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Friday, March 11, 2016

*Real*


We’re hearing the phrase “body shaming” a lot lately. Putting someone (usually women) down about the shape of their thighs or the width of their mid-section or the size of their breasts.

I’m sorry but what the hell??!?

Why does how someone else’s clothes cover their body become a topic of concern for another? Why are we doing this to each other? In a society of “Be Nice” campaigns and “Random Acts of Kindness” suggestions, what even is this? I have a suggestion of my own…

KNOCK IT OFF!

Example: Barbie.
Barbie has taken a big hit in the last few years from over-sensitive people stating “she doesn’t look like a *real* woman!” Um, no, she doesn’t...because she’s a doll. She was designed to have little girls (or boys…(we wouldn’t want to offend anyone)) dress her up in fun clothes and brush her hair. I hardly think she was created to intentionally make young girls think she was the epitome of what you’re supposed to be as an adult. But if we’re going to go that route, then okay. Let’s take a look at Ms. Roberts (yep! She has a last name!), shall we? She’s held just about every career path imaginable, all while single, mind you, and has done it with a smile on her face. Why? I’m assuming it’s because she’s a strong, confident, single woman who happens to let Ken tag along when she feels he can be useful. And while we’re on the subject of Ken...why isn’t he being yelled at? He has washboard abs, plastic hair, and a spray tan. I don’t know a lot of guys that look like that. Why isn’t he offending anyone? And also...does anyone know what Ken does for a living? Looks to me like an exasperated Barbie is footing his bill, as well!

But I digress.

This conversation moves us into the purpose of this post in the first place. The *real woman* phrase that I cannot stand to hear other women say. Why, after how far we’ve come and how so many of us are treated in different parts of the world, do we allow ourselves to hurt each other like this? It’s deplorable. If you’re a woman, you’re real. Period. 
It doesn’t matter if your jeans are made with less material or more material. They hold a real woman. If your bones press against your skin or if you have rounded curves and edges, you are a real woman. If you’re married or divorced or single or gay or short or tall or average or successful or still trying to find your way, you are real. Your religion, your background, your mistakes, your triumphs, your tears, your pain, your laugh, your friendships, your heart. All these things make up the real woman you are.

Why are we letting a bias media dictate what’s real anyway? Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Just because it’s on television or the internet doesn’t make it true or real.
And we know this! So, WHY??? The internet is making us angry at each other. Large women are mad at small women and small women are mad at large women.
Why?!? Because we’re small or large? That’s stupid!

Friends, can we lift up instead of tear down? There is already too much hatred in the world as it is and for us to add to it because of the various sizes of our pants...is embarrassing.

Instead.
Strong. Confident. Intelligent. Kind. Encouraging.
This equals REAL.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

There's Nothing to Eat!!!

I can’t be the only one who is completely frustrated with the constant conflicting information that’s being thrown at us regarding food and nutrition. Seriously. It makes my head spin. We’re told dairy is good for you because it provides calcium and vitamin D. Yogurt contains good bacteria that your intestines love and they keep you from getting sick since “75% of your immune system is in your gut.” And we’re also told that dairy is bad for you because, first, we’re not meant to drink milk from another animal. Then, it’s inflammatory. Also, it causes gastrointestinal problems. And, the big one, it causes cancer because our cows are pumped full of hormones so they can mass produce which then enters our bodies and that’s one of the reasons breast cancer and other “female” cancers are so prevalent.
                                                  

We’re supposed to stay away from wheat, particularly gluten (a protein found in wheat and a few other grains), and white and brown rice. Corn and potatoes are now too starchy and loaded with carbs (Heaven forbid!) and don’t even look at that loaf of bread!
                                                   

Sugar. Ah, sugar. You’re evil and must be destroyed. However, you are in absolutely everything…including fruit, so now we can’t eat that. No oranges, strawberries, peaches, pineapple, and beware because you’ll instantly become obese and infested with diabetes if you so much as touch the dreaded banana.
                                                     

And now our water is contaminated and diseased unless we invest in a reverse osmosis system for our homes. Those handy pitchers and water filters in our refrigerators aren’t good enough anymore. We’re drinking cancer. Comforting, no?
                                                   

Good grief, Man! What the crap are we supposed to eat???!?
We can’t eat anything out of a box because processed foods will kill you faster than you can say monosodium glutamate but we can’t eat anything grown “naturally” because it’s all been sprayed with pesticides and cancer. Even our lovingly grown organic food is tainted because the pesticides and cancer from down the street are being blown in the air onto our clean food.

Are you in tears yet? Because I am!

We all want to be healthy, yet we’re being told that everything is terrible for our bodies! People are diffusing and rubbing themselves in essential oils now so we can detox from the world we live in. Gah! Is Mars ready for us to move there yet? This planet is too scary.

So, what are we supposed to do?
I know! Eat quinoa! …Nope! That’s a grain. Can't eat those.
Hmm…Drink water and wash it down with, what? Water?
Nope. There’s cancer and unfiltered pee in water.
And then there are those that say it doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you exercise!
                                                      

*sigh*


I need to do some research that doesn’t involve the internet. 
Or the news. 
Or people. 
I’m on a mission to find credible resources regarding this subject that seems to be the source of great agony and confusion to so many people. Because what works for one person does not necessarily work for the masses. It seems there are as many ways to eat, exercise, and live as there are people in the world.

Anyway, 
Thank you for indulging my brain dump.
This no more resolved any of my confusion than it did yours, I'm sure.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Top 5 Parenting Techniques That Should Require Intervention (From a self-proclaimed non-expert)

Let me start off by making it clear that I am in no way a perfect parent. I make daily mistakes and lose my temper and sometimes we have sandwiches for dinner. However, now that both of my kids are in school full time I have the luxury of going to the grocery store and Target all by myself and, therefore, am able to critique the parenting techniques of other moms with their carts weighted down with small children and diaper bags in the hopes that I can pass on my knowledge of remembering when I was at that stage of trying to be the perfect parent and realizing that no amount of “faking it for others” will ever get you there.

All that being said, there are those moms that I run across every so often that make me roll my eyes so far back in my head I’m afraid they will never go back to normal.
With that, here are my “Top 5 Parenting Techniques That Should Require Intervention (From a self-proclaimed non-expert.)


1.     Asking your child “Okaaaaay?” after telling them they shouldn’t do something.
This irritates me to the point of seizure. I was just at Target (I know. We’re all so surprised.) and this young mom (in her mid-late 20s) was pushing her cart with her 18 month old-ish baby in the front and her son “Jay-krrrs” was sitting under the cart with his feet out front “pulling” the cart around the store. I heard mom coming from 40 feet away loudly stating to “Jay-krrs” that he didn’t need underpants-es right now. That he could wait-y wait until his birthday. Folks, it was like fricking shopping with Caillou. Then I heard mom say, “Jay-krrrrrrs, don’t pull “her” over therrrre. Mommy said noOOooo. Jay-krrs? What did Mama saaaay? Please-y please don’t pull her over there, Okaaaaayyy?”
I looked down at Jay-krrrrrrrrs and he really couldn’t have cared less what Mama just said. Why? Because he was just asked (and this probably happens with Jay-kers all the time…and most likely with baby sister “her” in the future) if it was alright with him if he didn’t listen to Mommy.

*Tip: Try replacing your sing-songy “Okaaaaaay???” with a no nonsense “Do you understand?”


2.     Never getting to 3.
This also makes me insane. Have you ever been around parents who threaten their children by counting but never actually make it past 2?
“Johnny, mommy said no! 1…..2…..Johnny ooooone! JOHNNY!! Oooone, twwwwooooooo…Johnny!
Oh my stars, Mom, really? Why would Johnny stop? You’re not scary!

*Tip: GET TO 3!!! When I got to 3 my kids knew it was ON. And you know what? I only had to get to 3 a few times. Have a consequence ready and be prepared to use it. No matter where you are.


3.     “If you don’t knock it off, you’re NOT getting a treat!!!.....What treat would you like even though I’m hoarse?
How many times have we seen this? You’ve witnessed mom yelling and scolding throughout the entire store. She’s threatened “no candy when we’re done if you don’t stop misbehaving!!!”  You end up in line behind her (or near her) only to see that she’s assisting her kids with their candy selection.
I’m sorry “whaaaaaaat?”

*Tip: Let your NO be NO! You warned them, they didn’t listen, they leave empty handed. Period. They’ll remember next time. Try it.


4.     Giggling and smiling when your child is terrorizing everyone in the store or restaurant or airplane or movie theatre because you think they’re so cute!
Nu-uh! They’re not. No one likes their seat kicked. It’s not cute when your child does cartwheels down aisle 7. It’s obnoxious to let them play on your iPhone while the rest of us are trying to watch The Hunger Games. And letting them run around and in between tables playing hide and seek at the restaurant is most decidedly not adorable.

*Tip: Pull your head out and have some consideration for others.


5.     Parents that let their children talk down to or insult them.
This is just terrifying. Not often (thank goodness!) but on occasion, I’ll hear a child tell mom, “Get me that!” or “Do it now!” and the worst one I’ve heard, “I said I want it, Dummy!”  I’m pretty sure there was more going on in these situations than I care to address here but let’s start with the two that come to my mind. Either, dad or “someone” is talking this way to mom and this is her normal to just let it happen or maybe junior never gets told “No” because “we don’t want our kids to hear “no” all the time.”

*Tip: If it’s the former, please find help. This is not okay.
If it’s the latter, please go retrieve your dignity out of Junior’s toy box and teach him about life after 5 years old. You’re bound to hear “no” on occasion.

So there you go. This post may have been PMS induced, however, probably not.
Just remember that your children are not stupid. Talking to them like you just had a glass of helium is not the way to raise confident, self-sufficient children. They’re intelligent little buggers. Treat them like it. Being intelligent also means they pick up on things very quickly. It only takes a couple of times for them to realize mom’s a push-over. Don’t be a push-over because that habit can be very hard to break. And here’s one last thing to take with you…A preschooler that runs the house will quickly turn into a teenager that runs the house. If that doesn’t scare you into out-stubborning your child then I don’t know what will.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

*sigh*

An email was sent out to the parents in Anna’s class last week asking if anyone would like to take home the class fish. Being that I’m a masochist, I promptly replied “Sure! We’ll take your fish! Anna has been wanting one!” The teacher replied that another mom already said she’d take them but she’d send her an email asking if it would be okay if we took one. I didn’t check my email to respond quickly enough to tell her “no that was okay. She could have both.” When I next checked my email, my fish was on hold and waiting to come home with us.

The next day, I got the bowl all ready for “her” (Anna wanted the girl fish…please don’t make me go into that) so that when we got her home, no fuss-no muss, she’d slip right in and live happily ever after.

You’ll not be surprised to know…that’s not at all how it happened…

Friday afternoon, we get the fish home and I immediately see a very big (or very small depending on how you look at it) problem. I’m going to put this fish into a ½ gallon bowl.
It just came out of a 22 gallon tank. Hmmm. I apologized to “Elsa” and added her to the bowl. I’m absolutely positive she glared at me as if to say, “Are you kidding me?”
No, Elsa, I’m not kidding you. This is where you are to live out the rest of your day. (Yes, day.)

Elsa went into a decline and I was feeling horrible. Anna wasn’t so impressed, either. In addition to much smaller living quarters Elsa also had the challenge of getting used to “new” water. She had been a class pet since last September and was used to her own school water. What a princess! I had no idea goldfish were so high maintenance! I thought you could put them in a bowl and go about your day! Ha! Not in this house!!

That evening, I called my friend and asked if she’d be willing to take Elsa and put her in her fish tank. She wasn’t able to add any more fish to her tank, however, she said we could try her in their koi pond! Brilliant!
Alas, when I woke up the next morning, Elsa was no longer with us. L

I gave Elsa *ahem* a proper burial and when Anna woke up I gently explained to her what had happened. She was sad for a minute and then immediately brightened! “Can we go get a new fish???” Since I thought it unfair that her “first pet” lasted only 15 hours, I agreed to buy her a Beta fish because those last an obnoxiously long time under our care.

The pet store had a hundred betas in their little containers. Red ones, blue ones, flowy ones, spindly ones, and then we saw a beautiful blonde one with billowy fins that looked, I swear, like its name should be Rapunzel. Anna’s eyes got all big and she screamed “I want that one!!!!!” I told her that I wanted that one, too! “She” was really cool!...but not that cool.
$20.00???  Say what?
I told Anna to try again. She was a little disappointed until we went around the corner and saw (doot do da loooooo!!!!) beta babies!!!! Super cutie cute, impossibly tiny, weensie baby betas. I asked the fish guy how much they were.
“$1.99.”
Um, SOLD!
Anna trotted happily to the counter and I happily doled out my $1.99 (plus a few extra dollars for the *micro* food) and we headed home with her (my) new fish. We slipped her into the bowl (which had been cleaned and filled with newly conditioned water (left over from our previous betas)) and she moved right in where she has been living very comfortably for the past 5 and a half days.
 


Anna promised (where have I heard this before?...It sounds so familiar) to feed it every day and clean it “Not like Nathan didn’t do, mom.” But I have to hand it to her, she’s reminded me every day, twice a day to help her feed little “Belle.” We’ll see how long this care and concern lasts but, for now, I’ll take it.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Tedward "Teddy" VanDyken

So, this hamster.
Nathan wanted a hamster so badly. We started discussing it and went to the library (I like the library for old-school research instead of the web.) After about a month of talking about it, we decided to get him one for his 10th birthday. I was more sold than my husband. His arguments were: a) they smell b) they’re up at night so the wheel would drive us all crazy and c) see “b.” But I convinced (lied to) him that the wheels they make now are quiet and assured him that we wouldn’t hear it. Wanting to make his boy happy, Matt went along with the idea. So, after school on his birthday, Nathan and I set out for the pet store to choose the hamster that he promised to love honor and cherish until next Thursday when the job would fall squarely into my lap. "Teddy" (my new hamster) bit Nathan, drew blood, and that was that. But we were $100 into this thing by now so, doggone it, we were going to push through until Nathan and Teddy were compatible roommates again. I explained (since I had bonded and fallen in love with this little dude) that you cannot simply grab a hamster and pick it up like a baseball, you have to feed it by hand to establish trust and then slowly let him get used to you, “Like how I did when I met your father.” Matt didn’t think that was funny. Huh.
I was, however, *not* going to clean the cage. This was, in fact, Nathan’s hamster and he promised to do that job. I told him I’d help him the first few times until he was comfortable doing it himself. Did I mention I am a loony tunes control freak? I didn’t? Oh, I’m sorry. I’m a looney tunes control freak and once I saw how my son “cleaned” the cage I spazzed out and declared that it was “just quicker and easier if I did it” and now the transition was complete and my hamster lives in my son’s room where he talks to him and drops crackers in there every few days while I talk to, pet, clean, and manage his little hamster diet daily all because “it’s easier if I do it.”

*Don’t write me letters about how I’m not doing my kids any favors. I’m already aware of this.

Fast forward about 6 months. When I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night I usually make my rounds and make sure all is well. I checked on my daughter and re-covered her and then went into Nathan’s room and did the same for him. I looked in Teddy’s cage. Teddy is nocturnal so he’s usually swinging from the bars, running on his “quiet” wheel, or just enjoying hamster nightlife.
I didn’t see Teddy.
I looked more closely, trying to make my eyes focus and adjust to the darkness. In an instant, panic. Teddy had popped the top open on his little “loft” and he wasn’t in his cage. I grabbed the little flashlight my son has next to his bed and frantically shined it all over the room. Nothing. I went in to wake up my husband.

“Matt,” I whisper. “Teddy’s out of his cage.”
(Grumbly sleepy sounds.)
“Matt! Teddy’s not in his cage. Help me.”
“K” (snoring.)
Seriously. “MATT! Get up! Teddy’s out!”
“$%^&*!!”
“I know. So, help me.”


Turning on our bedroom light (so he wouldn’t step on Teddy) Matt looked around our room because I never saw him in Nathan’s. I went into the kitchen to grab the box of Honey Nut Cheerios (Teddy’s favorite. I’m so embarrassed right now. Please don’t judge.) As I opened the pantry I hear, “There you are you little @#$%^! Becki, I found him!” I come back to the room to find Matt reaching under our bed trying to grab the hamster. I throw some Cheerios under the bed and went to get the hamster ball so he wouldn’t bite in case he was scared. I threw some Cheerios in there, too, to coax him out. While Matt is swearing at the hamster, I’m laughing (because this is a completely inappropriate time to break out into laughter and that’s what I do) and trying to figure out how he got around our 80lb Labrador. Did he crawl over him? Matt, finally contains Teddy and we get him back into his cage and duct tape the loft closed. We both climb back into bed, with me still giggling and Matt contemplating using duct tape on me, and as I finally get myself under control and am about to fall asleep I hear my husband next to me mumble, “@#$%^ hamster.”

This just proves that we parents will do just about anything for our kids. Even if they have absolutely no idea that it ever even happened.

We’ve all grown to love Teddy very dearly. He’s lived in our home for just over a year now and he’s adorable. Especially with the 14 rolls of duct tape all over his cage. You see, we’ve discovered that Teddy is a bit of an escape artist. He’s either trying desperately to get away from us or he just likes to tinker with things. He’s unscrewed his little “plug” on the side of his cage and popped his little head out. Luckily, I caught him doing it because of the racket he was making. This, fortunately, was during the day. This activity also led to his second strip of duct tape. And now, even though it’s hooked on so he can’t squeeze through, he likes to climb the side of his wire cage and try to mash himself between the ceiling and the “wall.” This, unfortunately, was during the evening which resulted in an overabundance of duct tape because I was only half-awake and not in the mood for shenanigans.
(I removed some of the tape the next morning.)



The average hamster lives three years.


I’m sure there are a multitude of lessons to be learned from my experience.

But I choose denial and subjugation. Okay, maybe that’s going a little far but I’m sure I know what I’m getting myself into when I submit to taking on these critters. I remember my mom doing it for me (My guinea pig, “Elvis.” My kitten, “Blaze.”) and I’m quite sure my grandma did the same thing for my mom (I recall a hand-me-down bird story.) The bottom line is that these animals somehow find their way into our homes and because we love our kids and we’re big, fat softies for the long, fluttering eyelashes they bat at us, this cycle will most likely continue on through to my children’s children's children. Our kiddos are only young once and someday (at least I hope) they’ll grow out of this phase of their lives (just like we did) and move onto far more exciting adventures.
Until then, I’ll feed the hamster.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish

We’ve been talking a lot lately about how parents always end up taking care of their children’s pets. You know, the pets they have to have and promise to take care of forever and ever amen?
Many of us have been here. We love our kids and maybe it’s because we honestly think they’re going to actually learn responsibility or maybe it’s because we are trying to relive our own childhood memories of beloved pets. But whatever the reason, we seem to find ourselves adding to our already full plates for the love of those great big blue eyes staring up at us and pleading with every ounce of strength and promising to give up every other toy they own and never ever ever ask for anything ever again.

We’ve been through this more than I’d care to admit. But for the next couple of days I’m going to share a few of our more ridiculous stories for no other reason than to bring a smile to your face. You’ll laugh, you’ll roll your eyes, you’ll judge, but most of all, you’ll probably be able to relate as we have all experienced a little loss of sanity at one time or another on the road to rearing children.


This is how our journey began…

When Nathan was 3 years old, we headed out to stay-at-home mom Mecca (otherwise known as “Target.”) Our Target is located right next door to a PetCo and for whatever reason on this particular day we went inside “just to look around.”  Being that Nathan was my first child I was still under the na├»ve notion that you could do that with a three year old. $40 later I found out that you cannot. We had purchased a fish. A Beta to be exact with red flowing fins and random blue stripes and, of course, a cool looking rounded fish bowl with stones at the bottom to match said fish. Also, food. Oh, and a net for cleaning! Along with water conditioner so you don’t kill your fish by putting him in the bowl before the water is ready. And because Nathan spotted it before I could grab him, a little ceramic sign that said “No Fishing.”
So out we walk with our fish and fish paraphernalia to the minivan getting half way out of the parking lot before realizing that we never went to Target. *Sigh* Whatever. Home we go. I was not going to drag a fish bag through Target. Once home, we get “Red” all settled. (I know. Kids come up with the most original names, don’t they?) He’s all happy in his bowl and we have so much fun watching him swim around! 
  





Five minutes later we’ve lost interest in the fish and it’s time for Legos.
Fast forward a week. Red needs to be cleaned. I look around. My husband’s at work. Nathan is scared (???) and so that leaves me. I make a giant mess in my kitchen as I try to figure out the best and simplest way to clean this thing. He’s too fast for me to catch in the net and he’s too slippery for me to grab on to. Swearing and cursing this fish (while Nathan is watching Blue’s Clues) I finally came up with a system that worked and the fish bowl is clean and Red is alive.
Red quickly became my fish. We called him “Nathan’s” but he was mine. I cleaned him. I fed him. I found him a babysitter when we went on vacation. Why does this happen? Has there ever been a parent in the history of Ever that this hasn’t happened to? If you’re out there, please contact me. I want to share your secret.
Red experienced excitement here and there during his seemingly endless fishy life. Once, Nathan pulled out the bottom drawer of his dresser to reach something and tipped over the entire thing. He was fine (thank goodness!) but Red’s comfortable dwelling didn’t fare so well since he enjoyed a penthouse view from atop the dresser. As I ran into Nathan’s room, I found Red lying in the middle of a big wet spot on the carpet struggling to breathe, a broken bowl, and tiny decorative rocks all over the place. Thinking quickly, I picked up Nathan and got him out of the mess making sure he wasn’t hurt. Then I picked up Red and put him in a drinking glass that was on a nightstand and filled it with tap water and in the same instant realized that I was committing aquatic homicide because the tap water a) wasn’t even close to the appropriate temperature and b) not conditioned. I ran to the kitchen cabinet, pulled out the conditioner bottle and tried to calculate the ‘drops to water’ ratio for a fish in a drinking glass of water. I’m not very good at fast math so I just put in a few, threw a towel down on the wet carpet, grabbed Nathan and headed to PetCo to purchase a new bowl. 20 minutes later, having fished Red out of the fibrous water in the glass, he was returned safely (if not a little shell-shocked) to his new bowl.
Red lived a long time. Like three years. That’s a long time for a fish. We grew to love him and we were all sad when he finally took the mighty plunge into the hereafter. But! We quickly repeated the process with Red #2 and then Blue (Red #2 was actually Red #2 AND 3, but I don’t think my son is aware of that fact to this day.) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We're *that* house...

It was beautiful yesterday. After a long winter of negative degree temperatures and howling winds, a lovely and sunny 60+ degree day is just what we needed. One of my favorite things to do when it gets even remotely warm-ish outside is to open the windows and that’s just what I did. Birds singing, breeze blowing, 6 month old dust being stirred up and thrown about my home. It was all I could do not to dance around in my long skirt and apron singing “the hills are aliiiive with the sound of muuusiiiiccc.”
It was grand because we all knew it wasn’t going to last and we took great advantage of the fleeting glimpse into the elusive season (elusive around here, anyway) known as Spring.

My kids were enjoying this weather to the fullest playing baseball and jump rope and hopscotch and riding their bikes and anything else they could use as an excuse to stay outside. It was sweet music to hear the smack of the bat against the ball, the rhythmic tat-tat-tat of the jump rope on the driveway. So, in my delusional utopia of peace I decided to slip inside and finish folding a basket of laundry.
(*Here’s where I ask you not to judge me. I enjoy folding laundry.)
About 3 and a half minutes into it I hear, “ANNA!!! KNOCK IT OFF!” Then a scream. Then, “NATHAN! GIVE IT BACK!! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!” I drop my head and sigh in the defeated mom stance that we have all done at one time or another…or every day…and met my wild-eyed, rabid badgers at the back door. The conversation went as follows:

Mom: “What.”

Anna and Nathan: “HesaidIshetriedtouseheneverletsmethenshescreamedandthenhetookmy..”

Mom:  (Not quietly) “ENOUGH!!!!!! Good NIGHT, you guys!! IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY AND THE SUN IS SHINING, SOMETHING THAT HASN’T HAPPENED SINCE LAST SEPTEMBER AND I COME INSIDE FOR A GRAND TOTAL OF FOUR SECONDS AND YOU START FIGHTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AREN’T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE NICE TO EACH OTHER??? YOU JUST GOT NEW SHIRTS FROM SCHOOL THAT SAY “BE NICE” ON THEM AND YOU TWO CAN’T BE NICE TO SAVE YOUR LIVES!!! I’M TELLING SANTA!!!! I’M ALSO GONNA MAKE YOU TWO HOLD HANDS IF YOU DON’T START GETTING ALONG!!! STOP YELLING AT EACH OTHER!!!!!!” (Yes. I yelled at my children to stop yelling.)

They both looked at me like I just grew an extra appendage before their very eyes and said, “sorry, mom” then went back outside. I exhaled and went back to folding laundry only to look up and notice, oh that’s right, my windows are open. And there go some of my neighbors walking by. Outstanding.

I wanted to run outside and explain my situation. To make them understand that I’m not a lunatic that screams at her kids (even though I probably am.) I’m just a mom that didn’t want her peaceful afternoon defiled by fighting children and arguing. But then I decided to do something more fun. I decided to post an abbreviated version of this scenario on facebook and you know what I got? Solidarity. Moms (and dads) who’ve all been there. No one judged. No one scolded. In fact, it made people laugh. My neighbor, Jodi, even told me that the police were called to her house one night by some passersby because her son was screaming so loudly and throwing such a fit that they thought he was being hurt. Nope. Turns out mom was just trying to get her son to brush his teeth. She added, “As it turns out, cops don’t assist with teeth brushing. But 2 cop cars in the driveway and 3 officers in the house did, in fact, bring an end to the tantrum.”
Everyone can relate to this stuff. It’s real life. Not this “I’m pretending everything is perfect” garbage that everyone rolls their eyes at. So next time you find yourself in a situation where you are embarrassed because you let reality show, don’t beat yourself up too badly. It happens to all of us.

You’re normal.