Archive for March, 2009

Cleaning? What’s That?

If you go to the house of someone who has just had a baby, odds are the house will be a disaster. If it isn’t, it’s because the new parents either can afford a cleaning service, or have enslaved one of their mothers, who is too busy being thrilled that she is finally a grandmother to care that she is being forced to cook and clean around the clock.

Before spawning, I never understood why it was so difficult to cook, clean, or take a shower when you had kids, but this is what is boils down to: kids demand attention. A LOT of attention. Trying to get anything done when they are around is darn near impossible because something always goes wrong. They spit up and need a change of clothing. They have a poopy diaper blowout and need a bath. They are hungry and need to be fed. They break an antique vase and need to be removed from the scene. The list goes on and on.

And if you think it gets better when they become toddlers and more self-sufficient, think again. Now they simply want constant companionship and there is no such thing as a moment’s peace (if your house suddenly gets very quiet, you can bet your bottom dollar that your toddler is up to no good).

Ginger is basically a repeating loop of “why” questions, and she doesn’t always like the answers she gets, so she just keeps asking. I have had more than a few moments where I’ve lost my cool and yelled at her to “PLEASE BE QUIET SO MOMMY CAN THINK FOR A MINUTE.” The shock effect of this usually lasts about 7 seconds before Ginger quietly says, “Why you need to think for a minute, Mommy?”

So then there’s naptime when I should be able to scrub my house from top to bottom, right? HA!

First of all, I’m so darn happy to have some peace and quiet, and so exhausted from chasing and tending to the kids all morning that the motivation to clean is just not there. I’d rather eat, read, or watch some trashy reality TV that I would never dare turn on when the kids are around.

Second, cleaning makes noise in ways you don’t realize until you try to do it during naptime. You learn this lesson when you trigger the worst sound a human being can possibly hear: a crying baby who has woken up from his nap prematurely. Visit any mommy chat board and you will quickly learn that early risers (or worse, the non-nappers) drive many moms to thoughts of running away forever and never coming back.

So no vacuums or dustbusters or garbage disposals can be run, no toilets flushed, no showers turned on (it’s amazing how loud your water pipes suddenly become after you give birth. Do plumbers do that on purpose?).

So with this background in mind, I give you today’s tale of Housewife Failure: recently I had a doctor’s appointment and was chit-chatting with the doc about house stuff, when the conversation turned to vacuum cleaners (don’t ask, I don’t know how we got there, either). I mentioned an old model that I no longer use and the doctor asked where I was keeping it. I told her it was probably in my basement, although I couldn’t swear to that. Then she asked if I used it to vacuum my basement.

Um, what?

Do people actually vacuum their basements?

I mean, I know they are dirty and dusty, and bug carcasses litter the floor, but that’s what a basement is supposed to look like, right?

Honestly, I always kind of assumed that you left the basement alone and eventually all that yuckiness would just go away. Maybe the Basement Fairy would show up one night and clean it for me. Or maybe a tornado would sweep through the basement and suck all the dead bugs out. Or maybe we’d move and the buyers would never look in the basement and I’d leave the state before having to confront the horror down there. I dunno, but I guess we’ll add my basement to the list of things that I don’t clean.

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More Toddler Witticisms

Ginger strikes again. Today she informed me that she had a driver’s license. I was unaware that the minimum age in the state of Pennsylvania was 2, but let’s be honest: is it really that important that one’s feet be able to reach the brakes?

We also had a great GrumpyDaddy moment yesterday, and by “great” I mean that he was finally the one to screw something up. Fred was having a bad moment and wouldn’t stop crying. I was busy trying to get his bath going, so he wandered into another room, where GrumpyDaddy and Ginger were working on our taxes. (In addition to having a driver’s license, Ginger also has a CPA). Given that preparing taxes is an exercise in pure sunshine and joy, you can understand that GrumpyDaddy may not have been in the best frame of mind to tolerate a screaming toddler.

I hear GrumpyDaddy say something to Fred, and then hear Fred start crawling back down the hallway toward me. Suddenly Ginger sticks her head out of the room and yells down the hall: “Fred! Grow a pair!”

There was no need for me to ask GrumpyDaddy what he had said to Fred.

Because Mommy Said I Could!

Ginger is at it again with her witticisms, although I suspect she doesn’t realize just how funny she is being. And by “funny,” I mean embarrassing to her mother.

The latest addition to her ongoing Toddler Comedy Act is to tell people I’ve said things that I haven’t. You can see the potential for trouble in this, yes?

At this point, it seems that her focus is to tell people that I’ve given her permission to do things when I haven’t. A recent example: she asks GrumpyDaddy if she can watch TV. GrumpyDaddy wisely defers to me and tells Ginger to ask me for permission. Ginger walks over to me, asks permission, and I say no.

Ginger then walks back to GrumpyDaddy, and, standing all of 20 feet away from me, says, “Mommy says I can watch TV!”

Hmmm, seems as though my child has a few things to learn about how to lie effectively.

Recently I hosted some moms and kids at my house. Ginger is a big fan of any sort of hair accoutrement: if it’s in your hair, she wants it. One of the moms was wearing a lovely headband, and Ginger asked if she could trade her own headband for the mom’s. The mom, understandably not wanting to mess with her hair, tried to politely distract Ginger by telling her that she needed to ask my permission (notice a trend here?).

According to the mom, Ginger took a few steps in my direction, stood there for a few moments, then turned around, returned to the mom, and told her that I had given permission to wear the headband. Thankfully, the mom saw this, knew the real story, and ratted Ginger out to me. (Kids beware: just as you suspected, there is a giant Mom Conspiracy, or Momspiracy, if you will, to keep you down! Bwahahahahaha!)

Another example: when we were at the play area where we encountered Jonah the Terror Child, I saw Ginger go around to the other moms feeding their kids snacks and tell them that I said she could have their snacks. This happens every time we go there – because we all know that Cheerios coming from a stranger taste much better than the Cheerios that come from your own mom – and I spend about a quarter of my time explaining to the other moms that yes, I do actually feed my kids and no, I don’t give them permission to take food from other, hungry children.

I consider these to be harmless examples, but good grief, what other things is Ginger telling people I’ve given permission for? To kick their kids? Steal their toys? Sell drugs on the corner?

This needs to stop, but when I can’t even reason with Ginger to take a bath (that new issue is a whole ‘nutha post in the making), I’m not quite sure how to explain to a 2-year-old that lying about me being the world’s most permissive mother has got to stop.

My Thoughts Control The Weather

I’d like to formally apologize to anyone living in the Northeast for the light snow that was on the ground this morning when you woke up.

That was my fault.

You see, last night after realizing that we’ve now gone more than two weeks with temperatures hovering above the 50-degree mark, I dared to consider that we might be done with snow for the ’08-’09 season.

Mother Nature sure showed me. Not only were we not done with snow for the ’08-’09 season, we weren’t done with it for the official Winter season. According to GrumpyDaddy, the snow started before midnight, meaning that it snowed before the last day of Winter could end.

Soooooooooooo, if you were all kinds of cranky this morning when you saw the snow, know that I shared your pain. I’ll be thinking only very cold-weather thoughts going forward. It should be 95 and unbearably humid before you know it, and then I can gripe about that.

Mothers Know Everything

And now, a brief tale proving that mothers know everything.

I usually get up early in the morning, enjoy coffee, and read for a couple hours before the kids get up. This is part of my effort to feed my brain (I usually spend one hour plus reading non-fiction, and slightly less time catching up on the news online).

Now I’ve mentioned on here that I’m a total cheapie when it comes to heating the house, so I am accustomed to it being pretty chilly. Nevertheless, this morning as I was drinking my joe, it struck me that the house felt particularly cold. I checked the thermostat; it was set to “on,” but was not actually working.

Long story short, after investigating, we figured out that little Ginger had turned the heater off when she had followed GrumpyDaddy down to the basement yesterday evening while he was working a household project.

So here’s the crazy part: we turned the heat back on and… the temperature in the house was actually above normal. It was well over an hour before the heat finally needed to pop on.

So I’m a genius, right? OK, not really. But this only underscores my belief that mothers’ instincts ought to be trusted at all times. Now if I could just get GrumpyDaddy to buy this theory…

Best St. Patrick’s Day Gift Ever

Today my children were given a gift in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. If this sounds at all unusual, consider that we live in an area that is home to many Irish, including the gift-giver in question, and GrumpyDaddy has a fair amount of Irish blood flowing through him.

So I received a phone call earlier today that This Person (hereinafter referred to as “TP”) wanted to drop off a gift for my kids. How thoughtful and lovely! Please come over whenever it is convenient for you!

TP arrives, beaming with pride at his/her find for the kids. The gifts are handed out. Ginger rips into hers, while Fred tries to eat his, wrapping paper and all (what can I say, he’s only 18 months old).

And beneath the pretty green paper, my two toddlers found St. Patrick’s Day shot glasses and whistles.

Shot glasses and whistles.

Apparently TP though the shot glasses were cute, kid-sized play glasses. And the whistles? Why, they’re noisemakers! Kids love to make noise, especially whilst drinking from kid-sized play glasses!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Diaper Doublers Are Really Interesting!

I’m not one for ego, and I have no right to entertain thoughts of grandiosity, but I fully confess to checking the stats on this blog, so I have a feel for when and what people read when they visit my site.

Among other things, WordPress stats show how people get to my page, such as clicking over from another website. It also shows me if readers get to my page through a word search on WordPress.

It’s all a bit Big Brother/1984, yes?

Anyway, here’s what I find interesting: after my two “introductory” posts, which are always present on the front page, the most popular of my posts are the two that discuss Diaper Doublers. (In case you are wondering, here they are: first post and second post).

The first post has a weird title that references Sasquatch and maxi-pads, so I could see how that alone might entice some people to click on it out of sheer “what the hell is that” curiosity. However, as I mentioned, people are finding these posts through a search for “Diaper Doublers.”

I guess my point is this: I’m just a wee bit surprised that so many people search WordPress blogs for references to “Diaper Doublers.” I had no clue they were so interesting! I wonder how many other blogs out there discuss them. I suppose I could do a search, but… well… that would put me in the group of people that I’m now expressing curiosity about and somehow that strikes me as… what? Inappropriately circular, perhaps?

I dunno. I guess if I had to pick, I would have expected my “naked kids” post to generate more interest, simply because the world is full of weirdos. But apparently blog readers crave information about Diaper Doublers. Go figure.