Getting to Know ... Dawn Meehan of "Because I Said So"
Mom blogger Dawn Meehan and her clan.
Last night, I cracked open Dawn Meehan's new book, Because I Said So, named after her popular mom blog, intending to read a few pages before bed. Well, two hours later, unable to put this hysterical book down, my ribs were killing me ... from all the elbow jabs from my husband, telling me to stop laughing so loud or I'll wake the kids.
I have to share one of my favorite parts. Dawn and her two youngest on a typical trip to the grocery store:
"I grabbed a bag of grapes to set on the conveyer. Because I was distracted, I picked the bag up by the bottom and grapes went flying. Why do these plastic bags even have ziplock tops on them? Never, in all my years on earth, have I seen a ziplock bag of grapes with the tops actually closed.
"Clayton leapt from the cart and started crawling around on the floor, picking up the grapes and stuffing them into his mouth. Ugh! By this time, the person in front of the line had paid and moved on. Now I was the annoying lady holding up the line as I scrambled to pick up the grapes before my son could get to them.
"To get him to stop eating dirty grapes, I bribed him with candy. "You can have candy when we get home. Just give me the grapes! Stop eating them!" Yes, that's what a good mom says: "Stop eating grapes and I'll give you candy instead."
LOL! Dawn is describing my life exactly, except that she has three times as many kids, all named after cities BTW, and three times as many great stories. So I just had to invite Dawn for a visit. I know you'll love her as much as I do!
Tell me about your kids? Wow, six. This could take a while ...
My oldest is Austin. He's 14. He's very smart and creative and has a quick wit. He doesn't have a lick of common sense.
Next is my 12-year-old Savannah. She's happy and very outgoing. She helps me a ton.
Then I have Jackson who is 10. He's persistent and clever. He's got a ton of energy (which is a nice way of saying he has ADHD) and he likes reading, writing and sports.
Lexington, my 7-year-old is next in line. She's a girly-girl who likes playing with friends, is eager to learn and has a fabulous imagination.
Clayton is my 5-year-old. I'm amazed he made it to his fifth birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury because this kid is non-stop. He likes to explore and experiment. (You know, like trying to flush entire rolls of toilet paper, smearing whole bottles of glue on the table, putting baby lotion in his little sister's hair ...) He also cracks me up every day. He's quite the comedian.
Brooklyn, my 3-year-old, brings up the rear. She's very much the baby of the family. Everyone dotes on her. She's quite spoiled. She throws huge tantrums if she doesn't get her way or if her routine is changed in any way. But she is the biggest snuggler. None of my other babies were quite as touchy as she is. She's always sitting by me or holding onto my arm or climbing in my lap. I can't count how many times a day she tells me she loves me.
What embarrassing nicknames do you call your kids when no one is around?
Hmmm, I remember when my now 10-year-old Jackson was 2. We were in the grocery store and little old lady asked him, "What's your name?" He looked up at her and innocently replied, "Boo Boo Bear." I guess I had used that nickname for him a little too much. Nowadays, I call Clayton, "Punk," "Punky," or "Monkey." We all call Brooklyn "Oata." I'm not even sure how that one started, but it stuck.
Describe your blog -- for those who may not have read it yet.
My blog is a place to go if you want to feel better about your life and your parenting. I don't pretend to be perfect and on my blog, I tell it like it is. Parenting (especially if you have several kids) is a juggling act and I'm always dropping balls. Parents read my blog and say, "Oh thank God, I'm not the only one who has dropped their son of at the wrong field for baseball practice or has dared to take a shower while the kids were awake only to emerge from the bathroom and be greeted by the kids coloring on the dog with permanent marker."
Mom blogging requires a thick skin. Do your readers criticize your parenting wisdom?
I do get hate mail occasionally when someone feels the need to tell me what I'm doing wrong and what a bad parent I am and how her kids would never behave so badly. I feel kinda bad for the people who leave me those comments because I'm pretty sure karma's just waiting to bite them on the butt.
What state of organization is your house in right now? Would I be jealous?
My house is in such a state that you could eat off my floors. No, really, you could. You could easily make a meal from the week's worth of crumbs and spills on the floor.
Honestly, I gave up years ago. We're thinking of installing cement floors with drains so we can just hose the place down once a week like at the zoo.
What is your toddlers' favorite or "safety meal"?
Macaroni and cheese and pizza. As for other foods, it depends on their moods. One day Brooklyn may live on ketchup and Chapstick. Clay may eat only buttered bread and Tootsie Rolls for a day. It's hard telling with those two.
We're big on Mom Confessions here at CafeMom. Tell us one of yours.
Oh, gosh, the worst thing I ever did was forget my baby in the car. See, I was used to going everywhere with all six kids. Believe me, when you pull into the parking and have six kids in your car, you don't forget they're there. This one particular time, though, I ran to the store with just Brooklyn, an infant at the time. I parked, got out of the car, walked into the store, grabbed a cart, and started pushing it down the aisle before I remembered I had my baby in the car. You've never seen an old, fat woman move so fast as I ran out to my car. When I got there, she was sleeping peacefully. I didn't stop crying or shaking for over an hour.
What grosses you out more: poop, vomit, or boogers?
Boogers? Are there actually moms out there who are grossed out by boogers? Heck, I wipe my kids' snot on my shirt. And I can handle poop with no problems. Even when my oldest son, who was 2 at the time, fingerpainted every conceivable surface in his room with the contents of his dirty diaper during naptime, it wasn't that big a deal. But vomit? Well, let's just say that every time one of my kids throws up, I move to a different house.
What toddler misbehavior are you dealing with right now?
Brooklyn's tantrums. The thing is, when my first son threw tantrums (and he threw a LOT), it used to stress me out something fierce. Now that I'm on my sixth child and I'm wiser -- and well, let's face it, older and more tired -- her tantrums just don't seem to faze me much. I know it's a stage and it'll pass. Usually I just step over her as she lies on the floor screaming because I dared to do something as evil as change her diaper. Eventually she gets over and we move on.
Tell me about your book -- it's just so funny!
I think any parent can relate to the stories in my book. I try to look at the exasperating things children do (and husbands too) with a sense of humor. I remind parents that it's okay if there's marker on the walls. It's okay if you don't get a shower today or haven't had time for a haircut in six months. It's okay if the kids make parachutes out of their pillowcases or paint maple syrup frescos on the dining room wall. It's okay for kids to be kids and it's okay if, despite the fact that you love them with all your heart, you count down the minutes until bedtime.
You can pre-order Because I Said So for $14.99 at amazon.com.