Posts Filed Under nothing to do with parenting.

Scared Abstinent

by renegademama


I’ve been told that many programs exist to educate young women on the perils of early motherhood. You know, avoid teen pregnancy and such. I’ve only heard of this sex education because I went to a Catholic girls’ school. We don’t talk about those things there. Plus, none of us were going to have sex because we were saving ourselves for marriage.


Now, I imagine that much of this teen-pregnancy/smart-sex/use-protection-or-die education centers around the economic burden of motherhood, the extreme responsibility, the destruction of one’s social life, and perhaps the reality of missed or limited opportunities facing a girl who’s 15 and pregnant.

This may work. But I really believe there is a better way. When I think back to my teenaged self, so cool, so hot, so together and omniscient, I can’t help but think my sorry ass would not have given two shits about economics or social life or responsibility, because I didn’t really know much about those things. I had no perspective. I had no idea that not leaving your house for 2 months or talking only to toddlers would make me want to crawl in a hole and wither. I had no idea how hard it is to pay only the really late bills because the current ones still have a tolerance window (I mean bills don’t even become real until they’re a month late, right?).

However, there is one thing I understood, and that’s humiliation. I understood that. That hit my fragile egoic self where it hurt. I also understood things that are fucking disgusting. For example, dog shit.

And so, I propose that we tell young girls stories like the one I’m about to tell. We could compile our stories and market the anthology as The Best Birth Control Ever.

It would be like that camp they send disturbed youth to – the one where they attempt to shock them into obedience – they yell at them and take them to prisons and abandon them in the wilderness, doing their best to scare the living shit outta them until they snap out of their delusion and realize they’re ruining their lives. It would be like that, only for motherhood.

Remember Laser? Oh yeah, sweet little bundle of Labrador. Sweet, psychotic bundle of holy-fuck-what-was-I-thinking-getting-a-puppy. Yes, him.

Anyhoo, we were in Tahoe.  We went to the grocery store. Mac, the older kids and my mom went into the store for supplies and Starbuck’s while I waited in the car with Georgia and both dogs. While I waited, I opened the door next to Georgia’s car seat so I could play with her and prolong the point at which she loses her fucking mind because she realizes she’s trapped in a seat and there are things happening without me damnit! While standing there, Laser was sort of jumping on the seat next to her, on the other side of the car. I ignored him. At one point, however, he put his nose across Georgia’s lap and I noticed some brown stuff on it. I thought it was peanut butter.

[Warning: this story is disgusting. Remember: SHOCK TREATMENT. We’re going for shock here people. If we sugar-coat we won’t be as effective.]

I leaned over to see what was on his nose and I realized in a moment of horror that it was not peanut butter  at all. It was poop. It was dog poop. I determined this thanks to my keen olfactory senses. The  next few moments happened in slow motion, but so fast I couldn’t believe it was happening. It was like a car accident. Time slows down but it’s moving at lightning speed.

I look at the seat under  the dog. There is a giant pile of dog diarrhea. My heart stops. Things are dire. Life and death, Janelle. Don’t fuck up. I assess the situation. He’s about to step in it. I must get him out. I bolt to the other side of the car, open the door.

My whole life is hinging on the successful removal of this dog from the car, but I cannot allow him to touch the pile of shit. I cannot fail! I grab his leash and try to pull him toward me, but because the dog is fucking idiotic, he of course flails, steps in the poop and SLIDES ACROSS THE SEAT, dragging the pile of crap across my entire seat and his body. As he jumps out of the car he brushes against me and drags the back of the leash across the morass of excrement.

So there I am, dog shit on my arm, my shirt, my hand. A puppy hopping around psychotically, covered in shit. Holding a leash covered in shit. Staring in awe and wonder and shock at the most enormous pile of dog diarrhea I’ve ever seen, covering the better part of the back seat of the only car we have – the one we need to DRIVE IN and SIT IN.

And I’m stunned. I’m paralyzed. There is no way out. I’m only in survival mode now.  I’m trying to move the dog away from me. He’s jumping on me. Georgia’s yelling. I’m holding the leash out. I have no idea what to do. There is no solution. If I put the fucking dog back in the car we have more shit in the car. But I have to get this off of me and I have to clean my seat.

FYI, there is something infinitely disturbing about being covered in animal excrement.

I hear a noise. I look down. Laser is vomiting. You think I’m kidding? NO. NO I’M NOT. Evidently he ate half of a bully stick, WHOLE. He ralphs ALL OVER THE GROUND NEXT TO ME and almost immediately begins eating it.

I pull him away. He pukes again. Tries to eat it. And I want to die.

So yes, that’s right people. I was standing in the Safeway parking lot covered in dog diarrhea with vomit at my feet and a shit-covered dog attacking me, next to a car doused in crap. And I was alone.

And this, my friends, is my life. Two people asked me if I needed help. I said “um, yes. I need you take this dog and my life. Right now.”

All I could do was stand there and wait for help. I waited for at least 10 minutes in that condition, while people walked by, glanced at me, the dog, the vomit, heard the toddler screaming.

[I wonder how Snooki would have handled that situation.]

Finally Mac came out, horrified of course, bought upholstery cleaner and rags and disinfectant wipes. He held back the dog, tried to clean him, while I cleaned myself and scrubbed dog shit off my seat for AN ENTIRE HOUR.

Now, perhaps our teenaged wonder may read this story and think “Ah, that’s got nothing to do with motherhood. That dumb broad got herself into that trouble, buying a puppy and going on trips and shit.”

But to that I declare: IT IS THE FAULT OF MOTHERHOOD. Why? I’ll tell you why.

Step 1: Have a kid.

Step 2: Have another kid. Maybe another, to give the first kid siblings.

Step 3: Raise them for awhile.

Step 4: Begin doing things that families do, such as buy a fucking Labrador.

Step 5: Stand in vomit piles in a parking lot while covered in dog shit next to your desecrated vehicle.

You see? One thing leads to the next. And what’s the first step? Have a kid.

The jump from kid to dog shit is such a tiny one. And even if you never get a dog, kiddo, there will be excrement in your life and you will be covered in it. Absolutely more than once.

Are you gettin’ that? SHIT. On your skinny jeans.

And that, my friends, is why you don’t want to get pregnant as a teenager…because nobody looks cool doused in dog crap. Or kid crap, for that matter. And once that kid comes, there ain’t no going back.

It’s crap for you, baby.

That’s your future.

Choose wisely.

I’m here. Waiting. To shit on you.


by renegademama

Normally I don’t write my weekly Sunday post because I’m disorganized and insane and can’t pull it together. This week, however, I haven’t written because I don’t want to tell you about my week. Not because I don’t want to share – because we ALL know I’m a hopeless over-sharer – but rather, because for once, I’m without words. Well, almost without words.

I write when I have something to say. I write because something rolls in my head, around and around, until it ends somewhere. And when it ends, I know what I need to say. Even with those silly weekly posts, I know what I want to say.

But I don’t know what to say now. I’ve got no “message,” no “take away.” Not much of anything at all.

On Wednesday, a dear friend – one of those family members who aren’t family members – died in a car accident. To my children, he was a beloved uncle. To my husband, he was a best friend. To me, well, he was a man I knew well and cared about deeply for the last 11 years – revered highly – and absolutely adored for what he was in the lives of my in-laws and husband and children. The way he loved them. The way they loved him.

He was the one who never missed a birthday party, a family celebration, a barbeque. He was the one who never said “no I can’t help.” He was just.always.there.

Until now. Now he is gone.

His heart, it was huge. I see that heart right now. I miss who he was. Just him.

And so I’ve spent the week grieving with my children, watching them walk through this with the miraculous grace only a child possesses – so in the moment, so bravely, so unaffected and free. They play, eat, sleep, walk. And then they remember, cry, fold into each other’s arms, talk, remember. And then, they play again.

But I, I’m a little more stuck in my brain — I’ve got a story about it. I replay it and wonder why. I replay it and I want it to be different. I replay it and I my heart breaks for him, for being gone like this, and his daughter, and my in-laws and my husband and my kids, who have faced the intransience of life. Right now. So early.

I tell myself I need this to mean something. I tell myself I need to live. Now.


Finish the book I started writing, lose the last 20 pounds, apply to PhD programs I’ll “never get into.” Read the books gathering dust on my night stand. Spend time in an ashram. Live in Europe. Do some fucking yoga.

But it’s all so clichéd – that embrace life carpe diem bullshit after somebody dies – because what are the facts? The fact is this death will fade, this loss will drift into my past, my life will go on, and slowly, without my knowing, in will creep the illusion of security, the vast fallacy of permanence, the great human trick  – and I will buy it again, once more – the rabbit in the hat – becoming deluded, believing I know where I’m going to be tomorrow.

Assuming that I will “be”, at all, tomorrow.

Resting secure in the insane notion that I’ve got this life thing covered.

And then, I’ll start complaining again. Stressing about the lone $2.43 in my bank account. Agonizing about my prospects for finding a job when I’m done with school. Feeling the weight of the unfinished. Wondering how I’m failing my kids. Bitching at my mother. Cursing the halted traffic.

But for now, yeah, I’m free of that stuff, breathing a little deeper the air of this strange universe, welcoming the delta winds on my face, and my kids haven’t annoyed me in four days. Today, yes, I’m trembling in the joy and energy of existence, of my life.

Because it IS.

And so you see. I have no closure here, nothing to say. I’ve got no wit. Nothin’ clever up in here, today.

Just life, I guess.


May that always be enough.

And until we meet again, Uncle Jeffy, rest in sweet peace.


My friends and I, we have an understanding.

by renegademama


So there are friends, and then there are those friends.

There are childhood friends, who are pretty much sisters. And on the other end of the spectrum there are acquaintances, who you kind of know and kind of like…but then, then there those fascinating creatures right in the middle: FRIENDS. Those friends. The people who get you and you get them and it just works. There’s nothing forcing the relationship…you’re friends just because the two of you jive.

Ya feel me?

I have a few of these friends. And I heart them with all my heart.

Whoa. That was lame.

Yes, lame. But true. And the other day I was thinking about these friends and I realized that one of the things that make them so awesome is that we have some “understandings” – some unspoken ways of functioning with one another.

With these friends, I don’t have to worry about sounding good, looking good, being polite or scaring them. I can just be.

Mostly because we have these understandings, which I have summarized here:

  1. If you call one of these women a name, say for example “slut,” they will respond with something way more offensive, such as “pirate hooker.”
  2. This will not be offensive. This will be funny.
  3. Sexual innuendo is a basic tenet of conversation. For example, one of the friends in question may respond to the aforementioned name calling with something along the lines of “I love it when you talk dirty to me.” or “you’re so hot when you’re mad.”
  4. Not returning phone calls for a day or two or never is not rude, it is a reality of our lives and we all know it and we realize that soon, we will be the asshole who isn’t returning calls.
  5. It is always the husband’s fault. And when you bitch about the bastard, you will not get sound advice, helpful suggestions or supportive pick-me-ups, rather, you will hear some totally unhelpful over-generalization such as “I fucking hate men.” or “God I wish I were a lesbian.”
  6. A couple of the friends I’m referring to here are in fact lesbians, so in that case, we just talk shit about their partners and mumble things like “Let’s move to Vermont and get married and we can have lovers on the side. I’m okay with it.” In fact, that exact sentence occurred recently with a particular friend of mine.
  7. The conversations in 5 and 6 will never be told to outsiders. In fact, if they occur on the day of your wedding anniversary, this friend will STILL congratulate you wholeheartedly on Facebook, acting as if you hadn’t just told her you’d like to kick your husband in the, ahem, face.
  8. PMS is an excuse for all kinds of insanity and weeping and depression, but you will be taken seriously when you call in that state. No questions asked.
  9. If you show up to dinner with one of these friends looking like a homeless person, they won’t even notice.
  10. If you just had a baby, they’ll say you look amazing.
  11. If you just had a baby, you’ll get to decide everything.
  12. It is agreed that people who don’t understand sarcasm are suffering from some horrible mental deficiency and pretty much aren’t funny.
  13. We, however, are universally hilarious.
  14. Comments like “My demon spawn are ruining my life. This evening, instead of eating dinner, I plan on igniting myself and jumping off a building while playing ‘Blaze of Glory’ on a jukebox” are not alarming, wrong, or weird. Because these friends have been there and they’ll admit it.
  15. Any of us can flake pretty much immediately before the event without anybody losing their minds, on account of the demon spawn mentioned above. Or PMS. Or the problematic partner.
  16. None of us know a damn thing about parenting and express it openly, you know, like this for example:

Me: “Rocket’s doing [super annoying behavior]. Have your kids ever done that?”

Friend: “No, my kids are fucking perfect.”

Me: “So what did you do about it?”

Friend: “I drank a bottle of wine and left my house.”

And it’s understood that we aren’t those mothers who “know” and give wonderfully helpful advice and bask in the glory of our perfect children.

Rather, we are the mothers who do our best, clumsily and unglamorously, and often, slightly unwillingly, hoping for the best but often getting what appears to be the worst. And when that happens, we call each other and whine and commiserate, and call each other inappropriate names.

And somehow, I feel better every time.

By the way, at the risk of sounding like a lonely internet inhabitant with no real life, as I was writing this I realized that many of you are in this classification of friends. Though we may have never met in person, somehow, we jive, and sarcasm abounds, and clearly, we are the same mothers. And we are all, obviously, fucking hilarious.

So here’s to the understandings.

Between friends.



20 Comments | Posted in nothing to do with parenting. | June 28, 2012

Fun with Google search terms, Volume III

by renegademama

Time for another installment of “Fun with Google Search Terms,” when we give a little recognition to the whackos who click through to my blog (present company excluded of course).

Here are the best ones in the past couple months. For those of you who haven’t played before, the terms below are the Google searches people enter to eventually find my blog. Since they probably didn’t find what they were looking for on my blog (with some of these, GOD HELP US if they did), I’d like to take a moment to respond to them. You know, like guidance.

Because everybody seeks my guidance.

As you can imagine.

So here we go.

  1. “do crackheads fingers turn black” – Yes. Though my friend, I believe that may be the least of their problems. (AGAIN with the crackheads. We always end up with the crackheads.)
  2. “are playdates necessary?” – If you are asking questions like that, then my dear, in this case, you have come to the right place. Here’s the quick answer: only if the parents are cool.
  3. “jessica simpson’s feet are weird” – Not as weird as the fact that you just Googled that.
  4. “how to stop writing on bathroom stalls” – Well, I would start by not taking a pen in there with ya. Also, you could just not do it. You know, try and stuff and see how that goes. Maybe there’s a 12-step group for people who can’t stop defacing public property.
  5. “a hoarding to propagate a daily glass of milk is every child’s right” – I have no idea what that means but I know it needs to be on this list.
  6. “what the fuck is a water table?” – I don’t know you, but I like you.
  7. “do i yell at my kids because I’m angry at them?” – No, you yell at them because you are delighted with them, which is always why people yell at one another. Also, please don’t have any more kids. You’re kind of an idiot.
  8. “fuck yo barbaric yawp” – Alright I’m serious. We need to be friends. Who are you? You quoted Walt Whitman and used the word “fuck” in the same sentence. WE ARE SOUL MATES.
  9. “can i buy my kids way into gifted and talented education” – Let’s sure hope so, because that would be so helpful to them. I mean they’d really learn a LOT by having you buy their way into GATE. [P.S. Does it scare anybody else that asshats like this are walking around the world like it’s nothin’, quite possibly producing children who exist near our children?]
  10. “i realized i like to be naked” – You’re just realizing that now? What the hell were you doing in your twenties?
  11. “fuck you mean fitted sheet” – I want to write something but I’m laughing too damn hard. Win.
  12. “Saturday message from Jesus” – Does it change on Saturdays? [Also, can we take a moment to appreciate that somebody looking for Jesus’s message came to MY blog?]
  13. “Bible quotes against Facebook” – Yo, Einstein, Facebook wasn’t around when the Bible was written. Now go back to scouring the Bible for passages you can manipulate into anti-homosexual propaganda.
  14. why is my dog mothering a sock?” – No idea, but I’d give pretty much anything to see how that’s going down
  15. “neon fucking green shorts bitch” – You tell ’em.
  16. “my parents are unenlightened” -Are you sure?

And now we can all feel confident knowing that this blog is still pulling some of the brightest bulbs in the shed, as well as the crack heads, who are always welcome.

P.S. Fuck yo barbaric yawp.

I’m using that.



Do chores. Get lucky.

by renegademama

The other day Mac and I did this thing where we flirt and tease all day, temporarily deluding ourselves into thinking we’re hot and have an active sex life.

Dad, please stop reading this post.

Anyhoo, you know, we taunt and whisper things and grab inappropriately. Et cetera.

As you can imagine, this is rather fun, and by the end of the day, both of us are ready for, um, the end of the day.

So a couple days ago we were doing the aforementioned let’s-pretend-we-just-met thing all day long. That evening I went out with a friend and didn’t get home until 11:30pm. The whole drive home I was imagining how I would wake him, a-hem – and what would probably follow. I went in the house ready to assault him.

But when I walked in the door I was assaulted. By the condition of my house. The front room looked like Toys R Us spun around in circles vomiting on the floor. The living room and kitchen were barely recognizable. The real clincher, however, was the animals. They were all pacing around like the walking dead, moaning and mewing and looking at me like “Please. Do something.”

I checked the cat’s bowls. Empty. I checked the dog’s. Empty. I checked the fucking rodents’. EMPTY.

Suddenly, I was not in the mood. What the fuck, husband. It’s 11:30pm and I want to ravage you but instead I have to walk around and feed the furry beasts. Even though you were here all night, and they were supposed to be fed HOURS ago…and I’ve been asking you for like 6 months to please help feed the animals on a regular basis…you still couldn’t do it and now, once again, at the end of my day, I have to do what was YOUR JOB.

Not hot, husband.

Not hot at all.

And as I finished feeding the last small mammal and felt the last spark of sex drive fizzle out through my toes, and my desire to do my husband turned into a desire to do in my husband, I realized how drastically my idea of “hot” has changed since I was like, oh I don’t know, 20.

Of course it’s a little hard to tell what I considered “hot” when I was 20, since my man of choice was whoever showed up after I’d had enough beers to make men start appearing hot (which may explain how pretty much NONE of them fit the “hot” bill the next morning….but I digress).

Despite this difficulty, I’m 99% sure “Hey baby, I fed the guinea pigs” would not have struck my former self as a turn-on.

But now? Oh yeah. Bring it.

What? You picked your stinky ass socks off the bathroom floor and put them in the actual laundry basket?

Come here baby. I got something for ya.

What’s that you say? You cleaned out the car and changed the sheets?

Take me I’m yours.

To illustrate, I made you a few graphics, which embody my current idea of the hottest shit in the world.

Yes, I realize this makes me pathetic and old and uninteresting.

Also, tired. Very tired. And with a thrashed house. So tired am I, in fact, and so thrashed is this house, that the thought of a man doing the chores they somehow can’t manage to figure out how to do on their own EVER. (I’m serious. What is wrong with them?!) like a giant hit off the love pipe. Like roses and dirty talk and sweat and red wine. Like oceans and whispers and bare muscular chests.

Like yes, please.

[by the way, if I’m the only one of you who finds men-doing-chores sexy, I will in fact off myself.]


Why yes.

Yes I do.