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Whatever The Opposite of Brave Is


The Daver took a record three days off in a row, and I was bound and determined to Do Something Together, Damn It: As A Fucking Family while he was off work. Something other than sitting around the house together, occasionally arguing about who feels worse. Daver, God love him, had a cold, and when he has a cold, I consider asking him to spend the night at work. And by “asking” I mean “insisting.”

He’s a great guy, obviously I wouldn’t have married him if he weren’t, but he’s the sort who expects sympathy cards and potentially parades thrown in his honor when he’s sick. And if, God forbid, we have the same illness, his is always far worse than mine. I’ll need a tissue while HE needs a blood transfusion. STAT, if not sooner.

On he soldiered, I must add here, and we ended up Doing Something Damn It each day he was off. Something included checking out encased meats in Chicago, followed by a whirlwind visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo, and yesterday we pilgrimaged to Lake Geneva to Go To A Beach (for Ben).

Honestly, I like being busy, and it’s something I’ve had to adjust to not being now that I’m home with the kids. Sure, I could pack them up in the car and try and do something like this without another adult, but since I’m not (yet) certifiable, I don’t.

I am, according to my informal poll, conducted by myself, in the minority. And I wonder if it’s because my kids are not Easy Kids or if it’s something to do with my lack of bravery. Everywhere I went, women had teeny tiny wee babes (I’m talking newborn sized here) while I struggled with whichever non-newborn child I was tasked with caring for (and I feel compelled to add that as newborns they were both far, far worse than they currently are. Baby Steps).

Without further adieu, I present Fights I Had On My Summer Vacation:

*Kiddie Cocktails Are The Devil’s Drink
*I Wanna Get Dooooooowwwwnnnn!
*I Wanted My Owwwwn Snow Cone
*This Car Seat Is The Work Of Satan
*I’m Hoooootttt!
*I SAID Mac ‘n’ Cheese, You Ignorant Bitch!

And I’ll let you decide who fought with me about what.

I’m sure they were there, but I saw no one, and I mean NO ONE having fights with their kids. I saw no one else looking around to see if there were some gypsies available to sell children to. No one else looked like they were deciding if they could potentially hide in the bathroom until their family left. And yet, this is how I spend pretty much every time we go out anywhere. Fighting about stupid crap (and that’s just with Dave!).

Riddle me this: am I alone in my children behaving as beasts when we’re out supposedly having a Good (fucking) Time? Do I need to get over the idea of having fun myself during Family (fucking) Fun Time?

50 Comments to

“Whatever The Opposite of Brave Is”

  1. On July 31st, 2008 at 10:44 am Andy (echaos) Says:

    You missed the memo I see…. Mummies don’t have fun. Full stop, end of thought.

    Mummies set up the fun, organize the fun, pay for the fun, drive to the fun, clean up after the fun.

    But they don’t get to participate.


  2. On July 31st, 2008 at 10:44 am Tiffany Says:

    Oh no- you are not alone by far…lol..
    every time we try to do something FUN, on purpose, as a family, someone has to be shitty about something…whether it be the neurotic husband or the ungrateful

    I SO feel your pain!!

  3. On July 31st, 2008 at 11:21 am SciFi Dad Says:

    My daughter is usually good when we’re out, but that’s because she’s such a scaredy cat she’s always making sure we’re still right.there.beside.her.

    She saves the really good stuff for home. Fewer witnesses.

  4. On July 31st, 2008 at 11:34 am The Mommy Says:

    OK. I’m hooked. This is my first visit to your site and I’m practically peeing I’m laughing so hard! And I’m certain you’re not alone. The reason you probably don’t notice the others arguing is because you can’t hear over the din of your own. I know this from experience. {SIGH}

    And are you sure we’re not married to the same guy? Because my hubby does the exact.same.thing. His is always worse/lasts longer/has more gross symptoms than mine. Always.

  5. On July 31st, 2008 at 11:37 am chris Says:

    Let’s see…There was a time when I literally stopped the car on the side of the Eisenhower Expressway and ask both my boys to walk home because they were being butt heads. Just last year, I wanted to open the airplane door so I can throw my youngest out of the airplane. Should I continue?

    Of course when we are home nobody fights with me. They just wait when we are outside…

  6. On July 31st, 2008 at 11:38 am Ames Says:

    You are definitely not alone. We braved Lincoln Park Zoo last year with Gracie, my 18 month old niece and 5 month old nephew when we went out to Chicago to visit. Let me just tell you…it wasn’t pretty. Our only savior was the monkey house where all kids quieted down and watched the monkeys swing around. We also brought them to the Shedd Aquarium in the same day… can you say insane???

  7. On July 31st, 2008 at 11:39 am Stacey Says:

    I have the same problem most of the time. But last time we went some placed I was blessed to see a family having an even worse time, within 20 minutes of our arrival, so I felt so much better. They had 3 small kids, all running off in opposite direction & crying & whining that whichever way the parents wanted to go was the ‘wrong way’. Made my constantly preventing boys from climbing over barriers seem like a picnic

  8. On July 31st, 2008 at 11:55 am b Says:

    I think the people with really “good” children either feed them xanax or beat them more often than we do ours. The children you saw behaving were stoned Becky…either that, or their mothers had the fatty part of the backs of their little arms in between her pinchers..err..nails. So really, if you look at it that way..we are EXCELLENT parents. We do not drug, or beat our we win.

  9. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:00 pm kbreints Says:

    I am so not brave enough to take my 2 kids out on adventures by myself. One is the most Ican handle on my own. I often think– what is wrong with me? Then I think… what is wrong with THEM??

  10. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:06 pm Kristen Says:

    I rarely take my kids out on my own. I dread it, hate it, loathe it. It seems that dh is a million times better at dealing with them all when we are out. In fact, sometimes I just wander off and leave them all for a bit. Pretend that I am not really a mommy, just a woman lost in the Science Centre, alone.
    I can handle one kid, if the other’s are safely at home. Especially the 4 year old, he is mostly fun until he decides he has had enough. But I despise taking out the older two at all, they are downright embarrassing at times.
    You have my sympathy and understanding.

  11. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:13 pm Kyddryn Says:

    Much like actually eating a HOT dinner at meal time, I have about given up on having fun, getting sleep, and retaining what precious little sanity I have left when on and alleged vacation with the Spawn. Mostly, I focus on not killing him or anyone else in the vicinity and count it a success if we all survive relatively intact.

    And he’s actually a pretty GOOD kid.

    Shade and Sweetwater,

  12. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:24 pm Anjali Says:

    I’ll take “This car seat is the work of Satan” for $1,000.

    (At least it is, here.)

  13. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:25 pm paisana Says:

    And here you’ve hit on why I don’t have kids: I like doing things and I want to continue to do them.

  14. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:49 pm Vered Says:

    I think all men are like that when they have a cold.

    Summer vacations are challenging for everyone. You’re absolutely not alone in this.

  15. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:53 pm Cassie Says:

    I don’t know about the behavior thing, but I know I’ve been scared to take Jackson out. I haven’t taken him out by myself at all yet, only when there has been at least one other person with me. I’m too scared that I’m going to do something wrong!

  16. On July 31st, 2008 at 12:59 pm heymamasdotcom Says:

    Your first few paragraphs were so funny and I completely relate to what you wrote. I just wrote a post a few days ago on my blog called “What Would Become of The World If A Woman Did This?”, and it is a YouTube video about men and how they act when they have a cold. It is the funniest portrayal I have ever seen in my life. Unfortunately, I think every women faces the same fate when it comes to men and their colds.

    Sadie at heymamas

    Love your blog!

  17. On July 31st, 2008 at 1:13 pm Badass Geek Says:

    Family Fun? Together?

    Is there such a thing?

  18. On July 31st, 2008 at 1:18 pm baseballmom Says:

    What the fuck is it about husbands and their sicknesses? Did their mommies baby them when they were sick? I find it hard to believe, since mine was one of 8 kids, but he is the BIGGEST damned baby when he’s sick…he must be catered to, and coddled, while I have to just SUCK IT UP and do what I always do, even if I feel like death. He also expects huge accolades when he mows the lawn, and wants me to come and SEE IT. Like I don’t know what the lawn looks like? Also, every time we go somewhere with the kids, I’m feeling like the only trailer trash mom who is yelling at her kids (really whisper-yelling, and sort of hissing semi-quietly) because they’re being monsters. The other day we went to the park, with the sprayground, and I brought a book because, ha-I thought I was going to read while they happily played in the water. WRONG! They hung around my towel the whole time, bitching about what was not fun about the park. You, my friend, are definitely not the only one!!!

  19. On July 31st, 2008 at 1:23 pm STE Says:

    We were always fighting on family trips. And my mom was a teacher so she was even “prepared” with activities and other stuff to distract us.

    My husband is still traumatized from childhood family trips, 25 years later… One of which ended with them arriving home all going to their separate rooms (even his parents) and not speaking for most of the next day.

    It’s okay. It sucks, but supposedly, it gets better.

  20. On July 31st, 2008 at 1:42 pm Jenn Says:

    Umm you’re not alone. If Kent and I are bickering (as we are wont to do at any time in public, though we rarely argue at home!) then they tend to behave worse. Kent gets pissy whenever I force him to go anywhere so I usually have a better time if I take the kids by myself, honestly!

  21. On July 31st, 2008 at 1:43 pm Jenn Says:

    Oh yeah! And Kent’s a huuuuuuuge baby too. If I’m tired, he’s EXHAUSTED. If I have a headache, his head hurts so much it feels like someone split it open with an ax. If I stub my toe, his falls off. You know the drill. SIGH.

  22. On July 31st, 2008 at 2:02 pm Michelle Says:

    I am right there with you Becky. Our first vacation in a year and a half started with my son crying on the plane out of OHare. We had not even left Illinois and he was crying to go home. The next 3 days were no different. I was praying my husband would get my subtle hints and head back home. He did not. It finally got a bit better, but I was more stressed than before we left. The only bright spot was that husband left his Blackberry at home, so it was truly a work free vacation.

  23. On July 31st, 2008 at 2:13 pm gingermagnolia Says:

    You are definitely not the only one who feels this way. Luckily, it gets a little easier once they get past about age 5 or so. By then, they pretty much stop throwing tantrums in public. I have a story for you – try traveling on three different planes throughout the course of 12 hours with an 8-year-old and 4-year-old. Not. Fun.

  24. On July 31st, 2008 at 2:45 pm heather Says:

    My daughter was very easy to cart around, however I did very little of that when she was an infant. It blows my mind when I see week old babies at the grocery store. Ever heard of germs, people? My daughter was usually agreeable in public. I think it truly depends on the kids.

    I am currently taking care of my two nieces and they are like good and evil, dark and light. The older one is a flipping nightmare (I stress that NIGHTMARE) anytime anywhere, and I don’t so much as take her with me to go through a drive thru if I don’t have to. Her little sister though, she’s an angel and does everything you tell her to. I can’t wait til school starts back up.

  25. On July 31st, 2008 at 2:46 pm heather Says:

    When my husband is sick, forget it. The world freaking STOPS. At least, according to him it does. The last time he was sick, the baby was sick, too. One of them cried more than the other. I’ll let you guess which one.

  26. On July 31st, 2008 at 2:50 pm Brooke Says:

    Yet another reason why I’m contemplating staying single and being okay with one child. If C and I are somewhere, I can stop what we are doing and drag his misbehavin’ butt home. And I totally lucked out with a relatively easy kid. I’m really not sure that I want to push my luck having a 2nd one. My alcohol budget would increase immensley!

  27. On July 31st, 2008 at 2:50 pm Heather Says:

    *I SAID Mac ‘n’ Cheese, You Ignorant Bitch!

    Gotta be Alex. Why? Because it sounds like Beans, Bitch.

    I have to psych myself up to go anywhere alone with the kids and after two hours, I call it a day, then it takes me another three days to recover. So, yeah, not so much. Plus Beans is a car screamer when she’s not happy, and when is she happy? Not when she’s in the car, for sure.

  28. On July 31st, 2008 at 2:51 pm TSM Says:

    I’m relieved that I don’t live with the only man on earth who is hyper sensitive to illness. And by hyper I mean OHMYGAWDIMDYING sensitive.

    I just pat his arm and say “Oh honey, I’m sorry you don’t feel good.” and leave it at that.

    The thing about both of you having the same cold but he needs a transfusion? I FEEL you, sistah. I SO feel you.

  29. On July 31st, 2008 at 3:40 pm Holli Says:

    I will never forget when Brendan was 8 and we took in to Disney World. I forgot my birth control pills, which brought on a raging horomone-imbalanced rag. I had bought him new shoes, which he decided hurt his feet the minute we stepped into the park. I seriously wanted to kill him, and every person within 1000 feet knew it. My husband ended up going back to get him different shoes, and I threw the brand new ones in the trash. Later my husband said, “I felt like one of those fighting families that we always stare at”. Are you one of those families, Becky?

  30. On July 31st, 2008 at 3:44 pm mandy Says:

    WHO takes newborns to zoos? Just the women who are still on pain killers and want to gloat. That’s who! I know when I went a few months back, I was so hot and miserable and my kids were hot and awful. I saw all these women wearing their babies and thought they were indeed, nutts. I feel for ya, with the locked up bit and all. ALSO, my huz is the SAME way when sick. He is having knee sx Monday and I can’t wait to see what happens after that.

  31. On July 31st, 2008 at 3:45 pm Holli Says:

    Oh, and by the way, Dave is like that because he is a MAN. I have yet to meet a man who doesn’t think he is dying when he is sick. My stepdad burnt his finger on the grill last week, and walked around for 2 hours with his fucking finger in a bowl of egg whites. Why? I am no clue, but it was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. HE get’s the prize for biggest baby.

  32. On July 31st, 2008 at 4:22 pm Heather Says:

    Whenever I go out I’m always so worried that Zack is bugging someone that I forget to have fun myself. Most of the time people don’t notice what he’s doing nearly as much as I do. Perhaps that is the trick to relax and roll with it.

    After all, I don’t notice other peoples kids being obnoxious… but perhaps I’ve just learned to tune it out!! 🙂

  33. On July 31st, 2008 at 5:26 pm Nissa Says:

    I know EXACTLY where you are coming from. I would rather be stabbed in the eye with a rusty fork then go out with my children. My kids are 10 years apart(not by choice). With one at 14 and one at 4, they both are going through the suckiest of the suck phases. I do not know who is worse, the 14 year old or the 4 year old. Oddly enough they both seem to do better without the other and when only one of us takes them. So thats what we do. It works out way better that way!

  34. On July 31st, 2008 at 5:58 pm Mantra Says:

    Just recently found your site, funny stuff. On the husbands cold deptarment… if you haven’t seen it you need to see ‘man cold’ on u tube. You’ll pee yourself (but just a little).

  35. On July 31st, 2008 at 6:51 pm tash Says:

    What is this FUN of which you speak? I’ve just asked for 3 days to myself, sans husband or child. TO MYSELF. To do with what I please, even it means going to the loo by my lonesome a few times, or actually eating a meal sitting down, or not reminding someone not to yell at me. 3 days. He actually thought it was a good idea, so I think I’m onto a long weekend in September.

    School starts soon — do you have that to look forward to at any rate?

  36. On July 31st, 2008 at 8:53 pm honeywine Says:

    It’s really hard to get more than one kid to comply at any one time. I get slightly panicked any time they out number me, and not because I’m inexperienced with children, quite the opposite. I know how the lil buggers can wear you down to a nub in a hurry! You only have so many eyes and hands.

  37. On July 31st, 2008 at 9:47 pm sara Says:

    Not that I have kids yet – but no I don’t think you’re the only one who runs into that while trying to have a good time. You have me cracking up at the mac and cheese comment and the satanic car seat one! That is too funny 🙂 I’m glad that you were able to squeeze a chance at some fun even with people sick.

  38. On July 31st, 2008 at 10:26 pm Mumma Boo Says:

    Hmmm – family fun time? Not around here. Usually because my son is screaming to get out of his car seat, while my daughter is whining that it’s taking too long to get there, and my husband is grousing because the kids won’t shut up. And somehow it’s all my fault because I suggested we do something together that actually involves leaving the damn house. (Phew – I feel so much better now. Thanks, Aunt Becky!)

  39. On July 31st, 2008 at 10:56 pm ms picket to you Says:

    i am only brave with grown up cocktails.

    anyhoo dude: found you somehow. you be funnnnnny.

  40. On July 31st, 2008 at 11:30 pm Emily R Says:

    I think some kids are much better behaved in public. While we have out issues, generally ours are much better out and about and INSANE in the house.

  41. On August 1st, 2008 at 12:01 am kaylee Says:

    OMG i love your blog and that title is appealing 🙂 though i am not drinking age yet 😛

  42. On August 1st, 2008 at 12:12 am Lola Says:

    Take us out of our home, and we fight worse than ever. If I make big plans for a day away or days away, it almost always turns into a major nightmare. I try really hard to belong to this mommy loves every minute spent with her family club, but it’s just not realistic. I have no patience, and my husband has less. We’re just not meant to spend more than one whole day together. We live very happily with seeing each other in spurts!!

  43. On August 1st, 2008 at 6:05 am A Soldier's Girl Says:

    I agree that ALL men are babies when they are sick! Pitiful.

    And, I don’t have children…but trust me when I say, I have seen far too many bad ass children in public. At least you realize when your kids are being ungrateful little turds…most parents ignore it as if not acknowledging it will make it go away!!!

  44. On August 1st, 2008 at 8:25 am tryingin2007 Says:

    sick husbands/boyfriends are THE WORST! “my head hurts. I feel achey.” but when I had my fallopian tubes ripped out of my belly and I woke up at 3 am in excruciating pain (missed my last dose of meds) my DH said “your percocet is right there! next to the lamp.”



  45. On August 1st, 2008 at 9:27 am DD Says:

    Riddle me this instead:

    Do we ever fight over anything BUT stupid crap? Hellz no. Couples don’t fight over wills or which school to send the kids. It’s about socks on the floor and doors left open.

  46. On August 1st, 2008 at 9:47 am Jessi Louise Says:

    Oh my, no you are not alone on this one. Everytime we take the boys somewhere, there are times when we are having a blast and then inevitably times where the boys are pissed off because we won’t buy them a giant inflatable iguana or stay at the beach until twilight and we wonder why we even came in the first place. Most of the time it’s worth it. Well, sometimes.

  47. On August 3rd, 2008 at 2:57 pm Maire Says:

    I ask myself those questions every single time we go somewhere as a family. I start out getting on to my son and then my husband and I are into it. I then say “is this worth it”. Then it is all better and we do it all over again.

    I am also sure that someone is always saying “look at that woman yelling at her poor child.

    I swear one time people were looking at us at Sea World and I said ” Yes he is in trouble at an amusement park; can you believe that he is fixing to be 8 years old”?

    I’m a beaaaatch sometimes hmm.

  48. On August 3rd, 2008 at 11:49 pm Ann Says:

    Lawd I love you. You crack me the hell up!! I just spit my beloved Diet Coke outta my nose.

  49. On August 4th, 2008 at 2:24 pm apathetic bliss Says:

    This is why my favourite vacations are in the back yard where I can drink wine and send the grrrlz to their rooms when they piss me off!
    Hang in there…it does eventually get easier…although then you enter the rolling-their-teenaged-i-know-everything-and-you-are-a-complete-idiot-mother-eyes-at-you stage.

  50. On August 4th, 2008 at 5:31 pm Jerseygirl89 Says:

    You are definitely not alone. In fact, this is the very reason we didn’t do anything today.

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