10 Things I Want My Kids to Be

Today the Hubs is guest posting. He doesn't usually write, but when he does he's always got a lot to say. Please read it and if you like it, let him know because he loves a good comment as much as the next person. 

My kids are heading back to school and I can't be there with them. I can't hold their hands in the hall or join them for lunch. I won't always be there to influence their decisions and their choices. I can only do my best to teach them and to prepare them. This is the advice I have used to try and instill the qualities I think they need to be a better version of themselves:

1.  Be fearless. Don't spend your life in fear of the unknown.  You should not be afraid of the unknown.  You should embrace the unknown as new adventures in your life.

2.  Be strong.  Be strong in spirit, body and mind.  I not saying I want you to be pumping iron and do 100 push ups a day, but to be strong in everything you do.  To be strong in mind and spirit and don't give up on anything you try and to persevere through the difficult things in your life. 

10 Things I'm Grateful For (Seriously)

I know, I know, I don't usually do the positive stuff, but this one got me thinking.  I do gripe a lot and I don't want everyone to think that's how I always am.  I really do have a lot to be grateful for and it wouldn't kill me to acknowledge that.

I actually have a good friend who won't even read this blog, because she finds it too negative.  She asked me a long time ago to write something positive for every negative thing I wrote.  I laughed in her face, of course.  Maybe she'll read this one at least.

1.  My Family.  By family I mean the whole clan.  I have a fairly large extended family and we're all pretty tight.  When you ask my kids the names of their best friends, their cousins are always at the top of their list.  We get together a lot.  "If it's Wednesday, then it must be the 5th anniversary of Uncle Larry's gall bladder surgery.  Let's all celebrate with dinner at Mimi's Cafe!"  We have no qualms rolling into a restaurant and asking for a table for 25.  Sure, we fight and get on each other's nerves, but at the end of the day, we're family and you don't mess with my family.

The Little Box of Horrors

I have a few bins of crap - I mean precious treasures - that my mom has saved since I was born. A few years ago, my mom gave me the bins. She said that she thought that maybe I'd enjoy going through them with my kids and seeing the "time capsule" of my life. I was like, "Yeah, maybe" and then I shoved them in the back room of my basement and piled a ton of crap in front of them.

This weekend Adolpha and I were cleaning out the back room when she spotted the bins. "Are you ever going to open those and see what's in there?" she asked.

Adolpha is our family historian. She is the one who cares about making memories and preserving them. She is the one who wants to make things special and glittery. She was positive that those bins held treasures from my childhood that would be ah-may-zing.

Normally, I growl and tell her no, but I was feeling generous and bit sentimental myself. After all, Gomer's eleven now and he could care less about spending any time with me. Adolpha's nine, so I know my time with her is just about up, so I said, "Fine. Let's see what's in there."

I grabbed the closest bin and pulled it out into the well-lit room so we could really admire all of my treasures. I opened the lid and was immediately greeted by this:

The Snotsucker

You know how much I love ridiculous products, right? Like the Binsi Birthing Skirt. Remember that one? Practical enough to push a bowling ball out of out of your vagina while still looking cute during your birth experience and/or a trip to Target. Also, it was wrinkle free, because that's important too, you guys.

Or the Facekini? Those creepy face masks women in China are wearing to prevent their faces from tanning? I'm all for preventing skin cancer, but those suckers are just plain terrifying. I never want to go to the beach in China.

Well, today a reader emailed me about a new weird product. Today I learned about The NoseFrida Snotsucker. Does it sound revolting? Because it is.

Best Elf on the Shelf Birthing Video Ever

In the two years since my Elf on the Shelf rant went viral, I've received countless photos of elves in various positions. They're usually very funny, like snorting powdered sugar off a mirror, having a three-way with Barbie and Skipper, or getting his head ripped off by a dog. Over the years I've become quite jaded and I thought I'd seen it all.

I was wrong.

I stumbled onto Mothering.com and I saw the weirdest, funniest, more elaborate elf scenario I've ever seen.

More Terrible Kids' Names

Sooooo ... you know how much I loooooove silly names, right? Names like Aighmey and Alicin and Rocco and Jacin (he's Alicin's brother). Well, this week I was introduced to a couple more to add to my growing list I like to keep.

Do You Let Your Kids Sip Alcohol?

“What does it taste like?” Gomer, my ten-year-old, asked me.

“What does what taste like?” I asked.

“Your beer.”

We were having dinner and though I don't normally have a beer with my dinner, that night it just sounded like a refreshing beverage. I looked at the bottle in my hand and shrugged my shoulders. “I don't know,” I said. Because I really didn't. How do you describe the taste of alcohol to your child? They only flavors he knows and understand are water, milk, juice, and soda. Beer doesn't taste anything like any of those beverages. How could I explain to him what beer tasted like?
“It tastes gross,” the Hubs said. The Hubs is not a drinker and does not mince words when it comes to his disdain for beer.

I disagreed. “It doesn't taste gross.”

“So it tastes good?” Gomer asked.

I thought about his question. Does it taste good? Again, how do you explain to a child if beer tastes good? Should I tell him it tastes good? Will that make him want to try it for himself? Should I tell him it tastes bad? Would that keep him from experimenting with underage drinking or will it make it sound taboo and then drive him right to it? Man! Parenting is hard!

“I think it tastes good now. When I first started drinking, I didn't like beer. It took me a long time to like beer and I had to taste a lot of different beers before I found one I liked,” I explained.

“Why did it take so long?”

“Because it was sort of an acquired taste,” I told him. “It's something that grown ups like, but kids probably wouldn't.”

“Can I have a sip?” Gomer asked.

“Maybe you should let him try it, Jen,” the Hubs said.

“Are you crazy?” I asked.

I Hope My Son Makes Them Laugh

If you've been reading this blog for any time now, you will have noticed that I tell far more stories about Adolpha than I do Gomer.  It's not because Adolpha is my favorite.  (She's not.  I don't have favorites.  Really I don't.  My favorite is whoever leaves me alone while I write this.)  It's not even because Adolpha is funnier than Gomer.

It's because over time Gomer has asked me not to write about him.  He will do something hysterical or tell me a funny story and immediately he stops, gets an intense expression, and asks me, "Will this be on the blog, Mom?"

The Mean Moms at the School Concert

This might be the worst story I think I've ever heard.

Apparently somewhere in America a principal is having an emergency meeting with a group of mothers. The mothers are there not to talk about their children's behavior. Instead they are there to talk about their own behavior.

So there was a music concert the other night and this group of bitches sat behind a teacher from the school and during the concert they proceeded to put chewed up gum in the woman's hair. Let me say this slower for you, because the first time I heard this story, I didn't quite understand and I thought it was the kids who did this. NO. Not the kids.

Overachieving Elf on the Shelf Mommies

By now we have all heard of the adorable little Elf on the Shelf . Almost everyone I know has one.  Some people even have two!  (Now I'...

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