Calling All Dorks

I’ve been thinking about some things I’d like to do with this blog, and one of those things is to start having guest posts that are accompanied by a couple of my doodles. If you have a funny/dorky story or idea (it doesn’t have to be related to parenting) that you can make around a 300-word blog post out of, then either leave a message in the comments with your contact info or email me at dorkymomdoodles@gmail.com and we’ll go from there. Stories you’ve previously published on your blog are fine, too.

If there is enough interest in guest posts, I may do themed posts, so stories that are holiday/season specific may be saved for later.

Isn’t this an amazing opportunity? You get to see a poorly drawn version of yourself/your family! You get a chance to have arms that look like penises no matter how hard I try to make normal arms! There could even be an unintentional thigh gap!

That’s enough enthusiasm for now. Feel free to share this with any bloggers you think might be interested.

Parenting Books I Need To Read

Don’t you just love parenting books? There is something for just about everything — potty training, raising temper tantrum-free toddlers, what to expect developmentally. And let’s not forget about a certain pre-parenting book that is infamous for contributing to (or perhaps creating) anxiety disorders. I’ve bought many parenting books over the years, and most of which aren’t useful for us beyond serving as a fire starter. (I kid — I’m not burning a $15 book and will eventually toss them in the donate pile.)

You’re probably wondering why I’m going on about parenting books, especially since this isn’t the typical parenting blog. I’ll get to that now. A few days ago, the topic of parenting books came up in a discussion my husband and I were having with another relative. I pulled out a few of the books I’ve purchased over the years. I had books on positive parenting, parenting the whole-brain child, raising a gifted child, and parenting a defiant child.

We had a laugh over the books — mostly because of the defiant child book, which I purchased before Baby Girl came along — and then my husband made the comment, “If they really wanted to help parents, they’d make a book called How Not To Kill Your Kids.”

We had another laugh and then I had a light bulb moment — “Ooh, I could use this for my blog! And I could do other book titles that would’ve been more useful, too!” (My light bulb runs at a low wattage, in case you’re thinking, “WTH, this is what she considers a light bulb moment?”)

Without further ado, here are a few parenting books I should’ve read instead. (Click image to magnify.)

(I need to touch up this doodle and update with the correct spelling, oops!)


(I’m totally gonna use Shut The Fudge Up when I write my bad mom parenting book.)

Bonus

I forgot to put the parenting books back on the shelf last week. Baby Girl ripped the page out of the book about positive discipline. Minutes after I corrected her, she used a crayon to scribble in the book about the defiant child.

What book title would you like to see? 

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No Health For You

There are lots of ways that you can piss off your kids. Tell them that screen time is over for the day. Mention that bath time or bedtime is just around the corner. Announce that no more fun will be had until the toys are picked up and the house doesn’t look like a tornado came through.

All of these things will certainly make little tempers flare and have them shooting daggers at you, but wanna know the worst thing you can do? Offer them something healthy when they ask for a snack — they’ll treat this as the ultimate act of betrayal, one that is worthy of a spot in the ninth circle of hell.

Now I much prefer snacks of the non-healthy variety, too. My “never saw a gap” thighs can attest to that. However, most of my non-healthy snacks are consumed after the kids go to bed, in an effort to minimize the bad example I set for the kids. Unfortunately, Little Man is catching on to that. He once mentioned how unfair it is that the parents get to stay up and watch TV and eat junk food after he goes to bed. Dude, I just listened to 10 hours of nonstop chatter about Pokemon, Minecraft, Peppa Pig, and farts — you really wanna talk about unfair?

For the record, I’m not a total junk food Nazi; as evidenced by Baby Girl’s love of popsicles, they get sweets. Maybe too many sometimes, especially if we’re going to Chick-Fil-A with their amazing ice cream and follow that up with a trip to Walmart, land of the free cookies. But I do try to make sure that most of their food doesn’t have a lot of added sugar and actually has some nutrients, which makes me a bit of an asshole mom in their eyes.

Despite being pretty reasonable, both kids still try to find a way around the rules (pretty sure they’re hard-wired to do so). Sometimes they think whining will do the trick, which is annoying, but other times their attempts are rather humorous.

This one is from when Little Man was around age 4.

No beating around the bush with him!

Last week, Baby Girl went at it from a different angle.


Nice try, Baby Girl. If only!

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The Fun Bag

Back when I was a kid, an older cousin (who was more like an uncle) gave me a Crown Royal bag. It had some money and a buckeye nut in it and was immediately one of my favorite things. What’s not to love about a cute little drawstring bag, right? And then my grandmother saw it. She was less than thrilled with the bag and didn’t want me to keep it because people might think that we were drinkers. Between that and a cigar box my dad gave me, clearly I was out to tarnish the family’s reputation.

A couple decades later — with little in the way of a good, wholesome reputation — my husband and I have accumulated a few of these little bags. We have been known, on occasion, to go to the Alphabet Store and purchase the purple bags. Sometimes I’ll get a green bag, since that holds the apple flavored whiskey. (I’m not usually a whiskey drinker, but the apple whiskey mixed with apple juice is amazing.) Those bags usually make their way into Little Man’s hands since they’re awesome for the hundreds of rocks, twigs, pieces of metal, chunks of cement, twist-ties, and other odd things he hoards.

One day we decided to go to Chick-Fil-A for a little lunch and playtime. They have an indoor playground, so we can usher the kids in, stack some chairs in front of the door, and then enjoy our lunches without waffle fries being thrown about. Or something like that. Anyway, Little Man asked if he could bring a toy in and was told that was fine. Just as we reached the door, my husband gasped.

The fun bag:

“Fun bag” is definitely the right term.

“You can’t bring that in here!”

My husband said and made Little Man take the fun bag back to the car since he didn’t think it was “appropriate to take in a family establishment.” Party pooper. In reality, I think we would all benefit from having a fun bag while being subjected to the play area at Chick-Fil-A, or any other place where kids are hyped up on ice cream and sweets, for that matter.

So…what would be in your fun bag?

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Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

When you have young kids, you tend to do things that would make the casual observer raise their eyebrows. Things like having toddler potties in non-bathroom areas, making transportation noises for a spoonful of food, and singing songs to encourage picking up toys, brushing teeth, or using the toilet.

And then there is the clapping. Good lord, the clapping.

There are many times when you genuinely want to clap for the stuff your kid does. Crawling for the first time; those first steps; not spitting out spinach baby food; catching a ball — those are all very deserving of clapping.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Eventually some children — cough, mine — expect you to clap for everything. It’s hard not to share in their enthusiasm, but after they’ve done a certain mundane thing X number of times, you’re not feeling it quite as much.

And other times, they don’t want you to clap for milestone type things so much as they want you to clap for things that were never goals in the first place.

Sorry, Baby Girl — you were the gassiest baby I’ve ever met. You did “drunk frat boy after eating a greasy pizza” type farts when you were less than a month old. They horrified everyone, and I’m pretty sure there were a few times people thought we were letting one rip and blaming it on the baby. I’m used to your “fahts” by now, so you’re not getting any claps on this one.

Sometimes kids want claps just for literally nothing — not for making a hoop for the umpteenth time or for flatulence. They just want claps and they want them now, dammit.

Before I develop carpal tunnel syndrome from all the clapping, maybe I should just download an Instant Audience app for my iPhone. Not only would there be lots of claps at the press of a button, but there could also be cheers and maybe even rebel yells. Or, if I’m lucky, maybe there would be boos and jeers that would come in handy for other situations — like being a sassypants or smudging my freshly cleaned glass door. Lazy parenting for the win!

Instead of asking what silly thing your kid likes to be clapped for, what do you do that deserves being clapped for once in a while?

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Lessons I’ve Learned

A few weeks ago, I had fun with graphs. I showed that children are clingy as hell when you need them not to be. That was probably already a universal parenting truth, but the graph made it official. Today you get a few more graphs on parenting lessons I’ve learned. (And I had an idea for a cute pie chart, so there will probably be even more graphs in this blog’s future. Yay — I think?)

The first lesson I’ve learned has to do with puking in the car.

Back when Little Man was a baby, we bought a used car that was a few years old. It wasn’t overly nice, but the price was right, it was safe, and it got us where we needed to go. If something got spilled in it, it wasn’t a big deal — that kind of car. Care to guess how many times LM puked in that car? Once.

We now have a pretty new (we bought it brand new a year ago) and expensive (for us) car. It has all the bells and whistles, leather seats, and is just gorgeous. Now would you like to guess how many times that car has been puked in over the past year? Well over a dozen. The last time was yesterday, which just happened to be a few days after I cleaned it good and conditioned the leather. Little Man got car sick. He was able to get some of it in a paper bag, but as luck would have it, the bottom of the bag collapsed.

The next lesson has to do with diapers being soiled. This particular lesson is what made me take Baby Girl’s diapers a little earlier than planned, because I was annoyed with 30 cents worth of diaper being ruined in five minutes.

Baby Girl was one of those kids who often wouldn’t poop unless she had on a clean diaper. As soon as you’d take the diaper full of pee off, she’d work her magic and ruin a brand new diaper by crapping in it. This was true as a baby and true as a toddler. After we got to the point where I knew that she could tell me and use the toilet, that whole “get changed and squat” act started wearing thin. Diapers aren’t that expensive, but still.

The last one is something I’m sure all parents — heck, anyone who has ever given a child a gift — are familiar with.

That’s right — spend a buck on something and you’re guaranteed hours of play. Spend $50 on something and it might get played with a grand total of five minutes. Such was the case with Baby Girl’s birthday party over the weekend. We were supposed to have a pool party, but decided to move it indoors the morning of the party because of rain. We went to Walmart and bought some stuff to have indoors to make sure the kids would be entertained. We had a little bounce house that the toddlers spent a few minutes on, a bowling set that I don’t think anyone touched, a bean bag toss that wasn’t touched by anyone other than adults, and then we had some balloons and pool noodles that cost a grand total of $4. I don’t even have to say which items the kids gravitated to.

Any lessons or other universal parenting truths you’ve picked up on that you’d like to see in graph form in a future post? 

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That’s Not How That Works

Potty training is officially underway in the Dorky household. We stuck Baby Girl in underwear early last week. She’ll wear a pull-up when we leave the house and a diaper at night, but that’s it. Amazingly enough, so far, so good. She has one or two accidents most days, but has taken to it quite well. I rarely have to remind her to go on her own, either, and she was even dry one night this week. I think she’ll be there by the time preschool starts back up.

Like with anything else Baby Girl does, the potty training adventure has been quite amusing so far. She regularly gets cheered on for peeing or pooping in the potty, so she has been returning the favor.

Sometimes Baby Girl will walk around naked from the waist down. Since it’s warm, I’m not making her wear shorts inside, as there’s a good chance they’ll get soiled at some point during the day. She has taken this a step further, though. Occasionally she’ll ditch her Wonder Woman or Batman underwear and walk around with not a care in the world. My husband and I think it’s pretty funny, but Little Man? Not so much.

For the record, Little Man still doesn’t think much of streaking through the house after a shower if he forgets his pajamas. He’ll occasionally get modest and cover his chest, but that’s it. Pot meet kettle, Little Man.

My favorite part of potty training so far was when she attempted to use her potty in…the wrong way. I walked in to see this:

Little Man and my husband were in hysterics. I didn’t immediately get why and told her to get down, thinking that they shouldn’t be laughing at a toddler — whose sense of balance isn’t that great — standing on a flimsy plastic potty next to the fireplace. (I decided to stick her potty in the living room for the first few days so that it’d be more easily accessible to her. Kinda gross, but I think it helps having it closer for now.)

“She thinks she can pee standing up!” Little Man said, still cackling. Oh! She was trying to pee like a boy. I guess she’s walked in on her dad or brother and took notice. Sorry, Baby Girl — we can do almost anything they can do, except for that. Not without buying something like the GoGirl Female Urination Device, anyway.

Do you have any potty training adventures (or woes) you’d like to share?

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