Kinder-F’ing-Garten

Ten months before preschool graduation, Quinn informed us he was never going to kindergarten.

“Why the hell not,” I asked. Oh shit, I was thinking. He’s starting to believe all that, “Kid’s a goddamn genius” nonsense the grandparents spew. Sorry, kid. You don’t get to pass Go if your drawings of people still have arms coming out of their chins and you refuse to acknowledge 12 is a number.

“I don’t want to go,” he whined. “I never want to go!” 

“But why? I pressed. “Kindergarten is fun! It’s just like preschool except you will learn even more stuff. And you’ll make more friends. And you get to take classes like art and music and…” Actually I don’t really know what happens in Seattle public schools. Do they still fund art? 

“I don’t want to learn!”

“Great. In 14 years you can go to the liberal arts college of your dreams, but until then, you will go to kindergarten. One day.”

That did not appease him. One day could be in 6 years or 8 minutes. Kindergarten was coming for him. Kindergarten had his number. And that number was not 12.

The anxiousness wasn’t surprising. He’s an emotional and occasionally fearful kid. Sometimes I use that to my advantage. 

Never go near the monkey bars! You will break your arm!

Never eat a grape unless it’s cut up into 1,592 small pieces!

Never walk across a parking lot unless you are holding Mommy’s hand!

Sometimes he wakes up from a sound sleep to ask if there are any clowns in the house. 

“The hell? Of course not!”

“What about werewolves?”

“Nope.”

“Hackers?

“Umm…?”

Then there was the great weather obsession of 2016 and with it a fear of floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes.

“We live on a hill. Flood free! Don’t worry!”

“What about volcanoes?”

Hmm… too soon to tell him about the Ring of Fire?

But the world’s most active volcanoes had nothing on kindergarten. For the next 10 months, the child reminded us he was not going. He would never go. He wanted to stay with his preschool friends forever.

“But all your friends are going to kindergarten too,” I said. 

“My kindergarten?”

“Well, no. There are lots of kindergartens. But you’ll have a whole bunch of new friends to hang out with.”

UNAPPEASED.

Then said friends were starting to talk about it. They were excited.

UNAPPEASED.

He graduated from preschool with great fanfare and promises of big boy adventures ahead.

UNAPPEASED.

His best friend in the whole wide world was going to his very same school!

SORT OF APPEASED.

We tried a variety of tactics to get this kid excited for school. Bribes, emotional warfare, pep talks from cool, older kids. Finally, I just accepted the nerves and let him own it. I told him it was totally normal and that every kid going to kindergarten was nervous too.

“They are?”

“Of course! None of them have been there before. It’s new to all of you!”

I reminded him he’s been in daycare since he was three months old. He’s done the whole new class, new friends, new teacher deal multiple times. 

“Some of these kids have never been in a school!” I said with wide-eyed disbelief. “They don’t know what a cubby is. They’ve never pooped in front of eighteen other kids. They never almost had lice!”

“Never?” 

And here is where you’ll keep your security, sense of well-being, and memories of that sweet, sweet preschool life.

“Nope. So you might actually have to help the teacher and be a leader for those kids. When you see someone upset or crying, maybe you could help make them feel better?”

“I could say, ‘Hi, I’m Quinn. Want to have lunch me and my friend Maddex?’”

“That’s perfect!”

Damn, if that wasn’t some A+ Pinterest parenting shit right there. Nailed it! Not only was my kid going to kindergarten, he was going to be the prince of elementary school.

But alas, the kinder ambivalence continued. It occured to me that perhaps he didn’t actually know what kindergarten was. Sure, he hears people talking about it, but in what context?

Maybe he thought kindergarten was where the bad kids go?

Did you hear Aiden went to kindergarten? That’s why we don’t see him around anymore.

Damn…Never should have pushed Molly off that slide, man.

Maybe he thought kindergarten was a potato farm or a Himalayan mine where he’d be forced to get up early and pluck grains of salt from the Earth and shape them into mass market whale tail lamps and earrings. But nope. He got it. 

“It’s like preschool, but not fun and LAME!”

Okay, then.

We pulled out even more tactics. Books, talking to friends who were couldn’t wait to start kindergarten, playdates with the incoming class, open house to meet the teacher and see his class, A PRIVATE TOUR of the school set up by the outgoing PTA president and her two kids (a THIRD GRADER and a FIFTH GRADER!) who created a scavenger hunt taking him all around the school and granting him Pokemon stickers for when he found such amazing treasures as the library and music room and his classroom!

We tried excitement. Yay, Kindergarten!

And apathy. Whatever, Kindergarten.

I took him back-to-school shopping and replaced his perfectly good backpack, lunchbag, and water bottle with even better ones. I even let him pick out his own clothes and shoes.

He choose these:

No, YOU tell him these are not playground appropriate.

He was drawn to those shoes for inexplicable reasons, but if a pair of Spanx and some Air Wick scented oil intrigued him, I’d have packed his new Justice League backpack full of it.

The grandparents sent him cases (not hyperbole) of lunchbox sized Goldfish crackers, Fig Newtons, Animal Crackers, and Ritz Bitz crackers. Then days later more cases arrived filled with Nutter Butters, Oreos, Sour Patch Kids, and Chips A’hoys.

Still no dice and we all gained 7 pounds in 3 days. The night before school started, bedtime took an hour and a half. The kid did not want to go to sleep knowing when he woke up, that black-hooded academic ninja would be waiting for him. Soon his anxiety rubbed off on Bart and I. We threw Lunchables at each other and argued over Teddy Grahams or rainbow Goldfish for his lunch snack. I thought he should wear short sleeves and a sweatshirt. Bart thought long sleeves and camo shorts would be more appropriate. Bart thought his water bottle was too heavy. I thought his backpack was too big. Maybe Quinn was right and this whole kindergarten thing was just plain stupid. Could he go to summer camp all year long?

We got up at the crack of dawn the next morning– a full hour earlier than any of us were used to because we had a schedule now. Kindergarten, that bitch, was messing with us all. It was still dark outside. Bart cried on his way to the shower. I stood in the hallway confused. Where did we keep the damn waffles in this place!?

“Good morning!” I sing-songed, upon waking up that sweet, peaceful child. Even I could tell I was faking it. 

“Do I have to go to kindergarten today?” 

“You get to go to kindergarten today!”

He rolled over and shut his eyes. “NO!”

“Let’s get up and watch Peppa Pig! And eat waffles and cereal bars! TODAY IS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DAY!”

But it was no use. Today was different. We both agreed if Peppa didn’t want to go to kindergarten no one would make that damn, bossy pig go. We were jealous of Peppa.

I felt bad. Guilty, like I was doing him a disservice sending him to kindergarten. I had to keep reminding myself I wasn’t actually doing anything wrong. I’m pretty sure his preschool teachers would eventually notice the kid three times bigger than his classmates who always showed up in sunglasses and a fedora. I couldn’t homeschool this kid. He’d learn vocabulary from the Real Housewives (“Jackie told Gizelle to brang it. Teresa called Danielle a prostitution hoo-wah. Vicky and Tamra will whoope it up majorly!) and math from The Price is Right (“No, honey, stackable washer and dryers do not cost one dollar. That man was being a douchebag.”)

His best friend arrived to walk with us and was full of spunk and enthusiasm and apparently whatever Kool-Aid kindergarten was shilling.

“I’m excited to learn lots of things and meet new friends,” he told me when I asked him what he was looking forward to.

“Maybe you could share some of that with Quinn?”

He looked at his best friend hiding behind a dining room chair. “Umm, no.”

This photo was taken seconds before shit went sideways.

We live only 9 houses from the school and I never knew there were so many kids who either lived on our street or walked past our house to get to school because I was still asleep when the bell rang. But it was a regular old-timey parade of waving neighbors on front porches, oohing and ahhing over smartly dressed kids holding chalkboard signs commemorating first days and little Emily’s desire to be a panda when she grew up. 

We joined the flow, caught between every other kid’s joyful oblivion and Quinn’s desire to lay down in traffic. As we made our approach, the school loomed before us. We’ve played on this playground for years. How have we never noticed this giant, menacing stone edifice? Quinn’s grip tightened on my arm. 

“I don’t want to go,” he said. “Please, Mommy.”

“It’s going to be great,” I said. 

We were told to look for his teacher who would be holding a sign with her name on it. She was lovely. Kind, warm, and thankfully blonde because my boy born of 100% brunette ancestors has a thing for the fair haired. We recognized several kids from the aforementioned playdates including the twin girls who lived 2 houses up the street and the little boy from across the street– all of whom were in his class. I pointed them out to Quinn like I was a guide on a whale watching tour.

“LOOK QUINN! IT’S TYLER! OMG HE’S BREECHING!”

And then the tears came.

Okay, I fully expected my kid to cry. Honestly I was surprised it took that long. I expected lots of kids to cry. Like maybe all of them. But god dammit all to hell if my kid wasn’t the only one crying. Like literally the only one. Not even a crying mom in the bunch!

Bart swooped in, gathered Quinn into his arms and lifted him up. I’m not talking in a spiritual or Joe Cocker/Jennifer Warner sort of way. I mean he picked his crying child up off the blacktop and nestled him into the ripped seams of that goddamn 19 year-old Kenneth Cole bomber jacket he refused to part with. But I digress. It’s not about the jacket. This time.

They say you turn into your mother one day and that day was the first day of kinder-f’ing-garten. Right there in the shadow of my child’s brick and mortar nemesis I became the mother practiced in the art of Hideo Ochi, tough love, and the ability to wipe that goddamn smile off your face with the slightest lowering of an eyelid. The ol’ pinch to the tricep worked too.

“Put him down,” I sneered through clenched teeth. Damn! I didn’t even know I could do that!

“What?” Bart said, marveling at my ventriloquism. 

“PUT. HIM. DOWN,” I repeated through a fake smile.

“He’s crying.”

“I know that. Which is why you need to put him down.”

“He’s upset!” Bart answered, clearly startled by my transformation.

“This is kindergarten, motherf*cker. There’s no coddling in kindergarten! Drop him!”

“But–”

“LET GO OF MY CHILD!”

Okay, so maybe we should have talked strategy before Bart and I went all Kramer vs. Kramer in front of the PTA. For at least 13 seconds every adult on the playground thought Bart was a predator and was ready to pounce. But I stood by my convictions and left Bart reeling on a four square court.

Bart checked on Quinn’s best friend while Quinn’s teacher checked on us.

“I need help holding my sign,” she said, bending over so her luscious blonde locks fell inches from Quinn’s sad, wet face. “Can you hold this for me?”

The kid hated kindergarten, but damn if he didn’t love a job. My baby was like a border collie and for a few blissful seconds, he forgot how much kindergarten sucked and double-fisted that yard stick handle. 

Then the bell rang and a surge of Ooooooooohs erupted from the parents like they had just witnessed a last second overtime goal. To Quinn it sounded like the kick off to the Hunger Games. He really lost it. Still clutching the sign, his little body was shaking with sobs. Big tears careened down his face. I planted my feet firmly on the blacktop to stop either Quinn from making a break for it or Bart who would surely impale himself on a yard stick in his attempt to protect our child from the evils of public school. 

“WE GOT THIS!” I yelled to Bart, who knew we very much did not have anything. “Everything is GREAT!” I saw his leg twitch and immediately shot my hand up like a crossing guard to oncoming traffic. “Take one step and I will divorce you!”

“You’re so brave!” I yelled to Quinn. “Everything is so great!”

All eyes were on my child whom I now realized was standing in front of his whole goddamn class waving a 6 foot sign and crying instead of tucked discreetly in line.

The teacher took Quinn’s hand and led him away. The other 19 kids eagerly followed, their giant backpacks smashing into the faces of the person behind them like superhero branded air bags. Quinn looked like a juvenile prisoner headed off to maximum security. He was resigned, head down, tears making puddles on top of his new loafers. Goodby my brave, bear. You’re gonna crush snack time and free choice.

And just as he was about to disappear into the double doors of the abyss, he turned around, giving me one last chance to fix this dreadful, horrific mistake. Maybe he saw a crack in my foundation. Maybe he had beaten me down. Maybe he saw his father being comforted by a group of fifth graders. Whatever it was, he saw his last chance and made a break for it, still holding the sign, and headed right for me– his mother, protector, sanctuary, source of all that’s comforting– who was yelling, “Get away from me, child!” as she braced for impact.

He charged with the strength of 19 tiny gladiators in Old Navy sweatshirts backing him up.

“NO!” I shouted, taking him by the elbow and leading him and the pack back to school. “This way!”

But my child was determined. He managed to get a hold of me and still keep a grip on that sign. (I told you– border collie.) 

“NO!” he yelled, grabbing my sleeve.

“YES!” I yelled, swatting his hand away after taking a yard stick to the forehead.

He’d find another hold, I’d parry left. He grabbed the strap of my purse, I abandoned it. It was all cling, slap, grab, swat, sobs, promises that things would be fine. His face was so wet. There were so many tears, so many calls for MOMMY. You got the wrong guy! 

We were still tangled in that bizarre dance as I propelled him closer to the entrance. The swell of 19 eager children pushed me forward.

Distracted by a classmate’s flip sequin shirt, he loosened his grip. In a beautifully choreographed maneuver, I managed to spin him around and give him a little shove through the doors.

“GET. IN. THERE!”

“MOMMY, NO! PLEASE!”

The momentum of 19 children who were promised graham crackers and Pete the Cat was getting stronger. We were out of time. The second bell rang. Oh no, was that shadowy figure the principal? We will be making a huge donation to the PTA after this.

“Why, Mommy, why???”

“IT’S THE LAW!” I hissed, giving him one last shove.

I call this, “Detached primary caregiver throwing child to wolves.”

And then he and the sign were gone, disappeared in the crush of bobbing headbands and hoodies. It was over. I was Han Solo knocking Boba Fett into the Sarlacc Pit. I was victorious.

I turned around to find a few straggler parents and a mortified Bart, horrified by his son’s trauma and his wife’s grotesque lack of empathy. 

“It isthe law,” I repeated. “Isn’t it?”

Seven tense hours later the head of his after-school program texted to say the kids arrived safely via school bus and they all had a fantastic day. 

“Even Quinn?” I asked.

“Even Quinn,” she said.

Sure enough when we picked him up he regaled us with stories of his triumphant day. He was line leader, had music class, got to pick out a book from the teacher’s extensive library. Even made two new friends. Kindergarten was awesome! I looked at Bart, a bit smugly. Not today, kindergarten. This too shall pass quickly.

I couldn’t wait to wake him up the next morning. His camo shorts and long-sleeve shirt were already laid out.

He rolled over and with sleepy eyes asked, “Do I have to go to kindergarten today?”

“Yes, of course!”

“NO! I’m never going back! I hate kindergarten!”

Okay what the actual Groundhog’s Day was happening here? Did I have to write “Recess Rules” and “Line Leader for Life” in sharpie on his forearms?

“No,” I said. “You like kindergarten. Remember how much fun you had yesterday?”

“NO! I did NOT have fun! I AM NEVER GOING BACK!”

I returned to our room, turned on the TV, watched an episode of Peppa Pig by myself, and waited for Bart to get out of the shower.

“Where’s Quinn?” he asked.

“He’s all yours,” I said. “I’m going to jail.”

Conversations With a 6-Year Old

Night, night, little man.

There appears to be a huge developmental leap between the age of 5 and 6. I swear sometimes I’m talking to an adult– an adult with a really high-pitched voice that still can’t pour milk directly into a cereal bowl without saturating 87% of our house.

In the last few days, I’ve said the following things to my child:

*Please put your penis away.
*I saw where you touched the dog so please wash your hands.
*That’s mommy’s bra and I didn’t say you could wear it.
*Who told you six was the new sexy? Do you even know what sexy means?
*No, anus-hole isn’t technically swearing, but it’s still a mean thing to say.
*Would you want Puppy to do that to you?
*How many Slurpies have you had this week?
*I don’t sound like that! (Editor’s note: Bart said that’s EXACTLY what I sound like.)
*For the last time, your penis goes in your pants!
*Sure, you can change your name to John Cena.
*Yes, I know lots of words that rhyme with tuck. 
*No, YOU tell your butthole to go to sleep. You’re the one it’s bothering. 
*STOP ASKING ALEXA TO PLAY OLD TOWN ROAD!
*The one who smelt it, dealt it, sucka!
*GO TO BED, JOHN CENA!

If you loved me you wouldn’t touch the dog there.

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?

Jesus and the Mean Mommy

I’m disciplining my child!

This may not seem like news, or rather something that should be implemented 4 and 3/4 years after said child’s birth, but it’s happening. It is swift and merciless  and makes me feel like a fantastic mother!

But why now, you ask? Great question.

The other day in the heat of some old-school disciplinary action, I was looming over the child, threatening to suspend our weekly Saturday Target outings unless he put on some pants and stopped trying to feed the dog Legos, when the child looked up, shook his head, and said, “Jesus, you’re mean.”

I’m sorry, wha?

Seriously, kid. I was mean, but where’d you hear about Jesus?

“Repeat that?” I asked him calmly.

Jeeee-zuuuuu–sssss, yeeeeerrrrrr meaaaaaaan,” he said real slow because his mom was deep in middle age and kind of slow herself.

“Wait. You think I’m mean?” I asked. “Or Jesus is mean?”

So much to unpack here.

You are.”

“Well, that’s fine. You can call me mean, but you can’t just go around saying Jesus, okay? Great. Good chat, kid.”

“Why?”

“It’s not appropriate.”

“Why?”

“Because it could offend people.”

“But why?” Quinn asked again. “What’s a Jesus?”

I totally got this, Duck. Back off.

“Well,  let’s see,” I started. “Jesus was…uh…a guy who some people believe was a really good person who did some really good things and saying his name like that is disrespectful.”

Nailed it! (You can totally crib that for your own kids.)

This might come as a shock given my very articulate and educated description of Jesus, but I’m not religious. I believe I’m what an online dating site would call spiritual but not religious. Religion to me should be crafted like an la carte menu. Believe in something from column A, dabble is something from column B, and dessert. Just try to do the right thing, don’t suck, watch out for karma, earn good juju, put it out to the Universe, come back as a friendly ghost, learn from past lives…that kind of thing.

My parents made my brother and I go to church, Sunday school, get confirmed, have a first communion, cash a bunch of checks from relatives, and eventually only go to church on major holidays like Easter and Christmas Eve. Neither my mom or my dad goes to church now and while they definitely have their beliefs, they’re not what I would call religious. That is until something seemingly innocuous like not getting married in a church or having the cleric from your D&D  game act as your officiant or NOT BAPTIZING THEIR GRANDCHILD causes them to burst into spontaneous religion.

The baptism…good lord.

This is how it was apparently supposed to go down:

  • Quinn exits my body
  • We immediately rush him to the shores of the holy river and cleanse that helpless child of all that icky original sin (And here I thought it was cradle cap.)

I guess we were just too selfish and preoccupied with all those trips to see lactation consultants and occupational therapists and car seat experts to grant our poor son guaranteed admission inside the pearly gates. I mean, what a life, right? Who wants to give that up? But whatever. When we went home to visit eleven months later, my parents got a friendly priest to do a baptism on a Thursday afternoon and I got Quinn a lovely blue seersucker suit. RITUAL COMPLETE!

After he called me mean (which I admit, I found hysterical), I told my own mom (whom was called much, much worse by her own offspring. Sorry, Mommy) the story.

“YOU TOLD HIM JESUS WAS SOME GUY?” she yelled.

“I’m not sure exactly what I said. But that’s not the funny part. It was the context–”

“Jesus wasn’t just some guy! TEACH HIM ABOUT JESUS!”

“Uhh, okay? But he’s four and just starting to wipe his own butt so maybe I’ll hold off on the Things to Know About Jesus talk.”

“He needs to start learning now! He needs a basis! Can I send him books?”

I already knew how this ended. There would be books. So. Many. Books. But I reminded her again of his age. Sometimes Peppa Pig goes over his head so I’m pretty sure the Old Testament might be a titch advanced, but okay. I’ll try to get her books into the rotation. We read to him every night before bed. Were these stories that much different than Thomas the Tank Engine getting schooled in responsibility or Wonder Woman putting some tiger thieves behind bars?

God bless Amazon Prime. Two days later The Miracles of Jesus and The Big Book of Bible Stories were on the porch.

“Juju got you some new books,” I said, trying to build up the excitement. “About Jesus. That…uh, guy I was telling you about. Shall we read them?

“Nah. I want to read The Duck Who Played Kazoo.”

“Okay,” I said. “Another time.” It is really hard to compete with a kazoo playing duck.

The next night I brought up the Jesus books again.

“Hey, want to hear about a super cool miracle?”

“Nope,” he said matter of factly. “Not reading those. I want to read Teen Titans.”

“You know,” I said, unsure of why I was working this so hard, “Jesus was kind of a super hero. I mean, he apparently had some pretty rad powers. He could walk on water. Turn water into wine. Communicate with animals.” (Actually I don’t know if that last one is true. I might be getting him confused with the druid in my D&D game.)

But this kid wasn’t buying the loaves or the fishes.

“Nope.”

Oh well. I tried.

While Bart read Teen Titans, I cozied up with one of the Jesus books and read about Noah and the great flood. It was one of the stories I actually remembered because it was about animals boarding a giant boat by way of a rainbow gangplank. Pretty much the stuff all my favorite stories were made of.

Or so I thought.

Jesus god.

What in the actual hell?

Here’s a slightly paraphrased version of Noah’s Ark from Quinn’s new Jesus book:

God said, “I hate all the people and they must be eliminated. I can totally do better next time! People are  stupid and violent. I’m over it, ‘k?”

Noah said, “Sure God. I get it. What can I do to help? I also hate people.”

God said, “Get 2 of each animal (male and female because duh. Hubba hubba), your family, all the food you can store, and get on your boat. I’ll, uh, let you know when things are finished here.”

Then God wipes out ALL THE PEOPLE AND ANIMALS! NOT A BIRD OR A BUNNY OR LITTLE BOY WAS LEFT! Goodbye stupid, violent people! The slate has been wiped clean! Good riddance! Noah sat on his ark for 601 million years before God remembered him out there and finally told him–by way of a bird holding a stick in its beak– that it was safe to come home. Order was restored. People got stupid again.

The end.

That one’s gonna be a hard no. Definitely not right before bed.

Where was the peace and love and animal procreation? THERE WAS NO RAINBOW! How did I not know God was eliminating every stupid, violent living thing? Who is reading these books to children?!

Well, it’s a good thing my parents had us both baptized because neither of us was getting into heaven on our test scores.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Mother Rose Best, Week 9

Remember this girl?

Sit and spin, bitches!
Sit and spin, bitches!

Spoiler alert! She’s still in the running to be America’s Next– oops! Wrong show. But yeah, she’s still in the running to be Bachelor Ben Higgins’ ex-fiance. Which is great because she’s helping today’s children become better citizens of tomorrow. How, you ask? Clearly you have not been reading Mother Rose Best. You best giddy-on-up over to In the Powder Room and check out the latest, Jamaican of a Marriage, right now. Why? Because I’m the mother, that’s why! And clean your room while you’re at it.

 

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!

¿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

You Know You’ve Made It

When you get your billboard.

Mother Rose Best graphic

I mean, how cool is that? Really cool, right?

We are on Week 3 of Mother Rose Best at In the Powder Room. There’s plenty of time to catch up! How can you resist reading articles that get tagged with things like “Cankles,” “Feet,” “Halitosis,” and “Penis?” That is some fine journalism right there and I could not be more proud.

I’ll be posting up a more in-depth recap of ep. 3 as soon as I’m done papering my neighborhood with this billboard. It’s for the kids!

Smooches!