Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Mom" is Not Another Word for "Diner"

Just sharing a little poem I felt compelled to write...


You'll eat what I make you for dinner.
Is that simply too much to ask?
Your helping of broccoli’s SO tiny
And there’s almost no milk in your glass.

You'll eat what I make you for dinner!
I’m not making you rice or some toast!
I won’t make you PB & J, or grilled cheese,
And I don’t have a chicken to roast!

I refuse to make any more pasta…
You’ve eaten it five times this week!
I KNEW if I tried a new recipe
The outcome would surely be bleak…

You'll EAT what I MADE you for dinner!!
We’ll sit here until it gets late!
Don’t squish it, or poke it or hide it -
I see it there out under your plate!

Some of everything there on your plate
That small piece of chicken, a few little peas,
Just a few tiny bites now…okay?!

I’ll get you some ranch for your veggies…
Put more ketchup all over your food…
Use some salt, use some cheese, do whatever you please
Just stop fighting…I’m not in the mood!

All I ask is you eat what I give you...
Meals to make you grow strong and be whole...
Just take one small bite, just one teeny taste…
Oh F*CK it....get your cereal bowl.

Thoughtful Thursday - For the Love of a Sloth

I'm kind of in this whole Redesign/Reconceptualize/Redefine mode for MommyLITE lately.  Which is good and bad.  Good, because after two years of blogging, I feel like I'm beginning to understand what I want to do here.  Bad, because every time I redesign my template I lose ALL of my analytics!!!  ARGH!

Anyway, I'm thinking Thursdays are a good day for what I'm calling "Thoughtful Thursdays."

"Thoughtful Thursdays" will be posts (or re-postings) of stories that are special to me.  Not just jokes, or observations - but those rare and random stories I was compelled to write because my kids really touched me or took my by surprise. 

The below story was one of these. 

You may or may not know this, but I've had a long road with Livi.  We've been in OCD, depression and anxiety therapy at UCLA through their clinic for over a year and we're just not making any progress.  They won't change (or take her off) her medication, they don't return calls, and they basically just sit around in a room with her and ask her about her feelings.  I'm at the end of my rope.  And I gotta tell ya...I think she is too. 

Tomorrow I go in for a preliminary meeting with a developmental pediatrician - the same woman who diagnosed Izzy.  We're going to talk about the kind testing she can do and hopefully she'll help me find some real solutions.  Needless to say, my Livi is weighing heavily on my mind right now and is my inspiration for today's "Thoughtful Thursday."

I'm hoping her new doctor will be able help her have more moments like this (maybe without all the tears though...).

For The Love of a Sloth (a/k/a "Tears of Joy")
(Originally posted 2/7/2011)

Livi cried today.  But not for the usual reasons.  I gave her a Sloth.  A stuffed, two-toed Sloth.

If you ask Livi her favorite animal, she'll tell you.  First, it's a monkey.  Then...a Sloth.
She's no ordinary girl.  That's for sure.

So today when I came across the Sloth stuffed animal I HAD to get it for her.  I'd never even SEEN a Sloth stuffed animal.  Who even knew they MADE a stuffed Sloth?

I've been having a hard time with Livi.  For YEARS I've been having a hard time with Livi!  I can't tell you when it started.  I remember this juicy, strong-willed ball of tastiness I used to call my "party favor" and couldn't even begin to tell you where it began to fly off-course.  Maybe after the divorce?  Maybe before?  All I know is that the past few years, every day is a battle.  Every night is a trial.  Whining, screaming, frustration that bubbles up in the form of "tics" and leaves her touching objects over and over and talking to herself.  It's been horrible.  Sometimes we get these fabulous glimpses of the girl trapped inside, but these can be rare and few between. 

When I picked her up from day camp I said "I have a treat for you in the car.  It's special for sleepaway  camp (she and Ben are going to mini sleepaway camp for 3 days) but I think you can have it now."

"I can??!    Can I open it now?  What is it?"

"You'll have to wait and see."  She skipped behind me all the way to the car.

I took it out of the bag and held it behind my back.

I said "Okay, Livi.  I hope I did this right.  But once you told me your TWO favorite animals.  Do you remember what they are?  Do you remember what you told me?"

"A Monkey?"

"Yeah? And a..."

"...and a..." she seemed unsure..."a seal?"

I thought.  Crap.  She didn't really give a shit about Sloths.  She had just said it to be "interesting."  Livi likes to say things to be "interesting."  Then she tells you later she didn't really mean it.  This was going to be one of those times...just watch...

"Okay?  Anything else that starts with an "S"?"

" Sloth?"


I took the little stuffed Sloth and danced it around in front of her eyes.

They sparkled and her eyes lit up like I had NEVER seen.

"You got me A SLLOOOOOOOOOOOTTTH!!!!!"  Tears burst from her eyes and she started wailing.  She put her arms around me and was seriously heaving while she was crying.  She hugged me with one arm and clung to the Sloth with the other.  She buried her wet face in my pants legs..

I don't think I've ever experienced this kind of reaction from her.  Feeling like I had 1000% done the right thing.

And in that moment, through her happy tears, I "saw" her.

I felt her frustration through her relief.  I could feel how she was exhausted from reaching out to me - hoping to show me just who "Livi" was.  Hoping I'd hear her.  And the Sloth was evidence that I had.  I felt her barriers momentarily melt away.  I felt how relieved she was to feel understood.  How happy she was to feel loved.  How I had truly pleased her to her very core.  The gift of the Sloth had touched her soul.

It was beautiful.  And kind of painful.  I was hurting for her.  It was so sad that it took this particular gesture for her to understand how much I love her and to see that I wanted to make her happy.

Giving her this Sloth was obviously the most important and wonderful thing I could have ever done for her.

I know that the next time I give her something, I am sure I won't get this reaction.  And that's okay.

But I hope she'll remember the day I gave her a Sloth.  I always will.

(NOTE: This past summer Livi was diagnosed with the early stages of an anxiety disorder - OCD - or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  She's getting help and doing well.  Sloth is still her favorite stuffed animal...)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are Pink Legos Building Stereotypes?

This morning, I again had the privilege of being on NPR's "Tell Me More with Michel Martin."

The topic of conversation? Legos.

Turns out Legos has made a line of toys marketed toward girls called "Lego Friends." It's pink, the "people" have pretty hair, and it revolves around more of girl-patterned role-playing.  Kids can build a beauty shop, a Vet's office and other "girl-friendly" destinations - and then play within their creations with the characters.

Apparently this REALLY pisses some people off.  Not me...but some people.  Well, a lot of people. Over 45,000 to be more exact.

Two young women,  Bailey Shoemaker Richards and Stephanie Cole (early 20' kids...need I say more...) have started a petition to STOP Lego from marketing a toy to girls in a way that undermines "gender neutrality" - and that's how many signatures they have to date.  (FYI, the petition doesn't say "Don't make it!"  It says "Don't sell it!" - just want to clarify.)

Well, I don't agree with them.  Not one bit.

Sure Legos rule!  I LOVE Legos!  I spent my childhood playing with Legos, but I also loved Barbies.  If Lego had made pink and purple brinks when I was a girl, I would have LOVED IT! 

Here's my question - Why do people keep trying to deny gender differences?  I'm not saying boys and girls aren't equal (well, actually we're not...girls are better...) But why can't it be okay for my boy to be a boy - and conversely for my girls to be girls??  It doesn't mean they won't run a race, or that they don't play a sport, or even that they can't beat the crap out of their brother.  Believe me, they can.

I just believe that boys have a right to be "boys" and girls have a right to be "girls."  What are we saying to our boys and girls if we tell them they can't indulge their DNA?  Isn't that just as bad?  I am just saying that with some parents not even disclosing the gender of their children I think it's gone too far - and somebody needs to draw a line in the sandbox. 

Let me be REALLY clear about one thing - I am NOT saying a boy CAN'T dress up or that a girl can't play with Star Wars toys!  I'm saying why do we think it's so wrong when boys and girls DO stereotypical stuff!  Why can't we let kids just be who they are and without squeezing what we refer to as their "gender related preferences" out of them. 

I can't do right if I let my son play wear a t-shirt with a skull, and I am a bad example if my girls see me dress up for date night?    Enough already!  I AM WOMAN!  HEAR ME ROAR!  And to those people out there who are trying to squelch my "inner pink" I say "p*ss off" while I go buy me some shoes!

(Here is this morning's NPR show, "Tell Me More with Michel Martin." (By the way - thank you to the two other moms on the show, Roopa Unnikrishnan and Carrie Goldman, for being such great sports. It a pleasure).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Would You Be Happy for Miss Wisconsin?

I love Toddlers & Tiaras.  And by "love it," I mean I can't look away.  Or change the channel.

There's something about seeing the embryonic stage of a future beauty queen that is fascinating.  Watching three year olds do that weird Betty Boop kissy thing; get spray-tanned, and try to stop their "flappers" or "floppers" oh wait..."flippers" from falling out on stage.  It's good stuff.

But what I love the most about Toddlers& Tiaras is that the kids haven't learned yet how to hide their disappointment at losing.  These kids don't even try to hide what they're really feeling when some other b*tch gets the 4 ft tall trophy and sky high tiara. 

So when I saw this picture of all the Miss America contestants cheering for Miss Wisconsin, Scott and I made up our own dialogue to go with what we all know they're thinking: 

Anyone got anything else?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My New Years Resolutions for 2012

I woke up this morning to see my Huffington Post editors approved of my 10 Tips for Being a Happy Mommy in 2012 despite the fact I encourage sex with strangers and laughing at other people's expense (Thank you HUFFPO for your good sense of humor).

To see my 10 Tips just click here.

Writing this article made me think about my resolutions for for 2012.  I tend to shy away from resolutions because I inevitably break them before January is over.  (CLICK HERE to read my friend Jennifer Brandt's article on Lifetime Moms about Resolutions She's Already Ruined - it's fantastic.) 

So I thought I would write down some of my resolutions here that I am really seriously going to try to keep.  Feel free to check in on me throughout the year and see if I'm following through.  This year, I'm really giving these all I've got:

1)  WRITE THAT F*CKING NOVEL! (Damn!  I just blew my "no more potty mouth" resolution.)  I've been 30 pages in for 2 years and it's time to sh*t or get off the pot.

2) Have "Family Night" once a week.  Whether it's cooking dinner together, game night, or just going to a movie, I really want to make sure we all are together for at least ONE evening a week.  Izzy is going to be 13 next year and I'm pretty sure she'll be leaving skid marks out the door by then so I better enjoy it while I can.

3)  Take better care of my teeth.  I floss every day and brush religiously, but I HATE going to the dentist!  Unfortunately, I really should go every 6 months.  I'm going to call the dentist today.  Or tomorrow. 

4)  Get a divorce.  It's been 4-1/2 years since my husband and I split and it's time to make it official.  I'm not looking forward to this.  Not because we're getting back together.  We aren't.  But this final step is just really, really hard and I'm terrified.  Scared of what it means to be on my own; taking care of three kids by myself, being in charge of my own money and not having him there to "save" me - which he is still really good at.  He's my "security blanket."   But I need to do this.  He needs to do this.  I owe it to my boyfriend.  He owes it to his girlfriend.  And we really owe it to each other.  To allow each other to move on with their lives and find happiness.  Yes.   I'm going to do this by the end of 2012. 

5).  Eat more fish.

Who thinks I can make it?

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