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Homes everywhere need cleaning - but few homeowners have the time and energy required to scrub surfaces day in and day out. Mom’s, in particular, are overburdened - and as a result, many are turning to semi-regular cleaning so that their place stays spotless.…

Baby Showers: The Next Big Thing

Like so many modern celebrations, Baby Showers have arrived in the UK from North America. It’s a real tradition over there and, like High School Proms, Halloween and Black Friday, one of those exciting social events that is catching on big time over here.

The idea is simple but universally appealing. Throw a party for the pregnant mother and her…

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Jackie Papandrew
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Jackie Papandrew's Discussions

The F Word

Started Aug 12, 2008 0 Replies

The Girl in the Window

Started this discussion. Last reply by identity theft sucks! Aug 26, 2008. 1 Reply

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Airing My Dirty Laundry -- Humor By Jackie Papandrew
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Jackie Papandrew -- Award-winning writer
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Share a little something about yourself with other moms.
I'm an award-winning writer and syndicated columnist. My humor column -- Airing My Dirty Laundry -- appears in several newspapers in the United States, as well as on numerous websites. Visit my website,, to read some of my work. And be sure to check out my blog!

Dude, Where's My Son?

My son recently turned 13, and the last traces of that sweet little boy who thought I hung the moon seem to have vanished. In his place is a strange, slouching creature with a pencil-thin mustache and adolescent angst oozing from every pore.

This extraterrestrial I once called flesh and blood, whose mood swings dwarf the Grand Canyon, seems intent on bungee jumping from that rickety bridge connecting a child with adulthood. And I think he plans on dragging his rapidly aging mother along for the ride.

A drastic language change was the first indication of alien infestation in my once-cherished offspring. The rosy-cheeked cherub who used to run to me, eyes shining with adoration and shouting "Mommy!" began to address me (and everyone else) as "Dude."

At 13 months, he was a sponge, joyfully soaking up new words, becoming more communicative every day. At 13 years, the hormones surging through his body have cut a swath through the speech center in his brain; his mouth, when it speaks at all, produces mere shrunken shreds of complete sentences apparently understood only by other members of his species.

"S'up" is a perfectly acceptable, all-purpose phrase in an adolescent's world.

"Mom, I love you," on the other hand, would burn his monosyllabic lips like acid and permanently corrupt his coolness.

Communication with this high-tech yet illiterate generation is fraught with frustration. My son, who can't seem to utter two intelligible sentences to me, airs his gripes through text messaging. Just the other day, a message flashed on my cell phone in fractured syntax designed to torture my English-major soul.

"i no u h8 me. i try so hard 2 b good. y r u mad @ me?"

Cave men scribbling on walls were more eloquent.

Then there's the alteration in appearance. While I'm desperately trying to avoid bags and sags, this long-haired Neanderthal living in my house embraces them as fashion. Wearing gravity-defying pants slung low across his scrawny backside, he looks just like a baby with an overly full diaper. When I helpfully pointed this out, I got another overwrought electronic missive that ended with the text message equivalent of a scream.

This modern means of communication does keep the house quiet.

Adolescent males seem to lose all capacity for living like civilized human beings. This means that my boy constantly raids the refrigerator but can't manage to close a door, that he can take 30-minute showers but never hang up a wet towel, that he stuffs freshly laundered clothes back into his hamper rather than putting them away. I find sticky cereal bowls in his closet because he was too lazy to return them to the kitchen, and the lunchbox he claimed he lost growing whole colonies of bacteria under his bed.

I now understand why some animals eat their young.

The child who begged me to read to him daily now rolls his eyes in disgust when I suggest we turn off the video games and pick up a book. The angel who proudly showed me off to his kindergarten classmates now pretends not to know the deranged woman waving to him in the middle school hallway. My fall from grace, seemingly overnight, has left me depressed, bewildered and prone to emotional excess.

"You could cut the apron strings without slicing through my heart, you know," I whimper in one of my calmer moments.

"Mom," he mumbles in that teenage tone of voice, "why can't you just act normal?"

Normal is, of course, a relative term. In about 10 years, I will magically return to normalcy as my pubescent boy turns into an adult. At least I hope I do. In the meantime, I'm going to hang on to those severed apron strings. I may need them to strangle him.

© Jackie Papandrew, All Rights Reserved
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Butt of Jokes

Posted on June 19, 2008 at 12:38am 0 Comments

I have teenagers living in my house. If you are at all familiar with this irrational and often irritating species (homo smartaleckus), you are offering me your condolences right now.

You also know that these creatures are embarrassed by the very existence of their parents. This is a perfectly natural part of the maturation process. I can remember, as a teen, thinking my parents were utterly clueless idiots. But my folks never provided me with the kind of proof of parental derangement… Continue

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At 7:42am on November 4, 2008, Jackie Papandrew said…
Thanks so much! I mean, merci beaucoup! Aren't you lucky -- living in Paris!!
At 3:21pm on November 2, 2008, La Mom said…
Hi there. You're blog is great! I'm going to start following it as it will keep this exapt mom in Paris up to date with American cultural news (other than the big headlines).
Bisous from La Mom
At 8:28am on August 27, 2008, Jackie Papandrew said…
Thanks so much Jessica! You're right -- it is unimaginable that things like that still go on in this day and age!
At 11:17pm on August 26, 2008, identity theft sucks! said…
You make me laugh at the things I have to look forward to! I love your writings, I also commented about the girl in th window. What a great blogging piece. Things like that anger me and also make my heart ache for that little girl. It is so unimaginable what she went through all those years!
At 10:50am on August 9, 2008, THE BIG AGOO said…
thank you, and all the best
At 10:19pm on June 24, 2008, Myra said…
i LOVE your writing. seriously. the squidward post seriously speaks to me. i love smart humor, so you can count me among loyal readers. nice to meet you!
At 6:28am on May 21, 2008, Jackie Papandrew said…
Thanks Dr. Daisy!
At 9:02pm on May 20, 2008, Dr. Daisy said…
Hi Jackie,
Welcome to this great group:)

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