TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 365: The Second Ever Pandemic Genius Spectacular Plus Fails and Rants

We are still here. So let’s feel a little better by listening to the second ever Pandemic Genius Spectacular plus Fails and Rants!

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 365

Transcript

biz ellis

Hi. I’m Biz.

theresa thorn

And I’m Theresa.

biz

Due to the pandemic, we bring you One Bad Mother straight from our homes—including such interruptions as: children! Animal noises! And more! So let’s all get a little closer while we have to be so far apart. And remember—we are doing a good job.

music

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

biz

This week on One Bad Mother—it’s the Second Ever Pandemic Genius Spectacular… Plus Fails and Rants! Woooo! [Singing] Bo do do do bo boo! [Regular voice] Who woulda thought we would be having a second Pandemic Genius Spectacular? Maybe I did. How about—who would’ve hoped we would have not been having another one of these? I must say, though, that as we settle in to the pandemic—are we settled yet? Is four months enough time to be settling in? No? I’m not either. I did wanna include some fails and rants because… why not? I needed to hear them. [Laughs.] Before we get into the Second Ever Pandemic Genius Spectacular Plus Fails and Rants, I wanted to—once again—say what an amazing job you’re doing. Recently Theresa and I were talking offline and… the word “witness” was coming up. And… it made me think about when we say that we see you and we see each other, during times like this is really is about witnessing. I am witnessing what you are going through and doing. And… I am willing to hold some of that space for you and… I—I just feel like… that that’s just so important for us to do right now. My brain goes to the long-term effects of something like this pandemic. All the time. I worry about the socialization of our children. I worry about… cliques with… how people learn and grouping and bubbles and I—I worry about… how we continue to fight something like the systematic racism in our country when we are suddenly isolating very much by ourselves. And… with that said, I wanna say a little soapbox-y stand of—that this is absolutely the time to stand up to fear. We cannot let fear guide us right now. It is time to seek out more inclusivity. Seek it out. Get books in your house. Make sure that kids are doing programs with other kids online that are diverse. Seek this out. Okay? Believe in science. Be kind. And this is definitely time to extend grace to yourself? And to remember you have already done a good job. We are four—over four months into this. It’s like that first time you get on the airplane with a baby. [Laughs.] And you’re like, how are we gonna get through this flight with a baby? I’m completely not gonna be able to do it. Or the first time—if you are in a partnered relationship—that you’ve got the child or the children by yourself for even two nights. “I’m never gonna be able to do this.” And then you get out on the other side and you’re like, “I did it!” Doesn’t mean you enjoyed doing it, but you did it! And that—[Laughs.] That’s like where we are right now. We need to acknowledge we have been doing it. So good job.

biz

It is also still the MaxFunDrive. The laid-back, lazy river MaxFunDrive of 2020. One Bad Mother is funded by listener support. We are able to pay for the Hotline; our website; recording equipment; and—most importantly—[singing] Hannah! [Regular voice] Our producer. Listener support also pays our salary. So when you support the show, the money that we get is used to pay us for doing this job. We also use that money to pay for all the workings of One Bad Mother. No one else is paying for the Hotline. No one else is paying for the—that’s us! Okay? As always, we thank you for allowing us to make the show. Thank you for everyone who has already become a member. We know it’s a hard time. But if you wanna upgrade your membership or join, please go to MaximumFun.org/join. And speaking… of hotlines. I’d like us to all sit back… and relax. And enjoy the Second Ever Pandemic Genius Spectacular Plus Fails and Rants. [Laughs.]

music

Triumphant symphonic music.

biz

Hannah? We’re back. For the Second Ever Pandemic Genius Spectacular Plus Fails and Rants. And it’s time for… geniuses.

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

biz

I’ll start. [Laughs.] I’ll go first, before we listen to you guys. Here’s my genius: the submarine. ‘K? On Monday of this week, Ellis announced he wanted to build a submarine out of cardboard. And I—I just went with it for a couple of reasons. One, I like making things out of cardboard. Two, he seemed incredibly, like, grounded in what this meant. Like, it wasn’t gonna go underwater. It didn’t need to have a top. Like, it didn’t need to be a working submarine. ‘K? Uh, also—side genius—Stefan and I had had some conversations recently where I just… spoke to him again about what I need. And… y’know, I wish I lived in a world where I didn’t have to keep asking? But you know what? Actually, that’s a really realistic world because our world is changing so fast. And sometimes we do need to remind the people in our lives what we need. And so Stefan has really been stepping up, which allowed me to be really present! And every single day, Ellis has wanted to add something to the submarine. They’ve all been his ideas. Like, quite literally we’ve got gauges that—that literally can move thanks to brads! That, like, show you oxygen levels or fuel levels or… y’know, we’ve got an electrical box he wanted to build? Where, like… there are wires, which is yarn, inside a small box that connect with brands and—oh! [Through laughter] One of the electrical units is broken! WE need more power! It’s been… so fun and so relaxing and I am not submarining at anybody. We have a shit-ton of boxes laying around after the IKEA explosion that happened for Katy Belle. And it was so much fun. There’s a picture of the submarine on Instagram right now because I Bopped It in the submarine. So you can go check it out there. And now… let’s listen to you be amazing!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! I’m calling with a genius. First of all, when my almost-four-year-old asked me to get mozzarella sticks—she calls them “monsterella” sticks—at Trader Joe’s, I got them. Which is great. And then I cooked them, which is great. And then because there were ten of them, that divides into three for everybody and one stick is left in the kitchen for myself. And I ate it while I was cleaning the kitchen and it was my “momarella” stick and I feel really happy about it, even though it was just really inadequately reheated for fried cheese. But it was something for me. That I didn’t have to tell anybody about ‘cause I did all the cooking. [Biz laughs.] And then I did all the cleaning! But I got my mozzarella stick.

biz

Madam? You deserve that reheated fried mozzarella stick. Nothing says “parenting award”— [Laughs.] Better than a shitty mozzarella stick you didn’t tell anybody in your family about. As far as they know—until they’re 20 or 21 or 40 and they’re on their own, doing their own shopping—they might only then realize there were 10 mozzarella sticks in the box. You are doing an amazing job and really setting the bar for this show. [Laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] [Sing-song voice] Hey, One Bad Mother! I am calling with a genius! I’m so excited! [Regular voice] So. [Biz laughs.] My husband likes to leave little electronic odds and ends around the house. I can’t even tell you what they are because I have no idea. They’re just little… things. That go to electronic things. And none of them have a place. They’re just—they’re on bookshelves. They’re on desks. They’re in cups. They’re just—they’re everywhere. So I got a little fed up with it a few months ago and I took a little plastic bin and I just filled it with all the odds and ends around the house, and I put it under our bed. [Biz laughs.] And I told my husband if he was every looking for anything—like one of those little odds and ends—it’s in the box under the bed. That’s where it is. You can find it there. Stop leaving them around. Well. [Biz laughs.] I was doing some cleaning just now. Found a few more odds and ends. I went to go put them in the box and when I pulled the box out from under the bed, it was empty. My husband hated the box under the bed idea so much that he put the things away. They are not scattered through the house! I have not seen them. I don’t know where he put them. [Biz laughs.] But he found a place for them where he knows where they are. [Pitch rises significantly] And I feel like such a motherfucking genius! [Biz laughs.] Because it worked! He—he did it! [Sighs.] This could be a fail because I had to trick my husband into cleaning but I don’t even care! It feels like a genius. So here we are. You guys are doing a great job. And dammit, so am I.

biz

You are a genius. If it was gonna fall into any other category, it would fall into the… Genius Fail Passive-Aggressive Move Spectacular, which we’ve never done. I love this? I also titled this clip “My Husband Doesn’t Like The Box Under the Bed,” which I also think sounds like an amazing horror story. I love—I love— [Laughs.] I love this. I love this so much. You are doing… [Laughs.] Such a good job.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi. I’m calling with a genius. And that is that I leave the Tyl—the big jar of Tylenol on the kitchen counter now. I used to leave it in our medicine cabinet in our upstairs bathroom. Which you’d think would make sense, but one day I brought the—the container down to the kitchen and I was just standing there, watching my four-year-old and 18-month-old and realized my back was hurting and I didn’t have to go anywhere else ‘cause I spend most of my time in the kitchen. It just makes sense! [Biz laughs.] So I think I’m just gonna leave it there. The kitchen counter is the new medicine cabinet for mommy. Thanks! You’re all doing a great job.

biz

You are doing a good job. Your genius—and the previous genius of hiding the partner’s electronic things—odds and ends—bobbles, as it were, under the bed—this really embraces the theme of this year. Which is—try something different. You tried something different! You left the Tylenol in the kitchen and it has made your life so much easier. You are… a genius! FYI, I keep mine in the cabinet with the glasses in the kitchen. [Laughs.] You are a genius!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, I’m calling with a genius. It’s been hard getting my kids to drink water. My husband’s always saying that they need to be hydrated. They need to drink water. Which they don’t like ‘cause most kids want juice or seltzer or anything besides water. So we have these Brita… water bottles that filter. And they’re kind of see-through. What I decided this week was I thought, “Hey. They sell all those water bottles for adults with little timelines kind of as a guide to get you to drink your water.” So I took a Sharpie marker. I drew some black lines on the water bottle. And now I give them goals. By the end of breakfast, you need to be done with your first line. By the time we get to lunch, you need to be at your fourth line. And this has been working for a week now. I’ve actually gotten them to drink two bottles of water a day. So that’s my genius. Everyone’s doing a great job. Have a great day!

biz

I just wanna be at a cocktail party with you where you share that genius? And in normal circumstances, people would just probably back away and go somewhere else? But I, on the other hand, would not only high-five you and think that was the best thing I’d ever heard; I would call people over to listen to you retell that story. Because you are… a genius! And that is so helpful! That is such a good idea! You are doing such a good job!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! I am calling with a genius! My kindergartener got it in her head that she absolutely needed some, like, LOL Surprise crap toys. And so she tried to sell me some of her artwork for the low, low price of $100 a sheet of paper. [Biz laughs.] And I wasn’t having it. So what we decided to do is have an art auction for her. So she busied herself making—probably 25 pieces of artwork? My husband and I invited our large family and some friends to a Zoom art auction. And that kid—every the entrepreneur—made $300 on her artwork that night. And it was a really fun night, and she’s going to split that money between charity and probably some junk toys. But she had a great time and we all had a great time! And we’re doing a great job! And so are you! Bye!

biz

I feel like, hands-down, you just won the Genius Spectacular. [Laughs.] I cannot tell you the number of times my children try to sell me things for really not even close to the value of what they are. [Laughs.] And we all know my opinion on children’s art. That is… really worth nothing. [Laughs.] Like, no. I got—I’m not gonna buy your art! I’ve got drawers full of it under the bed! Alright? But… you are—that is such a genius—genius idea! I am—aack! It is so good! You are doing… an amazing [through laughter] job. God, that’s good.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi! This is a genius. We were driving home from a road trip and had a grumpy kid in the car and about 4:30—almost getting close to dinnertime—so we stopped when we were almost home and told our three-and-a-half-year-old that we were having ice cream for dinner. It made his whole day. He was so excited about it. He ate his entire ice cream cone and was covered [through laughter] from head to toe in chocolate ice cream, but he was very happy. And then we came home. We took a bath. And we had a bedtime snack like we always have. We had cheese and spinach quesadillas and peaches and he ate that happily as a “bedtime snack” rather than as a dinner and he thinks he got ice cream for dinner. And he is very happy and it made the rest of the road trip much more doable. Everyone is doing a great job. Thanks.

biz

Ice cream for dinner. The pandemic story. [Laughs.] That is so smart! You are so smart! You are… a genius! Ice cream… for dinner. It works at all ages, by the way? This is not just something that impresses three-year-olds. If you were to turn to anybody on a road trip—or really any time during the day—and say, “We’re gonna have ice cream for dinner.” Everybody’s mood changes immediately. And it—you’re right! You can then do the snack! You can trick them with food later before bed. You—you are doing… such an amazing— [Laughs.] Job? I… I love this.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! I am calling with a genius. I am solo parenting my six-year-old and we have been home together during this pandemic for months and months. And today was just one of those days that was really hard. Everything just felt hard and even my daughter was saying things like, “This day is just so messed up.” But then tonight, around, like, 5:00, a big thunderstorm started? And I realized… that it looked like nighttime. Like, late at night already. Because of the—the storm. So I convinced her at 6:30 that it was time for bed. And it worked. And I feel like a fucking genius. I’m a genius! It’s 8:00 and I’m going to bed. Thank you! Bye.

biz

How many times have we proved the theory that lying to your children about bedtime is completely worth it? [Laughs.] You are doing such a good job! I do this! I—like, when Stefan used to travel and they—I had both kids by myself? Oh, you better believe they were going to bed like an hour before t [through laughter] hey would have normally gone to bed. Yes, use that darkness. Use that thunderstorm. I—and you know what the double genius is here? You went to bed at 8:00. That is really taking good care of yourself? [Laughs.] You’re doing such a good job. Let’s hear it for lies.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! I’m calling with a genius. My six-year-old lost another tooth tonight. His bedroom is a complete and utter disaster, but I knew that trying to convince him to clean it for the Tooth Fairy was not gonna work. So instead, I told him that if the Tooth Fairy had to go all the way to his bed to, like, look under his pillow after trying to navigate his messy room, she probably wouldn’t be able to find his tooth. So. He would have to tape a baggie to the side of his bed with the tooth in it. It’s a double genius because I am really terrible— [Biz laughs.] —at playing the Tooth Fairy. It’s something that their dad always did. And since we split that’s on my shoulders now. So— [Laughs.] I just made it easier for me to swap out the baggie with a tooth in it with a baggie for money without waking up my kid. Yay, me! I’m a genius. I’m doing a great job, and so are you. Thanks for the Hotline! Bye!

biz

You… are doing such a good job! There’re—there are really multiple levels to this that are so successful? That making the Tooth Fairy narrative work for you? Now that’s the real genius. I love this so much. I also love just accepting the fact that you know your kid well enough to know you can’t pull the old “I tried to come and give you money but your room was too messy!” Right? Now that does work for some kids and it is a genius. But parent—know they child. [Laughs.] I mean, like, you know. You gotta make it work for you. You did a good job. Now… let’s listen to one last genius before Steve, my cat, tears apart my cardboard studio fort. [Laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa! I have an accidental genius. Last week after I finished listening to your episode, my iTunes randomly started playing a episode right in the beginning of when the COVID quarantine stuff had happened. And I ended up listening to the whole thing because it really brought me back to… just… that time and made me realize how much I’ve accomplished and done? I think one of you even said at one point, “They’re thinking about closing the schools. Having the kids home for two weeks seems impossible.” And it—it was impossible? But we all did it? And I think we can all relate to that. When all this first started I was seven months pregnant. So I had—I was super pregnant, taking care of my two-year-old out of daycare while working from home. And then I gave birth. And then after my husband’s paternity leave—which was only two weeks—I was still taking care of my two-year-old with a newborn who was exclusively breastfed and not able to go anywhere. So I would highly recommend—for anyone, including you guys—to take a trip down memory lane [through laughter] with one of those old episodes and really pat yourselves on the back for how much you’ve done. Because it was impossible, but we did it and we’re still doing it. So you’re doing a great job and I’m doing a great job and… everybody wear your mask. Bye.

biz

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! I am so glad that you called. You are what inspired me to say many of the things I said at the beginning of the show and I really wanted to end the Genius portion of this show with your call. Because… we—we don’t always… take the time to reflect. And… like, more than ever before, I think… we should be doing that right now. I—it—it was a shitshow. We are still here. Look at us. Hello. And—and we’re gonna be walking into another shitshow. We’ve all got tickets— [Laughs.] To Shitshow Two. Okay? But I think we should feel really good that we did it! Like, this is all—this is the epitome of geniuses! Right? Like… you can’t go to a cocktail party and say, “Oh, during the pandemic I had to stay home with my kids and balance work and life and babies and—eh.” No one wants to hear it. It doesn’t sound like it’s that big a deal, but it is a big deal! And you have done it! And you are doing an amazing job! You’re doing an amazing job for calling and reminding us? And everybody, you are doing… such a good job. Even your fails are wonderful. And we’ll be back… to listen to some of those.

music

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

biz

Alright, guys. Before we get into Fails—like I said—MaxFunDrive: the lazy river. Let’s talk Hotline. Again—I pay for that Hotline and it is my pleasure. When you support the show, I am using that money to pay for the Hotline. As of today, we have more calls in the month of June than we have had new or upgrading members. And… if the hotline or the show has become a lifeline for you, please consider if this is the year you can support. Thank you so much. And I look forward to more of your calls. Especially calls like Fails!

clip

[Dramatic orchestral music plays in the background.] Theresa: [In a voice akin to the Wicked Witch of the West] Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Timpani with foot pedal engaged for humorous effect.] Biz: [Calmly] You suck! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective failures of the week.]

biz

Here, let me share a fail. Okay. I may have mentioned on the show at some point in time that we recently busted out my original set of jacks. They are metal jacks with a ball and you go, One Zs, Two Zs, Three Zs, Ten Zs! Right? Somewhere around my early 20s or mid-20s, apparently jacks were deemed terrible unsafe. [Laughs.] ’K? And I kept mine. And now they have, like, gigantic plastic jacks? I don’t even know how you’re supposed to fucking pick up all those jacks that are the size of the bouncy ball itself. I have been thrilled that Katy Belle has been enjoying playing with them. I have said from the beginning of the jacks’ emergence from my desk, “You know why they banned these? Probably because kids were choking on ‘em so don’t eat a jack. And also, they’re worse than a fucking Lego to step on. So just like—you gotta make sure you’re always cleaning up your jacks.” Months—two months, three months—have gone by. We’ve been playing jacks. And last weekend, Katy Belle stepped… on a jack. She plays with them on the porch. And she stepped on it with her heel and… she had let out a noise and by the time we had gotten outside to her, she had pulled the jack out—which had gone, like, so far in it had been acting like a cork! So when she pulled it out, it started, like, really bleeding. Y’know, we got it to stop. And it hurt for like three days. It was like a bruise. Y’know? It was— [Laughs.] That thing was stuck inside her foot. It did lead to an experiment in which I said, “Go take the hydrogen peroxide and see if you can figure out which jack is the one that got stuck in your foot.” [Laughs.] ’Cause it reacts to blood. They couldn’t figure that out. So… who knows? We’re just playing with a bloody jack. I also went to check our immunizations and thank god she’d had her tetanus shot. She was still up to date on that. [Laughs.] But… metal jacks. Lesson learned! I am doing a horrible job. No! Let’s listen to you make me feel better.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey, One Bad Mother! This is a fail. Today my 18-month-old daughter looks up at the smoke alarm, pointed to it, and said, “Beep, beep, beep!” Very excitedly. She knows the smoke alarm makes that noise because I have burned dinner so many times recently. [Biz laughs.] I don’t really feel like I’m doing a great job! [Laughs.] Thanks, guys. Love your show. You’re doing a great job!

biz

Wow. I love this fail. [Laughs.] I love… that… you’ve set off the smoke alarm so many times that it’s now just almost a delight for your child. [Laughs.] It’s all about the, “Beep, beep, beep! Look at that!” Well, you’re doing a horrible job. Probably trying to do too many things at once. How dare you? What makes you think you can do a million things at once? [Laughs.] Well, I hope you’ve proven to yourself that you can’t. Takeout forever! You are doing… a horrible, [through laughter] horrible job. Next? [Laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey, Biz and Theresa. This is a fail. So I— [Biz laughs.] —have my underwear on backwards today. Because this morning, while I was getting dressed, I was trying to put my underwear on under my towel while also entertaining my six-year-old with a hand puppet character calls Socklas J. Puppet. With a really high-pitched voice, who’s really entertaining. [Biz laughs.] Which I made a joke with three days ago and now… my six-year-odl wants to talk to no one but Socklas J. Puppet. And so… showering? And getting dressed? While trying to also stay in character as a hand puppet? [Biz laughs and applauds.] And do hand puppet motions? And put your underwear on correctly… is apparently not a high probability activity. 50/50. And I got the wrong 50. So now I’m at work. I’m moderately less comfortable, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

biz

Oh, man. Wow. That… is amazing. It is. I—I do think… we don’t need to do a study any further than—than the one that you did! It is very difficult to put on underwear while simultaneously entertaining a six-year-old with a sock puppet. That— [Laughs.] That’s… so amazing. And, uh, I look forward to now imagining every person I see with children out in the world with their underwear on backwards. ‘Cause it’s not like you’re the only one. You’re doing a horrible job putting on your underwear! [Laughs.] Just being a person. God! [Laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, guys! This is a fail. We’re—I don’t know—four-and-a-half months into being at home with no daycare. And… my two-and-a-half-year-old is very inconsistent in whether or not she naps while we are doing this whole weird daycare-and-working-from-home thing. And it makes me kind of irrationally grumpy when I try to put her to bed and she doesn’t fall asleep and—as the only person in the household who can get her to nap—if I lose the chance then it is a no-nap day. And… many of you probably know what that means for a two-and-a-half-year-old. But sometimes I can just put a show on her tablet and she’ll at least rest for a little while. But today she convinced me that she really wanted a game on her tablet. And the fail is that I believed her! [Biz laughs.] And thought she really might occupy herself with a game on her tablet for more than three minutes before wanting help or wanting a different game or getting stuck somehow. And… so I left her with the tablet with a game, and went to try to put her six-month-old sister to sleep. And I hear her screaming for me from the other room while putting her sister to sleep. Her sister basically falls asleep and then two-and-a-half-year-old comes into the room to tell me, “You didn’t come! You were right. I wanted a video. Not a game.” So… I suck for believing her ‘cause I should know better after doing this for four-and-a-half months. But at least I got the six-month-old to sleep by taking her on a walk in 100-degree humid DC-area heat. So… that’s something. With ten minutes to spare before I go lead a work meeting that I’m unprepared for. So. [Biz laughs.] Thanks for this hotline and the show. You’re all doing a great job. Bye.

biz

I feel like… 2020, like, just… everything about it does not provide a lot of support for… knowing better. [Laughs.] That like—knowing better is just an expression or a self-judgment. We should just kiss goodbye. Because how can we know better when we have no time to think about anything? Everything is happening all at once. And I—that’s impossible! It is impossible. And I cannot tell you the number of times I have been fooled with the tablet or the TV. Or even now, with a videogame. The, like, “I got it!” Okay, good. I can go use the bathroom or do a work call or… put groceries away or turn my underwear around. A number of things that I would like to do that—with the moment I begin—it is a call to action… from my children. You’re doing a horrible job, A, believing your children. B? I dunno. Technology. Sure. Why not. [Laughs.] C? Trying to also have a job and be a person. Wow! We all really need to rethink our lives, everybody! [Laughs.] We’re doing a horrible job!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, Biz and Theresa. I have a fail for you. Or, rather, a series of fails. Yesterday just wasn’t my day. I had to take my— [Biz laughs.] —four-month-old baby down to the hospital for a routine appointment, and I got all the way there and—as I’m pulling into the parkade—I kinda thought, y’know, I remember buckling her into her car seat, but I don’t remember tightening the straps. And sure enough, when I parked and looked, she was—the straps were just loose and—loose enough to pretty much be useless. So fail one. And then fail two was that I went to pull out her stroller to walk her into the hospital—‘cause the parkade is across the street—and realized I had forgotten that we’d taken off an essential piece of the stroller to fit the stroller in my husband’s car over the weekend so I could not use the stroller ‘cause that piece wasn’t there. And then later that night, when I got home, I tried to set my baby up in her high chair so that I could get some cooking done. Make dinner. And I put her in the chair and I was trying to get the tray on and I realized that she was sitting in kind of a funny position, so I went to try and get her sitting a little bit better and I knocked the tray off and I tried to catch it and I slammed it into the high chair and scared the crap out of her. And had to spend the next while consoling her. [Biz laughs.] And then at the end of the night— [Biz laughs.] I was really hoping—‘cause we’d had, y’know, a day where her schedule’s kinda messed up. She didn’t get as many naps. So I thought, hey, at least you’ll probably get a good nights’ sleep. But then she kept waking up after we put her down and about the second wake-up I realized that I never fed her! I put her to bed [through laughter] without actually feeding her. Uh… so she really slept like crap last night because she was hungry. So that is my series of fails. Um… yesterday I did not do a good job. But you guys are doing a good job and hopefully today I will be, too. Bye.

biz

Ohh, yeah. You are the poster child for… failing as a parent. Wow! That is, like, a series of unfortunate [through laughter] events in the day of a day in your life! I am… it’s remarkable. You win! Congratulations!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey, Biz and Theresa! I have been home nonstop with my two-year-old for four months and I am expecting another baby any day now. And I have a fail! [Laughs.] My daughter is obsessed with bugs and we live in Colorado, so there’s not very many. But lately there’s been ants. And tonight she found some flies! And I was sitting in the patio chair, just relaxing, and she’s playing independently and chasing the flies around. And I’m thinking, wow, this is great! She’s been occupied for 30 minutes! So we go inside and we wash our hands and we get ready for bed. And I go outside to pick up her toys… and what is under all of these flies, but a dead mouse? So not only was my daughter playing independently—which was awesome!—she was doing it next to a dead rodent. So that was my fail. But we’re hanging in there. All you mommers, keep doing what you’re doing! Bye.

biz

[Singing] Then the two of us need look no moooore! [Regular voice] That was a little shoutout to young Michael Jackson and the song and movie Ben, where he befriends a rat. [Laughs.] It’s the only one who understands him, is this rat. Well… congratulations on 30 minutes of uninterrupted time while your two-year-old occupies themselves. Wow. Why do you even have an outdoors near you?

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi. I am calling with a—a fail. An oral hygiene fail for all three of my children! My baby had her annual, like, one year visit this morning. And when they were asking me, y’know, overall how things are going, they asked about her—had she seen a dentist yet. And that’s when I realized that not only has she not seen a dentist? I haven’t brushed her teeth. At all. Ever. In her life. [Biz laughs.] Not only that, I was reminded that her brothers have been sharing a toothbrush because one of them tried to clean the toilet— [Biz laughs.] —with his own toothbrush? So we didn’t have an extra one at the time. I just threw it away and they’ve been sharing a toothbrush for like… a month? And I ordered replacements and like they’re here and I just haven’t busted out the new one. So… [Biz laughs.] Three children. One toothbrush. For at least a month. Not good. Alright. I suck. But you guys rock. Bye-bye.

biz

[Laughs.] Oh my god. I love you. I love you so much. Like, I just… don’t think people appreciate how easy everything you just explained… is to happen. Like, that… maybe I’ve just now had children in my house for a certain number of years, or maybe it’s listening to the calls or doing this show. But I’m like, yeah. Alright. I see that happening at your house. I— [Laughs.] My judgment meter goes nowhere. [Laughs.] It’s completely flat. I’m like, yeah. I can see that happening. [Through laughter] Not having brushed those teeth. Or those kids shared a toothbrush? Yeah! I believe it! Move on! What else ya got?! But because this is a Genius Fail Spectacular, I will tell you that you are doing a horrible job. Dental hygiene is critically important, and hey—there are toothbrushes somewhere in the house!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey, One Bad Mother! This is a fail. We have had our kitchen with a broken dishwasher since the end of February. And at the time we said, “Okay, we’ll do some research. Figure it out. Replace it. Get someone in here. No worries.” And then… y’know, that got postponed for various reasons. And now it is—how many months later? I don’t know. Five? Four? Five? And we finally get on the [inaudible] . We do the Consumer Reports. We get the dishwasher that we want. And we think, “Okay. Do we do this ourselves or do we call someone in here?” And we’re not completely inept at doing home projects. We’ve done a fair bit on our own. But we’re certainly no experts and we are definitely not plumbers. So my dad comes to help out and my husband’s been working from home the whole time with—we have two kids under four. And I’m an essential worker. I’m a primary care provider and I’m doing most of my work in the office but some days remotely at home. And yesterday I was doing business at home and they’re trying to do the dishwasher replacement directly above me where I’m trying to do my visits and so it’s loud. And—but I’m—we’re working through it. It’s fine. And… seven hours later, kids are in bed. Dishes piled all over the place because we had to turn the water off. We’re in the final stages of putting the new one in. Something happens. The whole fucking kitchen floods. [Biz laughs.] And my husband runs out of the house, racing towards the garage, to get the ShopVac. An din the process, breaks out back door. So now we have a broken back door. We have a flooded kitchen to deal with. We have no dishwasher and a kitchen full of dirty dishes! Because we have two kids under four. And at this moment I’m thinking, “Oh my god, why did we not just hire a fucking plumber?” So yeah. This morning I left home to come into work and I’m hoping—really hoping that when I get home, we have a working dishwasher and we didn’t need to pay an exorbitant amount for an emergency plumber to come to our house today. So we’re all doing a great job. Thanks for putting out content! Bye.

biz

Oh, man. I really wanna know what happened after you got home from work. Or if this was one of those situations in which you went out for milk—or work—and just kept on going, Thelma. Just keep going! There—ughh! Everything about this just makes me wanna scream and moan. Yeah. This is a spectacular fail! It absolutely—I also like the fact that your dad came to help? And I’m like wondering at what point your dad was like, “Gotta go!” [Laughs.] And just left you guys. To deal with it. So—oh, you’re doing a [through laughter] horrible job. I’m so—I’m so sorry.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! This is a fail. This morning we were all making breakfast together and my husband dropped a drinking glass and it shattered all over the kitchen floor. And so I immediately stopped chopping up the banana I was preparing for my eight-month-old daughter to help him because his foot was bleeding. Glass was everywhere. And it was a disaster. And then—so I’m hurrying along. I grab the broom. I’m sweeping up. And I look up at my eight-month-old daughter and she had grabbed the knife that I had set right in front of her when I was chopping the banana. So fortunately I managed to get the knife away from her without anyone being stabbed, but what a fucking idiot! Who leaves a knife in front of an eight-month-old? I’m doing a horrible job, but you guys are amazing. Thank you so much. Bye.

biz

Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know who [through laughter] leaves a knife in front of their baby! It’s you! It’s you! It’s me. It’s lots of people. It’s happened. Also—how unripe is that banana? What— [Laughs.] I like the idea that you’re using a full chef knife on the banana? God. Having children in your house is so… fucking hard. [Laughs.] I just—like, who—who is good at this? I mean, besides the, like, highlights that we all have. It is—it is absurd what we’re supposed to constantly be aware of all the time. You are doing a horrible job having glassware in your house and bananas in your house. I think the banana is definitely an omen regarding a year full of sacks of bananas to come. You’re doing a horrible job. Now—let’s listen to one last call and see if it makes all the calls that came before… make you feel better!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Okay. This is a fail. So my son is five. He’s really into maps and world geography. He’s been reading the same, like, 20-year-old children’s atlas this entire pandemic. And I guess my husband thought it would be fun to buy him a new book. Typically I do the library acquisition in our home and I have a discerning eye, but that was really cool. My husband found this book on the internet and thought it looked really neat ‘cause it had infographics. So he gives it to my son at breakfast, and I can tell by the imprint it’s not… typically something we would buy. But don’t really pay much attention. My son likes it. It’s keeping him happy. It’s keeping him busy. It’s about maps. What could go wrong? So my son’s been looking at this book on his own time for two days. Two full days. And he can— [Biz laughs.] —he can read. And he… he’s asked me a couple little questions? Like, he asked me what “invade” meant? And I didn’t… I don’t know what I told him. And then he asked me something about cats and dogs and Miss World and like little questions were coming up and I didn’t—I wasn’t putting much together? We’re busy trying tog et through the pandemic and living life. Anyway. Finally—today—I sat down and really looked at the table of contents of this hardcover map infographic book? Uh, let me just give you a few of the titles of these infographics. So… okay. We’ll start out soft here. “Heavy Metal Bands per 100,000 People.” For some reason. “Countries That Have No McDonald’s.” “Countries With the Most Miss World winners” and it goes up to, uh… “Age of Consent for Heterosexual Sex Across the World.”

biz

Oh my god.

caller

“Male Circumcision Rates Across the World.” [Biz laughs.] “22 Countries the UK Has Not Invaded.” [Biz laughs.] Um… “European Countries that Have Invaded Poland.” [Sighs.] [Biz laughs.]

biz

Wow. That… groan/sigh that you just made really— [Laughs.] Really says it all. That’s amaze—there are definitely two fails here. One, your partner—failing in doing very little research into the book that they got for your son to foster his love of maps. And you—how dare you!—having a life trying to get through things during the day and not meticulously scanning that book before discovering what it really was all about. Wow. Wow. Wow. You are doing… a horrible job. On the upside, your child is going to have so many facts to share when we all go back to school 20 years from now. [Laughs.] You’re doing a horrible job! Hoorayyy! [Singing and clapping] We’re all doing a horrible job just trying to live in the world! La, la, la la la laa! Yay for us! Whew!

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.]

music

Cheerful, laid-back guitar music plays in background.

biz

One Bad Mother is supported in part by KiwiCo. Hey guys! It’s still summer! [Laughs.] After a really weird end-of-schoolyear. I don’t know how you’ve been getting through it, but I will in all honestly tell you that I’ve been using the heck out of KiwiCo. [Laughs.] Because they deliver a science fair or art project-slash-class right to your door. Ellis is currently obsessed. We were just playing with one of his deep sea Kiwi Crates and guess what that inspired? The submarine that we just built on the front porch! That Kiwi Crate is the crate that kept on giving! [Laughs.] KiwiCo is redefining play with hands-on projects that build confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. There’s something for every kid—or kid at heart!—at KiwiCo. Get your first month free on select crates at KiwiCo.com/badmother. That’s K-I-W-I-C-O.com/badmother. [Music ends.]

biz

Alright. We’re back! For the Second Ever Pandemic Genius Spectacular Plus Fails and Rants.

music

Triumphant symphonic music.

biz

So… let’s settle in for the rant portion of today’s show. I—I’ve only actually selected one rant. Because it’s pretty—it’s pretty epic? And I have a feeling many of us are gonna be able to relate to it? So, uh… buckle up!

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mothers! This is a rant. [Tearfully] And probably a breakdown. I’m sure you’re flooded with messages like this right now, but… I’m—I’ve been trying to decide what to do about my kid going back to school. To their preschool. And I’m pregnant. [Sobs.] And I don’t know how I’m gonna have a newborn and two young kids at home at the same time and try to keep them out of my husband’s hair while he works. And not have any help. And I just got back from the pediatrician and they are really strongly recommending that we not send our kids back to school because they’re in a place where [sobs] where COVID is just out of control right now. I mean… I know a lot of people are struggling, but what am I supposed to do? There’s not anyone that I trust to help us out with childcare, so it’s just gonna fall on my shoulders. It’s too much. [Sobs, then sighs.] Thanks for having this hotline. I love your show. It’s— [Laughs.] Truly bringing me a little bit of joy every week and I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.

biz

You are doing… an amazing job. And… you are correct. The Hotline is flooded with calls like this. Because this is an insane situation that we are being put in. With very little help. I… agree and I see you and I witness you. And this decision you have to make. And the… [sighs.] The insanity that is trying to be home with a newborn and two young children. I… it is going to be really hard! That’s—it’s so hard! It’s hard! You’re doing… such a good job. These choices we have to make? God! They are impossible! They are—they are impossible choices. And they’re difficult choices. And they are choices that will have an effect on us and how we feel because they are so hard? I totally understand the fear of… help? I mean, that’s what makes this such a—a weird time. I mean, even… even, like, grandparents. Like, we can’t rely even on family sometimes? Whether out of fear of… hurting them? Our loved ones who are compromised or who are the most susceptible to this illness? It’s really hard to trust getting somebody—like, a stranger, like, hiring somebody—like, a babysitter to come in for a couple hours a day. Even—like, Stefan suggested this the other day. He was like, “Maybe we should look at getting a sitter and a couple of hours a week.” And I just was like… I don’t—know! Like, I—I don’t know! I— [Laughs.] I can’t… I can’t say I’m comfortable with that! And I think for… like, guys. When you have a new baby or young children in your house, it is already a huge deal to get a babysitter. To leave your child—even with family members!—for the first time. ‘K? I mean… it was hard the first time I ever did it. It was—and it was hard the second time and the third time and man! I just gotta trust that everything is gonna be okay and be safe. And… for the parents who have young children or are about to have children during this pandemic… I see you and I see how much that uncertainty is ratcheted up. Like, everything is like turned up on high for you right now and I am… I am so… I—I’m sorry. Under the best of circumstances, having two young children and a newborn is incredibly hard. I hope that you and your partner can have a conversation about this before the new baby comes to figure out how you guys can support each other best. Because it’s a lot. And it’s unfair that it has to fall only to you. Mm-kay? You’re not alone. None of you are alone. None of us are alone. Okay? Parenting is isolating. Especially with young children. Throw a pandemic on top of it and it’s double isolating. And it’s very easy to think you are completely the only one losing it and you’re not? You are remarkable? You are remarkable. You are… good. You are kind. You are capable. And you are allowed to feel tired and exhausted and angry and cheated all at the same time. You are doing a good job.

biz

What did we learn today, guys? We’ve learned—to be honest—it took me a while to get all those fails together. Just in the last three months of calls, there are a lot of geniuses. And a lot of rants. But— [Laughs.] But a lot of geniuses! And I am so impressed. And the fails? These are good fails! These are classic fails! These are the fails that make hilarious stories in the future. [Laughs.] Hey, 16-year-old! Remember that time I didn’t brush [through laughter] your teeth for, like, a year? You’re alright. [Laughs.] You’re all amazing! Also, it is the second-to-last week of the MaxFunDrive. I just wanted to mention that when you support the show—along with knowing you are the reason that this show exists and this hotline exists—you get gifts! And I’m just gonna break a few down for ya. $5 a month, you get bonus shows. Like Gwen was saying last week, when you run outta shows—you got bonus shows! And it’s not just One Bad Mother bonus shows, but bonus shows for all MaxFun shows. And there are a lot! That is some good late-night breastfeeding listening material. $10 a month, you get the bonus shows, plus you get to pick an enamel pin that’s based on one of the podcasts with MaxFun. For One Bad Mother, that is a sack of bananas. And it is a delight. For $20 a month? You get all of that, plus a game pack of playing cards that have been designed and inspired by MaxFun shows. And dice! That’s something fun to have around the house! And finally, I’m gonna talk about the $35 a month level. You get all the things I’ve just talked about. Plus a cool mug with the MaxFun logo on it. And for One Bad Mother listeners who become new or upgrading members at the $35 a month level, I am going to be hosting a group Zoom! [Singing] And you can zoom, zoom, zoom—let’s go back to my room and we can… [regular voice] look at each other all night. [Laughs.] We could Bop It. We could have coffee. We could watch a TV show. We could just stare at each other. We could pretend we’re at a cocktail party in which all of our mundane, boring genius moments make for great conversation! I don’t know what we’ll do. But it’ll be fun. We also know that this might not be the year that you can support and we totally understand that. It’s a huge help to us if you share news about our show and about MaxFunDrive on social media. In the spirit of One Bad Mother, I always encourage people who are able to give but haven’t? To do it now on behalf of other listeners so we can keep this show free and happening.

biz

Everybody? You’re doing a good job. I… am your witness? Let’s go out and be a witness to each other. Let’s try to stay kind and patient with others and with ourselves. And let’s remember we are already doing a good job. And I will talk to you guys next week. Bye!

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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