Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Dunphys, Madonna, and Parents Going Viral

I like Modern Family. It’s good for some laughs, and laughing at parenting mistakes makes me feel less like an idiot when I make my own.

I can’t stop thinking about the Dunphys. In a recent Modern Family episode Phil and the kids (Haley, Alex and Luke) helped Claire prep for a town council debate.

Trying to help her appear more likeable, Phil and the kids gave Claire a list of things she shouldn’t do. The list was long. Haley even urged her not to go viral. Claire responded, “OK, I’ll add that to my list of things not to do: don’t touch my face, don’t roll my eyes, don’t point my fingers and definitely don’t go viral. Do any of you still believe in me?” I do Claire, I do.

Poor Claire tried to stop herself from making mistakes during the debate, but the jerky motions she made as she caught herself pointing and all made her appear crazier than she is. It was hilarious. When her husband stepped up to help her they both ended up on the web. Aw, they went viral together.

Within days I was running on the treadmill and “Justify My Love” started. The iPod was on pop mix, so it’s not really my choice. Some algorithm probably picked it because it was Tuesday.

Anyway, I debated changing the song. Then I thought Madonna’s a mom too. What are her kids going to think when they see her videos? Will they see “Justify My Love” too? I mean, they’re online for everyone to see. Lourdes is old enough, she’s probably seen something by now, but is she embarrassed about how crazy her mom looks doing kinky stuff to/for the camera? Does it matter? I don’t know.

I do know this. No matter how hard we try, we’re going to embarrass our kids, like our parents embarrassed us. Or so we thought at the height of our teen angst years when they dropped us off and picked us up at the mall, and at school dances. It happens much earlier these days.

Why not come clean now? You could try something like, “Kids, before you are caught off-guard in Kindermusik, mommy has some things to share…and that’s how I ended up with Justin Bieber on YouTube.” It’s that easy.

Man, I’m glad we didn’t have video-equipped cell phones when I was young, or I’d have a lot of explaining to do. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Quick Trips and Hominy

You know it and I know it. Quick trips are a myth.

There’s no such thing as a jolly jaunt to the store anymore. Anything involving people under 4 ft in our house is going to take time. But, I try constantly to convince myself otherwise.

Today in fact, I bundled the kids up and scampered off to the store. I figured we’d breeze in and out like it was nothing. Big mistake.

Somehow we ended up at the market mid-afternoon on stock day. Great, I’m bobbing and weaving through boxes stacked floor-to-ceiling and bumping carts with stock boys and a hundred other customers who thought it would be the perfect time to get their groceries.

I have a list to keep us on task, but I also have two kids needing my attention. One is pulling jellybeans and Acai powder off the shelves and the other is complaining he’s hungry. Trying to reduce his intake of fiber and soy ink, I gently remove part of a magazine from his mouth when he begins crying, very loudly. So, I start hand feeding him cereal since I can’t find our snack cups, any of them. All this is going on while I’m balancing the world’s hottest cup of Chai, even with the insulator sleeve, my shopping list and a cart that only makes right turns. Why do I do this?

Over an hour into the expedition, we’re looking for beans. Turkey chili is on our menu this week and I need several kinds. So, we squeeze into an aisle with three other carts and a grocery guy bringing pallets full of stuff to be stocked.

We need more ingredients, but can’t move because the aisle is blocked both ways. I ask for help and get escorted to another aisle with the cart and the kids. We’re bobbing and weaving to keep up with the guy until he shows us what we need. Well, almost.

I stand there staring at it, wondering if there are any other options. Customers move around us and we’re getting pinned in tighter and tighter the longer I evaluate this purchase. We’re toast. The kids are done and we’ve got to get out of here or else. Fine, I say and wedge the 2-pound can of hominy in the cart.

We check out and need another escort, this time to the car. While the cashier waits, I’m putting on my coat and helping my daughter with hers. She asks for help with the umbrella, but starts pushing the auto button anyway and pops it open and closed in the store. We’re still not moving, but almost. I close it up and let her do it again once we’re outside. The cashier was helpful, but I’m still left with two carts, and a kid running around with an umbrella.

I thought we were in the clear, but now we’re in the parking lot and I’m nervous my kid’s going to jump out in front of someone. So as I’m getting the baby seat locked in and my daughter secured someone beeps at me. I’m trying to find my kid's seat buckles, which have disappeared into a black hole somewhere, when someone beeps again. What!? Do you see us surrounded by shopping carts with our van doors hanging open? I’m a little busy and you’re going to have to wait. I think. Trying to be nice, I snug up as close as possible hoping they don’t run me over trying to get the space next to me.

The lady parks, gets out, and says…absolutely nothing. Not. A. Thing. I start to mumble something and hope my kids can’t hear, because it’s not for kid ears.

I buckle my daughter in and tell her No, you can’t play with the really big, really heavy Ice Dozer (scraper for rough winters) on the way home you might hurt your brother. Then I huff and move onto the groceries.

I get everything loaded, get buckled in and start the car. Then I look at the time. We’ve been shopping for over two hours. Our weekly list is a third of what it normally is, I couldn’t find everything, and we still took for-ev-er to get through the store. 

Let this be a warning, parents. The quick trip is a myth, unless you go alone. Oh, and if you do take the kids, remember to avoid going anywhere on stock day!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Real Apps for Real Parents, Apps I Need Right Now

  1. An App that stops me from sending e-mails to my peers, my family and especially my editor when I’m sick or have taken any type of cold medicine. (Could have used it earlier this week.)
  2. An App that warns me about my appearance, like when my baby sneezes peas on the front, back and sides of my t-shirt. (Really, your baby can do that too?)
  3. An App that warns me when I’m having one of those TMI moments, or at the very least warns all the folks on Facebook and Twitter to look away until I have the sense to hit delete.
  4. An App that shows ‘hair styles for the tired and dirty,’ and maybe one that recommends a hat to match a pea-stained shirt.
  5. An App that locates the nearest bathroom no matter where on earth we are.
  6. An App that suggests what meal will completely satisfy picky eaters and lull them to a restful slumber after dinner. (Okay, so maybe that’s two apps.)
  7. An App that notifies us our kid is about to squirt pink toothpaste all over the bathroom and clean it up with a flood of water, toilet paper and guest towels. Maybe it should also recommend a good clean-up service just in case we’re too late.
  8. An App that uses age progression and some other super cool technology to show us our kids turn out happy, healthy, well-adjusted people – just to reassure us dealing with poo, peas and pink toothpaste is making a difference. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Twenty Twelve: More than Poo and Patty-Cake

Okay, this year, just this past week in fact, I’ve been thinking about resolutions. Normally, I don’t make a big deal out of them. If you read last year’s list, you might remember I outlined a plan to enjoy more family time and cupcakes in 2011, and I did just that. We even (sort of) met our goal for prepping the house for baby #2. What counts is that we made it to the hospital, just in time.

Now that we’ve got two kids it seems important to do something, well, more. I want to show them the importance of personal goal setting. Sure, they’re babies, but it’s a Tiger-Mom kinda world and they need to know mommy thinks about more than just poo and patty-cake.

I know, I know, motherhood is about so much more than that, but let’s be real; sometimes that’s what it feels like.

So I sat and thought. And thought some more, but then got bored and hungry. After a break, it hit me. It was time to search the web to see if anybody else had some resolutions that might inspire me.

While laughing, crying and shaking my head ‘yes, yes’ many times, I realized it would take some time, but I had to make some resolutions. Some goals I’d really enjoy.

I thought about writing goals, family goals and life lists for ‘The Twelve’ (it’s growing on me) and beyond. This work-in-progress is in no particular order, but at least it’s a start, right? :)

1.    Take our girl ice skating
2.    Enjoy a hike with our kids
3.    Date nights, plural
4.    Learn to ski cross country
5.    Get new bikes, then bike
6.    Picnic and beach fun with family
7.    Romantic Getaway with Hubby
8.    Start my veggie garden again
9.    Handwrite one letter a month
10. Finish novel
11. Publish novel
12. See more movies in the theater
13. Let the kids get dirty more
14. Get dirty with the kids, maybe make mud pies
15. Take more bubble baths (see 14)
16. Eat more ice cream
17. Eat more veggies
18. Exercise more (see 16 and 17)
19. Drive the California Coast in a convertible on sunny day
20. Plant a tree with our kids
21. Concert with Hubby
22. Take Grandma to a baseball game
23. See ALMS race with Hubby
24. See F1 race with Hubby
25. Myrtle Beach Family Style
26. Take our girl to see Mamma Mia
27. Take executive driving course and learn to do a J-turn
28. Tour Wine Country
29. Visit Vancouver
30. Visit friends in Germany
31. Tour Italy
32. Landmarks and Places to visit once or again:
·      Mackinac
·      Grand Hotel
·      Pebble Beach
·      Redwood Forest
·      Golden Gate
·      Pearl Harbor
·      Mount Vernon
·      The Capitol
·      Cumberland
·      Grand Canyon
·      Yellowstone
·      Yosemite
·      Mammoth Cave
·      Mount Rainier
·      St. Augustine
·      St. Andrews
·      Louvre
·      Stonehenge
·      Pyramids
33. Visit these restaurants once or again:
·      Citronelle, Michel Richard, Washington, D.C.
·      Del Posto, New York, Bastianich and Batali
·      Publican, Chicago
·      Everest, Chicago
·      Ad Hoc, Napa
·      Cut, Beverly Hills, Puck
·      Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C.
·      Restaurant August, New Orleans, Besh

Wow, that got longer than I expected. I better get moving! Happy January!

What's on your list?

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