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Welcome to Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid

Therapy and sanity for ordinary parents of special kids.

Fighting back at bully.

When we were growing up, our brother, Bobby, who was small for his age, was  being bullied  by a big kid in the neighborhood. It was a bit surprising, since Bobby was beloved by nearly every kid in the neighborhood for his good looks, toughness, and athletic abilities.  Yet for some reason, this neighborhood bully didn’t like him. One day, when my brother had had enough, our easy-going father stepped it and made a suggestion, “Bob, the only way to get rid of a bully is to stand up to him. I think you should fight him.”

Our brother, who was known for his toughness, agreed and challenged his bully to fight at our home one Saturday.

Our not-so-easy going mother was horrified when my father told her the plan. “Saint Anthony Tony! He’s so much bigger than Bobby. He’s going to kill him.”

“Vi,” our father said. “He has to stand up to him. It’s the only way it’s gonna stop.”

The fight was the Main Event in our neighborhood, as scores of kids gathered around to watch our beloved brother take on the the neighborhood bully. (“Get him Bob!” they yelled.) Our parents and the two of us watched from high above in our family’s porch (where our mother had hung rosary beads). The tension was high as both boys got in their punches. Even our mother was getting in to it, fluttering around and punching at the air. “Good right jab, Bob!”

However, it didn’t take long for both boys to become bloodied and battered. At one point, our brother, who had always suffered from bloody noses, was gushing with blood, However, he wanted to keep going.

“Tony, stop the fight!” Our mother yelled to her father. “Bobby is bleeding. I think he might be really hurt.”

“Yeah Daddy, please. He’s gonna kill my brother,” cried Gina.

Our father, who had been in his share of fights as a kid, warned us. “Not yet. He needs to see this through.”

A few minutes latter, Bobby landed a punch that split the bully’s lips. At that point with both boys bloodied,  my father went down and stopped the fight.

The fight probably would have been called a draw, as both boys gave it their all, but Bobby was the one who earned the greatest victory when the bully came up to him and shook his hand. “Good fight.”

From that day on, the bully left Bobby alone. Eventually, they became friends.

Today, fighting back isn’t so easy. Especially, if you’re a child with special needs who may not stand a physical chance. Yet on those rare occasions when a child is able to strike back at their bully, you can’t help but applaud. Take a look at the video link below of a child who  does just that. We can’t help but wonder what the bully will do now? Tell us what you think.

Reference: Teen Bully Video Fallout — Both Kids Suspended

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The Entries are In. Vote for your Favorite Snuggie

Who will be the winner of the Shut Up Public Snuggie Contest? Take a few seconds to vote by posting a comment with your selection. The winner will receive a brand new Snuggie (ooooooh!). Voting ends Friday, March 18.

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Photo of Massachusetts State Representative Dianne Wilkerson alledgedly taking a bribe. Presented as evidence in indictment. part of exhibits filed with district court on 10/27/2008

Image via Wikipedia

Attention Dianne Wilkerson (the shamed former Massachusetts’ Senate member who was caught on film stuffing cash bribes in her bra), you’ve now been upstaged by the woman in the linked article below. Apparently, this woman  was caught entering a courtroom with a tiny monkey stuffed in her bra. We’re all for breast enhancement, but we just have to wonder, what happened to the old trick of tissues?

What strange things have you put in your bra?

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Study Says Pets are Beneficial to your Health; Gina Says Her Puppy is Hazardous to Hers

Today, after finding her puppy, Candy, chewing on a new box of brand new Shut Up Industries’ business cards (sorry Patty), Gina was shocked to discover an article on the ways pets are beneficial to your health. Since Candy, the crazy cockapoo, arrived in Gina’s home, six months ago, Gina’s life span has been shortened by six years. Followers of this blog may recall that Candy is the dog who has maimed countless Barbie dolls, chewed the cord off a $150 flat iron, and swallowed endless homework assignments, including a Book Report (one of Gina’s finest pieces of work).

Candy has also put a tremendous strain on Gina’s marriage, and is the source of many  spats.  “Gene, I can’t believe you got a GPS chip put in her. There’s no point in me leaving the door open any more.”

Candy’s incessant, loud barking hasn’t been good for Gina’s home-based business either. “Look Gina, why don’t you call me back and interview me when you’re finished with the iditarod.”

What do you think? Are pets good for your health? More importantly, who would like a lovable, somewhat trained cockapoo? We just read they’re good for your health.

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Sad News for Captain Crunch Fans!

captain crunch!

Image by spablab via Flickr

When we were kids, Captain Crunch was our favorite cereal. It still is, though we are no longer allowed to have it since, well, there’s 30,000 Weight Watchers points in one crumb. For health purposes, we’ve moved on to healthier cereals, such as  Fiber One. It doesn’t make the crunch of Captain Crunch, though it does make other sounds.

“Good God Gina, was that you?”

We were saddened to come across this health update on the Captain. It seems he’s in the hospital suffering from diabetes (see article below). To show your support for the Captain, please share a fond memory.

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Not Your Average Granny.

Tea Grannys

Image by goldberg via Flickr

We’ve heard of awards for “World’s Best Granny” but never “World’s Youngest Granny,” which is certainly a title that many folks pray they never have to receive. But a Romanian woman has been dubbed the world’s youngest grandmother at the age of…get this..23.  We can’t even fathom how this would work.

“Granny, can I be the ring bearer at your wedding?”

See the article below. Then, give thanks that this was not you at age 23.

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Breaking News! Shocking Study Finds that Teens Lie!

Lie Detection

Image by celesteh via Flickr

Gasp! Imagine how shocked we were when we came across this article. According to the article, a recent study found that 8 out of 10 teens lie to their parents about important things. And to think, we actually believed our kids when they said the dog ate their homework. Gina, especially, fell for that. “That Candy. I’m gonna kill her. First, she ate my flatiron and now your science fair project.”

Are we the only ones blown away by this shocking study?

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Charlie Sheen’s New Publicist Out of this World

Charlie Sheen in March 2009

Image via Wikipedia

Those who are worried about Charlie Sheen’s undoing should feel better that he’s brought on a brilliant new mind to help him with this growing publicity problem. One of the first pieces of advice from his publicist was to involve his family and “phone home.” Check out the link below from Weekly World News to see who Charlie has tapped. And to think, people were worried about his mental state.

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Therapist Bares All to Get Patients to Open Up


Image by amaianos via Flickr

Tell me. How does this make you feel?

Well just when you think you’ve seen all the therapy approaches in the world, you come across this one. According to our highly credible sources at Weekly World News (the same publication that  we think broke the story on the moon being made of sponge cake) a New York therapist gets patients to bare all by peeling off her clothing and counseling them in the nude. Apparently, she’s able to get through more layers of a person in this way. Not sure if it works, but we did hear that you can pay her in dollar bills.

What do you think? Would you feel comfortable receiving therapy from a naked therapist?

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A Feel Good Facebook Story — Pay Attention Mother

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

Whenever Facebook is in the news is it ever good news? It seems you can’t turn on the television without hearing some negative story about some Facebook scam or bullying incident. Our own mother is caught up in it, constantly warning us about people looking to steal from us.

One time, in particular, while we were visiting the City of Brotherly Love and taking all kinds of cool pictures for our Shut Up Facebook page, we received a disturbing call from our mother.

“Girls, I hope you don’t tell people on that Spacebook thing that you are out of town. I just read that that’s how people get robbed.”

“Of ccccccourse, nnnnnnnot!” stumbled Gina, wearing her Ben Franklin glasses and hanging from the Liberty Bell.

As Facebook addicts, we take offense to all these bad Facebook stories. A lot of good can come from Facebook. Heck, we’ve seen it ourselves with our FB community page that offers hope, support, and humor to more than 5,000 special parents, grandparents, caregivers, and teachers  around the world. Not to mention the fact that we’ve connected with our first grade teachers and belong to the “I hate it when people leave their directionals on while driving on the highway” fan club.

With all the bad stuff that’s happened with bullying and teens, we were so pleased to discover how one teen is using Facebook to help other teens contemplating suicide. Sounds like a pretty good thing to us. Watch the video below.  Maybe this Spacebook thing isn’t so bad after all, right Mother?

What do you think?

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Breaking News in the World of Imperfect Fashion

A fashion model on the runway.

Forget stylish dresses like this one. The Koobli is where it’s at.

Image via Wikipedia

Attention Snuggie fans! There’s a sweeping new trend in imperfect wear. Its called the Koobli. It’s a combination Snuggie and bib, making it ideal for protecting yourself against baby spit up, messy art projects, or dirty dish water. But perhaps the best use is of an even more practical nature.

“Pat, what in the heck are you wearing? Don’t you have a team meeting today?”

“It’s a Koobli Gene. It will protect me when they start throwing around the bull$%#@!”

Check out the video below and tell us what practical uses you have for the Koobli.

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Parenting Ploy Lands Not-So-Bright Parents in the Slammer

A traditional blue lamp as seen outside most police stations. This one is outside Bow Street Police Station

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re thinking about leaving a poorly behaved child at the Police Station to scare them into behaving well, think again. The article below highlights two not-so-bright parents who decided to abandon their 6-year-old daughter at the Police Station. Their plan backfired when they were the ones who got arrested. Apparently it wasn’t their first time; the couple was previously arrested for drugs.

Let this be a lesson to all. If you’re going to abandon your children, take them to the Fire Station. Duh!

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Announcing a Shut Up Contest that will make you feel warm all over.

Hold on to your hats or  in this case, your Snuggies. It’s time for a new contest. P & G are looking for the best photo featuring an imperfect person wearing a Snuggie. But it’s not that simple. The wrinkle (besides the ones on our faces) in this contest is that the Snuggie must be worn in a public place. We’re looking for creativity, overall goofiness, and of course, boldness. The winner will receive a new Snuggie. To give you a sense of what we’re looking for, we offer up the photo above, entitled The Hills Are Alive. Contest ends March 15  (Beware of the Ides of March).

Special thanks to Judy C. for coming up with this brilliant and imperfect idea.

Warning: Please do not attempt to wear your Snuggie on an escalator or a tight rope. You probably won’t want to cook with it either as Gina learned when making pasta for her daughter. “Mommy, your sleeve is on fire.”

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I’m No Parenting Bully by Gina

A Bully Free Zone sign - School in Berea, Ohio

Image via Wikipedia

OK, I’ll admit, when it comes to parenting, I’m not exactly perfect. I’ve been known to be a little loose with the rules and a little less structured than some parents should be.

“Mom, I cleaned by room.”

“Oh, Emmy, it looks beautiful, but where are all your clothes?”

“Oh, I hid them under the bed.”

“Look, I won’t tell Dad if you don’t.”


While I may be many things as a parent, somewhat unorganized and daffy, there is one thing I’m proud to say I’m not — a bully. There does, however, seem to be a growing trend in this form of parenting. Now, don’t get me wrong, there have been times when I’ve been known to throw my weight around (all 110 pounds of it. Just kidding, I meant 120 — I gained a few), I just don’t think I could bring myself to bully them, since their lives are hard enough. The article below highlights the growing trend in bullying Moms.

What do you think?

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We Have a Winner!

It was a tight contest, but the “Boy in the Box” took home first prize in our Imperfect Book Photo Contest. This handsome young man is the winner of his choice of a Shut Up Fun Basket or two autographed copies of SUAYPK. Personally, we’d take the fun basket. Thanks to all who participated. The entries were all terrific. If you were keeping score at home, be sure to tally the votes under the pictures as well. Thank you all.

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Breaking News! Voting for Imperfect Book Picture Is Now Open! Cast your Vote!

Today is a big today at Shut Up Industries and it’s not just because we’re going to the pharmacy to pick up meds. No sir, today is much bigger than all that. Today is the day we open voting for our Imperfect Book Contest. As you may recall, we challenged our loyal blog readers and Facebook fans to provide a creative picture featuring our book. We received many entries. To cast your vote, just leave a blog comment telling us which one you like best. The winner will receive their choice of a Shut Up Fun Basket or two autographed Shut Up books (the new one and the old one). Let the voting begin. Voting ends by 8:00 a.m. EST Thursday, February 24, 2011.

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Another Thing We Have In Common with Brad and Angie

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Cannes film festival

“Brad Honey, I hope you don’t mind, but I kinda bought a vineyard today.”

Image via Wikipedia

It’s long been said that the number one reason married couples fight involves money. Although  some of us have a few reasons that rank right up there.

“Mike don’t tell me we have to watch Planet of the Apes again?”

We’ve always thought that if we won the lottery, we’d never fight about money again. That is, until we read this article about America’s most beautiful couple — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. It appears that even with their bursting bank accounts and real estate riches,  they have terrible tiffs about money.

And we foolishly thought they had all of those kids because they loved parenting.

“Come on Ange, what do you say we have another tax deduction, I mean kid?”

Would you and your spouse/partner/SO fight if you had as much money as them?

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Driven to anxiety

SEAT auto emocion : Challenge Zone

Image by Torley via Flickr

Remember that time in your teenhood when you couldn’t wait to reach the legal driving age? Getting that license meant making a major leap in the quest toward freedom and independence. We certainly took full advantage of it when we got our licenses as teens.

“Vi, where is Patty?”

“Oh Tony, she offered to go to the store to pick up milk for me. She’s such a good daughter.”

“Vi, that was eight hours ago.”

Now as parents of special children, our excitement has turned to anxiety or panic, especially when you have a teen with a disability that affects their coordination and visual perception. Driving requires the ability to make snap decisions and to manage unforeseen circumstances, something Gina or “Crash” (as she’s known as in our family) still struggles with.

“Mommy don’t tell me you hit another car in the driveway?”

“Emmy, it’s not my fault. That car wasn’t supposed to be parked in that spot. They just ignored the Park At Your Own Risk sign with the skull and crossbones that Dad put up after my last accident!”

With Gina’s daughter, Katie, approaching 16, Gina is extremely anxious about the whole driving process. On the one hand, she’s worried about Katie’s ability to drive and manage the responsibilities and challenges that come along with it. On the other, she doesn’t want to rob her daughter  of an opportunity to gain independence.

“Mom, you gotta stop babying me. I want to learn to drive. I know I can do it.”

Given Gina’s anxiety over this, she was thrilled to come across this article about a new study designed to tackle autism and driving. The study  involves using a simulator that would allow teens with autism to learn how to drive and to determine their level of readiness before they hit the road.

Patty was excited to learn about this, too.

“Gene, maybe you can take part in the study, too? You could use some more practice.”

What do you think? Do you have a teen with a disability who wants to drive? Does this seem like a good idea to you?

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DIS-ability or DIF-ability, Disorder or Difference, Gina or The Imperfection?

High Dopamine Transporter Levels Not Correlated with ADHD Contradicts use of transporter levels as diagnostic indicator; suggests need for more study November 29, 2006 These positron emission tomography (PET) scans show that patients with ADHD had lower levels of dopamine transporters in the nucleus accumbens, a part of the brain's reward center, than control subjects. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

Image via Wikipedia

We’ve both always cringed a little bit when people refer to our daughters’ disabilities as “disorders.” (It doesn’t seem to apply to them, though it does ring true of their messy, disordered rooms). That’s why when we came across this article that proposes changing the last D in ADHD from disorder to difference, we were hooked. Some of the most creative people we know have ADHD and to think of them as having a disorder just doesn’t feel right. So if it’s OK with you, in our Imperfect world we will now refer to it as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Difference and the term ADD as Attention Deficit Difference.  And while we’re changing that, we’d also like to change the term “disability” to “difability.” Don’t credit us for this brilliant idea; we actually got it from a wonderful woman we met in Concord, NH, who refers to her son’s learning disability in this way.

Why stop here? Gina would like to change her name. Growing up, there were never any “Gina” license plates for her bike or cool signs for her room. Patty and our brother Bob had no problem, but Gina always had the “Jane’s room” or “Jean’s room” sign. Today, any name pretty much works. Maybe she should be like our Jersey Shore favorite, The Situation, and change her name to something like The Imperfection.

What do you think? Should they change the terms disability and disorder? What other terms would you like to change?

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Jessica Simpson’s Fiance Allegedly Tells Her to Slim Down; Shut Up Sisters Virtually Tell Him To Shut Up

Jessica Simpson

Image via Wikipedia

OK, we know this could be a Hollywood rumor, but our trusted sources at the National Enquirer (the tabloid that broke the stories about the John Edwards affair and that the moon was made of cheese) are reporting that Jessica’s Simpson’s fiance, Eric Johnson, has given her an ultimatum: slim down or no wedding. Could this really be true?  We know that Jessica may not be the smartest fish in the school  (recall, she thought that Chicken of the Sea was chicken), but she pretty much embodies physical perfection  and the things guys love most – blonde hair, beauty, boobies, and billions.

Whatever the case,  we can sympathize with her pre-wedding weight battle. Getting fitted for a wedding dress is stressful. It sure was for Gina who had a seamstress who liked to point out her body flaws (all 39,000 of them).

“Miss, you have the biggest rib cage I’ve ever seen in my 39 years of fitting brides.”

She had Gina so worried about her weight that on the day of the wedding, Gina barely ate. “And the bride cuts the pea. The bride cuts the pea.”

Do you think this is true? Did Jessica’s fiance really give her this ultimatum? And more importantly, do you know anyone with a bigger rib cage than Gina?

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Brady Mom To Reveal Battle with Depression, proof that having a maid doesn’t bring happiness.

Robert Reed & Florence Henderson

Image by Alan Light via Flickr

To those of us who think our lives would be perfect if we had a live-in maid like Alice to do all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry, this story is a wake-up call. It appears that Florence Henderson, the perfect mother of The Brady Bunch, is coming out with a memoir that reveals her unhappiness in her personal life  and battle with post-partum depression. While we haven’t read the book, we suspect things took a terrible turn for the worse when Peter broke her favorite vase. “I always told him, don’t play ball in the house.”

What do you think? Could you sense Mrs. Brady’s unhappiness? What do you think might have set her over the edge? Watching her perfect daughter get hit with the football in the nose? Listening to Jan’s constant whining, (“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”)? We’re sure thinking Bobby drowned in sudsy bubbles didn’t help either.

Whatever the reason, we’re happy to hear Florence has her life on track. It takes a lot of courage to write a book like this (though we can’t help but wonder if Alice did that too).

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Wondering When the Next School Call Will Come?

Modern telephone

Image via Wikipedia

Someday you may be able to tell months in advance.  You can with school cancellation snow days, thanks to a young David Suhkin, who created a Snow Day Calculator when he was in sixth grade, which  predicted with 100% accuracy when the next  snow day will be for his school district (see article below). While this is certainly impressive, we’d like to see him create a School Call Calculator.  Imagine being able to determine exactly when the next call will come days in advance. Now that’s progress. So anyone know a sixth grader who can invent this? Gina’s sixth grader likes to invent other things. “Mom, I couldn’t put away the clothes cause I had a headache.”

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Color Me Crazy – Girl Gets Suspended for Streaking


Image by Capeside. via Flickr

Well, just when you think you’ve seen it all in the world of imperfection, you come across a story like this one. It appears that a 12-year-old girl was suspended from school for two days for streaking. Now before you lynch this poor girl, we should tell you that this doesn’t involve the traditional way of streaking (what Patty does in her neighborhood for entertainment). No, it involves having color streaks put in her hair. Her mother gave her this gift for her birthday, only to learn that her daughter would earn a two-day suspension at school for her stylish streaks. (See video clip below.) We just have to wonder what kind of message this is sending to the kids in the school? “Whoa, I can like look really pretty and get a vacation from school.”

What do you think? Does this seem appropriate? And if so, does this mean Gina should be suspended from work every time she gets her hair colored? No wonder fake blondes have more fun. They don’t have to work or go to school.

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Broken Lamp Leads Imperfect Dogs in the Doghouse

Bad news for Max and Candy Gallagher fans. Looks like both are serving time in the pen for breaking Gina’s new office lamp ($29.95 at Staples).  Gina was furious.

“I always told you two, don’t play fetch in the house.”

Let this be a lesson to those who are thinking about getting a puppy to help their special children. A stuffed puppy is just as effective. It stays clean, doesn’t bark any time someone rings the doorbell or moves, or ruin your carpet.

“Oh Max! Don’t tell me you’ve had another Max-cident!”

What would you do with these two?

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Clothing Prices, Nudist Colony Enrollment, and School Calls Expected to Rise Sharply in 2011.

Love Parade 2007 in Essen

Image via Wikipedia

Will soaring clothing costs force you to cut corners in 2011?

Disturbing news for those who like to wear clothes. It appears that clothing prices are due to rise due to increased labor costs overseas. If you have a teenager, though, this shouldn’t affect you, since most of them wear practically nothing. Playboy bunnies shouldn’t be affected though they may have to pay a little more for their cotton ears.

We have a call into Weekly World News to determine how this change might affect costs for Snuggies, since we’re not sure if they are characterized as clothing or blankets. Stay tuned…

How will you manage soaring clothing costs?

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Announcing… A new imperfect contest that speaks volumes

Now that our Imperfect Valentine’s Day Contest is over, it’s time to introduce our next  contest. This one was developed by our friend, Darcy, who is well aware of our love for goofy pictures and shameless self-promotion. By the way, did we mention we wrote a book? Your  mission (if you choose to accept it) will be to take/stage/Photoshop a goofy picture that features the new white version of our book. You can have people in the picture with the book or just do something funny with the book alone. To give you a sense of what we’re looking for/how twisted we are, we have provided some sample photos below that feature our old book. (NOTE: The two women in the pictures are professional imperfect models.)

The stakes are high.

The winner of this imperfect contest will win…a new car! Of course,we are kidding. The winner will receive a signed autographed copy of both the new and old version (orange one) Shut Up books. To enter, just submit the picture to our Facebook page and we will select the top finalists and put it to readers of this Blog to select the winner. P & G (Patty and Gina, not Proctor and Gamble), our imperfect judges,  will be looking for creativity and overall imperfectness. Bribery is also welcomed  (we both love wine and chocolate).  If you are an astronaut, please feel free to take the book with you on your next journey; it travels very well. Also, if you don’t have the book, feel free to draw one that resembles it.

All entries are due by Monday, February 21.  What are you waiting for? Let the imperfect promotion/fun begin.

What do you think? Are you in? Are you a player or a spectator in the game of life?


Employees of Shut Up Industries (Patty and Gina) and their family members and dogs are ineligible. Shut Up Industries is not liable if you get a paper cut while reading either book, nor are we liable if you decide to beat a bragging parent over the head with one.

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And the winner is…

The winner in the Imperfect Valentine Contest. It sure does break through doesn't it?

Congratulations to Sharon Sturgis Tonjes, creator of this wonderful conversation heart saying: “Kiss My Aspie.”  Sharon is the proud winner of a Shut Up Fun & Games basket. Sharon please send us your home address, height, weight, favorite color, person you’d most likely to be stranded on a desert island with, etc. to (Patty please don’t delete this address).

Give it up for Sharon! And thank you all for participating. It was so much fun.

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Breaking News! Cast your Vote in our Imperfect Valentine Contest

Attention Contest Lovers! It’s Valentine’s Day and that means it’s time to vote for the winner in our Imperfect Valentine Contest. Our Imperfect Judges (Patty, Gina, and their dogs) have selected their finalists. We just need you to help us choose the winner.  Just post a comment with your selection, and we’ll tally up the votes and announce the winner tomorrow morning on the Shut Up Blog. The winner will receive an imperfect Shut Up basket with all kinds of goodies. Thanks to all who entered.

“I only look normal”

“Kiss My Aspie”

“got meds?”

“Live, Love, Lexapro”

“Pass the wine”

“uoy evol”

“Accept Me”

“Imperfectly Mine”

“Don’t Kiss Me, Hug Me or Touch Me”

“Block & redirect”

“The School Called”

“Medicate Me”

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A Positive ADDitude

At the risk of sounding like shameless self promoters, or two bloggers desperately seeking new material, we wanted to share with you this wonderful article in ADDitude magazine, which features Gina and her daughter Katie on the cover. Gina was thrilled, as she’s always looking for mother/daughter bonding opportunities.

“What do you mean you won’t join the mother and daughter bowling team with me?”

“Mom, you’re a freak.”

Katie, on the other hand,  was a bit more cautious about the whole thing.

“Oh great, now I won’t be able to go to the mall without people recognizing me.”

“Ah Kate, it’s ADDitude not Cosmo,” said Gina.

Many of Gina’s friends and families were surprised about the whole thing, including Patty.

“That’s not fair. You don’t even have ADD. You’re just riding your daughter’s ADD coattails to fame.”

Nonetheless, Gina is thrilled and honored, though she’s trying desperately not to let all the ADDtention go to her head.

“Mommy why are you standing in front of the mirror with the fan blowing on your hair?”Katie and Gina on the cover of ADDitude magazine. Katie's cute when she's not sleeping.

To learn more, visit

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You Know You’re Not that Bright When…

More proof that the scattered Shut Up Sisters are all over the map.

Last night, we had the privilege of speaking in Concord, New Hampshire. For those who don’t know, Concord is the capital of New Hampshire. Gina wasn’t entirely certain what this actually meant,  so she asked her older, more experienced sister to explain.

“Well little, uninformed sister, it means that you get to have  a building with a pretty gold dome on it.”

During our presentation, we displayed a slide that Patty put together entitled “Imperfection Connection,” which was supposed to explain that we have travelled to various places to learn that imperfection exists all around the country (see above).  The slide depicts a colorful map of the United States and has an animated plane flying about the country. Gina (who is not a Powerpoint guru) was very impressed by Patty’s work and even called out Patty during the presentation. “Didn’t my not-so-bright sister do a great job on this slide?”

After the talk, Patty and Gina, along with their friend Kristen Lazuka, went out for dinner and drinks with two of the women at the presentation. As soon as we sat down, Kristen and one of the women, Jennifer, turned to the Shut Up Sisters and asked,

“When did you guys speak in Guam and Indonesia?”

“What are you talking about?” a confused Patty responded. “We’ve never spoken there.”

“That’s not what the map said. The map had a list of all these other places like the Virgin Islands, Guam, and Indonesia.”

“No it doesn’t,” said the Shut Up Sisters in unison.

“Yes, it does,” Kristen said,  fighting back laughter.

“Are you trying to mislead the audience?” grilled Jennifer.

“Of course, not. Do you think we’re that dumb?”

“No,” they both responded, though their eyes told us something different.

Gina and Patty tried to change the subject. “Nachos for everyone. Our  treat,”  but the two ladies kept persisting.

“And what do the different colors mean? Are those the states you visited over and over again?” Kristen, our supposed new friend, asked.

“Yeah, I was wondering  about that too,” said Jennifer. We couldn’t figure it out. I thought it was Republican vs. Democratic states, but then I couldn’t figure out what the mauve and seafoam states represented.”

“The colors don’t mean anything”, said Patty.  “I just thought they were pretty. All the other topography maps are boring. Ya know in those depressing earth tones. I got tired of them. This one just looked so cheery.”

“Oh my,” they said. “You two really aren’t that bright.”

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A Valentine Reminder of Love and Cleanliness

Bee mine...  valentine card

Image by oddsock via Flickr

Searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your daughter(s)? The search is over. Purchase her a Momiji’s Love doll. This cute little  3-inch doll stores a tiny folded card on which you can write a personalized message. We’re currently in the process of determining the messages we want to send to our daughters, and would appreciate your helping us decide. Our proposed messages are below.

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day. Now clean your room.
  2. Have you hugged your mother today?
  3. Nothing says I love you more than emptying the dishwasher.

Which one should we choose?

And speaking of Valentine’s Day…there’s still time to participate in our Imperfect Valentine’s contest. Scroll below to make an entry.

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Feel Good Story of the Day. Sorry Charlie Sheen.

Wake Forest logo

Image via Wikipedia

We were searching the Internet this morning when we came across a wonderful feel good story. Not that other  “feel good story” that’s currently dominating the news — Charlie Sheen’s drug-induced romps with prostitutes — but a story of an incredible act of human kindness. It seems that Wake Forest baseball coach, Tom Walter, selflessly donated a kidney to a freshman player who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure. Read about it below.

Sounds like Coach of the Year material to us. What do you think?

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To Those Who Think Our Imperfect Valentine’s Contest is Beneath Them…

…We offer this photo of  Karl, who is modeling just some of the treats and prizes available in the Shut Up Basket, the grand prize for winning the Imperfect Valentine’s Contest (scroll below to enter). Just think of the fun you can have with your children. For those who may recall, this crafty young man was the winner of our last contest — Bottled Up. Karl was recently awarded the grand prize for his winning entry, The Imperfect Totem Pole,  during a brief ceremony held in Weymouth, MA.

You too could be sporting the latest in Shut Up Wear by winning the Grand Prize in our Valentine's Day Contest (see post below).

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Calling All Parents! Helpful Advice About Phones and Your Kids

Phone booth, Luohu District, Shenzhen

Image via Wikipedia

A few weeks ago, Gina and her tween daughter, Em, were waiting to catch a subway in Boston when Em pointed to a rather large object and asked, “What’s that?”

Recognizing a prized opportunity to educate her daughter and stroll down memory lane, Gina answered, “That’s a payphone. You put money in them to call someone.  When we were kids we used to push the coin return lever to try to get extra change.”

“Mom, that’s freaky. Why didn’t you just call them on your cellphone?”

Gina wasn’t surprised Em didn’t understand. Over the years, both her children have struggled greatly with the concept of any non-mobile phone.

“Katie, did you call your friend and tell her we’ll pick her up at 2?”

“I tried Mom, but she’s not answering her cell.”

“Well call her on the house phone.”

“What’s that?”

Their lack of knowledge about the house phone is probably one of the biggest reasons they panic when  the house phone rings. “Mother that black thing in the kitchen is making a strange sound. What do I do?”

“That strange sound is called a ring, girls. You see, not all phones have to blare Girls Just Wanna Have Fun to let you know someone is calling.”

Patty’s children, in contrast, actually have enjoyed picking up the house phone. Until one day, when Patty gave them a stern warning.

“Listen up kids. Bill collectors like to use that phone, so no one answer it.”

“Whatever,” Jennifer and Mikey responded, rolling their eyes.

One day, however, Patty came home  to discover the house phone ringing and  her two teens sitting right next to it and ignoring it.

Patty was furious. “I don’t believe you guys! Are you so lazy that you can’t even reach out and answer the phone?”

“But Mom!” they pleaded. “You told us not to answer it if it’s a bill collector. And it’s a bill collector.”

“Oh, right.”

There’s no question, parenting in the age of cell and smart phones is not easy. The article below highlights some important information parents need to know about cell phone use and kids.

Check it out and then tell us, at what age you think a child should have a cell phone? Our parents got theirs at the ripe age of 78, though they’re still learning how to use it.

“Mom and Dad! I’ve been trying to reach you on your cellphone! Why didn’t you answer it?”

“Oh, we don’t know how to answer it.”

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A Full Week of School? Snow Kidding!

Knock on wood, but according to the local forecasts here in New England, there are no snowstorms on the horizon for the remainder of the week. We hate to curse ourselves, but that might actually mean our children will have (drumroll please)… a full week of school. This after about six consecutive weeks with at least one snow day. Gina’s daughter, Katie, summed it up best when she said, “Mom, we might have school every day this week. I don’t know if my body can handle that.”

Our kids have had so much time off this year that it’s prompted us to make some tough household decisions. “Look kids. You’re not pulling your weight around here. Your father and I think you need to get a job and start paying rent.”

There’s no question, the snow days have been tough for us all. However, we have noticed one positive thing about all this time off — it’s greatly reduced the number of bad news calls we’ve received from the school.

“Gene, I crunched some numbers and the bad news school calls are down 34% since last year.”

Have your children had school cancelled due snow this year? And if so, what survival suggestions do you have, short of snowshoeing your way out of the house?

Can anyone find the short bus stop in this picture?

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Is It Time to Make a Deposit in Your Bank? Your Sanity Bank, That Is.

Hiding, giggling

Mom can you come out now?

Image by Lars Plougmann via Flickr

We’ll admit that when it comes to making traditional deposits, we’re not that good.

“Mrs. Konjoian, we’re calling because we noticed some unusual activity in your checking account. There was a good-size deposit.”

“Dear God! Someone’s stolen my identity!”

We are, however, good at making deposits in another bank — our sanity banks. Our sanity bank is that resource we draw on when the stresses of life just get too much for us to bear. It’s what powers us to go on when we’re completely and utterly overwhelmed with issues, such as dealing with bullies, fielding school calls, and financing ever-growing therapy bills.  We deposit into our sanity banks in one simple way — by doing things for ourselves. This might involve passing the wine with neighbors (PTWN) or partaking in one of Patty’s favorite activities — visiting the beach, where she has no cellphone reception. “Mother! Where have you been? We’ve been calling you for hours!”

Some of us can’t afford babysitters or expensive dinners out, but you may find that with a little creativity, you can carve away the time you need. It’s not really about where you make your deposit; so long as you make it.”

“Mom, what are you doing in the closet?”

“Leave me alone. I”m painting my nails.Don’t tell Daddy I’m in here.”

The blog below highlights one mother’s struggle to carve some time away. Read it and then tell us how you like to unwind.

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Imperfect Valentine Contest

Show your creativity, by writing a slogan for imperfect candy hearts.

Love and imperfection are in the air! And to celebrate, the Promotions Department at Shut Up Industries is pleased to announce an exciting new contest . Simply submit a slogan for imperfect candy hearts by leaving a comment with your slogan below. If your slogan is selected, you could be the proud winner of an imperfect basket, featuring Shut Up merchandise, goodies, and other fun items. Just submit your entry by Monday, February 13th and we’ll post the finalists on the Shut Up Blog for all to vote. The imperfect winner and entry will be announced on Monday, February 14.

Winning entries will be selected for  their creativity, humor, and imperfectness. Employees of Shut Up Industries (aka The Shut Up Sisters) may not participate. Good luck to all.

So, let’s hear your suggestion. Leave your comment and name below with your slogan.

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Shut Up Blog Named One of 50 Best Blogs for Special Needs Teachers

And all this time, we thought our families were the only ones who read our Blog. “Mom, don’t make me read another one! I’m supposed to have books in my reading log,  not blogs.”

Special thanks to for naming this imperfect blog as one of the Top 50 Blogs for Special Needs Teachers.

We were proud to come in at #36 in the special needs parents category (Rumor has it we lost points in the swimsuit and talent contests) and to be recognized with wonderful blogs, such as and Also named was The Mindstorm, Chrisa Hickey’s blog about raising a child with schizoaffective disorder. Check it out

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Father Forgive Me For I Have Virtually Sinned

A confession box in Sant'Alessandro church in Milan, Italy. Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, February 17 2007.

Image via Wikipedia

Well just when you think technology couldn’t improve our lives anymore, you come across this article (see link below). It appears the Catholic Church has signed off on a new iPhone app for Confessions that will allow those of us who are too busy to make confessions on the go. We can just imagine how this will help busy executives who simply don’t have time for confession.

“Mrs. Ah-Wiggins, please schedule me a meeting with the President for Tuesday and upload my confession for Wednesday.”

This sure would have helped Gina in her childhood. She hated going to confession. Of course, back then it was scary. You had to go into the box inside the velvet curtain. Gina was very nervous, and would often talk louder than required, something our brother was quick to point out when Gina met him back at the pew.

“And I shut the garage door on my brother’s leg, and swore at my sister…and,” recited our brother.

“How did you know that Bob? Could you hear me?” asked a horrified Gina.

“The whole church could hear you, you dummy!”

What do you think of this technological advance? Could virtual baptisms and marriages be on the horizon?

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Lights! Cameras! Screams! No Action!

Woman About to Give Birth in the Delivery Room of Loretto Hospital in New Ulm, Minnesota...

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

Having a baby? Leave the Nannycam at home. That’s what some hospitals are telling parents who want to bring video cameras in the delivery room. The idea doesn’t bother either one of us. We didn’t even want to watch it ourselves.

“Please Doc. I’m begging you. Get the mirror out of here.”

Plus, in this day and age of video popularity, your private video could end  up on YouTube or on America’s Funniest Labor Videos. “Look! This is the part where her dentures pop out from screaming too hard.”

Why do you think of the ban?

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There’s No Perfect In Peas

Black Eyed Peas performing.

Image via Wikipedia

Last night, our Facebook pages were buzzing about the half time show at the “Super Football Game that the NFL Won’t Allow Us To Name.” It seems many of our imperfect friends were disappointed at the performance of the Black Eyed Peas and Christina Aguilera who apparently forgot the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner (see link below). Personally, I thought all the entertainment was wonderful, which may or may not have anything to do with the Supertinis I enjoyed during the game. All I know is that my kids were singing, my neighbor was dancing, and our puppy stopped chewing on the refrigerator cord during the performance. That right there is success. As for Christina, yeah, she messed up, but at least she has a bright future on “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.”

What do you think? Didn’t you enjoy it just a little bit?

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Would you Like a Little Coffee with that Wine?

MIAMI - JANUARY 28:  Customers relax and drink their beverages at a Starbucks Coffee shop on January 28, 2009 in Miami, Florida. Starbucks will lay off about 700 non-store workers by mid-February, including about 350 at its Seattle headquarters, as part of a reduction of 6,000 positions worldwide over the next eight months. The company also will close about 300 underperforming stores, according to a memo from CEO Howard Schultz.

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Breaking news in the world of beverages. It appears that Starbucks is introducing a new coffee size to its already confusing line of coffee — the Trenta.

“I don’t get it, Pat. Why can’t they have small, medium and large? I’m not smart enough to drink here.”

The Trenta is bigger than the human stomach (though they haven’t measured ours). How big is that you ask? Well, it appears that the Trenta is big enough to hold an entire bottle of wine. So when you see Moms and Dads in the morning carpool line slurping on a Trenta, don’t be so sure to think they’re caffeine addicted. (FYI: If you spot a plate of cheese next to them, you know something really fishy is going on.)

What do you think of the Trenta? And what product would you store in it?

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Going Bananas Waiting On Hold for Tech Support?

Chimpanzee. Taken at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Pictured BoBo, Employee of the Month

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re like us and have spent 2/3 of your waking life waiting on hold to get telephone support from your cable, Internet Service Provider (ISP), or telephone company, you’ll go ape when you read the link below. It seems that in effort to reduce costs, companies are now hiring a new breed of personnel — chimpanzees. At least that’s what our highly regarded sources at Weekly World News are telling us. (See the link below.)

What do you think? Do you think your cable company is monkeying around with you?

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2-Year Old Genius Knows Periodic Table. 2 Not-So-Bright Sisters Struggle with State Capitals.

The structure of the perioic table.

Image via Wikipedia

OK, just when you think you’ve seen all the bragging bumper stickers in the world, you come across a video (see below) that you know is going to spawn a new bumper boast: “My 2-year-old can recite the periodic table.” That’s right, the video belows shows a 2-year-old reciting symbols from the periodic table of elements.

Pretty amazing since when we were 2, we would periodically chew on tables. Not that we’re sure how knowledge of the periodic table is going to help this toddler.

“Daddy, I can’t go in the potty, but I do know that NaCl is Sodium Chloride.”

We’re 51 and 44 respectively and we’ve never had to apply the periodic tables to our daily lives. It’s just one of those things they teach you in school that doesn’t apply to most people. State capitals are another. Why did we spend so much time stressing out over them as kids when we hardly ever have to use them as adults?

“Well Ms. Konjoian, thank you for interviewing for this position. We’re prepared to offer you this job if you could answer one last question: What is the capital of Nebraska?”

We think that there are so many more important lessons schools should be teaching young children — like money management 101 or say,  the basics of room cleaning. Yup, we would definitely bumper boast to the world about that — “Proud parent of a kid who cleaned her room.”

So tell us, can you think of a situation in your adult life (other than doing your child’s homework) when you’ve been asked to share your knowledge of  the periodic table or state capitals?”

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With This Ring I Thee Wed and Change My Facebook Status

Facebook logo

Image via Wikipedia

There are many things about Facebook that fascinate us — the “like” button, the fact that you can spy on your dentist, etc. But no feature intrigues us more than the relationship status button. It’s amazing to think that one button can generate so much gossip. One evening, for example,Gina was out with some old friends when a woman came up and introduced herself.

She said, “Hi,Gina I’m your friend Andy’s girlfriend.”

“Oh, nice to meet you,” said Gina. “Have you been going out for long?”

“Yes, several years. We’re very serious.”

“Really?” asked Gina, feeling a pit her stomach, since she had seen Andy’s relationship status earlier in the week say,  “It’s Complicated.”  The poor girl had no idea the relationship was in trouble, yet Andy’s first grade teacher, Mrs. Carpenter, knew.

While watching a family member exchange vows this summer, Gina’s husband turned to her and said, “I’m so glad we got married before Facebook. If that were us up there, you’d whip out your Blackberry and ask the priest to wait while you change your relationship status to married.”

Offended. Gina responded. “Mike that’s not true. I’d make Patty do it. That’s a Maid of Honor’s duty. Duh!”

The article below highlights this Facebook fascination with the relationship status. Weigh in and tell us what you think (don’t worry no scales are involved).

Reference: Facebook Status Marriage Is The Most Serious Commitment Of All [I Thee Dread] by

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You Are What You Shelve.

How do you find more about a person you know?  Check out their bookshelves. A bookshelve is worth a thousand words. For example, what does this following photo say about Gina (besides that she needs to dust)?

What makes you tick? The answer is in your bookshelf.

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D-efense! Philadelphia Eagles Protect Bullying Victim

Swoop, the official mascot of the Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Bullies beware! You’re being watched like an Eagle.

Image via Wikipedia

Kudos to our friends at The View, even though we are in hot competition with them with our upcoming show on Family Network TV, The Imperfection Connection. On a recent show, they connected a young boy, who was being badly bullied, with a few Philadelphia Eagles football players who have vowed to “Have his back.” Read about it below. This got us thinking (something that doesn’t happen very often, we’ll admit). Maybe a few  New England Patriots (who now have free time) would come to Gina’s next Team Meeting.

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No Parking on the Dance Floor (unless your pregnant)

Portrait of an Unknown Lady c. 1595. Attribution from Marcus Gheeraerts II: Elizabethan Artist by Karen Hearn and Rica Jones, Tate Gallery, 2003, ISBN 1854374435.

Pregnant or just trying to get a good parking space?

Image via Wikipedia.

Big news out of New York City. A new bill is being proposed that would allow women experiencing a difficult pregnancy to park anywhere in the City for free- even in No Parking zones. Kinda makes us want to get pregnant, except for the fact that we have no patience left and have outgrown our old maternity clothes. “Gene, I’m going to ask Mom to add another panel.”  We’re sure, however, that this will make a lot of fraudsters come out of the closet.

“Pat, I’m not entirely certain, but I don’t think that 98-year-old man parking in front of the fire hydrant is really pregnant.”

What do you think? Should pregnant women be able to park wherever they want?

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