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.

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Back to My Favorite Place on Earth: Turd Island

For the majority of the past three years, I have been a working mom. I have had several different jobs — trying my hand at: insurance, investments, bank, selling homes and call centers. Nothing had the “joie de vivre” to keep me from having mental breaks after a few months away from my two turkey muffins. Like clockwork, I would slowly feel the gusto fade into the mist with each place of employ and feel that same jubilee turn into a deep, dark pit of despair.

Once I was in this place for the umpteenth time in the past few years, my husband decided he’d had enough of seeing me struggle to stay happy. He was going to head out into the world of 401(k)’s, PTO, meetings and office drama. It was my turn to be the stay at home parent. HIP, HIP, HOORAY!

I was over-the-moon proud and grateful to my husband. To celebrate, we decided to have a little family pool party at my mom’s house. We: raced over, splattered on sunscreen, shimmied into our swimsuits and filled a bag of water balloons. This is the life!

After a couple hours slip-sliding, my son came running over…

“Poop!” My three-year-old son screamed while running through the backyard. Since my son likes to announce every Lincoln Log my pug deposits in the lawn, I thought nothing of his poop declaration. That is until I saw him tug at his butt crack through his trunks…

Sure enough, a sopping shart had soiled his trunks and Dad quickly ushered him to the bathroom to be hosed down. I took the time to sip my ice cold beer and giggle to myself how I dodged quite the messy bullet. Well, until I saw a rock hard bulge in my one-year-old daughter’s bikini bottoms. Luckily, I was able to slide them off of her and fling the turd in the garbage without much shrapnel on the scene. While I happily sprayed her bottoms and smiled at my fortune for getting the less disastrous of the two crime scenes, I saw something fire like a green shooting star across my mom’s patio. The speed and velocity of this mass of diarrhea was not something I had ever mentally prepared for when entering motherhood. This cherub-esque doll of a child didn’t even stop playing kitchen for a beat while firing on all cylinders across the concrete.

Looks like Karma is a very, very mean bitch. Now I am pretty sure my mom’s neighbors think we were cleaning up criminal DNA all afternoon with all of the hose spraying, bleach dumping and whimpering screams of disgust.

Needless to say, my kids quickly reminded me that my rose-colored outlook on being the stay-at-home parent isn’t going to be just smelling their sweetly sweaty heads all day. Sometimes, shit is going to get real and I am 100% over the moon, nonetheless.

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.

Mom Confession: Have Your Kids Eaten Poop? Mine Have…More than Once.

Mom Confession: Have Your Kids Eaten Poop? Mine Have...More than Once.  | mrsmommymack.com

Please don’t judge me.

Yesterday was the worst day I have ever had as a mom. It made me rethink my decision to procreate.

Let me take you back…

I had just gotten home from work and was just getting ready to relax. Kids got their kisses and hugs and ran off to play. As I stretched my weary body I said to my husband, “Isn’t it so nice now that the kids can play together alone?” Feeling like I had just jinxed myself, I peeked in their room. Adorable playing was taking place and my heart felt like mush. How precious! What cherubs!

About 3.5 minutes later, all hell broke loose.

I sat back in the living room and heard my son shut the bedroom door. I should have went with my gut and went back in. But I waited two minutes and opened the door to pure horror.

My son had taken off his diaper and my one year old daughter had one turd in her hand and one turd in HER MOUTH. The worst part? She was smiling.

I stood there. I froze. Bile rose in my throat as I looked at her poopy lips and my son’s poopy butt hiding in the corner.

What. The. Ever-loving FUCK.

Quickly, I leapt to action after swallowing my dinner back down. I screamed for my husband who threw the Poop Gifter in the tub as I dug my finger in the Poop Eater’s craw.

I have never gagged so hard in my life as I called Poison Control and had the most embarrassing, yet reassuring conversation take place. People sure are nice on that hotline and, apparently, unfazed by my heathen offspring.

Now that the shock has worn off, I think the most horrifying part was the gleeful expression on my daughter’s face. She liked it! What the hell have I spawned?!

Grab the Wheel and Point it West

Where have I been?

Here. In Smalltown, USA. Two babies, a house, a husband, a little dog and my own business.

Same town I grew up in with the same people I grew up with. This little comfortable bubble that has cocooned me from chasing my dreams and lulled me into a sedated lethargy for three years. It took a full year for me to even notice I am not writing. I take that back, I was writing the newsletter for the Crivitz Area Woman’s Club which has a readership of around forty. Around here, that’s kind of a big deal.

But, I think my Fairy Godmother woke me up a couple months ago with a wakeup call. Why am I not writing? What am I waiting for? Why don’t I even FEEL like writing? What the hell is happening to me?

So, that night I woke up and hopped online and started applying for dream writing jobs. And based on my blog and award-winning personality (I kid) I landed an interview at Amazon for a humor writer position. Yes, THAT Amazon. As in, fly me halfway across the country and present to a board. Suddenly I was awake. Colors returned. I was so motivated to win these big wigs over that I forgot that it haven’t written so much as a Christmas card in the past twelve months.

Ugh.

I went. I sat like Ellie Mae Clampett in the waiting room watching hipster after hipster enter into Amazon HQ. I was alive. I was dreaming. I knew I could never go back to what used to be.

While I didn’t get the position due to the fact that I have been off the writing grid for a while, I am now a changed woman. Being in Seattle, I knew the West Coast was for me. So, I got a job in Portland and in two days I drive me, my husband, two kids, dog, two cats and a UHaul halfway across the USA.

This fire burning in my heart is a welcomed friend I haven’t seen in a long time. I can’t wait to see what we accomplish together.