Category Archives: My Insanity

So What If I Got Clifford The Big Red Dog Drunk?

This weekend we were sent Clifford, the Big Red Dog, along with a beautifully laminated journal containing an entry from each of the class members he spent weekends with in the past. Each page was beautifully written, typed, or hand calligraphied. All were accompanied by a montage of pictures showing the quality time each child and their family spent with Clifford. Clifford attended dinners, parties, one family even took him to the dog park…alone. Either I have the craftiest mothers in my class, or these ladies are truly hard-up for companionship.

Ryan’s teacher: I am sorry Jenny; I was unable to accept your pages for Clifford’s journal, as there were a few problems. You wrote that he “passed-out” from too much beer and wings while watching the Super Bowl with you and your husband. I don’t know if you are aware that we read these Clifford journals to the class first thing Monday morning.

Crappy Mom, AKA Me: I was not aware of that.

Ryan’s Teacher: I doubt Ryan would appreciate me reiterating how Clifford spent Friday and Saturday as you put it, “ …in his sack, suffocating.” Or that you “…found him sad, lonely, and dehydrated Sunday evening.” I would send him home with you for another weekend, but I fear for his health in your hands, not to mention his sobriety.

Crappy Mom, AKA Me: His sobriety? Had I known was battling alcoholism, I never would have played the drinking game where you chug every time someone scores. In my defense, it was T-Bone’s idea.

Aging Series: Article 1 “Geography Lesson”

Such weird things happen as we get older. For instance, what your parents called beauty marks your dermatologist calls moles. Those veins that once transported blood to your feet look like they are trying to escape from your legs.

Everyone is freaking out about something. I get calls about gray hair, stray hair, receding hair, and hair that won’t grow.

I hear about bad backs, brains that lag,

cottage cheese thighs, and boobs that sag.

Age brings crow’s feet, faces that wrinkle,

memory loss, and fallen bladders that tinkle.

That’s right, I rhymed.

The weirdest things are those you didn’t see coming. For instance, I now have an ugly tongue. You didn’t see that coming did you? I’d always notice when older people had those tongues that showed indentations from every tooth and think, “thank G-d he’s too old to French kiss anyone.” Mind you old is 40 when you’re like 13.

Now, I have acquired an ugly tongue. It’s not always ugly, so if you were thinking, “Me and you, open mouthed greeting.” You can still catch me on a good day. I went to the Doctor, because as stated in the “Hypochondriatic Oath,” “I will fulfill my duty to check everything out. From lumps to paper cuts.” The doctor said this ugly mark actually has a name, “Geographic Tongue.”

He explained that it’s a reaction to spicy or salty foods, in which blotches show up that look like the outlines of countries, hence the term. It comes and goes, in different places and locations.

Two weeks ago I was featuring Africa, however it appears today I am feeling patriotic. Not that I think anyone is really looking, but I have to remind myself, “No raspberries till it disappears, and no showing off my tongue rolling or cherry tying abilities for that matter.” This will be hard, but I will persevere… in the name of vanity.

Sadly my husband, who is the person I kiss the most, gets the job of helping me decipher which country it looks like. It’s a fun little game we play to get in the mood. I think it’s really hot. I might even call it foreplay, but it’s been so long since I had the time or energy for foreplay I wouldn’t know it if it bit me on the tongue.

I think if Mark had to call it something, the word would be… gross. Luckily, the fear of having to do things like figure out visitation schedules and who gets the itunes library, the cat… our many vacation villas, is a large factor in him sticking around.

If you enjoyed this post please subscribe in the box to the right or bookmark it.

Sticking It To The Man


Before the NASDAQ bubble of 1999 popped, I used to be the Man.Now in light of current economic conditions, I am getting joy out of sticking it to him.This money consciousness is not new to me.As an ex-personal shopper for the very wealthy, I know the importance of finding a bargain; because shockingly no one dislikes parting with money more than those who have it.

It probably seems obvious that in these rough financial waters I should stop buying coffee at Starbucks and make it home for 1/100th the cost, but I say “nay.” And I rarely say “nay,” unless I’m singing Old MacDonald.Like you, I am addicted to Starbucks, and fear what vice I might take up in it’s absence.Cocaine?Gambling?Cat juggling?Who’s to say?Therefore, I will continue to give Starbucks my hard earned dough and vow to bankrupt them with my ever popular “Ghetto Latte.”It requires two, I mean dopio, shots of espresso and a grande cup of ice.I add milk and voila, iced grande latte for half the price.

Unfortunately, the staff at Starbucks is trained to look for such wily money saving tactics, so if you plan on ordering this drink the barista may warn you and then the manager may ban you a week later, hypothetically speaking of course.I mean, I wouldn’t know this for sure. I am just guessing at how they might crack down on “ghetto lattes” or filling your baby’s bottle from the fixin’s bar, when you just happen to be in the neighborhood, every 3 hours.

Last week I had my daughters 4th birthday.I spent hundreds maybe thousands of dollars on balloons from Oriental Trading.I had a ton of latex pinks, purples and lavenders, plus, mylar balloons in the shapes of cell phones, life sized Bratz dolls, purses, lipsticks, and diaphragms (you know, “girlie” stuff.)

The supermarket charges a dollar per latex and two per mylar, to blow them up.“It seems a bit much for air.Last year they didn’t charge me at all,” I said hoping to strike up a deal.“You’re right, but the price is the price.”“I do have quite a lot of balloons here,” I nudged on, still trying to negotiate.“Maim, this price hike came down from corporate. I can’t change it for you.”

I knew he wouldn’t budge, by the tone of his voice.It was like a chipmunk.Apparently, he found it amusing to take a drag from the tank before putting his foot down.This is an example of the “Man” high on power.That’s right I called the guy who works the helium tank the “Man.”

So do you know what I did?I bought that air and then the next day when I went to throw away the latex balloons that last all of 97 minutes.I cut the ribbon off each one and put it with my gift-wrapping stuff.That’s right, I showed him.The next time I have to wrap a present, no larger than a 6 inch square, for a little girl or effeminate boy, he’ll be sorry.Of course, the disposal of my non-Earth friendly latex balloons will sit in some landfill for 200 years decomposing, and most likely end up choking a baby seagull.But, I will think of the birthday girl’s smile, and lay guiltlessly on my seagull down pillows.

Now your thinking this girl is so brilliant it’s scary, or maybe you’re just plain scared.However, my most genius strike at the “Man” happened today.I was making eggs for my daughter this morning and one was yucky inside.One brown organic, cage free, extra omega egg that probably cost about fifteen bucks.That’s a ballpark figure, but I think I’m close.I would never feed such an egg to my daughter, and my husband wasn’t around, so I did the next smartest thing.I went in my yard and planted it.That’s right, and soon I will grow a chicken tree. Before, you know it I’ll be out there, on a crisp 95degree Florida autumn morning, picking chickens.Then I’ll have all the eggs in the WORLD!!! Who will have the last cluck then “Man”? Who?

If this post made you laugh, please take a minute to subscribe to the blog on the right, or bookmark it.

My 3 Year Old’s Drinking Problem

While on a play date yesterday, my three year old daughter asked me for some apple juice.“One sec, I’m making it,” I called from the kitchen. My friend looked at me oddly and asked how one “make” apple juice? No, I wasn’t using a trendy juicer, I was filling half the cup with water. Yes, it’s true, I still dilute my daughter’s drinks, and I dread the day she gets a taste of the real thing.

Tasting straight apple juice for the first time is like discovering Us Weekly, instant addiction! I imagine just one drop of the undiluted appley goodness and she’ll no doubt, stop in her tracks, while listening to angels sing “Hallelujah.” Then she’ll have a grand epiphany and say, “Mother, I feel somehow different, it is as if my taste buds have awoken from a deep slumber and shall never sleep again!”

Before long, she’ll realize it was I, who prohibited this feeling for so long. It was I, who robbed her of such delicious joy. What else have I robbed her of? Is there better gum than the sugar free crap she’s tasted? Is her powdered Mac N’ Cheese not real cheese?

Before we know it, she’ll be hanging out in cider bars drinking straight from the tap. We’ll look for her to hold an intervention, only to find that she’s take up with a big rig driver who works for Motts and we won’t see her again until HE can no longer afford to fund her drinking problem. He’ll then drop her at our doorstep, juiced-up and maybe even on the sauce (the applesauce).

So do me a favor, if you see my daughter at a party or a school function, and you’re tempted to give her just a taste of that sweet nectar, take a step back and contemplate how you will be ruining our lives, and then give it to your own kid.

The Proof. Can You Dig It?


I did not lie in yesterdays post. Notice the trashcan has fallen down. I was going to pick it up for the picture, but I was scared he would come out cacti a-blazin’ and outline my body with “do not cross” tape and reflectors.

FYI in this neighborhood they will cite you for not promptly bringing in your trashcan from the edge of your driveway, but apparently it’s okay if you throw it in a hole and tie it to your tree.

Weekly Column 4: The Specialist

Every time I take one of my children to see a specialist I am reminded of my first time going to see one with Jake when he was about 4½ months old. Jake, who was 5 weeks premature, cried for the first 4months 13days 16hrs 32min of his life (straight). He would only sleep in an upright position and we found that his car seat was the best option. We would keep it in the Snap n’ Go and park him into bed every night.

When he finally cut back on the tears, it was like walking off a tarmac and into a library- I could think again. I noticed his head looked a little flat and took him to a pediatric neurologist. Dr. Gore or Dr. Bore as I prefer to call her, examined Jake for plagiocephaly, or “flathead,” to see if he should be fitted for a helmet. Yes…that’s correct, a helmet. Looking back on our visit, it seems all of her comments were excessively vague and rather benign, but somehow she managed to coax me into a state of agitation.

Dr. Bore is one of those people who is impressed with her own brilliance, and likes to speak unexcitedly as she tries to overwhelm you with her superior knowledge. Silently, Dr. Bore waited as I changed and then undressed Jake, never uttering a word until I was safely sitting in my chair. This reminded me of the way my father behaved when he had some horrific news to impart which could be something as tragic as selling the family car. “Jenny, are you sitting down?” As if I might faint upon hearing such horror.

With Dr. Bore, however, I sensed the silence was not some kind of soap-opera-esque melodrama. It was more like: I-do-not-waste-breath-on-distracted-ears kind of silence. I literally sat there with fingers crossed trying to remember the rules governing such situations. Do you cross both hands for extra luck? No, no I think one cancels the other out, right? And does that make it zero luck, or does it skip right to bad luck? Oh man, now what do I do? Of course, my toes! I uncomfortably fidget, contorting my fingers into a series of svengali half-crosses in what seems to be verging on an epileptic seizure to erase the obsessive thoughts echoing throughout my head. Speak lady so I can stop torturing myself!

After a long exaggerated sigh, Dr. Snore begins to expound on the two theories as to why his head is flat. The first being a severe complication in which the skull plates prematurely fuse causing the brain to grow out in any way possible- the side, the top, the nose…which could not only lead to deformity, but brain damage as well.

I am about to cry. Why is she speaking volumes on this subject? Just say, this is not the case with your son.  JUST SAY THAT! I get frustrated with my vain attempts at telepathy, and interrupt her.

“Do you have any reason to believe that’s his diagnosis?”

“I’m just going through the possibilities, please allow me to continue.”

Oh, I’m sorry my desire to rule out a gruesome existence for my son has gotten in the way of your neurology-for-dummies lecture. Please don’t let my nervous breakdown shorten your diatribe. The sound of the paper bag I’m breathing into helps to drown out her voice until I hear, “…and the second and most likely possibility is called positional flatness. This is caused by spending too much time sleeping or being on ones back.

Hello? Is anyone home? I told you he spent the last 4 months sleeping in his car seat; doesn’t that ring a bell? Why do specialists always insist on discussing the horrible and unlikely option first? I should probably just go now, but I decide to prolong this torture…

“Well you’ve seen a lot of heads, is his severe?”

“Look his head is flat. I’m not going to tell you that something flat is round. Its flat.”

Gee thanks Magellan. Do you get the impression I have a 5th grade education? What tipped you off the finger crossing fiasco?

She goes on to check his tone and development. All that anguish and I get to stay longer for a freebie, what a perk.

“He has poor muscle tone, he doesn’t roll he doesn’t tilt, he doesn’t grab…what does he do?”


“Hmm…tsk, tsk…just keep an eye on him for the next couple months.”

Really, I should do that? Cause us uneducated folk we like to kick our kids out of the nest at say …I don’t know…5months. “Fly free little birdie, and go earn some money it’s time to pay Momma back.” But if you think we should wait…

If you like Suburban Jungle please subscribe and forward it to friends.

Weekly Column 3: A Dog’s Life

Buddy, my dog, my first born, is 15. I got him my sophomore year and as my dad says getting him was the best purchase this shopahollic ever made.He put up with the craziness of college, people coming and going at all hours often blowing odd substances in his face.

He endured the lean years when I boycotted toys because he ate and pooped them all out.Unfazed, he adorably brought me pieces of slobbery lint and coughed them up in front of me wagging his tail so that I would try to throw one.Then he would retrieve it (though wet lint doesn’t travel far) as if it was the best ball in the world and enthusiastically continue the cycle.

He survived eating an entire bag of blowpops which came out the other end like taffy that had to be pulled and pulled, by hand to get out.A job I handed off to my then roommate as I was late for work.I should say SHE survived that one.(Seeing as she is currently my closest friend, she barely holds a grudge.Though she hasn’t been able to look at a piece of gum since.)

He out-lived his long time love; a very attractive and preppy bean bag pillow who he constantly abused after sex, by biting her and swinging her vigorously from side to side.Then he would ignore her till their next rendezvous.Hmm… sounds like one of my exes. One fateful day he bit too hard and when he swung her, she profusely bled itty-bitty styrofoam balls.For weeks he somberly attempted to meet for trysts but she was a shell of the booty call she once was, and eventually we buried her… in the trash.He tried to date other pillows but I think for him, they could never compare.

He withstood living with my dad who for a month forced him to wear a girly Israeli flag bandana that read SHALOM.My dad would take him to dog-runs hoping to attract the right king of bitch.Unfortunately, Buddy technically male, but snipped at birth, had some tendencies and enjoyed other dogs balls a little too much.But, my dad never wavered in his love, saying only, “As long as he’s Jewish.”

He won over my husband who raised with cats, swore Buddy would never move in with us, only to find himself as in love as anyone else whose path Buddy ever crossed. And when he moved to NYC he adapted to the concept of grassless pooping and even got used to the salt lined streets that sent him into a crying limp until I could find a patch of snow to pack up under his paw for relief.

He tolerated my son Jake who quickly stole the limelight making our once Golden Child feel like a dog for the very first time. He took it in such stride that he became body guard to this little human that was pulling his tail and trying to ride him like a pony.In 2006 he had a proper Bark Mitzvah with brunch, candle-lighting and thirty in attendance.(Picture included).He barked through his haftorah so beautifully that had Randy Jackson been there he would have said “Yo, Dog, dat was the bomb.”

Now he is 106 and pees and poops so much that I spent a month cutting a gorgeous 20×16 shag rug.Everyday razoring out another chunk till it was a sorry 2×3 backdoor mat.He pants like a sex caller throughout the night, and requires being let out what feels like every 27 minutes.He trips out the door without fail and then spryly bounces back in like this perfect beautiful puppy. In moments of spunkiness he laps my pool table like a greyhound over and over and over and over.He is deaf and mostly blind though he can still read lips.He walks on a tilt because of a herniated hip and often completely loses footing as his legs uncontrollably spread eagle beneath him.And if you are carrying food he’ll take your arm off to get it.Unless you say “easy,” then his jaw quivers so gently, he could remove a tic tac without touching skin.

Every morning when I wake the first thing I do is look at him asleep so sweet, like horse that has fallen sideways.Then I look at his stomach for rise and fall.I am morbidly hoping that he has gone peacefully in his sleep so that I will never be confronted with the other option.My father asked where I will have him buried when he goes.A pet cemetery is too creepy.The truth is I’m one of those crazy people who think, maybe I could just have him stuffed.Not like eyes open greeting you at the front door kind of stuffed.You know asleep in a ball chin on paws kind of thing.But then I imagine my cleaning lady having to dust him and like Rosie from the Jetsons raising him over her head to vacuum underneath and I think maybe just an urn will do. It’s a dog’s life … I’m glad he shared it with us!