Passport Mug Shot: Jacoba Alderink on Parenting and Imperfection


Welcome to our Monday guest post series on Parenting and Imperfection.

Today, I’m very pleased to introduce you to Jacoba Alderink, the writer behind A Yankee Mom in Texas. I love Jacoba because, in short, she cracks me up. She tags her posts things like “Questionable Parenting,” “Spawn of Satan” and “Unseemly Confessions.” And she writes about gonorrhea. So, you know; what’s not to love?

I hope you enjoy Jacoba’s light-hearted look at Parenting and Imperfection.

Beth Woolsey


Passport Mug Shot
by Jacoba Alderink

I like my t-shirts like I like my kids: not clingy. I like to eat a normal-sized meal and walk around with the ability to exhale without making everyone’s eyes spontaneously bleed.

My husband’s idea of a nice shirt for me is, in essence, toddler- sized. Rob likes to buy shirts for me that look like they’ve been shrink-wrapped right onto my post-baby, gravity-afflicted, post-breastfeeding form. (I know. We’re all sorry for that visual.) So while I’m returning his XS gift and swapping it out for a comfy M, I’m warning him to stay away from purchasing anything for the kids.

Kids? Well, kids come with this highly complicated sizing system. They usually wear a size that corresponds to their age.

Rob: What??

Me: I know. Simple as that.

Rob, his mind blown: Why haven’t you ever told me this??

Me: I did, the last time you ordered Minnesota Vikings shirts for the kids – when was that? Last week?

So of course, when Rob went on a business trip to Vegas, due to complex sizing system confusion, he came back with a 5T shirt for my 2-year-old son. On top of everything, the t-shirt was one of those neon orange Las Vegas County Jail numbers, which my husband thought would be a knee-slapper on a little innocent-looking peanut of a boy. I, on the other hand, wasn’t thoroughly convinced of the hilarity.

Rob: C’mon! It’s funny!

Me: Kind of… It’s a jail shirt. And it’s huge. Did you get him some saggy pants, too?

Rob: It’s classic. Plus, I couldn’t remember what size he was.

Me, flabbergasted: ………

So I tucked that shirt into the back of my son’s drawer, occasionally brushing off Rob’s inquiries as to its whereabouts. And then one morning my son came down with it in hand, asking to wear it. I hesitated for a moment, thinking, It’s Monday – no preschool, no Bible study, no public errands to run…maybe we can get through this unscathed.

And then I went to a doctor’s appointment and left the kids with Rob.

And Rob took the kids to get their passport photos taken.



This post originally appeared at A Yankee Mom in Texas.


facebook_1246224040Jacoba Alderink, a born-and-bred Midwesterner with degrees in English and art secondary education, resides in Texas with her quirky husband and two underwear-clad kids. A stay-at-home mom and part-time homeschool teacher, she blogs at A Yankee Mom in Texas, littering her unseemly confessions and absurd musings with sub-par illustrations and pointless observations. When she’s not writing, she’s either failing miserably as a parent or cleaning up the cat vomit piles drying randomly around her house.


You can see all of the Parenting and Imperfection posts here.


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14 responses to “Passport Mug Shot: Jacoba Alderink on Parenting and Imperfection”

  1. 😀 Excellent post!

    I’m average height (5’6″), but _both_ of my husbands (ex and current) are Looooong drinks of water. So, I have to keep track of what size the kids are, even though the sizes allegedly go by age! (For instance, my 21-month-old has just graduated into 3T, and my 14-y-o can’t wear anything, because she is 5’11”. Seriously!)

    Kudos to him for trying to get stuff done, and for trying to buy them clothes! I generally find it useful to write the sizes down for anyone who wants to know, and keep it in an email I can forward to anyone who suddenly has the urge to buy them clothing…

    • I am floored – you keep sizes in an email ready to send out?? I can’t even keep my inbox clean for three consecutive days. I tip my hat to you in admiration. Wow, I suck as an organized person. I am so impressed!!

  2. I love this. And I am so happy that it’s not just my husband who doesn’t hear what I tell him. Over and over.

    • hahaha! I don’t know why I’m still surprised after 12 years of marriage. He’ll even admit he’s awful at listening, just as I admit our (one-sided) professional sports “discussions” go in one ear and out the other as I just nod and smile, not registering anything…

  3. Oh my word, I’m not a Southerner but can I just say bless your husbands sweet heart for trying to get something done. A+ for effort on getting the passport photo and leaving behind a story to tell forever.

    • He IS a gem. I leave for a girls weekend, and he takes the kids 39382 places and checks 52 things off his list. He leaves for a guys weekend, and I sit on the couch and refuse to participate in life because I’m too overwhelmed by taking care of two little humans that I take care of by myself on weekdays regularly anyways. He always gets an A+ in my book!

  4. Well, you can’t really tell it says “jail”… So there’s that. And there’s no measurement markings on the wall behind him, nor is he holding up an Inmate Number sign. :o) Best wishes!

    • You’re completely right – it could have been way worse. I’m thankful I hadn’t given in to applying any requested temporary tattoos to his neck or face that day either.

  5. So funny! I think you’re right about the Nick Nolte look. I found if I wanted kids to avoid wearing shirts that embarrassed me (usually the too-Christiany ones bought by my in-laws), I had to hide them way in the bottom of the dresser drawer. Out of sight, out of mind: for the kids, and for my husband, too.

  6. Thank you beth for introducing me to Jacoba. I’ve just started systematically reading everyone of her post archives! Love!

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