Saturday, July 31, 2010

Special Saturday Post: The Cecil B. DeMille

We thought the contest was all have OVERWHELMINGLY voted for a Worst Mommy Ever Winner. And, Erika will be giving her acceptance speech later...

However, this is the part where they do the Cecil B. DeMille Award...MommyLand definitely needs a CDB Award, but of course, we think of it as the Cease-to-Be-a-Mom Award. It's for the mom who takes that hour to play on Facebook, drink some coffee, just stare vacantly at the wall, or humming to oneself about the joys of motherhood while rocking in the fetal position...and let your children do, just, whatever.

Kate & Lydia proudly present the CBD Award for this most *inspiring* submission:

So, as usual, I missed the deadline (no surprise there lol) but I thought you might get a kick out of this picture. It's my oldest two boys playing in the dog kennel with their puppy Goofy. It kept them busy for an HOUR!! Worked for me and the dog had fun too, until he kicked them out so he could get some sleep. :)

Thank you so much for your blog. I thought my kids were total freaks of nature until I read your blog and realized that they actually are.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

Worst Mommy Awards: LifeTime Achievement

For most creative use of photography, not having to cook dinner and blatant manipulation of a spouse, the Lifetime Achievement Award for *Worst* (and still awesome) Mommy goes to: Anna.

I'm one of those annoying Moms that likes to plan everything and get out of the house at least once a day. I get a little stir crazy when we don't have anything on the when my first little one came down with pink eye and the Pediatrician told us to stay home for a while I started to go crazy!

I think it was around day 5 that I threatened to cook the baby. I didn't have any groceries since I wasn't supposed to be taking the baby I sent my husband an email

and this photo ------------------------------->

and wrote, "You need to stop by the store or grab some takeout on your way home, otherwise this is what we'll be having for dinner!"

He brought home Chinese. Food. Not Chinese babies. We don't *really* cook babies at our house.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Worst Mom Ever: And The Nominees Are...

All Lydia and Kate can say to this is "Been There, Done That" -- from forgetting of the snacks, to winning the Land Speed Record for losing one's schmidt, to Mom most likely to call your kid the dog's name.

As with every great accomplishment, it's just an honor to be nominated. To be among this group of just gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside that says "wow, maybe I don't suck quite that bad..."

Best of Luck to all our very deserving all are just an inspiration to moms everywhere. To strive for mediocrity, hope for less, and aspire one day, just maybe, to be Just Like Britney.

Damn. Now we want a Frap and some Cheetos...

Ahem...The Nominees Are:

 Most Likely to Lose Her Schmidt Over Pop: Nicole

My identical twin sister and I just had our third babies.We are fairly lazy liberal with our supervision especially given that I live on a fully fenced private acreage, perfect for the lazy mothers dog. So yesterday during the sweltering heat and crazy mosquito rampage, my sister and I happily nursed in the cool indoors as if we had only one kid... Sure we heard the odd sound that reminded us that there are four other children running around, but it was all laughter and merriment therefore we just chuckled and congratulated ourselves on having such good kids thanks to our excellent mothering. When it came time for her and her kiddos to go, my sister went outside to find the younger ones jumping naked (no, not potty trained) on the trampoline  and the older kids MIA.

Then the yelling started. All I could hear is, "You better get over here and clean this up!" in her very mad mommy voice. Went outside, and found the garage fridge open, driveway soaked even though it hadn't rained, strange sickly sweet smell in the air, half crushed cans of Root beer, Cream Soda, Orange Soda and Miller Lite littered all over the driveway and garage, telltale splash marks all over my van and the little ones with suspiciously wet sticky hair.

The little buggers had systematically taken out all the cans from the fridge and had a riot throwing them, smashing them and spraying them, but -- in some strange twist -- not drinking them. It was the mess, the waste, the magnitude and the fact that they know better that got me!

I said some dumb things, like:
  • "You better clean this up before your father gets home!"
  • "I guess you're not ready for kindergarten!" (good one, punish them by withholding school) 
  • "I should spank you!! Do you know what a spanking is?!!" I meant it rhetorically but they said, no what? ... "it's when I ... uh... hit you." Sounded mean and lame even to me.
But here's the thing, they smirked a little then started cleaning up...gleefully. Which is when I lost my schmidt, marched over to one of them and half-heartedly smacked him 3 times on his bottom then to the other and replayed the half-hearted heinie taps on her. They didn't cry, just looked at me with big bewildered sad eyes. Then I went inside and cried, poured a gin and booked a session with my therapist. I suck. The end.
Most Likely To Have Kids in a Hair Band: Kandice
I let my boys listen to all music that I can tolerate. Beastie Boys (check); Snoop (check); Led Zeppelin (check). By way of the Apple TV, they are able to sample 30 seconds of any song on iTunes and have found some new music that I do not know, as I am stuck in a 90's music worm hole.
My 4 year old watches the movie "School of Rock" at least once a week and now hums the opening chords from "Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream at the breakfast table. But at least they know that if they are singing "Sexy Chick"; they have to say "Dang, Girl" instead of damn. As long as they substitute the bad word - they can sing it. But for sexually graphic parts of songs, I press mute - or remove from music library. Don't need the kids spewing dirty lyrics in front of the in-laws. And these conditions may keep the Department of Child/Family Services from revoking my Mommy License for bad music judgement. Latest music video obsession for my 2 boys - "Eye of the Tiger". When I come home today I fully expect to see them in black leather members only jackets and berets - rising up to the challenge of our rivals...

I should mention that I am a very big geek, with no piercings or tattoos. I don't live a Rocker Lifestyle. I am a software engineer - who really loves music and secretly hopes her boys form a more hardcore version of the Jonas Brothers (with much better music/lyrics and no rehab would be nice).

Mom Most Likely to Forget Sharing Day and Snack Week: Hope
That’s right… I would sit down at work and an hour later get a call from the teacher telling me to get my fanny back to the school (In the nicest way possible, after all it is a Catholic School) because they have not 1, but 2 sobbing kids who don’t have anything for sharing day. Once one of the SAHM mom’s took pity on my poor kids and ran out to her mini-van (Thank you Molly for having toys in your car!) and gave them each something that they could share, but when I showed up for pick-up that day, all the moms knew I forgot and I got nothing but looks of scorn and my kids got something but looks of pity from the other moms. After that the teach would send me regular reminder e-mails.

I also very regularly forget snack week or horror of all horror send something that was made in a factory that makes peanut products because I didn’t read the label (maybe I can win the award for mom most likely to harm someone else's kid, by serving peanut butter!) and either the kids would have some crappy snack that the teachers keep on hand just in case, or I’d be running up the school like a maniac with snack and making it like 2 minutes before it was snack time.

Most Likely to Become Mommy-O Andretti: Heather

Just like the famous racer, my mood can turn on a dime. I can go from zero to Raging B in 2.5 seconds. Beat that...oh, and I've been known to spin donuts around my testy-tosterony little men.

"Worst Response Time" Mommy: Heather (no, a different Heather)

 I have a 4 year old and a 15 month old. The "baby" is going through that delightful phase where he can toddle and climb EVERYWHERE but doesn't necessarily have the best balance or consider how he's going to get down from his latest expedition up Mt. Loveseat. Being a second-time Mom I SHOULD be able to recognize the signs..."Oh! He's about to trip over that toy!", "Oh! He's about to fall over backwards onto that jagged looking toy!" Unfortunately I have resigned myself to the fact that he will probably have a goose egg in various stages of healing until he is 3. Even when it seems like these moments are happening in slow motion I still manage to not...quite....get....there until one second TOO LATE. Sometimes perfect strangers will come up to us in the store and say, "Oh honey! What happened to you?" and give me a look that says, "If I knew who you were I would be calling CPS". Maybe there is a training camp to shorten my time...go over a few drills, run some tires....have a Marine Mommy yell at me? FASTER! FASTER! Until then I will be there in time to pick him up to cuddle until he is giggly and off exploring again....

Least Likely to Read the Small Print: Erika

I gave birth to my twins at 34 weeks gestation, and they went right to the NICU for about a week. I was sleep-deprived, sore, and pumping breastmilk every two hours. I asked my own mom to bring me stool softener (for my sore @$$) and vitamin E (for my sore nipples). They were both in gel-cap form.
After a few days and no improvement for either my @ss OR my nipples, my mom happened to catch me in the act -- I had mixed up the gel-caps. I was ingesting Vitamin E, while rubbing stool softener on my nipples. And then pumping -- or putting my twins to breast. And then feeding the stool-softener-laced breastmilk to my 34-week preemies.
I had to go to the head NICU nurse and explain the situation, who then had to page the on-call doctor and explain, "I have a mom here who has been rubbing stool softener on her nipples and then breastfeeding her twins..."

They were about three days old at the time. So, I think I had this award in the bag practically from minute one of my mommyhood. Now, they're 7. They're fine. Except for that whole bathroom thing...never mind.

Most Likely to Sell Children for an Extra Hour of Sleep: Jessica

The halfway point for summer around here was July 19th, and I happen to know that there are 33 days left until the first day of school. It's all gone to hell. My kids are waking ME up now, and I beg them for 5 more minutes. My poor children have been having breakfast at 9:30 because Mom can't get her act together. It's bad.
I have 3 kids and the eldest is pretty responsible...when he wants to be. Unfortunately, he never wants to be responsible enough to watch the other two in the wee small hours of the morning. I'm not looking forward to the beginning of school to get the kids out of my hair (though it's a nice fringe benefit) but so I can nap.
Here's a picture to demonstrate what happens when I am 5 minutes late getting downstairs. It's a real, unedited picture of my middle son. I am so proud.

Biggest Failure as a Housewife: Joslyn

I would much rather play with my kids than keep the house spotless. I made a decision early on to let the dust bunnies buffalo roam free. However, this does lead to periodic cleaning frenzies because the plumber is coming and I’m afraid he’ll call in Child Protective Services if he sees the mess left over from our most recent arts & crafts extravaganza. I’m also a terrible cook, and I can’t get the lipstick stains out of my husband’s collar to save my life.

And The Winner Is...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Horribles Awards

When I was in Season One, we went to this -- thing. Some would call it a parade, but a parade involves things like organization and planning and, well, people worthy of being in a parade.

This thing we went to was always on July 3rd. They called it The Horribles Parade.

Girls, it was just. so. awesome. Every random thing you could think of - dogs on unicycles, garage bands in discarded KISS outfits that had somehow turned themselves into a march-able unit, boys that didn't quite make boys scouts but rather some other wilderness group you'd find on the Simpsons, conjoined quadruplets, people who fancied themselves wildebeests, let's-make-a-pact pregnant teenagers, chemists, sixty-eight Easter Bunnies. They were all there. Marching along. With their platform boots and beakers and egg-filled baskets and wombs. Waving at the crowd.

It. Was. The. Best. Parade. Ever.

We'd watch something come traipsing down the street and be like "WHUCK?!?! Bunnies?" But they were so thrilled to be part of this. And, I swear to all that is holy in this world, there was a whole part of the parade dedicated to a clusterf**k of teenage girls who had made a pact to get pregnant together.

So, yesterday I got to thinking, we should have a Horribles Mothers Parade. We could all dress up and march down our street to songs like "We Are Family" and "She's a Bad Mama Jama" and wear signs that say why we are the Best Horrible Mother in any individual category. Like Most Likely to Forget to Pick Kids Up From School, or Worst Dressed Even By Wal-Mart Standards, or Future Visitor On the Other Side of the Glass. And, our kids could watch us stroll by, whether toting along a martini shaker or screaming like the cat woman on the Simpsons...and then look at each other sympathetically and say, "yeah, my mom won for Best Horrible Mother Who's a Drunk" and they'd all nod and say that's what they thought. 

And then there'd be the Best of the Horribles...and it would be Kate. Because she outed everyone in the Horribles Yearbook. 
And the grand prize winner could get a hysterectomy, even though it's WAY too late now. Ummm, woot?

So, here's your chance. Nominate yourself before your kids nominate you. Tell the MommyLand world how and why you're the Worst Mother in the History of Ever (Who Isn't a Felon). As it's Friday, we'll post the Best of the Worst...or is it the Worst of the Best? Include a picture, and you're pretty much guaranteed top billing. Because we're suckers for people who do their own artwork...

I'd like to thank my kids...without whom, none of this is possible. I'd cry, but you had my hormones removed. Fortunately, I replaced them with wine. Boxed wine. Cheers. And, suck it. Losers.

xoxo Kate

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Top Ten List: Just Get A Babysitter

When the Cap'n and I were dating, we would go out to nice restaurants and see parents struggling with obstreperous children and we would ask each other: "Why don't they just get a babysitter?" [Editor's Note: Obstr-whaterous? Oh, how I hate it when you make me get out the dictionary, ya twit. -Kate]

We were a couple of asshats. [Editor's Note: See? That word I know. -Kate]

Getting a babysitter is not easy.  If you're one of those people who has on demand childcare in the form of a Mrs. Doubtfire-like mother-in-law who just wants to spend time with her grandchildren and never takes your money - congratulations.  And go suck it.  I hope you appreciate how good you have it. 

I have no such luck.  I had a teenager live with me for a year and guess what?  Even when you import one to live in your house, it still doesn't mean that they'll babysit for you.  And when they do?  It doesn't mean that they'll do anything other than text on your couch while your kids set stuff on fire.

Kate offered to take me to lunch yesterday - someplace really swank and cool.  [Editor's Note Again: To be clear, I didn't offer to take her. I offered to let her come along. HUGE difference. Bring your own cash. -Kate] Do you know what my first reaction was?  Horror.  Why was it horror?  Because who will pick up my kids and feed them lunch and make sure the baby has a nap?  Me go out to lunch? In the middle of the day?  Was she out of her damn mind? 

So that's great.  Because a normal person would have said: "Thank you."  Then I was embarrassed for being a jackhole and getting all weird and I tried to explain, even though she already understood.  Sort of.  So I made a list to help explain and here it is.

The Top Ten Reasons It Is Not That Easy To Just Get A Babysitter.
10.  Presumably you love your children and therefore do not want random strangers in your house taking care of them.  I know.  Picky, picky, picky.  That narrows the pool.  Are they responsible and trustworthy?  Do they have references?  Do they know CPR?  Will they make creative, mentally stimulating craft projects instead of just watching TV? 

Then maybe you start to get desperate, because everyone is busy or out of town or already babysitting for someone else.  The questions change.  Have you ever been convicted of a felony? No? Good!  Arrested for one?  Oh. Drat.  Then you find yourself hiring someone you've never met because your friend told you they worked as a camp counselor at the Y and you know they do background checks.  And you'll only be gone an hour.  Then the Bad Thoughts come and you just stay home.

9.  A miracle occurs and you get a reliable babysitter.  Then you realize that the cost of dinner and a movie just escalated by another $60 bringing the total for the evening to approximately $2.9 million dollars Canadian.  Not worth it.  Just stay home.

8.  It's your anniversary.  Or Mother's Day.  Or your birthday.  Or some other stupid day that's supposed to be all special and all about you.  That's hilarious.  Except that there is a law of babysitting that states: "If the event is intended to make Mommy feel special, there will not be a babysitter available.  And if there is any chance of actually finding one, you had best believe that Mommy will have to find the babysitter herself for her own special day.  And good luck with that."

7. It's still your special day and of course there's no babysitter, so you decide to just bring the kids.  It's better than cleaning and cooking and then cleaning again.  And so you call and make a reservation (for your own very special dinner) and you get there.  And then the next Law of Babysitting kicks in: If it's important to you/potentially really embarrassing, your kids will act like a pack of rabid, snarling wildebeests prompting the question from everyone in your vicinity - "Why didn't they just get a babysitter?" [Editor's Note: Is this where you use that obstreposteroserous word again? -Kate]

6. Finding a new babysitter means you get to have the following awkward conversation.  It starts like this: "How much do you charge per hour?"  It concludes with the realization that teenagers now make more per hour to sit on your couch, eat microwave popcorn and watch Pixar movies than you made at your first office job with a college degree. 

5. When you get home you learn that even though you are dealing with someone who is 17, they've cleverly imposed several hidden charges that jack up your bill.  Home after midnight fee: $20.  Don't have enough cash and have to write a check fee: $5.  Didn't leave enough cash for the specialty pizza they ordered: $10.  I learned the hard way that America's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and living in my subdivision.  Also, that teenagers willingly extort money from grown-ups other than their parents.

4. More awkward conversations! Such as: "Do you mind if my boyfriend comes over after the kids go to sleep?" and "Wait.  Are you wearing my shirt?" and "Do you have Pay-Per-View?" and "What the hell happened to my cat?"

3.  You must learn to master several new technologies in order to contact prospective babysitters.  Call their cell phone? Email them?  No no no.  That's old school.  Most of the babysitters I have used over the past three years do not answer their phones.  In fact, their "phones" are primarily used for frantically checking for new text messages (in the manner of rats tapping pedals to get pellets) and Facebook.  And don't bother leaving a voicemail.  Voicemail doesn't even exist for them.  So if I'm out and I want to call to see if the kids are doing OK and the baby is asleep?  No can do.  But I can text that question and get back: "Yeah right LOL".

2.  You start to realize that you've found a babysitter with whom you'd like to go steady.  Now you begin a bizarre ass-kissing ritual whereby you try to convince her that babysitting for you is the best gig ever and she should never, ever say no when you ask her or make other plans or cheat on you with another family.  You may find yourself tipping her, buying Doctor Pepper for your fridge and assiduously [Editor's Note: And, once again, the dictionary. Thank you for nothing, you useless whore. -Kate] avoiding sharing any relevant information about her with your friends - for fear that they will steal her away from you.  Does this sounds like an unhealthy relationship?  That's because it is.  She has all the power and you are a creepy, needy, over-protective stalker.  And this scenario arises if you're lucky.

1. Let's say you find a great babysitter and all the awkwardness is behind you.  For a while, life is good. You can go out to dinner with your husband, or to get your teeth cleaned, or maybe even to get a drink with your friends...Then that selfish little whore will want to do something like go to college. Or get a real job and her own apartment. That hardly seems fair. To me. It means that I have to start all over.  Oh, I understand that these babysitters are growing up and need to move onto the next stage of their lives. But I also need to to see the new Twilight movie. I think we all need to get our priorities straight.

Starting with mine.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Catching Up on Sleep

I am chronically exhausted.  My youngest still wakes up all the time and wants me to snuggle her in the middle of the night.  Instead of sleep training her last year like a sane person, I let her sleep train me and now we're both broken.  I rationalize the fact that I don't let her cry too long because I don't want everyone else in the house to wake up.  It's a selfless and kind act, right?  From a wonderful and caring mother?
Yeah right.

I'm lazy and I suck, that's why I do it.  It's easier for me just to get up and snuggle her quietly than to hear her scream and cry.  The result?  I never, ever sleep.  It's so bad.  My husband recognizes that this is serious and that if I don't start to sleep more, something bad may happen.  Or maybe I'll just continue to be a B all the time. So on weekends, usually on Saturdays, he lets me sleep in.

That's wonderful of him to do and I am very, very grateful.  But there are several reasons why those extra three hours of sleep on Saturday mornings are not always very restful and are sometimes beg the question: is it even worth it to try to catch up on sleep?  

Let's start with the fact that my son is the noisiest child in America.  When Hawk speaks, it's pretty loud.  When he tries to be quiet, it's even louder.  At a whisper, his voice IS IN ALL CAPS.  He can't help it.  Even when his mouth isn't moving, he's still noisy.  When he walks, his bare feet go SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY down the hall.  Here's my son trying to be quiet at 6:45am on Saturday morning:

Lydia: Mmm hmm. Please be quiet, honey.
Off he goes down the hallway - SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY.  Into the bathroom, SLAM goes the toilet seat up.  HEE HEEE HEEEE, he giggles as he pees long and unnaturally loud, Austin Powers-style (hopefully) into the potty. SLAM goes the toilet seat back down. Flush. SLAM goes the bathroom door closed. Then SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY down the hall to the TV and the big chair.
Lydia: Honey, please wash your hands.
Hawk: (annoyed sigh) FINE.
Followed by SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY into the bathroom, SLAM of the door being flung open.  Sound of the water running for approximately 6 seconds.  CRASH as he yanks the hand towel down and accidentally sends all the crap on the sink flying to the tile floor.

At this point, we are all wide awake and he wonders why everyone is giving him the stink eye since he was obviously being so quiet. So now all the kids are awake and I plead with the Cap'n to please just let me sleep.  He is tired, too but he glares at me and says you owe me a BIG one for this, Momma and then gets up and starts his day.

Then comes the periodic sibling skirmishes between Hawk (age 5) and his sister Thumbelina (age 7).  Every few minutes there is some kind of whining, shrieking, banging, or need for judicial intervention.  If Daddy doesn't mediate the dispute to the satisfaction of those involved, they appeal to a higher power.  Namely, me. 

Thumbelina: Mommy!  Hawk burped right on my cereal and now I can't eat it because of his disgusting germs.  What's the point of even having a brother who burps on your food all the time?
Hawk: I didn't do it!  I didn't burp ON her food!  But Daddy made me say sorry and I'M NOT.
Thumbelina: Daddy said I have to finish my cereal. (starts crying) And if I eat that with Hawk's burp in it I'm going to throw up.  I guess Daddy just wants me to throw up.
Hawk: (laughing) You're crying and you're gonna throw up.  Awesome.
Thumbelina: (abruptly stops crying and starts yelling) I'm going to throw up all over you! Gaahhh!
Hawk: AAHHHHH! MOOOOMMMM! (starts running around trying to avoid being wailed on by his sister.  So there's lots of yelling and running and also SLAPPY SLAPPY SLAPPY)
Lydia: (using meanest Mommy Dearest voice ever) Get. Out. And. Shut. The. Door. Behind. You.

In spite of the fact that I have to bust out my mean mommy voice, I suddenly seem to become very loveable when I am trying to sleep and everyone else is awake.  The Cap'n comes in every once in a while to grab something from the bedroom and gives my rump a little thump and kisses my forehead.  Normally, I would enjoy this but when it occurs during my special sleepy times, it makes me want to go upside his head with a sock full of quarters. 

The baby stares at me sleeping and cries heart-brokenly in her baby duck voice that she can't squirm around under the covers with me and drink a bottle while pulling at my hair and poking me in the stomach with her toes.  The cat enjoys waiting until I have entered an REM sleep cycle and then sticks his ice cold nose into my eye socket.  And then sneezes.  It's like every small, woodland creature wants to share this time with me.  The birds sing louder outside my window. The squirrels (those fat, grey bastards) tap on the window as if to say: "Top 'o' the morning, to you!" 

What am I, Snow White?  GO AWAY.  I AM SLEEPING.

By 10am, the time for sleeping is over.  I wish I could go back in time and sleep the way I used to in college.  Ahhhh...  The Sleep of Irresponsible F*cks.  I would sleep until like 2pm.  There could be a fire alarm going off in my dorm and I would roll over and put the pillow over my head and keep right on sawing logs.  Now, if the cat yawns too loud in the next room, I'm all: "What's that noise?  Do the kids need me? Is everyone all right? Is someone breaking in?"  Sigh... It's not fair. 

So, I get up.  And I stumble into the living room to find total chaos.  Toys, books and shoes everywhere.  Crayons crunching underfoot.  TV blaring.  Oy friggin vay.  I smell coffee - or maybe burning? - but I think coffee so I head into the kitchen, which is now totally disgusting. 

Every Saturday morning I swear I will never blow off doing the dishes on Friday night again.  Then the next Friday night, I'm all exhausted and brain dead and the glass of wine and big chair seem too nice and I just figure I'll deal with it tomorrow and that's why every Saturday morning my kitchen is nastier than a frat house after a three-kegger.  Because in addition to last night's dinner mess, there's three hours of debris from the kids self-serving.  Making their own Nutella and banana sandwiches, pouring juice all over the counter, leaving the fridge door wide open...


Then there's the baby.  At least she's happy to see me.  When she's been under Daddy's care for several hours there are three things you can count on:

1) She's happy as a pig in schmidt because she's been indulged and played with and fed treats and tossed in the air to her little heart's content.
2) She smells like a damn milkshake because she's breakfasted on a combination of vanilla soymilk, waffles with syrup, and the yellow version of Oreos (which the Cap'n buys because after feeding them to the kids "it's easier to hide the evidence").  Also, she's hyper in the manner of someone who habitually snorts cocaine.  And when she gets hyper she lets loose with an ear-splitting SQUAWK like a seagull.
3) She is dressed like she's about to go play Mahjong with Mrs. Seinfeld in Boca Raton.  Imagine a large baby/small toddler in a pink velour track suit, collared blouse, and orthopedic shoes.  There you have my child.  All she needs is a pair of Blublockers and a medic-alert necklace and she can join my Grandmom Joyce at the dollar slots in Atlantic City.  Why the Cap'n invariably dresses her this way, when she has a million adorable outfits and sundresses, I have no bloody idea.  But he always does, commenting on how completely awesome she looks.   

Maybe you are wondering if I think it's worth it, just to get a little extra sleep.  To which I gently and sweetly reply: You bet your sweet Aunt Fanny it's worth it.  The mess?  Who the hell cares about that?  No matter how hard I work to clean the stupid house the kids crap it up again within minutes.  The noise?  The fighting?  Please.  I learned to tune that out years ago.   We're talking about sleep.  Beautiful, glorious, golden slumber.  I love sleep the way John Mayer loves porn.  I want sleep more than food or wine or alone time or anything

So yes, it's all a pain in my arse but it's worth it.  And fortunately, I have a pretty big arse and it's not that big a pain. 

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MommyLand After Dark: To T-Box? Or Not To T-Box?

Kate was wandering through the grocery store today. Buying the necessities. Milk, eggs, more juice boxes and chips. And Sharpies, because she has a thing for them. This summer has been a productive one for Sharpie tattooing. She's thinking of going into business tatting up kids -- can last anywhere from 24 hours to 3 weeks, depending on mom's insistence on actually scrubbing them down  in the shower and not just letting the water run down them for 25 minutes.

Anyway, she saw this:

And, of course, immediately called Lydia.

Kate: I'm staring at an entire aisle of T-boxes.
Lydia: Shut up! Which Target are you at? I need some diapers...
Kate: No, whore. I'm at the grocery store, but there are literally dozens of different kinds.
Lydia: And...?
Kate: And?!? We just crowned the T-Box without ever comparing it.
Lydia: Umm, do you not remember the T-Box Taste Test? Wait. Scratch that. No, you don't remember...never mind.
Kate: Pirate. Monkey. Demon. I The point IS, we need to compare ALL of them.
Lydia: No way. How about just the Merlots? We've already determined the others are for perming hair...
Kate: Fine. But we need to do an After Dark.
Lydia: Only if they say so...
Kate: AWESOME! I'm going to ask them now!
Lydia: Hey, yeah...maybe they'll help you find those shoes you lost that night. Haha. Beyotch. Hey, while you're there, buy me some dia-- [Kate hangs up and sticks her tongue out at the phone.]

So, it's now in your hands...the polls are now open!

MommyLand After Dark Part 2: Battle of the T-Boxes

xoxo K&L

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

When Lydia Had A Teenager...

We've had to reference the backstory of how Lucy came to live with Lydia and her family so many times that it seemed smart to post the whole story here.  Here it is for the very first time. 

I’m not easy to live with. And in the fall of 2008, 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 always had trouble getting along with our dad once she became a teenager 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. Partying – good. School and feelings – bad. And though her friends were loyal and loved her, many of them were making (ahem) extremely unhealthy choices 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.” She was in pain, she was grieving, she was angry and she was just... lost.

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.

House 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.)

8) Curfew is 11. (11 o’clock AT NIGHT. I didn’t know I would have to clarify AM or PM, but thanks for that little education. Duly noted.)

9) All school assignments go on the big calendar in kitchen so that everything is turned in on time. Lydia reserves the right to be a bugger about school and Lucy reserves the right to tell her it’s all under control (provided she is maintaining a B average or better). (No, I am not micro-managing you. I am *parenting* you. Good grades are important. That means studying. And IM’ing people on Facebook does not count as “doing research”.)

10) No sleep-overs. (We would have been happy to renegotiate. Had any of your friends not been DUDES.)

So, how did it turn out? She broke a couple of rules and taught the kids some inappropriate dance moves. Our time together was horrifically stressful and wildly successful. Here’s the success part: Lucy finished 11 classes in one academic year (with a 3.9 GPA). She graduated with multiple honors and a scholarship. Barely studied for SAT’s and got 1840. She has insurance and is a licensed (though by no means safe) driver. She is currently a dorm-dwelling college freshman who never returns my phone calls (until there’s a crisis). We miss her a lot, especially on Monday night.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Public Display of Singing

Lydia and I have this friend Charlotte who is nauseatingly beautiful and tall and thin and naturally blonde.  If you can get past the gorgeousness, you'll find she's also kind, smart, funny and unfailingly gentle-voiced with her adorable kids.  And, because that's not enough... She can sing. Like sing sing. 

I won't sit in the pew either in front of her OR behind her at church. Because if I sit in front of her, I hear that perfect voice and then I have to suppress an urge to smack her for being perfect. Or weep from the beauty of her song.  Both are inappropriate.  But if I sit behind her, then she is forced to grimace through every song because of my cat-caught-in-a-broken-harp screeching that I call singing. So now we sit all the way across the sanctuary and wave happily at her like she's in the Macy's Day Parade. You go Charlotte, bust out those pipes and sing us some Hallelujahs.

But it's too late. I don't sing anymore. I mouthe. I look all emphatic and I take a big breath when everyone else takes a big breath, but there's no sound coming out. I'm half a bad Japanese movie. All lippy, no soundy. (Editor's Note: Just like the Cap'n! - Lydia)

So it was of HUGE relief to me when Charlotte confessed that she got caught singing in the Wegmans the other day. In the bread aisle. By herself. Just busted out some random song and strangers were like "Huh? What's that lovely sound? Am I in dream sequence?"  It was probably totally like the part in the Shawshank Redemption when Andy Dufresne played the song from Figaro and all the inmates just stopped and listened and cried and the guards were trying to bust down the door but he just put his arms behind his head and closed his eyes. And it was all perfect right up until they came in and kicked his ass...  But it was a grocery store and not a prison and there were no inmates - that we knew of - and no one kicked Charlotte's heinie afterwards.  So, it's really nothing like the movie. Except that it's still awesome.

She got all blushed and said it's usually no big deal when she forgets herself and finds herself singing in Wegman's because she has her Little Man with her. So, typically it would be like she's singing to him. But on that day, the Little Man wasn't there, so she was just this maybe-crazy lady singing in the grocery store. To herself.

(Editor's note: I do this, too. All the time.  Except that I can't sing.  I blame Glee.  Damn you, Mr. Schuster and your bizarre, curly hair.  This has to STOP happening.  Don't make me get all Sue Sylvester on you because I WILL KICK YOUR TACO. - Lydia)

And then I realized that our kids give us cover. We can do silly things, like play tag at the park and vroom Tonka Trucks around the living room of a neighbor's house (well, you have to be invited over for another a dinner party. Geez, you do that one time and the whole world never lets you forget. They were cool trucks, dammit.) and sing in the grocery store. Or, in my case, much much worse:
  • I've taught McGee to play seat belt guitar. You know, at stop lights you yank the shoulder part away from your body like its the neck of the guitar and the buckle part serves as the -- ummm - other part. And then you rock out. Like you're Slash. If it's a particularly good song, you get your hair involved. And if the guitar solo is more than thirty seconds, you roll down the windows and do a high kick out the window. When you're with your kid, you look like a fun mom being silly with your child playing '80s Hair Band. When you're by yourself, there's not a song on earth that can save you. Not even Stairway to Heaven. Geez, you do that one time...although, if I am alone and I get caught, I totally rock out harder. They already think I'm crazy. But if I keep going, I'm eccentric.
  • I've gone to a meeting with playdough in the pocket of my suit jacket. It was 4:30 in the afternoon and the kids had been in school all day. And I had been at work all day. Some questions just shouldn't be asked. Like, "How did you wind up with playdough in your pocket?" Let's just move along, shall we?
  • Skipping. With child? Perfectly fine. Without? Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy. (Editor's note: The Cap'n often makes reference to a serious ailment that certain men suffer from called AMS or Adult Male Skipping.  AMS is creepy and also hilarious. - Lydia)  
  • When you play MakeUp with the kids, it's probably best to remember to clean your face before you go to a church event. Particularly when you're not bringing the equally-Bratz-inspired-eyeshadowed-children with you. It gives you that Soon To Be Living With 900 Cats aura. However, the meetings end so much sooner.
  • The people at the Lego store tend to prefer that, if you're going to be in there for two and a half hours building the greatest castle in Legoland, maybe bring a kid with you. Or, buy something. And then they call you "Ma'am."
  • Ball pits are kinda scary. Happy usually demands hands-on supervision. To keep from drowning in a sea of plastic, germy orbs. Easy part: Practicing my Greg Louganis inspired dive in. Hard Part: Remembering to get out when he gets out.
  • Even if "I Don't Dance" from High School Musical is a cool song -- and  it is -- walking to work with your iPod on full volume and doing the choreography...? There also possibly may have been singing...
  • Same goes for "Before He Cheats" -- Carrie Underwood is famous for a reason.  Kate is not for that very same reason.
McGee is hitting that age where I embarrass her pretty much just by breathing. Well, with the exception of Seat Belt Guitar. But then there was this one time that we were doing Freebird [Editor's Note: Yes, of course the windows were open. C'mon. It's not like we were doing Barry Manilow...even though you can totally play Seat Belt Guitar to him. But you have to be alone. Really alone. Like, rural road at night alone. Trust me. - Kate] and we were possibly too close to school and maybe the radio was too loud and we didn't notice the car next to us. With Ron Burgundy, the boy she like likes, in it. Staring at her. The way you stare at a pig wearing a bonnet and a 2004 campaign bumper sticker as a tube top.

McGee screamed. And totally dropped her guitar mid solo.

It was the longest two minutes at a red light in the history of ever. And she refused to play anymore. Or let me play. And made me promise not to play when I'm alone.

Two days later, Ron called. About five minutes into the conversation I heard this: " mom's's called Freebird...I don't know, it's really old.......yeah [laughing] just pull the seatbelt out and pretend you're playing...but it has to have a good guitar play drums on the glove compartment? That's so cool..."

They're totally going to start a band! I think we know where to find the lead singer. She's hanging out at Wegman's.


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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bible Study? Moi?

I am going to be teaching an evening Bible Study course this summer.  Stop laughing.  I know.  It gets better.  The Bible Study that I am about to teach is on a fascinating topic...  Wait for it...

The Twilight Saga.

That's right.  I was asked a couple of months ago to help teach this course for junior and senior high school girls.  So I met with the Youth Minister at my church and the conversation went like this:

(warning - Twilight spoilers)
Lydia: Thanks for asking me to do this.  But I'm not really sure why you want me, other than the fact that I'm sort of a nerd about Twilight stuff.
Youth Minister: We think you'd do a great job!
Lydia: So there's four sessions, right?  That's convenient  - one for each book.
Youth Minister: There are four books?
Lydia: You haven't read them?!  But you're going to be teaching this with me!
Youth Minister: Oh no, you're going to be the instructor.  Just you.
Lydia: ARE YOU INSANE? I don't think that's a very good idea.
Youth Minister: You'll do great.  Tell me some of the things you might talk about with the girls...
Lydia: Um... Well, I think Bella is sort of a bad role model for teenage girls.
Youth Minister: I thought she was good role model? 
Lydia: Well... She sort of only cares about her boyfriend.  And she lies to everyone she knows including her parents to accommodate the relationship.  Were you thinking about the whole abstinence thing? (Youth Minister nods) Well, actually she only agrees to marry her boyfriend so that he'll have sex with her and then turn her into a vampire.  Because Edward - that's her boyfriend - doesn't believe in premarital sex.
Youth Minister: (looks a little alarmed) So Edward is the good role model?
Lydia: Ummm... Sure.  I mean, he denies his sinful nature and all by only killing animals and not people.  And he totally wants to bite her and eat her and have sex with her.  She's the forbidden fruit - the apple on the cover on the book.  So there's that.  But before they were dating, he used to break into Bella's house every night and stare at her while she was sleeping.  That's a little creepy and stalkery.
Youth Minister: Ahem.  Oh.  Wasn't there a werewolf?
Lydia: Yes! Jacob.  He's pretty cool.  Except for this one time he sort of forced himself on Bella and she had to punch him the face to get him to stop making out with her and then she had to go the hospital because she broke her hand.  And then he threatened to kill himself so she would say she loved him and make out with him again.
Youth Minister: These are books for kids?
Lydia: Young adults.  So how do I talk about the sex parts?  And the pregnancy? And the half-vampire baby that ends up killing her after chewing its way out of her stomach and breaking all her bones?
Youth Minister: I don't think... Maybe you shouldn't talk about that part.
Lydia: Seriously? What about how the Volturi - who are the sort of like royalty or the government or whatever - are totally corrupt and evil?
Youth Minister: Seriously?  I need a minute...  (pauses)  You know what?  I think you should talk about whatever you want.  If kids are reading this stuff, it sounds like they should have the chance to talk about it with a responsible adult to help process some of these messages.  And the parents can sit in if they want, OK?
Lydia: Responsible adult?

So I'm on my own.  I have to come up with a curriculum all by myself.  But I have carte blanche!  Which is scary but also cool.  I've decided that it's a bad idea to base it on something I saw on Twitter last week, even though it would be awesome: 

"Teenage Girls, if your boyfriend is all sparkly in the sunshine & won't have sex with you, he's not a vampire. He's gay."

Then I thought of using The Oatmeal's amazing book synopsis as a jumping off point.  Then I thought again.  Then I considered using Mom-in-a-Million's book reviews.  Then all of it was rendered unnecessary.  Because I found out the awful (albeit hilarious) truth. 

The Youth Minister called me and layed it all out.  There are no junior and senior high school girls signed up for my class.  They're all mommies in their 30's and 40's.  Because the teenagers are all: "Twilight...yawn. Where's my phone?"  And the mommies are all: "Omigawsh!  Have you seen Eclipse yet?  Can you stand Taylor Lautner?! He's so cute!  Squeeee!!!"

The Youth Minister seemed sure I would be disappointed.  I was actually thrilled.  It means that I'm writing a Twilight curriculum for myself.  I anticipate that I will have excellent course evaluations.  People will wonder why everyone in my Bible Study leaves feeling so calm and happy.  Here's my outline:

Twilight Bible Study Curriculum For Moms by Lydia (in four sessions)
1. Tap T-box.  Pour into small foam cups.  Distribute.
2. Press play.
3. Giggle and make obnoxious comments.
4. Say Amen.
5. Go home.

It's going to be an epic saga, my friends.  I'm not really sure it has anything to do with the bible, but we'll figure that out later. 

xo, Lydia

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(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ummm, Drool. And, You're Welcome

Kate has been waiting for like SIX MONTHS for "Mad Men" to return...and finding out that Jon Hamm went to college with her (oh, and he totally had the hots for her too...yep) she figures it's only fair that she indulge in a little Don Draper-y.

Exhibit A why the University of Missouri ROCKS...

I rest my case.

McLovin & I will be on Twitter in an

xoxo Kate

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

When I'm a Parent, I'll Never... (part 3 - or is 4?)

Special Saturday Edition! MommyLand has teamed up with the Amy, the Pregnant Chicken for a final slice of "I Never" pie...  We've also added in a cup of "I would've" coffee... and after that was gone, we poured ourselves a T-box of "Can you believe she..." pre-mommy sanctimony.

We thought we knew it all? Oh yes. Weren't we all just the best moms before we had kids? Even yesser.

Happy Saturday!

xoxo K&L & PC

'Because I SAID so!' I used to hear mothers say this and think never. It seemed completely disrespectful. How much effort does it really take to explain X, Y, or Z to a small child? It turns out it takes a lot.
It's easier to stop a out of control speeding freight train careening to impact a bus full of hymn singing children with the power of my own thoughts than it is to explain anything beyond "NO!" to the IHPs*. Why? Because I freakin' taught them the word "Why?"

Kid: Can we go to the park?
Me: No, not right now.
Kid: Why?
Me: Because it's really hot outside.
Kid: Why?
Me: Umm, because it's noon in August.
Kid: Why?
Me: Seriously, are you talking to me about orbital rotation? I said no.
Kid: Why?

Following closely behind "Because I said so" -- the mommy-proverbial "If all your friends jumped off a bridge...??" Yeah, they love that one too. (Kate)

*For newbies, IHP's are Kate's children, the Indoor Homeless People. Lydia's are the Little Terror Suspects.

I would never, ever give up my job and be a stay at home mom. No way, Jose. Not this lady.
I tried this. Here's the thing. My kids need me to work. They go off to school and do their thing, they get to call me on the telephone and - let's be honest - their nanny is WAY more fun than I am. They need me up in their business 24 hours a day like they need a cherry spritzer colonic. Why? Because I'm not good at the room mom thing, I don't play well with others and I have a wardrobe of decidedly non-child-friendly footwear. When I'm home for more than a week straight, everyone starts getting a little twitchy. The last time it happened, I opened Happy's door one morning to "Ewwww, where's Nanny?" (Kate)

I swore that I would never be The Enforcer, you know - the tough mom who busts everybody's chops.  Now I'm know throughout the neighborhood for being "hardcore."
My way of thinking has progressed so far into group parenting, that the way I see it, if your kid is in the vicinity of my voice, I have parenting rights. Telling other people's children to sit down, hush it, eat their food properly or watch their mouths or I'm gonna shove a bar of soap in it has become standard practice. I can do a two-fingered whistle so loud and so high that the IHPs stop dead in their tracks when they hear it. Upside, other kids do too.

Yesterday at the pool, two boys decided it would be fun to swing kickboards at each other and pretend they were Jackie Chan. I let it go on for about 4 seconds before THE WHISTLE came piercing out of my mouth. The pool stopped. Including the parents and lifeguards. And the IHPs, thinking "What?! We weren't doing anything!" I pointed at the two boys and yelled, "Cut it out before I thump your skull for ya!" Didn't really need to yell. There was no other sound but me. For probably 3 minutes. When the mob comes calling, I wanna be known as Katie Two Fingers, know-wha-I'm-tawkin'-bout? (Kate)
I swore I'd never use my spit-dampened finger to clean my kids' faces. I wanted to square up on my mom every time she did it to me...and now, I'll be damned if there is EVER anything handy around to wipe their faces. Especially as we're going into church/school/grocery store/wherever. It never fails.
Not only do I do this one, I routinely stick my two-year old's entire hand in my mouth to suck off whatever he's been eating as a "pre-wash" before wiping his hand to save a little time. I've also eaten food stuck on their clothes that I hadn't noticed until we were ringing someone's doorbell. If you answer the door and I'm standing there chewing, there's a good chance it's a dried Cheerio off my kid's collar. (Amy)

I swore that my child would never use a pacifier. I would rock her and shush her and feed her and swaddle her and no pacifier would be needed.
I was strongly anti-binky before I became a mom.  But she had colic.  And she refused to sleep for more than two consecutive hours.  And she would SCREAM bloody murder every single night between the hours of 6 and 9:30pm.  I would have gladly sold my soul to the devil himself or played a midnight fiddle battle against him or whatever I had to do to get the baby to please stop crying, for the love of all that's holy.  Instead, I gave her a NukNuk and got myself fifteen minutes of peace and quiet. I used the time to rock back and forth holding myself chanting: "It's all going to be OK.  It's all going to be OK." (Lydia)

I said my cats/pets would never play second fiddle to the baby. I looked at people who shut shedding cats out of the nursery or had “no time left” to play and cuddle with fido as heartless. What, I imagined in my extreme naivete, could matter more than Fluffy? I was also known to (shamefully to me now) proclaim things along the lines of, “Why should a child’s life/happiness matter more than a dog’s? Why didn’t someone just shoot me? What an absolute moron I was. The first time my beloved cat woke the baby meowing and demanding to be petted, he became well acquainted with the basement.
Before I had kids, my two cats that were lovingly fed in separate bowls with carefully measured food, they were indoor cats because "I couldn't handle it if something happened to one of them" and I cried when I took them into the have their teeth cleaned because they would be so frightened and they wouldn't understand what was going on. Now that I have kids, they're only fed if one of them follows me around the house meowing and only after my 15th "what the fruck is your problem?" do I figure out "oh, you have no food or water". They are both allowed outside because they are 14 and I think they've earned the right to live out their twilight years in grass-eating, bug-chasing, sun lounging joy, plus, the boys try to draw on them. As for the vet and the teeth cleaning? "Hey cat, tell me if you're not feeling well, okay? *silence* "Carry on then." (Amy)

"I'll never let my kid get hooked on TV." Not having cable was no help in this situation. She is hooked on Blue's Clues DVDs. It's the first thing she asks for nearly every day. Oh well, could be worse ... We have NO Dora or Elmo DVDs!
If I ask my two-year old, "What should we do?" he'll scream "Tom-ah!" "Tom-ah!" Thomas the Tank Engine makes my bum itch: The island of Sodor is clearly run on caste system and I think the troublesome trucks should rise up and overthrow Sir Topham Hatt who is clearly a dick and plays on the fear and low-self esteem of all his trains. It's on about 400 times a day in this house. Wrong, yes? Changing? Nope. I'm avoiding "confusion and delay". (Amy)

"I'll never let me kid play with my purse"...
Not only do I let my kids play with my purse, but I let them play with my jewelry, my car, my cell phone and my hair. There is an intricate mathematic equation that figures out replacement cost ratio to chaos avoidance but only me and Steven Hawkins know the exact formula.  (Amy)

"When I go back to work full time (BWAA HAA HAAA), I will just find an awesome daycare.  I mean, how hard can that be?"
It took longer for me to find a decent daycare provider than it did for me to find a damn job.  It's not that I was picky, either.  It's that after interviewing and visiting literally 75 people and centers, I found one person that I could:
A) Afford without selling a vital organ to scary Hungarian surgeon, which somewhat defeated the purpose of working.
B) Didn't give me the willies, scabies, or lice. 
C) Didn't have an ex-convict sibling living in their basement. 
The one person I found?  Had a waiting list.  Got off the waiting list, then 6 months later she retired.  Lucked into a replacement who turned out to be childcare perfection and all was well.  Three months later that selfish b*tch decided she wanted to accept a scholarship and go to college.  After that I just gave up and got pregnant again. (Lydia)

My husband and I promised each other we would NEVER be one of those couples who called each other "Mommy" and "Daddy".  Now we do it all the time and we disgust ourselves. 
We used to live in Alabama where everyone, including the Governor, calls their parents "Mama'n'Daddy".  Then I noticed adult couples calling each other Mama and Daddy.  Being from New Jersey, I thought that was a little odd.  Then I had kids and realized that if we didn't call each other Mommy and Daddy or some nauseating variation thereof, my kids would be like: "LYYYYDIIIA! WIPE MY BOTTOM!" while shopping at Target.   At least when they call me mom and scream at me to wipe them, strangers understand that I am obligated to do so because they are my ill-behaved offspring. (Lydia)

I will never compromise my house or my decor to accommodate the children.  I will just tell them "NO" and they will leave all my lovely knick knacks alone.
I have one room in the house. We call it the Living Room, even though no one is allowed to live, sit, breathe, walk-through or stop there. Basically it's the No Room. It might as well be encased in the furniture plastic that stuck to the back of your thighs when you went to your Gramma's friend's house that smelled a little too much like fabricated jasmine and stale cigarettes from 1965. And have red velvet covered ropes. Hell, for that matter, it might as well have an open casket in it. 

The rest of the house has succumbed to kid chaos like sorority girls at a kegger. The Family Room is an exploded Toys R Us, my bathroom has Legos in the shower - whuck? - and last night I found a rubber snake at the bottom of the bed. Under the sheets. Though, I suspect McLovin. I retaliated with fake puke on his pillow. (Kate)

And that concludes our series of posts on "Before I was parent, I swore I'd never..."  If you missed any of them, start here with Amy the Pregnant Chicken's total brilliance, then move onto her hilarious second post, then click back to ours from yesterday.  Then you'll need a drink.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

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