Meet Fred

Hello.

This is Fred.

Eat a sandwich, man! 

Fred is a skeleton.

Fred lives with us now.

Fred is a friend of the family.

He used to live at Target, where I took Quinn to buy (more) Halloween decorations. Halloween, as it turns out, is the new Christmas when it comes to decorating our house which means Christmas is the new “holy-shit-its-balls-out-bananas-up-in-this-illuminated-like-Vegas-on-acid-gingerbread-abode.” I can’t wait!

Anyway, we saw Fred, who at the time was just an unknown plastic skeleton heaped in a pile of other unknowns. He was meant to be an outside decoration. Maybe sitting on chair, bony hand raised in salutation, or maybe crouched on a tree ready to lunge at the school kids who walk by. (Which will do wonders for our newly minted kindergartener’s social game. “You want to play with the kid whose mom dropped a plastic skeleton on your ass? Umm, no.”)

But, nope. That was not to be Fred’s fate. Quinn yanked him off the shelf and no sooner was a friendship borne.

“I love him,” Quinn said.

“That’s fine,” I said. “Love is love. Put him in the cart.”

“He’s almost the same size as me.”

“Eh, your body types are similar, but you’ve got a good four inches on him.”

“I’m going to carry him,” Quinn said, putting Fred’s arms around his neck. “Let’s go Fred!”

Yes, beat feet, Beetlejuice! I had purple lights and giant plushy spiders and maybe a pair of upended Frankenstein boots buy. Let’s go, kids!

Quinn carried his skeletal friend around Target. They held hands, put their arms around each other’s shoulders, pushed all of our groceries, Halloween decorations, and $582 worth of subliminally selected merchandise I didn’t know I needed, but now can’t live with out, aside so I could push them in the cart like they were two-bit councilmen up for re-election in small town Forth of July parade.

“What’s this guy’s name?” I asked.

“Fred,” Quinn said. “Definitely Fred.”

While I loaded the bags into the trunk Quinn buckled Fred into the backseat.

Do you meet the weight requirements to use a lap belt, Fred?

“Fred wants McDonald’s,” Quinn said. “He’s never had it before.”

“Oh, unfortunately Fred doesn’t have a stomach so I’m afraid it would just fall out.” Which, come to think of it, is what happens to people with stomachs who eat  McDonald’s.

Chill out, funny animal. That was barely a burn. Unlike the feeling your butt gets after you eat– okay, okay.

When we got home, Quinn brought Fred inside, straight past the porch chair I imagined him sitting on, past his acquaintance whose body parts we planted on the lawn, past the Happy Meal Bart must have picked up for his lunch while he was out running errands.

“This is my room,” I heard him say. “This is your room too. This is my box of action figures. This is where we keep the Legos. You can sleep right…here.”

They hung out together the rest of the day. They Face-timed my parents, watched three episodes of Peppa Pig, even took a bath together. Fred hit the 25% off mass market Halloween decoration lottery with this kid. That floppy mess of plastic was practically beaming when he got out of the bath more likely because Quinn washed him with my luxury, salon-grade, for color-treated hair mask. But whatever.

Oh yes, Fred may have been dead but he was living the life.

Until the incident.

“MOMMMMMMMMMY!”

Never good. Nope. Never. That’s when my fight or flight instinct takes over and I run for the front door.

“You have to help Fred!!!”

Oh, it’s Fred! Fred I can handle. No offense, Fred, but at least there won’t be blood.

Quinn ran down the hall with Fred in one hand and Fred’s right arm in his other hand.

“It just came off!” Quinn said, handing me Fred’s appendage.

Well, now it’s a back scratcher!

“I can fix it!”

First rule of parenting 101: Never say “I can fix it” before you’ve properly assessed this damage. Fred’s arm was toast. It was a clean break ripped right out of the socket. I saw my future and it involved another trip to the seasonal section of Target. And maybe a chevron throw pillow. And an acacia wood server. And an artificial succulent in a brass pot. And a bed for Puppy. And new booties for me. And a bathing suit for Quinn in case Bart ever enrolls him in swimming lessons. Goddamnit, Fred! Couldn’t you keep your hands to yourself?

Before I could say “get your shoes on” Quinn had Fred propped up on a kitchen chair.

“Know what’s scarier than a skeleton?” he asked. “A ONE ARMED SKELETON! Fred’s the coolest!”

Wow. Good attitude, kid. Not today, acacia wood platter. (But definitely another day. You’re gorgeous.)

The next day Quinn introduced his buddy Maddex to Fred. I heard “Cool” and then “MOMMMMMMMMMMMMY!”

Both boys ran down the hall brandishing one of Fred’s arms.

“Now we each get a skeleton hand!”

Then they ran off to slap each other with their new hands.

Hello.

Meet Fred.

Know what’s scarier than a one armed skeleton? Waaaaaaay freakin’ scarier.

He’s had a rough 24 hours.

Fred can’t itch his nose or eat a bowl of cereal.

Fred needs rest.

Also, someone should have told Mommy that Fred was resting on the couch before she sat down.

Excuse me, is that your severed femur in my butt?

Uh oh, Fred.

Know what’s scarier than a skeleton with no arms?

Listen to Your Mother (If You Can Stand it)

Phonophobia: Fear of loud sounds, including voices–including your own–especially Shelly Mazzanoble’s.

Does anyone like hearing their voice? I cannot stand it. (True confession: Even though I co-host the Dungeons & Dragons podcast, I can’t listen to a single one, which sucks because we’ve had some really great guests on there. And I tend to do a great imitation of Bert from Sesame Street that I’m pretty sure would blow my own mind.) I also don’t love seeing myself because in my mind I’m waaaaaaaaaaaay better looking than that goofy, wildly gesturing, large-eyed creature with the grating voice before me.

If you also can’t stand my voice or the sight of me perhaps you should stop reading now. If you think you can stomach it, below is the link to my performance as part of this year’s  Listen to your Mother Seattle show.  (And if I had any technical skills I’d be able to change the frozen image below so that it’s not one of me looking like I’m mid cat-call to some poor significant other in the front row who’s covertly watching a MMA fight on his phone throughout the show. Not covert enough, Bucko! LISTEN TO MY GRATING VOICE!)

Here’s what people are saying about my performance!

“Wow. You said pussy and nipple in like the first 7 seconds. Wow.”

“So, I’m still not sure. Do you like being a mom?”

“I love your necklace.”

So, you know. Those are pretty enticing reasons to watch this.

The show was tremendous fun and the cast– wow, oh wow. They were all truly stellar. I encourage you to listen to all of their stories. I think you’ll love their words as well as their voices. My necklace is pretty badass too.

 

Parents Say the Darndest Things

My baby boy is about to turn three!

I keep hearing “Oh, that’s the best age!” regardless of what age he is, but this time I’m inclined to believe it. He’s actually quite funny and charming. He loves slapstick humor and stories about monsters and bad guys (who rampage other people’s stuff. Never his.) We have real conversations. He has definite opinions. He tells me he likes my ponytail and hates my cardigans.

Every day I find myself questioning the things he’s learning, as in “Holy cow, who taught him that amazing thing?” (Usually the answer is daycare.)

I try to write down the adorable things that come out of his mouth, but always forget because they’re usually followed by something horrifying and cringeworthy. Those things I always write down.

Lately I’ve been paying attention to the words I find myself stringing together in response to my dear, sweet child. Things I never thought I’d have to say. Things I never thought I would have to explain. Things I never thought would be compared to a bounce house.

Here are just a few of the highlights of the past few days:

  • Because I don’t need a penis, that’s why.
  • Honey, please don’t call that nice family, “butt guys.” We don’t even know them.
  • Don’t say “doody butt.”
  • Don’t say “booty butt.”
  • Don’t say “booger butt.”
  • Don’t say “butty butt butt booger butt guy.”
  • Would you want your name to be,”Toilet Butt?”
  • Yes, GOD DAMMIT is potty talk so stop saying it.
  • No, you can not say GOD DAMMIT when you’re at home. It’s potty talk here too.
  • How did Jacob get a toilet on his head?
  • Honey, please stop licking Princess Leia.
  • I don’t think the dog wants you to rub your butt on him.
  • No, I don’t want to tickle your nipple.
  • Can you tickle your own armpit, please?
  • Is that shaving cream on your penis?
  • No, your penis is not a bounce house.
  • Because people don’t like it when you point at their bodies and say, “I can see your penis.”
  • No, I don’t know what superpower Naked Toddler has. Do tell.
  • Mommy did not say that. You must have imagined it.
  • Don’t tell your dad Mommy said that.
  • If anyone asks, you heard that from your dad.
Oh man, that better be shaving cream.
Oh man, that better be shaving cream.

Listen to Your Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day!

I had a truly magical experience yesterday as I took the stage at Town Hall Seattle alongside eleven fabulous, courageous, amazing storytellers. Together we comprised the 2016 Listen to Your Mother Seattle cast and in all honestly, we kicked ass.

Left foot out, chin out, bend at waist. "You'll look totally natural," she said.
Left foot out, chin out, bend at waist. “You’ll look totally natural,” she said.

It was hard to believe that by showtime I had known most of these women for less than 24 hours and yet, I felt the kind of kindred connection I hadn’t experienced since meeting my dorm mates freshman year of college. (A similar amount of booze may have been involved too.) These women made me laugh (oh man, did they) and tear up (more than once.) I can honestly say I am a better mother because of it. It was inspiring to say the least. Everyone’s story was so beautifully told and while all different, we were all connected by one common thread: motherhood. Is there anything  stronger than that? So yeah, when a mother talks, you should definitely listen.

If you have a chance to see a Listen to Your Mother show in your town, do it. Man, woman, mother, father, or child, you will be moved and inspired. You will also see some of the most fabulous footwear in your life.

Best. Mother’s. Day. Ever.

 

 

Listen to ME!

Mom's always right. You know that!
Mom’s always right. You know that!

This may be the most exciting thing to happen to me since I discovered pretzel M&Ms were only 4 Weight Watchers points.

Listen to your Mother is a national show featuring live readings from fabulous women about motherhood. This is the second year it’s in Seattle (thank you, Jennifer and Jill!) and this year I GET TO BE IN THE CAST.

You guys, if you know me at all you know this is right up my ally. I live for this stuff. Stage. Audience. Reading. Surrounded by fabulous women writers and mothers? Umm, yes, please. I’m in. All in. I could not be more excited to be part of this event and incredibly grateful to Jennifer and Jill for inviting me to participate. It is going to be a great show. You need to come and bring your favorite moms.

Check out the announcement here.

Yay!

All Good Things

…must come to an end.

Sigh…

I’m going to miss writing these Bachelor recaps.

But, but, I love them both! Can't I have two rings, Mr. Lane?
But, but, I love them both! Can’t I have two rings, Mr. Lane?

You’ve got to check out the final installment of Mother Rose Best, Fools of Engagement, if for no other reason than to see the awesome Chris Harrison GIF the editors unearthed. It’s pretty fabulous.

Many thanks to the ladies of In the Powder Room for allowing me to crash the stalls once a week. What pure joy they are to work with.

Cheers to another match made in Reality TV heaven, where the booze flows and annulments are doled out like shots of penicillin. I’m sure it took me longer to write this post than for Bachelor Ben to realize he should have picked Bachelorette #2. Oh well. There’s always next season.

How many seasons is too many season? Asking for a friend.
How many seasons is too many season? Asking for a friend.

 

New Mother Rose Best

Burning questions, people!

  • Did Ben the Bachelor moved beyond tight-lip, closed-mouth kissing?
  • Did the token virgin give it up in Ben’s childhood bedroom?
  • Did a future NFL cheerleader’s understudy’s intern make Ben’s mother cry?

And more importantly, why is this blonde woman choking out another blonde woman?

He's my fake husband, Blondie! MINE!
He’s my fake husband, Blondie! MINE!

Find out the answers to these questions and more in the latest Mother Rose Best!

Mother Rose Best- Save the Drama for Bahamas

Oh man, The Bachelor sure doesn’t lack for writing fodder. It’s like a two-year old that way. Also in other ways like the fearful, petchulant, moody behavior of the contestants. Also the gullibility and belief in fairy tales. Also… wow. Maybe that’s a whole separate column.

As if I didn’t love In the Powder Room already, I love them even more every Monday when I write the latest Mother Rose Best and every middle of the night Tuesday when I turn it in (because I’m slow. And a bad editor. And easily distracted by shiny things on the internet.) Please read the latest installment, Save the Drama for Bahamas now. Take your time. I’ll just be shopping for plant stands on the internet.

Are you back? Okay. So much more to discuss about this season and I’ve been remiss on posting my larger recaps. I KNOW you’re dying to find out what happened. So here’s some of the highlight from where we left off.

  • Olivia was mean to the girls
“Talking crazy shit is my jam, bitches. I mean, bros.”
  • She called Amanda “Teen Mom” and greatly offended EVERYONE
  • Olivia still thought she had a psychic connection with Ben and that he sent her positive affirmations through his body language and secret hand signals
  • Ben’s virginal tongue still hasn’t kissed anyone
  • Twin Emily can NOT get over Olivia calling Amanda Teen Mom and claimed it was the most offensive thing she ever heard.
    • Twin Emily is grossly sheltered. Clearly.
    • As a 40-something mom with a toddler, I welcome any and all comparisons to Teen Mom. Bring on the offensive comments, Olivia!
  • Caila is still super annoying and acts like a ten year-old girl who still plays with Barbie. And she’s scared to death of a relationship. Ben apparently likes that in a girl-woman.
  • Jubliee melted down and got the inevitable boot. “Inevitable” because she is African-American, not because of her meltdown. I liked her. This made me sad.
  • Leah went bat shit cray cray. She lost it big time and tried to take Ben’s favorite, Lauren B. down with her.
  • Emily told Ben that Olivia was a meanie. Ben pretended to be surprised and saddened to hear this.
  • Ben pulled Olivia aside to ask her why she was such a bully
    • Because the girls are jealous of her
    • Because she has a target on her back after getting the first impression rose
    • Because she has ugly toes
    • Because she’s a victim
    • Because the girls are dumb and she is smart and wants to “talk smart things.” Like, right?
Like, fat toes and cankles, you dig?
  • Ben thought Las Vegas was a great place to fall in love
  • Ben thought Mexico was a great place to fall in love
  • Ben thought the Bahamas were a great place to fall in love
  • After the girls on the Bahamas group date bitched out and ignored him, Ben started questioning the reality of finding his wife on reality TV
  • Ben pondered throwing himself off a cliff in the middle of a hurricane
“Maybe face-planting on these rocks would be less painful than listening to women I have no desire to tongue kiss sob all day. Hmm…”
  • Pigs swim in the Bahamas (real pigs, not a metaphor) and nearly drowned the girls over some chicken hotdogs. It was fabulous.
“It’s chicken, I swear!”
  • Olivia was dumped on the worst private island ever and apparently left there to die.
“I wore my best Mom jeans for this?”
  • Some other girls went home crying in black SUVs. Later!

And that’s basically what you missed. Are you asking yourself why you’re not watching this gold? Put down that book and get cultured for goodness sake!

 

¿Dónde Está My Weave?

Have I told you lately how much I love writing this Mother Rose Best column for In the Powder Room? Even more so, I love having a “reason” to watch The Bachelor. It’s not because I want to and would totally be watching it anyway. It’s because I have to. I’m writing a column about it. Ahem…

The latest installment  ¿Dónde Está My Weave?, is just itching like a bad rash for you read and share.

Enjoy! And umm, maybe get some ointment for that itch?

Meow, Sex Panther!

Come on. How can you not read something called, Sex Panther? You know you want to.

Head on over to In the Powder Room for my latest Mother Rose Best column. Have I told you how much fun I’m having with this? I am! To think I used to watch this purely for the drama, cat fights, and ego-inflating meltdowns. There’s pure parenting gold in them hills!

Mother Rose Best graphic