Monthly Archives: March 2015

Corina and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day is a great book and very popular in our household.

While reading it to my kids the other night I wondered how it would read if it was written about a whiney mom instead of a whiney kid so I thought I would give it a shot:

My husband and I had too much wine last night and, of-course, the boy woke up at 5 am. He usually wakes up at 8.

The boy and I came quietly downstairs to let the husband and girl sleep. Within 10 minutes he threw his breakfast on the floor to protest something, I spilled my coffee all over the sofa and he threw his toy car at my head while I was changing his diaper.

I think I need stitches.

I could tell it was going to be a Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day.

When the girl woke up, she and the boy had an argument over the ipad. The boy, eager to end the argument took the ipad and, as if in slow motion, threw it on the hard tile of the kitchen floor.

He just stood there victorious, like a football player who just scored the winning touchdown. I was definitely on the losing team.

With the ipad dead, am I now responsible for entertaining the children?

I think I’ll move to Australia. The wine there is very good.

My ipod died while I was running (yes I still use an ipod). I can’t run without music and I was in the zone too. I had to stop running. I’m pretty sure I gained five pounds overnight. How is that even possible?

I went to the dentist for a cleaning and she said I needed a root canal and I should try to schedule it as soon as possible. How much free time do these people think I have?

I said no worries; I will find a new dentist in Australia.

I picked up the girl from school and her homework was a project that no 5 year-old can do. I wish her teachers would stop giving me homework. I want to complain but I’m afraid I’ll get in trouble.

Both kids dumped all their snacks in my car and fought over a stupid old toy that has probably been unnoticed in the car for six months.

florence drawing2
I told them I was having a bad day. They didn’t care.

At the supermarket the boy threw a full-blown tantrum and everyone was staring and judging. Clearly there were no parents there.

It was a Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad day.

At bath time they both acted as if they were possessed, because that is part of EVERY child’s s job description; and they got me soaked and I am cold because I live in Chicago and it has been snowing for months. It doesn’t snow in Australia, right?

At bedtime they wanted to read 3 stories and none of them were stories that I like and were way too long. Apparently they are too old for Goodnight Moon. But I like Goodnight Moon and love the old lady whispering hush. I bet kids in Australia do as well.

After being tormented for what felt like an eternity (or 45 agonizing minutes) I kissed their beautiful faces and came downstairs happy that this terrible, horrible no good very bad day was finally over and opened a bottle of Clarendon Hills –an Australian wine because market research is key before one moves to a new country.

I sighed and told the husband that this was just a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. He smiled sympathetically.

After I finished my first glass of wine I started looking at the kids’ pictures on my phone – they are pretty cute.

I guess I could take them with me to Australia.

Turning 40 – what social media taught me about midlife crisis

I recently turned 40 along with many of my friends. This disturbing trend started a couple of years ago and, thanks to social media, I have been witnessing the various ways people deal with their midlife crises.

A great number of them have been fundraising for some race or another for example. I have contributed to a number of good causes (from cancer to autism) for friends’ 10k runs, marathons and triathlons. While I am happy to do it, a part of me wonders if I am effectively financing their midlife crises.

What happened to the good old days? Call me old-fashioned but I think the only person paying for one’s midlife crisis should be their partner. I think mine should pay for my new boobs.

In addition to trying to outrun middle-age (I currently average 40 miles per week), I have identified a few other categories thanks to facebook:

The narcissist
Facilitated by facebook this person has checked into more gyms, restaurants and events in a few months than during their entire social media presence. They may have a new look and are constantly posting pictures of themselves online because they look amazing (because of all that running) and they want the whole world to know. Caption for the pictures and on-line presence should read “fuck you 40! I still got it! (and I am looking for validation)”

The thrill seeker
This person admits to having a “death wish” and will try anything to challenge death from sky-diving and base-jumping to cliff-jumping and body-boarding and a lot of other extreme activities that I know very little about. If you ask me, excessive drinking and smoking would be a much more fun way to challenge death.

In denial
“Life begins at 40” is this person’s favourite mantra. What exactly begins at 40? mammograms and colonoscopies that’s what. I recently received a pretty brochure from my insurance company outlining all the things that could kill me now that I’m 40, all in a nice, easily digestible graph with appealing colours.

So if you ask me “deniers”, if anything begins at 40 it’s not life, it’s a countdown- just ask your doctor.

There are, I’m sure, many other ways people are dealing with entering middle age; more private ways (wink wink) , perhaps somewhat reflective or analytical and even slightly more depressing. Thankfully, those ways are not posted on facebook or twitter very often.

Regardless of the way we each choose to deal with this, however, there is one thing that most middle-age, middle-class people will agree on: at least we can afford better wine.

The mommy bubble, a bubble like any other


  • I am well versed in princess talk. I can name most, if not all princesses, and I use words like “coronation” and “magic’ almost on a daily basis


  • One cold winter day I had an entire conversation via text with someone quoting only lines from the movie “Frozen” (and that was a 38-year-old dad not a 7-year-old girl)


  • If I tell someone to let something go I am shocked when they don’t immediately break into song.


  • I have used the term “rogue poop” literally on more than one occasion.


  • I recognise most theme songs to popular cartoons and I often wonder where the fuck are Dora the Explorer’s parents? I mean that girl is running all over town with a monkey!


  • I know that most kids love to play family and argue over who gets to be the mommy – which is the opposite of most adults I know who wish they took a break from “playing family” and especially “playing mommy.”


  • I have spent considerable time “looking into” birthday venues and party favours when my own wedding took place at city hall and was followed by small lunch for nine of our closest family members.


  • I can’t remember the last time I went to the bathroom by myself


I expect most people to know what I’ve been talking about so far, but I suspect only a small percentage does- maybe 5- 10%?

I am a full-time mom of two children 5 and under. I love it and hate it but have come to accept that this will be my “bubble” for a while, a microcosm in which other moms of small children also reside. Those other moms may be very different than me but they know what I’m talking about and unlike everyone else will not be disgusted by “rogue poop’ incidents. Sharing these things with people outside the” bubble” is, of-course, embarrassing and will only be met with disgust and judgement.

This new bubble that I am in is not really that different to previous bubbles I inhabited. When I worked in science communications, for example, I assumed that everyone knew that the whole MMR controversy was just plain silliness (tragically they don’t) and that all well respected scientists had Rock-Star status for everyone- which (sadly for the scientists) they don’t.

So really, we are not all that different than the guy who watches too much porn. Just like we (the ones who live in the mommy bubble) expect everyone to start singing “do you want to build a snowman” every time it snows the porn guy expects everyone to want to have sex when he walks into a copy room.

He doesn’t know that out of all the people who walk into a copy room only about 3% are there to have sex. 92% are there to make legitimate copies and 5% just want to sit on the copier so they can make copies of their ass.

I wonder what that 5% bubble is like.