My 5 Year Old Killed My Minivan…


My twins have started Kindergarten and that’s a whole new ball of fun. The kids are wired, tired, and fired (up).

We had a three day weekend with Labor Day, then the next school day was Tyler’s annual hemophilia appointment, and we had to pick him up from school half way through the day. While we vowed to never, ever, ever, ever, not never, never, ever bring Andy to another one of those 3+ hour long appointments again, we had to this time because he threw the most epic of all hissy fits when finding out Tyler was going to get out of school early.

So we broke our never, ever, ever, ever, not never, never, ever rule and regretted it.  It was hard not to get all gritchy with him as he answered all the questions meant for Tyler , while jumping around and screeching he likes cheese, because it’s boring for everyone. Especially for Andy who does not have hemophilia and was ripped away from the awesome iPads in the waiting room of Akron Children’s.  Finally it was over, and we went home to a decent night.

Then Wednesday came.

Three days off from school, then leaving after 2 hours on Tuesday must have made Wednesday the LONGEST, most UPSETTING day of their ENTIRE lives. As SOON as I picked them up from school, they were crabby, bickering, and yelling, and that was just on the way to the car.

Because we’re in a parking lot, I want both kids to get in the same side. Unfortunately, it’s Tyler’s side of the car, and my little Napoleon HATES when someone treads on his space. He had a meltdown and wouldn’t let Andy cross to the other side without some kicks and yelling.

Gritting my teeth, I say: “Aww, I MISSED you guys!”

(I think they are starting to recognize sarcasm.)

So we go home, and Andy starts yelling: “I want that white stuff to eat.”

Me: “Um, what stuff?”

Andy (starting to get that melt downy look and tone): “That WHITE stuff with the apples!!”

Me (still not connecting the dots because he was just talking about Ninja Turtles): “What are you talking about?”

Andy (kicking and screaming): “Ohhh, you never know what I’m talking about! That white apples and candy!”

Me: “Ok, stop screaming at me! Are you talking about the apple surprise dessert?”

Andy: “YES. I WANT it NOW.”

Me (tongue bleeding, jaw clenched): “Sweetie, Mommy doesn’t just have whipped cream, Snickers bars, and apples lying around the house for that dessert.”  (But I should, it’s so good)


Ok, how long have we been together now? 10 minutes and I’m ready for a break already! I get everything out of the car, except Andy who is not coming.  Fine, they have played in my car before, he will come in eventually.

He finally comes in 10 minutes later crying and snuffling. Obviously, they were tired and hungry, so I left it at that.

This morning, I cannot find my keys anywhere. I always put them in my purse, on the key rack, or just lately (copying the husband) keep them in the car. You probably know where this is going…

I look everywhere for those keys. We need to leave in 3.5 minutes to get to school in time. I opened the doors to my minivan and notice the automatic door isn’t working (someone probably pushed the “off” button again”. Then the hatch wouldn’t open (dangit, someone locked the doors again), and I noticed my security light wasn’t on (grr, probably blew a fuse).  Andy suddenly yells: “Oh there’s your keys!”

They were in the ignition.

I never leave them in the ignition.


I fiddled and noticed the key was turned as far as it could go without turning on the car. I pushed it that extra bit and nothing. Dead, dead, dead.


Andy slinks into his carseat. “I didn’t put the key in there and turn it!”

Me: “I never said that’s what happened! Did you do this? Are you allowed to touch my keys?”

Andy: “No, it was probably Tyler.”

Tyler (looking completely confused): “What? Wait a minnit! I did nothing! I’m a good boy. I don’t touch my Mommy’s keys!”

Sigh. Luckily my oldest hadn’t gone to work yet and I was able to throw the twins into the car and take them to school.

On the way, Andy says: “So who did that with your keys might  have been ’cause they was mad and wanted to drive away.”

Me: “So it was you?”

Andy: “Um…well no, I’m just sayin’…but I will tell that key person not to do that ever again.”

Tyler: “Better tell him now, Mommy’s face is gonna ‘splode.”

Lesson learned: Never leave the keys in the car, and keep 5 eyes on Andy at all times.


Feel the Power of the Elf on the Shelf!

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I did something kinda bad last night.

I made my kids cry, and deep inside, where my cockles are, it gave me a HUGE happy.

They were being ROTTEN, and I WANTED them to cry.

(Ok, in their defense, I didn’t try to redirect them, or pay attention to them, or feed them, but STILL, acting like the end of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is no bueno.)

So, the Elf on the Shelf, named Shredder, has a lot of power in my house. At least for a minute or two. Telling the kids that Shredder is going to tell on them helps keep them in check for about 56.8 seconds.

We ONLY move the Elf at night after the kids go to bed, on days they are being punkasses bad listeners. THAT way, they know they need to try harder.

Last night, I was on my last nerve, and that was even my last reserve nerve, of which I had about 5,000 stored up in my nerve reserve holder. I was about to lose my mind. I was trying to wrap presents, and they had to wrestle RIGHT THERE.

I was trying to eat dinner and they were wrestling RIGHT THERE.

I was trying to Pee, for crying out loud, and they were wrestling RIGHT THERE!!!

So, when they weren’t looking, I grabbed the Elf off the shelf and hid it in my underwear drawer, ’cause that’s how I roll.

I walked into the family room and said loudly: “Oh, NO. THAT’s NOT GOOD!”

The kids came running, and I pointed to the empty space on the shelf.

I said: “Oh, Wow, guys, Shredder was so irritated that he left WHILE YOU WERE STILL AWAKE to tell SANTA you’ve been bad!”

Instant wailing.

Like at an Italian funeral. ( I can say that, as those are my people).

“I DON’T WANT SANTA TO BE MAD!” one wails.

“I’M NOT GONNA GET ANY PRESENTS!” the other wails.

They were so loud, I shut the pocket doors to the family room, and sat in the living room with my equally irritated husband and we giggled.


The Elf has power. Not like Grayskull power, but that little creepy thing is a wielder of something helpful here and there.

Mommy, That Lady is (Points Out Flaw)!


Oh man, my kids are at that age where you better hide yo’ bad hair, hide yo’ extra weight, and hide yo’ age because they are going to point it out to you.


Now, I’m not talking about my 17 year old, because he should know better and I would smack him in the eyebrow if he ever yelled: “MOM, THAT GUY HAS THREE HANDS!”

I’m talking about my 4 year olds, although, Twin B, the solemn, tiny, introvert, rarely calls attention to anyone’s flaws. It could be because he needs glasses and cannot see them, or because he’s too busy having meltdowns over things like wanting the “good brown marker” or riding his bike at 10 PM when it’s 30 degrees out with 95 mph winds.

It’s Twin A, the loud, boisterous, chatterbox (did I mention loud?) that wants everyone to know that HE is very observant.

We’re in line at the checkout the other day and the twins were sitting nicely together in the cart. When we get to the cash register, I see our cashier is either around 65 or a very worn out 50, and Twin A stands up and proceeds to yell: “MOMMY, WHY IS HE SO OLD?”

They still call everyone a “he”.

I nervously laughed and quietly said: “Shhh, she’s not old.”

Twin A, smiling proudly: “OH NO, HE LOOKS REALLY, REALLY OLD!”

I push him back into the cart and quickly pay for my things. Outside I tell him it’s really not nice to say that.

He said: “But he WAS old, Mom!”

Gah, how do you explain it’s not nice to point out something someone is? Yes, she was old, she looked very old, and had many wrinkles, why can’t he say that?

My answer: “It’s SHE, A, a girl is a SHE!”

He adores Jane, the lady at preschool who fixes the lunches. Jane makes everything better than I do, especially carrots. They won’t eat them here, just there. I finally asked her the secret, and she says dryly: “I’m really good at opening the can and pouring it in a bowl.”

DANG, and here I was putting spices on them and messing them up.

Jane is a lovely woman who happens to be carrying a few extra pounds, and it’s hard for her to get around quickly.

We were leaving school one day, and as I was strapping Twin A into the car, Jane walks out, smiles and waves, then goes to her car.

Twin A yells: “Mommy, Jane is FAT!”

O. M. G.

I clapped my hand over his mouth, leaned in, and told him, rather harshly: “That’s not nice! You should only tell people nice things!”

That didn’t sound right either.

Man, the fine line between truth and shut up and keep it to yourself is hard to teach to kids.

The bright side? Here’s a normal conversation with Twin A:

“Mommy, you’re so beautiful. You’re the prettiest mommy ever, and you’re my best friend. I love you so half, and so hard. Yesterday, last year, you were my beautiful mommy, and I love your hair, and your nose, and those red things on your chin, and that hair right there on your neck.”

He had me up until the red things…

Things My Kids Hate #1: TV Breaks

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My kids have a really hard time understanding why they have to watch commercials sometimes.  I try to ‘splain the difference between watching something on cable versus the PS3 where we have Netflix and Amazon.  I tell them one is “cable box” and the other the “movie box” and sometimes I walk up to both (while giving a fantastic Vanna White impression) to point and explain again which has commercials, but they don’t get it.

We watched Ratatouille the other night on the PS3 – no commercials. This morning I found it on cable tv. Everything was right with the world until a commercial came on.

Twin B, the smaller one with an internal rage meter set to kill, asks disgustedly (for the 117th time):Doh, what’s dat fing?

Me: It’s a commercial, B.

Twin B: Well, what’s a mershel and why I gotta watch it?

Me: COMmercial, and I told you a hundred times. Sometimes the TV show needs a break so they show these little shows to get you excited about toys and Snackeez that you need to have immediately.

Twin A breaks in: Yeah, I need that fing! (points to a LEGO WCW ring)

Twin B: I don’t wanna watch the mershel. Make it stop. Radatoy don’t need a bweak.

Me: I can’t stop it. I have no control over what the TV does. And A, you’ll have to ask Santa for that.

Twin B: WAST night there weren’t no mershels when we watched da Radatoy.


Me: Right, because we watched it on the (jumps up to Vanna point) movie box. And NO, Santa is not coming for a long time.

Twin B: Well, you can go get it on da movie box then.

Twin A: mumbles about Santa not coming

Me: Um, no, it’s almost time for school, and…(the screaming begins)

Twin B: I AM SO ANGRY!!! I HATE MERSHELS, THEY MAKE ME  SO MAD!!! (screams, stomps, throws Blankie in the air like he just don’t care)

He then picks up his cereal bowl and yells: I’M GONNA FWOW MY FWOOTY PETALS AT THE TV! I’M GONNA DO IT WIGHT NOW! (looks to make sure he has my attention). I’M GONNA DOOOOOOO IIIIIIT!!!

I jump up: Oh, you better not throw those Fwooty, er, FRUITY Pebbles anywhere, Mister!!

Twin A, who had his glorious shining “WTF hour of power” last night, came to the rescue: Well, Twin B, it’s ok, wook! The mershels over, see? We can watch Rata-too-ee again!

Twin B looks up, Ratatouille is back on, the sun came out, the angels sang, and his little 4 year old, 28 pound body returned to its pre-Hulk status. All was right with the world. For now.

Thank you, Twin A.

I hid in a closet waiting for the next mershel meltdown.


My Sucky Day Could Be To Your Benefit

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Shhhhh….read this quietly. Twin Whos finally took a nap. I don’t know how long I have. It could be minutes or an hour.

It should be 3 hours to equal the amount of bickering, whining, and crying they have done today.  (To their credit, they told me I was beautiful, handsome, the best mom ever, their best friend ever, and that I am funny, many times, too.)

But that’s not why I’m writing.  I’m writing to tell you a few things you may not have known, or needed a refresher on, based on my day.

1. When Sodastream bottles say do not put in the dishwasher, apparently, it is an order, not a suggestion.

I don’t know what I was thinking! I was highly distracted, trying to make 4 different things for breakfast, while pretending I was amazed that Twin A peed in the potty for the 1000th time, finding the right movie, and beating Buzz Lightyear on Donatello, ’cause that’s how my kids play.

So I threw everything on the counter into the dishwasher and pushed GO! What came out of there was, well, I’ll say it…pretty damn funny. The bottles shrunk to half their size, and the bottom thingy – which is only held on by a 1/2 drop of wood glue – wobbled all over the place.  I tried to salvage it, but just bought new ones at Target today instead. Hopefully Mr. Who won’t notice.

2. When you are loading laundry and hear a strange crackling noise, do not ignore it.

Because if you do, when you go to put the laundry in the dryer, you may see a million squishy white things everywhere. Those white squishy things would be the inside of a used Pull Up that somehow got into the laundry. (Just pee, don’t worry).

3. Your child will accidentally poop in the potty if you promise him a toy.

Twin B has Potty PooPhobia and strategically times his #2’s when we need to put him in a diaper or Pull Up. Today, as he was peeing, I told him we ran out of diapers, and I would get him a toy (overdue, technically, since I’ve been promising them for filling up sticker charts 10 sticker charts ago) if he pooped in the potty. Suddenly, there was a small splash. He looked down, yelled “ew” and ran away. What was there was about the size of  2 quarters, but as I cleaned him up, he yelled: “YAY I GET A TOY!”

4. Even if your child picks out his own toy, he will always want someone else’s.

The kids were thrilled to walk around the toy section. I rarely take them since Twin A has decided he wants a giant Buzz Lightyear doll and when he sees it he freaks out. Today, they were great. They were squealing with delight, touching toys, and having fun. I directed them to the clearance area, and they each picked out their own action figure.  As soon as we got home, Twin B demanded Twin A share his toy, who looked at Twin B like he was nuts, and ran away. The next 40 minutes of fighting made me hide under the piano.

5. Mr. Who working on Saturday sucks. I’m hungry.

Mr. Who had to work today, and while the overtime is nice, I miss him. He always makes pancakes for the kids, and the most perfectly cooked dippy eggs and buttered toast. It’s like a little piece of heaven – if heaven was a hen house. Instead, I had to suffer with 1/4 of a bagel ’cause Twin A stole the rest and hid while he ate it all.

6. The tantrums end.

Just when you think it will never end, smiles appear and they tell you: “Sorry you were mean to me Mommy.” You gently correct THAT bit of wonky grammar, and then get a kiss, an “I love you” and an “I’m sorry I was whinering, thank you for my toy.”

And then they ASK for a nap.

Those are the days.

Dear toddlers,


To my 27 month old twins:

I’m a good mother.  I feed, water, and play with you.  I let you hit me in the head with pillows when I have a headache.  I let you sit on me in 100 degree weather because you insist and might scream even though I’m dying from the heat.

I’m a good mother.  I hug, kiss, and tell you I love you all the time.  Even after you have screamed at me because I forgot the Elmo spoon, or kicked me in the shins with your cowboy boots.

I’m a good mother.  I push you on the swings for hours, I blow bubbles with you, and let you jump on me.  Even after you have told me where to sit, stand, what light should go on, off, on again, off again, and have pulled my hair.

I’m a good mother.  I let you play in my car, I let you color with markers, and I let you help me put dishes away.  Even after you smacked my butt and told me I was bad, told me 50 times in an increasingly agitated fashion in three minutes that you wanted juice while I was getting your toast, blanket, puppy, pillow, diaper, pants, and cereal ready.

I’m a good mother. But sometimes I might be a bad mother.

I laugh my butt off at you when you throw a tantrum over something ridiculous.  I try to keep it to myself because I know that at the moment, it’s the end of your world as you know it.  But when you’re outside rolling side to side on your back screaming: “Elmo, plane, doggy, juice!” over and over because I didn’t want to push you on the swing, it’s funny.

When you turn your back to us at the bottom of the hill in the backyard, screaming incoherently at the top of your lungs, gesticulating wildly at the raspberry bush for fifteen minutes because we didn’t want to play with the bubbles anymore, it’s FUNNY.

When you’re wearing nothing but cowboy boots, a diaper, a Tonka hard hat, and a gym whistle, and are throwing stuffed animals everywhere while screaming: “Coo coos!” because I didn’t let you have another cookie, that’s freakin’ hilarious!

When you get so mad you start throwing the swings around, screaming, and then one hits you and knocks you over…well, that just causes me a huge case of gasping hiccups, so please don’t do that again.




The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World

Humanity Death Watch

The Future Is Funny


I Have No Filter!

Dear Crazy Kids,

(A note from Mom)

Greg Gotti

The writings of an American somebody


prattles on the pathos of parenting

Jenny Kanevsky


Pick Any Two

Because moms can do anything, but not everything.

Love Marriage Worms

and other absurdities

Storytime with John

Pull up and listen...I've got a funny one for ya...

From diapers and tutus to meetings and boardrooms

Trying to keep my sanity one blog post at a time

Perpetually Irritated

Barely Containing My Inner Indignance

Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops

Motherhood, Mental Health, Moving Your Body

Overthinking my teaching

The mathematics I encounter in classrooms

established 1975

stories to read while pooping

"I don't know so well what I think until I see what I say; then I have to say it again." -Flannery O'Connor

Journeys of the Fabulist

Adventures With Family. (Making it up as I go along.)

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