Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Tips from Bad Mommy

This is what I love about Halloween. It has, from a freak perspective, purity of intent. There's no dallying about with God, or that contrived brand of devotion used to justify our other seasonal pageants of gluttony. There's something incredibly liberating about a holiday that encourages children to take candy from strangers." -- Steve Almond, Candyfreak

1. When Trick or Treating, remember- go early and go often. Don't be stingy with your time this Halloween. Your children need you to guide them on this magical night and they need you with them to create those beautiful childhood memories. Plus, your kid's candy haul this Halloween will become your candy stash to raid once they go to sleep. If you go out late and just hit a few meager houses, don't blame me when you're sitting on the couch in November eating crappy Dots and double Bubble Gum.

2. If you are sitting there thinking "oh, but I would never take candy away from my precious child", I am publicly calling you out for being full of shit.

3. Please be certain to inspect your children's candy for any suspicious looking items. And by 'suspicious looking' I mean Snickiers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Send them to me and I will dispose of them properly. Also Heath bars. Heath bars can be toxic to children. I'm doing this for their own good.

4. No matter what you do, do not take any M&Ms from your kid's treat bag. M&Ms are sacro-sanct to any child under the age of eight and they will have calatogued in their mind the exact number of M&M packages received while Trick or Treating. If you eat any of them, the kid will know it in the fiber of their soul. Plus stealing M&Ms from a kid is just fucking cruel, you heartless bastard. Go get a fucking Snickers.

5. When you buy your 4 year old a Halloween costume, make sure it comes with a whistle. A really loud whistle.

6. The number of times you can ignore the plainitive wails from your children begging to "Go Trick or Treating NOW, Mommy!" before your husband prys your fingers offf the keyboard: 5

7. There is no shame in taking a glass of 'Mommy juice' with you when you Trick or Treat. I'm just sayin'....

Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


There are some things I will never understand. Actually, there are many things I will never understand, chief among them nonparametric statistics and who the fuck are the Kardashians, but I digress. This is the thing I don't understand right now....

So one day my darling son was spending a wee bit too much time alone in the bathroom. I know what you're thinking- 'oh crap, we've been down this road before. I really hope she doesn't start talking about nutsacks again'. Fear not. So as I said, E was in the bathroom for quite some time and while I knew he was pinching one off, it's not like he went in there with the sports page or anything (because, hello, he's 4... it's not like he can read) so he should have been able to finish up his business in a timely manner and get out. But that didn't happen. So because I am a concerned mother- once I finished updating my Facebook status and checking to see if the cheesecake I had for breakfast had found its way to my ass yet- I went in to check on my favorite boy child. This is where things get weird.

My darling son had dropped the kids off at the pool, so to speak, but then (for reasons that are completely unclear to me) decided that instead of wiping his ass, it would be better to put the toilet lid down and sit cross-legged upon it (while still wearing his socks).


Seriously? Seriously. I was stunned. The kid has been shitting for 4 years and has had his ass wiped for 4 years. The kid has been potty trained for 2 years and has been wiping his OWN ass for most of those 2 years. Ass wiping is not a new concept. Shitting is not a new concept. Why all of a sudden are we shitting and not wiping? And why the socks?

Did you notice the mommy use of the collective 'we' above? I hate it when I do that. I would like to state for the record that I have never dropped a deuce, not wiped, and then sat cross-legged bare assed on the toilet lid. Not that you needed to know that, but I wanted to be clear on this important distinction. Also, I hate socks. Again, for the sake of clarity I mention this.

At this point, I have a psychotic break from reality and develop a split personality: chill momma vs. psycho freak out momma. Chill momma attempts to get to the bottom of this in a mellow, non-confrontational way by sticking her head in the bathroom and saying, "Um, so E man... did you forget to do something, sweetie?" Meanwhile, psycho freak out momma's head spins around 180 degrees and she violently whispers to her husband in the hallway through clenched teeth: "Holy shit! He forgot to wipe his fucking ass! He's sitting on the goddamned toilet lid on his bare, shit covered ass! Who the fuck does that? Holy crap, he's got shit everywhere! He shit on his socks! I don't understand this! How do you not wipe your ass? How do you sit on a big shit smear and not realize that you didn't wipe your ass? Is this a man thing? You're a man- tell me! How does this happen? Get in there- explain to him again that he needs to wipe his ass. Help him wipe his ass. Hell no, I'm not going in there. You have a penis, he has a penis, so clearly this is your job. What? No. Fuck you, I'm not doing it. It's your turn. I've wiped plenty of ass over the last 4 years. You go. No. NO. Okay fine. Rock, paper, scissors. Goddamnit! At least you could go get me a washcloth".

Deep breath.... Inhale. Exhale. Om mani padme hum....

Okay buddy, lets get you all cleaned up. Maybe you can explain something to mommy....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

When you are engulfed in flames...

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? It starts off when you step in a pile of dog puke on the floor at three am and then the nasty neighbor calls the police because oh my god your dog barked and then the homeowner's association wants to put a lein on your house because you haven't paid association fees even though you aren't IN the association and the IRS sends you a letter (wrongly) saying you owe $15,000 in taxes for income that you didn't even earn and then a worker at your children's daycare is arrested and charged with felony sodomy and then your grandfather dies and you can't sleep and you can't think straight and sometimes you can't even breathe because holy shit fucking sodomy and you never made your grandfather that cake for his 85th birthday and you are completely convinced that you are losing your fucking mind because you accidentally set the stove on fire and you go to bed and leave the door wide open- not just unlocked, but hanging wide open- and you put the children in the car and forget to buckle their seatbelts and sometimes you drive and have no idea how you got there and then you realize that THIS is what stress really is, THIS is what grief is like and this is how it can completely fuck up your world and you can't write because the words just won't come and so you. just. stop.

But if you are very lucky, you have friends who will send you to the spa and a family that understands lemon pies and chocolate chip cookies instead of words. And then you wake up one day six months later and think you can do this once again... you can find the funny, the sarcastic, the absurd. You think...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Open Letter to Best Buy

Dear Best Buy Management and Employees:

I am writing this letter in an attempt to provide a rational explanation for the odd behavior that was recently exhibited in your fine establishment, and to thank you for the many ways in which you aim to make the shopping experience in your stores as pleasant as possible for mothers and their small children.

I am the mother of 2 lovely and active children, ages 2 and 4. On rare occasions (and with much regret) I sometimes must take them with me on shopping trips. This last Saturday was one such occasion. In order to make the shopping experience as pleasant as possible for all involved (which, admittedly, is only slightly more pleasant than a Brazilian waxing on even the best of days) I brief the children in the car beforehand as to the nature of the shopping trip and what is to be expected in regard to behavior and the purpose of the trip. The children are then told the transportation options available to them in the store, namely stroller or shopping cart. The expectations are clearly outlined before entering the store.

On our most recent visit, the children wanted to wear their backpack leashes in the store. I did not make them wear them. I would have been more than happy to push M in a cart and hold E’s hand while we were in the store, but they decided instead that they would both rather wear their backpacks and walk. Considering the average dollar amount of merchandise per square foot of retail space, combined with the knowledge that the average 2 and 4 year old can destroy approximately 5 square feet per second, I thought it was prudent to restrict the range of access the children would have to merchandise in your store as the best practice for controlling collateral damage.

The fact that the children, once in the store, started barking and panting and loudly proclaiming to all within earshot ‘We’re doggies!!! Arf! Arf!!’ was as great a surprise to me as it was to the many employees and shoppers in your store at 10 am on a Saturday. Likewise, I was also surprised when the children licked one of your employees. I do apologize and I assure you that I do not promote or endorse the licking of complete strangers (at least, not until college). I ask that you look at the positive aspects of this situation: 1.) the children were socially engaged and actively using their imaginations and 2.) no one got peed on.

I would now like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing excellent customer service, or at least, for stationing an acne-riddled teenager at the end of each aisle. I found it especially helpful when they would stare at me and ask with no sarcasm whatsoever if I needed any help. After all, I was walking around the store with two barking children on fucking leashes. What on earth could I possibly need help with?

In addition, I would like to thank your marketing and merchandising departments for their clever placement of children’s DVDs on each end cap and along the shelves most accessible to 2 and 4 year old children. I would consider it a personal failure if I were to leave one of your stores without purchasing $87 worth of Dora and Diego videos, so thank you for ensuring that that will never happen.

Finally, I would also like to compliment you on your exemplary security personnel. I am sure in their many hours of highly specialized training they learned to follow shifty people who don’t look employees in the eye when greeted; however, I would like to make you aware that some people are not, in fact, stealing things as they try to slink through the store unnoticed. Sometimes they just need to run in and get one little thing and in the course of being in the store purchase $87 worth of Nickelodeon DVDs which have security tags in them that are never deactivated by the cash registers and cause the security alarms to go off as they are trying to calmly exit the store all while they have TWO BARKING CHILDREN ON FUCKING LEASHES with them.

Again, thank you Best Buy for all that you have done to make my shopping experience such a pleasant one. I am sure that I will return again many times to bask in the glow of public humiliation.

Bad Mommy

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Marvelous Toy(s)- Part 2

So let's continue the discussion of the Nonna and Papa toy insanity. Today I present to you (drumroll please...)

Exhibit B: M's Present- The Calico Critters Fancy-Ass House and Play Table!

We continue with the photo-essay format because if I tried to explain this to you by just using my big-girl words, you would think I was full of shit.

Here we have the house and play table pictured fully assembled. Yes, you read that right- FULLY ASSEMBLED. Already this toy is kicking the shit out of the Playmobil Hospital .

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that while the house came assembled, I did have to put the play table together. But that's okay because I got to use my Makita Cordless Impact Driver to assemble it.

If I was a man, this thing would give me so much wood. Forget the vibrators, ladies- get yourself a REAL power tool!

Um... yeah. Instead of inserting an awkward segue, let's just move on, shall we? Thanks.

Here we have our new little friends, the Calico Critters, as seen in their natural suburban, molded plastic, PCB generating, environmentally poisoning, gonad shrinking habitat. But they're so fucking cute!

Let's meet the families, shall we? First we have the Norwood Mouse Family with Father Chester-Cheddar, Mother Brie, Brother Colby and Sister Nibbles.

And then we have the Buttercup Cat family. The Buttercup family owns the Ice Cream Shop in Cloverleaf Corners. Father Ben likes to experiment with different recipes, and he can certainly count on his kids Cliff and Caramel to try any new flavor he creates. Mother Sherry, on the other hand, makes sure her family does not subsist on ice cream alone and insists that the kids always eat their dinner first.

You totally think I am making this shit up, don't you? That I am sitting here just fucking with you because I have nothing better to do? That I have spent the last few months taking bong hits and hanging out at Toys R Us?

Ummm...no. Blame the people at International Playthings. While it sounds like a very high-end, James Bond-esque escort service, International Playthings is the distributor of Calico Critters. But maybe they distribute other toys as well- it does say that Father Ben likes to 'experiment'. Hey, I'm not here to judge.

So now that we've met the inhabitants, let's check out the Calico Critter's digs. Again, I employ the use of the quarter for scale.

The book shelf- with removable books. Who knew cats could read?

And a few little knicknacks to make the place feel more like home. Shit, now the cats are fucking interior designers?

And they come with accessories too...

I just know that I am going to end up picking these things out of poop some day soon.

Its like the baby kitties are taunting me...'You know you want to hate us, but we're so fucking cute you can't stand it. Love us. Worship us. Keep track of all our tiny pieces of plastic shit'.

And of course the critters have furniture too. Hell, I pay a mortgage for a house that's not nearly this nice (and only marginally bigger). It makes sense that the tiny play critters have nicer shit than me too.

Oh yeah, they're really sticking it to me now. Bastards.

So the construction and decorating are completed and we are well versed in the history of our new tiny friends. What to do now?

Well, I did what any mature adult 13 year old boy would do when given the opportunity to play with tiny little critters... I arranged them into various pornographic tableaux.

Giggle... giggle...snort... heheheh.

Sorry. I know that was wrong. I know you can never un-see that.

Let's just go to the final statistics:

Number of power tools needed for assembly: 0

Number of power tools used for assembly: 1 (awesome)

Number of different species living under the same roof in Calico Critters House: 4

Possibility that Calico Critters is some bizzare polygamist sect with headquarters in Waco Texas: Fairly likely

Cuteness of Calico Critters on a scale of 1-10: 11

Sex acts portrayed by critters that are illegal in 13 states: At least 2. More if you reside in the state of Georgia.

Number of times I have knocked M out of the way so I could play with the critters: Not telling

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Marvelous Toy(s)- Part 1

So I have finally finished assembling the kids' Christmas toys.... Yes, I am aware it is now March. Allow me to explain.

As with everything in life, we must start with the parents. Specifically my parents. Actually, they no longer consider themselves my parents- I am just the vessel from which the grandchildren spring forth. And the Nazi who takes away the cookies and drives the minivan.

The two 'Artists Formerly Known as Mom and Dad' are now the proud, loving, doting, over-indulgent Nonna and Papa. They are both retired and are realizing the financial goals they worked for over 45 years to achieve- piss away all their retirement income buying insane amounts of elaborate crap for their grandkids. My mother's specific aims for retirement are actually a little more involved- her plan is to spend her free time researching various toy-like paraphernalia that will enrich and expand young minds while simultaneously driving their parents crazy. The more exotic and rare the object, the better. Did I mention that she is a former teacher with 2 Masters degrees? Yeah. Clearly I'm in trouble. My dad's sole aim is to piss away the money. This is the man who has a total panic attack if he has less than $300 cash in his wallet (please don't mug him). I imagine that most of the conversations at my parents' house go something like this:

Mom (aka Nonna): So I found this really great thing to buy for the grandkids... it's a toy train they can ride on that's powered by rocket fuel and pixie sticks. It's manufactured in Djibouti by a relocated colony of Trappist monks, but they can ship it to the US disassembled in 4 unmarked crates with instructions in Aramaic. Fully assembled the toy is roughly the size of a city bus and it only costs $9,000. I want to buy it.

What my dad (aka Papa) hears: Blah, blah, blah.... buy something for grandkids... blah, blah, blah....need money... blah.

Dad's (Papa's) response: There's money in my wallet. If there's not enough in there, check the mattress. And make me a sandwich while you're up.

So you can only imagine what I am up against dealing with these 2 people. It is worth noting that they are only interested in the acquisition and distribution of toys, not the assembly and maintenance of toys; for that they have me, their toy bitch. Mere words cannot explain the depth and breadth of the Nonna and Papa toy insanity, so I will now present the rest of my argument in a photo-essay.

Exhibit A: E's present- The Playmobil Hospital. It's from Germany. It's effin cool.

The packaging looks innocuous enough.

Please note the beer in the above photo. It is included for scale and because we will need it later.

This is an award winning toy. The award: Most Likely to Induce Parental Alcoholism.

I open the box and am confronted with this:

I didn't read the warning on the box (which was in 14 different languages, none of which was English) that stated 'This box contains 90 billion fucking pieces'.

In order to start assembly, I decide to lay out all the pieces on the counter.

There's more...

And a few more pieces. Hey, I wonder what's in that blue box?

It's more incredibly tiny pieces of plastic crap! I never would have expected that.

So let's take a look at how all this crap is supposed to be assembled. The approximately 9,000 small plastic pieces need to be assembled using the approximately 14,000 microscopic plastic pieces and the special assembly tool (included). Pay special attention to the size of the tool and the connection pieces. Yes, that is a quarter.

This is the craziest shit the Germans have come up with since invading Poland.

I also had to insert the little white plastic circle in the upper right hand corner of the plastic piece below (and 4,927 other pieces) - without the use of a special tool. Do you see the part I am referring to? Of course you don't- it's so fucking tiny it only exists on a molecular level and you need an electron microscope to see it.

Here we are in mid-assembly. Any guesses as to what component I am putting together?

It's the world's tiniest defibrillator. I'm not shitting you. Look closer.

Yes, that's an oxygen tank next to the defibrillator. Let me state for the record that all of the parts for both components were packaged in different bags with other random pieces that didn't go together. Not that I'm bitter about that at all.

An aerial view of the nursery. I will point out the minute details you will be apt to overlook, such as the bottle warmer with 3 separate bottles, the tiny chart on the shelf, and the fact that the baby bassinet required 13 separate pieces to assemble it.

The Playmobil Hospital also comes fully equipped with a trauma department. This is useful for staging the 'aftermath' portion of the 7 state killing spree fantasy you will undoubtedly indulge in after assembling this toy.

Playmobil Hospital Final Assembly Statistics:

Number of pieces: 23, 942
Time for assembly: 4 hours (+ 3 months)
Number of pieces that fell off when moving toy from kitchen to living room: 17
Distance toy moved: 10 feet
New words learned by children during assembly: 3 (fuck, motherfucker, stupidgoddamnpieceofshit)
Number of violent fantasies involving German toy company executives: too many to count
Likelihood that this toy is my parents' retribution for when I dyed my hair purple in high school: high

Final commentary from E on his new toy:
'I really like my new hospital. It's the toy I always wanted.'

That's great honey. It only cost Mommy the last few shreds of her sanity, but Nonna and Papa will be so happy to hear that you love your new toy.

Up next: Exhibit B- M's Present.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How to Make a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich in 22 Easy Steps

  1. Select the bread. It must be soft and white. Do not attempt to increase the nutritional value of the sandwich by using whole wheat (or god forbid, multigrain) bread. Even the use of the new 'whole wheat' white bread is suspect as the highly cultivated palate of the average 3 year old can detect when the amount of high fructose corn syrup has been reduced to make room for things like vitamins.
  2. Next, select the jelly. Do not ask what kind of jelly the child would like on his sandwich since he will invariably answer 'red'. Red may be his favorite color, but it is not his favorite jelly. You will know this, having made sandwiches with red jelly before, only to have them thrown on the floor because red jelly is 'yucky'. Open the refrigerator door wide enough to sneak out the grape jelly without the 3 year old seeing.
  3. If you are a total novice and are actually stupid enough to let the child see inside of the refrigerator, he will see the red jelly and start loudly demanding that you use the red jelly. He will insist that he likes red jelly. Don't fall for it. Remember that he is 3 and full of shit. You are the mom. Get the grape jelly.
  4. Put the grape jelly back in the fridge and get the red jelly. Then grab the grape jelly using a stealthy behind the back maneuver. Hide the grape jelly under your shirt.
  5. Attempt to stall a full-on ‘I-want-red-jelly’ meltdown by distracting 3 year old with an Oreo while you swap out the red jelly for grape.
  6. Get the peanut butter.
  7. Discover that the only peanut butter in the house is ‘Super Chunky’. Feel vague sense of impending doom.
  8. Go ahead and make sandwich using chunky peanut butter and grape jelly. Try not to feel smug about your clever jelly swap out technique. Karma hates smugness.
  9. Cut sandwiches into dinosaur shapes using dinosaur shaped sandwich cutter, using utmost care to ensure that the dinosaur head and legs stay attached. Contemplate how mothers for millennia got children to eat sandwiches without the use of fancy dinosaur shaped cutters.
  10. If you accidentally decapitate dinosaur while cutting out sandwiches, do not attempt to glue head back on to sandwich with extra peanut butter; it’s a totally amateur move and the kid will see right through your bullshit plan. Make a new sandwich and eat evidence of decapitated dino.
  11. If you have made the sandwich using the last 2 slices of bread in the house… well, you’re fucked.
  12. Carefully arrange dinosaur sandwiches (and heads) on plate. Add several additional Oreos to plate and hope that the 3 year old will not notice that the dinosaur heads are not actually attached to the dinosaur. Call child to table with overabundance of enthusiasm and bravado.
  13. Stand back and watch cautiously as child begins to eat sandwich. Victory is yours!
  14. Remember what I said about karma? Child discovers that sandwich is made with crunchy peanut butter and starts whining, ‘But I don’t liiiiiiiike crunchy peanut butteeeeeer!!!!!’. Come up with a clever response now, you smug motherfucker.
  15. In stroke of genius move, tell child that it’s NOT chunky peanut butter, they’re DINOSAUR BONES. This will surely add to the coolness factor of the dinosaur sandwiches and thus make them so irresistible the child will wolf them down without further questioning of peanut butter texture.
  16. Go to cabinet to get shot of whiskey after child protests for the 17th time, ‘But I don’t liiiiiiiiiiike dinooooosaur boooooooones!!!!!!’
  17. Make new rule that the only peanut butter that can be brought into the house must be smooth. Petition Congress to make the production of crunchy peanut butter a capital offense, punishable by death.
  18. Consider how to make new sandwich with no bread. Peruse cabinets for acceptable bread substitute.
  19. Make note for future reference: tortillas, bagels, English muffins, and pita are not acceptable bread substitutes to a three year old.
  20. Round out Oreo cookie lunch with the addition of M&Ms and bananas. Resolve that dinner will be healthy.
  21. Hide in pantry and scarf down remaining Oreos in package in an attempt to assuage mommy-guilt.
  22. Countdown to nap time. Halleluiah.

Monday, February 9, 2009

You say va-jay-jay, I say...???

So while we're on the subject of children's genitalia (this sentence is guaranteed to get me on a federal surveillance list somewhere), let's talk about the girl parts; specifically, what to call the girl parts. I will admit that this issue of what to call the 'lady bits' has thus far been one of the greatest philosophical parenting conundrums I have encountered. I know many of you are probably wondering if I am, in fact, competent enough to actually raise children after reading this declaration, but it's true. Stitches, splinters, explosive diarrhea... no problem. Gynecology/urology for preschoolers... not so much.

Things were so much easier just two short years ago when E was potty training. He has boy parts and boy parts are so much more straightforward. Mommy, I have a weenie. Yes honey, you do. Look Mommy- the pee pee is coming out of my weenie. Well golly gee son, it sure is! Isn't that special. See? Simple and straightforward.

Now fast-forward to the present and it's M's turn to get potty trained. What's her first question? Mommy, where's my weenie?

Oh fuck.

Clearly this is a question that needs an answer. And adding a sense of urgency to the matter is Professor E, master of all things potty, standing in the bathroom asking “where does M's pee pee come out of” because she doesn't have a weenie. So the record must be set straight.

Now in general, my parenting philosophy when dealing with issues of a sensitive matter is two fold: first, to provide information that is anatomically and biologically correct; and second, to do so in a manner that is open, non-threatening, and comforting. And in this particular situation, if I could manage to provide that information using terminology that won't embarrass the crap out of me when the kids repeat it for the entire daycare (because you know they will) that would just be a bonus.

So M is a girl and she doesn't have a weenie... where does her pee pee come from?
Answer- from her urethra. Yep, that's exactly what I said.

I admit it... I pussied out. Pun intended.

I know, I know, I KNOW... you think I'm a total crackhead. You'll get no argument from me on that one. Any normal person would have just said 'E has a penis and M has a vagina' and moved on. I'm not a prude. I can say vagina. I have a vagina. I can say vagina in public and with a straight face. My mom was a hippie. She can say vagina. I am totally okay with using the word vagina. So why didn't I?

Because pee pee doesn't come from a vagina. So maybe I am hiding behind a technicality, but as pertaining to the discussion of pee pee and weenies and the matter of eliminating said pee pee when one is lacking a weenie, the correct vehicle for elimination of said pee pee is the urethra. So there! I am like totally right and you know it and you can just suck it you big poo-poo heads because I am like so mature.

Yet like the proverbial bad penny, the va-jay-jay issue kept returning to me. My daughter was beginning to identify herself as a separate entity, independent from her mother, father and brother. She had recognized the obvious physical differences between herself and her brother (during communal bath time which has abruptly ENDED) and she needed the vocabulary to express those differences. As her mother it is my responsibility to give her those words and begin teaching her to have a sense of pride and respect in her body. So I told her she had a vagina. Not a va-jay-jay, not a tushie, but a vagina. And I tell her that it is hers alone and no one should touch it and if they do she should tell mommy and daddy. It's been very liberating. I am pro-vagina and I want my daughter to be that way as well. And I mean pro-vagina in a 'Vagina Monologues/Women's Lib/Gloria Steinem Would be So Proud' kind of way and not in a 'Wear Ugly Shoes and Coach Softball' kind of way. Not that there's anything wrong with that- whatever works for you.

Vagina- say it loud and say it proud!

Friday, January 30, 2009

What the books don't tell you...

Childhood milestone #1 that they don't tell you about in any book: The day your son discovers his testicles.

The other day I went into the bathroom to check on E after he had spent a disproportionate amount of time in there alone. My assumption was that I would find him flushing golf balls down the toilet or repainting the walls with lipstick. Instead I found him standing in front of the toilet, intently fondling himself down there. While I am certainly aware that this, in and of itself, is not surprising behavior in any male at any age, I was curious as to what was going on in the little guy's brain (give me credit for not saying 'In his head'). Also, I strive to be the uber-hip-and-with-it mom who encourages her children to have a healthy relationship with their bodies and to be able to discuss things in an open and supportive way. Or at least, I was. The following is our actual dialogue that has not been edited in any way. Oh how I wish I could edit it, but it has been tatooed on my brain...

Mommy: Hey E man, whatcha doin'?
E: Mommy what's this? (much fondling of his junk)
M: It's just a part of your weenie, honey.
E: Oh. (pause). There's something in there. What is it?
M: (Think, brain, think! What the hell do I say? Testes? No, too clinical. Gonads? No, too weird. Nuts? No, also too weird and will definitely lead to issues the next time we make cookies and put nuts in them. Oh crap. What do I say, what do I say?? Isn't it the daddy's responsibility to handle questions about the boy parts? Where the hell is he? Crap, crap, CRAP! Need to come up with an answer now....) Well, honey, it's... um...
E: Mommy, it's like a little ball.
M: (whew) Yes, baby. It's a little ball.
E: Mommy, can I play with it?
M: Um, yeah... well sure, you can play with it. But it's the kind of ball that is only to be played with in private. And, um... it's only for you to play with, okay? No one else can play with it.
E: Okay Mommy. Can I throw it or bounce it?
M: Um... well... I don't think that's such a great idea. Hey, who wants to eat some cookies and watch Fireman Sam?!?!?!?

Note the swift mommy-diversion tactic I employed at the end. I've got mad skills when it comes to child rearing, people.

Now, I've read all the books- What to Expect When You're Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, What to Expect the Toddler Years, The Over-Reactive Type A Moms Guide to Childrearing, etc- and I have never (NEVER) found one bit of advice that would have been useful to me in this situation. Not one little nugget, little factoid, little blurb, that even in an off-handed manner mentioned "Oh, yeah- in about 3.5 years your son will start playing with his nutsack and start asking you uncomfortable questions you are thoroughly unprepared to answer. And by the way, he will probably loudly repeat the same questions days later while you are standing in line at Wal-Mart, so be warned."

Publishers and writers of America take note: how can you write a 500 page tome about 'What to Expect' and not even mention this? You waste my time with flowcharts and diagrams about when to call or not call the doctor- knowing full well that any mother anal enough to buy a 500 page book on how to care for a baby (and the 3 subsequent volumes) is going to page the oncall physician at home the day Junior spikes his first 99 degree temp- yet give no mention of how to handle delicate topics like 'testicles' and 'why poop looks like chocolate but it isn't really chocolate'. At least that information would be useful.

Monday, January 19, 2009

One more for the road?

So the other night as we are lying in bed and I am drifting off to sleep, Mr. Bad Mommy decides to drop a bombshell on me. "You know hon," says he "sometimes I think I want to have another baby".

Um, excuse me? What exactly did you just say? Because I think I just heard you say you might want to have another baby and I know that can't be true, so clearly I was hallucinating, dreaming or both.

"No really. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have another baby. We make such cute, sweet babies".

Hmmm. Interesting. I allow this little nugget to traverse through my synapses for about 1 nano second before I jump up, throw my husband to the ground and start screaming "You and your incredibly potent sperm need to get the fuck away from me! Have you lost your goddamned mind? Don't touch me! What the fuck is wrong with you?!?!?!?". I only stopped screaming when the aneurysm in my head burst.

Now before you judge me too harshly, let me just tell you that this is the same man who I found in the bathroom with a pair of rusty scissors, trying to give himself a vasectomy after a particularly challenging day at home alone with the children. And there were only two of them. Now he's thinking about three???

About 5 minutes after his potentially life-changing declaration, Mr Bad Mommy is blissfully snoring away. (On the couch. With a tourniquet around his nuts). Meanwhile I'm awake with all my crazy thoughts. Another baby? No way. Definitely not. No Sir-ee!

I love my children. My two children. We are incredibly blessed to have 2 happy, healthy, sturdy and robust (if somewhat accident prone) kids. If you consider the fact that I was 31 when E was born and 32 when M was born, we had no troubles conceiving, I had two uneventful pregnancies, and we have only made 2 ER visits in the past 4 years, we have already won the breeding and babyhood lottery. Do we really want to roll the dice again? In a few short weeks I will turn 35 and would be classified as 'Advanced Maternal Age' and if that declaration alone isn't enough to make me run screaming for the Botox and Prozac, the additional risks, worries, and prenatal testing involved in an AMA pregnancy certainly are. What if there was something wrong with the baby? What would we do? I know the answer is 'Roll with it and do your best to raise the baby the best you can' just like you do with any kid. They are all full of uncertainties. But do I really want to go through another 9 months (plus 18+ years) of worrying?

What about my career? Do I really want to tell my boss I got knocked up again? How will I answer E and M's questions about how the baby got in there? Where would we put another carseat? Can we afford to move to a bigger house? How much fatter can I get in the name of procreation? What would we name this kid- we never could decide on another boy's name! How high up would they have to tie my bladder after 3 babies so I don't pee on myself when I giggle? Is it considered child abuse to make a baby's room out of a walk-in closet? How old would I be at this kid's high school graduation? College graduation? Medical School graduation? How much would it cost to put 3 kids through college? Will I ever be able to retire? Do we have any liquor in the house?

What if I have twins? Sweet baby Jesus- WHAT IF I HAVE TWINS????? Do they make maternity straightjackets?

I know, I KNOW- I'm freaking out. It's what I do. Like you haven't figured that one out already.

Over the next few days the idea of the possibility of having another baby begins to invade my brain- like one of those parasitic worms from the Peruvian jungles that they show on the Discovery channel. Maybe another baby IS a good idea! I start thinking of names for my little phantom baby and I can almost smell the musty-sweet baby smell. I start openly fantasizing about four days in the hospital where they bring you food (even if it is crappy) and if you pick up the phone someone will come and take the baby away so you can take a nap. It sounds just heavenly! Why haven't I thought of this before?

I'm jolted out of my fantasy when I hear the crash of dvds falling onto the floor because E has used a rocking chair to climb up on top of the entertainment center so he can watch more Dora. Meanwhile M is sitting on the floor sharing a contraband lollipop with both dogs and trying to make the VCR work by sticking a fork in it. Clearly what this scene needs in another kid added to it. I wonder what drugs my husband has secretly been slipping me.

Later that evening as I am picking peanut butter out of dog fur, my husband says the sweetest words that have ever come out of his mouth- "You know what I said the other night about having another baby? I think I must have been out of my fucking mind."

I just smiled and gave my BFF the IUD a big hug.