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added May 23
Mad Mom-5
by Karen Moline


Okay, I'm so mad my son is busy playing in his room just to get away from the sight of my face!

I'm mad because innocent people are getting blown up in Iraq every day in a war predicated on lies, with no end in sight.

I'm mad because of all the money and time wasted approving a ridiculous design for a glass tower on the World Trade Center site -- which is, if you think about it, hallowed ground for anyone who lost loved ones on 9/11 -- and it turns out after all this time that the design has to be scrapped for “security” concerns. Couldn't the powers that be in New York have figured this out sooner? Didn't they think it appropriate to get more input from the families who lost loved ones instead of greasing the proverbial political wheels instead?

I'm mad because it costs a fortune to put my kid in “camp” over the summer, and “camp” is only three hours a day.

I'm mad because cleaners never remember to clean under any of the big piece of furniture (myself included).

I'm mad because my knees are killing me and I don't know why which means I'm probably just turning into a creaking old hag.

I'm mad because the prediction just came in for a devastating hurricane season and no one seems to have learned any lessons from last year's devastating hurricane season, especially in Florida, where people are more interested in calling the constitution unconstitutional ( pace Terry Schiavo) than in building hurricane-worthy homes and buildings that won't collapse during a storm surge.

I'm mad because the Yale University Child Study Center just released their findings on a survey of children in pre-K programs (called “Pre-Kindergartners Left Behind”), and found that pre-K students are 3 times more likely to be expelled as kids in other grades. And that about 9 out of every 1,000 pre-K students in New York State are expelled from pre-K. Yes, that's right. Kicked out of school at the tender age of 4! Boy, does that make me mad. But who, really, should I get mad at? Idiot, permissive parents who never say no to little Oscar and Olivia, who've become monstrous brats due to Mommy and Daddy's spineless indulgence and inability to follow even the most basic tenets of normal discipline? Or idiot, permissive parents too lame to realize that the precious spoiled brats they've created are not emotionally ready for a structured environment, and that Mommy and Daddy better admit responsibility and change their tune instead of blaming everything on everyone except their own stupid, selfish, egomaniacal selves? Or schools, who often don't seem willing to understand the difference between normal 4-year-old behavior (playing with a water gun or silly string, having tantrums when things don't go their way), and destructive bullying (due to severe neglect at home), and have scant resources to hire the kind of behavioral consultants who can help teachers and students manage their tempers and their classrooms? Or both? I tell you, my blood is really boiling now!

“Do I have school today, Mommy?” my son asks me.

“Yes, my love, you do,” I reply.

“Yippee!” he says. “But my teachers said I'm not supposed to talk about villains so much in class.”

Yes, I agree. There are already enough real villains in the world. And that makes me mad!


You know what makes my blood boil? Strollers. We are on our seventh stroller. I kid you not. Every single one has either been too hard to fold, too impossible to maneuver, too rickety, too whatever. So we schlep back to Buy Buy Baby (aka Bye-Bye $$$) when the latest “It's Really The Best” stroller breaks when my son is out with his nanny somewhere far from home, freaking them both out and putting my son's life at risk. I put on my best Mad Mom Face (not hard, as you can imagine), stomp in, demand the manager, then point to the broken leg and faulty bolt. “Hmm,” says he. “I've never seen this before.” Yeah, right. When I tell him I want a replacement, he fixes it instead. Guess where I am three weeks later, when the bolt snaps again. My son is at school as he doesn't need to see Mommy blow a gasket. My Mad Mom face is enough to send the salesclerk scurrying for a nice new stroller made by a different manufacturer. “I remember you,” says the manager. Wonder why.

So here's a special message for Silver Cross. Your stroller could have killed my child. Thanks so much for the worry and the time wasted having to deal with your defective product. Thanks for the really great quality control. You are now enshrined in the Mad Mom Hall of Shame.

Stroller manufacturers of the world, you make me mad!


Dear Mad Mom:

What do I do when this friend of mine is always giving me (and everyone else) advice? I mean, her child is only 21 months old, so she doesn't know anything about older kids, or sibling rivalry, or schools, etc., but she sure thinks she does. She used to be a really good friend. I don't know what to do. Especially as she's wrong half the time anyway. Please help!

Not a Know-It-All

Dear Not a KIA:

I feel for you. I really do. Know-It-Alls are so annoying, unless of course they're Mad Moms, and then they are entitled to say whatever they want, whenever they want -- and always be right!

So next time Ms. KIA pipes up with some more of her droning blather and supercilious pronouncements, ask her for proof. In your sweetest tone. As in, “Wow, that is incredibly interesting. Where did you get that information? Do you know that person? Do you have that book? Did you write that article? I really want to know more. Is there someone I can call? Do you have her number? Is she a friend of yours? Are you absolutely certain that's what you meant?”

Follow this script exactly and she ought to get the point.

If she doesn't, too bad. Motherhood can turn the best of interesting, nonjudgmental friends into the worst kind of shrieking KIA shells of their former selves. You're well rid of the cow if she doesn't shut her mouth about aspects of parenting she couldn't yet possibly understand.


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