Category Archives: Really? I did that?

Oh, Canada

Off to Canada for a concert. Let’s hope I make better choices this time…

Sleepwalking across the border

Brain DustBuster

I’ve always thought that I was born with some sort of defect. A missing part, like an Ikea box, if you will.

Miscommunications are a part of life. They happen. And, the particular types of which I write are rectified quickly. A mumbled word is heard as something outrageous and halts the conversation like a road flare. Often, these are humorous. We chuckle and continue on, back on track.

But, what happens when the understood word or phrase is horrific and offensive? These too can be quickly rectified (although sans chuckles.)This is where my missing part comes into play.

It is my theory that most of us are born with an automatic Brain DustBuster that sweeps these embarrassing moments away, allowing its person to move along with little additional thought on the blip.

I, on the other hand, get trapped in a loop. The loop during which I was understood to be ridiculous, or perhaps ignorant and/or heartless. Even after many explanations righting the course, and can’t seem to let go of those seconds or minutes, no matter how brief.

An example:

We were powerless for nine days, gloriously restored for one and a half, and then yanked from our cozy relief once the snow storm hit. A snow storm that paled in comparison to any I have witnessed in my 35 years as a North Easterner (minus the five we pretended to belong in Southern California’s valley).

So, as I sit here and write this with numb and chilly fingers on my iPhone, I am still unsure as to why we have no power. Last week, as live wires lay draped and flaming across our yard, it was quite obvious. We did not sit and wait for the lights to magically appear. We knew that as long as our yard contained zero electrical crew members, we would enjoy zero electrical amenities.

But this outage is baffling and beyond irritating, so i made a call to New Jersey’s power company to raise hell politely inquire.

During my call, the rep gave very little helpful information, and just said that they were trying to restore power to everyone by 11:59pm on the 9th of November. (tonight-still waiting)

“I just don’t understand! Why did the power go out at all? The storm wasn’t that bad?”

Oddly, she responded calmly,

“The storm was that bad, Ma’am. People lost their homes. Some lost their lives.”

And there it is.

Of course I spent the next five minutes making sure she knew I was not referring to Hurricane Sandy, but the silly snow storm that followed it. But I can’t shake it. For three seconds, this woman thought there was a jackass on the planet who would downplay a catastrophe that left thousands homeless, killed many, and ripped babies from their mother’s arms. And, during those three seconds, she thought that jackass was me.

Still cringing.

Please send Brain DustBuster.

Maybe an extra one came in your box?

Blogger’s Note:
The Verizon cable line has been destroyed on our block. We are told it cannot be put back up for weeks. For that fact, all typos are to be overlooked as I have no cable or internet and am using the WordPress app on my phone to write and post.

Better yet….

I’ll leave you the username and password. Would you be so kind as to log-in and edit at your leisure? While you’re at it, write a couple of entries, would you?

Username-fix our power
Password- cold

All In A Night’s Work

The cry for “Mommy” shook just enough of me awake to see the digital display, “4:00 a.m.” floating double on the dresser, and I zombied myself to the child in question.

“What’s wrong, honey?”

“I waked!”

The 12 percent of me that responded to his call, heard this as a proclamation of the end of a night – the beginning of a bedraggled, sleep-deprived, cranky day, and I strongly defended my position.

(It hadn’t occurred to me that his chosen words “I waked” would surely mean a rather unsettling regression in language skills, but I repeat, the largest portion of my brain was still happily dreaming under her covers.

“Oh no, honey. It is not time to be awake”

“I waked!” he yelled again, anger and tears escalating.

“Zachary, it is the middle of the night. We are not waking up now, but I will lie down with you for a few minutes.”

At this generous offer, his frustration spiked into spastic kicks and pushes thrust into my knees and thighs.

Enforcing the “Abuse will not be tolerated no matter what time of day or night” rule, I said with stern authority,

“Zachary, I will not be kicked and pushed. If you continue to do that, I will not stay in here with you.”

He lay still next to me, but continued to quietly whimper.

“Honey, what is wrong? Are you cold? Do you need warmer jammie’s?”


This shocking news jolted the remaining 88 percent of me from her lazy slumber in the room across the hall, and she bolted to join us in a soggy bed. Gasping in a giant swig of guilt, I grabbed my (wet from the waist down) son out of his bed and smothered him in a hug.

“Zachary! I am so sorry! I misunderstood you! Sweetheart! I am so so so sorry!”

He giggled, (probably out of relief that he is not the spawn of a satanic entity forcing him to sleep in his own urine) and answered,

“It’s ok, Mommy. You didn’t understand me. Don’t worry.”

The rigmarole of changing diapers, pants, fitted sheets, blankets, and a rattling chain of remorseful apologies, served to eradicate any sleepy inclinations either myself or the three old had left, so we engaged in some reading and slumber party chatting until the urge to curl up and drift off returned.

Which it did.

At 6:00 a.m.

So both of us did just that…

…In dry clothes and sheets.

Because, contrary to what my initial reaction might indicate, I do NOT believe that shame and discomfort are appropriate or acceptable toilet training tools.


Have a click!

Attack of the Empty Threats

We are in a crack-down zone here in the Motherfog house.  With the “half-year” theory (equilibrium-disequilibrium) proving its validity with a vengeance, we are tightening the reins and nailing down boundaries. We are committed to regaining our status as The Parents.  AKA, the ones in control.  Sadly, the roles have recently reversed and those under three feet tall have staged a hostile take-over.

I could give 75 examples, all from before 10 am today, but I’ll pick one from the top five and keep it short. We have been struggling with following through. Just as an example:

“Zachary, if you continue to throw water on your sister’s head, we are going inside”. Followed immediately by Isabelle waddling toward me, drenched and screaming. Great. Now I have to go inside on a beautiful day and figure out how to entertain two toddlers who have been stuck inside for three days due to inclement weather and fevers.  Inevitably, I retract my threat, chipping away at what little authority I still have.  Clearly, mommy doesn’t mean business.

We’re done. We’re not doing them any favors by letting them create their own “routines” or their own rules. This applies to EVERYTHING. Meals, bedtimes, grocery store behavior, and respectful sibling play-time interaction.

Day one of crack-down:

I have a standing Mommy-Zachary Saturday morning date with my two and a half year old. Nothing is more exciting than our weekly trip to the Recycling Depot. The employees look forward to seeing him and fellow town recyclers watch with adoration as my little cherub divides the plastics from the cardboard and tosses them in to their respective bins.

This morning, as we were in the midst of the black hole that appears while attempting to dress two toddlers, Zachary found much merriment in an adorable new game.


Spitting on Daddy. Spitting on Mommy. Spitting on Baby sis.  He was calmly but sternly asked multiple times to stop this gross and unacceptable behavior and each time responded with maniacal giggles.

Finally, I got him to make eye contact and with deliberate weight and seriousness informed him that if he did it again, he would NOT be joining me at the Depot.

One millisecond later, I was wiping saliva from my knee. I picked up Isabelle, left his room and headed downstairs for the front door.  He ran after me crying, “I will stop, Mommy! I will! I will”. I turned to him and said,

“It’s too late, Zachary. You can go next week”, and closed the door behind me.

Windows open, I could hear him screaming in hysterics all the way down the street. “It’s not too late, Mommy!  It’s not to late!  I wanna go with youuuuuuuuuuuuu!”

It was a somber trip to the recycling yard.  I missed my little helper. Not that I don’t adore my daughter, but rusty cans and sour cartons just aren’t her thing.

Why do I share this?  Because I feel you all will benefit from my reiterating a basic concept of Parenting 101?  No. Hundreds of experts have and will continue to explain it better.

The punchline is what makes this story blog material.

As I emptied my blue bins, our friendly Public Works employee asked “Where’s the little guy?”

As I explained this morning’s salivary problem and subsequent unfortunate consequence, a ball of spit escaped from my mouth and hit him on the head.

I chose to ignore it rather than point out the irony,  but I giggled all the way home.

Blogger’s note:
Zachary’s listening skills dramatically improved throughout the rest of the day. I think we’re on to something!

Let’s get ready for Crack-Down Day Two

Would you Be so Kind as to help me out by clicking? Thanks!

An Open Apology to My Babies

In our two years, eight months, and 14 days of active parenthood, we have somehow flown under the radar of the fever bugs.  I was not however fully aware of this until last night.

I have heard some Moms say that they rarely use a thermometer. They simply know with a quick kiss on the forehead or touch to the feet. I could never seem to trust this myself, and being the obsessive worry-wart that I am, at any sign of illness I put the thermometer to use.


Unfortunately, the most accurate method for checking the temperature of a baby is also the most rude.  Zachary had the unfortunate luck of being my first, and therefore had more of these obnoxious assaults than Isabelle. But, she has certainly had her fair share.

At 2:00 this morning, I awoke to a weak and faint call for Mommy, rushed to Isabelle’s room and quickly joined the ranks of Mothers who say “they just know”.

I had barely placed my hands on her before I felt the rising heat off her skin. She folded herself into me, her belly and back like cement on a blazing August day.  THIS is when to use the thermometer. No question.

Temp of 104.

Thankfully, Tylenol and a luke warm bath brought it down and we’ve been administering these things for the past 20 hours as it rises and falls.

I feel for all parents who have seen these frightening temperatures in your children often. It’s terrifying. Especially when you are not accustomed to it.

And, I would like to formally apologize to my babies for the SEVERAL (and that choice of words is conservative) times you have been unnecessarily violated.  I promise to use more discretion in the future.

P. S.
It seems as though, in addition to the two teddy bears we received as a consolation prize from our experience at St. Barnabas Hospital last Thursday, we also received a cozy little virus.

How kind.

The Jig is Up

Before closing out of this link and joining the afformentioned “I Hate Emily Rozek club, please read to the end.

After the births of both of my children, I dropped my baby weight along with an additional ten pounds in about eight weeks. I had to buy a whole new wardrobe of smaller jeans, and I began ferociously binging on any scraps of food I could get my grabby little hands on…day and night.

I would get the shakes if I didn’t consume massive amount of sour dough bread, 15 inch loaves of French baguettes and mountainous heaps of pasta.  My husband asked a few times (before learning better),

“Really?  You’re going to eat the whole  four cheese pizza and the entire pint of Raspberry truffle Haagen Dazs ?”

He isn’t one to ever question my weight or show concern about my appearance. I think he just would have liked to enjoy a slice or two for himself, or a dollop if the rather pricey ice cream.

“Yup. I’m hungry”, I would answer, diving into a months worth of calories with a fervor.

It was true. I was hungry. All the time. But there was also a sense of giddy mischief like that of sitting at a broken slot machine as it spits out buckets of change before any casino personnel notices.

Why do I share this?  Because I want all mothers to unsubscribe and come egg my house?  No. Clearly there is more to the story.

Now, after nearly 3 and a half years of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding, with my youngest sort of weaning at 16 months, my time is up. The metabolism authorities have finally been notified of the over-indulgent habits to which I have grown accustom and are charging me…with interest.  I have gained ten pounds in one month and have no use whatsoever for a bra other than one suitable for a 13-year-old prepubescent girl.  I am slightly concerned about how much more I owe and how quickly I’ll have to pay it.

Although some may argue that I have been lucky, I must politely disagree.  Perhaps added pounds serve as a healthy reminder to keep us from getting into the unhealthy habit of eating ridiculous amounts of cheese, bread and ice cream. The invisible havoc wreaked on our bodies by junk food is much worse than what the eye can see.  I now have to retrain myself after three years of gluttony!

I believe that this is right around the time some women feel like they have their bodies back and can rip open that pre-pregnancy box of clothes.  I guess it’s the same for me.

Only, my pre-pregnancy clothes are three sizes larger than those bought postpartum.

The Jig is up.


P. S.
All those of you who are wickedly snickering and saying “Good!”…..

I can hear you.