Monday, April 11, 2011


Hey Cool Parents!  The Calling All Cool Moms blog has moved to a waaaay cooler site.  Check it out, bookmark it, and keep reading!  Cheers!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Oh Wait... I Have A Child

This week while Facebooking (I will stop writing about my unhealthy obsession with Facebook when it stops being such a stalker-friendly, totally amazing time-suck), I read a status update about booking a last-minute trip to Florida.  And I thought That's what my life needs!  More last-minute travel plans! What an instant happiness boost and stress reliever!  Oh wait... I have a child.
That's right, Cool Parents: "Last Minute" no longer exists once you have a baby.  Think of all the factors that need consideration: babysitters, bedtimes, diaper bags, hangovers...
A few summers ago, Carrie Underwood was performing in my Nowhere city.  I got a phone call 3 hours before the show with the offer of a free ticket.  Now, you'd better bet your Baby Daddy that I immediately went into Spastic Mom overdrive. I was NOT willing to miss this show.  And wouldn't you know, my entire family (read: free babysitters) was busy.  I was thisclose to ringing my neighbor's doorbell and leaving my kid on their porch.  (Don't worry.  Sanity kicked in once I remembered that said neighbor's nickname is Pervy Pete, due to his loitering outdoors when I sunbathe.  Sidenote: Yelling "Hey Mama, lookin' good!" when I am 1) in the semi-privacy of my own backyard and 2) enjoying 30 child-free minutes, is a surefire way to make me go all Jersey Shore on you.)
And what happens when you become aware that you can no longer accept Last Minute plans?  You get a little too comfortable in your role as a parent.  Example?  A few weeks ago a (child-free) friend called on a Saturday night from a restaurant, saying I just HAD to join them right away.  My first thought was But there's a new iCarly on tonight!  And my sweatpants are so comfy!
This is what my weekends have become: couch, laptop, and iCarly with the kiddo.  (There may or may not be a bottle of wine involved.  That Spencer is so much cuter post-Pinot Grigio.  Also?  It helps me mourn my Before Baby life just a little less.)  And I'm really okay with this.
But when I get jealous of those people making their last minute travel plans?  I put on some high heels with my jammies and have a dance party with the kiddo.  (Is it bad that I've made a little boy think that Beyonce is the answer to all life's problems?  He recently said to me: "Mommy, it's okay. Just put your Freakum Dress on.")

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cool Mom Fantasies

For those of you who don't know, I went under the knife last week.  No, I did not get lipo, a tummy tuck, or a nose job (but really, I wish the surgeon had a better sense of humor when I asked him for complimentary Botox as a reward for surviving the surgery).  This means that I was told to rest for an entire week.
Considering that I have wanted to Rest ever since the stick turned pink, this news was as exciting as finding an exact replica of Samoa girl-scout cookies at my local grocery store (shout-out to those genius little Keebler elves!).  Because as we all know, the only way we Cool Moms can catch a break is if we are sick.  (And really?  Even then, the juice still needs poured, dinner needs made, and butts need wiped.)
Not too long ago, I found myself thinking, I'd rather shoot myself in the foot than watch one more episode of Spongebob.  Hmmm... a shot to the foot... not fatal, yet enough to land me in the hospital.  And then I could lay in bed and watch chick-flicks and eat ice cream and...
Then I realized I was fantasizing about BEING SHOT IN THE FOOT.
Yes, this is a bizzare-o, disturbing thing to dream about.  I also entertain the idea that my son will wake up and have somehow learned to tie his shoes, take his own shower, and make breakfast.  (Maybe I can cut a deal with the Tooth Fairy.  She can keep the money in exchange for teaching my child a life skill.)
And while we're on the subject of a chick who wears a tutu and carries a magic wand... here's another confession: I have a dream that one day I will be like one of those Real Housewives, and wear a hot dress, heels, and full makeup to the grocery store.  (Okay, so those women probably don't do their own grocery shopping.  But you know what I mean.)  Or the mall.  Heck, even to my own mailbox.  I mean, when I was shopping the other day, I picked up a shirt and actually thought to myself what a perfect MOM shirt for running errands.  (Of course, I immediately marched to Wet Seal to buy a bustier, but that didn't erase the horror of that Mommy Moment at JCPenney.)
My biggest Mom Fantasy involves my son buying me a house in the Hollywood Hills to retire in-- after he makes a zillion dollars inventing the next social networking site. (Like Mark Zuckerburg, minus the lawsuits.  And the attitude.  I mean, yes, I love Facebook and yes, my staring at it results in at least one weekly parenting failure.  But I swore off it for a whole 24 hours after seeing The Social Network.)
So when my child says, "Ya think you could drop me in the mailbox and send me to a place where I'm allowed to play videogames every hour of the day?"  Well, I like to think he's focusing on his future.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dressing Room Debacle

Take a moment, if you will, and consider the single-most hated activity on the planet for (most) women: bathing suit shopping.  (And if you're that Cool Mom who enjoys squishing your baby-holding hips into spandex?  We are probably not friends.  The only spandex that holds a place in my heart is the kind stitched into my Spanx.)
What does this have to do with parenting, you ask?  Both are an excruciating test of patience, yet also hold moments of pure glory.  (What?  Am I really the only mom who equates the joy of my child's first steps with the awesomeness of finding a bathing suit that camouflages muffin top and cellulite?  Sidenote: A sarong and an umbrella drink will help facilitate this miracle.)
But please, do NOT take your child bathing suit shopping with you.  Sharing a dressing room with your little one is never a good idea.  You'd think I would have gotten then picture way back in the early stages of motherhood, when Target forbid me to bring my shopping cart-- and the baby inside it-- into the dressing room.  I threw a fit that only a swollen, sleep-deprived New Mom is capable of, which may or may not have involved asking for a manager and waving a Bumbo seat in the air. 
What's the big dressing room deal, you ask?  Well, the second my shirt comes off, the kid makes a beeline for my belly.  And while a belly-zerbert can be funny and adorable under the proper circumstances, the sound of (fake) flatulence in such a contained area is horrifying.  After I pry him off of me ("But it's so squishy, Mommy! Why is it SO SQUISHY?!"), I bend down to explain proper dressing room etiquette.  Gravity (any mom's nemesis) causes a gap in my bra, which leads my child to yell, "WOAH, WOULD YOU LOOK AT THOSE!"
Can you blame me for sending him out to the "husband bench" with a soft pretzel and a video game?  (Sidenote: There was, in fact, another child in that dressing room.  I heard a pint-sized voice say, "Wow, Mommy!  Those are big numbers on that tag!"  I never saw the kid, but that mom may have dug a tunnel out of her dressing room rather than face anyone in the vicinity.)
Luckily, I opened my mailbox yesterday to find the new Spanx Catalog (this sacred event is comparable to the husband receiving the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.)  I locked myself in the bedroom for 39 minutes (each page requiring one full minute of admiration), and discovered the Spanx Swimsuit.  I know.  I don't have to leave the house to try it on, AND it compresses my Squishies?  If this company starts making jeans?  Cool Moms will surely take over the world.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mixed Signals & Bourbon-Soaked Ice Cream

It's the moment every parent of a preschooler dreads: being pulled aside by the teacher at the morning drop-off for a "talk."  Now, I've eavesdropped on several of these conversations, and they are usually along the lines of "Your child has a problem with hitting other students," or "You might want to consider speech therapy for that lisp."  (I know what you're thinking.  And I'm willing to admit that I'm BEYOND nosy.  I mean, just last weekend my husband and I had the Best Date Ever.  Why?  Because the couple at the table next to us totally met on  Score!)
So there I was, ready to defend my parenting skills, when I was presented with this: "Can you please ask your son to stop correcting my grammar?  They're really not going to like that in kindergarten next year."  Well.  My first (obnoxious) thought was maybe his kindergarten teacher won't need correcting.  But I had the decency to swallow my laughter and look embarrassed.  (And if you're reading this, Mrs. X?  Surely you recognize that keeping our opinions to ourselves is not a family trait.)
On the ride home, I asked my son why he felt the need to correct his teacher.  He said, "I thought it would be a funny thing to put on your blog!  Well.  As I could hardly argue with that logic, I turned around and gave him a high-five.  Mixed signals, you say?  I seem to excel at this.
For example, my son once walked into the kitchen around 9:00 a.m. to find me wrist-deep in a carton of Ben & Jerry's.
Him, eyes wide: "Ooh, can I have some too?!"
Me: "Of course not, it's breakfast time!"
Him: "Well why do YOU get to eat it?"
(Let's remember I had a choice here.  And rather than give my 5 year-old a lesson in hormones, I did what any caught-red-handed-mom would do: improvised.)
Me: "You have to be 21 to eat dessert for breakfast."
Him: "Oh.  Just like the age I can have a cocktail."

Do I worry that my son will grow up craving bourbon-soaked ice cream?  To be honest, I'm more concerned about his vocabulary.  Because I've also noticed that when stuck in slow traffic, I yell, "Drive faster, ya bag of bones!" and then say to my kiddo, "Honey, that's only okay when we're in a hurry."  So the next time Mrs. X pulls me aside for a morning conference, I will ask: "Did he call you a bag of bones?  No?  Then we're good here."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The TV Affair

It all started with a shower.  Or should I say, my desire for a shower.  I learned very quickly that leaving a baby unattended for even 3 seconds is impossible, frowned upon, and probably illegal.  So how does a new mom take a 10-minute shower?  The answer (at least for this Cool Mom): Baby Einstein.
However, the first 2 months of Mommyhood didn't involve much showering at all.  In fact, my greasiness came in handy when trying to avoid my husband around that magical "week 6" post-baby.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  (And if not, your husband did not have that day circled in red marker on the calender, and he also must not have called you obsessively on the day of your 6-week check-up, saying "canwedoitcanwedoitcanwedoit."  Lucky you.)
But when the time came that my child's eyes could focus on a TV screen for 8 solid minutes, I popped in a Baby Einstein DVD and did the Dance of Joy.  (Sidenote: Am I the only one who still references- or remembers- Perfect Strangers?  Super Sidenote: I heard that the Baby Einstein DVDs are under fire for not being "educational."  Excuse me?  Did you really think your 6 month-old was going to watch a movie that focuses on brightly colored stuffed animals and come away speaking Mandarin?)  I quickly became addicted to all the things I could accomplish in those few minutes when my child was planted in front of a dancing puppet show.  (However, listing them here will not earn me any Mommy Points.  Though it will prevent you from ever asking me to babysit your children.)
As you can imagine, I created a TV Monster.  My son now says things like, "How can I eat a waffle while I'm watching TV?  I have to look down to get a bite on my fork, and I might miss something!"
My only consolation?  At least my kid's first word wasn't Spongebob.  That's not exactly something to write down in the Baby Book.  (Though let's be honest.  The closest thing my kid has to a Baby Book is a handful of cocktail napkins with notes jotted on them like "18 months, knows ABC's.")
Over the years, Baby Einstein morphed into WordWorld, which turned into Spongebob, which leads us to today's TV obsession: iCarly.  And although I find this show hilarious (and know several Cool Moms who have a crush on Spencer), I am worried about the effect it is having on my 5 year-old.  Just last week, when God and Ohio granted us an unseasonably warm February day, I turned off the TV and said "Let's go outside!"  My son's response?  "I'm not really into the whole 'outside' thing."  And in case you were wondering?  He used airquotes.  Properly.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Even More First-Time Mom Mistakes

This week I went to a birthday party with a LOT of children in attendance.  In addition to all the toddlers running around, it seemed that every mom was also holding an infant in her arms.  And since my child refused to participate in any activities (Me: "They're asking all the kids to go over there and play a game."  Kiddo: "Not. Happening."), I had a lot of time to sit in the corner and contemplate even more First-Time Mom Mistakes...

1) I don't know if your gyno rocks as much as mine does (read: is a Rico Suave Italian type, whose cologne you can smell coming down the hospital corridors, and who says things like "You gained 4 pounds in 1 week? You're gorgeous, babe!"), but if he offers you an Ambien the night after giving birth, say YES PLEASE.  Put that baby in the nursery (you are, after all, paying $50,000 for this "glorious" experience) and enjoy the last night of uninterrupted sleep you will ever have.  Because post-baby?  Recreational drug-use is frowned upon.

2) While it takes the skill of a Mathlete to figure out how to leave the house with a baby, there are certain places you should not go.  Number one with a bullet?  A restaurant.  I once spent an entire (expensive) meal standing next to the table because my infant would only be content if I was swaying back and forth.  (Luckily, the pretty pink drinks I ordered helped with the whole swaying thing.)  And I dare you to try to keep a child under age 2 contained in a booth.  When your child bolts from the table, runs into a server with a tray full of drinks, and then screams in delight upon finding a silverware tray to dump on the floor?  Well, they don't make a Hallmark card for that kind of disaster.

3) This one is important: do not worry what the Other Moms are doing.  If your baby is alive, healthy, and adores you, you are doing everything right.  When my kid refused to sleep the "correct" way (on his back), I broke down and put him to sleep on his belly.  (Not-sleeping for 3 straight months will make you ten-kinds of crazy.  I shouldn't have been allowed to operate a vehicle or heavy machinery, but there I was in charge of another human being.)  Also, make sure you know your audience before you discuss your Mommy Methods.  For example, shortly after birth, one mom asked me how healthy my diet was when I was pregnant.  Here's a tip: find out if she is a Dr. Spock-reading vegan before telling her about your caffeine-loving, lunchmeat-eating, third-trimester-wine-drinking self.

Remember, no Cool Mom is perfect.  Any mistakes only make you a better mom the second time around.  (Not that I know anything about the whole 'second time' thing, but I like to think that I would be more Julie Andrews and less Roseanne Barr.)  So next time you see a mom chasing her toddler around a restaurant?  Send her a pretty pink drink in solidarity.