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


  1. This was awesome!!! I said I would never buy my sons (or daughters for that matter) toy guns. I bought my oldest son a doll when he was 9 months old. I was going to be the most gender equality based parent EVER. He ignored the doll and turned anything, and I mean anything, into a 'gun'. Sigh. He eventually got the guns.

  2. Brilliant! I found myself reading out loud to my husband with violent fits of laughing and tears running down.

  3. @ Angela! I swore about the toy gun thing too! I never let him watch anything even remotely gun related EVER nor has he ever had a toy one, but somehow by age 3, he knew what guns were & that he loved them... ? Anything long is always a gun! Now... anything long is his "walking stick" that he uses as a crutch or to "knock the bad guys out"

  4. Let me say that from personal experience, Kate's whistle really does stop everyone in their tracks. It's impressive... If only for the fact that every single person who does stop at the sound seems to have the same look of fear in their eyes. A sort of, "Oh schmidt, what did I do?!"

  5. Thomas the tank engine... what can be the worst that can happen. Well My Son's favorite character was Percy but he sadly couldn't pronounce it although he had every video... the result is a sweet cherub who will tell anyoneone (but especially his Sunday School teacher) how much he LOVES to Watch Percy movies... it was HELL till that boy could pronounce the R in the middle of "Percy"

  6. OH my word - tears rolling as usual. Thanks from the bottom of my pee soaked panties.

  7. @angela @pj ... I'm still on the no-gun toys bandwagon. For one thing, if your kid (well, my kid) pretends to have a gun at a Montessori preschool, they ask you to take him home. (I discovered. There's also a lot of other reasons they ask you to take an ADHD kid home from a Montessori preschool. I learned.) For another thing, my kid has gun toting relatives who I trust to teach him gun SAFETY as opposed to mowing down crowds with an AK-47, and that it's a serious business that probably isn't as much fun as he thinks it is.

    Nevertheless...last week he was mowing down living room furniture with a pretend gun made from a slinky. I cannot even imagine what kind of gun could be made from a slinky, except that if I could actually manufacture such an item, I would probably be able to sell it for millions of dollars...and everyone has a price. :P

  8. ahaha! I am totally "hardcore" mom! But this was never an "I never" moment or a surprise for me, since they used to call me Dragon Lady at work before I even had kids

  9. #1: Katie Two Fingers is AWESOME!
    #2: Lydia, my first was really colicky too. It was a nightmare. My ex (not ex yet at the time) worked nights. When the sun started to set I would get panicky and by the time he was leaving I would be hysterical over the thought of being alone with HER. For the first few months he had to come home from work in the middle of the night because I was a) contemplating putting the baby in the basement where I couldn't hear her scream or b) contemplating throwing her out of the nursery window--on the second floor. It was a hard first year.

  10. Awesome!
    I've got "I would never just turn the tv on and leave it on most of the day." I stuck with that for quite some time. And then I got pregnant with #3 and learned the true meaning of exhaustion. For months our days were spent with them playing, Nick Jr on all the time, and me trying to sleep on the couch (often with a child or two jumping on me).

    I also remember, when I had only one kid, knowing a mom who always wore sweats and a t-shirt, looked like she hadn't met a brush in weeks, and had 5 (FIVE!) unruly kids. I was so shocked at how she'd let herself go and how crazy her kids were. Good Lord. Didn't I just know everything with my one little infant! I am now that woman....but with just three kids.

    The only "I will never" I stuck to, and am very proud of, is that I swore my kids would NEVER watch Barney. And they don't. In fact, if Barney comes on, my daughter freaks out and runs out of the room. She avoids him at all costs, like he is the plague. I have followed through on this quite well, I have to say.

  11. I just died laughing for at least twenty minutes. You have no idea how much I needed this post this morning as I sit and survey this ridiculously small apartment I am now living in!!

  12. Fantastic! What a great topic for a post. Well done as always ladies ... and I'm glad to see two of my "I'll nevers" made the cut!

  13. Ummm, the sucking food off clothes........I just had to do that to a wedding dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It somehow got a spot of ketchup on it during transit. So mom sucked it off.

  14. I wasn't gonna be a binky mom until I realized that it is said to help prevent SIDS. From that moment on I was converted, only because I have enough medical issues that could be passed on that SIDS is a serious worry to me so I am a binky mom until she is one then the binky will be gone.

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