Kids + Public Restrooms = A Crappy Experience

I hate shopping with my kids, they’re pretty good, but they’re still kids and it’s still exhausting. I generally try to get in and out as quickly as possible, save that one week our air conditioning was broken. We spent a lot of time in Wal-Mart and Target because apparently they do not fear the monthly electricity bill. They crank that air.

Hours upon hours each day that week was spent slowly walking up and down every single aisle, examining e-very-thing. To keep it interesting for the kids, I’d try to make it fun. “Oh wow, look at that screwdriver you guys. It’s handle is red AND blue.  Oh hey, look at the flower embroidered on the top of that toilet lid. How cool is that?”

I have the locations for every item in both stores memorized now. It’s good for the other customers in fact because I’ll hear them ask an employee where something is and as is standard, the employees have no clue, but I do. I’m ever so willing to help the customer out because I’ll do anything to talk to an adult. I’ve been known to even take little old ladies by the hand and lead them directly to the item. I still don’t know why security had to be called. Ingrates.

Anyhoo, on regular shopping trips when I have children with me, my goal is to get in and out as quickly as possible. I can tell this one’s going to be a successful venture. I’ve got everything I need and did not let anyone talk me into purchasing anything not on the list. I even did self check out because I know I’m faster than that old lady resurrected from the crypt who’s working the regular check-out line. We’re ready to bust out the door and I hear the death knell.

“Mommy, I have to go potty.”


Nothing is worse than taking them, all four of them, into a public restroom. Luckily Graham is old enough now to stay outside the door, but this wasn’t always the case.

Why can’t other stores follow Ikea’s lead and have the “toddler trapper”? Do they not realize by installing that simple little seat mom’s might stay in their stores hours longer? They’re fools! FOOLS I say!

“Can’t you hold it till we get home?”  “No mom, I’m not gonna make it” So, off to the bathroom we go.

This is an example of a typical public restroom stop for my little family

We wait till the largest stall is available. In go all 5 of us.

*Hold baby while trying to make sure the toilet is clean for my daughter                                                          

*using one hand , put toilet seat cover on

*seat cover falls in toilet

*put new seat cover on

*attempt to lift Madeleine on the toilet with one hand,  child accidentally knocks seat cover off

*pajama momma cursing under breath, possibly out loud too

*apply new seat cover and Madeleine successfully completes her mission

*decide I need to go as well

“Graham turn your head to the wall, mommy has to go too.”

*Squat to pee while still holding baby. Will not sit on seat no matter how many seat covers are on it.

“No Garren, you get off the floor. Quit peeking  into other stalls.” “Yes I know there are other people in here.”

“Madeleine, stay out of that box.”   “Yes, there’s yucky stuff in there.”  “What is it exactly?”   “They’re used mom band-aids, now close it back up.”

“Garren get off the freaking floor.”

“Graham I told you to stay turned around.” “I don’t care that you thought I was done.” “Do NOT turn around till I tell you to turn around.”

“Madeleine, do not open the door. I know you’re done, but I’m not, ok?”

The worst is when one of my children loudly announces. Eeewwwwww mom, did you hear that lady fart? All the kids start laughing. I even find it difficult not to laugh.

Celebrating Mediocrity

I was at my son Graham’s “A/B” honor roll, “A” citizenship award ceremony a couple weeks ago and my interest was piqued at the awards given.

“A” honor roll? Of course. “A/B” honor roll? Sure, ok. The award that cracked me up was the, “Doing My Very Best Award”. It was for the “C” students. I’m sure the kids love it, who doesn’t like to get a ribbon at that age?

But a “C” is  doing their very best? Really?  I don’t think so. The award is actually insulting. Are they saying  these kids can’t do any better?  I’m pretty sure they can, it’s just our public school system’s never-ending quest to worry more about a student’s self-esteem, than encouraging them to do their very best.

Reminds me of why some of the schools got rid of dodge ball. It hurts kids’ self-esteem to be hit by the ball and knocked out of the game. There’s no spirit of cooperation in dodge ball, no hand holding, no climbing that mountain together and rising to the top. gag. 

It never failed. I was always the one who felt the sting of the ball on my butt the moment the game began. Did I lose self-esteem? No. Did it suck? Yeah. Did I want to cut myself over it? Maybe a little. Relax, I’m kidding. I was terrible at this game.  All it did was make me determined to get my eyes and my butt to act as a team to help me avoid the ball. Didn’t work, but I tried.

I’d like to think I’m teaching my kids to be productive members of society. I want to know that when I send them out to be an employee, a boss or business owner, they don’t think doing average work is acceptable, that they should get a ribbon for doing “ok”.

Sadly our school system has decided doing ok is fine. Why try harder if you’re going to get rewarded for mediocrity?  I understand teachers have their work cut out for them. They don’t have an easy job. They have to deal with rotten parents who let their kids get away with murder,  but that still doesn’t explain the shift in what society expects from this generation.

Parents can’t expect the schools to expect more from their kids if they themselves don’t expect squat from them. Parents don’t discipline their kids anymore. They’re afraid to or their lazy or they feel guilty. They require little of their children in terms of chores, personal responsibility and acceptable behaviors. They excuse their behaviors.  My favorite line is, it’s not little Johnny’s fault he behaves this way, he’s tired. I guarantee you little Johnny’s boss won’t give a rat’s ass if your precious is tired or not. Johnny’s boss is not going to be happy with mediocrity. Johnny will not get far in life, but hey, he did get that ribbon in school, right?

So to make up for this imbalance in society,  I’ve decided to give my kids a dose of castor oil and a firm flick on the head before I send them to bed an hour earlier each night. Oh and then tell them they better kick ass in school or else. Don’t you hate lame blog story endings?



No One’s Gonna Tell Me What To Do

I wound up staying at my parents house this past week while all the funerally stuff for Danny was going on and for some reason I became the child to my mother again. “Did you make your bed yet?” No. “Did you make your bed yet?” No. “You need to make your bed.”  Would my mother ask a real guest if they’d made their bed? Not on your life. Course a real guest prolly would have made their bed. Stupid brown nosers.

“Man I sure could use a beer Mom.  I’m gonna put some Coronas in the fridge.”

Mom: No, we don’t “let” our guests have more than two beers.

Me: What? What do you mean you don’t “let” your guests have more than two beers?

Mom: Nope, I pour our guests their beer and then another one and it doesn’t even dawn on me to pour them anymore. That stuff gets expensive. And you’ve already had over your alloted amount. (I’d had one and a half beers, 3 hours earlier)

This is when I show my true grown-upness. I show that I can stand on my own two feet and will not have anyone tell me what I can and cannot do. I’m 35 years old. I’m a mother of four. I am  woman hear me roar.

Me: Yeah? Well your perfume stinks!

Oh man, I’m good. I should have been a lawyer.

*sneaks more corona after mom leaves

Heading Out Of Town

won’t be any new posts until next week.

I Answered The Phone, She Told Me You Were Gone

We’ve been together since I was born because our mom’s are best friends. You were exactly two months older than me. The first memory I have of us together is of you and me playing in my backyard. You kept calling me “Donna” because you couldn’t pronounce Shauna. I can’t believe you’re gone.

Do you remember all those Thanksgivings at the kids’ table? All us kids? We made such a mess. Remember mashed potato zits? Running around afterwards playing “hide and go seek” and tag? Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie! Who’s not ready holler aye!!! (I used to think it was apples, peach skins, pumpkin pie.)

Oh you were such a looker, the girls drooled over you. Just remember, I turned you down first. You asked me to be your girl and I said no because I was too scared that I would actually have to kiss you or sumpin.  I remember flashing my newly budding breasts at you a year later and what was your response? You looked, shrugged your shoulders and said, “My sister’s are bigger”.

You were my friend. Do you remember when you and Damian snuck out in the middle of the night and rode all the way across town to come see me? Remember setting off those fireworks and how I didn’t quite throw mine high enough and we had to duck and cover? Remember how it blew the finger off my glove? Do you remember when I used to watch you and Johnne skate for hours in the pool at that abandoned air force base? You were such an adventurous soul. Always doing something.

We had so many fun hours working at the egg ranch together. It’s because of you I used the word “Poontang” at the dinner table. I remember the forts you and the boys would build out of the egg crates. Hah, I also remember when the fort caught on fire because somebody decided to use a lighter to see inside.

Remember that time we got drunk at the church picnic from that box o’ wine? You and I laying side by side in the ice plant laughing our heads off. Our parents looking at us thinking we were such a pair of giggly heads. That is until you puked all over the stairwell at the youth center. I think that was the day you got “introduced” to Monsignor Dolan. 



You were my pal. We were so goofy whenever we got together. I loved hanging out with my “boys”. Never a dull moment. Always skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, dirt biking and getting into mischief. I thought you were so clever. You were certainly a leader. You made me laugh. You were my co-conspirator. I admired you.

We got older. Everyone started calling you Dan, but not me, you were still my Danny.  You went away to college and I stayed home for school. We each got married. I moved across the country. We only saw each other at family gatherings.  Even though we didn’t see each other as often as when we were kids, we were always able to pick up where we left off and have a good ole time when we did.

Marie, your wife, is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. Still not sure how you pulled that one off. Mom says she’s in shock right now. I’m in shock right now. I can’t believe you’re gone. I’m going to miss you and my heart is broken right now.

You remember how many times you cheated death? You remember when we were in your car and we lost control and spun out? You remember how that man came out of his house and threatened to kill you because of it? Boy was he mad. Or when we side-swiped a bridge guardrail on the way home from Knott’s Berry Farm because our driver fell asleep? We thought it was so funny to yell, “CORN!” at random times the rest of the drive home to make sure he didn’t fall asleep again. You remember how you were camping and that jeep went off the road and came to a rest on it’s side just touching your tent?

I guess this time you just couldn’t cheat death.  I don’t know what that woman was doing when she lost control of her truck, but I’m glad you left this world on your dirt bike doing what you love. I’m so sorry for Marie, my Godparents and the rest of his family. What a rotten Mother’s Day for my Godmother.

I will forever miss you.   

Daniel John Krivitz


[UPDATE]    Rosary/viewing scheduled for Thursday May 15th at 6:30pm.     Funeral Mass to be held, Friday May 16th at 10am both services held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church.                                                                                                                    

pjmomma’s sick

that’s why I haven’t posted anything this week. lo siento mucho

UPDATE: The verdict is in, me and the kids all have strep throat……..niiiiiiiiiiiice

Happy 10th Birthday Graham!

Happy Birthday Graham. You are such a good boy. Such a wonderful addition to my life.

I’m so proud of you. Always on the “A/B” honor roll, always “A” citizenship. You’re a kind, sweet, sensitive boy, but you don’t let bullies kick your butt either, you’re tough like that.  I know you will grow up to be a wonderful man. And guess what? Just to embarrass you, I’m gonna say on here that you’re super duper handsome too! How do you like them apples huh?

oh and here’s the venus flytrap I promised you. see how much easier it would be to take care of this one than a real one?

Just kidding, I really ordered you one last night.