When silence isn’t golden

Every mom should know the above as one of the golden rules of parenting. Right? One could say we experienced this first-hand last night when I thought we were all having a blissful, fight-free, family moment. We were all enjoying each others’ company in the basement. Dad was reading one of his longer-than-life historical biographies of some really important person in history who’s dead — I can’t remember whom. Mom and Nate were watching some longer-than-I-can-keep-my-eyes-open children’s movie with talking rodent-puppets with British accents. Matt was coloring on some longer-than-I-can-believe-is-technically-possible wings of a paper airplane he had fashioned together with strips of computer paper and tape. All was right with the world. Eight-thirty came and bedtime was announced. The children — willingly — trotted up the steps escorted by two loving parents, who help them brush their teeth and tuck them in and give them kisses and promise them the bed bugs won’t bite. Bliss, right?

Wrong. Child #2 had been exceptionally quiet that night — zoned out as he usually does when he’s coloring — because he had grown concerned that the wings of his plane still weren’t long enough. So he kept coloring. Off the paper. On both sides of the plane. In permanent blue magic marker. On the cream carpet.

I don’t think mom needs to even tell her readers what she spent the remainder of her night doing.

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Part II: Fifty Shades of Grey… The SAHM Perspective

As promised, today I will attempt to enlighten you with a mom’s perspective of the characters in E.L. James infamous Fifty Shades trilogy. Supreme warning here: THIS ENTRY CONTAINS SPOILERS. Please do not read anymore if you haven’t read the books and don’t want me to spoil your thigh-squeezing experience.

Anastasia Steele (Miss Steele, Miss Grey, Ana, “Oh… Ana!,” You.Are.So.Sweet)
I don’t get it. As a mom, I am wondering is it possible there are still 22-year-old virgins out there? Really? Or did E.L. James just throw that in for added effect? Personally, I only have sons, so while I won’t need to display a rifle above our mantle or purchase a gun rack for our truck, I have other scare tactics in mind. Like pulling out my husband’s old medical books and showing the boys a picture catalog of sexually transmitted diseases. Before their first date. And to their first date. In the car. As I’m preparing to drop them off at some G-rated film. And stuffing condoms in their pocket just in case they sneak off to the NC-17 one and their date is wearing a short skirt. (This is, of course, assuming that Nate & Matt at some point learn enough table manners to score a date… any date.)

Thumbs up for Anastasia being college-educated. Thumbs down for Anastasia having no street smarts whatsoever. Thumbs up for Anastasia not being one of those annoying little teenagers we couldn’t stand in high school who dropped all their girlfriends like a hot potato the minute she got a boyfriend. Thumbs down for Anastasia befriending Katherine Kavanagh (Could this girl be any “blonder?”). Thumbs up for Anastasia’s manners and respect for her parents and authorities (“Hey mom…mom…mom… mommy… mum. Do this now! What do you mean: ‘What’s the magic word?’ I said ‘now.'”) Thumbs down for Anastasia lacking enough self-respect to play hard to get and say no to Mr. Grey. (It appears she can only open her mouth for other things.) Thumbs up for Anastasia working through college and finding a job upon graduation (as an English major, no less). Thumbs down  for Anastasia sleeping with the boss and not learning the basic mechanics of a calendar (My second grader is learning this… don’t they start with the Days of the Week in preschool?) so that she’s knocked up by the boss at twenty-two. I could go on and on…

Christian Grey (Mr. Grey, Sir, “Oh… Christian!,” My poor Fifty, The Dom)
Wow. I guess you might say he’s the total package, along with a personal shrink at his beck and call. I’d let the daughter I don’t have date him. (Assuming my daughter even listened to me at this point). Sexy. Hard-working. Making $100,000 an hour. (Come on… what 20-something makes that much dough besides, maybe, Mark Zuckerberg?) Total control freak. (Even Anastasia called that one the first time she met the man!)

As a mom, you gotta love a guy whose parents made him take piano. And who kept up his skills even after the lessons weren’t forced. (I think I pooped out by 5th grade. Can’t read a single note now. My poor mom and her hard-earned & spent $20/lesson, so that my current idea of playing the piano is “Chopsticks.”) Good ‘ole Grace & Carrick even got their oldest son into Boy Scouts! Boy Scouts, you ask? Why, of course! A boy scout’s motto it to “always be prepared” at every given moment (with one of those shiny, foil wrapped condoms that is miraculously always in Christian’s pocket). And how else did Christian learn how to tie all those ropes, ties and cable wires into such secure knots? Oh… wait a minute, the next character is that true explanation.

Elena Lincoln (Mrs. Robinson, Elena, the child molester, “bitch troll” – my personal favorite 😉  )
I found I related to this character the most, probably because she was the only person in the whole series close to my current age, and I suspect the average age of those reading the trilogy. And her means of ordering around her subs is oddly parallel to the way I nag my husband. Then again, she is a horny bitch troll with an abusive husband and too much free time on her hands. (She should have some kids of her own and watch her free time go down the bidet.) And she’s a bad stay-at-home type. C’mon lady: Play some country club tennis! Or get a job already! Stop lounging pool-side and slapping the 15-year-old lawn-boy! And what is going on here? I thought introverted 15-year-old boys spent all their time doing Playstation and D & D roll-play, not doing the grown neighbor? Sheesh… maybe I’m the naive one.

Jose Rodriguez (Jose, the photographer)
The tortured, misunderstood artist best-friend of Anastasia’s, put in the book solely to demonstrate that Anastasia had no hormones before Christian, and to make her poor Fifty jealous. In mom’s terms, it’s like Nate taking every single Hot Wheel away from his younger brother, failing to care or comprehend that he never even wanted to play with them until Matt did.

Katherine Kavanagh (Miss Kavanagh, Kate, the roommate)
She bugs me, but I can’t exactly put a finger on why. Maybe because she and Anastasia seem to have this white swan/ugly duckling-type relationship until Anastasia starts borrowing her clothes, falling into multimillionaire’s offices, doing the millionaire and using his former dom’s salon. It seemed very high school “Clueless”/”Mean Girls“-ish to me: Nerd Girl meets Beauty Queen. Beauty Queen takes on project and forbids Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart in sheep’s clothing trips over her Christian Louboutin’s into Hot Boy’s lap. Hot Boy wants to see Nerd Girl in Fifty Shades of nakedness. Beauty Queen pretends she’s not jealous and instead runs off with Hot Boy’s brother, who’s “f**ked all of Seattle” (I was kind of happy when that happened.)

Mia Grey (just Mia)
Speaking of teenagers, Mia is clearly “the teenager” of the Grey empire. Poor self-esteem, spoiled, whiny cling-on. If I were Jack Hyde, I’d be forced to return her without getting a single nickel. It’s exactly why I have no fear of my sons ever getting kidnapped: Within less than an hour the kidnapper would put them right back on my front porch, having had his ear talked off with “why” questions and “did you know that” trivia, and no more juice boxes and snacks left in kidnap-o-van, which the kids attempted to take possession of and drive but failed because it was nothing like Mario Cart Wii.

Jack Hyde (Jack, Anastasia’s boss, the villain, “it should’ve been me”)
I assume named for his ability to go from Jeckyll to Hyde in a nano-second. Here’s a classic example that I just experienced from Nate: “Mom you make the best dinner ever (pizza). I love you.” One nano-second later: “Can I have some ice cream now? (Me — ‘No.’)  I hate you, mom! You suck!” It’s all fine and well while they’re getting their own way (stupid, slutty assistants), but the crap hits the fan when someone says no to them, slaps them, or sleeps with the boss and gets them fired. The boss, of course, or the parent in my case, saw that coming a mile away…

… and last but certainly not least…

Jason Taylor (Taylor, the help, my unsung hero)
My inner goddess swoons when I think of Taylor, my fantasy “Yes ma’am (man).” Every dad wants to be Taylor: He’s a loving father with a wife and daughter, who never nag him, and whom he doesn’t have to live with because he’s required to live in his boss’s penthouse mansion. And he has to watch his boss’s girlfriend prance around in nothing but a T-shirt and panties. (His position is far more enviable than Mrs. Jones, who gets to clean up all the sex toys from the infamous red room, much like the day care worker with some bleach and toys that have been in god-knows-what orifice.) Every mom wants to marry a Taylor: Before Anastasia even realizes she’s thirsty, Taylor has issued his legendary “Yes ma’am” and brought her a glass with ice, bottled water, and a lemon. If there is no lemon in the fridge, he hops into his fancy, foreign automobile and is back before Anastasia becomes weak and parched. Actual husband: Hears his wife say “I’m thirsty” and responds with “You have two legs. Go get a drink.” If wife demands husband get missing lemons, husband storms off in domestic, 10-year-old Jeep (with no air conditioning) and never returns. Seriously, who wouldn’t love Taylor, the biggest sub of them all?

And now that I have graced you with my fine stay-at-home-mom analysis of E.L. James’ more popular characters, I must now offer a few verses of farewell to all my loyal “Weird Amy” fans out there who just loooove to read my made-up lyrics  to current Top 40 songs:

Condom Doesn’t Break (c) 2012
(Sung to the tune of “Give Your Heart a Break” by Demi Lovato)

The day I first met you
You told me, you’d never fall in love
But now that I do you
You know that, I’d make a crappy sub

Now here with zoom
Tied up, in your red room
Break out the clamps
When will you realize
Baby, I. am. your. champ.

Don’t wanna waste your sperm
Lord knows you can’t take a break
And that you’re really screwed up
From that Mrs. Robinson fake
There’s just virginity to give
And Jose knows I did wait, to awake
So let’s hope the condom doesn’t break, condom doesn’t break
Let’s hope the condom doesn’t break, condom doesn’t break
yeah, yeah…

Head to your closest Target

Laters, baby.

Oooops… I did it again

Would you believe after all that whining (not from the kids… from me) about wall borders back in June that I put up another one? Well… I shouldn’t say, “put up,” more like “screwed up” or “attempted.” You would think I had learned my lesson the first time.  However, if you compare articles
( https://mom2mandn.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/wallpaper-bordering-on-hell-take-2/ ),
you’ll see there were some differences:

This time, the border was for the master bath.

10. The kids didn’t offer to help. As a matter of fact, one kid was out of town. The other one said: “Mom… are you crazy? Why are you doing that again?”

9. I didn’t swear. Probably because there were no kids around to hear me.

8. I once again failed to inform anyone of what I was doing. Until I slunk outside, tail between my legs, begging for my husband’s help.

7. The glue didn’t smell as bad as last time. Maybe Ralph Lauren makes more quality wallpaper glue than whatever kid’s company manufactured my last wall border. After all, they practiced quality manufacturing on this year’s Olympics uniforms. Made in their Chinese sweatshops.

6. I failed to have liquid nourishment handy this time. Lack of Sunkist in the house I suppose.

5. The border kept falling down… again. This time for every 5 flowers I pasted up, 10 flowers fell down. You can see the problem here… again.

4. There wasn’t as much clutter in the bathroom as in Matt’s room. As a matter of fact, I left the hamper right where it was so I could step on it as needed, hoping those extra 5 pounds I put on wouldn’t send me crashing through it. I also stood on the toilet tank cover. The hell with the rickety old ladder…

3. No window treatments this time. I’m not much of an exhibitionist.

2. Can you believe I was stupid enough to use Pandora for my background music… again? Now I know why my kids do the same dumb things over and over. For some thick-skulled people, it takes awhile to sink in…

1. This time, I demanded my husband abandon baseball with my 4-year-old, and — a hour and half after I started with NO progress — insisted he help me. I claimed fragility and feminine woes. I had (have) no shame…

In conclusion, the wallpaper border is not completely up. I do not like it. I quit halfway through the job. Tomorrow is another day…

Part I: Fifty Shades of Grey… The Stay-at-Home Mom’s Perspective

E.L. James, I gotta say, “thank you,” on behalf of myself and all the other porn-reading mammas out there. Today’s blog shall address the Christian Grey phenomenon, from the perspective of the women behind the author’s multi-million $$$ sales of the series that keeps me up at night, preventing me from being rested enough to care for my kids.

Kids. That’s right: kids. These books are being read by moms from small-town Arkansas (remember “It tastes good…”) to mega-town Manhattanites (stand down, Samantha, Carrie, Charlotte & Miranda) for multiple reasons, including but not limited to:

*Access: Moms everywhere can get a hold of this stuff at their local Barnes & Noble, Half-Priced Books (yeah right, like any momma in the right mind would ever sell this book back 😉 ), library, or book exchange. We can take our kids with us as we peruse the “aisle of Christian” without having to push the 50 copies of Playboy out of the way in search of the single copy of Playgirl, and without the suspicious glances (“Mommy… what is that?) from said kids. We can even secretly purchase it at Amazon.com in paper or e-reader form; and ladies, these books give whole new readership to the Kindle (light-my) Fire and the Nook (ie).

*Age/Reproductive Status: Moms everywhere would love to be twenty-something again. With their pre-baby bodies. And a boyfriend with a shiny, foil-wrapped condom in his pocket at all times. I mean seriously, was Christian ever without in a time of need? More than likely, our husbands carried the same lucky condom in their wallet for a good 2-5 years until it finally disintegrated into a fine powder or was used as a decoration at a college fraternity party. Granted, we may sleep in our husband’s T-shirts like Ana prefers, but we don’t go to the bedroom with a “come hither” look. It’s more a look of, “Don’t touch me, I need my sleep to deal with the children tomorrow, and it’s your fault we’ve already got two” (insert # of children here). We don’t sleep in post-coitus bliss. We sleep in sheer fear of having reproduced again. Birth Control malfunction. (Fifty Shades Freed tee-hee-hee. 🙂 )

*Book Club Fodder: Moms everywhere like to join book clubs so we can get together and have intelligent conversations with other moms and keep our brains from becoming mommy-mush. We certainly can’t get together and discuss the classics every time. Nor do we want to attend and discuss our latest reading of Green Eggs & Ham. Let’s face it, we could join the If you Give a Mouse a Cookie discussion group, or the If you Give Christian a Riding Crop “sub club”. I know which clique I’d prefer to join…

*Fantasy: Moms everywhere can get caught up in the lifestyle that Anastasia Steele slept into. Lavished (flogged) with attention. E-mailed with notes that would make Dr. Ruth blush. Gifted with cars that would get our husbands out of our hair for days on end. Wined on Cabernets far better than I can afford to drink. Dined (on?) at restaurants that don’t have drive-throughs and suspicious-looking breaded chicken particles. And then of course, getting some religion. Of the Christian variety. In general, wooed in ways that just isn’t reality. Some personal pictures might be a better way to explain this:

My reality: I. Am. So. Tired.

Otherwise known as the look that I’m sporting 99% of the time. Dang… I can’t even pretend I’m awake for the benefit of Nate here. And apparently I can’t even make it to the salon before my hair takes on a subtle mullet-like quality. At least I haven’t dropped the baby… yet. My reality does not include joining the mile-high club in my beau’s private jet. My reality includes being crazy ape-shit scared to fly at all with my mis-mannered children. And if I must fly, I make a run to the in-flight bathroom not out of flights of fantasy, but as a valiant attempt to escape the screaming in economy class and lock myself in a 4’x4′ red room of freedom.

Versus

My fantasy: I. Am. MILF.

Otherwise known as my inner goddess and the look I’m sporting 1% of the time. And that’s after $110 worth of professional hair and make-up and the magic of Fort Wayne’s best, Photo Bleu Photography ( http://www.photobleu.com/). I am wearing panties. I am not wearing Manolo Blahniks. The color of the shirt is the same in both pictures, but that’s about it. Well… I guess the wit and sarcasm is still brewing beneath the surface of both pictures. Oh and in the fantasy shot I still have kids, at home, with dad, who can only take about 10 more minutes before he has another mid-life crisis and tries to buy one of those afore-mentioned cars only to have his credit rejected…

*Preparation: Moms everywhere are reading the books in advance of the film(s), so we’ll have a better grasp of  the plot and will better be able to concentrate on the serious eye candy that the casting director better put before us. My mommy friends and I are having a great time chatting about who would best play the delectable Mr. Grey. The reason we can’t seem to think of anyone age-appropriate in the current Hollywood scene seems to be a direct reflection of Age/Reproductive Status above and a sense of creativity that is now caught up in Thomas the Tank Engine track-laying, playing Candyland for the umpteenth time, and re-reading “Go the F**k to Sleep” to our children each night.

And last but certainly not least:
*The Three P’s
: Moms everywhere know that
Porn – Pictures + Plot = Great take-along material for Playgroups, Pools and Pre-Pure romance Parties
Is that eight P‘s? I suppose if I appreciated algebra I’d read Good Will Hunting instead of Fifty Shades Darker

So now that you know the “why” of E.L. James being richer than dirt, for my next installment I shall discuss the “who” of Fifty Shades of Grey. As in, major character studies, plot analysis, and serious spoilers. So if you still haven’t read the books and can keep your panties on, don’t read Part II (coming soon to a parenting blog near you)!

The Story of my Life…

At our house it’s permanent marker…

…which reminds me that I need to buy school supplies today. Joy. $20-$30 for s**t they’ll stick in all their bodily orifices and come home wearing. When I was their age, school supplies were included. And I walked at least a mile to school. Uphill. In the snow. Really… I swear. Oh, and during lunch there was actually enough time to finish your food instead of throwing your parents hard-earned $$$ right into the trash, coming home and immediately demanding a gargantuan snack, before running off to play with the neighbor kids, where they eat 2-3 more snacks, come home and refuse to eat their dinner. Wasn’t that a great run-on sentence? The story of my life…