well, today is our fifth and likely final wedding anniversary. as nostalgia sets in and i reflect on our years together, i can’t help but wonder exactly what caused our marriage to take a turn straight into the flames of hell.
after careful thought and a great deal of chocolate eating, I’ve come up with a number of possible contributing factors. right out of the gate we had challenges that even the cast of “SURVIVOR” wouldn’t have made it through. a twenty-one year age gap, three kids who didn’t want a stepmother, and my husband’s decision to move us a mile down the road from his first family (in what i can only assume was an attempt to play out some disturbing mormon fantasy), just to name a few. we probably have to factor in that our wedding day itself was a volatile disaster. it began with no one knowing whether or not the groom was even gonna show and ended with us almost getting kicked off the island for disturbing the peace when i screamed several obscenities during our wedding reception for four and stormed off to our bungalow without getting to eat a bite of my damn wedding cake. or perhaps it was deciding to get pregnant five minutes into the marriage and gaining fifty-two pounds as a newlywed that doomed things from the start. i don’t think I’ve ever been able to forgive him for leaving me at home during most of my pregnancy unsupervised with all the ice cream.
clearly we didn’t think much through. i mean, i married a successful man TWENTY-ONE years my senior and never even got to experience my rightful reign as a Trophy Wife for christ’s sake. surely i was entitled to at least a year or two of parading a new pair of boobs around town and doing nothing of any substance.
however, instead of living in superficial bliss, by our first anniversary our twins were over 2 months old, i was still wearing my maternity pants and we were too freaking tired to celebrate surviving the year so we went to Duffy’s Sports Grill with my stepson for an hour and called it a night. i was hardly anyones trophy wife constantly covered in vomit, piss and stretch marks. instead i crowned myself Queen Frumpty Dumpty and scheduled a tummy tuck STAT.
whatever the reasons may be, we’ve found ourselves in the ‘one of us has to change or one of us has to die’ predicament that so many married couples face. though i fear we’ve reached this milestone at a much faster rate than is healthy. technically we’ve been together for ten years but the first five were by choice so we really shouldn’t be at this point just yet should we? we recently had one of THOSE talks where nobody cried and nobody yelled. i think the adults call them “mature discussions”. we decided to give our marriage some serious effort and agreed to make a list of what changes we needed the other person to make in order for us to be happily married. to each other. we would meet the following night to read our lists and the rule was that we were not allowed to say ANYTHING until the person reading had finished. then we would each decide what we were realistically willing to sacrifice or change and go from there.
the next night i sat myself on the couch with my “why i can’t fucking stand you” list handwritten about a page long. he hadn’t even walked in the room yet but i knew exactly what was gonna be on his list. the same three wifely “shortcomings” he’s been complaining about our whole marriage; i don’t cook, i don’t clean, i spend too much money. each time he brings these up i remind him that he’s always known i was a reckless spender and have zero skills or interest in anything to do with a stove or sponge. I made very clear to him i would be his wife, not his chef or his maid and he chose to marry me anyway. so as far as i’m concerned he forfeited his right to bitch. i wonder how he would feel if i woke up one morning suddenly resentful that he is older than me and was shocked and disappointed he hasn’t gotten younger every year. to make his argument lose even more validity we have a full time housekeeper. what does he want me to do? follow her around the house with another broom? since i knew we’d have to go through this same tired argument yet again, earlier that day i told him he could go first with his list. i wanted to get his out of the way so we could focus on the real issues i wanted to bring up.
he entered the room shortly after me armed with a laptop. sat down, and opened up a microsoft word document containing his “why i can’t fucking stand you” list. typed. THREE PAGES. SINGLE. SPACED.
just as i was about to let out a gigantic “WHAT THE FUCK?!” and break the no talking rule, he began:
- “You’re incredibly high maintenance.”
- “You don’t let me parent our children the way I want to.”
- “You became a private investigator.”
- “You keep adopting pets.”
oh thank God! although i was relieved, i really did wish he would stop complimenting me and move on to the areas of concern. after all, it was already 9pm, my bedtime was an hour ago and we had a shitload to cover. as if he read my mind, without warning, his list took a turn for the infuriating.
- “You spend a zillion dollars on these pets you insist on having only to hate them an hour after they move in. And then we all suffer through the havoc they wreck on our lives until their inevitable mysterious disappearances. Remember the pig?!”
heeere we go. again with the FUCKING PIG! in our marriage this pig is the equivalent to an affair. you know when someone cheats and their spouse decides to forgive them and stay with them but EVERY time they get pissed about anything they bring up the affair? it ALWAYS goes back to the affair. well in our case, it ALWAYS goes back to the fucking pig. i bought a piglet that was supposed to stay adorably small. i had it flown here from some farm. during this time we were renovating our home so we had moved into a condo with minimal living space, five kids and three huge dogs with no yard. i didn’t even know if pigs were legally allowed there but who would notice the tiny thing? well in a few short months it was gigantic, repulsive and the fifth worst mistake I’d ever made. that hideous disaster tried to eat EVERYONE it came in contact with and destroyed everything we owned in its constant obsessive quest for food. our nanny had a nervous breakdown and threatened to quit over the beast. my husband drop kicked it every time it blocked the TV and it screeched like a demon from the pits of hell if you tried to touch it. it almost ended our marriage so i gave it to a friend by telling her it was a darling little thing and then it almost ended her marriage. shortly after that it boarded a plane never to be seen or heard again. and i’ve yet to get any appreciation from gil for removing it from our lives or for naming the damn thing after him…
- “Most women will attend their husbands work related events even when they happen to be pissed at him for something. They will put their feelings aside and support their spouse for the evening. I would like it if you would do the same.”
if i do not like you in the house
i will not like you with a mouse
i will not like you here or there
i will not go with you anywhere
then came an oldie but goodie:
- “Would you PLEASE agree to take a cooking class? I’ll even go with you. It will be fun!”
He sounded like a parent trying to convince a toddler how great it would feel to put on a shirt that itches the shit out of him.
WE HAVE A CHEF! i silently screamed. i’m not sure whether he read my mind or my expression when he added,
“Having a personal chef is costing us money we shouldn’t have to spend.”
- ” I value my privacy. I would REALLY appreciate it if you kept our private life private.”
“I mean, you even air our dirty laundry in our family christmas cards!”
- “I don’t think it’s fair that I should have to get the kids ready and drive them to school every morning when I’m in town. “
you don’t think that’s fair? you know what i don’t think is fair? that i am going to be spending the prime of my life changing your diapers, carting you around to doctor’s appointments, making sure you get your medications and checking you in and out of hospitals. so forgive me if i am less than sensitive to your great inconvenience of driving 3 miles to the school so i can sleep an extra hour.
just as i was about to say GAME OVER he went where no man should ever go:
- “And honey… PLEASE…Once in a while would it kill you to wear something sexy to bed? I mean, if I have to look at those fluffy socks one more time…..You dress for bed like you’re about to go sled riding during a blizzard.”
FUCK THIS! i have a thyroid condition! THAT’S IT! your ass is gonna be in a nursing home before breakfast tomorrow.
i started to drift off to sleep at 1AM somewhere around the beginning of page two. my final thoughts before i welcomed unconsciousness was how i could have ignored all of gil’s attempts to get me to recognize that i’m the world’s WORST wife. there’s hardly a week that goes by when he doesn’t tell me that living me with is like being trapped in an “I Love Lucy” episode you can’t turn off. i always thought it was a compliment. and looking back, maybe he was trying to get my attention through instagram. the pseudonym he chose for his account that’s filled with photos of our family is ‘slowpainfuldeath’ and still i had seen no cause for concern.
after what seemed like a week it was finally my turn to read my list which took considerably less time. we had an eerily peaceful 48 hours after that when we didn’t piss each other off. while i still refused to change really anything about myself i did try my hand at something new called ‘compromising’. for example, although there was no way i would ever turn on the stove, i promised that i would stop ordering take out when he pays someone to cook for us. that’s the best i could do. everybody’s got their limitations. imagine my gratitude when three days in gil fucked up on one of his promises to me so i got to use it as an excuse to call off the whole experiment and return to my argumentative, inconsiderate, happy self.
i am proud to say that we didn’t give up on each other even though our efforts failed miserably. instead we decided to try to rescue our marriage another way. couples therapy. turns out i’m a huge fan! it truly DOES work! after just one session i already feel incredibly motivated to strengthen some of my wifely weaknesses that gil repeatedly felt inclined to mention during the hour. for instance, i am FINALLY going to start cooking!
Dinner is served Your Majesty! Enjoy your side of arsenic! if my husband and marriage survive the day (and this blog post) we’ll be
mourning celebrating our five year miracle tonight at and who knows, we may even renew our vows while we’re there…..
in closing: while i’m certainly not a good wife, and i never got to be a trophy wife, i’m sure all would agree i’m the World’s Worst Wife and to achieve that status with only five years under my belt is accomplishment enough for me. it’s empowering to know the reason our marriage exists is so everyone else can feel better about theirs.
*I’m Lauren Anastasi-Peter and my husband approves this message.
may 18th, 2014
now do you know what today is? it’s interesting because even the people who are supposed to be recognized today most likely have no idea it exists. there actually is such a thing as National Stepmother’s Day. the third sunday in may. there are no advertisements for it, no spouses and stepchildren scrambling through stores searching for the perfect gift to say “thank you”. this day will go by as every day does for most stepmothers; with no recognition. no appreciation. in short; no one gives a shit. this is surprising to me given the growing number of stepfamilies in our country. divorce and remarriage are everywhere. stepmothers are spreading around the globe like cancer. and treated as such. you either are a stepparent, have a stepparent or know a stepparent. and yet still the world is trying to ignore our existence. we aren’t asking to be recognized on mother’s day anymore, we got the shit beat out of us over that one. now we have our very own holiday, one day out of 365 when the stepmother is to be, dare I say, honored. appreciated. loved? well now i’ve gone way too far.
perhaps we have walt disney to blame for the bitter taste in ones mouth when we say “stepmother”. but at least he gave us a role in the family. can’t say the same for the mothers. he killed those poor bitches off in the first scene. but not all stepmothers are wicked. most of us are pretty freakin fantastic. i choose to honor all the courageous souls who have been CHOSEN to take on this challenge. God is too smart to make mistakes. he elects only the strongest, most resilient, most empathic, and those with the greatest capacity to love for this gig. he knows how extrafreakinordinary you are. he made you this way on purpose. because even though they don’t know it, and you probably don’t either, those kids need you. and so does your spouse.
think of what goes into the decision to marry someone who doesn’t have kids. there’s a helluva lot of contemplating, probably years of auditioning for one another (unless you’re one of those vegas brides). a whole lot of pros and cons and that’s just to decide whether to share your life with ONE person. now think of what goes into the decision to marry a person with kids. all the above times the amount of children he has plus there’s your ability and willingness to deal with the kids mom to factor in. you’ll have to agree to give up the honeymoon period, the newlywed year when you’re supposed to have sex all over the kitchen 8 times a day without having to worry about children around to get grossed out and traumatized. you’ll have to give up your social life and weekend date nights because you’ll have the kids on weekends even when you two have worked so hard all week that you barely got to speak to one another. you will always be married with kids, there will never be a time when it will just be the two of you. the exciting milestones in your life that you have waited for FOREVER that will make you so freaking happy you’ll want to explode -your wedding, the birth of your own children, etc. you’ll celebrate quietly because they’ll bring pain and mixed emotions to his children which will bring stress and worry to your husband. the child in you will resent them for that. the adult in you will try hard not to. the marital challenges you two will have he never had to face the first time around because there wasn’t a divorce, or hurt children. and even after ALL that thinking and determining, after you’ve made the decision to love everyone he comes with, to sacrifice, to open your home, life and heart to all of them, you STILL had no freaking idea what you were getting into and you’ll want to punch the people who insist you must have.
your marriage begins when everyone else in the family has reached their wit’s end. so basically your marriage has all the makings for a nuclear disaster and you’d be lying if you said you didn’t want to bolt out of it at least once a week. and yet you stay. we stay. because there will never be anything we do that is more challenging therefore nothing could ever be as rewarding. even when no one acknowledges the things you have given up, changed, done YOU know how far you’ve come. how much you’ve grown. how great you feel during a bonding moment with your stepchild. YOU are proud of yourself. and you damn well should be.
i always say the ingredients to make a stepmom are:
1. marry a man with kids
2. have 1000 layers of skin
3. possess the ability to bite a hole through your tongue.
the ingredients to survive being one:
1. expect NOTHING. then instead of being disappointed, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
2. keep on doing the next right thing.
the ingredients to make a successful stepmom:
i have no fucking idea. i’m not that good a cook.
so HAPPY STEPMOTHER’S DAY to all my soul sisters out there!!!! and if you have a stepmother in your life choose today to not be an asshole to her. she is not your mother which is all the more reason to thank her for what she does for you. just in case i’m the only person to appreciate you today you could always pretend you got these cards in the mail: and to the three gifts in my life i am eternally grateful i chose; Casey, Cameron and Christian- being your stepmother is my greatest challenge and greatest reward. you are free to hate me, like me, tolerate me or love me. i have and will continue to make many mistakes as your stepmom. i have done and will continue to do many good things as your stepmother as well. remember we are all navigating through unfamiliar, uncomfortable territory together as a stepfamily. trying to draw lines within boundaries and love is like creating a piece of artwork. it can be as beautiful or as disastrous as we choose to make it. i promise to try to be a grown up even though you know it goes against everything i am! and no matter how tumultuous things may get between us over the years ahead know that you will always be my Princess Buttercup, my Teeny and my Tiny. but don’t let things get too tumultuous cause karma’s a bitch and you never know, one day you may become a stepparent! lastly, to my husband who made me a stepmother-i’m getting you back one pet at a time…….
once upon a time in the very near future a mommy named Me will open the most important school in all the land. a school that will save all the parents like Me from being total fucking failures. this school will be named ‘forget me not’. it’s logo will be a naked child with an empty lunchbox. the logo will read: “you supply the kid, we supply everything else.” okay, maybe the logo kid should be wearing undies since the school doesn’t plan on supplying the pedophiles…
it matters not what district you’re zoned for and there is no tuition so cost won’t be an issue. the only criteria you have to meet in order to be admitted is that each and every student must have parents who can’t get their shit together. every parent needs to be just like the mommy named Me.
below is the checklist to determine whether you are a candidate for the school of ‘forget me not’. if you meet at least six of the ten qualifications you are eligible:
1. You send your child to school more than 3 days a week without brushing their teeth.
2. Someone comes to the school at least twice between drop off and pick up to bring your kids shit you forgot.
3. You haven’t signed up for classroom snack in at least four weeks or you’ve signed up for snack in the past month but forgot to bring it.
4. Your child comes to school in shorts and a t-shirt because you’re apparently the only parent that doesn’t check the hourly weather forecast each morning to know that between the 10:30-11:30 playground hour the temp will drop from 74 to 70 and you didn’t pack a sweater or snow suit. You also wonder how everyone else knows when playground time is. Did they email a schedule???
5. Your kids are sent to school in something that hasn’t been washed yet (bodies and/or hair counts).
6. You believe pajama day, bring your favorite bear to school day, striped shirt day, halloween parade day, pizza fridays, graduations, lunch in general, paying tuitions on time or at all, creative projects the kids are too young to do on their own, getting to school by 830am, homework and all the other school related things you have to remember and prepare for are purposely designed to reveal the failure that you are and that the only “good” parents HAVE to be functioning on some serious stimulants or NEVER thinking about ANYTHING else.
7. You can’t ever remember which days you signed up for school lunch and which days you are supposed to pack it. Or you leave for school without their lunches that were sitting in the fridge, completely packed, staring at you when you reached for the milk ten minutes ago. This results in frequent trips back to the school or very hungry kids.
8. Your kids grew out of all their school clothes six months ago and you keep forgetting to buy bigger sizes even though the uniform store is INSIDE their school. you actually have to walk right by it EVERY day in order to get to their classroom.
9. You’re ashamed to admit you have been woken up at 9:15am by your fully dressed toddler standing beside your bed pulling on your arms while wearing a backwards t-shirt and shoes on the wrong feet with a breakfast of airheads sticking out of his pockets demanding that you “stand up mom! we need to get to school. we need to see our fwends!”
10. You’ve driven your kids to school without realizing it was Saturday.
* You are only required to meet one of the above criteria if you are a stay at home parent who makes your kids take the bus to school so you can sleep in. You are then considered a bonus round winner and will be guaranteed admission into the ‘forget me not school’. Congratulations!
* * *
before my twins could crawl i had my shit T.O.G.E.T.H.E.R. my diaper bag was so famous around town that it named this blog. i was carrying around a super target in that thing. prepared for anything those babies threw my way. usually vomit. i had everything needed in that bag to survive for a month on a mountain in the freezing cold without any limbs -just in case, ya know, that ever happened…which it could have…you never know….
and then something happened that dramatically and instantly changed the mother i was. the babies started moving. began crawling, then they stood up and W A L K E D. slowly at first, then picking up speed. they got faster, and faster and stronger and stronger and climb-ier. and what could i do but RUN (usually towards a bar). we haven’t stopped running, the three of us, four on the days my husband is in town. every day of our lives has been a chinese fuckin fire-drill since the moment they stood up. thank god they are out of diapers because there’s no time to even think about what to put in the diaper bag, let alone actually be able to pack it. there’s no telling how much scotch tape they could wrap around the cat in that minute and a half.
so when is there time to have actual thoughts needed to remember things? i have a vague memory of reading a letter from the school fairly recently that said: “REMINDER: PAJAMA DAY IS TUESDAY!” how was i supposed to remember something that seemed like a lifetime away? there was no telling how many disasters and travesties we would have to survive before then, after all it was only monday! and yet no matter how many ways i tried to justify my forgetfulness, the ache i felt in my heart for having made my sons left out bystanders forced to watch their excited friends show off their favorite pjs was unbearable. i had forgotten something more than just pajama day. i’d forgotten that the things that seem so trivial as an adult and barely worth your attention to remember are THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE WORLD to a child. perhaps my shortcomings are why god made them twins; so they’ll have someone to lean on and bitch to while they suffer through the humiliations and frustrations of growing up with a disorganized mother.
on a good note the more chaotic and demanding life becomes the more i find myself grateful for the little things. like how fridays at school are show and share days instead of show and tell days. because if they were show and tell days the twins could tell their class how mommy forgets to send them to school with a toy to show every week and so one week she frantically ran back out to her car in hopes of finding a toy hiding under the seats. when she found no toy she decided to give us some gauze from the first aid kit that came with the car. and it wasn’t even G week….
anyway, back to the pajama rescue:
i sped through every school zone to get their pjs to them as quickly as possible all the while seething with irrational displaced anger at the excellent school my children go to:
who has special dress days on a tuesday anyway?! why do schools even do these “special” things? don’t the kids have enough fun with all the toys and computers and the playground? is this just to torture the parents? as if we need ONE MORE THING to remember to do??? these people make toddlers their profession so how can they not understand that every day is fucking survival mode! every day we are dodging lacrosse balls and nerf pellets and just trying to make it to bedtime without a casualty. can’t the schools help make this a bit easier by giving us less to think about? less to do? less to remember?
that’s it! i‘m gonna build a school! a school where no child will know their parents think about other things more often than what days to pack their lunches. a school that will have a supply room bigger than any classroom filled with extra striped t-shirts, extra pajamas and an abundance of halloween costumes. a gigantic refrigerator to hold all the would be forgotten lunches. clothes that actually fit. soap for the kids whose parents haven’t made time to bathe them in the past week. show and share items for every letter of the alphabet. this school will have transportation that will pick the children up at their doors. all the parents have to do is give them a door to walk out of and the rest is up to the administrators. the school will be built right next-door to social services so when the time is right they can supply each kid with a brand new mommy and daddy.
then, when the crazy wore off, i sobbed the rest of the way. i cried for every moment my babies felt left out and less special. knowing your children feel badly about themselves is hard enough to endure, knowing you are the reason is impossible to forgive. i cried with frustration over how in the hell i can memorize hundreds of pages of scripts or every word from every conversation between my husband and i that pissed me off throughout the past decade but i can’t remember the letter of the week is V? i cried not just for my irresponsibility and inability to prioritize this time but every time i’d made it more important to be on top of assignments for work than on top of what i needed for my children. nothing has ever or will ever be more important to me than them and yet i’d forgotten their lunches twice that week, forgotten their pajamas and as i pulled back into the school remembered i was supposed to bring their favorite stuffed animal too.
after a sound proof cursing explosion inside my car in the parking lot, i decided it more important to get them in their pjs instead of spending more time going back for the stuffed animals. when my sons saw me walk in the room their faces made me want to cry all over again. they were beaming ear to ear as if a ninja turtle had just walked into their school. they instantly started to show me off as if their friends hadn’t met me before. “look we mommys here!” “this is my mom!” they looked SO PROUD to have their mom there. me. the forgetful, disorganized mess who was crying and cursing in the parking lot for ‘screwing them up for life’.
they were happier than i’d maybe ever seen them. they didn’t care why i was there- that it was because i’d let them down that day. they didn’t even ask for the pajamas. didn’t mention them. it was as if they’d forgotten all about it. all that mattered to them was that i was there. with them. sharing in part of their day. THAT is what made them feel special. more special than any pair of pajamas ever could. no matter how horribly i thought of myself that day i had the ability to make these two precious people feel so special. just because i was me.
as i write this i am reminded of a few months earlier when i had again forgotten to bring their lunch. i was so late getting it to their school that i saw them sitting at the lunch table watching their friends open their lunch boxes while they sat there with nothing. not sad. smiling and asking what their friends had for lunch. it was as if they knew i’d come through for them. i would probably be late, but i’d come through. as soon as i picked them up from school that day they ran up to me hugged me and said “thank you mommy for bringing us we lunches!”
when i finally had them all dressed in their pajamas (an hour late and 2 sizes too small), just before they went running back into class shouting “look at me spongebob bejamas” jett kissed my cheek and colt said to me (with a playful smile as if he knew i was in the midst of a breakdown) “you weally late mom.” then he threw his arms around my neck and whispered into my ear “thank you mama” and then he was gone. running off with his brother to their next exciting moment in toddlerhood.
* * *
so while it’d be helpful if the mommy named Me opened a school one day to prevent all the mommies like her from being total failures, maybe she doesn’t really need to…..
since we last met (forever and a month ago) there have been some changes. the twins are out of diapers (hallelujah) which briefly made me consider renaming this blog but then i figured before we know it my husband will be wearing them so it’ll make sense again soon enough. we are currently in a terrifying phase of parenting as we now have three full-fledged teenagers and two 3-year-old rock em sock em robots. by the time the youngest turn 18 i’ll feel like i earned a phd in psychology along with a black belt in jujitsu. having a teenager is
maddening challenging, having three at the same time is downright torture and having them be your step kids is well…. there are two necessary ingredients to be able to successfully parent teenagers. unfortunately this formula requires us stepmomsters be sacrificed. i’d like to share these secret ingredients with you as a way to thank you for still reading this blog after a hiatus longer than the ones the writers of “mad men” take. the two ingredients you need in order to survive raising teenagers with your sanity intact are: 1. a stepmother in the anastasi-peter-webster’s dictionary ‘stepmother’ by definition means SCAPEGOAT. teenagers need someone to blame. for their failed tests, their bad hair days, their breakups, their hangovers, why the world is round….their irrational blame and hormone driven rages are usually directed towards mom or dad unless they have a step parent. the step parent’s role is crucial because when is a scapegoat needed more in our lives than during adolescence? up until our kids turn 13 all the damage of our, just face it, piss poor parenting through the years has been hidden under the disguise of that adorable, precocious, funny, sweet, sensitive little love of our lives. brace yourself because d-day is quickly coming when it will be impossible to hide from the monsters we’ve built from scratch since the hormones have unleashed the beast within. ladies, TRUST ME on this. it matters not if any of you are still in love with your husbands, DIVORCE HIS ASS when your oldest kid turns 12. give him the cars, the house, and the family dog if he agrees to remarry immediately. enjoy single life, sow your wildest oats, comfort your preteen through the divorce adjustment period and then enjoy the get- out- of- hell- free card while you sit back and watch your kid unleash his teenanger on their stepmother for the next 6 years. feel free to add your two cents as often as possible, it will only help your cause. if you don’t want your teens turning on you, you’d better make damn sure they’re turning on her. remember, it’s much easier to hate a stepparent than it is to hate a parent so you really can’t lose. who cares if the poor woman feels like this at the end of each day: she’s serving a higher purpose and don’t all of us stepmoms “know what we’re getting into” before we marry a man with kids anyway? can you tell i’m trying not to scream? husbands, please don’t object to this plan. it works in your favor too. your teens will let you off the hook for every time you miss their school plays and baseball games as long as you remarry before they turn 13. use that adorable 12 year old you made to suck that unsuspecting victim right in. and let’s not leave out how fun it will be to get to boink somebody new for a few years (until she blows her brains out or divorces you). that reminds me, you should probably get a prenup before embarking on this experiment. oh, and make sure she doesn’t have kids of her own cause i shudder to think what happens to stepfathers…. 2. a spy. gone are the days the mother could open her daughters top drawer and snoop through her diary by opening the lock that never even locked. now, if kids journal they do it on their laptops protected by a special journal passcode as well as a computer passcode. they now have cell phones allowing them to sext, bully, snapchat their boobies, and there’s probably an app to buy weed. many of them have cars and tell you they are going here when really they are going there. in short, we have no fucking idea what our kids are doing. i was a high school drama teacher for a total of two years too many and i can’t tell you how many parents would brag about their kids to me and i didn’t even recognize who the hell they were talking about. “my daughter deserves the lead in the play because she’s worked so hard the last few years and i’ve never seen a 16-year-old with so much focus and discipline.” meanwhile on this planet i’d never seen her daughter NOT stoned and she hadn’t completed an assignment for me in a year and half. let me be super duper clear-i am judging no parent. i am blaming no parent. i am in the same sinking ship with the rest of you. so i’ve decided to do something about it. i became a detective. i am a private investigator which makes me a licensed bullshit detector. with 5 kids most of my cases will likely be within my own family so i’ve basically gone from a ‘stay at home’ mom to a ‘working from home’ one. the verdicts still out over whose more disturbed by my career- the kids or the husband…. i just can’t stand feeling powerless against what’s to come armed only with a stack of parenting books that all contradict each other. i hear there are people out there who have this parenting thing DOWN. who have a wonderful relationship with their teenagers, whose kids are happy, well-adjusted, and don’t have a single STD. so it made me wonder, are these families immune to dysfunction? are their teenagers missing the self-destructive gene? or could it be that while everybody else has been hoping against hope this “friend trend” approach to parenting works, these better parents quickly saw where that was heading and opted to give “creepy as hell” a shot instead? perhaps they adopted a drug sniffing german shepherd because whoever keeps electing labs as the most family friend dog clearly has never had a teenager. if you wanna be moms best friend you better be able to find the pot stashed throughout the house. think of how many crises, therapy bills and wrinkles we could prevent if we started TAPPING THEIR SHIT. put spyware on their phones. gps trackers on their cars, cameras in their rooms and all around the house. and as soon as it becomes legal, MICROCHIP the shit outta them. tag those limbs up. by 13 they’ve totally forgotten all the “good choices” we encouraged them to make as toddlers, so it’s our job to do the right thing to prevent them from doing the wrong one. protect our teens. spy on their asses. they deserve it. after all they really can’t help that nothing they say will be anywhere near true for 5-6 years….right? imagine these scenarios: the next time your son tells you he absolutely DID NOT shoot up in his room last night you could take the doubt, gut feeling and parental denial right out of it and rooooooollllllllll the tape! when your daughter tells you she’s working on a project at a girlfriends house and you check in with your trusty gps tracker to discover she’s at her parent-less boyfriends house, you waltz right in with your weapons of mass destruction rip her out by her hair and sleep peacefully that night knowing you’re another day farther away from being a grandparent. while your reading your sons deleted text messages (thanks to spyware) and see he hasn’t told you he has been threatened by a group of punks, you raise holy hell until the bastards are suspended or arrested. than bask in the parental high of knowing thanks to your super sleuthing instead of having to use your husband’s hard-earned money to pay the plastic surgeon to fix your boys mangled mug, you can use it to have your very own cosmetic surgery of choice. if you’re one of the parents whose offspring have made it to 18 without getting pregnant or arrested, sure that’s something you’ll have over all your friends, but don’t get too cocky, college is right around the corner…. the point is this, we gotta be 3 steps ahead of these teens, folks, or they’re going to destroy us all one wrinkle at a time. we’re not allowed to beat em anymore so if we can’t beat em, creep em. they are younger, better looking and better at technology than us. we are fucked if we don’t get creepy. be warned they’ll despise you for a decade for spying on them so in case you’re not comfortable with that get yourself in therapy until you realize that letting your children hate you is a gift, letting them lie to you is irresponsible parenting. then when they flip their shit and scream: “DID YOU REALLY BUG THE HOUSE AND TAP MY PHONE?!” you’ll feel perfectly justified in saying (click below): http://www.tubechop.com/watch/2255640 or you could just tell them their creepy stepmoms the one who’s been spying…… what do you think? leave me a comment and let me know. should teenagers have a right to privacy? to what extent? did you deserve the privacy you had when you were a teen? who’s out shopping for a stepmom right about now?