My So-Called Glamorous Life

The moment Beyoncé came out with her Instagram twins photo debut I realized, sadly, her and I could never be friends. It wasn’t the belly button scandal or all their names bordering on child abuse that bothered me; it was how completely inauthentic this documentation of motherhood was in every way imaginable. My glamorous version of being a mom has never included a veil or a flowered archway.

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Cut to my so-called glamorous life where I spent the morning in the bathroom at Kaiser trying to convince my 3-year-old to pee with my hand all the way inside the toilet bowel. If you have ever had the pleasure of getting a sterile urine sample from your child, I cannot recommend it enough. At first she started laughing, thinking I was trying to pinch her bottom, which I often do after bath because their teeny tiny tushies are just too cute not to. Then she gave me her first look of embarrassed mortification, which if I do my job right as a mother, I can expect many more to come in her teen years. It was about that time that Madeleine discovered my wallet and started flinging my credit cards all over the bathroom floor as well as into the trash can. Scared I was going to miss my urine window of opportunity I grabbed Madeleine and we sat next to the toilet bowel while I told them the story of The Little Mermaid hoping the water theme would get something flowing. My only break came in the form of an elderly Chinese man walking in on us, since naturally the girls had unlocked the door. 25 minutes later I started to feel some warm drops on hand just as Maddie used my shirt to wipe her snot as she coughed into my boobs. After washing all of our hands like we were about to go into surgery, we emerged back into the waiting room where I was half expecting a round of applause; but was met with only droves of other unhappy sick people. I bet they would have clapped for Beyoncé.

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This is not exactly how I envisioned parenthood.

I pictured story time with all of us snuggled in bed. Not finding a soggy graham cracker under the sheets at 3 in the morning. I saw family road trips to exciting locations. Not my car turning into a wasteland for lost socks and snacks. I dreamed of bath time with bubbles and giggles. Not my oldest trying to get her sisters’ toes stuck down the drain. There is very little glamor in motherhood and yet somehow it still manages to be just so darn beautiful.

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Parenting with Zero Forks

Recently I overheard a mom describe how mortified she was when her toddler wouldn’t pose for a class picture.

“I had to stand in with her just to get her to stop screaming.”

How exhausting, I thought to myself. Parenting is already more tiring than trying to stay awake during an episode of Caillou after taking Nyquil for the cold your kid shared by affectionately licking your eyeball; why waste time worrying what other people think?

I remember it well-- the exact moment I decided it was probably easier for all parties involved if I focused on what really mattered and less on giving a fork. I was in labor and just like in the movies I truly believed that the nurse was grabbing a sheet to cover me up; however she was actually grabbing my leg to allow for greater baby accessibility and much less mommy modesty. And so it began.

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Of course it is always wonderful when your children surprise you and act like well-mannered, well-rehearsed royalty when we are out in public. This was the case yesterday when we scored a 2 for 1 trip to the dentist. I brought my mom along for reinforcements in case they flipped the switch into wild animal-mode where one bolts for the parking lot just as the other one is raiding the treasure chest. My kids were so good, other hygienists lined up in the hallway to marvel at my well-dressed, ridiculously compliant little angels. My girls loved it so much, we are skipping Disneyland another year and just booking our next 6-month appointment.

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Do I often fall victim to the Facebook parenting anomaly where we only post pictures of our children holding hands and smiling in hopes that someone else finds it heartwarming? Absolutely, because no one wants to see a picture of me crying in the parking lot of Target, which I’ve done twice...this month...so far. I didn’t cry the time I got mom-shamed by a fellow mom because I let my toddlers ride trikes freely down the toy aisle—no that woman clearly has her own demons to work through. But I did cry the time I had to abandon our full cart of necessities because my youngest had taken it upon herself to try potty training in the public restroom and wound up ankle deep standing inside a dirty toilet. I felt zero embarrassment as I carried out one naked toddler and one screaming toddler; only frustration that Target doesn’t have a drive-thru window. See I prefer to spend my energy tackling struggles directly affecting my kiddos and anything I have left over I put towards dressing my girls in matching outfits.

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If I had a dollar for every time my kids did something "embarrassing" out in public we could open our own restaurant where our motto would be, “Eat here where your children can tantrum, throw food, cause a scene--we’ve seen it all and we don’t give a fork”.

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Halloween Treats

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It’s November 1st and the big question remains, How do you explain to your 2-year-old that Halloween happens only once a year? It’s 6:30am and she has changed herself out of her ladybug costume that she slept in, back into her monkey costume, so the answer is: you do not. It will likely be Halloween in our house until Santa arrives.

Halloween is quickly becoming my favorite holiday as a mom, for the following spooktacular reasons:  

I secretly love to judge people who do couples costumes. You can always tell the husbands whose wives have their little pumpkins in the palm of their hand because they begrudgingly become the Aladdin to their Jasmine or the Adam to their Eve. But my absolute favorite are the Dads who dress up for their kids. It takes a dedicated father to rock their shirtless Dad-bod as Maui from Moana, all so their daughter can feel like a princess. I see you Dad people.

Most days we play a game called, Why is my child acting like a wild animal? On Halloween, the day before or even the week after- we no longer have to guess. It’s because of Halloween: the sugar, the costumes and the overuse of pumpkin spiced everything. For the month of October and slightly beyond we are all a little batty.

My girls love to dress up. It is something of an Olympic event in my household; which means we have no fewer than 10 costumes to choose from once the day is upon us. So just like being photographed on the red carpet, they will never be caught in the same outfit twice.

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In preparation for our “Trunk” or Treat event with our MOPs group the girls and I made whole wheat blueberry mini muffins with Greek yogurt, home-harvested honey, and flaxseed. My husband entered the kitchen as I was wrapping them in individual baggies and said, “I see you are going to be that Mom for Halloween, huh?” While I only attempted to make my own baby food once before realizing all I’d have to show for my efforts would be a slightly greener looking poop. I do love to be that mom whenever I can squeeze it in.

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TREAT for the moms!

TREAT for the moms!

I was absolutely that girl in college who used Halloween as an excuse to rock Daisy Dukes or an apron and fishnets while calling myself a “Desperate Housewife” (oh the irony) and I was fully convinced that being seen and partying into the night was exactly what this smashing pumpkins holiday was all about. In motherhood we learn that Halloween is actually about imagination, teaching your kids the value of manners/gratitude and most importantly ensuring that your children know the most valuable lesson of all: I gave you life, so you give me all your Reese’s.

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