Tag Archives: children

The worst parts of my childhood.

21 Aug
i hate soccer

Needless to say, we all quit soccer.

When I got in trouble for mooning someone at a rest stop. Picture this. You’re seven. You’re sitting in a station wagon, at a rest stop, in the middle of June with your two older sisters and one older brother who’s probably sexually active at this point, and thus far too old to be going on seventeen-hour road trips to Disney World.

Our parents just went into the rest stop probably to buy a map, or maybe my Dad was smoking one of his Merit’s, who knows. My Mom was probably perusing the casino brochures outside of McDonald’s. Anyway, they were in there for like 5 whole minutes. That’s a really long time to leave four kids alone in a station wagon in the middle of summer, especially since we’d all finished listening to every NKOTB tape on our Walkman’s.

So my brother dared me to moon the guy next to us. I pulled down my elastic-waist shorts and planted my hauntingly white 7 year-old ass, complete with a birthmark, against the window for a good 2 seconds. I remember exactly what the guy looked like, he had a curly mullet and a wife; they were driving a sensible car, probably a Volvo. It was AWESOME!

But the bastard waited for my parents to get back to the car, and he told on me. And I got in trouble. Shame. Seriously, what would you have done in that situation? It was a dare. I had a moral obligation to do it, and plus, it was fun. I don’t regret it, only that I got caught. Let it be known — if a child ever moons you at a rest stop, PLEASE don’t tell on him. Just let him/her enjoy that blissful 2 seconds of uninhibited taunting.

slush puppieThe last 1/4 of the Slush Puppie. Being the youngest, cutest of my three older sisters and brother, I may or may not have been the most convincing of the group to get all of us something that we collectively wanted real bad. And being a bunch of sweaty kids in a giant, old station wagon  in the summertime, stopping at a gas station meant one thing and one thing only: Slush Puppies.

One way or another, we scored them. We’d suck them down, ignoring the splitting sensation erupting behind our eye sockets, savoring the smooth, round ice pellets swimming in blissful, sweet, blue chemical liquid, letting it slide down our throats into our high fructose corn syrup -heaving bellies. We’d slurp and — so abruptly, without warning — nothing. Cruel, really. We’d tear the plastic top off the cup and peer inside. ALL ICE. NO MORE BLUE. WTF, Slush Puppie? You’ve been around like 47 years, and you still haven’t figured out a way to make the blue shit last through the end of the cup.

krissy and me

Krissy (left) eventually forgave me for hitting her with a bat. Judging by my face I’m still a little guilty.

When I hit my best friend with a bat and got in trouble for it. I grew up as a self-proclaimed, and universally described, “tomboy.” I had a blond bowl-cut and sometimes pretended to be a boy named “Tommy” – more on that later. Years later, my mom told me she raised me as a tomboy because it was cheaper than buying lots of pretty clothes.

When I was about 6 years old, I was playing in the street with my two best friends, Krissy Grossimon and Michael Salvaggio. We were way into T-ball at that time. So I was carrying around one of those foam red bats with my last name written in angry magic marker on it in huge letters, “McCORMICK.” I was also “scooting” around on a skateboard, because I was 6 and I didn’t care if people thought I looked like an idiot.

We were in the middle of the street, in an intersection, which probably wasn’t very safe. Anyway, Krissy said something I didn’t like, and I nailed her with the bat. It wasn’t really that hard, I don’t think, and let me remind you that the bat was covered in foam. Needless to say, I hit a 6 year old with a bat and I thought it was funny. She cried. And told on me, and I got in trouble with my Mom. And realized you shouldn’t hit your best friends with bats, because it’s not funny. Or, it’s not funny to the other person.

When my grandmother convinced my parents that “Chores” were a good idea. My grandmother, Nan, babysat us one snowy weekend when I was 7. (Apparently all the worst parts of my childhood happened around age 7… I’ll bring that up to my therapist later.) All of us kids were playing outside in the snow, and my brother and sisters decided to climb on top of our pop-up camper. Come on, how is that NOT fun? I remember standing there and thinking it was bad but not really caring too much about it.

Later that night, my parents came home and  my Dad found out there was a dent in the roof, due to us kids climbing on it. He was furious. I got in trouble because “You didn’t say anything, so you’re in trouble too” or something to that effect. Apologies that my sense of judgment wasn’t fully formed at the age of 7, Dad. Geez.

nan

What are those, Nan, Christmas cookies laced with poison? Just kidding, love you!

That night, we ate dinner with my grandmother at our big, oval dinner table.

“These kids are getting away with MURDAH,” said Nan. That changed everything.

I’ll never forget the way she said that, because I remember feeling extremely guilty for whatever my 7 year-old self had done that could be equated with slitting someone’s throat and throwing them down a well. I also remember these exact words because my family didn’t really have a heavy Boston accent like she did — well we did, but I think most of us grew out of it once we realized that it’s generally unattractive.

Nan left that night, and the next week my Mom posted a schedule of weekly chores on the wall, which would forever be resented. For years, YEARS I tell you, we would all stay inside after dinner sweeping floors, scrubbing chairs, vacuuming the rug under the dinner table, doing SLAVE labor while our friends would play Four Square outside without us. Even when my friends came over, they’d have to wait in the living room and watch TV while I toiled away. It was torture, I tell you. All because of a visit from my grandmother.

So there you have it, the four worst parts of my childhood.

mccormick family

My Mom requested that I not upload this family picture because of her 80s perm. Challenge accepted.

Baby Beards – The Solution to Juvenile Contentment

16 Apr

happy child

Does this look like the face of a child in your life? 

If your answer is yes, you’re only 1 of thousands of adults suffering from the noxious effects of juvenile contentment.

When children are happy, they radiate positive energy that can be detrimental, even fatal, to nearby parents, neighbors, teachers, and others. Childhood happiness can distract adults from tasks such as:

  • Paying bills
  • Writing out detailed grocery lists
  • Maintaining a furrowed brow
  • Complaining about the price of oil
  • Enforcing punishment such as groundings or no-TV
Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem that will literally wipe the smile off any child’s face. Introducing, the Baby Beard™
baby-beard
The Baby Beard™ is designed to mask and cover up the annoying aesthetic effects of juvenile contentment on a child. That is to say, it virtually erases all
  • Smiles
  • Grins
  • Satisfaction with the moment
and as a bonus, will even
  • conceal underdeveloped teeth and unsightly braces
baby beards
How does the Baby Beard™ work?

The Baby Beard™ is constructed of crocheted yarn, and attaches to the face via loops for the child’s ears, or buttons which can be simply connected to an accompanying crocheted hat, as seen in the photo above. In recent research, the Baby Beard has been effective in both concealing the smiles, grins, and other outward signs of happiness. It has even had the effect of levelling a child’s jubilant mood to a more acceptable mood of sourness or mere neutrality. The Baby Beard is also a great natural solution for adults who dislike children, as it transforms an otherwise youthful face into the face of  a man aged 52.
Thanks for reading about my newest sponsor, and don’t forget to visit the Official Baby Beard store, where you can also find Beards 4 Babes, and Hipster Hair! Stay tuned for an upcoming installment about my other newest sponsor, Bump-It: The ORIGINAL Hair-Volumizing Insert.
Brought to you by Samantha McCormick.

This blog is sponsored by Bump-It, the ORIGINAL hair-volumizing insert, and the Baby Beard™

The Budding Career of a Professional Greeting Card Writer

15 Jul

My parents are trying to sell our house. I know this because A) I found The Idiot’s Guide to Buying and Selling a Home in our living room and B) turning up all over the house are things from the past — things that have spent years gathering dust in corners and closets underneath stacks of old National Geographic magazines. This means that they must have already read Chapter 8: How to Get Rid of all the S–t You Accumulated over the Past Twenty Years. I was looking for a stamp today when I came across a ziplock bag filled with a snapshot of my childhood. Here’s what I found.

Rejected Hallmark Applicant: The Complete Works

All signed by me.

Which led me to the shocking conclusion… As a kid, I wanted to be a professional greeting card writer. For some reason I repressed this memory — I remember always wanting to be A Writer as a kid. Which is, still, far less cool than wanting to be, oh a firefighter or professional soccer player, you know, something unattainable for the average person but at least it sounded cool during recess. On second thought, maybe I repressed the memory after everyone laughed at me during recess.

Anyway, here’s your chance to be floored by the budding career of an aspiring professional greeting card writer.

slumber party

get well soon

Get well soon — Feel free to wipe your germ-infested boogers on this card

hallmark applicant 2

Congradulations on your recent marriage!! Your ex-wives from your last three marriages sent these razor-edged pinwheels in honor of your newest matrimony

[Inside]:

awkward family

Wishing you all the happiness that life has to offer to two people with a bastard blonde child; why do you think we picked out a card with a bride in a yellow wedding dress? That dirty whore you’re marrying obviously isn’t fit for a white one and you’re too busy giving mustache rides to Wendy’s employees to know the difference

fun

[Inside]:

Nope, I’ve had funner

And two postcards:
postcards

Hello! from Hallucinating Rainbow Island, Tennessee and Bad Acid Trip Shards of Glass Raining from the Chicken Pox Clouds, Minnesota

The Science of Cuteness: Part Two

11 May

Welcome to the second installment of The Science of Cuteness: Baby Edition, soon to be a major motion picture starring Justin Bieber. If you’re new here, thanks for stopping by — I think the last time I got 70 comments on something was when I gave myself a boy haircut in the wee hours of a Saturday night. That being said, behold — the remaining laws of The Science of Cuteness.

The Science of Cuteness: Laws ONE-SIX

awkward toy

4 1/2 inches long for your playing pleasure.

SEVEN. Babies make cankles look good. Their legs are like those squishy tube water balloon things which years later you realized might have been a rejected sex toy prototype. We probably shouldn’t, but we poke and squeeze and tickle the crap out of that baby fat. Secretly, we probably envy them for fearlessly parading around their enormous milk-bloated tummies at the beach in a pink polka-dotted bikini. Without getting the stink eye.

EIGHT. Reactions to the sound of their own oral gas expulsion or flatulence. There are few things more hilarious than the look on a baby’s face after he rips a blanket bomb. (Yes, I did have to consult the Fart Thesaurus for that one). And remember, babies are the only ones who can get away with unleashing a trouser cough during that pivotal Church moment when Father Greg is breaking Christ in half. Remember that next time you “innocently” crop dust some poor innocent soul while muscling your way through the $5 DVD bin at Walmart, aight?


NINE. Attachment to inanimate objects. Linus and his blanket. Tommy Pickles and his screwdriver. My nephew and “his” kitty stuffed animal, which he totally stole from me, and I’m still pissed about. Bedtime just DOESN’T HAPPEN without their favorite little toy. There is a negative correlation between level of cuteness and age of the child. Exhibit A: 1 year-old clinging mercilessly to his Bankie. Subject achieves a cute coefficient of 10. Exhibit B: A 40 year old clinging mercilessly to his Bankie — cute coefficient of 1.

TEN. Tiny clothes. I’m not talking about the vomit-inducing (mine, not Jack-Jack’s) onesies that say “iPood,” but rather the miniature adult outfits such as the three-piece suit (which should work nicely at his job interview next week?) or my personal favorite, this little number

Asian baby

which pretty much guarantees the little guy’s future position as “Catcher” during kickball because he’s too fat to run from years of gorging himself on Twinkies after the kids at school made fun of his clothes. ‘Poop and pee’ must have been the color combination that Mom was shooting for when she knit 25 of these for Etsy. Poor kid. But I digress. Fact is, the U.S. baby apparel industry is estimated at $45.4 Billion dollars as of 2009 (see Yahoo Finance to support the fact that I made that number up) and growing. Women just love to buy mini-clothes with mini-buttons, mini-zippers, mini-pockets, mini-hoods… I think it’s safe to say that half the fun of having a baby is buying baby clothes.

ELEVEN. Belly buttons. At the risk of being accused of posting juvenile belly button porn:

Cute baby belly buttons

TWELVE. They’re self-esteem machines. I can pretty much guarantee that even the C.E.O. of the Taliban has made a baby laugh at least once in his life. Due to embarrassingly bad cognitive skills (the baby’s not the terrorists’s), a baby will laugh at anything as long as it sounds musical and involves a peek-a-boo. Theoretically, you could even read Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders as a bedtime story if you follow these techniques. However I would advise against this particular book as it could either cause your child to form a quasi-commune for aspiring murderers at KinderCare or cultivate an unhealthy adolescent obsession with The Beatles while other kids are listening to a mutated hybrid of late-90s Cher singles and Lady Gaga; two outcomes that are equally harmful.

And there you have it, the twelve laws of The Science of Cuteness. If you’ve made it to the end, thanks for reading! Figures that I’d get Freshly Pressed the week before I leave the country for a solo backpacking trip through Europe. In between dodging projectile lava from the Eyjwtfffffffff volcano and putting the finishing touches on my plan to shanghai Jake Gyllenhall at the Cannes Film Festival, I’ll be blogging. Topics may include: dirty hostel haiku, inappropriate photologues of whoever pisses me off at the hostels, and pictures of doodles I draw on napkins while on the train.

The Science of Cuteness

10 May cringe

I’ve been doing a lot of serious thinking lately about why babies are cute. It all started with this poor excuse for a stock image that I found randomly the other day.

cringe

Yea. I don’t know what happened here. I think maybe the cute baby had a cold so they had to use the unphotogenic stand-in baby or something. Or maybe the photographer was his Dad or something, you know, in that ‘I really don’t understand how Tori Spelling is an actress oh wait her Dad is famous’ kinda way. And this photo ignited my synapses into an explosion of activity, leading to the creation of a manifesto of sorts.

The Science of Cuteness: Baby Edition, Copyright May 2010, Samantha McCormick. All Rights Reserved.

Puppies, kittens, blind little inchworms patting their heads around on your skin to find who knows what. Fuckin cute, right? But when it comes to babies, it’s not so simple. Take that baby in Trainspotting. Drug-induced hallucination of a swivel-headed dead baby crawling on the ceiling aside, that baby was just plain ugly. Personally, I think it would have been more effective in the creepy department if it was a cute baby such as either Zach or Cody pre- The Suite Life. Anyway. There is a science behind the reason we find certain babies cute, and certain babies, shall we say,’Walmart catalog material.’ Behold, the laws of cuteness.

ONE. Everything is disproportionately small on a baby. (I totally just made you think of his weewee.) Take his little feet, for example. Small enough to fit in that shiny little Christening shoe, or that miniature white Nike, if your child is of the ghetto nature. Then consider his head. HUGE. If you take the size of his little foot and compare it to the size of his head, that’s like a ratio of 1 to 10. Now consider the size of YOUR foot, in relation to YOUR head. Unless you’re kind of ugly or have awkwardly small feet, that’s probably a ratio of 1 to 4. So disproportionately small equals cute (in regards to a baby, nothing else..) Because if babies didn’t have disproportionately small features, they’d be shrunken versions of adults, like this:

Which is definitely NOT CUTE.

TWO. Button noses. At the baby stage, I guess genetics aren’t even factored into the equation yet because I’ve never seen a baby with a huge nose. Not once. Barbra Streisand, Tori Spelling, and Ashlee Simpson were all cute babies, and that’s a fact.

THREE. Baby babble. Cute little nonsense sounds strung together with drool and that little spit bubble that she’ll later amuse herself with during Times Tables drills. Imagine for a moment that babies could speak perfect English. Childbirth is over, the nurse hands you your little bundle of joy, and — “Hey Mom.” Yes, for some reason it’s easy to wrap our minds around the fact that five minutes ago that little thing in blankets was chillin inside a uterus full of amniotic fluid, because it’s like he really doesn’t know any better since his brain is basically mush, evident by the fact that he can’t talk yet. So when you imagine a baby carrying on a full adult conversation, things get a little tricky.

FOUR. The downy little hairs on his head that you just can’t resist petting. Only acceptable on a baby’s head, and only acceptable to pet when on a baby’s head. Because that would be weird if you went around trying to pet girls’ heads, I mean you’d probably exist somewhere as a registered sex offender and would one day turn into a serial killer which the Boston Herald would  ‘cleverly’ refer to you as “The Head Petter,” or something else completely unoriginal. Mom’s just gotta make sure the ‘do doesn’t get too out of control (see Photo 1).

FIVE. Uncontrollable limbs. Babies are automatically forgiven for kicking and fist-pumping at us when we’re changing their diaper because they’re just having a ball trying to figure out what the hell to do with themselves. Like a drunk girl putting on lip gloss, it’s kind of funny to watch a baby reach for something that they want. Reach, miss. Reach, miss. Roll a bit. Get stuck. Haha.

SIX. Poor etiquette. Watching a baby eat is fun.

***

There’s more where that came from. Stay tuned for the next installment of The Science of Cuteness: Baby Edition. Read my freshly-posted The Science of Cuteness: Part Two. Because this blog post is getting frighteningly long and it’s an hour and a half past my bedtime. Still to come: The Science of Ugly: Celebrity Edition.

“Multi-Purpose Solution”

19 Mar

Tonight, something in my medicine cabinet inspired me. And no, it wasn’t a bottle of painkillers. And no, I have none to sell you.*

Rather, it was a boring old bottle of Equate Multi-Purpose Solution, which one might infer is used for contact lenses. Then again, one might not infer that. One might take an entirely different thought process.

Ah, Multi-Purpose Solution. An incredibly vague title for a product that is apparently useful in many ways:

  • Chicken broth substitution
  • Sports drink
  • Steak marinade

Equate is Walmart’s generic brand. Almost all Equate products are vaguely labelled. They even seem kind of Engrish in a way. (Which leads me to believe that Walmart cut costs by outsourcing product development to Asian countries.) Onto their other products…


Yea, you try fitting your baby into this so-called “bath.” I did. It wasn’t pretty. Wait, don’t tell anyone I said that, okay? She died during childbirth. DIED. DURING. CHILDBIRTH.

Way to fuck around with the blind, Equate… You reeeeally had my grandfather’s hopes up.

Brody Jenner in a box? Wait, where does he fit all his pairs of white sunglasses and Bromantic boyfriends?

No but really, Equate, this one’s pretty insensitive. Imagine a poor young woman, forced to shop generic, and ignorant of the hazards of douching, placing this box onto the conveyor belt at Walmart. Dozens of eyes watch as she turns the color of a tomato. Nice.

Hey Equate, thanks for the c*ck tease. When I brought this home, I was expecting a cute little Harajuku girl to pop out of this box and begin rubbing me down. Nope, just a tube of some white crap. Again, THANKS. Guess it’s back to Craigslist Missed Connections…

*D.A.R.E.

An excerpt

27 Feb

Below is a bit of the children’s story that I’ve been working on. Let me know what you think.

+++

Jeffrey continued to read out loud:

“It was a very colorful scene. Fat men, skinny men, tall men, short men, they were all seated around the table. Every single one of them was stuffing his face with fish and creamed corn, pausing only to suck down brew or to chuckle at another man’s story. And every so often one of the men would belch.” read Jeffrey.

“BRAAAWWWWP!” he heard. Jeffrey jumped, then scanned the children’s book section for the source of the sound. He even climbed back onto the bookshelf and looked over it. But he didn’t see anyone.

Someone must be playing a trick on me, thought Jeffrey. It seems as if everything I read is happening around me. But – how do they know exactly what I’m reading? He was confused.

“I’m not going to fall for your little trick,” he said out loud to no one in particular.

Then he shrugged and returned his eyes to the page, again reading the words aloud.

“Suddenly, a massive wave hit the side of the great ship. A few of the cups knocked over, spilling brew all over the grimy old table. ‘Looks like we got a storm headed our way, boys!’ yelled the oldest mate over the sound of the crew. The oldest mate had a beard as red as the tip of a match. They called him Ol’ Red.”

Jeffrey felt something wet on the bottom of his sleeves. He examined his arm. He watched as a dark, wet spot grew on his sleeve. Afraid that he was bleeding, he thrust both sleeves back and peered at his skin. Nothing. No cut, no blood…

He thought about what he had just read. The brew. The brew spilled all over the table. My sleeves are wet from the brew that spilled on the table. I’m sitting at the table. I’m in the story.

Jeffrey spent a minute or so staring into space in amazement. With his arm, he wiped the drool from his lower lip.

+++

That’s just one of my favorite parts that I’ve written so far. I’m eleven pages in.


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