Monday, December 28, 2009

Special Guest Writer: Experiment in Family Dynamics

It is a beautiful snowy, winter day and I am outside shoveling. I enjoy working outside in the snow, but don't enjoy the assumption that because Mommy is weird and likes shoveling that no one else has to help. I am resentful, but the endorphins are helping. So as I work my way to firmer triceps a thought occurs to me…. If I am out here getting this done, who is in there getting what I normally get done, done?

I wake up with a list of things that need to be done every day. You have the same list. My list varies depending upon the catastrophes de jour. Today's bonus items include:

(1) Microwave decontamination. Eldest wanted to know what would happen if you microwave an egg in its shell. [Sidebar: Her father seizes upon this as a teaching moment to show our daughter how pressure in a closed container changes with an increase in temperature. Personally, I would have thought the better lesson would have been to explain physics while CLEANING out the microwave. ]

(2) Bathroom floor decontamination. Other daughter had to pee but didn’t want to be bothered with trivial bodily functions so she waited until an explosion was imminent, peed through the toilet seats and onto the floor. Sadly, I have come to accept these things as normal.

As I clear six inches of powder, I notice my husband is in my kitchen. Yes, it is my kitchen because I am the one who cleans it. What is he doing? He appears to be eating the leftover pizza I was saving for myself and kegging his home brew. I have no ill will towards his hobby because he deserves it, and, let’s face it, I like beer. Perhaps he will clean up the kitchen as he is in there already?

Or, not.

I come in from yard work to find my husband has left for an afternoon of hunting, the equipment put away but the remnants of hops and yeast and barley and who knows what else scattered all over my kitchen, and, in yet another AMAZING home chemistry experiment, beginning to self-ferment on my counters. Really? Why must I do EVERYTHING?

So, just as I start to clean up the remains of his Pizza Crust Pilsner, and vindictively crack open his last cold beer, the idea hits me. I’m not going to do a damn thing … I wonder what will happen? Let's try an experiment...

Title: Controlled Abandonment as a Tool for Increasing Self-Sufficiency and Assistive Behaviors Among Ungrateful Subjects

Statement of the Problem: They are a bunch of ingrates who need to be taught a major Mommy-appreciation lesson.

Hypothesis: If I ignore my family’s needs, they will fend for themselves and begin to appreciate how much I do for them every day. Alternately, they will starve to death. In any either case, they will stop being a pain in my arse.

The Method: I will hide out in my bedroom (playing on the computer, napping and reading) and will totally ignore them all of them (unless intervention is required to prevent injury and/or death).

Procedure: I have a “discussion” with my children. I explain that I will be upstairs showering and resting and I do not wish to be disturbed. They can see that mommy is a little stressed and appear to be paying attention. After one of the most relaxing showers I have had in the last 10 years (probably because I just pounded hubby’s last beer on an empty stomach) I sit upstairs and observe, testing if my hypothesis is correct.

Data/Observations of Human Subjects:
5:15: Daughters (ages 11 and 9) are hungry. They are attempting to make grilled cheese sandwiches. I should stop them. But I don’t. I hear the click, click, click of the gas pilot, the WHOOSH of flames and then “Holy crap! I HATE when that happens” but, they seem unharmed and have learned a valuable lesson, so I continue to listen. They are getting along and they are actually having a good time.
5:21: Maybe too good a time. Sandwich #2 is burning. Subjects decide it is a good idea to time each side as it cooks. Remarkable!
5:30: The dog is begging for her dinner and I hear my eldest feed her, I have never seen such unprompted responsibility! The real test will be if they take it upon themselves to clean up.
5:40: Husband has returned and is playing video games with our son. Will he too will react to hunger pangs in the same way and fend for himself?
5:47: The girls leave the kitchen, having cleared dishes to the sink but without doing any actual cleaning.
6:03: I am hungry and would love to go get a glass of wine but I do not dare leave – I must observe what the male subject will do. Will he feed the young one? Or will he ask for assistance? 6:15: I fear I may have to ruin the integrity of the experiment for the health and well being of the child, and my Saturday night glass of vino.
6:25: It is unnaturally quiet. Could they be making dinner or cleaning up? False alarm; they must have changed video games – yelling and cheering commences.
6:35: My son and husband should be starving by now. I did not anticipate that the hypnotic power of mindless video gaming would over-ride their biological need for food.
6:40: I’m going in for my wine.
6:42: Mission accomplished – and just in time - subjects are entering the kitchen.
6:43: A minor miracle. My husband is making my son an omelet for dinner and surprisingly enough neither has come looking for me.
6:48: My son asks husband where I am but no one seems concerned that they have not seen me in hours – very interesting.
7:04: Son sits down to eat.
7:11 Hubby is making a salad. Will he find me to ask if I have eaten and if I would like one?? Apparently not.
7:30: Need more wine and something to eat – going downstairs. Hubby eating his salad. This act highlights the fact that I have not eaten and that the care and feeding of Mommy is not important to the test subjects. I make my own dinner.
7:47: Husband starts to do the dishes, cleans the sink and wipes down the counters. Kisses top of my head absently and goes upstairs. Children are quietly doing their own thing. House is peaceful.

Results: Children are fed and kitchen is clean and I did not have to do anything. Controlled Abandonment appears to be a successful technique

Conclusion: For the next three days, test subjects washed dishes after dinner. As this is the first time in 11 years that this has ever happened, it may be a miracle. Helping behaviors peaked and then declined. Results may have been due to concern that "Mommy is losing it" (overheard). Mommy has not lost "it". Mommy has lost her bikini. Mommy will need it as she plans to replicate experiment and see if results can be duplicated. She will observe the effects of controlled abandonment once more. This time, from the Bahamas.

Special Thanks to Sophia L. for this gem.
xo, Lydia and Kate

Monday, December 21, 2009

Debating the Little Terror Suspects

I was inspired by Kate's recent post about how her 6 year old son Lefty is becoming "Clarence Darrow in feety-pajamas". I'm not sure why she's surprised. She watches an average of 17 hours of Law and Order per week and has since before they were babies. I'm surprised he's hasn't already passed the Bar Exam and isn't actively prosecuting bad guys after Cub Scouts. [Editor's Note: I am prosecuting bad guys after Cub Scouts. I call them Perfect Mommies. And prosecuting, in the Latin translation, actually means "hit with vehicle." --Kate]

Unfortunately (for me), my kids are also debaters. They will argue any point to the death as long as it is my death and they are able to pronounce themselves the victors and I, the loser. They get it from their father, who argues with people and makes them mad for a living. And is very successful at it. Perhaps because of all the practice he gets at home inflicting his mad skills on me. I am not adequately prepared to deal with one of them, and now I have four of them. Awesome. And the small ones are gaining on me.

Need evidence? The following are some recent arguments I have had with my three children:

Argument #1: I Refuse to Engage in a Clown War
This argument took place with my four year old son, whom we shall now refer to as "Hawk". Because he has expressed his preference that we use this name ("Hawk") as opposed to his given name. I have no idea where it comes from, though the Cap'n suspects that I have been allowing him to watch old re-runs of Spenser for Hire and insists that I include this YouTube link so you can see the so-called real "Hawk" for yourself. I have no further comment.


Hawk: Momma, I would really like some of dose Star Wars da Clown Wars toys. Dey look awesome.
Me: Ask Santa. And its CLONE Wars.
Hawk: No. You're wrong. It's CLOWN Wars.
Me: No. It's clone. Like all the soldiers who look exactly the same are actually clones. Clone Wars.
Hawk: You don't know what you're talking about.
Me: Dude, there are no clowns in Star Wars. Why would they call it CLOWN wars if there were no clowns in it?
Hawk: I'm just not going to argue with you. I'm out. (leaves the room)

Argument #2: You May Not Borrow the Car until 2019
6 yr old daughter: Mommy, can I please drive to school?
Me: Of course! Hop in your booster and get buckled!
6 yr old: No. I would like to drive.
Me: Honey. Don't be silly. You can't drive a car. To begin with, you don't have a license.
6 yr old: (earnestly) Yes, I know. I understand. And I'm way too young. But I've been watching you very carefully and I'm pretty sure I know how to do it. You don't even have to tell me what to do because I already know.

[Editor's Note: I call this little beauty Thumbelina... It's like every time she talks, butterflies come flying out of her mouth, she's that damn cute. But it's evil cute because she has an ABSOLUTE agenda and bends everyone to her will. Even me, and 1) I'm evil and 2)I don't bend. So it's weird. Have to say, I admire Lydia's restraint. If it was me, cops all over our city would be saying "WTF?! Is that a child driving?" And I'd be in the back seat drinking a cappuccino. She's a blond-hair, blue-eyed Mini Me. Adorable as all get-out but planning on annihilating all of us. She's awesome... --Kate]

Me: Um, wow. I'm sorry but no.
Thumbelina: (starting to get visibly upset) You're. Not. Listening. To. Me. I can do it. I know how to drive. I just need you to let me try.
Me: Well for starters, it's against the law. I would got to jail.
Thumbelina: (sobbing) You are not listening! I can do it! Please let me drive to school! Please! (anger and frustration coursing through every fiber of her small body)
Me: (stunned) No. I.... no.
Thumbelina: (eyes swell to ten times their normal size and glisten with extra large tears, heart-brokenly murmurs) Why don't you believe in me?
Her pain is so palpable that I nearly hand her the keys to the BWT. But I don't. But I actually thought about it.

Argument #4: Obviously, Mommy is Wrong (Also about Star Wars)
Hawk: You see dis Strange Trooper, Momma. He is in a EPIC BATTLE right now.
Me: It's Stormtrooper.
Hawk: What?
Me: STORM. Trooper.
Hawk: Dat's. Not. Right.
Me: Storm, not strange. Trooper.
Hawk: Mommy, sigh... One person in this house knows everything about Star Wars, OK? And that's me and Daddy.
Me: Fine. Ask Daddy then.
Hawk: DADDY! DADDY! DADDY! DADDY!! DADDY!!!
Cap'n: What?!
Hawk: Who in our house knows everything 'bout Star Wars?
Cap'n: We do.
Hawk: Right. So Mommy says it's not Strange Troopers. She says it's some other thing.
Me: Stormtroopers.
Hawk: So who's right?
Cap'n: Obviously Mommy is wrong. She knows nothing about Star Wars.
Hawk: (oozes smugness. says nothing. glances in my direction once with pity in his eyes and leaves the room with his father.)

Argument #4: With the Baby. Who is Essentially Non-Verbal.
Me: (holding 13 month-old bundle of cuteness) Sweet, sweet girl. I WUUUVVV you.
Baby: Momma! (peals in a sweet, clear voice of adorable-ness. Then out of nowhere, slaps me hard across the face. Makes a sound like 'FWAP'. Also, she scratches me a little.)
Me: SONOFA!! That hurt! No, no! That is NOT OK!


Baby: (squealing happily) HEEEE! Heeeee!
Me: Gentle, gentle, Baby. Be gentle!
Baby: (smiling, cooing) Aaahhhhhh... (FWAP! This time she drags her nails across my eye and cheek. Pretty sure I'm bleeding.)
Me: DAMN IT! Ow! Bad Baby! That really hurt!
Baby: Hee hee hee hee heee! (literally rolling around on my lap laughing uproariously. At me. At my expense.)
Cap'n: Why are you cursing at my baby? What happened to your face?
Me: (handing him the still laughing baby) She slapped me. Like a pimp. SLAPPED. And she needs her nails cut.
Cap'n: Aw... my sweet, sweet girl. Daddy wuvs you!
Baby: MMMMMMMmmm.... KISS! (plants huge kiss on her Daddy and laughs in my general direction as he carries her off).
Me: Oh yeah? Try biting his nipple at 4am. See what happens then, you little ingrate.
Baby: (throws fat, little arms around daddy's neck, stares into his eyes and calls him...) Momma.

So, basically. I can't win. I don't know why I bother to watch the Clown Wars. I'm clearly living the Clown Wars. At least those who will defeat me are cute.

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Big News! We're on RadicalParenting.com!

Hey everyone!  The Mommyland Rants are going LEGIT!  We are someone else's Special Guest Writers!

There is an amazing, award-winning parenting website called Radical Parenting and we have written a piece for them on Lydia's experiences parenting her teenage sister.  We would like to thank Vanessa Van Petten for the chance to post on her website.  She has done really incredible things and we are beyond excited to have this opportunity!  At first we were confused, because Vanessa is an accomplished, published expert on teens, tweens and parenting.  And well, you've read our stuff.  We like to joke about poop and vodka.  Thank you, Vanessa, you're awesome!

So, here's the first part of the post: "Teen House Rules, with Hindsight"

I’m not easy to live with. And this time last year, you could easily multiply that “not easy” by say… infinity. I was 7 months pregnant with the third little terror suspect. I was also working full time at a high stress job, as was my husband, whom we call the Cap’n. But there was a little problem, my 18-year-old sister, Lucy.

Lucy’s mom (my stepmother) had died six months prior. Lucy had never gotten along with our dad and their relationship had gone from bad to worse. Plus, she had come to the conclusion that feelings were bad. So she decided not to have them anymore. Beer - good. Drugs - good. Partying – good. School and feelings – bad. And though her friends were loyal and loved her, many of them were either junkies or on parole so it wasn’t exactly a wholesome environment, unless you’re Caligula.

Also, she wasn’t going to graduate. And she didn’t have a license. Or, health insurance. This girl was such a train wreck that actual train wrecks would see her and pause and be like, “That is such a shame.”

So the Cap’n and I thought – hey, we have a guest room. We have (almost) 3 small children and no money. Why doesn’t she move in with us? It will be like Teenager Spring Training, for when our little terror suspects are big. But…it was going to be a culture shock. When I say that my husband is old fashioned, I mean Victorian. My dad, on the other hand, is a Stalin-quoting, anti-establishment, former hippy. So let’s just say that the home environments were going to be a little different. (When the Cap’n learned that Lucy had been having sleepovers at her boyfriend’s house for two years, he promptly developed an eye twitch.)

But Lucy said she was serious about changing her life and we were serious about helping her do that. Which is how The House Rules were born. Together, we would create them, and then everyone would be on the same page and it would work out great. In fact, it was going to be awesome. Because I was a very naughty teenager. Therefore I was totally qualified to parent one. Yeah…

The rules are below. Following each one, in italics, are the things I would have added, had I known what I know now.

The Rules
1) Treat everyone with respect (no matter how annoying they are currently behaving). Grown-ups and teenagers have extra responsibility here because the little terror suspects are watching and listening. (Respect includes property – like the fact that you stole my hair dryer. And my nail polish. And every CD from 1998-2005. And that you ate my $9 wedge of Brie as an after school snack. Also, you are not respecting me when you scream “YOU ARE NOT MY MOM!” because I grounded you for getting suspended. The point of this being; don’t eat my cheese. Oh, and if you could resist teaching my 6-year old the word ‘douche’ that would be great.)

2) No drinking, no smoking, no drugs. Drinking and drug use equals rehab or eviction. Not a nice rehab, either. (Do you recall the rehabs that are “exposed” on shows like Dateline? That’s what I’m talking about. Let’s put it this way: you’d prefer jail. )

3) 100% honesty - about classes, friends, boys, money, etc. You don't have to disclose everything but if asked - you must answer honestly. We promise to do the same. (Becoming a master of evasiveness does not really jibe with the 100% honesty policy. But I understand. Because sometimes I spend too much money at Target and then have to try make sure the Cap’n doesn’t realize it without actually lying. It’s hard. So I’m actually in awe of your mastery of the art of evasiveness. Do they teach that in high school now? Along with how to text 100 words per minute?)

4) Must help out around the house without anyone bugging you to do so. (That includes picking up after yourself. That means not leaving a trail of flip flops, hoodies, and books from English 12 that you are not reading in the family room so that by the end of the week it becomes an enormous pile of crap dubbed “Lucy North”)

5) You do chores. We pay you. (Garbage night is on Monday. Every Monday. Monday is the first day of the week. Every week. Should I text you the day of the week? Would that help you remember when Mondays occur?)

6) No friends over unless the Cap’n and Lydia a) know them and b) have given their permission in advance. Probably none until first set of grades show everything is going well and we have adjusted to having the new baby around. And absolutely no one in the house when the adults aren't home. (You see the baby is about to be born, and there’s going to be breastfeeding and that means boobies. Out. Where your friends can see them. So, our house isn’t going to be a good spot for entertaining. Also, your last set of friends were hooligans. Also, you don’t qualify as ‘the adults’.)

7) Be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there. (When you move across the USA -- at great heart-ache and expense – and into your pregnant sister’s house so that you can focus on education and possibly even graduation, you might not want to cut class – or your pregnant sister may lose her Schmidt.)

You can find the entire post at:   http://www.radicalparenting.com/2009/12/20/teen-house-rules-with-hindsight-guest-post/

Click on over!  If she gets lots of great comments and click-overs, she may let us post again!
Thanks mommies!

xo, Lydia & Kate

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lydia's Holiday To-Do List (Page 3 of 7)


Note from Lydia:
I am sharing just this one page of my truly horrifying holiday to-do list, as the entire thing would take too long for me to type. Because it is currently longer than Gone With The Wind and it is only December 18th. Every year I swear I'm going to take it easy and yet here I am, praying that I can make it through the season of Advent without killing someone with a hatchet. Or dissolving into a puddle of tears and scotch. My husband, the incomparable Captain Coupon, by his very name dislikes the frenzy of spending that accompanies the holidays. He is watchful and vigilant. Of his money. Also, I am very close to losing my schmidt as a result of the herd of idiots that appear magically in my way wherever I go, meandering slowly, oblivious to the fact that everyone else is in a stress-fueled frenzy. So, anyway, here is page 3. Enjoy.

19) De-clutter and deep clean entire house before guests arrive on Saturday. The Cap'n claims this is not possible. He says I should aim not for "deep clean" but rather "not embarrassing".

20) Crap! Girl Scout troop is having holiday party... tomorrow?! Oh no. OK, snacks and drinks for 25. Do I have to go to the store again? Yes. Dang it. Unless I am going to be serving them crackers and Pinot.

21) Reply to nasty-gram from daughter's school as apparently forgot to send in icing for class gingerbread project and as a result children had to use glue sticks and that is neither fun nor delicious.

22) Write, address and stamp 100 Christmas cards. Do not get submerged in the Blur, think you're done with cards once the stamps are on them, and then leave them on the passenger seat of the Big White Ford Tampon until December 26th like last year.

23) Finish Christmas shopping. Almost there... Still to need buy for all three kids, Cap'n, Mom, Step-dad, Dad, Sister, Brother, nephew, Mother-in-law, Sister-in-law, and self. Don't forget coupons. Nuts. Is 4 pm. Will have to buy everything at Target. Again.

24) Wrap and ship gifts. Tell Cap'n that is finally done and was only $204 as had to send it all priority mail not too expensive.

25) Gas station. Oh no. Where is my debt card? WHERE IS THE DEBIT CARD?? OK, slow down. Where is the last place I used it? Crap, crap, crap we are going to run out of gas and it's freezing... I am going to get divorced if it becomes known I have lost the debit card again. Try not scream. Try not scream. It's... oh. It's in my pocket.


26) Make honest effort to enjoy magic of Holiday and Santa Claus with children while they are still little and try to control urge to shriek at everyone and be raging B all day. Also will stop threatening to with-hold presents for misbehavior as they now just roll their eyes and say "Yeah. We know. Sticks, broken pencils and coal. Got it."

27) Lord. It's dinner time. What's in the fridge? Baby carrots, milk, nog, beer, 2 eggs, 3 pounds of butter for baking and 3 week old hot dogs. Expensive cheese. So... Wait. What's that noise?

28) Make appointment to take the dog to vet. Write thank you note to Aunt Jennifer for delicious but poorly wrapped fruit cake that dog has stolen from under the tree, eaten and regurgitated in his special place.

29) Prepare craft for preschool class. Have all components of festive holiday craft: Red and green Felt? check. Jingle bells? check. Pipe cleaners? check. Glue and scissors? check. Ok... where are the instructions. OF COURSE. I don't know where the instructions are. Honey, pour me another glass! Oh, yes, Santas! Little felt Santas, how darling... snip, snip, glue, glue... Oh NUTS. They were supposed to be stockings. Well, TFB preschool class. You are getting Santas.

30) Need to bake bread, cookies and dough for brie en croute, all from scratch for when family comes on Saturday. What? Saturday is not tomorrow. What are you talking about... Oh my God.

Honey, open another bottle. And then get me a straw.

Sigh, onto page 4...

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Specal Guest Writer: You've Been Ma'amed

Our family lives near the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. It is the site of history, achievement, and tradition. It is also the site of of one of the most horrifying moments of my adult life. I got "Ma'amed".  And not in the respectful, midshipman on his best behavior way. I mean in the "You're surrounded by children, hauling a stroller the size of a Jetta, and your hair is a mess. You kinda remind me of my mom," way.

Once upon a time, years ago when I was single, I used to go to the Naval Academy to watch the Navy Rowing Team race. I rowed in college. That's right, at one point I was an NCAA Division I Athlete. Now I'm tired by 10 a.m. [Editorial Comment: I used to be gorgeous. This morning I woke up looking like Jabba the Hut. - Lydia]

But I digress...so my girlfriends and I (this was pre-married life) would head to Annapolis to watch boats of eight muscle bound men row. Really we were there to flirt with the Cadets. Now, I'm not Kate. She's Marisa Miller gorgeous. [Editor's Note: No, I'm not. - Kate ][Editor's Note: Who's that? - Kate] But in my day, I could turn a few heads. I once had a Cadet walk into a bench because he was looking at me. I totally had that bench bronzed.

But that was then.The last time I went to the Academy was a year ago, when my sons and I took a friend who was visiting from California. I was trying to get the toddler to finish his juice without getting half of it on me, and chasing down the five year old who was determined to scale a stately monument. A young cadet walked by, nodded his head, and said "Ma'am."

It wasn't so much the ma'am as it was the look in his eye. Gone was the "Huh, wonder if she's wearing black lace under that", to be replaced with "I'm really homesick. I miss my little sister and the jam my mom makes." Ugh.

Motherhood is a wonderful thing. But sometimes, it's not so wonderful on the ego. And it isn't getting older that does it. The internet says Jennifer Anniston and Diane Lane are both older than I am, but I think the internet is broken. It's the mommy thing. I'm convinced that after you have spent nights trying to rock the baby back to sleep, and being covered in Elmer's Glue, that you have obtain a magical mommy aura. You give off some sort of vibe that says to men "I'd love to do your laundry", not "I'd love to do you".

Here's the fact. When you're a mommy, you're usually the last on the list. The kids will have their hair brushed, yours has their gum in it from when they crawled into your bed last night and slept on your hair. The husband's suit may be cleaned and pressed; you're in his old college sweats that have a week-old, semi masticated piece of Halloween candy on your ass. The dinner is nutritious and on the table at 6, and you look like Lindsay Lohan's mother after an all-nighter.

You are well aware of your state, but you're just not willing to get up at 4 am and put in the work that is required to look fabulous. And why would you? By the time you fix breakfast, wrestle the 6 year old into his coat, buckle everyone into the car and drive away, you're sweating like pork in plastic. Maintaining a fresh face and perfect hair all day is a bit like putting duct tape on the Titanic. Unlike Kate Winslet, you unfortunately don't have 14 people following you around whose only reason for existing is to make you look amazing.

Which leads me to a small side rant...to InStyle, People, and UsWeekly magazines who insist on telling us how Heidi Klum lost her baby weight in only 3 weeks, please shove the F off. I know how she did it. She has 4 nannies, 6 maids, a personal chef, a personal trainer, a home gym, and money to burn. The rest of us don't, so quit trying to make us feel like failures because our jeans stayed in the back of our closets, mocking us, until our KID got old enough to rifle through said closet, discover said jeans, declare them "vintage" and stroll out of the house in them. And looking better than I ever did where's the scotch?

(Editorial comment: Let me now share the truly horrifying story of why I can never return to Target. Last year they began selling wine at my Target. And every time I bought wine there, I got carded. It was bliss. I tossed my hair. I smirked. I made sure everyone within three aisles knew what was happening. Because obviously, I look really good for my age. I may have been wearing the Captain's old sweatshirt and the ubiquitous yoga pants, but obviously I MUST look like I'm in my twenties. But no. Settle down, Old One. Turns out, with every purchase of alcohol, cashiers are required to scan your driver's license. Even if you're 80. Do you have any idea what my face looked like when I was forced to go from gloating to humiliated in five seconds? Especially when the blow was casually delivered by an 18 year old, pimply cashier who has no idea of what he's just done to my ego. Or just how hard my husband was going to laugh at me. Where's the corkscrew!? - Lydia)

Still, on those rare occasions when you get to escape the home and go out to dinner with your husband, or meet the girls for drinks, you do your best to hide those dark under eye circles, put on something clean, fashionable and ever-so-slightly cleavage-y, and declare that, while you might not look like Carrie Bradshaw, you definitely don't look like Carrie. You're a mommy, you're not dead.

At least right up until the moment the bartender skips past you as he's checking IDs. And the 27-year old manager stops by your table and says "Moms Night Out, ladies?" And you (ok ME) bat your eyelashes and say "oh, what makes you think we're moms?" And he smiles at you, glances around the table, comes back to you and says "just a hunch" and you know he's thinking "you've got green paint in your hair, your earrings don't match, you obviously leaned up against a kid art project because there are stickers on your back, your boobs alone prove the laws of gravity -- who needs Newton? -- and you're drinking an Old Fashioned for crying out loud. We had to look up how to make that drink."

But if there's an upside, it's this: moms may go out into the world looking like unmitigated hell, but every once in a while, dad goes out with the young progeny and some perky 22-year old Swedish exchange student -- who doesn't know about Newton, therefore happily and obliviously defying all his laws -- at the grocery store says "Oh, zey are such leipshuns. You have many grandchildren?"

My jeans may be vintage, but, apparently, so is my husband. As for Newton, he may have gravity on his side, but I have Victoria's Secret on mine.

How 'bout them apples?

We saucily tip our hats and say a respectful "Ma'am" to our gorgeous and brilliant Special Guest Writer!
xo, Lydia and Kate

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spit

My son Lefty has a big head. Like huge. And hard. This would have been a useful fact to know BEFORE I delivered him. Rather, I instead unwittingly answered the age-old question of whether it's possible to have a foot touching both coastlines of the continental U.S. simultaneously. Yes it is. Thank you, son. (Editorial comment: Lefty was not the big-headed child to whom I was referring in my open letter to Perfect Mommies.  He is so cute that you want to bite him and sweet and brilliant but Kate is right, the boy has a cabeza muy grande. - Lydia )

I assume, therefore, that what lies within that cavernous sized head is an extraordinarily large brain.  When he was born, and the doctors did those measurements that compared every kid according to some size ratio, my initial reaction was, "well, someone clearly needs to rework the numbers."  He was in the 40th percentage on height, 60th on weight, and 722nd on head size.  He weighed 7 lbs 8 oz at birth, of which, I'm pretty sure, 7 lbs 2 oz was head.  He couldn't walk until nearly 16 months because he was so cranium-heavy (imagine a human bobble-head).

I gave birth to Charlie Brown. 


Hats never fit. When he puts on a bike helmet, he looks like Kazoo. And turtlenecks? Really, it's like having the Cirque de Soliel contortionists in my very own home. Protesting contortionists.  Recreating childbirth. To this day I can win arguments with him by saying "you go clean up your room, little man or I am getting out a turtleneck and you will put it on!"

Anyhow, my point was rather on the very large brain that I hope resides in that very roomy skull.  And, with it, at the ripe old age of 6, Lefty is quickly learning to out-think me.  Making counterarguments that are both logical and oddly compelling.  And irritate the hell out of me, because, hello, I. Am not. Supposed. To lose. A debate. With my 6-year old.  The fact that I see it as a debate (rather than a NON-debate) furthers that irritation.  He's Clarence Darrow in feety-pajamas.  And I am now forced to walk around my house carrying a turtleneck, just in case.


Sunday at church, we had a baptism. Lefty watched in what I thought was awe. Silent. Serious. Just like he does with me right before he turns into Atticus Finch. The instant church was over, he bee-lined for the minister. With questions. A lot of them.

"Why do you use water?" "Did Jesus use water?" "Because it was like washing away sins?" "But he didn't hafta use water right?"

I knew it was coming. The clincher. The logic that defies expectation, that you never saw coming. The non-debate debate that leaves you dumbstruck and wishing for a turtleneck. I wanted to rescue our minister before the web Lefty weaved had caught him. But if he got trapped, that meant I wasn't a complete idiot all by myself. That I'd have idiot company.

Welcome to the club, padre, here it comes: "Well, he could cure people when they touched him right? Why did he need water? He was holy. He could just spit on them. Holy spit."

Which was almost exactly what I was thinking the instant he said it. Almost.

Holy Spit.

Then, just in case we weren't quite clear, he demonstrated: "I baptize you" thwack! "in the name of" splat! "me and my dad and the holy ghost." ptooey!
"I'm gonna go get a donut hole and a lemonade. I'm thirsty. I bet Jesus was thirsty, too. Spitting on everyone all the time."

And Clarence Darrow left the room.

Our sweet, kind, bespectacled minister looked over at me. I shrugged my shoulders. He's totally not going to join my club.

And, I'm pretty sure there's a turtleneck in someone's future.

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Open Letter to 'Perfect Mommy'

Dear Perfect Mommy,

Lydia here. The other mommies have asked me to tell you a few things. And let me assure you, that while you will not like what I'm about to say - I am not a mean person. In fact, I abhor intentional meanness (yes, I was scarred by unpleasant high school experiences). I have basically three things to say to you:
  1. You are NOT perfect (and neither are your kids).
  2. Please chill out before you either give yourself a seizure or someone slaps you with a sandwich or whatever they happen to have handy.
  3. There may still be hope for you. Maybe.
Why you and your kids are not perfect:
First of all you, you spend far too much time trying to convince others of your superiority. Its starting to get a little scary. As a matter of fact, even the most understanding of us are starting to delight in your family's foibles.  Because you make it far too fun to smirk: "He was potty trained at 18 months? Really? All your kids were? How fascinating... because he's 6 now and I understand he floated a turd in the pool that shut it down for three days."

Also, I get that you're all organic and holistic and disapprove of my carbon footprint (I swear - I am totally working on it. I've just been completely exhausted for the past 6 and half years.  Al and Tipper have already phoned me personally to tell me that I suck.). Apparently, this love of alternative medicine means that you ignore the fact that your whole family needs to see an allergist. The snail trails on your kids' faces are too gross even for me, and I just finished cleaning poop off of my shower curtain.

Oh, and you don't know who Dora is because you don't have a television? Are you KIDDING me? You live in America. You know who she is. Because I have heard your child begging you to let her watch Nick Jr so she won't be a freak. And because I've seen you at Target where half the kids' clothing has Dora and that damn monkey on it.


And despite your claims that all your births were at home and those of us who opted for epidurals didn't really experience childbirth, you know damn well your last baby was a c-section. That kid's head is so big that the necks of all his shirts are stretched out like he's auditioning for Flashdance. If you birthed that boy without drugs, you'd still be limping and hoarse from screaming for the anesthesiologist.

Why you need to please, please CHILL:
We all know you're really into your kid(s). But look around, hotshot, we all are. The rest of us just don't pretend to be perfect because we know we could be that mom at the grocery store with a kid SCREAMING about his urgent need for waffles.  It's not that you are so bad, you may even be really cool, but its just that you seem determined to make others hate you.  Do you need examples? Because I have plenty.
  • When you "strongly advised" the preschool teacher about using your yoga breathing techniques (so that the three-year-olds would stop being so rowdy), she flipped you off when you turned around.
  • Also, I don't need your counsel on how or when to wean the baby (and please stop discussing my boobs in public THIS MINUTE).
  • Yes, that child over there is being a turd right now, and I feel bad for her clearly embarrassed mom. But you are being a dick by acting like it's a situation, when it's clearly not. And meanwhile your little darling is standing there, glassy-eyed, with her finger up her nose.
I get that motherhood is overwhelming. And let's be honest: I am so socially awkward at times that the Cap'n has several different categories of ways that I embarrass myself in public. And I'd wager 99% of Perfect Mommy syndrome is caused by the same self-esteem issues the rest of us are dealing with. It's nothing to be ashamed of. I used to have a career. Now I wear my pajamas to the grocery store. You're desperate to be relevant in the world, while you are stuck at home being bossed around by noisy, short people who can't wipe themselves. That's Mommyland, get over yourself.


Now, the other 1% may honestly think they're better than the rest of us. And maybe they are. Like this one on the right. Oh, for the love of PETE. Yes. You're awesome. We get it. Your husband? Also awesome. And your blog is better and you cook italian food like Mario Batali and you get paid to make out with Jude Law and blah, blah, blah... If you fall into this category, go on and click the little "x" at the upper right hand corner of your screen because this is not the right blog for you.

There may still be hope for you, Perfect Mommy:
You know that guy Dr. Phil? A lot of people really like him. I am not counted among them.  However, he does this thing where he "scripts" conversations for people to help them deal with situations. I shall now endeavor to do that for you.

When you pull up at the preschool or at your third-grader's soccer game, and all the other moms see you and suddenly are very busy checking their cell phones, say something like this:

  •  "Lord, is that a bagel? I haven't had carbs in three years. Gluten intolerance. Totally sucks. You are so lucky, because I would happily kill my grandmother for piece of Wonder Bread right now."
  • "No, we don't have a tv. But it's because I'm a nerd. And a DVD freak. Did I mention that I watched Twilight for the eleventh time last night?"
  • "Is that your kid having a hissy fit out there? Nice. Feels great, right? Mine pooped in the community pool last summer. On the fourth of July. Yeah - that was me."
  • "Yoga? Love it. Because seriously, without it, I'd be popping Ambien with my chamomile by 5 am and still be a raging B all day."
So, Perfect Mommy, you know what will happen if you heed my advice? You will get what you want. People will walk away from you thinking: "I thought she was kind of a know-it-all-snotty-pants, but she's pretty cool. If I couldn't eat bread without getting all gassy and bloated, I'd be pissed off, too. I love her!" They won't think you're better than they are - they'll think you're great. Or normal, which is very close. And I bet you are. Just stop being a tool. I can't wait to see to see you at soccer.

xo, Lydia

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

McLovin & the Puppet

An overwhelming 79% of you voted to hear the rest of the story of the swallowing puppets.  Well, OK, let's be honest.  It was 38 people. but, all thirty-eight of you made your wishes clear.  You wanted more. More about swallowing puppets. You're all a little bit sick and twisted. And you totally googled "puppets that swallow" after you read it just to see if I was making it up right?

You so did.

So, McLovin leaves me in the street trying to explain to the children what is so funny about the puppets. And, fending off helpful citizens who are trying to summon an ambulance.  And off he goes to talk to the Puppet Lady. Let me preface this by saying he is a genius at keeping a straight face when the rest of the world - i.e. ME - is acting like an idiot.

McLovin: I see you've got some puppets.

Puppet Lady: Yes!

McLovin: Some puppets that apparently, umm, swallow...something.

Puppet Lady: That's right! They each come with a cookie, but they can swallow pretty much anything.

McLovin: That is fantastic. Even this beaver one you're holding?

Puppet Lady: Yes. This is Barney. He's a very popular one.

McLovin: [completely straight faced] Oh I can imagine. I think it would have to be my favorite. Because, you know, it's a beaver. A swallowing beaver. What other ones are popular? [picks up snake puppet]


Puppet Lady: Well, the snake isn't as popular. But the dog, and the varmint. [McLovin picks up the varmit] Yes! Him! That's Vinnie. He's quite popular too. Excuse me, but is that your wife?

McLovin: [sighs] Yes. She's unstable. I like this giraffe.

Puppet Lady: He's very popular too. Children really like him, I think because he has such a long throat and can swallow so much more.

McLovin: [clears throat loudly] Mmm-hmm. [yells to me] Kate, the giraffe can swallow more!


Puppet Lady: You see, they have little tongues and throats, and you can even have them spit the cookie back out if you want. I can show you.

McLovin: I would love to see that. I'm sorry. Forgive me, what was your name?

Puppet Lady: I'm Doris.

McLovin: McLovin. My pleasure. Really. All of us -- Kate, my insane wife, our kids -- we're definitely going to be telling our friends about these. They're just. So. Great.

Puppet Lady: [laughs] Thank you! Let me get a cookie and show you how it works.

McLovin: Kate! Come watch. [pause] Oh, please, let's use the beaver. [watches the "demonstration" while looking over at me and raising his eyebrows like he's Groucho Marx. For the record, I'm still sitting on the ground, but have at least moved to the curb. I'm out of breath and I have mascara running down my face. My children are horrified. They've just found out their mother is a 17-year old boy.]

Puppet Lady: So that's how it works.

McLovin: It is exactly what your banner says. They're puppets. That swallow. I have to get some. For the kids. And Kate will love it. But [whispering] you know, for Christmas. So, can I get them on your website? I want it to be a surprise.

Puppet Lady: Of course! Though I'm not sure which ones are available there. It may be not as big a selection.

McLovin: Oh, I'm pretty sure I know which one I want. The beaver?

Puppet Lady: You can definitely get the beaver online.

McLovin: That's what I needed to hear.

I'm expecting it to arrive any day now. It's going to be the best Christmas ever.

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Triumvirate Of Awesomeness

Are you lucky enough to have something in your life that you adore beyond words even though its absurdity defies description? After our post about Captain Coupon's favorite beverage, it became clear to us; everybody has ridiculous crap in their house that cracks them up. It's not just me & Kate! Which is wonderful, because we honestly spent quite a bit of time wondering if we were the only people on earth for whom punjana jokes never got old. I know we are immature, but this mom thing can get really tedious and hard. Especially when it gets dark so early and the kids are sick and the to-do list gets alarmingly long. So, we retreat into stupidity and we giggle. We thought we would share some of these random items from our lives, and you might too feel stupid and giggle.


And these items are, well... fantastic. And we were inspired to write about them by the Bloggess and her work describing The Irrepressable James Garfield. So, the top of the triumvirate is obviously James Garfield. Primarily because the Blogess is his mistress and she is our new patron saint of inappropriate humor. James Garfield, by the way, is "a GINORMOUS wolf/bear/pig thing" who has experienced major hair loss. Taxidermy, friends. His head is mounted on her wall. We are expecting our James Garfield holiday greeting any time now and we could not be more excited.


And now Lydia will discuss Hector Cabesa Del Toro...

Hector is a bleached longhorn skull. With horns that span about 4 feet across. He belongs to the Cap'n. We first came across Hector in a mercado in San Antonio, Texas many years ago. Before we had children, when we still went on exciting adventures (meaning that we could still afford to go on vacation). We were staying at the Menger Hotel, which is supposed to be haunted (sadly, our room was not haunted). It however, was the only room in the entire hotel that was not rented to someone attending the national conference for Mary Kay sales managers. Did you know that Mary Kay sales teams dress in identical outfits at their national conference? Well, they do. I would also like to add, to all of you observers of human nature, that you have not eavesdropped until you have overheard six women, dressed in identical leopard-print jeans and cowboy hats, discussing strategy in a bar. Their strategy to beat the bitches from Georgia once and for all. Sigh... Good times.

The next day we saw Hector. The Cap'n, he who hates to spend money, took one look and bought him. Didn't even ask how much. That should tell you something. We asked where Hector came from and we were told that he was very old and came from Mexico. Not knowing his given name and unwilling to let him suffer the indignity of anonymity, we christened him "Hector" - pronounced "ec-TOR" - about two minutes later. Did I mention that is Hector is huge and smells a little funny? Also, he barely fit in the car. And it was 900 miles home.

We lovingly hung Hector on the wall in our home office. A few months later we got pregnant. The office became the nursery. The crib went where the desk had been. And the Cap'n saw no need to move Hector. Seriously. He suggested hanging things from his horns in the manner of a large mobile or positioning soft white night-lights in his ocular cavities. But it wasn't a mobile or a night-light. IT WAS A SKULL. So I said no, and for once he listened to me. Hector then went to work with him and to my knowledge he is there to this day, helping the Cap'n guide the ship. I was not supportive of the deep mutual affection between the Cap'n and Hector. But thanks to the Bloggess, I have seen the error of my ways and Hector is welcome to move back into the house.

Just not into the baby's room.



And now Kate will describe the majesty of the Green F*cking Elephant...

I got him five birthdays ago. He was the first birthday present the children ever bought for me after we canceled Season One. I suppose the conversation with their dad went something like this:


Season One: What do you think mom would like for her birthday?

Son: Her favorite color is green.
Daughter: Her favorite animal is an elephant.
Season One: Excellent. Let's hurry to a tacky craft store. [my thoughts: or, street fair...or thrift shop...or, dumpster?]

They were giddy on my birthday. I open the box and discover a dark green, raffia wrapped elephant. Like a stuffed animal, but not cuddly or soft or cute or something I want to wake up next to. The kids were jumping up and down cheering. I looked over at McLovin just in time to see him fall off the couch....tears streaming down his face. Ass.

So I won't hurt the kids feelings, I whisper to him, "It's a green f*cking elephant." And he's like, "It could have been a severed arm." And I think to myself that an arm would be WAY cooler and what the f*ck am I supposed to do with this thing. Because I can't put the damn thing in the closet or the kids would be looking for it. And then Lefty is demanding to know if I just love it and what its name is and all I can think is Green F*cking Elephant. And I say of course I love him and his name is G-F-E. And then everyone stops cheering and tells me what a stupid name that is. So then I have to remind them it's my birthday and his name is G-F-E but if it makes them happy, I'll call him Jefe, and we can pretend we're Spanish.


I wake up the next morning and when I open the bedroom door, Jefe is standing there. Like waiting. For me. Like some stalker mini-pachyderm who's come to live in my house.


Jefe has spent his past five years terrorizing the house. I found him one day in an orgy of stuffed animals and a headless Barbie. We have never found her head.

McLovin unknowingly took him to work in his briefcase one day. I think a meeting with a "senior government official" is the perfect place to yank out an illegal alien elefante.


One day I found him in the refrigerator with a jar of mayonnaise. I figured he needed his privacy and shut the door. We had take-out that night.



McLovin glanced into his rear view mirror to find Jefe looking back at him. His front leg wrap is starting to come undone. I think he was silently demanding a ride to the craft store for glue.

He's been wrapped and unwrapped so many times, you'd think he was a fruitcake.


I woke up the other morning to find Jefe standing on McLovin's pillow, staring at me. People, this is not a good way to wake up. Now I sweep my arm across the bed before I open my eyes, just to make sure he's not there.

He's waiting for me in the bathroom.


I'm totally packing him in McLovin's lunch tomorrow.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Suburban Morning. But for the Big, Dead Bird.

My good friend and neighbor called me this morning. Let's call her "Ellen". Ellen was freaking out a little.

Ellen: "There's an enormous dead crow in my yard. With his head shoved in the ground. Like in the ground. And his weird feet are sticking up. And there are like, thousands of crows circling overhead and sitting on tree branches staring at my house. What are they doing? Why is the front of my house like a Hitchcock movie?! Help!"

Me: "I think you need to call the Health Department or something. It could have West Nile."

Ellen: "Oh. Mah. Gawd. So, now I can't take the kids to school because I am pretty sure those other crows are going to attack us and give us West Nile."

Me: "They're not going to attack you. They're crows - not La Costra Nostra. It's not like they think you killed their brother and they're waiting to take revenge." [I peer outside the window.] "Um.. I could be wrong about that."

Ellen: "I'm not calling the dang Health Department. I am taking care of this NOW." [Ellen is little, but she is hard core.]

Me: "Do you need me to come down there and help?"

Ellen: "No. I can do this. But I'm probably going to throw up a little."

So about ten minutes later I hear a noise that sounds like tires squealing. Except that it gets louder and louder and seems to last for a while. Five minutes after that Ellen calls me back. And this is what happenned:

First, Ellen put on like three pairs of gloves and grabbed a big, black hefty bag and a rake. Then, she went outside and sort of poked the crow. And then she threw up in her mouth. This was followed by our other neighbor and dear friend, Mimi coming out of her house. And it was ON.

Ellen: "Help me! There's a dead bird right there and then all these other birds and I just had an issue with vomit."

Mimi: [Looks up and sees the swarm] "What the ...?!"
[Looks down and sees the enormous, upside-down crow corpse] "Oh my ...?!"
[Looks up and spots another neighbor's adult daughter sitting on her front porch smoking Newports in her pajamas and staring into space.] Whispers: "What is her name again?"

Ellen: Whispers back: "I have no idea. I always call her Boo Radley's sister."

Mimi: "EXCUSE ME! WE NEED HELP! WILL YOU PLEASE HELP US?"

[BRS nods. Gets up and walks over. Assesses situation. Takes rake and prods bird into the hefty bag. As the bird's head comes out of the ground there is a noise. A soft, swooshy sound. As if the bird's head might pop completely off and thousands of evil mini-crows might come flying out of the hole in his neck and begin attacking the neighborhood.]

Mimi: "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! GAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!"
[Mimi then does what is described as a "Stuart" run and screams in high C for at least 30 seconds]

[BRS nods at crazy neighbors, drops hefty bag in trash can at the curb, walks back to her porch - all without taking the ciggarette out of her mouth. Sits back down, resumes staring into middle distance]

Mimi: "OK. Great! Glad to have helped. I'm going inside now."

Ellen: Stunned. "Uhhhhhh....."

But the best part of the story as far as I'm concerned is that Ellen's husband walked right by all of it on his way to work that morning an hour before all this went down. And it was a trash day. So he would have stepped out of the house, noticed perhaps two hundred crows cawing and circling his house, then walked right by the huge dead bird, then three steps later walked by a trash can. And then he just kept walking to the train.

It should be clear to everyone that disposing of dead animals is a DADDY job and not a mommy job. And, Ellen's husband is like some sort of special forces, military ops badass dude who is scheduled to re-deploy in about five minutes. It's not like he's a florist. The freaking crows were practically spelling it out in formation in the sky: 'Come back and deal with this situation or your wife will throw up in her mouth'. But no. In Mommyland, all jobs - particularly the gross ones - fall squarely on one person's shoulder's. And I think we all know who that person is.  Boo Radley's Sister.

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009
http://www.rantsfrommommyland.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Warning Labels for Idiots

I have HAD IT with stupid warning labels on things. Especially on kid stuff. I mean, I know there's no test to being a mother. Jamie Lynn Spears proved that. But really?

I was taking my youngest out of his stroller, and as I'm getting ready to rip that obnoxious un-rippable tag off of it, I glance at the warning. I shit you not: "Remove child before folding stroller."

What stupid sack of hair tried that? And then sued the stroller-maker? And then made a ka-jillion dollars for willingly turning her kid into origami? And now they all have to put warnings to remove your offspring less some other dumb twat decides she wants her own brand new Honda a a paper-mache kid. [Editorial Comment: I once bought a hair dryer/curling iron that said "Do not operate while sleeping." - Lydia]

All right then, if that's how it's going to be, I have some warnings of my own.

CAR SEATS: This product is to be used INSIDE the vehicle. Not intended to be strapped to the luggage rack. Not equipped to be used as a tow device. Do not drag behind vehicle. Not intended to be installed in driver's seat. Please follow five-step process:


  1. Buckle seat into car.

  2. Buckle CHILD into seat.

  3. Close car door.

  4. Realize keys are inside vehicle with child.

  5. Contact automobile manufacturer. Who has entirely different set of warnings.



LEGOS: Warning. Manufacturer assumes no responsibility for structural integrity of Lego-created buildings, stairs, chairs, or any other weight bearing construction. Not intended to be used as flotation device, even when it really really looks like a floatie. Consumer assumes liability for injuries sustained when product punctures the bottom of your feet, particularly in the middle of the night. And really, how about NOT making kid snacks in the shape of Legos. If that's the new trend we're going with, how about snacks in the shape of, oh, you know, cyanide pills, bullets, matches (oh yeah, that'd be a good one) and mini cans of bug killer. You guys suck.








BRATZ Dolls: Original creator was a guy who wore those really thick glasses that make your eyes look freakishly huge, and assumed everyone looked like that. Clothing manufacturer was Lindsay Lohan. Or her mom. Either way. Manufacturer assumes no responsibility/liability for daughters who grow up to be NBA groupies. Or Lindsay Lohan. Or her mom.










BABY MOZART/BABY EINSTEIN: What can we say? We are complete morons. This product does nothing for kids. Manufacturer totally assumes all responsibility for complete and abject failure of this product. Product creator was last seen in her huge mansion laughing her ass off after selling product rights to a company headed by a fucking Mouse. Mouse now offering rebates. Please expect higher prices at eponymously named theme parks for the rest of time.






TeleTubbies: WARNING: We assume no responsibility whatsoever for any of this. Creators were completely tripping on acid and thought it was a brilliant idea. Apparently, some jackhole studio executive concurred the next day.


Where's an out of control taxi when you need one?

We have no idea what they're saying, we're pretty sure there's a gun in Tinky-Winky's purse (we may have come up with that idea too. Please sue Smith & Wesson instead) and, frankly, we are horrified every single time they come on TV. We can't believe that actual parents let their kids watch this shit. We are NOT actual parents. We are the people you warn your kids about.



Dora The Explorer: We take responsibility for nothing. Totally assume kids will venture off with rabid monkey to leap across rivers on the heads of alligators. We've gotten rich off parental inattention. In order to appeal to broader audience, manufacturers have tarted her up to look like a seven-year old hooker. Company has taken your comments regarding said changes under advisement. Suggest you go pound sand.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's 8:03 am and I Need an Adult Beverage

It is 8:03 a.m., and it has not been a good morning. I am exhausted. I am unpleasant. I am very close to coming to unhinged. And I am being provoked. Where to begin. Or more precisely... With whom?

To Captain Coupon. Let's start with you. I know that you just love to mess with me. Making me mad is a delightful sport to you. But here's a hint; when your baby wakes up every 45 minutes all night long because she is teething and you do NOTHING expect snore and roll over, it is inadvisable to wake up at 6:30am and stomp around our bedroom bemoaning the fact that your dress shirt has wrinkles. And fuss about "where are my cuff links?" I have no idea. Where are my black pearl earrings? You don't hear me asking you to keep track of my random crap. Also, it is a very bad idea to use a tone with your wife about said dress shirt and then coo to the baby: "Did my sweet girl have a rough night? Daddy's here, it's all ok." Really? Is it all ok? Because for your sake, I hope the gun is unloaded. And if your judgment is bad enough that you ask me to make you breakfast, I will stab you with a fork.

To six-year old daughter. You are next. Why are you crying? You cannot be possibly be crying for the reason you claim. I am the meanest mommy on the earth? Seriously? You are six. So am I horrible because I refuse to dress the entire family in black pants and white shirts. And then have us all walk you to school. So that everyone in the neighborhood and at school can see us dressed alike. So that (direct quote): "They will see us and know we are a family and that we are really professional people". To what profession were you referring? Catering? I will not dress the entire family in matching outfits. We are not Von Trapps. Or Osmonds. We are also not crazy. I will not do it for family photographs, and I will certainly not do it on a Tuesday morning. I'm sorry that you are crying. You are very cute and I love you, but if you ask me one more time to change my clothes, I am locking you in the closet.

Back to Captain Coupon: No. I am not changing into a white shirt and I am not being mean to her. Please stop moving your mouth hole before my inner New Jersey takes over (like the Hulk does to Bruce Banner). I am no longer responsible for my actions.

To four-year old son: I heard you the first fifteen times you asked me to wipe your bottom. I am pretty sure you already know that we keep extra toilet paper and toddler wipes under the sink so I see NO REASON why you chose to wipe your keister with my shower curtain. And yes, you do have to wash your hands. Oh, I see. There is no poop on your hands because you didn't use your hands to wipe. You used the shower curtain. Therefore you do not have to wash your hands. That is very interesting logic, my son. Ahem. WASH. THEM. RIGHT. NOW. And you will use soap or I will bathe you in the front yard with a hose.

Back again to Captain Coupon: Stop laughing this minute and go to work. I mean it. Wait, did you seriously change your suit so that she would stop crying? Do you have any idea what you have done? You look like you need a wine list.

To the baby: I love you. You're the only one in the whole house who is currently good. And I know your mouth hurts. But why? Why do you hate me? Why do you bite me while you are nursing? I don't want to scream like that, but you see, it's involuntary. Because you are biting my nipple and it hurts like a bastard. Also, could you please try sleeping? For more than an hour? At night, I mean? Pretty please?

I hear a small voice that sounds eerily like my own. It says: "I should not have to ask you ten times to get dressed. Please. Get. Dressed. Or. We. Will. Be. Late." It is my daughter. I think she is talking to her brother.


To the dog: You. Do you know that your little squirrel chasing dream last night woke up the baby the one time she was actually sleeping? Was it necessary for you to howl? Really? Wake up that baby ONE MORE TIME and you're sleeping in the basement. Also, I get it. The floor next to my side of the bed is your happy place. I understand that this is a great honor. But do NOT pilfer disgusting items from the trash can and then take them to your special place where I step on them in the dark. I do not enjoy wiping wet Ritz crackers (or "reprocessed" Kleenex) off my feet at 4am. I am talking to a dog.

Silence. I look up. They are all there, staring at me. They are all wearing black pants and white shirts. Oh no. The Blur is obscuring my vision. The Cap'n is holding out a white sweater. "Put it on. It's time to walk to school." He is trying not to laugh. Its over. The battle is lost, and the little terror suspects have won again. I lack the strength to fight so I put on the sweater. We are a family of professional caterers and we are now walking to school.

Fantastic.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Have No Words

At a loss for what to give someone for Christmas? Your sister's teenage kid who hates you and your gifts? Your aunt who takes everything back. Or your father-in-law who has EVERYTHING.

You know what? There's no way that anyone you know has one of these:


(Yes. She is holding a beaver. A beaver that swallows.)

I'll give you a minute. Take your time. Yes, you're reading it right.

What. The. F*ck.

McLovin and I were out this weekend with the Indoor Homeless People and froze in our tracks.

[Editor's Note: I've been Bogarting Lydia's Little Terror Suspects, but it dawned on me that my offspring are less terrorists, and more beggars. They beg me for food, they beg me for money, they're filthy and only occasionally brush their teeth, they don't have jobs and the don't do anything all day. They're homeless people living in my house. They're Indoor Homeless People. And, while I realize some of you will find this offensive, let me assure you, on occasion, my children are offensive. So, fitting.]

Lefty, who's just learning to read, sounds it out for us: "Pup - pup. Pets. Puppets! That. Swe - swa. Swall. Low. Swa-Low. Swallow! [then loudly] PUPPETS THAT SWALLOW! What do they swallow, mom?"

I had to sit down. Immediately. In the middle of the street. People stopped McLovin. They thought I was having a seizure. He says to me, "Stay here with the kids."

Like I was going anywhere.

Ever.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Elin and Tiger are "working it out"... with Kate & Lydia

Hi Elin,

It's your new BFFs Kate and Lydia again. Listen sweetie, we're a little concerned. Saw the news this morning. One report said you were renegotiating your pre-nup (which implies you totally read our last letter, which is awesome). You see to some people, your current $300 million divorce settlement might sound like a lot.

But then again to some people, getting paid to play golf, being a multi-millionaire and being married to a Swedish model who bears you beautiful children sounds like a lot. But I guess that it was just not enough. For him.

So. A couple more ideas for evening the score:

1) For every subsequent discovery of a new skank, you get to move up a golf club...we fear you will be swinging the driver by Christmas.


2) For every trip your husband goes on, he will have a new "security" detail. Not for his security. More like security for his pants. In case the rest of the world doesn't know, you, Miss Elin, have an identical twin sister and she is just as gorgeous. (We are solidly into guys, but even we think that's kind of hot).

<----------------------Seriously?

So, Josefin goes on the trips when you stay home...the world will never know if it's you or her. And neither will those "lovely" cocktail waitresses who patronize your husband.

3) The Tattoo we suggested yesterday- though our Patron Saint warns us that a "FLACCID" facial tattoo will only be seen by certain "ladies" (also, twats) as a challenge, we think abject humiliation for the tattoo-ee does wonders. There's no mulligans for permanent ink, jackass.

[Sidebar: A quick note to Tiger's "girlfriends" -- can you feel us rolling our eyes at you? A quick grammar lesson, just because you're a "cocktail" waitress doesn't mean you offer "tail" for his -- well, you get our drift. Maybe you should also reconsider your goal to become famous for your skanktitude. Was this part of your five year plan? Publicly "brand" self as nationally recognized punjana? Nice.]

Since we're your friends, we have your back no matter what you do. Oh, BTW, we think it was so awesome that your mom and Tiger's mom were both in the house when this happened? Was your mom cursing in Swedish and handing you ammunition? Forgive us, we're sure your mum is a lovely woman, but we sort of hear the Chef from the Muppets in our heads. Up the octave, add a little anger and have him hurling meatballs around, and mentally we have your awesome mother. We hope it was her who handed you the driver. "Ta det här min dotter. Slog honom!"

As for Tiger's mom... Well, what can you do? Say "Duck, Son"? Maybe they should have taken a couple of days during his childhood away from the links to teach him to play DodgeBall. DodgeClub. DodgeFireHydrant? DodgeTree? (you'd think that one would be easy...odd) Or, even better, DodgeO.P.P??

Lastly, Elin, you have so much going on, and we KNOW (Kate really really knows) that your phone is ringing off the hook, and everyone from Oprah to Ellen to the Today Show and Access Hollywood are all DYING to get your story. Ryan Seacrest is probably tunnelling under the Gulf Coast to get to you as we speak. (How is that guy famous, by the way? Three hundred MILLION people in this country, and we've decided that he should be famous? Sigh.)

Anyway, they are just using you. For ratings. For their egos. So they can blast all over the TV and internet that "ELIN WOODS TALKS EXCLUSIVELY WITH [some jackhole] ONLY ON [some show]. TONIGHT!!!!" And they'll drag the interview out over two weeks and you'll never escape it. Besides the fact that the questions are just so inane. "How did you feeeeeeeeeeeeeel Elin?" Obvious answer, you felt like taking a 3-iron to his forehead, duh.


Come talk to us instead. We won't even blog about it. (OK, maybe we will, but we'll like totally hide your identity. We can call you Mrs. Cheetah. Because no one will EVER figure that out. We're clever.) We'll pour wine. Your kids can run around with ours. We'll all wear TEAM ELIN t-shirts -- which, you should TOTALLY have made up for your kids - TEAM MOMMY - and dress them in them all. the. time. And you can tell us what a douchebag he really is, and that he makes bad golf puns about his driver and holes-in-one.

And then we'll show you how it is physically possible to use those handy fairway golf ball washers on his scrotum. While its still attached. Just do it.

XO, your BFFs,
Lydia & Kate

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