Friday, September 24, 2010

If I Wrote a Parenting Magazine-Issue 2

I used to be a frequent parenting magazine reader. You know, back when I was still sort of new to the whole parenting thing. I'm by no means a parenting expert, but I've found the advice given in most of these mags to be pretty predictable.  While some of the articles are helpful, and filled with reasonable suggestions, many of the tips given are either too idealistic, too time intensive for busy people, or are annoyingly "trendy." Just because something is cool or popular, doesn't necessarily make it a good idea.

Also, now that my kids are older, these magazines have little to no relevant info for me.  How about a magazine that would give advice on how I can get my 10 year old to wear her pre-orthodontic-mouth-stretching-appliance-dealy that we are paying a bazillion dollars for? Or how to convince her to wear something other than t-shirts and shorts? Or something that would help me teach my organizational impaired 7 year old how to put things away in the right place? (and one for husbands, too) I've tried the brightly colored and labeled bins, and my daughter and I are the only ones who can actually grasp the complexities of how these devices function.  (Perhaps its because we have uteruses...)  Hey, how about a handy article on how I can convince Tot that cereal is tasty, and not a substance to be feared and avoided? We've had this issue for about 7 years.  (Just us?)  Every kid should have a love of Crunchberries, no?

Anywho, all of this curmudgenery (nice word, huh?) led me to create my first If I Wrote a Parenting Magazine, and now I think it's time for another!  The gimmick is that I take actual headlines from a parenting magazine website, and give them the Imperfect Mom spin.  Here we go.

The Right Way to Space Siblings (for you)
Well, when my kids are fighting, I send them to separate rooms.  If we are out somewhere, say at a church without Sunday School, I will pick up the smallest one, with that "don't you dare embarrass me!" Mom look, and put them on my other side, away from the other offender (who is going to get an earful on the ride home, by the way).  Oh wait, I guess they mean "space" in terms of when to give birth to them.  Never mind.

How Can I Tell if My Baby is Teething if I Don't See Any Teeth
Is your baby drooling like a Biggest Loser contestant judging an episode of Cupcake Wars?  Are you in danger of running out of your preschooler's Junior Tylenol because you've been taking it yourself ever since finishing the adult stuff in a futile effort to make the headache from all of the screaming and crying go away? Do you have dark circles under your eyes from staying up to the wee hours of the morning doing websearches for teething remedies?  Have you ever sucked on a frozen washcloth just to see what it felt like and gotten it stuck to your tongue?  Does your baby gnaw furiously on everything it finds-including the dog's misplaced Milk Bone? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your baby may be teething.  Or, it could just be, oh, you know, a normal baby.  Break out the Infant Motrin.  Orajel doesn't work-trust me.

Do You Know When You are Fertile?
If your ankles are swollen, you have a whole new view of your belly button, but can't see your feet, crave bacon with sour cream and sweet tea, and people in scrubs are urging you to "push" or to "breathe", then there is a strong possibility that you are fertile.  Don't be shocked like Peggy Oleson in Mad Men if a baby is squeezing it's way out of your nether regions.

The Real Difference Between Boys and Girls
Girls come equipped with ROFS, "Random Object Finding Sonar" , while the male arrives with the uncanny ability to screen out any stimuli within eye view or ear shot when sleeping, watching football, or viewing A Few Good Men for the 876th time.  Girls can actually pick up their dirty socks off the floor and put them in the hamper when asked, whereas a boy will spin around in a slow circle, saying "what sock?" until he becomes distracted by Sponge Bob on the television, or a Lego guy on the coffee table.  Girls acquire the ability to roll their eyes sarcastically while still in the womb, and boys instinctually know that kissing Mommy's hand and saying "You're so pretty, Mama!" results in cookies and getting to stay up late.  If you still don't understand the difference, then you may want to grab your significant other, a flashlight and a hand mirror...

Why Kids Lie
So they don't get in trouble.  Next!

How to Handle Preschool Bullies
Smack them on the nose with a newspaper, give a Cesar-like "shhhht", and send them to their crate.

On that note, I think I've dispensed enough advice for one issue.  If you'd like to play along, feel free! Just mention this post in your blog posting, and comment here with your URL.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anonymous Shaving

Hi, remember me? I blog here from time to time.  I guess it's sort of been a while, huh? Sorry about that.  Not much going on around here.  At least not much with entertainment value, anyhow.

My kids are growing so fast.  So fast, in fact, that my son will probably be shaving before I know it.  Oh, wait-he already is.  (Yes, he's still only 7.) Let me explain.  Tot came down the stairs the other day after his bedtime shower.  I knew something was up, when he started stuttering.

"Uh, uh, M-mom? I, uh, uh, s-saw Dad's razor in the shower, and I, uh, d-decided to shave. I, uh, ummmm....cut myself here, and got this," he said, pointing at the small, bloody cut on his chin, with his big blue eyes staring at the floor.

I noticed another cut on his forehead (I posted about this on Facebook, and one of my friends said "What does he think he is, Wolf Man?), and mustered up a serious expression all as I tried not to giggle.

"Hmmm.  It probably wasn't a good idea to do that was it? I thought you were old enough now not to play with razors," I said in a calm, quiet voice.

"I know.  I'm sorry."

"You can shave when you are much older, but don't try it again until you're almost grown up and have something to shave," I said as I led him to the bathroom to clean him up and apply ointment to the cuts.

Later that night, as I tucked him in, I let him in on the fact that men actually don't need to shave their foreheads.


I love that kid.

Switching gears, Amy and Mary Bailey both asked me why my family doesn't know that I blog.  I figured I'd address it here, since I guess it is kind of strange that almost no one in my "real life" knows that I blog.  My husband, sweet guy that he is, is a very private person.  He doesn't feel the need to tell people (other than me, of course) things, and he wouldn't understand why I want to tell random things to people I don't really know.  I guess when I spell it out like that, it does sound sort of strange, come to think of it... Also, I think he would constantly be asking "why did you write about that?" .  Not that he would try to stop me, really, but I'd just rather keep it to myself than constantly be trying to explain, which would make me feel like I had to be on the defense all the time.  Also, I like the anonymity that it provides.  If I feel the need to write a story or vent about, say my mother or my grandmother, then I don't have to worry about hurting someone's feelings, or getting a writing critique (hello, Grandma!).  Plus, I'd have to have the whole "What is a blog" conversation, which could prove exasperating, considering that my Mom can't even figure out how to open up an email attachment.  You should have heard the MANY phone conversations where I tried to teach her how to use a mouse! You move the cursor thingie where you want it and click.  Mom, you push the button on the mouse. No, don't hold it down, just push it and let go.  No, the other button.  I don't know what that button is for.  Don't worry about it, you aren't going to blow up the computer by pressing the wrong button.  No, really. Ok, now scroll down-spin the wheel thingie.  No, the wheel on top of the mouse, spin it, slowly!

So anyhow, there ya go.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Trailer Park Gourmet

We tend to like food in our family that is...ummm...less than classy.  Basically, if it has cream of something soup, and/or Rotel, and/or chips of some kind, the recipe will be in my cookbook.  Don't get me wrong-I enjoy lots of food, but our family favorites tend to be of the Trailer Park Gourmet variety.  Comfort foods to the extreme!  So, I'm going to start a new feature here at Imperfect Mom, where I share recipes (yeah, real ones unlike this one!) that we enjoy around here.

Disclaimer-I do not live in a trailer park, but I have nothing personal against them, or people who live in them.  My Grandma lived in a trailer park for part of my childhood, and many happy days were spent hanging out with friends, exploring empty lots for treasures, and playing in the drainage ditch creek.

I don't have pictures, because my family doesn't know I blog, and it would be really hard to explain why I was taking pictures of soup cans and casseroles.  Besides, sometimes the best food isn't always the prettiest.

This is what we had tonight-it's my husband's favorite.  Seriously, I've made him his very own casserole dish of it before.

Chicken Tortilla Casserole (the name sounds much classier than it actually is, but it is really yummy!)

2 cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1/4 cup of sour cream
1 package of precooked chicken strips
sliced mushrooms (I use about half a small can)
shredded cheddar
tortilla chips
(with these ingredients, how can this NOT be good?)

Preheat your oven to 325.  If your oven needs to be cleaned as badly as mine does, open a window.  Spray a big, old casserole dish with cooking spray.  In a mixing bowl (if you can find one that the kids haven't carried off to the sandbox yet, or your husband hasn't fed the dog in), mix together the soup, the Rotel, the sour cream (I always add a little extra), the mushrooms (if you use fresh sliced mushrooms, saute them in some butter first), and the chicken.  This works with either the frozen precooked chicken, or the refrigerated kind.  I prefer the refrigerated kind, though, because I like to chop it into smaller pieces.  I suppose you could cook your own chicken to use, but I can't understand why you would want to, because that kind of defeats the purpose of this being a quick, easy meal, but suit yourself.

Crush some tortilla chips onto the bottom of the dish to make a thin "crust".  This might be good with Fritos, but wouldn't be nearly as chic. Layer the soup mixture, shredded cheese, and chips.  I usually try to get 3 layers out of it, ending with a thin layer of chips.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until the chips on top have browned.  Let it sit for a few minutes, then spoon out portions for yourself and the kids, and then hand your husband the casserole dish and the serving spoon.  What? That's how it works around here!

Pairs well with cherry or grape Kool Aid, or Coke Zero served in the can.  (Not served in the bathroom or in jail, unless that's how you roll, but in the actually aluminum can)

Nutritional Facts:
Servings: For us, 4.  For sane people, probably 6-8.
Calories: 8,999,001 per serving
Fat Grams: 678,345
Sodium: 334, 563, 567, 001 grams
Vitamin C: eh...

The Imperfect Mom is not responsible for ruined diets, casserole induced high blood pressure, or tongues cut because you thought it would be a good idea to lick the lid of the mushroom soup can.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Those Aren't Bidets

Several years ago, I don't even remember how long ago, I was shopping at JcPenney.  Now, that in itself isn't remarkable-I've been there several times since then, but I always avoid the restrooms there.  My husband and I were shopping, we may have had our daughter with us, I don't recall, but I needed to take a quick trip to the ladies room. 

I quickly walked into the restroom, which was very quiet and peaceful.  I went into the stall, and..well.. you know, took care of business.  While I was there, I noticed how quiet it was-there were no little children asking their Moms if they needed to "go potty too", and no friends chatting about the bargains they had acquired.  I could tell that I wasn't alone in the room, yet there were no sounds of "shopping busy-ness" like one usually hears in the ladies room of a department store.

Having taken care of business, I left the stall and went to the sinks to wash.  This place was so clean, and white! I washed my hands with that institutional, pink soap with the distinct, "I just washed with institutional hand soap" smell, and reached into my purse for my lipstick.

This lipstick was awesome, by the way-I really need to look for some more.  It was green "mood" lipstick that turned to the perfect shade of pinkish red on my lips.  I know, it doesn't sound very classy, but this stuff was great!

Anyhow, as I puckered up and began to apply, I happened to catch a glimpse of something to my left in the reflection of the mirror. "Oh, crap! What are those things? Those aren't urinals, are they? Oh, no.  But I looked at the sign on the door..."  Cold, horror crept up my spine, up to my cheeks, where it burned like fire.  My head began to buzz with that "This is wrong! Error! Error! Does not compute! Error!"  warning sound.  Deciding to play it cool, (maybe they were just bidets.  Sure, bidets at Penney's, why not? Clean, rich people like sales, too!) I finished applying my lipstick, which turned to an unusually vibrant red.

Glancing in the mirror, I looked at the stalls behind me.  I saw a pair of white tennis shoes under one door-those looked fairly unisex, a little dowdy for a woman, but you never know.  I relaxed a tiny bit as I turned to leave.  As I got halfway to the door, I heard a flush, and came face to face with a very surprised........middle! I scurried out the door as fast as I could, feeling the man's eyes burning into my back as I left.

Horrified, shaking and blushing like a teenager at the Ob/Gyn for the first time, I hurried out to my husband and explained that we needed to leave.  Now.  Before I get thrown out and banned from Jc Penney's for life.
Since I'm never ready to leave a store before he is, I had to explain why I needed to leave.  Of course he thought it was hilarious, and I still get teased about it to this day.

I now double and triple check the signs on restroom doors before entering, sometimes even going back out and looking again.  I do still shop at Penney's, but my pace picks up considerably when I pass the restrooms, even though we now shop at another location.  I still blush when I think about this, even years later (judging by the mood lipstick, it must've been in the nineties.) 

But ladies, if you want to....relieve a peaceful environment, choose the men's room.  Just don't try to use the bidets.

This post has been part of Mama Kat's weekly Writer's Workshop.  I couldn't get the button to work, so please click on this link to visit her blog and play along.
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