Why you must set and maintain firm boundaries with your children

I love chocolate. I need it. Chocolate is my family. Specifically dark chocolate, which I know seems odd that I’d be so closely related to something dark when I am frequently asked if I’m an albino, but it’s true. Dark chocolate is a part of me.

I am dark chocolate and dark chocolate is me.

If I had to give it up, I’d sit Shiva and I’m not even Jewish. After the seven days of Shiva, I’d go straight into grief counseling. I’d probably need 10-20 sessions just to scratch the surface of my feelings for chocolate and how chocolate makes me feel.

Dark chocolate is full of minerals like potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. It has theobromine, which hardens tooth enamel. Darky C is chock full of phenylethylamine, which is the chemical that bathes your brain in ecstasy when you are falling in love.

Dark Cho-love also has anti-oxidants, which rid your body of free radicals. Now I know it sounds odd to NOT want to have something that is free, but free radicals aren’t the good kind of free. I’d rather have a shot of free salmonella, because at least I could crap it out right quick and be good as new. Free radicals damage your cells permanently and make you good as old and good as sick.

Because I want to be happy and stay young, I eat dark chocolate every day and I hide it away in a safe place. I’m like that grandma from the book Flowers in the Attic, hiding my chocolate family away, but I do this in order to protect of my family! If I don’t have my chocolate family, I get upset. If my family sees the dark chocolate, they will eat it, and then I won’t have it, and then we will all be upset, because everyone knows that if Momma ain’t happy, nobody happy.

SO YOU CAN IMAGINE THAT A PERSON LIKE ME WOULD GET VERY UPSET WHEN SOMEONE GETS INTO MY STASH OF DARK CHOCOLATE!

I can handle it when someone barges into the bathroom, hops into my bed in the middle of the night, wipes their nose on my shirt, eats the last of the fried rice I’d been dreaming about hogging down for breakfast, or makes thinly veiled references to jumping my bones throughout dinner (Yeah, I’m talking to you husband), but I get super upset when my stash of Dark Wonderful gets discovered and devoured. If I go looking for my stuff and it’s not there, it really doesn’t matter how many regular infusions of the good stuff I’ve had.

I GET MAD!

So a week ago when I got busted shoveling a fistful of dark chocolate chips in my mouth by my chocolate loving son and he started squealing about how delicious it looked and asked if he could have some, and where did I find it, etc., etc., I found myself in a difficult position. This was a serious parenting moment!

I was hesitant to answer him. I had thought it through, but I didn’t want to talk about it. I had long ago given myself permission to have something secret for myself and felt good about setting the limit. Some boundaries are necessary for parental sanity!

Dammit I should have been more careful!

I was even more hesitant to share the chocolate with him. This would be setting a precedent. Did I really want to do that? I mean how much does a woman have to sacrifice for motherhood? I’d gladly cough up a kidney for the kid, but my precious dark chocolate?

NO!

I WOULD NOT SHARE IT! Good parents establish firm boundaries. Sharing my stash is a hard limit. No fifty shades about it. Being a mom doesn’t mean being a martyr. It’s okay for me to have my own stuff, my own space, and most of all, my own damn bag of decadent dark chocolate that is just for me!

I told him to buzz off and go get his own candy. Didn’t “Santa” stuff his sock with goodies?

“Mom, come on!” he begged, sticking out his lower lip.

“Get lost sucka!” I replied, shoving another fistful into my face.

He skulked away, peeking over his shoulder at me and giving the lower lip trick one more shot. It took two seconds for me to feel like a steaming pile of selfish goo. Joan Crawford tearing her kid out of bed because of the wire hangers had nothing on me, at least that’s where my thoughts were headed with my cheeks full of chocolate as my boy’s shrugged his shoulders and turned away.

FINE.

I called him over and shared. God help me I gave in! It was a moment of weakness that I regret and not because I shared my chocolate “family” with my biological family, but because this sharing had consequences I could never have predicted.

Today I am home for the fourth day in a row with my sick daughter, who doesn’t do sick well and by not doing sick well, I mean that she is the worst patient in the history of patients. She is miserable. Barging into the bathroom while I’m in there? Check. Crawling into bed (and sneezing directly into my mouth)? Check. Wiping her snot on my shirt (and pants and face)? Check. Eating all the mint chocolate chip gelato straight out of the container, contaminating it with her germy spores or whatever she has so that nobody else can have any? Check. …check! My husband is at work, but if he were here today, I’m sure he’d reference his wang in some way so….check!

I’m not feeling so hot myself, and I deserve a little something just for me. I knew exactly what kind of medicine would get me right – my dark chocolate-wonderful chunks of joy! I was worried though. Would she want some? How could I deny her little sicky poo ness the benefits of dark chocolate? I had shared with the boy, so I might as well share with the girl. Especially since she hasn’t wanted to be more than a few inches from me for the past few days.

THIS -

THIS IS BAD. I AM MAD.

WHY DID HE EVEN BOTHER LEAVING THESE TWO?

WHY DID HE EVEN BOTHER LEAVING THESE TWO?

This is why I establish and maintain boundaries with my kiddos.

This is why I hide my stash (and a bunch of other stuff I don’t want their grubby mitts on).

This is why I will never again allow myself to be sucked into the vortex of guilt when it comes to not sharing MY chocolate.

This is why from now on, I am keeping MY precious stash under lock and key until the kids move out and maybe even after, because they will probably bring cute kids of their own who will inevitably be so cute that I can’t resist them. I can’t believe I’m already protecting myself from my own grandchildren.

Thank God I have an appointment with my therapist today. Brainstorming new hiding places for my stash will be the first item on the agenda. We can transition into guilt from there and on the way home; I’m getting dark chocolate and a padlock.

P.S. Buy my BOOK. Buy it. I need the money for therapy and dark chocolate. Buy it. Seriously.

Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind – April 2, 2013

Nikki's Thought Bombs

Let’s talk about SEX

DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?

Good, thought so. It’s a cheap trick really, using the word SEX the headline for this blog post, but I don’t care. SEX IS IMPORTANT. Talking to kids about sex is as important as talking to them about good nutrition, safety or why the sooner they learn that the worst, sneakiest and stupidest things they have done and feel bad about, you’ve probably done too and would understand. I have invited Amy Lang from Birds and Bees and Kids to write a guest blog for MWDAS for two reasons.

The first reason is simple as diddling your junk: She is in the know and it’s her job to be just so. She is a trusted and knowledgable resource for all things SEX. The second reason is also simple: The sex talk is one of the few “shoulds” in parenting. You SHOULD be a trustworthy and safe source of information for your kid about this topic so for the many reasons included in this truly fantastic and comprehensive piece written by Amy Lang.

LOOK AT HER!

Amy Lang, MA

Amy Lang, MA

Please take time to read and share this thorough and generous piece I asked Amy to please write for MWDAS.

Introducing the sexy and brilliant Amy Lang from Birds and Bees and Kids telling you what NOT to do, I repeat, what NOT to do, when talking to your kids about fooking and stuff. You can trust her, she is a professional………………..

Have you had the sex talk? Dreading it? Well, here’s how NOT to do it. Buck up, slug back a glass of wine and do whatever it takes to get this party started. They will thank you for it.

1) Do NOT have one knock-down-drag-out “talk.” You’ll hate it, they’ll hate it and the chance they ever come back for more is slim. Short and sweet conversations from the time they are in preschool until they leave the nest is the way to go.

2) Do NOT think talking about sexuality will “ruin their innocence.” Their innocence is ruined when they get the wrong information at the wrong time, from the wrong sources.

3) Do NOT neglect to discuss sexual abuse. Kids who know about healthy boundaries, appropriate touch and that sex is for later in life are less likely to be victims of sexual abuse. A child’s safety is an adult’s responsibility.

4) Do NOT freak out when they touch their privates. It’s normal to explore your body – freaking out tells them there is something wrong with them, their body, and you.

5) Do NOT imply that sex is for baby making only. This is fine when they are 4, but they really need to know we have sex for fun 99.9% of the time. It explains what the big deal is – it feels good.

6) Do NOT talk about your own personal, current sex life in detail (or at all, really.) Do you want to know about your parent’s sex life? They don’t either. Keep it to yourself.

7) Do NOT tell them they are too young to know. If they ask, they need to know. Answer their questions as best you can so you keep the communication flowing.

Ooooo so that's how it works!

Ooooo so that’s how it works!

8) Do NOT think because they never ask they don’t need to know. Never asking only means they never ask. Nothing more. This isn’t a free pass to skip the talks. They still need to know.

9) Do NOT pass the buck to school, the internet or their other parent. Nothing sends the message that you aren’t a resource for them like letting someone else teach them about sexuality.

10) Do NOT think “She’s smart. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. She’ll do the right thing.” She is smart, but that’s not enough to keep her from making impulsive and dumb decisions about sex. Make sure she knows her sexual values, limits and how to protect herself.

11) Do NOT tell them they are too young to be in love. If he says he’s in love, he’s in love. Maybe not fully adult, mature, grown up love, but love is love. Respect his feelings.

12) Do NOT communicate that being gay is not okay. You can’t tell by looking. You know you love your child – what’s more important – your relationship with your child or your discomfort?

13) Do NOT try to convince them not to have sex when they tell you they are thinking about having sex. If they tell you they are thinking about having sex, chances are high they have already had sex. It’s smarter to make sure they are using birth control and have condoms. Too late for the compelling reasons to wait talk.

14) Do NOT tell them sex is for marriage and leave it at that. “Marriage” is not a compelling reason to wait to have sex if you are a horny, in-love teenager. They need to know what it is about marriage that makes it the goal.

15)  Do NOT believe them when they say they already know it all. Ha! YOU don’t even know it all. Charge ahead with whatever is on your mind. No one ever died from listening to their parent talk about sex.

A three time Mom’s Choice Award® winner for her book, journal and DVD, Amy Lang, MA created the modern mom’s birds and bees talk. She’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Seattle Magazine and on www.Babble.com. She teaches in the Seattle area and nationally. Amy offers webcasts, lectures and consultations for parents and anyone who works with kids. Visit BBK Video to learn more.

Visit Amy at Birds and Bees and Kids to learn more
Birds and Bees and Kids on Facebook
@birdsandbees on Twitter

*I was not paid for this post. I am promoting this high quality and trustworthy resource for you because I think this is very important and dammit, this is my blog so I can do whatever I feel like doing, like shamelessly self promoting my book, which you should buy right now, today, by clicking HERE. BUY IT. BUY MY BOOK. BUY…MY….BOOK.*

“LIKE” and share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus or any other social network where you interact with parents. Great info should be shared.

Nikki's Thought Bombs

Depression – S*&t that everyone should know

Trust me, I am a professional. I really am. Go ahead and look it up, I’ll wait.

The vast amount of incorrect information, half truths, and overall crap that is available for our reading pleasure overwhelms me. I’m sure you feel the same sometimes. I ignore everything about the Kardashians because I’m not interested in them, but if something about mental health catches my eye, I’m on it like a fly on a turd.

Please be a fly today.

Let me be your turd.

I am not going to give you medical advice, but I am going to fling a load of common sense mixed with professional and personal knowledge in your general direction, like a fart.

Be interested in what I have to say because you could save a life and that life could be your own. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to certain things and one of those things is depression.

Don't let it get this bad, people!

Don’t let it get this bad, people!

Be a fly on this turd of a blog today!!! Buzz around and spread the word! Annoy people until they learn how serious this can be. Depression hurts. Depression kills. Depression can be treated. 

Fling this poo at people so they can laugh (because flying poo is always funny and if they are depressed, a laugh is good for them) and learn some important things about depression.

1) Depression is like a pair of skinny jeans. Some people can wear them and go through the day in a state of relative comfort, but others put them on and wish immediately for a pair of scissors to cut them off so they can find and stab the person who invented them. Yes indeed, depression looks different and feels different for everyone.

2) And speaking of skinny and fat, depressed people can get be too skinny or too fat or they can look just right. Sometimes body size is a clue that a person is indeed depressed, especially if the body experiences drastic change in a relatively short period of time. Some people eat too much, others too little. Depression and the buddies he sometimes hangs out with, anxiety, alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, psychosis, are brutal on the body. People die from the physical damage and havoc that these bastards wreak on their insides.

3) If you are concerned that you might be suffering from depression, you probably are. Go to your doctor. Tell him or her how you are feeling and ask for a referral to a mental health professional. Depression is serious business and general practitioners are not going to be as effective at helping you get your depression under control as a doctor that specializes in the treatment of this very real and complex condition.

4) Yes, depression is complex. Like the poop you take after spending a day at The Taste of Chicago. There is just a lot of “stuff” involved. Sometimes you can see it clearly and identify it, like corn.

“Oh yeah, that corn on a stick was buttery good!

Other times it’s just some odd stringy thing that’s a weird color and you think,“I don’t remember eating that. Is that even food? Did it come on a stick?”

frenchfrybacononstick

Image from Bacon Today

5) When I say that depression is complex, I mean that it’s a multi-faceted condition that can be difficult to tease out and treat. When people try to simplify it and say things like, “Just suck it up,” or “Choose to be happy,” I want to fling poop at them and if I was near someone who dared spew this nonsense in my presence and I had access to poop, they had better run fast, ‘cause I have good aim. People CAN choose to get help so that they can feel happier, but that’s really hard when they are lost in depression.

6) Depression can be chemical, psychological, chemical and psychological, severe, mild, moderate, brief, related to grief or chronic and pervasive. Some people become psychotic, others weepy. I’ve seen anger, irritability, and a complete absence of affect (emotion) in depressed people of all ages. I like to say that depression comes in 31 flavors, like ice cream. Some of the ice cream tastes better than others, it is easier to digest, even for people who are lactose intolerant.

7) Men and women do depression differently, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering from the same general condition. Remember? Skinny jeans. I can’t imagine what they feel like for people with testicles. I think that’s why men present with more anger and irritability than women. Their balls are squished up in those jeans, which are really just a metaphor for the box that men are put in by society. That is why men are less likely to seek treatment for depression. It’s ridiculous. Don’t show weakness guys! Hell no! Suffer the ball squish like a man! Not. Get help fellas. You can still keep your man card.

8) Medication alone isn’t going to be a miracle cure. Taking an anti-depressant and NOT seeking a bit of counseling is like chasing your daily dose of cholesterol medication with a Velveeta and butter smoothie. Add +1 to -1 and you get ZERO. Drinking alcohol while on medication for depression isn’t recommended either. “Gee, this Zoloft is useless. Could you get me a beer honey? That’ll cheer me up.” No, it won’t dummy. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.

9) Medication isn’t always the right way to treat depression, but when it is, patience is required. Like skinny jeans, meds fit everyone differently. They have side effects, take awhile to work, require close monitoring and will not completely eliminate symptoms.

10) You are not a doctor. I am not a doctor. Your neighbor Phil who has a cousin who took some herb from the Asian store and drank carrot juice and sat under a light box and sang “Kumbya” isn’t a reliable source of information. Neither is that lady you met at Bunco who swears that when she took Prozac, she almost killed her kids and gained 43 pounds. She needs to get her damn thyroid checked, stop eating all the left over chicken nuggets and let her doc know that she needs a medication change. Skinny jeans are not for her. Maybe carpenter jeans or mom jeans or sweatpants?

11) If you feel that feeling, you know the one, the feeling that something just isn’t right with you and the sound of your children’s laughter or the voices of your co-workers make you feel like your spine is about to rip out of your skin up through your neck, but only after you snap at them repeatedly and seem to be grinding your teeth so hard that it makes your head pound and your teeth are becoming nubs, you should really find time to see a doctor.

12) If you are having problems falling asleep, staying asleep, waking early, or feel tired a mere ten minutes after you get out of bed for the day, talk to your doctor.

A-very-Sexy-Doctor-jared-padalecki-9917720-495-350

Image from FanPop

(But not fake doctors like these guys, even if they are smoking hot foxes. Dean and Sam from Supernatural + Nikki = True Love Forevah!)

13) If you can’t concentrate for longer than your toddler, find yourself forgetting just about everything and can’t seem to get organized no matter what you do, talk to your doctor.

14) If you find that you have become the most angry, negative, oversensitive, nit-picky, passive aggressive person you know, talk to your doctor.

15) If you think getting help or talking about it makes you weak, you are wrong. Strong people are open, honest and committed to doing right by others and for others and depression makes doing right difficult, if not impossible for some.

So, don’t be a poop. Don’t read the shit on the Internet that tells you what you want to hear or get yourself in a game of Dr. Google, trying to diagnose and treat yourself.

Last but not least, don’t wear the skinny jeans if they pinch your wobbly bits and just don’t fit right, okay? If something is making you uncomfortable and unhappy, you have the power to make it right. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Just because all the cool kids are jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge in their skinny jeans after drinking beers, that doesn’t mean you should feel bad driving to therapy in your pajama jeans after taking your happy pills.

Trust me. I’m a professional.

This is the first of many blogs I will write tackling mental health issues with humor and heartfelt hope that I can help. “Like” this and me on Facebook and Twitter and share this where and when you can. Help me help you and others. Let me be the turd to your fly.

Buzzzzzzz……..

 

Nikki's Thought Bombs

Raising an American Girl

This is my daughter. Holy shit what a big bag, right? Well, I didn’t pay the tab for the contents of that thing!

My mother. I love her in a blind, stupid, overwhelming worship-y way.

My mother-in-law. I love her too. And I respect her for her strength and tenacity and single-minded focus.

However, it is only my love for them and their ability to afford to continue to feed my daughter’s current American Girl addiction that allows me to let them live, because even if I could afford to buy my daughter the entire American Girl catalog, I. WOULD. NOT. DO. IT.

I don’t know who started in with the American Girl crap. I think it as my MIL, but I can’t be sure. But even if she didn’t start it, my mom would have. She desperately wanted to take my daughter to the American Girl store downtown Chicago for lunch and to buy her a doll on her 5th birthday.

Sure, why not? I agreed that it was a great idea, an adventure! A day in the city, girl fun and blah, blah, blah, HOWEVER, I informed her straightaway that if she decided to start buying my kid American Girl stuff, she would have to be the one to feed the beast. She agreed. I should have got it in writing.

So we went, and it was lovely, and my daughter had fun, and I had fun, and my mom had fun, and my mom bought her granddaughter a doll, and a pet for the doll, and some clothes for the doll, and all I could think of the entire time we were in the massive building filled with creepy ass dolls and their ice skates that cost a small fortune was this –

WHAT THE FUCK?

For the cost of one American Girl doll bed, a family of four could eat for a month.

Now when I tell you that, it’s not that I’m trying to spew a bunch of anti-capitalist blather here, suggesting that nobody should ever buy their child’s doll an adorable snowboarding outfit so the doll doesn’t feel left out when the family is skiing over the holiday break.

HELLS NO!

What kind of a heartless bitch do you think I am? Buy it! I mean can you imagine what the people in the ski lodge would say if an eight year old was drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream and real gold flakes for sprinkles while carrying around a doll whose parka didn’t match hers?

THE HORROR!

I mean really, how completely bourgeois! It’s like that story in the latest Harper’s Bazar magazine when JLo admitted that sometimes dresses herself and packs her own suitcases. She was all, isn’t it just so beautiful and simple when I do these difficult things? Poor JLo. Next thing we know she’s going to be admitting she puts her dishes in the dishwasher or wipes her own ass.

But before you get all snatchy about this and say that I’m bitter and jealous, please understand that I mock this celebrity dumbfuckery because I can and because it deserves mocking. Sort of like when Gwyneth Paltrow claims that her deal of the day on Goop is really a deal.

THIS is a deal for a Goop girl. To me it looks like a few weeks of grocery money.

Note that this is a deal exclusively for Goop, which is by it’s own admission, exclusive. I have no beef with that Gwynie or JLo. They are grown women who can make their own decisions about how to spend their hard earned cashola. I repeat, hard earned cashola. These ladies work hard and deserve their success. But with that success comes the running of their mouths and that kind of thing is very hard for me to resist mocking, because I am a jerk and a smart ass with the maturity level of a 3rd grade boy.

Moving on.

Ah, so much like Goopie Gwen and JLo, my daughter has developed a taste for the finer things in life. I’ve taken to calling her Cate-Lo, but I do this now in order to give her a little perspective about money, to raise her as an American girl who knows that the streets here aren’t really paved with gold. At least not in our neighborhood.

“Mom, have you ever heard of Abbycombey and Firch?” she asked me recently.

“Abercrombie and Fitch? Yep. It’s a clothing store.”

“I would like you to take me there to buy clothes.”

“How much you got there in your piggy bank Cate-Lo?”

“I spend my Christmas money on American Girl stuff, so I don’t have any.”

“I spend mine paying bills so I guess were are both shit out of luck. Today you are just plain old Catey from the block.”

END OF CONVERSATION. I giggled. She did not.

Designer clothes and American Girl accessories? I have my work cut out for me here, huh, because as a general rule, I refuse to pay more for a doll’s outfit than I do for my own clothes. I refuse to fork over twenty-five bucks for a stuffed animal that I could scoop up at Walgreens for five bucks. I will not take my child to a clothing store to buy a thirty dollar shirt with the name of a store blasted across the front because she wants one. At least not right now. She has plenty of clothes that fit and look fine and it’s not her birthday or Christmas.

No. Just no.

I understand that plenty of people walking this earth that can wipe their ass after a particularly sticky and large bowel movement with the amount of money I pay each month for my mortgage and not have it effect them at all. Good for them. I don’t begrudge anyone who has earned fat cash the right to do whatever the hell they want with their cash dolla (but sticky poop is a sign that one needs more fiber so for rich folks there is really no excuse for not buying healthy food).

What I do struggle with is explaining this stuff to my daughter in a way that makes sense to her. I am trying to teach her the true value of a dollar: a single, smudgy, greenish piece of paper with George Washington’s stern looking mug staring out from it. What can a person buy with that dollar and how does a person earn that dollar AND how do I teach her these lessons without stressing her out?

Kids worry. Some of them worry a lot, but that doesn’t make them want any less. I save up so that on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays, I can get my kids the unique and at times, costly things they request. I’m happy to do it too. I want my kids to experience the special-ness of a gift and to understand that part of the sentiment includes the single-minded-focus it takes to scrape together the cash it takes to purchase these items when there isn’t much extra. I DO NOT want my kids to be worry-warts, stressing out about every dime and afraid to ask for things or want things. I DO want them to understand what it takes to be able to have the things they need and the things they want.

Oh, but I realize that this is a jog, not a sprint. I am going to have to find ways to be a supportive role model and educator instead of a smart ass dream crusher. I am going to have to make it a priority to find opportunities to teach my daughter about money without stressing her out and making her feel guilty for wanting nice things and worrying about whether her birthday gifts mean the bills won’t get paid, because that’s not the case. There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things. Don’t we all enjoy nice things? I know I do!

In the meantime, I am happy to let my mother, my mother in law, my cousin and anyone else who wants to pitch in, buy my daughter the American Girl crap she used to think was stupid and now suddenly finds as beautiful as JLo finds putting on her own underpants. And I won’t lie about the fact that I will save some of my pennies to get her some of the things she wants for her birthday, because I love that she loves to play dolls and immerse herself in a world of worry-less fantasy where she can do anything and everything! I want her to have a childhood, a long, wonderful, safe childhood.

But in the meantime, I’m going to do this once in awhile.

And this

Why do I do this demented crap? Because being a mom who has to teach a couple of kids about financial responsibility is hard fucking work and sometimes I just have to let loose and let my freak flag fly high. As a true American girl, I have the freedom to do this and mock celebrities if I damn well feel like it.

God bless me – a real American girl!

P.S. Kudos to the marketing genius behind American Girl who thought that creating these characters from different times, places and cultures and pushing the whole – these dolls help educate girls about what it was like in times past and making books and old fashioned clothes and butter churning shit and blah, blah, blah….. Well played. Seriously, however even though I love that Rebecca character and her Uncle Max who doesn’t care what you call him as long as you don’t call him late for dinner, I still hate you. I might have bought into that line of “but our product is so educational” bullshit if you fuckwads didn’t charge seven hundred and fifty million dollars for fake American Girl food.

Nikki's Thought Bombs

Raising an American Girl

This is my daughter. Holy shit what a big bag, right? Well, I didn’t pay the tab for the contents of that thing!

My mother. I love her in a blind, stupid, overwhelming worship-y way.

My mother-in-law. I love her too. And I respect her for her strength and tenacity and single-minded focus.

However, it is only my love for them and their ability to afford to continue to feed my daughter’s current American Girl addiction that allows me to let them live, because even if I could afford to buy my daughter the entire American Girl catalog, I. WOULD. NOT. DO. IT.

I don’t know who started in with the American Girl crap. I think it as my MIL, but I can’t be sure. But even if she didn’t start it, my mom would have. She desperately wanted to take my daughter to the American Girl store downtown Chicago for lunch and to buy her a doll on her 5th birthday.

Sure, why not? I agreed that it was a great idea, an adventure! A day in the city, girl fun and blah, blah, blah, HOWEVER, I informed her straightaway that if she decided to start buying my kid American Girl stuff, she would have to be the one to feed the beast. She agreed. I should have got it in writing.

So we went, and it was lovely, and my daughter had fun, and I had fun, and my mom had fun, and my mom bought her granddaughter a doll, and a pet for the doll, and some clothes for the doll, and all I could think of the entire time we were in the massive building filled with creepy ass dolls and their ice skates that cost a small fortune was this –

WHAT THE FUCK?

For the cost of one American Girl doll bed, a family of four could eat for a month.

Now when I tell you that, it’s not that I’m trying to spew a bunch of anti-capitalist blather here, suggesting that nobody should ever buy their child’s doll an adorable snowboarding outfit so the doll doesn’t feel left out when the family is skiing over the holiday break.

HELLS NO!

What kind of a heartless bitch do you think I am? Buy it! I mean can you imagine what the people in the ski lodge would say if an eight year old was drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream and real gold flakes for sprinkles while carrying around a doll whose parka didn’t match hers?

THE HORROR!

I mean really, how completely bourgeois! It’s like that story in the latest Harper’s Bazar magazine when JLo admitted that sometimes dresses herself and packs her own suitcases. She was all, isn’t it just so beautiful and simple when I do these difficult things? Poor JLo. Next thing we know she’s going to be admitting she puts her dishes in the dishwasher or wipes her own ass.

But before you get all snatchy about this and say that I’m bitter and jealous, please understand that I mock this celebrity dumbfuckery because I can and because it deserves mocking. Sort of like when Gwyneth Paltrow claims that her deal of the day on Goop is really a deal.

THIS is a deal for a Goop girl. To me it looks like a few weeks of grocery money.

Note that this is a deal exclusively for Goop, which is by it’s own admission, exclusive. I have no beef with that Gwynie or JLo. They are grown women who can make their own decisions about how to spend their hard earned cashola. I repeat, hard earned cashola. These ladies work hard and deserve their success. But with that success comes the running of their mouths and that kind of thing is very hard for me to resist mocking, because I am a jerk and a smart ass with the maturity level of a 3rd grade boy.

Moving on.

Ah, so much like Goopie Gwen and JLo, my daughter has developed a taste for the finer things in life. I’ve taken to calling her Cate-Lo, but I do this now in order to give her a little perspective about money, to raise her as an American girl who knows that the streets here aren’t really paved with gold. At least not in our neighborhood.

“Mom, have you ever heard of Abbycombey and Firch?” she asked me recently.

“Abercrombie and Fitch? Yep. It’s a clothing store.”

“I would like you to take me there to buy clothes.”

“How much you got there in your piggy bank Cate-Lo?”

“I spend my Christmas money on American Girl stuff, so I don’t have any.”

“I spend mine paying bills so I guess were are both shit out of luck. Today you are just plain old Catey from the block.”

END OF CONVERSATION. I giggled. She did not.

Designer clothes and American Girl accessories? I have my work cut out for me here, huh, because as a general rule, I refuse to pay more for a doll’s outfit than I do for my own clothes. I refuse to fork over twenty-five bucks for a stuffed animal that I could scoop up at Walgreens for five bucks. I will not take my child to a clothing store to buy a thirty dollar shirt with the name of a store blasted across the front because she wants one. At least not right now. She has plenty of clothes that fit and look fine and it’s not her birthday or Christmas.

No. Just no.

I understand that plenty of people walking this earth that can wipe their ass after a particularly sticky and large bowel movement with the amount of money I pay each month for my mortgage and not have it effect them at all. Good for them. I don’t begrudge anyone who has earned fat cash the right to do whatever the hell they want with their cash dolla (but sticky poop is a sign that one needs more fiber so for rich folks there is really no excuse for not buying healthy food).

What I do struggle with is explaining this stuff to my daughter in a way that makes sense to her. I am trying to teach her the true value of a dollar: a single, smudgy, greenish piece of paper with George Washington’s stern looking mug staring out from it. What can a person buy with that dollar and how does a person earn that dollar AND how do I teach her these lessons without stressing her out?

Kids worry. Some of them worry a lot, but that doesn’t make them want any less. I save up so that on special occasions like Christmas and birthdays, I can get my kids the unique and at times, costly things they request. I’m happy to do it too. I want my kids to experience the special-ness of a gift and to understand that part of the sentiment includes the single-minded-focus it takes to scrape together the cash it takes to purchase these items when there isn’t much extra. I DO NOT want my kids to be worry-warts, stressing out about every dime and afraid to ask for things or want things. I DO want them to understand what it takes to be able to have the things they need and the things they want.

Oh, but I realize that this is a jog, not a sprint. I am going to have to find ways to be a supportive role model and educator instead of a smart ass dream crusher. I am going to have to make it a priority to find opportunities to teach my daughter about money without stressing her out and making her feel guilty for wanting nice things and worrying about whether her birthday gifts mean the bills won’t get paid, because that’s not the case. There’s nothing wrong with wanting nice things. Don’t we all enjoy nice things? I know I do!

In the meantime, I am happy to let my mother, my mother in law, my cousin and anyone else who wants to pitch in, buy my daughter the American Girl crap she used to think was stupid and now suddenly finds as beautiful as JLo finds putting on her own underpants. And I won’t lie about the fact that I will save some of my pennies to get her some of the things she wants for her birthday, because I love that she loves to play dolls and immerse herself in a world of worry-less fantasy where she can do anything and everything! I want her to have a childhood, a long, wonderful, safe childhood.

But in the meantime, I’m going to do this once in awhile.

And this

Why do I do this demented crap? Because being a mom who has to teach a couple of kids about financial responsibility is hard fucking work and sometimes I just have to let loose and let my freak flag fly high. As a true American girl, I have the freedom to do this and mock celebrities if I damn well feel like it.

God bless me – a real American girl!

P.S. Kudos to the marketing genius behind American Girl who thought that creating these characters from different times, places and cultures and pushing the whole – these dolls help educate girls about what it was like in times past and making books and old fashioned clothes and butter churning shit and blah, blah, blah….. Well played. Seriously, however even though I love that Rebecca character and her Uncle Max who doesn’t care what you call him as long as you don’t call him late for dinner, I still hate you. I might have bought into that line of “but our product is so educational” bullshit if you fuckwads didn’t charge seven hundred and fifty million dollars for fake American Girl food.

Nikki's Thought Bombs

My name is Nikki and I’m a Pin-a-holic

The Internet is a time sucking menace.

Menace!

I’m pretty sure the social media site Pinterest is working some internet voodoo. There’s got to be some sort of subliminal sucking in code all meshed in with each image, because I swear to baby Jesus I can’t stop pinning random crap to all my cyber pin boards. And all this nonsense I “pin” is stuff that I will never get around to cooking, crafting, reading, doing, or visiting. I just can’t believe this is my fault! This isn’t me at all! I blame Al Gore for inventing such a wonderland of adventure that resembles the rabbit hole Alice fell down after drinking from the bottle that said, “Drink me.”

Damn you, Al. Damn you all to hell.

Nikki's Thought Bombs

Would you like fries with that? Why teenagers should have part time jobs

A hot topic in the parenting world today is whether teens should work. Let me re-phrase that. A hot topic in the la-la land-parenting world is whether teens should work. La-di-da……

Of course they should work.

Teenagers should do homework, chores, practice whatever thing they are doing for fun or sport. They should work on their social skills, learn to be charitable and most of all, they should learn what it means to have a good solid work ethic. They should also have a part time job before the take off for college, trade school or whatever adventure they choose to go on after they are old enough to get the hell out of your house and make their own way. They should know the value of their time and talents and experience the reality of the world of work.

But in La-di-da land, many parents are saying that their kid’s job is to go to school and to get good grades so that he or she can get into a good college. True that. School is their job. And I suppose there are parents who can easily afford to buy their teenagers everything they need and then some. Maybe these parents had parents who could do the same, but that doesn’t mean they should.

La-di-da. Good for you all, but um….NO.

I can’t agree with the parents who think this way. I think teenagers need to work. I’m not talking about full time, slave wages, up all night long, stress them out work, but work – work. Some kind of regular work that they are required to do in a timely manner with clearly defined expectations for performance and a fair wage in return. I do think that working outside the home is a better way to learn about the world, the real world, and what it takes to survive outside the four walls of mom and dad’s safe, warm house and flimsy parental standards and expectations for chores. I mean let’s be honest here, nobody fires their teenager for not making the bed or mowing the lawn. Not getting paid for a teenager doesn’t mean not being able to pay the mortgage, it means not being able to go to the goddamn movies with your buddies over the weekend.

What? You say that your child DOES know what it takes! Your teenager is learning enough in school and on the football field (soccer, baseball, etc.) and doing their own laundry and keeping their room clean and mowing the lawn?

Wrong. You. Are. Wrong. Wrong-ola. Wrong-olino. Wrong-riffic. Wrong-duck-dong!

Teamwork, deadlines, and clean clothes are indeed important things in the world of work, but you know what trumps ‘em all? EXPERIENCE. But there’s another inarguable reason I think every stinking teenager needs to work a crap job for minimum wage, even if they do plan to go to college and become a teacher or an engineer or a lawyer or whatever, and that reason is this: They may not be able to get a job after college doing what they want to do for the amount of money they think they should be making.

Reality is a motherfucker.

In 1986, my parents insisted that I work full time in the summer. I didn’t have a car, so I applied at McDonald’s, which was in walking distance from my house. Within a week, I was reduced to tears by both my manager, who I overheard calling me a spoiled, entitled snot (my second day on the job) and several unhappy customers who received the wrong order in the drive thru. I made hash browns and French fries for hours on end, slipping on puddles of grease, sweat rolling down my body under my green polyester uniform. I walked home at the end of my shift exhausted and complained to my parents who told me to suck it up and deal with it, so I did. We talked about the world of work and how hard it could be and they encouraged me, without letting me sissy up and quit. Quitting was not an option. I was to work and that was not negotiable.

The troll-like manager soon saw that I was a hard worker and recognized my efforts. I was able to work at the counter and in the drive thru. I learned not to take the angry rants of hangry (hungry/angry) customers personally. I worked for a company that was not only fair, but also set high expectations for their employees and product. I learned how to do things right! I learned how to be on time, to take pride in my work and to work and play well with others no matter how difficult it was or how tired I felt or how much I would have rather been sucking face with my boyfriend or going to the beach with my friends. I learned about sales, marketing, customer service, time management, and the complexity of the working world. I didn’t just learn about money and hard work that summer, although I did learn a lot about those things. I learned about people. I learned about LIFE.

You know what else I learned? I learned that I can do anything and any job at any time and I can do it well. Give me a task, something new to learn and hold me accountable. I can take it. And I can take it because I took it for years and years, working shit job after shit job to get through high school and college and even graduate school. Guess what I else I have learned? That having two master’s degrees didn’t guarantee me jack squat in the job market.

Jobs I have held since finishing master’s degrees (I have two of them and I busted my ass to earn ‘em too): Cocktail waitress, waitress, Salesperson at Pottery Barn, Stock person at Target, Babysitter and Freelance writer. After I’m done with publicity for my book, I’ll need to find a full time job in my field, so I’ll scour the mall, and the internet and I’ll network hard in order to find work.

I won’t whine. I will work.

I have busted my overeducated ass to make sure that when my family needs cash, I do what it takes to make sure that happens. I am not above OR below anyone else when it comes to work. I’ll continue to do it too. And while I do this, I will fulfill my responsibilities as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, sister and small business owner. I CAN do this because I learned to do this and when I was learning to do this, I was being encouraged by parents who told me not only that I must, but also that I could.

I know too many people who can’t and won’t do what I’ve done. People have asked me why the hell I would get up at 3AM to be at Target by 4:30 AM to unload trucks.

Why?

Because Christmas was coming and we needed the extra cash.

Because credit cards aren’t real money.

Because I am a strong, capable, enthusiastic hard working grown up that wants her children to see that all work is important.

Because money doesn’t grow on trees.

Because I want to contribute and be a part of something so that I am not alone.

Because until I find full time work in my field, I still need to contribute to the financial stability of my family.

La-di-da.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I don’t care what anyone else is doing with their offspring and I’m not sure why people feel the need to explain their parenting choices to others, However, if they choose to do so with me, I’m telling you right now that and all reasons they might try to give me in an attempt to convince me that their teenager shouldn’t work are invalid and wrong and someday when their grown kids are all about borrowing money or moving in with them because they can’t seem to manage their grown up lives I’ll only have one thing to say –

Told you so suck-wad. Oooo and I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m going to MY grown up kid’s house to have some grub and hear about his awesome job. Whatever the food we eat that day and whatever job either of my kids ends up having, will be fabulous and I’ll be one proud mom! But for now? I’m committed to raising kids who CAN, because I’ve taught them now that they must and will and I believe that they CAN. My kids will have part time jobs when they are teenagers.

I think posts like this are why I don’t get asked to write for parenting magazines and sites. Hmmmmm…..La-di-fucking-da!

Nikki's Thought Bombs

My to-do list for 2013

If I’m being honest, sometimes I wish I quit while I was ahead.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to write and I always have. I will always be a writer, scribbling down random thoughts, stories and poems like the one I wrote about walking my dog when I was super stoned and how I freaked out when she pooped on the lawn of a synagogue and I realized that I didn’t have a poop bag so I had to run home and get one because I couldn’t live with letting a turd sit on the lawn of God’s chosen people, and because there was a glowing red ring surrounding my feet until I picked it up.

You’d write about that too if that happened to you.

I used to write for me, just me. And maybe I would share something with a friend, but that was rare. Now what I write reaches a large number of people, the majority of which are strangers to me. Blog or no blog, book or no book, I’d still be writing. I love it so much. I need to do it. NEED!

But I do struggle with the uncertainty of it all because I do have a blog and I do have a book coming out. This life, this work, the strangeness of it all, especially right now is making it even more important for me to keep my shit together and my priorities straight.

2013 will crush me if I don’t make some changes.

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do take some time at the end of each year to collect my thoughts in list form, so that I can figure out how to make the coming year one in which I will suck up as much experience and enlightenment as possible without having to suffer too much to obtain this wisdom. I don’t want to suffer. I want to purr like a kitten getting her belly rubbed after eating fresh salmon.

I will try to improve. I will focus on having more success in achieving the things I want to do and I will not beat myself up if I find myself sitting around at the end of 2013 not having made as much progress as I would have liked to, because a year is a long time, but it also isn’t.

Right?

So here is my plan, the 12 things I’m going to do different/ better / less in 2013.

1) I will accept compliments without shooting back a self-deprecating retort.
2) I will eat more fiber. I’m much happier when I poop.
3) I will listen better. Not just to words, but to people’s actions.
4) I will no longer suffer fools at all. Fools be gone. I’m through with you.
5) I will not put effort into relationships where there is little reciprocity.
6) Only those who deserve an explanation will get one.
7) One word: Squats
8) Two words: Sit-ups
9) Two more words: Flavored vodka
10) I will write down the sex dreams I have about Ray Romano.
11) I will try harder to get my kids to stop ignoring me and stop farting on them, shower more, quit being a fun sucker, bake some stuff from scratch.
12) I will be stupidly proud of my accomplishments, big and small by focusing on what I do right and not what I do wrong.

Whew! What a list, huh?

I have a few more things, but I don’t want to set myself up to fail. Believe it or not, all these things are going to be quite challenging for me, but I have a good attitude and a willingness to work hard.

I am so excited! I think each thing on the list can be considered very realistic and doable for me.

I do!

Well, except #2, #7 and #8. And probably #11 and #1. I guess #5 might also be a long shot, and since I’m a fool, #4 will be hard. How do I not suffer myself? Then there is #10 because I worry that one of my kids will find the journal and freak out because I’m sure I’ll have sex dreams about a bunch of other people too and my dreams are very vivid so if I write all of them down, I could blow their minds and I’d certainly be totally screwed with #11 even if I baked better than Betty fucking Crocker and never subjected either one of them to a Dutch oven ever again. If I prioritize #9, then I might have trouble with #3, right, so maybe I should change #9 to orange juice, with pulp and that would help me with #2.

This is going to be harder than I thought.

Happy New Year to MWDAS everywhere! Looking forward to 2013, meeting more of you as I promote my book and being here to make each other stronger, happier and more confident in our ability to fuck up our spawn as little as possible in the coming year.

Nikki's Thought Bombs

The Best of Times – Growing Up and Liking it

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…..”

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Nothing like a little Chuck Dick to get your brain pumping and ready for some deep thinking. Personally, I didn’t used to big fan of the story this quote comes from, because it’s really fucking sad. I mean cry big, fat tears and let out a wail that comes from your toes sad. But I am now, because I’ve lived some life since I was forced to read it in high school, so now I get it. Teenagers often hate to read the classics for just this reason. The powerless, hopelessness, sickness and despair is difficult for them to understand partially because they have no context for it, but also because they are in the phase of life where they are feeling invincible! I remember it well.

I also remember the moment I came to understand and come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t invulnerable. I guess that’s why as adults, we sometimes crack open the depressing and dark classics we groaned about in our youth. Because with new understand about life and years of experience, we can see the beauty in the sadness, and find courage we never knew we had as we identify with the struggles of the characters, and learn from their stories.

At some point, we grow into people who find meaning in the weighty words of writers like Charles Dickens whose stories continue to be sources of inspiration and insight for all who read them.

So why am I waxing philosophical and getting profound on you this fine Sunday morning? Well, because the funniest thing happened to my friends and I last night while we were out celebrating the best of times –a birthday! My entire crew of girlfriends is over 40 now and we were all working it in all different ways last night.

Me? I was wearing this bitchin’ sweater and pair of jeans I found at the Goodwill Store in Lemont and my son’s Chuck Taylor shoes. Now granted, the sweater has a little hole in the armpit, but I figured that I’d be keeping my arms down so who would know? I was dressed down as usual, but still I looked very much like a middle age mom.

Unlike me, my girlfriends were all looking fashionable and made up, wearing trendy clothing and shoes that made them look classy and elegant. Perfect for a night out for dinner and dancing. But they too looked like what they are, middle age moms. Fashionable middle aged moms, but even if we were all rocking Botox and micro-mini’s, not one of us could pass for anything under 35, and really people would just have thought we were hookers if we even attempted to dress like we were in our 20’s.

But it’s not the worst of times for us, not being able to find a wrinkle free spot on our faces or rock skinny jeans. What might scare the shit out of the shiny young kids, is something my friends and I are starting to crave – a life well lived.

Last night was no different than any other night out celebrating really, the plan was to scarf up some grub, have margaritas and maybe swing by a bar that had a DJ to do a little dancing. Maybe turned into totally and although I didn’t want to bust any moves, I let myself be dragged out to the dance floor.

We shared the dance floor with gorgeous young girls whose flawless, wrinkle free skin glowed in the light. Most of them were wearing tight mini-skirts, wedge shoes and way too much make up. They were dancing carefully and if I may say so, conservatively, and I’m guessing they didn’t want to bust out of the painted on clothing they were wearing or spill their $10 fru fru drinks. They didn’t seem to be having half the fun that my girlfriends and I were, because they were too concerned about how they looked and what guys were checking them out. Me and my friends? Well, we were dancing like nobody was watching, even though people were. And laughing.

“Um…Nic, you have a hole in your sweater.” A friend of mine informed me when I was waving my hands in the air like I just didn’t care.

DAMMIT, was my first thought, I should have kept my arms down, but then I was thinking, fuck it, I gotta keep on waving my hands in the air like I just don’t care because I really didn’t care. I was having so much FUN! We were all giggling and having a blast. The old farts and the young things, dancing together on the dance floor, the obvious contrast was impossible to ignore. The young girls were laughing and dancing with us, loosening up bit by bit as they worked their way into our circle.

I was thinking how funny it was when a particularly stunning young thing watching us old bats having fun pulled my friend Lisa aside and said, “You guys are just so awesome and fun and cute. And you remind me so much of my best friend. MY MOM!”

And that’s when the light crashed with the dark; the best with the worst, the foolish with the wise and the laughter and tears began to flow.

We all burst out laughing. Choking really, and struggling to breathe with tears rolling down our cheeks. Cute? She was calling us cute? And the poor thing was suddenly confused, looking like a baby kitty with her head cocked to the side. She couldn’t figure out what had us rolling, so we told her.

Yeah, a bunch of middle aged moms being told how adorable and fun we seemed, doing our thing amidst the barely out of Underoos crowd. Each of us “cute moms” were old enough to be the mom of this girl and her friends, all of who just couldn’t get over how endearing it was to watch the old ladies sing along to songs from “Thriller.” We got such a kick out of it, but the young girl didn’t. She kept trying to apologize, thinking she had offended us in some way. She though that we took her words as an insult, but we didn’t!

Her words actually enlightened us and made us feel more beautiful than any of us had felt in a long time. Our laughter, fun and friendship made us beautiful. Our laugh lines, love handles and uninhibited dance moves and decades of friendship were making this girl smile and reminded her of the woman who had raised her, the woman she called her best friend.

Best compliment ever.

But of course we had to give her shit. Eventually she came around and understood that we were not a bit offended or angry about what she had said, we embraced her and kept on grooving. After all, we didn’t have much time before our old bones got tired and we needed to get home to bed. As we left the dance floor, still laughing, we looked back at the group of fresh faced, especially the sweet girl who compared us to her mom.

“I hope she doesn’t get the clap,” one of us giggled.

“Or Herpes!” someone else said.

“Or PREGNANT,” said another.

But we looked at each other and were thinking the same thing as we went to get our coats and head home to our families. The mom in each of us hopes that someday she will be that lucky. That she will get pregnant and have a baby to love and raise, that she will grow into a woman of character surrounded by strong friendships, confident enough to leave the house for a mom’s night out and dance her ass off amidst the chaos and innocence of youth.

Yeah, I hope that for her. I hope that she finds the balance between dark and light, wisdom and foolishness. I hope that she feels hopeful, seeing everything that lies ahead of her as an adventure even when she has no idea how she will get through the tough times.

And for god sake I hope she keeps rocking those mini skirts for as long as she can, even though the mom in me was really concerned that she was going to catch her death of cold.

Nikki's Thought Bombs

Weaning kids – There is a wrong way

One of the most glorious sounds in the world is the piercing cry of a newborn baby. Everyone in the room sighs and delights. It never gets old, you know, witnessing a miracle. And then another magnificent sound is the silence. After the baby has been cleaned up, swaddled, and fed, they are just a little bundle of shhhhhhh-ness.

It is truly magical.

But as time goes on, the sound of crying goes from being a glorious gift to a sleep sucking siren from hell as sleep deprived parents plod around in the middle of the night feeding and comforting their little lumps that prove they were once alert and energetic enough to have sex.

Ugh. I would mumble to myself, it’s time to make the donuts, as I woke to the cries of my children, both that were breastfeed for quite some time. I did this because I could, because I had enough milk to feed triplets, because I felt it was easier than making bottles and because I’m a cheap motherfucker.

To nurse or not to nurse was never a question for me once my “donuts” started producing more milk than a dairy farm. But when to stop? Ah, that was the question I asked myself from the moment I first had a human hooked on my boob. There was never a doubt that I would eventually stop, but I didn’t anticipate it to be so damn hard. It wasn’t difficult because I wanted to keep going. Hells NO. I wanted to be done. “One and done” was my thought. One year of no fun-bag fun was quite enough for their daddy as well. My husband wanted his toys back. But I don’t begrudge of judge anyone who lactates longer. I really don’t.

Whatever works for you and your kid is the good stuff, unless of course your kindergartner can’t make it through the school day without suckling on your tit. Then I judge you ‘cause that’s just mean and wrong and in our society not necessary. Go to the fucking Piggly Wiggly and get the kid some 2% for the love of freak! And I judge this woman too. This hilarious goof of a woman AND her husband, for taking the weaning form worry some to weird shit only lame wads who plan to spend thousands of dollars on future psychotherapy sessions for their children. Here is a true, holy boobsicles, bat-shit, cra-crazy weaning technique I read on an online forum for parents:

I decided to follow my sister’s lead and use the Japanese method of weaning. I didn’t think it would work, but it did! It might sound a little unusual, but here it is:.

You draw faces on your breasts – eyes and a mouth (I used waterproof liquid eyeliner)

Then you, your family and your child sit down and have a conversation about weaning – my husband and I sat down with our son and told him what a great experience breast feeding was, how it made him strong and healthy and how much I enjoyed it, but now it’s time to say good bye to nursing.

Then you show him the faces and say ‘ good-bye breasts, good-bye nursing’
Then when your child asks to nurse you show them the faces and remind them how you said good-bye. The first morning was hard – about 2hrs of crying, but after that no more tears. He would still ask to nurse weeks later and again I’d remind him that we’d say good-bye and show him my breasts. BTW – the make up lasted about a week.

I think seeing the faces helps them let go of the idea of nursing.

THIS IS NOT A JOKE. THIS IS A REAL POST ON A PARENTING FORUM!

Want to know what noise I made when I read it? Where do I even begin to shred this insanity to ribbons and how do I do it when I cannot stop laughing. I laughed until I cried and my cries pierced the peaceful quiet of the evening until I silenced them with a big glass of – you got it- wine. And I giggled because people like this will keep me employed through my golden years, despite the advances in medicine and mental illness. I mean, you just can’t use a pill to treat the kind of fuckedupness that is likely to result from having your tits talk to your kids.

There is no wrong or right way to wean; unless you do it wrong, and this draw on your boobs and make them talk to your kid is, in my opinion, just as wrong as this:

I felt it was right to share it with you. You know, since the world didn’t end today, I thought we could start the day with a good laugh that comes in the form of good advice. And in the spirit of Feckless Friday, I don’t give a fuck who doesn’t agree with me.

And P.S. buy my book AND “like” and share this post on Facebook and Twitter. SEE? FECKLESS AS FUCK!

Nikki's Thought Bombs