Sorry You Can't Lick the Outlet

My best friend texted me this morning that after finally caving by allowing her son to have graham crackers for breakfast, he cried when she broke it in half. If I had a dollar for every time I cut my children’s fruit wrong, wouldn’t allow them to drink toothpaste from the tube, or stopped them from eating a flaming s’more, I’d be able to open my own soundproof hotel where parents could stay for free and scream into lavender-scented-pillows until their heart’s content.


We are not alone in this struggle—in fact there is an entire hashtag with 89k+ post exclusively for pictures of crying toddlers and children because their “a-hole parents” are just trying to keep them alive by not allowing them to stick their head in the toilet or eat cereal out of the dog bowl. If it makes me an a-hole parent for trying to prevent you from getting pink eye or Canine Brucellosis, so be it. I thought perhaps these power struggles would lessen with age, but I’ve found that some how they’ve gotten more ridiculous and often complex. For example, my 4-year-old is obsessed with spraying her bangs with water to get them out of her face, so she looks like a mini cast member of the Jersey Shore, but she refuses to wear hair clips because they are “too pokey” and the water helps make her hair the right amount of “swishy”. If there was a retort to that argument, it was in none of the parenting books I skimmed over.

I often wonder, how could something so small be such a big deal in their world? What I try and tell myself (although it can be hard to hear over all the screaming) is, in that moment their world is that graham cracker or tube of toothpaste. If they could find a way to start a peaceful protest and articulately express why it is important to them that they be allowed to wear socks in the swimming pool, I am sure they would. But thanks to evolution and survival of the fittest, a child’s whine pitch frequency is the most effective means for getting an adult’s attention because before it was complaining about not being allowed to watch “Daniel Tiger” for the 3rd time that day, it was whining that the actual tiger was getting too close for comfort.

Their objections are reminders that their little brains are still developing and according to Janet Lansbury it is our job to make them feel safe and heard. Well hear this, Janet, sometimes that’s simply impossible and so as a parent you’ll laugh, cry, get mad, walk away or maybe snap a picture for Instagram because you’ve maxed out on your quota of kid crazy for that day. This is not easy! It is tough to be tough! Luckily though, we a-hole parents are highly trained and the most qualified in the art of turning that frown upside down.


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Is My Glow Showing?

I subscribe to Magnolia magazine because I’ve never disagreed with Joanna Gaines’ taste, hustle, or passion for family. Unfortunately, my love affair may have come to a screeching halt when she was quoted to say, “I have always really enjoyed being pregnant-- because I tend to feel my best during those 9 months.” We used to be cool JoJo. Do not get me wrong, pregnancy is a miracle and absolutely no part of me is ungrateful for my body’s ability to create life. I would withstand any amount of pain and discomfort if it meant my baby is waiting for me on the other side. That being said—let's stop with all this glowy, beaming, nonsense we claim as truth during pregnancy. If you did happen to have that miracle please keep it to yourself, claiming radiance is no way to make mom friends during playgroup.

As a whole my hyperemesis seems to have subsided and am left now with random spouts (pun intended) of sickness. Last week, I woke up feeling parched from a particularly intense workout with Fit4Mom the night before. Along with my conservative allotment of coffee, I drank at least 20 oz of water with breakfast. I had just started the process of loading up my kids to head out to the children’s art studio, ArtBeast, in Sacramento and Charlotte was frustrated because she has inherited my sensitivity to uncomfortable clothing which typically peaks every day in her car seat when the seatbelt causes dresses and skirts to become too tight and restricting. She had picked out a new fluffy tutu dress and was screaming while attempting to take it off. Madeleine used this opportunity to kick her leg out and lightly tap Charlotte on her feet, which as anyone with two kids knows, is the equivalent of challenging their sibling to a duel and this only made Charlotte cry harder. My 3rd, unborn child, determined to participate in her own way in the chaos; and so without warning the entire contents of my stomach projected out of my nose and mouth like that scene from the Exorcist onto our front lawn. The momentum rocked me off balance and I attempted to steady myself while blindly reaching out into our rose bushes only to grab a fistful of thorns. This lasted for exactly 3 minutes and 57 seconds and I only know this because I made it through one round of Elton John singing, “Can you Feel the Love Tonight”, which we listen to on repeat every moment we are in the car. Thankfully my theatrics quieted the kids since I just provided them with music and a show all before 9 o’clock in the morning.

So while we can agree on our love of shiplap and oversized clocks, Joanna and I disagree on pregnancy bringing out our best. What I can say is that I re-brushed my teeth, hosed down my lawn and we made it to ArtBeast without further puke or protest; because while in no way do I feel like a beacon of fruitful radiance, I sure know how to do the multi-tasking mommy hustle.


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These days my daughters have begun to implement the policy “early to bed even earlier to rise”. I like to believe it is because they miss us when they sleep and are consumed by their love for us, which makes 4:30am slightly more bearable. Our bed has always been a place for everything: dogs, kids, breakfast and it was not an accident that one of Madeleine’s first words was “snuggle”. We are an “I love you”, kisses and hugs family because I will never let a day go by where anyone that lives in my heart questions my love for them. Love is simply too important.


I’ve felt this baby move much earlier than science would suggest possible, but I’m sure, because I’m the only one that knows her. The stirrings of pregnancy are like a secret only a mother can understand. We are alone together for such a short time before I have to share her with the world. I remember when Charlotte was born and since she was the first grandchild on both sides, she was constantly being adored by everyone—but when she was out of my arms and our heartbeats were no longer inches apart, I missed her like I would if I had lost a part of my body.

I recognize by having 3 children that the individual attention allotted to each will be even less than before. My husband and I will be outnumbered, so we are guaranteed to miss one daughter’s band-aid application or back-to-school night, unless we start seriously considering the addition of a sister-wife to even out our adult-to-child ratio.

Several close friends have gotten emotional as they sent their kids off to TK or kindergarten this past week, and I recognize these emotions even though it is not yet our turn: we parents have always been there and now school is the first place we will miss out on watching them grow in new ways. I remember 10 years ago I visited a wild-life sanctuary in Australia and I watched a mother kangaroo struggle to carry her much-too-old teenage joey in her pouch. Back then, I felt sorry for her struggle. Now, as a mom, I believe that kangaroo is my spirit animal and was living the dream of always keeping her child close by. Just the other day Charlotte told me, “I wish I could be inside your tummy again, Mommy. Then we could be together all the time and I would never miss you.” How could someone so young, understand love so profoundly? And so I will do my best to be present for every snuggle, invest in a bed larger than a California king, while channeling my inner Mama kangaroo, all without missing a beat.


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