Attempts At Adulthood


It’s January 1st as I begin typing this, and already I’ve made an avalanche of resolutions that I will never in a million years be able to keep.  I’ve promised myself I’d read between 9 and 12 books, one of which is an 800-page biography of Theodore Roosevelt called “Wilderness Warrior,” which, for the record, I also promised myself I was going to read last year. Because when making resolutions, I forget what the world is actually like and how much time I actually have.  I go, “I can’t wait to read “Wilderness Warrior” just as soon as I finish this other 800-page book on the history of Cancer.”


bingo book

I bet it is going to be so, so great when I finally read it in the year 2071.

And I had the same sort of resolutions with my kid that I had with my life.  Going in, I thought, “Ok!  I am going to read a bunch of books on how to raise a baby and I’ll watch videos on the types of things I should do and I am going to have the best, most well-adjusted baby anyone has ever seen!”

And then I didn’t do any of those things.  The best way to describe what I have done with this baby over the past year is “hang out.”  We have “hung out” together, the way you do with friends from college– a lot of sitting around together and staring at stuff and every once in a while going, “Wait, why are you crying?”

aa baby cry (2) - Copy

He has no idea why he is crying.

I am doing the best I can with this baby but it does not always go perfectly.  I am not feeding him all homegrown organic blended vegetables, and breastfeeding was not a magical experience akin to being in the movie “Avatar” like I was sort of hoping it would be, and most of the time my entire apartment smells like urine and unwashed hair.

But I am trying.  We are all trying.  I remember my mother burying her face in her hands and muttering “God knows I tried,” when one of us fell horrifically short of her expectations for us.  Or when she fell short of her expectations for herself.

And falling short of one’s expectations always makes it feel like you’re losing at something.

So for my mother and for me and for anyone who has uttered the phrase, “Ugh, God knows I tried,” while his or her kid had a tantrum in the produce section of a Wegmans, happy new year, I made this for you.

Final theuglyvolvo bingo photo

It’s a bingo card made up of a bunch of my current and eventual parental failures.  If you can’t read it, you can also see it by clicking the link below.

Here’s a PDF of the Bingo card that you can read clearly and/or print out, if you are so inclined.

Even though I tried to be realistic about having a kid, I still feel like I’m failing a lot of the time.  And with this bingo card, will I still feel like I’m failing sometimes?  Obviously, yes.  But if I fail at five things in a row, I’ll feel like I’ve won at something.  Instead of only being frustrated that my son had a meltdown in a public place I can think, “Great!  I can check off that box!”

Enjoy turning your failures into successes.  For the record, my kid is just over 10 months old and I already almost have Bingo.  And hang in there because even though he or she is frustrating right now, your awkward, loud, poorly-dressed child loves you very much and maybe, if you are lucky, will someday wander into a ceramics place and make you this mug.

 I made this for my mother who, in addition to loving the phrase, "God knows I tried," also loves Scrabble.

I made this for my mother who, in addition to loving the phrase, “God knows I tried,” also loves Scrabble.

Best of luck with everything in the new year.

(Also, if anyone sees my mom, tell her she did an OK job raising her kids.  Thanks.)


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37 Responses to “BINGO”

  1. pensitivity101

    Loved your post. Life is like a lottery isn’t it! I can only relate to foster kids, but even after the worst time, they do something unexpectedly charming, considerate or sweet, and the bad stuff doesn’t seem to matter so much.
    Happy New Year.

  2. gallandria

    Love this! And I have five in a row from this year already….two days in lol. I’d buy myself something nice as a reward, but they’d only break it….

  3. Violet

    It makes me happy (and a little less spiteful) that not all the moms have time to make those fantastic lunches that I’m always seeing on Pinterest, you know the bento box ones,(HOW!?)and spend just a little more time trying to unteach swears and trying to figure out how the hell the car keys got into the fish tank…..yay motherhood!

    Thank you for the laugh!

  4. Danyelle

    I’ve recently discovered your blog through a friend on facebook and I’ll be a new mom myself next year. I can’t tell you how much comfort this has given me. I believe you are this generation’s Jean Kerr. Thank you.

  5. Susannah

    Ha ha I love the idea of a fist pump when one of my little darlings vomits in a friend’s handbag (this has actually happened, minus the fist pump). I have also immediately enrolled my eldest in a ceramics class.

  6. Katie

    I now have a new dream of a ceramic mug made/bought for me by my son. So precious – I’m sure it’s her favorite.

  7. Martha Goudey

    I raised one kid, who is now 31. I keep waiting for him to say, “Mom, I’m going into therapy.” I wish I had your blog to read when I was a new mom. I would have laughed until I cried. Mostly I just cried. But, “God knows I tried.” Thanks for making me laugh now. And BTW, your blog post is the most honest of all the New Year’s blog posts I’ve read. Thanks for that, too.

  8. Whitney @ Jewhungry

    If you sub in “child smiles at you in a mocking-fashion while you ask her/him to ‘please don’t throw your shoes at a dog’ and continued to throw shoes at dog”, then I would have had bingo like 3 times over. Awesome post.

  9. kreiss1

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Thank you for the bingo card…I’ll probably need to print a copy for my fridge, one for my purse and one for the back of my toddler’s shirt. 🙂 Thank you!

  10. A Morning Grouch

    Bahhaa absolutely hilarious. I love the bingo idea (I have a 16 month old and almost have a LOT of bingos…) since it’s usually wise to laugh and make a game out of the things that make us the most crazy.

  11. Elana

    You are basically the only momblogger I have ever thought “I think maybe I could be pals with this person” about. I mean, not really. Because I have to wash vomit out of my hair and so on, but in a kind of abstract sense.

    • theuglyvolvo

      I’m abstractly touched. Here– I’ll cut my finger and then touch it to my screen and you can do the same thing and we can either be blood brothers/siblings like all those kids in 80’s movies or we can just be weird gross adults who now have blood on their computer screens.

  12. B. Nightingale

    I have a full bingo card as my youngest is 12 and we’ve experienced pretty much all of them. The free space in my house is labeled “Mom drinks heavily.” They all still turned out okay…well the 12yr old is still debatable. I am a bit worried about the way I find her clothes all over the house. I would have expected this stripping thing to be done by the time she was 5. (pours anther drink)

  13. stephanie

    Awwww… love it! After eight children, I’ve won ALL the bingos except for the one about the curse word one. It’s my super power (not cursing)…

  14. Celeste

    I. Love. This. My baby is only 8 months old and I can mark several of these off…thanks for making me feel better about my failures 😉

  15. d_girl

    My child does seemlessly sleep through the night like a kid in a commercial and has since month 3, but I can bingo any other direction – even the corners. Yay! Wait…

  16. RS

    Shoot, I’ve got a blackout. This is the most optimistic, realistic outlook on parenting ever! “…if I fail at five things in a row, I’ll feel like I’ve won at something,” I think this phrase will get me thru some of the tough days. For only having one 10 month old, you are wise beyond your years! And thank you so much for noticing my hair, I’m glad not washing it all year is paying off.

  17. Kerryn

    Is it funny or sad that when I saw “free space” I wanted to lie down in it?

  18. Emily-Jane

    Ha yes when pregnant with my first child, I read all the books and signed up to all the websites- unfortunately none of them seemed to be written about My Babies! And this year I am determined to read an actual book that is not about bringing up babies. Any book will do, apart from I wrote to the zoo- after two years of bedtime it is getting old now!

  19. Tamara Bushdorf Oborsky

    I want the mug! With something other than scrabble letters. I’ve been trying to think of something clever and/or funny besides scrabble letters but all inspiration has been sucked out of me by hours of the Disney and Hub (a few more failures and I’ll win another BINGO). Can anyone else offer a suggestion? I haven’t played scrabble in years. I’m waiting for the 5yo to learn to read but she already “hates” school and doesn’t want to learn to read. (That’s my “free space”–yah, me!)

  20. Jaymie

    Ha! My child is teething so my bingo card looks like:
    -Fool yourself into thinking the drooling and chewing that occurred at 4 months was teething
    -Find out what teething is at 6 months and consider running away and getting a new identity
    -Scorn the idea of amber teething jewelry, then later buy it out of desperation and promptly lose it
    -Child scorns every teething toy known to man
    -Child has epic meltdown at family holiday meal

  21. Jennifer

    Thanks for keeping this new mom ( who also went through the hell of infertility treatments) laughing. It’s great to know that I’m not the only one who isn’t June Cleaver. My baby girl will be one Saturday. Seeing her smile and laugh tells me screw what the “EXPERTS” say, I’m doing a great job.

  22. bluesabriel

    Last year, my husband and I made our resolution “Keep baby alive until next year”. We set the bar low, yes, but it may be the first one we ever kept.

    In all seriousness, though, thank you for this. After two viruses in one month, yet another goose egg on the forehead last night, my continued feeling that I’m failing because the 11-month-old isn’t happily eating whatever I put on her tray (unless it is a puff), wanting to punch everyone who asks “Is she walking yet?”, and the fact that she ate something off the floor last night that wasn’t food . . . I needed a good reminder that my child is happy and healthy regardless of how much I’m going to screw up.

  23. agnemeti

    Best of luck with everything in this year to you too!
    I love this post! And “hanging out” with your kid, is the most amazing thing you can do. He needs your presence and love. I´m sure he gets the basics too. So keep on hanging out with him. And try to enjoy it 🙂


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