How do you hold more butt?


Every night at bed time, after I read to the boys, they watch a video with their father. The latest favorite is Meghan Trainor’s All About that Bass. My apologies for the fact that the song is now stuck in your head. Just start thinking like Taylor Swift and try to Shake it Off. Anyway, usually the boys just watch the images and listen to the music. But Corey has finally started actually listening to the lyrics.

Uh oh.

Meghan sings, “My mama she told me don’t worry about your size.”

(This is a big fat lie, which we can discuss another time.)

“She said boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” Corey pipes up and asks, “What’s booty?” I say, “Butt.” He replies, “How do you hold more butt?”

And I give the best answer of my entire parenting career. This answer should be framed and written about in the history books, touted on morning talk shows, and praised for all its glory. I say, “Uh..” And Damian immediately changes the subject.

There are more, er, interesting lines in that song, but I don’t think he picked up on them. Luckily Corey didn’t pipe up and ask, “What are skinny bitches?” What would I have said to that? I could have hit him with the literal definition. “Well Corey, they are underfed female dogs.” But then he would have no doubt hit me back with, “Why is she singing about skinny dogs?” It’s an out-of-control spiral just waiting to happen.

Oh, the joy of parenting. How do I expose them to social media and allow them to be part of the world without overexposing them? How much can I really protect them when they’re out of the house for so many hours a day? And what do I say now that they’re starting to ask me harder questions? It’s going to get worse before it gets better. They’re not even tweens yet! I guess I’ll just do my best, like everybody else, and hope I don’t screw them up too much.

In the meantime, I am secretly celebrating the fact that I get to watch pop music videos instead of Disney videos. Yay!

A Shooting at our Local Mall

Another shopping mall shooting happened over the weekend. This time it was close to home at the Columbia Mall. The last time I went shopping for clothes, I bought them at the Columbia Mall. Every year, during the holidays, there is a magnificent “tree” created in the central fountains made from red and white poinsettia plants. Every year I take my children to see that tree. There’s a carousel not far from where the shootings occurred – the boys have ridden it countless times. Were there children riding that carousel, laughing and enjoying the ride, when the gunman opened fire? If so, how terrified were they? How terrified were their parents?

Two people were killed. Three, if you count the gunman. It was enough to make the national news. Great, we’re on The Today Show for a shooting! It’s disgusting.

A friend of mine, also a parent of two small children, expressed her anger and frustration over the shooting. How do you raise children in a world like ours? A world where innocent people are shot at random in public places? Places that are supposed to be safe? How is it possible to feel safe anywhere? And if you don’t feel safe, how do you make your children feel safe?

No children were shot at the Columbia Mall. Thank God. But children have been shot. The unthinkable happened at Sandy Hook.

So what now? Who do we blame? Do we blame the guns? Do we blame the media for glorifying the gunmen who might otherwise have offed themselves in a basement and checked out quietly? The gun laws? The NRA? Mental health experts? The government? Society as a whole? Apathy? Who? What? Where does the blame belong?

And what do I do, as a parent, to not only make my children feel safe, but to actually keep them safe? I don’t want to be afraid every time I walk out my front door. I don’t want to feel fear every time I let my children out of my sight.

I don’t have any answers. Right now I am banking on the idea that life is a game of numbers. Gun violence came to my backyard. But it was on a day that I wasn’t at the mall. And if I had been at the mall that day, I probably wouldn’t have been shot. When the DC sniper was terrorizing our area, I told myself that odds were he wasn’t going to shoot me. And now I am doing the same thing. Which is really sad, but right now, I’ve got nothing else.

Top 10 List (Part 2)



Anyone who parents small children knows that the little people can get seriously creative. Sometimes this is a good thing. Sometimes this is a bad thing. These shenanigans cause us to say “Aw, look how cute junior is!” Other times we have to say completely insane things that no human would ever utter under any other circumstances. If you’ve got small children in your life, you know what I’m talking about. You’ve said it. Then you’ve said to yourself, “Did I really just say that?” Or you’ve said, “I can’t believe I just had to say that again!” Like, “Don’t put that in your mouth. It’s not food.” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve said that…..

So while this blog is dedicated to Corey’s CHD journey, it’s also about parenting. And I need a break from the heaviness. So rather than dragging us all through the dirt today, I’ve decided to take a lighthearted break and offer up this list of 10 things that I’ve actually said. Well, 9. There’s one in the list that I made up. Can you figure out which one it is? Feel free to chime in with your own…

By the way, this photo of my healthy-heart child, Mason, is a nice example of a creative “Aw, look how cute he is!” moment. The top 10 list, not so much.

Top 10 Things You Will Never Say to Another Human Being Unless You Have Small Children

10. The fork goes in your mouth, not the electrical outlet.

9. Why is there popcorn in my shoe?

8. No, the cat is not going to eat your broccoli.

7. I don’t know if The Grinch is coming to our house, but if you keep that up, I’m betting on ‘yes’.”

6. Why does this naked doll have only one leg?

5. I don’t know if your ice cream sandwich will fit in your shoe.

4. Your underwear does not go on your head.

3. Pee in the toilet. Not on your brother.

2. Yes ducks do like potato chips.

1. Don’t put your butt in the popcorn bowl.