Bedtime Update

It’s been a week since I vowed to be more focused with Lil Ma’s bedtime routine, and I wish that I could say that we were farther along.

I’ve been much better about watching the time, so we’ve started winding down 30 minutes before lights out. PJs and story time generally go without incident. But, she still cries for a few minutes after I put her in bed.

The easiest thing would be for Hubby to take over. She actually dives into bed when he’s on the night shift. Unfortunately, his work schedule doesn’t allow for full-time goodnight duty.

So Lil Ma and I have to figure this out. Wish me luck.

What are your tips for making bedtime go smoothly?


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Mom vs. Dad: The Bedtime Routine

The kids’ bedtime routine goes one of two ways.

Option 1: Lil Ma and Daddy put on PJs, read two stories, and sing a song. Daddy then places the kid in her crib. Lil Ma grabs her lovie, snuggles under the covers, and starts to snore almost immediately.

Daddy then tells Mini Me to go to bed. She gets up, kisses him goodnight, and runs to her room.

Option 2: Lil Ma and Mommy put on PJs, read two stories, and sing a song. Mommy then places the kid in her crib. Lil Ma grabs her lovie, stands up with arms outstretched, and screams at the top of her lungs. Mommy tiptoes out of the room, hoping that Lil Ma will settle down soon, which happens after a few minutes.

Mommy then tells Mini Me to got to bed. She falls dramatically to the floor and asks if she can stay up “just a little longer.”

I’d like to say that the girls act this way because they like me better and want to spend more time with me. The truth is they know they can get over on me every once in a while, especially when I’m distracted. On nights like that, I sometimes miss our bedtime mark by nearly half an hour.

Hubby, however, is focused. He’s not trying to throw another load of clothes in the wash or send a quick work email. My guy also is not a sucker for theatrics. I get caught up in their antics more often than I should. I swear these kids are honing their skills for Hollywood.

This week, I have promised myself to stay focused. I will be the Teflon Mom — none of their tricks will stick to me!

You don’t believe it? Yeah, me neither.

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Mom Guilt: Soccer


My soon-to-be fourth grader reads at an eighth-grade level, which is a simultaneous blessing and curse.

This past spring, Mini Me brought home a flier advertising soccer camp. I used to be able hide these multicolored sheets before she saw them. I miss those days sometimes.

“I’d like to go,” she said after reading every word aloud.

In her entire nine-year existence, I don’t remember Mini Me ever saying the word soccer, much less expressing interest in the sport.

Camp ran from 6 – 7:30 p.m. for four days at the end of June. It was $20, and participants got a Tshirt. That all sounded good. The bad news was my work day ended at 5:30 p.m. Factor in a couple of traffic jams and pickups at two separate childcare facilities, and that meant we couldn’t get to camp before 6:45.  Hubby was on the road during that time, so soccer camp was a no-go. I delivered the bad news.

Mini Me burst into tears before I could finish the sentence.

“I just want to know how to play,” she wailed. “Whenever we play soccer in gym class, my team loses because of me. I can only kick the ball a couple of inches.” She fell onto my bed and upped the volume on her cries.

I immediately felt guilty. I knew she was overstating things. I didn’t believe for a second anyone in her class could bend it like Beckham. But this seemed important to her, and I couldn’t deliver. I don’t think it’s the job of a parent to give kids everything they want, but Mom Guilt can be very strong. It’s the sinking feeling that you somehow are failing your children and causing irreparable damage to their fragile psyches.

I couldn’t shake the guilt this time, so I figured it out. My dad had reduced summer hours at work, and he agreed to pick up Lil Ma from daycare. I left my job early those four days and got Mini Me to camp on time. She enjoyed the experience but thankfully decided she doesn’t want to join a league. She did, however, did ask for a soccer ball so she play in the yard with her sister. I told her to save her allowance.

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Did You Just Call Me Dear?

Ever since a parking garage attendant called me “babe,” I’ve been more aware of the way I’m treated by perfect strangers. My conversation with Mr. Golf Cart was not the first time I’ve been on the receiving end of such foolishness, but that day, it really got to me. I just think I’ve had enough. I’m no longer in the mood to tolerate the absence of common courtesy in our daily interactions.

This attitude resurfaced during a conversation with an auto mechanic. My license plates were set to expire, and as usual, I waited until the last minute to get an inspection. My go-to auto shop was booked Friday morning, so I placed a call to an alternative.

“Yes, dear?” The man who answered sounded tired and annoyed. He followed his greeting with a slight sigh.

“Um, hello?” I checked the number on my phone, thinking I perhaps had misdialed.

“Yeah, this is Joe at XYZ mechanic. There’s something else?”

I was totally baffled. “We’ve never talked before, and did you just call me ‘dear’?”

Joe cleared his throat.

“Oh, ma’am, I’m sorry. I saw your number on the ID, and it was from the same company as the person I just talked to. Lisa something? Weird to get two calls from the same place, huh?” He chuckled nervously.


I don’t know Lisa Something, and I don’t know what’s wrong with her car. What I do know is the call she had with Joe about it was not significant enough to move her status from customer to buddy. They are not on a nickname basis.

He would have been better off saying he thought I was his wife calling back.

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Who the $%^&* You Calling Babe?

Note: I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and forgot to hit publish. Enjoy!


Tuesday was painful for a number of reasons. First of all, it was Tuesday, and I wished it were Friday. Second, it was rainy and humid. My new hairstyle doesn’t do well in that atmosphere. Third, I’d been covering for a coworker who was on vacation, and every project he’d ever touched since he started working for the company needed attention.

My evening perked up for a brief moment when I attended a networking event. I ran into some old friends and potentially made some new ones.

But the exit ruined it. The receptionist handed me a validation ticket for the parking garage.

Her instructions were simple. “Make sure you give this and your original ticket to the parking attendant.” Unfortunately, there was no attendant in the booth when I got there. I had to use a payment machine. It requested my parking ticket, which was unreadable.

After about 10 failed attempts, complete with flashing red error messages, I looked in my rearview mirror. There were at least 20 cars behind me. I put my car in reverse. Tired and embarrased, I moved too quickly. That’s when I heard the scraping of my side bumper against a concrete rail.

“Fantastic,” I muttered through gritted teeth as I waved appreciation to the driver who let me make a U-turn back to the parking area. The security guard for the building led me to a neighboring parking area, where an attendant made a call and assured me that someone would be waiting at my exit to raise the gate.

By the time I got back to my car, heat and humidity had taken their toll. I was tried and sticky. My feet hurt. My hair was half frizzy and half straight, which amounted to a whole mess.

There was a man reclining in a golf cart near the exit by the time I got there. I took a deep breath, set aside my bad mood, and rolled down the window.

‘Excuse me, sir, are you the person who is going to let me out?” I think I even managed a smile.

“Naw babe, I’m not here to let you out. You’re supposed to use the machine.” He pointed to the dreaded payment box.

Babe? WTF? For a second, I questioned if the heat caused me to hallucinate, but I knew it didn’t. I dropped my pleasant demeanor immediately.

After a long, tense dialogue that included a scowl, a nose flair, and a neck roll (all by me, of course), Mr. Golf Cart got on his walkie talkie to ask for assistance. The voice on the other end told him to raise the gate.

“Ma’am, I’m really sorry,” he said as he pulled an access card from his pocket and waved it in front of the gate.

I wanted to run him over.

By that point, I was no longer mad about the parking cards, my fuzzy hair, or even the scape on my car, which I’m sure only can be removed for the equivalent of two house notes. These things happen.

I was mad about the babe. Why did this dude think it was ok to call me that?
We’d never met. And, last time I checked, babe was not part of my legal name.

Sadly, this was not the first time this happened, and it probably won’t be the last.

Perfect strangers have called me baby, honey, sweetie, and shorty. Two guys once addressed me as “sexy lady” until they saw my pregnant belly. They then quickly apologized and told me to have a blessed day.

What’s worse is when women who stand up for themselves become the villains. When I was in college, a man waiting with me at a bus stop started asking me a zillion questions. I asked him to leave me alone. He got angry, and said that a pretty girl like me shouldn’t be so mean. Onlookers nodded in agreement.

Am I supposed to be flattered? I’m not. I’m annoyed. For some random person to call me anything other than ma’am or miss is totally unacceptable. I shouldn’t have to worry about how to respectfully exit these situations when I’m the one being disrespected.

I wonder if Mr. Golf Cart would have been more helpful if I had called him shorty?

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