Sh*t My Kids Are NOT Getting for Christmas

If you asked one of my kids what they were getting for Christmas, I’m sure they would rattle off a list that would make your head spin. It does mine. You’d think after all this time, at least Number One and Number Two would have lowered their expectations. Nope. Evidently, they think THIS is going to be the year of the windfall. Each year, they write out their wish list to send on to Santa. Well, this year, I’m writing Santa too. Here is the copy of the memorandum I have sent to the North Pole:

Dear Santa,

The kids are really looking forward to your visit this year. I am trying to appear excited. I think that, although you’ve had the best of intentions, some deliveries of years past have been–well, let’s just say, not very well thought out. For instance, the art set you left for Number One last year seemed perfect. Number One loves drawing and a bunch of sketching pencils and map pencils and few markers made her morning, especially with that giant sketch pad her father and I ended up getting her, as a complete coincidence. It turns out, Number Three likes sketching with pencils too. On walls. And, those markers, upon closer inspection, were paint pens. So, yeah. Much to Number One’s dismay, those mysteriously disappeared. That is why, this year, I thought some guidelines would do everyone involved a lot of good.

1) NO MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS!  I don’t care if it is a Paper Jamz guitar or a Stradivarius violin. It will meet the same fate as those damn paint pens.

2) NOTHING THAT PRODUCES ANYTHING EDIBLE! That cotton candy maker was a disaster. Sure, it makes cotton candy just fine but it also coats anyone and anything within a half mile radius with sugar. I tried contacting a customer service rep at your workshop to register a complaint to no avail. With the experience those elves supposedly have, you’d think that they would have considered the benefits of a lid or covering to keep children from being pelted with sugar.  Bottom line: unless wine is the final product, tell those elves to shove it up their ass.kkin90l.jpg

3) ANYTHING THAT REQUIRES MORE THAN TWO BATTERIES- The only thing worse than the lights and sounds that emit from some of these toys is a child whining and nagging when the batteries die. If it requires more than 4 batteries, you can just leave that shit under someone else’s tree. And you tell those elves that I’m still pissed about the little trick they pulled two years ago with the flipping RC car. I replaced the 4 batteries in the remote and then I unscrewed the compartment on the car and replaced the four batteries there. It didn’t work. I couldn’t figure out why it wouldn’t work and Number Two is bitching and moaning about it being broken. Finally, I found the instructions and discover that there is another battery compartment needing three more batteries on the backside of the car. Seriously? Fuck you. I’d prefer not to have to take out a loan in order to keep the toys operational. funny-pictures-auto-Disaster-Girl-memes-478787

4) ANYTHING WITH “PIECES”- Any toy or game that requires even a minimum amount of responsibility or organization is not at all suitable for a household in which silverware, somehow, goes completely missing, never to be seen again. This includes but is not limited to: dice, puzzles, board games, etc.

5) ANYTHING REQUIRING AN ADULT- The whole point of any toy and the reason anyone is willing to put up with all the obnoxious lights and sounds is to entertain these fuck trophies. AMIRITE? Bringing something that requires even a minimum amount of adult oversight, involvement or direct supervision completely defeats that purpose. Let’s stick to items that will keep them out of my hair so that I can do more important things like drink wine and play on Facebook. tprn172l

6) WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION- This include play-dough, slime, clay, putty, markers, paint and cosmetics. If it has significant potential to fuck shit up, don’t leave it at my house.

7) SHIT THAT HURTS WHEN STEPPED ON- This eliminates Lego’s, jacks and anything else that is smallish, pointy or otherwise suited to cause intense pain and/or suffering when stepped on. If you care about their safety, you will not supply my children with anything that could cause injury to the bottom of my foot. funny-walking-in-Lego-vs-hot-coal

I hope that you can adhere to these guidelines I have outlined. I want to continue to welcome you into our home, as the children look forward to it each year. If you disregard these requests, I will have no option but to find a creative recourse, since you have been granted immunity from tort claims. Rest assured, straying from the stated guidelines will bite you in the ass come 2013. My plan will include but is not limited to, laxatives in the reindeer snacks, ipecac in the milk, strategically placed legos between the fireplace and tree and a trip wire. Let’s work together this year and we’ll both be much happier.

Dear Santa

When I Am Old and Gray

The other day, my mother and I spent the day with my grandmother–my ‘Mammaw’. I’ve always been compared to her, physically and otherwise. We are both petite, at almost 5′ 2″, I am almost an inch taller than her and the rest of the family all tower over us at 5′ 5″ and above. In her younger days, Mammaw was quite the baton twirler, from what I am told.  Since baton twirling was out of vogue by the time I was in school, I shook my ass on the dance team. Close enough.  I began collecting shoes when I got my first job at the age of 15. My mother never understood my affinity for shoes and she said she never understood it, growing up, when it was her own mother that took the same delight in growing a shoe collection.  I suppose that would go hand in hand with the love for shopping that we share but that is a fairly common hobby.  Although, she seemed to share my shopping  mantra of “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission”, a philosophy that, evidently, got her into trouble with my Pappaw in much the same way it did for me with Husband.

She is 87 years old and, as such, there are certain rules pertaining to proper etiquette–not hers, yours.  To my knowledge, these guidelines have not been put in writing until now and this may not be a complete list. Based on my observations over the years, when spending time with a Mammaw:

  • Even if she has just let out the longest, loudest burp that was so disgusting it caused you to throw up in your mouth a little, YOU HEARD NOTHING.
  • If the sound of the gas she is passing woke you up in the next room, even if you are almost completely certain that she just sharted—YOU HEARD NOTHING.

Act  natural. Continue what you were doing. My children have, on more than one occasion, broken this protocol. When everyone else has their heads down, pretending that they didn’t hear her backside trumpeting, and a child announces, “Ewwwww, Mammaw just farted”, do not laugh. Ignore the comment and redirect the child, IMMEDIATELY.

Above all, you can’t get mad. Ever. Even in such scenarios as:

  • You come home to find your kitchen looks like it has been readied for a rave foam party and the bubbles are still pouring out of your dishwasher. Turns out, she put liquid dish detergent in there, instead of dishWASHER detergent. You thank her for doing the dishes and then laugh and tell everyone about it when and where she won’t hear.
  • You realize her method for putting dishes away boils down to just finding a place that the dish fits.
  • On a daily basis, you think you are going crazy because you could SWEAR that you had put your coffee cup down right there but it is gone and you walk room to room, retracing your steps with a confused look on your face. You even talk to yourself: “I know I put that damn cup on that table. What the hell? Did I? Yes, of course I did. I guess I didn’t because it is gone. What the shit did I do with my damn coffee?” You walk into the kitchen and she has just finished rinsing it out. You may repeat the suggestion that if the coffee is hot she should leave it alone but understand that she will forget and this will happen again in about an hour. You must keep it with you or, if you must walk away, assign a babysitter.

You can only laugh with her, not at her. When my mother and I were visiting her last weekend, my mother came out of the restroom and asked my Mammaw where the hand towels were so she could dry her hands. My Mammaw searched around the bathroom, muttering about someone taking her hand towel off her sink and then said, “I guess we’ll have to make do” and reached into a drawer, pulled out an incontinence pad and handed it to my mother. I plan on implementing this hand drying method with my future guests by just sticking a few on the counter, next to the sink and replacing a couple of times a week. Less laundry for me!

She asked me seven times in seven minutes how old Number Four was and, as protocol dictates, I answered her each time like it was the first time she’d asked. I’d add to that all the times she has forgotten my name over the years but, to be fair, she has like 12 or 13 grandchildren and probably 20 great-grandchildren. We are a family of MAY-JAH breeders. I’ve had times when I need to yell at my own kids and I call them every other child’s name and even gone down the list of dog’s names, so I can’t even rib her about that one because, on top of having a hundred names to remember, she has the whole onset of dementia. The fact that she gets my name right at all, much less more than half of the time, earns her a gold star.

 

As If I’d Pay Him

Why do so many people think that the paternal obligation and responsibility in parenting begins and ends with ejaculation? I am home day in and day out, managing the lives of four children. If you ask anyone, I am “just a stay at home mom”. As far as most are concerned, I have nothing but time since I don’t work or anything. Sure, I have four kids but I just sit at home with my thumb up my ass all day, every day. If, however, I venture outside of these four walls and leave my children at home with my husband, you know–their father–the whole world says he is—-wait for it—- babysitting.

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“Oh! Is your husband babysitting”?

“You’re so lucky. My husband never babysits”.

“That is so awesome that their daddy is babysitting them so you can get out”.

What the fuck is that shit? Look, a babysitter doesn’t contribute sperm to his charges. If my husband is home with the kids, he isn’t babysitting, he is PARENTING. When I cook dinner, no one says, “oh, I didn’t know you became a chef”. You think when I drive my litter around, anyone says, “when did you become a chauffeur”? I can promise you, no one has ever congratulated my husband on getting me to BABYSIT our kids. When I stay home with the kids, I am just doing my “job” as a mother. When he stays home with the kids, people want to nominate him for sainthood and seem to think I’m supposed to run home and pay him in blowjobs. .

Husband, of course, finds it hysterical when someone refers to him “babysitting”. Mostly because he knows it makes me want to punch puppies. Fortunately, he doesn’t expect special treatment for just being a great dad.  Of course, if he rinses off a plate, he seems to think I am supposed to strap on my knee pads as I arrange a goddamned ticker tape parade but that is a different blog.

You Didn’t Thank Me For Punching You in the Face

On a somewhat serious note today because of a conversation the other day:

I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child,  coming home and telling their parents, uncle, aunt or grandparent about a boy who had pulled her hair, hit her, teased her, pushed her or committed some other playground crime.  I will bet money that most of those, if not all, will tell you that they were told “Oh, that just means he likes you”.  I never really thought much about it before having a daughter of my own.  I find it appalling that this line of bullshit is still being fed to young children.  Look, if you want to tell your child that being verbally and/or physically abused is an acceptable sign of affection, i urge you to rethink your parenting strategy.  If you try and feed MY daughter that crap, you better bring protective gear because I am going to shower you with the brand of “affection” you are endorsing.

When the fuck was it decided that we should start teaching our daughters to accept being belittled, disrespected and abused as endearing treatment?  And we have the audacity to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships?  How did society become so oblivious to the fact that we were conditioning our daughters to endure abusive treatment, much less view it as romantic overtures? Is this where the phrase “hitting on girls” comes from? Well, here is a tip: Save the “it’s so cute when he gets hateful/physical with her because it means he loves her” asshattery  for your own kids, not mine. While you’re at it, keep them away from my kids until you decide to teach them respect and boundaries.

My daughter is `10 years old and has come home on more than one occasion recounting an incident at school in which she was teased or harassed by a male classmate.  There has been several times when someone that she was retelling the story to responded with the old, “that just means he likes you” line.  Wrong.  I want my daughter to know that being disrespected is NEVER acceptable.  I want my daughter to know that if someone likes her and respects her, much less LOVES her, they don’t hurt her and they don’t put her down.  I want my daughter to know that the  boy called her ugly or pushed her or pulled her hair didn’t do it because he admires her, it is because he is a little asshole and assholes are an occurrence of society that  will have to be dealt with for the rest of her life.  I want my daughter to know how to deal with assholes she will encounter throughout her life. For now, I want my daughter to know that if someone is verbally harassing her, she should tell the teacher and if the teacher does nothing, she should  tell me.  If someone physically touches her, tell the teacher then,  if it continues, to yell, “STOP TOUCHING/PUNCHING/PUSHING ME” in the middle of class or the hallway, then tell me.  Last year, one little boy stole her silly bandz from her.  He just grabbed her and yanked a handful of them off of her wrist.  When I went to the school to address the incident, the teacher smiled and explained it away to her, in front of me, “he probably has a crush on you”. Okay, the boy walked up to my daughter, grabbed and held her by the arm  and forcibly removed her bracelets from her as she struggled and you want to convince her that she should be flattered?  Fuck off.  I am going to punch you in the face but I hope you realize it is just my way of thanking you for the great advice you gave my daughter.  If these same advice givers’ sons came home crying because another male classmate was pushing them, pulling their hair, hitting them or calling them names, I would bet dollars to donuts they would tell him to defend themselves and kick the kid’s ass, if necessary.  They sure as shit wouldn’t say, “he probably just wants a play date”.

I will teach my daughter to accept nothing less than respect.  Anyone who hurts her physically or emotionally doesn’t deserve her respect, friendship or love.  I will teach my boys the same thing as well as the fact that hitting on girls doesn’t involve hitting girls.  I can’t teach my daughter to respect herself if I am teaching her that no one else has to respect her.  I can’t raise sons that respect women, if I teach them that bullying is a valid expression of affection.

The next time that someone offers up that little “secret” to my daughter, I am going to slap the person across the face and yell, “I LOVE YOU”.

 

EDIT: One of my readers made a very astute critique of this post and I wanted to include his whole comment, rather than just make the edit.

Love it! Do have one small criticism
“And we have the audacity to wonder why women stay in abusive relationships?” I think could be better rephrased as “And we have the audacity to wonder why abusers are able to keep women in abusive relationships?”

One is a line of reasoning that blames the abused women “Well, she’s the one choosing to stay, I guess she’s getting what she deserves!” The other better illustrates that society’s conditioning may have made them better targets, but someone had to come along to take advantage of that.

Say It to Me, Not My Kids

If you have a child, you have experienced this.  It doesn’t matter if your child is 5 years old or 5 hours old.  Getting unsolicited advice, in and of itself, is, at minimum, annoying.  When, however, people try to disguise parenting critiques and advice as innocent conversations with my children, it makes me want to kick puppies.  First of all, did I accidentally put on my cone-shaped hat with the word “DUNCE” stenciled down the front or did you forget to wear yours?  When we were in the grocery store check out line and you looked at my infant son and said to him, in that annoying baby talk voice, “you should tell your mommy that you need to be wearing a hat”, are you so stupid that you expect him to relay this message to me or do you think that I am too stupid to recognize that you are critiquing me as a mother?

The thing is, this happens all the time.  Truth be told, my own mother does it.  (Don’t look so indignant, Mom.  You know you do it.  I love you anyways but, seriously, cut that shit out.)  Where strangers get off, though, dishing out parenting advice and criticism in general to people minding their own business, I will never know.  Why there are those that think it is acceptable if the criticism is delivered to children, in front of parents, is a total mystery.

For starters, haven’t these jackasses ever heard of how most parents try to teach their children NOT TO TALK TO STRANGERS?  Yet, it seems every time I take my kids anywhere, strangers are trying to strike up conversations with them.  Honestly, I don’t really mind it, within reason.  What has always shocked me, though, is how many strangers have offered my children CANDY!  Two major rules of thumb: Don’t talk to strangers and don’t take candy from strangers, being broken by adults and right in front of my face.  No, lady!  You can keep your candy!  And not just because I fear my 11 month old would choke to death on that peppermint but also because if my kid needs a snack, I am not going to go looking for a handout from some stranger in the auto shop waiting area.

A little insight: my 2-year-old could not care less about what his hair looks like.  Even if he gave a shit, he is incapable of transporting himself to or scheduling a hair appointment.  I am his mother and his father and I have decided that we think his little, long bowl cut is absofuckinglutely adorable.  So, the next time you are taking my order at Denny’s and the urge overtakes you to lean over and say to my toddler, “Oh my!  When are you going to get your hair cut”, don’t get upset when I shank you.

You cannot tell me that this is not one of the cutest kids you have ever seen in your life.

The next time you are standing in the checkout line and you tell my daughter, “Your mommy shouldn’t let you bite your nails or you’ll get worms”, don’t be surprised when I turn to your husband, standing next to you, and say “Your wife should mind her own damn business or she is gonna get her ass kicked in Wal-Mart.”

If you think my kid needs a nap, chances are I am aware that he needs a damn nap.  Don’t talk to my kid to inform him that his mommy needs to get him home for a nap.  He will adamantly disagree and now you have made the next five minutes of my life a little more of a hell because you said the “n” word to his face and he is going to express his opposition to your suggestion in the form of a Level II meltdown.  You say it again, and it escalates to a Level IV/Code Red and I will be forced to respond violently.  You just better hope it is not my nap time when you pull this shit. 

If it bothers you that my 5-year-old opted out of socks with his tennis shoes, keep it to yourself.  If you say to him in a “wittle” voice with “wittle” words that his mommy should go get him some socks, I am going to give you a “wittle” kick in the taco.

Mind your own business, people.  You can go have your own kids and be a perfect parent and raise perfect kids.  Please don’t interrupt me while I am busy screwing mine up completely with long hair and stinky shoes.