My 4-year-old usually lays down after preschool and takes a nap while watching Curious George. Today, he laid down and then came to get me because he wanted something different on the TV. This wouldn’t have been a problem normally, but today, he didn’t know what else he wanted to watch. For real… he shrieked, “I want to watch something else but I don’t know what it is.” That doesn’t make sense.


The situation became a 2 hour temper tantrum. I felt like my 9th grade boyfriend had dumped me all over again, but in a venomous argument (unlike the shitty note he actually passed me in Earth Science). When my spawn of the devil adorable angel finally finished his wrath of terror, he collapsed into a heap on the living room couch and passed out.

Like a drunk. A drunk, 4-year-old without a care in the world.

I was left with the chip on my shoulder.

I compiled this list while he slept; For sanity’s sake, y’all. Because you can’t rationalize with a 4-year-old. You just can’t.

They don’t give a shit, but they will give you shit.

I’m really looking forward to the end of his terrorist regime. Yay 5.

Here are 20 things that are easier than rationalizing with a 4-year-old…

  1. Shaving your lady bits while 9 months pregnant
  2. Stealing a golden egg from a fire-breathing dragon
  3. Cooking a gourmet meal with a 30 pound baby on your hip
  4. Menopause in the Florida heat
  5. Understanding the rules of Curling
  6. Working for the Sea World public relations firm
  7. Ruling the galaxy
  8. Being Barack Obama
  9. Shopping at Whole Foods on welfare
  10. Flying a plane through the Bermuda Triangle
  11. Common Core Math
  12. Teaching public school
  13. Sharing an apartment with Sheldon Cooper (knock, knock, knock… Leonard)
  14. Fact checking for The Daily Show
  15. Anal bleaching Ron Jeremy
  16. Trying to talk to my 9-year-old while he plays Minecraft
  17. Declawing Hemingway Cats (they have 6 toes)
  18. Shopping at Target without spending $100
  19. Douching with Brillo
  20. Accompanying Billy Joel (on piano)

Once, I was able to rationalize my way out of a speeding ticket. A couple of times, I’ve been able to have a rational discussion about American politics in a Southern bar. Someday in the future, the same passed-out, drunken-like 4-year-old who is currently driving me to a state of mental discord will try to rationalize with me about curfew, or girlfriends, or a D on his Chemistry midterm… and I’ll listen.

But I’ll have this list in mind the whole time.

And paybacks a bitch.




“If you don’t stop _____, I will turn this car around!”

Every parent has said it.

My parents said it.

My husband’s parents said it.

I’m pretty sure my Great-Great-Great-Grandparents said it, but back then it sounded more like, “If you keep sassin’ your pa, I’ll turn this buggy around, an whoop your ass down by the crick.” Wish I could have said it like that; getting to say it in that manner screams you mean fucking business. You won’t have fresh eggs from the Oleson store and a butt whoopin’? That would make most people shut up real fast. But my kids aren’t most people, and I don’t think I could pull it off.

Yeah… yesterday, I said it. We were heading to the local seafood festival, a day of family fun that only comes to town once a year. It’s a 45 minute drive from home and we were 9 miles into that drive, on the interstate. My older sons are in the stages of their love/hate relationship. They love to hate each other, and there was no end in sight to the bullshit. “Mom, he’s touching me. Dad, he won’t stop swallowing. Mom, make his stop swallowing. Dad, get him to stop touching me.”

I took a deep breath as I watched a vein pulse in the forehead of my husband. “If you don’t cut this crap out, RIGHT NOW, we will turn this car around.”

Beautiful silence…

For 5 freaking minutes…

It didn’t work.


Hubby and I nodded to each other and got off at the next exit. The middle one started to cry, which made the baby cry and then the oldest cried when he discovered there would be no usage of electronics when we got home.

I wanted to cry. It was a beautiful, Florida day outside. The sun was hanging in the sky, clouds moved with a heavenly breeze, and all I wanted was to eat a plate of deep-fried seafood washed down with a cold draft beer… or 6. To enjoy my family enjoying each other. But the gauntlet had been thrown… to back out now would be stupid. So we stuck to our guns. The kids played with Dad outside, we went on a bike ride; It was a normal Sunday. It wasn’t extraordinary, and that was kind of sad.

After the kids were in bed I wondered if they’d learned their lesson. The lesson that Mommy and Daddy mean business and we will turn the car around even if it means missing out on something fun we’d like to do.

A small part of me hopes they still have this lesson to learn. Fingers crossed I get out of the next birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s.





I woke up feeling really good today. Like, unreasonably good for December 22nd. The shopping is done, my work as “class mom” for preschool is over until the New Year, the kids have just started their holiday break… THE WORLD IS OUR OYSTER! We have the most valuable commodity to me right now, time! We are so busy in our normal day-to-day we never have any time to do anything that isn’t scheduled. And now we have no schedule for 19 days?! Bring on the fun. Bring on the lunacy. Bring on the crazy festivities.

“Let’s go have our picture taken with Santa!”

Is wasn’t until I had all three of my children, dressed in red polo shirts and khakis (holy shit, they look like Jake from State Farm), in the car before I thought, “Shit, this might be a very stupid idea.” Hindsight people, hindsight.

It was a very stupid idea.

We ventured off to the Bass Pro Shops who advertise a “Santa’s Wonderland”. The hubby and I took the kids to this last year. I was 30 weeks pregnant with my youngest son, and we had a really nice time. There was barely anyone there. We walked right up to Jolly Old Saint Nick and got a picture (for free). The kids played with the carnival-like set up that had a “Paul Bunyan” theme. We aren’t really the outdoorsy-types (read: we don’t like to kill our own food) so most of those things were lost on the children. But it was effortless last year. So I ventured the trek to Bass, 30 minutes away from home.

As we parked the car I discovered things were very different this year. The place was PACKED. We approached Santa’s Wonderland with more fear than wonder and ventured to the line to meet Mr. Kringle. This is Heavy B’s first Christmas… we needed to get this picture. That is when a store employee handed me a card that said, “Come back at 12:30”. It was only 10 a.m. Apparently, the rest of Florida had caught wind of free Santa pictures and he was in high demand. WTF are we going to do for 2 1/2 hours at the Bass Pro Shops? We attempted to go play some of their “holiday wilderness games” but my kids, apparently, aren’t the biggest assholes running around town. Watching my 4-year-old patiently wait on a line for 20 minutes just to have his turn absconded from him by a 40-year-old with a neck tattoo is not my idea of festive family fun.

Sidenote: I have NO PROBLEM with anyone with tattoos. This bitch just happened to be an asshole, and have one, on her neck. Glad we cleared that up.

So, in the spirit of the holidays and the fact that I thought it might be a mistake to go Red Ross on some chick in front of all 3 of my kids, my practicality kicked in, “Well, I guess the Santa picture just isn’t meant to be. Let’s go home.” Unfortunately, I had already placed the thought in their little kid heads and the 4-year-old looked at me with the big puppy-dog eyes, “Please Mommy, we have to see Santa. My brother needs his first Santa picture, and I want to smell him.”

He wanted to SMELL Santa?! How adorable… and disgusting. Fingers crossed he didn’t smell of beef and cheese.

“Okay! Santa it is. We’ll go to the closest mall.”

Just like that, I piled my children back into the family truckster and ventured to the local (but 40 minutes away from our town) mall.

While driving, the little voice in my head (the one I barely listen to anymore) said, “But you don’t go to the mall. And you’d never go to the mall 3 days before Christmas.” I should listen to that voice more often.

The mall was the exact scene you would except from a suburban mall 3 days before Christmas. It was a hot-fucking-mess. Crowded, everyone trying to go, go, go. A nightmare. My kids looked really small there, among all those strangers. The older boys held hands, navigating behind me while I pushed the stroller. We asked a mall employee where we could find the big man and navigated to his Christmas village. I think the 4-year-old started to run. He was very excited.

That’s when we saw the sign: Santa will return to the North Pole at 12:45.

Are you fucking kidding me? It was 11:30.

We discussed leaving. We discussed putting a flame-thrower to this awful plan and going home. We tried. We failed. No picture with Santa. That’s when the 9-year-old chimed in, “Well, now we just have to do it. We’ve gone too far to go back.” I knew exactly what he meant.

We went to the food court in the mall. The kids ate sandwiches from Subway while talking about Santa. The baby slept. We walked the long trek back to the North Pole and arrived just as it opened, 12:45, to find 25 families ahead of us.

The boys had more patience than Mommy. Of course, the baby’s diaper was about to burst so I changed him while on-line in his stroller. I’d rather the whole mall see my baby’s junk then have him piss all over a mall Santa.

It was finally our turn. Santa asked the boys if they were good and what they wanted for Christmas. Then he told them where to sit and made some cute jokes. I never really saw the monkey attempt to smell him, but he didn’t report any bad smells afterwards either, so that’s good. Right?

We left the house at 9:30 and arrived home at 3 p.m.

Next year, I’ll let my Mother-in-law take the kids to have their picture with Santa.

I need a drink.

P.S. The picture is fucking adorable.

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In the guerrilla warfare that is parenting, sometimes we forget about stuff. Okay, lot’s of times I forget all the stuff, but considering the complete love I have for the written word, it’s really a damn shame that I can’t show my face in the public library. It’s not like they have my picture hanging up next to the check-out… Oh shit, maybe they do? Do they? This is the kind of thinking that has turned my away from borrowing books. That, and the fact that a private testing facility found saliva, sperm, DNA, and herpes on copies of 50 Shades of Grey in am Amsterdam public library… Actually, that fact is just more of a reason for me to stay away from the library… after the wanted poster.

When my oldest child was 2 I was a hot mess. I couldn’t handle any of the responsibility that came with being a stay-at-home mom. Cleaning? Nope. Cooking? Nope. Being a functioning member of society? Nope. I was able to sustain his needs for food, naps, clean diapers and love, while the rest? Well… all that shit went out the window. At the time, since he was my only child, we spent a great deal of time at the local public library. Because books and quiet and other kids with clueless moms.

This one day we borrowed a whole mess of books, Blue’s Clues, Bernstein Bears, Sesame Street, all the things that my little munchkin found amusing. I was just happy to have him occupied, especially by books. It wasn’t until 4 weeks later that I remembered about the books. I mean, I remembered that I had them, shit, he wanted to read them every night, I just forgot they didn’t belong to me. Come to find out, that people who actually remember to return library books, make a note on a calendar about the day they are due… these are basic life skills I didn’t have at the time. I’m getting there… slowly.

That next morning I collected all the books and sent them with the hubby to drop off at the library, because why do something yourself when you can just pass the buck to someone else? Hindsight people, hindsight.

It was 8 weeks later when I learned that was the wrong choice.

Not surprisingly, I feel the same way about mail that I do about library book due dates, I don’t pay attention to either of them, so when I finally opened the “bitter, yet surprisingly chipper” letter informing me of my massive library fines for OVERDUE BOOKS and a list of the replacement costs of said books, I panicked. When I called my husband to inquire about the whereabouts of the literature it seemed that in those 2 months they had been misplaced. Gone girl. They were nowhere to be found.

“What do I fucking do now?” was my sentiment over dinner.

Of course I did the most logical thing a mother could do over a mound of missing books, I wrote a check to pay for the replacements and cried. Because replacement books are freaking expensive from the library. Ridiculously expensive, and Blue and her clues drive me batshitcrazy.

It was a couple of months later when I discovered my driver’s license had been suspended BECAUSE I BOUNCED A CHECK TO THE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Mainly because I hate checking the mail and secondly because I hate keeping a check register. I’ve since gotten a bit better at these things but not much.

There is a great deal to be learned from the “Bad Check Writing Class”. On the one hand, your delinquent check amount is now doubled and oddly, they only accept cash. You have to learn (with a group of 50 or so strangers) how to write a check and how to keep a proper check register. You know, all the stuff everyone else already knows… and did I mention it takes 8 hours in a small room to learn that? Good, memorable times. On the other had, you are now entitled to spend 8 hours with the people Maury makes his money on, so… Yay for me!

It’s been 7 years and I’ve been afraid of the public library ever since. Even though I paid my debt (twice). So fearful, in fact, that my 9-year-old, book-loving son, doesn’t have a library card. I was pretty sure that if I took him to get one, they would want to see my driver’s license and the words PERSONA-NON-GRATA would flash on the librarian’s little screen, along with the most-wanted poster they all have memorized. Librarians are like the IRS of the printed word.

Today he came home with a form from school for his own library card…

“Mom, you just have to sign here.”




Part of being a parent is the hypocrisy that goes hand-in-hand with child rearing. I’ve heard from lots of parents the basics: they smoke, but they don’t want their children to smoke, they drink (and drank underage as a teen) but they don’t want their kids to drink. Let’s not even get started on the whole topic of pre-marital sex. None of my children are in the double-digits yet, so I’m just going to bleach my mind of that thought for the next 6 years.

When you’re a parent of young kids, you find yourself saying, “Don’t pick your nose” but then you go in the bathroom and pick your own nose… fine, you don’t pick your nose (yeah, right). Or the whole, “stop touching your privates” but we all know what adults do with their privates, when they are in private. (don’t lie) It’s hypocritical, it’s a daily occurrence, it’s parenting.

I’ve gotten used to the hypocrisy I know I possess as a parent. It’s become a necessary evil. I am a normal, albeit flawed human, and “do as I say, not as I do” is always in the back of my mind. We are trying to raise children into competent adults, and with that, comes this amazing grey area of what is acceptable behavior in public. While I, as your mommy, will attempt to deal with your ridiculous, violent temper tantrum at age 3, your boss, when you are 23, might not want to have that around the other employees. If they figure this shit out then I’ve done my job right. {Fingers crossed}

When you get pregnant anytime after your first child, it’s like your brain resets itself, or maybe you take all the awful shit and repress that into a dark corner of your mind as a defense mechanism, or maybe it’s just preggo brain and you can’t remember if you put underwear on that morning or not… either way, I have 3 kids and I seemed to forget the biggest hypocrisy of my childbearing history, until this morning.

This morning my middle child, my 3-year-old, had his first soccer game. A real soccer game, with a real coach, and real uniforms, and real teammates. Mind you, my oldest, has been playing competitive soccer since he was 3. I’ve spent the last 7 years on soccer fields with children, so today was an exciting rite-of-passage for Middle Monkey. To him, it meant he was, really “a big boy”, to me, it meant, oh shit, another place to remember to bring another kid, but I was, of course, excited for him. While watching and assisting in the shit-show that is 3-year-old soccer, one of those hypocrite memories from the days of yore flooded my brain.

The biggest hypocrite parenting moment starts when our children play competitive sports. From the moment they interact with others we tell them: Share, don’t hit, don’t take things, don’t take things that aren’t yours, don’t scare other people, be nice, be kind, be respectful, be compassionate… and then they start playing “real” sports and the most demure, the most reserved, the quietest parent on the planet, becomes the biggest psycho in the universe when she screams, “GET THE F*CKING BALL!” Okay, maybe she didn’t say that out-loud. but she wanted too, she was close.

If it takes place on the field, every modicum of truth has gone out the window. We now tell our kids the complete opposite of all the things we’ve been saying for 3 years about being a good kid, a good person, and a good friend.

“Get the ball!”

“Go get it back!”

“Steal it from her/him!”

“Don’t let her/him take that from you.”

“Get up! GET UP! What are you doing?”

“Check her/him back. That’s your ball!”

“Run!!! Don’t stop!”

Even at 9AM on a Saturday, even without alcoholic drinks in our hands, and cheerleaders on the sideline, parents lose all self-control and forget about the normal everyday messages we’ve been teaching our kids since birth. We expect these little people to flip a switch between gamer and good person on a dime, and then are surprised when it takes time for them to come back to what is expected.

Thankfully I wasn’t that mom today (although I’ve been that mom before). Monkey is a gamer all the time. His post-game-tantrum was because the game was over and he wanted to keep playing. Other kids, not so much. I’ll be surprised if they show up next weekend.

At least one thing is the same on and off the field… Don’t bite.


I’m a terrible person.

With the birth of my 3rd child, things around here got complicated. Trying to time everything just right: handle all the schedules, keep it smooth sailing for the older kids while balancing the needs of a newborn, I wanted life to be seamless. I think I’ve done a pretty good job. They are all still alive, and DCF hasn’t been to the house. *Happy Dance*

Unfortunately, I’ve let other things slide. Me time (yeah, right, what’s that), personal friendships (I’m sorry friends, I swear I’ll call soon), and the most important thing of all… the rest of my family, more specifically, my grandmother.

I am so blessed to still have my grandma in my life, on this earth and living only 30 minutes from me. She’s a 91-year-old fireball, and the only thing larger than my love for her is my respect for her. It’s been 11 years since she lost my papa (they dated since she was 14) and although I know she misses him terribly (we all do), Grandma still lives her life. Everything I need to know about love, humility, and commitment I’ve learned from GG (her nickname, as she is my kid’s Great Grandmother).

With a houseful of kids, the squeaky wheel is always the one that gets the grease, and because Grandma is in fine overall health, I hadn’t made a lot of time for her, until yesterday. Grandma came over for dinner, played with the great-grandkids, swam in the pool, and even read my blog. Yesterday was a chance at some downtime, and a real eye-opener. It’s easy to forget that my grandma was once a 37-year-old mom too, and a girl, and an adolescent, and a public school teacher. It’s simple to look at her, the way she is now, at 91, and forget that she lived a whole different life before me, before my mom, before this century. Thank God I have Grandma to remind me.

After dinner last night GG said,

“Do you have On Demand?”

{Complete shock} Sure we have On Demand, I can’t believe you even know what that is… What would you like to watch?

“Well, my friend, Moshe, is on America’s Got Talent… do you know that show?”

Of course I know that show. What are you talking about, “your friend” is on it. {Now I’m getting a bit worried… is GG losing it?}

“My old friend, Moshe, he’s the “Mighty Atom Jr.” His father was the “Mighty Atom”. He pulls a car with his teeth. I missed the show, and I’d love to see it.”

Of course, through my love of pop culture and Americana, I’d heard of “The Mighty Atom”. He was a popular (and world renown) 20th Century Strongman. Guess what? GG grew up with his kid.

Mike Greenstein, or Moshe, (as GG has known him forever) grew up with Grandma in Brooklyn. They are still friends today, talk on the phone all the time, and he’s even come to visit her in Florida. He is also a Strongman, and at 93-YEARS-OLD, pulls CARS WITH HIS TEETH. I know, take a minute and let that sink in.

His father (Joe Greenstein) used to pull cars with his hair. Grandma says he’d do it on the street for the kids to see. What? My kids are impressed if a neighbor invites them over for a barbecue… times have changed.

So we pulled up the video from America’s Got Talent so Grandma could see Moshe in all his 93-year-old, strongest-teeth-ever, car-pulling glory.

The insane part is that while watching this video, with Grandma, I could see her as a young woman again. I could see Moshe as a young man too. That strength: the bravery it takes to age, in a society which throws our elderly out the door without a glance. I’m in awe of them. All of them. Grandma has always told me she still thinks she’s 18-years-old in her mind. I can totally understand that now as I’m looking 40 in the underbelly.

I told GG that although I’ve never seen her move a 5,000-pound automobile with her teeth, her presence moves mountains.

At least, it does for me.