TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 335: The 4th Holiday Genius Fail Spectacular, Plus Rants

Let’s celebrate the decade with our 4th Ever HOLIDAY Genius Fail Spectacular Plus Rants show …take that 20-teens! No matter how much you loved or hated the last 10 years, let’s bask in the glory of how we are all killing it, in good and bad ways. You are doing a good job!

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 335

Transcript

biz

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

theresa

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—let’s celebrate the decade with our 4th-Ever Holiday Genius Fail Spectacular Plus Rants show! Take that, 2010s!

crosstalk

Biz, Theresa, and Ellis Gustav: Wooooo!

biz

Guys? It’s the winter break, so I have both children here. Today, Ellis Gustav is joining us in the booth!

theresa

Yayyy!

biz

So before—

theresa

And this is Ellis’s first time in the booth, right?

biz

Yeah! First time in the booth. First time to mama’s work. The whole nine yards. He said he would like to join us on the show. I’m just gonna let Ellis be Ellis. Ellis? Welcome!

ellis

Yeah! Thank you! So—I’m Ellis. I’m six years old, and I just—this is my first time on the show. I’m great right now. [Sighs.]

biz

Are you excited about Christmas?

ellis

Yeah! My favorite part of Christmas is the presents.

biz

[Laughs.] That’s pretty much on—on target. With, uh, what lots of people like about Christmas. Is there anything you wanted to share with us on the show?

ellis

So—yeah. So… I would love to be on the show and today I am!

biz

Okay! Ellis, we’re gonna wrap up with you here before Theresa and I get into the show. Ellis—any parting words for us? Any wisdom about how have the last, y’know, I guess you haven’t been around—

biz

Biz: —for a whole decade. How has your whole life been, Ellis? Theresa: How has your whole life been?

ellis

[Enthusiastically] Great!

biz

[Laughs.] Yeah? Yeah?

ellis

Yeah.

biz

Anything else you wanna say?

ellis

Oh, yeah. I just love to do things!

biz

[Laughs.] Yeah?

ellis

Yep!

biz

That’s good! You—I’m glad to hear that! Anything else?

ellis

Yes. I really—I’m going to my friend’s house today!

biz

That sounds exciting. Ellis? I love you. Thank you for joining us.

ellis

So I’m—I just gonna… tell you something.

biz

Okay!

ellis

One more thing.

biz

Okay.

ellis

That I love you, mama.

biz

Thank you.

ellis

Goodbye!

biz

Good—

ellis

Goodbye for the rest of the show!

biz

Yeah! Just for the rest of the show. Goodbye.

biz

Well, Theresa! Top that! How are ya? [Both laugh.] [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective weeks.]

theresa

I… have a toddler who’s sick again.

biz

Hey!

theresa

He’s… he was sick last week when I was here.

biz

Yeah!

theresa

If you’ll recall.

biz

I think it’s the same week. [Laughs.]

theresa

Then he was better. But then he had two days where he missed school because just his eye was really swollen and red and I was like, what if it’s pinkeye and they’re gonna send him home anyway? But then I took him to the doctor and she’s like, this is not pinkeye. It must’ve just been, like, allergies or something. So he missed two days of school for that nothingness. [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] And then—now he’s sick again! Like, fully sick! Like, fever. We’re going on day three of the fever. I’m so over it?

biz

Yeah.

theresa

And the other thing that’s going on is our heater broke? Like, fully broke.

biz

Fully broke.

theresa

To the point where we have to buy a new heater.

biz

Oh….

theresa

Like—and—when you get a new heater for your house? Like, you can’t just, like, tell them to bring you a new heater? They have to schedule an appointment to come out and give you an estimate?

biz

Oh, God.

theresa

And so we have the people coming to give us an estimate today? [Laughs.] It’s fine, you guys. We live in Los Angeles. It’s not that cold? [Biz laughs.] Y’know? Like—

biz

Biz: But it’s— Theresa: —it’s not that cold.

theresa

And we have, like, a couple space heaters and stuff. But… it’s—

biz

Still the holidays.

theresa

Yeah! [Biz laughs.]

biz

Fuck you, 2019! [Laughs.]

theresa

Exactly!

biz

Wow.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

I’m sorry.

theresa

It’s okay!

biz

Yeah. Well… okay!

theresa

Yeah. How are you?

biz

I’m alright. I have two fucking kids here, which I—I think at one point vowed I would never do. But here they both are. We’ll see how long this goes. Ellis—adorbs. Katy Belle? Pissed that she didn’t get to come in. [Laughs.]

theresa

She’s also adorbs.

biz

But she’s also adorbs, even when she’s [goofy voice] pissed off at her mother. [Theresa laughs.] But she’s doing a great job out there. Yeah! I’m—I’m good with this year being over?

theresa

Yeah.

biz

And I… for those of you who are new to the show, many years ago we decided we were no longer gonna talk about resolutions.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Yeah.

theresa

Done with that!

biz

‘Cause those are dumb and unacceptable and—like—why are we adding extra pressure? [Laughs.] To ourselves when we walk around constantly thinking we have to change something?

theresa

Right!

biz

Most of the things are bullshit anyway.

theresa

Resolving? To do something differently from how you do it? Is like… I mean, like, we can learn stuff? And think about, like—we can be open to trying things? Seeing how they work?

theresa

Theresa: Differently? Biz: Like a new soup! [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Like—like… trying not to cry in front of the laundry! Like, that’s something new I can try!

theresa

You can try it and see how that feels!

theresa

Theresa: And how it goes! Biz: Yeah! But I’m not gonna, like—

biz

—resolve to never cry at the laundry again. Right? Like—fuck that! We resolved to not resolve. Anymore. Instead, we like celebrating our genius and fails. So… whether the past 10 years have brought joy or struggles or a little of both, let’s bid them farewell. And bring ourselves a little luck! As we welcome the new year and next decade with our 4th-Ever Holiday Genius Fail Spectacular, Plus Rants!

music

Orchestral fanfare music.

biz

Theresa, as always—let’s kick this Spectacular off with geniuses. Genius me! [Biz and Theresa affirm each other as they discuss their respective genius moments of the week.]

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!

theresa

Well—I have not been able to train my children— [Biz laughs.] —to do many things, but I do wanna share that I trained them well to do one important thing. Which is to point out cute dogs out in the world. [Biz laughs.] By announcing “cute dog alert!” [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] This delights me to no end, because I do wanna see a cute dog. That’s something I don’t want to miss. But also, they—it’s—I feel that we are now sharing a shared… joy experience together. That I have created for myself and my family.

biz

I love that.

theresa

Thank you.

biz

I really like that!

theresa

Theresa: Thanks. Biz: Good job!

theresa

Thanks, Biz. [Laughs.]

biz

I… have always wanted garland for the holidays. Like, live—

biz

Biz: —garland. Theresa: Is that, like—

biz

That’s like where it’s like made of, y’know, tree debris. [Laughs.]

theresa

Okay. Yeah.

biz

And you like, put it around your fireplace or around the windows or around whatever! And I never get it, ‘cause it seems like some sort of crazy luxury I can’t have.

theresa

Yeah, yeah. It’s an extra.

biz

And I—and—we—I—same with the—even the plastic version feels like a luxury extra. But this year, I decided—I’m gonna put me first! [Theresa laughs.] And I’m gonna get one 25’-long thing of live garland!

theresa

Amazing.

biz

I use “live”—

biz

Biz: —‘Cause it’s not alive anymore— Theresa: Yeah, what does that mean?

biz

—but you know what I mean. It’s from something that was living [though laughter] at one point in time.

theresa

Wait! But just to be clear so I can pic—‘cause like, when I think—

biz

Theresa: —of garland— Biz: It’s not plastic.

theresa

It’s not plastic and it’s not—‘cause I always think of, like, people do like popcorn?

theresa

Theresa: Like, string popcorn? Biz: Yeah, no.

biz

But this—so it—

theresa

This is tree—it’s like, pine needles?

biz

Yeah!

biz

Biz: It’s like, piney… Theresa: And like…

biz

Fir.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Like, pine—

theresa

So it’s like a wreath, but it’s like a thin—

biz

Theresa: —wreath— Biz: Layered out.

theresa

And you hang it, like, around the room.

biz

Yes! That’s close enough. [Theresa laughs.] I—ours is pretty nature-y.

theresa

Oh, okay!

biz

Uh, and so—y’know—I got it. I had a very epic battle with it, trying to size it for the different places I wanted it to go. Lots of things fell. And now it is up around the windows, and it looks like I have a dying forest in my den, and it’s fucking magical.

theresa

Good job.

biz

Thank you! [Laughs.] Now, let’s settle in and bask in some of your geniuses from this year. [Theresa and Biz affirm each other—and the callers—as they listen to and discuss the callers’ genius moments.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! This is Gail calling with either a win or a genius. I’m not sure; just ignore the crying child in the background. But! I had a genius moment today. I had to go get my—my plates renewed on my car? And so—and I had to go pay a ticket, and what I did is after work, I dropped the car off at the safety place. I took an Uber to go pay the ticket. I took an Uber back. By the time I got back, the car was done. I then went to the license bureau and took all my paperwork and got the plates renewed and then went to pick up the baby—he’s now crying—at daycare! [Biz laughs.] And I just felt like a winner and I needed to feel like a winner and yay, genius, maybe. Except for crying child. But genius! [Biz laughs.] So… thanks! I love you all. You’re doing a great job. Bye!

biz

Gail?

theresa

Yeah!

biz

You are a winner!

theresa

Yes.

biz

That was a marathon!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

And you ran it! You did it!

theresa

And you timed it out!

biz

Wooo!

theresa

Y’know?

biz

Yeah! You committed to the multiple, like… changes that had to happen to get from A to—let’s face it—Z. And you did it all!

theresa

Had to have the right stuff with you at each point—

biz

At each point!

theresa

Y’know, and things had to not go wrong or get delayed? Like, I feel like that’s— [Biz laughs.] —there are so many points in this that could have gone off the rails.

biz

Oh, yeah. [Imitating train noise.] Choo-choo! But you kept going! [Theresa laughs.] You are doing a good job!

theresa

Good job.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! I’m calling in with a genius. I have a three-year-old and a two-year-old, so needless to say, dinners are always horrible. At my house. Um, I’m constantly, y’know, I sit between them and I’m fetching them things and I’m cleaning up spills and I’m begging them to eat and I’m, like, spoon-feeding them so they’ll take another bite, and just like… I’m not even eating my own meal, of course, I’m just helping them the whole time. So a few nights ago I decided that I would just—kind of without saying anything or making a big deal of it—just sit in a different spot at the table? So then my husband had to sit— [Biz laughs.] —right in-between the three-year-old and the two-year-old. [Laughs.] And I don’t think anyone really noticed that this was happening? When I did it, it was just nonchalant. But now my husband’s doing most of the fetching and the cleaning up the spills— [Biz laughs.] —and the begging to eat more and the spoon-feeding. [Through laughter] And—and it was really smart of me! [Biz laughs.] To do that! It was such a little thing but it—it made my dinner just a little bit better and gave me some time to take some bites of food that I just cooked! So thanks for your show! I love it! You guys are doing a great job! Bye!

biz

I love this.

theresa

It was really smart of you.

biz

It was really—

biz

Biz: —smart of you! And—and—yeah! Theresa: It was really smart of you! [Laughs.] So good!

biz

You wanna say somehow there was like, manipulation involved in this? But there wasn’t!

theresa

No!

biz

It was such a, like—

theresa

Yeah!

biz

There’s nothing wrong with you changing seats!

theresa

Yeah! It’s just like with the resolutions thing? Like, why not see what happens? I’m curious! What will happen if I sit in this other seat at the table?

biz

And I don’t make a big deal about it. And I don’t say “see what happens when you sit in that seat?’ [Theresa laughs.] Like, you just—let’s see what happens! [Theresa laughs.] Here’s to seeing what happens. Good job!

theresa

Good job!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! This is Kimberly, and I am calling in with a genius. I have a electric toothbrush, and… it is time to change the toothbrush head. So I thought before I did that, I would use my toothbrush to clean the grout in my bathroom! And it worked very well. And then I was thinking, I need to share this with somebody! But who am I gonna share it with that would care? So I thought I will call the One Bad Mother hotline and share it with you guys— [Biz laughs.] —because you guys will care. Thank you! And you guys are doing a great job.

biz

We will care. We care a lot. [Theresa laughs.] I have to tell you that, like, when I listen to the calls—

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

So many are now just, like, “I have no one to tell.” [Theresa laughs.] “Please keep my secret safe!” Right? Like, because it’s all just bull—like, so much of it is things like—hey, I used my old toothbrush head to clean the grout! Like, that—yeah! Alright! I can understand wanting to share that and—

theresa

Not knowing who to call up.

biz

Who you gonna call? [Theresa laughs.] Ghostbusters! I gotta tell ya—you’re doing a great job! [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

Yeah! You are!

biz

You kiss your mother with that mouth? [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Love it!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, guys! My name is Sarah. I live in New Orleans and I’m calling with a genius. Um, and I’m proud because I have a 20-month-old son and this is the first time I’ve felt I had a real genius moment. So. The day after Thanksgiving, my husband had to go to work but I had the day off, and my kid didn’t get daycare that day, either, so he and I were at home all day. After the full, exhausting weekend. So I drop my husband off at work and I had the kid in the car with me, and I was so tired I just—I like—the idea of getting home with him and not being able to just sleep—needing to, like, play and wash and feed and do all of that stuff. So… he fell asleep in the car. So when we got back home, I just left the car on in our driveway; rolled the seat next to me down; crawled over into the passenger seat; and slept while my baby slept! I could see his foot in the—in the sleeper chair, and he slept and I slept. And I got, like, an hour of sleep! And when he woke up, we went back in the house! So anyway. That’s my genius. So I’m doing a really good job and you guys are also always doing a really good job. Thank you so much for the show. Alright. Bye.

biz

You are doing a good job!

theresa

Yeah. That’s really, really good.

biz

Yeah! I mean, you didn’t get on your phone. You didn’t, like, try and do work. You slept! Yeah!

theresa

It’s so good!

biz

It’s really good. Good job!

theresa

Good job.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Oh, my God. I think I have a genius. I’m so excited. [Biz laughs.] I have a genius! And, um, actually it’s my daughter’s idea. So. We’ve been having a power struggle since she started school with popsicles and wanting to have them all the time. They’re just sugar popsicles. And my daughter decided that… she—she remembered that we have these old, um, IKEA popsicle molds? And she suggested filling them with water and freezing them. And now she gets hydrated and has ice popsicles any time she wants and I don’t mind. I’m really excited. Thank you for the show. You’re doing a great job. Bye.

biz

Yeah!

theresa

You should be excited!

biz

Yeah! I love this!

theresa

It’s great!

biz

Yeah! Why didn’t we ever think about just putting fucking water in those things?

theresa

They’re still fun!

biz

They’re still fun, and hydrating!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

You are doing a great job.

theresa

I love that your kid—by the way—can just get one whenever she wants. Like, that’s like so freeing for both of you!

biz

Yes.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

[Falsetto singing] Freedom!!!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey, Theresa! Hey, Biz! I don’t know if this is a genius or just kind of a mom brag, but I know no one really gives a shit— [Biz laughs.] —so I’m giving you guys a call. Just wanna say I totally fucking nailed it at work today. It was just me. I was on top of things. Doing a really good job. I decided I’m gonna be a nice mom today! I stopped by the grocery store. I bought my son some ice cream sandwiches. [Biz laughs.] I caught him in—in the front yard when I got home. Gave him one. He totally said thank you and was so happy that I did that for him, and now him and his friend are going to the volleyball game. And I’m gonna go smoke a joint in the garage! [Biz laughs.] My husband is totally on duty tonight. I don’t have to work tomorrow. So I’m just gonna have a relaxing evening and I’m just killing it! So thank you guys. You guys are doing a great job and I love the show.

biz

It’s like you guys have figured out why the hotline is there.

theresa

Yeah. [Biz laughs.] Seriously. It’s so good!

biz

[Through laughter] It’s so good! You’re doing—and also, like, I’m always like waiting for a, like, and the baby. The—this kid’s going—this is, like, a kid old enough to go to a volleyball game with his buddy! I love this?

theresa

I love it so much.

biz

I… love this.

theresa

Good job!

biz

Yes!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, uh, this is a genius! So, um, it’s a few days before Christmas and I just was inspired by the idea of getting stuff out of our house before more stuff comes into our house. So I was making a trip to the local resale place, where they buy back, y’know, kid’s stuff. [Deep breath.] So that’s a genius in itself. But I’m looking under the Christmas tree at our wrapped presents, and under there were a couple of presents that I had wrapped from a relative who… does not have children. Does not see our children very much. And usually sends gifts that are very nice but not really age-appropriate? [Biz laughs.] And so—for example, there were like, ABC alphabet magnets for our almost-eight-year-old? Which— [Biz laughs.] —are very nice. But again, like… kinda meant for a younger kid? She got a set of new paints. Very nice. But I didn’t really want them. Um. I wrapped them and I was like, eh, this is fine, whatever. She got them a lot of things, and they’re getting a lot of things! That’s why I’m getting stuff out of our house. Anyway, I unwrapped them when my family was out of the house. I unwrapped those unwanted gifts. I put them in the pile of stuff I was taking to the resale shop, and now they’re gone! And I got a small amount of money for them—but I got [though laughter] money for them. And I just feel like I am happy that I did that and… before my—my kids will never know. That they don’t have alphabet blocks. Anyway. Oh— [Biz laughs.] —and I was able to, uh, get something for myself ‘cause I happened to be the size of a 26-year-old sweatshirt-wearing person, I guess. So I did that, too, while I was out. Anyway. [Biz laughs.] Okay. That’s it. Thank you. [Laughs.] Bye.

biz

You are a clever little elf! [Theresa laughs.] You are a clever little elf! Good job!

theresa

Yeah. Seriously good job.

biz

Yeah. No. That—like—I think that actually takes some guts?

theresa

It does.

biz

And I, like, really tip my hat to you.

theresa

You took control of the situation!

biz

You did!

theresa

It’s your house!

biz

Yeah! That’s right!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

You—you are the house!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Good job.

theresa

Good job.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] This is a genius. We decided to have Christmas early. [Biz laughs.] Two weeks early, in fact. We are not religious, so the day doesn’t matter. We already did Christmas with both sides of the family. And… my son got a new Switch and I was tired of hearing him beg and talk and plead for it, so I just said, you know what? Let’s do it early. [Biz laughs.] And the kids are so excited, and it was a great day. And we did something different. You guys are doing a great job. [Biz laughs.] Thank you for the show.

biz

You are also a clever little elf! [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

This is another type of elving!

biz

Right?

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Yeah!

theresa

I really like it!

biz

Yeah!

theresa

Also, then you kinda get to relax on the days off?

biz

Yeah! Like, it just—why not?

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Like, legitimately. Why not?

theresa

Yeah.

biz

I love it.

theresa

Yeah, it’s great!

biz

Good job!

theresa

Good job.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! I’m pretty sure that this is a genius, and, y’know, even if it isn’t I kind of feel like a genius. So there’s that. In any case, my daughter just, uh, yesterday morning woke up with two spider bites on her legs. She’s not verbal yet. She’s almost turning two, so she can’t really describe how or when this spider bit her. So my husband and I stripped her bed. We’re looking all over the place. Can’t find this stupid—ugh! Bug. So after I washed everything, I’m putting everything back onto her mattress, and I just so happen to look up at her teether fabric. There’s, uh, a type of folded fabric that you can place— [Biz laughs.] —over the sides of the banisters, ‘cause her crib is one of those, uh, conversion cribs to toddler beds. And I thought—that would be a good spot for that spider to be— [Biz laughs.] —hanging out. So I undid it, and there he was! Oh boy! I smashed that guy so hard— [Biz laughs.] —and so fast he didn’t see what was coming. So I don’t know. I kinda had that mama bear instinct kick in and I just took him out as fast as I possible could. [Laughs.] I don’t know if there are people out there that are yelling at me because I killed a spider, but at the same time—he bit my daughter! So I’m pretty ticked off at him. So, uh, I don’t know! I felt it was a genius. In any case, uh, I’m pretty happy with myself and, uh, everybody’s doing a great job. I love your show. Talk to you later! Buh-bye!

biz

Oh! [Theresa laughs.] The great spider-killer! I—I love you.

theresa

I love you, too.

biz

So much!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Way to defend your child! [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah. And also, way to think like a spider.

biz

Yeah!

theresa

Mm-hm.

biz

That’s right!

theresa

I also like how most of the time you hear people refer to spiders as she? But you turned the tables here!

biz

Oh, yeah!

theresa

That was a male spider. [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] Attacking your child.

biz

[Through laughter] That’s right! [Laughs.] Oh. [Sighs.] You’re doing a great job.

theresa

Theresa: And thank you for calling and sharing that with us. Biz: Oh, yes, please! Thank you! [Laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! This is a genius rant. I have a pair of underwear that constantly fall down in my pants. And it’s— [Biz laughs.] —super frustrating. Uh, so I just took them off and put on a new pair and I remembered to throw the old pair away. So. Happy fucking Friday to me. [Biz laughs.] Thanks so much. Buh-bye. [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

[Through laughter] Oh my gosh. Oh my God! [Biz laughs.]

biz

I love you too. I love—I—

theresa

This is—

biz

—love our listeners.

theresa

—really, really great.

biz

So much!

theresa

I really needed this today.

biz

I know, right? We all know what you’re talking about. Everybody’s got a pair of those, where you’re like, ahh! Why do I even still have these? [Theresa laughs.] You… are like a light. [Theresa laughs.] Like a beacon for all of us to move towards in our darkest moments. You are doing a great— [Laughs.] Job! I just wanna get trapped on a bus with all these people.

theresa

Me, too.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! I am calling with a genius. Well, it’s actually a series of geniuses that have really offset a series of fails. I dunno. Are they really fails when it’s like the universe failing you? [Biz laughs.] But anyway. So this is what my week has looked like. My oldest was in the ER on Sunday with a very high fever. She has strep. She’s three years old. She has strep throat. That’s incredibly rare. Um, two days later I pos—tested positive for strep. And now my youngest—my nine-month-old—has a double ear infection! I have been managing antibiotics. I have been getting to work on time. [Laughs.] I have been getting them to daycare. Oh! And by the way, it dumped about a foot of snow on my hometown? And that has been driving 30 minutes in this foot of snow in a lot of unplowed gravel roads because my mom lives out in the country who watches them— [Biz laughs.] —and that’s been a whole adventure in and of itself. But I’ve managed it! On top of that, I have a fundraiser coming up on Saturday that I am a host of, and it’s gonna go great. On top of that, I have a play that I am directing next week, and it is going great! I haven’t missed a single rehearsal! I have managed antibiotics! I have comforted my sick babies! I have tried to take care of myself being sick as well! And… it’s just been a lot. [Baby coos.] And I’m really proud of myself. You can hear my nine-month-old in the back talking as well. He’s been happy. And I just needed to hear that I was doing a great job. ‘Cause I’m really proud of myself. And nobody cares. Thanks. Bye.

biz

You are doing a great job!

theresa

That’s amazing!

biz

That is amazing!

theresa

That’s a lot of stuff.

biz

Boom, boom, boom!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

And you did it!

theresa

And it’s true that no one cares. Like, ‘cause it just seems… like… for someone who doesn’t know, they’re just like, yeah, you’re working. Your kids are sick. Yeah. It’s winter. Y’know?

biz

Biz: Yeah, but like— Theresa: And you—

theresa

When you look at what all the stuff you’re actually doing in a day and in charge of?

biz

Yeah! You—you—yeah!

theresa

It’s amazing!

biz

It really is!

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Guys! You’re doing a good job!

theresa

You’re like running a small country!

biz

You—yeah! You’re doing a great—better.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

You’re doing a great job.

theresa

Yeah.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! I am calling in with a genius that turned into a fail that turned back into a genius moment. So for Halloween I was going to take my 18-month-old to a nursing home so that he could go trick-or-treating, visit with the elderly people, and I called ahead. Showed up on Halloween, and it was two days earlier. So— [Biz laughs.] —we ended up just visiting with three of the residents and hanging out with some cute little costumes. And so that was my failure. But it turns out that they have an aviary there, and my son is obsessed with birds! So now on Saturdays, we have a lunch date planned with the three elderly strangers to go see the birds! Thanks so much, you guys, and happy Halloween, and… great job!

biz

You are really nice person!

theresa

Yeah. That’s awesome.

biz

You are doing a great job!

theresa

Good job! That’s so great.

biz

Yeah! It—ugh. Just multiple—you are doing. Yeah. You are doing such a great job. I really find that very inspiring. [Deep breath.] And now let’s wrap up with one last genius. Of 2019.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! I’m calling with a genius. I was at a holiday party tonight where another mom asked me if I was having on—planning on having any more kids, to which I gave her the honest answer that, no, I wasn’t because of the three miscarriages I had in-between my two children. And I felt really bad just ‘cause I could tell it made her a little uncomfortable that I overshared. But as I’m going to bed tonight, I realized that it is a genius, because not only was I telling the truth? But I did my little part to… try and take away the stigma of miscarriages being something we don’t talk about. Because they happen! To a lot of us. And… it’s nothing we should try to hide. Anyways, uh… hope you guys have fun at all your holiday parties out there. [Biz laughs.] You’re doing a great job, and tonight I did a good job, too. Thanks for the show. Bye.

biz

You… are doing a great job.

theresa

Yeah. You seriously are. It’s such a genius.

biz

Yeah! No, it really is! And way to—the genius is… coming back to that later?

theresa

Yeah.

biz

And saying, no, no, no! That actually was okay to do!

theresa

Yeah! It’s okay that she was uncomfortable. That’s okay!

biz

We’re trying to make it so people aren’t uncomfortable in the long run.

theresa

Right!

biz

And it is your story to tell.

theresa

And if she feels comfortable enough asking— [Biz laughs.] —you something so personal as whether you will have more children?

biz

Yeah.

theresa

Y’know, if—we should all be prepared— [Biz laughs.] —for—

biz

Biz: Honest— Theresa: —information—

theresa

—like the information that you shared. This is all one and the same. These are not… these are not different things!

biz

No. Yes!

theresa

So… yeah.

biz

And I also kind of love the idea of us all— [Theresa laughs.] —going out to our holiday parties we may have to go to and just getting ready to be super— [Theresa laughs.]

theresa

[Through laughter] Open. [Laughs.]

biz

—open about everything. You are doing a great job. Everybody is doing so great!

theresa

Everybody is doing such a good job right now.

biz

We should just end there. No! [Theresa laughs.] That wouldn’t be any fun! [Laughs.] So we’ll be back in just a bit. To celebrate our failures on the 4th-Ever Holiday Genius Fail Spectacular—plus rants!

music

Orchestral fanfare music.

promo

Music: Upbeat, sci-fi sounding music plays. Dan McCoy: Hey! I’m Dan McCoy. Stuart Wellington: I’m Stuart Wellington. Elliott Kalan: And I’m Elliott Kalan. Together, we are The Flop House. Dan: A podcast where we watch a bad movie and then talk about it! Elliott: Movies like—Space Hobos! Into the Outer Reaches of the Unknown and the Things That we Don’t Know: The Movie, and also—Who’s That Grandma? Stuart: Zazzle-Zippers! Breakdown 2 and Backhanded Compliment. Dan: Elvis is a Policeman! Elliott: Baby Crocodile and the Happy Twins! Dan: Leftover Potatoes? Stuart: Station Wagon 3. Elliott: Herbie Goes to Hell. Dan: New episodes available every other Saturday! Elliott: Available at MaximumFun.org or wherever you get your podcasts. Dan, Elliott, and Stuart: [In unison[ Byeee!

biz

Welcome back! To the 4th-Ever Holiday Genius Fail Spectacular, Plus Rants!

music

Orchestral fanfare music.

biz

It is time for failures. Fail me, Theresa! [Biz and Theresa regularly affirm each other as they discuss their respective weekly failures.]

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!

theresa

Okay. So… the moral of the story is— [Biz laughs.] —just, like, one of the hardest things I find about parenting is like being ready to set boundaries at all times? Like, with my boundary-pushing kids, who like… they’re really good at that. And I am like, so chill sometimes? That like it catches me off guard and I let something slide and then I’m like, oh no! I can’t let things slide! Slippery slope thing! [Biz laughs.] And then I have to, like, backtrack. And so this thing happened last weekend which was that I took my kids to this place in Southern California—Descanso Gardens—which I know you’ve been to, Biz, and it’s basically just like a big open, like, estate with like tons of gardens and you can walk around and there’s just like stuff for them to, like, climb on and look at and smell and whatever.

biz

Yeah!

theresa

And so Grace really didn’t wanna go. And she always has fun when we go? But she was like, [petulant voice] there’s no way I’m going. I’m not gonna go. Like, uhuhuh— [Biz laughs.] —nothing you can say will make me go. Blah blah blah. Y’know, like that whole thing? And I’m just like, well—I did what I do, which is… this is what we’re doing today. You can either walk to the car on your own and be helpful or I can pick you up and put you in the car— [Biz laughs.] —and you won’t have any privileges for the rest of the day. Like—

biz

Choices. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah! Choices! Um… so somehow she ended up taking some of her, like, allowance change with her? And I was like, that’s fine. She can—whatever. And she’s like, always wanting to go to the gift shop. And I—I never go to the gift shop because that’s opening a door. And we go to this place a lot. So I don’t wanna be, like, buying stuff when we go there! So she—she goes off to go to the store and I’m like, okay. I guess she can go to the store. Like, whatever makes this, like, functional for her. ‘Cause she really didn’t wanna go. She finds candy in the store. Like, candy canes, basically. Really cheap candy canes. And I’m like—okay. Fine. And she’s like, I’m gonna get one for Oscar, too, and I’m like, that’s really nice and thoughtful! Like, you also have another sibling. He’s probably gonna want one too. She’s like, okay, and she picks one out for Curtis. So she buys the three things and she’s really—she does a great job and then we come out and then immediately she wants to eat them. And I’m like—ugh! This is all, like, one of those things where she’s taking me down this path and I feel like I’m just, like, along for the ride. And I’m like, when do I like slam on the brakes? I don’t wanna deal with a meltdown, I just wanna have a nice day as [though laughter] Descanso Gardens. [Biz laughs.] So I’m like, you can have them, but not right now. Like, we’re not gonna—we just got here. We’re not gonna, like, sit down and eat candy. We’re gonna, like, walk around. And… so she’s like, okay. So she’s carrying them and she’s asking about them, like, multiple times. And I… it was just one of those things where I just didn’t have it in me to, like, figure out when would be the time to have it? I just felt like I’d know it when I saw it? [Biz laughs.]

theresa

You know what I mean? But like—

biz

Did you see it? [Laughs.]

theresa

But that doesn’t—that doesn’t work for her! ‘Cause if she doesn’t know exactly when she’s gonna have it, she’s just gonna keep asking. So ultimately, like, probably… half an hour in, she asks me again for, like, probably the tenth time. And I’m just like, okay. Fine. ‘Cause I’m thinking, y’know, we can have it while we walk around this, like, lake thing. Whatever. Well, she immediately drops hers in the dirt.

biz

Oh. [Long pause.] Ah—

theresa

And that was the moment where I was just like… yeah. See? Like, none of this should’ve even happened. Like… I should’ve just said no way back about even just going into the gift shop. Y’know what I mean? Like, it was like—

biz

I know.

theresa

So it’s like I have to relearn that lesson? Constantly? And now I’ll have it. I’ll have it under control again [though laughter] for like a few weeks?

biz

Yeah.

theresa

Until I start calming down and loosening [though laughter] my grip a little bit?

biz

Ugh.

theresa

And—you know what I mean?

biz

No! It’s—I hate that place. ‘Cause that place is also loaded—not Descanso, but the mental place— [Theresa laughs.] —of setting boundaries. Of like—I get into that, like, guilt beat-up of, like, I should be looser! [Laughs.] And then—

theresa

Yeah! Like, sure! They can have candy! What’s the big deal! Yeah!

biz

And then it never—spiral, spiral.

theresa

Yes.

biz

Wow. You’re doing a horrible job.

theresa

I know.

biz

Setting boundaries for yourself— [Theresa laughs.] —and your children.

theresa

Yes. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Uh, band-aids. Pretty sure we should do a whole show on band-aids?

theresa

Yep.

biz

Can’t believe we haven’t.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

But Ellis recently had his flu shot, and that went real bad. Uh, and… they put a band-aid on. And to be honest, the band-aid is what I think hurts more later? Like, ‘cause it’s keeping your skin kind of pinched? Right? Like—kids always feel better when the band-aid’s gone? Not even sure why the band-aid’s there. But… apparently, when Ellis was younger, I used to just take that band-aid right on off. And he was always fine. Clearly, at some point, I pulled the band-aid off and it wasn’t okay. So this time, uh, he was like, absolutely not. And there was—did I share this story?

theresa

No, I’m just—

theresa

Theresa: It’s so familiar to me? Like—no. You definitely didn’t. Yeah. Biz: Oh. Okay, but I am trying to remember—yeah. So—okay.

biz

So the day one, band-aid’s not coming off. Day two, in the bathtub, we’re like soaking it with a washcloth. That’s not doing anything for this band-aid. Day three, I know this band-aid has to come off, because of the fail from Katy Belle when she was very little, and I was like [high-pitched voice] she likes her band-aid! It’s so cute! [Regular voice] And I left it on too long and there was a rash underneath it.

biz

Theresa: It can get really nasty under there. Yeah. Biz: It can get bad!

biz

So… like, day three we’re like, Ellis, we really have to just—let’s just keep getting it wet and he’s like—flip—you can’t even get close to him.

theresa

Right.

biz

He’s like a wild animal.

theresa

Yes.

biz

I’m like, sleep without a shirt on! Maybe it’ll come off! And it’s—it’s getting there!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Stefan’s like, let’s put lotion! And like—there’s like a lotion—to see if that would loosen it, but it’s not. And so, like, day four— [Theresa laughs.] —it’s just, like… flopping. But he won’t let us take that tiny bit off. It’s so gross. Of course it eventually just fall—I’m like, why isn’t it summer where we could just get in the pool and it would immediately come off and be disgusting. It just… finally came off.

theresa

Okay.

biz

But like, I was like… is this gonna be… [Theresa sighs.] Forever? With the band-aids? Like… I wanna just—I almost—I even said to Katy Belle, give you a dollar if you just— [Theresa laughs.] [Through laughter] —rip it off. She was like, really?

biz

Theresa: [Through laughter] Oh my God! That’s amazing. Biz: And I was like—no, don’t do that.

biz

But that is like, what my father would’ve done. He woulda been like, hey, Michelle, give you a dollar if you go [though laughter] rip it off! [Laughs.] I didn’t do it, but wow. Fucking band-aids.

theresa

Fucking band-aids.

biz

Well… I’m ready to feel better. [Both laugh.] By listening to all of your failures. [Biz and Theresa affirm each other—and the callers—as they listen to and discuss the callers’ respective failures.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! This is a fail. I have one kid in cloth diapers and one kid in disposables. But we only have one diaper bin. We usually just throw the cloth diapers in the diaper bin and set the disposables on top until we throw them in the trash. And I—without fail—every single time, somebody else comes over and watches my kid, they throw a disposable in with the cloth diapers. And this is my fail because I never check before I throw it in the laundry, and I keep washing the goddamn disposable diapers. [Biz laughs.] So my washer is full of that weird gel and every time I’m like, oh, I need to remember to tell the sitter not to put the disposables in there. Or even put a freaking sign on top of it that says don’t put the disposables in there! And I just keep forgetting. I should probably go do it right now because I just washed another disposable diaper! And I just had to clean out my entire washer and it’s so ridiculous and it’s happened so many times. I really should do something about it. Okay. Well, you guys are doing a good job. Better than me! Thank you!

biz

Ten to one you didn’t go do anything about it. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] Honey! The stove is hot! Don’t touch the—like—this—I love this. Because you just keep doing it!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Like, none of the things you listed there were: get another trash bin. Just— [Through laughter] Just put the diapers—you’re just gonna live in this hell you’ve created. And I—I see you.

theresa

We are so used to solving problems by—by putting more mental load on ourselves. Like, I just need to remember—

biz

Theresa: —to tell— Biz: Yeah. If I could just—

theresa

‘Cause it seems easy to just take more—more—more on? Like, take more responsibility on?

biz

Yeah! It’s just five more minutes of your precious time.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Yeah. Or you could deal with it later— [Theresa laughs.] —and… ‘til no one’s wearing diapers anymore!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

You’re doing… a horrible job!

theresa

Theresa: Yayyy! Biz: Not taking on—

biz

—more responsibility! [Both laugh.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! This is a—kinda gross fail? So I have two kids, a four-year-old and a nine-month-old, and the nine-month-old had a checkup today. Just his regular nine-month checkup. That becomes important later. So he had his— [Biz laughs.] —flu shot and, y’know, all his checks and everything turned out fine. Okay, good. Later in the day it was time to make dinner so I was kind of, like, in and out of the playroom with the kids so I was in the kitchen I put my nine-month-old in his playpen so that he didn’t, like, interfere with whatever the four-year-old was doing. And then I, like, take him out of the playpen. Brought him back in the playroom. We’re playing on the floor. Everyone’s having fun. [Biz laughs.] He’s laying down. He smiles, and I see something… in his mouth. And I just assumed it was, like, one of the 7,000 sheets of paper that’s on my floor? From my four-year-old, who likes to color and just leave it wherever. [Biz laughs.] Go in to pull it out—guys? It was the band-aid. It was the band-aid that was on his leg from the flu shot. And… it was—I just—that was a big—big fail for me. That’s really gross. I let my kid eat a band-aid. So yeah! I suck. Bye.

biz

Yeah, you let your kid— [Theresa laughs.] —you let that kid—

theresa

Technically, he didn’t eat it.

biz

Yeah.

theresa

Technically he just sucked on it—

biz

Theresa: —for a real long time. [Laughs.] Biz: And kinda chewed.

biz

Good job, kid, not swallowing that thing! That—I—y’know, maybe he’s double­-vaccinated now? Because—

theresa

I think so. That’s what happens.

biz

He took it orally? Yeah! That—it was on the spot where—yeah. I’m just gonna embrace what you said—which is wrong, by the way—but I’m gonna embrace it and say [goofy voice] you let that child— [Laughs.] Eat a band-aid! How could you even let your baby be in the world? [Both laugh.] Exposed to so many things! Ahhh! Also, shoutout to all the people who got flu shots. There were a lot of calls? And I just hear the words—”and then the flu shot. Hey, I took my kids to get the—” Like, I—so good job. ‘Cause I fucking hate flu shots. But I got one. And everybody got one. So good job.

theresa

Good job.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] I have a fail. Happy holidays! My kids have a—their holiday concert tonight, and, um, it’s in an hour and a half. And I just realized that neither of my children—my ten-year-old or my eight-year-old—have any pants that are not blue jeans? And we just got a note home that said specifically no blue jeans. So I don’t know— [Biz laughs.] —what I’m sending my sons in. Um, I’ve—I dunno. [Laughs.] I’ve—failing. Oh, they do have other pants besides blue jeans. They have sweatpants. So—or pajama pants. [Biz and Theresa laugh.] So maybe that—they—those would be appropriate? I—I dunno. So I’m gonna have the kids at the Christmas concert in blue jeans because I have failed to realize my children—I don’t know—dress like bums all of the time. Alright. [Biz laughs.] You guys are doing a great job. Thanks.

biz

Biz: Now, who’s got nice pants sitting around? Theresa: No! No. No.

biz

Your kid’s going in blue jeans, along with a lot of other kids.

theresa

And the—I—I’m so against schools telling you what to dress your kids in for anything.

biz

Yeah! This is—okay.

theresa

Biz: So—my kids— Theresa: It’s not okay!

biz

My kids also just had the thing? Like, the holiday thing? And like… Ellis’s class, they were like… we would love it if—like, they wear all white. And I’m like, oh honey, we ain’t got all white.

biz

Theresa: Yeah! You’d love it, but that won’t happen. But thanks for letting us know what you’d love! [Laughs.] Biz: And she’s like—but—yeah, it won’t happen! Yeah!

biz

Yeah! My kid’s gonna wear whatever he decides he’s wearing. Right? So like… this is definitely what—I—I—we all have to get to a place where that email coming back saying “My kid needs to”—look, there are lots of times I’ve been able to meet the requirements of the holiday or the—

biz

Biz: —whatever show. Theresa: I try!

biz

Yeah! ‘Cause I have it! But if I don’t? No more. No more… beating myself up about that.

theresa

Yes.

biz

They’re kids. They wear jeans and sweatpants.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

That said—you’re doing a horrible job because I bet that email came out long before the day before your concert.

theresa

Mm-hm. [Biz laughs.]

biz

You just read it. So you’re doing a horrible, horrible job. [Laughs.] I’m sure the holiday concert was ruined. [Theresa laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! Um, this is a fail. Uh, my kid’s in Girl Scouts, and I am about that Girl Scout life, and… one of the things I signed her up for is the Powderpuff Derby. We’re going to do a Pinewood Derby car. [Biz laughs.] And, uh, still need to get the supplies for that. Failing at that. But—I was trying to figure out when I could do, like… literally anything for my birthday? And… I realized that like I’m going out of town for a Powderpuff Derby? [Biz laughs.] On my birthday weekend, so my fail is I literally forgot my own birthday. Thanks! You’re doing a great job. Buh-bye.

biz

Oh, yeah.

theresa

I can see this.

biz

I’ve done it. I’ve done it!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

You—yeah!

theresa

‘Cause you’re not thinking about that when you’re—

biz

Scheduling.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

You’re just—because your birthday’s not already on the calendar. So when you’re looking at the calendar and scheduling things, or when somebody says—for me it’s always the, like, my birthday’s on the 13th and so people will be like, hey, there’s a thing happening. It’s the 12th to the 14th. And I’ll think of the 12th through the 14th but I’ll never think about there being a thing in the middle? And, uh, yeah! So you definitely suck.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Uh, especially in the self-care department. Maybe you can etch onto the Powderpuff Derby car that you make, “Mama Lives! Happy Birthday, Mama!”

theresa

“I am a self.”

biz

I am a self! “’I Am A Self’ is coming around the corner! ‘I Am A Self’ is—through the finish line! ‘I Am A Self’ wins the Powderpuff Derby!”

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! This is a fail. I handmade a birthday card for my sister-in-law. Um, her birthday is not ‘til December, but they live on the other side of the world so we have to send them their package pretty early for it to get there. And so I handmade this beautiful card. It turned out so nice. And brought it home so everybody could sign it. And… when I wasn’t looking, my six-year-old drew a line all the way across a part of the card that I had so carefully constructed earlier in the day. And… I yelled. [Biz laughs.] Just a little yell. But I may have yelled at my six-year-old for drawing on a birthday card for her aunt. So that was definitely a fail. And I made her cry! So she was just… she’s freshly home from school and just kind of in that emotional headspace. So I made her cry for coloring on a birthday card for her aunt. [Biz laughs.] Definitely a fail for me. You guys are doing a great job. Thanks.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Way to stifle your child’s creativity! [Theresa laughs.] “Only mama can draw! Only I can draw!”

theresa

She will never pick up a pencil again. [Biz laughs.]

biz

She will only buy cards and continue to feed the machine of consumerism! Yeah. No. I’ve been there.

theresa

Yeah, me too.

biz

It’s bad. It’s—I mean, it’s not the worst thing, but it ain’t the best.

theresa

It happens.

biz

Sure. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, guys! I’m calling. I’ve never called before. I’ve been listening to your show for a long time, but I’m calling with—I think it’s a fail, but maybe it’s a genius. I’m not sure. My son had a—I have three boys. My oldest son is a freshman in high school, and he had a band concert tonight. And I read a month ago the band uniform for the concerts, that little description, and in my head I read “white tuxedo shirt, black bow tie, black pants.” So we pull up today a little bit early, even, I’m thinking, oh! We’re doing a great job! We’re even a little bit—15 minutes earlier than he needed to get to the band concert! And all the kids are walking in in tuxedo coats. So my son is wearing a white shirt. Everyone else is wearing black coats. [Sighs.] Anyway. So we jump back in the car and I’m like, where are we gonna get a black tuxedo coat in 15 minutes? And I thought—there’s a Goodwill just a couple blocks away! So we drive to the Goodwill. We race into the Goodwill. We find a black coat. And guess what? I don’t have my wallet. So I call my husband— [Biz laughs.] —who races down with my wallet. We buy him a black coat. We get him to the band concert and we’re here on time. So—well—close to on time. We’re on time, close enough. [Biz laughs.] So anyway, I’m counting that a win. Because my kid is here. He’s not dressed that nicely—I know his coat does not exactly match his pants—but he’s here and he has the right clothes on and he’s gonna play in band. So… we’re doing a great job and so are you. Thank you.

biz

You’re doing a bad job. [Theresa laughs.] Yes—yes. This came out okay? But like… this is one of those things where, like, I’ve had these fails where I’m like, I know… it’s all fine. But by the time I would’ve sat down at that band concert? My arms would’ve been crossed and I would still be like on adrenalin, like… anger. Right? Like, ‘cause it’s the—it’s the not having the wallet at the Goodwill that, to me, is the turning point in… now this has become, like, so much you have to fucking do. Right? Like… and… then your husband has to, like—like—there’s so much… going on here? That if you had just read the email—there’s some person out there who wrote the email who saw you walk in and is like, if you had just read the fucking email. Right? Like the— [Laughs.] As the writer of all emails, I’m like, well, ya shoulda read the email better. [Laughs.]

theresa

I mean, I feel like it’s a genius in that… you… fixed it. You totally fixed it. And it was totally okay and you made it. I think the fail is really just in how hard it was— [Biz laughs.] —for you! Like, how much extra work this was for you. For yourself.

biz

So. You’re doing… a horrible job! Taking care of yourself. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yup.

biz

Well, let’s… wind up on one… last… fail.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! I’m calling with a fail. Uh, long-time listener, first-time caller. Isn’t that a thing? [Biz laughs.] Um, I was just calling ‘cause today, um, was my third kiddo’s four-month appointment? At the doctor? And it was something that I had been, um, y’know, like mentally preparing the logistics for for days? Uh, because we had to walk my oldest to junior kindergarten, which starts at, like, eight. We get home by, like, 8:20 from our walk. And then feed my second kid breakfast and nurse the baby before getting in the car to drive 25 minutes to get to the appointment. I had clean clothes and I made sure that he would have the first appointment of the day so that there weren’t any delays at the pediatrician’s office, so that we would be able to get him to the appointment, get him his vaccines, have time to, like, calm him down and nurse him before driving across the city back to pick my daughter up from junior kindergarten at 10:55, which is the dumbest time in the world for a junior kindergarten to get over. She’s there for like a hot second and it’s in the middle of every plan that we ever need to make. [Biz laughs.] Anyways, I’ve been, like, doing the mental logistics of this for days and prepping my two-year-old to be a big helper for the whole process and he was wonderful and we get there and we get there on time and it—like—that in and of itself was a victory and I had a backup plan for if something happened and we got delayed at the pediatrician and couldn’t make it back and then somebody else could pick up my daughter. And the appointment was yesterday. And it was yesterday in the calendar and it was yesterday in, um, like the 10 text message reminders and email reminders from the pediatrician, and it was yesterday when I called. It was yesterday when he actually turned four months old, and everything that I have says yesterday but somehow I got it in my head that it was on Tuesday and so I’ve been preparing for Tuesday and I missed it.

caller

And now I get to do it all over tomorrow. Except for after junior kindergarten pickup with all three kids, so just like adding to the chaos. And my whole week has now been taken up by this pediatrician appointment because yesterday was all mental prep and like physical prep and today was dry run, I guess. And tomorrow will be the actual appointment and then I have to go back to work on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and I’m lucky enough to only work three days a week, but, y’know, I’m also unlucky enough that I have to be back at work three days a week when I just wanna be home snuggling my babies and not giving all of my time and attention to a doctor’s appointment that I couldn’t go to on the right day. So anyway. [Sighs.] You’re doing a great job. I… could use some work. [Laughs.] Today. Thanks.

biz

Wow.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

I’m really… sorry.

theresa

Me, too.

biz

I know this place. I… went home on a wrong weekend for a high school reunion once. [Theresa laughs.] Like, I mean, I flew from New York to Alabama and I just cried and cried while eating bacon and tomato sandwich at my parents’ table, and then I got back on a plane and just went home. So I get the horror and frustration of, like, you did so much work! I wanna, like, give a shoutout to the, like, allowing time from the time the baby gets the shot to, like, nursing and calming the baby down before driving to get—because that is a window that we sometimes forget.

theresa

And somebody might need a diaper—like, if you had your other kid there, too, like, somebody might need to go potty or have a diaper change or have a snack or might need something, or. Yeah.

biz

They’re not adults where, like, you go to the doctor. You get in the car. You drive off. There’s always like a recovery time. And that in itself is a fail that I would forget all the time. [Deep breath.] There is just… [sighs.] It just feels like a punch in the gut when you realize… it was yest—like, I feel like it being yesterday versus the next day? ‘Cause you’ve missed it.

theresa

Right.

biz

‘Cause now you have to reschedule it.

theresa

You have to do it again. Yeah.

biz

I am—I am sorry.

theresa

I also want to… appreciate you for sharing all the mental juggling and the time spent figuring shit out? Because I feel like that’s something that I spend way more of my time and energy doing right now than I ever, like, expected I would? And it’s so exhausting? Especially, like… I feel like there is this expectation that like once your kids are in school there’s like more time or more, like, a little more freedom or a little more independence, and I feel like when you have—I don’t know what it’s like when you have one kid in that situation. When you have multiple kids and one or two or three have, like, very defined drop-off and pickup times? That makes your life hard/stressful in a whole new way. Like, fitting stuff in to those weird times? And like accounting for driving and traffic and, like, 10:55! Like, it’s just such a perfect example of like—

biz

Bullshit.

theresa

It’s just so—like, everything is like that! like, there’s no wiggle room! [Biz laughs.] It’s so hard! And like, ki—it’s so, like, contrary to the way kids operate and families operate.

biz

Yeah!

theresa

To have, like, an exact minute that—

theresa

Theresa: —you’re supposed to be there. Biz: That you have to be there.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Well… we’re all doing a horrible job.

theresa

We sure are!

biz

Yay! 2019—go to hell. [Both laugh.]

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

Music: Upbeat, fun music. Lisa Hanawalt: Hey, if you like your podcasts to be focused and well-researched, and your podcast hosts to be uncharismatic, unhorny strangers who have no interest in horses, then this is not the podcast for you. Emily Heller: Yeah, and what's your deal? [Lisa laughs.]  I'm Emily. Lisa: I'm Lisa. Emily: Our show's called Baby Geniuses! Lisa: And its hosts are horny adult idiots. We discover weird Wikipedia pages every episode. Emily: We discuss institutional misogyny! Lisa: We ask each other the dumbest questions, and our listeners won't stop sending us pictures of their butts. Emily: We haven't asked them to stop! But they also aren't stopping. Lisa: Join us on Baby Geniuses. Emily: Every other week on MaximumFun.org. [Music ends.]

biz

We’re back! For the 4th-Ever Holiday Genius Fail Spectacular, Plus Rants!

music

Orchestral fanfare music.

biz

It is now time for rants.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey! This is a rant. But it’s also just like a statement of fact. [Biz laughs.] That I got home and my dog—who has like a lot of health problems—just like flooded our kitchen with pee? Which happens like every day. And also, like, eight million ants? Like, took up residence in the garbage in our kitchen? And also, my toddler pooped on the floor. But it all happened within the first 20 minutes of me getting home. On a night when I’m solo parenting and it’s all cleaned up now, but I’m like… at what point does washing my hands just become irrelevant? Because they’re just gonna get— [Biz laughs.] —somebody’s bodily fluids or some… creature or insect spray or something on them. [Sighs.] So… it’s all good. I voted. Um, you guys are doing a great job. [Biz laughs.] Thank you for listening. Bye.

theresa

Good job voting!

biz

Good job voting!

theresa

That’s so important.

biz

It is incredibly important.

theresa

Can we vote in the next election—can we vote for a second set of hands— [Biz laughs.] —that we can all have that is for gross stuff? The gross stuff hands? And then the regular stuff hands.

biz

Theresa: That would be helpful. Biz: That’s what I made you—

biz

That’s what I got the older kid for! [Theresa laughs.] Get over there and grab that disgusting thing! [Laughs.] Wow. I just… there’s not much to say, other than you’re doing a great job. I really like that you emphasized this is the first 20 minutes that I’m home. This is… real.

theresa

Yes.

biz

And… I just, like… see you.

theresa

Yeah. I do.

biz

You’re doing… a really good job.

theresa

You are.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, guys! Merry Christmas! I’ve got a dad rant. As I wait for my bus, um, at 11PM at night. I’m going home to bag up all of our clothes and wash all of our beddings and prepare for bedbug spraying on Christmas Eve. Because we went to see Frozen and brought bedbugs home. My wife is the only one who’s actually exhibiting symptoms? Which is a thing—I’ve looked it up—but she thinks she’s crazy because no one else sees them. And none of the cats caught them. But they’re going to spray anyway. And they picked Christmas Eve to do it. I had to cancel my son’s Minecraft Club and break his heart because this is the first time he’s ever invited anyone over to our house and it was such a great idea, but I don’t want them getting bedbugs, too. And he was doing so well, and he was so happy and this is breaking it for him. He’s starting ADHD meds this week and he’s just starting to learn how to take pills, which is a half-hour fight every day. Today was the first time he got it in one go and I was so proud of him, but… it’s just—it’s not his fault! And he thinks that it’s his fault. He thinks he’s broken. He thinks he’s bad. And our house sucks. And my wife thinks she’s crazy. And I don’t know what to do. It’s Jesus’s birthday and we can’t be in the house. [Sighs.] And I don’t know what we’re going to be doing for Christmas. I… told my manager all of this and he shot me down from using the casual sick day—we’re allowed 12 of them a year but because I’m not actually sick I’m just gonna go unpaid, and, y’know, lose a couple hundred bucks because I have to… do everything to get our house ready for bedbugs. I’m so fucking done with this here, guys. I hope next year’s better.

biz

Wow. That’s a lot.

theresa

Yeah.

biz

That’s a lot!

theresa

It is.

biz

First off—somebody gonna get coal in their stocking, Mr Boss—

theresa

Manager.

biz

Manager!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Wow!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

Wow.

theresa

I told my kids that the naughty list doesn’t exist? But now I’m starting to rethink that.

biz

Yeah. It’s really for adults. [Laughs.]

theresa

Yeah. [Laughs.]

biz

It’s not for children. Yeah. So much is happening in this… you’re doing—you’re doing a remarkable job dealing with this!

theresa

Yeah.

biz

This is a lot. No one wants Christmas Eve to be the day somebody comes and sprays for bedbugs!

theresa

No.

biz

And all your shit’s all packed up? I—like… I’m a really… sorry.

theresa

I am, too.

biz

Theresa: That’s so rough. Biz: ‘Cause we forget—

biz

I gotta tell you. We forget that shit still happens during the holidays.

theresa

Like, regular, terrible shit.

biz

Regular—I have friends who, like… have to physically move. Like, the day after Christmas. Right? Which means they’re packing! Right? Like, people get sick. People get hurt. People, y’know—you have bedbugs! You have, like—

theresa

My heater broke!

biz

The heater broke!

theresa

Yeah! Just weird shit.

biz

Always is happening. And it’s not like you get a day off for the holidays and I just think you’re doing a good job trying to manage all this? And the stress of trying to get kids to take medicine of any kind? I for sure have been there. It is incredibly stressful. It’s incredibly stressful. And you’re doing a good job helping your child through that. [Deep breath.] You’re doing a really, really good job.

theresa

I’m sorry that you had to cancel the Minecraft Club.

biz

Me, too.

theresa

That sounds really sweet. I’m sure that that will—that part will be okay.

biz

Yeah. You’re doing a good job.

theresa

Yeah, you are.

biz

Let’s have… one more rant. For the year 2019.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! This is a rant. I just… 2019 has been just… the hardest year of my entire life. Um, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Had to do chemotherapy. She had a double mastectomy. My second daughter was born and she’s a healthy, beautiful, wonderful baby girl. But she’s a baby. And we moved to a different state when she was nine days old, and I have a two-and-a-half-year old who is wonderful, brilliant, and exceedingly extraordinary— [Biz laughs.] —but she is so much right now. She’s just so much right now. And my husband works 70 hours a week, and we’re in a new place where we have no family. And we have some friends, but it’s not—it’s not the same. And we— [Through tears] just found out that my dad—my dad’s getting a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow and he might be really sick. And I just… I just don’t know how to do all this stuff without my dad. He’s such a great grandpa and I just… I don’t wanna lose him. I’m not ready. And… we just… my sister just got married a few weeks ago. I mean, it just has been the biggest rollercoaster of a year and I just really need help and I just feel like to keep yelling at my daughter because she’s so much right now. And… she’s two. But we have a newborn. And there’s so much else going on right now and I just… I feel like… I just don’t know how to do all this. And I think I just need to hear I’m doing a good job. So thank you.

biz

You’re doing a really good job.

theresa

Such a good job.

biz

The things that you shared are—each one of them—huge. They’re huge things! Any one of those things makes it feel like it’s too much. And what we’re not acknowledging is all the stuff that you just have to do because there’re kids in your house, or you’re a person in the world. And… it’s—yeah! I—you absolutely… feel like you don’t know how you’re supposed to do anything. There’s so much emotional stress on you right now. Up and down. Just because it’s a happy thing like a wedding doesn’t mean that that does not bring with it emotional stress! [Laughs.] Right? You’ve got two very young children in your house. Two-and-a-half is not fun! It is not—I mean, look. There’s moments where we’re like, yayyy! I’m so glad you’re here. But that does not negate— [Laughs.]

theresa

They’re just so much work.

biz

They’re— [Laughs.]

theresa

So much work.

biz

They’re everywhere! Like—

theresa

They’re work around the clock.

biz

Around the clock! And a baby.

theresa

And a baby.

biz

Of course you’re yelling! Of course you’re yelling. Do not beat yourself up for yelling. Do not beat yourself up for feeling like it’s too much! It is too much! It is flat-out too much! And I am… really sorry that this year has brought so many of these different things that… that… that are sad. I—I am. We—again—still need to remember that, like, when sad things are happening that… we are allowed to be… people who are sad. Even though we have kids in our house. It’s probably one of those times where we feel the most, like, separated from “I am a self?” ‘Cause you’re trying to protect your kids. You’re trying to provide an emotional safety zone. But that’s impossible? [Laughs.] It’s impossible. So… y’know, we see you? And we hear you. And… you really are doing an amazing job. You are.

theresa

You are.

biz

A remarkable job.

theresa

Yes.

biz

And… to all of our calls… fuck you, 2019! [Theresa laughs.] ‘K? Theresa?

theresa

Yes?

biz

What did we learn today? We learned— [Theresa laughs.] —out with the old and in with the new!

theresa

I’m ready.

biz

I’m— [breaks off, laughing.] How’s your—how’s your year been, Theresa? [Laughs.] Guys? It’s been a year.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

And it’s been a decade.

theresa

Yeah, it has.

biz

And we’re gonna keep having years. [Laughs.] [Theresa laughs.] And decades. And they’re gonna bring stuff with them. [Theresa laughs.] But everybody is doing a good job. You get to be happy and you get to be angry and you get to be sad and you get to be disappointed. You are entitled to all those feelings. And… you are entitled to love having, uh, kids in your house? And you are entitled to really not always enjoy it. What did I—I think I texted Theresa, uh, the other day and I said… I wish I, like, had the house to myself, like, for multiple days. I need, like, multiple days away from my family. And you responded back, “Yes!” Like—and I think—but you responded back—you were like, “I need, like, three days completely by myself. And then, like, two days with my partner. Then we’ll [though laughter] welcome back the children.”

theresa

Maybe one at a time.

biz

One at a time!

theresa

Maybe one kid at a time. [Laughs.]

biz

Stagger ‘em in! Stagger ‘em in. Right? Like, you don’t wanna take all the vitamins at once! [Theresa laughs.] You gotta stagger ‘em out! Right? Some of those are horse pills! Hard to swallow. I think… it’s okay!

theresa

Theresa: Yeah. It’s okay. Biz: It’s okay.

biz

And like we kinda said at the beginning, it’s like… let’s try something new! That’s not, like, that doesn’t require a lot of effort and we don’t have to like—like that woman who just sat in a different spot.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

You don’t have to be the one who sits there!

theresa

Yeah! And it doesn’t always have to work out! Like—you could try sitting there and be like, I don’t like it over here. It’s annoying. [Biz laughs.] And you could move back. Or—or move one of your other kids. I mean, like—

biz

Move it around, guys. Let’s let the year 2020 be the year that we move it around.

theresa

Yeah!

biz

Keep it moving. Moving it around.

theresa

Just real loosey-goosey in 2020. [Biz laughs.]

biz

Except for fucking candy. Can’t have any of that. [Both laugh.] Loosey-goosey, guys! You’re all doing… a great job.

theresa

Yeah, you are.

biz

Keep using the hotline.

theresa

Yep.

biz

It is there for you.

theresa

Yes.

biz

To use. 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.

biz

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 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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