Sometimes Sanity is a People Magazine

Friday, December 7, 2012

She looked hungry for conversation, connection, so I said “hello.” We were two of a handful of mothers (and even fewer fathers) trapped at a bouncy house funland. Yes, trapped. Have you been to one of these things?? It’s a collection of massive inflatable playhouses (and castles and safaris and Batman bodies and fire engines with ladders) spread all over an indoor space. Like a factory.

It’s not quite hell. I mean, the kiddos have a blast, bouncing and hopping, sweating and screaming, laughing and landing on top of each other. It’s a good way to let them spill out that kid-energy (which is just … imagine if that thing was bottled?!).

So this mom, after I said “hello,” tells me her name, where she lives, where her husband was that day, how old her kids are, and why she looks forward to late Sunday mornings at the jumpy spot. All in one long, honey-catch-your-breath paragraph. I don’t remember much of it, but I know the last bit went something like:

“Finally get a chance to catch up on my gossip magazines in peace — well, if I ignore them yelling for me!”

She paused and looked at me. My guess is she was trying to figure out whether my slow nod was some sort of judgment. (Actually it was me waiting for her to take a breath so I might jump in. Like double-dutch.) Then came the edit: “I’m kidding! Sometimes I’ll bring a magazine, but not all the time.” And she quickly changed the subject.

You know what that tired mom needed (in addition to digital subscriptions to her glossies)? A copy of this:

If nothing else, she’d get a couple of belly-laughs and the backbone to speak her truth: Sometimes your sanity is wrapped up in a People magazine with Taylor Swift and Boyfriend Whoever on the cover. And your kids in the bouncy castle … they’ll be fine.

With sidebars like “Things to Do in Your Home When You’re the Only One in It,” Sh*tty Mom is  all about bringing the funny to this thing we’re doing here. (Uh, motherhood.) I’m about to read the Awkward Conversations section, which wastes no time and kicks off with this chapter: “White Moms: How to Bounce Back After You Ask an African-American Mom if the Wrong African-American Child is Hers.”

Spoiler: Basically, apologize and then stop talking, is the sound advice there.

So, guess what? I have THREE copies of the book to give away! Since we’re talking about the funny, leave a comment below about the last time Life As Mom made you laugh, and THREE lucky readers will nab a copy of the book. Winners announced December 14th.

  • 1
    Erin H. says:

    Having a 3 1/2 year old means there are plenty of laughs in my house. I often laugh at things I never fathomed I would ever say. Life as a mon has me repeating myself all the time and last time it made me really laugh was at dinner saying “ok now take a dinosaur bite!” never would I have thought I’d have to convince anyone to eat pancakes but I’m sure I sat at that table for an hour convincing my son how good the pancake was.

  • 2
    Ashley Himes says:

    Life as a mom makes me laugh on a daily basis. Either because of something my four year old said (“Mommy, can I be the boss for Halloween?”), something cute my 11 month old did (because they’re undeniably oozing cuteness at this age, from clapping to smearing food in her hair… okay maybe more gross than cute in that case), or laughing simply because it’s the alternative to crying or tearing my hair out (kiddo waking at 4:50, incessant whining, or not having had a day to myself in months)! Nuff said. Lots of laughs with other mom friends about all of the above. Lord knows what I’d do without that!

  • 3
    Juanita says:

    We recently toilet-trained our almost 3 year-old son. Obviously, he’s been very proud of ‘being a big boy’ now. So, the other day, after getting out of the car and seeing our neighbours across the laneway, he says loudly (without any prompting) “Hi neighbour. I’m wearing underwear today”. Probably a little more information than our neighbours wanted to know :-). Too cute.

  • 4
    Catherine says:

    Currently it’s my two-year-old’s forming four or more words in a sentence that makes me laugh. She now says “bless you” when I sneeze or “pardon me” when she sneezes. But I know if she’s quick at picking these up, it’s also that stage when a parent has to be really careful as you can’t hide anything anymore. Like one time when someone came over to our house. We were in the kitchen and she heard his voice and she said, “man.” My mother (who was visiting) said to her, “laki” (Filipino for “big”). To which she repeated, in English, “big man.” I’m just glad she didn’t say “big tummy,” as we sometimes point to her tummy and say that.

    Another incident about language in my life as mom is more embarrassing than funny. I rarely swear but when shocked or surprised I say the occasional “sh*t.” I cover my mouth and look at the toddler who gladly doesn’t repeat it but you can tell the interest in her face. And later, I learn she is just waiting for the right moment to try saying it. I accidentally drop something on the floor and she says what sounds like “sit” but I can’t see any relation of the verb with the incident or why she would utter it when I dropped something. I try to redirect her attention by saying “sugar.” It doesn’t work yet. Oh. My. Word.