Wednesday, January 22, 2014

You're Not My Type

Parents of the world UNITE!

That’s the motto that I think we should all scream every day as loudly as we can to as many people as will listen before someone calls the cops.

Raising babies is a very hard job.  The decisions you make along the way are personal. You do what you think is best for YOUR baby…which may or may not be what someone else thinks is best for THEIR baby. 

And here is where the so called “Mommy Wars” are born.  Because if you believe strongly enough that you are doing something right then that means anyone who is not doing it that way is wrong.

And now we have to go so far as to label people’s parenting styles.  They have to have names and they have to have rules.  And you have to follow all the rules of the parenting style you chose or you will have spent all that money on books that lay out the rules for nothing.  And we can’t have that.

I don’t understand this phenomenon.  Why do we have to pick teams?

“Ok, you’re on the red parenting team and you’re on the blue parenting team.  You have to hate each other.  Ok, GO!”

Let’s take so called “Attachment Parenting” for example.  I recently read a description of this type of parenting which started with the sentence:

“In attachment parenting the goal is for parent and child to form a strong emotional bond.”

Ahhh…I’m sorry.  Is that not the goal of ALL parenting? 

“Congrats on the new baby!  Do you feel attached to him?”

“Oh, no.  I didn’t pick that parenting style.”

My best friend recently had a baby.  She exclusively breast feeds and she wears the shit out of her kid cause he loves the baby carrier.  But if I ever found a cloth diaper in her possession I would think that some other being had taken over her body because there is NO WAY she would ever use those. 

WTF type of parenting is this?  Where does she fit in?  Could it possibly be that she doesn’t have one single “type” of parenting style?  We just don’t know. I’m going to set up an appointment for her to be evaluated by the experts.  She clearly needs some direction.

Authoritative parents want their kids to follow the rules.  Permissive parents are “nurturing and communicative”.  Helicopter parents want their kids to be safe.

Go ahead, folks.  Pick one! 

Unless you pick one you can’t be on a parenting team.  And if you’re not on a parenting team your child will never survive! Plus, if you don’t know what type of parent you are how are you possibly going to know which other parents you’re supposed to hate?

And we can’t just all start getting along because then Time Magazine will have nothing to write about.

Know the phrase “everything in moderation”?  Can we start applying that concept to how we raise our children?

If Suzie only eats vegetables and Mary only eats fruit…then they’re both friggin’ lame and missing out on something. 

Will the world as we know it cease to exist if some parents decide they want to be attached to their kids while keeping them safe and want them to follow the rules while every once in a while giving in?

Let your kids be free! Except if they’re gonna fucking kill themselves by jumping off the top of the jungle gym.  Then step in.

Breast feed your baby! Unless you can’t or don’t want to.  Then stick a bottle in that kid’s mouth and get him fed.

Establish ground rules and enforce them!  Unless you feel wild that day.  Then let them stay up an extra half hour to snuggle and watch a movie as a special treat.

The only parenting style that should exist is “Parent”.  And we can all be on that team. 

Next time you pass parents out with their kids give them a high five and say “Hey! I see your kids are alive and well.  Nice work.  Way to go team!”

And then when our kids are grown and out in the world on their own we can all sit around, have a cocktail and sign each other’s parenting year books:

Team Parent 4-Eva!


Things Carter Says…

p.s. Stay in touch!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Day

I’m sure childless people often wonder what we parents do all day when we’re home with our kids. I guess they just can’t imagine this lifestyle.  As a parent I often wonder what childless people do all day as well…but then I have to stop because I have violent stabby feelings towards them as I imagine what their weekends must look like. 

So I figured I’d give everyone a glimpse into what a typical day at home with kids looks like here.  After you read it you can send your condolences…or wine…yeah, send wine.

So here we go, a day in my home:

Get woken up by someone poking you in the face.

Make coffee.

Drink a sip of coffee, put coffee down and help someone pour milk.

Correction: put coffee down and help someone clean up milk because someone tried to do it themselves rather than wait 15 God damned seconds.

Make someone toast.

Burn it.

Make someone toast again.

Realize you never finished your coffee.

Drink cold coffee.

Practice your ninja skills by attempting to dress an unwilling participant.

Make another cup of coffee.

Climb your stairs…stand and stare around blankly as you try to remember why you climbed your stairs.

Go back downstairs.

Break up a fight, sweep up some crumbs, dust something, realize you never finished your coffee.

Drink cold coffee.

Switch half a batch of laundry from the washer to the dryer.

Hear “I’M DONE” coming from the upstairs bathroom.

Hear it 47 more times in the 20 seconds it takes you to climb the stairs and wipe him.

Make a peanut butter sandwich.

Cut it incorrectly.

Pay DEARLY for your mistake for the next half an hour.

Play Legos. 

Search for little Lego pieces for ten minutes before you start vacuuming so you don’t suck them up.

Inevitably suck up a Lego.

Go to fold laundry and realize you never finished putting the clothes in the dryer.

Start to wonder if you have some sort of attention deficit disorder because this happens to you a lot.

Hear more fighting.

Thank God for whoever invented TV.

Begin checking the time every 10 minutes and fantasize about the moment your husband walks through the door.

Go to fold laundry…realize actually getting the clothes into the dryer is not one of your strengths.

Pour wine.

Start preparing dinner.

Stop preparing dinner because someone’s sock is not on correctly and if their sock is not on correctly then THEY CANNOT LIVE!

Realize you never finished your wine.

Laugh hysterically at your little joke as you would NEVER forget to finish your wine.

Pour more wine.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Good News: Your Kids Will Live

It seems these days we can't turn on the TV or browse through our Facebook news feeds without coming across some article or some expert testimony regarding all the ways we are potentially harming our children.

We're always being told we can do better. Do more. No wonder moms never feel like we're good enough. Because as soon as we start feeling competent we turn around and are confronted with evidence to the contrary. Once you learn the basic rules of parenting those f'ing bastards go off and change the manual.

If I had another baby I wouldn't know if I should front face the car seat, back face the car seat or put the car seat on the roof...

Well, let me tell you right now, I'm not the person who is here to tell you how to keep your kids in the safest, cushiest, most fantastic bubble of them all.

I'm the person who is here to tell you all about the things your kids can live through...

For example, you're kids can use three different types of pacifiers, breast feed, bottle feed, guzzle formula, eat only breast milk, take a bottle from you, your husband, the dog, the old guy down the road...and they will live.

Your kid can fall out of an infant swing when they are four months old because you thought you strapped him in but actually didn't...and they will live (well, they'll live till five at least cause that's how old Carter is and he's not had any complications from that so far.)

Your kids can suck on crayons and live.

Your kids can go outside in negative temperatures without gloves and live...and then when they're crying about how they can't feel their fingers you get to say "I told you so, you little know it all jerk!"

Your kids can walk barefoot from the car to the house through puddles on a rainy day because, even though you told them not to, they kicked off their shoes in a fit of rage on the way home from a friend's house. (Bonus to this one: they will never do that again.)

Your kids can have weeks where you and your spouse have this conversation:

"Have the kids had any vegetables this week?"


Your kids can eat off the floor and live. Grant spent a good part of his infancy eating off the floor. I would have Carter in the high chair, dropping Cheerios left and right, and little baby Grant would crawl around and eat the debris. And I would think "Score! This feeds the baby AND cleans the floor!" And he's alive. I promise.

Your kids can come home from Nana's house and tell you they had cookies, cupcakes, donuts and candy and then proceed to buzz around your house with the crazy whacked out look of an addict who's maybe had one hit too many. And they will live. Well, let me clarify, they will live through the sugar rush...I don't make any promises that you won't kill them when they're in this state. (Also, Mom? I've taken out a bounty on your head for this incident. Watch your back bitch!)

Your kids can only do crafts at school because you fucking HATE crafts...and they'll live.

Your child can wear pajamas to his brother's kindergarten drop off every day because they refuse to get dressed with any sort of urgency and you refuse to exert the effort required to make them. And also you're jealous.

And can catch your kid sticking his fingers into the margarita salt you have in your cabinet and licking them and he'll live. And know what else? When he's of age he's going to have excellent taste in cocktails!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Introducing Baby Cat

I don't know if everyone is aware of this but I actually have three children.

I have Carter, Grant and...Baby Cat.

Who is Baby Cat you ask? Why, he is Grant's feline alter ego. And I consider him one of my children because I spend close to as much time with him as I do with actual Grant.

Now, let me just clear this up right now...when Grant slips into this role he's not simply being "a cat". Baby Cat is a specific cat. It would be like calling Mickey just some mouse. You wouldn't do that. It's Mickey f'ing Mouse. And it's Baby f'ing Cat.

We were first introduced to BC a few months prior to Grants 2nd birthday. He started mewing a lot and we thought "Hey! He knows what a cat says!"

But then he started trying to communicate with us by mewing and then we thought "Hey! There's something wrong with our kid!"

At first when we'd ask him what he was being he'd say "I'm a baby cat!" It was always a baby cat, not a regular cat or a kitten. Eventually he dropped the "a" and he just became Baby Cat, the persona.

We thought it was funny. We thought it was cute. We thought he would outgrow it...

Then suddenly he was three and guess who's still around? Baby mutha f'ing Cat.

Every morning we would wonder who Grant was going to wake up as that day. He's a sleeper-inner so I'd go in to wake his ass up and he'd just open his eyes, stare at me for a minute and then either yell at me for waking him up or...calmly mew at me. Turns out Baby Cat is a way better morning person.

So there we were acting like a completely normal family when secretly we had a cat son.

We managed to get through Grant's first year of preschool with no public displays of Baby Cat. But everything changed this past November during his school's annual pot luck dinner....

Every class had come up with an art project that the school was auctioning off as a fundraiser. One class made a cookie jar with their names written on it, and so on and so forth. Grant's class did a big frame with pictures of the kids holding signs with what they wanted to be when then grew up written on it.

So amid all the cute "princess" and "fireman" answers I found this:


Oh what the hell!

For almost two years we had managed to keep Baby Cat internal. Now here he was totally outing us. Oh wait...don't forget the best part: those project were auctioned off. So some other parent in his class now has this picture in their possession. I should have bid my life savings just to get my hands on the evidence that I'm raising a cat.

A few weeks later I walked into the school to pick him up and noticed his class had hung up some art work outside the room. The kids had squished white paint on a pice of paper and called it spilt milk. Then they had to say what their spilt milk looked like...

Giant. Baby. Cat. Of course. Why would it NOT look like that?

So we're now going on two full years of Baby Cat with no end in sight. I would understand this more if he had a lot of exposure to cats. We have dogs. And I'm not even sure he had yet to meet an actual cat when all this nonsense started.

Some day I'm going to be having a conversation with someone and it'll slip out...

"My son thinks he's a Baby Cat."

"Aw! That's adorable. How old is he?"


In recent months the cat obsession has moved from him simply BEING a cat to him being an advocate for all cats.

Grant was watching Muppet Christmas Carol with my brother in law and there's one scene where Rizzo the Rat slams a door and a cat runs into it...which presumably hurts the cat. My brother in law laughed. Grant immediately gave him a dirty look and very seriously said "That's not funny. I love cats." He then sat there for a few minutes, arms crossed, mumbling under his breath "That's not funny...cause I love cats. That's not funny..."

Mother of God!

At what point do I check him into cat lovers rehab?