Pants on Fire 2: Lies I Tell Adults


I’ve made it clear that I have no qualms about lying to my children. What I might not have revealed was that I also have a tendency to tell the occasional white lie to adults. One could say that I’m an equal opportunity liar. Below, check out my favorite lies to tell fellow adults. Not that I have ever lied to anyone reading this. These are lies I tell other people.

I’m a Social Drinker

This one is told to my doctor when asked, “How frequently do you drink alcohol?” and is often followed by an awkward fumbling of my words that goes something like this: “Oh, you know, like just socially. Like, if I’m out for dinner, or, you know, like a glass of wine with dinner, like just, like a glass or two of wine during the week, maybe a few glasses a week, I’m not sure the exact number. Yeah, I guess you could say I’m a social drinker.” All the while my internal monologue is saying, “Why are you still talking? Stop talking! Now she’s assuming you are an alcoholic. She’s going to give you a pamphlet if you don’t shut up. What have you done?!” This is not to say I’m passing out with my wine glass every night (that’s just an invitation for spills, and there will be no wine wasting on my watch), but the word “social” is a bit of a stretch here. “Social” implies that I am surrounded by other adults, perhaps clad in a cocktail dress and chatting about Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne the latest episode of Orange is the New Black, not that I am rocking faded, stretched out yoga pants and drinking wine while hiding from my two small children.

My Children Have Extremely Dry Skin

I like to pull out this one when I notice that one of my kids is rocking a marker streak across her arm for the third day in a row. I hate giving my kids baths. Whether it’s because they don’t want to get in, don’t want to get out, or both, someone always cries. Plus, our water pressure has the same velocity of the spittle exiting an 8-year-old lisper’s mouth, meaning the hair-washing process – every child’s favorite part of bath time – takes no less than 15 minutes per child. Basically, bath time always results in Mama yelling (on a bad day) or forcing herself to take several meditative deep breaths (on a good day). So I lie and claim that my children have exceptionally dry skin, and that a daily cleansing would be detrimental to their health and comfort, when really it’s just detrimental to Mama’s emotional well-being.

We Choose Adult Babysitters Because They’re More Responsible  

When I was eleven, strangers used to hire me to babysit their four children, which typically included a baby. Nowadays, the PTA would have you arrested for leaving your children with anyone other than an adult whose background check reflected a lack of criminal history, a laundry list of personal and professional references, and a decent credit score. I can smugly report that our amazing babysitter is an adult with a degree in childhood education (a certification which, incidentally, comes with a state-mandated background check). You know why we really hire her? She has her own car. Which means that we don’t have anyone to drive home after dinner. I’m sorry, but asking a mom on a date night to not have a drink is like asking a fraternity to throw a party without a keg. That shit ain’t right. So, I pretend that my choice of babysitter is all about my parental responsibility, when, in fact, it’s so I can visit the gastropub up the street, unabashedly throw back a cocktail or three, stroll home with my husband, and watch our babysitter drive herself away.   

Excuse the Mess

Like a size two mom who claims she constantly eats garbage and never works out, I get great satisfaction from standing in a tidy home and claiming that I haven’t cleaned at all. “Excuse the mess” typically passes my lips following a two-hour cleaning marathon. My husband and I would have most likely pulled a divide and conquer, which entails putting on a movie for the children and then each of us taking a floor of the house and attempting to scrub away the filth that has accumulated since our last cleaning…roughly 8 weeks prior. Inevitably, our cleaning frenzy ends with a house that looks…decent – like the state of a typical family’s house if you dropped by on a Tuesday evening. When people arrive to our home, I like to say, “Excuse the mess. We’ve just had such a busy day, we didn’t really have time to clean before anyone came over.” The hope is that our guests assume we live like regular people instead of filthy animals, when, in reality, our “sparkle and shine” is their midweek disheveled. If you drop over unannounced, don’t expect this lie. Expect us to be pretending not to hear you knocking while we feverishly try to shove all the laundry and toys into the nearest closet.  


Mama’s Drinking Wine…

IMG_9505Because the first official days of summer break have brought a legion of arguments over bubbles, bracelets, and, of course, whose turn it is for the iPad. No argument caused quite as much outrage and violence from the children as the one over Mama’s suggestion to “share” the lone bag of goldfish that was acquired at a recent birthday party. Slugging it out for sharing? This is going to be a fun summer. Cheers!

PS: Goldfish acquired through confiscation are more delicious. Especially when paired with some sauvy b.

Mama’s Drinking Wine…

For all of those times she really, really needed a glass of wine, but couldn’t. I think we’ve all been the mom below, so grab your glass and pour some out for the mamas who can’t have one. And by pour it out, I clearly mean, pour it into your mouth. What kind of savage wastes wine?

Photo Credit: Courtney T.

This is called “Why Mama Can’t Drink Wine” because she is working from home with a double ear infection afflicted 15 month old!

Mama Makes You Feel Better Because…

imageWhen she looks for ear buds, she pulls two pairs out of a drawer. And a Kindle charger. And some string. And a bracelet. And a phone charger. And a pen. And a resistance band. All conveniently attached to one another. Meanwhile, she was looking for ear buds because her normal pair had to be thrown out as they were in the fruit bowl that also housed a rotting, leaking watermelon.

25 Questions I Had While Watching Goonies as an Adult


A favorite family activity in my house is “Family Movie Night.” It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to pop some popcorn, snuggle up together, and have fun as a family. Let’s be perfectly honest though – it’s 20% about family bonding and 80% about being able to recline on the couch while my children are awake.

Another perk of movie night is that, thanks to our rule that the movie has to be one that we my children have never seen before, we get a break from watching the latest American Girl movie for the 37th time. Now, not only do we get to recline, we also get to rewatch all of our favorite 80s movies. Back to the Future, Big, Spaceballs – these movies defined my youth and movie nights allow me the chance to step back in time and relive the magic that delighted and thrilled me as a child. They also helped me realize how epically effed up 80s kids films are.

My children love watching these 80s films, but I can’t tell you how often I’ve wondered if all of my neurosis are a direct result of viewing these films in my formative years. On many movie nights I wonder if, someday, my children will sit in their therapists offices and recall the time they were 5 and 3 years old respectively and their parents sat them down to watch Princess Leia, wearing nothing but a gold bikini, chained up by Jabba the Hut.

The film that seems to have resonated with my kids the most is one that was a most treasured favorite of mine: Goonies. The tale of a group of kids finding pirate treasure – foiling a crime family and saving their town along the way – basically blew my mind as a child. After watching Goonies, rainy days turned into attempts to break into the attic and hours of rummaging through old boxes in the basement in the hopes of finding a treasure map. As an adult, Goonies has just left me with a lot of questions, the least of which is why I didn’t know they used the word “shit” roughly 80 times in this children’s film.

Coincidentally, none of my questions in regard to Goonies has anything to do with the fantastical elements of the kids’ actual quest to find One-Eyed Willy. Instead, most of my bewilderment is a result of the more mundane and “realistic” plot points of this film, none of which I ever questioned in my youth.    

The following is a list of the 25 questions I had while watching Goonies as an adult. I suggest you re-watch it with your kids (I swear they won’t repeat any of the bad words afterward) and see what I am talking about.

  1. Whose idea was it to begin a children’s movie with a man hanging in a cell?
  2. No one notices that a man is pouring gasoline all over the entrance to the county jail? Isn’t that the kind of place that would typically be heavily guarded?
  3. If their house is being demolished in 48 hours, why hasn’t anyone started packing yet?
  4. Why is the mom letting her able-bodied sons hang out and watch music videos instead of helping her pack?
  5. Does Rosalita seriously believe everything that Mouth is saying? Like, instead of suspecting that this is just a 12-year-old punk messing with her, she chooses to believe that the attic is full of sexual torture devices, and that this kid knows about them?
  6. If she really does believe that she’s about to get involved with drug trafficking and that there’s a chance they are going to lock her up in a cockroach infested closet, is she that hard-up for cash that she’s willing to stay?
  7. Why is Mikey’s mom so calm about Data destroying the door, but freaks out by the sight of potato chips on the floor?
  8. Wouldn’t the museum have asked for all of their artifacts back long before this scheduled demolition?
  9. If Mikey wanted to get the map out of the frame, why didn’t he just drop it onto the floor himself? Why does he need Chunk to do his dirty work for him?
  10. What kind of Spanish classes is Mouth taking? How does he know how to translate 17th century pirate dialect? Who is teaching this kid the Spanish word for “ye”?
  11. Why aren’t the Fratellis getting out of town?
  12. Wouldn’t there be a lot more police presence in the area after a jail break?
  13. Why would Mama Fratelli let Mikey use the bathroom? I mean, even if it was an emergency, doesn’t she seem like the type of lady who would just let a kid pee his pants?
  14. Why are they feeding Sloth giant portions of slop? When it comes to slop, isn’t a reasonable portion enough?
  15. I realize Troy and his cronies probably like their girls svelte, but, when pulling up the well’s bucket, did they really confuse the weight of a letterman’s jacket with the weight of Andy, a teenage girl?
  16. Whose idea was it to have a major character of a light-hearted children’s adventure film be a man who has physical abnormalities and developmental delays caused by the abuse inflicted on him by his own mother when he was an infant? How did that play out in the pre-production meetings?
  17. Nobody in Astoria has ever wondered where the hole in the seaside rocks led to? In three hundred years, no small kid ever wandered in there and discovered a giant lagoon with a pirate ship?
  18. Did Chunk’s family stop on the way to see their child – who has been missing for 24 hours – in order to get pizza?
  19. While it’s a nice gesture to offer Sloth some free room and board, shouldn’t Chunk run that idea by his parents before extending the invitation?
  20. Why does Troy’s dad drag him to all of these business deals?
  21. Are Mouth and Stef getting together here? Isn’t he a lot younger than her?  
  22. If Rosalita’s knowledge of English truly is as poor as we have been led to believe, how does she know what the father is about to sign?
  23. After being treated so poorly by everyone, why does Rosalita even give the jewels to the family? I mean, I think we’ve established that she needs the money.
  24. Why does everyone assume that the Goonies get to keep the jewels? Wouldn’t they belong to a museum? At the very least, wouldn’t they be tied up in litigation for years?
  25. What octopus??? This is the one question I actually did have as a child, and it remains. Seriously – they talk about how scary the octopus was, but there never was an octopus! As a child, this was a great mystery. As an adult, I know this scene was cut, but now just wonder why the editors allowed this flub.

Regardless of these questions, Goonies will forever be a beloved classic, one that I am glad is in heavy rotation at my house. Because Corey Feldman yelling shit is, in my humble opinion, way less offensive than Caillou’s whining.  


Mama Makes You Feel Better Because

IMG_9340While my husband was away in January, my mom kindly babysat the girls and slept over. While getting dressed the next morning, she hung her nightgown on the bathroom door, and forgot to bring it home. It has remained there ever since. In that exact spot. For nearly 5 months. It finally took my 5-year-old to remind me last week to get Nonnie’s pajamas off the door and give them back to her. I obliged – but paused to first take a photo. The new look of the downstairs bathroom sure is going to take some getting used to. It’s just so bare now.

Your Emoji is a Tragedy: How to Use Words Instead of Emojis to Express Your Support

When someone posts about a somber event on social media, the only thing that eases the pain is seeing a broken heart emoji in the comments. Because, if you’re a self-righteous bitch like me, your overwhelming sense of judgment and condemnation momentarily trumps the sadness.

In the past, we had time to craft personal, heartfelt sympathy cards to loved ones who suffered a loss. In 2016, we live in a global community where life’s most important events – both tragic and wonderful – are shared through social media, email, and text. We find out about engagements, births, marital problems, diagnoses, children’s ER visits, and even death right from our phones. As a result, we often find ourselves with the daunting, time-sensitive task of reacting to news before it finds itself lost in our newsfeed. In our haste and sympathy, we fear we won’t properly articulate our thoughts, and, like the mom who’s so stressed about whipping up an organic, vegan meal that she ultimately decides to cook her kids mac and cheese, the pressure makes us give up all together and send an emoji.  

Before clicking, we need to ask ourselves, in what way is a yellow frowny face with a single, giant tear dripping from its eye an appropriate response to tragic news? Do we assume that an adorable image is the comfort and support anyone is seeking? Have we convincing ourselves that a stock image can truly capture our sentiments and relay them accurately to a grieving friend? We shouldn’t. There’s a reason there are no emoji sympathy cards.* They are a bit tasteless.

This is not to say emojis don’t have their place. I have had entire text conversations with my girlfriends that are 90% emoji. My husband and I have even been known to text each other the most random emojis we can find (he is partial to the tempura shrimp), just to show we are thinking of one another. And bored. Probably very bored. The point is, emojis are for casual texts and comments only.

That’s all well and good for the celebratory cocktail emojis, but you may be wondering – if they are indeed offensive – why there are emoji options that are clearly for tough times. It’s because they are for your everyday faux tough times. A praying hands emoji is a perfect reply to a friend asking if you can get a sitter for drinks this Friday, but not an appropriate response to finding out that her grandmother just passed away. Furthermore, a broken heart is a quick, handy reply when your friend posts a picture of an empty wine fridge. Or a shattered wine glass. Or an empty wine bottle. Or…well, you get the idea. It’s best, however, to keep that fractured heart emoji to yourself when she texts you about her husband’s affair.  

Sometimes, there truly are no words. This does not mean there should be emojis. In fact, if a tragedy occurs that renders you speechless and bereft, it probably means that you should, under no circumstances, be letting your finger anywhere near an emoji icon. I get it. Tragic news is difficult to share and painful to hear. Coming up with the right words can seem like a formidable task, but now, with this handy list, it’s one you don’t have to tackle. The next time you read some unfortunate news and your thumb is inching toward an emoji, use one of these wordy phrases instead.

  • Sometimes there are no words. I’m so sorry.
  • Please know that I am thinking of you.
  • I love you.
  • I can’t imagine what you are going through.
  • I’m here for you.
  • Sending you love/prayers/positive thoughts. Don’t use slashes. Choose one, or use more and make use of commas and that handy word “and.” Use of an Oxford comma I hereby leave to your own discretion.

Now you are prepared for the next crisis! Just don’t be so eager to use one of these bad boys that you wish any ill will upon anyone. If you do, I’ll have to throw a devil emoji your way.

*Editor’s Note: At least, I really hope there aren’t. I was too afraid to Google it.