A warning: To my friends in real life--who make up the vast majority of my 12 readers--I am veering way off course today--away from memorable moments and Mylestones. As is obvious from the last half dozen posts, I normally don't tackle the heavy stuff. But tonight, I feel compelled to do so. So to the self-proclaimed atheists and agnostics, to the devout Jews and the bad Catholics, each of whom I know and love, I won't be the slightest bit offended if you want to sit this one out. I trust most of you already know where I stand, and that we agree we don't have to stand in the same place for us to be friends.
There's a whole lotta venting going on over at The Domestic Fringe, and I just had to chime in, because I cannot resist the opportunity to throw a public fit any more than my children can.
And Cory, if you're reading this, I still love you dearly. It's not you. It's me. It's me, after hearing your card ONE TOO MANY TIMES.
Note to Hallmark:
We have enough blasted things in this world that make noise and require batteries. Please go back to making cards that open to lovely words such as "Here's to you, Great Aunt-in-Law, on your 78th birthday, May you hair always be blue and your dreams always come true."
No matter how darling the dog is on the cover, please permanently refrain from the Kung-Fu Springer greeting card variety. I do understand the difficulty in resisting a card featuring our beloved Calliope, clothed as the Karate Kid in all her canine cover girl glory. But did you happen to open the card? Did you not, in fact, hear the part about the cats being fast as lightning? Because I have. I have heard all about the cats, in excruciating repetition. It was more than a little bit frightening.
Note to myself, for future reference:
Did it not occur to you (until now) that you could have just taken the card away from the four year old? You ARE in fact, the one in charge, when last checked. Perhaps you should spend less time whining and more time locating a better hiding place for that darned card, like maybe the trash. This is not the time to get sentimental or to save every piece of personal correspondence that arrives via snail mail. When in doubt, THROW IT OUT.
And finally, a note to the viewers of this video:
I have no explanation for the attire other than to say that if you have no kung-fu outfits of your own, apparently snow pants will do in a pinch. Also note that the spiderman mask is optional, for added mystique.
I hesitate to share this, particularly on the heels of the last post, in which Sheridan demonstrated she is not the nurturing sort. As you've figured out by now, the majority of my material comes from eavesdropping on my children. Kids say the most disturbing, I mean, cutest things, don't they?
Sheridan shouting, as she sat in her bed, resisting nap time, "NO, NO, BABY DOLL. OFFF PIMMMITTTS!" (translated "off limits")
1) She actually DOES hear me when I say "off limits" and knows precisely what it means.
2) She is lording power over her baby doll because she feels the need to be large and in charge.
3) She has heard me shriek "off limits" about the Baileys, or coffee, or both in my cup, perhaps one too many times.
4) I might drink too much Baileys. Or coffee. Or both.
5) I most certainly shout too much.
6) She can do a wicked awesome Dr. Evil impression, even with a bottle in her mouth.
7) She is more like me than I care to admit, except way cuter and way younger. And when she yells at her baby doll, I laugh only a little before the guilt sets in. Then I remind myself that I've never tried to put her in the fridge or the oven or any other kitchen appliance, for that matter, and I again feel smug about how I am indeed a better mother than my two year old would be.
And just to show that the parental modeling goes both ways, I do have a positive little diddy to share. In the car this morning, Sheridan said "I wuv you, Caed". (This alone is a victory, as we've been trying to get her to substitute those very words for the barrage of "no no no" that she usually says to Caed. All. Day. Long.)
In response to this rare moment of triumph, Caed brought his hands to his cheeks and with sparkling, smiling eyes, he gushed, "Oh, did you hear that, Mom! What a sweetheart her is!"
That too was an echo of what I often say, except I usually get my pronouns right. Yes indeed, because not only am I a better mother than my two year old, I speak with better grammar than my four year old. I am truly all that and more.
So what have your kiddos done or said lately that was the spittin' image of you or your words, or perhaps of Dr. Evil? I'd love to hear about it--the good, the bad, and the ugly!
In her defense, the only reason this imaginative-play infant is getting shoved into the oven is because Dani couldn't get her to fit in the fridge. I am debating whether to get the Fisher Price Child Protective Services involved?
In countless mornings of motherhood, I wake up in a frozen fog. If I could open my eyes wide enough to look out the window, I'd frequently find the literal patches of these ground-gracing clouds outside, brushing and blurring the horizon. But it's the figurative fog that finds me every morning, rain or shine, and circles round my head like a vulture on those poor little brain cells that didn't make it through the night.
Why drive across town to the sledding hill when you have a perfectly good snow plow mound right in your very own front yard?
Besides, this way, the dog can participate too. And yes, it is possible that at least one animal was harmed in the making of this video, but only because said animal can't seem to keep her wagging tush away from the center of the action.
I have to confess I was a complete grumpy-snow-pants leading up to and during the donning of the extra ten pounds of outerwear. But my first face-plant (while attempting to demonstrate to Caed how to go down the snow plow mound head first) knocked some happy into me, and the little guy and I couldn't stop cackling.
You've heard of Milk Mustache, but have you ever seen Snow Gotee?
And finally, I'm serving up some hot cocoa (or a peppermint mocha, if that's your hot drink happy place) to the commenter with the best caption for this photo:
Let me start by saying that Caed is not my problem child. He is not the child who was bitten at nursery school three times in the past two weeks, and he is not the child who totally had it coming (i.e. body checking various infants and toddlers who dared make a play for the Little Tykes slide). Sure, on occasion, he has been known to feign violence in order to protect his little sister, but all in all, he's the gentle one.
So when I picked him up after Sunday school this past week, it didn't even occur to me ask his teacher how he did. He always does great. He's wonderful. Such a good listener. Such a kind spirit.
After collecting my model citizen, I loitered outside the classroom for a few minutes, catching up with another mom while the kids hunted for their outerwear. I can always count on a missing jacket, hat, mitten or boot to buy me some chat time with the other grown-ups. It's one of the perks of living within driving distance of the Arctic.
Before the last mitten was located, my friend (who doubled as Caed's teacher that morning) joined the conversation. As she turned toward me, I noticed a whopping shiner underneath her right eye that seemed to be growing puffier by the second, framed by symmetrical red scrapes that might be attributed to a visit from Zorro's mini-me.
"Oh my, what happened?" I exclaimed, ready to insert a cheeky comment about Fight Club, and how maybe she couldn't talk about it.
(my jaw started to drop)
(my mouth now wide open)
(my eyes covered in horror).
Thankfully, there was more to the sentence,
"...with a toy. It was completely an accident. He was so sweet and apologetic. It's really okay."
Caed was standing near me now, and overheard my friend explaining the mishap. My sense of relief that he had not purposely smacked around his Sunday school teacher was short-lived, as he quickly piped in, "Yes, it was an accident, but guess what, I can knock my Daddy out FOR REAL. And Mommy can beat Daddy too."
He neglected to mention that he was talking about Wii boxing.
Thankfully, my friends are full of grace and haven't yet disavowed me on the grounds that I birthed a child with a brow-raising enthusiasm for beating up grown-ups.
Looking for more to laugh about? If so, check out the latest links on Friday Funnies at The Run-a-Muck.
This is precisely why my mud room is always a mess. The girl's got some mad modeling aspirations, at least as it pertains to footwear. Thus, she spends every waking moment and shoe perfecting her strut. I have to hand it to her, she's awfully even-footed considering she's modeling the "reversed boot" look.
And not even Little Debbie can comfort me now. The official results are in from the Haiku contest at Rocks in my Dryer. And I am not the winner, which technically makes me a loser.
I'm making a list, but we're not going to be checking it twice. Because if we did, we'd discover that we've got it all wrong. It's not that we forgot the lyrics so much as we never knew them to begin with.
The last time I entered a poetry contest, I was 18, and in search of a scholarship prize of $500. I didn't win anything, except the opportunity to spend $75 on a poetry anthology that had the literary ambience of an encyclopedia. Suffice it to say, I didn't splurge on a copy of my "published work". Because even at 18, I was wise enough to know that if I ever needed a makeshift booster seat, I could get a phone book for free.
I'm not sure how old a gal has to be before it becomes unacceptable to post her weight on the internet. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say Sheridan won't be offended if I share her 2 year old stats. At her appointment yesterday, she weighed in at 28 pounds and is 34 inches tall. I am also pleased to report that there was a recent sighting of her knees, just beginning to emerge from the shadows of her pudgy thighs.
I laughed when the pediatrician asked me if she puts words together. Yes, in fact, she has actually taken over writing the blog. And she has a novel coming out in the spring, entitled, "Where have all the paci's gone?"
Which brings me to my next developmental tidbit. I took her pacifiers all away, again. This is the third time, and there is nothing charming about it. Each time I've started the pacifier detox, we've run into an obstacle--like an ear infection, or traveling, or as was the case yesterday during nap, a conference call. I just needed her to stay in her crib a little bit longer, and a little bit more quietly. I knew I would pay later.
So this afternoon, I took my crutch away. The binkys have been trashed, and there is no going back. Ever since round two of the pacifier removal, I have been telling Dani that she is a big girl, and so we gave all her pacifiers away to the babies. Luckily, her deductive reasoning is not quite developed enough to have caught me in the lie. (So if we gave the pacis to the babies three days ago, how did one suddenly reappear in my crib during naptime when mom came up to "shoosh" me?)
Tonight as we were getting ready for bed, she randomly quipped, "Babies took Dani's pacis away. No, NO babies." That's right, Dani, keep blaming it on the babies. Because your mother had absolutely NOTHING to do with it.
This morning a sea gull flirted with the boundaries of my snow-laden lawn, and then thought better of it. Birdbrained though he may be, he was wise enough to realize that no good can come from a daybreak encounter with a springer spaniel. At least not for a sea gull.
With 17 degree weather and a sun that sets before the early bird specials even start in a Boca Raton restaurant, I suppose I got lost in the winter of it all and forgot that the Atlantic is but a mile away as a bird flies. It took a fly-by from a diehard down-eastern sea gull to return the ocean to its rightful place in my mental map.
And that got me thinking. (Oh no, here we go....).
I so easily lose sight of the vast and powerful and important things in my life, until an inconsequential fluttering of wings startles me back into perspective. It takes a rampant stomach virus to impress upon me the amazing blessing of health (and the glory of Oxyclean). It takes a few tough nights of single parenthood while Larry is on call to make me immensely grateful that he is here with us, even if only in fleeting moments. Because what precious moments they are. And it takes a scary piece of news or an absence of all certainty about the future to bring me back to my knees in search of the Peace that passes all understanding. Yes, the most important things, I so often forget them. Until a not-so-little birdy flies by with a reminder.
First, I feel I should clarify that we do not, in fact, live at the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. One of my dear friends (who incidentally lives in Istanbul and therefore hasn't had the chance to visit us in Maine) thought that perhaps the picture in the blog header was us walking off into the sunset in the shadows of our coastal dream house. Sorry to disappoint, but the rocky coast is not crashing about in our backyard. We just have a swingset and some overgrown shrubbery. It's probably for the better, as it lowers the risk of the kids and/or dog wandering off to sea when I turn my head for a second.
The other little tidbit I have to confess is that I am "back-blogging." And what a big backblog it is. I realize I am now banned from saying "I don't have time to... (fill in the blank)...because I'm so busy with work and the kids." Anyone who has time to methodically migrate one hundred old blog posts to a new site, for no reason other than OCD, cannot complain about there "not being enough time in the day." It's okay though, because there are still plenty of other things I'm allowed to complain about. And as soon as I'm done back-blogging (might be years), I can start in again about how I barely have time to brush my teeth.
The grandparents DO like it when you blog on and on about barf. In fact, I just received an email from Nana wondering when I was going to post “part 3” of my “gift that kept on giving” series. I can always tell my mom is feeling better when she returns from her cyberspace hiatus to inquire about the status of our digestive tracts.
So here’s the scoop. The boys eventually got it too. Caed was a trooper and bounced back quickly. Larry survived as well and is already back at work (although he probably could use another week of sleep to fully recover). And I no longer live in dread of waking up to the sound of gagging in the night or hosting another all-night vigil by the washing machine. Because everyone in my household has been there, done that, and then some. And we are so over it!
Nothing says “trend setter” like a poofy corduroy dress and some scuffed, bulbous Buster Brown shoes, four sizes too big, sans socks. You laugh, but seriously, raise your hand if you have ever worn crocs? Or let your kids wear them daily with everything from sweatpants to sundresses? Yeah, I thought so. So you know firsthand that it doesn’t have to look pretty to be cool.
Mark my words, this is the new look for 2009. Better run to Goodwill before all of the toddler sizes fly off the shelves. You just can’t go back to preschool this winter without a pair!