Category Archives: my beautiful kids

the abyss

i am a swim mom. for the uninitiated, a swim mom does not really swim. a swim mom is a mom whose kids swim. but it is so much more than that. i am a mom who has forgone any real social life so that i can drive my kids to and from swim practice…every single day. being a swim mom doesn’t require any real talents, which is good because mine are few and far in between, BUT is does require the ability to sit for extended periods of time and do nothing, at which i am exceptionally proficient. it also requires a large vehicle, to haul around a lot of soaking wet equipment and moldy towels, and i’m equally qualified for that as well.

so, if being a swim mom is so much *fun*, why do i do it? it’s because my beautiful daughter and my handsome son are very good at it.  actually, that’s a complete lie. my daughter is very good. my daughter is a wonderful athlete. she’s exceptionally focused and self-motivated. she made all A’s last report card and she swims every day after school for an hour and a half. the girl has got guns! and can eat like a horse with no repercussions. i would love to say she takes after me, but she’s completely daddy’s little girl. i’m the girl who took marching band in high school to get out of gym class.

my son…not so much. but, anything that big sister does, little brother wants to do too. which is good, because little brother desperately needs to find something that he is good at (besides being a stinker), if only to expend all his pent-up, little-boy energy which never seems to wane. so in our quest to find exactly what he is good at, we have already exhausted the following:

  • t-ball – he was more interested in picking daisies in the outfield and hugging his teammates. mommy had to tell him which direction to run after he hit the ball and practically pull him around the bases by the arm.
  • soccer – mommy coached kiddie co-ed soccer and learned a thankless lesson about meddling, yet completely uninterested in *really* helping, side-line parents (like get your fat ass out of your lawn chair and help me run some drills), which just reaffirmed her existing belief that most women are bitches, and is now scarred for life.
  • swimming – at his first meet, he went to the edge and peered in. “it’s too big, mommy,” he whispered. he refused to jump in when the gun went off and finished with an official time of “did not start.” and most recently, mommy, who volunteered to be a tent mom during meets, had to clean up the ready bench when robert (a teammate) peed on it while waiting for his event. at least it wasn’t number two.

so we continue to search for my son’s special talent. i know he has one. we just need to find it.  and hopefully it will not entail mommy having to pick up the excrement of his teammates. who knows. maybe when he grows up he’ll be in the marching band. mommy would be so proud.


i am lame

well, halloween is over for this year and i have to say i’m very disappointed in myself. i totally wussed out and didn’t wear my costume. it’s not that i didn’t want to dress up. i did. but i was just too tired after working all day, commuting home, getting the kids ready, blah blah blah. 

but, my son behaved himself and went trick-or-treating after all. his costume was great and he wore it for a grand total of about 10 minutes because in texas, october is still officially considered summer (see us wearing shorts?) and wearing polyester is like trick-or-treating in a plastic bag. my daughter was a UT football player and i almost had to kick some aggie-neighbor ass because they threatened to withhold candy due to her choice of costume. nice job A-hole. way to make a kid cry on halloween.




but is wasn’t a total loss, because i am partially responsible for this. looking at this makes me wonder where else my wig has been without my knowledge.


plus i got to witness this. hello, this is why dogs bite people. 



anyway, so it’s all over and i consider any holiday that i don’t get called poopy head a great success.

happy $%*ing halloween

have you ever been cursed out by a kindergartner? well, it goes something like this: “you stoopid poopy-head mommy! i hate you! you’re the worst mommy in the whole world! i’m going to run away…forever!” it’s not that i am completely unaccustomed to this type of drama. it’s just usually coming out of the mouth of my 11-year-old daughter and not my six-year-old son.                                                       

what, exactly, could incite such language from a small child? i will tell you. tell that small child that he isn’t going trick-or-treating and that is what you will get. i don’t want to go into great detail, but just suffice it to say, last year, my son was really bad. so bad, that i was at the end of my rope. i had no other cards to play except to threaten to withhold the annual candy-collecting pilgrimage. he thought i was bluffing. first lesson: mommies never bluff.

there were many tears (his and mine) and he spent the entire evening in his room alone while his sister went with friends, hauling an extra bag to bring home candy for her stinky brother, whom she felt sorry for.

this time, i am praying things are going to be different. nobody likes to miss out on running around the neighborhood in a ridiculous costume (this year i’m a sexy geisha girl – cos asian girls are hot and i will TOTALLY fool everyone with my outfit) and accepting free candy from strangers, especially me. i have been reminding my son about last year in hopes that there’s no encore. he has promised me he’s going to be good. i’ve even bought him a new costume as an incentive. ok, it’s really a bribe, but whatever works.

he is going to be darth vader because he is going through a huge star wars phase right now and being a huge SW nut myself, i’m fully supporting it. so he has a new costume. and a helmet. and a new light saber that lights up and makes authentic light saber sounds when you bang it against your sister’s head. and a new plastic pumpkin to put his treats in. and he’s been behaving fairly well, apart from that little bus fight incident.

i have really high hopes. all is forgiven. i am setting the bar high, and managing expectations. i’m thinking that this year, he is going to make it. but just in case, i haven’t taken the tags off his costume.

you say tomato and i say tomahto

my sister, sessie, called me the other day. her name is not really sessie because that would be silly. but my son couldn’t say leslie when he was little, so “sessie” was born. my son also couldn’t say ice cream and confounded us for about two weeks while he would stand in front of the refrigerator wailing “suppeee!” we were completely at a loss until one day it all clicked.  i was taking the ice cream out of the freezer when he came barreling over to me.

“oh,” i said relieved. “is THIS what you want?” everything finally becoming clear.

“yes!” he said smiling. “suppeee.”

“ok,” i replied. “suppeee.”

“no, mommy! not suppeee, SUPPEEE!”

when mommy says it, it’s not the same.

anyway, so sessie calls and she and my mom are having dinner and telling stories and sessie tells my mom a story she has never heard. so they decided to call me.

apparently, i had come home from school and told sessie that i had an assignment to teach someone a poem. unable to find a willing guinea pig participant, i decided to enlist sessie to help me. sessie was no more interested in learning a poem than the man in the moon, so i did what any big sister (or brother) would do. i sat on her until she memorized “the fog” by carl sandburg. now being that sessie and my mom were drinking margaritas, and the fact that i have no recollection of this incident whatsoever, i was certainly skeptical, although, it does sound like something i would have done, and she was able to recite it perfectly over the phone:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

so anyway, apparently, i bullied my sister into getting some culture and 30 years later she still remembers this poem. so i say, no harm, no foul. at least there was a lesson learned, and that’s what childhood is all about, right? sort of like when my other sister dr. laura kicked sessie in the neck. sessie decided to teach her a lesson and pulled some sort of michael jackson thriller dance move like her neck was broken and made a bunch of gurgling noises. dr. laura ran hysterically through the house screaming, “i’ve killed her!! i’ve killed her!!!” dr. laura didn’t mess with sessie for a long time after that.

i think i’ll call mom and tell her that story.

merry xmas to all, now shut the eff up, part 1

as a child of parents who grew up in the 1950s and who instilled in me a great appreciation of all things mid-century american, i have an unexplained and completely irrational love for car trips. like, cross-country, three-days-in-the-car, coast-to-coast car trips. like, if-you-kids-don’t-shut-the-hell-up-i’m-going-to-pull-over-and-spank-every-last-one-of-you-until-you-bleed, car trips.

i still glance longingly at neon howard johnson and holiday inn motel signs while speeding across dark stretches of interstate. i fondly remember stopping at stuckey’s and loading up on cheap trinkets and inedible snacks, including the dreaded peanut log roll, a real cotton boll, and some mexican jumping beans. in retrospect, i realize there were actually tiny moth larvae living inside the beans, and when they stopped jumping, it’s because they were dead… and well, it’s just plain disgusting. but for a child, the road was filled with exciting and mysterious possibilities, and i looked forward to every trip with anticipation.

so when i told my kids (the bully and the princess) that we were driving to disneyworld for christmas vacation i expected to be greeted with excited and gleeful shrieks of joy. instead i was met with horrified stares that spoke volumes without saying a single word – mom has just lost her damn mind. my generation Z kids cannot spend more than 20 minutes in a car without some sort of external stimuli, and coloring books and barbies do not cut it.

“awww, mom do we have to drive? i don’t want to drive. it’s boring. i want to fly!” they moaned.

“why certainly, children, we can fly. do you have $1,500?” i answered.

“does santa know that we’re going to disneyland? how will he know where to bring the presents. i’d rather go to nana’s. santa knows where nana lives,” they whined.

“go to your rooms,” i said calmly, smoke coming out of my ears, my visions of our memorable holiday journey fading.

“the little ingrates,” i silently fumed. “we’re going to freaking DISNEYLAND! at CHRISTMAS for chrissakes! do you know how many little children would kill their siblings to go to DISNEYWORLD during CHRISTMAS?!!”

apparently disneyworld does not mean shit when a journey of 1,000 miles lies between you and the magic kingdom, and santa’s not changing his delivery route.

…to be continued…

her lovely lady lumps

in addition to being the mother of a boy, i am also blessed to be the mother of a preteen daughter i affectionately call “the princess.” the princess is the first child and was the only child for the first four years of her life. the princess was so used to being the only child that when we brought her brother home from the hospital after he was born, it only took a few hours before she asked us when we were going to return him. she was spoiled by two sets of grandparents, one of which is jewish. my jewish mother-in-law was the mother of three boys, which she never hesitates to mention and never lets anyone forget, and the princess is the daughter she never had. once during a birthday party at our house, she took my neighbor (herself the mother of two boys) aside and asked her (between sips of her screwdriver) which kids were hers. after my unsuspecting neighbor pointed her boys out, my MIL responded with, “poor thing, you’ll never know the joy that comes with having a daughter.”

according to my MIL girls are so much easier than boys. not that she would know because she had two maids while her kids were going up, and the third baby’s feet didn’t touch the ground until he was two. since i have one child of each sex, unlike her, and consider myself somewhat of an authority on genetic sex-based behavioral differences, i have decided she’s full of complete shit.

case in point. my princess came home from school and told me she “needs” a bra. i love my daughter dearly, but that child needs a bra just about as much as her brother, the bully, does. granted, it’s not a belly piercing or a nose ring, or even a tattoo, which i’m sure will be coming soon. it’s just a bra. just a simple little bra. so, fine. we go bra shopping. we go look at all the little non-bra bras, which are really just bathing suit tops. we oohed and ahhed over the different colors and patterns and fabrics like two friends out shopping. there was no padding, there was no wire, nothing remotely bra-like about it. just a little triangle of fabric designed to add one small layer under her clothing to cover her almost non-existent but slightly budding lady lumps. and it made her very happy.

so, i have handled my first major developing-daughter crisis. and i guess what i’m most pleased about is that princess came home and told me so matter-of-factly what is was she wanted. there was no hemming and hawing and no apparent discomfort in discussing this issue with me. when i was a child, i would have died before i told my mom i needed a bra. in fact, i didn’t. she told me. and dragged my embarrassed ass down to a department store where some strange old woman measured me to get the right size. as i stood in the middle of the lingerie department while the old woman felt me up in front of god and everyone, i vowed then and there that as a parent i would do things differently and try to make the trip that is puberty as painless as possible for my kids. i feel confident i succeeded with my daughter in her first foray into womanhood.

my son, the bully

i never would have believed it. my small, beautiful, six-year-old son clocked his seatmate on the bus on the way to school. being that he barely weighs in at 45 pounds, and most of it is hair, this was no small feat. but i digress.

things were going smoothly until the boy accused my son of farting. my son did not take kindly to being accused of cutting the cheese when he, in fact, was not the cutter. a scuffle and shoving ensured. my son, understandably upset, and ready to put an end to this nonsense, hauled off and slugged him one, connecting squarely with the boy’s glasses and knocking out one of the lenses. tears followed.

now here’s the part every parent loves. after receiving a phone call from the school informing me that they were not going to kick him off the bus this time (and suppressing my laughter and secretly being glad my son was the puncher and not the punchee), i called the boy’s mother and delivered the necessary apologies. then we both laughed about it. boys will be boys after all.

my son is now spending the next few days with no tv, no computer, no nintendo. exactly like it was when i was a kid… except back then it wouldn’t have been considered punishment. come to think of it…how did we survive?