Dear Snarky – I’m Being Shunned For Bringing Cupcakes to a School Party

Dear Snarky,

 I’m being shunned at my son’s elementary school due to having the “audacity” to bring mini chocolate cupcakes to the first grade Halloween party. I never received the link to the online sign up sheet for food and didn’t know that sweets were not allowed at the party. I only brought cupcakes because I didn’t want to show up empty handed.

 Now, the anti sugar Nazis are furious and suggesting that I’m a bad mother because I dared to bring a dessert to a Halloween party. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t Halloween all about the sugar? Now, I’ve been told by the two room moms that I’m not allowed to volunteer or sign up for any party duties for the reminder of the school year.

 I cannot express how angry this makes me. What course of action do you think I should take because this is total bull shit?

 Signed, Cupcake Mom

Dear Cupcake,

You have to pick your battles. Ask yourself are cupcakes the hill you want to die on? If your child is only in the first grade you have a L-O-N-G time to spend with these mothers.

This means you can do two things. One, not volunteer at the rest of the parties but absolutely show up for your son or two take a stand so these moms know not to mess with you for the next 12 years and lord help me but I’m leaning towards this one because these moms need to simmer the hell down and learn to reign in their control issues. Their kid’s elementary school is not their personal fiefdom. #getalife.

Admittedly you should make sure moving forward that you’re up-to-date on your emails, apps, etc related to school events but you shouldn’t have to cower in fear around these mothers or kiss up to them because you dared to walk into the school bearing cupcakes. This means one thing – go over their heads. Yep, talk to the teacher the real boss of the classroom.

Explain what happened, express your desire to help out and ask if there is anything the teacher needs assistance with. Then resist the urge to tell the two room moms where they can shove their “no volunteer” edict and focus on making your child’s first grade year wonderful.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

Dear Snarky – Pokemon Go Away

Pokemon-Go-Full-Google-Access.pngDear Snarky,

I have a friend who is now calling me a stalker. We both have boys who are 9  and do a lot together. A couple of days ago I texted her about taking our boys out and doing Pokemon Go. She told me that she was already doing Pokemon as a family “team building” activity which I thought sounded weird, but whatever. THEN when I’m out with my son I see her with some other moms from school and their boys playing Pokemon. I parked my car to join them and I heard the mom, that I thought was my friend, whisper stalker.

I’m hurt and angry for my son that he was left out of Pokemon Go and furious that I was called a stalker. Should I confront my friend about it?

Signed, Pokemom

Dear Pokemom,

First, I’m going to tell you what you want to hear. The mom who called you a stalker is a jerk. Now get ready for some hard truths. I’m afraid the problem might not be all  the other mom’s fault. I could be wrong here, but you seem awfully needy and I’m going to guess that possibly you’re more upset that you weren’t included than the fact that your son was left out. So ask yourself why did you feel the need to join up with a group when your friend had fibbed to keep you away? Why didn’t you just keep on driving and have a blast playing Pokemon Go with your son and be done with it?

Attention mothers everywhere you don’t have to do everything in groups. It’s okay and a lot of times preferable to enjoy your child’s company without a gaggle of other moms around. Think back to your childhood did your mom coordinate everything you did to such an extent that each outing was a like a mother/child mixer?

My advice is to get over being called a stalker. Yes it was mean, but who cares. This woman doesn’t sound worth you expending anymore energy on. The fact that you now know this is a blessing. You need to focus on appreciating the things you can control like spending one-on-one time with your kids and not worrying about what everyone else is doing.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky 21st Century Advice With an Attitude email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or leave me a private message on my Snarky Facebook page.

Dear Snarky – Telling Off a Not Pregnant Mom Who Parks in the Expectant Mother Spaces

Dear Snarky,Parking-Signs-43456S04STDNRA-lg

I need your help in dealing with a woman who never follows the rules. School pick up and drop off she’s just doing her own thing. Volunteering – maybe she’ll show up maybe she won’t. Trust me I could go on. Now, in what I perceive as the final straw, she’s parking all over town in the spots designated for “Moms to Be” or “Reserved for Expectant Mothers.”

 This woman is NOT pregnant. I took over a lasagna dinner when she got a hysterectomy two years ago and she’s able bodied. All you need to do is look at her car plastered with the 26.2 marathon stickers. I’m dying to say something to her, but want your advice on how to do it.

 Signed, Rule Follower

 Dear Rule,

Well, let’s look on the bright side at least she’s not parking in the handicap spaces – right? Okay, I know that didn’t make you feel any better. So, back to what to say to the “I’m so important I don’t have to follow the rules” Mom. My strategy is to go for the simple yet effective straight up calling her out about it.

 I’d walk up to her and ask her why she continually parks in the maternity spaces. So she can’t brush it off as a, “Oh, I only just did it this one time,” comment be sure you let her know you’ve seen her do it MANY times.

 Next, wait for her to give you a lame and/or hostile answer and then smile very sweetly  and reply, “Well, the only reason I felt compelled to say anything is that I worry about you. You know, because you never seem to grasp the concept of what rules are and how to follow them. I’m just making sure you’re okay.”

 And then walk away with your head held high secure in the knowledge that she knows that you know she’s an ass.

*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  Click here for Nook or here for Kobo. Here’s a little lookie loo.

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Wynn Butler is ready to kill her mother . . . oScreen Shot 2014-12-29 at 11.01.47 PMr at the very least demand she gets a psych evaluation and an MRI. On Wynn’s yearly pilgrimage to Trask, Texas, to visit her parents what she hoped would be a relaxing visit (not counting the family reunion which has all the charm of a zombie apocalypse) has turned into a Texas-sized, hot mess!

 Her 69-year-old mother Gwynn Crockett Martin has become an entrepreneur and opened up a cupcake bakery that seems to be doing double duty as a halfway house for economically battered Junior League dropouts.

 If that’s not enough to make Wynn want to turn tail and run home, her mom is hell bent on convincing her to “heed the call of Jesus” and come to the aid of a woman that made Wynn miserable in high school – Sara Beth Bishop. And by aid, Wynn’s mother means concoct a plan to exact epic revenge on Sara Beth’s lying, cheating, spray tanning, money stealing ex-husband and his new wife, snob-of-the-millennium, Yale Greenly.

 Things go from bad to worse when Wynn finds herself embroiled in a scheme that involves breaking and entering, theft, assault, livestock wrangling, killer mold, impersonating a maid, hair spray bomb fabrication and crashing the town’s poshest society event of the year – THE Mohair Palace Pageant. If Wynn can survive this visit home without doing time in the ER, jail, or both, it will be a miracle!

 Hang on to your hat and saddle up for a retribution rodeo or, as Wynn’s mom calls it . . . “justice served up Lone Star style.”

 

 

Back-to-School Night: The Teen Years

 

a1e412a1ac370de5ec9c05c9c068bd20There are three primary reasons I go to the high school back-to-school night. The main one is for visual evidence of what the school personnel looks like. So, when a child starts describing their teacher as the devil I can interject that I saw neither horns, cloven hoofs nor a tail when I sat in their classroom for ten minutes.

Another reason is to get an overview of what their day is like. I want to be able to look at my watch and know at 11 o’clock my daughter is in Spanish in the classroom with a view of a courtyard that needs a mega weed and feed application. I’m sure somewhere, in all those abundant and varied school fees I paid for my child to have the privilege of attending a public school, there was a line item for landscape beautification. At the very least the Booster Club should make a trip to Lowe’s.

The other, I’ll call it, lesser reason, I go is to people watch. My first order of business is to enjoy the beauty that is the administrative staff. I know, I have mentioned before, that the principal at the high school my children attend is gorgeous and the assistant principal is just as easy on the eyes. Were they GQ models before pursing a career in education? I’m thinking probably.

You should have seen the line of moms circling these two as they held court in the underclassman locker area. I, not wanting to be that obvious, (because you know talking about it in a blog is totally covert) stood back and took it all in from across the hall.

After that I proceeded to my daughter’s first class and was given a reality check that the more things change the more they stay the same. I went to sit down and was told by two women that the seat I was lowering myself into was being “saved for a friend.” Seriously, grown women are still “saving seats”? Say hello to me time traveling back 30 years and getting told to move from the cool kids lunch table. I, having taken a pledge, administered by my daughter, to “not embarrass her at back to school night” kept my mouth shut and found another seat but I did give them an audible sigh and what I thought was an impressive eye roll.

As the evening progressed I was amused by the parents that still haven’t learned back to school night is all about sitting down, shutting up, gazing at the wonder that is the teacher’s PowerPoint and then continuing on to the next class. This is not the forum to approach the teacher and sing the praises of your “gifted” cherub or, and this maybe my favorite moment of the evening, talk to the Spanish teacher in Spanish about your muy talented “niño.” Can you say show off?

No, I take that back, that wasn’t my favorite moment. My most favorite thing about back to school night is the mixed message you receive from almost every teacher. While they’re churning through their presentation they will tell you that your child must learn to “self advocate” and be “independent.” They said self advocate so much I began to believe they were get paid by some sort of for-profit self advocate alliance to shill for them.

Now, here’s where the mixed message comes in. As you are being told to let kids fend for themselves, to grow, to embrace emerging adulthood you are also given cutting edge tools to stalk their every move. There’s Parent Vue on the school website where you can find out everything from what your kid had for lunch down to the sodium consumption (okay, that’s a very slight exaggeration) to the grade they got on a PE homework assignment. Then there’s Edmodo, which I’m almost certain was set up by a joint task force of Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA. Here, you can creep on almost anything your kid does in class so much so it’s almost like your right there with them in Honors English minus the smell wafting in from the cafeteria.

I have no doubt by next semester they’ll have kids wearing heart rate monitors throughout the school day so from home, work, even the grocery store, we can go online and check and see if our darlings seem stressed or if their vital signs are in the normal range.

So, if I may raise my hand and ask a question to the schools out there – which is it? Do you want us to let our kids make mistakes, figure it out on their own and grow in the process or do you want us virtually in the classroom?

This mom needs an answer.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ache Free

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Last week, I got a bruising social media beat down and not by discussing politics or religion. Oh no, this was a subject infinitely more volatile: motherhood. All it took was two words, one syllable each, to cause a firestorm.

A friend from back in the day had linked to a post a woman had written about her kids getting older and how she ached, painfully — desperately ached — for the days when they were babies. So, as you can guess, many moms were writing ooey gooey prose in the comment bar on Facebook about how they also ached for those baby days. The smells, the smiles, the spit up.

I, on the other hand, wrote my two words. Ache free.

Well, well, well, say hello to a blistering rebuttal of mom hate. Those two words give birth to a firestorm of comments on how I must suck at being a mother because I don’t ache to climb into a maternal time machine and re-live sleep deprivation and sore nipples.

At first, I was all “Holy crap” at the outrage and then I thought to myself let’s do this! Let’s really mix it up! They want ache. I’ll give them an ache right in the old backside. My first course of action was do what I would call a social media airstrike. One ridiculously, outrageous comment to take down (tick off) many. So I posted this: “Maybe I’m not aching because I’m proud of my children and parenting skills and don’t feel the need to go back in time to correct my mistakes.” Talk about a direct hit! The fallout was nuclear winter in it’s intensity. The angry, the hostility, the rage!

Then I focused on the most pompous targets. The most delicious was tweaking the “friend” that posted the ache link. You would have thought she was still clutching her now teenage children to her breast in an XL, steel reinforced, Baby Bjorn. Oh, how she went on and on about the halcyon baby days with her “precious munchkins.”

I have no problem with that. Every mother should look back fondly at those times. What did irk me was that she led the charge in leveling mom hate towards me when all I did was post – ache free. This woman called me a “baby hater” and then went all stabby with the statement that by being ache free I was a bad mother AND she felt “sorry for my children.”

Really? She felt sorry for my children because I don’t want them back in diapers. And this was from a women who had a skill, no, make that a talent, for eagerly leaving her children with other mothers. She’s the one who would invite her child over to your house for a playdate and then forget to pick them up for the next 16 hours. That’s why I had zero problems with posting this:  “@dmj I get why you’re aching. It’s probably guilt festering from 2003 when you petitioned the church to change their mother’s day out rules to accept babies at younger than six weeks so you could have more ‘me’ time.”

That’s right. I wrote that. Yes, it’s horrible but factual and I was thinking of the greater good. Someone needed to call these women out on their mom on mom hate campaign even if it was me adding lighter fluid to whole hot mess. This is what I don’t get – we’re all on this journey together so why do mothers feel the need to keep a constant vigil scanning the horizon for any chance to bring another mother down? Are we that insecure? I sure hope not.

Oh, and do you want to know why I typed ache free? It’s because as the mother of two teenagers every so often, I, get the briefest of glimpses, of what my children might be like as adults and it’s thrilling. More exciting than when they started sleeping through the night or took those first wobbly steps. These nano second glances into their future makes me not only ache free but joyous for what they might someday offer the world.

cover_1.3-2 *Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂