annoytoddler

If you have kids, you will at one time or another have this irrational creature living in your house called a toddler. They are hilarious and cute and very easily annoyed. Here are just some of the many ways that you can annoy a toddler…

1. Put jeans on them.

2. Hold them too tight or too loose.

3. Put salad on their plate.

4. Display affection for any of the other children in your house.

5. Don’t let them ride you like a horsey while you are attempting to do Granny push-ups on the floor.

6. Not stare into their eyes with complete focus while they are learning to use the potty.

7. Try to stand at the end of the one slide at the park that will launch them ten feet into the air, because clearly you didn’t stand there for their brother so you won’t be standing there for them, either.

8. Try to ever wear your new fancy shoes because you made the mistake of letting them try the shoes on once, so now the shoes are theirs.

9. Look sternly in their direction.

10. Don’t let them push those tiny carts in the grocery store when you just can’t bring yourself to deal with the drama that day.

11. Let the other kids in the house get on the bus to go to school.

12. Don’t let them talk to Grandma on the phone. For hours. And by talking I mean staring at the phone and smiling while Grandma and you both try desperately to get one word out of them.

13. Don’t let them look at themselves on your phone while you are trying to take a picture of them.

14. Not kiss the exact right spot where they injured themselves. Even if it’s their butt.

15. Suggest that it’s almost time to go to bed or put clothes on or eat lunch. Suggest anything, really.

16. Don’t let them drink out of every water fountain in every library and every airport on the planet.

17. Hold a baby.

18. Give them food besides yogurt or crackers or noodles.

19. Go to a different room in the house without taking them with you. Or even warning them that this was about to happen.

20. Forget that they need to sit on your lap all day on Wednesdays.

21. Try to teach them how to zip a zipper.

22. Strap them into their carseat on Tuesdays.

23. Say mean things to them, like, you need to wear shoes or you can’t go outside.

24. Forget that, since you allowed them to help push the buttons on the washer that one time, this is now their job and you must never touch the buttons again.

And finally….

25. Not help them when they specifically asked you not to help and now they are irreversibly stuck in their sweatshirt or underpants.

 

This post originally ran on Scary Mommy.

 

annoytoddler2

I’m over at Scary Mommy today!

helicopter

 

Warning: Satire approaching, please do not actually follow these steps.

Do you want to become a helicopter parent? Have your lovelies by your side and in your home for the rest of your life because they are unable to function in society? I have created an easy-to-follow list to make sure your children will rely on you … FOREVER.

Step 1: Don’t allow your children to do anything by themselves, ever. Get off your butt and keep tying those shoes, Mama! Why do they need to learn how to pour their own milk? Or even find their own employment? You are going to be doing it for them, always.

Step 2: Insert yourself into their lives at any, and I mean ANY, opportunity. Involve yourself in all social interactions and take control when things don’t go your (I mean your kids’) way. And when they go to college and get a B on a test? You call that professor right up on the phone and offer inappropriate things to get that kid an A. That’s not weird or stalkerish at all.

Step 3: Give them everything they want, always. Nothing is enough for your darlings. They are the fruit of your precious womb and it’s very important that they experience all of the physical joys of this world. Just ask Veruca Salt.

Step 4: Believe that your children should never fail. What does failure teach you? Nothing! Only success teaches you how to be more successful. So, if it appears that your child will fail at something – cleaning their room, writing a high school essay, or even forming a relationship – just do it for them! They will really appreciate you texting their boyfriend behind their back to get things back on track for them.

 

And you can read the rest over at Scary Mommy….

whatmomssay

My husband is a wonderful, loving attentive father but he literally cannot find the mayo. He has much more common sense, a better memory and is WAY more fun than me, but the mayo…it’s just sitting right there.

We are different in many ways; I can find the mayo and he can remember that he is cooking while he is still cooking. And because we are different, sometimes our communication goes a little haywire.

Here are some examples of things Moms say and what Dads hear;

 


Moms say:
Bed time kids!

Dads hear: Let’s all wrestle until you puke! Or wet your pants! Whatever comes first.

 

Moms say: I’m exhausted, I’m going up to bed.

Dads hear: Yay! Sexy time!

 

Moms say: I feel like I’m being a bad mom today.

Dads hear: She needs someone to list all of the subpar parenting things she did today and get detailed instructions in how she could do better in each situation so that she doesn’t feel this way again tomorrow.

 

Moms say: My sister had a baby! Her name is Mariah Nicole and she is 6 pounds 2 ounces 20 inches long. She’s a Virgo! Here’s a picture! Isn’t she the sweetest thing?

Dads hear: Some kind of baby was born to some person in our family.

 

Moms say: If you take the kids to the store with you, please don’t buy them a bunch of crap.

Dads hear: I love candy. I’ll bet the kids love candy too. I’m such an awesome dad.

 

Moms say: The kids are driving me crazy! Please come home soon!

Dads hear: What…you’re breaking up…can’t…quite…hear…you…

 

Moms say: Can you watch the kids while I run to the bathroom?

Dads hear: I sure can! Shit, where’d they go?

 

Moms say: I spent 30 dollars on our kid’s shoes.

Dads hear: What the frack?

 

Moms say: I spent 30 dollars on a bottle of whiskey.

Dads hear: Awesome!

 

Moms say: I’m going to go take a shower.

Dads hear: Yay! Sexy time!

 

Moms say: Can you go wipe the toddler’s butt please, I’m cooking dinner.

Dads hear: ………..

 

Moms say: Should I get my hair colored?

Dads hear: Isn’t her hair already a color?

 

Moms say: I like those pants on you.

Dads hear: I know. I’m amazing.

 

Moms say: I don’t like those pants on you.

Dads hear: No way. These are awesome pants and I’m amazing.

 

Moms say: Didn’t you hear Junior coughing all night last night? I was up, like, 5 times.

Dads hear: Operation Pretend Like I’m Sleeping…Complete.

whatmomssay2

 

A version of this post originally ran on Scary Mommy.

I am up on The Mid which is an amazing new site for people in, well, the mid.

Crap, I guess I’m in the mid.

I started to write this one as I realized that I am actually, thankfully, on the other side of having babies. It’s a bittersweet place to be.

And here is my first baby and oh my god I just want to eat him up.

graywithduck

On the other side of babies are long limbs sticking out of shorts and bellies that never seem to get full and aching bones from all of the cells stretching and multiplying to make room for whole entire people.

On the other side of babies are gray hairs twisting up and out of your body in the most unlikely of places. These hairs give you a second’s pause, and then you pluck them out and move on.

On the other side of babies are parking lots. Parking lots where you wait. Parking lots where you talk about field trips or sometimes where you hide on those days when you just…can’t.

On the other side of babies are periods that don’t do what they used to do.

On the other side of babies are stinky bodies that still fold into you with relief or fear or love or just because.

On the other side of babies are looks of understanding when you explain why we do things or why we don’t or why we are kind or why we care.

And you can read the rest here!

graywithduck2

Sometimes I crack myself up with randomness. This post is an example of one of those times.

edited IMG_8011

 

""

The urban dictionary. A place where even a 39 year-old mom can go to learn “what these darn kids are saying these days.”

As I browsed through the urban dictionary, I noticed words that I think I helped invent 20 years ago spaced in between words I had never heard of and that kind of scared me.

I also noticed that I recognized some of the words, but my definitions were just a little different.

Welcome to the urban dictionary translated for moms:

Lostralia 

Urban dictionary: A place where things that are lost are located.

Motherhood: Only mother’s seem to know the directions to Lostralia.

Junk in the trunk 

Urban dictionary: Having a prodigious butt.

Motherhood: When you open up the back of your car and lollipop wrappers, cheese cracker boxes, cellophane from straws and used tissues fall out in a heap onto the ground.

Kidcessory 

Urban dictionary: A child had by a celebrity just for the attention.

Motherhood: A small child that can’t stop crawling all over your body, clinging to you in a desperate attempt to fuse back into your womb and dangling off of your neck like a kidcessory.

Barker

Urban dictionary: To put forth an inhuman amount of effort in the attempt to get away with doing nothing at all.

Motherhood: My 8 yo, every day.

Word Vomit

Urban dictionary: A point in a conversation where you say something that you really didn’t mean to say.

Motherhood: My 3 yo talking to anyone in public.

Reserection

Urban dictionary: A morning wood of biblical proportions.

Motherhood: After being caught by your child “in the act,” the supreme effort you put into gaining back that loving feeling.

 

And…you can read the over at Scary Mommy!

I’m over at Scary Mommy today!

shopping1

 

I spend many minutes of my life trying to finagle my way out of taking my children shopping with me.

It’s not that I don’t like spending time with them. I totally do. The two of them are cute and funny and they came out of my body without leaving any stretch marks so I love them.

But I have found that I especially love them when they are not sitting within wet-willy range to each other in the backseat of the car while I schlep them to boring places like the grocery store and Target.

Unfortunately, I often have to take them with me and, like Dante traveling through the 9 levels of hell, there are the 9 levels of pain and torture that await me while shopping with my sweet cherubs.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

1. Carseats. My main goal in life right now is to teach my 3 yo how to operate the buckles on her carseat, marking the moment when she can finally get a job and start paying for the carpal tunnel surgery I will need from all that buckling and unbuckling.

2. Irrational hunger and thirst. Miles away from any food source and mere seconds after they have drunk the last drop of water, my children often believe that they will perish. Yet, at dinner they are stuffed after 2 bites. I have found that being a parent is basically learning to live with a constant set of contradictions dictated by someone else’s bodily functions.

3. Parking lots. Parking lots and children do not belong together. I’m not sure why one day, someone said, Hey! Lets drive 3000 pounds of metal around in circles right next to kids who are flailing like wounded fish at the end of their mother’s hands and see if they can manage to get loose just in time to get squashed. Great idea, parking lot people.

4. Entering and exiting buildings. This has been an adventure ever since my daughter began to believe that she is the one (and the only one) who can control the automatic doors. Woe to the soul who happens to sneak by us and open the automatic door before she is good and ready. I’m just thankful that most strangers can’t understand what she’s saying yet and that I taught her to curse in German.

 

Head over to Scary Mommy to read the rest!

 

shopping2

mountainspic

I love the little mountain town where we live. I love it. I love that my kids can play outside in the forest and get dirty and have adventures that I don’t even know about.

But, life out here definitely has its challenges and its…quirks.

You know you live in a mountain town if…

1. You have ever, or ever thought about, having a live trap in your car for mice. Last week, we were on mouse number 8 (!)  and then 9 and 10 showed up the next morning curled up together in the trap eating the peanut butter. Where are they coming from?! I don’t know!

2. You have a mud room, filled with actual mud.

3. You have ever had to turn around on a run because there was a moose standing directly on your path. We tried to convince the moose we met last week that he should move along, but he just stood there and stared at us. We took that to mean that he was happy right where he was so we…moved along.

4. Your kids own more bikes than shoes.

5. This is what your children’s playground equipment looks like:

IMG_7150

And this:

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And This:

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6. Your kids know the correct procedure for any live animal encounter.

7. It’s June and you are only now switching out your studded snow tires, because it has only now stopped snowing.

8. You know the difference between what a stove fire smells like and what a forest fire smells like. And you know the exact number to call if you smell the second one.

9. You child begged for a mandolin for his birthday.

IMG_3420

10. You belong to a Facebook group that is entirely dedicated to the conditions of the main road that takes you out of the mountains. And it’s one of the busiest groups there is.

11. Your kids learn at an early age that, while playing, they can never scream or yell, “Help me!” because those are saved for if they ever actually need help. Because…bears.

12. Your kids are dirty. All of the time.

13. Sometimes you feel like the fanciest person around if you simply show up and have all of your teeth.

14. Life is simple and filled up with a lot of sitting on your deck with friends.

15. And finally you know you live in the mountains when…there is a gondola in your backyard.

IMG_7103

 

 

createspace

One of the things about growing older is that you’ve had time to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. I have figured out that I really like to be all alone and in the quiet. This is really bad because it’s summer and I have two very loud children. They are so loud, that my neighbor, whose house I can barely see, said that they, “sure sound lively over there!” That’s nice-neighbor talk for, your children are crazy and probably scaring the wildlife.

In order to have the quiet time that I need, I get up very early. This works for me. When I don’t create that time, that space, I find myself yelling at my children in the Trader Joe’s parking lot while they both talk AT me about stuff that I don’t really care about. This sounds harsh until you try to listen to an 8 yo tell you his dream about a killer hand dryer, in detail, for 15 minutes while his sister sings the ABC’s in a constant loop in the background. Trust me, it’s like torture for someone who has decided that they like to be all alone and in the quiet.

What works for me is creating space. I create space by waking up way too early. I create space by running with my girlfriends. I create space by choosing not to do things that I don’t want to do. I create space by telling that voice inside my head to chill out and eat some chocolate. I create space by teaching my children to do things for themselves. I recently created a whole cavern of space by going to the BlogU conference and meeting a group of women who have become like my tribe of funny and wise champions. Are these things selfish? Sometimes. But they also make me a person that isn’t as crazy as I could be if I didn’t have any space at all. I think if we fill our lives with too much, too much running around, too much staying busy for the sake of being busy, too much trying to keep up with this imaginary version of ourselves that is NEVER going to exist, then there isn’t space to be, just us.

And I want to teach the little people in my life that sitting on a deck on a Saturday afternoon watching kids play, not doing a damn thing, is a good way to live too.

 

us

I’m over at Scary Mommy today and here is a sneak peek;

 

If you have been on the internet lately, you may have seen an article in The New York post called, “I Get A Wife Bonus And I Deserve It, So STFU.”

Written by an upperclass woman explaining that, because she stays at home with the couple’s child, that her and her husband have decided to give her a percentage of his yearly bonus so that she can buy high-end designer stuff. Outrageous, yes, but it’s their money, they can do whatever they want with it.

I’m too far away from the reality of spending $1500 on a single pair of shoes to understand the compulsion to do such a thing, but who am I to judge? If you have that kind of money and those shoes give you the will to face school drop-off for another day? Go for it.

I am currently a stay-at-home mom too. And I think I get A LOT of bonuses. My bonuses don’t look like Manolo Blahniks but I try to shop like I eat and I never buy anything that I can’t pronounce.

Here are some of things that I am happy to call my Wife Bonuses:

1. Fresh water. It comes right out of my tap! Like magic! My children are never thirsty unless it’s midnight and they are trying to ruin my life.

2. A roof. Roofs are awesome. Especially during rain storms and the 9- month-long season we Coloradans call “Winter.” My husband (the genius that he is) works outside of the home and provides one of these for us. It’s the best thing ever.

3. Shit I don’t need from Target. You haven’t lived until you experience the all-consuming rush of buying a 15 dollar shirt that you don’t need and which looks like a desperate attempt to salvage your youth. Whee!!!

And you can see the rest HERE!

The Listen To Your Mother Show is pretty much what gave me that final nudge into writing a blog. I owe it, and Ann Imig who started the show, a lot. Ironically though, when show-time is in full swing I don’t have time to write anything, ever, except for maybe a to-do list for my husband who has to make sure that our children don’t starve.

What do I say? It was a success, it was all that we had hoped. Our cast did the show twice and killed it twice and I love that so many of my friends and family braved the snowy day to come hear our stories. The whole thing is heart-wrenching and lovely and people keep congratulating me, but really, it’s only a little bit about me. 1/12th to be exact. Because 12 of us stood behind the curtains together before the show and looked each other in the eyes and promised to hold each other up. And we did.

If you haven’t been to a show, find one and go to it next year. Or audition. Do it. It’s something that you can’t really explain until you are sitting in that audience and you realize that you are watching people tell these powerful, vulnerable stories in front of hundreds of…strangers. And you sit there and feel like those stories are your stories too.

So. I’ll let you all know when the videos come out and you can head over to our site to see more pictures of the cast.

But for now, I think the pictures will speak louder than I can.

 

 

The Outnumbered Mother

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