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Life may be a stage, but don’t be a backstage mother

I have two daughters and they are both dancers. I love dancing. I love dance recitals. I loathe having to be backstage at dance recitals. Dance recitals seem to bring out the worst in lots of peeps, especially moms who put monumental pressure on themselves. They are the ones who are backstage trying to put the finishing touches on their daughters so they have “perfect” hair, “perfect” makeup, and the most “perfectly” fitted costume so they can perform “perfect” routines. To make matters worse, they expect me to be just like them. Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen.

I wish these moms realized that when they work so hard to make everything “perfect”, their kids will feel pressure to be “perfect”. This could work to harm their feelings of self-worth because they might see your expectations as too high for them to achieve. So the very thing these chicks feel they must do to be better moms could result in the opposite result of what they intended. (LITTLE WHITE LIE Alert!)

That’s right, you are actually not doing them any favors, mommy dearest. You should probably ask yourself this – are you  striving for perfection in your kid so that you look like the perfect mom? Think about that one and then think about this. “Perfect” does not exist. It’s a load of CRAP. Quit trying to reach this unachievable level of “success”. Take the same advice that we give our kids – just do your best. No one’s best is perfect, but your kids won’t care, or even notice. They’ll just be happy to have you there. That’s success.

I’ve been in the dance world with my daughters for almost 5 years now and a backstage volunteer at many dance recitals and competitions. I’ve almost lost my mind from all the chaos of the catty girls and their mothers, but my daughters like when I am there so I suck it up and do it. (that’s me doing my best, btw) Over the years, with the help of some of the other moms, I compiled a list of tips. These have helped me escape with my sanity, mostly because they have made me laugh (and kept me from hurting anyone…yet).

Top Ten List of Backstage Survival Tips

  1. Booze. (just make sure someone else is driving you - actually this is a perfect time to punish the mother in law or a great opportunity for a little student driving for your teen – shouldn’t others get to experience all this fun?? BONUS)
  2. Bring a lighter and practice making blow torches out of half empty bottles of Aqua Net.
  3. Put in your iPod ear buds to drown out the whining. If that fails, crank up some Barry Manilow tunes and let the kids have a listen. (it will scare them out of their damn tutus and might even shut them up completely)
  4. “Hey, girls – who is wearing the stage lipstick that will adhere the best to duct tape? Let’s find out!”
  5. Suggest to the girls that dancers have to become comfortable with nudity when changing costumes backstage. Then immediately explain that they should never become comfortable with nudity while ON stage. (Life Lesson  #18 from me, Mrs. Supermom – again, should scare the piss out of them if done right)
  6. Ask the question, “So what’s your favorite show on the Disney Channel?” Let them each take a turn telling you, then inform them that Disney just announced they were going off the air. Sit back and enjoy the mass hysteria. Hope that makeup is waterproof, girls!
  7. Booze.
  8. Tell them that Mrs. Supermom is dealing with some anger issues and is heavily medicated for their safety, but just in case, they should probably not get to close to her. (also in this same spirit, refer to yourself in the third person)
  9. Bring your hot glue gun and offer your services for any last-minute  “alterations” to costumes.
  10. Bobby pin origami. Tell the girls you read that Selena Gomez is holding a contest for the best bobby pin “art” creation. First prize is a date with Justin Bieber. Sure, you know how hard it is to mold a bobby pin, but the point here is to keep the girls busy. You might get lucky and score enough free time to go pee!

 

Copyright © 2011 Little White Lion
All Rights Reserved

I’m Bringing Lazy Back

I have only been a MOGS (Mother of a Girl Scout) for less than two years, but I have quickly learned that it can bring out the worst in people – especially during Girl Scout cookie season. The most memorable MOGS moments I have had was when our (previous) troop participated in a cookie booth last year at a local grocery store. One of our customers that day was a woman who was so unbelievably rude to our girls. She accused us of not giving her correct change (yet we did) and then stormed off taking her cookies, her attitude, and her correct change with her! It left the girls and us MOGS pretty speechless (and MAD). I love puns so I thought it would be a great time to take out some aggression on this awful customer while sticking with the Girl Scout cookie theme. Here is what I said to all the other MOGS there:

She just committed a Do Si Don’t and this troop was totally Trefoiled! Clearly she needs a Thin Mintervention or perhaps a Samoational rescue. At the very least, that woman should be Lemon Chalet Cremed. I don’t know if I want to Tagalong at this booth anymore. I am a Dulce De Mess and Thin Mintcidentally, I hope we don’t have anymore customers like that!

Dang it, I thought it was pretty clever and most of the moms did laugh (yet nervously) except for one who kind of gave me the eye roll. As I do with all people who lack a sense of humor, I ignored her. But after the booth was over, she came up to me and said she needed to discuss something with me. I assumed it about my misappropriation of Girl Scout puns, but I was wrong. She asked me if I had ever washed my daughter’s Girl Scout vest. (yeah, I know, I was thinking the same thing – WTF???) Well no, I had not washed it because I had done such a crap job of ironing on the patches that I was afraid to wash the vest for fear that they would all fall off. She then politely suggested that perhaps I could take the vest to the dry cleaners. Really? Wow, thank you for that! I then made a crazy counter proposal – maybe I could even just spot clean the vest?! She agreed that yes, this was acceptable. Woo hoo! SO glad we could figure out such a huge dilemma – what a relief, right? (so now I’m the one rolling my eyes)

In honor of my daughter’s nasty Girl Scout vest, I changed the words to one of my favorite songs – “Sexyback” by Mr. Sexy Back himself, Justin Timberlake, and emailed it to this woman so she would know that I was taking her advice very seriously. The moral of this story is – when life hands you Lemon Chalet Cremes, write a hip hop ditty and send it to the bitch!! Here it is:

I’m bringing lazy back….(yep)
You’re only jealous of my art of slack….(yep)
A clean vest doesn’t mean that you’re all that.….(yep)
I have some mad skills that you others lack….(yep)

Take it to the cleaners.

Dirty vest…
Covered with Thin Mints,
Doesn’t look its best.
Is it all cotton or is it permanent press?
Too bad this momma’s a domestic mess.

Take it to the cleaners.

Come here, vest.
Go ahead, just spot clean it
Turn it to the back.
Go ahead, just spot clean it
Smells like pee.
Go ahead, just spot clean it
Even a patch can’t cover the ick.
Go ahead, just spot clean it
Look at that filth.
Go ahead, just spot clean it
This vest looks so vile.
Go ahead, just spot clean it

Get yo’ lazy on!

 

Copyright © 2011 Little White Lion
All Rights Reserved

It took me 40 years to be this good.

Two years ago, I guested blogged for a friend and wrote the following entry about turning 40. Yes, that means I am now 42 and I am not only fine with being

that age, I don’t really care who knows that I am that “old”. I am happy to still be here, especially since I had friends who didn’t get the same opportunity.

I have never understood why so many people dread turning 40. I feel more secure with myself than ever. I know who my true friends are and what I have to do (and what I shouldn’t do) to keep my sanity and remain relatively happy with life. Did I know that when I was in my 20’s? HELL NO. I didn’t even know it less than a decade ago. In my opinion, the idea that “40 is Fatal” is one of the biggest LITTLE WHITE LIES out there. So I hope you will enjoy this blogging flashback – or I guess in my case, a blogging HOT FLASHback! (ha HAAA)

So this year I turned 40. Big deal right? Not to me. But apparently it is to some members of my family, as well as some of my misguided friends. First, my parents – who thought it was cute to call me repeatedly and bust out laughing when I answered. Also my best friend – who bought me a pair of boob suspenders to keep “the girls” up (yes, these are available in some stores and online – who knew?). My husband, who unfortunately is 15 months my junior and talks about how I “robbed the cradle”. But most surprisingly, my 7-year-old daughter who couldn’t believe her mom was going to be such a big number.I mean, my mom is 40 – WOW, that is majorly into the double digits and takes forever when counting to get to it. (her words)

Why is this such a topic of conversation? After all, I don’t look 40, at least in my humble opinion. I definitely don’t act 40 (if you know me, you’re nodding in agreement). Age is a state of mind, right? And my state of mind is screaming “25”! I am young, vibrant and hip. I can name every Jonas Brother and I dance with my kids to the songs on my iPod (some of these songs are even currently played on the radio). I try to dance like Beyonce’, even though I am mad white. I can also balance a damn good beer pyramid on top of my knees (see photo). Doesn’t that all add up to one bad ass momma?? Well to me, it does – and that’s really all that matters.

I decided to embrace my image of myself and laugh off everyone else’s opinion about this number that had turned into such a phenomenon. It sure as hell didn’t hurt that my husband decided to whisk me off to Orlando, Florida for a little mini-vacation (sans our two kids, woo hoo!) in honor of my birthday. We stayed in a fabulous hotel right beside the Universal Studios theme park. While relaxing poolside, I came up with a list of the Top Ten ways to survive your 40th birthday based on my experience that weekend. Maybe some of these will help you when you’re upset about a birthday. (Hint: the most important thing to do is find a way to laugh about it!)

  1. Relish the fact that a 70-year-old man hit on you at the pool bar and remind yourself that you’ve still got it (at least with folks who are probably pissing themselves while talking to you – but who cares, they’d hit that!). BOO yeah.
  2. While looking for chairs at the hotel pool, if your husband slyly tries to steer you close to the high school sunbathers, calmly say (audibly) “Holy Jailbait, Batman!!!” smile widely, and keep walking towards other spots.
  3. Just keep drinking…..just keep drinking…(this option is not for the weak, by the way, but it is crucial for maximum stress reduction).
  4. Pretend the screams coming from the roller coasters at the theme park next door are really intended for you! (Tip: if you are faithful in following the advice in #3, you will be able to convince yourself of almost anything).
  5. Channel your inner DIVA. (or is that COUGAR? on second thought, skip the damn verbiage and just order another double martini)
  6. Keep reminding yourself that it takes a lot less time at the pool bar now when ordering a drink (because let’s face it, you ain’t gettin’ carded).
  7. Follow the advice of the very happy Jamaican waitress at the hotel restaurant and just “ting a tong”. The tong I always choose to ting to bring me to my happy place is “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire. I dare you not to have a smile on your face after listening to that one! Up for a challenge? Try dirty dancing to it…go on, I dare you…(just do NOT let anyone film you…trust me here…).
  8. Follow the advice in #3 BEFORE you put your bathing suit on. Even if you are still able to see what you really look like, you probably won’t care.
  9. When your husband makes a crack about all the blackbirds that seem to be gathering around your lounge chair at the pool, simply tell him that the birds are actually ravens who can predict the likelihood of his getting laid on this trip. And to quoth the raven? NEVERMORE.
  10. Don’t count what your age is in dog years. Dogs your age are dead.

Most importantly, remember that when your child tells someone that “My mom is 40!” You should finish the sentence with…. “and FIERCE, baby!”

 

Copyright © 2011 Little White Lion
All Rights Reserved