person who gave them to you!

I eventually got them settled down enough to eat lunch.  Things seemed to be going better until Carter slipped and fell on his bum.  Then he started screaming “Kiss my bum! I want you to kiss my bum!”

Huh.  That’s funny.  Cause I’ve been thinking the exact same thing ALL DAY. 

F’ing Friday!
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fashion Victim

My son has no sense of style.

I think really very few three-year-old boys do.  Up until recently, however, he at least looked put-together on a daily basis because he let me dress him and had absolutely no interest in picking out his own clothes.

Lately, however, getting dressed has been more of a struggle.  He likes to dress himself, which I encourage because he’s being independent and learning new skills.  But he also likes to pick out his own clothes, which I discourage because he doesn’t understand that black shorts and a navy blue tank top not only don’t match, but also are not appropriate when it’s 47 degrees out.

I thought maybe having boys would spare me from the daily fights about what to wear.  But I have Carter, who cannot make an outfit to save his life, and Grant, who never wants to get out of his pajamas.  Ever.

The only thing Carter’s new fashion sense is good for is…a blog post.  So here you go.  These are some of Mr. Fashion Victim’s latest ensembles:

Outfit 1: The "Grey on Grey Sweatsuit" is so hot this season.
When he came out of the house my husband asked why he was dressed like a 1950's gym teacher.  And, yes, in case you're wondering, that IS a duck whistle hanging around his neck. He's apparently also into accessories these days.

Outfit 2: The "Pajamas and Rain Boots" look.

Are you afraid it might rain in your bedroom while you're sleeping? Also, those are MY rain boots.  He has taken a sudden interest in wearing my shoes...which brings me to my next picture...

Outfit 3: The "Helmet and High Heels" combo can be found all over the runways in Paris.

Because you simply CANNOT go bike riding without your pointy-toe sling-backs!

Outfit 4: The "What?  I'm just mowing the lawn in tiny shorts and high socks!" fashion statement.

Way to bring out your Red Neck side, Cart. 
Personally I think you need a Budwiser can to complete the look. 

And Finally...

Outfit 5: The "I'm So Putting This in Your High School Yearbook" blackmail picture.

Because sometimes you just gotta throw on your plastic glasses and your red flats and party!

So there you have it, the top five reasons why they don't let toddlers design clothes.  Although if fashion were this simple it would be a hell of a lot easier to dress myself in the morning...besides having to fight Carter for all of my shoes, that is.

**I’m very excited to be partnering with the lovely ladies of Merely Mothers for their “Fashion Week”.  Stayed tuned for my guest post with them about why I hate clothes and have therefore dedicated my life to amassing an obscene amount of yoga pants!
read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Friday, May 11, 2012

Girls Can't...

So, we’re sitting playing at the library…

(And no, this is not a post about one of the numerous fights I’ve gotten into while at the library.  Why do people feel so compelled to be stupid there?  They MAKE me call them out; it’s their own fault.  However, if I keep having these mishaps we’re going to have to move to a different town.)

I digress.

So, we’re sitting playing at the library and Carter pulls out a puzzle.  It’s a bunch of different types of hats: magician hat, cowboy hat, fireman helmet, something else I can’t remember…

He comes up to me and asks me which hat I would like to wear.  I said I would enjoy wearing the fireman helmet:

“But you’re a girl.  You can’t be a fireman.”

“Why not? Girls can be firefighters.” (I thought I had realized my error and started saying “firefighters” to take out the word “man” and hopefully lessen the confusion.)

“No. Girls can’t be firemen or firefighters. You wanna wear the cowboy hat?” (Apparently the word “boy” had no bearing on my ability to wear THAT hat.)

At this point we had attracted the attention of some other parents.  They were probably wondering what kind of horrible mother raises such a sexist child.  Or, more likely, they were wondering why a grown woman was openly fighting with her three year old in the library.

It had never occurred to me that children paid attention to gender roles this young.  He’s only three, mind you.  I had no idea he even knew the difference between girls and boys.  So I thought maybe it was just a fluke thing and really he understood that girls could do everything boys could do, its 2012 not 1912 after all.   

Cut to two days later.  We were playing with his matchbox cars in the playroom:

“Mom, which car do you want to drive?”

“Umm…the pick-up truck.”

“No.  Girls can’t drive pick-up trucks.”

What the hell!

Here's me trying to prove him wrong...

Where is he getting his information from?  I guess just casual observation.  No matter how much I tell him that girls can drive pick-up trucks too, the fact remains that the majority of pick-up truck drivers are male.  And come to think of it, I can’t remember if I’ve ever seen a female firefighter. 

These two conversations got me thinking…am I subconsciously raising a gender biased child? 

I didn’t mean to be.  I want my kids to think that girls can operate heavy machinery and boys can be princesses if they want to.  I want them to live their dreams and be whatever they want when they grow up.  (If they survive that long, that is.  Cause there are days I think they may not.)

Looking back, however, I think (know) I may have said the following:

“Only girls wear make-up.”

“Only Daddy uses the tools.”

“Pink is for girls” (Even though Carter really likes pink, and I’m totally ok with that)

Oh Man! I’m completely and totally guilty!

It doesn’t help that my husband and I personify the stereotypical gender roles.  He fixes everything, tunes up the cars, cuts the grass and takes out the trash. I wear the make-up, use the blow dryer, put on the dresses…

Um…I just realized this is making our relationship is sound a little unbalanced.  But don’t worry.  He also does the cooking.

Regardless, Mike mostly does the “man” things and I do the “woman” things.  And Carter is observant and recognizes this fact. 

Assembling a table with Daddy.  Very Manly.
I don’t want him thinking there’s anything in this world that he can’t do because of his gender.  And I want him to be respectful of a woman’s right to do everything a man can do…but still be willing to open up her pickle jar if she needs him to.

Now that I’m aware of his opinions I’m going to have to find some way to combat this thinking.  So if you know any truck driving firewomen send them my way, please.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cupcake Wars

“When did it become a requirement to bring cupcakes AND goodie bags to school for birthdays? Moms- let's stop trying to out-do each other!”

This was a fellow mom’s FB status earlier this week.

We had just picked our kids up from preschool and had been greeted with yet another goodie bag that someone had brought in to celebrate their child’s birthday.

It was the most beautiful goodie bag, all wrapped up and tied with a cute little ribbon.  It had tons of toys, candy, games, tattoos etc. inside. 

We were informed by the children that there had also been cupcakes.  This is about the 10th birthday celebration that had taken place at school this year, each one more elaborate than the next. 

Now, I thought that having a summer baby would make me exempt from having to do any of this shit for my kid.  But lo and behold…the teacher has put out a summer birthday celebration schedule.  We’re all supposed to pick a day towards the end of the year and let our kids have their birthday at school.  Damn it. 

I was in the middle of thinking about what day I should pick when I read my friend’s status.  I immediately thought...well, don’t worry, you will have absolutely NO competition from me!

I strive for mediocrity and I think I do a really decent job achieving my goal.  When it comes to competing with other moms over party planning I throw in the towel right away.  Here’s me waving my white flag.  Come collect your congratulatory handshake…you win!

I will give you one million imaginary dollars if my son ever walks up to me in the future and says:

“Remember that awesome birthday party that what’s-his-name’s mom threw at school when I was three?”
Who are we trying to impress here? It's not the kids.  You could give the kids a hair covered lollipop from last Halloween and they would be thrilled to have it! (Note to self: see if I have enough old lollipops to cover the whole class...)

Celebrating at school is cute, but goodie bags are optional…and by optional I mean to say if you have expendable time and income then go nuts.  But don’t expect your kid to come home with one from my son because I have neither of those things.

I don’t even bake.  So store bought cupcakes are what I’ll be offering up to celebrate Carter being 3 years and 9 months old. 

Or I think I’m actually going to partner with a friend of mine whose son’s birthday is the day before Carter’s.  She bakes.  She can make the cupcakes and I’ll stand at the door at the end of class and give all the kids a high five on their way out.  That should cover the goodie bag portion of our show.

So there you have it fellow moms, bring on your handmade valentines and your most elaborate  birthday celebrations.  Feel free to outdo me.  It won’t be hard.  In fact, I think the challenge here would be to do LESS than me. 

Carter’s real party will be in the summer.  With cake, goodie bags, balloons and kegs. 

All the essentials. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How I Earned Carter


I was sitting at a red light on my way home from the boys’ gym class.  My Iphone was playing “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel because, up until this moment, that was Carter’s favorite song.  Apparently his taste in music had changed somewhere in the past 2.9 seconds and I was supposed to instinctively know this.

As I sat there listening to Billy sing (because clearly I not only left it playing, I also turned up the volume to torture my child) I started thinking about motherhood and how it so far had been, and no doubt would continue to be, filled with unpleasant moments like this. 

A vision of my mother popped into my head.  It was her saying “I hope someday you have children JUST LIKE YOU.”

To clarify, she didn’t mean I was just so wonderful that she prayed to God I would be blessed with similarly amazing offspring.  No.  She basically meant…payback’s a bitch.

And it is, oh how it is!

Carter is an evil genius (think Stewie Griffin from “Family Guy”) and he absolutely refuses to use his powers for good.  Unfortunately, I know where he gets this from…

I was four years old when I pulled my first con job.  I scammed my preschool.  Like, the teachers, the kids, the director…everyone.  Here is the story:

My birthday is in early September and that meant every year I got screwed when it came to celebrating at school.  When you’re four, having your birthday at school is like being Master of the Universe.  Line leader, first turn at everything, cake and even a crown.  I wanted that crown…
I look damn good in crowns!

It was May and the school year was wrapping up.  That is when I decided to make my move.  Since it was a long time ago I don’t know how much planning went into the stunt I was about to pull.  Was it days of thinking about it or did it just come to me that morning?  We’ll never know. 

Either way, one morning I woke up and decided enough was enough with missing the birthday boat.  At the end of that day I told my teachers “Tomorrow is my birthday.”

You would think a group of adults would at least check the records to validate this information.  But no, they took the word of a four year old.  They thought, Danielle is smart, she knows when her birthday is.  So they told me to go ahead and bring something in to share with the class.  We were gonna celebrate!

My grandmother’s friend was taking me to school the next day.  On the way there I casually told her “Oh, by the way, Ginny?  I forgot I’m supposed to bring in snack today.  Could we stop for munchkins?”

She stopped.  (My God, people…you’re totally being manipulated by a toddler! You’re making this easy on me!!)

I skipped into school about to enjoy my birthday.  It was a magical day!  It was everything I had ever dreamed of…and I almost got away with it…

Unfortunately for me my family had the habit of ALWAYS being late to pick-up.  That day was no exception.  I was the LAST child to be picked up so when my Nana pulled up to the curb it was just me and the teachers sitting outside the school. 

Nana got out and started walking up the driveway to collect me.  When I tell you I ran to the car, I RAN. C’mon, if I can just get her back into the car quickly enough maaaaybe…

“Bye Danielle! Happy Birthday!”


The teachers were smiling and waving goodbye, no idea of the bomb that was about to fall on them.

Nana looked puzzled and replied “Her birthday’s in September.”

Their faces fell.  What?  How can this be? She brought in munchkins for God’s sake! It MUST be her birthday.  Were we just hosed by a four year old?

Yup.  You were.  Sorry.

I’m famous at that school now.  Those teachers will never forget the time they got conned by a student.

And that, my friends, is how I earned Carter.