Saturday, April 30, 2011


One morning before preschool, three-year-old S takes my hand.

“Mommy, I have to tell you something.” Her little brow is wrinkled; I wonder what has been spilled, ripped, colored on, peed on, or otherwise destroyed. Instead she says, “Grandpa’s on the moon.” Pause. “And there’s a lady named Carlos.”

Before I can decipher this message, she gallops away to save baby sister N from a witch.

Ah, yes. These are the little gems we share with the grandparents, the playgroup, Facebook. But for every hilarious tidbit, there’s also a struggle, or tantrum, or 20-minute session spent begging your child to please, for the love of God, put on her pants so you can all go to the grocery store.

Sometimes challenges are resolved quickly and you think you’ve got this parenting thing down. Other times you feel as though you’re starring—and losing—in a new reality show called, “I’m a Mommy, Get Me Out of Here!”

Take, for instance, the morning my husband made the fatal—and frankly, amateur—mistake of flushing the toilet after S made a particularly impressive deposit. If he had been paying any attention at all, he would have known that she wants to do everything by herself. First came the shout—“Hey, I wanted to do that!” Then the whimpers as he tried to calm her down—“No, no, don’t talk to me. Go away!” And then the full-on screaming, crying, kicking, and general flailing about. All of this before 7 AM.

Later that day, our accountant, who is as sweet and grandmotherly as they come, confessed in a chipper voice that when her daughter was three and a half, she discovered that she just might be capable of child abuse. What!

Shocked? Horrified? Clearly you’ve clearly never tried to brush the teeth of a toddler, who, despite your offerings of copious amounts of Princess toothpaste and patience, just ain’t having it.

That evening, I was at a potluck with friends whose children are all about S’s age. I asked tentatively, “So…do your kids still have tantrums?” There were snorts and laughs and a collective sigh of relief as we all realized that we weren’t the only ones who wondered, at times, if we and/or our children were in need of psychiatric attention.

And so I find that I’m not alone.  

My friends appear unflappable and together on the outside—and maybe I do, too—but on the inside, I imagine we are all just one lost binky away from the crazy house.

I created this blog as an outlet to share those challenging parenting moments and turn them into something a little lighter, so that hopefully the Carlos moments will stand out more than the poopy ones. Maybe other frazzled moms will get a laugh the next time they discover their toddler attempting to pour the cranberry juice by herself. Into a wine glass. Over the white carpet.

As you read this blog, you will learn that sometimes I curse, and yell, and hand my husband the baby pretending like I don’t notice she has a dirty diaper. I do have one little secret, though. Despite my ranting, I love being a mom. So though you may be reading about the worst of me, there’s a good side too. Nice Mommy (a.k.a. Mommy-who-has-slept-more-than-four-hours-in-a-row) makes homemade cupcakes, plants vegetables, shamelessly sings Wiggles songs in the grocery store. But no one wants to read about that. So feel free to judge if that makes you feel better, but please don’t go calling Child Services just yet.