There’s No Guidebook for Taylor’s Mom

Sunday morning, as I attempted to get Posey dressed for the day, the unthinkable happened. I was standing right there– I didn’t walk away, I didn’t turn my head, I didn’t leave her for a nanosecond.  But she rolled right off the table, right in front of me, and crash-landed in an open drawer, her fall broken by her folded stacks of onesies.

She cried for about 12 seconds. I cried for the rest of the day.

How could I be so careless? How did I not stop it? HOW COULD I BE SUCH A BAD MOTHER? I was sure I was alone.  Who would do such a thing?  But that’s where the interweb comes in. Google “baby fell off changing table,” and you get thousands of repeats of the same tale, some of them much, much worse than mine. And that’s the wonderful thing about parenting. No situation, no challenge, no mishap, no conundrum is EVER unique.  There is ALWAYS another parent who’s gone through the exact same thing as you.

Unless, that is, you are Taylor Swift’s mother.

Yesterday, news broke that the singer plunked down a reported $4.9 million for a Cape Cod beach house to be closer to her boyfriend, Conor Kennedy.  A Hyannis realtor even confirmed the sale. My very first thought was– where the hell is this girl’s mother?  How is this happening?  And then I thought about it. Where is the guidebook for her? What do you search for in the index?

What to do when your 22-year-old superstar daughter wants to buy a multi-million dollar Camelot loveshack to be closer to her 18-year-old boyfriend, who happens to be a member of possibly the most storied family in a century of American history,                                The Kennedys.

So I stand corrected.  There ARE unique parenting issues. And I’m going to get started writing my new book, How to Console Your Daughter When RFK’s Teenage Grandson Dumps Her for Vanessa Hudgens.

Pre-order your copy today.

Just the Facts, Ma’am.

It’s a fact.  All women are caught off guard and deeply offended the first time they are called “ma’am” by a stranger.  I don’t remember WHO said it to me first, but I do remember scolding them and strongly suggesting they slow their roll to “Miss.”  After all, the title Ma’am suggests bags under your eyes, flaps under your arms, and, more than likely, capri cargo pants and a pair of Naturalizers.

So it struck me today when, after paying at Whole Foods, the cashier said, “Have a good day, ma’am,” I balked– and then sighed.

Today is the first time I deserved the Ma’am.

My mother-in-law recently broke down the key factors of any episode of Judge Judy for me, and she explained that Judy doesn’t tolerate any “I thoughts” or editorializing.  She just wants to hear the facts. So let’s examine them:

FACT: I was a good ten to twelve years older than the cashier.

FACT: I had a baby with me.

FACT: I was buying radishes.

FACT: My wallet was brimming with old lady things, like Costco, Petco and any other place that ends in “-co” membership cards.

FACT: Every single item of clothing I was wearing was purchased a place called “Insert Mall Store Name Here”  Outlet.

Did he draw the right conclusion? Yes, ma’am.

Don’t Steal My Idea (C in a circle)

There have been many times in the last 8 months when it’s been suggested to me that I join a Mom’s Group.  I feel like whenever I spend time with another woman who also has a kid, well, that makes us two moms, which essentially qualifies us as a Mom’s Group, so I don’t need to join one.  While I do think that becoming a parent instantly allows you to have an opinion on whether or not to use dryer sheets, I do not think that just because someone else is a mom that we will be best friends forever.

But I also think the opposite of that.

I live on a historic boulevard lined with gorgeous graystones, trees, flowers, and a well-manicured green parkway running right down the middle.  When I take Posey for walks, I’m just one guppy pushing a minnow along– in a sea of BOBs, Bugaboos and Phil & Ted’si.   We’re all just hamster-wheeling around the same one-mile loop.  It sort of makes me sad that there are these dozens of women, all alone, lost in their own baby’s routine, walking lap after lap in a circle, when we could be connecting.  Then I remember my mantra and tell myself I’d probably have nothing in common with any of them, anyway.

And then I saw her.

She had a Snap ‘n Go.  The baby was probably pretty little, because the telltale gauzy swaddle blankets were elaborately draped over the car seat– the way only a brand new mom does.  But I wasn’t looking at the baby. I was looking in the underneath compartment.  There, just hanging out, was a little pooch.  Happy as a clam.  And I knew the woman who had a pet riding in the under-sidecar was someone I wanted to know better.   She had headphones on and only took them out for a second to politely acknowledge my squeal of delight.  You see, my beloved cat, Phillip, loves sitting underneath in the same spot, but as he’s an indoor fellow, I’ve never taken him outside.  He’s not allowed. In my head, I’ve developed some very elaborate netting plans that would enclose the enclave, so we could family-stroll, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Since this first sighting, I haven’t seen the mom/baby/pooch caravan again. But I think of them every day.  And I also think about this:

  • They make baby strollers.
  • They make double baby strollers.
  • They make pet strollers.


I think it’s the one material object that could make my life complete.

My Mother’s Day Wishlist

For a long, long time, I wished I could be a mother. This weekend, it feels like I’m celebrating a dream come true. And while I appreciate every second, I’m not above wishing for a few other things, too.

What I’m Wishing For This Weekend:

1. The Bird Poop on My Front Window

I don’t need to wish for the poop stain, cause it’s already there. I hope someone will get something long enough to reach it with and clean it off. It’s a white smear on my psyche.

2. Stop Talking/Tweeting/Facebooking About Time Magazine

I get it– it’s controversial. I’m not ever linking to the cover here, because in 48 hours, I am so sick of seeing it. So have your opinion either way, and please move on to this…

3. ABC Family’s Momalicious Week

I have a confession to make. I have never seen The Notebook. I don’t even really want to, but I think I need to for the same reason I’m considering reading 50 Shades of Gray. When people make jokes or references, I don’t get them, and I feel left out. Thank goodness the network that brought us my favorite Christmas classic about a kidnapping involving Mario Lopez, Holiday in Handcuffs, comes a whole week of The Notebook and more!

4. Sleep

Such a cliche´, right? Thursday, I was up all night with my daughter and her upset stomach. And by that I mean my girl-cat had diarrhea. When she finally went to bed around 3 am, the motion detector alarm on the baby’s monitor went off (falsely) and woke her up. Screaming. BUT,  I went to bed at 9 last night, and Beef let me sleep in this morning– so I can cross this one off my list!

5. I’ve Changed My Mind on This One

Last year, I saw this infomercial–


I never thought of washing my feet as “a chore.” I thought this was loony toons. But yesterday, I woke up with aching feet, and in the shower– I remembered this. The reviews are terrible, but I have to admit, there are a few days this might do the trick. I think I’ll get a pedicure today instead.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!