I Don’t Know How To Talk To People Who Are Good With Kids

Mr Rogers

I am, admittedly, a mediocre parent at best.  I mean, I love my kids, I don’t beat them, they are all still alive, and according to their pediatrician, they are healthy and thriving. But I am not a baby-talk mom.  I don’t do the whole pandering thing very well.  I talk to my kids like they’re just short adults who can’t drink.

Recently, I took the babies to a Story Hour at the public library.  The gals conducting the Story Hour were great.  One was older, in her late 60’s I would say.  The other a little younger, maybe in her 50’s.  They were very welcoming and patient and calm with the kids.  They spoke their language and read each story with the kind of enthusiasm I give a really well-crafted Old Fashioned.   I was not only in awe of them, I was painfully awkward around them.  My daughter has the social anxiety of someone who grew up at Grey Gardens, and wouldn’t let me go to save her life.  Both ladies would try to engage her in some conversation without forcing her or making her uncomfortable.  Saying things like, “I like purple. Do you like purple too?”  “Would you like to color with all your friends?” “Oh, I love your picture.”  And, “Aren’t they all just so great?!”

My daughter has the social anxiety of someone who grew up at Grey Gardens, and wouldn’t let me go to save her life.  Both ladies would try to engage her in some conversation without forcing her or making her uncomfortable.  Saying things like, “I like purple. Do you like purple too?”  “Would you like to color with all your friends?” “Oh, I love your picture.”  And, “Aren’t they all just so great?!”

I could NEVER do that.  I would say things like, “Would you like a Xanax?” “You’re never going to move out of your parent’s house if you can’t even talk to people,”  and “Your picture looks like Michael J Fox drew it.”  All grossly inappropriate.  Funny, but inappropriate.

Since the girl spawn wasn’t feeling awfully social, these ladies kept trying to engage me in conversation instead. They used nice words, didn’t make fun of anyone, didn’t say one swear word, and spoke with sincerity.  What kind of witchcraft is this?!?!

Them: “Oh it’s ok.  I have those kinds of days too.  We don’t always have to talk if we don’t want to.”

My Thoughts: “Yeah…It’s not ok to not speak to people who are speaking to you!  That’s fucking rude!  I’m not trying to raise an asshole over here.  I’m sorry she’s being so fucking weird!”

My actual words trying to sound like a good mother: “Oh yeah… (awkward laughter) It’s ok… (awkward laughter) She’ll get there…(awkward laughter) What are you going to do?… (awkward laughter) Thank you…”

I don't know what to do with my hands

The Russian, mail-order-bride mom spoke more fluent English than I did.  All I could think about was how uncomfortable I was, and how I couldn’t wait to get out of there, pound a beer, and drop a series of F Bombs just to bring be back to homeostasis.

So, to everyone out there who truly enjoys children in all their bizarre glory, and who can genuinely make the effort to engage them on their level, I applaud you. I find you weird and completely unnatural. But you are clearly a better person than me and much more qualified to raise my kids.

 

Our Lord and Savior, Chuck E. Cheese

A few years ago when I was blessed with only one child, my mother and grandmother came to visit.  My son was only 3 at the time, now 7.

A little back story, Glamma and Granny, respectively didn’t think that Mommy exposed to the children to religion enough.  Mommy thought they have the rest of their lives to make their own decisions, and that religion is a very complex issue that needs to be addressed carefully.  Nevertheless, we agree to disagree.

During this particular visit, the grandmothers were doing a bit of recon on the toddler.  Asking questions like, “Do you know who Jesus is?”  “Has Mommy taught you about how much Jesus loves you?”  I don’t think they were ready for the answer they received.

My mom, or Glamma, for these purposes, asked my son if he knew who Jesus was.  He replied with a very unenthusiastic, “Yeah.”  Regardless, the grandmothers were very pleased that he at least recognized the name.  Maybe I’m not such a godless heathen after all.  Glamma continued her questioning with more detail, “Did you know that Jesus loves you so much he died for your sins?” My son, still unphased by the grossly age-inappropriate question, replied, “Yeah” without even looking up from his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Finally, Glamma asked him, “What else do you know about Jesus?”  The boy, finally realizing he was involved in an actual human conversation, looked up at Glamma with deep, sincere eyes and says, “Glamma, do you mean, Chuck E. Chesus?”

About a year later I was sitting on my patio with the same child.  Who was still an only child…those were the days.  Anyway, it was a Friday.  Good Friday to be exact.  In a moment of religious guilt, I asked my son if they told him what that day was at school.  He answered, “Yup.  It’s Friday.”  “You are not incorrect, my darling child,” I responded. “But today is also a special Friday.  It’s Good Friday.  It’s the day we celebrate that Jesus died for our sins.”  I was terrified this was going to turn into a morbid conversation about the details of His death. But instead, he looked at me like a teenager looks at an adult who calls it “The Facebook” and says, “That’s the mouse, right?”

 

Chuck E Cheese.gif

 

Potty Training: Now That’s How You Get Pink Eye

Who doesn’t love that scene from Knocked Up where we all learned you can give all your roommates pink eye by merely bare-assed farting on their pillow?  Classic.

Pink Eye

However, I am here to tell you that living in a house full of toddlers is waaaay worse than a house full of malicious stoners.

For those of you who do not have kids, trust me when I say, potty training is by far the WORST stage of child-rearing (“you hear that, he wants to rear your child.”  Sorry, I have Knocked Up on the brain).  There is literally piss and shit everywhere.  Kinda like in college, but much less funny.  When your drunk friend shits himself in white shorts in the middle of a bar, it’s hilarious!  When your 2-year-old drops heat all over your living room floor, and your 10-month old immediately thinks, “I must put that in my mouth;” still hilarious, but only after the fact. Allow me to present exhibits A thru C.

Exhibit A: While potty training my 2 and a half-year-old daughter, she decided to go commando.  As she had pissed herself all day, I thought, “Sure, we’ll let it air out for a bit.” BTW, whoever said girls are easier to train than boys is a fucking liar!  Anyway, as we sat down to enjoy a nice dinner with a single, childless friend (I’m really surprised she’s still our friend), my daughter takes it upon herself to squat down between the ottoman and the couch and drop a couple nugs, thinking no one would notice.  At first, she was right.  We went about our grown up business and were none the wiser.  That is until I noticed my 10-month old using her turds as soccer balls.  Oh, and the smell the shit.  Needless to say, each child was immediately bathed in bleach (not really), and the entire house underwent a Lysol exorcism. I need an old priest and a young priest!!

Exhibit B: A friend of mine has 3 little boys, 3 years old and under.  She’s insane.  Her middle son is only a few weeks older than my daughter so we are currently in a 2 person support group for potty training moms.  We just send SnapChats to each other of us drinking.  Her little guy is much more “helpful” than my daughter.  While she prefers a more stealthy approach, her son likes to squeeze out a meadow muffin and share it with the house.  That’s right.  He crapped on the floor in the basement, picked it up, carried it up the stairs, dropped in on the floor of his bedroom, with a healthy plop I’m sure, then hollers down the hall, “Mommy!  I made a poop.  Come change me!”  Silver lining: he didn’t smear it all over the wall.  So, that’s a win.

Exhibit C: This one requires a little back story.  If you’ve ever seen the movie The Shawshank Redemption, you will know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t, Spoiler Alert, also, what the hell is wrong with you?!?!  Seriously, it’s one of the greatest movies of all time.  Get your shit together. Anyway, at the end of the movie, it is revealed the protagonist, Andy, has been slowly digging his way out of his cell, and collecting the pieces in his pockets and gradually dumping them in the courtyard by cutting a hole in his pockets and shaking the pieces down his pant leg.  Do you see where this is going?

Shawshank

One day I was watching a  neighbor’s potty training son.  Let’s just say this kid and a rabbit have a lot in common, and I don’t mean carrots.  After Tommy-gunning tiny turds in his pants, he proceeds to “Shawshank” his way up my stairs.  As he is standing in front of me, I notice a black ball by his feet.  I immediately run him to the bathroom, ass debris falling out of his pant leg the whole way.  Thanks to his apparently GI issues, the clean up was fairly easy.  That is until my germaphobic son comes upstairs with a handful of ‘marbles.” He still hasn’t stopped washing his hands.

When you have this much shit in your house, there are bound to be poo particles everywhere.  It would be a miracle if everyone made it out pink eye free. So, the next time you go to a 2-year-old’s birthday party, don’t waste your money at Toys-R-Us. Instead, might I suggest a Stanley Steamer gift card.

 

 

http://popkey.co/m/rzQYl-pink+eye-knocked+up
https://giphy.com/gifs/community-the-shawshank-redemption-cooperative-escapism-in-familial-relations-3CQqIPK8onZSM

It’s The First Day of School…Great.

Since today is the first day of school for our kid, I figured to today was as good a day as any for my very first blog post!  YAY!!

Thanks to social media we all get a front row seat to the first day of school for every school-aged child we’ve never met.  I’m not really sure how the phenomenon began. Love it or hate it, it’s a thing and it’s EVERYWHERE.  I’ve broken down what I believe are the three kinds of people on social media on the first day of school.

First Day of School

1. The Stay-at-home-mom

This is the category I, obviously, relate to the most.  Sure, we all love spending time with our kids.  They are the fruit of our loins, what’s not to love?  Well, for starters, they’re loud.  They smell bad. They don’t listen.  They’re bored the first day of Summer. And did I mention they’re loud?  Imagine, if you will, spending every single day for 90 whole days with your drunk college roommate.  Now, you have a glimpse into why stay-at-home moms LOVE back to school time.  It’s better than Christmas.  Not kidding.

Even if you’re not a stay-at-home mom, your kids being home all Summer without routine or social outlets is exhausting.  Yesterday, the 7-year-old actually says to me out of nowhere, “am I with you on my birthday?”  It was August, 15.  His birthday is December, 31.  Are you fucking kidding me? This kid needs something to fill his brain so it doesn’t have time or space to think about shit like this.

For the parent(s) who are ready for school to start, I hear you.  This is your day.  Enjoy it.

2. The Childless Singleton

These poor, unsuspecting bastards.  As a single, childless person in your 30’s the first day of school sneaks up on you like a shark on a blonde slut swimming at night.  You don’t see it coming because why the hell would you?  You have no business knowing when the first day of school is.  And that’s the way God intended.  You wake up on a random Wednesday (because school starts in the middle of the week for some reason) thinking it’s just another Hump Day.  You’re half way through the week.  You sit down to take your morning shit and BOOM!!!  Like a tidal wave of unsolicited information, your social media feeds are bombarded with pictures and posts of the first day of school.  Fuck.

The first few are cute.  You even understand the Kindergarten ones and chuckle at the creative ones. That quickly fades to, “Who fucking cares about 4th grade?!” Which gives way to, “Bro! I didn’t even know you had a kid!!” Finally, by midday you just can’t anymore.  You seriously consider blocking everyone with school-aged children.  Then you remember that one time, 4 years ago, when that guy had a funny post about something and decide to suck it up.

To you who suffer through the torturous day of pretending to care about other people’s kids, I apologize. It is a truly horrible day for you. But remember this, you get to leave the house whenever you want, drink whenever you want, go wherever you want, and answer to no one.  Your like is exponential more exciting.  Don’t get annoyed or angry with us.  Pity us.  This is all we have.  Hang in there.

3. The People Who Legitimately Care

These are the people I admire the most and understand the least.  They actually care about other people’s kids and enjoy seeing pictures of the first day of school.  “My how they’ve grown,” they comment.  “Have a great day,” they reply.  They actually take time out of their day.  Granted, most of these people are grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.  There is a sense of obligation on some level, but still.  I can’t comprehend it.  I care so little about things, it blows my mind when someone cares so much.

To these people, thank you!  Thank you for being such wonderful people who hold up the moral fiber of this nation.  You instill faith in the faithless that there is still good in this world.  You are the optimistic Yin to my pessimistic Yang.

No matter where you fall on the back to school spectrum, I fear there is no escaping the first day of school monster that takes over social media for the last few weeks in August.  So, good luck students of all ages, congratulations parents, hang in there you lucky childless bastards, and enjoy the posts those who actually give a shit.