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Bad Parenting Moments

Monday, March 11, 2013

I'VE MOVED! U-Haul packed! Directions to housewarming party.

My sweet new welcome mat! Shoes and shirt not required.

Dearest Readers,

I've packed up the fine plastic ware, boxed the futon, used my 15 editions of What to Expect When You're Expecting to provide traction to get the U-Haul out of the mud puddle in my driveway, and have moved. Like the Beverly Hillbillies, I'm leaving this cozy home I've grown to love looking for Texas tea and swimming pools.

Please join me for cocktails and celebratory rear slappage at my new house. Go to the Internet, take a left at www. and an immediate right onto my new street:


If you are currently subscribed as a google friend/reader (THANK YOU!), please be sure to subscribe over at the new site. There is some Internet-y, web designer-ish glitch-o-majigger that does not allow those subscribers to transfer (excuse my mild panic attack). SO, when you click on my new link, be sure to subscribe via e-mail or through Networked Blogs, 'cause, I need you. For reals.

For those of you who have been here since day 1, I hope you're ready to make this move with me. All of your comments have been lovingly placed in bubble wrap and are already waiting at the new McMansion.

Thank you for ONE YEAR of memories, laughs and friendship. Now, let's go christen the new pad. I've got the champagne. You bring the Velveeta.

See you there!



Monday, March 4, 2013


In the early morning hours of February 11, 2006, a woman I had grown to know and love died. We had a tumultuous relationship. At times, unhealthy. Often complex. There were great successes and disappointments, but, after 26 years, we had reached an awareness of being that I had confused for readiness. Ten months earlier, I convinced myself that it was time.

On February 11th, at a time of night when blurry-eyed patrons were leaving bar stools and dance floors for the comforts of home, my first daughter was born.

She was born and, in that moment, 26 years of who I thought I was; who I had been, died. In that moment, I was reborn.

I looked at her small face in the sterile, plastic bassinet to my left. Beautiful. Small and helpless. What had we done? I looked at my husband. "I have NO idea what I'm doing!" He smiled and said, "I know."

26 years of living toward and for this moment. She was here. Who was I? A newborn in my role standing guard over my newborn daughter. We were as one in the fresh wonder and wound of birth. Her as a daughter. Me as a mother. We would figure this out together.

She would not nurse. In the hospital bed, in a new body I had never worn, my breasts tender and heavy with milk she could not drink, we would both cry in unison.

I was sharing a room with a veteran. She was calm. She slept. She laughed uproariously with her guests. Her son nursed effortlessly. This simple act bringing me my first taste of maternal jealousy by the hands of the wicked comparison. On my first night, after finally dragging my husband out of the room with the gentle reminders from staff that turned stern, I placed my daughter on my chest to breathe in the intoxicating smell of new life, pure and unlike anything else. Otherworldly. As I would, in my later veteran days call it, Maternal Crack.

As I sat, alone, with my sweet smelling and crying newborn, my roommate pulled back her curtain, breaking our imagined barrier and said, "Is this your first?" I nodded and smiled. She smiled back and said, "You are going to be great. It's going to be wonderful. She is beautiful." This simple act bringing me my first taste of the bond of love that exists in its rawest form between mothers.

The next morning, in the maternity ward shower, my heart pounded loudly and without interruption in my ears. The fear of being away from my daughter so profound. Yet, the feeling of the water against my worn body, so luxurious. I couldn't help but enjoy the feeling of lightness of my newly empty womb, the silence of the bathroom and the escape from the hospital gown. The push-pull of my need of her and need of a shower bringing me my first taste of maternal guilt.

I convinced the nurses that I needed to stay for an additional day. She had a mild case of kidney reflux. Breastfeeding was still not going well. She was slightly jaundiced. They were gracious and kind. I was terrified.

For our last night, we paid for a private room out of pocket so my husband could spend the night with his new family. A luxury we could not afford but could not find a way to turn down. My husband ran to the billing department, credit card in hand. He came back with the receipt, our ticket to familial solitude, and the private room service menu. "I knew they gave better food to the private roomers!" I whispered. My husband smirked as we pushed our tiny daughter in her same plastic bassinet to our new room, chuckling nurse chaperon by our side.

The next day, it was time to go home. Time to become her mother, unassisted. No more of the nurses I had grown to love. No call buttons or simulated nursing systems. No doctors to check her vitals and reassure me of her health and vitality. It was just us. Newborn baby girl. Newborn mom. We would figure this out together.

When my husband came to pick us up, nervous and with unused car seat in hand, he found me sitting on the hospital bed in ill fitting post-maternity clothing, crying. Our daughter in my arms and a cardboard box of paperwork, flowers and hospital issued newborn trinkets by my side. The box the only sign of my great transition. I gave birth, died, was reborn, and all of the proof of my great pilgrimage to Motherhood fit inside a cardboard box.

I looked up, shoulders shaking and managed to sputter out, "I love her so much. I have no idea what I'm doing." He smiled though his own tears and said, "I know."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Just put that anywhere.

If a man's home is his castle, then this mom's home must be a moat. I'm not quite sure when we took the turn from home to livable storage unit, but, the transition was akin to waking from a long-term coma. Instead of flowers and loving family, I awoke to paint your own jewelry boxes, glitter pens and  wooden train tracks that lead to the next episode of Hoarders. Even without worldly possessions, we are a family of 6 living in a home built to house 4 comfortably. With our treasures, we are pressed into every corner like poisonous gas permeating every pore during a fumigation. Add the cautionary circus tent, crushed cereal bar underfoot, several remote control cars and an air of disaster annnnnnnd,VOILA! Welcome to our lovely home.

Although I am a notorious night-organizer and ninja-purger, every surface of our floor and every cabinet is brimming with Grade-A crap. A virtual wonderland of items that I painstakingly, like a struggling entry-level magician "make disappear". Later in my act, these items are somehow replaced by less useful and larger items. *Poof* Magic!

Upon returning from February break away from our own home; creating messes, chaos and littering things-n-stuff over the expanse of someone else's home, I returned to find a box full of plastic bats, nine plastic devil tails and a rubber hand sitting on my counter. Useful and necessary? Check and check.

This is the magic portal of time and space. Meaning precisely that, at no time, must any space be unfilled. *ghostly whisper* If you clear it, more crap will come.

Living this way has been a test of patience and physics as I scientifically prove that, indeed, you can cram 10 pounds of stuff into a 2 pound bag and then stuff that bag into a travel sized, reusable snack bag and then that into the middle console of my van.

In this sea of confusion where toys and functionality perish, I spend more time than I care to admit (all day) searching for the items amidst the toynado. I have become my own Momgyver, fashioning band-aids out of Barbie's sweatbands and searching for the lost mates to socks in the toddler's medical kit.

The broom handle has become every lost toy's personal Bat Signal. "Diego, the broom is on the way. Sit tight, little buddy. We'll find a way to get you out of there. Is there anyone we should call? Dora is already on her way with Boots and Map."




The children navigate the cluttered chaos of home like professionals. Finding bliss while surrounded by their things. Unaware of their need of a junkie's intervention. Like Gollum, eagle eyes on and arms encircling their precccccccciouus.

Meanwhile, I plot. Making mental notes, developing my hit-list and filling virtual give-away boxes in my mind. Closing my eyes; imagining clean, uncluttered space. Wishing for a black hole in the great galaxy of home; knowing full well that all black holes must lead somewhere and, judging by the looks of things, they all lead directly back to my property.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Check please!

Every time we venture out to render any of our local eateries functionally useless and terrified in our wake, I think, "That was so nice. Let's never do that again."

Yet, a month or two later, like a bad dream you can't quite recall, we try again and then, I remember so very clearly the horror. Oh right, in that last dream, no one made it out of the cruise ship alive.

No one makes it out of the cruise ship alive. Ever.

Why yes, I'd love a refill of Diet Coke. I'll just toss the empty cup to you over the throngs of children wearing macaroni tribal face art and eating straw wrappers. Yes, you can also bring the check. Yes, please add the customary 40% for not calling the authorities to have us physically removed. Yes, I would like the molten lava cake to go. I would also like to bring your bartender home for a few hours. I can't quite get the Dark and Stormy right.

Under the table it looks like a fight that no one won.

My face looks like a fight lost due to seven years of mothering Vikings.

My husband looks for the closest emergency exit.

Things are shouted. Terrible things. Things that have waitstaff playing a to-the-death game of rock, paper, scissors in the kitchen in an effort to avoid our table. Things like, "MOMMY, THIS IS SO FUNNY. I SAID COCKPORN INSTEAD OF POPCORN. COCKPORN! IS COCKPORN A WORD?"

Step right up and get your hot buttered cockporn. Oh yes, and the check. We'd love the check.

They always want to order their own food. My son orders his food loudly in the direction of anyone who will listen immediately upon entering any fine dining establishment that does not suddenly close for a suspiciously well-timed yet impromptu Department of Health inspection upon seeing our minivan enter the parking lot.

Often, I will look across the expanse of corn dogs and table to fashion my napkin into a white flag of defeat. Signaling with the glare of the rescue fire I've built under the table that it's time for my husband to start the van while I gather coats and whatever is left of my dignity.

Often, over the loud requests for an ice cream shaped like a walrus, I will see adults staring at our table. May I suggest an eatery that does not have an ice cream cone as a mascot? Oh ye adults without children, what are you doing here? Get thee to a steakery! Run. Don't turn back. Don't worry about us. We'll be ok here...as soon as we get the check. We'd love the check now.

On one hand, they must learn how to eat out in public. On the other hand, I keep getting banned from public places. On the other, other hand, can you PLEASE bring the check now?

Random Stranger: "Oh, your children were so lovely and well behaved."
Me *wipes mustard from eyebrow with stray floor fry*: "Why, thank you! We're working on it!"

We're working on it.

Mother-farkin' CHECK. PLEASE.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

The perfect storm.

Schools are cancelled. Children are home. Wine bottles are on display in my kitchen, giving it an air of classy disaster.

I am watching children remove snacks and mixing bowls from cabinets. Hair unbrushed, sliding in pajamaed feet from kitchen to living room to playroom. On the world's most redundant loop of action since the film Speed.

Diaries have already been fought over and a slinky lay forgotten directly in the middle of the sixth stair; abandoned by the children upon its failure to make it, "all the way!".

A tent and tunnel have been set up leaving parental oversight virtually impossible. My view of the chaos restricted by blinding neon blue and yellow polyester. Chocolate pudding sits on the baby's pajamas and face. Abandoned there as a reminder of my failure to successfully hide and administer her morning dose of antibiotics.

I may or may not have washed my hair yesterday. From where is sits today, on top of my head, disheveled and in the hot pink rubber band I found under the bathroom sink in the box of super-plus tampons, it's impossible to tell.

This is what Motherhood looks like at my house on snow days. This is what Motherhood looks like at my house on most days.

And, that's ok with me.

The snow is falling; softly then wildly. At times, a tornado of flakes beats against the windows making its presence known. It has nothing on the storm inside these walls. Surrender. My littlest snowflakes are the only real major force of nature to be reckoned with today.

I have no interest in crafting, baking or Donna Reedifying my day of diminished urgency away. There is no need to load children into a car for school pick-up. No need to shower and put on clothes or go through the pained process of putting on the make-up I seem to use with less frequency when attempting to bamboozle the public into believing I care enough to put on makeup.

I will do nothing. I will sit with my coffee, in the middle of this kitchen cocktail of scrambled eggs and crushed cheerios and let the chaos swirl around me. The perfect storm.

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