Sunday, April 29, 2012

10 Disgusting Things I've Said To My Children

Sometimes when I talk, I am amazed by what comes out of my mouth.
The following are true (oh, say it isn't so!) examples of things I have said to my children within the past year or two.

10. "Please get your feet off the dining room table."
Yes, my children are animals who think it is acceptable for any part of their body to be on the dining room table. Elbows on the table are the least of my worries.

9. "No, I didn't mean to get my hair cut to look like Justin Bieber."
Yes, I need a new hairdresser. It has finally grown out, but I still don't want to talk about it.

8. "Please don't put your feet in my face."
What is it about my kids and their stinky feet? Their feet are literally everywhere I wish they were not.

7. "Puke in your Happy Meal box."
One of my children gets car sick. Easily. On long road trips we occasionally run out of bags and have to make due with whatever random container exists in the car. Please learn from our mistakes. A Happy Meal box cannot contain vomit. It's a lousy alternative to an actual bag unless you want your car to smell like a mixture of chicken nugget and vomit. However, it's better to encourage the barfer to vomit in the Happy Meal box than your hands because trying to contain vomit in your cupped hands is both impossible and disgusting. I speak from experience here, people.

6. "If you make the cat throw-up, you're cleaning it up."
In fairness to the kids, I'm starting to think the cat has a very sensitive gag reflux.

5. "Yes, I do see the worms in your poop."
Gross! Pinworms are disgusting but blessedly easy to treat. I'm thinking of making everyone in this house take the tablets prophylactically. Maybe give them to the kids on a bi-weekly scheduled. I am, personally, tired of looking at poop. Wash your hands and keep your fingers out of your mouth and maybe I could retire from the poop inspection job I have grown to loathe.

4. "Please don't eat spaghetti with your fingers."
I would have thought this was obvious, but apparently in our home it needs stated. Utensils are not valued at our dining room table. (By now you should have real concerns about being a guest in our home. Feet on the table, kids eating spaghetti with their fingers, worms in our stool and likely on our hands. Yes, it's total mayhem which is why we limit dinner company to those who don't judge us and those who are up-to-date on all their shots.)

3. "Why did you shave off half your eyebrow?"
Why? And why shave it off the night before school picture day? Why, why, why?

2. & 1. "Why is your thumb gushing blood and why do you have box cutters in your bedroom?"
I'm counting this as two unbelievable things I've said. I blame my mother for this one. How was I to know the cute pink toolbox my mother got my daughter for Christmas had box cutters in it? How was I to know my daughter would use them at night (in the dark) to cut into the plastic container of tattoos my mother got her for Christmas? (Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like finding a faux tramp stamp on your daughter.) Why does a thumb wound produce sooooo much blood? Don't feel bad, Mom, the doctor says the scar will fade over time.

There you have it. Ten of the more disgusting things I've said to my children.
You should now feel pretty confident about your own parenting abilities.

Excuse me. I need to go inspect some more feces now.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Sound of Music

"Are my ears bleeding?"

My husband assures me they are not. I don't necessarily believe him. I touch my ears gingerly and wonder if encouraging music lessons was the wisest decision I've made as a mother.

In 4th grade my daughter was obligated to learn the recorder as part of her music class curriculum. That's when I first started to appreciate elementary school music teachers. One 9 year old practicing the recorder must pale in comparison to a room full of 9 year olds all blowing to their hearts' content on something that appears to be a cross between a kazoo and a clarinet.

We encouraged our daughter to practice... outside.
Yes, we led her to believe that the sound of the recorder was best enjoyed by birds, squirrels and other small forest creatures. Unlike beloved Disney movies, we never saw a small circle of forest animals dancing around her as she played, but we encouraged her to remain hopeful to that possibility. In turn, she became a pretty good recorder player.

Her devotion to the recorder led to her desire to participate in the 5th grade band. She chose to play the trumpet. That's about the time I started praying for a mild case of otosclerosis. My respect for elementary school music teachers grew exponentially and I became convinced that they were either saints or deaf.

We live next to a dairy farm and one afternoon I came rushing into our living room ready to rescue the calf that was being slaughtered. Certainly cruelty to animals is no laughing matter, and to think my precious children were cruel enough to lure a baby cow into our home only to torture it was beyond shocking!

What surprised me upon entering the room was that it was empty except for my daughter and her new shiny trumpet. I looked for the helpless creature, but clearly no calf had ever entered my home. That's when I realized a trumpet can make a sound that mimics that of a dying calf.

My daughter beamed, and I was filled with momentary pride at her musical devotion.

She said, "Hey, mom, watch this!"

With that she opened the spit valve on the trumpet and let the spit coat her thigh before rubbing it in with the palm of her hand. Without missing a beat, she resumed playing.

The bile rose in my throat, and I wondered what a decent mother would do in that moment. I remained greatly relieved my child wasn't abusing any farm animals so I just sat to enjoy the performance.

(Addendum: All of her practicing is truly paying off. Now she can actually produce sounds that mimic music! To compensate, my son has started taking guitar lessons!)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Saturday

Here is a recipe for how to ruin a perfectly good Saturday:

Plan a Garage Sale


* An obscene amount of junk treasures from your home. Ideally, the amount is just short of earning you the esteemed title, Hoarder. The items should include children's clothing from 8-10 years ago, at least one incomplete set of dishes, used sheets, an assortment of trashy novels, no less than eight naked barbies (some of whom have lost limbs and most of whom have suffered grotesque haircuts), and at least one prom dress from 1989.

* One tank of gas and your car

* A friend's garage

* Five to six evenings of your life and one Saturday

* A fake smile and a dash of humor

* A calculator

* Alcohol


1. Take all of the "exquisite" items described above from the bowels of your own home to the garage of a friend's home. Since you have an embarrassing amount of stuff, you will need to make approximately 47 trips to her home to unload items that could just as easily been thrown out or given away directly from your own home. Don't stop to think about this. Just load van, empty van, repeat.

2. Place individual price-tags on all 6.7 million items you have dumped in your friend's garage. Items will range in price from 10 cents to $2. Don't screw up this step! This could make the difference between making a penny and $1.50 (since no one pays full price at a yard sale). Multiply that by the 6.7 million items you have hauled across town, and just imagine how obscenely rich you will become!

3. Ignore the judgement you see in your friend's eyes and pretend she is joking when she calls you "a hoarder."

4. Talk endlessly about how great the weather has been thus causing Mother Nature to take notice (more on this later).

5. Do steps #1-4 repeatedly over the course of five or six evenings. In the process spend very little time with your own family. This will please your husband so much that he may express his satisfaction by ceasing to talk to you.

6. Wake up before the crack of dawn on Saturday to the sound of heavy rain. Or is that hail? Notice the temperature has dropped, and the rain is never stopping and ice cold.

7. Arrive at your friend's home to find people there at the crack of dawn.

8. Smile fake smile when you say, "Sure, I'll take a nickel for that."

9. Realize you cannot subtract 35 cents from twenty dollars. Do not be embarrassed about using a calculator. It's the crack of freaking dawn and you're sleep and caffeine deprived! What's wrong with these people?

9. Screw the caffeine and enjoy your first alcoholic drink at 1 PM.

10. Count out the $37 you made and declare the garage sale a huge success.

11. Bag up all of the remaining 6.6 million items. Donate half of the items. Inexplicably convince yourself that the other items need to be returned to the bowels of your home.

12. Load van, empty van, repeat.

13. Make plans to have another garage sale next year.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Why Interacting with Women Can Leave Men Cognitively Impaired"

Hey, Men, don't get snippy with me. I didn't come up with the title of this blog all on my own.

Nope, it's the name of an article in Scientific American. You can read the article here.

No, I don't typically read Scientific American or anything scientific. I have a strict policy about that. Ironically, my husband forwarded me the article. I think he wanted to explain why he is cognitively impaired but was too cognitively impaired to articulate it.

Instead he sent me an email with the article attached.
Yes, we are married so we communicate more via email and text message than we do face to face.

As women have known for eons, it's a scientific fact that men go stupid when talking to an attractive woman. Now it's also a scientific fact that men go stupid even when ANTICIPATING talking with a woman.

I, for one, think this explains an awful lot.

Maybe politicians are not as stupid as I thought. They are just cognitively impaired as a result of speaking to women. Perhaps this is why they all seemingly hold a grudge against women and women's rights? The oppression of women is the only way of keeping us from taking over the planet.

Here are my favorite lines from the article:

"Although the studies on their own don’t offer any concrete explanations ... the reason may have something to do with men being more strongly attuned to potential mating opportunities."

Yep, men are that simple.
The mere thought of potential rolls in the hay "mating opportunities" is enough to leave men cognitively impaired. No doubt the impairment is the result of blood rapidly leaving their brains and traveling to their dominate organ.

My husband is interrupting this brilliant observation to point out that it is scientifically inaccurate ("Cerebral blood flow is well maintained during the act of...blah, blah blah").

He's talking to me, but I only listen to him when he communicates via text message.

Plus, he's cognitively impaired now anyway, right?

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Love Letter to Friday

(Best if read aloud with an overly dramatic and wanting voice. Go ahead. No one is watching or listening to you. Do it. Read it like a wanton woman!)

My Dearest Friday,

We've only been separated for a few days, and already I long to see you again.

The mere thought of you brings a smile to my lips and a swing to my step. You arrive faithfully each week bringing hope for pleasant days ahead. Your visits are so short that I cannot help but want more of you.

Whether you arrive on a rainy day or a sunny one, I greet you with arms stretched wide. I shout my love for you to all who care to hear. The longer we are together, the more you give me hope that my 9 to 5 job will eventually end. Oh, the joy I feel when I leave work and can fully focus on you!

At the risk of cheapening our pure relationship, I must confess that I'm particularly fond of the visits when you bring me a check. Bless you for those visits. Those "pay days" remind me why I endure the days prior to your arrival. I wish they occurred more frequently, but I still love all of your visits. I am helpless to resist your charm.

In your absence, Monday is rude and conspires against me. Monday does not understand me the way you do. Monday tries to break me, but thoughts of you keep me strong.

Wednesday thinks he is something special, but the only humping I do is with you. Friday, you're my hump day.

At times Saturday tries to seduce me. I cannot keep that truth from you. Saturday offers all of himself to me, but I find myself cleaning, shopping, and running endless, at times mind-numbing, errands. Saturday can sometimes be high maintenance and overly ambitious. You ask nothing of me. You wait for my work day to end and then you tease me with the possibilities....oh...the endless possibilities!

Like a parched person craves water, I search for you.
Like a child on Christmas, I wait breathlessly with anticipation.
Like a sugar addict in a candy store, I crave you.
Like a reality TV star on Bravo, I overreact just thinking about you.
Like an employee waiting for the end of each work week, I....well...

Friday, I love you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Momma's Gonna Blow!

I have a laundry list of motherly incidents of which I am not particularly proud.
I'm sharing one so you can have a better day knowing you are a better person than I am. I am doing this as a favor to you. I want to increase your sense of self-righteousness. Happy?

Not so long ago I had to wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours because I believed I had a caged bird in my chest that occasionally attempted to take flight.

What's a mom with two kids and a Holter monitor suppose to do?
Here's a clue: Try to totally freak her kids out.

As bedtime neared, I realized I would not be able to keep all of the wires hidden from my inquisitive children. Ok, maybe I could have, but where is the fun in that?

As my children began their nighttime ritual of getting more and more wound up and energized, I called them over to me. I calmly showed them some of the wires and one of the leads connected to my chest near my collarbone.

As I revealed this strange contraption I said, "Kids, if you don't calm down, I will blow up."

Well, now I know how to get their attention.

They were actually silent for a solid 3 seconds.
Then they burst out laughing and asked when I was going to blow.

Where is the love? And who is responsible for raising these insensitive Neanderthals?

I need to make a programming note here. My otherwise sweet 11 year old has recently started to use and grasp the concept of sarcasm. I've complimented her on her increased and broadened sense of humor. She's becoming witty and sarcastic all at the same time. A day ago I thought this was charming. Now I'm not so sure.

As the night progressed and their energy level increased (why oh why do they rev up as the bedtime approaches?), I made a simple suggestion to my tween-ager. I believe I suggested she wash her hands or some other outrageous request.

My sweet daughter stopped, looked and me and in a deadpan manner, mouthed the words, "Blow up."

There is a moral to this story.
You can never joke with your children about explosives. It will blow up in your face.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Save the Chocolate Bunnies!

When my daughter was six years old, she sat down at dinner one night and proclaimed she was a vegetarian. One day she could very well be a vegetarian, but at six??
I tried not to panic since meat is a staple on our dinner table.

"A vegetarian? What's it mean to be a vegetarian?" I asked innocently.

"I don't eat whale."

"Well, you're in luck," I say. "This happens to be chicken, and I promise to never serve you whale."

"I don't eat any extinct animals, mom."

This is when I assured her that chickens are not going extinct, and I promised never to serve her whales, Bengal tigers, or African cheetahs.

With that, my daughter shrugged, picked up her fork, and gobbled up her chicken. So much for her brief foray into vegetarianism.

I am not a vegetarian. I can eat foods that have faces. Cow, chicken, fish. Mmmmmm. All good!

So someone please tell me why I whimper at the thought of eating a chocolate bunny?
I cannot do it.
I cannot even buy chocolate bunnies for my children.
I cannot do it.
I cannot and will not eat a chocolate bunny.

I'm not even sure I would know how. Do you bite off the ears first?
What sort of barbaric person can buy a darling, sweet chocolate Easter bunny and then bite off its ears?

I prefer to eat chocolate bars or chocolate in any shape that does not resemble that of a small bunny. I'm really not a chocolate snob. Just don't make me bite the head off a chocolate bunny. I cannot do it.

Let's consider the plight of chocolate bunnies this time of year.
They line the shelves in their cute little cardboard boxes. They wait innocently to be purchased. Easter morning arrives and the plastic is greedily removed, momentarily freeing them from their boxed captivity. Just when they think they might have an opportunity to bunny hop with their fellow chocolate bunnies, they are lifted into the air.

The the last thing they hear is someone biting off their ears. Then, in all likelihood, they remain earless until they are tossed into the trash because, let's be honest, chocolate bunnies are not the best tasting goodies in one's Easter basket.* Everyone knows the peanut butter eggs are the crown jewel of the Easter basket. As an aside, I have no moral qualms whatsoever ingesting my weight in chocolate peanut butter eggs. They are faceless chocolate ovals filled with goodness.

*Note: My husband claims chocolate bunnies are delicious and I don't know what I'm talking about.

To him and others I have only one thing to say.

Save the chocolate bunnies (and the whales, too)!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Public Service Announcement for Men

"Do These Jeans Make Me Look Fat?"

Any answer short of "Hell no!" is the absolute wrong answer.

Listen up, Men. Some questions are disguised as opinion seeking questions but they actually have potentially lethal consequences.

The, "Do these jeans make me look fat?" is just one. Here are some other examples :

"Would you still love me if I lost all my limbs in a freak accident?"
"If I died, would you consider dating my best friend?"
"Don't you wish I had the same figure as when we first met?"

Any of the above questions could lead to your demise. No one actually wants to hear the truth. Truth is over rated.

Also, while I'm trying to keep this brief since I know you aren't really listening to me, I also want to add that you should not make any noise whatsoever when your significant other reaches for a second helping of potatoes. A cough, a sigh, a loud swallow can all be misconstrued for the following statement:

"Geeez, Lard Ass, lay off the carbs!"

Since you risk being misinterpreted, I suggest not breathing until your love is completely finished eating.

If you have any doubts about an appropriate response to any question or situation, consider saying, "You are right."

You MUST be sincere when saying this or you risk losing your own limbs in a freak accident.

This message was brought to you by a woman who is always right and who, incidentally, has exactly the same figure as she did 15 years ago. She knows this because her husband told her so when she asked him.