TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 331: Weird Sh*t Adults Do At Family Gatherings

In preparation for the holidays Biz and Theresa think about all the weird shit adults do to kids at family gatherings. From pulling coins out from behind your ear to the old “pull my finger” bit, it’s all reflective of the fact that adults may be a little out of touch. That said…quick…pull my finger! Plus Biz has a backyard miracle and Theresa embarks.

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 331

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—Thanksgiving is here, so let’s talk about weird shit adults do to kids that they think is funny! Plus, Biz has a backyard miracle, and Theresa embarks!

crosstalk

Biz and Theresa: [Cheering] Woooo!

biz

Gobble, gobble, gobble, Theresa!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Gobble, gobble.

theresa

Yum! [Theresa and Biz repeatedly affirm each other throughout the intro chat.]

biz

Gobble, gobble. Before I ask you how you are—and I am desperate to know—I wanted to make sure that we reminded all you guys—what with the holidays coming up!—that there is some new merch in the Max Fun Store for One Bad Mother! First, I’m gonna tell ya the website. Just keep in mind I’ll repeat it: MaxFunStore.com! ‘K? Go there. You’re gonna find a hoodie for One Bad Mother. Black, “One Bad Mother” written across it—gorgeous. We’ve made a t-shirt that says “I am a self.” It is perfect for all school-related holiday functions that you have to attend.

theresa

It’s so cute.

biz

It is so cute! We both ordered ours on the very first day and I’m just, like, “Ahhh! When is it coming!” There is a bumper stick that I think you should get multiple of— [Theresa giggles.] —and then at your family gathering or event, slap it on everybody’s cars!

crosstalk

Theresa: Oh, so good. Biz: Just like—

biz

When you used to go to Señor Frog’s or something as a teen on spring break! You go to one of those places, and then you come out and they’ve bumper-stickered everybody’s car! And the bumper sticker says “Honk if you’re doing it.” [Through laughter] [Laughs.] Makes me so happy! Great stocking stuffer. Great hostess gift.

theresa

Yep.

biz

So go: MaxFunStore.com. Get yourself some One Bad Mother merch for you or someone you love. Now. Theresa! How are you?

theresa

Uh… it—I—it’s a real sack of bananas.

biz

Ohhh! Sack of bananas!

theresa

Such a sack of bananas. We’re—

biz

That makes me wanna, like, shimmy! Like Charo!

theresa

Yeah!

crosstalk

Theresa: You’re doing it! Biz: [Singing] Sack of bananas! Theresa: Looks good! Biz: I am. Everything’s—sacking around. Theresa: By the way, guys, Biz—

theresa

—has these new glasses? And they’re really working for her.

biz

Oh yeah, this is the—

theresa

Between that and the shimmying— [Biz laughs.]

biz

Between—as I—about—as I am about to embark on age 46— [Theresa laughs.] —I have decided that my late 40s will be the time of large glasses!

theresa

You look really great.

biz

I really like these glasses!

theresa

You look great.

biz

Thank you. Everyone, I’ll post pictures later.

theresa

Good. Yes. Please.

biz

Okay. [Biz affirms Theresa as Theresa recounts how she’s doing.]

theresa

So—everyone’s been—it’s been—we’ve just been, like, getting sick— [Biz laughs.] —and then, like, better, but then, like, Frankie got a cold, and then I got his cold, and now I’m pretty much over the cold, but it’s just like—everything is funky? And everybody’s acting crazy? [Biz laughs.] Because it’s—vacation is coming, and the babysitter got sick and it was one of those things where like, I could tell that she has not been sick in a while? ‘Cause she’s, like, a healthy young person with no children? [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] And like, who like gets normal amounts of sleep and stuff? And—so like, when our family was sick and she was in the house a fair amount, I was like—don’t touch this, don’t touch that. Like, I’m wiping stuff down. Just do—wash your hands a lot, whatever. And she’s like, don’t worry! I feel fine. And I was like, mm-hm.

crosstalk

Biz: You feel fine! But you—now! [Laughs.] Theresa: You’ll feel fine—now. [Laughs.]

theresa

[Through laughter] Like, I didn’t wanna— [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: You are such a mom, Theresa! [Laughs.] Theresa: I wanted to—

theresa

I wanted to, like, believe her? I wanted to be like, yeah, probably she’ll be fine. But— [Biz laughs.] Of course she got sick, and then she got sick again—like—she—we’re—

crosstalk

Biz: Oh, she got, like, sick. Theresa: —and it’s our fault. Like, it’s definitely our— Biz: Yeah, it’s your fault! Yeah! [Laughs.]

theresa

—family that is making this person sick. So she has not been around. Things have just been a little wild. And—

biz

Primal. [Laughs.]

theresa

—really. Yes. Like beasts.

crosstalk

Theresa and Biz: Yeah.

theresa

Um—and… today, so today is Monday and we are, this afternoon, Thorns love a challenge—we’re piling in the minivan and driving up to Northern California.

biz

Woo-hoo!

theresa

This afternoon-slash-evening. ‘Cause it’s probably gonna take us, like, 12 hours knowing us.

crosstalk

Biz: 22 hours. [Laughs wildly.] Theresa: And, like, how many times—

theresa

[Through laughter] —people need to, like, stop and do things. And… so… I have no idea what that is going to be? It’s been a while since we did a long road trip? Like, it’s been a while—it’s been probably more than a year since we did something like, more than four hours? So I don’t know! I don’t know. Okay?

biz

Gobble, gobble!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Gobble, gobble.

theresa

Pretty much.

biz

I… I yelled at you just a second ago—“you’re such a mom”—because we’ve now entered that place where younger adults—people who are younger adults but not, like, participating in the choice of having a family at that stage—because we don’t take out the “I told you so” on other things, I feel like… that demographic of like people? Get it from us.

crosstalk

Theresa and Biz: [Sound of dawning realization] Ohhhh!

biz

You gonna get sick! That’s just gonna, like, snowball—

crosstalk

Biz: —and progress! Theresa: It’s either that—

theresa

—or it’s that we are everyone’s mom now. We just decided we’re mom to all.

biz

We are global mom!

theresa

So we just interact with everyone as though— [Biz laughs.] —we’re—we’re—we see them in the world, but also we’re kind of a mom to them.

biz

Yeah! Yeah. Quick, quick—ask me how I am ‘cause I wanna jump on that!

theresa

‘K. How are you? [Theresa repeatedly affirms Biz as Biz recounts how she is doing.]

biz

‘K. I actually was gonna talk about, like, Ellis—we had his birthday party this weekend for like his classmates and stuff? And… I was gonna talk about how actually remarkably great it went.

theresa

Oh good!

biz

And like, I actually had a good time and wasn’t bitter and resentful at all throughout the whole party. But! What you were just talking about reminded me—I was listening to a show, and it was like a guest calling in and introducing herself. And the guy’s like, what do you do? And she says, you know, I’m a teacher. I’m a mom. I’m a wife.

theresa

Hmm.

biz

We’re, like, in bed listening. I roll over and turn to Stefan and I say—I just want you to know. I am never going to list as my, like, identifying markers? “Wife.”

theresa

That I’m a wife.

biz

That I’m a wife. Because to—it—it sounds like it’s a job or responsibility?

theresa

It does.

biz

And it’s—it’s… it shouldn’t be?

crosstalk

Biz: Like— Theresa: No, ‘cause it’s also like—

crosstalk

Theresa: —I’m a daughter, I’m a sister—I’m a—you know, you can also— Biz: No, but I’m a wife—

biz

But those aren’t associated with, like—

theresa

I know.

crosstalk

Biz: —a task! It’s “I am a wife!” Theresa: I know! I know!

biz

Have you ever, ever heard a man say “I’m a, y’know, teacher; I’m a, y’know, Little League coach; and I’m a husband.”

theresa

No. [Biz laughs.] No.

biz

[Through extreme laughter; begins inaudibly, then becomes clearer] It’s just—why do we do that?

theresa

I don’t know.

biz

I just—I was like, I’m gonna crush you right now. He was like, “Ohhh noooo you’re not gonna say,” y’know, “you’re a wife?” And I was like, how about this—there’s finally a holiday party I get to go to with you. For work. How about I only introduce myself as “a wife”? [Laughs.]

theresa

Oh my god. Horrible.

biz

He was like, please don’t. [Laughs.]

theresa

But I feel like there was—there was something where—I think it was Glennon Doyle? Who said something about how, like, we have a tendency to describe who we are by who we are to others?

biz

Yesss!

theresa

And—I—that has never left my brain ever since I heard her say that? Because I was like—wow. I really do that. And I don’t—and it’s not the best! Like, I—how about just, I’m a person?

biz

Yeah! I’m a person!

theresa

That’s fine. That’s enough. [Biz laughs.]

biz

This may shock you when you first read it as a signature to my email, or as I introduce myself. [Through laughter] But, uh—Hi, my name’s Elizabeth, and I’m… a person!

theresa

Yeah. I’m a person.

biz

With interests.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

That have nothing to do with you— [Theresa laughs.] Or anybody else around me! [Laughs.] Speaking of not sharing interests with anyone else around you— [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Let’s shift into our topic today, which is—weird things adults do to and around kids— [Theresa laughs.] —uh, that they think are funny. The adults. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

[Banjo strums; cheerful banjo music continues through dialogue.] 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.

theresa

Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice.

biz

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

theresa

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

biz

Theresa.

theresa

Yes.

biz

Thanksgiving.

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

Just the tip of the holiday season.

theresa

Yep. Here we are. [Theresa and Biz affirm each other as they discuss weird stuff adults do around kids during the holidays.]

biz

So whether—I always feel like it’s the most unfair to people who don’t celebrate holidays, but have children in their house? Because they have all this time, like, off? But there’s no, like…

crosstalk

Biz: They’re not like, for them, why are we doing this? Theresa: Like, what are we doing? Yes. Yeah.

biz

[Laughs.] Like, go to fucking school! [Laughs.] There’s no, like— [high-pitched panicked voice] I’ve gotta stress out about a holiday! Right? Like it’s just like—

crosstalk

Biz: —ahhh, shit. Theresa: There’s no distractions. Yeah.

biz

How many movies can we watch? That’s always the challenge in our house. But it is time to spend a lot of time together with your family. Your immediately family, family that… is not as immediate? But is gonna be in your house or you’re gonna be in their house? Friends of family? Uh—

theresa

Sometimes it’s your chosen family?

biz

Yeah! Chosen family! And I will admit—sometimes it’s just… strangers.

crosstalk

Theresa: Yes! Sometimes it is! Biz: Who like—

biz

—around the holidays who want to interact with your kids in a way, and… I think—

crosstalk

Theresa: [Laughs.] Because it’s festive somehow. Yeah. Biz: ‘Cause it’s festive somehow! OoOoh!

biz

So I—let’s talk about… things that adults do. And I feel like, initially, when we were talking about this, it was like—weird shit that, like, adults do to kids? But then that led me down this whole path of, like, just weird stuff kids see adults doing around the holiday? [Laughs.] Just—just—

theresa

Nothing dark here, guys.

crosstalk

Biz: No! Oh, yeah. By the way— Theresa: Yeah.

biz

—nothing dark.

theresa

Yeah. We’re not—yeah.

biz

No.

crosstalk

Biz: We are— Theresa: We’re not—

theresa

-getting into—

biz

The weird, bad—

theresa

That weird, bad things that adults can do.

biz

This is more or— [breaks off, laughing.] That’s a different show.

theresa

Yes.

biz

This is more of the “pull my finger” variety. So I’ll just start there.

theresa

Please!

biz

My family—especially my father!—always enjoyed the old “pull the finger” joke.

theresa

Wow.

biz

Do you know the “pull the finger” joke?

theresa

Of course!

biz

Okay, good.

crosstalk

Theresa: Yeah. But I had— Biz: I wanted to make sure—

theresa

—one uncle who used to do that, and I remember by the time he was— [Biz laughs.] —doing that, I was so old that I was like… someone is actually doing this joke? Like, I had heard—I had heard tell of the joke? But I never actually seen someone do it?

crosstalk

Biz: ‘Til you’re like, 15! Theresa: And—

theresa

Yeah! And I was like—

crosstalk

Theresa: Wow. Biz: Gross. [Laughs.]

theresa

It was so gross. I was—yeah, I was definitely—I was past the point of it being funny, and just like… wow. A grown adult is doing this.

biz

Well I—I wanna tap it—I think overall, everything we’re about to share? Ties in so well to ageing out? As kids? And adults—

crosstalk

Biz: —not being even remotely aware— Theresa: Not seeing it! Yeah. Yes.

biz

—that we are aged out of it.

crosstalk

Biz: I like— Theresa: And like—

biz

I like that I’m saying me, as if… as if I— [breaks off, laughing.] [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

You’ve never done any weird stuff.

biz

I’ve never done any weird—

theresa

But I think a lot of it is not even just aging out, but it’s adults misinterpreting ages? Age-appropriateness of certain jokes? And— [Biz laughs.] —what—and just mis—

crosstalk

Theresa: Mis-guess— Biz: Yeah! Missing it!

theresa

Mis-guessing what any given kid will like or think is fun.

biz

Right.

theresa

Like, just not—because part of this is… not just your relatives who know you really well or who you know really well, it’s the relatives who feel like the know you—

crosstalk

Theresa: ‘Cause they know— Biz: Or they know kids.

theresa

They know—but they—but they have some connection with you because they are—because you are a kid in their family? Like I—y’know, I think about, like, my niece and nephew. Like, to me, they’re like practically my kids. But they don’t know me that well. Like, so like— [Biz laughs.] —adults kind of feel like they know these kids, and so they feel like “I know what this kid is gonna like!” And it’s mostly wrong! Most of the time!

biz

Oh, it’s almost always wrong?

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Unless you have somehow created the one kid—you’ve got the one kid in your house who is so neutral to all interactions that they have— [Through laughter] Which is not a kid I’ve ever known.

theresa

No.

biz

Okay. So… back to the things. I’m gonna—pulling the finger, for sure, is a standard joke. In our house. That my father liked to do, and I definitely… remember pulling the finger, and… I—to be honest, I never aged out of this. This is definitely one of those things that like I suddenly realize, like, Katy Belle or—was, like, grabbing at my hand once? And I was “Aoooo!” and it all came flooding back! Pull this finger! [Laughs.] Hilarious.

theresa

Hilarious.

biz

So—but I’m… 12. So that’s okay. How about you?

theresa

So many things.

biz

Uh, yeah. I got a list.

crosstalk

Biz: We’ll— [Laughs.] We’ll just go back and forth like a tennis match. Theresa: So—yeah. And—and— [Laughs.]

theresa

Not even like, all that funny, but like I had this one uncle who just—I would only see him at, like, these kind of times of year. And… it’s not that I didn’t like him or something? I just didn’t know him that well. But he always called me Terry. [Biz laughs.] He just always called me Terry!

crosstalk

Biz: I think this is hilarious, by the way. Theresa: He thought it was—right!

theresa

He thought it was—and he probably thought it was hilarious. Because that’s not my nickname. It’s never been my nickname. But some people with the name Theresa do go by Terry! That is a nickname for Theresa!he probHe p [Biz laughs.] But I remember the first time he called me that, I didn’t even know that that was a nickname for Theresa! So I was confused. That created a socially awkward situation. [Biz laughs.] What’s happening here? Why am I being called this weird thing by this person? And then he just proceeded to do that all the time. Like, whenever I would see him. [Biz laughs.] And I hated it! It was awful! But he thought it was great.

biz

Yeah. That—good job, uncle! [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah.

biz

There’s also—you and I have different versions of this, but there is the old—oh, there’s a kid around! And there’s at least one family member who is gonna pull something out of your ear.

theresa

Out of their ear, yep!

biz

Yeah. Ours was always, like, a quarter. Right? And like, ah! That’s great! And I have always thought, how weird is that, like, for a kid of different ages to like—is that real? Is it not real?

crosstalk

Biz: Like—did that come out of my ear? Theresa: Yeah—did that come out of my ear? Yeah! [Theresa affirms Biz throughout.]

biz

Like—how much anxiety should I have about this? Ellis has, like, he’s got two kindergarten teachers? And one of them is just… the guy who is constantly pulling things out of the kids’ ears. Doing magic tricks and stuff. He also does this weird thing where he’s like— [Laughs.] Gives kid a ban—shows them a banana? But he’s already taken the banana out of it? And it’s like a trick. He’s like—would you like a banana? Oh! It’s an empty banana! I’m like, is my father teaching kindergarten? Anyway, but yours—what did you—

crosstalk

Theresa: Yes! My—yes! Biz: I liked yours [inaudible] better!

theresa

So one of my grandmother’s brothers, who was around at family things, who was great! Wonderful person. He used to always have lemon drops. And— [Biz laughs.] —he would pull a lemon drop out of our ears. And I do remember from a young age thinking it was truly magical. Like, that was actually really cool for a while. ‘Cause a lemon drop is delicious. And it felt like—maybe I am magic! Maybe I’m magic!

crosstalk

Biz: Maybe you’re just— Theresa: And I get a lemon drop!

biz

—full of lemon drops! Rattling around in there! [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

And he was like—he was great! But like, what I remember— [Biz laughs.] —is that, like, especially as we got older, we kind of started to like… try to game the system. And we used to, like, kind of harass him. And like, go after him. [Biz laughs.] For more lemon drops! At which point he would just get really pissed off! Like, it would just so [Through laughter] quickly turn— 

crosstalk

Biz: Escalate! Theresa: —from like—

theresa

[Through laughter] —this really sweet thing. [Biz laughs.] To just, like, he’s so agitated! And just like, stop touching! Like, get away! Like—[inaudible] [Biz laughs.] You know, like, I—

biz

He’s like, throwing lemon drops at you. Which would be un-fun, and like painful. [Yelling] Get outta here! [Inaudible] Like, scatters. Just ah! Yeah. That’s awful. Yeah— [Laughs.]

theresa

But, like, makes se—like, it seems like a natural progression. If you have a group—‘cause—there were—the other thing about my family and especially my mom’s side of the family, was there were so many kids. And cousins of all different ages. So like—the lemon drop thing might be amazing for a five-year-old. Like, really amazing and magical. For a nine-year-old or a ten-year-old, who’s gonna be there too ‘cause there’s kids of all ages there—it’s gonna lead down a weird path.

crosstalk

Biz: Oh! All—everything eventually leads down a weird path. Theresa: And be annoying. Yeah!

biz

Yeah, my sister and I were like, bouncing back and forth over this. And I—I really think it just comes down to the fact that we just didn’t have a big extended family? So… like, the only place we were going was to, like, my grandmother’s house, and, y’know, with Granddaddy— [Through laughter] who just chainsmoked three packs of cigarettes a day, y’know. Like in that weirdness. And then—sometimes when my—

theresa

‘Cause he thought that would be fun for you.

biz

He thought that’d be fun for us! [Theresa laughs.] Uh, and then my great-grandmother—Honey—and, then there was Granny, who was around for a while. I guess would’ve been my great-great grandmother? Or—I don’t fucking know. And… I don’t… like, I was asking Helen, I was like, is there anything you remember? And like, her memories are the pulling the f—it’s—are all my father. Like, immediate things. She was talking about how, growing up—and I remember this—he would— [Laughs.] He would get us, or like our friends? And I remember, like, encouraging my friends to do this. To poke him in the stomach. And then he would do the Pillsbury doughboy [mimicking doughboy giggle] “Ooh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho!” [Laughs.]

theresa

That’s so—and—but you kind of liked it, then!

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah, but we were all, like, do it! Poke my father! [Laughs.] Theresa: Yeah! Thought it was fun! Yeah.

biz

That was… but that’s weird. Y’know? Like that’s—that’s weird. We also had a neighbor who—whenever you went to his house—like, his daughter was friends with my sister. But I’d wander—y’know, I was like, the little sister of the neighborhood. No one my age. I’d just wander up [Through laughter] to people’s houses? Looking for people. But he would do this thing where he’d say, y’know, “Hey there, Elizabeth! Charlie Horse!”— [Theresa gasps.] —and then he’d reach down and grab you, like, right above the knee? And give it this, like, vice grip, horrible pinch. And you’re like— [weakly] haha! Thank— Like, he loved doing this. And it was—

theresa

Consent!

biz

—horrible. Blah. [Theresa laughs.]

crosstalk

Theresa: [Through laughter] No, I’m just saying, like, these were before like—but they don’t—they don’t, like, touch other kids, you know! Like, other people’s kids. Biz: Yeah. No, I know, I was like—but they’re just like—don’t touch people! [Laughs.] But it was just like—

biz

—this was a totally a thing that was reasonable, and we were all supposed to be like [unenthusiastically] Ah-ha!

crosstalk

Theresa: [Insincerely] Uh-huh! Funny! Yeah. Yeah! Biz: [Through laughter] And they’re like, funny!

theresa

Oh my god, that’s amazing. Um—

biz

Oh, I know!

theresa

Yeah! I think, uh, one other one that I’ve thought about that has, like, haunted me— [Biz laughs.] Was, like, my mom has five sisters. And I love all my aunts. Like, they’re amazing. Like, they—I—I—have looked up to them my entire life and I feel so lucky to have them in my family. One of them, whenever— [Laughs.] I would see her for a while, or when she would call on the phone, she would always say, “It’s your favorite aunnnnt!” [Laughs.] Like that? [Biz laughs.] And—she was just being cute and funny, and like… I don’t think there was any part of her that was actually saying, like, I need to be your favorite? It was just like a funny joke ‘cause there’s so many aunts. And they’re like weirdly competitive with each other. [Biz laughs.] You know? But like—for me, as like the sensitive little Theresa that I was… it really caused me a lot of emotional distress? [Biz laughs.] Because it made me think, like, well, is she my favorite aunt? Like, I—then I thought, do I need to have a favorite? And then I was like, well… she’s maybe not my favorite! [Biz makes a sympathetic noise; continues throughout.] Like, I have a different favorite, maybe! And is that okay? And do I need to say something or not? And it really stressed me out then! Whenever I would—yeah!

biz

I know. I—but that’s just it! There’s a lot of stuff, I think, that we do to kids? That we think are funny? We don’t realize that it could be the—I—there’s—a million things that I am sure I have vague memories of being, like, staying up and thinking about it? But also on the list of, like, weird shit, there’s the classic “got your nose,” okay. “Got your nose.” But I feel like that sets up right away, like, we know that you don’t really have my nose. Like, even babies are like, you don’t really have my nose. My father also used to do this thing where he’d—it’s like a hand trick—I’m doing it for Theresa now, I could never do it—

crosstalk

Biz: —that looks like he’s pulling his finger off! Theresa: Oh, yeah, makes it—looks like he’s pulling his finger off. Yeah. That one.

biz

He used to do lots of, like, missing a finger, like tricks, like with us. That—or my friends. Ehh, I don’t know. This is—my family—again, everything I thought was normal… not normal! Yeah.

theresa

But the—the effect that this has on kid is interesting. Like, I—I don’t know that it’s necessarily b—bad. I mean, like, I think some of the touching ones go too far? [Biz laughs.] But like—

biz

“Charlie horse!” [Laughs wildly.]

theresa

Yeah! That’s—yeah. That’s not okay now. Um… but—it probably wasn’t okay then, either. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Yeah, it was—[tone that sounds like it might include air quotes] fine. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah. [Laughs.] Um—so—but like—nowadays, I’m thinking about, like, Oscar—‘cause I do stuff to my kids, I’m sure, like this that I think is fun, and then they’re like, ugh, I didn’t like that! Like—Curtis is at that age where, like, sometimes I’m like, tickling or snuggling with him and I pretend that I’m, like, eating him up. ‘Cause he’s so delicious. And he’s like, no, I’m not food! And it’s like—okay. Like, he—I—and I’m gonna be clear—of course you’re not food! I’m not really eating you! You know? [Biz laughs.] But um… but like, Oscar—he’s always been this way. He… does not like being called anything other than “Oscar.” So like, when people say, like, “Hey, little buddy!” Or like—like, if he’s wearing a hat, Jesse will be like, “Hey, hat man!” And he’ll be like, [fake screaming] “I’m not hat man!!!” Like, it’s, like, really intense for him. And like, that happens out in the world all the time! Where—I’m trying to think of, like, what people say, like… oh! Like, hey, big brother! Or hey, little—

crosstalk

Theresa: —or hey, like—whatever people say— Biz: Yeah, anything! Yeah.

theresa

—that’s just being sweet— [Biz laughs.] And he really doesn’t like it! It just really bothers him. And so I’ve gotten— [Biz laughs.] —into the habit of just saying to people, oh yeah, Oscar really likes being called Oscar and just Oscar. [Biz laughs.] And then people are like, oh! Thank you for telling me that! But I feel like that goes… for so many things!

biz

My child likes his nose, so I’m just letting you know—

crosstalk

Theresa: He doesn’t want anybody to take his nose? Fair. I won’t do that. Biz: Don’t take his nose! So—fair. I just wanna, like—

biz

—add, ‘cause that was a weird thing about Oscar, which I love—like, that he doesn’t like that? I want to share a weird Ellis thing. Okay. That’s equally like— [Laughs.] Ellis cannot eat anything that’s cute. [Theresa laughs.]

crosstalk

Theresa: [Through laughter] Oh god! Oh—that’s— Biz: So—and now—

biz

This has been going on for a while, but now it’s like—it’s become so intense—so like, Trader Joe’s had these little hedgehog cookies? And I was like, oh my god! Something new I can give my kids! Ellis pulls one out and like, starts [Through laughter] crying. He’s like—“I cannot eat this!”

crosstalk

Biz: He got, like, a party favor— Theresa: It makes so much sense!

biz

—that was like, this cute unicorn cookie lollipop thing? Couldn’t eat it. Katy Belle helped by making it not cute. For his birthday, I was gonna do these, like, princess, like these different Star Wars cupcakes? And he was like, no, no, remember last year when you cut— [Laughs.] Princess Leia’s face in half? [Theresa gasps.] This was the worst. So, like… like, I have to be like— [Laughs.] [Theresa giggles.] —I have to, like, keep my eye out? For cute things? ‘Cause he’s not gonna eat them? And like… that’s…

crosstalk

Theresa: That’s amazing. I love it! No, I love it! Biz: That just has nothing to do with our topic, but I like the—

biz

—it always makes me happy to hear other children having things that are like… super specific and upsetting! [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah, well—but I feel like it plays into this, too, because it’s like, this idea that we have as grownups that we know what kids like? Like, kids like cute things! Kids like it when you joke around with them! Kids like it when you tickle them! Like, kids—and there’s like so—we don’t like, think about the fact, like, even if you know who this kid is? You might not know them well enough to just presume that they like this thing. And on holidays, we show up being like, oh, we’re gonna have a great time together! Like—

biz

Yeah, well, not only that we show up with great time together! But we show up with all of our family traditions of jokes and weird things that we think we should keep doing? It’s also a time to, like... yeah! It’s such a weird step of, “I know kids. I know what they’ll like.” I—my two children—who I think I know very well!—I still consistently do things that they hate! And I—that I think are hilarious, and I am so… surprised by. [Theresa laughs.] So… as we were talking about at the beginning—get back on topic—we were talking about it’s not just funny things that, like, happen in the holidays that we— [Through laughter] submit our children to. But there’s also, like, weird stuff that I think kids… kind of witness? Right? Where—that we don’t think about being weird? But like… [Laughs.] One I keep thinking about is like… there is—or was—and always shall be— [Theresa laughs quietly.] —uh, some relative sound asleep— [Theresa laughs.] —in the middle of the room. Like—they’re asleep at the table sometimes! They are asleep in the chair, or on any full-seated position, not like—I mean, they’re just… out! And it like— [Theresa giggles.] —it’s pretty much, like, the moment that event begins. It’s usually—I will admit—it’s usually like an uncle or a grandfather of some kind. But just… asleep!

biz

And I think—that’s such a peculiar thing to walk around as a kid and be like… can I… am I supposed— [Laughs.]. Now, as children, we always felt like, oops! You fell asleep at the slumber party. [Through laughter] Get ready—get ready for us to— [Theresa gasps.] —try and do things to you! [Theresa laughs.] 10:15 upon—upon Grandpa’s head! Yeah! I think that’s weird. And I feel like there’s, like, other things like… y’know. I—I’m sure there was always like, foods that we didn’t like that like other people were eating? That they might as well have been eating, like, alien food. Y’know, where you’re just like, why are they eating that or drinking that?

theresa

I remember, ‘cause my parents didn’t drink? And like, I remember going to these things at my grandparents’ house and there just being, like, a table of—

biz

Alcohol, yeah!

theresa

—just—bourbon! Like, hu—the huge things! [Biz laughs.] Of it! And like, these—and I didn’t even know—

crosstalk

Biz: The smells. Yeah! Theresa: —what it wa—yeah!

theresa

Just, like, the smells and like… “What’s that?” “Can it—like, do you want a drink? What do you want?” “What’s that?”

crosstalk

Theresa: “I’ll have that!” “No! You can’t—No!” Like—Yeah! [Laughs.] Biz: There’s always somebody being like, though, “Wanna try it?” And you’re like, that’s totally inappropriate! [Laughs.]

biz

Though I’d tried lots of things at some point. You know what I mean? Like, usually it’s the same thing where you’re like—[deep voice] “You wanna try some?” [Grossed-out kid voice] “This is gross!”

theresa

Yeah. [Laughs.]

biz

Well, you’ll never drink as an adult, which is definitely not how that works. There’s always just, like, the room full of people’s, like, purses—

crosstalk

Biz: Somebody always brings, like— Theresa: Yeah! The purse room and the coat room!

biz

—a present for you that’s super inappropriate? That’s not at all okay? Or candy that’s just, like, from their purse?  You know? Like— [Laughs.] Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s a Butter Rum Lifesaver! [Theresa laughs.] You know, it’s got some purse hair on it. You know. I don’t know. Being a kid is incredibly hard at the holidays. Lotta mixed signals, lotta knees and butts you’re looking at everywhere you go ‘cause of your height. And—yeah! I just…

theresa

Did anybody ever make you, like, get up and sing a song?

crosstalk

Biz: Oh, yeah. Theresa: Or like—

biz

There’s always, like, a tradition or something of like, you’ve gotta sit—yeah! [Theresa laughs.] There’s like, a “Perform for us!”

crosstalk

Biz: Let u—“Come on! Tell that story!” Theresa: “Yeah! Come on! Come on! Yeah!” [Laughs.]

biz

“Tell that one! Dance! Dance!” And it was like, throwing lemon drops at your feet. “Dance again!”

music

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

theresa

[Chill acoustic guitar; continues through dialogue.] One Bad Mother is supported in part by Ora Organic.

biz

Ora Organic is a plant-based nutrition company that creates clean supplements for everyone. Ora offers protein powders, probiotics, and more! Their products are organic, vegan, non-GMO, and never include artificial fillers or ingredients.

theresa

Each serving of Ora Organic’s protein contains 21 grams of protein from more than 20 organic superfoods, two servings of greens, digestive enzymes, and zero grams of sugar.

biz

You can mix two scoops of that protein with a frozen banana, maybe some almond milk, and a big scoop of peanut butter! And for Thanksgiving, if you want to make your pumpkin pie a little more exciting, you can mix some of the vanilla powder into your whipped cream on top! And then eat double!

theresa

Right now, Ora is offering all of you a Black Friday deal, with a hefty 30% off your first purchase. Head to Ora.Organic—no .com on that, just Ora.Organic—and use the code “badmother” at checkout. That’s Ora.Organic, and use the code “badmother.” [Music ends.]

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, Theresa. Genius me. [Biz affirms Theresa as Theresa accounts her weekly genius moment.]

clip

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!

theresa

Okay. [Biz laughs.] So this starts with a fail, which was that I don’t learn from past experiences— [Biz laughs.] —and so I, once again, told my kids about a stuffed animal that I used to have, and then they went off, freaking out about this stuffed animal and its whereabouts. And… in order to get out of the situation quickly— [Biz laughs.] —because it was bedtime, I told Grace that the next day we could go to the garage and look for this stuff animal. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs wildly.] That it—that it might be there, that there was a 10% chance that it was there.

crosstalk

Biz: Just go to sleep; here’s a lie to get you to sleep! Theresa: Just go to sleep! Yes! Yes!

theresa

And—but so of course she remembered, so the next day we had to go to the garage. And I was—I really was pretty sure it wasn’t there? But I did think there was, like, a slight chance it was there. It was totally not there, you guys. But as we were looking for it and I was trying to figure out how… ‘cause she was already, like, on the verge of tears thinking about this stuffed animal potentially being in the garage? You know? [Biz laughs.] For a long time? [Laughs.] I really need to learn. Um— [Biz laughs.] —So—but what I—what caught my eye was… my parents, like, on some trip down to visit us a few years ago, had brought our—my sister and my American Girl dolls? From when we were like—

biz

Whoa!

theresa

—eight or nine. And the clothes! And like, the thing—and like, I guess my sister had passed on it? And so I got everything?

biz

Oh my gosh.

theresa

And… I mean, literally the motherlode of like, two beaut—I mean, they’re old—

crosstalk

Biz: Beautiful dolls. Yeah. Theresa: Like, they need—they need—

theresa

—to be, like spruced up a little bit? But they’re amazing! Like, they’re in great shape.

biz

Oooh!

theresa

And the clothes and everything, and I—I was like, oh. This is what we’re doing right now. Like, I could—noticing this, I could save it for Christmas? Or I could just do it—

crosstalk

Theresa: —today so that we don’t— Biz: Do it right now!

theresa

—spend the rest of the day crying. And… it was amazing. So the—we had—we got to spend the whole rest of the day! And—and the day after, just like, enjoying these dolls and like, Gracie chose one of them and she has been—whatever. It’s the best. It’s delightful. So.

crosstalk

Biz: That is a great find—this yeah. Woo! Theresa: Recovery. Yes. Recovery.

biz

Good job!

theresa

Thanks. [Theresa affirms Biz as Biz recounts her genius moment of the week.]

biz

So—Katy Belle’s school, they have like this little farm thing, and they go… to the farm. Lotta things to like pick and stuff. And the rule is—any food-related item that has grown there that’s on the ground, they can pick up and use however they want. Well, she has been telling me repeatedly about this soup that she and three of her friends have been making that’s water, apple slices, garlic, and a few herbs.

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

And… I was finally able to go volunteer and go to the little farm with them, and they’re like, great! We’re setting up a restaurant today, and we can’t wait to give you the soup. And—I mean, now—they—they’re working very hard. They’re slicing apples; stirring; like, they have filled the water up with a hose that’s in a bucket. Um… garlic has gone in, uh, some herbs. They’ve set up this great-looking little restaurant. All the other kids are coming by to have the soup! Because they’ve had it before! And like, they’re sitting at, like, the little tables and I’ll have the soup—everybody wants some of the soup. They’ve been doing this for weeks. No adult has said—

crosstalk

Biz: “Don’t eat or do this.” Theresa: “Don’t eat this.” Yeah.

biz

Okay? So— [Laughs.] I’m like, alright. And they—they make the soup. They put it in these little cups. They’ve got little clean cups to put the soup in. And… they’ve invited one of their teachers over, and they hand her the soup, and they go, try it! And she’s like… yeah, I’m sorry. I’m—I’m not gonna eat this. Right? And so—they’re like, “What?!” and they turn to me… I did it.

theresa

Yes!

biz

I—and—and she looks at me and she was like, “Wow.” And I was like, “Oh yeah.” All of us probably gonna be—

crosstalk

Biz and Theresa: —really sick—

biz

—at some—I mean, she’s a teacher. She, like, shared her previous experience of eating something kids had made and then being [Through laughter] so sick afterwards? I had to eat apple and garlic—an actually remarkable combination—and… uh… I drank it!

crosstalk

Biz: I drank it! I’m the mom who will drink it. Thank you. [Laughs.] Theresa: Good job! Awesome. You’re the best mom. That’s so good.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! I’m calling in with a genius. My first genius—which is really not why I’m calling in—is that my husband is gone for the day and I’m in a bubble bath with wine and that’s amazing. [Biz laughs.] However, um, this is not my own genius that I’m sharing. I’m actually part of this mom’s group on Facebook for our community. Um, and someone else posted this, and I have to share, because I feel like it’s just… freaking amazing. So. [Biz laughs.] It’s a letter to a child from the Tooth Fairy. And it said: “Dear Jonathan, I tried to come in and get your tooth, but there was so many toys on your floor—” [Biz laughs.] “—I tripped and fell. I’m gonna come back tonight. Please make sure your room is clean so I won’t hurt myself again.” [Biz laughs.] “Love, the Tooth Fairy.” And I just think this is amazing, because why shouldn’t they be on our side? Anyway, you’re both doing a great job. Everyone’s doing a great job. Thank you.

biz

Yesss! [Biz and Theresa affirm each other as they discuss the caller’s genius moment.]

theresa

Of course the Tooth Fairy’s on our side!

biz

Oh my god, I—this is so beautifully—

crosstalk

Biz: —manipulative and amazing. Theresa: It’s beautiful!

theresa

Yes!

crosstalk

Biz: I love this. Theresa: And correct!

biz

No, it is correct!

theresa

It’s correct!

biz

It— [Laughs.]

theresa

The Tooth Fairy is coming with money!

biz

Yeah! You better clean up—

crosstalk

Theresa: Yeah, clean up! Just clean up! All you have to do— Biz: —for the Tooth Fairy! I mean, yeah!

theresa

—is put your toys away!

biz

Yeah! Exactly! Doesn’t matter how big or small you imagine the Tooth Fairy to be—

theresa

Clean up for the Tooth Fairy!

biz

Clean up! That’s right. I—I also love the, like… y’know, Jackie Collins-style vision I have of this woman in, like, a bubble bath with wine, sharing this story. [Laughs.]

theresa

And I love that, like, probably she had the conversation with the friend on Facebook where the friend was like, yeah, I don’t know, I know it’s genius. I don’t have time to call it in right now! And she’s like, “I have the time.”

biz

“I have the time!” [Laughs.]

theresa

“I am in a bubble bath right now. I’ll use this time to call it in for you.” [Laughs.]

biz

Woooo you! You and all of the people in your community— [Theresa laughs.] —are clearly doing an amazing job. Woo! That’s so good. Failures!

clip

[Dramatic orchestral music in the background.] Theresa: Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Drum.] Biz: [Calmly.] You suck!

biz

Fail me, Theresa! [Biz affirms Theresa as Theresa recounts her weekly fail.]

theresa

Okay. So… American Girl doll related. [Biz laughs.] So some of—so my doll was Kirsten. That was my doll. Um, and… Kirsten comes with a book that’s set—that’s, like, Meet Kirsten, and it’s like the story of her family. [Laughs.] And so… I was getting Gracie to bed, um, over the weekend, and she had just started that book. And she was getting to bed and she was upset about this movie trailer that she—she’s really into movies and she likes to look up movies online that she’s not allowed to see and watch, like, the trailer and like reviews of them and stuff? And it’s very iffy. Because a lot of times, the video reviews and the trailers have the stuff in them that I don’t want her to see in the movie. She’s always like, it’s fine, it’s fine, it’s fine, and then it’s bedtime and it’s not fine. So she was like—she was upset at bedtime, and in order to kind of like help her calm down, I was like, here! Read this very innocent American Girl doll book about your new doll! And she’s like, okay, thanks mommy. [Laughs.] And the next morning, she came up and she just walks in and she’s like, uh, Mommy? The Meet Kirsten book is really sad. Her best friend dies of a disease! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.]

biz

[Singing] Life is hard for Kirsten! Oh my—

theresa

And I was like, yeah. I guess—that sounds right. I don’t remember. [Biz laughs.] Sorry!

biz

I blocked it out! Crammed it down with all my other sad emotions! Wow. Yeah. Good—good job, Theresa! [Laughs.]

theresa

I know! [Theresa affirms Biz as Biz recounts her weekly fail.]

biz

Okay. Ellis’s birthday party. He wanted to be Darth Vader and have all of his friends fight him as Jedis.

theresa

Okay.

biz

Sure.

theresa

Great.

biz

So we did the, like, you know, Pinterest with pool noodle lightsabers for everybody, and I was like, I’d seen this other idea where somebody had taken white balloons and like drawn some Stormtrooper faces on them. And then the kids had to like, battle through them before battling Darth Vader! And they were gonna go one at a time, right? And… you could see all the different fails that could come out of this? But anything you expect actually didn’t happen! Everybody was great. But I get the balloons, I tape them to—I’d had, like, Katy Belle, one of her friends draw the faces on. It was great. I totally had, like, preteen labor for the party. [Laughs.] And then I take duct tape and I tape them down on the driveway and here we go. Here comes the first Jedi. And this kid comes swinging through and immediately, every balloon lifts up from the ground and starts to float away! And like, Katy Belle and I are like running and trying to grab balloons! And like, we lose half the balloo—it was just, like, wow! There they all went! Just—

theresa

Thanks, duct tape!

biz

—right away! I don’t know why I thought—

crosstalk

Theresa: Just immediately it’s over. Biz: I don’t—I—I—I—

biz

—should have known that that duct tape wouldn’t hold it to cement against a lightsaber.

theresa

I guess.

biz

And like… so then Katy Belle and I are just like, holding some out? Like, “Not our faces! Not our faces!” Like, and they’re swinging through. Yeah. It was over right away.

theresa

[Sympathetically] Ohhh.

biz

It was like—it was like— [Laughs.] It was one of those magic tricks where you’re like, and now I will take the doves! And they all just fly off?

theresa

They all just fly away, yeah! [Laughs.]

biz

Yeah! That is exactly what it was like. [Theresa laughs.] And it felt not good.

theresa

I’m sorry.

biz

It’s alright. [Laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! I’m calling with a fail. So I have three kids. My youngest is three months old, and she is not sleeping. She’s up every two hours, so I’m really exhausted. So that’s some context. So last night, I wake up at 4 AM, and I hear my oldest—my six-year-old—call me. And he’s very scared of the dark; he gets anxious at night, but he rarely wakes up in the middle of the night. So I’m thinking I’m gonna go be a great mom and go comfort him. [Biz laughs.] So I go into his room— [Laughs.] And he leaps out of bed screaming. [Biz laughs.] Guys. He did not call me. I imagined it and I just scared the [through laughter] ever-living shit out of my six-year-old— [Biz laughs.] —for no reason at 4:00 in the morning! So I go and hug him, and I can feel his little heart just pounding out of his chest— [Biz giggles.] [Through laughter] —and I just felt like the biggest monster. For just coming in and scaring him for no reason. [Laughs.] So I clearly suck and I’m doing a terrible job. Uh, thanks for the show! Bye.

theresa

Yeah, well when you haven’t slept, you start hearing things! [Biz laughs.] [Biz and Theresa affirm each other as they discuss the caller’s fail.]

crosstalk

Theresa: That’s what happens! Biz: I do! Yeah! I still hear the screams of my children. Theresa: Oh yeah! Oh, absolutely.

biz

I’m like, [whispering] it’s happening! Just be quiet for a second! I think I hear them yelling. And it’s just his breath? Right? Or a cat? Yeah. It’s forever!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Forever. I believe in the past I have said your home is scarred by the screams of our children. [Theresa laughs.] They, just, like, have been absorbed into the walls and will echo back at you for the rest of your life! [Theresa laughs.] Good job not taking enough care of yourself! [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.]

promo

[Chill, down-tempo music plays in background.] Jesse Thorn: This week on Bullseye: Lin-Manuel Miranda on His Dark Materials, hip-hop, and life after Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda: I know it’s the first line of my obituary! So if that line is handled, then what else can I do with my time here? Jesse Thorn: It’s Bullseye! For MaximumFun.org and NPR. [Music ends.]

promo

Jesse Thorn: Hey! It’s Jesse Thorn. We’re very happy to announce that tickets for Max Fun Con 2020 will go on sale Friday, November 29th, at 11 AM Pacific. I also wanna let you know—this coming year, Max Fun Con 2020 will be our last Max Fun Con for the foreseeable future. For 2020 and beyond, we’re gonna be looking for ways to connect with more of you in person and spread the spirit of Max Fun father than it’s ever gone before. In the meantime, if you wanna join us at the last Max Fun Con in Lake Arrowhead, June 12th through the 14th, you can find details at MaxFunCon.com.

biz

Theresa—gobble, gobble! It’s the perfect season for rants. Let’s listen to a mom have a breakdown!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] [Weepy voice] Hi, Biz and Theresa. This is a meltdown. It’s just—the absolute last straw. I just got a call from my kid’s elementary school principal. He is seven, and he got sent to the office for slapping another little girl in the face. And… I have been trying so hard for so long to teach him to keep his hands to himself. But he is always fighting with his older brother and the other little boys in the neighborhood, and they play so rough. And he doesn’t know when to stop! Other parents just don’t understand and they say, oh, he’s just—they’re just playing and rough-housing and let them go! And I say, no! It’s gonna turn into something else and he won’t understand and won’t figure out when—he can play rough and when he can’t! He doesn’t know when to stop! And now he’s hit somebody in the classroom. And he’s not that kid! He’s a nice kid! He’s [cries] but I just haven’t been able to get him to stop hitting! And it’s just… it’s just the last straw. In a day that has been full of rough times. [Sighs.] I don’t know how I’m gonna get him to stop putting his hands on other people. I don’t know. He’s in therapy. I’m doing what I can. But it just feels like I’m doing a crappy job. [Breathes deeply.] Okay. Thank you for listening.

biz

You are doing… a great job. [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss the caller’s breakdown moment.]

theresa

Yeah, you are.

biz

And—this is… this is like one of those, like, unseen, un-talked-about, like, things our kids do? You know? That… [sighs.] Sometimes they’re developmental, sometimes they’re—for a variety of reasons. Regardless, you are doing… your best to help your child. Navigate the world. And… There’s—it’s like when you get the call that like your kid bit somebody? Like in preschool? Right? Or, like… y’know, I remember the first time Ellis as, like, y’know, a toddler slapped me in the face? Y’know, and I was just like—I was—there—it’s the feeling—it’s not just that you suddenly get flooded with this fear that your child is somewhere, y’know, is a monster. [Laughs.] Right? They’re gonna bite until they’re dead! Right? Like—there’s that fear that you’re suddenly flooded with ‘cause it’s so surprising. It’s so… shocking. ‘Cause it’s not like they do it all the time! And then there’s the fear of who saw that, what do people think—they think I’m doing some sort of bad job. Right? And then there’s the feeling of… how am I supposed to help this? I—I mean—there’s just countless times I feel overwhelmed by things my kids are doing that I don’t know how to help steer them through. And I worry it will never stop. Right? And like—how am I supposed to—

theresa

And that, by the way, that fear that it will never stop? Always makes it worse.

biz

Always makes it worse!

theresa

Because if you assume that it will stop, you—it feels manageable.

biz

Yeah! Right! But when you get the call from the principal—especially on a day—or a week—or a year—of whatever may also be going on in your life—I think that just, like, elevates all those issues.

theresa

Totally! I also think we have a tendency to feel personally responsible for every single thing that our kids do and every single way that they are in the world? And it’s kind of bullshit? Like, I mean—we can do what we can do? And then that’s all we can do. Like—and I think that… what I was feeling as I was listening to your call was I was just wanting to give you a hug and say, like, this is not your fault!

crosstalk

Biz: It’s not your fault! Theresa: Like, this is not—

theresa

—about you! And you’re doing everything you can and, obviously… your kid isn’t getting the support that they need at school to help keep everyone safe! So I would be curious to see what the school plans to do to support your child. I mean, really!

crosstalk

Theresa: Because you’re not there! Biz: No, I love it!

theresa

You’re doing everything you can when your kid is in your care, and… your kid is his own person! And he’s obviously doing this for a reason. So…

biz

Yup.

theresa

You know, you’re doing absolutely everything you can do, and it’s such a hard situation.

biz

And also, I mean, you’re—you’ve got—you said your kid’s doing therapy! That’s so great!

crosstalk

Theresa: Right! You’re obviously doing stuff! Biz: You’re obviously—yeah!

theresa

Like, there’s only so much you can do.

biz

Yeah! Exactly! So I just… yeah. You’re—you really are doing a good job. And—and the thing is—is—we see you?

theresa

Yeah!

biz

And… we don’t think anything weird or odd or bad or… y’know? Sounds like you have a kid in your house. You know? And—it—this is… it’s hard. Let’s all try to just be like… [Sighs.] Really kind? When kid—kids are having problems expressing themselves with other kids. Right? Like, let’s all… do our best to just… go up and pat a mom’s back. [Laughs.] Or dad’s back, if we see them. Okay? Like—you’re doing—you are doing a good job.

theresa

Yeah, you are.

biz

Yeah. And I’m—I’m sorry.

theresa

Me, too. [Biz and Theresa affirm each other as Biz ponders on the episode thus far.]

biz

Yeah. Theresa? What did we learn today? We learned that holidays—which are already a hotpot of— [Laughs.] Feels! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] And hard communications sometimes, and stress, and… sometimes high expectations! [Theresa giggles.] To not forget the added layer of fucking with kids— [Theresa laughs.] —and not realizing that they may not like it. [Theresa laughs.] And—or each other! You know? Like, look—maybe—maybe don’t take it out towards the kids. Get Uncle Larry to pull your finger!

theresa

Sure!

biz

Yeah! See what happens!

theresa

Yeah! Let’s turn the tables!

biz

Let’s turn the tables! Uh… yeah! I just… [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] I don’t know! Weird shit happens when relatives and family and friends—

crosstalk

Theresa: We don’t know—none of us know what to do, guys! Let’s face it! [Laughs.] Biz: —get together! None of us—yeah! [Laughs.]

biz

There is always a chance it’s me doing the weird thing? And there’s always a chance it’s me identifying something weird. Which—it falls under the category of “It’s okay if I do it, but if you do it, get the fuck out of my house but leave the bottle of red wine.” [Theresa laughs.] Which I think is the mantra of all holidays.

theresa

Definitely. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Wooo! Guys—

theresa

Am I weird? Are you weird? Is—was that weird?

biz

Was that weird?

theresa

Am I just being weird?

biz

Yeah.

theresa

Or at these people weird?

crosstalk

Biz: What’s nice about— [Laughs.] Theresa: Probably all of the above.

biz

What’s nice about friends and family is usually, we can all look at each other and agree it’s everybody else. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah! [Laughs.]

biz

Family and friends. Guys, it is. The holidays are embarking. Here we go.

theresa

Yeah. Here we are.

biz

Here we are! Get your bathrooms stocked with—

crosstalk

Biz: —catalogs or magazines! Theresa: Whatever you need! Yeah!

biz

Or a spare phone! Or a glass of wine or a bottle of water or like… chocolates! Special foods that you like!

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

Get your lives ready about stomach problems; get your lives ready about babies that really need a timeout and need to feed in a quiet area. ‘Cause a bathroom can really be anything for you. A bedroom. A relative’s, y’know, uh, private bedroom. Eh—ju—make sure you are giving yourself opportunities to hide.

theresa

Yep!

biz

And regroup. Y’know, maybe we take it to the next level this year and we just, like, with our friends or partners? We just—or even if it’s just ourselves? [Conspiratorially] Maybe with our older kids? Just like, have some game plans about stepping out and not feeling bad about leaving an event early. ‘K?

crosstalk

Theresa: Yeah! Oh yeah! Oh, absolutely. Biz: It’s really okay—

biz

—to leave the event. And if you’ve got relatives who are gonna get bent out of joint about it? That is not in your control. The only thing is—that is in your control is the comfort and, like, [Through laughter] as much happiness as you can muster during a stressful time of yourself and your family. Ok? So… really! It’s not your responsibility. ‘K?

crosstalk

Theresa: So true. Such a good reminder. Biz: Every—y’know?

biz

Yeah. Let’s just— [Laughs.] Really try to remember that. That won’t erase any of your family’s expectations! But—there ya go. You are all doing a great job. I have been surrounded lately by parents with young kids and infants to boot, all at the same time, all of them saying to me: everything’s fine. And me thinking—liar, liar, pants on fire.

theresa

Yep.

biz

You’re all doing a good job. It is actually hard. It doesn’t negate your choices. And it doesn’t negate the times that you are enjoying. But it is okay to say you’re not having fun and you’re tired. Okay? You are doing… a great job.

theresa

Yes. You are.

biz

Theresa?

theresa

Yes.

biz

You are doing a great job.

theresa

Thanks, Biz. So are you.

biz

Thank you. And we will talk to you guys next week.

crosstalk

Biz and Theresa: 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 blues 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 MaxFun; 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.

theresa

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.

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