The Uninvited Bed Guest

I’ve been seeing weird things in my room lately. For four nights (not in a row) I’ve woken up, looked toward my bedroom door, and saw a black mass above it.

My first instinct, as always, is to debunk. Could it be a shadow? Room is pitch black, what would it be a shadow of? Couldn’t find anything that would cast a shadow above the door that would explain this away. Maybe it’s just my eyes trying to see in the dark and failing, my eyes aren’t exactly fantastic and I have shitty night vision. The first night I was convinced it was nothing more than a trick of the eyes and I went back to sleep, but when it showed up AGAIN? I got that creepy skin-crawly feeling you get when something just doesn’t feel quite right. When you feel like something is watching you. Something is in your room that you didn’t invite.

What’d I do? The only thing I could. I pulled the covers up over my head and pretended it wasn’t there.

Let’s just say that my sleep hasn’t been awesome since this little friend began arriving in the overnight hours, but that’s not even the worst of it. Not even the most horrifying of apparitions to appear in my room in the wee hours of the night. There’s something far more sinister. Far more terrifying than a black mass. And I can’t hide under the covers from it, because it’s there, too.

My 7 year old.

Despite my own best interests, I stay up really late after the kids go to bed to get not only shit done that I can’t do while the’re awake, but to get ME time. I needs my me time like my dog needs a fucking breathmint. When I walk upstairs for bed time, it’s not because I’m putting myself to bed at a reasonable time, it’s because I’m exhausted, so the last thing I want to see when I flick on my bedroom light is my kid in my bed, sweating on my pillow. Side note: WHY DO THEIR HEADS SWEAT SO MUCH. IT’S NOT NATURAL.

This is exactly the scene I flicked the light on to last night. Per usual, he was moved back into his bed.

Middle of the night, I am awoken. Not just by the black mass once again hovering above my door, but by a little voice next to the bed. This might sound like the beginning of a really fucking scary horror movie, but it’s not. It’s my damn life. It’s my friggin’ 7 year old, back in my room, wanting to crawl into my bed AGAIN. No nightmare. No storm. No loud noises waking him up. Apparently, he was wheezing too much to sleep in his own bed and he thought he’d sleep better wheezing next to me. How this makes sense, I have no idea. Why was he wheezing? Because he’d spent a solid hour yesterday screaming and crying over having to pick up his own mess.

What is my bed? Narnia? Atlantis? Aladdin’s Magic Carpet? NO! It’s a shitty old bed covered by mediocre memory foam I won in a Christmas gift exchange game when I stole it from my step sister, who is probably still mad at me over it. And it’s queen sized, so space for two people is limited, let alone three.

The kid was never a “bad” sleeper (that’d be his brother)- but it took a long time to get a full night of rest after he was born and to get him 100% out of my bed and into his. While I love cuddles, I thought after a certain age kids weren’t interested in crawling into bed with us anymore. Spend a night with a 7 year old wheezing into your face and still try to claim that’s true.

Just another lie told to parents. Put it up there with “you’ll miss that when they get older” and “the terrible twos are the worst. Once you’re past that, you’ll be fine!”

You’re not getting your bed back. Or your sanity. Or all the hours you were forced to sit through Caillou and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Posted on August 21, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

How to Convince Your Fam to Watch ANYTHING you want on Netflix!

It’s officially the end of the summer. The kids are bored with basically everything. All of their toys. All of their coloring and painting utensils. Each other. Me. It’s too damn humid to play outside, and we’re all losing our ever-loving minds.

This is the train of logic we seem to go through every day and end up at the same place. Me giving in, and the kids winning out and getting what they want. Call me weak. Call my kids manipulative. I disagree with both. I call me exhausted, and my kids smart. But honestly, everyone kinda wins when you follow the correct path to “fine, let’s watch Netflix.”

 

Is there anything to play with in the house that interest you?

No.

Is there anything I can send you to clean so you stop complaining about being bored?

No.

Is it a proper temperature outside for me to boot you out the door?

No.

FINE. I GUESS WE’LL WATCH DAWN OF THE CROODS ON NETFLIX.

 

Don’t go thinking I haven’t employed this tactic on my children in retribution. I can learn from them just as well as they can learn from me. They come to me asking to watch TV when it isn’t their “TV time” (yeah, we have scheduled TV time for them. There’s only so many kiddie cartoons I can watch, y’all.)

Is it YOUR tv time?

No.

Have you played with literally everything else you own and are positive there’s nothing left to do?

Yes.

Is the temperature outside unbearable?

Yes.

Okay, have you done the extra chore to earn TV time when it isn’t your TV time?

Yes

But it’s still not YOUR TV time?

No.

Okay! Stranger Things it is!

 

I don’t know why it’s so difficult to get my kids to watch Stranger Things with me. They LOVE Science Fiction. They LOVE spoopy stuff. They LOVE music from the 80’s. I swear they just don’t want to sit down and watch it with me because I want them to, so this is what I gotta do.

What show do YOU use (or do your kids use) mental gymnastics to get someone to watch something on Netflix with you? And more importantly… DOES IT WORK?

 

In case you need some tips on how to successfully mental gymnastics someone into watching what you want on Netflix, here ya go:

 

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

Roads trips with Kids–Here’s what you REALLY need

My social media feeds are full of kids posing with bookbags and lunchboxes, about to head back for their first day of school. My kids just got changed out of pajamas because I yelled at them. We still have a few weeks left of summer break, and have yet to take our annual family vacation. One week from today, we hit the road. We used to fly, but it seemed we caught the plague every time we did and the convenience of quick travel wasn’t work four people puking in a car on the way home from the airport.

We stick with road trips. Which means we’re healthier, but we have a lot of free time to fill to keep the “are we there yet?”s at bay.

Now, whether you’re already sending the kids back to the hallowed halls of education, or you’ve still got time left to serve on this summer sentence, eventually, you’re going to find yourselves in a car with kids for a prolonged period of time. I’ve read shitloads of articles on how to “keep kids busy”, and other ones on “fun car games for families”- because why not make something mundane fun if at all possible, but the one common thread I’ve found in these articles is that they are all completely full of shit.

Just telling the parents to take along movies, assortments of snacks, coloring books, and to try playing the ol’ Alphabet game is. not. adequate. It takes us TWO days to get to Disney World (it’d take one if we decided to drive the full 13 in one sitting but HAHAHAHAHAHA HELL NO) and we go every year, if not more than once a year. Trust me when I tell you that these things alone do not work. They will not keep your kids occupied. And for SOME kids, these tips are downright detrimental to everyone’s health & wellbeing.

It’s time we accept that traveling with kids has changed. No, we don’t have teleportation yet, and (at the time of writing) the hyperloop has yet to be given the go-ahead, but long gone are the days where road trips consist of an old Gameboy (if we were lucky) that only lasted an hour, and being able to roam about the oversied minivan freely, taking naps lying down, and car games that took up hours of time. My kids fight over Eye Spy.

Here’s how I arm myself for long car trips (and yes, I consider it arming myself):

  1. Yes you will need snacks, but you need, like… all the snacks. Every single snack there is. And still, none of them will be what your kids want. I like to take every snack in the house and empty them into a giant Tupperware. When the kids get hungry I pass it back and say “PICK OUT WHAT YOU WANT”- shuts them up for at least a few minutes and there’s at least a slight chance they’ll find something to appease them.
  2. Sure, coloring books and books are great… if your kid doesn’t get motion sickness from reading in the car. So #2 on my list isn’t really “books”- it’s barf bags. Just in case.
  3. Best investment I EVER made was buying portable DVD players since our car ain’t fancy enough to have them in the backs of the headrest already. Digital copies and blu rays are all well and good, but they’re not gonna help you on long car trips. DVDS ARE LIFE.
  4. Headphones. For you. Unless you’re driving. Then you’re screwed. Embrace the Disney car sing-alongs, since you can’t watch the damn movies, you can only hear them.
  5. If you’re going to let the kids talk you into bringing toys, make sure they are big enough not to get lost for 6 months under car seats. You don’t want to find toys that have been under car seats for 6 months. Trust me.
  6. Definitely not ANY TOY THAT MAKES ANY KIND OF NOISE unless you like seeing them act as projectiles out of your car windows.
  7. Car adapters. Your batteries WILL RUN OUT. Life doesn’t run on double A anymore.

Painkillers.

I’d say to wish me luck, but I think we could all probably use it. May the force be with all of us.

Posted on August 15, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 1 Comment

No, Men Will NEVER Really Understand You

During my puberty years and beyond, I found myself constantly asking one question (and no, it wasn’t “when will I ever get boobs?”)– will boys EVER get less frustrating?

I know, I know– we’re always told growing up that females are the complicated gender, but, if you’re a female, you know that’s not really the truth.

Boys were always flaky, aloof, seemingly uncaring, and absolutely 5,000% oblivious. I swore that they were complicated by their own ignorance and that wisdom must come with age. The more you’re around the other gender, the more experience you have, the more sense they must make, right? So adulthood would be a piece of cake. Men wouldn’t be so frustrating, and I wouldn’t feel like I was always talking to a brick wall. Maybe I’d even end up with sage wisdom to pass down to future generations on how to avoid this long and complicated stage altogether. Even just a little would be immensely helpful.

With over ten years of marriage under my belt, I feel I can finally, properly, give the answer young me was always looking for.

My family leaves for our annual Disney vacation in under 2 weeks, and I’ve been trying to get back in shape after a nasty injury for months now. It has been a very frustrating battle. My husband knows this. One of my main struggles isn’t the exercise- it’s food. I love food, probably a little too much, and I have trouble refraining from eating things I “shouldn’t”, and I’m not awesome at moderation. My husband also knows this. I’ve been really cracking down on myself lately, because there’s not much time left, and it’s basically put me into a constant state of hangry. My husband is VERY aware of this. Breakfast and lunch, I’m great at. I’ve got the whole “healthy eating” thing down pat, but when it comes to dinner where I’m cooking for an entire family, it’s much more difficult. Healthy food is boring, I’m not a great cook, nor am I creative one, so keeping things interesting AND healthy is a struggle. And if you think I’m going to make two separate meals so that I can stay on track while my family enjoys slightly less healthy but far more delicious foods, you’re insane. Like, legitimately batshit. That’s never gonna happen.

Dinner is a bitch. Should I put so much pressure on myself? Hell no I shouldn’t, but I am- so, let’s continue the story, shall we?

By dinner time each day, I am a level of stabby that shouldn’t be poked. This came to a head on Tuesday night. I couldn’t find anything decent to eat. The one idea I had sounded disgusting, but at least it was an idea. Lightbulb! Since these ideas were so nasty, but still sounded like I was at least putting effort into finding something to make out of the ingredients we had already in the house, I’d send the idea over to my husband, dripping in so much distaste he’d nix the idea. Why not be direct? LOOK, PEOPLE. THIS IS MARRIAGE. SOMETIMES YOU KNOW YOU CAN GET WHAT YOU WANT WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR SPOUSE THINK IT’S THEIR IDEA, OKAY? STRATEGY! Think smart!

Me: All we have are turkey meatballs. We don’t have buns. Just burger buns. I guess I could make meatball sandwiches. ugh.

Him: That could work

 

 

 

 

 

 

Son of a bitch.

I go to the kitchen, and pull out the meatballs. There aren’t enough for meatball sandwiches, y’all.

Me: Okay, so, fuck. There are only 9 meatballs. That’s 2 1/4 per sandwich. That’s not enough.

Him: We could make that work

I just. Can’t. With. This. Shit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I go back to the kitchen and angrily dump the meatballs into a crockpot and then go to grab the red sauce. There’s only 1/8th of a jar, DEFINITELY NOT ENOUGH for meatball sandwiches.

I stomp back to the computer

Me: There’s no red sauce. I can’t make this crap. Not that I wanted it, anyway.

Him: Well, I’m sure you could make your own red sauce…

I just……………

Me: I’m not doing that.

Him: Yeah… it’d make too much sauce anyway.

Oh, so is he finally starting to get it?

Him: You can just make turkey burgers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wut.

Me: Isn’t the meat frozen? (crosses fingers, tossing salt over the shoulder)

Him: No, it’s thawed in the fridge.

I swear to all that is holy, y’all. I swear. This man is about to have ground turkey smashed in his face like a creampie.

Me: I mean. I don’t want that, but I GUESS SINCE IT’S ALL WE HAVE.

All he had to do was take the hint. TAKE THE HINT THAT THERE IS NOTHING I WANT IN THIS HOUSE. Actually, let me stop letting him off easy. It’s not even a hint at this point. We’ve been married for ten years. He knows me. He knows what I’m going through. He knows when I’m basically pointing his ass to picking something up because we’ve been through this exact scenario seven hundred and ninety three times, and yet still

Him: Okay, so do you want fries with that?

Me: NO. I DON’T WANT FRIES. I CAN’T EAT FRIES. YOU KNOW THIS.

He shows up with a bag of frozen fucking french fries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The answer is no. Men will never understand you. You will never understand them. I’d tell you to save yourself the trouble by being direct, but that just makes too much sense and relationships are weird.

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment

Dear Play dates, It’s not you, it’s me

I wasn’t blessed with girlfriends who had kids the same time as me. I never had a group of friends who would hold playdates together and gossip while the kids did whatever the hell it is they do at whatever the hell age it is that they are. I’ve never been to a mom’s night out. I don’t honestly even have mom friends. It’s not that I don’t have friends with kids, I do. I just don’t have a group. A “Squad” as the kids call it these days.

I’m like the black sheep of moms. Or at least, I feel like I am most days.

This isn’t me lamenting over it. I’m not sad. I’m not really even lonely. Sure, I’d love to hang out with humans other than my family some time… but only if the kids aren’t involved.

I’m totally serious.

I see pictures of these awesome themed gatherings. Moms posting smiling pictures hanging out with the kids in the background. Hear of weekly get togethers, cookouts, picnics, but I have no desire to participate.

I’m just. not. interested. in. playdates.

For days I’ve tried to figure out how to explain why. I don’t particularly dislike other people’s kids. I don’t particularly dislike other moms.

Okay, that’s a lie. I do, and I do. Maybe I’ve just been searching for a better way to explain it without sounding like a horrid bitch, but I came up with nothing.

The fact is just this and there’s no softening it: I don’t want to hang out with other moms and their kids. I will, if I have to. I won’t even hate it. I’ll be personable, and nice, and I might even have fun, for the sake of the kids- but if it’s my choice, I’m not playdating.

It’s not that I think I’m too good for it. I don’t think that I’m too “cool” or that other moms aren’t “cool” enough (trust me, I know a hell of a lot of moms far cooler than me). I’m not too judgy for it, or any other reason I can think of that might make “sense.” For me, playdates are like dentist appointments. If I HAVE to, if it’s absolutely necessary, I’ll grin and bear it. Otherwise, even though I know it might be good for me, it’s not happening. Because I simply don’t want to.

Some might argue if I had better/different/more mom friends, I might change my mind, and I can’t deny that you might be right, but I doubt it.

So just remember- if you ever ask me on a playdate, and I’m all

It’s not you, it’s me.

Posted on August 7, 2017 by Holdin' Holden 0 Comment