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August 24, 2015

Not Playing With My Toddler (He Had it Coming)

One day I will be buried in more past than future, so I try my very best to soak in every moment of my toddler’s childhood that I can. It goes by so fast, they say. So when Dylan pulls at my hand insisting, “Play with me? Yeah? In the room?” I know I ought to stop what I’m doing and make quality time for him. Because a year from now, two years from now, three years from now, and definitely 15 years from now, he’ll probably have no interest pushing around toys with mom across the bedroom floor...and it might will break my heart. But today, he wants my companionship, my attention, and my crazy. Badly. (Yay!)

So I do it. I pick myself off of my pregnant tuchus, waddle on over to my kin’s room and park it on his couch. “NO MOMMY, SIT HERE,” he instructs pointing to the carpet in his best no-bullshit-fortune-500-CEO tone. OKAY. I comply, begrudgingly, his worker slave. I take hold of one of the many monster trucks he has carelessly scattered around only to be corrected, “NO! Not this one!” He says, snatching it out of my hand. “Hey, that’s not nice, you have to share.” I remind him, quietly hoping that his sister-to-be will collect on his karmic debt. I go to pick up another truck, “No! Don’t touch this one.” My patience. It’s dying. “Dylan, I don’t want to play with you. You don’t share!” My sass however, is sizzling hot. 

The kid gets the message and switches gears, offering me the smallest truck he has as if it’s some grand prize, “Here mommy, want this one?” I accept his not-so-generous peace offering and begin pushing wittle wimpy, doing doughnuts around his plethora of giants. Okay, now we’re jiving! I think to myself. But I’m having too much fun, apparently. Boyfriend rescinds his offer, “No, No, NOT this one, THIS one,” he barks as he switches me to a full-sized monster before I even have the chance object to his excessive micromanagement. 

Maybe I was romanticizing toddlerhood, but this is not what I meant when I said I wanted to soak up every moment. I mean, Father Time would never age me as quickly as Dylan’s dance of rules and regulations do. So no, I don’t feel even slightly guilty when I tell him, “You know who really wants to play trucks with you? Your dad.” He had it coming.

July 30, 2015

Mom's [Non-Existent] Book Club

Before I joined the parental posse, I had a long running list of activities I knew I wanted to do with my hypothetical child(ren). One of the big ones was: read. And for years, I’ve maintained a draft email featuring various titles I would buy and read to these little bookworms I would one day water and grow. I knew that this was one activity where I would truly shine because this my friends, was my shit. That is, until I actually had a kid. 

Life is funny like that. My fantasy bedtime routine has proved to be just that, a fantasy. I mean, sure, Dylan loves reading and has a laundry list of books on books on books he wants to read before shut-eye, just not with me. Dick. The kid wants his dad, which is funny because dad would rather play with trucks than read a book about them. And dad cuts him off at 1 book, 2 on a good day, whereas mom will go marathon style and is [eagerly] willing to comply with a “1 more” request. So....WTF CHILD. 

In addition to the blatant rejection I suffer on a regular, my kid is like any other toddler, in that he’s so damn rude about everything. “It’s bedtime,” I announce. But before I can even take a post-announcement breath in, Dylan interjects with a whopping, “I wanna read the books WITH DADDY.” Uhm, thanks for the clarification. Still, I try. “No honey, you’re going to read the books with mommy.” Insert protests here. 

So I fold 4 out of 7 days a week, and let the damn kid have his favorite parent. But on the weekends? That’s when I go off. That’s when I get Dr. Seuss popping like a library after hours, which I suspect is quite the…party? Whatever. I figure I still have a chance. I’m not going to throw in the towel on my Reading Rainbow night life just yet. Because now that I have a daughter on the way, I’m putting all my eggs in her basket. Grimm Brother’s fairy tales? WE’RE COMING FOR YOU.

July 23, 2015

Bad Mommy - Trouble at School

Don’t be fooled by the red lipstick and high heels, this heart is all boy. Tomboy, anyway. Growing up in a house of five daughters, I was frequently referred to as my mom’s only son. I played rough, I got dirty, and I liked it. Sure, I’ve warmed up to dresses and curling irons as I’ve gotten older, but I’m still the same old g. However, I may have gotten a little out of control in channeling my inner boy child when it comes to playing with Dylan. Though I don’t want to be the parent that apportions blame on themselves for their ill-behaved kid…I’m a bad example. 

You see, Dylan got in trouble at school yesterday for playing too roughly with his peers. Apparently he was pushing them, tugging on them, and trying to climb on their backs, then dismissing the teacher’s instruction to calm down. They had to move Dylan into another classroom for the day. And though I shouldn’t laugh because disobedience isn’t funny, I could just imagine the madness. Mostly because that’s how he and I play at home…every day. (Sorry Ms. Lisa!) 

It takes Dylan sixteen seconds to jump on my back once I sit on the floor. My response is to flip him off of me, pin him on the ground and squish him. And when he comes back for more, I declare “wrestle mania” so as to alert him that the ante has been raised. I used to think I was fun, now I realize I’m just immature. I may or may not be responsible for nurturing a perfectly normal wild child into an out-of-control brute for my own enjoyment. Regardless, it’s time for some damage control.

"Dylan, did you get in trouble at school today?” I asked my sheepishly grinning kin. 
"Yessssss.” GUILTY AND HE KNOWS IT
“Uh-oh, that’s not good. What did you do?” 
“I pushed Anabelle.” 
“Is that nice?” Crossing my fingers he gets this one right
“No.” Hallelujah! There’s hope! 

So I explained as best I could to a 2 year old that pushing is not allowed at school and that he has to listen to his teacher when she tells him to calm down. I love our rough play but wrestle mania in the classroom is a little embarrassing when it’s home grown (and my fault). But not as embarrassing as when Dylan asked me to “pop the pussy.” 
“EXCUSE ME?” I exclaimed. 
“I WANNA POP THE PUSSY!” He whined, “Ashes ashes, we all fall down!” 
Oh. “You mean a pocket full of posies?” 
“Yeah! I wanna pop the pussy!” 

Welcome to the freak show.



Photo credits: Eddie Gomez

July 15, 2015

Pregnancy - Not Blowing Up




Even though I’m super excited that I’m expecting a little girl, there isn’t much else I enjoy about expecting. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those over the moon pregnant women that resemble fertility goddesses and feel their best during these 9 months. I'm tired, yo'. I may sound jaded but let me explain, I gained 57 lbs during my last pregnancy and MY GOD was it miserable. This time around, it'd be nice not to blow up. And since it’s highly likely that this is the last time I’ll be pregnant, I want to enjoy it as much as possible. So what’s a girl to do? Get schooled.  

But OH MY GOD. The internet is littered with TMI. Simply conducting a google search leads to information overload with "facts” that all seem to contradict themselves. My go-to has long been the well-known What to Expect® When You're Expecting book. I received this book as a gift during my first pregnancy and I LOVED it. My favorite thing to do was look through the index at things I was feeling and find the information I needed in plain and simple black and white terms. And even though the book has been updated many times since its original release, there’s a reason it’s been on the New York Times Bestseller list for over 600 weeks. I mean, I’m fairly certain there isn’t a person on the planet that hasn’t heard of this pregnancy bible.  


However, there are still some things that I didn’t know and hadn't heard of….like, they wrote a book just for me! My newest obsession is their Eating Well When You're Expecting because HELLO! I want to eat well but I don’t want to gain another 60 lbs. Plus, I really, really want to enjoy this pregnancy and when your back hurts, you can’t fit into boots because your calves are too big, and you have to worry about every calorie evolving into gestational diabetes, that’s not enjoying jack. Eating Well is an easy read that doesn’t complicate your diet. The recipes are simple to follow and can actually be executed and enjoyed by the whole family  (which is critical because my 2 year old has to eat too). 

So HOORAY! Here’s to finally feeling like I have found a way to help make this second pregnancy start off on a better note than the first. No offense Dylan, lol.





I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

July 7, 2015

Things Dylan Does - My Overachieving Tot

"One day there will be hell to pay," I tell myself in the midst of the physical and mental abuse. "But for now, he is merely a child." I like to say that, too. Dylan was about a year old when he started doing naughty things such as slamming his head against the tile floor when upset, and people liked to offer condolences in the form of, "Oh! An early case of terrible twos! They'll pass sooner than later." The insinuation was that I was practically lucky! And the encouragement would’ve been nice if I weren’t banking on it, thank you very much. 

But there's a lesson to be learned here, and it's: Never bank on anything. EVER. Because Dylan's halfway through his second year of life and though the head banging is no longer his thing, he still has things. Lots of them. Let me tell you about some of the things Dylan does. 

Yesterday I was laughing really hard, and last I checked, that’s not a crime. In fact, some find laughter to be contagious. But Dylan? He finds it annoying. Of course he does. So as I sat in a fit of giggles with my head resting against a pillow, Dylan charged at me, lifted his arm up the air, and slammed his green Hotwheels semi-truck into the side of my face. Instant bruise. I cried. 

I often contemplate the term “terrible twos” and the injustice it represents. Terrible? I can deal with terrible. My husband listens to terrible music. I sit in terrible traffic. Creamer in my coffee? Ack. Terrible. But Dylan? At 2 years old? Now that’s terrifying. Traumatizing. TORTUROUS! He forbids laughter, demands I don’t dance, and the little tyrant doesn’t allow singing, either. Go ahead, ask him anything. I guarantee you the answer will be “NO.” And not just any no, but a “DON’T BOTHER ME PEASANT, I SAID NO!” And if you kiss him, “DON’T KISS ME!” 

But despite being the King of Mean, he plays up that victim card, too. Like when I’m pushing him in a grocery cart and reject his plea for 36 grams of liquid sugar, he belts out, “NO, DON’T HIT ME! MOMMY NO, DON’T HURT ME!” And you know people these days, they have CPS on speed dial, so I waste no time throwing my arms up in the air like a cop’s pistol is pointed at my chest because I want everyone to know, I’M NOT TOUCHING HIM! I SWEAR! 

So please, spare the encouragement and just be real with me. These are the traumatic, tumultuous, terrifying toddler years gifted upon me by the little baby boy I swore I wanted so badly (before I got to know him). And I love him, it’s true. But let’s be honest, I have a black eye. So if you want to call it “terrible twos” then fine, but admit that my son is clearly an overachiever.