Tag Archives: advice

Unsolicited Parenting #2: Virginity

If you happen to listen to Madonna while you do the dishes and your 8-year-old daughter happens to ask you what a virgin is – be careful what you tell her.  Don’t tell her that a virgin is someone who has never done “something” before or else she will loudly announce “I am a virgin!” whenever you enter a store she has never been in or eat a meal she has never had before.

And maybe you’ve already anticipated this – but I was rather taken aback when my sweet 8-year-old daughter shouted “I’m not a virgin anymore!” after she left the store and after she set down her fork.

It’s my recommendation that you go with a more specific explanation of the word “virgin” when your child asks you.  And since I am no longer an “Explaining the word virgin to your sweet daughter” virgin – you should really take my advice.


Unsolicited Parenting Advice #1

I’m not a quiet girl.  If you’ve met me in person I will give you a minute to wipe that “no shit” look off of your face.

I have a new parenting technique and it doesn’t feel right to keep it to myself.

One of the hardest things about being home with the kids full-time is the noise.  It is constant.  It is relentless.  There is a never-ending hum of sound. I think that is how parents end up being yellers.  We just have to compete to get heard.

I really don’t want to be a yeller. But I have a two year old.

Solution:  Quiet Riot. Specifically “Cum on Feel the Noize.

Scenario:  I am cutting chicken.  Shit always hits the fan when I have raw chicken on my hands. I have said “Lucy please stop banging that lid on the oven door” several times at a reasonable volume level.   She has interpreted this to me “Start yelling along with the slamming.”

Here is where I employ my new technique.  Instead of screaming “For the love of all that is holy, STOP with the banging for one blessed second!  I can not pick you up so do not start crying like I have ruined your life, I have chicken on my hands, RAW CHICKEN.  Jeeezus, stop crying.  I didn’t do anything, I just asked you to stop with the banging, Go.  Bang.  Bang all the lids.  Do whatever you want.  Nobody listens to me!!!” n0t that I have ever had this sort of situation go down. I, personally, never, ever lose my cool.

Instead, at the moment that I feel the crazy start to make its way up my throat and tickle my yelling muscles I open my mouth and I shriek “CUM ON FEEL THE NOIZE!” and I smile.  You have to smile while you do it or it is just like screaming at your kid. Remember, you are singing. You are FunTime Mom.  You are the mom that loves it when your kid bangs lids on the oven door.

“Girls, Rock the boys!  We’ll get wild, wild wild!! Wild, wild wild!!”  Take a minute. Catch your breath. If you’re doing it right your kid has stopped dead in their tracks.  They are staring at you like they have no idea what is going to happen next.

So, you think I’ve got an evil mind… that is the next line.  That isn’t a question.

That’s it.  This is my new Toddler Parenting Technique.  Go ahead and yell.  But yell a song, shake your hips and smile, smile, smile and you can pretend you are dancing, singing Fun Mom.  It works. It is the latest and greatest in my Fake It Til You Make It life plan.

Try it.  I suggest 80s hair metal, but I suppose any tune will do. Twister Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is a hit in our house. Adam Ant’s “Goody Two Shoes” will work. But you have to start right in with “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?” and you have to really put your hips into it.

Come back and tell me your favorite song to scream, I mean, sing at your kids.

This kid is nuts.

This kid is nuts.

How to take the Baby out to Dinner

Taking your kids out to eat in a restaurant can be daunting.  It is a crapshoot.  Will they behave?  Will they get restless? Will my food come out in less than seven minutes? There are a lot of questions.  Questions that do not ever include “should we order an after-dinner drink or dessert?” because if you make it through dinner unscathed, without tears or dirty looks from the wait staff or other diners you just want to pack up your crap and your kids and get the hell out of there before your good juju runs out.

Last night we had one of those once in a Blue Moon dinners.  (Perhaps it was augmented by the three Blue Moons Mom slurped down during dinner!) It was perfect.  We could have stayed for hours chatting it up at the table.   How did we do it? Easy.

Step 1. Slide in to the booth in a manner that puts Mom far away from all of the kids.  Mom is quick to jump to “Well, you knew this was going to happen!” when Baby squeals or Big Kid spills a drink.  Or at least this Mom is.  Yanno, before she has a couple of beers, anyway.

Step 2.  Put a grandparent between Baby and Big Kid.  Just do it if you can.  Grandparents love to play tic-tac-toe and pick up toys off of the floor.  Over and over and over again.

Step 3.  Have a waitress that is over 27 but does not have her own kids.  She is old enough to have the uterine twinge of “Damn, those are some cute kids” and not yet keen to the fact that it is the cute ones that wreak the most havoc.  She will give you way too many straws.  Key to step 4.

Step 4.  Give your baby a straw.  They will not poke their eyes out.  Or choke.  They will love it.  When they throw it on the floor just give them another.  Straws will not get ground in to the carpet like a Cheerio.

Step 5.  Someone, anyone, preferably someone at your table but it could be a diner nearby, order the pork shank.  Give the baby ALL the bones.  Not one or two.  Three.  Three bones.  She will be (you know I am going to go there) in hog heaven, I promise.


That’s it.  It is that easy. Five simple steps to taking Baby out to dinner.  You’re welcome.


Fast enough so you can fly away…

Allow me to set the scene.

I was still wearing my velour sweatsuit as I sauntered past his side of the bed. Sometimes I like to amp up the funny before I bring the dead sexy. Funny goes a long way in our house.

There was a successful transfer of the baby in to the bed. She was out like a light. I woke him from the couch and he smiled. All signs pointed to Sexy Town. I had my fingers crossed and my knees, well, uncrossed. He was sitting up in bed when he asked me to grab the cord for his phone.

So, I was sauntering past the bed getting ready to bend over in my velour sweatsuit all Jessica Rabbit like when he said “You’re leaking.” I looked down at my shirt for the tell-tale spot of milk. I grabbed my chest the way only a nursing mother can. I wasn’t wet. “This?” I said, pointing at a spot on my shirt. “Nah, that’s old.”

While I was busy giving myself a breast exam he bent down and grabbed his own phone cord.

“You ruined it,” I said. “I was gonna bend down and get it for you.” I was smiling. But I might have been starting to pout. We had already turned down a street that didn’t head to SexyTown. Might as well pout.

Incredulously he smiled back at me. “I ruined it? You! Talking about your OLD stain! That ruined it!!” By now I had snuggled up against him on the side of the bed. Between the two of us we had about a foot and a half. Lucy and the dog took up all the rest of the room. And like kids we started to laugh. I kept trying to get the words “you mean this old stain?” out of my mouth in feigned breathy sexiness but I couldn’t do it through the giggles. The more I tried to stop the laughter the funnier it was.

The Internet is abuzz this week with breastfeeding pictures. Should we post them on Facebook? Should we nurse in public? Or is it a private thing? You can guess how I feel about nursing a baby in public. Feed your babies, ladies. Cover up or don’t.  Just feed your babies.  Anywhere you want, preferably before they are super mad. I find hungry, crying babies really troublesome, a little exposed boob here and there, not so much.

But I can tell you where breastfeeding doesn’t belong. It doesn’t belong in my bedroom while I am in a fast car on the road to SexyTown. Because evidently “old stains” can send that car careening towards Laughter and there is no turning that car around. (Note: you need to say “old stains” with your hands up making the “I  don’t know what all the ruckus is about” face for the full effect.)

This post is dedicated to the fools that think nursing a baby in public is disgusting and attention seeking.  I will give you disgusting and attention seeking, how about this wet tshirt contest winning picture? And to the new mothers that think they will never, ever get to SexyTown again.  You will.  I promise.  It seems like you won’t.  But keep visiting that little village called Laughter, it will carry you and your marriage right on through.

Every breath matters.

The shittiest five seconds – I wrote about that once. But the most terrifying ten seconds? I am not sure I can write about that yet. But I feel like I should try.

First, a couple of facts.

Fact: I practice baby-led weaning. Contrary to what you might think this has nothing to do with stopping breastfeeding. Baby-led weaning is, at its simplest, following your baby’s cues and skipping pureed foods. Lucy has been eating solid food since she showed signs of readiness: ability to sit up unassisted, an effective pincer grasp and a loss of the tongue-thrust reflex. A crucial part of embracing baby-led weaning is making peace with the fact that your baby will gag. Gagging is a human’s reflex that prevents them from choking. As long as your baby is gagging they aren’t choking. It’s frightening at first. But by the second baby I was sure. I was sure that she was okay, her body was preventing her from choking and forcing the pieces of food that were too big back up to the front of her mouth. I am not afraid when Lucy gags.

Fact: I do not like to ask for help. I have spent too long changing my own tire because I was sure I could do it myself.

That’s the back story. This morning – the most terrifying ten seconds happened. My hands are still shaking. My face still swollen with tears. Lucy is asleep in my lap.

I knew she wasn’t gagging. I know what that looks like. When I turned around and I saw her sitting on the floor in the living room her eyes were wide. She was silent. Her face was red. It has been no longer than five seconds since I had looked at her. Long enough to have found a minuscule something on the floor and eaten it: a Barbie shoe, a leaf, a piece of paper.

A finger sweep produced nothing. I smacked her on the back. Nothing. Her face grew redder. I needed help. I did not hesitate.

I calmly picked up my phone and called 911. The phone was ringing and I sat cross-legged with my baby on the floor in front of me. I tipped her head back and checked her airway. As the dispatcher answered the phone I was prepared for what would happen next. A-B-C. I had checked her airway. Breathing would be next. The 911 dispatcher would talk me through infant cpr while I waited for the ambulance.

I called for help. As I said earlier, I have seen her gag. I always know she will be fine. But today I didn’t know that. She was silent.

I did not panic.

Before I could finish identifying myself “My name is Kelly. My 8 month old daughter, Lucy, is not breathing. It has been less than a minute. I live at…” she threw up. If you’ve ever been a runner you’ve seen it. The snot rocket. A ball of mucous the size of a golf ball. And she was fine. She deeply inhaled and rolled over and crawled away.

“She’s fine. Umm… I guess I just needed to call you. She is fine…” And she is.

And so am I. I called my husband and said “Lucy is fine, I just need to cry.” I told him what had happened. He was quiet. “Say something,” I said.

“You did everything you were supposed to do. Good job, Mom.”

I was calm. I was prepared. Because I have taken an Infant CPR and First Aid class. I didn’t need it today. I hope I never do.

I use this space to share my life, to reflect, to create and record a history of my own growth. Very occasionally do I use it as a soap box. Today I will.

Take a CPR class. Soon. Don’t wait. Murphy’s Law – if you take it than you won’t need it.

Go hug someone that you love. Because if you think you love them now, I dare you to spend ten seconds imagining your life without them. Then think about how much you love them again. And then call your local American Red Cross and register to take a class.