Thursday, May 05, 2011


So, my head feels like it is about to implode at any minute. Or maybe explode. I am not clear on which. But it hurts whichever 'ploding it is about to do.

It's one of those days. The kids don't stop fighting. Or whining, screaming, hitting, trying in vain to unlock the closet they've been shoved into...all the fun stuff. Throw my pretty much futile attempts at potty-training Nora in there too and it's just a banner day.

You can lead my child to the toilet, but you can NOT make her pee. Any attempts to do so are immediately thwarted with a violent head shake and a "No WAY, MAMA". She then will trot upstairs to get one of her 6 million pairs of Dora underwear and say she wants to wear undies just like Tate. I then tell her she needs to go on the potty if she wears undies and this is what happens:

Nora: "NO WAY! I only will go on the potty TOMORROW! NOT TODAY!!!"

Me: "Nora, it's been tomorrow for the last like 34 days. Time to step up to the plate, sister."


Me: "Hell ain't soundin' half bad to me right about now."

So then I put her diaper on her and come to realize a few hours later that the diaper was subsequently violently ripped off at some point and thrown to it's death over the deck railing. This child will never, ever be trained.

And Tate and I had this touching exchange the other day:

Tate: "Why did God make me and you?"

Me: "Well, he made you to be my little boy and me to be your mommy. And I sure am lucky because I wouldn't want any other little boy in the whole world to be my little boy."

Tate: "Oh....but can I get another Mommy?"

I'm on a roll with these kids.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Gone With the Wind

Note to self: Make sure your kids are actually excited about doing something before you spend all morning preparing to take your kids to said event.

This morning, we attempted to go to a teddy bear hunt. There was a problem. It's name was wind. I have somehow gone almost 5 years without realizing my children were apparently rendered useless, terrified, and completely unable to form any coherent train of thought by this wonder of nature. I mean, seriously. This is what went down.

Wind: Whhhhooooooshhhhhhh......

My spawn: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wind: Swissssssshhhhhh


Wind: Blooooowwwwww


I'm being a good mom to difficult children. That's my special project.

These are my darlings. Pictures taken .3.5 seconds before the glass-shattering shrieking occured.

After the ringing from our ears subsided, one of my very dearest friends and I looked at each other, and in that awesome, we-know-each-other-so-well-way, decided mutely it was time to make a break for it and head to the nearest bar. And so we did. This is how we wiled away our Sunday afternoon.


My turn for the online poker, dammit.

In other news, I am trying to potty train Nora. Is it going well? Why, no. But thanks for asking.

I have realized this. Going potty in the potty is only one small portion of potty training. There are 50 other steps conveniently skipped over in the parenting books. There's the "transition from little potty to big potty" step. The "yes, you must flush every time you go potty" step. The "weaning from potty-rewards" step (otherwise known as "no, grown-ups don't get M&Ms for pooping" step). The "privacy without locking yourself in, and thus Mommy out, of the bathroom" step. The "not everyone wants to see your new Dora The Explorer underwear" step. The "not discussing what Mommy is doing in the potty in a public bathroom" step.

Yeah. It's not as easy as you'd think.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Bucket of Doom

Last week, since it was Nora's 3rd birthday and Eric finally got two days off in a row from work, we decided to celebrate by hitting up the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells for a couple days. The first night, we got Nora a Rice Crispy treat the size of her torso. She went to town on that bad boy, which of course is normal for my little garbage disposal. She then passed out on the bed at 7:00 pm and slept til 8:15 the next day. This is not normal for her. It is in fact so outside the realm of anything completely resembling normal that really I should not even be using the word normal in conjunction with this activity. Because the two simply do not belong together. She shattered her previous sleeping record by a good, oh....two gazillion hours. She did wake up eventually, though. Then we continued our shenanigans at the water park and I tried to get a cute picture of both kids together. It didn't work.

The kids had a grand old time, as long as we stayed away from one part of the waterpark. You know how lots of places have those gigantic buckets that dump gallons of water on everyone periodically? And how must kids squeal in delight and scamper around delightedly under the deluge of water? Well, MY kids view this bucket as The Demon Bucket of Evil and Possible Disembowelment and Definite Torture. Once they saw that thing pour water on everyone, they turned and booked the hell out of there and didn't look back. Whenever it was suggested we just go see the bucket, from like 900 feet away, we were met with shrieks of panic until we finally just shut up about the damn bucket and gave up.

So....they found a little slide to play on. A slide that is about the size of the slide at the hotel waterpark a mile away from our house that costs us $5 to go play on. But, why not drive 3 hours and drop a few hundred bucks so the kids could play on a different 2 foot long slide? What else did we really have to do those days, anyway? So they went to town. Tate decided it was his job to direct children down the slide. A kid would climb up the steps, Tate would throw his hand up at said kid as he peered down to the bottom of the slide that was like 3 centimeters away to ensure there were no other children floundering around in the 2 inches of water at the bottom, and then give an authoritative nod to the kid, saying "Ok, you can go now. Have fun and be careful". The kids would look at Tate quizzically, inch past him, and get down the slide as fast as they could. Then Tate would repeat with the next kid. Six thousand times. That's what he did.

While he was doing this, Nora would frolic around and practice her new trick of dramatically belly-flopping into the water and laying face down for a good 5 or 10 seconds, just long enough for everyone around her to think she was dead. She would then hop up, howling with laughter, wipe the water from her eyes and do it again. It was....weird. Sure kept the lifeguards on their toes though. Interspersed with pretending to die a watery death, she would trot up to me and bellow that she wanted to go hooooooome. She didn't liiiiiiike the waterpark. I would tell her tough cookies, she better go have fun and ENJOY HERSELF, DAMMIT, and she would run off to practice the Dead Nora Float again for a few minutes.

So my kids have fun in odd ways. What else can I expect by now, really.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

But Why Not?

Apparently there is a lot my daughter doesn't understand. Like the fact that markers will not magically start to taste like Skittles if you just suck on them long enough.

Also, we are at that lovely stage of toddler-hood where every single thing Mommy says is instantly questioned. She must think I have the mental capacity of a piece of cheese. She does the whole interrogation thing in kind of a...weird way, though

Nora: Mommy, is it Monday or Fruesday or Fliday or Sannurday today?

Me: It's Tuesday.

Nora: But why NOT? Why NOT, MOMMY?

Me: Uh, why not what? You asked what day it was. I told you.



Nora: Can we go to Chloe's house sometime?

Me: Sure.

Nora: But why can we go to Chloe's house sometime?

Me: Because you asked.

Nora: But why did I ask to go to Chloe's house?

Me: Because she's your friend. And her mom always has wine.

Nora: Why NOT???

Me: Why not what?????

Nora: But why is it why not?

Me: Are you really honestly trying to make me bang my head against the window?

Nora: But why do you bang your head against the window?

Me: Nora. Have you finished this round of torture?


So I've decided that when my kids ask me something I don't understand I'm not going to ask them "what?" anymore. They repeat themselves about 249 times regardless. I should save that energy for taking another bite of my cookie.

She also does not understand portion control. The thing still eats like an elephant. It's not an uncommon occurrence for me to go into the kitchen and find her teetering on one of the top shelves of the pantry rooting around diligently for more food even though she's already got 17 Snack Sticks sticking out of her mouth and four packs of fruit snacks stored in her diaper. I fully expect one day to find her fashioning herself some kind of satchel to sling over her shoulder for more functional storage. What's really fun is when she climbs the fridge. Ever stroll into your kitchen to see your daughter literally standing in the fruit drawer with her head so far in the cheese drawer you can't even see it? She must think she gets bonus points everytime she spills the entire jug of apple juice all over the floor. Because that happens every 20 minutes.

I can in fact hear rustling and chewing coming from the kitchen as I type this. She must have found the 5 lb chicken I have in the fridge. Or perhaps she was in the mood for a nice stuffed pork chop. I should go see if she's started on that satchel yet.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Oh Hi

Yeah, how's it going. Yep, it's been awhile. Me? Oh, doing fine. Still managing to skillfully dodge my children's' repeated attempts to strip me of any sanity whatsoever. Well, by "skillfully" I actually mean "crappily". And by "crappily" I mean "Who-the-hell-am-I-kidding-ly".

I've been pondering my return to blogging for a good while now, and have been rather intimidated at the idea, actually. SO MUCH has happened the past months that I almost don't know where to start. How far back do I go? How much do I share? I finally decided to just jump right back in, and let the blanks fill themselves in as I go. So, get ready to start having your world rocked again.

Tate has been in therapy for about 6 months now. It was a slow start, but I feel like we are truly beginning to see progress in him. The tantrums are dwindling, the moments of utter frustration on everyone's part as he struggles to control his emotions and impulses are becoming fewer and further between. Now, when people come up to him and say hello, 90% of the time he will either wave or shyly duck his head and say hi instead of just refusing to make eye contact or uttering any noise that doesn't sound like it should be being made by a rabid gorilla as opposed to a little boy.

School has been a struggle. It still is, but the daily problems are finally starting to abate as well. One of his therapists accompanies him to school and through many instances of trial and error, we seem to have hit on some successful methods and solutions to help him have a more "typical" day at school. And he's almost 5. Yeah, I know. He has grown so much in the past few months and he has come so far. And of course, as I write this, he is sitting behind me on the floor trying to clock his sister on the head with Buzz Lightyear. Hey, we can't set our expectations too high here, people.

Speaking of his sister, she is now almost 3. Yeah, I know. And holy crap, is she turning into a sassy pants. If she's sitting by me and I dare to talk or sneeze or inhale, she is very likely to turn to me and bellow "STOP ITTTTTT!!! DO NOT DO THAT, MOMMY! NOW STOPPPPP ITTTTTTTTTTT!!!!" And I sit and rock back and forth in a corner and recall those hazy days when she was but a happy, compliant, cheerful little bundle of lilac and sunshine bumbling around the house warbling ditties about world peace and puppies.

Getting her dressed is quite literally one of the parts of the day I dread most. Ever gotten a little heel direct to the teeth? It don't tickle, I tell ya what. She screams and caterwauls like I'm trying to peel her ears off instead of just trying to put a motherfreaking diaper on you, for GOD'S SAKE. So quite honestly, most of the time she scampers around the house in various states of undress and I pretend not to notice or care that a toddler has whipped me into such submission. I'm not even going to talk about what it's like trying to brush her hair. Most days we leave the house with her just looking like a homeless, ungroomed alpaca or something. Every once in awhile I manage to jab a barrette in there in the hopes that it will help. It doesn't.

So, life is still full of the usual stuff....looking for toys that haven't been seen in like 9 months but must be played with RIGHT NOW, looking for them again 30 minutes later when they get lost, ignoring various bumps, thumps, whines and screams, fighting the urge to bang my head against a wall when I realize that I've once again done something as stupid as bring both kids to a department store by myself, etc. I've missed recording all my moments of idiocy, desperation, annoyance, and believe it or not, pride, contentment and glee. Yes, it does happen. Shut up.

Hopefully I'll get back into blogging on a regular basis. If only for the reason that it gives me another excuse to pretend not to hear Tate tell Nora it's time to pretend they're going to dive off the moon into a cup. I've just realized there's too much stuff going on that I don't ever want to forget.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What It Is

I've been thinking a lot about a few things lately. Namely A) If I should write this blog post B) How I should write this blog post and C) If it would be possible to survive solely on wine and cookies. Hey, I never said all three things were related.

But anyway.

Obviously I have not written much in awhile. As many people who know me in real life have figured out, things have been not so good around here lately. Well, I shouldn't say that. Things have been interesting around here. The one good thing that has happened is that we have found answers. Answers that confuse, frustrate and scare me, but answers nonetheless.

Tate has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.

Just writing that has caused tears to prick my eyes once again. I think I've cried more in the past 3 months than I have in the 32 years prior. I often wonder when I'll be able to write or speak those words consistently without getting tears in my eyes or a lump in my throat or my chin doing that wobbling, wrinkling thing that makes you look really ugly. I've determined that I am not an attractive crier. My face looks like an old wrinkly potato.

So, that's what it is. Oh, and he has ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder) thrown in there too. It's like a little salad of behavioral disorders. Now, anyone who has met, read about, or...seen Tate in the distance will probably be nodding their head along with this diagnosis. I mean, hello. At some point I fully expect his picture to be placed next to the ODD description in whatever book holds such descriptions.
I'm not going to go into a butt-ton of detail, just because the post would be like 800 paragraphs long and everyone would lose interest pretty darn quick. Oh, and I'd just keep getting all potato face-y. But believe me, I could go on and on and ON. I just don't know if I'm up to it yet.

But yes, it's been interesting around here. I've been trying to come to terms with all of this and for the most part, failing spectacularly. I am not what you would call, oh, patient. Or even-tempered. It's been a lot to deal with and I will be the first to admit I need to work on that a lot. For every time that I manage to sit down calmly with Tate and try to redirect his actions/keep him from talking gibberish/stop his hitting/encourage him to interact with other kids/not make me want to bang my head against a wall, I have a time where I just. do. not. react. well. Kneeling in front of your child with tears running down your cheeks begging him to just please, please be normal is really not a high point in any parent's career.

Asperger's is by and large a social disorder. Tate does not do well with making eye contact or picking up on social cues made by other children or adults. I cannot remember the last time I saw him sit down next to another child and play with them, as opposed to next to them. Usually it takes quite a bit of cajoling on my part just to get him to sit next to another kid, period. Unless there's food involved.

The main problem is when he does interact with people, it's made up of talking gibberish, intentionally calling people wrong names, getting agitated and upset when they respond, pushing, hitting, grabbing, squeezing, pointing, grunting, being oppositional and defiant (see where that term Oppositional Defiance Disorder comes from? See how they did that?) refusing to answer questions or ask for things or look people in the eyes or....well, all that kind of stuff. Not to say this is how he is 100% of the time, because it's not. He has lots of good days. He just has a lot more bad ones. And the meltdowns. Oh Lordy, the meltdowns.

The reason I struggled for awhile with writing this post was because it seems like these days with Facebook and blogs and Twitter and all that, a lot of what people write just seems kind of...attention whorish. I mean, obviously I was not going to update my status on Facebook as "OMG!!! My kid totally has Asperger's! Like this sux so hard core! Can't wait to hang with my girlz tonite! LOL!!!!", but I felt at some point I should just kind of put it all out there and this seemed the best way in which to do it. My family and close friends (who I consider family by this point) have known for awhile. I then started mentioning to it a few other people and hoping the word might just kind of spread naturally. And now I feel like it might be beneficial for me and Tate to just throw it on out there. Hey! Lookie! Tate has Asperger's!! Wheeeeee!

There have been many times where people have given Tate dirty looks. Or made snide comments about his behavior. Or just kind of made me think they pretty much regarded him as strange and weird and freakish. I don't know if they think I don't notice when they do this but hi. I can see. Oh, and hear. Crazy, I know. Now the thing I've been wondering is, when Tate gets in one of his moods and I see the looks and hear the comments, do I A) ignore the judgemental bitches and comfort myself by thinking that if they're the type of person to judge and ridicule a 4 year old then they're pretty much destined to a life of being stupid, small-minded and ugly or B) resign myself to having to explain every odd behavior and epic meltdown by saying "He's got Asperger's. It's Asperger's. Not that it's really your business but there you have it. Have a lovely day, skeezos."
So, even though it may not sound like it, one of the strongest emotions I have had through all of this is relief. Now we know. I've suspected very strongly for about a year now that his aggression and all his little quirks and challenging ways have been telling us something that we weren't quite ready to hear, but we heard, and now we know. I'm scared for Tate...I'm scared that he will be shunned, ridiculed, left out, everything that we dread for our children. I worry that he's unhappy and frustrated and doesn't know what to do. But I do know this: Compassion is the most powerful parenting tool I possess. I just need to freakin' use it more often.
I mean, look at this face:
That is one of my very favorite faces in the world. This is what I know for certain.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sorry, I Didn't Catch That.

It's not that I don't WANT to listen. It's just that I have two children who talk more than I do (which is mind-boggling, in and of itself), and at the end of the day, I just want everyone to shut the hell up.

Ok, by "everyone" I really just mean people I don't know. Oh, and Eric. But he already knows all this. And by "the end of the day", I really just mean "all the freaking time". If I do not know you from Adam, I do not really need to know that your kid likes apples. And likes to watch Wonder Pets. And has a sister who used to jump rope a lot. And knows some of his colors. And dropped a turd the exact size and shape of Christopher Walken this morning.

To clarify further, I've finally stopped giving Nora the "I'm the Second Kid and Therefore Don't Get Signed up For Swimming and Gymnastics and Dance and Sports Classes From the Moment I Exit the Womb Like My Older Sibling Did" treatment and have been taking Nora to a little dance and swim class at the Y. She loves the swimming portion and is quite the little kicker. The dance portion is mostly spend with her burrowing her face into my lap and refusing to look at or acknowledge anyone else is the class. See all the kids dancing? Yeah, there's my kid trying to crawl back up into my uterus. Oh, and now how they're all playing with scarves and ribbons? That's her over there. Yeah, the one in the corner looking steadfastly at the wall.

But the whole point of this is that there is one woman in the class who never stops talking. Ever. It doesn't matter if the teacher is talking at the same time, or if no one is listening to her, or if everyone has suddenly found 400 other things to do that must be immediately seen to, she will not shut the yapper. I shall demonstrate:

Teacher: "Ok, kids! This is the letter K! What starts with K?"

Lady Who Never Stops Talking Even Though No One Listens: "Oooh, my son used to have a toy dog. I think he named him Harold. He's so smart to come up with a name like that. Most kids wouldn't think of such a funny name for a dog"

Teacher: "Let's pass around the kangaroo! That starts with K!"

LWNSTETNOL: "Remember when your dad built you that snowman? You put the face on it all by yourself!" (Looks around to see who's listening and wondering why everyone suddenly seems to have fallen deaf). "Oh, and remember when we went to Disney World??"

Teacher: "Ok, time to get up and dance!"

LWNSTETNOL: "You're such a good dancer! I think you are the best dancer in here!" Silence. "Remember when your other teacher said you were such a great dancer? Show everyone how you twirl!" Non-compliance from child. "Come on! You are such a great twirler and jumper! Show all the other little kids how to do it." Child attempts to turn into a statue. "Ohhh...don't start acting shy! You're never shy! You're the friendliest little kid out there, remember? You just talk and talk and talk and everyone gets such a kick out of you! Why don't you start singing your ABCs so everyone can hear how you are the smartest kid ever to be spawned!" Child tries to slink away to hide under a bag of basketballs. "Listen!! You need to get back over here AND HAVE FUN or you get a time out! Don't make Mommy give you a time out! You know you never get time-outs!"

Teacher: "Uh, I'm just going to turn on the music"

LWHSTETNOL (to me, of course. Lucky, lucky me): "I don't know what his problem is today. He's usually the most active kid in all his classes. I have to sign him up for a ton of classes because he's so advanced and smart and needs to keep his brain stimulated or it will start to lose power. He usually loves to do all this kind of stuff. I bet he'll be better when we go swimming. Did you see last week how he can already jump in the pool? His sister is already at the top her her swimming class too. One time we took them to Florida. They both really like peanut butter. I'm starting to think they both may actually be the second coming of Jesus."

Me: "Sorry, did you say something?"

The really funny part about all this is that this kid has the exact same name as the son of one of my best friends (Hi, Jodi!). Same first AND middle. The reason I know this is because the mother calls him by both names all the time. And it's not a short name. I just find it humorous because the only time Jodi's son gets called by both names is when he's in trouble, usually because he and Tate have started chucking rocks off our trampoline at their sisters or something.

I always wonder what people expect other parents to say when they act like their kid is the be-all, end-all of children in general. Are we supposed to agree? Say "why, yes, your kid IS the smartest kid in all the land! My child is pretty much doomed to a life of sitting on a rock in a field drooling and trying to figure out how to unzip the snap on their pants!! Lucky you, O Magnificent Parent! You have given birth to a hybrid of Einstein, Ghandi, George Clooney, Pavarotti, and Stephan King! It's Eighclpaki!!"

I just don't know.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So You Want to Be a Two Year Old.

Well, it's happened. Nora officially turned two at 12:27 pm on April 7th. At 12:32, the Terrible Twos made their appearance. Seriously. That must have been when all the stuff from the handbook really sunk in. You know, the handbook that Tate studied and culled from for a good, oh, three years. The one entitled "Congratulations! You Are Now Two! Let's Discuss the Best and Most Embarrassing Tactics to Make Your Mother Want to Pull Her Hair Out!"

Chapter 1: Public Tantrums. "This chapter instructs you, the wee little reader, that you must insist on being both inside the cart and walking next to it simultaneously. Never mind that this is impossible, it must still be insisted on. Because, to two year olds, impossible things could maybe become possible if you just SCREAM LOUD ENOUGH. After Mommy gets tired of trying to hold you down in the cart and chuckling nervously as people glare at her as her daughter howls and screeches in anguish, she will then just haul you out of the cart and start to walk away. Now, this is where you plop down on the floor and lay face down. Make sure to throw some ear-piercing shrieks in there while kicking your heels on the floor. Bonus if you're next to the greeting card aisle...then you can grab handfuls of cards and envelopes and chuck them on the floor to share in your agony.

Never mind that Mommy is slowly creeping away. See how she keeps looking back, hoping you'll shut up and get up? She won't actually leave you on the floor at Target, as you know. She would get in major trouble. She's just playing you. So therefore, you can lay on the floor for as long as you like. Try to switch it up a bit. Intersperse some "MOMMMMMMMMYYYYY....NOOOOOOOOOOOOs" in with the general screaming. This will make it sound like Mommy is inflicting great pain on you somehow and make her feel like even more of an idiot when people pop their head around the corner of the aisle to glare at her. Your brother, who has this handbook memorized and who is currently teaching seminars on it, decides to jump in and add his brand of help by wailing "But, can't leave her! I LOVE HER!"

So Mommy will feel pretty much like a gigantic tool. She will then slink her way back over to the Wailing Two Year Old of Doom and attempt to pick you up. You will put into place the patented "Pretend You're a Paralyzed Elephant" move where you somehow go from weighing a scant 23 lbs to being a limp, languishing, floppy, cumbersome load. She is then that mother, the one with a squalling two-year-old tucked under one arm as she trudges to the check-out counter. See how she's trying to pretend that you don't exist at this very moment? Give her a good swift kick in the kidneys. That'll teach her.

And, finally, scream the entire way home and chuck books at Mommy's head as she tries to drive. Because Mommy loves that. It goes without saying that you will continue your week-long streak of not napping. Because you now believe that naps will slowly eat away at your soul til you're but a shell of your former self. The End."

Way to go, Nora. You passed the first induction in to two-year-oldville with flying colors. I'm really freaking proud of you. Yay.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Two Cute

Ok, so there is just nothing to write about in winter. We get up, stare out the window at the snow, the kids drive me crazy, we dash out into the car, go to the store or the bank or some other boring indoor place, dash back into the car, come home, stare out the window at the snow, the kids drive me crazy, I put Nora down for a nap that she refuses to take like 64% of the time, the kids drive me crazy, I make dinner that usually doesn't get eaten by half of the family, the kids drive me crazy, we put the kids to bed, Tate gets up 3957 times, therefore driving me crazy, I drink wine, everyone goes to bed.


It gets old. So it's hard for me to find the humor in it after awhile. I get blue, the kids get's just not an enjoyable time of year around here. So it's really great that winter lasts 10 months out of the year. Juuuuust perfect.

But anyway. It's April, the sun is shining, we're going to the park, hanging out with friends on the deck...I am like a little delicate flower that is finally starting to bloom. But the most important thing about April? My BABY GIRL turns two. Eeek. For real. It just happened last week. I was there.
Here's the feminine, dainty little daisy now:


Yeah, she still eats like a truck driver. And has no qualms about stuffing the food in her face at a rate that would impress one of those professional hot dog eaters. And the really fun part is that she's a MASSIVE 23 lbs. Yeah, she weighs as much as like one of my feet. And I'd be willing to bet that 14 of those pounds are in her head, considering that her noggin is in the 85 percentile for her age. No wonder I can never get any shirts over her head.

Tate is almost 4, and all of a sudden is...older. He holds long conversations with me about things like dinosaurs and cheese, and tells us how proud he is of us for doing things like putting bird food in the bird feeder. He chuckles at his little sister's antics and shakes his head ruefully, wondering if he was ever quite that young and silly. He makes me happy to be around him a good 87% of the time. That's up a good 53 percentile points from other time periods in our life. He's growing up.

So I will be trying to get better about blogging more. I mean, what else is there to do while sitting on a couch in the evening, drinking wine, watching stupid reality TV, and pretending I don't hear Tate thumping around in his bedroom upstairs?? Nothin'.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might...

It's a pretty important week around here. Tate is Student of the Week at preschool, so he's kind of a big deal for the next few days. Being Student of the Week basically entails the kid getting to wear a crown, sitting on a special chair, and the parents filling out three thousand little forms, trying to get the kid to draw a picture of spaghetti or whatever their favorite food is, cutting the kid's name out of construction paper and then watching as the kid accidentally tears three out of the four letters in half, and getting the kid to answer questions about themselves when they have no idea what the correct response is.

Like this.

Me: "Tate, what's your favorite color?"

Tate: "Ummm....where's my Thomas the Train?"

Me: "Yeah, Crayola doesn't seem to make that particular hue anymore. Try again."

Or like this.

Me: "Tate, what are your three greatest wishes?"

Tate: "......"

Me: "Ok, like is there anywhere you really want to go or someone you really want to see or anything?"

Tate: "Umm....someone I want to see!"

Me: "And that would be who."

Tate: "Ummm....Luke!"

Me: "So your greatest wish in the world right now is to see your friend, the son of Mommy's best friend, who lives like 15 minutes away and who we see like every week?"

Tate: "Yes!"

Me: "Alrighty."

Yeah, the concept was not completely grasped by this one. That's ok. What was really fun was trying to round up three items that had "special meaning". I know that different things are special to different people, but really, I don't think a cheap toy chipmunk from a Happy Meal or a penny that could very well have been dug out of the garbage really holds a lot of sentimental value. Apparently "special" to this kid means "whatever my little sister is holding at the moment that I can go grab from her, causing her to scream like a little monkey, making Mommy's headache intensity go up about 19 notches."

We finally settled on Snowy the Monkey With No Paw, a little wooden airplane, and some sausage-type stuffed dude that Eric bought him at a Brewer game that they went to together. I figured those are pretty accurate representations. Although so were the Mickey Mouse undies that my sister got him for Christmas that he desperately made a plea to include, but I figured those were better off staying under his pants. Hey, they were still included in the whole experience. Hopefully he doesn't feel the need to drop his drawers and do a little too much sharing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What the Flush?

Well, huh. Apparently, apparently, you actually do NOT want to flush a small fake food item toy type thingie down your toilet. Like something like oh, say....THIS:

I don't know exactly how it was decided that a miniature bag of flour belonged in a toilet, but there you have it. We had a bunch of little friends over for pizza one night, and the next morning out toilet was desperately regurgitating water in a vain attempt to hark up the small rectangular piece of plastic lodged in it's...throat? Esophagus? What do toilets have??

We had the plumber come over to rectify the situation, since Eric's frantic attempts at plunging the little fucker out of there were proving extremely futile. I wasn't downstairs at the time, but apparently, the only way the plumber could get the Toy of Complete Latrine Destruction out of there was to remove the toilet, carry it outside, turn it upside down and go in from the, uh, rear. Basically the toilet got all kinds of violated. Poor thing. But alas, the offending object was removed, photographed for dexterity, and promptly disposed of.

I did hear Eric trying to turn the whole thing into a learning situation with Tate by kindly instructing him that maybe, just maybe, it's not a good thing to flush hard plastic things down the toilet since it results in said toilet being put in several compromising positions. Tate responded by saying:

"Well, Daddy, I don't think it was me that flushed it down the toilet. I think maybe it was Mommy."

Yeah, I think not. Way to try and throw me under the bus, though, kid.

And since we're on this lovely subject, let me just throw a little public service announcement out there to all the little kidlets of the world. Mothers, you can thank me later.

Ahem. When Mommy goes to the toilet, it just stays like a normal toilet. It doesn't start playing music, flashing lights or handing out suckers. You know that, do you? Well then why do you BOTH have to come and watch Mommy go to the toilet? You are missing NOTHING by staying OUTSIDE of the bathroom. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

That is all.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

No, No...Don't Get Up

Sometimes McDonalds makes me feel like a total slacker mom. I mean seriously, who in their right mind willingly takes their children into a McDonalds playland? Where all the badly behaved children of the tri-state area hold their daily conferences? Where sending your kid into the climbing apparatus is basically the same as tossing them into a Hallway of Snot? Where said kids eventually come up to you with some unidentifiable food in their hand snatched from God knows what cranny, and then opens their mouth and shows you the other half of the unidentifiable food object that is probably giving them swine flu or tetanus as you speak?

Well, yeah. That was me today. I couldn't help it, people. I had a gift card.

I tell you what, though. I may feel like a slacker for bringing them there, but I always, ALWAYS leave feeling like, hey, maybe I'm not the worst mom in the world after all. Now, we all know that there have been many, many, manymanymanymany times that I have been that mom with that kid. The one who's hitting or pushing or pinching or performing Chinese Water Torture or what have you. But I've honestly always tried to keep on top of Tate, and if he wonks some other kid's head into a wall, well then..I go up and punish him. He gets time out or we leave or whatever. Crazy, I know. But because of all this, I have a pretty high tolerance for sassy little kids. I get it.

However (caution: I am about to step on my soapbox). I have no tolerance for moms who either pretend not to see what their kid is doing or who see it and just can't be bothered to do anything other than sit and yell "Hey! You better stop doing that or yer daddy's gonna whip yer ass!" and then turn around and eat their 400th straight Big Mac. And all these moms seem to live in McDonalds.

This is what one such lady shouted today.

"Zach! Don't push! Zach! Let's go! Zachie! Zach! Get your shoes! Zach! I mean it! Stop pushing other kids off the slide! Zach! Where are you? Let's go! Zach! I want to go! Zach! Don't kick babies! Zach! It's time to go! Zach! Come over and get your coat and help me up! Zach! Zach! Zaaaaaach! Tell all these other parents to stop stuffing dirty socks in my mouth to get me to shut the hell up!!"

Ok, the last sentence didn't really get bellowed, but if you had given me and a couple of the other parents in there about 1 more minute, it may just have. Seriously. This lady could not get her butt out of her chair. She just sat and yelled so hard she jiggled. For 10 MINUTES. And for 10 minutes her kid ran around like Satan's minion trying to become King of The Germ Crusted Slide by hurling any kid in his path out of the way.

So we left, simply because I couldn't handle the yelling anymore, and because I could practically see bacteria and germs festering on my childrens' skin. Those McDonalds fries lure me in every time, though. I can hear them calling to me frantically whenever I pass by. It's always work avoiding fast food. Even though my mind says "This is garbage!", my mouth says "I like garbage! Put a crapload of salt on it and call it a day!"