Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Valentine’s Affirmations for Junior-High Nerds Like Myself

“This is a day the Lord has wrought, let us be joyful in it.”


1) I don’t care that Roxandra got more carnations. Who cares?

2) I’m bigger-boned than she is therefore, if girls were allowed to play ice hockey, I would smack her in the face with my hockey stick.

3) I will paint a perfect still life of tulips today. It will be better than anyone elses and will make me intrinsically proud of myself. I don’t need extrinsic motivation like carnations, like a big sheaf of carnations, from boys.

4) My choice of perfume, Spring Blossom by Chloe, leaves a lasting impression.

5) This is the perfect shade of frosted pink lipstick for me.

6) So why have I gotten not a single singing telegram? Sike! Like it matters. Who cares?


7) What matters is that I like myself and practice violin four hours a day and oh, goddamnit, it’s so hard to think in homeroom with all these goddamn singing telegrams being delivered to that blow-up doll, Tanya.

8) Hey, Tanya -- could you find Belgium on a map?

9) Hey Guy Prostrate In Front Of Tanya And Singing Acapella -- one day you will be a member of Congress. Life is so unfair.

10) Studies show girls with small breasts are smarter. Sandra Day O’Connor: case in point.

11) Coral is a great name for the main character in the graphic novel I am writing about the day after Valentine’s Day in an urban high school where all the girls who think they’re so in love break up because bigger things happen, like war and famine.


12) Why am I not getting any carnations? Who cares? I’m going to be a big animal veterinarian.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tips from Ms. Unclutter, The Young, Single, Childless Professional Organizer For Busy Moms

A place for everything and everything it its place

Tip #1: Don’t have kids.

Yet I see you already screwed up by not following my number one tip. For an hourly fee, I can still help you, even though I think you are you pathetic disorganized deranged schmuck. I’ll keep my judgments to myself from now on and we’ll focus on your misuse of closets.

Tip #2: Don’t misuse closets.

What are you, a martyr? With all these hockey sticks and deflated soccer balls and My Lil’ Pony paraphernalia glutting the closets where are you going to hang your freshly laundered wool and silk blend business suits? Hello? Don’t you care how you look? Oh my god, that’s right. I totally forgot. You’re over 35: it doesn’t matter anymore.

Tip #3: Have a beauty routine.

No time at all? You mean you can’t even rub a piece of carpet remnant over your face while driving the kids to preschool -- that is really sad.

Tip #4: Follow through.

Don’t allow your kids to leave their shit everywhere. A place for everything and everything in its place, including the little brushes that come with the My Lil’ Pony sets. Have a separate bin for the broken pieces of the cheap toy trucks that you buy for your son in an attempt to get him to love you.

Tip #5: Eat at the table only.

The ant problem that you have disgusts me. My floors are so spotless and reflective you can see up my cute little mini skirt that I’m wearing Victorian ruffle boy shorts! Too adorable!

Tip #6: Meal plan.

Know by noon what you will be serving for dinner that night and serve at least one and preferably two leafy greens. What do you mean "yeah right?" Why are you so negative?

Is this a bad time to mention I think you could really benefit from Crest White Strips?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Famous Parental Last Words

Sure, go ahead and play with that foam bat.

Just be careful.

Mommy’s pearl earrings stay right there, Mister, right on the edge of the sink.

Ken, the stuffed dog could clog the drain. Why are you asking?

Poop is not finger paint; you know that, don’t you?

Play nice.

Use two hands to carry a cup of hot tea to Mommy.

What do we say to our friends?

We don't use those kinds of words.

Mommy will be right back.

Buzzers will go off and the place will lock down if you touch any of the sculpture on the art museum field trip.

Tomorrow you can make pancakes all by yourself! Won’t that be great?

Keep your hands to yourself.

That’s the sharp end.

Everything under the sink is off limits.

Oil and water don’t mix except if you shake them very hard in a German glass cruet that is an heirloom.

Though it looks like it could be, your father’s bike helmet is not a training potty.

Share the turtle.

Did you pee before we left on the camel ride?

Balls are not for throwing.

Boy, you guys are having a lot of fun running around the sharp-edged coffee table. Can Mommy try?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Parenting Book of My Dreams

Chapter 1
Laundry/Household Overwhelm/Can You Throw Out The Toys That Annoy You?

Chapter 2
Falling Off The Growth Chart/Being Normal/Will They Be Nobel Peace Prize-Winning Cardiologists or Live Under a Bridge: How To Tell

Chapter 3
Grandparents As Caretakers/Dismal Failures to Communicate and Appreciate/How to Accept Money

Chapter 4
Date Night/The Nonexistent/Sex After Children

Chapter 5
Numbing Lack of Sleep/Top Picks For Undereye Concealer/How To Behave In Meetings When You Want to Cry for A Nap, Milk, and Cookies

Chapter 6
Other Moms/Fear of Being Recognized as a Fraud/What To Do When My (But Probably Your) Kid Spits and Hits and Hogs the Playground Slide

Chapter 7
Food Police/What’s A Nutrient?/The Many, Many Ways To Serve Peanut Butter/Is It Still Organic If It Fell In The Toilet?

Chapter 8
Girl Toys vs. Boy Toys/Inherent Sex Differences/My Son Swears He’s A Princess (But Only At Home)/My Daughter Likes Horses A Lot

Chapter 9
Entertainment/Is PBS Television?/Online Gambling And Pornography: The Good News

Chapter 10
Formless Maternal Fears/Irrationalities/Coping Strategies Using Affirmations and Tarot/You Are Not Your Mother…But You Sound Just Like Her When You Say That.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hit Singles of The Under Five Set

Frolic and The Gambol Girls: “Princess Wincess (Is A Bad Girl, Yeah)”

My Stuffed Dog: “Don’t Close The Door”

Convertible T. Rex: “The Dinosaur’s Aliveasuar!”

Pit of Vipers: “Mommys Said *&%$!” (burnt macaroni and cheese remix)

Violet Fracas: “Get On Your Carpet Square (And Dance)”

Traipsing Into The Gloaming: “Moonwagon” (hugely extended lullaby version)

Declaration of Intent: “(Making A) Moat In The Backyard.”

The Cheap Plastic Baby Maniacs: “Chew On The Nipple”

Alabama Baby Mama: “Don’t Nobody Know”

Trippin’ With TwoTone: “In The Suburbs Nobody Takes The Subway”

Caribbean Soul: “Los Pollitos Dicen Mio Mio Mio”

Wanna Watch Nemo (Again): “Carpe Diem”

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cocktails for The Rest of Us

The Toddler: ½ cup applesauce ½ cup gin. Serve with a splash of bathwater.

Fill a rocks glass with cream, add a bottle of coconut liquor: that’s La Nina. For an El Nino, garnish with a toy dump truck.

The Recurrent Ear Infection: In a hot water bottle muddle a children’s ibuprofen tablet with Welch’s Concord Grape Juice.

A Mommy’s Time Out is some decent quality peach schnapps in the bathroom.

Laundry Day: mix liquors that are white, such as light rum with liquors that are dark such as whiskey. Fold.

The Monster Under The Bed is Daddy after a snifter full of Frangelico.

To decant Preschooler Artwork: use the best absinthe you can get your hands on in the faculty lounge.

That New Baby Smell: sift Johnson’s Baby Powder over the top of a mug of steamed sweetened milk, add a soft toy in case you want to teethe.

The Go To Bed is a sip of tap water in a tin cup and that’s it, don’t ask for more, do you know how late it is?

Add a thin stream of simple syrup to a vast glass of whatever you have on hand for The Visiting Relative.

Muddle field hockey with the rind of a lime, add bitters and you have yourself a Tween.

Because I Said So: beat St. Germain with an egg white until frothy. If you have the energy, add a pickled onion.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Use Your Nice Voice

What’s for dinner? I’m so happy that you’re asking nicely, in a nice voice with no whining. I respond to people who ask me things their nice voices and use the pleasant, underused expression known in Italy as “por favore” and here in America and in a place called Canada as “please.” Is there something else you would like to know, you precious, polite little things? Perhaps how Mommy is feeling about all the crap in the living room?

How perceptive and empathetic, my children! How right you are! She’s not feeling good about it. Her face is a sad face like the kind we sometimes stick on the Mr. Potato Head doll. The “emotion,” -- that’s another word for feeling -- that Mommy is experiencing has further nuances, too.

What’s a nuance, please? Dear, it comes from the Middle French -- France being another place, like Canada -- meaning a shade of meaning. You know how your Crayons come in blue and light blue and also in aqua and chartreuse? Mommy’s nuanced feeling when it comes to the little clay balls that you have smooshed into the pile of the white carpet is a shade of hopelessness and a shade of rage. It would be best represented if this was Crafts Time, by a very red crayon, but then you would take this red crayon, my personal Rage, and use it to color the tub in the guest bathroom and I wouldn’t notice it until Grandma visited and asked, with her wry sense of humor if something had been killed and not cleaned up. I would shoot back, also smiling with all my teeth, “not yet” and you kids would notice this thing that happens sometimes among adults called “tension.”

Tension is why, this year we as a family will be going out for Thanksgiving dinner. I would tell you more if it was Circle Time and you had remained seated on your carpet squares, but you are not. It is so thrilling to launch yourself from the couch? What’s so thrilling about it?

I see. Thank you for showing me by hitting me in the face with your stuffed giraffe. It is that sense of lightheadedness and disorientation.

The giraffe’s glass eyes have come undone and now one is lost and your baby sister has the other one and will probably stick it up her nose. The feeling I’m having here is one of inevitability, of powerlessness in the face of great truths. I might make some “very dramatic black dots” because I am not supposed to judge your finger paintings good or bad, instead what I must do is praise your choice of color, and line length, effort, and hand-eye coordination. If this was Dance Class I might just lie on the floor, expressing myself.


When you use your nice voice to tell me you hate the fish sticks I am making for dinner, I rather dislike your nice voice. Do not forage in the fridge for “something else.” There is nothing else. Just eat it. We will have Science Time later, I promise, when we look in the toilet bowl after Daddy comes home.