Monthly Archives: May 2019

Keeping up with the Jones’ Part 16,492

Once upon a time, I was a new and idealistic mother of a beautiful boy. His nursery was perfect. He had a little toy box with stimulating and developmental items, a shelf with nursery rhymes and Baby Einstein books and a section of Spanish books for children (I was going to teach him other languages, obviously). And playing in the background at all times was a soothing baby massage CD. I doted on him; took him to my grandparents’ retirement home twice a week so all the residents could love on him also. I practiced attachment parenting and never raised my voice.

I was the perfect mom and I was sure everyone else agreed.

That sweet boy will be 18 in a month. He is followed by 6 siblings, down to the almost 4 year old baby of the family. And unfortunately, with each baby, I became a little less perfect.

Now I do not like perfect moms at all. They make us well-meaning and imperfect mothers look terrible. And our kids notice.

My 11 year old daughter has a friend down the street. She goes to the girl’s house every day and together they ride bikes. Then they play at her house and her mom invites them on hikes and dinner picnics by the lake. The girl does not come here because, as I’ve hypothesized, there’s a lot of us; we’re loud, and we don’t have picnics. Or maybe because when she first met me, I had a margarita in hand and she was scandalized. Or maybe because after the name introduction, there was a measuring contest of “whose hubby has the more impressive business title.”

Either way, annoying.

For my daughter’s birthday party, we invited her friends to the movies. But these parents couldn’t be satisfied to drop their child in exchange for two hours of freedom. Nooo…. they brought their other daughter and then stocked up on candy and popcorn from the concession stand and passed it around.

It gave me fiendish pleasure to see that she had popcorn stuck to her butt later. I’m terrible, I know.

For Valentine’s Day, the kids had to bring cards and then something to hold their cards in from other classmates. The night before the Valentine’s party, I ran to Walgreen’s and scooped up what cards were leftover. The kids then addressed them and stuffed them into their paper bags, crudely decorated with scribbled pink and purple hearts. The perfect parents? Well, a few weeks before, I had heard that my daughter’s friend’s mother had begun helping her children make card boxes. She had found some old, wooden treasure boxes and together they sanded, painted and decorated. Their cards were not made of paper and bought at Walgreen’s, but rather, handcrafted from material that folded like a book and fastened with Velcro. Each classmate’s name was then embroidered beautifully onto the inside “page” of material.

My daughter just got back from a field trip from… wait for it… Disneyland. Three days in California and Disneyland. I don’t know about you, but we went to museums when I was in school. Last night, while reheating leftovers, I asked her about the trip. She went on and on about how much fun she had.

“Was (enter kid’s mom’s name) there?” I interrupted.

“Yes, she was a chaperone. And she bought me tacos!”

Ugh. I grumbled and put another dish in the microwave.

“Of course she did!” I said, obviously annoyed that I was bested again.

“Well…” she began boldly, “you could’ve been a chaperone, too!”

Seriously, am I the only one who finds this annoying? All these perfect Pinterest mommies making the rest of us look worse than mediocre with their tireless devotion to their children? Where’s the justice?!


Lego the Legos

There’s no nice way to say this, so I’ll just go for it: I hate Legos.

I do not discriminate. I hate superhero collections, Lord of the Rings collections, fairies and dragons and princesses and Lego characters pretending to be um, Lego characters. Point being, if it’s a Lego, cute kitty or cutthroat pirate, I hate it.

I used to think Legos were a great alternative for our children’s couch potato generation. It gets them away from the screen and forces, at the very least, the following of directions. It doesn’t push them outside and on their bikes, but at least they’re not zombies in front of mindless YouTube videos by Jesse and Mike.

But that’s where the good things end.

One Lego set that your kid wants will run you, if you’re lucky, $49 before tax. But that’s not the cool set they want, which is actually between $75 – $150. Yes, there are little $10 and $20 “sets” available, but those are just starters for toddlers who are just beginning their Lego addiction.

When you buy Johnny his supersized Lego set he HAD to have for Christmas/Easter/Memorial Day/birthday/just because, there is about a one minute moment of bliss. They admire the box and what they will create, and you feel a sense of pride for once again getting them the best Lego set ever (since last month’s release). They get to work creating their fire-breathing dragon, castle and drawbridge, and position their damsel in distress…

That’s it.

30 minutes later and it’s done. The stocking and Easter basket lasts longer. And now guess what? You need a place to put it! But when the dresser and night stand and every other level surface in the house is covered with Lego creations, Where do you put them all? And if you think you can throw away the box after said creation is complete, guess again. You can’t. They need it. Like I need the tossed away wrapping paper with several year’s worth of scribbled names.

With all the kids I have, I figure I’ll need multiple spare bedrooms for their completed sets and accompanying boxes… if I’m to continue down this dreaded path.

And despite a kid’s attempt (read: my attempt) to keep Legos organized or intact, these tiny pieces of madness end up EVERY. WHERE. In my pillow cases, the washing machine, the dog’s mouth, under beds, and in every nook and cranny in the house and car… I must confess that I have recently quit saving the pieces “rescued” by my broom and now daydream about the day they’re all swept away…


No Filter

I think that’s a popular Instagram hashtag – #nofilter … #Iwokeuplikethis. But that’s usually in reference to an amazing picture that claims to be unedited, even when it really is.

But I’m off track and this is not about a good picture…

Last week I was due for my annual microblading touch-up because #eyebrowsarelife, y’all. That means, my drop dead gorgeous microblading friend is going to be thisclose to my face for two hours, concentrating on said brows. Then she’ll post the before and after as always and put it on her Instagram feed.

So in preparation for my appointment, I woke up with a nice, big zit right next to one of my eyebrows. I don’t think I’ve had a single breakout in over a year since a farmer’s market chocolate binge. But there it was. No reason at all except to laugh at me.

I ambulated from the bathroom into the kitchen to make breakfast, grumbling to myself about how unfair life is. After breakfast, I sat with the 7 year old on the couch waiting for his bus to come. Out from bed and down the hallway came my delightful, chatterbox 3 year old. She perched herself in front of me and rambled to her little audience for a few minutes before stopping in mid- toddler speak.

“What is THAT?!” she asked, pointing to my unfortunate and unsightly overnight growth. Thank God for 3 year olds to direct your attention to what you obviously didn’t notice!

I texted my friend/drop dead gorgeous microblading artist and told her what happened. I mean, she was going to notice anyway.

Fortunately, she does have a filter app on her phone…