You Might Be a Parent IF…

When we become parents we seem to make an instant transformation.   It is a transformation similar to Superman going into the phone booth;  Average Joe going in, superhero coming out.  Minus the capes and the super powers.  Hold the phone, we do have powers.  Amazing powers that allow us to do amazing things.

You Might  Be a Parent IF...

You might be a parent if….

You can brush your teeth and hold your 3 year olds wiener while he pees.

You can brown up some hamburger, fix someone a drink, and cut up some veggies all with a baby on your hip and a toddler or two flailing on the floor because you aren’t fast enough with the milk.

You can stop mid-bite to go wipe someone’s ass only to come right back and resume business as usual.

You can whip up six dozen cookies at the last-minute when your kid tells you they forgot that they needed to take snacks for the school program….which happens to be tomorrow.

You aren’t afraid to catch vomit in your bare hands.

You can lay down on the couch and still know exactly what your kids are doing. With your eyes closed.

You take your kids out to dinner and you spend more time in the bathroom than you do at your table.

You can answer all their questions with movie quotes.

Big boogers no long scare you.  You will pick it and you will wipe it on your pants and you just won’t give a shit.

You schedule all well child checks months in advance so that you are guaranteed an on-time appointment but you can’t remember to schedule your yearly hoo-ha check.

You can’t remember to take your grocery list when you go shopping but you know exactly where Sally’s red sparkly headband is that she wore three weeks ago.

Laundry.  So much laundry you actually consider turning your home into a nudist colony.

You can play two different board games at the same time while catching up on your Words With Friends matches, and you manage to win them all.

Your most popular phrases are “get your finger out of your butt”, “we don’t eat boogers for lunch”, and “no, I don’t want to smell your fart”.

Your living room decor no longer consists of beer can pyramids and wine bottle trees.  Instead you discover non-commissioned works of art using mediums that you are certain should be removed by men in hazmat suits.

Your bathroom always smells like pee, no matter how often you clean it.

You can change a diaper in the dark and not leave any residue behind. Except for that shitty smell on your hands that can only be removed by amputation.

You can tiptoe through a bedroom at three in the morning and not step on a single Lego, but attempt it in the daylight and you are damning them all to the depths of hell.

You aren’t against taking a glass of wine and your tablet or smart phone or even Goodnight Moon into the bathroom and locking the door, whether you have to poop or not,  just for a few minutes of alone time.

You do laundry because hampers are full, not because you have a shirt that is dirty that you want to wear to the bar tonight.

You can discuss the contents of your child’s vomit over dinner and continue eating as if you are talking about rainbows and unicorns.

You do math homework.  Or at least you try.

You use glitter.

Most of your conversations are centered around poop, farts, burps, butts and boogers.

While we may not be huge fans of some of the things we do now (I for one am not a lover of vomit), we wouldn’t change any of it.  Except maybe the poo on the walls.

 

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You Want to Ban WHAT?

We all have special causes that we support.  Things that we feel so strongly about that we send in money, or we take a pledge vowing to do something.  I took a pledge to never use the r-word and to teach my children to do the same.  I support my friend Drew and his mother and their efforts to support research to find a cure for childhood cancers.  There are hundreds of thousands of causes out there.  Most are very important and deserve more attention than they receive.  Others….not so much.

The newest “cause” sweeping the interwebs is this new effort to ban the b-word.  Nooooo, not bitch.  Bossy.  Yes, I said bossy.  Go ahead and roll your eyes and then come back to me.

According to dictionary.com, bossy is defined as  given to ordering people about; overly authoritative; domineering.  Sounds like my girls (and their friends, and my boys, and every other kid you come across) any day of the week.  

I get it, truly I do.  We need to empower our girls and help them to be confident and assertive.  We want them to be leaders and we want them to be strong.  We want them to succeed and achieve all the goals that they have set for themselves.

#banbossy has pulled out all the stops.  They’ve recruited Beyoncé and Jane Lynch.  Even Condoleeza Rice is on board for this.  All strong, confident, successful women.

Women I’m sure have all been called bossy a time or two and judging by their level of success, I’d be willing to bet the word fits.  You just cannot achieve all that these amazing women have achieved without ordering people about and being overly authoritative.  If you think otherwise, I’ve got three million dollars with your name on it.  All I need is your bank account number and social security number and I’ll deposit it into your account by tomorrow.

Beyoncé said it herself in this promotional video.  ”I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.”   Um….hello pot, kettle calling.   Boss (n): a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates.  

How interesting.  We should not tell our girls that they are bossy (domineering), but instead they are the boss (one who dominates).  I’m no genius here, but something is a little off.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am not a big supporter of this cause.  It’s absolutely redonkadonk, so I thought I would put together a list of things that should be significantly more important than the drive to #banbossy.  (in no specific order)

  • Making sure my children are fed, clothed, and loved.
  • Feeding the homeless
  • Finding a cure for cancer and hundreds of other diseases.
  • Farmer Bob really needs some new work jeans.
  • Educating our kids to be respectful and kind to others.
  • The fact that I shaved my legs yesterday.
  • Atrocities around the world.
  • Will winter ever end?
  • Will my kids have math homework tonight?
  • I need to go grocery shopping.
  • Chin hair
  • Pharrell’s new album
  • Cleaning my toilets
  • Creating jobs
  • Helping those in need
  • Teaching our kids right from wrong
  • What should I cook for dinner tonight?
  • I really should call my mother today
  • Why does oil-pulling sound so gross?
  • How can these little people have so much gas?

The point is, what in the hell are we doing here?  There are so many other solutions to this *cough* problem.  Maybe we should just take a minute as parents and look in the mirror.  Our kids are our responsibility.  It is our job to teach them and to guide them.  We cannot wrap them in bubble wrap and expect them to emerge from their plastic cocoon as functioning adults.  I feel like Susan Powter “STOP the INSANITY!”

When I asked my eleven-year-old her thoughts on this, she looked at me with that look of “are you freaking kidding me?” and informed me that it’s dumb.  Her words, not mine.  She will openly admit that she is bossy and she has no problem with that.  Confidence….she has some.

So instead of trying to ban the word bossy, maybe we should focus more on instilling in our girls (and boys) the self-confidence that they need to succeed in life.  With self-confidence comes the ability to succeed.  It doesn’t matter if someone thinks you are bossy.  I bet Beyoncé would agree with that.

You Want to Ban WHAT?--You Know it Happens at Your House Too

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In the Blink of an Eye

In the blink of an eye you are no longer just a couple.

In the blink of an eye your life is no longer just about you.

In the blink of an eye you become a parent.

In the blink of an eye your munchkin is sitting up, feeding herself, interacting with you.

In the blink of an eye your baby is a walking, talking human.

In the blink of an eye you aren’t changing diapers and wiping  little butts.

In the blink of an eye they can color inside the lines and write their own name.

In the blink of an eye they are getting their own cereal and pouring their own milk.

In the blink of an eye Chutes and Ladders is replaced by Monopoly.

In the blink of an eye they stop asking for apple juice and start asking for pop.

In the blink of an eye they no longer want to snuggle on the couch, but want to be left alone.

In the blink of an eye they are smarter than you.

In the blink of an eye your girls are fixing their own hair and asking for makeup.

In the blink of an eye your boys are talking about their balls and the smell of their farts.

In the blink of an eye your kids don’t need you to read them stories.  They can do it on their own.

In the blink of an eye the boys don’t want to kiss their mother anymore.

In the blink of an eye your little girl is asking for bras and talking about her uterus.  And boys.

In the blink of an eye the pants that fit them yesterday are two inches too short.

In the blink of an eye they can make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes.

In the blink of an eye you are no longer mommy and daddy.  You are now just mom and dad.

In the blink of an eye they start Kindergarten.  In the next blink, middle school.  In the next…you are afraid to blink again.

In the blink of an eye you realize they are growing up and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

In the blink of an eye it could be gone.

What are you doing in-between blinks?

 

In the Blink of an Eye

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One Little Book

Mom!  I brought home a book for you from the library today. You are going to LOOOOOOve it!  

When your six-year-old daughter says something like this to you, many thoughts go through my mind.  Things like, “Holy shit, this book is going to have three hundred pages and no pictures and she is going to want to read it in its entirety this weekend”, or “NOT ANOTHER DAMN BARBIE BOOK!”.  Just judging by her uncontrollable giggles, I did not have a good feeling about the book that I was going to be forced to read over and over and over again all. weekend. long.  I love reading to my kids.  I do not enjoy some of their choices.  Unsupervised book selection has a tendency to not go well for my kids, so you can imagine how nervous I become when they start using their funny voices telling me how much I am going to LOOOOOve this book.  Never in a million years did I expect her to pull this out of her backpack:

Book

Brainwashing or excellent taste?

At first I couldn’t help but giggle, but as I listened to her talk my heart melted into her filthy, germ infested, beautiful little hands.   “I was looking for a different book, but saw this one and just knew you would like it so I got it so we could read it together”.   I don’t know if it is because of the raging PMS, or the fact that I have been trapped in the house for four days with a sick two-year old, but this one, selfish little act caused my eyes to overflow just a bit.  I tried to tell myself that it is just a book.  How in the hell can one little library book turn me into mush?  Then I realized that it wasn’t the book that did it to me, it was the selfless act of my six-year-old that helped me forget about the armageddon about to break out in my uterus.

As parents, we often dream of what kind of adults our children will grow up to be.  Will they be kind?  Will they be thoughtful?  Will they be total assholes?  While we always hope that the latter doesn’t occur, we all know that these days it seems to happen more often than it should.  Shall we all take a moment and just imagine what a world this would be without them?  Ahhhhhh, how delightful and amazing.  Since we all know that an asshole free world will never exist, maybe it is time to  concentrate on where we are going astray as parents and what we can do to change it.

This current generation we are raising scares the living crap out of me and we are left to point the finger at ourselves.   Why are we as parents are more concerned about becoming their friends and by what kind of parent we appear to be in a public setting instead of actually being their parents?  I can admit that I am just as guilty as the next person.  While I may not be so concerned about being their friend, I already have plenty of friends,  I know I am more concerned with public appearances than I should be.    Maybe it is the desire to be accepted by others, maybe it is the desire look like we know what we are doing, maybe it is some deeper issue that I have locked away deep down in my emotional vault.  What I do know is that I am mortified of the thought of my kids becoming one of those assholes and if I succeed in nothing else in life, as long as I prevent that from happening, I will die an old, extremely happy, woman.

This one little book left me asking myself if I am the kind of parent that my own parents hoped I would be.  What a mind-blowing thought.  One that I am hoping I know the answer to.  Now as parents ourselves, we often joke with each other that we will never say and do the things that our parents did.  You know what  I mean, the “well shit, I just sounded like my mother”  moments, but when you really think about it and take a good long look in the mirror, we seem to have turned out pretty good so are those oddities that we tried to fight for so long really that bad?  I suppose it is time to accept the fact that our parents really did know what they were talking about all those years.    Damn, that was really hard to type.

What I do know is that little miss Mouse gave me hope last night.  Hope that Farmer Bob and I are on the right path.  Hope that we are raising the kinds of kids that we can be proud of.  Hope that kindness and love can overtake the assholes and the hate.  Hope that our kids will grow up to the be the kind of parents that we hope they can be.  This journey that we are on as mothers, as fathers, as parents, is without a doubt the most difficult thing we have ever done.  Harder than college algebra or writing that thesis.  Harder than perfecting that recipe or choosing a paint color for the living room.  Harder because there isn’t a textbook.  There isn’t a recipe.  We can’t pick out the “perfect” child from a paint chip.  They are put into our lives for us to nurture and develop into the kind adults that we can be proud of.  Maybe if we all agreed to be the kind of parents that we hope our own kids will be,  we can have a little bit more hope for our future.  In the meantime, sit down and enjoy a book with them and don’t be afraid to look at the pictures.

Parent