Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Have you ever hit your head on the microwave door because you were closing it but forgot to get your fat head out of the way? Have you ever hit your head on the car (okay, fine, VAN ) door the very same day for equally stupid reasons? 

Me neither.

I did, however, put the following items through the wash without knowing it: Two plastic dinosaurs, one cowgirl, a stuffed jellyfish and a rhinoceros. Note to self: go through the kids’ laundry before washing. (No I don’t sort laundry. Geeeez. Who does that anyway?)

Holy moly. Moley? (Where did that expression come from anyway?) SIGH. Stare at blinking bar on computer screen. Now is a most excellent time for a beer. Please hold (lalalalalalalala)…

K. I’m back. I fetched me a Blue Moon. Original. Cuz Dooley drank the last Blue Moon Spiced Amber (de-licious!) which I had laid claim to. He denies it but there’s no other way to explain its disappearance. Unless I actually drank two the last time I had a beer, but that just doesn’t happen. EVER. Of course I do have this non-brain thing going on.

It’s beer-thirty because I just put the kids to bed, which lately has become THE most stressful and trying event of the day. It might be neck and neck with mealtime, which also is the worst thing ever. It can’t possibly be this difficult for all parents, which leads me to question my parenting, which leads to more stress, which leads me to this ho-hum Blue Moon Original. 

My children are non-listening monsters. I have to remind them to take bites of their food for each friggen bite. EVERY BITE requires a reminder. As if that’s not enough to make you go insane, they will feign deafness when I request calmly, and as I result, things must escalate and I end up yelling “TAKE A BITE…NOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs like a crazy person yet they are often unfazed. (Okay wow. I just had a moment. Spell check kept telling me that “unphased” wasn’t a word. I knew it looked weird, but hey, “phase”= “faze”, phonetically speaking, and my brain is fried, so I’m allowed to be extra special.) 

Moving on. The incessant counting. I hate myself every time I do it. Which is always. Each number made to sound louder and more threatening: “One…two…THREEEEE…!” Then I move toward them briskly and scarily, making to put them in time-out or bestow a spank on a cute little bottom, at which point a mild panic sets in and they rapidly stuff their faces with the food within reach. Sometimes they will then gag on said massive mouthful and have to spit it out, and it’s a total lose-lose. It’s been suggested that I let them starve, if they don’t want to eat, but hungry=cranky=poor sleep=life sucks for Mom. LOSE-LOSE.

So. Yeah. Bedtime. We have a toothbrushing and story time routine, which we generally stick to, but without fail, be it naptime or actual bedtime, Dirt postpones the real sleep by at least an hour. He has to go pee. He has to go poop. He wants a drink, “just a little bit”. His music quit working. He wants “Hotdog the Cat” in his room. He wants “Hotdog the Cat” in his bed. He has to go pee again. He needs his “baby turtle”. He needs his nose wiped. He wants to sleep in my bed. It goes on. And on. And on. Not only that but Tuesday keeps asking to sing songs over. And over. And over. Not to mention the fact that every time I put her down for nap in a clean diaper, she poops in it immediately.

I didn’t even mention the screaming. That’s a whole different thing. Or the WHYs. Dirt is in a major "why" phase. "Why, Mama? Why? Why?" with everything. He also demands constant validation: "Right, Mom? Right?" after each and every thing he says. For real.Then there's Tuesday with her "NO" phase, which coexists with her "what's that?" phase.

[Side note: I just splashed pee on me. Went to dump out the training potty and was a little too hasty. Oh joy.]

Somehow things are magically easy when my husband is home to help. Not that the kids are perfect angels, but they seem to have an old-timey fear of the Dadwrath, which makes them slightly better behaved. The fact that I’m with them 24-7 (minus the occasional much-needed getaway) makes them used to me, and therefore, unconcerned with Momwrath, even though it comes with the very same consequences as Dadwrath. I can yell and spank just as good as he does, dammit! Fear me! 

Be afraid.
Don’t worry folks, we aren’t abusive. Although spanking is considered abuse in some circles. Ugh. I remember getting spanked. It was a wooden spoon. I’d get sent to my room, and have to wait forEVER, and my parents would open the dreaded kitchen drawer loudly and dramatically, and stomp slowly and ominously up the stairs, making the anxiety a greater punishment than the actual whipping.

Being a parent has engendered more extreme emotions in me than anything I’ve ever experienced. I can confidently say that I have never felt such absolute blind rage…but I can also say that I’ve never ever felt such extreme, tremendous, bite-your-face off-squeeze-you-to-death love. I didn’t know I had such a temper, but also didn’t know that I would never tire of watching someone sleep, that I would always have to fight the urge to snuggle them, or that I would always always want to hug them and squeeze them and kiss them and kiss them and kiss them relentlessly, until they screech at me like teenagers, “Mooooom!” It’s just like I said in another entry last August, “HOW can such small beings inspire SOOOOOOO much love AND SOOOO much rage??”

I try to curb my temper. Respect, Gentleness, Love, Respect, Gentleness, Love. (Our mantra, written on a dry-erase board on the side of the fridge, because my dearest hub has the same short fuse, and even more volume!) Then I feel guilty for getting so mad at those cutenesses. And guilty for always looking forward to naptime, then bedtime, so I can catch a break. I have to remind myself to enjoy them, and be in the moment with them, and thankful for this time with them, because soon they'll be big and off to school and not want anything to do with me. I have to remember that whatever goofy thing they are saying or doing is more important than what's on TV, or whatever nonsense I'm wasting time with on the computer. It's much easier said than done. My default response is often OHMYGODSHUTTHEHECKUPANDLEAVEMEALONEALEADY, which makes me seem like a horrible person, but seriously, YOU hang out with them all day, every day. Literally. ALL day, EVERY day. Think about it.

Anyway, the wee babes are both hacking away this week—sick, that is, with a nasty cough, so that makes everything slightly more pleasant, if you can believe it. No, for reals, not sarcastically. They can’t scream quite as much (HAhaha!) and they’re very cuddly. Tuesday is kinna whiney about it, but in a sad and adorable manner: she covers her mouth with her teeny tiny hands when she coughs, and looks at me with those big, beautiful, worried eyes, and says in a pathetically cute voice “Mommy, me siiiiiiit (sick)!” I told Dirt he had a fever because his body was fighting the sickness, which he logged in his bank for future use…told me the next day that his body wasn’t winning. We've had a couch potato marathon this week, only venturing out on day three to get supplies like soup, more kleenex, children's ibuprofin, and some honey-based homeopathic cough syrup, cuz for some strange reason you can't give kids under 4 years old the regular Children's cough medicine. Also I think we exhausted Netflix's supply of Go Diego Go, and even though I may want to jump off a bridge if I hear the song again, Tuesday can discern various whale species and Dirt can identify a Coati. I didn't even know what a freaking coati was.

Here. Now you don't have to google it because I already did. Aren't they cute racoony-lemurish things? I want one.

I made the mistake of telling Dirt one day that he could sleep in my bed with me because Daddy wasn’t home. He took that to mean that any night Daddy was working was up for grabs. Of course it’s hard to say no to a sweet little cuddlebug, especially a sick one, but last night he coughed and coughed ALL NIGHT LONG. I know it sounds heartless to lament my lost sleep instead of gushing concern and sympathy for my baby boy, but it sucked. For me. Cuz he wants to be all up on me, coughing in my face. Then our giant dog wanted to be all up on me too. Then the cat. Then Dooley got home at 7am and did the same thing. This morning I had Dirt squished against my left side, Dooley wrapped around me from the right, Hotdog on top of me—stretched from my shoulder to my hip—and Bruce against/on my legs (on the left, under Dirt). It was quite the sardine-y arrangement. I loved it and hated it. But then, much to my dismay Tuesday woke up crying down the hall, and I stared up at the ceiling, puzzling out the best way to extract myself from our snuggly Tetris. It goes without saying that despite my best efforts, everyone but Dooley was disturbed by my squirming. 

Dirt just emerged from his room (remember, he’s supposed to be sleeping), saying he needed his nose wiped, followed by a request in his sweetest voice, “Mama, can I hug you? Because I love you so much?”  Uh, manipulate much? Then he proceeded to waddle like a penguin all the way down the hall and ask me if I was going to go work out now. Random. Randomness is one of my favorite things about them. I want to record everything they say cuz it’s all adorable and hilarious and random. They are so smart and creative and RANDOM. Dirt told me in the car (van) today that in order to avoid being eaten by alligators, he plans to poop in their eyes.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Spongebrain Boogarpants

For the record, I loathe Spongebob Squarepants. While it may earn me some enemies among mommies, it's true. Mostly because it's SO. FREAKING. ANNOYING, but also because it messes with your child's brain function. (Seriously, the link is to a NY Times article about it.)

To fully confess, I also can't STAND Yo Gabba Gabba or Dora the Explorer (though strangely I can stomach Go Diego Go). Crap, I say! Crap! What are you filling your precious angels' heads with?? "My kids brains are full of swear words and science," she said proudly, and shamefully.

Seeing as I haven’t posted anything since early December I feel that a new entry is overdue. I also feel like I have had so much going on and I know I have bountiful blog fodder over the holidays and all, but my brain is mush and I am overwhelmed and underinspired. Cohesion just isn’t going to happen. Therefore, please enjoy (or tolerate?) the following mishmash:

1. Who else loves all the celebrity appearances on Sesame Street? Neil Patrick Harris is the Fairy Shoe Person on Sesame Street. Pretty rad if you ask me. Also a huge fan of the lullaby by Ricky Gervais. But come on, Jessica Alba, it’s borderline when you define the word “scrumptious” for my three-year-old boy. We get it. You’re scrumptious. Although, good job getting Jude Law to demonstrate the word “cling”. I feel you, Sesame Street beasties. We all have crushes on Jude too (I'm looking at you, husband). Oh, and of course there’s the Katy Perry scandal. Perhaps she ought not to have worn a bare-chested pointy booby dress, but I still enjoy when musicians parody their songs for toddlers.

Is it just me, or are celebrities infinitely more appealing after they act like idiots on Sesame Street and SNL? Justin Timberlake went up like a bajillion notches in my book after all his SNL antics. Jake Gyllenhaal wore an octopus on his head on Sesame Street. I like him way more now. How-EVER, freaking bug-eyed Elijah Wood, for the love of God WHY did you do the nightmarish “Puppet Master” dance on the insufferable show “Yo Gabba Gabba”? Seriously. This is what nightmares are made of. Dancey dance? With a creeper stash? Ick ick ick ick ick ick barf.

2. On a completely different note, I am succeeding at pseudo-adherence to my new year’s resolution to work out more. Anyone else? We got a massive total gym—a really nice one—for dirt cheap on Craigslist, but the real catalyst was getting TV in the basement. Now I watch one full episode of What Not to Wear while exercising and then I am all kinds of my mind. Then I miss a day and make up for it by eating superfluous ice cream and chocolate and cheese and pasta while scoffing at Stacy and Clinton’s hatred of sweatpants, thrift store clothes, and hand-me-downs. Ever-so-slightly schizophrenic.

3. We didn’t take our Christmas tree down until January 25th. The exterior lights are still up, and were still turned on until recently. That's okay, right? Don’t judge. I like to feel festive for more than a week, although the greater motivation was probably the lack of motivation I had for taking it down. Plus the cat totally loved sleeping under the tree; we thought he might run away, heartbroken, if we took it down.

4. My almost-four-year-old boy Dirt whistles as well as some adults. He just bops around all the time, whistling a happy little tune. It’s amazing, especially to someone like me who, embarrassingly enough, can’t whistle. At. All. (Okay so I can manage this super weird low tone, complete with super dumb face. ) In other music news, my two-year-old girl Tuesday started singing along with me when we have lullaby time, and it is THE cutest thing in the world—even if she seems completely tone-deaf, making her the musical black sheep on my mother’s side of musical whizzes.

5. I am constantly taken aback by their adorableness and incredible, ever-growing abilities. Dirt has uncanny creativity and talent in name-calling (thanks to his dear ol’ dad), skillfully pairing some gross substance with a body part, i.e. the archetypal “butt-head”. Wait. That's two body parts. Whatever, you get it. He takes the compound insult to new places, such as “boogar ass” and “poop hair”, which would make any mother swell with pride. When I correct him, or if I roll my eyes and shake my head, he just laughs and laughs…though not as loudly as his father. I’d like to point out that I DO try to limit my kids’ exposure to swear words, but…some things seem beyond the realm of possibility, like keeping the house clean. Still, the kids both relish telling me “don’t say that, it’s a bad word” even when only appropriate words are being used. It is difficult explaining to them why some words are not okay, but that’s a whole sociological debate, moral/ethical question, and history lesson that I don’t care to research or discuss. What do other people tell their kids?

6. I love watching them learn (even if it involves picking up the occasional naughty word). They really are spongey little creatures. They are absolutely fascinated with everything. Anatomy, geology, geography, biology…it is so cool telling them about stuff. Don't fret, I'm not as overachievey as that sounds. We just talk about bones and organs, rocks and metals, countries and continents, animals and nature, etc. Not like I'm busting out AP textbooks for my preschoolers or anything, though I do get a kick out of teaching them to use words like "deciduous", "omnivore" and "sternum" (even if their pronunciation is way off). 

Dirt got a toy praying mantis awhile back, which inspired us to show him YouTube videos of mantises, some shown eating fish and mice (evidently mantises can get rather large). So one morning, waaaaayyyyy earlier than he usually gets up, he bursts into my room, eyebrows way up, and announces, "I want to watch praying mantis getting a mouse!" That is a funny first thing to hear at the crack of dawn.

The best thing is the way they interpret what they’ve heard; when some random factoid is regurgitated with a totally new spin on it, delivered as matter-of-factly as possible. Did you know, for example, that all Superheroes have wings? According to Dirt, “I'm a superstar, not a superhero, cuz I am a boy with no wings.” And I love how they take everything literally. When his Grampy teased him, saying “I’m gonna fix your wagon”, Dirt replied with a perplexed expression, “But I don’t have a wagon.” 

I also love when they try to copy certain actions, like if they try to exercise with me (since I’m always working out). When the 2012 Olympics were on, watching gymnastics resulted in two naked toddlers rolling around on the floor and then standing up excitedly with their arms strait in the air. The fact that Tuesday interprets insane Olympian flipping-flying through the air as spinning and hopping followed by rolling on the floor is pretty awesome. Dirt also managed a somersault, which is totes legit.

7. And finally, for lucky number seven, I present to you the conclusion to end all conclusions: an excerpt from a masterpiece Mad Lib. Remember those things? I used to do them aaaalllll the time. See if you can guess which words we filled in. Also, there's a slight possibility you won't find this as hilarious as I do.

Three little billy goats lived by a bridge where there was an ecclesiastic troll who loved to eat sedatives… Finally, the big billy goat arrived at the bridge. "'Who's that rejoicing on my bridge? I'm going to eat you!" yelled the pleasure-seeking troll as he jumped out waving his groin wildly.

New Year New Me: Pony Progress

Today I thought I’d mix up my morning “internesting” ritual (coffee and computer time, usually comfortably nested on the couch); I brought ...