On Being the Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy, as depicted on Yo Gabba Gabba.  Terrifying children since '08.

The Tooth Fairy, as depicted on Yo Gabba Gabba. Terrifying toothless children since 2008.

Little M lost his second tooth today, just a week or so after losing his first one.  He’s only five, so I thought I had a little more time before I had to throw on my fairy wings and start trading pesos for pearly whites.  But here I am, sifting through my purse for a buck or two to place under my little man’s pillow tonight.  You might think a buck or two’s a little cheap, but we’ll get to that later.

Losing a first tooth is a major milestone for kids.  When they’re babies you throw a party practically every time they take a shit, but as they get older their little firsts tend to be few and far between.  So when something big happens, as parents, we tend to be overly enthusiastic.  Losing teeth is a big deal for us, too.  We get to be the Tooth Fairy! And take cute little toothless pictures to show off on Facebook and Instagram!  And did you know that they even sell little keepsake boxes for storing “baby’s first curl” and “baby’s first tooth”? You know, if collecting dead body cells is your thing.

But just like any other matter in parenting, it’s not always all hunky dory.  There’s some stuff about losing baby teeth that I was simply not prepared for.  I’ll now share these things with you, so that you might be prepared when the situation befalls you.  And if you’ve already been through this ordeal with your kids, well, thanks a lot for the heads up.  Love being blindsided by crazy parenting shit.

It’s terrifying – I was SO excited when my little boy lost his tooth.  Like, maniacally jumping up and down for joy, totally thrilled for him on this HUGE day in his little five-year-old life.  Too bad he was straight up HORRIFIED.  I guess we sometimes look so forward to these major milestones in our children’s lives that we forget how it feels to be the one living them.  I mean, his tooth? Just fell out of his mouth.  While I had explained that it would happen someday, that it’s totally natural and happens to everyone, and that it’s even kind of fun to wiggle the tooth around when it first starts feeling loose, there’s no real way to prepare a little kid for seeing an actual part of his body detach itself.  It’s pretty heavy shit for a five year old.

It hurts – The night before the tooth fell out, Little M burst into my room, crying hysterically that his tooth was killing him.  I was like whaaaaat?  It’s just a loose tooth!  I don’t remember loose teeth ever hurting when I was a kid.  But, then again, I don’t even remember how old I am half the time, so my memory is irrelevant.  I filled a teaspoon with some grape-flavored Tylenol and sent him off to bed.  The next morning, when the tooth was hanging by one bloody little thread, and he was sobbing into his Cheerios, I honestly didn’t know what the heck to do.  Do I pull it out?  Do I tell him to pull it out himself?  Do I leave it alone? What if he swallows it? What if it falls out of his mouth in school and he can’t find it?  What if it never falls out at all?? What if I stopped freaking the hell out long enough to realize that the damn thing just fell out???

How much to give? – I had originally planned to fork over $20 for the first tooth.  Not so much that he’s spoiled, not so little that I’m cheap.  But then the damn tooth went and fell out the same day we had an epic snowstorm here in New York– and there was no way in frozen hell that I was sledding down to the nearest ATM for twenty bucks.  Since I only had a fifty dollar bill, I hesitantly settled on spoiling him more than originally planned.  No biggie– I justified it by reminding myself that I was merely returning some “borrowed” money from his piggy bank (how else do you tip the pizza guy when you’re short on cash??)  BIG MISTAKE.  Now everywhere we go, he’s bragging to EVERYONE about the stupid Tooth Fairy giving him fifty big ones.  I keep getting this patronizing look from people as they mutter their insincere congratulations, followed by a “wowww, I wish the Tooth Fairy was THAT generous when I was little …” Well screw you, you’re not little.  You’re old.  And it’s called inflation.  Asshole.

Being the Tooth Fairy sucks – That whole fifty dollar conundrum aside, it’s not easy being the Tooth Fairy.  She’s got a tough job.  She has to sneak into the room of a sleeping child, rifle around under the child’s pillow (where his HEAD is resting peacefully), frantically searching for a teeny tiny tooth, without being detected at all, then remove the tooth and VERY CAREFULLY slide money under the pillow, and then get the hell out of there before the kid wakes up.  To make the task extra easy on me, my son has a freaking bunk bed –  I had to stand on top of a chair while performing this near-impossible task.  And Little M was basically lying right on top of his tooth.  It took like fifteen whole minutes to get this done, and I almost threw the fifty on top of the bed and called it a night at least twice.

Off topic a bit, but a quick “Tooth Fairy” internet search led me to a site detailing how to make your own tooth-shaped pillow to put the child’s tooth in!  And I thought the plastic bag I put Little M’s tooth in was a smart idea.  Well, at least mine didn’t involve sewing of any sort.

To save or not to save – My mother-in-law saved all of my husband’s baby teeth, which she recently tried to pawn off on me, to which I was like, um PASS.  And I have been making fun of her for years about saving those gross things.  But now I possess two of my own child’s baby teeth, and I feel like you couldn’t PAY ME to throw them away.  They are, like, a part of him and stuff.  Now I’m thinking of investing in a little dead body cell keepsake box of my own.  Um, future daughter-in-law?  Just 25 more years ‘til they’re all yours.

The Tooth Flu – Hey kids!  What’s the BEST way to get sick?  How about by putting your dirty little fingers in your mouth ALL DAY LONG?!  Preferably during cold and flu season!  Tooth #1 gave Little M a bad cold followed by a double ear infection.  Tooth #2?  Strep throat.  I don’t want know what’s in store for tooth #3.

Advertisements

Guilty Pleasures: The Top Three TV Shows I Hate to Love

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a huge television addict.  You may recall my having mentioned in past blogs that I watch an “inexcusable” amount of it.  I’m not proud, but it’s just part of who I am. I like to justify it with the fact that I went to school for communication arts and thus am merely making use of my otherwise wasted degree.

Not every show I watch is embarrassing (although my level of obsession with a few of them might not be too cool). However, in the spirit of making others feel better about their own viewing choices, I’ve decided to disclose a few of my bigger boob-tube indulgences.  That way, you won’t feel the need to justify your own love affair with Teen Mom or Dr. Phil (two shows I haven’t listed below but of which I’ve seen my fair share of episodes).

Me, according to Big M.

Me, according to Big M.

Here is my list of the top three shows I hate to love, and why I love them so damn much:

American Idol – As talent shows go, this truly is the mother of them all.  And although I’m not even a big fan of them, I can’t help but be sucked into the Idol vortex whenever January rolls around.  I think it’s just kind of a pastime for me.  I’ve been hooked ever since Kelly Clarkson defeated that curly-haired douchelord in the show’s very first season, then beautifully belted out her single, “A Moment like This,” a song I am admittedly ashamed to say I’ve always kinda liked.  Sure, the show is a looooong way off from its former days of glory, when Simon would publicly berate contestants in his hilariously condescending British accent, and Randy made the whole world never want to hear the word “dog” ever again, and Paula practically jumped onstage every week to dry-hump some young male contestant, sipping liquid crack from her giant you-aren’t-fooling-anyone “Coca-Cola” cup and then rambling incoherently for the rest of the episode.  Those original hot mess judges and their antics are all long gone, so why do I still watch it today, you ask?  I honestly don’t even know.  Maybe because it’s fun to say the word “pitchy”?  Or because Keith Urban reminds me of a grown-up, Australian version of Jordan Catalano from My-So-Called-Life? Or maybe I’m just hoping for an update on the Pants On The Ground guy?  Whatever it is, I’m still faithfully watching.  Unfortunately, my DVR is pretty loaded up on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so someday I may have to bid adieu to Ryan Seacrest and the gang (whoever the hell it is by then).  But I’m really just hoping for a new Carrie Underwood or Philip Phillips to come along and save the show from their flailing ratings- and my own decision to call it quits.

The Bachelor – The dumbest thing about my obsession with The Bachelor is that I have only recently begun watching it a few seasons ago.  Despite my affinity for trashy reality TV (The Bad Girls Club was my favorite show for a really long time), I actually managed to avoid this one for like a zillion seasons.  Then one Monday night I just had nothing else to watch and I finally tuned in to see what the hype was all about.  I think I was sucked in immediately out of sheer wonder– just how delusional ARE these women and do they honestly believe they will find some jacked-up form of “true love” by duking it out with 25 other equally delusional skanky nutbags for the affections of some brainless asshat with the personality of a toaster?? This season’s selected Bachelor, Juan Pablo, is already in some majorly hot water for recently spewing out some controversial (read: assinine) opinions on homosexuality.  This angers me sooo much, because Juan Pablo is fucking HOT AS HELL (what he lacks in charisma he seems to make up for as eye candy).  Although I knew he was an idiot before, I now know he is an ignorant idiot, which totally sucks. I did not want to know that.  I don’t personally care how stupid he is, as I’ll never meet him in person or care even if I did.  But now I just feel dirty for thinking he’s so hot and giving a shit who he selects for his future ex-fiance.  It’s like when you love fast food, and then you land a job at McDonalds and you get an ugly behind-the-scenes peek at just how nasty the shit is– and it ruins fast food for you forever.  You were perfectly happy NOT knowing what those burgers looked like in their frozen, precooked, clearly 150% processed state. And now you can’t un-know what you now know.  Same goes for myself and Juan Pablo. But it doesn’t even matter.  Because I’ll still watch every week, wondering who’s getting a rose, who’s getting the boot, and who’s getting the crazy bitch of the season award. I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is.  Now let’s move on.
Days of Our Lives – Soap operas may be a dying breed, but this one isn’t going anywhere.  And there’s a reason for that: because it’s GREAT.  Daytime entertainment at its very best.   I’ve literally been watching this show my entire life (thanks mom!), and if they ever cancel it, I think I may contemplate suicide.  I mean, these are much more than characters on a TV show to me; these people are my friends.  For just one hour every day, I live in Salem and I’m an honorary Brady or Horton or Kiriakis or even Dimera, and it’s a freaking blast.  I know this makes me sound a little nuts (okay, a lot nuts)  but when you spend most of your time with people barely old enough to wipe their own asses, you start craving the company of adults. Any kind of company, even the kind that is not even remotely real.  But I just love this show so much, and I’ve grown up with its cast, and every day, for that one, amazing hour, I get to escape to another world with them– a special place where nobody stays dead forever and everyone is a gorgeous, millionaire, murderer and/or adulterer, with at least one illegitimate child they’ve never met and another child of uncertain paternity on the way.  SO embarrassingly awesome.
Now it’s your turn: what are some of your favorite guilty pleasure TV shows?

I Love It When People Aren’t Assholes

I really love it when people aren’t assholes.

Let’s face it, people are assholes ALL THE TIME.  Everywhere you go, you find asshole people doing asshole things in all different kinds of asshole ways, and you think to yourself, “wow, what assholes.”

For example, when I’m trying to catch an elevator because I’m lugging around a stroller that, believe it or not, doesn’t come equipped with retractable legs for climbing stairs, and I’m suddenly cut off by a group of non-stroller-wielding, non-handicapped individuals, I’m like “holy shit, these people are a bunch of assholes.”

Or when I’m waiting for my son outside his school, and I look to my right and see a person parked in the yellow, school bus-loading zone and her gargantuan SUV is blocking actual school buses from parking there and letting children on, I think to myself “she’s quite the asshole.”

Or back when I was nine months pregnant in the supermarket, pushing a heavy shopping cart full of groceries and a screaming three-year-old, and someone practically threw themselves in front of me like a goddamn NFL linebacker in order to get in line first, I was like “yeesh, asshole city!”

It’s like the world’s population consists of just two kinds of people: assholes and non-assholes.

Once in a while, you get lucky and come upon the non-assholes. I like those days.

I like the days when when I walk into a shopping mall and someone jumps ahead to grab the door and open it for me and my awkward, bulky double-stroller.  I like when I’m at the pediatrician’s office and I’m checked in by the sweet receptionist who smiles at my kids and offers them SpongeBob and Dora stickers, instead of by the miserable teenager who clearly hates her job and sneers at my babies like the spawn of Satan that she is.

I like when I’m driving and people kindly let me merge into their lane when mine is closing, instead of slamming on the gas like Speedy Gonzalez with a drivers license just to not let me in for NO REASON AT ALL.  There’s a special spot in hell for those kinds of assholes, by the way.

I liked it when I used to commute to work on an express bus and a person would get a call on their cell phone, and they would speak in a low whisper or, even better, hang up and promise to call back when they got off the bus.

I like the words “thank you.”  I love to hear them and I don’t think people say them nearly enough.  It’s such a simple phrase, yet I can’t count how many doors I’ve held open, how many cars I’ve let go ahead of me, how many sneezing strangers I’ve blessed, without receiving even the simplest form of gratitude.  It’s truly mind-boggling.

I also enjoy the words “excuse me.”  They are, incidentally, very simple to say.  Assholes of the world, please try saying them with me.  It won’t take more than a moment.  “Excuse me.”  There.  You assholes CAN say it.  So the next time you feel like charging onto the subway like a fucking bull in a china shop, try uttering that very simple phrase instead of proceeding to be the animal that you are.  I lost a shoe on some train tracks in Brooklyn a few years ago on my way to work because of an asshole like you, and I will never get over it.  Yes, seriously.  That happened to me.  Stupid asshole kicked it right off my foot.  Not my best day.

Sometimes it seems like there aren’t any nice people left in the world.  Some days you just encounter one asshole after another, and you’re so fed up with the assholes around you that you think you may, someday soon, just turn into one yourself.  Maybe that’s how the world ended up with so many assholes in the first place.

But please don’t ever do that.  Please don’t ever become an asshole.  You’ll be letting the assholes win and you must NEVER LET THE ASSHOLES WIN.

Where is Larry David when you need him??

Where is Larry David when you need him??

Believe it or not, my goal today is not to spread my disdain for those eternally plagued by asshole disease.  Such people are disliked widely enough all on their own without any of my help .  My goal is actually to celebrate the wonderful people among us who are not assholes AT ALL.  It is to give thanks to those who go about their day, every day, with no intention whatsoever of unleashing deliberate grief or anguish upon a single person they come across.

I wish to express my appreciation for those who always keep their nasty comments to themselves, who often go out of their way to make brighter the day of the people around them, who will express their own gratitude toward others who have been decent to them as well, and who never fail to follow the most basic, childhood lesson in morality that a shockingly large number of people seem to have long forgotten: always treat others the same way that you, yourself, wish to be treated.

I want to use my blogging platform today to give a big, hearty THANK YOU to the NICE people of the world. Your kindness, manners, and general awesomeness does not go unnoticed by everyone (contrary to how it often may feel).

And as for the rest of you?  Please stop being such assholes.

You know who you are 😉

Slippers Vs. Stilettos: The Working Mom/Stay-At-Home-Mom Feud

DSC_0193

There’s a war going on out there, ladies, and it ain’t a pretty one.  Moms– awesome women who should always be united on the sippy cup front, who should stand together as one in all of the trials and tribulations of motherhood —are currently battling it out in a bitter feud so controversial that I almost didn’t want to weigh in.  Almost.

The working mom verses the stay-at-home-mom thing.  You know all about it, girls.  It’s a major source of tension between mamas these days.  From sisters to best friends, to strangers, to people who are closer on Facebook than they’ll ever be in real life, we are ALL guilty of it.  Whichever end of the rope you find yourself on, you can just go ahead and admit to having the occasional feelings of jealousy, animosity, resentment, and even actual anger for the other side at some point or another.  And it’s totally normal– it’s human nature.  The grass is always greener on the other side, right?  It’s hard not to sometimes wonder how that lush, green grass would look on your own weedy, toy-littered front lawn.

But before we allow this petty rivalry to continue, we should probably take a few steps in each other’s shoes for a moment just to see what life is like in the slippers—or stilettos – of the women we are often too quick to judge.

The stay-at-home mom has probably found herself on the business end of a nervous breakdown at least once or twice, brought on by a potentially lethal combination of neither seeing nor speaking to another adult for several weeks at a time and the 24/7, nonstop, earsplitting shrieks of a colicky infant all day and all night.  She is home ALL THE TIME, she hasn’t showered in days or worn anything but pajamas for a month, and all she hears from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes back to sleep is “mommy she’s hitting me,” and “mommy I want more juice,” and “mommy I peed on the couch again.” And if she sees ONE more fucking episode of Dora, she’s going to take that horrible, singing map and stick it so far up Swiper’s ass that he won’t be swiping anything again for a long, long time.  Yes, it’s a pretty lonely, exasperating life.

The working mom, on the other hand, is eternally plagued with stress and guilt.  There are assholes everywhere she goes trying to make her feel bad for doing something as basic as GOING TO WORK EVERYDAY, as though we live in some kind of utopian society where one measly income could effortlessly provide any family with everything they need.  And it’s not like there is some mathematical equation for balancing home and work and everything in between.  It’s not like she ENJOYS coming home to a messy house, the kids needing homework help at 8p.m.,then having to fold laundry until 11p.m., then waking up at the buttcrack of dawn the next day to chop vegetables for the stupid crockpot, so she is literally making everyone’s breakfast, lunch, AND dinner at the same time, and then sitting in rush hour traffic or next to some smelly person on the train for over an hour just to get to work and have some dickhead boss up her ass all day, making sure she isn’t Instagramming pictures of her kids instead of getting work done.  Does that sound fun to anyone?

I, myself, am actually kind of a work-at-home-mom these days, as I do freelance writing in between refilling juice cups and cleaning pee off the couch.  The amount of money I make doing it is practically laughable, but I can use all the help I can get with bills and writing experience, so I do it.  When I started, I thought that working from home was going to be the best of both worlds.  I can work but I don’t need to find a babysitter!  How awesome, right?  Um, not quite.  My daughter literally climbs on my head whenever I attempt to get work done, my son is always on my laptop playing computer games when I need to use it, and I usually have to wait until everyone is sound asleep to get anything remotely productive done, often finishing my work just a couple of hours before the kids will be awake.    

So you see, we need to understand that we are ALL amazing women, and we’re just striving to do the best we can with the hand that life has dealt to us.  If you are familiar with me and my blog, you know that I’m rarely serious about anything.  But I take this seriously because I am so incredibly tired of seeing women tear each other down over something that doesn’t even need to be an issue.  I don’t go to “work” every day, but so what?  Sometimes I’m happy about it, other times not at all.  But that’s my life, my decision, and no one’s business but my own.  The same goes for each and every one of you in the decision you have made for yourselves.

And as frustrating as the working-from-home gig can be, it’s allowed me to see things from the other perspective.  It’s given me a chance to see how stressful, exhausting, frustrating, debilitating, and downright miserable ALL of these situations can be.  But it’s also proven what I’ve known to be true all along:  that being a mom is insanely difficult, no matter what you do for a living.  It doesn’t matter if you have a job, a career, a business to run, a house to run, or maybe some hectic, hybrid version of it all.  Because, at the end of the day, there’s a good chance that the hardest thing you will EVER do is something that we are all doing— raising children.

Can’t we all at least agree on that?