On Her Flying Trapeze

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good Things about Big Babies

I finally moved Big-O out of his infant carrier which he outgrew 2-months ago. This was scary because it meant I would have to hold him while doing my grocery shopping since he’s only 4-months old and there are no built-in infant carriers on the carts with the car attached to the front. Little-C must have one of these. Surprise surprise though, when you’re as big as a nine month old and have the strength of a 6-month old, you can totally sit up, strapped into the front of the cart. Yay!

shopping cartHe did start tilting to the side by the time we finished and as we left the grocery store, our hip black grandma checker gave Big-O mad props for his sweet “gangsta lean.” It’s funny what things will make you proud when you’re a mom.

It brought me back to those crazy days as a high school senior, driving around in my homey Dana’s maroon Taurus with the windows rolled down, slumping to the side to crank up the volume on the Warren-G. Sweet memories.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Lasternight* We Lost our Minds

lasternight So, last night my marriage was just what I though it would be in my naïve younger days, a never-ending sleepover party with my best friend. We were trying to get ready for bed but could not stop laughing. EVERYTHING was funny. I love when I can make him giggle like a wee school girl.

At one point, I was laying in bed next to Dan, we had finally calmed down and were “ready to sleep.” His eyes were closed so, of course, I thought it would be a good idea to get my face as close to his as possible with my eyes open, freakishly, horror movie-ishly wide. He opened his eyes, jumped a few inches and we started laughing again.

It was then I remembered being an annoying young tween who would do the same thing to my older sister to scare her in the night. There are some ages when you will do just about anything to drive your siblings mental. I’m not proud of it and I’m certainly not looking forward to it with my own children but it’s a part of my history so just accept me for me, okay? Gosh! Actually, I’m sure my kids will be above such things.

Anyway, when the night-time staring stopped having an effect on her, I decided it would be even scarier and more annoying if I hovered over her with my tongue pointed at her eye like a dagger. Then when she opened her eyes, “AHHHHHHH!” It worked. Really well. So of course I decided to try it out on Dan.

Me: Close your eyes again.
D: Why?
Me: I want to do something even scarier. Just close ‘em
D: What are you gonna do?
Me: Just close ‘em till I’m ready
D closes his eyes.
Me: Uncontrollable giggling, practically the pregnant laugh**
D: are you doing it yet?
Me: No, I’m laughing too hard.
I finally get into position as he waits with his eyes closed in dread. My little tongue dagger is just millimeters away from his waiting eye.
D: Are you ready yet?
Me (laughing again): I’m sticking my tongue towards your eye like a dagger. I can’t do it if you keep asking me questions! I will get into position. Then you ask me if I’m ready and I will squeeze your arm once for yes or twice for no. (and you thought two-year-olds were immature)
D: Okay

The rest is sort of anticlimax. It’s not quite as scary or annoying if you’re:
a) expecting it
b) a willing participant
c) not an older sibling who knows she’s too mature for these games or
d) already giggling like a school girl.

*Little-C's term for yesterday night.
**There is a very special laugh I get when I’m pregnant. It has never been duplicated when I’m not with child. It has no known rational trigger but when it happens, it doesn’t stop for several minutes, sometimes on and off for hours whenever I think about the trigger. It is always accompanied by tears.

Monday, September 26, 2005

How do I want to be treated?.....With Chocolate

The consequence for willfully throwing peas on the floor at dinner time and refusing to eat is – you get no treats at family home evening….. even if you helped make the brownies. How did I know that her pea throwing was willfull? Well announcing, “I’m throwing peas,” with a gleeful smile and a look of defiance in her eyes was a big hint. So I calmly let her know that she would be getting no FHE treats.

The lesson was on “understanding and being kind to those who are different” and we started with a scripture from Luke:

As ye would that men should do to you do ye also to them likewise. [Luke 6:31]

I explained to Little-C that this meant we needed to treat others the way we would like to be treated. She glanced towards the yummy-smelling kitchen, looked up at me mournfully and said, “I want to be treated!”

Conclusion – she still got nothing, but she did make me feel just a wee bit sorry for her.

THEY’RE ALSEEE-HEE-HEE-HEEP! I cackle with glee.

Our new nap routine consists of a kitchen timer, 9 inches of strategically placed duct tape, and an easily removable doorstop. Before you call DCFS, hear me out. I set the timer for one hour, duct tape Little-C into her diaper to avoid a repeat of “the incident,” and tell her that if she can stay in her bed until the timer beeps, she can get up, even if she hasn’t actually “slept.” Now if she gets up prematurely, then I add 10 minutes to the time. Of course this is all in hopes that she will get in her bed, be bored out of her mind and drift off before the timer goes. Sometimes it works…sometimes not so much.

But I’m a smart one and I’ve come to notice a pattern - the only way Little-C will sleep during the day is if she can bawl her brains out for 30-120 seconds (that’s how long it takes her to fall asleep once she starts crying). I can’t bring myself to “make” her cry but I’m somewhat relieved when she does. This may seem harsh but if I don’t find a way to get her down for a nap, she finds a way of sucking the joy from herself and everyone else in the family for the rest of the day. And she’s just so great to be around when she’s well rested.

She has to do it for herself and on those magical days, everyone rejoices. Today for example, she was rolling around in her bed in a state of bliss and chatter when she bonked her head lightly on the headboard. She started wailing. I rushed in to comfort her and within 2 minutes she was out like a light. Other days when she’s gotten out of bed so many times that she’ll be in bed as long as sleeping beauty if I don’t do something drastic, I tell her that if she gets up one more time, I’m closing her door. Of course she gets up again, I shut the door on her fully unscary and sunlit room, she screams like her arm is being cut off, “NO, please. MOMMY DON’T DOOOO THIS,” and then falls almost immediately to sleep. She wakes up happy. We are all happy. Am I just the meanest mom ever? Maybe my new hair color is tainting my personality.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Layered T’s and High-Waisted Jeans

Well, I am so in love with all these long layered t-shirts and tank tops everywhere. For the first time ever since being a mom, I can bend over and pick up my kids without mooning everyone or resorting to high-waisted, peg-legged jeans. It is fabulous. I have them in every color and have become completely obsessed with layers. So, although it may appear that I’m taking fashion advice from Avril Lavigne or my kids’ high-school-aged-babysitters, I’m actually just trying to avoid exposing myself as I pick up drool-soaked cheerios off the floor of the airport.

But yesterday I started to get worried. What will happen 10 years from now when layers are no longer in style? I feel very strongly that I will still wear them regardless. So, that pretty much puts me on par with all of those women who still wear their oh-so-popular-in-the-80’s-dorky-mom-jeans. I finally understand these women. They were so excited to finally have clothes that allowed to them to move around in their motherly duties without giving a free show to passersby that they couldn’t let go when low-rise wide-legged jeans came back in style.

I picture my children years from now throwing their hands up in exasperation, “Mom, what’s with the LAYERS? How many shirts can you wear at one time? It’s so embarrassing.” I will likely just laugh at them - my secret little laugh that says, “OOOOhhhh, one day you’ll understand but right now I couldn’t care less if you think I’m a dork.”

Besides, I was always a little suspicious of my friends’ middle-aged moms who dressed exactly the same way we did in Junior High. You know, the “cool” moms? Why were they trying to look like us? Were they attempting to go undercover and infiltrate our society? Because it wasn’t working. You could always tell them apart from the other Junior High kids because they wore way too much makeup and had driver’s licenses.

And think about it. If the kids are teaching the moms how to look, dress and act, who’s teaching the kids?

dead link

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More Foods not to Share with 2-Year-Olds

I haven’t written about the kids in a few days because they’ve been so darn angelic that I didn’t want to make you sick or have you hate me because you’ve discovered my kids are better than yours. Yorching haters are no fun. So I have another story I can share today brought to you by Little-C being woken up prematurely from her nap by – she says – a “scary monster.”

So obviously I won’t share cookies, graham crackers or other multiple-bite foods with toddlers. It just gets too slimy and you never really know what the slime is. I also learned not to share drinks after watching her eating a cookie while drinking milk from a straw. The milk came up to her mouth white but receded a nice brownish color back down the straw.


But who knew that a bowl of grapes would be off limits too? After the nap today, she begged for grapes but wanted the whole bowl of them out of the fridge. I told her we could share and she agreed. All went well for the first few bites. She would take a grape and then I would take a grape, etc. Suddenly as I popped an average-looking grape into my mouth she let out a terrible wail. “NOOOOOOOO, that’s MY grape. You can’t eat my grape. I WAAAANNNNTTT it!”

What made this grape beloved above all others I’ll never know but there were a few other grapes in the bowl that had the same effect on her. It was like Russian roulette. I’d pop one in my mouth with C looking on and ……nothing. Phew! Another and another…..still safe. But then, “AAAAHHHHHHH! NOOOOOOOOOOOO! That was MYYYYY grape.” We’re talkin’ real bona fide tears my friends. And, I suppose, real bona fide emotions – for a two-year-old.

An Open Letter to My Post-Partum Anxiety

Dear Madam,
I regret to inform you that since you received no formal invitation to reside in this body, you are officially being asked to evacuate the premises immediately. Big-O’s evacuation was not an open invitation for any old squatter to take up residence. We were all having a great time with our darling baby boy when you burst through the door, wreaking havoc.

You certainly made yourself right at home, annoying everyone and bossing us all around. We’ve all missed sleep because of your incessant chatter filled with tales of horror and woe. I don’t believe a word you say and yet I cannot tune you out or convince my body that you spout nothing but lies.

At first, I thought I was strong enough to fight you on my own, to wrestle you to the ground and force you to leave. But you would not back down. After weeks of struggling with no sleep, no food, and no hope or peace, I knew you had beaten me and I gave up. Against the sincerest desires of my nature, I purchased and used the ammunition necessary to banish you to the smallest, darkest corner of my mind, a place where you are scarcely noticeable. However, sometimes, when I least expect it, you emerge unscathed and ready to do battle again. These are the times when I hate you the most.

You are a liar and a thief, a sadist and a leech. You’re a bully who cares about no one and seeks to destroy everyone you come in contact with. Little-C is afraid of you. You make her nervous, uneasy and insecure. Dan has even missed work to stay home and protect me from you.

I do appreciate the work you’ve done to help me lose weight, although I wish you’d gone about it some other way. And I am grateful for the increased compassion I now have for anyone who has been visited in the past by you or any of your hateful relatives.

However, I have decided that I am done with you. I most forcefully request that you leave at once so I can dispose of my ammunition and continue my life in relative peace (okay, who am I kidding? I have 2 children under the age of 3).

-Kathryn Daring

Owner and Proprietor of aforementioned body

P.S. I know you stole the first 5 weeks of my son’s life from me. Please return it on your way out.

***On a lighter note, please click on my open letter link to read some that are a lot more fun than the one I just posted****

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Please Keep my Parents and other Texans in Your Prayers

My parents are in Houston and living in the bull's eye (choose forecast path button) of the projected path of Hurricane Rita. They are in an area that has not been forced to evacuate so they think they'll ride out the storm. I'm pretty sure everything will turn out okay but in light of the devastation with Katrina I think the more prayers offered in behalf of the Gulf Coast residents, the better.

Fourth Trimester Baldness Blues – or Browns

It’s happened before and it freaked me out then but I swore that in the aftermath of future pregnancies I would not be worried by the fact that I seem to be going bald. During pregnancy my hair grows thick and lush and beautiful and I feel great pride, as though I have anything to do with it. It’s like when your child sleeps through the night for the first time or your husband cleans up after your latest cooking fiasco without being asked. You feel proud of them but in a strange way proud of yourself for your connection to them. I feel proud of myself for my ability to grow such long strong and beautiful hair while I’m pregnant. I brush it a lot and let it sway behind me as I walk – that is when it’s not pulled back in a greasy ponytail because I feel like total hud. Anyway, at about 3 months post partum, it all starts falling out.

At first, it’s just a piece here and there and after a couple of weeks, handfuls of hair come out every time I wash it, brush it or run my fingers through it. I imagine it getting amazingly thin and I totally freak out. Really it’s just going back to normal but I become paranoid that it won’t stop falling out. This time for sure I must be going bald.

In a fit of drama two nights ago, I told my husband I was going to cut it all short. Men who are going bald should shave their heads rather than trying to comb it over or leave it clinging to their heads in long thin scraggly patches. I decided to do the same, not shave it exactly but not let it keep growing long and thin so that there were only three hairs together for the last couple of inches of my formerly glorious mane. He told me he’d support me if I wanted to cut it but also reminded me that we both like it better when I leave it long. I started to get all mad, “What is it with guys and long hair? It seems that most would rather have a girl with scraggly, nappy, split-ended long hair, than a healthy well-maintained short cut.”

This has always been a pet-peeve of mine. But I know he’s right about me in particular. My face is so round that I always regret it when I cut my hair short and immediately start growing it out again. The summer of “melon-head” comes to mind. It’s too painful so I won’t post a picture here. Anyway, I decide not to cut off what few piece remain on my head. Instead, following the advice of the latest beauty section of Parenting Magazine, I decide that because its fall I should dye my hair 2 shades darker than my natural color. I do not understand the reasoning behind this advice but do not question it, partly because these people are “experts” of some kind and say I should do it and partly because how fun is it to dye your hair in your bathtub every once in a while? Um…very…especially if you’re a freshman in college. And besides, it should be pretty cheap because I won’t need to buy much dye since I hardly have any hair left.

So I go to the grocery store and stand in front of rows of temporary same-ish looking brown dye (okay I’m a wimp who can’t commit to any beauty item long term. Don’t expect to see me with tattooed lipstick anytime soon.) The colors all look pretty much the same to me and since I’m much prettier than any of the models on the boxes, I figure I can make any of them work. nutty hairAs I’m about to pick up one of the “nut” series of browns, a store employee with the aforementioned 3 strands of remaining hair comes up to me and says, “Oh no. That shade’s too dark for you. I use -----nut. It’s much nicer.” Her hairs are sort of a non-descript brownish color and she looks nothing like the girls on the boxes so I’m skeptical about whether or not I can trust her opinion but she does work at the QFC so I pick the ---nut color in between her ---nut and my original ---nut choice. I take it home. I dye my hair, my bathtub, my sink, my hands and part of a bar of face soap a too dark color of brown. I don’t actually know if it’s too dark (What do they mean, two shades? What constitutes a shade? They should include a chart or something) but it’s all totally one color, no highlights or variations which I conclude makes me look like a witch.

It’s a month until Halloween and the dye is supposed to wash out after 28 washings so I’ve calculated that if I only shower every 3 or 4 days for the next month it will still be a witchy enough color to work well for my costume if there’s any of it left. If it continues to thin out at this rate, I can always go for the relief-society-one-inch-perm a half a century earlier than I had originally planned and dress up for Halloween as a grandma. Or maybe I should just get pregnant again and let my chia-pet hormones take over. So many options, so little hair.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Of Mice, Men and Fleece Blankets

So, we finally seem to be getting out of the “Lenny” stage of Little-C’s infatuation with Big-O.
Lenny with animalsShe has loved him since before he was born, oh with such a great love it cannot be expressed in words. Picture if Steinbeck had written Of Mice and Men but instead of being a mentally handicapped adult armed with brute strength, Lenny was a two-year-old girl armed with fleece blankets and hundreds of stuffed animals. I would hear a muffled cry from the living room where I would find a quivering mound of fleece and cuddly animals. Beneath that mound would emanate the piteous wails of the infant boy, growing fainter by the minute. As I would release him from his fluffy torture chamber, Little-C would cling to my arm and beg me to leave him alone. “He LIKES IT! HE LIKES IT! He’s laughing. He’s SO happy.” How could a person be so tender and yet so hazardous? In these moments I would think of Lenny and the poor pretty bunnies and vow not to leave the two of them unattended….. ever. However recent evidence shows that she may be growing out of this stage and we rejoice. She still loves him, but not quite so hard.
Kiss for Brother

Community Opera – A breakthrough in potty training

A couple of nights ago we attended a classical community concert with both kids, featuring a French horn quartet and some extremely talented soprano opera soloists. I know, we are borderline insane, but the whole thing did not turn out too badly. We kept Little-C occupied with crayons, bits of garbage, a plastic tiger and surprisingly at times the actual music. Big-O mostly wiggled and spit, but not ON anyone. During one particularly “resounding” (substitute “shrill” if you’re not an opera fan) run by the soprano, Little-C jumped so violently I thought she was going into a convulsion. These runs continued at irregular intervals, each time catching Little-C by surprise, causing her to shake and open her eyes bigger than I’d ever seen them. Finally at the highest and most alarming crescendo, Little-C jumped up and said in a loud whisper, “Mommy, can I PLEASE go pee in the potty - RIGHT NOW?” This is the first time in months SHE has actually asked ME if she could go. Maybe we should play more opera at home, accompanied by the gentle sound of running water.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

If MacGyver were a dad....

Yesterday was one of those sublime days where you just adore your kids and love being a mom, even when things go wrong, even when they act their age, you just love them and feel blessed to have them around.

Today, after a 2 hour trip to Costco, I returned home to find this:

Duct Tape Diaper

Because after Little-C got bored during her 2-hour nap, Dan had found THIS:

Poop Bed

My mom had mentioned the use of duct tape in the past when I told her about this little problem we’d been having but I thought Little-C would just stop doing it when I explained how “yucky” it was. Guess not.

Big-O of course thought the whole thing was hilarious.

Garage Sale Side-note

So maybe I fall into one of those categories of crazy garage sale people. Where would you put a person who sells her own child's toys while she's asleep? Looking on eBay for more accessories for Little-C's dollhouse, I noticed that people were making bank selling the things Little-C had just purchased for $2.00 total. One piece of furniture in particular already had 30 bids and was up to $58. I asked my husband if she would notice if that piece went missing and mommy was suddenly $60 richer and he said...........well anyway, he's a lot nicer than me and she gets to keep all her stuff. For now. Dan says that when she's 10 and doesn't care anymore I can sell all of her belongings on eBay and that same item might be worth $100 by then. Maybe I can use the money to buy a tank of gas for our flying hybrid or something.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Saleing through other People’s Garages

Saleing through other People’s Garages

Last weekend I had some sweet success garage saleing in my neighborhood. Garage sale day is exciting where I live because it only happens twice a year (not unlike my dating life through most of college). The reason for this is that I live in a “planned” community, one where everything is beautiful and orderly and there is an ordinance somewhere that explains why the universe would self-destruct if word got out that its residents had garages or junk in them or wanted to make a couple of bucks out of the whole situation. We’re also not allowed to have wind-chimes, old refrigerators on the front lawn or loud belching contests between the hours of 10:00pm and 7:00am. We live in relative peace.

So twice a year we have our fun. We all open up our garages and take turns buying and selling C-R-A-P with our neighbors (since Little-C began to speak, Dan and I have become all kinds of great at spelling and just skipping certain phrases all together. Who wants a two-year-old who tells her friend she will “kick their trash” or exclaims, “WHAT THE ….?” when things don’t go her way? Well, I do in some of my wickeder parental moments but this is all totally beside the point).

I scored big-time. I got 4 books I had been planning to buy, two of them for my bookclub this year, for 50 cents each. I got a Little Tikes dollhouse and tons of furniture and accessories for $2.00. TWO BUCKS people - for everything! We had been planning to buy one for Little-C for Christmas to the tune of about 100 big ones but she paid for it with $2 from her own purse and proudly helped me carry it to the car. This week sofa slipcovers were on sale at Linens and Things for $50 and I planned to buy one but found a better one IN the right color at a garage sale brand new for only $10. Then, and telling this part brings a tear to my very cheap and deal-seeking eye, I found the exact file cabinet I had been looking at at IKEA to match our desk set. Brand new they cost $60 but I picked it up for a cool $5. Best garage sale day OF my life, EVER, hands down, NO doubt. And the peasants rejoiced.

A blessing on the noggin of the lady who sold me that dollhouse for $2. She sold us a bunch of other stuff really cheap too. (I should mention that most of it is now out in the garage where Little-C earns it back a piece at a time by being obedient at naptime.) We had a blast and I’m sure the lady was just in it to get rid of some stuff and find a good home for it. Sadly though, all garage sellers are not like cheap-dollhouse-lady. Sadly there are others.

First is the person who connects their belongings so firmly with their own memories of them, like the woman who wanted to sell her son’s spitup stained jammie for $4. “What, you don’t want to pay $4 for this? Don’t you think my son was adorable in it? You have no soul!” These are the people who should not be allowed to have weekend garage sales. They should be given a government grant to buy up acres of space in storage facilities to house all of their treasures until such a day as a suitable buyer can be found for the $80 piece of dried up chewing gum they shared with their husband the night of their first kiss. And on that very chilly day in Hades, I’m sure wacky-spitup-stained-jammie-lady will finally find peace in her soul.

Then there are the people who just “know the value of a dollar.” These are the people who haggle with a 4 year old over the price of a used Barbie doll, trying to explain why it really IS worth $8 because its hair has never been lit on fire. They send the 4-year-old home crying because her life savings of $4.53 just isn’t good enough. These people must be stopped and I believe I must be the one to stop them.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

If you Can’t Say Somethin’ Nice, Why not Talk about Poop?

I surmise that I am not the only parent out there who is wearied of listening to themselves converse about the intricacies of the body’s many functions, particularly in regards to bowl excretion. Little-C has recently made the realization that when her diaper is messy, it must needs be removed and has also recently learned that, going forward, she is capable of carrying out said removal. She is also proactive in the spreading of the aforementioned contents throughout her domicile. This very afternoon, she removed the encumbrance from about her waist and was discovered by myself (gosh! I love the passive voice) only to issue me the strictest of admonitions not to ingest the excrement. Alas, the exhortation was unneeded but left me in a quandary as to how she would feel such fervency about the detrimental nature of such an act. Upon questioning the young biped, I was assured that she had not in fact already sampled the noxious confection that lay before her on the bed.

I have a hard time believing this, coming from the same person who earlier today was gently rubbing “lotion” into her brother’s head which she later confessed was “boogers” that she was “sharing” with him.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Chicken or the Eggs?

The rooster just wants to help. I’m not sure who started acting up first this past week, me or my kids. I’m recovering from PPMD after the birth of my second child and thanks to the wonders of all kinds of modern medical professionals, I’m doing quite well….most of the time. Last week I had some weird hormonal shifts and changes in my medication and I took a deep dive back into the land of anxiety for no reason. Nobody likes it there and I fight it pretty hard. Like any self-respecting mom, I try to hide my anxiety from my kids but they are totally smart enough to pick up on it. It just makes Big-O a bit more fussy but Little-C, the older and smarter of the two, acts like the raptors in Jurassic park. Sensing a weakness in the electric fence, she slowly and systematically tests for holes in my armor. What she has found out is that I CAN’T make her do anything, eat food, take naps, pick up her toys, stop spitting on me, go pee in the potty or admit that the sky is blue.
What I CAN do is remove everything fun from her room until there’s nothing left but a bed and a dresser. I even called Dan in the middle of the day and asked him to come home and help me break down her Little Tikes play structure. It looks like the Grinch has just wiped out Whoville in there.

I just hate fighting with her. I hate being mean. I hate taking away her toys. I hate making her take naps. If she weren’t so darn miserable without them, I’d just stop them altogether. Although I like having the freedom to get stuff done while she’s sleeping, I always miss her and am glad when she wakes up and comes out of her room. She is my little sweetness and I just want to be her mommy and her friend but I’m finding out in the harshest of ways that you can’t always be both and mommy is much more important.

I am the byproduct of awesome parents who raised great kids and several parenting books that basically say that if you do everything right, you too can have a perfect toddler. Big fat liars, I say (the authors, not my parents. they pretty much tell the truth). She was the perfect kid but lately she’s lost her ever-living mind and I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find it and put it back into her cute little head.

So she just woke up from her nap, sad but full of resolve. She tells me that tomorrow she wants to “be obedient and take a good nap so I can get one of my toys out of the garage.” Wow, I feel mean just writing that. In a way, I blame myself for her acting out. If I weren’t anxious, she wouldn’t be testing the limits so hard. But if she weren’t testing the limits so hard, maybe I wouldn’t be so anxious. Then maybe she wouldn’t test the limits so hard. I’m not sure which came first.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Questions That Might Arise after Visiting our Primary this Sunday

What exactly is the "abomination" of Paul and why are we so determined to follow it?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The F-Bomb and Other Fun with Words

Last week, out of nowhere, the world’s sweetest 2-year-old started using the F-bomb. Now I’m not sure if she’s really saying that word or if she made it up by accident. She says a lot of nonsense words lately. Example: I say, “Little-C, what color is your spoon?” and she replies, “No, it’s not my spoon, it’s my waKAKasha.” I read somewhere that although this seems like pathetic regression, it’s actually an important developmental stage to experiment with language. So it’s not unusual for her to put together random sounds and syllables and use them as though they were real words.

So one night last week she’s sitting at the table hitting her beloved ducky with a stick and she says, “I’m ‘fricking’ him. I’m going to ‘frick’ ducky.” In place of ‘frick,’ imagine that she is very sweetly and very clearly dropping the F-bomb. As I pick my jaw up off the floor and try to keep from laughing hysterically, Dan distracts her by using other nonsense words, “Oh really, are you going to ‘hicka blick’ him with that stick? Are you ‘wucking’ him? How about a ‘gick’?” She replies that ducky does indeed need to be ‘gicked.’ And we move on with our lives.

UNTIL, a couple of days later. We’re sitting in the lobby at church and Little-C is talking to herself. “Blah blah blah, ducky. What can we do? Mom says we can’t do that. It’s SO dangerous. Yadda yadda yadda, we can’t touch the plug or we’ll get very kranky so we can be naked, bladda bladda blah blah.” (If there’s one thing her talking isn’t, it’s cessant. It is, in fact, INcessant.) I half tune her out until I notice that she’s repeating one phrase over and over, “This is ‘frickin’ awful. This. Is. Frick. In. Aw. Ful.” Again, substitute the above f-word for something much spicier.

I can’t for the life of me figure out where she gets this. You, like my friend Karli, may call me a liar but I swear on my sister Heather’s signed poster of Lash LeRoux (local WWF-style wrestler) that I have never said that word in my life. At least not out loud. Since my post partum wackiness with Big-O, I’ve thought it a few times in my testier moments but I’ve never said it out loud. So, there are three options – either she made up the word and somehow magically manages to use it in perfect context, she is telepathic and has heard me say it in my head in a fit of repressed post partum rage, OR, one of my seemingly sweet Mormon mom friends swears like a sailor whenever I’m not around.

Picture 006Right now I’m working on a way to casually bring it up with these ladies, “Hey Tina, how’s it going? Those blueberry muffins you made for us out of food storage items were so yummy. I’d love to get the recipe sometime. And thank you so much for sharing your testimony in church on Sunday. We were all so moved. So, do you happen to drop the F-bomb every other word when Little-C is playing over at your house? I mean, not that it matters, but I was just wondering. So, did you sponge paint that wall mural yourself?”

Little-C has also been really into names lately. She hears me call Big-O Buddy-Magoo and thinks it’s hilarious and wants to know what her “other” name is. I tell her that when she was little, we called her Laylee. She loves it. Today when someone asked for her name, she looked over her shoulder at me as if she were about to do something really naughty, then turned to the man and said, “I’m Laylee and my brother’s name is Buddy-MagOOOOO.” She should have added, “And my parents are morons who shouldn’t be allowed to name a pile of dirt.”

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Queen of Vocabulary

Today I stopped eating lunch halfway through my burrito and told my 2 year old that I was full. "I don't have room for any more."

"Are you saturated?" she asked.

Upon further investigation I found that she and Dad had indeed been having fun vocabulary-time earlier this week where she had learned all about saturation. There's just something about a two-year-old who uses words like saturated, unincorporated and iniquities that brings a smile to my face.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Under Heavy Fire – Please Send Reinforcements

I will begin by saying that I have not showered today. Its not that showering is something I do so very consistently since the birth of our second child but I just thought you should know.

In a desperate attempt to make the long weekend last even longer, Dan and I stayed up until almost 2 in the morning last night, at which point Big-O woke up for his mid-night feeding. I fed him and stumbled back to bed only to be awoken again at 7:30am when Little-C started talking to herself. Both kids got up much earlier than usual this morning so I started the day off exhausted. I was laying like a vegetable on the couch in my long-weekend-messy living room while she watched Sesame Street when some ‘visitors’ came by with a spiritual message for us. The last time they came by was 3 months ago, I was almost a week overdue, laying like a vegetable on the couch in my 9+ months-pregnant-messy house while she watched Sesame Street. I think I have let her watch TV in the mornings a total of 5 times since she was born. Now 2 of those times these people have come by. Not that I care what they think of me as a mother but I’d think someone needed a spiritual message too if every time I went to her house, she was drooling on the couch while her kids turned into TV zombies. After they left, with Big-O down for a morning nap, I went to have a relaxing bath. Little-C begged to join me so I don’t need to tell you how relaxing that turned out to be. Getting out of the bathtub, I pulled a muscle in the arch of my foot and spent the rest of the day unshowered, under-rested and limping like a dork.

I think the limp was the final sign of weakness which sent my two-year-old into a tailspin or two-year-oldishness. She went down for a nap, praise buddha, and shortly after Big-O woke up to play. Since he’s only 3 months old, he doesn’t so much want to “play” as “be played.” I fold him up like a pocket-knife, stick his toes in his mouth and zerb and spit all over him. He is happy. About 10 minutes after he went back down for his afternoon nap, Little-C woke up. Yippy!

The afternoon brought many errands. At the chiropractor, Little-C ran into the corner of a desk with her frontal lobe and got a big bonk-mark on her forehead half-way through my adjustment. It was here that she started begging me for goldfish crackers, of which I had none. Two-year-old logic states that the longer you ask and the more annoying and whiny your tone of voice becomes, the better chance you have of getting what you want, especially if it doesn’t exist. Exiting the building, a rather old and wrinkly woman bent down to ask Little-C’s name and age. Little-C wrinkled her nose with a look of disgust and in one of those moments where I wish she weren’t so darned articulate, asked the woman “You’re not dead yet?”

In the car, keeping with the tone of the day, we learned that if our mother is ignoring our repeated pleadings for goldfish, we can get her attention by letting her know that “my arms came out” of the car seat straps. Hmm….I wonder how that happened as I pull over to put the arms back in the straps and explain that if we do not wear our seatbelts we can get hit by a car and thrown through a windshield and any other manner of horrible things can happen to us.

In the entrance to the bookstore, I was informed that she could no longer wear her right shoe or sock because they made her foot feel “sparkly.” There are some fights worth fighting. This was not one of them so she hobbled through the rest of our errands with one shoe on and one in the diaper bag.

When we got home, Big-O was overdue for a feeding. Little-C begged me not to feed him. She needed to cuddle because….because…..something hurt. “What?” I asked. “Um, um, um…my pants.” “Your bottom?” “No, my pants.” “Ahhhhh. Well, I need to feed Big-O. I’ll cuddle you for as long as you want as soon as I’m done.” Little-C raced to the nursing chair and jumped in, assuring me that we could both fit. I squished in next to her and tried to nurse Big-O. Of course he wouldn’t nurse with her in the chair. As I picked him up to burp him, he spit up all down the back of my neck. As I wiped the cottage cheese off my neck, Little-C got mad that I was taking up too much room on the chair – so I kicked her out. On her way off the chair, she took my lumbar support pillow. When I asked for it back, she threw it on the ground, stomped on it and said, “You don’t NEED this. It’s squishy.” Two-year-old logic strikes again. With a “look” from me, she handed it back.

While I fed Big-O, Little-C got a great idea. “Could I have a hole in the top of my head so I can put on Mrs. Potato Head’s hat?” I assured her that although it would be super-fun to wear all of Mrs. Potato Head’s accessories, it would really hurt if I actually put a hole in her head. “Please.” “Um, no.” So, she did the next best thing, working with the holes already in her head. Once Mrs P’s tongue was lodged in her mouth, she began to gag and choke. In what I thought was an act of mercy, I pulled the piece of pink plastic from her mouth and told her not to put things in there anymore. This was when she invented what will now forever be referred to as the Timber-fit. It involves placing her arms at her sides and falling flat on her face like a felled tree without so much as a bend in her knee. She then proceeds to scream like she’s dying. This is repeated over and over again in front of me until she realizes that I am giving her absolutely no response. Bedtime was quick and early.

While writing this I heard Little-C get out of bed in the other room. Upon further investigation, we found that she was walking around with her pants around her ankles and her diaper off, poop everywhere, carrying a bucket full of toys. “I had yuck-y poop!” she exclaimed. Ya think?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Almighty Seam-Ripper

sep 03 blessing

My parents and parents-in-law are all in town for Big-O’s baby blessing in church tomorrow. I spent the greater part of last week cleaning and preparing for the visit and neglected to make the finicky little heirloom suit he will be wearing..um..tomorrow morning at 9am. So, grandmothers to the rescue! They have swooped in and done all of the difficult parts. When I mess up, I hand it to my mom and she rips it out for me. I feel like my two-year-old, repeatedly stating that I can do things “with myself” but then passing it off to mommy when the going gets rough, “No, YOU can do it.” It’s amazing that after 27 years the same dynamic still exists in our relationship to some degree. At least I know that just like when I was two, my mommy will rescue me if I really need help but also feel free to tell me to “forget it” or “knock it off” if I get obnoxious. It’s a great relationship. And after overcoming the guilt of welcoming my mothers into my home and then immediately drafting them to work in my little white satin sweatshop, I’ve come to realize how cool it will be to tell my son that his blessing suit was made by his mother and both of his grandmothers. Sometimes, procrastination can be a good thing. It’s also comforting to watch them work with me, teach me and then periodically grunt in frustration and ask for the seam-ripper. Even “grown-up” moms need a re-do every now and then.