I’ve typed these words a few times today, but every time, I can’t believe I’m actually typing them– my book, KIDS ARE
TERRIFIC TURDS, comes out two weeks from today. That’s just FOURTEEN days. After blood, sweat, tears, and a lot of bodily fluids (I’m talking about POOP. Don’t be gross!)- in just two weeks, I will watch all of my hard work finally come to fruition. Now, whether or not it will hit the best sellers list (OH PLEASE!), I have no idea, but no matter what, I am REALLY proud of how it came out. Also, I think it’s funny as fuck. And I think you’ll think so to.
I realize that I’ve accidentally been secretive about the story behind the book. Kids Are
Terrific Turds isn’t just a book of funny stories- it’s a book about trying to find my place in motherhood, because I never really felt like I fit in with other moms. It’s ridiculous, and over-the-top, and brutally honest, and gross, and REAL, and it has heart–in the realization that you don’t HAVE to fit in to be a “good” mom–whatever that is!
Tonight, I want to give you all something really special. I want to let you read one chapter from the book right now! I hope you love it as much as I loved writing it!
It always struck me as odd on Christmas morning when my Dad would open gifts that were labeled To: Dad, From: Santa. Of course, at first, I totally bought the ruse. Wow! Daddy must have been good this year! That sure is an expensive toy! Once that tender age of gullibility faded, and I knew that Santa was as real as Christina Aguilera’s boobs, the truth smacked me in the face like a wet blanket. I still didn’t completely get it, though. Why is my dad not only buying himself shit, but wrapping it up, putting it under the tree, and opening it like he didn’t already know what it was? What a frickin’ weirdo!
Becoming a “responsible adult” sucked ass because it quickly dawned on me why my dad was so “weird,” or maybe I should say, why he wasn’t. No more presents! At least, not like when I was little and my parents had the pleasure of tricking me by swearing they didn’t get me what I wanted. I’d spend weeks thinking I had the worst parents ever, only to find my dream present under the tree on Christmas morning. In the “awesomeness” (read: suckassery) we refer to as adulthood, if I wanted something, I had to buy it myself. No one else was going to. So, that’s what my dad was up to all those years! He bought everyone else all the crap they wanted, but no one ever really got him anything.
If we did, it was with his own money. Ew. Why not go out and get exactly what he wanted for himself instead of just settling for yet another heinous Christmas sweater or billionth hideous festive tie?
It’s a scientific fact that no matter how old you get, you will always love tearing into fresh wrapping paper; that is the full-on truth. I don’t have any studies to back this up, but I am pretty damn sure there’s no arguing to be done here. Responsible adulthood seemed so . . . sad. Where did all of the mystery, intrigue, and surprises go? Is that how parenthood is? Is my Dad who I am destined to become? Would I resort to Christmas shopping for myself to avoid getting ties covered in candy canes and elves? How could I not wonder? To: him From: him presents aside, my dad always seemed so surprised and happy when I brought home some handmade junk, or cheesy store-bought piece of crap for him, even though he probably already knew all about it. Hello? Credit card statements, anyone? Was it an act? Did he know? Did the guy who very early on in my life was dubbed “the man who has everything” hate the junk I gave him? As a child, I never really thought about it. He acted like he loved it, so he must have loved it! I’m an awesome gift-giver—and at such a young age? I must have been a child prodigy!
So many questions bouncing around in my head that, of course, were quickly forgotten and replaced with something like the lyrics to “MMMBop,” or Leonardo DiCaprio’s favorite vegetables. Priorities, man.
The week before Christmas of Holden’s first year of school was exciting to me for one reason only (which is the same reason every holiday that year had been exciting thus far): he would finally be making me gifts that I wouldn’t have to con him into making myself. Real gifts. I didn’t really care what they were, just that I was finally not involved in the preparation or choosing of them. In “like father like son-in-law” fashion, Thomas had to provide the money for Holden to go shopping for us. His school’s PTA had set up a little gift shop for the students, separated into sections like “for mom,” “for dad,” “for grandpa,” so on and so forth. It made the process really easy for dense little kids who, without guidance, would bring mommy home a jockstrap or beard-blaster shaving cream. Talk about the making of awkward PTA meetings.
It had been a long ass time since I’d felt so excited about any holiday season—since I was a kid myself, now that I think about it. Grinchy old me couldn’t wait to see what he got me come Christmas morning—even if he bought it with my money. I packed the cash we’d set aside for Holden to spend on each of us into his book bag and carted him off to school. In my head, I was thinking back to when I used to go shopping for my parents and how awesome I felt getting that sucker gift wrapped, and being able to come home and put something I picked out and bought for someone else under the tree for the first time; how fantastic it was to be the only one who knew what that gift was. The roles had finally changed, and soon I’d get to see Holden’s selection all wrapped up. I was beyond excited for the anticipation to kill me, and to see him looking so pleased with himself that he had a secret that was all his own. And wrapping paper! Let me at it!
He came home from school that afternoon with an enormously proud look upon his face, plopped down his backpack onto the kitchen table, and yanked out a plastic grocery bag. “Look what I got!” he exclaimed, rummaging through the bag’s contents. I wandered over to him, expecting history to have repeated itself and for all of his gifts to be wrapped already, when Holden found what he was looking for and yanked it out in broad daylight.
“This is what I got for you, Mommy!”
By the time I realized what he had said, it was too late. I’d seen the gift. It was the most horrendous Pepto Bismol pink keychain I’d ever laid eyes on, and dangling from it was a shiny, silver “#1 Mom!” charm. Like a vampire hit by daylight and a cross covered in garlic, I threw my arms in front of my face and screamed for the child to hide it from me. I knew the damage had already been done, but it didn’t need to be ruined for him, too.
When the time came to finally open my gift on Christmas morning, I could tell by the pee-pee-like dance Holden was doing that he was eager for me to open his gift. Even though I knew what I’d be opening; even though I’d already seen it and was well aware that it was the gaudiest piece of junk on the planet, it didn’t matter. Not one bit. Big, wide, shocked eyes—gasping and over-the-top Scarlett O’Hara type dramatics—to any adult it would be extremely obvious that I was totally full of shit and putting on a poorly acted show, but to Holden, that heinous thing was the most amazing gift I had ever received. He was so proud of himself for picking out something I “loved.” Immediately, I attached it to my key-ring, and any and every time we had to go somewhere, I made a huge deal out of it just because it made him happy, which made me happy. Even if it was hideous. No, seriously; it was hideous.
Poor Thomas had to do the same thing when he opened his gift: an ink pen that said “I love grandpa.”
Who the hell was running that gift shop?? Put down the crack pipe, PTA Pam! But hey, at least he was surprised!
The funny thing is, that ugly little keychain really did prove to be a total piece of junk. It only took about a month for it to break, get lost, and was never seen again. No longer did my keys scream in bright pink letters that I am the “#1 Mom!” and while I should have been relieved, I was actually teary-eyed when I realized it was really gone. My baby gave me that! It was a very sad time, but come Mother’s Day, I was helping to hide my own presents. The kids still totally bought my “surprised” performances, which led me to believe that I should be winning Oscars. I must be good if even I can forget where I hid something, and then end up genuinely surprised once it’s been discovered a month later behind a chair and I finally receive it. Watch the hell out, Meryl Streep, I’m coming for your shiny bald trophy!
Or . . . maybe all of that is just the lovely side effect of the dreaded mommy-brain.
My parents had boxes of mine and my brother’s elementary school drawings and crafting atrocities stored in our family home’s pantry, the attic, and really anywhere with extra space. I always thought it was strange to hang onto a random sheet of construction paper with a stick figure drawn with crayon until that Christmas with Holden. It doesn’t matter how awful or nonsensical a drawing is or how poorly something is spelled. It doesn’t even matter if it’s just a bunch of scribbles on a piece of dirty ass paper. I don’t care if one of my brats doodles a picture of me with a manly beast-like five o’clock shadow for Christmas and then follows it up with a can of beard-blasting shaving cream from the PTA crack house gift booth for my birthday. I might develop some sort of extreme complex about my skin and end up spending a small fortune on laser hair removal . . . but I’d still love every second of it.
Because it came from them—my babies! Because they love me enough to take the time to give or make something just for me.
And because they’re dumb little kids and don’t know any better. I know, I still think it’s totally strange. The only thing I wouldn’t love is a booger wiped on a piece of paper and handed to me while still wet—but at least it wasn’t wiped on the couch! It was moments like these when I started to worry about myself and just how much my brain was being melted by whining and the infernal yellow square the kids loved so much. I shouldn’t think about it; the truth is a scary mo-fo.
From now on, I think “Santa” is going to reward me for being such a good girl. Don’t ever tell him I said so, but maybe, just maybe, Dad had the right idea. Blame it on Santa! Mama needs a new pair of shoes!
Now, this isn’t like one of those movie trailers where they give away ALL the best jokes so, when you go to see it, there’s nothing funny left for you. OH HELL NO! I have saved the ABSOLUTE best for when you crack open that binding for the first time (or turn on your Kindle, whatever works for you!)
I cannot wait for April 5th, and if you can’t wait either- I HIGHLY recommend you pre-order a copy from Amazon right now! I’m told you’ll even receive it early!
For fun giveaways leading up to the release, join in on the online release party on Facebook!
And lastly- SHARE! Share the book, share this blog, tell everyone! Word of mouth is STILL the best form of promotion, and I SO appreciate all of your help! xoxo
You wouldn't sniff a stranger's butt to see who pooped their pants.... so you probably shouldn't do these other parental things to strangers, either. holdinholden.com/2017/12/weir…
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You know that feeling when you don't chew a chip all the way and it cuts you all the way down and you swear it's gonna kill you, but you go ahead have another right after? That's what it's like when you decide to have another kid.