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Fess up to mommy misdeeds

OK, moms, time to fess up. Sometimes, some days, you've had it up to here with your children. One more whine, one more fight, one more question, and you know you'll go off the deep end.

That's OK. We've all been there, done that. You're human. So what if you occasionally resort to certain tricks to keep your sanity? Or to protect your waning parental power. Or to cover up a mistake.

Just in time for Mom's Day, we asked Miami Herald readers and MomsMiami members to tell us about their mommy misdemeanors. We got some, er, interesting confessions. One mom "buried'' a dead gerbil -- in the trash. Another changed the clocks in the house so the kids would go to bed two hours early on New Year's Eve. A third lied to her son, insisting a restaurant was serving chicken -- not the rabbit on the menu.

There's been a virtual flood of parents' true confessions in the literary world. Dani Klein Modisett edited Afterbirth: Stories You Won't Read in a Parenting Magazine ($23.95, St. Marin's Press), a collection of very candid and funny essays by parents that celebrate how life changes -- for better and for worse -- once that bundle of joy enters their lives.

Ayelet Waldman has penned Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace ($24.95, Doubleday) about . . . well, about real mothering, not the June Cleaver cookie-baking kind.

But perhaps the most confessional and therefore most blunt of all: True Mom Confessions: Real Moms Get Real, a collection of tell-alls taken from TrueMomConfessions.com. Author Romi Lassally started the website in April 2007 after sharing her own dreadful crime with co-workers: After her 6-year-old son had vomited all over the carpet in the middle of the night, she let the dog eat it. The website now has more than 500,000 anonymous confessions.

(Add yours to our Confessions of a Slacker Mom thread in the Mom2Mom Forum.)

Here are some of stories from some brave local women:

Sharon Budd, of Hollywood: When another of my daughter's gerbils passed away, I bagged it up and put in the outside garbage can. I was hoping she wouldn't notice and I could avoid another gerbil funeral where we buried them in our backyard. (We had a gerbil village where about a dozen lived.) Of course she noticed, so I quickly told her that Pepper had gone to gerbil heaven. She then promptly informed me, "Gerbil heaven is NOT in the garbage can!''

Amy E. Sussman, of Coral Gables: As sweet as my 6-year-old is, he can also be very tenacious when asking a question and demanding answers. Case in point: A while back he became obsessed with heaven. He would ask me questions about it constantly . . . what it looked like . . . what you could eat there . . . who was there. During one conversation he asked me at least eight times where it was. On the last time, he wanted to know what I meant by "near.'' I answered without thinking and said, "Near Canada.'' He was satisfied with my answer and never asked again! My friends are still teasing me about it.

Maria Bailey, of Pompano Beach: When my four children were younger, I had a group of moms and dads over with their children for New Year's Eve. We wanted to be able to eat a nice dinner uninterrupted, but the kids wanted to stay up until midnight. So while the 13 kids were busy playing, we set the clocks ahead two hours and set off fireworks at 10 p.m. rather than midnight. They went straight to bed at 10:10 p.m. The kids believe to this day that they celebrated New Year's at midnight.

Estrella Gonzalez Rojas, of Miami: My husband served in the Air Force for 23“ years. When he was stationed in Korea, we moved to Schilling Air Force Base in Salina, Kan. I got a job on base and enrolled the kids -- my 11-year-old daughter and my 9-year-old son -- in the public school about half a mile from the base. The kids walked to school, returned home for lunch while I was at work and walked back for the afternoon session. One day I decided to stay behind without telling them to make sure they were following procedures. I had always told them a little yellow bird kept me informed of everything they did when I was at work, and they believed that.

When they came home for lunch, I hid behind the sofa. I could hear my daughter telling her brother to get his boots off so he wouldn't mess the house and my son complaining that snow had gotten into his boots. But they did exactly as I had told them and to this day I am very proud of them!

Kay Abraham, of Miami: When my son was young, he was a very fussy eater, imiting himself to chicken and hot dogs. We were traveling in Switzerland and eating at small hotels with fixed menus. I read (in German) that at dinner that night they would be serving rabbit, which I knew my son would not touch. So I told everyone in our group to pretend it was chicken. My son fell for it until he asked for the wing.

Jill Subirats, of Miami, aka FamilyGal: Our kids are always getting tons of candy, so I had to figure out how to stop the candy madness. I asked my sister-in-law for advice and she gave me the idea of the Candy Fairy. The Candy Fairy comes as the child sleeps, takes the candy and leaves her a small gift. We started implementing the Candy Fairy in the house and she started leaving behind money -- anywhere from a quarter up to a dollar depending on how much candy the kids were leaving for her.

One night I tossed the candy bag in the dishwasher, which doubles as a storage area. I planned to take the bag with me the next day and throw it out at work. But then my daughter went into the dishwasher to get a sandwich bag. She found the candy and yelled out, "I knew it! I knew you were the Candy Fairy!''

I had to think quick, another white lie. I told her the Candy Fairy's bag was so full of candy already she had to leave ours behind until she could come back and pick it up. It was a tough sell, but she eventually bought it.

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