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I'll Get You, My Pretty

Aug 19, 2004


from a collection of essays titled:
"AWOL From The Mommy Wars: Rantings of a Reluctant Stay-At-Home Mother"

Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Maybe I'm tempting an intellectual property-infringement lawsuit from MGM by quoting that line, but it seems to fit in this case. You're a mom, ergo a witch, but just how bad are you?

All moms have their good moments. We also have our witchy, satanic moments that make us cringe when remembered. They seem to increase in frequency the longer you try to do this job. Hell, after a few years of working on the chain gang even Penelope Leach is looking around nervously while wearing her striped hose, waiting for a house to fall on her.

If you stay at home with your kids you may lose your bearings when you try to figure out just how evil and jaded you've become. You have no yardstick for comparison. The only times you see other moms is when they are on their best behavior, like at library story time or the Pampered Chef party. You never see them grabbing the GameBoy, holding it out the car window while driving with the other hand and screaming "I told you little bastards to take turns! Don't make me drop this thing into the fucking toll basket!"

So for a little perspective here is a handy little quiz that will enable you to track your inevitable death spiral from "Disinfect The Pacifier" mom to "Put Together That Stupid Lego Thing By Yourself And Leave Me Alone" mom. See just how far down the yellow brick road to hell you've progressed.

1. Your pre-schooler has just received another birthday party invite to Chuck E. Cheese's. The party will take place from 1-3:30 on a Saturday, thereby blowing any possible plans for the whole day. What do you do?

    A. Respond immediately saying your child would love to come, and by the way what would little Douchebag like for his birthday present?
    B. Hide the invite from your kid and hope no one mentions it in his class.
    C. Punch a hole in the wall and rue the day you threw away the diaphragm.

2. Your child's school district has sent home a complicated flyer explaining the new reading curriculum. What do you do?

    A. Go online and research the standardized test results of other school districts using this curriculum so you'll be ready for a healthy debate at the Board of Ed meeting.
    B. Attempt to read it but become frustrated after the fourteenth pie chart outlining the phonics vs. whole language debate.
    C. Figure that if your kid is reading then the school must be doing something right. Mix yourself a cocktail.

3. Halloween is looming and all the other moms are making their kids' costumes. What do you do?

    A. Buy the furry fabric and the Simplicity pattern and vow to make the best Scrappy Doo costume that L'il Learners Preschool has ever seen. That'll show that bitchy mom who always sends her kid to school in ironed jeans.
    B. Draw some stripes on your kid's sweatpants. Wrap a bent coat hanger with Saran Wrap and duct tape it to your kid's back. Voila! Instant bumblebee!
    C. Tape a toilet paper core to her forehead and make her go as a unicorn.

4. Bake Sale time! The school is raising money for the fourth grade's field trip to the waste treatment plant and they need your help. What do you do?

    A. Bake spelt flour/raisin cookies and deliver them in a hand-decorated tin with beads spelling out the name of school.
    B. Buy the slice and bake dough tube and frost with canned frosting. Fuck it, that's good enough.
    C. Stand for fifteen minutes in the bakery department of the supermarket, trying to decide which cookies can pass as homemade.

5. An article about the hundreds of choking possibilities hiding in your house freaks you out. What steps do you take to avoid a potential tragedy?

    A. Hire a babyproofer to sweep the dangers from your home so you can sleep at night. Take an infant CPR course at the adult school. Cut each grape into 24 pieces.
    B. Make the kid eat every meal upside down.
    C. Cross your fingers and hope the kid makes it to his fifth birthday.

6. Some states now mandate that a child should ride in a car seat until he weighs 80 pounds. How do you feel about this?

    A. Car seats bring peace of mind. I attended a clinic at the local police station where they made sure our car seat was installed properly.
    B. I hate lugging it around but it beats going to the gym. My arms have never looked more toned.
    C. 80 pounds? Oh come on. Does this mean Calista Flockhart and her son have matching car seats?

7. It's time for the annual Holiday Concert at your kid's school. How do you plan to enjoy this event?

    A. Get there early and record every precious detail from the front row. Cry when they sing "Jingle Bell Rock" for some reason. Maybe it's time for an adjustment to your medication.
    B. Arrive late and stand through the unintelligible kindergarten salute to Kwaanza. Find the nearest exit like you're studying the safety card in an airbus. Keep in mind that the nearest exit may be behind you.
    C. Stay home, have a cup of coffee and read the paper. When your kid comes home tell him you enjoyed the show, and ask if he saw you waving from the back row. Oh, he didn't? Well, it was pretty crowded. It's okay if he didn't wave back. You liked the show anyway.

8. Your kid needs new shoes. What do you do?

    A. Take out a second mortgage and go to Strife Rite where you can be sure to have your child's feet properly sized. Rest assured that by doing this you've avoided turning your kid's feet into hideously twisted clubs, and that once again you have not ruined his chances for a track scholarship to Princeton.
    B. Go to Payless, buy a half size up from the old shoes, and stick your thumb on his toe to check the fit as if you know what you're doing. Pick up some cool boots for yourself while you're at it. Like those over there. Hey, they're not half bad! Who's going to know? Fifteen bucks? Done!
    C. Dig in the closet for your older kid's hand-me-downs. Cover up scuffs with a Sharpie.

9.Horrors! Your child has discovered his privates and can't leave 'em alone. Now what?

    A. Go online and find all the "facts of life" books on Amazon. Check the reviews and get the best one. Read it with your child and explain the proper names of those parts of the body and what their functions are. Ask him if he has any questions.
    B. Tell him what he's doing is perfectly natural, but if he wants to do it he has to go to his room and be alone. Then go pour yourself a glass of wine and wonder if you've just turned him into a compulsive masturbator.
    C. Say to him: "Oh for the love of Christ get your hands out of your pants and give your wingdizzler a rest already".

10. Your child is going through yet another bout of "separation anxiety". You and your husband have tickets to a show you've waited months to see, but your child is sobbing hysterically and humping your leg as you try to leave. What do you do?

    A. Have your husband drive the babysitter home and comfort little bunnykins. After all, she won't need you like this forever. Isn't it nice that she loves you so?
    B. Go to the show anyway but refuse to enjoy it. Give the babysitter a big tip and vow never to go out again until the kid is in high school.
    C. Sneak out when your kid isn't looking and have the time of your life.

Now, let's take a look at your answers. If you answered A to most questions you are a very good mother and an example to us all. Now do us all a favor and please insert that massive suppository that you so desperately need.

If you answered B to most questions you're on the downward spiral to bad motherhood, but you still have a long way to go before you hit true witchiness. A few more years of trying to keep up the charade should wear you down.

If you answered C to most questions, welcome to the dark scary woods where the flying, fez-wearing monkeys lurk. You've surrendered, Dorothy! Now, set the kids down in front of Grand Theft Auto, pass me them Thin Mints and let's have us a nice little visit.

And not for nothin', but didn't it piss you off at the end of the movie when that so-called good witch told Dorothy she could have gone home at any time? I always wondered why Dorothy didn't bitch-slap her and say "Why didn't you tell me before the tree starting throwing apples? Here, you take these fugly ruby slippers and you go to Kansas, you creepy freakazoid. As for me, there's no place like Payless!"

(Kelley Cunningham Cousineau is proud to be a Heartless Bitch Mom, but nevertheless loves her three sons insanely)

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Copyright© Kelley Cunningham Cousineau 2004, All Rights Reserved

Copying or reproduction (in whole or in part) on any medium (such as in print or on the web) is expressly forbidden without written permission from HBI

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