Never Go To A Restaurant Hungry

Never go to a restaurant hungry. That’s my advice to mothers with toddlers. Because the arrival of food to the table is a universal signal to toddlers that it is time to go potty. I get to admire the food on my plate, but never get more than one forkful in my mouth.

As the waiter set down the plates, my toddler stood up in his booster seat and told the whole restaurant that he had to go potty. My husband and I stared at each other and after 3 rounds of rock-paper-scissors, I was on my way. While I walked, my toddler danced and waved at everyone. I looked back longingly at my still warm food, knowing I would never see it at that temperature again.

Upon entering the bathroom, the fun began. He didn’t need to potty. He needed to inspect the entire area. Was there a soap dispenser? What color was the soap? Are there paper towels and can he reach them? And he giggled with glee when he realized there was a hand dryer that he could reach. His hands, face, and hair got thoroughly windblown along with a blast of air up the front of his shirt.

Once I dragged him away from the dryer, he noticed the colorful tile on the floor and began to count them. This was made more difficult because he can only count to four. And, if the number of floor tiles didn’t achieve a multiple of four, something must be horribly wrong.

Before leaving, I had to wash his hands due to the fact he had touched everything in sight. This should be an Olympic event. I had to balance on one leg, place my child on my bent knee, and try to reach his short little arms and hands to the faucet. The only thing achieved was I got splashed and my child remained completely dry. Why!? I think the answer must require some geometry class I never passed in school.

At our table, I got back just in time to see my husband lay his fork down, and wipe his mouth. With my toddler back in his seat, eating cold chicken strips, I noticed I was irritated. Not because I had to take my child to the bathroom, and not because his scissors won over my paper, but because My Plate Was Gone! It was somewhere in the back of the restaurant with the dishwasher, never to be seen by me again. As I raised my forehead from the tabletop, the waiter asked if I would like dessert. Exasperated, I replied: “No thanks, I just came for the bread sticks.”


Video Games for Women

I don’t play video games. I don’t think I’m in the game maker’s demographics. They generally don’t create games for a 40-something-year-old wife and mommy. But I have a get rich quick scheme to make games that would appeal to people like me. We have a certain type of skill set that the average video game maker just doesn’t understand.

First of all, women in my demographic don’t play video games because we feel like we are wasting valuable time. This overwhelming feeling that we should be doing something else hangs over our head daily. It will be hard to convince women to forget their responsibilities and play games. So these new games should come complete with silk pajamas and a box of chocolates. Alternate gold plated, premium editions will have coupons for maid services to be used while gaming. All video games for women should be timed – I noticed the games men play are all project driven. All women’s games should have a timer ticking down to ultimate destruction, we are used to a life trying to beat the clock before total mayhem erupts.

A wonderful game for the beginning woman gamer might be picking out an ensemble with appropriate high heels, skirt, blazer, and matching handbag. All within 5 minutes, of course, or your avatar watches a bus pass outside her “window” and your avatar loses her secretarial job. Bonus points are awarded for matching the right color lipstick to your avatar’s outfit. Or throwing a banana in a brown paper bag for her lunch.

Another wonderful game would have your avatar at the supermarket – the object of this game would be to buy a weeks worth of food for a family of four.  Your avatar will dodge stock boys dropping canned goods and church “friends” chasing you to have conversations. In the front of the shopping cart a baby will be crying for a bottle. All meals for 7 days would have to be bought – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You must stay within an $83.62 budget and finish in 45 minutes or the avatar baby in the front of your cart will cry and then throw-up on you. I guarantee many women gamers would find this pathetically easy and require an alternate harder version with birthday party planning and possible pharmacy item pick-up.

First, I need a 15 year old computer programming boy. Done – I have that. Next I need a few days worth of pizza and maybe even a bag or two of Skittles. Check and check – I have them, too. Now I just need to steal his cell phone and get his attention.


Conversations in the Bathroom

A friend told me some employers have in-depth conversations with employees through the walls of bathroom stalls. Maybe business is discussed and problems are solved. At home, nothing good can come from a conversation held between a closed and locked bathroom door. I don’t understand why my family can’t get it. I’m in the bathroom. The Bathroom! THE BATHROOM PLEASE! Give up. Go away! STOP! CEASE! DESIST!

I’m convinced the end of the world will happen while I’m “indisposed.” Everything else does.


“I know that can’t be you, Jamie. Because you’re in bed.”

“But I have to tell you something.”

“No, you don’t.”



“I have an itchy foot.”

“Go to bed.”

“Will you cover me up and watch me sleep?”

“I always do.”


“I know that can’t be you, Nathan. Because you’re in bed.”


“What, what, what!”

“I can’t remember if I brushed my teeth.”

“Please don’t put me through this.”

“Through what?”

“Imagining myself alone on a tropical island.”

“Je-whiz, Mom.”


“Just take a book with you to the bathroom, like everyone else does.”

“Goodnight, please!”


I notice my children never bother my husband while he is in the bathroom. I can’t figure it out. My theory is that he has worked diligently to convince them he doesn’t know where anything is in our house. Or maybe he has sent them to Mom too many times. I’m jealous. He has a place he can go and have solitude, even if it is the bathroom.

I recently told my husband, “I can’t go to the bathroom by myself anymore. Apparently, it takes a village.”

He laughed and said, “You need a panic room.”

Now I dream of a panic room. Not to protect myself from burglars but to lock myself away from my tantrum throwing children. What else can I do to bring peace to my world? I dream of a place where I can sit and be enveloped in quiet. And maybe drink a cup of coffee while listening to nothing. No complaining, no screaming, no “he did this,” no “she did that,” just wonderful serenity. I wouldn’t even mind having to stare at cans of baked beans as long as it’s quiet.

A Member of the Club

Statistics say that only 1-2% of the worldwide population is redheaded. Being a redhead automatically makes you a member of an elite club. Nobody else around you knows about the club, but when you encounter another redhead you both smile or wink or nod. You never miss another fellow redhead when they walk into the room.

Geneticists say every person with red hair is distantly related to everyone else with red hair. I’m happy to think my family tree includes Prince Harry, but also somewhere dangling off a tree branch is CarrotTop.

It makes me understand all the problems the Duchess of York has had. Redheaded people have a reputation for being unusual and eccentric. It must be true. Marrying a prince but then angering a queen – sounds like my life.

I remember going through several stages in my life. When I was very young, strangers would tell me I must be the “little red-haired girl” that Charlie Brown was in love with. Later, with much shorter hair, I was constantly mistaken for Molly Ringwald. As a, shall we say, mature woman, I’ve recently been afraid I would be mistaken for Kathy Griffin. Lately I see that won’t happen due to the fact that she is surgically morphing into someone else. I think she is on a path to eventually look like Joan Rivers. And Joan will eventually look like Phyllis Diller. Isn’t Hollywood wonderful? They really do “create” stars. (For those of you too young, please Google Phyllis Diller.)

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to watch Lucille Ball on TV. What an incredible comedian she was! I was convinced that I was adopted. Lucy and Desi must have had their hands full creating a television dynasty and couldn’t take care of me. I also loved watching the Queen of Technicolor, Maureen O’Hara in any movie she was in. She made me want to own my redheadedness. No one on cinema was ever so beautiful. So much of my life, I was sad to have the hair color I had. Then later these women made me proud and happy to be so different.

I have been mercilessly insulted many times in my life solely due to my hair color. Before I had kids, my husband and I loved to go to the comedy clubs. When you have red hair you can never hide in a crowd. One night, a comedian yelled directly at me, “That’s not the color of your hair – redheads simply have their brains rusting.” As an example, he pointed at me and demanded that I name the five Great Lakes. I did not remember them then, but now I can say them in my sleep.

I even had a man flirt with me in a store once. And say, “You’re really pretty for a red-head.” I felt insulted for me and all of my fellow club members. I shot back, “And for an idiot you’re not that smart.”

I’m convinced my husband married me due to his infatuation with Batgirl from the old Batman TV show in the 1960s. I’ve tried repeatedly to make him understand that Batgirl wore a red wig. Somehow to him it doesn’t matter. She is still the sexy redheaded crime fighter. Hopefully he is happy to have a funny, silly, redheaded writer that doesn’t need a wig to be wonderful.