Friday, June 15, 2012

Thank God

You know how you’re out in a store and you see a kid throwing a huge tantrum over something?  Or you see siblings screaming and smacking each other while together in the carriage?  And the mom looks exasperated and helpless?

If you think: “Man, those kids are AWFUL!  I wish I didn’t have to witness that!” then you don’t have kids who behave like that…and can I have your secret? 

When I see things like this out in public my first thought is: “Thank God!”

Thank God other people have crazy, stubborn, loud, obnoxious kids too.  It makes me feel one thousand percent better knowing I’m not alone.

If you’re the mom of the kid pushing his sister off the slide at the park and you see me smiling at you please know it’s not out of judgment.  It’s out of solidarity.   I would run over and give you a big high five but I think the moms of the well behaved children would be offended by that.

We all know that one of my basic parenting mottos is “Misery Loves Company”.  I had heard this phrase many times in my life but it never hit home as much as it did after I had kids. 

Now I’m always on the lookout for kids who are acting out.  I’m trying to collect evidence indicating that my children are not going to grow up to be psychopaths…

At the beach: That girl just hit her sister over the head with a shovel…YES!

At Target: The boy not getting what he wants is currently throwing things off the shelves…That’s OUTSTANDING!

At the park: That mother has said “Stop it” no less than 57 times and the kids have done no such thing…Woo Hoo!!

These are all signs that point to the fact that kids are just jerks…mine are not special in their jerk-iness-ness.  And that makes me feel much better.

Parenting is so God-awfully hard.  It’s competitive and stressful.  Moms constantly try to out-do each other.  And doesn’t it seem like someone is always trying to tell you how great their kids are on the same day that YOUR kid smeared hand soap all over the bathroom walls?  What we should be trying to out-do each other with is war stories of how awfully behaved our kids are:

“Oh, so you’re kids tease each other?  Do they make up songs to go along with the ridicule?  Cause Carter does.  He sings songs about Grant not getting to have any toys and having to live in the basement.  Do I win?”

The “my kid is wicked super awesome” people are in denial.  I avoid them.  

But hey, You! Mom, of Mr. Sand Thrower over there…can I have your number?  We should hang.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mom University

I’m opening up a college.  A Mom College. 

Many stay at home moms (myself included) have advanced degrees...but these expensive pieces of paper will not help you when it comes to raising a child.  You need an entirely different type of education for that…

I have a law degree so when I first became a mom I could tell you all about adverse possession and name every amendment in the Bill of Rights. But I didn’t know the difference between Pampers and Huggies and couldn’t swaddle my kid correctly to save my life.

(No, for real.  If someone had held a gun to my head and said “Swaddle that baby the same way the nurses did at the hospital” I would be in serious danger.)

You gain lots of knowledge as you navigate motherhood.

But by the time you figure out what’s going on your child has outgrown that stage and everything you just learned is useless.  And even if you have multiple children chances are pretty good they’ll do things completely differently than your first one.  So the only thing you can do with your knowledge is educate other moms.

Now, I know that many of us took those pre-natal classes offered by the hospitals.  That is not what I’m talking about.

Those tell you about what’s gonna happen before, during and directly after the birth.  Then you have the kid, the hospital pampers you for a few days and then kicks your ass outta there.  I actually think I heard them yell “Welcome to the Parenting Club! Good luck…SUCKER!” as I left.

And then what?  Then you’re on your own, my friend.  And you’ll be enrolling in Mom U.

In the Newborn Semester you’ll learn:

-How to properly pack a diaper bag (Hint: Never, I repeat, NEVER go ANYWHERE without an extra outfit.  I don’t care how quick you think you’ll be)

-How to clean up relatives who INSIST on bouncing the baby around no matter how many times you say “He just ate…”

-How to dodge visitors when you really don’t feel like having any more company (Hint: “We have a doctor’s appointment” is pretty much always a valid excuse when used within the first few weeks.)

-How to successfully caffeinate yourself.  (Hint: Get a Keuirg…this isn’t funny…this is serious.  Get a Keurig.)

Once you graduate to the Toddler Years your lessons will include:

-How to navigate any store while completely avoiding the toy section

-How to bribe your kids (Hint: If you don’t have an emergency lollipop stashed somewhere on your person at all times then you desperately need this class.)

-How to write nice things in their memory book (Hint: You shouldn’t write “Dear Carter, you’re three.  I pretty much want to kill you on a daily basis. Love, Mommy” even though you really, really want to.)

-How to tell the difference between times when you should fight your kids over something ridiculous and times when you should say “F it!” and go open a bottle of wine (Hint: There are very few instances where “A” is the correct answer.)

Our electives will cover such topics as:

-Parenting More Than One Child - What do you mean you bought two of the same toy…IN DIFFERENT COLORS!?!  Rookie mistake.

-How to Keep a Straight Face – You’ll need this course when you go to say things like “Let him flush, it’s his pee…in this house everyone flushes their own pee!”  (You wouldn’t think this would be a fight…you’d be wrong.)

-How to Survive the Teenage Years  - I’m under the impression that they suck but as I have no direct experience I’m currently interviewing candidates to teach this course.

Please join me in this continuous educational endeavor.  I really hope that fellow moms can learn from those who came before them.  We need to use our resources.  We need to have a strategy. 

And we need to know that sometimes just yelling “What the hell are you people doing!” is as good a parenting strategy as any.

(Now accepting applications for Fall 2012)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why I Drink

If you follow my posts and blog you are no stranger to the fact that I enjoy alcohol.  I do.  I really, really do.  I’m not an alcoholic (that’s what we all say) but I’m unsure if I could function without my wine, margaritas and martinis.  

There are many reasons why I drink and in this post we are going to explore a few of them.  Join me, won’t you?

Well, obviously, there are two main reasons why I drink:
Don't be fooled...we only LOOK innocent and angelic.

Without these two little men I could never live…or justify the amount of alcohol I consume. 

Those cute little bastards fill my days with joy and stress and the need for cocktails.  Here’s why:
Because they love getting haircuts...
Carter, make sure you don't hold still or make this easy in any way, Ok?

Because they eat like this...

Yes! Perfect! That's EXACTLY where I wanted you to put that!

Because they make doing fun things like going to the beach easy...

Enjoying yourself yet?

Because they never make messes...

For real?

Because they do things like this to each other...

Green is your color, Grant.

Because sometimes they look like this...


But most of the time they look like this...

Forcibly trying to remove his brother's that's more like it!

Because I just can't get enough of this face...

So there it is, folks.  An abbreviated list of the reasons why I drink.  Trust me, it could be longer...but I don't always have my camera handy to catch these precious memories.

It's like I always say: Parenting is hard...but tequila helps!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Preschool Non-Graduation

Today was Carter’s end of the year Preschool Program.  He got a little diploma and everything!

So I guess he graduated.  Which I’m kind of confused about because he’s in preschool again next year, so it seems silly to use the word “graduated”. If someone came up to me at the end of my first year of law school and said “Oh hey, you graduated!” and then took it back that person would no longer be with us. 

Regardless, he had his performance today.  For the amount of money it costs to send your child to school these days I had high expectations for a pretty elaborate show. 

(TIME OUT: Did I just use the term “these days”?  That sucks.  People are only supposed to use that term when they’re 90 and are complaining about the cost of milk.  I’ll have to be more careful in the future.)

Clearly I’m having a hard time focusing today…let’s start again…

So Carter had his end of the year preschool graduation (but not really)and I was looking forward to a nice show because nowadays (CRAP!) preschool is expensive. 

The kids were so adorable all lined up in their little chairs ready to perform.  They sang and danced and amused the crowd with their cuteness…oh but wait…not all of the kids did that.

Here’s what Carter did.  The whole time.

 "I'm going to cover my mouth so there is absolutely no chance that any song lyrics will slip out and subsequently make my parents happy."
Now, I find this odd because we all know that kid sings all the time. 

At pick up most parents get reports about how their kid learned the ABCs or drew a lovely butterfly.  I get reports about how my kid serenaded the staff out on the playground with every Jason Aldean song he knows. 

So we spent 10 minutes of our lives watching other people’s kids sing.  But I don’t care that Carter didn’t participate.  He learned other things this year: how to pedal a bike, how to write his name, how to poke other kids in the eye and then claim it was because you love them…

And I learned a lot as a parent this year as well. 

The most important lesson being: If you don’t want to get stuck bringing fruit to the class party you have to be the first to spot the sign-up sheet. 

And I would like to go on record and say that I was able to go an entire year without bringing in one baked good.  Thursday I'm signed up for plates. Yay plates!

I’m going to try to make this habit a year I'm thinking of becoming "napkin mom". Avoiding actual cooking/baking/food preparation of any kind will take some effort but it’ll keep me on my toes.  It’s going to be a challenge but that’s just the kind of dedicated mother that I am!

Happy (Non) Graduation Carter!
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