Category Archives: I don’t like to judge

“Whatcha talkin’ bout Willis?”

I have a friend in Public Relations that likes to throw my writing out to different publishers and casting directors when projects come across his desk.  He called me last night to say that there is a new reality television pilot being cast that is looking for women in New York and surrounding areas who have successful careers, children, friends and spouses, and are navigating through the “have it all” scenario.  He sent her my information and blog link and she wanted to talk to me.

Putting aside the fact that I would rather eat three-week old fish wrapped in road-kill filo dough, than be on a reality television show, (that’s big talk. I don’t eat things that swim) I wanted to get more information.  This is an excerpt from the actual breakdown:

The POWER MOMS of NEW YORK.
POWER MOMS is a new docu-series focusing on a group
of successful women who somehow manage to do it all…
balancing work, kids, home, friends, events, parties and
family!

 

If this is truly a reality show, and not a sci-fi series where days are longer than 24 hours, there are glaring arithmetic errors.  I’ll get Nate Silver on it.

But, lets suspend our disbelief for just a moment while I tell you about this phone call.  It went something like this:

Casting Director: “So, let me describe what we are looking for and you can tell me if you fit the bill.  We need successful, career driven, educated, New York mothers who are able to work, spend plenty of quality time with their kids and spouses, plan events and parties and maintain an active social life.  Also, these women do not need to be wealthy, but can afford some of the nicer things.  For example, vacations homes and designer clothes.  This is a classy version of New York Housewives.  It’s an aspirational show that middle America will be inspired by.  Does that sound like you?”

me: “No.  It most definitely does not.  I do not own my own home, let alone a vacation home and fashion is not my thing.  I am not your girl, but seriously, who are you looking for?  You didn’t mean success in any career.  You meant CEO’s and the like?”

Casting Director “Yes.”

Clearly, she did not read by blog.  And clearly I will not watch her show.  Or maybe I will.  I must see who these women are and how they manage to defy the laws of nature.  Because, it’s going to be a reality show…meaning it is going to be 100 percent real, right?

have a click!

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Death of Nap. Death of Sanity.

I’ve heard tales of this sort of thing on the street.

A child under the age of three phasing out his afternoon nap.

An Urban Myth, of course.

Or at the very least, a lack of parental know-how. They must not be timing things accordingly. Perhaps the lighting isn’t adequately creating a restful atmosphere. Overly stimulating post-lunch media? Maybe they serve juice instead of water?

At any rate, it couldn’t happen to me. Certainly not. I shan’t even entertain the thought.

Well, peeps. I’m here with my street cred to tell ya,

It’s real.

It’s true.

It’s horrifying.

Zachary’s naps have sprung with the spica. We fought it. We denied it. I bounced the kid silly for an hour the other day until he finally realized it was his crib or motion sickness. But, even that has stopped working.

“I’m just not tired, Mommy”

And I believe him.

He’s not tired at 12:00 pm.

Or at 1:00, or 2:00

It’s debatable at 3:00.

And at 4:00…

the sky comes crashing down around us all in a loud, thunderous, decimating explosion.

“Mommy! I’m tired! I want to take a nap!

OK.

What happens if the child takes a nap at 4:00 pm?

He’s up till 10:00 pm.

NOT OK

So, after much debate, discussion and tears (ours, not his), we made the painful decision to try something new this week.

No nap. Not even an attempt. An EARLY bedtime and all should smooth out within a few days.

How did it go?

God Awful

In fact, I made the mistake of accepting invitations for two play dates this weekend, planned for the early evening/wartime hours.

Twice.

I did this TWICE this weekend.  Because evidentially I didn’t embarrass myself quite enough on Saturday and felt the need to go back for more on Sunday.

Two different evenings.

Two different psychotic break-downs.

Two different calm, sane families as witnesses (both with a child who sits at the dinner table, quietly consuming prepared food for a period of time spanning longer than ten minutes-something I know nothing about even with all naps intact)

It would seem that I am trying my best to ensure no friends are made here in our new neighborhood.

My sweet, loving, slightly precocious little boy turns into a high-pitched, squealing banshee, who would be prescribed 17 different drugs if observed by a child psychiatrist during these episodes. (And I would certainly be prescribed a handful of my own, should I catch the doc’s eyes, even for a quick second.)

He is out of control.

I am out of control.

Isabelle joins the ranks of the ‘out of control’ just for uniformity, I guess.

She naps just fine-

Not three and four hour stretches I’ve heard parents claim their kids give them. I know nothing of that sort of luxury. Never have. Good Lord, what on earth would I do with that kind of time?

If one of my children has ever napped for more than one hour and 45 minutes, I’ve checked for a pulse.

So, that’s that.

Except it’s not.

This nap CANNOT go. It’s not working.  There is a reason why kids don’t usually drop it until after preschool begins. It is unnatural for any human to go through 13 hours of entertaining two toddlers without so much as a five-minute reprieve.

This just won’t do.

No siree.

Must figure out a new plan.

Until then, all post-3:00pm play dates are out of the question. I must salvage what friendships remain!

have a click!

Death to LOL

I have hesitated to write this entry for months now.  I fear that my thoughts will offend 99 percent of my friends and readers. But, I can keep quiet no longer. Forgive me dear ones, kind-hearted friends, family, and cyber-besties for questioning a rampant and beloved (by most) acronym. I accept that as the minority on this one, it is I who must be wrong.  In order for me to post this without guilt, please balance the scales by leaving some overused Motherfogisms that drive you up the wall in the comment section. I can take it.

With that disclaimer…

I hate LOL. Hate it with a passion. It baffles me, irritates me, and has me questioning the intelligence of very smart people.  My issue with this all too common text lingo has been simmering beneath my skin’s surface for quite some time and is now bursting forth in blistery bubbles, no longer able to be contained.

This severe reaction calls for a serious and thorough deep dive into my psyche to figure out exactly what about the “phrase” bothers me.

Was I attacked in a past life by flesh-eating LOL-ING monsters?

Possibly.  But I feel I must dig deeper.

Is it the simple laziness in using an acronym for something that can easily be written in full?

No. It can’t be that.  Although some abbreviations do urk me for that very reason. “Traders” for one. Does it really take up so much time and energy to add the “Joe’s”?

But this can’t fall under that category for the fact that I am quite comfortable with OMG and WTF. Most ironically, I don’t seem to have a problem with LMAO (Laughing my ass off) either.
We do after all need a quick and easy way to properly relay our tone in this day and age so void of actual voiced conversations. Especially while texting and driving.  (which is extremely dangerous and illegal in 30 of our 52 States, FYI)

Ok. So, what is the difference? I asked myself.

It was this question that solved the mystery of my latest lingering pet peeve.   When I see these acronyms,  I can actually picture the sender saying the words in their entirety and the sentiment is quite synonymous with the content of the conversation.

When I write OMG. I very literally mean “Oh My God!!”. The subject matter is most definitely shocking or gasp-inducing in some manner. When (rarely) I write WTF, I can assure you I am feeling to my core each one of these words, including that which is most abrasive.  LMAO, although dangerously close to LOL seems to be most often used congruently with that which is tail reducing funny.

So, why am I picking on poor little LOL?

I have discovered that it seems I don’t have as much of a problem with LOL as the indiscriminate and reckless way in which it is used. People seem to sprinkle it like salt and pepper into every text conversation as if it were a punctuation mark. The problem with this for me is that my very literal brain will form a clear picture of this person guffawing, slapping their knee and laughing out loud in response to something along the lines of,

“I am folding laundry. Man it seems like I do a lot of laundry”.

“LOL!”

Huh?

I stop. Stare at my blackberry. Cock my head to the side and wonder what on earth could be so funny about such a statement.  Inevitably the sender, due to this lack of synchronicity with the topic at hand seems like a psychotic Mad Hatter laughing willy-nilly at anything and everything. Perhaps a more fitting acronym would be AAC “Almost Audibly Chuckling”. Doesn’t that fit the bill more often than not?

In conclusion….

This blog post’s title now seems  a bit extreme due to the state I was in at its start, before my journal therapy session.  I am officially retracting my death wish for LOL. In fact, by all means, if you are truly laughing out loud, then LOL away!

This post, for example will hopefully earn LOL’s instead of

“OMG! WTF?, she’s a judgmental B!”.

So, I’m pleading for a world where LOL is used with caution. Stop. Think. Listen to your body (sorry, we are in the midst of potty training), and ask yourself…

Are you really LOLing? Or just AACing?

Click, please!

Resurrection of a Neat Freak

Many know the Toyota Sienna story….

….for those who do not, I’ll begin with a very abridged re-cap and get on to the point of this post.

We bought our used (new to us) mini van one week before our cross-country move to New Jersey.  Brimming with two adults, two babies, two dogs, two suit cases, two pack-n-plays, two dog crates and 47 Plum Organics fruit and veggie bags, we waved a final goodbye to our California home and headed for the highway.

We had not yet reached the 405 before a bag of spinach, peas and pear purèe squirted like a laser from the back seat. It was at that moment I realized, for the sake of my sanity, I would have to temporarily tuck my obsessive need for order and cleanliness inside the glove compartment for the duration of this trip.

With a sigh, and a vow to devote an entire weekend to a detailed vacuuming and  scrubbing once we arrived at our new home, I shut her inside the compartment with a click.

But, as the story goes, our engine nearly exploded 788 miles from Los Angles, on Day Three of our trip, and we continued the rest of the way in a rented Chrysler Town and Country.   I learned to find liberation in stretching atrophied muscles of slop, as the obsessive hemisphere of my brain was still locked inside a glove compartment in Albuquerque, NM.

The Sienna was shipped to us in New Jersey, 30 days after our arrival, but before I had the chance to roll up my sleeves and dig my elbows into the mass destruction that occurred during those first three days, the transmission fell out onto the New Jersey Turnpike.

Once back in our possession, two weeks later, I had little desire to even look at the vehicle, let alone offer it any modicum of TLC.

Winter turned to Spring and Spring to Summer, as less and less of the floor was visible through the overlay of crushed goldfish, graham crackers and other things unidentifiable due to the scientific changes in composition during the natural decaying process.  And every time we loaded the kids in the car to run an errand, a guttural groan would escape from me.

As much as I tried to keep the state of our mini van a dirty little secret, people would catch sight of our disturbing transport all too often.  Each time, these people, newly made East Coast friends who are unaware that I am NOT a gigantic slob, witnessed the science project growing in my car, a little part of me (the part that upon returning from the grocery store, with the intense pressure of an over-flowing bladder, would rather wet her pants than use the bathroom before all the groceries are in their proper place) would die.

Today, after six months and three days (minus the 44 it was in the repair shop) of driving a vehicle straight out of an episode of  Horders , I decided it was time to unlock the glove compartment and let a kicking, screaming and gasping Neaty Mc Neaterton free!

Man, was she pissed!

“How could you have let this happen?”

She asked, with utter disdain, while surveying the floor with disgust.

My head hanging in shame, we agreed that placing blame and making excuses would only distract from the monumental task at hand.  And so we dove in; my Husband, my two kids and my two estranged selves joined together to restore balance, harmony and order within our family vehicle.

While I feel it was beneficial to have allowed this disgusting little situation to happen, as I now understand the importance of lowering the standards when it comes to car trips (especially long ones), I can, with complete conviction, say that six months is unacceptable.  There really is no need for such prolonged disarray and neglect.  Kids or no kids.

Currently, a little waste basket sits under the stereo for used napkins, ripped papers, and toys I find annoyingly disheveling, a dust buster is charged and ready inside the front door of the house for frequent clean-ups, and I sit in the front seat with shoulders back and chest up as we set off on northeastern roads.

Now, when friends ask if I need assistance with getting my children in the car after play-dates, I proudly accept their offer.

The BEST part?

It was more family fun than we have had in weeks!

Family Car Wash!!!

Blogger’s Note:
Those of you who have witnessed the manner in which we allow my daughter to eat her meals are most likely thinking,

“Neat Freak, my a#*!”

It must be noted that the same organizational and cleanliness obsessed facet of my ego spends all mealtimes locked in the liquor cabinet.

She’s happy there.

And totally wasted.

Have a click!

8 going on 28

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a large and reputable bi-coastal talent agency. Thankfully, I already have theatrical representation, but I’m in search of a commercial rep for some extra cash.  Look for me on the next Tampax commercial. Or better yet, Valtrex.  Oh, yes.  If the price is right, I’ll go on national TV and claim I have herpes.  No problem.

I digress.  I wish you all could be the flies on this wall and join me as we witness the destruction of a childhood.  A few moments ago, an eight-year-old stepped out of the elevator.  This “child” is groomed to perfection, right down to her trendy cotton t-shirt, tucked into her Prada skinny jeans to display her leather, braided Gucci belt. She stands next to her “40 somethings dressed as 20 somethings” father as he announces her arrival and asks if all of the agents might squeeze her into their schedules. She gives a mechanical flip to her perfectly coiffed locks, and paints on her most adorable beauty pageant grin.

She and Daddy take their seats next to mine, open her portfolio and go over the imperative details together. The gloss on her lips shines brighter than mine and I’m reminded to re-apply for my own meeting.

In LA, I witnessed families divide just so that one parent could relocate with one of their children, from midwest homes to studio apartments in Hollywood so that the child could “follow his or her dreams”.  It’s hard not to wonder just whose dreams they are following.  And, does it really matter?  Is there any dream worth the shattering of a family unit?

I am a huge believer in the preservation of a childhood and wonder if working professionally can snuff out that sacred flame.  Public school, playgrounds, bike rides to creek beds to skip stones, piggy banks with rattling coins…these were integral components of my own upbringing and my goal is to do my best to offer my children the same.

I open my manila envelope, remove the pictures of my babies and place them in my purse, leaving only my own headshot and resume.  I had thought that possibly, before they are old enough to be aware, their adorableness could make them some money for college.  But as the receptionist calls this eight-year-old’s name, and I watch her saunter off down the hall with more of a womanly swagger to her hips than I could ever master, I realize that this brag book is for facebook, friends and family. Let’s keep it that way for now, shall we?