Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Looks can be deceiving.

I went to dinner with some work friends recently.

I was the only one there who was married or had kids.

There were a lot of us.  It was rowdy.

Young people!  Sheesh!

At the table next to ours, there was a couple with their daughter.  I'd say about 13 months old.  Biggish baby / littlish toddler type.

Much ruckus was happening at our table, until whispering floated down from the other end of the table.

Apparently, we were now feeling bad, because the baby at the next table had cancer.

Aww.  That's terrible.  How sad!

Wait, but how do we know the baby has cancer?

I'm thinking there must be an IV port in her arm, or a hospital tag on her or something.

Because she's lost all her hair.

"Guys," I say, "I don't think the baby has cancer.  I think the baby is just bald."

I'm pretty sure the baby was just bald.

But if she did have cancer, sorry about the noise.


I was dropping the boys off at school today.

Let me set the scene.  Cold.  Like, "feels like -8" cold.  Blustery.  Limited vision because of all the awful snow.

I see a teenager - probably about 16.  He is dressed only in a hoodie, jeans, a pair of very visible boxers, and a weird backpack.

As he got closer, I figured out that the weird backpack was his little brother, whom he had given a piggy-back ride to school.  In the cold and snow.  Wearing only a hoodie.

At one point, his pants started to go down, as they are wont to do when you wear them that low to begin with.  But he just shifted his brother up, grabbed his jeans, held on to them both and kept on truckin'.

It was really very sweet.

I guess teenagers are not 100% awful.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Just for Fun Girls

I read a blog post today - it was shared by someone on Facebook, not a blog I regularly follow.  So I don't know these people, and I have no context for this post.

In the post she - the mom - was discussing how hard it was to make choices about how and when to let their daughter do "grown up" things.  Specifically, it centered on whether or not to let their four-year-old wear nail polish.

SERIOUSLY.  I didn't even know I was supposed to feel conflicted about that.  High heels, sure, I get that.  They are gross and damaging, but she wants them.


Make up.  It's disgusting.  Terrible message.  But she want to try.


But nail polish?  Really?  It had literally never occurred to me to worry about that!

She talked a little bit about "sexualizing" and how it was a part of the "growing up too fast" problem we are encountering with girls.

But, I kind of thought that had to do with thongs and bikinis and what not.

Do I get a pass because I let the boys paint their nails when they were her age, too?


I took Lilly to Target the other day.

Near the checkout area, they were displaying bikinis.

"Oh, MOM!" she says, "They have boobies!  You need boobies!"

Near the crowded, crowded, checkout area.

In my best barely audible, but hissingly sincere, voice I replied, "Lilly.  We don't need to talk about that in public."

"But why, Mom?  Why don't you want to talk about boobies?  But you NEED boobies."

My barely audible, but hissingly sincere voice is apparently not at intimidating as I had hoped.

I'm pretty sure she means "bra" when she says "boobies."  Either way, I don't know why she calls them that.  Or why she cares.

Honestly, the boys are so unaware that they will still casually slingshot a bra across the room without even noticing.


At work, I don't use my computer for cool things like social media, or shopping.

Mostly because they block those sites.

But I do check my personal email.

Today, one of those groupon-esque mailings came through, with offerings for discounts on clothes and toys for girls.

I usually just keep multiple windows open, and click back and forth as time allows.

I had someone stop by office today.  We were working on my computer.  It was fine.  I helped him.  It took a fairly long time.  Probably a million hours.

And when he left, I noticed that the tab at the bottom of the page identified my personal email page, but the email I happened to have open:

"Just for Fun Girls."

Is it just me, or could that skew inappropriate?

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Night Time Report

So I think we all know that Chris does this middle-of-the-night thing where he gets all stressed out and gets up on his hands and knees in the bed and . . . well, I guess I don't really know what his plan is after that.  Mostly that's as far as we get before I wake up and, like a good Pet Parent, tell him to lay down.  Sit.  Good boy.

"I haven't gone up on my hands and knees for a long time!" Chris says to me, proudly.

"Dude.  You did it last night."

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one awake over here.

In the middle of the night.

"I did?"

"Yes.  Last night.  And also last week."

"Oh.  I don't remember that."

"Well I do."

At least last night he laid down quietly.  Last week when he did it he fought me on it.

*rustle rustle rustle*

"Chris.  Lay down."

*hovering on hands and knees*

"Chris.  Lay DOWN."


"What?  Shut-up.  Because that's what we do in bed. Lay down."

*hovering on hands and knees*


"Why do I have to lay down?"

"Are you kidding me with this? Because I said so.  You are legitimately turning into a fourth child here with this."

He did eventually lay down, but only after a bunch more suspicious, squinty-eyed, "Whys?"

On a brighter note, Chris and I finally accepted that Lilly was incapable of keeping both her body and her blankets in bed all night without the toddler railing.  After two months of waking up to retrieve her blankets / body from the floor of her room three or four times a night, believing that, surely, eventually, she would figure this out, we now understand that, no, she will not figure it out.

So we put the railing back up and it's like back when the baby started sleeping through the night.

Mostly because the baby started sleeping through the night.

It is bliss.

If only Chris would lay down.

Friday, February 14, 2014

However you would spell the sounds the Peanuts teacher makes.

I was driving the boys to school one day.

They were in the back seat chattering about snow days, and how many they had had, and how many more they were likely to have this year.

"Guys?  I just want to say that the number of snow days you have had this year is really unusual.  Lots of years, you don't get any snow days.  I don't want you to be thinking that you will always get this many snow days."



"Hey Mom?  What if they are deciding RIGHT NOW to cancel school?  How would you find out and what would we do?"

"Owen.  They are not GOING to cancel school right now.  That's kind of what I'm talking about.  Snow days are unusual.  They don't happen very often.  Just because you've had a lot doesn't mean you will have a lot more or that you will always have a lot."


They turn to each other.

"Maybe we'll have a snow day tomorrow!!"

I am the cause of global warming.  I waste all kinds of hot air with my useless, useless words.

And wouldn't you know it?  They had a goddamned snow day the next day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I don't think that means what you think it means

Sam woke up this morning and said he had a headache.  This was the second day he'd said that, so I was little bit worried.  We've all been suffering from colds so I wondered if maybe it was a sinus issue.

"Are you stuffed up?  Are you congested?"

"Well, my stomach does hurt a little when I poop."

I kept a straight face, of course.  Because there comes a time when you are no longer allowed to openly laugh at your children.  Sam would be SO mad if he knew I was writing this.  And probably a little confused because he still wouldn't know why it was funny.  But they do reach a point where they know they don't like being laughed AT.

This is another thing nobody ever tells you about having kids.

Eventually, this shit actually gets HARD.

Sleepless nights?  A cake walk compared to wondering if your kid will ever learn to read.  Poopy diapers?  A mound of lemon-scented clouds next to the anxiety of friendless-ness.  Introducing solids?  A double rainbow with a cherry on top compared to all the goddamnned mother-fucking homework.

All that baby stuff?  It's just about endurance.  Living through it.  Keeping everybody alive.  It's relentless and it's hard work, but it's just work.  I can DO work.

But then they get older.  And it's all this stuff that you, as a parent, can't control.  But it's still going to be your fault.  You can't fix it, but you have to figure it out.

All of a sudden, I'm looking at the gaping maw of years of things I can't DO.

And, given technology and kids these days, Sam could actually be blogging about me in the near future.

I'm probably not going to find that very amusing.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Sometimes, when I'm working on the computer, and then something goes wrong with the computer, and every thing I was working on so hard just gets lost, I want to punch the computer in the face.

It occurred to me that life was easier, in that respect, before computers.  But then I remembered this story I heard on NPR about monks writing out the bible by hand, and how each page would take months, and this one time they realized after they finished the page that they had forgotten a line.  They solved the problem but adding the text with, like, a medieval asterisk.

So, I guess that would be worse.  But I still worked for a goddamned long time compiling that list of addresses that the computer just ate.  Bastard.

Also, Lilly is well on her way to being able to put my hair in a pony-tail.

Which puts her well ahead of Chris.

We've been doing Lilly's hair more recently.  And by "we" I mean "me" and also, "never Chris in a million years."

The man has the fine motor skills of a hippopotamus.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sam: He's Not That Bad

Sam stars in most of my stories about sassy children.

(We're going to say "sassy" instead of "disrespectful and awful" because it sounds a lot more fun.)

He stars in these stories because, so far, he's the only one who DOES that kind of thing.

But I don't mean to imply that he's not great.

The dishwasher broke today.  I was talking at dinner about how the kids were going to have to leave me alone for a while because I had to hand-wash the dishes.

And Sam said, "Why don't I help?"

So I washed, and he dried, and we did that for a half an hour.

We talked about so many things.

Mostly things I don't care about.  Olympics, science, card games.

But sometimes you talk about boring shit with your kids, because that's what matters to them.

Nobody ever tells you that about having kids.  They tell you about sleepless nights, and diapers, and potty training, but people rarely mention that kids care about stuff you really could not care less about.  Also, it's the one thing you can't mention when you are spouting off about how much you do for them.

"I do all the laundry, I make lunches, I clean up after you, I cook you dinner, I drive you places, and I listen to you talk about some ridiculously irrelevant shit."

See?  You were a hero right up until that last bit.

Even most other parents won't admit that kids care about some truly uninteresting things.  While you are trying to have a conversation about their lives, and school, and hopes and plans, they are on the other side of the couch talking about "do you think green or blue is better?  If so, why?  Please compare and contrast the two.  Also, please describe the two, and explain the difference" until eventually you just want to die.

I'll admit that my capacity for this seems to be pretty low.  I've seen some people weave wonderfully intricate conversations with children.

These are very good people.

I, on the other hand, find it difficult to be forced to develop an opinion when I don't actually have one.  And then being forced to defend it.

"WHY is green better?  Does that mean grass is more important than sky?  Actually, mom? Is grass better than the sky?  Why?"

Anyway, my point is, Sam was a great help tonight, and I enjoy him very much when he is not being a punk.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Lose / lose

Apparently today was "spirit day" at the boy's school.

I didn't know that.  I might have known that if I actually read all the paperwork that comes home in their folders.  But, YOLO, and also, HATE PAPERWORK.

This spirit day consisted of wearing something sports related.

"MOM?!  Where is my new Browns shirt I got for my birthday?"

"Um, it's short sleeved so I think I put it with your summer clothes.  There are two white baskets next to your dresser that I put your shorts and t-shirts in.  One is yours, the other is Owen's.  Look in there."

"MOM?!  It's not in here!"

I walk in and he is literally throwing clothes over his shoulder, as if he were a cartoon of a little boy looking through a basket of clothes to find something.

"Are you sure you're looking in your basket and not Owen's?"

"YES!  Why can't you keep better track of my stuff?  Why did you lose it?!"

"Whoa, there.  If you want to make sure your stuff doesn't get lost, you better be responsible for your own clothes."

"I WOULD if you would have told me that you were going to lose it."

"I didn't do it on purpose, Sam.  So I couldn't tell you it was going to happen.  If you want to make sure it doesn't, feel free to take over the laundry."

"I don't see why you can't just do a better job."

At this point I feel the way you would probably feel if you bought someone a nice shirt, washed said shirt along with all the other clothes you bought that person, folded all those clothes and put them away, and then that person took a poop on your face.

I am not ruining the curve on this parenting thing, I'll tell you that much.  I have not the first idea how to teach gratitude and respect.  My first instinct is to kick him in the face, but I can't, and I don't really have a second instinct.

I'll take suggestions.

That don't require work.

Because I'm tired.

I have all this goddamned laundry to do, see?


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The man with the yellow bucket

We got a set of mixing bowls for our wedding.  The small one was green the middle one was orange, and the  big one was yellow.

Chris has managed to destroy two of the three.  Which, come on.  That's pretty impressive.  We're talking heavy-duty, fancy, hard plastic mixing bowls.  I wouldn't have guessed it was possible.

He SHATTERED the green one by microwaving and then immersing in cold water.

Don't do that, guys.  

He melted the orange one.  I guess that isn't surprising.  I mean, what HASN'T he melted over the years?

But none of that is the point.

The point is, a couple years back, one of the boys was feeling sick.  We needed a vomit bucket.  The yellow bowl was brought out.  It was the best we could do at that moment.  But it turned out that it is a nice, comforting, size.  Small enough to be portable, but big enough to inspire confidence in its capacity.

From that day on, the yellow bowl was our go-to vomit bucket.

I would, however, like to state, EMPHATICALLY that the yellow bowl has NEVER been touched by vomit.  Chris and I are pretty good at making it to the toilet.  The kids prefer to throw up on the floor or us.  The yellow vomit bucket has always just been an unused precaution.

But apparently, the kids have made some strong associations.

Because the other day, the boys walked into the kitchen when Chris was making dinner.

Sam froze.

"Dad?  What are you doing with the vomit bucket?"

We tried to explain, but they were horrified.

I kind of see their point.

We should probably retire the yellow mixing bowl.

But, the thing is, it is a great mixing bowl, too.

Though, admittedly, no longer part of a set.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Not entirely my fault.

See what I did there?  I lulled you into a false sense that I might be a reliable blogger.

That's only really applicable for the five of you who check regularly.  The rest of you (7), check twice a year so have no real understanding of my fits and starts.

So Lilly came to me tonight.

"Mom?  My penis hurts."

We've been though this, I swear.  I have told her A NUMBER of times that she doesn't have a penis.  I've not been unclear.  Some people don't like to say penis or vagina and rely instead on vague references to "down there."  That could be confusing.  

But that's not what's happening here.

What's happening here is that the boys like to say "penis."

A lot.

They will reference their penis whenever possible.

"He squashed my penis!"

"Oooooohh! He hit me in my penis!"

"Let's use our penises to sword fight!"

So you can see how Lilly could be forgiven for not always remembering that the area from which she pees is not her pee-ness.

Also, I will tell you that I sincerely, and severely, underestimate the challenges of teaching three small people about basic hygiene.

Children are savages.

Also, I was reading some old entries.

Oh man, it was funny.

Except for the ones where I was pregnant.  Those were honestly just uncomfortable.

I did notice a fair amount of typos, though.  I'd like to note that I do, in fact, know the difference between between your and you're, and their and they're and there.

I suppose I could have fixed the mistakes as I found them.  But that just seems like an awful lot of work.    Instead, I will use this section of this entry as a basic disclaimer of sorts.  People, I know some grammar.  I have some spellcheck.  Please assume that only half of the mistakes you find are due to stupidity.  The other half is just due to laziness and half-assed-ness.