Tuesday, September 18, 2012


My husband is just about perfect. He is kind, funny, thoughtful and motivated. He is not only an awesome spouse, but an excellent parent. He believes in fairness, forgiveness and simply doing what is right. He is just about perfect. But even Lord Perfection can become irritated with me. Hey, what can I say, its a gift. We get into these infinite altercations that USUALLY spawn from my tendency to put my foot in my mouth.  We try our hardest to find the source of the disagreement, but never quite come to a reasonable solution. The arguments just seem to get bigger and bigger and a place of peace seems so far out of reach.  It feels like we stall out. AHA! Holy analogy Batman! Your relationship is like a car. You do the basic things to keep it moving; filling the gas tank, making sure the tires are road ready, and you just GO! Day in and day out, you are able to pile your kids in and get from point A to point B when those basic needs are met. You are giving minimal effort. Then one day, the thing starts sputtering and clanking."CHECK ENGINE" light begins to blink.  NOW you instantly remember this thing has an engine. Yes, the engine. It is the most important part of the vehicle; its central nervous system. Without the engine, your car would  be a sports utility tin can. So, what is my point? We forget to care for the foundation of our families. Your union is what started this journey. Your teamwork is what keeps your family functioning. Why are we simply doing just enough to go through the motions? Why are we only going from point A to point B? The check engine light is not just a cool feature that came with your vehicle, its a warning. Its your cars way of letting you know, your engine could completely stop functioning. I honesty think the arguments are important. Our light is blinking. We cant come to an ending point because even with the sounds of the clanking and banging, we are STILL trying to find a quick fix to our problem. We're going to have to 'pop the hood' on this situation.

I am no one's mechanic, trust me, but since high school I have been the proud owner of some of the world's worst cars. I think I know a little something about diagnostics. (I am also not a psychologist, but I slept in PSYCH 101 in college.I have references that can vouch for that if need be. I'm sure I was snoring.) Let's ask ourselves some important questions:

1. When did the fighting begin?
How did all of this start? Is this something trivial? Can I offer an apology for being a butt head? Are they just  having a bad day? You've had a crying newborn, you know how this works.

For those of you who do not live in my mind, this simply means take time aside to talk/assess the situation in full. Do not walk away. Do not give up or give in. Remind one another that the goal is to come to a solution that you BOTH are HAPPY with.

3. Do you know what going on in each others lives?
Now, hold on. If "She drops the kids off for soccer practice on Thursdays"  was your answer. Slap yourself. Lord Perfection has a tendency to keep his "goings-on" to himself. He thinks he is being helpful. Its not, bud. Everyone needs to vent. EVERYONE. Even Super Moms and Dads. You cannot help but internalize your personal feelings when you are raising a family. Because, you know, kids take over your life. BUT this is why you have a partner. See that guy next to you struggling to close the stroller? Yea, him, he understands.  I'm sure he'd love to swap horror stories. I bet there is a jerk at his job too. Or perhaps she would just like to watch the game in her underwear also! Okay, don't count on that last one. Just talk will ya!

4. Are we doing the Tootsie Roll?
We are surrounded by children, CONSTANTLY. We have had to develop "code" words for any grown up conversations. This is a precautionary measure. (You hear your 3 year old call his little brother a douche bag and you quickly learn that little ears are bionic). With that being said, I refer to our intimate time as the "tootsie roll". Don't ask, just walk with me. Sex, is extremely important. Go on; admit you get cranky if you aren't doing it. You know what? You should be frustrated! Sex is a way to physically reconnect. You can FEEL how important you are to one another. It is the ultimate expression of affection between spouses.

5. Do we need recess?
Parents need a break. You are working the hardest job know to man, WITHOUT CLOCKING OUT. Now, before you contact your local Department of Labor, set aside some kid-free time. Even a few hours will make your jobs far less stressful. Again, adults are only tall children. You need to be having some fun! I bet its been a while since the two of you were the ones misbehaving in public. Skip dinner and a movie. Go to an amusement park; go dancing; jump into a mosh pit at a heavy metal concert! Be carefree... together. Who knows, you may even get lucky at the end of the night.

I must reiterate, I am not a psychologist. I am not an expert. I am only a spouse who understands how hard it is to maintain a relationship while raising children. You must remember your relationship is the most important component of your family. It is the engine that keeps your "car" running. When the light blinks, stop and solve the problem. Do not let a small issue become a big problem. You love one another. Keep your motor running.

See what I just did there...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekend Movies..eh.. Television: Stuff I Can Tolerate

This weekend is a holiday. Initially, I thought about doing a special vacation flick edition of Weekend Movies, but I cannot stand them. Seriously, they are the opposite of enjoyable. Since the boys will be home for the long weekend, I already know they will be in control of all entertainment. Luckily, there are a few programs that the kids enjoy, that won't make my brain melt. One might even say, I freaking love this stuff! With that being said, I present to you a list of programming I can tolerate.

Adventure Time! (Cartoon Network)

Since it's premiere in 2010, I have been a loyal fan (yes, fan) of this series. Adventure Time follows the well, adventures, of lead characters Finn the human and Jake the dog. These fun loving brothers (Finn is adopted of course) are called upon in times of need by Princess Bubblegum, leader of the magical land of Ooo and it's candy kingdom. Sounds dramatic doesn't it? When not kicking butt, and making up signature catch phrases( FLIP, WHAT THE ZIP?)  the dynamic duo spend there free time with the other eclectic citizens of Ooo. Marceline, the bass playing vampire queen, and the evil ( and uber creepy) Ice King round out the cast and create memorable episodes and lasting laughs.

Believe me when I say it is extremely difficult to explain in a small paragraph the magnitude of awesome that is this cartoon. Watch this clip, 'nuff said.

A.N.T. FARM ( Disney Channel)
Ok, I have to be honest. When kid # 1 started watching this show, I rolled my eyes so hard my head hurt for a week. "Oy, Disney kids." I said. I was bracing myself for loads of over-acting and questions about why these kids never seem to grow. Well, you can save your Miley Cyrus jokes, this show has an awesome team of writers. Yea, you heard me. Disney invested some of their glazillions of   blood money on a real writing team. A.N.T FARM skips the corny, teeny bopper formula and pays homage to classic ensemble sitcom humor reminiscent of Cheers or Frasier, while still remembering your kids are watching. Yes, I just said that.

[The New] Looney Tunes ( Cartoon Network)
Cartoon Network does it again. This time with a re-imagining of a classic cartoon. Looney Tunes are back, with a vengeance. Bugs and Daffy are 20 something bachelors. I know right? Daffy Duck is the cartoon version of  your slacker college roommate, Porky Pig is far too naive for his own good and Speedy Gonzales owns a pizzeria. If that doesn't spark your interest, I've got two words that would sell anyone on the next generation of these classic characters: KRISTEN WIIG. Yea, dude. The SNL alum lends her voice to Babs Bunny, Bug's self-proclaimed girlfriend. She is delightfully ditsy,charmingly creepy and steals every single scene she is in. She's like "Intro to Stalking" for the kiddies.

Gravity Falls ( Disney Channel)
Gravity Falls is Disney's creepy new series that follows the lives of Dipper and his embroidered sweater wearing twin sister Mabel who are shipped off to their Great Uncle (Grunkle) Stan's tourist attraction the"Mystery Shack" for the summer. When they discover the sleepy town is not what it appears to be, the twins set off to unlock Gravity Falls spooky secrets. If you don't want to watch that... I cant help you. You are officially dead inside.

Kid History (BoredShortstv-Youtube)

I just recently, happened upon one of these GENIUS videos. Created by the Roberts brothers, these viral vids could easily be the most hysterical gift the internet has ever given me. Here's the gist: The brothers' childhood stories are retold by kids, and then well, this happens...

and this....

My kids and I cannot get enough of these videos. It's become something fun we can all enjoy to together. I laugh until tears come to my eyes! These guys did it! They made me cool to my kids, at least that is what I tell myself.

Go on! Try it out, watch something (you'll enjoy too) as a family this weekend. If not for the bonding experience, then because you have no other choice. Its a three day weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and the Mommy

Disclaimer: As a parent, I pride myself in being a responsible, dignified, mature adult. I try my utmost to maintain a positive image in front of my children. With that being said, sometimes that shit doesn't work out, and you have to get out of your car on a b*@$h!...

8:40. Crap, I only had five freaking minutes to get the boys to school. "Oh well, we aren't gonna make it guys." I said as I looked into the rear view mirror.  Smiles stretched across their faces. This meant mom was going to stop for a breakfast; because being even later for school is the only remedy for tardiness. I slowed down, there was no need to rush. Apparently, my decision to drive the designated speed limit was not appreciated by the driver behind me. I looked back. It was an older woman, she did not look happy. I gathered that from the finger she decided to wave out of her car window. She started to inch closer to the back of my car. My blood was boiling, I do not enjoy a-holes trying to intimidate me, especially if my kittens are in the crossfire. I chose to ignore Little Miss Jackass. She started leaning on her horn. I checked my surroundings: 45 mph, and the lane next to mine was empty. Why doesn't this bitch just go around? " Mom, is that lady honking at you?" my oldest son asked, his voice was different. Is he scared? My blood was thick, there was bolognese coursing through my veins. After what felt like hours of honking, she finally decided to go around. " Learn to drive you stupid f-ing b*tch!" GASP. I looked at the boys, their eyes were as big as saucers. Now, I honestly don't remember what exactly I was thinking when I followed her into the grocery store parking lot, but I knew her and I were gonna have a little talk. She parked her burgundy Tercel in front of an empty spot. "Boys, put your windows up!" they scurried to obey ( for the first time ever). I could tell immediately she was startled, but she pulled herself together and began walking towards the doors. " Uh uh, come back here." I was determined to treat her like a disobedient child. She poked her chest out and responded with a half -hearted "Yea". I looked her up and down. If this got ugly, I could take her. I observed her physical appearance; just in case we were gonna begin to throw around insults.She could only be described as frumpy. She wore a corduroy, ankle length skirt (in the summertime no less) with a patchwork vest ADORNED with crotched puppies. " Ok," I began, "You're a mother I assume?" she nodded, chest puffed more than before. I rolled my eyes at her display of 'bravery'." You yelled a number of curse words on your way around my car, and I have three little boys...." she cut me off, only to spat more obscenitites in my direction. I squinted at her in disbelief. I swear to you, I have no clue what she said. I can only remember counting the amount of times I heard the "B" word. TWELVE TIMES. For some reason that was all the "B" a "B" could take. " Shut the hell up and listen to me." I was done waisting time, my stomach was growling, and Burger King only serves hot Croissanwiches for so long. " One: You need to pull your  life together. You look a damn mess. So what you have kids. Stop walking out of the house with seasonally inappropriate, ill-fitting, school marm ensembles. You are representing your family when you leave the house. B: You are obviously late for work. Leave your freaking house earlier. Apparently, you cut corners with your outfit, you should have ample time to make it to the office this morning. You said you were a mother, that is why I figured I could reason with you. You need to do something for yourself. Thats why your acting like a jerk to random people on the road. Go in this store, buy some hair dye and an outfit that doesn't look like a billboard for an animal clinic. You are a woman, act like it. This is a small town, I'm sure I will see you again. So be sure to follow my instructions or the next time we meet, I'm gonna kick your butt for scaring my kids and waisting my good advice." I walked away. I felt like Rambo. All I needed was the CSI: Miami theme music to play. " Are you gonna fight?" Kid # 2 asked while punching his palm. "No need for fighting baby. Mom wouldn't do that." he looked at me in disbelief. " Then why did you tell her next time you were gonna beat her you - know -what if she didn't dye her hair?"

The boys listened to me stammer as I attempted to explain my Red Sonja moment. I couldnt think of the age appropriate thing to say. How do I tell my kids to always maintain composure if I couldnt? How do I raise well behaved kids if I couldnt control my own behavior? Kid # 1 interrupted me, he looked annoyed with my failed attempts to B.S. them. " If someone cursed at you I would stand up to them." he patted me on the back. " Your not a bad lady, she was being mean." I nodded. I'm not perfect ( not yet at least). But, I will guard my kids from assholes.  "Do you think I'm cool?" I asked my son as I checked him into school. He turned to walk towards his class. " Dont push it." he replied.

Update: I do in fact, live in a small town. I did, in fact, see Little Miss Jackass again. She looked great. Her hair was bouncy and shiny. Her clothing was tailored and pressed. I waved at her.I was glad she heeded my advice. I waved harder and pointed at myself. She flicked me off. " I'm like Jesus" I thought to myself.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Weekend Movies: "Whoopsie Babies"

It's Friday night! TGIF? I'm not always sure about that, school is out. But once the rug rats FINALLY smash their tired little faces against their pillows, why not unwind with some cinematic therapy ( I'm not a doctor so I'm not sure if that's a real term, let alone an actual cure for frustration.). This weekend, I chose to offer you some of my favorite "Whoopsie Baby" films. "What is a whoopsie baby?" you ask."It wasn't self explanatory?", I reply.  Oh, I kid. A whoopsie baby is conceived by complete accident. Get it, now? WHOOPS. Well, as the mother of a whoopsie baby, I am an expert on the subject, at least that's what I decided while compiling this list. A [unplanned] baby changes everything.

Juno (2007) PG-13

Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jason Bateman,  and Jennifer Garner

Ahh, nothing like a good hipster, teen pregnancy movie to close your week. Written by Diablo Cody, Juno is the tale of the uber sarcastic title character and her sincere, albeit offbeat, quest to find the perfect home for her unborn child. Hilarity ensues, Michael Cera is, well, Michael Cera, and I guarantee when its over you'll be googling "Hamburger Phones".

For Keeps (1988) PG-13
Starring : MOLLY RINGWALD! Randill Batinkoff

"We're gonna be just like Darcy and Stan!" thought every 18 year old mom. Well, I cant promise that, but I can say this is one of Ringwald's best. She plays Darcy, a smart high school senior who after one night with her sweetheart, ends up pregnant.On the surface this is just a movie about unplanned pregnancy.It is a sweet little film with big messages. Abortion, marriage, post-partum depression; yea, Molly takes it there. With sugar-sweet red headed cuteness of course!

Riding In Cars With Boys (2001) PG-13

Starring: Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn, James Woods

Remember when I said in my head I'm Beyonce? Well, in reality I'm Beverly Donofrio. Played by Barrymore, Beverly is a 15 year old spit fire with dreams of becoming a big time writer until she is impregnated by an idiot. Sounds AWFUL but trust me, this one is a gem. Full of heart and the perfect dose of reality, Riding in Cars With Boys can only be described as lovely.

Saved!(2004) PG-13

        Starring: Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin

   I'm already chuckling to myself . Okay, here's the rough and dirty on this one. Jena Malone is a teen who while allowing her gay boyfriend to 'figure out' if he was, well, GAY becomes pregnant with his child. Oh,and did I mention they attend a Christianity based high school?  Mandy Moore's performance as a Jesus-loving version of any school's resident bitch rounds out the stellar cast of this satirical comedy. It's good, not so clean fun.

Knocked Up (2007) R

 Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl

Dear Judd Apatow,
You managed to make a Katherine Heigl movie that doesn't make me want to barf. I thought I should include a "whoopsie" not of  the teenage variety. For the three people (Yes, you too grandma) who haven't seen this movie, it's the classic story of (stoner) boy meets his total opposite and subsequently, does what the title says. It's an enjoyable movie for both moms and dads. And  heads up for those who are squeemish, two words: VAGINAL BIRTH. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

There you have it! I hope you get at least a few free hours this weekend to enjoy a damn movie!

The First Rule of Baby Fight Club

I've never done a Bugs Bunny -esque spit take. That was until I read this week  a Delaware daycare center was encouraging small children to fight one another. " Baby Fight Club", I whispered. Now, my SECOND thought was this story is awful. No child should have to cage fight another toddler! But my first thought: My kids would kick butt. I'm sure I am not the only parent who is convinced this is nothing short of genius. I mean, come on, can you imagine the cool wrestling nicknames? Think about it, names like " The Nipple Chewer" or "Episiotomy"! Holy mother of sippy cups!Oh man, I can see it now:

Announcer : " ... And in this corner, the King of Colic, the Conqueror of Jaundice... Eeeeeepiiiiiisiotomyyyyyy"!"

Just the thought gets me all excited. But please don't try this at home. I'm gonna make a wild guess that none of you are Mickey Goldmill, so your kid wont be properly trained, and a body slam would be inevitable.

 I'm almost certain child welfare laws in at least 49 states (I'm pretty sure anything goes in Alabama) wouldn't support your new-found family activity . So, before you start signing up the neighborhood kids for backyard brawls, remember two things: jail time will follow and MY KIDS WOULD DOMINATE.

The Birth Of Scootsie Mcknickey

I haven't been called by my first name in six years. I have grown accustomed to being referred to as (Insert Kid's Name)'s Mom. The first time my kid called me "Mommy" a ray of fluorescent light flew from my uterus; I was elated! That joyous feeling was short lived. Kid #1 and his two younger brothers eventually took all the luster out of my new title. "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!" I just shuttered typing that. Unfortunately, once the boys began school my real name was no longer of any use to me. Other small children, their parents, and even teachers decided they should call me "mom" too. You've got to be kidding me. To no avail, I tried multiple times to correct this injustice. "We're grown ups, you can just call me...", but alas, no one cared. I can actually recall attending a PTA meeting, or as I refer to them DAWN OF THE DEAD, and having  a teacher shake her head in disagreement " No no no, you're mom forever now." Holy crap. This cannot be real. I pretty sure I was still myself. I pulled out two forms of ID from my wallet to be sure. According to my social security card, I was still the same girl. Why didn't it feel that way? I've attended my fair share of school events, holiday plays, and one too many Spider-man themed birthday parties, and I always observe the other parents. YOU GUYS LOOK LIKE CRAP. Don't take offense comrades, I have slipped into the pool of "Did I shower today?", we are in this together. Wake up! You still exist. If we were being completely honest, we could admit that we are still children ourselves! Most of you can barely work a toaster, let alone have the ninja capability to strap a car seat into a two door compact. Face it, your just a taller (hopefully) version of your five year old self. Its okay to own up to your desire to enjoy your life. Yes, you are performing the hardest job known to man, so shouldn't you be able to enjoy it? Parental guilt 'tis not a myth my friends. It is a real, living, breathing monster telling you how awful you are for wanting a turn on the swing set! You were a person with hopes and dreams, hobbies and interest before you became a DNA donor. You cannot deny those things about yourself. I'll help you out. In my mind, I'm Beyonce. Not literally, I'm just a super sexy celebrity whose boobs are in their proper place and can dance her tail off. Don't judge me, I'm raising three boys under the age of eight, I was bound to loose my mind. One day, while watching Beyonce give an interview, she explained how she "transforms" into another person when she performs, eliminating all stage fright and giving her super human powers to "kill it" in front of millions of people. She named this person, Sasha Fierce. "Awesome" I said, mouth full of Pop Tart. Why did I have to deny the fun, lively upbeat chick that was slowly being smothered by the disheveled shell I had become?  Okay, so no one would ever use my real name again. Who cares, I was bigger than a first name. I had pushed three people out of my ladybits, and still had the gumption to pursue the things in life I desired. And since I am too much of a chicken, and far to exhausted to do anything in my human form I have made my own supermom, writer, funny, and all around hot son of a goat.Thus, Scootsie McKnickey was born. We are, in fact, responsible for little people. Little, cute, messy, loud people who can easily be used as an excuse for dancing in public places, eating chicken tenders, and watching cartoons. Lets decide together we are going to enjoy this journey, and find fun creative ways to have a good time WITH and (please dear God) WITHOUT our children. Admit it, we are nothing more than kids with children.