Archives for Nicole Knepper

Buying a ticket to the end of the world and other stuff I do in order to avoid cleaning

Whoa……I look so weird in this pic, right? (read in the voice of Keanu Reaves).

“If I won the lottery, there aren’t many things I would do differently.” Person who is full of shit that isn’t me.

I would do a minimum of 458 things differently and that’s just what I can think of and write down in 60 seconds. I would definitely take more awesome pictures of myself and funktify them with photoshop if I didn’t have to worry about the almighty dolla.

Yesterday morning I was spot cleaning the carpet in one of the bedrooms upstairs, wishing I had won the lottery so that I could say, “I am so glad I won the lottery because I hate spot cleaning the carpet. It double sucks a bag of dirty assholes and now I never, ever, ever have to do it again because I can pay someone to do it for me.”

I would also have them clean the pee and poop off the toilets. Yep.

And clean dog hair off the baseboards.

“Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind”

Coming in April of 2013.

Click right here or on the cover image to pre-order.

And clean the inside the microwave after weeks of ignoring the tomato sauce splatters that have hardened into red streaks of freaking titanium.

And drive me anywhere. I hate driving more than cleaning.

So while I was scrubbing and sweating like a whore in church, I also got to thinking deep and I thought to myself – Self, don’t be sad about having to clean because you didn’t win the lottery! Remember the world ending in a few weeks so this is probably the last time you will have to spot clean anything.

That cheered me up a bit, but not enough that I needed to take a break from cleaning and dance it out in celebration. You do know that the world is coming to an end, right?

Or is it?

I decided to do some research instead of happy dancing. Could there possibly be any truth to the rumor? And while researching this mystery, I could sneak a few peeks at baby animals online to brighten my mood.

So, while researching the end of the world, I came across stuff about eschatology, Gregorian calendar, galactic alignment, long count calendar, geomagnetic reversal, b’ak’tun 13 and come crap about the planet colliding with Nibiru. Them’s be big words and all the chemicals I used spot cleaning everything got me high so even if I did look everything up, I’d probably forget what I’d learned or it would take me a lot of days and by the time I had it all down, the world would have ended.

Anyhoooo, them’s words intimidated me and I felt a bit overwhelmed so I stopped the research, but started thinking about how the lottery and the end of the world have a lot in common while I took a break from the research and looked at pictures of baby koalas and giraffes.

Have you every thought about it? How so many things are different yet alike, good and bad at the same time?

DEEP!

When you win the lottery it really ends the world as you have know it, nothing is ever the same. There is darkness in the form of cheating bastards trying to steal and swindle you, and greedy relatives and friends trying to get a piece of the action, and often an overwhelming loss of a sense of purpose due to boredom.

But you wouldn’t have to clean your own toilets and that would be so awesomesausage. You could also pay off debt, help people you love and afford all kinds of cool and unnecessary but fun crap like a lifetime supply of desk calendars with pictures of various baby animals and investing in the production of gluten free Nutty Bars (two things I would most certainly put money toward if I were to win a big chunk o cash).

But IF the world ends and I did become a pouf of mist who no longer has to spot clean poopies or food splatters, I think I might miss doing the stuff I enjoy doing when I’m not scrubbing stuff. I really like my life.

So I guess what I’m trying to say here is that there is a fine line between the positives and negatives in any situation, and that is why it’s important to focus on the positive, even if you are elbow deep in diapers or cleaning furry mold out of your crisper, the latter of which I am trying to avoid by writing this senseless blog post and looking at pictures of baby animals online again today.

Think about it…..

The F*&%ed up and Fabulous Fun of Family Traditions

Family traditions are important. My husband and I have been taking turns hiding this guy from each other throughout the month of December for the past 10 years.

We have no idea why he was given to us because we don’t sing in a choir, we don’t go to church, and we are white as rice. I’m actually a weird shade of pink most of the time. This guy has been hidden in some weird places and I’m not going to most revel them because ……fuck you, that’s why.

Anyway, one of our family traditions is that we do NOT do the Elf on the Shelf thing. Here are the reasons why:

1) I’ve spent far too much time trying to convince my kids that monsters aren’t real, that nothing is hiding in their closets or under their beds, that their toys aren’t alive, etc. Why the hell would I un-do all that work and tell them that a stuffed elf is creeping around at night?

2) Even if I didn’t have two kids prone to being scared, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the elf nonsense. About a week ago, I got confused about the date of my birthday. MY OWN BIRTHDAY! So my children would always associate the elf with how flaky and inconsistent and unreliable their mother can be and I don’t think I need to give them another example of this to share with their future therapist.

In my opinion, if a family is going to have a tradition, that tradition needs to be a consistently enjoyable endeavor. The elf is just that for some, and there are parents out there rocking the elf and it’s making for some amusing and wonderful childhood memories and Facebook and Twitter posts!

Yay you guys!

But really, for the Kneppers, it is just a bad fit. Around here, nothing says Christmas fun like finding the African American choir boy hidden with my vibrator. I think that might be how he lost his left hand.

Ho, ho, whore!

And we do plenty of stuff for our kids so before some know it all butt sniffer starts getting bent about how my hubs and I leave the kids out and should start some tradition specifically for them, know that when you express your opinion about my choices, I value it as much as the snotty tissue my dog just fished out of the garbage can and chewed into soggy bits.

But I do love all the fun surrounding the elf and I’d love to give away a copy of this great book, “Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Humorous Angry Rants Regarding the Holidays,” written by one of the most clever and hilarious bloggers I know, Jen. So I am going to give ONE away. Only one.

No, you can’t post your photo, story or anything else on my Facebook page. No, you won’t ever be able to do so. Yes you can email me. Sometimes I reply to emails, but only if they aren’t stupid and full of requests for favors to pimp your blog, etsy story, vote for your baby in a photo contest, share a sob story about someone who needs money, etc. Seriously people, stop doing that.

But if you email me a great story about one of your twisted holiday family traditions, you can win a copy of Jen’s book. It’s funny, angry, heartwarming and rant-riffic.


Great book, great blog – you are missing out if you don’t get a jolt of Jen on the regular.

If your twisted tradition involves some creepy incest or other illegal shit, I will totally rat you out to the po-po.

queenofcussinmwdas@gmail.com

The winner will be announced sometime this week on my blog, along with the story.

And speaking of great fucking books, tomorrow, December 9th, you can stop by as The Chicago Writer’s House sponsors an event at The Empty Bottle at 1035 N. Western Ave. in Chicago, for the Pop Up Book Fair. More than 20 book sellers and drinks that you can buy (for me? why thank you) Um…no brainer. See you there.

The F*&%ed up and Fabulous Fun of Family Traditions

Family traditions are important. My husband and I have been taking turns hiding this guy from each other throughout the month of December for the past 10 years.

We have no idea why he was given to us because we don’t sing in a choir, we don’t go to church, and we are white as rice. I’m actually a weird shade of pink most of the time. This guy has been hidden in some weird places and I’m not going to most revel them because ……fuck you, that’s why.

Anyway, one of our family traditions is that we do NOT do the Elf on the Shelf thing. Here are the reasons why:

1) I’ve spent far too much time trying to convince my kids that monsters aren’t real, that nothing is hiding in their closets or under their beds, that their toys aren’t alive, etc. Why the hell would I un-do all that work and tell them that a stuffed elf is creeping around at night?

2) Even if I didn’t have two kids prone to being scared, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the elf nonsense. About a week ago, I got confused about the date of my birthday. MY OWN BIRTHDAY! So my children would always associate the elf with how flaky and inconsistent and unreliable their mother can be and I don’t think I need to give them another example of this to share with their future therapist.

In my opinion, if a family is going to have a tradition, that tradition needs to be a consistently enjoyable endeavor. The elf is just that for some, and there are parents out there rocking the elf and it’s making for some amusing and wonderful childhood memories and Facebook and Twitter posts!

Yay you guys!

But really, for the Kneppers, it is just a bad fit. Around here, nothing says Christmas fun like finding the African American choir boy hidden with my vibrator. I think that might be how he lost his left hand.

Ho, ho, whore!

And we do plenty of stuff for our kids so before some know it all butt sniffer starts getting bent about how my hubs and I leave the kids out and should start some tradition specifically for them, know that when you express your opinion about my choices, I value it as much as the snotty tissue my dog just fished out of the garbage can and chewed into soggy bits.

But I do love all the fun surrounding the elf and I’d love to give away a copy of this great book, “Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Humorous Angry Rants Regarding the Holidays,” written by one of the most clever and hilarious bloggers I know, Jen. So I am going to give ONE away. Only one.

No, you can’t post your photo, story or anything else on my Facebook page. No, you won’t ever be able to do so. Yes you can email me. Sometimes I reply to emails, but only if they aren’t stupid and full of requests for favors to pimp your blog, etsy story, vote for your baby in a photo contest, share a sob story about someone who needs money, etc. Seriously people, stop doing that.

But if you email me a great story about one of your twisted holiday family traditions, you can win a copy of Jen’s book. It’s funny, angry, heartwarming and rant-riffic.


Great book, great blog – you are missing out if you don’t get a jolt of Jen on the regular.

If your twisted tradition involves some creepy incest or other illegal shit, I will totally rat you out to the po-po.

queenofcussinmwdas@gmail.com

The winner will be announced sometime this week on my blog, along with the story.

And speaking of great fucking books, tomorrow, December 9th, you can stop by as The Chicago Writer’s House sponsors an event at The Empty Bottle at 1035 N. Western Ave. in Chicago, for the Pop Up Book Fair. More than 20 book sellers and drinks that you can buy (for me? why thank you) Um…no brainer. See you there.

You win some, you lose some

This is me this morning.

I has a big saaaaaaaaad face to go with the glob of toothpaste on my chin (that is not doing anything to help dry up the PILES of acne clusters popping up all around my wrinkly face).

Sad?

Yes. Sad.

I. have. failed.

Muchos sickos has been the theme here since Mono hijacked my son’s body in October and the fatigue is a big bag of crap that is flung in my face every damn morning when I try to peel his exhausted ass out of bed. And today the peeling didn’t go well so he missed the bus.

Curse you nebulizer treatment! Curse you and your slow fog!

But the worst part of it all wasn’t the sickness. Nope. Despite feeling like flung dung, my kid had nothing but a smile for everyone today, including his sister, who told him that she would rather swim in a pool of horse pee than to smell his breath before she flopped down on the couch and went back to sleep.

Dealing with her later would be so much fun.

NOT.

I warned her that I would not be happy if I had to run her around due to lateness. I was not in the mood at all, because unlike her brother, she is not a morning smiler.

“Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind”

Coming in April of 2013.

Click right here or on the cover image to pre-order.

So despite the fact that I have the plague and a slathering of minty fresh paste on my chin, my son wanted me to walk him into school so that I could speak to one of his teachers or some other responsible adult face to face in order to make sure there was no confusion with regard to a previous confusing thing (that doesn’t need clarification for the purpose of this blog post).

For the love of God NO!

I have toothpaste on my chin and my glasses are busted and I’m wearing PJ pants that are torn near the crotch, way too short and stained with bleach and I haven’t brushed my teeth since…..maybe Monday, I can’t remember. And my hair was looking like Bart Simpson’s if a litter of kittens slept in it for a week and a half.

Come ON!

Even my low standards aren’t this low. I could easily have auditioned for a part as a walker for The Walking Dead, this morning with coffee stained pull over, bloodshot eyes, ass breath and crusty eye boogers. I begged for mercy.

“Dude, NO. Look at me. I just can’t go in there. I’ll just shoot off an email for clarification, okay?” I pleaded my case.

“Besides, won’t you be a little embarrassed to be seen with me looking like this?” I crossed my eyes at him and stuck out my tongue, you know, because looking the way I did wasn’t terrible enough.

“Like what?” he asked.

“ARE YOU KIDDING? LOOK AT ME! SMELL ME! Buddy, I can’t go into your school looking like this. Just let me email your teachers, okay?” I couldn’t believe the look on his face.

Derp…..LIKE WHAT? Come on!

“You don’t look or smell any different than usual, Mom.” he replied.

So I grabbed a Hello Kitty Hat out of a bag from the back of the car that was going to Goodwill, shrugged and went on into the building with him. Sadly, he wasn’t even a teeny tiny bit embarrassed while I stood there flicking dried toothpaste off my chin onto the floor in the front office, trying to avoid eye contact with people.

I felt like a loser. But at this point, it was not because of how I looked, which I realize should have been the source of my sadness, but because I realized I had lost the ability to embarrass him and he doesn’t see the difference between hot mess me and clean and neat me.

I lose. I am a loser. One of the coolest and most powerful weapons in the parenting arsenal is the sword of embarrassment! Swinging that thing around for a big win is the best! At least it used to be. I have lost this battle. I can’t help but worry that I might have lost the war too. If I can’t embarrass a teenage boy looking like I look today, what do I have left? Should I start singing You Don’t Know Your Beautiful, by One Direction right there in the office? Is that what it would take? If I felt better, I might have done just that.

So I went home and woke up my daughter, again, determined to get her to school on time so that I didn’t have to face anyone there looking like a walker. It’s bad enough that most of the people in the neighborhood think I’m merely a clumsy, bizarre idiot with poor social skills who walks her obese, goose poop eating, mentally unstable dog while wearing Crocs and boxer underwear when it’s 40 degrees out.

I sat down on the sofa next to her and stroked her hair and whispered, “It’s wake up time sweet dumpling puss.”

She shot straight up in bed and started squealing as soon as she saw my face. “Oh my GOD Mom, what is wrong with your face? OHMSYGDSHB HDSOIDF I don’t even dsdkfjtdsi…..GROSS! AND YOUR BREATH IS KILLING ME.”

I smiled.

Win.

How sweet of her to notice!

And it just got better when she yelled, “DAD! CAN YOU PLEASE TAKE ME TO SCHOOL. Mom will just embarrass me with her grosening-ness!”

I felt like this saying and doing this -

You win some, you lose some.

You win some, you lose some

This is me this morning.

I has a big saaaaaaaaad face to go with the glob of toothpaste on my chin (that is not doing anything to help dry up the PILES of acne clusters popping up all around my wrinkly face).

Sad?

Yes. Sad.

I. have. failed.

Muchos sickos has been the theme here since Mono hijacked my son’s body in October and the fatigue is a big bag of crap that is flung in my face every damn morning when I try to peel his exhausted ass out of bed. And today the peeling didn’t go well so he missed the bus.

Curse you nebulizer treatment! Curse you and your slow fog!

But the worst part of it all wasn’t the sickness. Nope. Despite feeling like flung dung, my kid had nothing but a smile for everyone today, including his sister, who told him that she would rather swim in a pool of horse pee than to smell his breath before she flopped down on the couch and went back to sleep.

Dealing with her later would be so much fun.

NOT.

I warned her that I would not be happy if I had to run her around due to lateness. I was not in the mood at all, because unlike her brother, she is not a morning smiler.

“Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind”

Coming in April of 2013.

Click right here or on the cover image to pre-order.

So despite the fact that I have the plague and a slathering of minty fresh paste on my chin, my son wanted me to walk him into school so that I could speak to one of his teachers or some other responsible adult face to face in order to make sure there was no confusion with regard to a previous confusing thing (that doesn’t need clarification for the purpose of this blog post).

For the love of God NO!

I have toothpaste on my chin and my glasses are busted and I’m wearing PJ pants that are torn near the crotch, way too short and stained with bleach and I haven’t brushed my teeth since…..maybe Monday, I can’t remember. And my hair was looking like Bart Simpson’s if a litter of kittens slept in it for a week and a half.

Come ON!

Even my low standards aren’t this low. I could easily have auditioned for a part as a walker for The Walking Dead, this morning with coffee stained pull over, bloodshot eyes, ass breath and crusty eye boogers. I begged for mercy.

“Dude, NO. Look at me. I just can’t go in there. I’ll just shoot off an email for clarification, okay?” I pleaded my case.

“Besides, won’t you be a little embarrassed to be seen with me looking like this?” I crossed my eyes at him and stuck out my tongue, you know, because looking the way I did wasn’t terrible enough.

“Like what?” he asked.

“ARE YOU KIDDING? LOOK AT ME! SMELL ME! Buddy, I can’t go into your school looking like this. Just let me email your teachers, okay?” I couldn’t believe the look on his face.

Derp…..LIKE WHAT? Come on!

“You don’t look or smell any different than usual, Mom.” he replied.

So I grabbed a Hello Kitty Hat out of a bag from the back of the car that was going to Goodwill, shrugged and went on into the building with him. Sadly, he wasn’t even a teeny tiny bit embarrassed while I stood there flicking dried toothpaste off my chin onto the floor in the front office, trying to avoid eye contact with people.

I felt like a loser. But at this point, it was not because of how I looked, which I realize should have been the source of my sadness, but because I realized I had lost the ability to embarrass him and he doesn’t see the difference between hot mess me and clean and neat me.

I lose. I am a loser. One of the coolest and most powerful weapons in the parenting arsenal is the sword of embarrassment! Swinging that thing around for a big win is the best! At least it used to be. I have lost this battle. I can’t help but worry that I might have lost the war too. If I can’t embarrass a teenage boy looking like I look today, what do I have left? Should I start singing You Don’t Know Your Beautiful, by One Direction right there in the office? Is that what it would take? If I felt better, I might have done just that.

So I went home and woke up my daughter, again, determined to get her to school on time so that I didn’t have to face anyone there looking like a walker. It’s bad enough that most of the people in the neighborhood think I’m merely a clumsy, bizarre idiot with poor social skills who walks her obese, goose poop eating, mentally unstable dog while wearing Crocs and boxer underwear when it’s 40 degrees out.

I sat down on the sofa next to her and stroked her hair and whispered, “It’s wake up time sweet dumpling puss.”

She shot straight up in bed and started squealing as soon as she saw my face. “Oh my GOD Mom, what is wrong with your face? OHMSYGDSHB HDSOIDF I don’t even dsdkfjtdsi…..GROSS! AND YOUR BREATH IS KILLING ME.”

I smiled.

Win.

How sweet of her to notice!

And it just got better when she yelled, “DAD! CAN YOU PLEASE TAKE ME TO SCHOOL. Mom will just embarrass me with her grosening-ness!”

I felt like this saying and doing this -

You win some, you lose some.

This blog has no title because it’s a hot mess of random emotional weirdness

Sheesh, yesterday it felt like an invisible elf was pounding my head in with a hammer and I was crying over a picture of Steve Dahl walking with his grandson in Walgreens while I was sweating out a fever and wishing I had a nice servant boy named Wren who could look and dance like Kevin Bacon did in “Footloose,” when this Tweet came up on the Twitster (that’s what I calls it) and cheered me right up!

Anyhooo…since a Wren doppelganger was not magically appearing in my kitchen and I still haven’t found an Oompa Loompa on Craig’s List that is willing to work for minimum wage, I had to make dinner. You might ask why I even attempted to cook dinner when I have two kids who are perfectly content with cereal or frozen waffles, but I would have to have those things on hand in order for them to be eaten, right?

Feeling shitty made grocery shopping seem about as leisurely as a hike up Mt. Everest, so I didn’t get around to it. There were slim pickings available for dinner and I was wavering between feeding the kids pasta or just giving them both a can of Pringles and a glass of water.

They both suggested ordering pizza and I suggested that they pay for it with their own money since we don’t exactly have extra cash on hand with all the bills to pay and Christmas coming. Yeah, all of a sudden pasta sounded good to them since Halloween candy and ice cream wasn’t an option, because I’d been there and done that and learned my lesson the hard way. I’ll tell you about THAT asshattery in a sec.

So, because I was droopy and feeling floaty and distracted, I over cooked the pasta. I looked at the pile of mush and wanted to punch it thinking that the lump of slime looked as bad as I felt. I dumped it in the trash and started over. Both kids were yapping and groping me and I was thisclose to tears. I was feeling all emooooooshiiiionallllll!

My husband came home as I was draining the second batch pasta. I was leaning over the sink, steaming up my glasses and he said, “Holy shit, Sugar Tits, you look bad. Go sit down, I got this.”

And he whipped up some shrimp and tomato garlic sauce to go with the only slightly overcooked noodles.

Sometimes I want to hug him and other times I want to punch him. Last night I wanted to do something dirty to him. Dirty in the good way, you know, because he swooped in and saved the dinner after he’d worked all day and spent over an hour in traffic to get home. I told him to remind me to dirty him all up when I can breath through my nose again. I’m sure he’ll remind me before that happens.

So let me get back to the funny tweet that I was reading while dinner turned into pasta-snot. I mean, for the love of GOD we can’t seem to catch a break here this fall at Casa de Knepper. Lice, mono, ear infections, colds, sore throats and brain blasting headaches are a plenty, and so in order to get a giggle, I decided to read the funny blog that was linked in the tweet. It was just what I needed. So stinking funny!

Read it. I’ll wait. Detachment Parenting by Pinteresting Mammas.

I laughed, I cried, and started to have flashbacks. The post reminded me of a time when I had one of those “unconditional parenting” moments that convinced me once and for all that I’d should definitely NOT allow my toddler to be his own boss. It was a long time ago, and I was dog butt sick and exhausted after a long day. Not only did I not want to cook dinner, I didn’t want to be awake at all.

I was just DONE.

It was 2002, and my kid was into Rolie Polie Olie. I loved me some Rolie too! I especially liked the sprongy noises he made when he walked. SPRONG SPRONG SPRONG! Just about every day he wanted to listen to a CD with songs from the Playhouse Disney shows and his favorite one was called “Totally Chocolate Dinner,” from the show Rolie Polie Olie. The song goes like this –

“A totally chocolate dinner, cakes and cookies and cream! A totally chocolate dinner, eating it is just a dream. Brownies, pudding, all the works! What we will eat is just dessert! A totally chocolate dinner, chocolate up and down! A totally chocolate dinner with sprinkles all around – YEAH!”

So when he asked for “a totally chocolate dinner,” I thought, what the hell? I was feeling like hot garbage and so I gave the idea of my still pooping in his pants toddler two thumbs up and he had free reign over his dinner that night.

(Just looking at this image I hear SPRONG SPRONG SPRONG noises. I loved that sound and not just because it wasn’t Dora yelling or Steve acting like a dumb shit on Blue’s Clues. SPRONG SPRONG SPRONG! Awesomeness. But I digress….or digressed or whatever. I got distracted by sprongy sound effects, sorry)

A totally chocolate dinner” was requested and served.

Pudding? Check.

Oreos? Check.

Chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup? Check.

M & M’s? Check.

Chocolate milk? Check.

A toddler with ass blasting, explosive diarrhea who could have set a world record for distance in projectile vomiting between the bouts of blowing runny shit out his diapers ALL NIGHT LONG?

CHECK.

Sometimes I miss having little ones around. I miss the way both my children danced and sang around for hours, creating instruments out of whatever was handy; sticks, rocks, pots, pans, or real instruments that Grandma and Grandpa bought like harmonicas, recorders, drums and cymbals (read Grandparent’s Manifesto by Janet Dahl – it’s like she’s channeling my dead father). Yeah, I even miss the racket of the mini drum set sometimes.

Feeling sick, reading that funny blog and then seeing that picture of Steve Dahl with his grandson provoked some powerful emotions yesterday. My father used to cherish every moment with my son. He was such a proud grandpa and claimed that the best club he’d ever been in was The Grandparent’s Club. It’s unreal that he’s been dead for almost 10 years. How he would have loved to have kept on walking with his grandchildren the way Steve does with his little guy.

I know I do. I love walking with both my kids and much prefer the non-toddler stage, but sometimes I miss the smell of a baby fresh from the bath. Sometimes I miss folding their little bodies up into my lap, protecting them from the wide, weird world while whispering sweet lullabies to them as we rocked for hours.

SOMETIMES.

But reading the blog post by Pinteresting Mamma Jersey Diva reminded me that having little ones is really hard, especially when …..especially when…..

WHAT THE HELL – IT’S ALWAYS HARD WHEN YOU HAVE LITTLE ONES!

And it’s even harder when you are sick or tired or your little one is one of those strong willed types who makes you feel like you are a big, fat, wimpy failure because everything the experts say doesn’t work with him/her.

And so I say to Pinteresting Mom Jersey Diva, I LOVE YOU. Go on with your bad self, baby! Drink that wine and hang in there. Soon those balls on your stubborn little guy will grow hair and the monkey attached to them will want to tell you all about it. My wish for you is that you remember the squishy bath bacon brat Brandon and know that the only right way to do this is the way that feels right for you.

Good Luck to Pinteresting Mammas with your new blog. Looking forward to walking in monkey shoes with you. xo

This blog has no title because it’s a hot mess of random emotional weirdness

Sheesh, yesterday it felt like an invisible elf was pounding my head in with a hammer and I was crying over a picture of Steve Dahl walking with his grandson in Walgreens while I was sweating out a fever and wishing I had a nice servant boy named Wren who could look and dance like Kevin Bacon did in “Footloose,” when this Tweet came up on the Twitster (that’s what I calls it) and cheered me right up!

Anyhooo…since a Wren doppelganger was not magically appearing in my kitchen and I still haven’t found an Oompa Loompa on Craig’s List that is willing to work for minimum wage, I had to make dinner. You might ask why I even attempted to cook dinner when I have two kids who are perfectly content with cereal or frozen waffles, but I would have to have those things on hand in order for them to be eaten, right?

Feeling shitty made grocery shopping seem about as leisurely as a hike up Mt. Everest, so I didn’t get around to it. There were slim pickings available for dinner and I was wavering between feeding the kids pasta or just giving them both a can of Pringles and a glass of water.

They both suggested ordering pizza and I suggested that they pay for it with their own money since we don’t exactly have extra cash on hand with all the bills to pay and Christmas coming. Yeah, all of a sudden pasta sounded good to them since Halloween candy and ice cream wasn’t an option, because I’d been there and done that and learned my lesson the hard way. I’ll tell you about THAT asshattery in a sec.

So, because I was droopy and feeling floaty and distracted, I over cooked the pasta. I looked at the pile of mush and wanted to punch it thinking that the lump of slime looked as bad as I felt. I dumped it in the trash and started over. Both kids were yapping and groping me and I was thisclose to tears. I was feeling all emooooooshiiiionallllll!

My husband came home as I was draining the second batch pasta. I was leaning over the sink, steaming up my glasses and he said, “Holy shit, Sugar Tits, you look bad. Go sit down, I got this.”

And he whipped up some shrimp and tomato garlic sauce to go with the only slightly overcooked noodles.

Sometimes I want to hug him and other times I want to punch him. Last night I wanted to do something dirty to him. Dirty in the good way, you know, because he swooped in and saved the dinner after he’d worked all day and spent over an hour in traffic to get home. I told him to remind me to dirty him all up when I can breath through my nose again. I’m sure he’ll remind me before that happens.

So let me get back to the funny tweet that I was reading while dinner turned into pasta-snot. I mean, for the love of GOD we can’t seem to catch a break here this fall at Casa de Knepper. Lice, mono, ear infections, colds, sore throats and brain blasting headaches are a plenty, and so in order to get a giggle, I decided to read the funny blog that was linked in the tweet. It was just what I needed. So stinking funny!

Read it. I’ll wait. Detachment Parenting by Pinteresting Mammas.

I laughed, I cried, and started to have flashbacks. The post reminded me of a time when I had one of those “unconditional parenting” moments that convinced me once and for all that I’d should definitely NOT allow my toddler to be his own boss. It was a long time ago, and I was dog butt sick and exhausted after a long day. Not only did I not want to cook dinner, I didn’t want to be awake at all.

I was just DONE.

It was 2002, and my kid was into Rolie Polie Olie. I loved me some Rolie too! I especially liked the sprongy noises he made when he walked. SPRONG SPRONG SPRONG! Just about every day he wanted to listen to a CD with songs from the Playhouse Disney shows and his favorite one was called “Totally Chocolate Dinner,” from the show Rolie Polie Olie. The song goes like this –

“A totally chocolate dinner, cakes and cookies and cream! A totally chocolate dinner, eating it is just a dream. Brownies, pudding, all the works! What we will eat is just dessert! A totally chocolate dinner, chocolate up and down! A totally chocolate dinner with sprinkles all around – YEAH!”

So when he asked for “a totally chocolate dinner,” I thought, what the hell? I was feeling like hot garbage and so I gave the idea of my still pooping in his pants toddler two thumbs up and he had free reign over his dinner that night.

(Just looking at this image I hear SPRONG SPRONG SPRONG noises. I loved that sound and not just because it wasn’t Dora yelling or Steve acting like a dumb shit on Blue’s Clues. SPRONG SPRONG SPRONG! Awesomeness. But I digress….or digressed or whatever. I got distracted by sprongy sound effects, sorry)

A totally chocolate dinner” was requested and served.

Pudding? Check.

Oreos? Check.

Chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup? Check.

M & M’s? Check.

Chocolate milk? Check.

A toddler with ass blasting, explosive diarrhea who could have set a world record for distance in projectile vomiting between the bouts of blowing runny shit out his diapers ALL NIGHT LONG?

CHECK.

Sometimes I miss having little ones around. I miss the way both my children danced and sang around for hours, creating instruments out of whatever was handy; sticks, rocks, pots, pans, or real instruments that Grandma and Grandpa bought like harmonicas, recorders, drums and cymbals (read Grandparent’s Manifesto by Janet Dahl – it’s like she’s channeling my dead father). Yeah, I even miss the racket of the mini drum set sometimes.

Feeling sick, reading that funny blog and then seeing that picture of Steve Dahl with his grandson provoked some powerful emotions yesterday. My father used to cherish every moment with my son. He was such a proud grandpa and claimed that the best club he’d ever been in was The Grandparent’s Club. It’s unreal that he’s been dead for almost 10 years. How he would have loved to have kept on walking with his grandchildren the way Steve does with his little guy.

I know I do. I love walking with both my kids and much prefer the non-toddler stage, but sometimes I miss the smell of a baby fresh from the bath. Sometimes I miss folding their little bodies up into my lap, protecting them from the wide, weird world while whispering sweet lullabies to them as we rocked for hours.

SOMETIMES.

But reading the blog post by Pinteresting Mamma Jersey Diva reminded me that having little ones is really hard, especially when …..especially when…..

WHAT THE HELL – IT’S ALWAYS HARD WHEN YOU HAVE LITTLE ONES!

And it’s even harder when you are sick or tired or your little one is one of those strong willed types who makes you feel like you are a big, fat, wimpy failure because everything the experts say doesn’t work with him/her.

And so I say to Pinteresting Mom Jersey Diva, I LOVE YOU. Go on with your bad self, baby! Drink that wine and hang in there. Soon those balls on your stubborn little guy will grow hair and the monkey attached to them will want to tell you all about it. My wish for you is that you remember the squishy bath bacon brat Brandon and know that the only right way to do this is the way that feels right for you.

Good Luck to Pinteresting Mammas with your new blog. Looking forward to walking in monkey shoes with you. xo

The pros and cons of carpooling

Carpooling kicks ass. Most of the time. Do I prefer driving TO or picking UP the kids from an activity? Either is marvelous and sometimes not. Let me tell you a little about why I feel this way.

If I am the mom who drives the kids TO the practice or meeting, I slow the car down to a creep and shove them out of the sliding door, haul ass home, pour a glass of wine and jam some tunes or read a book in peace. After a little me time, I whip up some dinner and while I’m doing that, nobody nags at me about how they don’t want to eat what I’m cooking. I can even have two glasses of vino because the safe transport home of small children isn’t my responsibility. An added bonus to having fermented and fruity goodness while the kids are gone means I’m chilled and ready for whatever they throw at me upon their return.

WIN. Pro #1.

Now if I’m the pick up mom, I still have the choice of quiet reading, my own private dance party OR errand running. Why the fuckaroo would I add errand running? Well, because there is always something I forget to do during the day that comes up last afternoon and it chaps my ass that I’ve forgotten it. It may be low in the list of importance, or a big stinking deal like needing something for the kids school or activities for the following day. It’s also a good time to order up some on the go dinner and pick it up before getting the kiddos from wherever they need to be got from. Throwing a group of kids slices of pizza on the ride home keeps them quiet and if I tell their parents that this is my plan, they all end up loving me and thinking I’m a generous angel because they are off the hook for dinner. The wine waits at home and dinner clean up is as easy as throwing out whatever wrappers or boxes are left over as we walk into the house through the garage.

WIN AGAIN. Total Pro, right?

For the life of me, I cannot understand the chicks that choose not to carpool. I know a few who like to sit at their kid’s activity and watch every move they make at every single damn practice. Some of the time this is a good thing, sure, that makes sense. We all want to enjoy the progress our wee ones are making and have the occasional chit chat with other parents, but every single time? No thanks! I want to launch into a bunch of psychobabble crap about giving kids space and letting them do their thang a lang in peace without worrying about what their ‘rents think, but I shant. And I shall not address any other garbage like, “well, practice is an hour away and I have nobody to carpool with,” because obviously I’m not talking about that kind of situation, or the “my kid has special needs and I have to be there for X, Y and Z,” situation, because by all means that really IS important and doesn’t really apply to the general tone of this blog post. To those about to get lippy, I say this:

Lighten up or go call someone who cares to listen to your whiny disagreements. I’m busy blogging here.

But there are the cons too. Sometimes a car full of kids stinks like ass and they choose terrible music and the overall volume and tomfoolery of the group makes ten minutes of driving seem like ten years. Not horrible, but definitely cons. But the big suck, the mac-daddy of all the cons is what I like to call – IPM (Intense Parenting Moments) that comes up with the non-spawn I’m transporting.

IPM is just what it sounds like. One of the non-spawn, meaning not one of your freeloaders, asks you a major life question or reveals something big that just cannot be avoided by turning up the radio or changing the subject. Some persistent little shit either wants or needs your help and the damn responsible, caring grown up in your realizes that the expression “it takes a village” is in play.

Here’s a good example of this crap. Recently, I was driving my kid and another adorable third grader from troop 184 to Brownies when the voice of the non-spawn I will call “Rocky” squeaked out a question over the jamming Rhianna tunes on the radio (total con, but that’s just my musical preference, it could be a huge pro on your list).

“Mrs. Knepper? Have you seen the movie ‘Rock of Ages?’ I watched it at my house and it was so inappropriate. Especially that part where that boy did a disgusting thing to that girl with his tongue?”

Noooooooooooooo! I wasn’t in the mood for an IPM.

I wanted to laugh, but only because I knew what was coming next. I don’t mean that I knew exactly, but my minivan has been the traveling classroom setting for hundreds of conversations about safety, sex, sexuality, religion, politics, you know, heavy topics that are hard to explain to kids who have absolutely no context for the stuff.

I was about to turn up the radio or pretend I didn’t even hear Rocky’s question, but then my spawn, jumps in and says, “My mom wouldn’t let me watch it because SHE says it’s inappropriate. Your parents should not let you watch inappropriate things.”

So now my kid is judging her friend’s parents. Yay!  I sure hope Rocky goes home and tells her parents and attributes the judgmental comment to me. How swell would that be? Not. So I had to figure out what to say.

Shit.

But once again, Cate bought me some think time when she asked, “What did the boy do to the girl with his tongue?”

Yeah, what did he do? I watched the movie, but I didn’t remember any specific tongue thing that popped out and gave me the ewwwwwww vibe, but I’m a grown up who likes …you know what I like. I tip the rear view mirror a bit so that I can see Rocky’s face. Damn the kid is so cute, her big, brown eyes and cheeks still soft with baby fat. This kid is one of those who has me by the heartstrings. Her expression was priceless and familiar. She was getting ready to ask me tell me more serious stuff.

“Mrs. Knepper, the boy in the movie stuck his tongue in a girl’s mouth and then he was licking all over her mouth and it was so gross and then more people used their tongues to do the same thing, but not as much licking but they sing to each other’s naked underwears in the bowing alley.”

Oooooooh. Yeah, that part. Nikki likey. I DID remember the licking and singing to each other’s “underwears on a pool table.” How cute that she thought they were in the bowling alley. I looked out at the road. I had a few minutes before I could slow down the minivan and shove them out for curbside drop-off. What should I say or do in these five minutes?

Cate to the rescue!

“That is so DISGUSTING!” she yelled!

“I KNOW!” Rocky agreed.

It was go-time. I had to step in.

“Well girls, when people kiss like that, using their tongues, it’s called French kissing. Grown ups who are in love enjoy that. There’s nothing wrong or shameful about sharing your body with someone you love and trust once you are a grown up and in a relationship, but I understand how it seems weird to you guys.” I said.

Really I just wanted to change the subject, but they weren’t having it.

“I’m glad I’m English.” Said Rocky.

Me too, but if I marry a French girl or boy, I’m not going to do that. Ever.” Cate declared.

“Ummmm, well, it’s not just French people who kiss like that guys, it’s called French Kissing, sort of like how French Fries aren’t really from France.” I exhaled. I was running out of time here, we were almost at the school.

“Well, I don’t care what language it is, I’m never doing that with anyone. Ever. Not my husband or my wife. That is very, very disgusting. ” Cate barked out, her tone seething with disgust.

“YOUR WIFE? You can’t have a wife!” Rocky yelped, looking at Cate like she was a nut-bag.

“Yeah, I can. If I’m gay I’ll have a wife. If I’m not I’ll have a husband.” She answered.

“What do you mean? What is gay?” Rocky asked.

OH COME ON!

This is why carpooling can be tricky! Parenting the non-spawn by feeding them or cleaning up their puke is one thing, but explaining what gay means to a third grader all decked out in her Brownie vest, each of her fists grasping a Littlest Pet Shop Toy? Thankfully we had just pulled into the parking lot and that meant class was over!

“If you are gay and a girl, you love girls and want to marry them. If you are a gay boy, you love boys and want to marry them.” Cate schooled her pal.

“I never heard of that before. Is she kidding?” Rocky asked, looking at me for confirmation.

“No she is not kidding. There are people who are gay. This is something you can talk to your mom and dad about if you have questions, okay? But listen up girls, when it comes to anything with your body and kissing and all that disgusting tongue stuff, never forget that YOU are in charge of your body. You don’t have to do things that make you uncomfortable and if you never, ever want to French kiss anyone, you don’t have to. Nobody has permission to touch you in any way that makes you uncomfortable. You are in charge. Say this with me, ‘My body, my choice,’ Okay?”

And they said it in unison. It was cute, yet I wanted to puke. I was going to have to tell Rocky’s mom that she learned about homosexuality in my minivan and who the hell knew how she would react to that. They got back to giggling and playing with their Littlest Pet Shop Toys. Conversation over – hooray! That IPM was pretty intense, but they were over it and that let me off the hook.

And yeah, another pro for me because I didn’t have to pick them up! My job was done! I was going to go home and pour a big, honking beer stein of wine and read a book. Sure, I was a member of the village, but I just wanted to go back to my hut and let the others take over for a while. I parked the car and had them gather up their books and coats. After such an intense conversation, I couldn’t very well just shove them out of the van and zoom off, no matter how slow I was going. I do have some standards. I was almost home free, but dammit, Cate just had to speak.

“I think I’m probably gay. I love you Rocky. I love you so much.”

Hmmm….so the conversation wasn’t quite finished, but it had to end for the time being. It was time for the girls to go to Brownies time for me to get home and get my head straight for the inevitable follow up that would come later.  So I did the only thing I could think of to tie up the conversation and transition the girls to their activity.

“Cate, do you want to kiss Rocky? Do you want to be like Marge and Homer Simpson who take their clothes off and snuggle in bed? Do you get butterflies in your tummy around Rocky because you want to touch her or do you just love playing Littlest Pet Shop with her and playing outside and coloring and stuff? Loving a person doesn’t mean you are gay because there are different kinds of love. Romantic love is for married couples and people who are dating, agape love is for friends like you and Rocky, paternal love describes the way moms and dads love their children. Just because you enjoy your time with Rocky or any other friend who is a girl, it doesn’t mean you are gay. We will talk more about this later, okay? Until then, go have fun at Brownies!”

“Okay! I’m not gay for her at all then!” Cate agreed.

Shifting gears was a no brainer. She had an hour and a half of screamingly good Brownie fun ahead of her! I was off the hook. My wine and new book were calling out to me. And then Rocky spoke.

“Oh my God, YOU watch ‘The Simpsons?’ That is soooo inappropriate! I can’t believe your parents let you watch inappropriate things.” Rocky proclaimed, looking back at me with one of her eyebrows raised.

“Yep. I have seen every episode. Mom,  is there a name for people who love of animals. You know, when you let them lick you and you want to lick them and hug them when you are naked?”

GULP!

“I’m sure there is, but I don’t know what it is. I’ll Google it, okay? Have fun at Brownies girls!” I called out, my voice quivering as I tried to hold in my laughter.

Yeah, there’s a name for that alright. BEASTAILITY is the name for that, I mumbled to myself while I waved goodbye to them.

“Cool, ‘cause that’s what I think I am, Mom.” Cate proudly announced. “I am a person who is in love with dogs and wants to marry them. And make videos about it too.”

“OOOOO Me too! I’m that kind of person too!” Rocky squealed!

And just like that, the two of them grabbed hands and skipped away into the building, leaving me standing on the sidewalk with my mouth hanging open with the visual of my daughter giggling as my mom’s not yet spayed puppy humps her arm while she yells, “Can somebody get this on video please?”

Carpooling totally kicks ass. Most of the time.

The pros and cons of carpooling

Carpooling kicks ass. Most of the time. Do I prefer driving TO or picking UP the kids from an activity? Either is marvelous and sometimes not. Let me tell you a little about why I feel this way.

If I am the mom who drives the kids TO the practice or meeting, I slow the car down to a creep and shove them out of the sliding door, haul ass home, pour a glass of wine and jam some tunes or read a book in peace. After a little me time, I whip up some dinner and while I’m doing that, nobody nags at me about how they don’t want to eat what I’m cooking. I can even have two glasses of vino because the safe transport home of small children isn’t my responsibility. An added bonus to having fermented and fruity goodness while the kids are gone means I’m chilled and ready for whatever they throw at me upon their return.

WIN. Pro #1.

Now if I’m the pick up mom, I still have the choice of quiet reading, my own private dance party OR errand running. Why the fuckaroo would I add errand running? Well, because there is always something I forget to do during the day that comes up last afternoon and it chaps my ass that I’ve forgotten it. It may be low in the list of importance, or a big stinking deal like needing something for the kids school or activities for the following day. It’s also a good time to order up some on the go dinner and pick it up before getting the kiddos from wherever they need to be got from. Throwing a group of kids slices of pizza on the ride home keeps them quiet and if I tell their parents that this is my plan, they all end up loving me and thinking I’m a generous angel because they are off the hook for dinner. The wine waits at home and dinner clean up is as easy as throwing out whatever wrappers or boxes are left over as we walk into the house through the garage.

WIN AGAIN. Total Pro, right?

For the life of me, I cannot understand the chicks that choose not to carpool. I know a few who like to sit at their kid’s activity and watch every move they make at every single damn practice. Some of the time this is a good thing, sure, that makes sense. We all want to enjoy the progress our wee ones are making and have the occasional chit chat with other parents, but every single time? No thanks! I want to launch into a bunch of psychobabble crap about giving kids space and letting them do their thang a lang in peace without worrying about what their ‘rents think, but I shant. And I shall not address any other garbage like, “well, practice is an hour away and I have nobody to carpool with,” because obviously I’m not talking about that kind of situation, or the “my kid has special needs and I have to be there for X, Y and Z,” situation, because by all means that really IS important and doesn’t really apply to the general tone of this blog post. To those about to get lippy, I say this:

Lighten up or go call someone who cares to listen to your whiny disagreements. I’m busy blogging here.

But there are the cons too. Sometimes a car full of kids stinks like ass and they choose terrible music and the overall volume and tomfoolery of the group makes ten minutes of driving seem like ten years. Not horrible, but definitely cons. But the big suck, the mac-daddy of all the cons is what I like to call – IPM (Intense Parenting Moments) that comes up with the non-spawn I’m transporting.

IPM is just what it sounds like. One of the non-spawn, meaning not one of your freeloaders, asks you a major life question or reveals something big that just cannot be avoided by turning up the radio or changing the subject. Some persistent little shit either wants or needs your help and the damn responsible, caring grown up in your realizes that the expression “it takes a village” is in play.

Here’s a good example of this crap. Recently, I was driving my kid and another adorable third grader from troop 184 to Brownies when the voice of the non-spawn I will call “Rocky” squeaked out a question over the jamming Rhianna tunes on the radio (total con, but that’s just my musical preference, it could be a huge pro on your list).

“Mrs. Knepper? Have you seen the movie ‘Rock of Ages?’ I watched it at my house and it was so inappropriate. Especially that part where that boy did a disgusting thing to that girl with his tongue?”

Noooooooooooooo! I wasn’t in the mood for an IPM.

I wanted to laugh, but only because I knew what was coming next. I don’t mean that I knew exactly, but my minivan has been the traveling classroom setting for hundreds of conversations about safety, sex, sexuality, religion, politics, you know, heavy topics that are hard to explain to kids who have absolutely no context for the stuff.

I was about to turn up the radio or pretend I didn’t even hear Rocky’s question, but then my spawn, jumps in and says, “My mom wouldn’t let me watch it because SHE says it’s inappropriate. Your parents should not let you watch inappropriate things.”

So now my kid is judging her friend’s parents. Yay!  I sure hope Rocky goes home and tells her parents and attributes the judgmental comment to me. How swell would that be? Not. So I had to figure out what to say.

Shit.

But once again, Cate bought me some think time when she asked, “What did the boy do to the girl with his tongue?”

Yeah, what did he do? I watched the movie, but I didn’t remember any specific tongue thing that popped out and gave me the ewwwwwww vibe, but I’m a grown up who likes …you know what I like. I tip the rear view mirror a bit so that I can see Rocky’s face. Damn the kid is so cute, her big, brown eyes and cheeks still soft with baby fat. This kid is one of those who has me by the heartstrings. Her expression was priceless and familiar. She was getting ready to ask me tell me more serious stuff.

“Mrs. Knepper, the boy in the movie stuck his tongue in a girl’s mouth and then he was licking all over her mouth and it was so gross and then more people used their tongues to do the same thing, but not as much licking but they sing to each other’s naked underwears in the bowing alley.”

Oooooooh. Yeah, that part. Nikki likey. I DID remember the licking and singing to each other’s “underwears on a pool table.” How cute that she thought they were in the bowling alley. I looked out at the road. I had a few minutes before I could slow down the minivan and shove them out for curbside drop-off. What should I say or do in these five minutes?

Cate to the rescue!

“That is so DISGUSTING!” she yelled!

“I KNOW!” Rocky agreed.

It was go-time. I had to step in.

“Well girls, when people kiss like that, using their tongues, it’s called French kissing. Grown ups who are in love enjoy that. There’s nothing wrong or shameful about sharing your body with someone you love and trust once you are a grown up and in a relationship, but I understand how it seems weird to you guys.” I said.

Really I just wanted to change the subject, but they weren’t having it.

“I’m glad I’m English.” Said Rocky.

Me too, but if I marry a French girl or boy, I’m not going to do that. Ever.” Cate declared.

“Ummmm, well, it’s not just French people who kiss like that guys, it’s called French Kissing, sort of like how French Fries aren’t really from France.” I exhaled. I was running out of time here, we were almost at the school.

“Well, I don’t care what language it is, I’m never doing that with anyone. Ever. Not my husband or my wife. That is very, very disgusting. ” Cate barked out, her tone seething with disgust.

“YOUR WIFE? You can’t have a wife!” Rocky yelped, looking at Cate like she was a nut-bag.

“Yeah, I can. If I’m gay I’ll have a wife. If I’m not I’ll have a husband.” She answered.

“What do you mean? What is gay?” Rocky asked.

OH COME ON!

This is why carpooling can be tricky! Parenting the non-spawn by feeding them or cleaning up their puke is one thing, but explaining what gay means to a third grader all decked out in her Brownie vest, each of her fists grasping a Littlest Pet Shop Toy? Thankfully we had just pulled into the parking lot and that meant class was over!

“If you are gay and a girl, you love girls and want to marry them. If you are a gay boy, you love boys and want to marry them.” Cate schooled her pal.

“I never heard of that before. Is she kidding?” Rocky asked, looking at me for confirmation.

“No she is not kidding. There are people who are gay. This is something you can talk to your mom and dad about if you have questions, okay? But listen up girls, when it comes to anything with your body and kissing and all that disgusting tongue stuff, never forget that YOU are in charge of your body. You don’t have to do things that make you uncomfortable and if you never, ever want to French kiss anyone, you don’t have to. Nobody has permission to touch you in any way that makes you uncomfortable. You are in charge. Say this with me, ‘My body, my choice,’ Okay?”

And they said it in unison. It was cute, yet I wanted to puke. I was going to have to tell Rocky’s mom that she learned about homosexuality in my minivan and who the hell knew how she would react to that. They got back to giggling and playing with their Littlest Pet Shop Toys. Conversation over – hooray! That IPM was pretty intense, but they were over it and that let me off the hook.

And yeah, another pro for me because I didn’t have to pick them up! My job was done! I was going to go home and pour a big, honking beer stein of wine and read a book. Sure, I was a member of the village, but I just wanted to go back to my hut and let the others take over for a while. I parked the car and had them gather up their books and coats. After such an intense conversation, I couldn’t very well just shove them out of the van and zoom off, no matter how slow I was going. I do have some standards. I was almost home free, but dammit, Cate just had to speak.

“I think I’m probably gay. I love you Rocky. I love you so much.”

Hmmm….so the conversation wasn’t quite finished, but it had to end for the time being. It was time for the girls to go to Brownies time for me to get home and get my head straight for the inevitable follow up that would come later.  So I did the only thing I could think of to tie up the conversation and transition the girls to their activity.

“Cate, do you want to kiss Rocky? Do you want to be like Marge and Homer Simpson who take their clothes off and snuggle in bed? Do you get butterflies in your tummy around Rocky because you want to touch her or do you just love playing Littlest Pet Shop with her and playing outside and coloring and stuff? Loving a person doesn’t mean you are gay because there are different kinds of love. Romantic love is for married couples and people who are dating, agape love is for friends like you and Rocky, paternal love describes the way moms and dads love their children. Just because you enjoy your time with Rocky or any other friend who is a girl, it doesn’t mean you are gay. We will talk more about this later, okay? Until then, go have fun at Brownies!”

“Okay! I’m not gay for her at all then!” Cate agreed.

Shifting gears was a no brainer. She had an hour and a half of screamingly good Brownie fun ahead of her! I was off the hook. My wine and new book were calling out to me. And then Rocky spoke.

“Oh my God, YOU watch ‘The Simpsons?’ That is soooo inappropriate! I can’t believe your parents let you watch inappropriate things.” Rocky proclaimed, looking back at me with one of her eyebrows raised.

“Yep. I have seen every episode. Mom,  is there a name for people who love of animals. You know, when you let them lick you and you want to lick them and hug them when you are naked?”

GULP!

“I’m sure there is, but I don’t know what it is. I’ll Google it, okay? Have fun at Brownies girls!” I called out, my voice quivering as I tried to hold in my laughter.

Yeah, there’s a name for that alright. BEASTAILITY is the name for that, I mumbled to myself while I waved goodbye to them.

“Cool, ‘cause that’s what I think I am, Mom.” Cate proudly announced. “I am a person who is in love with dogs and wants to marry them. And make videos about it too.”

“OOOOO Me too! I’m that kind of person too!” Rocky squealed!

And just like that, the two of them grabbed hands and skipped away into the building, leaving me standing on the sidewalk with my mouth hanging open with the visual of my daughter giggling as my mom’s not yet spayed puppy humps her arm while she yells, “Can somebody get this on video please?”

Carpooling totally kicks ass. Most of the time.

Mom’s letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

Yo, can it be that I haven’t written you a letter since what, 1977? I can’t believe my thoughtlessness and I feel bad about blowing you off, because I know damn well that I was on the naughty list from 1980 to 2010, yet you never put coal in my stocking. But this letter isn’t about us, Dude! Shit got real last week so I knew I had to shoot off a quick note, not just to thank you for being decent to me, but also to give you the 411 on the haps in my life and ask you for help.

Last week, I was walking the little one to school and she tells me that she’s asking YOU to bring her a puppy for Christmas and I was like – HELLA NO – but of course I didn’t say that. I didn’t want to smack talk you, Nick, but all I could think about was how furious I would be if you brought her a puppy. Pissed enough to bake up enough Ex-Lax in your cookies that you’d be shitting your snow pants so hard, you wouldn’t be able to get out of your sleigh for six weeks. But then I thought better of it because of the kids. The kids need you. They need to believe. But I’m telling you right fucking now, St. Nick, MY kid does not need a puppy and you had better not bring her one.

I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve been a bad girl again this year. Not terrible like how I was in 1987, 1990, 1997, or 2010, or naughty like in 1988 when I was ditching school, smoking weed and fornicating in cars with boys, but naughty enough that it feels wrong to ask you for a solid. But man, I’m desperate here, so all I’m asking is that you to hear me out.

Bring noisy, ugly gifts that need six million batteries a week. I’m good with that, but do not being anything alive into my house as a gift for either of my kids, man. Nothing. I can’t take care of one more damn thing, Santa! I can barely take care of myself some days. I know it’s your thing to make dreams come true for children around the world and being the good guy fulfills your narcissistic fantasies. When you brought me that fucking Doodle Art kit and new desk in 1978, I was like FUCK YEAH SANTA IS THE BOMB, so I know what it’s like to be drunk on the feeling of being loved.

I remember sitting up in my bed thinking that if I didn’t lie down, then I wouldn’t fall asleep and when you came down the chimney, I would hear you and we’d meet and I’d run into your arms and you would grab me in a bear hug and snuggle me against your soft furry coat. I wanted to kiss your warm, pink cheeks and thank you for being so good to me even if all my teachers wrote stuff like, “isn’t working up to her potential,” and “must learn to stay in her seat,” and “needs to stop talking to her neighbor during work time.” But now, today, if you came down the chimney with a kitten, puppy, hamster, gecko or a worm for fuck sake, I would not hesitate to chew your eyes out and stick the hot iron fire poker straight up your fat ass.

But it’s not because I don’t love you. I loved you then and I love you now, but Santa, things have changed. I’m the one who has your back! I’ve put you on a pedestal for years, because I know that your magic is one of the miracles of childhood for so many, but I shit you not big fella, if you bring anything alive to this house, there’s gonna be hell to pay.

You see, I have this huge network of bitches now who’ve got my back and we can unleash a world of hurt on your and yours. I know you and Mrs. Claus didn’t procreate and you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent (elves don’t count so don’t even go there) so I’m going to school you for a sec about how much work the parenthood gig really is. You have one tough night a year when some hyper-active, demanding kids are awake peppering you with questions or wiping their snot noses on your fur coat. We all know you aren’t sitting at the mall for hours on end listening to our ankle biters drone on and one about Legos and American Girl, you’ve got a million elves doing your work for slave wages and gingerbread. I can’t be hearing you whine, SC, I just can’t.

So listen good Fatty Claus, because if I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t bother taking the time to write you this letter giving you the heads up. I’d just let the wrath of angry moms lace your treats with pet poop for years to come and pee in your milk. The truth is that when you bring live animals to kids around the world, it’s the parents who end up caring for them – paying for all the supplies, vet visits and cleaning up all their shit nuggets. We don’t have an army of elves. Well, Michelle Duggar sort of does, but most of us are on our own. Don’t do it. Don’t. Do. Not. Do. It.

And so I conclude this letter by telling you about one really good thing I did this year and that good thing is something you should have done a long time ago. I don’t know if you are just senile or keeping it old school or what, but I really think you need to get with the times, maybe take a week out of the year to do a little fucking research about what’s going on in the real world with real families. I told my daughter that YOU always ask parents for permission to bring animals to their kids because YOU don’t want to put anyone out or place an animal in a home where it can’t be cared for properly so it ends up homeless or in a shelter. I told her that YOU, Santa, would never do something that thoughtless and ignorant because you love animals too much to put them at risk.

You have been warned. You have been schooled. You are welcome.

Love,
Nikki

P.S. I almost forgot to tell you what I want for Christmas! Please bring me 365 bottles of cheap white wine, screw top please. I can’t promise I will be good next year, but I promise to try.

P.P.S. If this elf is still alive, kick him in the balls. I think he pinched me.