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

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Fortune Teller

Livi told me my fortune tonight.

She made one of those folded paper things you stick your fingers in and you make up fortunes that you put on the inside. 

These are the fortunes Livi came up with:

You will smell a poo
you will eat nail polish
You will eat a pickle
you will eat your toe
you will get knats
you will end up like Kim Kardashian
You will marry Justin Beaver

Turns out I'm going to marry Justin Beaver.  Phew.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Day New a Fashion Cop!

So, I'm sitting here at my NEW desk (actually, it's an intern's desk...but I'm here now!) at my NEW job at E! TV's Fashion Police!

I'm writing online content for the website and new App (TO BE LAUNCHED SOON) and while I had no idea when it was going to start  - they offered me the job in October - I got the call last week I was starting this Monday.  Months of sitting around and I'm all psyched to be professional and stuff and they call and say "CAN YOU START MONDAY!" and I have to say "'s President's Day and ALL 3 of my kids are off from school.  Er...should I bring them?"  Typical.  Well, I didn't bring them and I had to work "remotely" from Huntington Gardens which where friends and I had planned on taking our kids, but they had NO WIFI and I had to type my posts into my iPhone

Anyway, I am psyched I have a reason to shower and dress.  Well, today I actually forgot to shower.  No joke.  I just got dressed like I do every day and realized...oops...should have know, because I'm going to be in an office.  But it was too late.  I already had pants on and that's a big step for me in the morning.  So I sit here.  Not quite as fresh as I'd like.

And it's so weird!!!

I haven't been in an office since my twins were born almost 9 years ago.

I parked myself at this intern's desk and some young guy poked his head over the cubicle and said "You the new intern?"

I said "Don't I look a little old to be an intern?"

He shrugged and extended his hand.  Wish I could remember his name.  He seemed nice.

Anyway, this is nothing like my office at Mattel or William Morris.  There are recent issues of Star Magazine on my desk, a copy of Kendra's autobiography and the person in the office next to me is watching "Family Guy."

I think I'm going to like it here.

Oh crap.  I just realized I forgot to pack my power cord for my computer.  I'd better get to work before my computer dies....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10 Ways To Make Your Child Miserable

Ever look at your dirty, smiling child's face and try to clean it off -- only to be rewarded with an ear piercing wail?

Or perhaps you see your precious baby slumped over in their car seat snoozing -- their head lolling at an unnatural angle.  You think "Aw.  Poor thing.  They must be so uncomfortable."   You want to fix it.  In fact, as their mom (or dad) you are compelled to fix it.  You lift their head gently, trying to find the "tipping point" between front and back and side to side.  You think you've got it.  Ahhhh... the head is balanced.  Success!  Then they wake up... and SCREAM!

My point is, everyday our children are happy.  It's just hard to accept.  So we embark on a quest to make their lives more pleasurable, more comfortable...quite simply "happier."   We shift, we move, we change, we sanitize, we anticipate their unspoken needs and respond instantly.  And what do we get?  A migraine for our efforts.   

The best parenting advice I ever got was from a cousin who had TWO sets of twins.  Upon the birth of my first child she said, "Heed my words, NEVER make a happy baby happier."

I didn't get it at first, but more than ten years later this has become my parenting mantra. 

For many parents (me included) it can be hard to accept that our help won't make our children's lives just a little bit better. 

But believe me.  It won't.

And to illustrate my point I've compiled a list of the 10 things you can do to an otherwise content baby or toddler that will make them miserable  Just try one.  You'll see (...and hear):

1. Moving your sleeping child from their car seat into the house so they can have a more comfortable nap. 

2. Waking your child to change them out of a wet diaper in the middle of the night.

3.  Adding to a picture they're working on... just to make it "prettier" (or neater, or color IN the lines).  Step away from the crayons.

4. Paying for expensive seats to a live kids show and insisting they watch every last second of it. 

5. Adding salt, cheese or ketchup to your child's food without asking first.

6. Not returning a baby's lovey, blankie, stuffed animal, (whatever) to them after it falls on the ground.  A little dirt never hurt anyone.  Abide by the 5 second rule (or stretch it out if need be) and give the precious object back.  Quick.  Before the screaming begins.

7. Fixing their shirt.

8. Brushing their hair.

9. Popping a puzzle piece into place because you see your child has been struggling to finish.  This is definitely a "no good deed/puzzle piece goes unpunished" moment.

10. Your preschool daughter prances out of her room in an outfit worthy of a circus performer.  You say "Why don't you wear that nice outfit I bought you!" 

Now go forth in peace.  You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Diamonds Are Whose Best Friend?

I was hanging out with Izzy saying goodnight and she stole my ring off my finger to try it on.

Here's how it went down: 

Izzy: "Mommy? Can I have a diamond?"
Me: "No. You're too young for diamonds."
Izzy:"WHAT?! Diamond's are a GIRL'S best friend - not a WOMAN'S best friend..."

I'm so screwed.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Night Fit For a Princess

Tonight was the Beverly Hills Community Father/Daughter dance at Greystone Manor.

Livi was so excited all day.  She actually got dressed when I asked her to.  She let me brush her hair, and she even let me put the prettiest sparkly flower clip in her hair.  She looked SO CLEAN CUTE!

Steven and a bunch of other dads all chipped in for a limo to take them all to the party.  You heard me.  A limo.  I know - it sounds so stupid.  SO overindulgent.  SO ridiculous.  And I thought it was at first too.  But if you saw the faces on these little girls, leaving for the party with their dapper daddies, you would have melted.  These girls didn't need Disneyland to feel like princesses.  They had a dream  date with the one man in their lives who wants nothing more for them than for them to have a happily ever after.

Hope you and your daddy had fun, Livi lu!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Is Yelling the New Spanking?

Today on, Linda Thrasybule talks about the results of a new 20 year long study that links aggression in children to spanking.  It says that when children see their parents respond to situations with aggression, they're more likely to as well.

I have never spanked my kids.  But I was surprised to see that  22% of parents do still spank their children.  And I'm a little jealous of them.

When I grew up in the 70’s, we all got spanked.  In fact, if you didn’t get spanked, it was understood that you were the product of liberal hippies and chances are your mother didn’t wear a bra and your lunch contained natural peanut butter.    

I didn’t like it.  In fact, I hated my parents for it.  It was embarrassing, humiliating and emotionally scarring.  So much so that I vowed, like the millions of other parents who grew up in my generation, NEVER to strike my own children.  Even if I think it would feel really, REALLY good.  And I don’t.  Not ever. 

But BOY, can I yell!  I yell at my kids ALL of the time.  And I have to say - I’m not entirely sure it’s any better than my parent’s more “hands-on” approach.

I don’t want to yell.  In fact, I start each day with the notion that I’m not going to yell…ever again.  I wake up with small cartoon birds helping me change from my nightgown into my Lulu Lemon Yogawear inwardly thinking how I’m going to be an “easy-going” mother today.  I'm going to “keep my cool” and impress upon my children that their mother is peaceful, serene and just.  And then I'm going to go to yoga class and reach nirvana...

But inevitably, after being with my three children through 20 minutes of wrangling, dressing, brushing, serving, feeding, making lunch, bagging snacks, finding library books and locating their backpacks, my patience begins to wear thin.  “I am asking you again, could you please pick up your plate and GO BRUSH your teeth?!” “Why didn’t you tell me I had to fill this out last night! “, “You need a diorama of the polar ice cap TODAY?!!”  Seriously??!!!!

I know what you’re thinking.  “This is your fault.  This chaos could all be avoided if you prepared your children the night before and left a little extra time in the morning for “breathing room."  Then you and your children wouldn’t feel so stressed out and you wouldn’t need to yell.”

Let me tell you, I’ve tried this.  I’ve spent the half hour before bed laying out clothes, making lunches “to order”, placing homework inside of backpacks by the front door – and it does makes things easier.  But it does not solve the problem.  “The problem” being the three children who decide they want something for lunch other than what I packed the night before, or that they’re hot and need to wear a different shirt, or that they want their hair in braids, or a different lunch box, another muffin, the “good” syrup, more milk, less milk, no milk, or maybe even a pony – all before they go to school.

I smile for as long as I can, forcing the edges of my mouth upwards through the tensing muscles that want to make all things on my face furrow and frown.  I use breathing techniques I learned in birthing class and I say things like “It doesn’t look like we have time for braids today.  I’ll braid your hair tomorrow.” And “We don’t have anymore of that syrup.  Why don’t you try the Mrs. Buttersworth.” and “I’d love a pony too, but it’s just not going to happen today.  Come on, we really have to go.”

And they ignore me.  

The clock will be ticking and they just keep right on arguing with me about braids, shirts, and ponies.  “You guys?  Could you please put your lunches in your backpacks and put on your sneakers?  Seriously.  We’re going to be late for school if we don’t leave right now!”

And they continue to ignore me.   And the clock is still ticking.  And then I’ll catch one of them watching me out of the corner of their eye to see just how close Vesuvius is to eruption, and they’ll smirk - and that’s when it happens...“  YOU GUYS AREN’T LISTENING TO ME!!!!  I’M LEAVING WITHOUT YOU RIGHT NOW!!!!!!”  Of course I wouldn’t, but I can dream.

Of course, THAT’S when they line up.  They grumble and moan and say things like “Mom’s in a bad mood…again.”  Nice.

So many magazines and books espouse the idea that talking to your children quietly, reasoning with them, addressing whatever issues they have in a calm tone, will help you raise happy, well-adjusted children.  I think if you stick to those rules, your children will happily live in your home until you stop making their lunch to order…or you die.  Whichever comes first.

So, it looks like my kids are going to grow up thinking their mother is a banchee.  But I think I can live with that.  Just as long as I’m not still making them lunch.

(A version of this story was originally published on and in on 11/16/09)

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