How to Pack With Children in the House

I have developed a plan on how to handle a 3 and 5 year old to get them out of the house for a weekend away.

1) Don’t tell them there is a plan to go away. It’s a guarantee they will flex the worst of their personality in the days leading up to departure. (I screw this up every time.)

2) When they reach peak-assholeness, pick up the phone and “call” Hershey Park to cancel.

- 5 bonus points for saying “yes, I’ll hold.”
- minus 20 points for leaving the iPhone on the home screen so M or any other 5 year old says “I see the screen, you didn’t actually call anyone.”

3) When you commence packing, don’t let them anywhere near you. If you make this mistake you will pay dearly. You will arrive at your destination without the underwear you know you packed but you will have the bathroom scale and 800 tampons in its place.

- 10 bonus points for handcuffing children to dining table so they can’t mess with the packed suitcase.
- 50 bonus points for actually having handcuffs.
- minus 500 points for leaving the kids unsupervised in the same zip code as the suitcase.

4) When you finish packing, close the suitcase, lock it, and put it in the car.

5) Surround car with a pack of wolves.

6) Return to house to finish getting yourself ready. No matter how they are behaving just ignore them. Even when they are sitting at the front door RIGHT NOW arguing whose vagina hole is bigger.

7) Take a double dose of Xanax. Bring wine. Don’t Drive the first shift. Obviously.

Mom's Rage Against the Machine

I am loving the Facebook posts. My girlfriends from high school, my girlfriends from college - I am LOVING their Facebook posts.

This happens to be the current Facebook chatter with my college friends. Go Canes!

L's Post: "At what age does the Valentine's madness stop? It was a pain in the ass to wrap this up." (L shows a picture of a gorgeous shoebox that she wrapped and decorated for her son's Valentine Cards.)

vday box.jpg


One mom comments that they had a mailbox decorating party. She posted a picture of a bunch of girls sitting around a kitchen island.

God. Why the f*ck do people have to over-mom it?

God. Why the f*ck do I care so little?

L's mom comments but it's in Spanish. I can't decode part of it but I'm pretty sure it says something about first world problems. L's parents don't play around. When we were in college, L's dad took a scissors to all her credit cards. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that has absolutely nothing to do with this story and you're right. But I never miss an opportunity to tell it. It's been 25 years and I still laugh about that.

C, whose daughter is in Catholic School, comments: "I'm happy it's also Ash Wednesday because she has to go to school in full uniform. I'm over the box, but I'm also over the dress down days and the dress red days."

Whoa. I never thought about how much easier it would be to get out the door in the morning if M had to wear a uniform.

At this point I have to reveal that I didn't make a mailbox.

L: "I thought you were joking about the Safeway bag."

Me: "I really wasn't. We don't have anything."

And I have a feeling that I'm going to be sorely regretting this later. But M wasn't talking to me tonight. Another of my college friends, the Cheese, was in town for the day. She came over to our house for a few minutes before heading to the airport. M was playing on the floor when a fart snuck out. We all laughed. Then M decided she was mad that I laughed so she was pretty rude to me for the rest of the night despite my 14 apologies and attempts at assurance that everyone finds farts to be a source of comedy.

She wasn't having it.

And now it's approaching midnight. I'm thinking maybe I'll just hand her the Safeway bag tomorrow and that can be her mailbox. Or I'll go to school with Chubs for the breakfast they are hosting and just let Real Estate Dad deal with the school and mailbox thing. FFS, I bought and wrote out all the Valentines. I'm did my homework.

I never thought I would be back to counting down the days until school was over but here I am again, counting away. Can't wait until it's over so the "homework" will stop.


I'm finding the #MeToo movement quite fascinating. This stemmed from some sleazy Hollywood scum who believed money and power could grant him the right to do some horrifying things to women. Not exactly surprising and not a new story.

Then #MeToo started to appear all over Facebook. I'm never one to jump on a bandwagon as evidenced by my total shock that the women's march became a thing, but I was impressed that there were women I knew who would share something like that about themselves in such a public forum. But then, as we all do, I started thinking about myself.

Have I ever been sexually assaulted or harassed? Right or wrong this is how my thought process went:

"Not that I can think of. Definitely not assaulted. I'm not even sure I could beg someone to assault or harass me with the sheer stream of profanity that comes out of my mouth. That one guy said to me that I was so off-putting he couldn't believe anyone would actually have sex with me. A couple of my exes said I was so emasculating that they couldn't be in a relationship with me." All clear here.

I dug back a bit farther. Oh. Wait.

I was 13 and walking down a beach in Florida by myself. I heard a noise and there was a man standing behind me, shaking his junk at me. A legit flasher. I ran. He didn't chase me. And that was that. I got back to where we were staying and went about my day.

It bothered me a lot over the ensuing months so I ended up telling my mom. If you know my mom, you know that this could have gone either way, but she doesn't take crap from anyone. What was her reaction to this revelation?

She started hysterically laughing.

It may sound insensitive but, she taught me a couple things there with that laugh. First, don't let something like this occupy one ounce of your head space. Second, your reaction to being in a situation like that is key. The best defense is always a good offense. Of course I'm talking about non-violent assaults here.

It stuck with me. All these years it stuck with me.  I worked for a builder about 15 years ago where the treatment of women by some of the management was pretty crappy. I walked in on a conversation where a couple of the managers were complaining about having to pay one of the women an equal commission on a sale in which she shared an equal part with a man.

Lame Manager: "Why is she pushing this, she gets paid enough! She wants to compare what she's getting to everyone else? Why don't we just take our dicks out on the table and see whose is biggest?"

Me: "Do it. I want all of you to take your pants off and show me, I'll get the measuring tape." I delivered this with an expert deadpan, devoid of one ounce of emotion.

They spun around to see me at the door. The looks on their faces were amazing. Like they got caught with their pants down already. There was slow shuffling around and then some scrambling toward the door.

Me: "Where are you all going? We have a contest in session! Come back."

Those conversations were never had near me again.

I can't understand how not one person in Hollywood leaked this sooner, before dozens of women were affected. But I know this. I'm going to teach my girls that harassment is about power, not sex and if you can diffuse the power, you have a pretty decent chance of coming out of it not feeling like the victim. But you also have to choose the battles. If they pass the cliche construction site and get a whistle, then a smile and wave is fine and there's no reason to feel victimized. If they pass the cliche construction site and one of the guys says, "Nice tits," I think we have all been around long enough to know what I'll have my girls programmed to say.

"You should see my penis!"

I Took a Stand Today

Facebook is rife with people taking stands on things. I try to hang in the middle, not having any real strong opinions on things, giving people the benefit of the doubt. I have to say, it's nice and happy living this way....not believing the worst in all politicians, thinking but then promptly ignoring the latest outrage instead of taking a stand on something. Stopping by the TV for a brief moment and then jetting out the door with a shrug or a laugh.

But today? Today. I took a stand on something.

We will have no more Taylor F*cking Swift in our house.

Sorry little ladies, but I'm raising you to be independent, confident women who won't give a rat's ass about the latest boy.

I reached my boiling point with Tay Tay before M was born, and I remember other moms saying, "Oh you won't be able to stop it. Girls love her." Hmm. Perhaps. I mean, it's not like my own mother could stop my non-stop decades long obsession with Guns N' Roses. In fact, this conversation via email occurred this week.

Ma: With this Las Vegas shooting, I'm worried about you going to another concert this weekend.
Me: It's your fault for not letting me go to the Meadowlands concert when they came through in 9th grade. My friends were in the Paradise City video! That should have been me! Now I have to go see them as often as I can go.
Ma: Can't you get over it?
Me: Front Row Ma! Front Row!
If I fill M's little ears with other music maybe I can sway her. Today while driving and flipping thru the stations, her little ears heard two notes of that craptastic talentless moron and I couldn't move off the station fast enough. "THAT ONE THAT ONE THAT ONE!"

"Cause the players gonna play play play play play and the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate and I'm just gonna shake shake shake shake shake"

KILL ME. I'M GOING TO STAB STAB STAB STAB STAB MYSELF IN THE EYES. I couldn't even let the song finish. I moved the party down to Aerosmith.

"This is old people's music."

For real? It was "Rag Doll." It's about strippers. Or hookers. Whatever, still better than Taylor.

Just Got Paid, It's Friday Night

My life has reached a new low.  On Fridays I used to feel like the song by one Johnny Kemp - happy, out hunting for a party.  Now, Fridays are more like Crazy Train.

What happened tonight in this house takes a whole new cake, more so than any other cake taken by the Terror Twins  as they unleashed their special brand of terror on this house. I feel the odds stacking against us and it isn't good.

It started with both of them sitting at the dining table after dinner - the dinner they didn't eat. They were giggling and making funny voices and then they started a farting contest. Chubs is only 2 & 1/2 but she was farting so loud it sounded like she ripped the seat cushion. M, who is 4 & 1/2 was trying to keep up.  Chubs fired up another, looked at M and said "Your Turn!" M strained for her turn and then she said "Uh oh."


Huh. She's never done that before. Real Estate Dad said, "You're KIDDING. No you didn't. You couldn't have." You could smell it though. He confirmed there was poop and yelled "M Come on! Take your pants off and dump it in the toilet." Chubs jumped off her chair and ran to the bathroom yelling "Can I see M? Can I see the poop in your pants?"

They both emerged from the bathroom naked, and promptly started jumping off the arm of the couch. I kept saying it was all fun and games until someone loses an eye but they didn't listen. Their jumps got scarier as the night wore on. Real Estate Dad asked if I was going to stop it. I said no because at this point the couch jump was the only chance we had of them possibly burning off their remaining energy.

After 25 or 30 minutes I finally told them they had to run up and down the stairs five times, no cheating. Chubs was standing there listening to my instructions and Real Estate Dad says, "Chubs, you're bleeding!" There was blood all over her hand. She looked, wiped it on our couch, then started to cry.

Got them showered, pajamaed and then I too felt like crying. Except I had to go downstairs and clean up 90 legos, about 100 doll house pieces and a bunch of ripped books.

Passive Aggressive: Throwing away or donating one toy of your child's, every night after they go to sleep because you're sick of picking it up.

Slap in the Face: We have to do this all over again tomorrow.

Water Cooler Conversation

It was a jam packed weekend of house showings. I typically miss some fun stuff with the girls when I'm out for marathon tours like I've been for the weekends since New Year's.

My Saturday morning clients finished earlier than I expected, so I had about half an hour to fly home and crank out a Home Inspection Release. I really was 99% absorbed in the inspection report when my stepson came upstairs from his cave and sat at the table with the girls.

He picked something up from the table - the table where WE EAT, and my 2 year old said, "I  wiped my vagina on that."

I shut my computer and walked right back out the door to meet my afternoon clients. I'll never go home in the middle of the day again. Lesson learned.