Monthly Archives

July 2016


Meet me where the glass ceiling used to be

July 29, 2016

The world has gone crazy. She has lost her way. There are so many different energies pulling everyone in so many different directions that we’re all simultaneously colliding and treating each other like ghosts. But on a planet where commonality has become the ultimate unicorn, I have identified one undeniable truth. One fact we can all say, “Amen” and “Hallelujah!” to with an enthusiasm otherwise reserved for Bad Moms trailers and quotes from Scary Mommy’s facebook page. This truth I’ve stumbled upon is undeniable and invigorating and, let’s face it, a giant middle finger to a lot of folks who’ve had a big middle finger coming for some time now. So, here it is … Ready …

Women are kind of having a moment.

For a person who has the word “Superwoman” in the title of her passion project, it seems negligent to breeze past the forceful feminine momentum in the air. And more exciting? For once it really has nothing to do with Beyonce. I mean, other than I almost took my sweat-soaked shirt off and swung it around my head when Run the World (Girls) came through my headphones on my morning run. (“Strong enough to bear the children – Then get ta business.” I mean … somebody had to say it.)


And I’m not just talking about ole Hil’s recent nomination, either, although no one can diminish the historical significance of her accomplishment. For me, it has everything to do with this speech and this woman:

If she was acting, I volunteer to polish her Oscar for the rest of my days. That speech had stank on it. It was a master class in delivery and poignancy and perspective. She threw her rhetorical spaghetti at the wall and it stuck. To everyone. Everywhere. The part about her girls playing on the White House lawn … I felt like I took an emotional bullet.

The chicks and I were driving home from their grandparents’ the other night and got into one of those driveby formative chats.

“And who is the president, girls?” – Me
“Barack Obama!” – Both
“Right, and who is his wife? Who’s the First Lady?” – Me
“Ahhh, Michelle Obama?” – JoJo
“Right!” – Me
“I love her.” – JoJo
“Yeah, I love her, too” – Spike
“Why do you love her, JoJo?” – Me
“I don’t know. Because she’s pretty and she helps people.” – JoJo
“She does. That’s right.” – Me
“Why do you love her, Mom?” – JoJo
“I love her because she is a wonderful woman. She cares about children and education and people’s health. She has a garden and she says things that change people for the better. She is very strong and all of us girls should try to be strong, right?”
“Right” – Both
“Because, girls are …” – Me
“Awesome!” – JoJo

These unexpected conversations put just a hint of hot vomit right at the base of my throat. I feel such a responsibility to say the right thing. To offer those profound nuggets that will turn up in their nonfiction works 30 years from now. But more often I falter here. I think my FLOTUS contact high got me through this particular incident just fine.

Perhaps the female feels are also heightened for me because of the book I officially finished this morning, Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. The writing on these pages makes everything from the brain in my head that forms sentences to the tip of my fingernails that tap furiously on dirty keyboards so jealous I’ve been reduced to a humbled heap of fragmented story ideas. Dear reader, I don’t know what your craft is, or your interest, but have you ever been witness to someone who does that craft or hobby so masterfully that you feel both defeated and on fire all at once? That’s me now. I’m all jumbled up in awe and inspiration. Her intimacy with characters and uncomfortable transparency in this book were so admirable and so well done it sparked a desire in me to quit writing altogether and just succumb to the towering shadow cast by her rare creativity and run away to furiously write for weeks in a small cottage in the Ireland countryside all within the final letters of the final chapter. //More to come on this masterpiece later.//

The entire book was captivating, but one speech featured in Year of Yes in particular stirred something in me. Something I didn’t realize had settled. If you are a woman, a professional, a master of your craft, a novice, if you have a pulse, give this 8 minutes of your time. Let it pour in and take up some space where a negative thought used to live.

I love the idea of the glass ceiling being this tangible place, this possible meetup. Like it’s a designated location where we can all go to celebrate our victories and plot to right all the gender-specific injustices. I’ve been lucky. In my working years I’ve never truly felt oppressed or discriminated against. I’ve been given platforms and the benefit of the doubt and opportunities. I don’t feel like I need to burn my bra (they’re too expensive for that anyway) or march with other womanfolk. But that doesn’t bestow upon me some fast pass to get to the front of the line. It doesn’t mean the struggle of other women doesn’t leave bruises on my heart. It doesn’t mean I don’t get a righteous tickle where my internal plumbing resides every time a lady sticks it to some condescending sucker.

I have three little girls. Three girls. I want more than this moment, for them. I want them to, not only chase their dreams in a world that is free and just, but also respect and appreciate the fact that other women went toe-to-toe with adversity and beat the shit out of stereotypes in order for them to do so. I want them to watch Michelle Obama’s speech and feel the weight of her words. I want them to let other women’s stories shake them up a little bit and flip their perspective. I pray, of course, they never feel less than or unequal to, but if they do, that they know that’s when it’s time to go high.

It isn’t the end of the struggle, but yes, we women are having a moment. Whatever side of the party lines you fall on, whether you’ve been held down or lifted up, whether you have children or you don’t, there is something to celebrate here. So keep those over-the-shoulder boulder holders clasped and your eyes on the prize. The world just might find her way after all.


Drop the damn bananas

July 21, 2016

What if I just let go?
What if I dropped all the weight, right here, right now?
What if I managed to slip away?

Like the majority of my fellow estimated 152 million bloggers pounding the keys somewhere in the world right now, this particular platform is not my primary source of income. [I’ll pause here so you can recover from that shock. We good? OK.] Yes, I have an honest-to-goodness 9-to-5 job in the corporate world. You know, the one. Where women wear smart skirt suits with white tennis shoes and everyone keeps a carpal tunnel brace in their top drawer for days when it’s damp outside. This is just my side gig. My alter ego.

One of the perks of my big girl job is that I get to do a lot of writing and a lot of editing. One of my favorite people to work with is my main man Dr. Dave. You know that dance you do when engaging in a conversation with a hyper-intelligent human being … When you nod on the outside and say things like, “How interesting,” and “Huh. Really?” but inside your brain is like an Amazing Race contestant frantically trying to put the puzzle together? But then, like Steve drawing the final hint on Blue’s Clues (I will never acknowledge Joe), it’s all there. Bam! You get it. And it’s genius. Life-altering even. It’s the type of exchange that’s worth the work because the thought changes you. It expands and alters the makeup of your brain. That’s my entire relationship reading and listening to Dr. Dave. The guy has this gift for inspiring and shaking cores and soothing souls. Sometimes he takes a straight path to deliver his message, but often he invites you along on a series of unexpected U-turns and gravel paths before delivering you to the promise land. To the epiphany. Yeah … he’s one of those people.

Recently, Dr. Dave shared one of his favorite metaphors. It seems that some time ago, in a small village in India, there was an obnoxious monkey population. The primates were so numerous, in fact, the townspeople decided to round them all up and take them to a lovely little monkey farm in the country somewhere, where they would have a better life and live out the rest of their monkey days. To catch them, the people would place a bunch of bananas inside an upside-down bamboo cage with fairly narrow bars. The animals would approach the cage, see the fruit, reach in and grab the banana. With their hands clenched tightly around the fruit, the monkeys couldn’t remove their arm from the cage. The harder and longer they would try, the louder their screams would get. This attracted more curious monkeys who would repeat the same imprisoning process. And thus the animals were had.

Of course the monkeys could have escaped easily if they would have just let go of the fruit. If they’d just drop the damn banana they would be free to go swing with their posse through the mossy trees and throw poo like little jungle punks. But they just couldn’t. They were panicking. They were frozen with fear. They were reacting. They were trapped. Then Dr. Dave went on to define what constitutes a banana for us – that being the feelings or actions or situations in your life that elicit a strong mental or physical response. Probably detrimental. Likely toxic. Definitely negative.

Holding Onto Bananas

After reading Dr. Dave’s piece, I spent nearly my entire 3-mile run the next morning thinking about my bananas; The toxic things that I cling to and the response they trigger in me. The noxious notions that infiltrate my thoughts and ridiculous requests I place on myself.

I hold onto sugar.
Boo hoo, I know. But truly I’ve long battled some sweet, sticky food addiction demons. Growing up, treats and large meals were a mark of celebration. I, in turn, have carried this tradition on to my own family. Frozen yogurt, brownies, greasy gyros from our favorite place … it all adds up to a slippery equation of food + happy = reward. And who doesn’t want to be rewarded? Like, all the time. The problem is I’ve come to a place where those little white granules (perhaps the poop of angels, I hypothesize) now own me. They control me. They take me so high and then drop me on my head. But no matter how many times I tell myself – usually in the haze of a sugar-induced hangover – that I am done, I end up following the syrupy trail right back to the honey pot.

I hold onto perfection.
Real talk for a second. I started an entire blog based on this concept. Based on the pursuit of a perfect balance between all of the parts of myself that battle for time and attention. I want to see the world. I want to stop screaming at my daughters. I want to cook with ingredients I pluck from an organic raised garden bed. I want to kill it at work. I want to be perfect at this blog where I write about my pursuit of perfection. With my body, with my habits, with my profession, with my parenting, I hold onto these unrealistic expectations for myself so tightly that I don’t even know what a feeling of perfection would smell, taste, look or feel like at this point even if I somehow managed to reach it. Sometimes I think it’s just easier to keep looking past where we are rather than live contently in all the messy, dirty, imperfect bits of ourselves. Defining yourself as a work in progress is the ideal guise for an existence riddled with rough edges.

I hold onto fear.
This is a huge one for me. I’ve talked about my anxiety and I’ve talked about my struggles with parenting in this violent world here before, but truly, the terror I live with runs crazy-deep. I attribute at least some of this to the fact that I am a prisoner of push notifications. My job requires me to be online for the majority of the day. My phone, my laptop, my desktop, my television, whatever it is, there’s some horrifying news alert popping up on it. Flashes of events that point to the demise of character and kindness and sanity and love for humanity flood my newsfeed and thus, my mind. In one of my more recent social media-induced meltdowns, my brother (you remember Just Matt) told me to get a grip and remember they’re just leaving out the good stuff.

My thought of the day for you regarding the world we live in … You’re better off not watching the news. It will make you a happier person. Something negative happens and they beat it to death to keep you tuned in. Try shutting it off. The world is full of wonderful people, so many caring and selfless things happen on a daily basis, but that isn’t what anyone focuses on. All any of us can do is help one another and love one another and raise our kids that way and to not let a few bad people keep them from loving every minute of the short life we all get. The kids and I will sometimes pick up a bill in a restaurant for someone. They love it and you have to think that it makes that person’s heart happy and makes them want to pass that feeling along to someone else. Bad things have happened since man was created and always will, but at the end of the day people are good, that just isn’t news. The positives far outweigh the negatives on a daily basis, but just like the evening news, we tend to focus 28 minutes on all of the negative and just set aside the last 2 minutes to talk about how a stranger donated an organ for some child they don’t even know so they can live a happy normal life and love their friends and family. So shut off the crazy people on the news and focus on all the awesome people you are surrounded by on a daily basis, like me for starters.

– he wrote

And he’s right. I know he’s right. But then I go to sleep and have vivid dreams of nuclear attacks and running through crazed streets grasping my sobbing children and all the horrible things the dark parts of our brain push aside during the daylight hours. And I wake up drenched in sweat and succumb to the fear. How can I protect them? What would I do if …? Why is the world so broken? I feel helpless and small and scared to death.

I hold onto my routine.
Ask anyone who’s close to me and they will tell you I live and die by my meticulous schedule. They’ll also tell you it’s annoying AF. Almost any hour of the day I can tell you where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing with about 80 percent accuracy. Any deviation from this cadence requires additional planning to compensate appropriately. Any unplanned deviation has the potential to send me spiraling downward … smoking engine, towering flames, the whole scene. The thing is, it annoys me, too! I swear it does. But it’s a survival mechanism. Unfortunately, to conquer the Everest that is training for a half marathon, dressing and getting 3 children ready to go, working a full day, making dinner, doing baths, menu planning, meditating and getting a semi-decent amount of sleep, only, mind you, to wake up and do the whole damn thing over the next morning, requires a solid plan. Otherwise the wheels just fall right off the wagon. But there’s certainly a strong argument for a little more flexibility. A little less rushing along and a little more “in the moment”. But if I’m really honest, even when I’m cutting loose and playing along with the pull of the universe, I’m still calculating the time lost and required compensations in my head. Maybe that’s just being a mom. Maybe that’s just me as a mom. Maybe I’m a total psycho who needs drugs and liquor.

Free Bird

It’s brutal holding onto these bananas. They’re rotten. And honestly, it’s exhausting. So much of my energy is pumped into fueling these cyclical habits that positively drain me. So, what would happen if I just dropped them? If I let go and pulled my arm back out of the cage? Would I be free? Could escaping anxiety and shedding all that extra weight really be that simple? That obvious? Something I could have just done 5 years ago? Am I held by a trap I set out for myself? I don’t know …

If only bananas weren’t so sweet. You know how I like my sugar.


Processing error: The crux of too much input

July 13, 2016

“I gotta get serious, man. I’m not kidding. I still have 15 pounds of Sloppy Joan on me!”
“You look great! I’m the one who has a jiggly ass.”
“Oh, whatever!”
“No, really. I have this pair of jeans that make a crazy noise when I walk. You know, because my thighs are rubbing together.”
“I mean, I just love brownies. And cookies. And ice cream. And I can’t say no.”
“I know, it’s hard. Especially when you’re working, and raising kids, and trying to keep the house up, and …”
“Yeah, but I want to stop making excuses.”
“Yeah. No. Let’s do it.”
“No sugar, for 12 weeks. None.”
“I’m in.”
“OK, once a week. Once a week we can have sugar.”
“Yeah, that’s better.”

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the sad docu-drama, “Baby Weight Is Not So Great: A story of pudge and pooh-poohs”.

This body, stretched and tired, just never came back to me after my third trip round the maternity ward. It is a truth that I wake up to every morning and try to kick out of bed every night. As it could be said for nearly everything in this country right now, there is work to be done here. My problem is, when I want to achieve something – anything – I tend to collect support tools. You know, like how your mom collects cookbooks or 4 year olds hoard rocks. I want the secret code in Super Mario Brothers that unlocks weight loss, a clean house, well-behaved children. Up + Up + Down + Down + A = a waistline, etc. I get sucked in to apps and gadgets and blog posts about things like protein made out of crickets. I let the promises take over, like mint in an otherwise tame Midwestern garden. The result is a hoarder’s house of apps and monitors and half-filled notebooks.

phonepaper 2

The damning evidence.
When I wake up in the morning, should I feel so inclined, I check in with my Fitbit app and see how much sleep I just got. I try to recall when and why I was restless 10x when I was supposed to be getting beautiful, restorative rest. Did I pee? Was it Spike?

I step on the scale before I head out the door just because I like to a) torture myself and b) update the weight stats on my various food and fitness tracking mechanisms daily.

I go sit at my desk, where I drink from a cup that has the ounces marked so I can measure my daily water intake.

Following each and every meal I tediously and dutifully enter my caloric missteps into MyFitnessPal, so I know exactly how high I need to rank in that moment on the self loathing scale.

Of course, some of the food isn’t that terrible. I know this because I scanned them with my Fooducate app and it told me so.

I check in with my wrist periodically … I’m at 2,000 steps … now just 2,800 … now 6,000.

My phone vibrates to remind me that I am not chained to this smudged keyboard and it’s time to get my ass moving for a bit.

Around 3pm I Snapchat a picture of my unnecessary dessert with the caption “Big girl loves cake” and, of course, a poop emoji.

When it’s time to work out, I have my usual tracking device or, if I want a more accurate reading, I’ll borrow Hank’s heart rate monitor to see just how little I burn in comparison to what I ingest in one sitting.

I jot down my activity and calorie burn tally in my exercise journal and check to make sure it registered in my Fitbit dashboard.

I’ll finish the day with a peek at my blog stats for the past week and then fire up my meditation app for a quick 10-minute mindfulness exercise.


I can remember at one point, not so long ago, my former employer decided to implement a task-tracking system so our department could make the case for more manpower. Every time you went from one project to another, took a break, or went offline, you had to document it. I was also trying to shed the pounds from baby No. 2 and got on the body tracking bug bus hardcore. Literally every minute of my waking and sleeping hours could be accounted for, examined, dissected, scrutinized.

And you can do it, too. There is a tool for gauging your every success and misstep on the market right this very second. Want to see how relevant your digital dialogue is? Get into your Facebook Insights. Care to explore how you’re spending your time? Download Lifehacker and have at it. Down to track your spending, productivity, exercise frequency, project management, mile splits … there’s an app for that.

But what happens to us when we get that introspective? How can you harness and process that much quantitative output about things like floors climbed and resting bpm? I’ll tell you … we become our own worst critics, doling out Rotten Tomatoes to yourself for every bonehead meal choice and skipped sweat session. I don’t know about you, but once my calories in/calories out get in the red, I’m out. I’m done. Cooked. I’m pounding sleeves of Oreos; plunging them into chocolate milk just to show off. It’s like I let go of the expectation I had for myself when I started entering every freaking condiment and candy hours before and just go bananas.

The pressure of so much accountability is unrealistic. It’s exhausting. I mean, I came up with 11 points of access for personal health feedback, without even trying hard. I’m certainly not going to be a hater here. It’s entirely self-inflicted. Nobody put those apps on my phone or strapped the monitor to my wrist. And I’ve had great success in the past leveraging dashboards and tracking tools and DietBets. A lot of folks have. You don’t know what you don’t know, and knowledge can be powerful when you know what you want to do with it. But I guess I don’t know what I want to do with it anymore. I haven’t known what to do with it for awhile. I have come to the realization that I am over-tracked and under-living. I know what I’m supposed to do and, as a grownup(?) I should be able to just do it, without creating a hall of records to house every failure and over indulgence.

Last week, while comforting a co-worker as she barreled toward a full-fledged presentation-induced meltdown, I told her she needed to, “Turn off the faucet and get in the tub.” Meaning, sometimes I think we hide in the info-gathering. We assume that once we have all the facts, all the data, all the feedback, the answer will magically reveal itself. But if I’m honest with myself, I know what’s going on. I know where I’m messing up. I know that the s’mores need to go and the hard work needs to grow. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still use my running app for half marathon training and weigh myself. But maybe I’ll just step on the scale every Monday. And I’ll try to eat what makes my body and mind feel good, without analyzing the hell out of the proteins, carbohydrates and fiber (Like I know what all that shit means anyway). Good things in, good vibes out.

It’s time to turn off the faucet and get in the tub.


Sisters say what? (Vol. 3)

July 8, 2016

I peed my pants! No, wait, just some rain snuck in there. – Spike

It smells bad in Sloppy Joan’s room. She pooped so hard! – JoJo

Pretty much anyone who wears a wedding dress looks like Queen Jelly. – Spike

But if I tell on him for hitting, I’m gonna get a tattle tail. – Spike

I had to go to the nurse because my feet hurt and all I had for lunch was an apple. – JoJo

I drank it up in a jippy! – Spike

Girls Suits

Ya know, they make Huggies so much easier now. At least that’s what the commercial said. – JoJo

Oh my gosh, Mama, today Johnny fell and I laughed to my death! – Spike

It’s actually good to toot or fart because it warns you that you need to go to the bathroom. – JoJo

What’s the story with this peanut butter jar in the sink? – Me
Oh, I know! Once there was a jar and it fell and cracked its nut. – JoJo

I can’t wait to get cold knees. – Spike

I want to be an art teacher when I grow up. – JoJo
Ask God if you can. – Spike
I might forget cuz it’s awhile until you have a job. – JoJo
Well, God will remember. You are a really good artist. – Spike

Dad, you know that’s called a wee wee … what you have. What kind of plant is this? So, anyway, yeah, you have a wee wee. – Spike

I know how to spot buzzards … pterodactyls … and robins. Oh, and eagles! – Spike


How’s your pull-up? – Me
Good. There’s just a gallon of pee in it. – Spike

If anyone breaks these I will cry to my death! They’re my pets. – Spike, holding a jar of seashells

This lake is full of allergy! – JoJo

That’s my role model! – Spike, seeing a picture of her from a marketing photo shoot

I love you. – Me
I love you. – Spike
I love you more. – Me
That’s great. – Spike

Michael had a hooley hoop today. And he watched on me while I hooley hooped, too! – Spike

Peter Pan is so handsome. I love everything he has going on. – JoJo

Those are chocolate cows! – Spike

I’m going to fall in love and marry Travis. He likes me, I like him. He’s really silly and would be a good dad cause he’s handsome and funny and would make the kids laugh. I know everything about him. He’s six and a half, he’s lost six teeth, and sometimes he gets hurt. – JoJo

My fingers taste funny. They’ve tasted funny since I showered at Kay’s. – JoJo

Mom, my dream taught me how to do a bun! And I was so excited that I peed.” – Spike

Sadie is my lover dog. She just loves me so much she wants to hold my hand. – Spike

Mom, nothing is impossible if you believe. [man belch] – Spike

If your heart beeps stop, you could be dead. Because, you know, the beeps make the blood go around. – Spike


Hattie Choke


So you’re going to be parents

July 1, 2016

There’s a sound that every woman past the age of 20 instantly recognizes. It’s an obnoxiously boisterous shriek that starts at a grown woman’s toes, works its way right past her ovaries, and jogs by the ole’ ticker before erupting like a volcano out of her mouth. It’s a universal celebratory cry reserved for two specific occurrences: Engagements and babies. Even if the sound doesn’t volunteer itself from our vocal chords, almost every woman knows how to fake it, instinctively.

Last week, while hammering away on my keyboard at work, I heard the call and, as we all do, went running to add my shriek to the choir. A coworker was expecting. Her first, it turns out. “Ahhhhh, bless her little heart,” I thought to myself. “Bless her naive, innocent, untainted little heart.”

People want to know what parenting is like. But they really don’t want to know what parenting is like. It’s a similar story with childbirth. “Tell me everything!” [Insert stories with words like “tear” and “blood” and “plug”] “Why did you tell me all that? Gawd!”

It’s really not that bad. You see, parenting is basically like this …

You know when you walk into your house and the odor is off? Like, you know something went awry. Something terrible transpired in the minutes or hours you were away, but the only way to pinpoint the exact scent invading your nostrils is to go on a terrifying scavenger hunt to track it down. Well, when you’re a parent, you play that game, like all the time. You leave no shirt, underchin, diaper, palm, head of hair, or ear unturned. My children, for whatever reason, typically smell like a potpourri of maple syrup, black dirt and a hint of pee. Why? I don’t know. It’s all part of the game. I find that asking the right questions is key. “Did you fall in the mud or walk through it?” “Do you have to go potty or is too late?”

OK, so also, being a parent means living in the strap of a giant slingshot. The strap, you see, is made up of threads of your child’s emotional instability. The thrill is not knowing when you’re going to get shot into the air as a result of their tantrum or general displeasure or really for no freaking reason at all. It is guaranteed that at some point in your evening you will be hurled, full-throttle, into the throws of a meltdown-fueled tail spin. You develop a scale in which you can gauge the insanity from foot stomping to full-blown breathless sobs. Anything that falls at desperate mean-spirited accusations and below, I tend to just ignore. Now, the mistake a lot of rookies make is thinking there will be some sort of lead-up to this irrational hurricane. Like you’ll see it coming and be able to distract or deter. [smh] Just buckle up and prepare for the free fall back down. (That’s when you get to hug them.)


Also, being a parent often involves conversational exchanges that remind me of the ones you have when you show up at a kegger and start chatting with someone who’s been there a while. I think I’m shaping a young mind with lines I picked up in a children’s psychology book and, you know, generally killin’ it, and they think I’m merely filling some time before we move on to what’s really important. Like how Captain Hook lost his hand.

Me: “Honey, when you say those things, it makes JoJo feel attacked. And do you think it feels good to be attacked? This world is so full of sad, mean things. Be the one in the crowd that makes people feel good and loved and heard.”
Spike: “Mama, did you know that last night I lived on the moon? In my dream. I lived on the moon and ate Cheetos.”

You also have to have very serious conversations where you focus really hard on not laughing about their problems. Painful poops come to mind.


Remember right after the Blair Witch Project came out and everyone got super jumpy and lost their shit at the slightest twig snap as soon as the sun went down? There’s a little bit of that going on with parenting, too. Things that are perfectly acceptable in the daylight make for a crowded, sweaty bed in the moonlight. My kids have had night terrors to the tune of Cookie Monster eating them, the masked man from Big Hero 6, curtains, a local (poorly produced) car commercial with a Halloween theme, Ursula and a campfire song about the Chicago Fire, just to name a few. The challenge is to maintain your cool at 2 a.m. when you’re jolted awake by a frightened face illuminated by the blue glow of your alarm clock just 2 inches away from your eyeballs. Now that’s scary, man.

Another thing is the total mass destruction of your word association game. Let me ask you something. When you hear, “Push it” in any context, how does your mind complete the sentence? “Push it real good” is the correct answer. How about, “It’s Friday”? What you’re looking for here is, “You ain’t got no job, and you ain’t got shit to do.” But when you’re a parent, the concept is the same, but the words change a bit. Now, I’m all like, “Finish each other’s” “Sandwiches, that’s what I was gonna say!” and “Here’s the mail” “It never fails, it makes me want to wag my tail, when it comes I wanna wail, mail!!” Don’t even say the three dirtiest words in the parent dictionary. You know the ones. Three words, seven letters total, rhymes with “Get it, Bro.” Don’t say them or I’ll be forced to cut you.


And being a parent means you’ll never be lonely again. Even if you want to be. You want a few minutes to reflect on the day, or a big decision, or why in the heck JoJo (not my JoJo) sent Wells home last Monday? Don’t go to the following places: The bathroom, the bathtub, the shower, your closet, your bedroom, your car in your garage, your pantry or your linen closet. They will find you there. They will find you and they will sing Lost Boys for the 500th time and you will be forced to sing along in your head because gosh dang it, it’s catchy.

I’d also liken the messy part of being a parent to cleaning up spilled raw egg (which, for the record, is how I imagine Big Bird’s snot might be). You wipe and wipe and there’s always more shit. Literally and figuratively. Since becoming a mother, I’ve had boogers, pee, poop, vomit and blood, none my own, on my hands. The weirdest part is, at some point your gag reflex becomes immune to the disgusting insanity of it all and it crosses over from, “I have shit on my finger!” to, “Can you take the baby, please? I got shit on my finger.” And then there’s all the other crap. The shoes with no match, the long-neglected components of Happy Meal treasures past, the markers with no lids, the books with torn pages, the Barbie shoes, the beads, the princess jewelry. And don’t try to contain it. I thought it would all live happily ever after in the basement. But it doesn’t. Somehow, piece by piece, all the crap migrates into your garden tub and onto kitchen counters and the floor of your car. It invades. It multiplies. It sucks.

So, what my friend here’s trying to say is love is blind … I mean, parenting is pretty much the coolest. If I’ve helped to prepare anyone in any way, then my work here is done. For more parenting gems, you can check out this and this.