Frolicking adventures of an award-winning mommy blogger whose humorous kid story sold a baseball on eBay for $1,125.00 and launched her Internet career.
Meehan dishes out slice-of-life vignettes from her hectic days as a divorced mother of six children, all named after places on the map. Like her blog, the author's stories are a chaotic but happy roller-coaster ride of skinned knees, unbalanced bank accounts and sleepless nights. With much tongue-in-cheek humor, Meehan explodes the Supermom myth. Sometimes, the tooth fairy gets busy and forgets to leave money. Other times, mom loses one of her tykes at the store. When her darling child repeatedly screams "boobs!" in the bra department, the author doesn't mind admitting that she'd rather hurl herself down the stairs—twice—instead of take the kids shopping. What mother hasn't experienced the fun of "he started it" fights or a preschooler's self-haircuts, no matter how well the scissors have been hidden? And, of course, no imperfect mother's life is complete without unsolicited child-rearing advice from strangers. Don't expect any touchy-feely stuff here—e.g., Meehan knows that if no bones are showing through skin, a child isn't really hurt and can "go play." As a chauffer for six kids, it's no wonder she longs for a cloning device. But she's managed to stay sane and love the sticky ones with a passion. Sure, these may be the same stories many mothers tell—but that's the point.
Family Circus meetsThe Simpsons.
Read an Excerpt
Things Happen for a Reason
I believe things happen for a reason.
For example, you slip and fall because the kids poured soap all over the kitchen floor. When you fall to the ground, you see your car keys, which have been missing for two days, shoved under the oven. If the kids hadn’t poured soap on the floor, you wouldn’t have fallen, and had you not fallen, it could’ve been years before you ever pulled the oven away from the wall to clean under it, thus finding your keys. It was meant to be.
Of course, if your kids hadn’t shoved the keys under the oven in the first place, it wouldn’t have happened to begin with, but that’s a different story.
In March of 2006, I wrote a little story about how a baseball started a day of chaos with my kids. I used the story to sell the dirty old baseball on eBay. I don’t know what possessed me to make an auction of it, but I did, and my auction attracted the attention of more than 220,000 people during the week it was for sale. I ended up selling the ball for $1,125 because people bid, not because they wanted the ball, but because my story had made them laugh! And best of all, I received e-mails from thousands of people telling me that the story made them feel a little better about their own parenting.
A year and a half after the baseball incident, I listed a pack of Pokémon cards on eBay, along with a humorous description of how these cards ended up in my cart while I was grocery shopping with my six children. I had just started a blog and I thought if people liked my eBay description. I could direct them to my blog. I wanted to share my stories with other parents out there in cyberspace and was hoping to make a little income from my blog as well. I had hopes of going from five hits a day on my blog to maybe fifty hits a day. What I got instead was 94,000 hits to my blog in one day. I thought the baseball auction had attracted attention, but this Pokémon card auction took off and spread through the Internet like a, well, like a virus. Long after the auction ended, people were forwarding the link to the auction and copying and pasting the shopping-trip description in e-mails to friends, family, and coworkers in all corners of the globe. Within a week of the auction’s end, I’d received more than 10,000 e-mails from people around the world thanking me for the laugh, telling me what a great read my listing was, and asking me to write a book. I received all sorts of e-mail from people thanking me for helping them get through a bad day. People told me that I had somehow made a difference in their lives as they started to look at their kids with a little more humor. I slowly began to realize that my writing had touched some lives in a positive way.
Sometimes you have to be hit over the head before you figure out what you’re supposed to do with your life. Sometimes, when you’re a little dimwitted and don’t get it the first time, God hits you over the head a second time and says, “Look, don’t bury your talents. Use them.” I believe these auctions were God’s way of telling me to share my stories, to share about my own parenting struggles and failures in order to encourage parents everywhere.
I am a stay-at-home mom of six kids. People ask me all the time why I have six kids. I tell them the reason I have six is because I didn’t want seven. My oldest son, Austin, is sixteen. He’s smart as a whip, creative, artistic, and is starting to drive (heaven help me!). Next in line is Savannah, who is fourteen. Savannah is fun, easygoing, organized, and helps me more than she knows. Jackson is twelve years old and is followed by my daughter Lexington, who is nine. Jackson has an incredible memory. He’s determined and compassionate, and like his mom, he loves to write. Lexi is my princess. She’s a girly-girl who cares about everyone, and she has an awesome imagination. My seven-year-old son, Clayton, is extremely energetic, resourceful, and a little too smart for his own good, and my five-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, who is very much the baby of the family and used to being doted on and getting her way, brings up the rear. My children are the most wonderful, amazing blessings and give me immeasurable joy. They’re also my greatest source of aggravation, and they make me question my sanity (and sometimes reach for the wine) every single day.
I was able to write this book because my kids have provided me with years of material. They’ve taught me so many things, like how a ringing phone releases a hormone in children that brings them running to you while speaking in their loudest voice, and that blue frosting will turn a toddler’s poop neon green, and that oranges left rotting in a car in the sun leave a stench that could kill an elephant.
Of course, they’ve also taught me patience. They’ve taught me to look at the world through their eyes and appreciate all the little things they find fascinating. What is it that makes a glob of gum stuck to the sidewalk irresistible? Why is it that a butterfly must be chased and a flower must have every petal picked off and explored (and sometimes stuck up one’s nose)? The world is absolutely fascinating when seen through little eyes.
They’ve taught me that I don’t have a clue when it comes to parenting.
They’ve taught me unconditional love and sheer happiness. They’ve also taught me that I don’t have a clue when it comes to parenting. Every time I think I have it figured out, they prove me wrong. Parenting is definitely a profession with on-the-job training. You learn as you go.
Most important, they’ve taught me if you’re going to raise children, a sense of humor is an absolute must.
© 2011 Dawn Meehan