Are You the Perfect Mommy or More Mommy Dearest

Are You the Perfect Mommy or More Mommy Dearest

With the joyful carefree bike riding days of Spring finally here it’s time for me to come clean. Today I’m sharing a deep and dark McKenzie family secret. I am not perfect mommy. Ouch. Yes my two children have witnessed more than their fair share of their dear mother teetering dangerously close to Joan Crawford land. That of the wickedly evil mommy dearest.

Fortunately unlike dear Joan I don’t get physically abusive when I’m totally beyond it. I simply shout. Loudly. In addition to the inevitable flying spit I spew unchecked venom. Of course Iknow better. I work hard at remaining calm and being patient. Most times I am.  But. Sometimes. I. Simply. Just. Can’t.

Brace yourself kids. It’s gonna get ugly.

In the interests of brevity I won’t dwell on the vast number of things that can cause me to launch into horrid mommy mode. Let’s just examine two key triggers for this extraordinary transformation.


Put those scenarios into one neat little package and you’ve got the perfect storm.

Oh but how I wish motherhood was this carefree.

I should explain first off that we live on a long, steep hill. Even after my two became bike proficient there was no way we could do it here. We had to drive to get to prime bike riding terrain. Fine. I set about to acquire the world’s most awkward bike rack.  Shaped like a capital T it took one normal adult or three children to carry it up the back steps to the car. Our family consists of neither. Manoeuvring this damn  contraption always resulted in at least one deep contusion or bloody scrape before I wrestled it out of the storage room. It didn’t like me or my children. Needless to say my blood pressure had started to elevate by the time it reached the car.

bike-tires-in-bike-shopDid I mention the bike rack only took two bikes and we had three? Excellent. This meant the third bike had to go into the car before the others were attached. Something we always forgot. By the time everything was sorted it was as if we were breeding tires.

Tired? Don’t even start. Trust me.

Dear Mommy’s blood pressure had ramped up a good ten more points.

Got the picture of my mental state as the bikes were finally properly stowed and I got behind the wheel? Perfect. Let’s visit just one of the Just typiKel McKenzie bike riding and intentional foolishness nightmares.


My late father-in-law was a huge fan of fish fertilizer. Our backyard garden could always do with a boost so naturally he kept us well stocked. With the world’s largest bottles. This particular morning I hurled a glug of it at the floundering sweet peas and struggling rhubarb and then asked my son to carefully restow it under the back stairs.

Naturally, our golden retriever Golden Boy Oscar was soon prancing about the yard with the jug dangling from his salivating jaws; the contents winging about randomly. He’d somehow discovered it and chewed off the lid. Already primed because of the impending bike rack retrieval I shrieked at my lad to rescue the bottle.

It was time to load the car. I needed to shake off that simmering anger brought on by my son’s careless storage of the fertilizer. Fortunately we’d reach the age when my two could assist.

It was a blessedly easy bike rack and bike retrieval morning. One minor shin scrape later my little mister had wrangled his bike into the back and I had strapped my daughter’s and mine to the outside. We were ready to go. Our destination for today’s outing was one of our favourites. Just 20 minutes away, it wound through a tree-lined paved path and culminated at a beachside park. The best part? It had a huge parking lot at the beginning. Lots of room to heft off the bikes and get off to a good peddling start.

It was a warm morning so I cranked open the windows. My ten year-old son and eleven year-old daughter were decidedly mute in the backseat. This wasn’t unusual on bike ride days. Well aware of my stratospheric blood pressure post bike stowage they often kept quiet until mommy had gotten several soothing radio tunes under her bike chains.

Yuck. What was that stench? Something nasty. I rolled up the windows. We needn’t be inflicted with that thank you very much. But. Wait. With the windows sealed up it  … intensified … most discernibly. The smell was now beyond pungent. It packed the punch of a crate of full and opened tuna tins left outside. Exposed to the frying heat of the sun. Nothing but full on fish. Inside the car. Sweet Jesus. I pulled over half way up the lane.

Molten anger threatened. I turned around slowly. Both helmeted children had their sweatshirts hiked up firmly over their noses. I could only see their eyes. My son’s pants were splattered with multiple droplets of brown. But the drops didn’t end there. No. They glistened from the ceiling, they winked from the headrests and they oozed from the bike tires.

Nooo. That f**king fish fertilizer! I could disinfect his pants (three washes should do it) but the inside of the car would require both intensive scrubbing and endless airing. It’d be redolent for months. No one would agree to hitch a ride with us for a very long time. If ever.

My daughter rushed to place blame. I could just make out her muffled words.

“He was making fish fertilizer patterns in the sidewalk, Mom. With his bike. I told him not to. But he wouldn’t listen.”

This fetid hell, virtually impossible to eradicate, was intentional?

It was a good thing those windows were still up.

But enough about me and my unfortunate mommy dearest habit. I’m curious about you. Do you share a similar secret? Do you slip into horrid parent mode every now and then? If so, what are your triggers? Or are you always perfectly mindful and a wonderful role model? If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear.

kelly-mckenzieAbout Kelly – Kelly delights in writing about the minutiae of everyday life. She blogs at her humor blog Just TypiKel at Widowed when her two kids were mere tots, this quirk magnet is awash with material. She is beyond excited about her upcoming participation in the Listen To Your Mother Seattle production in May.        

My Just TypiKel blog:

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Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

Ten to Twenty

Ten to Twenty Parenting was created as an honest resource for those of us parenting kids between the ages of 10 and 20. Our needs are so different and the issues much more complex than diaper rashes and playground tantrums.

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