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Monday, April 27, 2015

16 Ironies of Toddlerhood

Toddlers are fickle creatures. One minute they’re leaning in for a kiss, and the next minute they’re trying to gouge out your eyeballs with their gnarly little fingernails. Some days, chicken nuggets are the only things they'll agree to eat, and other days they're the absolute "yuckest" things ever. They have the unique ability to make you want to hug and punch them simultaneously (not that you ever would).

They are snot-dripping, shit-flipping, senseless little human beings.

And raising one is less predictable than your post-partum bowel movements. As the eloquent Oscar Wilde once said, "To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect." (Note that Mr. Wilde was a parent to two boys.) Thus, for the sake of parental intellect everywhere, I've taken the liberty of sharing a few of the "unexpected" things you can expect during the toddler years.

Here are 16 Ironies of Toddlerhood:

1. They can’t keep their mouths shut…until it’s time to brush their teeth.

2. They will only agree to eat cold hot dogs.

3. They make the most impatient "patients" at the doctor’s office.

     *In all fairness, this is not exclusive to toddlers.

4. They scream at you until you agree to read a story, and then don’t listen to a word.

5. They eat their play food and play with their real food.

6. They won’t nap if they’re too tired.

7. They eat a lot of "fruit" snacks. (Mhmm. And Mama sips on "grape juice" at night.)

"Made with REAL Fruit"...and sugar and corn syrup (Oooh! Does that mean we can count it as a vegetable, too?) 

8. The actual term "toddler." This may be applicable for that 2 – 48 hour period of time during which they’re getting familiar with the concept of upright mobility. However, the actual "toddling" phase is disappointingly short-lived. Once they realize they can get around on two feet, it would probably be more appropriate to refer to them as "sprinters" or "bouncers." Or, perhaps, "dart-into-moving-traffic-when-Mama’s-not-paying-attention-ers."

OMG! You mean my feets can be used for something besides kicking Mama when she changes my diaper?

9. Their feet smell and their noses run. Constantly. This one’s clich√© but too true not to mention.

10. They poop their pants but freak out if there’s a smudge of (sauce, ketchup, gravy, any unfamiliar substance) on their dinner plate.

I'm talking about that drop of jelly smudged on my bowl of  trail mix.
I'm good with the poopy penis in my diaper.
[via Memegenerator]

11. They can’t color in the lines, but they can pinch your nipples with dead accuracy.

12. The only time they’re interested in sitting on the potty is when Mama has to go: They will insist they have to "make stinkies" the moment you walk into the bathroom, and then leave you bored shitless (literally), while you sit potty-side, waiting for poop that will never come.
This is also one of the few times they'll agree to brush* their teeth.
And they'll want to do it forever.

*By "brush," I mean gnaw on their toothbrushes like termites with a particular concern for dental hygiene.

13. It takes them an hour to pick out which (cookie, toy, juice box, etc.) they want, but they can pick their noses in their sleep (yes, I've seen it done).

14. You can’t get them to habitually say "please" without prompting, but they heard you call someone a little shitwad once and won’t stop saying it.

15. The more they whine, the more you wine.

Unfortunately, you can't put a cork in their variety.

16. They make you tired, cranky, hungry, irrational, pissy, frumpy, and a little certifiable. And you still wouldn't change a thing about them (besides their poopy diapers, at least until they evolve beyond #12).

 

I mean, who can stay annoyed at faces like that?


Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Weight and My World

“The weight of the world is love.
Under the burden of solitude,
under the burden of dissatisfaction
the weight, the weight we carry is love. ”  

-Alan Ginsbergy

*

Today I feel fat.

Today I am plagued by toxic thinking.

Today my weight is my world. And I’m forced to carry it with me. I can feel it pressing down, threatening to crush me.

Today I am extra aware of the friction between my thighs, the spot where they touch when I walk.

Today none of the clothes I put on fit right. They’re too tight, and they hug me in all the wrong places…

…and today, all the places feel wrong.

Today I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I see her. The one who mocks me. The one who manipulates me. The one who tells me I’m not good enough.

Today, food is my enemy. Everything that touches my lips expands my belly, engorges my hips, and poisons my mind.

And, God, do I hate it. I hate recounting calories over and over and over in my head. I hate compulsively pinching the skin beneath my rib cage and analyzing it between my fingers. I hate getting dressed, and—even more so—getting undressed. I hate feeling disgusting. I hate feeling inadequate.

Today I want to hide.

*

In the past, I would hide on days like today. I would allow my feelings to dictate my actions. I would refuse to eat. I would work out at least twice as long as usual. I would not face the day. I would not face myself.

I would lose myself in the darkness of my thoughts.

I would disappear.

But this is not the past. This is now. And now, I have you: my vibrant, charming, beautiful baby boys. I have you to remind me how precious every moment of every day is. I have you to pull me back from the lure of all-consuming shadow.

Now, I have light.

*

So today I will not hide.

I will throw on a pair of sweats and embrace the feel of the elastic waistband, pressed against the scar that spans the loose skin of my abdomen. I will thank God for that scar, and for the two precious angels that came out of it.

I will not starve myself. I will ask you to help me bake cookies, and I will giggle with you as we snitch the dough and lick the beaters. I will wipe the flour from your cheeks and chomp at your fingers as you feed me chocolate chips. And I will not let the sweet memory-in-the-making be tainted by the bitterness of unwarranted guilt.

I will look in the mirror and smile at the woman you call “Mama.” I will let her pride and worth shine through, shattering the shallow reflection of the woman who once stood there, taunting me.

I will bounce you up and down on my thighs and give you piggy back rides. I will toss you in the air and spin you around to our favorite song. I will dip you at the chorus and revel in your boisterous laughter and the way your hair tickles my face when I pull you back close to me. I will be grateful that my body is strong enough to play with you.

*

My weight? It’s meaningless. I carry it superficially.

But you? You are my world. I carry you in my heart. You are a weight I choose, a weight I embrace.

Today I will feel fat. Some days I do. I am still healing, and I still have moments of weakness. 

But I will also feel happy. I will feel grateful. I will feel blessed. I will feel good enough.

Because I have you.

Thank you for showing me the light.


Monday, April 20, 2015

I'm Too Tired to Think of a Punny Running Title

A fair warning: My beloved offspring have been—hmm, how to put it delicately?—um,  satanic barbarians particularly difficult today, so my brain kind of feels like cottage cheese. My writing may be a bit jumbled.

In honor of Marathon Monday, I've decided to write another post about running. Woot woot!

Anyone who knows me, even in passing, knows that I’m a runner (especially if that person is "passing" me during a race...heh, heh, heh...I made a funny). It is an integral part of my identity, and something I value very much. I stopped running while we were trying to get pregnant and had to continue the hiatus while I carried the boys. The only thing that kept me from a total mental breakdown during that time was the knowledge that I’d have TWO BABIES to push around in our running stroller when I was permitted to return. (My husband will tell anyone who asks that I was running a day or two after my C-section, but it was AT LEAST a week).

Running relaxes me immensely, and along with the endorphins, it gets my creative juices flowing. It gives me clarity. I often “write” while I’m running (in fact, I’m pretty sure about 75% of my Senior Writing Project was composed while pounding the pavement), so I figure in order to keep the universe in balance, I should occasionally turn the tables and write about running.

When people find out I’m a marathoner—or, since having the boys, a marathoner with twins—they often ask, "How do you do it?" While the wise-ass in me is tempted to shoot back a snarky, “Well, I typically move my legs and swing my arms back and forth a lot,” I usually manage to swallow the sarcasm and let it mingle with the acrid bile in my stomach, where it belongs. I know these people have good intentions and probably just want some formulaic response, like, “Oh, I run x miles, y times a week, and eat carby bready carbs. And lettuce.”

People ask about my "training." But here’s the thing: I don’t follow a training plan. I don’t believe in them. I run by feel, because I feel by running. It’s this awesome, triangular, symbiotic relationship—a flow of energy between my legs, my mind, and the ground. I guess if you add my frequent running partners (T & O) into the equation, it’s more pentagonal, but I’m not sure they get the same satisfaction out of it as I do. They're pretty much just along for the ride. Well, that, and to yell at me when I’m not moving fast enough for their liking. Such little terrorists motivators.

Runners looking for specifics on mileage, pacing, etc. are probably annoyed by my hippie-dippie outlook, but I don't know how else to answer the question. How do I "do it"? I just run. I don't think about it. I don't question it. I don't analyze it.

As the great and wise check-mark known as Nike might say, I just do it. 

(Oh, and for the record, I do eat carbalicious bread. And lettuce. Well, does spinach count as lettuce? Because that iceberg shit is gross. I also eat chocolate, and Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish crackers, and half-eaten dino nuggets off of my boys’ dinner plates. See what I mean? Cottage cheese brain today. And now I have a taste for cottage cheese.)

Right, back to what I was saying: I don't really "train" for races, because I don't like feeling pressured or obligated to run. I think the furthest in advance I've ever registered for a marathon is about a month or so. When I get the itch to race, I usually put my super-honed googling savvy to good use and find something I can run within the week.

The other question I get a lot is whether or not I've ever run the prestigious Boston. I’ve completed four marathons: two B.B. (Before Bubbas), and two A.B. (hopefully you can figure that abbreviation out for yourselfuse context clues). I've qualified for Boston each of those times, but, no, I've never run Beantown. When I tell people this, I can almost hear what they're thinking: What an ungrateful beeyotch. How many people are out there working their asses off to qualify for Boston, only to fall a few seconds short? And she's just throwing that opportunity away?

I get that, I really do. Running Boston is an honor. It's, like, the Mecca of Marathoning. And after the 2013 bombings, it holds an even greater place in the well-conditioned hearts of runners everywhere. However, the idea of running elbow to elbow in a mob of people makes me cringe. It makes my calves cramping up in protest just thinking about it. I run to feel free, not to feel like a Skittle dropped on an anthill. I don't like being swarmed.

And training for Boston? Holy panic attack, Batman. I'd have to double my inhaler dose just to get the workouts written in my calendar. I'd have to get a calendar.

I run to get away from those kinds of things—schedules, obligations, STRESS. I applaud those who run Boston, but it's just not for me.

I'd also like to set one more thing straight: I don't run to look good. When people find out about my history with an eating disorder, they tend to assume my proclivity for running is a lingering symptom, and that irritates me more than the chafing I get on my inner thighs when I foolishly run in cotton undies. I don't run to lose weight: If I run to "lose" anything, it's the toxic way of thinking that used to haunt me when I struggled with the illness. In fact, the only time I can honestly say I don't give a shadow of a shit about the size of my thighs, or the paunch of my tummy, is when I'm running. When I run, I don't care how big I am, or what I look like. Instead, I marvel at the power and grace of my body and its ability to persevere, carrying me forward.

Aaaaaaanyway...I got a little sidetracked from the original intention of this post, which was simply to post a poem about running. Consider all the above rambling horrendously verbose exposition. My apologies. I'm a wordy bitch with a penchant for tangents. 

Here's da poem, yo!

Outrunning the Ringlet

A single lock
hangs, unbridled 
beside the temple, dancing
freely. It ripples
in the temperate
zephyr, drumming
in rhythm with measured
breath: A wisp,
uninhibited, let loose from 
the pull of customary
restraint by the simple
act of putting one
foot in front of

the other.
A rogue tress,
she refuses to be taken
in stride.

*


Best buds ready to cheer me on  <3

Happy...probably because no one was running
next to me. I think it may have something
to do with my exorbitant sweating tendencies.
Someone one referred to my ponytail as
 "The Sprinkler."
I run with my hair in a bun now.


Recent 10K PR! 40:19

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Seven Things I Don’t Want to Hear When My Kid Is Screaming at the Grocery Store

Grocery shopping with a cranky toddler in tow sucks more balls than a Playskool Elefun, and it’s usually just as loud. Unfortunately, kids don't come with batteries that you can just pop out whenever you need a break. (Cruel irony: They have no problem trying to remove Mama’s AAs any chance they get. When did nipple-pulling become such a popular toddler sport?)

I don’t know what it is about being pushed around a shopping cart while I frantically sift through coupons that is so damn terrible, but apparently it warrants full-on tantrumming.

Every. Damn. Time. We. Shop.

As if carting a cantankerous toddler around a crowded grocery store doesn't suck enough, I often find myself accosted by total strangers, presumably trying to “help” with hollow platitudes or overt observations. I understand that these people might mean well, but here’s the thing: They always, ALWAYS, make things worse.

In order to prevent future frustration for myself and other toddler parents, I've composed a list of seven things you probably shouldn't say to someone when her kid is throwing a fit at the grocery store (you're welcome):

1. Aww, poor baby! Please do not coddle my child. There is nothing “poor” about his current situation. He is getting wheeled around in an impossible-to-steer shopping cart shaped like a freaking racecar while I spend my Starbucks money on Honey Nut Cheerios. That’s right: I have to dish out the extra dollar for the brand name, because I made the sadistically inhumane decision to try generic once, and, OH GOD IT WAS LIKE I WAS TRYING TO FEED THEM SHIT-COATED RAT-POISON PELLETS.

[via Pixabay]

Ingredients: Whole grain oat flour, sugar, oat bran, honey, and the bitter taste of frugality.
Nutrition info: 0% Daily Value of Calories, Fat, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, and Minerals
(As it will all end up on the floor)
100% Daily Value of Irrational Screaming Incentive

The child is not the victim here. 

2. He’s gonna wear himself out! Yeah, that’s the dream. Unfortunately, it seems to be of the "pipe" variety.

3. What’s the matter? (Addressed to Screaming Toddler) Okay, (1) I wouldn't be able to hear a Boeing Jet take off in the parking lot. I doubt my kid is going to hear you over his ultrasonic shrieking. (2) Do you honestly think that asking him this question is going to compel him to stop mid-screech, look you in the eye, and calmly inform you that (he’s tired/he needs to poop/the racecar cart is red-not-blue/Mama won’t buy the 5-lb gummy bear)? And if, by some miracle of the Grocery Store Gods, he does quiet down long enough to tell you why he’s howling like a castrated hyena, what, exactly, do you intend to do with that information? (Give him a sleeping pill/slip him a laxative/spray paint the racecar cart blue/undermine my parental authority and buy him the massive gummy bear?)

Perhaps people intend this as a rhetorical question, but that’s almost worse. If you don’t expect an answer, you are deliberately adding to the senseless stream of noise assaulting my ear drums.

4. Looks like somebody could use a nap. Yeah, somebody could. Are you offering to push my wailing kid around the store for a couple hours so I can pop over to the pharmaceutical aisle, grab a bottle of Nyquil, chug it as I walk through the parking lot, and pass out in the crumb-covered backseat of my minivan?

5. *Leans in and (pokes/tickles/pets) child*  Umm...have you ever heard the term, “Don’t poke the bear?” Yeah, you’ve just taken my kid from Pissed off Panda to Goaded Grizzly. Thanks.

6. Oh, I remember those days. Okay, this makes you one of two things: (1) a liar, because if you really remembered what it’s like to push an irrationally angry two-year old through a grocery store, you’d give us some space, or (2) a total twatcicle, because you do remember, and you know how frustrating it is when unwelcome strangers get all up in yo’ business.

7. Anything. For the love of all that is holy (i.e., for the love of all things chocolate), please just go pay for your 50lb bag of cat food and keep your commentary to yourself. When you approach a screaming tot in public, all you’re really doing is calling more attention to the situation and prolonging the shopping trip.

And after putting up with hell-on-shopping-cart-wheels for more than an hour, all I want to do is go home and dig into a box of Cosmic Brownies (the ones I hid under a bag of spinach in the cart, in order to keep them away from greedy little toddler fingers).

***More Unsolicited Advice From Your Favorite Ranty Blogger***

If you stumble across a frazzled Mama dealing with a cranky toddler at the grocery store, and you truly do sympathize, here are some things you can do to help:

1. Give her your number in the deli line so she doesn't have to wait as long. (This will also spare fellow customers from prolonged periods of kiddie shrieking.)
2. Buy her chocolate.
3. Help pick up the random food items her kid has probably chucked out of the cart.
4. Let her take your place in the checkout line.
5. Help her unload her groceries onto the conveyor belt.
6. Hold the door open for her as she's leaving (if it's not automatic). If there's anything worse than listening to your kid scream at you at the store, it's trying to navigate a cart full of groceries through a door that keeps slamming into you while listening to your kid scream at the store. On that note:
7. Start a petition for automatic doors at your local grocery store.
8. Give her all your coupons. ESPECIALLY THE CHEERIOS ONES.
9. Offer to help her unload her groceries into the car.
10. Buy her chocolate.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

12 Gross Things You Will Probably Do as a Mom

Let’s be real here: Babies are gross. Toddlers are gross.  Adolescents are gross. Teenagers are gross.

Hierarchically speaking, kids are at the top of the gross charts, and when you have one, you become gross by association. It’s a law of nature: Parenting makes you do nasty things.

This phenomenon probably has something to do with the fact that from the moment you push another human being out of your lady bits (a gross process in and of itself), that human being basically does two things for the next 18 years—eat and poop. When you spend the majority of your day handling food and crap (often simultaneously), things are bound to get a little disgusting.

If you’re planning to become a parent—or you already are one—you can go ahead and kiss cleanliness, dignity, and social etiquette goodbye. Here are 12 gross things you will probably do at some point as a mom:

1. Feed your kid mother-bird style. You know what I’m talking about, right? The whole chew-up-and-spit out method? Before your child masters the art of chewing, you will occasionally find yourself needing to break up “tough” food for him. Knives aren’t always the best idea for chronically sleep-deprived moms. If you're not careful, you may end up serving your kid a literal knuckle sandwich instead of that apple you intended to chop up.

Bird-style feeding also reduces the amount of dishes in the sink. And—as an added bonus—a few nibbles of food are bound to get stuck between your teeth, providing you with nutritional rations for later when you’re too exhausted to fix yourself a snack. Still, not everyone appreciates the poetic efficiency of quasi-regurgitated meals, so don’t be surprised if you get some judgy looks when you spit a chunk of apple at your kid’s face.

2. Eat month-old, misshapen, possibly furry M&Ms off the floor of the car. Chocolate is chocolate. Actually, when you’re a mom, chocolate is crack

OH GOD ESPECIALLY THE COCONUT ONES.
[via Memegenerator]

3. Use your sleeve as a makeshift baby wipe. You can just throw the “r” in “shirt sleeve” away with the dirty diaper when you’re done.

Oh, it's "button" your shirt cuff?
I thought they meant butt on shirt cuff.

4. Fish poop out of the tub with your bare hands. When your child starts shrieking and pointing at the turds swimming around his bath water like they’re piranhas, instinct kicks in. Ain’t nobody got time for gloves.

5. Change your kid’s diaper on the floor of a public restroom without a changing pad. You gotta do what you gotta do. Luckily, despite widespread misconceptions, research indicates that STIs are highly unlikely to be transmitted in public bathrooms, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your twerp gettin’ the herp. While reassuring, this doesn’t entirely mitigate the “ick” factor. You’ll find that the nastiest bathrooms tend to be the ones without changing tables. Which brings us to:

6. Smear your kid’s poop across a variety of communal surfaces. You’d think that all stores would be required to have changing tables in their restrooms by now. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If you stumble across one that doesn’t, you may assume it’s an open invitation for you to take matters into your own hands, i.e., onto whatever surface is available. Since most kids act like they’re being water-boarded when they get their diaper changed, your child will inevitably “flip his shit” (so to speak). When you’re done, the manager may end up needing to add a strategic “h” to the “Please do not sit on the furniture” signs posted in front of the mattresses. 

7. Allow your kids to eat food you saw the (cat, dog, parakeet, sibling) licking. There is a direct relationship between the number of kids you have and the exponential growth rate of your grocery bill. You will despise wasting food. You’re not going to rip that PBJ (the one the cat just shit-licked with its toilet paper tongue) out of your kid’s hand once he finally agrees to eat it.

That extra "crunch" in your peanut butter?
Kitty litter.
[via Memegenerator]

8. Allow your kid to eat a chunk of banana (or other food) that his sibling threw up. Kids get sick. A lot. They also fight. A lot. It’s, like, The Universal Law of Siblinghood that one always wants whatever the other one has. You’re not going to intervene when you finally see your children sharing something. Plus, you’ll save on cleanup time.

9. Eat your lunch on the shitter. It has a lockable door, as well as an overhead fan to drown out the screaming. And if your kid knows you have food and don’t plan on sharing, there will be screaming. They have a freakish sixth sense when it comes to parental food consumption.

WE KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING IN THERE
WE CAN HEAR THE CRINKLE OF YOUR NUTRIGRAIN BAR WRAPPER

Besides, when you’re a mom, multitasking is everything. On that note:

10. Lick your kid’s high chair tray. Cleaning via eating? Yes, please.

11. Lick your kid’s face. Refer to #10.

OH GOD AND IT'S CHOCOLATE!!

12. Inadvertently eat poop. Shit gets everywhere. And it looks a lot like chocolate (OH GOD CHOCOLATE) (refer to #2) (on the list) (although #2 also works in its colloquial sense here) (as in poop) (Are you tired of parenthetical asides yet?) (too bad).

Oh, and personal hygiene? More like personal “bye”-giene. But the list of bodily nastiness that accompanies motherhood would be ten times this long, and you’ve probably got a high chair tray to take into the shitter and lick clean.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Maternal Gravity

I'm in a poetry kind of mood, and for some reason, my inspiration arrived in the form of autumnal images. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, as the weather's been major Sucksville lately, and fall is my favorite season. Or maybe it's simply because when Trystan looks at me with those perfectly rounded, brownish green eyes of his, I can't help thinking about fall.

*Note: If you have no interest in reading about the "art" of poetry, feel free to scroll down to the actual poem. If you have no interest in poetry, period, feel free to scroll to the pictures at the end of the post. If you have no interest in adorable photos of adorable toddlers, feel free to close your browser and start working on a premature Christmas letter to Santa, requesting that he bring you a soul this December.

Poetry is something that I've enjoyed writing since third grade, when I had my first poem published in The Anthology of Poetry By Young Americans. It was an elementary rhyme about Halloween. Lot's of black cats, jack-o-lanterns, and wicked witches (so, in other words, not cliche at all--ha!). Since then, I've experimented with several different formats but have found myself consistently drawn to free verse, mainly because I prefer to work without metric or rhyming restriction, and I LOVE how changing a line break can add an entirely new dimension to your words. If you're at all interested in learning about the power of line endings, this article breaks it down really nicely. (I think the first example, analyzing Geoffrey Brock's poem, is particularly effective.)

Basically, sometimes if you look at a single line of verse as a standalone phrase (rather than in the context of the rest of the poem), it may have a different meaning or paint a different image. An example in the poem that follows is the line "wink back the light." In the context  of the poem, you'd likely interpret this as the subject's eyes reflecting back bits of sunlight. Reading the line alone, however, you might think it's implying that the eyes (of either the speaker or the subject) are squinting in the sun. 

I hope none of this comes off as condescending. I've heard a lot of people say they don't like poetry because they "just don't get it," and it's really not always as complicated as people think.

Okay, enough of the unsolicited English lessons.

Maternal Gravity

I see hazel,
that delicate harmony
between the tranquility
of olive green and

the comfort of chestnut.
A few stray flecks of gold
wink back the light
of honeyed sun-

rays that tiptoe
through locks
of feathered blonde, dancing
in the brisk, uplifting

breath of autumn.
Round and colored like caramel
apples, his eyes
strike the perfect

balance between
sweet and a little nutty.
They warm me
to my core. They are my own

eyes, mirrored in
a face supple with innocence
and wonder. I feel
the inescapable pull—

It is a law
of nature, the invisible
force that compels me,
drawing me forth

toward my son.

Oct 2013
March 2015

If you haven't yet checked out the poem I had published on Mamalode about my other goober, Oliver, please do so. I would hate to be accused of favoritism. I love my boys equally, i.e., infinitely.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

53 Completely Rational* Reasons for a Toddler Tantrum

First, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who read my recent post on Scary Mommy and responded with love and support. I was anxious about how it would be received and anticipated a fair amount of backlash, but the heartfelt words (and even personal testimony) from friends, family, and even total strangers have confirmed, at least in my mind, that it was an important message to get out there. So thank you.

Secondly, given the tone of that post, I figured it'd be nice to lighten things up a bit. Thus, I present:

53 Completely Rational* Reasons for a Toddler Tantrum

* "Rational" is relative, although the relative (aka "Toddler") in question is most likely not rational. But if you're currently dealing with the things on this list, you probably don't have the cognitive reserves to solve brain teasers at this point. Allow me to put it in laymama's terms:

Dis shit be cray-cray.

1. You gave him a whole banana (instead of the usual slices), and he got so excited that he shoved the entire thing down his throat and promptly threw it back up. 

2.  He found one of your “big-girl diapers,” and there was no Elmo on it. (Although the one he dug out of the trash did appear to have something red on it.)

3. He let go of his beloved blankie on a really windy day and thought it was a ghost when it started whipping around in midair.

4. You finally indulged his incessant begging for the spicy jalapeno cashews he sees you pack in Daddy’s lunch. Pretty sure he melted his taste buds.

5. His brother kissed him with a runny nose, and now he’s got a snotstache.

6. You told him the black and white animal in The Grouchy Ladybug is a skunk, not a kitty.

7. It’s Monday.

8. It’s Tuesday.

9. It’s Wednesday.

10. – 13. Are you sensing a pattern here?

14. You didn't let him take a puff of your inhaler.

15. He didn't see any stars in Starbucks. And now he doesn't get to make a wish.

16. It’s not his birthday.

17. It is his birthday. But the cake you made has the wrong kind of sprinkles. He wanted the little line ones, and you got balls. WTF is wrong with you?


18. There are literally ants in his pants.

19. He shit in the tub and got freaked out by the consequent school of brown anal fish swimming around his bathwater.

20. You were out of Hello Kitty fruit snacks, so you gave him Thomas the Train ones instead.

21. You ate the last peanut butter cracker. The one he threw on the floor.

22. The mailman dropped a package at the front door and left without saying goodbye.

23. He couldn't poop.

24. He pooped too much.

25. You wouldn't let him play with his poop.

26. He couldn't balance the toy recycling bin on top of his head for more than two seconds at a time.

27. The kitty ran away when he tried to pull her tail.

28. He doesn't have a tail.

29. Pete the Cat never wore purple shoes.


(Although, unless you misunderstood the color wheel you were taught in kindergarten, he kind of should have. He stepped in strawberries, then immediatesly stepped in blueberries. Red + Blue = ...more...blue?...)

30. You broke the news that his “ice cream truck” Hot Wheels car is actually a mobile home. (You had to end the charade: The last thing you need is your kid running up to some handlebar-mustached creep in a trailer park, asking for his Dilly Bar.)

31. His wailing finally broke you, so you just turned the damn thing into an ice cream truck; however, the stickers you oh-so-cleverly used had ball sprinkles instead of line ones (refer back to #17).

OMG and now he wants a miniature umbrella.
And a cherry.

32. You told him he was pointing at an “8,” not a “B” on the mailbox.

33. It’s “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” not “Twinkle Twinkle Little Car.

34. It’s a Nike symbol on your running shorts, not a moon.

35. It’s “LMNOP,” not “L, M&Ms, and P.” And now he wants M&Ms.

36. It was cat food, not cheerios.

37. It was shaving cream, not whipped cream.

38. It was dog poop, not chocolate.

39. You passed by a red car on your morning run together, and it didn't say “KA-CHOW!” like Lightning McQueen.

40. There was fruit at the bottom of his yogurt.

41. There was yogurt on the bottom of his fruit.

42. He hit his head.

43. He hit his elbow.

44. He hit his brother…who hit him back.

45. Ellen isn't a cartoon. And her jokes aren't funny. There's no farting involved.

46. He climbed onto the windowsill and couldn't get down.

47. His brother gave him a bath crayon suppository in the tub. This would normally be acceptable, but the purple crayon wasn't used. He's so sad that you now haveliterally and figurativelya blue little asshole sitting in your bathtub.**

**He's really not an asshole, probably just acting like one. You likely disapprove of ANYONE calling your kid an ashhole, but the pun was a little too irresistible. 

48. The mannequin at the mall didn't say “hi” back.

49. A ladybug landed on him.

50. The ladybug flew away.

51. You wouldn't let him pinch your nipples.

52. He found out that Candy Land is a board game, not a place. And you won’t even let him eat the pieces.

53. The guy handing out “snacks” in church wouldn't give him one. This guy also said “Bless you,” even though he didn't sneeze. 

We are all going to hell.

BONUS: You wouldn't let him push a million buttons on the keyboard while you were trying to hjifxvjpv9un4pvgijdfkjpotnuptmpu994mumvjr

Thursday, April 2, 2015

20 Ways That Raising Your Kids Is Like Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

I had the luxury of sitting down for a geektastic 13+ hour Star Wars marathon whenever I had the urge to do so.

Okay, so maybe it was really just a couple of years ago, in the perfectly-molded-to-my-ass indentation in my couch, but it definitely sounds like a life that’s light-years away from the one I have now. When you’re a mom, it’s difficult to find time to take a shit in privacy, let alone indulge in your not-so-secret nerdy pleasures. My days of shameless Star Wars watching are gone, at least until my boys are old enough to appreciate the brilliance of Mr. Lucas’s famous sci-fi franchise.

But the Force is still with me.

Maybe I’m just going through galactic-epicness withdrawal and looking for a fix, but I’ve noticed that there are a lot of similarities between Star Wars and raising kids. In honor of my fellow sci-fi-loving Mamas (if there are any of you out there), I've noted them below (cue “The Imperial March”):

1. The Awkward Sibling Interaction That Makes Everyone Cringe. Most people get a little grossed out when Luke and Leia find out they’re brother and sister after they’ve already kissed. You likely witness some pretty weird exchanges between your own kids that similarly turns people’s stomachs. For example, my son once stuck a finger up his brother’s butt in the bathtub. Maybe it's like that old full-moon-weird-behavior theory: There must be something about being in close proximity to, *erm*, “black holes” that makes siblings act oddly.

2. The Yoda Babble Conundrum. You never know WTF the little one is trying to say. His own language, he has.  Herh herh herh.

3. The Daddy/Wookie Connection. Every once in a while, your big, hairy co-pilot fumbles into the picture and pretends he knows what he’s doing.


And while we’re on the topic of Chewbacca:

4. The Hairy Beast Issue. Feminine grooming? Ain't nobody got time fo dat.

(You're welcome for not including a photo for this one.)

5. The Loud, Annoying Robot Invasion. Star Wars has droids ambling around and BEEP-BOOP-BEEPING at everybody. You have those battery operated nuisances mass-produced by VTech constantly running into you and assaulting your eardrums with unnatural, computerized voices.

6. The Jabba Jiggle. Hello, post-pregnancy body.

7. The Mine’s Bigger-than-Yours Battle. Got boys? Someone’s always whipping out his lightsaber. 

Which brings us to:

8. The It’s-All-Fun-And-Games-Until-Someone-Loses-A-Hand Reality. Luke’s preoccupation with his own lightsaber gives Darth Vader the split second he needs to gain both the upper—and Luke’s—hand when the two of them are prancing around, playing King of Cloud City. This is, like, Mothering 101: If you don’t pay attention, someone's gonna lose an appendage.

(I wonder if Luke's Mom was on The Facebook when his arm got chopped off.)

9. The Melodramatic Acting. This one should be pretty self-explanatory. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just check out the movie clip below and pay close attention to Luke’s WAH-WAH-WOE-IS-ME reaction. Then tell your kid you ate the last gummy bear.


10. The Daddy’s-Got-Bad-Timing Issue. Just like Darth Vader and his ill-timed “I am your father” revelation, mid-epic-lightsaber duel, Daddy has a tendency to make big announcements at the worst possible moments. These untimely broadcasts often lead to dangerous consequences. You just got your kids' teeth brushed, and they’re finally winding down for bedtime? Well, then:


11. The Executors-of-Evil Squad. Two words: Storm Poopers.

"This is not the groin you're looking for."

12. The Little-Person-Constantly-Hanging-Around-Your-Neck Phenomenon. How often do you find yourself yelling “GET OFF MY BACK!”? I mean, Yoda was always hanging around Luke's neck. (This may refer to a literal or figurative demand.)

13. The I-Can’t-Be-Seen-Like-This Panic. Queen Amidala literally paints her face on when she goes out in public. Welcome to the world of premature aging.

14. The Leia Envy, i.e., The She-Must-Not-Have-Kids Justification. There’s always a bitch who looks better in a bikini.

(No photo will be provided for this one either. We don't need that crap thrown in our faces and making us feel even worse about #4. Or #6.)

15. The Shit-Just-Got-Real Moment. Potty training a toddler? Welcome to the dark side.

16. The “May the Force be with you” Aspiration. Like young Jedi, you long to master the use of the Force, as in, the ability to force your kids to do what you want. Jedi mind tricks would be so useful at bedtime.

17. The Death-by-Trash-Induced-Asphyxiation Threat. Remember that garbage compactor scene in A New Hope? It’s like they filmed it in your kitchen.

18. The Menacing-Hand-Gesture Reflex. Ever find yourself pissed off and tightening your hand into a fist in the air, √† la Darth Vader? It probably happens most often when your kid is being particularly whiny. And if Force-choking isn't your go-to, you’re no stranger to flipping the bird behind your back.

19. The DISNEY-TAKES-OVER-EVERYTHING Inevitability. Those of you who are loyal Star Warriors have probably heard by now that Disney has purchased the rights to the Star Wars empire. Shocker. They've already infiltrated your TV, your radio, your vacation destinations, and your kids’ wardrobe choices; why not take over the entire (albeit fictional) galaxy, too? The animation tyrant already has plans to produce at least three more films, and Disney CEO Robert Iger has stated that their long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.

In other words, Disney will continue to run the entertainment faction of your life, even when you’re kids have outgrown the singing cartoon stage.**

And on that note, one final way that raising your kids is like Star Wars:

20. It never ends.

**Ok, if I'm being honest, I am kind of obsessed with Disney and am rather looking forward to seeing what it does with Star Wars. It's basically a merging of The Two Greatest Things Ever Created. But my whiny spin on it makes for good reading.

(Sofia image courtesy of fanpop.com. Image of goofy looking grown-man courtesy of my camera. All other memes courtesy of memegenerator.net)