Friday, July 20, 2012


Tomorrow we leave for a week-long vacation at Lake Winnipesaukee in NH.

Today I pack.

Over the past couple of years I’ve learned a thing or two about trying to pack for vacation while your children are in the house.  So I’m here to share a few tips with you:

Tip #1 – Don’t do it.  Get a babysitter.  It’s the impossible dream, it cannot be accomplished successfully. 

 This is super helpful.  Clearly I intended you to use that suitcase as a chair.

Unfortunately for me I cannot take my own advice as I have no available babysitter at the moment.  This means I’m doomed to pack the same item over and over again until my kids get sick of pulling it out of the suitcase and move on to something else. 

I’ve been at this for two hours now and all I’ve managed to pack is a few bathing suits and some wine glasses.  Actually…come to think of it, that’s all we really need.  Let’s hit the road!

The worst is trying to pack their toys.  They have 5 million trucks, but they NEED to play with the one I JUST packed or their heads will explode.  And the last thing I need to be doing right now is cleaning up after an exploded cranium.  Those stains just never come out. 

Inevitably I will forget to repack that particular truck and they will ask for it the minute we get there.  And I won’t have it…and their heads will explode.  (If you haven’t noticed, this is a never ending cycle of head explosion).

This year I thought I was being smart and told them to put whatever they wanted to bring to the lake into a basket.  Then I could not possibly be blamed for any vital items that didn’t make the cut.

Here’s what they packed:

WTF is with the chair? 

Last year I spent over 12 hours packing up me, the kids, the sheets, towels, toys, games, bikes, food, etc., etc. etc.

After that long day my husband came home from work, threw a few T-shirts and some boxers into the suitcase and was ready to go in 10 minutes.  I promptly stabbed him 700 times and am now a widow…

Ok, I didn’t really do that. 

But if he pulls that shit again this year I’m gonna stab him at least once for good measure. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Carter Van Gogh

Some parents can look at their child’s artwork and just know that they are talented.  When they see their kid’s drawings they think “Wow, this is very creative and it looks just like whatever it’s supposed to be!”

I am not one of those parents.

When I pick up Carter’s artwork I usually think “Wow, what a great line you drew on this piece of paper!”  Because that’s all he draws.  Lines.  Sometimes scribbles.  Mostly lines.

Yesterday when I picked him up from school summer camp I found what I thought was a blank piece of red paper in his cubby.  I asked the teacher if it was for some sort of at home assignment.  She told me no, in fact it was a drawing that Carter had done.


Did this masterpiece take you a while, Cart?  Work on this all morning?

This has basically been the theme of all of his artwork throughout the year.  And of course I have to celebrate it and act like it’s the most beautiful faint yellow line on a red piece of paper that I’ve ever seen. 

He’s clearly a minimalist.

Around Mother’s Day the kids all made cards for their moms.  Before I saw Carter’s my friend Jane was telling me all about the card she got.  Her son apparently made a picture of her inside the card, complete with yarn hair and stuff.  All decorated inside and out and so adorable!

I couldn’t wait to get mine!

The front of my Mother’s Day card:

The inside of my Mother’s Day card:

Well, at least he “loyes” me…

Then of course, he also went through his “pizza phase” where no matter what the picture was supposed to be of he told us it was a pizza…

This is a pizza:

This is also a pizza:

Recently he’s started drawing people.  He’s getting better at it.  Here’s a picture of my husband:

Carter told us this was a picture of Daddy and his “expensive purple beard”.  I don’t know what makes purple beards so expensive but I hope he got it on sale cause we really don’t have much room in our budget for excessive facial hair expenses.

Here’s a picture he drew of two egg people and a jelly fish…

Oh wait, never mind.  It’s a picture of my father, my sister and her fiancĂ©. 

Looks like Papa has three arms and is using one of them to touch his daughter's bum.  Actually, maybe he’s rubbing her back as she vomits.  (Court, lay off the sauce man!  You're embarrassing yourself.) And then we have tiny Uncle Matt (who is actually 6’5”) with his three eyes and no arms just floating around in the background taking it all in...that line next to him is his "silver beer". 

Looks like a totally normal, happy, functional family to me!

Carter Van Gogh’s work will be featured in several trendy art show this season in New York, L.A., Paris and my fridge.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mom Deaf

“Carter can you pick up your trucks?  Cart? Can you just grab those and throw them in the bin? You’re gonna pick those up right? I’m gonna set the timer.  So start picking them up.  Carter?  Cart?”

Here’s the thing, I’m relatively sure that I’m speaking.  My lips are moving, I imagine sound is coming out, I think I’m forming sentences…

And I’m getting absolutely no response.  He’s still sitting there happily moving his trucks around, making truck noises and completely ignoring me.

It’s times like these when I start to question my children’s auditory health.  Maybe they need their ears checked again, there’s obviously a problem.  I’m standing two feet from this kid and not getting a single response.

But as I’m sitting there contemplating calling the pediatrician they suddenly hear a big truck driving by the house and run to the window to check it out.

Oh.  So you can hear things after all, huh?  You’re not deaf. 

You’re just Mom Deaf.

Mom Deafness is an epidemic that’s sweeping the nation.  It’s a congenital disorder where the child is born with the ability to hear but somehow the brain blocks the sound of the maternal voice rendering the child unable to process its sound. 

I know for a fact that Carter suffers from this.  It’s the only explanation. 

“Carter, don’t go in the fridge.  You can have yogurt just wait for Mommy to get it for you.  You better not even think about grabbing…put that back!  Let me just finish what I’m doing and I’ll get it for you.  Put it back.  PUT IT BACK!”

The whole time I’m yelling this he’s casually going in the fridge and picking out his yogurt flavor thinking “Hmmm…is it a Strawberry Banana kind of day?  Why yes!  Yes it is!” 

Then he’ll stare right at me as he opens the top (taking the time to lick it of course) and gets himself a spoon. 

He must be Mom Deaf.  Either that or he’s mentally composing a letter for me:

Dear Mom, I don’t give a shit what you’re saying.  Unless you come and rip this delicious yogurt out of my slimy little hand I will continue to enjoy its creamy goodness.  Love, Carter. 

It always comes down to me having to physically stop him from doing whatever it is he’s doing.  Mere words are not enough.  I can say get off your brother precisely one million times with no effect.  I have to lose it and go rip them apart.  They wonder why I yell and get angry all the time.  Being ignored is very frustrating.

I feel like Patrick Swayze in Ghost.  I’m just hovering around my children trying to get their attention but I can only make things happen when I’m really mad. 

But honestly, it’s not that they are ignoring me.  They just can’t hear me.  Their brains simply do not recognize the sound of my voice.  Poor kids!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I hate the word why.

I want to take the word why into a secluded back room, put on my brass knuckles and beat the shit out of it.  I hate it that much.

I never used to have a problem with ‘Why’.  In the past when the kids would question something I thought it was cute because it meant they wanted to learn.  Inquisitive children were smart children in my book and that was cool!

That was before we hit the ‘Why Stage’.  Now it doesn’t matter what I’ve just said, it is automatically followed by ‘Why’:

“I’m going to shower.”


“Because I want to be clean.”


“Because we’re going out and I don’t want to smell.”


“Ummm…why are we going out or why don’t I want to smell? And do I seriously have to justify the fact that I’m going to shower to you? No.  I just am, ok?  Go get your shoes on.”


“Because we’re going…BECAUSE I SAID SO!”

And that is how ‘Because I said so’ came to be.  I never liked this as an answer before I had kids.  Then again, I never wanted to strangle a small child before I had kids either.  Live and learn.

I’ve come to realize parents who use that phrase are not being lazy; they are just slowly being driven insane and are desperately searching for a way to save themselves.

Dear CIA, forget water boarding.  That crap is for wussies.  Get a three year old to follow your prisoners around all day and ask them ‘Why’.  They’ll break.  Believe me, they’ll break.

People whose children  have not starting abusing ‘Why’ yet probably think it’s just a phase they all go through and it’s really no big deal.

Before: “Oh how cute! Isn’t it funny how they all love to ask why?  So curious! And look!  They even made a hilarious little car commercial about a boy asking why all the time.  Precious.  Absolutely precious!”

After: “Shuuuuuuut the fuuuuuuck uuuuuup!”

I am most definitely in the “after” group right now.  I would really love to never hear that word again.  Like, don't you have a loud drum to beat or a brother to push or something?  Is following me around questioning my every move really the best use of your time right now?

Eventually I’m going to resort to the answer my Dad always gave me when I asked him a question: “Look it up.” 

Except my kids will have Google so they won’t have to suffer with an actual dictionary like I did. Which is totally unfair.  I think I’m gonna have to go buy a set of outdated encyclopedias in anticipation…good luck finding an answer for "Why can't I throw my shoes at the TV?" in there!