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I Thought I Was So Cool With My Cassette Player And Smurf Tape

When I was about 8 years-old, I was given a cassette player. It was during the height of smurf popularity in the 80’s and I was given a smurf tape that I played over and over and over again. Singing the smurf songs at the top of my lungs made me feel like a fucking rock star.

Now, when I come across pictures of myself during that time, I was a total dork. But, at the time I thought I was so cool. Yeah, sure. The picture of me in a mullet hairdo and an obnoxious Cosby Show sweater tell me otherwise.

I soon graduated from the smurfs to Rick Springfield, then my biggest loves of all… John Taylor and Duran Duran. Those were the days.

I didn’t understand the level of annoyance that playing those cassette tapes over and over must have caused my mom.

I have an 8 year-old and my eardrums are being tortured by Kidz Bop. I’m now understanding what my mom had to go through with my musical phases.

We listen to the Kidz Bop satellite station most of the time when we’re in the car. I can’t even put into words how much Kidz Bop annoys the fuck out of me. It’s almost as bad as my daughter’s Calliou phase, although I don’t think it’s possible that anything can annoy me more than that little asshole.

But, Kidz Bop is up there.

My daughter has even schooled me on the names of the Kidz Bop kids. Yes. I now know which one is Brianna. Okay, I don’t really but when we see her in a video, my daughter excitedly says that’s her and I just say mmmhmmm.

I never knew so much about parenthood was about pretending like you know what the hell your kid is taking about, shaking your head in agreement, and saying mmmhmm.

My most embarrassing moment this past week was when my daughter and I were driving home from the library. Whenever I hear Ed Sheeran’s song, Photograph, I tear up every damn time. No, I’m not ashamed of it! That’s a really great song and nobody can tell me any different. Nobody, I say!!

The radio was playing a Kidz Bop version of the song. I thought to myself, “Oh, please. This is going to be awful.”

Two minutes later, tears were rolling down my face.

Damn you, Kidz Bop!

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Go To Bed. Go To Bed. Go To Bed.

By the time my kid was seven years-old, I didn’t think sleep would be an issue for her.

It is.

Fucking fuck.

There’s always some ailment that needs tending to and is causing her to stay awake. Like that invisible scratch on her ankle, or she needs a hangnail cut off, or another good night kiss.

Well, a new bedtime hell has taken over the house and it’s all Bloody Mary’s fault. A classmate of her’s told the hummingbird how if she says Bloody Mary in the mirror three times, she appears.

Now, it’s all about Bloody Mary coming to get her and she’ll get up out of bed three or four times before she falls asleep.

Also, a few weeks ago, we had two power outages a few minutes apart. It was early in the morning and it woke her up.

So, besides Bloody Mary, we have to assure her that if it rains or snows, there’s most likely not going to be a power outage.

It doesn’t matter though. It’s just one more excuse for her to use to try and get out of going to bed. If only she knew that I know ALL of the tricks. But, she seems so sure that she’s pulling one over on me.

Sleep, how I miss you.

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The Reluctant Reader


I’ve loved reading as soon as I learned to. I gobble up books but also have this book hangover I go through after each book I read. It can be hard to keep up with my reading with a kid in the house who always wants my attention. I naturally assumed since I loved to read, my dna would make her feel the same.

Oh, how wrong I was. Asking her to read and having her actually do it is like pulling teeth. Once she gets started reading, she’ll sometimes get into it. Or, if I suggest reading to her, she whines nooooooo. I love reading her the Ramona Quimby books and she’ll independently read the Princess Posey books which I highly suggest since oh my god she actually reads them, thank you sweet baby jeebus, but again, getting her started up in reading is the biggest pain in the ass.

Here are the stages I’ve gone through with my reluctant reader.

Stage one: You need to read for ten minutes. Yes. Yes. No, you’re not going to see if Samantha is home. You’re going to read. Yes. Yes! Please go and read. Please? Just read. 10 minutes. That’s all I ask. Read. Read now. I got you several different books to choose from at the library today. Maybe you just haven’t found the books that you find interesting yet. So, please go read. Yes! Read! Go!

Stage two: Would you like me to read to you? Why not? Well, let’s have you read to me. Why not? Please? Let’s just sit down and you can read to me for only 10 minutes. You need to ready every day. Yes, you do. Yes. Please read now. Why not, Well, I’m sorry that you have a scratch on your ankle but that doesn’t mean you can’t read. No, it doesn’t. No, it doesn’t. Please, hummingbird. Just read to me for five minutes then. Five minutes! No, it’s not that long. Okay, how about this. You can have a cookie after dinner. Okay, ice cream then. Yes, you can have chocolate sauce but then you have to read for ten minutes. You don’t want chocolate sauce then? Oh, you do. Then, yes, read for 10 minutes. Please just read now. Please!

Stage three: Okay, it’s time to read. We have two hours before dinner. Why don’t read for 20 minutes to yourself while I read too. Why not? No, you can’t watch PAW Patrol. It’s time to read. No. There’s no PAW Patrol while we read. The television is going off. There. Please read. Whichever book you want. There must be something you’d like to read in our library book bag. You picked out all the books. Please, pick something and read. Then, I’ll pick. Here. Okay, then you pick something now. Please, hummingbird. That looks good. Okay, you have twently minutes. No, I said for twenty minutes. Not ten. Twenty. Hummingbird, it’s only for twenty minutes. I’m not asking you to jump off a cliff. Twenty minutes and then you’ll be done for the day. Okay, how about if you read for twenty minutes and you can watch PAW Patrol. No. You can’t watch two. Just one for twenty minutes of reading. Fine, thirty minutes of reading and then you can watch two PAW Patrol’s. No, you can’t watch three. Only two if you read for thirty minutes. Okay. Thank you.

Stage four: Read! Yes! Now! Please, read now! I don’t care if you don’t want to. READ!

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I first started uttering this sentence last year. I never really got it until I took a good look at my house and saw it in such disarray and I wanted to ugly cry. I only have a 7 year-old but she makes the mess of twenty frat boys. Add to that a husband and holy shit, I’m done for.

Burps and farts galore – We instilled in the hummingbird at a young age that these things were funny. Now, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. My husband came from a “prim and proper” household where they NEVER did that and I honestly don’t think my in-laws have ever let out a good burp in private which could be why they are the way they are.

There’s no farting at the table but it doesn’t stop the hummingbird to let one rip which then makes me gag. The hubby will follow that with a large burp which he never usually did until we had the bird and poop and barf were a big subject between us when she was a baby. I’ve created gassy monsters.

Clothes everywhere – Asking kids to put their dirty clothes in a laundry basket is apparently one of the most difficult tasks since they end up leaving them all over the bedroom floor and scattered throughout the house. There’s a dress laying by our front door, dirty socks by the stairs, and shorts and a skirt just lying on the floor in the kitchen.

No matter how many times I stress to my 7 year-old that she must pick up her clothes, I end up being the one to pick all of that up. Her room on the other hand is her responsibility, which is why I try to avoid it. Her complaint is that “I can’t clean all this up myself” and my response is “But, you made the mess so you need to pick it up.”

Itty bitty Lego all over – The hummingbird and hubby love playing with Legos. I’ve never gotten it and have tried to be involved too but I’m just not into you, Lego. I have found there is something more painful than stepping on a lego. A few months ago, I stepped on a small My Little Pony and I’m not sure my foot will ever recover.

The shoe fight – Not only has the hummingbird acquired more shoes than I have, which is totally my fault, every damn morning, we still go through the shoe struggle. It starts off with the simple request of her getting her shoes on and ends up with me practically on my knees, begging for her to just put on shoes that fit.

Somehow, the shoes she outgrew keep coming back in the mudroom, even after hiding them from her, and it goes back and forth with me telling her she needs to wear shoes that fit. But no, that would be too easy. She wants to wear the shoes that just a week before, were hurting her feet. Oy!

Food on the floor that looks like someone went on a drunk eating binge – The little bird is currently going through a growth spurt which is awesome but most food seems to make it on the table and the floor than in her mouth. I wasn’t sure how that happens until a few nights ago after being at summer camp all day, she came home like she had been given red bull.

She couldn’t sit still at dinner and kept on hopping up to show us some dance moves she learned or she would sing us a song. She was bitten by the acting bug last year when she saw a school play of an older friend. And, just last week, after months of rehearsals, she was in a children’s stage production that she loved doing. So, she has been singing non stop for the past few months.

I’m all for that put please don’t fling your food around at the dinner table while getting up to belt out songs. It’s not just the food left under and around the dining room table but a buffet also starts forming around the couch and coffee table. The worst things I’ve stepped on, besides pee, is grapes and macaroni and cheese. The mushy feeling on the bottom of my foot is nasty.

I farted or I’m pooping – Even when it isn’t apparent, the bird has to make it known that she farted. Then, I get a whiff and run like hell from the room which she finds hysterical. When I can finally come back to the room, I’ll ask her what she’s been eating because damn, with all the food she leaves on the floor, one would think she has nothing to release that’s so stinky and awful. I also thought after the whole potty training experience, I wouldn’t have to deal with poop anymore but nope. She has to announce it every single time.

Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart and the smells and sounds will knock your ass out.

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Trying To Explain What A Ninja Is To My 5 Year-Old Is Harder Than I Thought… Even With Reenactments.


So, the title started out as a tweet and a status update on Facebook. But then I started thinking of all the times I need to explain what words mean to the hummingbird.

Needless to say, kids are expert question people. As they should be. But at the same time, I mostly feel like the dumbest person on the planet when I try to explain things to my daughter.

It’s exactly like assignments I would get every now and then while in school. With the teacher saying you need to write a paper explaining a specific topic as if nobody else in the room knew anything about it.

I would think “I’m so glad school won’t last forever so I don’t have to do these kind of things!”

Then I had a kid.

Why the hell isn’t this in What To Expect?!

Chapter 14: When Your Child Asks You A Question And You Don’t Know What The Fuck To Say.

Step 1: Tell them to go ask their father, neighbor, best friend, cat, wild raccoon in the backyard, etc.

Step 2: If that fails, offer them a cookie so you can divert their attention away from a question that will take days to explain, complete with charts, graphs, reenactments, more explaining, and several bottles of wine.

Get with it, baby book people!

Somehow, the word ninja came up in conversation and the hummingbird asked what that meant.

Uhhhh. Ummm. Well…

Ninja means someone is a… ummm, uhhh.

The way I tried to explain what a ninja was to my daughter caused her to have more questions and that’s when I pulled out some moves.

I started punching the air with my fists and doing high kicks.

I could only imagine how I looked.

There was another time recently when I gave my daughter some pirate’s booty for a snack. She said they seemed weird so I tasted one and told her they’re stale. I didn’t think anything of it.

She was quiet for a minute and then asked me what stale means. That led me to ramble on about what stale is and I even threw in how mostly crackers and bread can get stale but food in the freezer can go stale in a different way and get freezer burn.

That led to even more questions and it was the longest 15 minute car ride ever!

I don’t always know how to explain things to her and when I do, it leads to more questions and I’m sure I overload her with all kinds of information.

Then, there are those awkward times when you aren’t quite sure how to approach a matter with your child. It can be easy to forget their innocence.

As I kissed her goodnight and was about to leave my 5 year-old’s room, she asked me how a baby gets into a mom’s belly.

Uhhh. Ummm. Well…

I was taken by surprise and said when 2 people want a child, a baby grows in the mom’s tummy. She knew I was leaving something out and had a sly look on her face when she asked “So, a baby just crawls into a mom’s belly?”

I said yes. Mostly because it was late and wasn’t at all prepared to talk about sex. But that’s what ended up happening. A very strange and awkward conversation about how babies are made.

Something I thought, when the time came, I would explain in a clear manner but ended up sounding like Porky Pig.

She was still full of questions and that’s when I pulled the “Why don’t you wait and ask your dad those questions tomorrow.”

By the next day, it was forgotten so my husband escaped the topic but I’m sure when it comes up again, I’ll be the one she asks.

And then I will refer her to the wild raccoons that roam in our backyard at night. They would probably make more sense explaining these kinds of things to my kid anyway.

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A two minute break… it never fails.

railroad1Whenever I try to do anything, I can always trust that my 4 year-old daughter will be there to ask tons of questions. Most of the questions seem unrelated to me but I’m sure in her mind, it all makes sense.

It’s kind of like when the hummingbird carried a camera tripod 2 floors up, from the basement to the bedroom recently. We had no idea why she’d do that and it didn’t make any sense. But then I took a step back and looked at the tripod from her view.

After she talked about wanting to go camping, I realized she was using the camera tripod, in her pretend play, as a campfire.

I thought that was pretty clever of her.

Her: Mommy? MOMMY??

Me: In here!

Her: Mommy? What are you doing? Where’s my pink shirt with the stars? Hurry up, mommy… can you braid my hair? Where’s my brush? I can’t find a barrette.

MOMMY? Where did my brush go? Oh! I found my pink shirt. Mommy, I’m stuck! Help, Mommy, Help!

Me: Come here, then!

Her: *walks in with shirt stuck over head* I want to wear my pink shirt now.

Me: But you just changed 5 minutes ago.

Her: Please… just for a little bit. *brings up hand and puts 2 fingers a few inches a part*

Me: No, sweetie. Why don’t you save that for tomorrow.

Her: Please. Just a little bit?

Me *why does she have to be so damn cute?!* Okay, you can.

Her: Yay! Can you braid my hair now. No, I want a ponytail instead.

Me: Just give me a minute.

Her: But I REALLY need a ponytail now. Here’s my brush. Can I have two braids instead? I want to wear my purple barrette. I’m getting hungry. Can you get a snack for me mommy… please?

Me: Yes, just give me one minute.

Her: Okay… yay! Can I have goldfish? What’s tomorrow? When are we going to Target? What’s for dinner tonight? Do you know where my Cinderella dress is? I want to wear my purple headband. Have you seen it?

MOMMY…. I can’t find it. Where’s my purple headband?

Can we go bicycle? I want to ride across the railroad tracks. Can we, mom? Are Olivia and Jeremy home yet? I want to ride with Olivia. Can we go by their house?

Please help me put my Cinderella dress on.

Me: Okay, but put your shirt back on because the dress will be itchy.

Her: But I don’t want to wear that shirt anymore. It got a tiny bit of water on it. I’ll just wear my dress.

Me: I know you’ll need your shirt back on so let’s just do that before you put on the dress.

Her: I’ll be fine. *puts on dress* Thank you.

Mommy? Mom? My dress is itchy. Can you help me take it off?

I know. I’ll wear my shirt under it. Can we go now? Can I watch Peppa later? When is Saturday? Do I go to school tomorrow? Are you almost done?


Can I have some root beer? Just a little bit?


~the kind of conversation that usually takes place in the 2 minutes when I try to pee

*You’ve Changed

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Things that go THUNK in the dryer.


When the little hummingbird was younger, we had a video monitor for her. The monitor was portable and I carried that thing all around the house while she was napping because Oh My Gawd, what if something happened to her while she was napping and I missed it.

Aggghhh!!! I can’t miss it!!

One day she was actually napping hard, YAY, and I rushed around to throw some laundry into the washer. As I’m sure you know, kids LOVE to psych us out and once you actually have some free time, BOOM, they wake up.

Or they do something like fall asleep 10 minutes before nap time is over so you have to wake them up because they’ll never go to sleep at their normal bedtime and you’ll be up all night with a very hyper hummingbird.

I swear they do this on purpose.


I grabbed the laundry, threw the video monitor on top of the clothes in the basket, and raced downstairs.

Then I waited for the little bird to wake up.

Surprisingly she didn’t. Woo hoo!

I was actually able to have lunch and watch some trash t.v. while she was still napping.


I went to throw the laundry in the dryer and then went back upstairs to do a little writing.

I kept on hearing this THUNK, THUNK, THUNK and got up to look around but couldn’t find the source.

Thunk, THUNK!

What the fuck is that noise?!

I walked around upstairs again, trying to find out what the hell the noise was. Our cats were passed out on our bed for their 22 hour nap so they weren’t the cause of the noise.

So, I went downstairs to investigate further.



Then I followed it into the laundry room and heard it coming from the dryer.

I waited a minute and quickly opened up the dryer like I was going to catch whatever it was making that noise in the act.

Just clothes.

What the hell?

I turned on the dryer again and the thunking noise started.

I took all of the clothes out of the dryer, looked through the basket and nada. Just clothes.

The clothes went back in the dryer and the THUNK… THUNK started again.

Fuck it. I closed the laundry room door to muffle the noise.

By that time, the hummingbird was awake.

It wasn’t until later that night that I remembered I had laundry in the dryer so I put it on a short cycle to get out the wrinkles and the thunking started again.

Fine, be that way dryer.

I had another load of clothes in the washer so of course I took the thunking clothes that I had in the dryer, put it in the basket, and let it sit for a few hours.

My husband and I were getting ready for bed and he asked where the video monitor was.

Ummmm, I have no idea, I told him.

Then it came to me.

Oh fuck, I don’t remember taking the monitor out of the clothes basket before I put them in the washer.

I ran downstairs, grabbed the basket of clothes, and took it upstairs where I dumped the clothes all over the bed.

That’s one way to get me to fold the clothes.

That’s when I found the battered video monitor.


So THAT is what was making the THUNK noise.


I felt like such a dumbass, especially since the monitor wasn’t cheap.

My husband was still looking around the house for the monitor when I told him I found it… but your wife is a total dork.

He was optimistic and really thought the monitor would still work.


Because we were still relatively new parents, it sucked not being able to check on our daughter that night with the monitor but I got up a few hundred times to make sure she was okay.

The next day, we went out and got a new video monitor. And I never threw it on top of a basket of clothes while the hummingbird was napping and I was doing laundry.

Okay, yes, I still did it since I like living on the edge but I learned my lesson and never washed and dried another baby monitor again.

Now, I just wash rocks and the occasional remote control the hummingbird sneaks into the clothes basket.

*Hotel Yorba

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