A Fishing Expedition

As you already know we have two dogs that are insanely loved by our girls and barely tolerated by my husband and me. After scoring all the necessary items on Buy Nothing Davis for a goldfish, I decided to surprise the girls with a trip to Petco after preschool. I was beyond thrilled that of all the sparkly, glow-in-the-dark fish at the pet store, they chose the 19-cent feeder fish. It took one store employee and the manager to consult with me on our 41-cent purchase.

Here is our unedited conversation:

“What type of living environment do you have for them at home?”

“Like their tank? I have a small fish bowl for them.”

Petco employees exchange a judgey look.

“We recommend for goldfish you get a larger tank because they expel a lot of waste and so you will be changing the water constantly and it’s not an optimal environment for them.”

“Yeah, that’s not going to happen. I’m sure we can change the water daily.”

“Well, I mean we can’t stop you from getting them, but you will officially be going against doctor’s orders.”

Pause for sarcastic laughter since we are talking about fish that have the word "feeder" in their name. There is none. 

“I think I can live with that. Can you put them in two separate bags please?”

“They would probably be more comfortable in the same bag.”

“Yes, but it would make for a much more comfortable car ride home if each of my daughters is holding one bag.”

“Are you going straight home with them?”

“We are stopping at Jamba Juice first.”

“I recommend going straight home and keeping them out of direct sunlight.”

At this point I decided to pay for the fish just to end the most ridiculous conversation I’d had that day and that included the one with my two-year-old about why we must wear pants in Target.

Finally my girls are holding their individual fish bags, grinning like they’ve just found Nemo.

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We proceed to walk around the store and admire all the smelly rodents we won’t be purchasing this side of 5th grade, introducing our fish, which we have affectionately named Grandpa and Peggy (after my Dad and his girlfriend), to each of the store’s 9 hamsters and 5 Guinea pigs. We did our best to avoid turning into Darla, with only one dropping incident. 

The manager who fished out our fish stopped us at the door to ensure that we paid the 41-cents and weren’t the mother-and-daughter-fish-stealing-masterminds you watched on CSPAN. Just to seal his fate as the star of my next blog he told me that if I brought the dead fish carcasses back to the store, we would get a replacement free of charge for the next 30 days with our receipt.

All of this may sounds a bit fishy, but I assure you it's all true. We are back home now and my children are currently taking turns holding the bowl with Grandpa and Peggy on their laps, while the other one snacks on Goldfish crackers.

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Lessons in Extreme Parenting

It seems all parents have similar experiences, whether it be braving Costco on a Saturday or attempting the zoo during kid’s free admission day. But what makes it “extreme” are the unique little touches, like misplacing a child in Costco only to find them elbow deep in a 4.5 pound bag of chocolate chips or believing they are out of the "poo-splosion" phase only to become the parent with the pantless two-year-old at the monkey exhibit.

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The formula goes like this:

It’s not enough that ______ but then ______ = extreme parenting.

If like me, math is not your strong suit, here are a couple of clarifying examples:

Jogging with the kids in the Burley is a lesson in patience and personal space, but what qualifies it as “extreme” is when your oldest declares she must use the potty immediately and then both children pop-a-squat, pants down on a hill of fire ants, 3 miles from home.

Your baby is snuggled sweetly in the front pack and it’s not enough that you are wearing them in 80 degree heat, but you are also nursing them like a bad-A African Tribes' woman, while playing a mean game of Simon Says with your toddler in hopes it will distract them enough to go poop in the potty.

As if it isn’t hard enough to have 3 or more kids, but in order to get them places, Moms are forced to drive an unsexy ginormous wagon that screams, “I am safely driving 5mph below the speed limit, with our half dozen kids safely harnessed in amongst 500 airbags, while watching a PBS educational program, so you and your Tesla need to go around us.” 

 Doesn't get more extreme than Fit4Mom Davis' Stroller Strides--with three kids under 4 and a homemade MacGyvered triple Bob stroller 😃

Doesn't get more extreme than Fit4Mom Davis' Stroller Strides--with three kids under 4 and a homemade MacGyvered triple Bob stroller 😃

It’s not enough that we have to load and unload the dishwasher 2-3 times a day, but what makes it extreme is when both your kids are doing laps around the kitchen island while you are attempting to put away the steak knives.

The lesson here is that in order to get through it, no longer let the surprises, surprise you. When you order the most delicious thing on the menu your children will absolutely eat 3/4th of it, leaving you with the gross kind of melon and a sad garnish. So whatever parenting adventure you are experiencing just count on it being hard, extremely.

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Mommy Math

I intentionally married an engineer in the hopes of creating tiny humans with perfectly balanced brains, with my portion contributing to their English excellence and my husband providing all that boring math stuff. Nowhere in my job description as a Stay-at-Home Super Mom did I sign up for endless amounts of complex math problems; and yet somehow motherhood is riddled with word problems that look like this:

 If your child falls asleep in the car for longer than 3 minutes, they will

a.      take their regularly scheduled nap for its full allotted time

b.      take a shorter nap at another time

c.      count those 3 minutes as that day’s nap time and then proceed to be cranky for the total number of hours they should actually be napping.

The answer is c. Always c.

Here is a list of daily mommy equations (look at me using math terms!) that include but are not limited to: probability, fractions, and ratios; and just like mathematical proofs, these statements can always be proved true:

Equation #1: Other people will appoint themselves experts on your family equation—claiming to know the appropriate gender ratio and proper size. 2 girls? Oh, your husband must need a boy.

 Clearly, my husband has everything he needs  😊

Clearly, my husband has everything he needs 😊

Equation #2: The healthier the food the longer you can stretch the 10-second rule. For example, if broccoli gets dropped on the ground, the 10-second rule stands. However, the opposite is true for unhealthy foods. When your child drops a cupcake on the playground—uh-oh, it’s garbage within 2 seconds. The inverse of this rule applies for adults: broccoli= garbage, cupcake=easily edible after 10-seconds and just pray for frosting side up.

Equation #3: No child shall start a nap after 3pm, or else their bedtime and your bedtime will overlap. You can roll the dice and skip nap time altogether in hopes of an early bedtime, but you may experience extreme whininess for the last two hours of the evening.

Equation #4: A messy activity is acceptable as long as the clean-up time required takes only 1/10th the amount of time your toddler gave you of blissful, uninterrupted, quiet time.

For example; pictured below is a friend’s daughter expressing her creativity by sticking women’s sanitary products around the house, including her baby sister (bonus time is given if both children are involved!). This looks like 30 minutes of harmless fun, for less than 3 minutes of clean up.

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Just like Pythagorean’s theorem where a² + b² = c² our children are always in charge of the variables so no matter what we do, we're squared.

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