Blog Posts by Manic Motherhood

  • Sports Parents: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Every fall, children across the planet do one thing: try out for sports teams. And once those kids make the team, ordinary parents, the kind that help with homework, kiss boo-boos, give advice to the lovelorn and in general are pretty nice people, morph into that dreaded creature known to coaches around the world as the Sports Parent.

    And before you ask, yes, I am doing my own transformation from ordinary mom to Sports Mom. But for the newbies amongst us, here are some you may encounter as the season gets underway.

    My Child is a Future Pro Athlete Parent: This parent started his child in a sport at the age of two. Everything possible has been done to prepare his child for his future career. And the parent tells everyone the details of this intense training at every game and practice. Some even spill details at Team Picture Day, where the parent would love to have his child posing on a pedestal in the center of the frame while his teammates gaze at him adoringly. Okay, really

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  • Keeping Love Alive (um, Yeah, Sort of)

    So my wedding anniversary is coming up and that always makes me reflect on our marriage. I take an afternoon and think about what we've done in the previous year to keep the romance alive and what we should do in the coming year to preserve the beauty of our love forever. And then I create a handmade card and embellish it with lace and hearts and quotes from poems that Hubby and I have recited to each other each night before we go to sleep.

    Oh, fine. I'm lying. What I really do is sit around and wonder what Hubby should get me for a gift.

    Hey, it's not that I'm materialistic or anything. It's just that nothing says "I love you" more than a big present. Preferably one that sparkles when the sun hits it. You know, like a diamond. Oh, wait. Maybe I am materialistic. That's a shocker.

    Anyway, this year I decided I prefer something a bit less sparkly. Well, I don't actually, but the economy does kind of stink at the moment. So I decided I wanted roses. Now just so you don't

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  • Manic Motherhood: Got Germs?

    I was once a healthy adult. Oh, sure, once in a great while I'd get a cold or the flu. But back in the day, it was rare for me to be under the weather. So rare, in fact, that I usually had to feign illness just to use up my sick days.

    And then I became a parent.

    From then on, all bets were off. I've been sick more in the last 13 years than I have in my entire life. I've used up more sick days than employers ever consider giving to employees. In fact, I may have broken a record by using a lifetime's worth of sick days in just two months.

    And it's because I live with Junior, the human Petri dish. Germs jump into his body and grow, and then they attack me.

    Like most kids, Junior started spreading diseases when he was young. He went to daycare with all the other little Petri dishes. And, let me tell you, those kids were very good at sharing. If one child in daycare got the stomach flu, she shared it with all the kids-and their families, of course.

    Because that's how

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  • Manic Motherhood: Where are all the #$%^ sweatshirts?

    I don't know about you, but I have sweatshirt issues. Specifically, I have a child who owns several sweatshirts-all of which have disappeared. Now I ask you-where the heck are they? Are they on vacation? Is there a special "sweatshirt-only" resort in the South Pacific where all the little sweatshirts go to live? And if there is-isn't it too hot for them there?

    Honestly, I just don't get it. Junior goes out in the morning with a sweatshirt on. He comes back in the afternoon without a sweatshirt. Okay, I understand that mornings are cold and afternoons-well, they aren't so cold. So the sweatshirt gets taken off.

    And left God only knows where.

    Look, is it so much to ask that my child actually remove his sweatshirt in his classroom and put it into his backpack so it doesn't get lost? Oh, why bother? Obviously, this IS too much to ask or I wouldn't be spending his college fund on sweatshirts.

    Look, it's not like I haven't tried to find the darned things, I've done

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  • Manic Motherhood: Um, Where do Babies Come From?

    As a mom, I spend a lot of time answering questions on everything from "boogers are green-why don't they count as a veggie" to "where do babies come from?" And frankly, I prefer to answer questions about boogers.

    I didn't think I'd be that way. I figured I was a modern mom, unafraid of answering questions about sex-until I had to answer the first one. And that's when I realized that unless I planned my answers carefully, my son was going to need lots of therapy when he grew up. So I developed this handy list of childhood stages-which hopefully will help you more than it helped me.

    Stage One - The Pre-School Years. In this stage, children are just beginning to notice the world around them-and the bodies that populate it. To them, a pregnant woman looks the same as someone who has spent several years chowing down at the local all-you-can-eat buffet.

    So the day your three-year old sees his first pregnant woman, he may say something like "Look, her belly is full." It's very

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  • Manic Motherhood: Who Turned me Into the Laundry Fairy?

    I hate laundry. It never ends. Even if a miracle occurred and I finished all the laundry in the house, someone would walk in covered with mud and grass stains, strip off their clothes and toss them in the hamper, thereby creating a new load of laundry to do.

    I have not seen the bottom of my hamper since the day I bought it. I don't even know if it has a bottom. For all I know, it could be a huge tunnel of laundry going clear to the center of the earth, never ending, always half full of smelly socks and mustard stained t-shirts. At least, I hope that's mustard.

    There was a time that I didn't care about laundry. When I was little, laundry was easy-I didn't do it. One day I was wearing my last pair of clean underwear, and that afternoon the laundry fairy (also known as mom) magically placed a week's worth of clean underwear in my drawer. In terms of laundry, this was the best time of my life.

    Then I grew up.

    But even then, I didn't notice how much laundry I had. On

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  • Manic Motherhood: The Mouse, The Mojito and Me

    I'm not a big fan of critters. Oh, I get along well with the domesticated ones-you know, the husband, the kid and the dog. But I'm not good with anything wild like animals that live in the great outdoors for the express purpose of terrorizing me. In fact, saying I don't get along with them is kind of an understatement. Saying I fear and loathe outdoor creatures is really much more accurate.

    But a few weeks ago, I noticed that our dog was behaving oddly. And by that I mean she sat on the outdoor furniture and stared into the potted plants. This was very unusual for Kirby. She's not what you might call a "thinker." She's more what the neighbors might call "a freaking barking nuisance."

    Anyway, fast forward to the other night. I'm in the kitchen, cooking dinner. Now for me, cooking requires a lot of concentration and a great deal of luck so that my family doesn't end up in the emergency room or worse, in the drive-thru line at Taco Bell. So I'm focused. I've got pans on the

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  • Manic Motherhood: If it's Labor Day, You Must be Camping...Or Crazy

    Labor Day is nearly here and you know what that means. Yes, we must stop wearing white shoes-although to be honest I've been never stopped. Does anyone really stop wearing white shoes just because of an arbitrary date on a calendar? That aside, to me, what Labor Day really means is that summer is nearly gone and many people are getting ready for their last chance to experience a terrifying thing called "camping." Sure, it looks like fun. But what person in their right mind wants to abandon all of life's little luxuries, like indoor plumbing and HBO, for a weekend in a pup tent with four kids, a spouse and the family dog?

    Not me. I have a strict no-camping policy. If Hubby and Junior are insane enough to brave the outside world without a working toilet, running water or air conditioning, that's their deal and they do it without me tagging along. Personally, I've never understood the allure of the great outdoors. And I certainly have never understood why people actually want to

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  • Manic Motherhood: Listening to the Voices in My Head

    I'm just doing what the voices in my head tell me to do…

    Author Unknown

    I have Bluetooth and it's driving me mad. But I had to get it because of a California law that says that people like me (i.e., really bad drivers) cannot talk on a hand-held cell phone, sip a skinny iced chai, rule unruly children, find a good song on the radio and steer at the same time. To the creators of that law I say, "Okay, you might have a point."

    But I will tell you, I didn't always think that way. In fact, I spent about a week resisting the law. Unfortunately, I went to Catholic school and I am physically incapable of breaking the law. Seriously. You survive 12 years of Sister Mary something or other threatening you with purgatory and see if you can break any laws after you escape…er, graduate.

    But even if I couldn't break the law, I could try to find a way around it. So I spent 7 days screaming into my speakerphone so I wouldn't be holding the phone up to my head and

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  • Manic Motherhood: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    I don't know about you, but for me this is the last week before school starts. And I swear to you, it should be illegal to be this happy. And because I am so very, very happy, I decided this blog entry should be that terrific school standby, "how I spent my summer vacation."

    • We took a trip to Texas, because apparently we are insane. I know this because nobody in their right mind goes to Texas in summer with the heat and the humidity. But when we went to the shooting range and Junior finally got to shoot a .45, he was thrilled. Until the 8-year old next to him brought out his Uzi. Seriously. If anything ever happens and I need saving, I'm heading to Texas. If the 8-year olds have Uzi's, heaven knows what the adults have hidden in the garage.
    • We took trips to the beach, which explains my hair. My sister says it's beach hair and it's very in right now, then she looked at mine and said, "Um, but not yours." Thanks. Appreciate that.
    • We visited a place called Waterworld, which I
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