Tag Archives: Parenting

When Nature Calls

The following tale will be featured in Adventures in Potty Training and Other Bathroom Mishaps, soon to be released. Okay, so the story is about my potty mishap and not my children’s, but I would rather embarrass myself than them — they are bigger than me now!

The highway rose steeply toward the crown of mist as I gripped the steering wheel, willing away the pressure building in my coffee-filled bladder. Sweat beaded my brow and upper lip as my urinary tract threatened to unleash a wave of hot yellow liquid.

I glared accusatorily into the rear view mirror at the slumbering tots, snug and secure in their car seats. They were the reason I was now suffering. This was the moment when my urethra would throw in the towel and say, “Screw it! First you abused me pushing out those two ham-headed kids, and now you expect me to hold back the floods with stretched out muscles and the sheer force of will power? I mean, come on!”

It was true, my poor bladder had been through a lot, and I was asking too much. Not only had my pregnancies done things to my body that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but I had chugged mugs of coffee that morning to keep me awake for our journey home. I had not anticipated the long stretch between rest stops on the highway. I had also not considered how desperate I would be to keep my kids asleep once they’d finally nodded off.

The visit with my parents in Abbotsford had been pleasant until the last night when the sleep that I had hoped for eluded me. I had been kept up most of the night tending to one child who was full of a cold, then my youngest who was restless from sleeping in a plastic playpen on a humid summer night. I almost regretted my decision to take a short trip alone with the kids and fantasized about getting home and napping while daddy spent some quality time with the two of them. So, I packed up the car, grabbed a quick breakfast, downed a pot of coffee, and wrestled my babies into their seats.

The long stretch over the mountainous Coquihalla Highway back to Alberta was only the first leg of the journey, and was proving to be the most difficult. My tired and irritable children had dozed off after fitful bouts of crying and whining and I couldn’t bear to wake them. They looked so angelic with their flushed little cheeks, and tousled curls. I almost resented their uninterrupted slumber, but couldn’t focus on much besides the ache in my groin area. I had to do something—and fast!

My frenzied mind ricocheted from thought to thought, and I tried desperately not to think of raging waterfalls, dripping taps and the satisfying flush of a toilet. One image popped into my head and gave me an inspiration. I almost wept with joy. Let me set the scene: A cool fall evening at the Commonwealth Stadium. The final quarter between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. An intense game that my husband and his friends knew they wouldn’t want to tear themselves away from so they planned ahead. A cooler full of beer, cushions, and adult diapers. Yes, that was not a typo . . . adult diapers. I remember being horrified when they told me that they would rather piss themselves than miss a play. I shuddered at the time to think of grown men voluntarily releasing urine into a diaper so they could enjoy another beer with their buddies and not have to leave the game . . . for any reason.

Now a shudder of relief went through me as I glanced over at the diaper bag on the passenger seat beside me. Could I?  Was it even possible?

If an idea pops into my head, and I think, “Oh, no, I couldn’t possibly!” I usually listen. But the twisted part of my brain that likes to one-up people yelled at me, “Oh, go on . . . you can do it! If those guys did it, why the hell can’t you! Don’t be such a girl!” Well, that did it! Now I had to prove a woman could do anything a man could do. And I had a perfectly valid reason for doing it—I didn’t want to wake my children.

I reached over and pulled out a diaper from the bag, laying it across my lap. Just in case. If I didn’t see another sign for a rest stop in the next few minutes, then I would have no choice. I casually unfolded the diaper while keeping my eyes on the road. Moms can do these kinds of things with one hand, blindfolded, and usually while standing on one foot and picking up dirty laundry with the other.

I deftly shoved the diaper between my legs after hitching up my skirt and scooching my panties down. That part was easy. The hard part was letting go of the social taboo of peeing outside—though the car surrounded me, it was still in public. Even with a bladder ready to burst, I fought the desire to relieve myself. Look, I thought, there is absolutely nowhere to stop and you cannot leave the kids in the car on the almost non-existent shoulder while you try and find a spot behind a bush. This is life or death. You might suffer an aneurysm while driving if you hold it in any longer.

My little pep talk worked and I went . . . and I couldn’t stop . . . even when I realized the tiny receptacle between my thighs would never be sufficient to hold the contents of my bladder. I panicked and grabbed for another diaper, shoving that one on top of the first. By the time I was done I had three heavily soaked diapers and I was crying with relief. I pulled out a plastic bag I had wedged in the door compartment beside me and carefully slipped the diapers into it and placed them on the floor. I somehow had managed to keep the car on the road. I know, looking back, it was ridiculous of me, but tired moms do dumb things sometimes.

I rearranged my clothes and smiled slyly into the rear view mirror. The kids were still asleep and no one would ever know. Until now—when I have apparently lost all sense of self-respect and decided to share this sordid tale with you, dear reader. But you won’t tell anyone, will you? And you especially won’t mention that five minutes after I answered nature’s call, I saw a huge sign for a pull-out with bathrooms and a parking lot full of well-adjusted parents who do not feel the need to outdo a bunch of diaper-wearing, drunk guys at a football game.

Parenting Teens Gives Me INDIGESTION

Parenting Teens Gives Me (2)

As a single parent, I feel a HUGE responsibility to raise my kids well. I feel judged when I make mistakes, and spend sleepless nights just contemplating the horrors that could be. Both my kids are well into their teens and testing every parenting theory out there.
With each year comes a different challenge, and the teen years may be the most challenging yet.
Letting go and trusting my children so they can grow into functioning adults is causing me gastric distress. My stomach is in a constant knot of worry—mainly because I have NO control over what my kids are doing out there on their own. I like control and I don’t like the feeling of it slipping through my fingers.
When I warn my daughter about the dangers that lurk in the big, bad world, she brushes me off with, “Oh-ho, Mother, you have NO idea what I get up to.” WHAT? EXCUSE ME? Well, now I am imagining the absolute WORST things possible, and there is no doubt in my mind that she is selling toddlers into slavery and drinking the blood of Marilyn Manson.
If I’m not worrying about whether my teens are contracting STDs and experimenting with drugs, I’m groaning at my son’s jokes at my expense. I purchased a HUGE box of condoms—trying to be a proactive parent—and my son laughed and said, “Wow, look at that! Mom’s spending money on things she’s NEVER going to need anymore!” Thanks for that son . . . the cheeky grin and pat on the head you gave me does NOT make up for the fact that you will one day be getting more action than I could ever DREAM about. JERK! At least no one has been dipping into the box of prophylactics yet . . . should I be glad or worried?
And I’m definitely deluding myself into thinking I have the household under control. Every time I give my son a list of chores and ask if he has any questions, he responds with, “Yeah, could you explain to me in detail where babies come from? With pictures.” or “How come you have hairs growing out of your chin?” And I thought he was staring at me so intently because he really cared about what I was saying and wanted to make sure he understood my list of instructions thoroughly. I laugh but sneak off to the bathroom with a pair of tweezers. And the chores? Yeah, they get forgotten.
*Sigh* at least he is developing a sense of humour. When he is rich and famous he can pay for my therapist.
The bottle of TUMS on my bedside table is getting larger and larger, and my confidence as a parent is growing smaller. I hope desperately that the lessons I taught my children when they were young will help them make choices they will be proud of; all I can do is wait and see . . . and pop more antacids.
But, though my gut is wrenching, and my heart is sometimes on the verge of breaking, every second is worth it—every sarcastic remark, every eye roll, every worry line around my tired eyes.
As my teenagers struggle for their independence, I’m also learning and growing, and taking another step towards being an empty-nester who might be able to sleep at night, but will miss her little monsters. After all, who is going to alert me about my chin hairs?
I love being a mom and wouldn’t trade one single day with them—not even for a day with Robert Pattinson on a remote island in the Bahamas . . . hmm, well, perhaps that is going a bit far—I’m only human!
~ YOUR turn! How do you deal with the pressures of parenthood? What horrors keep you up at night? Comment below . . . and it had better be funny ‘cause laughter cures indigestion.

Top 20 Most Popular Text Terms (for parents of teens)

When my kids were younger, if I wanted to communicate with them, all I needed to do was slam and lock the bathroom door. They came running…no other encouragement was required.
As they flourished into sunlight hating, moody teens, the only way to reach them was through their cell phones (yes, even when we were in the same building) and I had to quickly learn how to PM and IM and Text. Apparently face to face conversation is ‘Gauche’, or did they say, ‘Gross’? — No matter.
Getting to the point in your message is key, as teens have an even shorter attention span than chimps in a banana boat. I am developing a sort of code which helps express my message and the emotion behind it so my teens know just how irate I am at any particular moment. In order to prevent yet another battle of wits between my teens and I via our service provider, I have agreed to post the text abbreviations below with the proviso that I also declare that the list was not inspired by actual events, and my children are perfectly behaved and rule abiding at all times. I must also state that I am sometimes unreasonable and should not expect them to run home at the drop of a hat when they are having fun, just because the pizza (which was frozen in the first place) is getting cold, for goodness sake!

Use these 20 Useful Abbreviations for on-the-go parents of teens (at your own risk). Feel free to add your own suggestions and comment below.

  1. HFS = Have Fun Sweetie
  2. RYM = Remember Your Manners
  3. SHTYF = Say Hi To Your Friends
  4. NNTBR = No Need To Be Rude
  5. DR = Dinner’s Ready
  6. FF2I = Feel Free to Ignore
  7. NAVT = Not Arguing Via Text
  8. NEI = Not Enough Information
  9. NYC = No You Can’t
  10. QYB = Quit Your Bellyaching
  11. OMDB = Over My Dead Body
  12. GYAH = Get Your Ass Home
  13. BBMC = Bring Back My Car
  14. XHH = XBox Held Hostage
  15. WTYGH = Wait Til You Get Home!
  16. YBTDOM = You’ll Be The Death Of Me!
  17. TISYR = That’s It, Searching Your Room!
  18. FYS = Found Your Stash
  19. SYSOC = Selling Your Shit On Craiglist
  20. SYSS = See You Soon Sweetie

Postscript: Please do not comment below with LMAO, as to me it is an insult. In Teen Text, this acronym means Leave Me Alone, Oppressor! 😉 

I Was a Stripper Mom

(Knew that title would catch your eye! Patience, we’ll get to the stripping part!)

“Three boisterous boys, then I’ll have my perfect little princess!” was my answer when asked how many children I wanted. After my first baby (a daughter) was born, I denied to everyone that I’d ever said I wanted four children. “FOUR! Are you insane? I swear on my rock-hard breasts and red-rimmed eyes, I never said I wanted FOUR children!”

My daughter was ‘colicky’ or ‘spirited’ or ‘possessed’—pick an adjective; I couldn’t have given a flyin’ f*@k. Where was Rumpelstiltskin when I needed him? I would have promised him my second child for a night’s sleep and a full course meal that did not include instant mashed potatoes or peanut butter.

Sometimes, the only way I could get her to sleep—and do NOT ask me how I figured this out . . . desperation makes you do some crazy-ass shit—was by lying her flat on top of the coffee table while I breastfed her, or placing her on the dryer while it was running. Of course, I had to stand there to make sure she didn’t roll off, so there went my chance for a snooze.

I once attempted to take a walk in the sun and fresh air after I breastfed her and gently . . . careful, careful, oh god, please don’t wake up . . . placed her in the stroller and set off with a naïve smile plastered on my face for a quick once around the block. This felt right, I thought to myself—going for a walk like a normal person. Look at me, walkin’ with my baby. Aw, she is kinda cute, isn’t she? Now, this is my reward for trading my body and identity for a never-ending pile of laundry and a house that looked like the set of The Exorcist. I had read those parenting mags and knew I would eventually feel gaga over the little spud, but I never thought it would take this long. Ah, but what a lovely day!

Halfway around, Mama’s angel woke herself up with a rip-roaring, ear-splitting diarrhea blast that shook the entire stroller. Then it was a race home before the acrid stench burned right through my sleep-deprived retinas. As I jogged along, I realized the appreciative looks from passersby were not for my cute baby girl, or my pregnancy afterglow (that’s a thing, isn’t it?). My shirt was unbuttoned and blowing behind me like a gingham sail, exposing  my voluptuous bosom, decked out in a milk-stained cotton maternity brassiere, and my stretch-marked rotund belly. Put that on the cover of your favourite parenting magazine and suck it!

I survived the first few months, as did my little monster, and we grew to care about one another quite a bit. My second baby was a whoopsy (thank goodness), ‘cos I had begun researching the benefits of having a single child. Number two (not his real name) was a boy, and he was a breeze. I would often stop while constructing complicated play dough worlds with my demanding firstborn to wonder where I had left number two, only to run around the house and find him waiting placidly in his car seat in the laundry room for me to come and get him. How could I have ever considered trading him in for a good night’s sleep?

I am thankful every day for my little bundles of joy—even now that they are gigantic teenagers. My brave, high-achieving daughter who still has trouble sleeping, and my hilarious son with the patience of Job and a heart of gold are my pride and joy. As they grow to be independent adults, I often wonder how it’s even possible to love them more with every passing year, but each year seems to give me a different child with more to learn about and appreciate. I don’t miss the explosive diarrhea, but I do sometimes mourn the babies that grew to teens in the blink of an eye.

Cherish every moment, and take time out to laugh and cry . . . you deserve it. #HappyMothersDay