Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Small Bites

I think I could strip the room of all the pictures and toys. Rip up the carpets so its a bare floor and pad the walls to block out any noise. I could take every single solitary thing out of the room, strip my son down to his birthday suit and put him in there with nothing. Nothing but his lunch.
On the floor.
Not even on a plate, just on the bare ground.
With no napkin.
Void of any and all distraction. Just him and a grilled cheese sandwich.
And it would still take him an hour to eat it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blue in the Face. And Hands.

You wanna know something 4 year olds are good at?
Peeing and not flushing.
Ive told him time and time again. "Flush the toilet. Wash your hands. Flush the toilet. Wash your hands. Close the bathroom door so your brother doesn't get in there. Flush the toilet. FLUSHTHETOILETFLUSHTHETOILETFLUSHTHETOILETFLUSHTHETOILET"
You wanna know something 1 year olds are good at?
Knowing that 4 year olds don't listen very well and sensing the exact moment when a bathroom door is left open and creeping down the hallway and having fun dipping wads of toilet paper into the toilet bowl.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Whats the Road to Hell Paved With?

As I type this, my 4 year old is trapped in the garage like a caged monkey whose been given a shot of espresso and my 1 year old is running laps up and down the hallway with a pizza crust in hand. How did it get to this? Lets go back to 45 minutes ago.....
My 4 year old asked if he could paint. He hasn't painted in a long time and I like to encourage these types of activities.
"Sure!" I said. No biggie, right? I can entertain the 1 year old while he paints a couple of pictures.
Yeah....that road to hell.....is about to get resurfaced.
So I set him up with his paints in the garage and I get out some toys for the baby. He is just excited to get to play in the garage. All is well.
For 10 minutes.
Soon the luster of a new activity wears off for both kids. The 1 year old starts to get bored with the toys are starts to wander. He sticks his finger in the paint. This sets off the 4 year old. I clean him up and get him distracted again. Then he goes in the house. I chase him. 4 year old stops painting and is running in circles in the garage. I remind him why he is out there and get the baby back with us.
Baby wanders back in the house and climbs up to the kitchen table and helps himself to his brothers left over pizza crust and goes back into the garage. Painting has again stopped and now someone is letting the dog lick the pizza crust. I break up the dog/pizza/baby kiss fest and redirect the little artist back to his masterpiece. I foolishly turn my back and find said pizza crust now being used as a knocker on the garage door.
Paints are abandoned yet again and now both kids are running in circles.
I asked if we are done with this activity and for the fifth time painting ensues.
As I chase one kid who's now heading down the hallway pushing a kitchen chair, I hear my son yell out that "some paint accidentally jumped out of the cup and got up there."
This is when I put the baby gate up and locked one child in the garage and the other in the house, and sat down on the chair that my youngest just took for a joyride.
By the way, Im pretty that painting that looks like one of the creatures from an episode of Scooby Doo, is actually me. And I think its spot on.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just The Facts, Ma'am.

This post is for my husband who has hinted that some of my posts may be a bit "long winded":

Kid grab poo.
Mom went "Eww".

(kind of makes you wonder what really happened, huh? Its the story around the story that sometimes makes the story. Oops Ive already rambled. Sorry dear. ) ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Brains

Before you have kids, your brain is whole. Living happily in your skull and making daily decisions with enthusiastic ease. Its quick to tell you if those pants go with that top, if you can squeeze your car into that parking spot and it easily remembers the lunch date you have thats still two months away. Life is good. So good, that you decide now would be a great time to have children.
And as you give birth, your brain has given birth too. To a mommy brain. This little brains sole purpose is to take care of the kids. It nurtures, loves, disciplines and it grows. Bigger and stronger. Its a tough cookie, ready to scrap and stand up to any danger in order to protect the offspring. The problem though, is that this brain is incredibly aggressive and in its constant pursuit to protect, it wages war on the old brain. The old brain wants to do things like go out to dinner, read a book, and tell time. These things are not in the best interest of the children so new mommy brain attacks old brain and beats it down to mush. It lays there, lifeless. Every once in a while, it quivers a little bit, and tries with quiet determination to not be defeated. It suggests maybe a quiet weekend away from the kids. Mommy brain doesn't like this. Mommy brain creates the illusion that the kids are sick and you cant leave. Old brain lays back down and plays dead. This works well for mommy brain.
But this plan isn't perfect. Mommy brain is good for some things. But not all. Mommy brain is not good at telling you that the car payment was due yesterday. It does not remind you that you forgot for the second day in a row to feed the dog and dammit it says nothing when you walk out of the house with macaroni stuck to your ass or crap in your teeth. (though mommy brain does pick up on the fact that people are staring at you, but it doesn't comprehend why.)
Its just sits, in smug contentment, perched on top of old brain and thinks its in control. Oblivious to the fact that you haven't combed your hair in a week and you've worn the same sweat pants for three days. The kids are taken care of, so all is well.
All I can hope is that old brain is quietly gaining strength and will one day fight back and learn to work together with mommy brain. I'm not sure if there has ever been a perfect balance with the two working together hand in hand. But I'm not giving up hope. I wont give up hope.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. ~ Laurence J. Peter

My son, my dear child,
I understand the infinite temptations that call to you when you are left unsupervised in a bathroom. Mom has left you in there with the hopes that you would simply brush your teeth like you were asked. Mom also knows that is asking too much of a 4 year old. And while Mom was thinking the worst you would do would be unravel the toilet paper, or open up Daddy's shaving cream bottles, or pump the liquid soap into the sink until it was all gone, you had other plans in mind.
But WHY, dear God WHY, if you are fully aware of what purpose that white porcelain bowl in there serves, having just parked your own little naked butt on it not an hour prior, would you think it would be a good idea to dunk your sippy cup in there? What part of that seemed like a good idea?
I'm listening.....

Surely you can't be serious. I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.

Conversation with my son at lunch:
Mom, can you teach my baby brother how to talk?
"No, he is eating, so he isn't talking, he is being quiet."
"No, I mean YOU talk and pretend its him."
"No, Im eating too."
"Then I'll do it."
"Why don't you eat too, and we will all be quiet."
"Sound like a plan Stan?"
"Ug! I wish everyone would stop calling me Stan. That is not my name! Ya hear that everyone?!?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wear dark or neutral tones when going to the Principals office. Or court.

Raising kids is hard. They are smart little heathens.
With mouths.
My 4 year old lately has dragged his feet to the dinner table then complained when his food is cold. I think I fell for that once and reheated it. Once.
This evening he was busy playing video games and I made him a bowl of macaroni and cheese. I said "Dinners ready. Come eat."
"I dont want to. "
"Ok, well eat it hot now, or cold later. Im not heating it up for you. Lets go."
"Not yet."
"Im racing."
"Seriously. You are going to eat it cold then. And you WILL eat it."
He finally peels his eyes away from the game and goes to the kitchen table where he stares at his pasta and is not happy that he can no longer see steam rising from the bowl.
"Its not hot!"
(refraining from the "no shit sherlock" comment that was cutting into the tip of my tongue.)
"No, its not."
"Well I want steam to come up from my macaroni."
"Then you should have come to the table when I asked you to."
"Im not going to eat it. Its not hot."
"You ARE going to eat it, and if its not hot, its your own fault."
"I want it to be hot."
"Im sorry."
"Sorry doesn't make it hot."

Im so glad I was holding the baby at that point, so I could hide behind him while I had my inappropriate "that was good one!" smile on my face. Once I had my facial expressions under control I sternly told him that if he makes one more comment like that and he is going straight into a time out.

Oh lord, am I turning into one of those parents who thinks its funny when their kid farts in public or says shit when he drops his hot wheel? What next? Should I teach him how to mix me a Jack and Coke and fetch me my tobacky?
I better go read through my parenting books again. I think I missed a chapter.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Because I have nothing witty to say today....

I stumbled across this blog a while back and now I love checking in and seeing what catastrophic failures of our society have been captured on film. Heres a few that Ive picked out because they are all perfect examples of exemplary parenting at its finest:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures
fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Monday, March 16, 2009

Abuse at the Glue Factory

The inside of my sons brain is a deep, dark complex jumble of crazy. But being that he is my son, I guess thats to be expected. He will be playing, or watching TV and out of no where he will pull something up from the deep recesses of his mind and want to talk about it.
Usually its a topic that has been discussed to death already. A dead horse. Beaten to a pulp and buried. Then dug back up, beaten to pieces, scooped up into a bag and beaten yet again. Today he brought up his doctors appointment which was a month ago. It involved 5 shots. He threw such a fit after the first poke, I'm not even sure he knew that he got 4 more. We buried this horse a few weeks ago. This afternoon he got the shovel out. It went like this:
Mom, is your sweater itchy?
No, its soft and I really like it.
Well my sweater is itchy and thats why I tell you its itchy and I don't want to wear it.
I know honey, you've said that 80 times. I get it.
So was that gown at the doctors office. That was itchy and I DID NOT LIKE IT!
I know dear, it was itchy wasn't it?
(his voice gets a little louder now, not yelling, but just louder to express the seriousness)
And I don't like the doctor! I don't ever want a doctor appointment ever again!
Really? Why not?
Why didn't you like the doctor? What happened?
WELL!......I didn't like her because she put band aids on my arms, and I didn't LIKE the band-aids!
You didn't like the band-aids? Why did she put band-aids on your arms?
WELL!!....she thought I had boo boos on my arms.
Did you?
(goes back to playing his trains)

I suspect he wont even bother burying this one again, he gets too much joy out of rehashing this. No, this one will be put on a shelf in the front of his mind where he can keep it handy in case there is ever a dull moment, or God forbid he finds himself with....nothing to say. (GASP)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Keeping the Spark in Your Marriage

The light switch in our dining room is a dimmer switch. Its got an off/on button that lights up when the lights are off (Im assuming so you can find the switch in the dark), and a sliding bar to adjust the lights. Yesterday morning when I got up, the little green light was no longer working and the dining room light would not come on. I went out to our fuse box to see if perhaps we tripped the breaker. The fuse box door was stuck. Satisfied that I did what I could, I pulled out my "girly card" and just avoided that room until my husband came home. I knew the batteries in our smoke detector were good, so should any indoor fireworks happen, then we would be alerted.

Fast forward a few hours, I was discussing the lighting issue with my husband and he looks at the light fixture, then looks at the light switch, then looks back at the light fixture. Hmm. He takes the light switch apart and wires a new one on there and turns it on. Nothing. Hmmmm. Then he climbs up on the dining room table, unscrews the light and dismantles it, so it is now dangling from the ceiling, wires exposed. Everything looks good.
(electricians, we are not, mind you.)
We stand there for a moment, looking at the mangled light fixture and the mangled light switch and wondering where to proceed from here. Ah! The fuse box! We turn off all the electronics in the house, and he goes outside and starts flipping switches. Nope. That didnt do anything.
Husband scratches head in bewilderment.
Then a light bulb goes on. Not the one in the dining room, but the one in my husbands head.
"Did you check to see if the light bulbs were burned out?"
Who? Me? (whistling up at the sky and trying to not make eye contact.)
No, I didnt check the light bulbs, because the little light on the light switch wasn't lit up. He says, "Maybe thats an indicator that the lights are burned out. " Well that doesn't make sense, I think the best indicator that a light bulb burned out is that the LIGHT WONT COME ON. I don't need a stupid little green light on a switch to tell me that. GAH!
So he changed the light bulbs.
The lights came back on.
He turned the lights off to check the switch and sure as shit, that little green light lit up insolently as if to say "MORONS!"
My husband glared at me as he put the light fixture back into the ceiling and then reassembled the light switch.
I tucked away my "girly" card because clearly that wasn't working here, and pulled out my "Ive given birth twice and haven't slept in 4 years, you expect ME to figure these things out?" card.
Yeah. Thats the ticket.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Those Feet are Anything But Happy.

Today has been a challenge with my 4 year old. He has been incredibly stubborn, refused to nap and entertained himself by tormenting his little brother. So after he had said something smart to me one too many times, I did it.
I said the only words that had the physical capability of ripping his beating heart out of his chest and ending life as we know it.
His eyes got huge with disbelief at my cruel and unusual punishment.
I could see his little brain going down the checklist.
Face scrunched up in disgust. check.
Waterworks on. check.
Foot stomps turned to "SERIOUS". check.
Arms set to flail wildly? check.
All systems are a go.

I sat patiently and watched it for a bit. I was sort of intrigued at the fall out. But it did get old real quick. After unsuccessfully trying to drowned him out by turning up my radio, I gave him the choice of continuing the show in time out, or stopping the noise and staying in the family room with me.
After a stubborn encore, the performance ended.
Since I already had the music on, I decided to get up and grab the baby and start dancing. Unable to sit idle while everyone else had fun, he joined in. While he is spinning and jumping around, he has this hateful look on his face. He looks like one of those angry dancers in Michael Jacksons "Beat it" video. I'm just waiting for him to whip out a switch blade and start taking theatrical stabs at his sequined enemy.
He looks at me and says "Dancing doesn't make me in a better mood." Spins around a few more times. "But I just still wanna do it."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Nothing good ever comes from kids asking questions. I try to just point at the sky and say "Look! A helicopter!" and distract them until they forget. My goal is to keep this up until they get to school. It works pretty good most of the time.

My son was watching Noggin one day and there was a segment on there about rhyming. He started asking questions.
So I found myself trying to teach him how to rhyme.
"Mom, what rhymes with flower?"
"Tower, power, sour. Any word that sounds the same as flower."
"Does bee rhyme?"
"No. It doesn't sound the same as flower."
"Ooooooh. But fly rhymes with flower."
"No, it doesn't sound like flower either."
"But bees fly around the flowers, so it rhymes. Like bee, fly, red, gah, pico, gaggle....."
It spiraled downward from there.

Either my poor brain, stunted by childbirth and 4 years of sleep deprivation is too weak to handle this task, or it truly IS impossible to teach a child about time.
"Mom, am I 5 yet?"
"No honey, your birthday isnt for another 10 months. Thats a long ways away."
(takes a sip of milk from his cereal bowl)
"Am I 5 now?"
"No, drinking your milk will help you grow up big and strong, but it doesn't speed up time. Your birthday is still 10 months away. There are 30 whole days in a month, and if theres 10 months, that means theres three hundred days until your birthday. Thats a loooong time!"
(takes another sip of milk from his cereal bowl)
"Am I 5 now?"

At breakfast this morning I put the 1 year old in his high chair and my son had more questions:
"Mom, did you used to sit in a high chair when you were a little girl?"
"Yes, I did, when I was a baby."
(blank stare)
"Mom, you're being silly!"
"What? I used to be a little baby too, then I grew up."
"Mommmmm. You weren't a little baby, you're just a big ol' Mom. Mom, where did I come from?"
"You came from Mommys tummy, just like your brother did."
"Was your tummy all humongous?"
"Yes it was."
"Like that goat we saw?"
"Yes, kinda like that goat we saw."

"Look! A helicopter!"

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blind we are, if creation of this clone army we could not see. --Yoda

Kids. Small people who find absolute happiness in doing the simplest things. They will crawl into a corner and sit for 20 minutes taking sips of water and then letting it drool down their chins and soak their shirts. They take delight in blowing spit bubbles. They squeal with excitement at the ability to squeal with excitement.
Grown Ups. Kids that have grown up and forgotten that they ever found joy in these seemingly absurd activities.
Then they have little creatures of their own that follow them around and do things like drooling their water down their chins and creating puddles for them to clean up. They try over and over to blow spit bubbles. The successful ones get giggles of pride. The failures result in dirty looks from mom or dad or whoever was close enough to get the resulting spit spray in their face. They also get really close to ears who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and squeal with excitement at the ability to squeal in excitement.
Full circle. When Mom and Dad, weary after a long day of tending to the kids, limp off into a corner and space out. They find themselves drooling out of the corner of their mouths and blowing catatonic spit bubbles. A sense of dejavu washes over them.
So when you see your kids banging their heads against the wall and smiling, or spinning around in circles exhausting themselves without ever going anywhere, just think: We dont stop doing these things. We do these things everyday. Only instead of calling it "playing" we call it "parenting".

Thursday, March 5, 2009

No Jacket Required.

That was one of the great albums of the 80's. I think I may even have it somewhere around here. But Im not here to talk about Phil Collins.
No, when I say No Jacket Required, Im referring to the unspoken ritual of male poops. For reasons that escape me, men seem to need to strip down in order to have a successful session in the doodie room. Maybe theres some underlying fear that the back of their shirts will somehow fall victim to a skid mark, or a corner will take an unintentional dip in the toilet water. Or perhaps they, in an effort to revert back to their caveman roots, strip down to get a more natural feel. Of course without having to go dig a hole and hover over it. Or whatever cavemen did.
(This might explain why my husband has on more than one occasion peed on a tree in our yard instead of walking the 30 feet back into the house to use the bathroom. But thats another story....)
Anyways, this behavior is more nature and not nurture as I have found out this afternoon.
I was rocking my 1 year old to sleep, when my 4 year old grabbed his butt, did a little dance and announced, "I have to go poop!" He hopped over the baby gate and disappeared down the hallway.
It was quiet for a couple of seconds, then I heard some whimpering, and frantic footsteps coming back down the hallway.
Im thinking "Great. He didnt make it to the toilet in time. More fragrant laundry for me. Cant get enough of that."
All of the sudden, he throws himself over the baby gate with the skill of a prison escapee and runs up to me, naked from the waist down, still doing his poopy dance and says "Mom! I cant get my jacket off!"
What? Are you serious??
Im trying to get his jacket off before something wicked this way comes, and the damn zipper is stuck. Wouldnt ya know??
I rip it off over his head and tell him to RUN!
And he dives back over the gate and is gone in a streak.
A brown streak. Just kidding. (couldnt help myself)
But seriously. Why the deep seeded need to poop in the nude?
Or maybe as Phil sings on track 4 of his album: "I dont wanna know."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Big Bang & Bagels

Today power outages popped into my head. Cant really say why, maybe because its been raining here lately. Thats kinda reaching. But since I cant explain about 90% of what pops into my head, thats the best I can come up with. That last marble I have has a lot of time on its hands.

Anyways, that got me thinking about the last time our power went out. I remember it vividly because I was certain it was the day the earth stood still and we were all gonna die.
It was in September. At night. I remember it was the night before Switzerland was going to turn on their big atom smashing, black hole creating, human race destroying thingamajig. I read the articles about it, and though I wont lie and say I understood it completely I felt they knew what they were doing and that the chances of black holes, and the dying off of the human race was fairly small. Fairly small. But still there? Maybe?
My 4 year old was sleeping soundly in his room, and the baby was conked out in my bed, and I was laying next to him playing my Nintendo DS. All the sudden everything went black.
(well everything except my video game. Duh.)
I used the light of my game to find my way into the study where my husband suddenly found himself no longer looking at his computer. The dark kinda freaks me out, so I immediately wanted to get a night light into my sons room so he wouldn't wake up and panic. Very, veeery quietly, I maneuvered through his overflowing toy box and dug out his Thomas the Train lantern. And it was dead. Damn.
After finding batteries, I got the light set up in his room, and then my husband got two of those air freshener/fake candle things, and he set those up in the study. I took my mothers old "Little House on the Prairie" style hurricane lamp and lit that and put it in the bedroom with me and the baby.
This is where my pea brain starts misfiring.
It occurred to me what day it was. I have no clue what time it is in Switzerland, but what if its the exact time that they fired up that scary gizmo? No, thats absurd. Is it? Yes. But what if?
I pondered the thought for a moment and wondered if my husband and I were prepared to fight off looters and stab strangers to get the last stale bagel left over after the local grocery store burned down when the riots started.
I will even admit that I sent a text message to my mom asking if her power was out. She lives 10 hours away, so if her power is out, then surely we have just been catapulted into a black hole and I need to sharpen my steak knives and hide the family jewels.
As I waited for her reply, I cursed the damn scientists who couldnt just leave well enough alone. What can really be gained by proving the big bang theory? Ok, maybe theres much to be gained but whatever. Still. Stupid nosy scientists poking around where they shouldnt. Now look what you've done. We're all gonna die now. Thanks.
On top of all of that, I start to smell the oil burning in the hurricane lantern and wonder how long until the fumes build up and snuff us all out. If the apocalypse doesn't do us in, then carbon monoxide will! We're DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!
Truth be told, I dont think carbon monoxide comes from lamp oil, but since I am not certain, I blew the damn thing out , and turned on the flashlight.
My mom finally replied and told me her power was on and I am insane.
Yeah maybe. But lets re-read the last sentence in the first paragraph shall we?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Please, Sir. I want some more."

Fish swim to the top of the tank when they see their owner approach with the fish food. Cats reveal themselves from wherever it is they have been hiding at the sound of the can opener. Some dogs get all giddy at the sound of car keys or the jingle of their leashes. My dog, she goes nuts when she hears the high chair being pulled into the kitchen. Delilah will pace the floor in a circle around it and patiently wait. Her patience consistently pays off too as about 3 minutes into meal time, all kinds of goodies start raining down on her, from either my son aiming for his mouth and overshooting, or simply tossing it over the side. Both of which are great fun. Plus, anything that removes spilled food from the floor without my involvement is a win/win in my eyes. ;)
Who knew that 5 years ago, when we took this scared little stray dog in from off the street, that she would have such an important role?