iPhone, iPod, iPad. I give up!

I’m not very technologically advanced. My kids are though. They know their way around all the devices their father and I often curse. I remember a time when these things didn’t exist. I also remember when they slowly started making their way into our lives, taking over almost every aspect of our daily routine. Now I wouldn’t be without my iPhone, my iPad, or my iPod. These things make my life easier and give me a source of entertainment. They also make me a tad bit crazy.

My kids are all addicts. They love to play games, watch Netflix and snap countless “selfies.” I do try to limit their exposure. I make them play with each other and with toys that don’t talk back to them. They play hide and seek, house, classroom (Natalie’s favourite) and use their imaginations quite a bit. Just last night I watched Jack whiz by me wearing my bra, with Natalie holding onto the straps yelling “Giddy up Horsey!” That’s normal kid stuff right? So, my kids aren’t total techno-zombies…Yet. However, they do wait patiently for their turn with the screen. When they get the chance, they will always choose to play Nose Doctor on the iPad (a game in which you pull boogers out of a cartoon nose), or create dancing elves with their pictures.

Since I love lists, here is my list of reasons why I hate my iPad, iPhone and iPod.

1. The games the kids download and play on my iPad have annoying sound effects that make me crazy. Seriously, have you ever listened to Angry Birds? It makes my ears bleed. My son LOVES playing this game, which I don’t understand because it is completely ridiculous. Using a sling-shot to fling ball-shaped birds at ball-shaped green pigs? I’m lost. But he (along with my husband) thinks it is great entertainment. He refuses to turn the sound down, so I’m stuck cooking dinner while listening to birds squawking and screaming. It makes me mental. After 10 minutes of it, I feel like stabbing the iPad with a kitchen knife.

2. I believe that the games my kids download are actually made to annoy parents. In fact, I am sure of this. There is no other reason on earth that anyone would create a “game” that actually talks back at parents. My daughter found a delightful game where she talks into the iPad and a cute little kitty repeats back what she says, in the most ANNOYINGLY high-pitched voice in the world. At first she would say silly things, and then she moved on to making farting noises. Ha ha, really funny. Now, when I ask my daughter a question, she gives her snide reply back via this obnoxious kitten. You don’t know hulk-like rage until you ask your kid to clean her room, only to turn around and face a screen with an animated cat squealing “I don’t want to!” Let me tell you, there have been days that I’ve wanted to punch that cat. I have plotted that furry bastard’s demise for months now! I have also deleted this game over and over and over and you know what? That damn cat always comes back.

3. These games keep me up at night. Thanks to iCloud (something I use personally), all of the games that my kids download end up on my phone. I have a phone filled with kiddie games. Now, in the middle of the night my phone will ding with an alert that one of their games needs attention. For instance, last night *ding* an alert to let me know that a patient is ready to have his nose picked. What in the hell? Are you kidding me?

4. The kids fill every device in the house with “selfies.” If they can get a hold of it, they will take a picture with it. My phone is filled with really bad “selfies” taken by all three of my kids. Funny faces, ugly faces, happy faces, close-ups of their mouths, their noses, and just recently their butts. They will take a picture once, and then make sure to hit the button 35 times more. Now I have not only 1 picture of their snot crusted nose, but 35. Awesome.

5. They will fight cage-match style over time with these devices. I’ve seen Natalie drag her brother by his head across the living room after a spat involving the iPad. They fight on a regular basis, but when you bring in an iPad, THERE WILL BE BLOOD!!

6. Eventually they learn to use these devices for evil. Natalie has been particularly interested in photography and capturing nice pictures of things she loves. Her dolls, the dog, her sister and brother. This is a great form of self-expression. See, I’m a good mom. Look how artistic my daughter is. Wait, now she’s following me around taking pictures of me. I’m getting annoyed. Yesterday, she busted into the bathroom and took a picture of me on the toilet, and ran out yelling, “ha ha! I’m going to post that on Facebook!” I worry about the day when she can actually follow through with that threat.

I know the logical solution is to take the itoys away. It would have been better if we never let them have access in the first place. Or, maybe I could sit and regulate everything they are doing with these things. I could turn them into proper learning devices like all those good parents out there. But I’m probably never going to do that. Sometimes we all need a little peace, and if I can get 20 minutes without someone screaming, crying or asking me for something, I’ll take it. Even if it means that I may see my bare ass on Facebook one day.

One of over 500 pictures I found on my laptop. Note to self: Don’t leave your laptop sitting around. EVER.

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Let’s Ask Santa for Liquor.

This year, we’re skipping Christmas. Yeah, that’s right. Every year around this time I start to feel the dread of the holiday season. I know, everyone loves Christmas. But for the most part, it makes me feel guilty, bad and at times, fills me with rage. Everyone goes crazy over Christmas, and it freaks me out. This year I’m not going to be panicked about buying the perfect gift for everyone (Is it just me or does it feel like it is mandatory to buy everyone you’ve met in your life something?), freaking out in the long check-out lines or driving around frantically looking for a parking spot.  I will not be stressed out over having the “perfect” Christmas. I’m all about “festive”(especially the Swiss Chalet Festive Special), but come on people. Let’s simmer down here. If we need to start shopping in August to get everything done by December 25th, we know we have a serious problem. It’s all too much. It seems like we’ve all forgotten what we’re supposed to be doing during the Christmas season. We should all be hanging out with the people we love, eating ridiculous amounts of delicious food, drinking wine (or whatever your poison), laughing, playing board games, making jokes, CELEBRATING!! This year, instead of hanging around here, watching our bank accounts drain and our stress levels rise, we’re running away. We’ll be on a plane headed for Orlando. I would like to state for the record, that this was not my choice. I really wanted to go to Mexico but DH wouldn’t agree to that (I’m working on that for next year). It’s a little disappointing (to me anyway) that our big escape is to Orlando; land of Disney World, super-sized Walmarts and any kind of junk food you could ever dream of, but the kids are stoked. I just remind myself that Christmas is about our kids now, not my own selfish desires to be sipping slushy drinks by the pool. Anyway, what’s great about this is that somehow through paying all of our business bills with our visa (and then paying it off obviously), we had more than enough points to get us there, and guess what else? We had enough points to fly our closest friends to join us. Lucky for us, my in-laws are crazy nice enough to let us use their house. Pretty sweet deal, I’d say. Except, here’s the thing. We love our friends, but they have 3 kids too! So, 2 weeks with 6 KIDS!!?? Hardly a vacation in my books. Actually, when I think about it, we are trading stressful Christmas, for stressful vacation. Hmmm… But, at least our kids will have their best friends to play with, we’ll have our friends to drink away the pain with, and surely there will be some pretty crazy stuff for me to write about. The 10 of us will spend 2 weeks together Griswold-style. We’ll eat, drink, play, take our kids to Disney, lose our shit, drink some more, possibly blow up a turkey, and make memories with friends we love like family (maybe even more). What’s even better about the situation? Explaining to the kids that they have to ask Santa for something that fits in a suitcase. SCORE!! This will be our most cost-effective and memorable Christmas yet!

Last night we were talking to Natalie about what she is going to ask Santa for. Her father reminded her that it MUST fit in her suitcase. She paused and thought about it for a second and then proclaims, “I’m going to ask Santa for an iPhone!!” F**K!

 

The Three Amigos. I love these asshats enough to brave Disney AGAIN!!

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Asshats & Other Seasonal Delights

Last night we ventured out to our first Santa Claus Parade of the season. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “WHAT? It’s the middle of November.” My thoughts exactly. But who am I to dictate when we should start the most wonderful (and crazy expensive) time of the year? I’m not really sure how I feel about parades. I think I like them. I always get excited about the thoughts of taking the kids out to see one, and yet, when I get there, I’m usually ready to leave before Santa rolls by. Back in my day (ha ha ha), Christmas parades were very different. For one, they usually occurred in December, you know, when Christmas actually takes place. Secondly, they usually included a whole bunch of old school floats, done up to the nines with the tackiest Christmas crap people could find. I remember kids dressed as Wise Men, trying not to trip over their 1970’s bathrobes or eat the cheap fake beards they had taped to their faces. I remember Christmas carols and actually feeling like we were celebrating a holiday. I remember participating in parades myself. My first experience was on the back of wagon with my cousins, dressed as a blueberry singing “We wish you a berry christmas!” My Aunt & Uncle owned a berry farm. It wasn’t just cruel and unusual punishment for us being unruly kids all year long. Last night my kids were howling with anticipation. I kid you not. We were in the parking lot of the LCBO and the kids sounded like a pack of coyotes. I let them carry on. It gave an explanation to the passersby as to why we were shopping there. The kids had a great time. They were pelted with candy (old halloween candy, you aren’t kidding me you cheapskates) and they got to see the Grinch and most importantly Santa. There were great floats. The marching bands were there, the seniors band was kickin’ it, and the kids loved the ponies. But, a lot of the parade consisted of people driving their company vehicles through, handing out candy. BORING!! I want to see lights, I want to hear music, I want TACKY CHRISTMAS BACK!! 

While I was at the parade trying not to focus on how let down my inner child felt, I noticed one thing that truly makes my heart sing. Asshats. Everywhere I looked, parents had their kids bundled up in coats and mittens and ASSHATS. You know what I’m talking about. Those hats that we buy for our kids to make them look like the little asses they sometimes are. Don’t deny that you haven’t done this, everyone has. It’s hilarious. I purposely go out every fall to find my kids new asshats. My girls usually get the ones that look like animals. But Jack, my son… Well, that little guy drives me bonkers with his crazy, off the wall behaviour. My only revenge on my unruly son is the asshat I make him wear. I thought I did a good job this year, but I was wrong. Elmer Fudd isn’t that funny anymore. Last night Jack’s little buddy came out the door wearing the ultimate asshat. It was the asshat I’ve always dreamed of. My first reaction was to laugh, and then think to myself, “wow, that kid must have been a real handful this year.” This kid was wearing a moose on his head. Not just a hat that was made to look like a moose, it was like a giant stuffed moose that his mom rammed on his head. This kid pranced around like he didn’t even notice the 10 lb stuffed animal he was wearing. I was dying. I had to take a moment to reflect on all the other asshats I’ve seen. Just the other day I was out and a mom friend of mine was getting her boys ready for school. On with your asshats boys. They were knitted elephant hats with trunks protruding from their foreheads. Who doesn’t want to wear a phallus on their forehead? Seriously? I love this woman. It’s a truth that our kids sometimes drive us insane (always for me). What can we really do about it? We can’t stop talking to them. We can’t give them away. We can’t lock them up in the basement. But we CAN make them wear asshats. I know that in the next year or so, my kid will have caught on, and refuse to wear his asshat, but for now it’s all I have. When your kids act like asshats, make them wear one! 

This is Jack in his current asshat. Obviously my mom friends are beating me, so I’ll have to step up my game. I’m already working on it. 

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This is a replica of the phallus asshat. It’s awesome! 

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And lastly, if you open your christmas presents this year and find this….

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Someone thinks you’re an asshat.