Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sex.

When are we supposed to have "the talk" with our children? I have a feeling I'm fast-tracking this involuntarily. When Paige was 2 1/2, she walked in on us during the act.

Instead of handling it in a mature, nurturing way, I threw myself under the covers and yelled, "OH MY GOD! HOW LONG HAS SHE BEEN IN HERE? AHHHHH! OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD!"

Let me explain my intense reaction. It's not like she toddled in, we saw her, and stopped. She was there for a while. She set up camp on the end of bed without either of us noticing. A few stuffed animals, her sippy cup, blankie, and a barbie. She made several trips from her bedroom to ours without a peep.

And the way she was standing there. Her elbow on the edge of the bed like she was at a bar, drinking out of her sippy cup, just hanging out. I'm surprised she didn't interrupt us to request a refill on juice.

I have to assume that my embarrassing reaction made it worse. I'm almost certain I shrank myself into the fetal position and began rocking back and forth while sucking my thumb.

That's how traumatizing it was for me, so I can't imagine the damage done to my daughter.

But she didn't seem damaged at all. She looked at my husband like, "What's her fucking problem?" Then asked for toast. Maybe I'm in the clear because she was so young. I'm praying for that.

Or it could be even worse than I imagined and she toddled into her big sisters room and told her. I can see her leaning on Parker's bed with her elbow, drinking out of her sippy. "Man, I've got some good information for you, my friend. You won't believe what mom and dad are doing before breakfast..."

Lesson learned: Lock your bedroom door.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Weight Loss And Excercise.

I was at Sports Authority this morning and almost ran my face right into the doors because they didn't automatically open for me. I took a step back, waiting for it register my body on the sensor pads, then I noticed the handles.

Ahhhh, I was supposed to use my hands to open the doors. I thought, "Oh how cute, it forces people to excercise in order to enter. That's cool."

Then it occurred to me that if I think opening a fucking door is excercise, then I'm not getting enough of it.

I'm not sure when this happened. I used to register for 5k's all the time and come in last. I ran a couple of half marathons and limped to the finish. I was reprimanded in spin class for not having my "ass out of the saddle." I've been to yoga and watched all the contortionists do their thing while I struggled to touch a toe.

See, the effort is there, I simply suck at it. This is why walking the dog has become my excercise routine. I can't fail at it. We go around the block, he poops, I pick it up. It's a win-win.

Maybe it's maturity. I don't need to be wheezing, begging for mercy, or rubbing a sore knee, in order to feel good. I've released that desire to race people, to compete with them.

Besides, I've already won. I have a sweet husband who holds my hand on walks and two awesome girls that think every day is the best day ever. I'm living my dream of writing a book. I have a great little house with a dead tree in the front yard. I have Oreos in the cupboard and I'm going to eat 3 of them because that is the serving size.

So instead of hauling ass and putting my body through the shredder, maybe I'm happy with the extra 10 lbs.

Instead of training and racing, I simply have a smile of content on my face as I swing my dog's bag of shit back and forth. It's all good.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bullies.

What is the protocal for dealing with bullies? As a mother, we all want to be that woman in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, but we can't be stalking kids and threatening their lives. That's just in the movies. If you are doing this, please stop. We'll work together to find a new way of setting boundaries for bullies.

In 7th grade I had my own personal stalker. She was in 8th grade and carried a knife in her shoe. It was a nice touch to evoke terror, but that must've been painful walking around all day. She wore black as if she was already at my funeral.

Every day she'd find me in one of my classes and wait in the hall until I looked up to see her. She was so needy that way, always begging for my attention. Anyway, I'd look up and then she'd gesture that she was going to rip me to shreads with her hands. This was our daily ritual.

Finally, during the last week of school, she asked me to meet her outside after school. Fine. I was almost relieved that she was finally going to kick the shit out of me.


I had glasses, a headgear, and I weighed roughly 75 lbs. I wasn't going to be much of a challenge.


People were all around me, waiting for the screamfest to begin. And then, much to everyone's dismay, she walked right by me. I was going to yell, "Chickenshit!" as she walked away, but instead thanked my lucky stars I still had eyeballs in my sockets.

I learned that she had 3 children by the time she was 19 years old. You gotta love karma.

But as parents, we need to rely on more than karma. I'd suggest meeting with the principal and asking for a checklist of actions and consequences. If the school doesn't know, as in my case from 27 years ago, they can't help.

What other things do you find helpful? If you're posting a comment and it doesn't work, you can email us at momdirt@gmail.com and we'll publish your posting. We'd like to know has or has not worked for you with your children!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coffee With Cream And Money. I Mean, Sugar.

Money is a goofy thing, isn't it? It's only green paper and yet everyone is so concerned with how many sheets of it you own. Why does it matter? Does it make a person better or worse? Are people with more green paper better parents than those with less green paper? Are people less helpful if they own only 10 sheets of it?

In green paper, people try to find love, safety, esteem, confidence and acceptance. In fucking paper!

We stare at it like, "Finally, I'm worthy." And if it could talk back to us, it would say something to the effect of, "You stupid fucker, you were worthy, safe, loved and accepted all along. I'm just a sheet of paper for crissakes. Stop staring at me like a lunatic."

If money could seek therapy, it would. All those greenbacks would lay on the couch, smoking cigarettes, saying, "I can't do this anymore, dude. My parents expect so much of me and I can't deliver. They're such assholes sometimes. She's not getting any younger just because she has more of me. I can't change the fucking clock, dude! And he's crying because there's not enough of me to pay for his stupid Lexus. Why is that my fault? And they're trying to save their marriage by having more of me, they fight over me, and I'm just paper, man. Just paper. I wish I was a dog instead of a greenback, dude. My only expectation would be to lick my crotch and they'd love me. Life is so unfair."

But money doesn't talk. It never has and it never will. Wipe your ass with it if you want, I don't care. After all, it is paper.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Getting Older.

It's my birthday on Sunday. Birthdays are my favorite thing in the world. If I could wear a superhero cape for the day, I would.

Birthdays are like our very own personal New Year's Eve, aren't they? A time to ponder, reflect, celebrate, and move forward with new things. It's a fresh new year and the world is ready to hold our needs, wants, desires and dreams for another 12 mos.

My daughter recently asked, "If you could be whatever ago you want, what would it be?" I can honestly say that now is the age I always want to be. I've learned shitloads in my life and I'd never trade that wisdom for less wrinkles around my eyes or a dimple-free ass. I do wonder, however, how far my ass will fall before it's just laying on the backs of my thighs.

But my falling ass doesn't concern me. To me, aging gracefully means putting less value on our bodies, and more value on our wisdom. I'm trying to follow this strategy with every fiber of my freckled, wrinkled, body.

As much as I love my own birthday, I'm horrible with remembering others. Dates on the calendar just don't mean much to me unless it's mine. I know it's narcissistic. I've tried many approaches to correct this, but nothing works.

My sister has a great tradition with a group of friends. They meet monthly, and if your birthday lands in that month, you bring gifts for everyone else. That way, no one feels like an asshole for forgetting someone's special day. That is my kind of tradition.

Whatever your tradition, allow yourself to feel lucky on your birthday. You get another year to learn, survive, thrive, teach, forgive, and treasure.

When your child asks you, "If you could be any age, what would it be?" What is your answer? I hope you say, "This one."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pretty Plastic Lawns

It's warming up in Minnesota, which means landscaping is around the corner. This is going to require truckloads of alcohol. Plain and simple, I just don't give a shit if everything is pruned into plastic-looking globes.

It's not natural anyway, people. Suburbs are starting to resemble the Barbie Townhouse with those perfect bushes, three flowers on each one.

Every year we plant a tree in the front yard and it never survives. It's getting creepy because we're starting to name them. The Blonde Bombshell had a head of white flowers. She lasted a month. I think my husband cried over her.

Big Red, she was a pistol. It rained so much, she was literally floating in the hole like a bobber on a lake. My neighbor, god bless him, came over and tethered her back. A week later he said, "So, did you notice that I saved your tree? She was laying on her side, dead."

I'm going to translate that to, "You two are fucking idiots. How are you raising children if you can't see the tree begging for help in your front yard?" (Actually, he would never say such a thing, but it would be funny if he did.)

Then the bushes. I can't handle the criticism when I go to these landscaping places. I was planting cotoneasters around the patio and needed more. I told the botanist, "I need more, uh, cotton-easters, could you show me where they are?"

She said, "You mean ca-tone-ee-ASS-terzzzz." Really? Was it necessary to emphasize ass?

However you pronouce them, almost all of them are dead. Our patio resembles a gothic picnic party.

Now I have to return the dead ca-tone-ee-ASS-terzzzzz and get my money back, which is so humiliating. I feel like such a failure hauling all the limp weeds back to the store.

But I will. Because I'm no quitter, damnit. You'll see me out there, sweating, swearing, and drinking, as I work to get something, anything, to survive in our yard.

Our house will never look like the Barbie Townhouse, but I will get a green thing to live in our yard. I promoise. Even if it takes 50 years.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Secrets Of Motherhood: I Want To Hear From You!

What do you wish moms would have told you before you had children?

I'll start.

I wish someone would have told me that I needed to increase my kegal work. It would have saved me from embarrassment when I peed my pants racing my daughter around the house. Or when I sneeze and pee my pants. Or when my husband tickles me and I pee my pants. I have more accidents than a toddler.

What am I, 85 years old? Do I need to be saving coupons for Depends? I'm seriously doing my kegals as I type. I heard once, and I'm not kidding, that someone's grandmother's uterus literally fell out of her body. She was 95 years old, but still!

I can see it now, sitting at lunch with my old lady friends and I say, "Oh shit, Harriet, my uterus just fell out. Could you be a dear and bring the car around for me? Thanks."

Another reason to continue kegals...sex. Per an anonymous friend (who told this to me during a business lunch) explained that sex with her husband is "like throwing a hotdog down a hallyway."

Your turn. And remember, your posted comments are always anonymous unless you type in your name. Your secret is safe!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Birthday Parties & Goody Bags

This happened to my friend during her daughter's 6th birthday party:

Hyper mom drives up: Hi! Sorry, we can't make it. We're just here for the goody bag.

My friend: Pardon? Oh! Uh, okay. Here you go. (Then proceeded to squeeze the plastic princess bag through the 4" of rolled down window.)

Hyper mom: Thanks! See you later!

My friend (to me): What just happened?

Me: A great story for my blog just happened.

What is this world coming to when a woman drives her Hummer to retrieve a goody bag at a 6 yr old's party? And, not that there is official etiquette that currently exists for this type of behavior, but she didn't even bring a gift for the birthday girl. Not even a fucking card.

I'm thinking the proper response to this request would be, "I'm sorry, we're out of goody bags, however I do have a big bag of bullshit for you if you're interested."

And on the other end of the spectrum is the new trend of no gift-giving. If you haven't received that little note on invitations, it's coming. "Please, no gifts. We have plenty." I was the only idiot that didn't bring a gift. Take it from me and bring a backup gift just in case. I'm certain my daughter is blacklisted from parties after that stunt.

And can we all agree to calm down on the goody bags? Especially in this economy. Let's make a pact to toss some rub-on tatoos in a ziploc and call it a day.

Some of these bags are trumping the gifts. My daughter (before the blacklisting) walked away once with a purse. She loved it. She loved it even more when she saw it was stuffed with nail polish, hair clips, and a necklace. My God, I was wondering if there were dollar bills crammed in there.

The point is, we gave the birthday girl a $9 diary. We felt like chumps.

So take it easy on yourselves. The party isn't about goody bags or gifts. No one gives a crap if the cake is shaped into Dora's head.

It's about laughing and the excitement of another year. Instead of spending an hour stuffing plastic bags, spend it watching old home movies with your child on their birthdays. Let them see how far they've come.

And pat yourself on the back too. You made it another year without having a nervous breakdown (or maybe you did, which is totally understood).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Birthday Parties & Goody Bags

This happened to my friend during her daughter's 6th birthday party:


Hyper mom drives up: Hi! Sorry, we can't make it. We're just here for the goody bag.

My friend: Pardon? Oh! Uh, okay. Here you go.
(Then proceeded to squeeze the plastic princess bag through the 4" of rolled down window.)

Hyper mom: Thanks! See you later!

My friend (to me): What just happened?

Me: A great story for my blog just happened.


What is this world coming to when a woman drives her Hummer to retrieve a goody bag at a 6 yr old's party? And, not that there is official etiquette that currently exists for this type of behavior, but she didn't even bring a gift for the birthday girl. Not even a fucking card.

I'm thinking the proper response to this request would be, "I'm sorry, we're out of goody bags, however I do have a big bag of bullshit for you if you're interested."

And on the other end of the spectrum is the new trend of no gift-giving. If you haven't received that little note on invitations, it's coming. "Please, no gifts. We have plenty."

I was the only idiot that didn't bring a gift. Take it from me and bring a backup gift just in case. I'm certain my daughter is blacklisted from parties after that stunt.

And can we all agree to calm down on the goody bags? Especially in this economy. Let's make a pact to toss some rub-on tatoos in a ziploc and call it a day.

Some of these bags are trumping the gifts. My daughter (before the blacklisting) walked away once with a purse. She loved it. She loved it even more when she saw it was stuffed with nail polish, hair clips, and a necklace. My God, I was wondering if there were dollar bills crammed in there. The point is, we gave the birthday girl a $9 diary. We felt like chumps.

So take it easy on yourselves. The party isn't about goody bags or gifts. No one gives a crap if the cake is shaped into Dora's head. It's about laughing and the excitement of another year.

Instead of spending an hour stuffing plastic bags, spend it watching old home movies with your child on their birthdays. Let them see how far they've come.

And pat yourself on the back too. You made it another year without having a nervous breakdown (or maybe you did, which is totally understood).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dishing The Dirt On Single Moms (Or Wives With Traveling Husbands)

Here's a shout out to single moms. I think there should be a superhero cape made for y'all. It could say something to the effect of, "I Kick Ass 24/7". Actually, all moms could rock that cape.

Back to single moms. When the hubbs travels, I am overwhelmed by the fact that I am the only parent working the kid shift. I don't even know CPR, so I tend to feed them non-choking items all week until the hubbs returns. Applesauce, soup, Ritz crackers, shredded cheese...you get the idea. No hot dogs, chicken, cheese cubes. Not on my shift.

And there's a reason for it. Mayhem always seems to occur when I'm solo. One time, Paige fell out of the main floor window and Parker fell into a pond. I am WATCHING them, ladies. And shit still hits the fan.

There was the time when I was walking out of Target with Parker and realized I left Paige in the cart. That time, I was in fact, NOT watching the children. But that happened only once.

Journal entry dated 6/2/05:

Exhausted. Derek is traveling, so with every noise, I get up and make sure that a psychotic man isn't waiting somewhere in the house with an ax plotting to murder us. I honestly don't know what I'd do, strangle him with my bathrobe belt? I'm not even armed with a bat. It's ridiculous. I'm checking behind curtains, under tables and in closets.

Is there a condition called Paranoid OCD? Because I think I catch it when Derek travels. I'm turning locks like Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man." Over and over again. Lock, unlock. Lock, unlock. Then I stare at it for a good 15 seconds to make sure there's not someone on the other side trying to get in. Everyone else in the world is addicted to cool things like alcohol, cigarettes, and shopping. I'm addicted to locks. What an idiot.

All week, daycare has reminded me to bring their tennis shoes and socks. This isn't going to happen because my evenings are soaked up by soccer, baths, grocery shopping, nebulizer treatments, cooking,...blah, blah, blah. I doubt I'll remember the tennis shoes and socks tomorrow and by the way, who gives a crap if they wear sandals all day? What, the shoe police will arrest my kids?

So there you have it. Single moms, wives of traveling husbands, wives of husbands that are non-participatory, partners that live together but not married but one of you works nights...this one is for you. If I could send flowers to each of you, I would. Just to say, "Thanks for not going postal even though it would probably feel great and release a truckload of tension."

Give yourselves a well-deserved Atta Girl and know that you completed one more day of the hardest job on earth. Motherhood.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gym Snobs

My muffin tops are starting to really pour out over the tops of my jeans, so I started working out. Specifically spin class, during which the instructor pointed at me and yelled, "I want YOUR ass out of the saddle!". True story. Everyone was staring at me like, "Gross, what a loser. Her ass isn't even out of the saddle."

After that humiliating experience I thought, "Man, I could really use a sauna". Oprah said it basically burns a million calories in a half hour. I was excited to walk out of the sauna with rock solid abs.

So I was sitting in the oven in full workout gear hoping my clothes wouldn't catch on fire. I was trying to meditate and totally zen out. Worrying about a fire hazard was so 5 minutes ago. The other woman in there was wearing a swimsuit. Still wet from the pool. Damn it, so that's the trick to surviving this hell hole.

Anyway, as she walked out, she said in a whisper, "Oh, you stink."

I didn't even catch it until the door shut and I was sitting there thinking, "Wait, what? What just happened? Did she just say I stink?" I didn't want to go over and apologize because seriously, she was pissed. I totally ruined her sauna meditation with my body odor for crissakes.

Now I know I was a little ripe, but isn't sweating out toxins the fucking point of sitting in a sauna? What is the protocol here, are people showering before they enter the sauna? Is that the idea? To begin the sweat process from scratch so they don't get too overwhelmed by their own stench?

I get it, it's close quarters. We don't need to be breathing in BO, but was that comment necessary? It's not like I was sitting in there smoking a cigarette. I was sweaty. At a gym. Big fucking deal.

And people, remember that some of us are beginners. Give the amateurs some breathing room while we try to grasp the gym etiquette, okay? We're already intimidated by your strapping muscles glistening under the lights. We don't need your sighs and shit while we try to figure out how to work a machine or get our asses out of the saddles.

Note: If you do not know what a muffin top is, please see the Daily Comic Relief at the bottom of this page.

Confessions

If you have a chance to watch the youtube video, please do so. It sets the tone for today's entry. Confessions. To see confessions, click on one of the moms.

I have so many confessions, I don't know where to begin. My first daughter was born colicky. Right out of the gate, screaming non-stop. I remember shuffling my sore ass down the hall to see her in the nursery. All the babies were lined up like little burritos. And then mine. Alone in the corner screaming her head off. The nurse was panicking, pointing to her, mouthing to me from the other side of the glass, "IS THIS ONE YOURS?!" I just stared at her and wondered how I could start walking backwards, back to the safety of my room. I mean, she's trained in this shit and she's panicking? I couldn't even hold down a steady babysitting gig when I was a kid. There was no way in hell I could handle this situation. I walked in, preparing for the battle. Over the screaming, I couldn't hear what the nurse was saying, but I think it was along the lines of, "I don't get paid enough for this shit."

Five months of screaming, ladies. Every day. All day. I prayed for something like a "welcome colic" basket to arrive at my home, complete with ear plugs, headphones and a recording of white noise. That doesn't exist.

We actually had another baby after surviving the colicky cherub. Here's my journal entry dated 9/27/02:

Holy shit. Stay at home moms have the most damn thankless job on the planet. All day I pick up shit that Parker spills or throws all over the house, then I clean up the shitty diapers, go to the store to get diapers to catch the shit. All day Parker asks for a sippy of juice. I say, "No", then she asks for it 1 million more times until it's actually a meal time and she can have it. Then laundry...fuck, it's neverending. There are clothes EVERYWHERE. I put away clothes for about an hour today. Jackets, socks, pants, jammies...what the fuck? How many outfits are my family members wearing in one day?? Then the crying and whining. Like right now for example, Paige is wailing and Parker wants me to put on a shirt that she keeps taking off. I told her she shouldn't take off her clothes in the first place and now she's whining and Paige is still screaming. How the fuck am I remaining sane right now? You know how I keep it together? Parker will look at me and smile or give me a hug and I melt again. Paige will give me her gummy, toothless smile and I forget about the bawling. Ah, being a mom. One minute you're a fucking insane mess, the next, you're June goddamn Cleaver.

So I've been there. You're not alone and you're not a bad mom. I'm here, you're here. We're in this together. If you have stories you'd like to share, you can do it here or email me at nordyconnect@gmail.com. I'm currently writing a book and would love to hear what moms have to say!

Daily comic relief is on the bottom of the page. Today is dedicated to all the cougars out there. Beware of the muffin tops, ladies.

Moms of colicky babies, I'm here to support you. Feel free to email me for tips to help soothe your baby.