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Bad Parenting Moments: June 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This Is My Birthday Song. It Isn't Very Long.

It's almost my birthday. I know what you're thinking. Whoopdee Freakin' Do! I had my first child when I was 26. Since then, my birthdays have become increasingly more dismal as the years have progressed. Before you leave me a nasty comment telling me how ungrateful I am, please know that you can shove it. Yes, I have a lovely life. Yes, I have wonderful children. Yes, I want someone to make me a damn cake. I'd prefer it not be me.

Birthday morning: Happy Birthday to ME! If I'm lucky, someone will cry/scream/sob, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAHHHHHHMYYYYYYY!" and spit toddler drool directly into my face as they pull my hair and tell me they've pooped. Who needs presents after a greeting like that? Since it's my special day , they insist on pancakes and eat them. All. I might be able to salvage the few pieces that hit the floor. Hey, 3 second...or minute...or hour rule.

Birthday afternoon: Since my birthday is in the summer, I always have the distinct pleasure of having all four of the children home with me. Aren't I the luckiest? The afternoon consists of them asking where I plan to take them on my special day. Wouldn't I love to take them to the local pool? Who wouldn't? I always hope it's jam packed with  young people with tanned, perfect bodies because I just don't get enough opportunity to hang out with exceptional human specimens while I'm practically naked. Besides, my varicose veins could use some sun. I leave the pool exhausted, humiliated and with at least one screaming child under my arm. Before I load them into the car, I check to make sure the screaming child is mine.  I also leave confident that I've done my part to help prevent teen pregnancy just by being there. Good deed for humanity for the year? Check.

Birthday evening: Red eyed and exhausted, the gremlins are hungry. I weigh the idea of having a "relaxing" birthday dinner out with all of the kids and then immediately slap my own face. How much chlorine did I swallow today? While I decide which kind of tasteless, delivery pizza to order, I get excited when I remember that one of the local chains sent me a coupon for a free, small cheese pizza. This day keeps getting better. As the delivery man is out front, inevitably a family will walk down the road in front of my house, see the pizza delivery man, the screaming, diaper clad children and me carrying a bottle of wine...in my teeth with the baby in the pack. I see the relief on their faces when they realize they don't know us. I resist the urge to shout, "TAKE ME WITH YOU, (under my breath) you judgemental a-holes!"

Birthday night: Husband comes home and asks me if I had a great day. I am three glasses of wine in and mumble something about magic and unicorns. He then sets to task getting them ready for bed during which time I hear no more than 100 times, "What is WRONG with all of you? I hope you didn't act like this all day on your Mother's birthday!" I incessantly roll my eyes from my new residence on the couch. I open husband's birthday card which is something along the lines of, "Hey sexy birthday lady! How do you stay so sexy? P.S. You are sexy." and I shake my fist at the universe because, of course, MY special day is not over. Not by a long shot.

And, there you have it. A birthday deconstructed. On July 8th, think of me fondly, and, while you are drinking your morning latte, mimosa, Bloody Mary or tea, please take a moment to pour a little out on pavement for your soon to be fallen birthday comrade.

It's my birthday and all I got was this lousy blog post. (Coming soon to a t-shirt on me!)

Maybe for my 40th? A girl can dream.

If I get this cake this year, I might forgive all other birthday transgressions.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Are You Disney Princess Enough?

Moms. We're all different. Our look, our parenting styles, our limits, our talents. All unique. Still, despite our differences, we manage to find kindred spirits at parks, school assemblies, dance classes, backyard barbeques and at work. We seek each other out for adult conversation, sanity and for the benefit of our small people. Moms with friends are less likely to scream about wire hangers. Less likely to be found at 1:00 p.m. singing the theme song to Meet The Fairies. In the grocery store aisles. To a cantaloupe. Drunk. We are hard on each other, but, we need each other. Yeah, I said it. I NEED YOU. So please, don't lower your blinds. Leave the curtains drawn. It's not stalking. I'm just friendly. Really friendly. Are you going to eat that last banana hanging on your banana tree? It looked lonely when I peered in your kitchen window this morning.

Moving on...

While watching the incessant Brave advertisements on Netflix, I was forced to watch Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora spin in circles, surrounded by children with their morphine drip smiles. And, it struck me. We all have a little Disney Princess in us. Disney Princess, Mom style:

The Belle Mom

She's beautiful in an unassuming way. Comfortable in her own skin. She isn't IN Book Club. She started Book Club and you had better read the book. You want to show up, drink and eat Cheetos? NEGATORY. The first rule of Book Club? You read the BOOK or Belle Mom signs you up for the wine and eating Cheetos club. (Note to self - start Drink Wine and Eat Cheetos Club) Belle Mom married a Beast so she is great at giving marital advice. Your husband wants to play poker every Wednesday? She gets you. Sister, she married an animal! She'll invite you over for venting sessions. Just ignore the claw ripped paintings in her hallways.

The Cinderella Mom

She is nice. So nice you kind of want to punch her, but, you can't because she's just so nice. She is an amazing cook and baker. She volunteers for everything. She is the first mom to arrive at every school function and the last to leave. She is ALWAYS on clean-up duty. She has never given her child a pre-packaged snack. All the kids love her. When she volunteers in the pre-school classroom (of course she does), you can find her reading to the children. There is a disturbing amount of bird carnage as thousands of birds have attempted to circle around her but died hitting the classroom windows. She married a Prince so you can't talk to her about your regular people problems, but, you can stare a hole through him as he drops the kids off at school. Because, He. Is. Hot. You want to be her. You want to kill her. You want to hire her to clean your house.

The Aurora Mom

This bitch is lazy. She sleeps all day. You kind of love her.

The Snow White Mom

You have a hard time listening to the saccharine sweetness of her high pitched voice, but, she lives with 7 men. Cocktail parties at her place could be interesting.

The Ariel Mom

She is funny. Funny ha ha and funny strange. She married young and has some Daddy issues so she has a wicked sense of humor. She is a BLAST at Karaoke. She is always tripping over her own feet. Her clumsiness is endearing. She is a vegetarian. She started the local faction of Greenpeace. NEVER offer her fish. She has amazing boobs even though she breastfed her children until the age of 2. Her husband is handsome, but, he's boring. You often wonder how they ended up together. So does she.

The Rapunzel Mom

She is shy. She doesn't get out much. She spent so much of her childhood alone so, she has overcompensated by having 7 kids in 8 years. She is sweet, sensitive and you're a little unsure you could make it work because you can't initially get a good read on her. Still, you are hopeful so you go to her house. She is comfortable and barefoot. Always. Barefoot. She paints, cooks, writes and bakes, but, she is quiet about it. Given her childhood, she is an imperfect parent. She sometimes yells. She sometimes drinks. You become fast friends. You discover she makes her own wine. You go into business together and open a winery called, The Tower.

So, which Disney Mom are you?

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Organic + Conventional - Big Box Store > Shopping Local = First World Problems

Move over Mommy Wars. A new divisive parenting battle royale has hit the supermarket aisles near you. Welcome to America. Land of the free range chickens. Home of the brave souls who brought you high fructose corn syrup. Where you can get it your way or opt to buy 1/4 of a grass fed cow straight from the farm. Where organic produce and conventional produce live side-by-side in poetic harmony at your local food co-op, or in the well lit aisles of a big box store. Well, semi-harmoniously...

I live in Vermont. Vermont is beautiful, green, lush, healthy and amazing. Vermont protects and preserves its natural surroundings. So much so that there are no billboards anywhere in the state. That's right. You want billboards? TOO BAD. Billboards are illegal here in Vermont. In addition to the beauty of the state, I love its people. Vermonters are passionate and strong. They not only talk the talk, they walk the walk. Vermont lives green, they pour effort into public health consciousness, there are food co-operatives throughout the state and local farms, local cheeses, local breads, local produce and local meats are a huge part of our community. We live in a state with a lovely cornucopia of healthy, quality food. I am fortunate to live here and have easy access to its bounty. As a result of our location, my children are being raised more food conscious as well. They are aware of our area's local ties to the food we eat. It is a budding relationship. I hope that as they continue to learn, they gain a deeper appreciation for the food they eat and the process of how food makes its way to their plates.

As with everything in life, every sweet must have its sour. So, here's the whole sour "thing". People can be downright pretentious about the food their neighbors are eating. This haughtiness extends to not only what you're eating, but, where you are buying your food. To this I say...lucky us. Lucky us that we have moved so far past our basic needs for shelter and food, and are now so fat in luxury that we can now look upon others with moral superiority because we have purchased free range eggs. Lucky us that we can turn up our noses at the mother giving her child a juice box. Lucky us that a cart filled with organic, grass fed,  all natural, no preservatives food items can make us feel like a better parent. Lucky us. We are the luckiest S.O.B.s on the planet.

When I go to my local co-op and the cashier asks, "Are these bananas organic (happy voice) or conventional (voice drops two octaves and storm clouds appear over my cart)?" I want to grab the cashier, hug them and say, "Isn't it amazing that we can get our organic cotton knickers in a twist about bananas? Isn't it amazing that we have so little to worry about that you can judge me by the bananas in my basket? Aren't our healthy kids so inspiring? (Still hugging) Oh, yes..the bananas are conventional."

Just under my skin, the food judgement infuriates me - Who are you to judge my berries! In my heart, it saddens me - Parents already have so much guilt to navigate. We don't need one more thing to make us feel like we could and should be doing more. In my soul, I am grateful.

I am grateful that my cart is full of food. I am grateful that my children have never been truly hungry. I am grateful that I can buy my organic spinach at Walmart or walk to the co-op and buy local strawberries. I am grateful for the ridiculous guilt I feel about my conventional produce, non-organic milk and occasional processed goody. I may have worries about what my children are sometimes eating, but, I'm never worried that they will not eat. I am ridiculously and utterly grateful.

And, I'm grateful for the organic snobs. I'm grateful that your children are so well fed and healthy. I am grateful that you have nothing else to worry about. I am so grateful that you are helping support the local farmers even if you are being a total biddy about it.

So, no matter what you buy or where you shop, can we all just agree that we are damn lucky? As we give thanks for our plenty, I wish organic love and conventional wisdom to all my Co-op ladies and gentlemen, my Walmart mistresses and misters, my Free Range fellas and fillies, my Grass Fed guys and gals, my local lasses and lads and my Supermarket sisters and brothers.

See you at the Farmers' Market or, in the Burger King drive-thru.

Organic AND cheesy! Cheesy, Indeed.

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