The boys started asking for chicken and dumplings two days ago…

Asking?  Not really.  More like begging.

But it’s summer and we’re in Florida.  It’s freaking hotter than Hades up in here.  I was hoping they’d just forget about it.  Nope.  Not that lucky.

I get it… shredded chicken, creamy sauce, yummy dumplings. Amazing. I make a mean Chicken and Dumplings.

So tonight (when they were at soccer practice) I began the process.

It’s not that chicken and dumplings is difficult to execute.  It’s not even that chicken and dumplings is super labor intensive… under normal circumstances.  But I have 3 kids.  And there is nothing normal about having 3 kids and trying to make meals from scratch.

The 9-year-old loves and eats everything.  Always with a please and a thank you.  I would travel the world with Boy Wonder.  And my first stop would be Japan or India.  Boy Wonder would make us proud in any culinary situation.  His love of food is the reason I learned to cook.  And he’s pretty appreciative of my skills.

The Middle Monkey isn’t a fantastic eater.  Compared to other kids his age he eats wonderfully… but by our family standards?  He’s a shitty eater.  Unless he wants to eat…  and since he’s been asking for chicken and dumplings for days I thought this was a no brainer.  But now… now??  Not so much.  I get it.  He’s 3.   It’s all about power and control when you’re 3.  3 year old’s are like mini Napoleon.

We are all almost done with dinner and of course, Middle Monkey is starting his normal shit “I don’t like chicken.  I don’t want this bite.  I don’t like vegetables.”  It’s enough to make a sane man crazy.

My poor Hubby.  He is the sane man.  He’s rational, he’s all heart and he loves his family.  And while he’s sitting next to Middle Monkey saying “Have two more bites and then one more bite.”  This is our normal coercion eating tactic with this child.  I’m in the kitchen doing the dishes (already fed up) saying

“Just have him eat.  Stop spooning it for him… Jeez.  If he doesn’t want it that’s fine.  No desert then.” 

I’m not the sane one.  I’ve lost my patience long ago.  I’m the Pink Floyd parent… “If you don’t eat your meat you can’t have any pudding.”

I guess everyone has a breaking point. Cause that’s when Hubby broke.  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen him angry..

“I’m tired of you not eating!  I’m tired of Mommy being mad!  You can just go to bed RIGHT NOW!”

And with lighting speed Daddy hauled Middle Monkey off to his room and put him in a time out.  You could hear the 3-year-old scream as he closed the door.

He saw the look of unhappiness on my face right away…

“What? This is ridiculous! You’re right. I get it.”

It’s not about being right. It’s about us not babying him.

“That’s why I finally said screw this.”

I know that babe, but you blamed it on me.

“I what? That’s insane!”

You said, “I’m tired of mommy being mad!”

“Well, I am. And you most definitely are.”

Yes, you are right on that, I am over this dinnertime bullshit dance he does. A dance that we let him do. But one minute you’re helping spoon-feed him and playing Lets Make a Deal, and the next… the next you banish him.

“Jeez, I did do that, didn’t I?”

Yup. So now I’m the Evil Queen and he’s Snow “one more” Bite.

“Good lord… I get it. I’ll go get the prince.”

Fingers crossed that dinnertime goes a bit better tomorrow evening.

The story of Snow White has been retold a million times over.

I’m not really a fan of fairy tales.



Johnny 5’s got nothing on my kids when it comes to questions.

I almost cracked this morning.

Legit, straight jacket, get thee to a nunnery Ophelia, cracked.

I was depositing a check into the ATM at the bank, an action I have done countless times.  An action that, is so simple, a trained chimp can do it.  Shit, my 3-year-old can most definitely do it.

But there I was.

Depositing a check.

And the machine had so many questions. Pin number? Language choice? Deposit? Withdrawal?

Questions that should have been easy to answer. Answers that I use every day, but this morning, I sat there, dumbfounded. Shocked at the slow reaction time of my brain.

Then it happened.

I started to laugh. And not just a giggle, a full-on, no-holds-barred, belly laugh. I sat in my car laughing for at least 6 minutes. I laughed too long and so hard, I scared the baby.

After 3 consecutive days with all of my children, I am questioned out.

These kids are like little sponges, small but powerful and mighty super computers. They all are little Johnny 5’s yelling at me, “Input! Need more input! Input!!! INPUT!”

I am their Encyclopedia Britannica. The source of the start of all knowledge. And I am tapped out. I’m tired of talking. I’m tired of answering. I’m tired of questions.

Because there is a 5 year age difference between my oldest 2, I’m slowing discovering that the questions asked of me are on 2 different levels of my consciousness. The 3-year-old asks questions of evolution and general ideas about life and science…

“Where do lollipops grow?”

“Will I be big like Daddy one day?”

“Is Daddy your brother?”

“How your ‘gina (short for vagina) work?”

“Where did I grow?”

While the 9-year-old asks questions of fact…

“Do I have soccer tonight?”

“What did you pack me for lunch?”

“Do I have to read every day this week?”

“When does so-and-so get back from sleep away camp”

“Can I play with my cousin on Wednesday?”

This huge age difference forces me to recesses of my brain I didn’t know existed. If the average human only uses 10% of their brain, I’m pretty sure the average mom is forced to use more. Where the hell is Alex Trebek when you need him?

Of course, like every mom, I want my kids to be well-rounded, inquisitive and knowledgeable. I answer all their copious questions with as much of a straight face as I can keep and to the best of my knowledge based upon their level of understanding. But, MY GOD… I feel like I am on the longest job interview EVER!! And I don’t see the end in sight.

No one likes interviewing for a job. Personally, I’d rather have a root canal, it is quicker and less painful. If you are interviewing for a job that means one of two things… either you are out of work (in that case the job interview is really high pressure because you need a job) or you hate your current job and are looking for something else (in that case the dream job just seems to be right there. You can almost touch it… also very high stress).

But here’s the thing about the job interview that is Motherhood,


It’s mine.

My resume has been checked and is on file. Background check?  Done. You little animals have my DNA. References? Ask your father. And your grandma. Ask your other grandma. But the incessant questions will continue, no matter what.

They will always have questions for me.

Maybe about quantum physics or my past, or their future, or what color is made when you mix red and white? And no matter how much I’d like to hide in the closet with my headphones on listening to Prince’s Purple Rain album in its entirety, on repeat… I can’t.

At least not today.

Because they asked for Chicken and Dumplings for dinner and I’m gonna make it.

I just need to ask my mom for her recipe.


Parenting doesn’t come with a manual.  Period.

When I’ve tried to describe parenting to people without kids I often use the example of a scientist.  Each kid at each different stage of their life is almost like coming up with a hypothesis and trying to either prove or disprove said theory.  Everyday you suit up in your lab coat (yoga pants), you have your Bunsen burners (microwave) and your beakers (bottles of formula) and you keep meticulous notes (post-it’s piled on the refrigerator door) as to your findings.

Dropping my 3-year-old’s nap this summer was a bad idea.  It was a hypothesis that has been completely disproved by my toddlers personality late in the day.  It is entirely my fault and I will take one for the team on this.

He was not ready.

He is not ready.

But the problem with kids, unlike scientific data… is that they are human beings.  You can only manipulate kids so far, while scientific findings can be skewed to the left or the right.  And this ain’t G.I. Jane. We can’t “un-ring” that bell.  I will never be able to get nap time back now that he has seen the no-nap world.

When we started planning for the summer we decided to send both of our older kids to the same day camp.  The 9-year-old loves this camp and it just seemed like the logical and proximate choice for his little brother as well.

Only problem, camp ends at 3:45… which is 45 minutes after my toddler would usually start his nap.

“No problem”, I said.  “He can handle it”, I said.

Silly mommy, naps are for 3-year-olds.

He’s now a month into camp and although he loves being a big boy and all his new friends he comes home from his day cranky and exhausted.  Trying to get him to lay down and relax at 4 in the afternoon is pointless and futile.  He won’t do it.  A couple of times he’s passed out on the ride home but I can count those instances on one hand.  And when he has fallen asleep in the car he has only once stayed asleep when I brought him into the house.

In so many words… I’m fucked.

The afternoon nap was a win/win situation for everyone involved. The toddler got much-needed rest, and woke up ready to wreak havoc on the rest of us with a smile on his face.  I had 2 much-needed hours of time without him.  I was able to accomplish so much in the afternoon.  I will look back on the time of nap as a peaceful time, before I marred the kingdom with my foolish dreams where I wasn’t a captive in my own home from 3 to 5PM.

All I can do now is pass on the wisdom of my idiocy to you.  Please, please, please… for the love of all things holy, hear my cry (actually, at this point it’s more of a sob mixed with a wail followed by a gulp of wine).

If you are still blessed enough to have a napping child… hold onto this time with a fierce grip. Heed the words of Jack from the Titanic and “don’t let go”.  Screw Frozen… and “don’t let it go”.  I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone to go through the evenings of crying and whining and complete exhaustion I’m going through right now.  I’m telling you this because no sane person should have to deal with a 3-year-old attached to your leg, crying, “DADDY!!!! DAAAAADDDYYY!! I WANT DAAAAADDDDY!!!” over and over again for 45 minutes as you try to roast a chicken and your Hubby is running late.

I’m telling you this as a public service.

I’m telling you this as a friend.

Learn from my mistake.

Long live the nap!