I Just Want To Be Alone!

Luke: “Mom, will you help me make a sign for my bedroom door?”
Me: “If I can coordinate the colors to match your bedroom and mount it on card stock?”
Luke: “What does that mean.”
Me: “It means I’ll help you if you let me make it pretty.”
Luke: “No!”
Me: “Then, no. I won’t help you.”
Luke: “Ok, fine. But, not too pretty.”
Me: “Deal.”
I didn’t realized at the time that I had just agreed to make a sign that had the sole purpose and intent of keeping ME out of his bedroom. However, I didn’t fret over it for too long because truth be told, I appreciate space and privacy just as much as my five-year-old son. Maybe more…

This is one of many examples of why I am delighted to be a contributing author in the soon to be released book, I Just Want To Be Alone.

Jen of People I Want To Punch In The Throat is a blogger that people love to love and love to hate, depending on who’s receiving the aforementioned throat punch. Last year, she released the wildly successful precursor to this book- a hilarious view of motherhood entitled I Just Want To Pee Alone. However, when Jen asked who would like to take part in a second volume which was to include the topic of husbands I raised both hands and a foot. 

You may have read the bit of husband bashing I wrote about in “You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth” last year, but something tells me you’ll have my back once again after reading my chapter, “Rehearsal Dinner Roofie.” 

Loripalooza Valentine’s Day Edition: Love Hurts

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again. I’m not big on romance. I don’t want anyone to gaze endearingly into my eyes unless they have challenged me aloud by shouting, “Staring contest!”

Valentine’s day for the husband and I involves zero expectations. It isn’t like Christmas when we say we’re going to keep our gift exchange low key, then both of us secretly and simultaneously do the opposite. We literally don’t observe it and I LOVE that. 

Our son on the other hand is a hopeless romantic. 

“I love valentime’s day,” he tells me. 

“What do you love about it?”

“Because it’s all about love. I can’t wait until me and my wife live here without you and Dad.”

“Why can’t your Dad and I stay here. This is our house, too.”

“Mom, you have your own husband. You need your own place.”

I ran up the stairs and before slamming my bedroom door I shouted, “I hate you! You’re not even my real kid!!!” 

OK I didn’t actually say that, (to his face) but lately he’s been obsessed with talking about his wife and I’d probably be more concerned if it weren’t for the fact that his wife is a stuffed dog. 

It makes absolutely no sense, but a few weeks ago he announced that he had a wife and that she was coming for dinner. She has been at the table for every family meal since then. She’s proving to be a persistent gal.  

I do my best to ignore it when he talks about her, but this week he insisted on taking her to school for show and tell. Believe me I tried, but there was no talking him out of it. 

When I picked him up from school his teachers were very amused. They had been hearing great things about his wife for weeks, so naturally they were excited to finally meet her. 

On the ride home I said, “How was school?”

“It was good,” he said nonchalantly, “except that Owen punched my wife.”

I spit coffee all over my steering wheel as I guffawed with laughter. 

“Mom, it isn’t funny.”

Of course it wasn’t. There’s nothing funny about domestic abuse. BUT IT WAS because his wife is a stuffed pug. I don’t even mind admitting that I’ve punched her a couple of times, myself. She’s mouthy. 

Thankfully, I’m friends with Owen’s Mom. When we got home I sent her a text explaining what had gone down and to let her know that her son was a wife beater. No big deal. Thankfully, I had relocated myself to the office where I was pretending to check my email so Luke couldn’t hear me laughing. Owen’s Mom responded back with, “Tell your son to keep his wife at home from now on unless she wants to get punched again.”

The mere image of his Pre-K classroom being rocked by such a scandal had me laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face and I could barely catch my breath. 

They grow up fast in Brentwood, TN. 

How do teachers manage to keep it together? I bet it’s alcohol. 

Happy Valentine’s day!!

How To Beat The Winter Weather Blues

“Winter Weather Blues” is my son’s nickname.

I’m kidding. 
Sort of.
It’s cold and dreary outside. If you’re like me, (and if you aren’t you probably wish you were) then you’re doing your very best to keep your family, your dog, and yourself from crossing the line from seasonally affected to seasonally afflicted. 

I’m pretty certain I read somewhere that Cabin Fever is more contagious than Herpes. 

Here are some ways we’re avoiding it at our happy home. 
Spend two hours turning a cardboard box into a crappy robot that your son will be totally ashamed of.
Get lost in a sea of arts and crafts. You’ll be feeling very mentally healthy when after a couple hours of this your son asks, “Can we do something fun?” 
Now, if you have the desire to respond with, “Like give you a black eye?” then step away from the scissors and the hot glue and try something else.
You always hear people say “Take time for yourself.” These people are stupid and usually don’t have kids, but we all need something to hit that won’t send us to jail. Just know that while you’re taking time to let off steam there will be at least one unsanctioned bathroom experiment going on behind your back. That’s why it’s so important to make those minutes count. 

Finally, don’t neglect your pet. If you notice your dog is feeling down, then give them a self-esteem boost with a little dental hygiene. He/she will be thrilled about it, not to mention SUPER cooperative. 

I hope these ideas have been helpful. If they haven’t, then feel free to jump off a bridge.

What are you doing to stay sane this winter? I’d love to hear your coping skills, I mean ideas.

(Barely) Surviving The Polar Vortex of 2014

I’m writing to you from a place called Monkey Joe’s. It’s a place where kids can run wild with reckless abandon while their parents sit in massage chairs and use the free wifi to watch episodes of Breaking Bad on their laptops. 

I’m thankful for this place because there aren’t THAT many at-home, indoor activities I can come up with. I thought there were. I was wrong. 

Earlier this morning Luke asked me to help him make a jet out of a cardboard box. I said, “Of course.” 

Two hours later we were both crying. 

He complained that I cut the holes in the wrong places and that his whole body wouldn’t fit into it. 

“That was NEVER a possibility!” I cried.

“Dad could make it work,” he said.

“Ok, look. I can attach something to the bottom of it so your legs don’t show.”

A short time later I noticed that our Yorkie, Baxter had retreated to a safe place- free from box cutters, hot glue and burlap. I should have done the same.

I’m no engineer, but I was pretty proud of the finished product. It had wings on either side. There were handles on the top for him to maneuver the jet from inside (I crafted them from pipe cleaners, dammit!!). It had two exhaust pipe thingies made from toilet paper rolls that stuck out of the back. Yes, the eye holes were too far apart, but I cut exactly where he had traced them. The final addition was the fabric that hung down to cover his legs, keeping him completely concealed in his “jet.” 

Did he say, “Gee thanks, Mom!” or “I love it!”


His response was, “I can’t wear a jet with a skirt on it! I’m not a girl.”

I was done. 

“Get dressed. Arts and crafts are over,” I said. “We’re going to Monkey Joes.”

Forget the Polar Vortex. I needed a massage and some grown up TV shows.


A Five-Year-Old’s First Impression Of The #DMV

Taking my son with me to the DMV was not my idea of fun, but given that school was closed due to snow I had no other choice. 

Upon immediately walking in the door Luke stated, “It smells like the doctor, but worse!”

“Luke, please keep your voice down.”

“Okay, okay, but where are the comfortable chairs?”

“Listen to me, Lucas. Just please sit here and be quiet. These are the only chairs they have.”

“They don’t have couches?”

“No, they don’t. Here, play with my iPad.”

“I sure wish that baby would hush up. Why does everybody look so angry?”

Through gritted teeth I said, “Lucas Wescott, I will take the iPad away if you don’t keep your voice down. And, everyone looks so angry because no one wants to be here.”

He responded with a sigh. “Yes, MA’AM,” before mumbling, “Sure am glad that baby left.”

After an hour and a half more passed it was finally my turn.
“Come on, Luke. They finally called my name,” I said as we walked past a large man with overalls and a mullet.

“Fank goodness because it just started smelling WAY worser.”
Luke sat on the floor while I talked to the surprisingly cheerful attendant. She asked me to step in front of the blue screen to have my picture taken. 
Luke scrambled up as fast as he could. “I want to be in it. Let me be in it, too!! Please!!”
The attendant told Luke, “Ok, why don’t you stand here in front of your Mom.” Then, she whispered to me, “He won’t be in it. It’s just a head shot.” 

I whispered back, “You don’t know my kid.”
She counted to five just as she said she would and at that very moment Luke jumped into the air shouting, “Cheese!”
“Um, let’s take another photo, Mrs. Wescott,” she said. 
This time Luke sat on the floor while I had my photo taken with what will probably be the angriest expression the Williamson County DMV has ever seen. The faces of rage worn on the burly men waiting to get their driver’s licenses re-instated had nothing on my angry mug. 
I am eagerly anticipating receiving my new license in the mail. 

This, ladies and gentlemen is why you should never take a five-year-old to the DMV.

The End Of My Motherly Rope

Luke missed several days of school this week due to having strep throat. It goes without saying, but he and I spent A LOT of time together. Most Some of the time was great. We snuggled and read books, but there were a few moments I’d like to forget. 

Yesterday morning I was laying in bed reading a book. 

I know. I know. To a child, a mother sitting down to read a book by herself is the universal symbol for “What can I break, or set on fire?” Clearly, I wasn’t thinking.

Luke casually walked into my bedroom and said, “I blew my nose just like you asked me to.”

There was something in his voice that struck me as odd…

“Well, I didn’t hear you blow your nose. Are you sure you didn’t just flush the commode to make me think that you blew your nose?”

“Well, there wasn’t any toilet paper on the roll, so I used Q-Tips BECAUSE I’M SMART IN MY BRAIN! Oh, but they’re stuck in the potty because they wouldn’t flush down.” And he skipped away.

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How I Mastered Parenting Forever Until I Didn’t

So when I left off last week, my five-year-old son had been in trouble for using naughty words. His excuse for using those words was that he didn’t know enough Spanish and therefore HAD to use them. 

This morning a perfect opportunity opened up for us to rehash this discussion, which was a good thing. I hadn’t felt that I had really gotten through to him in our previous discussion and had been hoping for a chance to broach the subject again in an organic way, so as not to alert his brain that he was being lectured. He’s a smart kid and if he gets the impression that he’s in trouble, then he will shut down and just say what he thinks I want to hear.

Side note: Is it even possible to “get through” to a five-year-old boy? Probably not, but I tried anyway and this is how it went.

Luke: Mom, I just feel like I’m going to be on the naughty list forever.

Me: What makes you think you’re on the naughty list?

Luke: Because I use bad words EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Me: Why do you think you need to use bad words when you know all sorts of big, smart words?

Luke: Because they help me talk like I feel when I say them.

Me: Hmmm, I have an idea. Let’s make a list of your bad words and come up with other things you can say that mean the same thing, but sound nicer?

Luke: Oh Mom, you’re talking like an old man.

Me: Okay, instead of saying “stupid” what could you say instead?

Luke: Oooh, I know. I could say, “You’re fired!”

Me: Great! Okay, what about the word “hate?” That’s a really bad one. What could we say instead of that?

Luke: I’m done talking about this. Can I have a snack?

Me: No. Not until we finish. Instead of saying, “I hate this,” what could you say?

Luke: I guess I could just say somefing like, “I don’t want to be here!”

Me: Okay, great. Now let’s do one more. Instead of saying “shut up” what is something else you could say. 

Luke: You never got me a snack.

Me: That’s because we aren’t finished. Now, this is the last one. Instead of saying “shut up” you could say‚Ķ

Luke: Okay. Okay. I could just say, “Hey, I don’t want to talk about this.”

Me: That’s perfect! So next time you get angry instead of using those bad words you can use the nicer words and I will still know how you feel. I’m so proud of you. 

I get up and leave the room to get him the snack I had promised when I hear him mumble, “I don’t want to be here. She is SO fired.”

Wait. Was that progress? 

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Why My Son Uses Bad Words: A Luke-ism

Today was a rough behavior day at our house. It was the kind of day when a certain five-year-old boy lost one privilege after another until he was basically stripped of every Lego, battery operated device, and toy he had. All he had access to was paper, crayons, and his books. 

I settled in to do a little writing while Luke busied himself with the only things he had available. 

Ten minutes later he was back at my side complaining of being bored. “I’m tired of coloring. Can I have a toy back?”

“No. Go read a book.”

“I can’t read.”

Dammit. I hate when my kid’s punishment punishes me, too.

I closed my laptop and told him to go pick out a few books for me to read to him. He snuggled up beside me on the couch as I opened the first book.

“Mom,” he said. “Do you know why I use bad words sometimes?”

“No. Why?”

“It’s because I don’t know enough Spanish.”

Is Your Kid Stingy With Vegetables? (Video)

I’m not one of those people who think it’s funny to make their kids cry and post it on Youtube, but this was ridiculous. 

A couple of nights ago I was attempting to make a broccoli casserole for dinner, which devastated Luke because he prefers it “cold” (raw). 

(Having trouble viewing this on your mobile device? 
http://youtu.be/iIMJsf60MwI )

After showing him the video I could tell he was a little embarrassed, which was good. He admitted that it was silly to be so upset when he clearly had his own enormous bowl of raw broccoli. That still didn’t stop him from getting the last word.

“Sure wish you hadn’t ruined all that cold broccoli.”

Stingy gut.