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.
Archives for September 2005
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.
Because after Little-C got bored during her 2-hour nap, Dan had found THIS:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What exactly is the “abomination” of Paul and why are we so determined to follow it?
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.
Right 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.”
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.
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?