Category Archives: Acute Onset Chaos (AOC)


It’s National Share A Blog Day (NSABD)!  Okay, I made that up, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how to broaden my reach.  In other words, I want more readers, more Facebook “Likes,” more Twitter followers, a book deal, a talk show, and a boat!  (One with a bathroom on board, thank you very much.)

I like to dream big, but I’m also humble and have a hard time taking a compliment (go ahead and try) and asking for things, so I’d be over the moon happy with just a few new blog subscribers.  I figured since I’ve been entertaining you for almost two years with tales from the crypt Mama-hood (my blog-iversary, blog birthday or whatever you want to call it is just a few days away!), it’s about time you did something for me (said The Runaway Mama very, very nicely).

This is where NSABD comes in.  All I want you to do is share my blog with two people (or 10…that would be cool) (or 100…wow!) in your life.  And because I’m such a good Mama, I’ve made it easy.  Below you’ll see a recap of some of my most recent posts, as well as a few “oldie but goodie” acronym-themed posts – AOC and PVSD – in honor of this one.  And at the very bottom of this page is a new “sharing” button so you can easily share this very post (or any post at all) with every single person on the planet.  Just like that.  See, I did all the hard work for you.  All you have to do is share it.  Because sharing is nice.  And not sharing is crappy.  Here goes…

  • Wonky Mama (n.):  A Mama who has too much time on her hands and takes a dozen pictures of her son mailing his first letter at the post office.  Read “Postal” here.
  • Sometimes good parenting feels bad.  It’s that simple (except it’s not simple at all).  Read about it here.
  • Considering a postnuptial agreement?  Read “Testimony” here.
  • To have or not to have another baby named after a Star Wars character?  Read “Luke Skywalker” here.
  • Planning a trip to Legoland?  For an expert (I use that term very loosely) review, read “Legoland: The Good, The Great, and The Well…” here.
  • Do you like math?  Check out some Runaway Mama Word Problems here and here.
  • Acute Onset Chaos (AOC).  A must read, especially during the summer when play dates are plentiful.  Read about it here.
  • Post Vacation Stress Disorder (PVSD).  Required reading before your next kid-free vacation!  Read “PVSD” here.

Okay, that should do it.  Thanks for helping a Mama out on (fake) National Share A Blog Day.  From one Mama to another, “Abracadabra, please, and thank you” (that’s what Riley would say).  In other words, thanks for reading and sharing!

p.s. Have you signed up to receive email alerts when I publish a new post?  Have you “Liked” my Runaway Mama Facebook page yet?  Are you following me on Twitter?  You can do all of these things by clicking on the links to the right.  Over here ——–>

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Filed under Acute Onset Chaos (AOC), Legoland, math, motherhood, parenting, vacation

WARNING: Play dates may be hazardous to your health

Like cigarettes, play dates should have warning labels.

They’re good for kids. They’re good for moms. The kids play, exercise, and socialize. The moms chat, bond, and commiserate about potty training, pre-school, and personal issues. Moms fill up the excruciatingly long hours between school and dinner (or between breakfast and nap time for the young ones). What could be wrong with this set-up? Play dates are a win-win situation for everyone, right?

I hate to pop your bubbles, moms, but I must. It’s my duty to inform you about Acute Onset Chaos* (AOC).

Acute Onset Chaos (uh-kyoot –awnset – kay-os)


  1. The frenzy that ensues when your child/children realize how utterly exhausted and/or hungry they are immediately after a play date has concluded.
  2. The 30-45 minutes after a play date concludes when a mom hears nothing but crying, whining, and complaining from her otherwise perfect children.
  3. The 30-45 minutes after a play date concludes when a mom is asked to complete a billion different requests  orders demands from her tired, crying, whining, and complaining children.

In the event of AOC, don’t operate heavy machinery and don’t accidentally pour Pinot Grigio instead of milk into a sippy cup. (Come on, this has happened to you, hasn’t it?) For some reason, you never think AOC is coming. But. it. always. does.  One minute you’re in a play date dream, and the next minute you’re in the middle of a tornado’s path with no place to hide.

My advice is simple:

  • Don’t look your child/children in the eye.
  • Don’t initiate conversation.
  • Don’t fight back. Nobody wins during AOC.
  • Focus on completing one task at a time.
  • Find your happy place, especially when your child freaks out because, for example, you pressed play on the remote control to start a movie but he wanted to the press the button. Which brings me to…
  • Reasoning is futile. Don’t mess around. Just figure out how to un-press the damn button. And finally…
  • For Pete’s sake, use a life line if you’re losing the battle.

On Friday evening after my play date, I kept a mom friend on the phone with me as navigated the bedlam of AOC. Thankfully it was after 5pm, so in addition to my friend on the phone, I had some wine to help me weather the storm. For at least 30 minutes, I refereed fights over the television and which movies to watch, cleaned pee off the bathroom floor, fetched milk and juice (I want it now!), cooked macaroni and cheese (I want it now!), un-pressed buttons and performed other impossible feats, and kept the boys from killing one another (and me). And then as quickly as it started, the room grew quiet, the crying, whining, and complaining ceased, and it was over.


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Filed under Acute Onset Chaos (AOC), play date