Grounded From Your Own Cellphone?!

1e90696ff70a925f211d2c9e5d1d2b32It happens every single time.  I confiscate my teens’ cellphones (completely warranted and justifiable for their wrongdoings, believe me!) when inevitably I hear their incredibly plaintive (although there’s nothing plain about these dramatic waterworks!) wailings, “This is a fate worse than death. Not fair! Adults NEVER get their cell phones taken away from them — even though they abuse the privilege constantly.”

Never say “NEVER,” kids!

The next time I ground my kids from their electronics, I include myself in the same disciplinary action. Mainly to prove how much it builds character, but also out of curiosity and determination that I can survive it too!

After our three cellphones commune together in a locked trunk, (plus our laptops, iPads, notebooks, Kindles etc. because if you’re gonna build character you might as well go for constructing a superhero!) I hand the only key to our friendly mailman, (don’t ask!) and decide to keep a diary.

LIFE WITHOUT A CELLPHONE 

Day 1 – Dear Diary, the first thing I’ve noticed is that I really miss carrying a chunky, firm, substantial object that weighs me down in a reassuring self-important kind of way. How to fix? Easy Peasy Verizon Easy! I’ll just substitute a nice, shiny, heavy stone inside my jacket’s zippered pouch. Voilà!

Day 2 – Because it’s just after the holidays, today all my girlfriends show off their sleek, new gleaming technology stocking-stuffers at coffee . . . “I got an iPhone 7!” “I got a Blackberry Passport!” “I got a Samsung Galaxy.” All eyes focus expectantly on me as I slowly extract a stone-age “device” from my coat pocket and bemoan, “I got a rock.” I’ll credit Charlie Brown later, when I’m not feeling so dejected.

Day 3 – Today I announced I was going without a cellphone indefinitely to some other mothers at the gym. “Oh but your poor, pathetic family. None of them will ever be able to get a hold of you now!” pointed out one frazzled mom on a treadmill, obviously trying to empathize with my dire plight. I gave her my “seriously?” look, then burst into hysterical laughter while maniacally rubbing my hands together and gleefully repeating, “Yes, yes, YES!”

Day 4 – Tonight I silently remind myself what a newfound sense of freedom I now have! Like a little tyrant, a cellphone just barges into the middle of everything — eating, sleeping, important conversations, blogging, sex, cleaning, jogging, cooking… “You don’t clean, jog, or cook!” shout my resentful children from the hallway. How could they have heard my thoughts, I wonder?  Then I realize — even though I don’t have a silver rectangular gadget to dictate into, (out of force of habit) I must still be unconsciously talking aloud to myself. “That’s right! You are!” they retort again. “You’re not our mother. You’re like a wacky, homeless person now.”

Day 5 – Today I have been informed that even a wacky, homeless person’s children would have cellphones.

Day 6 – I was right. This experience IS building character for me!  In fact TWO very well-rounded characters! Because I suddenly have a new story idea where the antagonist grounds the protagonist from using her cellphone, causing her to lose her pics, her appointments, her to-do list, her friends, her lover, her memories, her mind, and her life! It’s a Sci-Fi Porno. The only problem is I have nothing to write it on. Normally I type my good ideas inside the little yellow notepad icon on my homepage screen.

Day 7 – Ha! All you other people out there are getting brain tumors, crashing your cars while texting, being eavesdropped on by Big Brother, and getting blackmailed for sexting — while I sit here innocently relaxing and eating some healthy fruit. How many calories are in Sour Grapes anyhow?

Day 8 – I prop myself up on my elbows and stare begrudgingly at our family’s two pet parakeets, blithely Tweeting back and forth to each other.

Day 9 – Does Facebook ever send out a search party when people go missing in action? Maybe it’s gone past that point now. A Facebook Funeral! Complete with a newsfeed obituary, eulogy comments, and privacy options so my burial won’t be broadcast live or made public. Just please “Poke” me first, Facebook — to make absolutely sure I’m completely lifeless before sending me 6 feet under with a musically accompanied slideshow of the highlights of my Posting Years.

Day 10 – What am I thinking??  “There’s nothing I used to do on my cellphone that I cannot still do in real life!” I console myself by endlessly repeating this mantra. Where’s that old cork bulletin board in the garage?  Here it is!  I viciously stab it with pushpins, hanging up scores of photos carelessly ripped from home decorating magazines. Take that! And that! Who needs Pinterest??

Day 11 – Today I couldn’t recruit a single soul to play the boardgame, “Scrabble” with me at our kitchen table. I wonder if I’ve been automatically resigned from my “Words With Friends” opponents yet?

Day 18 – Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written an entry in here, but I’ve been busy searching for things to put together for a Cellphone Substitution Survival Kit which will replace almost everything my iPhone 6 used to do!  Turns out I’m gonna be just fine, thanks to the fact that I still own: a landline rotary phone, an answering machine, a typewriter, a radio, 3 wristwatches, a pedometer, a polaroid camera, a bank checkbook (with deposit slips!) a Rand McNally folded roadmap, local take-out restaurant menus, a kitchen timer, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a calculator, a flashlight, a calendar, a compass, a do-not-disturb sign, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, a cookbook, The Yellow Pages phonebook, and a tooth that’s blue — not to mention I have an obedient friend named Sari, which is close enough to Siri. The only thing I couldn’t recreate was having an object to put on “airplane mode.” Oh! And I still long for the sound and sensation of a gizmo that buzzes in my purse. However now that I think about it, I sense an even more enjoyable contraption to fill my “vibrating void” will be quickly (forth)coming. (Ahem, you didn’t just read that here on my G-rated blog!)

Day 19 – Today (and only for my poor, uncreative children’s sake, of course!) it’s finally time to put an end to this lifelong lesson and reclaim our cellphones. I triumphantly make the announcement and am immediately rewarded with lots of appreciative cheers. (The loudest of which are mine.) We all gather around the locked trunk to ceremoniously open it and retrieve our precious electronic “friends.”

Oh dear, I think to myself (but somehow my kids still hear me?) — our friendly mailman possesses the one and only key to our cellphone jail and he’s gone on vacation. We can’t even text or call him. That’s right, there’s only one way to reach a US Postal Service worker . . .

And to think I don’t even own a stamp, an envelope, or a pen to put in my Cellphone Survival Kit.

Dear Readers:  What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without using your cellphone? Disastrous or peaceful?

mail carrier delivering to mailbox

 

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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??

Sugar And Spice And My Gender Advice!

imagesA pregnant woman swallows a capsule shaped like a miniature smartphone. Through a special sensor, the gender of her unborn baby is accurately determined and the fetus texts its mommy saying, “Guess what? I’m a boy!!” Okay maybe not. But I’ve got some more realistic (though quirky!) ways for couples who are into this sort of thing. And apparently people are actually throwing lavish parties where they can find out what they’re having at the same time as their guests!  Please come pay me a visit as I list 10 unique ways to reveal the news and if you can leave a comment there instead of here (if it made you laugh, that is) it really helps me get more of my writing featured on these kind of websites.  Just click HERE to read me on the fabulous BLUNTmoms magazine!  Thank you and I’m back in California soon to visit all your amazing blogs!

ps.  If you’ve ever planned a Bar Mitzvah, attended one, or just wonder what the heck that is, I’ve done some humor with 13 tips on how NOT to plan one right HERE.

Difference Between 1st & 6th Child’s Baby Memory Book!

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Okay, okay I plead guilty to Baby Book Slacking!  But it was self-defense. Should we put mothers on trial for omitting crucial information from subsequent children’s baby books?  Wouldn’t the father be an accomplice?

So I got a little lazy?  Besides, who really ever reads these books anyhow? It’s not like they’re headed straight for the New York Times Best Yeller Seller list, are they?  Number six child is lucky she got any kind of handwritten documentation out of me at all.  She could’ve just had a copy of the below dog-eared book shoved in a keepsake box (or an empty Lucky Charms cereal carton) along with some loose teeth and a lock of hair. And it could’ve been the dog’s teeth and hair. Give me some credit!images (2)But just for the sheer fun of shaming me, let’s take a quick looksy at the differences, shall we?  Of course, the First page of all Baby Memory Books always starts off with the classic Family Tree. Important stuff!

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PAGE FROM FIRST CHILD’s BOOK!

Above is a beautiful specimen, sure to be treasured through the years.  But nothing beats the creativity of the sixth child’s Family Tree below.photo 1 (5)

As I further compare and contrast books — all information from First Child’s Baby Memory Book will be in Blue Font.  Whereas Sixth Child’s info (what little there is) will be in Pink Font. 

BABY’S NAME:  Benjamin       

SIGNIFICANCE OF NAME:  Your Dad and I bonded over watching actor, Benjamin Bratt in the television series, “Law & Order.”  On our honeymoon, we kissed in front of the Big Ben clock in London!

BABY’S NAME:  Lacey      

SIGNIFICANCE OF NAME:  I wanted to remember my favorite vintage blouse which got ruined when morning sickness made me vomit all over the Chantilly applique collar and sleeves. Tsk, Tsk!

HOW LABOR BEGAN:  – We were shopping for nursery furniture when I felt a mild twinge so we rushed to the hospital. The labor and delivery nurses thought we were so cute and sent us back home three different times until the pains came closer together.

HOW LABOR BEGAN:  At Disneyland, my water broke on Splash Mountain. Nobody would believe me. Your siblings insisted we stay for the Electrical Light Parade. Sitting curbside while writhing in pain, I was suddenly seized by a huge contraction which made me kick an extension cord out of an outlet. The entire park plunged into darkness.

THESE WONDERFUL INDIVIDUALS WERE PRESENT FOR YOUR BIRTH: Nana, Papa, Aunt Carol, Uncle Gary, Great Grandma Ethel, my wonderful obstetrician Dr. Pransky and of course, your Daddy!

THESE WONDERFUL INDIVIDUALS WERE PRESENT FOR YOUR BIRTH:  Pluto and a Dwarf. 

FAVORITE STUFFED ANIMAL:  A darling lavender poodle who sleeps in a doghouse on your dresser.

FAVORITE STUFFED ANIMAL:   A dust bunny who hangs out under your crib.

Time for Baby’s First Hand & Foot Prints.  Awww…. 

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Though not depicted below, 6th Baby does possess a complete set of Hands and Feet!  I thought leaving that to the imagination was a nice touch.

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Yes, 6th Baby WAS nicknamed SpongeBob SquareToes for quite some time.

YOUR FIRST SOLID FOOD:  Mashed banana, rice puree and strained spinach

YOUR FIRST SOLID FOOD:  A piece of What’s His Name’s  bean, rice, cheese and guacamole burrito, french fries, a diet coke. 

FIRST WORDS:  Mama, Dada, light, doggy, ball, cookie, more!

FIRST WORDS:  Help! Valium, postpartum depression, Crème Brûlée, Weight Watchers!

YOU BEGAN TO USE YOUR HANDS AT   6 months      THIS IS WHAT YOU DID:  You reached out tentatively for a colorful rattle shaped like a butterfly!

YOU BEGAN TO USE YOUR HANDS AT   2 years       THIS IS WHAT YOU DID:  You shoved a pen and this Baby Memory Book into my arms and looked expectantly into my eyes. 

Story time together is such a delight. Here are your favorite books and now they’re mine, too!

 Pat the Bunny         Green Eggs & Ham       Where The Wild Things Are!      If You Give A Mouse A Cookie!              

I’m so sick of these stupid books, I’ve taken creative license with the titles. Also, you’re getting more astute and have started wondering why every book consists of only two pages and then we chant triumphantly “The End!” Here’s your faves:

Splat The Bunny        Green Eggs & Scram        Where the Reviled Things Are!         If You think Your Mom is kooky!              

FIRST LULLABYE:  Rockabye Baby, I sing it to you in the rocking chair

FIRST ALIBI:  I couldn’t have sung to you because I became tone deaf. Plus we used the rocking chair for kindling wood during a family camp out.

FIRST OUTING:  We went to the park and you experienced your very first swing.             

FIRST SHOUTING:  You got to listen to your dad and I argue (over emptying the dishwasher) and experienced my first mood swing.               

And the Last Page always ends with such independence!

FIRST WALK:   You took three steps and we all applauded for you!   FIRST WAVED:  You’re off to preschool already – – turned and waved to me “Bye-bye!”  Good job! Where did all the time go??          

There were some “small time gaps” in Sixth Child’s book, but I DID finish the last page:

FIRST JOCK:  You’re a cheerleader now dating the high school quarterback!  FIRST SHAVED:  Your legs look smooth and silky. You’re off to college already?  “Bye-bye!”  Good job! Where did all the time go??