Dec 6, 2012 | Filed Under: Candy's Column | Tags: Holidays
While I tend to my sick and miserable little boy who won’t stop clinging to me (no, not Mr. Candy…this time), I thought I would re-post this column that was originally published on December 6, 2009.
Okay, SO… I hadn’t planned on getting Miss Skye’s picture taken with Mr. Claus just yet. I knew Mr. Candy would want to be there for the Big Moment — after all, meeting Santa is a beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime rite of passage that we force upon our frightened kids — so I had intended to wait until Mr. Candy returned from his business trip. However, Santa was working the beat at the Beverly Center, where I walked by his station on Friday and his elves (read: two sullen out-of-work actors) spotted the “SUCKER” branded on my forehead. It’s not my fault! I swear! They reeled me in with a very compelling pitch, yelling out:
Damn them and their hard-sell tactics! I mean, there was no way I could resist that, right?
Hey, cut me some slack. There was no line. Miss Skye was in a good mood. I figured there was no time like the present. And did I mention I’m a SUCKER?
It’s funny how we usually protect our children, demanding that friends and family dip their entire bodies in Clorox before we’ll even allow them to TOUCH our baby, and yet we’ll gladly hand over our kid to a complete stranger just because he’s wearing a Santa costume. Because if he’s pretending to be a 1400-year-old man who uses flying reindeer as his primary mode of transportation he must be safe!
Thankfully, Skylar is too young to realize she was in the hands of a potentially crazy man. No! I kid! Not potentially — this Santa was crazy. As soon as he started kissing the top of her head, I instinctively inched closer so I could catch him if he bolted with my child. “Oh, I love her!” “Oh, she’s so beautiful!” Santa kept exclaiming. Cute, sure, (well, not the kisses… ick) until I went to take Skylar from him and he made no move to give her back.
“My name really is Kris,” he informs me.
It struck me: This dude truly thought he was Santa.
“How nice!” I responded in a too-high voice, as I pried my baby from his arms.
“Here — touch my pole,” Kris said.
I swear to God, that is exactly what he said. NO, the story does not turn into a Christmas porn — “A Very Merry XXXmas” — at this point. He really was carrying a festive pole to lord over his mall minions. But the story does venture into weird territory. So I, um, touched Santa’s pole.
Nov 28, 2012 | Filed Under: Candy's Column
The time has finally arrived, folks: Skye is potty trained! For the most part! Giddy exclamation points all around! So, to reward our daughter for doing her business in the toilet, I offered to buy her — wait for it — MORE UNDERWEAR. Because that’s the kind of big spender I am.
“I want underpants with cars on them!” she exclaimed with genuine excitement.
“Excellent choice!” I replied, also genuinely excited, because of her request: CARS! Something that was decidedly not a princess or fairy. While I don’t actively discourage the princess nonsense, I have to admit: I have a hard time masking my disdain for it. “Put on some freakin’ pants,” I grumble as Tinkerbell appears on the iPad, her butt practically hanging out of her teensy green dress. “Would it kill ya to eat a sandwich?” I ask Ariel with concern. “You don’t need a man to save you — just drag your lazy ass out of bed!” I yell at Sleeping Beauty, trying to knock some sense into her pretty head.
But I shouldn’t blame the princesses, I suppose. What can you expect when almost all of their mothers are dead, their stepmothers are jealous and evil, their fathers are overbearing, and their bodacious bodies are borne out of the perverted minds of sexually frustrated animators? No wonder they’re always confiding in animals. I’d be singing with a lobster, too, if those were the only people I knew.
So cars? Heck, yeah! I might even spring for two packs of underwear at this rate.
Oct 31, 2012 | Filed Under: Candy's Column, Woman vs Family
A weird thing happens after you have babies. They grow into little people.
This is the conundrum I’ve been grappling with lately. Regular readers have probably noticed that I haven’t been writing as much about my life, or posting any pictures of our brood, lately and wondered if I’ve, like, left my family to run off to Cabo with Ryan Gosling or something. (That was your first guess, right?) But alas… I rejected Ryan’s persistent overtures because I was too busy trying to figure out how to write about my life — and my observations about family — without invading my children’s privacy. It’s a tricky area that most parenting bloggers struggle with, and one that’s become even trickier for me since my kids are no longer babies — especially my three-going-on-13-year-old daughter. When they’re tiny baby blobs, they all do pretty much the same stuff: poop; cry; and sleep. Which is why I call that time “The Poop Joke Era” of my writing career. (An illustrious time, indeed.) But now Skye and Drew are little people, with their own stories and adventures, and I don’t feel comfortable sharing those stories without their consent. Even though I know Skye, having little understanding of what I’m talking about, would gladly agree to give up her Right to Privacy in exchange for a single bag of Scooby-Doo fruit snacks.
The good news is that I didn’t turn down a fling with Gosling in vain — I did figure out a sneaky way to write about my life without turning our kids into the next Honey Boo Boos! I think. I hope… because we don’t have any room for a pig in this place.
I’d like to introduce you to my cartoon family:
Oct 27, 2012 | Filed Under: Babies, Candy's Column, Toddlers | Tags: Two Kids Two and Under, Two Kids Under Two
According to indisputable, statistically significant research, wherein I quickly thought about some of my friends and readers, an increasing number of people are having two children aged two and under — or, as obstetrics professionals say, “popping out dem babies back-to-back.” Highly trained researchers in the field of made-up facts, including myself and the cats, attribute this trend to more women having kids later in life, making them eager to take advantage of their shrinking window of fertility, as well as their overriding desire to optimize the “Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays” option at IHOP.
I am one of those women who has popped out babies back-to-back. Yes, in part because of the shrinking window of fertility, but mostly because of too many mai-tais. Being the mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old and a 10-month-old, and a family columnist-slash-funmaker, some expectant readers have assumed I have wisdom to impart on the subject. They are, no offense, out of their minds.
Mr. Candy and I were together for twelve years before we decided to have a baby. Those twelve years of mental preparation totally paid off, helping me hit the ground running when I became a mom and giving me ample time to perfect my Quarters game. Nothing, however, prepared me for the chaos of becoming the mom of two young kids.
As I previously shared, I cried in the shower for the first eight months of having two kids — a confession that scared the heck out of some of my readers about to be in the same position. Oops. “Please share some tips for juggling two kids!” they asked, seeking comforting advice from the very woman who frightened them in the first place. I figured that coming up with a few tips was the least I could do in exchange for giving them nightmares, so I sat here in front of a blank computer monitor, reflecting. Just like Skye on the potty: I sat and I sat and I sat and I sat and I sat and…nothing.
“Do you have any tips?” I asked Mr. Candy.
“Let me think about it,” he said, brow furrowed.
That was two weeks ago. (Explains that burning smell: two whole weeks of Mr. Candy thinking!)
So, instead of pretending we have grand advice to share about effectively juggling two kids under two and/or two and under (just saying that is exhausting), perhaps it would be more helpful if I shared what I would have done differently. To that end: How NOT to handle two kids two and under…
Sep 18, 2012 | Filed Under: Candy's Column
You know how they tell you not to do anything major to your hair while pregnant because the raging hormones will drive you to HATE those new red highlights, no matter how nice they may look, and you will bawl as if Reese and Ryan were splitting up all over again? Yeah, well, they should also warn us about buying new cars under the influence of pregnancy hormones. Because that SUV I got while pregnant with Drew? Not exactly the happiest decision I ever made for myself.
Don’t get me wrong; it was a lovely vehicle and many families would have been thrilled to have it. I get why so many of you have them — it held TWO double strollers, for crying out loud, with room to spare for groceries. A slice of mom heaven! I convinced myself I had to have one.
Yet… it just wasn’t me.
We moms give up so much of ourselves when we have kids, as it is, that I recently realized I wanted a car that reflected me somewhat. I may be hobbling around with a cane before I ever have a two-seat convertible again, but that doesn’t mean I have to drive a vehicle that just barely squeezes into our garage. And I do mean barely. Trying to park that thing was like me trying to fit into the skinny jeans that Mr. Candy threw into our dryer on high heat — uncomfortable to watch and a nail-biter to the end.
So, last week, I once again started looking for a new car — a process I both love and hate. Admiring shiny new cars and dreaming about driving them home: good. Dealing with car salesmen: bad. All of the old cliches about car salesmen hold true, I’ve found, especially the one about the sexist a-holes.
Aug 22, 2012 | Filed Under: Candy's Column
I don’t mean to alarm my fellow Angelenos, but I feel it is my duty to warn residents that another gang rivalry has emerged here in Los Angeles — the intensity of which we haven’t experienced since the peak of the Bloods versus Crips rivalry of the ’70s and ’80s. Only instead of wearing red and blue to promote their gang affiliation, these new gangs wear blue and — this part may be most frightening of all — PINK.
At least that’s what my three-year-old, pink-wearing gang member of a daughter tells me. Because according to her, most everything comes down to Boys versus Girls, or Blues versus Pinks. There can be no sharing of certain colors, no mutual appreciation for Hello Kitty stickers. Skye has drawn the line in the sand(box), and heaven help her 14-month-old brother and father if they dare to cross it.
“NO! THIS IS FOR GIRLS!” she scolds her little brother, snatching a pink phone out of his little hands. Drew does his best to represent on behalf of his crew, retaliating by hitting her on the arm and flashing me a What the f*ck, I had it first?! look. I handle the potentially volatile situation by mollifying Skye with her gang’s known figurehead: Tinkerbell.
“Here, play with this instead,” I say, offering the doll as part of our truce negotiations.
“Okay,” she shrugs, dropping the phone.
Phew. My master conflict resolution skills have helped us avoid further gang confrontation. I can’t help but push my luck, however, and dig deeper to the heart of the matter in hopes of ending this rivalry once and for all.
“Pink can be for boys, too, you know,” I gently suggest.
“No way! Pink is for girls, purple is for girls and blue is for BOYS!” Skye asserts with a knowing eye-roll. The subtext of which is obvious: I am an idiot for suggesting otherwise.
How did we get here? I wondered. Mr. Candy and I had done our best to discourage a “Girls vs. Boys” mentality, introducing all kinds of toys and colors and a mostly gender-blind attitude into our kids’ lives. Yet here was my daughter, claiming ownership over pink and refusing to let my husband and son walk down the stairs with us because “JUST GIRLS!” are allowed. Had Mr. Candy and I unknowingly encouraged this somehow? Did gender-based product marketing play a part? Or her friends at preschool? Could I find a way to blame this on the Kardashians?
Jul 25, 2012 | Filed Under: Candy's Column | Tags: Mother of the Year, Not Teething
Not me, that’s for sure.
Drew had been whining and fussing for about a day, his complaints accompanied by a fever and bucketfuls of drool. And you know what ol’ Dr. Candy’s diagnosis was, right? Yup, “Oh, he’s obviously TEETHING,” I sighed. Because any time a child between the ages of four to eighteen months seems under the weather or acts out in any way, parents have carte blanche to blame it on teething.
“Say, um, YOUR KID IS EATING MY CAT’S TAIL.”
“Sorry ’bout that. He’s teething.”
So I performed all my requisite teething duties, helping manage his fever with medicine, tag-teaming with Mr. Candy to rock him back to sleep at night, offering him plenty of cats’ tails to gnaw on and making fun of his melodramatics on both Twitter and Facebook.
“Taking his pain like a man,” I laughed in my usual sympathetic way.
Then Drew’s lips swelled to duck-like proportions that would make even Lara Flynn Boyle gasp with horror, the fever ravaged his little body and his whines escalated into non-stop screams. Non. Stop.
“Look in his mouth,” instructed our pediatrician when I called her in a slight panic this morning. Mr. Candy obligingly pulled Drew’s lip down to reveal a ton of white spots.
Jul 16, 2012 | Filed Under: Candy's Column | Tags: Love & Marriage, Then and Now
Mr. Candy and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary while we were back on the East Coast — an anniversary typically celebrated with aluminum or tin, but given the weather conditions, we celebrated it with the gift of excessively big hair (the gift that keeps on growing, er… giving) — and as we honored the occasion, I couldn’t help but reflect on how things have changed in the past decade.
A few slight differences…