Sunday, June 29, 2008


The following post is a public service announcement.

Ahh, summer time and the livin is (mostly) easy for moms and dads and kids. No school, no schedule; late nights spent catching lightning bugs are followed by days spent sleeping in and swimming.

As with every season, however, there are few extra "worries" a parent must have for their children in the summer. We have to check for ticks so that the kids don't get lime disease. We have to invest in vats of spf 70, to keep their skin from burning, and dozens of flotation devices to keep them from drowning in the pools, lakes, and oceans that we take them to visit to keep them cool.

Most moms and dads are aware of the dangers of summer, with one notable exception. Monster disease tends to manifest itself rather innocuously, at first, and so is rarely spotted in time. This incurable condition can only be outgrown, and this takes years. Managing it is difficult, if not impossible, and yet so few parents pay attention to the warning signs.

Summer time provides the perfect conditions for this disease to over take children. Long days spent at home under the same roof with one or both parents and siblings is often all it takes for a child this condition to spread. Experts advise that enrolling children in military, or other work-related, sleepover camps may be the best way to prevent your child(ren) from contracting this ugly disease.

If you notice your child developing any of the following symptoms, you should call a camp at once. This disease often affects "first"and only children around the age of nine; younger siblings, however tend to develop it much earlier on, and cases of monster disease have been seen in children as young as four.
*sharp tongue, off which phrases like, "do I have to", roll with ease.
*enlarging mouth, also known as "big mouth", in which the child constantly comments (negatively) on everything.
*pupil rolling that occurs frequently, and often after a child is asked to do something like "help".
*Vision impairment that affects the child's ability to see: what proper clothing looks like; what a clean room looks like; how amazingly cool their parents are; etc.
*Deafness, that comes and goes- i.e. the child may hear "who wants ice cream from the down the street, but can not hear his own mother shouting "stop that" from two inches away.

As the disease progresses, parents may notice their children developing:
* a seemingly uncontrollable urge to run in and out of the house compulsively all day long.
* repetitive speech, i.e. the child will not say "mom can I have a snack" once, but rather will in an almost robotic and highly agitating tone say over and over again, momcanIhaveasnackmomcanIhaveasnackmomcanIhaveasnack, until he gets what he wants.
* An insatiable appetite that disappears during regular mealtimes, but then instantly reappears, especially if the words "snack" or "desert" are mentioned.
* A constant desire to strike, wrestle and insult her siblings.

Prevention of this disease is imperative because if left unchecked, parents may likely be driven insane by their children affected by monster disease. Children with this disease are very difficult to deal with, and nearly impossible to be around. Children do usually outgrow this disease by about the age of 25, but by then it may be too late for their moms and dads.

For more information, consult your pediatrician. Know the warning signs. Practice prevention. Send the kids to sleep away camp for the summer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An addendum to the post below.

Because I am a moron, essentially none of the links, other than those with http:// in front of them work. Please use these links instead to click on the blogs mentioned below.

1. for Faith/ mommastantrum
2. for Margie/ at Gunning it
3. for Southern Domestic Goddess (in training)
4. for Ann(ie) / Life is short, Partake in happy hour.
5. for Sugar Mommy
6. for Amy/ Crazy, but the cool kind
7. for Janet/ fromtheplanetofjanet
8. for Kevin/ Always home, and uncool
9. for Manager Mom

I hope that a) everyone will now read the post below, b) everyone will return to this post to click on all of these fabulous blogs, and c) that when you all call me a moron, you will do it behind my back in low-toned voices.

A montage of memes titled "And this is why my house is a disaster"



Prize winner, this is your prize.

Instead of spending my time cleaning my house while my dear mother has four of my five kids at her pool, I am making this montage of memes for your enjoyment. I seriously hope you all appreciate the sacrifices of clean socks, cooked meals, and sleeping on a sheetless bed that I am making.
Anyway, today I will be responding to one meme I was tagged for, one award I was given, thanks to faith, and one meme that was "open invitation" that I should had to participate in. This post has been a serious challenge for me given my low, low, low technological i.q. Please excuse pictures that may or may not be in the right places.
First and foremost, I was tagged by a fellow phillymomblogger, Margie G. for this meme. Margie is expecting her second baby any day and so I salute her for sending me this meme in her condition. She is a trooper, and she makes adorable things with ribbons i.e. hair goods. Margie- when I get my act together, I wll order from you. You stuff is super cute. You can find Margie at :
The meme originated over an idea that was prompted by the book written by Larry Smith & Rachel Fershleiser, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure. It’s a compilation based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his life in six words. His words were, “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”
1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it to your blog including a visual illustration if you would like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blog sphere.Sarah's link is:
4. Tag 5 more blogs with links.5. Don’t forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.So, here we six word memoir:
Don't tell me, I look to young to have these...

can you guess what the word these refers to? If I had a nickel for every time I heard this, I'd be sitting on a beach in Maui sipping cosmos.
For this meme, I tag
1. My blog bff and running mate, Faith from mommastantrum.
2. Cassie, the new mom and southern domestic goddess (in training).
3. Ann(ie) my friend over at life is short, partake in happy hour. Need I say, bravo, Annie for your blog name.
4. She's just another manic mommy , who I have just discovered.
And last but not the person I dedicated my last post to
5.sugar mommy
And now, about the major award I have won. See it pictured above- it is picture #1, and it comes to me from my friend Faith over there at mommastantrum

Thanks again Faith. I'd like to make an acceptance speech, but maybe I should save that for another day, as the music is already playing and I have just gotten on stage. Anyway, as per the following rules:

• Choose 5 blogs deserving of this for their creativity, design & material.
• Each award should link to the giver of the award• Link to the Arte Y Pico blog (the woman who began this award.) If your Spanish is good enough to translate this all please do so.
• Post the Rules
I choose the following five bloggers to award:
1. My new neighbor and friend Amy from Crazy, but the cool kind because I love her photo collage blog header. Clearly, I do not possess the skill set to do the same, but maybe she will teach me, if I am really nice?!
2. The interplanetary diva, Janet, from the planet of janet because I'd like to land there for a little while.
3. manager mom because I think she could whip me into shape.
4. Kevin who is always home, and uncool because I'm always home and uncool too, and I need someone to hang out with.
5. And Margie, from gunning it, the ribbon lady who tagged me for the first meme in this post.

Finally, and if I don't mop my kitchen floor and the department of health comes over, manager mom, you will have to take the fall for me... I give you six random things, a meme I saw on manager mom's site, with an open invitation. I love the random and I just couldn't help myself but to participate. And now for my six random things....

1. Connect four is my favorite board game. No, I am not one of those moms who let's my kids win. I am that mom that rolls on her back, laughing diabolically, as I yet again defeat whatever child I am playing. Mature, I know.(picture 1)
2. Flowers look nice by a front door, but really they have to watered and plucked and who has time, when your writing useless information on the internet. Myself, I decorate the doorstep with muddy shoes ( picture 2)
3. Picture 3- the dirty baby. We must have a million dolls, but this is the one the baby wants to take all over America, so that it looks like she doesn't have any other toys and has to play with a doll that looks like it carries a communicable disease.
4. Q-tips- need I say more-these are fo sho my favorite health and beauty aid.
5. I don't know why, but I keep thinking about a movie called Amazon Women On the Moon. I haven't seen it in atleast 15 yrs, but I can't get the segment, where they have a mock game show called "bullshit or not" out of my head. I'm guessing this is why useful information, like where I put my car keys, refuses to hang around in my head.
6. Rainstorms bring brainstorms.
Case in point
During our last thunder storm, and evening without power,
Aidan asks, "How many years has the world been going on for?"
Ethan replies, " I don't know, but who do you think the geek in the corner is, counting the years."
Aidan says simply, "GOD". like duh.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's not all about me- entirely, but believe you me, it is brutually honest

I am so glad that I joined twitter because I have found so many new friends here in the blogosphere. Last week, while tweeting and perusing the blogs of my tweeps, I read so many lines and posts that I could relate to so well that a thought came across my mind, and yes it has been years...
Seriously, my thought was that one day a week, I would dedicate my post to talking about an issue raised in some one's else post, which I believe I have something remotely profound, or at least semi-intelligible, to say about. When I received a thank you email from, I decided that this would in fact be a good idea. As it turns out, I actually have other things to talk about besides ridiculous 70's shows, what a moron I am, and how my kids are likely going to kill each other, and probably me, before the summer is over- not that I don't love talking about those things, because, of course, I obviously do.

The topic of sugar mommy's blog that caught my attention was depression and how it makes her feel, and I could seriously relate and I remembered how important it is to a depressed/anxious/panic stricken person to have someone say to them- you are not crazy, and I understand. Judging by all the other mommy bloggers entries and tweets about feeling blue, depressed, and swallowing xanax like smartees, I take it that sugar mommy and I are not alone.

Now I'm not a doctor nor will I attempt to play one on the internet. I do, however, speak from the other side of anxiety and depression, and I can tell anyone who is in its midst that things can get better. I'm not so sure that there is an instant cure-all, and I will tell you that my recovery involved everything from cognitive therapy, to prescription meds to reading self-help books. Also making friends and hearing that other people struggle with the same things that I struggle with was, perhaps, the biggest help. Isolation feeds depression and anxiety, and depression and anxiety fuel isolation.

What I am trying to say is here is my story- so to anyone out there struggling, you are not alone and it can get better.

As most of you who read this blog know, I became a mother and a wife, in that order, at the very young ages of 19 and 20, respectively. The immense responsibility associated with these jobs quickly brought my carefree and somewhat reckless lifestyle to a screeching halt. That coupled with the fact that I knew no one who was in my same place in life was very isolating. On top of all of that, I was living in a completely unfamiliar place, ten hours away from friends and family. All of these things combined like the winds of a hurricane to wreck my life and to render me the victim of disaster.

What was I depressed about? Well, mostly I was extremely anxious about life. I now had this person who was completely dependant upon me, who I loved more than anything in the world, and I became acutely aware of all of the things that could destroy us. Before I got pregnant, not as a part of any ridiculous pact, I assure you, I had this attitude that nothing bad could happen to me. I was your typical invincible teenager, and then I got pregnant, and had a child and I realized, in a hurry, all of the bad things that could, in fact, happen to me. There were so many. As I traced my life path in my mind, I convinced myself that not only could bad things happen to me, but that in a just world, bad things probably should happen to me. I deserved it. And yet all around me, it seemed innocent well-meaning people had their lives destroyed by chance. My cousin's husband was sick with incurable esophageal cancer, and was in his mid-thirties; my mom's friend's husband died suddenly in a car accident, two days before Christmas on his way to pick up a toy for his two year old daughter. Celebrities were not immune. Even Katie Couric's husband died suddenly from colon cancer.

And everything I read and watched made things worse. Suddenly, I realized that it was my responsibility to save myself and my daughter from lurking dangers. The only trouble was that I was so certain that I was dying from something or that she was dying from something, that I was absolutely terrified to go the doctor's. I didn't want to know, but the not knowing was worse. The panic would take over and I would be absolutely paralyzed by it. I would wonder why anyone wanted to live this life- so full of danger and sadness. I would finally go to the doctor or take my young daughter, and they would tell me that I/she was fine. You would think that this would make me feel better, but it wouldn't because then the guilt would set in and I would hate myself. I knew that I was ruining and wasting my life, but I simply couldn't help myself.

Also, everyone around me, who knew what was going on with me, mainly my family was annoyed with me,and could not understand what my problem was. When I returned to college, I made some friends, but none that I could really talk to about what was going on with me. Even if I could have talked to them, the truth was I really didn't want to. I didn't want to seem like a freak, more than I already did from being such a young wife and mother. Sometimes things would get better, but they would also get worse, and I spent so many days just trying to focus on the task at hand- but I was so distracted by my own mortality and I had this ever present feeling that one day, the illusion of my happy life would be destroyed by something totally out of the blue. To prepare myself, I decided rather than enjoy my life, I would remain hyper vigilant to protect myself and my family from harm. Of course, logically, I knew this was a ridiculous strategy, and it was exhausting, and depressing as hell.

Things really came to a head the week before I graduated from college. Even though, I had worked hard, and had two children while going to school to complete my degree in philosophy, I didn't believe I deserved to graduate. I knew something bad was looming around the corner. I went to a doctor, and she did not immediately reassure me that I was fine. Instead she ordered some tests which she cavalierly said would be back in a couple of weeks. I. flipped.out.completely!!!!!!!!!

My mom flew down to help out because I was almost to the point where I could not function and had to go to daily group therapy sessions at a local hospital. They put me on Prozac and also anti anxiety medicine. Within a couple of days, I was vomiting, numb and faint-but also a lot calmer. I still had to take final exams, but with Mom, even though she didn't understand or really sympathize, things were a lot more manageable because she helped with the house and kids. By the end of the week, I was able to go to graduation, to sit still and enjoy the day. I wasn't worried about the future, or about the danger of life, I was just enjoying the moment. I continued for a while with therapy and medication and I began to get better and better everyday.

My happy ending has not been without relapse. Childbirth, and I had three more kids after all of this, has always been a trigger for me. When my fourth baby Isabelle, was readmitted to the hospital at one week old with a blood cell disorder that caused her to develop jaundice that was only curable by a complete blood transfusion, I thought I would lose my mind. Again, I went back on meds. It took six months for the doctors to determine that she didn't have a genetic condition that made her sick, and without medication, I seriously would have been like the woman in Charlotte Perkins' short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, who incidentally, I believe I read was a character based on her own experience with post partum depression.

When my little girl was given a clean bill of health, and I felt I made it through that difficult time, I began to realize I could survive the uncertainty of life. Moreover, I began to realize that in life you have to enjoy the good moments while they last, because inevitably, bad moments will occur, and the only way to make it past those is to have a good perspective on life in general.

Of course, I still have bad days. Worries and panic still enter my mind, but now I tend to push them away. I am no longer hypervigilant, just cautiously optimistic. I believe in visualization and positive thoughts, and I don't worry that these theories seem flaky and aren't grounded in logic and reason because quite frankly, they make me feel better. And this life, whatever it means or is about, is much more tolerable and enjoyable, when I feel better.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

To be brutally honest, Mrs. Flinger, it's 12:13a.m. Wednesday

This post is for brutally honest Mondays, Mrs. Flinger's meme, which she actually didn't post this week until Tuesday.

I read about her wanting people to join in on twitter and didn't get around to putting this post together until 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. SO technically this whole post is a lie, and for brutally honest Monday, nonetheless. My mother would say that I ought to be ashamed of myself. Indeed, I am.

But what I wanted Mrs. Flinger to know is that I am actually a really good go to girl.

I'm always there for my friends, even those who never comment on my blog, even when I dutifully participate in their memes. I never hold grudges, and am always a good sport.

And while I'm not going to blogher- because well, I am afraid to fly, and would also be afraid to tell people that I'm leaving my kids for the week whilst I go pursue my blogging aspirations since almost no one I know (in the real world) knows that I blog, except for Moira and her husband Chaz, and my husband, who incidentally, never reads TG ( How's that for brutally honest?)- I am happy to post a picture so that Mrs. Flinger might perhaps remember me and leave me a little comment love.
Now I'm the one beggin'
Anyway, Mrs. Flinger, the picture above is of me at my brother's recent eighties party. I went as an eighties preppy, to a party in a bar, where some people, not part of the party, were not in costume- because that is how I roll.

On Father's Day, for a moment, I wonder is my husband actually a homicidal maniac...

Okay, so I didn't so much really wonder that, but I did nearly enter heart failure when the door bell rang, and Ethan got up and looked out the door and said "Mom, it's the police"

Right before that, we were all sitting on my bed, except Daddy, who was unwinding alone and in peace on Father's Day, and I was cutting nails and cleaning ears in preparation to go out for Father's Day brunch. The oldest was still sleeping, and cuts her own nails and cleans her own ears.

After the mother's day debacle, when I had to coach soccer right before we went with my family out for mother's day dinner, and so my husband had to dress the kids, and Ethan arrived in Aidan's pants ( size 7slim, when he is size 10 slim), and Tasha was in a sleeveless dress with no sweater in 50 degree weather, and Isabelle had on mary janes without socks, which inevitably gave her a foot blister, and I had to forbid all of them from getting in the buffet line because they all looked ridiculous, I wanted to make sure that they looked spiffy so that my family would believe that they actually have clothes that fit them, and that they once in a while enter the world looking decent.

Anyway, when Ethan said the police were at the door, my heart jumped into my throat. I mean why do the police go to people's houses? Not for good reasons. My real first thought was that someone in my extended was dead on the side of the road and the police were at my door, because somehow, I was determined to be the next of kin.

My Dad and brother are both runners, and often run in our neighborhood. I'm thinking about Tim Russert anyway, and now the most plausible reason for the police being there is that my Dad has had a heart attack on the side of the road.

I make my husband answer the door because a) I'm too chicken, and b) it's 11:30 a.m. and I'm still in my nightgown- and the whole plan is for us to look decent to society today.

Within seconds of the door opening, I hear my husband chuckling, so I know everything must be ok. I peek out of the bedroom door, and my husband asks if any of the kids were playing with the phone.

Now, I feel like a fool, because, of course, I was letting Tasha, the baby, play with the phone on the floor while cutting the other kids nails. She quickly knocked it off the hook, and I didn't bother to hang it back up because I thought better for her to play with it off the hook than on. This would have been a great plan had before she knocked it off the hook, she hadn't dialed 911.

Unfortunately, since she did first dial 911 before knocking the phone off the hook, and so the police were trying and trying to call us back to see if, in fact, we had emergency. Since they could not get through to us, they had to send someone out.

Aidan and Ethan were wrestling earlier that morning and I had just explained to them how they could get in big trouble if they hurt one another. Aidan, who is only six, thought the police had come for him since he hit his brother. He curled up in a cocoon in my bed and sobbed uncontrollably. All of the other kids, who went out and said hi to the police officer tried to coax him out, telling him the police officer was not here for him, but he was having nothing of it. If anything good comes of this, MAYBE, he'll think next time before he punches his brother, but I doubt it.

After profusely apologizing, we did manage to get ready for brunch and we all looked presentable.

If ever I have my doubts about writing or blogging, I just look and my life and know that its absurdity HAS to have some meaning- otherwise, most days would just seem like a cruel, cruel joke.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I hope that some of you, offended by the f-bomb, will pardon my language and remember this quote from Jerry Maguire fondly as you listen to the saga that was my day today...

Remember, little Johnathan Lipnicki (scary that I can remember his name) asked Tom Cruise to take him to the zoo- but it was night time, and Tom Cruise was drunk and nursing a black eye and had just dumped fiance Kelly Preston because she called him a loser- so he said simply, Ray the fucking zoo is closed, and Ray said, "you're not supposed to say Fuck"
I am sorry if I have offended anyone, but immediately this is what ran through my head when I pulled up at the zoo parking lot, after an hour drive with four kids in city traffic to get to the zoo, and was told that the zoo was closed for the day.

The zoo is closed three times a year. Christmas Day. New Year's Day. And, ohbytheway, the second Thursday in June. How could I not know? Didn't we just finish decorating the second Thursday in June tree? Didn't I just spend tons of time buying the second Thursday in June Christmas gifts.
This, people, is why I am not type a personality. Type A personalities plan perfectly and their plans roll smoothly along. I tried so hard to be organized. Even had the girls dressed in matching giraffe dresses so they would look zooish. Packed sandwiches and strawberries and salsa and chips in a cooler, so that we could have a picnic lunch. Even bought tickets in advance at triple A, to save time and a couple of bucks. Well, at least now we have tickets for another day. You might think the people at Triple A would have advised me that today was one of the three days of the year the zoo was closed?! But then, again, I guess I should have known.

But this is where my laid back, roll with the punches, differently organized personality comes into play. No need to call social services- I did not drop the f-bomb in front of my children, who were reeling from the news that the zoo was closed. I was on a major city street, unsure of which way to go, traffic coming at me from every angle,but I simply pulled over.
After a brief caucus on what other city attraction we would visit, it was decided that we would head to the aquarium. Thank God for the GPS because with my sense of direction, we'd still b in the city.

As you can see above, I found many glorious creatures of the sea including: a shark boy,two mermaid princesses, and one sea monster.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Reflections on eighth grade graduation

Eighth grade graduation.

Some people think it is stupid, overindulgent, unnecessary, and just plain silly.

What do you get with an eighth grade degree, anyway? Only to go to high school, which is basically a necessity if you want to exist in this world. Right?

I wasn't sure how I felt about eighth grade graduation until my daughter graduated from eighth grade last week, even though, once upon a time, I participated in the same hoopla and fanfare as an eighth grader. But back then, I didn't think as much as I just did.

So now, as an adult, I would have to decide, in favor or not.

I vote in favor, and this is why:

The celebration of the completion of eighth grade is a celebration of the educational process, pure and simple. It is not about where you will you to college, or what job you will get with your degree. It is about celebrating growing and changing and learning and becoming, and those things, I believe, are the most organic fruits of the learning process.

I know many parents disagree with me. Maybe not even consciously, but still they disagree. They want their children to achieve, to be, to produce, to excel, to bring glory and honor upon themselves and by extension upon their families. I'm not saying that those things are not nice- because they sure are. Heck, in a perfect world, I'd love for my kids to all be valedictorians, most valuable players, stars of the stage, loved by all. Who wouldn't?

But the inherent value of my child is not dependent on her being any of those things. To me, my children truly are special and wonderful and valuable by virtue of being my children. Each and everyday that they wake up in the morning and go and out into the world and try to make their way in this crazy life, I am absolutely proud of them. Granted, some days are better than others; and some days I take for granted how magnificent their efforts to become their own people really are.

I guess that's why I am in favor of eighth grade graduation. It forces a parent to reflect on how truly amazing their child's journey in this life really is; and it makes a mom pause, if just for a moment, to remember when; and to reflect on how that child got from point a to point b; and to dream of a future for her child, a million times brighter than her own.

And she looks gorgeous in the dress, I think- of course, I am her mom.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


And to think I once thought that song was cute, in a schmaltzy sort of, were all in this together, cum bay ya, hands across America, brotherly love, bullshit way.

And then again, I was at the pool. A place that I should clearly stop going to. When, oh when will I learn that nothing good ever comes of me trying to be a proper parent? I should just stick to serving them sugar and letting them play video games all day long while I sit in a robe, hair in curlers, smoking cigarettes and talking on the phone all day? Honestly, life would be a lot less agonizing.

But no. I decide to go to the pool. According to my husband, this is not hard work, but clearly he does not know. He can dress for the pool in 2.5 seconds. Slip on swim shorts and he is done. Anyone who has seen the sex in the city movie will recall Miranda's pool faux pas. I'm not one of the psychos who shaves my legs all winter long every day in the shower. For God sake, if I'm in the shower everyday, it's a miracle.

Then I have to get the children ready. This involves me saying get your swimsuits on, overandover again, until I am hoarse, or blue in the face, or both. Then we have to pack the pool bag. Towels do not dry and fold themselves from day to day, nor do swimsuits, t-shirts;etc.

We need clothes to change into afterwards, or at least a dry t-shirt and underwear. We need sunscreen, swim goggles, pool toys, diapers, snacks, the car keys, and everyone needs shoes on their feet.

As I said before, its a major effort. I make this effort, and into the pool we go, where a woman, who taught my brother in hs is sitting by the baby pool with her two children, who are younger than my four oldest children, despite the fact that she is about eight to ten years older than I am.

I have seen her at the pool before, and we have spoken, but only as strangers, not as acquaintances from a past life. I am hoping that we can keep it this way, but almost immediately, I see that we are going to go down the road less traveled.

Are you Jake and Joe's sister? She asks me right off the bat. She knows that I recognize her, so no need for easing into the conversation.

I breathe in, as if I am boarding a roller coaster car. I hope the drop off peak isn't really high.

No, they are my cousins. I tell her my brother's name. She remembers him, but did not know him as well as she knew my cousins, who were more into music, since she is a music teacher.

She begins to explain to me more about who she is. Now normally, I would just go along and play stupid, but since she has already recognized me as who I am, I figure I may as well put my cards on the table. Yes, I know who you are I say, because I used to date soandso. Soandso, my longtime serious hs boyfriend was a musician and was also her student. At the time, she was a young teacher, and he was eighteen. So, of course, they had a friendly relationship, and of course, I knew who she was. In fact, in my previous life, I had met her many times at various performances that soandso was in.

Now I don't like to mention soandso, at all. Let's just say, he turned out to be a real asshole. And when I say real asshole, I mean it. Things that happened between us essentially altered the entire course of my life, and not necessarily for the better. Because he was the guy, he was relatively unscathed, at the time, but up until my meeting with this ex-teacher at the pool, I liked to think of him, on the rare occasion that I would even think of him, as struggling somewhere to survive. Maybe collecting coins in the subway, or selling his plasma to pay his rent in some broken down apartment building that was crawling with roaches or rats, or ideally both. I know this is healthy and not bitter of me, but what can I say, that's just how I am.

Unfortunately, when I mentioned this to this ex-teacher of his, she began to tell me all about what he is doing now. I wanted to put my fingers in my ears and say lalalala, so that my vision of him would not be shattered, but I figured maybe my hopes and dreams for him actually came true. I thought things were going as planned when she opened with... He never did graduate from college, but when she told me, it didn't hinder him professionally, I knew it was trouble.

She mentioned something about him working in the field of music, which basically amounts to the fact that he is living his dream. He has even worked with Stevie Wonder, she tells me, and now I want to vomit. I want to blow big chunks into a padded Manila envelope and mail it to him with Stevie Wonder's name in the return address spot. Is that wrong?

When I came home I couldn't resist the urge to google him. My friend, Moira, wink wink, (how do you like that pseudonym) who has recently told me that my blog would be infinitely better if I mentioned her more often, so here you go Moira, told me that she found my blog via google, so I figured, if she could find me, I could find him. Within minutes, I was staring at a picture of him in a fucking ugly as shit red velvet blazer, standing next to Stevie Wonder. Incidentally, since he is a con-artist in my mind, (and don't tell me people change because that is bull shit) isn't it possible, since Stevie is blind and all, that he simply impersonated someone and then quickly had his picture taken, emailed it to every school he ever attended, and made up some bull shit about him "working" with Stevie Wonder. Maybe it's a cardboard cut-out, or better yet maybe it's the miracle of photo shop. Anyway, I'm not as naive as I used to be.

What I'm wondering now, however, is why the fuck I never really took to heart Thomas Woolf's claim that "you can't go home again." I mean for fuck's sake cliches become cliche for a reason, because they are true. That bastard is off living his dream and working with Stevie Wonder, and I ' m sitting at the pool with my five kids, being interrogated by a woman who was his teacher in hs, and who still obviously keeps in touch with him.

Is this your nanny, she asks me about my oldest daughter. No, I say smiling, this is my daughter(the one that I managed to raise and graduate from college while doing so, not that I' m working with Stevie wonder, or anyone else, for that matter) Now, I imagine, this teacher scurried home to email my famous by association ass of an ex boyfriend to tell him, that while he is working with Stevie Wonder, I am sitting poolside with my five children, one who she mistook for my nanny, until she learned that my life had taken a tragic turn, and that despite my best efforts, I did become a teenage mother, after all.

There is no justice people. no. justice.

It truly is a small world, but that is no reason to slap on a stupid smile and sing the same verse of a song over and over again like some type of demonic energizer bunny. It is, however, a great reason not to move back home again to the small town where you grew up, and where not only does everybody know your name, they also know the names of all the people that you ever met, and all the details of all the relationships that you've had with those people. It's like living on a goddamn soap opera. Only without hair and makeup. Cum buy ya.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


After a long week of preparing for and attending my daughter's eighth grade graduation, I am back to blogging. This event took so much time and energy that it seemed as if we were preparing for her high school graduation or her wedding. Seriously, I spent more time looking with her for her dress than I did searching for my own wedding gown, but more about that whole thing this week.

But before I go any further with any of my "stories"....

Smiles everyone, smiles...

I want to announce that mommastantrum was the winner of my Fantasy Island contest.

She will be receiving the lovely gift basket above along with a dvd of the series.

Momma, it's on its way!!! If you haven't visited her blog yet, you really should. It always makes me laugh.

Also, thanks to Jen at listplanit. I won her pdf planner full of lists. I didn't even realize that I was entering a contest when I left her comment. What a nice surprise it was to learn that I was a winner! I'm never a winner- but apparently things in the blogosphere are a bit different than they are in the real world. I love the blogosphere!!

All of you differently organized, note I didn't say disorganized, people should seriously think about checking out listplanit. Jen, who is clearly not differently organized, has designed lists for everything. For someone like me who is "challenged" by organization, these lists, I think, will be really helpful. If I can remember to fill them out, that is.

Well, I'm off to watch Denise Richards, It's complicated. I haven't seen it yet, but given the title of the show, I'm willing to bet that the producer has a really good sense of humor. Having seen some previews, it seems to me as though everything, including how to make it through a sentence without saying Fuck, is complicated for Denise. But what I'm wondering is can you really subtitle a show, It's Complicated, just because the star is an absolute moron? I mean, I think it's kind of misleading to the general public, who believe the word complicated to mean that something is multidimensional, to imply that this woman's life is complicated. To a first grader, addition and learning to read can be complicated, but I don't know that it would be right to describe those things as being complicated in general. Like I said, I'm thinkin the producer is just a really funny guy. I guess I'll have to watch and see. I mean, I don't really have to watch, but I can't pass up a chance to watch someone make an absolute ass of themselves on National t.v.- what can I say, it's complicated.

Tommorow, I will be back with more stories. Until then...

Monday, June 2, 2008


So after Isabelle's graduation, a bunch of us moms decided to head over to the local park. It was supposed to be warm, but unfortunately, it was not only warm, it was as hot as blazes. There wasn't a breeze to be found, and by the time we left the park, we all felt, and probably smelled like hot garbage.

My friend, Liz, suggested that she and I take our kids to the pool that we both belong to for a cool down and an outdoor dinner. We agreed to meet after we both picked up the older kids at three thirty.

The pool that we belong to is a small pool and it is often heavily populated by other kids from our kids small school. Basically, our world is very small. A lot like smurf village, except none of us are blue. In any case, we arrive at the pool to find many familiar faces, which is not a bad thing, because it means the kids will have plenty of playmates, and will perhaps leave us alone for a few minutes. Except, I still have the baby, who is almost 18 months old, so my summer at the pool will basically be an aerobic workout. What can I say, at least, I can continue to convince myself that I don't need to join the gym.

Liz and I, and two other moms we are friends with, were sitting poolside when Kelly, a tall blond mom, who is mother to two girls who are in class with both Liz' s kids and my kids, screams across the concrete to Liz, calling her by the plural form of her last name. "Smith's", she yells out, apparently attempting to address the entire family- Liz is a mom of four- Do you know what Carson just said? Liz is looking at her blankly at this point, and none of us really know where she is going with this. She shakes her head no. Carson, she announces, from across the baby pool, just asked me what the F word meant, and she said that your daughter just said it to her.

Immediately, Liz jumped up from her chair. The other moms and I sort of stared, open mouthed as Liz scrambled to remedy the situation. Well which F word did she say? Liz asked. Was it possible that Kelly meant Fart, or even Freakin. No, it was not. Kelly made it clear, it was the F word.

The two walked towards the swing set, and Liz's oldest daughter, Caroline, who is eight, was promptly reprimanded.

Liz returned to her chair, clearly embarrassed, and making excuses for why Caroline said what she said. It's my fault, Liz said. She has, no doubt, heard me saying it.

I told her there was absolutely no reason for her to explain it to me, and that if I was horrified by any one's behavior, it was Kelly's and not hers, or her daughter's, who likely, did not even know what she was saying.

If there is anything that I have learned in my nearly fourteen years of being a parent, it is that your kids will do anything and everything they can to embarrass you. Most of the time, it won't even be on purpose, but nevertheless, they will make you look like the worst parent possible, whenever possible. Like the time that I took my son to the pediatrician last summer, and he told them that when we went to the pool, we didn't use sunscreen. He neglected to mention that we usually only went to the pool after five, because I didn't want the baby, who was very little last summer, out in the summer sun. Of course, I tried to explain myself, but at that point, what's the use? The mom who tries to explain herself always looks like a liar.

Knowing this fact about our children, and also knowing how tough a job being a mom is, we really have stick together as moms, and not call each other out in an attempt at public humiliation. Liz has had a really tough year. Her husband spent Christmas in rehab, and ever since he has been back, the two have been going to counseling trying to make things work, while raising four children. I'm not saying that what Caroline said was acceptable, or that Kelly shouldn't have told Liz, but really what was the reason for screaming it across the pool?

My grandfather, an Italian immigrant and father of seven, had a saying that pertained to raising children. "Don't spit in the sky", he used to say when someone would talk about someone else's child doing wrong. Of course, the implication is that when you spit in the sky, that spit is bound to come back down to earth and land in your face. You know the whole what goes up must come down theory. And take it from me, I have seen, first hand, so many times that this saying is true.

None of us wants our kids to curse, or do other embarrassing things that make us look like inadequate parents, but the truth is, at some point in time, most kids will do something to embarrass their parents. I've seen this happen to parents who are super strict as many times as I've seen it happen to parents who are more lax disciplinarians. Don't be fooled by supernanny. A chore chart and a routine do not cure all the evils of kiddom. Even the "best" of kids are sometimes to blame for bad behavior, and where two or three are gathered, such as in school or sports or at your local pool, trouble will often find them.

So the next time you witness somebody else's kid misbehaving, take a deep breath before you approach the parent, and put yourself in their shoes. Remember, you don't know what's going on the family, or why the child is misbehaving, or where they learned the bad behavior.

I'll never forget when my oldest was in second grade, the most prim and proper mother from school called me to tell me that my daughter had pushed her son. " We teach Mark not to hit girls, but we did tell him to defend himself."

I can remember feeling shock waves go through my body as she said these words to me.The incident happened at school, was handled at school, and I didn't think that she needed to call me on the phone and threaten me that my daughter would be injured, if she pushed her son again. I was so upset by the call, however, that naturally, I confronted my daughter when she came home from school. Why did you push Mark? I asked. I pushed him because he was digging his fork into my arm at lunch, she told me.

I am not the type of mother that believes every word my kids say. It's not that I think that my kids are liars, it's just that I know kids- they all lie. It's part of being kid and learning right from wrong. I decided I would go in and talk to the teacher. She verified my daughter's account of the incident. It took every ounce of self control for me not to call the mother back and say, hey by the way.

A few weeks later, however, when she came to my door to get some girl scout cookies, I said casually, as if it were no big deal, by the way remember how you told me that Sierra pushed Mark... I then told her how I'd spoken to the teacher, because no way would she believe my kid over hers. She was mortified. Her face turned bright red. Smugly, I said, well you know kids often don't tell the whole story.

So remember, the next time you are outraged by some other kids behavior, understand that it is simply a matter of time before your own kids will outrage some other mom. Treat the offenders as you would have the offenders treat you, if the shoe was on the other foot (and trust me, one day it will be on the other foot). Don't spit in the sky, because the law of gravity is one rule that can't be bent.