Monday, December 30, 2013

The Difference Between Moms and Dads

My husband and I were just having a couple of drinks after dinner tonight and I showed him this post that my friend had shared on her Facebook.

"Oh my gosh, look! It's so fleeting when you look at it this way." I say, wistfully. 

Husband takes a look for himself and studies it intently.

"Oh good," I think,  "this will remind us during the next kid crisis to be more patient and loving as parents."

"18 years and 1 month? That's still a BLOODY long time, though!" says my Kiwi husband.

(Side note: For those of you not in the know, Kiwi is an affectionate term for a New Zealander.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Submitted by Mommy Sandra in the USA

Ever imagine how boring life would be without big sisters?

Submitted by Mummy Casey in NZ

When Good Times Turn Bad

Toy Chest Quest

Fact: When you have a toddler, much of your time will be spent digging around the bottom of a bottomless toy chest for some obscure, teeny tiny component of a toy. You will swear and groan but persevere, sorting through blocks, Legos and Mr. Potato Head parts and then, God will smile upon you and you will find that golden ticket. You'll triumphantly hand it over to your toddler, ecstatic that your hellish quest is over and your captor, oops child will smile excitedly for a split second before promptly demanding "danother one."

Please Don't Ever Ask Me...

"What's for dinner?"

This question drives me insane. Every time. The assumption kills me.

It's bizarre, because I know I'll be making dinner. I'm Mom - Boy 3 or 7 obviously won't be whipping up the lasagna tonight. I know that when the day is done, the people will come and home and they will be hungry. The next step will require that a meal called "dinner" be served at the table. I know this because it happens every day. Yet, when I'm asked this question, I still feel like throwing a wooden spoon at that person.

It's like they know the best time to ask this in order to get the biggest annoyance level out of me is either right after breakfast, right after lunch, when I'm folding enough laundry to clothe every student at the kids' school, carrying a "too many bags in one trip" amount of groceries from the car, lying on the couch with a pounding headache, on the phone…ok, let's face it, any time.

It's like this: I know I have to make dinner. The kids know I'll be making dinner. I also know that they'll groan at whatever the answer is unless I say "Pizza and ice cream with Coke!" or "Doughnut sundaes!" (I just made that up) So I wish they'd just end this charade and stop asking me the dreaded question and be grateful that they have food on the table.

Parents: What's your equivalent to this bitch of a question?

Submitted by Mummy Susan in Brisbane, Australia

Realise now that my poor tree (naively) secured on a "safety table" was no match for my determined baby-who-can-stand-on-tippy-toes. Snapped clean in half. We now have a beautifully decorated stump. Falalalalaaaa….

How are you?

Boy 3 cannot say "I love you."

Me: "I…"

B3: "I…"

Me: "love…"

B3: "love…"

Me: "you."

B3: "you."

Me: "I love you."

B3: "How are you."

Desserts Trump Birth

Girl 12 and I snuggling with Boy 3.
Me: "Do you remember the day Boy 3 was born?"
Girl 12: "Yes, that was such a great day."
Me: "What's your favorite memory of that day?"

Girl 12: "Those brownies one of your friends brought you! They were SOOOOO good!!!"

Me. Every. Day.

Dealing with my three year old is like being in a hostage negotiation at all times. The wrong word, look or step at the wrong time brings disastrous consequences. Screw walking on eggshells, more like light bulbs.

Mommy Camera Curse

What happens when Mommy tries to be in a photo with her family...

Submitted by Mommy Kanako in Okinawa

Little old man; I was extremely busy at daycare today,too much stuff to do..being kiddo is not easy...zzz..

Confessions of a Groundhog Mom

Is it just me, or do you ever find yourself tearing your hair out, just yearning for your children to leave you alone for a millisecond, for them to stop saying “Mom” every other time their heart beats, for them to make their own sandwiches or get picked up from activities by someone else, nagging at them to clean their room, brush their teeth, finish their homework, just listen and do something the first time you ask, stop picking their nose, stop punching their brother, wipe the toilet seat after they pee all over it, stop pouting, stop whining, sit up straight, and JUST GO TO BED only to be suddenly consumed by a fierce love and fondness for them as you stroke their precious little heads once they’re asleep in bed?(Yes, that was a run-on sentence and it’s okay if it’s intentional.)

That beer or glass of wine has chilled you out and your eager friend “Guilt” is perched comfortably on your shoulder. You ask yourself why you freak the hell out so easily? Why are you such a witch? Where is your patience? They’re innocent little children for God’s sake! You vow to be better tomorrow, to keep your shit together, to smile lovingly and cuddle and coo and be a smushy, safe place for them to fall. Yes, that’s the real you. The mother you really are. Youwill take deep breaths, smile and be light. They’re only this little now, they’ll be out of the house before you know it and you’ll regret being such a grumpy wench.

You feel at peace, a sense of absolute clarity, knowing that things don’t have to feel so urgent or stressful and that tomorrow will be a new day. You’ll make it up to them tomorrow. You gingerly kiss their little noses and tiptoe out. 

Cut to - it’s 7 in the morning, the kids are whining about your choice of toast topping, refusing to wear anything that is NOT currently sitting at the bottom of the hamper, telling you about the project that’s due today that they’ve just remembered and you’ve discovered a peanut butter fingerprint on the boob area of your work shirt. And you’re yelling. Already. And you haven’t even left the house yet.
This is me pretty much every day.

Submitted by Mummy Casey in Auckland, NZ

Big scab on nose and lip from face-meets-concrete incident + scowl = not the photo I wanted to send to my mother in law showing my 2 year old in the tutu she'd been sent.

Submitted by Mommy Stephanie in Colorado Springs

Teething and miserable

Signs Proving Toddlers are Basically Little Drunk People

1) They make inappropriate comments ("You smell funny and why you gotta big nose?") and demonstrate their array of bodily functions at the most inopportune times, at the most public locations.

2) They have neither the ability nor desire to control the volume of their voices.

3) They do not physically need anyone present in order to engage in a conversation or argument.

4) Any little thing can make them either laugh or cry.

5) Their moods swing violently between euphoric happiness and the darkest depths of agonizing despair within fractions of a second.

6) They possess a false sense of confidence in their physical abilities. This is not helped by their spontaneity and surprising agility which fails them when it really counts. Luckily, they seem to bounce and are pretty immune from (serious) injuries.

7) People either love or hate having them around.

8) They can make or break a party.

9) They're terrible listeners.

10) They're sloppy eaters, spilly drinkers and have no concept of personal space.

Submitted by Daddy Jared in Indiana

All good things must come to an end. In this case, his favorite cartoon.

Submitted by Grandma Laura in Oregon

Story by Daddy Scott in San Francisco:

First time at the beach.
He did NOT enjoy the cold waves hitting his feet then he got all mad when we wanted to go.
He started crying, flopped to the ground and headbutted the sand.
He gets in a "headbutt the floor" phase when angry.

Spidey Butt-Scratch

All set for Halloween, no costume needed

Submitted by Mommy Yoshi in Okinawa

19 Something

Watching Mad Men with Girl 12 and the husband. There was a scene with the men in the office, one reading the paper. 

Me: "Ha! For a second, I was expecting that man to be looking at his laptop!"

Girl 12: "Mom, hello? It's 19 something!"


Rules are for Suckers!

Japanese Schools are Strict, yo.

Boy 7 ain't happy about having to wear his stupid raincoat to school with Girl 12 gets to take an umbrella. First grade problems.

Prince Charming

They Do It On Purpose


Children will always remember after 9:30 on a school night that they’re supposed to take: (select one or all) the permission slip you put in a safe location, which currently escapes you/glitter glue/30 cupcakes/their PE uniform that happens to be sitting in the smelly laundry basket right now - to school tomorrow. This is especially true on a Sunday night, after you’ve had a lazy weekend and you’re a few beers/wines/drinks in, celebrating the fact that the kids are in bed.

True story.

Quote from Phyllis Diller

We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.

Mission Impossible: The Group Shot

Submitted by Mommy Sarah in the USA

First day of school for her big sister. Her pacifier was denied. It was a double whammy of disappointment.

Submitted by Mommy Anna in Okinawa

There's that sisterly love again!

Submitted by Mummy Casey in Auckland, NZ

Christmas 2012. Santa was NOT a hit. And judging by the fact that Santa is checking out his fingers, he was pretty over the whole thing as well.

Submitted by a Mummy in Auckland, NZ

Weakened by chocolate biscuit deprivation, this poor two year old has no option but to lie in front of the pantry, in the hope that I'll give in.

Tween Problems

RKF: The Tween Years...
where you're not sure if you're too cool for the zoo or not.

How to be a Procrastinator

2) Tear that piece of paper out of that boring ass ringed notebook. You NEED to put this down in a beautiful diary. Hardback journal, definitely. You naively think that this may increase the odds of you actually following your lists.

3) Sift through your bookshelf full of hardback journals. Decide against the ones with the inspirational quotes, gorgeous photos of flowers or some sort of scenic paradise like a beach on the cover. Decide that none of them are perfect enough.

4) Get in your car, study that “Empty” light on your dash and try to evaluate whether there’s enough gas to get you to the store and back as well as to work in the morning. You go against your better instincts and decide that you’ve got enough.

5) Go to the mall. Scour all the stores, looking for THE PERFECT JOURNAL to start YOUR PERFECT JOURNAL to organize your life.

6) Walk out a few hours later with bags full of stuff you didn’t even realize that you needed - which you actually DON’T and never will.

7) You run out of gas. Shit. Look in your wallet that is now empty of bills but full of coins. Pound your fist on your steering wheel and yell out an expletive of your choice. Repeat.

8) Pull out your cellphone with the nearly empty battery and call someone to come help your ass out.

9) Decide that starting a new journal on whatever day this happened to be isn’t the right time.

10) Once you’re home, pick that boring ringed notebook back up and start your list again.
      1)Buy a journal.

Submitted by Daddy Patrik in Boston

Showing off her new hairdo after cutting her own hair.

Submitted by Mommy Amanda in South Carolina

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Confessions of an UnPinteresting Mom

I am not a Pinterest kinda Mom. I wish I were, I really do. Nothing against them, nope. I would LOVE to be able to make cupcakes too beautiful to eat. I would love to whip up reversible totes in every size for my daughter. I wish I could craft a charmingly practical board to organize all of my jewelry and have delicately decoupaged vintage boxes perched atop our sunny breakfast nook next to the adorable succulents spilling out of wine corks.

But I don't, I haven't and I can't.

I love all that stuff and have the best intentions. In fact, I have evidence of all my "best intentions" in the form of half started (or finished - is the glass half empty or full?) projects. Journals I never stay loyal to for longer than 5 days. Daily planners that I always find something just not right about. And pages and pages and pages in my "Bookmarks" folder of cute, creative ideas I'll get to one day but never do. Don't get me wrong, I'm not being self-deprecating or modest or cynical or jaded. I just know myself. I am unorganized. There, I've said it. It's true. You know that top drawer in the kitchen that has everything in it EXCEPT what you could possibly ever need in a kitchen? That's kind of how ALL of my drawers are. I'm good at keeping everyone else on schedule and organized but am completely hopeless when it comes to myself. I don't know why, exactly. I think it might be my little way to be a rebel. To claim something for myself. After all the laundry's been folded, homework looked over and signed, kids shuttled to and from activities and all the other mind numbing tasks have been completed, it's my way of saying: I'm not perfect, I got all my shit done, my closet's a mess. So what? I know where everything is in that pile. It's my pile. If my messy purse and tangled jewelry and avalanche of clothes is an indication of what makes me tick, that's okay with me. I am a complicated, eclectic collection of stuff. Organization is in the eye of the beholder.

Crafty, perfect moms, I raise my glass to you. I am in awe of you. When I grow up, I want to be just like you. But in the meantime, I'll be sitting back here with my beer and I'll just represent "the opposite of what you are" moms. Together, we are one.

Aaaaah, sisterly love.

Mr. Crappypants Houdinis his way out of his carseat mid-tantrum.

Submitted by Mommy Katie in Las Vegas

Out of town with an ear infection and no sleep…Being out at dinner seems like a great idea…WTH?!

Submitted by Daddy Ints in London

Ok. It’s not strictly a “kidface” photo…but it does shine a light on dark side of “costume parties”.

Twofer One

Double whammy! A Realistic Kidface and a WTF Realistic Momface in one. Gold.

Submitted by Daddy Cade from Las Vegas

The “I missed my nap 3 hours ago and have had too much sugar” face. 

Happy newly 7 year old with new skateboard. Pissed off 2 year old without one.

What? I am smiling!

"Having one child makes you a parent; having two, you are a referee.
 " David Frost

The Momentous First Day of First Grade

The parents are always more excited than the kids. Always.


The Retro Siblings Shot

We all have one of these, right? The colors are faded, the fashion is dated and at least one (if not all) faces are just ooooozing the "I don't feel like smiling" vibe. The pressure was so much more intense back then too. None of this digital business where you can instantly see and evaluate the keep worthiness of the photo. Back then, it was hold your breath and roll the dice, this moment is going to be captured forever. For good or for bad. And most of the time, it was for bad.