So this is a totally random post because I have to admit something has been going on with my cerebral capacity (as in it has been decreasing at an alarming rate recently), and I just can’t seem to find the time or brain power to write much lately.
The other day my 9-year-old decided she wanted to make dinner for us. She’s always been on the ambitious (and infuriatingly stubborn) side, so she decided to whip together a cheese soufflé. I was busy sifting through a heap of fall festival emails when she was asking me about the recipe. I am 99 percent sure I explained it correctly but when I dropped in the kitchen to check in, I saw that she had never even beat the egg whites to soft peaks. I also discovered our kitchen had transformed into a war zone. The counters were dusted in flour. Every single mixing bowl I own (and I like to bake, so I have a vast collection) was out on display. Shards of egg shells littered the floor. And there in one of the many dirtied bowls was a lumpy, yellowish, and heavy-on-the-flour mixture.
“Where are the egg whites?” I asked.
“I poured them all in to the cheese and flour and yolk mixture,” the sous chef replied with absurd confidence.
“What? Did you not beat them first? Into the snowy peaks I told you about?”
“That’s what I told you to do!”
“You must have said it in your mind.”
Now I am almost sure I said it out loud, but I do feel like a total mombie lately. But I also know this child has many, many positive attributes, but she does have an issue with pride. Nothing is ever solely her fault.
“I think I did say it out loud, but let me ask you this. When you ask me a question, do you sometimes think ‘she doesn’t know what she’s talking about?’ and then just tune me out instead of even trying to listen to what I have to say?” See, I get this feeling a lot.
“Yes,” she admitted. “But that’s just because you’re usually wrong.” At least she’s honest. Brutally so sometimes apparently.
For the record: I have been wrong a few times, but I am mostly right when it comes to my children’s questions and mostly know more than my 9-year-old.
The other day I was working with my fourth grader on her math, and I admit that I did have to read a stinkin’ word problem three times before I knew what it was asking. My husband and I both agree some math problems are poorly written, however.
My daughter looked at me dubiously when I finally started to explain what the problem meant.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Yes!” I exclaimed over enthusiastically because honestly I can’t be sure of anything these days.
Oh, and there was that stupid long division problem recently. So I got the wrong remainder. Cut me some slack. I made straight A’s in all my advanced, high school math classes, and I majored in journalism with a theatre minor so it’s been awhile since I’ve had to practice long division, okay? And, anyway, I was trying to teach her math while my 3-year-old was running around screaming and my 5-year-old said over and over in her high-helium voice, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…” To be fair, this little one never seems to grow impatient or raise her voice at me, but she just will tenaciously keep at the Mommy, Mommy” thing, and sometimes when I am trying to multi-task like a fool, it grates on me. “Stop saying, Mommy!”
“But I need you…”
Doesn’t everybody these days?
I am losing a little confidence in my brain’s ability to perform as it once did and a lot of the times or just slow, like eventually my brain will get me the right word or answer or sentence. And it’s frustrating because once upon a time I was a witty intellectual/writer/thinker/bookworm who made excellent grades and was teased for being a brainiac nerd. Now I’m teased (by a 9-year-old no less) for usually being wrong.
I blame my brain mush on my hormonal state. Seriously, I feel like my hormones are all over the place. This is the first time in a decade that I am not pregnant and/or nursing, and I’m not sure my body knows how to handle it. My cycles are all over the place. My family medicine doctor wants me to go to an OB/GYN or an endocrinologist to get some tests because she feels I might have early menopause symptoms. Ironically, a few months ago an editor approached me about writing a health article on menopause, but I turned it down, saying something about how I wasn’t ready to think about that yet. Clearly, I am now ready. I am resisting seeing another health professional. I am tired of doctors except the one I’m married to.
I am sleeping as badly as I did when I had my nocturnal newborns, so this could be another reason that I can’t always (usually) string coherent thoughts together.
Regardless of why I am incapable of being as quick-witted as I once was and have had a bit of writer’s block of late, I was recently cleaning up a ridiculous amount of spam I’ve been getting on this site lately and started to come up with all these snarky responses I could shoot back to all the weirdos and bots who make it their mission to spam blogs and websites like me own.
I do have to admit to being tempted to click on the backlink of one such spammer, which read: “Am I psychopath? test online.” But I resisted. I already know I’ve got the crazies. No need to confirm it.
But because I needed a good laugh (I’ve been feeling really stretched thin lately like I am just barely treading water), and maybe you do, too, I’m sharing some recent spam comments, and what I’d like to say back to them (my responses are in italics, and I posted spammers’ comments as is in all their resplendent, bad-grammar glory):
This website is actually quite pleasant.
Why, thank you.
Watch Lucy free online.
Who’s Lucy? I’m not even going to think about clicking on your link to find out.
It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this superb blog!
Really? Why don’t you send me 500 bucks to my PayPal account? My suberb blog and shoe collection will thank you.
It’s very easy on the eyes.
Maybe I should start sharing some pictures of the atomic waste my toddler refuses to release into an actual toilet. That might not be so easy on your eyes.
Hello superb website! Does running a blog such as this require a lot of work?
Nope. Especially when you only post once every 7-10 days per my style lately.
Oil Rig Jobs in Texas.
It’s been nice knowing you, Georgia.
A rolling stone is worth two in the bush, thanks to this article.
Huh? I don’t believe I mix metaphors too often.
Are you talking to me or my toddler?
After reading this remarkable paragraph, I’m glad to share your site with collegagues.
I am honored. Are any of your colleagues literary agents? I am working on an amazing work of fiction and need to secure an agent.
Retro Air Jordan Shoes.
How did you know I used to follow the Chicago Bulls and had a major crush on Michael Jordan when I was around 13?
For a large number of people, being in the sky flying is no big deal.
Whom are these large number of people? I’d really like to get to know some flying humans.
Do you have a spam issue on this blog?
And here’s a good tip: if your bag’s cleaning instructions call for air drying in a tumble dryer, try throwing a few tennis balls in with the sleeping bag. You wouldn’t want anything within your bag poking you in the back, why would you think your dog would.
Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your
blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.
I wish my blog would eat your second comment as well.
Have you еver considered аbout adding a lіttle bit morе than just youг articles? I mean, what you say іs important and all. But just imagine if youu ɑdded sοme greаt visuals or video clips tօ give your posts mоre, “pop”!
Are you saying pictures of my perfect progeny don’t add enough “pop”? Spammers gonna spam; haters gonna hate.
At all times follow your heart.
Awww. Thank you for that wisdom. I’ve never heard that before.
The storyline reaches a heart wrenching climax, filled with the grief of separation and regret, yet supports the commitment of ever new origins and ongoing cycles of cosmic becoming.
You really should read William Strunk and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style. You’re no Faulkner, and sometimes less really is more.
I-a on’tday eakspay ouryay anguagelay, ubay I-a eakspay igpay atinlay.
God Bless you man.
I’m a woman.
Shopping for a nfl jersey?
Actually, I’m not, but thanks. I am usually found shopping for baby wipes, groceries, and an occasional pair of chic shoes.
“Competition is a laborious fixation, except it produces vast results.”
If you say so.
My family members every time say that I am killing my time here at net, except I know I am getting know-how everyday by reading such good content.
I’m tempted to judge you for allowing yourself to be sucked into the black hole of social media, but I am actually killing time responding to ridiculous spammers such as yourself, so we’ll call it even.
It doesnt seem like it would be very difficult to see who’s using it, if you get our drift. All joking aside, for a moment, viagra benefits aren’t just limited to the bedroom; athletes have found that it assists in blood flow, which helps in getting oxygen around the body faster and aids in endurance.
Think it could help with my hip and hamstring?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on detachment. Regards.
How about detaching yourself from spamming?
Hello i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere,
I don’t belive you, Kavin. I think you comment everywhere you can.
You are so awesome!
I don’t even understand how I ended up here.
Neither do I.
If possible, you should drink water in a silver glass.
You learn something new every day.
Hello, I want to subscribe for this webpage to take hottest updates.
You might want to try another Kate Wicker. The only thing hot around here is the load in my toddler’s diaper right about now.
Frozen shoulder therapy is a very inexpensive remedy for tthe condition. Now-a-days, when technology seeems too makei mpossible possible, Halal food lovers can get their stuff, without moving out of their houses. After striking the frozen ground, the rain droplets freeze instantly and sheen the area with a thin layer of ice.
I don’t understand you, but do you know anything about Ebola droplets?
Shame on Google for not positioning this put up higher!
That’s right, Google. Did you hear that? Shame on you for placing Kate Winslet over Kate Wicker when people search “Kate Wi…”
Hello there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he’s going to
have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!
(NOTE: This comment appeared in the spam folder after my “top 10 reasons to nurse a toddler” post)
Really? Your male roommate constantly talked about nursing toddlers?
Ԝe are the leading movers and packеrs in Mumƅai India.
I’ll add you to my Rolodex in case we ever decide to move to Asia.
What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience concerning unexpected emotions.
What he said.
I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today. Yet, I never found any interesting article like yours.
Get a life.
Ridiculous quest there. What happened after?
(NOTE: posted after “snowy day art”)
We had some hot cocoa, and my toddler almost got frostbite running outside naked. Talk about a ridiculous quest.
Undeniably believe that which you stated.
Write more, thats all I have to say.
Use better punctuation; that’s all I have to say.
Rest and take a rest.
your views are nice for new people.
What about old people?
Simply too Chaotic To Control?
If you’re talking about my children, then, yes.
We definitely need more smart people like you around.
I won’t argue with that.
Do you have any video of that?
(NOTE: posted after “this is what extended breastfeeding really looks like”)
But one of the trends in San Francisco nowadays is the Speed Dating.
Lucky for me I live in Georgia and am married.
You’ve got terrific info these.
Hopefully, my info is better than your grammar.
Alakazaam-information found, problem solved, thanks!
You’re welcome. I wish my kids were as easy to please.
to lose weight and get rid of all the excess fat they have on their bodies
You do know the name of my book is Weightless: Making Peace with Your Body and that I’m not a fan of diets.
You can not continue to function in today’s society with replacing lackluster appearance.
I function just fine taking a shower every third day, thank you very much.
How To Dress Techno These days
I’m thinking boho chic migh be more suitable for a suburban at-home mom.
you may be a great author
What’s with this “may be”?
Everything typed made a ton of sense. However, think on this, what if you added a little content? I am not suggesting your content is not
solid, but what if youu added something that makes people want more? I mean Just Popping In | Kate Wicker is a
If you don’t have something nice to say, then how about not saying anything at all?
Please let me know if you’re looking ffor a writer for yojr site. Youu have some really great posts and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write somke material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me aan e-mail if interested. Cheers!
If I was looking for a writer, it wouldn’t be you. Ever heard of Spell Check?
Now that your surgery is approaching get a manicure, pedicure and haircut.
If I do end up getting hip surgery, I’ll take your advice into consideration.
You’re so interesting!
Most people who have a blog think they’re pretty interesting.
This is very interesting, You are a very skilled phorumger.
I don’t think phorumger is a word.
The next step up the ladder is chardonnay.
I prefer Malbec.
Minecraft also includes monsters that attack mostly at night from which you have to shelter from to stay alive.
I still don’t understand what Minecraft is.
Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog?
My blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my users would truly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please llet me know if this ook wirh you. Regards!
Really? Soda Shop India [backlink included with comment] targets moms, Catholics, and/or those seeking a positive body image? Who knew?
The person who wrote post is actually Preston.
Um, no it’s wasn’t.
You’re very intelligent.
I’m glad someone thinks so.
This post is part of my Recycled Series. Before you read any further the next few paragraphs are chock full of euphemisms for gas. If you consider bodily emissions taboo and/or your maturity level surpasses that of a 6-year-old’s, then you may want to stop reading.
Attention Editors: These columns have been previously published, but are available for reprint. Please contact me at kmwicker[at]gmail[dot]com for reprint fees and further information.
My girls are glad to wear dresses (although 4-year-old Madeline often prefers t-shirts and jeans). They say “please” and “thank you” (or in Rae’s case “peas” and “tank cue.”). They love tea parties and think fairies are magical. They’d spend all day in the kitchen baking if I’d let them and most of the time, they don’t mind having bows in their hair.
But there’s one area where my little women lose a few points in femininity. My girls think beanies are hilarious. Potty humor never fails to get a laugh and when either one of my girls pass gas, they start to giggle before saying excuse me. Now that we have a gassy infant (another girl who’s sure to think stinky butts are the height of hilarity in no time) in the house, unashamed glee ensues every time the little one rips one. Honestly, how does such a sweet, small thing create such loud and noxious gas? (My husband says she’s just one big GI tract – she takes my milk in and then pushes it out either via spit up, poop, pee, or yes, smelly gas.)
I wish I could blame my girls’ love for all things stinky on their dad, but he honestly thinks his girls’ pooting is pretty gross.
Case in point: Recently, I asked him all seriousness to name three things that I did that make him feel uncomfortable and/or irritated (the purpose of this little exercise inspired by the book The Love Dare was to create an increased sense of unity in our marriage). His only response: “Your noxious gas.”
Now please be easy on me, okay? This conversation occurred when I was pregnant and had all these crazy hormones surfing through me and yes, I did experience some pregnancy-induced flatulence. I’m sorry for the TMI moment, but it’s something that’s just natural, right? Besides, I have to look on the bright side. What my dearly beloved was really saying is that we’d have a perfect marriage if weren’t for the fact that I produce more methane than a field full of gassy cows when I’m pregnant.
Honestly, I thought everyone thought beanies were hilarious. Maybe it’s because I grew up with brothers, but I didn’t realize quite how juvenile I was being until I started encountering people who thought passing gas was something you did alone shut away in a closet, and you certainly didn’t talk, or for goodness’ sake publish an essay about your bodily functions.
Once, when I was in the seventh grade, I made the mistake of saying the word “fart” in front of my friend’s Old South parents.
They let my faux pas slide. I was a clueless Yankee, after all, but my friend told me to never, ever use that word again. Apparently, if you had to refer to gas, you called it a “poot.” Who knew? I certainly didn’t.
Even in my current homeschooling co-op I’ve learned there are some families who think far…I mean poots…are funny and just fine to discuss among friends. Others, however, would never allow their kids to use “fart” (the other “F word”) or any other euphemism for gas as a part of their everyday vernacular.
Although I’ve had to give my girls a “tootorial” (I’m sorry, but I couldn’t help myself) about how it’s not appropriate to pass gas at the dinner table or around others (some things are best done in private or with close family members) and that we should always say “excuse me” before convulsing into giggles, I’m afraid I’ll never mature completely and will always find beanies to be a bit funny.
And in all likelihood, so will my girls. It’s in their genes (and sometimes their jeans, too, when they’re emitting gas). It comes from my family where one particular uncle whom I’d only see once or twice a year would greet me with “Pull my finger.” (This was the same totally cool uncle who once opened his car’s sunroof so snow would fall down on me as we cruised the streets of Chicago. He never really grew up and neither have I.) Even my sweet 88-year-old nana frequently gives my dad whoopee cushions and the like as gifts.
A friend of mine who knows my family and their maturity level quite well once told me I’d better have some boys, so we could share in our inanity over potty humor.
But here I am with three silly, gas-lovin’ girls. And while my husband isn’t fully on board in the pooting department and thinks it’s more vulgar than funny, he is thankful our girls are in touch with their feminine side but aren’t afraid to stick their hands in the mud to dig for earthworms or to sometimes trade in their fairy wings for pirate swords.
I’m thankful, too. I’m all for tea parties and ballet recitals, but there’s nothing wrong with an occasional belching contest, hunting for frogs, or slipping into a Super Man costume every once in awhile.
A few weeks back, we visited a friend who has four boys and I looked outside to see my girls wildly running around, wielding light sabers. I thought to myself, “Lukes, I am your mother,” and I was happy that my little ladies aren’t afraid to sometimes run with the boys.
As I mentioned in this post, I’m going to start sharing some posts, essays, etc. from the archives, which will hopefully mean I have more time to work on my novel. All of these posts will be labeled as “Recycled Series.” Enjoy!
Attention Editors: These columns have been previously published, but are available for reprint. Please contact me at kmwicker[at]gmail[dot]com for reprint fees and further information.
A few years back I was in a cramped public bathroom stall supervising my preschooler’s potty business when I met a new friend.
“Mommy, I have to poop.”
This little tête-à-tête wasn’t between my daughter and me (at the time, she refused to poop in public and often tried to get out of BMs at home, too), but with my bathroom neighbors – a mom with her young son.
I continued to eavesdrop. I couldn’t help it – the boy wasn’t being shy at all about making his “stinky.”
“I did it, Mommy! I made a big stinky!”
“Great job, Honey!”
Our children’s toilets flushed at the same time, and we nearly bumped into one another as we existed the stalls.
“I’m impressed. I can’t believe how quickly he pooped in a public restroom. I have trouble getting my preschooler to poop at all,” I found myself saying.
“I know. He’s our little pooper. Oh, your baby’s so cute. How old is she?”
“Is she walking yet?”
“Not yet,” I said.
“Don’t worry. He didn’t walk until 16 months, and now he runs and jumps all over the place. Have a good day.”
And we went our separate ways – her with her talented, pooping toddler, me with my not-walking-yet-baby and poop-resistant preschooler.
I didn’t use to talk about poop with complete strangers, but something happens when you become a mom. An easy camaraderie develops between those who have shared combat. And if anyone knows what it means to be in the trenches, it’s another mom.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve struck up a conversation with fellow mothers or reached out to help one of my own kind. Once, I saw a frazzled woman at the grocery store. Her baby was crying and her older child was whining. I could tell she was on the verge of losing it, so I said to her little boy, “I love that dinosaur on your shirt.”
He immediately stopped pining for a candy bar and started telling me all about his favorite animals. His mom smiled and mouthed a heartfelt, “Thank you.”
Other moms have done the same for me. One took my antsy baby from my arms during a First Friday Mass. “So you can actually pay attention,” she whispered. Others have held the door for me when my arms were full and a preschooler was clinging to my pants’ legs. Veteran moms who know what lies ahead have uttered words of encouragement after noticing I was looking a wee bit weary toting around two kids under 4 for a “quick” errand.
“You’re doing great,” they cheer. Or, “It gets easier.”
Then there are my real friends – not just passing strangers who knowingly nod their heads or smile in support when my child has a meltdown in the produce section. Some were girlfriends long before anyone ever called us Mommy, and it’s amazing how much closer we’ve become since we’ve been passed the holy torch of motherhood.
When one of my kids refuses to nap (day after day) or turns beet-red during a bowel movement, I don’t immediately call my pediatrician, consult my stack of parenting books, or Google “baby + constipation.” Instead, I call one of my mom friends.
Unlike my childless companions, it’s only other moms who can truly offer maternal empathy. They’re the friends who won’t be totally grossed out if I talk about the color of my baby’s poop. They’re the ones who know what it’s like to notice the beautiful curve of a newborn’s ear while she nurses and to want to cry because it’s so perfect. They’re quick to trade tricks of the trade like how to get marker doodles off your bedspread. They still think you’re beautiful even with the white streak of diaper ointment smeared in your hair. They understand the flattening lethargy the daily grind of motherhood can bring, the profundity of giving birth to a child, the way an infant’s cries can rip you apart, and the intense love and joy that goes hand-in-hand with being a mom.
They’re the ones who can say, “I’ve been there,” and really mean it. Because in the end, we’re really just looking for the sense that we’re not alone in this journey.
Like it or not, as mothers we’re plunged into the trenches. And just like soldiers, we need people who’ve got our backs and are going to give us cover. Sometimes during times of peace, we can laugh at our kids’ antics and share our favorite parts of being a mom. But sometimes, let’s face it, motherhood is a war (a battle of wills, a grueling campaign for sleep or pooping on the potty), and we can either be the medic and offer our support to fellow moms or humbly accept help as the wounded soldier.
I’m very fortunate because my personal mom friends are eager to enter the front line to give me a break when I admit that being a mother is tough, really, really tough. But they’re also the ones who remind me that a lot of things are hard in life – like performing brain surgery, living under a socialist regime, and going no-carb. Some things are worth it. Swearing off pasta, if you ask me, isn’t.
But kids and the whole dirty, messy, tiring, endless job we call mothering most certainly is well worth everything – the endless laundry, another hour of sleep you didn’t get, the purple stretch marks, the “I-don’t-want-to-go-to-bed” tantrums, the crushed Cheerios in the car upholstery, the calamitous diaper incidents, the handprint smudges all over the walls and your brand-new white pants, and the insufferable whining over a silly plastic toy at the dollar store.
Ask most any mom – from the one you’ve just met in the public restroom to your close friends – and they’ll tell you that kids may hijack our sleep, flat abs, and sometimes our sanity, but if we’re not careful, they’ll hijack our hearts, too.