Parenting, Snark

7 Reasons It’s Great Being the Only Girl in a House Full of Boys

There are so many reasons that females find it difficult to live with males. However, everyone overlooks the plus side to being with them. I am drowning in boys at my house. I’ve learned to love being the only woman. Here are my top seven reasons it’s great being the only girl in a house full of boys.

1. I am the only one in the house who has a period. This means there is no sync up with cycles, no dually bitchy days. It’s just me and Aunt Flo facing off. The other upside to being the only one with a period is that boys are afraid of that monthly occurrence. One raised hand and an “I’m on my period. Do you want to re-think that eyeroll?” is all it takes to stop the shenanigans. Whether it’s the fear of my hormonal wrath or simply the gross factor, I don’t know and I don’t care. All eyerolls cease to exist for 5 to 7 days.

2. Humongous savings in toilet paper. Think about it. Boys only need paper to wipe once, maybe twice a day. Us girls can tear through some shit paper. So all those families piled high with girls are sending off their hard earned cents to the cheap toilet paper, because splurging is a cost they can ill afford. I’m over here with the happiest asses in town because the expensive butt paper is what I buy. I get the final say in that because I use it more. Bonus!

3. I get to avoid watching how my kids sit when they are really small. Every mother has to worry about table manners and teaching their kids to be polite, but women with girls have extra worries. They have to constantly monitor whether their legs are closed and they aren’t lifting their dresses to display their underpants for the world to see. I don’t have that worry, thank God. Boys are so wiggly and loud that just getting them to sit still is enough. As long as their butts are touching the seat, we are good to go.

4. My clothes are all mine. Relatives with teenage girls are constantly complaining that their daughters are stealing their clothes. I don’t have that worry. That peach colored scarf with the sparkles and fringe is mine, all mine, baby.

5. I get a free pass to enjoy guy movies. When my girlfriends ask me what I’m going to see and I tell them, I get the sad look. “Poor thing. All those boys. It must be tough not having a girl around.” Yeah, sure. Have you SEEN Thor? Iron Man? An entire two hours with Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Hemsworth is just breaking my damn heart. Now pass that rag so I can mop up all this drool.

6. I own the only Get Out of Uncomfortable Conversations Free card in the house. Basically, this boils down to my not having a penis of my own. When topics related to penises pop up, excuse the pun, I have my Get Out of Uncomfortable Conversations Free card. It comes in the form of “Go ask your father.” Seriously, I have no answers when my kid comes to me and asks why his penis is hurting or how one should place one’s penis when trying on tight jeans. And, while I have the answer to one of the most embarrassing questions I’ve been asked (“Why does my pee pee keep standing up when I play with Amy?”), I still pass that shit on to Dad. I was never intended to answer these hard questions. All my goodies are on the inside, decidedly unsquished by the seams of my jeans.

7. When the kids are teens, school mornings are so much faster. I don’t have to waste time checking for modesty. There are no long conversations about hooker makeup and socially acceptable amounts of cleavage. I just give the boys a good, healthy sniff as they walk out the door. As long as no one smells like a goat, all is well.

So, now you know why, when approached by other women who ask me, “Oh, don’t you want to try for a girl?” that I shiver with disdain. No, I don’t want to try for a girl. I’m absolutely happy over here with my perfectly pampered butt, drooling over the latest big screen superhero.


 

 

(Video posted by heat on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 and shared here.)

 

 

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Snark, Uncategorized

Scary Mommy: 10 Reasons I Am Jealous of My Small-Breasted Friends

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Look who’s on Scary Mommy today!  Hop on over there and check out my latest essay “10 Reasons I Am Jealous of My Small-Breasted Friends.”

Give it a share, a like or a tweet, won’t you?  I’d really appreciate it!

Tweet me @MirandaGargasz

Facebook:  Miranda Gargasz, Writer

 

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Snark

Let’s face it, boys are weird

I never realized the extent to which boys are weird until I had nieces.  Girls sit still.  They are sometimes quiet. They play house and they teach school.  They even mother their dolls and give Barbie high fashion makeovers, not to mention aspirations of becoming a lawyer or doctor.

Boys do not do “sitting still.”  They come with two switches at birth:  on and off.  “On” means full tilt, through the dirt, all day.  Boys are dipped in sugar, rolled in grass clippings and mulch, all the while attempting to break the sound barrier while going anywhere.  “Off” happens while being wrangled out of the bath and wrestled into pajamas.  Nine chances out of ten, they fall asleep mid-squirm and mid-sentence, their batteries just as drained as yours.

My sons had a doll each when they were small.  Both of them asked for one for Christmas one year.  They learned how to father them, of their own accord, for about a day.  After that their babies were stark naked Nerf gun targets and cannon fodder.  Their dolls were given jobs like Hollywood stunt double or dinosaur attack victim.  All I could do was sit back and watch as one of their babies launched across the back yard, a failure at making it over the swing set via the slingshot they created (with the goal post from a long-lost football game and a piece of elastic scavenged from my sewing basket).

Once they had cousins who were female I thought some calm may rub off on them.  My hopes were dashed pretty quickly.

Tony came home from his aunt’s house one day, excited beyond belief.

“Mom, Alexandria said I could have some of her broken Barbies.  She even said I could have her Barbie house when she was done.”

Visions of Barbie’s new career as Fay Wray to Tony’s RC King Kong ran through my mind.  “What are you going to do with a bunch of broken dolls and Barbie’s Dream House?”

“Well, I thought I could decorate them with Sharpies and turn it into a haunted mansion.  It won’t matter what shape the Barbies are in.  I plan on turning them into the zombies that live in the mansion.  I’ll need some Halloween spider web, of course, but it would be perfect!”

I guess I’ll give the kid ten points for creativity.

I know you’re sitting back in your chair, thinking that I’m making this up.  Well, you’re wrong.

So accustomed to their weirdness I have become, that I don’t even notice anymore.

Case in point:

I woke up with a stuffy nose, laryngitis and aches and pains.  We were out of milk. Like many mothers out there I was the only one with a license who could drive.  I dragged myself and Tony to the store.  I gave him the few dollars he needed to go in and purchase our milk.  It wasn’t until he came out that I realized what he looked like.

Zombie preparedness at its finest.

Zombie preparedness at its finest.

Yeah, that’s my kid.  In a gas mask.  At the grocery store.

And you wonder why I say boys are weird.

What’s the weirdest thing your kids have ever done?  I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

For more stories about what my crazy kids do, purchase my book Lemonade and Holy Stuff.  It’s available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Snark

8 Reasons to Love Your Introverted Friend

I make no bones about it.  I am an introvert.  I prefer a night alone, doing my own thing to just Quiet is might.Solitude isabout any other option.  My husband and many, if not most, of my friends are extroverts.  They enjoy people and networking and always being in the spotlight.  It took them years to realize that the spotlight is the last place I want to be.  Once they realized that I wasn’t like them, they began to see that introverted people make some of the best company.

Here’s a list of eight reasons you should love your introverted friend.

1.  They are low maintenance.

Seriously.  They don’t require your constant attention.  Consider them the cats of the human world.  As long as they have what they need, they are pretty quiet, content people.  You could literally not speak to them for weeks and not only will you not damage your friendship, they probably won’t even notice that you weren’t speaking to them.

2.  No matter what, life is almost always calm around them.

Introverts don’t like drama or noise or chaos.  They don’t thrive on commotion.  They bloom when all is quiet and they can take the time they need to process life.  If you are having a stressed day and just want calm, call that introverted friend and hang out.  It’s like a spa rolled up in a person.

3.  They don’t mind when you cancel plans.

This is a big one for me.  I have zero sadness when you cancel plans with me.  You know why?  Bras.  If I had plans with you, chances are I have a babysitter.  A babysitter usually means Grandma or Auntie time.  Grandma or Auntie Time means empty house.  Your canceled plans equal jammie time and a good book.  Jammie time curled up with a book equals no bra required. It’s like freaking Christmas when you cancel, so don’t feel bad.

4.  If you want to know if you’ll like that book everyone’s been talking about, you almost never have to research it.

The majority of my time that isn’t spent carting teens from A to B is spent reading and writing.  As I age, what I read is becoming more diverse.  So save the data on your phone and just text me.  I’m quicker than Amazon when it comes to book reviews.

5.  They make excellent listeners.

Because they need to observe and process, introverts are the best listeners.  They will allow you to ramble on as long as you like without interruption.  Most of this is because they just can’t do the small talk thing.  They don’t care that the weather is too hot or too cold and they have no opinion on what the local sports team is up to.  They do, however, care that you are hurting and need someone to help you through a crisis.  In this way, they are the dogs of the human world, with less drool.  If you’re lucky.

6.  You are guaranteed a level of “special.”

Let’s face it.  When it comes to making friends, introverts are not the people you go to for advice.  They are pretty awful at it simply because they are deep end of the conversation pool people.  They are not comfortable with shallow relationships.  Count yourself very lucky to have an introvert as a friend.  If they call you friend, you must be pretty darn special.  And you will be that special friend for life.  Introverts do not invest time in someone they don’t intend to be around for a while.  And by “a while” I mean “until death.”  It’s a marriage of sorts.  Consider it an investment.

7.  They make excellent spies.

Introverts are the world’s most observant people.  Not much gets by them.  If you have a special someone you aren’t quite sure about, make them spend some time around your introverted friend. Introverts are people watchers by nature and they log all those little peccadilloes they see for later use, whether it be to help a girlfriend know she’s about to date a douchebag or to save for later when they write this shit down.

8.  They are great storytellers.

Alright, maybe not storytellers, but definitely writers.  All that listening, people watching, and down time results in a truly beautiful thing.  If you’re lucky, your introverted friend will pen an essay about that time you helped her peal out of an ex-douchebag’s driveway, spraying gravel to the four winds. She’ll tell you she loves you not on a phone and maybe not in person, but she will write you the most dazzling love letter you’ve ever received.

From their low maintenance demeanor to the “big picture” way their minds work, introverts truly make the best friends. You’ll have them for life.  They will always love you.  They may screen your calls until they can handle the chatter, but they will always be there for you.  What more could a friend ask for?

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Snark

On Mother’s Day, give her the gift she can take with her

I was in my early twenties and single. Mother’s Day had rolled around that year and I found myself broke, with no gift for my mom.  Growing up, my family was poor so store-bought gifts were not something we really did.  I remembered Mother’s Days from when I was a kid, handing over crafts I’d made in school to give her as gifts.  One particularly nice one was a leather key chain that I punched shapes into and then painted.  Others were just malformed pinch-pots painted crazy colors, hideous things.  I was not yet a mother, so the beauty of those pathetic little dishes was lost on me.  All I knew was there was no time to make her anything of any significance that would be worthy of Mother’s Day.

I remember it was a bright, sunny day, the perfect weather.  I woke up early and decided that, even though I had my money earmarked for bills, I was going to use it to buy my mother flowers for her special day.  Flowers weren’t something my mother ever got.  I drove down to the florist and waited in line behind all the other procrastinators.  As I stood I thought about what I’d buy her.  Roses?  No.  I surely didn’t have enough money for those.  Carnations?  No.  I wasn’t sure she’d like them.  She lived in an apartment where she got little sun exposure so potted plants were out.

That’s when a great idea occurred to me.  I’d buy her fake flowers.  She wouldn’t have to commit to keeping them alive and, frugal as I was, she would be able to enjoy this gift of flowers forever.  I puffed up my chest and turned to the fake flower section.  I spied the most beautiful silk, pink peonies I’d ever seen.  They came in a huge bundle.  I kept my eyes on those peonies, worried that some other person would steal my idea and get them before me.

When my turn at the counter came, I told the clerk which flowers I wanted.  She looked at me with this sad look in her eyes.  I thought it must be horrible working customer service in a flower shop on Mother’s Day morning.  It was very packed, customers snatching up everything that wasn’t nailed down.  Her misery would end soon, I thought.

She brought me the peonies and I was dismayed to see that they came in a truly plain, bordering on ugly, green pot.  To make matters worse, the pot had two big spikes on the bottom.  I thought, How are these things ever going to stand up?  No matter.  Mom and I would fix it.  We’d just pop those spikes off with a pair of pliers so they’d stand nicely on her dining table.  I handed over my cash and left the store.

I drove to her place with my chest puffed up, proud that I got the most beautiful flowers for my mom and she could keep them forever.  They lay on my passenger seat, unable to stand because of those darn spikes.  So filled with pride was I that it never occurred to me to spend any time thinking about the significance of those spikes.

Mom buzzed me in to her complex and I rode the elevator to her floor.  I spent my time waiting really observing those flowers.  They truly didn’t look fake.  They were very pretty and I was convinced that she would love them.  As I walked down the hall to her door a sneaking feeling began to creep into my spine.  My head started adding the plain green pot and the two peculiar spikes together.  As I knocked on her door, I swiftly hid the flowers behind my back.

Oh, no! I thought, and burst into tears.

My mom answered the door to a runny-nosed, sobbing mess of a daughter.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

Unable to speak, I slowly pulled the flowers from behind my back and handed them to her.

She looked at them with a confused expression.

“Are these for me?”

I nodded.

“Um, Miranda, you do know that these are flowers one normally places on a grave, right?”

“I do now!” I wailed.

She pulled me close and hugged me.  And laughed a great belly laugh.

“I’m so sorry,” I said.

“It’s okay,” she said.  “I can at least say that I got to enjoy my funeral flowers while I was still alive.”  She laughed again.

I was still crying, but I giggled, too.

I went inside and explained the whole story to my mom, who did not successfully stifle one bit of laughter the whole way through.  I apologized a million times, so embarrassed that I would do such a stupid thing.

Later, as I lay in bed and replayed my awful choices in my head, a thought occurred to me.  My mother had always told us that we should never be attached to the material things in life because you can’t take your stuff along for the ride.  I had somehow managed to prove her wrong.  I gave her the gift that Mother’s Day that she really could take with her.  So, top that, daughters everywhere.

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Parenting, Snark

From the Tooth Fairy: No Elf on the damn shelf

My kids missed it.  The whole Elf on a Shelf craze missed us.  I’m not sure how, but, man oh man, am I ever glad it did.

I’m no Scrooge.  I’m all for whatever makes Christmas jolly and bright for kids.  I just have commitment issues.  One lie per event is all I can easily juggle, and even that’s up for some heavy debate.

You see, I can handle the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, but the second we stray from just those two I totally lose it.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s talk Tooth Fairy.

I am a horrible, terrible, no good Tooth Fairy.

First off, I’ve kept all my kids’ teeth.  Somewhere.  There are oodles of Ziploc bags around my house with teeth in them.  Should I die alone in my home and the police have to investigate, let this testimonial stand as the reason they shouldn’t consider me a serial killer of children who keeps their teeth as trophies.  They are only the tossed off teeth of my offspring.

Second, I never have cash on hand.  I’m a debit card kind of girl.  Cash on hand requires forethought, something I’ve never been really good at.

Third, my mind goes on vacation at bedtime.  I can count on one finger how many times I’ve remembered that I had a job to do when my kiddo was toothless, sleeping and dreaming of greenbacks for a tooth he outgrew.

Fourth, my lies grow and grow and grow until there’s just no controlling them.  The very first time I forgot, Jimmy came to me in tears.

“That rotten old Tooth Fairy forgot to give me money, Mama!”

“She did?”  Thoughts flew through my mind until the perfect lie formed. “Wait.  What day was yesterday?”

“Wednesday,” he said sniffling through tears.

“Oh!  Wednesday!  That’s why, baby.  See, the Tooth Fairy has to have another job to support this tooth habit of hers.  Wednesdays are the day that she works as a spy for the government.  Because she’s so small she can do lots of really important jobs that normal humans can’t, and they pay her very well.”

He looked at me for a moment, smiled and ran off to put his tooth back under his pillow.

The second time I forgot, it wasn’t a Wednesday.  As he went into the bathroom to do what we all do first thing in the morning, I scavenged a dollar from Jim’s wallet and tossed that sucker into his room just in time for him to open the door.

“Oh, my goodness,” I said, feeling my eyes bulge out of their lying sockets.

“What?” he said with a sniff.

“I think I saw something.  I’m not sure, but I think the Tooth Fairy was just here.”

He ran into his room and whooped and hollered.  “Man, she cut that close, Mama!”

Indeed.

As you can tell it’s a good thing that the Elf on the Shelf missed us.  I can’t even handle the occasional tooth falling out.  Can you imagine the pickle I’d be in if I had to hide a freaking elf every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas?  I’d have to make up some story about him being caught in a big snow storm or about him being kidnapped in a spy ring headed by the Tooth Fairy.  Somehow an Elf with a criminal record doesn’t sound so Christmasy.

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Parenting, Snark

Stay Away From My Baby, Shark Girls!

I have a teenage son.  He is all about his friends and girls and hanging out and talking on the phone and staying away from “YOU PEOPLE,” his term of endearment for his dad and I.  Evidently, we’re not as cool as we think we are.

I’ve been feeling a little more Mama Bear lately than normal.  It all comes down to girls.  I know I used to be one, but these modern girls…boy howdy!  I have the desire to grab their jaws and force their mouths open just to prove that they have several rows of teeth.  I’m convinced they are sharks.  They certainly seem to be circling my precious baby and I sense blood in the water.Stay away from my baby!

He plays things close to the vest.  He never lets me in too far.  I’m left to my own devices and have to embrace my inner Secret Squirrel to learn any facts going on in his life.  It’s not too hard, if I’m being honest.  He is a boy.  Boys are LOUD by nature.  I can usually get the gist of the current teenage drama while cleaning the bathroom as he talks on the phone in his room.  (Yeah.  My toilet sparkles.  What of it?)

You see, I’ve discovered that there is at least one girl in his circle of friends who is playing games.  She’s canceling plans without having the decency to call.  She’s playing boys against one another.  She’s using boys who like her simply BECAUSE they like her.  She’s getting my hackles up, is what she’s doing.

I tried the diplomatic approach.  I sat my teen down and had a little talk.

“Jimmy,” I said, “be careful.  Some girls are not as nice as they seem.”

With all the doubt afforded a 14-year-old who is assured that I, an adult, know absolutely nothing, he says, “Yes, mother.”

“I’m serious.  There are some out there–and I am not insinuating that you know any–BUT there are some out there who will use a boy just because she knows he likes her.”

“Yes, mother.”

Then I went to Jim.

“She’s doing it,” I said pacing the floor.

“She who is doing what?” he said, clicking away on some zombie game on the computer.

“Oh, you KNOW who.  She’s messing with my baby.”

“Miranda, calm down.  This is normal teenage bullshit.  It’ll pass.”

Astounded at his cavalier attitude, I stopped and planted my hands firmly on my hips, “HOW can you sit there and say it will pass?  She’s going to hurt him!  I can see it coming a mile away!”

“Yes.  And it’s a tough lesson he has to learn.  Let him.  Stay out of it.”

With a huff because I know he’s right, I sat on the couch and leafed through a magazine.

Jimmy came downstairs and began complaining that his knee was hurting.  I called the doctor and made an appointment since this was the third time he’d complained and I wasn’t sure it was nothing.

I carted him off to his appointment and I was quiet, trying my hardest to let him have his space, to reign in Mama Bear and Secret Squirrel.

When the doctor examined him she said it was likely just growing pains.  Jimmy is a pretty tall kid for his age and it seems he’s just getting taller faster.

“It’s all right,” she said.  “Girls like tall boys.”

I just wanted to crawl under the exam table until……

“But, listen here, young man.  Girls are sharks and don’t you forget it.  They will hurt you the first chance they get.  Don’t believe them when they say they’re on the pill.  Don’t believe them when they say they are virgins and you won’t get anything from them.  This body is YOURS.  Your mom worked hard to make it, you take extra good care of it.”

He blushed, smiled and said, “Yes, ma’am.”

“I’m serious.  They tried that crap with my son and I told him for years to watch out.  The last thing you need is a case of the cooties that won’t EVER go away, or a baby you can’t afford, or a broken heart that you don’t want.  Use your head out there.”

He blushed again and nodded.

As he went to the truck without me, I lagged behind.  Once he was out of ear shot I said, “Thank you so much for saying that!”

“Oh, don’t worry.  I tell every boy who comes through here the same thing.  I modify it a bit for the girls, but they get their version, too.  I know they don’t listen to moms and dads.”

Then I did something I never do.  I hugged her.

I backed off my toilet scrubbing for a whole week after that.

And now there’s three new girls on the scene….

I’m feeling the need for a Morocco Mole of my own.  Who can keep track of all these sharks?

Want to hear more about my challenges in mothering two boys?  Buy my book Lemonade and Holy Stuff.  Available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Tell me about your challenges in parenting hormonal teens in the comments below!  Also, follow me @MirandaGargasz or on Facebook at Miranda Gargasz, Writer.

 

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