Friday, December 18, 2015

Life with a Toddler

It is slightly amazing how much I repressed or forgot about Charles’s and Jamie’s toddler stages as they have grown older.  There’s always so much going on, and they’re so interesting to me now, that the previous developmental stages have sort of faded into the background until, occasionally, I realize that I don’t have to do *that* anymore (nurse while cooking eggs, puree baby food, stop sixteen times to go potty on the way to the grocery store).  Except that Freddie is now a full-blown, speed-demon, illogical toddler with the advantage of two older brothers to distract his parents.  I should have realized by now that I need to do *that* again, whatever *that* is (lock up the dog food, for instance, because Freddie is intent upon feeding Buster the ENTIRE CONTENTS of his food drawer every time I turn around and so help me God, I cannot stand another episode of dog flatulence in MY ROOM in the middle of the night).

Signs You’re Living With A Toddler:

The toilet paper in your bathroom has had the top twenty yards unrolled and then rerolled recently.

Toothbrushes are scattered throughout the house and most of them look like they’ve been used to brush the dog’s fur.

Does is smell like poop in your house?  Or at least in one room?  You can’t tell anymore, but your guests always wrinkle their noses upon entering your home.

Mouthfuls of food are seemingly dropped at random, leaving a disgusting Hansel-and-Gretel-like trail to follow, the end of which is NOT a gingerbread house, but rather a small person who somehow gained access to a stash of peanut butter pretzels.

It requires advanced knowledge of lock-picking to access any of the toddler-proofed cabinets, especially where you store the alcohol.

Toddler-proofing the alcohol supply seemed legit at the time, but has turned into the worst idea ever.  You’re basically brain dead at the end of the bedtime routine, so gaining access to the liquor cabinet is of the utmost importance and also has turned into a bizarre Olympic event with one spouse straining to de-childproof the damn lock and the other spouse alternately whispering encouragement and offering criticism, neither of which is well-received.

There are smudgy fingerprints all over your glasses… and your walls… and your windows.

If you lose focus on your child for five seconds to do some important dinner preparation, the child will vanish, only to reappear at the top of the stairs with several pairs of your panties and a bra on his head.

Your shoulders are like an abstract art installation that is also a visual history of what your child had to eat today.

Your child prefers to eat all meals sitting in the middle of the dining table, digging his hands directly into the bowl of spaghetti or cauliflower or salad.

Your daily physical fitness routine consists of bending over to pick up the truck/cup/bowl/paper/ball that was tossed on the floor a second ago with an insufferably cute “uh-oh!” but is now vital for the continued existence of the universe.

It’s always loud.  Until it is quiet, and then you just know that someone small has discovered where you hide the Band-Aids and is busy covering himself with them.

Nothing in the whole damn world is as sweet as that littler person laying his head on your shoulder for a snuggle, wrapping his sticky fists in your hair.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Yes, We Will Talk of Poop

I do not understand why “potty humor” is humorous, but let me tell you, my kids understand.  I have come to accept it, and I think that’s all we can really expect of this poor, outnumbered soul (ME) whose days are filled with fart noises and peeing contests (their favorite thing is to cross the streams while peeing into the same toilet or onto the same patch of grass – it always makes me think of Ghostbusters).


In addition to the funny stuff, we have many serious discussions about poop in our house.  Did you go today?  Does it hurt when you go?  Are you done yet?  (Honestly, WHY does it take the male half of the human race SO LONG?  Do they want to hang out with their own stink for half an hour?)  Since this summer presented my children with some constipation issues (not enough water, among other things), we have been militant about fiber and water consumption and as a parent, I’ve been on a crusade to make it all work out, so to speak.  We’ve seen the chiropractor, the kids take supplements, and then there’s this:



Each person in our family now poops with a stool under his or her feet (with the exception of Freddie, for obvious reasons), and I can assure you that the whole process is much faster and better.  The problem, of course, is that one of my children is too short for his feet to touch the ground in a public restroom and is no longer willing to poop without a stool. 


So guess what?  I get to be the stool.


photo (48)


I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had to kneel on the floor in a public bathroom stall just so my kid can poop happily.  If that’s not a mother’s love, I don’t know what is.


I did, recently, find one poop experience funny: I had made some beet salad and was enjoying it when Freddie reached for some.  I let him try it, thinking that I would be treated to another of his “what the hell, mom?” faces, but instead he started shoveling in pieces of vinegar-soaked beets hand over fist until my lunch was gone (another example of maternal love: foregoing lunch for one’s tiny monsters).  We all know what beets look like, umm, later, so I warned Tony not to be surprised (spoiler: he was surprised).  After dinner, in a shocking display of good timing (for me), I left the boys to bounce off the walls together (I used to think that was just an expression, but oh no – it’s literal) while I ran an errand.  When I came back, there were purple spots all over the carpet, along with rags and carpet cleaner just waiting for a break in the action to be used (or, more likely, waiting for me to come home and deal with it).  Turns out the beets went right through Freddie and the resulting, fiber-rich movement could not be contained by his diaper.  I know I shouldn’t laugh at my husband’s distress, but I couldn’t help imagining him wandering around the house, wondering why on earth there was purple shit all over the floor.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Detritus of My Brain

Here are a few odds and ends of late:


Tony’s birthday was yesterday, but despite his best effort to be enthusiastic about his gift (a T-shirt for him that says “Sleep Deprived” paired with a onesie for Freddie that says “Sleep Depriver”), it was an utter disaster and we’re staging a re-do tonight.  You see, my dear husband was sick yesterday.  Violently ill is not something anyone wants to be on their birthday, so we’re planning the steak dinner and candles in the chocolate chip cookies for tonight.  I think maybe he doesn’t much care about birthdays anyway, but the kids and I do.




Charles and Jamie have been working on their Christmas lists all year long.  Their most-desired items:

  • A rocket launcher
  • Night-vision goggles
  • A jet pack
  • A skateboard
  • Rocket shoes


I’m thinking there’s going to be some disappointment on Christmas morning.




We were at dinner the other night, talking about robots (as one does).  Jamie had been on a big trip with Grandpa Roger to pick up a large toolbox at Harbor Freight Tools for my business.  He got to watch the forklift unload the toolbox and was super excited about all of the new tools and claimed that he was going to go to the office to build a robot with all of those new tools.  Charles was excited at this prospect, too, until Jamie exclaimed, “Yep, and my robot will pick you up and put you in the garbage!”  Best purpose for a robot ever.




We have an Elf on the Shelf named Cheese (curse you, Liz, for starting this time-intensive tradition).  Much like Toy Story, the damned elf comes “alive” every night and encourages lying to my children in the name of Christmas.  They love the fucking thing.  Most nights he just moves from place to place throughout the house, but since this is the first holiday season in a LOOOOONG time that hasn’t been plagued by illness, pregnancy, hospitalization, or a major business event, I’ve started to get a bit more creative.  Thankfully, I have boys, so if Cheese the Elf’s antics reflect my disdain for the added stress of creating elaborate scenes for an inanimate object, they think it’s hilarious.  Pretty soon, the Elf will devolve to drinking whiskey with a straw.  Cheese was already strung up in Spiderman’s web (dental floss) the other night; even our other toys are already tired of Cheese’s shit, and it’s only December 2nd.




I continue to amaze myself with the words that come out of my mouth.  A few recent gems:


“Don’t sit on your brother’s face!”

“Don’t lick your shoe!”

“No, you may not pour syrup on the dog!”




My life is so glamorous.  The other night, as the kids were winding down before bed, I curled up in the recliner with a book.  Charles climbed in with me to snuggle and read his own book.  Just as I was thinking, “Ahh, this is so nice, the two of us snuggling and reading together,” he farted on me.  Loud and STINKY, I had to abandon my perch quickly or risk passing out.  Charles laughed uproariously.  Tony lectured him that farting on people is rude (speaking of conversations that I didn’t think we’d ever have: that bit or politeness seemed self-evident), but just as I began to breathe normally again, Charles came over, apologized, then FARTED AGAIN and laughed like he was the funniest person on the planet.  I screamed and began to asphyxiate on the indescribable stench – I swear, that kid can compete with the stupid dog for a stinky flatulence award, and if you have a dog, then you know how bad dog farts can be.  Then I promptly sent him to bed so as to confine the reek to his room.  Poor Jamie.  His dreams were undoubtedly noxious that night.