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Umm… Is this suppose to be a vacation?

My kids are waging some kind of Boca-crazed, caffeine junky-like nap rebellion. 14 month-old Summer, who normally treats herself to two naps daily, is averaging, um, none. Dylan, too, is skipping her afternoon siesta. Instead, the two girls are constantly in the midst of tearful breakdowns because they are completely exhausted and drained.

Rick and I are about the same.

Finally, finally, finally…


… they both conk out on the way to the park. I’m starting to understand why you suburban mamas love your cars.

So we drive and drive those beautiful sleeping angels until damn eco-guilt takes hold. Not to mention what it’s costing us in gas. We park the car, shut off the engine and within minutes…. both girls are awake and nudgy.

Did we miss Parenting 101? Nap rule No. 1: Never turn off the car! Such a dumb, rookie mistake.

I’ve been driving the girls a lot this vacation. The first morning of our trip, I put Dylan and Summer in the car to take them to Starbucks, 3 1/2 year-old Dylan says, “Mommies don’t drive. Only daddies.”

Apparently, I’ve been letting Rick do the bulk of the driving over the past several years.

I am suddenly horrified that even though there is a female candidate for President of the United States, my daughter thinks only men know how to operate a motor vehicle.

I think I’ll be chauffeuring Rick and the girls around until I can adequately reassure my toddler that mommies do indeed possess this ability.

I’ve noticed that Boca Raton has a lot of valet service going on. I’ve never been too comfortable with the whole valet thing. Trade your car to a stranger for a paper ticket. Hope that stranger is willing to trade again when you come back.

In theory, it does seem extremely convenient. But I think valet service is like a sweet boyfriend who treats you well at first and then ends up leaving you, weeping at the curb.

Here’s my proof: I went to this ladies’ Jewish Federation luncheon today as the guest of Rick’s cousin, Wendi. I completely underestimated the dress for this event and felt so silly and juvenile in a skirt and flats. I needed closed toe heels, at least one silk garment, a Chanel bag (which I don’t actually own) and maybe a little something done on my face.

But Camyrn Manheim, formerly of “The Practice,” was such a brilliant and humorous keynote speaker that I almost forgot I was sans my nonexistent Chanel bag.

Despite my inappropriate dress, I did make one smart move.

I parked myself.

So after the luncheon, while streams and streams of these coiffed women collected by the curb, waiting for their turn with one of the valet guys, I had already driven off into the Boca skyline.

Not only am I cruising around town like a cool suburban mama, I finally tried this Wii sensation at Wendi’s house.


Not a video game girl, I couldn’t imagine what all the hubbub was about.


ooooh sista. That Wii is good stuff.

In the spirit of Super Tuesday 2, I’ll vote for whichever candidate buys me a Wii.

mama bird notes

The mama bird diaries welcomes new contributing mama Erin K. Butler! Erin is one sassy, awesome mummy. Click on contributing mamas to read her first piece, “body by baby.”

And you can still enter our mama bird giveaway. Just leave a comment this week. You need to be subscribed to the mama bird diaries via email or a reader. To sign up, click on “subscribe to this free feed” under the menu bar. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.

The giveaway includes:

Burberry “The Beat” Eau De Parfum
The SwaddleKeeper blanket with newborn head support
The children’s book, “Monkey and the Engineer, based on the lyrics of the popular Grateful Dead song (lyrics + story by Jesse Fuller).
Teething Bling by Smart Mom.

29 Responses to as rihanna says, just shut up and drive

  • Robyn says:

    You should get extra points for playing Wii while holding Summer!

    Also, as a suburban mama, while I DO love that Bear falls asleep immediately upon entering the car, I have NEVER been one to drive around just to induce a nap. It is eco-guilt.

  • Tara says:

    Loved seeing you playing Wii with Wendi! And you're so smart to park yourself especially at one of those luncheons! When will those Chanel toting ladies learn!!!??

  • wa says:

    When Sam was a baby, we followed the plot of the movie "Speed"–never let the car's speed drop below 50 or he'd wake up.

    Some days I found myself in completely new towns.

  • Kelsey Johnson says:

    We were just talking about wii at lunch yesterday! Everyone that has one loves it! So, is it now on your wish list?

  • Sandrine says:

    It's not just that only Daddies drive, when Tengo will be big he said he'll be the driver- driver, Daddy will sit next to him and guess where Mom will be…in the back seat!!

  • Robin Singer says:

    I want to know if you got sore from the Wii too. The first week we got ours, I got sore from tennis, boxing, and even bowling lunges. Sad and pathetic, perhaps.

  • Daphne says:

    When Kira was 4 I took her to my dr appt–after the (male) dr came and left Kira said "when is the REAL dr coming….you know, the GIRL?" She thought only girls could be drs…loved it, I'll admit.

  • kelcey says:

    No, I didn't have sore arms because I only had the chance to play a couple games. I tried to play longer but dylan was sobbing uncontrollably. I think something about her mom having too much fun.

    And I just corrected the spelling of the word, "chanel." Now you all know, I really don't have a chanel bag. I can't even spell the name of the company.

  • Jennifer H says:

    I'm resisting the Wii at our house. Something in my head tells me we should actually go and do those things…tennis, bowling, etc. (Except we never do.) I probably won't win on this one.

  • Buffy says:

    My big kids got a Wii for Xmas. Nothing is funnier than watching my 8yr old DD knock out her 15yr old brother in boxing…

  • mp says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the Wii!! But right now my step son and I are SO into Rock Band. Our name is DB.. I sign, he plays the guitar. In church last sunday he looks at my purse..and says, Look BB, You have our band name on your purse!

  • wendi says:

    I am loving you!! Two shout outs in one week and I made it into the pics!! woo hoo! Once Obama wins, I'm gonna get Oprah to give you a shout out 🙂 I am sore from the Wii game – kelcey is one strong yoga mama. My son commented that she was excellent for her first time!

  • Betsy says:

    Don't worry about the driving comment. As a suburban mom, I do drive a lot-with Samantha in the back seat. Still, Samantha said that only daddies can drive. She remains unconvinced even though I am her personal driver 95% of the time.

  • Jacki says:

    Man, you are lucky! Your Dylan still takes naps?? Emma gave those up about a month ago and it is driving me mad!

    Speaking of driving….your story made me think of something. Emma deflated my bubble today. I was trying to take pictures of her and she said: "No mom, you're not good at taking pictures. Only Dad can."


    Enjoy your trip! I enjoy hearing about it!!

  • Kristen says:

    oh so sorry the kids have decided not to nap this week. We experienced that the week of Thanksgiving when in NJ. Ugh! It was exhausting for all of us. Love love love the wii. It is on our wish list! By the way, I love all the pictures you have been posting to help tell your stories. Have a great rest of the week.

  • Erin says:

    THE CAR! yes finally a perk of being in the burbs- the car is a child's sleeping pill…amazing. Though can be tricky when you DON'T want them to sleep and you have to go out. I try not to go out during her "sleepy" times- which rules out half the flipping day and then I end up driving along while tossing endless toys over the seat to her, reaching back and patting her head, holding her hand, touching her cheek, etc to keep her awake. it's an interesting sight and quite a challenge. :-}

    hope nap time improves for you guys on your remaining vacation days!

  • izzy's mama says:

    I once spent an entire week on vacation and Izzy took ZERO naps and refused to go to sleep until 111 or later. It was truly awful. I was exhausted at the end of it. At least you are getting some naps!

  • Tully's Mama says:

    The Wii! The Wii! I threw my husband a surprise 40th and it was a total snore until my friend (who opened up her fab home for the affair) asked me if we should bust out their Wii. Total hit & party kicked into beers & bowling gear. (the food was good, too, and I looked tres hot – tres chubby -but tres hot). Tully's not the best traveler and tends to forget all that is peaceful to her parents while on vacay.

  • Cat says:

    "3 1/2 year-old Dylan says, “Mommies don’t drive. Only daddies.”"

    At least she didn't say "mines a vente latte"!

    Have a happy holiday!

  • JoLynn says:

    wow!! Got quite alot of comment's girl!!! It must be those "gun's" your building while playing the WII!!!(your gonna be sore!!) Iam sure you already found that out!! Have "another" great vacation!!

  • Milena says:

    Someone is going to nail my rump to the floor for this one I'm sure but here is something I do: If my son falls asleep in the car, I pull into the driveway of our home, turn the car around so that his window is facing my kitchen window and that I may see him clearly, then I get out of the car, leave the motor running, the kid inside, go into my kitchen, make myself a nice cup of something, and watch him sleep inside the running car. My husband was scandalized the first time he realized what I was up to but now, he does the same. You know, quite frankly, that half an hour is worth the gasoline expenditure. He gets the rest, I get a break. All happy. As to the vacation, we see you need a vacation to get over the vacation. They can be the opposite of restful sometimes.

  • Lanie says:

    The wii looks fun – however, the 7 month old twins are not quite there yet. . . Loved the post and the pictures.

  • sophleniko says:

    We are so thinking of getting a wii. I’m afraid I will lose the only hours of sleep trying to get good enough to beat the kids at it!
    Happy Vacation! We start our adventure next week….ugh.

  • mp says:

    OH..FYI..That teething bling, I gave that to my friend/coworker w/ a 3 month old..she loves loves loves loves it..and said she has gotten wonderful compliments when she wears it out!

  • Aunt Marcia says:

    Mistake in vacationing in Boca where the women change their ‘outfits’ 5 times a day; and what a collection of ‘outfits’…Best place not in Florida is Key West; it’s really NOT IN FLORIDA even though it IS IN FLORIDA. Casual dress; all over; no heels, no dressing up. Friend in Boca almost fainted when she invited me to dinner; and was waiting for me at valet parking; and I never showed up there. She found me 1/2 later at bar, waiting for her. Couldn’t believe I could park my own car and walk to bar…

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kelcey kintner