Reality TV Made Me a Horrible Parent, And I’m OK With It

I’m convinced my years of watching shitty, smutty television have ruined me entirely.  I used to spend my evenings watching orange High School diploma equivalent wielding morons drink and screw their way up and down the Jersey Shore.  Or 40-something-year-olds trying to hold on to whatever shred of youth and fame that still might exist by challengeparticipating in outlandish, stupid challenges that prove absolutely nothing.  Or sassy Southern Black women all talking over each other for 30 straight minutes.  And I loved every minute of it.

Not to mention the unnecessarily gratuitous programming that is HBO and Showtime.  I mean, people having sex 5 seconds after meeting?  Now, that’s called Tinder, but back in the day that just didn’t happen outside of a porno.  It was a wonderfully fantastic world where we could demand F-bombs and titties and we could demand them now!

Fast forward four years, I no longer have cable because it’s too expensive.  But that’s ok because Netflix has picked up the ball.  They have riveting, smart series complete with all the nudity and swearing you can handle.  Thank you, Netflix. You are a true American hero.  netlfixBut wait, they also have family programming AKA shit for kids.  A lot of shit for kids.  And what do you know, I have kids.  A lot of fucking kids.  Because of this my shitty Reality TV and Adult premium cable programming has been replaced with more Barbie movies than should ever exist and Koren cartoons with no words.  Seriously, the characters say nothing.  They just make sound with “fart noise” as the subtitle.  I wish I was kidding.  The worst part, my kids LOVE it!!

So this is my life.  Kid’s shows as far as the eye can see.  Or is it?  Years of infiltrated smut have rotted my brain to the point where I can’t watch “Spirit” with my 3-year-old without thinking, “Oh yeah. Lucky’s dad and Ms. Flores are totally banging.”  Or “Man, I hope Ken is getting the good stuff for how much Barbie is making him work for it.” I can’t turn it off!  And I’m not sure I want to.  It’s the only thing left that still reminds me I’m more than just a mom.  I have the mom car, the mom body, the mom desire to be asleep by 9:30 PM.

As a mom or parent in general sometimes is hard to remember that you’re more than just those little people you’re legally obligated to keep alive. I used to be so skinny because I would forget to eat lunch every so often.  I would just be busy or… sleeping.  Either way, I looked amazing.  Now, I have to actually feed other people, therefore, reminding me that I’m hungry.  Then I not only eat my lunch but whatever they don’t eat too because “we can’t waste.”  I’m fucking enormous.  They ruin EVERYTHING!

While my waist-line may not be what it once was, my disgusting, disturbed mind is still as strong as ever; nurtured by years of the worst programming television had to offer.  I encourage all parents to hold on to something from your old life. Something that reflects who you once were before your children infiltrated every aspect of your life.  If that’s picturing cartoon characters doing the nasty, so be it.

wink

The Mom Code: We’re All On the Same Team

Remember when you were in college or even high school and you would get all dressed up to go out on a Friday night?  Remember when you tried to convince everyone that it was to attract a dude?  Remember when that was a bold-faced lie?  Let’s be honest ladies, our whole lives we have been motivated by impressing/competing with other females.  It’s not entirely our fault.  We can thank biology/evolution for a lot of it, but at the end of the day the female-to-female relationship has always been tumultuous, to say the least.  Being a grown-up (ish) and a mom doesn’t change that.  Only now instead of trying to have better cleavage than the other girls, you’re trying to replicate everything you see on Pinterest or prove you’re a better mom by pushing yourself to your limits all the time. Girls, let’s cut the bullshit.  We’re all on the same team.  These are just a couple things to help ignite the conversation; mixed with a little humor, of course, because feelings are gross.

  1. Don’t be a bitch. I mean, you can totally be a betch.  Just don’t be a bitch.
  2. Talk about all the awful things you think or feel. I don’t know about you, but when I hear other moms say things like, “I could have beat him to within an inch of his life,” or “I’m going to drink my body weight tonight,” or “I’m thinking of running away, would you like to come with me,” I feel like I’ve found a soulmate.
  3.  If you’re in a parking lot with a lot of open parking spots, DO NOT park right next to another mom car (mini-van, large cross-over or full-size SUV). I get this one is really specific, but it drives me crazy. It’s a dick move regardless of who you are, but especially other moms.  You know kids swing those giant doors open like they’re on an episode of Miami Vice.  As if going anywhere with kids isn’t stressful enough, now I have anxiety about my kid or myself dinging your precious Honda Oddessy. The way I see it, if my kid dings your car and there are more than 2 open spots in the vicinity, you deserve it. Give a mom some space! 
  4. Don’t hate; Commiserate. Yeah, my kid is having a meltdown at Meijer.  Don’t even try to pretend like your’s has never done the same thing.
  5. It’s okay to have a sense of self. Just because a person(s) has come out of your vag does not mean you have lost all aspects of who you were before they were born, including your sense of humor. For some reason, it seems like moms lose their edge when they have kids.  Why? I’m not saying to need to watch Andrew Dice Clay with your kids, but you can still keep your four-letter vocabulary, your slutty clothes, and your favorite bottle of vodka vaulted for when your kids aren’t around. We’re still adults.  We’re still women.  And one day our kids will be gone, and I’d like to think that I could one day have a conversation with someone that has nothing to do with giving birth, breastfeeding, or the PTO. Plus, let’s be honest, a dick joke is always funny.

All jokes aside (just kidding jokes are never aside), as moms we are all fighting the same battle, keeping our shit together.  It’s a daily battle.  As a young mom, it took me years to find the confidence to find other mom friends.  I was always convinced that everyone was judging me.  Having a baby daddy does not make me a bad person.  Now, I have a great group of mom friends who I learn from every day, and who I hope learn things from me too. I am no longer afraid of the mom group because I’ve realized we are all just making it up as we go and trying not to say fuck in front of our kids. We are all on the same team. If we don’t work together, support each other, embrace each other, they win. They, of course, is our children.  They. Cannot. Win.

**Disclaimer: I am guilty of all of these, except the humor part. I have too many issues to not use humor as a defense mechanism.

 

When Your Baby Becomes A Kid

Having a baby is the most life-altering thing any human being can do.  Man, woman; gay, straight; single, married, it doesn’t matter.  Whether it’s your genetic material or someone else’s, having a baby in the house is going to fuck your day up.  These days you can’t throw a rock and not hit a blog post or book or article about the trials and tribulation of having a baby.  But no one talks about what happens when they’re not babies anymore. I mean we all know teenagers suck, but what about those wonderful school-aged years when the only they’re doing at the speed of light is learning what not to do. Not to mention, being influenced by other kids.  Correction, other, shittier kids. You know longer have full control over what they learn and how they learn it, which totally sucks!

My oldest son recently turned 8.  I, believing the lies told me by my parental predecessors, thought things would be getting easier by now. We’d be able to have a wrongmeaningful conversation, common interests, and even a developing sense of mutual respect.  Boy was I wrong. What I got were conversations that contain the word “um” approximately 8,000 times about people I’ve never met and things I’ve never heard of, the constant demand to fain enthusiasm 24/7, and a never-ending need to talk myself out of striking a child.  You spend years teaching your child to talk.  Then, you immediately regret that decision.  They never stop talking.  Never.  Ever.

now I get itHe’s reached the age where he is trying desperately to understand adult conversation and nuances. However, he has the attention span of the fruit fly so he zones out halfway through the answer to a question he just asked.  So when he says the words “Ooooh! Now I get it.”  That means he has no idea what the fuck I’m talking about. He’s just moved on to whatever random thought just came into his head like, I wonder if now is a good time to bring up that thing I did at Grandma’s house  months ago that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about right now.

And I swear to God listening to this kid tell a story should be illegal under the Geneva Convention. It is the most torurous experience in my life.  “Mom. I, um, went to Jack’s house and um we played this game um that has this um thing and you have to do this other thing to  um make this one thing happen.  It’s just like the one I played at um I don’t remember his name’s house. You remember?”  Ummmmmmm……what?!?! For Christ’s sake.  I would almost rather work at a college bar on a Friday night full of Sorority bar crawls that’s four deep with dumb bitches who have never had anything stronger than Malibu….almost.  But of course I can’t tell him that.  I have to pretend to be interested and care, because he needs validation.  I need a boob job and a wine of the month membership, but you don’t see me bitching!

So, if you’ve just had a baby, enjoy these moments when they sleep all the time and don’t speak.  Trust me the spit up and shit is worth it.  Just remember, the day is coming when you will have to interact.  And they won’t be like those cool kids on sitcoms.  Rudy Huxtable isn’t real. (Too soon?)  Kids don’t make witty jokes or say the funny thing at the right time.  They will, however, rip ass in the middle of the grocery store and laugh relentlessly.  So, it’s not all doom and gloom.

As for me and my first born, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The other day I made some smart ass comment and he goes,  “Is that sarcasm?”  I’ve never been more proud as a partent.  He’s such a great kid with all kinds of creativity.  He’s sweet and kind and thoughtful and a great big brother.  He has more love and generosity in his little finger than most people do in their whole bodies.  But if this phase doesn’t pass and soon, I would recommend buying stock in duct tape and Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Grigio

 

 

The Real Reason We’re So Happy You Just Had A Baby

 

As I am a woman of a certain age, my Facebook feed is blowing up with pictures of babies.  From firstborns to fifth-borns and everywhere in between. There are babies fucking everywhere! I know when each of my kids was born, those posts of their first moments/days were always the most Liked and commented on, which got me thinking, “Why are people always so excited when someone else has a baby?”  I have a theory.  SHOCKING!

OMG BabyNow, I am not judging anyone for being excited about babies.  I even find myself getting giddy when someone I know endures the worst pain known to man only to be rewarded with little to no sleep, sore nipples, and a body that will never be the same no matter how much weight you lose.  But I think it goes beyond our biological encoding to reproduce and “aww, babies are cute.” Cause not all babies are cute, there I said it. My youngest looked like a lizard for the first few months of his life.  Seriously, that giant mouth on a newborn is terrifying.  Anyway, I think people with kids get so excited about their friends having kids because simply put, misery loves company.

I’m not saying that having kids is all miserable, but it’s pretty damn close.  I love my kids more than almost anything, but when I see one of my kidless friends announce the birth of their first child I can’t help but think, “HA!  Suckers!  suckers You fell for it.  You had a great life of doing whatever you want whenever you want, and now you’re screwed!”  For years those of us straddled with kids have seen posts of you getting dressed up to go out drinking every weekend, going on vacation whenever you want, going to the gym, taking a shower, sleeping, the list goes on and on.  We saw these posts and shook with envy.  We would curse you by saying, “One day.  One day they will suffer the same fate as us.”

In addition to hoping you suffer through the same misery that is having children, we just want to be able to do stuff with you again.  We can’t afford the three vacations to Jamaica every year, and drinking all day with a 2 -year-old is typically frowned upon.  Now that you have kids too, you’ll be forced to come over and drink shitty light beer on our couch just to say you had a “night out.”  We miss hanging out with you. Ruining your life as you know it is the only way to get you back.  So we make you think that you really need to have kids too.

xanacThen we took it a step further.  We make parenthood seem like the greatest gift on the planet.  Bloggers wrote about the joy of being a parent.  But there must have been a typo because what they meant to write about was the joy of Xanax.  We fooled you, like the generation before had done to us.  “Kids are great,” they would say.  “There is no greater joy.”  Bullshit!  A childless vacation is a greater joy.  Sleeping til whenever the fuck you want is a greater joy.  Taking a shit by yourself is a greater joy.  The day will come when you realize all things you once took for granted, and you will attempt to make a deal with the devil to finish a cup of hot coffee, just once.

So, welcome to the club!  We are so happy you are here.  If you need help or have any questions be sure to direct them to honest parents.  You will recognize the moms by the sweatpants and lack of makeup.  You can recognize the dads because they will actually have a child near them.  We will be here if you need us, and we will do our best not to blow smoke.  We will tell you that being a parent is exhausting, hard, neverending work that never receives thanks or appreciation. There are no more sick days.  There are no more Sunday Fundays.  Most days, I don’t even get to sit down for more than 20 seconds without someone needing something or shitting their pants. Your whole world is these little people who require all you have and then some more. While it most certainly is not always the most fun you will ever have in your life, being a parent is certainly the most challenging, and I’m still hoping for the most rewarding. Fingers crossed.

fingers crossed

 

**For all of you reading this who are struggling to have your own bundle of disaster, never give up.  Never stop trying. There is always a way to become a family.**

 

 

 

It’s Christmas. Be Nice, Damnit!

A couple of weeks ago I was out grocery shopping with my two youngest (ages 1 and 2).  Our typical routine consists of getting those hot deals on all things processed at Aldi, then boogying over to Meijer for the fancy generic food they just don’t have at Aldi.  Nevertheless, by the time we get to check out at Meijer everyone is in a Code Red situation.  The 2-year-old is tired from running through the store, the 1-year-old probably missed his morning nap and is fighting an internal battle on whether he’s more hungry or tired.  At this point, it’s a toss-up.  There is a meltdown just around the corner.  I know it, the cashier knows it, every retired person in Bloomington-Normal shopping with us on a Thursday morning knows it.

Needless to say,  I try to make it through checkout in record time.  I place everything on the belt in a way that makes sense for bagging.  If I’m buying booze (HAHAHAHA “if”)… tenorWhen I’m buying booze, I keep it for last so I can have my ID ready. However, it doesn’t matter how prepared you are there are too many variables.  Too many things out of your control.  Those sons-a-bitches who design these stores know that stressed-out parents like me will do anything to shut their kids up in the check out lane so they fill it with candy, and toys and random shit that no one on this planet ever needs….ever.

So, the 1-year-old starts fussing because it’s feedin’ time.  The 2-year-old wants all theKung Pao miniature princess dolls that as soon as we get home, will mean jack shit.  I’m shoving every cracker I have in the diaper bag down the baby’s throat, while trying to distract the girl one with anything that won’t cost me any more money.  I get all the groceries on the belt, I’m sweating like George Costanza housing Kung Pao Chicken, and now there is someone behind us in line, which for some reason elevates my stress level.

We get all checked out.  Bags back in the cart.  Debit card swiped, then inserted because I can never remember which one it is.  At this point, my anxiety is to a max.  I still have to get everything and everyone in the car, home, out of the car, fed, and napped.  Ugh….

Then, the woman who had braved standing behind us in line looks at me and says, “Wow.  You make that look so easy.  I remember doing it, but I don’t remember it being that easy.”

BIQWWmlCQAEN7hOI almost burst into tears and hugged her.  At first, I thought “Well, Gotcha Bitch!  Cause I’m a fucking wreck!”  But I took the high road and said, “If you were in my head you wouldn’t be saying that.  But thank you very much.”

That woman, whoever she is, has no idea what she said meant to me in that moment.  When you go anywhere with little kids you feel like a pariah.  The minute you walk in you can actually hear the eye rolls.  I can’t say I blame them. Other people’s kids are annoying.  Just remember that we’re doing the best we can.

So whenever you see a mom, a dad, anyone straight up owning a stressful situation, whether it’s kid related or not, give them credit.  If you’re thinking something nice about someone, say it. It sounds so simple and yet it’s something I’ll admit I rarely do.  Why?  Shouldn’t we be lifting each other up?  Especially this time of year when everyone is stressed out, be nice.  Find the good.   You never know when you could be making someone’s day.  I know I will never forget that woman at Meijer who made all of my stress and efforts seem worth it.  She made me like everything was going to be ok, and there was nothing I couldn’t deal with.  So, whoever you are Meijer Angel, Thank You! And as for the rest of you, I know people suck but try to be nice.  Maybe they won’t suck as much.

be-nice-gif-10

 

BANG!

 

My 7-year-old son is in 2nd grade this year.  His homework is set up a little differently in that every week is given a list of things to do and he just needs to accomplish 5 of them by the next Friday.  Great. There are math worksheets, online spelling activities, and even some games.

Getting my kid to do homework is like getting my husband to drink an IPA.  It’s not going to happen.  But there is one homework activity he really likes, a game called BANG!  Basically, he has to cut out words that are typed on cardstock paper, put them in a bag, and shake them up.  In each set of words, there is the word BANG! on one card.  After you’ve mixed them all up, one person draws a card, reads it out loud to another person, and they have to correctly spell the word to get the point.  If you draw the BANG! card you have to give all your points to the other person.  Each week there are more cards that are added to pile.  So, by the end of the year, this is going to be the longest game ever!  I’m sure there’s a way to incorporate drinking.  I’ll get back to you on that.

One day, he comes home from school and asks if we can play BANG!  Keep in mind it’s one of those nights where there are about 47,000 things going on and I’m already running around like a chicken with my head cut off.   The 2-year-old wants her done, but not the way I’ve already done it. The 1-year-old is pissed only because it’s the afternoon and for no other reason.  My husband had just gotten home from work so he was busy receiving love and praise from the children simply for walking through the door. And I’m preparing 3 different meals for 6 people.  I looked at my 7-year-old with a look that could only be described as “are you fucking kidding me right now?” But I restrained myself.  I said, “Not tonight, honey. But maybe Mommy and Josh will play BANG! later.”  Mostly just to see if my husband was paying attention.  He was.  We both had a good chuckle through the chaos.  He laughed because of the play on words. I laughed because there was no way we would actually have mid-week sex.

We went through the evening as usual.  Ate, put the kids to bed, passed out on the couch watching something too stupid to even remember, went to bed.  Now, allow me to preface this next part with I am NOT a morning person.  I am barely a person at all in the morning.  I am an evil being that will rip your head off if you breath wrong.  All of which are great traits to have with children by the way.  spit takeThat being said, I get up with my son the next morning at 6:30, get him breakfast and sit in practical silence until it’s time for him to go to the bus. As I’m getting his things ready by the back door he says, “Oh hey, Mom. Did you and Josh play BANG! last night?” It was like manna from the comedy gods. So genuine. So sincere.  He definitely thought we were going to do his homework while he slept.  All I could think to say was, “No, we were too tired, but don’t talk to Josh about it. He’s pretty upset.”

I immediately told my husband the story to which he simply replied, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

I can’t wait until my son can read this when he’s older.

 

The Shit Remote…

Remember your friend from college who used to insist on taking a picture of his defecation and text to everyone in the group?  If you don’t, lucky you.  If you still have this friend, maybe you shouldn’t.  If you are this friend, stop it!  Now, imagine that giant shit that your friend is strangely proud of had a remote control right next to it.

Allow me to explain.  A little backstory: my daughter, now 2 and a half is recently potty trained.  We’ve got it pretty much down, but she still has this thing.  She always starts to shit in her pants.  She won’t finish in her pants, but she gets the turtle head out of the shell before she says she has to poop.  I think you get the picture.

John wayneOne day she started her daily shit in her Dory underwear per usual.  We ran to the bathroom, her doing her best John Wayne impression. Because walking with shit in your pants is really hard work.  We get to the bathroom with enough time for her to finish her shadoobie in the appropriate arena.  I peeled her underwear off of her, careful not to smear shit all over the front of the toilet…again.

Meanwhile, my 1-year-old is walking around chewing on the remote control for the TV because, well, I’ve just given up as a parent.  Keep in mind, he is obsessed with the toilet.  We’ve already lost a DVD to him taking it for a little swim in the porcelain kiddie pool.  Typically, he only keeps her company while she’s pinching one off.  He’s just sitting in wait for her to be done so he can go to town in the toilet water like God intended.

After my successful removal of the shit stained underwear, I ran upstairs to start a load of laundry, because….poop.  When I came back downstairs I noticed the 1-year-old didn’t have the remote anymore.  Not too strange as he usually leaves random stuff in random places all day long.  I walked into the bathroom to see the girl one still sitting with a look of pride on her face over the stench that was coming from the toilet.  “Good Girl!” she shouted as I asked her if she pooped.  Her legs were slightly separated, and as I looked into the potty, I see something shiny.

“What’s in there?” I asked.

“I poop!!” She replied.

I took her off the toilet to wipe her nasty ass when I see it.  A giant, grown man turd nestled next to our small, black television remote.  My 1-year-old had sneaked it between her legs, mid shit mind you, and then continued about his business as if nothing had happened.

What. In. All. The. Fuck?!?!?! I got a pair of latex gloves that I normally only use when I cut up jalapenos and plucked the shit covered remote out of the toilet. gag There was no question in my mind to throw it away, but I knew that if we were going to buy a new one, we would need to know what the old one looked like.  So, I kept it out to show my husband when he got home from work.

The minute he walked in the door was halfway through both a Bud Light and the story of what happened to our remote.  This sick bastard, says we should keep the remote.  I’m sorry.  Are you fucking kidding me?  There was literally nothing between it and shit.  He replied, “Literally everything in this house has got to be covered in shit at this point,” and threw it in a bowl of rice to dry out. While I can’t argue with his logic about shit in the house, at least 2 of our kids have straight up shit on the floor in the living room, it’s totally different to see it…in the toilet…touching something you hold in your hand every day.

Much to my chagrin, the remote works.  The rice worked, in case you were wondering.  The fucking thing is sitting in my living room.  While I have disinfected it with a bleach solution, I still refuse to use it.  My husband just laughs at me.  To which I simply reply, “You didn’t see it! You don’t know!”

 

You don't know