There’s something about the term whackadoo that makes me smile. The first time I heard it was from a coworker who hailed from Oklahoma. She said, “Well, you know, any state that allows open containers while you drive, has drive thru bars, but tickets you for being drunk is obviously ran by whackadoos.” Amen, sister.

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When it comes to parenting, I’m a fucking whackadoo. Trying to feed my kid conventional gmo food? Uh-uh, no you didn’t! I’ll cut a bitch! What’s that, $2 pizza slices on Tuesday during the kids movie? I’ll see you there in line as I buy a slice for myself and a pint. A pint that fits in the cupholder of my stroller.

I’m a jumble of paradoxes and nerves that has only become more complicated with being a parent. But this whackadoo has picked up some tricks along the way so that I can maintain a semblance of sanity like a thinly cut layer of swiss on a warm day.

1. Make friends with moms that have stained shirts.
You know how the 1st day of school was like the opening of a fashion show? The painful competition of “let’s see who’s popular”, or more importantly “let’s see whose parents have more money”, played out and set into motion the hierarchy of social politics within the span of walking from the bus to your desk. Dealing with other parents is no different. Make friends with the ones that wear their stains with pride and tell you when you have a future one on your shirt. I hate the fuckers that never do.

2. Learn the names of the pets, that includes the kids.
When you find a good parent-friend, don’t fuck it up. Learn the kid’s name, the pet’s name, their allergies – don’t be that mom. How do I know? Because I am that mom. It sucks.

3. Delivery, it’s your new porn.
Diapers.com, drugstore.com, and Instacart are my best friends some days. Kids have the pox? Whole household is sick? No one has slept and you don’t want to cook? You don’t want to be seen in stained yoga pants or don’t want to wear pants at all? Instacart will deliver from neighborhood grocery stores within two hours. Diapers.com delivers overnight and drugstore.com can as well. Say “yes” to help where you can get it, including virtual and postal.

4. Dollar store, a.k.a. we got playdate dumped.
Never underestimate the power of a dollar rag doll to turn around a bad day for a little girl and her mom getting stood up for a playdate.

5. Mama has a plan G.
Being stood up sucks whether it’s a date or a playdate, always have a backup plan for such occasions. When I was single, I always packed a book along for a first date (only had to crack it out once – P.S. Never date someone named Patrick. P.P.S. Fuck you, Patrick.) for a first playdate always bring extra snacks and a brand new toy. Bonus points for knowing of other events and activities in the surrounding area, just in case.

6. When in doubt, build a fort.
Who can say “no” to a pillow fort? Not a four year old or a nineteen month old.

7. Anything smooshy and frozen is ice cream.
Picky eater? Sick kid? Freeze your fruit and puree it into a sorbet. Slip some probiotics and yogurt in for that constipated gourmet.

8. The purse is always packed.
I feel like I’m constantly preparing to bug out for a natural disaster. For those of you new to the rodeo here’s 101 for packing light. Always keep the following in your bag: diaper and wipes, applesauce pouch, band-aid, hand sanitizer, hair tie, and crayons.

9. Hot sauce, it’s not for tacos anymore.
None of us want to admit to the embarrassing habits that we or our children have. As weird as the solutions might be, keep an open mind to them and go with what works. Worried about what other people think? Then plan on being a bad parent. I’ll be the mom busy over here smearing hot sauce on my windowsills so Owen stops hanging off of them by his teeth like “The Incredibles” baby Jack-Jack.

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