Do you have kids close in age? Be prepared to answer these questions in public. Every. Damn. Day.

Monday, August 3, 2015



I had my kids back-to-back.  Anyone who does this back-to-back birth thing on purpose is a gawd damn lunatic.

Mine were accidents....errrrr....surprises, whatever you call it when in the heat of the moment you and your husband decide not to "pull it out and pray."  Passion equals pregnancy, ya hurd me?

My girls are 16-months apart.  And wow - can we say HORRIFYING?

I've had two babies not walking, two babies not talking, two babies in diapers, two babies that can't totally feed themselves, and two babies with erratic sleep patterns.

Being pregnant and having babies for two years was about as enjoyable as stabbing myself in the eye with a number two pencil.

Now, they're older, and we, as a family are past all that hard (really fucking hard), baby bullshit.

We now have new challenges.  Like, intrusive questions and comments asked and made by random people out in public.

Just like Australian mom, Annie Nolan who posted a picture of her twin girls holding a sign with answers to all of the overly-intrusive and exhausting questions she got in public about twins - I came up with a list of questions I always get asked.

Irish twin mamas and mamas with kids less than 2-years apart- ya feel me on these?

1. Are they twins?   No, they're just close in age.

2. Really, they look so much alike, not twins? Um, no, I would know.

3. Irish twins?  Still, no.

4. Is your family Catholic? I can see how your religious stereotypes are trying to put me in some type of breeding box to help you better understand why I would do this to myself.

5. Do they have the same mom/dad? I mean, we never got a DNA test, but I'm pretty sure my two very similar looking children have me and their dad as parents.

6. Did you want to have kids close in age?  I'll answer your question, with a question.  Who fucking does this shit on purpose?  No really, go find them, I want to see if they're sane.

7. Were you taking birth control?  Yes, our preferred method was "Pull it Out and Pray."  Except those two times I got pregnant.

8. Did your body have a chance to heal from the first birth? Wait, do you mean down there?  Lucky for you boo, my vagina was untouched, c-sections sista. But, let me just lift up my shirt for you to show you my stomach -  it looks like it got ran over by a semi-truck, then squeezed by barbed wire and cut by a butcher.

9. How could you have another baby now - the kids wouldn't all be close together?  I'm pretty sure that's our concern, But, if you must know - we won't be having another kid, and we can't.  My husband is snipped for this exact reason.

10. Me and my sister are X number of months apart.  We're super close.  Are your girls close?
Yes, they love each other.  Except when they're fighting over a broken, cheap Happy Meal toy.  Then they hate each other.

11. You think they'll be close when they grow up?  I can't predict the future, but I hope so.

12.  You must've had your hands full for awhile there, huh?! Yes, still do. One of which always seems to be full with alcohol.

What intrusive questions or comments do you get about your kids?

Share in the comments section below.



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5 Reasons Why I Drink During Dinner with my Kids

Tuesday, July 28, 2015




Hi, have you had dinner with your children lately?

I wouldn't exactly call it the most calm, enjoyable and family-fun filled event.

If all of these "experts" are going to guilt us parents into having family dinnertime every night....and talking about our days.  Well, I plan to do that with drinks thank you very much.

No amount of studies and expert advice can account for the massively annoying food-fest that dinner actually is, with children.

Here's why I always drink at dinner with my kids:

1. I don't care about fights.  Little one could be crying that older one stole her Barbie, or Paw Patrol or tiny, weird, broken off piece of some random Happy Meal toy, and I don't flinch.  I could be looking at the tears streaming down little ones eyes as I try to lay out my fabulous Linguini with Pesto sauce dinner - and not give two fucks.  Why? Because I caught a buzz while waiting for the pasta water to start boiling.  She can cry her way through all that crushed red pepper.

2. I don't care if they eat their vegetables.  As little one spits out her organic mix of peas, carrots and vegetables, I'm laughing.  Instead of screaming, I stay cool. I level my eyes to hers and say, "You'll eat those vegetables.  You'll eat them, or you'll go to bed right now."

If I was sober, I'd be stressing over those string beans, freaking out over those abandoned sweet potato fries.  I'd probably end up spoon feeding her those friggin' brussel sprouts myself.

With a buzz - I give no bones - I don't negotiate with terrorists - go to bed brat.

3. I don't try to be a short order chef.  If I spend more than 30 minutes on this damn meal - you're gonna Mangia, maniac.  No, I won't make you mac-n-cheese.  No, I won't make you dinosaur chicken nuggets. Just no. Eat.  Plus, mommy shouldn't be operating ovens at this point anymore.

4. I don't care about crying.  I block you out with my buzz.

5.  I don't get frustrated with the five-million fucking requests at the dinner table.

Just as I'm going to bite into my succulent, savory, well-grilled steak.. "MMAAAAOOMMM!!! I need WAAAATTEERR!!"

I get the water, sit back down.  About to chomp on bite number two.... "MMAAAOOOOMMM, I need more napkins!!!"

Napkins, sit back down.

If I drink, I will get up from that dinner table like a well-attentive server.  I will fill every request, with a wink and a smile.

Do you drink while cooking dinner for your family?  Or do you drink while eating dinner?  Do you find it helps you deal with dinnertime annoyances?

Share in the comments section below.

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As a Mom in America, I Feel Really Safe

Friday, July 24, 2015



As a mom in America, my kids are really safe.  My kids are 4 and 5-Years old and I can’t imagine not letting them roam the neighborhood alone or wait at the bus stop without adult supervision.

I make a special effort to discuss safety with my children before we go out in public.  I tell them to hold my hand in parking lots, to look before they cross the street and not get in a car with strangers (unless it’s the only car sitting outside of the mall we’re in – that’s being shot up by a psycho).  Then by all means, get in the stranger’s car.

I really enjoy our relaxing time in restaurants as a family.  Sitting down to a meal is our special time, and we enjoy treating ourselves.  I also like a break from cooking and being cooped up in the house!  I remind them that it’s not polite to be loud in the restaurant, to chew and swallow before speaking and never get out of their seats to play hide-and-go-seek under tables (unless an armed asshole is firing off rounds into the restaurant).

Hanging out at the park is a favorite past-time for us.  We love going there on nice days to play at the playground, kick a soccer ball around and practice riding bikes.  The sound of children’s laughter fills the air, and meeting other friends at the playground is all part of the fun.  Because parks can get kinda busy, I always remind my children of the rules.  No walking up the slides as other children are trying go down, steer clear of people swinging on swings and never go to the bathroom alone (unless you’re running away from a maniac and his semi-automatic rifle).

As a family, we make a special effort to explore our surroundings.  We take advantage of everything our great country has to offer.  We’re so fortunate to have great state parks in this country that are well-maintained.  State parks tend to have a lot of densely wooded areas and hidden drop offs (especially mountainous state parks).  The views are great, but with little ones you have to keep an extra watch on them to make sure they don’t get too close to the edge.  They are not allowed to skip on hiking trails, throw sticks at each other, or run (except when a human-hunting dickhead is shooting in our direction).

Going to the movie theatre is probably my kid’s favorite activity to do on a rainy day.  We load up on slushies, popcorn and soda and sit down in those comfy leather seats.  I feel so safe and secure at PG-rated movies because I know there won’t be any swearing or mature content.  I especially feel safe scoping out the audience and sitting closest to the exit doors.

Church is a great way to be with your community.  And experiencing church in the South is as welcoming as it gets!  We’re not super religious, but we’ve gone to church together as a family a few times.  It’s nice to meet others, sing and listen to a person speak of goodness in the world and urging you to be a better human – for all humankind.  My children understand church etiquette, like no snacks, listen attentively and sit still (except when a gun-wielding wacko waves his gun in front of the congregation- then you run like hell.)

School is THEEE safest place for all children in America.  You know that no matter what – your kids are going to learn great life lessons, be fed healthy food and treated well by all teachers.  It’s a place where the fundamentals for socialization and emotional development begin to form the adult your child will become.  As a parent, having open lines of communication with teachers is key – and you are safe and secure knowing that your child is being nurtured every day.  My children understand that they are supposed to behave in school and be kind to their teachers and their peers.  They know to listen to adults and follow directions (unless they hear gunshots – and are told to ‘STOP’!  Because I have absolutely told my kids if they feel scared, and sense violence, to RUN.  And never stop running).

To all the scared and fearful parents out there – don’t worry.  It’s America.  We are the safest country in the entire world.  We have the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and politicians that have our backs.  It’s our duty as parents, to make our kids feel as secure as possible – which is totally do-able (unless you have no real gun laws).


Shower Sex in Spain (Part Dos of Deranged Traveler with Children Tales)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mom and Dad - if you're reading this- STOP. STOP now.  I talk explicitly about having sex with my husband in Spain.  If you thought I immaculately conceived both my children - I will let you continue to believe that.

Now for the rest of you muthas.....

<<<this is not us - although, I wished we looked like that.

Back to the beginning of shower sex in Spain...

As if worrying about getting your period during a Sahara Desert Trek in Morocco isn't enough - there's always obsessing about ovulating over the ocean.

During ovulation - there's this juxtaposition going on with my uterus.  My hormones say, "Fuck anything with a penis!!"  But, my ovaries scream otherwise.  They're in pain.  They want to die.

And while going bananas to bonesville seems like the best trip ever, as biology would have it.  It's actually a very bad idea - because you know babies come from that shit right?

My husband is snipped - but indeed, the fear of bearing fruits that turn into little fuckers scares me more than fire.

Alas, I made it through Morocco without menstruation (it happened prior to trip).  But, I was ripe for rump time in Spain.

We arrived in lovely Tarifa, Spain after a very enlightening, invigorating and enchanting time in Morocco.  However, we were tired.  Exhausted of having to be so "on."

We welcomed the laid-back, siesta-lovin' culture of Spain.

The landscapes of mountains-meet-beaches is breath-taking.


We could wake up at 9 or 10 AM, or whenever.  There is no schedule in Spain.

We would mosey on down to breakfast, and slowly wake from our Spanish slumbers with delicious, strong coffee.

One particular morning, my kids were still deeply snoozing, when who should awake?!  Senor! (PS- how the hell do you type the Spanish accent over the "n" dammit?!)

As in Senor Sexy pants - AKA my husband.

I too, La Sexy Senorita was awake at the same time.

I was hotter than a sidewalk in Spain in summer, and pounced on him - kissing him, sweet as Sangria.

His hands were in my hot spot, sliding around my wet lips.  I arched my hips in, aching for more.  I gyrated harder.  

Then a peep!

Are you fucking kidding me?!

One of the ninas....stirred from sleep.  (Still haven't figured out that accent over the 'n').

The younger one, tossed and turned, made a groan, and settled back down.

I scream-whispered (Like when your face is screaming, but your voice is whispering) to him.

"Shower!"  

I pointed to the bathroom, and nodded my head in that direction.

We started the shower, and didn't even wait for the water to heat up before hopping in.

He climbed in - I motioned for him to lift me up against the wall.  He pressed me up against the shower wall, lifted my ass and stuck it in.  Except, we couldn't stay in position.  The shower was too skinny.  Truthfully, it's probably challenging for one person to shower in that thing, let alone have sex.

And seeing that we haven't had sex in the shower since 19-fucking 52, I'd say it was a pretty ambitious feat.

I spotted a shower bench - I told him to sit.  I would ride.

I climbed on top.  One of my sloppy, floppy boobs slightly grazed his face.  I hoisted one leg on the outside of his, boom.  Then I tried to lift the other leg and fit it on the outside of his other leg.

Scccccreeeeeccccchhh.

My leg made fart tub noises.  And it was definitely not going to fit.

Fuck.  This is not working.

He tried to bend me over - to which I said, "It ain't that kind of bull ride today hunny."

And I proclaimed, "I'm done.  Get out.  This European shower is too small for sex. I gotta shampoo my hair and you'll hog all the hot water if you're in here. BYYYEEEEE!"

The next week, we were like two Mexican Hairless dogs in heat.  We had to overcome some serious horny hurdles.

First, in Spain - there are titties-galore.

My husband had to somehow contain himself in a town where going topless is totally typical.  Breasts were BAM!  Boobs EVERYWHERE.   I did not partake in said tit-town (as I'm afraid it's Sagsville for me), but there were enough bosoms to titillate any man.

Then, second, the sexiest man with moves for days, performs in Madrid.

The day we arrive, we had dinner reservations at Corral de la Moreria.




It is a restaurant that is renown as one of the best Flamenco shows in the world.

I knew there would be a beautiful woman with the most electrifying struts and steps I've ever seen.  I expected that.

I was not prepared for the young, beautiful, fuck-alicious, flamenco boy who has this way of perfectly pelvis-thrusting across the stage.

I couldn't sit still.

I gave it to my husband that night- in a tiny European bed.

Salud to Spanish sexcapades!


I Cleaned up My Kid's Puke with Vagina Wipes in an Islamic Nation (and other tales of travel with children)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summer's Eve Sensitive wipes to be exact.  And for the record, I won't be going NNNEEEEWHHEERREE without them from now on.

After a two week family, international vacation that's my big epiphany. Always stock feminine wipes.

The first leg of our trip starts in Morocco.  We chose an excursion to the Sahara Desert to kick start our vacation.  Sunsets on sand dunes sipping mint tea.  Layers, upon layers of infinite stars.

And this...

Sunrise..








We admired the sunrise for an hour, while trekking through the Sahara on a camel.  At the end of our desert trek, a private car awaited us to take us back to the city of Marrakech.

My husband sat up front, and it was me and my two girls in the back.

We're winding down a curvy road in Zagora, which is a city that sits right at the tip of the Sahara Desert. With each curve, we sway from side to side in the back seat, bumping shoulders.

The windows are down, but the wind is no relief.

It's 8AM, and already 90 degrees.  Another scorching summer day in the desert.  Shocker.

We've only been in Morocco for 48 hours and my 5 and 4-year old girls have done surprising well. They've flown thousands of miles across the ocean.  They've endured a nearly 10-hour car ride in the mountains.  They encountered a snake charmer with several serpents slithering out of a loosely closed cloth sack.

My kids willingly hopped on camels. They let foreign men, with scarves wrapped around their heads pick them up, pinch their cheeks, and play their tablets with them.  This is my younger daughter teaching members of the Berber tribe in the Sahara how to play her Kindle Fire.




My girls spied beetles the size of golf balls crawling on the desert floor - fearfully close to the rugs we sat on at the camp site.  Those beetles had fangs man.  And pinchers too.  The ugliest things you've ever seen.

They ate questionable food at the camp site.  A camp site, that had no running water.  They slept in tents that trapped so much heat - they felt like saunas.

Our desert days were over - we were heading back to Marrakech.  In a car.  Back through the treacherous mountains.



My 5-year old mentioned on the camel that she felt sick.  I thought she must be nauseous from the constant rocking of the camel ride.  Plus, getting the equivalent of what feels like a cunt punch every time the camel takes a step - I thought she was just saying she was "sick" to get off that damn thing.  Seriously, wear padding "down there" if you ever get on a camel.  Your lady parts will thank you for it.

As we whipped around yet another curve in the car- my 5-year old spewed like Mt. Vesuvius.  Vesuvias vomit.  And like any other mother  - I held out my hands like a cup - trying to catch her puke.

Why do mothers do this - knowing they can't possibly catch it all?

Well, let's just say, the cup runneth over.  And over - all over her clothes, her hair, all over my clothes, and my shoes.  Our driver pulls over, I shove my kid out onto the sidewalk - where she proceeds to puke more.  When she's done, we immediately strip her clothes off in the middle of the street.

You do know Morocco is predominately Muslim, yes?

Women and girls are supposed to wear as many clothes as possible.

And here we are - Americans, stripping a little girl down in front of the whole city and pouring bottles of water on her head.

Then, I remember.

Yes! I have vag wipes!

Yes, vagina wipes are a staple on travels.  Summers Eve, Sensitive.  I whip them out and start wiping down my kid.  When I'm done with her, I wipe down the seats, the passenger side interior, the car mats.  Apparently, those vagina wipes are stronger than I thought.  Miraculously, my kid and that car smelled like freakin' daisies when I was done dousing both with woo hoo wipes.  Amazing.

She threw up two more times after that.  In the damn car.  Which freaked me out a bit.  I mean, dehydration in the desert, where no one speaks English, can't be a good thing.

I demanded that we pull over for an extended amount of time after the third puke fest.

Our poor driver.  He shoulda left us on the side of a mountain.  He had endured enough - especially given the fact that it was Ramadan.  That man is a saint.

This is us recovering at a mountain restaurant.




My daughter learned the magical powers of Moroccan orange juice.



So not only is Moroccan orange juice the best orange juice on the planet - it can apparently cure my kid of feeling green.  Two glasses - and she was good to go.

I think we drank five a day from that day forward.

If orange juice is magical - Moroccan mint tea is mystifying. You've never had tea this heavenly.  The mint and sugar slide on your tongue simultaneously, and effortlessly.  The tea goes down like a slim, sweet syrup.  The aroma lingers in your mouth, and around your table.



Our driver offered to take us to the place where the mountain women make Aragan oil (aka Moroccan oil), but we declined.  We needed the journey to speed up a bit.  But, I would've loved to buy that oil by the buckets.  It does wonders taming my tresses.

We stopped in Ait Benhaddou.  It's a small city in Southern Morocco that has an old palace where the movie Gladiator was filmed.  That thrilled my husband - me...not so much.



I mean it's 100-plus degrees, I give no damns about where this movie was filmed.  I'm gonna stage a dramatic scene if we don't continue driving towards A/C.  And a cold shower.  Which is waiting for me.  In my dang riad.

Riads are operated like hotels, but are traditional Moroccan houses.  They have rooms, a central atrium area, usually a courtyard with lots of greenery, fountains and a rooftop terrace.

Staying in a riad is perfect for exploring Marrakech.  Riads in the Old Medina, or city, are central to every marvel and attraction.  We were able to walk to ruins from the 1500's, the souks and even to a neighboring riad that permitted us to swim in their Turkish-style baths.  The Old Medina, no joke, is a maze.  We got lost a lot.  We couldn't help it - first the scents of fresh herbs and spices is simply spell-binding.  The sights of beautiful hand-made rugs, jewelry and lanterns will catch your gaze.  It's enchanting.

This is one sales person's attempt to make me look like a Moroccan woman.  I told my Middle Eastern husband we could role play later with the scarf on my head.



Probably the biggest reason we got lost - is lack of signage.  The "streets" - are not marked well.  If at all.



If you brave the Old Medina without a professional, local guide - get a good map and a compass.

There's also a Marrakech map app you can download that has offline maps.

Just as we mastered Marrakech it was time to continue our journey to Fes.

Fes is North and smaller than Marrakech.  It's a vibrant city, with great history and awe-worthy architecture.  It's less chaotic, and to me, more beautiful than Marrakech.

In Fes, we explored century old ruins overlooking the entire city.  The Tombe dei Merenidi is not exactly impressive in of itself.  However, the panoramic views of the city are unmatched.



As we wandered through the souks of Fes we experienced a live chicken getting its wings cut off by a butcher in plain sight.  Bees by the bunches swarmed around the sweet pastries.  My husband bravely ate a camel burger.  I opted for a vegetarian lunch that day.



The Atlas Mountains are very close to Fes, so after lunch we hitched a ride with a local driver to explore outside the city.  On one of the stops we visited the Macaque Monkeys.   These monkeys are endangered as they are often captured and taken as pets in Europe.  Our driver also told us a particular tribe in Africa eats the monkeys' brains.  

These monkeys were the size of my children, and fierce.  We bought peanuts to feed them - and one particular monkey just wouldn't let go of my husband.   I'm not gonna lie - these uncaged monkeys terrified me a bit.  But, my kids loved them.



After exploring Fes, and the Atlas Mountains we were lucky to retreat to a beautiful riad in the Old Medina.  Our riad was intricately decorated with exquisite tile work.  Our host did not speak English, and ordering food was a bit of a challenge.  But, smartphones bridged the gap between languages.  Pointing to what you want-  also works.



I don't totally recommend visiting Morocco during July and during Ramadan.  It was extremely hot (July and August are the hottest months there).  However, don't let either condition hold you back if that's the only time you can go.  Just be prepared to drink a lot of water.  And more water.  And more water. 

The fact that Moroccans were so nice during Ramadan and 100-plus degree weather is admirable. 

As non-Muslim visitors we didn't have to participate in Ramadan.  However, we tried to be as respectful as possible.  We didn't go around the streets stuffing our faces and taking huge gulps of water in front of everyone.  I covered my shoulders.  I wore long dresses or light-weight pants.  

I was worried about visiting during Ramadan.  But, I'm thankful we went when we did.  To experience the discipline, and beauty that is this special time for Muslims -was simply awe-inspiring.  Hearing the call to prayer over the loud speakers of local mosques while sitting atop a roof top terrace at sunset is a surreal, calming and beautiful experience.

The Moroccans showed utmost love and kindness to us, and especially to our kids.  The locals would hold our childrens' hands, and slowly, rub water from buckets on their arms, legs and backs of their necks.  They would hug and kiss our kids as we passed by in the streets.  They would play games with them, joke with them - and embrace them, as if they were their own.

For a split second, when a stranger in a foreign country picks up your child, and whirls them around in the air - your heart quickens.  You think, oh shit, is my kid gonna scream with fear?  Is this person going to kidnap my kid?!  No need to fear.

The Moroccans just want to call your daughter a princess - and twirl her around like she's on a magic carpet ride.



Red, White and Boo Fucking Hoo! 8 Ways to Keep Your Kids Asleep on the Fourth

Friday, July 3, 2015



You gather up the kiddies for the local Fourth of July show.  Blanket - check, foldable lawn chairs - check, snacks for days - check, games to entertain kids while waiting for fireworks show that will probably, most certainly be delayed like it is EVERY. DAMN. YEAR. - check.  Booze for parents?
Maybe check if you're within walking distance of the show.

The fireworks show finally happens.  Thirty minutes behind schedule - weather issues. (told ya so)
The finale of fucking bonkers booming.........annnnnnndddddd.... BOOM! It's done.

Phwew, glad we waited up for fireworks, they're so magical and original every year.

By 10:30PM the kids are all coming down from their sugar highs - and you're looking forward to their carbilicious, sugar crash before bed.  It will be like wrestling a killer whale to bed - but so worth it once the kids are zonked to Zimbabwe.

You get the kids into bed, everyone was practically snoring on the way home, and you sit down for one last celebratory drink -

BOOM!

Boom BOOM!!

Boom boooooomm boom BOOM!

"Wehhhhh, Weeh, WEEEEEHHHHHH!!!!"

Fuck.

You rush to comfort your kid back to sleep.

The same dramatic cries and screams repeat themselves at 2AM, because your douschebag neighbor decided to set off his explosives in the backyard with his drunk buddies.

Oh, and again at 4AM - because the same neighbor decided to get high with his buddies and completely forgot that he promised you he was done for the night.

Really America and your explosives?  Really?

Here 8 ways to keep your kids asleep on the night of Fourth of July

1.  Build a soundproof room with cozy beds or cribs.  Make sure you hook up a microphone in there, with speakers in your room in case there are any cries unrelated to incessant explosives.

2. Go to another country.  They don't celebrate Fourth of July.

3. Go to another planet.  They don't celebrate shit.

4. Go camping in very remote woods. I mean, you'll have to deal with other fears, like wild animals, ticks and creepy campers - but you won't be sitting bolt upright in bed every 15 minutes from booming sounds.

5. Send the kids to a family member's house for a sleepover.

6. Slip yourself some drugs - Ambien, Xanax, whatever will keep you asleep so you don't hear the booms and the cries of babes.

7. Get each kid some ear plugs - cuz those always stay in tiny ears, and it's totally safe for your kids to not hear the fire alarm that might go off when one of your stupid-ass neighbors sets of fireworks way to close to the house.

8. Put fans in your kids' rooms - ya know, the kind that sound like tornadic, wind tunnels?  Just don't forget to give the kids some extra blankets.

What are you doing this Fourth of July?  How do you keep your little ones asleep during the booms?  Do you just chalk it up to a night of no shut eye?

Share in the comments section below.

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8 Reasons Kids Need to Have a Lemonade Stand

Thursday, June 25, 2015



My kids are not some super-savvy, genius kiddos that dream up business plans during nap time.  Any parent that lays claim to their kid being a budding entrepreneur since baby-dom is a fucking liar.  Your kids don’t come out of the womb wanting to work.  Their minds aren’t in making money mode.  Kids that age can’t even wipe their own asses.  Pah-lease.

Kids are mostly selfish little assholes.  They’re swayed and inspired by their parent’s suggestions. Your kid didn’t just think up a multi-million dollar design, or operation, or mission to save llamas.

I’m not gonna dumb-down my kids – but it was I who suggested the lemonade stand idea one early pre-summer morning.  It was selfish really.  I wanted to fill my own cup.  My thirst for nostalgia.

We’re all so desperate to recreate those 1970’s summers of our youth.  Everyone wants that old school feeling back.  No structured sports, no pizazzed playdates doing Pinterest crafts, no ridiculous recreation that requires an Excel spreadsheet.

Here are 8 reasons your kids need to have a lemonade stand.

Marketing.  How to market and sales pitch.  How to entice, but not be pushy.  The art of selling.

“Lemonade! Lemonade!”

“If you don’t have money, that’s OKAAAAAYYYY!!”

That was my 5-year old’s big selling pitch.  She belted it out to any runner, dog walker, graduation party-guest, garage-sale attendee.  Anyone within 100 feet from the driveway, she hollered at – beckoning for their business.

It’s probably the best pitch on the planet.

“If you don’t have money, that’s okay.”  

Cha-Chiiinngg!

Gets ‘em every time.

Because once people heard that, they stopped, walked over, got some lemonade, and left triple the amount we were charging for a cup of lemonade.

Which leads me to…..

Economics: counting money, profit, loss.

My kids charged 25 cents a cup.

But, because we told potential customers they could have it for free if they wanted – we tripled our profits.  People were leaving 5 spots in the jar, for a 25-cent cup of lemonade.

My kids knew that $5 was too much for the cup – and asked if the person wanted change.

Admittedly, we didn’t make a whole lotta change, because people were just happy to give (the proceeds were slated for charity).

Culinary Skills
The ingredients for a successful lemonade – don’t have to be organic, shmorganic, non GMO, whatever the hell, health-kick nonsense.

Good ‘ol chemical crap in powder form creates culinary magic.  I saved some to make a mommy cocktail, I should know.

Okay, okay, now that your mouth is watering with thoughts of a refreshing cocktail, let’s get back to the virgin version.

You grab your chemical concoction - throw in a few a freshly cut lemons, add some ice, and pour into a plastic pitcher.  Voila!

There’s your recipe folks.

Hard Work

We built our stand out of cardboard boxes.  We didn't order those fancy shmancy, assembly-required bonified booths from some outrageous online store (but I can't lie, those things are fucking cute).  We decorated our own boxes.  The kids went to town with Sharpies.  They drew some pictures, “25 cents” in big letters and wrote their names.

We set a mason jar of freshly cut Peonies and Hydrangeas from the backyard, on top of the cardboard boxes.  It's all about the decor, amiright?

We served frosted, sugar cookies on the side.

They woman-ed the stand all day long. They learned what it was like to have a busy business day, and a slow business day.

We had a full-blown operation.

Beyond the beverages – I wanted them to bond with the experience and their neighbors.

Community 

My kids learned importance of building relationships with their neighbors, their customers and the community at large.  Even if someone didn’t buy a cup of lemonade – it was an opportunity to talk to others and really get to know them.

Confidence – to your brand, be proud of your product and talk to people about it.

I wanted my kids to feel the same joys I had selling lemonade to strangers and neighbors.  As a kid, you feel special when someone buys your lemonade.  You feel accomplished and confident when someone gives you money, for something you worked hard on.  It’s the same in our adult jobs.  In all, being confident in your work, and seeing the payoffs are rewarding.

Customer Service

We asked our customers if they liked ice in their lemonade.  If they’d like a cookie on the side.  We didn’t have too many special requests  - light on the ice, or no frosting – or returns - but if we did – it would’ve been an opportunity to teach customer service.

Charity

My kids, didn’t once, consider keeping the money for themselves.  I totally thought they were gonna ask to take their lemonade bucks and go ape-shit at the local arcade.  But they didn’t.

I’m not saying my kids are philanthropic.

They’re selfish little a-holes.

However, I do think they understand that their parents have money, their needs are met, and they don’t have a use for money of their own right now.

I mentioned, “Maybe we oughta give the money to kids that don’t have that many toys?”

“Or a church?”

“A homeless shelter?”

We batted around a few charitable options.  We decided to give the money to the burn unit of children’s hospital in my hometown.

I tried explaining that the money was going to sick kids who have to stay in the hospital.  They’ve never seen child that exhibits physically sick characteristics externally, so I’m unsure if my children even understand the concept of where their contribution is going.

We’re going to donate the money in person at the hospital – which I am so grateful for.  I don’t want the recognition.  But, I do want my kids to see where their donation goes just a little bit, and feel the joy and gratitude from people when you give.

When charitable giving is at the heart of your brand, customers recognize this – and become loyal for life.

Have you set up a lemonade stand with your kids?  Challenges?  What was your lemonade stand like as a kid?

Share in the comments section below.

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