Dear Jodi?

I just got a perplexing letter from a reader. I nearly fell off my chair. Who am I kidding? I hit the ground hard–with a big fat thud courtesy of my lingering post-preggo poundage. (Sidebar: cheers to Christina Applegate, who recently admitted she just gave up maternity jeans and her daughter is almost Alex’s age. Take that, Gisele. You best own up to getting one freaking craving with this pregnancy or you will remain on my shit list. Ask anyone in my life–it’s definitely not the place to be).

Anyway, here’s the letter (below). Steady yourselves…

Hi there,

I have recently discovered your blog and find it very interesting to read, so I thought you would be a good person to seek advice from. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you in this way.

I have a four-year-old daughter and she can be, shall we say, quite a handful! Don’t get me wrong, she is very loving, but a lot of the time she is hard work and is very disobedient. I have tried timeouts and taking things away and also taking to her about her behaviour but it doesn’t seem to work. What works in your home? What is your secret because your family seems so happy and well balanced. I appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you and God bless you and your family.

Me? The Mommy at the helm of a happy and well balanced family? Only with a steady supply of Mommyjuice–and if my wine glass is half full!

Do I come off as someone who has her shit together? Some days my car sends me a panicked message– “— until empty”–because it’s running on fumes. I don’t have time to stop because my son fought me like a ninja warrior to avoid getting dressed, I burnt my English muffin, and I forgot my cell phone so I had to turn around at the end of my street to get it. Or I spilled my coffee trying to place it in my passive-aggressive cup holder and I needed to change for the tenth time because all of my clothes look better on the hanger again for work (sometimes I’ll act like my java jolt happened at the office to avoid squeezing into a new outfit, but don’t tell anyone). Whatever.

Bottom line is I am a hot mess who has the ability to fool many people into thinking I am on top of everything (remember when I paid the ridiculous rush fee and almost took a Granny out trying to score a parking space at the mall to get custom holiday cards printed on time for New Year’s?)

My son is a perfect little angel at school. He charmed his teachers, the administrative staff, and his classmates in two-seconds flat. He is the center of attention wherever he goes, has dance moves that rival early Michael Jackson (pre-moonwalk–can’t do that yet, but give him time), and has killer dimples. He holds hands with my teenager’s friends in the back seat of my car and has no fear of rejection when it comes to kissing girls full on the lips. He’s a player with mad game, and he knows it–at age two.

Trust me...he's up to something. He's always up to something.

But he still backhands me when he doesn’t want his diaper changed, or his my iPhone taken away. He chucks his sippy cup across the room if he decides he’s the victim of a bait-and-switch. (Milk, Mom? Hell no! I want juuuuuuiiiiiiiccccceeee!). He hides under the table when I am running late just to test how long I can maintain my Mommy cool (your guessed it–not long!). Oh, and he whips off his diaper and pees in his indoor tent for giggles.

Time-outs do nothing. My evil Mommy look does nothing. I am completely ineffective.

And my teenager? She can have a major attitude, too. Don’t even get me started…

I am with you, dear reader. No advice here…except to Google it. And hug your daughter extra tight when she lets you to make up for all the times she makes you get on your knees and pray for bedtime. Treat yourself to a glass of Mommyjuice/bar of chocolate (the good kind–you’ve earned it) to take the edge off when she kicks your ass. Relish the few hours of sleep you do get and dream of a better tomorrow. That’s all I got–and it blows.

Does anyone out there have any real idea on how to discipline their young children effectively? Beuller? Beuller?

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