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

Woah. There are, like, a lot of people at my son’s baseball game. They look so… sporty. And there is literally no shade. Wow, it’s hot!

Do I really have to stay and cheer my son on? He won’t notice if I leave, right? No, I’m going to do this. Put on my game face. Step up to the plate. Knock it out of the park. Yeah, baseball stuff.

Oh no, now there’s even more people, and they’re firing up a grill? Does this mean they’re staying? Why can’t everyone just drop their kid off and leave?

Do I approach them? No, too desperate. I can’t let them know I’ve forgotten how to speak to humans over four feet tall.

Here comes Carla. Geez, her legs look like they could destroy me with one roundhouse! I wonder if she can smell fear? Quick, think of something natural to say!

Wow, really didn’t plan on saying, “Neat-o, a real life three dimensional human being wants to talk to me. Just please don’t hurt me!?”

She asked me how I’m doing. Do I tell her the truth, right off the bat? That I once broke my finger on a Nerf ball because I have hollow bones? That I once threw up in the dugout from nerves? That I’m currently sweating like a nun in a cucumber patch?

I just told her that I’m doing great because Another Round with Mads Mikkelsen is now free on demand, so I can keep my eye on his balls anytime. The heat may have permanently damaged my brain.

And now I’m drinking beer. I don’t even drink, but I guess that’s what people do? And now it’s what I do? Who am I?!

Yikes, that is a really fast ball! Why do they have to make the ball so hard? The pitcher’s got them crazy eyes! And my son is so little! Maybe I should go save him? How long is this game, seven hours?!

Food, I need food. Oh look, here’s a burger.  Is it weird that I keep wiping the ketchup off my mouth with the back of my hand because I forgot how to eat around people?

Oof, shouldn’t eat so fast. I have to unleash a real foul ball, but if I walk over there, then I have to pass like fourteen people.

Kevin’s here, good. People will think it was him. Wait, Kevin asked me a question right as I took a bite. How am I supposed to talk and chew at the same time? Maybe I can shove this burger into the side of my mouth.

Great, now he’s staring at the bulge in the side of my mouth. Oh no, I think I’m choking — it’s, like, super stuck. Talk about coming out of left field. Ugh, why can’t I stop thinking in baseball metaphors?!

Quick, I need something to drink! Kevin’s beer!

Yes, I can breathe again. And now I’m drinking another beer. I am so getting drunk.

Now there’s a tailgate going down. Are we tailgating? Is this what people do? Why is everyone staring at me? They’re all staring at me! Should I have not worn flannel footie pajamas? Lord, please let there be a humongous natural disaster right now!

Oh, they’re just watching the game. Right, the game! What’s the score? Who’s winning? I hope we win!

If we don’t win this game I think I’m going to lose it, right here in front of all these people. I am going to fall on my knees and scream: “I hate sports! I never win! I only won the brown and black participation ribbons, and I was always the last one picked for the team, and my son has tiny avian-esque bones that could be easily crushed by a fast hardball!”

Oh wait, did my son just steal second base? And third? Well done, my boy! Run home! Yep, just like your mama.

Do you have a child going back to in-person school next week? Are they too young to be vaccinated? Is your city, town, or village in the red for COVID cases? Do you feel like The Weeknd from the Superbowl halftime show when he was trapped in the box with blinking lights and a bunch of zombies wearing diamond masks and couldn’t find his way out?

If you answered yes, then rest assured, our school is implementing all sorts of protocols to ensure that your child’s transition to in-person school goes seamlessly.

Prior to sending your child to school, we are asking families to answer the Daily Screening Questions:

·       Could you, would you, in a box?*

·       Would you, could you, wearing socks?

·       Could you, would you, wash your hands?

·       Would you, could you, wear some pants?

·       Could you, would you, wear a mask?

·       Would you, could you, wear a sumo wrestler suit, ten-foot yardstick hat, or a hoop skirt à la Gone with the Wind in order to ensure social distancing protocols?

*box equipped with breathing holes

Social Distancing
In order to mitigate transmission of Covid-19, students will be expected to sit passively at their desks and listen to the teacher lecture without moving, talking, singing, laughing, or expelling cooties in any way. Children who need to be constantly reminded to socially distance will be tied to their desks. We all have to do our part to flatten the curve.

Sanitization
School staff will bleach the shit out of everything twenty times a day. As I type, I am spraying Windex into the air right meow!

Hand Washing
Regular hand washing and sanitizing will occur before/after eating and will be conducted to “Please Don’t Stand So Close To Me” by the Police.

Symptom-Free Environment
If your child is feeling a little fever coming on, then we will promptly direct them to the cafeteria to sample some of our unpleasant lunch foods. If they manage to eat their meal without vomiting, then we know they have lost all sense of taste and smell and probably have Covid.

Supplies
Please leave musical instruments at home as we will not be super-spraying Covid into the stratosphere through a brass tube anymore.

Unfortunately, we cannot let students share art supplies, so we got rid of Art Class. But now we have FART Class! That’s right, farting is an essential part of encouraging mask wearing and social distancing. Flatulence flattens the curve. Windows open, six feet apart! It’s going to be GREAT! No, the bleach has NOT gotten to me.

We simply cannot wait to welcome your child back to school. It’s going to be so fun to have live, three-dimensional humans in our classroom again! So pass those farting animals this way!

Your Principal 

Until I started digging into the poetry of Walt Whitman, I hadn’t realized that he and my son are basically the same person. Did you know that Walt ran away from school at age eleven to study typesetting and get lost in the forest?

So for Walt’s birthday a few days ago, I wrote this satire piece, and Points In Case was wise enough to publish it. Thanks, editors! Please enjoy Passages from My Nine-Year-Old’s Journal that Prove He’s Possessed by Walt Whitman’s Ghost.