Friday, February 22, 2013

Play With Me!

Sometimes my kids ask me to play with them.  Not often though. 

They always ask me to read to them, to sing to them, to color with them…but they don’t always ask me to PLAY with them.

That’s because I do it wrong.

What’s that?  Oh, you were not aware that there’s a wrong way to play?  Let me assure you there is. And I do it.

Carter is a very patient, understanding child who plays well with everyone.  And if you believe that then I’d like to welcome you to my blog!  You’re clearly new.

Carter has an absolute zero tolerance policy for anything that differs from his ideas about how things should be. 

So, for example, if you’re playing cars and you think your car wants to take a left turn at the block tower you could be completely wrong.  That car was meant to turn right.  And Carter will tell you, over and over, until your car bangs a right.  Don’t ask how he knows, he just knows.

Sometimes the cars you are playing with have names too.  But don’t get all crazy and try to name your own car.  Unless, of course, you want to be wrong again…

Carter: "Here mom, you can be this car. His name is Red."

 Me: "Well, if he's my car I want his name to be Chimichanga."

 Carter: "That's a ridiculous name. He's red. So his name is Red...ya know what, I can't do this with you right now. I’ll wait to play this game when Grant is up."

Right.  Because Grant knows better.  Here is how the interaction goes between the two of them:

Carter: “This is how this is going to work…”

Grant: “Of course that’s how this is going to work.  I know because you just told me ‘this is how this is going to work’.  So obviously that’s the way it’s going to be.  I don’t question your authority.  Who do you think I am? Mom?”

It’s so much easier to boss around your little brother than you mom.

When we play guys and superheroes I never quite know what’s going on either:   

“Spiderman is going to rescue this pirate guy!”

“No, no, no, no…that pirate is bad.  He’s in jail.”

And guy time is also scripted:

“Captain America says ‘I’ll come get you out!’”

“No, no, no, no…he says ‘I’ll come save you’.  So say ‘I’ll come save you’.”

The other thing I play wrong is trains.  I play trains like an asshole. 

I always spend a good amount of time building the absolute perfect track for their trains to drive on.  It has loops and bridges and tunnels and it all connects.  I get into my work.  And I really hate it when the boys try to help and then I have to be all “Back off kids, I am soooo much better at this than you!”

Anyway, when the track is complete it looks something like this:
Impressive, no?
I will stand back and think “Wow!  They are going to play on this for HOURS!”

Cut to three seconds later when Carter gets bored with my track and decides to make one of his own.

This is the track Carter makes:

Raise your hand if you think this is the less boring track configuration...

And guess what?  This is the one they play on.  They go around and around chasing each other’s trains and making up rescue situations.  It’s obviously the coolest track ever.  Because Carter has deemed it so.

So after all that work I still played incorrectly.  And when it’s time to clean up and I tell the boys to help me Carter will naturally say:

“Well, Mom, you’re the one who played with all THAT track.  I’ll just clean up this little one here.”

And he’ll be right. 

If you’re looking for a gift for me at any point I could really use another station house for my train set.  Or a car I can name Chimichanga and not get any shit for it.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Time Grant Got Mad

This morning Grant is mad.  He’s really, really mad.

He’s been having a temper tantrum for the better part of an hour.  Why, you ask?  Well, isn’t it obvious?  I gave him his snack in the wrong color bowl.  I’m a horrible bitch of a mother like that sometimes.

When I handed him the green bowl he looked shocked.  He couldn’t believe what was happening:

“What the...I’m sorry…what the HELL is this?  Did you just attempt to feed me puffs out of a GREEN bowl? Are you freaking serious?  I wanted the blue bowl.  I can’t eat puffs out of this bowl.  What is wrong with you? Are your three-year-old mind reading powers in the shop?  This is unacceptable.” 

So, like I said, he’s so pissed off.

The thing about Grant, however, is that he’s no good at being angry.  He just doesn’t have it in him. 

When Carter has a temper tantrum people in the next state are aware that something is bothering him.  When Grant has one people in the same house as him sometimes miss it.

This morning was a prime example of the most ineffective temper tantrum in the world.

When he saw the green bowl (which was his favorite color yesterday, by the way) he pushed it away, made an angry face and yelled at me to get the blue bowl.  The blue bowl was clean and he could have had it, but I have a really strict rule in this house that if you’re being a little shithead you don’t get what you want.  So I told him green bowl or nothing.

Well…that did not go over well.  He walked into the kitchen and gently pushed a chair.  Twice!  Then he walked by a dish towel hanging on the cabinet and knocked it to the floor. 

The whole time he was RAVAGING the kitchen he was making little pouty noises and frowning. 
Does this kid look mad or WHAT!!

You might think that’s bad enough but it doesn’t stop there.  Know what he said to me?  I hope you’re sitting down.  He said “I’m gonna put clean dishes in the dirty side of the sink!”

Do you believe the mouth on that kid?

After a few minutes of pouting around the kitchen he took his sorry self into the playroom…where he spotted a cool truck that he likes.  He must have gotten distracted because he stopped frowning and started playing.  I was hoping the destruction was over and that I could put the house back together but after a few minutes he looked up and saw me and thought “Oh wait, I’m still mad at her.”

So the tantrum resumed. 

This time he totally meant business.  He brushed past me…I guess it could have been considered a push…and in his angriest, meanest voice announced:

“I’m not eating ANY PUFFS out of that bowl!”

My God!  You’re not?  But if you don’t eat these puffs you’ll probably DIE OF STARVATION!  What kind of a mother would I be if I let my child refuse to eat puffs?  Something must be done. 

I went and got the blue bowl.  I filled it with puffs.  I put it on the floor and let the dogs eat out of it.

Well that was the final straw.  This shit just got real.

“Mom!  I’m gonna shoot you out of a muffler!”

He’s going to shoot me out of a muffler.  That’s the worst punishment he could come up with. 

This earth shattering temper tantrum started at 9am.  It’s now 10:30am and he just came up to me and hugged me. 

He clearly forgot again how awful I am. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Death By Valentines

I used to not mind Valentine’s Day.

Then my kids went to school. 

Now I swear to God I know how I’m going to die…it’s going to be death by Valentine.  Itty, bitty, Disney Pixar Cars themed Valentines.

Last year Carter could barely write his name.  But he was three and almost no one in his class could write their name yet.  So naturally all the moms signed the Valentines and life went on as scheduled.

(Except you know there’s always that one kid with great penmanship who makes you think he might be a ringer. I hope he’s secretly 6 and has been held back in pre-school for the past three years simply to make the rest of us feel badly about our child’s name writing ability.)

Well, this year is different, the kid who can write his name amazingly well is the rule and Carter, the kid who writes “Ca” and then gets tired and walks away, is the exception.  In fact, this year they are learning how to write their last names as well, and clearly “Jefferson” is too long for him.  So when he signs his name he simply writes “Jeff”.  That’s it.  No time for this “erson” bullshit.

It’s not that he can’t do it…it’s just that he lacks the patience to do pretty much anything he’s not great at on his first try.  Why, oh why didn’t we name him Ca Jeff?!?!

He also has issues keeping all the letters the same size. 

So the “C” looks like this: c and the “R” looks like this: r

Anyway, I knew this was going to be a struggle.  Knowing this, however, did not make me take steps to lessen the fallout.  I let the kids pick out their own Valentines and didn’t pay any attention to their size.  Needless to say, we ended up with ones where the spot you write your name is as big as your thumbnail. 

Awesome.  I’m sure your giant, life-sized “C” will fit just fine in that space, Cart!

I’m f’ed for sure.

We began the process of writing his name.  He really surprised me on the first couple…he actually did a decent job!  But then on about the fourth one (that didn’t take long) the whining started.  So every one after that looked as if the dog may have signed it. 
The first one...not too shabby!
The 4th one...we're getting a little distracted...
The 6th one...the return of "Ca".

Of course in my mind I’m thinking:

Shit!  I should have been more strategic!  I should have had him do the moms I don’t know first so those would be the good ones.  Then I could have given the crap ones to my friends who already know my kid sucks at writing!

Next year I’m doing that for sure. 

After fighting with him for the better part of the morning I realized something else that sucked…these Valentine’s came with tattoos. 
And you had to cut each one out individually.  And then insert those teeny, tiny little mother f*#ckers into equally teeny tiny slits in the piece of shit card that was already remarkably small to begin with.

Screw you Disney Pixar Annoying Cars Valentines! 

Well, sorry kids, I’m not doing that.  You’ll have to live without these tattoos that your mother, if she’s anything like me, will probably throw out anyway. 

I had made up my mind.  Until I saw this:

Wow, really?  Have I said screw you Disney Pixar Annoying Cars Valentines lately?  I have?  Well, have I said you're so stupid  Disney Pixar I Hate Your Guts Cars Valentines? 

Why would you write that! Just to trap us mothers into including the tattoo?  Now if it's not there other mothers are going to know I screwed their kid out of something.
What’s it to you anyway Disney Pixar Piece of Crap Cars Valentines?  I already bought the damn cards.  What do you frigging care what I then do with the .05 cent prize included? 

Next year my kids are going to be sick on Valentine’s Day. 

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Men's V-Day Gift Buying Guide

Don’t you just love love?  I mean, within moderation of course.  I could do without the teenagers groping each other and getting their braces stuck together on the bench at the mall.  But other than that I’m a total love fan. 
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching I just wanted to send out a little note to my husband about what he should, and should not, think about getting me this year.  Hunny, just read the following and you should be all set, ok? 
Rule 1: Don’t buy me chocolate:
I don’t need to have it in the house.  It’ll just be temptation and you know I’m trying to be healthier these days.  Plus, those heart boxes are so cheesy.  And honestly I don’t even LIKE those chocolates all that much.  They only contain two or three pieces of edible confections…the rest we all just bite and reject.
Rule 2:  Don’t NOT buy me chocolate:
What?  You don’t think I need the calories?  Do you think I’m fat?  I can’t believe you didn’t buy me chocolate because you clearly think I’m fat!  You’re such as asshole!
Rule 3:  Don’t make dinner reservations:
It’s so much hassle finding a sitter these days.  And we’ll probably end up with, like, a 9:30 reservation at a table underneath the bar.  Plus, at the end of the day I’m too exhausted to try and get all dolled up to go out.  A nice dinner at home is just as special!  I don’t need a big excursion.
Rule 4:  Don’t NOT make dinner reservations:
Wow, you didn’t even make an effort to make this day special for us?  I like to leave the house once in a while, ya know.  I have a lot of clothes I never get to wear…and HEELS!  I want to wear my heels somewhere!  But, no, making a dinner reservation would require some forethought.  Couldn’t you at least TRY to be romantic and spontaneous once in a while?
Rule 5:  Don’t buy me flowers:
They jack up the prices so ridiculously this time of year that it’s not really worth it.  And they’re just going to die anyway.  I know you love me without you having to go to the trouble of standing in line at the florist!
Rule 6:  You could at least buy me flowers:
So what if they’re a little more expensive!  How many times a year do you actually buy me flowers?  Take all the money you saved by NOT buying me flowers for any other occasion during the year and shell out the additional cash.  Our love isn’t worth an extra twenty bucks to you?  I see where I stand…
Rule 7:  Buy me sexy lingerie:
It could be fun!  And I love the thought of you all awkward and embarrassed in Victoria’s Secret trying to guess what size bra I am!
Rule 8:  Do NOT buy me sexy lingerie:
God!  All men are the same.  You only have one thing on your mind.  Romance isn’t always about SEX!  Pig!
And the most important rule that you, my darling husband, and all other men should swear by this time of year…
Rule 9:  Do not buy me expensive jewelry.
Unless, of course, you want me to have very large amounts of sex with you while wearing my sexy lingerie, eating my chocolates and skipping our dinner reservations…but that’s completely up to you.
So you see, if all guys would just follow these simple, straight forward rules everyone would have a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Facts About Kids


So, I woke up this morning and thought “Hey!  It’s been a while since I’ve scared the shit out of all my childless readers.  I’m going to put that on my to-do list today!”

And, unlike every other thing I have on my to-do list today, I actually remembered to do this one!  Lucky you!

Today we’re going to discuss facts about kids.  There are certain truths in parenting that exist no matter who you are; doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, if you’re black or white, if you parent like Mother-of-the-Year or if you parent more like…well…me.  No one can escape the reality of these situations.  Ready for a glimpse into your future?  Let’s roll.

Ok, the first thing you have to know about kids is they run on their own time. 

They do not now, nor will they ever, take your schedule into consideration.  If you planned a play date, a doctor’s appointment, a trip to the park etc. during the afternoon your child will almost certainly take an extra-long nap that day which will run over into your scheduled activity. They can somehow sense that you have somewhere to be and take immense pleasure out of their ability to ‘eff with you. 

Conversely, if you plan to sit on the couch and catch up on some shows you’ve had on the DVR for months those bastards will close their eyes for 20 minutes and wake up raring to go!

And there is nothing you can do about any of this. 

Sorry.  You’ll think you can.  You’ll think you can mess with their sleep schedule and come out a winner but that’s a fool’s bet.  If you put them to bed early, they will wake up early.  If you put them to bed late…they will wake up early.  That’s just a fact.

Another fact is no matter how smart your offspring is when you are alone with them they will never demonstrate their impressive skills while in the company of others. Your child may be able to recite Hamlet…in Latin…yet will suddenly forget how to recite his own name if you attempt to make him do it in public. 

On the flip side of that, a kid will freely talk about stuff that happens in your home that you would rather they NOT repeat in public.  If, for example, your husband accidentally hits your son in the face with a toy car he will go into school with a black eye and, when asked what happened, will say “Daddy did it!”

There are lots of things you'll say/yell/scream at the top of your lungs and no matter how many times you repeat yourself your child will always ignore you completely.  For example, saying "Don't touch that" is like putting up a huge blinking neon sign that says "YOU MUST TOUCH ME!" and then covering it in glitter and puppies and candy.

Here’s another helpful tip that I have:  If your kids are being quiet GO FIND OUT WHAT THEY ARE DOING!  It’s almost never good.

Occasionally, however, kids will sit nicely and quietly...maybe they’re watching a movie and are relaxed and content.   You might think that would be a good time to take a quick shower.  But no matter how quietly they were sitting, the second you step into the shower and get that soap in your hair all hell will inevitably break loose. 

Know that movie ‘Field of Dreams’?  And the whole “If you build it, they will come” thing?  Well there’s a phrase like that I use when referring to my kids.  It goes “If you’re eating, they will find you”, no matter how sneaky you think you’re being… and then you’ll have to share…or fight them off. 

Oh, and a quick note about playthings: the second you throw out/give away an old, unused toy will be the exact second they discover that’s the ONE TOY they can no longer live without.

Fact:  If you do everything for your children they will never become independent.  Other Fact:  Everything in your life will now take nine times as f’ing long.

Then you’ll come to the part in your life when your kids are potty trained.  And you don’t need to carry around all that extra diaper stuff.  Hooray!  But be warned, your fully trained, completely accident free toddler will choose the ONE TIME you leave the house without back up clothes to pee himself…at the library…during circle time.

My last pearl of wisdom goes out to the formerly childless but currently relatively new parents.  If, by some miracle of life, you have the opportunity to get all dolled up and go out do not…I repeat DO NOT…go near the baby right before you walk out the door.  Your precious little bundle will take that opportunity to puke on you.  Every. Time. Blow that kid a kiss and run like hell!

There you go, my friends! I hope I’ve been able to open your eyes to some of the, um, joys (?) of parenthood.  These are just the facts, don’t shoot the messenger.  In fact, get the messenger a cocktail; she worked hard to bring you all this information!

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Top Ten Ways to Tell if You're a Mom

Are you a mom?  Are you unsure? 

Sometimes it’s hard to tell. 

At first I was a little confused about where I fell on the mom spectrum…but I’ve done a lot of research on the subject and I now feel pretty confident in my ability to spot a fellow mom.  If you’re having trouble answering the mom or not question with any degree of certainty, look no further!  Just read the following signs and see if any (or all) of them apply to you.  This should help you figure out your mom status.

Ready?  Ok.  Top ten signs you might be a mom: (you might wanna take notes)

10. If you’ve been meaning to talk to your doctor about that weird growth that has suddenly attached itself to your leg/ass area, but you then realize it has arms and a head and calls you “Mom”…you might be a mom.

9. If your bathroom is the most popular room in the house and you’re considering selling tickets so that even MORE people can watch you pee…you might be a mom.

8. If, while you’re out by yourself, you spot a cool dump truck and you automatically say “Hey!  Look at that cool dump truck over there!”…you might be a mom.

7. You might be a mom if you read #8 and thought “What the hell does ‘out by yourself’ mean.

6. If a friend asks:

 “Oh my God, did you hear about that big fire/car accident/earthquake/scandal on the news today?”

And your response is:

“If it didn’t happen on Disney Junior then I didn’t hear about it”…then you absolutely might be a mom.

5. If you’ve ever put the milk back in the cabinet and the cereal back in the fridge…you are probably a mom.

4. If someone asks if that’s dried snot or mashed banana on your shirt and you have to say “I don’t know” because you’re really just not sure…you might be a mom.

3. If you’re a mom you know that the food pyramid is missing a key food group called “Necessities”.  This category includes coffee, wine, chocolate and any combination of the aforementioned items.

2. If you’re yoga pants have categories (everyday use, working out, dressy)…you might be a mom.  Related: If you “save” the good, non-stained pair for days when you might run in to someone important…your mom status is all but confirmed.

And the surest way to tell if you are, in fact, a mother:

1. You secretly wish that anyone who has ever given your child a loud, obnoxious toy would immediately come down with an incurable STD…on their face.

I hope that I’ve been able to help at least a few of you determine where you stand on the motherhood scale.  The transition from non-mom to mom can be a scary time in a woman’s life, filled with doubt. 

And if, after reading this list, you are still unsure if you’re a mom or not…ask your kids…