Don’t Give My Kids Ideas

I get it, sometimes it's hard not to swear in front of children. But, if you say the words: ice cream, park, toys, prizes, treats, candy, cake, soda, or adventure in front of my kids and don't have one in your pocket, I will unleash the fire of a thousand suns. {mrsmommymack.com}

One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, hit the nail on the head when talking about children and their one-track minds. He joked about how he and his wife were nonchalantly talking about ice cream and his child screamed “CHOCOLATE!” for the remainder of their road trip. Despite their desperate pleas, the child never stopped.

This is what it’s like having a toddler.

Every.
Single.
Day.

I don’t know if this is something new for us Millennial Parents, because my mom seems to have completely gone off the tracks when dealing with my sons leech-like mind. For example, we took a trip to the zoo recently. Boy were we excited! After an an entire morning packing, a half-hour drive and a good 20 minutes getting us out of the vehicle, we arrived! My mom, my 3-year-old son, one-year-old daughter and I grabbed our tickets and headed in, right past the gift shop.

“PRIZES!” My son exclaimed at unnerving volumes.

I began my spiel of, “Oh now, nice! Aren’t those pretty? Look! I think that LION KNOWS HOW TO TALK!” In a 100% effective way to distract him from the fluorescent monkeys.

My mother, however, apparently had a stroke on the trip over and blurted, “I will get you one of those prizes on the way back, my dear, sweet baby angel!”

I whipped my head around in hopes my son was (temporarily!) missing and did not hear my mother’s pirate mouth. No such luck.

From that moment forward, no matter how many white lies I told about the animals abilities to talk/walk/play poker at night, my son was over it.

“Yeah, I’ve seen enough animals. Time for a prize!” He said after merely passing a chipmunk on the way to the first animal exhibit.

That was it. That’s all we heard. Every step we took further away from the gift shop, the more my son hated animals for even existing. So, the trip lasted a quick lap around the zoo and my son raced into the gift shop. My mom then proceeded to tell my children they could have anything they wanted because, Lord knows we should give the little hustler the Taj Mahal. After careful, intricate, meticulous, hair-pulling deliberation, my son chose a pen. That was his prize. My daughter “picked” a monkey (she’s 1, let’s face it, I handed it to her and it was the best thing that ever happened to her) and my son could have had anything in the store and he picked a pen. Priorities.

So, after the zoo trip, I have been coaching friends and family not to speak of anything children might even fathom to enjoy unless you have it in your pocket and don’t ever want to see it again. Things have been moving smoothly, until today.

You see, I just got myself a double stroller and my husband has been taking our car to work. That means: anywhere we want to go is by foot with me pushing 60 pounds of toddler through 85 degree weather. Today, we had to drop some paperwork off at the insurance office. It was only a little over a mile away, but it’s hot, my kids and squirrely and I’m fat. By the time we got there, I was red as a plum, we were all out of water and I had to shit. In other words, we were done.

The receptionist decided she wanted to strike up a conversation, however. She was: talking to the kids, advising me on putting some more sunscreen on myself due to the fact that I looked like I was melting and then asked if we WERE HEADED TO THE PARK NEXT. 

Instantly, I had visions of taking her padded headband and shoving it down her throat. But, there were too many witnesses.

My son instantly shot up, “YEAH!!!! The park!!! Let’s GO!!!!!!”

Mind you, the park is three miles away and I’m nearing cardiac arrest. So, don’t judge me for not schlepping us across town.

After shooting the deepest death glare I could muster at Little-Miss-Parky-Pants, we left. I tried so hard to change the subject. So fucking hard.

I pointed at a seagull, “Hey buddy! Look! It’s an eagle!”

“Cool mom! Maybe he wants to come to the park with us?”

Next attempt, “Aren’t you getting thirsty? I bet you can’t wait to get home to have some SODA! What a treat!”

“No thanks, Mom. I will be thirsty at the park!”

Again, “Don’t you want to wash down that soda with some ICE CREAM! You can have Mom’s special ice cream she hides in the ice maker for after you go to bed!”

“Hmmmm, maybe later, Mom. We gotta go to the PARK!”

Finally, I shot it to him straight, “OK, Mom didn’t want to tell the lady at the office this, but the park is closed today. We can’t go there! But we can go tomorrow and you can tell DAD all about it when he gets home from work?”

Pause…

“OK!!!! Now, let’s go have soda and ice cream all day!!!!”

So, now I have to deal with the guilt of: not killing myself trying to get them to the park, LYING to a CHILD, and the fact that my husband will have to hear about the park for an entire two hours tonight when he gets home.

Looks like tomorrow I’m getting a workout.

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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.

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;