Archive for January, 2009

Treasure Hunting With The Boogieman

Before having children, I never understood why kids’ noses were always crusted over with snot.

Now I understand. But this does not mean I tolerate it. In fact, I’m addicted to picking my kids’ noses. Frankly, I’d go so far as to say that I almost find it thrilling to spot a chunk of snot in their noses that I can dig for.

My pleasant euphemism for this icky endeavor is “treasure hunting.” When I actually extract something, the knowledge that my child can breathe more easily and won’t be That Kid With The Gross Nose actually takes me to my happy place.

Why do I share this vile information? Because I have spent the past 5 days cleaning some of the most disgusting diapers I have ever seen or smelled. Suddenly my nose-picking obsession seems downright quaint.

Parenting: its grossness is all a matter of perspective.

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House Of Ill Re-Puke

We’ve been down for the count around here. Fred picked up a stomach virus, and lovingly passed it on to yours truly, then Ginger, then GrumpyDaddy. Yesterday we were in survival mode, just trying to get through the day without dying.

Let me clarify that: I was in survival mode, caring for the kids while GrumpyDaddy spent most of the day on the sofa. In fairness, he was harder hit than I was, but there still was a certain inequity in the matter. Based upon my very informal survey of one person (the nurse at the pediatrician’s office), this is par for the course when an entire family falls ill. She actually asked me how I was caring for my three children.

At this point my best guess is that we are closing in on 15 loads of laundry in the past several days. I’m not talking about small loads either. When Fred unleashes, that kids unleashes. Our house smells like puke and poop, as do I, although none of it is mine at this point. Two days ago I was scratching my chin and realized that my fingers actually smelled like Fred’s vomit. I guess I need to start washing my hands with bleach, rather than old-fashioned soap.

The atmosphere of poop, puke, panic, and laundry has been like having a newborn again, and any baby fever I’ve had for a third has been severely tempered by the past few days.

Here’s hoping for good health going forward.

Still Pottying

Still stuck in potty-training mode, although we are making progress.

This is like having a newborn – I am insanely busy, we can’t leave the house without planning the timing pretty carefully, and being out in public usually involves multiple sudden disappearances to the closest bathroom.

The good news is that when we finally get this wrapped up, we will save a small mint in diapers.

Plugging away…

It’s Potty Time!

I’m in the throes of potty-training Ginger. I should have done this sooner, but with two kids 15 months apart in age, finding the time is, shall we say, challenging.

But Ginger has finally decided it’s her time, so we now live in the bathroom. I don’t know why anyone gripes about childbirth – at least that eventually ends. Potty-training has no guaranteed results, at least not in the short-term, and I was lying on a soft surface when I gave birth. Now my rear end is cold and permanently flat from spending so much time sitting on a hard tile floor.

As for Fred, I have no clue what he’s doing or even where he is since he has no desire to hang out in the bathroom. Hopefully he still lives here.

I presume today will be another endless round of “I need to pee!” How exciting. Sometimes I can’t believe I gave up a career for this, although I still maintain that it’s easier to reason with a toddler than a plaintiff’s attorney. Plus, Ginger is closer to being domesticated than some of those attorneys ever will be.

Further Proof That I’m A Lousy SAHM

As I made clear when I started this blog, I can’t cook.

I don’t think that additional proof was necessary, but just in case, here you go: I made grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner tonight and burned them.

How do you burn grilled cheese sandwiches? They are bread and cheese, with a bit of butter on the outer sides of the bread, for crying out loud! But I managed to do it, which I suppose is some sort of accomplishment.

And as a measure of just how common this sort of thing is, GrumpyDaddy didn’t even register a reaction when I announced that dinner was burned; he just sat down and started eating. Poor guy.

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Tall

One of the things you learn when you have children and start participating in play groups is that there is a certain code of etiquette that parents are expected to follow. There are many subtle facets, but one of the biggies is that if your child starts tussling with another child over a toy, the parents are expected to run over, vigorously remind their respective children that they need to learn to SHARE, and gently pull the kids fists away from one another’s faces.

I have a confession.

Little Ginger is not so little. In fact, she is very, very tall for her age, and she walked before many of the other kids in her play group. So when a tussle over a toy ensued, she could either beat the crap out of the other kid or, in the ultimate toddler flip-off, pick up the toy and walk away.

Take that, you scrawny, non-walking play group loser!!

Worse than that, I enjoyed watching this. I always put up the “now Ginger, you need to learn to share” facade, but part of me took of delight in her ability to stomp all over other kids’ dreams to play with a particular toy, especially since I’m not a very tall person myself.

Now that all of her peers walk, I enjoy watching her get into it with 4-year-olds, who on a good day might have half an inch on her. We once went to a childrens’ play place filled with kids we’d never met before. At one point, Ginger started a tug-of-war over some toy with a little boy who clearly was much older than she. No matter what he did, the little boy could not get Ginger to let go of the toy.

This all happened only feet away from me, but I let it go because I wanted to see how Ginger handled being bullied like this. Gotta toughen ’em up young! I also just wanted to see this young girl whup this older, bigger boy. But that wasn’t my main motivation, I swear! No, really, I promise!!

The little boy’s mother suddenly noticed what was happening, ran over, and broke up the tussle, admonishing her little boy for not SHARING. Ginger still had the toy in her hands when this happened, so she kept the toy. YESSSSSSSSSSSS!

Fast forward to my darling Fred. Now 16 months, he isn’t walking yet. The kid can talk up a storm, more than Ginger ever did at this age, but he hasn’t found the confidence to take that first step.

Nevertheless, and despite being incredibly tall for his age as well, Fred now is on the receiving end of those Toddler Flip-Offs. He gets a lot of practice while fighting with Ginger at home, and some of those experiences have paid off – no one puts a death grip on a small, inflatable ball like my little Fred!! But he still gets stripped of the ball on a regular basis, and other children his age giggle as they run off with Fred’s toy. Take that, you scrawny, non-walking play group loser!

BEEP BEEP, there goes the karma bus!

But all of those toy-stealing kids had better prepare themselves. Once Fred finds the courage to put one foot in front of the next, those long legs are going to outrun the other, pathetically small kids. Take that, you short-legged, slow play group losers!

Hope Springs Eternal

I have outdone myself in the Being Ridiculous department. Today I went to Target (or as I prefer to think of it, Heaven), and bought two Spring outfits for Ginger.

In case you didn’t realize it, today is January 7.

Marketers are smart. They know that as soon as Christmas is over, people’s thoughts turn to warmer weather because, let’s face it, the time period between Christmas and Spring is the equivalent of Siberia – big, cold, desolate, and no one wants to be stuck in the middle of it.

I have idealized summer in my head. As I purchased the clothing, with its lightweight cotton texture and lovely pinks and greens, I imagined Ginger running happily outside with little Fred, a light breeze blowing through her hair, birds chirping, the sun at just the right angle to make it about 82 degrees, and me sitting on the patio, watching said scene whilst sipping Happy Juice a/k/a beer.

The reality is that for most of summer, we are trapped inside an air-conditioned house to avoid sweating to death and/or having our pasty pale skin fried to smithereens by the sun, while our shrubs and flowers wilt to a vague brown color and our grass gets scorched to a color I can describe only as resembling newborn baby poo.

But those marketers, they are a clever bunch. And so it is that I have a couple Spring outfits for my little Ginger, neatly washed and hanging in her closet, just waiting to be brought out of hibernation on the first day that the temperature rises above 50. I can’t wait.