Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Witching Hour

Early mornings have a beautiful quality of calm in our house. Before we get up and moving, the girls come in and we have a family cuddle. Everybody is warm and sleepy and entangled in each other. I breathe in the smell of their heads and think about what a Golden Moment this is. I love them with all my heart. I love them so much, it hurts.

Then we start getting ready for school. It’s not as bad as it used to be; there is a checklist, and they move through pretty quickly. (This would be because I leave at 8:00 in the morning, whether they are ready or not. They run down the street, backpacks swaying, sobbing “Mommy – WAIT!” Very mean. Very effective.)

THEN, there is the 3 p.m. pick-up. A little discussion about the day, what color heels the first grade teacher was wearing, playground activities etc. Then we begin the afternoon witching hour.

You know the hour:
The 10-year old has to tell me she forgot to take her comprehension test, coupled with red face, head thrown down on desk and wailing.
Do your Home work!
Practice the Piano!
OMG - have you washed your hands in the last week? (Ewww)
Soccer gear! I don't know where your shin guards are. They aren't my shin guards to keep track off.
No don't put ON your jazz shoes, just FIND your jazz shoes.
Why does it have to take 45 minutes to take a shower? You are very tiny. Hurry Up!

It is the worst part of my day. The day when those beautiful little morning cuddle bugs come home. I call it the witching hour. When Mommy becomes a . . . witch.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Singing in the Rain - NOT

Fuck, the sun is out. I woke up this morning and it wasn’t raining. Now that should be a good thing, to have a little break before the next storm rolls in. I’m just upset cuz it means I have to walk my kids to school. Part of the charm of our neighborhood, is that we live 4 blocks from school and get to walk. We take the dogs; my friend ChihuahuaMom and her dog come along too. It is a ritual, a routine. It keeps my kids active (now that they have cut PE to one hour a week in our district), and it keeps me moving, which is good. I hate to move. Moving hurts. But I am a Big Mama, so moving is "beneficial". But this morning I am so tired, so fucking tired. My day ahead is a long one of work and doctors appointments. So the thought of “suiting up” in walking clothes and shoes, getting leashes, sunscreen (after all, it is Palm Springs), hat, sunglasses, do you have your lunch? Do you have your backpack? Do you have your book? Don’t forget your goddamn homework. Oh Honey, you're right - I meant gosh darn. No, you’re right. I’m sorry. Let’s go. Let’s go. Let’s go. Yeah, I wish it was still raining this morning. That means their dad would drive them to school. Would it be too much to ask all of you to do a rain dance for me? Seriously, I just need a sprinkle.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Can Hear You

There are some distinct advantages to being an older mom. Okay, maybe one distinct advantage: more economic security. Not total economic security. This economy sucks ass for everyone but undertakers. However, we have a business we have poured our hearts and souls into for many years. Things were going great, and then we thought: what the hell, let’s have kids.

So less economic insecurity is a good thing. Just about everything else about being an older mom is sheer, unadulterated hell.

There is the fact that my body is old, tired, (been kinda sick) and more worn out. So I don’t run with my kids. (Please, if anyone tells me about their 78 year old grandma who runs marathons, I’ll find a way to come over and bitch slap you.) And it isn’t just physical. I have all the “Grouchy Grandpa” symptoms. The background noise they make is painful to my ears. I can’t stand it when they interrupt me when I’m working on the computer. (Okay, or maybe Tweeting on the computer.) And don't ask me to get down on the ground to play trains with you!

Emotionally, let’s just say menopause plus young children is a recipe for Temper Tantrum Disaster. And by “Temper Tantrum” I mean my own. I have no patience, I snap all the time, and, at times, I’m a slapper. I hate it when I slap, but the red rage of impatience flames over me and there you go.

And really, how long can it take to “run back to your room and get a sweater”? I often scream out: “I’m having another birthday waiting for you! You don’t want Mommy to have too many more birthdays!”

My children are accustomed to running through the house to grab a magazine, newspaper, or miraculously enough, a fan and start waving it at the first signs of a hot flash (the red face, the clutching at my clothes as though they are bathed in acid, the swearing). And then they GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Something else. I am not tiny and fresh and pretty like so many of the other moms at the local elementary school. I have a second chin starting to give birth to a third chin, I have a big flat but and a belly like fucking Santa Claus. I have age spots, crows feet and those motherfucking little wrinkle lines around my lips. Oh, and here’s something I bet you don’t know. My goddamned nose is bigger than it used to be, and ahem, it was NEVER SMALL.

Frankly, it hurts to look like the Grandmas at my daughters’ elementary school. One day when my little Glowie ran out of the gates, screaming “Mama, Mama, Mama” with her arms outstretched, the woman next to me said, under her breathe, “Mama??? What’s that girl saying? Mama???” I turned to this woman, who was wearing bedroom slippers-the fluffy kind, and said: “I CAN HEAR YOU. I AM STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU AND I CAN HEAR YOU.”

That is the part of being a vain, older mom that totally sucks. Looking my age (and Dammit, I look GOOD, but I do look my age) just sometimes feels bad.

So if you are going to talk smack about me, then please do what I do – Get a Twitter account. Or start your own fucking blog about that cranky old chick with the two young daughters. You know, the one with the SUPRISINGLY GOOD HEARING! Cuz remember, I may look like somebody’s grandma, but I can still FUCKING HEAR YOU!

Friday, January 22, 2010

What the fuck am I doing on Twitter? Oh, having the time of my life.

There is a philosophy that people on Twitter have “no life”. I beg to differ. Twitter makes my hectic, intense life richer. You know, like caffeine. So fuck you and take that.

Now that I have achieved the goal 1000 followers (and I can rest on my ass) I have Twitter tips.

There was a price to pay to build 1000 followers in 3 months (one at a time, no viral marketing). I reduced my interaction time with my husband and children. I stopped socializing with people I really enjoyed. I watched less TV. And I loved every minute of it.

Here’s how I did it. (Oh, and I didn’t even have a blog. I do now. Please check out .)

1) Tweet your ass off. The more you tweet, the more followers you will have.

2) Check your Twittername on the right. That’s how you know if people are retweeting you, or mentioning you or even better, saying something to you in response to one of your tweets. (Hey, I didn’t know this at first!) This is the most fun part when I sit down to tweet, to see if anyone is responding to a prior comment.

3) When you are ready to turn in for the night, or head out for your day (unless of course your day is spent in front of the computer) make sure you have a “good” tweet up. I know, but some of the stuff I say is very stupid. Maybe more than some . . . Remember when you show up on a list of “followers” or “following” on a Twitter list, all someone sees is your name, pic and YOUR LATEST TWEET!
a. BTW, you can delete a Tweet. So if you say something incredibly idiotic you can go in and TAKE IT BACK. Unlike life.

4) Have a narrative. I want a story, not links to things you are selling. Have a personality. If I look at your profile and I don’t see that, I’m not following you. You bore me. (Now you can be selling something and still say interesting things in between sales pitches.)
a. Retweets - Only Retweet if it is really special, personal or funny. Remember, retweets don’t make a narrative.
b. Quotes – Quotes just suck. Unless they are important to your narrative, or exceptional, don’t do it.
c. You narrative can be Mommies, Sports, Football, Politics, Real Estate or everything wrapped together.

5) I don’t use Tweetdeck or anything else. I use old fashioned Twitter. (And yes, we still have a VCR somewhere in our house.) Maybe I should stop, but as long as I do, I select certain people to have their tweets come to my phone. Out of the 1000 people I follow, maybe 10 come to my phone. This allows me to really understand someone’s story, who they are and what they are trying to say. (If they suck, I just click them OFF.) Then I am “tuned in” to them, and can interact with them, using “mention”, accordingly. This really facilitates building a relationship.

6) Speaking of interacting, this is the most fun part of Twitter. I watched the Golden Globes with a group of very funny women online. Comments on fashion and stupidity made the viewing process fun. Everyone I saw, I would “mention” their name with a comment. The whole time I was checking my Twitter name to see who had responded to me. That kept the conversation going. With all that chatter, I picked up another dozen followers. And I already have several dates to Tweet the Academy Awards. (My husband loves watching football on Sunday with other Twitter fans, cuz God knows, I don't give a shit about watching the game with him.)

7) Remove those who don’t follow back, especially if they are boring. Give them a week, or so but unless they are adding something to your conversation in your news feed, get rid of them! The ultimate goal is to have more followers than you are following. This is very good for people who are needy and seek external validation.

8) Search and follow. Go into the people who are the most interesting and follow whomever they are following. Check out who has them “listed”. Then follow all those people.

9) Save your Direct Messages for things that are personal, embarrassing or don’t add to your narrative. But wherever possible, use “Mention” and get that person’s name out there. (As well as your own.)

10)You decide – Your real name or not. Your real photo or an icon. To swear or not to swear. (I have found swearing ups my number of follows.)

My current favorite Mommy tweeters: @Renegademoms , @Mommywantsvodka @PS_Nanny, @MiddleAgedMomma, @Ieatmykidzsnack @Mommyisdating

@Madfashionista stands in a category all her own. But if you like fashion and fashion commentary, she's your girl. (She gets the whole "Fat Chic" thing too.)

@KirstieAlley Hey, you may not love her, but she is a brilliant example of an ongoing Twitter narrative, and she is surprisingly candid and funny.

Business people who really know how to tell a story: @LeslieBriskman @Taxgirl, @Taxes007

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Real World

The other day, someone told me to get out of cyber space and come back into the Real World. You know, the world where SHE is living. She is hardly the first to have said this to me, (and she did apologize) but, hey, it was a zinger.

You know the drill. In The Real World, where people are TOO BUSY to be bothered with “that waste of time”. In The Real World, where the kids aren’t at home and life has a different rhythm. You know, The Real World – where certain things are evil. Like Twitter. Not Facebook (no – everyone uses FB to connect with their “friends”). Not email (that is so 1999 and therefore, OK). No, the Evil “cyber world” would be the computer I use to do my work at home, so I can take my kids to school and pick them up, but still contribute to our family business. (All be it, in my jammies or stinky sweat clothes.) It would be the fact that I get joy out of connecting with other like-minded mommies out there (okay, by like-minded I mean a bit angry, truly profane, emeshed in all the pain-in-the-ass work of day to day Mommying).

I have two school age kids who think their hands would fall off if they were ever to pick up after themselves, a business to run, two people in my family have health issues and a constant sense that there is NO FUCKING TIME.

AND if I did have time, I would not get out of my stinky clothes I wore to walk the kids to school to spend it in THE REAL WORLD. The only Real World I’m interested in would be this: I would grab my Kindle and sit outside in the yummy Palm Springs sun and read. Or I would hook up with some other Mommies in Evil Cyber Space and feel connected in a really delicious way. Or I would watch an episode of Tabatha's Salon Takeover or Real Housewives (I don't care which one - they are all riveting to me.)

Someday I may live in her Real World, the lonely one without a large, crazy-ass cyber space, slightly dysfunctional family community. But for now, give me my Twitter Moms, Rabid Politicos, Fashion Mavens, Mommy Bloggers and a rare hour or two to myself. Because that’s pretty damned real to me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First Blog Ever or aka . . . I'm such a pussy

I am such a pussy. I listen to all these people talking about their blogs. I follow the links to blogs on Twitter. And I feel bitter. And afraid. Because I’m a pussy.

I have been too afraid to start. Cuz I won’t be as good, as authentic, as heartfelt, as fucking funny as the other bloggers. Some are beautiful writers. How can I compete with that? (Isn’t it cute how I think people other than my family and closest friends are actually going to be reading this?)

Here’s the deal: I’m great to have at parties. One, I get liquored up pretty quickly, and two, I tell a great story. But getting that story out of my mouth, when there is a martini in my hand, and onto the computer is ridiculously painful.

Why am I doing it? If I suck so bad? Because I have a fucking opinion about everything. And THAT, My Dears, is only fun if other people are listening. Which means: I need you.

I have things to share. About your shoes, your politics, your sexual orientation. And stories to tell. About my shoes (fabulous), my politics (liberal, fuck you Fox News) and my husband (a God among men, who is sometimes a moron).

And btw, why aren’t you following me on Twitter. Dude, don’t be a pussy.