Super Bowl Sunday: 10 Reasons It’s Just Another Conspiracy Against Parents

Yeah, so today is Super Bowl Sunday. Millions of people all over the U.S. are all fired up and ready to get their couch potato on to enjoy the one day out of the year that’s pretty much reserved for doing nothing, getting all kinds of shitty drunk, and enjoying copious amounts of artery-clogging food without one single ounce of guilt.

For many, today is pure awesomesauce. But for parents, it pretty much sucks a fat one.

You see, the Super Bowl is nothing but another huge conspiracy against parents, because it’s sole purpose is to remind us that we are in fact, parents, and our carefree days of enjoying the hall pass for partying that Super Bowl Sunday brings are O-V-E-R.

Not convinced that today totally blows? Here’s a little insight into my conspiracy theory.

1. It’s no longer an excuse to get drunk, because, well, you have kids and if you get drunk while the kids are home that’s just really freakin’ irresponsible. Of course, some of us do it anyway, which makes the Super Bowl another excuse for people who don’t approve of said drinking to give us “the look” and tell us we should probably “take it easy.” (Every party has a pooper…)

2. You can’t yell and scream. Because unless you’re on the west coast, the damn game doesn’t start till 6:30 p.m., which is only an hour or two away from bedtime for the kiddos, so pretty much as soon as the game gets going, you have to turn down the damn TV and sit there like a couple of mute senior citizens.

3. It’s one more reason for moms and dads to fight like moms and dads. Whether it be the noise level, one of you not giving a shit about the game in the first place, or one of you having to do bedtime while the other sits on his/her ass and watches the game, the Super Bowl is basically an open invitation for marital conflict.

4. You can’t have a party. See reasons 1 thru 3. (Unless you manage to ditch the kids for the night, of course.)

5. You can’t go to a party. Because it’s Super Bowl fu&%ing Sunday and there’s no way in hell you’re finding a babysitter who isn’t at some other Super Bowl party, getting drunk as hell like her kid-free ass should.

6. Stuffing your face is out of the question. Why? Because the whole “the diet starts Monday” thing is getting REALLY old, especially since you’ve been saying it since New Year’s. Get it together and eat a carrot, already.

7. Forget the kids’ bedtime, the damn game goes way past your bedtime, and if you want to be able to function tomorrow, you’d better hit the hay at a reasonable hour.

8. Um, Beyonce is the halftime show. Beyonce, as in Beyonce, the mother of a 1-year-old. Who the fu&% is watching her baby so she can perform at the fu&%ing Super Bowl?!? Oh yeah, that’s right. One of her ten-or-so nannies. And I’ll bet she’s attending some sort of swanky, 24-carat gold covered after party too. Must be nice. (Bitch.)

9. The cheerleaders. Ok, so I’m sure any dads reading this will disagree with me, but for the moms? Yeah, cheerleaders only serve as yet another reminder of the bangin’ bodies most of us can only dream of ever having again. They’re total self-esteem killers. And we hate ‘em.

10. No matter who wins, you lose. For parents, it’s still Sunday night, and most of us have to work tomorrow. And nobody’s going to present us with a friggin’ trophy, even though the game we play each and every day is a hell of a lot harder than whatever just went down on that field.

Do you have big plans for the Super Bowl? (Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

Are You Gonna Eat That?

Ok, I have a confession to make. This past Saturday, my son asked me if he could have one of the leftover cupcakes from last week’s Halloween party that my friend down the street baked. They are adorable. She even cut some out in the shape of ghosts and put little candy eyes on them…which would have tipped anyone else who entered my house off that I did not bake them. I’m ok in the baking department, but I’m not that good! Back to my little guilty secret. Granted, I really don’t mind my son having a cupcake. I am not one of those moms who won’t let her kid eat sugar. This was yet another thing I boasted about while pregnant and threw out the window the first time my kid was having a hissy fit and I popped a dum-dum in his mouth to reclaim my sanity. My confession is that the real reason I let him have a cupcake just a short hour and a half or so before dinner is because I was hoping that he would follow his traditional pattern of licking off the frosting and leaving most of the cake behind, which means that I would just HAVE to finish that cake to avoid being wasteful. I mean, there are people starving in this world and that would just be a total slap in the face to them if I didn’t eat the remnants of that poor ghost.

The stage was set perfectly. My husband was in the family room happily being occupied by his girlfriend, (a.k.a. I-pod touch) and I figured he wouldn’t notice if I jammed the rest of that cupcake in my mouth once my son was done with his share of it. To my complete and utter dismay, things didn’t go according to plan this time. Instead of licking the frosting first, my son bit the head off that damn ghost and just dug right into that cupcake…and the next thing you knew he had dropped it frosting-side down right onto the kitchen table. If I was the Martha Stewart type I would’ve immediately ran for a paper towel, wiped up the frosting, and gotten him a fresh cupcake, but again, I didn’t want to be wasteful. He looked at me as if to say, “What the hell do I do now Mommy?” I told him to do what I would’ve done in this exact situation. I told him to lick the frosting right off the table. Who are we kidding? I told him to lick the frosting off because I was jealous and wished that I was the one licking that frosting off the table. Since I couldn’t lick the frosting off the table, I figured that I might as well watch him enjoy it!

As I watched him lick away with delight, I sat there and thought about how many times I have cheated on my diet by polishing off the leftover food on my son’s plate. For the most part, I am a pretty healthy eater and I try to avoid processed foods and all that other junk that is supposed to completely clog up my system and speed up the aging process. I don’t avoid these foods because I’m making a healthy lifestyle choice. I avoid these foods because I have come to accept that I will just never be one of those women who can eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce. Whenever someone asks me how I dropped all of my baby weight, there is only one truthful answer I can give: hard work and sacrifice.

After I had my son, I was under the impression that I would be back in my size 27 Seven Jeans about 2 weeks after giving birth. I don’t know what planet I was living on at the time, but I can remember being completely dumbfounded when the first 20 or so of the 50 pounds I gained fell right off and the last 30 hung on for dear life. To all of the mommies reading this post, isn’t losing baby weight a real bitch? As if nine months of having a human being living inside of you, soaking up all of your energy, giving you hemorrhoids, and making your boobs leak isn’t enough, AFTER the kid is out, these horrific fat deposits just take up permanent residence on your hips. Can’t a girl catch a break??

I was hell-bent and determined NOT to be the girl who completely let herself go to hell after having a child, so I got my fat ass off the couch and got out the door at 7am each morning with the stroller. It took me a good nine months of walking for an hour and a half a day six days a week to finally take off every last ounce of that baby weight plus a few extra pounds, which put me below my pre-pregnancy weight, which then put me back at my wedding weight. I had never been so proud of any other accomplishment in my life up until that point. I mean, the 27s were actually getting too big at that point! I couldn’t believe it…I had pretty much achieved my post-baby dream of becoming a MILF. If for some reason you don’t know what a MILF is, go rent American Pie. It’ll clear things up for you!

I kept my MILF status right up until about the point that my son started eating solid foods. And yes, I’ve just figured out this correlation. You see, when your baby is eating pureed chicken and vegetables and GOD knows what out of a jar, it is easy to just stick to the salad that is on your plate. When your baby grows up a little, however, and moves into the toddler phase, things start getting a little tricky. Before you know it your little bundle is munching on grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken nuggets, pizza, and all sorts of other delicious things that you usually swear off eating, but now can’t seem to resist sampling off your little one’s plate.

When my son turned about 18 months old, that is when I noticed “the layer” starting to form again. All of a sudden, those size 27s were getting a little snug…actually they looked more like they’d been painted on. I wound up buying a couple pairs of “fat” jeans and just attributing my new layer of love to the fact that the weather in Connecticut just wasn’t as good as the weather in Colorado, so I couldn’t walk as much until it got warmer. It is funny how I’ll make up excuses like that just to convince myself that the layer is perfectly normal and acceptable to me. I’d love to say that the layer magically disappeared again once the weather got warmer, but it didn’t. It wasn’t until I got out there with that stroller again, and started paying more attention to exactly what I was eating that it finally started to retreat a little.

The problem is that whenver I diet, I diet hardcore. I get really disciplined about everything that I put into my mouth, which usually leaves me starving by the end of the night. When I am completely ravenous, I just can’t seem to resist whatever is leftover from my little man’s dinner. We don’t have a dog in our house and there is no need for one. When I’m in a diet phase, you can find me sitting on the floor under my son’s chair waiting for scraps of food to fall off. I swear that I just sit there and stare at him and watch him eat in complete anticipation of what delicious morsels he is going to leave behind for me to gobble up. I’m ashamed to admit that it got so bad one time that I actually ate macaroni and cheese off the little guy’s shirt. That’s right! I ATE food off my CHILD! Now that’s a hungry mama!

I’d love to sit here and tell all of you that I finally have things under control and that the layer is gone for good. It isn’t. It is definitely on it’s way out again though since I’ve cut out a lot of crap from my diet these days and I’m really trying to avoid every temptation of licking my son’s plate clean. If I keep it up, things should be back under control by Thanksgiving. Perfect timing! That’s not to say that the temptations aren’t lurking around every corner. The other day I took my son to McDonald’s after preschool for a happy meal just like I do pretty much every Tuesday and Thursday after I pick him up. They gave me fries instead of apple dippers by mistake. I went back through the drive-thru and they wound up giving me the missing apple dippers…and they let me keep the fries. My son gags on fries, so I found myself between a rock and a hard place. Let’s not get crazy here though…they WERE McDonald’s fries and it would be a complete disgrace to throw them out. I just couldn’t bring myself to disrespect Ronald McDonald in that manner. I ate the fries.

Today we went out to lunch with some friends of ours and their kids. I ordered the grilled chicken salad and my son had the grilled cheese. I can’t lie, I was incredibly disappointed when his meal came out with chips as a side-dish instead of french fries. I mean, somebody would’ve HAD to eat those fries and they would’ve made such a nice snack on the car ride home today. He ate the grilled cheese, but not the chips. They were Cape Cod chips and I felt bad for those chips, so I had a few. Uh-oh, the cycle is starting again. I’d better not take him out for pizza this week or else I’ll have to dig out the fat jeans.

The Mommyologist’s Last Word: “To all of my friends with little ones, you’d better check your kids’ shirts if they are around me during a diet cycle. I won’t hesitate to step right up and polish off whatever goodies they leave behind!”

Survival of the Fittest

It’s Tuesday morning and I’ve just finished eating breakfast with my son. On my menu today? I had my usual scrambled egg whites with salsa, (remember I’ve cut wheat, dairy, sugar, and now alcohol). On my son’s menu? I fixed him some of those same scrambled egg whites with a little melted American cheese, which he will eat about 5 times out of 10. I probably could’ve gotten him to eat them this morning if I hadn’t also included leftover sour cream coffee cake from Rein’s deli on his plate. Any idiot parent knows that if you want your kid to consume healthy foods, then you serve just that and nothing else. You don’t make your child a separate meal or substitute any menu items from what the rest of the family is having. If they don’t like it, then they just don’t eat. Tell that to a mommy whose kid has about three items that he will actually ingest on any given day of the year! My son’s diet mainly consists of McDonald’s chicken nugget happy meals with apple dippers (he gags on french fries), rolls or bread of any sort, and peanut butter. Don’t even get me started on the peanut butter because I know that I’m going to be up a creek with no paddle once he enters the public school system.

As I watched my little boy pick around the egg whites in order to make sure he got every last bit of the “sugary pieces” of coffee cake, (meaning the crusty sugar coated top part), I thought about how there are so many things I do as a parent that I SWORE up and down I would NEVER do when I had children. You know the high-and-mighty pregnant chick who thinks she has a perfectly well thought out agenda for how each and every day of her baby’s first 18 years of life will go? Yeah, that was me too. And if that is you right now, take my advice and get any preconceived notions about parenthood out of your head immediately. Trust me, this will save you a lot of days spent crying on the couch wondering what the hell happened to your foolproof plan.

When I was pregnant with my son, I used to run around preaching to everyone who would listen about how much I hated pacifiers and how there was just “no way in hell” that my baby would ever have one. I was convinced that pacifiers were an absolute “crutch” and that if a new baby was never introduced to one, then he/she would never know the difference. As I was reading one of the hundred or so baby and parenting books that had been given to me as a gift, I got really hooked on the whole concept of “self-soothing” for a baby. My baby would NOT need that pacifier and he (we knew we were having a boy at this point) would do just fine if I left him in the crib, let him “cry it out” and learn the technique of “self-soothing.” It is at this point that I will advise every pregnant woman reading this to throw out each and every single baby book that you were given aside from “What to Expect While You’re Expecting.” Reading too many of these other books written by “experts” may cause you to wind up in a mental institution after your bundle arrives.

My son was a pretty calm baby when we first brought him home from the hospital. He really only cried when he needed to be fed or changed. My husband and I were convinced that we had a real winner on our hands! I remember bragging about my newborn a bit…afterall, we were almost three weeks into our journey as parents and we were still pacifier-free! The little bugger must have understood what we were saying and thought to himself, “I’ll show you who is in charge around here!” Suddenly, out of nowhere, our perfect little angel was screaming at the top of his lungs from about 7pm to 10pm every single night. We tried everything. We walked him up and down the halls. We rocked him. I tried the whole “Shh Shh Shh” thing while bouncing up and down that my mother had learned from her grandmother and had taught me. I tried leaving him in the crib to “self-soothe” and that about turned me into a maniac. NOTHING was working.

Someone had given us a few of those forbidden items known as pacifiers for a baby shower gift. In a desperate attempt to save our sanity, my hubby looked at me on one of these evenings of terror and said, “WHERE THE HELL IS THAT THING?” It was hidden away in one of our kitchen cabinets. I could barely hear him over all the racket, but I reluctantly went to the cabinet, took the item out of the package, washed it in boiling hot water, cooled it off, and then decided that I was at my wit’s end and would give it a shot. I popped that sucker into my baby’s mouth and the next thing I knew, there was SILENCE. Yes, SILENCE. Well, maybe there was a little bit of noise from him sucking the finish off that thing, but other than that it was completely quiet.

That was the moment when all my good intentions went straight out the door. My baby was now a “paci-baby.” And you know what? I didn’t CARE! My husband and I did what we HAD to for our survival. Having a newborn completely turns your world upside down. If you focus for too long on trying to do what the “experts” say is right, then you will never get out alive! It was probably just as well that I learned this lesson earlier than most. I have done my best to apply it to other aspects of parenting, including the whole food issue. Granted, there are some kids out there who are phenomenal eaters and will eat anything you put in front of them. These kids are usually accompanied by mothers who love to brag about this to their other mom-friends who have McDonalds loving kids like mine. You know what I say to them? “KISS MY GRITS!” My kid may live on Bertucci’s rolls and chicken nuggets most days of the week…he also watches more TV than he probably should and had that pacifier until he was three years old (gasp!), but you know what? He is happy, and SO well-adjusted and I have better things to do with my time than worry about what he is going to eat for dinner that night. I am just thrilled if he eats at all! I have learned what works for ME and MY family and OUR survival. Don’t worry missy, your kid will give you grief in some other way down the road! And when he/she does, I hope that you learn the concept of “survival of the fittest!” As long as you love your child with all your heart and he/she is happy and healthy, then you are doing the RIGHT THING. Being a good parent doesn’t mean being perfect, it means being a survivor!

Ok, enough of my ranting and raving. Now that I’ve successfully finished writing this I need to go give my son the piece of candy out of his Halloween bag that I promised him if he left me alone without interrupting me so I could get this post done.

The Mommyologist’s Last Word: “My son chose a box of junior mints as his little bribery reward. Upon putting the first one into his mouth, he started gagging, proceeded to regurgitate it into my hand, and then started crying that he wanted a “different candy!” It’s official, my son gags on junior mints. Maybe he’ll do better with the milk duds. I rest my case!”