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Picky Eaters: how McDonald’s french fries ruined my kids

You know what I hate? I hate when my kids ask for something to eat, and when I offer them the FIVE things I know they will eat, they throw shade at me. Seriously, 13- and 10-year-old little brats are throwing shade at the very person that brought them into this World? My kids eat literally a total of 10 things with major stipulations:

  1. Bagels (only butter, sometimes one will have bacon and one egg)
  2. Nachos (just cheese)
  3. Tacos (with just meat and cheese)
  4. Pizza (depending on where)
  5. Peanut butter and jelly (only one child)
  6. Pumpernickel and cream cheese (don’t ask)
  7. Pasta with butter (only one child)
  8. Quesadillas (only cheese)
  9. Chicken wings (one only eats boneless, one only on the bone)
  10. Hamburgers (only one child, typically preferably sliders)
  11. Ravioli’s (literally just started liking this a month ago)

I seriously do not know what happened. As babies and toddlers, they literally ate everything — watermelon, string beans, meatballs, grilled chicken, broccoli, peas, carrots, pineapple, mango, asparagus, every veggie! I mean, they had healthy palates. As a gal that struggles with her weight, I was so proud of myself that my boys were developing healthy eating habits.

Until I introduced McDonald’s.

That one cold, breezy day when I met some moms at the McDonald’s indoor play park, I had no idea that one decision would ruin my kids’ palates, drive my husband and I insane, and literally make me hate meal time. I just thought it was a good way to let the boys burn off some energy. I had no idea that after they tasted the yummy goodness of those salty golden French fries and those juicy processed chicken nuggets, that they’d never eat another vegetable again in their lives. I swear it was literally a day after that McDonald’s visit that my son refused dinner.

Can you blame them? I’d live on McDonald’s fries if I could. For all you health nuts out there, back off! You know all too well the power of the McDonald’s French fry.

So here I am struggling on the daily, begging my kids to try any type of healthy option to the very limited list above. I’ve shredded carrots in hamburger meat, tricked my sons into eating shrimp and said it was chicken (obviously that went over like a fart in church), made our own pizza with hidden veggies in the pizza sauce – you name a child-friendly food trick, and I’ve tried it. And I’ve failed.

So, what’s a mom to do? Well, as I have for the last few years, I’ll continue to offer healthy food options.  I will try hard not to be a short order cook, and use my mom’s method of you eat what we make you. I will, as I have for the last year or so, limit our fast food visits and most importantly continue to teach each of these little buggers to fend for themselves, cook for themselves and take care of themselves. ‘Cause this Mama ain’t got time for shade-throwin’ 13- and 10-year olds!





Posted in deanna, deanna verbouwens, The Little Buggers

9 Not-So-Proud Parenting Moments

As parents, it’s going to happen — those not so proud parenting moments that make you stop in your boots and say, “Maybe that wasn’t the best move.” And for me, those moments probably happen more than most parents. I mean, how many times have you blatantly called your child a “jackass”? Not mumbled it — actually said, “You are a jackass!” to their face? Yep. I told ya. For me, it’s on the reg. Hey, in my book when someone is being a jackass — even a 10-year-old child – you tell them.

Or do you? Ya see, that is where I fail as a parent. The should you or shouldn’t you question doesn’t even pop into my head. Am I missing an automatic mom-filter?

Don’t answer that!

Nevertheless, when the last not-so-proud-parenting moment occurred, I started to think back to all the moments that made me cringe, that still make me feel like a failure (aside from, well, all the time). Those times, after the not-so-proud parenting moment occurred, made me say out loud, “Oh crap, that wasn’t a good parenting move!” I thought I must share them because I can’t be the only parent out there utterly screwing up. So, my friends, below are some of my ridiculous moments as a parent:

  1. That night when we left a sick kid home to watch the little one so we could attend a dinner dance an hour away from the house. Hindsight, worst move ever; the man-child could barely lift his head from the pillow and was close to hurling chunks. Clearly, I should have stayed home. To make matters worse, we got a flat!
  2. That time I gave my child spoiled milk for days. (I never checked the date; you ALWAYS check the date!) And yes, he got sick at school!
  3. The oh so many times I dug dirty laundry out of the basket — deep out of the basket — to dress my children for school. #itwascleanenough
  4. That time, many moons ago (Need to add that disclaimer!), when we ate fast food 4 out of the 7 nights a week for dinner. I mean, seriously? #GrossButNotGross
  5. That time I forgot about picture day. The little bugger was wearing a Phineas and Ferb ratty old t-shirt without a clean haircut, and it just happened to be the year with no picture retake day. Or maybe I forgot about that too! #Probablywhathappened
  6. The day I sat down and talked to my children about ‘stranger danger,’ and my fifth grader ended up in the nurses’ office crying after he walked to school. I scared the pants off him. (Yes, I mentioned kidnapping and maybe went a little too far with the graphics.) What in holy hell was I thinking?
  7. The lapse in judgement when I told my son to Google his homework answers — literally teaching my children to cut corners. WTF is wrong with me?
  8. When I fed my kids pizza bagel bites for breakfast for about 3 months straight. They’re bagels, right?
  9. That day when my son didn’t eat breakfast before his basketball practice. (It was EARLY. He didn’t get up when I tried to wake him. Cut me some slack!) When he came home, he was starving. He didn’t like the options I gave him so I left him $20 to call Domino’s because I had to run some errands. #ParentingFail #whatiswrongwithme

I am sure there are a lot more parenting fails than this. I mean, they are 13 and 10. There certainly can’t be just 9 measly parenting fails in 13 years. But that’s neither here nor there, right? We’re going to fail as parents — more times than we wish. I can rest my head on my pillow at night knowing that these two little buggers are loved. They’re alive! They have clothes on (clean or not, they have clothes on). And to me, that’s a win!!




Posted in deanna, deanna verbouwens, The Little Buggers

GPS Recalculating … rerouting

I rely solely on my GPS or the Waze app to help me navigate the treacherous Long Island roads during rush hour traffic, and basically any other time I am driving and have no idea where I am going. These devices, apps, things, whatever you call them are literally my co-pilot. I listen to this woman’s voice so much that I feel we’ve become good friends. And I often wonder if she really gives a shit about where I am going? Do you think ‘Claire’ loves her job? Giving me directions — Every. Single. Day?  Spitting out three different routes to choose from, calculating an estimated arrival time?  Does she care that I am geographically challenged? When I make a wrong turn, would Claire rather say, “Listen, dipshit, I said to turn left onto Main Street. Now because of your inability to follow my simple directions, I have to tell you to make a fricking right onto Spruce, a left onto to Oak and then another fucking right onto Cedar street. Just make the FUCKING ILLEGAL U-turn, cause I can’t say REROUTING one more damn time!” I truly think she would. I mean, just think of all the times you told your husband or children something, and they don’t listen. You get pretty aggravated, right? Claire can’t be this even keeled all day long? Something has to tip her bucket? No?

Dear, God, I’ve had a long day.

Is this utterly ridiculous? And I am literally the only person on this planet that thinks their inanimate objects actually have feelings, that named their GPS voice? Please don’t answer that. Let me pretend that Claire exists, that she cares about all of us, and that she is completely happy telling us where to go, even if it is to “Go F$%k ourselves!”




Posted in deanna, deanna verbouwens, That's Life