Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Memo From Mom

To: My Readers
 Re: Let’s Do This Thing!

This memo is in reference to you being so awesome for joining me here! I have a big favor to ask, one that will make you even more awesome. I just started a new blog called Memos from Mom at memosfrommom.wordpress.com.  Please join me over there, too!

I secretly wish I could be the boss of everyone (C’mon, I am a mom. All moms want to tell everyone what to do and how to do it) and tell them exactly what they need to do in order to make my life easier. Memos from Mom is a blog done in the style of business memos. Well, maybe not quite the exact style, as I’m sure professional business memos do not reference child vomit, Entenmann’s Pop ‘ems binges, dog diarrhea, and a mom’s crush on Rick Springfield. However, like business memos, I will address various situations and problems and even throw out a thank you here and there.

Moms want to rule the world, but want to feel like they are not alone in their quest for power in a role that sometimes feels powerless. Memos from Mom will be full of memos to my son, my husband, the moms on the playground, corporations, the government, rock stars, you name it. My hope is that just when you think you will self-implode from the stress of mommyhood, you can read a memo, laugh, and know that you are not alone.

No worries, though. You Are Kidding Me! isn't going anywhere.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Mom and Dad are Livin’ La Vida Loca

My mom and dad got sucked into American Idol last year when Scotty McCreery was on and won. My dad would call me every week to tell me about him, getting more and more excited as Scotty made his way through the cuts. My dad is a huge country music fan, like country crooner music fan. You’re not going to see him tapping his foot to Sugarland. You’re going to hear him, in the next town, yodeling to Hank Williams.

Apparently Idol started up again last night. I wouldn’t know, I’ve long since stopped watching it. My mother and father are keeping me in touch with this world. I think I stopped wasting my time when that guy with the gray hair won. You know the one. The American Idol that was so memorable that no one knows his name.

But Poppy and Aga discovered a love for all things pop music last year, and last night was the season premiere with judges Randy, Steven Tyler, and Jennifer Lopez. And this is the phone call I got when the show ended:

Phone rings, I answer:
My dad: “Hey, who is Jennifer Lopez’s husband?”

Me: “Oh, Marc something, Marc…”

My dad: “Anthony. Marc Anthony. That’s it.”

Me: “Yeah, but they’re getting a div…” and I hear my mom in the background telling my dad, “I told you it wasn’t Ricky Martin.”

My dad: “I thought it was that La Vida Loca guy,” then I hear my mom yell, “No, he’s gay.”

My dad: “Even if he’s gay, she could be his cover up.”

Me: “Dad, he’s out. He has twins and has a partner.”
My head is spinning. Am I really having this conversation with my father??

My dad: “Mommy wants to know who she was married to before that, some rapper?”

Me: “She dated P. Diddy…”

My dad, laughing: “What? P WHO? Who is that?”

Me: “Some rapper but he goes by Sean Puffy Combs, Puff Daddy…”

My dad: “What the hell is a Puff Daddy? Wasn’t she married a few times?”

Me: “I think she was married to one of her dancers a long time ago. She was engaged to Ben Affleck.”

Again, really? What happened to our conversations about whether I have enough washer fluid in my car, or am I going to our credit union’s luncheon on a Saturday afternoon when I have absolutely nothing else to do just for the chance to win a television?

My dad: “Ben Affleck. He’s an actor right? I’ve seen him before. Hey, do you have enough dog food? Make sure you have milk. I’ll pick some up for you if you want.”

Whew, he's back. But it got me thinking about the perfect birthday gift for him. His birthday is next month and I think he might love a subscription to US Weekly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The following was overheard on an unusually warm, 60-degree day in New Jersey in January at my local Subway sandwich shop:

“Hey dad,” the young boy said, looking about 6 or 7 years-old. He motioned to his father to look at the teeny-bopper blonde girl with too short-shorts for this boring mom’s taste. “That girl’s booty is shakin’ like bacon!”

Go ahead, gasp in horror. I did. Who raises their child to speak this way about girls? Apparently, I raised my child to speak this way. Yes, that boy was Monkey Man, the dad was Hubby, and I just stood there, shocked. Okay, not really shocked. This isn’t the first time Monkey Man has shown us very clear signs of his fondness of females and the trouble we will be in when there are pubescent hormones raging through his body.

If there isn’t a male chastity belt, you can sure as hell bet I will be inventing one.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ice, Ice Baby

Monkey Man broke his collar bone, or as they say in the medical field, his left clavicle. Or as a New Jersey mom says (that’s me), “&%#$, he broke a friggin’ bone.” It happened last Sunday. I think most moms, of boys especially, expect this several times in the lives of their sons. But I am the absolute worst person to have around in an emergency. So it only makes sense that when he broke his collar bone, he was with me and not Hubby.

We went ice skating. We went round and round the rink lots of times and Monkey Man took several spills as everyone does. He fell on his butt, he fell on his hands, he fell with his legs sprawled out like Bambi sliding across the frozen pond. But the last spill, which looked like an “easy” fall, landed him on his shoulder, which I’ve since learned is one of the two common ways in which the collar bone breaks. Being a parent has proven to be very educational. I would have gone to medical school if I really desired to be so knowledgeable in the field of bones and blood.

As soon as he fell, he cried. Hard. Monkey Man doesn’t cry unless something is very wrong. So there I was, the parent who sucks in an emergency in a situation where something was very wrong. But I am proud to say I was a big girl. I kept myself together. And clearly this was all about me and how I could actually be a mother in this situation and not scream for my own mother. What kept me calm, though, was that even though he was crying and clearly in pain, I felt like he was okay because I saw him fall and it wasn’t hard. And that’s why I do not have a medical degree. Doesn’t matter how hard the fall is, it’s how they fall. And he did it perfectly.

Fast forward. The Sunday afternoon ER visit showed us a break to his left clavicle. As soon as Monkey Man heard that it was officially broken, he declared, “I have a broken bone just like Danny!” Danny is his 16 year-old cousin who broke his arm very badly (like steel rods, surgery badly) a few years ago. And when Monkey Man was given his sling, well, you would think the child just got a trophy for “Most Badass Fall on the Ice” because he was beaming.

The rest of the night, he just kept saying, “Well, I guess it’s confirmed. Yep, it’s broke.” He would go check himself out in the mirror. When he went to school, he wanted his jacket zipped only so far so that you could see the sling. Thanks to Hubby’s suggestions, he wondered if the girls in school would be all, “Aww, how are you? Do you need help?” He got to have ice cream for dinner that night and some sucker bought him a new Wii game just 2 weeks after Christmas (sucker=me). This kid is going to milk this long after the pain subsides.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Do...I Don't

Some Things I Know How to Do

Eat almost an entire box of Entenmann’s Holiday Pop ‘ems. In less than 24 hours. But you are already privy to this information if you read this blog.

Roll my eyes just enough to give myself the satisfaction that I’ve rolled my eyes, but not enough so that the receiver of the eye rolling has a clue. Except Hubby. He is totally on to my eye rolling.

Boil water for pasta. Take that, Rachel Ray!

Change the belt on my vacuum without looking at the instruction manual. Says a lot for my vacuum. Yep, it sucks. Pun intended.

Organize. “Donate, throw away, keep,” is my mantra.

Never have to mow the lawn. It’s the one chore I DON’T do. “Hubby, I have really bad grass allergies. AACHOO!” I actually really do have bad grass allergies. Seriously.

Use our snowblower. I had to do it once, 2 years-ago, when Hubby went on a business trip during a blizzard. I am certain he made these travel arrangements with Mother Nature just to see if I had it in me. He and my dad gave me a tutorial a few days before when we knew the storm was coming. And I rocked that snowblower all up and down our street. Only because I was afraid to shut the thing off for fear of having to start it again.

Watch “Real Housewives of (insert any city)” and not feel like I just wasted an hour of my life. It is time for my brain to rest (read: melt).

Sleep. I am sooo good at going 10, 11, 12 hours when given the opportunity. I’m like a long-distance sleeper or something.

Do 7 things at once. I might forget during the process the first 5 things I started, but at least I started them.

And Some Things I Don’t Know How To Do

On the sleeping note, I don’t know how to function on less than 8 hours of sleep. I wake up a cranky, headachy, miserable person. I actually need 8 ½ hours to work at peak performance. Peak performance being not snapping at the grocery girl for putting the groceries in the bags in all the wrong order. Seriously, if I line them up a certain way, that is the way they go in the bags. (Oops, looks like someone didn’t get enough sleep last night!)

Blanche vegetables. I know Blanche is from Golden Girls, but I have no idea how that translates to cooking. I also don’t know how to cut a tomato or onion the right away. So let’s just say I don’t know how to cook. Period.

Change a tire. My dad has taught me dozens of times, but I have no attention span for things of the automotive nature. Mom, I know you are reading this. Please don’t tell Dad.

Use coupons. I occasionally use a coupon, and get very excited when I save 2 bucks, but I will never come home saying I bought $352 worth of groceries and spent only $17. And usually, those two coupons that I do actually have for my shopping trip stay safely on the kitchen counter and forget to make their way into my pocket.

Look at a super wiggly tooth without gagging. Monkey Man is in his prime tooth-wiggling years and laughs hysterically when I’m about to lose my lunch over his loose-tooth antics.

Balance a checkbook. Again, Mom, look away. But by some miracle, I have managed to keep this family afloat for the past 12 ½ years.

Bring Monkey Man for ice cream and not get it myself. I am shocked when I see parents bring their children out for ice cream and they sit there all ice cream-less. That’s just craziness.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ur-ine for a Surprise!

I am vigilant about closing the toilet lid at home after doing my thing and before flushing. I saw a captivating, gag-reflex inducing 60-second clip on some news show a few years ago about the “spray” that occurs during the flush. The spray that includes droplets of your Number 1 or NUMBER 2. Oh, dear God.

But I took control of the matter and began insisting that toilet lids be put down when flushing. I explained to Hubby that the super-spray will travel right over to our toothbrushes standing clean and pretty in their toothbrush holders and attach itself thereby allowing us to brush our teeth with our own pee. Need I say more?

For a while, I put the toothbrush holder in the closet because I was just so repulsed by all of this. But what about the towels? The faucet? The doorknobs? Do I turn the entire room into a bowl with 4 walls and that’s it? So toilet seat down is the rule in this house.

And then a few days ago, I was watching the Today Show, my only source of any kind of news. That, and The Daily Show. Actually, it was Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda, the so-called “4th Hour,” so I don’t even know if that counts as news. I was informed that a new study found that using the paper towels in many public restrooms may leave you with unwanted bacteria on your hands. WHAT? The paper towels that I use to dry my CLEAN hands?

And then I had not an “AHA!” moment, but a “DUH!” moment. It’s the spray, people. The SPRAY! There are no lids in most public restrooms. If I’d been grossed out by my own family’s bodily fluids spewing back at me, why hadn’t I even thought of the strangers’? Oh, wait, I know why. Because I would’ve set myself into the very panic that I’ve been experiencing since seeing that mind-shattering news clip on Wednesday. Do you want to know how long the spray lasts? I bet you do! The bacteria can float around in the air for 10-20 minutes. So when you walk into that bathroom, you are basically getting pee’d on. Or worse.

Now that I’ve vowed to never use a public restroom again, I realize this may not be very practical. Especially since I have had the pleasure of carrying a child who sat on my bladder for 41 weeks then made members of the urinary tract decide they ruled the roost. My urinary tract cackles and conspires, “We know she just relieved herself before leaving for Target, but we’ll have some work to do about 10 minutes in!” So all my intentions of never stepping foot into a Ladies’ Room again will either end with me peeing myself in Housewares or braving the restroom.

In anticipation of the germ-infested, other people’s poop-ridden lavatory, I will pack myself an Emergency Excretion Kit. EEK for short. Because that’s what I’ll shout when I have to walk in there. It’s either this or a full-on hazmat suit. And what’s weirder? Walking around with a hazmat suit or your own adult potty bag? Well, you decide.

The EEK will include:
1.A face mask just like the people of Asia wore during that whole bird flu breakout. This will prevent all the floaters from getting in your nose and mouth.

2.Latex gloves. You know it’s serious when latex gloves are involved. Or kinky. This, though, is totally NOT kinky.

3.A roll of Saran Wrap is not only useful for practical jokes in the potty. After elimination and before flushing, cover the seat to prevent your spray from literally smacking you in the face. Because you are right there, hovering over the toilet as you flush, with your FOOT. Unless you are superhuman and can bolt out of the stall before the toilet actually flushes.

4.Paper towels. I thought just bringing my own papers towels would be sufficient, but don’t forget about the spray. It’s not only on the paper towels; it’s on the walls, the faucets, and lingering in the air ready to get on you.

5.Your own soap. Do not touch the soap dispenser. Your mantra should be “The Spray.” It’s everywhere. Of course, if you are wearing your latex gloves as suggested, you can’t really wash your hands. That’s a glitch we may have to work on in the EEK!

6.Rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. Skip the hand sanitizer and go straight to the good stuff. As you exit the Bowels of Hell, you must wipe down every square millimeter of exposed skin with the magical sanitizing powers of alcohol.
*It is assumed that no one is actually sitting on the toilet. If you need to actually place your cheeks on the Throne of Bacteria, use those paper towels to cover the seat, about 5 layers thick.

Of course, you could skip the EEK and just wear Depends.