Time I want back

We’ve all been there.  In line at DMV, on  a bad date, sitting in a friend’s solo show.  Where you can feel life ebbing by and you are trapped.  You have to stay, you can’t go. You can feel your mortality dripping away  like a tipped over, open jar of honey.  But, you must stay.  For the license, to be polite, see your friend cry and take their shirt off.

A moment where you say “I want this time back.”  As a friend recently quipped to me, “Add it to the list.”  Is there a list?  Yes, I think there is.  Here is one for the list.

Standing in a public restroom while my son does his business.  I’ve tried to install a phobia of public bathrooms in my  kids, but so far only Vivien has caught the anxiety.  Rex will announce it’s time to go no matter what the digs are like.

Me: “Dude, wait till we get home. It’s going to be nasty.”

“No, I have to go NOW.”

This is partly why I recently hosted Vivien’s entire class for a party.  If I didn’t I know we would have ended up in Bronson Canyon Park.  I have a clause in my parenting contract, “No Bronson Canyon Park.”  I blew off Rex’s school social because that’s where it was.  The parking is bad, bees gather on the potluck food and worst of all it doesn’t have working toilets.  Only porta potties.  My kids know, run to the car.  We are out of here. How it has become the favorite  potluck park  for the 323 area code I have no idea.

Are you done yet?

So, Rex and I find the funky stores, funky bathroom. Honestly, I’ve been in a lot worse.  But, it was made worse because the toilet had one of those sensors so just when he would be mid business the thing would “Whoosh” like a jet engine. So it elongated the process.

“Mama, why is it doing that?  Stop it.”

Helpless “I can’t!”  Yes, I know the trick with the post it note, but I didn’t have one.”

It was here as I waited that I thought, look at my life at this minute. I want this time back. Wiping the little bottom, no prob.  I don’t mind that. But, could we do it at the Ritz?

 

how having a son can save you from dating pain

It’s too late for me.  I’m married and even if I wasn’t happily married, I’m too lazy to change it up now.  But, you single woman, it’s you I speak too.  Don’t get to sad about men.  Don’t take it so hard when they shower you with affection than never call or text or have your name tattooed on his arm–oh whatever you kids are doing these days.  Even as Cute, Cuddly little boys they are out to BREAK YOUR HEART. Like my earlier vid Italian Film Star, I explore this dynamic again.

yeah, we don't live in a bucolic land

 

Toast

As if being in back to school re entry wasn’t bad enough, now my little guy is sick.  Get the bucket sick.  For two days!

He feels bad, and I didn’t sleep much.  A couple of times I was the bucket.  Good thing I had my hair up.

We are both toast.

I feel a little guilty enjoying his sweet constant cuddles when he is sick.  But, I hope this ends soon.  He is miserable.

who knew?

Who Knew?

That if your husband decides to clean out the garage it would take him two weeks and still not be done?

Who Knew that when he leaves out old stereo equipment and the DVD’s and VHS of your career there would be a freak July rainstorm and he didn’t think to cover these things?

Who Knew?

That the 140 times you thought, “I have to get those VHS transferd” would have been time wasted because now they are probably ruined.

Who Knew?

That you would want to force your kids to watch those tapes because this morning your 4 year old said that unlike Handy Manny “mommy, you and I don’t have a job”.

Who Knew?

I would tell my son that I do work, but “that my main job is taking care of you and Vivien.” Who Knew that would come as a surprise to me as I said it.

Who Knew that my house would end of up looking like the Clampetts.

Etiquette time with Lizzie Post

What do you do if you lost the list of gifts and givers for your son’s bday?

now, where did I put that list with the gifts Rex got??

Yes, it happened to me.  So I asked Lizzie Post, etiquette lady.  What should I do?  She said I should tell them I lost the list and to remind me of the gift.   Then I can write a proper note.  She also said if I lose a scrap of paper maybe I should write the list down digitally. I guess so.

Then I asked, what her thoughts are on thank you notes where the parent acts like they are the kid, “I loved my truck”  when we know the kid can’t read or write.  I use to do this, but lately I’m thinking, who are we kidding.  So my notes have been “Rex loved the truck”.

Though this year I have been really bad about sending notes out.  I seem to go in manner waves.

Ms. Post wanted to talk about summer manners which lead into weddings.  She disspelled something for me.  The gift doesn’t have to be the value of the dinner they are serving.  My mom told me that it did.  I said, If I don’t go I can send a cheaper gift, right?  No, Said Ms. Post.  The gift should be based on your budget.

My last question.. is it in the water or what?  But, lately I have had the experience of offering my hand when I’m meeting someone , I say, “Hi I’m Daphne.”  The new person says hi and doesn’t tell me their names.  ”I’m sorry are you George Cloony or something and I should KNOW you?”  I think.

“Yes,” said Lizzie “This happens to me too.”

shaking the hand, saying her name

She does what I have done, “I’m sorry, what was your name? OR Can I ask you your name?”  But, it is so odd not to profer your name upon meeting someone.  I can’t figure out why people don’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Harvey Karp, the man who got me to bed

I was cruising through the mini meetings at Mom 2.0.  They were in a big banquet hall and every 15 minutes one was to run from one table to the next depending upon the topic.  The most popular subjects were something like this, “how to make some money, or how to get eyeballs doing something every body with an ovary is doing these days.” It was standing room only at those tables. Not on the table, but next to them.

“What did she just say?”

“um, something about optimization.”

When I spied  Dr. Harvey Karp sitting at a table with only two woman.  The rest of the room suddenly went into soft focus.   The guy who wrote the book that got me through the first terrifying months of mom daughter’s life was there. 

Mr Swaddle and “shoo- shoo” shimmy himself!   To heck with it, I can’t hyper link my way  to fortune right now, I need to talk to this guy.

pediatrician with the mostest

The way I remembered it I knocked these ladies aside and then it was just US.  Me fawing, “It all worked!  My kids loved being swaddled.  My husband was so good at swaddling.”

He smiled kindly and said, “Do you have Happiest Toddler on the block?” ( sub title How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old)  I said I did, but hadn’t cracked it open in a while.  Would it be helpful with my now 4 year old son?  He said it can help with tantrums up to 5, sometimes even a little older.  So we discussed it.  He said this book was more important than the baby book “Because this will help you make them into the people you want them to be.” Yes, I nodded, especially boys who can express their feelings.   He explained you use 1/3 intensity of their voice.  Too much in your voice means it’s now about crazy mom, not tantrum kid.  Describe what you see, “you are pounding your fists on the floor, you are banging your head.  You really want me to that was important to you.”   Toddlers are not mini big kids, they think differently, he explained.

the world dissapeared...

He said, “get the DVD if you and your husband don’t want to read the book.”  Yeah, guys are more visual, right?  I sensed my 15 minutes was almost up as 3 other woman had plunked down on my turf.  I turned my back on them and leaned into the doctor for one last nugget o’ wisdom.  ”My 4 year old sleeps with me most nights.  I like the cuddling”

“Sure, it’s nice.”  he agreed.

” I haven’t made a big deal about it, because I have older step children.  I know soon enough he won’t want anything to do with me, however, sometimes I’d like a little space.”

Dr. Karp reached underneath his table and pulled out. He gave it to me!  Now he was smiling to those other bitches  moms.  It was time for me to move on to upping my social media presence, taking a picture in natural light or twittering for jam and wipes.

I gazed at him one more time.  ”I would love to talk to you about how I’m an Intactivist
I called out as I was forced to give up my seat and he was passing out books and smiles.

He should put all his books together and call it the Happiest Mom on the Block collection.

 

 

Teen week

Hey gang, It’s Spring Break for us. I’m taking the kids to see some family so in my stead my dear blogger friend Alexandra Schultze is going to hold down the fort.  She is funny and dear.  Take it away!

———————–

 

I met Daphne online four years ago. With her posts that blog about the warts and all of life, along with videos that made me laugh out loud every time, she pulled me through a very difficult patch in my life. I am forever grateful for that.

 

In this spirit of gratitude, I feel it my sacred duty to return the favor, and give Daphne a peek as to what’s ahead; when those you once carried on your hip now tell you “you ain’t no longer hip.”

 

Right now, my friend Daphne is loving her days as the mommy of beautiful Vivien, and an adorable pre-schooler, Rex.

Ah, the sweet days when you could contain your children within the confines of your home and were in charge of every thought and deed that came out of them.

 

Welcome to what’s not that far up ahead, Daphne. Welcome to Teen Angst Land.

Clues That Your We Had Joy, We Had Fun, We Had Seasons In The Sun Have Now Passed

 

I went to college in the 80′s, and I, back then, had this as my daily uniform:

Proudly, too, right down to the tights around the head

The $10 a tube matte red lipstick, the mismatched earrings, the Ray-Bans. You can’t see the Walkman I’ve got in my hand, but it was there, along with the Pat Benatar cassette playing: “You’re a heartbreaker, dreammaker, lovetaker, don’t you mess around with me… no nonono no!”

Time stands still. It will always, I am convinced of this in 1984.  I have been walking tall and sniffing pies in heaven, as my grandmother used to tell me in Spanish, ever since.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip

Flash forward to a morning when getting ready to take teen DDG* son clothes shopping, I pull on my 15-year-old cowboy boots, stand up ready to go, and I say, “All right. Let’s go.”

And, he– being 15 years old, says the words that freeze any woman in her tracks: “You’re going like that?! Mom!?”

The following knee jerk responses run through my head:

  • never let them see you sweat
  • they sense fear
  • don’t lose your dominance
  • speak with confidence
  • maintain the status quo
  • do NOT buckle
  • keep your pole position

But I’m a woman, my appearance is my weak spot. I eek out,”Whaaaat, whaaa — umm, what is it that you mean, honey?”

“Mom. The way you look. You need a trip to the mall, not me.”

A woman and her appearance. Put the two together, and the images of how you still see yourself despite reality fight to be heard first:

I was hot!
Here, see? A picture in case you don’t believe me.
Wait, go ask your dad. No. Don’t.
I’ve got love letters in a box upstairs, behind my boots, that would sear your young eyes!
I once had to double book two dates for the same night, little boy.
You can’t imagine …

But, no… no well adjusted, normal, grounded mom would ever go there with her child. He already had enough terror in his voice, I couldn’t dump my stuff on that poor thing. No. I would work this s**t out.

It’s time for the truth to be the truth that needs to be faced. No more hot mama days.  There it is.

The parts are starting to fall off, and plastic replacement is not a possibility in our household. Time for age appropriate hairdos, professional hair coloring– no boot black done at home die jobs, time for shirts that cover the belly, and belts that prevent droopy diaper butt.

Time to remember that when you let your hair down after it’s been up in a rubber band all day, that you look more like Crazy Mary that roams the streets downtown mopping the bridge, then you look like a flower child.

I have often told my husband that you can tell what the year was when a person was plucked out of the dating game, by the bust-a-move they pull on the dance floor. Frozen movements in time, they will forever be doing the very last bump and grind they were popping and locking it to, before they were picked up, and plunked down into their new life as a parent.

Me? I’m still doing Madonna’s “Holiday” skip~skip~shoulder lift~shoulder lift.

I let my son suggest what to wear, and replaced the cowboy boots with the Danskos he likes better (in my mind, I’ll always be Thelma and Louise).

We get to the mall, and head toward the stores he likes best: H&M, American Eagle, Aeropostale. We pull the double doors open, enter, and begin to walk the long corridor.

 

All heads turn.

They are on him.

Yes, DDG*, your turn, baby. Your turn.
—————————————–

*Lady Di would call Prince William DDG, short for Drop Dead Gorgeous. I have always loved that.

 

 

 

The kid needs to go back in the picture

Long time cool momers will no doubt have noticed that Rex and Vivien are in less videos than they use to be.  That darn going to school thing is taking my talent away!  I recently wrote an email to a gal about an enrichment class for Vivien.  I was asking about times and the lady wrote back asking “Are you home schooling here?”  Either because she is hoping to fill the slots for that 11:00am class or I seemed  like a brave, intelligent person who could do that.  Not the case.  I’d love to have them around more and have them in more funny videos, but if my kids were home schooled by me it’s doubtful they would be walking upright.

So, here is a little visit with the children. We just caught up over the weekend.

Not Funny Mom

Vivien was in a mood.  Cranky, sad, but we had to get to school.  I was sure it was because she had stayed up too late the night before because we had family over for Mark’s birthday.  

I drove the kids to school as I tried to respect Vivien’s feelings, but also gently remind her that this wasn’t the “worst day in the world.”

“Sweetie, you woke up in your pretty room in your nice house surrounded by your loving family, right?”

“yes”

“I told you there is a cupcake left over that you can have when you come home, right?”

“Yes”  But, I wasn’t getting much headway, she was still moping.

Then 3. 8 month old Rex said, “Mommy, maybe Vivien would feel better if we told her a joke.”

Great idea Rex.  Oh, my comic heart swelled with pride.  Then Rex told his knock, knock joke.

“Knock, Knock”
“whose there?” Vivien mumbled

“Chicken”

“Chicken cow” Rex smiled.  I guffawed on cue, because made up on the spot knock knock jokes rarely are funny, but I want to encourage them so I was slapping my knee.

“That wasn’t funny.” Vivien scowled.

He tried again.  ”Knock, Knock”

“Whose there?”

“Turkey”

“Turkey who?”

I wasn’t thinking, I blurted out a punch line.

“Turkey Lurky, and we are going to eat you!.”  Totally lame, but it cracked Vivien up.

Rex started crying.  Vivien was now smiling, and I was the asshole comic who had to top the other comic in the room.

after a recent show, when my timing was better

“That was my joke, that was NOT funny mommy.” Rex said through tears. The rest of the drive to school was filled with him yelling and crying.  Vivien and I were trying to console him now.  NOT working. You know those all too numerous times you are driving around with a screaming child in your car and you are powerless to stop it?  That’s what I had on my hands.  It was my fault to boot.

I dropped her off and suggested what would make me feel better: food.

“Rex, want to go with me to buy bagels at the bagel store?” He nodded.  When we parked he unbuckled and stood in the car doorway pouting.

” I wanted my joke to make Vivien feel better, but it was your joke that did.  I’m sad.”

“Rex I am so sorry.  I should not have stepped on your line.  I’m so sorry.  But, it was your idea to tell her a joke and that DID help her feel better, so you did it.  You made her feel better.”

“But, you made the laugh.”

“Comics are terrible people. I’m sorry.”  Then we got bagels holding hands and he got a fruit cup from another store.  We were okay.

I’m proud of Rex that he wanted to make Vivien feel better and thought, like his mom, that humor is the way to healing.  I’m proud of him that he articulated his feelings to me. He is finding his way.  I just need to keep my mouth shut.

discouraging children from acting

The best kind of performing

Because of my TV and Vlogs my kids are comfortable in front of the camera.  When they shoot the cool mom vlogs with me it takes minutes and if they don’t want to, fine, go play in the mud.  Occasionally producers have asked for my kids to be in a branded shoot.  I always make sure they are compensated and all of it goes into their 529 or IRA.   According to the Coogan law parents of child performers only have to set 5% aside of the kids earnings, which I think is far too little.  I put 100% in.

My kids performed well.  Especially Vivien did what she needed to do on cue.  I was proud of her.  Look at her, cutie pie! 

Now, the most recent shoot we were on was longer and more involved than others.  It was also done during a heatwave. While I love being with my children and love having them get some money for their future I am glad that being involved in a production makes them never want to be actors.

 

“This is boring mommy”.  That’s right production is a lot of sitting around and waiting.

“Why are we doing this again? We did this shot already?”  I know, we have to do it again for different angles, there was a lighting problem, etc.

It was  like a scared straight treatment for budding thespians.

Having been bitten by the performance bug as a tyke, I get it. Yet, seen through the lense of irregular employment, no pension and crows feet I feel acting is the low hanging fruit of ambition. As I helped her out to the set on the HOT day I said, “lawyers work in air conditioned offices all day.  Finance people get up early, but people go and get them lunch while they make obscene amounts of money.”   I learned last year that I wouldn’t be taking them on auditions. Since the people running them are assholes. But, was open for stuff like this that fell in our collective lap.

I don’t want my kids to be going on auditions for the next 50 years.

I don’t want them to have insecure employment.

I don’t want them to need to diet or alter their face in order to get a job.

I don’t want them to worry about eating cat food when they are 70.

I don’t want them to go “wow, I use to work with Ryan Seacrest and now he is 12,000 times more succesful than I.”

Basically, I want them to choose a different path than my own.

I have had some FANTASTIC times working in broadcasting and entertainment.  I’ve met some famous people.  I’ve also had gigs where I did very little and got paid well.

When I hosted “The X- show” on FX.  One of our favorite guests was Sammy Hagar. Circa 2000- 2001.  I forgot that Gary Coleman was also there that day. Sure, I could show the picture of me with Hillary Clinton or at the White House, but this seemed more fun.

But, having lived most of my life in LA I also see the desperate, agitated middle aged lady with puffy lips snapping at a clerk while she orders her wheatgrass shot ( no, it wasn’t Lisa Rinna, but in that vein).

So, this shoot done on the hottest day of the year was hopefully unpleasant enough that the bloom is off the rose.  Show biz is 2 parts perks and red carpet and 98 parts sitting around, multiple takes, long hours, insecure employment.

Maybe the next step is to give my kids some more “sampler” careers so they can focus early.  I’m going to call a Wall Street firm about a little kid internship.  Clearly understanding that stuff is not a requirement.