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    (This is the true story one of my previous Mother's Day written on that particular day as the events unfolded. Some names have been changed for no reason whatsoever.)Today, I'm officially the Queen. It's true, my children told me this when I awoke. By "awoke," I mean when they woke me at 8AM and said, "We let you sleep in Mommy, now wake up because you're the Queen today."

    I'm sure the Queen wakes up at 8AM on the days she sleeps in too.

    I'd like to note that, if the Queen is knee deep in pee, whining, and is constantly saying things like, "I will separate you two if I have to," and "Can someone extract this Lego from my foot?" than I am the Queen every day. I have a feeling she is not, but as I've been a Queen for 6 hours now, I thought I'd fill you in on what it's REALLY like.

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    7 Secrets Moms Never Share

    posted by Jenny Isenman April 18 at 10:42 AM in Big Kid
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    There are certain secrets we moms keep to ensure the survival of our species. It’s not like we took an oath to keep them, it’s more of an unconscious phenomenon — like we’re programmed to omit certain details about parenting life from conversations on an evolutionary level.

    I kinda wish I’d been privy to this classified information beforehand, not that I could’ve prepared, but, like, full disclosure people! So I will go against my internal programming and divulge some things parents let you find out for yourselves.

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    The other day I was watching one of those commercials for some medication, where a bee or a butterfly or a ladybug tells me how to get more sleep or be less depressed -- and after the obligatory listing of what said drug may cause, I realized I already have most of those side effects, simply from being a parent. 

    Which is why I’m suggesting kids come with a warning label ... you know, so there are no surprises? Maybe we could redesign those generic hospital blankies into big soft yellow swaddlers with a list on the back in bold black writing and send new parents home with one. 

    I think it should say something like this:  

    Warning, Children May Cause ... 

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    Not too long ago, I turned 40...

    I was telling a friend that I'd be willing to trade in my Gen X status for that of a 30-year-old hipster who wears black-rimmed glasses (for statement, not vision, purposes). Then, I'd never have to admit that I spent the Saturday nights of my childhood hoping beyond hope that Charo would be the surprise guest on The Love Boat or that somehow, Shari and Lambchop would find themselves in an eerie episode of Fantasy Island where Shari was the puppet. (What, I'm the only one who wished for that story line? I think not.)

    No, I wouldn't know a lot of things like, the pain of seeing Chachi marry Joanie or the name of my first Cabbage Patch Kid or the "awesome" effects of Sun-In, had I not been a poster child for Generation X. Things like this:

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    The Work At Home Mom (WAHM), is like devil spawn of a Stay-at-Home (SAHM) and a working mom. Though many people think it's ideal (I do), it comes with a shocking amount of guilt, a penchant for procrastination and a sprinkle of self loathing. I know, I'm making it sound awesome, right?

    We have no actual schedule and no other people in "the office" for motivation, and we have constant feeling that we need to be accomplishing many things at once to be productive - like mulitasking on crack, which is why WAHMs have a lot in common. 

    If you're thinking of us in short shorts and high sweat socks, then you're thinking of WHAM and that's a different article, though I do write a lot about being obsessed with the 80s.

    That said, I thought I would make a list of traits, thoughts and occurrences most WAHMs have thought said or done:

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    I've written many tales about some of the weird stuff I've said to my kids over the years, from "Please stop smelling the cat" to "We keep our pants on in public" to "Gum you find under tables is not 'free' gum." As strange as those phrases are, they never even fazed me when I said them. In fact, they made perfect sense at the time.

    I remember having to constantly ask my daughter, Ry, to stop licking me. Until then, that request had been reserved for our puppy. Looking back, it appears there are quite a few similarities between toddlers and puppies, odd phrases included.

    Either I've just crossed that fine line into insanity or this comparison is kinda brilliant, you be the judge. Here are 28 ways puppies and toddlers are similar:

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    25 Simple Ways to Annoy Your Tween

    posted by Jenny Isenman February 21 at 3:49 PM in Big Kid
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    When your child hits tweenhood, everything becomes bothersome, especially you. All the injustices of the world are highlighted with eye-rolls, grunts, and blank stares. 

    I'm taking advantage of this time by being extra annoying. For instance, when I'm sitting in the garage waiting for J, my 12-year-old son, to exit the house, I watch the door intently. As soon as he cracks it open, I beep. J startles, without fail, and glares at me as if I've done something unforgivable, like smashed his Beats or released all the remaining Axe body spray from the can.

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    Remember when you and your valentine were all sexy and romantic? V-day generated excitement and anticipation. It took planning and forethought.

    I remember not passing gas for like, the entire first year to keep the love alive. I think I spent the last 6 months of that year permanently hunched over in pain. What, you didn’t think I was gonna go there? Oh, but I did.

    Before we had kids, my husband would send flowers and take me to incredible restaurants. You know, those fancy ones that require reservations to be made more than 7 minutes in advance?

    After having kids, I've received the BEST handmade cards ever and heard the sweetest sweet nothings from my adorable little imps, but marriage wise, romantic holidays have lost something that I can’t quite put my finger on. Oh right, ROMANCE.

    Yes, V-Day has changed, which is why I made a marriage edition of candy sweethearts, and this: a comparative look at how it was before kids vs. after... 

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    I've had some awkward V-Day Moments, from my daughter, then 5 years old, trying to soap opera kiss me to my husband trying to stuff himself and champagne into our undersized NYC bathtub in our undersized NYC apartment to my Ry telling me I make her want to "puke of love."

    That said, I've decided this year will not be awkward. No, we will all be realistic in our planning and our phrasing.

    I picked up a pack of those V-Day Sweetheart candies. You know, those chalky conversation hearts that are supposed to represent the sweet nothings you would whisper in your lover's ear (like, I LOVE U, B MINE, KISS ME ...). And I thought, This is anything but realistic phrasing.

    Which is why I give you this list: Phrases that should be etched on those cute little hearts, after a few years of marriage ...

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    I recently read a fabulous article by Sherrie Campbell called "8 Guaranteed Ways to Emotionally F*ck Up Your Kids." Now, to be honest, I originally clicked on the article because I imagined it to be some mocking list filled with humorous fare, like, "When they're taking a bath, scream 'Shark' and run out of the room." Though the actual piece was a lot more astute, I'm pretty sure that would be totally scarring as well.

    In fact, one moment of creatively messing with your kiddos (for your own amusement) could potentially last a lifetime (see Jimmy Kimmel). So when I finished the piece, I still wanted to read the sarcastic version. Who was gonna write that?

    Since I've already written lists about the lies we tell our kids to stay sane and the Momisms we trick them with, I thought, why not me?

    That said, here it is: 13 Guaranteed Ways to F*ck Up Your Kids (WARNING: DO NOT TRY THESE AT HOME, IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO TAKE CARE OF YOU WHEN YOU'RE OLD) ...

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Jenny Isenman

Humorist Jenny Isenman is here to make sense of all the outrageous, ridiculous, and ironic issues that come up -- one-by-one!

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