Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Interview with the Experts: The Vacation Edition

With summer quickly approaching, most families are in the midst of making their vacation plans.

Some of us don't have the luxury of employing house managers, like Camille Grammer does...someone who ensures that our fridges are adequately stocked with our favorite goodies or makes sure the water in our own personal jacuzzi tub is set at exactly 78.4 degrees.

So, Cole and Bella have been generous enough to share some of their thoughts on vacations with us, to help you with your planning, of course...

1)  Where do all kids want to go on vacation?

Cole - Uh, Japan to see Yoshi and Disney Cruises

Bella - Disneyland, Marine World and Disney Cruises

2)  Where do all parents want to go on vacation?

Cole - Disney Cruises, Disneyland and Hawaii.  Maybe Japan or Marine World.

Bella - Ooooh, I can answer that.  Disneyland.  Or maybe Marine World.  No, Disneyland.

Me - I vote for Hawaii.

Cole - This is OUR interview.  You don't get to vote.

3)  Are vacations expensive?  

Cole - Hardly expensive.  Most of them are like 24-26 cents and that's not bad.  That's pretty affordable if you ask me.

Bella - Uh, YES, they're expensive.  Because you have to pay for them with the money you make from working.  Most vacations are around $1000 and that's a lot of money.  You could save your money for thousands of years and STILL never have enough to go on vacation.

4)  If you were a professional vacation planner, what would you plan for families to do on vacation?

Cole - Well, first I'd make them play games like Monopoly, Blokus and Uno.  Then they'd swim at the beach for a little while but be sure to avoid sharks with big mouths.  After swimming, the parents have to take their kids to a store, any store, and let the kids pick out whatever they want with your money.  When the kids go to bed, the parents can stay up and watch some television and hold hands.

Bella - Here's what my plan would be. The kids should play games, like freeze tag outside after eating lunch.  The moms should drink wine and the dads will drink beer but while they're drinking they need to watch their kids play.  Because kids can wander off and get accidentally buried in the sand.

5) Is it cool for parents to go on vacation without their kids?

Cole - No, never because then the kids would be home all alone and maybe a stranger would steal the kids, which would be sad because the moms and dads care about their kids so much.  You want to get your kids from that stranger but you don't know the stranger so you don't know their number.  That's why they call them strangers, you know.  Not because they're strange but because you don't know them.

So you just have to wait for the stranger to bring the kids back home.  And they will bring the kids back because the kids need to eat dinner and so does the stranger.  But don't invite the stranger over for dinner because they stole your kids and that's not okay.  Actually, you should probably call the police and tell them what the stranger did.

Me:  What about the idea of leaving the kids with a babysitter?

Cole:  Yeah, but some parents might forget to order a babysitter.  Kids cannot stay home alone.  So just take the kids with you.

Bella - No, never.  The parents wouldn't have any fun if they didn't bring the kids.

6)  How long should a vacation last?

Cole - 4 or 5 days.  After the 4th or 5th day, make sure you did everything you want to do.  Like on the last day, you have to take your kids to the Lego store and buy them stuff.  If not, the vacation has to go on for longer which costs more money.  About 25 cents more.

Bella - Like, until you die.  Never stay home, that's boring.  So, so, so boring.  Unless you get a new bike like I just did.  Mommy, did you write a blog post yet about my new bike?

Me - No, but I'm working on it.

Bella - Well, let me know when it's done so I can read it before everyone else does.

Me - Oh, what?  You need to check my work for spelling errors?

Bella - That's what my teacher does.  Someone has to check your work, too.

7)  How do you know when a vacation is over?

Cole - A vacation is over when all the fun is gone and everyone's bored.  Oh wait, I know.  When the kids are crying, that's when a vacation is over.

Me -  Then our vacations would be over before we even left the driveway.

Cole -  Ha ha.  Very funny.  But you're kinda right.

Bella - Vacations are over when the mom and dad say it's time to go home.  The kids probably won't want it to be over but we don't have any money so it's not like we have any say.  Or when someone pukes.  That ALWAYS happens.

8)  Do kids listen better to their parents when on vacation?  Why or why not?

Cole - Yes.  Because it's fun and the parents are having fun.  When everyone's having fun, no one wants to get in trouble.  As soon as someone gets in trouble, the vacation is over.

Bella - Um, yes.  I'm not sure why, though.  Probably because we want to enjoy ourselves and have fun but at home, we don't really care what our parents want.

9)  What kinds of foods should people eat?  Should they eat healthier while on vacation?

Cole -  Whatever you can find, you should eat.  Doesn't matter if it's healthy or not.  If it's someone's birthday, like your mom's, you have to eat cake because that makes her happy.  Make sure to have a party even though you're on vacation.  She'll be surprised.  Like, good surprised, not bad surprised where she's yelling at you and stuff.

Bella - Uh....Food.  Any food is fine.  Anything that makes your heart beat is good for you.

10)  Any other vacation tips you want to share?

Cole - Remember to bring sunscreen so you don't get all burnt up, bring favorite toys for your kids, bring a nightlight so they're not scared in the hotel room, and bring your iPod for the car but make sure it has lots of good music on it...no Justin Bieber or High School Musical stuff!  Vacations are about keeping your kids happy.

Bella - I don't got tips to share.  I hardly ever go on vacation.

Me - Shall I break out the violins now or later?  I didn't realize you were so underprivileged.

Bella - Maybe if you took us on more vacations, like on a Disney Cruise, we could give better tips to the parents.  That's all's I'm saying.

Cole -  She makes a good point, Mommy.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

The circle of life is a vicious one...or not

Ever since she saw a commercial on television, Bella had wanted one of those Butterfly Habitats.  She'd plead with me, "Please, Mommy, I really want one.  PLEASE!"

And we all know how dramatic Bella can be...cue teary eyes, quivering chin, heartfelt sniffles.  Whatever.

I'm not going to spend Tim's hard-earned money on something that I'll end up being responsible for.  As if 4 mini spawn aren't enough responsibility for me?   They can't even wipe their own asses, let alone raise a few measly butterflies.

Last October when Cole and Bella's birthday came around and my unsuspecting sister asked what they wanted as gifts, the first thing I said was, "Bella really wants one of those Butterfly Habitats".

You see, I'm not above having my sister spend HER hard-earned money.  Get over the shock, people.  We've long since established that I'm...oh....about 98.3% evil.

So Bella got her coveted Butterfly Habitat from my sister and she was over the moon excited.  Immediately, she began asking me to order the butterflies yet I had to keep reminding her that it would be better if we waited until the weather was a little warmer.

Not a day went by that she didn't nag me endlessly about ordering the damn butterflies.  Everything was all, "The sun's shining...we need to order them NOW" and "I just saw a dog outside..we need to order them NOW".

Don't even ask why seeing a dog outside has anything to do with ordering butterflies.  I suppose I could've asked but she'd probably give me some long, drawn out story and I'd have aged about 25 years in a matter of a few minutes.  If there's one thing I know, it's how to choose my battles.

Finally, around December, I broke down and just ordered the butterflies because I could not take one more day of her following my every move and questioning things like, "If you get to watch whatever  you want on tv then I should get to order my butterflies".

Clearly, she's confused between her role as the child and my role as the parent.

Anyway, the larvae (or whatever they're called) arrive in the mail in a little cup and we waited....

After awhile, the larvae turned into chrysalides and I had the nasty job of transferring them from the cup into the habitat, which was probably the nastiest experience I've had since....well, passing a blood clot the size of a small child's head after my 1st c-section.

Sorry if you just puked a little bit in your mouth.  I had to go for effect, you know.

While concentrating heavily on making sure the transfer goes without a hitch, Bella's sitting right next to me, breathing down my neck...

"Mommy, be careful.  You don't wanna kill them," she reminded me, repeatedly.

I rolled my eyes and responded, "I'm pretty sure that's what God said to me when you were born.  And you're still alive, aren't you?"

Within a few minutes, the transfer was complete and now the little monsters hung on the side of the habitat, where they would soon emerge as butterflies.

After what seemed like an eternity, the damn things hatched and, one by one, we eventually had our monarch butterflies.

Then, quite unexpectedly, I became obsessed with the creatures, staring at them constantly and humming lullabies to them.  At least they appreciated the evenly sliced oranges I fed them each morning and the carefully prepared sugar water that I painstakingly applied to a small cotton ball to quench their thirst.

Never once did I hear the butterflies argue, "I don't want my oranges sliced" or "This sugar water tastes funny".

But, as we know, all good things must come to an end.  The first butterfly kicked the bucket late one morning.

I showed it to Bella and she sighed, "Awww, poor little butterfly."  She scooped it out of the habitat and carried it downstairs in her small hands.

As she stood by the back door bidding her little orange and black-winged friend a sweet farewell, I thought my heart was going to melt.  She clicked open the lock and callously tossed the dead butterfly onto the cold cement patio...then turned to me and asked, "When's lunch?"  And to think, I was worried about how distraught she'd be when the butterflies began to die.

Right at that moment, I suffered a traumatizing flashback to when I tested the "crying it out" theory when she and Cole were about 13 months old.  I remember sitting outside their bedroom door, sobbing along with them...and partly wondering if I was creating heartless future serial killers.

The next butterfly died a natural death yet ended up inside a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Bella had intended to bring the dead specimen to class with her to share with her friends...because she's demented like that.  But, alas, she forgot it on the kitchen table.

Garrett and Landon were happily eating lunch that afternoon, discussing the exciting events which had taken place at school earlier...who got put on time-out, who was out sick, who picked their nose and ate it.  You know, typical preschool drama.

After a few minutes, Garrett left the table to go potty and he came back to find some extra protein in his sandwich.  Landon firmly denied that he did it...and I know I didn't do it.

It had a whole Paranormal Activity vibe to it, except I had always thought that if demons were going to haunt us, they'd creep me out while I showered or some scary shit like that.

The last 3 butterflies met a fate crueler than one could imagine.  Tim decided to release them one day, taking the habitat out back and telling the butterflies to get the hell out while they still could.  And they did...because butterflies aren't exactly stupid.

But no sooner had they begun to experience the taste of freedom when they were all devoured by a flock of hungry birds, who had been perched on our roof just waiting for a good meal.

I kid you not...I couldn't even make this shit up if I tried.

The kids witnessed this cruel act of nature.  Fortunately, I was out running errands at the time and Tim was left to explain the circle of life to the kids on his own.  Serves him right, considering I've had to field much more complicated subjects, like what tampons are used for and why farts smell particularly foul after eating broccoli.

We feared the kids would be haunted by the entire event, imagining them forever referring to it as the "Hungry Bird Fiasco of 2011" while they cried tears of sorrow and clutched lit candles.  But we needn't have worried.

The next day, when I asked the kids if they were still distraught by what had occurred, they simply shrugged their shoulders and said, "Nah, those birds gotta eat.  And new butterflies are born all the time.  It's just how stuff happens, Mommy".   And then they went back to playing, without a care in the world.

I guess the circle of life isn't as vicious as we thought.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

I confess....I let my child go into a public bathroom unsupervised

Is it me or do my confessions seem to be getting awfully worse as the weeks go by?  Hmmm, food for thought.

Confession of the Week:

I made an extremely bad call in determining that my kids are ready for more independence.

Now that Cole and Bella are 6 years old (well, 6.5 to be exact), I've allowed them more freedom and independence.

Okay, scratch that.  I've pretty much demanded that they cut the imaginary umbilical cord that keeps them attached to me like a stark raving mad mother nursing a bottle of wine.

Last week, we met up with some friends at one of our local pizza hangouts.  While we were waiting for them to arrive, Bella skipped up to me and said, "Mommy, I need to go pee".

Shrugging my shoulders, I replied, "Yeah....and I need a refill of Wellbutrin."

She stood there completely frozen, staring at me as if I had just told her that Star Magazine reported that Justin Bieber has putrid garlic breath.

"What?!" I challenged her.  "If you have to go to the bathroom, you're fully capable of taking yourself.  I can see the bathroom from here.  Tell you what, get a head start and I'll come check on you in a few minutes, okay?"

With that, she nodded her head and ran off to the bathroom.   And I, being the good mother that you all know me to be, promptly forgot she was in there.

After a few minutes, I saw her come out of the bathroom, holding something in her hand...a pearly-blue stick, it looked like.

She stopped in front of me and proudly announced, "Mommy, look what I found in the bathroom.  Isn't it pretty?"

A combination of disgust and horror crossed my face and she screamed, "What's wrong?!"

"Oh My God, put that down!  Like, throw it away!  That is SO disgusting!" I bellowed, sounding more like a Kardashian sister than a mature 40-something mother of 4.

Her eyes widened in fear, "Why?  What is it?!"

"Just go find a garbage quick and toss it, PLEASE!  And then get back here so I can sanitize your hands!" I implored.

I cowered in embarrassment as my young daughter raced over to a complete stranger and asked where the garbage was, while waving the pearly-blue "stick" in her hand.

The woman looked mystified, as I imagined her coming to terms with the fact that perhaps the scientists were correct when they alleged that all those growth hormones in dairy products do indeed cause early puberty in young children.

After throwing the "stick" away, Bella came back to me and urged me to tell her why I had become so alarmed.

"Uh, well..." I began, not quite sure how to word it.  "That was the outer tube of a tampon.  You know, it's just gross because it was empty so obviously it had been USED".  Just the mere thought of it again made my stomach twist into a million knots.

I squirted a huge blob of antibacterial gel into her hands and instructed her to completely sanitize her hands.  When she had the nerve to question me, I blurted, "You just touched something that was in someone else's VAGINA!  You better sanitize your hands NOW, missie!"

The look on her face was now one of confusion and repugnance.  "Eeeewww", she shrieked.  "Oh My God, that's SO gross!"

"Yeah," I agreed.  "And you, my friend, held it in your little hands and thought it was the prettiest thing ever".  She rolled her eyes at me, as if this was already yesterday's news.

When our friends finally arrived, I immediately told them what had happened because how precious is motherhood if you can't tell the whole world about your children's most embarrassing moments.

My friend laughed and told Bella, "Don't feel bad.  When I was around your age, I found a used tampon holder and pretended it was a trombone.  I actually put the end of it in my mouth!"

Bella, always one to try her best to be polite, couldn't help but shudder in disgust.  Because merely rubbing a used tampon tube against her cheek was so much classier than putting in in her mouth.

So...perhaps I've been a bit premature in thinking that she's ready for more independence and freedom.

You think?


Have a confession?  Link up!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

I had a Monster Mommy Moment, which really shouldn't surprise you...


One of my favorite bloggers, Natalie from Mommy of a Monster & Twins, hosts a wonderful feature on her blog called "Monster Mommy Moments".  

In this feature, she invites moms to share their Monster Mommy Moments, in the hopes that, as moms, we can all learn from one another and find comfort in the fact that none of us are perfect.

Here's how she describes this feature:

"One of the reasons I decided to do this is so that you have a chance to meet some amazing women - some you might already know and some might be new to you - who are all willing to share stories that put them in a less than perfect light so that we can all learn and grow...together.

Sometimes other moms judge how we handle a situation or the decisions we make and conclude that we fail as a mom. It's important to remember we need to choose our own path, whatever it may be, and whatever works best for us."

It shouldn't surprise you, then, that I'm her featured Mommy this week because you all know I have plenty of Monster Mommy Moments!!

I hope you'll take a few minutes to visit Natalie's blog and read my guest post, where I share my candid thoughts on motherhood after a bewildering realization that it's not all it's chalked up to be.

And while you're over there, show her some love and click on that "follow" button!  She's a beautiful writer, who shares her thoughts so eloquently....and her quick wit and sarcasm is something you will definitely enjoy!

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Friday, March 18, 2011

I confess....

I mistakenly thought I had a stellar week.  No blunders, no major mommy fails.  Could it be?

I found myself beaming with pride.

But when I really wracked my brain thinking surely I had to have had a few moments here or there that were worthy of a confession, one memory from this past week in particular stood out in my mind.

Oh yes, my friends, I have some purging to do.


I laughed at my daughter.

Not just some easy little giggle, which might have lasted exactly 2.4 seconds.  We're talking hysterical laughter...pee-in-my-pants laughter that didn't stop for what seemed like an eternity.

And no, I didn't laugh WITH her.  I laughed AT her.  There's a difference, believe that.

You see, at the tender age of 6, she is desperately in love with Justin Bieber.  Bella is suffering from such a horrendous case of Bieber Fever that I considered taking her to a shrink and emptying our bank account until she was completely cured.

At first, I thought it was just a measly little crush.  I mean, HELLO....Shaun Cassidy, Jimmy McNichol, Scott Baio....do those names ring a bell with any of you?

Oh wait, I probably just seriously dated myself.  But for those of you who are in your...cough, cough...40's....cough, cough probably know who I'm talking about.

When I was younger, I was guilty of the typical celebrity crush.  But that's all it was...a little crush.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I didn't want to have their babies or swap spit with them.

The other day I caught Bella watching a Justin Bieber video on YouTube.  I think the song was "Never Say Never".

She was crying, people!  CRYING!

Like "Oh My God, I just saw The Beatles" kind of crying!  We've all seen those black-and-white videos of gobs of teenage girls literally sobbing and hyperventilating at the very sight of the handsome 60's singing sensations.  And perhaps you might have even laughed when you saw the videos, like I did.

Or not...because you're mature like that.

Growing concerned, I asked her, "Why are you crying?"

Looking up at me with her red, tear-stained face, she answered in a serious tone, "I just love Justin SO MUCH, Mommy.  I can't help it."

And, I laughed at her.  It was a gut reaction and couldn't be helped.  Seriously.

I laughed at my 6-year old daughter when she declared her undying love for a teenage pop sensation.

I was absolutely sure that I had scarred her for life.

Scary, paranoid thoughts ran rampant throughout my brain...will she ever confide in me again?  Will she allow me to comfort her if she ever experiences a broken heart?  Is she going to ban me from the delivery room when she gives birth to her first child...perhaps my first grandchild?

When I ask her why, she might say, "Well, Mom, geez....for God's sake, you LAUGHED at me when I shared my innermost feelings about Justin with you.  What kind of mom does that?!  I was in love, Mom.  IN LOVE! And you crushed my spirits and stomped all over them with your immaturity and evil judgements!"

Without hesitation, I apologized to Bella.

"Listen, I'm sorry I laughed at you when you so obviously have such strong feelings for him," I acknowledged.  "It was wrong of me to find humor in the situation."

She looked me in the eye and placed her hand gently on my shoulder.

"It's okay, Mommy.  Some people just don't get it," Bella stated.

Confused, I asked, "Get what?  How much you love him as a celebrity?"

She shook her head and responded, "No, some people just aren't lucky enough to ever feel this kind of love for someone."

WTF?  Is she 6 years old....or 23 years old?

So yeah...I pretty much got put in my place by my young daughter.  But, still, I felt it was worthy of a confession.

Don't ever underestimate the power of love, people.  It's more potent than you think.


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pouring My Heart Out...The Daily Struggle

I don't want to be her, even as my mouth opens and my ears hear her words, her anger, her bitterness pour out.

I want to radiate nothing but positive energy, always seeing the best in people...not the worst, like she does.

I want my life to be about helping others and making a difference...not spending every minute of the day being some innocent person's emotional vampire, like she is.

I want to smile so brightly that my heart can't help but beat in double time...not walk around with a painful scowl on my face, so miserable that it's written all over my face, like hers.

I long for people to want to be around me...not avoid me because all I do is put a damper on every situation, like she does.

I want to be compassionate, caring, selfless...not making everything about me, like she does.

I want to love my children so deeply that I can feel it within the depths of my soul...without having to convince myself that I am supposed to love my kids because that's how a mother should feel, like she does.

It's a constant daily struggle...because sometimes I fear it's in my blood to be just like her.

I don't know anything other than this life.  It's not ingrained in me the way it is for others.

It doesn't come naturally.  Love isn't an automatic, as some may think.  Every single day, I have to wake up and make the conscious decision to be different...to be the exact opposite of her.

And I am forever haunted by the reality of it...it's too distressing.

So I will continue to fight tooth and nail every moment of the day to ensure it doesn't happen.

I don't want to be her.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The end of a wanna-be cake artist who desperately wanted to be Supermom....

It's official, people.  I'm done making cakes for my kids.

D. O. N. E.  

Done...as in never, ever again.

See, I'm putting it out here for everyone to see...just in case when October rolls around and I begin to chat about what I should make for Cole and Bella's birthday, you call can gently remind me about this blog post.

Hell, screw gentle reminders.  Slap me upside the head, yell obscenities at me...whatever it takes to bring me back to reality.

And the reality is that cake making is better left to the professionals...like Buddy, Duff, Martha.  You know, the ones who actually own businesses with the proper equipment, time, money and staff to whip up impressive cakes in a matter of a couple of hours.

I have to admit, though, when I got the initial bug up my ass to make a cake for the spawn, I was excited.  Especially more so because THEY were excited.

My mom never baked me a birthday cake.  Shit, I was lucky if she even remembered my birthday.  Oh, yeah, but she'll claim even to this day that "forgetting" my birthday was really just an April Fool's Joke.  Nice cover but I'm still not convinced.

Enough of wallowing in self-pity....Bitter, party of one?

So I had to set the bar high and try to prove to myself that I deserved the Supermom label that so many others seemed to have been blessed with, effortlessly, of course.

Believe it or not, I may have actually believed I really was Supermom at one point...until that day at the park awhile back when I was attempting to change Garrett's diaper and he would not stop screaming bloody murder.  Another mom finally came up to me and said, "Uh, I think he's crying because you have his feet above his head and the sand from inside his shoes is falling into his eyes".

Well, wouldn't you know it...she was right.  Yet another epic parent fail.  So much for fulfilling the dream of being Supermom.  I pretty much gave up but not before increasing my Wellbutrin dosage.

But, after that, I became angry and began to fight for my right to bear that coveted Supermom label...again.  

So I wasn't the designer sunglass wearing, skinny jean sporting, Cadillac Escalade driving mom.  Nor will I ever be.  I'm the $10 sunglass wearing, ponytail sporting, Toyota Sienna driving mom.  Still doesn't mean I can't be Supermom, right?

The pressure was on.  I had to find something that I was truly skilled at.  There was no way in hell I could lose 30 pounds in a couple of weeks by surviving solely on lattes from Starbucks...so being the "skinny Supermom" was out.  And forget being the mom who always smiles happily even when her kids are having a major meltdown in the middle of Target.  I'm too much of a grumpy bitch to get away with faking that act.

Yes, people...I am that one mom who has absolutely NO problem with yelling at a total stranger, "What the fuck are you staring at?!  Never saw a kid having a tantrum before?!"

Cake making just seemed like the logical choice.  It didn't involve me having to fake a smile and I didn't have to starve myself.

My first attempt at cake making was for Cole and Bella's 5th birthday.  I was so nervous that I forced a friend of mine to come over and help me.

By the time Garrett and Landon's 3rd birthday came around, I was feeling a little more confident, even though I probably shouldn't have been.  I decided I could wing it on my own without any help.

Then I offered to make a wedding cake for my stepdad's niece....because I didn't have quite enough stress and drama in my life.

For Cole and Bella's 6th birthday, I felt like it was time to take it up a notch and really go all out trying to impress my friends, most of whom had already achieved the title of Supermom.  I've always been a lagger, what can I say.

Even though I was still having nightmares about the Hannah Montana guitar cake from hell, I was convinced I was totally riding the wave.  The Supermom crown was within my reach, finally...again.

And then Garrett and Landon's 4th birthday was quickly approaching and they pleaded with me for a Superhero cake.  I mistakenly thought, "Easy-peasy.  I got this."

But then minutes turned into hours.  Hours turned into days.  The little amount of sanity I had left was dwindling and I found myself cackling hysterically at stupid little things, like Tim farting and the kids calling each other "ass-heads".  

I was cracking.  And it was obvious.  In the midst of it all, Tim belted out, "Why the hell do you keep doing this to yourself?  Just order a fuckin' cake from Costco and call it a day!"

Clearly, he didn't understand.  Mothers are so hard on themselves.  Sure, dads think nothing of ordering a store-bought cake and throwing a gift in a wrinkled gift bag with no card for their kids.

But, us moms....no, we have to go above and beyond because allowing our kids to ruin our bodies for an entire 9 months wasn't enough.  Heaven forbid our kids think we don't care about them, which will result in them developing poor self-esteem and spending their entire college career boozing it up and never calling home (unless they want money).  

As Tim stormed out the door with the spawn, whom I had pretty much ignored since Wednesday, I was left with a massive mess of Superheroes.

And, yes, I'm fully aware of the irony of it all.  The mom who wants to affirm once and for all that she is indeed Supermom...so she neglects her kids in order to bake the mother of all cakes to prove her love for them.   Whatever.

Finally, the Superhero cake was painstakingly complete, with a royal icing spider web and all....

The spawn came home from wherever Tim had dragged them off to and I was met with wide eyes and smiles..."Wow, Mommy, that is SO cool!!!"

I must admit it warmed my heart and soul, which might have begun to freeze over a little bit since hissing "What the fuck are you staring at?" to some nosy strangers at the park a few days prior.

After Garrett and Landon's birthday party on Saturday afternoon, they cuddled with me, offered tons of hugs and kisses and said their "I love you's" twice over and then some.

It was right at that moment that I realized I had been wearing the Supermom crown all along.  I was just too caught up in the race to notice it.  

Whether I had baked them a cake or bought one from the store, my kids weren't going to love me any less.  I'm going to create plenty of wonderful memories with them as the years go by so I needn't worry that something as simple as a cake is going to make or break my tight bond with them.

Even though I've forced them to lay still to change their diaper as sand falls from their shoes into their eyes, even as I'm nagging them endlessly to pick up their toys and even when I've left a kid or two in the bathroom crying because I've forgotten they were in there....

...my kids still think I'm Supermom, flaws and all.

I'm done making cakes for my kids.  I'm pretty sure we'll all survive, even sweet little Bella who already has her heart set on a Justin Bieber cake.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I confess...

Time to do some major puking....emotional puking, that is.  Because isn't that the best kind, after all...if there were a such thing as "the best kind of puking".

I confess:

I'm obsessed with the word "puking".  I'm a mother of 4 children...let's not forget that I deal with this subject matter, approximately 3.8 times per month.  Hey, dry heaves count.

Whew, now that that's been confessed, let's move on to the heavy stuff.

I confess:

I went off on a bitter old lady last week while shopping at Michael's with the spawn.  They kept pulling things off the shelves and hen-pecking me to death with, "Can we have this?", "Will you buy this for us?", "Please, please, please can you get this?"

After my 4th stern NO, the bitter old lady came up behind me and the spawn and screamed, "NOOOO!  Your mother said NOOOO!"

I whipped around as fast as I could and bellowed, "Excuse me!!  No one talks to my kids like that, except ME!  How dare you?!"

Yeah, I know the spawn can be annoying when out in public.  Hell, they're annoying when we're NOT in public and just hanging out at home.

And I've long since accepted the blatant fact that I am THAT mom who everyone stares at when we're out somewhere.

Still, this may not seem like much of a confession...any mom would stand up for her kids in this same situation, right?

But, you see, it gets worse.  Trust me.

The bitter old lady stared angrily at me, as if I had some nerve talking to HER like that.

She pointed her crooked, wrinkled finger at me and said, accusingly, "You need to contain your children in a store like this".

Before responding, I paused, fully expecting her to follow it up with a creepy witch-like cackle.  Or to summon her flying monkeys.

I asked, "Uh, you mean in an ARTS AND CRAFTS store?  I know, imagine that...children wanting to touch things in a craft store!  Why don't you just take your walker and your little basket and head down the next aisle, where, to the best of my knowledge, there have been no sightings of loud, unruly children?"

As she hobbled off, I muttered, "And don't forget to take your Metamucil when you get home...it might do you some good to dislodge that huge stick up your ass."

The kids giggled because, of course, even though I had pretty much said it under my breath...they heard every single word.

Yet, 5 minutes later, they claim they didn't hear me yelling at them in the parking lot, "Get over here before you get smashed by a truck!  We can't afford funeral expenses right now, dammit!"  (probably should confess that little ooops right there, too, while I'm at it).

So sue me, I lost my temper.  I'm not about to tolerate some little old hag yelling at my kids, when I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself.  Yeah, so they don't listen to me...that's not the point, people.

I confess:

I laughed hysterically later that afternoon when Cole told Bella to chill out and get the huge stick out of her ass, after she threw a major tantrum because he wouldn't give her the blue crayon the minute she demanded it from him.

I confess:

Even though there's something inherently evil about feeling flattered when my kids repeat words and phrases that should never be mumbled by young children, I can't help myself.

Don't worry...I've long since given up the dream of winning the "Mother of the Year" award.

That dream was long gone in 2007 after my 2nd set of twins were born....along with another 4300 of my brain cells, my pelvic floor and the ligaments and connective tissue holding my boobs in the upright position.


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