The Importance of Being Boring

It doesn’t happen all at once. I suppose that’s why it happens to so many people. It just tends to sneak up on you. And by the time you realize what’s happening, it’s already too late.

Suddenly, you’re boring.

I should know. I have completely morphed into the most boring person alive (even including that guy I met seven years ago who started every sentence with “Well, actually,” and thought a three-hour diatribe about how much he hated George Lucas—while wearing a “Star Wars” T-shirt, mind you –was an appropriate response to the question “Hey, how are you?”).

Granted, the very idea of “boring” is relative. What you find boring and what I find boring could be vastly different. For instance, the few times I have accidentally watched sports is only because alcohol tends to hang out wherever sports are happening. And I’m the kind of devoted drinker that will pretend to care about 11 burly men in ridiculously tight pants if it means society will give me a free pass to get drunk at two in the afternoon.

boring 1

And you, for example, may find books boring. Or fancy cheese. Or Saturday Night Live. Meanwhile, my life goal is to find a job that just lets me read all day while eating fancy cheese and the only time I’m interrupted is when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler take Instagram selfies of the three of us with the hashtag “Best Friends Forever.”

boring 4

Legend has it there are even people out there who find math exciting. Yes. Math. That thing with all the numbers but also, cruelly, letters and tiny hieroglyphics. But just like so many other legends, their existence is hard to proof (but if you look hard enough, there are cosines of them everywhere).

Sorry. I’ll stop being so acute. Math puns are a sine of a big problem. Never drink and derive, kids.

But the kind of boring I’m talking about, the kind of boring I have turned into, is universal. It’s the kind of boring you become once you have a baby. And while our society may be fractured on pretty much every topic imaginable, we can all agree at least that parents of young children are just the worst.

We are utterly obsessed with our children. They are all we think about. They are all we talk about. And they are all we think everyone else in the world wants to think and talk about.

Granted, in our defense, nature makes us this way because it knows that only an obsessed person could find the energy to pull a kid away from the computer cord 200 times a day, every day, without their head exploding. But that biological explanation is a poor consolation prize for the innocent barista I cornered for 27 minutes with my rambling monologue on how my son used to love bananas and now he hates them.

And the worst part is that we don’t even care that we’ve become boring. We don’t care that the only thing we can contribute to a discussion about Netflix shows is that Ricky Gervais was on an episode of “Sesame Street” and it made you laugh so hard that you scared little junior. Or that the last book you read was “Let’s Go To The Baby Animal Farm!” And you actually LIKED it. Or that the only political opinion you have these days is that someone should probably be elected president but here, look at this rash on my baby’s butt…do you think it’s regular diaper rash or something more serious?

boring 3

Oh my god, we are so boring. Which is why you see us parents of young children hanging out in clans. We’re the only ones who can put up with each other. And even then, we are secretly hoping Brenda shuts up about her stupid kid soon so we can talk about our own vastly superior kid.

The good news is that this too shall pass. The kids will get older and become more independent and with that freed up space in our brain that used to be occupied by cutting the crusts off approximately one million sandwiches, we will remember that we used to be a person too. A person with interests and hobbies and dreams and poop stain-free pants.

Yes, someday we parents will become people again.

But until then, you totally think it’s weird that my baby no longer likes bananas too, right? I mean, what’s up with that?

9 tips for successfully baby-proofing your home

1. Don’t have a baby.

Just like abstinence is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, not having a baby is the only way to 100 percent effectively baby proof your home. Because no matter what you do, they will figure out a way around it eventually. And if they can’t, they will find a new, even more creative way to kill themselves while simultaneously breaking all your vinyl records and shoving a graham cracker into your Xbox.

2. Buy junior a shock collar

Illegal? Yes, highly. Effective? Probably. Cruel? Depends on how many times the tiny demon spawn has pulled all your books down from the bookshelf that day.

3. Get a helmet (for you)

Sure, kids hit their head a lot at this stage. What with the drunken staggering and all. But actually it’s the parents that really need the helmet. Because despite what science says about young children’s soft skulls, their go-to defensive move when a parent tries to stop them from drinking the bleach they found under the sink is the head butt. And they have deceptively good aim. Which is why I now look like Owen Wilson and have had more minor concussions than an NFL player.

4. Forget a baby gate. Get a Baby Great Wall of China.

The Baby Great Wall of China works particularly well if you also have men sitting at the top of it to shoot tiny Nerf arrows at little precious should he or she attempt to scale the wall and make a break for it.

5. Invest in that toilet seat latch thingie

This little tool is amazing at keeping your baby from opening the toilet lid and playing with poop water. It’s also amazing at keeping out parents who really, really, really have to pee RIGHT NOW because they drank a gallon of coffee because SOMEONE kept them up all night last night. But if you are OK with explaining to junior why he saw Mommy peeing in the shower with all her clothes on, then this is the right product for you.

6. Surgically attach your baby directly to your back (or your chest…your choice) so they are never, ever unsupervised.

This one too is probably highly illegal. It will also make those college interviews extremely awkward. But desperate times call for desperate measures. And, added bonus, you can just teach your kid to call you Hodor and suddenly the whole thing seems culturally relevant.

7. Stop buying cleaning products, which are chockfull of dangerous chemicals.

And without cleaning products, oh no, you can’t clean anymore. Bummer. (That’s what we call a win-win, kids.)

8. Own only crappy stuff.

In theory, this seems like a great idea. But as someone who already only owns crappy stuff, I’m the first to admit that you can also become really attached to the laptop held together with duct tape and the couch covered in martini stains.

9. Don’t own anything at all.

If you decide to ignore my advice in Tip #1, then the second most effective way to keep your toddler with the perpetually sticky jam hands out of all your things is to simply not own anything. However, even then, they would still try to fall out of a window in your empty home. And even if you lived outside, no windows in sight, they would try their damnedest to walk into a river or try to alleviate teething pain by gnawing on a bear.

So, basically, to sum up, you’re screwed.

Good luck!

Knock-knock jokes for parents

knock1

knock2

I am an inferior woman! Hear me roar!

Ugh. Why? Why do stupid people have to keep saying stupid crap, making me dust off my soapbox YET AGAIN?

Now I have to go looking for it YET AGAIN and …(grunting sounds)… it’s probably buried under a huge pile of dirty onesies and empty wine bottles and …(rummaging noises)… I could be using this time to do something much more productive …(floor scooting squeaks)… like drinking wine while doing laundry.

…(out of breath wheezes)… All right, let me just dust this bad boy off and step up …(more grunting sounds)…

I don’t know if you’ve seen it yet, but there is a meme making its way across the Internet that brings a whole new level to the term “Mommy Wars.” Allegedly created by some religious group, it essentially tells women who have given birth via cesarean section that they are weak and didn’t “actually” give birth and that they should bow down to the superior women who did have vaginal births.

Screen-Shot-2015-03-30-at-11.54.21-AM-524x700

And angry female rant in 3…2…1…

Only in a country that so devalues its women can the idea that having a baby via major abdominal surgery be considered lazy. Can the idea that being sliced open and having a nine pound baby plucked from your womb before your organs are returned to their rightful place and you’re literally sewn back together be considered the easy way out. Just look at that inconsiderate lady, lying on her back, letting her doctor do all the hard work of ripping her body apart and plunging his hands deep inside her farthest recesses while she is fully awake.

Chicks, man. Am I right?

I feel this should go without saying but obviously it doesn’t, so, here it goes. There is no easy way out of giving birth. There are only two choices and they both suck. Because you either have your baby’s head ripping an exit through your vagina or you have a scalpel ripping an exit through your lower stomach. Both involve a lot of pain, a lot of fear, a lot of blood and a whole lot of strength.

And sure, I can understand on some level how a woman who had a natural, drug-free birth might want an extra pat on the back. And I’m more than happy to tip my hat to her. Cause that is some Wonder Woman-level of strong right there. Especially when you can, such as in my case, holler for a nurse at 3 a.m., grab her by the lapels and gently but firmly yell directly into her face “GIVE ME THE DRUGS!” and ten minutes later some guy is shoving a very large needle through your spine.

However, all of us moms went through the same war. And none of us are less of a hero for how we fought in that war.

And while I’m hoping that the person or people behind this ridiculous meme are on the far, far, FAR fringes of society, it can’t be denied that we as a country have an unhealthy attitude toward reproduction and all the baby-havin’ in general. Hell, take the actual reproductive cycle itself. We treat periods like they are the most shameful thing a woman can admit to.

Is that a tampon I just saw fall out of your purse!? A blood stain on your pants?! A commercial for feminine products!? On the TV where anyone can see it!?

AVERT YOUR EYES, CHILDREN (even though none of you would exist without the presence of a monthly period)! BURN THE BLEEDING WITCH! OR AT LEAST MOCK HER MERCILESSLY!

And then there’s our whole “I guess you can have an entire six weeks off to heal your traumatized post-pregnancy body while also keeping your tiny infant alive but we sure as hell ain’t gonna pay you for it, ya bum” attitude.

We belittle stay-at-home moms and yet in the same breath say working moms are selfish. We insist that true moms breastfeed their children but oh dear god, woman, not where I can see it. Gross. We want to know why you haven’t lost the baby weight yet but also why are you at the gym and not at home spending time with your baby?

Moms truly are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But this particular meme is perhaps the cruelest way we’ve thought up to punish moms yet.

Babies are born every day. But to the woman giving birth, it’s a miraculous, painful, beautiful and utterly terrifying experience. And no should have the right to take that away from her.

No matter how the baby finally gets into her arms.

Apparently I will do anything for love…even that

Meatloaf is a wise man.

Or maybe he’s not. I don’t know. I never met the dude. Maybe he’s the kind of immature guy who unfriends you on Facebook because you never hit “like” on the pictures of his cat Harold. Honestly, I was just trying to think of a catchy first line that semi-segued to my topic. Which is that I am at a point in my life that I, too, would do anything for love.

But I won’t do that.

(And yes, you can stop reading now. That was a horrible introduction. Less paradise by the dashboard light and more gray Indiana winter endlessly whizzing by outside your car window. You deserve better. Use this time to “like” Meatloaf’s cat pictures or something).

For those of you still reading (thanks Great Auntie Mildred! How’s the sciatica?), it has come to my attention that despite all the sacrifices I have already made for my son, I’m going to have to make another one here shortly. A big one. HUGE. And as much as I love my kid, I just…I just don’t know if I can do it.

I mean, wasn’t it enough that during the roughly 47 months I was pregnant, I cut down from ten cups of coffee a day to just two? Or that I stopped drinking Diet Coke so he wouldn’t grow a third eye on his shoulder? Or that I gave up most alcohol? (I say most because my doctor said it was OK to have the occasional glass of wine and who am I to argue with science?).

cursing

Not to mention, I selflessly gained 50 pounds during his imprisonment in my womb just so he would have an extra cozy living space. Because that’s just the kind of caring mother I was right from the beginning.

And even once he was out, the sacrifices continued. My sleep. My personal hygiene. My ability to talk to other adults in full sentences and free of caveman grunts. I gave it all up for him. And I even did it happily so considering one whiff of his head, which smells like flowers and unicorns and mermaid glitter and ambrosia dipped in chocolate and bacon, made it all worth it.

cursing 1

Still, you’d think all that would be enough.

But no. Because now, at 13-months-old, he’s asking me for the biggest sacrifice yet. He’s making me…

…(Sigh)…

…he’s making me give up cursing.

Excuse me…I just need a moment. Come on, Aprill, get it together…

…(ragged breath)…

Yes, my baby, while not yet talking in words (or at least known human words) is at that stage where he is mimicking sounds. Already he has my frustrated Marge Simpson-esque growl down pat and can make the “fah” f-letter sound thanks to an overly helpful Grover on “Sesame Street.” He mimics the dog’s bark and my chipper “Hi!” that I say every morning when I greet him. He even does a good fake laugh when Momma is trying to entertain him and he decides to take pity on me and my sweet 90s dance moves.

All of which is to say that I have to give up cursing, else his first word be a non-Grover-approved f-word.

But here’s the thing, I’m not good at a lot of things (amazing stick figure art aside). But I am a world champion cusser. I mean, I can take one curse word and use it as a noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb AND verb in one single sentence. I’m even up-to-date on all the newest curse words, picking a new one each day to use like some warped word-of-the-day calendar.

Oh sure, I can turn it off when I need to. When I’m visiting with my in-laws or I’m hanging out with “those” moms who can actually say “H-E-Double Hockey Sticks” without collapsing into a fit of giggles because of how dumb it sounds. But I’ve never had to give it up in my own home. My cursing sanctuary. The place where I have always let my four-letter word creativity blossom and develop in a nurturing environment.

I’ve tried everything to curb my filthy mouth. For awhile I tried to use alternatives. You know, like “dang” instead of “dammit son of a bitch in hell!” or “fartknocker” instead of “douchebag asshat.” I even tried yelling “Fudge it!” but that just made me hungry all the time.

I also tried going cold turkey there for a bit, having my husband monitor my words. Alas, that just made every conversation go like this:

Me: “I mean, what the h-…heck was that d-…person-head f-fraking…thinking when they f-…freaking…oh my god…what was I saying again? I can’t remember anymore.”

My husband: “Frak if I know.”

Me: “Smartass.”

My husband: “Ah, you cussed.”

Me: “Sorry. Dumbass.”

And also, cold turkey just made me hungry all the time.

But by golly gee, I’m going to do my darnedest to stop this dang bad habit of mine. For my fraking son. Because it’s all fraking fun and games until he calls his kindergarten teacher an asshole because he didn’t get a smiley face sticker on his Thanksgiving turkey hand assignment.

So, I’m going to fraking do this. Even if it fraking kills me.

cursing 3

Clogging the toilet bowl of equality

What fools we are, us women. Prancing around with our right to vote and our equal rights amendment as though they mean something. Thinking we can have our cake and eat it too (and if we eat it standing up in the kitchen it doesn’t have any calories).

Well, I have news for you, America. As much as we say the women’s movement has helped us come a long way, baby, we have been deceived. Like teenagers who get overly excited when a celebrity retweets them, we have been fooled into thinking we matter.

Think I’m crazy? Well, let me just give you an example of how far we haven’t come.

There is a segregated place that women are forced to go to almost on a daily basis that is so perverse, so medieval, so inhumane, it makes one think we haven’t moved forward one iota from the Dark Ages.

Naturally, the place I’m talking about is the women’s public restroom.

Yes, even though we finally have trendy T-shirts featuring Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s face, the fact that we are still forced to use these, dare I say, “facilities,” is outrageous. I mean, we can make someone with Julia Child’s voice a star and yet we can’t come up with a better bathroom system than the current one we have?

If you have never entered into a women’s public restroom (re: you’re a man who didn’t have the nerve as a kid to take the dare from your friends), let me enlighten you.

You’ll first recognize a women’s public restroom by the line outside of it. A line that swoops and curves around in a fashion that should never be seen outside of an amusement park (and only then in cases where it’s a ride that’s going to make you vomit in the fun way). Slowly and painfully do you watch the women in this line zombie shuffle…and shuffle…and shuffle…and shuffle…pausing to let a tumbleweed amble by…and shuffle, until finally they reach the door, where they wait in another line inside the restroom (since there are only two stalls to make way for the gigantic, unnecessary couch in the corner).

Mind you, this whole time their bladders are aching with the fire of a thousand menstrual cramps.

After what seems like a Bugs Bunny cartoon passing of time (the sun went up, sunk down, the moon rose, the sun came back up, back down, the moon rose…) they finally reach the stall door. And here is where the fun part begins.

Whoever was the first woman to decide it would be much more sanitary to “hover” over the toilet seat rather than making actual cheek-to-seat contact should be made to wear diapers and banned from all toilets. As for those of you that continue to “hover,” I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

Contrary to myths circulating fourth grade classrooms the world over, you can’t get cooties from a toilet seat and there is no such thing as a South American poisonous spider that hides under the lids and bites your lady business when you sit down. So sit your happy little ass down. Because you know what happens when you hover? You sprinkle when you tinkle. And you never, ever, clean it up. Which, of course, forces the next woman to hover, and the next, and the next…

BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO CLEAN UP YOUR PEE, YOU DISGUSTING HEATHEN!

And then, of course, there are the women who think they need to use a wad of toilet paper roughly the size of a basketball to clean their vaginas when they are done. This, in turn, causes the toilet to clog and also causes a shortage of toilet paper. Which forces the woman in the one lone stall that still has toilet paper to ration it out amongst her brethren, which merely slows down the entire operation and makes the bitter writer at the end of the line seriously weigh the pros and cons of getting a “urinating in public” ticket.

But wait, what’s it like on the other side then, you ask? Well, according to my husband, who for purposes of anonymity I will only identify here by the code name Ryan Hugene Huddle, men have rules of etiquette when it comes to public restrooms.

“When you first walk in and there is already someone at the urinal, you take the farthest one away from them. You always want at least one urinal between you and the other guys. If it’s not very crowded, you can even wait until someone finishes so as to avoid the ‘right next to each other’ urinal action.”

“But what if it’s really crowded?” I asked.

“Well, you can’t avoid peeing beside each other forever. Sometimes you just have to do it. But, honestly, when it comes down to it, we’ll just pee right there in the street.”

And there it is. Ladies, it’s sad but true what this says about our era. We may have burned our bras and went overseas to fight in wars, but when it comes down to it, we still can’t pee in the street…at least, not very discreetly what with our comically large, bowling-ball-sized wad of toilet paper and all.

The only thing I care about regarding the new royal baby

Kate Middleton in her third trimester looks like current un-pregnant me.

If I went on a 30-day juice fast.

aa7[2]