Kid’s Art Stash in Trash For Cash: Mothers Abash!y


clothesline-artLocal investigators uncovered a major fraud in the world of preschool art last week when it was discovered that a group of elite housewives/mothers bribed their local garbage collector to set up a simulated art museum in the back of a manicure shop. The desperate women generously tipped the city employee weekly for transporting their children’s finger-paintings and paper-mâché trinket boxes into the makeshift gallery each and every time they tossed these lovingly crafted projects into the trash.

Oscar Krouch, city sanitation department employee for over twenty-three years stated, “At first I thought it was a sweet idea. Mothers wanting to make their children feel special. I was all for it.” Pulling out an ugly green finger-knit scarf, he continued, “Then I realized it was just old-fashioned maternal guilt. Imagine throwing away everything your precious kids bring home from school, but not wanting your conscience to bother you. For shame!”

During an interview with the mothers in question, Yolanda, mother of three (who prefers not to give her last name) claimed it all started with good intentions. “During our weekly coffee klatch at Lisa’s house, we noticed her refrigerator bursting at its Sub-Zero seams with scotch-taped rainbow construction paper because stainless steel fridges aren’t magnetic, ya know? Nothing hanging on those doors matched her mid-century décor and she already tried discreetly tossing these projects after a couple of weeks of prominent display, but her only child Leonardo threw a tremendous fit.”fridge

“I can relate to that,” interrupts Brandi, mother of Salvador and Vincent, ages 3 and 5. “I even resorted to Martha Stewart’s time consuming suggestion to take digital pictures of everything before discarding, but my kids wailed, ‘How could you really love us if you’re capable of throwing out things we’ve made with our very own two little hands?’ Our house was being overrun because the Montessori PTA insists on tons of enrichment. I could wallpaper three of my larger walk-in closets with the amount of stuff they were bringing home.”

The mastermind of the entire charade was Kim, (mother of Pablo, Georgia and Andy) who conjured up the clever ruse after a desperate moment during a particularly fruitful Mother’s Day. “A pretend art museum was the perfect solution — a win/win for everybody involved. The children could visit their craft projects once a month during our family day. And Oscar Krouch isn’t so innocent in all of this. He confided that becoming an art curator made him feel important, especially because his own mother always admonished that if he didn’t go to college, all he would ever amount to was a garbage-man.”

In a strange twist, the plot thickened (just like a kindergartener’s poorly executed oil-painting) when Krouch decided to open the “gallery” to the general public, taking in thousands of dollars selling the wayward kiddie knickknacks.

Krouch justified, “I noticed on my garbage route that certain trash cans were consistently filled with store bought birthday or Valentine’s Day cards, machine stamped candles, and placemats made in China. Nothing looked homemade and it dawned on me that some mothers don’t have little artists to deluge them with paintings. Instead they gave birth to mini-athletes or nerds who prefer Bill Nye the Science Guy. I felt bad for these macaroni ornament deprived moms who seemed to yearn for some amateur holiday art to hang in their windows.”LoadmasterElite

Indeed Krouch charged $20 for simple Crayola family sketches, but it was the personal work like the toddler-traced handprints turned into turkeys that fetched huge sums before Thanksgiving. “Believe it or not, mothers couldn’t throw away their little darling’s glittery pinecone art fast enough to satisfy the demand I was seeing from these art-starved moms for Christmas,” added Krouch.

None of this would have come to light if human nature didn’t run its typical course of greed. About a month ago Eileen, mother of Matisse, gleefully threw an entire Nordstrom’s bag full of her son’s art away, never realizing there was a dormant masterpiece lying within. “It was just a sloppy purple sharpie outline of a sprig of grapes I had packed in his Antman lunch box that morning. Not even organic fruit. Suddenly I see the same drawing featured on the 10:00 news with our neighbor’s sports obsessed son identified as the artist. I realized this dishonest mother had purchased my Mattise’s grape portrait from our garbage man, then claimed her son doodled it during a timeout on the ball field. A boy who had never clasped anything in his hands but a football his entire life!”

What does Krouch, the shrewd trashman turned art-curator have to say about this unpredictable turn of events? “I think it’s a classic case of sour grapes. Or possibly The Grapes of Wrath. And you know what they say – One Mom’s Trash is Another Mom’s Treasure.”

Mr. Krouch, are you sure you didn’t go to college??

Little Miss Menopause Reporting. 

(Inspiration credit for this piece goes to one of my favorite bloggers, The Underground Writer, the expert on news story parodies.  Check out one of hers right HERE! )

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Who’s Watching the Kids??

This couple isn't getting divorced. They're arguing over who should inherit their kids.

This couple isn’t getting divorced. They’re arguing over who should inherit their kids.

Being Jewish, the only Godmother I ever actually knew was obsessed with pumpkins, mice, the stroke of midnight, and pranced around singing Bippity Boppety Boo. However I saw a lot of my non-Jewish friends give careful consideration to selecting godparents when their babies were born. I breathed a sigh of relief that we wouldn’t have to choose anyone.

Fast forward to a time when we grasped our own mortality and hired an attorney to draw up our living trust. Interesting that it’s called a LIVING trust and yet they force you to think about DYING.

My husband thought we should choose his mother. And by “mother” I mean “the woman who took a razor to our newborn baby’s head so her hair would grow in thicker and then sought a wet nurse because she was convinced I couldn’t breastfeed properly.” My own mother (upon hearing the possibility that my mother-in-law was in the running) stormed into a fit of jealously just thinking about having to make an appointment to see her own grandchildren with someone who went out of her way to wear an all-white mother-of-the-groom dress at my wedding. “Who does she think she is? Snow White?” Clearly neither grandmother was a good choice.

We moved on to siblings. My husband and I both wrote down the qualifications we thought made our sisters outstanding candidates. Each list had the exact same number of positive attributes, which got us nowhere. At my suggestion, we next jotted down both ladies’ faults so we could pick the lesser of the two evils. (Hi Sis….I love you!)

My Sister

  • Still eats Capt. Crunch cereal.
  • Wears nylons.
  • Wears open-toe heels with those nylons.
  • Saw Star Wars 23 times.

His Sister

  • Shaves her head.
  • Became a wet nurse.
  • Wears white to compete with brides at their wedding.

Hmmmm, understand our dilemma? Also understand his genetics?

Seeing as there wasn’t anyone waving their arms madly while shouting, “pick me, pick me!” we began to weed through our friends. It soon became apparent we were going to need to offer really good “incentives.” That’s a nice way of saying our kids were so bratty, it required bribing our mere acquaintances to please accept this profound responsibility. Even my beautician asked if we’d throw in a lifetime supply of latex gloves along with inheriting our 5-bedroom home? Apparently henna stains are unsightly. I consoled myself thinking my daughter would have perfectly manicured nails for her Bat Mitzvah.

What was happening? This was crazy thinking! What were the odds that something bad would happen to both of us at the same time? We could board separate airplanes. He hates to fly with me anyhow because I leave deep fingernail grooves (the non-manicured kind!) in his arms during scary turbulence.

It was settled. We wouldn’t choose legal guardians because the plan is to live forever. As an extra measure of security however, I have an idea. I’ll buy our daughter a red curly wig and teach her to belt out, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!”

Surely Daddy Warbucks doesn’t wear nylons, isn’t a wet-nurse and won’t need a pay-off.

How did you choose guardians in case something happens to you??

My Boarder Got a Court Order To Sentence Me as a Hoarder!

I've heard of a bouquet of pink Daisies, but this is ridiculous!

I’ve heard of a bouquet of pink Daisies, but this is ridiculous!

I have a female roommate in a spare room in my home (who is also a blogger) and she posted this image of razors from my own bathroom! Imagine my surprise when I told her to delete it or I might sue her for slander (not to mention invasion of privacy!) and she simply smiled and handed me a subpoena to appear before a judge at an official Hoarder trial.

Me!? A person who defines herself first and foremost as a Sentimentalist, now forced to defend myself from Hoarder charges?!  Unthinkable.

I needed witnesses. My six children would certainly help me during my desperate time of need.

Eldest Son:  I don’t know, Mom. Remember when the “Got Junk?” truck parked in our driveway and you told the man, “Everything in this house is absolutely necessary and has a distinct purpose. But you can take my ex-husband.”

Me: That doesn’t make me a hoarder. That makes me clever.

Middle Son: What about the huge stack of Hoarder Self-Help books on your desk?

Daughter: What desk? Mom has a desk?

Me: Never mind, young lady. I’ll have you all know that’s not hoarding, that’s being a collector. Like the stamp collection you had at age five, sweetheart.

Middle Son: Which you still have. Along with all our other Firsts. Our first pair of real pants, shirts, dresses, pajamas, bathing suits, little hats and ties — even our first diapers.

Me: Have you ever tried to have a used diaper bronzed?

Youngest Son: (reluctantly) Okay Mom, we’ll be your star witnesses and tell the jury you’re not a Messy Mom, but actually just a Memory-Maker Mother. But when the judge yells, “Order in the court” I promise I’m gonna shout back, “Why should it be any different here than in our house?”

Me:  Good kids!

On the day of my trial, I carried an armful of evidence. Nineteen very heavy 200-page photo albums bursting with pictures of children’s various school artwork, (which Martha Stewart advised was a good way to capture the memory so I could toss all those ceramic ashtrays and toothpick sculptures in actual garbage pails) so that had to count for something, right? Of course my youngest daughter creatively decoupaged all our garbage pails, so I saved all 8 of them, along with all the contents inside.

My roommate took the stand and proceeded to use the 1950’s movie “The Blob” as an analogy for living with me, “The Slob.”

Roommate: . . . and her mess slowly takes over the entire house, consuming everything in its wake like a grotesque gelatinous monster. One time the family searched high and low for their passports for a trip to Mexico. May I submit . . .

Judge: This isn’t 50 Shades of Grey.

Roommate: I meant may I submit exhibit A? Her file cabinet for important documents looks like this.

FullSizeRender (7)

Roommate: Nobody found what they needed to fly to Acapulco so the poor kids had to hang up a bunch of piñatas (which she still had in her garage from a Mexican themed party) make some guacamole, and shout “Olé!” instead. Even if they located their passports, I doubt they could even find their front door to leave!

Judge: Alright Miss, err what’s your full name?

Roommate:  Fig. Fig Ment

Judge: That’s an odd name. Alright Miss Ment, I’ve heard enough from you. You may step down. We’ll bring Miss Menopause up to the stand to explain why she would have so many pink razors in the first place, which was the original issue at hand.

Me: It’s very simple, Your Honor. It’s plainly just a case of being an environmentalist AND having high self-esteem.

Judge: Fascinating. Go on.

Me: After I shave my legs, I have every intention of throwing the razor away, but then I read the package and it says, “Reusable two or three times.” So to be more green, I save it in a special container. But the next week when I go to shave my legs, I reach for the old razor and think, “I’m 51 years old, I’ve raised 6 kids, I’ve published on The Huffington Post. Don’t I deserve a fresh new razor?” And so it goes each time.

Roommate: For cryin’ out loud — They’re made to be “throwaways!” After a couple of weeks, how come the defendant doesn’t ever throw her “special” container away???!!!!

Judge: No talking out of turn. Order in the court!!

I immediately look at my youngest son, but he wisely remains silent.

Judge: (kindly) Little Miss Menopause, I had a mother just like you. Neurotic. Collected all our soap scraps and sewed them inside washcloths to save guests a step in washing their hands. You may leave the stand. We’ll hear from your roommate again about what she was doing in your bathroom in the first place. Very suspicious since she has her own bathroom!

Roommate: I had to use her bathroom because I accidentally used too much toilet paper and clogged my toilet.

Judge: Did you blog about that as well?

Roommate: Yes.

Judge: I’ve made my decision. Miss Menopause is nothing more than a sweet Memory-Making Mother, so she can go free. But you, Miss Fig Ment, are a Toilet Paper Hogger Clogger Blogger. And that’s a crime I cannot overlook!

Middle Son: But my mother doesn’t even have a roommate! She’s just a Fig Ment of her imagination.

Oldest Daughter:  Yeah, we’re sorry to have wasted your time. Our mother is a writer and has a wild imagination. We think she just feels bad because she’s a horrible housekeeper, so she made this whole thing up.

Judge: Then the court rules that your mother is guilty of having a Guilty Conscience. And that’s punishment enough. Go home and help your mother clean the house, kids.  Next case!

Thank goodness nobody told His Honor that he was also just a fabrication of my mind because I’ve had writer’s block for weeks now!

Gee Mom, You’re NOT What I Ordered!

Do NOT choose me if you throw your clothes on the floor, kid!

Do NOT choose me if you throw your clothes on the floor, kid!

Many people believe that before conception, babies are actually able to pick out exactly which mother they would like to be born to. There must be a catalogue of some sort that the “man upstairs” presents them with so they can make an educated choice.

In honor of Mother’s Day coming up soon, I’d like to share just a partial glimpse with you now:

 Mommy Menu

(New selections added every Sunday)

Mommy #6,035 – A frugal female but a good cook so you won’t go hungry. After weaning you from the breast, (at age 4) she’ll whip up culinary masterpieces with a bottle of hot sauce, cupcake sprinkles and some beef jerky, which she purchased with expired coupons. Quick tempered, won’t put up with unmade beds, smart mouths, or even pierced ears. But you’ll never hear, “Because I said so.” Currently single, but actively looking for a husband – so please like adventure. Note: Must buy own car and pay for college with this model of mother.

Mommy #27,686,235 – You’ll have four older siblings and always be considered “the oops” baby. She’s endearingly “scatterbrained” which is a nice way of saying you better have an affinity for cold chicken nuggets, Halloween costumes that are actually old sports uniforms, and be able to do your laundry at age six. Make that four. She’ll beg you to arrange your own carpool to and from baseball practice. (Uses the term “carpool” loosely since she’ll regularly forget when it’s her turn to drive.) Learn to be ultra polite so her more “together” friends will feel sorry for you and step in to help. There’s a Mother Code for that. Bonus: Your older brother is totally cool and makes the high school swim team which means you’ll always have a pool in your backyard!

Mommy # 18,633 – Control freaks unite. You’ll be a homebirth, your cord blood will be banked, she’ll grind her own baby food, and color code the Legos. Also nobody touches you without wearing full scrubs and mask. And this is at your Bar Mitzvah. Your house will be spotless and she might even sterilize your tallywhacker before you masturbate. When you’re 17, she’ll have a nervous breakdown and repetitively utter the mantra, “Always secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” She’ll make the perfect scapegoat when you’re in therapy for the rest of your life.

Mommy #312 – You’ll hit the jackpot with self-help books when you’re raised by this version of Mama. Postpartum depression, binge-eater, germaphobe, co-dependent, OCD, emotional intensity disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, histrionic personality disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, reactive attachment disorder, arachnophobia, and fear of flying. Plus she’ll start a blog about motherhood, which she’ll title, “Does This Straight Jacket Make Me Look Fat?”

Mommy # 318,206 — This one has the perfect nanny all interviewed so she’s ready to go back to her legal career in six weeks. But if you’re a real charmer, she’s gonna feel guilty and you just may snag yourself a full-time, super smart mother who will ask you to cite statutes and precedents when you ask for cookies and milk. Full Disclosure: She will constantly remind you what she gave up to raise you.

Mommy #1 – “The Perfect Mother.” Sorry, but this style is currently out of stock. Actually Perfect Mothers sat in the warehouse for thousands of years so they were all sent back to the factory. No baby ever requests a perfect mother because – – what’s the fun in that? Children are the best teachers and they just want a mommy who has open arms, heart, mind and soul. And a ton of LOVE to give, in return for all they’ll receive.

The Haunted House of Hormone Hell!

Enter at your own

Enter at your own risk!

In honor of October and upcoming Halloween, here’s a scary thought – – I have a teenage daughter.  PUBERTY.  That coexisting with MENOPAUSE is all I need say for you to envision the daily terror in my household.

When we mess up, we blame our own personal hormones. And when we’re angry, we get to scream and curse at each other’s hormones. I never realized how much hormones took their toll until a note sent from my 9-year-old son’s teacher read, “Desmond says he can’t finish homework because there’s too many “Hoarse-Moans” in his house?” Sounds like a good name if we formed a band, right?  Or we could simply have a decal on our drum ala “Josie & the Pussy Cats.”  Ours would say, “The Harmonious Hormone Hussies.”

Having a daughter’s puberty coinciding with your Menopause is bad enough, but with more of us putting off childbirth for careers, the collision of Mothering babies and toddlers with Menopause is as deafening as a train wreck. And not nearly as pretty. I call this category of women:

“The Stressed Breed Who Breast-Feed”

Is this mother Angry at her teen daughter or embarrassed she cannot remember her name?

Is this mother Angry at her teen daughter or just embarrassed she cannot remember her name?

So here’s some tips on how menopause and motherhood can actually work together in tandem, doing Double Duty in your life. But before you read on, make sure when greeting those darling Trick-or-Treaters, you hide your broomstick. Trust me, we’re frightening enough just as we are!

1.  Simultaneously read your child a book as you fan yourself with it.

2.  Snatch frozen teething rings from your baby’s mouth to wear as bracelets on the pulse points of your wrists during hot flashes.

3.  Rocking chairs and lullabies sooth temper tantrums…Yours!

4.  Two hot guys come into your family room every morning, never noticing your weight gain or gray hairs. Ernie & Burt! They’ll even serenade you their new song, “M is for Muffin Top.”

5.  Skip the park – – kids have more fun getting pushed around by your mood swings.

6.  Substitute Gerber’s jarred vanilla custard for cream in coffee.  Pureed peaches lighten facial hair, while diaper rash ointment will vanish cellulite.  Maybe that’s reversed?  Experiment!

7.  You now have something in common with your teens. They want to acquire your car to Drive and you want to acquire their Sex Drive.

8.  Empty containers of Nutella and Duncan Hines Butter Cream frosting make great sand toys. Empty containers of sardines or brussel sprouts – not so much.

9.  Earn brownie points and favors from husband when camouflaging your unshakable insomnia as “diligent motherly concern” by staying up till 2 am for daughter on prom night.

10.  Your mind is set free from all the clutter.  Relax in the evening as Brain Fog helps you blissfully unwind and forget how to help with 7th grade algebra homework. And who can remember that tomorrow you’re supposed to serve on jury duty followed by carpooling and dry-cleaning pick-up? Best of all, you’ll never recollect that this afternoon little Timmy broke the crystal vase your husband gave you for your anniversary. What vase? Do you even have a husband?? Ahh, life is good.

11.  Having both dependent young kids AND needy elderly parents, you can march into the nearest Subway restaurant demanding that oh so clever “Sandwich Generation” discount!

12.  At your kid’s school, create fundraisers for a new PTA — “Progesterone,Testosterone Activation.” Or start a Neighborhood Watch program where nearby households report all hormonally crazed mothers suspiciously roaming the streets.

13.  Your kids absolutely cannot accompany you on “Serenity Retreats” because they’re the ones you are retreating from!

14.  Keep plenty of oxygen masks around the house and always secure yours first before assisting younger children. If you don’t have real oxygen masks, teach your kids to recite this important airline metaphor like the Pledge of Allegiance.

15.  Head for a support group where they serve lots of wine and socialize with other menopausal moms who wander their own “Hall of Hormone Hell,” only to realize their “hall” is literally littered with Hot Wheels, Barbies, and Legos.  Watch those bare (wrinkled) feet!

You can't egg my house just cuz I ran out of candy.  Haven't you heard of binge-eating disorder???

You can’t egg my house just cuz I ran out of Snickers bars. Haven’t you heard of binge-eating disorder???