jannica merrit

humor. honesty. sometimes both.



My Line in the Sand: A Guest Blogger Post

Hello Jannica Merritt readers, I am Jannica Merritt’s daughter, and this is my first solo blog post.  I hope you will excuse any grammatical errors as I recently turned three.

For over a year now, the adults in my life have been trying to sell me on a completely ridiculous concept. They have employed multiple tactics, including threats and bribery.  I have succumbed to none of them, nor shall I.  To quote a colloquialism, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

They have been attempting to persuade me to give up the ease and comfort of my diapers in exchange for the flimsy inconveniences of “big girl panties” and public bathrooms.  (The same public bathrooms which are so “dirty” Mother doesn’t wish me to even lie upon the floor of).

I know when I have a good thing going, and I will not to succumb to the pressure and overblown hype.  The incentives they try to use to sell me on this are ridiculous and mediocre at best.

For example:

1. Potty Candy.  Marshmallows and M & Ms are nice, but not equal to the value of the time I squander sitting on that boring potty chair. *Yawn*  I fail to understand why there are no wheels for a big girl on the go…but not that go.

2. Big Girl Panties. Yes, so they have cute designs on them. So what? So do my diapers. What difference does it make if I have Trolls next to my skin or Mickey Mouse on the outside of a diaper?  They show the panties to me often and ask, “Don’t you want to be able to wear Big Girl Panties?”  Same answer as before, a resounding “no”.

3. Being a “big girl”.  I already know I am, and I feel no need to prove it to you Judgemental Judies.  I am secure and confident in myself and have no need to prove anything to anyone.

4. “No diaper rash when you are potty trained.”  THAT, my friends, lies squarely on the shoulders of the adults in my life who do not check hourly and change me immediately after I have a poopy.

5.  Offering television, only to have it be yet another screening of “Elmo’s Potty Time”…or, offering to read me a book and it’s “Once Upon A Potty.”  Enough, already!  I have given my answer.

Lastly, there are the sneaky, semi-manipulative way my Mother tries to sneak in Pull Ups instead of normal diapers, and peppers it with silly comparisons of pulling it up my hips “just like you will big girl panties some day soon!”

Think again, grown ups!

Post Script: I even go out of my way to help the adults around me.  I will, if asked, bring a clean diaper and a wipe to them.  Yes, it really is enabling their laziness, but I do just love to help.  Help, but not enable their idiosyncrasies.

Earning My Pants


I inhale, deeply breathing in the essence of life, of Mother Earth, of all humanity.  My mind and body become completely still.  I lean into Garland Pose and a small scent of patchouli surrounds my lean, strong body in size small, stain-free yoga pants, the bottom edges sitting just above my perfectly manicured toenails.

(The above was not actually me, just how I pictured myself practicing yoga before my first class).

I am a Type A person, who rarely makes or takes the time to relax.  That caught up with me finally and my doctor recently recommended meditation.

I have a history with meditation, however.  When I meditate, I either mentally redo a room in our house, make an unworkably complicated plan for world peace, or fall asleep.

He suggested I try yoga instead.

So, there I was, in the midst of all the nearly immobilized, calm-seeming folk on their personalized yoga mats with their cool-looking yoga sloganed tank tops and yoga pants (finally, I am official!  I must admit, I have been wearing their pants under false pretences since childbirth…).

I want to share a bit of my internal conversation during my sixty minutes of calm, peaceful time “practicing” my yoga.

This is my brain on yoga:

–Where is there a space in the back?  It is only open up front? Shoot! I have to get here on time next time, whatever the kids pull.

–Downward Dog! Ha! I won’t even make fun of that name, I won’t make a barking noise…and look how good I am at it.  Yoga. I got this!

–I think we are out of almond milk. I better put that on my list. Wait, what is everyone else doing?

–Put my right hand on the mat. Easy! Right elbow to left knee, now do what?  Do people even bend that way?  Oh, look, all those people in the front row do…

–Is that lady looking in the room from the childcare center? I hope it wasn’t one of mine!  If I ignore her, maybe she will leave.

–Why is no one else sweating?  Seriously,  I would love a fan or preferably a Blackberry Mojito right about now!

–I wonder what time it is?  Are we close to an hour yet? I think the clock is on the back wall; I will take a quick peak at it.  Wait!  Where is it?  Oh, no, on the front wall…and, busted! (As the instructor smiles at me).

–How are all these other people not only standing on one leg without jumping around to catch their balance, but some are sticking a leg straight out.  I missed those muscles at birth!

–Oh my goodness! The lady over there just farted loudly! Thank God my sinuses are clogged and, mostly,  THANK GOD it wasn’t me!

–Thanks for giving me the other version of this pose I am already trembling in, and hoping to do a reasonable facsimile of, until we can return to Downward Dog, my new home.



My Junior Groot

I recently watched Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 on Netflix.  I love the characters,  their in-fighting and their many flaws.  And, Chris Pratt is not hard to look at, either.

But one scene, amazingly, was very similar to my everyday life.  If you haven’t watched the movie, SPOILER ALERT!!!







Baby Groot, the only one of their band who is free on a space ship full of outlaws, is the only hope to help Yondu & Rocket Raccoon escape.  They only need Groot to bring Yondu his prototype fin to replace his original fin, which was destroyed by the Ravagers.  They describe it in intricate detail, and Groot returns with a desk, a small live animal, a severed toe–even Yondu’s underwear–everything BUT the needed fin!

Asking my five-year-old son to bring me something is so much like this…

My two year old daughter had fallen asleep on my lap in my chair, or getting it myself would have been the least painful course of action.

“Honey, can you bring me my phone?”

No response; my young man didn’t even look up.


“What, Mom?”

“Can you bring me my phone?” I asked again, pointing at it.  “It’s on the end table, by the couch.”

My son, turned in circles, looked right at the couch, not seeing it, and handed me a tissue.  I am Groot.

“No.  It’s on the far end table, baby.”

“What’s an ‘end table’?”  I am Groot.


He reached down on the floor, found a toy car, and started to bring it to me.

“Honey, that’s not my phone.”

He shrugged and handed me the toy car.  I am Groot.

“Honey! Mommy really needs her phone!”

“Where is it?” he asked, trying to hand me a Parenting magazine.

“On the end table, by the couch.”

“What’s an ‘end table’?”

“The TABLE at the END of the couch.”

“What?” Turned and looked at couch, not seeing or comprehending the word “table.” I am Groot .

“The TABLES. At the END of the COUCH. There are two of them! See, two?” I shook my head at the proffered water bottle.

Blank look, twirling resumed,  “What?”  I am Groot.


He nodded.


Deep breath. My daughter, used to a loud house, slept soundly during this exchange.

“Yes. That thing there. My phone is on it.”

He stopped twirling.

“Please bring me my phone.”

He skipped to the far end table, and brought me a Christmas card from my friend in Canada.

“Right place, wrong object. My phone?” So close.

He returned with my phone.  He is Groot!

Thankfully, he has never brought me a severed toe (no comments on underwear).

Was he playing me, or is five years akin to, “I am Groot”?  What do you think?


Top Ten Reasons Mommy Is Losing Her Mind


It’s Tuesday, and already it has been a super-long week.  Overtime hours at work and a house in worse than its usual state of disarray.  I fell asleep early on the couch, watching Transformers (my favorite!) on Netflix (not influenced at all by my five year old son). It started out rather okay. It started out…

I am pretty sure a break down is imminent.

Here is a Top Ten List of the reasons why:

  1. Waking up to puke on my floor
  2. Waking up to a puke covered toddler
  3. Waking up to puke on my couch
  4. Waking up to puke on my pants
  5. Waking up to puke on my t-shirt
  6. Waking up to puke in my hair
  7. Waking up to puke on my floor
  8. Trying not to puke myself at the smell
  9. Carefully taking off puke-covered toddler’s clothes
  10. Cleaning up puke from my toddler’s skin
  11. Cleaning up puke from my toddler’s hair
  12. New jammies and toddler to bed
  13. Cleaning up puke from my couch
  14. Cleaning puke off the remote control
  15. Dragging myself into my bedroom
  16. Finding another sick child in my bed
  17. Carefully taking off puke-covered preschooler’s clothes
  18. Cleaning puke off my preschooler
  19. New jammies and preschooler to bed
  20. Cleaning up puke from my comforter
  21. Cleaning up puke from my sheets
  22. Cleaning up puke from my mattress cover
  23. Washing puke from my pillows
  24. Washing puke off of my hair
  25. Washing puke off of my hands
  26. New sweatpants and t-shirt
  27. Smelling bleach cleaner all over my hands
  28. Washing couch cover, clothes, sheets, and towels at 2 am
  29. Wishing I had never bought raspberries

Wait, I think that is more than ten.  But, I am too frazzled to fix this. I am going to get some sleep before the kids wake me again.


My Strange Phobia

People who don’t know me probably think my large sports utility vehicle is usually dirty because I am a Mom who works in and out of the house and is busy, but that is just a small portion of it…

I have a few strange phobias, and there is the realistic one: I am afraid of the automatic carwash.  It isn’t so much that I am scared that it will fall down around me, and crush me and my big SUV.  That is a silly and irrational fear–because what are the odds of that happening–unlike what I really fear about it.

For one, the people running it crowd too many cars too close together.  The more cars they put through every hour, the more money they will make. So, it only makes sense that they will try to space the cars too close together.

The second thing I don’t trust is the machinery that takes over after I put my SUV in neutral.  How do I know it will keep me equidistant from the vehicles in front and behind me. Who is to say it won’t suddenly scrunch somewhere and send me careening through the soapy bubbles into the rear of the unsuspecting driver’s car ahead of me?  Or the car behind me straight into my back seat?  

With all the soap pouring on my unsuspecting car, I won’t be able to see anything, and will be completely helpless to avert disaster.

Then, if I emerge with my family and my car in one piece, there is the drama and questioning of when I can take my car out of neutral and resume control.  Some of these have a “stoplight”, that will change green when it’s time.  But will it?  Will I rip up my transmission or something shifting into Drive too soon?  (Because I don’t want to wait for the car behind me to get me!)

If someone is waiting at the other end to towel dry, that brings more fear of improper spacing.  I won’t run over the person with the dryish towel, but I am silently rooting for him to quickly finish before he car behind me catches up. 

And, don’t even get me started on the fears from five seasons of Breaking Bad.   What if the car wash I choose is like the A1A Car Wash and laundering way more than cars?  I honestly already had enough to worry about!

I hope, every time I go through with my kids, that no one else is aware of the danger and the probable bad parenting I am doing by exposing my kids to this risk.

Unlimited card?  Go through this more than a few times a year? No, thank you!  I bought a neutral colored car for a reason!


Transforming A Christmas Curmudgeon


Since I found out the horrible truth about Santa, I have always been a huge Christmas Curmudgeon.  I had been concerned as a small child, as our house didn’t have a chimney.  My parents explained that Santa was not only wise but clever, and could crawl through the opening of our swamp cooler on the roof.  Year after year, I would diligently wait for the jolly old man, only to just barely miss him after falling asleep, and one year after going out for ice cream, I missed him by a reported only five minutes.

But somewhere, Christmas became less about Jesus (and presents) and family (and good food), and more a time of year when I would get sad, depressed even.  If I decorated at all, it was with an eighteen inch “tree” made out of bare branches, with one or two gifted ornaments.  (Think Tim Burton’s house). 

I hated the lights and decorations, because they just reminded me what time of year it was.  I was annoyed at the wasting of electricity.

I would send cards to the people who had sent them the previous year, and made a list of family members and friends who hadn’t reciprocated and made sure never to send them anything again.  I called it my “Christmas Grudge List”. 

Then came two beautiful children. 

A two year old who gets excited by an honorary aunt’s Elf on the Shelf, calling it, “Santa! Santa! Santa!” and a five year old who was beside himself last year riding around looking at the lights.  Yes, we deliberately got in the car with no purpose other than to actually drive around and seek out people’s houses with Christmas decorations.  And he loved it. And I even enjoyed myself.

As my son grew from infancy, I bought a pre-lit tree and cursed quietly under my breath every time I scratched myself on its branches walking past it, as it stuck out too far in our smallish great room.  I bought hard-to-break plastic ornaments, and stockings that repeatedly fell off my mantle (though Santa does have a chimney to slide down in my house).

This year, I found the most wonderful thing; a “pencil tree”!  I put it together while my children slept one morning after Thanksgiving.  It looked beautiful and didn’t stick out.  My kids were utterly unimpressed.

My son, “I want the other tree.  Can we get the other tree down from the attic?”

“But we have this tree.  Isn’t it beautiful?”

“We can have two trees!  Let’s have two trees!”

Big sigh.

And later, my son asked, “When are we putting our lights up on our house, Mommy?”

When designing our custom family cards, I bought an extra package of twenty so we wouldn’t run out. 

In our yard is our brand new projector light to put reindeer dancing on our house.  We were the first house on our block to get lights up.  Both Christmas trees stand guard over a singing and dancing Santa that my daughter found, contributing in her own way.

Bah humbug?  Not in this house!



Grateful for the Strangest Things, Part Two

We have a wonderful Thanksgiving planned this year, but I still find that while I am grateful for the usual things, I am also grateful for some of the strangest things.  Some of them have changed since last year, and new ones have cropped up:

I am writing this with one hand and at a thirty degree angle while my daughter plays with a retractable tape measure and laughs at a deafening level with her legs across my stomach, and my son is “making a salad” for a monkey on a cooking app on his tablet, and squeezed in a space of approximately six inches between me and the arm of my couch.  Spending time with them is my happiest time; and I am grateful they want to be with me.

When my son said he had his sister’s “co-opulation” he didn’t know what that sounded like to my adult ears.  He just meant that she had finally been persuaded to get out of the driver’s seat in my car and come in the house from the garage.  (I now have two would-be back up drivers).

My kids are still scared of what happens at “three”.  I can count, with or without the demonstration of the numbers on my fingers, and they will listen to my directions. They usually aren’t happy, but as long as they comply.

And now, my son is cooking an elephant a dish with pumpkin, even though the elephant shook his head, “no” to the pumpkin.   “He doesn’t want it, but I am going to make him try it.”  Where has he heard that before (spinach at dinner)?  My children make me laugh!

Speaking of which, grateful that my Alexa Dot has a full cadre of Alvin and the Chipmunk songs, because even though it is a tad bit strange to hear the Chipettes sing, “If you like it, then you better put a ring on it” the songs start some of the best dance parties in the history of my home.

Even though he does it with the hugest put-upon attitude, my son will go to the fridge and get me a diet soda if I ask.  (“Train them young,” I say).

My son is generous enough to find the Amazon app on my phone and find wonderful toys and presents for his friends, his sister, and me.  I am glad he is generous and wants to give.  I am even more grateful that he does not know my password.  I am also grateful that the folks at Amazon were understanding when during a brief moment that the parental controls were off of my daughter’s tablet and she ordered ninety-nine dollars’ worth of children’s shows on Prime, that they reversed the sale.  Amazing work for an hour for a two year old!

Wishing a wonderful Thanksgiving to everyone!  What “strange” things are you grateful for?

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