It's only a lie if it isn't the truth...

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

Lately, my 3 year old daughter's tiny dolls have been participating in an all nude revue of some sort --  the whereabouts of their clothes unknown.

Until now.

As I was sorting the darks from the lights in the laundry hamper, I came across these...

Lord knows being a doll is a dirty job, what with being carted here and there by chubby strawberry jam covered hands. Not to mention the crap you pick up while gallivanting with adventurous dinosaurs and an incredulous poop-covered mole. Clearly my daughter recognizes this, which is why she carefully undressed her playthings and placed their shirts, pants and tops where she thought they should go - one step closer to being Ivory Snow clean.

Still, I hesitated to wash the minuscule outfits, concerned that due to their size, they would become lost forever in the vortex that is our washing machine... a place where socks rarely come out in pairs.

So instead, I decided to tell a fib.

Me: Here are your doll clothes. Nice and clean.

My daughter: Did you wash them mommy?

Me: Yes.

My daughter: You did?

Me: Yup. I washed them with daddy's clothes.

What happened next was effing marvelous. My toddler went completely Cal Lightman on me, as she stared straight into my eyes for what felt like five minutes. Damn. I had said too much and she was on to me. She studied my expression, and twisted her mouth up like a pretzel. Then - without averting her gaze - she said, "Wash. Them. Again."

Wash them again?  Oh Hell. My three year old daughter had caught me in a lie, which (of course) prompted me to lie - yet again - by saying, "Good idea, because I might have forgotten to put all of them in the machine the last time."

I felt like a giant wad of  proud, wrapped up in a big bundle of shame. I should have known better. I've always suspected that she was a bullshit detector. I remember a friend of mine once explaining to her that the reason she couldn't play with the forks in the cutlery drawer was because "they were sleeping".  My girl appeared to accept the explanation but later told me she was fairly sure that that forks couldn't sleep because they weren't alive. She was two years old.

This is why I've always been (mostly) forthright with her. Y'know, aside from the doll laundry incident. And the perpetuation of the myth that houseflies prefer to be set free via the toilet.

But for now, I can rejoice in the knowledge that by the time my little deception detective starts school, her teachers will be put through the ringer if and when they try to pull the wool over that child's eyes.

"Mrs. Smith", she will say, "I just don't believe you." 

And this, will be a good thing. Because I wish nothing more for my daughter, than the ability to distinguish truth from fabrication. Well, that and the good judgement to stay away from any person who partakes in the tipping of cows - or the theft of (and subsequent travels with) garden gnomes. I hate those people.

No, really.

From Russia with love (this explains everything).

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

A quick peek at my blog statistics this morning revealed the real reason I've been receiving so many emails from Russia, addressed to сексуальная женщина*.

Meanwhile, I thought about including a photo of a Russian sex doll race featuring air-filled women, (a couple of plastic men) and one anatomically incorrect crocodile. But instead, I thought this might be more appropriate - y'know, for viewing at work.

 You're welcome. And by the way, no one is stopping you from Googling Russian sex doll race. You know you want to.

*Sexy lady.

No, really.

Trust me - I'm an artist (no, really)

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

For those of you who don't know, I am an artist. No, really. I am. I make art. I even went to school to learn how to do it. Make art I mean. Paintings, sculptures, that sort of thing. Not that I have been doing it lately. Making art I mean. Mostly because my workspace for the past several months has consisted of a 4" square area on the corner of a dining room table - right beside my computer - in the most dimly lit room on the planet. How's that for an excuse? But that's not the point. The point is, I have a Facebook page and on that page I have made a pledge. As soon as I reach 100 fans, I will give away - at random - an original work of art. Might be big. Might be small. But either way, it will be one of a kind. So - if you've got some time (and a FB account) head on over to and click on the little "Like" button. It will make both of us feel better. And really, who doesn't want to feel better? Clowns. Clowns might not want to feel better. But that's just a guess.

No, really.

Oh crap, that's no elephant...

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

We are moving soon and so, the cleanup has begun. As I was sorting through some of my daughter's toys yesterday, I came across one I had forgotten about. It was covered in dust bunnies - after having lived under the bed for quite some time - but it still looked perky as ever...

Geoff, Jan, the littlest one and I were at a train station somewhere in The Netherlands, waiting for the next ride to Assen, where we were heading to visit the house where my father spent his early childhood. My daughter wasn't yet two years old and this was to be the first train ride of her life (well, the second - if you count the trip from the airport to our rental home - but that was after an eight hour red eye flight and at that point, she thought we were all sitting on a fast moving sofa).

For our daylong excursion, we had snacks, stickers and paper, her “baby” and her “lowdee.”  Still, to help keep my little girl occupied, I thought I might grab a little something from a bookstore located near the platform. With only a few minutes (and Euros) to spend, I scanned the shop until I found the kid's section. There were plenty of books to choose from but one in particular caught my eye – mostly because it came with a tiny stuffed elephant.

At least, I thought it was an elephant. It was early. I was tired. It was sealed in plastic.

Once on the train, I unwrapped the surprise. 

Geoff: Um, what is that?

Me: It’s an elephant. What?

Geoff: That’s no elephant. 

Me: Well what is it then?

Geoff: I don't know what it is.

Jan: It looks like it has poop on its head.

Geoff: You bought a toy with poop on its head. You bought a poopyhead!

Me: No, it's a hat. It's an elephant - wearing a hat. Look - the book will explain it.

Jan: Over een kleine mol die wil weten wie er op zijn kop gepoept heft

Geoff and Me: Okay, what?
Jan: I’m just reading the title. This book is about a mole that wants to know who pooped on his head.

The toddlerPoopyhead! Poopyhead! Poopyhead!

It was love at first sight. Good job Geoff had gone with the second - and not the first - words that entered his brain that day. We were this close to traveling with an only child and her new best friend, "Shithead".

See - it's an elephant with a hat. Clearly.
Here's the thing. I understand a handful of Dutch words  - when spoken - at the best of times. I can speak even fewer phrases - all of which contain expletives. And clearly I should not be left to my own devices when purchasing children's books in a Dutch bookstore. In the morning. Before coffee. 

After further inspection, I had to admit that yes - it did look like a mole, with a hat made of poop.

Of course I see it now but at the time... like I said, it was early.
The next question was - what kind of effed up book was this??? We begged Jan to translate for us. My child was delighted.

As it turned out, there once was a mole who, while happily emerging from his sleeping place, felt something drop on his head.

He then sets out to find out who the Hell crapped on him. Each animal he accuses, pleads innocence. And then they all proceed to take a dump in front of him  - presumably to prove they didn't do it. Personally, I think they were just screwing with poor old poopyhead. Read... and learn.

It wasn't the bird. Splat.

Nor the horse. Obviously.

It was not the happy-go-lucky (and significantly satisfied) rabbit.

And, it wasn't the goat. Don't worry, I'm almost done. Unlike Billy here.

The cow rested his case.

As did the pig.

Frustrated, poopyhead consulted with the shit experts until...

After some research, the culprit was named.

Of course it was the dog. Those buggers are always backing the big brown caddy out of the garage. Nevermind... in the end, poopyhead got his revenge - which kind of begs the question: What is the moral of this story? How about this one... Not a turd shall fall on my head without another, much smaller turd, falling on yours. Yeah. I like that.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You just lost five minutes you'll never get back. But what a five minutes it was. And now that it's over - aren't you relieved? 

Thought so.

No, really.

By the way, you too can own the story of poopyhead - in English even. Go ahead, you know you want it.

What would Mary pin?

Once upon a time, a guy named Ben and his friend Paul had an idea. They thought it would be phenomenal if there was a place where people could create and share virtual catalogs or bulletin boards of things they like, with strangers. From that thought, came a little social networking website called Pinterest. It's like a birth story, only with a lot less goo.

Trouble is - not everyone "gets it". At least not at first  - as evidenced by a Facebook conversation that I recently witnessed on my ticker.

Some of the chit chat has been altered and the names have been changed to characters from The Mary Tyler Moore Show - for the sake of privacy. Other than that, this is all is mostly true. Sort of.

Rhoda:  Um, wtf is Pinterest?

Phyllis:  I'll send you an invite. You will love it.

MaryIt's highly addictive. omg.  Ha. Ha. Ha. No. Seriously.

Phyllis: Yeah. I totally forgot to mention that. Okay, invite sent.

Sue Ann: I can't stop doing it!

RhodaOk, so you just look at stuff?

Phyllis: Yeah. Then you pin it to albums that you create.

Rhoda: For what reason? Just of stuff you like? Are you effing with me Phyllis?

PhyllisYou create categories for the things you like to look at.  Then, you pin things in those categories.

RhodaYeah. Okay. I still don't get it. Do you buy these things?

Phyllis: Nope.

Georgette: It is the best way to waste time. I love Pinterest.

Rhoda: I need a stiff drink.  

Here's the thing. In the 1980s it was afternoon game shows. In the 90s - reality television. Today, it's social networking. We all need healthy addictions. I suppose. From Press Your Luck to Survivor to Facebook, I've dutifully slopped around with the masses.

I requested a Pinterest "invite" a few months ago and, like Rhoda, I was fully befuddled. I have since tried my best to get hooked - but truthfully, as soon as I got the hang of things, I developed a bit of a disorder. I've got a terrible feeling that my pins might not be worthy. Or worse - that my pins are just plain strange. Y'know, like me.

If someone did a psych analysis on my tastes, I might not be hired for another job for as long as I live. Human Resources departments would have a heyday.

HR Guy:  Did you finish looking into this Andrea Mulder-Slater character? She's got an interview with us tomorrow.

HR Girl:  Yep. Look at what that nutbar pinned yesterday: A fly on ice skates, a wall of toilet paper and a picture of deep fried butter balls.

HR Guy: Did you say deep fried butter balls?

HR Girl: Uh huh. She also pinned a photo of a toilet covered with saran wrap.

BZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (That's the sound of my resume being shredded).

Thank God I don't apply for jobs. Or work.

In all seriousness, the more I think about it, the more I think Pinterest might be more damaging to a person's reputation than those compromising fall-down drunk photos on Facebook - except for the ones involving gnomes. Or lawn chairs. There's nothing worse than being drunk with a gnome, on a lawn chair.

Google it if you don't believe me.  And be sure to pin it when you do.

No, really.