A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Category: parenting (Page 2 of 18)

The thing about siblings…

This is the first year all three of my kids have extra-curricular activities and life seems to have gotten a bit more unmanageable all of a sudden.

Bucket Head taking Taekwondo

Tell you what though, as much as I sometimes envy my friends with only one child, there really is something special about the life-lessons and social skills kids with siblings have to endure get to experience.

Recently we had a very interesting situation dropped in our laps. Continue reading

Something’s gotta give

Receiving a call from your child’s teacher at 7:30 a.m. is rarely a good thing.

And learning that your six-year-old son won’t stop crying is not the kind of news any parent ever wants to hear.

But realizing that the reason he’s crying is because of me? That, my friends, is a game changer. Continue reading

FINALLY! The secret to a great interview…

"You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth" cover 250x335I’ve been pounding the pavement a lot lately doing a media blitz to promote In The Powder Room’s new humor anthology, “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”  (Which is now available for purchase on ALL THE THINGS.)

Just between us chickens, it has been a very eye-opening experience.

The thing is, I really love to write. Writing is my jam, yo.

But talking? With my mouth? To other people? About myself? Eh… not so much.

You see, when I talk, especially about myself, I usually say the wrong things. Sometimes I can actually see the words tumbling out of my mouth while my brain is shouting in slow-motion, “Nooooooooooooooooooooooo. ABORT ABORT ABORT. SELF DESTRUCTION MODE ACTIVATED.” Continue reading

A new way to use my crazy for good at school!

Ever since the year I was an overachieving (see: pill-popping) Kindergarten room mom, I tend to steer clear of volunteering at school. I’ve just found that my kids do better on their own without me being there to, you know, ask questions like “So is the Principal Pal thing rigged, or what? Who do I have to throw some Benjamins at to get one of those frickin’ magnets on my car?”

But you know me, I like to help. I’m just much better behind the scenes: pulling weeds in the school’s butterfly garden, or sending in canned goods, or selling my soul to the devil in exchange for the last existing yellow poly folder with pockets AND prongs in the western hemisphere.

One year I found that the best way I could help was by sharpening all of our teacher’s classroom pencils every weekend. (Those poor teachers have THE WORST pencil sharpeners in their classrooms!) My oldest son Vince would bring home a baggie full of about 100 dull pencils every Friday and I would zone out and reflect on my deep thoughts over the sound of my professional grade X-ACTO whirring away. Very therapeutic. I like my pencils like I like my men: tall, sharp, and with a big, firm, pink… eraser on the end. Ew, what did you think I was going to say?

This year will now forever be remembered as the year my child was finally rewarded for my hoarding tendencies. 

That’s right, people. The stars have aligned and Mini-Me’s math teacher sent out an email this week asking parents to save twist-on bottle caps for a future project.

Uh, like these?

It finally pays to be a hoarder by The Bearded Iris


My sweet child came home all aglow yesterday because apparently I was the only parent to reply to that teacher’s email.

See? We all have our own unique gifts and ways that we can serve others. Mine just so happen to involve repetitive tasks and the DSM-IV. Whatevs. You say PTA, I say PTSD. God bless us, every one.  

So that’s what’s new around here.

But elsewhere…

I overshare on the Internet

Last week I was invited to write this for HLNtv.com about moms who “overshare” on the Internet. And apparently it struck a nerve with some people. Granted, I’m not licking my own face repeatedly or slapping my nekkid butt cheeks all up on a gyrating Footlocker employee’s man meat, but still—this article garnered the second ugliest comment I’ve ever received in the five years I’ve been doing this blogging thing. (Which you cannot read because it was not published. As a general rule, the only assholes I pay any attention to whatsoever are my own and my children’s.)

I’m also very excited to be making my debut at Bonbon Break this week to share some of the behind the scenes pinnacles and pitfalls of the whole self-publishing experience. Please check it out!

I hope your Labor Day weekend is everything you need for it to be, times two, with a side of Come Back Sauce, and a free kitten.

Yours truly,


A Full Circle Cornhole Moment

My 6-year-old son Bucket Head wants to be a Tiger Cub.

It’s all he’s been talking about for two weeks: “MOM! THEY GET TO SHOOT BOWS AND ARROWS! AND GO CAMPING! AND RACE PINEWOOD DERBY CARS!!!”

Is it just me, or does this statue look like a giant turd?

Is it just me, or does this bronze statue look like a giant turd?

Bucket Head was made to be a Cub Scout. The kid can’t walk without finding and picking up sharp sticks wherever he goes.

So we went to the Cub Scout Roundup last night; sat and listened and whooped and hollered at all the appropriate cues; and then when the Cubmaster asked for volunteer Den Leaders, it was so quiet you could hear a flea fart.

Honest to Pete, the only sound in the joint was the cafeteria clock going tick-tick-tick as all the parents put their heads down and avoided eye contact with each other.

Cubmasters must be used to this response because they played it pretty cool.

…for the first five minutes.

And then the begging began in earnest.

One of the other leaders approached my husband who has worked with my oldest son’s Boy Scout Troop for years and said, “Jim? How about you? Ready to be a Den Leader?”

“Sorry, Bob. Can’t do it this year.”

“Oh, come on. It’s only an hour a week and the first four meetings are totally planned out for you.”

“No can do, man. I’m already spread way too thin.”


“Anyone? Folks, we can’t have a Tiger Den without two Den Leaders,” the Cubmaster pleaded.


“Do it for the kids! We’ll help you. There is training!”

You could see the panic sprawled across all those sweet little 6-year-old faces.

“What’s happening, Mom?” one of the boys whispered.

Nobody was stepping up.

A bead of sweat slowly trickled down the face of the dad across the table from me as he busied himself on his iPhone.

Uh-oh. This is bad, I thought to myself.


And just when it looked like poor little Bucket Head wasn’t going to get to be a Cub Scout after all, a small voice piped up from the back:

“I’ll do it.”

A universal, audible sigh of relief reached everyone’s ears at once. 

Wait, who said that?

Who is that crazy woman in the back raising her hand?

Hey! I know her! Hi!

Oh no.

Hold on, folks.

She might not be the best choice.

Isn’t she a… a… a humorist?

I mean, she overshares on the Internet. And she has a book on Amazon about lady bits and stuff!

Oh well. Too late now.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to your newest Cub Scout Den Leader!

(It’s me. Say hello to me. Thanks. I get tired of talking to myself, y’know?) 

Yeah. I’m just as shocked as you are.

(But I’m pretty excited about the uniform!)

So we’ll have to see how it goes. I’m bracing myself for the very real possibility that I will be deemed “unacceptable” as a Cub Scout Den Leader based on my, well… me-ness. But like I tell my kids all the time, beggars can’t be choosers. You don’t want someone like me* heading up your Tiger Cub Den? Then step up.

But in the meantime, I already know one of the crafts we’ll be doing! The boys are going to LOVE IT!

To help you fully appreciate what an enormous full circle moment this is for me and my family, I’ve spruced up one of my very first blog posts for you about the time I played Cornhole and perfected the art of the Dutch Oven at Cub Scout Family Camp five years ago. It’s probably new to you, and it is one of my all time favorites. Enjoy!

© 2013 The Bearded Iris

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