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Showing posts from 2007

She of a Hundred Fathers

We are having an odd little problem with the kid. One thing we have learned about two-year-olds is that they often misinterpret or misunderstand stuff. I mean, she is learning about the world around her at lightning pace so you have to cut her a little slack, right? We can live with the fact that she calls potatoes "botatoes" and volcanoes "bolcanoes." (Don't ask me why she has the constant need to talk about bolcanoes, but she does.) But what we are having a harder time handling is the fact that she calls strangers "Mommy" and "Daddy." Somewhere along the way she seems to have decided that all adults can be called by these general titles. Women "of a certain age" get called Grandma.

She just seems to have weird ideas in her head. If you are wearing a dress or skirt, you are a princess. If you have something on your head, it's your birthday. If you are an adult male, you are Daddy. Convincing A otherwise is proving to be quite a…

Christmas Chaos

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It's all over but the shouting. This was A's third Christmas and she definitely got into it this year, even if she didn't exactly understand everything that went on (she kept asking Santa for goofy stuff like candy canes, not realizing she could ask for something more elaborate and have a good chance at getting it). As usual my mom went way overboard and sent a gazillion gifts (including a princess flashlight, which was a huge hit). The kid was on overload all day on Christmas. As usual she refused to nap and by late afternoon she was so tired that she was delirious (I think she may have been hallucinating and speaking in tongues at that point).

We had four days of family togetherness (including one snowstorm that prevented us from leaving the house altogether). At some point A started singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which is great except that she always misses a line. After "and they shouted out with glee" she goes back to "then one foggy …

Housebreaking, Day 1

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We gave up on telling her that Mrs. Potato Head's glasses are only for Mrs. Potato Head.I can't say that Day 1 was exactly a rousing success. I did manage to drag myself to a Weight Watchers meeting yesterday morning, so that's one noteworthy accomplishment for the day. There were only about 10 people there. I predict that after New Year's the joint will be standing room only.

After Weight Watchers I took A to a local book store for story time. She lasted through about two or three stories and then wandered off to poop her pants (this always happens - I don't know if it's that her body is well regulated or if there is something about the bookstore that gets her bowels moving). I decided to buy her a potty book. I chose one that shows human kids (as opposed to ducks and other animals that were sitting on the potty in some of the books) in case that might somehow inspire her.

On the way home she was "reading" the book in the backseat. I stopped at a light…

Le Chuck de La Cheese

Yesterday I did another one of those "things I said I'd never do." I took the kid to Chuck E. Cheese. A's daycare closed early yesterday so I took a 1/2 day off. First we hit the food court at the mall for lunch. She made me sit at one of those miniature tables meant for kids (because, well, she is one). She sat in one chair, Teddy Bear sat in another chair, and I was instructed to sit in the remaining chair. We had a nice little lunch. I had it in the back of my head that I would take her to Chuck E. Cheese if she exhibited good behavior, but decided not to tell her about it until I had witnessed a sufficient amount of said behavior.

Near the food court some kids from a local school were collecting for the Salvation Army. The school specializes in educating kids who have developmental disabilities (I apologize if that is not the correct terminology). I gave A a couple dollars to give them and one of the girls gave her a sucker and wished her a Merry Christmas. You kn…

Being a kid - it's all good

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Yesterday I took the kid to a local museum to see a Christmas exhibit currently on display. Apparently a local department store (which closed long before we moved here) was known for having amazing window displays during the holiday season. The museum has custody of all the old stuff and trots it out every year. There are all sorts of animatronic dolls and animals. I figured the kid would dig it, so we stopped by. When we got there the no-nonsense lady at the front desk told me that it would be $4.00 for me and that the short one is a "free child." I said, "Oh yeah, she's a free child alright," and the lady just looked at me like I was a jackass. So anyway, we climbed the stairs to the second floor where the Christmas displays live. I hadn't told A that Santa Claus would be there. I thought he was supposed to be there from 12-3 but I hadn't talked it up just in case I'd gotten the time wrong or something. A saw the window displays right away and was…

No, I'm pretty sure I smell it . . .

An add-on to yesterday's blog entry . . .

I'd like to describe last evening for you. P was working, so it was just me and the kid (plus the dogs and everyone else who lives here). I have a food day at work today, so we made brownies together. At some point A decided that she'd like to have a go at the potty. She stripped down and sat on the potty for a little while, shredding toilet paper and just generally making a mockery of the whole process. Because I am a lunatic, I decided to put some Dora "big girl" panties on her in lieu of a diaper. I repeatedly reminded her that her bodily waste goes in her potty and not on Dora.

Then she decided that she'd like to play with some Play-Doh. This particular activity keeps her occupied longer than just about anything else, so I decided that it wasn't the worst idea I'd ever heard. I'd do some cleaning, and she'd grind Play-doh into the carpeting in her room. A win-win!

I recently learned, however, that my …

"You do not smell poop"

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Last night I was buzzing around the house, putting away laundry and whatnot. We were getting ready to take the kid to the mall to see Santa. I was laying out A's Christmas dress as she was playing with some of her Dora toys. All of a sudden she looked at me and randomly said, in a very authoritative voice, "Mama, you do NOT smell poop."

Technically, she was correct. I had not yet picked up the aroma. But what's with the Jedi mind trick? Apparently I was supposed to reply (in a robotic monotone, of course), "I do not smell poop," and go on my merry way. Nope, nobody here has crapped their pants. No sireeeee!

Little does she know, I am planning to work on potty-training her over Christmas and New Year's (I have two four-day weekends in a row so I'm hoping to have some spare time for once). I bought a potty-training book, which I am reading at a feverish pace. I bought her a book about poop (Everyone Poops), which she studies nightly. We have the potty i…

It's Cute When It's Sleeping

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Look at that face, will ya? All day long she drives us to the very edge of our sanity and then when she is sleeping we think, "Well, how cute is she?" Is this one of those "what prevents us from eating our young" deals? Yesterday she slammed doors, harassed the dogs, pitched 18 tantrums, made us watch Shrek 2 over and over, dumped out her toys everywhere and yet . . . we let her live another day.



Celebrating another day of wreaking havocOn an unrelated note . . . last night I dreamt that I got trapped in a men's restroom. I was in a building somewhere and needed to use the facilities. Somehow I turned into the men's room instead of the ladies' room. It turned out that the men's room was this huge labyrinth of unending passageways. I kept asking for help and random men would point the way out, but it would only lead me to another row of stalls. At one point I turned a corner and found a group of men huddled together performing some sort of ritual. I g…

Pocket Full of Posies . . . I Mean, Hard Liquor

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Boy, sometimes the material just writes itself. My middle sister works in social services for the county in which she lives. Her exact job title is Human Service Worker II, which does leave itself open to interpretation. She either gives bee-jays or she helps people in need obtain government benefits - I always forget which. Anyway, for a staff meeting this week she was asked to report on a new product called Pocket Shots. She asked me if I had heard of them, and alas, I had not. I asked my fellow cubicle dwellers at work, and they were not familiar with them either. Our cluelessness could have something to do with the fact that we are all 30+, married, have young children, are boring, etc. Apparently the teenagers in my state know allllll about the Pocket Shots, however, hence the need for a report from the trenches. My sister and her fellow human service workers need to know what they're dealing with here.

If you check out the website for "Flask on the Fly" you'll n…

This Thing We Call Christmas

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I'm feeling a little weird about Christmas this year. And yet, I'm excited because the season of giving and good cheer is upon us, and it's very cool to watch a two-year-old seeing it all anew (she doesn't remember last year, I'm sure).

To back up a bit . . . just over a year ago we left our old church. We attended a Congregational Church. The pastor was charismatic and the people there were nice. And yet . . .
There were three (or more) incidents along the way that caused me to flee.
1. One Sunday I was driving to church and noticed that the driver in front of me was trying to pass the car in front of him. This was a two-lane road and you're definitely not supposed to pass on it. I watched this guy fly through a stop sign and finally careen around the car in front of him (on a double-yellow line, no less). I kept thinking, "Wow, what a dick." And then I thought, "Oh geez, I'll bet he is headed to my church." Sure enough, he pulled into t…

"Do it one more time and I'm calling Santa. Seriously, I am not kidding."

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I have roughly 24 days left in which I can use Santa Claus as leverage. I've called him several times today. In fact, Santa has probably taken out a restraining order against me.

A doesn't totally get the whole Christmas/Santa thing yet. But she does know what presents are. And she knows she wants some. If this guy wants to bring her some, she is not going to argue. So, she tries to behave from time to time. Tries.

I guess she keeps forgetting, though, since she continues to carry out her diabolical plots as usual. She ran away from me at the store (yes, again) and when I found her I had to suppress every instinct to send her to the moon. (All I could think of was Adam Walsh - seriously, keeping your kid safe these days is scary shit.) I am really trying my darndest to get through this thing (and by "this thing" I mean the whole 18 years) without spanking her, but sometimes I feel like I resort to the dumbest tactics (like telling her that random strangers are going to…

You're a Princess

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On the return plane trip, shortly before I started threatening her life.

We're back. We flew back on Monday night. The only problem was that I'd already reached Maximum A sometime over the weekend. So, I was not looking forward to the two flights back. She was a pill on the two flights out to DC, but my tolerance was higher then.
The thing about being on a plane is that you can't exact discipline your child effectively. And said child knows it. A knew she had me over a barrel and there was nothing I could do but to hiss various threats at her. She slammed the window shade up and down. She kicked her chair. She demanded candy. At one point I grabbed her arm and she pulled out the ol' time-tested "DON'T HURT ME!" trick.
On the second flight (which was delayed because of de-icing and whatever else it is they do to delay planes), there were some kids sitting nearby who are performing in a traveling production of Disney's High School Musical. I shouldn'…

Something Like a Vacation

It's Thanksgiving. The kid and I are at my sister's house. A's still sleeping, because she's been partying like a big dog every night. We spent the past few days at my parents' house. The kid has my parents right where she wants them. On the first day, she said, "I'm so happy to see you, Meemaw!" My mother went straight to the store and bought her a new toy. A loves my mom to pieces but she is my dad's number one fan. Every time she sees him she plows past my mom and yells, "Hi, Granddaddy!" They watched cartoons together for hours yesterday.

Oh, and get this. Apparently my parental authority . . . well, I have none as soon as my parents enter the picture. I took a cup of water away from my kid because she was sticking her hands in it and my spidey sense told me that something very unfortunate was about to happen with that water. Thirty seconds later, I heard A pleading her case to my dad. And then she emerged from the kitchen with . . . …

I Miss You Every Day

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U-CD Lucy Annabel (CD, NA, NAJ, CGC, TT, TDI)

(AKA "THE GOOSE")

April 11, 1998 – November 16, 2006

For some time now I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to write about my Lucy Annabel. She has been gone for a year and I still miss her desperately. Sometimes I think I can still hear her tags jangling, or the unladylike grunt that she made just before falling asleep. She was my friend, my companion. Lucy saw me through four miscarriages and never left my side. She enjoyed hanging out, sleeping on the bed, eating, and kicking other dogs' asses (in her older years she was content with simply lifting her lip at dogs that offended her). She was smart. She was feisty. The Goose, as we called her, was a strong competitor in obedience and agility, although she really only did what she felt like doing (and didn't care how much money I blew on entry fees). She was an awesome therapy dog (despite her horrific breath) and enjoyed meeting new people. This is her story.

P and I g…

Countdown

The short one and I are leaving in three days. (My other half is staying home, in case you are reading this and thinking of burgling us while we are gone.)

A brief excursion to Kohl's after work yesterday raised the spectre of just how challenging this Thanksgiving "vacation" is going to be. I just needed a few pairs of underwear, so it should have been a very brief and straightforward shopping trip. First off, we couldn't get a cart, which is a fate worse than death. We loitered in the lobby area and waited for one to turn up, while the kid greeted everyone who came in. "I got my milk and my pretznels!" she announced to one lady. She had some leftover snacks from daycare tucked under her arm because she had insisted on bringing them into the store.

Finally we got a cart. She sat in it for about .0000987 seconds and climbed out as soon as we hit the lingerie section. "I don't want to sit down!" I begged her to sit in it just long enough for me t…

Put My Booger Back in My Nose

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The other morning my adorable daughter woke up with a big booger hanging off her left nostril. Being the good mother that I am, I grabbed a Kleenex and liberated it. A has no tolerance for having things done to her or for her without her express written consent. When she asks for juice I open the refrigerator (which she calls our "fridgelator") and hand her a juice. She stomps her feet, shrieks "NO, I GET IT!" and puts it back on the shelf. And then retrieves it again. So, when I wiped her nose without her consent I heard this: "PUT MY BOOGER BACK IN MY NOSE." I can definitely add that to the list of "things I never thought I'd hear." I asked her if she seriously wanted me to dig it out of the Kleenex and give it to her and she nodded. I have to draw the line somewhere, and this seemed as good a place as any. "No, that's gross."
My sweet little buttercup angel flower blossom

Daddy's Girl

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Watching "Toy Story"We did not know A's sex before she was born. For some reason we thought she would be a boy and we focused primarily on boys' names. (Her birthmother had had an early ultrasound but the baby was too active to get a clear view.) I have to admit I was secretly thrilled when I found out she was a girl. Don't get me wrong - I would have been over the moon if she had been a boy. It's just that I grew up with sisters (no brothers) and that's what I'm used to. I felt like I would know what to do with a girl. As my mom has often said, "We don't know how to clean poop off balls."

In the hospital, I held A in my arms and in a high-pitched voice I said to P, "Daddy, I'm going to have 13 bridesmaids in my wedding! Oh, and I need 18 pairs of shoes!" I think my other half figured out pretty quickly that having another girl in the house was not going to be cheap. However, none of that mattered because he was smitten as s…

A Biter, Not a Lover

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Our own personal DraculaMy kid bit another kid at daycare yesterday. This is her second biting incident. She is teething, but I can't really blame it on that. She has a short fuse, pure and simple. In general she is a happy kid, always smiling and laughing (and talking, God knows she talks). But apparently if you are a similar-sized kid and you cross her in some way, you'll have her incisors embedded in your flesh about two seconds later. So now I need to apologize to a set of parents - again. And give my kid a lecture - again. And make her apologize to her friend - again. The first time it was a little girl that she bit, and that night all A heard from us was "you can't bite [friend's name]!" Now it occurs to me that maybe we forgot to say, "Don't bite anyone." This time she bit a little boy, a cute brown-eyed guy who even came to her birthday party this year. Normally she adores him and I had dreams of him becoming my son-in-law someday. But n…

Facing the Music, Going Blind, etc.

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In a recent post I whined about having gone astray as far as my eating habits go. For the next few weeks after that I really did give it the old college try, but somehow my resolve would always vanish by the time Friday rolled around. Feeling ever more desperate, I finally emailed my Weight Watchers leader and asked for advice (because apparently I hadn't heard the whole "eat less, lose weight" rumor that's been going around). She told me to knock it off and get myself to a meeting. So this morning I dragged my considerable ass to a meeting (which includes, of course, a weigh-in). I really think this is my only hope for getting through the holidays. I need the accountability, I guess.

Going to the meeting was tough. First I spent 15 minutes searching my closet for lightweight clothing. For half a second I wondered if it would be okay just to wear strategically placed gauze to the meeting. I didn't even wear earrings because who knows - that extra .0000056 of an ou…

In a Lather About Lots of Stuff

My recent attempts to reduce stress in my life are failing miserably. I think I am what people used to call a Type A personality. Believe me, I would give just about anything to be a different type, but I am bound to my DNA. (Mom, in case you are reading this . . . yes, I am saying it is your fault.)

What's stuck in my craw today (yes, I have a craw):

1. I cannot get a full night's sleep because I share my bedroom with four males. Three of them are dogs (two of my own and one foster) and one is the man I married. Three of the four lick their own penis . . . All. Night. Long. The fourth one snores intermittently, just loudly enough to keep me up (he also sleepwalks, but that's a tale for another day). Gideon usually kicks things off at around 2 a.m. Then Joker remembers that he has a penis, too, and gets started. Karl isn't usually as bad. He is getting old (almost 10) and I guess his wiener doesn't hold that much appeal for him anymore. I am implementing a new policy…

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Craps Their Pants

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I took Friday off to spend the day with my kid. I was excited about it and promised her a fun day.

We started off the morning by heading to Michael's for a craft project with some kids from a local playgroup that we joined a few months ago. The project involved decorating a wee little totebag for Halloween (it was billed as a trick-or-treat bag but unless she plans to collect exactly one Hershey's miniature on Halloween, I don't think the bag is going to serve that purpose.) I steered A away from the permanent paints and handed her some stickers instead. She placed some pumpkins and skulls on her bag and then colored on it with a blue marker. She had a blast and seemed really proud of her creation.
After we left Michael's we headed to the mall. As we pulled out of the Michael's parking lot, A promptly ripped the stickers off her totebag and shoved them in various crevices inside the car so that I can find them next July. I had a coupon for Build-Up-Our-Fortune-By-Bu…

Le Bug du Tumble

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The crab walk For the past six weeks A has been participating in a Tumble Bugs class at our local YMCA. She loves it. We already knew from a previous class that our kid is not the next Mary Lou Retton. She spent six months in a gymnastics class at the The Little Gym and still could not do a forward roll. Or any kind of roll. Or hang on the bar. Or stand on one leg. Mostly she would just run around and yell stuff at the other kids. I can already hear her future gym teacher saying, "This is not social hour, Miss M." Of course, who am I to talk? In gym class I always signed up for stuff like "Rec Games" and spent half the year playing bumper pool and ping pong. Bumper pool - I can't believe it's not in the Olympics. My friend J and I actually made a pact when we were freshman: we agreed to complete our entire high school career without playing a single organized sport. It was an easy pact to keep, for both of us.

But back to my kid. The first gymnastics class w…

It's Too Much Very Hot

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Sometimes the kid says stuff that is patently incorrect but is at the same time so cute that I can't bring myself to correct her. Earlier this morning she grilled up some plastic strawberries in a pink frying pan on her play stove. She then threw in a lemon for good measure. I was in the kitchen (the, um, real kitchen) as she came through, her face serious as she balanced the strawberries and lemon on a plastic yellow plate. "Don't touch it, Mama," she said solemnly. "It's too much very hot." She then delivered the piping hot fruit to her father. Lately she also seems to end every sentence with "huh" or "okay." ("Gideon's a sassy boy, huuuuh?") One of her favorite activities is to grab a bottle of cologne from my bathroom and sniff it. This morning she took a bottle, pried the lid off, and said, "Don't take it away, OKAYYYYY?" P thinks she is trying to employ Jedi mind tricks on us. As if we are going to s…

Some Kind of Citizen

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Gideon, CGCMy boy passed his Canine Good Citizen test on Monday night! The CGC is an American Kennel Club (AKC) certification. The dog must pass 10 tests in order to earn it. One of them involves completing a heeling pattern on a "loose leash." Asking Gideon to walk on a loose leash is tantamount to asking him to walk on the moon. So, as we were getting out of the car I asked him in plain English if he would consider, just this once, doing as I asked. And voila! Instead of pulling hard enough to win the Iditarod like usual, he actually heeled.

Later this month he starts his third round of obedience classes. Sometime after that I'm planning to have him tested for TDI (Therapy Dogs Inc) certification. Giddy has a great temperament and I think he'd make a wonderful therapy dog.

To appreciate Gideon's accomplishment, you have to know where he came from. In December of 2006 he was found near an animal shelter. He had been left in a crate by the road that runs past the s…

"I DO IT!" (Or, the Call of the Toddler in Captivity)

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Portrait of a Tantrum"I DO IT!" I hear that about 874 times a day. It doesn't matter if letting her "do it" causes a small task to take six weeks. She is gonna do it come hell or high water. This brings back memories for my mom, who says that my middle sister was always yelling, "I DO IT BY MESELF!" Though they don't share any of the same DNA, my kid seems to have a lot in common with her headstrong auntie.

One of our big challenges lately is that she wants to wear a Pull-up instead of a diaper. Her Pull-ups have Disney (Motto: you may as well just send us a check because we are gonna get your money anyway) princesses on the front. There is also a smattering of colorful flowers in the crotch area, and the flowers go away when the kid pees in the Pull-up. The flowers are usually history within seconds, which tells you how well the potty-training is going.

Not only does she want to wear a Pull-up, she insists on donning it herself. This always always …

Yes, but at least she's not Chewbacca

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I suffered, so that she doesn't have to"Claudia, you're in your 30's. Isn't it time you stopped telling that story?"
No Mom, it's never time to stop. I must warn others, like a Public Service Announcement, you know?
This is A's third Halloween. The first year she was a bee, last year she was a chicken, and this year she's a dragon. Each year I buy her a Halloween costume almost as soon as they hit the shelves. Why, you ask? Because I don't want her to have to be Chewbacca.
Let me take you back a bit. The year was 1978. I was in the third grade. Like most kids, I was pretty psyched about Halloween. Free candy from the neighbors - what's not to like? I asked my mom repeatedly about my costume (what, oh what, would she pick out for me? And when?). Alas, she waited until Halloween day to buy my costume and all the good ones were gone. So she bought what they had left: Chewbacca.
Keep in mind that Star Wars had come out and as you may recall, it…