Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping

Five Easy Ways to Avoid Toddler Tantrums While Shopping | mrsmommymack.com

Let me start this blog by saying, my kids make me want to drink at 8 am at least 8 times a week. They are by no means runners-up to be named saints in the next century or two. However, I did notice that somehow, I accidentally got something right when raising them. There is a time of day that I want to scream less often and that’s when we go shopping.

I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately and initially chalked their good behavior up to being little, but my son is three and I see kids half his age purple-faced and flopping in checkouts almost daily. So, I thought I would come up with some tips for those sweaty moms with the pleading eyes that are throwing bags of chocolate at their children in hopes to make it out of the store before leaving their child with the cashier.

1. Distraction is my best friend. While I don’t let the kids bring toys in and absolutely DO NOT give them a toy off the shelf to amuse them while I walk, I take this time to talk with them. They have a million questions and almost 75% of them is, “Mom, can I have that?!” Even though my kids have only had a handful of meltdowns while shopping in the past three years, it still makes me flinch like a beat dog every time. But, I always answer that the same way, “No, oh my goodness did you see this!?” Then I quickly point my finger and something or someone to get them very excited about the next thing and forget about the box of tampons they wanted five minutes ago.

2. We don’t promise rewards. We don’t do the, “If you can make it through the store without crying until you puke I will buy you a king’s ransom!” Don’t get me wrong, I have done it, but by giving them the option of public humiliation you are already setting the stage that this is a possibility. Good behavior is the expectation. You can’t walk into the store expecting shit to hit the fan. You got this. Deep breaths.

3. They get a reward if they don’t ask for it. If we can make it from walking through those automatic doors all the way back to the checkout without tears/begging/slapping of siblings, I will grab a treat for them. If they ask for it, the answer will be “No.” This gives you the control and they are rewarded for NOT asking for something.

4. We explain cost. One of the many conversations we have while shopping is about the cost of items. This comes in handy when things are asked for that are extravagant. We explain that this item costs money and when Daddy is gone all day that is what he is earning. In order for us to be able to get that toy/treat he would have to be gone a looong time. We don’t want that, do we? Make sure you only use this one when kids are well rested. Otherwise, Daddy might not like the answer to that question.

5. This is fun! Shopping for our family is a family outing. We really enjoy doing this together and get some quality time without electronics or television. We work together to pick out meals and it’s the time of week we look forward to. If going to the store is seen as hell fire and damnation, kids will act like Satan’s minions. Remember, deep breaths. You got this.

Pregnancy Tip #547: For the LOVE OF GOD Shave Your Ferocious Bush. Learn From My Mistakes.

Pregnancy Tip #547: For the LOVE OF GOD Shave Your Ferocious Bush. Learn From My Mistakes. | mrsmommymack.com

I decided to take a trip down memory lane today. I wanted to write something that will captivate my audience. If I know anything about my audience, you want to laugh and most of the time at my expense. I dug deep into my brain for some of the most embarrassing times I have endured. Surprisingly enough, most of these memories involve feces — and after writing about my daughter eating poop, I figured I would spare you for a bit.

Being a mom isn’t easy. It’s always full of hysterics, tears and heart-bursting happiness. When my daughter was about to be born, however, life just wasn’t ready for the Lifetime movie moments I had dreamed of.

My daughter’s birth was a planned c-section. After having a terrifying three-day horror show of a birth with my son that ended up in an emergency c-section, I opted to cut to the chase. I wasn’t thrilled about being gutted like a fish again, but I was thrilled about immediate pain relief.

My husband and I met my mother at the hospital before my daughter was born. We were all glowing with anticipation to meet this little girl. My husband lugged paisley u-shaped pillows, piles of polka-dotted blankets and more than one tutu into our hospital room. We were ready.

I laid on the bed in my starchy gown ready to get this over with. During my first c-section, the time between the announcement of necessary c-section and the moment I heard my son’s first cry was less than 10 minutes. I was expecting this type of urgency during round two and was sadly mistaken.

The elderly nurse that would be preparing me for surgery waltzed in immediately and cut to the chase.

“Did you shave?” She croaked, no doubt just stepping in from a cigarette break.

“Huh?” I said, quickly glimpsing at my loved ones’ bright red faces seated next to me hoping she was talking about my armpits.

“Your bikini area, did you shave it?” She asked again, this time with much more vigor in her turkey neck.

“I was not told this was necessary…” I whispered, hoping I could avoid what was certain to be mortifying.

“No problem. I will take care of it,” she said and with the whirl of one liver-spotted hand she had a hedgetrimmer between my thighs.

Did I mention my mother is still sitting right next to me?

“Holy hell!” I squealed as I watched the scene before me unravel.

“The Packers play tonight, eh?” My mom quickly questioned my husband at ten higher octaves than normal to be heard over the landscaping that was taking place in the room. I’m not sure my husband ever answered her as he was vomiting up giggles so hard he couldn’t function.

While I stared at the ceiling, pinching the fat of my thighs willing this moment to be over, I heard the trimmers stop. The room grew silent with happiness as the awkward cloud began to dissolve. Before I could let out the pained breath that was gripping inside my rib cage, I heard ol’ Turkey Neck screech.

“We need another clippers in here!” She bellowed out the open door of my room to apparently catch the attention of every on-looker in a 30 mile radius.

My lack of a beauty regime in the prior nine months was wielding a monster that could not be tamed by one go-round with a trimmer. My mother’s face was puce as she looked on from her rocking chair. A chair she, no doubt, envisioned holding her granddaughter in for the first time, but instead watches an Afro pile at the feet of a nurse who should have retired during the Clinton Administration.

My lower half burned while this woman wrenched, tugged and buzzed every inch of my bits. We could have eaten dinner off my loins that evening. She didn’t give up though, not until 30 MINUTES passed and I whimpered in pain. Pain for both my bikini area and shriveling pride.

If it wasn’t for the distraction of the surgery and soon-to-be newborn, I am sure I would have died more than once of embarrassment that afternoon. Moral of the story is: even if you can’t see your va-jay-jay for six months, it still needs to be at-the-ready no matter what the circumstance.

Family Cross-Country Move: The Shit You Don’t Think About

Family Cross-Country Move: The Shit You Don't Think About | mrsmommymack.com

Last week, my family made the trek from Northeastern Wisconsin to the Portland, Oregon area. This said family included: me, a husband, a two-year old, a one-year old, two cats and a dog. If you’re like everyone I have ever talked to, you’re thinking that I need a brain transplant to do something so masochistic. Truthfully, you might be right. However, I am here and everyone made it alive and relatively unscarred.

With that being said, there were a few bumps along the way. I did my best while planning to Google as many helpful checklists as possible and most stated the obvious like, “bring water for your dog.” If you need that kind of a tip, you have a long way to go before you’re ready to move. These tips are for those who want to expect the unexpected. You already know all of the living beings in your care need sustenance and sleep, yet you feel “underprepared.” That’s why I am here. But, take it from me, you’ll never be ready.

1. Sell Your Shit: I am serious. Throw it on Facebook, a rummage sale or the curb. Once you research the difference between a Uhaul trailer and a truck or moving company you’ll see what I mean. Moving across country does not give you the $19.99 trailer rates. Look at that drill team flag from high school and ask yourself, “Is this worth $1500?” The answer, hopefully, is fuck no.

Also, you will probably need the money. Whatever you think it’s going to cost during the move, double it. Triple it, even. Right now, your brain is clear and logical, but at 9 pm at the last town before the Rockies when your kids are pulling at their car seat restraints like hostages you WILL stop at Walmart to let them pick out anything from the store to shut their little pie holes. Tablet? Sure. Dollhouse? Sure. Electric can opener? Have at it.

2. The Cats:
Don’t be an absolute boob and carry the cats from the house to the kennel that is already packed in the car. For the love of God, please remember this. Otherwise, you will be bleeding from your eyeballs while wrenching your beloved Fluffy out of your bushes, in the dark, at 6 am.

Also, put them in a crate big enough to hold the litterbox. If you think for one hot second your cat is going to poop on a harness like your dog, you’ve got another thing coming.

You’ll want to find Motel 6 locations along the way for the dog, but if the weather permits, the cats will be just fine in the car for a few hours with food and water while you sleep. That is, unless you want to lug a giant kennel with a litterbox full of shit and two screaming cats into a hotel at 10 pm with two children and a lunatic dog at once. I didn’t think so…

3. PAY ATTENTION: You aren’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. What do I mean? Well, on day two of the journey, we stopped at the Painted Canyons rest area. I took loads of gorgeous pictures and was so ecstatic about the view that while carrying my two-year old to the restroom I almost walked right into the ass of a buffalo. Literally. It was just sitting there in line like a gentleman. It doesn’t end there either, at rest stop two I let my son run around in the grassy area to burn some energy off and didn’t notice until pulling out of the stop that there was “Rattlesnake Warning” sign posted about every three feet. Mother of the Year?

4. Entertainment: If you’re like me, you’ll think you deserve a Purple Heart for downloading Despicable Me 2 onto your newly purchased iPad as a treat for your toddler. Well, after three days of hearing the squeak of Minions incessantly until your ears burn, you’ll have wished you downloaded every animated film ever created in hopes for some variety. We both know that won’t matter, though. He’ll still pick the Minions every. fucking. time.

Side note: Don’t be an imbecile and leave your iPad off airplane mode. Otherwise, your head will explode when you realize he has somehow managed to be watching YouTube videos of Yo Gabba Gabba on the network simultaneously draining your data usage and bank account.

5. Cheer Up! Yes, this is going to be more stressful than the delivery room. But, there are so many amazing experiences along the way. When your kids see mountains for the first time in their short, precious lives and yell, “Mama, this is AMAZING!” It will be worth every hour of smelling the cats’ latest hot shit piles. Your heart will smile and you will know it was all worth it.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/130552842@N04/17265266842″>Garage and Moving Van</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

My Dad The Serial Killer


After a long night of heavy drinking a friend and I went to the restaurant my dad owns (but leases out) for some hangover-curing grease. I also live right above this restaurant so we didn’t even have to brush our hair before rolling out of bed and traipsing down.

Well, upon arrival we are given one menu. This is what I call foreshadowing. I order a soda and she gets some water (yes, she’s a supermodel). Our dear of a waitress comes back to take our order:

Waitress: What can I get for you? (directed towards me)
Me: I’ll have the veggie skillet, but instead of tomatoes can I get bacon. (I asked for the veggie instead of the meat skillet because it was more simpler to say that and I don’t want five pounds of animal flesh in the morning.)
Waitress (whips her head up like I asked for the Taz Mahal): You do realize I’m going to have to charge you for the entire order of bacon, right?
Me (terrified): Oh, ok.
Waitress: You want white or wheat?
Me: White
Waitress: WHITE OR WHEAT?
Me (more terrified): Ummm… white, please.

The same antics of occur when Lucifer takes my friend’s order. After she can see that we are near tears she comes back with.

“I am just SO burned out! I open; I close; I open; I close! I can’t take this!”

Friend: Yeah, um…I’ll have two eggs please (again, supermodel).
************************************************************************

The fun didn’t end there. After we waited for our first gray hairs to sprout and our first borns to graduate college we finally got our food. Mind you, this was a delicious meal. But with the plates we got our checks — and wow, did we feel welcome.

My check:
Veggie Skillet: $7
Bacon: $3
Can of Pepsi: $1.50
Can of Pepsi #2: $1.50

After I pick my jaw up off the floor realizing I’m spending $14 including tax on breakfast I pay the bill. I mean, seriously, I don’t want to get shanked.

Well, after breakfast we leave her $3 which is more than generous for the amount of mental abuse we suffered. So, we go next door to the bar and talk with my dad’s girlfriend about The Infamous Breakfast. She can’t believe it.

So, in walks my father (think a more tattooed mean-faced Red Foreman).

My dad’s girlfriend says “Oh, T listen to this breakfast story!”

So, I rant and rave in a melodramatic way (I know, I couldn’t believe it myself) about our adventure. I tell him verbatim what occurred in the restaurant but in a laughing I-can’t-believe-how-mentally-disturbed-people-in-the-food-industry-are kind of way.

Cue the waitress walking in across the bar to right prices on the special sign.

I immediately stop talking and hide myself around the corner of a wall like I’m A Child Called It.

Dad: “You charged her 14 FUCKING dollars for breakfast!?”
Me: “Dad…stop…stop!” (This was very quiet. I’m actually not sure even he even heard me or not but I did it for effect…I’m also smiling like a stupid idiot at this point because I had to peek around from my hiding spot)
Waitress: “What?! I just charged her what I’m supposed to be charging her!”
Daddy: “$14 fucking dollars?! I couldn’t have got a steak dinner for that price!?”

At this point, the waitress is staring me down with homicide written across her face.

Me: “Really, no big deal. I actually like paying a lot of money for breakfast. It makes me feel famous.” (Ok, in retrospect I didn’t ACTUALLY say this but I definitely should have instead of blithering like I just volunteered for a lobotomy.)

And then there was dead silence…it was over.

So…needless to say I high-tailed her out the back door with my friend in tow because the waitress was near the front door and I didn’t want her to turn me into a veggie skillet.

Then, I immediately ran upstairs to tell the world that I’m quite sure someone on death row was killed the day my dad was born and his soul found comfort in my grandmother’s womb.