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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Perfect Mothers Against Chemicals, Other Mothers, and Humor

I. Scene One:

We are at a playground in the woods. The woods, which by their very nature are shady. The shady woods with lots of bugs and very little direct sunlight. The mosquitoes are already out and last week I found our first tick of the season. Hurray for summer.

I pull out the insect repellent.

Perfect Mother, who is slathering her offspring in sunscreen, : I can't believe that you are putting that on your kids. Do you know what is in it?

Me: Uh... well, hopefully something that will prevent them from getting eaten alive by bugs here.

Perfect mother: It's filled with all sorts of chemicals.

I ignore her.

Perfect Mother: Do you want to borrow some of my sunscreen? I noticed you didn't put any on your kids?

Me: No, I'm not sure how I'd give it back when I was done.

Perfect Mother, who has no sense of humor : What?

Me: No thanks.

Perfect Mother: You aren't going to put sunscreen on your children?

Me: No. I'm not.

Perfect mother: Wow, that is just unbelievable to me that you wouldn't put sunscreen on your kids, but you'll put bug spray on them.

Me: No, what's unbelievable is that you care.

Perfect Mother: Aren't you worried about skin cancer?

Me: First of all, it isn't even sunny here in the woods. Secondly, my children have their fathers olive complexion, therefore they don't burn or even tan easily, so those small patches of sunlight that are coming through the trees really aren't a threat to them.

Perfect mother, shaking her head: Well, all those chemicals...

Me: Sunscreen has chemicals in it too. Mosquito and tick borne illnesses are a very real threat around here. And after having one child get very ill with Lyme Disease, to the point where he was beginning to have neurological issues, I am vigilant about using insect repellent.

Perfect Mother: Well, I would never...

Me: I never say never. Oh look a patch of sunshine, I had better go instruct my children to stay away from the dangerous sun.

II Scene two:

A different day, a different mother, a different reminder of how imperfect I am

Perfect Mother: I can't believe you let your children chew gum.

Me: I don't think a piece of gum once in awhile is going to hurt anyone.

Perfect Mother: Gum is bad for you. You really should keep it away from your children.

Me:Was there some sort of memo I missed that good mothers are against gum now?

Perfect Mother: I don't allow it in my house. I just say no.

Me: I think I am confused, Nancy. Are we talking about guns?

Perfect Mother: No gum, with an m. My name isn't Nancy...

me: G-U-M? as in chewing?

perfect Mother: Yes chewing gum.

Me: Wow,I am so out of the perfect mother loop. I thought we were against things like drunk driving, guns with an n, and internet pedophiles. Is there some sort of newsletter I can sign up to receive so I can be in the know. I want to be properly incensed at the choices other mothers make too!

Perfect mother: Well, it's just common sense. All those chemicals...

Me: And that Gogurt your kid is sucking down is completely natural?

Perfect Mother: ::blink blink::

Me: It isn't even called yo-gurt. And it is sucked out of a plastic tube ... but yet somehow that has perfect mother stamp of approval?

Perfect Mother: Well, it's better than lunchables.

Me: Ah, so there is some sort of kid snack food hierarchy of which I am unaware. Would this be in the monthly newsletter?

III. Scene Three:

Yet another motherfucking day

Perfect Mother: Your playscape at home... is it made out of cedar?

Me: Well, we have two. One is cedar and one is pressure treated wood.

Perfect Mother, gasps loudly shaking her head furiously: I can't believe that you would allow pressure treated wood in your yard?

Me, laughing: Wow. Yet another thing. Was this in the newsletter?

Perfect Mother: I don't know about the newsletter. Pressure treated wood is wood treated with arsenic. Arsenic! It seeps into the ground. It's poison!

Me: Good Lord, how will I ever keep it all straight.

Perfect Mother: You should get rid of it. I would never allow my children anywhere near it.

Me: Well, for that fact alone, I think I'll keep it.

That's it. I am done with people. Should anyone need me, my inferior self will be outside in my own private toxic waste dump, with my gum chewing, chemically coated children, rejoicing in the apparant miracle that I have manage to keep my children alive for over eleven years.


Anonymous Jennifer said...

Is "Perfect Mother" the same woman each time? If so, you need to run the other way when you see this woman coming your way. Geez Louise! That woman is the one with the problem, not you.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Dot said...

Wow, I must be invisible, people NEVER talk to me. But if they were going to, they would probably say the same things to me. I don't get the newsletter either.

9:31 AM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

She needs a few more kids. That's get in her in touch with reality.

Mary, mom to many

11:16 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

Hey! I think I met one of those ladies. She gave me the dirty look when my son asked if the fire in the fireplace at the restaurant was real and I told him to go touch it and see.

Oh, and please, if the insect repellent doesn't have DEET, then the ticks will dig in and I have to go through my whole tick freak out that involves finding someone who can get the damn thing out before I hyperventilate and saving it for future reference should my kid develop some neurological issues.

Pressure treated wood? Check. I expect they'll keel over at any moment.

Gum? Strike three, I'm out. Excuse me DCFS it at the door.

11:22 AM  
Blogger aka_Meritt said...

I need to give you a heads up on another one you'll run into (you know, since you OBVIOUSLY aren't getting the newsletter!)

Watch Out for the Room Mothers at school. When it's your turn for snack if you bring anything other than cheese and vegetables you're going to be banished. Oh, wait... maybe banishment is ok!

Kool-Aid is also a HUGE no-no. (And if you make it sugar free by making it with Splenda they will be calling DHS on ya).

11:38 AM  
Blogger Al said...

You are so F***n awesome! I think you are hilareous. Like Dot said, I too must be invisible. I only WISH people would say those things to me. Give me a chance to let out all my pent up aggression. Hee hee. I really love your blog, you should write a book. I wish we lived near each other, I think we could be good friends. I have four girls, and I live in Texas. KIT.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Silly Old Bear said...


They NEVER talk to me (not directly anyway)

Probably because I'm a three hundred pound scary looking bearded person, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

I overheard two moms talking this morning about television:

He only watches GOOD shows, less than an hour a day, with no commercials..

I'm starting to wonder if letting my kids watch Chronicles of Riddick was such a good idea. But their swordmanship has improved, so maybe it's a trade off.

12:10 PM  
Blogger thatgirl said...

Is this for real? Seriously? I really really hope you were exaggerating for comic effect. If not, well then ... my extreme sympathies. :( Please try and remember that this woman's issues say more about her than they do about you.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Heth said...

So if my bug-sprayed kids are playing on their pressure treated playset while chewing gum and not wearing sunscreen, does that mean that they may not make it through the afternoon? My poor children! What have I done?!

12:13 PM  
Blogger Darren said...

Why can't people just mind their own business?! I never feel the urge to talk to anyone ever!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Jordana said...

I don't get that sort of commentary on my lack of parenting skills very often, but I do get a lot of sideways glances from some of the moms at my son's school because I let the kids have baloney once and I don't buy only organic foods.

12:18 PM  
Blogger meredith said...

Those perfect mother's scare me. I never know how to answer them. I do get an evil pleasure when I see them trip over their own perfection, though.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Lori said...

Isn't it amazing that we all grew up to be adults! How sad for that woman's children that nearly "everything" in their environment is going to kill them.

12:37 PM  
Blogger B.E.C.K. said...

Doesn't Perfect Mother have enough to do with parenting her own kids? How does she have the energy left to parent everyone else's?

And please comment and say you were exaggerating for comic effect. That dialogue seems a bit over the top, unless Perfect Mother also has no social awareness, which, come to think of it, is a distinct possibility. ;^)

12:44 PM  
Blogger jak said...

You know- I must look a total bitch cuz I never have the kinds of drive by assvice things happen to me- I wish they would...oh, the things i would say-

You my dear handle it so classy!! Your my hero!

12:46 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

OMG Chris! Did you punch her? What rock are these people crawling out from?

Lets get together and let our kids chew gum, have their bodies liberally lathered with insect repellent, and play.....we can sip margaritas and laugh at the Perfect Mommies.

12:47 PM  
Blogger momteacherfriend said...

If they need a soap box they should start a blog and stay off the playground.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Jeana said...

Has anyone informed these women that making stupid rude remarks to you can be dangerous and might result in a sudden right hook, public dressing down, or BBQ-ing on your blog? Maybe that should be in the newsletter, then they might leave you alone. Good grief!

user of bugspray, handing out gum during church service, and not having any idea what kind of wood my playset is made of. Nor caring.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I wish I were exaggerating. These were three different mothers on three different occassions.

The first two encounters happened on the same day. The third one happened awhile ago, but it has been bugging me and I have been wanting to write about it.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Tammy said...

I never got the newsletter either. It's funny that you posted this cuz I just went to dinner with a whole group of moms like this on Friday night and I was wondering what I missed. I finally figured it out - I am missing the paranoia.

By the way the things discussed at our dinner were vaccinations, not letting children have cheese, & not letting them eat canned foods. I was thinking to myself as the other ladies discussed this topic among themselves, "You would die if you knew some of the things my kids eat."

Funny thing is my kids who are 12, 11, & 8 have only been sick a handful of times in their entire lives. Of all my friends my kids are usually the healthiest.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Huffs said...

Gum? We chew it.

Pressure-treated wood playset? In the back yard, and better still--my husband built it back there--so all the wood dust is scattered back there, too!!!

Bug spray? Deep Woods variety.

Sunscreen? Lathered on the one fair-skinned child, reserved for beach use on the other olive-toned child.

Organic/non-organic? Whatever's on sale.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

OMG! Those smug 'perfect' moms just crack me up. If they only knew how they looked and sounded... :::giggle::: And the one thing I've learned over the years is that karma will get them in the end. LOL!!!! Hang in there, I think I might bring my kids and come hang out in your toxic swamp, or you could come hang in mine! ;o)

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We often skip sunscreen, do use insect repellent, have a deck which apparently is deadly, eat junk food, etc. So, come on over!

Honestly, I'd be too chicken to say *anything* to you about raising kids, since you're a veteran at motherhood! (I have 2 kids only...)

The more I am around other people the more I dislike them. ;) Having internet pals helps a lot.


1:24 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Stupid people.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

I can't seem to get over the perfect mothers... do they not have enough to handle with their own kids?

1:34 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

That is totally outrageous. I have gotten some pretty bad advice on mothering before, but nothing as weird and from anyone as adamant as that.

At least you got to poke some fun at them.

1:37 PM  
Blogger lipstickface said...

I can't believe the nerve some women have. UnREAL!

Here is my theory: These women can't understand how you manage so many children while retaining your good looks and hot body. They're pissed and watching you like a hawk looking for ANYTHING to call you out on, just to make themselves feel better.

That's how I see it.
Jealous bitches.

Next time they interfere tell them giving out unasked for advice causes wrinkles and weightgain.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Lylah said...

Now, if they were playing in the bug repellant, chewing on the pressure-treated wood, and slathering themselves with gum, you might have a problem...

1:47 PM  
Anonymous susan said...

If you want to start a newsletter of your own, I will happily sign up and sell subscriptions!

What the hell is wrong with people?

1:55 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Love you. La la love you, Chris.

My 3 year old chews gum. I let her eat candy. She plays in a bug-infested sandbox. Sometimes I forget to make her wash her hands before she eats. And that Kandoo soap I bought for her? It's not antibacterial. And you know what? SHE'S STILL ALIVE.

Perfect mom's kids are not going to have any fun at all.

There's a good post on Alternet today about how mothers. I'll send it by email.

2:14 PM  
Blogger but Momma said...

I'm wondering, where do you live? I'm gonna steer clear. Of course, I never leave my house anymore because the Two Year Old is in Screaming Tantrum Overdrive and everyone's always staring at me like I should do something. But I think after reading this, I may try a stick of gum!

2:15 PM  
Blogger Dana Glover said...

I was already nervous about meeting these kind of moms when CJ begins kindergarten in August -- but now I'm mortified. Do you think they would kick him out of a public school just because I get arrested for strangling one of these "perfect Moms"?

2:15 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Gasp! I let my son play outside all weekend and didn't put sunscreen on him at all! Yipes!

And he plays on a pressure treated set at the playground. Is he gonna die?

2:25 PM  
Blogger oshee said...

I am astounded. I would never think to tell others how to raise their children. I only offer advice when asked (unless it is sister).
My bro-in-law's new girlfriend is like this. She constantly gives me parenting advice and advice on everything under the sun, tho I've expressed interest in none of it. She has but one daughter who lives with her father. UGH!

My kids..Sunscreen before swim lessons (at least the beginning of the summer).
Bug spray only while camping (i live in the desert..)
Our play set? Old Aluminum!

I don't allow gum (except at halloween when they get it despite my desires). And I only don't allow /it because I hate trying to get it out of the girls' hair.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I got the bug spray lecture yesterday, too! Then I whipped out the photo of my 18 month old with his eye swollen shut thanks to a mosquito bite and the bills for the doctor visit and antibiotics, but it only shut her up for a minute. Dunk him in the DEET, I say!

We really do need a newsletter-- the topics du jour in my 'hood are why organic milk is the only way to go (unless of course you're a soy or goat or rice milk person), the evils of 1) plastic food containers and toys, 2) vinyl lined lunchboxes, 3) artificial sweetners of any variety, and 4) most of my toddler's favorite foods (hot dogs, grapes, hard candy, nuts, raisins).

I thought it would get easier once we parents were through comparing how our babies ate and slept (or didn't), but now it's all about acceptable discipline styles and Things That Will Kill Them.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

When all that fuss about arsenic came out, I asked my Dad about it - cause he's a carpenter and he said that basically a normally healthy kid would have to litterally suck on the wood for an hour or more everyday for a year to get enough arsenic out of it to hurt them.

I often tell people that should anything eggregious happen to me and I'm buried and need to be exhumed for further evidence that all my preservatives will have helped keep me in tact for the investigators - doing my part in fighting crime. As well as anything I do that's "bad" for me (i.e. i often forget to wash vegetables and fruits)- is really just going to boost my immune system.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I think you should move down here to "hicksville" and live happily ever after! We're still back in the time zone of letting kids play in the rainwater that drains down the street, and rusty playground equipment, and eating dog food, and dirt, and toilet paper (from the toilet) and.... You know, all that real life stuff? I think you should write your own newsletter and it can be for all us "real mom's", you can even call it that! "Real Mom's News" for all of us that don't have liposuction, nose jobs, and DO have dirty faced, gum-chewing,sun-burned, dogfood eating children who grow up to have "Happy" memories and know how to laugh and breathe! Seriously, my Mom pulls that perfection thing on me a lot, and so I have learned to make fun of it all! Of course she loves me too so that makes it easier to make fun of her! Good luck with those plastic Mommies! They'll hit reality soon enough and it won't be pretty! Feel sorry for them. They're the ones that end up in a depression or as drug addicts because they can't stand the pressure forever of being "perfect".

2:38 PM  
Blogger Karen Rani said...


(And yes, I'm yelling!)

Geeeezz...some people's mothers.

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Sheryl said...

Wow, these are truly unbelievable conversations! Uh, where do you hang out, because I need to avoid those places like the plague.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...


You can come hang out with me anytime.

Isn't it amazing we survived our own childhoods, you know the ones where we didn't wear seatbelts, had homes with lead paint and our mothers drank and smoked while pregnant with us because they didn't know any better.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...


You can come hang out with me anytime.

Isn't it amazing we survived our own childhoods, you know the ones where we didn't wear seatbelts, had homes with lead paint and our mothers drank and smoked while pregnant with us because they didn't know any better?

3:11 PM  
Anonymous finn said...

Did you know Harvard just pusblised a study on how chewing gum helps kids think (I am totally serious). We'll I guess the "perfect mother" is going to have dumb kids now...hmmm, I wonder what she would think of that!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Eli's Mom said...

Thank GOD you have this perfect mother to keep you in check!!! Would this be one that would also insist that by not placing my child in a germ-infested, cloth 'bubble' everytime i take him to the grocery store i'm exposing him to (GASP) 'outside' germs? Gotta love unsolicited advice!!

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Izzy said...

You're letting your kids breathe? Outside? Inside? The chemicals! The air is filled with them! I would never...


3:55 PM  
Blogger InterstellarLass said...

If it's not the bugs, it'll be the aspartame in the gum, if not that, then the arsenic in the wood, if not that, then a meteor that makes it through the atmosphere. You'd better have them wear their meteor-proof suits outside for the next week. I hear it's the season...

3:56 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Hold onto your seat, Chris. Turns out Perfect Mommy has been dethroned. Because.....for instance...did you know that pressure-treated wood hasn't been treated with arsenic in a few years now? And gum - many types now contain xylitol which has cavity-healing properties and other health benefits. It's even in the delicious sugar-laden gums sometimes! So Perfect Mommy needs to get with the program before it's too late and she realizes she fell off her soapbox. :-P

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

I try and avoid chemicals. Mainly I get organic food, chemical-free sunscreen, toiletries etc. We live in the city and there's already plenty of toxins to choose from. But my choices are just that, mine, and I wouldn't judge or comment on anyone else's. For one thing, I'm lucky to be able to afford the organic alternatives - they don't come cheap. For another, I live in the UK so mosquitoes and Lyme disease aren't a problem for me. If I'd had to deal with Lyme, I'd wind up spraying the kids with whatever worked. Otherwise what are you going to do? Keep them indoors all Summer? It's outrageous for a total stranger to comment like that. Is it a cultural thing? I think here in the UK people might think it, but wouldn't say it - whereas the limited time I spent in the USA suggests that people are more upfront and prone to speaking their minds. Well done for keeping your cool, anyway! Sit back and feel superior for being a much nicer, more considerate and definitely more laidback person.
PS Oh yeah - I don't let my kids have gum. The youngest only has 2 teeth, while my 3 year old would definitely swallow it, and tends to peel it off walls where someone else has stuck it! Eating gum is one thing, eating someone else's gum is another story entirely...

4:18 PM  
Anonymous ViewFromEarth said...

LOL! Great post! It always seems like no matter how thoughtful and mindful I am of my children's health - both physically and emotionally - there's always a more perfect mother who's quick point out the flaws in my parenting.

These perfect mothers are so hung-up on their issue of choice that they cannot see all how hypocritcal they are. They're blinded by their own moments of perfection.

I'm raising my children just fine, faults and all, thankyouverymuch.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Miss Peach said...

I will never understand why women feel the need to say such things. So this is what I have to look forward to from other moms if I have kids? Screw them. My mom slathered me in non-paba-free sunblock, let me eat chewing gum with SUGAR, still insists I use bug spray in the summer, and let me play on one of those super dangerous aluminum swingsets, and I turned out just fine. At least I think so!

4:56 PM  
Anonymous lammyann said...

Can I just hug you right now?
mmm.((ginormous hug))
I love you chris.
dearly, not queerly.
If I can still say that these pc days.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I think you've found the missing formula in those "perfect mothers." It's called HUMOR and I don't know how I would survive motherhood without it. Loved this post so much. And I bet you actually paint your little girl's toenails, too! The chemicals!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Mary Tsao said...

Is it wrong to say that sometimes I hate all other mothers? And I am certainly chuckling when I say that. Because I *do* have a sense of humor!

You should keep a cel phone earpiece in at all times. You can talk to yourself and it's a great reason not to have to talk to others.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Mary-LUE said...

I was talking to a mom about a year ago who has her kids on a no processed foods diet. I looked at her and said, "Yeah, my kids are on a special diet, too. Only processed food. If there is anything natural in it, they're not allowed to have it."

Now, the good thing about this exchange is the no processed foods mom is she knows her kids are gonna have away from home and she is okay with that. And, we are friends and were able to laugh at the exchange. :)

5:56 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Oh I just love that kind of person. They are always right and you are always wrong. GOD forbid you do not live your life to their high moral standards. I am the sinner of all sinners, I work outside the home, send my child to daycare and I let my children eat meat.

6:12 PM  
Blogger stacey said...

OMG! How funny. I have been reading you for awhile and never posted a comment but this one just had to be done. People are just so bizzarre! I think I totally missed the newsletters too. Good thing that I now have mine almost gone, or I would totally ruin them! LOL. Hang in there!

6:18 PM  
Blogger Cityslicker Mom said...

she sounds like an over protective grandmother...

6:22 PM  
Blogger Mama Bear said...

I bet perfect mom's kids are deficient in vitamin D.

6:36 PM  
Blogger Karin said...

I work with a woman like I have to hear it every single day. She is a "holistic" mom who only buys organic and religiously counts fat grams and calories.

It is enough to make me want to bring lunchables and twinkies for lunch and then use arsenic soaked toothpicks afterward.

(My kids have made it to 21 and 16, with no extra appendages so far!)

Love your blog entries...they make me laugh every time.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous nabbalicious said...

I have a friend I'm actually afraid might be "Perfect Mother" someday, and I'm really dreading it, thought I love her.

Why can't people just mind their own business?

7:03 PM  
Blogger JustJen said...

I know a lady who used to wash all her produce in bleach b/c she didn't want her kids ingesting pesticides. Then she figured out that bleach was carcinogenic so she stopped. Ummmm....

7:08 PM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

No way! I can't believe anyone would actually SAY any of those things to someone!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous Maliavale said...

I am continually blown away by how fucking RUDE people are. I cannot believe these people have the nerve to not only say something to you but to continue the conversations when it's clear you don't want or need their advice (not that they should be offering it offhand anyway!).

Obsessing over crap like pressure-treated wood and gum is a good way to give your kids complexes, complexes that will last them a lifetime, complexes that will affect THEIR spouses and THEIR kids and ... I'm going to stop now.

I am angry on your behalf.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Maddy said...

Here in Melbourne, Australia we have crystal clear tap water and I have friends who will boil it for ten minutes *just in case* ... obviously not enough to do!

I have always found these *perfect mothers* are filled with insecurity and spend their entire life comparing their kids to everyone else’s children just to make sure they are doing things perfectly.

I wonder if they let their kids eat McDonalds and KFC and drink Coke and Pepsi, we do but then I cancelled my subscription to the newsletter years ago, it was full of crap anyway.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Cindi said...

And just why can't we have guns? You own a kitchen knives and baseball bats.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Crazedmomof4 said...

This is why I feel children & pets are much nicer friends, then say, grown ups!:D

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Tammy said...

U go girl- & I will be right beside u!

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Heather in AZ said...

Thats just insane. I am surprised at HOW pushy and opinionated they were toward you. What happened to boundaries and why in the heck arent people using them anymore? All of them were totally out of line.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Mom of All Seasons said...

Good lord woman, you probably let them drink Pepsi and eat hotdogs too, don't you? Please tell me that you don't let them climb trees, say hello to non-family members, operate a microwave, or ride on scooters!

*very dramatic sigh, with hand thrown back against forehead*

I need to go have a glass of wine (made from organically grown grapes, of course) and lie down for a while (on my hermetically sealed mattress covered in unbleached cotton sheets)...

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Tracy in HD said...

Well, here's my "perfect mother" moment from the other side. Perhaps it will make you feel better. ;-) When my second was a year old and we were at a kiddy program for my oldest, the mom next to me, whose little girl was just one day older, pulled out a bottle of formula to feed her fussy baby and ended up spilling it everywhere fussing with the lid. I sat there, smugly thinking to myself, "well, that sort of thing doesn't happen to us breastfeeding moms" and latched my son on as he got antsy. He finished nursing, snarfed down the rest of the sandwich on my plate and then promptly puked sandwich and breastmilk all. over. me. And I thought to myself "you deserved that you smug know-it-all". Who knows why different mums make different choices for their kids? I'm so sick of all the judgemental mums out there when momming is such a hard job anyway that we really need to stick together and support each other, not tear each other down. :-(

10:28 PM  
Anonymous kathy said...

I can't believe you posted that. don't you know that posting about your children will drive them directly into therapy??? Now, THAT isn't good for them, is it. Oh, and i can't believe you let them play baseball! All those murdered ants and trampled grass! I simply can't believe you don't hover over the grass but instead unleash your hord of S E V E N children on it!

You really should be ashamed! :)

10:41 PM  
Blogger judi said...

chris, you do make me laugh!
here is one for you-
we have 5 kids, ages 23,18,15 and 8 year old twins. the twins' teacher was calling fairly often, early in the school year, with a laundry list of "issues" she had with twins (cried too easily, kiced a trash can once when frustrated etc.). finally i just got sick and tired of these calls and i said " listen, these our 4th and 5th kids- they haven't killed anyone drunk driving and they haven't gotten anyone pregnant- so we are thinking it has been a great week". that took care of the calls.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been reading your blog for about a week and on today's I totally screamed with laughter. When my husband asked why I said it was mom thing. I had to visit your comments seeing as how today's topic, interestingly, had 70+ posts to yesterday's 20+. Touched a nerve, I think!

On the other hand, not only do I tell my kids we have secret Mom meetings, but I've made good friends with some like-minded moms, and sometimes we do! One of them recently arranged a fencing class for our teenaged daughters. Oh, and the boys like to play with the foam and wood swords and crossbows more than anything. Xbox has nothing on 'em.


11:21 PM  
Blogger EvaRob said...

This is hysterical!!!!!!!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Xenia Kathryn said...

You should write for You're writing would fit right in, if you ask me.

Next time "Mom of the Year" rags on you, tell her to try mothering seven children (as I'm sure these very women have 1, 2 or *gasp* 3!).

12:47 AM  
Blogger Jen3 @ Amazing Trips said...

Just send your perfect mother's to my house. I'm sure they'd collapse seeing the way I let my babies eat right off the floor. I mean, I TRIED feeding them in their highchairs, but, they just threw all the food on the ground, anyway. So, I'm saving myself some time. I call it "stream lining meal time". I'm all about efficiency.

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I know Perfect Mum. She lives in my town too. When I said that I had a playpen for my 9mo old son, she totally hit the roof. She didn't quite get the bit where I said that he was in there for a max of 15 minutes per DAY, and it was so he didn't pull out all the cables on my laptop when go to the loo, or take out the garbage, etc etc for that FIFTEEN MINUTES per day. Because of course, she plays with her son all 24hrs that god gives, and never takes a leak...


Oh, and then of course she "doesn't have a TV because she feels its presence would undermine her family structure". Because my TV (switched off) in the corner of the room is eroding my son's brain even in its dark and - switched off - state. Let me go shoot myself....

You go, girl! I love your blog, and think that your kids are just the luckiest to have a mum like you.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous stillheidi said...

Love your blog! I live in a Suburb of NYC and have taken to going to the most ghetto of parks I can find with my kids....There the kids may curse and the parents may bring a cooler of beer along with them...but, I would much rather hang with them then the women in the park by my house who all must have signed up for the 'newsletter'.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey, when you find out where to sign up for that newsletter let me know! And does that mean I should quit letting them light my cigarettes for me?

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your blog - read it and laugh to it everyday - I agreed with you on EVERYTHING Tuesday (annoying "perfect" mothers) except.... - you really should put sunscreen on your kids even if they are olive skinned - skin damage can happen to olive skinned skins on a cloudy day. Of course there is a less of a chance, but there is only a small but real chance that they will get a tick bite, and you are cautious there....just my little two cents....still think you are great.

9:04 AM  
Blogger J said...

So funny!Glad to know there are normal Moms with Normal days.Not perfect!
Thanks for keeping me amused and real..

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, so I had to come back today and read more of the comments from others about this post (yes I am obsessing)and I thought it pretty funny that after all of the great comments on here, there was still a little miss anonymous having to put his or her two cents in! Don'tcha love it?!

10:49 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU! Did you really say those things back to them? OUT LOUD?!?

I need to develop the guts to do that, because I also get so tired of "perfect mommies".

Yes, my kids had popcorn for breakfast this morning. Microwave popcorn. I think they might die from the chemicals in the flourescent yellow fake butter dust.

I so need the newsletter.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

Well, you have done it again! You are such a great writer! How do you do it? Anyway, great post!

12:03 PM  
Blogger deputyswife said...

Can I come hang out with you? We will let our kids run through the woods with chemicals, gum, and possible arsenic poisoning.

I think there is a lot more to worry about in this world. Like... like... um... Oh heck, I don't know...

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Trust me I understand completely how that goes. Unfortunately I have to hear most of that from my mother-in-law. I have 2 very very pale children that will burn even riding in the car for too long so sunscreen is an absolute at my house. However last summer my mother-in-law came across and internet article that claims sunscreen causes cancer so, when my children are at her house alone with her she REFUSES to put it on them. When we go over there and i put the spf 60 or whatever it is for babies on my 19 month old and 5 year old I get the look of death and the lecture from hell. So the next time you get cornered at the playground or where ever by one of those "perfect/insane/oblivious" mothers you can just laugh thinking about when they read the same article my mother-in-law did (bcos it's becoming more popular/wide spread) and begin to freak out about how they've given their children skin cancer.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

Holy Cow! Where do these people come from?! I can't believe how bold people are with you. You handle them superbly, I must say! :-) I can't believe that these women have the guts to say stuff to such an experienced mom. Come on...doesn't having seven kids just scream, "I know what I'm doing, so leave me alone!"?

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Good heavens, when did mothers get so dang judgmental? I can't get over the sense of righteous indignation that makes someone confront a total stranger about her sunscreen/insect repellant/dietary choices etc. I think the Perfect Judgmental Mom is a product of the Nineties. Interestingly, Americans today are MORE unhealthy and overweight than they were during my childhood in the Seventies. We thought nothing of: grownups with beer-and-cigarette breath; kids drinking cokes and eating oreos for after school snacks; horrible tv with sexist messages (I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan's Island);riding bikes helmetless, and living without sunscreen or a calendar full of structured educational activities. How could I possibly have turned out to be an educated and productive human being? It boggles the mind.

2:19 PM  
Blogger blackbird said...

You've been wearing that
tee shirt again, haven't you?

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Lilorfnannie said...

awesome post!! Whew- the craziness. Between those kinds of things, and the other mothers that blither on about their kids & what they are doing, or just blither on about various aspects of childraising - I just nod my head and smile a lot. None of them talk about anything real or interesting or meaty or intelligent.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

One year ago, I was talking to another mother at daycare who had a 2 year old son. I mentioned something about my kids (3 and 2 at the time) having a chocolate chip cookie for dessert after they ate their supper and she looked at me like I had ten heads and said, "Cookies??? In the evening??? I NEVER let little Nathan have any sweets." Fast forward one year to last week, when the same mother said to me, "I can't get Nathan to eat anything. Last night he had Dunkaroos for dinner!" (Dunkaroos are packaged cookies with icing for dipping.) Never say never indeed!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Lil' Mama Uv 6 said...

Oh my! You know the ones that get me. They are the ones who say "ooh, I'm a NEAT- Freak or germaphobe" Then you see their kids and/or their home and it's worse than anything my kids have been in. They're just jealous of your B-E-A-Utiful family. They gotta tear you down somehow. L-O-V-E your blog. Newsletter??? If you write one, I'll subscribe.

12:39 AM  
Blogger Kat O+ said...

I have to confess. I was probably THAT annoying to my Mum when my baby was young and she kept trying to whisk him off to bask in the morning sun with no sun protection. Then I found out my baby is vitamin D deficient (thanks, exclusive breasfeeding!) and Mum smirked at me and said, "I told you so." After 20 months of parenting, I've discovered that there are quite good reasons why "imperfect" parents do things. Like let kids watch TV (15 minutes of peace and quiet, hallelujah!). When Perfect Mothers accost you, maybe you can just make things up for how too much oxygen can kill you. :-)

4:01 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Amen. I am so glad I am vehicle-less so I don't have to deal with other parents very often now.

WTH is wrong with GUM now? I thought it was actually good to chew it after meals? Must be all that TV is warping my mind.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I've gotta say that I've either not actually encountered any Perfect Moms or I'm just oblivious to the comments, because my jaw was ON THE FLOOR as I was reading and thinking, "WHAT THE HECK? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!?" However, my best friend seems to attract people like that because she's always on the recieving end of rude comments. I think you definitely get 5 points toward your Mom of the Year Award for not decking these women!
Love your blog!

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My kids' speech therapist actually uses gum as a technique. Strengthens the jaws and tongue.

I'd rather use bug spray. Ticks are NASTY.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Heather said...

OK, is the bugspray/sunscreen mom a redhead? I just gotta know cause I think its one of my best friends...whom I have titled "Domestic Goddess". She has four kids, and she knows everything, I would say just ask her, but she simply volunteers it. I have known her since were were in grade school (now 34)and since my first (and only)son was born last year, we have reached an understanding. Yes, she is entitled to her own opinion, BUT, I am equally entitled not to hear it if I haven't asked for it.

But really, is she a tall redhead...four kids, school volunteer...domestic goddess...? there can't be two of her...

11:09 PM  
Blogger christinemm said...

Is this true or fiction? I know people who think like Perfect Mother but trying to be Perfect Etiquette Lady they would never say things like that (just think them).

7:54 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I once begged my mom to make sure my ex didn't let the baby up on the roof while he was working on the patio cover. In a crowded airport. I guess you relax after about three babies.

And thank you for using the word "motherfucker." I only wish you had used it in your conversations. That would have brought their thought processes to a screeching halt.

As my buddy reminds me now and then, how many times do you think our moms dropped ashes on our heads while feeding us formula and sipping a martini?

They put my mother on SPEED when she was pregnant with me to keep her from gaining too much weight.

*strangled scream*

12:48 AM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I once begged my mom to make sure my ex didn't let the baby up on the roof while he was working on the patio cover. In a crowded airport. I guess you relax after about three babies.

And thank you for using the word "motherfucker." I only wish you had used it in your conversations. That would have brought their thought processes to a screeching halt.

As my buddy reminds me now and then, how many times do you think our moms dropped ashes on our heads while feeding us formula and sipping a martini?

They put my mother on SPEED when she was pregnant with me to keep her from gaining too much weight.

*strangled scream*

P.S. Yes, I think I am posting this twice but it's THAT IMPORTANT that I have my avatar properly linked. I'm perfect that way.

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow, you sound like the mother I would like to be when I have kids.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous adena said...

Well, let's daughter decided to spray down her little brother w/ Lysol Disinfectant the other day, because he "smelled". I let them watch TV, play on pressure treated wood, spray bug spray on her when she's in an area that has bugs (because there were TWO times I found ticks on her head when she was a baby, after she woke up in the morning!!*Shudder*), and not only does she eat gum, but she eats candy too!!...also, no sunscreen, because she doesn't burn.

This makes me a HORRIBLE mother, I know. *sigh*

10:47 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Wow, I've never had this happen to me. But Jack's just two - give me another year or two...

Bug spray - I have yet to use it, but I will. Ain't no way I'm letting some nasty bugs eat up my kid.

I use sunscreen if we go outside, and there's sun or we'll be out a long time. But we're REALLY pale.

Playground? All plastic baby. Hubby's decision - cheaper and easier to maintain.

Gum? Not yet (At 2 he might choke) but I'm sure he'll want to chew gum. Aren't they kids? I mean, com on!

10:59 PM  
Blogger Karnak said...

Chris you gave me a good laugh

My five year old plays in the dirt, we have 3 cats, a dog and a rabbit to share germs with and I have enough trouble just doing the grocery shopping with out worrying about the organic food. Much of what I buy is rubbish such as pizzas and pies. My three kids don't have much in the way of allergies or asthma. So maybe my healthy diet and lifestyle has worked. Isn't the latest theory more kids get asthma etc in the Western world because we are too clean.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Ellen C. Braun said...

I wonder if Perfect Mother has carpet or paint in her home? Did you know that they contain carcinogenic chemicals?

On the other hand, she probably lives in a giant steralized bubble... however, how in that case, how did you happen to meet her???

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had "perfect mother" as my best friend for five years. Never paid much attention to her silliness until she turned it all on me in one long nasty speech. Turns out that my house wasn't perfect - unless I had prior notice to hide the piles of laundry, books, papers, toys etc. And your point?????

That was only the first thing on her list. (She even wrote them down so she wouldn't forget any of my supposed sins.) She dumped me as a friend because I and my kids weren't perfect enough for her and her kids. Ugh.

Still hurts and I chose to post as Anonymous because I'm afraid to even encounter her in cyberspace. My worst nightmare was realized when she joined a mom's online discussion group where I let it all hang out. Had to erase my old comments so she wouldn't have fodder for gossip (her only fault). Yeah, I'm a coward. :-(

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Sylvia said...

The best comeback line I ever heard to all this nonsense was:
"You know, they're not actually made of glass, you know. Kids are just not that breakable.. . "
I use it frequently.

8:12 AM  
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