Are those Mom Jeans or are you just terribly unhappy to see me.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The drunk cooking, the thinly veiled passive aggressive comments from your mother-in-law about the state of your marriage, and all of the knock-down, drag-out street fights on the Food Network about whether to brine your turkey or just smear 15 pounds of butter on your ass and call it a day.

Tradition.

The other tradition in my home is to pull out my hidden pair of maternity jeggings, to match them with an oversized blouse and pretend not to be ashamed of myself while I have, “Ok, just one more teeny-tiny slice of pie.”

Thanksgiving pants. They’re a thing.

Thanksgiving pants made me think about mom jeans and thinking about mom jeans made me happy. Because I’m a kid of the 80s; don’t judge me.

And the only thing that could make me happier than thinking about mom jeans is asking my friends to actually put on their hidden mom jeans and send me pictures.

So, I partnered with my brilliant, comedienne friend Nicole Leigh Shaw to bring the sexy back to mom jeans.

We’re bringing mom jeans back
Them other pants, they don’t know how to act
We think it’s special, where’s your fanny pack?
Please put it on because your waistband’s whack

Sorry, JT.

Without further ado, here’s your slice of Thanksgiving happy with a side of implied camel toe.

Welcome to She Said/She Said, the Mom Jean Edition!

Acid Washed Magazine Spread Janel

She said: This reminds me of that scene in Blazing SaddleBags. Wait, that’s not a real movie, right? Well, after seeing this, it should be. HAWT. @BPMbadassmama

She said: The 80s called, they want their hair band mixed tape back. @NicoleLeighShaw

Every Inch Mom Magazine Spread Jess

She Said: Talk about a serious case of the dingleberries. @BPMbadassmama

She Said: You’ve got a little something . . . right . . . everywhere. @NicoleLeighShaw

Jorts Magazine Spread Rebecca

She Said: It’s a crocheted Christmas vest miracle. @BPMbadassmama

She Said: I had the same turtleneck! When I was 10! @NicoleLeighShaw

Elastic Magazine Spread Kim 2

She Said: The V in the front of these mom jeans is great because I know I always want people to have their eyes directed toward my vagina. @BPMbadassmama

She Said: There’s a fine line between sassy mother and unmedicated mother. @NicoleLeighShaw

Retro High Waist Magazine Spread Ellen

She Said: I think we should just skip to the punchline and call these the Levis 5-0-NationalGeographic. @BPMbadassmama

She Said: When you absolutely, positively, need to keep your saggy belly in check. @NicoleLeighShaw

Maternity Magazine Spread Robyn

She Said: Listen, people get all bent out of shape if you wear maternity pants when you’re not pregnant but, that’s only because they didn’t think of it first. #HatersGonnaHate @BPMbadassmama

She Said: Maybe she’s 4 months pregnant, maybe she had a baby four years ago, only her OB knows for sure. @NicoleLeighShaw

Tight White Magazine Spread Susan

She Said: This mom is on FIRE. No, I mean seriously…her crotch is on fire. @BPMbadassmama

She Said: Now this is how you toast a muffin top. @NicoleLeighShaw

Cut Offs Magazine Spread Bethany

She Said: Having my husband help me with this photo shoot is just another form of birth control. Thanks, Mom Jorts! @BPMbadassmama

She Said: Remember ladies: the best accessory for high-waisted cut-offs is a manic expression. @NicoleLeighShaw

Jeggings Magazine Spread Nicole

She Said: You could fit so many bad decisions in the extended crotch length of these pants. @BPMbadassmama

She Said: Jeggings are a mom’s way of saying, “At least they aren’t yoga pants.” @NicoleLeighShaw

Vest Belt Roll Magazine Spread Kerry

She Said: This brings back so many suppressed memories. What therapy couldn’t uncover, this tight-roll did. @BPMbadassmama

She Said: It’s not everyone who can pull of a sweater vest, puffed cap sleeves, a tight roll, and a belted mom jean. Wait, no, that’s not right. I remember now. It’s not ANYONE who can do that. @NicoleLeighShaw

Get MORE Thanksgiving on with Nicole Leigh Shaw here: http://www.nicoleleighshaw.com/2014/11/what-to-do-if-your-turkey-is-jacked-up.html





Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.

My son melted the frickety-fuck down at a Target check-out last weekend. But, that’s ok because it was the day after Halloween and the entire world was there to buy Goldfish crackers at a deep discount because there were bats on the packaging. I’m not going to lie, a lot of frugal shoppers witnessed our ceremonial dance.

Pre-meltdown: I offered popcorn. He whined about wanting vanilla milk. I said, “Ok, nothing then.” and he was displeased.

Hulk-level displeased.

He began screaming and proceeded to do a quick *wap-wap-wap* like a friendly knock on the door…except he was knocking on my stomach…with his head. The looks immediately started. I’m used to all of the looks. They are as consistent as the rising sun.

1) Pity
2) Disgust
3) “My child would NEVER.”

and my favorite

4) Amusement

In these moments – when I find myself firmly between a rock and hard place; I canvas the crowd, searching for just one amused face.

Because life is amusing. Even when your son is physically assaulting you in a sea of Halloween markdowns.

One amused face reminded me to loosen my death grip on my son’s wrist. I was dragging. He was pulling. We were getting nowhere.

One lady was smiling. It spoke to me and it said important stuff about wisdom and the passage of time. Someone else had survived something similar and something about watching us lock horns churned up some sort of happiness in her.

The woman in the far right check-out line looked right at me and smiled, lowered her head back toward her basket, chuckled and kept right on living.

Like it was no big deal.

I leaned down and did my best impression of a person with lockjaw. “Don’t you EVER hit me again. Ever.”

I was so damn angry. I could barely see straight. Still, that woman’s smile was as comforting as hot cocoa right after ice skating.

Life’s too short to be so damn worried about the lady at Target with the screaming kid and it’s definitely too short to scan the crowds for judgment and pity.

And, besides all of that, it’s much too lonely if you don’t search for the amused face in the crowd.

You can count on two things. Someone will be judging you and, someone will be laughing while you drag a toddler wearing one shoe from underneath a garment rack. Look for the smiling people.

My son better not ever hit me again. But, if he loses his shit in a Payless and clubs me with a shoe horn, somebody…throw a girl a chuckle.

Yours in good times and bad,
BPM





A raging case of The Mondays.

When Mommy Shorts contacted me about participating in her Monday Mornings campaign with Allstate, I was admittedly on the fence. But, there was something so lovely about the transparency of the series that spoke to me. Ilana of Mommy Shorts started Monday Mornings to showcase the hidden beauty in the Monday morning routines and rituals of families through the literal lens of another. It often takes a totally foreign perspective to get us to say, “I’m a good mom. I’m doing alright with my small people.” So, I said, “Yes” and Allstate said, “A woman named Bad Parenting Moments? What could possibly go wrong? Yes!” and like that, an unlikely partnership formed.

As I drew closer to my Monday morning coffee date with all of you, I started to get unbelievably and insanely nervous. Photos of the piles of shoes on our floor? Photos of my bedhead? Photos of me pouring cereal when I should’ve, could’ve made scrambled eggs? The inevitable photo of me pointing with utter exasperation to the back door – 5 minutes late and no one has their damn socks on? Why? Why would I do that?

And then I said, why wouldn’t I do that? I share so much with all of you. Why wouldn’t I share my family and our bruised and battered Monday? So, here it is. Our Monday morning with cream and 1 sugar.

Through the chaos, I found moments of real beauty; emphasis on the REAL. And it struck me how Allstate’s mantra of Keeping you in Good Hands and Helping you live the Good Life, is eerily similar to my Monday morning mantra. In the few, minuscule moments of quiet; before the house stumbles awake, I always ask for patience. I ask for the ability to be the best mother I can be. I ask for the grace to forgive myself when I, undoubtedly, fail. I ask for the good life for my children. I ask for the universe to hold them safely in her hands. I ask for the ability to find joy in simplicity and I ask for my children to thrive despite my many shortcomings. I fit a lot of asking into those two minutes.

So, here we go….

A big pile of my family’s Monday on your doorstep. Thank you for being a part of our day. (photo credit and huge, loving thanks to Belinda Lashway)

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Want more? Of course you do. Here are a few of my absolute favorite Monday Morning posts:

Monday morning with Shaneka

Monday morning with Sara

Monday morning with Laura





1/3 of a cup.

1/3 of a cup. That’s all it takes.

I was rinsing out a pesto jar. It was greasy and filthy and I was tired of making dinner. I filled it 1/3rd of the way with warm water, gave it a few “I mean it” swishes and, voila, clean. It’s like nothing every happened. It’s like it was always new and clean and waiting to be filled.

All in all, yesterday was a great first day of school. Except that my son had to be peeled from my body. I rushed our goodbye hug so I could hug crying grandmothers as they dropped off their school-aged grandchildren.

I did not cry.

I did, however, make a few mistakes at work. I neglected to order lunch for the same son that so desperately needed me to not forget his lunch. I was too busy ordering the lunches for the crying grandmothers’ grandchildren. Lunchtime came and my son’s teacher let me know, “Don’t even worry about it. There was an extra sandwich.” But, of course I worried. One day in, I’m the mom who forgot lunch.

Still, I did not cry.

I also forgot snacks. For all four of my children. At this point, I looked down at my dress and my appropriately-high-heels and I wondered if I was selfish that morning; I took the extra 10 minutes to look good. If I’d spent 5 less minutes trying to cover the 8-year-old bags under my eyes, would I have remembered snacks?

It’s doubtful.

Now would have been a great time to cry. Even still, no tears.

I pulled as far as I could into the driveway of my youngest’s daycare. I put the air on full blast and ran to the back gate just 10 feet and a world away from my car. I left the other children in their seats. I couldn’t even entertain the idea of having them enter the yard with happy, sunbathed toddlers. I could see the future – my next 40 minutes bribing children to leave a swing set. My heels had already lived their 8 hours and an eternity on my feet. I said, “I’ll be right back.” and with an ever so small eye twitch, I walked away from the car. Fortunately, the “baby” ran right to me. I grabbed her, waved and left. I barely acknowledged the women who had loved my daughter all day long.

Even still, the kids are all fine. No snack? No lunch? No problem.

But, there was something about the way the pesto left the jar.

I cried.

If you just consider what we have to work with and how much we have to do…my insides felt so sticky. The more I tried to succeed, the more I failed. And while failure is so very human, it is also so very disappointing.

But still, failure is key.

Huddled masses of new people watched me fail. I had two choices: I could accept it or, I could deny it. I chose to admit it…hopeful that with acceptance came the 1/3rd cup of water that would rinse me clean.

I don’t feel quite so sticky anymore.

This morning, I ordered my son’s lunch. I remembered snacks. I am still human. I am still flawed.

And this new school year brought so much growth. Instead of trying to be perfect, I said, “Here I am, all sticky and imperfect! I forget my kids’ lunches and I’m sometimes a mess. I like you just the way you are. I hope you’ll like me just the way I am too.”

I promise I’ll forget snacks at least 45 more times until June.

I love my kids. My kids love me just the way I am.

And it only takes just the tiniest bit of water to wash ourselves clean.

Hello, my name is Bethany and I’m going to sometimes get it right. I’ll mostly get it wrong. I like you just the way you are. I hope you’ll like me just the way I am too.





That mom.

These last three weeks have been a test of something. I’m still trying to figure out what the universe is saying. I really am intently listening, but, her message is being drowned out by my perpetual yelling at my children.

We are at the tail end of the school year. We’re all proceeding as if we are in our last week of work after 50 years with the company. We’re physically present and emotionally in Aruba.

Every school morning has become a pained documentary about the world’s slowest and most mismanaged mile. School lunches have basically been reduced to a box of band-aids.

Like marathon runners in the home stretch, we are limping in and drenched in our own urine. We’re shutting the fuck down.

And, because of this, I have been “that mom” more often than usual. Which for me means, I’ve been “that mom” almost constantly.

I hate being “that mom”. But, they are being “those kids”. And this mom turns to THAT mom like a wildfire starts in the dry and brittle California hills.

We’re on the world’s most annoying roller coaster of all uphill and no sweet release of the easy and exhilarating down. Nothing has been easy.

I have fully given up my societal facade of decorum. “That mom” with the screaming two year old with only one shoe hanging sideways under her arm? Yep. Totally me. And, “that mom” carrying 3 backpacks and stomp-fuming toward the playground her children ran off to without telling her first? Nice to meet you!

And “that mom” running after her toddler who has developed a new obsession with parking lots…her thighs causing enough friction to create an electrical storm? Me again.

And, “that mom” trying to avoid after school play dates like the a middle school band concert? Also me.

And, “that mom” grounding everyone and then happily letting them go to parties and slumber parties because GET OUT OF HERE! Howdy.

And they are “those kids” with the constant whining and fighting and running off and the terrible case of doing whatever the hell we want-itis.

And I’m the one trying not to eat her young.

I know it’s the season of discontentment. They can taste summer. They are railing against structure and time constraints. They are done with school and not moving their bodies while the sun is shining through unopened school windows.

I can taste summer. I am railing against muffin baking and school fundraisers and kill-me-now packing lunches and not moving my body after a winter in which I ate my weight in bread and cheese and all of the buttered things.

I have to remind myself that the great thing about this time of perpetual deconstruction is that eventually we will hit rock bottom.

I love rock bottom.

That point at which the sand castle you built all year crumbles. The foundation is flat and you have no choice but to all look at each other and say, “Our home is gone. I love you. Let’s start again.”

We always rebuild.

I don’t know what our rock bottom this year will be. Will it be me completely flipping out at a Farmer’s Market when my 2 year old tries to steal someone’s goat? Will it be when I undoubtedly forget someone’s end of year school field trip and they vow to hate me forever?

I don’t know, but, I do know that when we sit surrounded by the ashes of this school year, we’ll come together like everyone does after defeat and complete devastation and the trauma of life and all of the hard things we share.

Like family. We may be “that mom” and “those kids”, but, we’re in this together.

I can’t wait to see next year’s castle. I hope it has an in-ground pool.





The scooter.

When something truly ridiculous happens, it often makes me feel better imagining that every parent must have a story that feels and sounds like the pilot episode of an HBO series.

I’ve had so many bad parenting moments, but, generally my laissez faire attitude about the job and the inevitable consequences of said attitude only extend to my immediate family. Until this week.

I give you my HBO pilot for Bad Parenting Moments – The Scooter Snafu. (Hey, call me sometime, HBO!)

On Sunday, I was perusing all of the school paperwork I’d neglected all week when I ran across this in the bulletin:

“MISSING SCOOTER – Did you accidentally bring home the wrong scooter with your child? A scooter with pink handlebars went home with the wrong family on April 10th. Was it you? Please contact the office with any information.”

And my first thought was, “Oh shit…I stole that kid’s scooter.” and my second thought was, “Oh shit…that was almost a month ago.” and my third thought was, “Oh. Shit.”

For about 6 weeks, we’d been giving eldest’s classmate a ride home after school. Four days a week, I’m wrangling 5 children into a minivan. To say that I handle it with grace would be a gigantic lie. I’m generally found on the front lawn of the school yelling at random children, mostly my own, saying, “WHERE IS (fill in the name of child currently under my care that is missing)?” and, “We have to go. Now. It’s time to go. Get in the car. We’re late.”

On April 10th, the scene was no different except that the child we were driving home informed me that he rode his scooter to school that morning. So, in my best impression of a flailing armed muppet, I ushered him quickly to the bike rack, had him point out his scooter, forcefully grabbed it, shoved it in my trunk and left.

When I dropped him off, he said, “Wait, this isn’t my scooter.” and I said, “You’re joking, right?” and he said, “No!” and I said, “OH no! Be sure you bring it back to school tomorrow!” and then I sped away toward my next school pick-up leaving a 2nd grader and a stolen scooter in my rearview mirror.

I then forgot all about the scooter.

Completely forgot the entire episode.

Until that fateful Sunday…

Oh. Shit.

So, I immediately e-mail the school administrator. “Oh heyyyy, I have some information about the stolen scooter.” and proceed to tell the story. And she returns my e-mail very quickly to tell me she’s so pleased there’s a lead because the family is very determined to get it back.

Gulp.

I then vow to replace the scooter if anything happened to it.

I then e-mailed the mother of the child we drop off and, long story short, have to remind her of that time I left her son with a scooter that wasn’t his outside of her place of business.

Thankfully, she had the scooter. In her trunk. Because she had forgotten as well. Because motherhood.

I e-mail the school, “Oh heyyyy, MYSTERY SOLVED!”. I try to make us look like Scooby Doo crime fighters and day savers instead of thieves and forgetful parents.

I then have to face the music the next day at school pick-up. I had to tell the mom I stole her daughter’s scooter.

The look on her face was a mix of surprise and confusion as I rattled off the tale of my abject laziness and dropping-of-the-ball-ness. It wasn’t until she said, “It didn’t look like you on the tape.” that I realized that there was surveillance of me stealing the scooter.

Right.

A bunch of school officials and these parents had been viewing this happen. I’m on tape stealing a scooter. At my children’s elementary school.

Let that sink in for a moment, folks.

The good news is, the scooter has been returned. The bad news is, I stole a little girl’s scooter from an elementary school.

Helpful pro tip: The mom uniform of black yoga pants, oversized black fleece and hat pulled over dirty hair makes you difficult to identify during a scooter thievery. The more you know.

Until next time, this is Bad Parenting Moments wishing you a lovely and theft-free day.





“You’re fine.”

After four children and several years of parenting, you could say my emotional responses to certain things have changed over time.

I know the particular sound a child makes when its foot is caught between two crib rails. I know the difference between hunger and boredom and I know, I know, I know when you are fake upset or fake crying.

I’m like a crying Yoda. The Navy Seal of crying. *Field of Dreams whisper* If you fake cry, I will not come.

Today my four year old was pretending to be very upset about something really, really, devastatingly unimportant. It was the usual wailing and coyote howls straight from the Tom Cruise school of over-acting.

I ignored her. That’s how I roll. I stirred my coffee very slowly and made no movement to rectify the obviously concocted plight.

She finally came downstairs and said, “MY STRIPED SHIRT IS DIRTY! IT IS MY FAVORITE! I CAN’T WEAR IT TODAY!” and then she melted into a puddle of tears and barely passible grief and I said, “You’re fine.”

Later today, a mock shriek of epic proportions came from the swing set. “MOMMY! MOMMMMMYYYYYYY!”

I continued to wash dishes.

She finally stomped in and said, “There is dirt on my feet!” and I said, “You’re fine.”

Four is a lot like really bad dinner theatre. The actors are really into it. This is their moment and they think that everyone filling the room is just as into it as they are. They often fail to notice that the filet looks like dog shit and that the attendees are hoping for a massive coronary, praying for a swift death. “Dear Lawd, please take me away from all this tragedy and terrible acting.”

Since she is my third 4 year old, I’m kind of like that friend you have who continues to lose really stupid bets. I’ve been here before and I’m not impressed by the terrible theatrics and yes, my filet will always look like dog shit.

A friend recently pointed me toward a magazine article that severely detailed the “10 things you should NEVER EVER say to your child!”. I found one of my stock answers, “You’re fine/ok” was among them.

And I had to excuse myself from the internet while I kicked a whole boat load of rocks.

Because,

1) Calm down, parenting magazines

but guess what, no biggie…

2) I’m fine.

and

3) She’s ok.

I tell my 4 year old that she is fine because she is and if that’s the kind of brash, harsh reality that I shouldn’t be exposing my children to then…oh well. I’m sure we’ll be fine.

It’s the same way I feel about lots of things people “should” you about. You should do this and you should do that and you should consider…” but, no thank you, I believe I will not.

I tell her that she is fine because she is and more than that, no matter what any magazine tells me my job is, I truly don’t believe my job is to make every tiny cardboard lizard into a terrible, ferocious fire breathing dragon. Sometimes, we do need to acknowledge that a dirty shirt isn’t the end of the world.

She fell off of the swing a few days ago. She was hurt and scared and a bit confused. The wind was knocked out of her. I ran over and scooped her up. She cried and buried her face in my hair. I said, “I’m here! I’m right here. I’m sorry you’re hurt. I love you.”

The world is like that. Humanity is like that. We don’t need our community to run to our aid over every teeny-tiny perceived threat to our psyche, but, when we’re really hurt, we really show up for each other. I like this model; recognizing the times that call for a soft shoulder while acknowledging that sometimes, that gnawing inconvenience is not the end of our world even if it may feel like it for a few minutes.

Someone is going to continue to stir their coffee when you complain about your shirt, but, they’re also going to scoop you up and love you when you fall.

And I’m going to continue to say that she’s fine when she is and I’m going to continue to love her through the hard stuff when she’s not.

I can live with that even if I’m doing it wrong.





And let it begin with me.

Hands Free
Scream Free
Cry Free
BPA Free
Dye Free
GMO Free

Suddenly, parenting has picked up New Hampshire’s much loved state motto – Live free or die.

I’ve never been a free gal. I’ve always bent more toward moderation – organic Cinnamon Toast Crunch and the like.

Philosophically, I think it’s that I don’t love people telling me what to do; unless they came out of my vagina.

But more to the point, I don’t like negotiating with terrorists. Big corporations using our perpetual, undying love and infinity deep abyss of paternal guilt prompting us to say, “Shut up and take my money!”. All of this information at our fingertips; an abundant garden. So, when you know more, you worry more. When you worry more, you fling money. And, those lines of common sense become blurred. Necessity versus frivolity. We don’t know how to weed our garden.

So, we’ve started using uncommon sense to dictate our parenting choices – thereby lumping us in to minuscule genres of micro-management; wary-eyed over whether the fruit snacks are Annie’s Organics or *satan voice* Store Brand. When, guess what? All fruit snacks are crap. And, that’s ok. I love crap. My kids LOVE crap. Fruit snacks just aren’t important.

There are $42 organic cotton onesies and a lot of sneering at those who can’t afford to love their babies the way “we” do. Us and them. Organic versus conventional. Cotton versus polyester. Choosy moms no longer choose Jif but, they do care very deeply about your choice of peanut butter.

It’s a broken record. And, I so desperately want to change it. To fling it against the bow of a new ship; The S.S. Doing The Best I Can.

Just last week, I scrambled outside of my car – trying to determine if the snack I was bringing to a play group was acceptable. The peanuts were unsalted, but, there was some highly suspect Honey Nut cereal in there. Oooooh, and, did I buy the reduced sugar craisins? It’s the end of the common sense world as we know it…and I feel, incredibly guilty. Incredibly caught up in the very nonsense I rail against.

And this is how it continues to work. The doubt seed of “I’m not doing everything I can.” helps fuel the uncommon sense. Change needs to start with me. I need to look at what I bring to the table with gratitude instead of fear. Even if it’s just a small, snack table and even if it’s some non-organic, store-brand, full sugar craisins.

Because, I really and truly am doing the best I can. And because, you can’t purchase peace of mind. That needs to, organically, stem from me.





Nobody nose the trouble I’ve seen.

This week was a humdinger with glorious, extended childhood illness and possible broken noses and forgetting my Grandmother’s birthday because I’m a real swell gal. It was also about 4 degrees all week which made things that much more tolerable because I’ve always wanted to lose several toes to frostbite. There were good points too. I’m thinking. I’m thinking.

I’ve spent more time on WebMD than I care to admit. And I’m pretty sure we all have rabies…or strep…or, the common cold. It’s too close to call. Instead of going to an actual doctor I’m going to continue to ask the internet for answers.

When our 2 year old, Evel Knievel, fell off the glider today (whilst under attentive parental supervision; calm down, the internet.), we did call the actual doctor because of all the blood and, OHmyGOD the nose that looked like Rocky 4. Yeah, the one with the Russian.

But, doctors aren’t generally as helpful as the internet. This one told us to stop screaming and to take a deep breath and to wait for the swelling to go down and to wait to bring her in. You want me to wait? Never you mind, practicing licensed professional, I’ll go consult the internet. So, my baby might have a broken nose or, Allergic Rhinitis OR there’s a Lego up there forming a new nasal cavity. Thank you, WebMD, I feel much better now. On top of that is my suspicion that when I bring her in tomorrow with a giant, swollen nose and a wilting 3 year old doing her best impression of a sack of wet, sick cats, I’m pretty sure I’ll need to use my one phone call from prison to find more bail money. Do they take Box Tops?

I feel particularly guilty about all of this because yesterday I couldn’t stand the lot of them. I was over the runny noses and the feverish whining for popsicles we didn’t have and my reservoir of mother’s sympathy had turned from Florence Nightingale to Nurse Ratched. It’s been a long winter and the tunnel to Spring looked as dark and scary as my birth canal.

So, I fled the house leaving a trail of dust from the bra I hadn’t bothered to put on in weeks. After some cheese dip, two margaritas and conversation with someone tall enough to ride all the rides, I felt like a new woman. I came home ready to care about people again; feeling great because I no longer felt like a sociopath. Thank you, Tequila.

I guess there is no real moral to this week’s story except that when you try extra hard to correct all of the things you feel guilty about, one of two things inevitably happens; everything gets better or, it gets worse.

1) I called my grandmother to apologize for being 10 and forgetting her birthday. Just as I was about to get out my heartfelt apology, my husband came running in with Rocky Balboa. I shouted into the phone, “OH SHIT! I HAVE TO GO.” and, I hung up on her. Happy Birthday, Grandma.

2) I made cookies for the kids so they would remember that in addition to being an evil, unsympathetic shrew, I also make delicious cookies. I left the cookies in the oven and now the raccoons eating their charred remains will surely die of cancer.

3) When I went out with my friend, I started crying when I bit into a chimichanga that tasted like one I once had in a strip mall in Los Angeles. For a good time call…someone other than me.

4) No good deed goes unpunished and no bad deed does either. So basically, just pull up a chair and address all prison mail to me as follows: BPM aka B-Shank.

Until next week or, until my bail hearing, this is Bad Parenting Moments saying, “Hey there warrior, you’re doing a better job than I am. That may not be saying much, but, congratulations all the same.”





Grace is the new black.

I’ve never aligned myself with any school of parenting. It’s just too tedious – to try and cram yourself into every tiny, open orifice, like that guy on Spring Break.

I’m not organic enough to qualify for much more than the frequent flyer club at Burger King. I turn the crowns into crafty shit though…so, I’ll pass on your sincere yet ill-timed childhood diabetes lecture to the next patron in line.

I admit, I’ve placed my child in car seats with the puffy coat on, but, I’ve also taken it off before rolling toward our next late appointment. All of us miserable either way – throwing granola and tantrums as we pull into the parking lot 20 minutes late to a local class we’ve undoubtedly overpaid for. But, don’t worry about my dedication to timeliness. Next week, I’ll roll to a near stop by the door 15 minutes early. It all works out in the end.

And, I promise, I’m not angry because you have something important to say or because you know something that could be of sincere use to me or because you’re a safety girl for car seats instead of condoms.

It’s not what you say, but, how you say it. And just like content of the soul equals the content of your character, the content of your assumptions equal the rate at which my eyes move into the slanted, death stare of my people – gently willing you to please, please stop. Please stop.

There is no one who loves my children more than I do. Not you. Not you. No, not you either. I will kill and steal and knock over your Lego tower. And, I’d be happy to hear your opinion on the subject, but, no one asked you. These are not your children. Lady Justice is kind and knowing because she makes sure I know nothing about your children either. It’s best this way – the general observance of humility. How we choose to turn our focus in instead of pushing out knowledge in the name of love dressed as sanctimony.

I know that hurts to hear because best intentions are the bridges we burn ourselves on.

And it’s not so much that I have a cross to bear, but, that you want to bear one for me; picking up my slack, while you instruct me and while your children watch television…hey, what do you know, just like mine.

We’re really not that different and, it’s not that we can’t learn from each other because we can and we do when it’s said with love and prefaced with a soft shoulder – if someone lost comes crying. But, remember, not all those who wander are lost – J.R.R. Tolkien wrote that. He was the shit. I think that’s something we can all agree on.

It wouldn’t hurt to extend some grace. Because brother; because sister…trust me, it all works out in the end.