You Can Always Count On Jelly Mom

Written by Nicole Dean

©Lisa Barker

I’m thinking of changing my name to Gladys Knight, not because I can sing—poodles can sing better than I can—but because I’m surrounded by pips.

On his own, Pip Number One is perfectly content to focus on one thing (eating or building or reading or watching television) and give me a minute-by-minute report of his experience—even if I am doing it with him.

I can handle this by mentally shutting down half my brain. It makes my left eye droop slightly but it raises the right eyebrow and makes me look interested. From that point on a simple “Uh-huh,” from me every now and then keeps Pip Number One quite happy.

Pip Number Two is Pip Number One’s very quick understudy and is so determined to grow to be as old as Pip Number One that he multitasks to speed up the growth process.

While Pip Number One will keep a steady pace with his amusements, Pip Number Two runs at warp speed running from the table where he has painted eight watercolors, to the door where he displays all his letter and number magnets in nonsensical sentences, to his room where he plays with monster trucks, to some empty boxes where he plays with the cats. This takes all of ten minutes.

I cannot turn off half my brain with this Pip. I must chug-a-lug a Diet Coke. This makes my eyes water and a facial tic emerges, but it works. I now have the mental energy to keep up with Pip Number Two and several mice on speed. So while he takes the time to reload his energy tank, I pull something interesting out of my purse that I found on the street. Trust me, boys like this.

A clip from the end of a dog leash can keep Pip Number Two busy long enough for me to rummage for stickers and scratch paper, an old egg carton, some uncooked fat round noodles and a piece of colored chalk. I put them in a shoebox on the table and make it look like something I don’t want him to get into. Sure enough he finds it and that keeps him busy for almost forty minutes.

I savor the moment because in two minutes Pip Number One will arrive and the peace and tranquility in the house will arc and distort like a heat haze and the two Pips will collide in an instantaneous bickering brawl…the kind that lasts roughly two hours, with them following me around tattling every fifteen seconds until my dear husband arrives home.

So there you have it. I hope this peek into my life gives you a chuckle. That’s what friends are for.
Jelly Mom™ is written by Lisa Barker, author of “Just Because Your Kids Drive You Insane…Doesn’t Mean You Are A Bad Parent!” and syndicated through Martin-Ola Press/Parent To Parent. To publish Jelly Mom, buy the book or leave comments, please visit


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