Family · Humor · Motherhood

Baby you can’t drive my car

Image result for 1982 blue buick skylark
Behold, my first car: The 1982 Blue Ick Skylark.

Here’s a short list of the few things in life that scare the crap out of me:

  • spiders
  • flying
  • politics
  • my 15-year-old son taking Driver’s Ed
  • flying spiders

Alas, the time has come. Next week, The Boy Who Can’t Be Named Because He’d Die of Embarrassment, will be driving a 4000-pound car down the road. The same boy who — only yesterday — thought it was perfectly fine to microwave tinfoil.
Because I told him so. (Hey, what can I say? The clueless apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

This is my future. Be scared. Be very scared.

Driving. We all do it every day. Except for my mother, who never got her license, so now I’m forever sentenced to drive her to pick up some emergency Correctol because she’s “buttlogged”. Until you’ve had a heated argument comparing the symptoms of diarrhea to constipation in aisle 2 at the Stop-and-Go, you haven’t truly lived.

Every morning, we all tool down the road in our pathetic Priuses (is the plural for Prius Prii?) in a complete daze…oblivious to the passing scenery, the red lights, the angry honks, the screamed profanities and the travel mug filled with hot coffee bouncing off our car roof into traffic.

Ah, yes, I remember the day I finally got my hot little hands on that driver’s license to pure freedom.

The year: 1987
The catchphrase: “Don’t have a cow, man.”

The beauty trend: All hairspray, all the time.

Why did I look so ecstatic? (And dorky? And oh holy Aqua Net, what the hell is with my hair?) Because I passed my test on the first try, in spite of the fact that I:

A) Hit the curb while parallel parking.
B) Let the car roll backward after setting the parking brake on a steep hill.
C) Failed to yield to a car in an intersection.
D) Giggled like an idiot throughout the entire road test.
E) All of the above.

Answer: E. (there really was never a doubt, was there?)

Hopefully, god willing, (pleaseohpleaseohplease!) my son will be an excellent driver.

Image result for rain man driving

If not, I’ve got other distractions. Like my daughter taking puberty classes this week.

Annnnnd she’s got a crush on a boy at school.

Thankfully, I am a pro at these unsettling mother-daughter convos.

Me: Who is he?
Her: [smirk]
Me: Jaden?*
Her: [double smirk]
Me: Caden?**
Her: [triple smirk]
Me: Braden?***
Her: [smirk times infinity]
Me: Schmaden? It’s Schmaden isn’t it!
Her: [so mortified she’s dying right in front of me]

No matter. I’m only writing this post to beg you all for prayers during this difficult time. Think of me. Soon enough I’ll be waving goodbye to my daughter as Schmaden peels away in his 2024 Mustang with the tinted windows.


*Actual boy in her class.
**Actual boy in her class.
***Actual boy in her class.

So tell me: What was your first car? How many times did you fail your driver’s test? Do you also have a son who is about to drive yet doesn’t know how to make a sandwich?

Motherhood · Parenting · Uncategorized

Oh, Mother!


I think we all know mothers are strong, wise and beautiful women. The moms in my family were no exception.

Three lovely ladies in hats: my mother, great-grandmother, and gram.

I bet you also realize moms have little time on their hands most days. Which is why I’m posting a short-n-sweet rerun about motherhood, so we can all kick back and savor our breakfast in bed Sunday morning.

I wish all of you moms out there lots of love, laughter, chocolate, and a moment of peace and quiet. You deserve it. Happy Mother’s Day!

My Dear, Sweet, Slightly  Manipulative Daughter


My daughter is only seven years old, but don’t let her age fool you. When Little Miss J wants something, she doesn’t simply tell you, that would be too easy.

Always a clever girl, she makes little homemade cards to communicate. First, she lures the reader in with her sweet drawings, then goes in for the kill with a well-timed zinger. Over the holidays, she handed me a card and I couldn’t help but laugh. And feel a little afraid. It read:

Dear Mommy,

I hope you have a Merry Christmas! [drawing of Christmas tree]

and get me lots of toys! PLEASE! [drawing of gifts]

and I love you! [drawing of big red heart]

[back of card] and I am standing here watching you read this card 

Love, J

IMG_20140114_072305 (2)

As I lowered the card, she was right there. Standing. And watching. I get shivers just remembering the intense look in her eyes. She is ruthless.

Her eyes sear a hole in my soul.
Her gaze has the power to burn a hole in my soul.

Today she made me yet another “greeting” card. I had been scolding her all week for not putting her trash in the trash can. Instead she was hiding it all over the house, cramming cheese stick wrappers in my slippers, sliding banana peels under the couch cushions, etc.

I said to her for the millionth time, “You need to put the trash in the trash, okay?”

Clearly fed up with me, she frowned and put her finger to her lips, deep in thought. Then she ran off to get her markers.

Five minutes later she handed me a card:

AWWWW!!!! Well isn’t this the SWEETEST?
Oh, it's a sweet picture of her and a rainbow!!! My heart might burst!!
Oh, it’s an adorable picture of her and a rainbow!!! My heart might burst!!


The best part? When she got home from school today and I asked her to turn off the TV, she said, “Where’s that card I made you this morning?”

I have no idea where she gets this behavior.


Keeping Up With My Mom

I live next door to my 82-year-old mother. She has never driven a car, loves to read New Age books, and lives for the moment her mail is delivered. Five other notable things about her:

  1. She eats her hamburger in between two toasted (burnt to a crisp) rice cakes because she’s “probably allergic to gluten”.
  2. She once thought my late dad was communicating to her through her smoke detector.
  3. She firmly believes in the afterlife and brings up her own imminent death at least once a day.  (Then why bother with the rice cakes?)

    My mom asking the waitress, “Yes, I’d like the hamburger but without the bun. Do you have any rice cakes? And could you turn this music down? How am I supposed to think about what I can’t eat with all this racket!”
  4. There is nothing she hates more than when I try to assist her in any way, especially when I try to help bring her groceries inside.  If I pick up her bag, I’d better be prepared for an onslaught of dirty looks and her yelling, “Jeezum crow, Darla! I’m not THAT old for Chrissakes! GOOD LORD! GIVE ME THAT BAG! GIVE IT TO ME!” Her normal speaking voice has the ability to cut through steel. So when she starts screaming at me, and wrestling the bag out of my hands, every neighbor within a five mile radius must assume I’m accosting a poor old lady in an attempt to steal her rice cakes. And she is always fixated on the location and condition of the eggs. Apparently, all hell would break loose if one were cracked in transit.  “Did you get my eggs, Darla? Did you bring them in the house? Which one is the eggs? Be careful with that bag! That might be my eggs!” I often reply with, “Oh, the eggs? I slammed that bag against the house a couple of times on my way in. Then swung it around like a windmill while pounding it onto the floor before I gave it a good stomping. I think they’ll be fine.” She never laughs at that bit of sarcasm.
  5. She thinks most female celebrities are cursed with “chests that are too big”. To her, this is something to hide not flaunt.

Celebrity chests and death were (once again) the main topics of conversation when she called me on the phone yesterday to chat about the typical stuff: politics, TV shows, whether we’re a ball of light after we die.

My mom is a huge talker, so all conversations are one-sided. She’s been known to interrupt herself. She could break the world record for speaking the longest nonstop without pausing for even a single breath.

The great thing about my mom is she honestly has no clue that what she says is funny. I’m barely able to enjoy a good guffaw in response because she’s already onto the next zinger. She’s also gifted at dropping a funny observation, then following it up with a heavy topic about the nature of our universe and the afterlife some philosophers spend their entire lives contemplating.

Mom: And you know what show I can’t stand? That Karbuncles crap.

Me: The what?

Mom (exasperated): Keeping Up with the Karbuncles!
Slide1Everyone just LOVES that show! And you know why? It’s all about their big chests! Yes! And because it’s illegal to show the nipple area, they have to show the crack instead. I’d rather see the nipple. And there’s a whole bunch of chest crack on that show. The bigger the crack, the better. On some of those girls, that’s all you see! This long crack hanging down to their stomachs! It’s because they don’t wear bras, Darla. Remember: always wear your bra or you’ll turn into a Karbuncle.

Me (laughing): I’ll keep that in mind–

Mom (without pausing): I just finished another book on what happens after we die. What do you think?

Me: Well, I–

Mom: Do you think we’re just a ball of light? What do you think I’ll look like on the other side? Will I be myself or someone else? I’d better not be a Karbuncle! I think I must have lived lots of lives before. And once I’m dead, do you think I can I split up my energy? Be in more than one place at a time? I was thinking, I might stay on the other side, but I might come down here to haunt you. I’ll talk to you all the time from the other side!

Me: Uh…I don’t know if that’s a good idea-

Mom: The mail’s here! (hangs up)

I know I should come up with a clever closing line to this post that neatly ties up the Karbuncles chest crack phenomenon with the afterlife, but my mom has me stumped yet again.

And I have no clue where I get my sense of humor from.


Humor · Motherhood · Parenting

Mom For Hire

The following post I wrote over three years ago and I’m reposting it because I have little time to write lately. In case you’re wondering the snow in Maine finally melted so I’m spending every waking moment outside.  Plus I’m tired. So damn tired. Happy Mother’s Day!

OBJECTIVE            To prove that when you notice the huge 10 year gap on my résumé, snicker and ask, “What were you doing all that time?!” I wasn’t merely sitting around twiddling my thumbs and eating bon bons.  (Although some days I did take a few breaks and did just that.)


2000-2002              Fertility Specialist

  • Managed  and supervised an in-depth  and labor-intensive fertility project overseeing one disgruntled employee.
  • Daily progress was tracked with temperature readings, charts, graphs and my husband whining, “Do we have to do this AGAIN?!”
  • Goal was achieved after attending several meetings with various nurses, OB-GYNs and finally one prayer-filled seminar with The Big Guy in the Sky.
  • Assisted in creating an entire human being using only my body.
  •  Increased members of family by one healthy baby boy, increased household grocery consumption by 50%, decreased maternal brain cells by 30%.

2002-2003                Newborn Coordinator

  • Directed various sleep studies involving the length of time it takes for a subject to start hallucinating giant gummy bears dancing in the kitchen in relation to the few minutes of choppy haze-induced slumber one has per night.
  • Involved in product evaluations. Determined diaper wipe warmers are about as useful as another a hole in the head.  Also, breast pumps are not more effective if you crank the setting up to maximum and grit your teeth to get through the searing pain.
  • Managed one colicky baby every night for three months and implemented several tactics such as, walking baby around in circles while shushing, driving baby around neighborhood at 2 am and sobbing hysterically along with baby.

2003-2006                   Developmental Therapist/Lead Teacher

  • Lead instructor for a toddler child with sensory issues and more energy than an Energizer Bunny on speed fighting with the Tazmanian Devi in the midst of a hurricane..
  • Taught child how to count, how to recite the alphabet. Instructed child on proper hygiene, sleep habits, eating habits, social decorum. Lessons included: Hot Wheels are not for the toilet. Crayons are not edible. The cat is not a giant fuzzy doll that hisses. Addressed behavioral issues. For example, how not to hit, bite, kick another human being.
  • Subjects included: Respect, Kindness, Love, Curiosity, Imagination
  • Daily therapy provided:  giggling hysterically, dancing like everyone was watching, and running around the outdoors with wild abandon. Seeing the simple beauty, magic and joy in everyday things.
  • Goals achieved: 1) Raised one loving, caring, sweet, happy boy  2) Increased heart capacity by 1000%.

2006 to present             Mom Extraordinaire

  • Aided and assisted in creating and maintaining another human being using only my body.
  • Supervised two active, clever, bordering on maniacal children on a daily basis.
  • Provided safe, loving, nurturing home.
  • Taught subjects such as: sharing, caring, taking turns, being respectful of others, loving oneself
  • Goals Achieved: 1) Raised one sweet, loving, caring, happy girl. 2) Increased heart capacity by infinity.
  • Other Duties as Assigned: Chef, referee, maid, chauffeur, coach, dish washer, singer, dancer, party planner, counselor, public relations, nurse, doctor, teacher, professional hugger, boo-boo kisser, hand-holder, tear-wiper, confidence-builder and self-esteem engineer


    • Time Management  Able to flip pancakes, clean ketchup off ceiling, figure out an algebraic equation, unclog toilet filled with Polly Pockets, do 10 loads of laundry, drive kids to various practices, classes and play dates simultaneously.
    • Debating  Successfully presented and defended stance that Halloween candy consumed in large quantities for breakfast is a bad idea; flinging a Barbie at your brother’s head is a bad idea; jumping off the roof of the house into a snowbank wearing only underwear is a bad idea.
    • Patience  Able to withstand endless hours of ‘Why?’ questions, followed by listening to relentless whining, Spongebob episodes and sibling games of “But I’m Not Really Touching You!”  and “Stinky Feet”.
    • Love  Provided endless quantities on an as-needed basis until my heart hurt.

References Available Upon Maturity of Children.
Ask them how I did in 15 years. My guess is not too shabby.

Family · Motherhood · Parenting

Happy Double 1s, Little Man

This week is my son’s birthday.

From the very beginning, I knew he was going to be a handful. He refused to vacate his comfy home for his due date, deciding instead to roll around in my belly like the Tasmanian Devil partying in a hot tub.


Today, my son is the sweetest, kindest, most adorable-est boy in the universe.  He’s still got a bit of the Taz in him, but that’s okay.  He’s the light of my life.

So it only seems fitting that I show the world my sweet Baby Boo in all his glory (and in the process, call him by as many nauseatingly cutesy nicknames as I possibly can.)




Of course, I would never ever think of posting some of his extra-adorable/horribly embarrassing photos.


Because that would just be plain wrong.

ChristianRiver 002

But I’m a mom and if exposing my son’s unbearable cuteness is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

xmas06 001

And it definitely would be wrong of me to post a video of him at the age of five doing a lovely spaztastic dance number.

Dear CJ — my Chub-Bub, my BaBoo, my Lil’ Buddy — I love you more than the moon and stars (even more than trucks and cars).


EXIF/JPEG image with thumb

Happy 11th Birthday! I’m so happy to be your mom!



I’m So Glad We Went Out to Eat, Mom

“Hey, Ma? Wanna go out to eat tonight?” I ask my 79 year old mother.


“Do you want to go out to dinner tonight?”


“Do YOU…” I yell, pausing as my mom leans in closer.

“WANT TO…” She begins to nod her head slowly with each word I say.

“GO OUT…” I gesture to the door. She raises one eyebrow at me.

“TO DINNER….” I continue. She smirks.


“Do I…want to…go out…” she repeats mockingly.  I nod emphatically. She blinks. “With Yul Brynner? God no! He’s dead! Why would I want to go and do a thing like that? The man was bald! Like a cue ball! Bald as the day is long. And his days aren’t long anymore cuz the poor man is deader than a doornail! So sad, really.”

“I said DIN-NER,” I motion my hands to my mouth like I’m eating.

“Oh. Well, I’m hungry so why the hell not? I’d never go eat dinner with Yul Brynner though, if that’s what you’re asking.”

“I wasn’t ask–look, just forget it. Hey, what does that mean, anyway?” I wonder aloud. “Dead as a doornail? I mean, what the hell is a doornail? And why is it dead?”

“Darned if I know,” my mom shuffles over to get her coat. She stops and glares at me. “Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go before I’m deader than a doornail!”

[Later on, my mother and I are seated at a local Italian restaurant, looking at our menus]

“Can I start you off with some beverages?” a young waitress smiles as she sets down two glasses of ice water.

“Well, you just gave us water so what else ya got?” my mom asks. “Or does this cost us money? Is this water free?” she scowls and peers suspiciously over her eyeglasses at the waitress.

“It’s free, Mom,” I sigh.

She looks down at her glass. “Is this tap water?”


“Would you like me to bring you something else?” asks the waitress.

“Well, yes,” my mom glares.

Several seconds pass. My mom cringes as she looks around the room. “God! I can’t hear myself think in here. The music is too damned loud!”

Several more seconds pass.

“Uh…ma’am? Do you want some coffee, tea, soda?” the patient waitress asks.

“Heh? Oh! Sanka, please!” my mom yells and puts her napkin in her lap.

The waitress glances at me, then back to my mom. “Excuse me, ma’am?”

“Sanka. I want Sanka.”

“Sanka?” the waitress appears confused.

“Sanka. Sanka! SAN-KA. CAN YOU HEAR ME?” My mom dismisses the waitress with a wave of her hand, then leans toward me and yells, “Jeezum crow! I don’t think the poor girl can hear me!  The music is too dang loud in this place!”

“Mom, I don’t think she knows what Sanka is. I don’t think you know what it is. It’s decaf coffee. You don’t drink decaf coffee, Mom.”


“She’ll have black coffee, not decaf,” I say to the waitress. “Or Sanka,” I add a sheepish smile.

“You want me to thank her! Thank her!” my mom sits straight up. “I will. Just as soon as she brings me my damned coffee!”

I'll thank her when I get my Sanka!
I’ll thank her when I get my Sanka!

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion when my mom yells, “Well, I ain’t eatin THAT!” then insists a salad should not have lettuce because lettuce is a waste of perfectly good food.


Like this post? Here, have some more!

I’m So Sorry I Missed Your Call, Mom

I’m So Glad We Had This Talk Again, Mom

I’m So Glad We Had This Talk, Mom

Family · Humor

I’m So Sorry I Missed Your Call, Mom


My answering machine messages from my 79-year-old mother while I was gone for a few hours last weekend:


[answering machine beep]
Darla? Darla? Darla? Darla?

Darla! Darla! Darla! Darla!

Gah! Are you there? DARLA! I know you’re there! Oh! God! There it is! Do you hear it? That beeping? It’s the freakin smoke alarm! I think it’s the one downstairs. Or it’s the one upstairs. I can’t tell. But it’s driving me out of my freakin mind. Oh! There it goes again! Good god almighty–

Can you hear me? CAN YOU HEAR ME! DARLA! God! Are you exercising again? You can’t hear me? Helllooooo? HELLO? Why are you always exercising?
[mutters under breath]
…it’s like she’s obsessed with exercise…always when I call…every single day…always with the exercise and the working out…it’s like an obsession, she just never stops. God!

Darla! I know you’re not there but when you come home I need you!  Did you hear me? I NEED YOU! Darla! The smoke alarm is going off again! It might be the batteries! But I think it’s your father! He’s giving me a sign!
(my father passed away 20 years ago) Oh, I just know it’s him!

[smoke alarm chirps once in the distance]

Gah! Do you hear that? He’s driving me crazy!

[puts hand over phone and yells]
I get it, Ralph! I know it’s you! You can stop with the smoke alarm now!

[normal voice] Wait a minute, maybe it’s my rice cakes… Oh jeezum crow! I put them in the toaster because I was gonna make a hamburger… you know I can’t have bread… you really should try it, Darla, it’s– OH GOOD LORD!


Nope, not my rice cakes. Wouldn’t you know it, I never even put them in the damn toaster.

[smoke alarm beeps]
AHHH! The beeping! Again with the beeping! Ralph! Is that you, Ralph? I hear you! I know you’re here!
[covers phone and yells]
Quit bugging me!


[smoke alarm beeps]

That is IT! I have had enough!

[phone slams onto table]

[chair drags across floor]

[loud grunts and groans]


[crunching noise as plastic hits floor]

God! Oof! Oh! Finally! Jeezum crow!

[picks up phone] Darla? Darla, are you listening?! Can you pick me up a new smoke alarm? And some batteries? Or just take me to the pharmacy? I’ve got a headache now and I’m outta aspirin. Oh and also the bank and Food City cuz I need some more rice cakes. When I was smashing the smoke alarm they burnt to a crisp in the toaster.


Like this post? Want another healthy dose of dear ol’ Ma? You may also enjoy:
I’m So Glad We Had This Talk, Mom
I’m So Glad We Had This Talk Again, Mom

Family · Motherhood

Don’t Eat the Dandelions

This is what greeted me last weekend.

My kids picked me some flowers, and both of them made me the sweetest homemade cards.  They told me they were too excited to wait. And who am I to complain? I’ve always thought Mother’s Day should be more of a week-long event. Besides, every mom out there knows nothing beats a crayon drawing and fresh-picked dandelions for a gift.

“Smell them!” my daughter insisted.  “They’re just like honey!  Yummy, yellow honey! Mmm…mmm!” she said, rubbing her stomach and licking her lips.

“You didn’t try to eat any of them did you?” I asked and her brother shot me a worried look. I gave my kids a quick hug and off they ran, leaving huge clumps of wet grass all over the house.  I spent the next half hour googling poisonous weeds, popped another Benedryl and got out the vacuum. Nothing says ‘motherhood’ more than obsessively worrying about your child’s health or cleaning.

This was my son’s card. I especially loved the “sign here” and “thanks” part. Also, it’s good to know I’m their greatest mom ever and they included my name–like maybe they have someone else to compare me to. Although I appreciated the excessive use of exclamations points, I wondered if he was laying it on a bit too thick. I’ll have to see how many exclamation points they come up with for the Father’s Day card to figure out if he’s really sincere that I’m the greatest.

In honor of Mother’s Day, (and because I’m feeling incredibly lazy) I am linking a past post of mine, Mom for Hire, for all you moms out there: stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-out-of-home, work-while-staying-at-home, never-stay-at-home-because-you’re-constantly-driving-them-around…you get the idea.

We all are amazing and we all work incredibly hard. We should give ourselves kudos for being there for our kids when it counts, no matter the stupid label society tries to categorize us with.  You love your kids and they love you and that’s pretty much all that matters.

And to those dear readers without kids, (warning: sap alert) I want to thank your mom, for bringing you into this world and brightening up my bloggy days just by being your amazing, sweet self (you know who you are!) Now stop cringing, it isn’t polite.  And for heaven’s sake! sit up straight!  Wipe that ketchup off your face, go wash your hands and mind your manners! And would it kill you to call me sometime?

Hey, you know what? Screw it. Call up Papa John’s pizza. And bring me a beer while you’re at it. Mama’s Day Off has officially begun!


The phrase “working mother” is redundant. -Jane Sellman

Do you know what you call those who use towels and never wash them, eat meals and never do the dishes, sit in rooms they never clean, and are entertained till they drop? If you have just answered, “A house guest,” you’re wrong because I have just described my kids. -Erma Bombeck.

A suburban mother’s role is to deliver children obstretrically once, and by car forever after. -Peter De Vries

Insanity is hereditary; you get if from your children. -Sam Levenson

I’d like to be the ideal mother, but I’m too busy raising my kids.-Anon

Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has instilled within each of us a powerful biological instinct to reproduce: this is her way of assuring that the human race, come what may, will never have any disposable income. -Dave Barry

Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs. -P.J. O’Rourke

My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it. -Buddy Hackett

I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them. -Phyllis Diller

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out. -Erma Bombeck

If you kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says ‘keep away from children’.-Susan Savannah

I love to play hide and seek with my kid, but some days my goal is to find a hiding place where he can’t find me until after high school. -Anon

I love my kids and they love me and I know that this will forever be. -She’s a Maineiac


Now make sure you enjoy this weekend. Maybe go sit down and rest for a few minutes, kick back with a good book and a glass of wine. You deserve it!

Humor · Motherhood

Quick, Mom! Run and hide!

DILO - women bathroom sign
Image by DogFromSPACE via Flickr

Moms, I’m going to be honest with you. There are some days when my dear, sweet, lovely children have driven me to the point of my head imploding.  When they have whined the 1,237th “Mommy!” and have managed to have about 35 mini-tragedies in nine minutes (“He took my Polly Pocket and tried to flush her down the toilet!” “She ripped all the wheels off my favorite hot wheels and is now trying to eat them!”). We all have those days.

But fear not.

There is one place a mom can go to get away from it all:

The bathroom.

My sanctuary.  My domain. My sweet escape.

The kids and hubby may think I’m in there taking a shower or plucking my brows. But what I’m really doing is trying to hang onto that last shred of sanity I have left.

After many years of attempting this escape, there are a few things I’ve learned.

First and foremost rule: Lock the door. This is extremely important. Do this the split second you rush in there. But here’s the key: try to do this quietly. Because if little ears have any inkling you are in there, the jig is up.

If they do notice you are in the bathroom (correction: when they notice) you must take evasive action as quickly as possible. Turn on the fan. This will help drown out the inevitable knocking and pleading outside the door (mostly from my husband who has spent a grand total of 5 minutes dealing with the kids on his own).

Okay, now the door is locked. You’ve made it. You’re safe. You are officially in a room that is separate from your loved ones. It’s an exhilarating feeling, I know.  You are alone and no one can come in (barring using a screwdriver to take the hinges off the door, which my son once informed me he was going to attempt).

You are now leaning against the door, breathing huge sighs, trying to regain your composure. For a brief second you may even remember the “old you”, the one who had two seconds to form a complete thought…remember her? No, me neither. Sadly, this feeling is fleeting.  So what do you do now with this glorious alone time?

Any mom knows that you need a bathroom survival kit. You need supplies that will enable you to spend as much time in there as humanly possible. Spending it actually doing bathroom type things is not an option. You have to clear your head. Keep it together. Your very soul is on the line here, woman!

Find a place to rest.  Naturally the toilet is a good spot. Close the lid ever so quietly and plunk your tired butt down for a second. Go ahead, Mom. It’s okay. You deserve it. Sit there and breathe. Close your eyes and utter “Serenity Now” over and over until you actually believe it. It worked for Kramer.

Next, grab something to read. I like to have plenty of guilty pleasure trashy magazines on hand. I keep a stack of Good Housekeeping, People, Ladies’ Home Journal, maybe even the occasional Cosmo. For those rare times that I manage to slip into my sanctuary unnoticed, I try to have my favorite book on hand. Or maybe even stash your iPad under the towels. Think of all the things you can accomplish surfing the net sitting on your cozy fuzzy pink toilet seat.

If kids/hubby are inexplicably fascinated with your bathroom excursion and are suddenly outside the door acting like Armageddon is just around the corner, you might need to actually turn the shower on for a minute and run a little water. This might buy you another few minutes.

If they persist and the whining grows louder, I occasionally have to resort to yelling out: “I’m BUSY!!!!” I am usually surprised at how irritated I sound when I yell out these words. It comes out as a growl most times, but I try not to let on that my loved ones are slowly stripping away layers of my sanity.

After my growl, there is always a moment of stunned silence behind the door. So I’ll add a meek and sweet comment like “just a second, okay? I’ll be right out!” to lighten the mood. We don’t want our family thinking Mom is thisclose to cracking now do we? Keep the illusion alive.

And then I sit there in silence at least another five minutes, flipping through my People, reading about Angelina Jolie and her kids. That woman has it so easy.

I bet she has at least five or six bathrooms to hide in.