Wishing You a Fully-Medicated Holiday

green_smocked_xmasI’m sitting in Starbucks writing and celebrating the fact that I have, once again, survived the yearly elementary school holiday program. Ad Man is somewhere in Pennsylvania attending meetings and freezing his ass off so he’s missed the holiday celebration, yet again, this year.  I know he feels terrible for missing it, but that doesn’t keep me from being bitter. (Hell, if I wasn’t bitter, what would I write about?) Year after year, I’m the lonely mom sitting in the overheated gymnasium, frazzled from getting the kids up and on the bus looking somewhat decent at 7:05 am and managing to make myself presentable–generally by spraying lots of dry shampoo on my greasy roots–so I can get to school early and stake out my spot near the front so my kid doesn’t think I’ve forgotten her and freak the fuck out.

Smalls and the rest of the kindergarteners led a celebration of Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year and Las Posadas.  When I was growing up, I didn’t know any Jewish people, let alone the dreidel song!  Today’s holiday program did more than just give lip service to all the many holidays though. The kids learned about the culture and traditions of the diverse groups of people who celebrate each holiday and performed a couple songs from each of them.  It really was a breath of fresh air from the vanilla-white-Christian-only suburb I was raised in outside of Chicago.

Where there is little diversity here, though, is in the way Southerners dress their children for the holidays.  We were eating breakfast this morning, Smalls in her usual uniform of skinny jeans, a paint-stained t-shirt and leopard print Vans when I realized in a panic that she needed something festive for the holiday program or I’d likely be ejected from the PTA.  So, I threw her into a red Crewcuts dress with black polkadots, black tights (miraculously without holes) and sparkly purple shoes. Close enough.

Most of the other kids were all decked out in their holiday finery.  Many siblings were dressed alike, or at least, in coordinating outfits. The typical Christmas uniform for a little girl in the South is a red, green or red-and-green plaid, smocked dress with poufy sleeves.  The smocking is usually adorned with Christmas trees, snowmen, ornaments, Santas or a combination of all of the above.  The more, the better, actually.  In the absence of Christmas iconography, the dress must be monogrammed. In fact, monogram everything!  The outfit is not complete until you add frilly white socks, patent leather mary janes and a monolithic hairbow.

The boys generally wear matching holiday sweater vests or red polo shirts with plaid or khaki pants.  A few really do it up in tiny versions of their daddy’s slacks, starched shirts, sport coats, ties and loafers.  I was just glad Smalls’s hair was kinda brushed, her face was free of chocolate and she wasn’t wearing yesterday’s underwear.

Parents vie for seats at the very front of the gym to get the best view from which to watch their darling children through an upheld iPad. Moms and dads who didn’t manage to set their alarms early in order to beat the rush, worm their way to the front regardless, where they elbow other members of the mom-and-dad-arazzi for a prime spot on the imaginary velvet rope.

There are always a few working moms and dads (but mostly dads) who stand outside, negotiating deals on cell phones while pretending to peer through the smudged gym windows at their children belting out Christmas carols and doing adorable, choreographed arm movements.  These are the ones who will later cross their fingers when they hedge their bets and tell their kid that their favorite part of the performance was “when you sang…um…Jingle Bells?”

I have a soft spot in my heart, though, for the parents who rush in after the program has begun, dressed in week-old jeans and a sweatshirt smeared with spit-up or jelly, dragging along a crying younger sibling.  You can always spot the kids that belong to those parents. They’re the ones with bedhead, rocking a football jersey, pajama bottoms and untied sneakers.  These are my people.

I’ll also accept on my team the “holy-shit-I-thought-the-performance-was-at-10!” mom who you see running down the street carrying the crucial Santa hat that is conspicuously missing from her kid’s head.  You know, as she runs, she’s hyperventilating and calculating how much therapy will be needed before her child is able to trust again.

However, I’ll most likely never be friends with the festive, but tastefully dressed, mom with the perfectly coiffed hair, impeccable nails, diamonds the size of grapes, handsome husband who never travels on important days, and five well-mannered children all in coordinated holiday ensembles.  That is, unless I happen to run into her at my psychiatrist’s office and catch her wild-eyed, clutching to her breast a bouquet of prescriptions even bigger than mine.  In that case, I’ll put an arm around her, assure her that I understand and invite her over for a mid-morning cocktail.

After all, it’s the season of goodwill to all men and women…even the crazies.

Kanye West Answers Your Parenting Questions

kanye_headshotDearest readers, I’m busy buying useless crap at the dollar store to fill Biggie and Smalls’s Christmas stockings just like Jesus would do, so I’ve asked my close friend Kanye West to fill in as guest blogger on MommyEnnui today. Kanye and I go way back. He grew up in the Chicago suburb adjacent to mine (at least 45 minutes from the mean streets of Chi-Town…don’t let all that tough talk fool you) and we loitered in the same malls as teens.

As you may know, Kanye’s soon-to-be wife, Kim Kardashian, gave birth to their first child North West this past fall. Because, in his words, Kanye is full of “awesomeness…beauty, truth and awesomeness,” he is more than qualified to provide some sage advice. Here, he answers your most burning questions about his new bundle of joy and advises you on your parenting dilemmas.

Q: Kanye, every morning turns into a battle with my daughter over choosing an outfit for the day. Do you have any tips?

Kanye: Imma tell you what I do with my babygirl. I pick up the phone and call my friends Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace and I have ‘em each send over a bunch of fly outfits in baby size and that gives me lots of options for dressing North to coordinate with what I put Kim in that day. Whether she flyin’ on a Lear to Paris for the Louis Vuitton show or she just playin’ in her private 20 acre park with the nannies, my girl be dressed to the nines at all times. When she gets older, she won’t question my fashion advice because I’m a fashion God, yo.

Q: How do I teach my child about managing money?

Kanye: Well, North is in a position of a level of royalty like the Prince and Princess of London, so she ain’t never be worryin’ bout money, you feel me? But, I grew up with a single mom, rest her soul, in [the middle class suburbs of] Chicago so I know all about bein’ poor. I would just tell your kid, “Havin’ money isn’t everything, not havin’ it is.” Tell him Kanye said that. You should also tell him, “The less said about the pterodactyl the better.” Yeah, I said that, too. [That was actually Mark Twain.]

Q: My daughter worries that she’s not as thin or as pretty as other girls in her class.  How do I teach her that beauty isn’t everything?

Kim_Kanye_c_uKanye: This is a hard question for me to answer because I only surrounded myself with objects of exquisite beauty. My BabyMama Kim is the most beautiful woman of all time! I’m talkin’, like, arguably of human existence…the top 10 of human existence. And, North, she the most beautiful baby in the history of the world. Maybe the universe. As a matter of fact, North should be on the cover of Baby Vogue. Everybody knows it. Anna Wintour knows it; Obama knows it. Even the Pope knows it! Anyway, tell your daughter that the world needs people that aren’t, like, good looking because without them, the perfect people wouldn’t be so special. She shouldn’t try to go into entertainment though. In my business, beauty is a talent and it sounds like she don’t got no talent.

Q: My son says he wants to be a rapper just like you when he grows up.  Do you have any advice for him?

Kanye: Imma stop you right there. That just ain’t possible. I am the number one human being in music. That means any person that’s living or breathing is number two. I mean, my music isn’t just music, it’s medicine. Every time I make an album, I’m trying to make a cure for cancer…musically. But you can tell your son, if he works really, really hard, wears limited edition Nikes and he dress fresh at all times, maybe he can grow up to be the second best artist in the world. Or, third…after me and Michael Jackson. Oh, then there’s Jay-Z. So, fourth. He could maybe be fourth.

Q: My daughter is very shy. How can I help her become more confident and outgoing?

Kanye: That one’s easy. Just give her this advice from Kanye, “Believe in your flyness…conquer your shyness.” Boom…done!  Also tell her Kanye says, “I scratch my head with the lightning and purr myself to sleep with the thunder.” She’ll like that.

Q: What were your favorite books as a child?

Kanye: I’m not a fan of books. Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and so self-absorbed. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I want to dig [Jane Austen] up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talkin’ to people and livin’ real life. I would never want a book’s autograph, you know? I’m a proud non-reader of books.

Q: My wife is scheduled to give birth to our first child this spring and we’ve decided not to find out the sex beforehand. We’d like to give our baby a unique name. Do you have any suggestions?

Kanye: You want your baby to have a name that’s strong and confident…a name that don’t bow to the man so, when it grows up, that baby can rise to the highest pinnacle of truth and awesomeness. If it’s a boy, you should name him Hermes, Summit or Kanye. If it’s a girl, I’d go with Apogee, Apex or Kim.

Q: Do you have a special routine for getting North to bed at night?

Sweet_North_WestKanye: If I’m not on tour, in Cannes on Jay’s yacht, or writin’ my feelings down on paper to keep their heat from setting me afire inside, I like to spend as much time as possible with my babygirl. Me and Kim try not to be away from home at the same time so one of us is always there watchin’ over the nannies, makin’ sure they not leakin’ shit to the press.

So, when I’m around, I sing North to sleep with this lullaby I wrote special for her. It goes like this, “Stop everything you’re doing now/ Because baby, you’re awesome/ Don’t let nobody get you down/ Because you’re awesome/ You don’t need to listen to the haters/ You must be tired of running through my mind/ Can I come inside?…I’m also awesome…/ I’d rather do nothing with you/ than something with somebody new/ Because baby you’re awesome.”  And one more thing, I never give my babygirl a fur pillow. Fur pillows are hard to sleep on.

*Please note, this is a work of satire. Kanye, it would be a waste of your precious time to sue me. I haven’t received a paycheck in 8 years.

I Blame the Elf!

elf_in_captivityOK, you little shit…I know you’re hiding around here somewhere. You’re already late. It’s December 3rd and you were supposed to make your long-anticipated arrival two nights ago.  Ad Man, the official finder in this house, is on an island in the Caribbean, so not only am I already in a pissy mood, I’m also flying solo in my search for your skinny, red ass.  I have torn apart closets and dug through every Christmas decoration box.  You’re not hiding in the guest room, the utility room or the laundry room.  I even checked the doll bin in the toy room just in case. Nada!

Tomorrow, Biggie and Smalls will undoubtedly be regaled by their classmates’ tales of elves who appeared, as scheduled, this morning.  I’m sure many of them performed crazy acts of mischief that made the kids laugh and laugh.  But not my daughters because they have an unreliable elf who doesn’t turn up when expected and never does anything more mischievous than hanging upside down from the kitchen light fixture.

We’ve explained to the kids that you don’t pick your elf…your elf picks you.  And, we just happened to get one who is a serious underachiever.  You hide in a new place almost every night (except for when you’re snoring on the couch “watching TV” by 9:00 pm or when you collapse into bed exhausted because you’ve been all over town trying to locate that one toy that’s the only thing your kid wants for Christmas) but, that seems to be the extent of your commitment to providing holiday spirit around here.  You never make snow angels in powdered sugar or paint Ad Man’s toenails while he’s sleeping.  I’ve never once seen you have a rave with the Barbie dolls, “accidently” squeeze out toothpaste everywhere or spell out festive messages in mini marshmallows.  I’m beginning to suspect you never even look at the creative suggestions I send you from Pinterest.

I suppose I could just run out tomorrow and buy a new elf, but I really never wanted you here in the first place.  You were a gift from a dear friend who couldn’t possibly foresee the unrelenting stress you’d cause me from December 1st (or whenever you deign to bless us with your presence) through Christmas Eve.  As if I don’t have enough to worry about during this neverending month as it is!  Heaven forbid I buy another elf and then you decide to pop out from one of the girls’ underwear drawers. How would I explain the sudden appearance of two of you little #@$%ers?

Bad Elf

I have this eerie feeling you’re sitting in a corner somewhere being entertained by my frantic search while eyeballing me with that smug, retro smirk on your face.  You’ve probably snuck behind a long-forgotten stack of size 4 jeans assuming (correctly) that I’ll never need them again but knowing I won’t dare donate them because that would be admitting defeat.  Not cool, man.  Not cool.

I’m tempted to tell Biggie and Smalls that you went out for a cup of hot chocolate and just never came back.  They’ll forget about you soon enough.  Just wait until I pull out that Lego Friends advent calendar…you’ll be yesterday’s news.  So, I’m giving you one more chance to crawl out of whatever peppermint scented hole you’ve hidden yourself in and bring some g*dd@mn joy to these children or, I swear the next time I see you, I’ll set fire to that unflattering red and white felt jumpsuit you insist on wearing year after year!  Consider yourself warned.

And by the way, tell your friend the tooth fairy that I’ve seen the two wiggly front teeth in Small’s mouth so she’d better be prepared with some dollar coins or at least some crisp bills. That bitch is totally unreliable.  I’m not about to cover for her again with a handwritten IOU slipped under a pillow as the sun is rising and a toothless kid is stirring.  She’s got one job to do…how hard can it be?  Seriously!

Let’s Get Real this Thanksgiving

thankfulLike many families in the U.S., at Thanksgiving dinner, we have a tradition of going around the table and saying what we’re thankful for. Generally, my response is similar every year. As always, I’m thankful for my family, health, good food and great friends. While I am sincerely grateful for those things, there are numerous other things that tend to go unmentioned and I think it’s high time I give them their just due.

This Thanksgiving, I’m really, really thankful that:

  • I’m past the stage of being woken at 3:00 am by a screaming infant who has pooped through her diaper, onesie, pajamas, sheets and into her hair.
  • I have not yet had to have a major body part replaced.
  • With email and texting, I rarely ever have to speak with another human being on the telephone.
  • The bats living in our eaves have apparently relocated, saving us $1,000 or so in animal-control costs.
  • We’ve gotten through another year without having our yard turned into an infinity pool by the neighboring creek.
  • We’ve squeezed another year out of our crappy cars.
  • My children are well-behaved and polite at school and in public and generally only act like complete shitheads at home.
  • It was slightly less hot than Hades in Atlanta this summer.
  • Ad Man has been traveling less in the last few months, though I will be considerably less thankful when he heads to the Virgin Islands for a “meeting” in a couple days.
  • It’s the most wonderful time of the year…leg shaving-optional season.
  • I have wonderful friends who hate all the same things I do.
  • Miley Cyrus is not my daughter.

I am also thankful for:

  • My beloved IUD that has kept me period-free and embarrassing-late-in-life-pregnancy-free for another year.
  • Psychotropic drugs.
  • Being old enough that I no longer care what anyone thinks if I get a new tattoo or let loose a string of expletives.
  • Binge-watching Orange is the New Black.
  • My cleaning people Digna and Erica who keep us from living in our own filth.
  • Grocery clerks who still card me when I’m buying alcohol and do it with a straight face.
  • Alcohol.
  • Clothing designers who are guilty of “vanity sizing.”
  • The scientists who did the research determining that dark chocolate is good for you.
  • Amazon Prime.
  • The teachers who educate Biggie and Smalls because neither the girls, nor I, would survive home-schooling.
  • My Orkin man because, no matter how many times people in the South refer to them as “palmetto bugs,” they’re still giant, flying cockroaches.

I hope the list of things you’re thankful for is as long as mine is this year. Happy Thanksgiving!

To Be or Not to Be…A Parent

toy_mess_2When Ad Man and I had been married for a few years, I went through a period of being conflicted over whether I wanted kids or not.  I once said to him, “What if I decide I don’t want to have kids?” to which he lovingly replied, “I would leave you.”  (I have witnesses.) Clearly, Ad Man suffered no such ambiguity.  I think it’s notable to consider who ended up stepping away from HER career once we did procreate.  (Can I get an, “Amen, sister”?)

During this time, I searched for a book that would help me weigh the pros and cons of having children, but I came up empty handed.  The opinions of my friends with children weren’t helpful because, much like a foreign terrorist group, part of a parent’s job is to recruit others to the cause.  As I am nothing but helpful and don’t take orders well, I have decided to break with protocol and give you a real, constructive way of determining whether parenthood is right for you.  You and your partner should sit down and ask yourselves the following questions.

1.  Trying to decide whether to get pregnant?  Are you comfortable discussing the following with strangers?

  • The exact scheduling of your sex life
  • The quantity and quality of your husband’s/donor’s sperm
  • The evils of formula feeding
  • The evils of breastfeeding
  • The evils of starting a child on solid food before the age of 6
  • Whether or not you will circumcise a potential child who may or may not have a penis
  • Mucus plugs
  • The diameter of your cervix

2.  Are you willing to contend with the following?

  • Rock hard porn boobs (I’m guessing your partner will give that one a thumb’s up)
  • Cracked nipples
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Heartburn that makes Flaming Hot Cheetos seem mild
  • Leaking milk in public
  • Catching vomit with your bare hands
  • Having poop in the crevices of your wedding rings

3.  See your young, beautiful body?  Imagine you look exactly the same but for the following small changes:

  • Add dark circles under your eyes
  • Add wild eyebrows, hairy armpits and an unruly bush
  • Delete manicure and pedicure
  • Take your perky B cups and replace them with one of the following: 1) droopy A cups that look like deflated balloons, or 2) enormous D cups that require major structural underpinnings and make all your tops fit like that half-shirt you wore in 10th grade
  • Add stretch marks (this one’s optional, but you don’t get to choose)
  • Add one muffin top

4.  Imagine not being able to do any of the following again for a long, long time…

  • Have sex
  • Poop in private
  • Sleep 5 or more hours in a row
  • Eat a hot meal
  • Be on time for anything, ever
  • Have an uninterrupted conversation
  • Put your makeup on anywhere but in a moving vehicle

5.  To visualize your home, which you’ve so stylishly decorated, with a child living in it, make the following alterations:

  • Add approximately 5,000 garishly colored plastic objects
  • Add a film of filth to every wall measuring from the ground up to approximately 3 feet high
  • See that handy guest room?  Remove guests and add a bunk bed
  • Throw all your clothes on the floor
  • Gather all the objects that are irreplaceable and smash half of them
  • Replace that Diptyque candle with the scent of a teen boy’s feet after marinating in sweaty sneakers all day

6.  Listen to a 72 hour recording on a constant loop that says…

“Mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, mommy, mommy, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mom, moooooooommyyyy!!!  Now, how do you feel?

7.  A few more considerations that become more important as your hypothetical kid gets older…are you willing to:

  • Have your intelligence insulted on every subject?
  • Be the cause of constant embarrassment?
  • Be viewed as nothing more than a chauffeur, chef, ATM?
  • Receive late night calls from the police?
  • Listen to the same Taylor Swift CD over and over and over again?
  • Age 20 years in the next 5?

If all of the foregoing sounds like a fun adventure to you and your partner…congratulations! You are now ready for some super hot, rigorously scheduled sex. If not, then run!  Run for your life!  That is until your hormones take you hostage and send a ransom note demanding a soft, pink, sweet-smelling, little ball of love who will steal your heart and trash everything else in its wake.

Worst Mother Ever

willa_tantrumLike most parents, I often lie awake at night worrying about what will become of my children and feeling guilty for the many things I’ve done wrong in raising them.  Every tantrum or door slam is due to some failing on my part and is just more evidence that my kids will, most likely, grow up to be psychopaths.  If Biggie gets up 10 times a night before finally falling asleep, it’s because I nursed her to sleep during infancy. When Smalls holds her pee for 8 hours refusing to go to the bathroom at school, it’s because I started potty training her too early as a toddler.

At least one of my children, will freely tell you that I am a terrible mother…definitely a contender, if not the finalist, for Worst Mother in the World.  Poor thing. What are the chances of being born to the very worst mother of all?!  Because of all the psychological damage Ad Man and I have surely done to our kids and because they’re my children and come from a long line of anxiety-ridden depressives, I’m sure they will find themselves in psychotherapy at some time or another.  So, in an effort to save them time and money in therapy bills, I’ve compiled the following list outlining my failures as a mother for future reference.

1.  By quitting my job and staying at home full-time during their formative years, I have robbed them of a professional female role model.  Moreover, volunteering at their schools, meeting them as they get off the bus every afternoon and bringing them to all doctor and dentist appointments mean I am clingy and overbearing.

2.  I moved them (well, at least Biggie) from the hip, glittery, idyllic wonderland that is Los Angeles to hot, buggy Atlanta thereby denying them the careers as actors, marine biologists, surfers or winemakers for which they were destined.

3.  Because I am a vegetarian who doesn’t cook meat, I have kept them from all the meaty delicacies the world has to offer.  If they fail to become chefs, butchers, or cattle farmers they’ll have me to blame.

4.  I lied to them about Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny making them believe in magic.  I then abruptly pulled the rug out from under them when they got smart enough to question my outrageous tales.  This will undoubtedly lead to trust issues later in life.

5.  I raised them in a mid-century modern house with weird art and 50s furniture which made them feel different from their friends living in cozy, shabby chic cottages and reproduction Tudor mini-mansions.  Surely, one or more character flaws can be traced back to never having a canopy bed or eyelet curtains.

6.  I refused to let them have televisions and computers in their bedrooms.  I’ve also, thus far, not gotten them cell phones even as they near the ripe old ages of 8 and 6.  Only time will tell, but I suspect my heartlessness will keep them from expressing themselves through naked selfies at least while I’m home or until they leave for college.

7.  I was a wildly liberal feminist campaigning for Democratic candidates, supporting women’s reproductive rights and LGBT rights and defending the separation of church and state in the midst of the Bible Belt.  This could go wrong in two different ways.  I could end up being the clueless hippie mom who is an embarrassment to my daughters when they decide to go all Alex P. Keaton on my ass.  Alternatively, they could agree with my politics and be left with nothing to rebel against…quite possibly a teenager’s worst nightmare.

8.  I failed to sign them up for etiquette classes and never dressed them in smocked dresses and giant hair bows instead allowing them to make their own (often ridiculous) sartorial choices, greatly reducing their chances of success in cheerleading, cotillion and the sorority of their choice.

9.  I stuck them with some pretty crappy genes.  In addition to the depression, mentioned above, I’ve also passed down a pokey metabolism, a propensity to carry weight in their mid-sections and strangely muscular legs that are exact replicas of their Grandpa Jack’s.

10.  But, worst of all, I loved them unconditionally which just set an unattainable bar for future significant others.

I’m sure this list will be expanded to 10 or 20 pages by the time Biggie and Smalls reach adulthood.  So, to my beloved children…for all of the above and for my failings to come, I am sincerely sorry.  Blame mom and get a good shrink.

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Holidays in Hell

Pumpkin HouseI know it sounds crazy, but we’re still in the midst of Halloween planning and decorating around here.  I just finished sewing a tiny, waterproof Marie Antoinette costume for Jacques, our beta fish, and now I have to hand-bead the gown for Smalls’s Donatella Versace costume and carve Biggie’s pumpkin into an intricate Victorian lace pattern.  After that, I will set out luminaria to light the path down our sidewalk, up the driveway, down both sides of the street and around the block.  In an effort to be culturally inclusive, I’ve also cast 100 Dia de los Muertos sugar skulls that still need to be decorated with frosting. I’d have the kids help me, but I just can never count on them to be historically accurate in their decorating.

I’m so thankful I thought ahead last week and already made the beds with our candy corn and skull-and-crossbones patterned sheets and changed out the Columbus Day throw pillows for the Halloween ones.  It’s also a relief to know that the dough for the bone-shaped bread sticks is pre-made and in the freezer with the butternut squash and squid ink pasta lasagna.  I’ll just have to pop the dry ice into our drinks at the last minute and our Halloween dinner will be on the table in plenty of time to get a balanced meal into my family before trick-or-treating begins.

I’m hoping I’ll be done packaging the handmade candy bars in butcher paper and orange and white striped twine so I can join the rest of the family for the evening’s festivities.  I’d really hate to miss it, especially since I’ve been walking around in this green makeup and fake nose with warts all day!  Ha, ha!  Oh, and I can’t forget to change out all the lightbulbs with orange ones before we leave the house.

I sent Ad Man out to replicate the cemetery from ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ in the front yard, but I’m afraid he may need help from the neighbors since I had the headstones and statues hand-carved from stone.  I’m also waiting for the guys with the cherry-picker to arrive so I can finish hanging the faux Spanish moss from the top of the maple tree out front.

Whew!  I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it and this is only the beginning of the holiday season!  I don’t even want to think about all the Indian headdresses and pilgrim hats I have to sew, the organic cranberries I have to harvest from the bog in the backyard, the creche I have to carve from that olive wood I ordered from the Holy Land and the tiny dreidels I have to sculpt, glaze, fire in the kiln and deliver to our Jewish friends.  And, Hanukkah starts early this year!

You know, every year I swear I’m going to scale back, do more with less, volunteer for fewer class parties and just say no to the holiday whirlwind.  But, I just want things to be perfect for my family.  I know the kids will look back fondly at the moments we shared gold-leafing the walls in preparation for New Year’s Eve and they’ll never forget the magic of seeing actual, authentic reindeer shit on the roof on Christmas morning.  I’m not going to lie, it is a lot of work but, it’s worth every late night spent in the kitchen or the wood shop or sitting at the loom.  After all, as they say, a neurotic, overachieving, competitive, control-freak-of-a-mother’s work is never done!

Photo via Apartment Therapy

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Crazy Stuff I’ve Had to Tell My Kids

underpants_head_v.2I am constantly amazed that any child ever manages to live to adulthood.  Seriously, it’s like every single one of them has a death wish.  As soon as I found out I was pregnant the first time, I went about baby-proofing every room in our apartment despite the fact that I wouldn’t give birth for another 8 months and the child wouldn’t be even remotely mobile for some time after that.  As most parents do, I had visions of my kid sticking a knife in an electrical socket, falling down the stairs, cracking open her head on the edge of a glass table, chugging a bottle of Draino and diving into the toilet head first.  I knew a helpless baby or curious toddler could get in no end of trouble and believed I could protect my kid from all foreseeable dangers.

What I didn’t realize, however, is that my children would get themselves into precarious situations I could never in a million years have predicted.  Because, you see, children are stupid.  They do and say stupid shit ALL THE TIME.  And, it starts at a much younger age than you’d expect.  Not all of it has the potential to land them a spot as Darwin Award nominees, but it’s generally all either ridiculous, annoying, messy, embarrassing or all of the above.

Because of our children’s bouts of utter stupidity, we all find ourselves telling them things we would never have had to say prior to having kids.  There are just some things you shouldn’t have to say to another human being!  I have numerous examples from my own experience and have gathered many others from friends with children. I’m hoping to make this a recurring post, so in the spirit of laughing together so we don’t cry, please share your stories in the comments!  Enjoy…

“Take the turtle out of your underwear!”

“Don’t headbutt your sister.”

“You need to keep your eyes open when you’re riding a bike!”

“You do NOT wash your hands in the chocolate syrup!”

“You can’t do yoga with pizza in your mouth.”

“Don’t lick the television.”

“Get your sucker off the cat!”

“No pole vaulting in the living room.”

“No, the ducky doesn’t belong in your underwear.”

“Don’t put mud down your pants.”

“No those are not bite marks around my nipples where you used to feed. They just look like that.”

“Don’t point the arrow at your sister.”

“You have to wear underwear with dress pants.”

“No, that’s NOT what the hand-held shower head is for.”

“You can’t feed the dog Play-doh!”

“No, you can’t touch my boobies.”

“I’m removing all mirrors in the house so you can’t watch yourself cry during fits of rage.”

“Stop smiling meanly at your brother.”

“Your penis is not a drum.”

“No, mommy doesn’t have a ‘front butt.’ It’s called a vagina.”

“Is that your booger on the wall?”

“I don’t think you should practice the recorder in the shower.”

“Your arm will always be longer than your neck, so no, you won’t ever be able to lick your elbow.”

“Stop riding your brother like a pony!”

“I’m going to throw away any ammo or weapons I find that are not put away in the weapons closet.”

“Sweetie, girls can’t pee on trees like little boys. I am so sorry. No, don’t try!”

“Stop rubbing the hamburger on your face!  A bear is going to eat you.”

“You know I don’t like you licking my clothes.”

And, my personal favorite…“I don’t like the vengeful way you’re eating that cheese.”

One additional note, on occasion your significant other can be no smarter than his or her progeny causing you to have to ask things like…“Are you aware that your daughter is dipping her binky in your vodka?”

I would love to hear the crazy shit you’ve had to say to your children or significant other!

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