This is a collection of hilarious interactions with my kids and things I’ve said and done as a mother that would’ve seemed very strange– or unthinkable– to me before the birth of my first child.
Convo with my daughters, R and G, when they were ages six and three years, respectively:
R: (pointing to a picture of me as a baby) Mom, I look just like you!
Me: Yes, you do, baby. You look just like Mommy.
G: Do I look like you, Mom?
Me: No, you look more like your dad (referring to my ex).
G: (without missing a beat, loudly and furiously) HEY, I’M NOT BALD!!!!
Me: laughing hysterically
My son, age three years, sits down to pee on the toilet at my grandparents’ house where, for some reason, the bathroom is carpeted:
Me: Make sure you point it in the potty.
J: Point what?
Me: Your tallywhacker.
J: What’s a tacky-whacker??
Me: Your penis. Weiner.
J: My penis is named tacky-whacker???!!!
The following illustrates more than anything else how very much I love my son:
J was going through a phase where bugs and snakes were the most fascinating things in the world. And I could handle the terrarium with the benign grass snakes in it and the mason jars full of snails (that bred and laid 5,000 eggs and had to be released at our local park before they took over the house) and the caterpillars that we raised to butterflies. But then came the nightmare creature.
My ex and I were up in the Texas Hill Country, which is home to all sorts of horrible bugs and snakes. One morning we found a 6-inch long centipede on the porch, so the ex trapped it in two Styrofoam cups, and we took it home to J. I could hear it skittering around in the cups the whole ride home and was terrified that it would break free and eat us. We put it in yet another plastic terrarium and gave it to J, and he lost his mind over it and named it Slasher. I literally had nightmares about it escaping its cage and munching us all to death with its appalling mandibles. I researched it and found out that it was a common and very aggressive red-headed centipede. So aggressive, in fact, that it would stand up on its very back legs to snatch bugs from us when we opened the lid to feed it, so we resorted to feeding it with tongs. Its diet consisted of enormous, green katydids that we caught in the garden. It occasionally molted and eventually grew to be nearly a foot long– no exaggeration. It lived for a year in that terrarium, consistently horrifying all of us, except for J, and giving me nightmares on a semi-regular basis. I’m reasonably certain it was actually spawned by the devil in the deepest bowels of hell.
My middle child has always been very independent and insisted on doing everything on her own, frustrating the hell out of herself from time to time. Potty-training and switching to big-girl underpants was no exception. I was once interrupted while putting away laundry by the sound of a tiny voice grunting and whining in the hallway. I peeked around the doorway to see R rolling around on the floor, red-faced and struggling with all her might to pull on a pair of her new undies. At first I was confused as to why she seemed unable to get them up past her thighs, and she was so furiously pissed off that she was starting to scream in rage. When I sat down next to her and put my hand on her to get her to quit squirming for a second, I saw that she had actually stuffed one leg is the waistband and was trying to get the leg-hole up around her waist (basically she’d put them on sideways). When I got her calmed down, I showed her how to find the waistband by looking for the tag. I will never forget her cute, little self, rolling around on the floor and squealing like a piggy as she tried desperately to get that leg-hole up over her butt.
The following are actual statements I have made (some more than once) since becoming a mother:
- Don’t ride the cat.
- Stop licking your armpit.
- Don’t feed the cat popcorn.
- Stop farting on your sister.
- Don’t strip in public.
- Please stop headbutting me in the tailbone.
- Please don’t burp like a trucker at family gatherings (this to my seven-year old daughter).
- Stop throwing bananas.
- Please stop lifting my shirt in public to look at my tattoos.
- Quit banging your head on the shopping cart handle. We’re getting looks.
- Get your fingers out of your sister’s nose.
- Please don’t take off your diaper and throw it across the room after you pee in it.
- Tossing your plate upside down on the floor is not the proper way to tell me you’re done eating.
- Popsicles are not dinner food.
- No, you may not go out in public wearing a purple unibrow that you drew on your face with my eye shadow.
- Please do not ever again sneak into bed with me at 5:00 a.m. to cut my hair.
- If you ever again fart in yoga class and then blame it on me, I will stop letting you go with me.
- It’s not okay to call out your great-grandma on her farts in public. She’s old, and she can’t help it. She probably doesn’t realize she did it.
- It is not necessary to name your poop.
- Farting on command is not a talent– it’s a health hazard.
- The cat’s tail is not a handle. Do not use it to carry her around the house.
- Diapers are not fuel– please don’t take yours off and toss it in the fireplace to make the fire bigger.
- No, the lemons on the lemon tree in your great-grandparents’ backyard are not yellow because you peed on the tree when you were swimming and didn’t want to dry off to go use the bathroom. You can’t believe everything your great-grandpa tells you.
- Yes, girls do have ovaries, but boys do not have “underies.” Please do not believe– or repeat– anything your uncles tell you.
I was once riding in the car with my son, my grandmother, and my aunt. J was about two years old and was singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to himself as he looked out the window. After a few verses he sang, “Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O! And on that farm he had a dick-dick, E-I-E-I-O! With a dick-dick here and dick-dick there! Here a dick! There a dick! Everywhere a dick-dick! Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O!” I glanced at great-grandmother, whose eyes were round with shock, and at my aunt, who was shaking with barely contained laughter, and sighed and closed my eyes. “Well,” I shrugged, “at least he knows Old MacDonald is a dude.”