I’ve been having trouble deciding what to write about lately, and I think part of that is because in my daily life with kids, 90% of it is dealing with ugly, obnoxious cases of “I can’t”. Fellow parents are well versed in this hideous affliction. It’s the one that makes your kids whine about doing even the most mundane of tasks– ones they’ve done pretty much every other day of their lives without issue, suddenly, they are physically, mentally, and/or emotionally unable.
It has taken over my life like a suffocating, stinky wet blanket. So many minutes I could be spending doing something slightly more productive with my time, like staring at my wrinkles in the mirror, or wondering where all these new gray hairs came from near the crown of my head, is, instead, spent trying to calmly explain to my children why they CAN in fact brush their teeth, tie their shoes, eat a fucking sandwich…
Spoiler alert: it ain’t workin’.
As hard as I tried, as much as I tried to do the “right” thing by being patient, and calm, two words I would never use to describe myself are patient, and calm, so by the fourth time my kid claimed to not know how to put toothpaste onto his toothbrush, I’d about had enough. RIP Patient Mommy. This is about the moment all the promises I made myself so many years back, before children, when I was full of optimism and arrogance about my skills as a mother, go out the window.
This “can’t” affliction has forced me to take drastic measures to counter it. I’m in a dark place, people.
Over the weekend, at the head of all the can’ts, to the way of the Dodo, along with “I’ll never lick my thumb to clean my kid’s face” and “I will never lose my patience in public!”, went “I’ll never use my child’s birth to guilt them.”
I LASTED NINE LONG YEARS! NINE PAINFUL YEARS OF NEVER USING BLOWING OUT MY VAG TO GIVE BIRTH TO THEM AGAINST THEM!
….. and I’m never going back.
I mean, I did it, I DID blow out my vag to bring them into this world. I gave up my body, my mind, my skin elasticity. Why shouldn’t I be able to bring it up when they’re pulling all kinds of nonsensical bullshit about not being able to do something menial that isn’t going to rip their parts in half? It would be stupid not to.
Can’t figure out how to get noodles onto a fork? Well, I didn’t think I could squeeze your comically enormous dome out of my hoo-ha, but I did that, didn’t I?
Can’t finish your school project in time, even though you started it a week ago and only have one thing left to do? Well, I didn’t think I would survive labor with you when my blood pressure hit 200/100, BUT I DID, DIDN’T I?
Don’t tell me you “forgot” how to tie your shoes overnight. I didn’t forget to breathe while shoving the entirety of your body out of my birth canal, and trust me, that’s far more difficult.
There’s NOTHING they can say that can ever beat that. It’s a straight flush. And as much as I thought I would hate pulling the ultimate mom card… I don’t.
I DO still hate the “I can’t”s, but it no longer stands a chance. MOMS WIN!
Tell me, what is it? What’s the ONE “mom” thing you said you wouldn’t do, but now you do all the damn time, with no regret, because it’s the best shit ever? We all have one. Don’t be shy. Let me know in the comments!
I’m not even kidding when I say this has been the longest month of my life. Not just from general business, but because I’ve been busy AND sick the whole time. The last time I put together one of these blogs, it was because I felt like a walking trashcan (only I wasn’t doing a whole lot of walking), and not only do I still feel like crap, but I’ve been coughing for so long that I bruised my ribs- so, yep, still feeling like Oscar the Grouch.
Here’s what REALLY sucks– it isn’t just coughing that hurts my ribs, it’s laughing. LAUGHING! How rude! Here are some of the parenting memes from the past week that have hurt me via LOL alone:
Wouldn’t be surprised if they were rabid, to be honest…
Boy, oh boy are my allergies strong…
YOU GET NOTHING!
It’s just. not. fair.
Stop trying to shove it into my cornea!
While telling you that you’re doing it wrong even though you have no idea what you’re doing
They’re smarter than all of us
YES! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, YES!
I hope these made you laugh….. minus the rib pain!
I don’t know about you, but just because we sprang forward doesn’t mean it feels like spring around here– and the gloomy dreary still-cold weather isn’t doing much to help! Not that I trust what a groundhog says, but it definitely smells of lingers of winter, and I NEED spring in my life!
What to do when outside isn’t an option? Take a trip to Great Wolf Lodge during Spring-a-Palooza!
My family was invited to spend a brisk “spring” (and I use that term lightly) at Great Wolf in Williamsburg Virginia to enjoy their Springtime activities, including an updated version of (my kids’ favorite) MagiQuest!
Those are some kids who look ready to complete missions and battle enemies!
If you’ve ever played MagiQuest before, it’s a hotel-wide experience (because Great Wolf isn’t just about their wonderfully year-round warm indoor water park) where you and your kids can transform into mages with the swipe of your magic wands at stations on all 4 levels of the resort. Collect runes, discover hidden treasures, battle dragons and trolls, and become all-powerful.
My boys have played twice before, and twice before, they needed a lot of help from me and my husband to finish quests because it was rather easy to forget what you needed and where to get it. The updated MagiQuest has even more stations around the resort where you can check which items for the quest you’re currently on you’ve collected, and where to get them. There’s also a free app you can download along with the game so you don’t have to stop and check at the kiosks, you can just continue on about your way. Trust me when I tell you that this makes the game SO much more enjoyable for the little ones who may have gotten a bit overwhelmed and/or frustrated before.
On top of the new updates, kiosks, and quests, they’ve also added the new Rise of the Totem Masters kiosks for extra fun. You can purchase one of three totem characters to fight along side you and venture on brand new quests on special kiosks throughout the resort. One (adorable) totem is virtual, and free- so no need to purchase right away (as the other 3 totems are available for use by purchase), and each come with 20 new quests. We didn’t even GET that far, that’s how much there is to do!
Once our legs couldn’t carry us any more (parents, you will seriously get your steps in by tagging along with your kids on quests, but you can also hang out in the lobby and have a coffee, or even book a spa treatment if your kids are old enough to be on their own for a bit) we headed to the lobby for a spring picnic party with games and a bubble dance party.
We honestly had SO much fun, and the kids are already asking when they can go back and play (and of course, wondering when they’ll get to enjoy the waterpark again). If you’re looking for an awesome, quick getaway for the whole family, check out Spring-a-Palooza at Great Wolf Lodge, every day through April 16th!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever won a prize and handed it right over to your kid without thinking. Or you’ve let them pick the prize when you’ve won it.
Are you raising your hand? I am.
My family likes to play games. Games on tablets, video games, card games, board games- but what we really enjoy, when we have the opportunity, is to play games that can win prizes. Who DOESN’T love to win prizes? Even if they’re cheap little trinkets that will fall apart in a week (and they usually are and usually do), give us ALL THE TICKETS AND LET US CASH THEM IN!
Carnivals, theme parks, arcades- we play them all. We usually lose, but we like to play. And when we DO win, it’s a rush of pure unadulterated joy! YES! WE DID IT! WE WON! THE PRIZE IS OURS!
That’s when the workers ask you that fateful question- which one do you want? When you have kids, the natural reaction is to look to them and say “how about you choose?” because, the hell am I gonna do with a stuffed animal? Or a plastic slinky? Or really any of the cheap crap under/behind/hanging above the counter? It makes the kids happy, even though we spent the money, we did the work, we won the prize– but it makes them happy, so why not just let them choose/have the prize? Let them spend the tickets? Let them pick the snake over the weird neon koala looking thing?
Yesterday, the fine folks at Great Wolf Lodge invited us out for the day to have fun (and man, did we- I’ll have a write up on that next week), and on top of all the cool stuff they had us do, they gave us a gift card to spend in their facilities, and I ALMOST followed the same pattern I always do.
We watched a 4d movie, went bowling, and once we were done with that and still had money to spend, naturally, we ended up at the arcade. We had enough Paw Points to let each of us choose games to play. The kids went for Jurassic Park. I went for a game with the potential to win a jackpot of 1,000 tickets. And wouldn’t you know it. I hit the frickin’ jackpot.
I watched as the kids eyes lit up while tickets poured out of the machine for a solid seven minutes, piling up on the floor like glorious mounds of win, and once the tickets were done being dispensed, I saw their eyes move to the lit up counter full of goodies, because they knew they were going to get to spend them.
WELL, NOT TODAY, SUCKAS!
I took the tickets and ran, and with the leftover amount, they got Tootsie Rolls as I laughed maniacally, clutching my Great Wolf Lodge stuffed animal that will probably never be used but IT’S MINE AND I EARNED IT AND IT’S MINE.
Were the kids disappointed? Uh, yeah, of course. But I didn’t do this to teach them a lesson. Maybe it taught them one in the process, like not to waste points on games you suck at that don’t even give you tickets if you really want a prize, or maybe not to feel entitled, but that’s just kind of icing on the cake. The cake being I WON, AND THE PRIZE IS MINE! MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!
It’s okay not to share, moms and dads. You can have things that are just yours!
Snacks, desserts, drinks, stuffed animals, tickets, prizes, bathroom breaks… TAKE THEM! Bask in your glory and pretend it’s a lesson– it’s what parenthood’s all about!
One thing I love the most about my kids is that I’ve never, ever had to explain to them why women are awesome. That women are strong, capable, amazing. I’ve never had to argue, or fight, or describe how and why women are badasses. The most I’ve ever had to do, when it comes to my boys, is try to explain why so many other people don’t think women are as kick-ass as they know them to be.
I wish I could take credit for all of it– stand up and say, I’m raising strong boys who appreciate women for the awesome humans they are– and I guess I kind of can, but I’ve had some help along the way.
It’s the husband, the school, the community, the friends, and, to be honest–because I must give credit where credit is due: it’s having some seriously bad-ass female role-models on TV these days for the kids to watch and look up to. Long gone are the days of damsels in distress.
There’s never EVER a bad time for a strong female character, so I asked my kids for some recommendations. Who, out of all the shows they watch, is their favorite leading lady? Who inspires them, who do THEY think is inspiring?
Without hesitation, Holden named Violet from Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events– and I can see exactly why.
She’s a leader, she’s smart with crazy-quick wit, and a love for her family so strong that she’d do anything to keep them together.
Parker’s pick was Dulcinea from Puss in Boots because she’s funny. A simple answer, but funny women SHOULD be admired. His choice made me pretty happy.
These are just two of so many strong females on TV and in movies right now, and there’s never a bad time to find a new one to admire.
Need some assistance finding the next lady hero for your little dude or dudette? You can find them front in center in some of your soon-to-be-favorite Netflix series! Try Stranger Things, Dragons: Race to the Edge, Trollhunters, One Day at a Time, or pretty much ANY of the other shows streaming right now on Netflix.
It may be cheesy to end this blog by yelling GIRL POWER… but for some reason, it just kind of feels right.
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