Monday, September 24, 2012

Top 10 Ways to Tell if You're the 2nd Child

We’ve all heard of second child syndrome.  But have you ever wondered if people really do treat their babies differently?  If you only have one child you probably can’t imagine having a second baby and NOT making a 300 page scrapbook about his first week of life. 

In case there was any confusion I’ll tell you right off the bat that second child syndrome is a real thing.  I know this because is alive and well and living quite comfortably in my home.  If there were to be a public service announcement about the issue Grant could be the poster child. In fact, I think he might be the one to organize the campaign. 

So in honor of my blatantly unfair treatment of my children today we have the top ten ways to tell if you are a second child:

 10. If you were born after the first child.  You’re probably the second child.

9. You’ve never seen clothes with tags on them.

8. All of the toys in your house have already been broken.  And are out of batteries.  But it’s ok, actually, cause they all belong to your brother anyway.  Everything is his.  You own nothing.

7. “Your” toys look like this:

 6. You will never know what happens at the end of Green Eggs and Ham because the last few pages of the book have been ripped out.  Does he ever eat the damn eggs?  Or does he punch Sam-I-Am square in the face for being annoying and pushy? 
Also, you’d give anything to know what this guy’s head looked like…
5. Your food is always in danger of being eaten by your older sibling so you have to gaurd it with your life...even in your sleep:

4. Your brother crawled at 9 months, 24 days, 13 hours, 7 minutes and 54 second.  You…crawled.  That’s all you really need to know right? 

3.  Related to # 4, the first born’s baby book looks like this:

Your baby book looks like this:

 2. Your parents are surprised to find out you know things.  (Who taught that kid colors? Certainly wasn’t me.  TV?  Maybe.  Well the important thing is he knows them.  Nice work.)

1.  The number one way to tell if you are the second child…

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Top 10 Ways You Know Your Kid is Not Sleeping

In my four years of mothering I have had a lot of experience with non-sleeping children.  Sometimes it can be tricky to figure out if your child is awake or asleep.  I'm here to clear up some of the confusion surrounding this topic. 
So, in case you are one of the many parents struggling with this issue, here you have my top 10 ways to tell if your child is not sleeping:
10. The most obvious sign of an awake child is when you tuck them in, start to go about your business and yet suddenly find them standing in front of you.  Then they aren’t sleeping.  I’m sure of it.

9.  You hear the occasional loud thump coming from the room they are occupying. 

8. Additional evidence of awake-ness is when the loud thumps are followed by laughter.

7. When you hear “Shhh, Grant…you need to whisper so mom doesn’t hear us” expect to find that your kids are up.

6. If you threaten to go up there and they yell down “Don’t come up here…we’re sleeping” don’t believe them.  They’re lying to you. They are not, in fact, sleeping.

5. If, instead of snoring, you hear random singing coming from their rooms you should be suspicious.  (Sample song lyrics include “There was a farmer had a dog and underpants was his name-o.” Stuff like that should put you on immediate alert that you child is NOT sleeping.)

4. If you yell “What are you doing up there” and they answer you…dead giveaway.

3. Unless you live in a haunted house, footsteps are really strong evidence of the fact that your kids are awake. 

2. Running water is a sure sign of a non-sleeping child.  Also…WHY THE HELL ARE YOU IN THE SINK!

1. And…the number one sign your child is awake…if you planned to use nap time to do anything productive or important you can one million percent count on the fact that your child will not nap that day.  Because kids are jerks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dad Lessons

My husband does a lot of things right when it comes to raising the boys.

I know what you’re thinking…but no, faithful readers, that is not a typo.

I like to give credit where credit is due.  And my husband deserves some.  And although I’m usually giving him credit for things like leaving dishes in the sink or forgetting to pick up milk, today I’m giving him credit for other reasons.  For dad reasons.

I have taught my boys a lot (quick back pat) but the truth of the matter is there are some things that I would never think of going over with them.

I’ve covered most of the big important lessons.  Like how to match an outfit. 

Carter used to come down dressed head to toe in one color.  So I taught him “Dark on the top, light on the bottom.  Light on the top, dark on the bottom.” 

These are crucial nuggets of wisdom, people.

My husband, however, always finds time to go over the little insignificant things with them…like math, for example. 

Who needs math?  I don’t think anyone, but Mike disagrees.  So he goes over skills like that with the kids.  Don’t know why he bothers, but bless his heart!

He’s also into teaching the boys their left from their right. 

I personally don’t think you need to go over and over it…just hold up your hands and make an L to figure out your left (you’ve done it, don’t lie.) But even with that little trick sometimes I still mess it up.

One night when we were first dating we went out to dinner in my hometown.  So I was navigating as he was driving:

“Ok up here take a left.  A left, so get in that lane.  What the hell are you doing?  I said LEFT!”

“I DID take a left!”

“Oh…I meant right then.”

Little memories like that are probably the reason he took it upon himself to teach direction.

Since we have boys I have decided that I’m going to let my husband do all of the “body” talks.  Your voice is changing and you’re getting hairy, you’re such a man, etc. etc. etc.

Mike takes his roll seriously.  He’s taught them many, many things about their bodies.  Personal hygiene is among the topics they’ve covered. 
I know this because one day after using the potty Carter asked me: “Mom, do I have any smeg on my ween?”

I’m sorry, do you have what on your what? 

I would ask you to elaborate on your issue but I think “smeg on the ween” is a go-ask-your-father kind of problem.

The other thing Mike covers with the kids is pop culture.  I showed them who Elmo is, who Mickey is and who Thomas is. But Dad thinks there are other important people in this world and our kids need to know they exist.

One night I was tucking Grant into bed…

“Have a good night’s sleep and get some rest.  I love you, baby!”

And my beautiful son looked up with his big blue eyes and said very matter-of-factly:

“Chaka Kahn is a singer, Mama.”

Now, see!  I would never in a million years have thought that was vital information for a 2 year old to have.

Dad lessons.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


When do kids start to understand seasons and weather? 

I can tell you this; it’s not 4 and 2.  Well, at least it isn’t for us.

I consider my kids to be smart (yeah, I’m THAT mom.  I also consider them to be assholes if that makes you feel better) so I just expect them to get things. 

The concept of temperature, however, completely baffles them.  And it results in some interesting battles around my house…

The first heat wave of the summer had me calling my husband and demanding asking him nicely if he please wouldn’t mind putting in the air conditioners before I came home from work so I wouldn’t have to kill him could then thank him for his hard work. 

He did. 

Well, apparently the kids didn’t share my feelings about wanting to be comfortable.  Their rooms were a balmy 900 degrees and yet they fought tooth and nail against the AC units. 

“I don’t want that.  What’s the noise it’s making?  I don’t like it, take that out.  Shut it off, WHY IS IT MAKING THAT NOISE?  Ahhhhhhh….grrrr….nooooo!”

I don’t understand.  Do you see that stuff dripping down your face?  You didn’t just take a shower, that’s called sweat.  It appears when it is God-awfully, life-threateningly hot out….like right now, for example. 

Add this unwillingness to partake in being cool to the fact that Carter MUST sleep with 27,000 blankets which shall be placed upon his body in precisely the right order (dark blue blanket, light blue blanket, colorful blanket, monkey blanket, train blanket and then the top blanket that doesn’t actually have name…you think I’m making this up?  I wish I were) and you could actually roast my child in his own bed.

After fighting with them for a while we finally got the ACs accepted.  Then we kissed them goodnight, turned out the lights and went to shut the door…

“Noooo!!!!  I don’t want my door shut!”

But how is the room gonna…if you don’t shut it…the cold air will…then you’ll still be hot…and…

No.  Not flying.  (See, I told you they were assholes.)

Fine.  Have your doors open.  Let’s just turn the ACs down to make up for it, waste energy and make sure the hallway stays nice and cool for the hours upon hours during which no one will be using it. 

We had to compromise on that one, which is why I stood my ground on the next battle.

“Mom, I want to wear these zip-up pajamas tonight.”

Oh yeah?  Those fleece ones?  The ones WITH THE FEET ATTACHED?  This would be a good time to teach you a thing or two about humidity.  You see, humidity coupled with those pajamas… will cause you TO BURN ALIVE!

I literally had to find all of his feetie pajamas and hide them.  I had to hide fleece clothing from my children in July.  I may be taking back the ‘I consider them smart’ comment from earlier…

I guess I missed this cozy little hat and scarf set when I hid the fleece things.  On this particular 87 degree day he was also sporting a sweatshirt...obviously.  His legs, however, clearly do not get chilly.  

So now it’s fall.  It was like 40 degrees the other night and my house is well known for being the actual coldest house in America.  Honestly, ask anyone.  So imagine my surprise when I put my kids to bed (in their fucking fleece pajamas) and Grant asked for his fan on.

“No, it’s cold.  It’s too cold for a fan.”

That, as you can guess, was not the right answer.  So fine then.  FINE.  Freeze for all I care, want your AC on too?  And the door closed? 

Back to my original question…when do kids start to understand seasons and weather?  Is it soon? Or do I just have to let them take their chances with heat stroke and frostbite? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

100th Post!

Oh my God!  For real?  This is my 100th post?  That’s kind of cool.  I wanted to put something special together for my faithful readers.  I know there are DOZENS of people who fall into that category…

Someone gave me the idea of making a list of 100 ways my life has changed since having kids.  I thought that was a great idea! (And I would like to apologize in advance to my childless readers.  The “Birth Control” post followed by this post was not fair.  Don’t sterilize yourselves, ok?)

Ok, here we go.  The top 100 ways my life has changed since having kids:

1. I now understand why sleep deprivation is such an effective method of torture.

2- 10. See #1

11. We used to be able to have spontaneous sex.  We can still do that, but it can only last as long as it takes to watch an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. 

12. Related: Being ‘spontaneous’ takes at least a week’s worth of planning.

13 – 20. The amount of alcohol I drink has changed dramatically…I used to drink as a way to relax and have fun.  Now I drink as a way to not kill my children.  And that requires a lot more volume.

21. I used to spend my Sundays being hung over from my fun and fabulous Saturdays.   Now, well, I still spend my Sundays hung over, but I didn’t do anything fabulous the night before and I have to be hung over on the soccer field watching my kid take water breaks (seriously, that’s the only part of the sport he excels at).

22. The amount of butts I’m responsible for wiping has grown exponentially.  

23. I know the difference between a back hoe loader and an excavator.  Don’t even act like you do.

24. The words “truck” and “car” are now incredibly vague and non-descriptive.  Talk to me about extended cab Chevy Silerados and 1960 Shelby Mustang convertibles. 

25, 26, 27. Using the bathroom is now a group activity.

28. I routinely have to yell “Get that ___ out of your nose!”

29. Or, more disturbingly, “Get that ___ out of your brother’s nose!”

30. I know more about male anatomy than most actual males.

31. I don’t know what makes The Wiggles so fascinating but I would totally sleep with every single one of them as a thank you.  Keep up the good work, gentlemen.

32.  Same goes for Mickey.

33.  And Lightening McQueen.

34.  And the guy from Blues Clues, but only if I absolutely have to.

35. I know that Elmo in small doses is cute.  But Elmo in large quantities…see #1.

36.  I don’t know WHY Dora and Diego must scream in order to speak but I wish they would cut the shit.

37.  Also they’re unbelievably whiny.

38.  Also I hate them.

39. I have the words to all of their favorite books memorized so I can read to my children while simultaneously updating my FB status. 

40.  I have used every threat I can think of…twice.

41.  I have realized that it is possible to eat the same lunch nearly every day and never get tired of it.  PB&J or Mac and Cheese.  Every. Day.

42. I never knew there were so many ways to make a woman feel guilty: you breastfed, you didn’t breastfeed, you used a pacifier, you let your child cry, you held your kid too much or not enough, you let  them eat fast food, you didn’t read to them enough, they watch too much TV…

43-50. These numbers are reserved so I can send a big fuck you to everyone who ever made a mother feel guilty about any of the stuff from #42!

50-100. Of all the ways my life has changed since having kids the best changes are the ones that bring me more amazing memories than I’ve ever experienced.  We’re a family.  We laugh a little, we cry a little, we yell (a lot) but we always love each other. 

I totally and completely love my children and I would trade them in.  Oh, sorry, wouldn’t trade them in.  Would NOT.  Disregard that little slip…

(You didn’t really expect me to end all sappy and serious did you?)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Napkin Mom

The new school year is here. 
This year Grant is starting pre-school.  Which means I’m going to have two mornings ALL TO MYSELF (if you see me wandering aimlessly around town please point me in the right direction).

I’m excited for Grant.  He has always been in Carter’s shadow and now he’ll get to have his own experiences and make some new friends.  My only problem with this whole situation, however, is that new kids means…new moms. 

And meeting new moms can be scary.

When Carter started school he was going in with a group of kids that he already knew and a group of parents who I was already friends with. 

It was comfortable. 

It was comfortable mostly because my friends were aware of the fact that I am the mom who is always late, the mom who doesn’t bake, the mom who occasionally swears and the mom who forgets the presents for all of the birthday parties (J and J, I SWEAR I will get those to you one day!)

But I don’t know one other person in Grant’s class.  So these new moms won’t go into it knowing that I’m the slacker mom. 

I’m going to have to pretend to be, like, a real parent.  Which is just going to be annoying.  Cause I’m no good at acting.

What if they want to have a play date? 

Then I’ll have to be all “I just baked these nice muffins from scratch!” and “Carter and Grant, we use indoor voices when we play, darlings!”

Instead of all “Does your kid like goldfish or cheese-its?” and “For God’s sake boys!  Quit the screaming already!”

And what about the first time a sign-up sheet comes out for a class party?  What if someone doesn’t know that I’ve already called the role of “Napkin Mom” this year?

“Oh hey, you?  You who just wrote your name down next to napkins?  Yeah, well I hate to be the one to have to tell you this but that’s MY job.  You can go put your name down next to cupcakes where it belongs!”

And do I have to try and impress the teacher too?

Carter has the same teacher again this year.  So she’ll be expecting my late night emails saying “Um…what the hell was I supposed to bring for tomorrow’s show and tell again?”

But this new teacher might not be ready for me. 

Like today, she asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to be “Book Mom”.  WTF is “Book Mom”?  Do I want to be that?
Absolutely not. 
I want no additional responsibilities.  I want to drop my kids off, pick them up and then occasionally bring napkins…oh and I’m open to being responsible for plates as well, just to clarify. 

School starts Monday.  This is a lot of pressure for me.

This weekend might be a good time for me to enroll in some sort of “How to Fool People into Thinking you’re a Good Mom” class. 

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Eating Out

Today I want to talk about a conversation I overheard at the hair salon a little while ago. 

The lady next to me was talking to her stylist about how ANNOYING it is when kids are out at restaurants.  Like, she’s there to enjoy her dinner and doesn’t want to have to LISTEN to kids.

(Here’s the part where I tell you that I’m writing this blog from jail because upon hearing this I immediately grabbed her foiled head and slammed her face into the mirror in front of us.)

I totally should have.  

Ok, lady, first of all I have to say that my kids are very well behaved at restaurants.  So go to hell.
Check these kids out.  Grant is just taking a glance at the menu options while Carter ponders the meaning of life.  Who wouldn't want to see this when they go out to eat!!

Second, I would like to add that when my kids are out at a restaurant no one is more annoyed by their presence there than…ME.  I would like to be out having adult conversation as well. At least you get to go home alone.  When I leave I have to take them with me. 

Now, I know that not all childless people feel this way…or they at least don’t share their views within earshot of others while getting a much needed cut and color (Dude! Your roots need some major attention! I hear that assholes go grey first…just saying…) Regardless, we parents are not going to avoid public eateries just because you think we should. 

There are however, do and don’ts of eating out with kids.  I don’t take my kids to 5 star restaurants.  If you’re at Chili’s at 5 o’clock on a Tuesday, however, then tough luck.

I also don’t take my kids out late at night.  I cringe when I see little babies out to eat at 10pm.  (Your kid is tired!  Your Cobb salad is not that important…go home!)

The point is you being offended by a child out to eat is ridiculous and you’re a jerk. 

And in conclusion…I hope she turns your hair green.