Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Special Band-Aids Redux

After five days of "vacation" the promise of DAYCARE was so sweet.

But no.

I am home with TWO children, both under two years old, both vomiting.

At this very moment they are both SCREAMING themselves to sleep (I hope they will end up asleep - I should say that they are screaming in their respective sleeping places - good luck to you both!)

It is WELL beyond when afternoon nap SHOULD have started and this mommy has had ENOUGH of the JOY for one morning.

I swear, the joys. There are so many.

This morning, The Mayor - in his continued fascination with "special band-aids" asked to hold one.

Sighing and feeling sorry for myself as the staying at home mother of the two vomitoids, I unwrapped an OB Tampon and gave it to him.

He took it, held it up to me and said, "This is MY pon!"

Well okay then.

"I want to put it under my butt. You take off my diaper?"

Well, no.

So, on to Plan B. First he separated the strings and wore it like a bracelet, but the last I saw of it he was flossing with the string at the breakfast table.

Where it is now, I do not care to know.

As long at is doesn't show up as a Christmas Tree ornament!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Morning Musings

Last night when The Mayor was in the tub he looked up at me and said, "I need to wear pull-ups."

I think some of the other children at his daycare wear them - maybe some of the bigger kids - and The Mayor is obsessed with himself being a "Big Kid."

I told him that we'd buy some pull-ups the next time we went to the store.

He looked at me and said, "I want to go."

Clearly, wearing pull-ups couldn't wait.

We needed to go to the store NOW to get the pull ups.

K came in and The Mayor repeated his request. K told The Mayor that wearing pull-ups meant that he was going to try to use the potty all the time.

"Are you ready to try to use the potty all the time?" K asked.

"Yes," The Mayor told him, "like a Hippo."

(Like a hippo?)

The last thing I need is the equivalent of a two ton, two year old hippo leaving a giant pile of grassy dung in my toilet.

The joys.

They do mount up.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Guru Suggests Rocks, Sand and Pinecones

My friend Michele is my parenting guru.

She has two boys (4 and 16 months.)

Her four year old is, quite possibly, the best behaved child I have ever met - and not just well behaved, but also straightforwardly pleasant to be around.

He is sometimes guilty of being four - repeating a question 450,000 times or missing social cues that indicate that the other humans in the room have moved on to the next thing - but he IS four, so it only seems fair and normal.

Given the evidence of Michele's success at parenting, I call her regularly for advice, read all the child-rearing books she suggests and generally try to emulate her parenting style.

For the past two weeks, The Mayor, who is not yet two, has insisted on sleeping in the twin bed in his room instead of in his crib.

I talked with Michele about it and she felt like there was no hurry to transition him and that we might want to keep him in the crib a little longer - mostly for our convenience.

She suggested that it might be better to wait until he was potty training and might need to get up to go to the bathroom in the night.

When I told her that he INSISTED, my parenting GURU, my ROLE MODEL said,

"Can't you just put rocks or sand in the bed? Pinecones maybe."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Schlepper vs. Baby Seal

Vacation stopped being vacation when we had kids. Why even pack a book? GONE is the rest and relaxation that I once knew. Without the little sanity breaks provided by the dull, daily routine, I am a drooling idiot by bedtime. I am THROUGH. Done. Finito.

There is so much ‘vacation’related lifting and loading. So much schlepping. Yesterday we returned from five days at the beach. Back and forth, back and forth over the hot sand we have carried: inflatable pool & beach items; sand toys, water toys; beach mats; beach towels; snacks; drinks; sunscreen; kites and God knows what else. We have slathered the children over and over again in SPF 50 cream and wedged them in and out of swim diapers and swim suits. We have braved the high highs and the low lows of toddler moods and we have done it all with very little sleep.

Wee Rooster Girl decided that the absence of routine was a good enough excuse to entertain us with a nightly (3:00a.m. – 4:30 a.m.) imitation of a baby seal. The baby seal imitation involved her doing flip flops in our bed while yelling in great exultation. I have never heard such joyous sounds come out of her body at any other time.


Why was she in our bed you might ask?

If we denied her the baby seal audience, she would SCREAM until her older brother, our friends’ children or our friends themselves were disturbed out of sleep. I can just imagine she was thinking, “Someone is going to WATCH this damned seal show I have prepared.”

On the third night she included clapping – new to her repertoire. She kicked us each repeatedly as if to say, “wake up and check this out dudes, I can CLAP!”










The nightly hour and a half routine of flipping and flopping around the bed would finally end when she found a way to jam her teeny tiny toes up my nostrils, shove a few fingernails into my soft belly and fall asleep with her head near it’s ancestral home.

K and I swore that, once home, she would receive the ultimate SMACKDOWN in the form of CRYING IT OUT in the comfort of her own crib where there is no one to disturb.


So what did she do on her first night home?

She slept through the night.

“Smackdown is a ONE WAY street my dear parents.” -- wee Rooster Girl



Winner of the X-treme Beach Nap-A-Thon







Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Free, Wild and Naked



When you are two (or very nearly so), you can fly kites and swim naked with your friends. You can play naked soccer and naked frisbee. You can remark that peeing in the ocean is better than peeing in the tub. You can be filled with glee and think that it's all just too good.

Oh, The Joys of the Beach!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Blog Tapas

First Morsel

I do not have a heartwarming Mother's Day tale to relate other than that The Mayor threw a HUGE, ENORMOUS FIT at the hardware store because Mommy said it was NOT o.k. for him to walk up and down the aisles swinging a closed golf umbrella like a helicopter propeller over his head. For my MOST EVIL EDICT I was rewarded with nearly an hour of hysterics. Without concern for the FACTS in this case, wee Rooster Girl joined the noise making in solidarity with her brother. Oh. The. Joys. How they mount.


Second Morsel

Yesterday morning I got up and with great enthusiasm made a shopping list to re-stock the casa with essentials like diapers, baby food, etc. I planned, without remorse or apology, to go to the new Super Wal*Mart and troll up and down every aisle tossing things in my cart willy nilly. As I drove there I felt giddy with the promise of unchecked American consumerism. As you might predict, I spent hundreds of dollars on what would best be described as a cart load of crap. Driving home I felt cheap and tawdry – used and discarded after a one-night stand with the Monster of Consumption. Alas.


Third Morsel


Driving home I passed someone with this bumper sticker:

Possum: The Other White Meat.

It reminded me of the last time we went to visit my cousin Kathy in New Jersey. K and I were driving around looking for Appomattox or Powhattan or Susquehanna or whatever her street is called when we passed “Opossum Lane.” Like two confused hound dogs, both our heads tipped to the side. Silently, and at the same time, we both thought, “Opossum… opossum… what the hell is that?” It took a full two minutes for each of our ‘raised-Yankee’ consciousnesses to connect the dots… Carn sarnit! We've been living in the South too long opossum is the ACTUAL name of the critter.



Fourth and Final Morsel

Behold! The Count and Contessa de Nudietown. See them look on as The Master of Depoopification, also known as He Who Does Not Live in Spain, depoopifies the tub for the THIRD time. Thanks and praise to The Contessa for her voluminous, underwater contributions.


(Note to myself: Remember to warn The Contessa about getting too relaxed at her first adult hot tub party.)




Can I get in trouble for posting this photo to the INTERNET?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Second Fiddle and Feeling Fine

My husband is my son’s favorite parent. Sometimes I feel jealous of this fact.

Other times it makes me sad -- like when I try to comfort The Mayor and he screams, “NOOOOOOOOO, WANT DADDY, DADDY, DADDY.”

Most of the time I think it is reasonably fair (in the universal justice realm) that K is his favorite.

After all, I was pregnant again when The Mayor was 5 months old and K had to do more than his share for The Mayor so that I could be freed up to generally moan, complain and loll about eating bon bons while wearing high heeled slippers with feather accents.

(Okay – anyone that’s ever been pregnant knows I’m lying about the high heels part.)

Even if I hadn’t become pregnant again so soon, I still think
The Mayor would have developed his primary bond with K.

K is just so much more capable in the newborn through toddler realm.

Since the beginning, K has been able to think up interactive games (on the FLY) that entertained and engaged The Mayor regardless of his age.

I have to admit that when it came to thinking up games to play with a 4 month old, I was at a total loss.

Who knew that watching balls roll irregularly on our oh-so-uneven wood floors and laughing and laughing was the perfect thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

K also was able to have lengthy, in-depth conversations with The Mayor right from the start.

From the moment The Mayor was born everyone kept telling us that we had to talk to him.

HURRY, TALK TO HIM!!

It was presented in such a way that we felt like we would be taken away and locked up permanently if we did not keep up an incessant stream of banter with The Mayor during his every waking, earliest moments.

Though I am the extroverted member of this team, I was at a total loss.

I would look down at The Mayor and think, “so…uh… what do you want to talk about?”

K, on the other hand, would blather on and on about nuclear proliferation, the price per therm of energy and the historical importance of the post-civil war redemption era.

What child could resist love charms such as these?

These days, K and I put each child to bed on alternate nights.


Every time it is my night to read and sing with The Mayor he says, “No. Daddy read.”

K literally has to sneak away with Rooster Girl and her bottle.

Last night it was my turn to read and sing to The Mayor.

We flopped down on our backs to read books in the bed and after four or five (indulgence!) we turned off the light to sing songs before I transferred him to his crib.

The Mayor turned and curled his body towards me and I turned and curled my body towards him.

He gave me kiss after kiss and then held my face in his hands while I sang him 45 more songs than usual.

(How could I stop at 3 with my face in those little hands?)

When I put him in his crib he stood back up and said, “Mommy, I want to hold you,” so I stood at the railing of his crib and hugged him for a long time.

Moments like this that make it O.K. that Kevin is his favorite.

They re-assure me that The Mayor loves me too.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Special Band-Aids

I was sitting on the floor playing with Rooster Girl while K showered, shaved and got ready for work.

I was ostensibly also watching The Mayor, but as K is the center of The Mayor's universe, it is virtually impossible to keep him out of the bathroom during K's morning routine.

It is more likely that The Mayor will be standing at the tub, pulling the shower curtain aside and yelling, "Hey Dad, you have a penis?"

So I often sit playing with little Rooster listening to the conversations K has with The Mayor during their male bathroom bonding time.

Yesterday I heard K say, "Oh, Mayor, I don't think you should play with those" and then
The Mayor asking, "What's DAT?"

K: "Those are Mommy's special band-aids."

I sat on the floor thinking... special Band-Aids? What can he mean?

Suddenly
The Mayor burst through the door with a box of super absorbent tampons and said, "Hey Mom, you put one on?"

Friday, May 05, 2006

Faith

Raggedy

I am working way too many hours a day on a two day special event. Many of the guests are Fortune 100 CEOs and the intensity of the whole thing is getting kind of extreme at this point – the event is next week.

Every day I wake up and have to be super mom, the kind, understanding, patient woman who remains patient despite the fact that one child is yelling, “NO! YOU go away! I want DADDY!” and the other is yelling and yelling because she can’t quite crawl and she SO wants to crawl.

After dropping them off at daycare I come home and try to be all 1980’s Nancy Reagan professional organized woman, but really I feel like this.