The Mischief of Minions

Kids, Family, Insanity…

My Mommy Creed


I hereby solemnly swear:

  • My kids will not get the battery-powered SUV that the neighbor kids have. If they are lucky, they will be allowed to ride in the real one. Children need to run and move, not have one more excuse to sit on their bums;
  • I will not purchase the tasty and gooey except under rare circumstance: if my kids want food with a half-life greater than most celebrities they will have to buy it themselves or convince Gramma to do so;
  • I will not buy a trampoline (mainly to keep the peace) but will let my kids jump on yours. Kids will jump off everything anyway, at least in this case there is the chance they will bounce when they fall;
  • If we can afford it and they wish to try it, I will not keep my children from trying brownies, scouts, etc. I don’t want to pass on my 40 year resentments;
  • I won’t buy every toy in the world for my kids, knowing the best games come out of their curious minds;
  • I will never not hug and kiss my kids, even when they are sticky and gross and wholly unappealing;
  • I will make my children try “weird” foods so they don’t lose whole worlds of culinary opportunity;
  • I will never stop trying to live up to the title of “mom,” knowing it is a blessing and a privilege and not a right.
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Blessings


I dedicate this to the Mamamash and a moment of much-needed perspective.

Happiness and peace be yours as gratitude is mine.

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Beluga This!


Sometimes, as a parent, I think my expectations are a little unrealistic – and further, if they weren’t, I’d never leave the house with my children.

In my head, I had a picture of my toddler, mouth agape with joy at her first trip to an aquarium. I had visions of blissful delight as she watched the dolphin show, and imagined the sounds of her chuckles at the antics of penguins.

I shut out the potential for meltdown, tantrums and general disinterest. I opted not to consider her finding the crack on the floor more interesting than the dolphins, or that her piercing scream would echo so stunningly right off the plastic arctic display exhibit from which we had to forcibly extricate her.

But she did really dig the belugas. I think that saved it for me. Because, much like childbirth, at the end of the day, it is focusing on the positives that counts, and keeps us mostly sane.

Well, that and Advil.

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Mommy Rants


I am a well-intentioned, though occasionally haphazard mum.  I am a working mom, and when I get home from work, I typically don’t even get to change out of my work clothes before I am on the floor playing with the minions.  Dinner is frequently random bits of things I know they will eat, shoved into the little time I have with them.  I have no shame and will sing to my child in public and make funny faces if it will keep them amused and/or keep them from screaming.  I am not above bribery.  My kids will follow the 5-10 second rule, and yes, I admit, I did not hand-wash bottles once I found out the dishwasher did a mostly good job of sanitizing.   I lose track of baby bottles all the time, only to find my son walking through a room with one he found under a sofa, trying to suck down curdled milk.  My house is inadequately child-proofed by most standards (including my own) and childcare and parenting on the whole in my house is a bit of an adventure.

I admit all of that.  I love my children to death, and they are my world, but June Cleaver I am not.

One more thing to Child-Proof

Basically, I am  TOTALLY imperfect pretty much all the time.  I do most things wrong so on the whole,  I try not to judge.  But there are a few things that drive me NUTS:

  • Mothers who have 20 bottles of sanitizer on them at all times but don’t put a hat on a baby in the sun when the poor things are squinting like moles and frying like eggs;
  • Mothers who won’t look up from their iPhones, Smartphones, etc. to respond to their children every now and then;
  • Moms that complain about how ill-behaved other children are but are too busy socializing to even keep an eye on their own;
  • Children that are beautifully wrapped in complex ribbons and bows instead of comfy play clothes at the playground;
  • Mothers that sit there and do nothing when their older children are running over the smaller ones on slides and ignore your meaningful glares entirely;
  • Mothers that manage to look like a million bucks at all times and somehow magically avoid all the kiddie goo I seem to be forever covered in (I admit this is really complete jealousy);
  • Moms that give ME superior looks because I DO have baby goo spread all over my shoulder and they are somehow pristine;
  • Mom’s that go a little overboard with the Baby Einstein thing;
  • Moms that won’t give their kids 20 feet of distance and allow them to run around and explore a bit in a safe place, knowing that yes, the world is full of danger but part of being a child is running and being crazy and learning about their environment.

There are probably more that I could include, but they are probably so horribly stupid and immature that I would not admit them publicly, and will keep them to myself out of fear of a good lynching or at least, boisterous objection.

What Most Bothers You???

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Creative Naptime


Bribed with a special trip to the movies last weekend, my daughter, for once, agreed to go to her room and take a nap. She went quietly – even meekly – up to her room to sleep.

Checking on her, we found this:

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Not only had she put on her pajamas at 2pm (something we fight to get her to do at night), but also she made herself a bed on the floor and a sleeping bag for each and every stuffed animal she owns! Every blanket, every pillow, was carefully assigned to one of her plush, fuzzy friends.

Notably, despite these elaborate machinations, the kid never did sleep. She tried though…and made me laugh in the process. She earned the movie.

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The 3-year-old Babysitter


My 3-year-old daughter occasionally out-mothers her mother. She loves (most of the time, anyway) to play with her little brother.

Last night, she decided to babysit him. I walked into the room to this:

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The baby seemed perfectly content to be buried in toys (of which we have far too many) and play while his big sister looked on fondly.

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Yes, someone is going to have to clean up this mess: probably me. But I will take this instance of pure love and caring between the two any day.
She really is a good big sister.

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Minions of the 4-legged variety


We are blessed with much fun and laughter in our house: pre-baby, and even pre-marriage, we brought in a crazy pug puppy, and he has been making us laugh ever since.

He was, truly, my first baby, all 2 pounds (now 20) of him. If you aren’t familiar with pugs, they are a kind of crazy breed and do all sorts of neat things: the head tilt, the bunny run (tucking their tail under their belly and running like mad), and are pretty entertaining overall. We named him Loki the Wonder Pug, after the Norse God of Mischief. It’s appropriate.

Today, realizing the pug smelled a bit like a sewer and it could no longer wait, started getting the tub ready for the stinky fur ball.
Loki, though generally agreeable, is not a big fan of baths. It requires a lot of work to keep him in the tub and get him clean without him escaping. Today with my arms elbow-deep in fur and lather, my daughter (who loves baths) decided to take advantage of my distraction and jump in the tub with him: right in with the dirty dog water.

Rather than yell at her I decided to be philosophical: even though she was now going to also need a bath after jumping in the hair-pool, at least she couldn’t be drawing on walls or something. Besides, it was kinda funny.

Anyway, if you aren’t lucky enough to have an obnoxious pug, I thought I would share some of his post-tub drying methodologies:

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Hockey girl!


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My husband is a crazy hockey nut, especially a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. Their convention is this weekend, and my excited husband and his hockey pals were gathering in the kitchen, examining their “game-worn” and making plans for their big weekend.

My daughter, all excited at their arrival and caught up in the fun, immediately ran upstairs and started digging through drawers to don herhockey jersey. She was one of the boys all night – but by far the cutest!!

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Bedtime anguish – can you help me? Please?


So cute when she’s sleeping -but so hard to get her to sleep!

Seriously, this is ridiculous. The pain of knowing I am losing a war with a three-year-old is humiliating. And costly. I am an awful parent. My daughter has giant black circles under her eyes. WE have giant black circles under our eyes.

When it was just one child, things were easier. I had more hands. I had more patience. We could attempt the bedtime routine thing with books and music and it was enough. It isn’t anymore.

I admit it: I struggle somewhat with structure in my own life. I know that I should start putting her to bed at 7:30pm, walk her to her room, get her into her pajamas, brush her teeth and read a book.

But when I get home at 7pm from work, that makes it hard: I want to see my kid; I want her to know me. So we play. We dance. We color. We talk. We eat. I lose track of time with frequency in the midst of having some quality time with my family.

But even when I try to get her in bed by like 8:30pm? It’s a battle. And we’ve been weak: we’ve let her go to her room and read books on her own. On occasion, she’s managed to slip into bed with an iPhone and play games. We’ve done whatever we could do to keep her away from her brother long enough for him to actually go to sleep, and it is backfiring miserably.

She gets jealous that he is getting the attention. She cries, she yells, she bargains; we threaten, we wheedle and cajole. Last night, I found her downstairs watching the TV we had left on, bug-eyed because it was a seriously scary show and the poor thing couldn’t look away.

I’m near the end of patience with what to do. I’m out of ideas.

I am pulling out my already predominantly gray hair (you know, under the awesome highlights). So this is a plea: Readers, those of you kind enough to read my musings and struggles, how do I fix this? How do I solve the bedtime problem before she hits puberty??

Please, your comments and wisdom and advice are desperately needed!

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One Liners: Captain Hook


S: “Mommy, you’re Scully and I’m Captain Hook!”

M: “Well, Captain, where’s your Hook?”

S: ::looking down:: “I don’t have a hook. I only have this bag…”. ::dramatic sigh::

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