let’s make a couple of things clear

In the last week, we have welcomed a new babysitter, Jenny, into our lives. Jenny is English and went to the same nanny training school as the Supernanny. Therefore, Jenny is fabulous.


Some might say, well, that’s it, Amy. You’ll have more time to blog now, but nothing to blog about, since your children will be not only perfectly behaved at all times, but also dressed in your master bedroom curtains. But if you are saying that, you do not know my children.

I now present to you: Lessons for Jenny, Scenes One and Two.

Scene One: Jenny was helping me put the boys to bed on her first night at our house. Cooper had just finished using the toilet.

JENNY: Don’t forget to wash your hands, darling.

Cooper does a double take.

COOPER: I didn’t make poops.

JENNY: (confused) Oh?

COOPER: So I don’t have to wash my hands.

JENNY: Yes you do, silly.

COOPER: No I don’t. (helpfully) In our house, we don’t wash hands after we just make PEEPS. Right, Mommy?

Jenny looks to Mommy, quizzically.

ME: Well. It’s something we can work toward.

Scene Two: Jenny was in the playroom with Fergus, who was talking to himself while holding himself (his favorite state of being).

FERGUS: … and he’s a bad guy! And he saying I don’t wike you bad guy!

JENNY: Do you have to go to the bathroom, Fergus?

FERGUS: No.

JENNY: No thank you, Jenny.

FERGUS: and the bad guy is going to fight the– wait. Not no fank you!

JENNY: What?

FERGUS: When you don’t have to go to the bathroom, it’s not no fank you.

JENNY: It isn’t?

FERGUS: No. Iss just NO.

I don’t know what Jo Frost would say to that, but when it comes to our entrenched bathroom preferences, Jenny clearly has her work cut out for her.

and now, a plug

In June, Medela invited me to do some comedy at a luncheon they were hosting in Chicago. For those of you who aren’t moms, Medela makes breast pumps. So they asked me to do ten minutes of material on breastfeeding and pumping.

It went really well, despite the presence of about 25 babies in the audience. And now, the link is up on YouTube, and slowly making its viral way around the internet. Here is one of several places you can find it.

I posted the motherwear.com link because I wanted to draw attention to their title: “More Breastfeeding Humor.”

I suppose there really is nothing new under the sun. But “more” breastfeeding humor?? I was quite unaware that I was taking part in any sort of long-standing tradition. Has anyone seen any classic Abbott and Costello breastfeeding routines that they might send my way?

overheard in the playroom

Overheard in our playroom this morning:

“My superpowers are every power but the one you have.”

Way to cover your bases.

(photo from zoeweil.com)

mocking stuff is bad karma

I really need to be more careful of what I openly deride as preposterous.

First, I made fun of the Hair Fairies, “Manhattan’s Head Lice Helpers,” whom you can hire to pick the lice out of your children’s hair for you.

But then my children got lice.

And so did I.

And I quickly reconsidered my position that such a company was a ridiculous idea. I mean it IS a ridiculous idea. But a wonderful one as well. (Raoul, I’m talking about you and your magic comb. Call me.)

Then, I thought it might be humorous if I shared with you all the grossness that is Nosefrida. For those of you who haven’t seen it in action, here it is:


Now, even the Nosefrida people have a sense of humor, since I cribbed this photo directly from their website, and they dubbed this photo “bad hair mom.jpeg.” Now that I look at her hair, I guess I wouldn’t call it “good.” But it is definitely not in the top ten things I would call “bad” about this photo, as I made clear about two months ago.


I believe it was Arnold Horshack who first said “Up Your Nose with a Rubber Hose,” but I do not think he meant it to be taken literally. Am I right about that, Arnold? You meant it as an insult of the most cutting sort, did you not? And here we have a baby, an INNOCENT CHILD, of indeterminate gender, being subjected to this procedure by HIS OR HER OWN MOTHER.

I have certainly not been incorrect in pointing out, in the past, that this thing is derisible in the extreme.

But Maddie has been fighting a cold. And great green ropes of mucus have been cascading from her nose.

And two days ago, her pediatrician, after examining her ears and declaring her “75% of the way to an ear infection,” turned to me and said: “Have you heard of the Nosefrida?”

I said I had.

How have you heard of it?” he asked, a little bit disappointed. “It’s very new in the States.”

“I, ah, read about it online,” I said, omitting the details that 1) I had in fact read words that I had written myself; and that 2) those words were “utterly and completely nasty.”

He wrote down the number of his preferred pharmacy. “They’re the only ones who stock it out here,” he said. “Make sure to tell them I sent you.”

I sent Maddie’s grandfather to fetch the Nosefrida, since going myself would have meant putting Maddie down, and she would have none of that. Plus, I needed time to steel my reserve that I was actually going to use this thing.

And then the Nosefrida arrived. I took Maddie upstairs to use it before I could change my mind. “Can I watch?” Cooper said. Needing moral support, I agreed to that. Which was a good thing, because in the end, I needed Cooper to lay his full weight across Maddie’s chest just to keep her from rolling away.

In the photo above, if you notice, the yellow-tunic’ed baby is not exactly happy with what is happening, but seems cooperative enough. I do not know how they managed to take that photo, because when I stuck the big plastic pen in Maddie’s nose and then sucked on the other end, she completely lost her mind. I mean I have *never* seen her this upset. And NOTHING CAME OUT.

I carefully read the instructions, while Maddie screamed, to make sure I wasn’t missing anything:

How to Use
Place the Nosefrida close to the nostril and apply suction. Apply again if not satisfied.

Well, I definitely “wasn’t satisfied,” but it is hard to put into words just how dissatisfied Maddie was with the whole operation.

How gross was it? In the end, not that gross, since it completely and totally does not work. After a few more tries, I got a few little boogs out yesterday, but the emotional costs for Maddie were definitely not worth it. So now that I’ve gotten to know the Nosefrida personally, I can say with authority: it’s not that gross, but that’s because it sucks. I think its new ad campaign should be

“The Original Nosefrida: When the Regular Old Nasal Bulb Aspirator Is Not Useless or Terrifying Enough.”

If Maddie needs further intervention, I’m going to hold some black pepper under her nose and let her sneeze a few times. Now THAT will do the trick.

on your next rainy afternoon

The next time it’s raining or too hot out or too cold out or your kids are fighting, take yourself over to the wonder that is www.simpsonizeme.com. I think it was a website originally created to market the movie two summers ago. So I’m only two years late to the party, but it is never too late to make yourself into a Simpsons character. You upload a photo of yourself, your kid, whoever, to the website, and it makes a lot of fun noises and then, kabam:

Cooper Simpson

Fergus Simpson

I must tell you, these are remarkable likenesses. Especially Fergus.