Wednesday 28 December 2011

Check it Out! I'm Funny!

I am so excited about this that I very rudely haven't even read the other winner's posts yet, I just had to share with you guys first.

As you know I recently guest posted for Momma Be Thy Name's 12 Days of Christmas which was a big thrill as well as a lot of fun.  Got to discover some great blogs and very funny ladies in the process.  What I didn't know was that Momma (aka Stephanie) submitted my post to all.things.fadra and Fadra (clearly an intelligent and discerning woman) liked it!  I shit all over one of her favourite holidays and she thought it was funny!  I want to be all modest and "aw shucks" right now but fuck it:  They think I'm funny!  Woo hoo!

So, I'm going to go do my happy dance and read the other posts on all.things.fadra and I highly recommend you do the same, because obviously you already read my post.  It just goes to show that if you're a good girl, and work really hard and use profanity indiscriminately you will be richly rewarded. 

Thanks again, ladies.  Seriously, THANK YOU!

Thursday 22 December 2011

8 Reasons I Like Hanukkah Better Than Christmas

They have cookies, too!
Every year around this time the Rotten family observes Hanukkah.  It's a tradition started by my mother in-law who, although not raised in the Jewish religion, was born to non-practising Jewish parents in a Jewish neighbourhood.  It's kind of a nice way to commemorate their Jewish roots and it's a tradition we keep alive in our house, too.  Although I'm pretty sure we're doing it all wrong and making a mess of the whole thing, my Jewish friends tell me that as long as we're trying our best God is cool with it.

With each passing year I grow more annoyed with Christmas and find more to appreciate about Hanukkah.  Sometimes I wish we could dispense with Christmas altogether and only do Hanukkah.  If you grew up with Christmas you're probably thinking what I used to think about Hanukkah: it just doesn't measure up.  There's no sparkle, no Santa.  Well now that you're all grown up I think you will be able to appreciate why I think Hanukkah rocks and Christmas can suck it.

1) No Hype.  Nobody says shit about Hanukkah until it's Hanukkah.  Do you know what would happen if just before Halloween they started playing Hanukkah commercials?  Nothing, because that would never happen.  There is just nothing to be gained commercially from Hanukkah because it's an uplifting yet serious holy event, some might even call a series of holy days or "holidays".  Also, because of reason number 2:

2)  No Presents.  It's not traditional to exchange gifts at Hanukkah unless you are trying to placate small children who got shafted out of the whole Santa business.  But the presents are the best part!  No.  No they are not.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy giving and receiving presents but Christmas takes the joy out of all that and turns it into a terrible ordeal that everyone must participate in or suffer the (unknown) consequences.

I'm sure there are people who thrive on all the shopping and the bustle but for someone like myself, who suffers from social anxiety disorder, Christmas seems like an experiment dreamed up by evil scientists to see just how many small panic attacks I can endure before I have a nervous breakdown.  Or maybe baby Jesus is punishing me for that time I ate all the heads off of the angel cookies Mummy Dearest made that Christmas when I was four.  From December 1st to the 25th my brain is occupied with this litany:

"Did I get everyone on my list?  Did I get everyone stuff they would like?  What if they already have it?  I got it on sale, will they be able to return it?  If they return it will they find out how much I cheaped out on their gift because I found it on sale and then think bad thoughts about me?  Oh God, what if I forgot someone?  What if I forgot someone but they didn't forget me?  If I fail to get everyone the perfect gift then the world will surely come to a horrifying end and it will be all my fault!"

With Hanukkah, as far as I can tell, all you need to do is pray and eat.  You just know there's something wrong with Christmas when you're wishing you were Jewish just so you could be less neurotic.

3)  The Food.  Daddy thought I was crazy for saying this because he thinks Jewish food sucks and he loves turkey.  But when he thinks of Jewish food he generally thinks of a Passover meal he went to once where the food wasn't so great.  But Hanukkah, the celebration of the miracle of the oil burning for eight days, is the holiday of foods fried in oil.  For eight days!  Have you ever had freshly fried, jelly filled doughnut (sufganiot)?  Me neither, but that's mostly because I  can't be bothered filling them with jelly.  I have however made fresh fried doughnuts without the jelly and they would easily put Krispy Kreme out of business.

What does one day of Christmas have over eight days of fried food?  A turkey?  I'm sorry but isn't that just Thanksgiving Part Deux?  And it's very likely that turkey is on the menu for Easter dinner unless you're lucky enough to have in-laws who raise sheep.  (Mmmmm, spring lamb....aghaghaghagh.)

4)  No Shopping.  That thing with no gift exchange translates into no shopping.  To the best of my knowledge, no Jewish person has ever been trampled to death on Black Friday in a frenzy to fight with some old lady for the last XBox (or whatever the hell it is the kids want these days) on the shelf.  There is absolutely no reason for me to set foot in a Walmart when making my Hanukkah preparations.  The only special shopping I really need to do is get groceries for all the food we'll be eating and then spending about 5-10 minutes chatting with the lady who runs the kosher deli where I buy candles for our menorah.

5) No Music.  Or at least very little of it.  Other than the Dreidel Song I really don't know any Hanukkah carols.  It's not that I don't like Christmas music.  I just don't like bad Christmas music.  Or, as I like to call it, Christmas Muzak.  I prefer the music of the big band era or the classical religious music.  Give me some Sinatra, Handel or Bach.

But that's not usually the stuff they inflict on you while you're trapped in some store, hot and cranky and tired, with a million things you need to buy and no money to buy it with and your kids are whining and fighting with each other and you're wondering why the hell it is that you have to go to Christmas dinner with two inches of uncoloured roots just so you can buy these little ingrates some more useless pieces of plastic they don't need and that will be lost or broken before the new year.

No, right at that moment where you would cheerfully stuff an elf down Santa's throat for forcing you to participate in this madness, this is what is drilling a hole into your brain:

                           "Sim-ply ha-a-v-ing a WONderful Christmastime..."

And that, my friends, is the song I will be singing the year I put on a Santa suit and go postal at the local Walmart, right before they tranq me into oblivion.

6)  It's Less Offensive.   I know you're probably asking, "But what is offensive about Christmas?"  It's not so much the Holiday itself as its capacity to make people identify themselves loudly and proudly as narrow minded bigots.  And of course they express this in my newsfeed which typically goes as follows:

"Hey, all you CHRISTmas haters, I love JESUS and I show my love for JESUS by putting pagan symbols in my home, imposing the unknown date of HIS birth on a pagan holiday and then SCREAMING to EVERYONE that JESUS is the REASON for the SEASON.  I will begrudgingly acknowledge whatever pitiful little holiday YOU celebrate but ONLY after you call CHRISTmas 'UNCLE'.  Because that is totally what JESUS was ALL ABOUT.  HA HA, CHRISTmas RULES!"

Yikes!  It's a fine thing if you want to take this time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  He was a pretty cool dude.  But this is a sad and misinformed way of doing it, n'est ce pas?  Do these people really think that this is an appropriate way to pay tribute to the guy who commanded you to love everyone, do kindness to everyone and be humble before your Lord?  To do unto those as you would have done to yourself?  You just never see people getting all foamy at the mouth like this about Hanukkah.  Hanukkah is nice and quiet.

7)  Family.  My whole life the very best thing about Christmas for me was to be with my extended family.  And of course that still happens but since I've adopted the role of Mrs. Claus I've been too tired and stressed out to enjoy it.  There's a lot of pressure and excitement building up to one day and then it's all over. This year I haven't been able to visit with my family or friends because I'm too busy getting ready for Christmas and the day it comes I will be running on about four hours of sleep because the kids got me up at the ass crack of dawn after I was up all night wrapping presents and stuffing stockings.  Hanukkah brings eight days of opportunities to be with family without all the chaos.  That means a more well rested you which means you are way less likely to resort to violence when that nosy relative of yours starts criticizing the way you're raising your kids.

8)  No Santa.  And if you haven't read my guest post for Momma Be Thy Name, this might be confusing.  Santa is supposed to be the whole selling point of Christmas!  Okay, if you're still confused go, read it now.  OMG do I hate that fat bastard!  For years he's been taking credit for all my hard work, for all the best presents, for all the "magic" and my kids think I'm this huge bitch because making all of that happen also makes me crazy.  I'm sure Santa must have seemed like a good idea back in Little House on the Prairie times when kids were happy to get a tin cup because it meant that they didn't have to share a cup with their sister any more.  But Christmas these days looks a lot less like the Ingalls family and a lot more like the Who's of Whoville.  Santa is something I could do very well without.

I guess that kind of makes me the Grinch.  Oh well.  L'chaim!

*I apologize right now for any misspellings or cultural misunderstandings. I'm not Jewish.  If there are any corrections I should make feel free to let me know.*

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Does This Make Me a REAL Blogger Now?

There are certain landmarks I aim to hit in order to chart my progress as a blogger.  It was very lonely in the beginning when I got almost no pageviews at all.  Then my friends and family started catching on.  I was super happy when I had evidence that people who were complete strangers were reading my blog and even coming back for more!  Then I got my first comment.  Bliss!  I'm still looking forward to my first negative comment and my first troll and if I'm lucky those two things will be wrapped up in one.  But today I hit a new landmark!  Yay!

I'm actually working on a post about Hanukkah right now but I took a moment to check my email and saw that someone was approaching me as a guest blogger.  At first I was excited that someone wants to put their stuff on my blog, but then I read the whole message.  So, being the snarky bitch that I am I took the time not only to reply, but to post it here on my blog.  Hopefully you will find it funny because I'm pretty sure that people guilty of these shenanigans will totally miss the post as well as the point.  Enjoy.


I was just wondering if you ever consider accepting guest posts on your site, ? I have written a few articles on a number of early childhood education topics and thought you may be interested in reading one with hopes that you will post it.  December is "Read a New Book Month", so I thought you might be interested in posting an article about teaching children to read, but I could also write about a variety of other topics, like cooking with children, teaching children table manners, etc.  If you would like to take a look at an article just let me know.  Please feel free to get back to me with any questions or concerns!  I look forward to the opportunity to work with you and your site.

Emily Patterson
Marketing Support Coordinator
Primrose Schools

Dear Emily,

I'm not sure that my blog is really a good place for the kinds of posts you are looking to put here.  First of all, I frequently advise my readers to swear at their children.  I even go further and advise them to teach their children all the swear words and combinations of swear words so that their kids will know what not to say (or repeat from their parents).  In fact most of my stuff is about how to raise children while avoiding them as much as possible to preserve your sanity.  Plus, my favourite word in the world is "fuck" so I'm not sure my blog is the place people are going to when they want to teach their children good manners.

I want to feel bad about this because I am very interested in supporting fellow writers but I am prevented from feeling any guilt by the fact that you clearly haven't even read my blog yet you expect me to read your stuff so you can profit from my audience.  I hope you appreciate the irony here, considering the fact that you are trying to get people to read and all.  Does that make you a hypocrite?  It might, Rabbit.  It might.

Mommy Rotten

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Beauty on a Budget: Look Like a Celebrity, Save Like Scrooge

It's the Holidays!  That time of year when we find ourselves invited to all kinds of fun and fancy social events. But it's also the time of year when we have the least amount of cash to spend on ourselves and how we look.  And let's face it: with all the holiday stress and highly sugared treats available we need all the help we can get!  What's a girl to do?

Well, fortunately for you I have been living on a student's budget for the last 15 years (even though I graduated 10 years ago) which went a long way towards helping me develop some MacGuyver-esque beauty solutions that are easy on the wallet.  And because I'm an awesome Mommy who knows that sharing is good I will tell you how to look like a celebrity while saving like Scrooge.

1)  It's almost officially winter and all that cold dry air is wreaking havoc on your hair.  If you want to look glamorous you could do what the stars do and visit a salon/spa where they will wash your hair with truffles and caviar for the humble price of $400 (not including tip).  Can't afford that?  Head out to your local drugstore and you can buy any number of deep conditioning products and hair masques that will only cost between $5-$20 depending on the product.  But you know what?  Mommy can do better.  If you really want soft, smooth shiny hair look no further than your local Asian market.

It's "natural"!
For only $3.99 you can buy a jar of Mr. Goudas' coconut oil.  I swear this man is the next Vidal Sassoon.    All you need is a tiny, tiny amount.  (Seriously, less is more with this stuff or else you will just be greasy instead of shiny.)  This jar of coconut oil will last forever.  Only it won't because it will go rancid before you're able to use it all up.  Solution?  Make popcorn!  Apparently some movie theatres use coconut oil to make their popcorn because it enhances that popcorny smell that makes you want to spend $6 on $0.30 worth of popcorn.  I swear by Mr. Goudas because using it makes my crispy, goat-pelt hair feel like silk.  Also great on skin!  Some women swear that it will diminish scars.  Obviously a beauty must-have.

2)  You've had a couple of kids and the girls, they just aren't hanging the way they used to.  In other words they hang far too much.  You could do what the stars do and get yourself a boob lift which will set you back $4000-$6000.  You could go out to Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond and get one of those Strap Perfect gadgets that go on your bra to hold the straps together for only $5.  But Mommy is a cheap ass and know you can buy another stocking stuffer with that $5.  The solution?

Also doubles as a cat toy.
How about a piece of string?  Why shell out $5 when you can find a piece of string just lying around the house.  Sure it's not "invisible" like the Perfect Strap model but you can make it festive by using a red or green piece of string.  I had some pieces of silk ribbon in a drawer that I had saved from Christmas gifts Past and so my piece of string feels like it's sexy lingerie.  Just use piece of string to tie your bra straps together and voila!  Instant boob lift.  Yes, you can rock your cleave on Christmas Eve for absolutely nothing with a simple piece of string.

3)  You want to look your best for that fancy dress Christmas party you have to go to but those kids that messed with your boobs left their mark on your belly and butt, too.  You could go and get a tummy tuck and butt lift which will cost about $6000 each.  You could do what Tina Fey and Beyonce do and wear Spanx.  But a decent Spanx undergarment fetches about $100!  And Mommy knows from experience that the knockoffs are garbage.  How do we get Spanx control without Spanx prices?

It's a Canadian thang.
Why not take a page from Red Green's book and solve all your problems with duct tape?  Duct tape is fucking awesome as any good Canadian, having grown up on The Red Green Show, will tell you.  If you haven't had the benefit of enjoying the the comedy of Red Green just read this Wikipedia article where you'll find the many, many uses of duct tape.  This stuff is literally the glue of the US military and NASA!  Duct tape saves lives!  So it's certainly up to the task of holding up your ass for a couple of hours.  Duct tape also comes in a variety of colours all for the low, low price of $7.17 a roll!  And it doubles as an incredibly effective exfoliating and hair removal system.  You can't go wrong!  The only thing it can't do is cure your hangover the next day.  So please, drink responsibly.

Monday 5 December 2011

The Evil Elf

Some families are able to decorate their homes for Christmas sometime in November.  Some families are able to expect that the ever watchful eyes of Santa will ensure the good behaviour of their offspring.  Some may even call it the "most wonderful time of the year".  Not the Rottens!  In our house all that flashy tinsel and coloured lights cause our ADHD to go into maximum overdrive.  And I say "our" ADHD because when you live in a house with ADHD it is everyone's ADHD.

It would begin right around the time stores started decorating for the Holidays.  There would be more commercials on TV and music on the radio and sugarplum fairies would begin buzzing chaotically inside Frick's head.  Right around the same time his typical symptomatic behaviours would intensify.  That would mean more interruptions, more incessant chatter, more knee-jerk lies*, more "forgetting", and more of the stuff that got notes sent home from teachers.  (In fact my favourite all time parent teacher meeting took place right before the Christmas break.)

(*Note: A "knee-jerk lie" is a term I made up to describe Frick's almost knee-jerk response to just about any question ever.  I had to develop an entire new system of inquiry in an elaborate effort to avoid his need to lie about everything.  It is imperfect at best.)  

But it wasn't until we invited the Christmas Spirit directly into our homes via Christmas trees and hot chocolate (a Devil's Liquor!) that a demonic presence I nick-named "The Evil Elf" would enter and take possession of my exasperatingly wonderful little boy.

It was under his influence that Frick took up finger-painting in a most questionable medium one frosty December morning.  It was under his influence that Frick got up before us one Christmas and opened every single present (his only sign of restraint being that he only opened the ones with his name on them.)  It is under his influence that Frick occasionally cracks and throws grand-mal toddler-style tantrums that can last for roughly three days at a time.  And if I so much as dare to ask for the odd chore around the house I can be sure that I will pay for it in some kind of passive aggressive act of vandalism instigated by this little fiend.

I think the best year we had before we got wise to the Evil Elf, was the year Frick was sick with the flu and therefore too listless to really do anything other than spew purple, grape-flavoured cough syrup into Daddy's face and all over the shirt he wanted to wear to Christmas Dinner because he "didn't like the taste".

It took us a while but we finally clued in: Christmas has adverse effects on ADHD.  Frick knows he can't possibly live up to the expectation of "being good" and so he lets go of all self-control in an act of self-defeat.  He is set up to fail in this environment because of Christmas music and cartoons and cookies and egg nog and the promise of presents and the constant talk about Christmas and presents and Santa and Omigod it's coming I'm so excited Yay Christmas!  It's probably a lot like trying to write a thesis in the middle of a rave.

On meth.

I developed a few coping mechanisms that helped.  1) Lots of wine.  2) Tell Frick that he'll get a present from Santa no matter what he does and 3) Delay decorating as long as humanly possible.  In fact try not to mention Christmas at all.  And the last couple of years this worked reasonably well.

I should have stuck to the plan.  I really fucked it up this year.

There's a Christmas party we go to every year as one of our traditions and this year it was early.  Still, it seemed like a good opportunity to decorate for Christmas as a family activity.  I felt safe because 1) Frick knows the truth about Santa this year and 2) He's been remarkably good lately.  He really seems to be maturing a lot which makes handling his ADHD much easier than it used to be.  Also he's been going out of his way to help out around the house without even being asked!  The last two weeks he's been getting up for the early morning dog walk even though that's my time to do it, so I could get a little extra sleep.  Maybe Frick had outgrown the Evil Elf.  I dared to hope.

He was fine at the party but by the time we got home the damage had been done.  The Evil Elf was back.

My efforts to resist the Elf were futile.  I knew that as long as those lights were twinkling in my home every minute of every day was going to be a tearful and frustrating struggle.  There was nothing for it but to take everything down.  I sent Frick out to walk the dog and I was able to swiftly hide all evidence of Christmas before his return.

A few minutes after he entered the Christmas-free environment Frick was back to normal.  He even said he felt much better.  I consoled him with the fact that at least we would have the fun of decorating for Christmas twice this year.  We think we'll all be much happier if we put things on hold for a couple more weeks.

Wednesday 30 November 2011

Because You Asked For It: Let's Get It On

Source: Canadian

Explain this to me!

My husband is driving me batty with his "the kids have to learn to go to bed on their own" basically he wants to say, "go to bed" and they just do, without complaint, or without wanting us to spend some time with them.  GAWD!

So, I tried to say to him, "why is it that our children are expected to sleep alone, not have some cuddle time with one of us, but YOU need ME to sleep with?"

Suddenly I am married, and I never get to sleep alone again? My husband is needier than my kids!  W T H???  He says he can't sleep very well if I'm not here....BUT he expects our kids to just "figure it out".....

Personally I think he is spending less time with our kids because his work hours are longer, and he's devoted to the gym 6 days a week, that spending time with them is irritating to him....

I don't get his logic.

                                                                             By Daisy's Mum

Dear Daisy's Mum,

Do you like music?  I do.  I just thought it would be nice if the two of us could have a little music while we discuss your husband.  Hold on a sec, 'kay?

Now we'll just let that play in the background while I talk.

So like, I have no idea what is wrong with your man.  I mean, what healthy, virile, gym-going fella wouldn't want to sit around waiting for his wife to tell stories and cuddle or pass out from exhaustion with his kids?  What does he expect?  For them to just "go to bed" when they're told, without cuddles or complaint, like he (and probably everyone he ever knew) did when he was a kid?  GAWD!

He says he doesn't sleep well without you.  What on earth could YOU be doing for HIM that would help him sleep, and why is he entitled to it but not your kids?  Selfish!  As if his sleep is more important than the children's!  Why, they are young and growing!  What's he doing?  Working long hours to support his apparently single-income family?  W T H???

Like, all of a sudden you're married and your husband just expects you to be in his bed every night?  When do you get to sleep alone, huh?  Although, I'm a little confused.  Do you want to cuddle with your kids at bedtime or do you want to sleep alone or what?  Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure your husband is an asshole.

Worst of all, he is spending what little free time he has escaping from his family to go to the gym!  That, to me, is very disturbing.  Of all the places he could be going to escape his family; the club, the strippers, the racetrack, he chooses the gym!  And then that bastard comes home to you all fit and wants you to cuddle with him!

I don't get his logic, either.

                                                                                                  Mommy Rotten

(Music from the incomparable Marvin Gaye)

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Did You Forget Your Password?

I'm slow to keep up with the times.  Last night Daddy helped me finally set up my online banking after I bitched at him for not printing a receipt the last time he borrowed my bank card.  I hate not knowing my balance but I've been afraid of convenient technology after a bank machine ate my paycheck once and I had a minor panic attack over it.  Ever the gentleman, he basically did most of the work for me.  All I really had to do was enter a password.

My go to password is something that is really easy for me and only me to remember.  I picked one so embarrassing that wild horses could not induce me to tell anyone what it is, and so weird that no one would be likely to guess.  So once that was done all we had to do was to go through the superfluous step of dreaming up a password retrieval question.  Daddy was kind enough to read some out to me.

"How about 'What is your grandmother's middle name?'"

"I don't know.  Holy shit.  I don't know my Gramma'a middle name!  What is wrong with me?  Wait.  Does she even have a middle name?"

"Okay, so that's out."

"No really, I have her birth certificate somewhere.  Hold on."

"Why do you have her birth certificate?"

"Because she's old.  It's like an historical document or something."

"What about 'What is your Mother's middle name?'"

"Here it is.  See!  No middle name."

"Uh...your Mom's middle name?"

"Margaret.  After my Grandmother.  Hey, wait!  It says here her name is actually "Maggie".  I don't even know her name!  How do I know anything any more?"

"You know what?  Let's try something else.  'When is your wedding anniversary?'"

"When is our wedding anniversary?"

(Looking uncomfortable) "Okaaay.....'What were your wedding colours?'"

(We stare blankly at each other.  We got married on our front lawn.)

"'What is your song?'"

(More blank stares)

"How about 'Where did you first meet each other?'"

"Oh my God, we are the worst kind of people!  (Sigh)  What's the next question?"

"'What is your childhood phone number and area code?'"

"Huh.  Of all things, that is something I know."

Monday 28 November 2011

Naming John Smith

It seems everyone these days wants a unique name for their kid.  Having grown up in the generation of Jason and Jennifer I can understand that.  I remember thinking how annoying it must have been to constantly go around tagging an initial to your name in an attempt to be distinguish yourself from four other kids in your class.  One classroom I was in had a Jen B, a Jenn D, a Jen F and a Jenni H.   People want their own sense of identity.

We don't get to pick our own names but we do get to pick our kids' names.  Some of the names I have seen floating around out there give me the impression that some people are having babies just to be able to name them, like they're an accessory.  Most parents I know personally are just looking for a normal, nice name that isn't likely to be shared with ten of their classmates.  But then these are my friends and I have certain standards.  I too, shared these same goals when trying to name my kids.  (Sigh) I failed.

Our real last name is one of the most common surnames in English speaking culture and so I felt some pressure there to not turn my kid into a "John Smith".  Unfortunately my favourite name in the world since I was a little girl had been in the top five of my generation.  It was one of a few reasons my family gave for not being particularly enthusiastic about it.  But when Frick came and they got to attach the person they loved to the name, they got to love the name as well.

A quick Google search revealed that it was in the top 20 and therefore pretty common but I consoled myself with the fact that it was no longer in the top five.  I had only named him "Bob Smith" and that was somehow better because I still got to use my favourite name and who knew if and when I would have another kid?

But then came Frack.  I had already used up my favourite name and the thing is, I am very bad at coming up with names.  Like, I can do okay if it's for comedic purposes but I really shouldn't be allowed to name people who are ever expected to be taken seriously.  It's very lucky for our kids that they aren't girls or they would have been screwed.  Before we knew we were having another boy I was coming up with stuff like "Morag" and "Eugenie" and while I might be crazy enough to like these names I know better than to saddle a kid with them.  With boys it seems I only err on the side of being unimaginative.

I began to develop a romantic association with Frack's name because I read it in a book.  And before you bust me for pretentiousness understand that it was a children's book.  Daddy and I went over many, many names and there was just no other name I liked so well.  The more I advocated for this name the more attached I got and I soon began to love it as much as I ever loved Frick's name.  Daddy's only objection was its overwhelming popularity.

I groaned when he showed me the statistics.  I had fallen in love with "John Smith".  Pregnancy hormones do interesting things to my brain, though.  When I get a notion about something I hang on to it with everything I've got and get insistent to the point of belligerence over it.  I just had to have this name for the baby and one way or another I was going to get it.  I even conceived ridiculous fears that some other pregnant woman we knew might snatch the name up before us.  I know.  I'm ashamed of myself.

And then I suffered the naming hangover.  For a long while after Frack's birth I cringed.  I cringed every time a mother scolded her John Smith at the park.  I cringed every time I had to admit I had picked the most popular baby name of the year Frack was born like some mindless trendy sheep.  I cringed at the strong likelihood that there would be a boy in his class with the same first and last name.  But there was no turning back.  Not for anyone.  Frack had John Smith written all over his face from the moment he was born.  Rarely has anyone suited their name so well.

And so I did what any reasonable person would do.  I found ways to justify my choice.  For example, my married name has lent me a new kind of anonymity I hadn't experienced before with my difficult to spell maiden name.  It is impossible to Google me.  There are thousands of women with my name on facebook.  I kind of like it.  It means getting lost in the crowd.  It means personal privacy.  And even though I grew up in a generation that did not electronically document every bad decision they ever made, I recognize the value of that kind of thing not being available to the general public.  The way I see it is that, ultimately, my lack of imagination will be saving my boys from their own stupidity.

And really, when you're a mom of boys, that is all you are required to do.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Exorcising My Couch

I have a better picture but I can't find my cable.
I got a dog!

What does that have to do with possible demons in my couch?  I'm getting to it, just be patient.  I'm pretty fucking happy about this dog right now.  I named him "Fry" and I don't mind saying his real name because he's a dog and I'm not particularly worried about protecting his identity.  Also it took me long enough to come up with "Fry", I really don't want to have to go through the work of dreaming up another name.  Also it goes well with my kids' fictional names.

Anyhoo, Fry has fleas (ugh!) and I am currently in the process of sanitizing and de-flea-ing my entire house.  We have hardwood floors and haven't owned a vacuum cleaner in about ten years.  And because a vacuum is a crucial tool for flea elimination.....I got me a new vacuum cleaner, too!

What does a vacuum cleaner have to do with possible demons in my couch?  Why, it allows me to exorcise them of course!

I never gave the couch much thought until we had Frack and he started walking.  As soon as he was able to walk he had the kind of freedom that allowed him to jam unspeakable things deep into the recesses of my couch.  Up until then, I had found my broom to be a perfectly adequate weapon against household dirt.  But my broom was no match for Frack and his unholy Cheerios.  I tried not to think about it every time I sat on the couch and that slightly cheesy odour would poof out in an almost imperceptible little cloud.  Every day I did the best I could to rid the area under the couch cushions of all debris with the broom, but then Frack would jump on the bare couch and whole new colonies of Cheerios would come tumbling out.

Resistance was futile.

When Daddy called me to ask my opinion about vacuum cleaners because he was in the store buying one, I got so excited!  I might be the last woman in this century to get excited over a vacuum cleaner, but I was perfectly willing to let this be my Christmas present this year.  And when Daddy came home with that Dirt Devil you would have thought it really was Christmas the way the boys reacted.  They immediately fell to pretending the hose, nozzle and extension were bazookas and flame throwers.  After explaining some of its features to me, Daddy announced, "Let's try this baby out!" and then did a few sweeps over the floor before I siezed it from him.

"Oh no you don't!  I've got plans for that."


"I want to get that bad boy into the couch.  It's my hope that I will be able to find and kill the Queen Cheerio.  It's our only hope if we want to destroy the hive."

Vacuum cleaners have improved a lot since I last owned one.  The second-hand Hoover I used to have in my college days did an okay job for its time which was, basically, to suck up the lightest of dirt, dust and hair and then kind of spray it out behind you in a fine, even, misty distribution.  You might get about 20% of whatever it sucked up by accident into a flimsy paper bag that was sitting inside of a flimsy canvas bag.  Oh and good luck, by the way, remembering what make, model and size your cleaner uses when you're at the store trying to buy refill bags.  All it was really good at picking up were long pieces of string that would jam up the works so that you couldn't use it at all until you sat down to untangle the whole damned mess.  This required me to meticulously inspect my floors and removing anything at all that might offend the sensitive digestion of old Herbert (my little nickname for the useless piece of shit).

These days vacuum cleaners have hermetically sealed, re-usable plastic chambers that can be emptied and cleaned with a freaking HEPA filter locking that shit in.  When I put the hose down the couch it immediately sucked up a spoon and a (Canadian) dollar!  Compared to Herbert, the Dirt Devil had the sucking power of deep space.  I had half a mind to use it to suck the fleas right off the dog.  (Don't worry I did not vacuum my dog.)

So I got right in there with the vacuum but after about ten minutes I was still sucking up crap from the same square foot of couch.  It was like there was some kind of wormhole to the Cheerio-And-Whatever-Crap-They-Take-Prisoner Universe in there or something.  It sucked out socks, underwear, puzzle pieces, playing cards, junk mail, half-eaten granola bars, cookies, crackers, dinky cars, blocks, alphabet magnets, poker chips, transformers, lego and of course Cheerios.  So many damned Cheerios in varying states of decay.  Oh my God!  The Cheerios!

My kids were going apeshit with excitement.  Those Cheerios were putting up a pretty good fight.  And then Frick started laughing and chanting: "The power of Christ compels you!  The power of Christ compels you!" finding it deliciously funny even though he has never actually seen "The Exorcist".  He got the line from an episode of Family Guy.  I'm not sure that's better.

It was late and there was no way I was going to finish anytime soon.  I decided to turn in and get a good night's sleep so I would be refreshed for battle in the morning.  It took me most of the next day and emptying the chamber about four or five times but after all that work I finally rid myself of the evil in my couch.  Exhausted, I wiped the sweat from my brow and declared in the soft southern tones of Ms. Zelda Rubinstein (aka. Tangina)

"This couch is clean."

Or is it?

(photo from

Tuesday 15 November 2011

The Talk: Scrotum. It's a Funny Word.

Last week I related my experience trying to explain vagina to my then three year old son.  I thought that was hard because he was having difficulty understanding alien junk.  Turns out that was nothing compared to his next question.

A few months after our vagina talk, I'm sitting on the couch enjoying my morning coffee and reading a book.  Frick is playing with his cars on the floor next to me.  All of a sudden he gets up and approaches me,

"Mommy, can I ask you a question?"

(Not looking up from my book) "Shoot."

Frick drops his pants and grabs hold of his penis.

"I know what this is for (shaking his penis at me) but what is this for?"  And with that he reaches under and grabs his balls to illustrate what he means.

OMG!  I almost spit out my coffee.  A couple of things are going through my head once I get over the initial shock: 1) I know that as a responsible parent I am supposed to answer this question in a matter of fact tone using words he can understand, and 2) Scrotum is way too funny a word for me to be able to say it out loud.  It's just one of those silly words guaranteed to cause hysterical giggling on my part.  "Vagina" was kind of difficult but "scrotum" would be downright impossible.  My brain begins searching through, and then rejecting, almost my entire mental Rolodex of synonyms for "scrotum" in an attempt to select a term I could use with a straight face.

Scrotal sack.  Nutsack.  Nuts.  Balls.  Stones.  Gonads.  Nards.  The beans.  Bollocks.  Cojones.  Nuggets.  Family jewels.  Package.  Manjigglies.  Testes...

How was I ever going to be able to explain this?

Meanwhile my son stands there, his junk in his hands, waiting patiently for me to finish having what must have looked like a mini-stroke.  I stall for more time by getting him to put his pants back on.  My response?

Summoning every ounce of self-restraint, I somehow manage to say the word "testicles" without stammering or giggling and then launch into a ridiculous analogy of a "Little Swimmer Factory"  that was closed for business now but that would open up some day so he could make babies.

"Mommy, I can't make babies.  Vaginas make babies."

"No, Mommies and Daddies make babies together.  A Mommy needs the Daddy's little swimmers to make a baby."

"But how does she get them out?"

"They come out of your penis."

(Horrified) "What!?!"

And he listens with growing shock and dismay as I calmly explain the mechanics of baby-making.  I can see the wheels turning as I talk, contemplating the significance of what I am telling him.

"And that means you and Daddy...?"


"And that I...?"

"Uh huh."

"And some day I'm gonna...?"

"You'll want to.  When you grow up you'll like doing that and that's normal."

"No way.  No way am I ever going to want to do that!"  And then, clearly having had enough, he stalks out of the room shaking his head and muttering, "Huh uh.  No way....just,  ew!  Man!  In my house!  Some people."

Friday 11 November 2011

Because You Asked For It: He's a Screamer

Source: Toddlers are fun

Screaming When Excited

My son is 25 months old and such a healthy, happy, bright boy.  He is full of energy and gets super excited, especially around his cousins.  When we spend time with my cousin (shes pretty much a sister to me, so we say our kids are cousins as well), my son gets super excited and screams out of excitement.  This doesn't bother me.  He is happy, having fun with his cousin.  What is the big deal right?

My cousin, however,  thinks he shouldn't scream and constantly tells him "no screaming".  It makes me feel extremely uncomfortable I honestly don't see the big deal.  They are 's why he shouldn't scream.  I understand that screaming in a public, especially indoor locations is wrong and he doesn't normally scream then anyways.  Should I be teaching him not to scream altogether?

Or cut back on our playdates, at least at her house?  On the other hand, my sister-in-law doesn't mind the screaming from her kids (my niece and nephew) or my son whatsoever!  Just wanted to get some advice from other parents and here what everyone thinks!

                                                                              by Leyla

He's just super-excited!
Dear Leyla,

Why is your cousin so mean?  Doesn't she understand that your healthy, happy, bright boy is only full of energy and super excited because he is playing with her kid?  It seems pretty ungrateful of her to be constantly telling him to stop screaming in her house when it's only because he's so super excited to be there.  What's the big deal, right?

Who wouldn't want to try and carry on a conversation with a couple of screaming toddlers running around?  It's the most joyous sound in the world!  Besides you're not in "a public".  Even your 25 month old realizes this.  No, he's a good boy and he's thoughtfully reserving his shrill, migraine-inducing screams of joy for your cousin.  Who, by the way, shouldn't even be bothered by it.  After all, it honestly doesn't bother you or your sister-in-law whatsoever!  Just what are you supposed to do?  Teach him to not scream altogether?  Sheesh!

I'm afraid the only solution is to not just cut back on the playdates, but cut them out completely.  It's sad to lose a cousin so close you think of her as a sister, I know, but you've already sat there and done nothing while she constantly tried to get him to be quiet.  And you felt extremely uncomfortable while she did it.  What else could you possibly do?  How anyone who has children can be so unreasonable about the ear-splitting racket they make is beyond me but I guess that's just the way she is.

                                                                                       Mommy Rotten

Wednesday 9 November 2011

The Talk: Let's Talk Vagina

A lot of people have a lot of different philosophies about how to handle The Talk with their kids and I'm not here to say one is better than the other.  Whatever philosophy you have it is probably ridiculous because nothing feels sillier than trying to explain sex to your kids no matter what.  For me The Talk is not just one excruciatingly awkward informational hour but a painfully ongoing conversation that sometimes borders on the inappropriate.  And what better way to handle my parenting PTSD than to use it as blogfodder?  And because this Talk is an ongoing conversation I can probably stretch it out over a few posts.

And so I present to you the first instalment of The Talk: Let's Talk Vagina

It all began at the tender age of 3 1/2 when Frick was trying to figure out the differences between boys and girls.  It was very confusing for him.  Every time he thought he had it there turned out to be some kind of exception.

"Girls have long hair and boys have short hair, right Mommy?"

"But what about Gramma?  All your Grammas have short hair and they're girls."

"Oh.  Right.  Ummm, boys wear pants and girls wear dresses?"

"I'm wearing pants right now."

"Oh.  Girls have boobies?"

"Girls don't get boobies until they grow up and we don't wait until they're grown up to know they're girls."

"Well then how can you tell?"

"Because boys have a penis, like you do, but girls have a vagina."

"A va- What?!?  No they don't!  They have a penis!"

"No, they don't.  I don't have a penis!"

"Yes you do!  I've seen it!"


"But I don't have one!"

"Yes, you do!  It's a hair penis!"

Oh boy.  It's really amazing how a blank slate of a brain will interpret information sometimes.  Apparently Frick's young mind needed to interpret my pubic hair as a "hair penis" because that was the only thing that made sense to him.  Explaining this was going to be tricky.  Also, I really needed to trim my lady garden.

"No honey, that is not a penis.  I have a vagina.  It's very different from a penis and it is what makes me a girl."

(Skeptical) "No.  Penis."

In this moment I am mentally struggling to find some way to explain this to Frick so that he will not only understand but also be convinced.  The only thing I could come up with was to show him a picture.  I was pretty sure my pregnancy book had diagrams in it so I told him to sit tight while I went to find the book.

Utterly unconvincing.
Frick easily understood the penis diagram.  That was familiar.  But the diagram for the vagina, with the uterus and ovaries made absolutely no sense.

"You do NOT have that!  You're tricking me!"

"I do.  You just can't see them because they're inside of me."

"Penis!  Hair Penis!!!"

Once Frick gets an idea in his head, his brain locks onto it like a pitbull.  You almost have to pry the idea out of its stiff dead jaws.  Diagrams were not going to cut it.  He was going to have to see the real thing.  There was nothing else for it.

I sure as hell wasn't going to show him mine.  Besides, he'd apparently seen it before and that's what got us into this mess in the first place.  I knew all I would get from the internet was porn.  So there was nothing left but whatever was in my pregnancy book.  And all of those vaginas were in various stages of childbirth.


.... at least they left no room for ambiguity.

After possibly traumatizing my son with these graphic, but thankfully black and white (and therefore artistic) photos of babies emerging from vaginas, he no longer doubted.  He was quiet for a moment.



"I'm glad I'm a boy!"

Friday 4 November 2011

Because You Asked For It: Paternal Play

Source:  babycenter

Why do you think so many mothers don't play with their kids?

Whenever we go to the park I see Dads playing with their kids; Kicking a ball around, shooting hoops, chasing, etc.  The most I have ever seen a mom do is push the swing or wait at the bottom of a slide.  Why don't more women get actively involved playing with their kids (I don't mean in place of peer play).


Dear letsplay,

To answer your question, letsplay, I guess dads are just better parents than moms.  Because we're a bunch of lazy bitches and dads aren't.  But you know while we are noticing how gender plays a role in parenting style why stop at the park?  There are all kinds of gender differences to be explored.

For example, why is it that whenever there is a baby to be gestated and then squeezed out of a ridiculously tiny opening I only ever see the moms doing the real work while the dads are just standing nearby?  Why is it that moms are the only ones with chewed up nipples, and most of the time it's the moms getting up at 3 in the morning to clean the baby's explosive shit?  You know, the kind that shoots straight up the back and then ends up all over the walls of the crib and the bedding and (Oh, Dear God!) in their mouths?  I have almost never heard a guy talk about that morning because he slept through the event while his wife donned the haz-mat gear and took care of it.  Because even in this age of equality, somehow we women are still the ones taking care of the shit.

And what's with the single parent families?  Whenever I see a single parent family it seems like the parent is always a mom.  I wonder why that is?  Why is it that dads are much more likely to run out on their kids than moms?  And since father absence is such a big contributor to poverty I can't imagine that this makes things easy for the moms.  Maybe that mom standing at the bottom of the slide is a fucking hero for bringing her kid to the park instead of catching up on some much needed sleep from struggling to survive.

Maybe the answer to your question is that those dads you see kicking balls and shooting hoops are trying to compensate for the fact that all those other douchebags are making them look bad.  Maybe they are trying to give their hard working wives some peace and quiet by tiring out their kids.  Because they're nice like that.  Because they get it.

You see, these are the questions you should really be asking.  Or, here's a thought, spend more time playing with your own kids.  That way you'll be too busy to notice whether or not anyone else is as awesome as you.

                                                                               Hope that clears things up for you,

                                                                                                  Mommy Rotten

Monday 31 October 2011

Trick or Treat!

Halloween is the best holiday of all the holidays except for maybe Mother's Day.  I have loved it best since childhood.  To hell with Christmas and all those presents and pressure.  Don't give me no Easter and Thanksgiving dinners.  Halloween is the shit.  Especially for a scream queen like myself.

This year it is my year to stay home and hand out candy to the kids.  (Yay!)  I've got The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby to watch which are, along with The Omen, works of cinematographic art.  And I'm making guacamole and sangria.  OMG, this summer I made sangria for the first time.  It was awesome.  I went looking for recipes online but they all sounded not right somehow.  I guess it's the idea of adding gingerale or lemonade to it.  I mean it's wine.  A shot of brandy does not make it strong enough to water it down like that.  So I ended up developing my own recipe based on what I was able to learn about sangria.

I don't usually make a habit of posting my recipes on my blog but I'm going to post this one in honour of Halloween because I think it's a recipe that even my domestically challenged bitches can get behind.  And because I think that it is one of the easiest ones to make with a minimum amount of shopping.  Also, it will get you totally sloshed so proceed with caution.  When I made mine I thought Daddy was going to drink it with me.  I was as wrong about that as I was about the alcohol content of the drink and the sangria kicked my ass.  Like the recipe, this drink is for sharing.

I now proudly present to you Mommy's Killer Sangria:

Yummy!  But I would never add this much fruit.
1 750 ml bottle of red wine - It doesn't matter what kind.  You are about to mix it up with sugar and fruit and other stuff so you aren't going to notice any of the complexities or tannins or any of that other pretentious shit.  Feel free to go cheap.

1L bottle of Smirnoff Ice -  I figured why add plain lemonade when you could add hard stuff,  right?  Also, now I don't have to buy a whole bottle of brandy just so I can use one shot of it to make what might turn out to be a stupid sangria I wasn't even sure I was going to like anyway.  When was I ever going to drink brandy?  This was the part of the recipe when I thought putting regular lemonade or gingerale with red wine was going to be awful.  I once had a white wine spritzer made with Sprite and it made me lose hope in humanity.  I've always liked Smirnoff Ice and I thought it would have the right kind of grown-up lemony kick without tasting like alcoholic Mountain Dew.

1 orange, 1 lemon and 1 lime - Just squeeze the juice of these.  Most recipes I found want you to put decorative slices in the punch.  Well you know what?  I want to drink my drink without a big annoying hunk of citrus constantly bumping up against my mouth.  Instead I just put the squeezed husks of the fruit in for flavour and then fish them out before serving.

1/2 cup sugar - If you go and make a "skinny girl" out of my killer sangria I will cut you.

So they say when you make this you are supposed to mix together the wine, the fruit juice, the squeezed fruit and the sugar in a pitcher and leave it overnight.  I don't have time for that so fuck it.  I'm giving it an afternoon and serving it on ice.  When you're ready to drink grab that Smirnoff Ice you've been chilling.  The other recipes say to pour two cups into it.  I wrecked myself so badly when I made this (I'm not a drunk I just have very low tolerance) I now forget exactly how much I added.  I'm pretty sure I poured that whole bad boy in there.  This probably shouldn't affect the alcohol content but it will affect the taste so I guess just add whatever amount makes it taste good.

This is a pretty flexible recipe.  You might be asking, "What if I don't like red wine?"  I know "sangria" means something about blood which is why I picked it for a Halloween drink, but who cares?  I've always wanted to try this recipe with white wine because I think it would be great.  I'd love it if any of you could make a white wine version and tell me how it goes.

But what about the guacamole?  Are you kidding?  It's Halloween, you don't have to cook.  If you want guacamole just mash some avocados with lime, tomato and jalapeno.  It's that easy and that's why I'm making it.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday 27 October 2011

Because you Asked For It: Blackberry Regrets

Source: Child Central

Hi, I have an 11 year old girl who has just left year 6.  I have messed up.  I stupidly gave her a blackberry following months of her saying everyone in her class has one.  I don't know why I gave in.  Anyway I now realise it was a stupid and irresponsible decision.  She is of course way too young and now spends so much time messaging her friends as it's free.  She is going to secondary school in september.  I believe she can have a phone but does not need such a high tech one.  I want to correct my terrible parenting and give her back her simple old phone.  How can I do this and not make her feel punished for my mistake.

                                                                              Angela (London)

Dear Angela,

Usually I use this bit to make fun of parents for a variety of reasons, all of them boiling down to the fact that they deserve it.  But I like you Ang.  Your letter shows potential.  And I think I can help.

I think it's so cute the way you don't want to make her feel punished by your mistake.  But there is a way to avoid making her feel that burn, and I do use this strategy myself not because I'm worried about making my kids feel punished but because admitting my mistakes undermines my authority so I try to minimize that whenever possible.

At the age of eleven I promise you your daughter is ripe for a big-time screw up.  I was around that age when I committed the worst crime of my childhood.  And because of that Mummy Dearest was able to punish me by removing from my life something she had regretted allowing me without me hating her for it.  Due to the increased freedom for mischief the blackberry presents, it is extremely likely that her high-tech device will be involved in her own downfall making the removal of it all the more poetically just.

When she inevitably offends, just put on your best martyred expression and say in a pained voice, "Well I wanted you to have the blackberry, after all didn't I get it for you?  It's not my fault you used it to start a fringe terrorist group.  I am taking this away from you until you can find a more responsible way to express your radical politics."

And Angela, you don't have to stop there.  Honestly, an eleven year old girl does not really need any kind of cell phone.  All she wants to do with it is yak/text with her girlfriends for hours.  She can do that in person with them for free.  At least that's what my parents told me when I was begging them for my own phone and I didn't get that until I was sixteen and could pay the bill myself.

                                                                                        Mommy Rotten

Wednesday 26 October 2011

A Mathematical Approach to Bullshit

Mrs. A and Mrs. B are meeting for lunch.  The total time of the visit was 2.5 hours long.  Mrs. B asked Mrs. A fifteen questions about her life/children with the sole intention of one-upping Mrs. A's every response and dominating the conversation with braggings of her own beloved child under the guise of polite conversation.  Mrs. A was given approximately 30 seconds to one full minute to answer each question before Mrs. B launched into a five minute anecdote about her child, wherein she assures Mrs. A of the unquestionable superiority of said child.   

Answer the following questions: 

1) What is the maximum possible number of minutes Mrs. A was allowed to share some of her life with her friend she hasn't seen in months?  How many hours would that be?  What is the percentage?  Express this as a fraction.

2)  How many minutes of the conversation was dominated by Mrs. B's mindless chatter about her favourite child?  How many hours would that be?  Express as a percentage and a fraction.

3)  How many minutes of the conversation are left over for meaningful conversation (assuming of course that Mrs. B does not dominate that time with general complaints about everything in her life) between friends?

4)  Approximately how many units of alcohol will Mrs. A need to consume in order to prevent the rage stroke  she feels coming on?

5)  If each anecdote Mrs. B tells represents a week of avoidance from Mrs. A, how long will it be before Mrs. A is able to tolerate another visit from Mrs. B?

6)  What is the statistical likelihood of Mrs. A punching Mrs. B in the face if Mrs. B doesn't pull her head out of her ass?

7)  If you answered question 6 correctly you will see that Mrs. A needs a wake up call.  Please inform Mrs. A  of how long she may have to spend time in jail if she indulges in her face-punching whim.  Express this number as a percentage of her children's lives relative to their ages.

8)  What are the odds that Mrs. A will be able to drop this particular acquaintance  thereby avoiding all future rage strokes?


1) Mrs. A could not have spent more than 15 minutes answering Mrs. B's questions.  That is only 0.25 hours, or 10% of the conversation or 1/10.

2)  Mrs. B yakked about her kid for 75 minutes, which is 1.25 hours, or 50% of the conversation or 1/2.

3)  That left 60 minutes (or one hour) of the conversation for Mrs. B to try to relate to Mrs. A in a real way, which is pretty sad because that never happened.  She did indeed complain generally and kiboshed any attempts on the part of Mrs. A to sympathize because, of course, no one suffers like Mrs. B.

4)  A little less than 750 ml of wine.  Maybe only half that if she has a friend with whom to share the wine and the whine.

5)  About 15 weeks or a little less than 4 months.  Unfortunately the holidays are coming sooner than that and with them another visit, which means that Mrs. A might need to prepare in advance by stockpiling boxes of wine.

6)  99.9%

7)  I actually don't know how much time aggravated assault gets you but any time is too much.  Never, never set that example for your kids Mrs. A, because no matter how much time you spend in jail it will always be much longer for your kids.  Calm the fuck down.

8)  Absolutely none.  It is that kind of relationship and Mrs. A is just going to have to suck it up and hope she doesn't develop a serious alcohol dependency.  Life sucks like that sometimes, Mrs. A.  If you can manage to get through this shit you will be a better person for it.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Hey! You Childless Women. Suck it Up and Have Babies Already!

Everyone MUST have babies!
As I was wasting time on facebook this article came up in my newsfeed courtesy of STFU Parents.  It is a post by a mom admonishing her fellow "Generation X" women, a "startling 43%" of whom are childless, to ovary up and start breeding already. Well I, too, am a "Gen X-er" I couldn't agree more!  I mean, what is going on?!?

First of all there's this pathetic excuse that women aged 33-46 are delaying having children because they are overworked and underpaid.  WHAT.  EVER.  If we let personal finances get in the way of making babies we might never have them.  And then where would we be?  We'd be robbed of becoming better people and having our lives enriched (not financially, of course).  I can think of absolutely no other way to enrich your life and improve yourself as a human being.  Besides, our parents and everyone they knew had lots of kids and there wasn't anything wrong with the way our parents were running things, right?

I would love to have more money but that didn't stop me from making babies.  Sure, it had a negative impact on my health and marriage but these are the sacrifices we morally superior women make.  Suck it up!

I want to empathize with women who struggle to find a partner they trust enough to go with on this journey of parenthood.  Because, now that we removed the pathetic excuse of not enough money, the only possible thing that would stand in the way of any rational woman's desire to whelp a litter is lack of a man.  But honestly I just think that these women are gun shy after probably growing up in a broken home.  Live a little ladies!  Have some faith!  Life's an adventure and without children you are totally missing out!  If you're in a relationship that has these kind of trust issues then nothing will clear that up like a screaming, squalling, demanding infant.  I had a baby with my man and everything turned out alright.  Hell, I had two.  What are you afraid of?

And all you single ladies?  It doesn't matter if you don't have a partner to help you, the only thing that matters is that you experience the joys of parenting.  (But only if you're ready for it of course.  After all it is the hardest job in the world.)  Of course given that I am married and have no idea what it is like to be a single mom I'm kind of talking out of my ass here.  But nevermind that.  Just have babies!  What are you waiting for?

Nevermind our overpopulation problem, or the resulting strain on the world's resources.  Nevermind all those statistics that tell us having children makes you less happy, with your happiness returning only after the kids have left home.  You will have macaroni art and sticky kisses.  You will have done the world a wonderful service by  filling it with children.  And if you don't have children you will continue on in your selfish life as an emotionally stunted troll who will never know joy.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Because you Asked For It: The Road Runner

Source:  Child Central

my seven year old daughter keeps running into roads when she doesn't get her own way what do i do?

today her sister told her on the way back from school she could not go in her room with her friend when they got home so my daughter ran across a main road to the other side luckily there were no cars at this point I then had to talk my other daughter into "telling her what she wants to hear" till we get her home safely I then coaxed her and directed her to cross back over the road safely 5 mins later her younger brother upset her again she then proceeded to run straight out and infront of a car wich luckily for her stopped in time.  She just stood there infront of the car staring at me while i was screaming at her my heart pounding so fast i couldn't breath I finally got her home she was sent to her room grounded for a week so she misses out on her special day out.  Later I had to take her to brownies across the same road going there was fine but coming home she wanted to go to the shop but i didn't have any money on me she then began to start throwing a tantrum I was so scared she might do it again that I grabbed her arm and dragged her kicking and screaming all the way home.  I have to cross this road twice every day to take her to school but i'm so scared as its not the first time shes done it she used to do it all the time but we fort shed grown out of it and she has done it on different roads every time she doesn't get her own way but we have never given into her we just tell her what she wants to hear until she is safely away from the road and then take her home and punish her what can I do???

                                                                                     by jodie 

Dear jodie,

First of all, let me say that I admire you for choosing not to spank your daughter in this extreme parenting situation.  Because we all know that spanking your child is 100% wrong, 100% of the time.  No matter what.  In fact spanking is so wrong that anything else is better.  Anything.  Even lying and pandering.  Even getting your other children to lie and pander.  But let's be honest here.  Clearly your methods are not strong enough for your daughter because she keeps running back into that road.  What we want is for her to never do that again so you won't have to keep going through this song and dance.

The best and most effective way to discipline children is to use natural consequences.  And the natural consequences of running into the road are severe injury and possibly death.  Because the whole point of the exercise is to actually avoid this kind of consequence you are going to have to get creative and fake the consequences.  I've given a lot of thought to the logistics of this (because I am totally helpful like that, and because I got bored of running my secret underground militia) and here's how I think it should go down:

Have a friend come along with you the next time you have to walk near that road.  Have this friend push a covered stroller and tell your daughter that your friend's baby is sleeping in there and not to disturb her.  But in reality you will have a life-like baby doll in there packed in with some water balloons full of fake blood.  When you get close enough to the road have your friend suddenly go nuts and shove the stroller out into traffic as hard as she can.  With any luck a car should hit it, and baby and blood will go flying all over the place.  Be sure to add to the overall effect by screaming, "Dear God!  The humanity!"

Yes, you will endanger the life of the driver and any passengers in that car.  Yes, you will incur criminal charges.  Yes, you will scar you daughter for life, but it will be a very long life that does not end tragically as roadkill and everyone will know what a wonderful mother you are for going to extreme lengths to avoid spanking.  Because spanking is just irresponsible.

                                                                                            Mommy Rotten

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Bizarre Love Triangle

Daddy recently had a computer client that was a little, uh...different.  Meet Marge.  Apparently Marge is being hacked by Cathy-May Sullivan, a nefariously clever super-genius, who happens to have ninja-grade hacking skills and is after her man.  It is unclear whether the man, Big John, is a hapless victim of her feminine wiles or somehow in on the conspiracy but that is just one of the things she is hoping my husband will find out.

You see, part of Daddy's problem is that 1) he never lies to customers and 2) Marge was offering to pay him too much money.  He strongly suspected (and was right) that there were perfectly ordinary explanations for all the weird things going on with her computer.  He also suspected that she would not accept any explanation other than her hacker conspiracy.  He was trying to cover his ass by getting a recording of him giving her a disclaimer that made no absolute promise that he would be able to find any "evidence".  

Poor Daddy.  All he wanted was a couple of minutes to explain to her his limits.  Unfortunately for him (but awesome for us!) he could not get a word in edgewise.  She kept driving the conversation back to her drama, trapping him into politely listening to every sordid detail.  And so, after making enough little changes to protect identities and keep things ethical, I present to you "The Hacker's Love Triangle" written in the voice of Marge:

"I wrote him a note and I said, 'Listen, I don't know what the fuck happened between us, for me to be getting what I'm getting, but I'm gonna make it real simple for ya.  Go.'  Y'know?  'She can have ya.  I've had enough, I'm not fightin' like this.  She thinks I sent her an email over bullshit and that wasn't even threatening, there's no names on it and everything else, and that's enough for you to say we're through?  If you wanna believe someone else after ten years then you fuckin' take 'em, you go with 'em'.  'No, I need time to think.  I need to straighten it out. You won't leave me alone.'  Oh, I'll leave you alone.  And I have.  But then, when she started gettin' things, a few things, I had to contact him."

"So I said to him in the last email, I said 'My blackberry's hacked.'  'Cause he accused me, see he started askin' me a few months ago about his blackberry.  I don't know shit about blackberries.  But after having to deal with Roger's, they told me to go online and I saw spyware and I read up on it.  And all these questions he's askin' me were, were spyware questions.  And I'm thinkin' 'He got fuckin' spyware on my phone and he's wonderin' if I've noticed!'  But what it is, is she said I put spyware on his phone and that he should get it checked.  But they're fucked because I cut it off.  And I'm not the one who installed it."

"So she had spyware on his phone.  She got pissed off because he couldn't talk me into re-enacting it.  And I said, 'You got one phone and if you're meeting up with her, you make sure your bluetooth is not on' and I said 'As a matter of fact you make sure your fuckin' phone is off, period. 'Cause I don't need to be blamed for any fuckin' thing else.'  And with that, the next night, well that was on  a Friday night-"


"The next night was when my ah, fuckin' cell got attacked. And I mean he doesn't have to have his phone on or the bluetooth, or he hasn't gotta be sittin' next to me.  'I'll getcha wherever the fuck you are-'"


"That was her way of sayin' that.  The other one was when that I made the mistake of sayin' 'Listen, I have no other way of gettin' to you so, this is the last you'll hear of me.  I sent this on my son's computer, like here's the way it is.'-"


(At this point she starts to get worked up.  At first I was confused but then I realized she was having an imaginary conversation with her husband.)

"And I just - fuck - gave- Look.. You know what?  You make up your mind.  Like, you need time to think?  Just remember, I'm not a storage warehouse.  And not everything is your fuckin' decision.  But this is when she got-

(Daddy butts in here, in an attempt to get to the point.  It fails.  She gets back to her story.)

"Now, with someone with the intelligence she has, the weekend that he came home two nights before he got here, we had a really good weekend, we were doin' great, and even when he left we were happy and everything else.  He never spoke to her for a week.  She started for the first time in a couple a months, which I  noticed a change in him and all these questions?  Gettin' mad and writin' stuff on the wall.  For someone so intelligent, what she wrote on the wall, 'Just cuz (c-u-z), Just cuz you got there, don't mean you got to stay.'  And I said "Oh gee, well then Big John, you don't got to stay if you don't wanna."

(Desperate attempt to bring convo back to computers.  I can hear her agreeing with what he is saying but then suddenly remembers some new anecdotal "evidence")

"I think that I have pushed her boundaries because she..she...I...I noticed she was never cooling down.  She never ever had a lev-  level head.  Now some geniuses are just like that.  They're psychotic, they're like a...ah...fuckin', y'know a polar,"

"Bipolar, yeah-"

"-and shit like that?  And I got a lot of friends like, that are geniuses, and they have like one defect in one way or another.  And she has one.  And what kills her is that she's 43 and looks over 50, I'm 50 I look 43.  That's fuckin' killing her.  She's got me on every date site you wanna name and she's on."


"Oh yeah.  I told her, I says, "Hey, don't bother puttin' me on date sites, Big John changed his status two minutes and I got asked out.  I've never had to look for a man in my life, you desperate bitch.  Heh.  Y'know, how desperate are you that you have to do this to me to try and get a man?  If he wanted you would he not have been there long ago?  And yet here I am telling him to fuckin' go.  If he's not there yet, why are you still attackin' me?  I'm not holdin' him back.  You're welcome to him at this fuckin' point.  I told him that from the beginning-"

"Yeah but for people, that won't, that won't cool anybody down, hearing that, right?" (Careful, Daddy.  Don't upset her reality.)

"No, but I told her, y'know like I don't believe in mak- trying to make someone stay with you who doesn't want to be with you.  You can't do that.  So, why bother trying?  It's a waste of fuckin' time, effort and life.  Life is too short."

"Yeah, but sometimes it's hard to let go."

"Not for me.  Nooo, no, no."

"So, what we're going to do is-"

"I'm not- I- y'know what?  It's not that I'm cold.  It's that I'm very, very sensitive but I've had so much happen in my life, I'm programmed.  So, impact:  I can take impact.  And I'll just move on."

(Daddy bravely goes forward with his disclaimer that he may not find any evidence.  Her response?)  

"I think I made her fuck up a few times by makin' her mad because that's when instant changes took place and when someone's mad and they're not thinkin' to coverin' their ass right away.  They fuck up.  Which is why I was doing what I was doing.  And like the police officer said, 'Y'know you're only damaging your computer more.'  I said, 'What's more important?  Y'know? Come on.  We're talkin' about a fuckin' insignificant piece of machinery here.  This is my entire life has been invaded, trashed, relationships, everything!'  He didn't give a fuck."

"Well on the down side..." (more bullshit disclaimer)

"Now my son's all, he uses his facebook, email, youtube and all of that no problem.  So she hasn't touched him. And then I got his camera covered and I got it taped, so as soon as that comes in the door it doesn't get turned on when that goes out the fuckin' door.

"It doesn't work like that-"

"And that's what he's gotta grasp."

"-because the settings on the router, blah blah blah (technical explanation of why what she's talking about is impossible)-

"Oh yeah, I'll change the router.  Right.  Exactly,  Yeah, I mean I'll get everything changed   ...start phonin' me when you get to ---- (This is her talking about how much money she is pretty much demanding that he charge her) I mean, I 'm not fuckin' around.  I wanna.  I mean I could have had this "looked after" a long time ago, but that's not what I wanted."  (Daddy explains to me that by "looked after" she means she could have had Cathy May bumped off.)

Shortly after that the recording ends because he has to go.  He says goodbye and promises to come back in a few days after he's looked into the matter.

Next visit...

"You're saying that you're not finding anything?  Because on my gmail account, the last night I was in there, when I got really pissed off, right?  Because I put a fatitious (fictitious) email-"

"When was this?"

"Uh, before you took it, I put a fatitious email on a sticky note, it took him a long time to get to it.  But when I went into it the night after I was talkin' to you, I got so pissed off that I entered the password 'hacked by CMS'.  The thing is, when I entered 'hacked by CMS' I didn't write a hint to who hacked me or something like that, I put in who was my pet.  I had not touched my computer until Monday, when I decided to go print off some paperwork for the police.  And that's when I opened it up and accessed my computer.  The password was changed, and the hint wasn't the same.  That's, that's not from my gmail!  I didn't write it.  That's not anything I wrote.  So they turned on their wireless and changed my password!"

"Well I went and changed that password, whatever it was-

"Did you figure out what the password was?"

"No I just erased it."

"Did you?  Damn, I wish I had known what it was."

"Well, I could still retrieve that for you."

"I'd like to know, who was hacked by who, according to this person that's doin' this."

"Of course, it depends on how complicated the password is-"

"The only thing I can guess is that, like I said, I'm being accused of hacking my husband's email.  So, it's either "John Boyd", which I tried.  Didn't work."

"Well, they wouldn't put in something that obvious-"

"Yes, they would!"

"Rhanr?"  (This is the sound Scooby Doo makes when he is trying to convey a simultaneous feeling of confusion and incredulity )

"Yes, yes, she would."

(Unable to take it anymore) "So then, she's smart enough to get in your shit but dumb enough to put in their own name?  Just-"

"No, they're not.  Rude enough to try get me to admit that I hacked my husband.  That's the intent of it."

(He decides it's easier to just concede her point.  She then goes on to list a whole bunch of possible variations on any of Big John's internet handles as potential passwords including "PapaBear007" "BigBadJohn_69" and "johnjohn".)

"Basically, what it come down to at that point, I didn't give a fuck.  I didn't want to try, I'd had enough.  I tried my own name.  Once that was in, I closed the fuckin' lid on it.  Because my intent was just to copy offline for the police.  All my paperwork that I had.  I couldn't get in there to do that.  So, the password could possibly be a good hint, because the gmail I opened was her initials, with '66', and like mine ends in '666', hers ended with '66'.  And it was a fatitious email.  But yet they were her initials!"

Daddy now makes excuses to leave.  They discuss their next moves etc.  And then this is what she says as he is leaving:

"Tomorrow morning when I wake up, soon as they open I'll be online.  I'm gonna set the password to 'Fuck you too'-"  (Here she apparently gestures to him to write this down)


"Capital 'F'-"


"Lower case 'u'-"

"Uh huh-"

"And the number '2'.  Heh heh.  That's what it's going to be put.  Heh heh heh."

And with that witty little joke Marge's tale ends, because that's when Daddy stopped recording.  Ah Marge, you are a truly special woman.  I hope Big John comes home to your lovin' arms.  Please be nice to my husband.