The How (Not) To of Childcare Instructions

The How (Not) To of Childcare Instructions

I was digging through an old bookcase today when this old, folded-up note fell out.  I unfolded it to discover the six-page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious choice of words) that I had written years ago for my mother and father-in-law when they came to care for our daughter while I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy with my mom.

This was eight years ago.  My daughter had just turned one, plus we had moved into a new house the week prior.  There were boxes everywhere, not to mention the general craziness of living with a one year old.  Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her for ten days, while my husband was at work, so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.

I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and in hindsight, am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.
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“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

“When I Was Your Age!” Halloween Edition

Gather around, children, while I tell you a little story about Halloweens back when I was your age, waaaayyyy back in the 1970s.

Ah, those were the days! Children wore costumes their mothers made from scratch, and store-bought costumes were much less slutty, (and much more flammable.) This period also marked the final years when it was acceptable, nay, encouraged, to raise awareness to the plight of the homeless by dressing your child up as a Hobo for the night.

Which brings me to Exhibit A, featuring my brother, the Hobo and me as Raggedy Anne. My mom made the hat and the apron and of course there’s the cute little red dress underneath. Look how sweet we are posing out in front of our house in Idaho.

Happy 70's Halloween - TheDustyParachute.com
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Beware of Unsolicited Pumpkin Texts

Beware of Unsolicited Pumpkin Texts

There’s a good chance my in-laws think I’m crazy.

I miss 85% of their correspondence because I only check emails once a month.

It takes me approximately four months to cash the kids’ birthday checks.

There’s the time I left them SIX PAGES of crazy baby-care instructions while they were babysitting our (then) one year old daughter.

And then there’s the Pumpkin-Text-Fiasco of 2013.

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Can You Find My Favorite Anniversary Present?

Can You Find My Favorite Anniversary Present?

Originally published on my Dusty Parachute blog July 5, 2015.

My husband and I aren’t big on giving gifts. We already have a lot of stuff and we’re both really bad about buying things when we want them so not only is there nothing that either one of us really needs, there’s not even usually something that we want that the other could buy.

For a while we tried to make gift buying more interesting by creating gift-giving themes like, “Spend $10 at a Walgreen’s” or “Spend $10 on something that could be featured on Antique Roadshow someday.”
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The Birds & the Bees & Hard Candies – Why Sex Ed Is Important

The Birds & the Bees & Hard Candies – Why Sex Ed Is Important

I originally performed this piece live as part of the Listen to Your Mother Austin 2016 Show. I’m sharing it here again as just one example of why I believe that science-based, comprehensive sex-ed is important for all children.

 

When I was 8 years old, I became a walking after school special when I showed a neighbor boy my underpants in exchange for a fun-size pack of Life Savers.

I should have known he was bad news when he suggested we take his riding mower out for a joyride around the back pasture (not a euphemism).  Our ride ended with the lawnmower stuck in an irrigation ditch and me in his grandpa’s basement trading a peek at my underwear in exchange for his hard candies (also not a euphemism.)
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My REVISED Amazon Squishy Product Review

My REVISED Amazon Squishy Product Review

If you haven’t read the original Squishy Penis Post, you can find it here.

Dear Amazon –

It is with a heavy heart that I must remove one star , or eggplant 🍆, from my previous review of my Mochi Squishies Squishy Toys Squeeze Random Animals Stress Toy Kawaii Squishies by Shovan, 30 Pieces.

Once it was confirmed by several hundred people that one of the MSSTSRASTKSbS30Ps I ordered was definitely not an Animal, and was, in fact, a Penis, it started to generate some tension in our household.

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My Amazon Squishy Product Review

My Amazon Squishy Product Review

My Amazon Review for “Mochi Squishies Squishy Toys Squeeze Random Animals Stress Toy Kawaii Squishies by Shovan, 30 Pieces”

Dear Amazon –

I recently purchased your MSSTSRASTKSbS30P (aka Mochi Squishy Animal Stress Toys) for my son’s 2nd Grade “End of School” Treasure Box

As always, I relied purely on all of your completely legitimate product reviews to make my final purchase decision. Sure, I was a little suspicious that all of the reviews were 5 stars, in broken English, and submitted within the past month, but I was sold by Sunny’s critique about being “worried that the smell would be too heavy” but discovering that her “worry were superfluous” after receiving them.

If they pass Sunny’s sniff test, then that’s good enough for me!
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A Sneak Peek at My First Novel

A Sneak Peek at My First Novel

I am setting forth on a new adventure and working on putting together a book proposal. I have been honored to be part of several humor and parenting anthologies but writing an entire book is a whole new ballgame.

When putting together my proposal for prospective agents, I will be highlighting several examples of my work, one of which will be this previously unpublished treasure that my mom discovered while cleaning out her garage. Don’t be surprised if you someday see this 1980 classic, “The Dogs that Never Stoped Loveing,” on the NYT Bestseller list, (or back in the bottom of a box in my attic.)
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America Needs a Little NEMO in our Sex Ed

America Needs a Little NEMO in our Sex Ed

When I was in grade school, I spent a year of my life distressed over the possibility that I could be pregnant, all because a boy saw my underpants and a friend of mine told me that that’s how babies were made.

My psychosomatic pregnancy scare has influenced the approach I take when teaching my own kids about sex. Since preschool, my kids have known that boys have penises, not “wee-wees,” and that girls have vaginas, not “front-butts.” They also learned that babies are made when penises enter vaginas, not when 10-year-old boys sneak a peek at your underwear.
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10 Signs You’re Experiencing Mom 2.0 Summit Reentry Syndrome

10 Signs You’re Experiencing Mom 2.0 Summit Reentry Syndrome

You knew it couldn’t last forever, but still didn’t realize that the end would come this quickly and be so painful.

Mom 2.0 Summit 2018 is over.

Reentry to the real world can be hard, but you’re not alone. In fact, all 800 of us are drifting through our lives today wondering why these vaguely-familiar little humans keep asking us for things like “cereal” and all we can say is, “TWO DAYS AGO I WAS EATING MY BODY WEIGHT IN CHEESE BLINTZES AND NO ONE WAS ASKING ME FOR THINGS!”
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