Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Children Are Losing It Advisory System

Do you all know Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy? She's one of our dearest friends that we've never met.  She is hilarious and awesome and honest and an amazing writer and we adore her.  If you haven't read her stuff yet, we just know you're going to love her and her blog as much as we do.


About a year ago, Kate and Lydia were kind enough to provide all of our children the Mommy May Lose Her Schmidt Advisory System. It's a simple enough system to follow; when Mommy is happy, everyone is happy.

Thanks to this helpful system, my kids are pretty clear on when I'm about to lose my schmidt. Or maybe they just finally noticed that when the veins are popping out on my forehead, and you can actually hear my jaw clenching, that I'm about to lose it. However, the minivan still remains challenging for them, because they can't see my face. They do seem to be picking up on the fact that if I throw a soft pretzel across the van, I might be losing it. If they fail to notice that, I might have to slam tap the breaks slightly harder than necessary to get their attention, because nothing drives the point home like a little whiplash.

It's really best if you only throw
*one* pretzel across the van. 
Any more than that,
 and it's just wasteful.

In all fairness, though, it works both ways: when our kids are happy, we are happy. Perhaps the kids need a similar advisory system to keep us informed as to their own schmidt-losing status.

We have way too much experience with the schmidt-losing in our house. We have four kids, all within five years of age. Toss in an ADHD diagnosis and an autism diagnosis, and believe me, we have seen our share of tantrums.

Recently, my son Little Dude had a flat-out, jacket-throwing, on-the-floor meltdown. At Target. There's really nothing quite like the special, special pride of seeing your child kicking the floor in a public place. Nothing to see here, folks. Just a five-year-old having a conniption fit. Don't act like this has never happened to you.

Following the Schmidt Advisory System format, we'll start at the bottom.

Green: I'm happy. I slept well last night and I know where all my Littlest Pet Shops / Lego guys / Webkinz are. I have eaten recently, but I don't need to poop.

What Mom and Dad should do: Nothing. Ab-so-freaking-lutely nothing. You know how they tell you never to wake a sleeping baby. Don't mess with a happy kid.

Blue: I'm a little sad. And maybe a little whiny. I need a snack but I can't figure out that I'm hungry, so I'm just going to whine and whinge at you. My stomach hurts a little bit and it's embarrassing how every time I saw that my stomach hurts, you ask if I need to poop. And then it's super-annoying that you're always right; I need to poop. Also, I want to watch TV but there's nothing good on. Why don't we have all the premium channels?

What Mom and Dad should do: Sniff the diaper and respond appropriately, or tell the child to sit on the potty. Provide a snack and a hug, and then point out that if they can't find something else to do, you'll be happy to provide a list of suggested activities like cleaning under the beds or moisturizing mom's feet.

Yellow: Things are falling apart here, folks. We need a full meal and a nap, and if those things don't happen quickly, it's really not going to be pretty. We reached Code Yellow on a near-daily basis for years in our house, always during the witching hours of 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. By the time Daddy got home, things would be back to happy-happy Code Green. This is not due to some miraculous Daddy Power. It's because by then they would have eaten dinner, pooped, and gotten clean diapers.

Fine. I won't
super-size the nuggets.
What Mom and Dad should do: You still have a chance that distraction in the form of hugs, stickers, or SpongeBob might turn things around or at least buy you time to microwave some macaroni and cheese. Now is not the time to prep and cook a lovely five-course meal. Your kid doesn't need a fine dining experience; your kid needs the quickest, reasonably healthy thing you can dump into a bowl. Cereal is your friend. And if you're out and about? There's a reason they call it the Happy Meal. Yeah, I know Morgan Spurlock doesn't approve. But he doesn't have to deal with my whiny, hungry kids for the next two hours while I brave traffic with four kids in the car, get home, and cook dinner. Yes, I should have packed organic carrot sticks and boxes of soy milk. But I didn't, Morgan. And now I will buy some peace and quiet in the form of nugget-shaped processed chicken.

[Editor's Note: Don't you think Morgan Spurlock looks like Steve Sanders from 90210? - xo, K & L]
Orange: Things are not good. Someone took my toy, I have a diaper rash, Webkinz is down for maintenance, I missed a nap today because the line at the Post Office was so long, I am overloaded with long division homework, and/or I'm just completely overwhelmed by the lights, noise, and other sensory crap we've encountered today. There is sobbing but not screaming.

What Mom and Dad should do: Get out. Get out of the store, leave the party, go home. Pretty much the only thing that's going to help now is hugging and rocking.

We have a Code Red, people. 
Please send a T-box.

Red: You didn't move fast enough and now we have screaming. We have moved right past sadness and into rage. There may be kicking, throwing, and flailing. If you're the lucky parent of a barfer, you might even have the sobbing-vomiting combination known as "vobiting." This is the point where kids don't even know anymore why they're so upset.

What Mom and Dad should do: Seriously, it's a coin toss. You can try to calm the child down, or you can just let them exhaust themselves with crying, but either way, it's going to take a while. Also, as frustrating as the situation may be, parental yelling never makes a child calm down faster. It is okay, though, to ask for help. At the grocery store this week, Little Dude was starting to melt down just as we got to the cashier.

 "How are we doing today?" she asked cheerily.

"I need to get the hell out of here or we're going to have a Code Red," I responded.

She nodded and bagged the groceries toot sweet.

I guess the Code Red is universal.


Don't forget to check out Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy! You'll be glad you did...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Tribute: We Love A Man in Uniform

There are one and a half million men and women who put on a uniform every day. Add in the reserves, and that's another one and half million.

Three million people. And they all freakin' volunteered to do it. To be away from their families. To get sent to God knows where. To fight for freedom and love of country.
And there is ONE thing that makes that possible. That amazing group of moms and wives and dads and husbands that stay home and read stories and take kids to school and fix the meals and run the errands and pay the electricity bill and never whine about what they have to do or what they are giving up while their loved one gives everything to everyone else. They just put on their big kid pants and do it. You guys make it look easy. And it ain't. And we don't thank you enough. THANK YOU. For your hard work. For your incredibly huge and difficult sacrifice. For letting us borrow - and God willing, return - your treasure. In a sea of uniforms, you can spot that one face that belongs to the love of your life. We pray you get to see that face really soon. Memorial Day is yours, too and we honor you.

Besides, we totally love watching the serious PDA that happens when they get back. We high-five and giggle over the smoochies that mean that Afghanistence is nearly over. And we ugly cry when we see kids reunited with their parents.

For every one man and one woman who puts on that uniform - with pride and honor and love of this country - there is a mom and a dad, a brother and a sister, a son and a daughter, a husband and a wife - who gives them a kiss goodbye, says a prayer, and sends them into the world. The treasure of this great country, gift wrapped for the world in fatigues, dress whites, green berets and navy blue.

And, oh, don't they look just yummy in them? Is there not something about seeing someone at the airport or somewhere in those I-have-muscles-in-places-you-can't-even-imagine uniforms with the spit shine shoes or those jacked up Timberland-boots-on-steroids. Damn. And let's not forget about the hair, all high and tight and even their skulls are muscle-y. How do they even do that?

Half a world away, there's people who hate us and people who need us. And our guys and gals go out and face one and help the other. And, then they come home...or they don't. And to those that do, welcome home. We love you and thank you. And for those who don't, every day - but especially today - we thank you, your family, and we miss you terribly.

Be safe out there. Come home soon. God speed.

Love, Kate & Lydia

PS...grab a hankie.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kids' Arts and Crafts FAILS Part 6: The Non-PC Gallery

Happy once drew a picture that was Kate with red stabby lines coming out of her eyes and a gash through her throat. She was a little worried. Then Happy said the red parts were because he couldn't find black to do her eyelashes and that the lines are her neck were the pair of necklaces she wears.

Sometimes a picture, even one that might make us raise our eyebrows, is just a picture. We happily present the oddities of art:


I saw this piece at my son's school. Ummm...I tried to find his mother to ask her about it but couldn't:

[Editor's Note: Seems to me they're magical...they land, and walk away. Or, get into that handy getaway car. -Kate]

We were driving, and the kids were drawing in their sketch books. Our eight year old daughter loves horses and draws them all the time. When we saw this particular drawing though, we laughed. and laughed harder. and had tears. To her, one horse is standing next to another horse that is rearing. To us, there's a whole lot more "Wild horse action" going on!

So, Timmy? You have a new brother, right?

Hudson brought home his science project he made at school. This was a drawing from the book. Awesome.

My 5 year old son designed an outfit for his fluffy toy monkey out of white photocopy paper and presented it proudly to his dad and I. Whilst we applaud his artistry and creative expression, how do we break it to him that this outfit is not...er....well, not....um...politically correct and also totally horrifyingI swear we are a very nice, racially tolerant, open, accepting family.  Dear God, please believe that...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tep Ten Reasons To Dread the OB/GYN

Kate, is this your dentist
or your OB?
Is it in the water or something? In the past two weeks, it seems like everyone we know has either gone to see their ob/gyn or has an appointment coming up. Kate dreads hers for 364 days. Not that her doctor isn't awesome, but within 47 seconds of leaving the last appointment, she's already dreading the next one. Now  she just schedules them every year on the same day as she goes to the dentist, figuring you might as well get all the unpleasantness done on the same day. Though there is always the danger that someone will say "open wider" and she'll forget which doctor she's at and then everyone will be a little uncomfortable

10. We come to you, we get instantly naked, you didn't buy us dinner, usually we haven't had a glass of wine yet, you've just informed us how much we really weigh -- and you wrote it down -- and, at the end,  we. pay. you. It's no wonder that men think you have the best job in the history of the world.

9. No matter how complimentary your doctor is trying to be, and we realize that having this particular phenomenon is a huge plus in their book when it comes to doing their job, there is no way to be flattered by telling us we have "good birthing hips."

8. At one point, you will say, "this may be a little uncomfortable" and then we either experience the thrill of you apparently trying to pop one of our boobs, excavate for dinosaurs with your little tool that must be made of barbed wire and acid, or press so hard that our tonsils threaten to explode out of our ears.  It's a moments like these that we relish the "turn and cough" moment you get to experience every year.

7.  Maybe hide the tray of instruments? Between  far, far too many gels and cremes and "ointments", the 1927 microphone thing-y, the ridiculously long, pointy and oversized Q-tips, AND that thing that looks like a metal duck's face...really? Do we need to see that? The Marquise de Sade would be so lucky.
Dude, is he putting on rubber gloves?

6. For the record, we hate breaking in a new ob/gyn. We've spent 17 minutes in a paper dress with our panties on a chair studying your diplomas to make sure it doesn't say ".com" anywhere on it, and then you come in and five minutes later you're uhhh, down there with your very bright light and saying things like "so, looks like you've had a couple kids in the past few years..." Please, please let it be that you read that on our chart, because otherwise we're left thinking that our hoohahs are so expansive that, if you talk too loudly, we're gonna hear an echo out of there.

5. This phrase: "Please scoot a little closer." We'd prefer not to walk with our ass cheeks. Thank you.

4. While we love a nicely decorated exam room, especially one with calm, soothing pictures of your farm, having a photograph of a rooster on the wall? Ummm, should we really be thinking about c*cks at this moment?

3. In that same vein, how about NOT putting pictures on the ceiling. Yes, we realize that we'll be looking up, but we'd also like to think we'll be in that particular position for such a short amount of time that we don't need the visual entertainment.

2. I know that you and your nurse do this same thing all day long, every day and I only do this once a year. But would it be possible for your nurse not to look bored as you get to third base and I try not to squirm around feeling deeply uncomfortable?  I get that this is no big deal for her, but it would be slightly less awkward for me if she didn't look as if she'd rather be playing Angry Birds. 

1. Please, please please...for the love of Maude. Warm your hands up first. Just not like this:

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We're Busier Than Bees AND Beavers...

Welcome back to your weekly post where we tell you what we've been doing while we weren't here and link you up to all the stuff we posted on the old interweb that wasn't here.

Kate continues to work more hours than an indentured servant except that she does in mortgage payment shoes and car payment hair.  And while she does get to eat lunch with other adults and pee alone, she is also reaping the rewards of total exhaustion and children who are grateful and appreciative for all the hours she is spending away from home.  By "grateful and appreciative" we, of course, mean petulant and pissy.

Meanwhile, at Lydia's house...  The Cap'n and Lydia continue to look for houses and their idea "move-in ready" is proving to be so widely divergent that there may soon be a regrettable incident at an open house. Also, please raise your hand if you're aware that buying or selling a house is a stress-drenched part-time job that at times is as much fun as a root canal?  Please note that Lydia did not raise her hand because she did not realize that and also because she's an idiot.

However, Lydia's mom came to visit this week and they ate Peking Duck and watched Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth.  Not actually with him.  He was in it.  In any case, Lydia is winning this week because poor Kate does nothing but work all day and then come home and work there on things like dinner and homework and laundry until the kids are in bed and then she has to go to bed because her alarm goes off at 4:30 am.

Speaking of which...Dear Alarm Clock people, Can you please devise a Smart Alarm Clock that can differentiate between the kind of waking up would be best at a particular hour of day? Like, if it's 8:57am on a school day, maybe a shrieking one that bounces around the room going "GAH! Three minutes until school! What were you thinking? Get up! Get up!" But if I'm forced to wake up right in the middle of the freakin' night because of a job, I'd love for my alarm to commiserate. "Hi Kate...sorry sweetie. It's time. I know you're super tired, but I'll play a little Chopin or something, OK? Now, make sure you actually wake up or the next alarm will be 'Hey Mickey!' and you know you're not getting that out of your head any time soon." [Editor's Note: Super. Now I have that song in my head...you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey --dun dun dun-dun - Hey Mickey! You're totally welcome.  -Kate]

But enough about us! Over at Parent's Connect, Lydia suggested some alternate names for "Terrible Two's" as they have been kicking her ass pretty hard for the last few months. Of course, something happened this week and now Lydia is terrified that three may be worse.  What is  your opinion on this - is three worse than two?

For Maternal Ammunition, we posted a (reworked, punched up, super funny and totally improved from last year) Top Ten Reasons Why Memorial Day Weekend Is Not Fun For Moms

And, from the inbox this week. Oh my Maude the stuff you girls find...

First, we're going to Istanbul! That's right! Get your...ummm, Turkish [Turkish, right? Stupid geography] stuff packed and bring an empty suitcase, because they have an entire store just for us!

And, in homage to MiniMiniMe's angelic personality, look what Lauri made for her daughter's birthday...though we're still wondering when our delivery is showing up. Oh, Lauri! We're huuuuuungryyyyy...

Oh good Maude. Maybe you thought they were only for women? No Here are some charming Junderpants pour homme. We're sorry about your eyes. And we're still wondering how the "dude" on the left has such an hourglass-y waistline...and has shaved...and now we're starting to think that's just a sock in...in there.

And, finally, just in case the words weren't enough, here you go:

Like we said. You're welcome.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Five Universal Laws of *Sunday* Mornings

"Mommy threatened to beat us if we didn't move our fannnies
lickety split and get in the car because she says if we're
late to church one more time, she's selling us to gypsies."
 As if it wasn't enough that mornings are such incredible time-sucks and clusterf**ks that we feel the need to threaten people with six week old tuna sandwiches if they don't get their butts in gear. And, amazingly, our mornings have become slightly easier, though it may be due to the fact that we are now 1) having the children do their homework in the car, therefore keeping all backpacks and such from ever entering our house; and 2) waking them up by dousing them with cereal and letting the dog come after them. In that way, they're awake, "bathed" and they've fed the dog. All in all, we might actually be gaining time in the morning. With any luck, when we wake up on Wednesday morning, we'll be so far ahead of ourselves, it'll still be Tuesday.

Sundays, though? Uhhh, what happened to Sunday morning? The proverbial "day of rest" is anything but. [Editor's Note: Hey, stupid, it's not proverbial, it's biblical. Dumb ass. - Lydia] And, well, it's clearly being controlled by its very own set of very whack Universal Laws.

The Nutrition Proposition: My husband looked at me on Saturday night, about .0003 seconds after I had finally had a chance to sit down, and was mercilessly bereft of a glass of wine and said the following:  "It'd be nice to have a nice big Sunday breakfast. You know, waffles and eggs and bacon and sausage and maybe, oh, you know, some cinnamon rolls... Get everyone off to a good start..."  And then wondered why my eye was twitching. A six-course breakfast? Tomorrow morning? Before church? Whuck? Do we suddenly have elves working for us? No? Then you are out of your damn skull. Unless you're dragging your patootie up at, oh let's say 5:45am to concoct this delicious display of culinary confections, you'll have to make do with a cup of hot coffee (how novel...mine is usually just this side of icy with a lovely film of -- of film on the top) and the New York Times. Or, if you prefer, I can douse you with a bowl of cereal and send the dog after you.

Mommy couldn't be in this picture because on Sunday
mornings she looks like a crazed marmoset. 
The Appearance Anomaly: Why? Why is it that I'm the first one up, the last one out the door and yet somehow the one who looks infinitely worse than everyone else? The children are in their Sunday best, my husband looks like Don Draper, what with his freshly  polished shoes and - what? - are those cufflinks? and I look like I spent my morning wandering through a mental institution and a swamp. Only if my hair were actually made of snakes would it be any worse. And then I get to church and people give me that "oh, hellooooooooo...how arrrrrrrrrre yooooooouuuuuuuuuuuu?" and pat my hand and offer me tea. Which is lovely and all, but only because I later realize that my shirt was on inside out and yet I still managed to have a boobstain.

The Piety Paradox: It's a good thing we went to church, and spent those 60 minutes or so thinking pious things and asking for forgiveness and everything. Because, no matter what we did for the six previous days, nothing, nothing is worse than what happened in that last hour before we arrived at church. The level of unChristianlike behavior, threats, invective, foul thoughts about family members who brush their teeth so slow, what are you doing? brushing them one at a time? GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM! that I find myself piteously apologizing to my children later for maybe going a little whackadoodle while we were at home, that despite Mommy's scream-y voice earlier, they are not the worst children in the universe even though I'm still perplexed at why you needed to have a spitting war at that particular moment, and that while Mommy doesn't exactly know the answer to whether or not God has a last name, she's pretty sure it isn't actually "Dammit".

Dear God, Do you have
a last name? Amen.
The Behavior Mutation: These people spend all week trying to be anywhere that I'm not. I spend half my life on a search mission for their stuff, and the other have searching for them. Why is it, then, that the minute those little fannies hit the pews, that there is not enough Mom to go around. The little one is desperately trying to re-enter the womb with the fervor of a NASA pilot, the other two -- despite the fact that I still have both my left and right side available, the little one having taken up residency across my entire torso and lap -- are jockeying for a position that both gets them as close to me as possible, and yet still deny their sibling that same access. Hey! Guess what, geniuses? Unless you find King Solomon, there's no way you can simultaneously be on BOTH SIDES of me. And, frankly, I don't need you split in half. Because then I'll suddenly have five children instead of three, and we just don't have enough bedrooms. Aside from the fact that you'll never share with your other half. Please. Sit still. Please sit still. Sit. Still. GAH!

The Illumination Illusion: At some point in every service, usually right after the PleaseSitStills, and no matter how many times I beg, plead, cajole or bribe, there comes a moment when I'm forced to do the gritted-teeth-pretending-not-to-talk "if you do not cut it out, and I mean right now, I'm going to march you out of here in front of everyone -- you are not bored, you are just not listening well enough." What? When, in the history of ever, have I been able to ward off boredom just by listening harder. [Editor's Note: I had a college professor who bored me to the point that I thought he could be deployed as a nerve agent on hostile nations, and made the grand mistake once of trying to listen more intently. What did I discover? That he clicked every time he took a breath. After that, all I ever heard was the clicking. When was the battle of Thermopolis? SixClickeen Forty-Click? The Clicks won. Yeah, that was three grand well spent. -Kate]

Eight seconds after we've left the building, someone smacks someone. My husband and I look at each other, and he says, "Well, it was one second longer than last time. They're improving." An hour of prayerful thought, confession and lessons, and one-twelfth of one-sixtieth of that time later, we've forgotten all of it in favor of a well timed smack upside the head. And I'm forced to ask myself the bracelet-inspired question: What Would Jesus Do?

And then it dawns on me. I'm pretty sure he'd have a six-course breakfast lined up (probably some loaves and fishes or something).  Let's hope he remembered to hire some elves.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Domestic Enemies of the Gay Mom

This installment of the Domestic Enemies comes from our friend Dana. Here's a little about her:

I live in non-marital bliss with my partner of eight really, really long years. We have two super loud, messy and awesome kids, DD age 6, and DS age 2. And, because everyone asks, they call me Mommy and my partner Momma, and no they don’t get confused, and yes they WILL correct you if you call us the wrong name. I am the work outside the home mom, and my partner is the stay at home/home schoolin’ mom (yeah it’s pretty rock star). We’re Midwestern transplants living so far south in a southern state that we have to drive north to find rednecks. We’re former foster parents and we hope to get back to doing that again, because it’s our dream to have enough kids to fill up that Dodge Sprinter van we’ve always wanted.

And now we present, the Domestic Enemies of the Gay Mom(s):

Who’s Yer daddy?
There’s an amazing amount of shameless busybodies who, once they realize that my partner and I are both called Mom by our children, immediately begin questioning HOW our children were conceived (none of their business), and WHO the participants were (really none of their business). [See also: Which one of you is the mom? No, I mean which one of you is the REAL mom? Which one of you HAD the baby??] And then there’s the Daddy questions. “Who is he?” they ask with one eyebrow raised, while scrutinizing the kids’ faces 'cause maybe they recognize that nose from somewhere.

[Editor's Note: Can we establish for the record that its not good manners to suggest that someone's child isn't really their kid or to start getting up in somebody's junk about if/why/did fertility treatment play a role? - xo, Lydia & Kate] 

When our daughter was a baby we had fun with these questions (and when we were foster parents of babies of different races we really had fun with them). But there comes a time when our little big-eared darlings don’t need to hear me tell the IHOP waitress that we had the tests done, but we’re waiting for our Maury Povich taping next week to hear the results.

So please, don’t make me pull out that line again until all of the children are at least 12 and I can enjoy the inevitable mortification it would cause, because I am already forced to have the weekly awkward conversation where I interpret whatever strange story Dear Daughter has decided to divulge during Sunday School without adding THAT to the mix.

Das Authorityski
If you’ve ever had your authority as a parent questioned by anyone, it is an express train ride to The Rage. And if your kids are present when it happens, it’s kicked up a few notches to Hungry Mama Bear on a Bad Spring Day. 
But it is a common occurrence for at least one half of our parenting team. Only one of us is allowed to be listed on the birth certificate because it would cause some pin-headed bureaucrat's head to explode if we crossed out Father and put Parent on the form (see Forms below). Which leaves one of us with all of the parental legal authority as a 15 year old babysitter, but with less pay.

Enter here our well paid and friendly attorney, who drafts reams of legal documents that no one understands (not even me, and I’m an attorney), giving the Non-Legal Parent "approximate parental rights". This is all fine and good, but those rights only exist on paper and our diaper bag does not have a waterproof compartment large enough to carry the equivalent of Shakespeare’s complete works unabridged.

The TSA is awesome. Everyone knows that.
This dramatic reenactment is based on actual events: Non-Legal Parent takes both children alone on an airplane.  Our supersized 15 month old, who she is cleverly trying to pass off as an under 2 year old lap passenger, raises the suspicion of ticketing agent who asks to see proof of his age (Whuck??). So Non-Legal Parent, having left our toddler’s state issued picture ID at home, pulls out The Papers and points to section IX(A)(iii), which lists said toddler's birthdate, or most of it at least; the other part being half-obscured by a peanut butter smudge. What? He was born on the 17th of Jif. You got a problem with that?

The ticketing agent stands up straighter and with glee in her eye says ”Oh, so you’re not really his parent?” Minutes later Non-Legal Parent is given a matching pair of pretty silver bracelets and taken into a secluded backroom for some some 'enhanced' questioning about her attempts to take a minor across state lines. (Okay, that last sentence isn’t true, but try talking yourself out of that situation in a way that doesn’t make you sound like a bungling kidnapper).

The Freaking Forms
I touched on this a bit in the prior section, but every mother-lovin' form in existence helpfully has information lines for a Mother and a Father, and Maude help you if you cross out the words that were  printed on the page and insert a generic Parent #1 and Parent #2.

Want to have fun the next time you are filling out papers at a new doctor’s office/school/hospital/job? Where it says Marital Status and has boxes for Married, Widowed, Divorced, Never Married ... draw your own box at the bottom and write None of the Above. See how that works out for you.

Or, failing that, just put a big smear of peanut butter across that part. Marital Status? We're just Skippy, thanks...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Five Questions for My Kids - Again

These questions for my children just keep coming.  Because notwithstanding the fact that I love them more than sunshine or spring rolls or a good red wine, I don't understand them at all. And I made them. 

So let's begin...

What happens to my scotch tape?
Seriously, where does it go? Because every single time I go to Target I am forced to buy a new three-pack.  What do you do with it?  I remember that time you tried to create a toddler size spider web in your closet. Or the time you made yourself a mummy. But lately, I'm starting to think that one of you has some sort of hoarding compulsion and that when we move out I'm going to find a crawl space full of scotch tape and you'll be guarding it murmuring; "my precioussssss..."

Do I look like this?
Note the following:
NOT mommy.
Mommy is not a water dispenser.  Mommy is also not a magician.  And Mommy does not appreciate being greeted by you after school with a foot stomp and "I'm hot. Can I have some water?" She would really prefer a "Hi Mommy!" and a nice hug.  Other children managed to work in a "hello" before they start their rigorous after school schedule of demanding things and avoiding homework. And if I do manage to produce a juice box or bottle of water from my capacious and ugly mom-purse, could you not sigh and roll your eyes because it is not cold enough or Maude forbid you have to share it?

Why do you wait until we've left the house to tell me that you're hungry/thirsty/need to pee?
You see my darlings, once we're in the car it's pretty hard for me to make you a sandwich.  And despite what the van smells like, there's no toilet in there.   And as far as being thirsty, I believe we just covered that. So prior to leaving the house, when there's still a chance you can get what you want - that's the time to ask. Because once we're in the car, its TFB.

What is it about watching TV that makes you f*cking deaf?
You are lovely, intelligent obedient children in my mind in public optimistically.  So why is it that when you're watching television all of our conversations go like this:

Mommy: Kiddos! Dinner! Please come to the table!
Kid 1: Mmmmm Hmmmm...
Kid 2: OK...
Kid 3: grunt.
[One minute later...]
Mommy: Water or apple juice?
Kid 1: Mmmmm Hmmmm...
Kid 2: OK...
Kid 3: grunt.
[One minute later...]
Kid 1: Mmmmm Hmmmm...
Kid 2: OK...
Kid 3: grunt.
[thirty seconds later...]
Mommy: GUYS!! Dinner! Come ON! Water or Apple Juice?! And PLEASE get to the table!
Kid 1: Mmmmm Hmmmm...
Kid 2: OK
Kid 3: grunt.
[twenty seconds later...]
Mommy: [stomps into living room, turns off TV, slams something, then screeches:] WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?! GET TO THE TABLE RIGHT NOW!
Kid 1: Why are you yelling at us?
Kid 2: You're mean, Mommy. [sniffle]
Kid 3: Apple juice?

Why is that when you go to sleep later, you wake up earlier?
That is not fair.  First of all, children need plenty of sleep to be happy and healthy and also not succumb to the urge to be tedious and annoying whiners.  Mommies need children to get plenty of sleep so that they have time to do fun grown up things like fold laundry and pay bills.  So when you fall asleep late, we have to stay up late in order to accomplish those fun grown up things.  And then we are forced to wake up at some ungodly hour of the morning in the manner if a damn rooster and that makes mommy grouchy.

Also, that time in the evening when you are not sleeping and you should be?  That's very important time. That's MY time.  That's the time I have to do things that are hard to accomplish while you are awake. Like having a conversation with another adult. Namely, your father. You know, that attractive man who lives here?  Except by the time you've finally gone to sleep, and I've poured myself a glass of wine, and turned the TV on, and he tries to tell me about his day, I am so tired and brain dead that all our conversations go like this:

Daddy: Isn't that amazing? What do you think that means?
Mommy: Hmmm mmmm...
Apple juice?

And that's all the questions I have, for now....

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kids' Arts and Crafts FAIL Part 5

We're sensing a theme here. That a lot of these drawings have a certain resemblance to a particular body part. Maybe because it's super easy to draw? Yeah, let's just go with that. Someday we can all tell our kids that they really, really liked personifying penises...

My daughter Kristina (age 3) brought this home from preschool last December, and proceeded to explained to me that her gingerbread man was pooping:

My son drew this picture, illustrating the “If you give a pig a pancake” book – I have no idea what he wrote, but I hope the sentence doesn’t match the picture.  I suppose he IS biologically correct, though…

"Ummm, it's so good, baby. Yes! I love it. Of course I can tell it's Mommy. That's totally fine that my legs sprout from my chin and my arms come from my thighs. Oh, and I'm screaming? OK. Wait -- did you sneak in Mommy and Daddy's room the other night? Crap."

Here is something my 6 year old created over the Christmas break – it’s no penis horse, but I am sure you’ll appreciate it just the same. I came upon it while cleaning the playroom. What’s worse? That he knows the lyrics to a dirty old song or that he actually likes big butts? Hayden, age 6 – LYRICAL Genius. Such a proud mommy moment ;-)

This is a “caterpillar” that my 3 year old daughter drew at a restaurant one night:

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kids' Arts and Crafts FAIL Part 4

Lydia's dead. She saw one of these materpieces and died. Kate laughed so hard she snorted coffee on her shirt and now she has a boobstain, so she might as well be dead, too. 


My daughter is now 8. Last year she made her communion and she LOVED her dress.She loved it so much that all she did was draw pictures of it.I almost choked on my damn coffee when I saw this one. Also notice the scary alien people behind the dress:

My daughter brought this home from her Christian preschool. It's called "The Big Dipper."  And yes, those are stars pouring out of the tip of the rocket. She was 4 1/2 when she made it.  It hung on the fridge for a year and a half just so that visitors could admire her rocketpenis work. 

A note from my 8 year old daughter. The front, a very sweet note. On the back, a picture of Mom’s favorite drink. I told her to please not draw that at school:

My daughter came home with this from preschool yesterday. It's a paper mache' piece of artwork she made.  She likes archeology type things and made a "bone".  That is similar to what I was thinking it was but not quite the same meaning of the word...  I will let you be the judge.

My sisters looked at me funny when I showed them this piece. Not sure what to make of it, but my daughter seemed really proud and hasn't since killed any small animals or anything. So I'm not too worried:

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Top Ten Reasons We're Ready for the Apocalypse

Did you know tomorrow is the end of the world? It totally is...and you know what, we're not that upset about it. Sure, it would have been nice to see the most recent episode of Glee that's waiting for me on TiVo and Oprah's Final Show [Editor's Note: Wait, I sense a conspiracy theory here...Oprah says she's ending her show, but the universe says otherwise. The world is gonna end with three un-aired episodes in the can. Seems only fitting... - Kate] But, there's some other things that maybe make the apocalypse seem kinda like a really good idea: 

10. I didn't want to fold that f*cking laundry anyway.

9. If the world is ending tomorrow, anyway, there's really no reason not to finish the bottle.
Lydia, do you even KNOW how to smoke?

8. I'll take two packs of Marlboro lights, please.

7. I just told my mother in law to suck it. And I'm about to call her back and do it again.

6. You know what I'm wearing on my way to hell? PajamaJeans. [How nice. Your "pants" will be so happy to be back home where they belong. Please, please tell me they'll burn in fire. Please tell me they'll burn in fire. Please tell me those f**kers will buuuuuuurn.  - Kate]

5. We took the CDC's advice and we're all ready for a zombie apocalyspe. In fact, we're looking forward to it because we both have PMS and it means we get to hit things with bats.

4. Remember my douchebag neighbor with the pit bulls and the 3am fireworks and the huge parties?  Guess who's getting Barry Manilow and Lionel Ritchie blasted in his bedroom window all night long (allll niiiight)?

3. Hello, Jimmy Choo? Yes, send me everything you've got. Six and a half. American Express number? Sure thing, here you go...I'll be paying that off, oh, right around the first of Never.

2. Kids, let's listen to some Lil Wayne. Suuuuuuure, of course you can say "mutherf**ker" -- it's in the song, isn't it?

1. Let's see... The best part? After a dozen years, I get the house to myself. Finally... Even if I am a zombie. I'm totally gonna watch Oprah. Zombie Oprah.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Kids' Arts and Crafts FAIL Part 3

In case you missed them, here's Part One, and here's Part Two. Now we really DO want to see an art exhibit at the Met or something that has this stuff, and all you'd see is a bunch of moms sipping from wine boxes and snorting Pinot Noir all over the floor at every picture. These are epic.

I got called out by my son's K-4 teacher (class is at our church!) for this lovely Thanksgiving dinner art collage that they put together in class:

I dare you to look at this butterfly and not laugh! I see a penis with balls between two boobs. [Editor's Note: Yeah...we see that too. -Kate]

I think my 5 1/2 year old daughter said it all with this picture. The drawing itself is not that bad of a fail, but the description she wrote underneath it is. I'm still not sure why she had violent tendencies towards The Cat In The Hat. She and the cat are both smiling and the words she wrote are going down like the staircase! She drew this at school while they were celebrating Dr. Seuss Birthday. I'm sure the teachers loved it and were not concerned at all.

Created by my 10-year old daughter after she dumped half of can of soda on my laptop and killed it:

This isn't really an art masterpiece, but I had to share it anyway.
My at-the-time  2 year old loved his magnetic letters. He played with them all the time, and could tell us their names and sounds. Luckily, he couldn't actually read or spell. (see bottom right). 
This was NOT staged, and I didn't move any of the letters. Just ran for the camera.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

Kids' Arts and Crafts FAILS Part 2

This picture is Lydia's favorite. It is called "Bring it, Dinosaur."

This is a picture of me drawn by my (then) 6 year old, after I got angry and sent her upstairs on a time out. Contrary to what the picture will have you believe, I am NOT flipping my daughter off. According to her, I am pointing upstairs and yelling at her to go on a time out. But that IS steam coming out of the top of my head. I LOVE this picture.


My daughter created this family portrait for an art project at school. I think it is TERRIFYING. I'm in the upper right.... In real life I don't have a bald spot.

"What is David drawing?" What, indeed, is David drawing?

 My first grader needs a little help with spelling....

[Editor's Note: Oh my Maude...I died with this one. Read the end: "...if I met a hores, I would ride it." Dead. -Kate]

More in a bit...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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