TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 329: That Was Rude! Plus, Sarah Bowen on the Problems with Home Cooking

Theresa is out sick with the pukes, so the lovely Renee Colvert, of Can I Pet Your Dog podcast, returns as our guest co-host. We explore the art of rudeness in children and dogs. Both can leave a mess on the floor at a guest’s house and both generate mixed feelings among us and our co-workers when they show up in the workplace. Plus Biz hates Daylight Saving Time and we speak with Sarah Bowen, one of the authors of Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It.

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 329

Guests: Sarah Bowen

Transcript

biz ellis

This is Biz. I’m a part-time working mom with two full-blown kids.

theresa thorn

And I’m Theresa. I have a family business, two young kids, and a toddler.

biz

This is a show about life after giving life. Don’t listen with your kids, ‘cause there will be swears. This… is One Bad Mother.

music

 “Summoning the Rawk” by Kevin MacLeod. Driving electric guitar and heavy drums. [Continues through dialogue.]

biz

This week on One Bad Mother: don’t be rude! Plus, Biz hates daylight savings, Theresa is Renee Colvert, and we talk to Sarah Bowen about how home cooking won’t solve our problems.

crosstalk

Biz and Renee: [Cheering] Wooooo!

biz

[Through laughter] You’re not Theresa! [Laughs wildly.]

renee colvert

I am not! I am not. I’m Renee Colvert.

biz

That’s right. And—and—Theresa—so everybody knows—not only does she have a case of the pukes— [Renee makes sympathetic sound.] —but two out of the three children in her house have the pukes. Which means eventually everybody’s gonna—

crosstalk

Biz: —get the pukes. And it’s— Renee: Everybody’s gonna get it. That’s how that works. [Renee affirms Biz throughout, and Biz affirms Renee, as the thread of conversation passes rapidly back and forth.]

biz

—really the worst when you—yeah. The pukes are the worst.

renee

Ugh. Bless her heart. But what’s nice about it is that if somebody says the puke, you’re just—everything is frogr—like, of course, nope!

crosstalk

Renee: Uh, understood! We’re gonna take care of it. Biz: Yep. Of course you have the pukes.

renee

Uh, don’t worry about it. We’re not even gonna try to tell you to muscle through. Just enjoy. Have fun. Uh— [laughs.]

biz

No one wants—muscling through the pukes.

renee

[Through laughter] No. Not at all. ‘Cause you can’t!

crosstalk

Biz: You can’t! Nope! Yup! [Laughs.] Renee: That’s the one thing you can’t muscle through. [Laughs.]

biz

Full-on out. Uh, Renee, uh, how are you? It’s been a long time since you have been in the booth with us cohosting—

renee

Yes.

biz

—and I am [voice increases in pitch] a little happy that Theresa’s got the pukes? [Renee laughs.] ‘Cause I get to visit with Renee. So, no guilt. Guilt-free Theresa pukes. Just get better. How are you?  [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

Thank you, so—well, one, so happy to be here. I gotta say, it is so nice coming here. [Biz laughs.] Because I get to see you. But one, the pressure is completely off because it is impossible to fill Theresa’s shoes so you don’t even try. Don’t even have to worry about it. And then you were so good at making anyone look good?

biz

That’s so crazy!

renee

That I also don’t have to worry about it. I can just come in, show up— [Biz laughs.] —and have a good time.

biz

Tell my children that! [Renee laughs.] Because when they hit their teens, they’re gonna feel the total opposite. They’re gonna be, like, “Mother—

renee

“What is happening?!”

biz

Biz: “Oh my god, you are so embarrassing—" Renee: Disagree. “—or making me look bad. “

renee

I—well, but the—one, I think that’s a rite of passage.

biz

Well, I do too. Yeah.

renee

I think—yes. Of course. I—I want to say certainly not, that definitely won’t happen, but I—

biz

Oh, but it will.

renee

—do think, of course, that’s a phase.

biz

It’s what—it’s the one of the perks that I hope I get, parenting. Yeah.

renee

‘Cause as it is right now, where are they at with liking mom at this point?

biz

They are—Ellis cannot get enough of me. In the worst of ways. [Laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] Sure. Of course.

biz

And so…not sure. We might wind up being a caricature— [Renee laughs.] —of, like… mother and son. “Brush my hair, Ellis.” Katy Belle—she’s 10, she still… likes me. Sometimes I am embarrassing. But I do think a perk was—the other day, she had a friend over and she comes in and says, “Hey, remember when I told you about [insert some sort of 10-year-old gossip].” And the friend says, “You told your mother?!” And she says, “Yeah, I pretty much tell her most of this.” And I said, “Yeah, don’t worry, friend. I have no one to tell.”

renee

Nobody—nobody’s gonna care.

crosstalk

Biz: No one’s gonna—except all you guys! Wait’ll you hear who likes somebody! Anyway. Renee: Nobody’s gonna care. Whoever I tell, is not gonna care. [Laughs.] Exactly. Rest assured.

biz

Where’s—Tugboat’s not here!

renee

Good! Now—and here’s what I’m so excited—so we have etiquette on the horizon—

crosstalk

Biz: Yes. We’re gonna talk about that. Renee: And I’m—

renee

Curious to talk about that, because I didn’t bring Tug because I didn’t want to make somebody else responsible for him. And—for listeners who didn’t hear me the first time, I uh, I do not have children. I do have a dog, and I am getting… uncomfortably close at being that dog lady. Of genuinely feeling like this is my child? I’ll run it by you and you can let me know if, like, oh, we’ve—we’ve tipped into being worried about you.

biz

Yeah, okay, good.

crosstalk

Renee: That territory. Biz: Well, everybody—

biz

Get ready for Twitter. [Renee laughs.] Let us know—[breaks off, laughing.] We’ll—we’ll just leave the opinion out there. Has Renee…gone too far?

crosstalk

Renee: Has—has it? Has it gone a bit too far? Biz: Is she… that person? [Laughs.]

renee

I think it could be! Uh, and I’ll tell you why. Because one, in general, I’m good—I’ve got a full-time job these days— [Biz cheers.] —which is… been so great and I’m sure, uh, this has come up a few times on your show, that… I’m… not great at being alone. I— [Biz laughs.] I get, uh… I get real bad.

biz

Ohhh! [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] Just by myself.

biz

Time to dress Tugboat up again.

renee

Exactly. [Laughs wildly.]

biz

“Brush my hair, Tugboat!” [Laughs wildly.]

renee

[Through laughter] Oh, Biz, if only you knew how close—close you are. [Laughs.]

biz

Oh, that’s fine.  [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

Um, so—so I was trying to freelance because oh, the freedom you’ll have! Oh, the creativity you can have by being a freelance writer! And, uh, I tell you what—I was in therapy twice a week.— [Biz laughs.] —I was on antidepressants, it just wasn’t going great for old Renee. So… [Biz laughs again.] I just—[breaks off, laughing.]

biz

I’m laughing at you. Ha, ha, ha! Laughs. [Renee laughs.]

renee

Deservedly so. Deservedly.

biz

I’m on my meds and I go to therapy. So it’s fine. Yeah.

renee

Exactly! Uh, but I just had, like, this calm—like, quiet voice that was just like, “I think we just need to socialize you.” I think—[breaks off, laughing.] [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] —if we just get you around people, you might be okay. So, uh, so I sent myself off into the workforce, and I tell you what—adult daycare is what I needed! I just need to be properly socialized on a daily basis, and it’s, uh, it’s definitely, like—created other problems of now. Most of my money goes to daycare for Tugboat. But—[laughs.]

biz

I was gonna say, yeah! [Laughs.] That was gonna be the next question. Yeah. 

crosstalk

Renee: Exactly. Exactly. Biz: Yup! Goodbye, money! Right.

renee

But in general, yeah! It’s good and I do think that, um, y’know, that law of physics, like, something in motion stays in motion? Eh, blah, blah, blah, blah. Uh, is true. If you’re up and about, then you’re gonna do more things.

biz

Sure!

renee

Yeah, so in general, it’s good—

biz

In theory. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] In theory!

renee

It’s a theory!

biz

It is a theory! [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

It’s certainly a theory! Is it a proven one? Who’s to say. But yeah! So, uh, but—uh, this week, in—in perfect, uh, serendipity, I am taking a staycation.

biz

Ooooh!

renee

Uh, just because they were like, you—you need to take a vacation—[breaks off, laughing.] [Biz laughs.] You—you’ve been here for eight months.

crosstalk

Renee: You need to go. [Laughs.] Biz: You’re too social now. [Laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] Exactly.

biz

You are too social adapted to our environment.

renee

Please go.

biz

Go away.

renee

Please, not be here for a week. [Laughs.] So. Uh, but it worked out great ‘cause now I get to see you!

biz

I know! [Singing] ‘Cause you get toooo!

crosstalk

Renee: Which is— Biz: Come and hang out.

renee

Perfect, which brings me to—how are you?

biz

I—

renee

Give me the latest!

biz

I’m very tired.

renee

I bet. Yeah. [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

I—sometimes wonder, will I ever not be tired? And… daylight savings happened. May not impact dog life as much—no, actually, because Steve the cat, our new cat Steve, was like—wake the fuck up and feed me! And Stefan’s like, “It’s 4:00 in the morning.” And he’s like, “I’m so sorry Steve, ‘cause your body thinks it’s 5:00.” Right? So—I negate everything I just said about “Pet owners don’t care about this!” [Renee laughs.] So—

renee

No, it’s very real. Yeah. [Renee continues affirming Biz throughout.]

biz

Yeah! It’s very real. And so I remember in my twenties, I loved falling back. Because you got to party an extra hour. At midnight, [party voice] it was midnight again! [Renee laughs.] Right? Like—you’re like, we are out, right? Sure. Somehow, that is a thing.

renee

Would be nice.

biz

Now—I don’t even care about how my children adapt to the time change. It does mean they get up earlier, but they go to bed earlier and so, like, that’s fine. I just—like, yesterday I was like, I can’t believe it’s 1:00. I’m so tired. [Renee laughs.] We should be already on the path to, like, end-of-day stuff—

renee

Right. Getting ready for bed—yes.

biz

And it’s—this is lasting too long, and I—look, I have never been the person who’s like [goofy whiny voice] “fucking daylight savings,” but I was like, I fucking hate you, daylight savings. Yeah. Yeah! So that—that was that. Made me kind of a grumpy person. [Renee laughs.]

renee

Fair.

biz

So I tried not to go out in the world yesterday, because I didn’t want to find myself being rude to others, which I think ties in nicely to what we’re gonna talk about—

renee

It sure does! Yes! [Laughs.]

biz

—today! Which is… etiquette!

renee

Yes.

biz

Banjo strums; cheerful banjo music continues through dialogue.

renee

Please—take a moment to remember: If you’re friends of the hosts of One Bad Mother, you should assume that when we talk about other moms, we’re talking about you.

biz

If you are married to the host of One Bad Mother, we definitely are talking about you.

renee

Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice.

biz

Biz and Theresa’s children are brilliant, lovely, and exceedingly extraordinary.

renee

Nothing said on this podcast about them implies otherwise. [Banjo music fades out.]

biz

Renee.

renee

Yes.

biz

Like I said, I am anti- now, I will never say, that people who have pets do not have similar experiences to people with children. Different? But fair—

renee

Very. Incredibly different. Yes. [Laughs.]

biz

In fact—[breaks off, laughing.] ‘Cause if your dog gets a case of the pukes, you’re not as worried.

crosstalk

Renee: Yep! I’ll see you in a few hours, bud! [Laughs.] Biz: Yep! See you in a—[breaks off, laughing.]

biz

Sorry! Sorry, that’s—just not on the couch.

crosstalk

Renee: Okay, or—that’s fine. Yeah. Exactly. You’ll—yeah. [Laughs.] [Through laughter] Right. Biz: Yeah, fine. Still. Even that. [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Doesn’t—not the same. But I was thinking about the first time you were on here, we just—we just literally compared, uh, parenting children and parenting dogs. And—that was a good time. I’d like to get deeper into it, and talk about etiquette! And I’m just got—I’ll just start with… do you think that there is, like, a blanket expectation for dog etiquette? I will just say briefly, I think when it comes to kid etiquette, people expect or assume—

renee

Right.

biz

—that children will be polite when they come out of the womb.

renee

Cor—[laughs.] Right. Yes.

crosstalk

Biz: K? So like… right! Renee: Yes, just naturally! That’s how they come out. Yeah. [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Two-year-olds, y’know, calling, uh, pointing at a lady and saying she’s pregnant and she’s definitely not— [Renee laughs.] —that—what have I done?!

crosstalk

Renee: How rude! How very rude! Yes. Biz: How—rude! How rude. So—

biz

Is there a blanket expectation, like, do—like, seen but not heard kind of—I don’t know, yeah.

renee

Yes! Yeah, I think so—you know what’s so curious, and I bet it’s the same among parents— [Biz laughs.] —is that, uh, fellow dog owners are a little bit more lenient with each other.

biz

Okay, yes.

renee

But um, especially in Los Angeles, dogs are basically allowed anywhere. These days. And—

biz

That is true.

renee

It’s a curious thing of how well-behaved that dog needs to be? And—and—[laughs.] [Biz laughs.] —something that I am very, very guilty of is assuming that everybody would like to pet him. So— [Biz laughs wildly.] [Through laughter] —is he—

crosstalk

Biz: Everybody’s happy this dog is in this restaurant! [Laughs wildly and continues to laugh through Renee’s dialogue.] Renee: Of course! Why wouldn’t you? [Biz interrupts her own laughter only to affirm Renee throughout.]

renee

And frankly, you don’t have to say thank you because I know you’re thankful. [Through laughter] I know that you were thinking, “Oh, please, get this furry, dirty animal as close to my food as possible. Thank you so much for doing that to me.” But I think it is sort of the thing that is expected among dog lovers is, uh, let me pet you. On my terms. And then once we’re done with that, be quiet and stay under the table. Honestly, like, that’s probably a good rule of thumb. I think that that’s fair, but if he barks or if he gets excited or if another dog comes around, and he does anything that isn’t… uh, adorable, then uh, then—then we’ve got some looks.

biz

Ohhh!

renee

Sure. [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Yeah, you get the looks. I’m gonna just go back to the looks, ‘cause I feel like… the—do you judge? Do you judge other—because, like, I’m like—[laughs.] [Renee laughs.] Like, I… I—know I should not have taken my children to many restaurants when they’re—we don’t—we didn’t have restaurant kids? I got one who’s a bit better, and I’ve learned that—so we just didn’t go. It wasn’t like, that important that we took them. So—we just ate in a lot. We can have plain pasta here! [Renee laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: For, like, $10 less! Look at that! We—fixed it. That’s right. Renee: That’s easy! You know what? We—fixed it, we fixed the system. [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

But… when we did, I will say I was smug and like, look—when they were—when it was on, it was on. I was like, look how good my children are being at the restaurant! [Nosy, judgmental voice] What are they doing over there? Right? [Renee laughs.] Like—or—or the other, where I’m like, oh my god, why is that kid—why are you able to enjoy being here at this five-star restaurant with your infant? I don’t—I don’t understand. Right? So… I assume… the dog thing is the same! Right? Like—you’re like, my dog knows how to be at the restaurant. [Laughs.]  [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

Thank you—right? [Laughs.] Yes. It is—it’s the exact same thing. It’s also, um, something that I’m curious of and could use advice is dogs in the workplace? Is something that is, uh—

biz

That’s big right now.

renee

That’s happening? And… wha—I just assumed that everybody loves having them there? They love having a pet? [Biz laughs.] Uh, if I have to, uh—if I have to run down for an errand real quick, uh, I always take him with me, but other coworkers in the office, uh, are just like—well, Renee loves dogs! She’ll take care of him for me.

biz

Ohhh. [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

That’ll also happen a few times with some kids that get brought in to the office. There just like, listen, Renee’s—Renee’s got the same maturity level as these guys! Let ‘em hang out for a bit! And that, I’m curious of… making it somebody else’s responsibility. Just assumed, is a curious thing that I’m like… well maybe I’m wrong there. Because I am generally having fun watching your dogs and kids, but… you didn’t ask. [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

But—well—yeah. [Renee laughs.] ‘Cause that’s the assumption. I—[breaks off, laughing.] I remember being at a restaurant once, and… it was early on… I don’t even remember if I had Katy Belle. Right? But we were at this restaurant, and… a kid wanders up. Just—to our table. Just—from nowhere. And I—I—will talk to children. So I’m talking, and the kid has decided to just stay. And… I would have… I would’ve gone to get my child— [Renee laughs.] —and brought them back. But the couple didn’t. And— [Renee laughs.] —now, as a parent, I’m like—I get it—[breaks off, laughing.] I fucking get it! I get it!

crosstalk

Renee: Exactly. It’s five seconds of rest for you. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. [Laughs.] Biz: I get it! I—yeah. I get it. [Laughs.] [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

It’s okay. Your child is safe somewhere in this restaurant. I will feed your child. [Renee laughs.] But like… simultaneously, I was like—is that okay? Like, what—so—I—it—it’s very similar to the, like, “You’ll watch our dog and child and not get any work done, or enjoy your dinner,” so… yeah! At that—okay. What is the biggest sin?

renee

Yes!

biz

Like—I—I will say… the one that, like, shocks me the most when my kid has done it and I was like, I didn’t expect my kid to do that—

crosstalk

Renee: Okay, alright, well. Yep. Biz: Not my perfect child—

biz

That was the time that Ellis just like went up to another kid and shoved that kid down.

crosstalk

Renee: Oh, boy. Biz: And it was— [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Oh, yeah! And he was like, two! And the other kid was like, one! And it was totally like, a thing of—okay. We’re—he clearly is experimenting… had somebody experimented on my child— [Renee laughs.] [threatening tone] —I would have shown them a lot of experiments. [Renee laughs.] Right? I would’ve been, like, you’re getting ready to go to school! Right? Small… child! Uh—but—[laughs.] But like, I remember I was so shocked and then I was like, [panicked voice] “Oh, I’m so sorry, and Ellis [inaudible]—” like, I didn’t even know how to, like—was I supposed to apologize? Am I supposed to make this two-year-old apologize? Am I—is this a learning moment? Like, what the fuck is supposed to happen? So… is there, like… like, the—yeah, what’s that for dogs?

renee

God, that is such a good question, ‘cause I understand exactly what you’re saying. Uh, and something that Tugboat has recently started doing—uh, again, that’s my dog and how dare I compare it; it’s not the same—

biz

But it’s alright! [Laughs wildly.] [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

—for this show it is. Uh—[Laughs.] He—will let somebody pet him for a bit, and then starts barking at ‘em. [Biz “Ahhhh”s.] And it is usually if—his—accelerating to, like, and now we play! Uh, but it’s just—it’s so much. And there’s usually uh—understandably—a jump back. Uh, and—and a little bit of, like, oh, that was… that was too much. And I think it is… uh—uh—curious thing of, “Well, I don’t know if I can train that out of him? Maybe I can?” What—what allowance should other people have of, like, this is not something I have complete control over? Yeah. [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Yeah, certainly lots of parents feel that way, where it’s like—I don’t need to—you know, train this out. [Renee laughs enthusiastically.] “Be who you want to be, baby! You be who you want to be!” That’s right, somebody—as we say in my family, somebody’s gotta be the boss. Right? Like—[laughs.]

renee

That’s just how it’s gonna have to go. Right. [Renee continues affirming Biz throughout.]

biz

But…? [Renee laughs.] That can’t always be the case—yeah. I—I guess it’s that, like… how do I train them? How do I—‘cause it’s training. Or teaching. Or loving.

renee

La, la, la, la, la.

biz

Or whatever you want to call it. But you are trying to get a certain behavior out of… whatever’s walking around and is shorter than you in your house. So… it’s like—[breaks off, laughing.] [Renee laughs.] Like, I grew up in the South, and so it was a lot of ma’am and sir, yes ma’am, yes sir. I don’t remember how that got into me, but I said it to everyone. And whenever we go home—I certainly say to the kids, yessir, yes ma’am, y’know, I try to—get them to do that. And that’s a whole ‘nother side story as to why and, like, the responsibility in adults, and like, who’s got—blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Um— [Renee laughs.] [Singsong voice.] If you’re in an emergency situation, I am not your friend! I am an adult! [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: [Through laughter] So—talk to me! Renee: Exactly. Come! Please! [Renee continues affirming Biz throughout.]

biz

So… but whenever we go home to Alabama, I mean, kids are like… yes ma’am, yeah—and, I mean, like, early. And I’m thinking—how are you doing that? Like… is there a threat? [Laughs.] Is there a threat? Is there yelling? Is there no TV? Is there timeouts? Is it just repetition?

renee

Probably.

biz

How do you train—how do you train your dog, Renee? [Laughs.] [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

Yeah! That—I—excellent question. I wish that I knew. And I think it’s also a curious thing of… I keep saying “curious” because I have no answers! I don’t know! [Biz laughs wildly.] Um—[laughs at length.] I am sort of conflicted on—he’s so funny. And he’s got such a hilarious little personality that I am worried that if I make everything—he doesn’t need to do anything without me giving him permission, that we’re gonna knock out that funny personality? And so… I—

biz

You have a kid. [Laughs boisterously.]

renee

Yeah! [Laughs boisterously.]

biz

I don’t wanna squash their souls! Right.

renee

[Through laughter] So wild! Um—and the things that he does are—like, uh, as we’re talking about, uh, daylight savings time this morning. Uh, the way that he wakes me up in the morning—and without exaggeration, uh, he sits on my head and wags his tail into my face. And it’s hysterical. And I know that that is him asserting dominance; that it is him saying— [Biz laughs.] —I’m the leader of the pack, I’m going to wake up the subordinates and they will not walk me. But it’s so funny! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs again.] [Through laughter] That I—[breaks off, laughing.] That I’m resistant to change it!

biz

You’re like [high-pitched] Woooo!

renee

Eh, what are you gonna do. [Biz laughs wildly.] Uh, I am certain that if, uh, that if I did control every element of his life, that then I’m gonna miss out on the stuff that like, genuinely brings me so much joy and that’s selfish? But—that’s my choice! That I’m making! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs boisterously.] [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

I think that goes back to the very beginning, where it was like… when you’re with other dog people, and when you’re with other parents, and within those communities, that does not mean that everybody agrees on what the baseline of—I will say “etiquette”—uh, is. You know. I certainly have been on playdates or at the park and there is a clear difference on what we think is okay. Right? Like—what— [breaks off, laughing]. [Renee laughs.] Absolutely not okay, or absolutely okay. And I—I am sure that is true with the dogs. I’ve been to dog parks. Right? So… it goes back to—do we just have to isolate ourselves—[laughs.] [Renee laughs.] —with people who think exactly like we do? And like… Lord of the Flies it? Or… or how much freedom should our kids—or dogs—have to be themselves?  [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

To be themselves! Exactly! And when I—‘cause I certainly have had that, uh, be it kids or be it animals that I think are misbehaving. That I think should be controlled. So— [Biz laughs quietly.] —I guess it’s over, like, well why do you think that? And so if we go to like worst-case scenario, what do you think will happen? And I think if the worst case isn’t—I think—they’re harming others, then maybe ultimately I should lighten up a bit. And just be like, okay. It’s just—I would do it differently? But that’s really the only problem that’s happening here. Is that I would do it differently! That’s it! [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Or I just don’t like it. [Renee laughs.] I mean, sometimes, you know, like, we forget that we are people, and that it’s like—well, I don’t like that. Like, my kids really like touching me. I don’t like it.

crosstalk

Biz: I don’t like it! Not my favorite. Renee: I don’t like it! It’s not my favorite!

renee

Right.

biz

But, I will allow them, because they’re my children. Right?

renee

Yes. [Laughs.] Yeah.

biz

Like—but like we’ll be out, and y’know, some kids play, you know, more aggressively; some play less-aggre—lots of times I’m like, oh, man, I wouldn’t let my kid do that. But my kid’s not that kid! Right? Like—and it’s fine! It doesn’t—yeah! That was an adjustment period. And I—yeah, I could see that with the—with the—as long as no one’s hurting, that it’s fine. But all that said, do you ever feel like—“What are they doing?”

renee

Oh, all the time! [Biz laughs.] Yeah! All the time! Certainly—

crosstalk

Biz: It’s not okay for me to say that about parents. Renee: I don’t know! [Laughs, and continues laughing as Biz speaks.]

biz

[Through laughter] But it’s fine for you to say that about dog owners! So go for it! Let me live vicariously through you! [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

Let ‘em do it! Exactly! [Biz laughs.] And I think in—a weak, very teeny-tiny defense of misbehavior is that I know—just ‘cause I’ve had Tugboat for two-and-a-half years now, uh, and I can see how this could be argued. But I know that he will never attack a person. Or another dog. Like, he just hasn’t? He’s been in scenarios with which it was probably appropriate to do so? [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] Uh—[through laughter] he just goes—goes belly-up. I just know him, I know that that’s, uh, that’s his way; and so in very weak defense of these other dog owners, maybe they also know their dogs that well. Maybe they also know… this thing that you’re worried that is gonna escalate to? He’s not capable of. He will not be doing that. That said—[strained voice] yeeees, if they’re growling that much let’s go ahead and bring ‘em all back! [Through laughter] Go ahead and put that leash on him!  [Laughs boisterously and at length as Biz talks.]

biz

Everybody back to your leashes! Which is pretty much what I constantly yell at playground. “Everybody put your kid back on the leash!”

music

“Ones and Zeroes” by “Awesome.” Steady, driving electric guitar with drum and woodwinds. [Music fades out.]

biz

[Chill acoustic guitar plays in background.] One Bad Mother is supported in part by Casper. Casper is a sleep brand that makes expertly-designed products to help you get your best rest, one night at a time. Casper has mattresses that they offer, like the Wave, the Essential, and the Hybrid! And it comes to you in a box! One less thing you have to figure out how to schlep your kids out to go get, and then to try and get home. And—fun box for kids! Casper also offers a wide array of other products, like pillows and sheets to ensure an overall better sleep experience. You can be sure of your purchase with Casper’s 100-night, risk-free, sleep on it trial, and hassle-free returns if you’re not completely satisfied! Get $100 towards select mattresses by visiting Casper.com/badmother, and using BADMOTHER at checkout. That’s Casper.com/badmother, and using BADMOTHER at checkout. Terms and conditions apply. [Music fades out.]

theresa

Hey, you know what it’s time for! This week’s genius and fails! This is the part of the show where we share our genius moment of the week, as well as our failures, and feel better about ourselves by hearing yours. You can share some of your own by calling 206-350-9485. That’s 206-350-9485.

biz

Genius fail time, Renee.

renee

Yes.

biz

Genius me!

renee

Genius time.

clip

[Dramatic, swelling music in background.] Biz: Wow! Oh my God! Oh my God! I saw what you did! Oh my God! I’m paying attention! Wow! You, mom, are a genius. Oh my God, that’s fucking genius!

biz

So, uh, Halloween just happened. It’s time to [through laughter] dress our dogs up in costumes— [Biz laughs.] —why wouldn’t we? Why wouldn’t it be—

biz

Slutty dog costume! [Renee laughs.] Love it! [Laughs.]

renee

Of course, yes. Why didn’t I go that direction?

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah, I don’t know! Why didn’t you? [Laughs wildly.] Renee: I—should’ve—should’ve gone that direction! [Laughs.] [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

So, uh, so my genius—first off, Tugboat’s best friend is, uh, Jesse Thorn. Of course. Original. He has acquired a new best friend, Paul F. Tompkins, uh, he sees Paul a little bit more, so he went as Paul for Halloween. This genius—got an old Batman costume, put on a nice suit on top of the Batman costume. I tell you what—it—it should’ve won awards. What a hit. What a hit is was. So I felt like it—a genius for making it work, so I’m a genius! That I’ve created a brilliant costume for my dog, what a hit!

crosstalk

Biz: You’ve done an amazing job! Your dog— Renee: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. [Laughs.] [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Will have memories of that forever. [Laughs.] [Renee continues laughing.] Uh—okay. So… Katy Belle—we’re in this phase where “every person I know gets to do X.” [Renee laughs.] And that’s not true. It’s about three people get to go online and play this internet game that is a hit right now. And it’s not like, even like, we’re not talking Minecraft or whatever that other one is—it’s ju—it’s like, some create-your-own game thing. I don’t know. It’s not gonna crush her socially for the rest of her life. [Renee laughs.] But we said we will look into it, and we will come back with an answer. So the—we looked into it, and… I will say, admittedly, that I’m a little like, “Whatever.” [Laughs.]

renee

[Casual voice] Aright, that’s fine. Yeah. [Renee continues affirming Biz throughout.]

biz

Stefan was like, no. And I—for various reasons, one, you don’t have to be a member to chat with other people. It’s not necessarily geared for kids, it’s just something kids can do, and eventually there’s a lot of pay action that starts to happen. And… yeah! They—it was a lot of chatting! And we’re just not into the chatting yet.

renee

I’m also—I don’t want to take too much of a derail—but the—the fact that that was handled so well, of just like, you know what? We’re gonna consider it and we’ll get back to you.

biz

So I—

crosstalk

Renee: That’s already, according to me, genius. Yes. [Laughs.] Biz: A genius. Yes.

biz

So I said to Stefan, okay. Let’s—we’ll tell her. I’ll tell her like—no, no, no, no, no. We need to do this together, because we’re setting the bar that we are a united front when it comes to crushing her. [Renee laughs boisterously.] And so… not letting her do whatever she wants to do. So—but it was like that moment of—we’re having that conversation where she is like, “Why? Everybody else gets to!” and we’re saying, we understand that. And we’re not saying you can’t play games. I’d rather go out and spend, like, 60 bucks on a video game than this garb—I was like, Stefan, just stop trying to call it garbage, but like—[laughs]—it’s garbage!

renee

It’s not great.

biz

On the internet. Right? So… we crushed her. It was really one of our first real crushings. And I feel pretty good about it.

crosstalk

Renee: That’s—a girl! Proud of you! [Laughs.] Biz: Thanks! Thank you! [Laughs.]

renee

Good job! Very good genius.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] You’re damn right I’m doing a great job. I’m calling with a genius! Today I made a recipe that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. It was difficult, but I managed it. And… 3/4s of my family enjoyed it! [Biz and Renee both laugh.] Including my husband, who usually doesn’t like anything with vinegar in it. It was like, a slaw. And he tried it and he liked it! And then, tonight, I made cookies! And I froze the dough in little individual servings! So now I can have cookies whenever I want a cookie! And you may think to yourself—why is she saying “I”? [Biz and Renee laugh slightly more enthusiastically, and continue giggling as the callers continues sharing her genius.] ‘Cause these are my cookies. I’m not sharing these cookies! They’re for me. I’m doing a great job! And so are you. Have a good day.

crosstalk

Biz: You are doing such a great job! Renee: Such a great job!

renee

[Through laughter] I am so impressed.

biz

Yeah! You can’t share that at a cocktail party!

renee

You certainly can’t! [Renee affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

People will think you’ve lost— [Renee laughs and continues laughing as Biz speaks.] —your mind and they’re sad. But—we think—look, Renee doesn’t think that you’re sad! And she has no children! That, I think this is genius. I… love you. And I love that you now have a freezer full of cookies just for you. I think you should pipe in some icing on there: “Fuck Off.” [Renee laughs louder.] Or: “Mom’s Cookie.” Or: “Resentment.” That way every night you can have a little bite of resentment! [Makes chomping noises.] Ommmm! You’re doing a great job.

renee

So good. I’m so impressed.

biz

Failures.

renee

Okay.

clip

[Dramatic orchestral music plays in the background.] Theresa: [In a voice akin to the Wicked Witch of the West] Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Timpani with foot pedal engaged for humorous effect.] Biz: [Calmly] You suck!

biz

Fail me, Renee. [Biz affirms Renee throughout the entirety of Renee’s failure.]

renee

Sure! So, uh— [Biz laughs.] —to continue on, so listen. The costume got made—listen, there—that’s fine. And then I took, uh, Tugboat into work on Halloween. Uh, oh—oh, just so many snacks. Just everybody, it’s Trick-or-Treat for Tug! Uh— [Biz laughs.] So much food. He ate so much food. None of which I know what it actually was. And we, uh, speaking of Theresa’s pukes—

crosstalk

Biz: Ohhhh! Renee: Oh boy, did we have a weekend! [Laughs boisterously.] [Biz laughs wildly.]

crosstalk

Biz: Everything’s just coming out—everything—[breaks off, laughing.] Ooooh! Yeah! Renee: Dog butt. Everything from, uh… north and south, just—[breaks off, laughing.] Having, uh, a real time. [Biz responds affirmatively several times as Renee speaks.]

renee

And there is the—the—like, 99% sure like—well, yeah. He just ate junk all day long. Of course this was gonna happen. But you’ve got that terror of just, like, but you’re okay, right? [Biz laughs.] Like, you’re gonna bounce back? Like, you’re gonna eat and we don’t have to take you to the vet? So uh, so it was failure for about 24 hours. After that. [Renee emphatically affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

That is no good. And—uh—again, the one slight difference is you can’t then turn to Tugboat and say, “Have you learned your lesson?” Right? Like—next year, Tug—Tugboat’s gonna—possibly if offered the opportunity—do it again tomorrow. It’s not—[breaks off, laughing.] [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

Exactly! And maybe is the—‘cause everyone—I will say everyone at work is very great to be, like, oh, can I give him a little—‘cause we had pizza. At work. So everybody’s like, can I give him a little bite? And I said yes to everyone! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] And I probably shouldn’t have said yes to everybody. [Laughs.]

biz

Alllll… pizza. He basically had an entire pizza.

renee

Pretty much, yes. [Laughs.]

biz

I love it. So—

renee

Yes. What’s your fail? [Renee affirms Biz throughout Biz’s recounting of her weekly fail.]

biz

Well—Katy Belle asked us about that website, like, two months ago. And we just never looked into it. And it was, like, one of those things where it was like, she’d be, like, “Have you made a decision?” And I would be like—about what?

crosstalk

Renee: About what now? Right. [Laughs.] Biz: Oh! Oh! That—yeah. Uh—

biz

“Your father’s still looking.“ [Renee laughs.] I just… put it off on him. “Your father’s still looking.” And then we would go through—a week would pass. “Have you looked?” “No.” And I—I will—like, I do feel a little bad. We could have broken her spirit so much earlier. And we didn’t. And it really was, like, it just—we’d like—we don’t really give two shits about these things. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] That you care about. And I apologize. So that was… wasn’t the best parenting.

renee

Took a second. And I know that we have to label it as a fail, so I will—

crosstalk

Renee: —hop on your fail train. Biz: Yeah, oh, it’s—that’s a fail.

renee

However, I will say—for me, uh, if I’m waiting for a job or I’m waiting for something—you let her hold on to hope.

crosstalk

Biz: Oh. Sure—[breaks off, laughing.] Renee: It’s the little things! [Laughs.] Biz: It’s a little bit of a life lesson! Renee: [Through laughter] Exactly! Exactly! Biz: Oh! Hold on for hope! Actually—yes. ‘Cause it’s never gonna come. Renee: Hold on for—there we go. Yeah. So—you—

renee

—maybe you prolonged her hope [through laughter] and she was happier— [Biz laughs wildly.] —longer than she’s gonna be sad. (Laughs.)

biz

I’m sure that’s gonna play out— [Renee laughs.] —poorly in her adult life. [Dramatic, relaxing sigh.] 

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, ladies. This is a fail. This morning when my new preschooler was getting ready for school, we’re only a few weeks in, he started putting his clothes on and then said, “Oh no! Wait! Today is pajama day!” And I hadn’t heard that it was pajama day, so I went and checked his backpack and there wasn’t a note and I checked Bloomz but there wasn’t a note from the teacher there. His brother had pajama day yesterday so I thought he was trying to pull a fast one on me, so I told him no, no; it is not pajama day. You need to wear your clothes. Well, we got to school, and the first person I see is another little friend from his class… in pajamas. [Biz chuckles quietly in background.] So I didn’t let him wear his pajamas to pajama day. But wait—it gets worse. I’m also a teacher at that school! [Biz laughs.] So during the morning announcements, I heard the principal wish him a happy birthday! And I smirked and said, “It’s not his birthday. His birthday is tomorrow!’ [Biz laughs wildly.] But then… I remembered— [Renee joins in the laughter. But Biz and Renee regularly renew their laughter as the caller’s story continues.] —his birthday is today. It’s not like I forgot this morning that his birthday was today? I literally thought his birthday was a different date. I was saying “His birthday’s not the 3rd; it’s the 4th.” But it’s not the 4th. It’s actually the third. For months, I have been planning to bring him something on the 4th, but that’s not his birthday. His birthday is today. I forgot my child’s birthday. He didn’t have cupcakes; he didn’t have anything in his class because I forgot what his birthday was. So instead of eating lunch today between my classes, I drove to the grocery store and bought cupcakes. So that he could have some cupcakes on his birthday. Which I… forgot. [Biz makes “oof” noise; Renee groans.]

renee

Funny.

caller

I don’t feel like I’m doing a very good job today! [Biz and Renee burst into new laughter.] But maybe tomorrow will be better. Thanks! Bye.

biz

It’ll be better tomorrow on his birthday! [Laughs wildly.]

renee

Of course it will! On his actual—

crosstalk

Biz: On his actual birthday! The 4th! That’s right! Renee: —assumed birthday! [Laughs, and continues laughing as Biz speaks.]

biz

I… you are… you’re doing—clearly—a horrible job. [Renee laughs again.] And I—I will admit—everybody—the cursed pajama day. That—you’re—you’re not the first. We’ve played many calls about pajama day. People not showing up. In fact, I sent Ellis to school in pajamas on a day that wasn’t pajama day. And it had happened a whole week before. [Renee laughs appreciatively.] So I—like, I get—I was like—

crosstalk

Biz: “Oh. That’s interesting.” Yup. Well—I know. Renee: Alright. Well, you’re gonna be comfortable. I’ll give you that. [Renee laughs.]

biz

No, you’re gonna shame-change into clothes that are in your—your cubby! But the—the birthday failure… I’m impressed that you didn’t just panic and, like… tell the principal the date—[demanding tone] “You get back on the PA right now!” [Renee laughs.] “And you turn this around! It is not his birthday!”

crosstalk

Renee: And tell him that—it’s your fault, not mine! Yeah. [Laughs.] Biz: You tell him it’s not his birthday! I know!

biz

Oh, my god. [Exhales dramatically.]

renee

Ah. That story was so good—I was crying through it, it was so good. But I will have to say that, uh, silver linings—I love ‘em so much; I know that’s not the point of fails—but—I think usually the worst birthday of your life? Is like, in your 20s or your 30s. And just…people disappoint you and they upset—he got it out of the way.

crosstalk

Biz: Got it out of the way now. That’s right! Renee: Worst birthday of his life? Easy-peasy.

renee

When you turned four.

biz

That’s right!

renee

Nice. [Laughs.]

biz

You can— [Renee laughs.] And again—that birthday can be any fucking day you say it is.

renee

[Through laughter] Exactly. Exactly.

biz

You are… the parent.

renee

[Through laughter] Exactly.

biz

Well, you’re doing a horrible job. [Renee laughs.] Oh, well! [Laughs.]

renee

[Indifferently] Eh!

biz

He’s not gonna remember your birthday. [Laughs wildly and at length.]

renee

No. Of course not! It’s fine. It’s fine. And it sounds like the recovery was perfect. [Renee laughs.]

music

“Mom Song” by Adira Amram. Mellow piano music with lyrics You are the greatest mom I’ve ever known I love you, I love you When I have a problem, I call you on the phone I love you, I love you [Music fades out.]

biz

[Jazzy piano music begins, continues through dialogue.] One Bad Mother is supported in part by Mathnasium. Math: it’s one of the most critical subjects our kids learn, and turns out—one of the hardest things for me to try and help my kids with. [Laughs.] New math? I can’t even remember how to do the old math! And with the big class sizes, even the best math teachers can’t give the personalized attention to each student’s needs. So—with face-to-face instruction and over 1,000 franchise locations worldwide—Mathnasium is the authority on math education for grades 2-12. It’s like math camp! Katy Belle did it this summer, and she was able to go into 5th grade much stronger and has actually had a really successful time with math, I think as a result of using Mathnasium. Help your kids make sense of math. Contact Mathnasium today. Show your support for our podcast by using our special URL and phone number just for our listeners. You can go to Mathnasium.com/obm, or call 855-354-MATH. That’s Mathnasium.com/obm, or call 855-354-MATH.

biz

Renee? This week, we are calling Sarah Bowen, who is an Associate Professor of Sociology at North Carolina State University. Her work focuses on food systems and inequality in the United States, Mexico, and France. She is co-author of the new book, Pressure Cooker: Who Home Cooking Won’t Solve All Our Problems and What We Could Do About It, and she previously authored Divided Spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, and the Politics of Production. Welcome, Sarah!

sarah bowen

Thank you! [Renee and Biz laugh.]

biz

So—nice to have you. I would like to ask you what we ask all our guests, which is: who lives in your house?

sarah

Yeah, I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I live with my husband Mark and we have two kids. Simon is eight-and-a-half and Anna is six-and-a-half.

crosstalk

Biz: Ooooh! Renee: I like it!

biz

That is fun. I’ll ask: are there any pets?

sarah

No, we don’t have any pets. [Biz bursts into laughter.]

crosstalk

Renee: Oh, boy. Okay. Uh— Sarah: Our kids are sad about it. [Renee and Biz laugh.]

crosstalk

Biz: I bet! I bet. Renee: Fair. [Laughs.]

biz

Fair enough. Fair enough. Eight-and-a-half and six-and-a-half—I am going to eventually probably have to ask you how they relate to feeding and eating and dinner, but I wanna first just talk a little bit about the book! You wrote Pressure Cooker with Joslyn Brenton and Sinikka Elliott, and the book is based on extensive interviews and field research in the homes and kitchens of a diverse group of families—despite what television commercials want us to think—and, like, we basically have this narrative in America that goes… like, [mocking voice] sitting down for a healthy home-cooked will solve everything! [Regular voice] We are doing a great job as parents! Can you talk a little bit about… how the three of you got together to write this, and… why—why? Why did you wanna look into this?

sarah

Yeah! So this is part of a bigger—a—a big five-year study. It started in 2012, and it was with, um, mostly poor and working-class families in North Carolina about how they fed their families and the things that went into that. And so we saw all these messages that said that, y’know, we can solve all of the problems of the food system by getting back into the kitchen and thinking really carefully about what we cook and eat. But most people hadn’t actually asked, uh, families— [Biz and Renee laugh.] —y’know, how are they doing that? And what makes it easier? What makes it harder?

biz

I—I do not mean to laugh, but I find myself laughing— [Sarah laughs. Renee joins in.] —more and more when we talk to our guests, that the crux of the problem seems to be—

crosstalk

Biz and Renee: No one asked! [Renee laughs.]

biz

Everybody—somebody just said, “This is good and how it should work. [Renee chuckles.] We did one study, or I remember this. And I—so, whenever I hear a guest say—

crosstalk

Renee: No one asked! [Laughs.] Biz: No one asked!

biz

I’m like, of course no one asked! That’s… we should always start there. [Renee chuckles.] Sorry. Continue. [Laughs.] [Biz occasionally chimes in to affirm Sarah as Sarah explains her research project and book.]

sarah

Yeah! So people—I feel like there’s this message, like, you can do better! Like, or just—we just aren’t making time for cooking and we can do it. But we wanted to ask people, and so… Sinikka and I and another colleague, Annie, were running this big research project, and—at NC State—Sinikka used to be at NC State, who’s now at the University of British Columbia—and Joslyn at the time was a graduate student on that project, and so she also interviewed 30 middle-class moms. So that we had that perspective, too. So we asked lots of families what it’s like to cook; what kind of rules did they have around food, um, and eating; who does the cooking; and then we also did… observations with 12 families. And so we went grocery shopping; we went to school lunches; we were there at dinnertime and while people were making dinner. And so the book is organized, um, around those stories and in particular around the stories of nine families. In and around Raleigh.

biz

Yeah, I—it’s really fascinating that you were the observation part. Like, I just—[laughs]—like, when I have somebody observing, I tend to… create many lies. To— [Sarah chuckles. Renee joins in.] —to insinuate that I’ve got this. I mean, I’m pretty sure that, like… most of parenting is creating the façade that I’ve really got this. And so—I guess—I—I wanna ask—to kind of start off with: what was that experience like for… for you guys and the team that was doing the observing? How do you—how do you go into that without… what is the word I’m looking for? Without it, like—y’know, making sure you’re getting an honest representation of what’s happening.

sarah

Well, I think that’s—that’s one of the reasons we wanted to do the observations in addition to the interviews. I think you can learn something from interviews, but—you know, when people… when people are doing an interview, they kind of talk about how things go when things are going really well? Like, on a good day? Like—“Yeah, we all sit down for dinner and we do this and we do that”— [Biz laughs.] But really, like, those days are relatively rare. [Biz laughs harder. Renee laughs.] That everything works out just right.

renee

Fair.

biz

Sure.

sarah

So then—so we wanted to do the observations to see what it was like on a regular day. And I think there were, you know, there were a few cases of people who later said, like, “You know, we made dinner at that time ‘cause we knew you were there and you probably wanted to see us make dinner, so we decided we’re gonna eat.” But for the most part, we did do over a month—at least a month with each family. We were there 10-12 times with each of the families. And we were there for long periods of time? So… I think they really did get used to us. We had just a few people doing the observations with each family so they were really getting to know us. And you know, we saw different things. So we went grocery shopping and that was, you know—so that was really what people were buying for the month? And we watched people have these debates over, you know, should I buy that? Can I afford that? Uh, lots of fights over food. Uh, you know— [Renee laughs.] Lots of complaining kids. Lots of people getting fed up. [Renee laughs.] It definitely wasn’t… it—these were not all—they were not even mostly rosy dinners. [Biz laughs loudly. Renee laughs.]

sarah

We saw lots of food fights.

crosstalk

Biz: [Through laughter] Not e—not even mostly. Renee: That’s fair. Yeah.

biz

That’s the—that’s the name for the follow-up book to this. [Renee laughs.] Not Even Mostly Rosy Dinners. Well, let’s actually take a step back. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of the family dinnertime in America?

sarah

Yeah, we have this idea—and I think that the kind of foodie … dinner is a moral imperative, really strengthen this idea, but I think there is this idea that we used to cook this way, and now we’ve lost it? But really how we think of dinner and how we eat dinner has changed over time. And—so up until the Industrial Revolution, um… you know, there wasn’t this idea of—a lot of people were in farm families and they ate the big meal in the middle of the day and the idea of having a big meal at the end of the day was—you know—relatively new and it was something that happened as more people started working outside of the home. And something I thought was fascinating when we were looking at some of the historical books on this is that there’s all of this hand-wringing over that, too! And people saying, like, we found something where someone said, like, “If women don’t have to make dinner until the end of the day, they’re just gonna sit around and, like, twiddle their thumbs—” [Biz and Renee burst into laughter.] “—and give way to idleness.” So.

crosstalk

Renee: Ay, ay, ay. [Laughs.] Biz: Idleness.

biz

Don’t let those women be idle, guys! [Sarah and Renee laugh.]

crosstalk

Biz: Wooo! Ah. Sarah: [Inaudible.]

biz

Wow! Momma’s brewing up poison again! [Renee laughs. Sarah chuckles.] I mean, her homemade beer kit in Nevada! Yeah. So—wow. Everything was—I also laugh because I constantly find when we are talking with people that the history usually is—women need to be doing X, Y, or Z, else—the devil will get them. [Renee laughs.] Um— [Sarah chuckles as Renee continues to laugh.] Alright. Continue. Yes. So thank God for big, huge, gigantic fucking meals in the middle of the day! [Renee laughs.]

sarah

[Chuckles.] Exactly. So then, uh, so there was all of this stress over that, but over time, like, dinner became… it became more significant. Especially as people started going outside the home. So it—it became this idea that, you know, this is where you’re going to come together at the end of the day. And also, that coincided with—it became, like, sort of the place where you are going to… translate, um, the lessons of—of your social class and how to behave and things like that. [Biz makes “Hmmm” sound.] So dinner, over time, acquired this—this moral status, but that—that is relatively recent. And then, of course, in the—when people are talking about how we used to eat, they’re often talking about the 1950s or 1960s— [Biz and Renee laugh quietly.] —but even that was sort of a blip. Like, that was really a relatively… short period of time where—where there were a lot of people, you know, at home, kind of embodying this housewife, um, mentality. And there were lots of families—especially non-white families—that—that were not doing that then, either. So—so the idea that we used to cook this way and now we’ve totally lost it—it’s just… it’s—it’s not really accurate.

biz

Yeah, well—the—the message, though, that we get from Father Knows Best and The Brady Bunch and every single commercial, is… that we’ve had—since those things became readily available to show us, you know, uh, coming out of the ‘50s and ‘60s—y’know, is that—[breaks off, laughing.] [Renee laughs.] The only people eating dinner are white people. And—[breaks off, laughing.] [Renee laughs appreciatively.] Sorry. [Sarah chortles.] And then, also, the—that, uh, that this family meal is so important and you need to buy X, Y, and Z, and… it’s like the Pottery Barn Catalog. [Sarah chuckles. Renee joins in.] Y’know, in the sense of—if everything in my room was white—

renee

Right. [Laughs.]

sarah

Uhh... and my kids had matching bed sets, they would be good kids.

renee

There we go.

biz

And I would—[through laughter]—I wouldn’t have to do so much! [Renee and Sarah laugh.] Alright. So, between the stories of—of real people trying to feed their children, you’ve included quotes—you went—you went and explored chefs and psychologists and food activists and a lot more, talking about their philosophies on food and eating. I—it’s such a good, like, juxtaposition to… to sort of… what the family perceptions are? So, can you talk a little bit about that?

sarah

So when we—we were figuring out how to organize the book, and we decided to organize it around these seven foodie messages? So things like, “Make time for cooking!” [Biz laughs.] Or, um… “The family that eats together—" y’know, “—stays together.” These kind of ideas? That suggest, um… that—yes. How we—how we cook and how we feed our—our families is, y’know, going to solve all of these problems. [Biz and Renee laugh wildly.] And…

biz

[Through laughter] Sorry! [Renee laughs.] Sorry. Go ahead. [Bursts into new laughter.] [Renee laughs again.]

sarah

And I think it’s totally—well, and our book is called Pressure Cooker.

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah. Renee: Right. [Biz and Renee continue to affirm Sarah.]

sarah

Right? And it’s because—really—the underlying message under all of those is this pressure that is on families, um, but it’s really just on moms. Like, people say “families need to do this” but they really mean—

crosstalk

Biz, Sarah, and Renee: Moms.

sarah

Get it together. And that means, like… what you cook, y’know, it has to be—not only do you have to cook at home, but it has to be homemade and from scratch and it can’t be the same thing all the time. [Biz and Renee laugh.] You need to eat it happily—

renee

Ay, ay, ay!

sarah

Kids need to be there, sitting at the table. Um, you know, it’s a lot of pressure, both on what you cook but also what dinner looks like? And it never actually looks like that.

biz

Nope.

renee

Right.

biz

Nope. Hot dog and a strawberry. “Dinner!” [Laughs.] [Renee agrees, laughs. Sarah joins in.] The quotes and the images that we’ve already talked about, and have already… sort of openly mocked and laughed about is— [Renee and Sarah laugh.] Uh, there is definitely one voice, and it is… middle-class and it’s white. And… one troubling perception that’s out there—and we found this to be true when it comes to talking about parenting in general—is that people in poverty are making “bad food choices.” Y’know, they also… if—it—just a lot of bias. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] [Through laughter] When it comes to how we look at people, uh, and—and—uh—that aren’t represented constantly in the media. So, can you talk a little bit about what you guys observed?

sarah

Yeah! So… when we hear this idea that… you know, we need to cook more and that’s gonna solve a lot of the problems—I feel like—that it’s directed to women, but it’s especially directed to poor women? It’s just this idea, like—oh, if people would stop going to McDonald’s and just start cooking at home! And sometimes this is actually said, like, explicitly. Sometimes it’s just implied. Then we wouldn’t have, um, food insecurity and the kind of food inequality that we have in the United States. And so… something that I think a lot of people don’t know but is really important as background to our book is that poor families cook more than middle class families, and they eat out less. And that was true of the poor and working class families that we interviewed, too. Like, most of them are cooking at home almost every night? Because even the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s is more expensive than… y’know, a box of… boxed mac and cheese or something like that. So they were cooking at home, but they weren’t, um… they weren’t cooking in the foodie way— [Renee and Biz laugh humorlessly.] —and that was for lots of reasons. Money being the biggest one, but also time and other things. And so I think—I think that is… it’s really important, ‘cause… poor moms have to face the pressure that all moms feel? Around food? But also this additional blame that comes with being poor. And—and feeding kids in that context.

biz

When you… got started on this research, did you… did you find that what your—sort of—preconceived ideas about what you would find—did those hold true throughout, uh, all the research in the book? Or did you take away something new? Or were you surprised by anything? What did—what did you personally get out of working on this?

sarah

You know, we expected that food would matter to people? Because—of course food matters to people. Like— [Biz and Renee agree, laugh.] —you have to eat it every day and it’s one of the big things we have to deal with. But it mattered a lot to people? And this is like, across the income spectrum. It was across the interviews. Just—people really did care about dinner? They were working really hard? They were thinking very hard about it? So that was surprising in a way, that it mattered so much to so many people. I think the other thing that was surprising is—how many people felt like… you know… even though it matters so much, even though they’re putting all of this—they’re failing. And this is true for people— [Biz and Renee laugh quietly.] —that were investing a ton of money and time into food, you know, like this one middle-class mom that Joslyn interviewed, and she… she wanted to have… two meals a day with her family. So they had to have family breakfast and dinner. And then she made, like, sushi to send with her kid to lunch. Like, even that mom— [Biz laughs.] —who was super invested—totally buying into all of it—she felt like she was failing.

crosstalk

Sarah: And then— Biz: Yeah, I’m sure! Renee: Yeah.

biz

That’s a lot of work. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.]

sarah

Yeah! And it wasn’t worth, you know, she felt like it was worth it, like, because she really bought into, like, this is how we’re gonna solve the—the problems with the food system. But then, like, as she kept talking about it, she just seemed sort of… defeated! Um, because it’s never enough. And so… across the… across the interviews, I feel like, those two things came—came through.

biz

Besides takeout, what do you think [through laughter] would help us feel less stressed out? [Laughs wildly.] [Renee and Sarah laugh.] I mean, just flushing the whole thing down, y’know the drain? I think—yeah. I mean—yeah! Is it—how do we—how do we take some of the pressure off? Did you—have you solved our problems? Have you solved our problems? [Laughs wildly.] [Renee laughs.]

sarah

[Chuckles.] Uh—I mean, takeout is not bad! [Biz laughs boisterously.]

crosstalk

Sarah: I think—we have— Biz: Oh, yeah. Renee: It’s true! Honestly? That could be the solution. [Biz giggles.]

sarah

We have—and we do have more options than we had. You know, this—we started this in 2012. We have a lot more options, if you can afford it. Um, which… matters. That a lot of those families in our study definitely couldn’t afford any of the options. But—you can, in a lot of places, you know, you can have your groceries delivered. You can do all these meal kits, you can do all sorts of things. I think what makes me feel better is that dinner—in and of itself—is not gonna cause or prevent— [Biz giggles.] —families from being happy or healthy. Like, it’s—there is research that shows that there’s some—that if you eat more meals, especially at home, that your meals tend to be healthier if you have enough money. Which is a lot of caveats. Like… just—but—but that’s—that’s still the sort of aggregate statistics? And a lot of the things we hear about, like, how—I don’t know—kids who don’t eat with their families, they’re gonna—they’re gonna have all these problems; they’re gonna do bad in school; they’re gonna do this— [Biz chuckles quietly.] —a lot of those, like, once you pull it apart, there’s really not that much there? So I think… you know, it’s probably gonna be fine? And… it’s an aggregate kind of thing? Like, you need—kids and families need to find some time to spend time together? But it doesn’t have to be at dinner. It definitely doesn’t have to be every day at dinner. It definitely isn’t bad if dinner is terrible—you know. [Biz and Renee laugh loudly and at length.] Everyone stomps off—

biz

It’s just, like—I know that you probably were meaning temperament? But I like the idea of just—like, this is the shittiest dinner I’ve ever made—

renee

There ya go.

biz

And like—[breaks off, laughing.] Gather ‘round. [Renee laughs.] Sit down and eat it.

sarah

It is sometimes!

biz

Oh, it is! Oh, trust me.

renee

Yeah.

biz

According to my five-year-old, it is. [Renee laughs.] The worst thing I could ever do. But I just gave up years ago and was like, I’ll make three different things ‘cause two of those things is just salami and fruit on a plate. [Renee laughs.] I’m good! [Sarah laughs.] I’m good!

renee

We can work with that.

biz

I—I can work with that. No more yelling at the table. I’m happy with that. Yeah, I think it’s… when I saw—I think I came across this book, like, uh, maybe in the Times or—or somewhere I’d seen it when it was first coming out—and I remember getting so excited about it, ‘cause it was like—just the title of this book takes a giant weight off of my shoulders? Uh, like an emotional weight off my shoulder? And uh—I gotta assume that’s probably one of the biggest takeaways for a lot of people who read it is, “Oh, I’m normal. It’s okay.” So—[breaks off, laughing.] [Renee laughs.] So—

sarah

Totally!

biz

I just wanna say, thank you and the whole— [Sarah chuckles.] —team who put this together. I—facts and science are great! [Renee laughs.] Uh—they—

renee

They help!

biz

They mean so much more to me than commercials! [Renee laughs. Sarah chuckles.] Um, des—despite I don’t get inundated with, sadly, science and facts [through laughter] as much as I do commercials. [Renee laughs.] Thank you so much, Sarah, for joining us and for doing the work, uh, surrounding this book and—and putting this book together with Joslyn and Sinikka. Thank you so much. And we’ll make sure we link everybody up to where they can get a copy of it, as well as, uh, other resources. Thank you so much!

sarah

Thank you!

biz

Absolutely. Have a great day.

renee

Bye, Sarah!

sarah

Thank you.

crosstalk

Biz and Renee: Bye.

music

“Telephone,” by “Awesome.” Down-tempo guitar and falsetto singing. Brainwaves send a message: Pick up the phone (When you, I call) Arm is moving now, no longer stone (When you, I call) Hand reaches out with a will of its own (When you, I call) [Music fades out.]

promo

[Music.] Benjamin Partridge: If you’re looking for a new comedy podcast, why not try The Beef And Dairy Network? It won Best Comedy at the British Podcast Awards in 2017 and 2018. Also, I— [Audio suddenly slows and cuts off.] Speaker 1: There were no horses in this country until the mid to late sixties. Speaker 2: Specialist Bovine Arsefat— Speaker 3: Both of his eyes are squids' eyes. Speaker 4: Yogurt buffet. Speaker 5: She was married to a bacon farmer who saved her life. Speaker 6: Farm-raised snow leopard. [Strange electronic audio.] [Beginning audio returns] Benjamin: Download it today. That’s the Beef And Dairy Network podcast, from MaximumFun.org. Also, maybe start at episode one. Or weirdly, episode thirty-six, which for some reason requires no knowledge of the rest of the show.

promo

[Dramatic Star Wars-esque music playing in the background.] Speaker 1: [In dramatic movie narrator voice] You wept as we crafted the tragic tale of Jar-Jar: A Star Wars Story. Speaker 2: Do you mean, like, he forgives Darth Vader— Speaker 3: [Laughs.] Speaker 2: “Mesa still love you, Ani!” Speakers 3 & 4: [Laughs boisterously.] Speaker 1: You gasped out loud at the shocking twists of Face/Off 2: Faces Wild. Speaker 5: [Dramatically] He takes his kid’s face. Speaker 6: … What? [Laughs.] Speaker 1: Now, we’re writing an entire screenplay week by week on Story Break: Season 2: Heaven Heist. [Music climaxes, then ceases. Is replaced by mellow synth jazz.] Freddie Wong: Hey, folks. Freddie Wong here with some exciting news about Story Break, the writers’ room podcast where three Hollywood professionals have one hour to spin cinematic gold! We’re shaking up our format by turning Heaven Heist—one of our favorite ideas we’ve ever come up with on the show—into a full screenplay. Speaker: Heaven Heist is an action-comedy about a crew of misfit gangsters robbing the Celestial Bank of Heaven. Think of Coco means Point Break. Freddie: Join us as we write this crazy movie scene-by-scene and get an inside look at the screenwriting process on our podcast, Story Break, every Thursday on MaximumFun.org. [Music ceases.]

biz

Well… I am hungry for more science.

renee

Yes! [Biz laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: I just think— Renee: Always.

biz

Like I say, I—is there that kind of pressure, uh, as a pet parent?

renee

Oh, God, yes.

biz

‘Cause now the new thing that I see everywhere is—they’re supposed to be eating quote-unquote “real food.”

renee

Right. Yes.

biz

But that does not mean go get a chicken from the store. That means buy—

renee

Right. [Renee continues to emphatically affirm Biz.]

biz

—real food. And I don’t have a dog, but I’m confused about what I should be feeding my dog and—whatever that is—represents if I am a good human or not. Yeah

renee

Yeah! That exactly. Uh, I guess I can say, uh, anecdotally, it’s probably not pizza. Probably not—

crosstalk

Biz: Okay, fair enough. [Laughs wildly and at length.] Renee: —an entire pizza—

renee

—is probably not [through laughter] what you should be feeding your dog. Uh—

biz

Good. [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

But—but yes, of course that pressure’s there! And then—I think—y’know, uh, what you believe. That maybe the internet is not as honest as you want it to be! Would you believe that other companies maybe paid for studies that, uh, say, “Well, this other dog food’s giving your dog cancer. So you gotta go fresh, man.”

biz

But—this is exactly like—you know—listening to Sarah and talking with her—that was that thing of… oh! Did it turn out most of the data on this is not real data? Because… when we want to sell something, we want to convince you that there is a problem. And it is easier for us to sell you easy dinners—premade dinners—family time! It’s also very convenient when we feel we have no control over, like, kids getting in trouble, or bad things happening, that we can slap a solution like “Everybody eats dinner”—kids weren’t messed up back then. [Renee laughs.] Sure.

renee

Of course. [Renee continues to affirm Biz throughout.]

biz

Sure. They weren’t. [Renee laughs.] And it was all because of dinner. It—it’s like—that quick—fix! And then that just spirals into… uh, many people crying in their kitchens.

renee

Exactly! And the assumption that people aren’t trying—

crosstalk

Biz: That they aren’t trying! Is—I—just—make me angry. [Laughs.] Renee: —is so wild. Yeah. I guarantee—

renee

No one’s coming at this with malice— [Biz laughs wildly.] —and being like, [indifferently] “Eh, we’ll do a shitty job today!” No! Everybody’s doing their best! [Laughs.]

biz

Speaking of people doing their best—

renee

Yes!

biz

Let’s listen to a mom have a breakdown. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs wildly.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, this is a rant. [Clears throat.] Um, October can suck it. [Biz and Renee laugh.] —this is really just kind of a list of everything that’s gone wrong with this month that is driving me to the brink. Uh, first, our washing machine, uh, died for a couple of days and then twice I had a repairman come out. It magically worked when they were there— [Biz and Renee laugh.] —and then stopped working again, and now it’s—it’s still working! Magically after the last guy came! And we’re just kind of on death watch for it— [Biz and Renee laugh.] —when we’re gonna have to buy a new one. And then a couple days later, my husband got in a car accident that wasn’t his fault. [Biz makes a sympathetic sound.] Uh… a few days after that, my, uh, service engine light came on? [Biz and Renee sigh.] [Clears throat.] Shortly after that, my daughter got, uh, pneumonia? [Renee makes sympathetic “oof” noise.] And—oh gosh, I can’t even remember everything else. [Biz and Renee laugh quietly.]

caller

Um—now I’m sick. Uh, now my other daughter is sick. Uh, our washing—our refrigerator died on Friday and we are waiting for someone to come fix it today. [Biz and Renee sigh.] Um, on top of all this we have a guest staying in our house until January, so… we have to kind of tend to his needs as well. [Clears throat.] [Biz laughs.] So we can’t just kind of… I don’t know. Just be. [Sighs.] [Pause.] It was raining for Halloween Trick-or-Treating. [Biz and Renee laugh loudly.] My poor kids. Although they are getting the most screentime of their lives. [Biz and Renee laugh.] So I am sure they are totally fine. But… you know what? October is almost done. Hopefully November doesn’t suck. Hopefully. You’re doing a good job.

crosstalk

Biz: Wow. Wow. Renee: Oh, buddy. Yeah. [Biz and Renee frequently interject to affirm each other as the thread of conversation passes quickly back and forth.]

biz

I like the—clearing the throat really felt like it was trying to clear the bad, y’know… uh, juju away—uh, somehow. Like, it’s… you are right. That’s a shitshow of a month.

renee

My God. Uh, but I do love the catchprase “October can suck it.”

crosstalk

Biz: October can suck it! Yeah. Ding-dong! [Laughs.] Renee: October can suck it. [Laughs.]

biz

Trick or Treat! It’s October! And I’ve come here to egg your house.

renee

[Mock horror] Noooo!

crosstalk

Biz: Oh no. Noooo! [Laughs wildly.] Renee: Oh, no! Treat! Treat! I meant “treat!”

renee

I didn’t mean “trick!” Why?! [Laughs.]

biz

Wow. There’s, like… nothing—and sometimes you don’t even know it’s spiraling? Until, like, five or six turns down the mountain. In, like, the—the washing machine—I fucking hate that.

renee

It’s the worst.

biz

And then there’s sickness. And then there’s the car accident. Because the underlying thing here is: there’s money, uh—

renee

Every single one of those things.

crosstalk

Biz: Every single one of those things— Renee: Is just draining. Yup!

biz

—is drain—I had a similar month recently where I was like… I got the bees in the backyard, the infestation, uh, under the house. There was also some car brakes that needed—it was, like, one of those things where you’re like, “Holy crap!”

renee

“Wow! Why?!”

biz

Where does this money come from? I—

renee

And so—and you just want to explain to the car—and I have before. To just be like, well, I’m out of money.

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah. I need you— [laughs.] Renee: I can’t—I would love—

renee

I would love to take care of this? But I’m out of money.

biz

I’m out of money. [Laughs.]

renee

So if you can just go ahead and turn off that engine light, that’d be great.

biz

That’d be great. [Laughs.]

renee

Just keep working the way you were working before! Uh—yeah.

biz

And then the fridge?! I am—and then everybody’s sick. And of course you’re sick. Because you are depleted. You could not have fought an illness on your best day. I am very sorry. I hope that you’ve got a full-size Snickers— [Renee laughs.] —in your Trick-or-Treat bag. And… I… feel very strongly. That November is going to be good. Uh—because the holiday part of its so far off at the end—

renee

So far!

biz

Wait a second, somebody’s staying at your house ‘til January?

crosstalk

Renee: That’s… that alone can make October suck it. Yeah. That’s…Uh… crazy! Biz: That is… that’s gonna—

biz

It doesn’t bode well for November and December. [Renee laughs.] But—maybe—they can, uh, help you fix your car!

renee

There we go!

biz

Eh, maybe.

renee

It’s possible.

biz

Look. Here’s the thing. You’re doing a remarkable job that’s too much, and you are getting through it, and… uh, you will continue to get through it, and I just can’t see anything else happening. All the stuff’s done.

renee

Yeah! There’s nothing left!

biz

Nothing left!

crosstalk

Renee: Nothing left! Biz: Nothing left.

renee

It’s gonna be great. You’re doing perfect. It’s gonna get better.

biz

You are doing a great job. Renee, what did we learn today?

renee

Oh, what did we learn?! [Biz laughs wildly.] Uh—[breaks off, laughing.] [Renee continues to affirm Biz as Biz goes through lessons learned.]

biz

We have learned, once again—dogs and children? Interchangeable. [Laughs wildly and at length.] [Renee laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] The most offensive phrase in the world! [Laughs wildly.] [Biz sighs aggressively.]

biz

Both expensive, okay. Uh, both able to be incredible rude?

renee

Very. Impossible to control.

biz

Impossible to control. They should not go to restaurants or work. [Renee laughs.] I gotta tell ya—I do wonder, like… when—this is—Stefan works at a company where there are dogs, and there was a—there was even a cat [high-pitched, excited voice] who comes around!

renee

Oh, cool!

biz

Yeah, that’s pretty cool. But the—who likes to come up to Stefan’s, uh, table and be like, “everything here is fun to knock off!” [Renee laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] Oh, no.

biz

Uh. [Laughs wildly.] Adorable. Uh, but like, if I was at the front desk—if I was in, uh, at work—anywhere—and, like, the doors open—which do I want to see less coming towards me? Like, what’s worse to bring to the work? A kid? Your kid? Or your dog?

renee

Great question.

crosstalk

Biz: And I—we’ll have to have you back on to talk about that because, like— Renee: Yes! To—to—figure it out!

biz

I—because it is, like—

renee

Behavioral-based!

biz

Behavioral-based!

renee

If you have the cutest, sweetest kid? That one.

crosstalk

Biz: Yup. We want that one. That one’s great. Renee: Uh, right. Uh—  [Biz affirms Renee throughout.]

renee

Or, if you’ve got the one who just needs constant attention, uh, and thinks it’s cute? The precocious? Ugh. No thanks.

biz

But—but then there’s also the kid—and these kids definitely exist—I have one— [Renee laughs.] —who needs to touch everything. And just knock it off—I watch—[breaks off, laughing.] I watched one kid once come over to our house, and just like, went up to, like, the bookshelf/toy shelf thing? And just, like… one by one, just taking them down. Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock—and I was just like, that’s a thing.

renee

What is happening?

biz

What is happening?! Look at that. Look at it happening. Right here. Right? And so like—[breaks off, laughing.] [Renee laughs.] Work, that would be—

crosstalk

Renee: Uh, frowned upon. Probably. Sure. Biz: Yeah! Frowned upon.

biz

Same with the dog.

crosstalk

Renee: Same with the dog. And I think— Biz: Going through your trash!

renee

—the dog’s—yeah! But even—if you got a yippee dog, or—

crosstalk

Renee: —if you’ve got, uh— Biz: Yeah! Or a yippee dog!

renee

—a dog who’s just, like, I know that my owner told me that I’m potty trained. I would like to prove her wrong. Uh—honestly don’t want that dog in the office.

biz

Right next to the front desk.

renee

Yes. Exact—[breaks off, laughing.]

biz

Yeah. I—so I think the real lesson is… uh, never take your children or dogs anywhere.

renee

Anywhere. Nope!

biz

We should all have cats. [Laughs wildly.]

renee

Get an isolation booth. Go ahead and tuck on in, that’s where you spend the rest of your life. [Laughs.]

biz

[Semi-threatening voice, through laughter] Enjoy. Enjoy! Uh, we also learned that dinner? It could be bullshit. I mean, I still—there are, you know, here’s a bowl of Cheerios. That’s dinner!

crosstalk

Renee: There ya go. You’re fine! Biz: It’s fine!

biz

Not everybody is home at the same time! I—[breaks off, laughing.] [Renee laughs.]

crosstalk

Renee: [Through laughter] You Biz: —think let’s just start there!

renee

Yep! And… lots of times, I don’t want to eat with my family.

renee

No, thanks!

biz

I would like to eat by myself. And read the paper.

renee

The joy of the day.

biz

Uh-huh! I grew up eating around a television set! I’m fine. And so… I just feel like any time we can remind ourselves that if it’s stressing us out because it’s triggering some sort of “doing a bad job” feeling? It’s probably bullshit.

renee

Yeah! Listen—listen to that! If—if—if it feels like, “Ahhh! It’s too hard!” [Biz mimics groaning “Ahhh!”] It is!

biz

It is! [Laughs wildly.]

renee

And don’t worry about it! You’re fine! Don’t worry about it.

biz

Let’s take that message out into the day. [Renee laughs.] Is it too hard? Don’t worry about it. [Renee laughs louder.] It is!

renee

It is!

crosstalk

Biz: It is hard! Renee: It is!

biz

It is hard. And you are all doing a remarkable job.

renee

Yeah.

biz

October: over!

renee

Done!

biz

November is here! [Renee laughs.] With all the joys of the holiday seasons. [Renee’s laughter escalates.] No matter what you celebrate, we all know how fun that’s gonna be. No pressure there!

renee

Yep! Super easy.

biz

You’re gonna get through it. You’re doing a good job. Renee?

renee

Yes.

biz

Thank you so much for joining us.

renee

Thank you so much for having me!

biz

And—people should go right now, and listen to your podcast here on the Maximum Fun network—Can I Pet Your Dog?—which is delightful—

renee

Thank you.

biz

—and talks about many of the same things we talk about, but related to dogs! [Laughs.]

renee

Just dogs. If you want to hear more details on how I’m failing, get yourself on in there.

crosstalk

Biz: Get—get into dogs! [Laughs.] Renee: Can I Pet Your Dog? [Laughs.] Right.

biz

Get into dogs!

renee

[Through laughter] Exactly.

biz

Uh—you are doing a wonderful job.

renee

Thank you. And you are doing a wonderful job.

biz

Thank you. [Laughs.] And we will talk to you—Theresa and I—next week. Byeee!

music

“Mama Blues” by Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans. Strumming acoustic guitar with harmonica and lyrics. I got the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blue The lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues You know that’s right [Music fades somewhat, plays in background of dialogue.]

biz

We’d like to thank Max Fun; our producer, Hannah Smith; our husbands, Stefan Lawrence and Jesse Thorn; our perfect children, who provide us with inspiration to say all these horrible things; and of course. You, our listeners. To find out more about the songs you heard on today’s podcast and more about the show, please go to MaximumFun.org/onebadmother. For information about live shows, our book and press, please check out OneBadMotherPodcast.com.

renee

One Bad Mother is a member of the Maximum Fun family of podcasts. To support the show go to MaximumFun.org/donate. [Music continues for a while before fading out.]

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

speaker 4

—Audience supported.

About the show

One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast hosted by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. We aren’t all magical vessels!

Join us every week as we deal with the thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing.

Call in your geniuses and fails: 206-350-9485. For booking and guest ideas, please email onebadmother@maximumfun.org. To keep up with One Bad Mother on social media, follow @onebadmothers on Twitter and Instagram.

People

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

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