Monday, February 14, 2011

Swim fan

Fishes in the ocean
Fishes in the sea
Do not wait ‘til we’re in the pool
To declare, “Gotta pee!”

Only 4 weeks go to before the Midget can swim on her own…or at least without me in the water with her. That day can’t get here fast enough.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The key to my heart

As with any large city, San Francisco has its share of major intersections, with anywhere from 8 to 12 interweaving lanes.

Not actual intersection. But today it felt like it.

We have one of these only three blocks from our house. We navigate it at least twice daily (without incident) when dropping BMOC off or picking him up from school. Today Midget decided it was *also* the ideal spot to drop our spare house keys out the window as we rolled right on through.

“Mommy, what does this button do?”


“Mommy, I feel the wind!”

“Ugh huh…”

“Bye bye-EEE mista keys!”

Clink. Clink, clink…down the side of the car they go…

“SAMANTHA!” whipping my head around while still trying to navigate the intersection, “Where are the keys?!”


“Oh. Mygod. SAM! Where ARE they?!”

Petrified silence.


And yet…look here. All is not lost. See what we’ve got back?

keyringonce rednot originally designed to look like a pretzel

Imagine, if you will, me obnoxiously double parking the car on the side of the road. See the looks of bewilderment-mixed-with-fear on my children’s faces as they sit helplessly strapped into the backseat. Sympathize as they sit wondering what has possessed their mother to exit the vehicle and march brazenly into commuter traffic.

Now picture me waving my hands in a frenzied attempt to stop tour buses, MUNI buses and all other motorists who couldn’t give a care about my pedestrian, house key issues. Marvel at how my anger and frustration overwhelmed any sense of logic and reason. (Because—hello?—these are just keys and it would have been a big fat bummer to get sent to the ER in an attempt to retrieve them.)

And be glad that today that wasn’t you (it was me.) Because today being the mother of a 2-not-sure-if-she’ll-make-it-to-3 year old fell just a little short of awesome.*

For you wondering why we we cruise around the city with the spare keys: it’s because the Midget already hid our main set; they have been “hiding” since Monday.

And why exactly did she have direct access to the keys or the window controls in the first place: I’ll thank you to shut up with your 20/20 hindsight.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A is for Anarchy

In 48 hours the Meanest Mom is leaving the Block…well, at least for one night. That’s right, friends: be jealous. Be very, very, super-trouper jealous. It’s time for my Girls Weekend! All the luxury; none of the lame-ass matching t-shirts.


Yet...because I can find a way to be negative about almost anything—including my luxury weekend—I’ll admit I’m a little freaked out about leaving the nest unattended. ‘Cause when Mom’s away, the kids will par-tay.

Here's a window to my why: The ABC’s of Daddy Daycare

A is for Anarchy, the political state that will immediately ensue the minute I leave the premises.

B is for Bacon. Despite my having laid out perfectly assembled and labeled meals in the fridge last time I went away for a girls’ weekend, Husband fried up several packs of bacon and served this to himself and the kids. Only bacon. All weekend. I’m not joking.

C is for Craigslist. If I find any new crap in our house upon my return, I’m going to lose whatever’s left of my mind. (C is also for crap.)

D is for Daddy. But it’s also for Don’t. And Discipline. (And if I think that Daddy will use the word “Don’t” or apply “Discipline” this weekend, I’m clearly Delusional.)

E is for Emergency. Please, for 24 hours, can we not have anyone wind up in a room preceded with this word?

F is for Farts. Without me around to ruin the fun, a tournament of Flatulence is sure to reach Olympic levels.

G is for Grandparents. This is one of those (rare) times when I think it would be really great to have them close by. For moral support. Or just even out the alleged adult/child ratio.

H is for Haircut. There are to be no unauthorized haircuts while Mom’s away. And in case it wasn’t clear, Mom is the only one who authorizes the haircuts in the first place. Put down the scissors.

I is for Internet. Just because they are little doesn’t mean the kids don’t know how to use it (which—I’ll admit—I found out the hard way.) No unchaperoned YouTubing, please.

J is for Juice. Juice is juice. It’s not fruit. Don’t let Middle Man try to tell you differently. Over the weekend he still needs to choke down something that grew out of the ground or fell off a tree. (And good luck with that.)

K is for Kraft. Who you might assume is sponsoring my weekend away. Because chances are Husband will default to Mac-n-Cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner since he has “mastered” the dish. Unless of course he makes enough bacon to get the team through instead…

L is for LoJack. Which we should probably set up in case there is a sudden urge for an outing with kids. (Hide and seek loses a lot of the fun once Security Guards and Amber Alerts are involved.)

M is for Make up. At no point is anyone allowed to play in, apply or prance around in mine. Period.

N is for No. It’s a word I like to use often. Try it out on the kids. I promise they’ll still love you despite your deployment of it.

O is for Opportunity. Husband, this weekend is not your opportunity to start home improvement projects without me around to question them. If you have time to wield a hammer, the kids have time to light the house on fire.

P is for Pajamas. Feel free to change out of these at least once while I’m gone. Even if it’s only to change into clean pajamas.

Q is for Quiet. (OK, you got me. This word has nothing to do with my family. Psych!)

R is for Rules. Of which, I’m sure, there will be none in the House of M.

S is for Sharpie. Washable markers are bad enough; please don’t use the permanent ones. Besides, there will be plenty of time to be chiefed by your friends in college…no need to rush the experience and do it to yourselves now.

T is for Television. Alas, I know it will be on. All. Weekend. Long.

U is for UPS. Please don’t make any deliveries while I’m gone. I like being able to sneak my purchases into the house. If you want to keep seeing me on a regular basis, you are going to have to stay away until Monday morning. Otherwise the jig is up.

V is for Vacuum. Husband, if you were smart enough to marry me, you are smart enough to know how to use one of these. Try it out. You might actually like walking on a clean floor. You never know.

W is for Water. Please combine it with soap and apply you your bodies at some point during my 24 hour absence.

X is for XxXx. As in all the kisses you’ll get when I return. However at the moment I’m looking forward to loving y’all from a distance. Of 47.8 miles to be exact.

Y is for Yogurt. This is a food, not a toy. If the kids ask for it, make sure you ask them what they are planning to do with it. Seriously. I don’t want to have to repaint the walls yet again.

Z is for Zzzzz. As in all the sleep I’m going to try and get while I’m gone. I have a feeling I’ll need my strength reestablishing order upon my homecoming.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Both BMOC and Middle Man practice an ancient form of Korean martial art known as Tang Soo Do. Its focus is the development and unification of three basic elements: body, mind and spirit. I like it because the kids can knock each other around in a controlled environment (and not my house, which is clearly not controlled).

As a bonus, the boys have taken to answering me with a military-style “Yes, ma’am!”

I believe the Chinese characters for Tang Soo Do (唐手道 ) literally translate to “the way of the hand.” This further resonates with me since I often employ the way of the hand in my parenting. Although I’m not sure my interpretation is consistent with what the Eastern founders had in mind...

Anyway, as the name suggests, one who practices Tang Soo Do uses their hands. Both teacher and student. So when a fellow parent asked the instructor not to touch her son because the teacher had the audacity to cough before class, and this parent didn’t want to risk her son getting sick, I pretty much almost fell off my chair.

“Ummmm…this is a little awkward thing to bring up, but I noticed you were coughing…”


“Yeah, well, we’re *really* trying to stay healthy…so…could you maybe not touch my child today? Is that a weird thing to ask?”


“I mean, I know I could just take him home now...but I’d hate to have him miss this class...and I just *really* need this hour to myself. It's just that as a family we are committed to staying healthy this winter.”

Because obviously other families don’t work collectively to stay booger-free. Dammit, that’s been our problem all along…a lack of unified commitment to resisting infection at all costs.

“Umm…well, I can’t really promise that I won’t touch your child. As their teacher I’m all over them during the class. I will try to reduce it, but it is almost impossible for me not to not touch the students. It’s my job to show them how to position their arms, legs, feet…”

“Yeah…maybe you could just not touch his hands? Or try to take Purell breaks during class? What about that? Could you do that?”

OMG. Are you for real?

“Hmm…OK, well, like I said, I can’t promise that will happen, but we’ll do our best to keep your son cootie-free.”

“Oh, that’s so great. I *really* appreciate you doing what you can. It’s just *so* important to us to stay healthy.”

Because again, it’s not important to anyone else in here. Nor is it important to realize that typically it’s the children fueling the Petri dish, not the teachers. By the way, your son is licking the practice mat right now.

“OK, well, just had to get that off my chest. I’m off to do a little shopping. See you after class!”

Looking forward to it, sister. Like, *so* much.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The saying goes, “Third time’s a charm.” I’m not sayin’ it’s the reason to keep having kids, but it really has been helpful learning from my triumphs and failures with each successive child.

With toddler no. three I finally figured out that if you keep a potty in the back of the car, you can avoid having to dash like a mad idiot into the nearest Starbucks as soon your little darling announces, “Gotta pee!” (That you JUST asked 2 minutes ago before leaving the house is irrelevant…) Add to this that my current toddler is a girl, and it is all the more brilliant keeping a potty nearby. Where boys love to whip it out any chance they get, nature pee-pee is ever so difficult with your two-year old daughter.

And so now, after six years of parenting, I’ve learned to tote around the porta-potty. As gross as it sounds, it really does work wonders. Here’s how you too can be awesome like me:
  1. Go to Craigslist and get yourself one of these babies for cheap. Because—let’s be honest—who needs to spend big bucks on brand new plastic that’s just going to be defecated in.
  2. Put in the back of your car.
  3. When your child needs to relieve his/herself, place a biodegradable kitchen bag over the top of porta-potty. This allows for comfortable seating for “doin’ business” combined with easy removal of said business. And because it’s a BioBag you can have a moment of superiority while doing the environment a favor.
  4. Once child is done, tie up bag *well* and remove business to nearest trash can.
That’s it. Four easy—but essential—steps. Especially step no. 4. Which I learned the hard way last weekend.

Husband, as we are pulling up to our house after a day in the city: “OK, you get the kids inside, I’ll take care of the bikes and bags in the back of the car.”

Me: “Fine, fine.”

Me, to three wiped-out children: “Come on, guys. Yes, I know you are tired and hungry, but let’s get inside. Daddy’ll unpack the car; I’ll figure out what we’re doing for dinner.”

Husband, from street: “What is…What?!...What spilled back here?”

Me: “Huh?”

Husband: “OH MY GOD! Did you NOT take care of the piss bag? Disgusting! We have pee all over the back of the car!”

Oops. But guess who is finally allowed to get her car professionally cleaned and detailed.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Holiday Letter

Christmas is down, the decorations are in boxes ready to be banished under the house for another 11 months…and I’m sitting down to reread my holiday cards one last time before tucking them away. I smile at the cheery faces of kids I know…and those I don’t (who are you people and why are you still sending us a card?!)…and I lament that another year has gone by where I didn’t include a Christmas letter of my own.

It is quite a travesty actually that my family and friends are not up to speed on the lives of Team M. If I had pulled my finger out to made it happen, our letter might have read a little something like this:

Dearest Friends and Family,

This has been another blessed year.

Zach (BMOC), our eldest at age 6, boldly finished top of his class in preschool and has started attending a prestigious Kindergarten in San Francisco’s highly-regarded public school district. Heavily recruited by several schools, Zach based his final selection upon whether he could avoid wearing a school uniform. His ability to write his name and recite his phone number suggests Zach’s on the fast track to becoming a member of Mensa.
Liam (Middle Man), age 4, showed more than just athletic prowess this year while playing club soccer. In addition to a fondness for the sport, Liam revealed that he also has superhuman ability similar to Spider Man and spent an inordinate amount of game time casting spider webs on people (rather than chasing the ball, defending his goal or generally paying attention to the game at all). We hope Liam chooses to use his powers for good rather than evil in 2011.
Samantha (the Mighty Midget) is our baby no more. This sweet little bundle of love has developed a vocabulary beyond her two wee years. She has body language and gestures to go with some of her favorite sayings, including “You don’t talk to me like that. I am a big girl and I can do what I want” as well as “Give me a break and get out of my way.” Another child prodigy, her naturally dramatic tendencies suggest she’ll be a Hollywood D-lister in no time.

Husband relentlessly endeavors to make our lives a circus…of fun. This year he’s continued to stock our house with furniture and sporting equipment from the "FREE" section of Craigslist. He’s also made several improvements to our home. When not sprucing up the house, he likes to watch football. Especially reruns of the World Cup USA/England game.

Our extended family—the children’s grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins—have also spent lots of time with us this year. It’s probably because we are just that awesome. The privilege of playing halfway house has extended to about 8 weeks out of the year. As in two months/year. As in a lot. But we love sharing space with the family-at-large. Especially the bathrooms.

As for moi? I am just the best. The end.

So, wishing you Happy Holidays. But not happier than mine.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And this is why I can't be bothered with making (new) mom friends...

I have to believe that San Francisco is not the only hotbed for crazy women taking competitive mothering to new heights. You know who I mean: women who are the dysfunctional combination of Head Cheerleader meets Wall Street Tycoon meets Mother Earth. They shun common sense parenting in favor of “techniques” and “philosophies” espoused in every book on child rearing they can get their overzealous hands on.

Often with their bodies, minds and careers in a state of limbo (typically a result of their new role as mom—or even better, stay-at-home-mom) I suppose they have to exert their drive for success somewhere. And so, they live vicariously through their children, passively competing through them and with them. It’s so g*ddamn lame.

One of my fellow mean mom friends shared this video with me. You’ve got to watch; it is so on the money. (If, however, you accidentally found yourself here, but sympathizing with the Turbo Parent I have aforementioned, you might want to log off instead…)

Thank g*d for the friends I’ve already got. If I had to start over, making new BFFs on the playground, I’d stick my finger in my eye.