Things I’ve Learned This Week

** There is no doubt that in a former life, our dog was a paper shredder.

** I will forever be a day late & a dollar behind.

** We put the “lazy” in our Lazy Susan, given that there’s no tellin’ what the hell you’ll find in there.

** Mornings?  Can bite me.

** I need to start passing out chill pills to some of the parents at the soccer fields.

** Birds enjoy pooping on me.

** My son apparently no longer likes carrots, which brings the number of veggies he’ll eat to Z-E-R-O.

** Greasy little fingers always manage to leave their stamp on me.

** Sandy boobs are not my cup of tea.

** I will never pee in peace again.

** Sadly, people care more about Al & Tipper Gore separating than they do about global warming.

** I REALLY need to learn Spanish so I’ll know when my kids are conspiring to overthrow my throne.

** If you’re not turning right, you’ve got no business being in the right-hand lane at a stop light.

** Screw sexy — Justin needs to bring NAPPING back.

** I should’ve been the one who invented Silly Bands, dammit!

** I’m gonna need an extra-large stock of Valium when my daughter goes through puberty.

** Calgon REALLY needs to come and take me away.

** Despite what I might think, God does not give me more than I can handle.

<< WHAT DID YOU LEARN THIS WEEK???? >>

No Holdin’ Back

At what point in our development do we actually start giving a shit what other people think about us? I often find myself a little envious of kids and their ability to just say and do whatever they’re feeling without regard for whoever’s around them. They have absolutely no filter whatsoever, so they call it like they see it and do it when they feel it.

Take for example my son at his soccer practice last weekend. The kid clearly had to take a whiz, given that he was squeezing his johnson like a damn water hose; however, he insisted that he didn’t need to go. But after a few more minutes of watching him hop around, my husband finally persuaded him to take a trip to the Port-A-Potty with him. When they were about halfway to the can, my son decided to save himself some time and go ahead and drop trow as he was running. He scurried right along, peter waving in the breeze, while horrified girls in soccer duds watched from a distance. My son, Mr. One Track Mind, was oblivious, though, since he only had his eye on the prize.

Also this past weekend, there was the girl at my daughter’s birthday party who apparently didn’t care for the game we were playing. Rather than keeping her thoughts to herself, she blurted out, “This is soooooo boring.” And I didn’t hear this little phrase out of Negative Nancy’s mouth just one time. Oh no, she made sure she repeated it over and over and over again. I REALLY had to work hard to bite my tongue with that one, but you see, MY mama taught ME to not say anything at all if I can’t say anything nice.

My daughter is particularly skilled at saying anything and everything that’s on her little mind. In the span of just a few hours one day, the girl told me that my teeth were yellow, I had bad breath, and my hair looked like a wild woman’s. Way to make the woman WHO GAVE BIRTH TO YOU feel like a rock star! I know that she doesn’t mean any harm, but I still made sure to brush my teeth, throw on some whitening strips, and run a brush through my hair just in case.

And then there’s the constant public proclamations by BOTH of my kids about what they need to do in the bathroom. We could be in the middle of a ridiculously crowded restaurant or standing in a long-ass line at the grocery store, and neither one of them has even the slightest qualm about screaming out, “I GOTTA POOOOOOOOP!!!!!” It’s beyond awesome to have all eyes on you while your kid’s hand is crammed up his ass crack.

As embarrassing as it might seem at times, though, think about how liberating it would be if, as adults, we could share that same no-holds barred attitude toward society. You hate the sweater your mother-in-law gave you for Christmas? Tell her you wouldn’t use it to clean your toilets! You’re trying to get out of a dinner date with your creepy neighbors? Tell them they are the constant stars of your nightmares! Your husband asks if the sex was good for you even though you accidentally nodded off in the middle of it? Tell him you had a better orgasm at yoga the other day. I’d love to just speak my mind, if only just for a day. Something tells me, though, that I’d find out a whole new LITERAL meaning for the phrase “roll with the punches” if I did….

Big Dick’s

    This weekend we had to take the kids on the dreaded mission of buying new soccer and baseball cleats.  Past experience has proven to us that the best and most economical place around us to purchase said footwear is Dick’s Sporting Goods. Now, call me juvenile, or call me perverted, but I just can’t help but laugh every time we go to Dick’s.  The name just absolutely cracks me up.  And I have to be careful that I make sure to giggle to myself in silence so as not to alert my kids to my junior high gutter mind.  But, seriously, how can you not crack up in a ginormously-sized store called Dick’s that specializes in the selling of balls?

     Every time we go to this mecca of all things sports, I tend to get a little lost in the enormity of this store.  There’s just so much to see, that it’s unbelievable.  Now, I’ve seen a lot of different Dick’s in my time (hee hee), but I think ours is probably the biggest (hee hee).  It’s two stories of everything you’d ever need for every sport ever invented.  And my husband absolutely HATES going there with me cause he says I act like it’s my duty to inspect every inch of Dick’s (hee hee).  I usually end up working my way from the bottom all the way up to the very top (hee hee), even perusing areas with which I have no experience whatsoever.  Can I help it if the super cool camping equipment display makes me want to pop a squat and roast a weiner (hee hee) right there on the second floor?  And I even freaking HATE camping!  I guess Dick’s just really knows how to get your attention.

     We spent a good solid hour before we were finally ready to beat it (hee hee).  And when we walked out of there, we had two new pairs of cleats, some baseball pants, a yoga mat, a pair of warmup pants, and, naturally, a set of golf balls.  Cause what good would a trip to Dick’s be without a shiny new set of balls?

Who’s Running This Show?

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     As far as I know, my job description as a parent does not say anything about serving as a punching bag for my kids. I know I don’t always make the best decisions and by no means am I a model parent, but I do know when to draw the line and stop my kids from acting inappropriately. However, some parents seem to be way too easy on their kids and allow them to just walk all over them.   Just over the past weekend, I came face to face with some of the most horrendous behavior I’ve seen in a long, long time.  And you all know that I not only live with twins, but I also now live with a furry-fied version of the son of Satan. So, I most certainly know about bad behavior!  However, I am absolutely and completely appalled by the way some parents allow their own kids to treat them.  Whatever happened to living by the phrase, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you right out of it”?  Sadly, it seems that many of today’s parents just let their kids wear the pants and run the whole mother truckin’ show.  

     The first shocking display of misconduct occurred at the soccer fields.  A little six year old boy ran over during a break to ask his mom if she’d brought his water bottle, and when she told him that she’d forgotten to bring it, this little punk had the audacity to actually kick his poor mother repeatedly in the shins.  I was in shock and think I may have even silently yelled out, “WTF?!”  I could not believe that a kid could have that big of an ego to think that his very own creator deserved a beat down for not bringing a friggin’ water bottle?!  Get your own stinkin’ bottle, you little bastard!  I’m pretty sure the woman was mortified to be treated like this in front of all the other judgmental parents out there, but she really didn’t even address the issue at all. She just kind of brushed over it and moved on with her conversation. I’m telling you right now that I would’ve marched my son’s little smart ass straight to the car and then all the way home.  

     The second disturbing incident occurred at a local neighborhood bar and grill.  This one particularly obnoxious dad was out to dinner with his sons, completely ignoring them in lieu of his cell phone.  At the end of their meal, one of the sons was trying to get Distant Dad’s attention so that they could leave and catch a movie.  Now, granted, the dad was totally clueless, continuously talking business REALLY LOUDLY on his cell phone, but this did not in any way warrant the kind of eruption that soon followed.  The son started to get more and more fired up when all of his efforts were continuously brushed off, so he grew louder and louder in his cries for Dad.  The pleading soon turned into hitting, which then turned into fist pummeling.  Before I knew it, the kid was literally punching the crap out of his dad’s back while screaming for him to get off the phone.  It was such a loud and violent outburst that all eyes in the restaurant immediately turned to this table in horror.  The worst part was that the kid was probably about ten or eleven years old and way too old to be throwing a temper tantrum.  And just like the episode at the soccer field, the dad never even attempted to discipline his bratty-ass kid.  They simply paid their bill and left for the movie.  Again, my kid would most certainly not be rewarded with a movie after pulling a Mike Tyson on me like that.    

     I just really don’t get this parental lack of interest in teaching our kids how to behave both at home and especially in public.  Are parents just too thinly stretched these days to be actively involved in the disciplining of their offspring?  If they are, then we are in serious trouble as a society. Sure, everybody’s tired and stressed and busy as can be, but family should always be the first priority.  Good behavior isn’t something you can pick up for your kids at the mall, and it’s not something they can attain by popping a pill.  It is the job of the parent to get off his/her ass and teach it to the kid.  And not only is it the parent’s responsibility to teach it, but it is also up to the parent to demonstrate good behavior himself. There are already enough adult yahoos in this world as it is. Do we really need our youth to grow up to become a-holes as well?

Spreading the Love

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     One of the biggest challenges I seem to face as a mama of twins is to always make sure that my kids know that I am equally proud of them. Given that I have boy/girl twins and the actuality that they are, in fact, two VERY different little beings (we’re talking night and day, oil and water, hot and cold different), they are naturally going to excel in different areas.  It’s up to me to fall all over myself singing their individual praises, while at the same time, not making the other one feel like a complete moron for not necessarily keeping up the same pace.

     One of these so-called areas just so happens to be reading.  My son’s brain has just turned on like a lightbulb when it comes to figuring out words.  He’s just naturally getting it — recognizing letters, piecing together sounds.  The dude was able to read the most God-awfully boring book about the sun cover to cover without even batting an eye.  He even had to wake me when it was over, that’s how lame the friggin’ thing was.  The point, though, was that he was even able to whiz through a scientific snooze fest with no help from me whatsoever.  My daughter, on the other hand, has a little more difficulty recognizing sounds, and as a result, gets extremely frustrated when she can’t figure out a word.  And what makes it worse is when her little bookworm brother is standing over her shoulder announcing how unfreakingbelievably easy the word is on which she happens to be stuck.  I can’t even count how many headache-inducing meltdowns this exact scenario has initiated.  In fact, just the other day, she pitched such an enormous hissy fit that she scared the literal piss out of the dog, all because her brother finished his spelling homework before she did.  I’ve learned the hard way to be sure to work one on one with them when it comes to anything to do with reading.

     Another area that is a major parental balancing act is sports.  Both my son and my daughter started playing soccer back in kindergarten. Now that they’re in first grade, they’ve had a good four seasons to get a feel for the game, and I have to say that my daughter is a pretty damn fierce competitor out there on the field. Now, please don’t automatically peg me for the stereotypical “soccer mom”, because I have really tried to just sit back and let the chips fall where they may. However, the girl can really handle the ball and has scored one or more goals at almost every single one of her games.  <TOOT!> Yes, I just tooted her horn, but soccer really does seem to be her thang. With my son, though, the story’s a little bit different.  He typically likes to pick grass when he’s out on the field and actually spent an entire game with his hands shoved down his pants.  (Now, to give him credit, the required uniform shorts are entirely too big, so perhaps his hands were just serving as suspenders.) He has recently started to at least try to make some type of contact with the ball, so I think we’re making progress.  Regardless of his playing skills (or lack thereof), I will love and support him just the same as if he were out there bending it like Beckham on that green.  

     Basically, what it all comes down to is confidence, and that’s what I’m all about instilling.  I want to teach my kids to have the guts to challenge themselves, even if they may fail.  The truth is that they very well may suck at a thousand different things they try, or they may kick ass and take names along the way.  Whatever the case, I am gonna be right there by their side, cheering them on to the point of embarrassment, because that’s what parents do.

The “Know It All” Mom

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     We all know ’em.  There seems to be at least one in every circle, and there’s just no escaping them.  They wait until just the precise moment to spew their venom, and usually, it’s one of those times that you feel like you’re the lousiest parent on the planet when they choose to show their fangs. Yep, that’s right.  I’m talking about the “know-it-all” mom.  These women come in all shapes and sizes and seem to be on a mission to prove that they alone wrote the book on parenting.

     One form of this particular breed of mama is the self-proclaimed “go-to” lady.  She thinks she knows the answer to EVERYTHING.  You need a new car seat?  Well then, she’s the one who’s supposedly researched every single product on the market.  You need new baseball cleats for your son? She can tell you where to get the absolute best bargains in town.  Not sure about the cafeteria procedures for your first grader?  Well, she can spew off every little guideline ever created by the school administration.  She arrogantly feels that it is her duty to share her wealth of knowledge with all the other less-informed moms out there.

     Then there’s the ever-so annoying “one-upper” mama.  She’s the one that you dread breaking any news around because you know she’s just waiting to break some even more spectacular news of her own.  No matter what, she always has a better story to tell, regardless of how grueling or how amazing yours might be. Your daughter scored two goals in her soccer game?  Well, her daughter not only scored THREE goals but also won the game for her team. Your son fell and had to go to the emergency room to get six stitches on his forehead?  Her son had to get SEVEN stitches AND a sling for his arm. Your daughter is starting to recognize letters and sound out words in her books?  Her daughter started reading at the age of TWO.  She’s the mom to which you’d really rather not share your trials and tribulations because she’s only half listening.  The wheels in her head are spinning out of control trying to come up with something better than you.

     Then there’s the “you say yes, I say no” mama.  She disagrees with everything you say or do as a parent, and she’s not afraid to tell you and try to make you feel like an idiot in the process.  You get flu shots for your kids every school year?  She is an advocate for natural immunity and is horrified that you are apparently not.  You buy your kids M n’ M’s on occasion as a special treat?  She never gives her kids candy cause it rots their teeth.  You let your kids watch Nickelodeon and Noggin?  She bans t.v. altogether from her house because it corrupts the minds of her children. You stock up on Perdue dinosaur shaped nuggets every week? She only buys the over-priced organic tofu nuggets for her precious little ones. Whatever you’re doing as a parent is way below her standards of parenting, and she is more than happy to point this out.

     I seriously cannot understand these women for the life of me.  I mean, let’s be honest.  None of us really knows what the hell we’re doing with this whole parenting gig, do we?  Aren’t we all just making this crap up as we go along?  I can’t imagine having the audacity to tell another mom that what I’m doing is better than what she is doing. Quite frankly, what works for me is not necessarily gonna work for her.  And don’t we get beaten up enough by our own kids on a daily basis?  Do we really need to beat each other up too?  I say different strokes for different folks.  Let’s be glad we’re not all exactly alike and support each other instead.  Plus, that way we can be on the lookout for the stubborn “know it all” mom and take that bitch down as a united front!

Shame On You!

     Throughout the past couple months of the spring sports season, I’ve repeatedly heard stories about the behavior of obnoxious parents on the sidelines.  They’re yelling, they’re screaming, they’re throwing f-bombs, all in the presence of their VERY young and VERY impressionable children. These people should truly be ashamed of themselves for such EXTREMELY unsportsmanlike conduct.  Don’t they get it that their kids are watching their every move???!!!

     As you may recall, I had a “brain vacation day” a couple of weeks ago, where I completely screwed up the time for my son’s make-up soccer game. As it turned out, my mental block ended up to be a good thing.  I guess there was a little boy on the other team who was kicking, pushing, tripping, punching, and yelling at our players throughout the entire game. Since there were no refs at this particular make-up game, there was no one to call him out on his behavior except his parents, who apparently sat there and never said a word.  The parents of our team finally had had enough and insisted that the other coach take out this kid.  His parents definitely had something to say then. They unleashed a firestorm of fury on the coaches, which prompted other parents to also get involved.  It then turned into a big shouting match right in front of two whole teams of six year old boys. These “adults” clearly lost all perspective of the fact that this was KINDERGARTEN soccer, not the World Cup.

     Baseball is another sport that supposedly brings out the worst in some of the parents.  Another mom was telling me about a dad who got so out of line at her nine year old’s game that he was even slapped with a fine. He got in the face of the ELEVEN YEAR OLD umpire who volunteered his time FOR FREE to spit out every four letter word he could think of over a call he didn’t like.  The umpire just stood there in shock while he was belittled in front of everyone.  

     You have to wonder what is wrong with these people.  Are they stressed about the economy?  Are they unhappy with their status in life?  Are they trying to live vicariously through their kids?  Whatever their reason, there is absolutely no excuse to behave like that, especially when their kids are watching.  They are not only setting a horrible example, but they are also making a complete ass out of themselves.  I know we live in a ridiculously competitive world, but a simple reality check seems to be in order for some people.  How can you call yourself the parent when you’re the one acting like the child?

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