Are You Kidding Me?!

Are You Kidding Me?!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hello? I'm Standing Right Here!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a store or the bank or, I am not kidding, in my front yard and a clerk, bank teller, or creep in a car offers my child a piece of candy. They ask my child if he wants this candy. Let’s forget the car creep for now and focus on the nice folks in the reputable stores and banks. I don’t think they’re trying to poison my kid but they are being rude. I will repeat this. If you ask a child, not the parent standing right next to him, if he wants some candy, you are being rude. Also, you are not taking into account that this child might have an allergy or be in some other way unable to eat the candy. So, really, you are being double rude. Or whatever.

Public service announcement #2

It’s so sweet that you want to give my kid a treat. But when you ask a child if he wants a piece of candy, he’ll probably say yes. If you ask the parent…oh, didn’t think of that? Let me help you. If you ask the parent if you can give her child a piece of candy, you may not hear a yes. You might very well hear a no. You may not be given an explanation. Or you may be overloaded with information about her child’s allergies or sensory disorder or the fact that the kid just puked in the car and the last thing he needs is a sugary sweet, thank you very much. Whatever the reason, whatever the answer, ASK THE PARENT FIRST! Thank you kindly.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nasty Nicknames

I have seen people do some stupid things in my life. I have seen parents act like idiots. But this one... Well it has me writing another "What Were You Thinking?" post. (BTW, it also qualifies as one of my "What is Pissing Me Off Today" posts.)

Apparently, my son’s soccer coach has decided to give all the kids on the team nicknames. Thing is, my son, and the rest of the team, know all these names now. Actually, the whole town probably does since this guy’s voice carries over about five fields. Not kidding. He is LOUD. So, you gotta be careful what you call these kids. You know, put a brain cell or two into it before you just shout it out.

So, coaching a team of 3rd and 4th graders, he decides to give the kids nicknames. That’s fine. Maybe he has trouble remembering names. Maybe he thinks it’s cute. Whatever.

At dinner tonight, my son told us one of the nicknames. I nearly dropped my fork. My husband looked wide-eyed. I am absolutely serious when I say this brainless coach called the only Mexican kid on the team “Senor Taco”. And, when the kid covered his ears and yelled at the coach “DON'T CALL ME THAT!”, Mr. Moron (which is my new nickame for the coach) did stop. Then started calling him "Taco". Way to go, moron. The rest of the kids thought it was so frickin’ funny, they started calling the kid “Senor Taco” as well. Finally, when the kid really got upset and told them “DON’T CALL ME THAT ANYMORE!”, they started calling him “Senor Burrito” instead. Awesome.

This kid goes to their school. He is on their bus. He is in some of their classes. The other nicknames Mr. Moron doled out have already made it to the bus and playground but since they are mostly just variations of their names, no harm done. I wonder what the hell is going to happen on Monday.

Rock on, Mr. Moron. Giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming you are not a racist bastard and you are simply an idiot, I will say this: I hope your son never has to deal with what this kid is now dealing with. This kid, who you have ridiculed and mocked, will suffer for your sheer stupidity. And make no mistake about it—it is your fault. The children are calling him names but you, Mr. Moron, a grown man, started it. What the hell were you thinking? 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cavemom

After reading an article on Matt Walsh's blog, I realized something pretty cool: I am not alone. There ARE other parents out there who discipline their kids. In his post, he talks about seeing a mom at the grocery store who had a screaming little boy with her. The boy's meltdown was because the mom said her son couldn't have some silly sugared cereal. He freaked out but she did not give in. She did not buy the cereal. Then her child knocked a display over and she *gasp* made the kid pick it up. This mom is made of awesome. See, here, in my neck of the woods, all my parent friends (and quite a few parents I run into at soccer practices, stores, etc.) cave to their kids. I’m not sure what all my non-parent friends think. I know some of them love that I discipline my kids. It’s always the "parent friends" who look at me quizzically or say outright how awful I am to my kids. Whatever.

I love the mom in this article. No way would I let someone help my little shit who knocked something over in a rage. I’d be super sweet and genuinely thankful if someone offered to help but that stuff is on the floor because of my kid and my kid will be the one picking it up—even if takes an hour and the frozen peas defrost.

And no screaming kid of mine would ever get a toy, treat, or anything but a “mommy glare”. Sometimes they would even earn a whispered threat of some sort which is much cooler (for me) and scarier (for them). It’s so fun. Something as simple as “Knock it off.” Or “Enough.” Or “I. Said. Stop.” whispered softly wicked close to your kid is scary and hilarious. You should try it.

Besides getting giggles and warm fuzzies from the whispering thing, you get kids who actually (eventually) stop doing these things. Most of the time. They know that when they have a major meltdown, they will not get what they want. Some kids take longer to learn this than others but stick with it. They’ll get it. If your kids ask and you say “No” then they cry and you cave and give them what they asked for, well… Hey, I’d cry, too. It works.  

The only downside is, if you’re not the cave mom, then you get to be the mean mom who everyone says is a bitch. But that’s okay. Because there will be that moment when you hear those words: “I wish my kids would behave as well as yours.” And there it is. Although, really, I didn’t do it for you. I didn’t do it for your approval. I did it for me. I did it for my kids.

Seriously, don’t cave. Be the mom in this article. You’ll be a happier person for it. So will your kids.

Monday, September 16, 2013

How to Plan Your Child’s Birthday Party When Your Pet is Dying

What do you do when it's your child's birthday and you are at the veterinarian’s office and emergency room every other day with your pet who is dying?

Here. Let me "help" you: 

“5 Tips to Plan a Party While Your Pet is Dying”
1. Keep your chin up!
Plaster a smile on your face and keep it there! Don’t let anyone (especially the children!) see you with anything less than a super shiny smile.

2. Find a private place to let those little feelings out!

If you feel the need to cry, politely excuse yourself from the festivities and cry quietly (silently, if possible) in a bathroom far away from your guests. Don’t forget to keep that door closed!

3. Keep that makeup handy!
Should you need tip number 2, don’t forget the important step of reapplying the foundation around your eyes! And, please, make sure you reapply a little to your cheeks, as well--people always seem to forget that. (This goes without saying, but it’s best to stay away from mascara altogether. Am I right, gals?!)

4. Procrastinate and stay up late!
If you put off wrapping, decorating, planning the menu, and ordering the cake because you’re so distraught about your beloved pet, you’ll be forced to stay up really late to wrap gifts, set up, cook, and send emails. The next day, you’ll be so tired, you probably won’t have the energy to worry OR cry! Killing two birds with one stone! (Maybe that’s a bad analogy, considering.) So, anyhoo, you can go ahead and ignore tips number 1 and 2. Way to go, you!

5. Plan a party at home!
While I don't advocate breaking promises (especially to children!), I have to give a little here. Since you must be there every second to help your sweet pet and make sure they eat, you can’t very well take your child to the amusement park, zoo, or aquarium all day like you promised now can you? Well…resolve to do that fun, fun, FUN day another time and plan a lovely party right at home so you can see your beautiful child blow out the candles AND watch your pet suffer! Another 2 for 1 deal! How splendid!

Sometimes "6 ways to..." and "10 tips to..." should stay hidden on a computer. Sometimes tips and tricks and perky, positive attitudes aren't what people need. We need to be angry, sad, and overwhelmed. We need to be allowed to do that without feeling like we've failed in some way. And so I will say this:

Sometimes life sucks.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Einstein, Edison, and…Tesla?

One of the coolest things about raising children is that you learn neat stuff like where Wisconsin is. Not that there aren’t other things that are lukewarm super cool about raising children, but I love learning new things. Like, hey, did you know William Taft was the fattest president? (Did you know William Taft was a president? I won’t tell…)

I have never claimed to know everything. No one knows everything. That would just be weird. But it amazes me the depth of my ignorance about some subjects. I mean, I was vaguely aware I wasn’t very good at math, couldn’t find Morocco on a map, and wouldn’t be able to name 15 presidents under threat of death. But, ever since I had kids, that has all changed. It’s glorious! I know all fifty state capitals, all 44 presidents, and, even though I can’t actually do it, I know what set theory is.
(It’s math.)

So, when my son received a book about Nikola Tesla, I thought, Huh, that looks good. Who the frick is Nikola Tesla? Well, he’s only an amazing genius who invented everything in the world. Well, lots of stuff anyway. And his research led to even more inventions. Did you know this poor little Serbian boy came all the way to America to meet his hero, Thomas Edison, just to have Edison employ him, turn on him, then try to ruin him? 

Wow, kudos to Elizabeth Rusch the author of this book because not only did I find out who Tesla was, I’m all pissed off for him long after his death for getting a raw deal. Kudos, indeed!


FYI, in case you don’t know who Tesla was either, he invented tons of useless stuff that you wouldn’t have heard of like electricity, remote control, the radio.... His discovery of AC electricity lit the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, the first all electric fair in history. Edison tried to stop him and get the job himself, but Tesla wound up getting the job and resulting fame. Tesla also wound up getting the “Edison Medal”. I find that amusing.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Alyssa: I thought you were cute in “Who’s the Boss”. I really liked you in Charmed. Now, I love you. (Just for the record, I’m straight and happily married. I am also mostly stable and definitely not a stalker.) Whatever, you all know what I’m talkin’ about! Alyssa Milano’s new “sex tape”! Ooh…sex. Ooh…tape. Ooh…internet heaven.

She panicked online with all this “Oh, no! My sex tape got out! Oh, dear! Whateva shall I do?”

She made it. She made sure it got out (in a big way). She brought people’s prying eyes to a tape about what’s going on in Syria.

However you feel about the Syria situation, it's just totally not the point. With all the shit online, all the losers flaunting their whatever, acting like complete idiots, and humiliating themselves, here is a woman who used social media to her advantage and brought something out into the open that many (yes, many) people didn't even know was happening. This cool chick made hundreds, maybe thousands, of people aware of the situation. Don't underestimate the amount of people who have no idea what is going on outside of celebrity sex tapes and pathetic little girls who try to make up for their lack of talent by getting naked online. Alyssa made a pretty cool statement about where our priorities are in this country. I say, “You GO girl!”

At least she's using her brain, not a foam finger or wrecking ball. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shower, Shit, Shave, & Shine?

There’s something extremely insulting about being asked if you've showered. It is particularly offensive to moms because we probably haven’t. We give up a lot. We make hard choices: I have ten minutes. Should I go to the bathroom, eat, or shower? Most of the time, even if we throw in another, less vital, option like playing Angry Birds or browsing Pinterest, showering comes in dead last.

Public service announcement #1

It is comforting that you understand how stressed-out, freaked-out, and put-out moms are. It’s ever so sweet that you are offering to watch the kids so we can take a shower. But, please, don’t ask us if we’ve showered—even if we smell. Offer to watch the kids for “whatever we need” and then we will tell you that we are dying to scrub the four-day scum off. If we’re lucky, we can even shave our legs or braid the hair and put pretty ribbons in it. Either way, let us bring up the necessity of bathing. I know it doesn’t sound much less mortifying, but, trust me, it is.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

“Sunrise Sunset” Sings the Six-Year-Old Boy

My son’s birthday is in one week. He knows this is bittersweet for me. He knows how “Happy!” I am and how he’s going to be such a “Big boy!” but he also sees through me like a newly Windexed window.

“What’s wrong?” he asks all innocent. Yah, right. He totally knows.

“Nothing!” I smile (my eyes all watery).

“You’re sad.”

“No! I’m so happy for you!” I insist a little too enthusiastically. He stares at me. Waiting. Little shit. “Okay, I am happy you’re growing up healthy and strong. And I’m really proud of you…” I can’t finish. Fresh. Tears.

“I’m not a baby anymore but I’ll always be your baby.”   

Frickin’ seriously? He’s unbelievable. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he starts singing “Sunrise Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof. No word of a lie.


Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

If you don’t make it through the whole song, skip to the end…my heart felt like that glass.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An Apple for the Teacher?

Happy Hell Week Back to School Week! Today I will be discussing the happy, happy day when our kids start another school year. They are “transitioning”. Joy! They are wearing clothes they’ve outgrown but you haven’t replaced yet. Splendid! They will not have all the required materials when they show up today because, even though you had the list, you didn’t buy the stuff. Excellent! Their hair looks like a very large Brillo pad (or a very tiny wooly mammoth) is sitting on their head. Lovely!

Why is it, when I went to school, I had a brand new haircut (for better or worse), new clothes, new notebooks, folders, pencils, and pens, and a smile?

Or was I smiling for the camera then cried on the bus? Did I really get a new haircut or did my mom just throw my hair up in pigtails and slice my bangs with the kitchen shears?

No. I know I had new pencils and notebooks. I’m sure of it because I can remember the smell of the fresh pages (yes I sniffed my notebooks—paper smells awesome). I remember having long, sharpened pencils with those pointy colored erasers popped on the end. I think the rest of it must be true, too. I went off to school that first day every year all prepared and shit. My mom made sure of it.

Crap. I am dreading the “transition” (AKA bad behavior at home). Dreading the open house at school. Dreading parent / teacher talks. Dreading meeting with the “team” about IEPs and 504 plans. Dreading dealing with the administration. I wish someone would give me a poison apple. I would so take a bite.

Princey... Be a dear and wake me up in a month.