Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Carter and Grant

Carter was 8 months old when we found out we were expecting Grant. I was so excited...and so scared out of my mind! I wasn't sure how my baby would deal with being a big brother.  But he was such a sweet little boy so I couldn't imagine it being anything other than perfect....

Their first meeting was, well, interesting. Carter toddled over to the car seat and took a peek but I really don't think he even saw the baby. All he saw was the cute stuffed duck that was in there with him. Soooooo, he just poked Grant in the eye real quick, grabbed the duck and left...and that was the beginning of their beautiful relationship.

At first, having someone else in the house didn't effect Carter one bit. It wasn't until Grant started moving that things changed. And Grant rolled/crawled/walked early, which was pretty awesome for me because now there was someone to mess with Carter. Which he totally deserved.

Payback is a bitch my little friend!

Grant is fast.  I wouldn't want him for a little brother.  He's also really strong.  Carter sometimes has to drag him several feet before he'll let go of the toy they are fighting over.  That's dedication, Grant.  Keep it up!

I love watching them interact. Sometimes I'll hear them nicely playing together and it will make me so happy. Until I walk into the room and realize that they are nicely playing together with.... a pizza cutter that Carter stole from the kitchen drawer.

Um, at least they were getting along while slicing up plastic asparagus, right?

We also have this big red car that they like to play with.  But its like, if one is playing with it the other MUST throw himself in the way.  They can't just take turns.  Ya know, when I used to dream about having children I never pictured the moment when I would have to yell "WE DON'T RUN OVER OUR BROTHERS!" But, yeah, that's a concern around here these days.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Arts and Crafts

I don't like mess. I don't like clutter. I don't like dirt. I don't like things that are sticky, muddy, gooey, goopy or oozy. Glue and glitter rank very high of my list of materials not to use to entertain my child.

As a result of my neurosis, Carter has never been exposed to arts and crafts. I mean, we color (with crayons, NOT markers!) but as far as projects go he's slightly behind the average child.

I never thought of this as odd until the day we went to a class that involved an art project. The teacher handed him a glue stick. She may as well have handed him an algebra equation. He's had as much exposure to those as he's had to glue sticks.

When he figured out what you could do with said stick, his face lit up. You would think this thing held the secret to curing cancer, eliminating the national deficit and bringing about world peace...that's how happy he was to be holding it.

He now possessed the power to stick things to other things, and he intended to use it. His fire truck had no less than 13 wheels on it when he was finished. He just kept gluing them on.

Then the teacher brought out the glitter. Good lord. Luckily, she did the sprinkling for them. She spilled a little on the table. Carter ran over and said "I clean it up." I've never been more proud!

Know how sometimes when a kid has overly controlling parents they grow up and rebel? Yeah, well, my kid isn't going to be out partying till all hours of the night...he's going to go off to college and sneak finger paints into his dorm room.

I can see myself now, trying to explain to the police...."He used to be such a good boy!  I don't know where I went wrong and let him grow up to become 'The Glue Stick Bandit'!"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Other Mothers

Are there any normal parents left out there?

You know, the ones who say to their kids:
"You're annoying me today. Here's a cookie, now go watch Mickey Mouse and give me a break."

Instead of:
"I can see you're frustrated today. Here, have some organic oatmeal and soy milk. Now lets sit down and write a haiku about your feelings."

Up until now it has been fairly easy to surround myself with other mothers who share my views on parenting. I love my friends because I can call them up and tell them "My kids are driving me nuts. I'm coming over. I need a witness in order to garuntee their safety."

But now that Carter is older I try to take him out to classes that will help him learn valuable social skills and will in other ways enrich...yeah, no, I can't even finish that sentence and keep a straight face. I take him to classes cause it saves me from being trapped in the house alone with him for ten hours every day.

The problem with these classes is that you never know what type of parental figures you are going to encounter. I am easily annoyed (at least ACT shocked by that statement, would ya?) I don't want to be surrounded by touchy-feely idiots who think their child is quite honestly the most perfect child that has ever been created. If you follow this blog you are aware that I certainly suffer from no such delusions regarding my kids.

I recently attended a class where some of the other mothers took it upon themselves to change the curriculum. And the teacher LET THEM! I missed the first class of the session where these God-like women decided what my child was and was not going to be learning.

Carter will be going to preschool next year and I will be surrounded by these people. I hope I don't show up late one morning and find that the decision has been made to skip teaching math that year and focus on teaching meditation skills instead. Cause there are no wrong answers in meditation, and that will foster a child's sense of self-worth....

These mothers are so judgemental. Don't get me wrong, I judge other people too. Everyone does so don't deny it. But at least when I do it there is usually a good reason. If you're wearing brown socks and black shoes, for example. Then you're just asking for it. But I've found that mothers judge other mothers for the MOST RIDICULOUS reasons.

When Carter was around a year old, a mother at story time gave me a lecture because I didn't use sign language with him:

Her:"But it helps you understand what they want! Like, when she wants more of something she can tell me!"

Me: "Hey, Carter. Say 'more'."

Him: "More."

K? We good here?

Another time I was having a conversation about nutrition and the topic of school lunches came up. So I have this woman telling me how she couldn't believe the things that some mothers pack their kids for lunch these days! Her example? White bread.

White bread? Really? That's what you got as ammo on this mom? The way she was talking I thought she was going to say heroin.

OK, other mothers, I realize that you are judging me because I brought Goldfish as a snack instead of organic avocados grown by blind orphans in Guatemala. But rest assured, I'm judging you right back for being pretentious know-it-alls who are raising the next generation of overly entitled American brats!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Special Agent Oso

I know many of you have heard me say this before but, honestly, Special Agent Oso is by far the worst show on television. Well, if not the worst then certainly a contender for the most annoying.

If you haven't seen it, the premise is that this supposedly James Bond-esque animated bear goes around and solves problems with "three special steps". Now, if you're like me and think that there are some tasks so simple in nature that they cannot possibly be broken down into three whole, separate steps...you are wrong, my friend, you are wrong.

The episode names are plays on Bond films. Things like "The Man with the Golden Retriever" and "The Chairs are Not Enough". They show clips of Special Agent Oso (emphasis on the Special) doing his spy-like training exercises. There will be thee buttons and in order to avoid disaster (insert danger music here) he has to know which to push! So he'll manage to pull that off somehow, then he'll make his get away in some sort of high-tech transportation. I'm sorry, but if you don't know which button has the picture of the red square on it, I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be driving an invisible motorcycle, navigating a large ship or operating a jet pack....just saying...

Sean Austin provides Oso's voice. I'm not an expert but I'm thinking this may have been a bad career move. This man has played a miniature football player, a bumbling hobbit and now an animated bear who needs to be given three special steps in order to breathe properly. No one is going to be casting a blockbuster movie and say "Ok, who do we get to play Angelina Jolie's love interest in this movie...Brad Pitt? No, been done. Tom Cruise? Nah. Hey, I know! How 'bout we get the guy who provides the voice for that mentally deficient bear? Did you catch his performance in 'Quantum of Sandwich'? Good stuff. Brilliant actor."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Carter was originally not into Halloween.

I took him shopping for a costume but he didn't really grasp the concept.

We picked out a fireman ensemble but when we got home he refused to wear the jacket or the hat. So that left him just holding the axe that it came with.

Yeah, Cart, let's take you around to all the neighbors just like that....as a two year old axe murderer. Like we don't have a bad enough reputation around this place as it is.

So I went out independently and bought him a cow outfit. Ok, not the coolest costume around but it was one piece and it zipped. I was mainly thinking it would be easy to trap him in when he inevitably tried to rip it off his body.

Is this how other parents plan their kid's costumes? Or no?

In the weeks leading up to Halloween I put him in the cow a few times, hoping to get him more used to the idea of parading around dressed as a barnyard animal. He would look at himself in the mirror, laugh for a second...and then immediately scream "Don't want it! Don't want the cow!" while attempting to pull it off.

Let me tell you something, kid. You are going out dressed in that cow suit! You are going to take pictures and get candy and have a good time. Even if it kills you...which, judging from your reaction, it just might.

Halloween night: Still no go on the cow.

But I forced his contorted little body into the costume, zipped and velcroed it and even managed to get his shoes on...a feat for which I would like some sort of recognition. Thank you.

He finally stopped screaming and we headed out. The first house we went to was our neighbors that we love. They invited us in and gave him some fruit snacks and candy. He said trick or treat, he did his job and got the reward. He then studied the piece of candy, looked up at me and said "Wanna do trick or treat again!"

Here is the evidence that my son is a true capitalist. He suddenly realized that his work ethic is directly related to his earning potential.

"So let me get this straight, Mom...I put on this ridiculous barn yard animal outfit and pound the pavement and the more times I say trick or treat, the more loot I get? Yeah, ok. I'm in."

Unfortunately, I had to teach him about taxes by taking a percentage of his hard earned Snickers.

The rest of the night was amazing!

He was so damn cute saying trick or treat. Although he did try to walk right in to several houses (he almost made it up the inside staircase at one place). Turns out if someone offers my son candy he'll just go right into their house whether he knows them or not. We probably gotta work on that.

He walked the entire night, holding my hand. I was melting and thinking about how good he was being and how this couldn't possibly by my kid.

On our walk home he was trying to run ahead so I told him that he had to hold Mama's hand because there were cars going by.

He looked right up at me with those adorable, pudgy cow cheeks and said:

"You don't want the cars to kill you!"

Ah, there's my son!