Wednesday 29 February 2012

My Dog Fry

My Dog Fry
When I first joined facebook I was a reluctant joiner.  My friends had already sent me several invitations before I finally caved.  When I did join I was told by Daddy that I could not post pictures of Frick (and later Frack), no matter how much my profile was on lockdown.  He's a little paranoid but over the years of being a facebook user, I have come to agree with him.

There's nothing wrong with sharing things about your kids on facebook.  I don't mind seeing cute pictures of lost teeth or Halloween costumes or graduation day or whatever.  I don't mind hearing about the funny thing your kid said or did.  They are often entertaining.  But the overshare....Oh God, the overshare!  Some of the things I have read in my timeline have made me want to punch people.

Which is why I fell in love with STFUParents.

If you're unsure as to whether or not you're behaving as a facebook parent go on over to STFUParents.  Seriously, it's like a hilarious lesson in internet etiquette of what not to do.

So in the spirit of STFUParents I have decided to start a facebook page about my dog, Fry.  This page allows me to mimic all the bad behaviour of online parents only instead of children I am talking about my dog.  I hope that people who like this page will get a laugh seeing status updates about the annoying minutiae of my dog's life juxtaposed with the annoying minutiae of their friends' kids lives.

What can you expect to see?

-updates about all the stupid things my dog does

-lots of pictures of my dog doing stupid things

-cutesy letters written to my dog, even though he can't read

-probably some pictures of dog shit.  (I'm going to see if there's any way I can get him to make in the potty)

-regular updates about my dog's age at times that make no sense (seriously I don't care that your kid is 3.67 years old today)

-over the top doggy birthday parties and other holiday celebrations

-sanctidoggy, doggy-jacking, woe is dog and more!

So, if you like this idea and are up to seeing it in your newsfeed, come visit My Dog Fry and show him some like.

Note:  In case you are a friend of mine and wondering whether or not you've been annoying the shit out of me by telling me stuff about your kids you should know that you haven't.  The offenders are casual acquaintances who obviously never read my blog or STFUParents because they never fucking stop.  My good friends don't do this because, as I have said before, I have standards.

Monday 27 February 2012

Play Group Anxiety

I hate play groups.  I tried it with Frick and found it to be a boring waste of time that generally kicked my anxiety into overdrive because I was forced to make small talk with over-enthusiastic strange women, so I stopped going.  Unfortunately, I don't have that luxury with Frack.

Frack's speech therapist insists that the very best thing for him is to spend time interacting socially with his peers in a structured environment.  And since we can't afford pre-school that means the local, government-funded play group.

Today is play group day.

Today I am trying to be a good mom by getting dinner into the slow-cooker before we leave for the play group so I'll actually be free to spend some quality time this evening with the laundry that's been piling up.

We are having beef stew.  This is important.  Beef stew is going to ruin my life today.

While I am browning the beef and the onions for the stew I am barking orders at my kids.

"Eat your breakfast.  Take another bite.  Hey, are you eating your breakfast?  Why don't you pick up your spoon?  Okay, pick up your spoon and don't put it down until you're finished.  You can take another bite, now.  Okay, while you are eating that bite get the next bite ready."

Then it's time to get dressed.

"Okay go upstairs and get dressed now.  Are you going upstairs?  Hey, stop playing with the dog and go upstairs.  What are you guys doing up there?  Are you out of your pajamas yet?  Please take off your pajamas.  No you can't wear that t-shirt, it's winter.  Get a sweater.  What do you mean you have no underwear?  Where are your socks?"

By the time they were dressed I was tired of the constant orders so I half-assed it with the tooth brushing and face washing and just said "Get cleaned up in the bathroom."

Oh stupid, stupid.

We're running late, as usual.  Play group starts at 9 am and it is now just before 10 and I am only just finishing cooking the onions and getting everything into the slow-cooker.  I get the boys into their boots and coats and we are out the door.  At least it's just a drop-in thing, I tell myself.  Nobody cares if we're late.

We get to play group and there's a lot of people today.  They are right in the middle of having a discussion about what day would be best for everyone to do something called "Sous-chef" and I interrupt it with our late entrance.

They're all looking at me.

Probably they weren't.  Maybe only three people looked at me.  Doesn't matter, they may as well all be looking at me.  Looking and judging.

Stop thinking like that.  They don't care.

I smile nervously to let them know I am non-threatening as I take off Frack's coat and boots.  When I go to take off my coat it hits me.  The smell.

No.  The stank.

What I failed to think about before I left the house was the fact that I was cooking beef and onions.  Apparently my sweater had absorbed all of that cooking beef and onion smell in full force.  It was especially obvious in the considerate-for-pregnant-women-fragrance-free environment that was the play group.

Oh my God, I stink!  What do I do?  Do we leave?  No we just got here.  What if they smell it?  What will they think?  Maybe it doesn't matter.  Lots of moms don't have time to not smell like beef and onions because their kids come first.  Right?

I occupy myself with Frack.  Frack wants to be as far away from the other kids as possible and right now that suits me just fine.  I look at the other moms.

What is with these women?  Look at her.  She looks great.  Love her boots.  Holy shit is she wearing a white shirt?  She's got two kids under three, how come she gets to wear a white shirt?  Why is it so clean?

I look down at my comfortable, stank-sweater and jogging pants (because I only do loose clothes before noon) and see them as a badge of sloppiness.  These women look wide awake and happy and refreshed from good sleep.  Even their hair was perky.

I can't tell these women I was only cooking, they'd never believe it.  Why didn't I wear jeans instead?  They would have at least looked tidier.  Seriously, what time do you have to get up to be able to look like that this early?  At least I got the boys to clean themselves up.  As long as the children look good, it's probably okay for Mom to be a little sloppy.  Right?

Lyle, the play group leader, starts walking my way.

Ack!   He's coming over here to talk.  Sweet Jesus, I can smell myself!  Can I run away?  Nope, he made eye contact.  Alright, just be cool.

I make polite small talk with Lyle, asking about his wife and new baby but not really paying attention because I'm distracted with trying to calculate just the right distance from Lyle so that he can't smell me without being so far away that it's rude.  Also, I am feeling distinctly nauseous.

Frack, who is supposed to be reaping the benefits of social interaction with his peers, is hiding behind a book shelf while Frick tries to coax him out with a puppet.

How much longer is this thing?  Why don't they have a clock in here?   Can I look at my iPod to check the time without looking rude?  No he's talking at me right now, it will totally look rude.  Can he smell me?  Can he tell?  Are they going to call Children's Aid because I smell like this and home school my kids?

I start to sweat.  Suddenly my coffee is working too well and I have jitters.  I keep looking at the door contemplating escape.  Lyle, announces that it's Snack Time.  Yay!  This hell, is almost over.  Bribing Frack with offers of yogurt to sit at the table with the other kids helps take my mind off the situation.  After the kids eat, Lyle announces that it's Circle Time.

Circle Time and then Home Time and then out of this horrible, stanky sweater.  I swear to God, I'm going to burn it in the barbecue!  Ugh!  At least the kids are alright.  That's the important thing.

We go sit down in the circle and I am careful to place myself next to the Chinese Grandma whose English isn't very good.  I'm hoping that if she does smell me she will only be able to tell her family about it and I never see them nor do I understand Chinese, so that's okay somehow.  If she were to tell these other moms here I could never, ever come back.   And that's when I saw it.

My kids were not clean.

Frack had smudges on his face I never noticed before and I could see the insides of his ears.  Oh, the filth!  And the shirt he was wearing that had seemed perfectly fine because it was warm enough for winter (and that is basically my criteria when it comes to this kid who insists on wearing only pajamas and superhero costumes everywhere) had a stain and a hole in the cuff of the sleeve.  Frick grinned at me and revealed that, although he did wash his face, he had not brushed his teeth.   His hair was a mess from wearing a toque and because it is kind of long it looked messier than necessary.

I probably would have run at that point but I was glued to the floor, wishing like hell I could sink through it.  Instead, I smiled like an idiot through "If You're Happy and You Know It" until Frack got angry at me for clapping along and started crying.  That was just distracting enough to enable me to get my ill-kempt, hillbilly children out of there and head for the merciful sanctuary of home.

Next week I'll have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn to be on time and impeccably dressed, thus preventing the imaginary gossip that probably doesn't happen because I'm pretty sure these women do not give a shit and most of this is in my head.  I hate it.  It's torture.  But all that quality social interaction Frack is getting makes it totally worthwhile.

At least the stew turned out great.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Man Vs. Woman: A Tale of Love, Marriage and Petty Revenge

I wrote this post before I started blogging just for my facebook friends, so I apologize to those who have already read it.  But I thought it was a good one to write given my recent posts about life with ADHD.  Also, it's already written and that means minimal effort this morning which is great because I have to take Frack to his playgroup, which is led by Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual (probably a whole other blog post.....Gah, I'm so confused!)

They say when it comes to success in a relationship you have to learn not to sweat the small stuff.  They also say that when it comes to long term plans the devil is in the details.  It seems that all of life's wisdom comes in contradictions.  I have always said that when it comes to marriage it is important to resolve your conflicts as peacefully as possible.  But this morning irony hit me in the form of a rotting pumpkin.

My marriage, like any other normal marriage, is fraught with little problems.  When it comes to the big things that might spell divorce in the future I usually rely on my method of of peaceful conflict resolution.  But when it comes to the little things we're not supposed to sweat it seems that Daddy and I have been engaging in a passive aggressive war of Spy vs. Spy proportions.  As I listened to my husband leave for work this morning muttering about a "Goddamn rotting pumpkin on (his) shoes" the hilarity of our situation hit me and, instead of handling our problem in a mature way through adult discussion, I'mma blog about it!  Because over the years, we have accumulated some pretty epic passive aggressive conflict.

Mommy Rotten Presents:  The Adventures of Man vs. Woman

Man:  Tired of sharing a room with Woman and small baby, never getting enough sleep because Woman keeps needing to go into the bedroom for baby stuff, Man decides to lock Woman out of the bedroom so he can get some uninterrupted rest.

Woman:  Totally irritated because she hasn't slept for more than twenty minutes straight since the baby came, needs to clean an explosive poop from said baby.  Diapers, wipes and clean baby clothes are all in the bedroom that she unexpectedly finds herself locked out of.  Instead of being able to quietly slip in and out of the room like she had planned, she now has to pound on the door until the Man wakes up and lets her in.  Later, after the Man has gone to work, Woman gets a screwdriver and removes the lock from the bedroom door.

Woman:  Concerned about the heating bill, Woman turns down the thermostat every night reasoning that when sharing a bed with another adult and a baby, there is no real reason to keep the house at Sub-Saharan temperatures.

Man:  Living away from Mom and Dad for the first time has no idea yet of what it costs to heat a house.  All he knows is that it is Winter and it is too hard for him to get up for work in the morning with the house icy cold.  Tired of having to get up in the cold and go turn the heat back up he instead super-glues the thermostat to the temperature he prefers.

Man:  Works hard all week and feels that he should not have to do much on the weekends, other than spend time with the kids and maybe do some computer jobs on the side here and there.

Woman:  Spends the entire week doing all of the drudge work and would maybe like to spend the weekend not feeling like someone's free maid service and doesn't think it is too much to ask the Man to do a few loads of dishes.  In fact she insists on it and refuses to touch the dishes.  The dishes pile up, neglected all weekend and then Woman ends up cleaning all the dishes which are harder to clean because they have been sitting there, crusty and nasty, all weekend long.

Fed up with the situation, Woman takes all of the dirty dishes and places them in the shower of the Man's bathroom.

Man:  Washes the dishes he finds in the shower and says nothing.  He gets better at washing weekend dishes for a while and then falls back into old habits.

Woman:  Starts getting stuck with all the dishes, all the time again.  This time she takes all the dirty dishes and puts them in the passenger seat of his car.

Woman:  Loves gardening, even though it is sweaty, back-breaking work.  Woman has a bad habit of weeding the garden and just leaving all the weeds and debris on the grass beside the garden because she is easily distracted by the demands of children and other household duties.  She always intends to pick up the yard but doesn't ever seem to get around it before the grass needs cutting.

Man:  Cutting the grass is a real pain due to the shape of the backyard.  The last thing the Man needs is for it to be made harder by having to go around and pick up all the yard waste in the failing daylight when he just wants to quickly cut the grass.  Man solves the problem by tossing the yard waste (weed seeds and all) on top of the Woman's flowers.

And finally....

Woman:  Has been trying to get rid of a pumpkin she got from her Mother in-law but never got around to cooking.  The pumpkin is now rotting and is too heavy to put right in the paper bag that goes out to the green bin, so she puts it right beside the paper bag hoping the Man will understand that she would not want to keep a pumpkin she has been storing next to the garbage.

Week 1:  The pumpkin has a small black spot on the bottom.  The pumpkin does not make it to the curb for pickup.

Week 2:  Black spot on the pumpkin is slightly larger and there's some white mould around it.  The pumpkin still does not make it to the curb.

Man:  Notices that the pumpkin has been sitting beside the garbage for a couple of weeks now.  Man asks the Woman if he should get rid of the pumpkin and is met with an emphatic "Yes, please!!!"  Man inexplicably fails to get the pumpkin to the curb that week.

Woman:  Sees the pumpkin, now white and furry on the bottom, still not at the curb.  Woman also notices the sink full of dishes waiting for her.  Woman responds by carefully placing the rotting pumpkin, rotten bottom side facing up (the top still looks fine) directly on the Man's shoes, knowing he'll have to do something with it if he wants to go to work, and then quietly proceeds to wash the dishes.

Man:  Wears boots to work instead.  Leaves pumpkin on top of shoes grumbling "Goddamn rotting pumpkin on my shoes" on his way out the door.

So we're not as good at resolving conflict as I had hoped.  But you know we have a pretty good sense of humour in our house and most of this stuff gets laughed off.  So maybe that's the key to a good marriage; being able to laugh at yourself.  I don't know, I'm making this shit up as I go along.  I wrote this before I figured out that Daddy probably has ADHD, and looking back I can't believe I missed it.

As for my behaviour?  I don't have ADHD.  I'm just kind of a bitch.

Monday 20 February 2012

I Didn't Ask For This....(How Kevin Might Have Saved My Marriage)

Many of you enjoyed my last post about my husband's friend Kevin (Thank you!).  You may have wondered why I didn't kick Kevin out sooner.  You may have wondered where my husband was while that conversation went down.  You may also have wondered why my husband would be friends with such an ass.  I have wondered all of this stuff myself and so I went looking for the answers.

Before I continue I just want to say that Daddy is the best of husbands.  He is a great guy and uniquely suited to me.  He takes care of me when I'm sick, he knows just the right time to step in and save me from our kids, and he works very hard to support his family.  Everyone loves him.  I have to say this because what I am about to write might make him look like an asshole.

Why didn't I kick Kevin out sooner?  Me and my people are great big screw ups.  When we screw up, we screw it up big time.  For some it happens more often than others.  But we are very tight knit and we always forgive each other.  Because we're family and that's how we do.  So over the years I have learned to be pretty tolerant of some crazy shit, when it came with an apology.  Kevin always recognized his wrongs and apologized.  I don't like the idea of telling my husband who he can be friends with or who he can bring into his own home and Kevin was sincere in his apology, so he was forgiven.

But you know, a person can only take so much crap from someone she's not blood-related to.  And this was about my kid and my actions as a mother and the infuriating experience of having my whole reality poo-poohed by some asshole who not only had no fucking idea but who was a guest in my home.  And then to add insult to injury, he was the one who felt entitled to an apology from me.

That's right.  Which brings me to the next question:

Just where was my husband when all of this was going down?  He was sitting right there, doing his best to be completely absorbed in an interview with Georges St.-Pierre.  I kept looking at him expecting him to speak up but he didn't seem to hear anything that Kevin was saying.  I was furious.  He had never failed to defend me before.

I didn't kick Kevin out that night.  I went angrily to bed.  Apparently after that Kevin spent some time bitching about me to my husband.  The next day I woke up furious and had to figure out a way to talk to Daddy without screaming at him.  When we were finally able to talk I found out that Kevin got his nose bent all out of shape because, in a desperate attempt to avoid getting into that particular conversation, I dared to suggest that he just do a little research and mentioned a good website.

According to Kevin, and Daddy said he agreed with Kevin, this was insulting because it implied that he had not already done his research and that by mentioning the website, he was too stupid to know how to research.  In the face of this I was so frustrated I burst into tears.  My husband was taking Kevin's side!

At that time our marriage was going through a rough patch.  I felt incredibly neglected and ignored.  Daddy was always absorbed in his work, even at home.  He seemed to hide himself away in the basement all the time.  He never seemed to be listening to me.  There were huge misunderstandings because he hadn't heard some crucial information I gave him.  I could only communicate to him by sending emails and even then he just skimmed them and missed important sentences.  There were nights he would tell me he would come and hang out with me "in a few minutes" and hours later I would have fallen asleep on the couch waiting for him.

I thought he didn't love me, anymore.

Through our conversation I found out two things:

1) My husband secretly agreed with Kevin about the existence of ADHD.  He was humouring my cute little notion so long as I wasn't medicating our son.  As far as he was concerned, the boy was just like his old man.

2) He truly thought our marriage was perfect.  That was exactly the word he used.  Perfect.  He had no idea how depressed and lonely I was.  He had no idea how angry and resentful I was.  He never noticed the slammed doors, the biting sarcasm, or the disappointment on my face.

I was shocked.  I just couldn't believe it.  He felt terrible.  Although in words he said he felt "stupid".  First I told him I'd taken enough of Kevin's shit and he couldn't come to our house anymore.  Then I told him he had to get educated about ADHD, ASAP.  Then I told him we'd figure out what to do about our marriage.

Want to know a great thing about my husband?   Whenever I tell him something is broken he will do whatever it takes to fix it.  We watched a documentary called "ADD and Loving It ?!"  because I thought it would help him to hear how adults articulate the experience of living with ADHD.  Hearing his questions and skepticism out loud I began to think there was a possibility that Daddy also has ADHD.

I had him take this online "virtual" test, and I also took it so we could compare scores.  Mine took about three seconds because I answered "no" for all three of the questions I was asked.  Any problems I have concentrating are caused by the fact that I have kids screaming and running around all day long.  His test took about 20 minutes, and he answered "yes" to most of the questions he was asked.  Actually he answered "yes" to all of them but one.

It explained so much.  It explained why he seemed to ignore or neglect me most of the time.  It explained why he was oblivious to my unhappiness.  His tendency to interrupt or talk over me.  To jump to conclusions and answer my questions before I had finished asking.  Why I don't trust him with the grocery shopping.  The fact that he can't keep track of the time and gets too absorbed in his work.

So at first it was kind of a relief.  But after the relief came the anger.

When I said "I do" I didn't know I was marrying ADHD.  I didn't ask for this and I didn't want it.  I didn't want to have to take care of his ADHD and our son's ADHD.  One was enough!  I didn't want to have to a husband that had to be reminded to pay attention to his wife.  I shouldn't have to tell him that my emails take priority over the 300 other emails in his inbox and that he had to read every sentence.  I didn't want to have to be understanding about his symptoms!  I needed a partner.  I needed an adult, not another boy with ADHD!  It wasn't fair!!!

These are terrible and selfish things to think, but they are honest.  I really felt that way at the time.  Frick's ADHD was making my life very hard and knowing that Daddy had it too made me feel like things were going to be twice as hard.  It made me feel like I was suddenly running this entire dog and pony show all by myself.

I wasn't thinking clearly.  I forgot about how much better things got when we finally understood what was making our boy act the way he did.  About how having ADHD just meant he couldn't help it and that he wasn't trying to be a jerk.  All of that was just as true for Daddy as it was for Frick.

When he got real about the possibility that he has ADHD he could acknowledge that my complaints about neglect were valid.  He knows he is likely to misunderstand me or not hear me and so he doesn't get defensive about it like he used to or worse, accuse me of making it up.  We put plans in place to help each other communicate better.

Things are so much better now.  Daddy is still the same grown man I thought he was only now he's a little more sensitive to my needs.  He is still my rock and my bringer of wine.  He still drops everything he is doing so he can take care of me when I'm sick.  He still loses track of time, and interrupts me and is the worst for being an impulse buyer but he's at least aware of it now and more likely to correct himself.

He isn't taking medication, yet.  He still needs to see a doctor and go through the process of confirming our suspicions.  He's one of those guys who can't be bothered with doctors but he is interested in what medication might do for him.  I found out that his life is pretty stressful dealing with unmedicated ADHD.  He's often angry because he feels like he can't do the things he really wants to get done.  He gets stuck wasting time on trivialities and can't seem to get to the important stuff.

Without that argument with Kevin I would never have known any of this.  In a way Kevin saved our marriage.  I can't feel too angry towards him.  After all, a grown man capable of throwing chocolate cake at a person he just met probably has impulsivity issues of his own.  And I think that answers the question of why my husband would be friends with such an ass.  I bet they have much in common.  They drink beer, watch UFC and probably interrupt and dominate each other's conversation all night long without pissing anyone off.  Sounds like man-topia to me.

Does that mean I will ever let Kevin back in my house?  Oh, hells no.  Saving my marriage was the least Kevin could do to make up for his shit.  On second thought.......maybe I would.

But I want an apology.  In writing.  Preferably sky-writing.  And there has to be lots of witnesses.  And you know, a little kneeling couldn't hurt.  Yeah.  Kneeling, groveling and sky-writing.  

Friday 17 February 2012

Kevin's Not Welcome Anymore (Also Known as What Not to Say to a Mom of ADHD)

I really hate those articles titled "What not to say to So and So".  This is one of the worst things you can say to someone who has anxiety because there is a very good chance that they have said at least one of the seemingly innocuous, well-intended but offensive things mentioned.  Every time I read one I spend a good couple of days agonizing over the insensitive things I've unwittingly said.

Well now I have to write a "What not to say" post.  I've given it a lot of thought and I think it's a good idea.  But I also decided that instead of preaching to all of you about what not to say I would write about the time I banished my husband's best friend Kevin from my home.  Kevin was already skating on thin ice with me.  I probably wouldn't kick anyone out of my home for any one of these things.  But this guy not only said all of them, he also had a bad history with me that I was always cool about.  

When Kevin picked a fight with a guy in my kitchen, I was cool about it.  When Kevin was rude to his girlfriend at one of our dinner parties making us all feel very uncomfortable, I was cool about it.  When Kevin ruined my 30th birthday party by hucking the last piece of chocolate birthday cake at one of my guests (a woman wearing a brand new white shirt) I was cool about it.  But when Kevin came into my house spewing this shit....he crossed the fucking line.

Do not come into my house and tell me about my kid's ADHD.  I will cut you up.  (Verbally).

Kevin managed to say everything that is wrong to say to a Mom about her kid's ADHD.  Everything.  So if ever you were just a little curious about what not to say to a Mom of ADHD just pay attention to the points Kevin brought up, late one Saturday night.  I will point out why these things are so wrong in my stinging rebuttal that I wasn't clever enough to come up with at the time of the argument.

1. There's no such thing as ADHD.  Easy for you to say Kevin, you don't live with it.  Look, I don't really care if you believe in ADHD.  It's not Jesus and I'm not an evangelist.  I am not on some crusade to convince the world about the existence of ADHD.  To be honest, before I had kids I was also skeptical, and that's fine.  You're entitled to your opinion.  Can I please just point out what an asshole thing it is to do to bring up this subject with a woman who tells you she is raising an ADHD child?  Can that be designed for anything other than causing shit? I think not.

2.  Oh, everyone has ADHD.  Like 20 of my cousins say their kids have it.  Therefore ADHD doesn't exist.  I don't know anything about your cousins, Kevin.  What I do know is that there is a genetic component to ADHD so it shouldn't surprise you in the least to find it prolific within a family group making it look to you like "everybody has it".  You must be really popular with your cousins, though.

3.  But everything these so-called ADHD kids do is normal.  Yes Kevin, that is very true.  It is totally normal for kids to run around, daydream, be active, interrupt, throw fits, forget stuff, lie and have no impulse control.  You know what else is normal, Kevin?  Sleeping.  Sleeping is totally normal and everyone does it but if you fall asleep behind the wheel of your car and at work and pass out regularly in your soup at lunchtime then that's not normal my friend.  That's narcolepsy.

4.  It's the parents these days.  They don't want to get off their asses, they just want to medicate their kids into being little robots.  (Um, did you just imply that I'm lazy, Kevin?)  If these parents are so shitty they wouldn't go through all the bullshit you have to go through to get ADHD meds.  They wouldn't bother with trying to get a diagnosis (which, contrary to your belief Kevin,  is not handed out like candy from a Pez dispenser).  If the parents are that shitty they would just dose their kids with over the counter anti-histamines and Gravol.  Easier and (I suspect) cheaper.  Of course, I wouldn't know because I don't medicate my kid.

5.  ADHD is something that was invented by Big Pharma to fool parents into thinking they need to medicate their kid.  Do you hear yourself, Kevin?  Basically what you are saying is that every parent of ADHD (not to mention adults with ADHD) out there are just the gullible dupes of Big Pharma.  More importantly, you are saying that I am just so stupid that I jumped at an ADHD diagnosis based on spurious or made up research?  Did you just call me stupid, Kevin!?!  In my house!?!  Let me reiterate that I do not medicate my son's ADHD.  How is Big Pharma making money off me?

6.  Well you're just a better mother for opting out of medication.  Actually ADHD exists on a spectrum.  We, and most parents I know, think twice before handing their kids an aspirin.  If my kid does not have a fever then I do not give him the aspirin, but that doesn't mean he's not sick.  And if he does have a fever you better believe he's gonna get that aspirin.  My decision of whether or not to medicate is not a reflection of what kind of parent I am.  It just means that our son can live without it for now.  If he needed meds he would absolutely get them!  I made the point about my not medicating to show how stupid your point about Big Pharma conspiracies is.

7.  Yeah, but everyone knows those meds are dangerous for kids.  There are risks when taking any kind of medication.  Part of deciding on a course of action for any medical condition is weighing the risks and benefits of any given treatment.  ADHD meds are very well-researched and are heavily supervised.  By a physician.  And let's just say that that guy/gal didn't go through all those years of med school to be called Mr/Ms.  Who is "everyone", anyway?  I can't really blame you for this one because the internet is so full of misinformation.

I would like to point out that the people I hear this the most from are either conspiracy nuts or so-called ADHD coaches and lifestyle gurus who want to make a lot of money off of me buying their books/videos/counselling  as a drug-free cure for my kid.  I think I'll put my faith in science, thank you very much, Kevin.

But you know what, Kevin?  It's late and you're drunk and acting like kind of an asshole.  I think I'm done with you and your bullshit, Kevin.  You really need to STFU.  Have this conversation with anyone else but me.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Versatile Blogger

Karissa over at The Iris Chronicles (check her out!) has graciously awarded moi with The Versatile Blogger award!  I've seen this award on other blogs and dreamed that one day, I too could join the ranks of the versatile bloggers.  Finally that day has come!  Apparently the rules are to thank the person who awarded you (Thank you, Karissa!), write seven random things about yourself and then choose another ten deserving recipients.

I know you are just dying to know seven random things about me.  And to be honest, writing this wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be, but being the versatile blogger that I am I managed to find seven random and totally fascinating facts about Mommy Rotten:

1 - I have a mental IMDb.  Daddy loves to show off to his friends my skills.  They'll be talking about some movie and someone will forget the name of an actor in it.  Then he gets all "My wife will know!" and asks me.  And sure enough, no matter how obscure the actor is I can give the name of the actor, several other films that actor has been in, any guest appearances on TV shows, and other famous people that actor has worked with.  This is one of the stupidest things to be good at (especially since it's nowhere near as good as the real IMDb) but people are always feigning that they are impressed.

2 - I am a bona fide, hippie love-child.  It's true.  I was conceived one magical indian summer in a tree house, on a nudist commune owned by the founder of a made up religion that allows its adherents to be naked and smoke copious amounts of weed.  My name was almost "Twinkle" but for the sobering effects of a drug-free labour.

3 - I was once told that I have unusually tiny pinky fingers.  My piano teacher told me I would never "make it" as a keyboardist because of that defect.  And so I wisely abandoned the keyboard and took up the bass guitar, the largest possible instrument that my parents would tolerate took my fancy.  And I'm pretty damned good at it, so you can suck it, Camilleri!  (Although, to be fair I'm clearly not a rock star.  Yet.)

4 - I am a connoisseuse of bad movies.  In high school a friend dubbed me a "B-flicker" (which was a huge relief because at first I thought he said "beef licker" and I wasn't sure if I should punch him out or not.)  I had seen so many movies that it seemed like the only ones left were the crappy ones.  And I couldn't get enough of them.  You've got the intentionally campy ones like "Stuff Stephanie in the Incinerator", "The Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" and "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowlerama".  And then there are my favourites: the unintentionally awful films like "Showgirls", "La Casa 4 (Witchcraft)" and "The Unbelievable Truth".  To me these films embody the very spirit of film director Ed Wood, that all time worst winner of the Golden Turkey Award.

5 - I hate chick flicks.  From what I can tell they are based on an assumption that women are afraid to be alone and enjoy crying as a pastime.  Once some chick endorsed a movie to me by saying, "Oh you absolutely must see it, it will totally make you cry."  The fuck?  I'm sorry but that sounds like the opposite of fun.  I have no judgment for those who do find chick flicks enjoyable but my girlfriends have all learned that if they are going to make me sit through one they had best put up with me laughing my ass off and tearing the shit out of it.  They don't take it personally because they know about #4.

6 - I have anger issues.  I am just so pissed off all the time.  It's not fun.  I don't like it but it really is who I am.  I spent the last ten years trying to change this fact and the only thing that changed is that I got more pissed off.  So instead I have learned to accept it as reality and try to morph it into something good.  Turns out being pissed off is my muse.  I never write so well as when I'm steamed and for some reason when I do it, it's funny.  Even my kids have a hard time not giggling when I get into a pissed off rant at them for some asshole thing they did.  So really, my blog is just free therapy.

7 - I met my husband in a past life.  Not really.  But when I was 16, I was in a children's play with my future sister in-law.  Mother Rotten helped out backstage with the costumes and my future husband was operating the spotlight.   Nine years later, I'm having dinner at the Rotten's and we stumble on an old photo from the play and I suddenly realize why my sister in-law looked so familiar to me.  I don't remember meeting my husband back then, though I remember his sister and mother.  But then he would have been 12 years old (yes, he is younger than me) and I was unlikely to take any notice of 12 year old boys at the age of 16.

And there you have it.  So now it is time for my nominees.  I've only been blogging for slightly less than a year now and so it would not surprise me in the least if it turns out I picked people who have won this award before.  I tried not to worry about that.  Instead I picked those versatile individuals who I thought would have the funniest things to say about themselves:

Yvonne at Attracted to Shiny Things
Jill at Yeah. Good Times.
Stephanie at Momma Be Thy Name
Fadra at all.things.fadra
Ashley at Random Thoughts From a Mad White Woman
Madeline at The Cheeky Papers
Shirley at Shirley Ewe Must Be Joking
Maria at Guerrilla Mom
Roxanne at Unintentionally Brilliant
Jo at The Happy Logophile

Friday 10 February 2012

Remember When...?

A little nostalgia to end the week....

Remember when we were kids and how golden it all was?  Candy was cheaper and better back then.  I used to get fifty cents a week for my allowance and I could buy a bag of chips and two old-fashioned wine gums at the store that I walked to by myself.  Soda cans were skinny and only had two little holes you would punch in to open it instead of the pull tab.

Remember when children belonged outside and you didn't need TV or the government to tell you that?  Remember when bad weather meant you were bored and had nothing to do?  Sure you might discover your legos or blocks but they were a pale second to the fun of outside.   Even on overcast, cloudy days my mother was known to open the door and exclaim "What a beautiful day!" right before booting us out the door.  "Come back when the streetlights turn on!" she'd shout and we'd be on our merry way.

Remember when we spent hours away from home and our parents only had the vaguest idea of where we were?  As young as 8 or 9 I used to get up at 7 am on summer mornings, pack a picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and then take my little brothers to the city park 10 blocks away.  We'd stay there all day, running around, climbing trees or flying kites.

Every summer my parents took us to an amusement park.  They sent us on our own to go explore the park and ride all the rides until supper time.  Then we would eat with our parents and spend the rest of the evening going on all our favourite rides with them.  That feeling of freedom and independence made us feel so good and strong.  Like we could handle anything!

Remember walking to and from school?  When I was 6 my mother walked me halfway to school on my first day.  On the way she approached a group of "big kids" in the fourth grade.

"You kids going to that school down the street there?"


"Great!  This is my daughter, Jenny.  She's going to walk with you from now on."

And that was that.

Remember running just because it was fun?  Remember the exhilarating feeling of the wind in your hair and how it felt that at any moment you could fly if you tried hard enough and ran fast enough?  Remember the playground equipment?  Jungle gyms built so high that if you climbed to the top you could see the whole world.  Teeter Totters that went up and down, carousels that spun round and round.  Swinging on the swings so high and then dismounting by letting yourself soar through the air and land like a gymnast.  I used to pretend I was Mary Lou Retton and Wonder Woman.

Remember when you could sit in the coveted front seat of the car?  Yeah, I and statistics etc. but still, wasn't it awesome?  We even used to stick our heads out the window to taste the wind like our family dog.  Back then my parents enforced seat belt laws by saying, "Sit back!  There's a cop car up there!"

Remember when you could go visit your friends and you didn't have to bring your mom with you?  A five year old could go call on the neighbour kid by himself without making a "play date" out of it.  Back then it was weird if a kid had to call home the minute they arrived somewhere, as if they were on parole or something.  It was enough for most kids' parents that they just shout "I'll be at Jenny's!" as they ran out the door.

Those are some of the best memories of my life.  Life is different now.  I'm glad we have carseats and use seatbelts.  I'm even glad soda cans are bigger.  But I miss the freedom of childhood. It bothered me that my kids aren't getting the time to be free and wild and have fun the way I did when I was a kid.

In the last year or two I've been intentionally ignoring all the fears I have of what might happen when they are out of sight.  I purposely allow Frick to go places on his own and to have free run of the neighbourhood.  It wasn't easy at first; most of his friends were not allowed this level of freedom and I was worried I was being a negligent parent or that something bad would happen to him.  But it's getting easier.

The thing is, when I asked myself why I was hesitant to give my kids the same amount of freedom I had when I was growing up I really didn't have an answer.  I was limiting their childhood because I feared the statistically unlikely things that might happen.  That just didn't seem fair.

If you haven't yet, go check out the Free Range Kids blog.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Coffee Madness

 It will come as no surprise that I like to break the rules, especially when it comes to parenting.  I don't break the rules to be cool or rebellious.  I'm not trying to be unique.  I just think that blindly following rules without thinking about them or understanding that most rules have exceptions is stupid.

And sometimes breaking the rules can be awesome.

For example, as I sit here writing this my kids are joining me for a nice cup of coffee.

Wait, what?

That's right, coffee.

I honestly don't believe that this should be very shocking, it's really not a big deal.   But apparently it is.  Last week I got suckered into commenting on this article polling readers as to whether or not it's okay for Brad Pitt to give his kids Coca Cola to keep on schedule.  Very controversial.  Even those who felt that soda was okay as an occasional treat were all in a tizzy.  I think one lady got away with telling people she gave her kids soda because it was back in the eighties when she did it, and no one seems to blame her for that.

Everyone knows that children from the eighties were raised in caves.

Look, I don't really give a shit how the Jolie-Pitt's see fit to raise their kids, I've got enough problems with my own, but I commented because there was no option to vote for "caffeine in moderation is fine".  Something any doctor will tell you.  But then, what do doctors know?  Am I right?

And of course, I caught flack for it.  Not much but also not surprising.  What was surprising was the fact that even though I specified that the kids' daily Joe was fine by their pediatrician, and even though the poster was okay with moderate soda consumption, the fact that I gave my kids coffee was tantamount to lacing their cookies with arsenic.  (Yes, I am reading Flowers in the Attic right now.)

Sorry it's so hard to read.

The underlined words are "I believe in everything in moderation" and "whatever, none of my business".   And then she proceeds  to tear me a new one for giving my kids coffee.  Here, I'll wait while you go read it.  It should be pretty easy to find.  The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Everything in moderation?  Everything but coffee.  None of my business?  Unless it's coffee.  Oh and thank you so much for pontificating pointing out that I don't need to give them coffee.  I just need to get my kids to bed earlier.  Well, aren't you a fucking genius?  No, really you should write a book, you'll make millions.

So what's the deal with kids and coffee?

I found this website that highlights the risks of caffeine in children.  Let's go through the list, shall we?

1.  Kids who drink 1 or more sodas are more likely to be obese.  I give my kids coffee with a half teaspoon of sugar and a very generous amount of milk.  It's the sugar that's the culprit for obesity, not caffeine.  A can of Coke has about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

2. Caffeinated beverages are full of empty calories.  This makes kids miss out on more nutritious foods.  Soda in particular can cause kids to not get enough calcium.  You can't put milk in Coke, that's for sure.  Also coffee is a part of a full breakfast in our house, typically consisting of cereal and yogurt.  I really wish I could say they ate fruit, too, but they don't.

3. Drinking too much soda can be bad for your teeth.  Because of the sugar.

4.  Caffeine is a diuretic which can cause dehydration.  Well it's a good thing I know how to operate my tap.  We drink plenty of water in this house because juice is expensive, yo.

5.  Abruptly stopping caffeine can cause withdrawal symptoms.  Then I must give it to them every day!

The vast majority of doctors agree that coffee in moderation is fine.  A doctor's definition of moderate coffee consumption for an adult is 2-4 cups a day.  Children under the age of 12 should have their coffee consumption monitored.  There is no evidence that shows coffee stunts a child's growth.  And apparently in Brazil they found that the coffee drinking kids were less likely to suffer depression.  The fact is that the problem has a lot more to do with sugar than it does with caffeine.

Finally, you just never know what a family's individual situation is.  My son has un-medicated ADHD.  There is some evidence that shows that moderate coffee consumption has benefits for those who have ADHD, often creating the opposite effect on them than it would on a non-ADHD person.  Just to be sure, I asked Frick's doctor about it and he agreed that a little coffee in the morning couldn't hurt.

This prejudice against coffee for kids is unmerited.  Clearly the problem is with daily soda consumption.  And I'm not going to get all "Brad Pitt is wrong and I'm right!" on you.  If he knew how great coffee could be he'd use that instead.  Like most people he probably just associates kids with soda and views coffee as an adult beverage.  It's even possible that he is capable of independent thought and tries to compensate in other ways, but who knows?  I don't live in his house.  All I know is that sometimes breaking the rules is the only way to get by.

Monday 6 February 2012

7 Signs That You're a Good Mom: Lowering the Bar So We All Win

I'm jealous of my husband.  He gets to be Dad.  When you're Dad you get credit just for showing up.   And that's setting the bar pretty low when it comes to any kind of parenting, but it sets the standard nicely for getting plenty of extra credit when you go above and beyond just showing up.

So why are the standards for being Mom so impossibly high?

You have to control your emotions 100% of the time.  You can never lose your shit to the point of yelling and swearing.  In fact, swearing is strictly verboten  regardless of your tone of voice.  Instead you must exercise limitless patience and love and understanding.  You get judged on what you feed your kids, how they're dressed, the length of their hair, when and how they sleep, how much freedom they have, how little freedom they have, how they behave in public, how you behave in public, their performance in school and, ultimately, how they turn out as adults.

Being the avant-garde trendsetter that I am I have decided to set a new standard.  It's time to lower the bar so we all get to win.

1.  Are you currently raising children?  Congratulations!  You're a good Mom.

2.  Are you doing your best to meet the needs of your child (food, shelter, medicine, clothing, etc.)?  Then you're a good Mom.  Even if you fall short of meeting those needs sometimes you're still a good Mom.  We're all just doing the best we can.

3.  Did you get your child to eat at least one food from each food group over the course of the day?  Then you're a good Mom.  And even if you didn't, you're still a good Mom.  You know what they say: you can lead a horse to water but you can't strap it down and force feed it vegetables.

4.  Did you not reciprocate when your child punched/bit/spit on/slapped/otherwise intentionally injured you?  Then you're a good Mom.  Just because you really, really wanted to reciprocate does not mean that you're a bad Mom.  It just means your kid is acting like an asshole.

5.  Did your child arrive at school fully dressed?  Then you're a good Mom.  It doesn't matter that his clothes are backwards, mismatched and dirty.  He can learn just as well in that as he can in clean matching clothes.   Shoes + Shirt + Pants = My Kid Has a Right to an Education.

6.  Did your child come home today without a police escort?  Then you're a good Mom.  There will come a time when the police will come to visit, but that's okay.  Statistically speaking, that represents a highly insignificant number compared to all the times she didn't.  That makes you 99.9% Good Mom.

7.  Do you still have the capacity to love your children to the point that you would die for them even though they put you through all of this shit?  Not only are you a good Mom, you're a freaking saint!

Thursday 2 February 2012

"This is Normal. He Will Grow Out Of It." The Story of How I Became Rotten.

I didn't start off this way.  I was once like you.  But being a Mom has beaten me down.  Let me take you through my process.

Pregnancy.  I found out I was going to be a Mommy in my final year in college.  Like most women I was scared and excited all at once.  I didn't know what to expect so, in true scholarly fashion I began my research.  Any time I attack a project I give it my all.  I read all the pregnancy and parenting books I could get my hands on.  I took those worthless pre-natal classes.  I tried to learn everything I could about breast-feeding.  I was going to ace this!

I had a very healthy pregnancy that gave me very little trouble.  Labour and delivery took a long time (36 hours!) but there were no complications.  My baby was perfectly beautiful.

Year 1.  I began failing as a mother almost immediately.  I couldn't get my baby to latch properly.  The first six weeks of life were a living hell.  There was a lot of crying, most of it by me.  I was so worried it wasn't going to work because we had no money for formula.  None.  I hated every bitch who told me how wonderful breast feeding is; how natural and easy.  With much stubborn perseverance we got through it but I was always uncomfortable when some women would praise me for this.  If I'd had the money I most likely would have jumped at formula feeding.

Although my problems with breast-feeding were unrelated to the future problems I would have with Frick, the experience of it set the stage for all future maternal frustrations and shortcomings.

After the breast-feeding was finally going, Frick started teething.  That's when he started biting me.  Only me.  He only ever wanted to bite me.  He took great joy and delight in it.  There would be a great happy grin on his face and then, CHOMP!  No matter how many chew toys I gave him, no matter how much redirection, he was always sneaking up on me and biting me.  I told myself, "This is normal.  He will grow out of it."  I was still very confident in my parenting abilities.  I had read the best of the books and all the latest magazines.

Year 2.  The first half of this year was spent avoiding Frick's pirhanna-like mouth.   But I was still optimistic.  After all I'm a very good student and I was reading very good books.  Frick had not yet started tantrums and he could not yet speak.  He was just cute and adorable and bitey and charming as all hell.

Which made it easier to forgive him for destroying all of our property.  He was a very destructive baby.  I thought, "It's normal for babies to be destructive.  He will grow out of it."

Year 3.  This was the year of the beginning of Frick's nuclear meltdowns.  Frick's tantrums were so violent he often had to be restrained in order to prevent him from hurting himself.  He did it everywhere for the smallest of annoyances.  People were pretty nice about it though.  It helped that I got sympathetic looks most of the time.  I thought, "See?  Other people have gone through this.  It's normal.  He will grow out of it."  I read a lot of parenting books that year.  I may as well have read the Sunday funnies.

Year 4.  This is the year that Frick fell in love with ramming his head into things.  Particularly the crotchular region of adult men.  He was the perfect height for bashing this area.  He would back up from across the room, gaining some pretty good momentum before hitting the target.  If you were a less than vigilant guy you would be singing opera for a couple of hours after.  It took a while and we finally got him to stop doing it to Daddy, but he wasn't convinced that this was a universally unwanted behaviour.  He was a scientist.  He had to test it out on any male he ever came into contact with.  It was like owning a rambunctious dog.  "Boys sure are weird," I thought.

This is also the year he started colouring on anything but paper.  This artistic experimentation with media lasted for another four years.  No matter how many times he had to clean up his crayon markings on the wall he would be at it again the very next day.  I have confiscated crayons from this kid more times than I can count.

This is also the year we started toilet training, so far my most detested parenting experience.  "This is normal.  He will grow out of it" became my mantra. With shameless bribery (and many gummi bears) we got through the worst of it but the power struggles we had did lasting damage.  This is now a medical issue.  Not normal, but he may still outgrow it.

This is also the year Frick started to punish me.  In his mind he felt that any time I made him do or experience anything unpleasant, be it giving him a time out or making him go to bed when he didn't want to, he could punish me.  He was amazingly creative in the art of Sticking It To Mommy.  This was the year I began to feel as if this kid was out to get me.  I cried a lot.

This was the year I began to hate the expression "Being a Mom is the most wonderful experience of my life!" Women who had the capacity to utter this phrase unironically were dead to me.  I was in a very dark place.

Year 5.  This was the year that Frick began what was to be a stellar academic career.  I should have seen his dumping a bucket of sand on some kid's head the very first day as an ominous sign.  Instead I involuntarily laughed.  Frick was explosive but sand-bucketing some kid wasn't within what I then considered to be his capabilities.  Oh, little did I understand the true extent in Frick's genius for shocking me.  But hey, "Boys will be boys."

Frick loved school and seemed to be doing very well, giving me false hopes.  He continued to tantrum like a toddler, destroy anything he touched and scribble on walls, windows and furniture.  He had no crayons for most of that year and he still managed to do this.  That and punish me for the sin of making him eat vegetables or brush his teeth.

This is the year he started to lie.  A lot.  He did lie before this year but this is the year lying became like breathing.  And he was terrible at it.  Even more fun was that when you refused to believe what were very obvious lies he would get outraged and indignant.  But of course little kids lie.  They don't want to get into trouble. Normal.

Year 6.  Best year ever.  He was awesome at five.  Helpful and sweet.  Way less tantrummy, but on the few occasions he did meltdown things got ugly and extreme.  Overall though he was less destructive, more polite, and easier to take out in public.   I thought, "See?  All of my parenting is finally showing some results.  I'm glad I read all those books!"  Sure he did a lot of annoying stuff still, but what little boy doesn't?  Little boys are chatter boxes who never stop talking and are super impulsive all the time, right?

Near the end of this year Frick started saying, "I'm turning 6 and when I do I will be a big boy and I can do whatever I want."  And every time he said that I said, "No you cannot.  That won't happen."

He never heard me.

Year 7.  Frick is 6 and he is a big boy and he can do whatever he wants.  And so he does do whatever he wants.  Whatever crazy, half-baked idea enters his head, well he's just gonna do it.  This is the year I had to swear a lot.  This is the year he did things that were so shocking, so unexpected that the F-word would fly out of my mouth involuntarily.  First I would gasp and sputter in sudden apoplexy.  Then I would be frozen in paralytic anger.  Then I would have to shout or say the F-word or risk having a seizure.

The vast majority of time outs that year were given to me.  I would run down to the basement and scream a little, and then break something and finally, sob out of sheer frustration.

I remember I would wake up every single day saying to myself, "Today I am not going to let Frick get to me.  I am not going to shout or lose my temper.  I am going to be a good mother or die trying!" I ended every single day unable to sleep as I rehashed all the ways I had failed my son as a mother.   "Please God, let this be normal.  Have pity on me and let him grow out of it."  If I couldn't even handle a normal little boy then I must be the worst of mothers.

Year 8.  This was the year Frack was born.  We got a lot more notes home from the teacher.  Fights on the playground, homework not being done, running away from the teacher on school trips.  Everyone seemed content to blame Frick's odd behaviour on the new baby, but I was growing skeptical.  After the events of one terrible day, where my husband was the one to lose his shit, we went and got professional help.

This is the year we found out about ADHD.  Our son was not normal.  And he might not grow out of it.  I didn't know what to think.  I was afraid I was going to never have a hope of helping my kid.  All those parenting books were garbage.  I had to relearn everything about being a mom.  I had to learn to not only not sweat the small stuff: I had to learn how to not sweat the medium stuff and a couple of the big things, too.

It was scary but finding out about his ADHD was the best thing to happen this family.  I was finally given the tools I needed to cope.

I was finally able to help my son.

My perfectly beautiful, funny, sweet, lovable son.

It was during this time that I began to realize just how damaging the myth of Perfect Motherhood had been for me and for women like me.  I understood that on the scale of attention deficit my son scored low enough to not medicate.  What does that mean then, for the mom who should medicate, and all the fun judgment that goes along with that?  Or the mother of Autism spectrum, or Down's Syndrome?  These are women with real problems and must experience all the darker sides of mothering perhaps worse than I did.

How hurtful it is to be reminded by other moms that the worst fears you have about yourself; that you're a bad mother and don't deserve your children, might be true?

That if you feel angry and frustrated and hopeless and sad most of the time you are somehow ungrateful for gifts from God.  To be afraid to say out loud you feel this way and reveal yourself to be a heartless monster.  To not be allowed to commiserate and find comfort in women who are struggling in the same way.  To feel isolated and alone and evil.

And so this is the year I began to go Rotten.  I began to be irreverent and heretical when it came to the Holy Station of Motherhood.   I began to see it as the source of all the division amongst mothers:  natural childbirth vs. epidural/c-section, breastmilk vs. formula, stay at home vs. working moms.  If there is anything to be disagreed on in motherhood it is sure to not just become a difference of opinion but a Holy War.

A Mommy War.

It was getting to me so much I finally had to express myself and Mommy Rotten was born.  I felt like it was time to get punk rock on the establishment of Mom.

I want moms like me to know they are not alone.

I want them to laugh.