The baby turned one last weekend with all the hurrah and fanfare that could be mustered up when your baby is sick, but you have invited 30 of your closest family and friends over for a party.

Birthdays are exciting! They are fun and festive, always involving awesome munchies and copious amounts of alcohol; At least in my house. Entertaining is always a bit stressful, having a house full of children adds to that stress, but with my youngest child being under the weather I think that was the part that had me the most on edge. I threw myself into the theory that having 20 sets of adult hands to help out would be the best idea possible. I mean, all he really wanted was cuddles and who better to serve that purpose than the grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles?

I immersed myself in the kitchen, glass of wine in hand, as our extended family began to trickle in. My heart swelled with happiness as I allowed myself to really absorb my good fortune. So many people don’t have the luxury of living near their family, being close to their family, having so many relatives in good health. While life with so many little ones is really difficult at times, we are truly blessed.

As my parents arrived with birthday presents for the baby my mother handed me a large bag. “Here’s your hostess gift!” she giggled as she walked off to give the birthday boy some one-year-old kisses.

“A hostess gift? How strange… unless it’s booze, then it’s completely appropriate,” I thought, as I opened the bag. Imagine my surprise when I found a slew of dish towels. Dish towels? Um, why? I put my present to the side as I continued to make appetizers.

Cooking gives my mind time to wander. As I chopped and diced, I started thinking about what my mother was thinking when she decided to buy me 30 dish towels… what did that even mean?

The epiphany hit me like a ton of bricks… Mom thinks my house is dirty.

Now, I wasn’t even offended. My house is dirty. Well, not like, call the Department of Children and Family Services dirty, but cluttered and messy. Shit, five people live here; Two of which still don’t wipe their own ass… Better Homes and Gardens this place isn’t. But dish towels? That’s a bit of a stretch.

Later on at the party my mom approached me, “How did you like your hostess gift?” she smiled.

“Umm, yeah, dish towels… Thanks?” I answered. “Mom, I know my house isn’t clean. It probably won’t be clean for many years.”

“That’s not why I gave them to you!” she retorted. She looked a bit offended by my twisted insight. “When we babysat last week, we couldn’t find extra dish towels… and Boy Wonder (who is 9) said he didn’t think you had any others.”

“Well, I do,” I replied. “Right under the sink. Like BW knows where anything is around here if it isn’t his iPad?” I mean seriously, the kid can’t find the toilet paper if the roll is empty. I wonder how he’ll ever survive the real world.

“New dish towels are like new underwear,” mom insisted.


As I stood there, in my dirty-ass kitchen, mushroom cap in one hand, crabmeat stuffing in the other, surrounded by my children, with nieces and nephews all running and playing, screaming and yelling, and laughing, lots of laughing… I examined my mother for obvious signs of mental illness. Her hair was still perfectly in place, her attire matched, while also matching her jewelry. She looked very much sane. Hmm, maybe I’m the crazy one? Have they started to sell dish towels at Victoria Secret while I’ve been stuck in the land of mom?

“Mom,” I questioned… “what, are you talking about?”

She continued, “They just dress everything up. You know, like new underwear.”

OMG… now it all made sense! It’s been over 35 years since my mom stood here; In the trenches. Her body and her kitchen have recovered. There are no Nutella handprints on her refrigerator door. No mud tracked onto her tile floor from a pair of cleats. She exercises, she eats smart, she has the time and energy to do those things. New underwear, or new dish towels can make the body or the room, feel better, prettier, dressier.


It won’t always be like this.

I won’t always be like this.

I hung my new dish towels on the handrail of my grimy, loved stove.

And made a promise to myself to buy some new underwear for my very neglected body.




This was a monstrous year for my 3-year-old. He learned to ride a bike, and a razor scooter, he started preschool and most importantly… he is now potty trained.

The potty thing was HUGE! 3-year-old shits are basically an adult shit, and cleaning adult shits off the ass of an argumentative, moody, over tired, hulk-smash child…. well, it sucks. It was awful. We went through 3 diaper pails last year and his room still reeked of poop. Not fun times.

We had 10 glorious diaper free days before the new baby was born. 10 days of revelry, bliss and celebration. Hubby and I drank champagne (well, wine from a box) and ate onion tartlets (frozen bagel bites) and congratulated ourselves on a job well done (who am I fucking kidding, the kid finally decided he wanted to wear “BIG BOY” underwear).

See, we were going about this potty thing the wrong way. We were concentrating on the little picture… Stickers and treats, praise and happy parents. My boy could care less about those things. But finally getting to wear underwear with Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Aquaman, The Flash, The Green Lantern, and Star Wars on them? Now THAT, was motivation enough to sit on the potty!

So now, off he goes every morning to the underwear drawer to pick out his favorite undercover persona of the day. And G-d forbid if we are at the bottom of the underwear barrel and his favorites aren’t clean… “No Mommy, Diego just won’t cut it.”

As the school year comes to an end the majority of his 3-year-old classmates are also out of diapers. Which, come to find out, is the things that dreams are made of for my son. Everyday, I pick him up from school and everyday I ask what he did that day. The report I get is one I suspect that Joan Rivers would have given as a Toddler. Fashion Police, watch out…

“Farah had Frozen underwear on today but she popped her pants so Miss Suzy gave her extra orange underwear but she didn’t want those cause they are boy underwear. And Joey had Batman but not like mine because his had Batman all over them not just on the front. And Ryan is still in a diaper and I told him if he wears underwear he can touch his penis all the time.”

Wait, what? You shouldn’t be touching your penis ALL THE TIME, just when you have to go potty.

“I don’t, but Ryan can”

Sweet Muppety Christ

All I can imagine in my head is the Red Carpet at fashion week (except it’s in the hall of the preschool) and my kid is strutting down the carpet, nice and slow with a hand in his pants and he’s approached by some reporter from E! (flanked by the little girls from his class)…. the reporter puts a microphone in his face and say’s “Who are you wearing?” and my 3-year-old, drops trou and proudly displays his Superman underwear for all the world to see.

He’s totally ready for College.