What did those kids do to that nice lady?

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Several days ago as I silently zipped the waffle bag in the freezer after Husband left it gaping open for the 217th time, inviting freezer burn into our children’s wholesome breakfast each morning, I took a big breath, counted to 40 and calmly asked Husband if he wouldn’t mind trying to remember to close the ziploc bag before putting it back in the freezer.  (And, frankly, try to remember to put it back in the freezer.)  I didn’t even MENTION how this was very very very far from the first time he had left it open.  I was proud of myself for being such an adult about it.
The next day, I opened the freezer and the waffle bag was left open.  I zipped it shut.  I very gently asked him again if he wouldn’t mind trying to remember to close the waffle bag.  Again, I acted like a rational person.  He was all, oh yeah, sorry about that.  
A couple days later, there it was, lying open in the freezer, as if saying, Hey-fuck you lady.  I closed it, aggressively, wondering why this task seemed so out of reach for my Husband, who is a grown man.  
The other night we got home from a day trip from San Diego and I opened the freezer for my nightly intake of chocolate chips and there it was.  Open.  Again.  I muttered loudly enough for Husband to hear I was speaking but not necessarily loud enough for him to know what I was saying.  What are you mumbling about, he asked.  I said COULD YOU PLEASE CLOSE THE FREAKING WAFFLE BAG?  WHY IS IT SO DAMN HARD? (It might surprise you, but I actually said “freaking” instead of my favored F word.  It seemed a tad less harsh.)  He was all, what’s the big deal?  Who cares if it’s closed?  
Two: Our children care.  They may not express it, but I’m pretty sure they don’t like the taste of freezer burn.  
Three: Why is it hard?  When you open something, doesn’t it come naturally to close it when finished?  Wait...I forget who I’m talking about-Species that Doesn’t Close Things, including cupboards, drawers, doors and zippers.
My point, and I may or may not have one depending on whether or not you have a penis, is that women, wives, moms, girlfriends, those of the female species, do not come by nagging naturally.  We come by it because WE ARE FORCED INTO IT.  
Please.  Please close the waffle bag.  Even if it contains french toast, I will still call it the waffle bag and I will still want you to close it.  Our kids deserve that fresh, homemade, non-freezer burn breakfast each morning.  Or they at least deserve the opportunity to take one bite and declare themselves finished as I mumble something about starving children in Africa.  For the 258th time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Alpha Mom

People, in general, frighten me. I will break out in a mini sweat when left in charge of phoning in the pizza order.  (Mmmm....pizza.)  If I am in an environment where I know very few, if any, people, I do not have the desire to get to know them; I have the desire to retreat to the corner or leave.  This doesn’t always thrill Husband, an Extrovert who Likes Talking to Strangers.  For his sake, I will sometimes turn on the charm and be lovely and hilarious, but I do not like it.  In fact, this can backfire because the more uncomfortable I am, the more...inappropriate I tend to get.  I don’t mean to be raunchy and use language better left to truckers...I just can’t help it.  It’s my only defense amongst people who always want to know, So, what do YOU do?  (World’s most annoying question?)  But I have found that the most terrifying, the most intimidating, the most alarming group of people happen to be my own people: Mothers.  More specifically; The Alpha Mom.
The Alpha Mom will make you feel inadequate in approximately 2.5 seconds.  She is Room Mom.  She makes special cookies on every holiday.  She drives a Very Large Vehicle in which she carpools.  Her kids are enrolled in the proper sports at the proper time and her Husband coaches the team.  She’s crafty.  Alpha Mom has an answer for all your questions; she would be happy to discuss it while volunteering at her child’s school.  She has a personal relationship with all teachers.  Her kids eat well-balanced meals and snack at 10 and 2 each day.  She knows the sugar and fiber content of each item on the grocery shelf.  She’s vegan on Tuesdays and gluten-free on Thursdays and that one glass of wine she has each night makes her a little tipsy.  She makes her own baby food, even though baby food is conveniently sold in tiny jars.  But she will insist-Why should I buy it when it’s soooo easy to make? Alpha Moms like to huddle together, wearing a combination of expensive work out clothes and Prada handbags, discussing who’s playdating at who’s today.  While passing a group of Alpha Moms, I will look to the side, hoping they don't notice me noticing them and then I will feel fat.  Because that's where I go.  (Totally healthy.)
Now, I know Alpha Moms love their kids and are Good and Decent People.  I know they are doing their best and I’m sure they question each decision made and wonder if it was the right one.  Being a mom, even a lazy one, is hard, unappreciated work.  But seriously, ladies; would it kill you to bring it down a notch?  I mean, I know those sliding doors on that minivan must be pretty awesome, but let’s not pretend that you love driving it.  See, we (“we” being parents of children) know the Truth.  We know you’re faking it till you’re making it because that’s WHAT WE ARE ALL DOING; you simply operate at a superior level.  We all know that any decision we make has the possibility of driving our children to therapy to lament about how embarrassing their parents were.  (Side-note: one day when our children are parents, they will realize that embarrassing your children is all part of the fun and one of the only things that will perhaps keep them sane while child rearing.)
So, please, stop making the rest of us look like lazy idiots.  Because we’re not; we’re just not as...ambitious.  We simply want to dress up like a dinosaur for Halloween because our kids asked us to, let them eat 14 pieces of trick or treat candy right before bedtime and then eat the rest of it by ourselves while watching The Real Housewives of Anywhere. Please, join us.  It’s not so bad, I promise.  But-could you maybe pick up my kid from school today?  I know you have that extra booster seat in your car “just in case” and I’m feeling a bit...lazy. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Trick or Treat

My children have been excited about Halloween since last Halloween.  My son is going to be Buzz and my daughter is going to be Jessie; they have requested that I be Rex, the dinosaur and that Husband be Woody.  First of all, dinosaur?  Really?  And second, how come Daddy gets to be the hero and I get to be the stupid dinosaur?  I told the short people that there was a veeerrrryyyy slim chance of me being a dinosaur, but I would look into it.  The other day, I had some time to kill in between my daughter’s haircut and her dance class (I’m very busy and important) so we strolled the aisles of the temporary Halloween store together and I very soon regretted this decision to bring her into the world of Let’s All Be Sluts!  
She was, as expected, very curious about the...costumes. What’s this, Mama?  Oh...that’s a...nurse.  And that’s a...doctor?  This one is some sort of...librarian?  Yes, honey.  Yes...they all wear fishnets.  I know!  That’s so funny, isn’t it?  Oh, oh...Um, this one?  This one is a cowgirl.  Yes, some sort of cowgirl.  Awfully hard to ride a horse with that on I would think.  Hm.  No no no no, Mommy is not going to be that...genie.  Or that...police officer who must be undercover by trying to blend in with the prostitutes.   Oh, no, those are NOT princesses.  (Note to self: show daughter picture of Kate Middleton when we get home.)  Maybe Mama should be a cat.  A very docile cat.  With a whip?  Maybe not a cat.  Oh, here’s an M&M!  A very short, tight, green M&M.  YOU CAN MAKE CANDY SLUTTY?  GOOD GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD?  That’s it; we’re heading to the men’s costumes.  Oh, look!  A fireman that looks like AN ACTUAL FIREMAN.  And a doctor who doesn’t look like he just breezed in from a soft core porn set.  A pirate with pants! Pants!  A costume with pants!  Amazing!  And here’s a jailbird costume that covers THE ENITRE BODY.  So, in real jail, the women really wear a miniskirt jailbird outfit?  Only the male jailbirds get to wear pants?  That hardly seems fair.  You know, ladies get cold, too.  Wait...that explains the fishnets!  When the ladies get cold in prison...they just slip on the fishnets.  Of course!  Mommy is so silly sometimes.  I also did not know that one can wear such high heels in prison.  Or a boa.  Wonderful.
So what does one wear whilst trick or treating with the tots?  Certainly it would be inappropriate to bust out that French Maid outfit, although the feather duster that comes with it seems rather handy.  I guess I could go Flapper, but I think I lack the stamina it would take to explain what a Flapper is to very curious short people.  And really, trick or treating in heels seems...somewhat inefficient.  I hate to not dress up at all; part of the fun of being a parent is that you get to be a kid again.  So, I guess what I’m getting at is...does anyone know where I can get a good dinosaur costume?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Land of Valet

At my son’s school, they have started a valet drop off for the older kids.  It’s only for 15 minutes and if you miss that time slot, your ass is left searching for a parking spot, hauling your kids out and dragging them in yourself.  You know, the old fashioned way.  I cannot express how much I HEART valet drop off.  It’s amazing.  Do you know how impossibly slow a 4 year old is getting in and out of a car?  We are not talking seconds, here; we are talking minutes.  Minute upon minute upon minute of silent pleading GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE CAR.  When I drop him off at school, he tends to move a bit faster; he can feel the pressure of all the alpha moms behind me waiting their turn.  But each morning, I see the same silent pleading in the teacher’s eyes; why is he taking so long?  Get out.  Get out.  Get out.  Get out.  My son sllliiiiddddeeessss out of his seat, looking confused, as if we haven’t done this same thing every day for a month, and is then jerked out of the car by said teacher and kind of stumbles over to the fence where he is directed to stand with his classmates.  I try to drive slowly away so I may catch a glimpse of him being him when he doesn’t think I’m watching.  (Is there greater joy than spying on your kids?  To see them, unaware of your presence, being their own person?) 
This valet service has literally changed my...life. Yes...YES.  I’ll say it.  IT CHANGED MY LIFE!  Instead of drop off taking 20 minutes, it takes 2.  I no longer have to take deep, meditative breaths so early in the morning; those are now reserved only for pick up!  Which, oh my God, if they started a valet pick up...oh, shit.  That would be better than, you know, ice cream.  And even though I have to leave my house 15 minutes earlier to make the drop off, which means 15 less minutes to get everyone dressed and fed and make lunches and have brushed hair (okay...their hair isn’t always brushed), which, in case you didn’t know, 15 minutes can be A REALLY LONG TIME in the land of small children, it is worth it.  So very worth it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Point it Down

You know what I’m looking forward to?  The day my son can walk into a public restroom, use the facilities efficiently, and walk out again, all by himself.  No announcement made, no need to drag the whole family along, no need for me to...wipe...anything.  Just a normal trip to the bathroom.  This is the conversation I am thinking I probably won’t miss having:
You have to go?  Seriously?  Didn’t you JUST go? Can you wait until we get home?  Please?   You can hold your poop for a WEEK but you can’t hold it for 30 more minutes?  Okay. Fine. Let’s go.  Don’t touch that.  Gross.  No no no no no...don’t TOUCH that!  Oh, God.  Disgusting.  Okay.  No, please, keep your shoes on.  Why do you have to take your shoes off?  Why are you taking your pants completely off?  Leave them on.  Just put them around your ankles!  Oh, God, please don’t step on this floor.  Why?  BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO SHOES ON!   Point it down. Point it down, please.  POINT IT DOWN.   Are you done?  Okay.  You can wipe.  Do it yourself!  You’re almost five years old.  Okay, I’ll check.  Looks good.  Put your pants on.  Don’t step the ground!  Put your shoes on first!  Flush.  Don’t...touch the seat.  Disgusting.  Okay, wash your hands.  Soap.  Soap.  Soap.  Okay, here’s a towel.  Sorry.  Fine.  Get it yourself.  Okay, are you better?  Okay.  Let’s go.
“Point it down” is a phrase I would say I use...frequently.  I hate to nag him about it, but, seriously, point it down, dude.  I have cleaned up more urine in my life than I care to think about and each time I’m wiping it up I just think...urine is sterile urine is sterile urine is sterile.  Whenever my son walks into the bathroom at home I call out the catchphrase and he always replies I KNOW, Mom!  And then, inevitably, one minute later I hear, uh oh, the door slam shut, and I know he is in there using insane amounts of toilet paper to try to wipe up the pee.  I try not to get mad at him, just close my eyes, grab a rag, get to work and calmly remind him to Please.Point.It.Down.  
I know one day I will miss the way my kids rely on me now, but some days...I just really look forward to the little things, like my children going to the bathroom all by themselves.    It’s amazing how these little steps towards independence can make a mother cry with both relief and sadness.  But, really, who am I kidding?  I will be wiping pee up for the rest of my life.  That large opening in the toilet is merely a...suggestion.  For boys of all ages.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I grew up a chubby kid.  I was the only one in my family who was somewhat chubby and this fact did not go unnoticed by me.  My sister was pretty and smart (and 4 years older than me so she was like, totally awesome), my brother was the boy all my friends had a crush on (you know he farts on my head, right?), and let’s not even get into they dynamics between step and half brothers and sisters, all of whom I love dearly and can’t imagine my life without, but being the youngest of three and then suddenly the not-youngest of 7 is an adjustment for a 5 year old girl.  The extra fat on my body made me distinct from these people in a way that wasn’t super.  My entire adolescent life was spent thinking about being thinner and how to dress so I looked thinner and waking up early to walk and run to try to be thinner.  Why wasn’t I thinner?  And even though I never lacked for friends or a social life, I always knew that the extra 20 pounds were holding me back and I dreamt of one day being the thin, pretty girl who lived inside of me.  
I got to thinking about that chubby little girl today because I bought a pair of jeans in a size that I have never worn before.  Not even when I got skinny the first time, before my children ruined my body.  (But I LO-VE you guys!) My first thought when I tried these jeans on was that there was a sizing mix up.  I looked at all the tags, everything lined up.  My second thought was, well, it’s just these pants.  I’m still that Other Size in most pants.  And my third thought was, why the fuck am I so messed up in the head? 
Looking in that mirror, I had to remind myself that I was not looking at that insecure little girl; I was looking at a women who deserved to feel comfortable in her skin.  I was looking at that woman who I dreamt of being all those years ago.  I can only hope that I have made that little girl proud.  The extra weight may have given her a chip on her shoulder, but it’s given me a wicked sense of humor.  It may have hindered her high school dating life, but it’s given me a Husband any woman would be lucky to have.  And it may have caused her a few tears, but it’s given me an appreciation for growing older and more confident with who I am inside and out.  
I have always thought of myself as a late bloomer; here I am, 31 years old, and finally thinking that the dreams I have had my whole life may actually be possible.  I have my family; I have my home; now I need myself.  It’s this strange disease we women have; especially mothers I do think.  We so often forget the life we used to have; the one where we did things for ourselves.  Well, I finally lost that weight FOR MYSELF.  It is no longer an excuse to not be the best I can be.  What that is, I don’t know...but I look forward to finding out.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Last night I was grumpy and my body was feeling like eating wasn’t a necessary part of my evening so after I put the kids to bed I declared that I was not going to make dinner.  Not.Gonna.Do.It. This is not something that happens regularly as I do tend to make a delicious dinner most nights (no, really, I do) but I went on a mini-strike last night.  I told Husband he could cook if he wanted to eat and here is the recipe and go for it. He stood in the kitchen for a minute, looking confused, and then ordered take out. And you know, that kiiinnndd of annoyed me a tiny bit.  Oh, you don’t want to make dinner right now? Strange. Why not?  It doesn't sound...relaxing...to work all day and then put the kids to bed and then head back out to the kitchen to MAKE FUCKING DINNER?  Because I am always super stoked to make dinner.  I LOVE it.  In fact, as I’m putting the kids to bed I’m like, come on!  Hurry up, children!  Mama wants to get out to that kitchen and make magic!  Daddy’s hungry!

Now I know what you’re thinking: why is she making dinner after she puts the kids to bed?  Doesn’t she allow them to eat?  Yes, yes...they do eat; I’m so lucky I get to make two dinners every night.  One at 530 and one at 730.  I am working on everyone eating one dinner at one time, trust me. It’s just...you know...I’ve got that one kid who won’t eat anything and that other kid who thinks it’s hilarious to get down from the dinner table every 38 seconds and make me chase her to bring her back to the table only to have everyone complain about their food and I don’t like that and I want your fork, no I want that fork, where’s my red napkin, Mommy, you forgot milk, you know how I like to spill my milk at dinner right when you sit down...it really is a special time of day when we all get to eat together.  So most nights I feed the little ones while I drink a glass of wine and have a somewhat more peaceful dinner later with Husband.  (Thought: do the little ones think wine IS my dinner?  Hmmm...last night it was.)  
While I know Husbands all across this land appreciate a home cooked meal every night, I think they sometimes forget to appreciate the effort that goes into it.  So, if your Good Wife makes you dinner tonight, make sure you say thank you.  You never know when Bad Wife will go on strike and leave you with a fridge full of food you don’t know how to cook.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gelato Rules

There are a few women in my life who are about to become mom’s for the first time.  Let me be the first to say Congratulations! Newborns are so lovely and awesome.  The second time around.  The first time around they are strange little humans who control every second of your day and you will be left sitting on your sofa, in a breast-milk soaked shirt, watching Husband go to work, cursing him and how lucky he is to leave and talk to Other Humans and eat lunch.  I had no idea what I was getting into and quickly realized that being a mother is not all rainbows and unicorns.  It is hard.  Below I have composed a list of totally unsolicited advice that may or may not be helpful.  Good luck and Godspeed, ladies.  (Remember-its gets easier.  And way way harder.)
A few Gelato rules of motherhood:
People will constantly be offering you unsolicited advice.  Some of it is terrible.  Like the time that women in Starbucks told me my baby was going to die because I covered the stroller with a blanket.  Some of it is awesome, like all of my advice.
In the beginning, your boobs no longer belong to you.  They belong to your Baby. Husband will be tempted by large swollen breasts.  If he persists, kick him in the balls every three hours and ask him if that feels good.
It is okay to admit defeat, lock yourself out on the porch and cry.  But only for 5 minutes.
You may flip your children off, but only behind their backs.
Do not brag about how your children don’t watch TV.  It’s annoying and nobody believes you anyway.
Happy Hour starts at 4 p.m. and is mandatory.   
Always peek at your children before you go to bed.  They will never look more innocent and lovely as when they are sleeping.  (As a bonus, you will forget momentarily the meltdown over the seemingly insignificant piece of cheap, plastic crap that they MUST HAVE or THEY WILL NOT SURVIVE.)
It’s not really the worst thing to let them jump on the bed.  
Sometimes, they are the boss of you.  Own it.
You will feel guilty pretty much most of the time about something you are doing or not doing.  This is why it is okay to pull the childbirth card at any time no matter the reason for the rest of your life.  
Remember, you now belong to a club.  People do not understand this club until they join it.  Kind of like people with dogs.  I don’t get that club and can’t and don’t need to relate to it.  Kids crying at restaurants or throwing tantrums at the airport no longer bother you because you are just happy that it’s not you in that moment.   It’s a lifelong membership and sometimes that feels overwhelming.  But most of the time, it just feels lucky.  Really, really lucky.