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Author: toni

~ 04/24/09


Welcome to HOT TOPICS. A new (I just thought of it today) feature where we’ll look at mommy issues. You know how I do reviews of BAD MOMMIES IN MOVIES? Today we’ll look at a BAD MOMMY IN REAL LIFE. Or is she?

Have you heard about this mommy from New York, MADLYN PRIMOFF?

She recently got so fed up with the bickering of her 2 daughters (ages 10 and 12) that she pulled her car over and put both girls out at the side of the road 3 miles from their house! Somehow (the details are sketchy) the 12 year-old got back in the car. The 10 year-old, found walking down the side of the road by a passerby, ended up at the local police station. And mommy, well she ended up in BIG trouble with police and Child Protective Services. So much so that mommy was arrested for child endangerment and her kids were taken away from her for a while. (Her visitation has just been reinstated by a judge).   

My first thought when I heard this story — there but for the grace of Excedrin go I.

Oh please. Like YOU were never tempted to do the same thing! Yeah, the difference is, you NEVER did it. But maybe you pulled the car over and threatened. Or maybe you actually opened the door but never actually PUSHED them out. But admit it…you were THIS CLOSE to having the bottom of your blinged-out flip flop/Franco Sarto leather ankle bootie from Nordstrom make contact with the bottom of a petulant, smart-mouthed screaming kid.

It’s happened before. I’ve heard stories of this happening even in the finest of families. I won’t name names but when a certain someone (Randy) was a kid, his dad left him behind in a Thrifty Drugs because he was being a brat. Of course his dad came back a couple of minutes later. Randy doesn’t seem worse for the experience. Well, except when he wakes up in the night screaming, “Don’t leave me, daddy!”  Just kidding.

Yes, I know. THIS IS NOT A JOKING MATTER. A child’s welfare is at stake!

Look. I’m not making excuses for Madlyn Primoff. I am ALWAYS, without exception, in the corner of the welfare of a child.  This comes from my own personal experiences in my childhood in which the adults around me were more concerned with what they wanted than their responsibility to their children. And I’m a believer that once you have kids, your #1 responsibility is to them. Otherwise, DON’T HAVE THEM!

But I started wondering, what’s the difference between the mommy who fantasizes about doing it (me) and Madlyn Primoff? What could have happened to drive her over the edge like that? To actually say “OUT” and drive off? Here’s one scenario:

Madlyn Primoff is an attorney in New York State. So she’s a working mom, with a high stress job. Maybe she’d just finished up a long day of listening to bickering in a courtroom. A day of banging her head against the glass ceiling where men with half her abilities make twice the pay because they “have a family to support” (yeah, that thinking is still out there). Where, once she hit forty, she gained the nickname “Dragon Lady” because she doesn’t put up with crap (40 plus male attorneys who do this are called “Attorney of the Year”). Where she is derided for having the nerve to leave the office at a decent hour so she can have dinner/spend time with her kids. (This despite the fact that she gets to work three hours earlier than the male attorneys, so she can make her billable hours, but they don’t know it because hey, they’re still in bed having an early morning romp in the hay with their wives who don’t have to or don’t want to work).   So maybe after this long day she picks up her kids who are…yikes! TWEENAGERS! who are in training for the hell years of high school. Who are clueless as to mommy’s growing migraine and growing regret that she ever got them iPhones which she is convinced is the reason they are the spoiled, ungrateful kids she now sees before her AND who continue to bicker despite her desperate begging to get them to stop. Now I don’t know if she has a husband. But what do you want to bet that even if she does, she’s still the one responsible for getting dinner together, overseeing homework and bedtime routines and doing a load of whites so everyone has clean underwear tomorrow!  Toss in the fact that she’s 45 and likely perimenopausal and therefore beset by raging hormone fluctuations the likes of which she hasn’t experienced since…well, EVER.

And SNAP! Two kids end up at the side of the road.

Then again, maybe she’s just a really, really BAD MOMMY!

I mean. She didn’t come back! Even if you actually got to the point of shoving your kid out the door and even driving 100 feet. You’d come back, right? She didn’t. My personal opinion –which hey, if you’re reading my website, there’s no way you can avoid – is that while I can totally understand a mommy being driven to this action – YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO A KID! Well you CAN. And some of us likely have. Or something similar. But, I think we all agree. YOU SHOULDN’T. No matter how much your boss yelled at you. No matter that the hot flashes are so bad that you want to rip off your bra and throw yourself into the nearest drinking fountain. No matter that the whining and complaining and the fighting make you want to contact Madonna’s lawyers to ask if she’s interested in adopting a couple of white kids from the suburbs.

Now, would I ever be driven to do this? I don’t know. Ask me again when my kid hits adolescence.  In a moment of anger, we probably all have it in us. Remember, though we want to be, mommies aren’t perfekt.

But the bottom line is, there are just too many dangers in leaving a 10 year-old alone at the side of the road. And then there are the psychological ramifications. You’re basically telling your kid with your actions that they aren’t worth sticking around for. When they become too much trouble you’ll dump them. Even if that’s NOT what you mean and you truly love them with all your heart. 

So, if you’re ever feeling like you’re going to “PULL A PRIMOFF” (and hey, I know I’ve been there) here are some things you can do to stop yourself. 



  1. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that YOU ARE THE ADULT in this situation. Right, that never works. Okay then…
  2. YELL! So you’re not setting the best example. But it might scare the crap out of your kids and you’ll feel better getting it out.
  3. GO TO THAT ZEN PLACE in your head.  Imagine that Corona commercial. Or Gerard Butler breaking down in front of your house. He has no cell phone reception, has to borrow your phone. No one’s home but you, you just had your legs waxed AND he’s on your celebrity sex list so you’re totally in the clear with hubby when you have your way with him. (Let’s keep these fantasies guilt-free ladies. There’s enough guilt in real life).
  4. IMAGINE YOUR MUG SHOT which you know will be WORSE than your Driver’s License Picture (oh yes it can) and will forever be posted on Smoking Gun for all to see. If none of this works…
  5. CALL A MOMMY FRIEND! This is the best one and what works for me. A mommy friend will commiserate. They will drive to you, wherever you are. They will talk you down off the ledge…or off the shoulder of the road as the case may be…all the while providing you a shoulder to cry on.

What do YOU think?


Please COMMENT!  Click “Comments” at bottom of post.

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Author: toni

~ 04/23/09

Well, I don’t know about you, but after the mamma drama of this past week (Randy being bitten by a rattlesnake and all)  I could use a BIG OL’ HONKIN’ DRINK!  

My friend Robin, who is one of the wittiest people I know, suggested this week’s drink should be, you guessed it: THE SNAKEBITE! 

It’s not a blended drink, but it does have a real BITE to it! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

I’m including TWO VERSIONS of the THE SNAKEBITE. One that’s hardcore, for you TOUGH MOMMIES out there. You know who you are. You gave birth without an epidural! In fact, you’re the ones who, if you were prairie women living 150 years ago, you’d go out behind the barn, bite on a bullet and give birth standing up…alone…while holding on to a hitching post! Then go back inside your one room cabin to see if the stew was ready without missing a beat.

For the more WIMPY  DELICATE MOMMIES out there (me) – the ones who not only begged for an epidural but asked mid-push, “is it too late to change my mind about having this baby?” – I’ve included a recipe that’s more froofy, and easier going down. So whatever your constitution – here ya go.

The perfekt solution to the imperfekt mom’s imperfekt day.


SNAKEBITE (the “I don’t need no stinkin’ epidural” version)

1 part Jack Daniels

1 part 1800 Tequila

5 – 10 drops of Tabasco Sauce

Add 1 part Jack Daniels Whiskey and 1 part tequila to your shot glass (cuz you tough mommies have a set of six lying around). Then add a few drops (5-10) of tabasco sauce. Take it down as a shot!


CHOCOLATE SNAKEBITE – (the “offered to sell your soul for an epidural” version)

1/2 oz. Bailey’s Irish Cream

1/2 oz. Kahlua coffee liquer

1/2 oz. brown creme de cacao

1/2 oz. Goldschlager cinnamon schnapps

Pour ingredients into a stainless steel shaker over ice and shake until completely cold. Strain into an old-fashioned glass and serve.



And remember…don’t feel guilt and drive!

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Author: toni

~ 04/22/09

Really, really good moms in movies who INSPIRE us to be better.

I’ll be honest with you. It being Review Day Thursday, I was gonna post a review of this amazing kick-ass workout dvd that is supposed to make your butt look “aesthetically pleasing”.  But after the mamma drama of the week (snake bites, ambulance rides, anti-venom, ICUs, mysterious sticky spots on hospital room floors) I just wasn’t feelin’ it.

I was needing something less gluteally uplifting and more SPIRITUALLY uplifting. Cuz let’s face, a firm butt is NOT the answer to everything (although it’s a darn good start).

So I decided to do a movie review for my GOOD MOMMIES IN MOVIES page. (You’ve seen it. It’s near my BAD MOMMIES IN MOVIES page.) Watching an impossibly perfect mom in action can inspire us in our quest for perfekt parenting skills. These super mommies show us how the really good moms do it, so we can try to do it too. Or at least THINK about trying. Or at least think about trying it NEXT YEAR…when that resolution time rolls around again.

Anyway, this week’s “good mommy” features AN ANIMATED SUPERHERO

HOW THE HECK ARE YOU GONNA EMULATE THAT?! you ask. Well I don’t know about you, but this week I felt a little like a superhero when I quick-fast sprung into action to help save Randy after the rattlesnake bite. And I was pretty darn animated doing it, too.  Perhaps this movie will make you feel the same. 



Is there any arguing that Helen Parr (Elastagirl) is one of the coolest movie moms ever? I mean, she can fry up the bacon AND save the world. She’s there for her kids and her husband. And she can turn herself into a parachute when the jet carrying the family blows up. Yet she’s relatable. I mean, she’s concerned about the size of her hips in that tight-fitting super hero outfit. And she wants her kids to have a normal upbringing, despite the fact that they’re anything but. And while we non-animated moms may not have the ability to bend our bodies in a million different ways, this movie reminds us about the ways we DO bend ourselves to be there for our husbands, kids and work. Let’s face it, that balancing act alone makes us superheroes. No?


NOTE: Tune in tomorrow for a special edition of our BLUNDER THEN BLENDER segment that is – how shall I put this – thematically relevant to the week’s events.

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Author: toni

~ 04/21/09

We’re joking about this now because it all ended happily.  In fact, Randy came up with the Harry Potter “parseltongue” joke himself! But for a while there, there was nothing to laugh about. Because last Saturday RANDY THE PERFEKT HUSBAND WAS BITTEN BY A  RATTLESNAKE!

We were on our weekly family hike in one of the canyons in our valley. We’re fairly experienced hikers – enough to know to have a healthy fear of respect for nature. We stick to the trails, minding our own beeswax. And that’s exactly what we were doing.

But then Randy went over to the edge of the trail to look at some flowers appreciate nature in some manly way. When suddenly his sock was caught on a low-lying branch. He tripped and fell into the tall brush over to the side where there just happened to be a NEST OF RATTLERS! What dumb, rotten luck!

We didn’t see the snakes, but he felt them slither and we heard them. No single rattle, but a LOUD CHORUS of VERY UNHAPPY RATTLESNAKES! He jumped up, moving faster than I’ve ever seen him move (except for the time post baby when I came home and told him I got the okay from my ObGyn to resume “relations”).

“THERE ARE RATTLESNAKES IN THERE!” I yelled, proclaiming the obvious.

“It’s okay. I’m fine,” Randy assured me in that tone men take on when trying to save face after doing something dumb calm hysterical women.

And then I saw them. Two perfect puncture wounds on the back of his upper leg.  I knew it was a snake bite because there was no sign of that pasty-faced pretty boy emo vampire Edward from that “Twilight” movie that has all the 14 year-old girls (and a couple of 30-something moms I know) all hot and bothered.

Suddenly I panicked sprang into action! “WE’VE GOT TO GET YOU TO A DOCTOR!” I screamed in horror said with a calm urgency.

He agreed and calmly (for real, calmly) started walking back down the trail.

SIT DOWN!, ” I hyperventilated commanded. “DON’T YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO MOVE!?” Luckily Julia and I had recently watched an episode on the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake on the Discovery Channel. I know, it’s nerdy. But so is Bill Gates and well, ’nuff said! Anyway, I knew EXACTLY what to do.  

1) DON’T PANIC! -or the adrenalin will pump the venom more quickly through your system. (This only goes for the victim. The victim’s wife can do whatever the hell she wants…and did).

2) SIT STILL, keeping your head above your heart. (My head was barely above my heart as my heart was in my throat! But again, I wasn’t the victim).

3) NO TOURNIQUETS (I have no smart ass comment to make about this).

4) NO CUTTING AND SUCKING (no this isn’t a Lindsay Lohan reference. It’s an FYI that your old Boy Scout manuals were DEAD WRONG!)

5) DON’T TOUCH THE WOUND in any way as it will release the venom into your skin and blood stream.


Randy DID NOT want me to call 911. He insisted out of some misguided machismo, that he could walk back to the car and drive to the ER.

Fortunately, I’m not used to listening to him. So I ignored him as usual and dialed. They confirmed what Discovery Channel had taught me that night when I was too lazy tired to read to Julia and sent an ambulance. But because they didn’t know what trail we were on, I had to run over a mile back to the car to meet them.

Julia, so brave, walked her dad to a shade tree and stayed with him while I hobbled pathetically tore down the path. I heard after the fact that when an irritated Randy told her that he wished I would calm down already she said,” Shut up. Mom knows what she’s doing.” It’s the only time she’s ever used the “s” word. And I’m not going to punish her because well, she used it properly.

The EMTs were there in 15 minutes. Randy was in the ER in 30. And on the anti-venom pretty quickly after that.  Which was good since the venom was already producing involuntary spasms of all his muscles and numbness of his face and tongue. (And while there have been times I have wished his tongue would go numb, this was not one of them!) He spent a night in ICU and two in a carefully monitored ward. He was lucky. Luckier than the two other snakebite victims still in ICU: one battling to keep his leg and the other at risk of losing his arm. Randy’s looking at 100% recovery!

Now Randy’s home. And he’s crediting Julia and me for saving his life. We’re so grateful he’s alive, we’re giddy! IT’S A LOVE FEST! And truly one of those things that brings a family closer together. It’ll be at least a week before I go back to nagging him because he watches too much basketball or he grills me accusatorily about the disappearance of his socks. Oh, and before the insurance nightmare begins. A week of heavenly bliss….

We LOVE YOU, RANDY! And Julia wants to know, can you speak Parseltongue?

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Author: toni

~ 04/20/09

The Wrestler II: Tag-Team Toddlers

Directed by Darren Aronofsky


I don’t know what Julia was thinking when she did this pose. She was only 1. But I know what she WASN’T thinking:



NOTE: Today is a light day as I deal with my own mamma drama. Randy the perfekt husband will hopefully be released from the hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake on Saturday morning. Close call. Scary stuff. The kind of stuff that reminds you what’s important in life. …And makes me feel guilty about all the times I nagged him for not clearing away his dinner plate. Sorry Randy. I love you AND your inability to locate the dishwasher.

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Author: toni

~ 04/19/09

A second week of MAMMAKAZE. And yes, we are STILL here!

Glad you could join me! Hey, glad I could join me!

We had an action-packed weekend in our household that included a RATTLESNAKE BITE, a PARAMEDIC RESCUE and HOSPITALIZATION! I kid you not!

I won’t go into detail…I’ll save it for later when I can milk the subject for a post or two about the difference between men and women in panic situations…and believe you me, I will. But suffice it to say, we are thankful that things turned out well. And SO THANKFUL for all our friends (many of them mommies) who offered so much support and help!

Meanwhile, Mammakaze is back for more mamma drama. And, as I can personally attest to, there is ALWAYS more drama. What’s life without it? Or guilt? …Oh right, peaceful and harmonious. You know what else it is… BORING!

SO WELCOME! And let’s have us some fun…..!


NOTE: To see the weekly schedule breakdown posted last week CLICK the WEEKLY SCHEDULE LINK to the left under CATEGORIES.

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