Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Mommy Wars!

So - I get this 911 voice mail and email from Fifi today. She is in an all-out LATHER because "The Emperor's birthday" is coming up and he wants a "bug cake", ("The Emperor" is her son) and Fifi - baker EXTRAORDINAIRRE - cannot figure out how to decorate this cake. This is Fifi we're talking about. The woman who can simultaneously arrange a party for 250 on a yacht off the coast of Santa Barbara, manage international travel for a group of 12 persnickity high rollers, coordinate every aspect of the opening of a new branch in Vegas WHILE training a new assistant. Fifi who has also taken pastry and baking classes in France at whatever the hell that famous pastry school in France is - La Snotty Snooty Snootery de la Pattiserrie. I think that's what it's called. Or maybe Le Cordon Bleu - come to think of it - I think that's the actual name of the place. Anyway - I digress. So here she is - on her way to work this morning, all lathered up about - a bug cake. For a child's birthday party. At Chuck-E-Cheese.

So, like the bestest friend in the whole world that I am - I solve her problem immediately. I say: "Um, why not do what I do and let the BAKER at the BAKERY solve this problem for you?" I shout BAKER and BAKERY at her like she is my 99-year old grandmother. Slowly and very, very LOUDLY. I did not expect her to embrace this suggestion. I expected her to say something like: "Margs - I am Fifi - baker extraordinairre! I do not know of this establishment you speak of - what is a bakery? I am a much better baker than all of the bakers in the Santa Monica area. I am classically trained and my baking puts them all to shame."

Her response was rather shocking. She said, and I quote: "Clearly YOU have not been a working mom for as long as I have, and you do not yet have the guilt of not being there for every school function, every after school activity, every fundraiser, nor do you have the overwhelming need to prove yourself to the Stay at Home moms. All of this will come in due time, young Padawan. Just you wait. So you see, this bug cake HAS TO BE PERFECT, and every child at this party has to think, "I wish my mom could make a cool cake like that.", so that I get a little bit of cred in my favor before the school year starts and I slip into bad working mom decline. Remember - it's NEVER just about the cake."

Hmmmm. So, my Fifi will be spending the weekend with sheets and tubes of fondant and experimenting with all sorts of creepy, crawly creations to decorate the Emperor's cake - which, I have absolutely NO doubt, will be the BEST damned bug cake Santa Monica will have EVER seen. I also have no doubt that Fifi will return to work on Monday with a ruined manicure, hands dyed the color of dirty dish water and circles the size of saucers under her eyes - but that cake will look amazing.

And all of this leaves me with a kind of sad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why are we STILL fighting the Mommy Wars? In the past 2 or 3 years, so many moms have had to go back to work because of this crappy economy. Jobs and entire industries that were once secure and sure bets have gone up in smoke. Our nation is teetering on the edge of another Great Depression and you mean to tell me that there are STILL women out there who look DOWN on those of us who are out there bringing home the bacon and then busting our asses to get home so that we can fry it up in the pan? Seriously?

Look - there is nothing wrong with staying home with the kids. I did it for many, many years. And I loved it...most days. It's hard, hard work. I'd say that it's harder than many of the jobs that I've ever had! It's certainly the MOST IMPORTANT job that I've ever had - and it still is. But many, many women do not have the luxury of having the choice to stay home with their kids. And there are some women out there who - GASP - don't want to!!! DUM-DUM-DUM!!! Newsflash - that doesn't make them crappy mothers. It makes them human.

I just think that it's sad that someone like Fifi - who is brilliant at what she does, has a million other talents and gifts and - oh by the way- is a kick-ass mother - feels like she has to turn into the freaking Cake Boss to prove something to the Stay at Home moms in her son's school community. It sucks - yet it's reality.

I remember freaking out right before walking out to do a MILLION DOLLAR sales presentation this past March. Why, are you asking, was the Busy Momma freaking out? Was she nervous about the BIGGEST presentation of her entire career? Nope - I mean I was nervous about it - but I wasn't freaking out about it. No - I was freaking out because it was the third grader's day to host the Lenten Bake Sale for charity and as I was not home the night before to bake anything - PC did what any normal, rational male would do - he went to Safeway, bought a box of Ding Dongs, threw them in Bella's book bag and called it a day.

Bella's contribution to the Bake Sale was a box of Ding Dongs.

Ding Dongs.

Here's the problem - we don't hand in premade things like Ding Dongs. Or, shall I say, before I went back to work, we NEVER handed in things like Ding Dongs for the bake sale. Only Moms who didn't care handed in thoughtless things like Ding Dongs. I mean any DING DONG can run to Safeway and get a thing of Ding Dongs, right? We handed in homemade cupcakes with tyedyed icing, or witch cupcakes or other such projects that kept me up into the wee small hours of the morning trying to out do the other moms. For what? What prize did I EVER get for staying up all night long to make 75 cupcakes with little edible daisies on them?

So I'm just as guilty as Fifi in this arena. But here is the question that I pose to you - loyal readers: Are the Mommy Wars real? Do you think anyone looked at Bella's box of Ding Dongs and thought: "Oh look - poor Bella. Her Mom WORKS. She doesn't have time to bake for the bake sale. Wonder what else she doesn't have time for?"  Do you think anyone at The Emperor's birthday party would look at a bakery cake and think: "Oh look - Fifi went to the BAKERY. Well of course, she WORKS - what would you expect?" Do we put this pressure on ourselves?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The mouths of babes.....

What is it they say about kids? They say the funniest things? Well, this week, at my house, they have said the funniest, nastiest, most disturbing and most ridiculous things we have ever heard! It's like our two children have lost their minds. Or, like PC says: It's like being the wardens in the insane asylum. I don't know if it's the heat, or the fact that they have been trapped inside more than normal because we've been having these rolling thunder storms...or the stars are misaligned or what - but my children have gone bonkers and I don't like it one bit!

It all started innocently enough. Monday morning, Jack woke up pretty early and came into my bed for a nice early morning snuggle. This rare treat is one of my favorite left-over rituals from the baby-days. Both kids would wake up early for that 5am feeding and then we'd snuggle up and cuddle and go back to sleep for a bit. Jack still wanders in every now and then, cuddles up and drifts off to sleep for an hour or two before he wakes up ready to face the day. So, you can imagine my surprise this past Monday when he came in, turned over to face me and had a very serious and disturbed look on his face. I folded him into my arms  and asked:
"What's wrong Bud? Bad dream?"
And, in his very serious little old man voice he replied:" Um, I don't know how to say dis without soundin' mean - but it's time to go to da spa and get your moustache waxed off again Momma."
And, with a fart and a yawn, he proceeded to snuggle into his hairy beast of a mother and drift off to sleep.

What a nice way to start the week - and it only gets better from there.

He is on a very serious tattle-tale bender. He tattles on everyone - all of the time. And when I say everyone - I mean everyone. Of course he tattles on Bella - that's a no brainer. But he tattles on the babysitter, the babysitter's boyfriend, the boyfriend's mom, his friends, his friend's moms, my parents and - and this is the best - on PC!!! He tattles on his own father. Sells his ass right out to me.
"Mom, Daddy said the 'S' word!"
"Mom, Daddy said God Damnit again!"
"Mom, Daddy gave us soda and we're not supposed to have soda. And he gave us soda twice. Hehehehehehe."
"Mom, Daddy forgot to (fill in the blank) even though you told him to do it three times before you left and then after you left he said 'why don't you tell me one more time in case I'm really retarded like you seem to think I am' and he forgot to do it anyway. Hehehehehehehehe"

OK - that last one was really funny actually.

And then there is Bella...

Jack is looking forward to a trip to New York at the end of this month. My brother has given him tickets to a NY Yankees game - and Jack is anticipating this event the way a child anticipates Christmas. He is counting down the days, he tells everyone he encounters that he is going to "New York City to the New York Yankees "Stamium" to see the New York Yankees play a Yankees game". The maillady knows about the trip, the dry cleaner knows, every life guard at the pool knows, every camp counselor knows, every neighbor knows, the checkout lady at the grocery store knows - pretty much everyone in town knows that Jack is headed to New York to see a game. Of course, every time Jack gleefully informs someone about the upcoming trip - Bella's nose gets a bit out of joint. It's not that she's never had such a trip - in fact - she has had SEVERAL. It's that this particular trip is all about Jack. Hmmph. This is highly unacceptable to Bella. So, she has come up with a plan for her OWN trip to New York. And in what I can ONLY attribute as a passive-aggressive, "Eff-You" to my brother, who is persona-non-grata after having the sheer audacity to arrange this Yankees game trip for Jack (as he has arranged the Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Museum of Natural History, American Girl Place and Little Mermaid trips in years past for the princess), she has deemed this trip "Katie and the Aunties Weekend of WONDERMENT". The "Aunties" in question are my newly minted sister-in-law and her sister, whom Bella has adopted as her new fairy godmother and honorary "Auntie"  - like it or not. When questioned about what exactly a "weekend of WONDERMENT' enatils - my darling girl calmly replied that a weekend of wonderment would probably start with :" a trip to a nice spa to get one of those treatments where they put cucumbers on your eyes and all of that gloop on your face. I mean, Mom, we've sort of done the mani and pedi thing to death. Then, I'm thinking that we take the Aunties on a tour of American Girl Place. You know - show them where the dolls can get their hair done and the doll hospital. Then we can shop of course and get a new doll and her stuff. We'll probably want to grab a bite to eat while we're there don't you think? Then shopping of course - we can probably get a new wardrobe while we're in the city. And I'm thinking that we'll do a Broadway show that night - I'm thinking "Wicked". What do you think?"

Ummm - let me see. I think that I will be bankrupt by the end of the weekend - that is what I think!!!! I think:

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?????????????????????????????????????

ARE YOU NUCKING FUTS??????????????????????????????

What I said was: "Well, those all sound like really fun ideas! However, they also sound like really expensive ideas too- so why don't we try to decide which ONE of those ideas - a show, a trip to American girl or a MINI-spa treatment - we will enjoy. And then we'll talk to the Aunties and in the end the grown-ups will make the final decision." HOLY COW!

And it only gets better from there....

As we are discussing the Aunties, Bella asks what her fairy godmother does for a living. So, I reply that she is super-duper smart and worked really, really hard in school and is now a lawyer. She worked SO hard in school that when it was time to apply to law schools - she got into and went to the BEST one in the whole country - probably the whole world - Harvard Law! Isn't that FANTASTIC???????

And in what can only be described as a moment that literally took my breath away....and not in the good way - like when your kid wins the spelling bee or walks down the stairs in her prom gown or leaps across the stage in the Nutcracker - this breathtaking experience was more like when someone punches you in your solar plexus...my brilliant, beautiful daughter said:

"I just don't understand why Auntie wastes all of her time lawyering when she is so beautiful. She could just be a super model. Do you think she thought of that before all of that boring Harvard business?"

OH....        MY ....       GOD.

After PC difribulated me back to life...and the paramedics left, I sat and reflected upon my parenting strategies up to this point. I am a feminist, and I wear that title proudly. I'm a Mommy - and I'm a damned good one. I've read all of the books. I've done all of the things I'm supposed to. I did pre and postnatal yoga. I did Gymboree. I did Kindermusik.  I made my own babyfood. I've bought the organic milk and chicken and beef. I've avoided the trans fats. I've read to them every night since they came home from the hospital and limited screen time. I've tried to instill values like honesty and goodness and kindness and fairness. I've tried to model the value of education and knowledge. I've honored their interests and tried to get to know and honor who they are - not who I want them to be.

 FOR WHAT? FOR WHAT I ASK YOU??????? From the looks of it, all of my freaking efforts - my attachment parenting, my co-sleeping, my organic everything - has netted me a Paris Hilton wanna-be and a tattle-taling aspiring aestician/waxing professional.

So, here is my new strategy. It's every man for himself over here from now on. No more organic bullshit. It's Dingdongs and HoHos for breakfast, Pixie Sticks and white Wonderbread for lunch and Mountain Dew and meals that come in a box for dinner. You might never poop again - but who cares? No bedtimes, books are banned, porn for all, neck tats for every birthday and "Homework is for Dorks!" is the new family motto.  No extra-curricular activities either. No ballet, horseback riding, piano, soccer, baseball, field hockey, Scouts, Nutcracker, Lego builders club - nothing - nada.You want dance class? It had better involve a pole, kiddo. Shake your moneymaker, 'cause Momma needs a new pair of shoes.

I'm walking around this place with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. I'm going to Walmart and investing in a bunch of Mumus and haircurlers. And I'm going to drive around town like that. The new strategy is: That which does not kill you will make you STRONGER.  Obviously, my attempts at parenting them and molding them into decent human beings isn't working. So now, I think I'm going to have to frighten them into becoming the brilliant, over-achieving type A people I know they can become! And if anyone can frighten them to greatness- I can....I know I can do it...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

First I was Afraid...I was Petrified....

Well Peeps - I did it.  I made it through my three weeks of travel hell and I am happy to report that the Busy Momma and her crew are still in one piece. We are a bit tired and travel weary - but all in all - A -O.K.

Vacation was WONDERFUL. It was just what we needed. A week of being COMPLETELY unplugged was just what the doctor ordered. I am hoping to go for 10 days next year. We were able to sleep late and reconnect as a family. It was truly one of those magical weeks where everyone got along, no one fought and no one needed a time-out. No one complained of being "bored", no one asked to watch tv or play Wii - although they did say that the FIRST thing they were going to do upon getting home was "play Wii and watch TV all day long". And true to their word....

I will admit that arriving home from Cape Cod at 9:30 pm and arriving at BWI at 2:30pm the following day was a bit harrowing. And the ensuing 5-hour flight delay did not help make the transition from vacation to back-to-work any more pleasant. And the sudden 1:30 am wake up to a smoking, sparking AC unit wasn't a grand kick-off to a week of Regional Meetings in Columbus, Ohio. Of course, the resulting room change wasn't enjoyable either once I realized, at 2:20am, that I was moved to a room next-door to a group of giggly, LOUD teenage cheerleaders who were staying at the hotel while they were apparently attending the Annoying, Giggly, Loud, American Cheerleader Association Convention. And at 3am, after REPEATED, FUTILE complaints to the front desk about said LOUD, giggly teenage girls, the Busy Momma was forced to take matters into her own hands. And I will admit, it wasn't pretty. First of all, any of you who have SEEN Busy Momma at 3am know that SHE is not pretty at that hour of the morning. The protective layer of spakle has not yet been applied, the hair has not yet been tamed and laquered and the girls have not yet been properly harnessed, lifted and separated. So you can IMAGINE what the Busy Momma must have looked like when she BURST out of her room, "Team Edward" shirt stretched across her sagging bossom and 15-year old Loyola lacross shorts stretched across her ample bottom, hair standing Cruella DeVille like atop her head, eyes flashing like a raving lunatic while screaching "WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE HOOLIGANS?" and "LADIES - YOU HAD BETTER GET INTO YOUR BEDS RIGHT NOW BEFORE I THROW YOU INTO THEM AND I AM IN NO WAY PLAYING. GO TO BED RIGHT NOW!" Four teenage girls, stopped dead in their tracks - mid-giggle, smiles dissolving off of their faces, eyes widening in abject terror at the sight of me. One door cracks open, and a mother peeks her head out of the door and meekly says: "Is there a problem?'

Now those of you who know me well can probabaly imagine my response to this moron. You are probably already laughing your asses off at what you know I said to this brainless waste of space. But, for those of you new to this blog, my polite response was:

"Is there a problem? Do you own a watch? Yes, there is a FUCKING problem! It is 3am and your SPAWN are running all over this hotel like it is GOD-DAMNED DISNEYLAND. There are people here who have to be up and at meetings at 7am which, since you apparently don't own a FUCKING WATCH is in 4 hours. So unless you'd like ME to bang on YOUR goddamned door at 6:30 am when I have to be up and dressed and perky for MY breakfast meeting, you will wrangle your SPAWN and put them to bed and I will not hear as much as a god damned FART from any of them or god help me I will bang on all of your doors at 6 am until your sorry asses are up and as mad as I am right now - GOT IT? GOOD -  now GO TO BED!" 

Then, with as much dignity as I could muster, I swung back around and realized that....I was locked out of my room.

The good news is, they upgraded Busy Momma to a "tower suite". The bad news is, Busy Momma lost an entire night of sleep - and Busy Momma is not as young as she used to be! But, the moral of the story is - I survived. PC survived his 2 weeks of single-parent-hood. The house is still standing, the kids are healthy - although I do think they have had more soda and junk-food than they've had in a long time. They probably need a good colon cleanse. And I don't think any Summer Reading or Summer Math got done last week - so we really need to pick up the pace on that as school starts in 3 weeks! Yikes!

These last 3 weeks of summer are going to fly by - they ALWAYS do. I think I'm a freak, because I'm not that parent walking through Target doing the Back-to-School shopping singing "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". I LOVE summer. I LOVE having the kids home. I LOVE the break from homework and structure and the routine. I'm so sad that the end is near. I remember being younger when the summer seemed endless. Now it seems to go by in a flash! I think I'm just getting really old....as if my above described FREAK-OUT didn't prove that. Before we know it, we will be back into the swing of making lunches and doing homework and ballet and Nutcracker and soccer and field hockey and going in 300 different directions. But for today, I think maybe I'll just go to the pool.......