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Due Diligence

Recently, I found myself the lucky recipient of what I can only assume was an accidental insult. The offender was all sorts of appropriate remorse and horrified by her inaccurate assumption.  I’m never usually offended by someone’s inaccurate assumptions about me. And I suppose out of all the inaccurate assumptions that stand to be made…. Knocked up is a fairly minor one. But it still kinda stung no matter how absolutely apologetic she was. Yep…. SHE! And a SHE should know better than HE that this question was not only inappropriate but also, quite frankly, rude.

Therefore, I feel compelled to offer the following (stupid simple) advice. Never….. Ever…. Ask a woman you don’t know really well when she’s due. DUE…. as in you assume she is expecting.  Clearly….. You have a 50/50 chance at being absolutely wrong. I know that this statement seems worthy of the regular common sense category. But according to what I’ve discovered on my Facebook page when I posted about it…… This seems to happen more often than not.

You know I’m seldom rendered speechless….. It’s just not coded into my DNA.  But my temporary mute moment allowed me an opportunity to ponder when it became OK to ask such intensely personal questions. Whack me with the stupid stick but I just assume that if someone is on the fluffy side and hasn’t expressed their joy of impending parenthood, there’s a pretty good chance they’re JUST PLEASANTLY FLUFFY and I should not be a dick and fuck up their PLEASANTLY FLUFFY mojo.

While I don’t generally have issues with negative body images, to know that you very much resemble a person growing another human….. All while YOUR “baby” just recently graduated preschool and is now kindergarten bound….. Sort of pissed me off. I mean…. Not enough for me to actually contemplate a diet or some such nonsense…. But pissed off none the less. I really wasn’t in the mood for the verbal drive-by.

While I’ve ALWAYS EMBRACED both my inner AND outer fat girl…. I seldom spend this much time contemplating my weight. Are my clothes often a wee bit snug….. SURE.  Do I sometimes start mulling over my thoughts about my lunch options WHILE EATING BREAKFAST…. Definitely. Do I sometimes eat my feelings….. For fucking certain.  And I’m OK with all of that.

Truly….. I think I was far more concerned pissed that I hadn’t had a killer comeback waiting in the wings of my evil brain at precisely the right moment. Seriously….. I might be losing my touch. Now THAT’S troubling.

Lucky for me….. My awesome friends are ALWAYS prepared to provide back up snark for the next time….. And I know there WILL be a next time because people suck and I really like food.

Several posted several variations of equal parts bitch and snark….while (let’s pretend) gently reminding them they ain’t so thin themselves. Some suggested using humor to diffuse the situation by noting that my kids live on the outside of my body now.  Loved the “yep….. I’m expecting…. An APOLOGY.” But that might be a little too passive for me in my general state of I don’t give a fuck. 

But I think my favorite was from my Aussie friend Rach..who provided just the right balance of deranged lunacy and facetious retort….. who suggested fessing up to carrying triplets…. Then whispering “would you like to buy one”. Thanks Rach…. now I’m prepared.

Happy holidays from Life with Penis People!

While all of us are in the midst of the holiday madness, I thought I would supply a few simple steps that you can take to simplify your holiday experience.  Some things will work for everyone…some will work for no one but my evil ass.  Feel free to tailor them as needed for yourself.

  • Holiday Christmas Cards – First and foremost, stop sending them to motherfuckers that don’t send YOU one.  Think of all the hassle and postage you will save just with this simple step alone.  Unless the person you don’t receive one from is your elderly Grandmother.  You GOTTA send that bitch one whether you receive one or not.  But just look at it as an investment…into the inheritance you might receive one day.
  • Shop on-line – While I would normally say do ALL of your shopping on-line, I was recently involved in that huge Kmart debacle (read the full story here, so I would suggest doing MOST of it online and NOT using Kmart layaway because Kmart can officially suck my pretend penis for all the hassle and stress they caused me.  Shopping on-line has its definite advantages.  You can stay home in your filthy pjs and messy hair, happily looking like a hobo, and no one is the wiser.  Plus, its saves you from having to deal with cranky bitches at the stores……and maybe even the bail money you would need when you pummel the cranky bitches.  Win-win-win!
  • Gift cards – If you MUST venture out into the stores and find yourself clueless about what to buy Uncle Touchy Feely, simply get a gift card and let him figure that shit out for himself.  Plus… one gives out extra creepy hugs for a fucking gift card.  This stellar plan of action works especially well for people you don’t really like enough to put thought into a gift for, but you are obligated to at least care A LITTLE.  The Gift Card convey EXACTLY that sentiment.
  • Teacher gifts – DO NOT MAKE teacher gifts.  I know Pinterest is REALLY quite popular right now and you can find about a BILLION things to make that seem SO EASY.  Forget it!  By the time you estimate the cost of materials and the amount of hassle that will inevitably ensue, you could’ve bought the bitch a nice bottle wine while you were picking up some for yourself.  Side note – Teacher friends tell me that Teachers HATE homemade gifts…..especially food related home-made gifts (think cookies, fudge, etc).  How do they know you don’t pick your nose…..or your ass.  They cannot blindly trust the cleanliness standards in any given home.  And trust me, after dealing with your kids, hopped up on excitement about the holidays and high on sugar from the class party, a nice chilled bottle of wine will let her know you understand her pain and appreciate her immensely.
  • The Holiday Menu – You know how EVERY family has that one fucking overachiever who wants to do EVERYTHING?!?!?!  For God’s sake….LET THEM!  Nothing makes them happier than to be in charge of everything…..and you can relax with that bottle of wine that you’ve previously purchased.  How can this go wrong??? Bonus points if they can cook moderately well.  If they cannot, just blame them for the food poisoning.
  • Over extending yourself for parties and gatherings – Sometimes, you just HAVE to say NO.  During this time of year, when holiday parties abound and everyone wants you to come to theirs, you MUST perfect the art of a pre-determined excuse. I’m graciously going to provide you one….. Just tell every single invite that you are feeding the homeless that day (doesn’t matter what day… can feed the homeless any day of the week).  No one can argue with such a noble thing.  And you get extra-attah boys for being so fucking good and kind.  Then park yourself in your previously mentioned filthy pjs and watch A Christmas Story (worry not, I promise you it WILL be on SOMEWHERE).  Just a friendly reminder…..stay the FUCK off Facebook if you’ve skipped a party to feed the homeless…..because you are far too busy to post and could effectively blow your own lazy ass cover if you’re not careful.
  • Being sober – Being sober is the number one reason that people find themselves stressed out during the holiday.  Holidays, and the annoying family that accompanies them, are not meant to be attempted sober.  There is a reason that liquor sales dramatically spike in December.  Take advantage of all the sales and specials on liquor right now.  Stock up…..Drink up!  You’ll be far more jolly and far less likely to stress about shit if you are slightly inebriated.

Hope that you find these tips helpful as you trudge through the final days of this holiday season.

Happy Holidays from the Dick, the penis people and myself!

Oh Christmas Tree



** DISCLAIMER ** There are going to be a shit ton of grammatical errors in this post. I’m just being kind and preparing you for it.  The computer is positively fucked….. the Penis people’s tablets are only half ass working…. I’m typing this on my phone.  Do you have any idea what a pain in the absolute ASS typing a blog on your phone is? 

Recently,  my friend Joanna posted a photo of her holiday tree. As a momma of two wee penis people of her own,  she marveled at the notion that her tree was really no longer hers….. it belonged to her penis people, decorated entirely by their wonderful little imaginations. Complete with race car track beneath and even a giant hand written letter perched carefully on the tree branches, kindly warning Santa to beware of their killer dog (a small adorable pup that could literally fit in the palm of my hand).

I took a moment to reminisce about the trees of my Christmases past.  Those days before kids,  when the a Dick and I would carefully decorate the tree.  Color coordinating bulbs and ribbons. A new and different theme each holiday.

How positively BORING!

There was nary a hand made ornament….. not a single cluster of bulbs grouped together haphazardly.  Not a single paper chain or popsicle stick sled or clothes pin Rudolph. 

And somehow, thinking back on those trees decorated “just so”…..I can’t help but think how much better my trees and decorations are now.  There is so much life in each decoration.  So many memories.  And while those “before penis people” trees were most certainly pretty,  they weren’t NEARLY as magical as my “after penis people” trees.

Those trees….. spanning all those years….. are a lot like life. The “then” and the “now”.

I’m sure that Joanna and every other momma I know would agree… THEN was wonderful….. quiet and cozy and organized and coordinated. NOW is loud and chaotic and disorderly….. but NOW is wonderful too. In a very different, BETTER wonderful  kind of way.



** DISCLAIMER ** There are going to be a shit ton of grammatical errors in this post. I’m just being kind and preparing you for it.  The computer is positively fucked….. the Penis people’s tablets are only half ass working…. I’m typing this on my phone.  Do you have any idea what a pain in the absolute ASS typing a blog on your phone is? 

Recently,  my friend Joanna posted a photo of her holiday tree. As a momma of two wee penis people of her own,  she marveled at the notion that her tree was really no longer hers….. it belonged to her penis people, decorated entirely by their wonderful little imaginations. Complete with race car track beneath and even a giant hand written letter perched carefully on the tree branches, kindly warning Santa to beware of their killer dog (a small adorable pup that could literally fit in the palm of my hand).

I took a moment to reminisce about the trees of my Christmases past.  Those days before kids,  when the a Dick and I would carefully decorate the tree.  Color coordinating bulbs and ribbons. A new and different theme each holiday.

How positively BORING!

There was nary a hand made ornament….. not a single cluster of bulbs grouped together haphazardly.  Not a single paper chain or popsicle stick sled or clothes pin Rudolph. 

And somehow, thinking back on those trees decorated “just so”…..I can’t help but think how much better my trees and decorations are now.  There is so much life in each decoration.  So many memories.  And while those “before penis people” trees were most certainly pretty,  they weren’t NEARLY as magical as my “after penis people” trees.

Those trees….. spanning all those years….. are a lot like life. The “then” and the “now”.

I’m sure that Joanna and every other momma I know would agree… THEN was wonderful….. quiet and cozy and organized and coordinated. NOW is loud and chaotic and disorderly….. but NOW is wonderful too. In a very different, BETTER wonderful  kind of way.

Recently,  I attended a gathering at a life-long friend’s home.  She and I have known one another since I was in kindergarten and I’ve known her family just as long. During the party,  one of the family elders had imbibed just a little too much and became very touchy-feely with many of the female party goers.  To be clear, I’ve known this man since I was very young…. he’s practically the same age as my own father and for many years I felt just as close to him as a daughter.

So it was mildly unsettling when he began groping my ass repeatedly throughout the evening. And then swooping in for REALLY extended hugs and not-fatherly smooches. Because I’ve known him for the better part of three decades, I felt ABSOLUTELY uncomfortable. But I was MORE uncomfortable asking him to refrain from doing so. Whether it was out of concern for hurting his feelings or bruising his ego, the other ladies and myself were prepared to instead completely avoid him rather than tell him he was behaving badly. My friend’s husband and brother finally explained to him, in no uncertain terms,  that he was out of line and made arrangements for him to depart. But it got me thinking….why had each of us ladies been far too timid in the moment to thwart his unwanted advances? 

Myself, and the other ladies there, were tangled in a situation of being far too polite to kindly ask him to back the fuck off. And there lies the conundrum. 

In a world where 1 in 3 young girls are subjected to unwanted sexual attention and advances and nearly every grown woman has experienced some sort sexual harassment….I began to wonder if we, as a gender, are predisposed to believe that we must simply just endure rather than refuse to allow ourselves to be subjected to that sort of behavior. 

I wonder too if, inadvertently, we are teaching young girls that it’s rude to call men on their sexually charged shananagins and are thereby creating the perfect future victims of sexual crimes. 

I would like to think I generally take not one bit of shit from anyone….but I digress. Far too often I’ve found myself in an unsavory situation and error on the side of polite disregard for my own well being. Are we systematically trading our own safety for politeness? 

Think about that the next time you see an unsavory character approaching you. Everything in your gut tells you to take yourself out of the equation. But, to cross the street or clutch your purse tighter or hustle in the other direction or refuse to engage in conversation would make you appear unnecessarily assuming. Then think of how many women regret not listening to that inner voice.

And while I know I was in a relatively safe place with someone who, though behaving badly, was completely harmless……I have to admit I don’t know that I would have reacted differently if I didn’t know the person.

More times than I care to admit, I find myself lingering longer than I’d like in truly uncomfortable (and sexual) conversations with creepy, strange men simply because I’m unsure how to appropriately convey “you are a big giant sleaze ball” and retreat to safety. I’ve been groped in public by scary men and didn’t stop them. I simply endured and walked away thinking “whew… glad that’s over”. I’ve generally surmised that maybe they don’t realize how truly repugnant they’re being. But the truth is…..they probably do. And they are COUNTING on you being far too uncomfortable and polite to tell them no.

I suspect it’s something inherently ingrained in our DNA to be charming and nice and friendly. We like to think we, as women, must be nurturing and kind at all times. But I would like to think we should also be empowered enough to value ourselves,  and our personal space, more than we value unrequited politeness. 

The Dick and I have always tried to be very open and honest with the penis people about the differences between boys and girls.  We encourage questions in an age appropriate manner and respond with discussions that are evenly sprinkled with correct terminology and some funny references to the slang that they might encounter. Thanks to the plethora of popular songs about bringing booty back and dropping it like its hot, there are a myriad of opportunities to adequately blow the lines of  communication wide open. And I’m perfectly OK with that. I don’t overtly censor what those nutty penis people listen to or watch. And let’s face it……in this time of overly sexed EVERYTHING its not hard to find vaguely disguised sexual references in just about everything.

Because we have always been SO open and honest…… imagine my surprise when the oldest penis person kicked off a conversation with “remember when you were a little boy…….” What the what?!?!?!  Um……dear child of mine…… momma was NEVER a boy. Exclamation point. I took a moment to wax philosophical on the fact that it would be genecticaly impossible for me to have given birth to two beautiful babies if I hadn’t ALWAYS had girly bits. He asked if I was sure I had always been a girl. Um……hold on while I contemplate that for a moment to guarantee my certainty……um…..YEP!   No penis here.

Just a short while afterwards, in an entirely different conversation on an entirely different day, I was ever so patiently reminding the wee penis person for the hundredth millionth billionth time that it is completely unacceptable to touch your own junk in public when he said “don’t you remember what it was like to have a penis??”  Desperately trying to ignore the quizzical glances and amused chuckles from nearby restaurant patrons (yes….restaurant patrons…..I bet they hadn’t anticipated such interesting dinner conversation….. you’re welcome restaurant patrons) I took a deep breath and gently tried to remind wee penis person that I’ve never had the pleasure of owning my very own penis. He seemed unconvinced. In his limited little piece of the planet, our home, everyone has a penis……apparently including momma. In his tiny little mind all the people have penises. And while it seems incomprehensible to me…..I grudgingly can understand his reasoning.

So……evidence certainly supports the idea that additional conversations need to take place regarding the differences between boys and girls. God help me….I may need several flasks of liquid happiness to find the balls to adequately explain what a vagina is. While I’m sure its a little too soon for the “how babies are made” conversation….. I can’t have the penis people walking around hopped up on false facts.

Ive been dreading this conversation for years now. I was marginally sure that the penis people knew I was a girl and that girls don’t have penises (I assumed this because I haven’t pissed alone in 9 years and counting and inevitably when I shower or get dressed its never uninterupted).

I guess the moral of this story is that its never too soon to engage your child in conversations about sex and sexuality. And ’tis not a singular, one time conversation. Its an ongoing mish mosh of uncomfortableness that is part of parenting. Not one of the fun parts of parenting and parenthood…. but one of the most important and necessary parts that you simply need to muddle through.   ((((Quietly passes the flask))))

When you’re a mom, you spend a good chunk of your life tending to the never-ending needs of your beloved fuck trophies.  Day in and day out, you’re all “make your bed…brush your teeth……wash your ass……eat your food”.  At the end of day, you plop your cranky ass down, exhausted from repeatedly barking orders, and then seeing that they are carried out, like a drill Sargent.  The very LAST thing you want to do is lob additional instructions repeatedly at your spouse.

I’ve always had several theories on the inane things that zap the bow-chicka-wow-wow outta the normal, loving marital relationship.  But I’m convinced that the TOP reason is that there is positively NOTHING hot and sexy about the need to order your husband around like a child every….single….damn…day!  Infuriating…..yes!  Exasperating……for SURE!   Conducive to toe-curling sex……NOPE!  Not even close.

While I’m nearly certain that the Dick is a fairly intelligent penis person (he DID marry ME after all), I am positively perplexed that he often cannot complete the simplest of tasks without my instructions and reminders.   Conversations often go something like this…..

ME : “Babe….I’m doing laundry.  Can you gather up the shit you need washed.”

ME : (Hours later…..) “Babe…..I’m finished with a couple loads…I couldn’t help but notice that there is nothing of yours.  Could you gather up your shit PLEASE.”

The Dick : (The next day…..)  “I’m out of clean underwear….and its all your fault”.  What he didn’t say, but is clearly understood, is that I should have reminded him AT LEAST 15 more times before he finally understood the importance of gathering up the shit he wanted washed.  Silly me to think that two clear reminders would have been adequate.


And its the simple shit as well…

ME : “Honey….did you brush your teeth this morning ?”

The Dick : “Nope……why?”

ME : “Because your breath smells like hot dog shit wrapped around  a used tampon that’s been left in the sun too long…..go brush your fucking teeth for Christ’s sake.”


I know that I MUST remind the small penis people to do the simplest of tasks.  If I don’t tell them to wash their asses or brush their teeth, they will happily walk around like tiny little homeless people, a swirl of funk permeating their surroundings.  However, I SHOULD NOT have to remind a grown Dick to do these things.  He HAS a mother.  She’s a wonderful human being who did a wonderful job single parenting an entire brood of children into responsible adults.  And I am not her.

I’m pretty sure that if most Dicks would take a real, honest look at their sex life (or lack thereof) they could find a direct correlation to their inherent need to be bumbling idiots that cannot construct a simple plan for general cleanliness, proper hygiene……or the selection of appropriate clothing.

Recently, I invited the Dick to a work function.  There were to be several local Dignitaries in attendance.  Mayors, Senators.  You get the picture.   It was kind of a big deal and I was all set proudly introduce my wonderful husband.

The Dick : “I’m NOT dressing up for this….”

ME : “Yes…..yes you are.  Simple khakis and a polo shirt would work just fine.”

The Dick : “I’m NOT dressing up….its my day off.”  (Stomps foot for good measure)

ME : “Its not as if I’m asking you to wear a suit and tie…..its fucking KHAKIS.”

The Dick : “Do I have to wear dress shoes?”

ME : “YES!!!  For fucks sake……this isn’t a flip flop event.”

The Dick : “I’m not liking this…..”

ME : “Then you are summarily un-invited.  Keep your cranky ass at home.”

He trudged off like an insolent child and then proceeded to thrust a pout in my direction every chance he got.  NOT SEXY!  I wanted to paddle his ass like the spoiled brat he was acting.  And not the kind of paddling he’d be hoping for, I can assure you.


There is simply no time of the night that I loathe more than 10:30 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.  The Dick naps (yes…NAPS….that should tell you something right there) from about 8:30 p.m. until I’m instructed to wake his princess ass up at 10:30 p.m.  Now….you would ASSUME that if a grown person asks to be awakened at 10:30 p.m. that this would indicate that they WANT to be up at 10:30 p.m.  Not the Dick.  He wants me to stop whatever it is that I’m doing (albeit, that would mostly be vegging in front of the TV) and “suggest” he wake up at 10:30… that he can roll over….sigh LOUDLY…..and ask me to come back at 10:45.

10:45 comes.  I drift back into his cozy little world and let him know its now 10:45.  Pause……longer pause……”I’m not ready to get up…can you come back at 10:55.”

Now the sigh is coming from ME!  Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!?

Ok…..he’s a hardworking man.  I get being tired (lord KNOWS I get tired….though I DON’T get the naps).  I wander back in at 10:55.  “Babe…..babe!  Its 10:55.  Time to get up.”

“Can you come back at 11:00?”    FIVE MINUTES?!?!?!?!?   What the FUCK difference is FIVE MINUTES going to make?  Just get the fuck up and get your ass ready for work.  ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!


I guess it goes without saying that I’m surely an enabler.  I’m a bad mom…..oooopsy…I mean wife.  I consistently let him act like a child and then get angry when he actually does.  But the fact remains that I have a hard enough time transitioning from tired mom to sexy wife on a good day.   Its proportionately more difficult when I spend my days constantly cajoling my husband into performing normal, grown up tasks.

I would suggest that more Dicks would get far more booty duty if they simply grow up and NOT act like children.  Because let’s face it…..I can be your wife…with all the wonderful wifey benefits that are included.  Or I can be your mom……..and moms DO NOT have sex with their children.  The choice here seems pretty clear.


There are people that live in my computer.  I cannot hear their voices (cause if I could, well…..THAT would make me kinda crazy-pants).  But I know that we are connected, in good times and bad, just the same.  Of course, I have friends in real life as well because I’m not a complete anti social misfit.  But I’ve come to know and love the people in my computer nearly as much as I do the people in my real life.  Decidedly,  I kinda detest that often-used sentiment…..friends in real life vs friends in my computer.  Because they are, essentially, one and the same.  Just as easily as I can ring up a friend on the phone, I can instant message my computer peeps and be talked out of my crazy tree with the same amount of ferocious love.

Pop a squat and let me tell you a little story…….

Once upon a time a lovely (though overly haggard mom) named Nikki started a Facebook page called Moms Who Drink And Swear.  Before she knew what the hell had happened, it morphed into something so vital that it was crossing the global plains and reaching the hearts of tens of thousands of moms (and the lucky dads we’ve come to know and love as well).  The page continued to grow to epic proportions, as did her famous blog of the same name.  So many of us across the nation and beyond finally found “our people”.  We pay homage and give thanks to Nikki often for giving us a platform to fly our collective freak flags daily.


We’ve commiserated with one another……we’ve been there collectively offering virtual hugs through divorces and new babies.  We laugh and we cry with one another with sweet abandon.   We have one anothers back first and foremost.


When I’ve tried to explain this eclectic group of kick ass moms and dads, I’m generally met with equal parts cautious curiosity and a touch of skepticism.  What if they are crazy (some of us are….but the really GOOD kind of crazy).  What if they are maniacal killers, lurking around, trolling for a new victim to add to their body count in the crawl space under that house.  These generalizations often make me chuckle.  How can you EVER make a new friend if you’re constantly waiting for them to slice open your throat.  Of course, you proceed with caution.  But you proceed.  And that’s important.


Mostly, I’m asked how can I possibly feel SO connected to people that I’ve mostly never met and possibly never will.  First, I feel compelled to point out that I HAVE met some of them.  We’ve worked hard to organize meet ups and gatherings that are all-inclusive. When Nikki’s book was FINALLY published, several hundreds of us converged on Chicago to offer our support and congratulate her personally.  Some, I’ve merely traded text messages with, witty banter abounding with each press of send.  Some, I’ve spoken to on the phone.  Many of these personal connections have thankfully morphed into bonafide friendships that I feel positively blessed to have.  But correctly, many will always live in my computer and I will never hear their voices or get the chance to dry hump their legs with happiness from FINALLY meeting.


But the fact remains that we will hold each other up and tell it like it is when necessary.  Not too long ago, when I was struggling with my feelings about the Dick and contemplating what was certain to be a messy divorce……do you know who offered me free therapy and words of wisdom plucked straight from their own experiences????  Those wonderful friends in my computer.   Messages of “I’ve been there and I’m here if you need me”……offers to move in with them until I figured things out.  Check ins to make sure I was safe and hanging on.  While I love my family and the friends that are tangibly available to me every day, there is something to be said for people who are so far removed from your personal situation that they can see things far more clearly than those who are right in the midst of it all.


I’ve often likened my experience to these friends in my computer with the wave of emotion that people get from on-line dating.  I actually really get the attraction to talking to people you might never meet.  You have the freedom to be you because they don’t see you when your hair is acting wanky and you haven’t painted your toenails or shaved your legs in a month.  They can’t see your messy house or hear your whiny kids.  Without all the daily distractions that generally muddle up daily life, you get to see the real them and they see the real you.


So….to the reason for this particular blog tonight.  Today, many of my friends in my computer and I woke up to find out one of our beloved MWDAS dads had passed away quite suddenly.  Absolute shock waves across the MWDAS community.  Immediately messages went out to one another offering love and support to our group and his family.


We laugh together……we bitch together…..we mourn together.  Period.  And while many of us didn’t know this man PERSONALLY……we KNEW him.  We are wrapping our arms around his family from a distance and holding onto good thoughts of him in our hearts.  When the time is right….we will be happy to take up a collection for his widow and young children.  We will, collectively across the nation, have a drink in his honor tomorrow during the Tiger’s game.  We do our very best to take care of our own.  THIS is what its about.  He meant something to each one of us.  And that something isn’t any less because it was someone who lived mostly in our computer.


To my friends who will likely always remain in my computer….I just needed you to know that you will also always have a home in my heart.

Angry Birds……

I have always referred to my penis people as my “little birds”. They eat tiny amounts of food that I must force down their gullet and they squawk when I insist they eat more. The Dick’s family would be considered mostly fluffy in size, as is my own Italian family. Each of the families have vehemently insisted that I should just be grateful that they will never need to diet. However, being of that same wonderful Italian descent, I am what one friend affectionately refers to as a “food pusher”. Nothing makes me happier than to cook for and feed the people that I love (and sometimes, oddly, even people that I don’t particularly like very much). Ingrained in my psyche is this idea that food, and full bellies, equates love and happiness. So it pains me to watch my young penis people reject food. They aren’t picky eaters. They would quite literally eat dirt if I allowed it. They simply don’t have huge appetites. And no cajoling them, bribing them, punishing them will change that. They are happy little birds with the few morsels I will absolutely require at each meal. I’m by no means a member of the “clean plate” club. I don’t require them to eat EVERYTHING that is placed in front of them. I simply ask that they maintain enough calories to fuel their (always in motion) little bodies.

wpid-20140618_180854.jpg My oldest penis person, full of fun/crazy energy and sprinkled generously with ADHD, takes medication that helps his ADHD immensely but greatly diminishes his appetite. Under the watchful eye of both myself and his psychologist that specializes in ADHD, he gained merely ONE POUND in ONE YEAR. At nine years old, he can still wear a size 5T. He’s worn the same shorts for the past three summers. He is thin as a rail and expels those precious calories as quickly as he takes them in. His psychologist and I monitor his weight diligently, even going so far as to encourage what some would consider unhealthy snacks of cupcakes or cookies. He’s just that tiny little bird who will always BE my tiny little bird.

wpid-20140618_180807.jpg Wee penis person has type one diabetes. Diagnosed at only 3 years old, he is managing it well. And yet, his favorite game is to drive momma crazy refusing to eat. He is small as well. Being 4 years old now, he can still wear a size 2T. He will eat well sometimes, but mostly he takes a bite or two of each item offered and claims complete fullness. Positively maddening!

It baffles my mind. Both myself and my husband are proud chunky monkeys. Not incredibly unhealthy but WE LOVE FOOD. We embrace our fluffy selves whole heartedly and have no weird hang ups about food. How did our combined genetics morph into two penis people who balk at the idea of eating. Because they are my little birds. And they become very ANGRY BIRDS when I make them eat. When I count down with them how many bites they must take before we can consider their meal complete. I try NOT to put a lot of pressure on meals. But meals are important and food sustains you.

So tonight, I made home made mac and cheese. The good shit. Not the normal shit that comes out of a box that I make when I’m too tired to give a shit. And hot dogs. What kid DOESN’T like hot dogs. The little birds had just two minutes ago begun squawking about being SO hungry. Plates of food were issued, ready to be eaten. Normal dinner chit-chat ensued. Fart noises sprinkled about. Two bites in and both penis people declare done. Nope…..nope…..and uh wait….let me check….NOPE! I tell them that people are starving in the world and would kill their own granny for a morsel of this tasty meal. I instruct them that wasting food is NOT an option. Side your little behind down….pick up that damn fork….and EAT. What they heard in their minds is “Mommy is about to lose her shit AGAIN and its easier to just do what she asks then not….so we will eat…but we don’t have to be happy about it one bit”. Angry little birds……

I’ll be the first to quite honestly say that I’m not entirely sure where I stand on the issue of more stringent gun control, and indirectly, the new trend of open carry.  My husband is a Detroit Police Officer and I’m generally very used to him carrying his department issued weapon when we are out and about with our happy little family. It’s become so ingrained in our every day life that it barely even registers on my radar any more.   I’m not entirely sure that constructing tougher gun laws will make the world a safer place.  Mostly because we all know that criminals pay not the slightest bit of attention to laws anyway, so making tougher laws will mostly impact only law abiding citizens.


However, as mom of two adorable little boys, I am fixated on the recent rash of shootings, shootings mostly involving children in schools. And I’m as desperate as every other parent to find a way to make sense of the senseless.  To temper the tragedy with a concrete solution to prevent such a thing from ever happening again.  Sadly, I don’t know that there truly IS a way to eliminate this threat from our lives…or the lives of our children.  I fear that many of our kids are numb from an overabundance of facts and statistics, bombarded by violence daily.  Blinded by the idea that guns can’t REALLY kill people because their lives revolve mostly around a make believe world of video games that encourage weapons of mass destruction.  


Yep…I went there!  I NEVER thought I would be THAT parent that immediately links desensitized children to violent video games and an disproportionate amount of senseless violence cluttering their world.  But the moment I became a mom, my views shifted dramatically. For better or worse, now I’m just a mom trying to make sense of the senseless and trying to keep my children safer in an unsafe world.


My husband is a police officer with 18 years on the job in a city fully shrouded in never ending violence.  I have been his “partner in crime” for every single one of those 18 years.  I sometimes suspect that I should have received an honorary badge for my own silent service.  I have listened, horrified, as he described the immeasurable heart break that comes with working a call that involved the accidental death of a child killed by either their own hand, or the hand of an equally innocent child, when an unsecured weapon was discovered.  Senseless!  There is simply no other word to describe it.  This is the ONE single situation that could EASILY be prevented if only the weapon owner had been responsible and secured that deadly weapon.


 I can’t even attribute their lackadaisical sense of logic with lack of intelligence.  I have seen with my own weary, nervous eyes people whom I’d assumed responsible, respectable members of society leave a loaded weapon in a place that they ASSUME is out of the reach of notoriously curious children.  The argument is ALWAYS the same…..”Well, MY kids know NOT TO TOUCH IT”.  Hmmmm… simply FANTASTIC for you.  But are you REALLY SURE????  Are you prepared to wager that bet, with 110% certainty, on the life of your child or a young friend of theirs?  Because, essentially, this is a gamble that doesn’t seem logical and could potentially fail with tragic consequences.  But I digress.


The point is, it would be far simpler to blame such tragedies on the minds of simpletons, those who are uneducated or just plain stupid.  But the reality is, it happens far too often and its always the same……the family who says “I never thought it would happen to me”.  


If you own a weapon, it is your RESPONSIBILITY to secure that weapon properly.  Gun locks are minimal in cost and are sometimes given to gun owners free by their local police department.  If you are a parent, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ASK EVERY HOME WHERE YOU CHILD PLAYS if there are weapons in the home and if they are properly secured.  


While the battles rages on as to whether gun laws should become tougher, you can bet your sweet ass that more people than you think are packing heat these days.  Grannies and Grandpas…….PTA moms……that lady with all those damn cats.  You get the point.  Far more often than not, people are scared or being proactive and are purchasing (or possibly stock piling) weapons.  While I’m still not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, it is a FACT thing.  And when they get home, they gotta pack that heat away SOMEWHERE!  Ask where…..ask how…..ASK!  If you offend someone, they probably aren’t doing the right thing anyway and you should NOT allow your child there.  I’ve talked to many of our law enforcement friends and posed the same question “would you be offended if someone asked if your weapon is properly secured in a safe manner and wanted to know specifically HOW”.  The answer has, thankfully, always been a resounding “Nope….I would not be offended AT ALL”.  Responsible gun owners would appreciate the fact that you cared enough to ask.  They would probably give you a high-five!


On the other end of this battle….even though its scary…..even though it breaks your heart to have to do so……even if you are absolutely not a fan of guns and would prefer to pretend that they do not exist in your world……YOU MUST educated your children on the dangers of weapons and what to do if they or a friend find a weapon.  You MUST ensure that you fill their tiny little brains with the RESPECT for the power that weapons posses.  This is NOT the time to believe that by not talking about it, you will effectively eliminate the threat.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is tons of concrete information available to support the idea that NOT talking to your children about gun safety will make them far likelier to have NOT A DAMN CLUE what to do should they ever come across a weapon.  And the consequences are DEADLY.  Prepare your children by reminding them to ALWAYS assume that a found weapon is loaded.  Instruct them to NEVER touch a weapon and ALWAYS seek out the help of an adult.  If they see a friend playing with a weapon DO NOT yell at them to stop it and drop it.  Do you know how often startling a child with a loaded weapon has deadly consequences?  Back away slowly and quietly and get help.


Stage safety drills.  Even if you do not allow your child to play with pretend weapons…….go to the dollar store and BUY one.  Hide it somewhere that you child can somewhat easily find it.  Then have a conversation with your child about the importance of not touching and telling an adult.  Then wait.  See if they find it.  See what they do.  You will know immediately how much more conversation you will need to have.  This is generally not a one-time conversation.  This, like talking about sex, is an on-going process.  You will need to give age appropriate information.  You will need to tailor the conversation not to your specific beliefs, but to the realities of the world.  I’m sorry, I truly am.   I wish that were not so.  But it is and the sooner you face it, the safer your child will be.


The reality is this…..Please don’t be that gut-wrenching, heart broken family on the news who never thought it could happen to them.  My husband has seen this reality far too often in his 18 year law enforcement career.  And I promise you this…….  He still remembers every call for a child who died of an accidental gun shot.  He still remembers their faces, their names.  He can tell you their date of birth and their date of death.  He knows each age.  He remembers the address of the home it happened in.  He lives with these tiny little ghosts every day.  They haunt him.  They whisper to him in his heart…….. “let me be the last one”.