Saturday, March 31, 2012

Children Are...

Motherhood has taught me that children possess a lot of unique and diverse qualities.  They bring you joy…and pain…on a daily basis.  Here’s a little tribute to all of the things that my children are…

1. Children are honest:
 Me: "Carter are you guys playing nicely?"
Carter: "Um, I'm not sure....probably not."

I’m sure you’re right about that.  I’ve never known you two to play nicely so I don’t  know why I thought it would be happening at a time like this when I have to get in the shower and need your cooperation.  Where’s my head!

Me: "Carter! We have a lot of people coming over today so I have a lot of stuff to do. I need you to be a good boy! Think you can do that?"
Carter: "Well...I can try..."

He’s unwilling to commit to being well behaved.  But he’s gonna give it the old college try.  And that’s all I can apparently ask for. 

2. Children are literal:
Me: “Did you hit your brother?"

Carter: "No...I hit the hat."
Me: "Was your brother wearing the hat at the time?"

Carter: "Yes."
You just gotta know how to ask the right questions....this is one of the times that I’m really glad I went to law school.  My years of professional training come in very handy when I’m interrogating my three year old. 

(My legal training also helps during negotiations with him.  As in “Can I have five cookies?”…”You can have two.”…”What about four?”…”I’ll meet you at three but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.”)

3. Children are dramatic:
Grant: "Carter spilled water on me and now I can't even walk!"

Really? That seems extreme. Are you sure it was just water and not, say, nerve gas??

4. Children are often NOT good for your ego:
I found Carter playing with one of my sports bras wrapped around his truck and I asked him what he was doing:

Carter:  “I’m using this as a Band-Aid for my truck.”

Me:  “Well why don’t you use something else instead.  Here, here’s a hand towel you can use.”
Carter: “No! That's too big...I need to use something little."

5. Children invent new games. 
Sometimes those games don’t turn out the way they planned.  Because children are rough (well, my children are). 

Me: "Why does Grant have a black eye?"
Cart: "Oh. That's cause we were playing football and I ‘touch downed’ him."

 Me: "What does that mean?"
Cart: "Here, put him down and I'll show you."

 Um, no. I'm not going to put your brother down so you can recreate giving him a black eye. Thanks though.

6. Children are learning how to cover their tracks:
Me: "Hey, Carter?"

Carter: "I didn't!"

Me: "Didn't what?"
Carter: "Didn't...anything. Why did you say hey Carter?"

Well, I was gonna ask you if you'd seen the remote. But now I'm gonna ask you to stay right here while I investigate exactly what it is you 'didn't' do.

7. Children are adorable (sometimes):
The woman at the gas station asked us if we wanted a receipt. Carter replied:

 "No thanks. We already have seats. See, we're sitting in them right now."


Children are a lot of things.  But I think above all children are a gift…that you cannot return.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Welcome Carter

August 23, 2008:
“I absolutely CANNOT have this baby until the upstairs hallway floors are sanded and refinished!”
At 9 months pregnant that was honestly my biggest concern.  My upstairs hallway floors.  I was nesting…and badly.  But to his credit, my husband, instead of telling me to shove it like I probably deserved, got out his sander and started the project.

I cheated.  This is me pregnant with Grant.  I don't have any pictures of me pregnant with Carter. 
Oh's one...

This is what I looked like...hence the no pictures.

I was supposed to be on bed rest due to high blood pressure but I took that as more of a suggestion than an order.  Maybe if I had listened…
It was a hot and humid Saturday morning in August.  I was getting ready for a routine non-stress test and Mike was, um, sanding the floors.  I almost went to the doctors by myself.  It was just a quick little test where they would tell me I was ok for another week.  I wasn’t actually due till September 10th.  And everyone knows that first time moms usually go late…usually…

At the last minute Mike decided to come to the hospital with me.  We had the test and were sent for an ultra sound as well.  I’ll never forget the moment when the technician said: “Um…the baby’s not moving.”

I’m sorry, what did you just say to me?  The baby’s not moving?  Wanna throw out a follow up sentence about how that’s normal and everything’s fine before I rip your face off? 

Luckily (for her) she eventually got the baby to move…a little.  And told us I just had low fluid so movement was getting difficult.  Perfectly normal.  He was just a little ‘over done’.

Basically, like everything else I’ve ever tried to cook, I burnt him.

“But the package said 25 minutes!”
“Well apparently it only needed 20.  You have to keep an eye on it.”

Dammit.  Oh well, I’ll just start to drink more water, actually do my bed rest and we’ll be fine.  Except that’s not what happened. 

When we got back to labor and delivery the nurse who had done my non-stress test looked at me and said “You’re having a baby today.” 

Just like that.  All casual. 

You’re having a baby today.  Like she was telling me “You’re having a ham sandwich today”.  Yes, I know that YOU do this ten times a day but I don’t.  It’s a bigger deal to me so please act like it.  A million thoughts were running through my head but my biggest concern was obviously…


My next thought was at least more rational.  I realized that my doctor was on vacation.  It hadn’t been a concern of mine because, as I stated earlier, I wasn’t due for almost three more weeks.  I thought I had time.  Apparently not. 

When the doctor on call walked in the first thing I noticed was his height.  He was like seven feet tall.  The second, and more important, thing that I noticed was the size of his hands.  I wanted to ask him if he wouldn’t mind taking off his catcher’s mitt before doing my internal exam.  Holy. Shit. Those are some big hands ya got there, doc.  Remind me again where you’ll be sticking those?
He introduced himself and said he was going to examine me.  So he put on a rubber glove and his hand BUSTED THROUGH IT!  Not kidding.  He broke the glove.  Then he laughed.

Oh.  Is that funny?  Is it?  Well my vagina doesn’t find that funny.  At all.
After being violated by my new doctor I was hooked up to Pitocin.  I sent my husband home to get clothes, gather supplies…attempt to finish the floor.  The doctor said it could go quickly so Mike could only leave for like an hour.  I stayed with my friend and played Scategories.  Clearly I wasn’t very concerned about what was about to happen to my body.  Or the fact that human being would soon be emerging from it.  Every hour or so a nurse would come in and ask me if I was feeling any contractions yet.  I wasn’t.  So they’d turn up the machine.

This went on for two days.  Mike could have finished the damn floor.  Stupid Dr. Huge Hands. 

August 24, 2008

After all that drama I ended up with a C-section anyway.  I never contracted.  And good ‘ole Doc Giant Paws told me that I was only ever a fingertip dilated.  (Now, is that a fingertip on your hand?  ‘Cause that could equal 10 centimeters on a normal sized hand.)  After he had those things up there I’m honestly surprised that the baby wasn’t able to just walk out. 
So Carter’s delivery wasn’t what I had planned.  It wasn’t even close to what I thought it would be like to deliver my first born.  But now I get to have planned C-sections.  Here’s how Grant’s delivery went:

“Wanna have a baby today?”
“Yeah, alright.”

“Ok….here he is.”

I love my babies even though they make my life a living hell on a regular basis.  But the real moral of the story is that three and a half years after becoming a mother…my upstairs hallway floor is still only half sanded. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Liebster Award!

Wow!  Leibster Award!

Thanks so much to Carol for this nomination!  Love her blog about parenting and all things related I feel very honored that you thought of me and my little blog, thank you so much again.

Ok, so since I don't know how to work technology I'm just going to try to do this the best I can...  By the way, if you do know how to work technology and would like to help me make my blog look jazzier then feel free to volunteer =) 

Blogs I think rock:

1. Momtactics:

2. Renaissance Mom:

3.  Merely Mothers:

I know I'm supposed to do five but I don't have five!

Here are the Liebster Award rules:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.


Today the unthinkable happened: I LOST GRANT’S LOVEY!

If you’re not a parent and you don’t know what that means it’s basically a child’s special stuffed animal/blanket/toy.  The one they “love” the most.  Hence: Lovey.

Grant’s is a stuffed dog head with a blanket body.  It’s like a stuffed animal knocked up a blanket and this was the product of their union.  Whoever came up with that idea is currently a multi-millionaire. 

Carter’s lovey is a Tigger.  So we call him…Tigger.  We had no idea what to name blanket-dog-head so we call him Grant’s “Guy”.  He now has a Brown Guy and a White Guy.  I know.  But let’s not address the weird racial implications now, k?

Usually I don’t allow the kids to take their lovies out of the house.  God Forbid they lose it.  It would be easier to replace an arm than it would be to replace one of those damn things.  I keep a better eye on the lovies than I do on the children:
“Where’s Grant?”
“I don’t know…but his Guy is right here so if we ever do find him we’re all set…”

Today I was running super late picking up Carter so when Grant clutched Guy and refused to leave the house without him I gave in.  Whatever.  Take whatever will make you stop screaming long enough for me to strap your contorted little body into your seat.  Let’s go.
After school I took the boys out for lunch.  On our way home I realized Guy was among the missing.  I almost crashed the car.  No, really.  I started frantically looking around for him and I literally almost crashed the car.  People were beeping at me as I sat at a green light and threw around the contents of my purse and Carter's backpack. Where the hell is Guy?

I started thinking of what life might be like without Guy.  Will Grant be forced to forever roam the earth, alone and unable to sleep without his blanket dog head thingy?  Will the mourning process be quick or will we have to listen to him silently weep for his lost friend for months?  This is awful.

I thought about just running to the store and buying another one.  But I’m pretty sure I’d have to spend two years biting the nose and stroking the ears before it even came close to resembling the original.  I don’t have that kind of time…or dedication. 

Lucky for us we found Guy sitting on a shelf at Carter’s school where I had put him while getting coats on the kids.  When I saw him sitting there I let out a cry equivalent to that of someone who had just been reunited with a long lost relative who they hadn't seen in 20 years. 

Praise the Lord!  Guy has come home! 
I’m going to invent some sort of Lovey GPS system.  If you’re laughing at that idea you are clearly not a parent who has experienced this particular tragedy.  It would sell.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Things That Go Bump

It must be really scary being a kid.

There are tons of new things you have to learn, everyone is bigger than you and you can’t just run around with no pants on and smear peanut butter all over your brother whenever you want to.  It’s a tough life.

Maybe that’s why Carter has recently started having nightmares. 
He’ll wake up screaming and then do this little pathetic cry for a few minutes afterwards.  My heart aches seeing my baby so scared and knowing there’s little I can do to fix it. I love him so much I just want to protect him from every scary thing in the world ( and that’s probably the nicest thing I’ve ever said on this blog…ever.)
Last night I heard the scream so I bolted out of bed and ran in to wrap my arms around my son and tell him he’s safe and sound. 

“You’re ok, buddy!  Mama’s here.  You’re safe in your bed and nothing can get you.  Did you have a scary dream?”

“What happened?”

Oh No!  Did he have a dream about something bad happening to his brother?  And he wanted to protect him?  That’s the cutest thing in the world!
“What happened to Grant?”

“He took my red fire truck and my blue truck and my Bruins truck.  I wanted those.”
He…he took your…wait, no.  That’s what you were screaming about?  For real?  I rushed in here in a panic to protect you from harm and you were dreaming about your brother stealing your toys? 

Obviously that’s THE WORST thing that a three year old can imagine happening.  Toy theft.  I knew you really loved that red truck but COME ON! 
From now on I will not be running into his room when he screams.   I will simply yell “Grant, give it back!” from the comfort of my warm bed. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fun at the Playground

Now that spring is upon us it’s time to start taking the kids to the park.  But I have to say…going to the park really stresses me out. 

First of all, I hate trying to pack for every conceivable situation. 
Someone will be hungry; someone will be thirsty; someone will need a wipey.  Ok, we know those things are inevitable.  But then there are all of the surprises.  Will it be cold?  I’ve had it be 75 and sunny at my house and the park is sub-zero.  Or it’s cloudy where we are but the park is apparently under some sort of gigantic heat lamp. 
And obviously I’m the mother who didn’t put sunscreen on her kids.  Who wants to do that if they don’t have to?  It’s honestly my least favorite thing to do in the world.  Putting sunscreen on a squirming toddler should be an Olympic event.  I’d rather pay for their Botox injections at age 8 when they have deep wrinkles due to excessive sun exposure. 

So we pack nine jackets, four different types of hats, twelve bottles of water, sunscreen, shovels, scuba gear…we’re off.
Getting there is clearly only half the battle.  Once you’re in you have to find a way to peacefully coexist with other parents and children.  This can be tricky.

You always have that one group of moms who all know each other and think they rule the playground.  They suck.  Unless you happen to be a part of that group…then they’re awesome.  That’s why I try to have my Momtourage with me at all times.  Mostly because I want to have backup in case me or my kids get into any altercations. 
Ok, I know it sounds weird that I prepare for battle when I enter fun places filled with children enjoying themselves.  But some moms are bitches…and some kids are jerks…and the jerky kids usually belong to the bitchy moms.  Genetics.

There’s always the one child that you hope your kid will just avoid.  You see this kid doing things like throwing sand, pushing other kids and brandishing large sticks that he obviously intends to use as weapons.  Wait, what’s he doing now?  Oh.  He’s carrying a very large rock around and throwing it through the holes in the climbing structure.  It’s now dropping from the air onto unsuspecting victims (true story). 
Ummm…anyone else seeing this?  Anyone seeing it wanna make a move to end it?  Is there a parent involved here or am I supposed to intervene and stop boulder-throwing-boy before he flattens a small child?
Disciplining other people’s kids is usually frowned upon.  But know what else should be frowned upon?  Letting your beast child run free and crush other kid’s skulls for fun.  I, personally, am against that. 

Usually someone will loudly say “Oh I don’t think that’s really safe, hunny!” 

You always have to throw in a term of endearment to make it sound like you were trying to be helpful. What you actually wanted to say is “Hey, little shit, knock it off and go tell your mom she needs to put down the phone.  Unless she’s talking to a behavior therapist, cause you need one.”

Now, don’t get me wrong…I like to ignore my kids as much as the next mother.  But there’s a time and a place to do so.  It’s really a fine art.  Do it in your own home, not out in public.  (And as a side note while we’re on the subject of ignoring things: Please change your child if she needs it.  Nine other mothers around you just stuck their noses up their kid’s asses. It’s none of us.  It’s you and you know it.  Own up to it.)

You see a lot of different parenting styles these days.
I fully admit that I am an overly cautious mom when it comes to the playground.  I don’t want my kids getting hurt…cause I’m the one who will have to listen to them bitch about it all day long.  Carter screams like a banshee when he thinks there’s something in the bottom of his shoe.  I can’t imagine what he’d be like in an actual crisis. 
One morning after dropping Carter at school I took Grant, who wasn’t even two yet, to our local park.  I climbed up the steps behind him and went down the slide next to him.  A mother standing by made a comment on how cautious I was and said I should probably just let my 18 month old climb 15 feet up in the air by himself.  “I just let my kids run free, that’s really what kids need you know.  They need to be able to fall down and get back up.”

Then she pointed out her child.
Oh is that him?  That one right there with the huge cast on his arm from his shoulder to his wrist?  Interesting parenting philosophy.  How’s that working out for ya?  Thanks for the tip.

I keep telling my husband we really need to put a swing set in the backyard. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012


“What street are we on?  What color is Nana’s house?  When is Daddy coming home?  Can I have a snack?  Can I have a drink?  Can I color?  Can I watch a show?  Can I…Can I…Can I????”

Recently I’ve really started to regret teaching Carter how to talk.

It was cute at first but now it’s getting to the ridiculous point.  He does not shut up.  Ever.  He even talks in his sleep.  There are times when I honestly cannot stand the sound of his voice.  I feel like I’m being stabbed in the eye with an ice pick every time I hear him speak.  And that is a very tame and loving description of my feelings…
Usually he’s just asking innocent toddler questions so I feel like such an awful parent asking him to take it down a notch.  I mean, I do it anyway obviously.  But since I can’t use the phrase “shut up” I try to come up with different phrases to get my point across.

“Can you zip your lips, please?”
“How?  I don’t have a zipper.  What does that mean?  Do you have a zipper on your lips?”
Well, that backfired.

I was in Target this week (all mom blogs have a ‘so I was in Target’ entry, huh?) Anyway, I was in Target and could absolutely not hear myself think because the boys were just yelling out everything they observed and were expecting me to go “Yeah, that is a man wearing a red shirt.  Uh huh, there’s a dog on that sign.”  The needed validation that I was actually listening to them…which usually I’m not so I don’t blame them. 

I finally reached my breaking point and said “I just need you to stop talking.  STOP TALKING!”
A lady walking by gave me a “wow, you’re a mean mom” look.  I wanted to duct tape my children to her and make her walk around all day listening to them. 

To clarify, my annoyance isn’t exclusively dedicated to his question asking.  It’s his noises in general.  He’ll be playing with his toys going “Wah ba do bee doop bee baaaaah!!”  I’m sorry, are you having a stroke?
Where is it written that boys absolutely MUST make strange noises with their mouths? I don’t want to hear the sound effects that accompany your bulldozer running over your monster truck.  I just don’t.  Cut it out.

The other problem we have is his volume control.  He has none.  Asking him to whisper is like asking him to go do long division.  He’s never done either. 
So naturally at the end of a long day when my husband comes home all I want to do is pour a glass of wine, hop on the computer and ignore everyone around me.  And clearly all he wants to do is talk to me about my day.

“How were the boys?  Did you go anywhere?  What do you want for dinner?”

If you don’t get away from me I can’t guarantee your safety.  Unless you are refilling my wine glass I need you to piss off…and I say that in the most loving way possible! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mom of Boys

Ok this is completely and totally immature, but when you have boys anything having to do with the word “balls” becomes funny. 

Honest to God.
Try listening to your son talk about playing with his balls and NOT crack a smile.  Almost impossible, right?  If you disagree then we clearly don’t have the same sense of humor…so you’re probably, like, a real grown-up.  Good for you.

The first time I realized that this was hysterical was when Carter was a baby.  He was in a phase where we had to kiss everything he brought us.  His stuffed animals, his cars, etc.
One day he was playing with two little basketballs and he held them up to my face.  I said “Do you want Mommy to kiss your balls?”

After I realized what I had said I absolutely could not stop laughing. Do you want Mommy to kiss your balls?  C’mon.  That’s a riot.  I called my husband and he laughed too.  We apparently became intellectually 13 after having kids. 
We’ve been working on sharing in our house so the boys get really excited to let us know when they play nicely together. 

One day Carter ran up to me and proclaimed:
“Mom!  I shared!  I let Grant play with my balls!  Are you proud of me?”

Ummm…I’m unsure. 
Sometimes I feel bad when I laugh because they have no idea why I’m getting such a kick out of what they’re saying.  They’re just sitting there playing, wondering why their mother is such a friggin whack job.

For example, they were in the play room playing basketball and I called in to ask what they were up to.  The response was:  “We’re just holding our balls and taking some shots.”
Really? All I could picture was two college boys sitting around the frat house on a random Saturday holding themselves and having some drinks.  It was a nice glimpse into their future!

“Balls” isn’t the only word that gets a giggle around here either.  Let’s take the word “package”…
When Carter walks around holding a box and screaming “I have a big package!” it’s hard not to find that amusing.  Maybe I need to get out more.

Last spring my mother bought the boys some toy gardening tools.  Including a hoe…you can guess where this is going…
Well, apparently Carter was just hitting things with it rather than actually gardening (weird, huh?).  When my mom told me about his behavior she said: “He just loves banging that hoe!”


Am I not supposed to laugh at that?  Well, I’m gonna anyway.  And then I’m gonna stick my tongue out at the people who think I’m behaving like a child.  That’ll show ‘em!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What Doesn't Kill Them...

“Eh, it’s not gonna kill them.”
That’s my new parenting motto…I like to set my standards pretty low when it comes to my kids.
I don’t assess situations by normal factors like potential for injury or probability of setting bad habits.  I just ask: Are they going to survive it?  If the answer is yes, then it’s fine.   
I know as a mom I’m supposed to promote the idea of sharing.  When it comes to my food, however, I don’t want to have to share. And me enjoying my own food is not going to kill my kids. It's not my fault you ate your cookie so fast, this is Mommy's cookie and I want it.
I’ve made enough damn sacrifices for you people…I let you LIVE IN MY BODY for nine months!  I think I’ve earned the right to eat the whole bowl of pasta without giving you a bite.
And it doesn’t matter what type of food I’m eating.  They just want it.  I’ve had Grant beg and plead to the point of tears for a bite of my salad.  Dude!  Its lettuce and carrots in a bowl, I don’t even want to be eating it.  If I were holding a Thin Mint I could better understand this behavior. 
I know that you honestly and truly believe you will perish if you don’t get a spoonful of my yogurt.  But let me assure you…it’s not gonna kill you…
Speaking of food, I also let them eat off the floor.  We have dogs so this usually isn’t an issue because food that hits the floor tends to disappear before they can get to it.  Which, actually, makes it worse because if they found it it’s probably been there for quite some time.  How’s that week old granola bar treating ya?  Good?  Good.
When Grant was a baby I used to let him just crawl around under the table after breakfast and enjoy Carter’s discarded Cheerios.  He was entertained.  I didn’t have to clean it up.  Win for all involved.  He probably has a stellar immune system because of this.  So that’s extra not gonna kill him. You’re welcome, kid.
Letting your children run around naked after a bath is not gonna kill them.  Someone should share this information with my neighbors.  One night the boys were doing naked laps around my dining room table screaming “We’re naked!  We’re naked!  We’re so fast when we’re naked!”   
Naturally all of my windows were open and my uptight neighbors were shooting dirty looks at the house.  Hey, sometimes you gotta air out.  I would catch them and stop them but in case you hadn’t heard…they’re so fast when they’re naked.
I use unique discipline methods and I’m really hoping those aren’t gonna kill my kids.  Carter HATES being wet.  The other day he wouldn’t stop banging on something in the kitchen so I took the sprayer from the sink and squirted him. 
On a scale of one to child abuse where do we think this falls?
He apparently thinks it ranks pretty high because he hit the deck and started screaming as if I had just pulled out my sawed off shot gun…
You should have listened to me the first time then.  And getting wet is not gonna kill ya…might scar you for life, but you’ll survive.  And that’s what we’re aiming for. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012


First of all does everyone know what this is? 
It’s a website where you can get ideas on everything from cooking to home d├ęcor.  But not just anyone can see all the outfits, recipes, tips, etc.  Oh no.  You have to be invited to join.  You have to find someone who's willing to bring you into the fold.
Is this a website or a secret society?  Only losers have to ASK if they can be invited to something.  It’s basically internet high school. 
“So what’s going on this weekend?”

“I think Pinterest is having a party, weren’t you invited?  Oh…you weren’t?  Well why don’t you ask her if you can come? I’m sure you’re invited and she just hasn’t gotten around to asking you yet.”
Yeah, sure.
I have a love/hate relationship with this site. 
I love it because it does have some really good content.  Great ideas about things to make and what not.  I hate it because I don’t have the time or money to do any of it. 
And honestly, if people spent half as much time doing things as they spend looking up things to do then the site would go under.  It thrives on the average person’s desire to waste time finding things on the internet that they could be doing but just aren’t.
Sometimes it’s not that I lack the time to try the things I look at, but more that I lack the desire to.
One hundred and one crafts you can make with your kids?  Nah.  Talk to me when you come up with a list of one hundred and one cocktails you can make because of your kids. 

Now doesn't that look delicious? 
There are also a lot of ideas about how to decorate kid’s rooms: make a decorative banner that spells out their name in their own hand prints; stencil the words to their favorite nursery rhyme on the walls; blah blah blah…
The only time you have to do any of that is BEFORE you have kids.  If the kid is already here it's too late.
You have serious issues if   you think you’re going to be able to dip your child's hand in paint as many times as it would take to write out their name.  And if they’re old enough to have a favorite nursery rhyme then they’re old enough to be consuming every second of your day with their constant needs.  I struggle to find time to urinate, never mind do any of this shit.   
This just have too much time on your hands.  
Now, me personally, I don’t like to be reminded of all the awesome things that I don’t have.  So I don’t get why people want to look at pictures of amazing houses they’ll never live in or exotic locations they’ll never visit. 
Suzie Smith repined a picture of a gorgeous private lagoon in Fiji and named it “Someday I’ll go here!” 
No.  You won’t.  Know who’s gonna go there?  The creator of Pinterest. 
But don’t worry…I’m sure they’ll pin a lovely picture of it to their “What I Did With My Money From Creating Pinterest” board. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Stop It Or Else...

“If you don’t cut that out I’m gonna…ummm...I’m gonna…”
I hate when I need to yell at my children but can’t come up with any credible threats.  Its such a humiliating Mommy moment.  And of course I have Carter who likes to exploit my weaknesses every chance he gets:
“What, Mom?  What are you gonna do.”
I’m backed into a corner.  If I don’t say anything he’ll win; if I say something I can’t follow through on he’ll win.  The panic beings to set in.
“I’ll…something.  I’ll definitely something.”
Ah ha!  Gotcha!  Now I’ve added the element of surprise to the punishment.  Now you don’t know what you’re dealing with.  You wanna risk that?  Huh?  Do ya?
Carter’s a gambler.  Nine times out of ten he’ll continue doing whatever it was.  I just screwed myself.  Better luck next time I guess.
Just as bad as coming up with nothing is coming up with something you can’t, or don’t want to, follow through on.
“Do not throw that car or I’m not feeding you lunch.”
I try to mentally beg him to listen to me because I just know he’s going to call my bluff. 
“Pleeeeease put the car down.  I am actually obligated to feed you, but hopefully you don’t realize that yet.  I’m going to lose all credibility if you chuck that Matchbox car at your brother and you are presented with a sandwich and yogurt as a reward.”  (See…I don’t ONLY feed my kids crap!)
Worse still is when you threaten to take away something that YOU actually want to do.  Playdates, going out to dinner, watching a show or movie…
“We’re not going to the zoo with Aiden if you keep using the vacuum attachments as drumsticks!”
The playdate is for him and he does want to go.  But in reality I want to go more.  I’m done being stuck in this house with you people and would like a little adult interaction…and a cocktail…do they serve cocktails at the zoo?
We use the counting method a lot in my house.  But that tactic is crap. 
Basically you warn the kid that you are going to be giving him at least three more chances to be warned before you are actually going to take any action.
“Stop it.  Do you want me to count? One…two…stop it now…two and a half…last chance…”
Do you know how many smacks to their brother my children can get in during this process?  It’s a lot.  And then you have to tell them good job for listening to you…on the 57th time you said it. 
It’s come to my attention that there is actually no perfectly effective way to discipline your children.  And that sucks.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Go Ahead, Eat It!

I have a Mommy Confession to make: I let my kids eat crap!
I do.  I let them eat cookies, chocolate, chips, donuts and even….get ready for it…McDonald’s (GASP!!!)
I absolutely love to listen to people who are completely anti-fast food.  God forbid they include a TOY in the bag with the cheeseburger.  Cause that’s obviously going to make your children want to eat there, which is in turn going to make them diseased and fat.  Tragic, really.  Just simply awful.
Oh wait…we skipped a step here didn’t we?  Um, the part where the three year old takes his car and his disposable income and heads on down to knock back a few Happy Meals at the end of a long day. 
But seriously, take some responsibility.  If you can’t say no to your children then you shouldn’t be a parent. I say no all the time.  I say no for no reason.  I say no even when I really mean yes…mostly likely because I’m on Facebook ignoring them and didn’t really listen to the question in the first place.
The moral of the story is McDonald’s does not make people fat.  People putting McDonald’s in their face on a regular basis makes people fat.  If your kid jumps on the furniture and breaks his arm as a result are you going to sue the couch?  If you are then please stop reading here because I’m just going to make fun of you for the rest of this entry…
So fine, my kids eat fast food.  And they love it.  And no, I don’t want to hear what it’s made of. 
I’m not talking every day here.  Maybe once every six weeks.  In fact, it happens so infrequently that when I tried to give up eating fast food for Lent my husband replied with “You don’t even ever eat fast food.  You may as well give up scratching your balls too.”
But still I’ve gotten some strange responses when I tell people that I let my kids indulge in a cheeseburger and French fries every once in a while:
“You let your KIDS eat that?”
I’m sorry…maybe we’re having trouble communicating.  I said cheeseburger.  Did you think I said crack?  Cause your reaction would lead me to believe that’s what you heard...
People like that only eat organic food, I’m sure.  I like when I see those types of people at the store buying organic chicken nuggets and organic potato chips. Just because it says organic doesn’t make it health food.  If you dip it in fat or fry it then it doesn’t matter how it was grown…it’ll still end up on your hips.  Enjoy!

Stop Fighting!

There is nothing in this world so small and insignificant that my children will not fight over it.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that they are both boys or if it has something to do with how close in age they are but it’s like World War 7 in here pretty much all day, every day.  I’m just done hearing screaming followed by things like “Mom!  He hit me with a back hoe loader!”  What?  That doesn’t happen in your house?  If your kids have never hit each other with heavy machinery then they’re amateurs. 
It’s to the point where I don’t even try to figure out what really happened anymore.  I’ll just scream “KNOCK IT OFF!” from the other room and then hope it works itself out...which almost never happens. 
I used to run in and try to referee but it would turn out that they were fighting over who had to be Mickey and who had to be Donald in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse game they were playing.  And is that worth abandoning my coffee sipping and Words With Friends playing for?  Not at all.  That time I just told them to cut it out or I would make them BOTH be Clarabelle (cause really, is she not just the most annoying character on that damn show?)
The things they find upsetting are really comical sometimes.  After lunch they put their plates and cups in the sink.  If someone cleans up someone else’s cup all hell breaks loose. 
“But I wanted to put my OWN cup in there!  DON’T TAKE MY CUP!”  Boys, you are now fighting over doing chores…get a hold of yourselves.
 Actually, I hope that one continues into adolescence.  I’m going to try and promote it. 
“Carter, did you see how fast Grant picked up his room?  You gonna let him get away with that shit?  He’s your LITTLE brother, that’s embarrassing.  Oh my God!  He totally just flipped you off.  Show him what’s up, man!!!”
The best is when they fight over the exact same toy.  Like, literally, the EXACT SAME TOY!  We could have 94 identical fire trucks and those little bastards would both want the same one.  Carter usually wins these battles because he’s...well…I guess most normal mothers would say it’s because he’s “willful” but I’m going to go ahead and say it’s because he’s an asshole. 
One time their aunt brought them two green trucks that she found at a yard sale.  Mirror images of each other except one had batteries in it, and therefore lit up, and one didn’t.  Carter ended up with the non-lighting up variety of truck, figured that out and arranged a trade.
“Grant do you want me to share my truck with you?  Let’s trade.  Here ya go!  It’s fun to share.”
Grant you got hosed, pal! 
The newest fight they have is over who “wins” things.  When we get dressed, someone has to win.  When we go upstairs for bed, someone has to win. 
And of course the non-winner pitches a fit of epic proportion.  And there is no way to stop the screaming because there’s no way to fix the problem. You can’t make someone un-win something.  Either they got to the top of the stairs first or they didn’t.  So I have to tell them that no one won anything.
“No!  No one won.  Carter, you’re not a winner.  Grant, you’re not a winner.  There are NO WINNERS in this house…” 
This will probably be really great for their self-esteem, huh?  Their future coaches/teachers will tell them how well they’re doing and they’ll have to say “No.  My mother has told me my whole life that I am most certainly NOT a winner.”
Ok, my kids fight a lot.  I guess it’s normal when they fight over who wants the blue bowl or which book we should read first.  I get that and I accept that.  But they also fight about stuff like this:
Carter: "Let's pretend that you're Carter and I'm Grant."
Grant: "No, I'm Grant!"
Carter: "No we're pretending you're Carter."
Grant (crying): "I wanna be Grant! Dad...Carter told me I’m Carter!!"
Seriously? For Christ’s sake!  Have you people run out of things to fight about? Doesn't someone want to at least hit someone else so you'll actually be fighting about something real? 
I would stay and finish this blog except I’m currently being informed that Grant’s toe is looking at Carter.  You heard me.  His TOE is LOOKING at Carter.  And this is my life…

Friday, March 2, 2012

Snow Day

It finally snowed and, of course, the kids are beyond excited to play in it.
I, personally, like the snow.  I’m not a typical New Englander who chooses to live here but then curses Mother Nature every time there’s wacky weather.  It’s, like, the one thing I don’t complain about.  (See!  There IS something…I knew we’d find it someday.)
I wish, however, that the snow had come on a weekend.  That way my husband would have to be the one to take the kids outside.  I tried to convince them to wait until Daddy got home, but the way they reacted to that suggestion, I may as well have told them they had to wait until they were 16. 
It’s not that I mind being out in the snow…I just mind GETTING READY to go out there. 
I think soldiers going into combat require less equipment than a two year old going out to play in the snow. 
Pants, shirts, sweatshirts, socks, extra socks, snow pants, hat, gloves, coats, boots….it’s never ending.  And it’s not like they just sit still and let you dress them.  God, no! They squirm around and you can’t even get a good grip to hold them still because their actual body is hidden beneath nineteen layers of clothing. 
And boots?  Honestly, the amount of effort required to put on a boot is ridiculous.
“Push, Carter.”
“I am pushing!”
“C’mon.  Help me out here!  Push…geez…PUSH! ”
“Ah!  Stop, my sock is wrinkled!  There something in there…take if off!  TAKE IT OFF!”
Then you have to take it off and the process starts all over again.  By this time you’re already exhausted and you haven’t even left the house yet.  I hope this is how it goes in other people’s homes; I’d really hate to think I’m the only parent suffering. 
Getting a kid in snow gear is bad enough, times two it’s insane.  Last winter when we were getting ready we would always dress Grant first…because then he couldn’t move and we were down to one kid again. 
I remember the first time I realized the effect snow clothes had on him:
“Hey, hun?  Grant fell over.  And he hasn’t moved…and I haven’t picked him up.  No, really, he literally hasn’t moved in 5 minutes.  Check his vitals, would ya?”
"No big deal, Ma.  I'll just chill here."

He had enough padding on him to soften the landing so it wasn’t like he wasn’t hurt.  He was just resigned to his fate and was taking it like a man.  Nice job, G. 
Thank God for my easy child because my other child was the background screaming about how he had an itch under his coat and was slamming his back against every conceivable surface in an effort to solve the problem. 

At that point I was about five seconds away from throwing him out into a snow bank naked in an effort to cure him of ever wanting to play in the snow again.  “There ya go, Cart.  This is snow.  It’s wet and cold…enjoying yourself yet?”
As if the sheer amount of clothing wasn’t enough, you also have to worry about putting it on in the right order.  You put that coat on before the mittens you are totally screwed!  That’s just a fact.
Ok, we’re dressed.  Let’s go!
Clearly the more time you spend dressing your children the less time they actually want to spend outside.  Half an hour of work equals half a minute of play. 
Of course the only thing they really want to do is throw snow at each other…and then bitch about it. 
“Grant threw snow at me!  It’s down my shirt!  It’s cold…it’s cold…it’s cooooooold!!!  My boot came off, my foot is WET!  I wanna go inside!”
Yup.  I called that one.  Glad I burned 8,000 calories putting all your gear on, thanks for the workout.
Snow play is a daddy thing.  All I really want to do is take a quick picture, go back inside, spike some hot chocolate and watch the rest of my family freeze their faces off. 
I don’t think that’s too much to ask.