April 15, 2014
by admin
2 Comments

GUEST POST: Why I Could Never Be A Mom (by Dad on Arrival)

Hello all! I’m flying out to North Carolina with the kids today, so this week I have two guest bloggers. Today’s guest blogger is Jeff from Dad on Arrival. He is not here by choice, but to fulfill the second half of a foolish bet he made with me against my Seahawks in this year’s Super Bowl.

Jeff may not understand the power of the Seahawk’s defense, but he is one of my absolute favorite bloggers ever ever ever. See why in this post on why he could never be a mom.

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Why I Could Never Be A Mom

(By Jeff of Dad On Arrival)

father-and-children-on-a-walk-1145736-m

Image via SXC

Most guys wouldn’t last a week in a mom’s shoes.

I would never hack it as a mom. Parenting from the guy’s perspective is no cake walk, but adding all the crap that mom’s go through—forget it. I have three kids, all born within three years of each other, so life at my house is crazy. I work full time. I parent full time. I am constantly pressed for time and on the brink of being overwhelmed. But the journey that I’ve gone through over the past several years is nothing compared to my wife, who’s in the same boat but also had to deal with all the insane things that are piled on moms. Here are just of the few reasons that I know I’m not tough enough to be a mom:

Childbirth. This one’s almost too obvious to mention. It’s a given that childbirth is small slice of hell. Yes, there’s a big slice of heaven at the end, but that doesn’t detract form the misery of ejecting a kicking, screaming child from your body via one of two extremely unappealing exit strategies. Women are fond of telling men that childbirth is a pain that no man will ever understand, that it’s worse than anything we’ll ever experience. Maybe it is. Maybe it’s not. To tell you the truth, I’m not too keen on finding out. Luckily I won’t ever have to, because I was born with genitalia that are non-conducive to pushing out a small human. Many women, or at least those who haven’t logged a decade at a Mexican border town brothel, might argue the same point. However, it’s a physical impossibility for us guys, and we’re not complaining about it.

Pregnancy. I think pregnancy may be worse than childbirth. As we’ve covered, childbirth is no day at the beach, but it’s relatively short compared to 40 weeks of growing a small parasitic creature inside of you. The waves of nausea. The hormonal roller coaster. The dramatic weight gain in a short period of time. Back pain. Constant urination. Cankles. Not being able to see your feet for several months. Not being able to sleep on your back or stomach. No booze, no sushi, no cold cuts. No thank you.

I’ve given my wife a lot of grief over the years for being, um, shall we say, moody, during pregnancy. In fact, I wrote a piece about the hell on earth that is the third trimester a while back. However, I couldn’t really blame her. Pregnancy is rough. I fully recognize that I would never be able to pull off a pregnancy. In fact, most guys wouldn’t be able to do it. If guys had to carry the children in order to propagate the species, my guess is that humanity would go extinct within a generation.

(image via Pixabay)

Image via Photo Pin

All the stuff that happens after pregnancy/childbirth. Meredith wrote a very popular piece on Pile of Babies about the days immediately following a C-section. Brutal stuff. But then it continues when you get home from the hospital. I always warn new parents that they’re not out of the woods in terms of the hormonal madness once the baby arrives. During the first few months after childbirth—what some people call the fourth trimester—the mom’s body is still going through all kids of rapid, crazy change. Hormones are readjusting and fluctuating all over the place. The body is adapting to life without a baby inside it. If you had vaginal delivery, there’s all sort of healing to do down there. If you had a C-section, your core is basically gone, since they sliced through it and pulled out a little cherub. If you’re breastfeeding or pumping, your boobs literally get engorged to the point of excruciating pain, until you attach a baby’s biting mouth or a plastic funnel hooked up to an embarrassingly loud pump.

Um, no.

A lifetime of never being able to please everyone. Once moms face down the torture mill of pregnancy, childbirth and post-partum, then it’s off to a lifetime of being second-guessed by society for all the choices you make. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, some (idiots) act like you don’t have a “real job.” You’ve got tons of time on your hands, right? You just sit around all day watching soaps and playing bridge, right?

If you go back to work, some (morons) act like you’re dodging your responsibilities as a mom. You should be home with your kids, they say. This is what’s wrong with society today, they complain.

Moms can’t win.

So I suppose this post is my way of offering a tip of the hat to all you moms out there. It’s a tough job, probably the toughest, but somebody’s gotta do it. I’m just glad that somebody isn’t me. Kkudos to all you moms. Keep up the good work. As long as you’re around this species of ours just might have a chance.

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See more from Dad on Arrival on his awesome blog, and on his Facebook page!

April 10, 2014
by admin
7 Comments

My rules…they mean nothing.

 

photo credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers via photopin cc

photo credit: Vicki & Chuck Rogers via photopin cc

A large part of parenting is making big decisions in an instant; if I had known that the ability to react quickly and decisively every minute of every day was going to be such a key part of parenting, I would have done more speed drills in college.

I am not particularly good at decisions that are both fast and good. The truth is that half the time I am flying by the seat of my pants and trying to look like I know exactly what I’m talking about. Now, I believe strongly in admitting my mistakes to my children — when I am wrong about something I say so, and I apologize. There have been plenty of times when I have made a rule about something, my kids have questioned me on it, and I have said, “You know what? You’re right. Forget what I said.” This statement is typically followed by me laying down somewhere.

But I have to measure that out, because if I change the rules too much then they might catch on that I am, in general,  full of shit. So sometimes, even when they’re right, I have to maintain my position. This usually means that my children are having a melt-down while I hold fast to a decision that I no longer care about. There’s also a lot of me muttering, “Well, shit. Now we’re committed, so I guess we’re going to have to ride this pony into the ground. Way to ruin your own afternoon, Bland.”

I gave this issue some thought the other day, while my kids were screaming about something or another. While I was in my “quiet place,” I decided that there are two kinds of rules that a parent makes for their child: the real rules, and the rules that are based on nothing. Real rules are things like: don’t run out in front of traffic, you can’t go in the deep end if you don’t know how to swim, and absolutely no running away from home until you’re old enough to get a job (that’s 14 in Washington state, by the way…just FYI.)

The other type of rules are those that are based on your mood and bullshit. There are three kinds of BS rules:

1. Rules on the fly

Example: “You are not allowed to climb on that log. Why? Because it might be dangerous.”

Truth: “Because I don’t feel like watching you to make sure you don’t fall. Two feet on the ground goddamnit.”

2. Rules of desperation

Example: “You are not allowed to have pasta for dinner every day. Why? Because sometimes you need to eat other things or you’ll get sick. Because vitamins. And nutrients. And I don’t know, riboflavin.”

Truth: “This is a world where nobody gets to eat macaroni and cheese every day. I’m just trying to prepare you for the disappointment of adulthood. Here’s a hint: it involves a lot of salads.”

3. Rules because that’s just what people do.

Example: “Get in your chair. We don’t eat standing up at the dining room table. Why? Because I said so.”

Truth: “Because we just don’t. It’s a thing. And it seems like something I’m supposed to care about.”

 

Now I know that all those rules my mom laid down on me when I was a kid that seemed so arbitrary were, in fact, arbitrary. It’s another way that I have become more bonded to my own mother now that I have children of my own: not only do I now understand how very hard it was, but I also understand that she was guessing her way through things then just the way I am now. Parenting: it’s like being blindfolded in a room with a twenty-foot-deep hole in it. You better watch your step, blindfolded guy — one wrong step and into the hole you go! I know you have no idea where you are, just do your best and no one will die. Now chop chop! Get out there and make responsible choices in a terrifying place. Why? Because I said so.

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I’m on vacation next week, so there are going to be a couple of wicked awesome guest posts on Tuesday and Thursday. I am doing my annual trip to visit Grandma in North Carolina. Eight hours of travel. Two planes. Two six-year-olds. One layover. And one parent.

And a DVD player, 500 movies, and an iPad, because momma didn’t raise no fool.

Enjoy the guest posts, and I’ll be back on the 22nd.

April 8, 2014
by admin
2 Comments

Giveaway winner announcement!

Goodnight nc1

 

There were 56 entries in the giveaway for a copy of Goodnight, Nanny-Cam! I asked the magic computer to pick a winner, and it picked:

Megan Griffin!

WOOO HOOOOO! Megan, I’ll be sending you an email today. Congrats!

I wanted everybody to get to read the answers that people submitted, but with 56 entries and three answers per entry, them’s a lot of answers. Instead, I decided to cut it down by selecting my favorite answer from each participant. I left these anonymous, since I didn’t ask anybody if they want their names attached to these.

So here you go! Enjoy!!

1. What is the title of your autobiography?

“[Name]: Insert Witty Comment Here.”

“How the F**k Am I Still Alive?”

“The Woman Who Gave No Shits: A Mother’s Tale.”

“Really? You Want to Eat That?”

“At Least Her Shoes Match.”

“I’m Tired. That’s pretty much it.”

“You Can’t Make This Shit Up.”

“Can’t Take the Florida Out of the Girl.”

“So Many Messes, So Little Help.”

2. If you were stuck on a desert island, which three celebrities would you choose to be your partner in life, to be your best buddy, and who would you kill for their meat?

Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, and The Rock.

Justin Timberlake, Ellen, and Beyonce.

Johnny Depp, Ellen, and Christina Ricci.

Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart.

George Clooney-he’s stuck and would have to be my partner for life. Tina Fey would be by friend and I would have Gillian Michaels for meat…at least it would be lean!

Hugh Jackman, Gwyneth Paltrow, The Rock.

3. Make a mutant. What is it called? Tell me about it.

Raptor/Turtle = Rapturt. It’s a flying, predatory turtle!

Corgi/unicorn mix = Corgicorn. It’s a unicorn with big ears and short stubby legs!

Elephant/giraffe = Girafant. Looks funny.

Elephant/horse = Elewhore. Does whatever the eff it wants.

Jagog. It’s a jaguar and dog combined. It mixes bad ass and sweetness in the world!

A cross between an octopus and a kangaroo. It’s called a Boingtopus, and it can jump on all 8 legs and squirt ink at people.

Flamingo + seal = Slamingo. It’s pink and it’s a seal that flies! How cute would that be?!

A cow and pig = Pow. You can use it to make a bacon cheeseburger!

Catrador — a combination cat and labrador. Big oafy dog that thinks its a cat.

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Thanks for entering!!!

April 8, 2014
by admin
11 Comments

Let’s talk about this one song from Annie.

Annie-filmYou know when you get a song stuck in your head? Or maybe you don’t know the whole song, so just one line repeats itself over and over in your head? That happened for me last week with the song, “I think I’m gonna like it here,” from the 1982 movie musical, Annie. It’s the song that the house staff sing with Annie when she first arrives at Daddy Warbucks’ mansion on some sort of orphan loaner program.

The line that kept going through my head was the one that the two old men say when they turn to each other and energetically shout, “WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL!” Over and over in my head. “WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL!”

It’s a wonder I can butter bread some days.

So I decided to go back and watch the song on ye olde Youtube, and — as with most of my favorite things from when I was a kid — I discovered a lot to be concerned about when re-watching this song as an adult.

Here’s the song from the movie:

And here are the lyrics. Let’s go through it together.

GRACE: Cecille will pick out all your clothes.

That’s some bullshit. I haven’t been able to pick out clothes for my daughter since she was 18 months old. I can’t even get her to wear a coat in the snow.

CECILLE: Blue is her best color, no red I think.

How about saying something like, “Hey Annie, welcome to our home. What’s your favorite color?” You know, to be welcoming and all.

GRACE: Your bath is drawn by Mrs. Greer.

GREER: Soap…no, bubbles, I think. 

What the hell, Greer? Well Annie, looks like you found the captain of the S.S. Fun Police.

GRACE: Annette comes in to make your bed.

ANNETTE: The silk, no the satin sheets, I think.

Of course it’s satin. Only a fool would put a small child in the silk sheets. Come on Annette, get your head out of your ass.

ANNIE: I think I’m gonna like it here!

Yeah, no duh kiddo. By the way, how many people work in this house? Why so much sweeping, dusting, and polishing? And why all in one room? Spread out, folks! You’re never going to have time to cut Annie’s meat if you don’t split up and get your work done.

GRACE: The swimming pool is down the stairs.

I think the chance that Annie knows how to swim is slim to none. You’re gonna want to head to the nearest Babies R’ Us and pick up some floaties, Grace.

ANNIE: Inside the house? Oh boy!

Stay away from the pool, Annie.

GRACE: The tennis court is in the rear.

Ha. “In the rear.”

ANNIE: I never even picked up a racket.

Do you see the horror on Grace’s face?! HORROR. She’s seen the alcoholic-driven work camp this kid comes from, and she’s shocked by no tennis?

GRACE: Have an instructor here at noon. Oh, and get that Don Budge fellow if he’s available.

Fact: Don Budge was a real tennis player, and the first American to win all four titles of the Grand Slam in a single year. So there you go. A little known fact for your next game of Trivial Pursuit.

ANNIE: I think I’m gonna like it here.

MRS. PUGH: When you wake Ring for Drake, Drake will bring your tray

DRAKE: When you’re through Mrs. Pugh comes and takes it away.

Drake of Warbucks Manor is SO the Mr. Carson of Downton Abby. Am I right? Come on. Those two could sit in a room together and shake their heads in distaste for hours.

Then we have Annie slipping and sliding down this menacingly over-polished floor in her shoes, which is not easy to do. They’re going to need to put down a layer of kitty litter if they don’t want a lawsuit.

GRACE AND SERVANTS: No need to pick up any toys.

ANNIE: That’s okay, I haven’t got any anyway!

No reaction to this. Nothing. Not one person stops and says, “You don’t have a single toy? Holy hell! You poor little girl!”  Is there a plan to get her any? This might be a good time to bring that up. But nope, Grace doesn’t even raise an eyebrow — I mean, it’s not like Annie said she’s never played tennis before or something.

GRACE: No finger will you lift my dear.

Excellent standards you’re setting for her. Best of luck when she turns fifteen.

ALL: We have but one request, please put us to the test!

Yes. That’s the first desire of any household servant who is suddenly taking care of an eleven-year-old. I wonder if maybe there wasn’t just a little bit of sarcasm there. As in, ”No really, Annie. Test us. Please. That’d be just super.”

ANNIE: I know I’m gonna like it here.

So, why does it take seven women to make her bed including a supervisor? Is this some kind of remedial housekeeping program? I think I’m beginning to understand why these folks do everything in groups.

ANNIE: Used to room in a tomb, where I’d sit and freeze.
                Get me now, holy cow!
                Could someone pinch me please?

Good lord, can someone please give this kid a hug?! All the grinning and giggling is great and all, but for crying out loud…

GRACE: We’ve never had a little girl

ALL: We’ve never had a little girl

There they are! My guys. You are in my head always, boys.

ANNIE: I’m very very very glad to volunteer

GRACE: I’m glad she’s glad to volunteer

Did you catch the eyes on Grace there? Now THAT, my friends, is sarcasm.

GRACE AND SERVANTS: We hope you understand, your wish is our command!

ANNIE: I know I’m gonna like it here
SERVANTS AND GRACE: We know you’re gonna like It here

Never forget.

Never forget.

Well, I think after that song it is safe to assume that this living arrangement is going to be a disaster. And don’t forget that scene at the end of the movie where she’s being chased and ends up hanging off a bridge. So what Daddy Warbucks is going to end up with here is a former orphan with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder who won’t go over bridges.

Good luck with that.

April 3, 2014
by admin
20 Comments

Car-versations: I’m sure she meant well…

(For those of you who are new, I tend to have the most bizarre conversations with my kids while we are in the car. Thus, my series of Car-versations.)

My daughter’s kindergarten class is having a poetry reading on Friday. Here is the car-versation we had about it.

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Daughter: “Mom, I wrote you a poem for our poetry thing on Friday, but my teacher won’t let me read it.”

Me: “Aw. Why not?”

Daughter: “She said she said part of it wasn’t nice, but I didn’t mean for it not to be nice.”

Me: “Oh, honey. I’m sure you didn’t. Can you tell me how it went?”

Daughter: “Okay –

Loved as a lovebird

Heavy as a log

I love you, Mom.”

Me: “…Hm…it was the ‘heavy as a log’ part she didn’t like, right?”

Daughter: “Yeah.”

Me: “Yeah. Well, I think it’s very sweet and strangely descriptive.”

Daughter: “Thanks, Mommy.”

Me: “You bet.”

log

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I have decided to title her poem, “Love Song For Fatty.” I might put it on a pillow. Or a coffee mug. But probably not a tee shirt.

If any of you have had an unintentionally unflattering poem written about you, or your child drew a picture at school that made you question everything you thought you knew about yourself, AND I KNOW YOU DO, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

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OH! And a big huge sloppy thanks to Parenting.com, who included me in their list of their favorite mom blog posts this week! I’m really flattered and amazed (I mean, I use the F-word in there!) to be included. So thanks to all, and go check out the other “get real” posts they loved this week.

 

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