My Mothers Day Wish List

Dear Andy, Ben, Georgia, Quinn and of course, Elvis,

You all know (at least you BETTER know) that Mothers Day is a mere four days away.  While you have never disappointed me on this, the holiest of days for a harried mom, I am hoping that you could indulge me this year.  I mean, REALLY indulge me.  And I’m not talking about breakfast in bed or a spa day; what I have in mind is even better.

photo-16Ben – You’re a 12 year old boy, and you’re gross.  I get it.   You’re no different than every other guy your age.  But if you could stop coming home from soccer and baseball practice, taking off your nasty socks and leaving them (inside out, of course) in various places on the first floor, I’d appreciate it.  Playing “follow the smell” while pouring my morning coffee is not my idea of starting the day off right.

GeorgiaMy girl.  photo-18You are the one little bit of estrogen-solidarity I have in this crazy house, but my request may not be an easy one.  I beg that you never make me buy you clothes at Justice again.  EVER.  I’ve made no secret of my disdain for this store but after two years, I’ve reached my limit.   I cringe every time you receive another one of their gift cards.  My eyes hurt looking at  the neon t-shirts inside the store, and the bubble gum pop music by One Direction/Bieber/Disney-Diva-du-jour that’s being piped through the speakers makes my teeth itch.  I’ve done it for years.  I know you love it.  But it’s time…let me take you anywhere else.  From the Gap to Newbury Street, we’ll buy you an outfit in a color found on this planet.  It would be the greatest gift you could give.

photo-14Quinn – Well, my boy, your present came two weeks early as you have finally, after six months, mastered the art of pooping on the potty!  I am proud and relieved (no pun intended) that diapers are officially a part of the past.  Granted, you are SO regular that I wonder if you are part earthworm but I’m not complaining.  Now if you can just work on: learning your middle name (Andrew), not dragging the dog across the floor by his collar and that a squirrel is a disgusting rodent not to be approached while cooing, “aww, look at dat cute chick-munk!” then we’ll be good to go.

photo-15Andy – I ask that you clean the Laundry Room.  One of the 700 junk emails I got today was from Real Simple and titled, “The Space You Should Be Cleaning, But Aren’t.”  Against my better judgment (while hoovering lunch at my desk), I read it.  Did you know that we are living in a DEATH TRAP (not to mention pure squalor) by not getting through the 21 steps on the checklist?  Apparently it’s not enough to swipe the fire-hazard-of-a-lint-trap; you need to remove, wash and scrub with a toothbrush to properly clean it.  With a toothbrush, Andy!  And don’t even get me started on disconnecting the dryer hose and getting all the funk inside of THAT thing out.  Anyway, reading this article stressed me out when I realized that I’d never have the time to do it so I’d like for you to handle this.  And you know me well enough that inevitably I’ll be dissatisfied with the job you’re doing and wind up cleaning it myself, but just kick things off and I’ll be one happy mom.

photo-17Elvis – Since I recently learned the hard way that you are one of the four dogs in the history of the world who gets carsick, I’m going to have to ask that you get over your emotional issues and learn to be in the house alone without eating through metal, wood or electrical cords that are plugged into the wall.  Thanks  (and woof).

Guys, I love being your mom.  And if my Mothers Day gets me everything on this list, I will be the luckiest lady in the world.  So make your Mama proud and give me what I really want this year.  I’ll meet you in the Laundry Room.

Love, Mom

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Toddlers and Tiaras? Not on MY watch…

Perhaps one of the most harrowing ordeals a parent can experience with her young daughter is the shopping excursion for a new bathing suit.  We had spent a few days on the Cape during last year’s February vacation and as any parent knows, the goal for this trip (in the kids’ eyes at least) is to spend 12 straight hours a day at the indoor pool.  Therefore, when 7-year old Georgia told me that her suits from the previous summer were too small, I took her word for it.  I mean, it could be that she had grown, right?  The thought of heading into her disaster of a closet (and risking never coming out again) scared me enough that I grabbed my American Express and we headed to the mall.

As expected, Georgia led me straight to Justice, her favorite store.  Never had the pleasure of shopping there?  Let me help: if the Disney Channel and Teen Nick had a lovechild and it launched a retail chain, Justice would be the outcome.  Any questions?

As we stood in front of the bathing suit wall, my jaw fell to the glitter-covered floor and I realized that Georgia had brought me there to buy a new style, not a bigger size.  Skimpy neon-colored bikinis with plunging necklines hung from ceiling to floor, and when I asked the sales clerk where the suits for my 7-year old were, she said I was looking at them.

Oh, the horror.

ImageWhat’s worse is that Georgia had already grabbed two bikinis and was headed for the dressing room.  I frantically reached for a somewhat less-revealing two-piece and followed her inside.  As she pulled on the first top and visions of Toddlers and Tiaras flashed through my mind, I panicked.  How would I talk her out of this?  Would it be possible to convince her that Justin Bieber actually prefers one-piece suits?

“Hmmm, that one doesn’t look too comfortable.  You’ll be pulling it up the whole time.  Why don’t you try THIS one?  It has these little sparkles on it and everything!”

Wasted words, my friends.  She was twirling in the mirror to see it from all angles as I chattered on, extolling the virtues of the longer top that came down to her bellybutton.  “And this one will keep you warmer when you first get in the pool, while that bikini will let your stomach get cold so fast.”

Seriously?  This was the best that I had?  I embarrass even myself, but a woman backed up against a wall will grasp at anything.  I knew what had to be done; I was just hoping to avoid it.  However, the time had come.  I had run out of options.

Breathing deeply, I looked at my tiny 7-year old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model-wannabe and gave it to her straight. “Georgia, I’m sorry, but that bathing suit is inappropriate for a little girl.  You need to get the other one.”

At that very moment I think I aged 15 years. Ugh.

Of course I got my way (I was the one paying, after all) and after a few minutes she had come around.  But, I saw a glimpse into my future and it scared me to my very soul.  Today it’s a bikini, but what is it tomorrow?  A bellybutton ring?  A car?  BOYS?

I fear that neither Andy nor I are ready for what lay ahead as she gets older.  While I hope she’ll see us as cool parents who understand, I expect that she’ll see us as nerdy conservative ones who love rules and won’t let her get away with anything.  And you know what?

That’s just fine with me.