I’m a humor columnist, on-air lifestyle expert, Host of The Jenny Isenman Show on Cafe Mom, and a proud mama of two. I’m also a cellulite/wrinkle obsessed, pop-culture junkie and card carrying Gen Xer (oh, they have cards). I’m known as Jenny from the Blog at my site The Suburban Jungle. I guarantee that reading it will make you tanner, smarter, and reduces cellulite. Well, at the very least, it’ll make you more literate.
Venti Non-Fat Latte ... oh, and an Iced Green Tea (to negate the bad effects of the coffee)
When I had my first child, I wanted to do everything by the book. I was so nervous that the tiniest misstep would somehow break the baby. In fact, one of my first pieces was about how shocked I was that they just let me leave the hospital with this little being (it was tougher to get a library card), and frankly I didn't feel ready.
But I was determined to rise to the challenge -- All toys were sanitized before they came within 10ft of my child. People were sanitized too, they were also grilled as to when they were last sick, if they knew proper baby handling techniques, and the date of their most recent TB test.
Then came child number two, and I was racing to get her home ... it's amazing how much changes between your first and second. You can blame it on the lack of time needed to be as anal, ahem, meticulous as you were with the first, or maybe it's simply a gain in experience and confidence, but the differences are undeniable. Here are just a few of them ...
Last year, I wrote about some non-traditional things I'm ashamed to be thankful for. You know, the types of things that would probably get you kicked out of Thanksgiving dinner? Like: I am thankful for stars like Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Heidi Klum, and J.Lo, who make 40 seem not so old.
Well, this year, I thought I'd focus on some things I'm thankful for as a parent. Sure, the list may be a bit superficial, but I bet you're thankful for similar stuff.
Soooo, I say we take a sec to forgive each other for mentioning these things and then we, well, mention them. I'll start:
As a writer and Gen Xer, I'm truly fascinated by how different things are for our kids' generation, and I often find myself pointing out the ironies in the gap. For instance, the road trips I remember as a child were so very different from the way they are for my kids today. Sure, there are a few similarities -- we elbowed our siblings, rolled our eyes at our parents as they blared their oldies, and asked "How much farther now?" more times than the Smurfs on their way to visit Father Time. (How many of you were with me for that reference?)
And yes, my kids have to go to the bathroom the second we hit the highway, the same way we did, but that may be where the similarities end. Here's proof:
Sadly, I do many of these things on a regular basis, which is a sure sign I've completely lost all ability to have a rational thought, that my memory is only good for quoting John Hughes movies and remembering all the words to obscure songs from the '80s/'90s, and that my IQ is plummeting faster than Miley's odds of NOT being completely naked in her next video.
Look, I can tell you the names of all the characters from The Facts of Life, or Growing Pains, but I have no idea where I left my keys, what pending appointments I have, or why I just walked into this room?!
In fact, I have so many momnesia moments, I'm surprised I don't have a permanent hand print on my forehead from face-palming all day!
After talking to other mothers, I'm pretty sure I'm not alone -- we're all losing our minds together. Phew, I mean, that's so horrible to hear (but really, thank goodness I'll have company in the loony bin).
Here are just a few unbelievably inane things parents have been known to do.
Over the years I've let some pretty stellar entertainment pass me by, like: Breaking Bad, Weeds, Lost, Shameless, Game of Thrones,Homeland, Mad Men ... due to this crazy thing called life. You know life, right? The whole raising a family, having a job, trying to maintain a certain age, weight, and level of sanity (though your body fights you on it) thing? Yeah, that.
I've heard how enthralling and addictive these shows are but life got in the way. Well, that's over. I've pretty much given up my life lately to binge watch some of these shows, so that I can have more stimulating conversations with people five years ago.
That said, I've found a strange effect from binge watching shows, aside from the one that makes me appear comatose and unresponsive. I start to feel like a character in these shows. Like they're actually affecting me. For instance ...