Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Open Letter to the Partakers of the Early Bird Special

My SIL, BooBoo, and I decided to take the kids out to dinner last night since her hubby was out of town and mine was working late.  Apparently it was Geriatric Night at the Golden Corral.  We did not get the memo.  We were the youngest people there by a few decades . . . and possibly a couple World Wars.

Dear Old People,

I know it has been a long time, (and I do mean a LOOOOOOOONG time,) since you’ve had children this age, but please try to have a little empathy.  This is not The Palm at 8:00 PM on a Saturday; it’s the Golden Corral right off the highway in Podunk, Virginia, and while I realize it’s a step up the Fancy Meter from Kids-Eat-Free night at the IHOP, let’s keep it all in perspective, shall we?  It’s 5 PM on a Wednesday night.  We’re just two mommies with six boys between us (the oldest and best-behaved in public was not with us, however,) trying to get through The Witching Hour without anyone complaining about what we’re making them eat.  I feel there are a few points that should be made:

I am aware that the baby is throwing food on the floor, and I have every intention of picking it up.  Eventually.  Unless he pegs you in the forehead with a kidney bean, I could do without the stares and eye rolls, thank you.

Contrary to popular belief, the fact that he’s throwing food does NOT necessarily mean that he’s not hungry, though I certainly appreciate the fact that you, Complete Stranger, know how to parent my child better than I do.

We were here first.  You rolled your oxygen tank over here and chose the table next to ours.  Chose it.  Willingly.  Of your own volition.  Lots of other tables available.  The Golden Corral is one of those fancy establishments where you sit wherever you damn well please, so it’s not as if a host/hostess brought you here as if marching you to your execution.

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are hard-of-hearing and have no idea how loudly you are making derogatory comments regarding my children’s behavior, because only a rude person would speak so unkindly on purpose.

Might I suggest that when you see a mother with an infant and two other sons trying to balance a baby on one hip and two dinner plates filled with nutritious meal choices like macaroni and cheese, pizza, applesauce, and a brownie, that you assume she is doing her very best (and possibly that she is persweaty and close to a nervous breakdown right there in front of the hot bar.)

Yes, I know that Medium dropped his dessert on the floor and now there are gummy bear carcasses drowning in a sea of chocolate-vanilla swirled frozen non-dairy soft-serve.  It was an accident.  Sh*t happens. 

Please don’t tell my hubby that the baby’s dinner consisted of oyster crackers and red jello.  (Or that I ate three rolls.  Three.  I’m disgusted with myself.)   I tried to feed him fruit and vegetables, but in the end I realized I paid for MY meal, and I should be allowed to eat some of it.  If red dye #5 and cracker crumbs are what it takes for a few minutes of projectile-free dining, then so be it.  He’ll get his fruit and veggies tomorrow, I promise.

Again, Perfect Stranger Who Knows How to Raise My Kids, it’s 5:00.  No, it’s not the baby’s bed time.  He is 13 months old and does not like to be confined to a high chair.  He wants to explore, but I find the 1970’s carpet of a buffet-style restaurant frequented by truck drivers and families of ten to be an inappropriate play area for my child.  He’s been eyeing that tube in your nose, however, so maybe he could play with that.

I have been to restaurants where the parents are oblivious to their kids’ behavior.  I am not one of those parents.  My children are not misbehaving, save for the occasional loud talking and anxiousness to get a new plate of wholesome goodness from the food bar.  I’m doing my best . . . cut me some slack, will ya?

Boy Mommy

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mommy Tries to Get Out of the House in a Hurry. Mommy Fails Miserably.

Hubby and Large had a baseball game at 5:00 this evening.  We decided to take separate cars, and when they left the house at 4:00 I said, “I’ll be right behind you.”

Famous.  Last.  Words.

Following is a list of the reasons I was NOT, in fact, right behind them.

  1. I had to put the top on the sandbox because, after hauling 200 lbs. of sand to the sandbox BY MYSELF (okay, not all at once, but it doesn’t sound nearly as dramatic if I say I carried 50 lbs. of sand 4 times . . . ) I wanted to protect it while we were gone.
  2. I had to change the baby since he decided to play in the dog’s water dish.  While he certainly would have learned his lesson if I’d made him stew in wet puppy water for the next few hours, he is only 13 months old.
  3. I had to find two clean baseballs that Hubby forgot.
  4. I had to pack a water bottle that Large forgot.
  5. I had to drop off a study guide that Large’s classmate forgot. 
  6. I had to put the top back on the sandbox after Middle decided that no Little League baseball game is complete without some sand toys.
  7. I had to pack the juice boxes and goldfish for the post-game celebration.  Because heaven forbid those little 7-year-olds go an hour without a snack.
  8. I had to put my hair up, because at this point I was all persweaty!
  9. I had to pack my bag so that I was sure to be prepared with a sippy cup, a snack cup, some race cars, diapers, wipes, etc.  Small’s dinner tonight consisted of goldfish, animal crackers, and puffs.  Nutritious!
  10. I had to find “Shane,” the stuffed dog who travels EV-ERY-WHERE with us and has seemingly become a card-carrying member of this family. 

It should be noted that the first time-out of the day (but unfortunately not the last) occurred at 6:30 IN THE AM.  Seriously, whose children are these?  I knew then that it was going to be a long day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

J. Crewsin' for Controversy

Apparently there’s a fresh new controversy surrounding a J. Crew ad in which a mother painted her son’s toenails hot pink.  Some people think it’s downright scandalous while others are shaking their heads and wondering what’s the big deal?  (I’m quite sure the mommy blogs are all abuzz regarding this “issue,” so I apologize for not having an original idea.)

My blog.  My opinion:

The photo, to me, depicts a mommy who has enjoyed some quality time with her son.  He is smiling and laughing and does not appear to have been given a pedicure under duress.  Nowhere do I see him restrained or threatened with bodily harm to his lovey if he doesn’t cooperate. 

Recently the news has featured dialogue sparked by a mother, who blogs under the name Nerdy Apple Bottom, who allowed her son to dress as Scooby Doo’s Daphne for Halloween.  This morning on Today she said, “I’m torn between the fact that I don’t want my children to be teased.  At the same time, I don’t want my children to feel that they always have to give in to what the world expects of them.”  Her primary concern was the reaction her son’s costume drew from the other Christian preschool mothers. 

Cheryl Kilodavis wrote a book called My Princess Boy about her son’s preference for dress-up clothes.  This morning on the Today show, Kilodavis raised a good point, saying that we are living in a culture that is becoming more conscious of bullying, and yet adults are setting a poor example by criticizing these children’s choices.  Kilodavis asserted that “teasing is a natural part of development” and that kids will always find something to tease about.  

I know my own children have been teased about their last name rhyming with weanie.  As a mother, it breaks my heart to hear that my children have been teased or that their feelings have been hurt, but it is part of growing up.  Being teased (a little) makes us stronger, helps us realize that words have power, and teaches us to be resilient.  Teasing becomes dangerous, however, when it turns into bullying.  Our jobs as parents, according to Kilodavis, is to help our children be the best they can be, not the best WE want them to be.  There’s a difference. 

The Culture and Media Research Institute is concerned that it is “gender-bending," that J. Crew is targeting the "mothers of gender-confused boys demographic," and that because the subject is a 5-year-old boy, it “significantly crosses a line.”  Um, which line would that be?  He’s five.  Chances are, he saw his mom with some brightly-colored paint, which is intended for fingers or toes, and decided he wanted to try some of that too.  If a five-year-old girl saw her daddy, (or in our family, Mommy, but I digress . . . ) using a screwdriver to make a minor repair, would the Culture and Media Research Institute contend that it was inappropriate? 

[News Flash, CMRI: it’s 2011.  Boys play with dolls.  Girls play with trains.  Daddies stay home with the kids.  Mommies are CEOs.  Boys love boys and girls love girls; it’s a whole complicated thing.  It’s called evolving.  Let’s try it, shall we?]

When Large was a few years younger, his best friend was a girl.  My girlfriend and I heard them giggling and playing and walked in to find them both dressed up in princess costumes.  It never occurred to me that his choice of clothing might be considered scandalous.  I have an adorable photo of him in a purple princess dress.  I’ll either keep it in order to embarrass him in front of his prom date or let him use it as his When I Knew moment.  Either way, it’s a fun picture of two children who were playing dress-up.  What difference does it make if the costume was a princess or a superhero? 

Medium likes to mess around in my makeup bin while I’m putting it on, and he’s been known to apply a little lip gloss or mascara.  But it’s more the novelty of playing with Mommy’s special stuff than any desire to wear makeup, and even if it were, does a little boy wearing makeup mean he’s a bad person?  A future serial killer/rapist/terrorist, perhaps?  Think about it . . . it’s ABSURD.  What he chooses to wear and the toys he chooses to enjoy at a young age are a means of independence, not an indication of future values.

I want my children to be able to express themselves in healthy, positive ways.  I have no idea why my  child wants to wear his t-ball uniform, complete with hat and baseball pants, every single ever-lovin' day.  Or why it is sometimes necessary to take a child dressed as Spiderman to the grocery store.  Or why one of them loves wearing his “handsome clothes” to church while I practically have to wrestle khakis onto the other.  Children want what they want.  Sometimes we need to say no to their outlandish requests, but no one likes to be told no ALL the time.  If the request – to wear nail polish, or a baseball uniform, or a Spiderman costume – isn’t harming anyone, isn’t dangerous or offensive, then say yes!  Kids need to be kids.

I think Kilodavis had it right when she said the “issue” with the advertisement (or Daphne, or the Princess Boy) isn’t with the children; it’s with the adults.  It’s about time the adults start acting like grown-ups and accept the responsibility of teaching our children to be good people; to live a good life; to think of others; to be productive and happy.  Outward appearance has little to do with core values.  Just ask my friend Mama Mia, who insists on wearing a Grinch Christmas sweater even though her friends staged a fashion intervention years ago.  Just because she dresses like an 80-year-old elementary school teacher doesn’t make her a bad person.  My youngest child is 13 months old and I still wear some of my maternity clothes so . . . helloooooo kettle!  It’s me, pot!

I realize there are many different opinions out there regarding the J. Crew ad and the wisdom, or lack thereof, of painting a little boy’s toes.  However, I find it disturbing and a little Big Brother-ish that watchdog groups are SO fired up about it.  Some people just need something to complain about.  I choose to see a happy child with a happy mama, and after a day of kid-wrangling and temper tantrums, I find it refreshing.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

*ss-Kissing Update!

Dear BoyMommy -

You totally had us at "loves the Target" but we're pretty sure you knew that already.
Lydia swooned at the shelf comment -- she nodded with this sage look on her face, looked at me and shook her head like she was disappointed.
For the record, I look like a hot mess when I'm done at the gym. Though the mirror in front of the treadmill does a hell of a job to keep me running. How wrong is that??
of course you can be a blog we lurve! I'm adding you now. WOOT!
xoxo Kate

THIS, folks, is how my shameless brown-nosing earned a place on the prestigious  (and yet monetarily worthless) Rants from Mommyland "Blogs We Love" list.  And it took me way less time than it took Ellen to weasel her way onto the O Magazine cover.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unadulterated *ss-Kissing

I have recently begun a campaign to get a shout-out on the Rants From Mommlyand blog.  (  These ladies, Kate and Lydia, are hilarious - they have this blog and now they've gotten a writing gig and everything.  Remember how Ellen campaigned to get on the cover of Oprah's O Magazine?

Ellen just kept talking about how she wanted to be on the cover of O Magazine, which was funny because Oprah is Queen of the Universe and she's the only one who is ever on the cover.  But it worked!  

So this is my campaign to get a shout-out on  They have a section called "Blogs We Love," and my current goal in life is to be ON THAT LIST.  

I sent them an email this morning, detailing all the reasons why they should love me:

1.  I loves Target.  When I lived in Manhattan, I used to take the subway 2 stops into Harlem to get my car out of the garage so I could drive it 45 minutes into Queens or Connecticut just so I could go to Target.  

2.  I have three boys, because even God knows that this house is only big enough for one princess.  And that would be me.

3.  I truly believe that if I am reincarnated, I will come back as Ms. Dolly Parton.  In fact, my signature karaoke song is "9 to 5."

4.  Though I birthed my last child a little over a year ago, in reality I've been trying to take off the baby weight (which consists mostly of chocolate and Doritos.  Original, not the Cool Ranch,) for about 8 years.  I am a Lifetime member of Weight Watchers, and I've decided that this means I will be struggling with my weight for the duration of my lifetime.

5.  I have the mouth of a sailor - but there are certain words I do NOT say, and I do my best not to HEAR them either.  I refer to nether-regions

6.  I was recently told by a perfectly respectable Tarot Card Reader that I am a deep person, and I have therefore dubbed myself the Dalai Mama.

7.  I need to find a way to make money doing this blog thing.  I'm a SAHM, and I would love to not have to justify to anyone my 7-days-a-week coffee habit.  My husband works hard to support our family . . . and apparently my caffeine addiction based on the amount of money and time I spend at Starbucks.

8.  My misadventures at the gym are Pulitzer Prize worthy.  You can't make this sh*t up. (  You know the fabulous woman in the cute workout clothes whose hair stays perfectly coiffed throughout Body Pump?  (kate.)  That's not me.  I'm the fat girl in the back.

9.  I, too, have a shelf.  It's where I keep my crumbs.  I inherited it from my grandmother, who also called it her shelf.  Like me, she took pride in all of her chins and swore that her kidneys were next to her eyeballs, which is why she was so emotional.

10.  I buried my mother in a pair of Tweety Bird socks because I knew she wouldn't want to be wearing pantyhose for All Eternity.  Mama raised me right.

Check out their blog at  When I'm a rich and famous writer, world-renowned for my biting wit and sarcasm, I'll buy you a car.  I promise.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tarot Card Findings (so they MUST be true!)

As a fun moms’ night out, a few girlfriends (or as I like to call it, Three Hot Blondes and a Brunette,) and I had our tarot cards read last Friday.  When the Reader asked if I had any specific questions, I said no, and that I just wanted basic information. I don’t want to know when I’m going to die, etc., although I probably wouldn’t have to wear clean underwear quite as often, just in case.  There would be no more just in case.  But I digress . . .  This, apparently, is what the Universe wants me to know:

  1. My career is going to take off!  This would be AWESOME news if I had a career.  So I’m thinking one of two things is going to happen:  A) someone is going to notice my blog and offer me a sh*tload of money, a workspace, international fame, and a book deal, or B) my life-long dream of actually becoming Ms. Dolly Parton is about to come true.  I don’t know which one to root for.
  2. I’m a very deep person.  I knew all those self-help books served a purpose.  Turns out, I’m the Dalai Lama of suburbia.  I’m the Dalai Mama. 
  3. People like me.  (This, of course, led to my girlfriend having a dream about me accepting an award a la Sally Field – “You like me!  You really like me!”)  I was not a popular high-schooler and I floundered around a bit in college, but I’ve always had this need to be liked.  Which is ironic, since I’m kind of a b*tch.
  4. I am blessed.  This creeped me out a little bit since I had just recently posted the blog about how frustrated I am with motherhood sometimes.  I need to look at the glass as half full. . . . which I am willing to do, so long as it is a wine glass.