Thursday, August 29, 2013

You tell me.

In the car today, Owen said, "Mom?  What kind of bird is that?"

A flock of birds had just taken off from a building, soaring into the sky, free of annoying children asking science-y questions in the backseat.  

I turned to look more closely for a second before I realized I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA ABOUT BIRDS.

So I said, "I don't know, Owen."

And he said, "Mom?  Over there, those birds, do you see those birds?"

"Yes, Owen, I do."

"Mom?  What kind of birds are they?"

"I still don't know, Owen."


"Mom?  Do you think they are pigeons running away from a Peregrine Falcon?"

"Um.  Yes?"

And then Sam said, "Mom?  I'm not judging, but did you just run a red light?"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Post. Humously.

Have you ever had the, "who gets the kids if we die" discussion?

You should, it's important.

You have to think about what it would do to the lives of the person you leave them to, but also where the kids would be happy.

So, just FYI, we're leaving the kids to the babysitter.

Because, to be honest, they like the babysitter more than us.

Maybe it's because she has voice immodulation disorder such that she can't speak above a soothing whisper.  Perhaps it's because she seems to actually enjoy playing card games with the kids.  Or it could be because they think her name is Cake.  Whatever the case may be, they would leave us in a hot second for this woman.

She reports that after she spent the whole day with them, while she was tucking Sam into bed he told her it had been the best day ever.

"How come?" Kate asks.

"Because I got to spend all day with you," Sam answers.

What the hell, right?  I don't think Sam has ever said something that nice to me.  Also, while that story might have sounded braggy coming from someone else, Kate is INCAPABLE of bragging.

This weekend when we told the kids that she was coming Owen said, "I just wuv Cake.  She makes everysing fair."

Okay, hey now, she's not a magician.  I don't even know how you make things fair with three kids.  That's not EVEN POSSIBLE.

And Lilly?  My princess?  My best girl?  Well, the night Kate was here she put the kids to bed.  At 4:00 in the morning, Lilly woke up.


For Kate.

I mean, that's cool.  It's not like I housed your stupid fetus self.  

So, she's kind of the obvious choice to take the kids if we die.  You guys are just going to need to make sure she gets $15 an hour until the kids turn 18.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Owen has taken "talking with your hands" to a whole new level.

For a while there, he was actually, literally, trying to replace speech with his own special code of hand signals.

I told him to knock it off.

Seriously, I'm just trying to get breakfast on the table here.  I don't need to play charades about what kind of cereal you'd like.

Recently, he's started clapping to add emphasis to his sentences.

"Mom!  Dad said that this weekend," CLAP, "we're going camping!"

"For dinner I'd like a," CLAP, "peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

"I've got to go to the," CLAP, "bathroom."

It reminds me a great deal of that old Saturday Night Live skit where the Austrian body builders were going to "PUMP," CLAP, "YOU UP."

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Little Lilly

Okay, today I have two things to say about Lilly.

1) Lilly is relatively small, if what you are relating her to is a twin sized mattress, which, in this case, I am.  She sleeps on a twin bed.  In a corner of her bedroom, which means there are walls on two sides.  And we have one of those toddler bed rails on a third side.  The only open space is at the foot of her bed.  Foot, again, here, is relatively speaking, because if she has recently started INSISTING that she sleep down at the end of the bed, is it still the foot?  She also sleeps perpendicular to the bed, not parallel as normal people might.

So she falls out of bed a lot.  And part of me wants to be like, "well, not gonna lie here, you kind of deserve that," but the other part of me wants to sleep through the night again.

Because every time she falls out of bed, she cries about it.  I mean, I don't blame her for crying about falling out of bed.  I would too. What I blame her for is the crying and shrieking that she Wants. To. Sleep. THIS. Way.

Because it's the wrong way.

Also, a lot of the time, when she falls out of bed, she just lays on the ground, crying, instead of standing up and getting back in bed.

Just . . . man . . . just get back in bed, genius.

1) I also want to mention the danger of Chris squashing her.  

The man does trod places, you know.

 We've had a couple of close calls and, let me tell you, this is not a far-fetched fear.

2) Other than relative to a mattress, Lilly is not small by any standards.

The other day, Lilly said to me, with a contemplative look on her face, "All my friends at school are small."

Keep in mind that Lilly is, by a fair amount, the youngest person in her class.  But there are some wee little girls out there.

What I find charming about this is that she didn't say, "I am bigger than all my friends."

Nope.  She thinks she's regular, and just hanging out with a bunch of tiny little folks.

I know it won't last but, right now, she hasn't absorbed one single bit of way society thinks girls should devalue, and critique, and alter themselves.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


When Chris is done with something, he is SO done.

When he is ready for something, he is SO ready.

When Chris goes to bed at night, his getting ready for bed routine is this:

1. Remove pants (if applicable).
2. Lie down in bed.

I'm over here, washing my face and putting on pajamas and moisturizing and chap-sticking and getting a glass of water and choosing an outfit for the next day and checking the weather and . . .

How is that fair?

When Chris gets out of the car, this is how it goes:

1) Get out of the car.
2) Walk in the house

I'm still in the car, with the snack wrappers and the dirty tissues, and the wet bathing suits and the extra sweatshirts and the forgotten head bands and the lunch boxes and . . .

When Chris leaves the house in the morning, this is what happens:

1) Leave the house

Chris usually leaves a few minutes before me, mostly because I spend an extra five minutes turning off all the lights, flushing the toilets, turning off the air-conditioners, and closing the doors.

And he's always asking me, genuinely confused, why it takes me so long to do anything.

I don't understand either.

Maybe he should teach a class.  Like one of those life improvement seminars.  "How to make your life better by just taking off your pants and getting in bed."

Also, this is another instance where you can tell the children are genetically related to Chris.

Do Not Call list

In my office, I have developed an actual reputation for deciding to answer the phone when the crazy people call.

Today, a man was complaining because we dry-tazed his child in the forehead after diagnosing him with Bipolar disorder, non-smoking type.

Is there even such a thing as wet vs. dry tazing?  Do kind and gentle police officers tell you to apply a wet-nap before the tazing so that it . . . well . . . doesn't hurt as much?

I guess I'm not sure why dry-tazing is worse. Honestly, I kind of thought if you got tazed, you just got tazed.  And that't the end of the story, unless somebody videotaped it and put it on YouTube.

Really, I don't mean to make fun of this man.  He was truely upset, and crying, and was clearly distressed, and I really did want to help him.

But the thing is, again, I work in research administration.

So I listened, and empathized, but then I had to transfer him to the CEO.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A dream is a wish your heart makes

The kids were playing out back today.


I was doing dishes in the kitchen and realized that Lilly's voice seemed to be coming from the front yard, not the back.

Trick of sound waves, I though.  Lilly knows better than to go in the front yard alone.

Except, her voice REALLY seems to be coming from a different direction from the boys.

So I look out the front window and there she is, sitting at the end of the driveway, singing herself a little song.
"LILLY! What are you doing?"

"I'm waiting for my dream to come true."

"Well go wait in the back yard."

"I can't, mom, I have to wait here or my dream won't come true."

"Just out of curiosity, what is your dream, Lilly?"

"For someone to come over to my house."

Waiting at the end of the driveway is a pretty effective way to have her dream of someone coming to the house come true.  Someone like the police.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Guess what. I'm right again.

A while ago, a Facebook post got passed around called, "letter to the mom on her phone."

You're lucky you don't have to read my "Letter to the judge-y asshole writing a letter."

The basic premise of the letter (the first letter, not my letter) was that parents should be more present for their children, and not just be near near them, playing on their phones.

Look, I can get behind that.  I agree.  We should pay attention to our children.


Here's the thing.

I'm no expert, but it is my belief (foreshadowing) that good parents let their children learn how to play by themselves.  But more importantly, it is my belief that children who are left alone to play are more free to play as CHILDREN.

Even with the best of intentions, when I play with my kids I invariably alter the way they play:  "You do it like this," "Let me show you," "Stop doing that," "Don't use it like that," "That is totally gross I can't believe you even just did that don't ever do it again."

And, wouldn't you know it, a study was recently published looking at children's attitudes and behaviors after play sessions by themselves versus play sessions where they played with their parents.  Children were significantly less relaxed, more irritable, cried more and smiled less after a play session with their parents.  The study showed that when parents tried to play with their kids, they tended to direct their play - the theory is that this is as irritating to children as it is to grown-ups.


Take home lesson?  Leave your child alone.  You are annoying.

A little wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

Yesterday, Sam said to me, “If I could wink, I’d be winkin’ at everybody.” 

Well, I just don’t think that’s true, Sam. 

The truth is, I don’t believe Sam is a saucy and/or rakish winker by nature. 

But I thought it was funny.  Sam with this vision of himself held back from a life as a playboy because he can’t wink. 

Except, I’m not exactly sure why he thought he’d be “winkin’ at everybody.”  What message did he imagine he’d be conveying with his winkage? 

I think this is a general problem with the act of winking.  If you are a winker, at whom do you wink?  And why? 

Because, actually, people do wink at me on occasion and I always find it confusing.

“What just happened?  Did I just agree to something?” 

And that’s assuming that I’m even sure that person winked at me.  Because most of the time, I find myself saying, “Hey, I think that person just winked at me.”  I THINK.  It could just be a twitch, you know.  Or a bug flew in their eye.  

By the way, I am aware that that "their" is grammatically incorrect.  But I don't wish to gender stereotype winkers.  (Also I don't like using his/her.)  It's not always a, "Hey, baby."  A lot of times it's a, "You and me, we're in on something!" 

Except we're not.  Because you're a winker and nobody understands you.  

And then there is the aftermath. 

What do you do now?  Wink back?  But then you're confused, too, probably, and nothing ever makes sense again. 

In summation, stop winking.  It makes people uncomfortable.

And Sam, learn to tie your shoes and then worry about winking.    

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Gone With the Wind fabulous

I was getting dressed to go to a wedding the other day (not THE wedding, a different wedding).

Lilly walked in and said, "Oh, Mom!  You look so beautiful!"

It's funny, but the only time I remember one of the boys saying I was beautiful was on an occasion when I was wearing a hot-pink tank top and red reindeer pajama pants.  And I had recently been pooped on.

I think.

It's a good bet, anyway.

The point is that Lilly has a more "conventional" sense of pretty than Owen apparently does and that I very much enjoy having a little girl.

After she commented that the dress was lovely, Lilly said to me, "Let me see you twirl!"

So I did.

It is harder than I remember it being.

Also, today at work I was notified that I have to start sharing my office.  Boooooo.

Also, I checked the results of the 5K for Breastfeeding Support.  That little girl who ran with me because she lost her parents (and apparently even at the 5K for Breastfeeding Support I'm the most comforting and maternal person around) was EXACTLY ten years old.  I am like a child-age-guessing GENIUS.

But I am not a spelling genius, because - I'm going to be honest here - I was not actually consciously aware that "reindeer" was not spelled "raindeer."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Milk Run

So the other day Chris sends me an email, with a link to a 5K that he is planning on running.

"By yourself?"

"Yeah, it looks like a good location, and the course seems nice."

"But you're planning on going by yourself."

"Yeah.  I'll be fast.  Lightening."

"So you're going to do this race by yourself.  Without me."

"Yes.  Is that a problem?"

"It's just . . . don't you think it might be a little weird if you do the 5k For Breastfeeding Support by yourself?  A lone dude?   I mean, I don't know.  I'm just saying.  You should probably take me with you."

So we went.  And MAN were there a lot of ladies with babies at this race.  Didn't see that one coming.

I look around and, like, 50% of these people are pushing strollers and another subset is actually WEARING their babies in one of those wrap thingies, which doesn't even seem safe, but, hey, I don't judge.

I do judge.  Don't strap your baby to your body and go for a run.  It too bouncy.  You will break their little breastfed necks.

But I'm looking at my competition, and I'm feeling pretty confident.  I'm usually in the top part of the bottom half of runners at these 5Ks, but, come on.  These people brought babies!

But then we start, and holy crap these ladies were fast.  Just . . . ZOOM.

Whatever.  I'm here for ME, and MY HEALTH and so my husband doesn't look like a weirdo.

So I'm running, and I've been left in the dust by these ladies and their babies.  Now, it's just me and a 10 year old girl.  Who I'm pretty sure is only still running because she lost her parents.

It sucks running with kids.  Kids are TERRIBLE running partners because, 1) they are CRAP at pace-setting, and 2) they taunt you.

This little girl would sprint for a minute, sit down by the side of the road to cry a little bit, get up, sprint some more, trip, fall down, skin her knee, lay down on the ground, get up, run backwards for a little bit, look at a bird, and she STILL FINISHED THE RACE BEFORE ME.


She's fine.  Her dad was at the end of the race.