This is your brain.

   After making it through two pregnancies, two births, two baby-phases, and attempting to make it through the second terrible, horrible, no good, very bad-two phase, I have had some dark mommy moments...similar to the scene in Sex and the City 2 when Little Girl is baking cupcakes and Lily smacks huge red handprints on her white Valentino skirt and she has a mommy meltdown in the pantry where the hot nanny finds her crying...only mine are minus the Valentino, and the cupcakes, and the nanny, and the gorgeous, immaculate pantry...but always include the crying. 


    It is those rough moments/days/months/phases which trigger the memory of this 1980s PSA/commercial.  Only, I have since changed it to, "This is your brain. (o) This is your brain on kids. (&%$#@!$#%#***&%$*$#***&^@$#%!)" 

   Isolated and "Baby Land" locked, often the simplest pleasures and minor improvements can go a long, long way.  And I have decided to fling the following recommendations out into cyberspace that I feel would make a world of difference in any mother's life:

  • Dear Rihanna,

   If you could please re-record all your albums without the profanities and promiscuities so I can still feel the beat while I'm in the car with my kids, that'd be great. All other artists this may apply to, please take note. Just don't go as far as to replace your lyrics with the ABC's or, "If you're happy and you know it." Then the deal is off. Obviously the deal being that you re-record each and every title and re-release each album with both (the original and now the child-friendly) CDs included in the same case (yes, I just said CDs...different story, different day) for the original price and hope that I make room in the grocery budget and the time to swing by the music section without over-spending on booze and finger-paints. It sounds like a great business plan, I know. You're welcome.

   However, this idea is a slippery slope.  And I would prefer the two worlds don't blend beyond the point of recognition- for instance, when the star of The Hangover and Hangover Part IIKen Jeong, appeared on an episode Sesame Street.  That freaked me out a little bit.  My apologies, Ken.  But you are currently typecast in my book.

  • Dear Retail/Restaurants/Theme Parks, etc.,

   If your demographic includes anyone who could possibly be a parent, grandparent, involved aunt or uncle, cousin, babysitter, Au pair, etc. that may be shuffling children around on their errands, and you would like any of said population's hard-earned money to be spent at your establishment, then we're going to need a favor.  The next time you or anyone you know is at a hardware store, grocery store, or anything close to either, buy a stool please.  Ok, now put it in your customer restroom.  Now, was that hard?

Less than $8 at Ace Hardware
Only $10 for two-steps at Home Depot

   We were all little once and most of us can remember dreading shopping with our parents for anything except what we wanted- made worse by having to use the restroom and then being held up, or having to spring up and hang off the counter, in order to wash our hands. I remember hating the counter jamming into my ribs and/or stomach depending on the approach.

   If you want our rugrats to wash their hands (and therefore stop spreading germs to all you immaculately groomed, upstanding adults who pay your taxes every year and wash your hands every time you use the bathroom), and if you want our experience as a consumer in your place of business to be a positive one (that we regularly return to and recommend to all of our friends and family), then throw us a bone and buy a durn stool. 

  • Dear Scoffers,

   Speaking of "we were all little once", it will never make sense to me how people can so freely express their disdain toward children in general and/or voice their own ignorant, brazen judgments of a stranger's  parenting tactics.  I'll say it again just to make sure it sinks in, "We were all little once."  Unless you were one of the rare ferile children who lived in the wild until you were discovered at the age of 18 walking on your knuckles and eating bark, I can guarantee at some point in your life you have picked your nose, threw yourself on the ground in a fit of rage, stuck your tongue out at an authority figure, sneezed or coughed without covering your mouth, or pooped your pants...all in public and also encircled with a similar group of narrow-minded, unreasonable scoffers slinging dirty looks or muffled comments your way. 

   And if for some ridiculous, egotistical notion you believe you belong in the 1% of children who were, in fact, baby geniuses and entirely perfect children...fear not, you still have a chance to fulfill the list of highly uncivilized behaviors above.  To put it lightly, we'll call it "retirement." 

   So while you non-parents or "perfect (pfft...surrre) parents" are posting or tweeting about some exceptionally irresponsible and therefore incompetent parent who completely ignored their child throwing a fit at a grocery store or the mall, remember your own parents.  Simmer down and cut us some slack.  I have actually heard it been suggested that children's temper tantrums are offensive to people's ears.  Um.  Hello.  We're talking about a Walmart or an Old Navy, right?  Not an oncologist's office or the Supreme Court.  So sorry I bothered you for the six seconds it took you to stare, scoff, and dismiss me as "that idiot who knowingly and intentionally stuck her hand in the jar labeled the 'bubonic plague'", a.k.a. "that parent who chose to become a parent and is now whining about being a parent".  Just consider yourself lucky your own parents didn't foresee what an intolerant jerk you would become and feed you to the wolves instead of taking you to get donuts for no reason and nursing you back to health every time you got sick until you got married and became someone else's problem.

:   In conclusion, scoffers, the next time you see a parent using a leash (GASP!!- as pictured when we took Little Girl to the zoo just days before Baby Girl was born...yes, I was huge), completely zoning out, or frozen in fear at their 18-month-old's spontaneous combustion or uncontrollable convulsions in a grocery store check-out line or on the floor of a discount clothing store, either give us a sympathetic smile, grab us a bottle of champagne from the cold section, or turn a blind eye and walk away. 
   And, in reference to the large population who opposes leashes for children, and also in response to the only person whose show I absolutely will not watch on the Bravo network, Rosie Pope (star of Pregnant in Heels) and her combative comment that leashing a child is "treating them like a dog," I am squinting my eyes and squishing them between my index finger and thumb...over and over and over again. Ok.  Fine.  You try going to the mall full of crowds of possible child molesters or kidnappers during Christmas with a toddler who must walk or will make every patron's ears melt, a stroller full of gifts, and another bun in the oven stretching and nudging its oven to its breaking point, without a leash and without losing your child or your sanity.  Or you might want to secure a, ahem, "backpack/harness monkey buddy" here at Target ahead of time...just in case.   (For a more credible retort than finger smashing, click here or here.)
  • Dear Pregnancy Test Makers,

   Other than my personal need to make all pregnancy tests idiot/denial-proof (explanation provided in paragraph seven of My Galapagos), I think there should be a disclaimer on every instruction sheet.  "If test shows a positive result, just know that being pregnant and a parent will not be easy, but it will be worth it."  We hosted Little Girl's second birthday party at our home just two weeks after Baby Girl was born.  With Baby Girl strapped to my chest in a harness, I tried to catch up with some friends.  One of the wives and I were chatting about me being a mother of two now.  As a mother of one, I asked her if her and her husband were going to try for more than one.  She instantly replied wide-eyed and feverishly shaking her head back and forth, saying, "Nooooooo!"  I questioned, "Really? Why not?"  And in her childlike, southern accent she confided, "'Ohhhh mah gosh, girrrrl. No one evur told me it was gunna be harrrrd."  I tried to conceal my shock and not blurt out the obvious, "Huh?!"  But she could tell I was terribly confused.  After an awkward pause she said, "Everyone told me it was gunna be beautiful and amazin' and I was gunna be the best mom!"  News flash sweetheart: parenthood is tough.  I was saddened and wished we could have been closer friends sooner.  I could have clued her in on a few things.

  • Dear Fellow Moms,

   If the makers of pregnancy tests won't cooperate, we should at least be able to depend on our girlfriends for the truth.  It's still odd to think of facebook posts as memories instead of actual human interactions, but I remember when I posted a photo and said we were eating warm blueberry muffins and watching Alice in Wonderland on a rainy morning- to which one of my friends replied, "I want to me a stay-at-home-mom!"  I felt the need to be truly honest, and quick.  Being a stay-at-home-mom (or a working mom) ain't for the faint of heart. 

   So, to paint a more transparent picture, I clarified, "Don't make me post a picture of what I look like right now to make you change your mind.  I'm pulling my spit-up soaked hair out of Baby Girl's mouth with one hand and I'm holding onto Little Girl's shirt as she tries to climb up the dresser by the handles with the other...no shower, old eye makeup, last night's guacamole on my shirt."  Ten minutes after posting the sweet photo of my little angel nibbling the tops off the sugary treats, she decided jumping on the couch was next on our list of activities.  One minute following, she vomited all the muffins onto the couch, recovered, and asked for more muffins.  For the handful of people who read this, just let it be known that motherhood is going to be difficult!  Don't say I didn't tell you so. 

   As a woman who could (and still can) relate to so many instances in the awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, life-changing era of the Sex and the City empire, I was almost brought to tears by the accuracy in this exchange:

   Being a woman is tough enough.  Add to that becoming a mom only for other mothers to either keep you in the dark about things or try to knock each other down, and it is a sad, sad day.   Most of the time I think as women we all need to stick together!!  And other times I think:

Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges
to keep the crazies from following you.

(Author unknown...but I like him/her already.)

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