Out With the New, In With the Old

While there are countless reasons that I am lucky to be a mother of twins – or maybe they are perfectly countable but I just don’t wish to count that high – there is one reason in particular that has spared me a huge amount of stress and kept me from crying in a dark closet drinking wine out of a sippy cup as Kyle bangs on the door and yells at me to come out. I’m usually outta that closet way before he even notices I’m gone, usually with a pretty good buzz.

Just like so many other expecting couples, we were determined to be the best possible parents we could be. When we learned that there were two of them, were we terrified? Fuck yeah! Were we still going to rock the shit out of child-rearing? You bet your sweet ass! Bring it on, babies! We’re about to parent the shit outta you. Times two!

Except we were both in our early twenties and the pregnancy was completely unplanned. We had just gotten accustomed to the idea that we were going to have one baby – what the fuck were we supposed to do with two?

We learned, and quickly, that you do the same thing with two babies as you do with one: you love the hell out of him and hope to hell you don’t fuck him up too much.

As for the rest?

DiaperGenies, a baby wipe warmer, an $800 Eddie Bauer stroller that absorbs any type of shock and can deflect UV rays and cruise missiles…these are great to receive at a baby shower but are otherwise unnecessary. If you can’t afford it, you don’t need it. And if you think you can afford it, you’re either wealthy or delusional. Whichever it is, you should put that money in a goddamn college fund instead.

Your infant does not need clothes from the Gap. He is shitting in them. Like, right now, he is probably just taking a big old stinky shit all up in those ridiculous khaki cargo shorts. And since you dropped so much cash making sure your kid looks like a miniaturized douchebag, you probably had to buy the cheap-ass diapers made from wax paper wound around recycled tampons and held together by Scotch tape – which means there is poop oozing onto his $35 onesie. Idiot.

The kid is going to hurt himself. There is literally nothing you can do about it unless you’re going to wrap him up in bubble paper, and I’m pretty sure that’s child abuse. There’s no need for everything in your house to be made of soft rubber or for you to put a helmet on him while he’s in the tub. The fuck is wrong with you?

For some parents, it usually takes either a couple years or a second kid for them to finally say, “FUCK IT! WHY ARE WE DOING THIS TO OURSELVES?!”

But hey, New Mom and Dad, if you really think your way is so much better, here’s an idea of what most of you sound like now and what you’ll probably sound like once you get some sense about you.

NEW PARENT: Ooo look at this toy! It reads stories and sings the alphabet and teaches them colors!

PRO PARENT: The next person to buy my kid a toy that makes noise is getting punched right in the fucking face.

 

NEW PARENT: Where’s that other pink sock with the ruffles? No, not that one, that one has duckies on it. Do you have the purple polka dotted socks? Wait, these aren’t polka-dots, these are Easter eggs. Of course it matters; I can’t have everyone at the gas station thinking she’s a hobo!

PRO PARENT: Here are your socks. Matching is not a concern because ALL of your socks are white, and if they are not of the same style, cut, length, or size, I genuinely don’t give a shit because most people have better things to do than scrutinize the socks of a child grocery shopping with their mother. As for the ones that don’t have anything better to do, they can fuck off and die.

 

NEW PARENT: She just does not want to nap today! Okay, first let’s try her little vibrating chair, then the rocking chair, then walking around with her and patting her back, and if none of that works, usually driving around the block a couple times in her carseat does the trick, but she always wakes up when we try to move her back to her crib!

OLD PARENT: Hey, you know what always works? Driving her around the block a few times. What do you mean how are we gonna move her once we get home? We’re gonna bring her inside in the carseat and fucking leave her in the carseat. The fuck would we move her for?

 

NEW PARENT: Just be careful feeding her. I’ve already had to change her cute little outfit three times today! Who knew something so small could make such a big mess?

PRO PARENT: What’s that? You spilled an entire jar of mashed beets on her shirt? Luckily I have baby wipes strategically placed all over the house, such as in the cabinet behind you. You wipe that up while I grab one of the 50 thrift store onesies I bought specifically to feed her and keep separate from the brand new onesies, which she wears when the risk of getting dirty has decreased significantly. Oh, the 9 month onesies are a bit small now? That’s okay; I bought all of her clothing up to age two and diapers up to 18 months. We’re good.

 

NEW PARENT: K, so, this box is for bath toys, this one is for pool toys. Then we have a box for stuffed animals and one for stuffed dolls, okay, that’s really important so we can teach him the difference between animals and people. Now, all of the animal toys are further sub-categorized by species, and then the people are separated in to groups of kids and adults. Then we have the craft box, the rainy day box, the every other Tuesday box…

PRO PARENT: Here is a box. Put your shit in it. If you appear to be accumulating too much shit or are not taking good care of your shit, I will get rid of your shit. Because technically, since I bought it, it is not your shit, it is my shit, and I’m being nice enough to loan it to you.

 

NEW PARENT: Of course we don’t let him watch television! I learned Spanish just so I can teach him the same things Dora does because it is solely my responsibility to teach my child. Besides, prolonged exposure to television could lead to seizures and pregnancy and drug use and a poor credit rating!

PRO PARENT: Okay kid, you have literally run  me ragged since 8AM. Mama needs a break. You can either take a nap or watch Bubble Guppies – it makes no difference to me, as long as you’re quiet for half an hour, comprende?

 

NEW PARENT: Did you just let her try that cake batter? THERE ARE RAW EGGS IN THERE; SHE COULD DIE! Or what if she’s allergic to chocolate? And oh my God, chocolate?! Why didn’t you just stick a funnel down her throat and pour in some bacon grease and cotton candy? Now I have to call her pediatrician so I can make sure she doesn’t get fat, develop hives, or die.

PRO PARENT: Here’s a beater for you, and one for you. So help me God, child, if you lay so much as a finger on this mixing bowl of chocolatey deliciousness, you will need a surgical team to remove my foot from your ass.

 

NEW PARENT: Oh my gosh, the ladies on this parenting forum are so sweet and so helpful!

PRO PARENT: Yup. One year later and you’re all still a bunch of backbiting bitches. I knew retrieving my password was a waste of time.

 

NEW PARENT: I know I should be using his naptime to take a nap of my own, but this house is such a mess! If I don’t clean it now, I’ll never get it done!

PRO PARENT: Take five minutes to tidy up quickly before I take my own nap, or spend the entirety of his naptime exhausting myself even further by cleaning a house I will just have to clean again after he’s been awake for an hour? Wait, am I actually asking myself this question? I just wasted 45 seconds of perfectly good nap time! Go, woman, go!

 

NEW PARENT: We need to find more friends that have kids, too. We can have playdates, and other parents are so much more understanding! And I just love all kids so much!

PRO PARENT: That’s the third goddamn birthday party I’ve been to this week. Who’s fucking kid was that anyway? What a little asshole. Do we even know them? You know what, I don’t care. My mom’s watching the kids tonight so I’m gonna call my slutty, single friend from college and you can be damn sure the only juice I drink tonight will have vodka in it.

 

NEW PARENT: Sweetheart, please, I’m begging you, just put on the dress for mommy, we’re running so late and I just want you to look cute. Yes, yes, I know you want to wear your Halloween costume, but it’s from last year so it’ll be too short, and then you’ll have to wear something underneath and that would look silly. Honey, please.

PRO PARENT: Why yes, I did notice that she’s wearing a ballerina tutu and a pajama shirt underneath her dress and yes, those are indeed two binder clips holding her hair back – she even decorated them with My Little Pony stickers. But, you know, since this is a goddamned playground at a city park instead and not a black tie affair at the Waldorf, I didn’t think there’d be a dress code. By the way, if that horrible smell is associated with the crying child running toward you as he yells mommy, then I’m pretty sure he just crapped in his tiny little designer jeans. I’ll just leave you to it.

 

NEW PARENT: Here’s the diaper bag checklist; make sure you go through it twice so we know we haven’t forgotten anything. Yes, I know it’s three pages long but she’s going to be at the babysitter’s for two hours, who knows what she might need? That’s why we have two diaper bags, silly!

PRO PARENT: K, this Wal-mart bag has clothes, this one has toys, and this one he packed himself so who the hell knows what’s in it. I’m sure I forgot something that will prove to be of vital importance at some point in the next 24-hours, so here’s fifty bucks. You can use it to replace whatever it is, or to bribe him. Dealer’s choice.

 

NEW PARENT: We got these pictures taken the day she smiled for the very first time, and this one here we had done on her six month birthday, and next to that we just thought it’d be fun if we all dressed up like rubber duckies and had our pictures done. Then these are the ones they took at the hospital the day she was born, here’s her first day of preschool; you wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find a photographer who’d come out at 6AM…

PRO PARENT: Of course I have pictures of her. They’re on my phone. Oh, that? No, that’s not a picture of my daughter, that came with the frame. Eventually we’ll put a picture of her in it, we’re just waiting for a school picture that doesn’t make her look like she’s got a mullet and a lazy eye.

 

NEW PARENT: This is going to be such a great date night! Dinner and a movie and a walk by the river under the moonlight. I’m just going to miss my baby sooo much! I almost feel guilty, having all this fun without him!

PRO PARENT:  All right, your mom just pulled out of the driveway. We’ve got two hours to nap, have sex, or both. Hey! Hey, are you already asleep? Oh thank god, cuz I’ve really only got enough in me for a nap.

 

NEW PARENT: Here you go: heart shaped pancakes, strawberry flowers with fresh whipped cream, and look – I cut up your egg so it looks like a sunshine with a happy face I made out of grated cheese! I’ve been up since five!

PRO PARENT: Cereal. Just be glad I remembered milk.

 

NEW PARENT: No, honey, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to try salsa. It’s spicy and you’re only four and you could get an upset tummy or develop acid reflux.

PRO PARENT: You wanna try salsa? All right. Here’s a tiny bit on a chip and here’s a glass of water. This should be hilarious.

 

NEW PARENT: Awww, look at that, you got a gold ribbon for getting a C in math! Let’s put that on your shelf of participation trophies you got from t-ball.

PRO PARENT: You know what the team who loses the Super Bowl gets? Nothing. You know what a kid in this house gets for being average? Apparently, he gets a goddamned gold ribbon from his school. He also gets to spend an hour a day after his homework is done going over flashcards with his mommy until I’m convinced he’s trying as hard as he can and not as hard as he’s required to.

 

NEW PARENT: Don’t run so fast on the gravel honey, you could fall! And only go down the short slide, okay? No, no, no monkey bars! Don’t jump up on that! Don’t jump off of it either! Sweetie, if you keep running in a circle you’re going to get dizzy and fall down! Oh my gosh, okay, honey, instead of playing outside on this beautiful spring day with other children, why don’t we go to the library and listen to a frizzy-haired hippie named Moonbeam play a guitar as she reads Clifford the Big Red Dog?

PRO PARENT: Yes. Yes, that’s it children. Run. Run aaaall that energy out of you, for tonight, I shall make bedtime my bitch.

 

NEW PARENT: Okay sweetie, we’re going in the store now and if you promise to be super good for me, I’ll let you pick out a brand new toy which you will love for no more than 24 hours before tossing it aside so you can bang on my tupperware with your shoe. And if you don’t behave, I’ll scold you in a calm voice which you will not be able to hear over the sound of your tantrum, but at least I will reduce the chance of being harshly judged by strangers who are of no importance to me.

OLD PARENT: We are not here for you, we are here for me. Do not ask me for shit. You will behave because I raised you to be a civilized human being, and if you choose not to behave, be advised that I will not hesitate for a moment to discipline you as I see fit in front of perfect strangers, and that the only person who will walk away from the situation feeling embarrassed will be you.

 

NEW PARENT: So Tuesday after work I have that PTA meeting and then I have to come right home to make cupcakes for a classmate’s birthday on Wednesday. Oh, and on Thursday I have to go up and talk to his teacher about that detention he got; it’s just so unlike him to act up at all so I’d like to hear directly from her what happened, plus I already try to touch base with her at least once a week. And pretty much all of Saturday I’ll be setting up the fundraiser for the zoo field trip, which I signed up to chaperone. Gotta run, my turn to carpool for soccer!

PRO PARENT: Dear Teacher,

I don’t know what possessed my kid to volunteer me to bake cupcakes for 30 frickin’ people by tomorrow, but that is clearly not going to happen. I’m sure this bag of Twizzlers will be an adequate substitute.If it isn’t, it looks like a certain lucky teacher just scored some free Twizzlers.

Enclosed is a check for $50 for the zoo trip; I realize the cost is only $20, but I’m hoping the additional $30 will be enough to get your events coordinator to stop asking me to join the FUNky FUNraising Committee, a name that is almost as stupid as the question “Would you like to wander around a smelly zoo for 6 hours making sure that children you aren’t legally responsible for aren’t eaten by a tiger?” She knows it’s spelled funDraising, right?

Also, I understand that during yesterday’s recess my son sat on a little girl’s face then farted in her mouth and was given detention. Upon receiving notice of that detention, his father and I agreed he should be punished at home as well. My husband made sure to ingest large amounts of frozen burritos and boiled eggs that evening and, under the pretense of tucking my son in to bed, I instead pinned his body from the neck down beneath the covers while his father released the most noxious gas I have ever smelled mere inches from our son’s face. Although I can’t be sure if the tears in my son’s eyes were a direct cause of the smell, his embarrassment over being punished, or a combination of both, I feel confident that he has learned his lesson.

In the unlikely event that my child should do such a thing again, please advise the little girl that tickling his underarms will not only paralyze him with laughter and enable her to get free, but that laughter will probably be higher and more girlish than her own.

In conclusion, the only time I am okay with having my car full of people who won’t stop screaming or annoying me is when those people are totally trashed and their lives depend on it. Otherwise, I must respectfully say ‘fuuuuck that.’

***NOTE*** If you are in fact a seasoned parent and stumble across something that you still do which I have categorized as the behavior of a new parent, just laugh it off rather than get offended and be proud of yourself for being able to keep a toy box organized for that long, or to juggle your work and personal life while being super involved in your kid’s school, or still having the patience to keep track of a hundred cute little outfits as well as the skill to get your kid to wear them. When it comes time to pick our battles, we all have a different perspective when it comes to saying which ones are hard and which ones are easy. The point, really, is that when we start out as parents we make EVERY battle hard, even when it doesn’t have to be. Some of them get easier as we gain the experience, and some of them go away entirely because we choose to save our energy to fight the ones that matter. In the end, none of us will be perfect parents…but as long as our children think we’re the BEST parents, then who really gives a shit about perfect?

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The Most Epic Parenting Win

Every once in a while, when my natural inclination toward cynicism and general snarkiness begins to dominate my overall view of the world, I must force myself to remember that not all people are vapid douchebags in dire need of a hearty shin-kick.

To do this, I would simply call to mind my friends, my family, and the things that I liked. But I witnessed a scene a few years ago, when my soon-to-be preschoolers were still chubby, drooling, adorable poop machines, a scene so incredibly wonderful that replaying it in my head is all I need to hit the reset button on my shitty perspective.

It was at a Target. As I entered, a child with Down’s Syndrome was standing in line with his parents as they loaded their bags in to the cart. To my left was a woman, very clearly upper class, pretty, well-dressed, perfect hair and makeup – the type one would be likely to label as a snob. She had her own child with her, a girl of perhaps three or four, an age where it is common to point and to ask blunt questions out of sheer curiosity rather than meanness.

The girl pointed at the boy with Down’s Syndrome and said, “Mommy, what’s the matter with that boy?”

The mother glanced over to where her daughter was pointing, and I full expected her to get embarrassed, or ignore the question, or scold the little girl.

Instead, she turned back around, smiled at her daughter, and placed a hand under her chin so that she was looking her mother directly in the eye. Then, in a voice that was both kind and firm, she gave her the only answer that should ever be given.

“Nothing, baby. Absolutely nothing.”

That woman, in that moment, was precisely the type of parent we should all strive to be. If we all spent less time explaining WHY people are different and HOW people are different, it is far more likely our children will see people as people, and that whatever it is that is different about them…will make no difference at all.

Determining if You Have Small Children: A Handy Checklist

Because sometimes, we can’t be sure if we produced offspring, or if it’s all just been a weird, fucked up dream.

1. Have you ever shared your bed with a person who is small in stature, is difficult to understand, and is NOT an Italian from New Jersey?

1b. If you answered YES to Question 1, did you roll over in the middle of the night and find yourself in a puddle of urine that was not your own?

2. Have you ever inexplicably found any of the following in your purse/pockets/briefcase: a Happy Meal toy, a partially eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich, any small item you thought you had lost several months ago, a pair of tiny underpants featuring cartoon characters, boogers you are certain did not come from you, or a crayon drawing?

2b. If you have found a pair of tiny underpants, did you instinctively sniff them to determine if they smelled like pee before deciding what to do with them?

2c. If you have found a crayon drawing, did you instinctively hang it on the refrigerator or at your desk at work even if you didn’t know what the fuck it was supposed to be a picture of?

3. When you use the bathroom at home, do you find that although you are overcome with joy at the chance to experience consecutive seconds of silence you are simultaneously on edge because you anticipate that the door will be unceremoniously thrown open at any moment?

4. When someone begins a sentence with the word “why”, do you reflexively cringe?

5. Have you ever used any of the following words in your every day conversation with adults: potty, tushy, blankie, binkie, pee-pee, or poopie?

6. If you are a woman: did you have unprotected sex with a male at one time, and later find yourself getting fatter and crankier over the course of the next nine months?

6b. If you are a man: did you have unprotected sex with a female at one time, and later find yourself quaking with fear in the presence of that same female, who has become a larger, crankier version of herself?

7. Is your house regularly occupied by one or more small, loud creatures who, despite their tendency to move and speak drunkenly and their inability to comprehend time or basic instructions, are deceptively manipulative and cunning?

8. Do you routinely find stains on your clothing caused by food you have not personally ingested?

9. When you see someone with a smudge of dirt or food on their face, are you compelled to lick your thumb and wipe it off?

9b. Are you fairly certain that your spit could be bottled and used as an effective household cleaner?

10. Do you regularly watch Nickelodeon or Nick Jr. for your own personal entertainment? (Nick-at-Nite doesn’t count.)

10b. If you answered YES to Question 10, please put the bong down, turn off Spongebob, and ask yourself what the fuck you’re doing with your life. If you answered NO, please proceed to 10c.

10c. Can you name 10 or more shows currently airing on Nickelodeon?

10d. Can you recite most of the morning lineup for Nick Jr.?

11. When your house is completely silent, is your default reaction to become suspicious?

12. In the last week, has there been a day in which ALL of the following happened and you were NOT on vacation: you woke up after eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, ate all three meals in an enjoyable way (i.e., sitting down), you were not late to anything, and none of your phone conversations were interrupted or required you to place a hand over your ear so as to hear the other person?

13. Do you currently own or display at least one handmade item or piece of art whose function or subject matter you cannot actually identify?

13b. If you celebrate any type of holiday, do you own any ornaments that you hang up each year due to a combination of sentimentality and the guilt you feel about

14. Over the past six years, has your tolerance for coming in to contact with vomit, urine, poo, boogers, snot, or spit increased exponentially?

15. When you refer to yourself in the third person, do you usually use the title Mommy or Daddy rather than your given name?

15b. If you answered YES to Question 15, when referring to yourself as Mommy/Daddy, are you doing so in a completely non-sexy way?

How to Be Happy and In Love…AT THE SAME TIME!

1. Kiss passionately at least once a day. Not a peck on the cheek or a quick smooch – I mean kiss like you’re teenagers for a good 5-10 seconds every day. If you can’t find the time in your day to do this, your priorities are fucked up.

2. Have sex as often as humanly possible. For some people, that’s once a week, for others it’s five days a week. If it’s quick and nothing to brag about, who cares? It’s sex, it’s a great stress reliever, and it’s important to make time for it. What good is having a “date night” if the two of you aren’t fucking each other? Next time you get a sitter, skip spending money on dinner and a movie, get a hotel, and make dirty monkey love.

3. Play games. Cards, a board game, video games, Hangman, I don’t give a shit. Games are fun, and a perfect excuse for wagering favors (i.e. if I win you cook me dinner; if you win, I’ll go to that movie you want to see that I think looks stupid).

4. Stop thinking you have nothing to talk about. That shit confuses the hell out of me. Maybe you’ve told each other all of your stories and secrets, but you live in the age of information. Talk about current events, read the paper together, discuss advancements in technology. Each of you could pick a subject you’d like to learn more about, learn about it, and then share your knowledge with your partner. “We ran out of things to talk about” is just code for “We are both boring people and didn’t feel like putting in the effort.”

5. Eat together. There is no reason you can’t sit down and share a meal with each other other than when you’re at a restaurant. This is particularly important if you both work all day and are only able to have dinner with each other. Turn the fucking TV off, put down your goddamn iPhone, look each other in the eyes, and talk.

6. Pick your battles. Show me a couple that says they never argue and I’ll show you a couple that needs to work on their communication; show me a couple that says they argue all the time, and I’ll show you a couple that wastes too much time bickering about inconsequential things. There’s no need for the question, “What do you want to do for dinner?” to develop in to a three hour bitch fest that ends with the two of you bringing up shit that happened three years ago. Let’s say you want Chinese. Your partner wants Mexican. Do you hate Mexican food? Do they hate Chinese? No? Then flip a fucking coin and let fate make the decision for you. All that should matter is that you’re spending time with the person you love – and chances are, you’re going to remember the conversation you had and the laughs you shared, not the food you ate.

7. Mix it up. Kyle and I got stuck in a bit of a rut as far as our kid-free time was concerned, and it was much too early in our relationship to find ourselves going through the motions. Dinner at the same restaurant, followed by a movie, then home. Now, we still go to movies and out to dinner, but that’s become our fallback date. Try going to a museum, the theater, a comedy club. Pack a picnic lunch and take a scenic drive in the country or hold hands and enjoy a stroll through an older neighborhood with big, beautiful Victorian houses. Babysitter cancelled, or you can’t find one? So what? Put the kids to bed and play their board games – Candyland, Sorry, Battleship. Pop open a bottle of wine, put on a cheesy Chuck Norris movie, and have your own version of Mystery Science Theater. Ask him to show you how to play one of his favorite video games; offer to show him the best way to cook a steak. And if you do find yourselves doing the old standby of dinner and a movie, don’t sit where a TV is visible, put your phones in the middle of the table, and make out like horny teenagers during the movie’s boring parts or opening credits.

8. Coupon books – the cheapest way to say I love you. Remember making these things for your mom? Hell, maybe you even made or received one in the early days of your relationship. Well…BRING IT BACK! And when you make one, try to pinpoint the things that you know they’ll appreciate the most. Personally, I loathe touching dirty dishes; it doesn’t matter if they’ve been in the sink a minute or an hour, I am seriously repulsed by food that is wet and partially eaten. As a writer, I require silence and no interruptions to remain in my “zone”, and with 4-year-0ld twins, such things are rare in my life. I love when my car is spotless and tidy inside and out and getting to spend one-on-one quality time with my mom. Kyle knows all of these things about me, and thus would present me with a coupon book that would include vouchers for not having to do dishes, two hours at a coffee shop alone to write, a free car cleaning, and an afternoon with my mom. His would mostly include blow jobs and back massages. Boys are so easy.

9. Cuddle. I sleep on my stomach, facing to the right. Kyle sleeps in whatever position he happens to land in. Nonetheless, when we go to bed at the same time we spend a few minutes in each others’ arms before rolling in to our respective positions and going to sleep. Okay, well, actually, due to the fact that he works 8-12 hours a day moving furniture, he conks out pretty quickly. And since he wraps one arm and one leg around me, I typically must wriggle out from under him – no easy feat, given his abundance of height and muscle and my utter lack of both. Anyway, the point is – cuddle! Snuggle! Ladies, when you’re watching TV together, lay your head on his lap. Gentlemen, stroke her hair. Put your arm around her shoulders, hold his hand in public. You’re together. Be together.

10. Write each other notes. No one’s saying you need to write a sonnet or a five page love letter. A simple Post-It on the bathroom mirror with those three little words, a text that says you’ll miss them while they’re at work, or a folded up piece of paper tucked away in their work pants detailing the naughty things you want to do to them when they get home. Kyle is a fan of opening up Notepad, writing a paragraph full of sweetness, and leaving it up on the desktop for me to find when I hop on the laptop. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it’ll make them smile – what’s stopping you?

11. Keep the memories. Kyle and I met online almost six years ago. We exchanged several emails before meeting…and Kyle has saved every one of them. Until I lost the wallet it was kept in, I held on to the ticket stub from the first movie we saw together. He is reluctant to throw away anything I’ve ever given him, regardless of whether or not it’s broken. A few months ago, during a stressful time in our relationship, I went up to grab an order of Chinese food that we were going to split. Two people. One order. One fortune cookie. The fortune inside read, “Stop searching. Happiness is sitting right beside you.” That little slip of paper is still tucked away in my jewelry box. Save the little mementos, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Take tons of pictures and don’t just store them online or on your phone – keep hard copies too. Put all those things in a box, tuck it in the closet, and when times get tough, take it out and go through it together. Take it out and remember.

12. Be silly. If you can’t be yourself with someone, then you shouldn’t be with them at all. And sometimes, it’s hard to resist the urge to make fart noises or weird faces, to dance in the car to your favorite song, or to start a tickle fight. Kyle and I are constantly playing pranks on each other and have several ongoing wars: we’ll throw glasses of water on each other unexpectedly or shout, “NINJA KICK!” before kicking open the bathroom door while the other is in there. I’ll flush the toilet while he’s in the shower, he’ll hold my keys above his head and make me jump up to grab them. Have fun! Kid around! Act goofy! For Chrissakes…BE FRIENDS. It makes being lovers so much easier.

13. Remember that you’re in love. Kyle’s parents have been married for 36 years. The two of them are truly the strongest, happiest couple I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing, and after four kids, financial struggles, family issues, and all the other standard problems a married couple will face, they are still madly, deeply in love. It was Kyle’s father who gave me the best relationship advice I’ve ever received, and if you have kids with your significant other I suggest you pay close attention: while you’re busy being mommy and daddy, it’s important not to forget that you’re also husband and wife.

Bitches Be Crazy

Gentlemen, your attention please, because I am going to provide you with some rare insight into the female psyche.

I’m not saying women will become less of a mystery to you, or that you’ll walk away feeling like you’ve gained some sort of innate knowledge about the opposite sex. In fact, you will probably end up more confused. Or possibly gay. But whatever, I’m hilarious, and this shit is totes legit.

PART I.

SITUATION: Our pretty, skinny friend tells us she’s pregnant.

What we say: Oh my gosh, yay! Sooo happy for you!

What we think: lolzomg, she’s gonna get soooo fat.

SITUATION: A male friend that we’re interested in starts telling us about a chick he met and is in to.

What we say: Hey, good for you! She sounds awesome! I can’t wait to meet her!

What we think: She sounds like a cunt! I can’t wait to run her over with my car!

SITUATION: Our boss tells us someone complained that a shirt we wore showed too much cleavage.

What we say: Wow, I’m sorry. I’ll make sure not to wear it again.

What we think: I bet it was that flat-chested bitch that sits across from me. She wishes she had sweet-ass titties like these.

SITUATION: A friend cries on our shoulder because her boyfriend dumped her for the 18th time.

What we say: Oh, honey, it’s gonna be okay. He doesn’t deserve you.

What we think: You’re both fucking idiots and you deserve each other.

SITUATION: Between the ages of 25-35, a teenager bumps in to us and says, ‘Excuse me, ma’am’.

What we say: That’s okay.

What we think: Ma’am?! FUCK. YOU.

Part II.

What we say: Where do you want to go out for dinner, babe?

What we mean: Tell me where I want to go for dinner. Choose wisely, or I’ll be bringing it up once every couple of months for the next five years.

What we say: Of course you can go to that party. Go have some guy time!

What we mean: Although I’d prefer that you stay here and watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns with me and my cat, I have the inexplicable compulsion to prove that I am way cooler than all of your friends’ girlfriends, even though I hate most of your friends and their girlfriends.

What we say: Honey, you look tired. Why don’t you let me drive?

What we mean: I find your ability to operate a motor vehicle not only lacking but utterly terrifying, and I would prefer not to die tonight.

What we say: That shirt would look amazing on you. You should try it on.

What we mean: Your clothes are ugly and stupid. I am embarrassed to be seen in public with you.

What we say: Tonight, I’m going to cook you dinner, go in the other room while you watch the game, and let you do filthy things to me using a can of whipped cream and a ball gag.

What we mean: I used your credit card to buy $300 worth of shoes online and I’m hoping to soften the blow with food, sports, and sexy time.

Part III.

What we say: I’m gonna go have lunch with some friends. I’ll be back in a couple hours.

What we do: Substitute lunch for margaritas. Stumble in five hours later, completely sloshed.

What we say: I’ve gotta start dieting. These pants don’t fit me like they used to.

What we do: Successfully count calories for three weeks. Become so depressed/angry that we have only lost four pounds that we consume enough Oreos and gummi bears to send an entire diabetic football team in to a coma.

What we say: I hate my job, I hate my co-workers, and I hate my boss! Time to move on!

What we do: Continue working at our shitty job until something else happens to fall in our lap because otherwise we would have absolutely nothing to bitch about.

What we say: Man, fuck him. I’m too good for him, and he knows it.

What we do: Rent Sleepless in Seattle. Get halfway through the movie, a box of chocolates, and a second bottle of wine before sending a drunk text laced with awkward winky-faces and unecessary LOLs. Cry self to sleep.

What we say: Ugh, I look hideous today.

What we do: Spend an hour doing hair and makeup. Take numerous pictures in the bathroom mirror using cell phone and upload them to Facebook with the caption, “Just woke up lol, I look so gross!”

Speaking of body issues…

This is a blog by my friend Morgan, who is awesome. What she witnessed recently in a Target was not awesome.

Folks, if you ever overhear something similar to what Morgan did, I urge you not to be as polite as she was. Go up to that insufferable twat and yell at her until she cries.

http://info.umkc.edu/womenc/2013/07/08/too-big-for-a-two-piece/

The Child Benefit

Our children give us so much – the knowledge that we can love something deeply and unconditionally, the unbridled joy each time they laugh or smile, boundless pride at their accomplishments and talents, no matter how small.

But to someone who is on the fence about kids, explaining these abstract emotions is senseless. It’s like explaining an orgasm to someone who’s never had one.

So, here’s some other shit kids do for us, usually without even knowing it.

1. (Rain)check, please! No more will you have to attend your cousin’s cat’s birthday party! Goodbye, annoying neighbor who always drops by uninvited and wants to chat over coffee! So long, painful karaoke renditions of ‘Freebird’ with your co-workers! Kids will get you out of anything, and no one is going to fault you for staying home with your sick munchkin.

2. Go fetch! Sometimes shit is just sooo far away. The remote. A glass of water. The book you’re reading. But as soon as your kid is old enough to walk and comprehend instructions, they basically become a golden retriever in a onesie.

3. The darnedest things. Who hasn’t been in a situation where we think something snarky but that pesky filter between our brains and our mouths stops it from coming out? Up to a certain age, children lack this important social tool and will vocalize precisely what they are thinking when they think it. Additionally, due to their inability to monitor the volume of their statement, their opinion is usually heard. “Mommy, that man is being really mean to that waitress lady. He shouldn’t get any dessert.” “Why is that lady wearing so much perfume?” Your job is merely to give them the obligatory, “Young lady/man!” and shake your head apologetically while laughing on the inside.

4. Tax break. I don’t really need to elaborate, do I?

5. Oh, to be young again. Dude, seriously. Aside from hugs, kisses, and cuddles, one of the most awesome thing about having rugrats is getting play with toys and watch cartoons and no one can say shit. Do I wanna make Play-Doh birthday cakes? Fuck yeah I do! Do I wanna spend an hour dressing up Barbies and pushing them around in a pink convertible? You’re goddamn right! Did someone say Tiny Toons marathon? Where the hell do I sign up?

6. You do not feel my pain. I can’t use this one myself since I had a C-section…but let me tell you, after hearing women describe childbirth to me in detail greater than I thought possible, I would gladly volunteer to be sliced open at the groin for kid number three. But if you do go the natural route, you have, for the rest of your life, an eternal trump card anytime a male in your life has the balls to whine about a stubbed toe or a hangnail. “Ohhh, god, that hurts soooo bad, ahhhh, Jesus, honey, can you get me some tissue, I think it’s bleeding.” Bitch please. You have squeezed a person out of your vagina. Tell that little pansy to hop to the tissue box himself.

7. Getcha whimsy on. You have not experienced true silliness until you’ve gotten silly with a kid. Invent weird ass words. Make fart noises on your arms. Run around the house in your underpants holding a broom, proclaiming you are the Naked Knight of County Hamptonshire. You can do this completely alone and your neighbors will just assume you’re having fun with the wee one.