Hello, hello! I’m happy to report that New York Times published my Tiny Victory in their Parenting newsletter this week!

I bought my daughter this super soft, adorable alpaca to take to school and help with her anxiety (you can buy one here). It’s small enough to fit in her backpack. At the end of the day, I ask her how Thorpaca’s day went (yes that’s its name), and this way I’m able to get to her to open up about her day.

Try it, it works! Good luck!

  1. It’s been a while since you visited the dentist.
  2. Some might say you’ve “let yourself go.”
  3. On a good day, you can engender the creation of a new life. On a bad day, your breasts swell like storm clouds. 
  4. Your most important possessions are your stove, broom, and mop.
  5. You are the keeper and releaser of children’s souls.
  6. You prefer eating off the land and have recently taken up gardening. Only what you can grown, gather, or disembowel. 
  7. You don’t know how much longer you can remain in forced hermitage with your small children before you end up eating them.
  8. People turn away in horror when they see your nose in public.
  9. You feed the whole world, but are yourself hungry.
  10. You just discovered 4,000,000,000 new gray hairs.
  11. You have no time for recipes. One-pot meals are where you’re at these days, preferably with bone broth.
  12. Your keen sense of smell allows for you to detect children, propane leaks, and shenanigans.
  13. The powers that be have imprisoned you with the beasts of your own making.
  14. You don’t know how much longer these legs can hold up before they buckle under pressure.
  15. You just want to be left alone.

Key:

Parenting small children during a pandemic: 1–15

Baba Yaga: 1–15

This piece was originally published on The Belladonna Comedy

Widget Mag bills themselves as “the new hotness in fark jokes and anti-capitalism,” which is why for their school and education theme I had to submit my piece about standardized testing. Gratefully, they accepted it, and were wonderful to work with!

Here’s an excerpt from my piece If We Cancel Standardized Testing, How Will We Keep Poor Kids Out of College?

There’s a lot of chatter about standardized testing these days, and, as a parent of 3 wonderful boys all named Connor, I felt I should reply. I promise to look at the matter objectively – the fact that my husband is a leading shareholder of Scantron and my 2nd cousin is Betsy DeVos is immaterial. I’m just a parent with a passion for quality education.

Read the rest here! Thanks for reading!

Something stinky is goin’ down in the Prose Garden.

Maybe it’s the over-abundance of earthworms in dung-enriched soil, or pretentious hyphens.

Maybe you’re taking a dump as you read this. (Yeah, you. I see you.)

Maybe it’s that love is like manure: you have to spread it around so that things can grow.

Speaking of love, we celebrate nine years of wedded matrimony today. Fun fact: did you know that the word for wife in Spanish—esposa—is also the word for handcuffs?

As they say, life is like a garden bed—you never know what you’re gonna get. Unless he builds it like a brick shit house with dank soil and a kwaanza hut roof, then you’re stylin’. Thanks, babydoll.

I ended up with a guy who only knows how to build big fires. Who won’t relax unless he’s asleep. Who tells the best stories in too loud a voice from talking over engines his whole life. Who builds it tough or not at all. Who believes that real work is with your hands, and that they don’t make ‘em like they used to.

Nine years ago I left a good job in California & moved back to Alaska to be with this guy, this third generation Alaskan fisherman whose curly hair is as unruly as his personality. The day after I moved back to Alaska I got pregnant, and within the year I gave birth to my son, bought a house, got married, and started a business. My husband jokes that if I could, I would sleep in a coma for a year.

Basically as soon as I moved in with my boyfriend, I have been pregnant or with children. And as you parentals know, Married…with Children means mess and poop. Every iterations of shit you can imagine.

Don’t get me wrong—I ADORE my kids. As a friend once put it, having children is sort of like having an affair. The hubs gets knocked to the side (sometimes out of the bed) so you can snuggle and dote on your progeny. Hubs is replaced.

Marriage… with kids is stinky. It’s messy and effing hard, even when you have everything in common with your partner, or so I’m told. Ain’t no happily ever after—get that fairy tale shit outta your head.

It’s about trade-offs, sort of like balancing playdates and sanity with the odds of contracting Coronavirus. Do you want someone to bitch at every night after a day of work? Do you want them to bitch at you? Trade-off. Do you want to have someone watch your children for a day even if it means you might kill Grandma? Trade-off. Simple cost-reward analysis.

It’s taking a leap of faith & wondering the answer to what if. It’s jumping full throttle into a volcano & hoping it spits you out without too many gray hairs. It’s rolling with the punches, unless he actually does punch you, in which case contact your local shelter and get the fuck out.

You may have noticed that I have been throwing a few more f-bombs than normal. Honestly, how can you talk about the joys of wedded bliss during Quarantine without swearing?

You may have also noticed that this post has no point. Other than to say “look honey, I finally posted something on Facebook for our anniversary!”

So there you go, darling. A no-cheese anniversary post and testament to our love. We were crazy then and we’re probably more crazy now, except this time crazy doesn’t include hot motorcycle rides, reggae concerts, and copious amounts of [fill in the blank].

And that’s okay. I still love you.

XO,

Summer

photo by Fera Photography