Tag Archives: parenting

B.S. Detector

A rectal thermometer.

That was the recommendation when I asked my friends for a good B.S. detector that would let me know if my kids were faking sick.

“Threaten the rectal thermometer and they will skedaddle off to school.”

Yesterday, I had to wake Aidan from a sound sleep to get ready for school. “IT’S MONDAY? I’M TOO TIRED! I WANT TO STAY IN BED!” (That was Aidan. Although I had a similar tantrum a half hour earlier. Tom has been out of town for the past five days, I am pooped.) I drag Aidan’s butt downstairs and sit him in front of a bowl of cereal. He insists that his stomach hurts and that he is way too tired to do anything. I check, and there’s no fever. I tell him he’s going to school. He starts a litany of every time I didn’t believe he was sick or hurt when he really was.

“Remember when I told you my stomach hurt and you told me to eat a Tums and I threw up in on the rug? And do you remember when I said my foot hurt in my ice skates and you made me skate and my ankle had blisters and I was bleeding? And do you remember…” Okay, punk. I got your point. Go back to bed. No TV. No video games. Sleep, books and coloring.

One hour later, the kid comes down and whines how there is nothing to do and starts spinning on my office chair. “Why can’t I play Lego or watch TV? This is so booooooooooring!”

I called B.S., packed him up and brought him to school where he wouldn’t be so bored.

Fast forward to 3 o’clock. Aidan runs out of school, tackles his buddies and heads off to a friend’s house while I get ready to help shuttle our Girl Scout troop off to a field trip. All but one of our 27 girls are assembled outside waiting to caravan to the Nature Center. The missing kid: mine. So we wait. And wait. And wait.  (Eileen is notorious for being unorganized and disheveled, so packing up her backpack can be an ordeal.) My blood starts to boil and I am losing my patience. Ten minutes go by and she finally hops out of the school, sobbing, “I fell and hurt my ankle!”

“Oh, you’re fine,” says the B.S. detector.

“It REALLY hurts! I just want to go home!”

I clench my teeth and reply, “I have a car full of girls that I am driving to this field trip that we are running late for. We are going. I have ice in the car for your snacks that we will put on your ankle.”

At this point, my friend and co-leader Maureen steps in as the Nice Caring Mom that I should have been in that moment. “Okay, let’s take off the extra weight,” she says calmly as she removes my kid’s backpack. “Then let’s get you off of your feet,” and she heroically picks up my kid like the scene from An Officer and a Gentleman. (Well, except for the part where Richard Gere has a gerbil up his butt.)

“Um, thanks Maureen,” I mumble. “You can just bring her to the curb and I’ll pull the van up.”

“Leave her by the curb? I got this.” And she walks down the block, carrying Eileen in her arms.

Really? I couldn’t do that for my own kid? Was the Nature Center going to explode if we were five minutes late? Couldn’t I relate to a hurt ankle considering that I just did the same thing a few weeks ago? Where do I sign up for Compassion Lessons? Why do I ask so many questions?

I suck. I should be fired.

We get to the Nature Center that involved a hike, so Eileen and I sat that part out. She then hopped around for the rest of the event and I whisked her off to her four-hour play practice while she ate a PB&J in the car. Fortunately, another Nice Caring Mom noticed her hopping into rehearsal and offered to run home and bring back crutches. So, Eileen hobbled through the rehearsal, three costume changes and a few dance numbers — tripping her fellow cast-mates with her serious crutch skills. She falls into pieces during the car ride home over the disappointment of hurting herself right before the play opens.

This morning, it was still painful for her to stand. I resist the urge to say, “Are you sure?” and bring her to the doc for x-rays. She has a sprain and needs to stay on crutches until it doesn’t hurt. I joked (kinda) with the doctor about injecting her with steroid or cortisone so she can be crutch-free for the play this weekend. For some reason, he said no. She’ll still be able to perform on crutches, but it definitely impedes any Jazz Hand movements.

My poor kid.

Whoever coined the phrase “Break a leg!” before a show should have a crutch shoved up his keyster. Like a rectal thermometer.

If you liked this post about my broken Bullshit Detector, then you’ll love this past post about my husband’s kidney stones!


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Whiz Kids


2007: Aidan 5, Eileen 7

“Is it appropriate for Aidan to be peeing in a box?” Eileen asks/smirks, knowing damn well the answer.

“What are you saying?”

“He’s peeing in the middle of the basement into a shoebox.” Her eyes light up with the thrill of the tattle. I head downstairs to find Aidan proudly walking out of the bathroom holding a wet shoebox and wrapping paper tube.

“Hey mom,” he says. “I just invented a pee machine. You put your peanuts* into this tube and shoot your pee down into this box. It’s good for when you are in the car and really need to pee. Don’t worry, I washed it out in the bathroom.”

I mumble something about germs, head back upstairs and need my own pee machine from laughing so hard. And wouldn’t you know it? The following weekend, he had a pee emergency and had to make do with a Diet Coke bottle. Not nearly as fun, but made for plenty of lemonade jokes.

*For years, Aidan thought that Penis = Peanuts and we did not correct him. And we also let Eileen think that Nobles was the correct name for Nipples. These code names came in very handy in many a public place.”Mom, you can totally see your nobles poking out.” “Mom, this ride hurts my peanuts!”


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“MOOOOOOM!!!!!,” I hear from the other room, “Aidan has camel toe!”

I don’t even want to know.

1) Did he figured out how to tuck his privates into his arse? (Silence of the Lambs)

2) Where the hell did Eileen learn that phrase? Probably Tom letting them watch Family Guy again.

I take a deep breath, enter the room and find Aidan innocently wearing my flip-flops with socks.
Shame on me!


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Another Cup Runneth Over

I have a love/hate relationship with the American Girl’s Puberty Book.  Being the oldest child, I didn’t have a sister to fill me on all the pubes, boobs and dudes. It didn’t help matters that I was such a tomboy so I was completely mortified by the appearance of any little knobs. (For the record, things kind of stopped there anyway. Be careful what you wish for!)

Anyway, I think I asked my poor mom something about periods and magically, some goofy paperback proclaiming to know everything about my body appeared on my bed. Kind of like when the training bras appeared on my bed.  I vowed that when I was Cool Mom, I would be so open with my daughter that there would be an  Afterschool Special based on my approachable approach.

All it took was one doctor appointment. The doc asked Eileen if she knew what puberty was, and my daughter kind of had a glazed look over her face, but nodded “yes.”  Then the doc went gushing on about girls stuff and Eileen just sat there and nodded.  The next day, she found the American Girl “The Body Book for Girls” that I had just got back after loaning it to another friend. So I did what I had always planned on doing, gave her the book and choked out, “Feel free to ask me any questions.”

She poured over the book. It had illustrations about how to insert a tampon. Explained B.O., blackheads, bad breath and bras.  I didn’t see her for hours. Finally at bedtime, Cool Mom enters her room and asks, “So do you have any questions about any of this stuff? I know it might be a little overwhelming, but I’ve been through it already.”

“Well, yes Mom, I do have a question for you.”

Oh Lord, please help me not mess her up for the rest of her life with my answer.

“What do you recommend, tampons or pads?”

So we had a little “talk” and everything that I mentioned, the book contradicted. Awesome! Maybe there’s hope that I really haven’t gone through puberty and the boobs will come! I did show her how to put a pad into her underwear. A lesson that my best friend in high school did not receive when she put the sticky side to herself and all the contents leaked onto her uniform skirt. YOUCH!!!!!  Not sure she really had a Brazilian in mind when she made that bad decision.

So Eileen asks if we can go bra shopping and also pick up some pads so she will be prepared. Sure, no problem. That will be easy enough since the front of the bra will have to be exactly like the back: SHE HAS NOTHING GOING ON! If it weren’t for her belly button, you couldn’t tell if she was facing forward or backwards. Nonetheless, I am really proud of her for being more mature about the subject than I am.

I happened to go to Walmart that night and return with my recommendation (pads) and a simple little training bra that looks like a cami cut in half.  Again, I put it on the end of her bed while she is sleeping. (Really, why break a family tradition at this point?)

The next morning at 6:30 am, Eileen appears at my side of the bed. “Mom. Mom. Mom. I don’t think this bra provides enough support.”

For what? A sunken treasure chest? A carpenter’s dream?

She explains that she really wanted the cute patterned bras that have little padded cups.

“Honey, I am sorry, but you don’t need that yet. And if you wore it to school with a fitted shirt, you will look like you woke up and had boobs. I have prayed for that since I was 16 and it just doesn’t work that way.”

She left and snuck a few pads into her backpack for “just in case.” Ironically, the book is now “missing.” Maybe I’ll check the end of my bed.

Click here to read about Aidan’s Cup Runneth Over…


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After wiping Aidan’s ass, the two of us were looking at our reflections in the mirror while we scrubbed feces from our hands. “Mom, it’s you and me forever,” he whispers, “for as long as I poop.”


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Eileen loves hamsters. We have two furry friends that she licks on a regular basis. So, when asked to watch one of her BFF’s rodents for a long weekend, she was thrilled. Upon the hand-off, the mom pulls me aside and says, “Just a heads up that Cutie Pie has a tumor on its leg. I just didn’t want you to freak out. She gets around just fine, so we are not worried about it.”  Gotcha. Have a great trip.

Two days later, I wake up to: “MOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!! Cutie Pie is bleeding all over the place!!!!!!!!” Eileen is sobbing at side of my bed.

I run to the cage and find that Cutie Pie tried to CHEW OFF THE NASTY GROWTH on her leg. (Even as disgusted as I am with my muffin top, I would never attempt to gnaw it off. Mmm. Muffins… I digress.) Anyway, there she is with this gaping hole in her little leg with blood all over the wood chips. I am a little queasy at this point.

“Mom. Mom. Mom. What do we do? My friend will be devastated!”

So I Google “hamsters with bleeding tumors” which displays more grotesque pictures of hairy little animals with open wounds. One site recommends cleaning the hamster and stopping the bleeding with olive oil. I take the poor thing out of her cage, dunk her in water and apply olive oil with a Q-tip onto her sore while simultaneously praying and gagging.  (Wonder if there is a market for pet Baptisms?) Cutie Pie looks at me with her big brown eyes as if saying, “What the hell are you doing? Frying me up for breakfast?” She hobbles back into her cage, soaking wet in water and I assure Eileen that everything is going to be okay.

Two hours later: “MOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!! Cutie Pie is dead!!!!!!!!”

Are you friggin’ kidding me? I try — unsuccessfully — to calm Eileen down. Explain that Cutie Pie is in Heaven and that she was loved right up until the end. She is sick about her friend’s reaction that the hamster died on our watch. And not just a plop and drop. A full hari kari.

I send Eileen away, grab a little coffee tin, line it with napkins and place Cutie Pie good side up just in case her friend peaks. Hmm. Okay, scrap the Baptism idea and replace with “King’s Groom and Tomb.”


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Four Wheeling Accident

God Bless the PTA for a hosting an all-school roller skating party on a half-day of school. It seems like my people are always off of school. So,  I take the kids to the rink and rent two pairs of skates. “Come on mom, aren’t you going to skate?” asks Eileen. “Sure, what the heck, give me a pair, too,” replies Fun Mom.

Please note that I haven’t skated since 8th grade and it wasn’t pretty then either. And I never bought into that whole roller blading thing in the 90s either. My girlfriends and I rented “blades” one Sunday afternoon along Lake Michigan and barely escaped with our lives. One brave soul stopped herself from rolling into oncoming traffic by wrapping herself around a newspaper box. She hit it so hard that the damn box actually started to spin around the pole that it was chained to! Never again… until now.

I look around and there aren’t many other moms out on the rink. Okay, here comes Fun Mom, shuffling around the rink with kindergarteners speeding past me. I make my way around twice, slow down to help Aidan and BAM! I fall exactly on my tailbone and started seeing Tweety Bird fly around my head while trying to keep an F-bomb in my mouth. Two roller rink ladies help me up and I promptly return my skates — all with a happy smile on my face. (Like I need my ass to swell any bigger. Why couldn’t I fall on my boobs?)  I get some ice from the concessions stand, fill out a form that says that it was my own damn fault that I busted my rump, and take a seat among the Smart Moms who had enough sense to skip skating. I spend the next hour faking that I am a very pleasant person despite leaning on one butt cheek like I have ‘roids.

We leave the rink to go to Eileen’s haircut. As I get into the van, I unzip my jeans, shove the ice right onto my crack, and say a little prayer that I won’t get pulled over. As we’re walking into the salon, my butt is so numb, that I don’t realize that the complete backside of my jeans is drenched. “It looks like I wet my pants!” I say to the kids.

“Huh,” shrugs Aidan. “I didn’t know that girls pee with their butts.”

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Aidan’s Cup Runneth Over

So baseball season is upon us and the kids are playing catcher this year which only means one thing: lots of errant balls! Coach (husband) instructs the parents to get all their boys cups for protection.

So I take the kids to Dick’s (insert proper jock strap joke here) Sporting Goods for my first cup shopping experience. I try to explain to Aidan what this contraption is and how it will protect his privates during a game. He then takes this opportunity to insert “PENIS” into every comment and question while we are perusing the baseball section.

“So mom, do you think this green one will look good on my PENIS?”

“Hey, do you think the one over here will fit over my PENIS?”

“Why does this say pee-wee size? Is that good for my PENIS?”

“Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Those over there must be for boys with big PENISES.” (Okay, gotta admit that finally catches my attention. Who knew there were so many sizes for so many endowments? The larger they got, the more they reminded me of Jason masks. Or of my husband’s sleep apnea mask.)

Straps, shorts, sliding pads, briefs… the options were dizzying and I found myself squeezing the cups to see if the gel pads really were more cozy than the rubber option. Of course, I get busted by Aidan as he is lying in the aisle laughing his PENIS off.

I grab a $25 testicle festival and get the hell out of there.


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