Category Archives: Mean Mommy’s Memoir

The boy and the doll (brother and sister superheroes) take on the world

tomato soup…

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Mr. L hasn’t been feeling very well, so his appetite is out the window. I placed his lunch in front of him and he said, “No thank you”. “Phil, you have to eat something…” I replied. “Okay, bring me something worth eating,” He replied. “If I bring you soup?” I asked. “I’ll eat soup…” He replied. Twenty minutes later, I reemerged from the kitchen carrying a small bowl of tomato soup–his favorite; placed it down in front of him and he said, “No thank you…”

What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

In all honesty, everything. Since we’ve been home from Disney, I’ve written four blogs, but have yet to publish them because they are mostly filled with me venting, less writing about my children. As a mean mommy, those blogs come across more as me being something more than mean and not necessarily a mommy.

So here I go again…

Our fifteen year old, unlikable Jack Russel Terrier, Dixie, has been making us suffer for going out of town last week. Though the dog tends to sleep most of the day, she wakes up, realizes she’s in her crate and begins to cry and bark until someone comes to let her out. “The trick is for her to fall asleep before we lock the crate,” He said at 1:30 this morning when her cries and barks were too hard to ignore. “She was asleep…” I replied with a groggy voice as I rolled over and he got out of bed.

This morning our doll said, “I tried my best to keep the dog from waking you up last night…” “She woke your dad and I up about 1:30 am,” I replied. “What? I went to bed about one… I had her outside several times. I think she’s senile and doesn’t recognize us anymore. Like she’s only following instinct to eat, go to the bathroom and find shelter. Except she’s not happy with her shelter anymore,” She explained. “Whatever she is, she’s a pain…” I said.

This morning I asked my hubby if she got much sleep after seeing to the dog’s need. “I did, about an hour and she was a good girl and did her business outside”. “Did you know she’d been outside more times between  11:30 and when you got up than all of yesterday?” I asked. “I thought I heard the doll trying to cajole her,” He replied adding, “She has to be asleep when you lock that crate…” “She was. She just enjoys torturing us,” I replied. “Maybe…” He said and the conversation came to a close.

Yep, the dog is exactly like tomato soup: an old favorite but not really wanted (especially in the middle of the night) at the moment.

Happy hack inside the Animal Kingdom

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Lunch w/Donald…

Yesterday my doll found the single greatest hack inside the Animal Kingdom at Disney, as we exited the Expedition Everest ride our first time. “Look mom, they have a single rider line…” she said pointing back toward the ride. We looked at each other and smiled-stashing away that little nugget of knowledge for later, when we could return and take advantage of that line–which we did two more times, once with the boy in tow. The doll was placed in the last car one of the times and delighted in telling us, that was the best car to be in. I don’t know, going on a roller coaster with out standing in a very long line period,  is the best, in my opinion. 

    But I digress…

    Ah yes, the Animal Kingdom–the park we routinely pick as our favorite from all the Disney theme parks. Why you ask? Because the Animal Kingdom is a walking zoo accented with beautiful sculptures, fun attractions and has an all around good vibe to it. In addition, where else can my brood of animals feel like they most belong?  

    One of the many bamboo stands


    Although, our first hour in the kingdom was not all fun and games. Surrounded by a mass of humanity, one wrong turn can mess up your plans. We had passes for the African Safari ride from 11:10-12:10 and were all headed in that direction, when the boy veered off thinking there were more animal exhibit trails. I followed him, so as not to lose him and the doll followed me for the same reason. When we reemerged on the main trail, we had lost Dad and Grammy. Believing we would all eventually meet at the safari ride we began walking in that direction, but when we arrived, no Grammy or Dad were found. “You two sit here…” I said to the kids and then began walking back toward the spot we lost them. No luck. When I returned to the kids, I tried calling and texting but somehow we were in the only dead spot in the park. “Let’s go on the ride…” I said, out of ideas. When we exited the ride, we found them, upset with us, going on the ride by themselves. Later we found we were within 20 feet of one another, at the entrance to the ride, yet blind.

    The boy asked for a window seat to presumably protect his sister from lions and other nefarious beasts…


    For the most part, the rest of the day we were able to stick together. Whether it was enjoying the many walking zoo trails, or the taking part in the tremendous buffet lunch at the Tusker House (where we also met so many iconic Disney characters) or when we rode the Expedition Everest roller coaster as single riders, we enjoyed the company of our little brood. Our night culminated by watching the Rivers of Light, a night time extravaganza that helped usher in the end of our extraordinary vacation to Disney. 

    Magic…

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    Souvenir shopping


    We came, we walked a little slower and we ate really good food. Yet, much as I feared, the Magic Kingdom no longer held the appeal it once had. The boy, who still can’t believe we’re here, didn’t really wasnt interested in going on many of the rides–he deemed they were for a younger audiance and the one ride my doll wanted to ride was broken down. So, much like the day before, we wandered through the crowds, entering every store they had looking for souvenirs instead. In addition, the crowds we were surprised not to find at the other two theme parks, we found here. 

    Smile for camera Grammy!


    After suffering from the heat, crowds and aching feet, hubby, boy and Grammy retired back to the resort, while the doll and I continued on. Two hours later though, we met back up for dinner at The Wave, inside the Contemporary Resort at Disney. Talk about a fancy joint and delicious joint! Then we returned to our cozy resort, where we rested our tires and aching feet, legs and joints (getting old sucks!).

    Today we’re off to the Animal Kingdom–my personal favorite place in Disney. Here’s hoping for my memory is correct and we’re all leave happier for the adventure. 

    Daddy’s little girl holding hands with him too…

    Oh our aching feet…

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    By the time we arrived at our resort room last night, we were almost crawling-due to the large amount of blisters forming on our feet. After taking over 20,000 steps in pursuit of walking around Epcot, who could blame our feet for revolting. 

    But we had fun-which is really what matters most…

    A rare moment my doll held my hand as we walked along…

    A glimpse of the very near future…


    Today we are about to embark on an adventure to the Magic Kingdom the place our kids loved the most the last time we were here. There’s no telling whether or not they’ll feel the same today, eight years later; but for our feet’s sake, I sure hope so. 

    I really do! 

    Mom is the greatest Easter basket hider ever–or so she believes…

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    My doll made the mistake of telling me how proficient she is at finding things–namely Easter baskets; the other night. Considering one year I hid her basket on the shower curtain rod and she was in tears fearing the Easter Bunny had forgotten her, until she took her shower before mass, I thought her challenging me wasn’t the smartest thing for her to do. 

    So when my kids finally went to bed (well after 1 am on Holy Saturday, I might add), I began to look around my house for the greatest hiding place ever… 

    and sighed. 

    My doll has an exceptional eye for detail. If I was going hide the basket well, I was going to have to do so in an extreme way. Mulling over my limited options, I began to doubt my ability at pulling this off. 

    But then genius struck! 

    At our house we have 5 different bird feeders, that offer an array of food–one of which contains shelled peanuts. On a recent trip to the Anderson’s we took advantage of their closing discounts and bought a 30 pound bag of peanuts. After successfully digging out a sufficient number of nuts, I placed the basket inside, then covered the basket back up with the removed peanuts. After snapping a photo of my handiwork, I went to bed, satisfied I had met my goal.

    Do you see the basket?

    Easter morning I was scolded by my son for not hiding his well–I put in his bedroom thinking it was in such plain sight he’d never notice–you know like dirty dishes in the sink. Apparently he found his immediately. His sister however,  had a much more difficult road to hoe. “I can’t believe I haven’t found it yet,” she lamented while I smiled. After thirty minutes she said, “Okay playing hot cold hot cold, how hot am I to it’s location?” “You’re warmish…” I replied. She moved to the right of the room , “Now?” “Coldish…” I said. She came back to the warmish area and paused for a moment, looked down at the bag of peanuts and said, “I can’t believe I didn’t notice earlier…” then began to dig out the basket. “Admit it doll…” I began, “Admit that I’m the greatest basket hider of all time!!” I chided. 

    “Mom, that won’t happen based upon where you hid my basket,” the boy butt in. “I’m not talking to you,” I said then returned my full attention back to my doll. “I’ll say you’re the greatest at making me clean up the mess…” She said as peanuts covered the floor due to her extraction. “Say it doll…” I tried again. “Doollll…???” I added. 

    “What do you want me to say?” She asked, trying to act obtuse. “That I am the best basket hider ever…” I reminded her. “Oh. Hmm. That…” She said and the pauses as if she had to overthink her response. “Well, you did a horrible job on the boy’s which clearly knocks you out of the beat basket hider’s ever category…” She began, and just as I was ready to object again she added, “But I have to admit, mine was hid really really well. Good job, Mom!” 

    Though she didn’t quite tell me I was the “best basket hider ever,” like I wanted to hear, she did offer me a pat on the back–which I gladly took. I mean heck, I got some acknowledgement of good from a petulant teenager which as most parents of teenage children know, is a victory unto itself. 

    Even though the rest of us know the real truth! 

    has the sky fallen down?

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    If you wanted to know the biggest difference between my kids, besides sex, my answer would be simple: the doll is organized whereas the boy flies by the seat of his pants.  That is to say, her mind likes to make lists and plans, whereas her brother would rather leave things to fate–and see what happens. But the other day, the boy said something curious to me, “Mom, I think I may be organized…” I gasped for a moment, wondering if this was indeed my boy, but the ensuing conversation clarified matters and yes indeed, this was still my boy.

    Over the last six months, my son wrote a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for his friends. This was his first foray into creating a “game” history along with the specialty powers each player would have. As an uninterested parent in the game Dungeons and Dragons, I didn’t quite understand everything he told me, when he began assembling his ideas for the campaign, but encouraged him anyway.  From what I understand, he wrote the background information and came up with all details and consequences which could occur for each character.  In addition, he consulted his friends on their characters and then wrote the background story for all of them; culminating with his friends gathering once a week at a local library or a friends house, to play said game.

    Last Saturday was their first meeting and playing of the game.

    “Whoa, mom, do you realize? This is the first time the boy will be meeting with “friends” outside of school?” His sister asked, proud of her brother, yet not enough to let that small dig go by. “Yes, and for a great reason,” The boy countered. Very excited that his hard work (reference: “Copious Time”) was coming together, he said, “All my planning is coming to fruition, I can actually say I’ve mastered the art of organization…”  “Wha?” I began, but he cut me off adding, “Wait, wait, I would ‘t say mastered…” He began, “We don’t want me to put the cart before the horse, it’s  more like…I’ve learned the value, but still not completely ordered…”He finished. “I know, how about saying you’re a work in progress?” I offered. “Yes, that’s it, I’m a work in progress at organizing and planning my time,” He said proudly and then laughed, “Actually, I’m still a novice”.

    “Baby steps buddy bay, baby steps…” I replied as he nodded in my direction..

    children young and old…

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    The boy had his mind made up… “I’m going to lunch with my Grandma,” He announced following mass. “No you’re not, we’re going shopping for clothes,” I said, noting the entire family was going and at last check he was still a member so… “I don’t need any, I’m good,” he argued. “Bay, you need shorts for the summer,” I countered. “No I don’t, I have some from last year!” He yelled then began foraging through his closet to prove his point. When he emerged, he wore a very tight pair of shorts that made me think he was sucking in his gut to make fit. “These barely fit you…” I remarked. “They’re fine,” He replied stubbornly. “Bay, I dare you to sit down and not lose a button…” I said and watched his face grow more annoyed by my chiding. “They’re fine mom!” He declared and exited the room. “Looking at his father I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Eh, he’s eighteen. Who am I to care when he realizes those shorts are too tight and he missed the chance to rectify the situation?” “Oh but he’ll complain hardy about them,” My husband replied. “…and I’ll ignore heartily as well…” I finished.

    *****

    You know your doll is growing up, when she no longer objects to your coming into the dressing room while she tries on bikinis. Of course this was after we chased her father out of the bathing suit area of the store. “You look like a stalker,” I remarked, as he leaned against a mirrored post watching as we, along with several other women of various ages, looked through the racks of suits. “What?” He replied. “Dad, oh my god, you are!” his daughter laughed. “How? I’m just waiting for you two…” He argued. “Go over and sit down in the shoe department,” I ordered, pointing in that direction. Instead he decided to really stalk, and walked very close to his daughter. “Dad…” She said laughing, “Michael!” I said a little louder, while trying not to laugh. “Whoa dad, she’s calling you by your full name…you must be in trouble–you stalker!” Our doll said to her father. “Fine, fine, fine… maybe I’ll go look at puppies instead…” He said offering a parting shot in her direction. “Dad, you are not allowed to see puppies without me…” He flashed a maniacal smile, turned then walked off toward the shoe department. Looking at me, my doll said, “He’s a brat!” I smiled and said, “Known that for 27 years and nothing has changed”.

    *****