My daughter’s preschool periodically sends home the class owl named “Hootie.” He comes with a notebook and instructions to please add photos and a journal entry about all of the fun he has with your family. Since my daughter is 4 and cannot read, write, or pick up pictures from Walgreens, Hootie, while a fun concept, is largely just a homework assignment for me and pressure to look like we are “having fun” and “doing things.”
The first time Savannah brought Hootie home, we lost him. For like a week. I eventually found him hidden under the couch with several dog toys. I was just grateful that he still had eyes. Most of Hootie’s journal entries are lovingly crafted recaps of family leisure time with pictures of smiling children taking Hootie to church or posing with a fishing pole at their grandpa’s pond. ‘Here we are sharing an organic banana milkshake after a long day of helping the homeless!’
Savannah ended up with this:
Unless this is your first time here, it probably goes without saying that I typically find a way to make light of awkward situations, so I very rarely get truly embarrassed.
But last Tuesday…
I didn’t sleep well last night. When I finally dozed off it was around 3am and I woke up at 6. After reading the entire internet, I gazed lovingly at my sleeping children and determined that I could absolutely not be in this house with them any longer. Luckily church is at 9am so I did what any good mother does on a Sunday morning; for half an hour, I nagged, threatened, and berated them until they were bathed, brushed, and appropriately dressed. And then again for another fifteen minutes while they found their shoes. And we were only like ten minutes late. Win.
I forgot to feed them though. It’s always something.
As we listened to the service, both daughters so lethargic they were draped across me, Savvy whispered, “Mommy, I’m so thirsty. I’m so, so thirsty. I feel like I’m in a desert.” And Avery added, “I’m literally starving.” (The irony was not lost on me.)
Fearing mutiny, I whispered back, “I know, I’m really sorry. Just tough it out and we’ll get donuts after this. You know why?…Because they’re holy.”
And Avery-my-stone-faced-six-year-old blinked once and calmly whispered, “Mommy, maybe you want to save your jokes for a more appropriate time.”
This morning my four-year-old Savannah (pictured above when she was blisfully unable to make biting, hurtful remarks) asked me if she could have a “healthy breffast, with no sugar.” I happily agreed to make her some eggs. About two minutes into me cooking, she took one look at the eggs and said, “NOT LIKE THAT! OH MY GOSH I WANTED THE KIND THAT ARE ROUND AND YOU CRACK THEM!”
“I don’t have any hard-boiled eggs cooked though.”
“NO, YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND ME! YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO COOK THEM YOU GET THEM OUT OF THE ‘FRIGERATOR!”
“I do understand you, but I’m telling you that I have to cook those kind of eggs FIRST before you can get them out of the refrigerator.”
She then let out some sort of primal scream of frustration and flung herself onto the staircase crying, “NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME IN THIS HOUSE! YOU DON’T EVEN LOVE ME!”
From his chair where he was enjoying his hot coffee and reading the news, my husband muttered, “Jesus, what is she, on her period?”
In this moment, I realized two things. 1. My husband is 100 percent going to infuriate my daughters when they are teenagers and I’m going to sit smugly in the corner with my hot coffee and watch him try to figure out what he said/did wrong. 2. My four year old is just a small version of me when I’m PMSing, hangry, drunk, or some combination therein.
We recently watched the Judd Apatow stand up special on Netflix and in talking about his wife and two daughters he hilariously said something to the effect of, “I don’t just live with three women. I live with three ages of the same woman.” So if that’s true, my husband is in for hell on heels.
Since Savannah’s been having these outbursts, I’ve been looking up a lot of parenting resources on discipline and how to curb anxiety in your children before it gets out of control. But probably the most useful article I came across is not a parenting article at all, but it should be. It’s called, Hostage Negotiation Techniques That Will Get You What You Want. It includes this chart and points out that the reason most people aren’t great negotiators is that they skip the first three steps and move straight to Influence, when the step that actually weakens someone’s defense the most, is actively listening while they talk.
So the moral of the story is Savannah ate Lucky Charms and I’m turning to the FBI for parenting tips.
Happy Friday, Y’all.
I got the idea for this post when I was volunteering at my daughter’s school and a fellow mom acquaintance dropped a snide comment on me that had me like,
So I posted a call on my social media for what I’m referring to as “mommy-bombing” stories, meaning those verbal grenades lobbed by fellow parents during an otherwise friendly conversation that leave you like:
And you guys did not disappoint! So here, edited for brevity, is a gold mine of your experiences with Mommy-bombing:
This morning I ventured over to Fox Mornings to show off holiday games/gift ideas, perfect for big family gatherings. If you’ve ever read any of my behind-the-scenes posts, it will not come as a surprise to you that I woke up at with searing pain in my throat and virtually non-existent air access in my sinuses. Continue reading
Tomorrow is my birthday. I love my birthday. I’m not overly sad about aging because my life has elements today that are so much greater than I ever imagined I deserved.
So because something always seems to happen right before I’m booked for a segment, I was suspicious of how smoothly my morning was going. Then my four year old got out of bed to come say good morning and I realized she had cut her own hair into a mullet last night while the babysitter was over. Some people may view this as no big deal or a rite of passage, but I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut and I wanted to scream. Rightfully, Savvy was very ashamed and upset, but as I comforted and reassured her, my husband quietly and correctly saw that inside I was getting very close to having a stroke. As she shuffled off to find her doll, I could see the terror in his eyes as he braced himself for the white hot rage that was clearly steaming out of my pores. Luckily, there was no time for me to throw a fit, so I bottled it up to let it ferment like a fine wine and headed to the TV station. Continue reading
Actual things that happened before this segment: at 9pm on Sunday I realized I needed a drill to put together the Tot Tower. My husband was on a plane to Chicago and our drill is MIA and probably dead, but luckily my neighbors are an incredibly nice Canadian couple with grown children and the husband was able to come over and help me put it together. He really had the best joke when I said, “thanks! I’ll give you a shoutout tomorrow!” and he said in his endearing Canadian accent, “Oh, hey, don’t do that. I don’t want people saying I was over screwin’ at the neighbors house.”
Cut to Monday morning: after making breakfast for two dogs and two kids, packing lunches, dressing Avery in spirit wear, packing not one, but two halloween costumes for Savannah’s preschool party, showering, doing my full hair and makeup, going over my talking points and loading my car with all of the things for my segment, I was trying to get us out the door to school with my hands full and my plastic cup of crystal light hanging from my teeth (moms know this move) when I stepped down the garage stairs and splashed crystal light DIRECTLY IN MY EYEBALL and all over my face. I was completely blind for 45 seconds as my eye burned with the fire of a thousand suns. My brain went into damage control denial, like, “This is fine. I’ll just wear sunglasses for the segment and go to the ER afterwards. I can totally drive with one eye.” Luckily I regained vision in time to see the tributaries of black eye makeup streaming down the left side of my previously contoured face. But there was NO TIME, so I grabbed an old paper towel off the floor of my car to wipe off the black makeup before it dried, made it to school drop off, then went to the TV station where I had approximately two minutes to fix my face before I was on live TV, 8 minutes into the show.